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Full text of "Barnaby Rudge : a tale of the riots of '80"

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:11 / FIRST ISSUE OF THIS EDITION 
REPRI
TE D. . . 


Aþf'il 1906 
Seþtember 1906; l.fay 1909; 
March 1911; Aþril1913 



INTRODUCTION 


Banzaby Rudge was written by Dickens in the Spring and 
first flowing tide of his popularity; it came immediately after 
the Old C'ttt'iosity Shop, and only a short time after Pickwick. 
Dickens was one of those rare but often very sincere men in 
whom the high moment of success almost coincides with the 
high moment of youth. The calls upon him at this time \vere 
insistent and overwhelming; this necessarily happens at a 
certain stage of a successful \vriter's career. He was just 
successful enough to invite offers and not successful enough 
to reject them. At the beginning of his career he could throw 
himself into Pickwick because there was nothing else to throw 
himself into. At the end of his life he could throw himself 
into The Tale of Two Cities, because he refused to throw him- 
self into anything else, But there was an intervening period, 
early in his life, when there was almost too much work for his 
imagination, and yet not quite enough work for his house- 
keeping. To this period Bat'naby Rudge belongs. And it is 
a curious tribute to the quite curious greatness of Dickens that 
in this period of youthful strain we do not feel the strain but 
feel only the youth. His own amazing wish to write equalled 
or outstripped even his readers' amazing wish to read. Work- 
ing too hard did not cure him of his abstract love of work. 
Unreasonable publishers asked him to write ten novels at 
once; but he wanted to write twenty novels at once. All this 
period is strangely full of his own sense at once of fertility and 
of futility; he did work which no one else could have done, and 
yet he could not be certain as yet that he was anybody. 
Barnaby Rudge marks this epoch because it marks the fact 
that he is still confused about what kind of person he is going 
to be. He has already struck the note of the normal romance 
In Nicholas Nickleby þ' he has already created some of his 
highest comic characters in Pickwick and the Old Curiosity 
Shop, but here he betrays the fact that it is still a question 
what ultimate guide he shall follow. Barnaby Rudge is. a 
vü 



VIII 


Introduction 


roman tic, historical novel; its design reminds us of Scott; 
some parts of its fulfilments remind us, alas! of Harrison 
AiTIsworth. I t is a very fine, romantic, historical novel; 
Scott would have been proud of it. But it is still so far 
different from the general work of Dickens that it is per- 
missible to wonder how far Dickens was proud of it. The 
book, admirable as it is, is almost entirely devoted to dealings 
with a certain artistic element, which, in its mere isolation. 
Dickens did not commonly affect; an element which many 
men of infinitely less genius have often seemed to affect more 
successfully; I mean the element of the picturesque. 
It is the custom In many quarters to speak somewhat 
sneeringly of that element which is broadly called the pictur- 
esque. It is always felt to be an inferior, a vulgar, and even 
an artificial form of art. Yet two things may be remarked 
about it. The first is that, with few exceptions, the greatest 
literary artists have been not only particularly clever at the 
picturesque, but particularly fond of it. Shakespeare, for 
instance, delighted in certain merely pictorial contrasts which 
are quite distinct from, even when they are akin to, the 
spiritual, or psychological view involved. For instance, there 
is admirable satire in the idea of Touchstone teaching worldly 
wisdom and worldly honour to the woodland yokels; there is 
excellent philosophy in the idea of the fool being the repre- 
sentative of civilisation in the forest. But quite apart from 
this deeper meaning in the incident, the mere figure of the 
jester, in his bright motley and his cap and bells, against the 
green background of the forest and the rude forms of the 
shepherds, is a strong example of the purely picturesque. 
There is excellent tragic irony in the confrontation of the 
melancholy philosopher among the tombs with the cheerful 
digger of the graves. But quite apart from such irony, the 
mere picture of the grotesque gravedigger, the black-clad 
prince, and the skull is a picture in the strongest sense pictur- 
esque. Cali ban and the two shipwrecked drunkards are an 
admirable symbol; but they are also an admirable scene. 
Bottom, with the ass's head, sitting in a ring of elves, is an 
excellent moving comedy, but also an excellent stationary 
picture. Falstaff with his huge body, Bardolph with his 
burning nose, are masterpieces of the pen; but they would be 
fine sketches even for the pencil. King Lear, in the storm, is 
a landscape as well as a character study. There is something 
decorative even about the insistence on the swarthiness of 



Introduction 


.. 
IX 


Othello, or the deformity of Richard III. Shakespeare's- 
work is much more than picturesque; but it is picturesque. 
And the same which is said here of him by way of example is 
largely true of the highest class of literature. Dante's Divine 
Comedy is supremely important as a philosophy; but it is 
important merely as a panorama. Spenser's Faery Queen 
pleases us as an allegory; but it would please us even as a 
wall-paper. Stronger still is the case of Chaucer who loved 
the pure picturesque; which always includes something of 
what we commonly call the ugly. The huge stature and 
startling scarlet face of the Sompirour is in just the same spirit 
as Shakespeare's skulls and motley; the same spirit gave 
Chaucer's miller bagpipes, and clad his doctor in crimson. 
I t is the spirit which, while making many other things, loves 
to make a picture. 
Now the second thing to be remarked in apology for the 
picturesque is, that the very thing which makes it seem trivial 
ought really to make it seem important; I mean the fact that 
it consists necessarily of contrasts. I t brings together types 
that stand out from their background, but are abruptly 
different from each other, like the clown among the fairies or 
the fool in the forest. And his audacious reconciliation is a 
mark not of frivolity but of extreme seriousness. A man who 
deals in harmonies. who only matches stars with angels or 
lambs with spring flowers, he indeed may be frivolous; for he 
is taking one mood at a time, and perhaps forgetting each 
mood as it passes. But a man who ventures to combine an 
angel and an octopus must have some serious view of the 
universe. The man who should write a dialogue between two 
early Christians might be a mere writer of dialogues. But a 
man who should write a dialogue between an early Christian 
and the l\1issing Link would have to be a philosopher. The 
more widely different the types talked of. the more serious 
and universal must be the philosophy which talks of them. 
The mark of the light and thoughtless writer is the harmony 
of his subject matter; the mark of the thoughtful writer is 
its apparent diversity. The most flippant lyric poet might 
write a pretty poem about sheep; but it requires something 
bolder and graver than a poet. it requires an ecstatic prophet, 
to talk about the lion lying down with the lamb. 
Dickens, at any rate. strongly supports this conception, 
that great literary men as such do not despise the purely 
pictorial. No man's works have so much the quality of 



x 


Introduction 


illustrating themselves. Few men's works have been more 
thoroughly and eagerly illustrated; few men's works can it 
have been better fun to illustrate. As a rule this fascinating 
quality in the mere fantastic figures of the tale was inseparable 
from their farcical quality in the tale. Stiggins's red nose is 
distinctly connected with the fact that he is a member of the 
Ebenezer Temperance Association; Quilp is little, because a 
little of him goes a long way. Mr. Carker smiles and smiles 
and is a villain; Mr. Chadband is fat because in his case to be 
fat is to be hated. The story is unmeasureably more im- 
portant than the picture; it is not mere indulgence in the 
picturesque. Generally it is an intellectual love of the comic; 
Dot a pure love of the grotesque, 
But in one place Dickens suddenly confesses that he likes 
the grotesque even without the comic. In one case he makes 
clear that he enjoys pure pictures with a pure love of the 
picturesque. That place is Barnaby Rudge. There had 
indeed been hints of it in many' episodes in his books; notably. 
for example, in that fine scene of the death of Quilp-a scene 
in which the dwarf remains fantastic long after he has ceased 
to be in any way funny. Still. the dwarf was meant to be 
funny. Humour of a horrible kind, but still humour, is the 
purpose of Quilp's existence and position in the book. 
Laughter is the object of all his oddities. But laughter is 
not the object of Barnaby Rudge's oddities. His idiot costume 
and his ugly raven are used for the purpose of the pure 
grotesque; solely to make a certain kind of picture. 
It is commonly this love of pictures that drives men back 
upon the historical novel. But it is very typical of Dickens's 
living interest in his own time, that though he wrote two 
historical novels they were neither of them of very ancient 
history. They were both indeed of very recent history; only 
they were those parts of recent history '" hich were specially 
picturesque. I do not think that this was due to any mere 
-consciousness on his part that he knew no history. Un- 
doubtedly he did know no history; and he mayor may not 
have been conscious of the fact. But the consciousness did 
not prevent him from writing a History of England. Nor did 
it prevent him from interlarding all or any of his works with 
tales of the pictorial past, such as the tale of the broken 
-swords in Master Humphrey's Clock, or the indefensibly 
delightful nightmare of the lady in the stage-coach, which 
helps to soften the slow end of Pickwick. Neither, worst of 



Introduction 


. 
Xl 


all, did it prevent him from dogmatising anywhere and every- 
where about the past, of which he knew nothing; it did not 
prevent him from telling the bells to tell Trotty Veck that the 
Middle Ages were a failure, nor from solemnly declaring that 
the best thing that the mediæval nlonks ever did was to create 
the mean and snobbish quietude of a modern cathedral city.' 
No, it was not historical reverence that held him back from 
dealing with the remote past; but rather something much 
better-a living interest in the living century in which he was 
born. He would have thought himself quite intellectually 
capable of writing a novel about the Council of Trent or the 
First Crusade. He would have thought himself quite equal 
to analysing the psychology of Abelard or giving a bright, 
satiric sketch of St. Augustine. It must frankly be confessed 
that it was not a sense of his own unworthiness that held him 
back; I fear it was rather a sense of St. Augustine's unworthi- 
ness. He could not see the point of any history before the 
first slow swell of the French Revolution. He could under- 
stand the revolutions of the eighteenth century; all the other 
revolutions of history (so many and so splendid) were un- 
meaning to him. But the revolutions of the eighteenth 
century he did understand; and to them therefore he went 
back, as all historical novelists go back, in search of the 
picturesque. And from this fact an important result fonows. 
The result that folJows is this: that his only two historical 
novels are both tales of revolutions--of eighteenth-century 
revolutions. These two eighteenth-century revolutions may 
seem to differ, and perhaps do differ in everything except in 
being revolutions and of the eighteenth century. The French 
Revolution, which is the theme of The Tale of Two Cities, was 
a revolt in favour of all that is now called enlightenment and 
liberation. The great Gordon Riot, which is the theme of 
Barnaby Rudge, was a revolt in favour of something which 
would now be called mere ignorant and obscurantist Protes- 
tantism. Nevertheless both belonged more typically to the 
age out of which Dickens came-the great sceptical and yet 
.creative eighteenth century of Europe. Whether the mob 
rose on the right side or the wrong they both belonged to the 
time in which a mob could rise, in which a mob could conquer. 
No growth of intellectual science or of moral cowardice had 
made it impossible to fight in the streets, whether for the 
_republic or for the Bible. If we wish to know what was the 
real link, existing actually in ultimate truth, existing UD- 



XII 


Introduction 


consciously in Dickens's mind, which connected the Gordon 
Riots with the French Revolution. the link may be defined 
though not with any great adequacy. The nearest and truest 
way of stating it is that neither of the two could possibly 
happen in Fleet Street to-morrow evening. 
Another point of resemblance between the two books might 
be found in the fact that they both contain the sketch of the 
same kind of eighteenth-century aristocrat. if indeed that kind 
of aristocrat really existed in the eighteenth century. The 
diabolical dandy with the rapier and the sneer is at any rate 
a necessity of all normal plays and romances; hence Mr. 
Chester has a right to exist in this romance. and Foulon a 
right to exist in a page of history almost as cloudy and dis- 
putable as a romance. What Dickens and another romancers 
do probaLly omit from the picture of the eighteenth-century 
oligarch is probably his liberality. It must never be forgotten 
that even when he was a despot in practice he was generally a 
liberal in theory. Dickens and romancers make the pre- 
revolution tyrant a sincere believer in tyranny; generally 
he was not. He was a sceptic about everything, even about 
his own position. The romantic Foulon says of the people. 
Ie Let them eat grass." with bitter and deliberate contempt, 
The real Foulon (if he ever said it at all) probably said it as a 
sort of dreary joke because he couldn't think of any other 
way out of the problem. Similiarly Mr. Chester. a cynic as 
he is. believes seriously in the beauty of being a gentleman; 
a real man of that type probably disbelieved in that as in 
everything else. Dickens was too bracing, one may say too 
bouncing. himself to understand the psychology of fatigue in 
a protected and leisured class. He could understand a tyrant 
like Quilp. a tyrant who is on his throne because he had 
climbed up into it. like a monkey; he could not understand 
a tyrant who was on his throne because he was too weary to 
get out of it. The old aristocrats were in a dead way quite 
good-natured. They were even humanitarians; which perhaps 
accounts for the extent to which they roused against them- 
selves the h
althy hatred of humanity. But they were tired 
humanitarians; tired with doing nothing. Figures like that 
of Mr. Chester, therefore, fail somewhat to give the true sense 
of something hopeless and helpless which led men to despair 
of the upper class. He has a boyish pleasure in play-acting; 
he has an interest in life; being a viIJain in his hobby. But the 
true man of that type had found all hobby fail him. He had 



Introduction 


., 
XIII 


wearied of himself as he had wearied of a hundred women. 
He was graceful and could not even admire himself in the 
glass. He was witty and could not even laugh at his own 
jokes. Dickens could never understand tedium. 
There is no mark more strange and perhaps sinister of the 
interesting and not very sane condition of our modern 
literature, than the fact that tedium has been admirably 
described in it. Our best modern writers are never so exciting 
as they are about dulness. Mr. Rudyard Kipling is never so 
powerful as when he is painting yawning deserts, aching 
silences, sleepless nights, or infernal isolation. The excite- 
ment in one of the stories of 1\1r. Henry James becomes tense, 
thrilling, and almost intolerable in all the half hours during 
which nothing whatever is said or done. We are entering 
again into the mind, into the real mind of Foulon and 
Ir. 
Chester. We begin to understand the deep despair of those 
tyrants whom our fathers pulled down. But Dickens could 
never have understood that despair; it was not in his soul. 
And it is an interesting coincidence that here, in this book of 
Barnaby Rudge, there is a character meant to be wholly 
grotesque, who, nevertheless, expresses much of that element 
in Dickens which prevented him from being a true interpreter 
of the tired and sceptical aristocrat. 
Sim Tappertit is a fool, but a perfectly honourable fool. 
It requires some sincerity to pose. Posing means that one 
has not dried up in oneself all the youthful and innocent 
vanities with the slow paralysis of mere pride. Posing means 
that one is still fresh enough to enjoy the good opinion of 
one's fellows. On the other hand, the true cynic has not 
enough truth in him to attempt affectation; he has never 
even seen the truth, far less tried to imitate it. Now we 
might very well take the type of Mr. Chester on the one hand, 
and of Sim Tappertit on the other, as marking the issue, the 
conflict, and the victory which really ushered in the nineteenth 
century. Dickens was very like Sim Tappertit. The Liberal 
Revolution was very like a Sim Tappertit revolution. It was 
vulgar, it was overdone, it was absurd, but it was alive. 
Dickens was vulgar, was absurd, overdid everything, but he 
was alive. The aristocrats were perfectly correct, but quite 
dead; dead long before they were guillotined. The classics 
and critics "Tho lamented that Dickens was no gentleman 
were quite right, but quite dead, The revolution thought 
1itself rational; but so did Siro Tappertit. It was really a 



iii 


. 
XIV 


Introduction 


huge revolt of romanticism against a reason which had grow!: 
sick even of itself. Sim Tappertit rose against Mr. Chester; 
and, thank God! he put his foot upon his neck. 
G. K. CHESTERTON. 


19 0 9 


The following is a list of the works of Charles Dickens:- 
Sketches by Boz, 1835, 2nd series, 1836 (from" Monthly Magazine," 
.. Morning Chronicle," "Evening Chronicle," "Bell's Life in London," 
and" The Library of Fiction "): Sunday under Three Heads, etc., 1836; 
The Strange Gentleman, comic burletta, 1837; The Village Coquettes, 
comic opera, 1836; Is she his wife? or, Something Singular? comic 
burletta, acted 1837; Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, monthly 
numbers, 1836-7; Mudfog Papers (Bentley's "Miscellany "), 1837-9: 
Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi, edited by Boz, 1838; Oliver Twist, or the 
Parish Boy's Progress, 1838 (from Bentley's" Miscellany"); Sketches of 
Young Gentlemen, 1838; Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, 
monthly numbers, 1838-9; Sketches of Young Couples, etc., 1840; 
Master Humphrey's Clock, weekly numbers, 1840-1; volume form, 1840, 
1841 (Old Curiosity Shop, Barnaby Rudge); The Pic
nic Papers (preface 
and first story), 1841: American notes for general circulation, 1842; A 
Christmas Carol in Prose, 1843: The Life and Adventures of Martin 
Chuzzlewit, monthly numbers, 1843-4: The Chimes: a Goblin Story of 
some Bells, etc., 1844; The Cricket on the Hearth: a Fairy Tale of 
Home, 1845; Pictures from Italy, 1846 (from .. Daily News "); The 
Battle of Life: a Love Story, 1846; Dealings with the Firm of Dombey 
and Son, etc., monthly numbers, 1846-8: The Haunted Man, and the 
Ghost's Bargain, 1848; The Personal History of David Copperfield, 
monthly numbers, 1849-50; Christmas Stories in "Household Words"; 
and "All the Year Round," 1850-67; Bleak House, monthly numbers, 
1852-3: A Child's History of England, 1854 (from" Household Words "); 
Hard Times for these Times, 1854 (from" Household Words"): Little 
Dorrit, monthly numbers, 1855-57; A Tale of Two Cities, 1859 (from 
" All the Year Round "); Great Expectations, 1861 (from" All the Year 
Round "); Our Mutua] Friend, monthly numbers, 1864-5; Religious 
Opinions of the late Rev. Chauncey Hare Townhend, ed. C. D., 1869; 
"Landor's Life," last contribution to "All the Year Round"; The 
Mystery of Edwin Drood (unfinished), in monthly numbers, April to 
September, 1870. 
Other papers were contributed to " Household Words" and II All the 
Year Round." 
First Collective Ed., 1847-74; Library Ed., 1857, etc.; U Charles 
Dickens" Ed., 1868-70; Letters, ed. Miss Hogarth and Miss Dickens, 
1886; Life, by Forster, 1872-74; U Men of Letters" Series, 1882; U Great 
\Vriteri" Series, 1887. 



BARNABY RUDGE 
A TALE OF THE 
RIOTS OF '80 



PREFACE 


IF the object an author has had, in \vriting a book, 
cannot be discovered from its perusal, the probability is 
that it is either very deep, or very shal1ow. Hoping that 
mine may lie some\vhere between these two extremes, I 
shan say very little about it, and that, only in reference 
to one point. 
No account of the Gordon Riots having been to my 
knowledge introduced into any Work of Fiction, and 
the subject presenting very extraordinary and remark- 
able features, I ,vas led to project this Tale. 
I t is unnecessary to say, that these shameful tumults, 
while they reflect indelible disgrace upon the time in which 
they occurred, and all who had act or part in them, teach 
a good lesson. That what we falsely call a religious cry 
is easily raised by men who have no religion, and who in 
their daily practice set at nought the commonest principles 
of right and wrong; that it is begotten of intolerance and 
persecution; that it is senseless, besotted, inveterate, and 
unmerciful; all History teaches us. But perhaps we do 
not know it in our hearts too well, to profit by even so 
humble and familiar example as the" No Popery" Riots 
of Seventeen Hundred and Eighty. 
Ho\vever imperfectly those disturbances are set forth in 
the following pages, they are impartially painted by one 
who has no sympathy \vith the Ronlish Church, although 
he acknowledges, as most men do, some esteemed friend 
among the followers of its creed. 
It may be observed that, in the description of the prin- 
cipal outrages, reference has been made to the best au- 
thorities of that time, such as they are; and that the 
account given in this Tale, of all the main features of 
the Riots, is substantially correct. 


B 



2 


Preface 


It may be further remarked, that Mr. Dennis's allusions 
to the flourishing condition of his trade in those days, 
have their foundation in Truth, not in the Author's fancy. 
Any file of old Newspapers, or odd volume of the Annual 
Register, will prove this with terrible ease. 
Even the case of lVIary Jones, dwelt upon with so much 
pleasure by the same character, is no effort of invention. 
The facts were stated, exactly as they are stated here, in 
the House of Commons. 'Vhether they afforded as much 
entertainment to the merry gentlemen assembled there, 
as son1e other most affecting circumstances of a similar 
nature mentioned by Sir Samuel Romilly, is not recorded. 
I t is a great pleasure to me to add in this place-for 
which I have reserved the ackno\vledgment-that for a 
beautiful thought, in the last chapter but one of The Old 
Curiosity Shop, I am indebted to Mr. Rogers. It is taken 
from his charming Tale, Ginevra:- 


" And tong might'st thou have seen 
An old man wandering a
 in quest of something, 
Something he could not find-he knew not what." 


DBVONSHIRE TERRACE. YORK GATB. 
November I8.p. 



BARNABY RUDGE 


CHAPTER I 


IN the year 1775, there stood upon the borders of 
Epping Forest, at a distance of about twelve miles from 
London-measuring from the Standard in Cornhill, or 
rather from the spot on or near to which the Standard 
used to be in days of yore-a house of public entertainment 
calIed the l\1aypole; which fact was demonstrated to all 
such travellers as could neither read nor \vrite (and sixty 
years ago a vast number both of travellers and stay-at- 
homes were in this condition) by the emblem reared on the 
roadside over against the house, which, if not of those 
goodly proportions that l\1aypoles were wont to present 
in olden times, \vas a fair young ash, thirty feet in height, 
and straight as any arrow that ever English yeoman drew. 
The Maypole-by which term from henceforth is meant 
the house, and not its sign-the Maypole was an old build- 
ing, with more gable ends than a lazy man would care to 
count on a sunny day; huge zigzag chimneys, out of \vhich 
it seemed as though even smoke could not choose but come 
in more than naturally fantastic shapes, imparted to it in 
its tortuous progress; and vast stables, gloomy, ruinous, 
and empty. The place was said to have been built in the 
days of King Henry the Eighth; and there was a legend, not 
only that Queen Elizabeth had slept there one night while 
upon a hunting excursion, to wit, in a certain oak-panelled 
room with a deep bay window, but that next morning, 
while standing on a mounting-block before the door \vith 
one foot in the stirrup, the Virgin l\10narch had then and 
there boxed and cuffed an unlucky page for some neglect 
I of duty. The matter-of-fact and doubtful folks, of whom 
there were a few among the Maypole customers, as un- 
luckily there always are in every little community, were 
inclined to look upon this tradition as rather apocryphal; 
but whenever the landlord of that ancient hostelry appealed 
to the mounting-block itself as evidence, and triumphantly 



4 


Barnaby Rudge 


pointed out that there it stood in the same place to that 
very day, the doubters never failed to be put do\vn by a 
large majo
ity, and all true believers exulted as in a victory. 
vVhether these, and many other stories of the like nature, 
were true or untrue, the fvlaypole ,vas really an old house, a 
very old house, perhaps as old as it claimed to be, and per- 
haps older, which will sometimes happen with houses of 
an uncertain, as with ladies of a certain age. Its windows 
were old diamond-pane lattices, its floors were sunken and 
uneven, its ceilings blackened by the hand of Time, and 
hea vy with massive beams. Over the doorway was an 
ancient porch, quaintly and grotesqqely carved; and here 
on sumn1er evenings the more favoured customers smoked 
and drank-ay, and sang l11any a good song too, some- 
times-reposing on t\vo grim-looking high-backed settles, 
\vhich, like the twin dragons of some fairy tale, guarded 
the entrance to the mansion. 
In the chimneys of the disused rooms s\vallows had built 
their nests for many a long year, and from earliest spring 
to latest autumn whole colonies of sparrows chirped and 
Ì\vittered in the eaves. There were more pigeons about 
the dreary stable-yard and outbuildings than anybody but 
the landlord could reckon up. The \vheeling and circling 
flights of runts, fantails, tumblers, and pouters, were per- 
haps not quite consistent with the grave and sober char- 
acter of the building, but the monotonous cooing, which 
never ceased to be raised by some among them all day long, 
suited it exactly, and seemed to lull it to rest. With its 
overhanging stories, drowsy little panes of glass, and front 
bulging out and projecting over the pathway, the old 
house looked as if it were nodding in its sleep. Indeed it 
needed no very great stretch of fancy to detect in it other 
resemblances to humanity. The bricks of which it was 
built had originally been a deep dark red, but had grown 
yello\v and discoloured like an old man's skin; the sturdy 
timbers had decayed like teeth; and here and there the ivy, 
like a warm garment to comfort it in its age, wrapt its 
green leaves closely round the time-worn walls. 
It was a hale and hearty age though, still: and in the 
summer or autun1n evenings, when the glo\v of the setting 
sun fell upon the oak and chestnut trees of the adjacent 
forest, the old house, partaking of its lustre, seemed their 
ht companion, and to have many good years of life in him 
)et. 



Barnaby Rudge 


5 


The evening with which we have to do, was neither a 
summer nor an autumn one, but the twilight of a day in 
March, when the wind howled dismally among the bare 
branches of the trees, and rumbling in the wide chimneys 
and driving the rain against the windows of the Maypole 
Inn, gave such of its frequenters as chanced to be there at 
the moment an undeniable reason for prolonging their stay, 
and caused the landlord to prophesy that the night would 
certainly clear at eleven o'clock precisely,-which by a 
remarkable coincidence was the hour at which he always 
closed his house. 
The name of him upon whom the spirit of prophecy thus 
descended ,vas John 'VilIet, a burly, large-headed man with 
a fat face, which betokened profound obstinacy and slow- 
ness of apprehension, combined with a very strong reliance 
upon his own merits. It was John vVinet's ordinary boast 
in his more placid moods that if he were slow he was sure; 
which assertion could in one sense at least be by no means 
gainsaid, seeing that he was in everything unquestionably 
the reverse of fast, and \vithal one of the most dogged and 
positive fellows in existence-ahvays sure that what he 
thought or said or did was right, and holding it as a thing 
quite settled and ordained by the laws of nature and Pro- 
vidence, that anybody who said or did or thought other- 
wise must be inevitably and of necessity wrong. 
Mr. Willet walked slowly up to the window, flattened his 
fat nose against the cold glass, and shading his eyes that 
his sight might not be affected by the ruddy glow of the 
fire, looked abroad. Then he walked slowly back to his 
old seat in the chimney-corner, and, composing himself in 
it with a slight shiver, such as a man might give way to 
and so acquire an additional relish for the warm blaze, said, 
looking round upon his guests: 
cc It'll dear at eleven o'clock. No sooner and no later. 
Not before and not arterwards. " 
" Ho\v do you make out that? " said a little man in the 
opposite corner. "The moon is past the full, and she rises 
at nine." 
John looked sedately and solemnly at his questioner until 
he had brought his mind to bear upon the \vhole of his 
observation, and then made answer, in a tone which seemed 
to imply that the moon was peculiarly his business and 
nobody else's: 
" Never you mind about the moon. Don't you troubl
 



6 


Barnaby Rudge 


yourself about her. You let the moon alone, and I'll let 
you alone." 
" No offence I hope?" said the little man. 
Again John waited leisurely until the observation had 
thoroughly penetrated to his brain, and then replying, 
"No offence as yet," applied a light to his pipe and 
smoked in placid silence; now and then casting a sidelong 
look at a n1an wrapped in a loose riding-coat with huge 
cuffs ornamented with tarnished silver lace and large metal 
buttons, who sat apart from the regular frequenters of the 
house, and wearing a hat flapped over his face, \vhich was 
still further shaded by the hand on which his forehead 
rested, looked unsociable enough. 
There was another guest, who sat, booted and spurred, 
at some distance from the fire also, and whose thoughts- 
to judge from his folded arms and knitted brows, and from 
the untasted liquor before him-were occupied \vith other 
matters than the topics under discussion or the persons 
who discussed them. This was a young man of about 
eight-and-twenty, rather above the middle height, and 
though of a somewhat slight figure, gracefully and strongly 
made. He wore his own dark hair, and was accoutred 
in a riding-dress, which, together with his large boots 
(resembling in shape and fashion those worn by our Life 
Guardsmen at the present day), showed indisputable traces 
of the bad condition of the roads. But travel-stained 
though he was, he \vas \vell and even richly attired, and 
without being oyer-dressed looked a gallant gentleman. 
Lying upon the table beside him, as he had carelessly 
thrown them do\vn, \vere a heavy riding-whip and a 
slouched hat, the latter worn no doubt as being best suited 
to the inclemency of the \veather. There, too, were a pair 
of pistols in a holster-case, and a short riding-cloak. Little 
of his face was visible, except the long dark lashes \vhich 
concealed his downcast eyes, but an air of careless ease 
and natural gracefulness of demeanour pervaded the figure, 
and seemed to cOlnprehend even these slight accessories, 
which were all handsome, and in good keeping. 
To\vards this young gentleman the eyes of 
1r. \ViIlet 
wandered but once, and then as if in mute inquiry v:hether 
he had observed his silent neighbour. It was plain that 
John and the young gentleman had often met before. 
Finding that his look was not returned, or indeed observed 
by the person to whom it was addressed, John gradually 



Barnaby Rudge 


7 


concentrated the whole po\ver of his eyes into one focus, 
and brought it to bear upon the man in the flapped hat, at 
whom he came to stare in course of time with an intensity 
so remarkable, that it affected his fireside cronies, who all, 
as with one accord, took their pipes from their lips, and 
stared ,vith open mouths at the stranger likewise. 
The sturdy landlord had a large pair of dull fish-like eyes, 
and the little man who had hazarded the remark about the 
moon (and who ,vas the parish-clerk and bell-ringer of 
Chig\vell; a village hard by) had little round black shiny 
eyes like beads; moreover this little man wore at the knees 
of his rusty black breeches, and on his rusty black coat, 
and all down his long flapped \vaistcoat, little queer buttons 
like nothing except his eyes; but so like them, that as they 
t\vinkled and glistened in the light of the fire, \vhich shone 
too in his bright shoe-buckles, he seemed all eyes fronl 
head to foot, and to be gazing with everyone of them at 
the unkno\vn customer. No wonder that a man should 
grow restless under such an inspection as this, to say 
nothing of the eyes belonging to short Tom Cobb the 
general chandler and post-office keeper, and long Phil 
Parkes the ranger, both of whom, infected by the example 
of their companions, regarded him of the flapped hat no. 
less attentively. 
The stranger became restless; perhaps from being ex- 
posed to this raking fire of eyes, perhaps from the nature- 
of his previous meditations-most probably from the latter 
cause, for as he changed his position and looked hastily 
round, he started to find himself the object of such keen 
regard, and darted an angry and suspicious glance at the 
fireside group. I t had the effect of immediately diverting 
all eyes to the chimney, except those of John Willet, who 
. finding himself, as it \\-Tere, caught in the fact, and not 
being (as has been already observed) of a very ready 
nature, remained staring at his guest in a particularly 
a\vkward and disconcerted manner. 
" \Vell?" said the stranger. 
\Vell. There \vas not much in \vell. It was not a long 
speech. "I thought you gave an order," said the land- 
lord, after a pause of two or three minutes for considera- 
tion. 
The stranger took off his hat, and disclosed the hard 
features of a man of sixty or thereabouts, much weather- 
beaten and worn by time, and tþe naturally harsh expres- 



8 


Barnaby Rudge 


sion of which was not improved by a dark handkerchief 
\vhich was bound tightly round his head, and, while it 
served the purpose of a wig, shaded his forehead, and 
almost hid his eyebrows. If it were intended to conceal 
or divert attention from a deep gash, now healed into an 
ugly seam, which when it was first inflicted must have 
laid bare his cheekbone, the object was but indifferently 
attained, for it could scarcely fail to be noted at a glance. 
His complexion was of a cadaverous hue, and he had a 
grizzly jagged beard of some three weeks' date. Such \vas 
the figure (very meanly and poorly clad) that now rose from 
the seat, and stalking across the room sat down in a 
corner of the chimney, which the politeness or fears of 
the little clerk very readily assigned to him. 
<<<< A highwayman!" whispered Tom Cobb to Parkes the 
ranger. 
" Do you suppose highwaymen don't dress handsomer 
than that?" replied Parkes. "It's a better business than 
you think for, Tom, and highwaymen don't need or use to 
be shabby, take my word for it." 

feanwhile the subject of their speculations had done 
due honour to the house by calling for some drink, which 
was promptly supplied by the landlord's son Joe, a broad- 
shouldered strapping young fellow of twenty, \vhom it 
pleased his father still to consider a little boy, and to treat 
accordingly. Stretching out his hands to \varm them by the 
blazing fire, the man turned his head towards the company, 
and after running his eye sharply over them, said in a 
voice well suited to his appearance: 
<<, "That house is that \vhich stands a mile or so from 
here?' , 
" Public-house? " said the landlord, with his usual de- 
liberation. 
" Public-house, father!" exclaimed Joe, "where's the 
public-house within a mile or so of the Maypole? He 
means the great house-the Warren-naturally and of 
course. The old red brick house, sir, that stands in its 
own grounds-?" 
,<< A y, " said the stranger. 
c, And that fifteen or twenty years ago stood in a park 
five times as broad, which with other and richer propert}' 
has bit by bit changed hands and dwindled away-more's 
the pity !" pursued the young man. 
" tvlaybe," was the reply. "But my question related 



Barnaby Rudge 


9 


to the owner. What it has been I don't care to kno\v, and 
what it is I can see for myself. " 
The heir-apparent to the Maypole pressed his finger on 
his lips, and glancing at the young gentleman already 
noticed, who had changed his attitude when the house was 
first mentioned, replied in a lower tone, 
" The owner's name is Haredale, Mr. Geoffrey Harc- 
dale, and ' '-again he glanced in the same direction as 
before-" and a \vorthy gentleman too-hem!" 
Paying as little regard to this admonitory cough, as to 
the significant gesture that had preceded it, the stranger 
pursued his questioning. 
"I turned out of my way coming here, and took the 
footpath that crosses the grounds. Who was the young 
lady that I sa\v entering a carriage? His daughter?" 
" vVhy, ho\v should I know, honest man?" replied Joe, 
contriving in the course of some arrangements about the 
hearth, to advance close to his questioner and pluck him 
by the sleeve, "1 didn't see the young lady you know. 
\Vhew! There's the wind again-and rain-viell it is a 
night! " 
" Rough weather indeed!" observed the strange man. 
" You're used to it?" said Joe, catching at anything 
which seemed to promise a diversion of the subject. 
" Pretty well," returned the other. "About the young 
lady-has l\1r. Haredale a daughter?" 
" No, no," said the young fellow fretfully, "he's a 
single gentleman-he's-be quiet, can't you, man? Don't 
you see this talk is not relished yonder?" 
Regardless of this whispered remonstrance, and affect- 
ing not to hear it, his tormentor provokingly continued: 
" Single men have had daughters before no\v. P
rhaps 
she may be his daughter, though he is not married." 
" vVhat do you mean?" said Joe, adding in an under 
tone as he approached him again, " You'll come in for it 
presently, I know you will!" 
"I mean no harm ' '-returned the traveller boldly, 
" and have said none that I know of. I ask a few ques- 
tions-as any stranger may, and not unnatural1y-ahout 
the inmates of a remarkable house in a neighhourhood 
which is new to me, and you are as aghast and disturbed 
as if I were talking treason against King George. Per- 
haps you can tell me why, sir, for (as I say) I am a 
stranger, and this is Greek to me?' J 



10 


Barnaby Rudge 


The latter observation \vas addressed to the obvious 
cause of Joe Willet's discomposure, who had risen and was 
adjusting his riding-cloak preparatory to sallying abroad. 
Briefly rcplying that he could give him no information, the 
young man beckoned to Joe, and handing him a piece of 
Inoney in paYInent of his reckoning, hurried out attended 
by young Willet hilnself, who taking up a candle followed 
to light him to the house door. 
\;Yhile Joe was absent on this errand, the elder 'Villet 
and his three companions continued to smoke \vith pro- 
found gravity, and in a deep silence, each having his eyes 
fixed on a huge copper boiler that was suspended over the 
fire. After sonle time John ':Villet slo\vly shook his head, 
and thereupon his friends slowly shook theirs; but no man 
\vithdrew his eyes from the boiler, or altered the solemn 
expression of his countenance in the slightest degree. 
At length Joe returned-very talkative and conciliatory, 
as though with a strong presentiment that he \vas going 
to be found fault \vith. 
" Such a thing as love is !" he said, drawing a chair near 
the fire, and looking round for synlpathy. "He has set 
off to walk to London,-all the way to London. His nag 
gone lame in riding ou t here this blessed afternoon, 
and comfortably littered down in our stable at this minute; 
and he giving up a good hot supper and our best bed, 
because 1iiss Haredale has gone to a masquerade up in 
town, and he has set his heart upon seeing her! I don't 
think I could persuade myself to do that, beautiful as she 
is,-but then I'm not in love (at least I don't think I am), 
and that's the whole difference. " 
" He is in love then?" said the stranger. 

'Rather," replied Joe. "He'll never be more in love, 
and may very easily be less. " 
"Silence, sir!" cried his father. 
" \Vhat a chap you are, Joe 1" said Long Parkes. 
cc Such a inconsiderate lad! " murmured Tom Cobb. 
" Putting himself forward and wringing the very nose 
off his own father's face!" exclaimed the parish-clerk, 
metaphorically. 
" \Vhat have I done?" reasoned poor Joe. 
" Silence, sir!" returned his father, " what do you mean 
by talking, when you see people that are more than t\VO 
or three times your age, sitting still and silent and not 
dreaming of saying a word?" 



Barnaby Rudge 


I I 


CC Why that's the proper time for me to talk, isn't it?" 
said Joe rebelliously. 
" The proper time, sir!" retorted his father, " the proper 
time's no time. " 
" Ah to be sure!" muttered Parkes, nodding gravely 
to the other two \vho nodded likewise, observing under 
their breaths that that was the point. 
" The proper time's no time, sir," repeated John \Villet; 
" when I was your age I never talked, I never wanted to 
talk. I listened and improved myself, that's what I did." 
" And you'd find your father rather a tough customer in 
argeyment, Joe, if anybody was to try and tackle him-" 
said Parkes. 
" For the matter 0' that, Phil!" observed Mr. 'Vinet, 
blo\ving along, thin, spiral cloud of sn10ke out of the 
corner of his mouth, and staring at it abstractedly as it 
floated a\vay; " For the matter 0' that, Phi], argeyment is 
a gift of Natur. If Natur has gifted a man with powers 
of argeyment, a man has a right to make the best of 'em, 
and has not a right to stand on false delicacy, and deny 
that he is so gifted; for that is a turning of his back on 
N atur, a flouting of her, a slighting of her precious caskets, 
and a proving of one's self to be a swine that isn't \vorth 
her scattering pearls before." 
The landlord pausing here for a very long time, Mr. 
Parkes naturally concluded that he had brought his dis- 
course to an end; and therefore, turning to the young man 
\vith some austerity, exclaimed: 
" You hear what your father says, Joe? You wouldn't 
much like to tackle him in argeyment, I'm thinking, sir." 
" IF," said John \tVillet, turning his eyes from the ceiling 
to the face of his interrupter, and uttering the monosyl- 
lable in capitals, to apprise him that he had put in his oar, 
as the vulgar say, with unbecoming and irreverent haste; 
" IF, sir, Natur has fixed upon me the Rift of argeyment, 
why should I not own to it, and rather glory in the same? 
Yes, sir, I a1n a tough customer that way. You are right, 
sir. 11y toughness has been proved, sir, in this room 
many and many a time, as I think you know; and if you 
don't know," added John, putting his pipe in his nÍouth 
again, "so much the better, for I an't proud and am not 
a going to telJ you." 
A general murmur from his three cronies, and a general 
shaking of heads at the copper boiler, assured John WilJet 



12 


Barnaby Rudge 


that they had had good experience of his powers and 
needed no further evidence to assure them of his 
superiority. John smoked with a little more dignity and 
surveyed them in silence. 
" It's all very fine talking," muttered Joe, who had been 
fidgeting in his chair with divers uneasy gestures. "But 
if you mean to tell me that I'm never to open my lips-" 
"Silence, sir!" roared his father. " No, you never 
are. \Nhen your opinion's wanted, you give it. When 
you're spoke to, you speak. \Vhen your opinion's not 
wanted and you're not spoke to, don't give an opinion and 
don't you speak. The world's undergone a nice alteration 
since my time, certainly. rvry belief is that there an't any 
boys left-that there isn't such a thing as a boy-that 
there's nothing now between a male baby and a man-and 
that all the boys went out with his blessed 11ajesty IZing 
George the Second." 
" That's a very true observation, always excepting the 
young princes," said the parish-clerk, who, as the repre- 
sentative of Church and State in that company, held him- 
self bound to the nicest loyalty. " If it's godly and 
righteous for boys, being of the ages of boys, to behave 
themselves like boys, then the young princes must be boys 
and cannot be otherwise. " 
" Did you ever hear tell of mermaids, sir?" said Mr. 
Willet. 
" Certainly I have," replied the clerk. 
cc Very good," said Mr. Willet. " According to the 
constitution of mermaids, so much of a mermaid as is not 
a woman must be a fish. According to the constitution of 
young princes, so much of a young prince (if anything) as 
is not actually an angel, must be godly and righteous. 
Therefore if it's becoming and godly and righteous in the 
young princes (as it is at their ages) that they should be 
boys, they are and must be boys, and cannot by possibility 
be anything else. " 
This elucidation of a knotty point being- received with 
such marks of approval as to put John \\Tinet into a good 
humour, he contented himself with repeating- to his son his 
command of silence, and addressing the stranger, said: 
" If you had asked your questions of a gTo\'vn-up person 
-of me or any of these gentlemen-you'd have had some 
satisfaction, and wouldn't have "'-Tasted breath. Miss 
I-Iaredale is Mr. Geoffrey Haredale's niece." 



Barnaby Rudge 


13 


" Is her father alive? " said the man, carelessly. 
" No," rejoined the landlord, "he is not alive, and he is 
not dead-" 
" Not dead ! " cried the other. 
" Not dead in a common sort of way, " said the landlord. 
The cronies nodded to each other, and lYlr. Parkes re- 
marked in an under tone, shaking his head meanwhile as 
\vho should say, " let no man contradict me, for I won't be- 
lieve him, " that John Willet was in amazing force to-night, 
and fit to tackle a Chief Justice. . 
The strang-er suffered a short pause to elapse, and then 
asked abruptly, "vVhat do you mean?" 
"l\10re than you think for, friend," returned John 
Willet. "Perhaps there's more meaning in them words 
than you s us pect. " 
"Perhaps there is," said the strange man, gruffly; 
" but what the devil do you speak in such mysteries for? 
You tell me first that a man is not alive, nor yet dead- 
then, that he's not dead in a common sort of way-then, 
that you mean a great deal more than I think for. To ten 
you the truth, you may do that easily; for so far as I can 
make out, you mean nothing. \Vhat do you mean, I ask 
again? " 
" That," returned the landlord, a little broug-ht down 
from his dig-nity by the stranger's surliness, " is a Maypole 
story, and has been any time these four-and-twenty years. 
That story is Solomon Daisy's story. It belongs to the 
house; and nobody but Solomon Daisy has ever told it 
under this roof, or ever shall-that's more. " 
The man glanced at the parish-clerk, whose air of con- 
sciousness and importance plainly betokened him to be 
the person referred to, and, observing- that he had f
ken 
his pipe from his lips, after a very long- whiff to keep it 
alight, and was evidently about to tcll his story without 
further solicitation, g-athered his larg-e coat about him
 
and shrinking- further back \vas almost lost in the gloom 
of the spacious chimney-corner, except ,-vhen the flame, 
struggling- from under a great faggot, whose weig-ht almost 
crushed it for the time, shot upward with a strong 
and sudden glare, and illumining his fig-ure for a moment, 
seemed afterwards to cast it into deeper obscurity than 
before. 
By this flickering- light, \vhich made the old room, with 
its heavy timbers and panelled walls, look as if it were buitt 



14 


Barnaby Rudge 


of polished ebony-the wind roaring and howling \vithout, 
now rattling the latch and creaking the hinges of the stout 
oaken door, and now driving at the casement as though it 
would beat it in-by this light, and under circumstances so 
auspicious, Solomon Daisy began his tale: 
" It was lVlr. Reuben Haredale, Mr. Geoffrey's elder 
brother-" 
Here he came to a dead stop, and made so long a pause 
that even John Willet grew impatient and asked why he did 
not proceed. 
" Cobb," said Solomon Daisy, dropping his voice and ap- 
pealing to the post-office keeper; " what day of the month 
is this? " 
" The nineteenth. " 
"Of March," said the clerk, bending forward, "the 
nineteenth of March; that's very strange. " 
In a low voice they all acquiesced, and Solomon went on : 
" It was Mr. Reuben Haredale, lYlr. Geoffrey's elder 
brother, that twenty-two years ago was the owner of the 
Warren, which, as Joe has said-not that you remember 
it, Joe, for a boy like you can't do that, but because you 
have often heard me say so--was then a much larger and 
better place, and a much more valuable property than it is 
now. His lady was lately dead, and he was left with one 
child-the Miss Haredale you have been inquiring about- 
who was then scarcely a year old." 
Although the speaker addressed himself to the man who 
had shown so much curiosity about this same famity, and 
made a pause here as if expecting some exclamation of 
surprise or encouragement, the latter made no remark, nor 
gave any indication that he heard or was interested in what 
was said. Solomon therefore turned to his old companions, 
whose noses were brightly illuminated by the deep red 
glow from the bowls of their pipes; assured, by long ex- 
perience, of their attention, and resolved to show his sense 
of such indecent behaviour. 
" 1\1r. Haredale," said Solomon, turning his back upon 
the strange man, "left this place when his lady died, 
feeling it lonely like, and went up to London, where he 
stopped some months; but finding that place as lonely as 
this-as I suppose and have ahvays heard say-he suddenly 
came back again with his little 
ðrl to the Warren, bringing- 
with him besides, that day, only two \vomen servants, and 
his steward, and a gardener." 



Barnaby Rudge 


15 


Mr. Daisy stopped to take a \vhiff at his pipe, which was 
going out, and then proceeded-at first in a snuffling tone, 
occasioned by keen enjoyment of the tobacco and strong 
pulling at the pipe, and afterwards with increasing dis- 
tinctness : 
"-Bringing with him two women servants, and his 
ste\vard, and a gardener. The rest stopped behind up in 
London, and were to follow next day. It happened that 
that night, an old gentleman who lived at Chigwell-rov. r , 
and had long been poorly, deceased, and an order came to 
me at half after twelve o'clock at night to go and toll the 
passing-bell. " . 
There was a movement in the little group of listeners, 
sufficiently indicative of the strong repugnance anyone of 
them would have felt to have turned out at such a time 
upon such an errand. The clerk felt and understood. it, 
and pursued his theme accordingly. 
" It was a dreary thing, especially as the gravedigger 
was laid up in his bed, from long working in a danlp soil 
and sitting down to take his dinner on cold tombstones, and 
I was consequently under obligation to go alone, for it \vas 
too late to hope to get any other companion. However, I 
wasn't unprepared for it; as the old gentleman had often 
made it a request that the bell should be tolled as soon as 
possible after the breath \vas out of his body, and he had 
been expected to go for some days. I put as good a face 
upon it as I could, and muffling myself up (for it was mortal 
cold), started out \vith a lighted lantern in one hand and 
the kev of the church in the other." 
At this point of the narrative, the dress of the strange 
man rustled as if he had turned hilllself to hear more dis- 
tinctly. Slightly pointing over his shoulder, Solomon ele- 
vated his eyebro\vs and nodded a silent inquiry to Joe 
whether this was the case. Joe shaded his eyes with his 
hand and peered into the corner, but could make out 
nothing, and so shook his head. 
eel t was just such a night as this; blo\ving a hurricane 
raining heavily, and very dark- I often think now, darke; 
than I ever saw it before or since; that may be my fancy, 
but the houses were all close shut and the folks in-doors 
and perhaps there is only one other man \vho knows ho
 
dark it really was. I got into the church, chained the door 
back so that it shou1d keep ajar-for, to ten the truth I 
didn't like to be shut in there alone-and putting :n y 



16 


Barnaby Rudge 


lantern on the stone seat in the little corner where the 
bell-rope is, sat down beside it to trim the candle. 
" I sat down to trim the candle, and when I had done 
so, I could not persuade myself to get up again and g-o 
about my work. I don't kno\v how it was, but I thought of 
aU the ghost stories I had ever heard, even those that I had 
heard when 1 was a boy at school, and had forgotten long 
ago; and they didn't come into my mind one after another, 
but all crowding at once, like. I recollected one story 
there was in the village, ho\v that on a certain night in the 
year (it might be that very night for anything I knew), all 
the dead people came out of the ground and sat at the 
heads of their own graves till morning. This made me 
think ho\v nlany people I had known were buried between 
the church door and the churchyard gate, and what a dread- 
ful thing it would be to have to pass among them and know 
them again, so earthy and unlike themselves. I had known 
all the niches and arches in the church from a child; still 
I couldn't persuade myself that those were their natural 
shadows which I saw on the pavement, but felt sure there 
were some ugly figures hiding among 'em and peeping out. 
Thinking on in this way, I began to think of the old gen- 
tleman who was just dead, and I could have sworn, as I 
looked up the dark chancel, that I sa\v him in his usual 
place, wrapping his shroud about him and shivering as if 
he felt it cold. All this time I sat listening and listening, 
and hardly dared to breathe. At length I started up and 
took the bell-rope in my hands. At that minute there rang 
-not that bell, for I had hardly touched the rope-but 
another. 
" I heard the ringing of another bell, and a deep bel1 
too, plainly. It was only for an instant, and even then 
the wind carried the sound away, but I heard it. I listened 
for a long time, but it rang no more. I had heard of corpse 
candles, and at last I persuaded myself that this must be a 
corpse bell tolling of itself at midnight for the dead. I 
tolled my bell-how, or how long, I don't know-and ran 
home to bed as f as t as I could touch the ground. 
" I \vas up early next morning after a restless night, 
and told the story to my neighbours. Some were serious 
and some made light of it: I don't think anybody believed 
it real. But that morning, !vIr. Reuben Haredale was 
found murdered in his bedchamber; and in his hand was a 
piece of the cord attached to an alarm-bell outside the roof, 



Barnaby Rudge 


17 


which hung in his room and had been cut asunder, no doubt 
by the murderer when he seized it. 
"That was the bell I heard. 
" A bureau' was found opened, and a cash-box, which 
Mr. Haredale had brought down that day, and was sup- 
posed to contain a large sum of money, was gone. The 
steward and gardener were both Inissing and both sus- 
pected for a long time, but they \vere never found, though 
hunted far and wide. And far enough they might have 
looked for poor Mr. Rudge the steward, whose body- 
scarcely to be recognised by his clothes and the \vatch and 
ring he wore-was found, months after\vards, at the bottom 
of a piece of water in the grounds, with a deep gash in the 
breast where he had been stabbed with a knife. He \vas 
only partly dressed; and people all agreed that he had 
been sitting up reading in his own room, where there were 
many traces of blood, and was suddenly fallen upon and 
killed before his master. 
" Everybody no\\' knew that the gardener must be the 
murderer, and though he has never been heard of from that 
time to this, he will be, mark nlY words. The crime was 
committed this day two-and-hventy )ears-on the nine- 
teenth of rYIarch, one thousand seven hundred and fifty- 
three. On the nineteenth of ß1arch in some year-no mat- 
ter when-I kno\v it, I am sure of it, for we have always, 
in some strange way or oth.er, been brought back to thf' 
subject on that day ever since-on the nineteenth of 11arch 
in some year, sooner or later, that man \vill be discoyered." 


CHAPTER II 


C C A STRANGE story! " said the man \vho had been the 
cause of the narration.-" Stranger stiJI if it comes about 
as you predict. Is that all? " 
A question so unexpected nettled Solomon Daisy not a 
little. By dint of relating the story very often, and orna- 
menting it (according to vil1age report) with a few flour- 
ishes suggested by the various hearers from time to time, 
he had cOlne by degrees to tell it with great effect; and" is 
that all? " after the climax, was not what he was accus- 
tomed to. 



18 


Barnaby Rudge 


" Is that all ! " he repeated, " yes, that's all, sir. And 
enough too, I think." 
" I think so too. l\Iy horse, young man! He is but a 
hack hired from a roadside posting house, but he lTIUst 
carry me to London to-night." 
" To-night! " said Joe. 
" To-night," returned the other. " What do you stare 
at? This tavern \vould seem to be a house of caH for all 
the gaping idlers of the neighbourhood ! " 
At this remark, which evidently had reference to the 
scrutiny he had undergone, as mentioned in the foregoing 
chapter, the eyes of John \Vinet and his friends were 
diverted \
'!ith marvellous rapidity to the copper boiler again. 
Not so with Joe, \vho, being a mettlesome feHow, returned 
the stranger's angry glance with a steady look and re- 
joined: 
" It's not a very bold thing to wonder at your going on 
to-nig-ht. You surely have been asked such a harmless 
question in an inn before, and in better weather than this. 
I thought you mightn't kno\v the way, as you seem strange 
to this part." 
" The way-" repeated the other, irritably. 
" Yes. Do you know it? " 
" I'1I-humph !-I'l1 find it," replied the man, waving 
his hand and turning on his heel. "Landlord, take the 
reckoning here. " 
John \Villet did as he \vas desired; for on that point he 
was seldom slo\v, except in the particulars of giving change 
and testing the goodness of any piece of coin that was prof- 
fered to him, by the application of his teeth or his tongue, 
or some other test, or, in doubtful cases, by a long series 
of tests terminating in its rejection. The guest then 
wrapped his garnlents about him so as to shelter himself as 
effectually as he could from the rough weather, and \
lith- 
out any "yard or sign of farewell betook himself to the 
stable-yard. Here Joe (who had left the roon1 on the con- 
clusion of their short dialogue) \vas protecting himself and 
the horse from the rain under the shelter of an old pent- 
house roof. 
" He's pretty much of my opinion," said Joe, patting 
the horse upon the neck; " I'll wager that your stopping 
here to-night \vould please hill1 better than it \vould please 
, , 
me. 
"He and I are of different opinions, as we have 



Barnaby Rudge 


19 


been more than once on our \va y here," was the shor t 
repl y . 
" So I was thinking before you came out, for he has felt 
your spurs, poor beast." 
The stranger adjusted his coat-collar about his face, anù 
made no answer. 
" You 'II know me again, I see," he said, marking the 
young feHow's earnest gaze, when he had sprung into the 
saddle. 
" The man's worth knowing, master, who travels a road 
he don't kno\v, mounted on a jaded horse, and leaves good 
quarters to do it on such a night as this." 
, , You have sharp eyes and a sharp tongue I find. " 
" Both I hope by nature, but the last grows rusty SOme- 
times for want of using." 
" Use the first less too, and keep their sharpness for your 
sweethearts, boy," said the man. 
So saying he shook his hand from the bridle, struck him 
roughly on the head with the butt end of his whip, and 
galloped away; dashing through the mud and darkness 
with a headlong speed, which few badly mounted horsemen 
would have cared to venture, even had they been tho- 
roughly acquainted with the country; and which, to one 
who knew nothing of the way he rode, was attended at 
every step with great hazard and danger. 
The roads even within twelve miles of London \vere at 
that time ill paved, seldom repaired, and very badly made. 
The way this rider traversed had been ploughed up 
by the wheels of heavy \vaggons, and rendered rotten by 
the frosts and thaws of the preceding winter, or possibly 
of many winters. Great holes and gaps had worn into the 
soil, which, being now filled with water from the late rains, 
were not easily distinguishable even by day; and a plung-e 
into anyone of them might have brought down a surer- 
footed horse than the poor beast now urged forward to the 
utmost extent of his powers. Sharp flints and stones 
rolled from under his hoofs continually; the rider could 
scarcely see beyond the animal's head, or farther on either 
side than his own arm would have extended. At that time, 
too, aU the roads in the neighbourhood of the metrop- 
olis were infested by footpads or highwaymen, and it 
,vas a night, of all others, in whic.h any evil-dispost'd 
person of this class might have pursued his unla\vful calling 
with little fear of detection. 



20 


Barnaby Rudge 


Still, the traveller dashed forward at the same reckless 
pace, regardless alike of the dirt and wet which flew about 
his head, the profound darkness of the night, and the prob- 
ability of encountering some desperate characters abroad. 
At every turn and angle, even where a deviation from the 
direct COurse mig-ht have been least expected, and couJd not 
possibly be seen until he was dose upon it, he guided the 
bridle with an unerring hand and kept the middle of the 
road. Thus he sped onward, raising himself in the stirrups, 
leaning his body for\vard until it almost touched the horse's 
neck, and flourishing his heavy whip above his head with 
the fervour of a madman. 
There are times \vhen, the elements being in unusual 
commotion, those who are bent on daring enterprises, or 
agitated by great thoughts whether of good or evil, feel a 
mysterious sympathy with the tumult of nature and are 
roused into corresponding violence. In the midst of 
thunder, lightning, and storm, many tremendous deeds 
have been committed; men self-possessed before, have 
g-iven a sudden loose to passions they could no long-cr 
control. The demons of wrath and despair have striven to 
emulate those \vho ride the whirlwind and direct the storm; 
and nlan, lashed into madness \vith the roaring winds and 
boiling \vaters, has become for the time as wild and merci- 
less as the elements themselves. 
Whether the travelIer was possessed by thoughts \vhich 
the fury of the night had heated and stimulated into a 
quicker current, or was merely impelled by some strong 
motive to reach his journey's end, on he swept more like a 
hunted phantom than a man, nor checked his pace until, 
arriving at some cross roads, one of which led by a longer 
route to the place whence he had lately started, he bore 
down so suddenly upon a vehicle which was coming to\vards 
him, that in the effort to avoid it he well nigh pulled his 
horse upon his haunches, and narro\vly escaped being 
thrown. 
" Y oho ! " cried the voice of a man. "What's that? 
\vho goes there? " 
" A friend! " replied the traveller. 
" A friend! " repeated the voice. cc vVho calls himself 
a friend and rides like that, abusing Heaven's gifts in the 
shape of horseflesh, and endangering, not only his own 
neck, which might be no great matter, but the necks of 
other people? " 



Barnaby Rudge 


21 


" You have a lantern there, I see," said the traveller, 
dismounting, "lend it me for a moment. You have 
wounded my horse, I think, with your shaft or wheel. " 
,e \Vounded him! " cried the other, " if I haven't killed 
him, it's no fault of yours. \Vhat do you mean by gallop- 
ing along the IZing's highway like that, eh? " 
" Give me the light," returned the traveller, snatching 
it from his hand, " and don't ask idle questions of a man 

rho is in no mood for talking." 
" If you had said you were in no mood for talking before, 
I should perhaps have been in no mood for lighting," said 
the voice. "H ows 'ever, as it's the poor horse that's 
damaged and not you, one of you is \velcome to the light at 
aU events-but it's not the crusty one. " 
The traveller returned no answer to this speech, but 
holding the light near to his panting and reeking beast, 
examined him in limb and carcase. Meanwhile the other 
man sat very composedly in his vehicle, which was a kind 
of chaise with a depository for a large bag of tools, and 
watched his proceedings with a careful eye. 
The looker-on was a round, red-faced, sturdy yeoman, 
with a double chin, and a voice husky with good living, 
good sleeping, good humour, and good health. He was 
past the prime of life, but Father Time is not always a 
hard parent, and, though he tarries for none of his children, 
often lays his hand lightly upon those who have used him 
\veIl; making them old men and women inexorably enough, 
but leaving their hearts and spirits young and in full vigour. 
With such people the g-rey head is but the impression of the 
old fellow's hand in giving them his blessing, and every 
wrinkle but a notch in the quiet calendar of a well-spent 
life. · 
The person whom the traveller had so abruptly encoun- 
tered was of this kind: bluff, hale, hearty, and in a green 
old age: at peace with himself, and evidently disposed to be 
so with all the world. Although muffled up in divers coats 
and handkerchiefs-one of which, passed over his crown 
and tied in a convenient crease of his double chin, secured 
his three-cornered hat and bob-wig from blo\ving off his 
head--there was no disguising his plump and comfortable 
fie-ure; neither did certain dirty finger-marks upon his face 
give it any other than an odd and comical expression, 
through which its natural good humour shone with un-- 
diminished lustre. 



22 


Barnaby Rudge 


" He is not hurt," said the traveller at length, raising 
his head and the lantern together. 
, , You have found that out at last, have you? " rejoined 
the old man. "11y eyes have seen more light than yours, 
but 1 wouldn't change with you." 
" What do you mean? " 
" lViean! I could have told you he wasn't hurt, five 
minutes ago. Give me the light, friend; ride forward at 
a gentler pace; and good night." 
In handing- up the lantern, the man necessarily cast its 
rays full on the speaker's face. Their eyes met at the 
instant. lie suddenly dropped it and crushed it with his 
foot. 
" Did you never see a 10cksn1Ïth before, that you start as 
if you had come upon a ghost? " cried the old man in the 
chaise, " or is this," he added hastily, thrusting his hand 
into the tool basket and drawing out a hamlner, " a scheme 
for robbing me? I kno\v these roads, friend. When I 
travel them, I carry nothing but a few shillings, and not a 
crown's worth of them. I tell you plainly, to save us both 
trouble, that there's nothing to be got from me but a pretty 
stout arm considering nlY years, and this tool, which, Inay- 
hap from long acquaintance \vith, I can use pretty briskly. 
You shall not have it all your own way, I promise you, if 
you play at that game. " With these words he stood upon 
the defensive. 
" I am not what you take me for, Gabriel Varden," re- 
plied the other. 
" Then what and who are you? "returned the locksmith. 
" You know my name it seems. Let me know yours." 
" I have not gained the information from any confidence 
of yours, but from the inscription on your cart which tells 
it to all the town," replied the traveller. 
, , You have better eyes for that than you had for your 
horse, then," said Varden, descending nimbly from his 
chaise; "who are you? Let me see your face." 
\Vhile the locksmith alighted, the traveller had regained 
his saddle from which he now confronted the old man, 
who, moving as the horse moved in chafing under the 
tightened rein, kept close beside him. 
" Let me see your face, I say." 
" Stand off ! " 
. "No masquerading tricks," said the locksmith, cc and 
tales at the club to-mOIïOW how Gabriel Varden was 



Barnaby Rudge 


23 


frightened by a surly voice and a dark night. Stand-let 
nle see your face. " 
Finding that further resistance would only involve him 
in a personal struggle with an antagonist by no means to 
be despised, the traveller threw back his coat, and stooping 
do\vn looked steadily at the locksmith. 
Perhaps two men more powerfully contrasted, never 
opposed each other face to face. The ruddy features of 
the locksmith so set off and heightened the excessive pale- 
ness of the man on horseback, that he looked like a blood- 
less ghost, while the moisture, which hard riding had 
brought out upon his skin, hung there in dark and heavy 
drops, like dews of agony and death. The countenance of 
the old locksmith was lighted up with the smile of one ex- 
pecting to detect in this unpromising stranger some lafent 
roguery of eye or lip, which should reveal a familiar person 
in that arch disguise, and spoil his jest. The face of 
the other, sullen and fierce, but shrinking too, was that 
of a man who stood at bay; while his firmly closed jaws, 
his puckered mouth, and more than all a certain stealthy 
motion of the hand \vithin his breast, seemed to announce a 
desperate purpose very foreign to acting, or child's play. 
Thus they regarded each other for some time, in silence. 
" Humph! " he said when he had scanned his features; 
ee I don't know you. " 
" Don't desire to? "-returned the other, muffling him- 
self as before. 
" I don't," said Gabriel; " to be plain with you, friend, 
you don't carry in your countenance a letter of recommen- 
dation. ' , 
" It's not my wish," said the traveller. "My humour 
is to be avoided. " 
"Well," said the locksmith bluntly, eel think you'll 
have your humour." 
" I will, at any cost," rejoined the travel1er. "In proof 
of it, lay this to heart-that you were never in such peril 
of your life as you have been within these few moments; 
\'vhen you are within five minutes of breathing your last, 
you win not be nearer death than you have been to-night J " 
" Ay ! " said the sturdy locksmith. 
" Ay 1 and a violent death." 
" From whose hand? " 
" From mine," replied the traveller 
With that he put spurs to his horse, and rode away; at 



24 


Barnaby Rudge 


first plashing heavily through the mire at a smart trot, but 
gradually increasing in speed until the last sound of his 
horse's hoofs died away upon the wind; when he was again 
hurrying on at the same furious ga11op, which had been 
his pace when the locksmith first encountered him. 
Gabriel Varden remained standing in the road with the 
broken lantern in his hand, listening in stupefied silence 
until no sound reached his ear but the moaning of the wind, 
and the fast-falling rain; when he struck himself one or 
two smart blows on the breast by \vay of rousing himself, 
and broke into an exclamation of surprise. 
"\Vhat in the name of wonder can this fellow be! a 
madman? a highwayman? a cut-throat? If he had not 
scoured off so fast, we'd have seen who was in most 
danger, he or 1. I never nearer death than I have 
been to-night! I hope I may be no nearer to it for a score 
of years to come-if so, I'll be content to be no farther from 
it. 1:1y stars I-a pretty brag this to a stout man-pooh, 
pooh ! " 
Gabriel resumed his seat, and looked wistfully up the 
road by which the traveller had come; murmuring in a 
half whisper: 
" 1'he Maypole-two miles to the Maypole. I came the 
other road from the Warren after a long day's work at 
locks and bells, on purpose that I should not come by the 
l\laypole and break my promise to Martha by looking in- 
there's resolution! It would be dangerous to go on to 
London \vithout a light; and it's four miles, and a good 
half-mile besides, to the Halfway-House; and between this 
and that is the very place where one needs a light most. 
Two miles to the Maypole! I told 1\1artha I wouldn't; I 
said I wouldn't, and I didn't-there's resolution! " 
Repeating these two last words very often, as if to com- 
pensate for the little resolution he was going to show by 
piquing- himself on the great resolution he had shown, 
Gabriel Varden quietly turned back, determining to get a 
light at the I\-1aypole, and to take nothing but a light. 
\Vhen he got to the Maypole, however, and Joe, respond- 
ing to his welJ-kno\vn hail, came running out to the horse's 
head, leaving the door open behind him, and disclosing a 
delicious perspective of warmth and brightness-when the 
ruddy gleam of the fire, streaming through the old red cur- 
tains of the common room, seemed to bring with it, as part 
of itself, a pleasant hum of voices, and a fragrant odour of 



Barnaby Rudge 


25 


steaming grog and rare tobacco, all steeped as it were in 
the cheerful glow-when the shadows, flitting across the 
curtain, showed that those inside had risen from their snug 
seats, and \vere making room in the snuggest corner (how 
well he kne\\7 that corner !) for the honest locksmith, and a 
broad glare, suddenly streaming up, bespoke the goodness 
of the crackling log from which a brilliant train of sparks 
Vlas doubtleSJ.s at that moment whirling up the chimney in 
honour of his coming-when, superadded to these entice- 
- ments, there stole upon him from the distant kitchen a 
gentle sound of frying, with a musical clatter of plates and 
dishes, and a savoury smell that made even the boisterous 
wind a perfume-Gabriel felt his firmness oozing rapidly 
away. He tried to look stoicalJy at the tavern, but his 
features would relax into a look of fondness. He turned 
his head the other way, and the cold black country seemed 
to frown him off, and to drive him for a refuge into its hos- 
pitable arms. 
" The merciful man, Joe," said the locksmith, " is merci- 
ful to his beast. I'll get out for a little while. " 
And how natural it was to get out. And how unnatural 
it seemed for a sober man to be plodding wearily along- 
througK miry roads, encountering the rude buffets of th(1' 
wind and pelting of the rain, \vhen there was a clean floor 
covered with crisp white sand, a well-swept hearth, a blaz- 
ing fire, a table decorated with white cloth, bright pe\vter 
flagons, and other tempting preparations for a well-cooked 
meal-\vhen there \vere these things, and company disposed 
to make the most of them, all ready to his hand, and en- 
treating him to enjoyment I 


CHAPTER III 


SUCH were the locksmith's thoughts when first seated in 
the snug corner, and slo\vly recovering from a pleasant 
defect of vision-pleasant, because occasioned by the wind 
blowing in his eyes-which made it a matter of sound policy 
and duty to himself, that he should take refuge from the 
weather, and tempted him, for the same reason, to aggra- 
vate a slig-ht coug-h, and declare he felt but poorly. Such 
were still his thoughts more than a full hour afterwards, 
when, supper over, he still sat with shining jovial face in 
the. same warm nook, listening to the cricket-like chirrup 



26 


Barnaby Rudge 


of little Solomon Daisy, and bearing no unimportant or 
slightly respected part in the social gossip round the May- 
pole fire. 
" I wish he may be an honest man, that's all," said 
Solomon, winding up a variety of speculations relative to 
the stranger, concerning whom Gabriel had compared notes 
with the company, and so raised a grave discussion; "I 
wish he may be an honest man. " 
" So \ve all do, I suppose, don't we? " observed the lock- 
s mi th. 
" I don't, IJ said Joe. 
" No! "cried Gabriel. 
"No. He struck me with his whip, the coward, when 
he was mounted and I afoot, and I should be better pleased 
that he turned out what I think him. " 
" And what may that be, Joe? " 
" No good, Mr. Varden. You may shake your head, 
father, but I say no good, and will say no good, and I would 
say no good a hundred times over, if that would bring him 
back to have the drubbing he deserves." 
" Hold your tongue, sir," said John Willet. 
" I won't, father. It's all along of you that he dared to 
do what he did. Seeing me treated like a child, and put 
down like a fool, he plucks up a heart and has a fling at a 
fellow that he thinks-and may well think too-hasn't a 
g-rain of spirit. But he's mistaken, as I'll show him, and 
as I'll show all of you before long. " 
" Does the boy know what he's a saying of ! " cried the 
astonished John Willet. 
" Father," returned Joe, " I know what I say and mean, 
\vell-better than you do when you hear me. I can bear 
with you, but I cannot bear the conten1pt that your treating 
me in the way you do, brings upon me from others every 
day. Look at other young men of my age. Have they no 
liberty, no will, no right to speak? Are they obliged to sit 
mumchance, and to be ordered about till they are the laugh- 
ing-stock of young and old? I am a bye-word all over 
Chigwell, and I say-and it's fairer my saying so now, than 
waiting till you are dead, and I have got your money- 
I say, that before long I shall be driven to break such 
bounds, and that \vhen I do, it won't be me that you'l] 
have to blame, but your own self, and no other." 
John \Villet was so amazed by the exasperation and bold- 
ness of his hopeful son, that he sat as one bewildered, 



Barnaby Rudge 


27 


staring in a ludicrous manner at the boiler, and endeavour- 
ing, but quite ineffectually, to collect his tardy thoughts, 
and invent an answer. The guests, scarcely less disturbed, 
\vere equally at a loss; and at length, with a variety of 
muttered, half-expressed condolences, and pieces of advice, 
rose to depart; being at the same time slightly muddled 
\vith liquor. 
The honest locksmith alone addressed a few words of 
coherent and sensible advice to both parties, urging John 
\Villet to relnember that Joe was nearly arrived at man's 
estate, and should not be ruled with too tight a hand, and 
exhorting Joe himself to bear with his father's caprices, and 
rather endeavour to turn them aside by temperate remon- 
strance than by ill-tin1ed rebellion. This advice was re- 
ceived as sl
ch advice usually is. On John Willet it made 
almost as much impression as on the sign outside the door, 
while Joe, who took it in the best part, avowed himself more 
obliged than he could well express, but politely intimated 
his intention nevertheless of taking his own course unin- 
fluenced by anybody. 
" You have ahvays been a very good friend to me, 1\1r. 
Varden," he said, as they stood without the porch, and the 
locksmith was equipping himself for his journey home; " I 
take it very kind of you to say all this, but the time's nearly 
come when the 1\laypole and I must part company." 
" Roving stones gather no moss, Joe," said Gabriel. 
cc Nor mile-stones much," replied Joe. "I'm little bet- 
ter than one here, and see as much of the world. " 
" Then \vhat \vould you do, Joe?" pursued the locksmith, 
stroking his chin reflecti \.ely. c, What could you be? 
where could you go, you see? " 
" I must trust to chance, 
lr. Varden." 
" A bad thing to trust to, Joe. I don't like it. I ahvays 
tell my girl when we talk about a husband for her, never to 
trust to chance, but to make sure beforehand that she has a 
g-ood man and true, and then chance will neither make her 
nor break her. \\That are you fidgeting about there, Joe? 
Nothing gone in the harness, hope? " 
" No, no, l' said Joe-finding, ho\vever, something- very 
engrossing to do in the way of strapping and buckling- 
,. l\1iss Dolly quite \vell? " 
" Hearty, thankye. She looks pretty enough to be well, 
and good too." 
" She's always both, sir "- 



28 


Barnaby Rudge 


" So she is, thank God! " 
" I hope-" said Joe after some hesitation, cc that you 
won't tell this story against me-this of my having been 
beat like the boy they'd make of me-at all events, till I 
have Inet this man again and settled the account. It'll be a 
better story then. " 
"Why, who should I tell it to?" returned Gabriel. 
" They know it here, and I'm not likely to come across any- 
body else who would care about it.
' 
" That's true enough-" said the young fellow with a 
sigh. "I quite forgot that. Yes, that's true! " 
So saying, he raised his face, which was very red-no 
doubt from the exertion of strapping and buckling as afore- 
said,-and giving the reins to the old man, who had by this 
time taken his seat, sighed again, and bade him good night. 
" Good night! " cried Gabriel. "Now think better of 
what we have just been speaking of, and don't be rash, 
there's a good fellow; I have an interest in you, and 
wouldn't have you cast yourself away. Good night! " 
Returning his cheery farewell with cordial good"vill, Joe 
Willet lingered until the sound of wheels ceased to vibrate 
in his ears, and then, shaking his head mournfully, re- 
en tered the house. 
Gabriel Varden went his way to"vards London, thinking 
of a great many things, and most of all of flaming terms in 
which to relate his adventure, and so account satisfactorily 
to lVlrs. Varden for visiting the rvlaypole, despite certain 
solemn covenants betvleen himself and that lady. Think- 
ing begets, not only thought, but drowsiness occasionally, 
and the more the locksmith thought, the more sleepy he 
became. 
A man may be very sober-or at least firmly set upon his 
legs on that neutral ground which lies between the confines 
of perfect sobriety and slight tipsiness-and yet feel a 
strong tendency to mingle up present circumstances with 
others which have no manner of connection with them; to 
confound all consideration of persons, things, times, and 
places; and to jumble his disjointed thoughts together in a 
kind of mental kaleidoscope, producing combinations as 
unexpected as they are transitory. This was Gabriel Var- 
den's state, as, nodding in his dog sleep, and leaving his 
horse to pursue a road with which he was well acquainted, 
he g-ot over the ground unconsciously, and drew øearer and 
ne.lrer home. He had roused himself once, \vhen the horse 



Barnaby Rudge 


29 


stopped until the turnpike gate was opened, and had cried a 
lusty " good night" to the tolI-keeper; but then he woke 
out of a dream about picking a lock in the stomach of the 
Great Mogul, and even when he did wake, n1Ïxed up the 
turnpike man with his mother-in-law who had been dead 
twenty years. I t is not surprising, therefore, that he soon 
relapsed, and jogged heavily along, quite insensible to his 
progress. 
And now he approached the great city, which lay out- 
stretched before him like a dark shadow on the ground, red- 
dening the sluggish air with a deep dull light, that told of 
labyrinths of public ways and shops, and s\varms of busy 
people. Approaching nearer and nearer yet, this halo be- 
gan to fade, and the causes which produced it slowly to 
develop themselves. Long lines of poorly lighted streets 
might þe faintly traced, with here and there a lighter spot, 
where lamps \vere clustered about a square or market, or 
round some great building; after a time these gre\-v more 
distinct, and the lamps themselves were visible; slight, yel- 
low specks, that s,eemed to be rapidly snuffed out one by 
one as intervening obstacles hid them from the sight. Then 
sounds arose--the striking of church clocks, the distant 
bark of dogs, the hum of traffic in the streets; then outlines 
might be traced-tall steeples looming in the air, and piles 
of unequal roofs oppressed by chimneys: then the noise 
swelled into a louder sound, and forms grew more distinct 
and numerous stilI, and London-visible in the darkness by 
its own faint light, and not by that of heaven-was at hand. 
The locksmith, however, all unconscious of its near 
vicini ty, still jogged on, half sleeping and half waking, 
when a loud cry at no great distance ahead roused him 
with a start. 
For a moment or two he looked about hirn like a man 
\vho had been transported to some strange country in his 
sleep, but soon recognising familiar objects, rubbed his 
eyes lazily and might have relapsed again, but that the cry 
was repeated-not once or twice or thrice, but many times, 
and each time, if possible, with increased vehemence. 
Thoroughly aroused, Gabriel, \vho \vas a bold man, and not 
easily daunted, made straight to the spot, urging on his 
stout little horse as if for life or death. 
The matter indeed looked sufficiently serious, for, coming 
to the place \vhence the cries had proceeded, he descried 
the figure of a man extended in an apparently lifeless state 



3 0 


Barnaby Rudge 


upon the pathway, and hovering round him another person 
\vith a torch in his hand, which he waved in the air with a 
wild impatience, redoubling meanwhile those cries for help 
which had brought the locksmith to the spot. 
" What's here to do? " said the old man, alighting. 
,. I-Iow's this-what-Barnaby? " 
The bearer of the torch shook his long loose hair back 
from his eyes, and thrusting his face eagerly into that of the 
locksmith, fixed upon him a look which told his history at 
once. 
" You know me, Barnaby? " said Varden. 
He nodded-not once or twice, but a score of times, and 
that with a fantastic exaggeration which would have kept 
his head in motion for an hour, but that the locksmith held 
up his finger, and fixing his eye sternly upon him caused 
him to desist; then point,ed to the body with an inquiring 
look. 
" There's blood upon him," said Barnaby with a shudder. 
" I t makes me sick! " 
" How came it there? "demanded Varden. 
" Steel, steel, steel! " he replied fiercely, imitating with 
his hand the thrust of a sword. 
" Is he robbed? " said the locksmith. 
Barnaby caught him by the arm, and nodded ' , Yes" ; 
then pointed towards the city. 
" Oh ! " said the old man, bending over the body and 
looking round as he spoke into Barnaby's pale face, 
strangely lighted up by something which was not intellcct. 
, . The robber made off that way, did he? Well, well, never 
mind that just now. Hold your torch this way-a little 
farther off-so. Now stand quiet, while I try to s'ee what 
harm is done. " 
With these words, he applied himself to a closer examina- 
tion of the prostrate form, while Barnaby, holding the torch 
as he had been directed, looked on in silence, fasci!1ated by 
interest or curiosity, but repelled nevertheless by some 
strong and secret horror which convulsed him in every 
nerve. 
As he stood at that moment, half shrinking back and half 
bending forward, both his face and fig-ure were fun in the 
strong glare of the. link, and as distinctly revealed as though 
it had been broad day. He was about three-and-twenty 
years old, and though rather spare, of a fair height and 
strong make. His hair, of which he had a great profusion, 



., 


Barnaby Rudge 


3 1 


was red, and hanging in disorder about his face and 
shoulders, gave to his restless looks an expression quite un- 
earthly-enhanced by the paleness of his complexion, and 
the glassy lustre of his large protruding eyes. Startling as 
his aspect was, the features were good, and there \vas some- 
thing even plaintive in his wan and hagg-ard aspect. But 
the absence of the soul is far more terrible in a living man 
than in a dead one; and in this unfortunate being its noblest 
powers were wanting. 
His dress was of green, cIumsily trimmed here and there 
-apparently by his own hands-with gaudy lace; brightest 
where the cloth was most \vorn and soiled, and poorest 
where it \vas at the best. A pair of tawdry ruffles dangled 
at his wrists, while his throat was nearly bare. He had 
ornamented his hat with a cluster of peacock's feathers, 
but they \vere limp and broken, and now trailed negligently 
down his back. Girded to his side was the steel hilt of an 
old s\vord without blade or scabbard; and some parti- 
coloured ends of ribands and poor glass toys completed the 
ornamental portion of his attire. The fluttered and con- 
fused disposition of all the motley scraps that formed his 
dress, bespoke, in a scarcely less degree than his eager and 
unsettled manner, the disorder of his mind, and by a 
grotesque contrast set off and heightened the more impres- 
sive wildness of his face. 
" Barnaby," said the locksmith, after a hasty but care- 
ful inspection, " this man is not dead, but he has a wound 
in his side, and is in a fainting-fit." 
" ] know him, I kno\.v him ! " cried Barnaby, clapping 
his hands. 
" Kno\v him? " repeated the locksmith. 
" Hush! " said Barnaby, laying his fingers on his lips. 
" He went out to-day a wooing. I wouldn't for a light 
guinea that he should never go a wooing again, for if he 
did some eyes would grow dim that are now as bright as- 
see, when I talk of eyes, the stars come out! Whose eyes 
are they? If they are angels' eyes, why do they look 
down here and see good men hurt, and only wink and 
sparkle all the night? " 
" Now Heaven help this siHy feHow," murmured tbe 
perplexed locksmith, " can he kno\v this gentleman? His 
mother's house is not far off; I had better see if she can 
ten me who he is. Barnaby, my man, help me to put him 
in the chaise, and we'll ri
e home together." 



Barnaby Rudge 


33 


there had sprung up no long rows of streets connecting 
Highgate with 'Vhitechapel, no assemblages of palaces in 
the swampy levels, nor little cities in the open fields. Al- 
though this part of town was then, as now, parcelled out 
in streets and plentifully peopled, it wore a different aspect. 
There were gardens to many of the houses, and trees by the 
pavement side; \vith an air of freshness breathing up and 
down, which in these days would be sought in vain. Fields 
were nigh at hand, through which the New River took its 
winding course, and where there was merry hay-making in 
the summer time. Nature \vas not so far removed or hard 
to get at, as in these days; and although there were busy 
trades in Clerken\velI, and \vorking jewellers by scores, 
it was a purer place, with farm-houses nearer to it than 
many modern Londoners would readily believe, and 
lovers' walks at no great distance, which turned into 
squalid courts, long before the lovers of this age were 
born, or, as the phrase goes, thought of. 
In one of these streets, the cleanest of them all, and 
on the shady side of the way-for good housewives 
know that sunJight damages their cherished furniture, 
and so choose the shade rather than its intrusive glare 
-there stood the house with which we have to deal. 
It \vas a modest building, not over newly-fashioned, not 
very straight, not large, not tall; not bold-faced, with 
great staring windo\vs, but a shy, blinking house, with 
a conical roof going up into a peak over its garret \\:in- 
dow of four sman panes of glass, like a cocked hat on 
the head of an elderly gentleman \vith one eye. It was 
not built of brick or lofty stone, but of wood and plas- 
ter; it \vas not planned \vith a dull and wearisome 
regard to regularity, for no one window matched the 
other, or seemed to have the slightest reference to any- 
thing besides itseH. 
The shop-for it had a shop-was, \vith reference to 
the first floor, where shops usually are; and there all 
resemblance behveen it and any other shop stopped short 
and ceased. People \vho went in and out didn't go up a 
flight of steps to it, or walk easily in upon a level with the 
street, but dived down three steep stairs, as into a cellar. 
Its floor was paved with stone and brick, as that of any 
other cellar might be; and in lieu of window framed and 
glazed it had a great black wooden flap or shutter, nearly 
breast high from the ground, which turned back in the day- 
e 



34 


Barnaby Rudge 


time, admitting as much cold air as light, and very often 
more. Behind this shop was a wainscoted parlour, look- 
ing first into a paved yard, and beyond that again into a 
little terrace garden, raised some few feet above it. Any 
stranger \vould have supposed that this wainscoted par- 
lour, saving for the door of communication by which 'he 
had entered, was cut off and detached from all the world; 
and indeed most strangers on their first entrance were 
observed to grow extremely thoughtful, as weighing and 
pondering in their minds whether the upper rooms were 
only approachable by ladders from without; never sus- 
pecting that two of the most unassuming and unlikely 
doors in existence, which the n10st ingenious mechanician 
on earth must of necessity have supposed to be the doors 
of closets, opened out of this room-each without the snlal1- 
est preparation, or so much as a quarter of an inch of pass- 
age-upon two dark winding flights of stairs, the one up- 
ward, the other downward, \vhich were the sole means 
of cornmunication between that chamber and the other 
portions of the house. 
With all these oddities, there \vas not a neater, more scru- 
pulously tidy, or more punctiliously ordered house, in Cler- 
kenwell, in London, in all England. There were not cleaner 
windows, or whiter floors, or brighter stoves, or more highly 
shining articles of furniture in old mahogany; there was not 
more rubbing, scrubbing, burnishing and polishing, in the 
whole street put together. Nor \vas this excellence attained 
without some cost and trouble and great expenditure of 
voice, as the neighbours were frequently reminded when the 
good lady of the house overlooked and assisted in its being 
put to rights on cleaning days; which were usually from 
Monday morning till Saturday night, both days inclusive. 
Leaning against the door-post of this, his dwelling, the 
locksmith stood early on the morning after he had met with 
the wounded man, gazing disconsolately at a great w'ooden 
emblem of a key, painted in vivid yellow to resemble gold, 
which dangled from the house-front, and swung to and fro 
\vith a mournful creaking noise, as if complaining that it 
had nothing to unlock. Sometimes he looked over his 
shoulder into the shop, which was so dark and dingy witl1 
numerous tokens of his trade, and so blackened by thf 
smoke of a little forge, near \vhich his 'prentice was a1 
work, that it would have been difficult for one unused tc 
such espials to have distinguished anything but variou
 



Barnaby Rudge 


35 


tools of uncouth make and shape, great bunches of rusty 
keys, fragnlents of iron, half-finished locks, and such-like 
things, which garnished the walls and hung in dusters from 
the cei1ing. 
After a long and patient contemplation of the golden key, 
and many such backward glances, Gabriel stepped into the 
road, and stole a look at the upper windows. One of them 
chanced to be thrown open at the moment, and a roguish 
face met his; a face lighted up by the loveliest pair of 
sparkling eyes that ever locksmith lo<?ked upon; the face of 
a pretty, laughing girl; dimpled and fresh, and healthful- 
the very impersonation of good-humour and blooming 
beauty. 
" Hush! " she \vhispered, bending forward and pointing- 
archly to the window underneath. "Mother is still 
asleep. " 
" Still, my dear," returned the locksmith in the same 
tone. "Y ou talk as if she had been asleep all night, in- 
stead of little more than half-an-hour. But I'm very 
thankful. Sleep's a blessi-ng-no doubt about it." The 
last few words he muttered to himself. 
" How cruel of you to keep us up so late this morning, 
and never tell us \vhere you \vere, or send us word! " said 
the girl. 
" Ah, DoIly, Dolly! " returned the locksmith, shaking 
his head, and smiling, " how cruel of you to run up stairs 
to bed! Come down to breakfast, madcap, and come down 
lightly, or you'll wake your mother. She must be tired, I 
am sure-I am ! " 
I{eeping these latter words to himself, and returning his 
daughter's nod, he was passing into the workshop, with 
the smile she had awakened still beaming on his face, when 
he just caught sight of his 'prentice's brown paper cap 
ducking down to avoid observation, and shrinking from 
the window back to its former place, which the wearer no 
sooner reached than he began to hammer lustily. 
"Listening again, Simon!" said Gabriel to himself. 
" That's bad. What in the name of wonder does he ex- 
pect the girl to say, that I always catch him listening when 
she speaks, and never at any other time! A bad habit, 
Sim, a sneaking, underhand way. Ah! you may hammer, 
but you won't beat that out of me, if you work at it tiU 
your time's up ! " 
So saying, and shaking his head gravely, he re- 



3 6 


Barnaby Rudge 


entered the workshop, and confronted the subject of these 
remarks. . 
II There's enough of that just now," said the locksmith. 
" You needn't make any more of that confounded clatter. 
Breakfast's ready. " 
" Sir," said Sim, looking up with amazing politeness, 
and a peculiar little bow cut short off at the neck. "I shall 
attend you immediately." 
"I suppose," muttered Gabriel, "that's out of the 
'Prentice's Garland, or the 'Prentice's Delight, or the 
'Prentice's Warbler, or the 'Prentice's Guide to the Gal- 
lows, or some such improving text-book. No\v he's going 
to beautify himself-here's a precious locksmith! " 
Quite unconscious that his master was looking on from 
the dark corner by the parlour door, Sim threw off the 
paper cap, sprang from his seat, and in two extraordinary 
steps, something between skating and minuet dancing, 
bounded to a washing-place at the other end of the shop, 
and there removed from his face and hands all traces of his 
previous work-practising the same step all the time with 
the utmost gravity. This done, he drew from some con- 
cealed place a little scrap of looking-glass, and with its 
assistance arranged his hair, and ascertained the exact state 
of a little carbuncle on his nose. Having now completed 
his toilet, he placed the fragment of mirror on a low bench, 
and looked over his shoulder at so much of his legs as could 
be reflected in that smalI compass, with the greatest pos- 
sible complacency and satisfaction. 
Sim, as he was called in the locksmith's family, or Mr. 
Simon Tappertit, as he called himself, and required al1 men 
to style him out of doors, on holidays, and Sundays out,- 
was an old-fashioned, thin-faced, sleek-haired, sharp- 
nosed, small-eyed little feHow, very little more than five 
feet high, and thoroughly convinced in his own mind that 
he was above the middle size; rather tall, in fact, 
than otherwise. Of his figure, which was well enougb 
formed, though somewhat of the leanest, he entertained 
the highest admiration; and with his legs, which, ir 
knee-breeches, . were perfect curiosities of littleness, ht 
was enraptured to a degree amounting to enthusiasm. 
He also had some majestic, shadowy ideas, whicl 
had never been quite fathomed by his most intimat( 
friends, concerning the power of his eye. Indeed he hac 
been known to go so far as to boast that he could utterI) 



Barnaby Rudge 


37 


quell and subdue the haughtiest beauty by a simple process, 
which he tenned " eyeing her over"; but it must be added. 
that neither of this faculty, nor of the power he claimed 
to have, through the same gift, of vanquishing and heav- 
ing do\vn dumb animals, even in a rabid state, had he ever 
furnished evidence which could be deemed quite satisfac- 
tory and conclusive. 
I t may be inferred from these premises, that in the small 
body of Mr. Tappertit there \vas locked up an ambitious 
and aspiring soul. As certain liquors, confined in casks 
too cranlped in their dimensions, will ferment, and fret, and 
chafe in their imprisonment, so the spiritual essence or 
soul of lVIr. Tappertit would sometimes fume within that 
precious cask, his body, until, with great foam and froth 
and splutter, it \vould force a vent, and carryall before it. 
It was his custom to remark, in reference to anyone of 
these occasions, that his soul had got into his head; and in 
this novel kind of intoxication many scrapes and mishaps 
befel] him, which he had frequently concealed with no 
small difficulty from his worthy master. 
Sim Tappertit, among the other fancies upon which his 
before-mentioned soul was for ever feasting and regaling 
itself (and which fancies, like the liver of Prometheus, 
grew as they \vere fed upon), had a mighty notion of his 
order; and had been heard by the servant-maid openly 
expressing his regret that the 'prentices no longer carried 
clubs wherewith to mace the citizens: that was his strong 
expression. He was likewise reported to have said that 
in former times a stigma had been cast upon the body by 
the execution of George Barnwell, to which they should not 
have basely submitted, but should have demanded him of 
the legislature-temperately at first; then by an appeal to 
arms, if necessary-to be dealt with as they in their wisdom 
might think fit. These thoughts always led him to con- 
sider what a glorious engine the 'prentices might yet be- 
come if they had but a master spirit at their head; and 
then he \vould darkly, and to the terror of his hearers, hint 
at certain reckless feIIows that he knew of, and at a certain 
Lion Heart ready to become their captain, who, once afoot, 
would make the Lord l'dayor tremble on his throne. 
In respect of dress and personal decoration, Sim Tap- 
pertit was no less of an adventurous and enterprising char- 
acter. He had been seen, beyond dispute, to pull off ruffles 
of the finest quality at the corner of the street on Sunday 



3 8 Barnaby Rudge 
nights, and to put them carefully in his pocket before 
returning home; and it was quite notorious that on all 
great holiday occasions it was his habit to exchange his 
plain steel knee-buckles for a pair of glittering paste, under 
cover of a friendly post, planted most conveniently in that 
same spot. Add to this that he was in years just t\venty, 
in his looks much older, and in conceit at least two hundred; 
that he had no objection to be jested \\7ith, touching his 
admiration of his master's daughter j and had even, when 
called upon at a certain obscure tavern to pledge the lady 
whom he honoured with his love, toasted, with many winks 
and leers, a fair creature whose Christian name, he said, 
began with a D- j-and as much is known of Sim. Tap- 
pertit, who has by this time follo\ved the locksmith in to 
breakfast, as is necessary to be known in making his 
acq uain tance. 
It was a substantial meal; for, over and above the ordin- 
ary tea equipage, the board creaked beneath the weight of 
a jolly round of beef, a ham of the first magnitude, and 
sundry towers of buttered Yorkshire cake, piled slice upon 
slice in most alluring order. There was also a goodly jug 
of well-browned clay, fashioned into the form of an old 
gentleman, not by any means unlike the locksmith, atop of 
whose bald head was a fine white froth answering to his 
wig, indicative, beyond dispute, of sparkling home-brewed 
ale. But better far than fair home-brewed, or Yorkshire 
cake, or ham, or beef, or anything to eat or drink that 
earth or air or water can supply, there sat, presiding over 
all, the locksmith's rosy daughter, before whose dark eyeE 
even beef grew insignificant, and malt became as nothing. 
Fathers should never kiss their daughters when young 
men are by. It's too much. There are bounds to humar 
endurance. So thought Sim Tappertit when Gabriel dre\\ 
those rosy lips to his-those lips within Sim's reach fron 
day to day, and yet so far off. He had a respect for hh 
rnaster, but he wished the Yorkshire cake might chok( 
him. 
cc Father," said the locksnlith's daughter, when thh 
salute was over, and they took their seats at table, " wha 
is this I hear about last night?" 
" All true, my dear; true as the Gospel, Doll." 
" Young Mr. Chester robbed, and lying wounded in th. 
road, when you came up?" 
cc Ay-Mr. Edward. And beside him, Barnaby, cal1inJ 



Barnaby Rudge 


39 


for help with all his might. It was well it happened as it 
did; for the road's a lonely one, the hour was late, and, the 
night being cold, and poor Barnaby even less sensible than 
usual from surprise and fright, the young gentleman might 
have met his death in a very short time." 
"I dread to think of it!" cried his daughter with a 
shudder. "How did you know him?" 
"Know him!" returned the locksmith. "I didn't 
know him-how could I? I had never seen him, often as 
I had heard and spoken of him. I took him to Mrs. 
Rudge's; and she no sooner saw him than the truth came 
out. " 
"Miss Emma, father-If this news should reach her, 
enlarged upon as it is sure to be, she will KO distracted. " 
" vVhy, lookye there again, how a man suffers for being 
good-natured," said the locksmith. "Miss Emma was 
\vith her uncle at the masquerade at Carlisle House, where 
she had gone, as the people at the Warren told me, sorely 
against her will. What does your blockhead father when 
he and l\lrs. Rudge have laid their heads together, but goes 
there when he ought to be abed, makes interest with his 
friend the doorkeeper, slips him on a mask and domino, 
and mixes with the masquers." 
" And like himself to do so !" cried the girl, putting her 
fair arm round his neck, and giving him a most enthu- 
siastic kiss. 
" Like himself!" repeated Gabriel, affecting to grumble, 
but evidently delighted with the part he had taken, and 
wi th her praise. ' , Very like himself-so your mother 
said. Ho\vever, he mingled with the crowd, and prettily 
worried and badgered he was, I \varrant you, with 
people squeaking, ' Don't you know me?' and ' I've found 
you out,' and aU that kind of nonsense in his ears. He 
might have wandered on till now, but in a littIe room there 
was a young lady who had taken off her mask, on account 
of the pIace being very warm, and was sitting there alone." 
"And that was she?" said his daughter hastily. 
" And that was she," replied the locksmith; " and I no 
sooner whispered to her what the matter was-as softly, 
Doll, and with nearly as much art as you could have used 
yourself-than she gives a kind of scream and faints 
away. " 
" \Vhat did you do-what happened next?" asked his 
daughter. 



4 0 


Barnaby Rudge 


"Why, the masks came flocking round, with a general 
noise and hubbub, and 1 thought myself in luck to get 
clear . off, that's all," rejoined the locksmith. " What 
happened when I reached home you may guess, if you 
didn't hear it. Ah! \Vell, it's a poor heart that never 
rejoices-Put Toby this way, my dear." 
This Toby was the brown jug of which previous mention 
has been made. Applying his lips to the worthy old gent1e- 
man '5 benevolent forehead, the locksmith, who had all this 
time been ravaging among the eatables, kept them there 
so long, at the same time raising the vessel slowly in the 
air, that at length Toby stood on his head upon his nose, 
when he smacked his lips, and set him on the table again 
with fond reluctance. 
Although Sim Tappertit had taken no share in this con- 
,yersation, no part of it being addressed to him, he had not 
been wanting in such silent manifestations of astonishment, 
as he deemed most compatible with the favourable display 
of his eyes. Regarding the pause which now ensued, as 
a particulady advantageous opportunity for doing great 
execution with them upon the locksmith's daughter 
(who he had no doubt was looking at him in mute 
admiration), he began to screw and twist his face, and 
especialIy those features, into such extraordinary, hide- 
ous, and unparalleled contortions, that Gabriel, who 
happened to look towards him, was stricken \vith amaze- 
ment. 
" Why, what the devil's the matter with the lad!" 
cried the locksmith. .. Is he choking?" 
" Who?" demanded Sim, with some disdain. 
" \\Tho? why you," returned his master. "\Vhat do 
you mean by making those horrible faces over your break- 
fast? " 
" Faces are matters of taste, sir," said Mr. Tappertit, 
rather discomfited; not the less so because he saw the 
locksmith's daughter sll1iling. 
" Sim," rejoined Gabriel, laughing heartily. lC Don't be 
a (001, for I'd rather see you in your senses. These young 
fellows," he added, turning to his daughter, "are alwaY5 
committing some folly or another. There was a quarrel 
between Joe vVillet and old John last nie-ht-thoug-h I can't 
say Joe \vas much in fault either. He'll be missing one of 
these mornings, and will have gone away upon some ,vild. 
goose errand, seeking his fortune.- Why, what's th{ 



Barnaby Rudge 


4 1 


matter, Doll? You are IDaking faces now. The girls are 
as bad as the boys every bit!" 
" It's the tea," said Dolly, turning alternately very red 
and very white, which is no doubt the effect of a slight 
scald-" so very hot." 
!vIr. Tappertit looked immensely big at a quartern loaf 
on the table, and breathed hard. . 
" Is that all?" returned the locksmith. " Put somt: 
more milk in it. Yes, I am sorry for Joe, because he is a 
likely young fellow, and gains upon one every time one 
sees him. But he'll start off, you'll find. Indeed he told 
IDe as much himself ! ' , 
" Indeed!" cried Dolly in a faint voice. "In-deed!" 
" Is the tea tickling your throat still, my dear?" said the 
locksmith. 
But, before his daughter could make him any answer, 
she was taken with a troublesome cough, and it was such a 
very unpleasant cough, that when she left off the tears 
""ere starting in her bright eyes. The good-natured lock- 
smith was still patting her on the back and applying such 
gentle restoratives, when a message arrived from Mrs. 
V arden, making known to all whom it might concern, that 
she felt too much indisposed to rise after her great agita- 
tion and anxiety of the previous night; and therefore 
desired to be immediately accommodated with the little 
black tea-pot of strong mixed tea, a couple of rounds of 
buttered toast, a middling-sized dish of beef and ham cut 
thin, and the Protestant Manual in two volumes post 
octavo. Like some other ladies who in remote ages 
flourished upon this globe, Mrs. Varden was most devout 
when most ill-tempered. Whenever she and her husband 
were at unusual variance, then the Protestant Manual was 
in high feather. 
Knowing from experience what these requests por- 
tended, the triumvirate broke up: Dolly to see the orders 
executed with all despatch; Gabriel to some out-of-door 
work in his little chaise; and Sim to his daily duty in the 
workshop, to which retreat he carried the big look, al- 
though the loaf remained behind. 
Indeed the big look increased immensely, and when he had 
tied his apron on became quite gigantic. It was not until 
he had several times walked up and down with folded arms, 
and the longest strides he could take, and had kicked a 
great many small articles out of nis way, that his lip began 



4 2 


Barnaby Rudge 


to curl. At length, a gloomy derision came upon his 
features, and he smiled; uttering meanwhile with supreme 
contempt the monosyllable" Joe! " 
" I eyed her over while he talked about the fellow," he 
said, "and that was of course the reason of her being 
confused. Joe P' 
He walked up and down again much quicker than before, 
and if possible with longer strides; sometimes stopping to 
take a glance at his legs, and sometimes to jerk out as it 
were, and cast from him, another " Joe!" In the course 
of a quarter of an hour or so he again assumed the paper 
cap and tried to work. No. I t could not be done. 
" I'lJ do nothing to-day," said Mr. Tappertit, dashing 
it down again, "but grind. I'll grind up alJ the tools. 
Grinding will suit my present humour well. Joe!" 
vVhirr-r-r-r. The g-rindstone was soon in motion; the 
sparks were flying off in showers. This was the occupa- 
tion for his heated spirit. 
'
hirr-r-r-r-r-r-r. 
"Something will come of this!" said Mr. Tappertit, 
pausing as if in triumph, and \viping his heated face upon 
bis sleeve. " Something will come of this. I hope it 
rnayn't be hunlan gore!" 
Whirr-r-r-r-r-r-r-r. 


CHAPTER V 


As -soon as the business of the day was over, the lock- 
<SInith sallied forth alone to visit the wounded gentle- 
man and ascertain the progress of his recovery. The 
house where he had left him \
laS in a by-street in South- 
wark, not far from London Bridge; and thither he hied 
with all speed, bent upon returning with as little delay as 
mig-ht be, and getting to bed betinles. 
The evening was boisterous-scarcely better than the pre- 
vious night had been. It was not easy for a stout man 
like Gabriel to keep his legs at the street corners, or to 
make head against the high wind, \vhich often fairly got 
the better of him, and drove him back some paces, or, in 
defiance of all 'his energy, forced him to take shelter in an 
arch or doorway until the fury of the gust was spent. 
..occasionally a ,hat or wig, or both, came spinning and 



Barnaby Rudge 


43 


trundling past him, like a mad thing; while the more 
serious spectacle of falling tiles and slates, or of masses of 
brick and mortar or fragments of stone-coping rattling 
upon the pavement near at hand, and splitting into frag- 
ments, did not increase the pleasure of the journey, or make 
the way less dreary. 
" A trying night for a man like me to walk in !" said the 
locksmith, as he knocked softly at the wido\v's door. 
" I'd rather be in old John's chimney-corner, faith! " 
"Who's there?" demanded a woman's voice from 
within. Being answered, it added a hasty word of wel- 
come, and the door was quickly opened. 
She was about forty-perhaps hvo or three years older- 
with a cheerful aspect, and a face that had once been pretty. 
I t bore traces of affliction and care, but they were of an old 
date, and Time had sn100thed them. Anyone who had 
bestowed but a casual glance on Barnaby might have 
known that this was his mother, from the strong resem- 
blance between them; but where in his face there was wild- 
ness and vacancy, in hers there was the patient composure 
of long effort and quiet resignation. 
One thing about this face was very strange and startling. 
You could not look upon it in its most cheerful mood with- 
out feeling that it had some extraordinary capacity of ex- 
pressing terror. It was not on the surface. It was in no 
one feature that it lingered. You could not take the eyes, 
or mouth, or lines upon the cheek, and say, if this or that 
were otherwise, it would not be so. Yet there it always 
lurked-something for ever dimly seen, but ever there, and 
never absent for a moment. It was the faintest, palest 
shadow of some look, to which an instant of intense and 
most unutterable horror only could have given birth; but 
indistinct and feeble as it was, it did suggest what that look 
must have been, and fixed it in the mind as if it had had 
existence in a dream. 
More faintly imaged, and wanting force and purpose, as 
it were, because of his darkened intellect, there was this 
same stamp upon the son. Seen in a picture, it must have 
had some legend with it, and would have haunted those 
who looked upon the canvas. They who knew the May- 
pole story, and could remember what the widow was, before 
her husband's and his master's murder, understood it well. 
They recollected how the change had come, and could call 
to mind that when her son was born, upon the very day the 



44 


Barnaby Rudge 


deed was known, he bore upon his wrist "vhat seemed a 
smear of blood but half "vashed out. 
"God save you, neighbour," said the locksmith, as he 
followed her with the air of an old friend into a little par- 
lour where a cheerful fire was burning. 
" And you," she answered, smiling. "Your kind heart 
has brought you here again. Nothing will keep you at 
home, I know of old, if there are friends to serve or com- 
fort, out of doors. " 
"Tut, tut," returned the locksmith, rubbing his hands 
and warming them. ' , You women are such talkers. 
\Vhat of the patient, neighbour?" 
" He is sleeping now. He "vas very restless towards 
daylight, and for some hours tossed and tumbled sadly. 
But the fever has left him, and the doctor says he wilJ soon 
mend. He must not be removed until to-morrow." 
" He has had visitors to-day-humph?" said Gabriel, 
slily. 
" Yes. Old Mr. Chester has been here ever since \ve 
sent for him, and had not been gone many minutes when 
you knocked." 
" No ladies?" said Gabriel, elevating his eyebrows and 
looking disappointed. 
" A letter," replied the widow. 
"Come. That's better than nothing!" cried the lock- 
smi tho "Who was the bearer?" 
" Barnaby, of course. " 
" Barnaby's a jewel!" said Varden; "and comes and 
goes with ease where we who think ourselves much wiser 
would make but a poor hand of it. He is not out wander- 
ing, again, I hope?" 
"Thank Heaven he is in his bed; having been up all 
night, as you know, and on his feet all day. He was quite 
tired out. Ah, neighbour, if I could but see him oftener so 
-if I could but tame down that terrible restlessness-" 
" In gøod time," said the locksmith, kindly, " in good 
time-don't be down-hearted. To my mind he grows wiser 
every day." 
The \vido\v shook her head. And yet, though she knew 
the locksmith sought to cheer her, and spoke from no con- 
viction of his O\\7n, she was glad to hear even this praise 
of her poor benighted son. 
" He will be a 'cute man yet," resumed the locksmith. 
" Take care, when we are g-rowing old and foolish, Bar- 



Barnaby Rudge 


45 


naby doesn't put us to the blush, that's aU. But our other 
friend, " he added, 16\oking under the table and about the 
floor-" sharpest and cunningest of all the sharp and cun- 
. h ' h ?" 
nlng ones-were s e. 
" In Barnaby's room," rejoined the widow, "vith a faint 
smile. 
" Ah ! He's a knowing blade!" said Varden, 'shaking 
his head. "I should be sorry to talk secrets before him. 
Oh! He's a deep customer. I've no doubt he can read 
and \vrite and cast accounts if he chooses. What was that 
-him tapping at the door?" 
" No," returned the widow. "I t was in the street, I 
think. Hark ! Yes. There again! 'Tis some one 
knocking softly at the shutter. Who can it be 1" 
They had been speaking in a low tone, for the invalid lay 
overhead, and the walls and ceilings being thin and poorly 
built, the sound of their voices might otherwise have dis- 
turbed his slumber. The party without, whoever it was, 
could have stood close to the shutter without hearing any- 
thing spoken; and, seeing the light through the chinks 
and finding all so quiet, might have been persuaded that 
only one person was there. 
"Some thief or ruffian, maybe, tt said the locksmith. 
" Give me the light. " 
"No, no," she returned hastily. Ie Such visitors have 
never come to this poor dwelling. Do you stay here. 
You're within call, at the worst. I would rather go 
myself-alone. " 
" Why? " said the locksmith, un\vilIingly relinquishing 
the candle he had caught up from the table. 
"Because-I don't kno"v why-because the wish is 
strong upon me," she rejoined. Ie There again--do not 
detain me, I beg of you!" 
Gabriel looked at her, in great surprise to see one \vho 
was usually so mild and quiet thus agitated, and with so 
little cause. She left the room and closed the door behind 
her. She stood for a moment as if hesitating, with her 
hand upon the lock. In this short interval the knocking 
came again, and a voice close to the "vindow-a voice the 
locksmith seemed to recollect, and to have some disagree- 
able association with-\vhispered " 1\1ake haste. tt 
The words were uttered in that low distinct voice \vhich 
finds its
ay so readily to sleepers' ears, and wakes them in 
a fright. For a moment it startled even the locksmith; 



46 


Barnaby Rudge 


who involuntarily drew back from the window, and lis- 
tened. 
The wind rumbling in the chimney made it difficult to 
hear what passed, but he could tell that the door was 
opened, that there was the tread of a man upon the creak- 
ing boards, and then a moment's silence-broken by a sup- 
pressed something which was not a shriek, or groan, or cry 
for help, and yet might have been either of all three; and 
the words" My God!" uttered in a voice it chilled hint to 
hear. 
He rushed out upon the instant. There, at last, was 
that dreadful look-the very one he seemed to know so wel1 
and yet had never seen before-upon her face. There she 
stood, frozen to the ground, gazing with starting eyes, and 
livid cheeks, and every feature fixed and ghastly, upon the 
man he had encountered in the dark last night. His eyes 
met those of the locksmith. It was but a flash, an instant, 
a breath upon a polished glass, and he was gone. 
The locksmith was upon hin1-had the skirts of his 
streaming garment almost in his grasp-when his arms 
were tightly clutched, and the widow flung herself upon 
the ground before him. 
"The other way-the other way," she cried. "He 
went the other way. Turn-turn!" 
"The other way! I see him now," rejoined the lock- 
smith, pointing-" yonder-there-there is his shadow 
passing by that light. \Vhat-who is this? Let me go. " 
"Come back, come back! " exclaimed the woman, 
wrestling with and clasping him; "do not touch him on 
your life. I charge you, come back. He carries other 
lives besides his own. Come back!" 
" What does this mean?" cried the locksmith. 
" No matter what it means, don't ask, don't speak, don't 
think about it. He is not to be followed, checked, or 
stopped. Come back!" 
The old man looked at her in wonder, as she writhed and 
clung about him; and, borne down by her passion, suffered 
her to drag him into the house. It was not until she had 
chained and double-locked the door, fastened every bolt 
and bar with the heat and fury of a maniac, and drawn him 
back into the room, that she turned upon him once again 
that stony look of horror, and, sinking down into a chair, 
covered her face, and shuddered, as though the hand of 
Death were on her. 



Barnaby Rudge 


47 


CI-IAPTER VI 


BEYOND all measure astonished by the strange occur- 
rences which had passed wi th so much violence and 
rapidity, the locksmith gazed upon the shuddering figure 
in the chair like one half stupefied, and would have gazed 
much longer, had not his tongue been loosened by com- 
passion and humanity. 
, , You are ill, " said Gabriel. "Let me call some neigh- 
bour in." 
" Not for the world," she rejoined, motioning to him 
with her trembling hand, and still holding her face averted. 
" It is enough that you have been by, to see this. " 
" Nay, more than enough-or less," said Gabriel. 
" Be it so," she returned. "As you like. Ask me no 
questions, I entreat you. " 
" N eighbour, " said the locksmith, after a pause. "Is 
this fair, or reasonable, or just to yourself? Is it like you, 
\vho have known me so long and sought my advice in all 
matters-like you, who from a girl have had a strong mind 
and a staunch heart? " 
" I have need of them," she replied. "I am growing 
old, both in years and care. Perhaps that, and too much 
trial, have made them weaker than they used to be. Do 
not s peak to me. " 
" How can I see what I have seen, and hold my peace? " 
returned the locksmith. "'7\ T ho was that man, and why 
has his coming made this change in you? " 
She \vas silent. but clung to the chair as though to save 
herself from falling on the ground. 
" I take the license of an old acquaintance, ?\1ary," said 
the locksnlith, " \\7ho has ever had a \varm regard for you, 
and maybe has tried to prove it when he could. '\Tho is 
this ill-favoured man, and \vhat has he to do with you? 
Who is this ghost, that is only seen in the black nights and 
bad \veather? How does he know and why does he haunt 
this house, \vhispering through chinks and crevices, as if 
there was that between him and you, which neither durst 
so much as speak aloud of? Who is he? " 
" You do wen to say he haunts this house," returned 
the widow, faintly. "I
is shadow has been upon it and 
me, in lig-ht and darkness, at noonday and midnight. And 
now, at last, he has come in the body! " 



4 8 


Barnaby Rudge 


" But he wouldn't have gone in the body," returned 
the locksmith with some irritation, "if you had left my 
arms and legs at liberty. \Vhat riddle is this? " 
" It is one," she answered, rising as she spoke, " that 
must remain for ever as it is. I dare not say more than 
that. " 
" Dare not! " repeated the wondering locksmith. 
" Do not press me," she replied. "I am sick and faint, 
and every faculty of life seems dead within me.-No!- 
Do not touch me, either. " 
Gabriel, who had stepped forward to render her assist- 
ance, fell back as she made this hasty exclamation, and 
regarded her in silent wonder. 
" Let me go my way alone," she said in a low voice, 
" and let the hands of no honest man touch mine to-night. " 
When she had tottered to the door, she turned, and added 
with a stronger effort, "This is a secret, which, of neces- 
sity, I trust to you. You are a true man. As you have 
ever been good and kind to me,-keep it. If any noise 
was heard above, make some excuse-say anything but 
what you really saw, and never let a word or look between 
us recall this circunlstance. I trust to you. Mind, I trust 
to you. How much I trust, you never can conceiye." 
Fixing her eyes upon him for an instant, she \vithdrew, 
and left him there alone. 
Gabriel, not knowing what to think, stood staring at the 
door with a countenance full of surprise and dismay. The 
more he pondered on what had passed, the less able he \vas 
to give it any favourable interpretation. To find this widow 
woman, whose life for so many years had been supposed 
to be one of solitude and retirement, and \vho, in her quiet 
suffering character, had gained the good opinion and res- 
pect of all who knew her-to find her linked mysteriously 
with an ill-omened man, alarmed at his appearance, and 
yet favouring his escape, was a discovery that pained as 
much as it startled him. Her reliance on his secrecy, and 
his tacit acquiescence, increased his distress of mind. If 
he had spoken boldly, persisted in questioning her, de- 
tained her when she rose to leave the room, made any kind 
of protest, instead of silently compromising himself, as 
he felt he had done, he would have been more at ease. 
" Why did I let her say it was a secret, and she trusted 
it to me! " said Gabriel, putting his wig on one side to 
scratch his head with greater ease, and looking ruefully 



Barnaby Rudge 


49 


at the fire. "I have no more readiness than old John him- 
self. Why didn't I say firmly, , You have no right to such 
secrets, and I demand of you to tell me what this means,' 
instead of standing gaping at her, like an old moon calf as 
I am! But there's my weakness. I can be obstinate 
enough with men if need be, but women may twist me round 
their fingers at their pleasure. " 
He took his wig off outrig-ht as he made this reflection, 
and, warming his handkerchief at the fire began to rub and 
polish his bald head with it, until it glistened again. 
"And yet," said the locksmith, softening under this 
soothing process, and stopping to smile, "it 1nay be no- 
thing. Any drunken brawler trying to make his way into 
the house would have alarmed a quiet soul like her. But 
then "-and here was the vexation-" how came it to be 
that man; ho\v comes he to have this influence over her; 
how came she to favour his getting away from me; and 
more than all, how came she not to say it was a sudden 
fright, and nothing more? It's a sad thing to have, in one 
minute, reason to mistrust a person I have kno\vn so long, 
and an old sweetheart into the bargain; but 'what else can 
I do, with all this upon my mind !-Is that Barnaby out- 
side there? " 
" P-y !" he cried, looking in and nodding. " Surt: 
enough it's Barnaby-how did you guess? " 
" By your shadow, " said the locksmith. 
" Dho ! " cried Barnaby, glancing over his shoulder. 
., He's a merry fellow, that shadow, and keeps close to 
me, though I am silly. \Ve have such pranks, such walks, 
such runs, such gambols on the grass! Sometimes he'l) 
be half as tall as a church steeple, and sometimes no bigger 
than a d\varf. N ow he goes on before, and now behind, 
and anon he'll be stealing slily on, on this side, or on that, 
stopping whenever I stop, and thinking I can't see him, 
though I have my eye on him sharp enough. Oh! he's a 
merry fellow. Tell me-is he silly too? I think he is." 
" Why? " asked Gabriel. 
., Because he never tires of mocking me, but does it aU 
day Iong.-\Vhy don't you come? " 
" \Vhere? " 
" Up stairs. He wants you. Stay-where's his shadow? 
Come. You're a \vise man; tell me that. " 
"Beside him, Barnaby; beside him, I suppose," re- 
turned the locksmith. 



50 


Barnaby Rudge 


" No! " he replied, shaking his head. "Guess again. " 
" Gone out a walking, maybe? .. 
U He has changed shadows with a woman," the idiot 
whispered in his ear, and then fell back with a look of 
triumph. "Her shadow's always with him, and his with 
her. That's sport I think, eh? .. 
" Barnaby," said the locksmith, with a grave look; 
" come hither, lad. .. 
" I know what you want to say. I kno\v ! .. he replied, 
keeping away from him. "But I'm cunning, I'm silent. 
I only say so much to you-are you ready?" As he spoke, 
he caught up the light, and waved it with a wild laugh 
above his. head. 
" Softly-gently," said the locksmith, exerting all his 
influence to keep him calm and quiet. "I thought you had 
been asleep. ' , 
"So I have been asleep," he rejoined, with widely- 
opened eyes. "There have been great faces coming and 
going-close to my face, and then a mile away-low places 
to creep through, whether I would or no-high churches 
to fall down from-strange creatures crowded up together 
neck and heels, to sit upon the bed-that's sleep, eh? " 
" Dreams, Barnaby, dreams," said the locksmith. 
" Dreams! .. he echoed softly, drawing closer to him. 
cc Those are not dreams. .. 
U \Vhat are," replied the locksmith, " if they are not? h 
cc I dreamed," said Barnaby, passing his arm through 
Varden's, and peering dose into his face as he answered in 
a whisper, " I dreamed just now that something-it \vas in 
the shape of a man-followed me-came softly after me- 
wouldn't let me be-but was always hiding and crouching, 
like a cat in dark corners, waiting till I should pass; when 
it crept out and came softly after me.-Did you ever see 
me run? " 
" !vlany a time, you know." 
" You never saw me run as I did in this dream. Still 
it came creeping on to worry me. Nearer, nearer, nearer- 
I ran faster-leaped-sprang out of bed, and to the windo\v 
-and there, in the street below-but he is waiting for us. 
Are you coming? " 
"What in the street below, dear Barnaby?" said 
V arden, imagining that he had traced some connection 
between this vision and \vhat had actually occurred. 
Barnaby looked into his face, muttered incoherently, 



Barnaby Rudge 


51 


waved the light above his head again, laughed, and draw- 
ing the locksmith's arm more tightly through his own, led 
him up the stairs in silence. 
They entered a homely bedchamber, garnished in a scanty 
way with chairs \vhose spindle-shanks bespoke their age, 
and other furniture of very little worth; but clean and 
neatly kept. Reclining in an easy-chair before the fire, pale 
and weak from waste of blood, was Edward Chester, the 
young gentleman that had been the first to quit the May- 
pole on the previous night, who, extending- his hand to the 
locksmith, welcomed him as his preserver and friend. 
" Say no more, sir, say no more," said Gabriel. "I 
hope I would have done at least as much for any man in 
such a strait, and most of all for you, sir. A certain young 
lady," he added, \vith some hesitation, " has done us many 
a kind turn, and we naturally feel-I hope I give you no 
offence in saying this, sir? " 
The young man smiled and shook his head; at the same 
time moving in his chair as if in pain. 
" It's no great nlatter," he said, in answer to the lock- 
smith's sympathising look, " a mere uneasiness arising at 
least as much from being cooped up here, as from the 
slight wound I have, or from the loss of blood. Be seated, 
Mr. Varden." 
" If I may make so bold, Mr. Edward, as to lean upon 
your chair," returned the locksmith, accommodati.ng his 
action to his speech, and bending over him, " I'll stand 
here, for the convenience of speaking low. Barnaby is not 
in his quietest humour to-night, and at such times talking 
never does him good. " . 
They both glanced at the subject of this remark, who had 
taken a seat on the other side of the fire, and, smiling 
vacantly, was making puzzles on his fingers with a skein 
of string. 
" Pray, tell me, sir," said Varden, dropping his voice 
still lower, "exactly what happened last night. I have 
my reason for inquiring. You left the Maypole, alone? " 
" And walked homeward alone until I had nearly reached 
the place where you found me, when I heard the gallop of 
a horse. " 
" -Behind you? 
, said the locksmith. 
C C Indeed, yes-behind me. I t was a single rider, who 
soon overtook me, and checking his horse. inquired the 
way to London." 



52 


Barnaby Rudge 


" You were on the alert, sir, knowing how many high- 
waymen there are, scouring the roads in all directions? " 
said Varden. 
" I \vas, but I had only a stick, having imprudently left 
my pistols in their holster-case \vith the landlord's son. 
I directed him as he desired. Before the words had passed 
my lips, he rode upon me furiously, as if bent on trampling 
me down beneath his horse's hoofs. In starting aside, I 
slipped and fell. You found me with this stab and an ugly 
bruise or two, and \vithout my purse-in which he found 
little enough for his pains. And now, Mr. Varden," he 
added, shaking the locksmith by the hand, "saving the 
extent of my gratitude to you, you know as much as I." 
" Except," said Gabriel, bending down yet more, and 
looking cautiously to\vards their silent neighbour, " except 
in respect of the robber himself. What like was he, sir? 
Speak low, if you please. Barnaby means no harm, but I 
have watched him oftener than you, and I know, little as 
you \vould think it, that he's listening now." 
It required a strong confidence in the locksmith's veracity 
to lead anyone to this belief, for every sense and faculty 
that Barnaby possessed seemed to be fixed upon his game, 
to the exclusion of all other things. Something in the 
young man's face expressed this opinion, for Gabriel re- 
peated what he had just said, more earnestly than before, 
and with another glance towards Barnaby, again asked 
what like the man was. 
" The night was so dark," said Edward, "the attack 
so sudden, and he so wrapped and muffled up, that I can 
hardly say. It seems that-" 
" Don't mention his name, sir," returned the lock- 
smith, following his look towards Barnaby; " I know he 
saw him. I want to know what you saw." 
" All I remember is, " said Edward, " that as he checked 
his horse his hat was blown off. He caught it and re- 
placed it on his head, which I observed \\Tas bound \vith a 
dark handkerchief. A stranger entered the Maypole while 
I was there, whom I had not seen, for I had sat apart for 
reasons of my own, and when I rose to leave the room and 
glanced round, he was in the shadow of the chimney and 
hidden from my sight. But if he and the robber were t\vo 
different persons, their voices were strang-ely and most re- 
markably alike; for directly the man addressed me in the 
road, I recognised his speech again. " 



Barnaby Rudge 


53 


" It is as I feared. The very man was here to-night," 
thought the locksmith, changing colour. "What dark 
history is this? " 
" Halloa ! " cried a hoarse voice in his ear. "Halloa J 
halloa, halloa ! Bow wow wow. What's the matter here! 
Hal-loa! " 
The speaker-who made the locksmith start, as if he had 
seen some supernatural agent-was a large raven; \.vho had 
perched upon the top of the easy-chair, unseen by him and 
Edward, and listened with a polite attention and a most 
extraordinary appearance of comprehending every word, to 
all they had said up to this point; turning his head from 
one to the other, as If his office were to judge between them, 
and it were of the very last importance that he should not 
lose a word. 
" Look at him! " said Varden, divided between admira- 
tion of the bird and a kind of fear of him. " Was there 
ever such a knowing imp as that! Oh he's a dreadful 
fellow! " 
The raven, with his head very much on one side, and his 
bright eye shining like a diamond, preserved a thoughtful 
silence for a fe\v seconds, and then replied in a voice so 
hoarse and distant, that it seemed to come through his 
thick feathers rather than out of his mouth. 
" Ha]]oa, ha11oa, hal1oa! \Vhat's the matter here! Keep 
up your spirits. Never say die. Bo\v wow WO\v.. I'm a 
devil, I'm a devil, I'm a devil. Hurrah! "-And then, as 
if exulting in his infernal character, he began to whistle. 
" I more than half believe he speaks the truth. Upon 
my word I do," said Varden. "Do you see how he looks 
at me, as if he knew what I was saying? " 
To which the bird, balancing himself on tiptoe, as it 
were, and moving his body up and down in a sort of grave 
dance, rejoined, " I'm a devil, I'm a devil, I'm a devil," 
and flapped his wings against his sides as if he were burst- 
ing with laughter. Barnaby clapped his hands, and fairly 
rol1
d upon the ground in an ecstasy of delight. 
" Strange companions, sir," said the locksmith, shaking 
his head and looking from one to the other. "The bird 
has_aU the wit.." 
" Strange indeed! " said Edward, holding out his fore- 
finger to the raven, who, in acknowledgment of the atten- 
tion, made a dive at it immediately with his iron bill. "Is 
he old? " 



54 


Barnaby Rudge 


"A mere boy, sir," replied the locksmith. "A hun- 
dred and twepty, or thereabouts. Call him down, Barnaby 
my man." 
" Call him! " echoed Barnaby, sitting upright upon the 
floor, and staring vacantly at Gabriel, as he thrust his hair 
back from his face. "But who can make him come! He 
calls me, and makes me go where he will. He goes on be- 
fore, and I follow. He's the master, and I'm the man. Is 
that the truth, Grip? JJ 
The raven gave a short, comfortable, confidential kind of 
croak ;-a most expressive croak, which seemed to say 
" You needn't let these fellows into Our secrets. \lVe 
understand each other. It's all right." 
" I make him come! JJ cried Barnaby, pointing to the 
bird. "Him, who never goes to sleep, or so much as 
winks !- Why, any time of night, you may see his eyes in 
my dark room, shining like two sparks. And every night, 
and all night too, he's broad awake, talking to himself, 
thinking what he shall do to-morrow, where we shall go, 
and what he shall steal, and hide, and bury. I make him 
come! Ha, ha, ha ! JJ 
On second thoughts, the bird appeared disposed to 
come of himself. After a short survey of the ground, 
and a few sidelong looks at the ceiling and at everybody 
present in turn, he fluttered to the floor, and went to 
Barnaby-not in a hop, or walk, or run, but in a pace 
like that of a very particular gentlenlan \vith exceedingly 
tight boots on, trying to walk fast over loose pebbles. 
Then, stepping into his extended hand, and condescend- 
ing to be held out at arm '5 length, he gave vent to a 
succession of sounds, not unlike the drawing of some 
eight or ten dozen of long corks, and again asserted 
his brimstone birth and parentage with great distinct- 
ness. 
The locksmith shook his head-perhaps in some doubt 
of the creature's being really nothing but a bird-perhaps 
in pity for Barnaby, who by this time had him in his arms, 
and was rolling about with him on the ground. As he 
raised his eyes from the poor fellow he encountered those 
of his mother, who had entered the room, and was looking 
on in silence. 
She was quite white in the face, even to her lips, but had 
wholly subdued her emotion, and wore her usual quiet look. 
Varden fancied as he glanced at her that she shrank from 



Barnaby Rudge 


55 


his eye; and that she þusied herself about the wounded 
gentleman to avoid him the better. 
It was time he went to bed, she said. He was to be re- 
moved to his own home on the morrow, and he had al- 
ready exceeded his time for sitting up, by a full hour. Act- 
ing on this hint, the locksmith prepared to take his leave. 
" By the bye," said Edward, as he shook him by the 
hand, and looked from him to 1\1rs. Rudg-e and back again, 
" what noise was that belo\v? I heard your voice in the 
midst of it, and should have inquired before, but our other 
conversation drove it from my memory. What was it? " 
The locksmith looked towards her, and bit his lip. She 
leant against the chair, and bent her eyes upon the ground. 
Barnaby too-he was listening. 
-" Some mad or drunken fellow, sir," Varden at length 
made answer, looking steadily at the widow as he spoke. 
" He mistook the house, and tried to force an entrance. " 
She breathed more freely, but stood quite motionless. 
As the locksmith said" Good night," and Barnaby caught 
up the candle to light him down the stairs, she took it from 
him, and charged him-with more haste and earnestness 
than so slight an occasion appeared to warrant-not to stir. 
The raven followed them to satisfy himself that all was 
right below, and when they reached the street-door, stood 
on the bottom stair, drawing corks out of number. 
With a trembling hand she unfastened the chain and 
bolts, and turned the key. As she had her hand upon the 
latch, the locksmith said in a low voice: 
" I have told a lie to-night, for your sake, Mary, and for 
the sake of bygone times and old acquaintances, when I 
would scorn to do so for my own. I hope I may have done 
no harm, or led to none. I can't help the suspicions you 
have forced upon me, and I am loth, I tell you plainly, to 
leave Mr. Edward here. Take care he comes to no hurt. 
I doubt the safety of this roof, and am glad he leaves it so 
soon. Now, let me go. " 
For a moment she hid her face in her hands and wept; 
but resisting the strong impulse which evidently moved her 
to reply, opened the door-no wider than was suflìcient for 
the passage of his body-and motioned him away. As the 
locksmith stood upon the step, it \vas chain
d and locked 
behind him, and the raven, in furtherance of these pre- 
cautions, barked like a lusty house-dog. 
" In league with that ill-looking figure that might have 



56 


Barnaby Rudge 


fallen from a gibbet-he listening and hiding here-Bar- 
naby first upon the spot last night-can she who has 
always borne so fair a name be guilty of such crimes in 
secret! " said the locksmith, musing. "Heaven forgive 
me if I am wrong, and send l11e just thoughts; but she is 
poor, the tenlptation may be great, and we daily hear of 
things as strange.-Ay, bark away, my friend. If there's 
any wickedness going on, that raven's in it, I'll be sworn. " 


CHAPTER VII 


MRS. VARDEN was a lady of what is commonly called 
an uncertain temper-a phrase \vhich being interpreted 
signifies a temper tolerably certain to make everybody 
more or less uncomfortable. Thus it generally happened, 
that when other people were merry, Mrs. Varden was dull ; 
and that when other people were dull, Mrs. Varden was 
disposed to be amazingly cheerful. Indeed the worthy 
housewife was of such a capricious nature, that she not 
only attained a higher pitch of genius than Macbeth, in re- 
spect of her ability to be wise, amazed, temperate and 
furious, loyal and neutral in an instant, but would some- 
times ring the changes backwards and forwards on all pos. 
sible moods and flights in one short quarter of an hour; 
performing, as it were, a kind of triple bob major on the 
peal of instruments in the female belfry, with a skilfulness 
and rapidity of execution that astonished all who heard her. 
It had been observed in this good lady (who did not want 
for personal attractions, being plump and buxom to look at, 
though like her fair daughter, somewhat short in stature) 
that this uncertainty of disposition strengthened and in- 
creased with her temporal prosperity; and divers wise men 
and matrons, on friendly terms with the locksmith and his 
family, even went so far as to assert, that a tumble down 
some half-dozen rounds in the world's ladder-such as the 
breaking of the bank in which her husband kept his money, 
or some little fall of that kind-would be the nlaking of her, 
and could hardly fail to render her one of the most agreeable 
companions in existence. Whether they were right or 
wrong in this conjecture, certain it is that minds, like 
bodies, will often fall into a pimpled, ill-conditioned state 
from mere excess of comfort, and like them, are often suc- 



Barnaby Rudge 


57 


cessfuIIy cured by remedies in themselves very nauseous 
and unpalatable. 
Mrs. Varden's chief aider and abettor, and at the same 
time her principal victim and object of wrath, was her single 
domestic servant, one Miss Miggs; or as she was called, in 
conformity with those prejudices of society which lop and 
top from poor handmaidens aU such genteel excrescences 
-Miggs. This Miggs was a tall young lady, very much 
addicted to pattens in private life; slender and shrewish, of 
a rather uncomfortable figure, and though not absolutely iIl- 
looking, of a sharp and acid visage. As a general prin- 
ciple and abstract proposition, l\1iggs held the male sex to 
be utterly contemptible and un\.vorthy of notice; to be 
fickle, false, base, sottish, inclined to perjury, and wholly 
undeserving. When particularly exasperated against 
them (which, scandal said, was when Sim Tappertit 
slighted her most) she was accustomed to wish \.vith great 
emphasis that the whole race of women could but die off, in 
order that the men might be brought to kno\v the real value 
of the blessings by \.vhich they set so little store; nay, her 
feeJing for her order ran so high, that she sometimes de- 
dared, if she could only have good security for a fair, round 
number-say, ten thousand-of young virgins following 
her example, she would, to spite mankind, hang, drown, 
stab, or poison herself, with a joy past all expression. 
I t was the voice of 
iiggs that greeted the locksmith 
when he knocked at his own house, with a shrill cry of 
" \Vho's there? " 
" Me, girl, me," returned Gabriel. 
"\Vhat, already, sir! " said Miggs, opening the door 
with a look of surprise. "\Ve was just getting on our 
nightcaps to sit up,-me and mistress. Oh, she has been 
so bad ! " 
Miggs said this with an air of uncommon candour and 
concern, but the parlour door was standing open, and as 
Gabriel very well knew for \vhose ears it was designed, he 
regarded her with anything but an approving look as he 
passed in. 
" Master's come home, mim," cried l\iiggs, running be- 
fore him into the parlour. "You was wrong, mim, and I 
was right. I thought he wouldn't keep us up so late, two 
nights running, mime Master's always considerate so far. 
I'm so glad, mim, on your account. I'm a little "-here 
Miggs simpered-" a little sleepy myself; I'll own it now, 



58 


Barnaby Rudge 


mim, though I said I wasn't when you asked me. It an't 
of no consequence, mim, of course. " 
" You had better," said the locksmith, who most de- 
voutly wished that Barnaby's raven was at Miggs's ankles, 
H you had better get to bed at once then." 
"Thanking you kindly, sir," returned Miggs, "I 
couldn't take my rest in peace, nor fix my thoughts upon 
my prayers, otherways than that I knew mistress was com- 
fortable in her bed this night; by rights she should have 
been there hours ago." 
" You're talkative, mistress," said Varden, pulling off 
his great-coat, and looking at her askew. 
" Taking the hint, sir," cried Miggs, with a flushed face, 
" and thanking you for it most kindly, I will make bold to 
say that if I give offence by having consideration for my 
mistress, I do not ask your pardon, but am content to get 
myself into trouble and to be in suffering. " 
Here Mrs. Varden, who, with her countenance shrouded 
in a large nightcap, had been all this time intent upon the 
Protestant lVlanual, looked round, and acknowledg-ed 
Miggs's championship by commanding her to hold her 
tongue. 
Every little bone in 
ligg-s's throat and neck developed 
itself with a spitefulness quite alarming, as she replied, 
"Yes, mim, I will." 
" How do you find yourself no\.v, my dear?" said the lock- 
smith, taking a chair near his wife (who had resumed her 
book), and rubbing his knees hard as he made the inquiry. 
, , You're very anxious to know, an't you? " returned 
Mrs. Varden, with her eyes upon the print. " You, that 
have not been near me all day, and wouldn't have been if I 
was dying! " . 
, , My dear Martha- " said Gabriel. 
Mrs. Varden turned over to the next page; then went 
back again to the bottom line over leaf to be quite sure of 
the last words; and then went on reading with an appear- 
ance of the deepest interest and study. 
" My dear Martha," said the locksmith, "how can you 
say such things, when you know you don't mean them? 
If you were dying! Why, if there was anything serious the 
matter with you, Martha, shouldn't I be in constant attend- 
ance upon you? " 
" Yes! " cried Mrs. Varden, bursting into tears, " yes, 
you would. I don't doubt it, Varden. Certainly you 



Barnaby Rudge 


59 


would. That's as much as to tell me that you would be 
hovering round me like a vulture, waiting till the breath 
was out of my body, that you might go and marry some- 
bod y else. " 
Miggs groaned in sympathy-a little short groan, 
checked in its birth, and changed into a cough. It seemed 
to say, " I can't help it. It's wrung from me by the dread- 
ful brutality of that monster master. " 
" But you'll break my heart one of these days," added 
Mrs. Varden, with more resignation, " and then we shall 
both be happy. My only desire is to see Dolly comfortably 
settled, and when she is, you may settle me as soon as you 
like. " 
" Ah ! " cried Miggs-and coughed again. 
Poor Gabriel twisted his wig about in silence for a long 
time, and then said mildly J " Has Dolly gone to bed? " 
" Your master speaks to you," said Mrs. Varden, look- 
ing sternly over her shoulder at Miss Miggs in waiting. 
" No, my dear, I spoke to you," suggested the lock- 
smith. 
" Did you hear me, Miggs? " cried the obdurate lady, 
stamping her foot upon the ground. ' , You are beginning 
to despise me now, are you? But this is example! " 
At this cruel rebuke, l\1iggs, whose tears were always 
ready, for large or sroalJ parties, on the shortest notice and 
the most unreasonable terms, fell a crying violently; hold- 
ing both her hands tight upon her heart meanwhile, as if no- 
thing less would prevent its splitting into small fragments. 
Mrs. Varden, who likewise possessed that faculty in high 
perfection, wept too, against Miggs; and with such effect 
that Miggs gave in after a time, and, except for an occa- 
sional sob, which seenled to threaten some remote inten- 
tion of breaking out again, left her mistress in possession 
of the field. Her superiority being thoroughly asserted, 
that lady soon desisted likewise, and fell into a quiet melan- 
chol y. 
The reJief was so great, and the fatiguing occurrences of 
last night so completely overpowered the locksmith, that 
he nodded in his chair, and would doubtless have slept there 
all night, but for the voice of Mrs. Varden, which, after a 
pause of some five minutes, awoke him with a start. 
" If I am ever," said 1Jrs. V.-not scolding, but in 
a sort of monotonous remonstrance-" in spirits, if I 
am ever cheerful, if I am ever more than usually dis- 



60 


Barnaby Rudge 


posed to be talkative and comfortable, this IS the way I 
am treated." 
" Such spirits as you was in too, mim, but half an hour 
ago! " cried Miggs. "I never see such company! " 
" Because," said Mrs. V arden, " because I never inter- 
fere or interrupt j because I never question where anybody 
comes or goes j because my whole mind and soul is bent on 
saving where I can save, and labouring in this house j_ 
therefore, they try me as they do. " 
" lVlartha," urged the locksnlith, endeavouring to look 
as wakeful as possible, "what is it you complain of? I 
really came home with every wish and desire to be happy. 
I did, indeed." 
" \Vhat do I complain of ! " retorted his \vife. "Is it a 
chilling thing to have one's husband sulking and falling 
asleep directly he comes home-to have him freezing all 
one's warm-heartedness, and throwing cold water over the 
fireside? Is it natural, when I know he went out upon a 
matter in which I am as much interested as anybody can be, 
that I should wish to know all that has happened, or that 
he should tell me without my begging and praying him to 
do it? Is that natural, or is it not? " . 
" I am very sorry, lVlartha," said the good-natured lock- 
smith. "I was really afraid you were not disposed to talk 
pleasantly: I'll tell you everything; I shall only be too 
glad, my dear." 
, , No, Varden," returned his wife, rising with dignity. 
,. I dare say-thank you. I'm not a child to be corrected 
one l11inute and petted the next-I'm a little too old 
for that, Varden. Miggs, carry the light. You can be 
cheerful, Miggs, at least. " 
l\1iggs, who, to this nloment, had been in the very depths 
of compassionate despondency, passed instantly into the 
liveliest state conceivable, and tossing her head as she 
glanced towards the locksmith, bore off her mistress and 
the light together. 
" Now, who would think," thought Varden, shrugging 
his shoulders and drawing his chair nearer to the fire, 
" that that \.voman could ever be pleasant and agreeable? 
And yet she can be. Well, well, all of us have our faults. 
I'll not be hard upon hers. We have been man and wife 
too long for that. " 
He dozed again-not the less pleasantly, perhaps, for his 
hearty temper. While his eyes were closed, the door lead- 



Barnaby Rudge 


61 


ing to the upper stairs was partially opened; and a head 
appeared, which, at sight of him, hastily drew back again. 
" I wish," murmured Gabriel, waking at the noise, and 
looking round the room, " I wish somebody would marry 
Miggs. But that's impossible! I wonder whether there's 
any madman alive, who would marry Miggs ! " 
This was such a vast speculation that he fell into a doze 
again, and slept until the fire was quite burnt out. At last 
he roused himself; and having double-locked the street-door 
according to custom, and put the key in his pocket, went off 
to bed. 
He had not left the room in darkness many minutes, when 
the head again appeared, and Sim Tappertit entered, bear- 
ing in his hand a little lamp. 
" \Vhat the devil business has he to stop up so late! " 
muttered Sim, passing into the workshop, and setting it 
down upon the forge. "Here's half the night gone al- 
ready. Ther
's only one good that has ever come to me, 
out of this cursed old rusty mechanical trade, and that's this 
piece of ironmongery, upon my soul! " 
As he spoke, he drew fro.m the right-hand, or rather 
right-leg pocket of his smalls, a clumsy large-sized key, 
which he inserted cautiously in the lock his master had 
secured, and softly opened the door. That done, he re- 
placed his piece of secret workmanship in his pocket; and 
leaving the lamp burning, and closing the door carefully 
and without noise, stole out into the street-as little sus- 
pected by the locksmith in his sound deep sleep, as by 
Barnaby himself in his phantom-haunted dreams. 


CHAPTER VIII 


CLEAR of the locksmith's house, Sim Tappertit laid 
aside his cautious manner, and assuming in its stead 
that of a ruffling, swaggering, roving blade, who would 
rather kill a man than otherwise, and eat him too if needful 
made the best of his way along the darkened streets. ' 
Half pausing for an instant now and then to smite his 
pocket and assure himself of the safety of his master key, 
he hurried on to Barbican, and turning into one of the nar- 
rowest of the narrow streets which diverged from that 



62 


Barnaby Rudge 


centre, slackened his pace and wiped his heated brow, as if 
the termination of his walk were near at hand. 
I t was not a very choice spot for midnight expeditions, 
being in truth one of more than questionable character, 
and of an appearance by no means inviting. From the 
main street he had entered, itself little better than an alley, 
a low-browed doorway led into a blind court, or yard, pro- 
foundly dark, unpaved, and reeking with stagnant odours. 
Into this ill-favoured pit, the locksmith's vagrant 'prentice 
groped his way; and stopping at a house from whose de- 
faced and rotten front the rude effigy of a bottle swung to 
and fro like some gibbeted malefactor, struck thrice upon 
an iron grating with his foot. After listening in vain for 
some response to his signal, Mr. Tappertit became im- 
patient, and struck the grating thrice again. 
A further delay ensued, but it was not of long duration. 
The ground seemed to open at his feet, and a ragged head 
appeared. 
" Is that the captain? " said a voice as ragged as the 
head. 
, , Yes," replied Mr. Tappertit haughtily, descending as 
he spoke, " who should it be? " 
" It's so late, we gave you up," returned the voice, as 
its owner stopped to shut and fasten the grating. " You're 
late, sir." 
" Lead on," said Mr. Tappertit, with a gloomy majesty, 
" and make remarks when I require you. Forward!" 
This latter word of command was perhaps somewhat 
theatrical and unnecessary, inasmuch as the descent was by 
a very narrow, steep, and slippery flight of steps, and any 
rashness or departure from the beaten track must have 
ended in a yawning water-butt. But Mr. Tappertit being, 
like some other great commanders, favourable to strong 
effects, and personal display, cried" Forward! " again, in 
the hoarsest voice he could assume; and led the way, with 
folded arms and knitted brows, to the cellar down below, 
where there was a small copper fixed in one corner, a chair 
or two, a form and table, a glimmering fire, and a truckle- 
bed, covered with a ragged patchwork rug. 
, , Welcome, noble captain! " cried a lanky figure, rising 
as from a nap. 
The captain nodded. Then, throwing off his outer coat, 
he stood composed in all his dignity, and eyed his follower 
over. 



Barnaby Rudge 


63 


" vVhat news to-night? " he asked, when he had looked 
into his very so
il. 
" Nothing particular, J J replied the other, stretching him- 
self-and he was so long already that it was quite alarm- 
ing to see him do it-" how come you to be so late? " 
" No matter," was all the captain deigned to say in 
answer. "Is the room prepared?" 
" I tis," replied his follower. 
" The comrade-is he here? 'J 
, , Yes. And a sprinkling of the others-you hear 'em? " 
" Playing skittles I " said the captain moodily. "Light- 
hearted revellers ! 'J 
There was no doubt respecting the particular amusement 
in which these heedless spirits were indulging, for even in 
the close and stifling atmosphere of the vault, the noise 
sounded like distant thunder. It certainly appeared, at 
first sight, a singular spot to choose, for that or any other 
purpose of relaxation, if the other cellars answered to the 
one in which this brief colloquy took place; for the floors 
were of sodden earth, the walls and roof of damp bare brick 
tapestried with the tracks of snails and slugs; the air \vas 
sickening, tainted, and offensive. It seemed, from one 
strong flavour which was uppermost among the various 
odours of the place, that it had, at no very distant period, 
been used as a storehouse for cheeses; a circumstance 
\vhich, while it accounted for the greasy moisture that hung 
about it, \vas agreeably suggestive of rats. It was natur- 
ally damp besides, and little trees of fungus sprang- from 
every mouldering corner. 
The proprietor of this charming retreat, and owner of the 
ragged head before mentioned-for he wore an old tie-wig 
as bare and frowzy as a stunted hearth-broom-had by this 
time joined them; and stood a little apart, rubbing his 
hands, wagging his hoary bristled chin, and smiling in 
silence. His eyes were closed; but had they been wide 
open, it would have been easy to tell, from the attentive ex- 
pression of the face he turned towards them-pale and un- 
wholesome as might be expected in one of his underground 
existence-and from a certain anxious raising and quiver- 
ing of the lids, that he was blind. 
" Even Stagg hath been asleep," said the long comrade, 
nodding towards this person. 
" Sound, captain, sound! " cried the blind man; " what 
does my noble captain drink-is it brandy, rum, usque- 



64 


Barnaby Rudge 


ba
gh? Is it soaked gunpowder, or blazing oil? Give it 
a name, heart of oak, and we'd get it for you, if it was wine 
from a bishop's cellar, or melted gold from King George's 
mint. " 
" See," said Mr. Tappertit haughtily, "that it's some- 
thing strong, and comes quick; and so long as you take care 
of that, you may bring it from the devil's cellar, if you like." 
" Boldly said, noble captain! " rejoined the blind man. 
" Spoken like the 'Prentices' glory. Ha, ha! From the 
devil's cellar! A brave joke! The captain joketh. Ha, 
ha, ha ! " 
" I'll tell you \vhat, my fine feller," said Mr. Tappertit, 
eyeing the host over as he walked to a closet, and took out 
a bottle and glass as carelessly as if he had been in full pos- 
session of his sight, " if you make that row, you'll find that 
the captain's very far from joking, and so I tell you. " 
" He's got his eyes on me ! " cried Stagg, stopping short 
on his way back, and affecting to screen his face with the 
bottle. "I feel 'èm though I can't see 'em. Take 'em 
off, noble captain. Remove 'em, for they pierce like gim- 
lets. " 
Mr. Tappertit smiled grimly at his comrade; and hvist- 
ing out one more look-a kind of ocular screw-under the 
influence of \vhich the blind man feigned to undergo great 
anguish and torture, bade him, in a softened tone, ap- 
proach, and hold his peace. 
" I obey you, captain," cried Stagg, dra\ving close to 
him and filling out a bumper without spilling a drop, by 
reason that he held his little finger at the brim of the glass, 
and stopped at the instant the liquor touched it, "drink, 
noble governor. Death to all masters, life to all 'prentices, 
and love to all fair damsels. Drink, brave general, and 
warm your gallant heart! " 
Mr. Tappertit condescended to take the glass from his 
outstretched hand. Stagg then dropped on one knee, and 
gently smoothed the calves of his legs, with an air of 
humble admiration. 
" That I had but eyes! " he cried, " to behold my cap- 
tain's symmetrical proportions! That I had but eyes, to 
look upon these twin invaders of domestic peace! " 
" Get out! " said !\lr. Tappertit, glancing do\vn\vard at 
his favourite limbs. "Go along, will you, Stagg! " 
"'\Then I touch my o\vn afterwards," cried the host, 
smiting them reproachfully, "I hate '
m. Com para- 



Barnaby Rudge 


65 


tively speaking, they've no more shape than wooden legs, 
beside these models of my noble captain's." 
" Yours! " exclaimed Mr. Tappertit. "N 0, I should 
think not. Don't talk about those precious old toothpicks 
in the same breath with mine; that's rather too much. 
Here. Take the glass. Benjamin. Lead on. To busi- 
ness ! " 
With these \vords, he folded his arms again; and frown- 
ing with a sul1en majesty, passed with his companion 
through a little door at the upper end of the cellar, 
and disappeared; leaving Stagg to his private medita- 
tions. 
The vault they entered, strewn \vith sawdust and dimly 
lighted, was between the outer one from which they had 
just come, and that in which the skittle-players were divert- 
ing themselves; as was manifested by the increased noise 
and clamour of tongues, which was suddenly stopped, how- 
ever, and replaced by a dead silence, at a signal from the 
long comrade. Then, this young gentleman, going to a 
little cupboard, returned with a thigh-bone, which in for- 
mer times must have been part and parcel of some in- 
dividual at least as long as himself, and placed the same in 
the hands of Mr. Tappertit; who, receiving it as a sceptre 
and staff of authority, cocked his three-cornered hat fiercely 
on the top of his head, and mounted a large table, whereon 
a chair of state, cheerfully ornamented with a couple of 
skulls, was placed ready for his reception. 
He had no sooner assumed this position, than another 
young gentleman appeared, bearing in his arms a huge 
clasped book, who made him a profound obeisance, and 
delivering it to the long comrade, advanced to the table, 
and turning- his back upon it, stood there Atlas-wise. Then, 
the long comrade got upon the table too; and seating him- 
self in a lower chair than Mr. Tappertit's, with much stat
 
and ceremony, placed the large book on the shoulders of 
their mute companion as deliberately as if he had been 
a wooden desk, and prepared to make entries therein with 
a pen of corresponding size. 
'''hen the long comrade had made these preparations, 
he looked towards Mr. Tappertit; and Mr. Tappertit, 
flourishing the bone, knocked nine times therewith upon 
one of the skul1s. At the ninth stroke, a third young gen- 
tleman emerged from the door leading to the skittle ground, 
and bowing low, awaited his commands. 


D 



66 


Barnaby Rudge 


" 'Prentice!" said the mighty captain, "who waits 
without? " 
The 'prentice made answer that a stranger was in at- 
tendance, who claimed admission into that secret society of 
'Prentice Knights, and a free participation in their rights, 
privileges, and immunities. Thereupon 11r. Tappertit 
flourished the bone again, and giving the other skull a 
prodigious rap on the nose, exclaimed" Admit him! " At 
these dread words the 'prentice bowed once nlore, and so 
withdrew as he had come. 
There soon appeared at the sanle door, two other 'pren- 
tices, having between them a third, whose eyes were ban- 
daged, and who was attired in a bag-wig, and a broad- 
skirted coat, trimmed with tarnished lace: and who was 
girded with a sword, in compliance with the laws of the In- 
stitution regulating the introduction of candidates, which 
required them to assume this courtly dress, and kept it con- 
stantly in lavender, for their convenience. One of the con- 
ductors of this novice held a rusty blunderbuss pointed to- 
\vards his ear, and the other a very ancient sabre, \vith 
which he carved imaginary offenders as he came along in 
a sanguinary and anatomical manner. 
As this silent group advanced, Mr. Tappertit fixed his 
hat upon his head. The novice then laid his hand upon his 
breast and bent before him. When he had humbled him- 
self sufficiently, the captain ordered the bandage to be re- 
moved, and proceeded to eye him over. 
" Ha ! " said the captain, thoughtfully, when he had 
concluded this ordeal. "Proceed. " 
The long comrade read aloud as follows :- c, Mark Gil- 
bert. Age, nineteen. Bound to Thomas Curzon, hosier, 
Golden Fleece, Aldgate. Loves Curzon's daughter. Can- 
not say that Curzon's daughter loves him. Should think it 
probable. Curzon pulled his ears last Tuesday week. " 
" How! " cried the captain, starting. 
" For looking at his daughter, please you," said the 
novIce. 
"Write Curzon do\vn, Denounced," said the captain. 
C C Put a black cross against the name of Curzon. " 
" So please you," said the novice, " that's not the worst 
-he calls his 'prentice idle dog, and stops his beer unless 
he .works to his liking. He gives Dutch cheese, too, eating 
Cheshire, sir, himself; and Sundays out are only once a 
month. " 



Barnaby Rudge 


67 


" This," said Mr. Tappertit gravely, " is a flagrant case. 
Put two black crosses to the name of Curzon." 
C C If the society," said the novice, who was an ill-look- 
ing, one-sided, shambling lad, with sunken eyes set close 
to<Yether in his head-" if the society \vould burn his house 
do
n-for he's not insured-or beat him as he comes hom
 
from his club at night, or help me to carry off his daughter, 
and marry her at the Fleet, whether she gave consent or 
no- " 
Mr. Tappertit waved his grizzly truncheon as an ad- 
monition to him not to interrupt, and ordered three black 
crosses to the name of Curzon. 
" Which means," he said in gracious explanation, " ven- 
geance, complete and terrible. 'Prentice, do you love the 
Constitution? " 
To which the novice (being to that end instructed by 
his attendant sponsors) replied" I do ! " 
" The Church, the State, and everything established- 
but the masters? " quoth the captain. 
Again the novice said " I do. ' , 
Having said it, he listened meekly to the captain, who, 
in an address prepared for such occasions, told him how 
that under that same Constitution (which was kept in a 
strong-box somewhere, but where exactly he could not find 
out, or he would have endeavoured to procure a copy of it), 
the 'prentices had, in times gone by, had frequent holidays 
of right, broken people's heads by scores, defied their mas- 
ters, nay, even achieved some glorious murders in the 
streets, which privileges had graduaIly been wrested from 
them, and in all which noble aspirations they were no\v re- 
strained; how the degrading checks imposed upon them 
were unquestionably attributable to the innovating spirit 
of the times, and how they united therefore to resist all 
change, except such change as would restore those good 
old English customs, by which they would stand or fan. 
After illustrating the wisdom of going backward, by refer- 
ence to that sagacious fish, the crab, and the not unfre- 
quent practice of the mule and donkey, he described their 
general objects; which were briefly vengeance on their Ty- 
rant 
1asters (of whose grievous 3.nd insupportable oppres- 
sion no 'prentice could entertain a mornent's doubt) and the 
restoration, as aforesaid, of their ancient rights and holi- 
days; for neither of which objects \vere they now quite 
ripe, being barely twenty strong, but which they pledged 



68 


Barnaby Rudge 


themselves to pursue with fire and sword when needful. 
Then he described the oath which every nlember of that 
small remnant of a noble body took, and which was of a 
dreadful and impressive kind; binding him, at the bidding 
of his chief, to resist and obstruct the Lord lYlayor, sword- 
bearer, and chaplain; to despise the authority of the 
Sheriffs; and to hold the Court of Aldermen as nought; 
but not on any account, in case the fulfless of time should 
bring a general rising of 'prentices, to damage or in any 
way disfigure Temple Bar, which was strictly constitutional 
and always to be approached with reverence. Having 
gone over these several heads with great eloquence and 
force, and having further informed the novice that this so- 
ciety had had its origin in his own teeming brain, stimu- 
lated by a swelling sense of wrong and outrage, Mr. Tap- 
pertit demanded whether he had strength of heart to take 
the mighty pledge required, or whether he would with- 
draw while retreat was yet within his power. 
To this, the novice made rejoinder that he would take 
the vow, though it should choke him; and it was accord- 
ingly administered with many impressive circumstances, 
among which the lighting up of the two skulls with a 
candle-end inside of each, and a great many flourishes with 
the bone, were chiefly conspicuous; not to mention a variety 
of grave exercises with the blunderbuss and sabre, and 
some dismal groaning by unseen 'prentices without. All 
these dark and direful ceremonies being at length com- 
pleted, the table was put aside, the chair of state removed, 
the sceptre locked up in its usual cupboard, the doors of 
communication between the three cellars thrown freely 
open, and the 'Prentice Knights resigned themselves to 
merriment. 
But Mr. Tappertit, who had a soul above the vulgar herd, 
and who, on account of his greatness, could only afford to 
be n1erry now and then, threw himself on a bench with the 
air of a man who was faint with dignity. He looked with 
an indifferent eye, alike on skittles, cards, and dice, think- 
ing only of the locksmith's daughter, and the base degen- 
erate days on which he had fallen. 
"My noble captain neither games, nor sings, nor 
dances, " said his host, taking a seat beside him. "Drink, 
gallant general! " 
Mr. Tappertit drained the proffered goblet to the dregs; 
then thrust his hands into his pockets, and with a lowering 



Barnaby Rudge 


69 


visage walked among the skittles, while his follo\vers (such 
is the influence of superior genius) restrained the ardent 
ball, and held his little shins in dumb respect. 
" If I had been born a corsair or a pirate, a brigand, 
gen-teel high\vayman or patriot-and they're the same 
thing, " thought Mr. Tappertit, musing among the nine- 
pins, " I should have been all right. But to drag out a 
ignoble existence unbekno\vn to mankind in general-pa- 
tience! I will be famous yet. A voice within me keeps 
on whispering Greatness. I shall burst out one of these 
days, and \vhen I do, what power can keep me down? I 
feel my soul getting into my head at the idea. More drink 
there! " 
" The novice," pursued Mr. Tappertit, not exactly in a 
voice of thunder, {or his tones, to say the truth, were rather 
cracked and shrilI,-but very impressively, notwithstand- 
ing-" where is he? " 
"Here, noble captain! " cried Stagg. "One stands 
beside me who I feel is a stranger. " 
" Have you," said Mr. Tappertit, letting his gaze fall 
on the party indicated, who was indeed the new knight, 
by this time restored to his o\vn apparel; "have you the 
in1pression of your street-door key in wax? " 
The long comrade anticipated the reply, by producing it 
from the shelf on which it had been deposited. 
" Good," said Mr. Tappertit, scrutinising it attentively, 
while a breathless silence reigned around; for he had con- 
structed secret door-keys for the whole society, and per- 
haps owed something of his influence to that mean and 
trivial circumstance-on such slight accidents do even men 
of mind depend 1-" This is easily made. Come hither, 
friend. " 
With that, he beckoned the new knight apart, and put- 
ting the pattern in his pocket, motioned to him to walk by 
his side. 
" And so," he said, when they had taken a few turns up 
and do\vn, "you-you love your master's daughter? " 
"I do," said the 'prentice. "Honour bright. No 
chaff, you know." 
" Have you," rejoined Mr. Tappertit, catching him by 
the wrist, and giving him a look which would have been 
expressive of the most deadly malevolence, but for, an accid- 
ental hiccup that rather interfered with it; " have you a- 
a rival? " 



7 0 


Barnaby Rudge 


" Not as I know on," replied the 'prentice. 
"If you had now-" said Mr. Tappertit-" \vhat 
\vould you-eh-? " 
The 'prentice looked fierce and clenched his fists. 
" It is enough," cried Mr. Tappertit hastily, " we under- 
stand each other. We are observed. I thank you. " 
So saying, he cast him off again; and calling the long 
comrade aside after taking a few hasty turns by himself, 
bade him immediately write and post against the wall a 
notice, proscribing one Joseph \Villet (commonly known as 
Joe), of Chigwell; forbidding all 'Prentice l{nights to 
succour, comfort, or hold communion with him; and re- 
quiring them, on pain of excommunication, to molest, hurt, 
\\Trong, annoy, and pick quarrels with the said Joseph, 
whensoever and wheresoever they, or any of them, should 
happen to encounter him. 
Having relieved his mind by this energetic proceeding, 
he condescended to approach the festive board, and warm- 
ing by degrees, at length deigned to preside, and even to 
enchant the company \vith a song. After this, he rose to 
such a pitch as to consent to regale the society with a horn- 
pipe, which he actually performed to the music of a fiddle 
(played by an ingenious member) \vith such surpassing 
agility and brilliancy of execution, that the spectators could 
not be sufficiently enthusiastic in their admiration; and 
their host protested, with tears in his eyes, that he had 
never truly felt his blindness until that moment. 
But the host withdrawing-probably to \veep in secret- 
soon returned with the information that it \vanted littk 
tnore than an hour of day, and that all the cocks in Barbican 
had already begun to crow, as if their lives depended on 
it. At this intelligence, the 'Prentice Knights arose in 
haste, and marshalling into a line, filed off one by one and 
dispersed with all speed to their several homes, leaving 
their leader to pass the grating last. 
" Good night, noble captain," whispered the blind man 
as he held it open for his passage out; "farewell, brave 
general. Bye, bye, illustrious commander. Good luck 
go with you for a-conceited, bragging, empty-headed, 
duck-legged idiot. " 
With which parting words, coolly added as he listened 
to his receding footsteps and locked the grate upon himself, 
he descended the steps, and lighting the fire below the little 
copper, prepared, without any assistance, for his daily 



Barnaby Rudge 


7 1 


occupation; which was to retail at the area-head above 
pennyworths of broth and soup, and savoury puddings, 
conlpounded of such scraps as were to be bought in the 
heap for the least money at Fleet Market in the evening 
titne; and for the sale of ,-vhich he had need to have de.. 
pended chiefly on his private connection, for the court had 
no thoroughfare, and was not that kind of place in which 
nlany people were likely to take the air, or to frequent as an 
agreeable promenade. 


CHAPTER IX 


CHROr-;ICLERS are privileged to enter where they list, to 
come and go through keyholes, to ride upon the wind, 
to overcome, in their soarings up and down, all obstacles 
of distance, time, and place. Thrice blessed be this last 
consideration, since it enables us to follow the disdainful 
Miggs, even into the sanctity of her chamber, and to hold 
her in sweet companionship through the dreary watches of 
the night! 
Miss l\1iggs, having undone her mistress, as she phrased 
it (which means, assisted to undress her), and having seen 
her comfortably to bed in the back room on the first floor, 
withdrew to her own apartment, in the attic story. Not- 
withstanding her declaration in the locksmith's presence, 
she was in no mood for sleep; so, putting her light upon 
the table and withdrawing the little window-curtain, she 
gazed out pensively at the wild night sky. 
Perhaps she wondered what star was destined for her 
habitation when she had run her little course below; per- 
haps speculated which of those glimmering spheres might 
be the natal orb of Mr. Tappertit; perhaps marvelled ho'-v 
they could gaze down on that perfidious creature, man, and 
not sicken and turn green as chemists' lamps; perhaps 
thought of nothing in particular. Whatever she thought 
about, there she sat, until her attention, alive to anything 
connected with the insinuating 'prentice, was attracted by 
a noise in the next room to her o\\Tn-his room. the room 
. , 
In which he slept, and dreamed-it might be, s0l11etimes 
dreamed of her. 
That he was not dreaming now, unless he was taking a 



7 2 


Barnaby Rudge 


walk in his sleep, was clear, for every now and then there 
came a shuffling noise, as though he were engaged in 
polishing the whitewashed wall; then a gentle creaking of 
his door; then the faintest indication of his stealthy foot- 
steps on the landing-place outside. Noting this latter cir- 
cumstance, 11iss l\1iggs turned pale and shuddered, as mis- 
trusting his intentions; and more than once exclain1ed, 
below her breath, "Oh! \vhat a Providence it is as I am 
bolted in ! "-which, o\ving doubtless to her alarm, \vas a 
confusion of ideas on her part between a bolt and its use; 
for though there was one on the door, it was not fastened. 
Miss l\1iggs's sense of hearing, however, having as sharp 
an edge as her temper, and being of the same snappish and 
suspjdous
ind, very soon informed her that the footsteps 
passed her door, and appeared to have some object quite 
separate and disconnected from herself. At this discovery 
she became more alarmed than ever, and was about to give 
utterance to those cries of " Thieves! " and " Murder! " 
which she had hitherto restrained, when it occurred to her 
to look softly out, and see that her fears had some good 
palpable foundation. 
Looking out accordingly, and stretching her neck over 
the handrail, she descried, to her great amazement, Mr. 
Tappertit completely dressed, stealing down stairs, one 
step at a time, with his shoes in one hand and a lamp in the 
other. Follo\ving him with her eyes, and going down a 
little way herself to get the better of an intervening angle, 
she beheld him thrust his head in at the parlour door, draw 
it back again with great swiftness, and immediately begin a 
retreat up stairs with all possible expedition. 
" Here's mysteries! J J said the damsel, when she was 
safe in her own room again, quite out of breath. " Oh 
gracious, here's mysteries! " 
The prospect of finding anybody out in anything would 
have kept Miss l\1iggs awake under the influence of hen- 
bane. Presently, she heard the step again, as she would 
have done if it had been that of a feather endowed \vith 
motion and \valking down on tiptoe. Then gliding out as 
before, she again beheld the retreating fig-ure of the 'pren- 
tice; again he looked cautiously in at the parlour door, but 
this tinle, instead of retreating, he passed in and dis- 
appeared. 
l\-1iggs was back in her room, and had her head out of the 
window, before an elderly gentleman could have winked 



Barnaby Rudge 


73 


and recovered from it. Out he came at the street-door, 
shut it carefully behind him, tried it with his knee, and 
swaggered off, putting something in his pocket as he went 
along. At this spectacle Miggs cried" Gracious! " again, 
and then, "Goodness gracious! " and then, "Goodness 
gracious me ! )) and then, candle in hand, went do\vn stairs 
as he had done. Coming to the workshop, she saw the 
lamp burning on the forge, and everything as Sim had 
left it. 
"Why I wish I may only have a walking funeral, and 
never be buried decent \vith a mourning-coach and feathers, 
if the boy hasn't been and made a key for his own self!" 
cried Miggs. "Oh the little villain! " 
This conclusion was not arrived at without consideration, 
and much peeping and peering about; nor was it unassisted 
by the recollection that she had on several occasions come 
upon the 'prentice suddenly, and found him busy at some 
mysterious occupation. Lest the fact of Miss Miggs call- 
ing him, on whom she stooped to cast a favourable eye, a 
boy, should create surprise in any breast, it may be ob- 
served that she invariably affected to regard all male bipeds 
under thirty as mere chits and infants; which phenomenon 
is not unusual in ladies of Miss Miggs's temper, and is 
indeed generally found to be the associate of such indomit- 
able and savage virtue. 
Miss Miggs deliberated within herself for some little 
time, looking hard at the shop-door while she did so, as 
though her eyes and thoughts 'were both upon it; and then, 
taking a sheet of paper from a drawer, Ì\visted it into a long 
thin spiral tube. Having filled this instrument with a 
quantity of small coal-dust from the forge, she approached 
the door, and dropping on one knee before it, dexterously 
blew into the keyhole as much of these fine ashes as the 
lock would hold. When she had filled it to the brim in a 
very workmanlike and skilful manner, she crept up stairs 
'again, and chuckled as she went. 
" There! " cried l\1ig-gs, rubbing her hands, " now let's 
see whether you won't be glad to take some notice of me, 
mister. He, he, he ! You'l1 have eyes for somebody be- 
sides Miss Dony now, I think. A fat-faced puss she is, as 
ever I come across! " 
As she uttered this criticism, she glanced approvingly at 
her smal1 mirror, as who should say, I thank my stars that 
can't be said of me I-as it certainly could not; for Miss 



74 


Barnaby Rudge 


Miggs's style of beauty was of that kind which Mr. Tapper- 
tit himself had not inaptly termed, in private, " scraggy. " 
" I don't go to bed this night! " said 1Iiggs, wrapping 
herself in a shawl, drawing a couple of chairs near the 
\vindow, flouncing down upon one, and putting her feet 
u pan the other, "till you come honle, my lad. I 
wouldn't, " said Miggs viciously, "no, not for five-and- 
forty pound ! " 
\\Tith that, and with an expression of face in which a 
great number of opposite ingredients, such as mischief, 
cunning, malice, triumph, and patient expectation, were all 
mixed up together in a kind of physiognomical punch, Miss 
Miggs composed herself to wait and listen, like some fair 
ogress \vho had set a trap and was watching for a nibble 
from a plump young traveller. 
She sat there, with perfect composure, all night. At 
tength, just upon break of day, there was a footstep in the 
street, and presently she could hear Mr. Tappertit stop at 
the door. Then she could make out that he tried his key- 
that he was blowing into it-that he knocked it on the 
nearest post to beat the dust out-that he took it under a 
lamp to look at it-that he poked bits of stick into the lock 
to clear it-that he peeped into the keyhole, first with one 
eye, and then \vith the other-that he tried the key again- 
that he couldn't turn it, and what was worse couldn't get it 
out-that he bent it-that then it was much less disposed to 
come out than before-that he gave it a mighty twist and 
a great pull, and then it came out so suddenly that he 
staggered backwards-that he kicked the door-that he 
shook it-finally, that he smote his forehead, and sat do\vn 
on the step in despair. 
vVhen this crisis had arrived, Miss l\1iggs, affecting to 
be exhausted with terror, and to cling to the window-sill 
for support, put out her nightcap, and demanded in a faint 
voice who was there. 
Mr. Tappertit cried "Hush! " and, backing into the 
road, exhorted her in frenzied pantomime to secrecy and 
silence. 
" Tell me one thing, 11 said Miggs. "Is it thieves? " 
" No-no--no ! " cried Mr. Tappertit. 
" Then," said Miggs, more faintly than before, "it's 
fire. \\There is it, sir? It's near this room, I know. I've 
a good conscience, sir, and would much rather die than go 
down a ladder. All I wish is, respecting my love to mv 



Barnaby Rudge 


75 


married sister, Golden Lion Court, number twenty-sivin, 
second bell-handle on the right-hand door-post." 
" !vliggs ! " cried Mr. Tappertit, " don't you know me? 
Sim, you know-Sim-" 
" Oh! what about him! JJ cried lYliggs, clasping her 
hands. " Is he in any danger? Is he in the midst of 
flames and blazes? Oh gracious, gracious! " 
" vVhy I'm here, an't I? " rejoined !Vir. Tappertit, knock- 
ing himself on the breast. "Don't you see me? What a 
fool you are, lYIiggs ! " 
" There! " cried Miggs, unmindful of this compliment. 
" Why-so it-Goodness, what is the meaning of-If you 
please, mim, here's-" 
" No, no ! " cried 
1r. Tappertit, standing on tiptoe, as 
if by that means he, in the street, were any nearer being 
able to stop the mouth of Miggs in the garret. "Don't !- 
I've been out without leave, and sonlething or anot.her's 
the matter with the lock. Come down, and undo the shop 
window, that I may get in that way." 
" I dursn't do it, Simmun," cried f'vliggs-for that was 
her pronunciation of his Christian name. "I dursn't do it, 
indeed. You know as well as anybody, how particular I 
am. And to come down in the dead of night, when the 
house is wrapped in slumbers and \veiled in obscurity. JJ 
And there she stopped and shivered, for her modesty caught 
cold at the very thought. 
" But l\Iiggs," cried Mr. Tappertit, getting under the 
lamp, that she might see his eyes. "1Iy darling 
Miggs-" 
l\Iiggs screamed slightly. 
" -That I love so much, and never can help thinking 
of,-" and it is impo
sible to describe the use he made of 
his eyes when he said this-" do-for my sake, do." 
" Oh, Simmun," cried l\1iggs, " that is \vorse than all. I 
kno\v if I come down, you'll RO, and-" 
" And what, my precious? " said Mr. Tappertit. 
" And try," said Migg-s, hysterically, "to kiss me, or 
some such dreadfulness; I know you will! " 
" I swear I won't," said Mr. Tappertit, with remark- 
able earnestness. "U pon my soul I won't. It's getting 
br?ad day and the \vatchman's waking up. Angelic 
MlggS! If you 'II only come and let me in, I promise you 
faithfully and truly I won't. " 
Miss Miggs, whose gentle heart was touched, did not 



7 6 


Barnaby Rudge 


wait for the oath (knowing how strong the temptation was, 
and fearing he might forswear himself), but tripped lightly 
down the stairs, and with her own fair hands drew back the 
rough fastenings of the workshop windo\v. Having helped 
the wayward 'prentice in, she faintly articulated the words 
" Simmun is safe! " and yielding to her woman's nature, 
immediately became insensible. 
" I knew I should quench her," said SiIl1, rather em- 
barrassed by this circun1stance. "Of course I \vas certain 
it would COine to this, but there \vas nothing else to be done 
-if I hadn't eyed her over, she wouldn't have come down. 
Here. Keep up a minute, Miggs. What a slippery figure 
she is! There's no holding her, comfortably. Do ke
p 
up a minute, Miggs, will you? " 
As Miggs, however, ,was deaf to aU entreaties, Mr. 
Tappertit leant her against the \vaU as one might dispose 
of a walking-stick or umbrella, until he had secured the 
window, \vhen he took her in his arms again, and, in short 
51 tages and with great difficulty-arising mainly from her 
being tall and his being short, and perhaps in some degree 
from that peculiar physical conformation on which he had 
already remarked-carried her up stairs, and planting her, 
in the same umbrella or walking-stick fashion, just inside 
her own door, left her to her repose. 
" He may be as cool as he likes," said Miss Miggs, re- 
covering as soon as she was left alone; "but I'm in his 
confidence and he can't help himself, nor couldn't if he was 
twenty Simmunses 1 " 


CHAPTER X 


IT was on one of those mornings, common in early 
spring, when the year, fickle and changeable in its youth 
like all other created things, is undecided whether to step 
backward into winter or forward into summer, and in its 
uncertainty inclines no\v to the one and now to the other, 
and now to both at once-wooing summer in the sunshine, 
and lingering still with winter in the shade-it was, in 
short, one of those mornings, when it is hot and cold, wet 
and dry, bright and lowering-, sad and cheerful, withering 
and g-enial, in the compass of one short hour, that old John 
'Villet, who was dropping asleep over the copper boiler, 



Barnaby Rudge 


77 


was roused by the sound of a horse's feet, and glancing out 
at window, beheld a traveller of goodly promise checking 
his bridle at the Maypole door. 
He was none of your flippant young fellows, who 
\vould call for a tankard of mulled ale, and make them- 
selves as much at home as if they had ordered a 
hogshead of wine; none of your audacious young 
swaggerers, who would even penetrat'e into the bar- 
that solemn sanctuary-and, smiting old John upon the 
back, inquire if there was never a pretty girl in 
the house, and where he hid his little chambermaids, 
with a hundred other impertinences of that nature; none 
of your free-and-easy companions, who would scrape their 
boots upon the firedogs in the common room, and be not at 
all particular on the subject of spittoons; none of your un- 
conscionable blades, requiring impossible chops, and tak- 
ing unheard-of pickles for granted. He was a staid, grave 
placid gentleman, something past the prime of life, yet up- 
right in his carriage, for all that, and slim as a greyhound. 
He was \vell-mounted upon a sturdy chestnut cob, and had 
the graceful seat of an experienced horseman; while his 
riding-gear, though free from such fopperies as were then 
in vogue, was handsome and well chosen. I-Ie wore a 
riding-coat of a somewhat brighter green than might have 
been expected to suit the taste of a gentleman of his years, 
with a short black velvet cape, lace pocket-holes and cuffs 
all of a jaunty fashion; his linen, too, was of the finest kind, 
worked in a rich pattern at the wrists and throat, and 
scrupulously white. Although he seemed, judging from 
the mud he had picked up on the way, to have come from 
London, his horse was as smooth and cool as his own iron- 
grey periwig and pigtail. Neither man nor beast had 
turned a single hair; and, saving for his soiled skirts and 
spatterdashes, this gentleman, with his blooming face, 
white teeth, exactly-ordered dress, and perfect calmness, 
might have come from making an elaborate and leisurely 
toilet, to sit for an equestrian portrait at old John Willet's 
gate. 
I t must not be supposed that John observed these several 
characteristics by other than very slow degrees, or that 
he took in more than half a one at a time, or that he even 
made up his mind upon that, without a great deal of very 
serious consideration. Indeed, if he had been distracted 
in the first instance by questionings and orders, it would 



7 8 


Barnaby Rudge 


have taken him at the least a fortnight to have noted what 
is here set down; but it happened that the gentleman, being 
struck with the old house, or with the plump pigeons which 
were skimming and curtseying about it, or with the ta1l 
maypole, on the top of which a weather-cock, which had 
been out of order for fifteen years, performed a perpetual 
waltz to the music of its own creaking, sat for some little 
time looking round in silence. Hence John, standing with 
his hand upon the horse's bridle, and his great eyes on the 
rider, and with nothing passing to divert his thoughts, had 
really got some of these little circumstances into his brain 
by the time he was cal1ed upon to speak. 
cc A quaint place this," said the gentleman-and his 
voice ,vas as rich as his dress. c, Are you the landlord? 'J 
" At your service, sir," replied John Willet. 
"You can give my horse good stabling, can you, and 
me an early dinner (I am not particular what, so that it 
be deanly served), and a decent room-of which there 
seems to be no lack in this great mansion?" said the 
stranger, again running his eyes over the exterior. 
" You can have, sir," returned John, with a readiness 
quite surprising J C C anything you please." 
" It's \velI I'm easily satisfied," returned the other with 
a smile, " or that 
ight prove a hardy pledge, my friend. " 
And saying so, he dismounted, with the aid of the block 
before the door, in a twinkling. 
" HalIoa there! Hugh!" roared John. "I ask your 
pardon, sir, for keeping you standing in the porch; but my 
son has gone to town on business, and the boy being, as 
I may say, of a kind of use to me, I'm rather put out \.vhen 
he's away. Hugh I-a dreadful idle vag-rant felIow, sir- 
half a gipsy, as I think-ahvays sleeping in the sun in 
summer, and in the straw in \vinter time, sir-Hugh! Dear 
Lord, to keep a gentleman a waiting here, through him! 
-Hugh! I wish that chap was dead, I do indeed." 
" Possibly he is," returned the other. "I s.hould think 
if he were living he \vould have heard you by this time.)J 
" In his fits of laziness, he sleeps so desperate hard," 
said the distracted host, "if you were to fire off cannon.. 
balls into his ears, it \vouldn't wake him, sir." 
The guest made no remark upon this novel cure for 
drowsiness, and recipe for making people lh;ely, but \vith 
his hands clasped behind him stood in the porch, appar.. 
ently very much amused to see old John, ,vith the bridle 



Barnaby Rudge 


79 


in his hand, wavering between a strong inlpulse to aban- 
don the animal to his fate, and a half disposition to lead 
him into the house, and shut him up in the parlour, \vhile 
he wai ted on his mas ter. 
" Pillory the fellow, here he is at last! " cried John, 
in the very height and zenith of his distress. "Did you 
hear me a calling, villain?" 
The figure he addressed made no answer, but putting 
his hand upon the saddle, sprang into it at a bound, turned 
the horse's head towards the stable, and was gone in an 
ins tan t. 
" Brisk enough when he is a\vake," said the guest. 
c, Brisk enough, sir! " replied John, looking at the place 
where the horse had been, as if not yet understanding 
quite, what had. become of him. "He nlelts, I think. He 
goes like a drop of froth. You look at him, and there he 
is. You look at him again, and-there he isn't. " 
Having, in the absence of any more words, put this 
sudden climax to what he had faintly intended should be 
a long explanation of the whole life and character of his 
man, the oracular John \Villet led the gentleman up his 
\vide dismantled staircase into the Maypole's best apart- 
men t. 
I t was spacious enough in all conscience, occupying the 
whole depth of the house, and having at either end a great 
bay windo\v, as large as many modern rooms; in which 
some few panes of stained glass, emblazoned with frag- 
ments of arnlorial bearings, though cracked, and patched, 
and shattered, yet remained; attesting, by their presence, 
that the former o\vner had made the very light subservient 
to his state, and pressed the sun itself into his list of 
flatterers; bidding it, when it shone into his chamber, re- 
flect the badges of his ancient family, and take new hues 
and colours from their pride. 
But those were old days, and now every little ray came 
and went as it would; telling the plain, bare, searching 
truth. Although the best room of the inn, it had the melan- 
choly aspect of grandeur in decay, and was much too vast 
for comfort. Rich rustling hangings, waving on the 
walls; and, better far, the rustling of youth and beauty's 
dress; the light of women's eyes, outshining the tapers and 
their own rich jewels; the sound of gentle tongues, and 
music, and the tread of maiden feet, had once been there, 
and filled it with delight. But they were gone, and with 



80 


Barnaby Rudge 


them aU its gladness. I t was no longer a home; children 
were never born and bred there; the fireside had become 
mercenary-a something to be bought and sold-a very 
courtezan: let who would die, or sit beside, or leave it, it 
was still the same-it missed nobody, cared for nobody, 
had equal warmth and smiles for all. God help the man 
whose heart ever changes with the world, as an old mansion 
when it becomes an inn! 
No effort had been made to furnish this chilly waste, 
but before the broad chimney a colony of chairs and tables 
had been planted on a square of carpet, flanked by a 
ghostly screen, enriched with figures, grinning and gro- 
tesque. After lighting with his own hands the faggots 
which were heaped upon the hearth, old John withdrew 
to hold grave council with his cook, touching the 
stranger's entertainment; while the guest himself, seeing 
small comfort in the yet unkindled wood, opened a laU.ice 
in the distant window, and basked in a sickly gleam of 
cold March sun. 
Leaving the window now and then, to rake the crackling 
logs together, or pace the echoing room from end to end, he 
closed it when the fire was quite burnt up, and having 
wheeled the easiest chair into the warmest corner, sum- 
moned John Willet. 
" Sir," said John. 
He wanted pen, ink, and paper. . There was an old 
standish on the high mantelshelf containing a dusty apology 
for all three. Having set this before him, the landlord was 
retiring, when he motioned him to stay. 
"There's a house not far from here," said the Ruest 
when he had written a few tines, "which you call the 
Warren, I believe? " 
As this w'as said in the tone of one who knew the fact, 
and asked the question as a thing of course, John contented 
himself with nodding his head in the affirmative; at the 
same time taking one hand out of his pockets to cough 
behind, and then putting it in again. 
" I want this note," said the guest, glancing on what 
he had written, and folding it, "conveyed there without 
loss of time, and an answer brought back here. Have you 
a messenger at hand? " 
John was thoughtful for a minute or thereabouts, and 
then said Yes. 
" Let me see him," said the guest. 



Barnaby Rudge 


81 


This was disconcerting; for Joe being out, and Hugh 
engaged in rubbing down the chestnut cob, he designed 
sending on the errand Barnaby, who had just then ar- 
rived in one of his rambles, and who, so that he thought 
himself employed on grave and serious business, would go 
anywhere. 
"Why, the truth is," said John after a long pause, 
" that the person who'd go quickest is a sort of natural, 
as one may say, sir; and though quick of foot, and as much 
to be trusted as the post itself, he's not good at talking, 
being- touched and flighty, sir." 
, , You don't," said the guest, raising his eyes to John's 
fat face, " you don't mean-what's the fe11ow's name-you 
don't mean Barnaby? " 
" Yes, I do," returned the landlord, his features turning 
quite expressive with surprise. 
" How comes he to be here? " inquired the guest, lean- 
ing back in his chair; speaking in the bland, even tone, 
from which he never varied; and with the same soft, cour- 
teous, never-changing smile upon his face. .. I saw him 
in London last night." 
" He's for ever here one hour, and there the next," re- 
turned old John, after the usual pause to get the question 
in his mind. "Sometimes he walks, and sometimes runs. 
He's known along the road by everybody, and sometimes 
comes here in a cart or chaise, and sometimes riding double. 
He comes and goes, through wind, rain, snow, and hail, 
and on the darkest nights. Nothing hurts him." 
" He goes often to the Warren, does he not? " said the 
guest carelessly. "I seem to remember his mother telling 
me something to that effect yesterday. But I was not at- 
tending to the good woman much." 
"You're right, sir," John made answer, "he does. 
His father, sir, was murdered in that house." 
" So I have heard," returned the guest, taking a gold 
toothpick from his pocket with the same sweet smile. "A 
very disagreeable circumstance for the family." 
" Very," said John with a puzzled look, as if it occurred 
to him, dimly and afar off, that this might by possibility 
be a cool way of treating the subject. 
" All the circumstances after a murder," said the guest 
soliIoquising, "must be dreadfully unpleasant-so much 
bustle and disturbance-no repose-a constant dwelling 
upon one subject-and the running in and out, and up and 



82 


Barnaby Rudge 


down stairs, intolerable. I wouldn't have such a thing 
happen to anybody I was nearly interested in, on any ac- 
count. 'Twould be enough to wear one's life out.- You 
were going to say, friend-" he added, turning to John 
again. 
" Only that Mrs. Rudge lives on a little pension from 
the family, and that Barnaby's as free of the house as 
any cat or dog about it," answered John. "Shall he do 
your errand, sir? " 
"Oh, yes," replied the guest. "Oh certainly. Let 
him do it by an means. Please to bring him here that I 
may charge him to be quick. If he objects to come you 
may te1J him it's Mr. Chester. He wi11 remember my 
name, I dare say." 
John was so very much astonished to find who his visitor 
was, that he could express no astonishment at all, by looks 
or otherwise, but left the room as if he were in the most 
placid and imperturbable of all possible conditions. It has 
been reported that \\Then he got down stairs, he looked 
steadily at the boiler for ten minutes by the clock, and an 
that time never once left off shaking his head; for which 
statement there would seem to be some ground of truth and 
feasibility, inasmuch as that interval of tin1e did certainly 
elapse, before he returned \\Tith Barnaby to the guest's 
apartment. 
"Come hither, lad," said Mr. Chester. "You know 
Mr. Geoffrey Haredale? " 
Barnaby laughed, and looked at the landlord as though 
he \vould say, " You hear him?" John, \\Tho was greatly 
shocked at this breach of decorum, clapped his finger to 
his nose, and shook his head, in mute remonstrance. 
" He kno\vs him, sir," said John, fro\\Tning aside at 
Barna by, " as wel1 as you or I do." 
" I haven't the pleasure of much acquaintance \vith the 
gentIen1an," returned his guest. "Y ou may have. Limit 
the comparison to yourself, my friend. " 
Although this was said with the same easy affability, 
and the same smile, John felt himself put down, and laying 
the indignity at Barnaby's door! determined to kick his 
raven, on the very first opportunIty. 
" Give that, " said the guest, who had by this time sealed 
the note and who beckoned his messenger towards him as 
he spok
, " into Mr. Haredale's own hands. Wait for an 
answer, and bring it back to me-here. If you should 



Barnaby Rudge 


83 


find that Mr. Haredale is engaged just now, tell him-can 
he remember a message, landlord? " 
"When he chooses, sir," replied John. "He won't 
forget this one. " 
" How are you sure of that? " 
John merely pointed to him as he stood with his head 
bent forward, and his earnest gaze fixed closely on his 
questioner's face; and nodded sagely. 
" TelI him, then, Barnaby, should he be engaged," said 
l.\'Ir. Chester, " that I shall be glad to wait his convenience 
here, and to see him (if he will call) at any time this even- 
ing.-At the worst I can have a bed here, Willet, I 
suppose? " 
Old John, immensely flattered by the personal notoriety 
implied in this familiar form of address, ans\vered, with 
something like a knowing look, "I should believe you 
could, sir," and was turning over in his mind various 
forms of eulogium, with the view of selecting one appro- 
priate to the qualities of his best bed, when his ideas were 
put to flight by Mr. Chester giving Barnaby the letter, and 
bidding hinl make all speed away. 
" Speed! " said Barnaby, folding the little packet in his 
breast. "Speed! If you want to see hurry and mystery, 
come here. Here!" 
With that, he put his hand, very much to John vVillet's 
horror, on the guest's fine broadcloth sleeve, and led him 
stealthily to the back window. 
" Look down there," he said softly; " do you mark ho\v 
they whisper in each other's ears; then dance and leap, to 
make believe they are in sport? Do you see how they 
stop for a moment, when they think there is no one look- 
ing, and mutter among themselves again; and then how 
they roll and gambol, delighted with the mischief they've 
been plotting? Look at 'em now. See how they \vhirJ 
and plunge. And now they stop again, and whisper, 
cautiously together-little thinking, mind, how often I 
have lain upon the grass and watched them. I say-what 
is it that they plot and hatch? Do you kno\v? " 
" They are only clothes," returned the guest, "such as 
we wear; hanging on those lines to dry, and fluttering in 
the wind." 
" Clothes!" echoed Barnaby, looking close into his 
face, and falling quickly back. "Ha! ha! Why, how 
much better to be silly, than as wise as you ! You don't 



84 


Barnaby Rudge 


see shadowy people there, like those that live in sleep-not 
you. Nor eyes in the knotted panes of glass, nor swift 
ghosts when it blows hard, nor do you hear voices in the 
air, nor see men stalking in the sky-not you! I lead a 
merrier life than you, with all your cleverness. You're 
the dull men. We're the bright ones. Ha! ha! I'll not 
change with you, clever as you are,-not I !" 
\Vith that, he waved his hat above his head, and darted 
off. 
" A strange creature, upon my word! " said the guest, 
pulling out a handsome box, and taking a pinch of 
snuff. 
" He wants imagination," said Mr. Willet, very slowly, 
and after a long silence; "that's what he wants. I've 
tried to instil it into him, many and many's the time; 
but "-John added this, in confidence-" he an't made for 
it; that's the fact." 
To record that Mr. Chester smiled at John's remark 
would be little to the purpose, for he preserved the same 
conciliatory and pleasant look at all times. He drew his 
chair nearer to the fire though, as a kind of hint that he 
\vould prefer to be alone, and John, having no reasonable 
excuse for remaining, left him to himself. 
Very thoughtful old John Willet was, while the dinner 
was preparing; and if his brain were ever less clear at one 
time than another, it is but reasonable to suppose that he 
addled it in no slight deg-ree by shaking his head so much 
that day. That Mr. Chester, between whom and l\1r. 
I-Iaredale, it was notorious to all the neighbourhood, a 
deep and bitter animosity existed, should conle down there 
for the sole purpose, as it seemed, of seeing him, and 
should choose the Maypole for their place of meeting, and 
should send to him express, were stumbling-blocks John 
could not overcome. The only resource he had, was to 
consult the boiler, and wait impatiently for Barnaby's 
return. 
But Barnaby delayed beyond all precedent. The 
visitor's dinner was served, removed, his wine was set, 
the fire replenished, the hearth clean swept; the light 
waned without, it grew dusk, became quite dark, and still 
no Barnaby appeared. Yet, though John Wil1et ,vas full 
of ,vonder and misgiving, his guest sat cross-legged in 
the easy-chair, to all appearance as little ruffled in his 
thoughts as in his dress-the same calm, easy, cool gentle- 



Barnaby Rudge 


85 


man, without a care or thought beyond his golden tooth- 
pick. 
"Barnaby's late," John ventured to observe, as he 
placed a pair of tarnished candlesticks, some three feet 
high, upon the table, and snuffed the lights they held. 
" He is rather so," replied the guest, sipping his wine. 
" He will not be much longer, I dare say." 
John coughed and raked the fire together. 
" As your roads bear no very good character, if I may 
judge from my son's mishap, though," said Mr. Chester, 
"and as I have no fancy to be knocked on the head-- 
which is not only disconcerting at the moment, but places 
one, besides, in a ridiculous position with respect to the 
people who chance to pick one up-I shall stop here to- 
night. I think you said you had a bed to spare? " 
" Such a bed, sir," returned John Willet; "ay, such a. 
bed as few, even of the gentry's houses, own. A fixter 
here, sir. I've heard say that bedstead is nigh two hun- 
dred years of age. Your noble son-a fine young gentle- 
man-slept in it last, sir, half a year ago." 
" Upon my life, a recommendation! " said the guest, 
shrugging his shoulders and wheeling his chair nearer to 
the fire. "See that it be \vell aired, Mr. Willet, and let a 
blazing fire be lighted there at once. This house is some- 
thing damp and chilly." 
John raked the faggots up again, more from habit than 
presence of mind, or any reference to this remark, and 
was about to \vithdraw, \vhen a bounding step was heard 
upon the stair, and Barnaby came panting in. 
" He'll have his foot in the stirrup in an hour's time," 
he cried, advancing. "He has been riding hard all day-- 
has just come home-but wiI1 be in the saddle again as 
soon as he has eat and drank, to meet his loving friend. " 
, , Was that his message? " asked the visitor, looking 
up, but without the smallest discomposure-or at least 
wi thou t the smallest show of any. 
"All but the last words," Barnaby rejoined. II He 
meant those. I saw that, in his face." 
" This for your pains," said the other, putting money 
in his hand, and glancing at him steadfastly. "This for 
your pains, sharp Barnaby." 
" For Grit), and me, and Hugh, to share among us," 
he rejoined, putting it up, and nodding, as he counted it 
on his fingers. "Grip one, me two, Hugh three; the 



86 


Barnaby Rudge 


dog, the goat, the cats-well, we shall spend it pretty 
soon, I warn you. Stay.-Look. Do you wise men see 
nothing there, now? " 
He bent eagerly down on one knee, and gazed intently 
at the smoke, which was rolling up the chimney in a thick 
black cloud. John Willet, who appeared to consider him- 
self particularly and chiefly referred to under the term 
wise men, looked that way likewise, and with great 
solidity of feature. 
" Now, where do they go to, \vhen they spring so fast 
up there," asked Barnaby; " eh? Why do they tread so 
closely on each other's heels, and why are they always 
in a hurry-which is what you blame me for, when I only 
take pattern by these busy folk about me. More of 'em! 
catching to each other's skirts; and as fast as they go, 
others come! What a merry dance it is! I would that 
Grip and I could frisk like that! " 
" What has he in that basket at his back? tt asked the 
guest after a few moments, during which Barnaby was 
still bending down to look higher up the chimney, and 
earnestly watching the smoke. 
"In this?" he answered, jumping up, before John 
Willet could reply-shaking it as he spoke, and stooping 
his head to listen. "In this? What is there here? Tell 
him ! " 
" A devil, a devil, a devil! " cried a hoarse voice. 
"Here's money!" said Barnaby, chinking it in his 
hand, " money for a treat, Grip! " 
" Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!" replied the raven, 
"keep up your spirits. N ever say die. Bow, wow, 
wow ! " 
Mr. Willet, who appeared to entertain strong doubts 
whether a customer in a laced coat and fine linen could be 
supposed to have any acquaintance even with the existence 
of such unpolite gentry as the bird claimed to belong to, 
took Barnaby off at this juncture, with the view of pre- 
venting any other improper declarations, and quitted the 
room with his very best bow. 



Barnaby Rudge 


87 


CHAPTER XI 


THERE was great news that night for the regular May- 
pole customers, to each of whom, as he straggled in to 
occupy his allotted seat in the chinlney-corner, John, with 
a most in1pressive slowness of delivery, and in an apo- 
plectic whisper, communicated the fact that 1\1r. Chester 
was alone in the large room up stairs, and was waiting the 
arrival of Mr. Geoffrey Haredale, to whom he had sent a 
letter (doubtless of a threatening nature) by the hands of 
Barnaby, then and there present. 
For a little knot of smokers and solemn gossips, who 
had seldom any new topics of discussion, this was a per- 
fect godsend. Here was a good, dark-looking mystery 
progressing under that very roof-brought home to the 
fireside as it were, and enjoyable without the smallest 
pains or trouble. It is extraordinary what a zest and 
relish it gave to the drink, and how it heightened the 
flavour of the tobacco. Every man smoked his pipe with 
a face of grave and serious delight, and looked at his 
neighbour with a sort of quiet congratulation. Nay, it 
was felt to be such a holiday and special night, that, on 
the nlotion of little Solomon Daisy, every man (including 
John himself) put down his sixpence for a can of flip, 
which grateful beverage was brewed with all despatch, 
and set down in the midst of them on the brick floor; both 
that it might sinlmer and stew before the fire, and that its 
fragrant steam, rising up among them and mixing with 
the \vreaths of vapour from their pipes, might shroud them 
in a delicious atnlosphere of their own, and shut out all the 
world. The very furniture of the room seemed to mellow 
and deepen in its tone; the ceiling and walls looked blacker 
and more highly polished, the curtains of a ruddier red; 
the fire burnt clear and high, and the crickets on the 
hearth-stone chirped with a more than \vonted satisfaction. 
There \vere present two, however, who showed but little 
interest in the general contentment. Of these, one was 
Barnaby himself, who slept, or, to avoid being beset \vith 
questions, feigned to sleep, in the chimney-corner; the 
other, Hugh, who, sleeping too, lay stretched upon the 
bench on the opposite side, in the full glare of the blazing 
fire. 



88 


Barnaby Rudge 


The light that fell upon this slumbering form showed 
it in all its muscular and handsome proportions. It was 
that of a young man, of a hale athletic figure, and a 
giant's strength, whose sunburnt face and swarthy throat, 
overgrown with jet black hair, might have served a painter 
for a model. Loosely attired, in the coarsest and roughest 
garb, with scraps of straw and hay-his usual bed-cling- 
ing here and there, and mingling with his uncombed locks, 
he had fallen asleep in a posture as careless as his dress. 
The negligence and disorder of the whole man, with some- 
thing fierce and sullen in his features, gave him a pic- 
turesque appearance, that attracted the regards even of 
the Maypole customers who knew him well, and caused 
Long Parkes to say that Hugh looked more like a poach- 
ing rascal to-night than ever he had seen him yet. 
" He's waiting here, I suppose," said Solomon, "to 
take Mr. Haredale's horse. " 
" '[hat's it, sir," replied John Willet. "He's not often 
in the house, you know. He's more at his ease among 
horses than men. I look upon him as an animal himself. " 
Following up this opinion with a shrug that seemed 
meant to say, " we can't expect everybody to be like us," 
John put his pipe into his mouth again, and smoked like 
one who felt his superiority over the general run of man- 
kind. 
" That chap, sir," said John, taking it out again after 
a time, and pointing at him with the stem, "though he's 
got all his faculties about him-bottled up and corked 
down, if I may say so, somewheres or another- " 
" Very good! " said Parkes, nodding his head. "A 
very good expression, J ohnny. You'll be a tackling some- 
body presently. You're in twig to-night, I see." 
" Take care," said Mr. Willet, not at all grateful for 
the compliment, "that I don't tackle you, sir, which I 
shall certainly endeavour to do, if you interrupt me when 
I'm making observations.- That chap, I was a saying, 
though he has all his faculties about him, somewheres or 
another, bottled up and corked down, has no more imagina- 
tion than Barnaby has. And why hasn't he? " 
The three friends shook their heads at each other; say- 
ing by that action, without the trouble of opening their 
lips, "Do you observe what a philosophical mind our 
friend has? " 
Ie Why hasn't he? " said John, gently striking the table 



Barnaby Rudge 


89 


with his open hand. "Because they was never drawed 
out of him when he was a boy. That's why. What would 
any of us have been, if our fathers hadn't drawed our 
faculties out of us? What would my boy Joe have been, 
if I hadn't drawed his faculties out of hinl ?-Do you mind 
what I'm saying of, gentlemen? " 
" Ah ! we mind you, " cried Parkes. "Go on improving 
of us, Johnny." 
"Consequently, then," said Mr. 'ViIlet, ", that chap, 
\vhose mother was hung \vhen he was a little boy, along 
with six others, for passing bad notes-and it's a blessed 
thing to think how many people are hung in batches every 
six weeks for that, and such like offences, as showing how 
wide awake our government is-that chap that was then 
turned loose, and had to mind cows, and frighten birds 
away, and what not, for a few pence to live on, and so got 
on by degrees to mind horses, and to sleep in course of 
time in lofts and litter, instead of under haystacks and 
hedges, till at last he come to be hostler at the Maypole 
for his board and lodging and a annual trifle-that chap 
that can't read nor write, and has never had much to do 
with anything but animals, and has never lived in any way 
but like the animals he has lived among, is a animal. 
And," said Mr. Willet, arriving at his logical conclusion, 
n is to be treated accordingly." 
" Willet," said Solomon Daisy, who had exhibited some 
impatience at the intrusion of so unworthy a subject on 
their more interesting theme, ",vhen Mr. Chester corne 
this morning, did he order the large room? " 
" He signified, sir," said John, " that he wanted a large 
apartment. Yes. Certainly. " 
" 'Vhy then, I'll tell you what," said Solomon, speak- 
ing softly and with an earnest look. "He and Mr. Hare- 
dale are going to fight a duel in it. " 
Everybody looked at Mr. Willet, after this alarming 
suggestion. Mr. Willet looked at the fire, weighing in 
his o\vn mind the effect \vhich such an occurrence would 
be likely to have on the establishment. 
" Well," said John, "I don't know-I am sure-I 
remember that when I went up last, he had put the lights 
upon the mantelsheIf." 
" It's as plain," returned Solomon, U as the nose on 
IParkes's face "-l\Ir. Parkes, who had a large nose, 
rubbed it, and looked as if he considered this a personal 



9 0 


Barnaby Rudge 


allusion- u they'll fight in that room. You know by the 
newspapers what a common thing it is for gentlemen to 
fight in coffee-houses without seconds. One of 'em will 
be \vounded or perhaps kiI1ed in this house." 
" That was a challenge that Barnaby took then, eh? " 
said John. 
"-Inclosing a slip of paper with the measure of his 
sword upon it, I'll bet a guinea," answered the little man. 
" vVe know what sort of gentlenlan Mr. Haredale is. 
You have told us what Barnaby said about his looks, when 
he came back. Depend upon it, I'm right. Now, mind." 
The flip had had no flavour til1 now. The tobacco had 
been of mere English growth, compared with its present 
taste. A duel in that great old rambling room up stairs, 
and the best bed ordered already for the wounded man! 
" Would it be swords or pistols, now? " said John. 
" Heaven knows. Perhaps both," returned Solomon. 
" The gentlemen wear s\vords, and may easily have pistols 
in their pockets-most likely have, indeed. If they fire 
at each other \vithout effect, then they'll draw, and go to 
\vork in earnest. ,. 
A shade passed over Mr. Wil1et's face as he thought of 
broken windo\vs and disabled furniture, but bethinking 
himself that one of the parties \vould probably be left alive 
to pay the damage, he brightened up again. 
" And then," said Solomon, looking from face to face, 
" then we shall have one of those stains upon the floor 
that never come out. If Mr. Haredale wins, depend upon 
it, it'll be a deep one; or if he loses, it will perhaps be 
deeper still, for he'll never give in unless he's beaten 
down. \Ve know him better, eh? " 
" Better indeed! " they whispered all together. 
"As to its ever being got out again," said Solomon, 
" I tell you it never will, or can be. Why, do you know 
that it has been tried, at a certain house we are acquainted 
with? " 
" The \Varren ! " cried John. "N 0, sure! " 
"Yes, sure-yes. It's only known by very few. It 
has been whispered about though, for all that. They 
planed the board away, but there it was. They went 
deep, but it \vent deeper. They put new boards down, 
but there was one great spot that came through stiI1, and 
showed itself in the old place. And-harkye-draw nearer 
-1\Ir. Geoffrey made that room his study, and sits there, 



Barnaby Rudge 


9 1 


always, with his foot (as I have heard) upon it; and he 
believes, through thinking of it long and very much, that 
it will never fade until he finds the man who did the deed. " 
As this recital ended, and they all drew closer round the 
fire, the tramp of a horse was heard without. 
" The very man I " cried John, starting up. "Hugh! 
Hugh! " 
The sleeper staggered to his feet, and hurried after him. 
John quickly returned, ushering in with great attention 
and deference (for Mr. Haredale ,vas his landlord) the 
long-expected visitor, who strode into the room clanking 
his heavy boots upon the floor; and looking keenly round 
upon the bowing group, raised his hat in acknowledgment 
of their profound respect. 
" You have a stranger here, Willet, who sent to me," 
he said, in a voice which sounded naturally stern and deep. 
" Where is he? " 
" In the great room up stairs, sir," ans\vered John. 
"Show the ,vay. Your staircase is dark, I kno\v. 
Gentlemen, good night. " 
\Vith that, he signed to the landlord to go on before; 
and went clanking out, and up the stairs; old John, in his 
agitation, ingeniously lighting everything but the way, 
and nlaking a stumþle at every second step. 
" Stop! " he said, \vhen they reached the landing. "I 
can announce myself. Don't wait." 
He laid his hand upon the door, entered, and shut it 
heavily. 1\1r. Willet was by no means disposed to stand 
there listening by himself, especially as the walls were very 
thick; so descended, with much greater alacrity than he 
had COine up, and joined his friends below. 


CHAPTER XII 


THERE was a brief pause in the state-room of the 
Maypole, as Mr. I--Iaredale tried the lock to satisfy 
himself that he had shut thc door securely, and, striding 
up the dark chamber to where the screen inclosed a little 
patch of light and warmth, presented himself, abruptly and 
in silence, before the sn1Ïling guest. 
If the two had no greater sympathy in their inward 



9 2 


Barnaby Rudge 


thoughts than in their outward bearing and appearance, 
the meeting did not seem likely to prove a very calm or 
pleasant one. With no great disparity between them in 
point of years, they were, in every other respect, as unlike 
and far removed from each other as two men could well be. 
The one was soft-spoken, delicately made, precise, and 
elegant; the other, a burly square-built man, negligently 
dressed, rough and abrupt in manner, stern, and, in his 
present lllood, forbidding both in look and speech. The 
one preserved a calm and placid smile; the other, a dis- 
trustful frown. The ne\v-comer, indeed, appeared bent on 
showi'ng by his every tone and gesture his deternlined 
opposition and hostility to the man he had come to meet. 
The guest who received him, on the other hand, seemed to 
feel that the contrast between them was al1 in his favour, 
and to derive a quiet exultation from it which put him 
more at his ease than ever. 
" Haredale," said this gentleman, without the least 
appearance of embarrassment or reserve, " I am very glad 
to see you. " 
"Let us dispense with compliments. They are mis- 
placed between us," returned the other, waving his hand, 
" and say plainly w-hat we have to say. You have asked 
me to meet you. I am here. Why do we stand face to 
face again ?" 
" Still the same frank and sturdy character, I see! " 
" Good or bad, sir, I am," returned the other, leaning 
his arm upon the chimney-piece, and turning a haughty 
look upon the occupant of the easy-chair, " the man I used 
to be. I have lost no old likings or dis1ikings; my memory 
has not failed me by a hair's breadth. You ask me to give 
you a meeting. I say, I am here. " 
" Our meeting, Haredale," said Mr. Chester, tapping his 
snuff-box, and following with a smile the impatient gesture 
he had made-perhaps unconsciously-towards his sword, 
" is one of conference and peace, I hope." 
,r I have come here," returned the other, "at your 
desire, holding myself bound to meet you, when and where 
you would. I have not come to bandy pleasant speeches, 
or hollow professions. You are a smooth man of the world, 
sir, and at such play have me at a disadvantage. The 
very last man on this earth with whom I would enter the 
lists to combat with gentle compliments and masked faces 
is Mr. Chester, I do assure you. I am not his match at 



Barnaby Rudge 


93 


such weapons, and have reason to believe that few men 
are. " 
" You do me a great deal of honour, Haredale," re- 
turned the other, most composedly, " and I thank you. 1 
will be frank \vith you-" 
" I beg your pardon-will be what? JJ 
" Frank-open-perfectly candid." 
" Hah !" cried Mr. Haredale, drawing in his breath \vith 
a sarcastic smile. "But don't let me interrupt you. " 
" So resolved am I to hold this course," returned the 
other, tasting his wine with great deliberation, "that I 
have determined not to quarrel with you, and not to be 
betrayed into a warm expression or a hasty word." 
" There again," said Mr. Haredale, "you will have Ole 
at a great disadvantage. Your self-command-" 
" Is not to be disturbed, when it will serve my purpose, 
you would say"-rejoined the other, interrupting him with 
the same complacency. "Granted I allow it. And I have 
a purpose to serve now. So have you. I am sure our 
object is the same. Let us attain it like sensible men, who 
have ceased to be boys some time.-Do you drink?" 
" vVith my friends," returned the other. 
" At least," said Mr. Chester, " you will be seated?" 
" I \vill stand, " returned !VIr. Haredale impatiently, " on 
this dismantled, beggared hearth, and not po11ute it, fa11en 
as it is, with mockeries. Go on !" 
, , You are ,vrong, Haredale," said the other, crossing 
his legs, and smiling as he held his glass up in the bright 
glow of the fire. ' , You are really very wrong. The world 
is a lively place enough, in which we must accomnlodate 
ourselves to circumstances, sail with the stream as glibly as 
we can, be content to take froth for substance, the surface 
for the depth, the counterfeit for the real coin. I ,vonder 
no philosopher has ever established that our globe itself is 
hollow. It should be, if Nature is consistent in her 
works. " 
" You think it is, perhaps?" 
" I should say," he returned, sipping his wine, "there 
could be no doubt about it. 'i\! ell; \ve, in our trifling- with 
this jingling toy, have had the ill luck to jostle and fall out. 
We are not what the world calls friends; but we are as good 
and true and loving- friends for all that, a
 nine out of every 
ten of those on \vhom it bestows its title. You have a 
niece, and I a son-a fine lad, Haredale, but foolish. They 



94 


Barnaby Rudge 


faH in love with each other, and form what this same world 
caHs an attachment; meaning sonlething fanciful and false 
like all the rest, which, if it took its own free time, would 
break like any other bubble. But it may not have its own 
free time-will not, if they are left alone-and the question 
is, shall we two, because society calls us enemies, stand 
aloof, and let them rush into each other's arms, when, by 
approaching each other sensibly, as we do now, we can 
prevent it, and part them?" 
"I love my niece," said Mr. Haredale, after a short 
silence. celt may sound strangely in your ears; but I love 
her. " 
'c Strangely, my good feHow !" cried Mr. Chester, lazily 
filling his glass again, and pulling out his toothpick. 
" Not at all. I like Ned too--or, as you say, love him- 
that's the word among such near relations. I'm very fond 
of Ned. He's an amazingly good fellow, and a handsome 
fellow-foolish and weak as yet; that's all. But the thing 
is, Haredale-for I'll be very frank, as I told you I would 
at first-independently of any dislike that you and I might 
have to being related to each other, and independently of 
the religious differences between us-and damn it, that's 
important-I couldn't afford a match of this description. 
Ned and I couldn't do it. It's impossible." 
" Curb your tongue, in God's name, if this conversation 
is to last," retorted Mr. Haredale fiercely. "I have said 
I love my niece. Do you think that, loving her, I ,vould 
have her fling her heart away on any man who had your 
blood in his veins?" 
" You see," said the other, not at all disturbed, 'c the ad- 
"antage of being so frank and open. Just what I was about 
to ådd, upon my honour! I am amazingly attached to 
Ned-quite doat upon him, indeed-and even if we could 
afford to throw ourselves away, that very objection would 
be quite insuperable.-I wish you'd take some wine. " 
" Mark me," said Mr. Haredale, striding to the table, 
and laying his hand upon it heavily. " If any man be- 
lieves-presumes to think-that I, in word or deed, or in 
the wildest dream, ever entertained remotely the idea of 
Emma Haredale's favouring the'suit of one who was akin 
to you-in any way-I care not what-he lies. He lies, 
and does me grievous wrong, in the mere thought. " 
cc Harcdale," returned the other, rocking himself to and 
fro as in assent, and nodding at the fire, "it t s extremely 



Barnaby Rudge 


95 


manly, and really very generous in you, to Ineet nle in this 
unreserved and handsome way. Upon my word, those are 
exactly my sentiments, only expressed with much more 
force and power than I could use-you know my sluggish 
nature, and will forgive me, I am sure. " 
"\Vhile I would restrain her from all correspondence 
with your son, and sever their intercourse here, though it 
should cause her death, " said Mr. Haredale, who had been 
pacing to and fro, " I would do it kindly and tenderly if I 
can. I have a trust to discharge which my nature is not 
formed to understand, and, for this reason, the bare fact 
of there being any love between them comes upon me to- 
night, almost for the first time. " 
"I am more delighted than I can possibly tell you," 
rejoined Mr. Chester with the utmost blandness, " to find 
my own impression so confirmed. You see the advantage 
of our having met. We understand each other. We quite 
agree. We have a most complete and thorough explana- 
tion, and we know what course to take.-Why don't you 
taste your tenant's wine? It's really very good. " 
" Pray who," said rvlr. Haredale, "have aided EmIna, 
or your son? Who are their go-betweens, and agents-do 
you know?" 
" All the good people hereabouts-the neighbourhood in 
general, I think," returned the other, with his most affable 
smile. "The messenger I sent to you to-day, foremost 
among them all. " 
'i The idiot? Barnaby?" 
" You are surprised? I am glad of that, for I was 
rather so myself. Yes. I wrung that from his mother- 
a very decent sort of woman-from whom, indeed, I chiefly 
learnt how serious the matter had become, and so deter- 
mined to ride out here to-day, and hold a parley \vith you 
on this neutral ground.-You're stouter than you used to 
be, Haredale, but you look extremely well. " 
" Our business, I presume, is nearly at an end," said 
Mr. Haredale, with an expression of impatience he was at 
no pains to conceal. "Trust me, Mr. Chester, my niece 
shall change from this time. I will appeal," he added in 
a lower tone, "to her woman's heart, her dignity, her 
pride, her duty-" 
" I shall do the same by Ned," said Mr. Chester, re- 
storing some errant faggots to their places in the grate with 
the toe of his boot. "I f there is anything real in the 



9 6 


Barnaby Rudge 


\\Todd, it is those an1azingly fine feelings and those natural 
obligations which must subsist between father and son. I 
shall put it to him on every ground of moral and religious 
feeling. I shaH represent to him that we cannot possibly 
afford it-that I have always looked forward to his marry- 
ing \ovell, for a genteel provision for myself in the autun1n 
of life-that there are a great many clamorous dogs to pay, 
whose claims are perfectly just and right, and who must be 
paid out of his \ovife's fortune. In short, that the very 
highest and most honourable feelings of our nature, with 
every consideration of filial duty and affection, and all that 
sort of thing, imperatively demand that he should run away 
\vi th an hei ress. " 
" And break her heart as speedily as possible? " said 
Mr. Haredale, drawing on his glove. 
" There Ned will act exactly as he pleases," returned the 
other, sipping his wine; "that's entirely his affair. I 
\vouldn't for the world interfere \vith my son, Haredale, 
15eyond a certain point. The relationship between father 
and son, you kno\ov, is positively quite a holy kind of bond. 
- W on't you let me persuade you to take one glass of 
\vine? \
T el1! as you please, as you please," he added, 
helping himseH again. 
" Chester," said lVIr. Haredale, after a short silence, 
during which he had eyed his smiling face from time to 
time intently, "you have the head and heart of an evil 
spirit in aH matters of deception. " 
, , Your health! " said the other, with a nod. "But I 
have interrupted you-" 
" Jef no\v," pursued Mr. Haredale, "we should hnd it 
difficult to separate these young people, and break off their 
intercourse-if, for instance, you find it difficult on your 
side, what course do you intend to take? " 
" Nothing plainer, my good fellow, nothing easier," re- 
turned the other, shrug-ging his shoulders and stretching 
hinlself more comfortably before the fire. eel shall then 
exert those po\overs on "rhich you flatter me so hig-hly-' 
though, upon n1Y word, I don't deserve your compliments 
to their fun extent-and resort to a few trivial subterfuges 
for rousing jealousy and resentment. You see? " 
" In short, justifying the means by the end, we are, as 
a last resource for tearing- them asunder, to resort to 
treachery and-and lying," said Mr. Haredale. .. 
u Oh dear no. Fie, fie ! " returned the other, relIshIng a 



Barnaby Rudge 


97 


pincb of snuff extremely. "Not lying. On1y a little 
management, a little diplomacy, a little-intriguing, that's 
the word. " 
" I wish," said Mr. Haredale, moving to and fro, and 
stopping, and moving on again, like one who was ill at 
ease, "that this could have been foreseen or prevented. 
But as it has gone so far, and it is necessary for us to act, 
it is of no use shrinking or regretting. Well! I shall 
second your endeavours to the utmost of my power. There 
is one topic in the whole wide range of human thoughts on . 
which we both agree. We shall act in concert, but apart. 
There will be no need, I hope, for us to meet again." 
" Are you going?" said Mr. Chester, rising with a 
graceful indolence. "Let me light you down the stairs. " 
U Pray keep your seat," returned the other drily, "I 
know the way. " So, waving his hand slightly, and putting 
on his hat as he turned upon his heel, he went. clanking out 
as he had come, shut the door behind him, and tramped 
down the echoing stairs. 
U Pah ! A very coarse animal, indeed!" said Mr. 
Chester, composing himself in the easy-chair again. U A 
rough brute. Quite a human badger! " 
John Willet and his friends, who had been listening 
intently for the clash of swords, or firing of pistols in the 
great room, and had indeed settled the order in which 
they should rush in when summoned-in which procession 
old John had carefully arranged that he should bring up 
the rear-were very much astonished to see l\1r. Haredale 
come down without a scratch, call for his horse, and ride 
away thoughtfully at a footpace. After some considera- 
tion, it was decided that he had left the gentleman above, 
for dead, and had adopted this stratagem to divert sus- 
picion or pursuit. 
As this conclusion involved the necessity of their going 
up stairs forthwith, they were about to ascend in the order 
they had agreed upon, when a smart ringing- at the guest's 
bell, as if he had pulled it vigorously, overthrew all their 
speculations, and involved them in great uncertainty and 
doubt. At length Mr. Willet agreed to goo up stairs him- 
self, escorted by Hugb and llarnaby, as the strongest and 
stoutest fellows on the premises, who were to make their 
appearance under pretence of clearing away the g-Jasses. 
Under this protection, the brave and broad-faced John 
'boldly entered the room, haIf a foot in advance_, and re- 
E 



9 8 


Barnaby Rudge 


ceived an order for a boot-jack without trembling. But 
when it was brought, and he leant his sturdy shoulder to 
the guest, Mr. \Villet was observed to look very hard into 
his boots as he pulled them off, and, by opening his eyes 
much "vider than usual, to appear to express some surprise 
and disappointment at not finding them full of blood. He 
took occasion, too, to examine the gentleman as closely as 
he could, expecting to discover sundry loopholes in his per- 
son, pierced by his adversary's sword. Finding none, 
.ho\\7ever, and observing in course of time that his guest 
was as cool and unruffled, both in his dress and temper, 
as he had been all day, old John at last heaved a deep sigh, 
and began to think no duel had been fought that night. 
" And now, vVillet," said Mr. Chester, "if the room's 
well aired, I'll try the merits of that famous bed. " 
" The room, sir," returned John, taking up a candle, and 
nudging Barnaby and Hugh to accompany them, in case 
the gentleman should unexpectedly drop down faint or dead 
from some internal wound, "the room's as warm as any 
toast in a tankard. Barnaby, take you that other candle, 
and go on before. Hugh! Follow up, sir, with the easy- 
chair. " 
In this order-and still, in his earnest inspection, hold- 
ing his candle very close to the guest; now making him 
feel extremely warm about the legs, now threatening to set 
his wig on fire, and constantly begging his pardon with 
great awkwardness and embarrassment-John led the 
party to the best bedroom, which was nearly as large as the 
chamber from which they had come, and held, drawn out 
near the fire for warmth, a great old spectral bedstead, 
hung with faded brocade, and ornamented, at the top of 
each carved post, with a plume of feathers that had once 
been white, but with dust and age had now grown hearse- 
like and funerea1. 
" Good night, my friends," said Mr. Chester with a 
sweet smile, seating himself, when he had surveyed the 
room from end to end, in the easy-chair which his attend- 
ants wheeled before the fire. "Good night! Barnaby, 
my good fellow, you say some prayers before you go to 
bed, I hope? " 
Barnaby nodded. "He has some nonsense that he calls 
his prayers, sir," returned old John, officiously. " I'm 
afraid there an't much good in 'em." 
" And Hugh? " said Mr. Chester, turning to him. 



Barnaby Rudge 


99 


,e Not I," he answered. "I know his "-pointing to 
Barnaby-" they're well enough. He sings 'em some- 
times in the straw. I listen. " 
" He's quite a animal, sir," John whispered in his ear 
\vith dignity. e e You '11 excuse him, I'm sure. If he has 
any soul at all, sir, it must be such a very small one that 
it don't signify what he does or doesn't in that way. 
Good night, sir! " 
The guest rejoined "God bless you! " with a fervour 
that was quite affecting; and John, beckoning his guards 
to go before, bowed hinlself out of the room, and left him 
to his rest in the Maypole's ancient bed. 


CHAPTER XIII 


IF Joseph Willet, the denounced and proscribed of 
'prentices, had happened to be at home when his 
father's courtly guest presented himself before the May- 
pole door-that is, if it had not perversely chanced to be 
one of the half-dozen days in the whole year on which he 
was at liberty to absent himself for as many hours without 
question or reproach-he would have contrived, by hook or 
crook, to dive to ,the very bottom of Mr. Chester's mystery, 
and to come at his purpose with as much certainty as 
though he had been his confidential adviser. In that for- 
tunate case, the lovers would have had quick warning of 
the ills that threatened them, and the aid of various timely 
and wise suggestions to boot; for all Joe's readiness of 
thoug_ht and action, and aU his sympathies and good wishes, 
were enlisted in favour of the young people, and were 
staunch in devotion to their cause. vVhether this disposi- 
tion arose out of his old prepossessions in favour of the 
young lady, whose history had surrounded her in his 
mind, almost from his cradle, with circumstances of un- 
usual interest; or from his attachment to\vards the young 
gentleman, into whose confidence he had, through his 
shrewdness and alacrity, and the rendering of sundry im- 
portant services as a spy and messenger, almost imper- 
ceptibly glided; whether they had their origin in either 
of these sources, or in the habit natural to youth, or in the 
constant badgering and worrying of his vénerable parent, 



100 


Barnaby Rudge 


or in any hidden little love affair of his o\vn which gave 
him something of a fellow-feeling in the matter, it is 
needless to inquire-especially as Joe \vas òut of the way, 
and had no opportunity on that particular occasion of testi- 
fying to his sentiments either on one side or the other. 
It was, in fact, the twenty-fifth of March, which, as 
most people know to their cost, is, and has been time out of 
mind, one of those unpleasant epochs termed quarter-days. 
On this hventy-fifth of March, it was John vVillet's pride 
annually to settle, in hard cash, his account with a certain 
vintner and distiller in the city of London; to give into 
\vhose hands a canvas bag containing its exact amount, and 
not a penny nlore or less, was the end and object of a 
journey for Joe, so surely as the year and day came round. 
This journey was performed upon an old grey mare, con- 
cerning whom John had an indistinct set of ideas hovering 
about him, to the effect that she could win a plate or cup if 
she tried. She never had tried, and probably never would 
now, being some fourteen or fifteen years of age, short in 
\vind, long in body, and rather the worse for wear in respect 
of her mane and tail. Notwithstanding these slight defects, 
John perfectly gloried in the animal; and when she was 
brought round to the door by Hugh, actually retired into 
the bar, and there, in a secret grove of lemons, laughed 
with pride. 
" There's a bit of horseflesh, Hugh! " said John, when 
he had recovered enough self-command to appear at the 
door again. "There's a comely creature! There's high 
mettle! There's bone! " 
There \vas bone enough beyond all doubt; and so Hug-h 
seemed to think, as he sat sideways in the saddle, laziJy 
doubled up with his chin nearly touching his knees; and 
heedless of the dangling stirrups and loose bridle-rein, 
sauntered up and down on the little green before the door. 
"Mind you take good care of her, sir," said John, 
appealing from this insensible person to his son and heir, 
who now appeared, fully equipped and ready. " Don't 
you ride hard. " 
" I should be puzzled to do that, I think, father," he 
replied, casting a disconsolate look at the animal. 
" None of your impudence, sir, if you please," retorted 
old John. "What would you ride, sir? A wild ass or 
zebra would be too tame for you, wouldn't he, eh, sir? 
You'd like to ride a roaring lion, wouldn't you, sir, eh, sir? 



,. 


Barnaby Rudge 


101 


Hold your tongue, sir." \Vhen !vIr. \Vinet, in his differ- 
ences with his son, had exhausted all the questions that 
occurred to him, and Joe had said nothing at all in answer, 
he generally wound up by bidding him hold his tongue. 
" And what does the boy mean," added Mr. Willet, after 
he had stared at him for a little time, in a species of stupe- 
faction, " by cocking his hat, to such an extent! Are you 
a going to kill the wintner, sir? " 
" No," said Joe, tartly; " I'm not. No"v your mind's at 
ease, father." 
" \Vith a milintary air, too! " said Mr. Willet, surveying 
him from top to toe; "with a swaggering, fire-eating, 
biling-water drinking sort of way with him! And what 
do you mean by pulling up the crocuses and snowdrops, eh, 
. ?" 
SIr. 
"It's only a little nosegay," said Joe, reddening. 
" There's no harm in that, I hope? " 
" You're a boy of business, you are, sir I " said Mr. 
Willet, disdainfully, "to go supposing that wintners care 
for nosegays." 
" I don't suppose anything of the kind," returned Joe. 
" Let them keep their red noses for bottles and tankards. 
These are going to Mr. Varden's house. " 
"And do you su ppose he minds such things as cro- 
cuses? " demanded John. 
" I don't know, and to say the truth I don't care," said 
Joe. "Come, father, give me the money, and in the name 
of patience let me go. " 
" There it is, sir," replied John; " and take care of it; 
and mind you don't make too much haste back, but give the 
mare a long rest.-Do you mind? " 
" Ay, I mind," returned Joe. "She'll need it, Heaven 
knows. " 
" And don't you score up too much at the Black Lion," 
said John. "Mind that too." 
" Then why don't you let me have some money of my 
own? " retorted Joe, sorrowfully; " why don't you, father? 
\Vhat do you send me into London for, giving me only the 
right to call for my dinner at the Black Lion, which you're 
to pay for next time you go, as if I was not to be trusted 
with a few shillings? \Vhy do you use me like this? It's 
not right of you. You can't expect me to be quiet under 
it. " 
" Let him have money! " cried J oho, in a drowsy rf'verie. 



102 


Barnaby Rudg-e 


"What does he call money-guineas? Hasn't he got 
money? Over and above the tolls, hasn't he one and six- 
pence? " 
" One and sixpence! " repeated his son contelnptuously. 
, , Yes, sir," returned John, " one and sixpence. \Vhen 
I was your age, I had never seen so much money, in a heap. 
A shilling of it is in case of accidents-the mare casting a 
shoe, or the like of that. The other sixpence is to spend in 
the diversions of London; and the diversion I recommend 
is to go to the top of the Monument, and sit there. 
There's no temptation there, sir-no drink-no young 
women-no bad characters of any sort-nothing but 
imagination. That's the way I enjoyed myseIf when I was 
your age, sir. " 
To this, Joe made no answer, but beckoning- Hugh leaped 
into the saddle and rode away; and a very stalwart, manly 
horseman he looked, deserving a better charger than it was 
his fortune to bestride. John stood staring after him, or 
rather after the grey mare (for he had no eyes for her rider), 
until man and beast had been out of sight some twenty 
minutes, when he began to think they were gone, and slowly 
re-entering the house, fell into a gentle doze. 
The unfortunate grey mare, who was the agony of Joe's 
life, floundered along at her own will and pleasure until the 
Maypole was no longer visible, and then contracting her 
legs into what in a puppet would have been looked upon as a 
clumsy and awkward imitation of a canter, mended her pace 
all at once, and did it of her own accord. The acquaintance 
with her rider's usual mode of proceeding, which suggested 
this improvement in hers, impelled her likewise to turn up 
a bye-way, leading-not to London, but through lanes run- 
ning parallel with the road they had come, and passing with- 
in a few hundred yards of the l\1aypole, which led finally 
to an inclosure surrounding a large, old, red-brick mansion 
-the same of which nlention was made as the Warren in 
the first chapter of this history. Coming to a dead stop in 
the little copse thereabout, she suffered her rider to dis- 
mount with right goodwill, and to tie her to the trunk of a 
tree. 
" Stay there, old girl," said Joe, " and let us see whether 
there's any little commission for me to-day." So saying, 
he left her to browse upon such stunted grass and weeds as 
happened to grow within the length of her tether, and pass- 
ing through a wicket gate, entered the grounds on foot. 



, 


Barnaby Rudge 


10 3 


The pathway, after a very few minutes' walking, brought 
him close to the house, towards \vhich, and especially to- 
\vards one particular window, he directed many covert 
glances. It was a dreary, silent building, with echoing 
courtyards, desolated turret-chambers, and whole suites of 
rooms shut up and mouldering to ruin. 
The terrace-garden, dark with the shade of overhanging 
trees, had an air of melancholy that was quite oppressive. 
Great iron Rates, disused for many years, and red vlith rust, 
drooping on their hinges, and overgro\vn with long rank 
grass, seemed as though they tried to sink into the ground, 
and hide their fallen state among the friendly weeds. The 
fantastic monsters on the walls, green with age and damp, 
and covered here and there with moss, looked grim and 
desolate. There was a sombre aspect even on that part of 
the mansion which was inhabited and kept in good repair, 
that struck the beholder with a sense of sadness; of some- 
thing forlorn and failing, whence cheerfulness was ban- 
ished. It \vould have been difficult to imagine a bright 
fire blazing in the dull and darkened rooms, or to picture 
any gaiety of heart or revelry that the fro\vning walls shut 
in. It seemed a place where such things had been, but 
could be no Inore-the very ghost of a house, haunting the 
old spot in its old outward form, and that was all. 
l\Iuch of this decayed and sombre look was attributable, 
no doubt, to the death of its former master, and the temper 
of its present occupant; but remembering the tale connec- 
ted vlith the mansion, it seeIned the very place for such a 
deed, and one that might have been its predestined theatre 
years upon years ago. Viewed with reference to this 
legend, the sheet of water where tne steward's body had 
been found appear,ed to wear a black and sullen character, 
such as no other pool might own; the bell upon the roof that 
had told the tale of murder to the midnight wind became 
a very phantom whose voice vlould raise the listener's 
hair on end; and every leafless bough that nodded to an- 
other had its stealthy whispering of the crime. 
Joe paced up and down the path, sometimes stopping- in 
affected contenlplation of the building or the prospect, 
sometimes leaning- against a tree with an assumed air of 
idleness and indifference, but always keeping an eye upon 
the window he had sing-led out at first. After some quarter 
of an hour's delay, a small \vhite hand was waved to him 
for an instant from this casement, and the young man, 



10 4 


Barnaby Rudge 


with a respectful bo\v, departed j saying under his breath 
as he crossed his horse again, "No errand for me to- 
day! " 
But the air of smartness, the cock of the hat to which 
John Willet had objected, and the spring nosegay, all be- 
tokened some little errand of his own, having a more in- 
teresting object than a vintner or even a 10cksn1Ïth. So, in- 
deed, it turned out j for when he had settled with the vintner 
-whose place of business was down in some deep cellars 
hard by Thames Street, and who was as purple-faced an old 
gentleman as if he had all his life supported their arched 
roof on his head-when he had settled the account, and 
taken the receipt, and declined tasting more than three 
glasses of old sherry, to the unbounded astonishment of the 
purple-faced vintner, who, gimlet in hand, had projected an 
attack upon at least a score of dusty casks, and who stood 
transfixed, or morally gimleted as it were, to his own wall 
-when he had done all this, and disposed besides of a 
frugal dinner at the Black Lion in Whitechapel; spurning 
the Monument and John's advice, he turned his steps to- 
wards the locksmith's house, attracted by the eyes of bloom- 
ing Dolly Varden. 
Joe was by no means a sheepish feIlow, but, for all that, 
when he got to the corner of the street in which the lock- 
smith lived, he could by no means make up his mind to walk 
straight to the house. First, he resolved, to stroll up an- 
other street for five minutes, then up another street for five 
minutes more, and so on until he had lost full half an hour, 
when he made a bold plunge and found himself with a red 
face and a beating heart in the smoky workshop. 
" Joe Willet, or his ghost? " said Varden, rising from 
the desk at which he was busy with his books, and looking 
at him under his spectacles. "Which is it? Joe in the 
flesh, eh? That's hearty. And how are all the ChigweJl 
company, Joe? " 
" Much as usual, sir-they and I agree as well as ever. " 
"Well, well!" said the locksmith. ' , We must be 
patient, Joe, and bear \vith old folks' foibles. How's th
 
mare, Joe? Does she do the four miles an hour as easily 
as ever? Ha, ha, ha! Does she, Joe? Eh?-What have 
we there, J oe-a nosegay? " 
" A very roor one, sir-I thought Miss Dolly-" 
" No, no, ' said Gabriel, dropping his voice and shaking 
his head, "not Dolly. Give 'em to her mother, Joe. A 



" 


Barnaby Rudge 


10 5 


great deal better give 'em to her mother. Would you mind 
giving 'em to Mrs. Varden, Joe? " 
" Oh no, sir," Joe replied, and endeavouring, but not 
with the greatest possible success, to hide his disappoint- 
ment. "I shall be very glad, I'm sure. " 
" That's right," said the locksmith, patting him on the 
back. "It don't matter who has 'em, Joe? " 
" Not a bit, sir. "-Dear heart, how the words stuck in 
his throat! 
" Come in," said Gabriel. U I have just been called to 
tea. She's in the parlour." 
" She," thought Joe. "Which of 'em I wonder-
1rs. 
or Miss?" The locksmith settled the doubt as neatly as if 
it had been expressed aloud, by leading him to the door, and 
saying, " Martha, my dear, here's young 1\1r. Willet." 
N OVI, Mrs. Varden, regarding the Maypole as a sort of 
human mantrap, or decoy for husbands; vie\ving its pro- 
prietor, and all who aided and abetted him, in the light of 
so many poachers among Christian men; and believing-, 
moreover, that the publicans coupled with sinners in Holy 
Writ were veritable licensed victuallers; was far from being 
favourably disposed towards her visitor. Wherefore 5he 
was taken faint directly; and being duly presented with the 
crocuses and snowdrops, divined on further consideration 
that they were the occasion of the languor which had seized 
upon her spirits. "I'm afraid I couldn't bear the room 
another minute," said the Rood lady, " if they remain here. 
Would you excuse my putting them out of window? " 
Joe begged she wouldn't mention it on any account, and 
smiled feebly as he saw them deposited on the sill outside. 
If anybody could have known the pains he had taken to 
make up that despised and misused bunch of flowers !- 
" I feel it quite a relief to get rid of them, I assure you," 
said Mrs. Varden. "I'm better already." And indeed she 
did appear to have plucked up her spirits. 
Joe expressed his gratitude to Providence for this favour- 
able dispensation, and tried to look as if he didn't wonder 
where Dolly was. 
"You're sad people at Chigwell, Mr. Joseph," said 
Mrs. V. 
" I hope not, ma'am," returned Joe. 
" You're the cruellest and most inconsiderate people in 
the world," said rvIrs. Varden, bridling-. "I wonder old 

Ir. Willet, having been a married man himself, doesn't 



106 


Barnaby Rudge 


know better than to conduct himself as he does. His doing 
it for profit is no excuse. I would rather pay the money 
twenty times over, and have Varden come home like a re- 
spectable and sober tradesman. If there is one character, " 
said Mrs. Varden with great emphasis, " that offends and 
disgusts me more than another, it is a sot. " 
" Come, l\1artha, my dear," said the locksmith cheerily, 
" let us have tea, and don't let us talk about sots. There 
are none here, and Joe don't want to hear about them, I dare 
say." 
At this crisis, Miggs appeared with toast. 
" I dare say he does not," said Mrs. Varden; "and I 
dare say you do not, Varden. It's a very unpleasant sub- 
ject I have no doubt, though I won't say it's personal "- 
1\Iiggs coughed-" whatever I may be forced to think- " 
1\Iiggs sneezed expressively. " You never will know, Var- 
den, and nobody at young Mr. Willet's age-you'l1 excuse 
me, sir--can be expected to know, what a woman suffers 
\vhen she is waiting at home under such circumstances. If 
you don't believe me, as I know you don't, here's Miggs, 
who is only too often a \vitness of it-ask her. " 
" 0 ! she \vere very bad the other night, sir, indeed she 
\vere," said 1\1iggs. "If you hadn't the s\veetness of an 
angel in you, mim, I don't think you could abear it, I ral)' 
don't. " 
" Miggs," said Mrs. Varden, " you're profane. " 
" Begging your pardon, mim," returned Miggs, with 
shrill rapidity, "such v.'as not my intentions, and such I 
hope is not my character, though I am but a servant. " 
" Ansv.'ering me, Miggs, and providing yourself," retor- 
ted her mistress, looking round \vith dignity, " is one and 
the same thing. How dare you speak of angels in connec- 
tion with your sinful fellow-beings-mere "-said Mrs. 
Varden, glancing at herself in a neighbouring mirror, and 
arranging the ribbon of her cap in a more becoming fashion 
-" mere worms and grovellers as we are! " 
" I did not intend, mim, if you please, to give offence," 
said l\lig-gs,confident in the strength of her compliment, and 
developing strongly in the throat as usual, " and I did not 
expect it would be took as such. I hope I kno\v my own un- 
worthiness, and that I hate and despise myself and all my 
fellow-creatures as every practicable Christian should. " 
" You'}] have the goodness, if you please," said Mrs. 
V arden loftily, "to step up stairs and see if Dolly has 



Barnaby Rudge 


10 7 


finished dressing, and to tell her that the chair that was or- 
dered for her will be here in a minute, and that it she keeps it 
waiting, I shall send it away that instant.-I'm sorry to see 
that you don't take your tea, Varden, and that you don't 
take yours, lvIr. Joseph; though of course it would be fool- 
ish of m.e to expect that anything that can be had at home, 
and in the company of fenla
('s, would please you. " 
This pronoun was understood in the plural sense, and in- 
cluded both gentlemen, upon both of whom it was rather 
hard and undeserved, for Gabriel had applied himself to the 
meal with a very promising appetite, until it was spoilt by 
Mrs. Varden herself, and Joe had as great a liking for the 
female society of the locksmith's hous,e-or for a part of it 
at all events-as man could well entertain. . 
But he had no opportunity to say anything in his own 
defence, for at that moment Dolly herself appeared, and 
struck him quite dumb with her beauty. Never had Dolly 
looked so handsome as she did then, in all the glow and 
grace of youth, with all her charms increased a hundred- 
fold by a most becoming dress, by a thousand little coquet- 
tish ways which nobody could assume with a better grace, 
and all the sparkling expectation of that accursed party. 
It is impossible to tell how Joe hated that party wherever 
it was, and all the other people who were going to it, who- 
ever they were. 
And she hardly looked at him-no, hardly looked at him. 
And when the chair was seen through the open door coming 
blundering into the workshop, she actually clapped her 
hands and seemed glad to go. But Joe gave her his arm- 
there was some comfort in that-and handed her into it. To 
see her seat herself inside, with her laughing eyes brighter 
than diamonds, and her hand-surely she had the prettiest 
hand in the world-on the ledge of the open \vindow, and 
her little finger provokingly and pertly tilted up, as if it 
wondered why Joe didn't squeeze or kiss it! To think how 
well one or two of the modest snowdrops would have be- 
come that delicate bodice, and how they were lying neglec- 
ted outside the parlour window! To see how lVTiggs looked 
on with a face expressive of kno\ving how all this loveliness 
was got up, and of being in the secret of every string and 
pin and hook and eye, and of saying it an't half as real as 
you think, and I could look quite as well myself if I took the 
pains! To hear that provoking precious little scream 
when the chair was hoisted on its poles, and to catch that 



108 


Barnaby Rudge 


transient but not-to-be-forgotten vision of the happy face 
within-what torments and aggravations, and yet what 
delights were these! The very chairmen seemed favoured 
rivals as they bore her down the street. 
There never was such an alteration in a small room in a 
small time as in that parlour when they went back to finish 
tea. So dark, so deserted, so perfectly disenchanted. It 
seemed such sheer nonsense to be sitting tamely there, when 
she was at a dance with more lovers than man could calcu- 
late fluttering about her-with the whole party doting on 
and adoring her, and wanting to marry her. Miggs was 
hovering about too; and the fact of her existence, the mere 
circumstance of her ever having been born, appeared, after 
Dolly, such an unaccountable practical joke. It was im- 
possible to talk. It couldn't be done. He had nothing 
left for it but to stir his tea round, and round, and round, 
and ruminate on all the fascinations of the locksmith's 
lovely daughter. 
Gabriel was dull too. It was a part of the certain uncer- 
tainty of Mrs. Varden's temper, that when they were in 
this condition, she should be gay and sprightly. 
" I need have a cheerful disposition, I am sure," said the 
smiling housewife, " to preserve any spirits at all; and how 
I do it I can scarcely tell. " . 
" Ah, mim," sighed Miggs, cc begging your pardon for 
the interruption, there an't a many like you." 
" Take away, Miggs, " said Mrs. Varden, rising, " take 
a,vay, pray. I know I'm a restraint here, and as I wish 
everybody to enjoy themselves as they best can, I feel I had 
better go. " 
" No, no, Martha, JJ cried the locksmith. "Stop here. 
I'm sure we shall be very sorry to lose you, eh, Joe!" Joe 
started, and said" Certainly." 
"Thank you, Varden, my dear," returned his wife; 
" but I know your wishes better. Tobacco and beer, or 
spirits, have much greater attractions than any I can boast 
of, and therefore I shall go and sit up stairs and look out 
of window, my love. Good night, Mr. Joseph j I'm very 
glad to have seen you, and only wish I could have provided 
something more suitable to your taste. Remember me 
very kindly, if you please, to old Mr. Willet, and tell him 
that whenever he comes here I have a cro'v to pluck with 
him. Good night! " 
Having uttered these words \vìth great s\vcetness of 



Barnaby Rudge 


10 9 


manner, the good lady dropped a curtsey remarkable for its 
condescension, and serenely withdrew. 
And it was for this Joe had looked forward to the twenty- 
fifth of March for weeks and weeks, and had gathered the 
flowers with so much care, and had cocked his hat, and 
made himself so smart! This was the end of all his bold 
determination, resolved upon for the hundredth time, to 
speak out to Dolly and tell her how he loved her! To see 
her for a minute-for but a minute-to find her going out 
to a party and glad to go; to be looked upon as a common 
pipe-smoker, beer-bibber, spirit-guzzler, and tosspot! He 
bade farewell to his friend the locksmith, and hastened to 
take horse at the Black Lion, thinking as he turned to\vards 
home, as many another Joe has thought before and since, 
that here was an end to all his hopes-that the thing was 
impossible and never could be-that she didn't care for him 
-that he ,vas wretched for life-and that the only congenial 
prospect left him was to go for a soldier or a sailor, and 
get some obliging _enemy to knock his brains out as soon 
as possible. 


CHAPTER XIV 


JOE WILLET rode leisurely along in his desponding 
mood, picturing the locksmith's daughter going down 
long country-dances, and poussetting dreadfully with bold 
strangers-which was almost too much to bear-when he 
heard the tramp of a horse's feet behind him, and looking 
back, saw a well-mounted gentleman advancing at a smart 
canter. As this rider passed, he checked his steed, and 
called him of the Maypole by his name. Joe set spurs to 
the grey mare, and was at his side directly. 
" I thought it was you, sir," he said, touching his hat. 
" A fair evening, sir. Glad to see you out of doors again. " 
The gentleman smiled and nodded. "What gay doings 
have been going on to-day, Joe? Is she as pretty as ever? 
Nay, don't blush, man." 
" If I coloured at all, lYIr. Edward," said Joe, "which I 
didn't know I did, it \vas to think I should have been such a 
fool as ever to have any hope of her. She's as far out of 
my reach as-as Heaven is." 



110 


Barnaby Rudge 


" \Vell, Joe, I hope that's not altogether beyond it," said 
Ed\vard good-humouredly. "Eh?" 
" Ah ! " sighed Joe. "It's all very fine talking, sir. 
Proverbs are easily made in cold blood. But it can't be 
helped. Are you bound for our house, sir? " 
" Yes. As I am not quite strong yet, I shall stay there 
to-night, and ride home coolly in the morning. " 
" If you're in no particular hurry, " said Joe after a short 

iIence, " and will bear with the pace of this poor jade, I 
shall be glad to ride on with you to the \Varren, sir, and 
hold your horse when you dismount. It'll save you having 
to walk from the Maypole, there and back again. I can 
spare the time well, sir, for I am too soon. " 
" And so am I," returned Edward, " though I was un- 
consciously riding fast just now, in compliment I suppose 
to the pace of my thoughts, \vhich were travelling post. 
\Ve will keep together, Joe, willingly, and be as good com- 
pany as may be. And cheer up, cheer up, think of the 
locksmith's daughter with a stout heart, and you shall win 
her yet. " 
Joe shook his head; but there was something so cheery in 
the buoyant hopeful manner of this speech, that his spirits 
rose under its influence, and communicated as it would seem 
some new impulse even to the grey mare, who, breaking 
from her sober amble into a gentle trot, emulated the pace 
of Edward Chester's horse, and appeared to flatter herself 
that he was doing his very best. 
It was a fine dry night, and the light of a young moon, 
which was then just rising, shed around that peace and 
tranquillity which gives to evening time its most delicious 
charm. The lengthened shado\vs of the trees, softened as 
if reflected in still \vater, threw their carpet on the path the 
travellers pursued, and the light wind stirred yet more softly 
than before, as though it 'were soothing Nature in her 
sleep. By little and little they ceased talking, and rode on 
side by side in a pleas an t silence. 
"The Maypole lights are brilliant to-night," said 
Edward, as they rode along the lane from \vhich, while the 
intervening treès were bare of leaves, that hostelry was 
visible. 
" Brilliant indeed, sir," returned Joe, rising in his stir- 
rups to g-et a better view. "Lights in the large room, and 
a fire glimmering in the best bed-chamber? Why, what 
company can this be for, I wonder! " 



Barnaby Rudge 


I I I 


" Some benighted horseman wending towards London, 
and deterred from going on to-night by the marvellous tales 
of my friend the highwayman, I suppose," said Edward. 
" He must be a horseman of good quality to have such 
accommodations. Your bed too, sir-! " 
" No matter, Joe. Any other room will do for me. But 
come-there's nine striking. vVe may push on." 
They cantered forward at as brisk a pace as Joe's charger 
could attain, and presently stopped in the little copse where 
he had left her in the morning. Edward dismounted, gave 
his bridle to his companion, and walked with a light step 
towards the house. 
A female servant was waiting at a side gate in the garden- 
wall, and admitted him without delay. He hurried along- 
the terrace-walk, and darted up a flight of broad steps lead- 
ing into an old and gloomy hall, whose walls were orna- 
n1ented with rusty suits of armour, antlers, weapons of the 
chase, and such-like garniture. Here he paused, but not 
long; for as he looked round, as if expecting the attend- 
ant to have followed, and "vondering she had not done so, 
a lovely girl appeared, whose dark hair next moment rested 
on his breast. Almost at the same instant a heavy hand 
was laid upon her arm, Edward felt himself thrust away, 
and Mr. Haredale stood between them. 
He regarded the young man sternly without removing- 
his hat; with one hand clasped his niece, and with the other, 
in which he held his riding-whip, motioned him towards the 
door. The young man drew himself up, and returned his 
gaze. 
" This is well done of you, sir, to corrupt my servants, 
and enter my house unbidden and in secret, like a thief! " 
said Mr. Haredale. "Leave it, sir, and return no more. " 
"Miss Haredale's presence," returned the young man, 
" and your relationship to her, give you a license which, if 
you are a brave man, you "vill not abuse. You have com- 
pelled me to this course, and the fault is yours-not mine. " 
" It is neither generous, nor honourable, nor the act of a 
true man, sir," retorted the other, "to tamper with the 
affections of a weak, trusting girl, while you shrink, in your 
unworthiness, from her guardian and protector, and dare 
not meet the lig-ht of day. More than this I will not say to 
you. s
Ve that I forbid you this house, and require you to be 
gone. " 
" It is neither generous, nor honourable, nor the act of a 



112 


Barnaby Rudge 


true man to play the spy," said Edward. " Your words 
in1ply dishonour, and I reject them with the scorn they 
merit. " 
" You will find," said Mr. Haredale, calmly, "your 
trusty go-between in waiting at the gate by which you 
f,ntered. I have played no spy's part, sir. I chanced to 
see you pass the gate, and followed. You might have 
heard me knocking for admission, had you been less swift 
of foot, or lingered in the garden. Please to withdra\v. 
Your presence here is offensive to me and distressful to my 
niece." As he said these words, he passed his arm about 
the waist of the terrified and weeping girl, and drew her 
closer to him; and though the habitual 
everity of his 
manner was scarcely changed, there was yet apparent in 
the action an air of kindness and sympathy for her distress. 
" lYIr. Haredale," said Edward, " your arm encircles her 
on whom I have set my every hope and thought, and to 
purchase one minute's happiness for whom I would gladly 
lay down my life; this house is the casket that holds the 
precious jew.el of my existence. Your niece has plighted 
her faith to me, and I have plighted mine to her. vVhat 
have I done that you should hold me in this light esteem, 
and give me these discourteous words? " 
" You have done that, sir," answered Mr. Haredale, 
"which must be undone. You have tied a lover's-knot 
here which must be cut asunder. Take good heed of what 
I say. lYIust. I cancel the bond between ye. I reject you, 
and all of your kith and kin-all the false, hollow, heartless 
stock. " 
" High words, sir," said Edward scornfully. 
" vV ords of purpose and meaning, as you will find," re- 
plied the other. "Lay them to heart. " 
" Lay you, then, these," said Edward. " Your cold and 
sullen temper, 'which chills every breast about you, which 
turns affection into fear, and changes duty into dread, has 
forced us on this secret course, repugnant to our nature and 
our wish, and far more foreign, sir, to us than you. I am 
not a false, a hollow, or a heartless man; the character is 
yours, who poorly venture on these injurious terms, against 
the truth, and under the shelter whereof I reminded you just 
now. You shall not cancel the bond between us. I will 
not abandon this pursuit. I rely upon your niece's truth 
and honour, and set your influence at nought. I leave her 
with a confidence in her pure faith, which you will never 



,,
 


Barnaby Rudge 


113 


weaken, and with no concern, but that I do not leave her in 
some gen tIer care. 'J 
\;Vith that, he pressed her cold hand to his lips, and once 
more encountering and returning lVlr. Haredale's steady 
look, withdrew. 
A few words to Joe as he mounted his horse sufficiently 
explained what had passed, and renewed all that young 
gentleman's despondency with tenfold aggravation. They 
rode back to the l\1aypole without exchanging a syllable, 
and arrived at the door with heavy hearts. 
Old John, who had peeped from behind the red curtain 
as they rode up shouting for Hugh, was out directly, and 
said with great importance as he held the young man's 
stirrup, 
" He's comfortable in bed-the best bed. A thorough 
gentleman; the smilingest, affablest gentleman I ever had 
to do with." 
"Who, Willet? U said Edward carelessly, as he dis- 
mounted. 
, , Your worthy father, sir," replied John. ' , Your hon- 
ourable, venerable father." 
" What does he mean? " said Edward, looking with a 
mixture of alarm and doubt at Joe. 
" What do you mean? " said Joe. "Don't you see !vIr. 
Edward doesn't understand, father? " 
" Why, didn't you know of it, sir? " said John, opening 
his eyes wide. "How very singular! Bless you, he's 
been here ever since noon to-day, and Mr. Haredale has 
been having a long talk with him, and hasn't been gone an 
I hour." 
" My father, Willet! " 
" Yes, sir, he told me so-a handsome, slim, upright gen- 
tleman, in green-and-gold. In your old room up yonder, 
sir. No doubt you can go in, sir," said John, walking 
backwards into the road and looking up at the window. 
" He hasn't put out his candles yet, I see." 
Edward glanced at the window also, and hastily mur- 
muring that he had changed his mind-forgotten some- 
thing-and must return to London, mounted his horse 
again and rode away; leaving the Willets, father and son
 
looking at each other in mute astonishment. 



114 


Barnaby Rudge 


CHAPTER XV 


AT noon next day, John Willet's guest sat lingering over 
his breakfast in his own home, surrounded by a variety of 
comforts, which left the Maypole's highest flight and utmost 
stretch of accommodation at an infinite distance behind, and 
suggested conlparisons very much to the disadvantage and 
disfavour of that venerable tavern. 
In the broad old-fashoned window-seat-as capacious as 
many modern sofas, and cushioned to serve the purpose of 
a luxurious settee-in the broad old-fashioned window-seat 
of a roomy chamber, Mr. Chester lounged, very much at 
his ease, over a well-furnished breakfast-table. He had 
exchanged his riding-coat for a handsome morning-go\vn, 
his boots for slippers; had been at great pains to atone for 
the having been obliged to make his toilet when he rose 
\vithout the aid of dressing-case and tiring-equipage j and, 
having gradually forgotten through these means the dis- 
comforts of an indifferent night and an early ride, was in 
a state of perfect complacency, indolence, and satisfac- 
tion. 
The situation in which he found himself, indeed, was par- 
ticularly favourable to the growth of these feelings j for, 
not to mention the lazy influence of a late and lonely break- 
fast, with the additional sedative of a newspaper, there 
was an air of repose about his place of residence peculiar 
to itself, and which hangs about it, even in these times, 
when it is more bustling and busy than it was in days of 
yore. 
There are, still, worse places than the Temple, on a 
sultry day, for basking in the sun, or resting idly in the 
shade. There is yet a drowsiness in its courts, and a 
dreamy dulness in its trees and gardens; those who pace its 
lanes and squares may yet hear the echoes of their foot- 
steps on the sounding stones, and read upon its gates, in 
passing from the tumult of the Strand or Fleet Street, 
" 'Vho enters here leaves noise behind." There is still 
the plash of falling water in fair Fountain Court, and there 
are yet nooks and corners where dun-haunted students may 
look down from their dusty garrets, on a vagrant ray of 
sunlight patching the shade of the tall houses, and seldom 
troubled to reflect a passing stranger's form. There is yet, 
in the Temple, iomething of a clerkly monkish atmosphere, 



Barnaby Rudge 


115 


which public officers of law have not disturbed, and even 
legal firms have failed to scare away. In summer time, 
its pumps suggest to thirsty idlers springs cooler, and 
more sparkling, and deeper than other wells; and as they 
trace the spillings of full pitchers on the heated ground, 
they snuff the freshness, and, sighing, cast sad looks to- 
wards the Than1es, and think of baths and boats, and 
saunter on, despondent. 
It was in a room in Paper Buildings-a ro\v of goodly 
tenements, shaded in front by ancient trees, and looking, 
at the back, upon the Temple Gardens-that this, our 
idler, lounged; no\.v taking up again the paper he had laid 
down a hundred times; now trifling with the fragments of 
his meal; now pulling forth his golden toothpick, and 
glancing leisurely about the room, or out at window into 
the trim garden walks, where a few early loiterers were 
already pacing to and fro. Here a pair of lovers met to 
quarrel and make up; there a dark-eyed nursery-maid had 
better eyes for Templars than her charge; on this hand an 
:lncient spinster, with her lapdog in a string, regarded 
both enormities with scornful sidelong looks; on that a 
weazen old gentleman, ogling the nursery-maid, looked 
with like scorn upon the spinster, and wondered she didn't 
know she was no longer young. Apart from all these, on 
[he river's margin two or three couple of business-talkers 

valked slowly up and down in earnest conversation; and 
Jne young man sat thoughtfully on a bench, alone. 
" Ned is amazingly patient! " said Mr. Chester, glanc- 
ng at this last-named person as he set down his teacup and 
)lied the golden toothpick, " immensely patient! He was 
)itting yonder when I began to dress, and has scarcely 

hanged his posture since. A most eccentric dog! " 
As he spoke, the figure rose, and came towards him with 
1 rapid pace. 
., Really, as if he had heard me, " said the father, resum- 
ng his newspaper with a yawn. "Dear Ned! " 
Presently the room-door opened, and the young man en- 
ered; to whom his father gently waved his hand, and 
.miled. 
" Are you at leisure for a little conversation, sir? " said 

dward. 
" Surely, Ned. I am always at leisure. You know my 
:onstitution.-Have you breakfa
ted? " 
" Three hours ago." 



116 


Barnaby Rudge 


" 'Vhat a very early dog! " cried his father, contemplat- 
ing him from behind the toothpick, with a languid smile. 
" The truth is," said Edward, bringing a chair forward, 
and seating himself near the table, " that I slept but ill last 
night, and was glad to rise. The cause of my uneasiness 
cannot but be known to you, sir; and it is upon that I wish 
to speak. " 
" IVI y dear boy," returned his father, " confide in me, I 
beg. But you know my constitution-don't be prosy, Ned." 
" I will be plain, and brief," said Edward. 
" Don't say you will, my good fellow," returned his 
father, crossing his legs, C C or you certainly will not. You 
are going to tell me-" 
" Plainly this, then," said the son, with an air of great 
concern, c, that I know where you were last night-from 
being on the spot, indeed-and whom you saw, and what 
your purpose was. " 
" You don't say so!" cried his father. "I aln de- 
lighted to hear it. It saves us the worry, and terrible \vear 
and tear of a long explanation, and is a great relief fOI 
both. At the very house! Why didn't you come up? I 
should have been charmed to s
e you. " 
c, I kne\v that \vhat I had to say would be better said 
after a night's reflection, \vhen both of us were coo)," re. 
turned the son. 
" 'Fore Gad, Ned," rejoined the father, Ie I was cool 
enough last night. That detestable Maypole! By some 
infernal contrivance of the builder, it holds the wind, and 
keeps it fresh. You remember the sharp east wind that 
ble\v so hard five weeks ago? I give you my honour it wa5 
rampant in that old house last night, though out of door5 
there was a dead calm. But you were saying-" 
" I was about to say, Heaven knows how seriously anc 
earnestly, that you have made me wretched, sir. Will YOt 
hear me gravely for a moment? " 
" My dear Ned," said his father, 'c I will hear you wit!- 
the patience of an anchorite. Oblige me \vith the milk. " 
" I sa\v Miss Haredale last night," Edward resumed 
when he had complied with this request; "her uncle, ir 
her presence, immediately after your interview, and, as O' 
course I know, in consequence of it, forbade me the house 
and, with circumstances of indignity which are of YOUI 
creation I am sure, commanded me to leave it on th( 
instant. " 



Barnaby Rudge 


117 


.. For his manner of doing so, I give you my honour, 
Ned I am not accountable," said his father. "That you 
must excuse. He is a mere boor, a log, a brute, with no 
address in life.-Positively a fly in the jug. The first I 
ha ve seen this year. " . 
Edward rose, and paced the room. His imperturbable 
parent sipped his tea. 
" Father," said the young man, stopping at length be- 
fore him, "we must not trifle in this n1atter. We must 
not deceive each other, or ourselves. Let me pursue the 
manly open part I \vish to take, and do not repel me by 
this unkind indifference. " 
" Whether I am indifferent or no," returned the other, 
cc I leave you, my dear boy, to judge. A ride of twenty- 
five or thirty miles, through miry roads-a Maypole dinner 
-a tête-à-tête with Haredale, which, vanity apart, was 
quite a Valentine and Orson business-a Maypole bed-a 
Maypole landlord, and a Maypole retinue of idiots and cen- 
taurs ;-whether the voluntary endurance of these things 
looks like indifference, dear Ned, or like the excessive 
anxiety, and devotion, and all that sort of thing, of a parent, 
vou shall determine for yourself. " 
" I wish you to consider, sir," said Edward, " in what a 
cruel situation I am placed. Loving Miss Haredale as I 
do-" 
" My dear fellow," interrupted his father with a com- 
passionate smile, "you do nothing of the kind. You 
don't know anything about it. There's no such thing, I 
assure you. Now, do take my word for it. You have good 
sense, Ned-great good sense. I wonder you should be 
guilty of such amazing absurdities. You really surprise 
me. " 
" I repeat," saìd his son firmly, " that I love her. You 
have interposed to part us, and have, to the extent I have 
just now told you of, succeeded. May I induce you, sir, in 
time, to think more favourably of our attachment, or is it 
your intention and your fixed design to hold us asunder if 
you can? " 
" My dear Ned," returned his father, taking a pinch of 
snuff and pushing his box towards him, "that is my pur- 
pose most undoubtedly. " 
" The time that has elapsed," rejoined his son, "since 
I began to know her 'worth, has flo\vn in such a dream that 
until now I have hardly once paused to reflect upon my true 



118 


Barnaby Rudge 


posItion. What is it? From my childhood I have been 
accustomed to luxury and idleness, and have been bred as 
though my fortune were large, and my expectations almost 
without a limit. The idea of wealth has been familiarised 
to Ine from my cradle. I have been taught to look upon 
those means, by which men raise themselves to riches and 
distinction, as being beyond my heeding, and beneath my 
care. I have been, as the phrase is, liberally educated, 
and am fit for nothing. I find myself at last wholly de- 
pendent upon you, with no resource but in your favour. In 
this momentous question of my life we do not, and it 
would seem we never can, agree. I have shrunk instinc- 
tively alike from those to whom you have urged me to pay 
court, and from the motives of interest and gain which have 
rendered them in your eyes visible objects for my suit. If 
there never has been thus much plain-speaking between us 
before, sir, the fault has not been mine, indeed. If I seem 
to speak too plainly now, it is, believe me, father, in the 
hope that there may be a franker spirit, a worthier reliance, 
and a kinder confidence between us in time to come. " 
" J\ly good fellow,'''' sa1d his smiling father, " you quite 
affect me. Go on, my dear Edward, I beg. But remem- 
ber your promise. There is great earnestness, vast can- 
dour, a manifest sincerity in all you say, but I fear I ob- 
serve the faintest indications of a tendency to prose." 
" I am very sorry, sir." 
U I am very sorry too, Ned, but you know that I cannot 
fix my mind for any long period upon one subject. If 
you'll come to the point at once, I'll imagine all that ought 
to go before, and conclude it said. Oblige me with the 
milk again. Listening invariably makes me feverish. " 
" What I would say, then, tends to this," said Edward. 
" I cannot bear this absolute dependence, sir, even upon 
you. Time has been lost and opportunity thrown a\vay, 
but I am yet a young man, and may retrieve it. Will you 
give me the means of devoting- such abilities and energies 
as I possess to some \vorthy pursuit? Will you let me try 
to make for myself an honourable path in life? For any 
term you please to name-say five years if you will-I 
will pledge myself to move no further in the matter of our 
difference \vithout your full concurrence. During that 
period, I will endeavour earnestly and patiently, if ever 
man did, to open SOil1e prospect for myself, and free you 
from the burden you fear I should become if I married one 



Barnaby Rudge 119 
whose worth and beauty are her chief endowments. \i\Till 
you do this, sir? At the expiration of the term we agree 
upon, let us discuss this subject again. Till then, unless 
it is revived by you, let it never be renewed between us." 
" 
1y dear Ned," returned his father, laying down the 
newspaper at which he had been glancing carelessly, and 
thro\ving himself back in the window-seat, " I believe you 
know how very much I dislike what are called family affairs, 
which are only fit for plebeian Christmas Days, and have no 
manner of business with people of our condition. But as 
you are proceeding upon a mistake, Ned-altogether upon 
a mistake-l will conquer my repugnance to entering on 
such matters, and give you a perfectly plain and candid 
answer, if you will do me the favour to shut the door." 
Edward having obeyed him, he took an elegant little 
knife from his pocket, and paring his nails, continued: 
" You have to thank me, Ned, for being of good family; 
for your mother-charming person as she was, and almost 
broken-hearted, and so forth, as she left me, when she was 
prematurely compelled to become immortal-had nothing 
to boast of in that respect. " 
" Her father was at least an eminent lawyer, sir," said 
Ed ward. 
" Quite right, Ned; perfectly so. He stood high at the 
bar, had a great name and great wealth, but having risen 
from nothing-I have always closed my eyes to the cir- 
cumstance and steadily resisted its contemplation, but I 
fear his father dealt in pork, and that his business did 
once involve cow-heel and sausag-es-he wished to marry 
his daughter into a good family. He had his heart's 
desire, Ned. I was a younger son's younger son, and I 
married her. We each had our object, and gained it. She 
stepped at once into the politest and best circles, and I 
stepped into a fortune which I assure you was very neces- 
sary to my comfort-quite indispensable. Now, my good 
fellow, that fortune is among the things that have been. 
I t is gone, Ned, and has been gone-how old are you? I 
always forget." 
" Seven-and-twenty, sir." 
" Are you indeed? " cried his father, raIsIng his eye- 
lids in a languishing surprise. " So much! Then I should 
say, Ned, that as nearly as I remember, its skirts vanished 
from human kno\\7Iedge, about eighteen or nineteen years 
ago. It was about that time when I came to live in thesf' 



120 


Barnaby Rudge 


chambers (once your grandfather's, and bequeathed by 
that extremely respectable person to me), and commenced 
to live upon an inconsiderable annuity and my past repu- 
tation. " 
" You are jesting with me, sir," said Edward. 
" Not in the slightest degree, I assure you," returned 
his father with great composure. "These family topics 
are so extremely dry, that I am sorry to say they don't 
admit of any such relief. It is for that reason, and be- 
cause they have an appearance of business, that I dis- 
like them so very much. Well ! You know the rest. A 
son, Ned, unless he is old enough to be a companion-that 
is to say, unless he is some two or three and twenty-is not 
the kind of thing to have about one. He is a restraint 
upon his father, his father is a restraint upon him, and they 
make each other mutually uncomfortable. Therefore, until 
within the last four years or so-I have a poor memory for 
dates, and if I mistake, you will correct me in your own 
mind-you pursued your studies at a distance, and picked 
up a g-reat variety of accomplishments. Occasionally Wf 
passed a week or two together here, and disconcerted each 
other as only such near relations can. At last you came 
home. I candidly tell you, my dear boy, that if you had 
been awkward and overgrown, I should have exported YOIl 
to some distant part of the world." 
" I wish with all my soul you had, sir," said Edward. 
" No, you don't, Ned," rejoined his father coolly; " yOt.: 
are mistaken, I assure you. I found you a handsome, pre. 
possessing, elegant fellow, and I threw you into the societ) 
I can still comlnand. Having done that, my dear fellow, ] 
consider that I have provided for you in life, and rely or 
your doing something to provide for me in return." 
" I do not understand your meaning, sir." 
u My meaning, Ned, is obvious- I observe another fl) 
in the cream-jug, but have the goodness not to take it ou 
as you did the first, for their walk when their legs an 
milky is extremely ungraceful and disagreeable-my mean 
ing is, that you must do as I did; that you must marr
 
well and make the most of yourself. " 
Ie A mere fortune-hunter! " cried the son, indignantly 
U What in the deviJ's name, Ned, would you be! " re 
turned the father. "All men are fortune-hunters, are the: 
not? The law, the church, the court, the camp-see hov 
they are an crowded with fortune-hunters, jostling ead 



Barnaby Rudge 


121 


other in the pursuit. The stock exchange, the pulpit, the 
counting-house, the royal dra\ving-room, the senate-what 
but fortune-hunters are they filled with? A fortune- 
hunter ! Yes. You are one; and you would be 
nothing else, my dear Ned, if you were the greatest 
courtier, lawyer, legislator, prelate, or merchant in exist- 
ence. If you are squeamish and moral, Ned, console 
yourself with the reflection that at the worst your fortune- 
hunting can make but one person miserable or unhappy. 
How many people do you suppose these other kinds of 
huntsmen crush in following their sport-hundreds at a 
step? Or thousands? " 
The young man leant his head upon his hand, and made 
no answer. 
" I am quite charmed, " said the father, rising, and walk- 
ing slo\vly to and fro-stopping now and then to glance 
at himseU in the mirror, or survey a picture through his 
5"lass, with the air of a connoiss
ur, "that we have had 
this conversation, Ned, unpromising as it was. It estab- 
(ishes a confidence between us which is quite delightful, 
and was certainly necessary, though how you can ever 
have mistaken our position and desig-ns, I confess I cannot 
Jnderstand. I conceived, until I found your fancy for this 
;irl, that all these points \vere tacitly agreed upon behveen 
JS." . 
" I knew you were embarrassed, sir," returned the son, 
:-aising his head for a moment, and then falling- into his 
.ormer attitude, " but I had no idea we \vere the beggared 
Nretches you describe. Ho\,\r could I suppose it, bred as I 
lave been; witnessing the life you have always led; and 
:he appearance you have always made? " 
" My dear child," said the father-" for you really talk 
;0 like a child that I must call you one-you were bred 
lpon a careful principle; the very manner of your educa- 
ion, I assure you, maintained my credit surprisingly. As 
:0 the life I lead, I must lead it, Ned. I must have these 
iule refinements about me. I have ahvays been used to 
-hem, and I cannot exist without them. They must sur- 
.ound me, you observe, and therefore they are here. \Vith 
"egard to our circumstances, Ned, you may set your mind 
it rest upon that score. They are desperate. Your own 
lppearance is by no means despicable, and our joint pocket- 
noney alone devours our income. That's the truth. " 
" \Vhy have I never kno\vn this before? Why have you 



122 


Barnaby Rudge 


encouraged me, sir, to an expenditure and mode of life to 
which we have no right or title? " 
" My good feHow," returned his father more compas- 
sionately than ever, " if you made no appearance ho\v could 
you possibly succeed in the pursuit for which I destined 
you? As to our mode of life, every man has a right to live 
in the best way he can; and to make himself as comfortable 
as he can, or he is an unnatural scoundrel. Our debts, I 
grant, are very great, and therefore it the more behoves 
you, as a young man of principle and honour, to pay them 
off as speedily as possible." 
" The villain's part," muttered Edward, "that I have 
unconsciously played! I to win the heart of Emma Hare- 
dale! I would, for her sake, I had died first! " 
" I am glad you see, Ned," returned his father, "ho\v 
perfectly self-evident it is, that nothing can be done in that 
quarter. But apart from this, and the necessity of your 
speedily bestowing yourself on another (as you know you 
could to-morrow, if you chose), I wish you'd look upon it 
pleasantly. In a religious point of view alone, how could 
you ever think of uniting yourself to a Catholic, unless she 
was amazingly rich ? You who ought to be so very Protest- 
ant, coming of such a Protestant family as you do. Let 
us be moral, Ned, or we are nothing. Even if one could 
set that objection aside, which is impossible, we come to 
another \vhich is quite conclusive. The very idea of marry- 
ing a girl whose father \vas killed, like meat! Good God, 
Ned, ho\v disagreeable! Consider the impossibility of 
having any respect for your father-in-taw under such un- 
pleasant circumstances-think of his having been' vie\ved ' 
by jurors, and 'sat upon' by coroners, and of his very 
doubtful position in the family ever after\vards. It seems 
to me such an indelicate sort of thing that I really think the 
girt ought to have been put to death by the State to prevent 
its happening. But I tease you perhaps. You \vould 
rather be atone? My dear Ned, most \villingly. God bless 
you. I shall be going out presently, but we shan meet to- 
night, or if not to-nig-ht, certainly to-morrow. Take care 
of yourself in the meantime, for both our sakes. You are 
a person of great consequence to me, Ned-of vast conse- 
quence indeed. God bless vou! " 
With these words, the father, who had been arranging 
his cravat in the glass, while he uttered them in a discon- 
nected careless manner, withdrew, humming a tune as he 



Barnaby Rudge 12 3 
\vent. The son, who had appeared so lost in thoug-ht as 
not to hear or understand them, remained quite still and 
silent. After the lapse of half an hour or so the elder 
Chester, gaily dressed, went out. The young
r still sat 
\vith his head resting on his hands, in what appeared to be 
a kind of stupor. 


CHAPTER XVI 


A SERIES of pictures representing the streets of London 
in the night, even at the comparatively recent date of 
this tale, would present to the eye something so very 
different in character from the reality which is wit- 
nessed in these times, that it \vould be difficult for the be- 
holder to recognise his most familiar walks in the altered 
aspect of little more than half a century ago. 
They \\Tere, one and all, from the broadest and best to the 
narro\vest and least frequented, very dark. The oil and 
cotton lamps, though regularly trimmed twice Or thrice in 
the long \vinter nights, burnt feebly at the best; and at a 
late hour, when they were unassisted by the lamps and 
candles in the shops, cast but a narrow track of doubtful 
light upon the foohvay, leaving the projecting doors and 
house-fronts in the deepest gloom. Many of the courts and 
lanes were left in total darkness; those of the meaner sort, 
\vhere one glimmering light twinkled for a score of houses, 
being favoured in no slight degree. Even in these places, 
the inhabitants had often good reason for extinguishing 
thcir lamp as soon as it was lighted; and the watch being 
utterly inefficient and powerless to prevent them, they did 
so at their pleasure. Thus, in the lightest thoroughfares, 
there \vas at every turn some obscure and dangerous spot 
whither a thief 
ight fly for shelter, and few would care 
to follo\v; and the city being belted round by fields, green 
lanes, \vaste grounds and lonely roads, dividing it at 
that tinle from the suburbs that have joined it since, escape, 
even \vhere the pursuit was hot, was rendered easy. 
I t was no \vonder that with these favouring circum- 
stances in full and constant operation, street robberies, 
often accompanied by cruel wounds, 
nd not unfrequent!y 
bv loss of life should have been of nIghtly occurrence 
 
the very heart' of London, or that quiet folks should have 
had great dread of traversing its streets after the shops 



1 2 4 


Barnaby Rudge 


were closed. It \Vas not unusual for those who wended 
home alone at midnight, to keep the middle of the road, the 
better to guard against surprise from lurking footpads; few 
would venture to repair at a late hour to Kentish To\vn or 
Hampstead, or even to Kensington or Chelsea, unarmed 
and unattended; while he who had been loudest and most 
valiant at the supper-table or the tavern, and had but a 
mile or so to go, was glad to fee a link-boy to escort him 
home. 
There were many other characteristics-not quite so dis- 
agreeable-about the thoroughfares of London then, \vith 
which they had been long familiar. Sonle of the shops, 
especially those to the eashvard of Temple Bar, still ad- 
hered to the old practice of hanging out a sign; and the 
creaking and swinging of these boards in their iron frames 
on windy nights formed a strange and mournful concert 
for the ears of those who lay a\vake in bed or hurried 
through the streets. Long stands of hackney-chairs and 
groups of chairmen, compared with \vhom the coachmen 
of our day are gentle and polite, obstructed the \vay and 
filled the air with c1amour; night-cellars, indicated by a 
little stream of light crossing the pavement, and stretching 
out half-way into the road, and by the stifled roar of voices 
from below, yawned for the reception and entertainment of 
the most abandoned of both sexes; under every shed and 
bul
 small groups of link-boys gamed away the earnings 
of the day; or one more \veary than the rest gave way to 
sleep, and let the fragment of his torch fall hissing on the 
puddled ground. 
Then there was the watch with staff and lanthorn cry- 
ing the hour, and the kind of weather; and those \vho woke 
up at his voice and turned them round in bed were glad 
to hear ,it rained, or snowed, or blew, or froze, for very 
comfort s sake. The solitary passenger was startled by 
the chairmen's cry of " By your leave there! )) as two came 
trotting past him with their empty vehicle-carried back- 
wards to show its being diseng-aged-and hurried to the 
nearest stand. Many a private chair too, inclosing some 
fine lady, mon.strously hooped and furbelowed, and pre- 
ceded by running-footmen bearing flambeaux-for which 
extinguishers are yet suspended before the doors of a few 
houses of the better sort-made the way gay and light as it 
danced along, and darker and more dismal when it had 
passed. It was not unusual for these running gentry, \vho 



Barnaby Rudge 12 5 
carried 
t with. 
 very high hand, to quarrel in the servants' 
hal
 whIle \valtIng. for their masters and nlistresses; and, 
falhng to blo\vs eIther there or in the street without to 
stre\v 
he place of skirmish \vith hair-po\vder, fragment
 of 
bag-\VIg-
, and scattered nosegays. Gaming, the vice which 
ran so high among a11 classes (the fashion being of course 
set by the upper), was generalJy the cause of these disputes. 
for card
 a
d dice were as openly used, and \vorked a
 
much mIschief, and yielded as much excitement below 
stairs, as above. \\-"hile incidents like these, arising out 
of drums and masquerades and parties at quadril1e were 
passing at the \Vest End of the town, heavy stage-c
aches 
and scarce heavier waggons were lumbering slowly to- 
\vards the City, the coachman, guard, and passengers, 
arnled to the teeth, and the coach-a day or so, perhaps, 
behind its time, but that was nothing-despoiled by high- 
waymen ; who Inade no scruple to attack, alone and single- 
handed, a whole caravan of goods and men, and sometimes 
shot a passenger or hvo and were sometimes shot them- 
selves, just as the case mig-ht be. On the morrow, rumours 
of this ne\v act of daring- on the road yielded matter 
for a few hours' conversation through the town, and a 
Public Progress of some fine g-entleman (half drunk) to 
Tyburn, dressed in th
 ne\vest fashion and damning the 
Ordinary \vith unspeakable gallantry and grace, furnished 
to the populace at once a pleasant exèitement and a whole- 
some and profound example. 
Among all the dangerous characters \vho, in such a state 
of society, prowled and skulked in the metropolis at night, 
there was one man from whom many as uncouth and fierce 
as he shrank \vith an involuntary dread. \tVho he was, or 
\\'hence he came, \vas a question often asked, but which 
none could answer. His name was unknown, he had never 
been seen until within eight days or thereabouts, and was 
equally a stranger to the old ruffians, upon whose haunts 
he ventured fearlessly, as to the young. He could be no 
spy, for he never removed h
s slou
hed hat to look about 
hiITI entered into conversatIon With no man, heeded 
nothing that passed, listened to no discourse, reg-arded 
nobody that came or went. But so surely as the dead Jf 
nio-ht -set in so surel y this man was in the midst of the 

 '. f 
loose concourse in the nIght-cellar ,,-here o
tcasts 0 ever 
grade resorted; and there he sa
 t!I1 m?rnIng. 
He was not only a spectre at their hcentIous feasts: a somc- 


, 



126 Barnaby Rudge 
thing in the midst of their revelry and riot that chilled and 
haunted them. but out of doors he was the same. Directly 
, . 
it was dark he was abroad-never in company with any 
one but al
ays alone; never lingering or loitering, but 
alw;ys \valking swiftly; and looking (so they said \vho had 
seen him) over his shoulder from tinle to time, and as he 
did so quickening his pace. In the fields, the lanes, the 
roads, in all quarters of the town-east, west, north, and 
south-that man was seen gliding on, like a shadow. He 
was always hurrying away. Those \vho encountered him, 
saw him steal past, caught sight of the backward glance, 
and so lost him in the darkness. 
This constant restlessness, and flitting to and fro, gave 
rise to strange stories. He was seen in such distant and 
remote places, at times so nearly tallying with each other, 
that some doubted whether there were not two of them, 
or more-some, whether he had not unearthly means of 
travelling fronl spot to spot. The footpad hiding in a ditch 
had marked him passing like a ghost along its brink; the 
vagrant had met him on the dark high-road; the beggar 
had seen him pause upon the bridge to look down at the 
water, and then sweep on again; they who dealt in bodies 
with the surgeons could s
7ear he slept in churchyards, and 
that they had beheld him glide a\vay among the tombs on 
their approach. And as they told these stories to each 
other, one who had looked about him would pull his neigh- 
bour by the sleeve, and there he would be among them. 
At last, one man-he was of those whose comnlerce lay 
among the graves-resolved to question this strano-e com- 
panion. Next night, when he had eat his po
r meal 
voraciously (he was accustomed to do that, they had 
observed, as though he had no other in the day) this 
fellow sat down at his elbow. ' 
" A black night, master! " 
" It is a black nig-ht. " 
" Blacker than last, though that was pitchy too. Didn't 
I pass you near the turnpike in the Oxford-road? " 
"It's like you may. I don't kno\v." 
" Come, com
, master," cried the feHow, urged on by 
the looks of his comrades, and slapping him on the 
shoulder; "be more companionable and communicative. 
Be more the gentleman in this good company. There are 
tales among us that you have sold yourself to the devil 
and I know not what. " , 



Barnaby Rudge 


12 7 


" 
'V e an h

e, have we not?" returned the stranger, 
lookIng up. If we were fewer in number perhaps he 
\vould give better wages. ' , , 
" It goes rather hard with you, indeed," said the fellow 
as the stranger disclosed his haggard unwashed face and 
torn clothes. "\Vhat of that? Be merry master: A 
stave of a roaring song now-" - , 
" Sing you, if you desire to hear one," replied the other 
shaking him roughly off; "and don't touch me, if you 'r
 
a prudent nIan; I carry arms which go off easily-they 
have done so, before now-and make it dangerous for 
strangers \vho don't know the trick of them, to lay hands 
upon me. " 
" Do you threaten? " said the fellow. 
" 'Yes," returned the other, rising and turning upon him, 
and looking fiercely round as if in apprehension of a general 
attack. 
His voice, and look, and bearing-all expressive of the 
\vildest recklessness and desperation-daunted while they 
repelled the bystanders. Although in a very different 
sphere of action now, they were not without much of thc" 
effect they had wrought at the Nlaypofe Inn. 
" I am \vhat you all are, and live as you aU do," said 
the man sternly, after a short silence. "I am in hiding 
here like the rest, and if we \vere surprised would perhaps 
do my part \\-ith the best of ye. If it's my humour to be 
left to myself, let me have it. Otherwise, "-and here he 
s\vore a tremendous oath-" there'll be mischief done in 
this place, though there are odds of a score ag-ainst me. " 
A low murmur, having its origin perhaps in a dread of 
the man and the mystery that surrounded him, or perhaps 
in a sincere opinion on the part of some of those present, 
that it ","ould be an inconvenient precedent to meddle too 
curiously with a gentleman's private affairs if he sa\v reason 
to conceal them
 warned the fellow \vho had occasioned 
this discussion that he had best pursue it no further. After 
a short time the strange man lay do\vn upon a bench to 
sleep. and \vhen they thought of him again, they found 
that he was gone. . 
N ext night, as soon as it was dark, he was abroad aþ"al,n 
and traversing the streets; he was before the locksmIth s 
house more than once but the family \vere out, and it was. 
close shut. This night he crossed London Bridge and 
passed into Southwark. As he glided do\vn a by-street, a 


, 



128 


Barnaby Rudge 


woman with a little basket on her arm turned into it at 
the other end. Directly he observf'd her, he sought the 
shelter of an archway, and stood aside until she had passed. 
Then he emerged cautiously from his hiding-place, and 
followed. 
She went into several shops to purchase various kinds of 
household necessaries, and round every place at which she 
stopped he hovered like her evil spirit; following her when 
she reappeared. It was nigh eleven o'clock, and the 
passengers in the streets were thinning fast, when she 
turned, doubtless to go home. The phantom still follo\ved 
her. 
She turned into the same by-street in which he had seen 
her first, which, being free from shops, and narrow, was 
extremely dark. She quickened her pace here, as though 
distrustful of being stopped, and robbed of such trifling 
property as she carried with her. He crept along on the 
other side of the road. Had she been gifted with the speed 
of wind, it seemed as if his terrible shadow would have 
tracked her down. 
At length the wido\v-for she it was-reached her own 
door, and, panting for breath, paused to take the key from 
her basket. In a flush and glow, with the 'haste she had 
made, and the pleasure of being safe at home, she stooped 
to draw it out, when, raising her head, she saw him stand- 
ing silently beside her; the apparition of a dream. 
His hand was on her mouth, but that was needless, for 
her tongue clove to its roof, and her power of utterance was 
gone. cc I have been looking for you many nights. Is the 
house empty? Answer me. Is anyone inside? " 
She could only answer by a rattle in her throat. 
II Make me a sign." 
She seemed to indicate that there was no one there. !{e 
took the key, unlocked the door, carried her in, and 
secured it carefully behind them. 


CI-IAPTER XVII 
IT \vas a chilIy night, and the fire in tIIC widow's par- 
lour h.ad burnt low.. Her strange companion placed her in 
a chair, and stooping down before the half-extinguished 
ashes, raked th('.m together and fanned them with his hat. 
From time to time he glanced at her over his shoulder, as 



Barnaby. Rudge 12 9 
though to assure hinlself of her remaining quiet and making 
no effort to depart; and that done, busied himself about the 
fire again. 
I t was not without reason that he took these pains, for 
his dress was dank and drenched with wet, his jaws rattled 
with cold, and he shivered from head to foot. It had 
rained hard during the previous night and for some hours in 
the morning, but since noon it had been fine. Where- 
soever he had passed the hours of darkness, his condition 
sufficiently betokened that many of them had been spent 
beneath the open sky. Besmeared with mire; his saturated 
clothes clinging with a damp embrace about his limbs; his 
beard unshaven, his face unwashed, his meagre cheeks 
worn into deep hollows,-a more miserable wretch could 
hardly be, than this man who now cowered down upon the 
\vidow's hearth, and watched the struggling flame with 
bloodshot eyes. I 
She had covered her face with her hands, fearing, as it 
seemed, to look towards him. So they remained for some 
short time in silence. Glancing round again, he asked at 
length : 
" Is this your house?" 
" It is. \\Thy, in the name of Heaven, do you darken 
it?" 
" Give me meat and drink," he answered sullenly, " or I 
dare do more than that. The very marrow in my bones is 
cold, with wet and hunger. I must have warmth and food, 
and I \\rill have them here. " . 
" You were the robber on the Chigwell-road." 
" I was. " 
" And nearly a murderer then. " 
" The \vill \vas not \\Tanting. There was one came upon 
me and raised the hue-and-cry, that it would have gone 
hard with but for his nimbleness. I made a thrust at 
, 
him. " 
" You thrust your sword at him I" cried the widow, look- 
ing upwards. "You hear this man! you hear and 
saw! " 
He looked at her, as, with her head thrown back, and 
her hand
 tight clenched together, .she utt
red these words 
in an agony of appeal. Then, startIng to hIs feet as she had 
done, he advanced towards her. . 
" Beware!" she cried in a suppressed voice, whose firm- 
ness stopped him midway. cc Do not so much as touch 
F 



13 0 Barnaby Rudge 
me with a finger, or you are lost; body and soul, you are 
lost. " 
" Hear me " he replied, menacing her with his hand. 
cc I that in ;he form of a man live the life of a hunted 
bea'st. that in the body am a spirit, a ghost upon the earth, 
a thin'g from which all creature.s shrink, save those cur
t 
beings of another world, who will not leave me ;-1 am, In 
my desperation of this night, past all fear but that of the 
hen in which I exist from day to day. Give the alarm, cry 
out, refuse to shelter me. I will not hurt you. But I will 
not be taken alive; and so surely as you threaten me above 
your breath, I faIl a dead man on this floor. The blood 
with which I sprinkle it be on you and yours, in the name 
of the Evil Spirit that tempts men to their ruin I" 
As he spoke, he took a pistol from his breast, and firmly 
clutched it in his hand. 
"Remove this man from me, good Heaven I" cried the 
widow. "In thy grace and mercy, give him one minute's 
penitence, and strike him dead! " . 
" It has no such purpose," he said,. confronting her. 
cc It is deaf. Give me to eat and drink, lest I do that it 
cannot help my doing, and will not do for you. " 
" Will you leave me, if I do thus much? Will you leave 
me and return no more?" 
" I will promise nothing," he rejoined, seating himself 
at the table, " nothing but this-I will execute my threat 
if you betray me." 
She rose at length, and going to a closet or pantry in the 
room, brought out some fragments of cold meat and bread 
and put them on the table. He asked for brandy, and for 
water. These she produced likewise; and he ate and drank 
with the voracity of a famished hound. All the time he 
was so engaged she kept at the uttermost distance of the 
chamber, and sat there shuddering, but with her face 
towards him. She never turned her back upon him once; 
and although when she passed him (as she was obliged to do 
in going to and from the cupboard) she gathered the skirts 
of her garment about her, as if even its touching his by 
chance were horrible to think of, still, in the midst of all this 
dread and horror, she kept her face directed to his own and 
watched his every movement. ' 
His repast ended-if that can be called one, which was a 
mere ravenous satisfying of the calls of hunger-he moved 
his chair towards the fire again, and warming himself 



Barnaby Rudge 13 1 
before the blaze which had now sprung brightly up, 
accosted her once more. 
"I am an outcast, to whom a roof above his head is 
often an uncommon luxury, and the food a beggar would 
reject is delicate fare. You live here at your ease. Do you 
live alone?" 
" I do not," she made answer with an effort. 
" Who dwells here hesides? " 
" One-it is no matter \vho. You had best begone, or 
he Inay find you here. Why do you linger?" 
"For warmth," he replied, spreading out his hands 
before the fire. "For warmth. You are rich, perhaps?" 
" Very," she said faintly. "Very rich. No doubt I am 
. h " 
very nc . 
" At least you are not penniless. You have some money. 
You were making purchases to-night. " 
" I have a little left. It is but a few shillings. " 
., Give me your purse. You had it in your hand at the 
door. Give it to me." 
She stepped to the table and laid it down. He reached 
across, took it up, and told the contents into his hand. As 
he was counting them, she listened for a moment, and 
sprang towards him. 
"Take what there is, take all, take more if more were 
there, but go before it is too late. I have heard a wayward 
step without, I know full well. It will return directly. 
Begone. " 
"What do you mean ?" 
" Do not stop to ask. I will not answer. Much as I 
dread to touch you, I would drag you to the door if I 
possessed the strength, rather than you should lose an 
instant. Miserable wretch! fly from this place. " 
" If there are spies without, I am safer here," replied 
the man, standing aghast. "I will remain here, and will 
not fly till the danger is past." 
" I t- is too late!" cried the widow, who had listened for 
the step, and not to him. " Hark to that foot upon the 
ground. Do you tremble to hear it! It is my son, my 
idiot son!" 
As she said this wildly, there came a heavy knocking at 
the door. He looked at her, and she at him. 
" Let him come in," said the man, hoarsely. "I fea 
him less than the dark, houseless night. He knocks again. 
Let him come in !" 



13 2 


Barnaby Rudge 


" The dread of this hour," returned the \vid?w,." has 
been upon me all my life, and I will not. 
vIl wIll fal
 
upon him, if you stand eye to eye. l'vIy bltghted boy. 
Oh I all good angels who kno\v the truth-hear a poor 
mother's prayer, and spare my boy from knowledge of 
this man! " 
" He rattles at the shutters!" cried the man. "He calls 
you. That voice and 
ry! ,
t was he \vho grappled \vith 
me in the road. \Vas I t he? 
She had sunk upon her knees, and so knelt down, moving 
her lips, but uttering no sound. As he gazed upon her, 
uncertain what to do or where to turn, the shutters fle\v 
open. He had barely time to ca
ch a knif
 fr<:>m the table, 
sheathe it in the loose sleeve of hIs coat, hIde In the closet, 
and do all with the lightning's speed, \vhen Barnaby tapped 
at the bare glass, and raised the sash exultingly. 
" Why, who can keep out Grip and me I" he cried, 
thrusting in his head, and staring round the roon1. " Are 
you there, mother? How long you keep us from the fire 
and light." 
She stammered some excuse and tendered him her hand. 
But Barnaby sprang lightly in without assistance, and 
putting his arms about her neck, kissed her a hundred 
times. 
"We have been afield, mother-leaping ditches, 
scrambling through hedges, running down steep banks, up 
and away, and hurrying on. The wind has been blowing, 
and the rushes and young plants bo\ving and bending to it, 
lest it should do them harm, the cowards-and Grip-ha 
ha ha I-brave Grip, who cares for nothing-, and \vhen the 
wind rolls him over in the dust, turns manfully to bite it- 
Grip, bold Grip, has quarrelled with every little bo\ving 
twig-thinking, he told me, that it mocked him-and has 
worried it like a bull-dog. Ha ha ha !" 
The raven, in his little basket at his master's back hear- 
ing this frequent mention of his name in a tone of 
xulta- 
tion, expressed his sympathy by crowing like a cock, and 
afterwar?s. running: over his various phrases of speech with 
such rapIdIty, and In so many varieties of hoarseness that 
th
r sounded like the murmurs of a c.rowd of people. ' 
" He takes such care of me besIdes!" said Barnaby. 
Such care, mother! He watches all the time I sleep, and 
when I shut my eyes and nlake-believe to slumber he 
practises new learning softly; but he keeps his ey
 on 



Barnaby Rudge 


133 


me the while, and if he sees me laugh, though never so 
little, stops directly. He \von't surprise Ole till he's 
perfect. " 
The raven crowed again in a rapturous manner which 
plainly said, "Those are certainly some of my character- 
istics, and I glory in them. J' In the meantime, Barnaby 
closed the windo\v and secured it, and coming to the fire- 
place, prepared to sit down with his face to the closet. 
But his mother prevented this, by hastily taking that side 
herself, and motioning him towards the other. 
" Ho\v pale you are to-night!' t said Barnaby, leaning on 
his stick. " vVe have been cruel, Grip, and made her 
anxious !" 
Anxious in good truth, and sick at heart! The listener 
held the door of his hiding-place open with his hand, and 
closely watched her son. Grip-alive to everything his 
master was unconscious of-had his head out of the basket, 
and in return was watching him intently with his glistening 
eye. 
" He flaps his wings,' J said Barnaby, turning almost 
quickly enough to catch the retreating form and closing 
door, " as if there were strangers here; but Grip is wiser 
than to fancy that. JunlP then!" 
Accepting this invitation with a dignity peculiar to him- 
self, the bird hopped upon his master's shoulder, from that 
to his extended hand, and so to the ground. I Barnaby un- 
strapping the basket and putting it down in a corner with 
the lid open, Grip's first care was to shut it down with all 
possible despatch, and then to stand upon it. Believing, 
no doubt, that he had now rendered it utterly impossible, 
and beyond the power of mortal man, to shut him up in it 
any more, he drew a great many corks in triumph, and 
uttered a corresponding number of hurrahs. 
" l\lother !" said Barnaby, laying aside his hat and stick, 
and returning to the chair from which he had risen, " I'll 
tell you where we have been to-day, and what \ve have been 
doing ,-shall I? t t . . 
She took his hand in hers, and holding It, nodded the 
word she could not speak. .. 
, , You mustn't tell," said Barnaby, holding up hIS 
fin g er "for it's a secret mind and onl y known to me, and 
, ". J 
Grip, and Hugh. \Ve had the dog ,v
th us, b
t he s n
t 
like Gri p clever as he is, and doesn t guess It yet, I 11 
, " 
wager.-\Vhy do you look behind me so? 



134 Barnaby Rudge 
" Did I? " she answered faintly. "I didn't know I did. 
Come nearer me. " 
" You are frightened!" said Barnaby, changing colour. 
., Mother-you don't see-" 
" See what?" 
"There's-there's none of this about, is there?" he 
answered in a whisper, drawing closer to her and clasping 
the mark upon his wrist. "I am afraid there is, some- 
where. You make my hair stand on end, and my flesh 
creep. Why do you look like that? Is it in the room as I 
have seen it in my dreams, dashing the ceiling and the walls 
with red? Tell me. Is it?" 
He fell into a shivering fit as he put the question, and 
shutting out the light with his hands, sat shaking in every 
limb until it had passed away. After a time, he raised his 
head and looked about him. 
" Is it gone?" 
"There has been nothing here,' t rejoined his mother, 
soothing him. "Nothing indeed, dear Barnaby. Look! 
You see there are bu t you and me. " 
He gazed at her vacantly, and, becoming reassured by 
degrees, burst into a wild laugh. 
" But let us see," he said, thoughtful1y. " Were we 
talking? \Vas it you and me? Where have we been? " 
" Nowhere but here." 
"Ay, but Hugh, and I," said Barnaby,-" that's it. 
Maypole Hugh, and I, you know, and Grip-we have been 
lying in the forest, and among the trees by the road-side, 
with a dark-lantern after night came on, and the dog in a 
noose ready to slip him when the man came by." 
" What man? " 
" The robber; him that the stars winked at. We have 
waited for him after dark these many nights, and we shall 
have him. I'd know him in a thousand. Mother, see 
here! This is the man. Look!' t 
He twisted his handkerchief round his head, pulled his 
hat upon his brow, wrapped his coat about him, and stood 
up before her: so like the original he counterfeited, that 
the dark figure peering out behind him might have passed 
for his own shadow. 
" Ha ha ha ! We shall have hin1," he cried, ridding 
himself of the semblance as hastily as he had assumed it. 
, , You shall see him, mother, bound hand and foot, and 
brought to London at a saddle-girth; and you shall hear of 



Barnaby Rudge 


135 


him at Tyburn Tree if we have luck. So Hugh says. 
You're pale again, and trembling. And why do you look 
behind me so? " 
" It is nothing," she answered. "I am not quite well. 
Go you to bed, dear, and leave me here." 
" To bed! " he answered. "I don't like bed. I like to 
lie before the fire, watching the prospects in the burning 
coals-the rivers, hills, and dells, in the deep, red sunset, 
and the \\.ild faces. I am hungry too, and Grip has eaten 
nothing since broad noon. Let us to supper. Grip! To 
supper, lad! " 
The raven flapped his wings, and, croaking his satisfac- 
tion, hopped to the feet of his master, and there held his 
bill open, ready for snapping up such lumps of meat as he 
should throw him. Of these he received about a score in 
rapid succession, without the smallest discomposure. 
" That's all," said Barnaby. 
" !\Iore ! " cried Grip. "More!" 
But it appearing for a certainty that no more was to be 
had, he retreated with his store; and disgorging the mor- 
sels one by one from his pouch, hid tl).em in various corners 
-taking particular care, however, to avoid the closet, as 
being doubtful of the hidden man's propensities and power 
of resisting temptation. \Vhen he had concluded these 
arrangements, he took a turn or two across the room with 
an elaborate assumption of having nothing on his mind 
(but with one eye hard upon his treasure all the time), and 
then, and not till then, began to drag it out, piece by piece, 
and eat it with the utmost relish. 
Barnaby, for his part, having pressed his mother to eat, 
in vain, made a hearty supper too. Once, during the pro- 
gress of his meal, he wanted more bread from the closet 
and rose to get it. She hurriedly interposed to prevent 
him, and, summoning her utmost fortitude, passed into the 
recess, and brought it out herself. 
" Mother," said Barnaby, looking at her steadfastly as 
she sat down beside him after doing so; "is to-day my 
birthday? " 
" To-day! " she answered. "Don't you recollect it was 
but a week or so ago, and that summer, autumn, and win- 
ter have to pass before it comes again? " 
" I remember that it has been so till now," said Barnaby. 
" But I think to-day must be my birthday too, for all that. " 
She asked him why. "I'll tell you why," he said. "I 



Î3 6 Barnaby Rudge 
have always seen you
I didn't let you kno\v it, but I have 
-on the evening of that day gro\v very sad. I have .seen 
y.ou cry when Grip and I were most glad; and look fnght- 
ened with no reason; and I have touched your hand, and 
felt that it was cold-as it is now. Once, mother (on a 
birthday that \vas, also), Grip and I though
 o
 this af
er 
we went up stairs to bed, and when it was midnight, .stnk- 
ing one o'clock, we canle down to your door to see If you 
were well. You were on your knees. I forget what it \vas 
you said. Grip, \vhat \vas it \\'e heard her say that night? " 
" I'm a devil! " rejoined the raven proInptly. 
U No, no," said Barnaby. "But you said something in 
a prayer; and when you rose and \valked about, you looked 
(as you have done ever since, mother, towards night on nlY 
birthday) just as you do no\v. I have found that out, you 
see, though I am silly. So I say you're wrong; and this 
must be my birthday-my birthday, Grip! " 
The bird received this information \vith a crow of such 
duration as a cock, gifted with intelligence beyond all 
others of his kind, nlight usher in the longest day with. 
Then, as if he had \vell considered the sentiment, and re- 
garded it as apposite to birthdays, he cried, "Never say 
die! " a great many times, and flapped his wings for em- 
phasis. 
The widow tried to make light of Barnaby's remark, and 
endeavoured to divert his attention to some new subject; 
too easy a task at all times, as she knew. His supper 
done, Barnaby, regardless of her entreaties, stretched hiIn- 
seH on the mat before the fire; Grip perched upon his leg, 
and divided his time betwcen dozing in the grateful \\'arnlth 
and endeavouring (as it presently appeared) to recall a new 
accomplishment he had been studying all day. 
A long and profound silence ensued, broken only by some 
c
ang
 of position on the part of Barnaby, \vhose eyes were 
shll wide open and intently fixed upon the fire; or by an 
effort of recollection on the part of Grip, \vho ,,'ould cry in 
a low voice frool time to time, " Polly put the ket- " and 
there stop .short, forgetting the remainder, and go off in 
a doze again. 
After a long interval, Barnaby's breathing- grew more 
deep and r
gular, and his eyes were closed. But even then 
the unquiet spirit of the raven interposed. "Polly put the 
ket- " cried Grip, and his master was broad a\vake again. 
At length Barnaby slept soundly; and the bird \vith his 



Barnaby.Rudge 137 
biB sunk upon his breast, his breast itself puffed out into a 
comfortable aldern..an-like form, and his bright eye growing 
sInaller and smaller, really seenlcd to be subsiding into a 
state of repose. N o\V and then he muttered in a sepulchral 
,:oice, H Polly put the ket-" but very drowsily, and more 
lIke a drunken man than a reflecting raven. 
The \vidow, scarcely venturing to breathe, rose from her 
seat. The man glided from the closet, and extinguished 
the candle. 
" -tie on," cried Grip, suddenly struck \vith an idea and 
very much excited. II -tie on. Hurrah! Polly put the 
ket-tle fon, we'll all have tea; Polly P ut the ket-tle on 
, , 
we 11 all have tea. Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah! I'm a 
devil, I'n) a devil, I'm a ket-tle on, Keep up your spirits, 
N e\per say die, Bow wow wow, I'm a devil, I'm a ket-tle, 
I'n1 a-Polly put the h.et-tle on, we'll all have tea." 
They stood rooted to the ground, as though it had been 
a voice from the g ra ve. 
But even this failed to awaken the sleeper. He turned 
over towards the fire, his arm fell to the ground, and his 
head drooped heavily upon it. The wido\v and her unwel- 
come visitor gazed at him and at each other for a moment, 
and then she motioned hinl towards the door. 
" Stay, JJ he whispered. II You teach your son welJ." 
" I have taught him nothing that you heard to-night. 
Depart instantly, or I will rouse him. " 
" You are free to do so. Shall I rouse him? " 
, , You dare not do that. " 
" I dare do anything, I have told you. He knows me 
\\ ell, it seems. At least I will kno\v him. " 
" 'V ould you kill him in his sleep? " cried the widow, 
throwing herself between them. 
II Woman," he returned between his teeth, as he mo- 
tioned her aside "I would see him nearer, and I will. If 
, h . " 
you want one of us to kill the other, wake 1m. 
\Vith that he advanced, and bending down over the pros- 
trate form, softly turned back the head and I.ooked int? the 
face. The light of the fire was upon it, and Its every lInea- 
nlent was revealed distinctly. He contemplated it for a 
brief space, and hastily uprose. 
" Observe" he whispered, in the widow's ear: II In him, 
of whose existence I was ignorant until to-night, I ha
e 
you in my power. Be careful how you use me. Be careful 
ho\v you use me. I am destjtute and starving, and a wan- 



13 8 


Barnaby Rudge 


derer upon the earth. I may take a sure and slow re- 
" 
venge. . . 
" There is some dreadful meaning In your words. I do 
not fathom it. " . 
" There is a meaning in them, and I see you fathom It 
to its very depth. You have anticipated it for years; you 
have told me as much. I leave you to digest it. Do not 
. " 
forget my warning. . 
He pointed, as he left her, to the slumbering form, and 
stealthily withdrawing, made his way into the str
et. 
he 
fell on her knees beside the sleeper, and remained lIke 
one stricken into stone, until the tears which fear had frozen 
so long came tenderly to her relief. 
" Oh Thou," she cried, " who hast taught me such deep 
love for this one remnant of the promise of a happy life, out 
of whose affliction even perhaps the comfort springs that 
he is ever a relying, loving child to me-never growing old 
or cold at heart, but needing my care and duty in his manly 
strength as in his cradle-time-help him, in his darkened 
walk through this sad world, or he is doon-ted, and my poor 
heart is broken 1 " 


CHAPTER XVIII 


GLIDING along the silent streets, and holding his course 
where they were darkest and most gloomy, the man who 
had left the widow's house crossed London Bridge, and 
arriving in the City, plunged into the backways, lanes, and 
courts, between Cornhill and Smithfield; \vith no more 

xedness of purpose than to lose himself among their wind- 
Ings, and baffle pursuit, if anyone were dogging his steps. 
It was the dead time of night, and all was quiet. Now 
and then a drowsy watchman's footsteps sounded on the 
pavement, or the lamp-lighter on his rounds \vent flashing 
past,. leaving behind a little track of smoke n1ingled with 
g-Iowlng morsels of his hot red link. He hid himself even 
from these partakers of his lonely walk, and, shrinking in 
som.e arch or door-way while they passed, issued forth 
again when they were gone and so pursued his solitary 
way. 
To be shelterless and alone in the open country, hearing 



Barnaby Rudge 139 
the wind. moan and \vatching for day through the whole long 
weary night; to listen to the falling rain, and crouch for 
warmth beneath the lee of some old barn or rick or in the 
hollo\v of a tree; are dismal things-but not so' dismal as 
the wandering up and down where shelter is, and beds and 
sleepers are by thousands; a houseless rejected creature. 
To pac
 the echoing stones from hour to hour, counting the 
dull chImes of the clocks; to watch the lights twinkle in 
chamber windows, to think what happy forgetfulness each 
house shuts in; that here are children coiled together in 
their beds., here.youth, here age, here poverty, here wealth, 
all equal In their sleep, and all at rest; to have nothing in 
common with the slumbering world around, not even sleep, 
Heaven's gift to all its creatures, and be akin to nothing 
but despair; to fee], by the wretched contrast with every- 
thing on every hand, more utterly alone and cast away 
than in a trackless desert ;-this is a kind of suffering, on 
\vhich the rivers of great cities close full many a time, and 
which the solitude in crowds alone awakens. 
The miserable man paced up and down the streets-so 
long, so wearisome, so like each other-and often cast a 
wistful look towards the east, hoping to see the first faint 
streaks of day. But obdurate night had yet possession of 
the sky, and his disturbed and restless walk found no relief. 
One house in a back street was bright with the cheerful 
glare of lights; there was the sound of music in it too, and 
the tread of dancers, and there were cheerful voices, and 
many a burst of laughter. To this place-to be nearer 
something that \vas awake and glad-he returned again and 
again; and more than one of those who left it when the 
merriment was at its height, felt it a check upon their mirth- 
ful mood to see him flitting to and fro like an uneasy ghost. 
At last the guests departed, one and all; and then the house 
was close shut up and became as dull and silent as the rest. 
His wandering
 brought him at one time to the city jail. 
Instead of hastening from it as a place of ill omen, and one 
he had cause to shun, he sat down on some steps hard by, 
and, resting his chin upon his hand, gazed upon its rough 
and frowning walls as though even they became a refuge 
in his jaded eyes. He paced it round and round, came back 
to the same spot, and sat down again. He did this often, 
and once, \vith a hasty movement, crossed to wher
 sðme 
men were watching in the prison lodge, and had his foot 
upon the steps as though determined to accost them. But 



14 0 Barnaby Rudge 
looking round, he saw that the day began to break, and 
failing in his purpose, turned and fled. 
He was soon in the quarter he had lately traversed, and 
pacing to and fro again as he had done before. He was 
passing down a mean street, when from an alley close at 
hand son1e shouts of revelry arose, and there caIl1e strag- 
gling forth a dozen madcaps, whooping and calling to ca
h 
other, who, parting noisily, took different ways and dIs- 
persed in smal1er groups. .. 
Hoping that some low place of entertainment \vhlch 
would afford him a safe refuge might be near at hand, he 
turned into this court when they \vere all gone, and looked 
about for a half-opened door, or lighted \vindow, or other 
indication of the place whence they had come. It \\'as so 
profoundly dark, however, and so ill-favoured, that he con- 
cluded they had but turned up there, missing their \vay, and 
were pouring out again when he observed them. "lith this 
impression, and finding there \vas no outlet but that by 
which he had entered, he was about to turn, \vhen from a 
grating near his feet a sudden stream of Iig-ht appeared, 
and the sound of talking came. He retreated into a door- 
way to see who these talkers were, and to listen to them. 
The light came to the level of the pavement as he did this, 
and a man ascended, bearing in his hand a torch. This 
figure unlocked and held open the grating as for the passage 
of another, \vho presently appeared, in the fornl of a young 
man of small stature and uncommon self-importance, 
dressed in an obsolete and very gaudy fashion. 
" Good night, noble captain," said he \vith the torch. 
(C Farewell, commander. Good luck, illustrious general! " 
. In return to these compliments the other bade hin1 hold 
hIs tongue, and keep his noise to himself; and laid upon 
him many similar injunctions, with great fluency of speech 
and sternness of manner. 
"Commend me, captain, to the stricken Micrgs " re- 
t
lrned t
e torch-bearer in a lovier voice. C C 11; c
ptain 
flI
S .at hIgher game than 
1iggses. Ha, ha, ha! l\ly cap- 
taIn IS an 
agle, both as respects his eye and soaring ,vings. 
My captaIn breaketh hearts as other bachelors break eggs 
at breakfast. " 
" ':'hat a fool you are, Stagg! " said 
1r. Tappertit, 
s
epping on the paven1ent of the court, and brushing from 
hl
}eg.s the 
ust h
 had 
?nt
acted in his passage up\\'ard. 
HIs preCIOUS lImbs! cried Stagg, clasping one of his 



Barnaby Rudge 14 1 
ankles. cc Sh
1l a 1-1iggs aspire to these proportions! Na, 
no, n
y captain. \\Te will inveig-le ladies fair, and wed 
them In our secret cavern. \Ve will unite ourselves with 
bloonling beauties, captain." 
e I I'll tell you \vhat, n1Y buck," said 1fr. Tappertit re- 
leasing his leg, eel '11 trouble you not to take liberties 'and 
not to broach certain questions unless certain question's are 
broach
d to you. Speak when 
ou're spoke to on particu- 
lar subJccts, and not othcrways. Hold the torch up till 
I've got to the end of the court, and then kennel yourself, 
do you hear? " 
CI I hear you, noble captain. " 
" Obey then," said l\1r. Tappertit haughtily. CI Gentle- 
nlen, lead on !" \Vith which word of command (addressed 
to an imaginary staff or retinue) he folded his arms, and 
\valked \vith surpassing dignity down the court. 
His obsequious follo\ver stood holding the torch above 
his head, and then the observer sa\v for the first time, from 
his place of concealment, that he was blind. Some involun- 
tary motion on his part caught the quick ear of the blind 
man , before he was conscious of having moved an inch 
to\vards him, for he turned suddenly and cried, II Who's 
there? " 
CI A man, JJ said the other, advancing. II A friend." 
e e A stranger! " rejoined the blind man. I eStrangers 
are not my friends. What do you do there? JJ 
eel sa\v your company come out, and waited here till they 
\vere gone. I \vant a lodging. " 
Ie A lodging at this time! " returned Stagg, pointing to- 
wards the da \vn as though he saw it. "Do you know the 
day is breaking? " 
CI I kno\v it," rejoined the other, Ie to my cost. I have 
been traversing this iron-hearted town all night." 
Ie You had better traverse it again," said the blind man, 
preparing to descend, 'I till you find some lodgings suitable 
to your taste. I don't let any. " 
CI Stay! " cried the other, holding him by the arm. 
eeI'II beat this li<Yht about that hangdog face of yours 
(for hangdog it is, if it. answ
rs to your .voice), ,
nd. rouse 
the neighbourhood besides, tf you detaIn me, saId the 
blind man. "Let me go. Do you hear? " 
'I Do you hear! " returne
 the othe:, chinkinf? a fe
 
shiIlings together, and hurnedly pn;sslng them Into his 
hand. cc I bèg nothing of you. I w1l1 pay for the shelter 



14 2 


Barnaby Rudge 


you give me. Death! Is it much to ask of such as you! 
I have comè from the country, and desire to rest where 
there are none to question me. I am faint, exhausted, worn 
out, almost dead. Let me lie down, like a dog, before your 
fire. I ask no more than that. If you would be rid of me, 
I will depart to-morrow." 
" If a gentleman has been unfortunate on the road," 
muttered Stagg, yielding to the other, who, pressing on 
him, had already gained a footing on the steps-" and can 
pay for his accommodation-" 
" I will pay you with all I have. I am just now past the 
want of food, God knows, and wish but to purchase shelter. 
What companion have you below? " 
" None. " 
" Then fasten your grate there, and show me the way. 
Quick! " 
The blind man complied after a moment's hesitation, and 
they descended together. The dialogue had passed as 
hurriedly as the words could be spoken, and they stood in 
his wretched room before he had had time to recover from 
his first surprise. 
" May I see where that door leads to, and what is be- 
yond? " said the man, glancing keenly round. U You will 
not mind that? " 
U I wiU show you myself. Follow me, or go before. 
Take your choice." 
He bade him lead the way, and, by the light of the torch 
which his conductor held up for the purpose, inspected aU 
three cellars narrowly. Assured that the blind man had 
spoken truth, and that he lived there alone, the visitor 
returned with him to the first, in which a fire was burning, 
and flung himself with a deep groan upon the ground be- 
fore it. 
His host pursued his usual occupation without seeming 
to heed him any further. But directly he fell asleep--and 
he noted his falling into a slumber, as readily as the keenest- 
sighted man could have done-he knelt down beside him, 
"tnd passed his hand lightly but careful1y over his face and 
person. 
His sleep was checl\ered with starts and moans, and 
sometimes with a muttered word or two. His hands were. 
clenched, his brow bent, and his mouth firmly set. An 
this, the blind man accurately marked; and as if his 
curiosity were strongly awakened, and he had already some 



Barnaby Rudge 


143 


inkling of his mystery, he sat watching him, if the expres- 
sion may be used, and listening, until it was broad day. 


CHAPTER XIX 
DOLLY VARDEN'S pretty little head was yet be- 
wildered by various recol1ections of the party, and 
her bright eyes were yet dazzled by a crowd of images, 
dancing before them like motes in the sunbeams, among 
which the effigy of one partner in particular did especially 
figure, the same being a young coach maker (a master in his 
own right) who had given her to understand, when he 
handed her into the chair at parting, that it was his fixed 
resolve to neglect his business from that time, and die 
slowly for the love of her-Dolly's head, and eyes, and 
thoughts, and seven senses, were all in a state of flutter and 
confusion for which the party was accountable, although 
it was now three days old, when, as she was sitting list- 
lessly at breakfast, reading an manner of fortunes (that is 
to say, of married and flourishing fortunes) in the grounds 
of her teacup, a step was heard in the workshop, and Mr. 
Edward Chester was descried through the glass door, 
standing among the rusty locks and keys, like Love among 
the roses-for which apt comparison the historian may by 
no means take any credit to himself, the same being the 
invention, in a sentimental mood, of the chaste and modest 
Miggs, who, beholding him from the doorsteps she was 
then cleaning, did, in her maiden meditation, give utter- 
ance to the simi1e. 
The locksmith, who happened at the moment to have his 
eyes thrown upward and his head backward, in an intense 
communing with Toby, did not see his visitor, until Mrs. 
Varden, more watchful than the rest, had desired Sim 
Tappertit to open the glass door and give him admission- 
from which untoward circumstance the good lady argued 
(for she could deduce a precious moral from the most trifling 
event) that to take a draught of small ale in the morning 
was to observe a pernicious, irreligious, and Pagan cus- 
tom, the relish whereof should be left to swine, and Satan, 
or at least to Popish persons, and should be shunned by the . 
righteous as a work of sin and evil. She would no doubt 
have pursued her admonition much further, and would have 



144 Barnaby Rudge 
founded on it a long list of precious precepts of inestimable 
value but that the young gentleman standing by in a some- 
what 'uncomfortable and discomfited manner while she read 
her spouse this lecture, occa5ioned her to bring it to a pre- 
mature conclusion. 
" I'm sure you'H excuse me, sir," said Mrs. Varden, 
rising and curtseying. "Varden is so very thoughtless, 
and needs so much reminding-Siln, bring a chair here. " 
Mr. Tappertit obeyed, with a flourish implying that he 
did so under protest. 
" And you can go, Sim, ,. said the locksmith. 
Mr. Tappertit obeyed again, 5tiII under protest; and be- 
taking himself to the worksh0p, began seriously to fear 
that he might find it necessary to poison his master, before 
his tinle was out. 
In the meantime, Edward returned suitable replies to 
Mrs. Varden's courtesies, and that lady brightened up very 
much; so that when he accepted a dish of tea from the fair 
hands of Dolly, she was perfectly agreeable. 
" I am sure if there's anything we can do,-Varden, or 
I, or Dolly either,-to serve you, sir, at any time, you have 
only to say it, and it shall be done," said Mrs. V. . 
"I am much obliged to you, I am sure," returned 
Edward. ' , You encourage me to say that I have come 
here now, to beg your good offices. " 
Mrs. Varden was delighted beyond measure. 
" It occurred to me that probably your fair daughter 
might be going to the vVarren, either to-day or to-morrow," 
said Edward, glancing at Dolly; " and if so, and you will 
allow her to take charge of this letter, ma 'am, you will 
oblige me more than I can tell you. The truth is, that 
while I am very anxious it should reach its destination, I 
have particular reasons for not trusting it to any other con- 
veyance; so that without your help, I am whol1y at a loss." 
" She was not going that way, sir, either to-day, or to- 
morro\v, nor indeed all next week, " the lady graciously re- 
joined, " but we shaH be very glad to put ourselves out of 
the way on your account, and if you wish it, you may de- 
pend upon its going to-day. You might suppose," said 
1\1rs. Varden, frowning at her husband, "from Varden's 
sitting there so glum and silent, that he objected to this ar- 
rangement; but you must not mind that, sir, if you please. 
It's his way at home. Out of doors, he can be cheerful and 
talkative enough. " 



Barnaby Rudge 


145 


Now, the fact was, that the unfortunate locksmith bless- 
ing his. st.ars to. find his helpmate in such good humo
r, had 
been sitting with a beaming face, hearing this discourse 
with a joy past all expression. Wherefore this sudden at- 
tack quite took him by surprise. 
" 1\1 Y dear Martha- " he said. 
u Oh yes, I dare say," interrupted Mrs. Varden, with 
a smile of mingled scorn and pleasantry. "Very dear! 
\Ve all kno\v that." 
" No, but my good soul," said Gabriel, " you are quite 
mistaken. You are indeed. I was delighted to find you 
so kind and ready. I waited, my dear, anxiously, I assure 
you, to hear \vhat you would say." 
" You waited anxiously," repeated Mrs. V. .. Yes! 
Thank you, Varden. You waited, as you always do, that 
I might bear the blame, if any came of it. But I am used 
to it," said the lady with a kind of solemn titter, "and 
that's my comfort! " 
" I give you my word, Martha- " said Gabriel. 
" Let me give you rny word, my dear," interposed his. 
wife with a Christian smile, "that such discussions as 
these between married people are much better left atone. 
Therefore, if you please, Varden, \ve'll drop the subject. r 
have no wish to pursue it. I could. I might say a great 
deal. But I would rather not. Pray don't say any more. ". 
" I don't want to say any more," rejoined the goaded- 
locksmith. . 
" Well then, don't," said Mrs. Varden. 
" Nor did I begin it, Martha," added the locksmith, 
good-humouredly, " I must say that. " 
, , You did not begin it, Varden! " exclaimed his wife, 
opening her eyes very \vide and looking round upon the. 
company, as though she would say, You hear this man!' 
ce You did not begin it, Varden! But you shall not say I 
was out of temper. No, you did not begin it, oh dear no, 
not you, my dear! " 
" Well, well," said the locksmith. "That's settled 
then. " 
" Oh yes, 'I rejoined his wife, "quite. I.f you like to say 
Dolly began it, my dear, I shall not contradict you. I k!'low 
my duty. I need kno\v it, I am sure. I am often obhged 
to bear it in mind when my inclination perhaps would be , 
for the moment to' forget it. Thank you, Varden." And 
so, with a mighty show of humility and forgiveness, she 



14 6 


Barnaby Rudge 


folded her hands, and looked round again, with a smile 
which plainly said " If you desire to see the first and fore- 
most among female martyrs, here she is, on view! " 
This little incident, illustrative though it was of Mrs. 
Varden's extraordinary sweetness and amiability, had so 
strong a tendency to check the conversation and to discon- 
cert all parties but that excellent lady, that only a few 
monosyllables were uttered until Edward withdrew; which 
he presently did, thanking the lady of the house a great 
many times for her condescension, and whispering in 
Dolly's ear that he would call on the morrow, in case there 
should happen to be an answer to the note-which, indeed, 
she knew without his telling, as Barnaby and his friend 
Grip had dropped in on the previous night to prepare her 
for the visit which was then terminating. 
Gabriel, who had attended Edward to the door, came 
back with his hands in his pockets; and, after fidgeting 
about the room in a very uneasy manner, and casting a 
great many sidelong looks at Mrs. Varden (who with the 
calmest countenance in the world was five fathoms deep in 
the Protestant Manual), inquired of Dolly how she meant 
to go. Dolly supposed by the stage-coach, and looked at 
her lady mother, who finding herself silently appealed to, 
dived down at least another fathom into the Manual, and 
became unconscious of all earthly things. 
" Martha- " said the locksmith. 
" I hear you, Varden," said his wife, without rising to 
the surface. 
" I am sorry, my dear, you have such an objection to 
the Maypole and old John, for otherways as it's a very fine 
morning, and Saturday's not a busy day with us, we might 
have all three gone to Chigwell in the chaise, and had quite 
a happy day of it. " 
Mrs. Varden immediately closed the Manual, and burst.. 
ing into tears, requested to be led up stairs. 
" What is the matter now, Martha? " inquired the lock- 
smith. 
To which Martha rejoined " Oh! don't speak to me," 
and pro;ested in a
ony that if anybody had told her so, she 
wouldn t have belIeved it. 
" But, Martha," said Gabriel, putting himself in the way 
as she \vas moving off with the aid of Dolly's shoulder 
" wouldn't have believed what? Tell me what's wrong 
now. Do tell me. Upon my soul I don't know. Do you 



Barnaby Rudge 


147 


know, child? Damme!" cried the locksmith, plucking at 
his wig in a kind of frenzy, " nobody does know, I verily 
believe, but Miggs ! " 
" Miggs," said Mrs. Varden faintly, and with symptoms 
of approaching incoherence, " is attached to me, and that is 
sufficient to draw down hatred upon her in this house. She 
is a comfort to me, whatever she may be to others." 
"She's no comfort to me," cried Gabriel, made bold 
ty despair. "She's the misery of my life. She's all the 
plagues of Egypt in one. " 
" She's considered so, I have no doubt," said Mrs. Var- 
den. "I was prepared for that; it's natural; it's of a piece 
with the rest. When you taunt me as you do to my face, 
how can I wonder that you taunt her behind her back! " 
And here the incoherence coming on very strong, Mrs. Var- 
den wept, and laughed, and sobbed, and shivered, and hic- 
coughed, and choked; and said she knew it was very foolish 
but she couldn't help it; and that when she was dead and 
gone, perhaps they would be sorry for it-which really 
under the circumstances did not appear quite so probable 
as she seemed to think-with a great deal more to the same 
effect. In a word, she passed with great decency through 
all the ceremonies incidental to such occasions; and being 
supported up stairs, .was deposited in a highly spasmodic 
state on her own bed, where Miss Miggs shortly afterwards 
flung herself upon the body. 
The philosophy of all this was, that Mrs. Varden wanted 
to go to Chigwell; that she did not want to make any con- 
cession or explanation; that she would only go on being 
implored and entreated so to do; and that she would accept 
no other terms. Accordingly, after a vast amount of 
moaning and crying up stairs, and much damping of fore- 
heads, and vinegaring of temples, and hartshorning of 
noses, and so forth; and after most pathetic adjurations 
from Miggs, assisted by warm brandy-and-water not over- 
\veak, and divers other cordials, also of a stimulating 
quality, administered at first in teaspoonfuls and afterwards 
in increasing doses, and of which Miss Miggs herself par- 
took as a preventive measure (for fainting is infectious); 
after all these remedies, and many more too numerous to 
mention, but not to take, had been applied; and many ver- 
ba) consolations, moral, religious, and miscellaneous, had 
been superadded thereto; the locksmith humbled himself 
and the end \vas gained. 
, 



14 8 


. 
Barnaby Rudge 


" If it's only for the sake of peace and quietness, father," 
said Dolly, urging him to go up stairs. 
" Oh, Doll, Doll," said her good-natured father. "If 
you ever have a husband of your own-" 
Dolly glanced at the glass. 
"-\Vell, when you have," said the locksmith, "never 
faint, my darling. 
10re domestic unhappiness has come 
of easy fainting, DoH, than fronl all the greater passions 
put together. Renlember that, my dear, if you \\rould be 
really happy, \vhich you never can be, if your husband isn't. 
And a \vord in your ear, Iny precious. Never have a Miggs 
about you! " 
\Vith this advice he kissed his blooming daughter on 
the cheek, and slowly repaired to Mrs. Varden's room; 
where that lady, lying all pale and languid on her couch, 
was refreshing herself with a sight of her last new bonnet, 
which Miggs, as a means of calming her scattered spirits, 
displayed to the best advantage at her bedside. 
"Here's n1aster, mim," said Miggs. "Oh, what a 
happiness it is when man and \vife come round again! 
Oh gracious, to think that him and her should ever have a 
word together!" In the energy of these sentiments, 
which were uttered as an apostrophe to the Heavens in 
general, Miss Miggs perched the bonnet on the top of her 
o\vn head, and folding her hands, turned on her tears. 
" I can't help it," cried Miggs. "I couldn't, if I was 
to be drownded in 'em. She has such a forgiving spirit! 
She'll forget all that has passed, and go along with you, 
sir-Oh, if it was to the world's end, she'd go along with 
you." , 
Mrs. Varden with a faint smile gently reproved her at- 
tendant for this enthusiasm, and reminded her at the same 
thne that she ,vas far too unwell to venture out that day. 
"Oh no, you're not, mim, indeed you're not," said 
Miggs; "I repeal to master; master knov.rs you're not, 
mime The hair, and motion of the shay, will do you good, 
mim, and you must not give way, you must not raly. She 
I1lust keep up, mustn't she, sir, for aU our sakes? I \vas 
a telling her that, just now. She must remember us, even if 
she forg-ets herself. Master will persuade you, mim, I'm 
sure. There's Miss Dolly's a going, you know, and master, 
and you, and all so happy and so comfortable. Oh!" 
cried Miggs, turning on the tears again, previous to quit- 
ting the room in great emotion, " I never see such a blessed 



Barnaby Rudge 


149 


one as she is for the forgiveness of her spirit, I never, never. 
never did. Nor more did master neither; no, nor no one- 
never! " 
For five nlinutes or thereabouts, l\1rs. Varden remained 
mildly opposed to all her husband's prayers that she would 
oblige him by taking a day's pleasure, but relenting at 
length, she suffered herself to be persuaded, and granting 
him her free forgiveness (the merit whereof, she meekly 
said, rested with the Manual and not with her), desired 
that Miggs might come and help her dress. The handmaid 
attended promptly, and it is but justice to their joint exer- 
tions to record that, when the good lady came down stairs 
in course of time, completely decked out for the journey, 
she really looked as if nothing had happened, and appeared 
in the very best health imaginable. 
As to Dolly, there she was again, the very.pink and pat- 
tern of good looks, in a smart little cherry-coloured mantle, 
\vith a hood of the same drawn over her head, and upon the 
top of that hood, a little straw hat trimmed with cherry- 
coloured ribbons, and worn the merest trifle on one side- 
just enough, in short, to make it the wickedest and most 
provoking head-dress that ever malicious milliner devised. 
And not to speak of the manner in which these cherry- 
coloured decorations brightened her eyes, or vied with her 
lips, or shed a new bloom on her face, she wore such a cruel 
little muff, and such a heart-rending pair of shoes, and 
was so surrounded and hemmed in, as it were, by aggrava- 
tions of all kinds, that when Mr. Tappertit, holding the 
horse's head, saw her come out of the house alone, such 
impulses came over him to decoy her into the chaise and 
drive off like mad, that he would unquestionably have done 
it, but for certain uneasy doubts besetting him as to the 
shortest \vay to Gretna Green; whether it was up the street 
or down, or up the right-hand turning or the left; and 
\vhether, supposing all the turnpikes to be carried by storm, 
the blacksmith in the end would marry them on credit; 
which by reason of his clerical office appeared, even to his 
excited imagination, so unlikely, that he hesitated. And 
\llhile he stood hesitating, and looking postchaises-and-six 
at Dolly, out came his master and his mistress, and the con- 
stant Migg-s, and the opportunity \vas gone for ever. For 
now the chaise creaked upon its springs, and Mrs. Varden 
was inside; and now it creaked again, and more than ever, 
and the locksmith was inside j and now it bounded once, as 



15 0 Barnaby Rudge 
if its heart beat lightly, and Dolly was inside; and now it 
was gone and its place was empty, and he and that dreary 
Miggs were standing in the street together. 
The hearty locksmith was in as good a humour as. if 
nothing had occurred for the last twelve months to put hIm 
out of his way, Dolly was all smiles and graces, and Mrs. 
Varden was agreeable beyond all precedent. As they 
jogged through the streets talking of this thing, and of that, 
who should be descried upon the pavement but that very 
coachmaker, looking so genteel that nobody would have 
believed he had ever had apything to do with a coach but 
riding in it, and bowing like any noblenlan. To be sure 
Dolly was confused when she bowed again, and to be sure 
the cherry-coloured ribbons trembled a little when she met 
his mournful eye, which seemed to say, " I have kept my 
word, I have begun, the business is going to the devil, and 
you're the cause of it. " There he stood, rooted to the 
ground: as Dolly said, like a statue; and as Mrs. Varden 
said, like a pump; till they turned the corner: and when her 
father thought it was like his impudence, and her mother 
wondered what he meant by it, Dolly blushed again till her 
very hood was pale. 
But on they went, not the less merrily for this, and there 
was the locksmith in the incautious fulness of. his heart 
" pulling-up" at all manner of places, and evincing a most 
intimate acquaintance with all the taverns on the road, and 
all the landlords and all the landladies, with whom, indeed, 
the little horse was on equaIly friendly terms, for he kept 
on stopping of his own accord. Never were people so glad 
to see other people as these landlords and landladies were 
to behold Mr. Varden and Mrs. Varden and Miss \"arden; 
and wouldn't they get out, said one; and they really must 
walk up stairs, said another; and she would take it ill and 
be quite certain they were proud if they wouldn't have 
 
little taste of something, said a third; and so on, that it 
was really quite a Progress rather than a ride, and one 
continued scene of hospitality from beginning to end. It 
was pleasant enough to be held in such esteem, not to men- 
tion the refreshments; so Mrs. Varden said nothing at the 
time, and was all affability and delight-but such a body 
of evidence as she collected against the unfortunate lock- 
smith that day, to be used thereafter as occasion might re- 
quire, never was got together for matrimonial purposes. 
In course of time-and in course of a pretty long time 



Barnaby Rudge 15 1 
too, for these agreeable interruptions delayed them not a 
little,-they arrived upon the skirts of the Forest and 
riding pleasantly on among the trees, came at last to the 
Maypole, where the locksmith's cheerful "Y oho ! " 
speedily brought to the porch old John, and after him young 
Joe, both of whom were so transfixed at sight of the ladies, 
that for a moment they were perfectly unable to give them 
any welcome, and could do nothing but stare. 
It was only for a moment, however, that Joe forgot him- 
self, for speedily reviving he thrust his drowsy father aside 
-to Mr. WilIet's mighty and inexpressible indignation- 
and darting out, stood ready to help them to alight. It 
was necessary for Dolly to get out first. Joe had her in his 
arms ;-yes, though for a space of time no longer than you 
could count one in, Joe had her in his arms. Here was a 
glimpse of happiness! 
I t would be difficult to describe what a flat and common- 
place affair the helping Mrs. Varden out afterwards was, 
but Joe did it, and did it too with the best grace in the 
world. Then old John, who, entertaining a dull and foggy 
. sort of idea that Mrs. Varden wasn't fond of him, had been 
in some doubt whether she might not have come for 
purposes of assault and battery, took courage, hoped she 
was weIl, and offered to conduct her into the house. This 
tender being amicably received, they marched in together; 
Joe and Dolly followed, arm-in-arm (happiness again f), 
and Varden brought up the rear. 
Old John would have it that they must sit in the bar, 
and nobody objecting, into the bar they went. All bars 
are snug places, but the Maypole's was the very snuggest, 
cosiest, and completest bar, that ever the wit of man de- 
vised. Such amazing bottles in old oaken pigeon-holes; such 
gleaming tankards dangling from pegs at about the same 
inclination as thirsty men would hold them to their lips; 
such sturdy little Dutch kegs ranged in rows on shelves; 
so many lemons hanging in separate nets, and forming the 
fragrant grove already mentioned in this chronicle, sug- 
gestive, with goodly loaves of snowy sugar stowed away 
hard by, of punch, idealised beyond all mortal knowledge; 
such closets, such presses, such drawers full of pipes, such 
places for putting things away in hollow window-seats, all 
crammed to the throat with eatables, drinkables, or savoury. 
condiment
; lastly, and to crown all, as typical of the im- 
mense resources of the establishment, and its defiances to 



15 2 


Barnaby ,"Rudge 


all visitors to cut and come again, such a stupendous 
cheese ! 
It is a poor heart that never rejoices-it must have been 
the poorest, \veakest, and most watery heart that ever beat, 
\vhich would not have warmed towards the l\1aypole bar. 
Mrs. Varden's did directly. She could no more have re- 
proached John Willet among those household gods, the 
kegs and bottJes, lemons, pipes, and cheese, than she could 
have stabbed him with his own bright carving-knife. The 
order for dinner too-it might have soothed a savage. 
U A bit of fish," said John to the cook, U and some Iamb 
chops (breaded, with plenty of ketchup), and a good salad, 
and a roast spring chicken, with a dish of s
usages and 
mashed potatoes, or something of that sort. JJ Something 
of that sort! The resources of these inns! To talk care- 
lessly about dishes, which in themselves were a first-rate 
holiday kind of dinner, suitable to one's wedding-day, as 
something of that sort: meaning, iJ you can't get a spring 
chicken, any other trifle 
n the way of poultry will do-such 
as a peacock, perhaps! The kitchen too, \vith its great 
broad cavernous chimney; the kitchen, where nothing in 
the way of cookery seemed impossible; where you could 
believe in anything to eat, they chose to tell you of. Mrs. 
Varden returned from the contemplation of these wonders 
to the bar again, with a head quite dizzy. and bewildered. 
Her housekeeping capacity was not large enough to com- 
prehend them. She was obJiged to go to sleep. Waking 
was pain, in the midst of such immensity. 
Dony in the meanwhile, whose gay heart and head ran 
upon other matters, passed out at the garden door, and 
glancing back now and then (but of course not wondering 
whether Joe sa\v her), tripped a\vay by a path across the 
fields with which she was well acquainted, to discharge 
her mission at the vVarren; and this deponent hath been 
informed and verily believes, that you might have seen 
many less pleasant objects than the cherry-coloured mantle 
and ribbons as they went fluttering along the green mea- 
dows in the bright light of !he day, like giddy things as 
they were. 



Barnaby Rudge 


153 


CHAPTER XX q 
t 
THE proud consciousness of her trust, and the great im- 
portance she derived from it, might have advertised it to 
all the house if she had had to run the gauntlet of its 
inhabitants; but as Dolly had played in every dull room 
and passage nlany and many a time, when a child, and 
had ever since been the humble friend of l\1iss Haredale, 
\vhose foster-sister she was, she was as free of the building 
as the young lady herself. So, using no greater pre- 
caution than holding her breath and walking on tiptoe as 
she passed the library door, she went straight to Emma '5 
room as a privileged visitor. 
It was the liveliest room in the building. The chamber 
was sombre like the rest for the matter of that, but the 
presence of youth and beauty would make a p
ison cheer- 
ful (saving alas! that confinement withers them), and lend 
some charms of their own to the gloomiest scene. Birds, 
flowers, books, drawing, music 1 and a hundred such grace- 
ful tokens of feminine loves and cares, filled it with more 
of life and human sympathy than the 
hole house besides 
seemed made to hold. There was neart in the room; and 
who that has a heart ever fails to recognise the silent 
presence of another! 
Dolly had one undoubtedly, and it was not a tough one 
either, though there was a little mist of coquettishness 
about it, such as sometimes surrounds that sun of life in 
its morning, and slightly dims its lustre. Thus, when 
Emma rose to greet her, and kissing her affectionately on 
the cheek, told her, in her quiet \vay, that she had been 
very unhappy, the tears stood in Dolly's eyes, and she felt 
more sorry than she could tell; but next moment she hap- 
pened to raise them to the glass, and really there was 
something there so exceedingly agreeable, that as she 
sighed, she smiled, and felt surprisingly consoled. 
,l I have héard about it, miss," said Dolly, "and it's 
very sad indeed, but when things are at the worst they 
are sure to nlend. " I 
" But are you sure they are at the "vorst? " asked Emma 
with a smile. 
" 'Vhy, I don't see ho\v they can very well be more un- 



154 


Barnaby Rudge 


promising than they are; I reany don't, " said Dony. 
II And I bring something to begin with." 
II Not from Edward? " 
Dolly nodded and smiled, and feeling in her pockets 
(there were pockets in those days) with an affectation of 
not being able to find what she wanted, which greatly en- 
hanced her importance, at length produced the letter. As 
Emma hastily broke the seal and became absorbed in its 
contents, Dolly's eyes, by one of those strange accidents 
for which there is no accounting, wandered to the glass 
again. She could not help wondering whether the coach- 
maker suffered very much, and quite pitied the poor man. 
I t was a long letter-a very long letter, written close 
on all four sides of the sheet of paper, and crossed after- 
wards; but it was not a consolatory letter, for as Emma 
read it she stopped from time to time to put her handker- 
chief to her eyes. To be sure Dolly marvelled greatly to 
see her in so much distress, for to her thinking a love affair 
ought to be one of the best jokes, and the slyest, merriest 
kind of thing in life. But she set it down in her own 
mind that all this came from Miss Haredale's being so 
constant, and that if she would only take on with some 
other young gentleman-just in the most innocent way 
possible, to keep her first lover up to the mark-she 
would find herself inexpressibly comforted. 
" I am sure that's what I should do if it was me," 
thought Dolly. "To make one's sweetheart miserable 
is well enough and quite right, but to be made miserable 
one's self is a Ijttle too much! " 
However it wouldn't do to say so, and therefore she 
sat looking on in silence. She needed a pretty consider- 
able stretch of patience, for when the long letter had been 
read once all through it was read again, and when it had 
been read twice all through it was read again. During 
this tedious process, Dolly beguiled the time in the most 
improving manner that occurred to her, by curling her 
hair on her fingers, with the aid of the looking-glass be- 
fore mentioned, and giving it some killing twists. 
Everything has an end. Even young ladies in love 
cannot read their letters for ever. In course of time the 
packet was folded up, and it only remained to write the 
answer. 
But as this promised to be a work of time likewise, 
Emma said she would put it off until after dinner, and 



Barnaby Rudge 


155 


that Dolly must dine with her. As Dolly had made up her 
mind to do so beforehand, she required very little pressing; 
and when they had settled this point, they went to walk 
in the garden. 
They strolled up and down the terrace walks, talking 
incessantly-at least, Dolly never left off once-and mak- 
ing that quarter of the sad and mournful house quite gay. 
Not that they talked loudly or laughed much, but they 
were both so very handsome, and it was such a breezy 
day, and their light dresses and dark curls appeared so 
free and joyous in their abandonment, and Emma was so 
fair, and Dolly so rosy, and Emma so delicately shaped, 
and Dolly so plump, and-in short, there are no flowers 
for any garden like such flowers, let horticulturists say 
what they may, and both house and garden seemed to 
know it, and to brighten up sensibly. 
After this, came the dinner and the letter-writing, and 
some more talking, in the course of which Miss Haredale 
took occasion to charge upon Dolly certain flirtish and in- 
constant propensities, which accusations Dolly seemed to 
think very complimentary indeed, and to be mightiIy 
amused with. Finding her quite incorrigible in this re- 
spect, Emma suffered her to depart; but not before she had 
confided to her that important and never-sufficiently-to-be- 
taken-care-of answer, and endowed her moreover with a 
pretty little bracelet as a keepsake. Having clasped it 
on her arm, and again advised her half in jest and half in 
earnest to amend her roguish ways, for she knew she was 
fond of Joe at heart (which Dolly stoutly denied, with a 
great many haughty protestations that she hoped she 
could do better than that indeed! and so forth), she bade 
her farewell; and after calling her back to give her 
more supplementary messages for Edward, than any- 
body with tenfold the gravity of Dolly Varden could be 
reasonably expected to remember, at length dismissed 
her. 
Dolly bade her good-bye, and tripping lightly down the 
stairs arrived at the dreaded library door, and was about 
to pass it again on tiptoe, when it opened, and behold! 
there stood Mr. Haredale. Now, Dolly had from her child- 
hood associated with this gentleman the idea of some- 
thing grim and ghostly, and being at the moment con- 
science-stricken besides, the sight of him threw her into 
such a flurry that she could neither acknowledge his pres- 



15 6 


Barnaby Rudge 


ence nor run away, so she gave a great start, and then 
with downcast eyes stood still and trenlbled. 
" Come here, girl," said 
Ir. Haredale, taking her by 
the hand. "I want to speak to you." 
" If you please, sir, I'm in a hurry," faltered Dolly, 
"and-you have frightened me by cOIning so suddenly 
upon me, sir-I would rather go, sir, if you'll be so good 
as to let me. " 
" Immediately," said Mr. Haredale, who had by this 
time led her into the room and closed the door. ' , You 
shall go directly. You have just left Emma?" 
" Yes, sir, just this minute.-Father's waiting for me, 
sir, if you'11 please to have the goodness-" 
" I know. I know," said l\1r. Haredale. "Answer me 
a question. vVhat did you bring here to-day?" 
" Bring here, sir?" faltered Dolly. 
" You will tell the truth, I am 5ure. Yes. " 
Dolly hesitated for a little \vhile, and somewhat em- 
boldened by his manner, said at last, " Well then, sir.' It 
was a letter. " 
" From Mr. Ed,vard Chester, of course. And you are 
the bearer of the answer?" 
Dolly hesitated again, and not being able to decide upon 
any other course of action, burst into tears. 
, , You alarm yourself without cause," said Mr. Hare- 
dale. "Why are you so foolish? Surely you can answer 
me. You know that I have but to put the question to 
Emma and learn the truth directly. Have you the answer 
with you?" 
Dolly had what is popularly called a spirit of her own, 
and being now fairly at bay, made the best of it. 
" Yes, sir," she rejoined, trembling and frightened as 
she was. "Yes, sir, I have. You may kill me if you 
please, sir, but I won't give it up. I'm very sorry-but I 
won't. There, sir." 
" I commend your firmness and your plain-speaking," 
said Mr. Haredale. "Rest assured that I have as little 
desire to take your letter as your life. You .are a very dis- 
creet messenger, and a good girl." 
Not feeling quite certain, as she afterwards said, whether 
he might not be "coming over her" with these compli- 
nlents, Dolly kept as far from him as she could, cried agai.n, 
and resolved to defend her pocket (for the letter was there) 
to the last extremity. 



Barnaby Rudge 


157 


II I have some design," said Mr. Haredale after a short 
siIence, during which a smile, as he regarded her, had 
struggled through the gloom and melancholy that was 
n
tural to his. fa
e, "of providing a companion for my 
niece; for her hfe IS a very lonely one. Would you like the 
office ? You are the oldest friend she has, and the best en- 
ti tIed to it." 
"I don't know, sir," answered Dolly, not sure but 
he was bantering her; " I can't say. I don't know what 
they might wish at home. I couldn't g ive an O p inion 
. , , ' 
Sir. 
"If your friends had no objection, would you have 
any?" said Mr. Haredale. " Come. There's a plain 
question; and easy to answer." 
" None at all that I know of, sir," replied Dolly. II I 
should be very glad to be near Miss Emma of course, and 
ahvays am." 
" That's well," said Mr. Haredale. "That is all I had 
to say. You are anxious to go. Don't let me detain you.." 
Dolly didn't let him, nor did she wait for him to try, for 
the words had no sooner passed his lips than she \vas out 
of the room, out of the house, and in the fields again. 
The first thing to be done, of course, when she came to 
herself, and considered what a flurry she had been in, was 
to cry afresh; and the next thing, when she reflected how 
well she had got over it, was to laugh heartily. The tears 
once banished gave place to smiles, and at last Dolly 
laughed so much that she was fain to lean against a tree, 
and give vent to her exultation. "Yhen she could laugh 
no longer, and was quite tired, she put her head-dress to 
rights, dried her eyes, looked back very merrily and 
triumphantly at the Warren chimneys, which were just 
visible, and resumed her walk. 
The twilight had come on, and it was quickly gro\ving 
dusk, but the path was so familiar to her from frequent 
traversing that she hardly thought of this, and certainly 
felt no uneasiness at being alone. Moreover, there was 
the bracelet to admire; and when she had given it a good 
rub, and held it out at arm's length, it sparkled. a
d 
glittered so beautifully on her wrist, that to look at It In 
every point of view and with every possible turn of the arm, 
was quite an absorbing business. There was the letter · 
too, and it looked so mysterious and knowing, when she 
took it out of her pocket, and it held, as she knew, so muc
 
\ 



15 8 


Barnaby Rudge 


inside, that to turn it over and over, and think about it, 
and wonder how it began, and how it ended, and what it 
said all through, was another matter of constant occupa- 
tion. Between the bracelet and the letter, there was quite 
enough to do without thinking of anything else; and 
admiring each by turns, Dolly w"ent on gaily. 
As she passed through a wicket-gate to where the path 
was narrow, and lay between two hedges garnished here 
and there with trees, she heard a rustling close at hand, 
which brought her to a sudden stop. She listened. All 
was very quiet and she went on again-not absolutely 
frightened, but a little quicker than before perhaps, and 
possibly not quite so much at her ease, for a check of that 
kind is startling. 
She had no sooner moved on again, than she was con- 
scious of the same sound, which was like that of a person 
tramping stealthily among bushes and brushwood. Look- 
ing towards the spot whence it. appeared to come, she 
almost fancied she could make out a crouching figure. She 
stopped again. All was quiet as before. On she went 
once more-decidedly faster now-and tried to sing softly 
to herself. It must be the wind. 
But how came the wind to blow only when she walked, 
and cease when she stood still? She stopped involuntarily 
as she made the reflection, and the rustling noise stopped 
likewise. She was really frightened now, and was yet 
hesitating what to do, when the bushes crackled and 
snapped, and a man came plunging through them, close 
before her. 


CHAPTER XXI 


I T was for the moment an inexpressible relief to DoUy, 
to recognise in the person who forced himself into the path 
so abruptly, and now stood directly in her way, Hugh of 
the Maypole, whose name she uttered in a tone of delighted 
surprise that came from her heart. 
" Was it you? " she said, " how glad I am to see you! 
and how could you terrify me so ! " 
In answer to which, he said nothing at all, but stood 
quite still, looking at her. 



Barnaby Rudge 159 
" Did you come to meet me?" asked Dolly. 
Hugh nodded, and muttered something to the effect that 
he had been waiting for her, and had expected her sooner. 
"I thought it likely they would send," said Dolly 
greatly re-assured by this. ' 
" Nobody sent me," was his sullen answer. "I came 
of my own accord." 
The rough bearing of this fellow, and his wild, uncouth 
appearance, had often filled the girl with a vague appre- 
hension even when other people were by, and had occa- 
sioned her to shrink from him involuntarily. The having 
him for an unbidden companion in so solitary a place, 
with the darkness fast gathering about them, renewed 
and even increased the alarm she had felt at first. 
If his manner had been merely dogged and passively 
fierce, as usual, she would have had no greater dislike to 
his company than she always felt-perhaps, indeed, would 
have been rather glad to have had him at hand. But t
::ere 
was something of coarse bold admiration in his look, which 
terrified her very much. She glanced timidly towards him, 
uncertain whether to go forward or retreat, and he stood 
gazing at her like a handsome satyr; and so they remained 
for some short time without stirring or breaking silence. 
At length Dolly took courage, shot past him, and hurried 
on. 
.. Why do you spend so much breath in avoiding me? " 
said Hugh, accommodating his pace to hers, and keeping 
close at her side. 
., I wish to get back as quickly as I can, and you walk 
too near me," answered Dolly. 
" Too near! " said Hugh, stooping over her so that she 
could feel his breath upon her forehead. .. Why too near? 
\.,. au 're always proud to me, mistress." 
.. I am proud to no one. You mistake me," answered 
Dolly. "Fall back, if you pl
ase, or go on. ". 
" Nay mistress," he reJoined, endeavourIng to draw 
her arm' through his. .. I'll walk with you." 
She released herself, and clenching her little hand, struck 
him with right good will. At this! Ma
pole Hug-h burst 
into a roar of laughter, and passing his. arm 
bout her 
waist held her in his strong grasp as easily as If she had 
, 
been a bird. 
.. Ha, ha, ha ! Well done, mistress! Strike again. 
You shall beat my face, and tear my hair, and pluck my 
, 



160 


Barnaby Rudge 


beard up by the roots, and \velcome, for the sake of your 
bright eyes. Strike again, mistress. Do. Ha ha ha! I 
like it." 
" Let me go," she cried, endeavouring with both her 
hands to push him off. "Let me go this moment." 
" You had as good be kinder to me, S\\7eetlips," said 
Hugh. "You had, indeed. Come. Tell me now. Why 
are you always sO proud? I don't quarrel with you for it. 
I love you when you're proud. Ha ha ha! You can't 
hide your beauty from a poor fellow; that's a comfort! " 
She gave him no answer, but as he had not yet checked 
her progress, continued to press forward as rapidly as she 
could. At length, between the hurry she had made, her 
terror, and the tightness of his embrace, her strength 
failed her, and 
he could go no further. 
" Hugh," cried the panting girl, "good Hugh; if you 
will leave me I will give you anything-everything I have 
-and never tell one \vord of this to any living creature." 
" You had best not," he answered. " Harkye, little 
dove, you had best not. All about here know me, and 
\vhat I dare do if I have a mind. If ever you are going 
to ten, stop when the words are on your lips, and think 
of the mischief you'll bring, if you do, upon some innocent 
beads that you wouldn't wish to hurt a hair of. Bring 
trouble on me, and I'll bring trouble and something more 
on them in return. I care no more for them than for so 
many dogs; not so much-why should I? I'd sooner kill a 
man than a dog any day. I've never been sorry for a man's 
death in all my life, and I have for a dog's." 
There was something so thoroughly savage in the 
manner of these expressions, and the looks and gestures 
by which they were accompanied, that her great fear of him 
gave her new strength, and enabled her by a sudden effort 
to extricate herself and run fleetly from him. But Hugh 
was as nimble, strong, and swift of foot, as any man in 
broad England, and it was but a fruitless expenditure of 
energy, for he had her in his encircling arms again before 
she had gone a hundred yards. 
" Softly, darling-gently-would you fly from rough 
Hugh, that loves you as well as any drawing-room gal- 
lant? " 
"I would," she answered, struggling to free herself 
again. "I wil1. Help!" 
"A fine for crying out," said Hugh. "Ha ha ha! 



Barnaby Rudge 


I6r 


A fine, pretty one, from your lips. I pay myself! Ha, ha , 
ha ! " 
" Help! help! help! " As she shrieked with the ut- 
most violence she could exert, a shout \vas heard in answer 
and another, and another. ' 
"Thank Heaven! " cried the girl in ecstasy. "Joe, 
dear Joe, this way. Help!" 
Her assailant paused, and stood irresolute for a moment 
but the shouts drawing nearer and coming quick upo
 
them, forced him to a speedy decision. He released her, 
whispered with a menacing- look, " Tell him '; and see what 
follows ! " and leaping the hedge, was gone in an instant. 
DoIIy darted off, and fairly ran into Joe Willet's open arms. 
" What is the matter? are you hurt? what was it? who 
was it? where is he? what was he like? " with a great 
many encouraging expressions and assurances of safety, 
\vere the first words Joe poured forth. But poor little 
DoIIy was so breathless and terrified that for some time 
she was quite unable to answer him, and hung upon his 
shoulder, sobbing and crying as if her heart would break. 
Joe had not the smallest objection to have her hanging- 
on his shoulder; no, not the least, though it crushed the 
cherry-coloured ribbons sadly, and put the smart little hat 
out of all shape. But he couldn't bear to see her cry; it 
went to his very heart. He tried to console her, bent 
over her, whispered to her-some say kissed her, but 
that's a fable. At any rate he said all the kind and tender 
things he could think of, and Dolly let him go on and 
didn't interrupt him once, and it was a good ten minutes 
before she was able to raise her head and thank him. 
" What was it that frightened you? " said Joe. 
A man whose person was unknown to her had fonowed 
her, she answered; he began by begging, and went on to 
threats of robbery, which he was on the point of carrying 
into execution, and \vould have executed, but for Joe's 
timely aid. The hesitation and confusion with which she 
said this, Joe attributed to the fright sh.e had sustained, 
and no suspicion of the truth occurred to hIm for a moment. 
" Stop when the words are on your lips." A hundred 
times that night, and very often afterwards, when the 
disclosure was rising to her tongue, Dolly thought of that, 
and repressed it. A deeply rooted dread of the man; the 
conviction that his ferocious nature, once roused, would 
stop at nothing; and the strong assurance that if she im- 
G 


, 



162 


Barnaby Rudge 


peached him, the fuII measure of his wrath and vengeance 
would be \vreaked on Joe, who had preserved her; these 
were considerations she had not the couráge to 'overcome, 
and inducements to secrecy too powerful for her to sur- 
mount. 
Joe, for his part, was a great deal too happy to inquire 
very curiously into the matter; and DoIIy being yet too 
tremulous to walk without assistance, they went forward 
very slowly, and in his mind very pleasantly, until he 
Maypole lights ",,-ere near at hand, twinkling their cheerful 
welcome, when Dolly stopped suddenly and with a half 
scream exclaimed, 
" The letter! " 
"What letter? " cried Joe. 
" That I was carrying-I had it in my hand. My brace- 
let too," she said, clasping her wrist. "I have lost them 
both. " [ 
" Do you mean just now? " said Joe. 
U Either I dropped them then, or they were taken from 
n1e, " answered Dolly, vainly searching her pocket and 
rustling her dress. "They are gone, both gone. What 
an unhappy girl I am ! " With these words poor Dolly, 
who to do her justice was quite as sorry for the loss of the 
letter as for her bracelet, feII a crying again, and bemoaned 
her fate most movingly. 
Joe tried to comfort her with the assurance that directly 
he had housed her safely in the Maypole, he would return 
to the spot with a lantern (for it was now quite dark) and 
make strict search for the missing articles, which there v:as 
great probability of his finding, as it was not likely that 
anybody had passed that way since, and she was not con- 
scious of their having been forcibly taken from her. DoIly 
thanked him very heartily for this offer, though with no 
g-reat hope of his quest being successful; and so, with many 
lamentations on her side, and many hopeful words on his, 
and much \veakness on the part of Dolly. and much tender 
supporting on the part of Joe, they reached the Maypole 
bar at last, where the locksmith and his wife and old John 
,vere yet keeping high festival. 
Mr. 'Villet received the inteIIigence of Dolly's trouble 
with that surprising presence of mind and readiness of 
speech for which he was so eminently distinguished above 
all other men. Mrs. Varden expressed her sympathy for 
her daughter's distress by scolding her roundly for bei:ng 



Barnaby Rudge 


16 3 


so late; and the honest locksmith divided himself be- 
twee
 con
oling with and kissing Dolly, and shaking hands 
heartIly \vIth Joe, whom he could not sufficiently praise 
or thank. 
In reference to this latter point, old John was far from 
agreeing v:ith his friend; for besides that he by no means 
approved of an adventurous spirit in the abstract it ac- 
curred to him that if his son and heir had been s
riously 
damaged in a scuffle, the consequences would assuredly 
have been expensive and inconvenient, and might perhaps 
have proved detrimental to the l\Iaypole business. Where- 
fore, and because he looked with no favourable eye upon 
young girls, but rather considered that they and the whole 
female sex were a kind of nonsensical mistake on the part 
of Nature, he took occasion to retire and shake his head 
in private at the boiler: inspired by \vhich silent oracle, he 
\vas moved to give Joe various stealthy nudges with his 
elbow, as a parental reproof and gentle admonition to 
mind his o\vn business and not make a fool of himself. 
Joe, however, took down the lantern and lighted it; and 
arming himself with a stout stick, asked whether Hugh 
was in the stable. 
d He's lying asleep before the kitchen fire, sir," said Mr. 
Willet. c, 'Vhat do you want \vith him? " 
" I want him to come \vith me to look after' this bracelet 
and letter," ans\vered Joe. "Halloa there! 'Hugh! " 
Dolly turned pale as death, and felt as if she must faint 
forth\\7ith. After a few moments, Hugh came staggering 
in, stretching himself and yawning according to custom, 
and presenting every appearance of having been roused 
from a sound nap. 
" Here, sleepy-head," said Joe, giving him the lantern. 
c, Carry this, and bring the dog, and that small cudgel of 
yours. And woe betide the feIJow if we corne upon him. " 
" vVhat fellow? " growled Hugh, rubbing his eyes and 
shaking himself. 
" What fello\v ! " returned Joe, who was in a state of 
great valour and bustle; " a feHow you ought to know of, 
and be more alive about. It's \vell for the like of you, lazy 
giant that you are, to be snoring your time away in 
chimney-corners, \vhen honest men 's 
aughter
 can't cross . 
even our quiet meadows at nightfall \v.Ithout .beln
 set 
'pon 
by footpads, and frightened out of theIr precIous hves. 
"They never rob me," cried Hug-h with a laugh. U J 



16 4 


Barnaby Rudge 


have got nothing to lose. But I'd as lief knock them at 
head as any other men. Ho\v many are there? " 
" Only one," said Dolly faintly, for everybody looked 
at her. 
"And what was he like, mistress?" said Hugh with 
a glance at young v\liIlet, so slight and monlentary that the 
scowl it conveyed \vas lost on all but her. " About my 
height? " 
" Not--not so tall," Dolly replied, scarce knowing what 
she said. 
" His dress," said Hugh, looking at her keenly, "like 
-like any of ours now? I know all the people hereabouts, 
and maybe could give a guess at the man, if I had anything 
to guide me." 
Dolly faltered and turned paler yet; then answered that 
he was wrappf'd in a loose coat and had his face hidden by 
a handkerchief, and that she could give no other descrip- 
tion of him. 
" You wouldn't kno\v him if you saw him then, beHke? " 
said Hugh with a malicious grin. 
"I should not," ans\vered Dolly, bursting into tears 
again. "I don't ,,-ish to see him. I can't bear to think 
of him. I can't talk about him any more. Don't go to 
look for these things, \1r. Joe, pray don't. I entreat you 
not to go with that man." 
" Not to go with me ! " cried Hugh. "I'm too rough 
for them all. They're all afraid of me. Why, bless you, 
mistress, I've the tenderest heart alive. I love all the 
ladies, ma'am," said Hugh, turning to the locksmith's 
wife. 
rvlrs. Vardf"n opined that if he did, he ought to be 
ashamed of himself; such sentiments being more con- 
sistent (so she argued) with a benighted 
lussulman or 
wild Islander than with a stanch Protestant. Arguing 
from this imperfect state of his morals, Mrs. Varden 
further opined that he had never studied the Manual. 
Hug-h admitting that he never had, and nloreover that he 
couldn't read, Mrs. Varden declared with much severity, 
that he ought to be even more ashamed of himself than 
before, and strongly recommended him to save up his 
pocket-money for the purchase of one, and further to teach 
himself the contents with aU convenient diligence. She 
was stiJl pursuing this train of discourse, when Hug-h, 
somewhat unceremoniously and irreverently, followed his 



Barnaby Rudge 


16 5 


young mas.ter out, and left her to edify the rest of the com- 
pany. ThIs she proceeded to do, and finding that Mr. 
vVillet's ey
s \vere fixed upon her with an appearance of 
deep attentIon, gradually addressed the whole of her dis- 
course to him, whom she entertained with a moral and 
theological lecture of considerable length, in the conviction 
that great workings were taking place in his spirit. The 
simple truth was, however, that Mr. Willet, although his 
eyes were wide open and he saw a wonlan before him 
whose head by long and steady looking at seemed to grow 
bigger and bigger until it filled the whole bar, was to all 
other intents and purposes fast asleep; and so sat leaning 
back in his chair with his hands in his pockets until his 
son's return caused him to wake up with a deep sigh, and a 
faint inlpression that he had been dreaming about pickled 
pork and greens-a vision of his slumbers which was no 
doubt referable to the circumstance of Mrs. Varden's 
naving frequently pronounced the word "Grace" with 
much emphasis; which word, entering the portals of Mr. 
Willet's brain as they stood ajar, and coupling itself with 
the words" before meat, J 1 which were there ranging about, 
did in time suggest a particular kind of meat together with 
that description of vegetable \vhich is usually its com- 
panIon. 
The search was wholly unsuccessful. Joe had groped 
along the path a dozen times, and among the grass, and 
in the dry ditch, and in the hedge, but all in vain. Dolly, 
\\1ho was quite inconsolable for her loss, wrote a note to 
.l\-liss Haredale giving her the same account of it that she 
had given at the Maypole, which Joe undertook to deliver 
as soon as the family were stirring next day. That done, 
they sat down to tea in the bar, where there "vas an un- 
common display of buttered toast, and-in order that they 
might not grow faint for want of sustenance, and might 
have a decent halting-place or half-way house between 
dinner and supper-a few savoury trifles in the shape of 
great rashers of broiled ham, which being well cur
d, done 
to a turn, and smoking hot, sent forth a temptIng and 
delicious fragrance. 
Mrs. Varden was seldom very Protestant at meals, 
unless it happened that they were under-done, or over- 
done, or indeed that anything occurred to put h
r out of · 
humour. Her spirits rose considerably o
 beholdIng these 
goodly preparations, and from the nothIngness of good 



166 


Barnaby Rudge 


works, she passed to the somethingness of ham and toast 
with great cheerfulness. Nay, under the influence of 
these wholesome stimulants, she sharply reproved her 
daughter for being low and despondent (which she con- 
sidered an unacceptable frame of mind), and remarked, as 
she held her own plate for a fresh supply, that it would 
be well for Dolly, who pined over the loss of a toy and a 
sheet of paper, if she would reflect upon the voluntary 
sacrifices of the missionaries in foreign parts \vho lived 
chiefly on salads. 
The proceedings of such a day occasion various fluctua- 
tions in the human thermometer, and especially in instru- 
ments so sensitively and delicately constructed as 1\1rs. 
Varden. Thus, at dinner Mrs. V. stood at summer heat; 
genial, smiling, and delightful. After dinner, in the sun- 
shine of the wine, she went up at least half a dozen degrees, 
and was perfectly enchanting. As its effect subsided, she 
fell rapidly, went to sleep for an hour or so at temperate, 
and woke at something below freezing. No\v she v;as at 
summer heat again, in the shade; and when tea was over, 
and old John, producing a bottle of cordial from one of 
the oaken cases, insisted on her sipping t\vo glasses thereof 
in slow succession, she stood steadily at ninety for one 
hour and a quarter. Profiting by experience, the lock- 
smith took advantage of this genial ,veather to smoke hIs 
pipe in the porch, and in consequence of this prudent man- 
agement, he was fully prepared, when the glass \vent down 
again, to start homewards directly. 
The horse was accordingly put in, and the chaise brought 
round to the door. Joe, \vho would on no account be 
dissuaded from escorting them until they had passed the 
most dreary and solitary part of the road, led out the grey 
mare at the same time; and having helped Dolly into her 
seat (more happiness!) sprang gaily into the saddle. 
Then, after many good nights, and admonitions to wrap 
up, and glancing of lights, and handing in of cloaks and 
shawls, the chaise rolled a\vay, and Joe trotted beside it- 
on Dolly's side, no doubt, and pretty close to the wheel 
too. 



Barnaby Rudge 


16 7 


CHAPTER XXII 
. IT was a fine bright night, and for all her lowness of 
spirits Dolly kept looking up at the stars in a manner so 
be\vitching (and she knew it !) that Joe was clean out of his 
senses, and plainly sho\ved that if ever a man were-not to 
say over head and ears, but over the Monument and the 
top of Saint Paul's in love, that man was himself. The 
road was a very good one; not at a11 a jolting road, or an 
uneven one; and yet Dolly held the side of the chaise with 
one little hand, all the. way. If there had been an execu- 
tioner behind him with an uplifted axe ready to chop off 
his head if he touched that hand, Joe couldn't have helped 
doing it. Fronl putting his own hand upon it as if by 
chance, and taking it away again after a minute or so, he 
got to riding along without taking it off at aU; as if he, 
the escort, were bound to do that as an important part of his 
duty, and had come out for the purpose. The most curious 
circumstance about this little incident was, that Dolly 
didn't seem to know of it. She looked so innocent and 
unconscious when she turned her eyes on Joe, that it was 
quite provoking. 
She talked though; talked about her frig-ht, and about 
Joe's coming up to rescue her, and about her gratitude, 
and about her fear that she might not have thanked him 
enough, and about their always being friends from that 
time forth-and about all that sort of thing. And when 
Joe said, not friends he hoped, Dolly was quite surprised, 
and said not enemies she hoped; and when Joe said, 
couldn't they be something much better than either, Dolly 
all of a sudden found out a star which was brighter than 
all the other stars, and begged to caIl his attention to the 
same, and was ten thousand times more innocent and un- 
conscious than ever. 
In this manner they travelled along, talking very little 
above a whisper, and wishing the road could be stretched 
out to some dozen times its natural length-at least that 
\vas Joe's desire-when, as they were getting- clear of the 
forest and emerging on the more frequented road, they 
heard behind them the sound of a horse's feet at a good 
round trot, \vhich growing rapidly louder as it drew nearer, 
elicited a scream from Mrs. Varden, and the cry "a 



168 


Barnaby Rudge 


friend!" from the rider, who now came panting up and 
checked his horse beside them. 
" This man again! " cried Dolly, shuddering. 
" Hugh! " said Joe. "What errand are you upon?" 
" I come to ride back with you," he answered, glancing 
covertly at the locksmith's daughter. "He sent me." 
" 
1y father! " said poor Joe; adding under his breath, 
wi th a very unfilial apostrophe, "WiH he never think me 
man enough to take care of myself? " 
" Ay ! " returned Hugh to the first part of the inquiry. 
"The roads are not safe just now, he says, and you'd 
better have a companion." 
" Ride on then," said Joe. "I'm not going to turn 
yet. J J 
Hugh complied, and they "vent on again. It was his 
whim or humour to ride immediately before the chaise, and 
from this position he constantly turned his head, and 
looked back. Dolly felt that he looked at her, but she 
averted her eyes, and feared to raise them once, so great 
was the dread with which he had inspired her. 
This interruption, and the consequent wakefulness of 
Mrs. Varden, who had been nodding in her sleep up to this 
point, except for a minute or two at a time, when she 
roused herself to scold the locksmith for audaciously 
taking hold of her to prevent her nodding herself out of the 
chaise, put a restraint upon the whispered conversation, 
and made it difficult of resumption. Indeed before they 
had gone another mile, Gabriel stopped at his \vife's desire, 
and that good lady protested she would not hear of Joe's 
going a step further on any account whatever. It was in 
vain for Joe to protest on the other hand that he was by no 
means tired, and would turn back presently, and would see 
them safely past such a point, and so forth. Mrs. Varden 
was obdurate, and being so was not to be overcome by 
mortal agency. 
" Good night-if I must say it," said Joe, sorrowfully. 
"Good night," said DoJIy. She \\rould have added, 
" Take care of that man, and pray don't trust him," but 
he had turned his horse's head, and was standing close to 
them. She had therefore nothing for it but to suffer Joe to 
give her hand a gentle squeeze, and "vhen the chaise had 
gone on for some distance, to look back and wave it, as he 
stiH lingered on the spot \vhere they had parted, with the 
tall dark figure of H ugh beside him. 



Barnaby Rudge 16 9 
What she thought about, going home; and whether the 
coachmaker held as favourable a place in her meditations 
as he had occupied in the morning, is unknown. They 
reached home at last-at last, for it was a long way, made 
non
 the shorter by Mrs. Varden's grumbling. Miggs 
hearIng the sound of wheels was at the door immediately. 
"Here they are, Simmun! Here they are!" cried 

1iggs, clapping her hands, and issuing forth to help her 
mistress to alight. "Bring a chair, Simmun. Now, an't 
you the better for it, mim? Don't you feel more yourself 
than you would have done if you'd have stopped at home? 
Oh, gracious! how cold you are! Goodness me, sir, she's 
a perfect heap of ice. " 
" I can't help it, my good girl. You had better take her 
in to the fire," said the locksmith. 
" Master sounds unfeeling, mim," said Miggs, in a tone 
of commiseration, "but such is not his intentions, I'm 
sure. After what he has seen of you this day, I never will 
believe but that he has a deal more affection in his heart 
than to speak unkind. Come in and sit yourself down by 
the fire; there's a good dear-do. " 
Mrs. Varden complied. The locksmith fonowed with his 
hands in his pockets, and Mr. Tappertit trundled off with 
the chaise to a neighbouring stable. 
"Martha, my dear," said the locksmith, when they 
reached the parlour, "if you'll look to Dolly yourself, or 
let somebody else do it, perhaps it will be only kind and 
reasonable. She has been frightened, you know, and is 
not at an weII to-night. " 
In fact, Dolly had thrown herself upon the sofa, quite 
regardless of all the little finery of which she had been 
so proud in the morning, and with her face buried in her 
hands was crying very much. 
At first sight of this phenomenon (for Dolly was by no 
means accustomed to displays of this sort, rather learning 
from her mother's example to avoid them as much as 
possible) Mrs. Varden expressed her belief that never was 
any woman so beset as she; that her life was a continued 
scene of trial; that whenever she was disposed to be well 
and cheerful so sure were the people around her to throw, 
by some m;ans or other, a damp upon her spirits; and 
that, as she had enjoyed herself that day, and Heaven knew 
it was very seldom she did enjoy herself, so she was now 
to pay the penalty. To all such propositions Miggs. 
, 


. 



17 0 


Barnaby .Rudge 


assented freely. Poor Dony, however, grew nOne the 
better for these restoratives, but rather worse, indeed; 
and seeing that she was really in, both Mrs. Varden 
and Miggs were moved to compassion, and tended her 
in earnes t. 
But even then, their very kindness shaped itself into 
their usuál course of policy, and though Dolly was in a 
swoon, it was rendered clear to the meanest capacity, that 
I\1rs. 'Yarden was the sufferer. Thus when DolJy began to 
get a httle better, and passed into that stage in which 
matrons hold that remonstrance and argument may be 
successfully applied, her mother represented to her, \vith 
tears in her eyes, that îf she had been flurried and worried 
that day, she must remember it was the common lot 9f 
humanity, and in especial of womankind, who through the 
whole of their existence must expect no less, and were 
bound to make up their minds to meek endurance and 
patient resigna tion. !\1rs. Varden entreated her to re- 
member that one of thest: days she would, in all probability, 
have to do violence to her feelings so far as to be m.arried ; 
and that marriage, as she might see every day of her ]ife 
(and truly she did) was a state requiring great fortitude and 
forbearance. She represented to her in lively colours, that 
if she (IVIrs. V.) had not, in steering her course through 
thìs vale of tears, been supported by a strong principle of 
duty which alone upheld and prevented her from drooping, 
she must have been in her grave many years ago; in which 
case she desired to knovv what would have become of that 
errant spirit (meaning the locksmith) of whose eye she was 
the very apple, and in whose path she was, as it were, a 
shining light and guiding star? 
I\1iss Miggs also put in her word to the same effect. 
She said that indeed and indeed Miss Dolly might take 
pattern by her blessed mother, who, she always had said, 
and always would say, though she were to be hanged, 
drawn, and quartered for it next minute, was the mildest, 
amiablest, forgivingest-spirited, longest-sufferingest female 
as ever she could have believed; the mere narration of 
whose excellences had worked such a wholesome change 
in the mind of her own sister-in-law, that, whereas, before, 
she and her husband lived like cat and dog, and were in 
the habit of exchanging brass candlesticks, pot-lids, flat- 
"irons, and other such strong resentments, they were now 
,the happiest and affectionatest couple upon earth; as could 



Barnaby Rudge 


17 1 


be proved any day on application at Golden Lion Court, 
number twenty-sivin, second bell-handle on the right-hand 
post. After glancing at herself as a comparatively worth- 
less vessel, but still as one of some desert, she besought her 
to bear in mind that her aforesaid dear and only mother was 
of a weakly constitution and excitable temperalnent, who 
had constantly to sustain afflictions in don1(
stic life, com- 
pared with \vhich thieves and robbers were as nothing, 
and yet never sank down or gave way to despair or wrath, 
but, in prize-fighting phraseology, always caIne up to time 
with a cheerful countenance, and went in to win as if 
nothing had happened. vVhen Miggs finished her solo, 
her mistress struck in again, and the two together per- 
fonned a duet to the san1e purpose; the burden being, that 
l\Irs. Varden was persecuted perfection, and Mr. Varden, 
as the representative of mankind in that apartl11ent, a 
creature of vicious and brutal habits, utterly insensible to 
the blessings he enjoyed. Of so refined a character, in- 
deed, Vlas their talent of assault under the mask of sym- 
pathy, that when Dolly, recovering, elnbraced her father 
tenderly, as in vindication of his goodness, Mrs. Varden 
expressed her solemn hope that this would be a lesson to 
him for the remainder of his life, and that he would do 
some little justice to a woman's nature ever afterwards-in 
\vhich aspiration Miss l\/Iiggs by divers sniffs and coughs, 
more significant than the longest oration, expressed her 
entire concurrence. 
But the great joy of Miggs's heart was, that she not only 
picked up a full account of what had happened, but had the 
exquisite delight of conveying it to Mr. Tappertit for his 
jealousy and torture. For that gentleman, on account of 
Dolly's indisposition, had been requested to take his supper 
in the workshop, and it was conveyed thither by ]\IIiss 
Miggs's own fair hands. 
"Oh Simmun! " said the young lady, "such goings 
on to-day! Oh, gracious me, Silnmun ! " 
Mr. Tappertit, who was not in the best of humours, and 
wno disliked Miss Miggs more when she laid her hand on 
her heart and panted for breath than at any other time, as 
her deficiency of outline was most apparent under such 
circumstances, eyed her over in his loftiest style, and 
deigned to express no curiosity whatever. 
"I never heard the like, nor nobody else," pursued 
Miggs. "The idea of .nterfering with her. What people 


. 



17 2 


Barnaby Rudge. 


can see in her to make it worth their while to do so, that's 
the joke-he, he, he ! " . 
Finding there "vas a lady in the case, Mr. TappertIt 
haughtily requested his fair friend to be more explicit, and 
demanded to know \vhat she meant by " her. " 
"Why, that Dolly," said Miggs, with an extremely 
sharp emphasis on the name. "But, oh upon my \yord 
and honour, young Joseph Willet is a brave one; and he do 
deserve her, that he do. " 
" Woman! " said Mr. Tappertit, jumping off the coun- 
ter on which he was seated; " be\vare ! " 
" My stars, Simmun ! " cried Miggs, in affected aston- 
ishment. " You frighten me to death! \i\That's the 
matter? " 
" There are strings," said Mr. Tappertit, flourishng his 
bread-and-cheese knife in the air, " in the human heart that 
had better not be wibrated. That's what's the matter." 
" Oh, very well-if you're in a huff," cried Miggs, turn- 
ing away. 
" Huff or no huff," said Mr. Tappertit, detaining her by 
the wrist. "What do you mean, J ezebel ? \Vhat were 
you going to say? Answer me ! " 
Notwithstanding this uncivil exhortation, Miggs gladly 
did as she was required; and told him how that their young 
mistress, being alone in the meadows after dark, had been 
attacked by three or four tall men, who would have cer- 
tainly borne her away and perhaps murdered her, but for 
the timely arrival of Joseph Willet, who with his own single 
hand put them all to flight, and rescued her; to the lasting 
admiration of his fellow-creatures generally, and to the 
eternal love and gratitude of Dolly Varden. 
" Very good," said Mr. Tappertit, fetching a long breath 
when the tale was told, and rubbing his hair up till it stood 
stiff and straight on end all over his head. "His days are 
numbered. " 
" Oh, Simmun ! " 
"I tell you," said the 'prentice, "his days are num- 
bered. Leave me. Get along with you. " 
Miggs departed at his bidding, but less because of his 
bidding than because she desired to chuckle in secret. 
\Vhen she had given vent to her satisfaction, she returned 
to the parlour; where the locksmith, stimulated by quiet- 
ness and Toby, had become talkative, and was disposed to 
take a cheerful review of the occurrences of the day. But 



Barnaby Rudge 


173 


. Mrs. Varden, whose practical religion (as is not uncom- 
mon) was usually of the retrospective order, cut him short 
by declaiming on the sinfulness of such junketings, and 
holding that it was high time to go to bed. To bed there- 
fore she withdrew, \vith an aspect as grim and gloomy as 
that of the l\1aypole's own state couch; and to bed the rest 
of the establishment soon afterwards repaired. 


CHAPTER XXIII 


TWILIGHT had given place to night some hours, and it 
was high noon in those quarters of the town in which" the 
world" condescended to d\vell-the world being then, as 
now, of very limited dinlensions and easily lodged-when 
1v1r. Chester reclined upon a sofa in his dressing-room in 
the Temple, entertaining himself with a book. 
He was dressing, as it seemed, by easy stages, and hav- 
ing performed half the journey was taking a long rest. 
Completely attired as to his legs and feet in the trimmest 
fashion of the day, he had yet the remainder of his toilet to 
perform. The coat was stretched, like a refined scarecrow, 
on its separate horse; the \vaistcoat was displayed to the 
best advantage; the various ornamental articles of dress 
were severally set out in most alluring order; and yet he 
lay dangling his legs bet\veen the sofa and the ground, as 
intent upon his book as if there were nothing but bed be- 
fore him. 
" Upon my honour," he said, at length, raising his eyes 
to the ceiling with the air of a man who was reflecting 
seriously on what he had read; " upon my honour, the most 
masterly composition, the most delicate thoughts, the finest 
code of morality, and the most gentlemanly sentiments in 
the universe! Ah Ned, Ned, if you would but form your 
mind by such precepts, we should have but one common 
feeling on every subject that could possibly arise between 
us ! " 
This apostrophe was addressed, like the rest of his re- 
marks, to empty air; for Edward was not present, and the 
father was quite alone. 
"My Lord Chesterfield," he said, pressing his hand · 
tenderly upon the book as he laid it down, " if I could but 
have profited by your genius soon enough to have fonned 



174 


Barnaby Rudge 


Iny son on the model you have left to all wise fathers, both 
he and I would have been rich men. Shakspeare was un- 
doubtedly very fine in his way; l\1ilton good, though prosy; 
Lord Bacon deep, and decidedly knowing; but the \vriter 
who should be his country's pride is illY Lord Chester- 
field. " 
He became thoughtful again, and the toothpick was in 
requisition. 
" I thought I was tolerably accomplished as a man of the 
world," he continued, " I flattered myself that I was pretty 
well versed in all those little arts and graces which dis- 
tinguish men of the \\7orld from boors and peasants, and 
separate their character from those intensely vulgar senti- 
ments which are called the national character. Apart from 
any natural prepossession in my own favour, I believed I 
was. Still, in every page of this enlightened writer, I find 
some captivating hypocrisy which has never occurred to 
me before, or some superlative piece of selfishness to which 
I was utterly a stranger. I should quite blush for myself 
before this stupendous creature, if, remeillbering his pre- 
cepts, one might blush at anything. An amazing man! a 
nobleman indeed! any King or Queen may make a Lord, 
but only the Devil himself-and the Graces--can make a 
Chesterfield. " 
Men \vho are thoroug-hly false and hollo\v seldom try to 
hide those vices from themselves; and yet in the very act of 
avowing them, they lay claim to the virtues they feign 
most to despise. "For," say they, "this is honesty, 
this is truth. All mankind are like us, but they have 
not the candour to avo\v it." The more they affect to 
deny the existence of any sincerity in the world, the more 
they would be thought to possess it in its boldest shape; 
and this is an unconscious compliment to Truth on the part 
of these philosophers, which will turn the laugh against 
them to the Day of Judgment. 
Mr. Chester, having extolled his favourite author as 
above recited, took up the book again in the excess of his 
admiration and \vas conlposing himself for a further perusal 
of its sublime morality, when he was disturbed by a noise 
at the outer door; occasioned as it seemed by the en- 
deavours of his servant to obstruct the entrance of some 
unwelcome visitor. 
" A late hour for an importunate creditor," he said, rais- 
ing his eyebrows with as indolent an expression of wonder 



Barnaby Rudge 


175 


as if the noise were in the street, and one with which he 
had not the smalIest personal concern. "Much after their 
accustomed time. The usual pretence I suppose. No 
doubt a heavy payment to make up to-morrow. Poor fel- 
low, he loses time, and time is money as the good proverb 
says-I never found it out though. \Vell. What now? 
You know I am not at home." 
" A man, sir," replied the servant, who was to the full as 
cool and negligent in his way as his master, " has brought 
home the riding-whip you lost the other day. I told him 
you were out, but he said he was to wait while I brought it 
in, and wouldn't go till I did. " 
" He was quite right," returned his master, " and you're 
a blockhead, possessing no judgment or discretion what- 
ever. Tell him to come in, and see that he rubs his shoes 
for exactly five minutes first." 
The man laid the whip on the chair, and withdrew. The 
master, who had only heard his foot upon the ground and 
had not taken the trouble to turn round and look at him, 
shut his book, and pursued the train of ideas his entrance 
had disturbed. 
" If tinle were money," he said, handling his snuff-box, 
" I would compound with my creditors, and give them- 
let me see-how much a day? There's my nap after din- 
ner-an hour-they're extremely welcome to that, and to 
make the most of it. In the morning, between my break- 
fast and the paper, I could spare them another hour; in the 
evening before dinner, say another. Three hours a day. 
They might pay themselves in calls, with interest, in twelve 
months. I think I shall propose it to them. Ah, my cen- 
ta ur, are you there? " 
" Here I am," replied Hugh, striding in, foHowed by a 
dog, as rough and sullen as himself; " and trouble enough 
I've had to get here. What do you ask me to come for, 
and keep me out when I do come? " 
" My good fellow," returned the other, raising his head 
a little from the cushion and carelessly surveying him from 
top to toe, "I am delighted to see you, and to have, in 
your being here, the very best proof that you are not kept 
out. How are you? " 
" I'm well enough," said Hugh impatiently. 
" You look a perfect marvel of health. Sit down. U 
" I'd rather stand," said Hugh. 
"Please yourself, my good fellow, " returned Mr. 


. 



17 6 Barnaby Rudge 
Chester risin g slowl y P ulling off the loose robe he wore, 
" ." PI 
and sitting down before the dressIng-glass. ease 
yourself by all means. ' , 
Having said this in t.he politest and blandest ton
 pos- 
sible he went on dressIng, and took no further notIce of 
his iuest, who s.tood in the same spot as uncertain what to 
do next, eyeing him sulkily from time to time. 
" Are you going to speak to me, master? " he said, after 
a long silence. 
" 
ly worthy creature," returned 11r. Chester, "you are 
a little ruffled and out of humour. I'll wait till you're 
quite yourself again. I am in no hurry. " 
This behaviour had its intended effect. It humbled and 
abashed the man, and made him still more irresolute and 
uncertain. Hard words he could have returned, violence 
he would have repaid with interest; but this cool, com- 
placent, contemptuous, self-possessed reception, caused 
him to feel his inferiority more completely than the most ela- 
borate arguments. Everything contributed to this effect. 
His own rough speech, contrasted with the soft persuasive 
accents of the other; his rude bearing, and Mr. Chester's 
polished manner; the disorder and negligence of his ragged 
dress, and the elegant attire he saw before him; with all 
the unaccustomed luxuries and comforts of the room, and 
the silence that gave him leisure to observe these things, 
and feel how ill at ease they made him; all these influences, 
which have too often some effect on tutored minds and be- 
come of almost resistless power when brought to bear on 
such a mind as his, quelled Hugh completely. He moved 
by little and little nearer to Mr. Chester's chair, and glanc- 
ing over his shoulder at the reflection of his face in the 
glass, as if seeking for some encouragement in its expres- 
sion, said at length, with a rough attempt at conciliation, 
" Are you going to speak to me, master, or am I to go 
away? " 
., Speak you," said Mr. Chester, "speak you, good 
fellow. I have spoken, have I not? I am waiting for 
yo u. " 
"vVhy, look'ee, sir," returned Hugh with increased 
embarrassment, " am I the man that you privately left your 
whip with before you rode a\vay from the Maypole, and 
told to bring it back whenever he might want to see you 
on a certain subject? " 
" No doubt the same, or you have a twin brother," said 



Barnaby Rudge 


177 


Mr. Chester, glancing at the reflection of his anxious face. 
" which is not probable, I should say." ' 
"Then I have come, sir," said Hugh, "and I have 
b.ro
g
t it back and something else along with it. A letter, 
SIr, It IS, that I took from the person who had charge of it. " 
As he spoke, he laid upon the dressing-table Dolly's lost 
epistle. The very letter that had cost her so much trouble. 
" Did you obtain this by force, my good fellow? " said 

1r. Chester, casting his eye upon it without the least per- 
ceptible surprise or pleasure. 
" Not quite," said Hugh. "Partly." 
c, \\rho was the messenger from whom you took it? " 
" A woman. One Varden's daughter." 
" Oh, indeed! " said Mr. Chester gaily. "What else 
did you take from her? " 
" \Vhat else? " 
" Yes," said the other, in a drawling manner, for he was 
fixing a very small patch of sticking-plaster on a very small 
pimple near the corner of his mouth. "vVhat else? " 
" \\,. ell-a kiss," replied Hugh, after some hesitation. 
" And what else? " 
" Nothing. " 
" I think," said Mr. Chester, in the same easy tone, and 
smiling twice or thrice to try if the patch adhered-" I 
think there was something else. I have heard a trifle of 
jewellery spoken of-a mere trifle-a thing of such little 
value, indeed, that you may have forgotten it. Do you 
remember anything of the kind-such as a bracelet now, 
for instance? " 
Hugh with a muttered oath thrust his hand into his 
breast, and drawing the bracelet forth, wrapped in a scrap 
of hay, was about to lay it on the table like\vise, when his 
patron stopped his hand and bade him put it up again. 
" You took that for yourself, my exceIlent friend," he 
said, "and may keep it. I am neithe.r a thief, nor a re- 
ceiver. Don't show it to me. You had better hide it 
again, and lose no time. Don't let me see where you put 
it either," he added, turning away his head. 
" You're not a receiver! " said Hugh bluntly, despite 
the increasing av.."e in \vhich he held him. "What do you 
call that, master? " striking the letter with his heavy hand. . 
"I call that quite another thing," said Mr. Chester 
cool1y. "I shall prove it presently, as you will see. Y au 
are thirsty, I suppose? " 



17 8 


Barnaby Rudge. 


Hugh drew his sleeve across his lips, and gruffly an- 
s wered yes. ' 
" Step to that closet, and bring me a bottle you will see 
there, and a glass. " 
He obeyed. His patron followed him with his eyes, and 
when his back was turned, smiled as he had never done 
when he stood beside the mirror. On his return he filled 
the glass, and bade him drink. That dram despatched, he 
poured him out another, and another. 
". How many can you bear? " he said, filling the glass 
agaIn. 
" As many as you like to give me. Pour on. Fill high. 
A bumper with a bead in the middle! Give me enough of 
this," he added, as he tossed it down his hairy throat, " and 
1'11 do murder if you ask me ! " 
"As I don't mean to ask you, and you might possibly 
do it without being invited if you went on much further," 
said Mr. Chester with great composure, " we will stop, if 
agreeable to you, my good friend, at the next glass.-You 
were drinking before you came here. " 
" I always am when I can get it," cried Hugh boister- 
ously, waving the empty glass above his head, and throw- 
ing himself into a rude dancing attitude. "I always am. 
Why not? Ha, ha, ha! \Vhat's so good to me as this? 
What ever has been? \Vhat else has kept away the cold 
on bitter nights, and driven hunger off in starving times? 
What else has given me the strength and courage of a man, 
when men would have left me to die, a puny child? I 
should never have had a man's heart but for this. I should 
have died in a ditch. Where's he who when I was a weak, 
and sickly wretch, with trembling legs and fading sight, 
bade me cheer up, as this did? I never knew him; not 1. 
I drink to the drink, master. Ha, ha, ha ! " 
"You are an exceedingly cheerful young man," said 
Mr. Chester, putting on his cravat \vith great deliberation, 
and slightly moving his head from side to side to settle his 
.chin in its proper place. "Quite a boon companion." 
" Do you see this hand, master," said Hugh, " and this 
arm? " baring the brawny limb to the elbow. "It was 
once mere skin and bone, and would have been dust in 
some poor churchyard by this time, but for the drink. " 
" You may cover it," said Mr. Chester, " it's sufficiently 
freal in your sleeve. " 
" I should never have been spirited up to take a kiss from 



Barnaby Rudge 


179 


the proud little beauty, master, but for the drink" cried 
H h " , 
ug. Ha, ha, ha! It was a good one. As sweet as 
honey-suckle, I warrant vou. I thank the drink for it. I'B 
drink to the drink agáin, master. FiB me' one more. 
Come. One more! " 
" You are such a promising feHow," said his patron, put- 
ting on his waistcoat with great nicety, and taking no heed 
of this request, "that I must caution you against having 
too many impulses from the drink, and getting hung before 
your time. \Vhat's your age? " 
" I don't know. " 
"At any rate," said Mr. Chester, "you are young 
enough to escape what I may caU a natural death for some 
years to come. Ho\v can you trust yourself in my hands 
on so short an acquaintance, with a haIter round your neck? 
What a. confiding nature yours must be ! " 
H ugh feU back a pace or t\vo and surveyed him with a 
look of mingled terror, indignation, and surprise. Re- 
garding himself in the glass with the same complacency as 
before, and speaking as smoothly as if he were discussing 
some pleasant chit-chat of the town, his patron went on : 
" Robbery on the king's highway, my young friend, is 
a very dangerous and tickli.h occupation. It is pleasant, 
I have no doubt, while it lasts; but, like many other 
pleasures in this transitory world, it seldom lasts long. 
And reaUy if, in the ingenuousness of youth, you open your 
heart so readily on the subject, I am afraid your career will 
be an extremely short one. ' , 
" How's this? " said Hugh. "What do you talk of, 
master? \Vho was it set me on? " 
(, Who? " said Mr. Chester, wheeling sharply round, 
and looking fuU at him for the first time. "I didn't hear 
you. Who was it? " 
Hugh faltered, and muttered something which was not 
audible. 
"\Vho was it? I am curious to know," said Mr. 
Çhester, with surpassing affability. "Sonle rustic beauty, 
perhaps? But be cautious, my good friend. They are not 
always to be trusted. Do take my advice now, and be 
caref ul of yourself. " 
With these words he turned to the glass again, and went .. 
on wi th his toilet. 
Hugh would have answered him that he, t?e q.uestioner 
himself, had set him on, but the words stuck In hIs throat. 



180 


Barnaby Rudge 


The consummate art with which his patron had led him to 
this point, and managed the \vhole conversation, perfectly 
baffled him. He did not doubt that if he had made the re- 
tort \vhich \vas on his lips when l\lr. Chester turned round 
and questioned him so keenly, he would straig-htway have 
given him into custody and had him dragged before a 
justice with the stolen property upon him; in which case it 
was as certain he would have been hung as it \vas that he 
had been born. The ascendency which it \vas the purpose 
of the man of the \vorld to establish over this savage in- 
strument was gained from that time. Hugh's submission 
was complete. He dreaded him beyond description; and 
felt that accident and artifice had spun a web about him, 
which at a touch from such a master-hand as his, \vould 
bind him to the gallo\vs. 
With these thoughts passing through his mind, and yet 
\vondering at the very same time ho\v he \vho came there 
rioting in the confidence of this man (as he thought), should 
be so soon and so thoroughly subdued, Hugh stood cower- 
ing before him, regarding him uneasily from time to time, 
while he finished dressing. When he had done so, he took 
up the letter, broke the seal, and throwing himself back in 
his chair, read it leisurely through. 
" Very neatly worded, upon my life! Quite a woman's 
letter, full of what people call tenderness, and disinterested- 
ness, and heart, and all that sort of thing! " 
As he spoke, he twisted it up, and glancing lazily round 
at Hugh as though he would say " You see this? " held it 
in the flame of the candle. \Vhen it was in a full blaze, he 
tossed it into the grate, and there it smouldered away. 
" It was directed to nlY son," he said, turning to Hugh, 
" and you did quite right to bring it here. I opened it on 
my own responsibility, and you see \vhat I have done \vith 
it. Take this, for your trouble." 
Hugh stepped forward to receive the piece of money he 
held out to him. As he put it in his hand, he added: 
" If you should happen to find anything else of this sort, 
or to pick up any kind of information you may think I would 
like to have, bring it here, will you, my good fellow? " 
This was said with a smile which inlplied-or Hugh 
thought it did-" fail to do so at your peril!" He an- 
swered that he would. 
" And don't," said his patron, with an air of the verv 
kindest patronage, "don't be at all downcast or uneasy 



Barnaby Rudge 


I8! 


respecting that little rashness we have been speaking of. 
Your neck is as safe in my hands, my good fel10w as 
though a baby's fingers clasped it, I assure you.-Take 
another glass. You are quieter now." 
Hugh accepted it from his hand, and looking stealthily 
at his smiling face, drank the contents in silence. 
" Don't you-ha, ha !-don't you drink to the drink any 
more? " said l\lr. Chester, in his most winning manner. 
" To you, sir," \vas the sullen answer, with something 
approaching to a bow. "I drink to you. " 
" Thank you. God bless you. By the bye, what is your 
name, my good sou]? You are called Hugh, I know, of 
course-your other name? " 
" I have no other name. " 
" A very strange fel1ow! Do you mean that you never 
knew one, or that you don't choose to tel1 it? Which?" 
" I'd tell it if I could," said Hugh, quickly. "I can't. 
I have been always caned Hugh; nothing more. I never 
knew, nor saw, nor thought about a father; and I was a 
boy of six-that's not very old-when they hung my mother 
up at Tyburn for a couple of thousand men to stare at. 
They might have let her live. She was poor enough." 
" How very sad! " exclaimed his patron, with a con- 
descending smile. "I have no doubt she was an exceed- 
inglv fine woman. " 
" You see that dog of mine? " said Hu{!h, abruptly. 
" Faithfu], I dare say? " rejoined his patron, looking at 
him through his glass; " and immensely clever? Virtuous 
and gifted animals, whether man or beast, always are so 
very hideous. " 
" Such a dog as that, and one of the same breed, was the 
only living thing except me that howled that day," said 
Hugh. "Out of the two thousand odd-there \vas a larger 
crowd for its being a woman-the dog and I alone had any 
pity. If he'd have been a man, he'd have been glad to be 
quit of her, for she had been forced to keep him Jean and 
half-starved; but being a dog, and not having' a man '5 
sense, he was sorry." 
" It was duB of the brute, certainly," said Mr. Chester, 
" and very like a brute. " 
Hugh made no rejoinder, but whistling to his dog, who. 
sprang up at the sound and came jumping and sporting 
about him, bade his sympathising friend good night. 
" Good night," he returned. "Remember; you're safe 



182 


Barnaby Rudge 


with me-quite safe. So long as you deserve it, my good 
fellow, as I hope you always win, you have a friend in me, 
on whose silence you may rely. Now do be careful of your- 
seIf, pray do, and consider what jeopardy you might have 
stood in. Good night! bless you! " 
H ugh truckled before the hidden meaning of these words 
as much as such a being could, and crept out of the door so 
submissively and subserviently-\vith an air, in short, so 
different from that with which he had entered-that his 
patron, on being l
ft alone, smiled more than ever. 
" And yet," he said, as he took a pinch of snuff, " I do 
not like their having hanged his mother. The fellow has 
a fine eye, and I am sure she was handsome. But very 
probably she was coarse-red-nosed, perhaps, and had 
clumsy feet. Ay. It was all for the best, no doubt. " 
With this comforting reflection, he put on his coat, took 
a fare\vell glance at the glass, and summoned his man, who 
promptly attended, follo\ved by a chair and its two bearers. 
" Foh ! " said Mr. Chester. "The very atmosphere that 
centaur has breathed, seems tainted \vith the cart and 
ladder. Here, Peak. Bring some scent and sprinkle the 
floor; and take away the chair he sat upon, and air it; and 
dash a little of that mixture upon me. I am stifled! " 
The man obeyed; and the room and its master being both 
purified, nothin!i remained for Mr. Chester but to demand 
his hat, to fold It jauntily under his arm, to take his seat 
in the chair and be carried off; humming a fashionable tune. 


CHAPTER XXIV 


How the accomplished gentleman spent the evening in 
the midst of a dazzling and brilliant circle; how he en- 
chanted all those with whom he mingled by the grace of his 
deportmept, the politeness of his manner, the vivacity of his 
conversation, and the sweetness of his voice; how it was 
observed in every corner, that Chester was a man of that 
happy disposition that nothing ruffled him, that he was one 
on whom the world's cares and errors sat lightly as his 
dress, and in whose smiling face a calm and tranquil mind 
was constantly reflected; how honest men, who by instinct 
knew him better, bo\ved do\vn before him nevertheless, 
deferred to his every \vord, and courted his favourable 



Barnaby Rudge 


18 3 


notice; how people, who really had good in them, went with 
the stream, and fawned and flattered, and approved, and 
despised themselves while they did so, and yet had not the 
courage to resist; how, in short, he \vas one of those who 
are received and cherished in society (as the phrase is) by 
scores who indi\.idually would shrink from and be repelled 
by the object of their lavish regard; are things of course, 
which will suggest themselves. tvlatter so commonplace 
needs but a passing glance, and there an end. 
The despisers of månkind-apart from the mere fools and 
mimics of that creed-are of two sorts. They who believe 
their merit neglected and unappreciated make up one class; 
they \vho receive adulation and flattery, knowing their own 
worthlessness, compose the other. Be sure that the coldest- 
hearted misanthropes are ever of this last order. 
Mr. Chester sat up in bed next morning, sipping his' 
coffee, and remembering with a kind of contemptuous satis- 
faction how he had shone last night, and how he had been 
caressed and courted, when his servant brought in a very 
small scrap of dirty paper, tightly sealed in two places, on 
the inside whereof was inscribed in pretty large text these 
words. "A friend. Desiring of a conference. Imme- 
diate. Private. Burn it when you've read it. " 
" Where in the name of the Gunpowder Plot did you pick 
up this? " said his master. 
It \vas given hin1 by a person then waiting at the door, 
the man replied. 
" \Vith a cloak and dagger? " said Mr. Chester. 
With nothing more threatening about him, it ap- 
peared, than a leather apron and a dirty face. "Let him 
come in. " In he came-Mr. Tappertit; with his hair still 
on end, and a great lock in his hand, which he put down on 
the floor in the middle of the chamber as if he were about 
to go through some performances in which it was a neces- 
sary agent. 
" Sir," said Mr. Tappertit with a low bow, " I thank you 
for this condescension, and am glad to see you. Pardon 
th
 menial office in which I am engaged, sir, and extend 
your sympathies to one, who, humble as his appearance 
is, has inn 'ard \vorkings far above his station." 
Mr. Chester held the bed-curtain farther back, and looked " 
at him with a vag-ue impression that he was some maniac, 
who had not only broken open the door of his place of 
confinement, but had brought away the lock. Mr. 



18 4 Barnaby Rudge 
Tappertit bowed again, and displayed his legs to the best 
advantage. 
" You have heard, sir," said Mr. Tappertit, laying his 
hand upon his breast, "of G. Varden, locksmith and bell- 
hanger and repairs neatly executed in town and country, 
ClerkenweU, London? " 
" What then? " asked Mr. Chester. 
" I'm his 'prentice, sir." 
U What then? " 
" Ahem! " said Mr. Tappertit. "Would you permit 
me to shut the door, sir, and will you further, sir, give me 
your honour bright, that what passes between us is in the 
strictest confidence? " 
Mr. Chester laid himself calmly down in bed again, and 
turning a perfectly undisturbed face towards the strange 
apparition, which had by this time closed the door, begged 
him to speak out, and to be as rational as he could, without 
putting himself to any very great personal inconvenience. 
" In the first place, sir," said Mr. Tappertit, producing a 
small pocket-handkerchief, and shaking it out of the folds, 
" as I have not a card about me (for the envy of masters 
debases us below that level) aUo\v me to offer the best sub- 
stitute that circumstances will admit of. If you will take 
that in your own hand, sir, and cast your eye on the right- 
hand corner," said Mr. Tappertit, offering it with a grace- 
ful air, " you will meet with my credentials. " 
" Thank you," answered Mr. Chester, politely accepting 
it, and turning to some blood-red characters at one end. 
" 'Four. Simon Tappertit. One.' Is that the-" 
" Without the numbers, sir, that is my name," replied 
the 'prentice. "They are merely intended as directions to 
the washerwoolan, and have no connection with myself or 
family. Your name, sir," 
aid Mr. Tappertit, looking very 
hard at his nightcap, " is Chester, I suppose ? You needn't 
pull it off, sir, thank you. I observe E. C. from here. 
'Ve will take the rest for g-ran ted. " 
" Pray, Mr. Tappertit," said Mr. Chester, "has that 
complicated piece of ironmongery which you have done me 
the favour to bring with you, any immediate connection 
with the business we are to discuss? " 
" It has not, sir," rejoined the 'prentice. "It's going 
to be fitted on a ware'us-door in Thames Street." 
" Perhaps, as that is the case," said Mr. Chester, " and 
as it has a stronger flavour of oil than I usually refresh my 



Barnaby Rudge 


18 5 


bedroom with, you will oblige me so far as to put it outside 
the door. " 
'
 By all means, sir," said Mr. Tappertit, suiting the 
action to the word. 
, , You'll excuse my mentioning it, I hope? " 
" Don't apologise, sir, I beg. And now, if you please, 
to business. " 
During the whole of this dialogue, Mr. Chester had suf- 
fered nothing but his smile of unvarying serenity and polite- 
ness to appear upon his face. Sim Tappertit, who had far 
too good an opinion of himself to suspect that anybody 
could be playing upon him, thought within himself that this 
was something like the respect to which he was entitled, and 
drew a comparison from this courteous demeanour of a 
stranger, by no means favourable to the worthy locksmith. 
" From what passes in our house," said Mr. Tappertit, 
" I am aware, sir, that your son keeps company with a 
young lady against your inclinations. Sir, your son has 
not used me \vell. " 
" 1\lr. Tappertit," said the other, " you grieve me beyond 
description. " 
" Thank you, sir," replied the 'prentice. "I'm glad to 
hear you say so. He's very proud, sir, is your son; very 
haughty. " . 
" I'm afraid he is haughty," said Mr. Chester. "Do 
you know I was really afraid of that before; and you con- 
firm me. " 
" To recount the menial offices I've had to do for your 
son, sir," said 1\1'r. Tappertit; " the chairs I've had to hand 
him, the coaches I've had to call for him, the numerous 
degrading duties, \vholly unconnected with my indenters, 
that I've had to do for him, would fill a faInily Bible. Be- 
sides which, sir, he is but a young man himself, and I do not 
consider 'thank 'ee, Sim,' a proper form of address on 
those occasions. " 
"1\1r. Tappertit, your wisdom is beyond your years. 
Pray go on. " 
"I thank you for your good opinion, sir," said Sim, 
much gratified, " and will endeavour so to do. Now, sir, 
on this account (and perhaps for another reason or two 
which I needn't go into) I am on your side. And what I tell 
you is this-that as long as our people go backwards and 
forwards to and fro, up and down, to that there jolly old 
Maypole,' lettering, and messaging, and fetching and 
, 



186 


Barnaby Rudge 


carrying, you couldn't help your son 
eeping coo:pany 
with that young lady by deputy,-not tf he was mInded 
night and day by all the Horse Guards, and every man 
of 'em in the very fullest uniform." 
Mr. Tappertit stopped to take breath after this, and then 
started fresh again. 
"N ow, sir, I am a coming to the point. You will inquire 
of me, ' how is this to be prevented? ' I'll tell you how. If 
an honest, civil, smiling gentleman like you-" 
" l\1r. Tappertit-really-" 
" No, no, I'm serious," rejoined the 'prentice, cc I am, 
upon my soul. If an honest, civil, smiling gentleman like 
you, was to talk but ten minutes to our old woman-that's 
Mrs. Varden-and flatter her up a bit, you'd gain her over 
for ever. Then there's this point got-that her daughter 
Dolly, "-here a flush came over Mr. Tappertit's face- 
" \vouldn't be allowed to be a go-between from that time 
forward; and tilI that point's got, there's nothing ever will 
prevent her. Mind that. " 
" Mr. Tappertit, your kno\vledge of human nature-" 
" Wait a minute," said Sim, folding his arms with a 
dreadful calmness. "Now I come to THE point. Sir, there 
is a vilIain at that Maypole t a monster in human shape, a 
vagabond of the deepest dye, that unless you get rid of, 
and have kidnapped and carried off at the very least-no- 
thing less will do-will marry your son to that young 
woman as certainly and surely as if he \vas the Archbishop 
of Canterbury himself. He 'wilI, sir, for the hatred and 
Inalice that he bears to you; let alone the pleasure of doing 
a bad action, which to him is its own reward. If you knew 
how this chap, this Joseph \Villet-that's his name--comes 
backwards and forwards to our house, libelling, and de- 
nouncing, and threatening you, and how I shudder when I 
hear him, you'd hate him worse than I do,-worse than I 
do, sir," said Mr. Tappertit wildly, putting his hair up 
straighter, and making a crunching noise with his teeth; 
" if sich a thing is possible." 
" A little private vengeance in this, Mr. Tappertit? " 
" Private vengeance, sir, or public sentiment, or both 
coolbined-destroy him," said Mr. Tappertit. " Miggs 
says so too. Mig-gs and me both say so. We can't bear 
the plotting and undermining that takes place. Our souls 
recoil from it. Barnaby Rudge and Mrs. Rudge are in it 
likc\vise; but the villain, Joseph "Vinet, is the ringleader. 



Barnaby Rudge 18 7 
Their plottings and schemes are known to me and Miggs. 
If you want inf?rmation of 'e
, apply to us. Put Joseph 
WlIIet down, sir. Destroy him. Crush him. And be 
happy." 
With these words, 
r. Tappertit, who seemed to expect 
no reply, and to hold It as a necessary consequence of hi
 
eloquence that his hearer should be utterly stunned, dumb- 
foundered, and overwhelmed, folded his arms so that the 
palm of each hand rested on the opposite shoulder, and dis- 
appeared after the manner of those mysterious warners of 
whom he had read in cheap story-books. 
" That fellow," said Mr. Chester, relaxing his face when 
he was fairly gone, " is good practice. I have some com- 
mand of my features, beyond all doubt. He fully confirms 
what 1 suspected, though; and blunt tools are sometimes 
found of use, \vhere sharper instruments would fail. I fear 
I may be obliged to make great havoc among these worthy 
people. A troublesome necessity! I quite feel for them. " 
'Vith that he fell into a quiet slumber :-subsided into 
such a gentle, pleasant sleep, that it was quite infantine. 


CHAPTER XXV 


LEAVING the favoured, and well-received, and flattered 
of the world; him of the world most worldly, \vho never 
compromised himself by an ungentlemanly action and was 
never guilty of a manly one; to lie smilingly asleep-for 
even sleep, working but little chang-e in his dissembling 
face, became with him a piece of cold, conventional hypo- 
crisy-we follo\v in the steps of two slow travellers on foot, 
making towards Chig\veIl. 
Barnaby and his mother. Grip in their company, of 
course. 
The widow, to whom each painful mile seemed longer 
than the last, toiled wearily along; while Barnaby, yield- 
ing to every inconstant impulse, 
utte:ed here an.d th
re, 
no\v leaving her far behind, now lingerIng far behind h
m- 
self now darting into some by-lane or path and leaving 
her'to pursue her way alone, until he stealthily e
erged . 
again and came upon her with a wild shout of merrIment, 
as his way\vard and capricious nature prompted. Now 
he would call to her from the topmost branch of some high 



188 


Barnaby Rudge 


tree by the roadside; now using his taU staff as a leaping- 
pole, come flying over ditch or hedge or five-barred gate; 
now run with surprising swiftness for a mile or more on 
the straight road, and halting, sport upon a patch of grass 
with Grip till she came up. These were his delights; and 
when his patient mother beard his merry voice, or looked 
into his flushed and heahhy face, she would not have 
abated them by one sad word or murmur, though each 
had been to her a source of suffering in the samt degree 
as it was to him of pleasure. 
I t is something to look upon enjoyment, so that it be 
free and wild and in the face of nature, though it is but the 
enjoyment of an idiot. It is something to know that 
Heaven has felt the capacity of gladness in such a crea- 
ture's breast; it is something to be assured that, however 
lightly men may crush that faculty in their fellows, the 
Great Creator of mankind imparts it even to his despised 
and slighted work. Who would not rather see a poor 
idiot happy in the sunlight, than a wise man pining in a 
darkened jail! 
Yemen of gloom and austerity, who paint the face of 
Infinite Benevolence with an eternal frown; read in the 
Everlasting Book, wide open to your view, the lesson it 
would teach. Its pictures are not in black and sombre 
hues, but bright and glowing tints; its music-save when 
ye dro'wn it-is not in sighs and groans, but songs and 
cheerful sounds. Listen to the million voices in the sum- 
mer air, and find one dismal as your own. Remember, if 
ye can, the sense of hope and pleasure which every glad 
return of day awakens in the breast of all your kind who 
have not changed their nature; and learn some wisdom 
even from the witless, when their hearts are lifted up they 
know not why, by all the mirth and happiness it brings. 
The wido-w's breast was full of care, was laden heavily 
with secret dread and sorrow; but her boy's gaiety of heart 
gladdened her, and beguiled the long journey. Sometimes 
he would bid her lean upon his arm, and would keep be- 
side her steadily for a short distance; but it "vas nlore his 
nature to be rambling to and fro, and she better liked to 
see him free and happy, even than to have him near her, 
because she loved him better than herself. 
She had quitted the place to which they were travelling, 
directly after the event which had changed her whole 
existence; and for two-and-twenty years had never had 



Barnaby Rudge 


18 9 


courage to re
isit it. I t was her native village. How 

a
y recollections crowded on her mind when it appear=:d 
In sIght! 
Two-and-twenty years. Her boy's whole life and his- 
tery. The last time she looked back upon those roofs 
3Illong the trees she carried him in her arms an infant. 
How often since that time had she sat besid
 him night 
and day, watching tor the dawn of mind that never came; 
ho\v 
a? she feared, and doubted, and yet hoped, long after 
convIctIon forced itself upon her! The little stratagems 
sne had devised to try him, the little tokens he had given 
in his childish way-not of dulness but of something in- 
finitely worse, so ghastly and unchiIdlike in its cunning- 
came back as vividly as if but yesterday had intervened. 
The room in which they used to be; the spot in which his 
cradle stood; he, old and elfin-like in face, but ever dear 
to her, gazing at her with a wild and vacant eye, and 
crooning some uncouth song as she sat by and rocked him; 
every circumstance of his infancy came thronging back, and 
the most trivial, perhaps, the most distinctly. 
His older childhood, too; the strange imaginings he had; 
his terror of certain senseless things-familiar objects he 
endowed with life; the slow and gradual breaking out of 
that one horror, in which, before his birth, his darkened in- 
teIlect began; how, in the midst of all, she had found some 
hope and comfort 
n his being unlike another child, dnd 
had gone on almost believing in the slow development of 
his mind until he grew a man, and then his childhood was 
complete and lasting; one after another, all these old 
thoughts sprang up within her, strong after their long 
slumber and bitterer than ever. 
She took his arm and they hurried through the village 
street. It was the same as it was wont to be in old times, 
yet different too, and wore another air. The change was in 
herself not it; but she never thought of that, and won- 
dered 
t its alteration, and where it lay, and what it was. 
The people all k.new Ba:naby, and the children of the 
place came flocking round hIm-as she remembered to h
ve 
done with their fathers and mothers round some sIlly 
beggarman \vhen a child herself. N one of them knew 
her; they passed each well-remembered house, and yard, 
and homestead; and striking into the fields, were soon 
alone again. 
The Warren was the end of their journey. rvIr. Hare- 
, 



19 0 


Barnaby Rudge 


dale was \valking in the g-arden, and seeing them as they 
passed the irort. gate, unlocked it, and bade them enter 
that way. 
" At length you have mustered heart to visit the old 
place," he said to the widow. "I am glad you have." 
c, For the first time, and the last, sir," she replied. 
cc The first for many years, but not the last? " 
"The very last." 
cc You mean," said Mr. Haredale, regarding her with 
some surprise, "that having made this effort, you are 
resolved not to persevere and are deternlined to relapse? 
This is unworthy of you. I have often told you, you should 
return here. You would be happier here than elsewhere, 
I know. As to Barnaby, it's quite his home. " 
" And Grip's," said Barnaby, holding- the basket open. 
The raven hopped gravely out, and perching on his shoul- 
der and addressing himself to Mr. Haredale, cried-as a 
hint, perhaps, that some temperate refreshment would be 
acceptable-" Polly put the ket-tle on, we'll all have tea! " 
" Hear me, l\1ary," said Mr. Haredale kindly, as ne 
motioned her to walk with him towards the house. ' , Your 
life has been an example of patience and fortitude, except 
in this one particular which has often given me great pain. 
T t is enough to know that you were eruelly involved in 
the calamity which deprived me of an only brother, and 
Emma of her father, without being obliged to suppose (as 
I sometimes am) that you associate us with the author of 
our joint misfortunes. " 
" Associate you \vith him, sir! " she cried. 
" Indeed," said Mr. Haredale, "I think you do. I 
almost believe that because your husband was bound by 
so many ties to our relation, and died in his service and 
defence, you have come in some sort to connect us WJth 
his murder." 
cc Alas! " she answered. " You little know my heart, 
sir. You little knO'w the truth! " 
cc It is natural you should do so; it is very probable you 
may, without being conscious of it," said Mr. Haredale, 
speaking more to himself than her. "'V e are a fallen 
house. Money, dispensed with the most lavish hand, 
would be a poor recompense for sufferings like yours; and 
thinly scattered by hands so pinched and tied as ours, it 
hecomes a miserable mockery. I feel it so, God kno\vs," 

e added hastily. " Why should If\vonder if she does! " 



Barnaby Rudge 


19 1 


. ' , You òo me wrong, dear sir, indeed " she re J .oined 
. h ' 
\'.It great earnestness; " and yet when you come to hear 
what I desire your leave to say-" 
r " I shaH find my doubts confirmed? " he said observ- 
ing that she faltered and became confused. "W
ll!" 
He quickened his pace for a few steps, but fell back 
again to her side, and said: 
" And have you CaIne all this way at last, solely to speak 
to me? " 
She ans v;ered, , , Yes. " 
" A curse," he muttered, "upon the wretched state of 
us proud beggars, from whom the poor and rich are 
equally at a distance; the one being forced to treat us with 
a show of cold respect; the other condescending to us in 
their every deed and word, and keeping more aloof, the 
nearer they approach us.- Why, if it \vere pain to you 
(as it must have been) to break for this slight purpose the 
chain of habit forged through t\vo-and-twenty years, could 
you not let me know your wish, and beg me to come to 
you? " 
"There was not time, sir," she rejoined. "I took 
my resolution but last night, and taking it, felt that I must 
not lose a day-a day! an hour-in having speech with 
you. ' , 
They had by this time reached the house. Mr. Haredale 
paused for a moment, and looked at her as if sur- 
prised by the energy of her manner. Observing, however, 
that she took no heed of him, but glanced up, shud- 
dering, at the old walls with which such horrors were con- 
nected in her nlind, he led her by a private stair into his 
library, 'where Emma was seated in a window, rea.ding. 
The young lady, seeing who approached, hastIly rose 
and laid aside her book, and with many kind words, and 
not without tears, gave her a warm and earnest welcome. 
But the widuw shrank from her embrace as though she 
feared her, and sank down trembling on a chair. 
" It is the return to this place after so long- an absence," 
said Emma gently. "Pray ring, dear uncIe-or stay- 
Barnaby will run himself and ask for wine-" 
" Not for the \vorId! " she cried. "It would have 
another taste-I could not touch it. I want but a minute's 
rest. Nothing but that." 
Miss Haredale stood beside her chair, regarding her \vith 
silent pity. She remained for a little time quite still; then 



19 2 


Barnaby Rudge 


rose and turned to Mr. Haredale, who had sat down in 
his easy-chair, and was contemplating her with fixed 
attention. 
The tale connected with the mansion borne in mind, it 
seemed as has been already said, the chosen theatre for 
such a 'deed as it had known. The room in which this 
group were now assembled-hard by the very chamber 
where the act was done-dull, dark, and sombre; heavy 
with worm-eaten books; deadened and shut in by faded 
hangings, muffling every sound; shadowed mournfully 
by trees whose rustling boughs gave ever and anon a 
spectral knocking at the glass; wore, beyond all others in 
the house, a ghostly, gloomy air. Nor were the group 
assembled there unfitting tenants of the spot. The widow, 
with her marked and startling face and downcast eyes; 
Mr. Haredale, stern and despondent ever; his niece beside 
him, like, yet most unlike, the picture of her father, which 
gazed reproachfully dov.rn upon them from the blackened 
wall; Barnaby, with his vacant look and restless eye; were 
all in keeping with the place, and actors in the legend. 
Nay, the very raven, who had hopped upon the table and 
with the air of some old necromancer appeared to be pro- 
foundly studying a great folio volume that lay open on 
a desk, was strictly in unison with the rest, and looked 
like the embodied Spirit of Evil biding his time of 
mischief. 
" I scarcely know," said the widow, breaking silence, 
'c how to begin. You will think my mind disordered." 
" The whole tenor of your quiet and reproachless life 
since you were last here," returned Mr. Haredale mildly, 
" shall bear witness for you. Why do you fear to awaken 
such a suspicion. You do not speak to strangers. You 
have not to claim our interest or consideration for the first 
time. Be more yourself. Take heart. Any advice or 
assistance that I can give you, you know is yours of right, 
and freely yours. " 
" What if I came, sir," she rejoined, cc I, who have but 
one other friend on earth, to reject your aid from this 
moment, and to say that henceforth I launch myself upon 
the world, alone and unassisted, to sink or swim as Heaven 
may decree!" 
" You would have, if you came to me for such a pur- 
pose," said Mr. Haredale calmly, " some reason to assign 
for conduct so extraordinary, which-if one may enterta.in 



Barnaby Rudge 193 
the possibility of anything so wild and strange-would 
have its \veight, of course. " 
" That, sir,': she answered, "is the misery of my dis- 
tress. I can gIve no reason whatever. My own bare word 
is all that I can offer. It is my duty, my imperative and 
bounden duty. If I did not discharge it, I should be a 
base and guilty wretch. Ha ving said that, my lips are 
sealed, and I can say no more." 
As though she felt relieved at having said so much 
and had nerved herself to the remainder of her task sh
 
spoke from this time with a firmer voice and heightened 
courage. 
" Heaven is my witness, as my own heart is-and yours, 
dear young lady, will speak for me, I know-that I have 
lived, since that time we all have bitter reason to remem- 
ber, in unchanging devotion and gratitude to this family. 
Heaven is my witness that, go where I may, I shall pre- 
serve those feelings unimpaired. And it is my witness, 
too, that they alone impel me to the course I must take, 
and from which nothing now shall turn me, as I hope for 
mercy. " 
" These are strange riddles," said Mr. Haredale. 
" In this world, sir," she replied, "they may, perhaps, 
never be explained. In another, the Truth will be dis- 
covered in its own good time. And may that time," she 
added in a low voice, " be far distant! " 
" Let me be sure," said Mr. Haredale, "that I under- 
stand you, for I am doubtful of my own senses. Do you 
mean that you are resolved voluntarily to deprive yourself 
of those means of support you have received from us so 
long-that you are determined to resign the annuity we 
settled on you twenty years ago--to leave house, and 
home, and goods, and begin life anew-and this for some 
secret reason or monstrous fancy which is incapable of 
explanation, 'which only now exists, and has been dornl
nt 
all this time? In the name of God, under what delusIon 
are you labouring? " 
"As I am deeply thankful," she made answer, "for 
the kindness of those, alive and dead, who have owned 
this house. and as I would not have its roof fall down and 
crush me,' or its very walls drip b!ood, 
y na
e being 
spoken in their hearing; I never wIll agaIn subsIst upon 
their bounty, or let it help me to subsistence. You do not 
know," she added, suddenly, " to what uses it may be ap- 
H 


. 



194 


Barnaby Rudge 


plied; into what hands it may pass. I do, and I renounce 
it. " 
" Surely," said Mr. Haredale, " its uses rest with you. " 
" They did. They rest with me no longer. It may be- 
it is-devoted to purposes that mock the dead in their 
graves. It never can prosper with me. It will bring some 
other heavy judgment on the head of my dear son, whose 
innocence will suffer for his mother's guilt." 
" What words are these! " cried Mr. Haredale, regard- 
ing her with wonder. "Among what associates have you 
fallen? Into what guilt have you ever been betrayed? " 
" I am guilty, and yet innocent; wrong, yet right; good 
in intention, though constrained to shield and aid the bad. 
Ask me no more questions, sir; but believe that I am rather 
to be pitied than condemned. I must leave my house to- 
morrow, for while I stay there it is haunted. My future 
dwelling, if I am to live in peace, must be a secret. If 
my poor boy should ever stray this way, do not tempt him 
to disclose it or have him watched when he returns; for 
if we are hunted, we must fly again. And now this load 
is off my mind, I beseech you-and you, dear Miss Hare- 
dale, too-to trust me if you can, and think of me kindly 
as you have been used to do. If I die and cannot tell my 
secret even then (for that may come to pass), it v,Till sit 
the lighter on my breast in that hour for this day's work; 
and on that day, and every day until it comes, I will pray 
for and thank you both, and trouble you no more." 
\Vith that, she would have left them, but they detained 
her, and with many soothing words and kind entreaties 
besought her to consider what she did, and above all to 
repose more freely upon them, and say what v,Teighed SO 
sorely on her mind. Finding her deaf to their persuasions, 
Mr. Haredale suggested, as a last resource, that she should 
confide in Emma, of whom, as a young person and one of 
her own sex, she might stand in less dread than of him- 
self. From this proposal, ho\vever, she recoiled v,Tith the 
same indescribable repugnance she had manifested when 
they met. The utmost that could be wrung from her \vas 
a promise that she would receive Mr. Haredale at her own 
house next evening, and in the meantime reconsider her 
determination and their dissuasions-thoug-h any change on 
her part, as she told them, was quite hopeless. This con- 
dition made at last, they reluctantly suffered her to depart, 
since she would neither eat nor drink within the house; 



Barnaby Rudge 


195 


and she, and Barnaby, and Grip, accordingly went out as 
they h
d come, by the private stair and garden-gate; seeing 
and being seen of no one by the way. 
. I t 
as remarkable ir: the raven that during the whole 
InterVle\V he had kept his eye on his book with exactly the 
air o.f a very sly human rascal, who, under the mask of pre- 
tending to read hard, was listening to everything. He 
st
ll appeared to have the conversation very strongly in his 
mind, for although, when they were alone again, he issued 
orders for the instant preparation of innumerable kettles 
for purposes of tea, he was thoughtful, and rather seemed 
to do so from an abstract sense of duty, than with any 
. regard to making himself agreeable, or being what is 
commonly called good company. 
They 'were to return by the coach. As there was an 
interval of full two hours before it started, and they needed 
rest and some refreshment, Barnaby begged hard for a 
visit to the rvlaypole. But his mother, who had no wish to 
be recognised by any of those who had kno\vn her long ago, 
and who feared besides that l\Ir. Haredale might, on secono 
thoughts, despatch some messenger to that place of enter- 
tainnlent in quest of her, proposed to wait in the churchyard 
instead. As it was easy for Barnaby to buy and carry 
thither such humble viands as they required, he cheerfully 
assented, and in the churchyard they sat do\vn to take their 
frugal dinner. 
Here again, the raven was in a highly reflective state; 
walking up and down "vhen he had dined, with an air of 
elderly complacency which was strongly suggestive of his 
having his hands under his coat-tails; and appearing to 
read the tombstones "vith a very critical taste. Sometimes, 
after a long inspection of an epitaph, he would strop his 
beak upon the grave to "vhich it referred, and cry in his 
hoarse tones, " I'm a devil, I'm a devil, I'm a devil! " but 
whether he addressed his observations to any supposed per- 
son belo\v, or merely thre\v them off as a general remark, 
is a matter of uncertainty. 
It was a quiet pretty spot, but a sad one for Barnaby's 
mother; for Mr. Reuben Haredale lay there, and near the 
vault in which his ashes rested was a stone to the memory 
of her own husband, with a brief inscription recording- how 
and when he had lost his life. She sat here, thoughtful 
and apart, until their time was out, and the distant horn 
told that the coach 
'as coming. 
\ 



19 6 


Barnaby Rudge 


Barnaby, who had been sleeping on the grass, sprang 
up quickly at the sound j and <?rip, 
ho appeared 
o under- 
stand it equally well, walked Into hIS basket straIghtway, 
entreating society in general (as though he intended a kind 
of satire upon them in connection with churchyards) never 
to say die on any terms. They were soon on the coach-top 
and rolling along the road. 
I t went round by the Maypole, and stopped at the door. 
Joe was from home, and Hugh came slugg-ishly out to hand 
up the parcel that it called for. There was no fear of old 
John coming out. They could see him from the coach-roof 
fast asleep in his cosy bar. It was a part of John's char- 
acter. He made a point of going to sl
ep at the coach's 
time. He despised gadding about j he looked upon coaches 
as things that ought to be indicted; as disturbers of the 
peace of mankind; as restless, bustling, busy, horn-blo\v- 
iog contrivances, quite beneath the dignity of men, and 
only suited to giddy girls that did nothing but chatter and 
go a-shopping. "We know nothing about coaches here, 
sir," John would say, if any unlucky strang-er made inquiry 
touching the offensive vehicles; "we don't book for 'em; 
we'd rather not; they're more trouble than they're \vorth, 
with their noise and rattle. If you like to wait for 'em you 
can; but we don't know anything about 'em; they may call 
and they may not-there's a carrier-he was looked upon 
as quite good enough for us, when I was a boy." 
She dropped her veil as Hugh climbed up, and v:hile he 
hung behind, and talked to Barnaby in whispers. But 
neither he nor any other person spoke to her, or noticed 
her, or had any curiosity about her; and so, an alien, she 
visited and left the village where she had been born, and 
had lived a merry child, a 
omely girl, a happy \vife-where 
she had known all her enjoyment of life, and had entered 
on its hardest sorrows. 


CHAPTER XXVI 


CC AND you're not surprised to hear this, \'arden? " said 
Mr. Hare9ale. " \Vell! You and she have ahvays been 
the best fnends, and you should understand her if anybody 
does." .. 
U I ask your pardon, sir," rejoined the locksmith. U ) 



Barnaby Rudge 


197 


didn't say I understood her. I wouldn't have the pre- 
sumption to say that of any woman. It's not so easily 
done. But I am not so much surprised, sir, as you ex- 
pected me to be, certainly." 
" l\1ay I ask why not, my good friend? " 
" I have seen, sir," returned the locksmith with evident 
reluctance, "I have seen in connection with her, some- 
thing that has filled me with distrust and uneasiness. She 
has made bad friends; how, or when, I don't know; but 
that her house is a refuge for one robber and cut-throat at 
least, I am certain. There, sir! Now it's out. " 
" Varden! " 
" !vIy own eyes, sir, are my witnesses, and for her sake 
I would be willingly half-blind, if I could but have the 
pleasure of mistrusting 'em. I have kept the secret till 
now, and it \vill go no further than yourself, I know; but I 
tell you that with my own eyes-broad awake-I saw, in the 
passage of her house one evening after dark, the highway- 
man who robbed and wounded !vir. Edward Chester, and 
on the same night threatened me." 
"And you made no effort to detain him?" said Mr. 
Haredale quickly. 
" Sir," returned the locksmith, "she herself prevented 
me-held me, with all her strength, and hung about me 
until he had got clear off." And having gone so far, he 
related circumstantially all that had passed upon the night 
in question. 
This dialogue was held in a low tone in the locksmith's 
little parlour, into which honest Gabriel had shown his 
visitor on his arrival. Mr. Haredale had called upon him 
to entreat his company to the widow's, that he might have 
the assistance of his persuasion and influence; and out of 
this circumstance the conversation had arisen. 
" I forbore," said Gabriel, "from repeating one word of 
this to anybody, as it could do her no good and might do 
her great harm. I thought and hoped, to say the truth, 
that she would come to me, and talk to me about it, and ten 
me how it was; but though I have purposely put myself in 
her way more than once or twice, she has never touched 
upon the subject-except by a look. And indeed," said 
the good-natured locksmith, "there was a good deal in 
the look, more than could have been put into a great many 
words. It said, among other matters, ' Don't ask me any- 
thing , so imploringly, that I didn't ask her anything. 



19 8 


Barnaby Rudge 


You'l1 think me an old fool, I know, sir. If it's any relief 
to caB me one, pray do. " 
" I am greatly disturbed by \vhat you tell me," said Mr. 
Haredale, after a silence. "What meaning do you attach 
to it? " 
The locksmith shook his head, and looked doubtfully out 
of window at the fading light. 
" She cannot have married again," said Mr. Haredale. 
" Not without our knowledge, surely, sir." 
" She may have done so, in the fear that it would lead, if 
known, to some objection or estrangement. Suppose she 
married incautiously-it is not improbable, for her exist- 
ence has been a lonely and monotonous one for many years 
-and the man turned out a ruffian, she would be anxious to 
screen him, and yet would revò1t from his crimes. This 
might be. It bears strongly on the whole drift of her dis- 
course yesterday, and would quite explain her conduct. 
Do you suppose Barnaby is privy to these circumstances?" 
" Quite impossible to say, sir," returned the locksmith, 
shaking his head again: "and next to impossible to find 
out from him. If what you suppose is really the case, I 
tremble for the lad-a notable person, sir, to put to bad 
uses-" 
" It is not possible, Varden," said Mr. Haredale, in a 
still lower tone of voice than he had spoken yet, "that we 
have been blinded and deceived by this woman from the 
beginning? It is not possible that this connection was 
formed in her husband's lifetime, and led to his and my 
brother's-" 
"Good God, sir," cried Gabriel, interrupting him, 
" don't entertain such dark thoughts for a moment. 
Five-and-twenty years ago, where was there a girl 
like her? A gay, handsome, laughing, bright-eyed 
damsel! Think what she was, sir. I t makes my 
heart ache now, even now, though I'm an old man, 
with a woman for a daughter, to think what she was, 
and what she is. \Ve all change, but that's with Time; 
Time does his work honestly, and I don't mind him. A fig 
for Time, sir. Use him wen, and he's a hearty fenow, and 
scorns to have you at a disadvantage. But care and suffer- 
ing (and those have changed her) are devils, sir-secret, 
stealthy, undermining devils-who tread down the brightest 
flowers in Eden, and do more havoc in a month than Time 
does in a year. Picture to yourself for one minute what 



Barnaby Rudge 


199 


I\lary was before they went to work with her fresh heart 
and face-do her that justice-and say whether such a thing 
is possible. " 
" 
.. ou 're a good fellow , Varden," said lYlr. Haredale, 
" and are quite right. I have brooded on that subject so 
long, that every breath of suspicion carries me back to it. 
You are quite right. " 
" It isn't, sir," cried the locksmith with brightened eyes, 
and sturdy, honest voice; " it isn't because I courted her 
before Rudge, and failed, that I say she was too good for 
him. She would have been as much too good for me. But 
she was too good for him; he wasn't free and frank enough 
for her. I don't reproach his memory with it, poor fellow; 
I only want to put her before you as she really was. For 
myself, I'll keep her old picture in my mind; and thinking 
of that, and what has altered her, I'll stand her friend, and 
try to win her back to peace. And damme, sir," cried 
Gabriel, " with your pardon for the word, I'd do the sanle 
if she had married fifty highwaymen in a twelvemonth; and 
think it in the Protestant Manual too, though Martha said 
it wasn't, tooth and nail, till doomsday! " 
If the dark little parlour haa been filled with a dense fog, 
which, clearing away in an instant, left it all radiance and 
brightness, it could not have been more suddenly cheered 
than by this outbreak on the part of the hearty locksmith. 
In a voice nearly as full and round as his own, Mr. Hare- 
dale cried" W eII said! " and bade him come away without 
more parley. The locksmith complied right willing-Iy; and 
both getting into a hackney-coach which was waiting at the 
door, drove off straightway. 
They alighted at the street corner, and dismissing their 
conveyance, walked to the house. To their first knock at 
the door there was no response. A second met with the 
like result. But in answer to the third, which was of a 
more vigorou
 kind, the parlour window-sash was gently 
raised, and a musical voice cried: 
" Haredale, my dear fellow, I am extremely glad to see 
you. How very much you have improved in your appear- 
ance since our last meeting! I never saw you looking 
better. How do you do? " 
Mr. Haredale turned his eyes towards the casement 
whence the voice proceeded, though there was no need to 
do so, to recognise the speaker; and Mr. Chester waved his 
hand, and smiled a courteous \ve1come. 



200 


Barnaby Rudge 


"The door will be opened immediately, J, he said. 
" There is nobody but a very dilapidated female to perform 
such offices. You will excuse her infirmities? If she 'were 
in a more elevated station of society, she would be gouty. 
Being but a hewer of wood and drawer of water, she. is 
rheumatic. My dear Haredale, these are natural class dIs- 
tinctions, depend upon it." 
Mr. Haredale, whose face resumed its low.ering 
and distrustful look the moment he heard the voice, 
inclined his head stiffly, and turned his back upon the 
speaker. 
" Not opened yet," said Mr. Chester. "Dear me ! I 
hope the aged soul has not caught her foot in some unlucky 
cobweb by the way. She is there at last! Come in, I 
beg ! " 
Mr. Haredale entered, followed by the locksmith. Turn- 
ing with a look of great astonishment to the old woman who 
had opened the door, he inquired for lVlrs. Rudge-for 
Barnaby. They were both gone, she replied, wagging her 
ancient head, for good. There was a gentleman in the 
parlour, who perhaps could tell them more. That was all 
she kne\v. 
" Pray, sir," said Mr. Haredale, presenting himself 
before this new tenant, " where is the person whom I came 
here to see? " 
" :J\1y dear friend," he returned, U I have not the least 
idea. " 
, , Your trifling is iII-timed," retorted the other in a 
suppressed tone and voice, "and its subject ill-chosen. 
Reserve it for those who are your friends, and do not ex- 
pend it on me. I lay no claim to the distinction, and have 
the self-denial to reject it." 
" My dear, good sir," said Mr. Chester, U you are heated 
with walking. Sit down, I beg. Our friend is-" 
" Is but a plain honest man," returned Mr. Haredale, 
U and quite unworthy of your notice." 
"Gabriel Varden by name, sir," said the locksmith 
bluntly. 
" A worthy English yeoman! " said Mr. Chester. "A 
most worthy yeoman, of whom I have frequently heard 
my son N ed--darling fellow-speak, and have often \\Jished 
to see. Varden, my good friend, I am glad to know you. 
You wonder now," he said, turning languidly to Mr. Hare- 
dale, " to see me here. Now, I am sure you do. " 



Barnaby Rudge 


201 


Mr. Haredale glanced at him-not fondly or admiringly 
-smiled, and held his peace. 
" The mystery is solved in a moment, " said Mr. Chester; 
" in a moment. Will you step aside with me one instant? 
You remember our little compact in reference to Ned, and 
your dear niece, Haredale ? You remember the list of 
assistants in their innocent intrigue ? You remember these 
two people being among them? My dear fello\-v, con- 
gratulate yourself, and me. I have bought them off. II 
" You have done what? " said Mr. Haredale. 
" Bought them off," returned his smiling friend. "J 
have found it necessary to take some active steps towards 
setting this boy and girl attachment quite at rest, and have 
begun by removing these two agents. You are surprised? 
Who can withstand the influence of a little money? They 
wanted it, and have been bought off. We have nothing 
more to fear from them. They are gone. " 
" Gone! " echoed Mr. Haredale. "Where?" 
" My dear fellow-and you must permit me to say again, 
that you never looked so young; so positively boyish as you 
do to-night-the Lord knows where; I believe Columbus 
himself wouldn't find them. Between yöu and me they 
have their hidden reasons, but upon that point I have 
pledged myself to secrecy. She appointed to see you here 
to-night, I know, but found it inconvenient, and couldn't 
wait. Here is the key of the door. I am afraid you'll find 
it inconveniently large; but as the tenement is yours, your 
good-nature will excuse that, Haredale, I am certain! " 


CHAPTER XXVII 


MR. HAREDALE stood in the widow's parlour with the 
door-key in his hand, gazing by turns at Mr. Chester and 
at Gabriel Varden, and occasionally glancing downwards 
at the key as in the hope that of its own accord it would 
unlock the mystery; until Mr. Chester, putting on his hat 
and gloves, and sweetly inquiring whether they were walk- 
ing in the same direction, recalled him to himself. 
" No," he said. "Our roads diverge-widely, as you 
know. For the present, I shall remain here." 
, , You will be hipped, Haredale; you will be miserable, 
melancholy, utterly wretched," returned the other. "It's 



202 


Barnaby Rudge 


a place of the very last description for a man of your tem- 
per. I know it will make you very miserable. " 
" Let it, " said Mr. Haredale, sitting down; " and thrive 
upon the thought. Good night! " 
Feigning to be wholly unconscious of the abrupt wave .of 
the hand which rendered this farewell tantamount to a dis- 
missal Mr. Chester retorted with a bland and heartfelt 
benedi
tion, and inquired of Gabriel in what direction he 
was gOing. 
" Yours, sir, would be too much honour for the like of 
me, " replied the locksmith, hesitating. 
" I wish you to remain here a little while, Varden," said 
Mr. Haredale, without looking towards them. "I have a 
word or two to say to you. " 
" I will not intrude upon your conference another mo- 
ment," said Mr. Chester with inconceivable politeness. 
" May it be satisfactory to you both! God bless you! " 
So saying, and bestowing upon the locksmith a most 
refulgent smile, he left them. 
" A deplorably constituted creature, that rugged person," 
he said, as he walked along the street; "he is an atrocity 
that carries its own punishment along with it-a bear that 
gnaws himself. And here is one of the inestimable advan- 
tages of having a perfect command over one's inclinations. 
I have been tempted in these two short interviews, to draw 
upon that fellow, fifty times. Five men in six would have 
yielded to the impulse. By suppressing mine, I wound him 
deeper and more keenly than if I were the best swordsman 
in aH Europe, and he the worst. You are the wise man's 
very last resource, " he said, tapping the hilt of his weapon; 
" we can but appeal to you when all else is said and done. 
To come to you before, and thereby spare our adversaries 
so much, is a barbarian mode of warfare, quite unworthy of 
any man with the remotest pretensions to delicacy of feel- 
ing, or refinement. " 
He smiled so very pleasantly as he communed with him- 
self after this manner, that a beggar was emboldened to 
foHow for alms, and to dog his footsteps for some dis- 
tance. He was gratified by the circumstance, feeling it 
complimentary to his power of feature, and as a reward 
suffered the man to follow him until he called a chair, when 
he graciously dismissed him with a fervent blessing. 
" Which is as easy as cursing," h
 wisely added, as he 
took his seat, "and more becoming to the f ace. To 



Barnaby Rudge 


20 3 


Clerkenwell, my good creatures, if you please!" The 
chairmen \vere rendered quite vivacious by having such a 
courteous burden, and to Clerken\vell they went at a fair 
round trot. 
Alighting at a certain point he had indicated to them 
upon the road, and paying them something less than they 
had expected from a fare of such gentle speech, he turned 
into the street in which the locksmith d\velt, and presently 
stood beneath the shadow of the Golden Key. Mr. Tapper- 
tit, \vho was hard at work by lamp-light, in a corner 
of the workshop, remained unconscious of his presence 
un til a hand upon his shoulder made him start and turn 
his head. 
" Industry," said Mr. Chester, " is the soul of business, 
and the key-stone of prosperity. Mr. Tappertit, I shall ex- 
pect you to invite me to dinner when you are Lord Mayor 
of London. " 
" Sir," returned the 'prentice, laying down his hammer, 
and rubbing his nose on the back of a very sooty hand, " I 
scorn the Lord l\1ayor and everything that belongs to him. 
'Ve must have another state of society, sir, before you catch 
me being Lord Mayor. How de do, sir? " 
"The better, lVIr. Tappertit, for looking into your in- 
genuous face once more. I hope you are v.,rell." 
" I am as well, sir," said Sim, standing up to get nearer 
to his ear, and whispering hoarsely, " as any man can be 
under the aggrawations to which I am exposed. lVIy life's 
a burden to me. If it wasn't for wengeance, I'd play at 
pitch and toss with it on the losing hazard." 
" Is l'vlrs. Varden at home? " said Mr. Chester. 
" Sir," returned Sim, eyeing him over with a look of 
concentrated expression,-" she is. Did you wish to see 
her? " 
Mr. Chester nodded. 
" Then come this way, sir," said Sim, wiping his face 
upon his apron. "Follow me, sir.-Would you permit me 
to whisper in your ear, one half a second? " 
" By all means.' t 
Mr. Tappertit raised himself on tiptoe, applied his lips 
to Mr. Chester's ear, drew back his head without saying 
anything, looked hard at him, applied them to his ear again, " 
again drew back, and finally whispered-" The name is 
Joseph Willet. Hush! I say no more." 
Having said that m ch, he beckoned the visitor with a 




 


20 4 


Barnaby Rudge 


mysterious aspect to follow him to the parlour door, where 
he announced him in the voice of a gentleman-usher. "Mr. 
Chester. JJ 
" And not Mr. Ed'dard, mind," said Sim, looking into 
the door again, and adding this by way of postscript in his 
own person; " it's h
s father. JJ . . 
" But do not let hIS father," saId Mr. Chester, advancIng 
hat in hand, as he observed the effect of this last explanatory 
announcement, "do not let his father be any check or re- 
straint on your domestic occupations, Miss Varden. " 
" Oh ! Now! There! An't I always a saying it ! " ex- 
claimed Miggs, clapping her hands. "If he an't been and 
took l\1issis for her own daughter. Wel1, she do look like 
it, that she do. Ony think of that, mim ! " 
"Is it possible," said 
Ir. Chester in his softest 
tones, "that this is Mrs. Varden? I am amazed. 
That is not your daughter, Mrs. Varden? No, no. 
Your sister." 
" My daughter, indeed, sir," returned Mrs. V., blushing 
with great juvenility. 
" Ah, Mrs. Varden! "cried the visitor. "Ah, ma'am- 
humanity is indeed a happy Jot, when we can repeat our- 
selves in others, and stil1 be young as they. You must 
allow me to salute you-the custom of the country, my dear 
madam-your daughter too. " 
Dony showed some reluctance to perform this ceremony, 
but was sharply reproved by Mrs. Varden, who insisted on 
her undergoing it that minute. For pride, she said with 
great severity, was one of the seven deadly sins, and 
humility and lowliness of heart were virtues. Wherefore 
she desired that Dolly would be kissed immediately, on pain 
of her just displeasure; at the same time giving her to 
understand that \vhatever she saw her mother do, she might 
safely do herself, without being at the trouble of any reason- 
ing or reflection on the subject-which indeed was offen- 
sive and undutiful, and in direct co
travention of the 
Church Catechism. 
.T.hus admonished, Dolly complied, though by no means 
wIllIngly; for there was a broad bold look of admira- 
. . ' 
bon In Mr. Chester's face, refined and polished though it 
sought to be, which distressed her very much. As she 
st.ood with do\vncast eyes, not liking to look up and meet 
hIS, he gazed upon her with an approving air, and then 
turned to her mother. 



Barnaby Rudge 


. 20 5 


" My friend Gabriel (whose acquaintance I only made 
this very evening) should be a happy man Mrs. Varden." 
" Ah ! " sighed Mrs. V., shaking her head. 
" Ah ! " echoed lVIiggs. 
"Is that the case?" said Mr. Chester, compassion- 
ately. "Dear me ! " 
" Master has no intentions, sir," murmured lVIiggs as 
she sidled up to him, "but to be as grateful as his natur 
will let him, for every think he owns which it is in his 
powers to appreciate. But we never, sir "-said Miggs, 
looking side\\Tays at Mrs. Varden, and interlarding her 
discourse with a sigh-" we never know the full value of 
some wines and fig-trees till we lose 'em. So much the 
worse, sir, for them as has the slighting of 'em on their 
consciences when they're gone to be in full blow else- 
where. " And Miss Miggs cast up her eyes to signify 
\\There that might be. 
As Mrs. \larden distinctly heard, and was intended to 
hear, all that Miggs said, ana- as these words appeared 
to convey in metaphorical terms a presage or foreboding 
that she would at some early period droop beneath her 
trials and take an easy flight towards the stars, she imme- 
diately began to languish, and taking a volume of the 

1anual from a neighbouring table, leant her arm upon it 
as though she were Hope and that her Anchor. Mr. 
Chester perceiving this, and seeing how the volume was 
lettered on the back, took it gently from her hand, and 
turned the fluttering leaves. 
"My favourite book, dear madam. How often, how 
very often in his early life-before he can remember"- 
(this clause was strictly true) " have I deduced little easy 
moral lessons from its pages, for my dear son Ned! Y Oil 
know Ned? " 
Mrs. Varden had that honour, and a fine affable young 
gentleman he was. 
"You're a mother, Mrs. Varden," said Mr. Chester, 
taking a pinch of snuff, "and you know what I, as a 
father feel when he is praised. He gives me some un- 
, , ,. 
easiness-much uneasiness-he s of a rovIng nature, 
ma'am-from flovler to flower-from sweet to sweet- 
but his is the butterfly time of life, and we must not be 
hard upon such trifling." 
He glanced at Dolly. She was attending evidently to 
what he said. Just \\i 1 'it he desired! 



206 


Barn.aby Rudge 


" The only thing I object to in this little trait of Ned's 
is, " said Mr. Chester, " -and the mention of his name re- 
minds me, by the way, that I am about to be
 the fav?ur 
of a minute's talk with you alone-the only thIng I object 
to in it is that it does partake of insincerity. Now, how- 
ever I ma'y attempt to disguise the fact from. myself i? my 
affection for Ned, still I always revert to thIs-that If we 
are not sincere, we are nothing. Nothing upon earth. 
Let us be sincere, my dear madam- " 
"-and Protestant," murmured Mrs. Varden. 
" -and Protestant above al1 things. Let us be sincere 
and Protestant, strictly moral, strictly just (though always 
with a leaning towards mercy), strictly honest, and strictly 
true, and we gain-it is a slight point, certainly) but still it 
i
 something tangible; we throw up a groundwork and 
foundation, so to speak, of goodness, on which we may 
afterwards erect some worthy superstructure." 
Now, to be sure, Mrs. Varden thought, here is a perfect 
character. Here is a meek, righteous, thoroughgoing 
Christian, \vho, having mastered all these qualities so diffi- 
cult of attainment; who, having dropped a pinch of salt on 
the tails of all the cardinal virtues, and caught them every 
one; makes light of their possession, and pants for more 
morality. For the good \voman never doubted (as many 
Rood men and women never do), that this slighting kind of 
profession, this setting so little store by g-reat matters, this 
seeming to say" I am not proud, I am what you hear, but 
I consider myself no better than other people; let us change 
the subject, pray "-was perfectly genuine and true. He 
so contrived it, and said it in that way that it appeared to 
have been forced from him, and its effect was marvellous. 
A ware of the impression he had made-few men were 
quicker than he at such discoveries-Mr. Chester followed 
up the blow by propounding certain virtuous maxims, 
some\vhat vague and general in their nature, doubtless, 
and occasionally partaking of the character of truisms, 
worn a little out at elbow, but delivered in so charming a 
voice and with such uncommon serenity and peace of mind, 
that they answered as well as the best. Nor is this to be 
wondered at; for as hol1ow vessels produce a far more 
musical sound in falling than those 'which are substantial, 
so it will oftentimes be found that sentiments which have 
nothing in them make the loudest ringing in the world, and 
are the most reli
hed. 



Barnaby Rudge 


20 7 


Mr. Chester, with the volume gently extended in one 
hand, and with the other planted lightly on his breast, 
talked to them in the most delicious manner possible; and 
quite enchanted all his hearers, notwithstanding their con- 
flicting interests and thoughts. Even Dolly, who, between 
his keen regards and her eyeing over by Mr. Tappertit, was 
put quite out of countenance, could not help owning within 
herself that he \vas the sweetest-spoken gentleman she had 
ever seen. Even lVliss Miggs, who was divided between 
admiration of Mr. Chester and a mortal jealousy of her 
young mistres
, had sufficient leisure to be propitiated. 
Even Mr. Tappertit, though occupied as we have seen in 
gazing at his heart's delight, could not wholly divert his 
thoughts from the voice of the other charmer. Mrs. Varden, 
to her own private thinking, had never been so improved 
in all her life; and when Mr. Chester, rising and craving 
permission to speak with her apart, took her by the hand 
and led her at arm's length up stairs to the best sitting- 
room, she almost deemed him something more than human. 
" Dear madam, " he said, pressing her hand delicately to 
his lips; " be seated. " 
Mrs. Varden called up quite a courtly air, and became 
seated. 
" You guess my object? " said Mr. Chester, drawing a 
chair towards her. " You divine my purpose? I am an 
affectionate parent, my dear Mrs. Varden." 
" That I am sure you are, sir," said Mrs. V. 
" Thank you," returned Mr. Chester, tapping his snuff- 
box lid. "Heavy moral responsibilities rest with parents, 
Mrs. Varden." 
Mrs. Varden slightly raised her hands, shook her head, 
and looked at the ground as though she saw straight 
through the globe, out at the other end, and into the im- 
mensity of space beyond. 
" I may confide in you," said Mr. Chester, "without 
reserve. I love my son, ma 'am, dearly; and loving him as 
I do, I would save him from working certain misery. You 
know of his attachment to Miss Haredale. You have abet- 
ted him in it, and very kind of you it was to do so. I am 
deeply obliged to you-most deeply obliged to you-for 
your interest in his behalf; but my dear ma'am, it is a mis- II 
taken one, I do assure you. " 
Mrs. Varden stammered that she was sorry- 
" Sorry, my dear 
a'am," he interposed. "Never be 



208 


Barnaby Rudge 


sorry for what is so very an1iable, so very good in inten- 
tion, so perfectly like yoursel
. But .there. are grave and 
weighty reasons, pressing famIly conSiderations, and apart 
even from these, points of religious differel1ce, which inter- 
pose themselves, and render their. union impos?ible; utterly 
im-possible. I should have mentioned these Circumstances 
to your husband; but he has-yo
 will excuse my say
ng 
this so freely-he has not your qUickness of apprehension 
or depth of moral sense. What an extremely airy house 
this is, and how beautifully kept! For one like myself-a 
widower so long-these tokens of female care and super- 
intendence have inexpressible charms. " 
Mrs. Varden began to think (she scarcely knew why) 
that the young Mr. Chester must be in the wrong, and the 
old Mr. Chester must be in the right. 
"My son Ned," resumed her tempter with his most 
winning air, "has had, I am told, your lovely daughter's 
aid and your open-hearted husband's." 
"-Much more than n1Ïne, sir," said Mrs. Varden; "a 
great deal more. I have often had my doubts. It's 
a-" 
"A bad example," sugg
sted Mr. Chester. "It is. 
No doubt it is. Your daughter is at that age when to set 
before her an encouragenlent for young persons to rebel 
against their parents on this most important point is par- 
ticularly injudicious. You are quite right. I ought to 
have thought of that myself, but it escaped me, I confess- 
so far superior are your sex to ours, dear madam, in point 
of penetration and sagacity. " 
Mrs. Varden looked as wise as if she had really said 
something to deserve this compliment-firmly believed she 
had, in short-and her faith in her own shrewdness in- 
creased considerably. 
"My dear ma'am," said 1\1r. Chester, "you embolden 
me to be plain with you. :tviv son and I are at variance on 
t
is point.. The young lady and her natural guardian 

hffer upon It,. also. And the closing point is, that my son 
i
 bound b:r hl
 duty to me, by his honour, by every solemn 
tIe and oblIgatIon, to marry some one else. " 
" Engaged to marry another lady! " quoth Mrs. \'ar- 
den, holding up her hands. 
" My dear madanl, brought up, educated, and trained, 
expressly for that purpose. Expressly for that purpose.- 
Miss Haredale, I am told , is a verv charn1Íno- creature. " 
" h 



Barnaby Rudge 


20 9 


"I am her foster-nlother, and should know-the best 
young lady in the world," said Mrs. Varden. 
" I have not the smallest doubt of it. I am sure she is. 
And you, who have stood in that tender relation to\vards 
her, are bound to consult her happiness. Now, can I-as I 
have said to Haredale, \vho quite agrees-can I possibly 
stand by, and suffer her to throw herself away (although she 
is of a Catholic family) upon a young fello\v \vho, as yet, 
has no heart at all? It is no imputation upon hinl to say he 
has not, because young men who have plunged deeply into 
the frivolities and conventionalities of society very seldom 
have. Their hearts never grow, my dear ma 'am, till after 
thirty. I don't believe, no, I do not believe, that I had any 
heart myself when I was Ned's age." 
" Oh, sir," said Mrs. Varden, " I think you must have 
had. It's impossible that you, who have so much now, 
can ever have been without any." 
" I hope, " he answered, shrugging his shoulders meekly, 
" I have a little, I hope, a very little-Heaven knows! But 
to return to Ned; I have no doubt you thought, and there- 
fore interfered benevolently on his behalf, that I objected 
to Miss Haredale. How very natural! My dear madam, 
I object to him-to him--emphatically to Ned himself." 
1-1rs. Varden was perfectly aghast at the disclosure. 
" He has, if he honourably fulfils this solemn obligation 
of which I have told you-and he must be honourable, dear 
1\1rs. Varden, or he is no son of mine-a fortune within his 
reach. He is of most expensive, ruinously expensive 
habits; and if, in a moment of caprice and wilfulness, he 
were to marry this young lady, and so deprive himself of 
the means of gratifying the tastes to which he has been so 
long accustomed, he would-my dear madam, he would 
break the gentle creature's heart. Mrs. Varden, my good 
lady, my dear soul, I put it to you-is such a sacrifice to 
be endured? Is the female heart a thing to be trifled with 
in this way? Ask your own, my dear madam. Ask your 
own, I beseech you. " 
" Truly," thought Mrs. Varden, "this gentleman is a 
saint. But, " she added aloud, and not unnatural1y 1 ," if 
you take Miss Emma's lover away, sir, what becomes of th{; 
poor thing's heart then? " . 
" The very point," said Mr. Chester, not at all abashed, 
" to which I wished to lead you. A marriage with my son, 
whom I should be compelled to disown, would be followed 




 


210 


Barnaby Rudge 


by years of misery j they would be separ
ted, my dear 
madam, in a twelvemonth. To break off this attachment, 
which is more fancied than real, as you and I know very 
well, will cost the dear girl but a few tears, and she is 
happy again. Take .the case. of your own .dauþ"hter, ,
he 
young lady down stairs, who IS your breathing Image - 
Mrs. Varden coughed and simpered-" there is a young 
man (I am sorry to say, a dissolute fellow, of very indiffer- 
ent character), of whom I have heard Ned speak-Bullet 
was it-Pullet-Mullet- " 
" There is a young man of the name of Joseph Willet, 
sir," said Mrs. Varden, folding her hands loftily. 
"That's he," cried Mr. Chester.. "Suppose this 
Joseph Willet, now, were to aspire to the affections of your 
charming daughter, and were to engage them. " 
" It would be like his impudence," interposed Mrs. Var- 
den, bridling, " to dare to think of such a thing! " 
" My dear madam, that's the whole case. 1 know it 
would be like his impudence. It is like Ned's impudence to 
do as he has done; but you would not on that account, or 
because of a few tears from your beautiful daughter, refrain 
from checking their inclinations in their birth. I meant to 
have reasoned thus with your husband when I saw him at 
Mrs. Rudge's this evening- " 
"My husband," said Mrs. Varden, interposing with 
emotion, " would be a great deal better at home than going 
to Mrs. Rudge's so often. 1 don't know what he does 
there. I don't see what occasion he has to busy himself 
in her affairs at all, sir. " 
" If I don't appear to express my concurrence in those 
1ast sentiments of yours," returned Mr. Chester, "quite 
:so strongly as you might desire 1 it is because his being 
there, my dear madam, and not proving conversational, 
led me hither, and procured me the happiness of this inter- 
view with one, in whom the whole management, conduct, 
and }?rosperity of her family are centred, I perceive." 
.. WIth that. he to,?k 
rs. yarden's hand again, and hav- 
ilng pressed 
t to his hps wIth the high-flown gallantry of 


he day-a lIttle ?urlesqued to render it the more striking 
'In the good lady s unaccustomed eyes-proceeded in the 
.same strain of mingled sophistry, cajolery, and flattery, to 
'entreat that her utmost influence might be exerted to re- 
--strain her husband and daughter from any further promo- 
',tion of Edward
 .suit to Miss Haredale, and from aiding 



Barnaby Rudge 


211 


or abetting either party in any way. Mrs. Varden was but 
a woman, and had her share of vanity, obstinacy, and love 
of power. She entered into a secret treaty of alliance, 
offensive and defensive, with her insinuating visitor; and 
really did believe, as many others would have done who saw 
and heard him, that in so doing she furthered the ends of 
truth, justice, and morality, in a very uncommon degree. 
Overjoyed by the success of his negotiation, and mighti]y 
amused "vithin himself, 1\lr. Chester conducted her down 
stairs in the same state as before; and having repeated the 
previous ceremony of salutation, "vhich also as before com- 
prehended Dolly, took his leave; first completing the con- 
quest of lVIiss l\1iggs's heart, by inquiring if " this young 
lady" would light him to the door. 
,. Oh, mim," said Miggs, returning with the candle. 
.. Oh, gracious me, mim, there's a gentleman! Was there 
ever such an angel to talk as he is-and such a sweet-look- 
ing man! So upright and noble, that he seems to despise 
the very ground he walks on; and yet so mild and con- 
descending, that he seems to say' but I will take notice on 
it too. ' And to think of his taking you for l\1iss Dolly, and 
l\1iss Dolly for your sister-Oh, my goodness me, if I was 
mas ter wouldn't I be jealous of him ! " 
l\1rs. Varden reproved her handmaid for this vain-speak- 
ing; but very gently and mildly-quite smilingly indeed- 
remarking- that she was a foolish, giddy, light-headed girl, 
whose spirits carried her beyond all bounds, and who didn't 
mean half she said, or she would be quite angry with her. 
" For my part," said Dolly, in a thoughtful manner, 
"I half believe Mr. Chester is something like Miggs in 
that respect. For all his politeness and pleasant speak- 
ing, I am pretty sure he was making game of us, more 
than once. " 
" If you venture to say such a thing again, and to speak 
ill of people behind their backs in my presence, miss," 
said Mrs. Varden, " I shan insist upon your, taking a candle 
and going to" bed directly. How dare you, Dolly? I'm 
astonished at you. The rudeness of your whole behaviour 
this evening has been disgraceful. Did anybody ever 
hear, " cried the enraged matron, bursting into tears, " of 
a daughter telling her own mother she has been made. 
game of ! " 
What a very uncertain temper Mrs. Varden's was! 



212 


Barnaby Rudge 


CHAPTER XXVIII 


REPAIRING to a noted coffee-house in Covent Garden 
when he left the locksmith's, Mr. Chester sat long over a 
late dinner, entertaining himself exceedingly with the 
whimsical recollection of his recent proceedings, and con- 
gratulating himself very much on his great cleverness. 
Influenced by these thoughts, his face wore an expression 
so benign and tranquil, that the waiter in immediate at- 
tendance upon him felt he could almost have died in his 
defence, and settled in his own mind (until the receipt of 
the bill, and a very small fee for very great trouble dis- 
abused it of the idea). that such an apostolic customer was 
worth half a dozen of the ordinary run of visitors, at least. 
A visit to the gaming-table-not as a heated, anxiolls 
venturer, but one whom it was quite a treat to see staking 
his two or three pieces in deference to the follies of society, 
and smiling with equal benevolence on \vinners and losers 
-made it late before he reached home. I t was his custom 
to bid his servant go to bed at his o\\'n time unless he 
had orders to the contrary, and to leave a candle on the 
common stair. There was a lamp on the landing by wh
ch 
he could always light it when he came home late, and hav- 
ing a key of the door about him he could enter and go to 
bed at his pleasure. 
He opened the glass of the dull1amp, whose wick, burnt 
up and swollen like a drunkard's nose, carne flying off in 
little carbuncles at the candle's touch, and scattering hot 
sparks about rendered it matter of some difficulty to kindle 
the lazy taper; when a noise, as of a man snoring deeply 
some steps higher up, caused him to pause and listen. 
It was the heavy breathing of a sleeper, close at hand. 
Some fellow had lain down on the open staircase, and \vas 
slumbering soundly. Having lighted the candle at length 
and opened his own door, he softly ascended, holding the 
taper high aboye his head, and peering cautiously about; 
curious to see what kind of man had chosen so comfortless 
.a shelter for his lodging. 
With his head upon the landing, and his great limbs 
flung over half a dozen stairs, as carelessly as though he 
were a dead man whom drunken bearers had thrown down 
by chance, there lay Hugh, face uppermost, his long hair 



Barnaby Rudge 


21 3 


drooping like some wild weed upon his wooden pillow, 
and his huge chest heaving with the sounds which so 
unwontedly disturbed the place and hour. 
He who came upon him so unexpectedly was about to 
break his rest by thrusting him with his foot, when, glanc- 
ing at his upturned face, he arrested himself in the very 
action, and stooping down and shading the candle with his 
hand, examined his features closely. Close as his first in- 
spection \vas, it did not suffice, for he passed the light, still 
carefully shaded as before, across and across his face, and 
yet observed him with a searching eye. 
vVhile he was thus engaged, the sleeper, without starting 
or turning round, awoke. There Was a kind of fascina- 
tion in meeting his steady gaze so suddenly, which took 
from the other the presence of mind to withdraw his eyes, 
and forced him, as it were, to meet his look. So they re- 
mained staring at each other, until Mr. Chester at last 
broke silence, and asked him in a low voice, why he lay 
sleeping there. 
" I thought," said Hugh, struggling into a sitting pos- 
ture and gazing at him intently still, " that you were a part 
of my dream. It was a curious one. I hope it may never 
come true, master." 
" What makes you shiver? " 
" The-the cold, I suppose," he growled, as he shook 
himself and rose. "I hardly know where I am yet." 
" Do you know me? " said Mr. Chester. 
" Ay. I know you," he answered. "I was dreaming 
of you-we're not where I thought we were. That's a 
comfort. " 
He looked round him as he spoke, and in particular 
looked above his head, as though he half expected to be 
standing under some object which had had existence in 
his dream. Then he rubbed his eyes and shook himself 
again, and followed his conductor into his own rooms. 
Mr. Chester lighted the candles which stood upon his 
dressing-table, and wheeling an easy-chair towards the 
fire, which was yet burning, stirred up a cheerful blaze t 
sat down before it, 
nd bade his uncouth visitor" Come 
here, " and draw his boots off. 
" You have been drinking again, my fine fello\v," he 
said, as Hugh went down on one knee, and did as he 
was told. 
"As I'm alive, m ter, I've walked the twelve long 



.... 


21 4 


Barnaby Rudge 


miles and waited here I don't know how long, and had 
no drink between my lips since dinner-time at noon. " 
., And can you do nothing better, my pleasant friend, 
than fall asleep, and shake the very building with your 
snores? " said Mr. Chester. "Can't you dream in your 
straw at home, dull dog as you are, that you need come 
here to do it ?-Reach me those slippers, and tread softly." 
H ugh obeyed in silence. 
,. And harkee, my dear young gentleman," said Mr. 
Chester, as he put them on, "the next time you dream, 
don't let it be of me, but of some dog or horse with whom 
you are better acquainted. Fill the glass once-you'll find 
it and the bottle in the same place-and empty it to keep 
yourself awake." 
Hugh obeyed again-even more zealously-and having 
done so, presented himself before his patron. 
" Now," said Mr. Chester, "what do you want with 
me? " 
"There was news to-day," returned Hugh. "Your 
son was at our house--came down on horseback. He tried 
to see the young woman, but couldn't get sight of her. 
He left some letter or some message which our Joe had 
charge of, but he and the old one quarrelled about it when 
your son had "gone, and the old one wouldn't let it be de- 
livered. He says (that's the old one does) that none of his 
, people shall interfere and get him into trouble. He's a 
landlord, he says, and lives on everybody's custom. " 
,. He's a jewel," smiled Mr. Chester, "and the better 
for being a dull one.-Well? " 
" Varden's daughter-that's the girl I kissed-" 
"-and stole the bracelet from upon the King's high- 
way," said Mr. Chester, composedly. "Yes; 'what of 
her? " 
., She wrote a note at our house to the young woman, 
saying she lost the letter I brought to you, and you burnt. 
Our Joe was to carry it, but the old one kept him at home 
all next day, on purpose that he shouldn't. N ext morning 
he gave it to me to take; and here it is." 
, , You didn't deliver it then, my good friend? " said 
Mr. Chester, twirling Dolly's note between his finger and 
thumb, and feigning to be surprised. 
"I supposed you'd want to have it," retorted Hugh. 
" Burn one, burn all, I thought." 
" My devil-may-care acquaintance," said Mr. Chester- 



Barnaby Rudge 


21 5 


" really if you do not draw some nicer distinctions, your 
career will be cut short with most surprising suddenness. 
Don't you know that the letter you brought to me was 
directed to my son who resides in this very place? And 
can you descry no difference between his letters and those 
addressed to other people? " 
"If you don't want it," said Hugh, disconcerted by 
this reproof, for he had expected high praise, " give it me 
back, and I'll deliver it. I don't know how to please you, 
master. " 
" I shall deliver it," returned his patron, putting it away 
after a moment's consideration, "myself. Does the young 
lady walk out, on fine mornings? " 
" Mostly-about noon is her usual t'ime." 
" Alone? " 
" Yes, alone." 
" Where? " 
"In the grounds before the house.-Them that the 
footpath crosses." 
" If the weather should be fine, I may throw myself 
in her way to-morrow, perhaps," said Mr. Chester, as 
coolly as if she were one of his ordinary acquaintance. 
" Mr. Hugh, if I should ride up to the Maypole door, you 
will do me the favour only to have seen me once. You 
must suppress your gratitude, and endeavour to forget my 
forbearance in the matter of the bracelet. It is natural it 
should break out, and it does you honour; but when other 
folks are by, you must, for your own sake and safety, be 
as like your usual self as though you owed me no obliga- 
tion whatever, and had never stood within these walls. 
You comprehend me? " 
Hugh understood him perfectly. After a pause he mut- 
tered that he hoped his patron would involve him in no 
trouble about this last letter; for he had kept it back 
solely with the view of pleasing him. He was continuing 
in this strain, when 1\1r. Chester \vith a most beneficent and 
patronising air cut him short by saying: 
" My good fellow, you have my promise, my word, my 
seated bond (for a verbal pledge with me is quite as good), 
that I will ahvays protect you so long as you deserve it. . 
Now, do set your mind at rest. Keep it at ease, I beg of 
you. When a man puts himself in my power so thoroughly 
as you have done, I really feel as though he had a kind 
of claim upon me. I âm more disposed to mercy and for- 



......- 


216 


Barnaby Rudge 


bearance under such circumstances than I can tell you, 
Hugh. Do look upon me as your protector, and rest as- 
sured I entreat you, that on the subject of that indiscre- 
tion, 
ou may preserve, as long as you and I are friends, 
the lightest heart that ever beat within a human breast. 
Fill that glass once more to cheer you on your road home- 
wards-I am really quite ashamed to think how far you 
have to go-and then God bless you for the night." 
"They think," said Hugh, when he had tossed the 
liquor down, "that I am sleeping soundly in the stable. 
Ha, ha, ha! The stable door is shut, but the steed's gone, 
master. " 
" You are a most convivial fellow," returned his friend, 
" and I love your humour of all things. Good night! Take 
the greatest possible care of yourself, for my sake! " 
It was remarkable that during the whole interview, each 
had endeavoured to catch stolen glances of the other's face, 
and had never looked full at it. They interchanged one 
brief and hasty glance as Hugh went out, averted their 
eyes directly, and so separated. H!lgh closed the double 
doors behind him, carefully and without noise; and Mr. 
Chester remained in his easy-chair, and his gaze intently 
fixed upon the fire. 
" Well! " he said, after meditating for a long time- 
and said with a deep sig-h and an uneasy shifting of his 
attitude, as though he dismissed some other subject from 
his thoughts, and returned to that which had held posses- 
sion of them all the day-" the plot thickens; I have thrown 
the shell; it will explode, I think, in eight-and-forty hours, 
and should scatter these good folks amazingly. We shaii 
see ! " 
He went to bed and fell asleep, but had not slept long 
when he started up and thought that Hugh was at the 
outer door, calling in a strange voice, very different from 
his own, to be admitted. The delusion was so strong upon 
him, and was so full of that vague terror of the night in 
which such visions have their heing, that he rose, and tak- 
ing his sheathed sword in his hand, opened the door, and 
looked out upon the staircase, and towards the spot where 
Hugh had lain asleep; and even spoke to him by name. 
But all was dark and quiet, and creeping back to bed again. 
he fell, after an hour's uneasy watching, into a second 
sleep, and woke no more till morning. 



Barnaby Rudge 


21 7 


CHAPTER XXIX 


THE thoughts of worldly men are for ever regulated by 
a moral law of gravitation, which, like the physical one, 
holds them down to earth. The bright glory of day, and 
the silent wonders of a starlit night, appeal to their minds 
in vain. There are no signs in the sun, or in the moon, or 
in the stars, for their reading. They are like some wise 
men, who, learning to know each planet by its Latin name, 
have quite forgotten such small heavenly constellations as 
Charity, Forbearance, Universal Love, and Mercy, al- 
though they shine by night and day so brightly that the 
blind may see them; and who, looking upward at the 
spangled sky, see nothing there but the reflection of their 
o"vn great wisdom and book-learning. 
It is curious to imagine these people of the world, busy 
in thought, turning their eyes to\vards the countless 
spheres that shine above us, and making them reflect the 
only images their minds contain. The man who lives but 
in the breath of princes has nothing in his sight but stars 
for courtiers' breasts. The envious man beholds his 
neighbours' honours even. in the sky; to the money- 
hoarder, and the mass of worldly folk, the whole great 
universe above glitters with sterling coin-fresh from the 
mint-stamped with the sovereign's head--coming always 
between them and heaven, turn where they may. So do 
the shadows of our own desires stand between us and our 
better angels, and thus their brightness is eclipsed. 
Everything was fresh and gåy, as though the world 
were but that morning made, when Mr. Chester rode at 
a tranquil pace along the Forest road. Though early in the 
season, it was warm and genial weather; the trees were 
budding into leaf, the hedges and the grass were green, 
the air was musical with songs of birds, and high above 
them all the lark poured out her richest melody. In 
shady spots, the morning dew sparkled on each young 
leaf and blade of grass; and where the sun was shining, 
some diamond drops yet glistened brightly, as in unwillin s - 
ness to leave so fair a world, and have such brief exist- · 
ence. Even the light wind, whose rustling was as gentle 
to the ear as softly-falling water, had its hope and pro- 
mise; and, leaving a leasant fragrance in its track as it 



218 


Barnaby Rudge 


went fluttering by, whispered of its intercourse with Sum- 
mer, and of his happy coming. 
The solitary rider went glancing on among the trees, 
from sunlight into shade and back again, at the same even 
pace-looking about him, certainly, from time to time, 
but with no greater thought of the day or the scene 
through which he moved, than that he was fortunate 
(being choicely dressed) to have such favourable weather. 
He smiled very complacently at such times, but rather as 
if he were satisfied with himself than with anything else; 
and so went riding on, upon his chestnut cob, as pleasant 
to look upon as his own horse, and probably far less sensi- 
tive to the many cheerful influences by which he was sur- 
rounded. 
In the course of time, the Maypole's massive chimneys 
rose upon his view: but he quickened not his pace one 
jot, and with the same coo] gravity rode up to the tavern 
porch. John Willet, who was toasting his red face before 
a great fire in the bar, and who, with surpassing fore- 
sight and quickness of apprehension, had been thinking, 
as he looked at the blue sky, that if that state of things 
lasted much longer, it might ultimately become necessary 
to leave off fires and throw the windows open, issued forth 
to hold his stirrup; calling lustily for Hugh. 
"Oh, you're here, are you, sir?" said John, rather 
surprised by the quickness with which he appeared. 
" Take this here valuable animal into the stable, and have 
more than particular care of him if you want to keep your 
place. A mortal lazy fellow, sir; he needs a deal of look- 
ing after." 
" But you have a son," returned Mr. Chester, giving 
his bridle to Hugh as he dismounted, and acknowledging 
his salute by a careless motion of his hand towards his 
hat. "Why don't you make him useful? " 
" Why, the truth is, sir," replied John with great im- 
portance, " that my son-what, :y'ou're a listening are you, 
villain? " ... 
"Who's listening?" returned Hugh angrily. "A 
treat, indeed, to hear you speak! Would you have me 
take him in till he's cool? " 
, , Walk him up and down further off then, sir," cried 
old John, "and when you see me and a noble gentleman 
entertaining ourselves with talk, keep your distance. If 
you don't know your distance, sir," added Mr. Willet, 



Barnaby Rudge 


21 9 


after an enormously long pause, during which he fixed 
his great dull eyes on Hugh, and waited with exemplary 
patience for any little property in the way of ideas that 
might be coming to him, " we'll find a way to teach you, 
pretty soon. " 
. Hugh shruggec;1 his shoulders scornfully, and in his 
reckless swaggenng way crossed to the other side of 
the little green, and there, with the bridle slung loosely 
over his shoulder, led the horse to and fro, glancing at 
his master every now and then from under his bushy eye- 
brows, with as sinister an aspect as one would desire to 
see. 
Mr. Chester, who, without appearing to do so, had 
eyed him attentively during this brief dispute, stepped into 
the porch, and turning abruptly to Mr. Willet, said, 
" You keep strange servants, John." 
" Strange enough to look at, sir, certainly," answered 
the host; "but out of doors; for horses, dogs, ånd the 
like of that; there an't a better man in England than is 
that Maypole Hugh yonder. He an't fit for in-doors," 
added Mr. Willet, with the confidential air of a man who 
felt his own superior nature, " I do that; but if that chap 
had only a little imagination, sir-" 
" He's an active fellow now, I dare swear," said Mr. 
Chester, in a musing tone, \vhich seemed to suggest that 
he would have said the same had there been nobody to 
hear him. 
" Active, sir! " retort
d John, with quite an expression 
in his face; " that chap! Hallo, there ! You, sir! Bring 
that horse here, and go and hang my wig on the weather- 
cock, to show this gentleman whether you're one of the 
lively sort or not." 
Hugh made no answer, but throwing the bridle to his 
master, and snatching his wig from his head, in a manner 
so uncerenlonious and hasty that the action discomposed 
Mr. Willet not a little, though performed at his own 
special desire, climbed nimbly to the very summit of the 
maypole before the house, and hanging the wig upon the 
weathercock, sent it twirling round like a roasting-jack. 
Having achieved this performance, he cast it on the 
ground, and sliding down the pole with inconceivable 
rapidity, alighted on his feet almost as soon as it had 
touched the earth. 
" There, sir," said John, relapsing into his usual stolid 



220 


Barnaby Rudge 


state cc you won't see that at many houses, besides the 
lYlaypole where there's good accommodation for man and 
beast-n
r that neither, though that with him is nothing." 
This last remark bore reference to his vaulting on 
horseback, as upon Mr. Chester's first visit, and quickly 
disappearing by the stable gate. 
"That with him is nothing," repeated Mr. Willet, 
brushing his wig with his wrist, and inwardly resolving 
to distribute a small charge for dust and damage to that 
article of dress, through the various items of his guest's 
bill; "he'll get out of a'most any winder in the house. 
There never was such a chap for flinging himself about 
and never hurting his bones. It's my opinion, sir, that 
it's pretty nearly all owing to his not having any imagina- 
tion; and that if imagination could be (which it can't) 
knocked into him, he'd never be able to do it any more. 
But \,ve was a talking, sir, about my son." 
"True, "Villet, true," said his visitor, turning again 
towards the landlord with his accustomed serenity of face. 
" My good friend, what about him? " 
It has been reported that Mr. Willet, previously to mak- 
ing answer, winked. But as he never was known to be 
guilty of such lightness of conduct either before or after- 
wards, this may be looked upon as a malicious invention 
of his enemies-founded, perhaps, upon the undisputed 
circumstance of his taking his guest by the third breast- 
button of his coat, counting downwards from the chin, and 
pouring his reply into his ear: 
" Sir," whispered John, with dignity, "I know my 
duty. \Ve want no love-making here, sir, unbeknown to 
parents. I respect a certain young gentleman, taking 
him in the light of a young gentleman; I respect a cer- 
tain young lady, taking her in the light of a young lady; 
but of the two as a couple, I have no knowledge, sir, none 
whatever. My son, sir, is upon his patrole." 
" I thought I saw him looking through the corner win- 
dow but this moment," said Mr. Chester, who naturally 
thought that being on patrole implied walking about some- 
where. 
" No doubt you did, sir," returned John. cc He is upon 
his patrole of honour, sir, not to leave the premises. Me 
and some friends of mine that use the Maypole of an even- 
ing, sir, considered what was best to be done with him, 
to prevent his doing anything unpleasant in opposing your 



Barnaby Rudge 


221 


desires; and we've put him on his pat role. And what's 
more, sir, he won't be oft his patroIe for a pretty long time 
to come, I can tell you that." 
When he had communicated this brightïdea, which had 
had its origin in the perusal by the village cronies of a 
newspaper, containing, among other matters, an account 
of how some officer pending the sentence of some court- 
martial had been enlarged on parole, Mr. \Villet drew 
back from his guest's ear, and without any visible altera- 
tion of feature, chuckled thrice audibly. This nearest 
approach to a laugh in which he ever indulged (and that 
but seldom and only on extreme occasions), never even 
curled his lip or effected the smallest change in-no, not so 
much as a slight wagging of-his great, fat, double chin, 
which at these times, as at all others, remained a perfect 
desert in the broad map of his face; one changeless, dull, 
tremendous blank. 
Lest it should be matter of surprise to any, that Mr. 
Willet adopted this bold course in opposition to one whom 
he had often entertained, and who had always paid his 
way at the Maypole gallantly, it may be remarked that it 
was his very penetration and sagacity in this respect, 
which occasioned him to indulge in those unusual demon- 
strations of jocularity, just now recorded. For Mr. Wil- 
let, after carefully balancing father and son in his mental 
scales, had arrived at the distinct conclusion that the old 
gentleman was a better sort of customer than the young 
one. Throwing his landlord into the same scale, which 
was already turned by this consideration, and heaping 
upon him, again, his strong desires to run counter to the 
unfortunate Joe, and his opposition as a general principle 
to all matters of love and matrimony, it went down to 
the very ground straightway, and sent the light cause of 
the younger gentleman flying up\vards to the ceiling. Mr. 
Chester was not the kind of man to be by any means dim- 
sighted to Mr. \Villet's motives, but he thanked him as 
graciously as if he had been one of the most disinterested 
martyrs that ever shone on earth; and leaving him, with 
many complimentary reliances on his great taste and judg- 
ment, to prepare whatever dinner he might deem most 
fitting the occasion, bent his steps towards the Warren. 
Dressed with more than his usual elegance; assuming 
a gracefulness of manner, which, though it was the result 
of long study, sat easily upon him and became him well; 



222 


Barnaby Rudge 


composing his features into their most serene and pre- 
possessing expression; an
 settinþ", in short, that guard 
upon hinlseJf, at every pOInt, whIch denoted that he at- 
tached no slight importance to the impression he was 
about to make; he entered the bounds of Miss Haredale's 
usual walk. He had not gone far, or looked about him 
long, when he descried coming towards him a female 
figure. A glimpse of the form and dress as she crossed 
a little wooden bridge which lay between them satisfied 
him that he had found her whom he desired to see. He 
threw himself in her way, and a very few paces brought 
them close together. 
He raised his hat from his head, and yielding the path, 
suffered her to pass him. Then, as if the idea had but 
that moment occurred to him, he turned hastily back and 
said in an agitated voice: 
" I beg pardon-do I address Miss Haredale? " 
She stopped in some confusion at being so unexpectedly 
accosted by a stranger; and answered " Yes." 
" Something told me," he said looking a compliment to 
her beauty, "that it could be no other. Miss Haredale, 
I bear a name which is not unknown to you-which it is 
a pride, and yet a pain to me to know, sounds pleasantly 
in your ears. I am a man advanced in life, as you see. 
I am the father of him whom you honour and distinguish 
above all other men. I\1ay I for \veighty reasons \vhich 
fill me with distress, beg but a minute's conversation with 
you here? " 
Who that was inexperienced in deceit, and had a frank 
and youthful heart, could doubt the speaker's truth- 
could doubt it too, when the voice that spoke was like the 
faint echo of one she kne\v so \vell, and so much loved to 
hear? She inclined her head, and stopping, cast her eyes 
upon the ground. 
" A little more apart-among these trees. It is an old 
man's hand, lVIiss Haredale; an honest one, believe me." 
She put hers in it as he said these words, and suffered 
him to lead her to a neighbouring seat. 
, , You alarm me, sir," she said in a lo\v voice. ' , You 
are not the bearer of any ill news, I hope? " 
"Of none that you anticipate," he answered, sitting 
down beside her. "Edward is \vell-quite well. It is 
of him I wish to speak, certainly; but I have no misfor- 
tune to communicate. " 



Barnaby Rudge 


223 


She bowed her head again, and made as though she 
would have begged him to proceed; but said nothing. 
" I am sensible that I 
peak to you at a disadvantage, 
dear Miss I-Iaredale. Believe me that I am not so for- 
getful of the feelings of my younger days as not to know 
that you are little disposed to view me with favour. You 
have heard me described as cold-hearted, calculating, 
selfish-' , 
"I have never, sir, "-she interposed with an altered 
manner and a firmer voice; "I have never heard you 
spoken of in harsh or disrespectful terms. You do a 
great wrong to Edward's nature if you believe him capable 
of any mean or base proceeding." 
., Pardon me, my sweet young lady, but your uncle-" 
" Nor is it my uncle's nature, either," she replied, with 
a heightened colour to her cheek. ., It is not his nature to 
stab in the dark, nor is it mine to love such deeds. " 
She rose as she spoke, and would have left him; but he 
detained her with a gentle hand, and besought her in such 
persuasive accents to hear him but another minute, that 
she .was easily prevailed upon to comply, and so sat down 
agaIn. 
"And it is," said Mr. Chester, looking upward, and 
apostrophising the air; " it is this frank, ingenuous, noble 
nature, Ned, that you can wound so lightly. Shame- 
shame upon you, boy! " 
She turned towards him quickly, and with a scornful look 
and flashing eyes. There were tears in Mr. Chester's, but 
he dashed them hurriedly away, as though unwilling that 
his weakness should be known, and regarded her with 
mingled admiration and compassion. 
.. I never until now," he said, " believed, that the frivol- 
ous actions of a young man could move me like these of my 
own son. I never knew till now the worth of a woman's 
heart, which boys so lightly win, and lightly fling away. 
Trust me, dear young lady, that I never until now did know 
your worth; and though an abhorrence of deceit and false- 
hood has impelled me to seek you out, and would have done 
so had you been the poorest and least gifted of your sex, I 
should have lacked the fortitude to sustain this interview 
could I have pictured you to my imagination as you really 
are. " 
Oh! if Mrs. Varden could have s
en the virtuous gen- 
tleman as he said these words, with indignation sparkling 



224 Barnaby Rudge 
from his eyes-if she could have heard his broken, quaver- 
ing voice-if she couI? have behe.1d him as he stood 
bareheaded in the sunlIght, and wIth unwonted energy 
poured forth his eloquence! . 
vVith a haughty face, but pale and tremblIng too, Emma 
regarded him in silence. She neither spok
 nor. moved, 
but gazed upon hir:n as though she would look Into 
IS he
rt. 
" I throw off " said Mr. Chester, " the restraint which 
natural affectio
 would impose on some men, and reject all 
bonds but those of truth and duty. Miss Haredale, you 
are deceived; you are deceived by your unworthy lover, 
and my unworthy son. " 
Still sne looked at him steadily, and still said not one 
word. 
" I have ever opposed his professions of love for you; 
you will do me the justice, dear Miss Haredale, to remenl- 
ber that. Your uncle and myself were enemies in early 
life, and if I had sought retaliation, I might have found it 
here. But as we grow older, we grow wiser-better, I 
would fain hope-and from the first, I have opposed him in 
this attempt. I foresaw the end, and would have spared 
you, if I could. " 
" Speak plainly, sir," she faltered. " You deceive me, 
or are deceived yourself. I do not believe you-I cannot- 
I should not." 
" First," said Mr. Chester, soothingly, " for there may 
be in your mind some latent angry feeling to which I would 
not appeal, pray take this letter. It reached my hands by 
chance, and by mistake, and should have accounted to you 
(as I am told) for my son's not answering some other note 
of yours. God forbid, Miss Haredale," said the good gen- 
tleman, with great emotion, " that there should be in your 
gentle breast one causeless ground of quarrel with him. 
You should know, and you will see, that he was in no fault 
here." , 
There appeared something so very candid, so scrupulously 
honourable, so very truthful and just in this course-some- 
thing which rendered the upright person who resorted to it 
so worthy of belief-that Emma's heart, for the first time 
sank within her. She turned away, and burst into tears. ' 
"I would," said Mr. Chester, leaning over her, and 
speaking in mild and quite venerable accents. "I would 
dear girl, it were my task to banish, not inc;ease, those 
tokens of your grief. My son, my erring son,-I will not 



Barnaby Rudge 


225 


cal1 him deliberately criminal in this, for men so young, 
who have been inconstant twice or thrice before, act with- 
out reflection, almost without a kno\vledge of the wrong 
they do--will break his plighted faith to you; has broken 
it even now. ShaH I stop here, and having given you this 
warning, leave it to be fulfilled; or shall I go on? " 
" You will go on, sir," she answered, " and speak more 
plainly yet, in justice both to him and me." 
" My dear girl," said Mr. Chester, bending over her 
more affectionately still; (( whom I would call my daughter, 
but the Fates forbid, Edward seeks to break with you upon 
a false and most unwarrantable pretence. I have it on his 
own showing; in his own hand. Forgive me, if I have had 
a watch upon his conduct; I am his father; I had a regard 
for your peace and his honour, and no better resource was 
left me. There lies on his desk at this moment, ready for 
transmission to you, a letter, in which he tells you that our 
poverty-our poverty; his and mine, Miss Haredale-for- 
bids him to pursue his claim upon your hand; in which he 
offers, voluntarily proposes, to free you from your pledge; 
and talks magnanimously (men do so, very commonly, in 
such cases) of being in time more worthy your regard- 
and so forth. A letter, to be plain, in which he not only jilts 
you-pardon the word; I would summon to your aid your 
pride and dignity-not only jilts you, I fear, in favour of 
the object whose slighting treatment first inspired his brief 
passion for yourself and gave it birth in wounded vanity, 
but affects to make a merit and a virtue of the act. " 
She glanced proudly at him once more, as by an involun- 
tary impulse, and with a swelling breast rejoined, (, If 
what you say be true, he takes much needless trouble, sir, 
to compass his design. He is very tender of my peace of 
mind. I quite thank him. " 
" The truth of what I tell you, dear young lady," he re- 
plied. (( you will test by the receipt or non-receipt of the 
letter of which I speak.-Haredale, my dear fellow, I am 
delighted to see you, although we meet under singular cir- 
cumstances, and upon a melancholy occasion. I hope you 
are very well. " 
At these words the young lady raised her eyes, which 
were filled- with tears; and seeing that her uncle indeed 
stood before them, and being quite unequal to the trial of 
hearing or of speaking one word more, hurriedly withdrew, 
and left them. They stood looking at each other, and at 
J 



226 


Barnaby Rudge 


her retreating figure, and for a long time neither of them 
spoke. 
" What does this mean? Explain it," said rvIr. Hare- 
dale at length. " Why a
e.you here, and why wit.h her? " 
" My dear friend," rejol?ed the. other, resumln
 his .ac- 
customed manner with infinIte readiness, and throwing him- 
self upon the bench with a weary air, "you told me not 
very long ago, at that delightful old tavern of which you 
are the esteemed proprietor (and a most charming estab- 
lishment it is for persons of rural pursuits and in robust 
health, who are not liable to take cold), that I had the head 
and heart of an evil spirit in all matters of deception. I 
thought at the time; I really did think; you flattered me. 
But now I begin to wonder at your discernment, and vanity 
apart, do honestly believe you spoke the truth. Did you 
ever counterfeit extreme ingenuousness and honest indig- 
nation? My dear feHow, you have no conception, if you 
never did, how faint the effort makes one. " 
Mr. Haredale surveyed him with a look of cold contempt. 
" You may evade an explanation, I kno\v," he said, fold- 
ing his arms. "But I must have it. I can wait. " 
" Not at all. Not at all, my good fellow. You shall 
not wait a moment," returned his friend, as he lazily 
crossed his legs. "The simplest thing in the world. It 
lies in a nutshell. Ned has \vritten her a letter-a boyish, 
honest, sentimental composition, which remains as yet in 
his desk, because he hasn't had the heart to send it. I have 
taken a liberty, for which my parental affection and anxiety 
are a sufficient excuse, and possessed mys
If of the con- 
tents. I have described them to your niece (a most en- 
chanting person, Haredale; quite an ang-elic creature), 
with a little colouring and description adapted to our pur- 
pose. It's done. You may be quite easy. It's an o\"er. 
Deprived of their adherents and mediators; her pride and 
jealousy roused to the utrnost; with nobody to undeceive 
her, and you to confirm me; you will find that their inter- 
course will close with her answer. If she receives Ned's 
letter by to-morrow noon, you may date their parting from 
to-morrow night. No thanks, I beg; you owe me none. 
I have acted for myself; and if I have forwarded our conl- 
pact with all the ardour even you could have desired I have 
done so selfishly, indeed. " , 
" I curse the compact, as you can it, with my whole heart 
and soul," returned the other. "I t was made in an evil 



Barnaby Rudge 


227 


hour. J have bound myself to a lie; I have leagued myself 
with you; and though I did so with a righteous motive, and 
though it cost me such an effort as haply few men know, I 
hate and despise myself for the deed. " 
" You are very warm," said Mr. Chester, with a languid 
smile. 
, , I anl warm. I am maddened by your coldness. 
'Death, Chester, if your blood ran warmer in your veins, 
and there were no restraints upon me, such as those that 
bold and drag me back-well; it is done; you tell me so, 
and on such a point I may believe you. When I am most 
remorseful for this treachery, I will think of you and your 
marriage, and try to justify myself in such remembrances, 
for having torn asunder Emma and your son, at any cost. 
Our bond is cancelled now, and we may part." 
rYlr. Chester kissed his hand gracefully; and with the 
same tranquil face he had preserved throughout-even 
when he had seen his companion so tortured and trans- 
ported by his passion that his \vhole frame was shaken- 
lay in his lounging posture on the seat and watched him 
as he walked away. 
"My scapegoat and my drudge at school," he said, 
raising his head to look after him; "my friend of later 
days, who could not keep his mistress when he had won 
her, and threw me in her way to carry off the prize; I 
triumph in the present and the past. Bark on, ill-favoured, 
ill-conditioned cur; fortune has ever been with me-I like 
to hear you. " 
The spot where they had met was in an avenue of trees. 
Mr. Haredale, not passing out on either hand, had walked 
straight on. He chanced to turn his head when at some 
considerable distance, and seeing that his late companion 
had by that time risen and was looking after him, stood 
still as though he half expected him to foHow, and waited for 
his coming up. 
" It may come to that one day, but not yet," said Mr. 
Chester, waving his hand, as though they were the best of 
friends, and turning away. "Not yet, Haredale. Life is 
pleasant enough to me; dull and fuIl of heaviness to you. 
No. To cross swords with such a man-to indulge his 
humour unless upon extrel11ity-would be weak indeed. " 
For all that, he drew his sword" as he walked along, and 
in an absent humour ran his eye from hilt to point full 
twenty minutes. But thoughtfulness begets wrinkles; 



228 


Barnaby Rudge 


remembering this he soon put it up, smoothed his con- 
tracted brow, hu
med a gay tune with great gaiety of 
manner, and was his unruffled self again. 


CHAPTER XXX 


A HOMELY proverb recognises the existence of a trouble- 
some class of persons who, having an inch conceded them, 
win take an ell. Not to quote the i11ustrious examples of 
those heroic scourges of mankind, whose amiable path in 
Jife has been from birth to death through blood, and fire, 
and ruin, and who would seem to have existed for no better 
purpose than to teach mankind that as the absence of pain 
is pleasure, so the earth, purged of their presence, may 
be deemed a blessed place-not to quote such mighty in- 
stances, it will be sufficient to refer to old John "Villet. 
Old John having long encroached a good standard inch, 
full measure, on the liberty of Joe, and having snipped off 
a Flemish en in the matter of the parole, grew so despotic 
and so great, that his thirst for conquest knew no bounds. 
The more young Joe submitted, the more absolute old John 
became. The e11 soon faded into nothing. Yards, fur- 
longs, miles arose; and on went old John in the pleasantest 
manner possible, trimming off an exuberance in this place, 
shearing away some liberty of speech or action in that, and 
conducting himself in his small way with as much high 
mightiness and majesty, as the most glorious tyrant that 
ever had his statue reared in the public ways, of ancient or 
of modern times. 
As great men are urged on to the abuse of power (when 
they need urging, which is not often) by their flatterers 
and dependents, so old John \vas impelled to these exercises 
of authority by the applause and admiration of his Maypole 
cronies, who, in the intervals of their nightly pipes and 
pots, would shake their heads and say that Mr. Willet was 
a father of the good old English sort; that there were no 
new-fangled notions or modern ways in him; that he put 
them in mind of what their fathers were when they were 
boys; that there was no mistake about him; that it would 
be \vell for the country if there were more like him and more 
was the pity that there were not; with many oth
r original 
remarks of that nature. Then they would condescendingly 



Barnaby Rudge 


229 


give Joe to understand that it was all for his good, and he 
would be thankful for it one day; and in particular, Mr. 
Cobb would acquaint him, that when he was his age, his 
father thought no more of giving him a parental kick, or a 
box on the ears, or a cuff on the head, or some little 
admonition of that sort, than he did of any other ordinary 
duty of life; and he would further remark, with looks of 
great significance, that but for this judicious bringing up, 
he might have never been the man he was at that present 
speaking; which was probable enough, as he was, beyond 
all question, the dullest dog of the party. In short, be- 
tween old John and old John's friends, there never was an 
unfortunate young fellow so bullied, badgered, worried, 
fretted, and brow-beaten; so constantly beset, or made so 
tired of his Iife, as poor Joe Willet. 
This had come to be the recognised and established state 
of things; but as John was very anxious to flourish his 
supremacy before the eyes of Mr. Chester, he did that day 
exceed himself, and did so goad and chafe his son and heir, 
that but for Joe's having made a solemn vow to keep his 
hands in his pockets when they were not otherwise engaged, 
it is impossible to say what he might have done with them. 
But the longest day has an end, and at length Mr. Chester 
came down stairs to mount his horse, which was ready at 
the door. 
As old John was not in the way at the moment, Joe, who 
was sitting in the bar ruminating on his dismal fate and 
the manifold perfections of Dolly Varden, ran out to hold 
the guest's stirrup and assist him to mount. Mr. Chester 
was scarcely in the saddle, and Joe was in the very act of 
making him a graceful bow, when old John came diving out 
of the porch, and collared him. 
" None of that, sir," said John, " none of that, sir. No 
breaking- of patroles. How dare you come out of the door, 
sir, without leave? You're trying to get away, sir, are 
you, and to make a traitor of yourself again? What do 
you mean, sir? " 
"Let me go, father," said Joe, imploringly, as he 
marked the smile upon their visitor's face, and observed the 
pleasure his disgrace afforded him. "This is too bad. 
Who wants to get away? " 
" Who wants to get away! " cried John, shaking him. 
" Why, you do, sir, you do. You're the boy, sir," added 
John, collaring with one hand, and aiding the effect of a 



23 0 


Barnaby Rudge 


farewell bow to the visitor with the other, " that wants to 
sneak into houses, and stir up differences between noble 
gentlemen and their sons, are you, eh? Hold your tongue, 
sir. " 
Joe made no effort to reply. It was the crowning cir- 
cumstance of his degradation. He extricated himself from 
his father's grasp, darted an angry look at the departing 
guest, and returned into the house. 
. "But for her," thought Joe, as he threw his arms upon 
a table in the common room, and laid his head upon them. 
" but for Dolly, who I couldn't bear should think me the 
rascal they would make me out to be if I ran away, this 
house and I should part to-night. " 
It being evening by this time, Solomon Daisy, Tonl 
Cobb, and Long Parkes, were all in the common room, too, 
and had from the \vindow been witnesses of what had just 
occurred. 1\1r. 'Villet joining them soon aften.vards, re- 
ceived the complinlents of the company with great com- 
posure, and lighting his pipe, sat down among them. 
" 'Ve'll see, gentlemen," said John, after a long pause, 
" \vho's the master of this house, and who isn't. 'Ve'lJ 
see whether boys are to govern men, or men are to govern 
boys. " 
" And quite right too," assented Solomon Daisy with 
some approving nods; " quite right, Johnny. Very good, 
Johnny. Well said, 11r. Willet. Brayvo, sir. " 
John slowly brought his eyes to bear upon him, looked 
at him for a long time, and finally made answer, to the un- 
speakable consternation of his hearers, "'\Then I want 
encouragement from you, sir, I'll ask you for it. You let 
me alone, sir. I can get on without you, I hope. Don't 
you tackle me, sir, if you please. " 
" Don't take it ill, Johnny; I didn't mean any harm," 
pleaded the little man. 
"Very good, sir," said John, more than usually obstin- 
ate after his late success. "Never mind, sir. I can stand 
pretty firm of myself, sir, I believe, \vithout being shored up 
by you." And having given utterance to this retort, Mr. 
Willet fixed his eyes upon the boiler, and fell into a kind of 
tobacco-trance. 
.The spirits 
f th
 company being somewhat damped by 
thIs 
mbarrassIng hne of conduct on the part of their host, 
nothIng more was said for a long time; but at length Mr. 
Cobb took upon himself to remark, as he rose to knock the 



Barnaby Rudge 


23 1 


ashes out of his pipe, that he hoped Joe would henceforth 
learn to obey his father in all things; that he had found, 
that day, he \\.as not one of the sort of men who \vere to be 
trifled \vith; and that he \vould recommend him, poetically 
speaking, to mind his eye for the future. 
" I'd recommend you, in return," said Joe, looking up 
with a flushed face, " not to talk to me. " 
" Hold your tongue, sir," cried f\lr. \Villet, suddenly 
rousing himself, and turning round. 
" I \von't, father," cried Joe, smiting the table with his 
fist, so that the jugs and glasses rang again; " these things 
are hard enough to bear from you; from anybody else I 
neyer will endure them any more. Therefore I say, l\lr. 
Cobb, don't talk to me. " 
" \\Thy, \vho are you," said f\Ir. Cobb, sneeringly, " that 
you're not to be talked to, eh, Joe? " 
To \vhich Joe returned no ans\\'er, but with a very omin- 
ous shake of the head resumed his old position, \vhich he 
would have peacefully preserved until the house shut up at 
night, but that l\Ir. Cobb, stimulated by the \vonder of the 
company at the young man's presumption, retorted \vith 
sundry taunts, which proved too much for flesh and blood 
to bear. Cro\vding into one moment the vexation and the 
wrath of years, Joe started up, overturned the table, fen 
upon his long enemy, pummelled him \vith all his might 
and main, and finished by driving him \vith surprising 
s\\'iftness against a heap of spittoons in one corner; plung- 
ing into which, head foremost, \vith a tremendous crash, he 
lay at full length among the ruins, stunned and motionless. 
Then, \\'ithout \vaiting to receive the compliments of the by- 
standers on the victory he had \\'on. he retreated to his own 
bedchamber, and conolsidering himself in a state of siege, 
piled all the portable furniture against the door by way of 
barricade. 
" I have done it now," said Joe, as he sat do\\-n upon his 
bedstead and wiped his heated face. "I kne\v it would 
come at last. The I\laypole and I must part company. 
I'm a roving vagabond-she hates me for evernlore-it's 
all over! " 



23 2 


Barnaby Rudge 


CHAPTER XXXI 
PONDERING on his unhappy lot, Joe sat and listened for 
a lonp- time, expecting every moment to hear their creaking 
footsteps on the stairs, or to be greeted by his worthy 
father with a summons to capitulate unconditionally, and 
deliver himself up straightway. But neither voice nor 
footstep came; and though some distant echoes, as of 
dosing doors and people hurrying in and out of rooms, 
resounding fron1 time to time through the great passages, 
and penetrating to his remote seclusion, gave note of 
unusual commotion do\vn stairs, no nearer sound disturbed 
his place of retreat, which seemed the quieter for these 
far-off noises, and was as dull and full of gloom as any 
hermi t' s cell. 
I t came on darker and darker. The old-fashioned furni- 
ture of the chamber, which was a kind of hospital for all 
the invalided movables in the house, grew indistinct and 
shadowy in its many shapes; chairs and tables, which by 
day were as honest cripples as need be, assumed a doubtful 
and mysterious character; and one old leprous screen of 
faded India leather and gold binding, which had kept out 
many a cold breath of air in days of yore and shut in many 
a jolly face, frowned on him with a spectral aspect, and 
stood at full height in its allotted corner, like some gaunt 
ghost who waited to be questioned. A portrait opposite 
the window-a queer, old grey-eyed general, in an oval 
frame-seemed to wink and doze as the light decayed, and 
at length, when the last faint glimmering speck of day went 
out, to shut its eyes in good earnest, and fall sound asleep. 
There was such a hush and mystery about everything, that 
Joe could not help following its example; and so went off 
into a slumber likewise, and dreamed of Dolly, till the clock 
of Chigwel1 Church struck two. 
Stil1 nobody came. The distant noises in the house had 
ceased, and out of doors all was quiet too; save for the 
occasional barking of some deep-mouthed dog, and the 
shaking of the branches by the night wind. He gazed 
mournfully out of window at each well-kno\vn object as it 
lay sleeping in the dim light of the moon; and creeping- 
back to his former seat, thought about the late uproar, 
until, with long thinking of, it seemed to have occurred a 
n10nth ago. Thus, between dozing, and thinking, and 



Barnaby Rudge 


233 


walking to the window and looking out, the night wore 
away; the grim old screen, and the kindred chairs and 
tables, began slowly to reveal themselves in their accus- 
tOlned forms; the grey-eyed general seemed to wink and 
yawn and rouse hin1self; and at last he was broad awake 
again, and very uncomfortable and cold and haggard he 
looked, in the dull grey light of morning. 
The sun had begun to peep above the forest trees, and 
already flung across the curling n1ist bright bars of gold, 
when Joe dropped from his window on the ground below 
a little bundle and his trusty stick, and prepared to descend 
himself. 
I t was not a very difficult task; for there were so many 
projections and gable-ends in the way, that they formed a 
series of clumsy steps, with no greater obstacle than a 
jump of some few feet at last. Joe, with his "Stick and 
bundle on his shoulder, quickly stood on the firm earth, and 
looked up at the old Maypole, it might be for the last time. 
He didn't apostrophise it, for he was no great scholar. 
He didn't curse it, for he had little ill-will to give to any- 
thing on earth. He felt more affectionate and kind to it 
than ever he had done in all his life before, so said with all 
his heart, " God bless you! " as a parting wish, and turned 
away. 
He walked along at a brisk pace, big with great thoughts 
of going for a soldier and dying in some foreign country 
where it was very hot and sandy, and leaving God knows 
what unheard-of wealth in prize-money to Dolly, who 
would be very much affected when she came to know of it; 
and full of such youthful visions, which were sometimes 
sanguine and sometimes melancholy, but always had her 
for their main point and centre, pushed on vigorously until 
the noise of London soundí:d in his ears, and the Black 
Lion have in sight. 
It was only eight o'clock then, and very much astonished 
the Black Lion was, to see him come walking in with dust 
upon his feet at that early hour, with no grey mare to bear 
him company. But as he ordered breakfast to be got 
ready with all speed, and on its being set before him gave 
indisputable tokens of a hearty appetite, the Lion received 
him, as usual, with a hospitable welcome; and treated him 
with those marks of distinction, which, as a regular cus- 
tomer, and one within the freemasonry of the trade, he had 
a right to claim. 



234 


Barnaby Rudge 


This Lion or landlord,-for he was called both man and 
beast, by reason of his having instructed the artist who 
painted his sign, to convey into the features of the lordly 
brute whose effigy it bore, as near a counterpart of his 
own face as his skill could compass and devise,-\vas a 
gentleman almost as quick of apprehension, and of almost 
as subtle a \vit, as the mighty John himself. But the 
difference between them lay in this; that whereas 1\1r. 
Willet's extreme sagacity and acuteness were the efforts of 
unassisted nature, the Lion stood indebted, in no small 
anlount, to beer; of which he swigged such copious 
draughts, that most of his faculties \vere utterly drowned 
and washed away, except the one great faculty of sleep, 
which he retained in surprising perfection. The creaking 
Lion over the house-door was, therefore, to say the truth, 
rather a dro\vsy, tanle, and feeble lion; and as these social 
representatives of a savage class are usually of a con- 
ventional character (being depicted, for the most part, in 
impossible attitudes and of unearthly colours), he was fre- 
quently supposed by the more ignorant and uninformed 
among the neighbours, to be the veritable portrait of thp 
host as he appeared on the occasion of sonle great funeral 
ceremony or public mourning. 
" '\That noisy fellow is that in the next. room? " said 
Joe, when he had disposed of his breakfast and had washed 
and brushed himself. 
" A recruiting serjeant," replied the Lion. 
Joe started involuntarily. Here was the very thing he 
had been dreaming of, all the way along. 
"And I wish," said the Lion, "he was anywhere else 
but here. The party make noise enough, but don't call 
for much. There's great cry there, 11r. \Villet, but very 
little wool. Your father wouldn't like 'em, I know. " 
Perhaps not much under any circumstances. Perhaps 
if he could have known what was passing at that moment 
in Joe's nlind, he would have liked them still less. 
" Is he recruiting for a-for a fine regiment? " said Joe, 
glancing at a little round mirror that hung in the bar. 
"I believe he is," replied the host. "It's much the 
same thing, whatever regiment he's recruiting for. I'm 
told there an't a deal of difference between a fine man and 
another one, when they're shot through and through." 
" They're not aU shot," said Joe. 
e e No, " the Lion answered, "not all. Those that 



Barnaby Rudge 


235 


are-supposing it's done easy-are the best off in my 
opinion. " 
" Ah ! " retorted Joe, "but you don't care for glory." 
" For what? " said the Lion. 
" Glory." 
" No, " returned the Lion, with supreme indifference. 
U I don 'to You're right in that, lVI-r. Willet. When Glory 
comes here, and calls for anything to drink and changes a 
guinea to pay for it, I'll give it him for nothing. It's my 
belief, sir, that the Glory's arms wouldn't do a very strong 
business. " 
These remarks were not at all comforting. Joe walked 
out, stopped at the door of the next room, and listened. 
The serjeant was describing a military life. It was all 
drinking, he said, except that there were frequent intervals 
of eating and love-making. A battle was the finest thing 
in the worId-when your side won it-and Englishmen 
always did that. "Supposing you should be killed, sir? " 
said a timid voice in one corner. ""VeIl, sir, supposing 
you should be," said the serjeant, "what then ? Your 
country loves you, sir; his Majesty King George the 
Third loves you; your memory is honoured, revered, 
respected; everybody's fond of you, and grateful to you; 
your name's wrote down at full length in a book in the 
'Var-office. Damme, gentlemen, we must aU die some 
time, or another, eh? " 
The voice coughed, and said no more. 
Joe walked into the room. A group of half a dozen 
fellows had gathered together in the tap-room, and were 
listening with greedy ears. One of them, a carter in a 
smockfrock, seemed wavering and disposed to enlist. The 
rest, who were by no means disposed
 strongly urged him 
to do so (according to the custom of mankind), backed the 
serjeant's arguments, and grinned among themselves. "I 
say nothing, boys," said the serjeant, \vho sat a little apart, 
drinking his liquor. "For lads of spirit "-here he cast 
an eye on Joe-" this is the time. I don't want to inveigle 
you. The King's not come to that, I hope. Brisk young 
blood is what \ve want; not milk and \vater. \tVe won't 
take five men out of six. We want top-sawyers, we do. 
I'm not a-going to tell tales out of school, but, damme, if 
every gentleman's son that carries arms in our corps, 
through being under a cloud and having little differences 
with his relations. was counted up "-here his eye fell on 



23 6 


Barnaby Rudge 


Joe again, and so good-naturedly, that Joe beckoned him 
out. He came directly. 
" You're a gentleman, by G-I " was his first remark, 
as he slapped him on the back. " You're a gentleman in 
disguise. So am I. Let's swear a friendship." 
Joe didn't exactly do that, but he shook hands with 
him, and thanked him for his good opinion. 
c , You want to serve, " said his new friend. C C You shall. 
You were made for it. You're one of us by nature. 
\Vhat'll you take to drink? " 
" Nothing just now," repeated Joe, smiling faintly. "I 
haven't quite made up my mind. " 
"A mettlesome fellow like you, and not made up his 
mind! " cried the serjeant. "Here-let me give the bell 
a pull, and you'll make up your mind in half a minute, I 
know. " 
" You're right so far," answered Joe, "for if you pull 
the bell here, where I'm known, there'll be an end of my 
soldiering inclinations in no time. Look in my face. You 
see me, do you? " 
C( I do," replied the serjeant with an oath, cc and a finer 
young fellow or one better qualified to serve his king and 
country, I never set my-" he used an adjective in this 
place- 'c eyes on. " 
'c Thank you, " said Joe, eel didn't ask you for want of a 
compliment, but thank you all the same. Do I look like 
a sneaking fellow or a liar? " 
The serjeant rejoined with many choice asseverations 
that he didn't; and that if his (the serjeant's) own father 
were to say he did, he would run the old gentleman through 
the body cheerfully, and consider it a meritorious action. 
Joe expressed his obligations, and continued, "You can 
trust me then, and credit \vhat I say. I believe I shall 
enlist in your regiment to-night. The reason I don't do so 
now is, because I don't want until to-night to do what I 
can't recall. Where shall I find you, this evening? " 
His friend replied with some unwillingness, and after 
much ineffectual entreaty having for its object the im- 
mediate settlement of the business, that his quarters would 
be at the Crooked Billet in Tower Street; where he would 
be found waking until midnight, and sleeping until break- 
fast-time to-morrow. 
" And if I do come-which it's a million to one, I shaIl- 
when will you take me out of London? " demanded Joe. 



Barnaby Rudge 


237 


" To-morrow morning, at half after eight o'clock," re- 
plied the serjeant. " You'll go abroad-a country where 
it's all sunshine and plunder-the finest climate in the 
world. " 
" To go abroad," said Joe, shaking hands with him, " is 
the very thing I want. You may expect me." 
" You're the kind of lad for us," cried the serjeant, 
holding Joe's hand in his, in the excess of his admiration. 
" You're the boy to push your fortune. I don't say it 
because I bear you any envy, or would take away from the 
credit of the rise you '11 make, but if I had been bred and 
taught like you, I'd have been a colonel by this time." 
"Tush, man! " said Joe, "I'm not so young as that. 
Needs must when the devil drives; and the devil that drives 
me is an empty pocket and an unhappy home. For the 
present, good-bye. " 
" For king and country! " cried the serjeant, flourishing 
his cap. 
" For bread and meat! " cried Joe, snapping his fingers. 
And so they parted. 
He had very little money in his pocket; so little indeed, 
that after paying for his breakfast (which he was too honest 
and perhaps too proud to score up to his father's charge) he 
had but a penny left. He had courage, notwithstanding, 
to resist all the affectionate importunities of the serjeant, 
who waylaid him at the door with many protestations of 
eternal friendship, and did in particular request that he 
would do him the favour to accept of only one shilling as a 
temporary accommodation. Rejecting his offers both of 
cash and credit, Joe walked away \vith stick and bundle as 
before, bent upon getting through the day as he best could, 
and going down to the locksmith's in tbe dusk of the even- 
ing; for it should go hard, he had resolved, but he would 
have a parting word with the charming Dolly Varden. 
He went out by Islington and so on to Highgate, and 
sat on many stones and gates, but there were no voices in 
the bells to bid him turn. Since the time of noble 
Whittington, fair flower of merchants, bells have come to 
have less sympathy with humankind. They only ring for 
money and on state occasions. Wanderers have increased 
in number; ships leave the Thames for distant reg-ions, 
carrying from stem to stern no other cargo; the belts are 
silent; they ring out no entreaties or regrets; they are 
used to it and have grown worldly. 



23 8 


Barnaby Rudge 


Joe bought a roll, and reduced his purse to the condition 
(with a difference) of that celebrated purse of Fortunatus, 
which, whatever were its favoured ownerJs necessities, had 
one unvarying amount in it. In these real times, when all 
the Fairies are dead and buried, there are still a great many 
purses which possess that quality. The sum-total they 
contain is expressed in arithmetic by a circle, and 
whether it be added to or multiplied by its own amount, 
the result of the problem is more easily stated than any 
known in figures. 
Evening drew on at last. With the desolate and solitary 
feeling of one who had no home or shelter, and was alone 
utterly in the world for the first time, he bent his steps 
towards the locksmith's house. He had delayed till now, 
kno\ving that Mrs. Varden sometimes went out alone, or 
with l\figgs for her sole attendant, to lectures in the even- 
ing; and devoutly hoping that this might be one of her 
nights of moral culture. 
He had walked up and down before the house, on the 
opposite side of the way, two or three times, when as he 
!eturned to it again, he caught a glimpse of a fluttering 
skirt at the door. It \vas Dolly's-to whom else could it 
belong? no dress but hers had such a flo\v as that. He 
plucked up his spirits, and followed it into the workshop of 
the Golden Key. 
His darkening the door caused her to look round. Oh 
that face! "If it hadn't been for that, JJ thought Joe, " I 
should never have walked into poor Tom Cobb. She's 
hventy times handsomer than ever. She might marry a 
Lord! " 
He didn't say this. He only thought it-perhaps looked 
it also. Dolly was glad to see him, and was so sorry her 
father and mother were away from home. Joe begged 
she wouldn't mention it on any account. 
Dolly hesitated to lead the way into the parlour, for 
there it was nearly dark; at the same time she hesitated 
to stand talking in the workshop, \vhich was yet light and 
open to the street. They had got by some means, too, 
before the little forge; and Joe having her hand in his 
(which he had no right to have, for Dolfy only gave it him 
to shake), it was so like standing before some homely altar 
being married, that it was the most embarrassing state of 
things in the world. 
"I have come," said Joe, "to say good-bye-to say 



Barnaby Rudge 


239 


good-bye for I don't know how many years; perhaps for 
ever. I am going abroad." 
N ow this was exactly what he should not have said. 
Here he was, talking like a gentleman at large \\Tho was 
free to come and go and roam about the world at his 
pleasure, when that gallant coachmaker had vowed but the 
night before that Miss Varden held him bound in adaman- 
tine chains; and had positively stated in so many words 
that she was killing him by inches, and that in a fortnight 
more or thereabouts he expected to make a decent end and 
leave the business to his mother. 
Dolly released her hand and said " Indeed! " She re- 
marked in the same breath that it was a fine night, and, in 
short, betrayed no more emotion than the forge itself. 
" I couldn't go," said Joe, " without coming to see you. 
I hadn't the heart to." 
Dolly was more sorry than she could tell, that he should 
have taken so much trouble. It was such a long way, and 
he must have such a deal to do. And how was Mr. Willet 
-that dear old gentleman- 
" Is this all you say! " said Joe. 
All! Good gracious, what did the man expect! She 
was obliged to take her apron in her ha
d and run her eyes 
along the hem from corner to corner, to keep herself from 
laughing in his face ;-not because his gaze confused her- 
not at all. 
Joe had small experience in love affairs, and had no 
notion how different young ladies are at different times; 
he had expected to take Dolly up again at the very point 
where he had left her after that delicious evening ride, and 
\vas no more prepared for such an alteration than to see the 
sun and moon change places. He had buoyed himself up 
all day with an indistinct idea that she would certainly say 
"Don't go," or" Don't leave us," or" Vi/hy do you go?" 
or " Y\Thy do you leave us? " or would give him some little 
encouragement of that sort; he had even entertained the 
possibility of her bursting into tears, of her throwing- her- 
self into his arms, and of her falling down in a fainting-fit 
without previous word or sign; but any approach to such 
a line of conduct as this had been so far from his thoug-hts 
that he could only look at her in silent wonder. 
Dolly in the meanwhile turned to the corners of her 
apron, and measured the sides, and smoothed out the 
wrinkles, and was as silent as he. At last, after a long 



24 0 


Barnaby Rudge 


pause, Joe said good-bye. "Good-bye "-said Dolly- 
with as pleasant a sn1Íle as if he were going into the next 
street, and were coming back to supper; " good-bye. " 
" Come," said Joe, putting out both his hands. "DolIy, 
dear Dolly, don't let us part like this. I love you dearly, 
with all my heart and soul; with as much truth and earnest- 
ness as ever man loved \voman in this world, I do believe. 
I am a poor fellow, as you know-poorer no\v than ever, 
for I have fled from home, not being able to bear it any 
longer, and must fight my own way without help. You 
are beautiful, admired, are loved by everybody, are well 
off and happy; and may you ever be so! Heaven forbid 
I should ever make you otherwise; but give me a word of 
comfort. Say something kind to me. I have no right to 
expect it of you, I know, but I ask it because I love you, 
and shall treasure the slightest word from you all through 
my life. Dolly, dearest, have you nothing to say to me? " 
No. Nothing. Dolly was a coquette by nature, and a 
spoilt child. She had no notion of being carried by storm 
in this way. The coachmaker would have been dissolved 
in tears, and would have knelt down, and called himself 
names, and clasped his hands, and beat his breast, and 
tugged wildly at his cravat, and done an kinds of poetry. 
Joe had no business to be going abroad. He had no right 
to be able to do it. If he was in adamantine chains, he 
couldn't. 
"I have said good-bye," said Dolly, "twice. Take 
your arm away directly, Mr. Joseph, or I'll call Miggs. /I 
" I'll not reproach you," answered Joe, "it's my fault, 
no doubt. I have thought sometimes that you didn't quite 
despise me, but I was a fool to think so. Everyone must, 
who has seen the life I have led-you most of all. God 
bless you ! " 
He was gone, actually gone. Dolly waited a little while, 
thinking he would return, peeped out at the door, looked up 
the street and down as well as the increasing darkness 
would allow, came in again, waited a little longer, went up 
stairs humming a tune, bolted herself in, laid her head 
down on her bed, and cried as if her heart would break. 
And yet such natures are made up of so many contradic- 
tions, that if Joe \-Vinet had come back that night, next day, 
next week, next month, the odds are a hundred to one she 
\vould have treated him in the very same manner, and have 
wept for it afterwards with the very same distress. 


. 



Barnaby Rudge 


24 1 


She had no sooner left the workshop than there cautiously 
peered out from behind the chimney of the forge a face 
which had already emerged from the same concealment 
twice or thrice, unseen, and which, after satisfying itself 
that it was now alone, was follo\ved by a leg, a shoulder, 
and so on by degrees, until the form of 1\Ir. Tappertit stood 
confessed, with a brown-paper cap stuck negligently on one 
side of its head, and its arms very much akimbo. 
" Have my ears deceived me," said the 'prentice, " or do 
I dream! am I to thank thee, F ortun " or to cuss thee- 
which? " 
He gravely descended from his elevation, took down his 
piece of looking-glass, planted it against the wall upon the 
usual bench, twisted his head round 1 and looked closely at 
his legs. 
" If they're a dream," said Sim, "let sculptures have 
such wisions, and chisel 'em out when they wake. This 
is reality. Sleep has no such limbs as them. Tremble, 
Willet, and despair. She's mine! She's mine! " 
With these triumphant expressions, he seized a hammer 
and dealt a heavy blow at a vice, which in his mind's eye 
represented the sconce or head of Joseph Willet. That 
done, he burst into a peal of laughter which startled Miss 
Miggs even in her distant kitchen, and dipping his head 
into a bowl of water, had recourse to a jack-towel inside 
the closet door, which served the double purpose of 
smothering his feelings and drying his face. 
Joe, disconsolate and down-hearted, but full of courage 
too, on leaving the locksmith's house made the best of his 
way to the Crooked Billet, and there inquired for his friend 
the serjeant, who, expecting no man less, received him 
with open arms. In the course of five minutes after his 
arrival at that house of entertainment, he was enrolled 
among the gallant defenders of his native land; and within 
half an hour, was regaled \vith a steaming supper of boiled 
tripe and onions, prepared, as his friend assured him more 
than once, at the express command of his most Sacred 
Majesty the King. To this meal, which tasted very 
savoury after his long fasting-, he did ample justice; and 
when he had followed it up, or down, with a variety of Joyal 
and patriotic toasts, he was conducted to a straw mattress 
in a loft over the stable, snd locked in there for the night. 
The next morning, he found that the obliiing- care of his. 
martial friend had decorated his hat \vith sundry part i- 



24 2 


Barnaby Rudge 


coloured streamers, which made a very lively appearance; 
and in company with that officer, and three other military 
gentlemen ne\\Tly enrolled, who were under a cloud so dense 
that it only left three shoes, a boot, and a coat and a half 
visible among them, repaired to the river-side. Here they 
were joined by a corporal and four more heroes, of whom 
two \vere drunk and daring, and two sober and penitent, 
but each of whom, like Joe, had his dusty stick and bundle. 
The party embarked in a passage-boat bound for Graves- 
end, whence they \\Tere to proceed on foot to Chatham; the 
wind was in their favour, and they soon left London behind 
them, a mere dark mist-a giant phantom in the air. 


CHAPTER XXXII 


MISFORTU!\ES, saith the adage, never come singly. 
There is little doubt that troubles are exceedingly gre- 
garious in their nature, and flying in flocks, are apt to 
perch capriciously; crowdi
g on the heads of some 
poor wights until there IS not an inch of room 
left on their unlucky crowns, and taking no more 
notice of others ,vho offer as good resting-places for the 
soles of their feet, than if they had no existence. It may 
have happened that a flight of troubles brooding over 
London, and looking out for Joseph \\Tillet, WhOlTI they 
couldn't find, darted down haphazard on the first young 
man that caught their fancy, and settled on him instead. 
However this may be, certain it is that on the very day 
of Joe's departure they swarmed about the ears of Edward 
Chester, and did so buzz and flap their wings, and perse- 
cute him, that he was most profoundly wretched. 
It ,vas evening, and just eight o'clock, when he and his 
father, having wine and dessert set before them, were left 
to themselves for the first time that day. They had dined 
together, but a third person had been present during the 
meal, and until they met at table they had not seen each 
other since the previous night. 
Edward was reserved and silent, Mr. Chester was more 
than usually gay; but not caring, as it seemed, to open a 
conversation with one whose humour was so different, he 



Barnaby I{udge 


243 


vented the lightness of his spirit in smiles and sparkling 
looks, and made no effort to awaken his attention. So 
they remained for some time: the father lying on a sofa 
with his accustomed air of graceful negligence; the son 
seated opposite to him with downcast eyes, busied, it was 
plain, with painful and uneasy thoughts. 
" My dear Edward," said Mr. Chester at length, with 
a most engaging laugh, "do not extend your drowsy in- 
fluence to the decanter. Suffer that to circulate, let your 
spirits be never so stagnant. " 
Edwanl begged his pardon, passed it, and relapsed into 
his former state. 
" You do \vrong not to fill your glass," said Mr. Chester, 
holding up his o\vn before the light. "Wine in modera- 
tion-not in excess, for th
t makes men ugly-has a thou- 
sand pleasant influences. It brightens the eyes, improves 
the voice, irnparts a new vivacity to one's thoughts and 
conversation: you should try it, Ned." 
" Ah, father! " cried the son, " if-" 
" My good fellow," interposed the parent hastily, as he 
set down his glass, and raised his eyebrows with a startled 
and horrified expression, " for Heaven's sake don't call me 
by that obsolete and ancient name. Have some regard for 
delicacy. Am I grey, or wrinkled, do I go on crutches, 
have I lost. my teeth, that you adopt such a mode of 
address? Good God, how very coarse! " 
" I \vas about to speak to you from my heart, sir," re- 
turned Ed\vard, "in the confidence which should subsist 
between us ; and you check me in the outset. ' J 
" Now do, Ned, do not," said Mr. Chester, raising his 
delicate hand imploringly, 'c talk in that monstrous manner. 
About to speak from your heart! Don't you know that the 
heart is an ingenious part of our formation-the centre of 
the blood-vessels and all that sort of thing-which has no 
more to do with what you say or think, than your knees 
have? How can you be so very vulgar and absurd? These 
anatomical allusions should be left to gentlemen of the 
n1edical profession. They are really not agreeable in 
society. You quite surprise me, Ned. " 
cc Well! theré are no such things to wound, or heal, 
or have regard for. I know your creed, sir, and will say 
no more," returned his son. 
ee There again," said Mr. Chester, sipping his wine, 
" you are wrong. I distinctly say there are such things. 



244 


Barnaby Rudge 


\\ìe know there are. The hearts of animals-of bullocks, 
sheep, and so forth-are cooked and devoured, as I am 
told, by the lower classes, with a vast deal of relish. Men 
are sometimes stabbed to the heart, shot to the heart; but 
as to speaking from the heart, or to the heart, or being 
warm-hearted, or cold-hearted, or broken-hearted, or being 
all heart, or having no heart-pah! these things are non- 
sense, Ned." 
" No doubt, sir," returned his son, seeing that he 
paused for him to speak. " No doubt. " 
"There's Haredale's niece, your late flame," -said Mr. 
Chester, as a careless illustration of his meaning. "No 
doubt in your mind she was all heart once. Now she has 
none at all. Yet she is the same person, Ned, exactly." 
" She is a changed person, sir," cried Edward, redden- 
ing, " and changed by vile means, I believe." 
" You have had a cool dismissal, have you? " said his 
father. "Poor Ned! I told you last night what would 
happen.-l\1ay I ask you for the nut-crackers? " 
" She has been tampered with, and most treacherously 
deceived," cried Edward, rising from his seat. "I never 
will believe that the knowledge of my real position, given 
her by myself, has worked this change. I know she is 
beset and tortured. But though our contract is at an end, 
and broken past all redemption; though I charge upon her 
want of firmness and \vant of truth, both to herself and lne; 
I do not now, and never wiH believe, that any sordid 
motive, or her own unbiassed will, has led her to this 
course-never ! " 
" You make me blush," returned his father gaily, " for 
the folly of your náture, in which-but we never know 
ourselves-I devoutly hope there is no reflection of my own. 
With regard to the young lady herself, she has done what 
is very natural and proper, my dear fellow; what you your- 
self proposed, as I learn from Haredale; and what I pre- 
dicted-\vith no great exercise of sagacity-she would do. 
She supposed you to be rich, or at least quite rich enough; 
and found you poor. Marriage is a civil contract; people 
marry to better their worldly condition and improve ap- 
pearances ; it is an affair of house and furniture, of liveries, 
servants, equipage, and so forth. The lady being poor and 
you poor also, there is an end of the matter. You cannot 
enter upon these considerations, and have no manner of 
business with the ceremony. I drink her health in this 



Barnaby Rudge 


245 


glass, and respect and honour her for her extreme good 
sense. It is a lesson to you. Fill yours, Ned." 
" It is a lesson," returned his son, "by which I hope 
I may never profit, and if years and their experience im- 
press it on-" 
" Don't say on the heart," interposed his father, 
"On men whom the world and its hypocrisy have 
spoiled," said Edward warmly; "Heaven keep me from 
its knowledg.e." 
" Come, sir," returned his father, raising himself a little 
on the sofa, .and looking straight towards him; " we have 
had enough of this. Remember, if you please, your in- 
terest, your duty, your moral obligations, your filial affec- 
tions, and all that sort of thing, which it is so very delight- 
ful and charming to reflect upon: or you will repent it. " 
" I shaH never repent the preservation of my self-respect, 
sir," said Edward. "Forgive me if I say I will not sacri- 
fice it at your bidding, and that I will not pursue the track 
which you would have me take, and to which the secret 
share you have had in this late separation tends." 
His father rose a little higher still, and looking at him 
as though curious to know if he were quite resolved and 
earnest, dropped gently down again, and said in the 
calmest voice-eating his nuts meanwhile, 
" Edward, my father had a son, who being a fool 1ike 
you, and, like you, entertaining low and disobedient senti- 
ments, he disinherited and cursed one morning after break- 
fast. The circumstance occurs to me with a singular 
clearness of recollection this evening. I remember eating 
muffins at the time, with marmalade. He led a miserable 
life (the son, I mean) and died early; it was a happy re- 
lease on all accounts; he degraded the family very much. 
It is a sad circumstance, Edward, when a father finds it 
necessary to resort to such strong measures." 
" It is," replied Edward, "and it is sad when a son, 
proffering him his love and duty in their best and truest 
sense, finds himself repelled at every turn, and forced to 
disobey. Dear father," he added, more earnestly though 
in a gentler tone, "I have reflected many times on what 
occurred between us when we first discussed this subject. 
Let there be a confidence between us; not in terms, but 
truth. Hear what I have to say." 
"As I anticipate what it is, and cannot fail to do so, 
Edward," returned his father coldly, "I decline. I 



24 6 


Barnaby Rudge 


couldn't possibly. I am sure it would put me out of tem- 
per, which is a state of mind I can't endure. If you intend 
to mar my plans for your establishment in life, and the 
preservation of that gentility and becoming pride, which 
our family have so long sustained-if, in short, you are 
resolved to take your own course, you must take it, and 
my curse with it. I am very sorry, but there's realIy no 
al terna ti ve. " 
" The curse may pass your lips," said Edward, " but it 
will be but empty breath. I do not believe that any man 
on earth has greater po\ver to call one down upon his fel- 
low-least of all, upon his own child-than he has to make 
one drop of rain or flake of snow fall from the clouds above 
.us at his impious bidding. Beware, sir, what you do." 
" You are so very irreligious, so exceedingly undutiful, 
so horribly profane," rejoined his father, turning his face 
lazily towards him, and cracking another nut, " that I posi- 
tively must interrupt you here. It is quite impossible we 
can continue to go on, upon such terms as these. If you 
will do me the favour to ring the bell, the servant will show 
vou to the door. Return to this roof no more, I beg you. 
Go, sir, since you have no moral sense remaining; and go 
to the Devil, at my express desire. Good day." 
Edward left the room without another word or look, and 
turned his back upon the house for ever. 
The father's face was slightly flushed and heated, but 
his manner was quite unchanged, as he rang the beIl again, 
and addressed his servant on his entrance. 
" Peak-if that gentleman who has just gone out-" 
" I beg your pardon, sir, Mr. Edward? " 
"Were there more than one, dolt, that you ask the 
question ?-If that gentleman should send here for his 
wardrobe, let him have it, do you hear? If he should can 
himself at any time, I'm not at home. You'll tell him so, 
and shut the door." 


So it soon got whispered about, that Mr. Chester was 
very unfortunate in his son, who had occasioned him great 
grief and sorrow. And the good people who heard this 
and told it again marvelled the more at his equanimity and 
even temper, and said what an amiable nature that man 
must have, who, having undergone so much, could be so 
placid and so calm. And when Edward's name was spoken, 
Society shook its head, and laid its finger on its lip, and 



Barnaby Rudge 


247 


sighed, and looked very grave; and those who had sons 
about his age waxed wrathful and indignant, and hoped 
for Virtue's sake, that he was dead. And the world went 
on turning round, as usual, for five years, concerning which 
this Narrative is silent. 


CHAPTER XXXIII 


ONE wintry evening, early in the year of our Lord on
 
thousand seven hundred and eighty, a keen north wind 
arose as it grew dark, and night came on with black and 
dismal looks. A bitter storm of sleet, sharp, dense, and 
icy-cold, swept the wet streets, and rattled on the trembling 
windows. Sign-boards, shaken past endurance in their 
creaking frames, fen crashing on the pavement; old totter- 
ing chimneys reeled and staggered in the blast; and many 
a steC'ple rocked again that night, as though the earth were 
troubled. 
I t was not a time for those who could by any means get 
light and warn1th to brave the fury of the weather. In 
coffee-houses of the better sort, guests crowded round the 
fire, forgot to be political, and told each other with a secret 
gladness that the blast grew fiercer every minute. Each 
humble tavern by the water-side had its group of uncouth 
figures round the hearth, who talked of vessels foundering 
at sea, and all hands lost; related many a dismal tale of 
shipwreck and drowned men, and hoped that some they 
knew were safe, and shook their heads in doubt. In pri- 
vate dwellings, children clustered near the blaze; listening 
with timid pleasure to tales of ghosts and goblins, and tall 
figures clad in white standing by bedsides, and people who 
had gone to sleep in old churches and being overlooked had 
found themselves alone there at the dead hour of the night: 
until they shuddered at the thought of the dark rooms up 
stairs, yet loved to hear the wind moan too, and hoped it 
would continue bravely. From time to time these happv 
in-door people stopped to listen, or one held up his finger 
and cried " Hark! " and then, above the rumbling in the 
chimney, and the fast pattering on the glass, was heard a 
wailing, rushing sound, which shook the wans as though 
a giant's hand were on them; then a hoarse roar as if the 
sea had risen; then such a whirl and tumult that the air 



24 8 


Barnaby Rudge 


seemed mad; and then, with a lengthened howl, the waves 
of wind swept on, and left a moment's interval of rest. 
Cheerily, though there were none abroad to see it, shone 
the Maypole light that evening. Blessings on the red- 
deep, ruby, glowing red-old curtain of the window; blend- 
ing into one rich stream of brightness, fire and candle, 
meat, drink, and company, and gleaming like a jovial eye 
upon the bleak waste out of doors! \Vithin, what carpet 
like its crunching sand, what music merry as its crackling 
logs, what perfume like its kitchen's dainty breath, what 
weather genial as its hearty warmth! Blessings on the old 
house, how sturdily it stood! How did the vexed wind 
chafe and roar about its stalwart roof; how did it pant 
and strive with its wide chimneys, which still poured forth 
from their hospitable throats great clouds of smoke, and 
puffed defiance in its face; how, above all, did it drive and 
rattle at the casement, emulous to extinguish that cheerful 
glow, which would not be put down and seemed the 
brighter for the conflict. 
The profusion too, the rich and lavish bounty, of that 
goodly tavern! It ,vas not enough that one fire roared and 
sparkled on its spacious hearth; in the tiles which paved 
and compassed it, five hundred flickering fires burnt 
brightly also. It was not enough that one red curtain shut 
the wild night out, and shed its cheerful influence on the 
room. In every saucepan lid, and candlestick, and vessel of 
copper, brass, or tin that hung upon the walls, were count- 
less ruddy hangings, flashing and gleaming with every 
motion of the blaze, and offering, let the eye wander where 
it might, interminable vistas of the same rich colour. The 
old oak wainscoting, the beams, the chairs, the seats, re- 
flected it in a deep, dull glimmer. There were fires and red 
curtains in the very eyes of the drinkers, in their buttons, 
in their liquor, in the pipes they smoked. 
Mr. Willet sat in what had been his accustomed place 
five years before, with his eyes on the eternal boiler; and 
had sat there since the clock struck eight, giving no other 
signs of life than breathing with a loud and constant snore 
(though he was wide awake), and from time to time putting 
his glass to his lips, or knocking the ashes out of his pipe, 
and filling it anew. It was now half-past ten. Mr. Cobb 
and long Phil Parkes were his companions, as of old, and 
for Ì\vo mortal hours and a half, none of the company had 
pronounced one word. 



Barnaby Rudge 


249 


vVhether people, by dint of sitting together in the same 
place and the saæe relative positions, and doing exactly 
the same things for a great many years, acquire a sixth 
sense, or some unknown po\ver of influencing each other 
which serves them in its stead, is a question for philosophy 
to settle. But certain it is that old John Willet, Mr. 
Parkes, and Mr. Cobb; were one and all firmly of opinion 
that they were very jolly companions-rather choice spirits 
than otherwise; that they looked at each other every now 
and then as if there were a perpetual interchange of ideas 
going on among them; that no man considered himself or 
his neighbour by any means silent; and that each of therTI 
nodded occasionally when he caught the eye of another, as 
if he would say " You have expressed yourself extremely 
well, sir, in rëlation to that sentiment, and I quite agree 
with you. " 
The room was so very warm, the tobacco so very good, 
and the fire so very soothing, that Mr. Willet by degrees 
began to doze; but as he had perfectly acquired, by dint of 
long habit, the art of smoking in his sleep, and as his 
breathing was pretty much the same, awake or asleep, 
saving that in the latter case he sometimes experienced a 
slight difficulty in respiration (such as a carpenter meets 
with when he is planing and comes to a knot), neither of his 
companions was aware of the circumstance, until he met 
with one of these impediments and was obliged to try again. 
"Johnny's dropped off," said Mr. Parkes in a whisper. 
I C Fast as a top," said Mr. Cobb. 
Neither of them said any more until Mr. Willet came 
to another knot-one of surpassing obduracy-which bade 
fair to throw him into convulsions, but which he got over 
at last without \vaking, by an effort quite superhuman. 
" He sleeps unCOlllmon hard," said Mr. Cobb. 
Mr. Parkes, who was possibly a hard-sleeper himself, 
replied with some disdain cc Not a bit on it ": and directed 
his eyes towards a handbill pasted over the chimney-piece, 
which was decorated at the top with a woodcut representing 
a youth of tender years running a\vay very fast, with a 
bundle over his shoulder at the end of a stick, and-to carry 
out the idea-a finger-post and a mite-stone beside him. 

Ir. Cobb like\vise turned his eyes in the same direction, 
and surveyed the placard as if that were the first time he 
had ever beheld it. Now, this was a document which Mr. 
Willet had himself indited on the disappearance of his son 



25 0 


Barnaby Rudge 


Joseph, acquainting the nobility and gentry and the public 
in general with the circumstances of his having left his 
home; describing his dress and appearance; and offering a 
reward of five pounds to any person or persons who would 
pack him up and return him safely to the Maypole at Chig- 
well, or lodge him in any of his Majesty's jails until such 
time as his father should come and 'claim him. In this ad- 
vertisement 1\lr. Willet had obstinately persisted, despite 
the advice and entreaties of his friends, in describing his 
son as a "young boy"; and furthermore as being from 
eighteen inches to a couple of feet shorter than he really 
was: two circumstances \vhich perhaps accounted, in some 
degree, for its never having been productive of any other 
effect than the transmission to Chigwell, at. various times 
and at a vast expense, of some five-and-forty runaways 
varying from six years old to twelve. 
1\1r. Cobb and Mr. Parkes looked mysteriously at this 
composition, at each other, and at old John. From the time 
he had pasted it up with his own hands, Mr. "VVillet had 
never by word or sign alluded to the subject, or encouraged 
anyone else to do so. Nobody had the least notion what 
his thoughts or opinions \vere, connected with it; whether 
he had any idea that such an event had ever taken place. 
Therefore, even while he slept, no one ventured to refer to 
it in his presence; and for such sufficient reasons, these his 
chosen friends were silent now. 
Mr. \Villet had got by this time into such a complication 
of knots, that it was perfectly clear he must wake or die. 
He chose the former alternative, and opened his eyes. 
" If he don't come in five minutes," said John, "I 
shall have supper without him." 
The antecedent of this pronoun had been mentioned for 
the last time at eight o'clock. Messrs. Parkes and Cobb 
being used to this style of conversation, replied without 
difficulty that to be sure Solomon was very late, and they 
wondered what had happened to detain him. 
" He an't blown away, I suppose," said Parkes. "It's 
enough to carry a man of his figure off his legs, and easy 
too. Do you hear it? It blows great guns, indeed. 
There'll be many a crash in the Forest to-night, I reckon, 
and many a broken branch upon the ground to-morrow." 
" It won't break anything in the Maypole, I take it, 
sir," returned old John. "Let it try. I give it leave- 
what's that? " 



Barnaby Rudge 


25 1 


"The wind," cried Parkes. "It's howling like a 
Christian, and has been aU night long. " 
"Did you ever, sir," asked John, after a minute's con- 
templation, " hear the \vind say , l\1aypole '? " 
" '
hy, what man ever did? " said Parkes. 
" Nor ' ahoy,' perhaps? " added John. 
"No. Nor that either." 
" Very good, sir," said Mr. Willet, perfectly unmoved; 
"then if that was the. wind just now, and you'lJ wait a 
little time without speaking, you'll hear it say both words 
very plain." 
Mr. Willet was right. After listening for a few moments 
they could clearly hear, above the roar and tumult out of 
doors, this shout repeated; and that with a shrillness and 
energy, which denoted that it came from some person in 
great distress or terror. They looked at each other, 
turned pale, and held their breath. No man stirred. 
It was in this emergency that Mr. Willet displayed 
something of that strength of mind and plenitude of 
mental resource, which rendered him the admiration of all 
his friends and neighbours. After looking at Messrs. 
Parkes and Cobb for some tirne in silence, he clapped his 
two hands to his cheeks, and sent forth a roar which made 
the glasses dance and rafters ring-a long-sustained, dis- 
cordant bellow, that rolled onward with the wind, and 
startling every echo, made the night a hundred times 
more boisterous-a deep, loud, disInal bray, that sounded 
like a human gong. Then, with every vein in his head 
and face s\vollen with the great exertion, and his coun- 
tenance suffused with a lively purple, he drew a little 
nearer to the fire, and turning his back upon it, said with 
dignity: 
" If that's any comfort to anybody, they're welcome to 
it. If it an't I'm sorry for 'enl. If either of you two 
gentleInen likes to go out and see what's the matter, you 
can. I'In not curious, myself." 
While he spoke the cry drew nearer and nearer, foot- 
steps passed the window, the latch of the door \vas raised, 
it opened, was violently shut again, and Solomon Daisy, 
with a lighted lantern 
n his hand, and the rain streaming 
from his disordered dress, dashed into the room. 
A more complete picture of terror than the little man 
presented, it would be difficult to irnagine. The perspira- 
tion stood in beads upon his face, his knees knocked 



25 2 


Barnaby Rudge 


together, his every limb trembled, the power of 
rticula- 
tion was quite gone; and there he stood, panhng for 
breath, gazing on them with such livid ashy looks, that 
they were infected 
ith h}s f
ar, though ignorant ?f its 
occasion, and, reflectIng hIS dIsmayed and horror-stncken 
visage, stared back again without venturing to question 
him; until old John \Villet, in a fit of temporary insanity, 
made a dive at his cravat, and, seizing him by that por- 
tion of his dress, shook him to and fro until his very 
teeth appeared to rattle in his head. 
"Tell us what's the matter, sir," said John, "or I'll 
kill you. Tell us what's the matter, sir, or in another 
second I'll have your head under the biler. How dare 
you look like that? Is anybody a following of you? 
\Vhat do you mean? Say something, or I'll be the death 
of you, I will." 
Mr. Willet, in his frenzy, was so near keeping his word 
to the very letter (Solomon Daisy's eyes already beginning 
to roll in an alarming manner, and certain guttural 
sounds, as of a choking man, to issue from his throat), 
that the two bystanders, recovering in some degree, 
plucked him off his victim by main force, and placed the 
little clerk of Chigwell in a chair. Directing a fearful 
gaze all round the room, he implored them in a faint voice 
to give him some drink; and above all to lock the house- 
door and close and bar the shutters of the room, wi
hout 
a rnoment's loss of time. The latter request did not tend 
to reassure his hearers, or to fill them with the most com- 
fortable sensations; they complied with it, however, with 
the greatest expedition; and having handed him a burnper 
of brandy-and-water, nearly boiling hot, waited to hear 
what he might have to tell them. 
"Oh, Johnny," said Solomon, shaking him by the 
hand. "Oh, Parkes. Oh, Tommy Cobb. Why did I 
leave this house to-night? On the nineteenth of Mareh- 
of all nights in the year, on the nineteenth of March! " 
They an drew closer to the fire. Parkes, who was 
nearest to the door, started and looked over his shoulder. 
Mr. Willet, with great indignation, inquired what the 
devil he meant by that-and then said, " God forgive me," 
and glanced over his own shoulder, and came a little 
nearer. 
" When I left here to-night," said Solomon Daisy, " I 
little thought what day of the month it was. I have 



Barnaby Rudge 


253 


never gone alone into the church after dark on this day, 
for seven-and-twenty years. 1 have heard it said that as 
we keep our birthdays when we are alive, so the ghosts 
of dead people, who are not easy in their graves, keep 
the day they died upon.-How the wind roars! " 
Nobody spoke. All eyes were fastened on Solomon. 
"I might have known," he said, "what night it was, 
by the foul weather. There's no such night in the whole 
year round as this is, always. 1 never sleep quietly in 
my bed on the nineteenth of March." 
" Go on," said Tom Cobb, in a low voice. "Nor I 
neither. " 
Solomon Daisy raised his glass to his lips; put it down 
upon the floor with such a trembling hand that the spoon 
tinkled in it like a little bell; and continued thus: 
"Have I ever said that we are always brought back 
to this subject in sonle strange way, when the nineteenth 
of this month comes round? Do you suppose it was by 
accident, 1 forgot to wind up the church-clock? 1 never 
forget it at any other time, though it's such a clumsy 
thing that it has to be wound up every day. Why should 
it escape my memory on this day of all others? 
" 1 made as much haste. down there as I could when I 
went fro11l here, but I had to go home first for the keys; 
and the wind and rain being dead against me all the way, 
it was pretty well as much as I could do at times to keep 
my legs. 1 got there at last, opened the church-door, and 
went in. 1 had not met a soul all the way, and you may 
judge whether it was dull or not. Neither of you would 
bear me company. If you could have known what was 
to come, you'd have been in the right. 
"The wind was so strong, that it was as much as I 
could do to shut the church-door by putting my whole 
weight against it; and even as it was, it burst wide open 
twice, with such strength that any of you \vould have 
sworn, if you had been leaning against it, as I was, that 
somebody was pushing on the other side. However, I 
got the key turned, went into the belfry, and wound up 
the clock-which was very near run down, and would 
have stood stock-still in half an hour. 
" As 1 took up my lantern again to leave the church, it 
came upon me all at once that this was the nineteenth of 
March. 1 t came upon me with a kind of shock, as if a 
hand had struck the thought upon my forehead; at the 



254 


Barnaby Rudge 


very saIne moment, I heard a voice outside the tower- 
rising from among the graves.)) 
Here old John precipitately interrupted the speaker, 
and begged that if 1\1r. Parkes (who was seated opposite 
to hiln and was staring directly over his head) saw any- 
thing, he would have the goodness to mention it. Mr. 
Parkes apologised, and remarked that he was only listen- 
ing; to which Mr. vVil1et angrily retorted, that his listen- 
ing with that kind of expression in his face was not 
agreeable, and that if he couldn't look like other people, 
he had better put his pocket-handkerchief over his head. 
Mr. Parkes with great submission pledged himself to do 
so, if again required, and John Willet turning to Solomon 
desired him to proceed. After waiting until a violent gust 
of wind and rain, \vhich seemed to shake even that sturdy 
house to its foundation, had passed away, the little man 
con1plied : 
" Never tell me that it was my fancy, or that it was 
any other sound which I mistook for that I tel1 you of. 
I heard the \vind whistle through the arches of the church. 
I heard the steeple strain and creak. I heard the rain 
as it came driving against the waIls. I felt the beUs 
shake. I saw the ropes sway to and fro. And I heard 
that voice." 
" \Vhat did it say? " asked Tom Cobb. 
" I don't know what; I don't know that it spoke. It 
gave a kind of cry, as anyone of us might do, if some- 
thing dreadful followed us in a dream, and came upon 
us unawares; and then it died off : seeming to pass quite 
round the church. " 
" I don't see much in that," said John, drawing a long 
breath, anQ looking round him like a man who felt re- 
lieved. 
" Perhaps not," returned his friend, "but that's not 
all. " 
" \\That more do you mean to say, sir, is to come? " 
asked John, pausing in the act of wiping his face upon 
his apron. "\\That are you a going to ten us of next? " 
" vVhat I sa\v." 
" Saw! " echoed alJ three, bending- for\vard. 
"\Vhen I opened the church-door to come out," said' 
the little man, with an expression of face which bore 
ample testimony to the sincerity of his conviction, "when 
I opened the church-door to come out, which I did sud- 



Barnaby Rudge 


255 


denly, for I wanted to get it shut again before another 
gust of wind came up, there crossed me-so close, that 
by stretching out my finger I could have touched it- 
something in the likeness of a man. I t was bareheaded to 
the storm. It turned its face without stopping, and fixed 
its eyes on rnine. It was a ghost-a spirit. " 
" Whose? " they all three cried together. 
In the excess of his emotion (for he fell back trembling 
in his chair, and waved his hand as if entreating them to 
question him no further), his ans\ver was lost on al1 but 
old John Willet, who happened to be seated close beside 
him. 
" Who! " cried Parkes and Tom Cobb, looking eagerly 
by turns at 'Solomon Daisy and at lVlr. Willet. "vVho 
was it? " 
" Gentlemen," said Mr. Willet after a long pause, 
,( you needn't ask. The likeness of a murdered man. 
This is the nineteenth of March." 
A profound silence ensued. 
" If you'll take my advice," said John, " we had better, 
one and all, keep this a secret. Such tales would not be 
liked at the Warren. Let us keep it to ourselves for the 
present time at all events, or we may get into trouble, and 
Solomon may lose his place. Whether it was really as he 
says, or whether it wasn't, is no matter. Right or wrong, 
nobody would believe him. As to the probabilities, I 
don't myself think," said Mr. Willet, eyeing the corners 
of the room in a manner which showed that, like some 
other philosophers, he was not quite easy in his theory, 
(, that a ghost as had been a man of sense in his lifetime, 
would be out a-walking in such weather-I only know 
that I \vouldn't, if I was one. " . 
But this heretical doctrine was strongly opposed by the 
other three, who quoted a great many precedents to show 
that bad weather was the very time for such appearances; 
and Mr. Parkes (who had had a ghost in his family, by 
the mother's side) argued the matter with so much in- 
genuity and force of illustration, that John was only saved 
from having to retract his opinion by the opportune ap- 
pearance of supper, to which they applied themselves with 
a dreadful relish. Even Solomon Daisy himself, by dint 
of the elevating influences of fire, lights, brandy, and good 
company, so far recovered as to handle his knife and fork 
in a highly creditable manner, and to display a capacity 



25 6 


Barnaby Rudge 


both of eating and drinking, such as banished all fear of 
his having sustained any lasting injury from his f:ight. 
Supper done, they crowded round the fire again, and, 
as is common on such occasions, propounded all manner 
of leading questions calculated to surround the story with 
new horrors and surprises. But Solomon Daisy, not- 
withstanding these temptations, adhered so steadily to his 
original account, and repeated it so often, with such slight 
variations, and with such solemn asseverations of its truth 
and reality, that his hearers were (with good reason) 
more astonished than at first. As he took John Willet's 
view of the matter in regard to the propriety of not 
bruiting the tale abroad, unless the spirit should appear I 
to him again, in which case it would be nece.ssary to take 
immediate counsel with the clergyman, it was sOlelnnl y ! 
resolved that it should be hushed up and kept quiet. And 
as most men like to have a secret to tell \vhich may exalt 
their own importance, they arrived at this conclusion with 
perfect unanirnity. 
As it was by this time growing late, and was long past l 
their usual hour of separating, the cronies parted for the_ 
night. Solornon Daisy, with a fresh candle in his lantern,. 
repaired homewards under the escort of long Phil Parkes 
and Mr. Cobb, who were rather more nervous than him-i 
self. 1Ir. "Villet, after seeing them to the door, returned 
to collect his thoughts with the assistance of the boiler, and 
to listt'n to the storm of wind and rain, which had not yet 
abated one jot of its fury. 


CHAPTER XXXIV 
BEFORE old John had looked at the boiler quite twenty 
minutes, he got his ideas into a focus, and brought them to l 
bear upon Solomon Daisy's story. The more he thought of 
it, the more impressed he became with a sense of his own 
wisdom, and a desire that Mr. Haredale should be im- 
pressed with it likewise. At length, to the end that he 
might sustain a principal and important character in the 
affair; and might have the start of Solomon and his two 
friends, through whose means he knew the adventure, with 
a variety of exaggerations, would be known to at least a 



Barnaby I{udge 


257 


score of people, and most likely to Mr. Haredale hirnseIf, 
by breakfast-time to-morrow; he d"etermined to repair to the 
\Varren before going to bed. 
" He's my landlord," thought John, as he took a candle 
in his hand, and setting it down in a corner out of the wind's 
way, opened a casement in the rear of the house, looking 
towards the stables. "We haven't met of late years, so 
of ten as we used to do--changes are taking place in the 
farnily-it's desirable that I should stand as well with them, 
in point of dignity, as possible-the whispering about of 
this here tale will anger him-it's good to have confidences 
with a gentleman of his natur', and set one's self right be- 
sides. Halloa there! Hugh-Hugh. Hal-loa!'1 
\Vhen he had repeated this shout a dozen times, and 
startled every pigeon from its slumbers, a door in one of the 
ruinous old buildings opened, and a rough voice demanded 
"vhat was amiss now, that a man couldn't even have his 
sleep in quiet. 
" What! Haven't you sleep enough, gro'wler, that 
you're not to be knocked up for once? " said John. 
" No," replied the voice, as the speaker yawned and 
';hook himself. "Not half enough. " 
" I don't know how you can sleep, with the wind a bel- 
iowsing- and roaring about you, making the tiles fly like a 
pack of cards," said John; " but no matter for that. Wrap 
yourself up in something or another, and come here, for 
you must go as far as the Warren \vith me. And look 
5harp about it. " 
H ugh, with much low growling and muttering, went 
back into his lair; and presently reappeared, carrying a 

.antern and a cudgel, and enveloped from head to foot in 
an old, frowsy, slouching- horse-cloth. Mr. Willet received 

his figure at the back-door, and ushered him into the bar, 
while he wrapped himself in sundry great-coats and capes, 
and so tied and knotted his face in shawls and handker- 
chiefs, that ho\v he breathed was a mystery. 
" You don't take a man out of doors at near midnight in 
-;uch weather, \vithout putting some heart into him, do you, 
master? " said Hugh. 
" Yes, I do, sir," returned Mr. WiIIet. "I put the heart 
(as you can it) into him when he has brought me safe 
home again, and his standing steady on his legs an't of so 
much consequence. So hold that light up, if you please, 
and go on a step or two before, to show the way." 


K 



n 


25 8 Barnaby Rudge 
Hugh obeyed with a very indifferent grace, and a longinl 
glance at the bottles. Old John, la
ing. strict injunction 
on his cook to keep the doors locked In his absence, and t4 
open to nobody but himself on pain of dismissal, followe4 
him into the blustering darkness out of doors. 
The way was wet and dismal, and the night so black 
that if Mr. Willet had been his own pilot, he would hav, 
walked into a deep horsepond within a few hundred yards a 
his own house, and would certainly have terminated hi 
career in that ignoble sphere of action. But Hugh, wh 
had a sight as keen as any hawk's, and, apart from tha 
endowment, could have found his way blindfold to an 
place within a dozen miles, dragged old John along, quit 
deaf to his remonstrances, and took his own course witl1 
out the slightest reference to, or notice of, his master. S 
they rnade head against the wind as they best could; Hug 
crushing the wet grass beneath his heavy tread, and stalH 
ing on after his ordinary savage fashion; John Willet fo] 
lowing at arm's length, picking his steps, and 100kinJ 
about him, now for bogs and ditches, and now for suc 
stray ghosts as might be wandering abroad, with looks c 
as much dismay and uneasiness as his immovable face wa 
capable of expressing. 
At length they stood upon the broad gravel-walk befor 
the vVarren-house. The building was profoundly dar1 
and none were moving near it save themselves. FroI 
one solitary turret-chamber, however, there shone a ray e 
light; and towards this speck of comfort in the cold, cheer 
less, silent scene, Mr. Willet bade his pilot lead him. 
" "The old r
om," said John, looking timidly upward 
Mr. Reuben s own apartment, God be with us! 
wonder his brother likes to sit there, so late at night-o 
this night too. " 
" Why, where else should he sit? " asked Hugh, hole 
inþ' the l
ntern to his breast, to keep the candle from th 
\vlnd, whIle he trimmed it with his fingers. "It's snu 
enough, an't it? " 
" Snu
 ! " said John indignantly. "You have a corr 
fortable Idea of snugness, you have, sir. Do you kno-, 
what \vas done in that room, you ruffian? " 
"'\Vhy, what is it the worse for that! " cried Hugl 
looking into J oh
 's fat face. "Does it keep out the r
ir 
and snow, and wInd, the less for that? Is it less warm c 
dry, because a man was killed there? Ha, ha, ha! N ev(; 



Barnaby Rudge 


259 


believe it, master. One man's no such matter as that 
comes to. " 
Mr. \-Villet fixed his dull eyes on his follo\ver, and began 
-by a species of inspiration-to think it just barely pos- 
sible that he \vas something of a dangerous character, and 
that it might be advisable to get rid of hirn one of these 
days. He was too prudent to say anything, with the jour- 
ney home before him; and therefore turned to the iron gate 
before which this brief dialogue had passed, and pulled 
the handle of the bell that hung beside it. The turret in 
which the light appeared being at one corner of the build- 
lng, and only divided from the path by one of the 

arden-walks, upon which this gate opened, Mr. Haredale 
threw up the window directly, and demanded who was 
there. 
" Begging pardon, sir," said John, " I knew you sat up 
late, and made bold to come round, having a word to say to " 
you. " 
" Willet-is it not? " 
" Of the Maypole-at your service, sir." 
Mr. Haredale closed the window, and \vithdrew. He 
presently appeared at a door in the bottom of the turret, 
lnd coming across the garden-walk, unlocked the gate and II 
iet them in. 
" You are a late visitor, Willet. What is the matter? " II 
" Nothing to speak of, sir," said John; " an idle tale, I 
chought you ought to know of ; nothing more. " I 
" Let your man go forward with the lantern, and give I I 
ne your hand. The stairs are crooked and narro\v.- 
3-ently with your light, friend. You swing it like a 

enser. " 
H ugh, who had already reached the turret, held it more II 
;teadily, and ascended first, turning round fronl time to 
:irne to shed his light downward on the steps. Mr. Hare- 
lale, following next, eyed his lowering face with no great 

avour; and Hugh, looking down on him, returned his 

lances with interest, as they climbed the winding stair. 
It terminated in a little ante-room adjoining that from 
Nhich they had seen the light. Mr. Haredale entered first, 
lnd led the way through it into the latter chaolber, \vhere 
Ie seated himself at a \vriting-table from which he had 
'isen when they rang the bell. 
" Come in," he said, beckoning to old John, who re- 
nained bowing at the door. "Not you, friend," he added 



260 


Barnaby Rudge 


hastily to Hugh, who entered also. ,. Willet, why do you 
bring that fellow here? " .. 
" Why, sir," returned J ohn, ele.vatIn
 his eyebro:vs, 
and lowering his voice to the tone In which the questIon 
had been asked him, "he's a good guard, you see." 
" Don't be too sure of that," said Mr. Haredale, look- 
ing towards him as he spoke. "I doubt it. He has an 
evil eye. " 
" 1"'here's no imagination in his eye," returned Mr. Wil- 
let, glancing over his shoulder at the organ in question, 
" eertainly. ' , 
" There is no good there, be assured," said Mr. Hare- 
dale. " Wait in that little room, friend, and close the door 
between us.') 
H ugh shrugged his shoulders, and with a disdainful 
look, which showed, either that he had overheard, or that 
he guessed th
 purport of their whispering, did as he was 
told. When he was shut out, Mr. Haredale turned to 
John, and bade 11im go on with what he had to say, but not 
to speak too loud, for there were quick ears yonder. 
Thus cautioned, Mr. Willet, in an oily whisper, recited 
all that he had heard and said that night; laying particular 
stress upon his own sagacity, upon his great regard for the 
family, and upon his solicitude for their peace of mind and 
happiness. The story moved his auditor much more than 
he had expected. Mr. Haredale often changed his attitude, 
rose and paced the room, returned again, desired him to 
repeat, as nearly as he could, the very words that Solomon 
had used, and gave so many other signs of being disturbed 
and ill at ease, that even Mr. Willet was surprised. 
, , You did quite right," he said, at the end of a long con- 
versation, "to bid them keep this story secret. It is a 
foolish fancy on the part of this weak-brained man, bred 
in his fears and superstition. But Miss Haredale, though 
she would know it to be so, would be disturbed by it if it 
reached. her ears; it is too nearly connected with a subject 
very painful to us all, to be heard with indifference. You 
were most prudent, and have laid me under a great oblig-a- 
tion. I thank you very much. " 
This was equal to John '5 most sanguine expectations; 
but he would have preferred Mr. Haredale's looking- at him 
when he spoke, as if he really did thank him, to his walking 
u
 and. down, speaking by fits and starts, often stopping 
with his eyes fixed on the ground, moving hurriedly on 



Barnaby Rudge 


261 


again, like one distracted, and seeming almost unconscious 
of what he said or did. 
This, however, was his manner; and it was so embarrass- 
ing to John that he sat quite passive for a long time, not 
knowing what to do. At length he rose. 1\1r. Haredale 
stared at him for a moment as though he had quite forgotten 
his being present, then shook hands with him, and opened 
the door. Hugh, who was, or feigned to be, fast asleep 
on the ante-chamber floor, sprang up on their entrance, 
and throwing his cloak about him, grasped his stick and 
lantern, and prepared to descend the stairs. 
" Stay," said :!.VIr. Haredale. "Will this man drink?" 
" Drink! He'd drink the Thames up, if it was strong 
enough, sir," replied John Willet. "He'll have some- 
thing when he gets home. He's better without it now, 
sir. " 
"Nay. Half the distance is done," said Hugh. "What 
a hard master you are! I shall go home the better for one 
glassful, half-way. Come!" 
As John made no reply, Mr. Haredale brought out a 
glass of liquor, and gave it to Hugh, who, as he took it in 
his hand, threw part of it upon the floor. 
" What do you mean by splashing your drink about a 
gentleman's house, sir? " said John. 
" I'm drinking a toast," Hugh rejoined, holding the 
glass above his head, and fixing his ey.es on Mr. Haredale's 
face; " a toast to this house and its master." With that 
he muttered something to himself, and drank the rest, and 
setting down the glass, preceded them without another 
word. 
John was a good deal scandalised by this observance, 
but seeing that Mr. Haredale took little heed of what Hugh 
said or did, and that his thoughts were otherwise employed, 
he offered no apology, and went in silence down the stairs, 
across the walk, and through the garden-gate. They 
stopped upon the outer side for Hugh to hold the light while 
Mr. Haredale locked it on the inner; and then John saw 
with wonder (as he often afterwards related), that he was 
very pale, and that his face had changed so much and 
grown so haggard since their entrance, that he a]most 
seemed another man. 
They were in the open road again, and John Willet was 
walking on behind his escort, as he had come, thinking very 
steadily of what he had just now seen, when Hugh drew 



262 


Barnaby Rudge 


him suddenly aside, and almost at the same instant three 
horsemen swept past-the nearest brushed his shoulder 
even then-who, checking their steeds as suddenly as they 
could, stood still, and waited for their coming up. 


CHAPTER XXXV 
WHEN John Willet saw that the horse
en wheeled 
smartly round, and drew up three abreast in the narrow 
road, waiting for him and his man to join them, it occurred 
to him with unusual precipitation that they must be high- 
waymen; and had Hugh been armed with a blunderbuss, 
in place of his stout cudgel, he would certainly have or- 
dered him to fire it off at a venture, and would, while the 
word of comand was obeyed, have consulted his own per- 
sonal safety in immediate flight. Un
er the circumstances 
of disadvantage, however, in which he and his guard were 
placed, he deemed it prudent to adopt a different style 
of generalship, and therefore whispered his attendant to 
address them in the most peaceable and courteous terms. 
By way of acting up to the spirit and letter of this instruc- 
tion, Hugh stepped forward, and flourishing his staff be- 
fore the very eyes of the rider nearest to him, demanded 
roughly what he and his fellows meant by so nearly gallop- 
ing over them, and t.rhy they scoured the King's highway 
at that late hour of night. 
The man whom he addressed was beginning an angry 
reply in the same strain, when he was checked by the horse- 
man in the centre, who, interposing with an air of author- 
ity! inquired in a somewhat loud but not harsh or unpleasant 
VOIce : 
" Pray, is this the London road? " 
" If you follo\v it right, it is," replied Hugh roughly. 
"
ay, brot
er," said the same person, "you're but a 
churlIsh Eng-hshman, if Englishman you be-which I 
should much d.oubt but for your tongue. Your companion, 
I am sure, wIll answer me more civilly. How say you, 
friend? " 
"I say it is the London road, sir," answered John. 
" And I wish," he added in a subdued voice as he turned 
to Hugh,." that you was in any other road, you vagabond. 
Are you tIred of your life, sir, that you go a-tryi!1g to pro- 



Barnaby Rudge 


26 3 


voke three great neck-or-nothing chaps, that could keep on 
running over us, back'ards and for'ards, till we was dead, 
and then take our bodies up behind 'em, and drown us ten 
miles off? " 
" How far is it to London? " inquired the same speaker. 
"Why, from here, sir," answered John, persuasively, 
"it's thirteen very easy mile." 
The adjective was thrown in, as an inducement to the 
travellers to ride away with all speed; but instead of hav- 
ing the desired effect, it elicited from the same person the 
remark, "Thirteen miles! That's a long distance!" 
which was followed by a short pause of indecision. 
" Pray," said the gentleman, " are there any inns here- 
abou ts? " 
At the word" inns," John plucked up his spirit in a sur- 
prising manner; his fears rolled off like smoke; all the land- 
lord stirred within him. 
" There are no inns," rejoined Mr. Willet, with a strong 
emphasis on the plural number; "but there's a Inn-one 
Inn-the Maypole Inn. That's a Inn indeed. You won't 
see the like of that Inn often." 
" You keep it, perhaps? " said the horseman, smiling. 
" I do, sir," replied John, greatly wondering how he had 
found this out. 
" And how far is the Maypole from here? " 
" About a mile "-John was going to add that it was the 
easiest mile in all the world, when the third rider, who had 
hitherto kept a little in the rear, suddenly interposed: 
"And have you one excellent bed, landlord? Hem! 
A bed that you can recommend-a bed that you are sure 
is well aired-a bed that has been slept in by some perfectly 
respectable and unexceptionable person? " 
" We don't take in no tagrag and bobtail at our house, 
sir," answered John. "And as to the bed itself-" 
" Say, as to three beds," interposed the gentleman who 
had spoken before; "for we shall want three if we stay, 
though my friend only speaks of one. " 
" No, no, my lord; you are too good, you are too kind; 
but your life is of far too much importance to the nation in 
these portentous times, to be placed upon a level with one 
so useless and so poor as mine. A great cause, my lord, a 
mighty cause, depends on you. You are its leader and its 
champion, its advanced guard and its van. It is the cause 
of our altars and our homes, our country and our faith. 



26 4 Barnaby Rudge 
Let me sleep on a chair-the carpet-anywhere. No one 
\vill repine if I take cold or fever. Let J o
n Ç;rueby p
ss 
the night beneath the open sky-no one win pine for h
m. 
But forty thousand men of this our island in the wave (ex- 
clusive of women and children) rivet their eyes and thoughts 
on Lord George Gordon; and every day, from the rising up 
of the sun to the going dow
 of the same, pr

 for. his .hea
th 
and vigour. My lord," said the speaker, riSing In his sÌlr- 
rups, " it is a glorious cause, and must not be forgotten. 
My lord, it is a mighty cause, and must not be endangered. 
My lord, it is a holy cause, an? must. not be d.eser
e
." 
" It is a holy cause," exclaimed his lordship, lIftIng up 
his hat with great solemnity. "Amen. " 
" John Grueby," said the long-winded gentleman, in a 
tone of mild reproof, " his lordshi p said Amen. " 
" I heard my lord, sir," said the man, sitting like a 
statue on his horse. 
" And do not you say Amen, likewise? " 
To which John Grueby made no reply at all, but sat look- 
ing straight before him. 
" You surprise me, Grueby," said the g-entleman. "At 
a crisis like the present, when Queen Elizabeth, that maiden 
monarch, weeps within her tomb and Bloody Mary, with a 
brow of gloom and shadow, stalks triumphant- " 
" Oh, sir," cried the man, gruffly, " where's the use of 
talking of Bloody Mary, under such circumstances as the 
present, when my lord's wet through, and tired with hard 
riding? Let's either go on to London, sir, or put up at 
once; or that unfort'nate Bloody Mary wiII have more to 
answer for-and she's done a deal more harm in her grave 
than she ever did in her Jifetime, I beIieve. " ' 
By this time Mr. Willet, who had never heard so many 
words spoken together at one time, or delivered with such 
volubility and emphasis as by the long-winded gentleinan; 
and whose brain, being wholly unable to sustain or com- 
pass them, had quite given itself up for lost; recovered so 
far as to observe that there was ample accommodation at 
the Maypole for. aB the party: good beds; neat wines; 
excellent entertainment for man and beast; private rooms 
for large and small parties; dinners dressed upon the 
shortest noti
e; choice stabling, and a lock-up coach- 
house; and, 10 shGrt, to run over such recommendatory 
scraps of language as were painted up on va!"ious portions 
of the building, and ,,'hich in the course of some forty years 



Barnaby Rudge 


26 5 


he had learnt to repeat with tolerable correctness. He was 
considering whether it was at all possible to insert any 
novel sentences to the same purpose, when the gentleman 
who had spoken first, turning to him of the long wind, 
exclaimed, "vVhat say you, Gashford? Shall we tarry at 
this house he speaks of, or press forward ? You shall 
decide. " 
" I would submit, my lord, then," returned the person 
he appealed to, in a silky tone, "that your health and 
spirits-so important, under Providence, to our great 
cause, our pure and truthful cause ' '-here his lordship 
pulled off his hat again, though it was raining hard- 
" require refreshment and repose." 
" Go on before, landlord, and show the way," said Lord 
George Gordon; " we will follow at a footpace." 
" If you'll give me leave, my lord," said John Grueby, 
in a low voice, "I'll change my proper place, and ride 
before you. The looks of the landlord's friend are not 
over honest, and it may be as well to be cautious with 
him. 11 
" John Grueby is quite right," interposed Mr. Gashford, 
faIling back hastily. "My lord, a life so precious as yours 
must not be put in peril. Go forward, John, by all means. 
If you have any reason to suspect the fellow, blow his 
brains out." 
John made no answer, but looking straight before him, 
as his custom seemed to be when the secretary spoke, bade 
Hugh push on, and followed close behind him. Then came 
his lordship, with Mr. Winet at his bridle rein; and, last of 
all, his lordship's secretary-for that, it seemed, was Gash- 
ford's office. 
Hugh strode briskly on, often looking back at the ser- 
vant, whose horse was close upon his heels, and glancing 
with a leer at his holster case of pistols, by which he 
seemed to set great store. He was a square-built, strong- 
made, bull-necked fellow, of the true Eng-lish breed; and 
as Hugh measured him with his eye, he 
easured Hugh, 
regarding him meanwhile with a look of bluff disdain. He 
was much older than the Maypole man, being to all appear- 
ance five-and-forty; but was one of those self-possessed, 
hard-headed, imperturbable fellows, who, if they are ever 
beaten at fisticuffs, or other kind of warfare, never know 
it, and go on coolly till they win. 
"If I led you wrong now, " said Hugh, tauntingly, 



266 


Barnaby Rudge 


"you'd-ha ha ha I-you'd shoot me through the head, I 
, , 
suppose. 
John Grueby took no more notice of this remark than 
if he had been deaf and Hugh dumb; but kept riding on 
quite comfortably, with his eyes fixed on the horizon. 
"Did you ever try a fall with a man when you were 
young, master? " said Hugh. "Can you make any play 
at single-stick? " 
John Grueby looked at him sideways with the same con- 
tented air, but deigned not a word in answer. 
"-Like this?" said Hugh, giving his cudgel one of 
those skilful flourishes, in which the rustic of that time 
delighted. "Whoop!" 
"-Or that," returned John Grueby, beating down his 
guard with his whip, and striking him on the head with its 
butt end. " Yes, I played a little once. You wear your 
hair too long; I should have cracked your crown if it had 
been a little shorter." 
I t was a pretty smart, loud-sounding rap, as it was, and 
evidently astonished Hugh; who, for the moment, seemed 
disposed to drag his new acquaintance from his saddle. 
But his face betokened neither malice, triumph, rage, nor 
any lingering idea that he had given him offence; his eyes 
gazing steadily in the old direction, and his manner being as 
careless and composed as if he had merely brushed away 
a fly; Hugh was so puzzled, and so disposed to look upon 
him as a customer of almost supernatural toughness, that 
he merely laughed, and cried " Well done! " then, sheer- 
ing off a little, led the way in silence. 
Before the lapse of many minutes the party halted at the 
Maypole door, Lord George and his secretary quickly dis- 
mounting, gave their horses to their servant, who, under 
the guidance of Hugh, repaired to the stables. Right glad 
to escape from the inclemency of the night, they followed 
Mr. 'Villet into the common room, and stood warming 
themselves and drying their clothes before the cheerful fire, 
while he busied himself with such orders and preparations 
as his guest's high quality required. 
As he bustled in and out of the room intent on these 
arrangements, he had an opportunity of observing the two 
travellers, of whom, as yet, he knew nothing but the voice. 
The lord, the great personage who did the Maypole so 
much honour, was about the middle height, of a slender 
make, and sallow complexion, with an aquiline nose, and 



Barnaby Rudge 


26 7 


long hair of reddish brown, combed perfectly straight and 
smooth about his ears, and slightly powdered, but \vithout 
the faintest vestige of a curl. He was attired, under his 
great-coat, in a full suit of black, quite free from any orna- 
ment, and of the most precise and sober cut. The gravity 
of his dress, together with a certain lankness of cheek and 
stiffness of deportment, added nearly ten years to his age, 
but his figure was that of one not yet past thirty. As he 
stood musing in the red glow of the fire, it was striking to 
observe his very bright large eye, which betrayed a rest- 
lessness of thought and purpose, singularly at variance 
with the studied composure and sobriety of his mien, and 
with his quaint and sad apparel. It had nothing harsh or 
cruel in its expression; neither had his face, which was thin 
and mild, and wore an air of melancholy; but it was sug- 
gestive of an indefinable uneasiness, which infected those 
vlho looked upon him, and filled them \vith a kind of pity 
for the man; though why it did so, they would have had 
some trouble to explain. 
Gashford, the secretary, was taIler, angularly made, 
high-shouldered, bony, and ungraceful. His dress, in 
imitation of his superior, was demure and staid in the ex- 
treme; his manner, formal and constrained. This gentle- 
man had an overhanging brow, great hands and feet and 
ears, and a pair of eyes that seemed to have made an 
unnatural retreat into his head, and to have dug themselves 
a cave to hide in. His manner was smooth and humble, 
but very sly and slinking. He wore the aspect of a man 
who was always lying in wait for something that wouldn't 
come to pass; but he looked patient-very patient-and 
fawned like a spaniel dog. Even now, while he warmed 
and rubbed his hands before the blaze, he had the air of 
one who only presumed to enjoy it in his degree as a 
commoner; and though he knew his lord was not regarding 
him, he looked into his face from time to time, and, with 
a meek and deferential manner, smiled as if for practice. 
Such were the guests whom old John Willet, with a 
fixed and leaden eye, surveyed a hundred times, and to 
whom he now advanced with a state candlestick in each 
hand, beseeching them to follow him into a worthier 
chamber. "For my lord," said John-it is odd enough, 
but certain people seem to have as great a pleasure in 
pronouncing titles as their owners have in wearing them- 
" this room, my lord, isn't at all the sort of place for your 



268 


Barnaby Rudge 


lordship, and I have to beg your lordship's pardon for 
keeping you here, my lord, one minute." .. 
With this address, John ushered them up stairs Into the 
state apartment, which, like many other things of state, 
,vas cold and comfortless. Their own footsteps, rever- 
berating through the spacious room, struck upon their 
hearing with a hollow sound; and its damp and chilly 
atll10sphere was rendered doubly cheerless by contrast with 
the homely warmth they had deserted. 
I t was of no use, however, to propose a return to the 
place they had quitted, for the preparations went on so 
briskly that there was no time to stop them. John, with 
the tall candlesticks in his hands, bowed them up to the 
fire-place; Hugh, striding in with a lighted brand and a 
pile of fire-wood, cast it down upon the hearth, and set it 
in a blaze; John Grueby (who had a great blue cockade in 
his hat, which he appeared to despise mightily) brought in 
the portmanteau he had carried on his horse, and placed it 
on the floor; and presently all three were busily engaged in 
drawing out the screen, laying the cloth, inspecting the 
beds, lighting fires in the bedrooms, expediting the supper, 
and making everything as cosy and as snug as might be, on 
so short a notice. In less than an hour's time, supper had 
been served, and ate, and cleared away; and Lord George 
and his secretary, with slippered feet, and legs 
stretched out before the fire, sat over some hot mulled 
wine together. 
" So ends, my lord," said Gashford, fining his glass with 
great complacency, "the blessed work of a most blessed 
day." 
" And of a blessed yesterday," said his lordship, raising 
his head. 
" Ah ! ' '-and here the secretary clasped his hands-" a 
blessed yesterday indeed! The Protestants of Suffolk are 
godly men and true. Though others of our countrymen 
have lost their way in darkness, even as we, my lord, did 
lose our road to-night, theirs is the light and glory." 
"Did I move them, Gashford? " said Lord George. 
" Move them, my lord! I\10ve them! They cried to be 
led on against the Papists, they vowed a dreadful ven- 
geance on their heads, they roared like men possessed-" 
" But not by devils, " said his lord. 
" By devils! my lord! By angels. " 
" Yes-oh surely-by angels, no doubt," said Lord 



Barnaby Rudge 


26 9 


George, thrusting his hands into his pockets, taking them 
out again to bite his nails, and looking uncomfortably at the 
fire. "Of course by angels-eh, Gashford? " 
" You do not doubt it, my lord? " said the secretary. 
" No-no," returned his lord. "N o. Why should I? 
I suppose it would be decidedly irreligious to doubt it- 
wouldn't it, Gashford? Though there certainly were," he 
added, \vithout waiting for an ans\ver, "some plaguy 
ill-looking characters among them." 
"'Vhen you warmed," said the secretary, looking 
sharply at the other's downcast eyes, which brightened 
slowly as he spoke; "\vhen you warmed into that noble 
outbreak; \vhen you told them that you \vere never of the 
luke-\varm or the timid tribe, and bade them take heed that 
they were prepared to foUow one who would lead them on, 
though to the very death; when you spoke of a hundred and 
Ì\venty thousand men across the Scottish border who \vould 
take their own redress at any time, if it \vere not conceded; 
when you cried' Perish the Pope and aU his base adherents; 
the penal laws against them shalI never be repealed while 
Englishmen have hearts and hands '-and waved your own 
and touched your sword; and when they cried 'No 
Popery!' and you cried 'N 0; not even if we wade in 
blood,' and they threw up their hats and cried 'Hurrah! 
not even if \ve wade in blood; No Popery! Lord George! 
Down with the Papists-Vengeance on their heads' : when 
this was said and done, and a word from you, my lord, 
could raise or still the tumult-ah ! then I felt what great- 
ness v,Yas indeed, and thought, \Vhen was there ever power 
like this of Lord George Gordon's! " 
"It's a great power. You're right. It is a great 
power! " he cried with sparkling eyes. "But-dear 
Gashford-did I really say aU that? " 
" And ho\v much 1110re! " cried the secretary, looking 
upwards. " Ah ! how much more! " 
" And I told them what you say,- about the one hundred 
and forty thousand men in Scotland, did I?" he asked with 
evident delight. " That was bold. " 
" Our cause is boldness. Truth is always bold. " 
"Certainly. So is religion. She's bold, Gashford? " 
U The true religion is, my lord." 
" And that's ours," he rejoined, moving uneasily in his 
seat, and biting his nails as though he would par
 them 
to the quick. "There can be no dou!?t of O1)rs beIng the 



27 0 


Barnaby Rudge 


true one. Y Oll feel as certain of that as I do, Gashford, 
don't you? " 
" Does my lord ask me," 
hined Gashford, drawing his 
chair nearer with an injured air, and laying his broad flat 
hand upon the table; " 1ne,:' he !epeated, bending the d
rk 
hollows of his eyes upon him with an un\vholesome smIle, 
., who stricken by the magic of his eloquence in Scotland 
but a 
ear ago, abjured the errors of the Romish Church, 
and clung to him as one whose timely hand had plucked me 
from a pit? " 
"True. No-no. I-I didn't mean it," replied the 
other, shaking him by the hand, rising from his seat, and 
pacing restlessly about the room. "It's a proud thing to 
lead the people, Gashford," he added as he made a sudden 
hal t. 
" By force of reason, too," returned the pliant secre- 
tary. 
" Ay, to be sure. They may cough, and jeer, and groan 
in Parliament, and call 111e fool and madman, but which of 
them can raise this human sea and make it swell and roar 
at pleasure? Not one. " 
" Not one," repeated Gashford. 
"Which of them can say for his honesty, \\1hat I can 
say for mine; which of them has refused a minister's bribe 
of one thousand pounds a year, to resign his seat in favour 
of another? Not one. " 
" Not one," repeated Gashford again-taking the lion's 
share of the mulled wine between whiles. 
" And as we are honest, true, and in a sacred cause, 
Gashford, " said Lord George with a heightened colour and 
in a louder voice, as he laid his fevered hand upon his 
shoulder, " and are the only men who regard the lnass of 
people out of doors, or are regarded by them, we will up- 
hold them to the last; and will raise a cry against these 
un-English Papists which shall re-echo through the 
country, and roll with a noise like thunder. I ,vill be 
worthy of the motto on my coat of arms 'Called and 
chosen and fai thful. ) " , 
n Called," said the secretary, "by Heaven." 
" I am." 
" Chosen by the people." 
" Yes. " 
" Faithful to both." 
" To the block! " 



Barnaby Rudge 


27 1 


It would be difficult to convey an adequate idea of the 
excited manner in which he gave these answers to the secre- 
tary's promptings; of the rapidity of his utterance, or the 
violence of his tone and gesture; in which, struggling 
through his Puritan's demeanour, was something wild and 
ungovernable which broke through all restraint. For some 
minutes he walked rapidly up and down the room, then 
stopping suddenly, exclaimed, 
" Gashford-Y ou moved them yesterday too. Dh yes! 
You did. ), 
" I shone with a reflected light, my lord," replied the 
humble secretary, laying his hand upon his heart. "I did 
my best. " 
, , You did well," said his master, " and are a great and 
worthy instrument. If you will ring for John Grueby to 
carry the portmanteau into my room, and will wait here 
while I undress, we will dispose of busine_ss as usual, if 
you're not too tired. " 
"Too tired, my lord !-But this is his consideration! 
Christian from head to foot." With which soliloquy, the 
secretary tilted the jug, and looked very hard into the 
mulled wine, to see how much remained. 
John Willet and John Grueby appeared together. The 
one bearing the great candlesticks, and the other the port- 
manteau, showed the deluded lord into his chamber; and 
left the secretary alone, to yawn and shake himself, and 
finally to fall asleep before the fire. 
" Now, Mr. Gashford, sir," said John Grueby in his ear, 
after what appeared to him a moment of unconsciousness; 
" my lord's abed. " 
"Oh. Very good, John," was his mild reply. "Thank 
you, John. Nobody need sit up. I know my room." 
" I hope you're not a going to trouble your head to- 
night, or my lord's head neither, with anything more about 
Bloody Mary, " said John. "I wish the blessed old 
creetur had never been born." 
" I said you 'might go to bed, John," returned the secre- 
tary. "Y ou didn't hear me, I think." 
"Between Bloody 
1arys, and blue cockades, and 
glorious Queen Besses, and no Poperys, and Protestant 
associations, and making of speeches," pursued John 
Grueby, looking, as usual, a long way off, and taking no 
notice of this hint, Cerny lord's half off his head. When we 
go out 0' doors, such a set of ragamuffins comes a shouting 



27 2 


Barnaby Rudge 


after us, 'Gordon for ever! ' that I'm ashamed of myself 
and don't know where to look. When we're in-doors they 
come a roaring and screaming about the house like so 
Illany devils; and my lord, instead of ordering them to be 
drove away, goes out into the balcony and denleans himself 
by making speeches to 'em, and calls 'em' Men of Eng- 
land,' and' Fellow-countrymen,' as if he was fond of 'em 
and thanked 'em for coming. I can't make it out, but 
they're all mixed up somehow or another \\-.ith that un- 
fort'nate Bloody Mary, and call her name out till they're 
hoarse. They're all Protestants too-every man and boy 
among 'em: and Protestants is very fond of spoons, I find, 
and silver-plate in general, whenever area-gates is left open 
accidentally. I wish that was the worst of it, and that no 
more harm might be to come; but if you don't stop these 
ugly customers in time, Mr. Gashford (and I know you; 
you're the man that blows the fire), you'l1 find 'em grow a 
little bit too strong for you. One of these ëvenings, when 
the weather gets warmer and Protestants are thirsty, 
they'll be pulling London down,-and I never heerd that 
Bloody Mary went as far as that. " 
Gashford had vanished long ago, and these remarks 
had been bestowed on empty air. Not at all discomposed 
by the discovery, John Grueby fixed his hat on, wrong side 
foremost that he might be unconscious of the shadow of the 
obnoxious cockade, and withdrew to bed; shaking his head 
in a very gloomy and prophetic manner until he reached 
his chamber. 


CHAPTER XXXVI 
GASHFORD, with a smiling face, but still with looks of 
profound deference and humility, betook himself towards 
his master's room, smoothing his hair down as he went, 
and humming a psalm tune. As he approached Lord 
George's door, he cleared his throat and hummed more 
vigorously. 
There was a remarkable contrast between this man's 
occupation at the moment, and the expression of his coun- 
tenance, which was singularly repulsive and malicious. 
His beetling brow almost obscured his eyes; his lip was 



Barnaby Rudge 


273 


curled contemptuously; his very shoulders seemed to sneer 
in stealthy whisperings with his great flapped ears. 
" Hush! " he muttered softly, as he peeped in at the 
chamber-door. "He seems to be asleep. Pray Heaven 
he is! Too much watching, too much care, too much 
thought-ah! Lord preserve him for a martyr! He is a 
saint, if ever saint drew breath on this bad earth." 
Placing his light upon a table, he walked on tiptoe to the 
fire, and sitting in a chair before it with his back towards 
the bed, went on communing with himself like one who 
thought aloud: 
" The saviour of his country and his country's religion, 
the friend of his poor countrymen, the enemy of the proud 
and harsh; beloved of the rejected and oppressed, adored 
by forty thousand bold and loyal English hearts-what 
happy slumbers his should be ! " And here he sighed, and 
warmed his hands, and shook his head as men do when 
their hearts are full, and heaved another sigh, and warmed 
his hands again. 
" \Vhy, Gashford? " said Lord George, \vho was lying 
broad awake, upon his side, and had been staring at him 
from his entrance. 
" My-my lord," said Gashford, starting and looking 
round as though in great surprise. "I have disturbed 
you ! " 
" I have not been sleeping." 
" Not sleeping! " he repeated, with assumed confusion. 
cc What can I say for having in your presence given ut- 
terance to tho\lghts-but they were sincere-they were sin- 
cere! " exclaimed the secretary, drawing- his sleeve in a 
hasty way across his eyes; " and why should I regret your 
having heard them? " 
" Gashford," said the poor lord, stretching out his hand 
with manifest emotion. "Do not regret it. You love me 
well, I know-too well. I don't deserve such homage. " 
Gashford made no reply, but grasped the hand and 
pressed it to his' lips. Then rising, and taking from the 
trunk a little desk, he placed it on a table near the fire, 
unlocked it with a key he carried in his pocket, sat down 
before it, took out a pen, and, before dipping it in the ink- 
stand, sucked it-to compose the fashion of his mouth 
perhaps, on which a smile was hovering yet. 
"How do our numbers stand since last enrolling- 
night?" inquired Lord George. cc Are we really forty 



274 


Barnaby Rudge 


thousand strong, or do we still speak in round numbers 
when we take the Association at that amount? " 
"Our total now exceeds that number by a score and 
three," Gashford replied, casting his eyes upon his papers. 
" The funds? " 
" Not very improving; but there is some manna in the 
wilderness, my lord. Hem! On Friday night the widows' 
mites dropped in. 'Forty scavengers, three and four- 
pence. An aged pew-opener of St. Martin's parish, six- 
pence. A bell-ringer of the Established Church, sixpence. 
A Protestant infant, newly born, one halfpenny. The 
United Link Boys, three shillings-one bad. The Anti- 
popish prisoners in N ewgate, five and fourpence. A friend 
in Bedlam, half-a-crown. Dennis the hangman, one 
shilling. ' " 
" That Dennis," said his lordship, " is an earnest man. 
I marked him in the crowd in W elbeck Street, last Fri- 
day. " 
" A good man," rejoined the secretary; " a staunch, sin- 
cere, and truly zealous man. " 
" He should be encouraged, " said Lord George. "Make 
a note of Dennis. I'll talk with him. " 
Gashford obeyed, and went on reading from his list: 
" , The Friends of Reason, half-a-guinea. The Friends 
of Liberty, half-a-guinea. The Friends of Peace, haIf-a- 
guinea. The Friends of Charity, half-a-guinea. The 
Friends of Mercy, half-a-guinea. The Associated Remem- 
berers of Bloody Mary, half-a-guinea. The United Bull- 
Dogs, half-a-guinea.' " 
" The United Bull-Dogs," said Lord George, biting his 
nails most horribly, " are a new society, are they not? " 
" Formerly the 'Prentice Knights, my lord. The inden- 
tures of the old members expiring by degrees, they changed 
their name, it seems, though they still have 'prentices 
among them, as well as workmen. " 
"What is their president's name?" inquired Lord 
George. 
" President," said Gashford, reading, "Mr. Simon 
Tappertit. " 
"I remember him. The little man, who sometimes 
brings an elderly sister to our meetings, and sometimes 
another female too, who is conscientious, I have no doubt, 
.but not well-favoured? " 
" The very same, my lord." 



Barnaby Rudge 


275 


"Tappertit is an earnest man," said Lord George 
thoughtfully. "Eh, Gashford? " 
" One of the foremost among them aU, my lord. He 
snuffs the battle from afar, like the war-horse. He 
throws his hat up in the street as if he were inspired, 
and n1akes most stirring speeches from the shoulders of 
his friends. " 
" Make a note of Tappertit," said Lord George Gordon. 
" We may advance him to a place of trust." 
" That, U rejoined the secretary, doing as he was told, " is 
all-except Mrs. Varden's box (fourteenth time of opening), 
seven shillings and sixpence in silver and copper, and haif- 
a-guinea in gold; and Miggs (being the saving of a quar- 
ter's 'wages), one-and-threepence." 
" Miggs," said Lord George. "Is that a man? " 
" The name is entered on the list as a woman," replied 
the secretary. "I think she is the tall spare female of 
whom you spoke just now, my lord, as not being well- 
favoured, who sometimes comes to hear the speeches- 
along with Tappertit and Mrs. Varden." 
"Mrs. Varden is the elderly lady then, is she? " 
The secretary nodded, and rubbed the bridge of his nose 
with the feather of his pen. 
"She is a zealous sister," said Lord George. "Her 
collection goes on prosperously, and is pursued with fer- 
vour. Has her husband joined? " 
" A malignant," returned the secretary, folding up his 
papers. "Unworthy such a wife. He remains in outer 
darkness, and steadily refuses." 
"The consequences be upon his own head !-Gash- 
ford ! " 
" My lord! " 
" You don't think, " 'he turned restlessly in his bed as he 
spoke, "these people will desert me, when the hour ar- 
rives? I have spoken boldly for them, ventured much, 
suppressed nothit;lg. They'll not fall off, will they? " 
"No fear of that, my lord," said Gashford, with a 
meaning Jook, which was rather the involuntary expres- 
sion of his own thoughts than intended as any confirmation 
of his words, for the other's face 'was turned away. "Be 
sure there is no fear of that. " 
" Nor," he said with a more restless motion than before, 
" of their-but they can sustain no harm from leaguing 
for this purpose. Right is on our side, though Might 



?7 6 


Barnaby Rudge 


may be against us. You feel as sure of that as 1- 
honestly, you do? " 
The secretary was beginning with ' , You do not doubt," 
when the other interrupted him, and impatiently rejoined: 
"Doubt. No. Who says I doubt? If I doubted, 
should I cast away relatives, friends, everything, for this 
unhappy coun
ry's sake; this unhappy country," he cried, 
springing up in bed, after repeating the phrase" unhappy 
country's sake" to himself, at least a dozen times, "for- 
saken of God and man, delivered over to a dangerous con- 
federacy of Popish powers; the prey of corruption, idola- 
try, and despotism! Who says I doubt? Am I called, 
and chosen, and faithful? Tell me. Am I, or am I 
not? " 
" To God, the country, and yourself," cried Gashford. 
"I am. I will be. I say again, I will be: to the 
block. Who says as much! Do you? Does any man 
alive? " 
The secretary drooped his head with an expression of 
perfect acquiescence in anything that had been said or 
might be; and Lord George gradually sinking down upon 
his pillow, fell asleep. 
Although there was something very ludicrous in his 
vehement manner, taken in conjunction \vith his meagre 
aspect and ungraceful presence, it would scarcely have 
provoked a smile in any man of kindly feeling; or even 
if it had, he would have felt sorry and almost angry '\vith 
himself next moment, for yielding to the impulse. This 
lord was sincere in his violence and in his wavering. A 
nature prone to false enthusiasm, and the vanity of being 
a leader, were the worst qualities apparent in his com- 
position. All the rest was weakness-sheer weakness; 
anç it is the unhappy lot of thoroughly weak men, that 
their very sympathies, affections, confidences-all the 
qualities which in better constituted minds are virtues- 
dwindle into foibles, or turn into downright vices. 
Gashford, with many a sly look towards the bed, sat 
chuckling at his master's folly, until his deep and heavy 
breathing warned him that he might retire. Locking his 
desk, and replacing it within the trunk (but not before he 
had taken from a secret lining two printed handbills) he 
cautiously withdrew; looking back, as he \vent, at the 
pale face of the slumbering man, above whose head the 
dusty plumes that crowned the Maypole couch \vaved 
drearily and sadly as though it were a. bier. 



r Stopping on the staircase to listen that all was quiet, 
and to take off his shoes lest his footsteps should alarm 
any light sleeper who might be near at hand, he descended 
to the ground floor, and thrust one of his bills beneath 
the great door of the house. That done, he crept softly 
back to his own chamber, and from the window let another 
falI--carefully wrapped round a stone to save it from the 
wind-into the yard below. 
They were addressed on the back" To every Protestant 
into whose hands this shall come," and bore within \vhat 
follows: 
"Men and Brethren. Whoever shall find this letter 
will take it as a \varning to join, without delay, the friends 
of Lord George Gordon. There are great events at hand; 
and the times are dangerous and troubled. Read this care- 
fully, keep it clean, and drop it somewhere else. For 
King and Coun try. Union. " 
" More seed, more seed," said Gashford as he closed 
the window. "When will the harvest come! " 


Barnaby Rudge 


277 


CHAPTER XXXVII 


To surround anything, however monstrous or ridicu- 
lous, \vith an air of mystery, is to invest it with a secret 
charm, and power of attraction which to the crowd is 
irresistible. False priests, false prophets, false doctors, 
false patriots, false prodigies of every kind, veiling their 
proceedings in mystery, have always addressed them- 
selves at an immense advantage to the popular credulity, 
and have been, perhaps, more indebted to that resource in 
gaining and keeping for a time the upper hand of Truth 
and Common Sense, than to any half-dozen items in the 
whole catalogue of imposture. Curiosity is, and has been 
from the creation of the world, a master-passion. To 
awaken it, to gratify it by slight degrees, and yet leave 
something always in suspense, is to establish the surest 
hold that can be had, in wrong, on the unthinking portion 
of mankind. 
If a man had stood on London Bridge, calling till he 
was hoarse, upon the passers-by, to join with Lord 
George Gordon, although for an object which no nlan 



27 8 


Barnaby Rudge 


understood, and which in that very incident had a charm 
of its own,-the probability is, that he n1ight have influ- 
enced a score of people in a month. If all zealous Protest- 
ants had been publicly urged to join an association for 
the avowed purpose of singing a hymn or two occasion- 
ally, and hearing some indifferent speeches made, and 
ultimately of petitioning Parliament not to pass an act 
for abolishing the penal laws against Roman Catholic 
priests, the penalty of perpetual imprisonment denounced 
against those who educated children in that persuasion, 
and the disqualification of all members of the Romish 
Church to inherit real property in the United Kingdom by 
right of purchase or descent,-matters 
o far removed 
from the business and bosoms of the mass, might per- 
haps have called together a hundred people. But when 
vague rum ours got abroad, that in this Protestant asso- 
ciation a secret power was mustering against the govern- 
ment for undefined and mighty purposes; when the air 
was filled with whispers of a confederacy among the 
Popish powers to degrade and enslave England, establish 
an Inquisition in London, and turn the pens of Smithfield 
Market into stakes and cauldrons; when terrors and 
alarms which no man understood were perpetually 
broached, both in and out of Parliament, by one enthu- 
siast "vho did not understand himself, and bygone bug- 
bears which had lain quietly ï.n their graves for centuries, 
were raised again to haunt the ignorant and.. credulous; 
when all this was done, as it were, in the dark, and 
secret invitations to join the Great Protestant Association 
in defence of religion, life, and liberty, were dropped in 
the public ways, thrust under the house-doors, tossed in 
at windows, and pressed into the hands of those who trod 
the streets by night; when they g-Iared from every "vall, 
and shone on every post and pillar, so that stocks and 
stones appeared infected with the common fear, urging 
all men to join together blindfold in resistance of they 
knew not what, they kne\v not why;-then the mania 
spread indeed, and the body, still increasing every day, 
grew forty thousand strong. 
So said, at least, in this month of March, 1780, Lord 
George Gordon, the Association's president. vVhether it 
was the fact or otherwise, few men knew or cared to as- 
certain. It had never made any public demonstration; 
had scarcely ever been heard of, save through hin1; had 



Barnaby Rudge 


279 


never been seen; and was supposed by many to be the 
mere creature of his disordered brain. He was accus- 
tomed to talk largely about numbers of men-stimulated, 
as it was inferred, by certain successful disturbances aris- 
ing out of the same subject, which had occurred in Scot- 
land in the previous year; was looked upon as a cracked- 
brained member of the Lower House, who attacked all 
parties and sided with none, and was very little regarded. 
I twas kno\vn that there was discontent abroad-there 
always is; he had been accustomed to address the people 
by placard, speech, and pamphlet, upon other questions; 
nothing had come, in England, of his past exertions, and 
nothing was apprehended from his present. Just as he has 
corne upon the reader, he had come, from time to time, 
upon the public, and been forgotten in a day; as suddenly 
as he appears in these pages, after a blank of five long 
years, did he and his proceedings begin to force themselves 
about this period, upon the notice of thousands of people, 
who had mingled in active life during the whole interval, 
and who, without being deaf or blind to passing events, 
had scarcely ever thought of him before. 
" M v lord, J, said Gashford in his ear, as he drew the 
curtaiñs of his bed betimes; " my lord ! " 
" Yes-who's that? What is it? " 
"The clock has struck nine," returned the secretary, 
with meekly-folded hands. ' , You have slept well? I 
hope you have slept well? If my prayers are heard, you 
are refreshed indeed. " 
"To say the truth, I have slept so soundly," said 
Lord George, rubbing his eyes and looking round 
the room, "that I don't remember quite-what place is 
this? " 
" My lord! " cried Gashford, with a smile. 
" Oh ! " returned his superior. "Yes. You're not a 
Jew then? " 
" A Jew! " 
xclaimed the pious secretary, recoiling. 
" I dreamed that we were Jews, Gashford. You and I 
-both of us-Jews with long beards." 
" Heaven forbid, my lord! \Ve might as well be Pap- 
ists. " 
" I suppose we might," returned the other, very quickly. 
" Eh? You really think so, Gashford? " 
" 
urely I do," the secretary cried, with looks of great 
surpnse. 



280 


Barnaby Rudge 


" Humph 1 " he muttered. " Yes, that seems reason- 
able. " 
" I hope, my lord-" the secretary began. 
" Hope! " he echoed, interrupting him. "Why do you 
say you hope? There's no harm in thinking of such 
things. " 
" Not in dreams," returned the secretary. 
" In dreams! No, nor waking either." 
-" , CalIed, and chosen, and faithful, ' " said Gashford, 
taking up Lord George's watch, which lay upon a chair, and 
seeming to read the inscription on the seal, abstractedly. 
I t was the slightest action possible, not obtruded on his 
notice, and apparently the result of a moment's absence of 
mind, not worth remark. But as the words were uttered,' 
Lord George, who had been going on impetuously, stopped 
short, reddened, and was silent. Apparently quite uncon- 
scious of this change in his demeanour, the wily secretary 
stepped a little apart, under pretence of pulling up the 
window-blind, and returning, when the other had had time 
to recover, said : 
" The holy cause goes bravely on, my lord. I was not 
idle, even last night. I dropped two of the handbills before 
I went to bed, and both are gone this morning. Nobody 
in the house has mentioned the circumstance of finding 
them, though I have been down stairs full half an hour. 
One or two recruits wilI be their first fruit, I predict; and 
who shall say how many more, with Heaven's blessing on 
your inspired exertions! " 
" It was a famous device in the beginning, " replied Lord 
George; "an exce1Ient device, and did good service in 
Scotland. It was quite worthy of you. You remind me 
not to be a sluggard, Gashford, when the vineyard is men- 
aced with destruction, and may be trodden down by Papist 
feet. Let the horses be saddled in half an hour. We 
must be up and doing! " 
He said this with a heightened colour, and in a tone of 
such enthusiasm, that the secretary deemed all further 
prompting needless, and withdrew. 
-" Dreamed he was a Jew, " he said thoughtfully, as he 
closed the bedroom door. "He may come to that before 
he dies. It's like enough. We1I! After a time, and pro- 
vided I lost nothing by it, I don't see why that religion 
shouldn't suit me as well as any other. There are rich 
men among the Jews; shaving is very troublesome j-yes, 



Barnaby Rudge 


281 


it would suit me well enough. For the present, though, we 
must be Christian to the core. Our prophetic motto will 
suit an creeds in their turn, that's a comfort. " Reflecting 
on this source of consolation, he reached the sitting-room 
and rang the bell for breakfast. 
Lord George \vas quickly dressed (for his plain toilet was 
easily made), and as he was no less frugal in his repasts 
than in his Puritan attire, his share of the meal was soon 
despatched. The secretary, however, n10re devoted to the 
good things of this \vorld, or more intent on sustaining his 
strength and spirits for the sake of the Protestant cause, 
ate and drank to the last minute, and required indeed some 
three or four reminders from John Grueby, before he could 
resolve to tear himself away from Mr. Willet's plentiful 
providing. 
At length he came down stairs, \viping his greasy mouth, 
and having paid John Willet's bill, clin1bed into his saddle. 
Lord George, who had been walking up and do\vn before 
the house talking to himself \vith earnest gestures, mounted 
his horse; and returning old John \VilIet's stately bo\v, as 
weB as the parting salutation of a dozen idlers whom the 
rumour of a live lord being about to leave the Maypole had 
gathered round the porch, they rode away, with stout John 
Grueby in the rear. 
If Lord George Gordon had appeared in the eyes of Mr. 
Willet over-night a nobleman of somewhat quaint and 
odd exterior, the impression was confirmed this morning 
and increased a hundredfold. Sitting bolt upright upon 
his bony steed, with his long, straight hair dangling about 
his face and fluttering in the wind; his limbs all angular 
and rigid, his elbo\vs stuck out on either side ungracefully, 
and his \vhole frame jogged and shaken at every motion 
of his horse's feet; a more grotesque or more ungainly 
figure can hardly be conceived. In lieu of whip, he carried 
in his hand a great gold-headed cane, as large as any foot- 
man carries in these days; and his various modes of hold- 
ing this unwieldy. weapon-now upright before his face like 
the sabre of a horse-soldier, now over his shoulder like a 
musket, now bet\veen his finger and thumb, but alwqys in 
some uncouth and awk\vard fashion--contributed in no 
small degree to the absurdity of his appearance. Stiff, 
lank, and solemn, dressed in an unusual n1anner, and osten- 
tatiously exhibiting-whether by design or accident-aU 
his peculiarities of carriage, gesture, and conduct; all the 



282 


Barnaby Rudge 


qualities, natural and artificial, in \vhich he differed from 
other men; he might have moved the sternest looker- 
on to laughter, and fully provoked the smiles and whis- 
pered jests which greeted his departure from the Maypole 
Inn. 
Quite unconscious, ho\vever, of the effect he produced, 
he trotted on beside his secretary, talking to himself nearly 
an th
 \vay, until they came \vithin a mile or two of London, 
when no\v and then some passenger went by who knew him 
by sight, and pointed him out to some one else, and perhaps 
stood looking- after him, or cried in jest or earnest as it 
might be, "Hurrah, Geordie! No Popery!" At which 
he \vould gravely pull off his hat, and bow. When they 
reached the to\vn and rode along the streets, these notices 
became more frequent; some laughed, some hissed, some 
turned their heads and smiled, some wondered who he was, 
some ran along the pavement by his side and cheered. 
When this happened in a crush of carts and chairs and 
coaches, he \vould make a dead stop, and pulling off his 
hat cry" Gentlemen, No Popery! " to which the gentlemen 
\vould respond with lusty voices, and with three times 
three; and then, on he would go again with a score or so of 
the raggedest, follo\ving at his horse's heels, and shouting 
tin their throats were parched. 
The old ladies too-there \vere a great many old ladies 
in the streets, and these an knew him. Some of them- 
not those of the highest rank, but such as sold fruit from 
baskets and carried burdens-clapped their shrivelled 
hands, and raised a weazen, piping, shrill " Hurrah, my 
lord!" Others waved their hands or handkerchiefs, or 
shook their fans or parasols, or threw up windows and 
called in haste to those within, to come and see. AU these 
marks of popular esteem, he received with profound gravity 
and respect; bowing very low, and so frequently that his 
hat \vas more off his head than on; and looking up at the 
houses as he passed along, \vith the air of one \vho was 
making a public entry, and yet was not puffed-up or proud. 
So they rode (to the deep and unspeakable disgust of John 
Grueby) the whole length of Whitechapel, Leadenhall 
Street, and Cheapside, and into St. Paul's Churchyard. 
Arriving close to the cathedral, he halted; spoke to Gash- 
ford; and looking upward at its lofty dome, shook his head, 
as though he said "The Church in Danger! " Then to 
be sure, the bystanders stretched their throats indeed; and 



Barnaby Rudge 


28 3 


he went on again with mighty acclamations from the mob, 
and lower bows than ever. 
So along the Strand, up S\vallow Street, into the Oxford 
Road, and thence to his house in Welbeck Street, near 
Cavendish Square, whither he was attended by a few dozen 
idlers; of \vhom he took leave on the steps with this brief 
parting, " Gentlemen, No Popery. Good day. God bless 
you. " This, being rather a shorter address than they ex- 
pected, was received with some displeasure, and cries of 
" A speech! a speech! " which might have been con1plied 
with, but that John Grueby, making a mad charge upon 
them with all three horses, on his way to the stables, caused 
them to disperse into the adjoining fields, where they pre- 
sently fell to pitch and toss, chuck-farthing, odd or even, 
dog-fighting, and other Protestant recreations. 
In the afternoon Lord George came forth again, dressed 
in a black velvet coat, and trousers and waistcoat of the 
Gordon plaid, all of the same Quaker cut; and in this cos- 
tume, which made him look a dozen times more strange 
and sing-ular than before, went down on foot to Westmin- 
ster. Gashford, n1eanwhile, bestirred himself in business 
matters; with which he was still engaged when, shortly 
after dusk, John Grueby entered and announced a visitor. 
" Let him come in," said Gashford. 
" Here! Come in ! " growled John to somebody \vith- 
out. " You're a Protestant, an't you? " 
" I should think so," replied a deep, gruff voice. 
" You've the looks of it," said John Grueby. " I'd 
have known you tor one, anywhere." With which re- 
mark he gave the visitor admission, retired, and shut the 
door. 
The man who now confronted Gashford was a squat, 
thickset personage, \vith a low retreating forehead, a 
coarse shock head of hair, and eyes so small and near to- 
gether, that his broken nose alone seemed to prevent their 
meeting and fusing into one of the usual size. A dingy 
handkerchief Ì\visted like a cord about his neck left its 
great veins exposed to view, and they were swollen and 
starting, as though with gulping do\vn strong passions, 
malice, and ill-will. His dress was of threadbare velveteen 
-a faded, rusty, \vhitened black, like the ashes of a pipe 
or a coal fire after a day's extinction; discoloured with the 
soils of many a stale debauch, and reeking yet with pot- 
house odours. In lieu of buckles at his knees, he wore un- 



z84 


Barnaby Rudge 


equal loops of packthread; and. in his grimy h
nds he held 
a knotted stick, the knob of which was carved Into a rough 
likeness of his own vile face. Such was the visitor who 
doffed his three-cornered hat in Gashford's presence, and 
waited, leering, for his notice. 
" Ah! Dennis! " cried the secretary. "Sit down." 
" I see my lord down yonder- " cried the man, with a 
jerk of his thumb towards the quarter that he spoke of, 
" and he says to me, says my lord, ' If you've nothing to 
do, Dennis, go up to my house and talk with Muster Gash- 
ford.' Of course I'd nothing to do, you know. These 
an't my working hours. Ha, ha! I was a taking the air 
when I see my lord, that's what I was doing. I takes the 
air by night, as the howls does, Muster Gashford. " 
" And sometimes in the day-time, eh? " said the secre- 
tary-" when you go out in state, you know." 
" Ha, ha ! " roared the fellow, smiting his leg; " for a 
gentleman as 'ull say a pleasant thing in a pleasant way, 
give me Muster Gashford agin' all London and Westmin- 
ster! My lord an't a bad 'un at that, but he's a fool to 
you. Ah, to be sure,-when I go out in state. " 
"And have your carriage," said the secretary, "and 
your chaplain, eh? and all the rest of it? tt 
" You'll be the death of me," cried Dennis, with another 
roar, "you will. But what's in the wind now, Muster 
Gashford, " he asked hoarsely, "eh? Are we to be under 
orders to pull down one of them Popish chapels-or what?" 
" Hush!" said the secretary, suffering the faintest 
smile to play upon his face. "Hush! God bless me, 
Dennis! We associate, you know, for strictly peaceable 
and lawful purpses. " 
" 1 know, bless you," returned the man, thrusting his 
tongue into his cheek; " I entered a' purpose, didn't I ! tt 
" No doubt, tt said Gashford, smiling as before. And 
w?en he said so, Dennis roared again, and smote his leg 
st!ll harder, and falling into fits of laughter, wiped his eyes 
with the corner of his neckerchief, and cried "Muster 
Gashford again' all England-hollow! " 
" Lord George and I were talking of you last night," 
said Gashford, after a pause. "He says you are a very 
earnest fenow. tt 
" So I am, tt returned the hangman. 
" And that you truly hate the Papists. " 
" So I do," and he confirmed it with a good round oath. 



Barnaby Rudge 


28 5 


" Lookye here, Muster Gashford," said the fellow) laying 
his hat and stick upon the floor, and slowly beating the 
palm of one hand with the fingers of the other. " Ob-serve. 
I'm a constitutional officer that works for my living, and 
does my work creditable. Do I, or do I not? " 
" Unquestionably. " 
" Very good. Stop a minute. My work is sound, Pro- 
testant, constitutional, English work. Is it, or is it not? " 
" No man alive can doubt it. " 
" Nor dead neither. Parliament says this here--says 
Parliament, ' If any man, woman, or child, does anything 
which goes again a certain number of our acts '-how 
many hanging laws may there be at this present time, 
Muster Gashford? Fifty?" 
" I don't exactly know how many," replied Gashford, 
leaning back in his chair and yawning; " a great number 
though. " 
" Well, say fifty. Parliament says' If any man, woman, 
or child, does anything again anyone of them fifty acts, 
that man, woman, or child, shall be worked off by Dennis.' 
George the Third steps in when they number very strong 
at the end of a sessions, and says' These are too many for 
Dennis. I'll have half for myself, and Dennis shall have 
half for himself ' ; and sometimes he throws me in one over 
that I don't expect, as he did three year ago, when I got 
:J\1ary Jones, a young woman of nineteen who come up to 
Tyburn with a infant at her breast, and was worked off for 
taking a piece of cloth off the counter of a shop in Ludgate 
Hill, and putting it down again when the shopman see 
her; and who had never done any harm before, and only 
tried to do that, in consequence of her husband having been 
pressed three weeks previous, and she being left to beg, 
with two young- children-as was proved upon the trial. 
Ha, ha !-Well! That being the law and the practice of 
England is the glory of England, an't it, Muster Gash- 
ford? " 
" Certainly," 'said the secretary. 
" And in times to come," pursued the hangman, " if our 
grandsons should think of their grandfathers' times, and 
find these things altered, they'll say' Those \vere days in- 
deed, and we've been going down hill ever since. '-\rVon't 
they, Muster Gashford? " 
" I have no doubt they will," said the secretary. 
" Well then, look here," said the hang-man. "If these 



286 


Barnaby Rudge 


Papists gets into power and begins to boil and roast instead 
of hang, what becomes of my work! If they touch my 
work that's a part of so many laws, what. b
comes ot the 
laws in general, what becomes of the religion, what be- 
comes of the country I-Did you ever go to church, Muster 
Gashford? " 
" Ever! " repeated the secretary with some indignation; 
" of course.)) 
" vVell," said the ruffian, "I've been once-twice, 
counting the time I was christened-and when I heard the 
Parliament prayed for, and thought ho'\v many new hang- 
ing laws they made every sessions, I considered that I was 
prayed for. N o'\v mind, Muster Gashford,)' said the fel- 
low, taking up his stick and shaking it \vith a ferocious 
air, " I mustn't have my Protestant work touched, nor this 
here Protestant state of things altered in no degree, if I 
can help it; I mustn't have no Papists interfering \vith me, 
unless they come to me to be worked off in course of law; 
I mustn't have no biling, no roasting, no frying-nothing 
but hanging. My lord may \vell call me an earnest fellow. 
In support of the great Protestant principle of having plenty 
of that, I'll," and here he beat his club upon the ground, 
"burn, fight, kill-do anything you bid me, so that it's 
bold and devilish-though the end of it was, that I got 
hung myself.- There, lVIuster Gashford. " 
He appropriately followed up this frequent prostitution 
of a noble word to the vilest purposes, by pouring out in a 
kind of ecstasy at least a score of most tremendous oaths; 
then wiped his heated face upon his neckerchief, and cried, 
" No Popery! I'm a religious man, by G- ! " 
Gashford had leant back in his chair, regarding him with 
eyes so sunken, and so shadowed by his heavy brows, that 
for aught the hangman saw of them, he might have been 
s.tone blind. He remained smiling in silence for a short 
time longer, and then said, slo'\vly and distinctly: 
, , You are indeed an earnest fellow, Dennis-a most 
valuable fellow-the staunchest man I know of in our 
ranks. 
ut you must calm yourself; you must be peaceful, 
lawful, mIld as any lamb. I am sure Y OU will be thou g h." 
" A ' 
y, ay, we shall see, Muster Gashford, we shall see. 
You won't have to complain of me," returned the other 
shaking his head. ' 
." I am sure I 
hall not," said the secretary in the same 
mild tone, and with the same emphasis. ' , We shall have, 



Barnaby Rudge 


28 7 


we think, about next month, or May, when this Papist 
Relief Bill comes before the house, to convene our whole 
body for the first time. My lord has thoughts of our walk- 
ing in procession through the streets-just as an inpocent 
display of strength-and accompanying our petition down 
to the door of the House of Commons." 
"The sooner the better," said Dennis, with another 
oath. 
" We shall have to draw up in divisions, our numbers 
being so large; and, I believe I may venture to say," re- 
sumed Gashford, affecting not to hear the interruption, 
" though I have no direct instructions to that effect-that 
Lord George has thought of you as an excellent leader for 
one of these parties. I have no doubt you would be an 
admirable one. ' , 
" Try me, " said the fellow, with an ugly wink. 
" You would be cool, I know," pursued the secretary, 
still smiling, and still managing his eyes so that he could 
watch him closely, and really not be seen in turn, 
" obedient to orders, and perfectly temperate. You would 
lead your party into no danger, I am certain. " 
" I'd lead them, Muster Gashford "-the hangman was 
beginning in a reckless 'way, when Gashford started for- 
ward, laid his finger of his lips, and feigned to write, just 
as the door was opened by John Grueby. 
" Oh ! " said John, looking in; "here's another Pro- 
testant. " 
"Some other room, John, " cried Gashford in his 
blandest voice. "I am engaged just no\v." 
But John had brought this new visitor to the door, and 
he \valked in unbidden, as the words were uttered; giving 
to view the form and features, rough attire, and reckless 
air, of Hugh. 


. CHAPTER XXXVIII 


THE secretary put his hand before his eyes to shade them 
from the glare of the lamp, and for some moments looked 
at Hugh with a fro\vning brow, as if he remembered to 
have seen him lately, but could not can to mind where, or 
on what occasion. His uncertainty \vas very brief, for 
before Hugh had spoken a word, he said, as his counten- 
ance cleared up : 



288 


Barnaby Rudge 


" Ay, ay, I recollect. It's quite right, John, you needn't 
wait. Don't go, Dennis." 
"Your s
rvant, master," said Hugh, as Grueby dis- 
appea
ed. 
, , Yours, friend," returned the secretary in his smoothest 
manner. "What brings you here ? We left nothing 
behind us, I hope? " 
Hugh gave a short laugh, and thrusting his hand into 
his breast, produced one of the handbills, soiled and dirty 
from lying out of doors all night, 'which he laid upon the 
secretary's desk after flattening it upon his knee, and 
smoothing out the \vrinkles with his heavy palm. 
" Nothing but that, master. It fell into good hands, you 
see. " 
"'Vhat is this?" said Gashford, turning it over with 
an air of perfectly natural surprise. "Where did you g-et 
it from, my good fellow; what does it mean? I don't 
understand this at all. ' , 
A little disconcerted by this reception, Hugh looked from 
the secretary to Dennis, \vho had risen and was standing 
at the table too, observing the stranger by stealth, and 
seeming to derive the utmost satisfaction from his manner 
and appearance. Considering hilTIself silently appealed to 
by this action, Mr. Dennis shook his head thrice, as if to 
say of Gashford, "No. He don't kno\v anything at all 
about it. I know he don't. I'll take my oath he don't" ; 
and hiding his profile from Hugh \vith on
 long end of his 
fro\vsy neckerchief, nodded and chuckled behind this screen 
in extreme approval of the secretary's proceedings. 
" It tells the man that finds it to come here, don't it? " 
asked Hugh. "I'm no scholar, myself, but I sho\ved it to 
a friend, and he said it did. " 
" It certainly does," said Gashford, op
ning his eyes to 
their utmost width; "really this is the most remarkable 
circunlstance I have ever known. How did you come by 
this piece of paper, my good friend? " 
"Muster Gashford," \vheezed the hangman under his 
breath, " agin all N e\vgate ! " 
Whether Hugh heard him, or saw by his manner that 
he was being played upon, or perceived the secretary's 
drift of himself, he came in his blunt way to the point at 
once. 
" Here! " he said, stretching out his hand and taking it 
back; "never mind the bill, or what it says, or what it 



Barnaby Rudge 


28 9 


don't say. You don't know anything about it, master ,- 
no n10re do I,-no more does he," glancing at Dennis. 
ee None of us know what it means, or where it comes from: 
there's an end of that. Now I want to make one against 
the Catholics, I'm a No-Popery man, and ready to be sworn 
in. That's what I've come here for." 
" Put him down on the roll, Muster Gashford," said 
Dennis approvingly. II That's the way to go to work- 
right to the end at once, and no palaver. " 
" What's the use of shooting wide of the mark, eh, old 
boy! " cried Hugh. 
"My sentiments aU over!" rejoined the hangman. 
" This is the sort of chap for my division, Muster Gash- 
ford. Down with him, sir. Put him on the roll. I'd 
stand godfather to him, if he was to be christened in a 
bonfire, made of the ruins of the Bank of England." 
With these and other expressions of confidence of the like 
flattering kind, Mr. Dennis gave him a hearty slap on the 
back, which Hugh was not slow to return. 
ee No Popery, brother! " cried the hangman. 
" No Popery, brother! " responded Hugh. 
"Popery, Popery," said the secretary with his usual 
mildness. 
" It's all the same! " cried Dennis. "It's all right. 
Down with him, Muster Gashford. Down with everybody, 
down with everything! Hurrah for the Protestant re- 
ligion! That's the time of day, Muster Gashford ! " 
The secretary regarded them both with a very favourable 
expression of countenance, while they gave loose to thest" 
and other demonstrations of their patriotic purpose; and 
was about to make some remark aloud, when Dennis, 
stepping up to him, and shading his mouth with his 
hand, said, in a hoarse whisper, as he nudged him with 
his elbow: 
" Don't split upon a constitutional officer's profession, 
Muster Gashford. There are popular prejudices, you 
know, and he mightn't like it. Wait tin he comes to bc. 
more intimate with me. He's a fine-built chap, an't he? 'I 
C, A powerful fellow indeed! " 
" Did you ever, Muster Gashford," whispered Dennis, 
with a horrible kind of admiration, such as that with which 
a cannibal might regard his intimate friend, w'hen hungry, 
_cc did you ever "-and here he drew still closer to his 
ear, and fenced his mouth with both his open hands-" see 
L 



29 0 


Barnaby Rudge 


such a throat as his? Do but cast your eye upon it. 
There's a neck for stretching, Muster Gashford 1 " 
The secretary assented to this proposition with the best 
grace he could assume-i t is difficult to feign a true pro- 
fessional relish: which is eccentric sometimes-and after 
asking the candidate a few unimportant questions, pro- 
ceeded to enrol him a member of the Great Protestant 
Association of England. If anything could have exceeded 
Mr. Dennis's joy on the happy conclusion of this ceremony, 
it would have been the rapture with which he received the 
announcement that the new member could neither read nor 
write: those two arts being (as Mr. Dennis swore) the 
greatest possible curse a civilised community could kno\v, 
and militating more against the professional emoluments 
and usefulness of the great constitutional office he had the 
honour to hold, than any adverse circumstances that could 
present themselves to his imagination. 
The enrolment being completed, and Hugh having been 
informed by Gashford, in his peculiar manner, of the peacG- 
ful and strictly lawful objects contemplated by the body to 
which he now belonged-during which recital Mr. Dennis 
nudged him very much with his elbow, and made divers 
remarkable faces-the secretary gave them both to under- 
stand that he desired to be alone. Therefore they took 
their leaves without delay, and came out of the house 
together. 
" Are you walking, brother? " said Dennis. 
" Ay ! " returned Hugh. "Where you will." 
"Thaes social," said his new friend. "Which \vay 
shall we take? Shall we go and have a look at the doors 
that we shall make a pretty good clattering at, before long 
-eh, brother? " 
H ugh answering in the affirmative, they went slowly 
down to Westminster, where both Houses of Parliament 
were then sitting. Mingling in the cro\vd of carriages, 
horses,. servants, chairmen, link-boys, porters, and idlers 
of aU kinds, they lounged about; while Hugh's new friend 
pointed out to him significantly the weak parts of the build- 
. ing, how easy it was to get into the lobby, and so to the 
very door of the House of Comn10ns; and how plainly, 
when they marched down there in grand array, their roars 
and shouts would be heard by the members inside: with a 
great deal more to the same purpose, all of which Hugh re- 
ceived with manifest delight. 



Barnaby Rudge 


29 1 


He told him, too, who some of the Lords and Commons 
were, by name, as they came in and out; whether they 
were friendly to the Papists or otherwise; and bade him 
take notice of their liveries and equipages, that he might be 
sure of them, in case of need. Sometimes he drew him 
dose to the windo
s of a passing carriage, that he might 
see its master's face by the light of the lanlps; and, both in 
respect of people and localities, he showed so much 
acquaintance \vith everything around, that it was plain he 
had often studied there before; as indeed, when they grew 
a little more confidential, he confessed he had. 
Perhaps the most striking part of all this was the 
nunlber of people-never in groups of more than two or 
three together-who seemed to be skulking about the 
crowd for the same purpose. To the greater part of these, 
a slight nod or a look from Hugh's companion was suffi- 
cient greeting; but, now and then, some nlan would come 
and stand beside him in the throng, and, without turning 
his head or appearing to communicate with him, would say 
a word or two in a lo\v voice, which he would answer in the 
same cautious manner. Then they would part, like 
strangers. Some of these men often reappeared again 
unexpectedly in the crowd close to Hugh, and, as they 
passed by, pressed his hand, or looked him sternly in the 
face; but they never spoke to him, nor he to them; no, not 
a word. 
It \vas remarkable, too, that whenever they happened to 
stand where there was any press of people, and Hugh 
chanced to be looking- do\vnward, he was sure to see an arm 
stretched out-under his own perhaps, _ or perhaps across 
him-\vhich thrust some paper into the hand or pocket of 
a bystander, and was so suddenly withdrawn that it was 
impossible to tell from whom it came; nor could he see in 
any face, on glancing quickly round, the least confusion 
or surprise. They often trod upon a paper like the one he 
carried in his breast, but his companion whispered him not 
to touch it or to take it up,-not even to look towards it,- 
so there they let them lie, and passed on. 
Vi/hen they had paraded the street and all the avenues 
of the building in this manner for near two hours, they 
turned away, and his friend asked him what he thought of 
what he had seen, and whether he was prepared for a 
good hot piece of work if it should come to that. " The 
hotter the better," said Hugh, "I'm prepared for any- 



29 2 


Barnaby Rudge 


thing" .-" So am I," said his friend, " and so are many 
of us ,,
 and they shook hands upon it \vith a great oath, 
and with many terrible imprecations on the Papists. 
As they were thirsty by this time, Dennis proposed that 
they should repair together to the Boot, where there was 
good company and strong liquor. Hugh yielding a ready 
assent, they bent their steps that way with no loss of time. 
This Boot was a lone house of public entertainment, 
situated in the fields at the back of the Foundling Hospital; 
a very solitary spot at that period, and quite deserted after 
dark. The tavern stood at some distance from any high- 
road, and was approachable only by a dark and narrow 
line; so that Hugh was much surprised to find several people 
drinking there, and great merriment going on. He was 
still more surprised to find among them almost every face 
that had caught his attention in the crowd; but his com- 
panion having whispered him outside the door, that it was 
not considered good manners at the Boot to appear at all 
curious about the company, he kept his own counsel, and 
made no show of recognition. 
Before putting his lips to the liquor which was brought 
for them, Dennis drank in a loud voice the health of Lord 
George Gordon, President of the Great Protestant Associa- 
tion; which toast Hugh pledged likewise, with correspond- 
ing enthusiasm. A fiddler who was present, and who 
appeared to act as the appointed minstrel of the company, 
forthwith struck up a Scotch reel; and that in tones so 
invigorating, that Hugh and his friend (who had both 
been drinking before) rose from their seats as by previous 
concert, and, to the great admiration of the assembled 
guests, performed an extemporaneous No-Popery Dance. 


CHAPTER XXXIX 
THE applause which the performance of Hugh and his 
new frie?d elicited from the company at the Boot had not 
yet subsIded, and the two dancers were still panting from 
their exertions, \vhich had been of a rather extreme and 
vio!ent character, when the party \vas reinforced by the 
arrIval of some more guests, who, being a detachment of 



Barnaby Rudge 


293 


United Bull-dogs, were received with very flattering marks 
of distinction and respect. 
The leader of this small party-for, including himself, 
they were but three in number-was our old acquaintance, 
Mr. Tappertit, who seemed, physically speaking, to have 
grown smaller with years (particularly as to his legs, which 
were stupendously little), but who, in a moral point of vie\v, 
in personal dignity and self-esteem, had swelled into a 
giant. Nor was it by any means difficult for the most 
unobservant person to detect this state of feeling in the 
quondam 'prentice, for it not only proclaimed itself im- 
pressively and beyond mistake in his majestic walk and 
kindling eye, but found å striking means of revelation in 
his turned-up nose, which scouted all things of earth with 
deep disdain, and sought communion with its kindred skies. 
Mr. Tappertit, as chief or captain of the Bull-dogs, was 
attended by his two lieutenants; one, the tall comrade of 
his younger life; the other, a 'Prentice Knight in days of 
yore-Mark Gilbert, bound in the olden time to Tholnas 
Curzon of the Golden Fleece. These gentlemen, like him- 
self, were no\v emancipated from their 'prentice thraldom, 
and served as journeymen; but they were, in humble emula- 
tion of his great example, bold and daring spirits, and 
aspired to a distinguished state in great political events. 
Hence their connection with the Protestant Association of 
England, sanctioned by the name of Lord George Gordon; 
and hence their present visit to the Boot. 
" Gentlemen! " said Mr. Tappertit, taking off his hat 
as a great general might in addressing his troops. "Well 
met. IVl y lord does me and you the honour to send his 
compliments per self." 
" You've seen my lord too, have you? " said Dennis. 
(, I see him this afternoon. " 
" l\:ly duty called me to the Lobby when our shop shut 
up; and I sa\v him there, sir," Mr. Tappertit replied, as 
he and his lieutenants took their seats. " How do you 
do? " ' 
"Lively, master, lively," said the fello\v. "Here's a 
new brother, regularly put down in black and white by 
Muster Gashford; a credit to the cause; one of the stick- 
at-nothing sort; one arter my own heart. D'ye see him? 
Has he got the looks of a man that'll do, do you think?" 
he cried, as he slapped Hugh on the back. 
U Looks or no looks," said Hugh, with a drunken 



294 


Barnaby Rudge 


flourish of his arm, " I'm the man you want. I hate the 
Papists, everyone of 'em. They hate me and I hate them. 
They do me all the harm they can, and 1'11 do them all the 
harm I can. Hurrah ! " 
" vVas there ever," said Dennis, looking round the 
room, \vhen the echo of his boisterous voice had died away; 
"" was there ever such a game boy! Why, I mean to say, 
brothers, that if Muster Gashford had gone a hundred mile 
and got together fifty men of the common run, they 
wouldn't have been worth this one." 
The greater part of the company implicitly subscribed to 
this opinion, and testified their faith in Hugh by nods and 
looks of great significance. Mr. Tappertit sat and con- 
templated him for a long time in silence, as if he suspended 
his judgment; then drew a little nearer to him, and eyed 
him over more carefully; then went close up to him, and 
took him apart into a dark corner. 
"I say," he began, with a thoughtful bro\v, "haven't 
I seen you before? " 
"It's like you may," said Hugh, in his careless way. 
" I don't know; shouldn't wonder. " 
"No, but it's very easily settled," returned Sim. 
"Look at me. Did you ever see me before ? You 
wouldn't be likely to forget it, you know, if you ever did. 
Look at me. Don't be afraid; I won't do you any harm. 
Take a good look-steady now. " 
The encouraging way in which Mr. Tappertit made this 
request, and coupled it with an assurance that he needn't 
be frightened, an1used Hugh mightily-so much indeed, 
that he saw nothing at all of the small man before him, 
through closing his eyes in a fit of hearty laughter, which 
shook his great broad sides until they ached again. 
" COll1e !" said Mr. Tappertit, growing a little impatient 
under this disrespectful treatment. "Do you know me, 
feller? " 
" Not I," cried Hugh. "Ha ha ha! Not I! But I 
should like to. " 
" And yet I'd have wagered a seven-shilling piece," said 
Mr. Tappertit, folding his arms and confronting him \\7ith 
his legs wide apart and firmly planted on the ground, " that 
you once were hostler at the l\1aypole." 
Hugh opened his eyes on hearing this, and looked at 
him in great surprise. 
"-And so you were, too" said Mr. Tappertit, pushing 



Barnaby Rudge 


295 


him away with a condescending playfulness. " When did 
my eyes ever deceive-unless it was. a young woman! 
Don't you know me now? " 
"Why, it an't-" Hugh faltered. 
" An't it," said Mr. Tappertit. "Are you sure of that? 
You remember G. Varden, don't you?" 
Certainly Hugh did, and he remembered D. Varden too; 
but that he didn't tell him. 
" You remember coming down there, before I was out of 
my time, to ask after a vagabond that had bolted off, and 
left his disconsolate father a prey to the bitterest emotions, 
and all the rest of it-don't you? " said Mr. Tappertit. 
" Of course I do! " cried Hugh. "And I saw you 
there. " 
" Sa\v me there! " said Mr. Tappertit. " Yes, I should 
think you did see me there. The place would be troubled 
to go on without me. Don't you remember my thinking 
you liked the vagabond, and on that account going to 
quarrel with you; and then finding you detested him worse 
than poison, going to drink with you? Don't you re- 
member that? " 
" To be sure! " cried Hugh. 
, , Well! and are you in the same mind now? " said Mr. 
Tappertit. 
" Yes! " roared Hugh. 
" You speak like a man," said Mr. Tappertit, " and I'll 
shake hands with you." With these conciliatory expres- 
sions he suited the action to the word; and Hugh meeting 
his advances readily, they performed the ceren10ny with a 
show of great heartiness. 
"I find," said Mr. Tappertit, looking round on the 
assembled guests, "that brother What's-his-name and I 
are old acquaintance.- You never heard anything more of 
that rascal, I suppose, eh? " 
" Not a syHable," replied Hugh. "I never want to. I 
don't believe I ever shall. He's dead long ago, I hope. " 
" It's to be hoped, for the sake of mankind in g-eneral 
and the happiness of society, that he is," said 1\1r. Tapper- 
tit, rubbing his palm upon his legs, and looking at it 
between whiles. "Is your other hand at an deaner? 
Much the same. Well, I'll owe you another shake. We'll 
suppose it done, if you've no objection. " 
Hugh laughed again, and with such thorough abandon- 
ment to his mad humour, that his lilnbs seemed dislocated, 



29 6 


Barnaby Rudge 


and his whole frame in danger of tunlbling to pieces; but 
Mr. Tappertit, so far from receiving this extreme merri
 
ment with any irritation, was pleased to regard it with the 
utmost favour, and even to join in it, so far as one of his 
gravity and station could, with any regard to that decency 
and decorum which men in high places are expected to 
maintain. 
Mr. Tappertit did not stop here, as many public char- 
acters might have done, but calling up his brace of lieu- 
tenants, introduced H ugh to them with high comnlenda- 
tion; declaring him to be a man who, at such times as 
those in which they lived, could not be too much cherished. 
Further, he did him the honour to remark, that he would 
be an acquisition of which even" the United Bull-dogs might 
be proud; and finding, upon sounding him, that he was 
quite ready and willing to enter the society (for he \vas not 
at all particular, and would have leagued himself that night 
with anything, or anybody, for any purpose whatsoever), 
caused the necessary preliminaries to be gone into upon the 
spot. This tribute to his great merit delighted no man 
more than 1\1r. Dennis, as he himself proclaimed with 
several rare and surprising oaths; and indeed it gave un- 
mingled satisfaction to the whole assembly. 
" l\1ake anything you like of me ! " cried Hugh, flourish. 
ing the can he had emptied more than once. "Put me on 
any duty you please. I'm your man. I'll do it. Here's 
my captain-here's my leader. Ha ha ha! Let him give 
me the word of command, and I'll fight the whole Parlia- 
ment House single-handed, or set a lighted torch to the 
King's Throne itself! " \Vith that, he smote Mr. Tapper- 
tit on the back, with such violence that his little body 
seemed to shrink into a mere nothing; and roared again 
until the very foundlings near at hand were startled in their 
beds. 
In fact, a sense of something whimsical in their com- 
panionship seemed to have taken entire possession of his 
rude brain. The bare fact of being patronised by agreat man 
whom he could have crushed with one hand appeared in his 
eyes so eccentric and humorous, that a kind of ferocious 
merriment gained the mastery over him, and quite subdued 
his brutal nature. He roared and roared again; toasted 
Mr. Tappertit a hundred times; declared himself a Bull- 
dog to the core; and vowed to be faithful to him to the last 
drop of blood in his veins. 



Barnaby Rudge 


297 


AU these compJiments 1\lr. Tappertit received as matters 
of course-flattering enough in their way, but entirely 
attributable to his vast superiority. His dignified self- 
possession only delighted I-Iugh the more; and in a word, 
this giant and dwarf struck up a friendship which bade fair 
to be of long continuance, as the one held it to be his right 
to command, and the other considered it an exquisite 
pleasantry to obey. Nor was Hugh by any means a 
passive follower, who scrupled to act without precise and 
definite orders; for when .l\'lr. Tappertit mounted on an 
empty cask which stood by way of rostrum in the room, 
and volunteered a speech upon the alarming crisis then at 
hand, he placed himself beside the orator, and though he 
grinned from ear to ear at every word he said, threw out 
such expressive hints to scoffers in the management of his 
cudgel, that those who \vere at first the most disposed to 
interrupt, became remarkably attentive, and were the 
loudest in their approbation. 
It was not all noise and jest, however, at the Boot, nor 
were the whole party listeners to the speech. There were 
some men at the other end of the room (which was a long, 
low-roofed chalnber) in earnest conversation aU the time; 
and when any of this group went out, fresh people were 
sure to come in soon afterwards and sit down in their 
places, as though the others had relieved them on some 
watch or duty; which it was pretty clear they did, for 
these changes took place by the clock, at intervals of half 
an hour. These persons whispered very much an10ng 
themselves, and kept aloof, and often looked round, as 
jealous of their speech being overheard; some two or three 
among them entered in books what seemed to be reports 
from the others; when they were not thus employed, one of 
them would turn to the newspapers which were strewn upon 
the table, and from the 51. James's Chronicle, the Herald, 
Chronicle, or Public Advertiser, would read to the rest in 
a low voice sorne passage having reference to the topic in 
which they were all so deeply interested. But the great 
attraction \vas a pamphlet called The Thunderer, which 
espoused their own opinions, and was supposed at that 
time to emanate directly from the Association. This \vas 
always in request; and whether read aloud, to an eager knot 
of listeners, or by some solitary nlan, was certain to be 
followed by stormy talking and excited looks. 
In th
 midst of a11 his merriment, and admiration of 



29 8 


Barnaby Rudge 


his captain, Hugh was made sensible by these and other 
tokens of the presence of an air of mystery, akin to . that 
which had so much impressed him out of doors. It was 
impossible to discard a sense that something serious was 
going on, and under the noisy revel of the public- 
house, there lurked unseen and dangerous matter. Little 
affected by this, however, he was perfectly satisfied \vith 
his quarters and would have ren1ained there till morning, 
but that his conductor rose soon after midnight, to go 
home; Mr. Tappertit following his example, left him no 
excuse to stay. So they all three left the house together: 
roaring a No-Popery song until the fields resounded \vith 
the dismal noise. 
"Cheer up, captain!" cried Hugh, when they had 
roared themselves out of breath. "Another stave! " 
Mr. Tappertit, nothing loth, began. again; and so the 
three went staggering on, arm-in-arm, shouting like mad- 
men, and defying the watch with great valour. Indeed 
this did not require any unusual bravery or boldness, as 
the watchmen of that time, being selected for the office on 
account of excessive age and extraordinary infirmity, had 
a custom of shutting themselves up tight in their boxes on 
the first symptoms of disturbance, and remaining there 
until they disappeared. In these proceedings, 11r. Dennis, 
who had a gruff voice and lungs of considerable power, dis- 
tinguished hiITIself very much, and acquired great credit 
with his two companions. 
" What a queer fellow you are! " said Mr. Tappertit. 
, , You're so precious sly and close. Why don't you ever 
tell what trade you're of? " 
" Answer the captain instantly," cried Hugh, beating 
his hat down on his head; " why don't you ever tell \vhat 
trade you're of? " 
" I'm of as gen-teel a calling, brother, as any Inan in 
England-as light a business as any gentleman could 
desire. ), 
" Was you 'prenticed to it? " asked Mr. Tappertit. 
cc No. Natural genius," said 11r. Dennis. "No 'pren- 
ticing. It comes by natur'. 
1uster Gashford knows my 
calling. Look at that hand of mine-many and many a 
job that hand has done, with a neatness and dex-terity 
never known afore. \iVhen 1 look at that hand," said 
Mr. Dennis, shaking it in the air, "and remember the 
helegant bits of work it has turned off, I feel quite mollon- 



Barnaby Rudge 


299 


choly to think it should ever grow old and feeble. But 
sich is Iife! " 
He heaved a deep sigh as he indulged in these reflections, 
and putting his fingers with an absent air on Hugh's 
throat, and particularly under his left ear, as if he were 
studying the anatomical development of that part of his 
frame, shook his head in a despondent manner and actu- 
aUy shed tears. 
" You're a kind of artist, I suppose-eh?" said Mr. 
Tappertit. 
" Yes," rejoined Dennis; "yes-I may call myself a 
artist-a fancy workman-art improves natur'-that's my 
motto. " 
" And what do you call this? " said Mr. Tappertit, tak- 
ing his stick out of his hand. 
"That's my portrait atop," Dennis replied; "d 'ye 
think it's Jike? " 
" Why-it's a little too handsome," said Mr. Tapper- 
tit. "Who did it? You?" 
" I ! " repeated Dennis, gazing fondly on his image. 
c, I \vish I had the talent. That was carved by a friend 
of min
, as is now no more. The very day afore he died, 
he cut that \vith his pocket-knife from memory! 'I'll die 
game,' says my friend, 'and my last moments shall be 
de\voted to making Dennis's picter.' That's it." 
"That was a queer fancy, wasn't l it?" said 1\1 r. 
Tappertit. 
" It was a queer fancy," rejoined the other, breathing 
on his fictitious nose, and polishing it with the cuff of his 
coat, 'c but he \vas a queer subject altogether-a kind of 
gipsy-one of the finest, stand-up men, you ever see. Ah! 
He told me some things that would startle you a bit, did 
that friend of mine, on the morning when he died. " 
c, You were with him at the time, were you? " said 
Mr. Tappertit. 
" Yes," he answered with a curious look, " I was there. 
Oh ! yes, certainly I was there. He wouldn't have gone 
off half as comfortable without me. I had been with three 
or four of his family under the same circumstances. They 
were all fine fellows." 
"They must have been fond of you," remarked Mr. 
Tappertit, looking at him sideways. 
" I don't kno\v that they was exactly fond of me," said 
Dennis, with a little hesitation, " but they all had me near 



3 00 


Barnaby Rudge 


'em when they departed. I come in for their wardrobes 
too. This very hankecher that you see round my neck 
belonged to him that 1 've been speaking of-him as did 
that likeness." 
1\1r. Tappertit glanced at the article referred to, and ap- 
peared to think that the deceased's ideas of dress were of 
a peculiar and by no means an expensive kind. He made 
no remark upon the point, however, and suffered his 
mysterious companion to proceed without interruption. 
" These smalls," said Dennis, rubbing his legs; " these 
very smalls-they belonged to a friend of mine that's left 
off sich incumbrances for ever: this coat too-I've often 
\valked behind this coat, in the streets, and wondered 
\\'hether it would ever come to me: this pair of shoes have 
danced a hornpipe for another n1an, afore my eyes, full 
half a dozen times at least: and as to my hat," he said, 
taking it off, and twirling it round upon his fist_II Lord! 
I've seen this hat go up Holborn on the box of a hackney- 
coach-ah, many and many a day! " 
" You don't mean to say their old \vearers are all dead, 
I hope? if said Mr. Tappertit, fal1ing a little distance from 
him as he spoke. 
" Everyone of 'em," replied Dennis. "Every man 
Jack! " 
There ,vas something so very ghastly in this circum- 
stance, and it appeared to account, in such a very strange 
and dismal manner, for his faded dress-which, in this 
new aspect, seemed discoloured by the earth from graves 
-that Mr. Tappertit abruptly found he was going another 
way, and, stopping short, bade him good night \vith the 
utmost heartiness. As they happened to be near the Old 
Bailey, and Mr. Dennis kne\v there were turnkeys in the 
lodge \vith ,vhom he could pass the night, and discuss pro- 
fessional subjects of common interest among them before 
a rousing- fire, and over a social glass, he separated from 
his companions \vithout any great regret, and \varmly 
shaking hands ,vith I-Iugh, and making an early appoint- 
n1ent for their n1eeting at the Boot, left them to pursue 
their road. 
"That's a strange sort of man," said 
1r. Tappertit, 
watching the hackney-coachman's hat as it went bobbing 
down the street. "I don't know \vhat to ß1ake of him. 
'\Thy can't he have his smalls made to order, or wear Ii ve 
clothes at any rate? U 



Barnaby Rudge 


3 01 


U He's a lucky man, captain," cried Hugh. U I should 
like to have such friends as his." 
" I hope he don't get 'em to make their ,vilis, and then 
knock 'em on the head," said Mr. Tappertit, musing. 
" But come. The United B. 's expect me. On I-What's 
the matter? " 
" I quite forgot," said Hugh, who had started at the 
striking of a neighbouring clock. "I have somebody to 
see to-night-I must turn back directly. The drinking 
and singing put it out of my head. It's well I remembered 
it!" 
Mr. Tappertit looked at him as though he were about to 
give utterance to some very majestic sentiments in refer- 
ence to this act of desertion, but as it was clear, from 
Hugh's hasty manner, that the engagenlent was one of a 
pressing nature, he graciously forbore, and gave him his 
permission to depart immediately, which Hugh acknow- 
ledged with a roar of laughter. 
"Good night, captain 1 " he cried. "I am yours to 
the death, remember! " 
" Farewelll " said Mr. Tappertit, waving his hand. 
" Be bold and vigilant! " 
" No Popery, captain t " roared Hugh. 
" England in blood first! " cried his desperate leader. 
vVhereat Hugh cheered and laughed, and ran off like a 
greyhound. 
"That man ,viII prove a credit to my corps," said 
Simon, turning thoughtfully upon his heel. "And let me 
see. In an altered state of society-which must ensue if 
,ve break out and are victorious-when the locksmith's 
child is mine, Miggs must be got rid of somehow, or she'll 
poison the tea-kettle one evening when I'm out. He might 
marry Miggs, if he was drunk enough. It shall be done. 
I'll make a note of it." 


CHAPTER XL 


LITTLE thinking of the plan for his happy settlement 
in life which had suggested itself to the teeming brain of 
his provident commander, Hugh rnadè no pause until 
Saint Dunstan's giants struck the hour above him, when 
he worked the handle of a pump which stood hard by, with 
great vigour, and thrusting his head under the spout, let 



3 02 


Barnaby Rudge 


the water gush upon him until a little stream ran down 
from every uncombed hair, and he was wet to the waist. 
Considerably refreshed by this ablution, both in mind and 
body and almost sobered for the time, he dried himself 
as h
 best could; then crossed the road, and plied the 
knocker of the Middle Temple gate. 
The night-porter looked through a small grating in the 
portal with a surly eye, and cried" Halloa ! " which greet- 
ing H ugh returned in kind, and bade him open quickly. 
" We don't sell beer here," crit:d the Ulan; " what else 
do you want? " 
" To come in," Hugh replied, with a kick at the door. 
" Where to go? " 
" Paper Buildings. " 
" Whose chambers? " 
" Sir John Chester's." Each of which answers, he em- 
phasised with another kick. 
After a little growling on the other side, the gate was 
opened, and he passed in; undergoing a close inspection 
from the porter as he did so. 
" You wanting Sir John, at this tin1e of night! " said 
the man. 
" Ay ! " said Hugh. "I! \tVhat of that? " 
"Why, I must go with you and see that you do, for I 
don't believe it.)' 
" Come along then." 
Eyeing him with suspicious looks, the man, with key 
and lantern, walked on at his side, and attended him to Sir 
John Chester's door, at which Hugh gave one knock, that 
echoed through the dark staircase like a ghostly summons, 
and made the dull light tremble in the dro\-vsy lamp. 
" Do you think he \-vants me now? " said Hugh. 
Before the man had time to answer a footstep \vas heard 
within, a light appeared, and Sir John, in his dressing- 
go\vn and slippers, opened the door. 
" I ask your pardon, Sir John," said the porter, pul1ing 
off his hat. "Here's a young man says he wants to speak 
to you. It's late for strangers. I thought it best to see 
that all was right." 
" Aha! " crieq Sir John, raising- his eyebrows. "It's 
you, messenger, is it? Go in. Quite right, friend, I 
commend your prudence highly. Thank you. God bless 
you. Good night. " 
To be commended, thanked, God-blessed, and bade good 



Barnaby Rudge 


3 0 3 


night by one who carried "Sir" before his name, and 
wrote himself M. P. to boot, was something for a porter. 
He withdrew with much humility and reverence. Sir 
John followed his late visitor into the dressing-room, and 
sitting in his easy-chair before the fire, and moving it so 
that he could see him as he stood, hat in hand, beside the 
door, looked at him from head to foot. 
The old face, calm and pleasant as ever; the complexion, 
quite juvenile in its bloom and clearness; the same smile; 
the wonted precision and elegance of dress; the white, 
well-ordered teeth; the delicate hands; the composed and 
quiet manner; everything as it used to be; no marks of 
age or passion, envy, hate, or discontent: all unruffled and 
serene, and quite delightful to behold. 
He wrote himself M.P.-but how? Why, thus. It 
was a proud family-more proud, indeed, than wealthy. 
He had stood in danger of arrest; of bailiffs, and a jail- 
a vulgar jail, to which the common people with small in- 
con1es went. Gentlemen of ancient houses have no privi- 
lege of exemption from such cruella\-vs-unless they are of 
one great House, and then they have. A proud man of 
his stock and kindred had the means of sending him there. 
He offered-not indeed to pay his debts, but to let hÏIn 
sit for a close borough until his own son came of age, 
which, if he lived, would come to pass in twenty years. 
It was quite as good as an Insolvent Act, and infinitely 
more genteel. So Sir John Chester was a Member of Par- 
liament. 
But how Sir John? Nothing so simple, or so easy. 
One touch with a sword of state, and the transformation 
is effected. John Chester, Esquire, M.P., attended 
Court-went up with an address-headed a deputation. 
Such elegance of manner, so many graces of deportment, 
such powers of conversation, could never pass unnoticed. 
Mr. was too common for such merit. A man so gentle- 
manly should have been-but Fortune is capricious-born 
a Duke: just as some dukes should have been born 
labourers. He caught the fancy of the King, knelt down 
a grub, and rose a butterfly. John Chester, Esquire, was 
knighted and became Sir John. 
eel thoug-ht when you leÎt me this evening) my esteemed 
acquaintance, " said Sir John after a pretty long silence, 
e c that you intended to return with all despatch? " 
" So I did, master." 



3 0 4 


Barnaby Rudge 


"And so you have?" he retorted, glancing at his 
watch. "Is that what you would say? " 
Instead of replying, Hugh changed the leg on which he 
leant shuffled his cap from one hand to the other, looked 
at th
 ground, the wall, the ceiling, and finally at Sir John 
himself; before whose pleasant face he lowered his eyes 
again, and fixed them on the floor. 
"And how have you been employing yourself in the 
meanwhile? " quoth Sir John, lazily crossing his legs. 
"Where have you been? what harm have you been 
doing? " 
" No harm at all, master," growled Hugh, with humil- 
ity. "I have only done as you ordered." 
" As I what? " returned Sir John. 
"Well then," said Hugh uneasily, "as you advised, 
or said I ought, or said I might, or said that you \vould 
do, if you was me. Don't be so hard upon me, master." 
Something like an expression of triulnph in the perfect 
control he had established over this rough instrument 
appeared in the knight's face for an instant; but it 
vanished directly, as he said-paring his nails while 
speaking: 
" When you say I ordered you, my good fellow, you 
imply that I directed you to do something for me-some- 
thing I wanted done-something for my own ends and pur- 
poses-you see? Now I am sure I needn't enlarge upon 
the extreme absurdity of such an idea, however uninten- 
tional; so please ' '-and here he turned his eyes upon him 
-" to be more guarded. Will you? " 
"I meant to give you no offence," said Hugh. "I 
don't know what to say. You catch me up so very short." 
" You will be caught up much shorter, my good friend 
-infinitely shorter-one of these days, depend upon it," 
replied his patron calmly. "By the bye, instead of won- 
dering why you have been so long, my wonder should be 
why you came at all. Why did you? " 
" You know, master," said Hugh, " that I couldn't read 
the bin I found, and that supposing it to be somethi
lg 
particular froln the way it was wrapped up, I brought 
it here." 
" And could you ask no one else to read it, Bruin? ), said 
Sir John. 
" Noone that I could trust with secrets, nlaster. Since 
Barnaby Rudge was lost sight of for good and all--and 



Barnaby Rudge 


3 0 5 


that's five years ago--I haven't talked with anyone but 
you. " 
" You have done me honour, I am sure." 
" 1 have come to and fro, master, all through that time, 
when there was anything to tell, because I knew that you'd 
be angry with me if I stayed away," said Hugh, blurting 
the words out, after an embarrassed silence; " and because 
I wished to please you if I could, and not to have you go 
against me. There. That's the true reason why I came 
to-night. You know that, master, I am sure. " 
" You are a s pecious fellow," returned Sir John, fixin g 
his eyes upon him, " and carry two faces under your hood, 
as well as the best. Didn't you give me in this room, this 
evening, any other reason; no dislike of anybody who has 
slighted you lately, on all occasions, abused you, treated 
you with rudeness; acted towards you, more as if you 
were a mongrel dog than a man like himself? " 
" To be sure I did! " cried Hugh, his passion rising, as 
the other meant it should; "and I say it all over now, 
again. I'd do anything to have some revenge on him- 
anything. And when you told me that he and all the 
Catholics would suffer from those who joined together 
under that handbill, I said I'd make one of 'em, if their 
master was the Devil himself. I am one of 'em. See 
whether I am as good as my word and turn out to be 
among the foremost, or no. I mayn't have much head, 
master, but I've head enough to remember those that use 
me ill. You shall see, and so shall he, and so shall hun- 
dreds more, how my spirit backs me when the time comes. 
My bark is nothing to my bite. Some that I know had 
better have a wild lion about them than me, when I am 
fairly loose-they had! " 
The knight looked at him with a smile of far deeper mean- 
ing than ordinary; and pointing to the old cupboard, fol- 
lowed him with his eyes while he filled and drank a glass of 
liquor; and smiled when his back was turned, with deeper 
meaning yet. . 
, , You are in a blustering mood, my friend," he said, 
when Hugh confronted him again. 
" Not I, master! " cried Hugh. cc I don't say half I 
mean. I can't. I haven't got the gift. There are talkers 
enough among us; I'll be one of the doers." 
" Oh! you have joined those fellows then? " said Sir 
John, with an air of most profound indifference. 



3 06 


Barnaby Rudge 


c eYeS. I went up to the house you told me of, and got 
put down upon the muster. There was another man there 
named Dennis- " 
" Dennis, eh ! " cried Sir John, laughing. cc Ay, ay! a 
pleasant fellow, I believe? " 
" A roaring dog, master-one after my own heart-hot 
upon the matter too-red hot." 
" So I have heard," replied Sir John carelessly. c c You 
don't happen to know his trade, do you? " 
"He wouldn't say," cried Hugh. cc He keeps it 
secret. " 
" Ha, ha! " laughed Sir John. cc A strange fancy-a 
weakness with some persons-you'll know it one day, J 
dare swear. " 
"We're intimate already," said Hugh. 
cc Quite natural! And have been drinking together, 
eh? " pursued Sir John. "Did you say what place you 
went to in company, when you left Lord George's? " 
Hugh had not said or thought of saying, but he told 
him; and this inquiry being followed by a long train of 
questions, he related all that had passed both in and out of 
doors, the kind of people he had seen, their numbers, state 
of feeling, mode of conversation, apparent expectations and 
intentions. His questioning Vlas so artfully contrived, that 
he seemed even in his own eyes to volunteer all this infor- 
mation rather than to have it wrested from him; and he 
was brought to this state of feeling so naturally, that when 
Mr. Chester yawned at length and declared himself quite 
wearied out, he made a rough kind of excuse for having 
talked so much. 
" There-get you gone," said Sir John, holding the door 
open in his hand. cc You have made a pretty evening's 
work. I told you not to do this. You may get into 
trouble. You'I1 have an opportunity of revenging yourself 
on your proud friend Haredale, though, and for that, you'd 
hazard anything I suppose? " 
cc I would," retorted Hugh, stopping- in his passag-e out 
and looking back; cc but what do I risk! What do I stand 
a chance of losing, master? Friends, home? A fig for 
'em all; I have none; they are nothing to me. Give me a 
good scuffle; let me payoff old scores in a bold riot where 
there are men to stand by me; and then use me as you like 
-it don't matter much to me what the end is ! ." 
cc What have you done with that paper? " said Sir J oho. 



Barnaby Rudge 


3 0 7 


" I have it here, master." 
" Drop it again as you go along; it's as well not to keep 
such things about you." 
Hugh nodded, and touching his cap with an air of as 
much respect as he could summon up, departed. 
Sir John, fastening the doors behind him, went back to 
his dressing-room, and sat down once again before the fire, 
at which he gazed for a long time, in earnest meditation. 
"This happens fortunately," he said, breaking into a 
smile, " and promises well. Let me see. My relative and 
I, who are the most Protestant {eHows in the world, give 
our worst wishes to the Roman Catholic cause; and to 
Saville, who introduces their bill, I have a personal objec- 
tion besides; but as each of us has hÍmself for the first 
article in his creed, we cannot commit ourselves by joining 
with a very extravagant madman, such as this Gordon 
most undoubtedly is. Now really, to foment his disturb- 
ances in secret, through the medium of such a very apt 
instrument as my savage friend here, may further our rea] 
ends; and to express at all becoming seasons, in moderate 
and polite terms, a disapprobation of his proceedings, 
though we agree with him in principle, win certainly be to 
gain a character for honesty and uprightness of purpose, 
which cannot fail to do us infinite service, and to raise us 
into some importance. Good! So much for public 
grounds. As to private considerations, I confess that if 
these vagabonds would make some riotous demonstration 
(which does not appear impossible), and would inflict some 
little chastisement on Haredale as a not inactive man 
among his sect, it would be extremely agreeable to my 
feelings, and would amuse me beyond measure. Good 
again! Perhaps better! " 
When he cam,e to this point, he took a pinch of snuff; 
then beginning slowly to undress, he resumed his medita- 
tions, by saying with a smile: 
" I fear, I do fear exceedingly, that my friend is foHow- 
ing fast in the footsteps of his mother. His intimacy with 
Mr. Dennis is very ominous. But I have no doubt he must 
have come to that end any way. If I lend him a helping 
hand, the only difference is, that he may, upon the whole, 
possibly drink a few gallons, or puncheons, or hogsheads, 
less in this life than he otherwise would. It's no business 
of mine. It's a matter of very smalJ importance! " 
So he took another pinch of snuff, and went to bed. 



3 08 


Barnaby Rudge 


CHAPTER XLI 
FROM the workshop of the Golden Key, there issued 
forth a tinkling sound, so merry and good-hunloured, that 
it suggested the idea of some one working blithely, and 
Inade quite pleasant music. No man who hammered on 
at a dull monotonous duty, could have brought such cheer- 
ful notes from steel and iron; none but a chirping, healthy, 
honest-hearted fellow, who made the best of everything, 
and felt kindly towards everybody, could have done it for 
an instant. He I1)ight have been a coppersmith, and stil1 
been musical. If" he had sat in a jolting waggon, ful1 of 
rods of iron, it seemed as if he would have brought some 
harmony out of it. 
Tink, tink, tink--clear as a silver ben, and audible at 
every pause of the streets' harsher noises, as though it 
said, " I don't care; nothing puts me out; I am resolved 
to be happy." vVomen scolded, children squalled, heavy 
carts went rumbling by, horrible cries proceeded from the 
lungs of hawkers; still it struck in again, no higher, no 
lower, no louder, no softer; not thrusting itself on people's 
notice, a bit the more for having been outdone by louder 
sounds-tink, tink, tink, tink, tink. 
It was a perfect embodiment of the still, small voice, free 
from all cold, hoarseness, huskiness, or unhealthiness of 
any kind; foot-passengers slackened their pace, and were 
disposed to linger near it; neighbours who had got up 
splenetic that morning, felt good-humour stealing on them 
as they heard it, and by degrees became quite sprightly; 
mothers danced their babies to its ringing; still the same 
magical tink, tink, tink, came gaily from the workshop of 
the Golden Key. 
Who but the locksmith could have made such music! 
A gleam of sun shining through the unsashed window, and 
chequering the dark \vorkshop with a broad patch of light, 
fe11 fuII upon him, as though attracted by his sunny heart. 
There he stood \vorking at his anvil, his face all radiant 
with exercise and gladness, his sleeves turned up, his 
Tig 
pushed off his shining forehead--the easiest, freest, happiest 
man in aII the world. Beside him sat a sleek cat, purring 
and winking in the Iight, and falling every no\v and then 
into an idle doze, as from excess of comfort. Toby looked 



Barnaby Rudge 


3 0 9 


on from a tall bench hard by; one beaming- smile, from his 
broad nut-brown face down to the slack-baked buckles in 
his shoes. The very locks that hung around had some- 
thing jovial in their rust, and seemed like gouty gentlcll1en 
of hearty natures, disposed to joke on their infirmities. 
There was nothing surly or severe in the whole scene. It 
seemed impossible that anyone of the innumerable keys 
could fit a churlish strong-box or a prison-door. Cellars 
of beer and wine, rooms where there were fires, books, 
gossip, and cheering laughter-these were their proper 
sphere of action. Places of distrust, and cruelty, and re- 
straint, they would have left quadruple-locked for ever. 
Tink, tink, tink. The locksmith paused at last, and 
"liped his brow. The silence roused the cat, who, jump- 
ing softly down, crept to the door, and watched with tiger 
eyes a bird-cage in an opposite window. Gabriel lifted 
Toby to his mouth, and took a hearty draught. 
Then, as he stood upright, with his head flung back, and 
his portly chest thrown out, you \vould ha v.e seen that 
Gabriel's lo\ver man was clothed in military gear. Glanc- 
ing at the wall beyond, there might have been espied, hang- 
ing on their several pegs, a cap and feather, broad-sword, 
sash, and coat of scarlet; \vhich any man learned in such 
matters would have known fronl their make and pattern to 
be the uniform of a serjeant in the Royal East London 
\' olunteers. 
As the locksmith put his mug down, empty, on the bench 
whence it had smiled on him before, he glanced at these 
articles with a laughing eye, and looking at them with his 
head a little on one side, as thoug-h he would get them all 
into a focus, said, leaning on his hammer: 
&C Time was, now, I remember, when I was like to run 
mad with the desire to \vear a coat of that colour. If any 
one (except my father) had called Ole a fool for my pains, 
how I should have fired and fumed! But what a fool I 
nlust have been, sure-Iy ! " 
" Ah ! " sighe'd Mrs. Varden, who had entered unob- 
served. "A fool indeed. A man at your time of life, 
Varden, should know better now." 
" \Vhy, what a ridiculous \voman you are, Martha," 
said the locksmith, turning round with a smile. 
" Certainly, ", replied Mrs. V. with great demureness. 
cc Of course I am. I know that, Varden. Thank you. " 
" I mean- " began the locksmith. 



3 10 


Barnaby Rudge 


"Yes," said his wife, "I know what you mean. You 
speak quite plain enough to be understood, V ar
en. It's 
very kind of you to adapt yourself to my capacIty, I am 
sure. " 
"Tut tut, Martha," rejoined the locksmith; "don't 
take off
nce at nothing. I mean, how strange it is of you 
to run do\vn volunt.eering, when it's done to defend you 
and all the other women, and our o\vn fireside and every- 
body else's, in case of need." 
"It's unchristian," cried Mrs. Varden, shaking her 
head. 
" Unchristian!" said the locksmith. "Why, what 
the devil- " 
Mrs. Varden looked at the ceiling, as in expectation 
that the consequence of this profanity would be the imme- 
diate descent of the four-post bedstead on the second floor, 
together with the best sitting-room on the first; but no 
visible judgment occurring, she heaved a deep sigh, and 
begged her husband, in a tone of resignation, to go on, 
and by all means to blaspheme as much as possible, because 
he knew she liked it. 
The locksmith did for a moment seem disposed to gratify 
her, but he gave a great gulp, and mildly rejoined: 
" I was going to say, what on earth do you call it un- 
christian for? Which would be most unchristian, Martha 
-to sit quietly down and let our houses be sacked by a 
foreign army, or to turn out like men and drive 'em off? 
Shouldn't I be a nice sort of a Christian, if I crept into a 
corner of my own chimney and looked on while a parcel 
of whiskered savages bore off Dolly-or you? " 
When he said" or you," Mrs. Varden, despite herself, 
relaxed into a smile. There was something complimentary 
in the idea. "In such a state of things as that, indeed 
" h . d 
- s e slmpere . 
"As that!" repeated the locksmith. "Well, that 
would be the state of things directly. Even Miggs would 
go. Some black tambourine-player, with a great turban 
on, would be bearing her off, and, unless the tambourine- 
player was proof against kicking and scratching, it's my 
belIef he'd have the worst of it. Ha, ha, ha! I'd forgive 
the tambourine-player. I wouldn't have him interfered 
with on any account, poor fellow." And here the lock- 
smith laughed ag-ain so heartily, that tears came into his 
eyes-much to :rvlrs. Varden's indignation, who thought 



Barnaby Rudge 


3 11 


the capture of so sound a Protestant and estimable a private 
character as Miggs by a pagan negro, a circumstance too 
shocking and a\vful for contemplation. 
The picture Gabriel had drawn, indeed, threatened 
serious consequences, and would indubitably have led to 
them, but luckily at that moment a light footstep crossed 
the threshold, and Dolly, running in, threw her arms round 
her old father's neck and hugged him tight. 
" Here she is at last! " cried Gabriel. "And how well 
you look, Doll, and how late you are, my darling! " 
How well she looked ? Well? Why, if he had ex- 
hausted every laudatory adjective in the dictionary, it 
wouldn't have been praise enough. When and where was 
there ever such a plump, roguish, comely, bright-eyed, 
enticing, bewitching, captivating, maddening little puss in 
all this world as Dolly! What was the Dolly of five years 
ago to the Dolly of that day! How many coachmakers, 
saddlers, cabinet-makers, and professors of other useful 
arts, had deserted their fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, 
and, most of all, their cousins, for the love of her! How 
many unknown gentlemen-supposed to be of mighty for- 
tunes, if not titles-had waited round the corner after dark, 
and tempted Miggs the incorruptible, with golden guineas, 
to deliver offers of marriage folded up in love-letters! 
How many disconsolate fathers and substantial tradesmen 
had waited on the locksmith for the same purpose, with 
dismal tales of how their sons had lost their appetites, and 
taken to shut themselves up in dark bedrooms, and wander- 
ing in desolate suburbs with pale faces, and all because of 
Dol1y Varden's loveliness and cruelty! How many young 
men, in all previous times of unprecedented steadiness, had 
turned suddenly wild and wicked for the same reason, and, 
in an ecstasy of unrequited love, taken to wrench off door- 
knockers, and invert the boxes of rheumatic watchmen! 
Ho\v had she recruited the king's service, both by sea 
and 1and, through rendering desperate his loving subjects 
between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five! How many 
young- ladies had publicly professed, with tears in their 
eyes, that for their tastes she was much too short, too tall, 
too bold, too cold, too stout, too thin, too fair, too dark- 
too everything but handsome! How many old ladies, 
taking counsel together, had thanked Heaven their daugh- 
ters were not like her, and had hoped she might come to no 
harm, and had thought she would come to no good, and 



3 I 2 Barnaby Rudge 
had wondered what people sa\v in her, and had arrived at 
the conclusion that she was " going off " in her looks or 
had never come on in then}, and that she was a thorough 
imposition and a popular mistake! 
And yet here was this same Dolly Varden, so \vhimsical 
and hard to please that she was DoUy Varden still, all smiles 
and dimples and pleasant looks, and caring no more for the 
fifty or sixty young fello\vs \vho at that very moment were 
breaking their hearts to marry her, than if so many oysters 
had been crossed in love and opened after\vards. 
Dolly hugged her father as has been already stated, and 
having hngged her mother also, accompanied both into 
the little parlour where the cloth \vas already laid for 
dinner, and where Miss Miggs-a trifle more rigid and 
bony than of yore-received her with a sort of hysterical 
gasp, intended for a smile. Into the hands of that young 
virgin, she delivered her bonnet and \valking-dress (all of a 
dreadful, artful, and designing kind), and then said with 
a laugh, which rivalled the locksmith's music, " How glad 
I ahvays am to be at home again! " 
" And how glad we ahvays are, Doll," said her father, 
putting back the dark hair from her sparkling eyes, "to 
have you at home. Give me a kiss." 
If there had been anybody of the male kind there to see 
her do it-but there was not-it was a mercy. 
" I don't like your being at the VV arren," said the lock- 
smith, " I can't bear to have you out of my sight. And 
what is the news over yonder, Doll? " 
" What news there is, I think you know already," re- 
plied his daughter. "I am sure you do though. " 
" Ay? " cried the locksmith. ""Vhat's that? " 
" Come, come," said Dolly, "you know very well. I 
want you to tell me why Mr. Haredale-oh, how g-ruff he 
is again, to be sure I-has been away from home for some 
days p.ast, and \vhy he is traveHing about (we know he is 
t
avelhng, because of his letters) without telling his own 
nIece \vhy or wherefore." 
" M . E d ' 
lSS 
 mma . oesn t want to know, I'll swear," re- 
turned the locksmIth. 
" I don't know that," said Dolly; U but I do, at any 
rate. Do tell me. Why is he so secret, and what is this 
ghost story, which nobody is to tell Miss Emma, and which 
seems to be mixed up with his going away? Now I see 
you know, by your colouring so. " 



Barnaby Rudge 


3 1 3 


U What the story means, or is, or has to do with it, I 
know no more than you, my dear," returned the locksmith, 
II except that it's some foolish fear of little Solomon's- 
which has, indeed, no meaning in it, I suppose. As to 

1r. Haredale's journey, he goes, as I believe- " 
" Yes," said Dolly. 
"As I be1ieve, tt resumed the locksmith, pinching her 
cheek, "on business, Doll. \Vhat it may be, is quite 
another matter. Read Blue Beard, and don't be too 
curious, pet; it's no business of yours or mine, depend 
upon that; and here's dinner, which is much more to the 
purpose. " 
Dolly might have remonstrated against this summary 
dismissal of the subject, notwithstanding. the appearance 
of dinner, but at the mention of Blue Beard Mrs. Varden 
interposed, protesting she could not find it in her conscience 
to sit tamely by, and hear her child recommended to peruse 
the adventures of'a Turk and l\1ussulman-far less of a 
fabulous Turk, which she considered that potentate to be. 
She held that, in such stirring and tremendous times as 
those in which they lived, it would be much more to the 
purpose if Dolly became a regular subscriber to the 
Thunderer, where she would have an opportunity of read- 
ing Lord George Gordon's speeches word for word, which 
would be a greater comfort and solace to her, than a 
hundred and fifty Blue Beards ever could impart. She 
appealed in support of this proposition to Miss Miggs, then 
in waiting, who said that indeed the peace of mind she had 
derived from the perusal of that paper generally, but es- 
pecially of one article of the very last week as ever was, 
entitled "Great Britain drenched in gore," exceeded all 
belief; the same composition, she added, had also wrought 
such a comforting effect on the mind of a married sister of 
hers then resident at Golden Lion Court, number twenty.. 
sivin, second bell-handle on the right-hand door-post, that, 
being in a deIicate state of health, and in fact expecting an 
addition to her family, she had been seized with fits 
directly after its perusal, and had raved of the Inquisition 
ever since; to the great improvement of her husband and 
friends. Miss Miggs went on to say that she would re- 
commend all those whose hearts were hardened to hear 
Lord George themselves, whom she commended first, in 
respect of his steady Protestantism, then of his oratory, 
then of his eyes, then of his nose, then of his legs, and lastly 



3 1 4 


Barnaby Rudge 


of his figure generaJIy, which she looked upon as fit for any 
statue, prince, or angel, to which sentiment Mrs. Varden 
fully subscribed. 
Mrs. Varden having cut in, looked at a box upon the 
manteJshelf, painted in imitation of a very red-brick dwell- 
ing-house, with a yellow roof; having at top a real 
chimney, down which voluntary subscribers dropped their 
silver, gold, or pence, into the parlour; and on the door the 
counterfeit presentment of a brass plate, whereon was 
legibly inscribed "Protestant Association" :-and look- 
ing at it, said, that it was to her a source of poignant 
misery to think that Varden never had, of all his sub- 
stance, dropped anything into that tempJe, save once in 
secret-as she afterwards discovered-two fragments of 
tobacco-pipe, which she hoped would not be put down to 
his last account. That Dolly, she was grieved to say, was 
no Jess backward in her contributions, better loving, as it 
seemed, to purchase ribbons and such gauds, than to en- 
courage the great cause, then in such heavy tribulation; 
and that she did entreat her (her father she oluch feared 
could not be moved) not to despise, but imitate, the bright 
e;xample of Miss Miggs, who flung her wages, as it were, 
into the very countenance of the Pope, and bruised his 
features with her quarter's money. 
" Oh, mim," said lYliggs, " don't relude to that. I had 
no intentions, mim, that nobody should know. Such 
sacrifices as I can make, are quite a widder's mite. It's 
all I have," cried Miggs with a great burst of tears-for 
with her they never came on by degrees-" but it's made 
up to me in other ways; it's well made up." 
This was quite true, though not perhaps in the sense that 
Miggs intended. As she never failed to keep her self- 
d
niaJ fun Ìn Mrs. Varden's view, it drew forth so many 
gifts of caps and gowns and other articles of dress, that 

pon the whole the red-brick house was perhaps the best 
I
vestment for h.er small. capital she could possibly have 
hit upon; returning her Interest, at the rate of seven or 
eight per cent. in money, and fifty at least in personaJ 
repute and credit. 
"You needn't cry, Miggs," said Mrs. Varden, herself 
in. tears; ," you needn't be ashamed of it, though your poor 
mistress 1.5 on the same side. " 
Mig
s howled at this remark, in a peculiarly dismal \vay, 
and said she knowed that master hated her. That it was 



Barnaby Rudge 


3 1 5 


a dreadful thing to live in families, and have dislikes, and 
not give satisfactions. That to make divisions was a thing 
she could not abear to think of, neither could her feelings 
let her do it. That if it was master's \\tishes as she and him 
should part, it \\'as best they should part, and she hoped he 
might be the happier for it, and always wished him well, 
and that he might find somebody as would meet his dis- 
positions. It would be a hard trial, she said, to part from 
such a missis, but she could -meet any suffering when her 
conscience told her she was in the rights, and therefore she 
was willing even to go that lengths. She did not think, 
she added, that she could long survive the separations, but, 
as she was hated and looked upon unpleasant, perhaps her 
dying as soon as possible would be the best endings for aU 
parties. With this affecting conclusion, Miss Miggs shed 
more tears, and sobbed abundantly. 
" Can you bear this, Varden? " said his wife in a solemn 
voice, laying down her knife and fork. 
" Why, not very well, my dear," rejoined the locksmith, 
" but I try to keep my temper. t, 
" Don't let there be words on my account, mim," sobbed 
Miggs. "It's much the best that \ve should part. I 
wouldn't stay-oh, gracious me I-and make dissensions, 
not for a .annual gold mine, and found in tea and sugar." 
Lest the reader should be at any loss to discover the 
cause of Miss Miggs's deep emotion, it may be whispered 
apart that, happening to be listening, as her custom some- 
times was, when Gabriel and his wife conversed together, 
she had heard the locksmith's joke relative to the foreign 
black who played the tambourine, and bursting \vith the 
spiteful feelings which the taunt awoke in her fair breast, 
exploded in the manner we have witnessed. Matters hav- 
ing now arrived at a crisis, the locksmith, as usual, and 
for the sake of peace and quietness, gave in. 
" What are you crying for, girl? " he said. C C What '5 
the matter with you? What are you talking- about hatred 
for? I don't hàte you; I don't hate anybody. Dry your 
eyes and make yourself agreeable, in Heaven's name, and 
let us aIJ be happy while we can. 't 
The allied powers deeming it good generalship to con- 
sider this a sufficient apology on the part of the enemy, and 
confession of having been in the wrong, did dry their eyes 
and take it in good part. Miss 
1iggs observed that she 
bore no malice, no not to her greatest foe, whom she rather 



3 16 


Barnaby Rudge 


loved the more indeed the greater persecution she sus- 
tained. Mrs. Varden ;pproved of this meek and forgiving 
spirit in high terms, and incidentally declared as a closing 
article of agreement, that Dolly should accompany her to 
the Clerkenwell branch of the Association, that very night. 
This was an extraordinary instance of her great prudence 
and policy; having had this end in view from 
he first, and 
entertaining- a secret misgiving that the locksmith (\vho was 
bold when "Dolly was in question) \vould object, she had 
backed 
Iiss 
Iiggs up to this point, in order that she 
might have him at a disadvantage. The manæuvre suc- 
ceeded so well that Gabriel only made a wry face, and with 
the warning he had just had, fresh in his mind, did not dare 
to say one word. 
The difference ended, therefore, in Miggs being pre- 
sented with a gown by Mrs. Varden and half-a-cro\vn by 
DoJly, as if she had eminently distinguished herself in the 
paths of morality and goodness. Mrs. V., according to 
custom, expressed her hope that Varden would take a 
Jesson from \vhat had passed and learn more generous con- 
duct for the tirne to come; and the dinner being now cold 
and nobody's appetite very much improved by \vhat had 
passed, they went on with it, as Mrs. Varden said, " like 
Christians. " 
As there was to be a grand parade of the Royal East 
London Volunteers that afternoon, the locksmith did no 
more work; but sat down comfortably with his pipe in his 
mouth, and his arm round his pretty daughter's waist, 
looking lovingly on Mrs. V., from time to time, and ex- 
hibiting from the cro\vn of his head to the sole of his foot, 
one smiling surface of good humour. And to be sure, 
when it was time to dress him in his regimentals, and 
Dolly, hanging about him in all kinds of graceful \vinning 
ways, helped to button and buckle and brush him up and 
get him into one of the tightest coats that ever was made 
by mortal tailor, ne was the proudest father in all England. 
" What a handy jade it is ! " said the locksmith to Mrs. 
Varden, who stood by with folded hands-rather proud of 
her husband too-while l\figg-s held his cap and sword at 
arm's length, as if mistrusting that the latter might run 
some one through the body of its own accord. " but never 
marry a soldier, Doll, my dear." ' 
Dolly didn't ask why not, Or say a word indeed, but 
stooped her head down very lo\v to tie his sash. 



Barnaby Rudge 


3 1 7 


" I never wear this dress," said honest Gabriel, "but 
I think of poor Joe Willet. I loved Joe; he \vas alwc; ys 
a favourite of mine. Poor Joe I-Dear heart, my gul, 
don't tie me in so tight. " 
Dolly laughed-not like herself at all-the strangest 
little laugh that could be-and held her head down lower 
still. 
" Poor Joe I " resumed the locksmith, muttering to him- 
self; " I always wish he had come to me. I might have 
made it up between them, if he had. Ah I old John made 
a great mistake in his way of acting by that lad-a great 
mistake.-Have you nearly tied that sash, my dear? " 
What an ill-made sash it was I There it was, loose 
again and trailing on the ground. Dolly was obliged to 
kneel down, and recommence at the beginning. 
"Never mind young Willet, Varden," said his wife 
frowning; "you might find some one more deserving to 
talk about, I think. " 
Miss Miggs gave a great sniff to the same effect. 
"Nay, Martha," cried the locksmith, "don't let us 
bear too hard upon him. If the lad is dead indeed, we'll 
deal kindly by his memory." 
" A runaway and a vagabond I " said Mrs. Varden. 
Miss Miggs expressed her concurrence as before. 
" A runaway, my dear, but not a vagabond," returned 
the locksmith in a gentle tone. "He behaved himself 
well, did Joe-always-and was a handsome manly fellow. 
Don't call him a vagabond, Martha." 
Mrs. Varden coughed-and so did Miggs. 
" He tried hard to gain your good opinion, Martha, I 
can tell you," said the locksmith, smiling, and stroking his 
chin. "Ah I that he did. It seems but yesterday that he 
followed me out to the Maypole door one night, and begged 
me not to say how like a boy they used him-say here, at 
home, he meant, though at the time, I recollect, I didn't 
understand. 'And how's Miss Dolly, sir?' says Joe," 
pursued the locksmith, musing sorro\vfully, "Ah! Poor 
Joe ! " 
" Well, I declare," cried Miggs. "Dh! Goodness 
gracious me I J' 
"What's the matter now?" said Gabriel, turning 
sharply to her. 
" Why, if here an't l\;liss Dolly," said her handmaid, 
stooping down to look into her face, "a giving way to 



3 18 


Barnaby Rudge 


floods of tears. Oh, mim ! oh sir! Raly it's give me such 
a turn 'J cried the susceptible damsel, pressing her hand 
upon her side to queIJ the palpitation of her heart, " that 
you mig-ht knock me down with a feather. " 
The '"-locksmith, after glancing at Miss Miggs as if he 
could have wished to have a feather brought str
ightway, 
looked on with a broad stare while Dolly hurried a"vay, 
followed by that sympathising young woman: then turn- 
ing to his wife, stammered out, "Is DolIy ill? Have I 
done anything? Is it my fault? " 
" Your fault! " cried Mrs. V. reproachfully. "There 
-you had better make haste out. " 
" 'Vhat have I done? " said poor Gabriel. "It was 
agreed that Mr. Edward's name was never to be mentioned, 
and I have not spoken of him, have I? 'J 
Mrs. Varden merely replied that she had no patience 
with him, and bounced off after the other two. The un- 
fortunate locksmith wound his sash about him, girded on 
his sword, put on his cap, and walked out. 
" I am not much of a dab at my exercise, (, he said under 
his breath, " but I shall get into fe\ver scrapes at that work 
than at this. Every man came into the world for some- 
thing; my department seems to be to make every woman 
cry without meaning it. It's rather hard! " 
But he forgot it before he reached the end of the street. 
and went on with a shining face, nodding to the neigh- 
bours, and sho\vering about his friendly greetings like 
mild spring rain. 


CHAPTER XLII 


THE Royal East London Volunteers made a brilliant 
sight that day; formed into lines, squares, circles, tri- 
angles, and what not, to the beating of drums and the 
streaming of flags; and performed a vast number of com- 
plex evolutions, in all of which Serjeant Varden bore a con- 
spicuous share. Having displayed their military pro\vess 
to the utmost in these warlike shows, they marched in 
glittering order to the Chelsea Bun-house, and regaled in 
the adjacent taverns until dark. Then at sound of drum 
they fell in again, and returned amidst the shouting 



Barnaby Rudge 


3 1 9 


of His 
1ajesWty's lieges to the place from whence they 
came. 
The homeward march being somewhat tardy ,-owin
 
to the un-soldierlike behaviour of certain corporals, who, 
being gentlemen of sedentary pursuits in private life and 
excitable out of doors, broke several windows with their 
bayonets, and rendered it imperative on the commanding 
officer to deliver them over to a strong guard, with whom 
they fought at intervals as they came along ,-it was nine 
o'clock when the locksmith reached home. A hackney- 
coach was waiting near his door; and as he passed it, Mr. 
Haredale looked from the window and called him by his 
name. 
" The sight of you is good for sore eyes, sir," said the 
locksmith, stepping up to him. "I wish you had walked 
in though, rather than waited here." 
6C There is nobody at home, I find," Mr. Haredale 
answered; " besides, I desired to be as private as I could. " 
" Hunlph ! " muttered the locksmith, looking round at 
his house. "Gone with Simon Tappertit to that precious 
Branch, no doubt." 
Mr. Haredale invited him to come into the coach, and, 
if he were not tired or anxious to go home, to ride with him 
a little way that they might have some talk together. 
Gabriel cheerfuIJy complied, and the coachman mounting 
his box, drove off. 
" Varden," said Mr. Haredale, after a minute's pause, 
U you will be amazed to hear what errand I am on; it wiU 
t " 
seem a very s range one. 
CI I have no doubt it's a reasonable one, sir, and has a 
meaning in it," replied the locksmith; " or it would not be 
yours at all. Have you just come back to town, sir? " 
" But half an hour ago." 
" Bringing no news of Barnaby, or his mother? " said 
the locksmith dubiously. "Ah! you needn't shake your 
head, sir. It was a wild-goose chase. I feared that, from 
the first. You exhausted all reasonable means of discovery 
\vhen they went away. To begin again after so long a time 
has passed is hopeless, sir-quite hopeless. " 
" Why, where are they?" he returned impatiently. 
" \Vhere can they be? Above ground? " 
"God kno\vs," rejoined the locksmith, "many that I 
knew above it five years ago, have their beds under the 
grass now. And the world is a wide place. It's a hope- 



3 20 


Barnaby Rudge 


Jess attempt, sir, believe me. We must leave the dis- 
covery of this mystery, like all others, to time, and acci- 
dent, and Heaven's pleasure. t) 
" Varden, my good feHow, Jt said l\1r. Haredale, cc I hav
 
a deeper meaning in my present anxiety to find them out, 
than you can fathom. It is not a mere whim; it is not the 
casual revival of myoid wishes and desires j but an earnest, 
soJemn purpose. My thoughts and dreams all tend to it, 
and fix it in my mind. I have no rest by day or night; 
I have no peace or quiet; I am haunted. " 
His voice "vas so altered from its usual tones, and his 
manner bespoke so much emotion, that Gabriel, in his won- 
der, could only sit and look towards him in the darkness, 
and fancy the expression of his face. 
C C Do not ask me," continued l\1r. Haredale, " to explain 
myself. If I were to do so, you would think me the victim 
of some hideous fancy. It is enough that this is so, and 
that I cannot-no, I can not-lie quietly in my bed, with- 
out doing what will seem to you incomprehensible. " 
cc Since when, sir," said the locksmith after a pause, 
" has this uneasy feeling been upon you? " 
l\1r. Haredale hesitated for some moments, and then 
replied: C C Since the night of the storm. In short, since 
the last nineteenth of March. " 
As though he feared that Varden might express surprise, 
or reason with him, he hastily went on : 
cc You will think, I know, I labour under some delusion. 
Perhaps I do. But it is not a morbid one; it is a whole- 
some action of the mind, reasoning on actual occurrences. 
You kno\v the furniture remains in Mrs. Rudge's house, 
and that it has been shut up, by my orders, since she went 
away, save once a-week or so, when an old neighbour visits 
it to scare away the rats. I am on my way there now. " 
U For what purpose? " asked the locksmith. 
"To pass the night there," he replied; U and not to- 
night alone, but many nights. This is a secret which I 
trust to you in case of any unexpected emergency. You 
will not come, unless in case of strong necessity, to me; 
from dusk to broad day I shall be there. Emma, your 
daughter, and the rest, suppose me out of London, as I 
have been until within this hour. Do not undeceive them. 
l'his is the errand I am bound upon. I know I may con- 
fide it to you, and I rely upon your questioning me no fur- 
ther at this time. " 



Barnaby Rudge 


3 21 


"Tith that, as if to change the theIne, he led the as- 
ounded locksmith back to the night of the Maypole high- 
Nayman, to the robbery of Edward Chester, to the reap- 
)earance of the man at .J\1rs. Rudge's house, and to all the 
;trange circumstances \vhich afterwards occurred. He 

ven asked him carelessly about the man's height t his face, 
lis figure, \vhether he was like anyone he had ever seen 
-like Hugh, for instance, or any man he had known at 
lny time-and put many questions of that sort, which the 
ocksmith, considering them as mere devices to engage his 
:lttention and prevent his expressing the astonishment he 
felt, ans\vered pretty much at random. 
At length they arrived at the corner of the street in which 
the house stood, where 1\1r. Haredale, alighting, dismissed 
the coach. "If you desire to see me safely lodged," he 
5aid, turning to the locksmith \vith a gloomy smile, "you 
can. " 
Gabriel, to \vhom all former marvels had been nothing 
in comparison with this, follo\ved him along the narro\v 
pavement in silence. \Vhen they reached the door, lVlr. 
1-J aredale softly opened it ,vith a key he had about him, and 
closing it when Varden entered, they \vere left in thorough 
darkness. 
They groped their ,vay into the ground-floor room. 
Here Mr. Haredale struck a light, and kindled a pocket 
taper he had brought with him for the purpose. It was 
then, \vhen the flame was full upon him, that the locksmith 
saw for the first time how haggard, pale, and changed he 
leaked; how \vorn and thin he was; ho\v perfectly his 
whole appearance coincided \vith all that he had said so 
strangely as they rode along. It "'as not an unnatural 
impulse in Gabriel, after what he had heard, to note curi- 
ously the expression of his eyes. It was perfectly collected 
and rational ;-so much so, indeed, that he felt ashamed 
of his momentary suspicion, and drooped his own when 

Ir. Haredale loo
ed towards him, as if he feared they 
would betray his thoughts. 
" \ViII you walk throug-h the house? " said Mr. Hare- 
dale, with a glance to\vards the windo\v, the crazy shutters 
of which were closed and fastened. "Speak low. " 
There \-vas a kind of awe about the place, which v;ouJd 
have rendered it difficult to speak in any other manner. 
Gabriel whispered " Yes," and fol1o\\-ed him up stairs. 
Everything was just as they had seen it last. There \-vas 
M 



3 22 


Barnaby Rudge 


a sense of closeness from the exclusion of fresh air, and 
a gloom and heaviness around, as though long imprison- 
ment had made the very silence sad. The homely hang- 
ings of the beds and windows had begun to droop; the 
dust lay thick upon their dwindling folds; and damps had 
lllade their way through ceiling, \vall, and floor. The 
boards creaked beneath their tread as if resenting the UI1- 
accustomed intrusion; nimble spiders, paralysed by the 
taper's glare, checked the motion of their hundred legs 
upon the wall, or dropped like lifeless things upon the 
ground: the death-\vatch ticked aloud; and the scamper- 
ing feet of rats and mice rattled behind the wainscot. 
As they looked about them on the decaying furniture, it 
was strange to find ho\v vividly it presented those to \vhom 
it had belonged, and with whom it was once familiar. 
Grip seemed to perch again upon his high-backed chair; 
Barnaby to crouch in his old favourite corner by the fire; 
the mother to resume her usual seat, and watch him as of 
old. Even when they could separate these objects fronl 
the phantoms of the mind which they invoked, the latter 
only glided out of sight, but lingered near them still; for 
then they seemed to lurk in closets and behind the doors, 
ready to start out and suddenly accost them in their well- 
remembered tones. 
They \vent down stairs, and again into the room they 
had just now left. Mr. Haredale unbuckled his s\vord and 
laid it on the table, with a pair of pocket pistols; then told 
the locksmith he would light him to the door. 
" But this is a dull place, sir," said Gabriel, lingering; 
" may no one share your \vatch? " 
He shook his head, and so plainly evinced his wish to be 
alone, that Gabriel could say no more. In another moment 
the locksmith was standing in the street, whence he could 
see that the light once more travelled up stairs, and soon 
returning to the rOOlll belo\v, shone brightly through the 
chinks in the shutters. 
If ever man were sorely puzzled and perplexed, the lock- 
smith was, that night. Even when snugly seated by his 
o
vn fi
eside, with rvIrs. Varden opposite in a nightcap and 
night-Jacket, and Dolly beside him (in a most distracting 
dishabille) curling her hair, and sn1ÌlinO" as if she had never 
cried in all her life and never could-e
en then, with Toby 
at his elbow and his pipe in his mouth, and Miggs (but 
that perhaps was not much) falling asleep in the back- 



Barnaby Rudge 


3 2 3 


ground, he could not quite discard his \\'ondcr and une;]si- 
ness. So, in his dreams-still there \\ras 1\1r. Haredale, 
haggard and care\vorn, listening in the solitary house to 
every sound that stirred, with the taper shining through 
the chinks until the day should turn it pale and end his 
lonely watching. 


CHAPTER XLIII 


NEXT nlorning- brought no satisfaction to the locksmith '5 
thoughts, nor next day, nor the next, nor many others. 
Often after nightfall he entered the street, and turned his 
eyes towards the well-known house; and as surely as he 
did so, there \vas the solitary light, still gJeanling through 
the crevices of the window-shutter, while all within \vas 
motionless, noiseless, cheerless, as a grave. Unwilling to 
hazard Mr. Haredale's favour by disobeying his strict in- 
junction, he never ventured to knock at the door or to 
make his presence known in any way. But whenever 
strong interest and curiosity attracted him to the spot- 
which was not seldom-the light was always there. 
If he could have known \vhat passed within, the kno\v- 
ledge would have yielded him no due to this mysterious 
vigil. At twilight, Mr. Harcdale shut himself up, and at 
daybreak he came forth. He never missed a night, always 
came and went alone, and never varied his proceedings in 
the least degree. 
The nlanner of his \vatch \vas this. At dusk, he entered 
the house in the same \vay as \vhen the locksmith bore him 
company, kindled a light, \vent through the rooms, and 
narrowly examined them. That done, he returned to the 
chamber on the ground-Aoor, and laying his sword and 
pistols on the table, sat by it until morning. 
He usually had a book with him, and often tried to read, 
but never fixed his 'eyes or thoughts upon it for five minutes 
together. The slightest noise without doors caught his 
ear; a step upon the pavement seemed to make his heart 
leap. 
He was not without sonle refreshment during the long 
lonely hours: generally carrying in his pocket a sandwich 
of bread and nleat, and a snlall flask of wine. The latter, 



324 


Barnaby Rudge 


diluted \vith large quantities of water, he drank in a heated, 
feverish \vay, as though his throat were dried up; but he 
scarcely ever broke his fast, by so much as a crumb of 
brea d. . 
If this voluntary sacrifice of sleep and comfort had its 
origin, as the locksn1ith on consideration \vas disposed to 
think, in any superstitious expectation of the fulfilment of 
a dream or vision connected \vith the event on which he had 
brooded for so many years, and if he waited for sonle 
g-hostly visitor \\"ho walked abroad when n1en lay sleeping 
in their beds, he shO'wed no trace of fear or ,vavering. His 
stern features expressed the most inflexible resolution; his 
brows were puckered, and his lips compressed, \vith deep 
and settled purpose; and when he started at a noise and 
listened, it \vas not \vith the start of fear but hope, and 
catching up his sword as though the hour had come at last, 
he would clutch it in his tight-clenched hand, and listen, 
\vith sparkling eyes and eager looks, until it died away. 
These disappointments \vere numerous, for they ensued 
on almost every sound, but his constancy \vas not shaken. 
Still, every night he was at his post, the same stern, sleep- 
less sentinel; and still night passed, and morning da\vned, 
and he must watch again. 
This went on for weeks; he had taken a lodging at \Taux- 
hall in which to pass the day and rest himself; and from 
this place, \vhen the tide served, he usually came to London 
Bridge from Westminster by \vater, in order that he might 
avoid the busy streets. 
One evening, shortly before tv:ilight, he came his accus- 
tomed road upon the river's bank, intending to pass 
through \Yestminster Hall into Palace Yard, and there take 
boat to London Bridge as usual. There was a pretty large 
concourse of people assembled round the Houses of Parlia- 
n1ent, looking at the rvlembers as they entered and departed, 
and giving vent to rather noisy demonstrations of approval 
or dislike, according to their known opinions. As he made 
his \vay among the throng, he heard once or Ì\vice the N 0- 
Popery cry, \vhich ,vas then becoming pretty familiar to 
the ears of most men; but holding it in very slight regard, 
and observing that the idlers were of the lo\vest grade, he 
neither thought nor cared about it, but nlade his \\7ay along, 
with perfect indifference. 
There \\Tere many little knots and groups of persons in 
\\'estminster Hall: sonle fe\v looking up\vard at its noble 



Barnaby Rudge 


325 


ceiling, and at the rays of evening light, tinted by the 
setting sun, \vhich streamed in aslant through its sOlall 
windows, and grov,ring dimmer by degrees, \vere quenched 
in the gathering gloorn below; some, noisy passengers, 
mechanics going home from \vork, and otherwise, \vho 
hurried quickly through, \vaking the echoes v,rith their 
voices, and soon darkening the small door in the distance, 
as they passed into the street beyond; some, in busy con- 
ference together on political or private matters, pacing 
slowly up and down v,iith eyes that sought the ground, and 
seeming, by their attitudes, to listen earnestly from head 
to foot. Here, a dozen squabbling urchins made a very 
Babel in the air; there, a solitary man, half clerk, half 
mendicant, paced up and down with hungry dejection in his 
look and gait; at his elbo\v passed an errand-lad, s\vinging 
his basket round and round, and with his shrill \vhistle 
riving the very timbers of the roof; \vhile a nlore observant 
schoolboy, half-\vay through, pocketed his ball, and eyed 
the distant beadle as he came looming on. It \vas that time 
of evening \vhen, if you shut your eyes and open them 
again, the darkness of an hour appears to have gathered 
in a second. The smooth-\vorn pavement, dusty \vith foot- 
steps, still called upon the lofty walls to reiterate the shuffle 
and the tread of feet unceasingly, save when the closing of 
some heavy door resounded through the building like a clap 
of thunder, and drowned all other noises in its rolling 
sound. 
1\1r, Haredale, glancing only at such of these groups as 
he passed nearest to, and then in a manner betokening that 
his thoughts \'"ere elsewhere, had nearly traversed the Hall, 
when two persons before him caught his attention. One 
of these, a gentleman in elegant attire, carried in his hand a 
cane, \vhich he twirled in a jaunty manner as he loitered 
on; the other, an obsequious, crouching, fawning figure, 
listened to \"hat he said-at tinles thro\;ving in an humble 
word hiITIseIf-and, \vith his shoulders shrugged up to his 
ears, rubbed his 'hands submissively, or answered at in- 
tervals by an inclination. of the head, half-\\iay between a 
nod of acquiescence, and a OO\V of most profound respect. 
In the abstract there \vas nothing very remarkable in this 
pair, for servility v:aiting on a handsome suit of clothes and 
a cane-not to speak of gold and silver sticks, or wands of 
office-is common enough. But there \vas that about the 
well-dressed man, yes, and about the other like\vise, v,'hich 



3 26 


Barnaby Rudge 


struck Mr. Haredale with no pleasant feeling. He hesi- 
tated, stopped, and \vould have stepped aside and turned 
out of his path, but at the moment, the other two faced 
about quickly, and stumbled upon him before he could 
avoid then1. 
The gentleman with the cane lifted his hat and had begun 
to tender an apology, which 1\lr. Haredale had begun as 
hastily to acknowledge and walk away, when he stopped 
short and cried, " Haredale! Gad bless me, this is strange 
indeed ! " 
" It is," he returned impatiently; " yes-a- " 
" My dear friend," cried the other, detaining him, " vvhy 
such great speed? One minute, Haredale, for the sake of 
old acquaintance." 
" I am in haste," he said. "Neither of us has sought 
this meeting. Let it be a brief one. Good night! " 
&, Fie, fie! " replied Sir John (for it was he), " how very 
churlish! \Ve were speaking of you. Your name was on 
my lips-perhaps you heard me nlention it? No? I am 
sorry for that. I am rea]]y sorry.- You kno\v our friend 
here, Haredale? This is really a most remarkable meet- 
ing ! " 
The friend, plainly very in at ease, had made bold to 
press Sir John's arm, and to give him other significant hints 
that he was desirous of avoiding this introduction. As it 
did not suit Sir John's purpose, however, that it should be 
evaded, he appeared quite unconscious of these silent re- 
monstrances, and inclined his hand to\vards him, as he 
spoke, to can attention to him more particularly. 
The friend, therefore, had nothing for it, but to muster 
up the pleasantest smile he could, and to makeaconciliatory 
bow, as Mr. Haredale turned his eyes upon him. Seeing 
that he was recognised, he put out his hand in an awkward 
and embarrassed manner, which \vas not mended by its 
contemptuous rejection. 
" Mr. Gashford! " said Haredale, coldly. "It is as I 
have heard then. You have left the darkness for the light, 
sir, and hate those whose opinions you fornlerly held, with 
all the bitterness of a renegade. You are an honour, sir, to 
any cause. I wish the one you espouse at present, much 
joy of the acquisition it has nlade. n 
The secretary rubbed his hands and bo\ved, as though he 
would disarm his adyersary by humbling- himself before 
him. Sir John Chester again exc1aimed, \vith an air of 



'\ 


Barnaby Rudge 


3 2 7 


great gaiety, "Now, really, this is a most remarkable 
meetin
 ! " and took a pinch of snuff with his usual self- 
possession. 
"
lr. Haredale," said Gashford, stealthily raising his 
eyes, and letting them drop again when they met the other's 
steady gaze, "is too conscientious, too honourable, too 
manly, I am sure, to attach un\vorthy motives to an honest 
change of opinions, even though it implies a doubt of those 
he holds himself. 1\1r. Haredale is too just, too generous, 
too clear-sighted in his moral vision, to--" 
" Yes, sir? " he rejoined with a sarcastic sIl1ile, finding 
that the secretary stopped. ' , You were saying- " 
Gashford meekly shrugged his shoulders, and looking on 
the ground again, was silenf. 
" No, but let us really," interposed Sir John at this 
juncture, "let us reaIJy, for a mOlnent, contemplate the 
very remarkable character of this meeting. Haredale, my 
dear friend, pardon me if I think you are not sufficiently 
impressed \vith its singularity. Here we stand, by no 
previous appointment or arrangement, three old school- 
fellows, in Vl estminster Hall; three old boarders in a re- 
markably dull and shady seminary at Saint Orner's, where 
you, being Catholics and of necessity educated out of Eng- 
land, were brought up; and where I, being a promising 
young Protestant at that time, \vas sent to learn the French 
tongue from a native of Paris! " 
" Add to the singularity, Sir John," said Mr. Haredale, 
"that SOlne of you Protestants of promise are at this 
moment leagued in yonder building, to prevent our having 
the surpassing and unheard-of privilege of teaching our 
children to read and write-here-in this land, \vhere thou- 
sands of us enter your service every year, and to preserve 
the freedon1 of which, we die in bloody battles abroad, in 
heaps: and that others of you, to the number of some thou- 
sands as I learn, are led on to look on all men of my creed 
as wolves, and be
sts of prey, by this man Gashford. Add 
to it besides, the bare fact that this man lives in society, 
walks the streets in broad day-I was about to say, holds 
up his head, but that he does not-and it will be strange, 
and very strange, I grant you. " 
" Oh ! you are hard upon our friend," replied Sir John, 
with an engaging smile. "Y Oll are really very hard upon 
our friend ! " 
" Let him go on, Sir John," said Gashford, fumbling 



3 28 Barnaby Rudge 
with his gloves. "Let him go on. I can make al1o\v- 
ances, Sir John. I am honoured \vith your good opinion, 
and I can dispense \vith 1\lr. Haredale's. 
Ir. Haredale is 
a sufferer from the penal la\vs, and I can't expect his 
favour. " 
" You have so much of my favour, sir," retorted 1\1r. 
Haredale, with a bitter glance at the third party in their 
conversation, "that I am glad to see you in such good 
company. You are the essence of your great Association, 
in yourselves." 
" No\v there you mistake," said Sir John, in his most 
benignant way. "There-which is a most remarkable 
circun1stance for a man of your punctuality and exactness, 
my dear Haredale-you fall into an error. I don't belong 
to the body; I have an immense respect for its members, 
but I don't belong to it; although I am, it is certainly true, 
the conscientious opponent of your being relieved. I fee] 
it my duty to be so; it is a most unfortunate necessity; and 
cost me a bitter struggle.- \Vill you try this box? If you 
don't object to a trifling infusion of a very chaste scent, 
you'll find its flavour exquisite. " 
"I ask your pardon, Sir John," said l\lr. Haredale, 
declining the proffer with a nlotion of his hand, "for 
having ranked you among the humble instruments who 
are obvious and in all men's sight. I should have done 
more justice to your genius. l\len of your capacity plot 
in secrecy and safety, and leave exposed posts to the 
duller wits." 
" Don't apologise, for the \vorld," replied Sir John 
sVl,reetly; " old friends like you and I may be allowed some 
freedoms, or the deuce is in it. " 
Gashford, \vho had been very restless all this time, but 
had not once looked up, now turned to Sir John, and 
\1entured to nlutter something to the effect that he must 
go, or my lord \vould perhaps be waiting. 
" Don't distress yourself, good sir," said 1\lr. Haredale, 
" I'll take my leave, and put you at your ease' '-\vhich he 
was about to do without further ceremony, when he was 
stayed by a buzz and murmur at the upper end of the haH, 
and, looking in that direction, saw Lord George Gordon 
coming on, with a crowd of people round him. 
There' was a lurking look of triumph, though very 
differently expressed, in the faces of his two companions, 
which lnade it a" natura] impulse on Mr. Haredale's part nct 



Barnaby Rudge 


3 2 9 


to give way before this leader, but to stand there while he 
passed. He drew himself up to his full height, and, clasp- 
ing his hands behind him, looked on with a proud and 
scornful aspect, \vhile Lord George slowly advanced (for 
the press \\'as great about him) to\vards the spot where 
they were standing. 
He had left the House of Commons but that moment, and 
had come straight do\vn into the Hall, bringing with him, 
as his custom was, intelligence of what had been said that 
night in reference to the Papists, and what petitions had 
been presented in their favour, and who had supported 
them, and when the bill \vas to be brought in, and \vhen it 
would be advisable to present their o\vn Great Protestant 
petition. All this he told the persons about him in a loud 
voice, and with great abundance of ungainly gesture. 
Those who were nearest him made comments to each other, 
and vented threats and o1urmurings; those \\,-ho were out- 
side the crowd cried, "Silence," and " Stand back," or 
closed in upon the rest, endeavouring to make a forcible 
exchange of places: and so they came driving on in a very 
disorderly and irregular \vay, as it is the manner of a crowd 
to do. 
When they were very near to \vhere the secretary, Sir 
John, and Mr. Haredale stood, Lord George turned round 
and, making a fe\v remarks of a sufficiently violent and in- 
coherent kind, cond'.lded with the usual sentio1ent, and 
called for three cheers to back it. \Vhile these \vere in the 
act of being given with great energy, he extricated himself 
from the press, and stepped up to Gashford's side. Both 
he and Sir John being well known to the populace, they fell 
back a little, and left the four standing tog-ether. 
" Mr. Ilaredale, Lord George," said Sir John Chester, 
seeing that the nobleman regarded hin1 with an inquisitive 
look. - " A Catholic gentleman unfortunately-most un- 
happily a Catholic-but an esteemed acquaintance of mine, 
ílnd once of 1.\1r. Gashford's. My dear Harcdale, this is 
Lord George Gordon." 
" I should have known that, had I béen ig-norant of his 
lordship's person," said 11r. Haredale. "I hope there is 
but one gentleman in England who, addressing an ignorant 
and excited throng, would speak of a large body of his 
fellow-subjects in such injurious Ianguag-e as I heard this 
mornent. For shame, my lord, for shame! " 
" I cannot talk to you, sir," replied Lord George, in a 



33 0 


Barnaby Rudge 


loud voice, and waving his hand in a disturbed and agitated 
111anner; " we have nothing in COOln10n. " 
" 'Ve have much in COmlTIOn-many things-aU that the 
Almighty gave us," said 1\1r. Haredale; "and common 
charity, Iny lord, not to say common sense and common 
decency, should teach you to refrain from these proceed- 
ings. I f everyone of those men had arms in their hands 
at this moment, as they have them in their heads, I would 
not leave this place without telling you that you disgrace 
your station. 
" I don't hear you, sir." he replied in the saIne manner 
as before; " I can't hear you. I t is indifferent to me what 
you say. Don't retort, Gashford," for the secretary had 
made a sho\v of wishing to do so; " I can hold no com- 
munion with the worshippers of idols. " 
As he said this, he glanced at Sir John, 'who lifted his 
hands and eyebro\vs, as if deploring the intemperate con- 
duct of Mr. Haredale, and smiled in admiration of the 
crowd, and of their leader. 
" He retort! " cried Haredale. "Look you here, my 
lord. Do you know this nlan? " 
Lord George replied by laying his hand upon the shoulder 
of his cringing secretary, and viewing him with a smile of 
confidence. 
" This man," said Mr. Haredale, eyeing him from top 
to toe, " who in his boyhood was a thief, and has been from 
that time to this, a servile, false, and truckling knave: 
this man, \vho has crawled and crept through life, wounding- 
the hands he licked, and biting those he fawned upon: this 
sycophant, \vho never knew what honour, truth, or courage 
meant; who robbed his benefactor's daughter of her virtue, 
and married her to break her heart, and did it, with stripes 
and cruelty: this creature, who has whined at kitchen 
windows for the broken food, and begged for halfpence 
at our chapel doors: this apostle of the faith, whose 
tender conscience cannot bear the altars whcre his vicious 
life "vas publicly denounced-Do you know this man, my 
lord? " 
" Oh, real1y-you are \'cry, very hard upon our friend! " 
exclaimed Sir John. 
" Let Mr. Haredale go on," said Gashford, upon whose 
un\vholesome face the perspiration had broken out during 
. this speech, in blotches of wet; " I don't mind him, Sir 
John; it's quite as indifferent to IT'e what he says, as it is to 



Barnaby l{udge 


33 1 


my lord; if he reviles my lord, as }OU have heard, Sir John, 
how can I hope to esca pe? " 
" Is it not enough, my lord," l\lr. I-Iaredale continued, 
" that I, as good a gentleman as you, must hold my pro- 
perty, such as it is, by a trick 
 t which the State connives 
because of these hard laws; and that we may not teach our 
youth in schools the COll1nlon principles of right and wrong- ; 
but Blust we be denounced and ridden by sllch men as this! 
Here is a man to head your No-Popery cry, nlY lord! For 
shame. For shame! " 
The infatuated nobleman had glanced more than once at 
Sir John Chester, as if to inquire whether there was any 
truth in these statements concerning Gashford, and Sir 
John had as often plainly answered by a shrug or look, 
" Oh dear me ! no." He now said, in the same loud key, 
and in the same strange manner as before: 
" I have nothing to say, sir, in reply, and no desire to 
hear anything' nlore. I beg you won't intrude your con- 
\-ersation, or these personal attacks, upon me any further. 
I shall not be deterred frool doing 01Y duty to my country 
and nlY countrymen, by any such attempts, whether they 
proceed frOl1l enlissarics of the Pope or not, I assure you. 
Come, Gashford ! " 
They had walked on a few paces while speaking, and 
were now at the Hall-door, through which they passed 
together. 1\lr. I-Iaredalc, without any leave-taking, turned 
away to the river-stairs, which were close at hand, and 
hailed the only boatman who relnained there. 
But the throng of people-the foremost of whom had 
neard every word that Lord George Gordon said, and 
among- all of whom the rum our had been rapidly dispersed 
that the strang-er was a Papist, who was bearding him for 
his advocacy of the popular cause-came pouring- out pell- 
mell, and, forcing the nobleman, his secretary, and Sir John 
Chester on before them, so that they appcdred to be at their 
head, crowded to the top of the stairs wh('re 
lr. l-JaredaJe 
waited until the boat was ready, and there stood still, 
leaving- him on a little clear space by himself. 
They were not silent, however, thoug-h inactive. .\t 
first some indistinct muttering-s arose ,Inlong- thenl, which 
were followed by a hiss or two, and these swelled by 
d
grees into a perfect storm. fhen one voice said. 
" Down with the Papists! " and there was a pretty g-eneral 
cheer, but nothing more. After a lull of a few moment
, 



33 2 


Barnaby Rudge 


one man cried out, " Stone him"; another" Duck him" ; 
another, in a stt;ntorian voice, "No Popery!)) This 
favourite cry the rest re-echoed, and the mob, which 
might have been 1\\'0 hundred strong, joined in a generaJ 
shout. 
Mr. Haredale had stood cahnly on the brink of the steps, 
until they made this demonstration, when he looked round 
contemptuously, and ",,'alked at a slow pace down the 
stairs. I-Ie was pretty near the boat, when Gashford, as if 
without intention, turned about, and directly afterwards 
a great stone was thrown by some hand in the cro'\vd J 
which struck him on the head, and made him stagger like 
a drunken man. 
The blood sprang freely from the wound, and trickled 
down his coat. I-Ie turned directly, and rushing up the 
steps with a boldness and passion ",,-hich made them all 
fall back, demanded: 
" Who did that? Show me the man who. hit me. " 
Not a soul nloved; except some in tDe rear who slunk 
off, and, escaping to the other side of the way, looked on 
like indifferent spectators. 
"\Vho did that?)) he repeated. "Show me the man 
who did it. Dog, was it you? It was your deed, if not 
your hand- I kno\v you." 
He thre\v himself on Gashford as he said the '\\"ords, and 
hurled him to the ground. There v
.-as a sudden motion in 
the crowd, and some laid hands upon him, but his sword 
was out, and they fell off again. 
" l\Iy lord-Sir John "-he cried, " draw, one of you- 
you are responsible for this outrage, and I look to you. 
Draw, if you are gentlemen.)) \Vith that he struck Sir 
John upon the breast \\.ith the flat of his weapon, and with 
a burning face and flashing eyes stood upon his guard; 
alone, before thenl all. 
For an instant, for the briefest space of time the mind 
can readily conceive t there \-vas a change in' Sir John's 
smooth face, such as no man ever saw there. The next 
moment, he stepped for\vard, and laid one hand on lVIr. 
Haredalf
's arnl, \vhile \vith the other he endeavoured to 
appease the crowd. 
" l\ly dear friend, my good J-Idredale, you ar
 blinded 
\vÍth passion-it's yery natural, extremely natural-but 
you don't know friends from foes." 
"I know them all, sir, I can distinguish wel1-" he 



Barnaby Rudge 


333 


retorted, aln10st mad \vith rage. "Sir John, my lord-do 
you hear me? Are you cowards? " 
" Never mind, sir," said a man, forcing his \vay between 
and pushing him to\vards the stairs with friendly violenct', 
" never mind asking that. For God's sake, get away. 
\Vhat can you do against this number? And there are as 
many more in the next street, who'll be round directly "- 
indeed they began to pour in as he said the words-" you'd 
be giddy from that cut, in the first heat of a scuffle. 
N ow do retire, sir, or take my \vord for it you'll be worse 
used than you would be if every n1an in the crowd was a 
v,,'oman, and that woman Bloody l'vlar)r. COlne, sir, make 
haste-as quick as you can." 

Jr. Haredale, \vho began to turn faint and sick, felt 
ho\v sensible this advice \
.ras, and descended the steps with 
his unknown friend's assistance. John Grueby (for John 
it was) helped him into the boat, and giving her a shove off 
which sent her thirty feet into the tide, bade the waterman 
pull away like a Briton; and walked up again as con1"" 
posedly as if he had just landed. 
There was at first a slight disposition on the part of the 
mob to resent this interference; but John looking par- 
ticularly strong and cool, and \vearing besides Lord 
George's lh-ery, they thought better of it, and contented 
themselves with sending il shower of small tnissiles after 
the boat, which plashed harmlessly in the \vater, for she 
had by this tilne cleared the bridge, and was darting s\viftJy 
do\vn the centre of the stream. 
From this amuselnent, they proceeded to giving Pro- 
testant knocks at the doors of private houses, breaking a 
few lamps, and assaulting some stray constables. But it 
being whispered that a detachment of Life Guards had 
been sent for, they took to their heels with great expedi- 
tion, and left the street quite clear. 


CI-IAPTER XLIV 


\VHEN the concourse separated, and, dividing into chance 
dusters, drew off in various directions, there still remained 
upon the scene of the late disturbance, one man. This 
man was Gashford, who, bruised by his late fall, and hurt 



334 


Barnaby Rudge 


in a much greater degree by the indignity he had under- 
gone, and the expo:.eure of which he had been the victim, 
Ìimped up and down, breathing curses and threats of ven- 
geance. 
It was not the secretary's nature to waste his wrath in 
\vords. \Vhile he vented the froth of his malevolence in 
those effusions, he kept a steady eye on two men, who, 
having disappeared with. the rest when the alarm was 
spread, had since returned, and were now visible in the 
Dloonlight, at no great distance, as they walked to and fro, 
and talked together. 
He made no nlove towards them, but \vaited patiently 
on the dark side of the street, until they were tired of 
strolling back\vards and forwards and walked away in 
cOll1pany. Then he follo\ved, but at some distance: keep- 
ing them in view, \vithout appearing to have that object, 
or being seen by them. 
Th
y went up Parliament Street, past Saint Martin's 
Church, and away by Saint Giles's to Tottenham Court 
Road, at the back of which, upon the \vestern side, was 
then a place called the Green Lanes. This was a retired 
spot, not of the choicest kind, leading into the fields. 
Great heaps of ashes, stagnant pools, overgrown with rank 
grass and duck-weed; broken turnstiles; and the upright 
posts of paling-s long since carried off for fire\\;'ood, which 
menaced all heedless walkers with their jagged and rusty 
nails; were the leading features of the landscape; while 
here and there a donkey, or a ragged horse, tethered to a 
stake and cropping off a wretched meal from the coarse 
stunted turf, were quite in keeping with the scene, and 
would have suggested (if the houses had not done so suffi- 
ciently, of thenlselves) how very poor the people were who 
lived in the crazy huts adjacent, and how fool-hardy it 
Jnight prove for one who carried nloney, or wore decent 
clothes, to walk that way alone, unless by daylight. 
Poverty has its whims and shows of taste, as wealth 
has. Some of these cabins were turreted, some had false 
windows painted on their rotten walls; one had a mimic 
clock, upon a crazy tower of four feet hig-h, which screened 
the chimney; each in its little patch of ground had a rude 
seat or arbour. The population dealt in bones, in rags, 
in broken glass, in old wheels, in birds, and dogs. These, 
in their several ways of stowage, filJed the g-ardens: and 
shedding a perfume, not of the nlost delicious nature, 



Barnaby Rudge 


335 


in the air, filled it besides with yelps, and screams, and 
howling. 
Into this retreat, the secretary follo"yed the hvo men 
\vhom he had held in sight; and here he saw them safely 
}{)dged, in one of the meanest houses, \vhich "vas but a 
room, and that of srnall dinlensions. He "vaited without, 
until the sound of their voices, joined in a discordant song, 
assured him they "vere making ll1erry; and then approach- 
ing the door, by lneans of a tottering plank which crossed 
the ditch in front, knocked at it with his hand. 
"lVIuster Gashford!" said the n1an who opened it, 
taking his pipe from his mouth, in evident surprise. 
H \Vhy, "vho'd have thought of this here honour! \Valk 
in, i\luster Gashford-walk in, sir." 
Gashford required no second invitation, and entered 
\vith a gracious air. There was a fire in the rusty grate 
(for though the spring "vas pretty far advanced, the nights 
were cold), and on a stool beside it Hugh sat smoking. 
Dennis placed a chair, his only one, for the secretary, in 
front of the hearth; and took his seat again upon the stool 
he had left when he rose to give the visitor admission. 
H \Vhat's in the wind now, 1\1 uster Gashford?" he 
said, as he resumed his pipe, and looked at him aske\v. 
" Any orders from head-quarters? Are "ve going to begin? 
\Vhat is it, l\Iuster Gashford? " 
" Oh, nothing, nothing," rejoined the secretary, with a 
friendly nod to Hugh. "We have broken the ice, though. 
\Ve had a little spurt to-day-eh, Dennis? " 
" A very little one," growled the hangman. "Not half 
enough for me. " 
" Nor me either! " cried Hugh. "Give us something 
to do \vith life in it-\vith life in it, master. Ha, ha ! " 
" \Vhy, you wouldn't," said the secretary, with his 
worst expression of face, and in his mildest tones, "have 
anything to do, with-with death in it? " 
"I don't kno\v that," replied IIugh. "I'm open to 
orders. I don't care; not I." 
" Nor I! " vÒciferated Dennis. 
" Brave f ello\vs ! " said the secretary, in as pastor-like 
a ,'oice as if he "-ere con1mending then1 for some uncom- 
mon act of valour and generosity. "By the bye "-and 
here he stopped and warmed his hands: then suddenly 
looked up-" \vho thrc\v that stone to-day? " 
1\1r" Dennis coughed and shook his head, as \vho should 



33 6 


Barnaby Rudge 


say, "A mystery indeed!" Hugh sat and smoked in 
silence. 
" It was well done! " said the secretary, warming his 
hands again. "I should like to know that man. " 
" \V ould you? " said Dennis, after looking at his face 
to assure himself that he was serious. ' , Would you like 
to know that man, i\1uster Gashford? " 
" I should indeed," replied the secretary. 
" Why then, Lord love you," said the hangman, in his 
hoarsest chuckle, as he pointed \vith his pipe to Hugh, 
" there he sets. That's the man. !\-1y stars and halters, 
f\,luster Gashford," he added in a whisper, as he dre\v his 
stool close to him and jogged him with his elbow, " \vhat 
an interesting blade he is! He wants as much holding in 
as a thoroughbred bulldog. If it hadn't been for me to- 
day, he'd have had that 'ere Roman down, and made a 
riot of it, in another minute." 
" And why not? " cried Hugh in a surly voice, as he 
overheard this last remark. "\Vhere's the good of put- 
ting things off? Strike while the iron's hot; that's wh3.t 
I Say." 
" Ah ! " retorted Dennis, shaking his head, \vith a kind 
of pity for his friend's ingenuous youth: "but suppose 
the iron an't hot, brother ! You must get people's blood 
up afore you strike, and have 'eln in the humour. Then
 
wasn't quite enough to provoke 'em to-day, I tell you. If 
you'd had your way, you'd have spoilt the fun to come, 
and ruined us." 
"Dennis is quite right," said Gashford, smoothly. 
" He is perfectly correct. Dennis has great knowledge 
of the world." 
"I ought to have, Muster Gashford, seeing \vhat a 
many people I've helped out of it, eh? " grinned the hang- 
man, whispering the words behind his hand. 
The secretary laughed at this jest as much as Dennis 
could desire, and \vhen he had done, said, turning to 
Hugh: 
" Dennis's policy was mine, as you may have observed. 
You saw, for instance, how I fell when I was set upon. 
I made no resistance. I did nothing to provoke an out- 
break. Oh dear no ! 'J 
" No, by the Lord Harry! " cried Dennis with a noisy 
laugh, "you went down very quiet, Muster Gashford- 
and very flat besides. I thinks to myself at the time' it's 



Barnaby Rudge 


337 


all up with rvluster Gashford!' I never see a man lay 
flatter nor more still-\vith the life in him-than you did 
to-day. He's a rough 'un to play \vith, is that 'ere Papist, 
and that's the fact." 
The secretary's face, as Dennis roared with laughter, 
and turned his wrinkled eyes on Hugh, who did the like, 
might have furnished a study for the Devil's picture. He 
sat quite silent until they \vere serious again, and then 
said, looking round: 
" \tVe are very pleasant here; so very pleasant, Dennis, 
that but for my lord's particular desire that I should sup 
v:ith him, and the time being very near at hand, I should 
be inclined to stop, until it \vould be hardly safe to go 
homeward. I come upon a little business-yes, I do-as 
you supposed. It's very flattering to you; being this. If 
we ever should be obliged-and we can't tell, you know- 
this is a very uncertain world-" 
" I believe you, Muster Gashford, " interposed the hang- 
man with a grave nod. "The uncertainties as I've seen in 
reference to this here state of existence, the unexpected 
contingencies as have come about !-Oh my eye! " and 
feeling the subject much too vast for expression, he puffed 
at his pipe again, and looked the rest. 
" I say," resumed the secretary, in a slow, impressi \re 
way; "we can't tell what may come to pass; and if we 
should be obliged, against our wills, to have recourse to 
violence, my lord (who has suffered terribly to-day, as far 
as words can go) consigns to you t\vo-bearing in mind 
my recommendation of you both, as good staunch men, 
beyond all doubt and suspicion-the pleasant task of pun- 
ishing this Haredale. You may do as you please with him, 
or his; provided that you show no mercy, and no quarter, 
and leave no t\vo beams of his house standing where the 
builder placed them. You may sack it, burn it, do with 
it as you like, but it must come do\vn; it must be razed 
to the ground; and he, and all belonging to him, left as 
shelterless as new-born infants whom their mothers have 
exposed. Do you understand me? " said Gashford, paus- 
ing, and pressing his hands tog-ether gently. 
" Understand you, master! " cried Hugh. "You speak 
plain no\v. 'Vhy, this is hearty! " 
" I kne\v you would like it," said Gashford, shaking 
him by the hand; " I thought you would. Good night! 
Don't rise, Dennis: I would rather find n1Y way alone. 



33 8 


Barnaby Rudge 


I may have to make other visits here, and it's pleasant to 
come and go without disturbing you. J can find my \vay 
perfectly well. Good night! " 
He was gone, and had shut the door behind him. They 
looked at each other, and nodded appro"ingly: Dennis 
stirred up the fire. 
" This looks a little more like business! " he said. 
" Ay, indeed! " cried Hugh; " this suits me! " 
" I've heerd it said of 1\1 uster Gashford," said the 
hangman, thoug-htfully, "that he'd a surprising memory 
and \vonderful firmness-that he never forgot, and never 
forg-ave.-Let's drink his health! " 
11ugh readily complied; pouring- no liquor on the floor 
\vhen he drank this toast; and they pledged the secretary 
as a man after their own hearts, in a bumper. 


CHAPTER XLV 


\VHILE the \vorst passions of the worst men were thus 
working in the dark, and the mantle of religion, assumed 
to cover the ugliest deformities, threatened to become the 
shroud of all that \vas good and peaceful in society, a cir- 
cumstance occurred which once more altered the position 
of hvo persons from whom this history has long been 
separated, and to whom it nllist now return. 
In a sOlall English country to\vn, the inhabitants of which 
supported themselves by the labour of their hands in plait- 
ing- and preparing stra\v for those who made bonnets and 
other artic1es of dress and ornatllent from that material, 
-concealed under an assumed name, and living- in a quiet 
poverty which knew no chang-e, no pleasures, and few 
cares but that of strugg-ling- on frolll day to day in the one 
great toil for bread,-dwclt Barnabv and his mother. Their 
poor cottage had kno\,'n no strañger's foot since they 
sought the shelter of its roof five years before; nor had 
they in al1 that time held any conlmerce or communication 
with the old world from which they had fled. To labour 
in peace, and devote her labour añd her life to her poor 
son, was all the widow soug-ht. If happiness can be said 
at any time to be the lot of one on \vhom a secret sorrow 
preys, she was happy now. Tranquillity, resignation, and 



Barnaby Rudge 


339 


her strong love of him who needed it so much, formed the 
small circle of her quiet joys; and while that ren1ained 
unbroken, she was contented. 
For Barnaby himself, the time which had flown by, had 
passed him like the wind. The daily suns of years had 
shed no brighter gleam of reason on his n1Ìnd; no dawn 
had broken on his long, dark night. He would sit son1e- 
times-often for days together-on a low seat by the fire 
or by the cottage door, busy at work (for he had learnt the 
art his mother plied), and listening, God help him, to the 
tales she \vould repeat, as a lure to keep hin1 in her sight. 
He had no recollection of these little narratives; the tale 
of yesterday was new upon the morrow; but he liked then1 
at the moment; and when the humour held him, would re- 
main patiently within doors, hearing her stories like a 
little child, and \vorking cheerfully froll1 sunrise until it 
was too dark to see. 
At other times,-and then their scanty earnings were 
barely sufficient to furnish them with food, though of the 
coarsest sort,-he would \vander abroad from dawn of 
day until the twilight deepened into nig-ht. Few in that 
place, even of the children, could be idle, and he had no 
companions of his own kind. Indeed there \vere not many 
who could have kept up with him in his ran1bles, had there 
ueen a legion. But there were a score of vagabond dogs 
belonging to the neighbours, who served his purpose quite 
as well. \Vith two or three of these, or sometimes with 
a full half-dozen barking at his heels, he would sal1y forth 
on some long expedition that consumed the day; and 
though, on their return at nightfall, the dogs would come 
home limping and sore-footed, and almost spent with their 
fatigue, Barnaby was up and off again at sunrise with some 
new attendants of the san1e class, \vith whom he would 
return in like manner. On all these travels, Grip, in his 
little basket at his master's back, was a constant member 
of the party, and when they set off in fine weather and in 
high spirits, no dog barked louder than the raven. 
The.ir pleasures on these excursions were simple enough. 
A crust of bread and scrap of meat, with water from the 
brook or spring, sufficed for their repast. Barnaby's en- 
joyments \vere, to \valk, and run, and leap, tiJI he was 
tired; then to lie down in the long g-rass, or by the grow- 
ing corn, or in the shade of some tall tree, looking upward 
at the light clouds as they floated over the blue surface of 



34 0 


B
rnaby Rudge 


the sky, and listening to the lark as she poured out her 
brilliant song. There were wild-flowers to pluck-the 
bright red poppy, the gentle harebell, the cowslip, and the 
rose. There were birds to watch; fish; ants; v.rorms; 
hares or rabbits, as they darted across the distant path- 
way in the wood and so were gone: millions of living" 
things to have an interest in, and lie in wait for, and clap 
hands and shout in memory of, when they had disappeared. 
In default of these, or when they wearied, there was the 
m'erry sunlight to hunt out, as it crept in aslant through 
leaves and boughs of tree, and hid far down-deep, deep, in 
hollow places-like a silver pool, \vhere nodding branches 
seemed to bathe and sport; sweet scents of summer air 
breathing over fields of beans or clover; the perfunle of 
wet leaves or moss; the life of waving trees, and shadows 
always changing. When these or any of thenl tired, or 
in excess of pleasing tenlpted hiln to shut his eyes, there 
was slumber in the midst of all these soft delights, 
with the gentle wind murnluring like music in his 
ears, and everything around melting into one delicious 
dream. 
Their hut-for it \vas little more-stood on the outskirts 
of the town, at a short distance from the high-road, but 
in a secluded place, \vhere few chance passengers strayed 
at any season of the year. It had a plot of garden-ground 
attached, which Barnaby, in fits and starts of working 
 
trimmed, and kept in order. \Vithin doors and without, 
his mother laboureè for their common good; and hail, 
rain, snow, or sunshine, found no difference in her. 
Though so far removed from the scenes of her past life, 
and with so little thought or hope of ever visiting them 
again, she seemed to have a strange desire to know what 
happened in the busy \vorld. Any old ne\vspaper, or scrap 
of intelligence from London, she caught at with avidity. 
The excitement it produced was not of a pleasurable kind, 
for her manner at such times expressed the keenest anxiety 
and dread; but it never faded in the least degree. Then, 
and in stormy winter nig-hts, when the wind blew loud and 
strong, the old expression came into her face, and "he 
would be seized \vith a fit of trenlbling-, like one who held 
an ague. But Barnaby noted little of this; and putting a 
great constraint upon herself, she usually recovered her 
accustonled manner before the change had caught his ob- 
servation. 



Barnaby Rudge 


34 1 


Grip \vas by no means an idle or unprofitable member of 
the humble household. Partly by dint of Barnaby's tui- 
tion, and partly by pursuing a species of self-instruction 
common to his tribe, and exerting his powers of observa- 
tion to the utmost, he had acquired a degree of sagacity 
which rendered him famous for miles round. His conver- 
sational ppwers and surprising perfornlances were the uni- 
yersal theme; and as many persons cam'e to see the won- 
derful raven, and none left his exertions unrewarded- 
when he condescended to exhibit, \vhich was not always, 
for genius is capricious-his earnings formed an import- 
ant item in the common stock. Indeed, the bird himself 
appeared to know his value well; for though he was per- 
fectly free and unrestrained in the presence of Barnaby 
and his mother, he maintained in public an amazing grav- 
ity, and never stooped to any other gratuitous perform- 
ances than biting the ankles of vagabond boys (an exercise 
in which he much delighted), killing a fowl or two occa- 
sionally, and swallowing the dinners of various neighbour- 
ing dogs, of 'whom the boldest held him in great awe and 
dread. 
Time had glided on in this way, and nothing had 
happened to disturb or change their mode of life, when, 
one summer's night in June, they \-vere in their little garden, 
resting from the labours of the day. The widow's work 
was yet upon her knee, and stre\vn upon the ground about 
her; and Barnaby stood leaning on his spade, gazing at 
the brightness in the west, and singing softly to himself. 
"A bra\.e evening, mother! If v;e had, chinking in 
our pockets, but a fe\v specks of that gold which is piled 
up yonder in the sky, we should be rich for life. " 
" We are better as we are,' 7 returned the widow with a 
quiet smile. "Let us be contentc:d, and we do not \vant 
and need not care to have it, though it lay shining at our 
feet. " 
" A y ! " said Barnaby, resting \\7ith crossed arms on his 
spade, and looking wistfully at the sunset, "that's well 
enough, mother; but gold's a good thing- to have. I wish 
that I kne\v where to find it. Grip and I could do much 
with gold, be sure of that. " 
" \Vhat would you do? " she asked. 
" What! A world of things. \Ve'd dress finely-you 
and I, I mean; not Grip-keep hOFf5es, dogs, wear bright 
colours and feathers, do no nlore work, live delicately and 



34 2 


Barnaby Rudge 


at our ease. Oh, we'd find uses for it, mother, and uses 
that would do us good. I would I knew where gold was 
buried. How hard I'd work to dig it up ! J) 
, , You do not know," said his mother, rising from her 
seat and laying her hand upon his shoulder, "what men 
have done to win it, and how they have found, too late, 
that it glitters brightest at a distance, and turns quite dim 
and dull when handled. " 
" Ay, ay; so you say; so you think, J) he answered, still 
looking eagerly in the same direction. "For all that, 
o1other, I should like to try." 
" Do you not see, " she said, " how red it is? Nothing 
bears so many stains of blood, as gold. Avoid it. None 
have such cause to hate its name as we have. Do not so 
much as think of it, dear love. I t has brought such misery 
and suffering on your head and mine as few have known,. 
and God grant few may have to undergo. I would rather 
we were dead and laid down in our graves, than you should 
ever come to love it. " 
For a moment Barnaby withdrew his eyes and looked at 
her with wonder. Then, glancing from the redness in the 
sky to the mark upon his wrist as if he would compare the 
two, he seemed about to question her with earnestness, 
when a new object caught his wandering attention, and 
made him quite forgetful of his purpose. 
This was a man with dusty feet and garments, who 
stood, bareheaded, behinø the hedge that divided their 
patch of garden from the pathway, and leant meekly for- 
ward as if he sought to mingle with their conversation, 
and waited for his time to speak. His face was turned 
towards the brightness, too, but the light that fell upon it 
showed that he was blind, and saw it not. 
" A blessing on those voices! " said the wayfarer. "I 
feel the beauty of the night more keenly when I hear them. 
They are like eyes to me. Will they speak again, and cheer 
the heart of a poor traveller? " 
"Have you no guide?" asked the widow, after a 
moment's pause. 
" None but that," he answered, pointing with his staff 
towards the sun; " and sometimes a milder one at night, 
but she is idle now. " 
" Have vou travelJed far? " 
" A wea
y way and long, J) rejoined the traveJIer as he 
shook his head. "A weary, weary w.ay. I struck my 



Barnaby Rudge 


343 


stick just now upon the bucket of your well-be pleased to 
let me have a draught of water, lady." 
" Why do you call me lady? " she returned. "I am 
as poor as you. " 
" Your speech is soft and gentle, and I judg'e by that," 
replied the man. "The coarsest stuffs and finest silks are 
-apart from the sense of touch-alike to me. I cannot 
judge you by your dress." 
" Come round this way," said Barnaby, who had passed 
out at the garden gate, and now stood close beside 
him. "Put your hand in mine. You're blind and always 
in the dark, eh? Are you frightened in the dark? Do 
you see great crowds of faces, no\v? Do they grin and 
chatter? " 
" Alas! " returned the other, " I see nothing. vVaking 
or sleeping, nothing." 
Barnaby looked curiously at his eyes, and touching them 
with his fingers, as an inquisitive child might do, led him 
towards the house. 
" \"ou have come a long distance," said the \\-'idow, meet- 
ing him at the door. "How have you found your way 
so far? " 
" Usè and necessity are good teachers, as I have heard 
-the best of any," said the blind man, sitting down upon 
the chair to which Barnaby had led him, and putting his 
hat and stick upon the red-tiled floor. "May neither you 
nor your son ever learn under them. They are rough 
masters. " 
"You have wandered from the road, too," said the 
wido\v, in a tone of pity. 
" Maybe, maybe," returned the blind man with a sigh, 
and yet \\-.ith something of a smile upon his face, " that's 
likely. Handposts and n1ilestones are dumb, indeed, to 
me. Thank you the more for this rest, and this refreshing 
drink ! " 
As he spoke, 1}e raised the mug- of water to his mouth. 
I t was clear and cold, and sparkling, but not to his taste 
nevertheless, or his thirst was not very great, for he only 
wetted his lips and put it down again. 
He \vore, hanging- \vith a long strap round his neck, a 
kind of 
crip or wallet, in which to carry food. The wido\v 
set some ',read and cheese before him, but he thanked her, 
and said that through the kindness of the charitable he had 
broken his fast once since morning, and was not hungry. 



344 


Barnaby Rudge 


\Vhen he had made her this reply, he opened his wallet, and 
took out a few pence, \vhich \vas all it appeared to 
contain. 
" 11ight I make bold to ask," he said, turning towards 
\vhere Barnaby stood looking on, " that one who has the 
gift of sight, would lay this out for me in bread to keep me 
on my way? Heaven's blessing on the young feet that 
will bestir themselves in aid of one so helpless as a sig-ht- 
less man! )) 
Barnaby looked at his mother, who nodded assent; in 
another mon1ent he \vas gone upon his charitable errand. 
The blind man sat listening with an attentive face, until 
long after the sound of his retreating footsteps \vas in- 
audible to the wido\v, and then said, suddenly and in a very 
altered tone: 
"There are various degrees and kinds of blindness, 
widow. There is the connubial blindness, ma'am, which 
perhaps you may have observed in the course of your own 
experience, and which is a kind of \vilful and self-bandag- 
ing blindness. There is the blindness of party, ma 'am, 
and public men, which is the blindness of a mad bull in 
the midst of a regiment of soldiers clothed in red. There 
is the blind confidence of youth, which is the blindness of 
young kittens, whose eyes have not yet opened on the 
world; and there is that physical blindness, ma 'am, of 
which I am, contrairy to my own desire, a most illustrious 
example. Added to these, ma'am, is that blindness of the 
intellect, of which we have a specimen in your interesting 
son, and which, having sometimes glimmerings and da\vn- 
ings of the light, is scarcely to be trusted as a total dark- 
ness. Therefore, ma'am, I have taken the liberty to get 
him out of the way for a short time, while you and I confer 
together, and this precaution arising out of the delicacy 
of my sentiments towards yourself, you will excuse me, 
ma'am, I know." 
Having delivered himself of this speech with many 
flourishes of manner, he dre\v from beneath his coat a flat 
stone bottle, and holding the cork between his teeth, 
qualified his mug of water \vith a plentiful infusion of the 
liquor it contained. He politely drained the bumper to her 
health, and the ladies, and setting it down empty, smacked 
his lips with infinite relish. 
" I am a citizen of the world, ma'am," said the blind 
man, corking his bottle, " and if I seem to conduct myself 



Barnaby Rudge 


345 


\vith freedom, it is the \vay of the world. You wonder who 
I am, ma 'am, and what has brought me here. Such ex- 
perience of human nature as I have, leads me to that con- 
clusion, without the aid of eyes by which to read the move- 
ments of your soul as depicted in your feminine features. 
I \vill satisfy your curiosity immediately, ma'am, im-me- 
diately. J) vVith that he slapped his bottle on its broad 
back, and having put it under his garment as before, 
crossed his legs and folded his hands, and settled himself in 
his chair, previous to proceeding any further. 
The change in his manner was so unexpected, the craft 
and nakedness of his deportment \vere so much aggravated 
by his condition-for we are accustomed to see in those 
\\'ho have lost a human sense, something in its place almost 
divine-and this alteration bred so many fears in her whom 
he addressed, that she could not pronounce one word. 
After waiting, as it seemed, for some remark or answer, 
and \vaiting in vain, the visitor resumed: 
"Madaln, my name is Stagg. A friend of mine who 
has desired the honour of meeting with you any time thesc 
five years past, has commissioned me to call upon you. I 
should be glad to whisper that gentleman's name in your 
ear.-Zounds, ma'am, are you deaf? Do you hear nlC 
say that I should be glad to whisper my friend's name in 
your ear? " 
" You need not repeat it," said the \vidow, with a stifled 
groan; " I see tpo well from whom you come. " 
"But as a man of honour, ma'am," said the blind man, 
striking himself on the breast, "\vhose credentials must 
not be disputed, I take leave to say that I 'will mention that 
gentleman's name. Ay, ay," he added, seeming to catch 
with his quick ear the \'ery motion of her hand, " but not 
.aloud. \Vith your leave, ma'am, I desire the favour of a 
1 . , , 
W 11sper. 
She n10ved to\'v'ards him, and stooped do\vn. He 
muttered a word in her ear; and, wringing her hands, she 
paced up and do\vn the room like one distracted. The 
blind man, with perfect composure, produced his bottle 
again, mixed another glass-full; put it up as before; and, 
drinking from time to time, followed her with his face in 
silence. 
· , You are slo\v in conversation, wido\v," he said after 
a time, pausing in his draught. "\V e shaH have to talk 
before your son. " 



34 6 


Barnaby Rudg-e 


"\Vhat would you have me do?" she answered. 
" 'Vhat do you want? .. 
" \Ve are poor, \vidow, we are poor,' , he retorted, 
stretching out his right hand, and rubbing his thumb upon 
its palm. 
" Poor! " she cried. "And what am I? " 
"Comparisons are odious," said the blind man. "I 
don't know, I don't care. I say that we are poor. My 
friend's circumstances are indifferent, and so are mine. 
\ V e must have our rights, widow, or we nlust be bought 
off. But you know that, as \vell as I, so where is the use 
of talking?" 
She still walked wildlv to and fro. At length, stopping 
abruptly before him, shé said: 
" Is he near here? " 
" He is. Close at hand. " 
" Then I am lost! " 
" Not lost, \vidow," said the blind man, calmly; " only 
found. Shall I can him? " 
" Not for the \vorld," she answered, \vith a shudder. 
" Very good," he replied, crossing his legs again, for 
he had made as though he \vould rise and walk to the door. 
" As you please, \vidow. His presence is not necessary 
that I know of. But both he and I n1ust live; to live, we 
must eat and drink; to eat and drink, we must have money: 
-I say no more. " 
" Do you know how pinched and destitute I am? " she 
retorted. "I do not think you do, or can. If you had 
eyes, and could look around you on this poor cabin, you 
would have pity on mc. Oh! let your heart be softened by 
your o\vn affliction, friend, and have some sympathy with 
n1ine. " 
The blind man snapped his fingers as he answered: 
"-Besìde the question, ma'am, beside the question. 
I have the softest heart in the \vorld, but I can't live upon 
it. J.\.tlany a gentleman lives \yell upon a soft head, who 
would find a heart of the same quality a very great draw- 
back. Listen to 111e. This is a nlatter of business, with 
which sympathies and sentiments haye nothing to do. As 
a mutual fri
nd, I \vish to arrange it in a satisfactory 
manner, if possible; and thus the case stands.-If you are 
yery poor now, it's your own choice. You have friends 
who, in case of need, are always ready to help you. l\Iy 
friend is in a more destitute and desolate situation than 



Barnaby Rudg-e 


347 


most men, and, you and he being linked together in a 
common cause, he naturally looks to you to assist him. 
He has boarded and lodged with me a long time (for 
as I said just no\v, I am very soft-hearted), and I quite 
approve of his entertaining this opinion. You have always 
had a roof over your head; he has always been an outcast. 
You have your son to comfort and assist you; he has no- 
body at all. The advantages must not be an one side. 
You are in the same boat, and \ve must divide the banast 
a little more equaIly. " 
She was about to speak, but he checked her, and went on. 
" The only way of doing this, is by making up a little 
purse nO\\7 and then for my friend; and that's what I 
advise. He bears you no nlalice that I know of, ma'anl : 
so little, that although you have treated hiln harshly more 
than once, and driven him, I may say, out of doors, he has 
that regard for you that I believe even if you disappointed 
him now, he \vould consent to take charge of your son, and 
to make a man of him. " 
He laid a great stress on these latter words, and paused 
as if to find out \vhat effect they had produced. She only 
answered by her tears. 
" He is a likely lad," said the blind man, thoughtfully, 
e e for many purposes, and not ill-disposed to try his for- 
tune in a little change and bustle, if I may judge from 
what I heard of his talk with you to-night.-Colne. In 
a word, my friend has pressing necessity for twenty 
pounds. You, who can give up an annuity, can get that 
sum for him. It's a pity you should be troubled. You 
seem very comfortable here, and it's worth that much to 
remain so. Twenty pounds, widow, is a moderate demand. 
You know where to apply for it; a post will bring it you.- 
Twenty pounds! " 
She was about to ans\ver him again, but again he stopped 
her. 
e, Don't say anything hastily.; you mig-ht be sorry for 
it. Think of it a little while. T\venty pounds-of other 
people's money-how easy! Turn it over in your mind. 
I'm in no hurry. Night's coming on, and if I don't sleep 
here, J shaH not go far. T\venty pounds! Consider of 
it, ma 'am, for twenty minutes; give p,ach pound a minute; 
that's a fair aJJowance. I'll enjoy the air the while, which 
is very mild and pleasant in these parts. " 
V\,Tith these words he groped his v1ay to the door, carry- 



34 8 


Barnaby Rudge 


ing his chair \vith him. Then seating himself, under a 
spreading honeysuckle, and stretching his legs across the 
threshold so that no person could pass in or out 'without 
his knowledge, he took from his pocket a pipe, flint, steel, 
and tinder-box, and began to smoke. It \-vas a lovely even- 
ing, of that gentle kind, and at that time of year, \-vhen the 
twilight is most beautiful. Pausing now and then to let his 
smoke curl slowly off, and to sniff the grateful fragrance 
of the flowers, he sat there at his ease-as though the 
cottage were his proper dwelling, and he had held undis- 
puted possession of it all his life-\vaiting for the \vidow's 
ans\ver and for BarnabY'5 return. 


CHAPTER XL '''1 


\VHEN Barnaby returned with the bread, the sight of 
the pious old pilgrim smoking his pipe and making himself 
50 thoroughly at home, appeared to surprise even him; 
the more so as that \vorthy person, instead of putting up the 
loaf in his wallet as a scarce and precious article, tossed 
it carelessly on the table, and producing his bottle, bade 
him sit down and drink. 
" For I carry some comfort, you see," he said. "Taste 
that. Is it good? " 
The water stood in Barnaby's eyes as he coughed from 
the strength of the draught, and ans'wered in the affirn13,- 
tive. 
" Drink some more," said the blind man; "don't be 
af raid of it. You don't taste anything like that, often, eh?" 
" Often! " cried Barnaby. "Never!" 
" Too poor? " returned the blind man \yith a sigh. " Ay. 
That's bad. Your mother, poor soul, ".ould be happier it 
she \-vas richer , Barnaby." 
" \Vhy, so I ten her-the \rery thing I told her just before 
you came to-night, v:hen -aU that gold was in the sky," 
said Barnaby, drawing his chair nearer to hinl, and looking 
eagerly in his face. "Tell me. Is there any \vay of being 
rich, that I could find out? " 
" Any \-vay! A hundred v:ays." 
" Ay, ay? " he returned. "Do you say so? \\"hat are 
thcy?-Nay, mother, it's for your sake I ask j not mine; 
-for yours, indeed. \Vhat are they? " 
The blind man turned his face, on v:hich there \\"3,S D 



Barnaby Rudge 


349 


sn1Île of triumph, to where the widow stood in great dis- 
tress; and answered, 
" "Thy, they are not to be found out by stay-at-homes, 
my good friend." 
" By stay-at-homes! " cried Barnaby, plucking at his 
sleeve. ,. But I am not one. No\v, there you mistake. I 
am often out before the sun, and trayel home \vhen he has 
gone to rest. I am away in the ,,"oods before the day has 
reached the shady places, and am often there when the 
bright moon is peeping through the boughs, and looking 
down upon the other moon that lives in the \vater. As I 
walk along, I try to find, anlong the grass and moss, some 
of that small money for \vhich she works so hard and used 
to shed so many tears. As I lie asleep in the shade, I dream 
of it-dream of digging it up in hC'aps; and spying it out, 
hidden under bushes; and seeing it sparkle, as the dew- 
drops do, among the leaves. But I never find it. Tell 
me \vhere it is. I'd go there, if the journey \vere a \vhole 
year long, because I know she \vould be happier when I 
came home and brought some with me. Speak again. 
I'll listen to you if you talk al1 night. " 
The blind man passed his hand lightly over the poor 
fellow's face, and finding that his elbows were planted on 
the table, that his chin rested on his two hands, that he 
leaned eagerly for\vard, and that his whole manner ex- 
pressed the utmost interest and anxiety, paused for a 
minute as though he desired the \vido\v to observe this 
Cully, and then made answer: 
" It's in the 'world, bold Barnaby, the merry world; not 
in solitary places like those you pass your time in, but in 
crowds, and whp.re there's noise and rattle. " 
" Good! good!" cried Barnaby, rubbing his hands. 
" Yes! I love that. Grip loves it too. It suits us both. 
That's brave! " 
"-The kind of places," said the blind man, "that a 
young fello\v likes, and in \vhich a good son may do more 
for his mother, and himself to boot, in a month, than he 
could here in all his life-that is, if he had a friend, you 
know, and some one to advise \vi tho " 
" You hear this, mother? " cried Barnaby, turning to 
her with delight. "Never tel) me \ve shouldn't heed it, 
if it lay shining at our feet. \Vhy do \Ve heed it so much 
now? 'Vhy do you toil from morning until night? " 
" Surely," said the blind man, "surely. Have you no 



35 0 


Barnaby I
udg-e 


answer, widow? Is your mind," he slowly added, "not 
made up yet? " 
l4 Let me speak with you," she ans'wered, "apart." 
" Lay your hand upon my sleeve," said Stagg, arising 
from the table; " and lead me where you will. Courage, 
bold Barnaby. \Ve'l1 talk more of this: I've a fancy for 
you. \IVai t there tin I come back. N o\V, widow." 
She led him out at the door, and into the little garden, 
where they stopped. 
" You are a fit agent," she said, in a half-breathless 
manner, " and weIl represent the man who sent you here." 
" I'll tell him that you said so," Stagg retorted. "He 
has a regard for you, and will respect me the more (if 
possible) for your praise. We must have our rights, 
\vidow. " 
" Rights! Do you know, J) she said, "that a \vord 
from me-" 
., \lVhy do you stop? " returned the blind man calmly, 
after a long pause. "Do I know that a word from you 
would place my friend in the last position of the dance of 
life? Yes, I do. \íVhat of that? It will never be spoken, 
widow. " 
" You are sure of that? " 
" Quite-so sure, that I don't conle here to discuss the 
question. I say \ve must have our rig-hts, or \ve must be 
bought off. Keep to that point, or let me return to my 
young friend, for I have an interest in the lad, and desire 
to put him in the \vay of making his fortune. Bah! you 
needn't speak," he added hastily; "I know what you 
would say: you have hinted at it once already. Have I 
no feeling for you, because I am blind? No, I have not. 
\Vhy do you expect me, being in darkness, to be better 
than men \vho have their sight-why should you? Is the 
hand of God more manifest in my having no eyes, than in 
your "having hvo? It's the cant of you folks to be horri- 
fied if a blind nlan robs, or lies, or steals; oh yes, it's far 
worse in him, who can barely live on the few halfpence that 
are thrown to him in streets, than in you, who can s
e, 
and "vork, and are not dependent on the mercies of the 
world. A curse on you ! You who have five senses may 
be wicked at your pleasure: we who have four, and \vant 
the most important, are to live and be moral on our afflic- 
tion. The true charity and justice of rich to poor, an the 
\vorld over! " 



Barnaby Rudge 


35 1 


He paused a moment when he had said these words, and 
caught the sound of money, jingling in her hand. 
, , Well? " he cried, quickly resuming his former manner. 
" That should lead to something. The point, widow?" 
" First answer me one question, II she replied. " You 
say he is close at hand. Has he left London? " 
" Being close at hand, wido\v, it would seem he has," 
returned the blind man. 
" I mean, for good? You know that." 
" Yes, for good. The truth is, widow, that his making 
a longer stay there might have had disagreeable conse- 
quences. He has come away for that reason." 
" Listen,') said the wido\v, telling some money out, upon 
a bench beside them. "Count. ,) 
" Six," said the blind man, listening attentively. "Any 
n10re? " 
" They are the savings," she answered, " of five years. 
Six guineas." 
He put out his hand for one of the coins; felt it care- 
fully, put it between his teeth, rang it on the bench; and 
nodded to her to proceed. 
"These have been scraped together and laid by, lest 
sickness or death should separate my son and me. They 
have been purchased at the price of much hunger, hard 
labour, and want of rest. If you can take them-do-on 
condition that you leave this place upon the instant, and 
enter no more into that room, where he sits now, expect- 
ing your return. " 
" Six guineas," said the blind man, shaking his head, 
" though of the fullest weight that were ever coined, fall 
very far short of twenty pounds, widow." 
" For such a sum, as you know, I must \vrite to a dis- 
tant part of the country. To do that, and receive an 
ans\ver, I must have time." 
" Two days? " said Stag-g. 
" More. " , 
" Four days?" 
" A week. Return on this day week, at the same hour, 
but not to the house. \tVait at the corner of the lane. " 
" Of course," said the blind man, with a crafty look, 
,. I shall find you there? " 
" '''here else can I take refuge? Is it not enough that 
you have made a beggar of me, and that I have sacrificed 
my whole store, so hardly earned, to preserve this home? " 



35 2 


Barnaby Rudge 


" Humph! " said the blind man, after some considera- 
tion. "Set me with my face towards the point you speak 
of, and in the middle of the road. Is this the spot? " 
"It is." 
., On this day week at sunset. And think of him within 
doors.-For the present, good night." 
She made him no ans\ver, nor did he stop for any. He 
\yent slowly a\vay, turning his head from time to time, and 
stopping to listen, as if he were curious to kno\v whether 
he was watched by anyone. The shado\vs of night \\'ere 
closing fast around, and he \vas soon lost in the gloom. 
I t 'vas not, however, until she had traversed the lane from 
end to end, and made sure that he \"'as gone, that she 
re-entered the cottage, and hurriedly barred the door and 
windo\v. 
" ß10ther !" said Barnaby. U \Vhat is the matter? 
\\There is the blind man? " 
II He is gone." 
" Gone! " he cried, starting up. "I must have more 
talk \vith him. '''hich way did he take? " 
" I don't kno\v," she ans\vered, folding her arms about 
him. " You must not go out to-night. There are ghosts 
and dreams abroad. " 
" Ay? " said Barnaby, in a frightened \\.hisper. 
" It is not safe to stir. vVe must leave this place to- 
morrow. " 
"This place! This cottage-and the little garden, 
mother! " 
I I Yes! To-morro\v morning at sunrise. \:Ve must 
travel to London; lose ourselves in that \vide place-there 
would be some trace of us in any other town-then travel 
on again, and find some ne\v abode. " 
Little persuasion was required to reconcile Barnaby to 
anything that promised change. In another minute, he 
was wild with delight; in another, fuU of grief at the 
prospect of parting with his friends the dogs; in 
another, wild again; then he \vas fearful of what she 
had said to preyent his wandering abroad that night, 
and full of terrors and strange questions. His light- 
heartedness in the end surmounted all his other feelings, 
and lying do\vn in his clothes to the end that he might 
be ready on the morro\v, he soon feU fast asleep before 
the poor turf fire. 
His mother did not dose her eyes, but sat besiJe hitll, 



Barnaby Rudg-e 


353 


,,'atching. Every breath of \vind sounded in her ears like 
that dreaded footstep at the door, or like that hand upon 
the latch, and made the calm summer night, a night of 
horror. At length the welcome day appeared. \Vhen 
she had made the little preparations which ,vere needful 
for their journey, and had prayed upon her knees with 
many tears, she roused Barnaby, who jumped up gaily at 
her summons. 
His clothes \vere fe'w enough, and to carry Grip was a 
labour of loye. As the sun shed his earliest beams upon 
the earth, they closed the door of their deserted hOIne, and 
turned a\vay. The sky \vas blue and bright. The air \vas 
fresh and filled with a thousand perfumes. Barnaby 
looked up\vard, and laughed with all his heart. 
But it \vas a day he usually devoted to a long ramble, 
and one of the dogs-the ugliest of them aU-came bound- 
ing up, and jumping round him in the fulness of his joy. 
He had to bid him go back in a surly tone, and his heart 
smote him while he did so. The dog retreated; turned 
\vith a half-incredulous, half-imploring look; came a little 
back; and stopped. 
It \vas the last appeal of an old companion and a faithful 
friend--cast off. Barnaby could bear no more, and as he 
shook his head and \vaved his playmate home, he burst 
in to tears. 
" Oh, nlother, nlothcr, ho\v mournful he ,vin be when he 
scratches at the door, and finds it ahvays shut! " 
There ,vas such a sense of home in the thought, that 
though her o\vn eyes overflowed she would not haye ob- 
literated the recollection of it, either from her o\vn minù 
or from his, for the \vealth of the whole wide \vorld. 


CHAPTER XLVII 


IN the exhaustless catalogue of Heaven '5 mercies to 
mankind, the po,ver we have of finding some germs of 
comfort in the hardest trials must ever occupy the fore- 
most place; not only because it 
upports and upho.lds 
s 
when 'we most require to be sustaIned, but because In thIS 
source of consolation there is something, ,ve have reason 
to believe, of the divine spirit; something of that goodness 
N 



354 


Barnaby Rudg 4 e 


which detects an1Ïdst our O\YO evil doings, a redeeming 
quality; something ,vhich, even in our fallen nature, we 
possess in common with the angels; which had its being 
in the old tinle \vhen they trod the earth, and lingers on 
it yet, in pity. 
How often, on their journey, did the wido\v remember 
with a grateful heart, that out of his deprivation Barnaby's 
cheerfulness and affection sprang! Ho\v often did she 
caB to n1ind that but for that, he nlight have been sullen, 
morose, unkind, far removed fronl her-vicious, perhaps, 
and cruel! Ho\v often had she cause for comfort, in his 
strength, and hope, and in his sirnple nature! Those 
feeble powers of mind which rendered hinl so soon forget- 
ful of the past, save in brief glearl1s and ftashes,-e,.en 
they were a comfort no\v. The world to him was full of 
happiness; in every tree, and plant, and flo\ver, in every 
bird, and beast, and tiny insect whom a breath of summer 
wind laid low upon the ground, he had delight. .l--lis de- 
light \vas hers; and where many a wise son would have 
made her sorrowful, this poor light-hearted idiot filled her 
breast with thankfulness and love. 
Their stock of money was lo\v, but from the hoard she 
had told into the blind nlan's hand, the widow had \vith- 
held one guinea. This, with the few pence she possessed 
besides, was to two persons of their frugal habits, a goodly 
sum in bank. l\10reover they had Grip in company; and 
when they must otherwise have changed the guinea, it 
was but to make him exhibit outside an alehouse door, or 
in a village street, or in the grounds or gardens of a 
rnansion of the better sort, and scores who would have 
given nothing in charity, were ready to bargain for more 
amusement fronl the talking bird. 
One day-for they moved slowly, and although they had 
many rides in carts and \vaggons, \vere on the road a week 
-Barnaby, with Grip upon his shoulder and his mother 
following, begged permission at a trim lodge to go up to 
the great house, at the other end of the avenue, and show 
his raven. The man within \\/as inclined to give them 
admittance, and was indeed about to do so, when a stout 
gentleman with a long whip in his hand, and a flushed face 
\\-.hich seemed to indicate that he had had his morning's 
draught, rode up to the gate, and called in a loud voice 
and with more oaths than the occasion seemed to warrant 
to have it opened directly. 



D3rnaby I{udge 


355 


.. 'Vho hast thou got here?" said the gentleman 
angrily, as the man thrcw the gate wide open, and pulled 
off his hat, "who are these? Eh? art a beggar, 
woman? " 
The wido\v ans\vered with a curtsey, that they \vere poor 
tl aveIIers. 
" Vagrants," said the gentleman, ({ vagrants and vaga- 
bonds. Thee wish to be made acquainted with the cage, 
dost thee-the cage, the stocks, and the whipping-post? 
\Vhere dost conle frOlll? )) 
She told hinl in a timid nlanner ,-for he was very loud, 
hoarse, and red-faccd,-and besought him not to be angry, 
for they meant no harr.l and 'would go upon their way that 
1110ment. 
" Don't be too sure of that, t.- replied the gentleman, 
" we don't allow vag-rants to roam about this place. I 
know ,,,hat thou ,,'ant'st-stray linen drying on hedg-es, 
and stray poultry, eh? ""hat hast got in that basket, lazy 
hound? " 
"Grip, Grip, Grip-Grip the c1cycr, Grip the \\'icked, 
Grip the knowing-Grip, Grip, Grip," cried the raven, 
whom Barnaby had shut up on the approach of this stern 
personage. "I'm a devil I'nl a devil I'nl a devil, Never 
say die Hurrah Bo\v 'vow wow, Polly put the kettle on 
we'll all haye tea." 
" Take the vermin out, scoundrel," said the g-entleman, 
C C and let me see him." 
Barnaby thus condescendingly addressed, produced his 
biïd, but not witholït much fear and trembling-, and set 
hitll down upon the ground; which he had no sooner done 
than Grip drew fifty corks at least, and then beg-an to 
dance; at the sarne time eyeing the g-entlenlan with sur- 
prising insolence of manner, and screwing his head so 
11luch on one side that he appeared desirous of screwing it 
off upon the spot. 
The cork-drawing sE'C'mC'd to make a g-reater impression 
on the g-entleman's nlind than the raycn's power of speech, 
and \vas indeed particu1arly adapted to his habits and 
capacity. He desired to have that done again, but despite 
his being very perenlptory, and not\vithstanding that 
Barnaby coaxed to the utmost, Grip turned a deaf ear to 
the request, and preserved a dead silence. 
" Bring him along," s
id the gentleman, pointing to th(' 
house. But Grip, who had watched the action, anticipated 



35 6 


Barnaby Rudge 


his master, by hopping on before them ;-constantly 
flapping his ,vinr,-s, and screaming" cook! " meanwhile, 
as a hint perhaps that there \vas company coming, and a 
small collation \vould be acceptable. 
Barnaby and his mother \valked on, on either side of the 
gentleman on horseback, who surveyed each of them fronl 
time to time in a proud and coarse manner, and occasionally 
thundered out some question, the tone of \vhich alarmed 
Barnaby so much that he could find no answer, and, as a 
matter of course, could make him no reply. On one of 
these occasions, when the gentleman appeared disposed to 
exercise his horsewhip, the wido\v ventured to inform him 
in a lo\v voice and \vith tears in her eyes, that her son ,vas 
of ,veak mind. 
" An idiot, eh? " said the gentleman, looking at Barnaby 
as he spoke. "And how long hast thou been an idiot? JJ 
" She knows," was Barnaby's timid answer, pointing to 
his nlother-" I-always, I believe. JJ 
" From his birth," said the ,vido\\'. 
" I don't believe it," cried the gentleman, U not a bit of 
it. It's an excuse not to work. There's nothing like 
flogging to cure that disorder. I'd make a difference in 
him in ten minutes, I'll be bound. " 
" Heaven has made none in more than twice ten years, 
sir," said the widow mildly. 
"Then why don't you shut him up? we pay enough 
for county institutions, damn 'em. But thou'd rather drag 
him about to excite charity-of course. Ay, I kno\v thee. " 
N o\V, this gentleman had various endearing appellations 
among his intimate friends. By some he was called C C a 
country gentleman of the true school," by some" a fine 
old country gentleman," by some "a sporting gentle- 
man," by some" a thorough-bred Englishman," by some 
" a genuine John Bull" ; but they all agreed in one respect, 
and that ,vas, that it \vas a pity there \\-yere not more like 
him, and that because there were not, the country was 
going to rack and ruin every day. He \vas in the com- 
rnission of the peace, and could \vrite his name almost 
legibly; but his greatest qualifications were, that he ,vas 
nlore severe with poachers, ,vas a better shot, a harder 
rider, had better horses, kept better dogs, could eat more 
solid food, drink more strong wine, go to bed every night 
more drunk and get up every morning nlore sober, than 
any man in the county. In kno\vledge of horseflesh he ,vas 



Barnaby Rudge 


357 


almost equal to a farrier, in stable learning he surpassed 
his o\vn head grooln, and in gluttony not a pig on his estate 
n-as a match for him. lIe had no seat in Parliament bin1- 
self, but he \vas extremely patriotic, and usual]y drove his 
\'oters up to the poll \vith his o\vn hands. He \vas warnlly 
attached to the Church, and never appointed to the living in 
his gift any but a three-bottle man and a first-rate fox- 
hunter. He mistrusted the honesty of all poor people who 
could read and \vrite, and had a secret jealousy of his own 
wife (a young lady \vhom he had ùlarried for what his 
friends called "the good old English reason," that her 
father's property adjoined his own) for possessing those 
accoIl1plishments in a greater degree than himself. In 
short, Barnaby being an idiot, and Grip a creature of mere 
brute instinct, it \vould be yery hard to say \vhat this 
gen tIeman was. 
He rode up to the door of a handsome house approached 
by a great flight of steps, where a man was waiting to take 
his horse, and led the \vay into a large hall, which, spacious 
as it \\'as, was tainted with the fumes of last night's stale 
debauch. Great-coats, riding-\vhips, bridles, top-boots, 
spurs, and such gear, were strewn about on aU sides, and 
formed, \vith some huge stags' antlers, and a few portraits 
of dogs and horses, its principal embellishnlents. . 
Thro\ving himself into a great chair (in which, by the 
bye, he often snored away the night, \vhen he had been, 
according to his admirers, a finer country gentleman than 
usual) he bade the man to tell his mistress to come down: 
and presently there appeared, a little flurried, as it seemed, 
by the un\vonted sumnlons, a lady much younger than 
himself, who had the appearance of being in delicate 
health, and not too happy. 
" Here! Thou'st no delight in following the hounds as 
an Englishwoman should have, " said the gentleman. 
" See to this here. That'll please thee perhaps. " 
The lady smiled, sat do\vn at a little distance from him, 
and glanced at Barnaby with a look of pity. 
" He's an idiot, the woman says," observed the gentle- 
man, shaking his head; " I don't believe it. ' J 
" Are you his mother? " asked the lady. 
She ans\vered yes. 
"\Vhat's the use of asking her?" said the gentle- 
nlan, thrusting his hands into his breeches pockets. 
"She'll tell thee so, of course. 1\10st likely he's hired, 



35 8 


Barnaby Rudge 


at so n1uch a day. There. Get on. Make him do some- 
thing. )) 
Grip ha\Ting by this time recovered his urbanity, con- 
descended, at Barnaby's solicitation, to repeat his various 
phrases of speech, and to go through the whole of his per- 
formances, with the utnlost success. The corks, and the 
never say die, afforded the gentleman so much delight that 
he demanded the repetition of this part of the entertain w 
ment until Grip got into his basket, and positively refused 
to say another word, good or bad. The lady, too, \vas 
much amused with him; and the closing point of his 
obstinacy so delighted her husband that he burst into a 
roar of laughter, and demanded his price. 
Barnaby looked as though he didn tt understand his 
meaning. Probably he did not. 
" His price," said the gentleman, rattling- the money in 
his pockets, " what dost \vant for him? How much? " 
H He's not to be sold," replied Barnaby, shutting up the 
basket in a great hurry, and throwing the strap over his 
shoulder. "Mother, come away." 
" Thou seest how much of an idiot he is, book-learner," 
said the gentIenlan, looking scornfully at his wife. "He 
can make a bargain. \ \That dost want for him, old 
woman? " 
" He is my son's constant conlpanion," said the \vidow. 
u I-Ie is not to be sold, sir, indeed." 
" Not to be sold! " cried the gentleman, gro\ving ten 
times redder, hoarser, and louder than before. ., Not to 
be sold ! " 
" Indeed no," she answered. "\Ve have never thought 
of parting with him, sir, I do assure you." 
He was evidently about to make a very passionate re- 
tort, when a few murmured \vords from his wife happening 
to catch his ear, he turned sharply round, and said, U Eh? 
What? " 
" \" e can hardly expect them to sc11 the bird, against 
their o\vn desire," she faltered. "I f they prefer to keep 
him-" 
" Prefer to keep him! " he echoed. "These people, 
who g-o tramping- about the country, a pilfering- and vag-a- 
hondizing on all hands, prefer to keep a bird, \vhen a landed 
proprietor and a justice asks his price! Tliat old woman's 
been to school. I know she has. Don't teIJ me no," he 
roared to the \vidow, " I say, yes." 



Barnaby Rudg-e 


359 


Barnaby's mother pleaded guilty to the accllsat-ion, and 
hoped there was no harnl in it. 
" No harm! " said the gentlentan. "No. No harnl. 
No harnl, ye old rebel, not a bit of harm. If my clerk was 
here, I'd set ye in the stocks, I would, or lay ye in jail for 
prowling up and down, on the look-out for petty larcenies, 
ye limb of a gipsy. Here, Simon, put these pilferers out, 
shove 'em into the road, out with 'em! Ye don't want 
to sell the bird, ye that come here to beg, don't ye. If 
they an't out in double-quick, set the dogs upon 'em! " 
They waited for no further dismissal, but fled pre- 
cipitately, leaving the gentleman to storn1 away by him- 
self (for the poor lady had already retreated), and making 
a great many vain attempts to silence Grip, who, excited 
by the noise, drew corks enough for a city feast as they 
hurried down the avenue, and appeared to congratulate 
himself beyond measure on having been the causc of the 
disturbance. \Vhen they had nearly reached the lodge, 
another servant, emerging- from the shrubbery, fcigned to 
be very active in ordering them off, but this man put a 
crown into the wido\v's hand, and whispering that his 
[ady sent it, thrust then1 gently from the gate. 
This incident only suggested to the widow's mind \vhen 
they halted at an ale-house some miles further on, and 
heard the justice's charactcr as given by his friends, that 
perhaps something Olore than capacity of stoolach and 
tastes for the kennel and the stable, were required to fornl 
cither a perfect country g-entleman, a thorough-br
d 
Englishman, or a genuine John Bull: and that possibly 
the terms wcre sornetimes nlisappropriated, not to say 
disgraced. She little thought, thcn, that a circumstance 
so slight would ever influence thcir future fortunes; but 
time and experience enlightened hcr in this respect. 
" lVlother," said Barnaby, as they wcre sitting next day 
in a wag-gon which was to take them to wi thin ten miles 
of the capital, "we're going- to London first, YOll said. 
ShaH we sce that blind man there? " 
She was about to answer "I-Ieavcn forbid!" but 
checked herself, and told him No, she thought not; \\'hy 
did he ask? 
" He's a \vise man." said Barnaby, with a thoug-htful 
countenance. "I wish that \Vc may mcpt with hinl again.. 
\Vhat waS it that he said of crowds? That g-01d was to 
be found where people crowded. and not among- the trees 



3 60 


Barnaby Rudge 


and in such quièt places? He spoke as if he loved it; 
London is a crowded place; I think we shall meet him 
there. " 
" But why do you desire to see him, love? " she asked. 
" Because," said Barnaby, looking wistful1y at her, " he 
talked to me about gold, "vhich is a rare thing, and say 
what you "vill, a thing you would like to have, I kno\v. 
And because he came and went av.Tay so strangely-just as 
\vhite-headed old men come sometimes to my bed's foot in 
the night, and say what I can't remember when the bright 
day returns. He told me he'd come back. I \\Tonder why 
he broke his "vord-! " 
" But you never thought of being rich or gay, before, 
dear Barnaby. You have always been contented." 
He laughed and bade her say that again, then cried, "Ay, 
ay-oh yes," and laughed once more. Then something 
passed that caught his fancy, and the topic wandered from 
his mind, and \vas succeeded by another just as fleeting. 
But it was plain from ""That he had said, and from his 
returning to the point more than once that day, and Dn the 
next, that the blind man's visit, and indeed his words, had 
taken strong possession of his mind. \Vhether the idea of 
\vealth had occurred to him for the first time on looking 
at the golden clouds that evening-and images were often 
presented to his thougnts by outward objects quite as re- 
mote and distant; or whether their poor and humble way of 
life had suggested it, by contrast, long aRo; or whether 
the accident (as he would deem it) of the blind man's pur- 
suing the current of his o"vn remarks, had done so at the 
moment; or he had been impressed by the mere circum- 
stance of the man being blind, and, therefore, unlike any 
one with whom he had talked before; it was imp.ossible to 
tell. She tried every means to discoyer, but in vain; and 
the probability is that Barnaby himseH was equally in the 
dark. 
I t filled her with uneasiness to find him harping on this 
string, but all that she could do, was to lead him quickly 
to some other subject, and to dismiss it from his brain. 
To caution him against their visitor, to show any fear or 
suspicion in reference to him, \vould only be, she feared, to 
increase that interest with which Barnaby regarded him, 
and to strengthen his desire to meet him once again. She 
hoped, by plunging into the crowd, to rid herself of her 
terrible pursuer, and then, by journeying to a distance, and 



Barnaby Rudg-e 


3 61 


observing increased caution, if that were possible, to live 
again unknown, in secrecy and peace. 
They reached, in course of time, their halting-place 
within ten miles of London, and lay there. for the night, 
after bargaining to be carried on for a trifle next day, in 
a light van which was returnipg elnpty, and was to start 
at five o'clock in the morning. The driver was punctual, 
the road good-save for the dust, the weather being very 
hot and dry-and at seven in the forenoon of Friday the 
second of June, one thousand seven hundred and eighty, 
they alighted at the foot of \ V estminster Bridge, bade their 
conductor farewell, and stood alone, together, on the 
scorching pavement. For the freshness which night sheds 
upon such busy thoroughfares had dlready departed, and 
the sun \vas shining with unconlnlon lustr
. 


CI-IAPTER XLVIII. 


UNCERTAIN \vhere to go next, and bewildered by the 
cro\vd of people who \vere already astir, they sat down in 
one of the recesses on the bridg-e to rest. They soon be- 
came aware that the stream of life was all pouring one way, 
and that a vast throng of persons \vere crossing the river 
fronl the 11iddlesex to the Surrey shore, in unusual haste 
and evident excitement. They were, for the most part, in 
knots of two or three, or sometimes h
lf a dozen; they 
spoke little togethcr-lnany of them were quite silent; 
and hurried on as if they had one absorbing object in 
view, \vhich v.!as common to them all. 
They were surprised to see that nearly every n1an in this 
great concourse, which still came pouring past, without 
slackening in the least, wore in his hat a blue cockade; 
and that the chance passengers who were not so decorated, 
appeared tin1idly anxious to escape observation or attack, 
and gave thenl the wall as if they would conciliate thenl. 
This, however, \vas natural enough, considering thcir 
inferiority in point of numbers; for the proportion of those 
\\"ho \vore blue cockades, to those who were dressed as 
usual, was at least forty or fifty to one. There was no 
quarrelling, however: the blue cockades went swarming- 
on, passing each other' when they could, and making all 



3 62 


Barnaby Rudge 


the speed that ,vas possible in such a multitude; and ex- 
(
hanged nothing 1}'1ore than looks, and very often not even 
those, with such of the passers-by as were not of their 
nUlnber. 
At first, the current of people had been confined to the 
two pathways, and but a fe\\' more eager stragglers kept 
the road. But after half a.n hour or so, the passage \vas 
con1pletely blocked up by the great press, \vhich, being 
now closely wedged together. and impeded by the carts and 
coaches it encountered, J110ved but slowly, and was some- 
tin1es at a stand for five or ten minutes together. 
After the lapse of nearly hvo hours, the numbers began 
to diITIinish visibly, and gradually dwindling away, by little 
and little, left the bridge quite clear, save that, now and 
then, some hot and dusty man with the cockade in his hat, 
and his coat thrown over his shoulder, \vent panting by, 
fearful of being too late, or stopped to ask \vhich \vay his 
friends had taken, and being directed, hastened on again 
like one refreshed. In this comparative solitude, which 
seemed quite strange and novel after the late crowd, the 
widow had for the first time an opportunity of inquiring of 
an old man who came and sat beside them, \vhat was the 
meaning of that great assen1blage. 
"\i\!hy, \vhere have you come from," he returned," that 
you haven't heard of Lord George Gordon's great associa- 
tion? This is the day that he presents the petition against 
the Catholics, God bless him! " 
" \Vhat have all these men to do \vith that? " she asked. 
" \Vhat have they to do with it ! " the old man replied. 
" vVhy, how YOll talk! Don't you kno\v his lordship has 
declared he \von't present it to the House at all, unless it is 
attended to the door by forty thousand good and true men 
at least? There's a cro\vd for you! " 
"A crowd indeed!" said Barnaby. "Do you hear 
that, n10ther! " 
" And they're mustering yonder, as I am told," resumed 
the old man, "nigh upon a hundred thousand strong. Ah! 
Let Lord George alone. I-I e kno\\"s his po\ver. There'II be 
a good many faces inside them three \vindo\vs over there," 
and he pointed to \vhere the House of Commons overlooked 
the river, " that'll turn pale \vhen good Lord George gets 
up this afternoon, and \\ìith reason too. Ay, aYe Let his 
10rdship alone. Let him alone. He knO\V5!" And so, 
".jth much mumbling and chuckling and shaking of his 



Barnaby Rudge 


3 6 3 


forefinger, he rose, with the assistance of his stick, and 
tottered off. 
" 
Iother ! " said Barnaby, "that's a brave cro\,vd he 
talks of. Come!" 
" Not to join it ! " cried his mother. 
" Yes, yes, JJ he ans\vered, plucking at her sleeve. 
" \\Thy not? Come!" 
" You don't know," she urg-ed, "what mischief they 
may do, where they may lead you, what their meaning is. 
Dear Barnaby, for my sake-" 
. "For your sake! " he cried, patting her hand. "\Vell! 
It is for your sake, mother. You remember what the blind 
man said, about the gold. Here's a brave crowd! Come! 
Or wait till I COlne back-yes, yes, wait here. J) 
She tried with all the earnestness her fears engendered, 
to turn hinl from his purpose, but in vain. He was stoop- 
ing down to buckle on his shoe, when a hackney-coach 
passed them rather quickly, and a voice inside called to the 
driver to stop. 
" Young nlan," said a voice within. 
" \iVho' s that? " cried Barnaby, looking up. 
" Do you wear this ornament? JJ returned the stranger, 
holding out a blue cockade. 
" In Heaven's name, no. Pray do not give it him! U 
exclainled the widow. 
" Speak for yourself, woman, JJ said the nlan within the 
coach, coldly. "Leave the young man to his choice; he's 
old enough to make it, and to snap your apron-strings. 
He knows, without your telling, whether he wears the 
sign of a loyal Eng-lishman or not. " 
Barnaby, trembling with impatience, cried, " Yes! yes, 
yes, I do," as he had cried a dozen times already. The 
man threw him a cockade, and crying" 1\1 ake hélSte to St. 
Georg e 's Fields," ordered the coachman to drive on fast; 
and left them. 
\Vith hands that trembled with his eag-erness to fix the 
bauble in his hat, Barnaby was adjusting it as he best 
could, and hurriedly replying to the tears and entreaties 
of his mother, when two gentlemen passed on the opposite 
side of the way. Observing them, and seeing- how 
Barnaby was occupied, they stopped, \\t hispered together 
for an instant, turned back, and came over to them. 
" \Yhy are you sitting here? " said one of them, who 
was dressed in a plain suit of black, wore long lank hair, 



3 6 4 


Barnaby Rudge 


and carried a great cane. "\Vhy have you not gone with 
the rest? 1J 
" I am going , sir," replied Barnaby, finishing his task, 
and putting- his hat on with an air of pride. "I shall be 
there directly. " 
" Say' my lord,' young man, when his lordship does you 
the honour of speaking to you, " said the second gentleman 
mildly. "If you don't know Lord George Gordon when 
you see him, it's high time you should." 
" Nay, Gashford, " said Lord George, as Barnaby 
pulled off his hat again and lllade him a low bow, " it's no 
great matter on a day like this, which ev
ry Englishman 
wiII ren1eIl1ber with delight and pride. Put on your hat, 
friend, and foIIo\.v us, for you lag behind and are late. It's 
past ten no\-v. Didn't you know that the hour of assem- 
bling \vas ten 0' dock? " 
Barnaby shook his head and looked vacantly from one to 
the other. 
" You might have known it, friend," said Gashford, 
" it was perfectly understood. IIo\v came you to be so 
in informed? " 
" I-Ie cannot tell you, sir," the widow interposed. "It's 
of no use to ask him. '\T e are but this morning come from 
a long distance in the country, and know nothing of these 
matters. " 
"The cause has taken a deep root, and has spread its 
branches far and wide," said Lord George to his secretary. 
,,; This is a pleasant hearing. I thank Heaven for it ! " 
" Amen! " cried Gashford with a solemn face. 
" You do not understand me, nlY lord," said the wido\v. 
" Pardon me, but you cruelly mistake my meaning. We 
kno\v nothing of these matters. \tVe haye no desire or 
right to join in what you are about to do. This is my son, 
my poor afflicted son, dearer to me than my own life. In 
mercy's name, my lord, go your \\'ay alone, and do not 
tempt him into danger 1 " 
" l\ly good \voman," said Gashford, "how can you !- 
Dear me I-What do you mean by tempting, and by 
danger? Do you think his lordship is a roaring lion, going 
about and seeking whonl he may devour? God bless 
me!" 
" No, no, my lord, forgive me," implored the widow, 
1aying both her hands upon his breast, and scarcely know- 
ing \vhat she did, or said, in the earnestness of her supplica- 



Barnaby Rudge 


3 6 5 


tion, "but there are reasons '\vhy you should hear my 
earnest, mother's prayer, and leave my son with me. Oh 
do. He is not in his right senses, he is not, indeed! " 
" It is a bad sign of the wickedness of these tinles," said 
Lord George, evading her touch, and colouring deeply, 
" that those who cling to the truth and support the right 
cause, are set down as mad. Have you the heart to say 
this of your o\vn son, unnatural mother! " 
" I am astonished at you! " said Gashford, with a kind 
of meek severity. "This is a very sad picture of female 
depravity. J J 
"He has surely no appearance," said Lord George, 
glancing at Barnaby, and whispering in his secretary's ear, 
., of being deranged? And even if he had, \ve must not 
construe any trifling peculiarity into madness. Which of 
us- " and here he turned red again-" would be safe, if 
that were nlade the law! II 
" Not one," replied the secretary; "in that case, the 
greater the zeal, the truth, and talent; the more direct the 
call from above; the clearer would be the madness. \Vith 
regard to this young man, my lord," he added, \vith a lip 
that slightly curled as he looked at Barnaby, who stood 
twirling his hat, and stealthily beckoning them to come 
a\vay, "he is as sensible and self-possessed as anyone I 
ever S3\V." 
" And you desire to make one of this great body? " said 
Lord George, addressing him; " and intended to make one, 
did you? " 
"Yes-yes,JS said Barnaby, with sparkling eyes. '1 To 
be sure I did! I told her so rnyself." 
" I see," replied Lord George, with a reproachful glance 
at the unhappy mother. "I thought so. Follow me and 
this gentlenlan, and you shall have your wish. " 
Barnaby kissed his mother tenderly on the cheek, and 
bidding her be of good cheer, for their fortunes were both 
made no\v, did as he \vas desired. She, poor woman, 
followed too-with ho\v much fear and grief it \vould be 
hard to tell. 
They passed quickly through the Bridge-road, where the 
shops were all shut up (for the passage of the great cro\vd 
and the expectation of their return had alarmed the trades- 
men for their goods and \vindows), and '\vhere, in the upper 
stories, all the inhabitants \\i-ere congregated, looking do\vn 
into the street belo,\!, \vith faces variously expressive of 



3 66 


Barnaby Rudge 


alarnl, of interest, expectancy, and indignation. Some of 
these applauded, and some hissed; but regardless of these 
interruptions-for the noise of a vast congregation of 
people at a little distance, sounded in his ears, like the 
roaring of the sea-Lord Georg'e Gordon quickened his 
pace, and presently arrived before St. George's Fields. 
They were real1y fields at that tilne, and of considerable 
extent. Here an immense multitude was collected, bear- 
ing flags of various kinds and sizes, but all of the same 
colour-blue, like the cockades-some sections marching 
to and fro in nlilitary array, and others drawn up in circles, 
squares, and lines. A large portion, both of the bodies 
which paraded the ground, and of those which reIl1aineå 
stationary, were occupied in singing hymns or psalms. 
\Vith whorllsoever this originated, it was well done; for the 
sound of so nlany thousand voices in the air must have 
stirred the heart of any man within hinI, and could not 
fail to have a wonderful effect upon enthusiasts, how- 
ever lllistaken. 
Scouts had been posted in advance of the great body, to 
give notice of their leader's conling. These falliNg back, 
the word was quickly passed through the whole host, and 
for a short interval there ensued a profound and deathlike 
silence, during which the mass was so still and quiet, that 
the fluttering ot a banner caught the eye, and became a 
circumstance of note. Then they burst into a tremendous 
shout, into another, and another 
 o.nd the air seemed rent 
and shaken, as if by the discharge of cannon. 
" Gashford ! " cried Lord George, pressing his secre- 
tary's arnl tight \vithin his own, and speaking with as mech 
enIotion in his voice, as in his altered face, " I anl called 
indeed, now. I feel and know it. I am the leader of a 
host. If they sunlmoned nle at this monlent with one 
voice to lead them on to death, I'd do it.- Yes, and fall 
first nlvself ! " 
" It. is a proud sight," said the secretary. "I t is a 
noble day for Er:gland, and for the great cause throughout 
the world. Such hOlllage, my lord, as I, an hurnble but 
(
evotcd lnan, can render-" 
"\Vhat are you doin
? " cried his nlaster, catching 
hinl by both hands; for he had rnade a show of kneeling 
at his feet. ., Do not unfit nle, dear Gashford, for the 
solenln duty of this glorious day-" the tears stood In 
the eyes of the poor gentlenìan as he said the words- 



Barnaby Rudge 


3 6 7 


C C Lct us go al1l0ng thcm ; \Vc have to find a place in some 
diyision for this new recruit-give Ole your hand." 
Gashford slid his cold insidious palm into his master's 
grasp, and so, hand in hand, and followed still by Barnaby 
and by his nlother too, they t11ingled with the concourse. 
They had by this tinle taken to their singing again, and 
as thcir leader passed between their ranks, they raised 
their voices to their utnlOSt. l\lany of those who \vere 
banded together to support the relrgion of their country, 
e\Ten unto death, had neyer heard a hymn or psalm in aU 
their lives. But these fellows haying for the most j)art 
strong lungs, and bcing naturally fond of singing, chanted 
any ribaldry or nonsense that occurred to thenl, feeling 
pretty certain that it would not be detcctcd in the genera) 
chorus, and not caring 11luch if it \yere. rvlany of these 
voluntaries were sung under the very nose of Lord George 
Gordon, who, quite unconscious of their burden, passed 
on with his usual stiff and soleIlln deportment, very 
11luch cdified and ùelighted by the pious conduct of his 
. Îollowers. 
So they \\Tent on and on, up this line, down that, round the 
exterior of this circle, and on every side of that hollow 
square; and sti]] there wcre lines, and squares, and circJes 
out of number to rcvie\v. The day being now intensely hot, 
and the sun striking down his fiercest rays upon the field, 
those who carried heavy banners began to grow faint and 
weary; most of the nunlber assembled were fain to pull off 
their neckcloths, and throw their coats and waistcoats 
open; and some, towards the centre, quite overpowered by 
the excessive heat, \vhich was of course rendcred more un- 
endurable by the nlultitude around thetn, lay down upon 
the grass, and offered all they had about thenl for a drink 
of water. Still, no man left the ground, not even of those 
who were so distressed; still Lord Georg-e, strean1ing- from 
every pore, \vent on \vith Gashford; and still Barnaby and 
his mother followed close behind them. 
They had arrived at the top of a long line of some cight 
hundrcd men in single file, and Lord George had turned 
his head to look back, \yhen a loud cry of recognition- 
in that peculiar and half-stifled tone which a voice has
 
when it is raised in the open air and in the nlidst of a 
great concourse of persons-'was heard, and a man stepped 
with a shout of laughter from the rank, and smote Barnaby 
on the shoulders \vith his hcavy hand. 



3 68 


Barnaby Rudg.e 


"How now! U he cried. "Barnaby Rudge! \Vhy, 
where have you been hiding for these hundred years? " 
Barnaby had been thinking within himself that the smell 
of the trodden grass brought back his old days at cricket, 
when he was a young boy and played on Chig\vell Green. 
Confused by this sudden and boisterous address, he stared 
in a be\vildered Olanner at the man, and could scarcely 
say'" \Vhat! Hugh!" 
" I-Iugh ! " echoed the other; "ay, Hugh-Maypole 
Hugh! Vou remember my dog? He's alive now, and 
will know you, I warrant. \Yhat, you \vear the colour, 
do vou? \Vell done! IIa ha ha ! " 
" You kno\v this young man, I see," said Lord George. 
" !(now him, illY lord! as \vell as I kno\v illY own right 
hand. l\1y captain knO\\TS him. \Ve all know him." 
" \Vill you take him into your division? " 
" It hasIl't in it abetter, nor a nimbler, nor a n10re 
active man, than Barnaby Rudge," said Hugh. "Show 
me the man \vho says it has! Fall in, Barnaby. lIe shall 
march, my lord, between me and Dennis; and he shall" 
carry," he added, taking a flag from the hand of a tired 
man who tendered it, " the gayest silken streamer in this 
valiant army." 
" In the name of God, no ! " shrieked the \vidow, dart- 
ing forward. "Barnaby-my lord-see-he'll corne 
back-Barnaby-Barnaby ! " 
., 'Yomen in the field! " cried Hugh, stepping between 
them, and holding her off. "I-Iolloa! l\1y captain there! JJ 
"\Vhat's the matter here?" cried Siolon Tappertit, 
bustling up in a great heat. "Do you call this order? ' J 
" Nothing like it, captain," answered Hugh, still hold- 
ing- her back \\"ith his outstretched hand. "It's against 
all orders. Ladies are carrying off our gallant soldiers 
from their duty. The \\lord of como1and, captain! 
They're filing off the ground. Quick!' J 
" Close! " cried Simon, with the \vhole powcr of his 
lungs. " Form! March!" 
She \vas thro\vn to the gTound; the \vhole field \vas in 
nlotion; Barnaby was whirled awav into the heart of a 
dense mass of men, and she saw hirD no morc. 



Barnaby Rudge 


3 6 9 


CIIAPTER XLIX. 
. THE mob. l
a? been divided from its first assen1blage 
Into four dIvIsIons; the London, the \'"estminster, the 
Southwark, and the Scotch. Each of these divisions be- 
ing subdivided into various bodies, and these bodies being 
drawn up in various fanns and fig-ures, the general ar- 
rangen1ent was, except to the fe\\' chiefs and leaders, as un- 
intel1igible as the plan of a great battle to the meanest 
soldier in the field. It ,vas not without its method, ho\v- 
ever; for, in a very short space of time after being put in 
Illotion, the cro\\'d had resolved itself into three great par- 
ties, and \vere prepared, as had been arranged, to cross 
the river by different bridges, and n1ake for the House of 
C01l1ffions in separate detachn
ents. 
At the head of that division which had \Vestminster 
Bridge for its approach to the scene of action, Lord George 
Gordon took his post; with Gashford at his right hand, 
and sundry ruffians of most unprornising appearance form- 
ing a kind of staff about him. The conduct of a second 
party, whose route lay by Blackfriars, was entrusted to a 
committee of managernent, including perhaps a dozen 
men: \vhile the third, which was to go by London Bridge, 
and through the rnain streets in order that their numbers 
and their serious intentions might be the better kno\vn and 
appreciated by the citizens, \vere led by Simon Tappertit 
(assisted by a few subalterns, selected from the Brother- 
hood of United Dull-dogs), Dennis the hangn1an, Hugh, 
and some others. 
The \vord of command being given, each of these great 
bodies took the road assigned to it, and departed on its 
way, in perfect order and profound silence. That which 
went through the City greatly exceeded the others in num- 
Ler, and was of such prodigious extent that when the 
rear began to move, the front was nearly four ll1iles in ad- 
vance, not\vithstanding that the men marched three abreast 
and follo\ved very close upon each other. 
At the head of this party, in the place where Hugh, 
in the madness of his humour, had stationed him, and 
\valking behveen that dangerous companion and the hang- 
lnen, went Barnabv; as many a man among the thousands 
who looked on tl1at day afterv/ards remembered well. 



37 0 


Barnaby Rudge 


Forgetful of aII other things in the ecstasy of the moment, 
his face flushed and his eyes sparkling with delight, heed- 
less of the \veight of the great banner he carried, and 
mindful only of its flashing in the sun and rust]ing in the 
sumnler breeze, on he went, proud, happy, elated past all 
telling :-the only light-hearted, undesigning creature, in 
the whole assembly. 
" \Vhat do you think of this? " asked Hugh, as they 
passed through the cro\vded streets, and ]ooked up at the 
windo\vs which were thronged with spectators. "They 
have all turned out to see our flags and streamers? Eh, 
Barnaby? \Vhy, Barnaby's the greatest nlan of all th
 
pack! His flag-'s the ]argest of the jot, the brightest too. 
There's nothing in the show, like Barnaby. All eyes are 
turned on him. Ha ha ha ! " 
"Don't rnake that din, brother," growled the hang- 
man, glancing \yith no very approving eyes at Barnaby 
as he spoke: "I hope he don't think there's nothing to 
be done, but carrying that there piece of blue rag, like a 
boy at a breaking-up. You're ready for action, I hope, eh? 
\T ou, I mean," he added, nudging Barnaby rough]y with 
his elbo\v. " \Vhat are you staring at? \'Thy don't you 
speak? " 
Barnaby had been gazing at his flag, and looked 
vacantly from his questioner to Hugh. 
" He don't understand your \vay," said the latter. 
" Here, I'll explain it to him. Barnaby, old boy, attend 
to me." 
" I'll attend," said Barnaby, looking anxiously round; 
c, but I wish I could see her somewhere." 
" See who? " denlanded Dennis in a gruff tone. " You 
an't in loye I hope, brother? That an't the sort of thing 
for us, you know. ',Ve mustn't have no love here." 
" She would be proud indeed to see m.e no\v, eh, Hugh? " 
said Barnaby. "\iVouldn 't it make her glad to. see me at 
the head of this large sho\v? Sh
'd cry \vith joy, I know she 
would. '\There can she be? She never sees me at my 
best, and what do I care to be gay and fine if slze
s nót 
by? " 
" \Vhy, ",hat palaver's this? " asked 1\1r. Dennis ",ith 
supreme disdain. "Vi/ e an't got no sentimental nlembers 
among- us, I hope." 
" Don't be un('asy, brother," cried !-1 ugh, "he'5 only 
talking of his mother." 



Barnaby Rudge 


37 1 


" Of his \vhat? " said ì\1r. Dennis with a strong oath. 
" His mother." 
" And have I combined myself with this here sectiQn, and 
turned out on this here l1lemorable day, to hear nlcn talk 
about their mothers! J, growled 1\lr. Dennis with extreme 
disgust. "The notion of a man's sweetheart's bad 
enough, but a nlan's mothcr ! ' '-and here his disgust was 
so extrelne that he spat upon the ground, and could say 
no nlore. 
" Barnaby's right," cried Hug-h with a grin, "and I 
say it. Lookee, bold lad. If she's not here to see, it's 
because I've provided for her, and sent half a dozen gen- 
tlemen, everyone of 'erTI with a blue flag (but not half 
as fine as yours), to take her, in state, to a grand hO'Jse 
all hung- rOllnd with gold and siher banners, and every- 
thing else you please, where she'll wait till you conie, and 
want for nothing." 
" Ay ! " said Barnaby, his face beaming with delight: 
"have you indeed? That's a good hearing. That's 
fine! I.Gnd Hugh! " 
" But nothing- to what will come, bless you," retorted 
Hug-h, with a wink at Dennis, who regarded his new conl- 
panion-in-arnls with great astonishment. 
"No, indeed? " cried Harnaby. 
" Nothing at all," said Hugh. "l\10ncy, cocked hats 
and feathers, red coats anù gold lace: all the fine thing-s 
there are, ever were, or will be; will belong to us if we are 
true to that noble gentleman-the best man irl the world, 
carry our flags for a fe\v days, and keep 'em safe. That's 
all \\Je've got to do. " 
" Is that al1? " cried Barnaby with glistening- eyes, as 
he clutched his pole the tig-hter; " I warrant you I keep this 
one safe, then. You have put it in Rood hands. You 
know me, Hug"h. Kobody shall \vrest this flag- rHvay." 
" \\1 ell said! " cried Hug-h. "Ha ha! Nobly said! 
That's the old stout Barnaby, that I have climbed and 
leaped with, many and many a day-I knew I was not 
mistaken in Barnaby. Don't YOll see, man," he added in 
a whisper, as he slipped to the other side of Dennis, " that 
the lad's a natural, and can be g-ot to do anything, if you 
take him the rig-ht \vay. Letting alone the f
ln he is, he's 
worth a dozen men, in earnest, as you'd find if yo
 tried 
a fall with him. Leave hilTI to nle. You shall soon see 
\vhether he's of use or not." 



37 2 


Barnaby Rudge 


l\fr. Dennis received these explanatory remarks with 
many nods and winks, and softened his behaviour to\\'ards 
Barnaby from that moment. Hugh, laying his finger on 
his nose, stepped back into his fonner place, and they 
proceeded in silence. 
It was between two and three o'clock in the afternoon 
",hen the three great parties met at \V estminster, and, 
uniting into one huge mass, raised a tremendous shout. 
This was not only done in token of their presence, but as 
a signal to those on whom the task devolved, that it was 
tin1e to take possession of the lobbies of both Houses, and 
of the various avenues of approach, and of the gaUery 
stairs. To the last-named place, Hugh and Dennis, still with 
their pupil between them, rushed straightway; Barnaby 
having given his flag into the hands of one of their own 
party, who kept them at the outer door. Their followers 
pressing on behind, they \vere borne as on a great wave 
to the very doors of the gal1ery, ,vhence it \vas impossible 
to retreat, even if they had been so inclined, by reason of 
the throng which choked up the passages. I t is a familiar 
expression in describing a great crowd, that a person mignt 
have walked upon the people's heaùs. In this case it was 
actual1y done; for a boy \vho had by some means got among 
the concourse, and \vas in imminent danger of suffocation, 
(' limbed to the shoulders of a man beside him and walked 
upon the people's hats and heads into the open street; 
traversing in his passage the ,,,,hole length of two stair- 
cases and a long gallery. Nor was the s\varm \vithout less 
dense; for a basket which had been tossed into the crowd, 
was jerked from head to head, and shoulder to should 
r, 
and \vent spinning and ,vhirling on above them, until it 
was lost to view, without ever once falling in among them 
or coming near the ground. 
Through this vast throng, sprinkled doubtless 
here and there with honest zealots, but composed' for 
the most part of the very scum and refuse of 
London, ,vhose growth was fostered by bad criminal 
laws, bad prison regulations, and the worst con- 
ceivable police,-such of the n1embcrs of both Houses 
of Parliament as had not taken the precaution to' be 
already at their posts, were compelled to fight anJ 
force their ,vay. Their carriages were stopped 3nd 
broken; the wheels \vrenched off; the glasses shivered to 
atoms; the panels beaten in; drivers; footmen, and masters t 



Barnaby Rudge 


373 


pulIed froin their seats and rolled in the mud. Lords, 
conlnloners, and reverend bishops, \vith little distinction 
of person or party, were kicked and pinched and hustled; 
passed froill hand to hand through various stages of il1- 
usage; and sent to their felIo\v-senators at last with their 
clothes hanging in ribands about them, their bag\vigs 
torn off, thenlselves speechless and breathless, and their 
persons covered with the powder which had been cuffed 
and beaten out of their hair. One lord was so long in the 
hands of the populace, that the Peers as a body resolved 
to sally forth and rescue him, and were in the act of doing 
so, when he happily appeared among them covered with 
dirt and bruises, and hardly to be recognised by those who 
knew him best. The noise and uproar were on the increase 
every moment. The air was filled \vith execrations, hoots, 
and how lings. The mob raged and roared, like a mad 
monster, as it was, unceasingly, and each ne'v outrage 
served to s\vell its fury. 
\Vithin doors, matters were even yet more threatening. 
Lord George-preceded by a man who carried the immense 
petition on a porter's knot through the lobby to the door 
of the House of Commons, where it was received by two 
officers of the House who rolled it up to the table 
ready for presentation-had taken his seat at an early 
hour, before the Speaker went to prayers. His fol- 
lowers pouring in at the same time, the lobby and 
all the avenues were immediately filled, as we have 
seen: thus the members were not only attacked in 
their passage through the streets, but ",-ere set upon 
within the very walls of Parliament; while the tumult, both 
within and without, was so great, that those who attempted 
to speak could scarcely hear their own voices: far less 
consult upon the course it \vould be wise to take in such 
extren1ity, or animate each other to dignified and firm re- 
sistance. So sure as any member, just arrived, \vith dress 
disordered and dishevelled hair, caple struggling through 
the cro\vd in the 'lobby, it yelled and screamed in triumph; 
and ,vhen the door of the House, partially and cautiously 
opened by those \vithin for his admission, gave them a 
momentary glimpse of the interior, they grew more \vild 
and savage, like beasts at the sig-ht of prey, and made a 
rush against the portal which strained its locks and bolts 
in their staples, and shook the very beams. 
The Strangers' Gallery, \vhich ,vas immediately above 



374 


Barnaby Rudge 


the door of the House, had been ordered to be closed on 
the first rumour of disturbance, and was .empty; save that 
now and then Lord Georg-e took his seat there, for the 
convenience of coming to the head of the stairs which led 
to it, and repeating to the people what had passed within. 
It was on these stairs that Barnaby, Hugh, and Dennis 
were posted. There were two flights, short, steep, and 
narrow, running parallel to each other, and leading to two 
little doors communicating with a low passage whic!l 
opened on the gallery. Between thenl was a kind of \vell, 
or unglazed sl{ylight, for the admission of light and air 
into the lobby, which might be some eighteen or twenty 
feet below. 
Upon one of these little staircases-not that at the head 
of which Lord George appeared from tinle to time, but the 
other-Gashford stood wi th his elbo\v on the bannister, 
and his cheek resting on his hand, with his usual crafty 
aspect. vVhenever he varied this attitude in the sli1!htest 
degree-so much as by the gentlest motion of his arnl- 
the uproar was certain to increase, not merely there, but 
in the lobby below; from \vhich place no doubt. some man 
who acted as fug-teman to the rest, was constantly looking 
up and watching hin1. 
" Order! " cried Hugh, in a voice which made itself 
heard e'.en above the roar and tumult, as Lord George 
appeared at the top of the staircase. "News! News 
fronl my lord! " 
The noise continued, not\vithstanding- his appearance, 
until Gashford looked round. There was silence imme- 
diately-even among the people in the passages without, 
and on the other staircases, who could neither see nor 
hear, but to whom, notwithstanding, the signal was con- 
veyed \vith marvellous rapidity. 
" Gentlenlen," said Lord George, who was very pale 
and agitated, " we ITlust be firm. They talk of delays, but 
we must have no delays. They talk of taking your petition 
into consideration next Tuesday, but we must haye it con- 
sidered now. Present appearances look bad for our suc- 
cess, but we must succeed and will! " 
., \Ve must succeed and will! " echoed the crowd. And 
so among their shouts and cheers and other cries, he bowed 
to thcln and retired, and presently came back ag-ain. 
There was another gesture from Gashford, and a dca<.1 
"ilence directly. 



Barnaby Rudge 


375 


CC I am afraid," he said, this time, " that \\"e haye little 
reason, gentlemen, to hope for any redress from the pro- 
ceedings of ParliaInent. But we nlust redress our own 
grie,'anccs, \\'e must nlcet again, we must put our trust in 
Providence, and it will bless our endeayours." 
This speech being a little more tenlperate than the last, 
was not so favourably receiyed. \Yhen the noise and ex- 
asperation \vere at their height, he came back once more, 
and told them that the alann had gone forth for many 
mi)es round; that when the King heard of their assembling 
together in that great body, he had no doubt His 1Iajesty 
would send down priyate orders to hav.e their ,vishes com- 
plied with; and-with the 111anner of his speech as childish, 
irresolute, and uncertain as his nlatter-was proceeding 
further. \\'hen 1\vo gentlemen suddenly appeared at the 
door where he stood, and pressing- past him and coming 
a step or two lo\ver do\\'n upon the stairs, confronted the 
people. 
The boldness of this action quite took them by surprise. 
They \vere not the less disconcerted. when one of the gen- 
tlemen, turning- to Lord George, spoke thus-in a loud voice 
that they might hear hinl well, but quite coolly and col- 
lectedly. 
" You may tell these people, if you please, my lord, that 
I am General Conway, of whom they ha\'e heard; and that 
I oppose this petition, and all their proceeding-s and yours. 
I am a soldier, you may tell them: and I will protect the 
freedom of this place with nlY s\vord. You see, my lord, 
that the members of this House are all in arms to-day; 
you kno\v that the entrance to it is a narro\v one; 
you cannot be ignorant that there are tnen within these 
walls who are determined to defend that pass to the last, 
and before whom many lives must fall if your adherents 
persevere. Have a care \vhat you ùo," 
"And my Lord George," said the other gentleman, 
addressing him in like nlanner, "I desire them to hear 
this, from me-Colonel Gordon-your near relation. If a 
man among this crowd, whose uproar strikes us deaf, 
crosses the threshold of the House of Commons, I swear 
to run my s\vord that nloment-not into his. but into your 
body ! " 
\Vith that, they stepped back again, keeping- their faces 
towards the crowd; took each an arm of the misguided 
nobleman; dre\v him into the passage, and shut the 



37 6 


Barnaby Rudg
 


door; which they directly locked and fastened on the 
inside. 
This was so quickly done, and the demeanour of both 
gentlemen-\vho were not young men either-was so gal- 
lant and resolute, that the crowd faltered and stared at each 
other with irresolute and timid looks. 
1any tried to turn 
towards the door; some of the faintest-hearted cried they 
had best go back, and called to those behind to give way; 
and the panic and confusion \vere increasing rapidly, when 
Gashford whispered Hugh. 
"\Vhat now! " Hugh roared aloud, turning towards 
them. "\Vhy go back? \ Vhere can you do Letter than 
bere, boys! One good rush against these doors and one 
bclo\v at the same tilne, \vill do the business. Rush on, 
then! As to the door below, let those stand back \\Tho are 
afraid. Let those \vho are not afraid, try \vho shall be the 
first to pass it. Here goes! Look out dovvn there! " 
\ Vithout the delay of an instant, he threw hinlself head- 
long over the bannisters into the lobby belo\v. He had 
hardly touched the ground \vhen Barnaby ,vas at his side. 
The chaplain's assistant, and some members \\7ho \vere 
imploring the people to retire, immediately \vithdrew; and 
then, with a great shout, both crowds threw themselves 
against the doors pell-n1ell, and besieged the llouse in 
earnes t. 
At that monlent, when a second onset must have brought 
thenl into collision \vith those \vho stood on the defensive 
within, in which case great loss of life and bloodshed \vould 
inevitably have ensued,-the hindmost portion of the cro\vd 
gave way, and the rumour spread from nlouth to mouth 
that a messenger had been despatched by "vater for the 
nlilitary, \vho \yere fornling in the street. Fearful of sus- 
taining a charge in the narro\v passages in \\'hich they \vere 
so closely wedged together, the throng poured out as 
impetuously as they had flocked in. As the \vhole stream 
turned at once, Barnaby and Hugh went \vith it: and so, 
fighting and struggling and trampling on fallen nlen and 
being tralnpled on in turn themselves, they and the \vhole 
mass floated by degrees into the open street, \vhere a large 
dctachment of the Guards, both horse and foot, came hurry- 
ing up; clearing the ground before them so rapidly that 
the people seemed to il1elt a\vay as they advanced. 
The \vord of command to halt being given, the soldiers 
formed across the street; the rioters, breathless and ex.. 



Barnaby Rudge 


377 


hausted with their late exertions, formed like\vise, though 
in a very irregular and disorder1y manner. The comnland- 
ing officer rode hastily into the open space behveen the 
hyo bodies, accompanied by a magistrate and an officer of 
the House of Commons, for ,vhose accommodation a couple 
of troopers had hastily dismounted. The Riot Act was 
read, but not a man stirred. 
In the first rank of the insurgents, Barnaby and Hugh 
stood side by side. Somebody had thrust into Barnaby's 
hands \vhen he came out into the street, his precious flag; 
\vhich, being now rolled up and tied round the pole, looked 
like a giant quarterstaff as he grasped it firmly and stood 
upon his guard. If ever nlan be1ieved ,,,,ith his \vhole 
heart and soul that he \vas engaged in a just cause, and 
that he ,vas bound to stand by his leader to the last, poor 
Barnaby believed it of himself and Lord George Gordon. 
After an ineffectual attempt to make himself heard, the 
magistrate gave the word and the Horse Guards came 
riding in among the crowd. But even then he galloped 
here and there, exhorting the people to disperse; and, al- 
though heavy stones were thro\vn at the men, and some 
\Vere desperately cut and bruised, they had no orders but to 
make prisoners of such of the rioters as \vere the most 
actiye, and to drive the people back with the flat of their 
sabres. As the horses came in among them, the throng 
gave \,oay at many points, and the Guards, foHowing up 
their advantage, \yere rapidly clearing- the ground, when 
hvo or three of the foremost, who were in a manner cut 
off from the rest by the people closing round them, made 
straight towards Barnaby and Hugh, Vv'ho had no doubt 
been pointed out as the hvo men who dropped into the 
lobby; laying about them no'v with some effect, and in- 
flicting on the more turbulent of their opponents a few 
slight flesh wounds, under the influence of which a man 
dropped, here and there, into the arms of his fellows, amid 
much groaning and confusion. 
At the sight of gashed and bloody faces, seen for a 
moment in the crowd, then hidden by the press around 
them, Barnaby turned pale and sick. But he stood his 
ground, and grasping his pole more firmly yet, kept his 
eye fixed upon the nearest soldier-nodding- his head, mean- 
while, as 11ugh, with a scowling visage, whispered in his 
car. 
The soldier came spurring on, making his horse rear as 



37 8 


Barnaby Rudge 


the people pressed about hiln, cutting at the hands of those 
who would have grasped his rein and forced his charger 
back, and waving to his cornrades to follow-and still 
Barnaby, without retreating an inch, waited for his coming. 
Some called to him to fly, and some \vere in the very act of 
closing round him, to prevent his being taken, when the 
pole s\vept the air above the people's heads, and the man's 
saddle was enl pty in an ins tan t. 
Then he and Hugh turned and fled, the crowd opening- 
to let them pass, and closing up again so quickly that there 
\Vas no clue to the course they had taken. Panting for 
breath, hot, dusty, and exhausted with fatig-ue, they 
reached the river-side in safety, and getting into a boat 
with all despatch were soon out of any irnnlediate danger. 
As they glided down the river, they plainly heard the 
people cheering; and supposing- they nlight haye forced 
the soldiers to retreat, lay upon their oars for a few minutes, 
uncertain whether to retnrn or not. But the crowd passing- 
along \Vestminster Bridge, soon assured them that the 
populace were dispersing-; and Hugh rig-htly guessed fronl 
this, that they had cheered the magistrate for offering to 
dismiss the military on condition of their immediate de- 
parture to their se\"eral homes; and that he and Barnaby 
were better where they were. He advised, therefore, that 
they should proceed to Blackfriars, and, g-oing- ashore at the 
bridge, nlake the best of their way to the Boot; where there 
was not only good entertainment and safe lodging-, but 
where they would certainly be joined by nlany of their late 
companions. Barnaby assenting, they decided on this 
course of action, and pulled for ßlackfriars according-Iy. 
They landed at a critical time, and fortunately for them- 
selves at the right monlent. For, coming into Fleet Street, 
they found it in an unusual stir; and inquiring- the cause. 
were told that a body of Horse Guards had just galloped 
past, and that they were escorting some rioters whom they 
had made prisoners, to N ewgate for safety. Not at all 
ill-pleased to have so narrowly escaped the cavalcade, they 
lost no more time in asking questions, but hurried to the 
Boot with as much speed as I-Iugh considered it prudent 
to make, without appearing singular or attracting an in- 
con'v'enient share of public notice. 



Barnaby Rudge 


379 


CHAPTER L 


THEY were among the first to reach the ta\'crn, hut thcy 
had not been there n1any minutes, when several groups of 
111en who haå formed part of the cro\vd, came strag-gJing 
in. Among them were Simon Tappcrtit and 1\1r. Dennis; 
both of whom, but espccially the latter, greeted Barnaby 
with the utmost warmth, and paid him many compliments 
on the prowess he had shown. 
" \Vhich," said Dennis, \vith an oath, as he restcd his 
bludgeon in a corncr with his hat upon it, and took his seat 
at the same table with them, " it does me good to think of. 
There was a opportunity! But it led to nothing. For 
my part, I don't know \vhat \vould. Thcre's no spirit 
a010ng the people in these here times. Bring- something to 
eat and drink here. I'm disgusted with humanity. " 
"On \vhat account? " asked IV! r. Tappcrtit, who had 
been quenching- his fiery face in a half-g-allon can. "Don't 
you consider this a good beginning, l11ister? " 
" Give me sccurity that it an't an ending," rejoined the 
hangnlan. "vVhen that soldier went down, \ve might have 
n1ade London ours; but no ;-v.Te stand, and gape, and 
look on-the justice (I \vish he had had a bullct in each eye, 
as he \vouJd have had, if we'd gone to work my way) 
says' My lads, if you')I give me your \vord to disperse, 1'11 
order off the military, '-our people set up a hurrah, throw 
lip the game with the winning cards in their hands, and 
skulk away like a pack of tan1e curs as they are. "Ah!" 
said the hangman, in a tone of deep disgust, " it makes me 
blush for my feller-creeturs. I ,,,ish 1 had been born a ox, 
I do ! " 
" \T ou'd have been quite as ag-rc{'ab1e a character if you 
had been, I think," returned Simon Tappertit, going out in 
a Joftv manner. 
" Don't be too sure of that," rcjoi ned the hang-man, 
ca]]ing- after hin1; " if 1 was a horned anima] at the prcsent 
rnoment, \vith the snlal1est g-rain of sense, I'd toss every 
man in this company, excepting them two, " meaning Hugh 
and Barnaby, " for his manner of cond
cting himself this 
day." 
'Vith which mournfu1 reyiew of their proceedings, Mr. 
Dennis sought consolation in cold boiled beef and beer 
 



3 80 


Barnaby Rudge 


but without at all relaxing the grim and dissatisfied ex- 
pression of his face, the gloom of ,vhich \vas rather 
deepened than dissipated by their grateful influence. 
The company \vho \vere thus libelled might have re- 
taliated by strong \vords, if not by blo\vs, but they ,vere 
dispirited and \vorn out. The greater part of them had 
fasted since morning; all had suffered extremely from the 
excessive heat; and, between the day's shouting, exertion, 
and excitement, many had quite lost their voices, and so 
much of their strength that they could hardly stand. Then 
they \\"ere uncertain what to do next, fearful of the conse- 
quences of what they had done already, and sensible that' 
after all they had carried no point, but had indeed left 
matters \vorse than they had found them. Of those \vho 
had come to the Boot, many dropped off within an hour; 
such of them as \vere really honest and siHcere, never, 
after the morning's experience, to return, or to hold any 
communication with their late cOl11panions. Others re- 
mained but to refresh themselves, and then \vent home de- 
sponding; others \vho had theretofore been regular in their 
attendance, avoided the place altogether. The half-dozen 
prisoners \vhom the Guards had taken, \vere magnified by 
report into half a hundred at least; and their friends, be- 
ing faint and sober, so slackened in their energy, and so 
drooped beneath these dispiriting- influences, that by eight 
o'clock in the evening, Dennis, Hugh, and Barnaby, \vere 
left alone. Even they ,vere fast asleep upon the benches, 
when Gashford's entrance roused them. 
" Oh ! you are here then? " said the secretary. "Dear 
me!" 
" \Vhy, \vhere should we be, l\luster Gashford? " Dennis 
rejoined as he rose into a sitting posture. 
" Oh, nowhere, nowhere," he returned with excessive 
mildness. " The streets are filled with blue cockades. I 
rather thought you might have been among them. I am 
glad you are not. " 
, , You have orders for us, master, then? " said Hug-h. 
" Oh dear, no. Not 1. No orders, my good feHow. 
'Vhat orders should I have? You are not in my service. " 
" l\luster Gashford," remonstrated Dennis, " \ve belong 
to the cause, don't \ve? " 
" The cause! " repeated the secretary, looking at hin1 
in a sort of abstraction. "There is no cause. The cause 
is lost." 



Barnaby I
udge 


3 81 


C<< Lost! " 
<<, Oh yes. \r ou have heard, I suppose? The petition 
is rejected by a hundred and ninety-two, to six. It's quite 
final. \Ve lnight have spared ourselves some trouble: 
that, and my lord's vexation, are the only circumstances I 
regret. I am quite satisfied in all other respects. " 
As he said this, he took a penknife from his pocket, a
d 
putting his hat upon his knee, began to busy himself in 
ripping off the blue cockade \vhich he had worn all day; 
at the same tilne humming a psalm tune \vhich had been 
yery popular in the morning, and dwelling on it with a 
gentle regret. 
His t\vo adherents looked at each other, and at him, as 
if they \vere at a loss how to pursue the subject. At length 
Ilug-h, after some elbo\ving and "'inking between himself 
and l\Ir. Dennis, ventured to stay his hand, and to ask 
him why he meddled \vith that riband in his hat. 
" Because," said the secretary, looking up with some- 
thing bet\\Teen a snarl and a smile, "because to sit stilI 
and wear it, or fall asleep and '-'Tear it, or run away and 
\vear it, is a mockery. That's all, friend." 
" \Vhat would you have us do, master? " cried Hugh. 
c, Nothing," returned Gashford, shrugging his 
shoulders; "nothing. \Vhen my lord \vas reproached and 
threatened for standing by you, I, as a prudent man, would 
have had you do nothing. \Vhen the soldiers were tramp- 
ling you under their horses' feet, I would have had you do 
nothing. \Vhen one of them was struck do\vn by a daring 
hand, and I saw confusion and dismay in all their faces, I 
\vould have had you do nothing-just what you did, in 
short. This is the young man \vho had so little prudence 
and so much boldness. Ah! I am sorry for him. " 
" Sorry, master! " cried Hugh. 
" Sorry, l\1uster Gashford ! " echoed Dennis. 
<<, In case there should be a proclamation out to-morrow, 
offering five hut:ldred pounds, or some such trifle, for his 
apprehension; and in case it should include another man 
\vho dropped into the lobby from the stairs above," said 
Gashford, coldly; " still, do nothing." 
"Fire and fury, master! " cried Hugh, star,ting up. 
"\Vhat have we done, that you should talk to us 
like this! " 
" Nothing," returned Gashford with a sneer. "If you 
are cast into prison; if the young man "-here he looked 



3 82 


Barnaby Rudge 


hard at Barnaby's attentive face-Ie is dragged from us 
and from his friends; perhaps from people \vhorn he loves, 
and whom his death would kill; is thro\vn into jail, brought 
out and hanged before their eyes; still, do nothing. You'lJ 
find it your best policy, I have no doubt. " 
" Come on ! " cried Hugh, striding towards the door. 
ee Dennis-Barnaby-come on ! " 
" Where? To do what? " said Gashford, slipping past 
him, and standing with his back against it. 
" Anywhere! Anything!" cried Hugh. " Stand 
aside, master, or the window \\TiB serve our turn as \vell. 
Let us out! " 
" l-1a, ha, ha ! You are of such-of sHch an impetuous 
nature," said Gashford, changing his manner for one of the 
utmost good-fellowship and the pleasantest raillery; " you 
are such an excitable creature-but you'll drink with me 
before you go? " 
"Oh, yes--certainly," growled Dennis, drawing his 
sleeve across his thirsty lips. "No malice, brother. 
Drink with Muster Gashford ! " 
Hugh wiped his heated brow, and relaxed into a smile. 
The artful secretary laughed outright. 
" Sonle liquor here! Be quick, or he'l1 not stop, even 
for that. He is a man of such desperate ardour! " said 
the smooth secretary, whom Mr. Dennis corroborated 
with sundry nods and muttered oaths-Ie Once roused, he 
is a feJlo\v of such fierce deternlination? " 
Hugh poised his sturdy arm aloft, and clapping- Barnaby 
on the back, bade him fear nothing. They shook hands 
together-poor Barnaby evidently possessed with the 
idea that he \vas among the most virtuous and disinterested 
heroes in the ,vorld-and Gashford laughed again. 
" I hear," he said smoothly, as he stood among them 
,,'ith a great nleasure of liquor in his hand, and filled their 
glasses as quickly and as often as they chose, " I hear- 
but I cannot say whether it be true or false-that the men 
who are loitering- in the streets to-night are half disposed 
to puB down a Romish chapel or 1\vo, and that they only 
want leaders. I even heard mention of those in Duke 
Street, Lincoln's-Inn Fields, and in 'Vanvick Street, 
Golden-
quare; but common report, you kno\v- Y Oll are 
not g-oing? " 
"To do nothing, master, eh? " cried I-I ugh. cc No 
jails and halter for Barnaby and me. They must be 



Barnaby Rudge 


3 8 3 


frightened out of that. Leaders are "vanted, arc they? 
Now, boys! " 
" A 010St impetuous fcHow ! " cried the secretary. "' Ha 
ha! A courageous, boisterous, most vehenlent fellow! 
A Inan \\'ho- " 
There was no need to finish the sentence, for they 
had rushed out of the house, and were far bevond hear- 
ing. He stopped in the nliddle of a laug-h, list
ned, dre\v 
on his gloves, and, clasping his hands behind him, paced 
the deserted room for a long tin1e, then bent his steps to- 
wards the busy town, and walked into the streets. 
They were filled with people, for the rumour of that 
day's proceedings had made a great noise. Those persons 
who did not care to leave home, were at their doors or 
windows, and one topic of discourse prevailed on every 
side. Some reported that the riots were effectually put 
do\vn; others that they had broken out again: SOIne said 
that Lord George Gordon had been sent under a strong- 
guard to the Tower; others that an atteIllpt had been made 
upon the l{ing's life, that the soldiers had been again 
called out, and that the noise of musketry in a distant part 
of the town had been plainly heard \vithin an hour. As it 
grew darker, these stories became more direful and 
1l1ysterious; and often, \vhen some frightened passenger 
ran past with tidings that the rioters were not far off, and 
were coming up, the doors were shut and barred, lower 
\vindo\\'s made secure, and as much consternation en- 
gendered, as if the city were invaded by a foreign -army. 
Gashford walked stealthily about, listening to an he 
heard, and diffusing and confirming, \vhenever he had an 
opportunity, such false intelligence as suited his own pur- 
pose; and busily occupied in this \vay, turned into Holborn 
for the t\ventieth tinle, \yhen a great nlany women and chil- 
dren came flying along the street-often panting and look- 
ing back-and the confused murmur oi numerous voices 
struck upon his ear. Assured by these tokens, and by the 
red light which beg-an to flash upon the houses on either 
side, that some of his friends were indeed approaching, he 
begged a moment's shelter at a door \vhich opened as he 
passed, and runni!1g \vith some other persons to an upper 
windo\v, looked out upon the crowd. 
They had torches amonR them, and the chief faces were 
distinctly visible. That they had been engaged in the 
destruction of some building was sufficiently apparent, anå 



3 8 4 


Barnaby? Rudge 


that it ,vas a Catholic place of \vorship ,vas evident from 
the spoils they bore as trophies, \vhich \vere easily rc- 
cognisable for the vestments of priests, and rich fragments 
of altar-furniture. Covered \vith soot, and dirt, and dust, 
and lime; their garments torn to rags; their hair hanging 
\vildly about them; their hands and faces jagg-ed and bleed- 
ing \vith the wounds of rusty nails; Barnaby, Hugh, and 
Dennis, hurried on before them an, like hideous madmen. 
After theIn, the dense throng came fighting on : some sing-- 
ing; some shouting in triumph; some quarrelling among 
themselves; some menacing the spectators as they passed; 
some with great ,vooden fragments, on which they spent 
their rage as if they had been alive, rending them limb from 
limb, and hurling the scattered morsels high into the air; 
some in a drunken state, unconscious of the hurts they had 
received from fal1ing bricks, and stones, and beams; one 
borne upon a shutter, in the very midst, covered with a 
dingy cloth, a senseless, ghastly heap. Thus-a vision 
of coarse faces, with here and there a blot of flaring, smoky 
Jig-ht; a dream of demon heads and savage eyes, and sticks 
and iron bars uplifted in the air, and ,,,-hided about; a 
be\vildering horror, in which so much 'vas seen, and yet 
so little, \vhich seemed so long and yet so short, in which 
there "'ere so many phantoms, not to be forgotten an 
through life, and yet so many things that could not be 
observed in that distracting glimpse-it flitted on,vard, 
and was gone. 
As it p2ssed away upon its \vork of \vrath and ruin, a 
piercing scream \vas heard. A knot of persons ran towards 
the spot; Gashford, \vho just then emerged into the street, 
among them. He was on the outskirts of the little con- 
course, and could not see or hear what passed within; but 
one who had a better place, informed him that a wido'v 
woman had descried her son alnong the rioters. 
" Is that all? " said the secretary, turning his face home- 
wards. "W eHI I think this looks a little more like 
business! " 


CI-IAPTER LI 


PROMISe
G as these outrages ,v
re to Gashford's vie\v, 
and much like business as they looked, they extended that 
night no farther. The soldiers \vere again called out,again 



Barnaby Rudge 


3 8 5 


they took hatf a dozen prisoners, and again the cro\vd dis- 
persed after a short and bloodless scuffle. Hot and 
drunken though they \vere, they had not yet broken all 
bounds and set al1 law and government at defiance. Some- 
thing of their habitual deference to the authority erected 
by society for its own preservation yet remained among 
them, and had its majesty been vindicated in time, the sec- 
retary \yoltId have had to digest a bitter disappointment. 
By midnight, the streets \\I"ere clear and quiet, and, S:lve 
tha
 there stood in hvc parts of the to\vn a heap of nodding 
wal1s and pile of rubbish, where there had been at sunset 
a rich and handsorr
e building, everything 'yore its usual 
aspect. Even the Catholic gentry and tradesmen, of v.,hom 
there were many resident in different parts of the City and 
its suburbs, had no fear for their lives or property, and 
but little indignation for the \vrong they had already sus- 
tained in the plunder and destruction of their temples of 
v.'orship. An honest confidence in the government under 
\vhose protection they had lived for many years, and a 
\'"ell-founded reliance on the good feeling and right think- 
ing of the great mass of the community, v.,ith whom, not- 
withstanding their religious differences, they were every 
day in habits of confidential, affectionate, and friendly in- 
tercourse, re-assured them, .even under the excesses that 
had been committed; and convinced them that they who 
\vere Protestants in anything but the name, were no more 
to be considered as abettors of these disgraceful occur- 
rences, than they themselves were chargeable \vith the uses 
of the block, the rack, the gibbet, and the stake, in cruel 
l\Iary's reign. 
The clock \vas on the stroke of one, when Gabriel Var- 
den, with his lady and 11iss l\1iggs, sat \vaiting in the 
little parlour. This fact; the toppling wicks of the dull, 
\vasted candles; the silence that prevailed; and aboye aU 
the nightcaps of both maid and matron, were sufficient 
evidence that they had been prepared for bed sonle time 
ago, and had some strong reason for sitting up so far 
beyond their usual hour. 
Íf any other corroborative testinlony had been required, 
it \vould haye been abundantly furnished in the actions of 
1\liss rvIiggs, \vho, having arrived at that restless state and 
sensitive condition of the nervous system which are the 
r{'suIt of long- \vatching, did, by a constant rubbing and 
tweaking of her nose, a perpetual change of position (aris- 
o 



3 86 


Barnaby Rudge 


ing from the sudden gro\vth of imaginary knots and knobs 
in her chair), a frequent friction of her eyebrows, the in- 
cessant recurrence of a small cough, a small groan, a 
gasp, a sigh, a sniff, a spasmodic start, and by other de- 
monstrations of that nature, so file down and rasp, as it 
were, the patience of the locksmith, that after looking at 
her in silence for some time, he at last broke out into this 
apostrophe: 
., !YEggs, my good girl, go to bed-do g-o to bed. You're 
really worse than the dripping of a hundred water-butts 
outside the window, or the scratching of as many mice 
behind the wainscot. I can't bear it. Do go to bed, 
TYliggs. To oblige me-do." 
" You haven't got nothing to untie, sir," returned 
nss 

figgs, "and therefore your requests does not surprise 
me. But missis has-and while you sit up, mim "-she 
added, turning to the locksmith's wife, ,. 1 couldn't, no, 
not if twenty times the quantity of cold water was aperi- 
ently running down my back at this Oloment, go to bed 
with a quiet spirit. " 
Having spoken these words, l\fiss l\figg-s m3de divers 
efforts to rub her shoulders in an impossible place, and 
shivered from head to foot; thereby giving- the beholders 
to understand that the inlaginary cascade was still in full 
flow, but that a sense of duty upheld her under that and 
al1 other sufferings, and nerved her to endurance. 

1rs. Varden being too sleepy to speak, and 
Iiss l\Iiggs 
having, as the phrase is, said her say, the locksmith had 
nothing for it but to sigh and be as quiet as he could. 
But to be quiet with such a basilisk before him was im- 
possible. If he looked another way, it was worse to feel 
that she was rubbing her cheek, or twitching her ear, or 
winking her eye, or making all kinds of extraordinary 
shapes with her nose, than to see her do it. If she \Vas 
for a nloment free from any of these complaints, it was 
only because of her foot being- asleep, or of her arm having 
got the tìdg-ets, or of her leg- being- doubled up \\'ith the 
cramp, or of some other horrible disorder which racked 
her whote frame. If she did enjoy a moment's ease, then 
with her eye's shut and her mouth wide open, she would be 
seen to sit very stiff and upright in her chair; then to nod 
a little W:1Y forward, and stop with a jerk; then to nod a 
little farther forward, and stop with another jerk; then to 
recover herself; then to come forward again-lower- 



Barnaby Rudge 


3 8 7 


lower-lower-by very slow degrees, until, just as it seemed 
inlpossible that she could preserve her balance for another 
instant, and the locksn1Ïth was about to call out in an 
agony, to save her from dashing down upon her forehead 
and fracturing her skull, then all of a sudden and without 
the sl11allest notice, she would corne upright and rigid 
again with her eyes open, and in her countenance an ex- 
pression of deIìance, sleepy but yet most obstinate, which 
plainly said, H I've never once closed 'em since I looked 
at you last, and I '}J take I11Y oath of it ! ,) 
At length, after the clock had struck two, there was a 
sound at the street door, as if somebody had fallen against 
the knocker by accident. 1vIiss l\Iiggs immediately jump- 
ing up and clapping her hands, cried with a drowsy ming- 
ling of the sacred and profane, " Ally Looyer, mim ! there's- 
Simmuns's knock! " 
" \Vho's there? " said Gabriel. 
" l\1e ! " cried the well-known voice of !\Ir. Tappertit. 
Gabriel opened the door, and gave hinl admission. 
He did not cut a very insinuating figure, for a man of 
his stature suffers in a crowd; and having been active in 
yesterday morning's work, his dress was literally crushed 
frool head to foot: his hat being beaten out of all shape, 
and his shoes trodden dpwn at heel like slippers. His 
coat fluttered in strips about him, the buckles were torn 
away both from his knees and feet, half his neckerchief 
was gone, and the bosom of his shirt was rent to tatters. 
Yet notwithstanding all these personal disadvantages; 
despite his being very weak from heat and fatigue; and so 
begrimed with mud and dust that he might have been in 
a case, for anything of the real texture (either of his skin 
or apparel) that the eye could discern; he stalked haughtily 
into the parlour, and throwing himself into a chair, and 
endeavouring to thrust his hands into the pockets of h
s 
sOlall-clothes, \vhich were turned inside out and displaYèd 
upon his legs, like tassels, surveyed the household with 
a gloomy dignity., 
" Sinlon," said the locksmith gravely, "ho\v COInes it 
that you return home at this time of night, and in this 
condition? Giye me an assurance that you have not been 
among- the rioters, and I am satisfied. " 
" Sir," replied 1\;1r. Tappertit, with a contemptuous 
look, "I wonder at your assurance in making such de- 
mands. " 



3 88 


Barnaby Rudg-e 


, , You have been drinking," said the locksll1ith. 
"As a general principle, and in the most offensive 
sense of the words, sir," returned his journeyman \vith 
great self-possession, " I consider you a liar. In that last 
observation you have unintentionally-unintentionally, sir 
-struck upon the truth. " 
" 1\1artha," said the locksmith, turning to his wife, and 
shaking his head sorro\vfully, \vhile a sInile at the absurd 
figure before him still played upon his open face, " I trust 
it may turn out that this poor lad is not the victill1 of the 
knaves and fools \ve have so often had words about, and 
who have done so much harnl this day. If he has been 
at \Varwick Street or Duke Street to-night-" 
" He has been at neither, sir," cried lVIr. Tappertit 
n a 
loud voice, which he suddenly dropped into a whisper as 
he repeated, with eyes fixed Up0ll the locksmith, "he has 
been at neither." 
"I aln glad of it, with all my heart," said the lock- 
smith in a serious tone; " for if he had been, and it could 
be proved against him, 1\1artha, your Great Association 
would have been to him the cart that draws men to th{; 
gallows and leaves them hanging in the air. It would, 
be as sure as we're alive! " 
1\lrs. Varden was too much scared by Simon's altered 
manner and appearance, and by the accounts of the rioters 
which had reached her ears that night, to offer any retort, 
or to have recourse to her usual nlatrilnonial policy. l\1iss 
Miggs wrung her hands, and wept. 
" He was not at Duke Street or at \,r anvick Street, 
G. Varden," said Simon, sternly; "but he 'was at \Vest- 
minster. Perhaps, sir, he kicked a county member, per- 
haps, sir, he tapped a lord-you may stare, sir, I repeat 
it-blood flowed from noses, and perhaps he tapped a lord. 
Who knows? This," he added, pl!tting his hand into his 
waistcoat-pocket, and taking out a larg-e tooth, a
 sight 
of which both Mig-gs and 
Irs. \T arden screanled, 'I this \,-Tas 
a bishop's. Beware, G. \Tarden! " 
" Now, I \vould rather," said the locksmith hastily, 
" have paid five hundred pounds, than had this come to 
pass. You idiot, do you know what peril you stand it..? " 
" I know it, sir," replied his journeyman, "and it is 
my glory. I was there, everybody saw me there. I was 
conspicucus, and prolninent. I \vill abide the conse- 
quences. I:oJ 



Barnaby Rudge 389 
The locksn1ith, really disturbed and agitated, paced 
to and fro in silence-glancing at his former 'prentice 
every no\v and then-and at length stopping before him, 
said : 
" Get to bed, and sleep for a couple of hours that you 
nlay wake penitent, and \vith some of your senses about 
you. Be sorry for \\-hat you have done, and \ve will tcy 
to save you. If I call him by five o'clock," said Varden, 
turning hurriedly to his wife, "and he \vashes himself 
clean and changes his dress, he may get to the To\ver 
Stairs, and a\vay by the Gravesend tide-boat, before 
ny 
search is made for him. From there he can easily get on 
to Canterbury, \vhere your cousin will give him work till 
this storm has blown over. I am not sure that I do right 
in screening him from the punishment he deserves, but he 
has lived in this house, man and boy, for a dozen years, 
and I should be sorry if for this one day's \vork he made a 
111iserable end. Lock the front door, 
Iiggs, and show 
no light towards the street \\-hen you go up stairs. Quick, 
Simon! Get to bed! " 
"And do you suppose, sir," retorted 1\11'. Tappertit, 
\vith a thickness and slowness of speech \vhich contrasted 
forcibly with the rapidity and earnestness of his kind- 
hearted master-" and do you suppose, sir, that I am base 
and mean enough to accept your servile proposition?- 
1\liscreant ! " 
" \Vhatever you please, Siln, but get to bed. Every 
minute is of consequence. The light here, 11iggs! " 
" Yes, yes, oh do! Go to bed directly," cried the two 
women together. 
1\lr. Tappertit stood upon his feet, and pushing his 
chair a\vay to show that he needed no assistance, answered, 
swaying himself to and fro, and managing his head as 1f 
it had no connection \vhatever \vith his body: 
" You spoke of l\;Iiggs, sir-lVfiggs may be smothered! " 
" Oh ! Sin1mun ! " ejaculated that young lady in a faint 
\'oice. "Oh, mim! 011, sir! Oh goodness gracious, 
what a turn he has give me ! " 
" This family may all be smothered, sir," returned 1\1r. 
Tappertit, after glancing at her with a smile of ineffable 
disdain, "excepting 1\1rs. V. I have come here, sir, for 
her sake, this night. 1\lrs. \r arden, take this piece of 
paper. It's a protection, ma'am. You may need it." 
\Vith these words he held out at arm's length, a dirty, 



39 0 


Barnaby Rudge 


crump1ed scrap of ,vriting. The locksmith took it from 
him, opened it, and read as fonows : 
cc A11 good friends to our cause, I hope win be par- 
ticular, and do no in jury to the property of any true 
Protestant. I am weB assured that the proprietor of this 
house is a staunch and worthy friend to the cause. 
" GEORGE GORDO:'-J." 


CC 'Vhat 's this! " said the locksmith, with an alter('d 
face. 
" Something- that'lJ do you good service, young feJIer," 
replied his journeyman, "as you'lJ find. Keep that safp, 
and \vhere you can lay your hand upon it in an instant. 
And chalk ' No Popery' on your door to-morrow night) 
and for a week to come-that's aIL" 
" This is a genuine docunlent," said the locksmith) " I 
know, for I have seen the hand before. \Vhat threat does 
it imply? \Vhat devil is abroad? " 
"A fiery devil," retorted Sim; U a flaming, furious 
deviL Don't you put yourself in its "Tay, or you're done 
for, my buck. Be warned in time, G. Varden. Fare- 
weB ! " 
But here the two women threw themselves in his way- 
especiaJ1y l\liss Migg-s, \vho fell upon him \vith such fer. 
vour that she pinned him against the \vall-and conjured 
him in moving words not to go forth tiJI he ,vas sober; to 
listen to reason; to think of it; to take some rest, and then 
determine. 
cc I teII you," said 1\1r. Tappertit, "that my mind is 
nlade up. f\,ly bleeding country calIs me, and I go! Miggs, 
if you don't get out of the way, I'Jl pinch you. " 
Miss Miggs, sti11 clinging- to the rehcJ, screamed once 
vociferously-hut whether in the distraction of her mind, 
or because of his having- executed his threat, is uncertain. 
U Release me," said Simon, struggling to free himself 
from her chaste, but spider-like embrace. "Let me go! 
I have made arrangements for you in an altered state of 
society, and mean to provide for you comfortably in life- 
there! \ViII that satisfy you? " 
" Oh, Simmun ! " cried Miss MiRRs. "Oh my blessed 
Simmun! Oh mim, \vhat are my feelings at this conflict- 
ing- moment! " I 
Of a rather turbulent description, it \vould seem; for her 



Barnaby Rudge 


39 1 


nightcap had been knocked off in the scuffle, and she \-vas 
on her knees upon the floor, making a strange revelation 
of blue and yeJlow curl-papers, straggling locks of hair, 
tag-s of staylaces, and strings of it's impossible to say 
what; panting for breath, clasping- her hands, turning her 
eyes upwards, shedding ahundance of tears, and exhibiting 
various other synlptoms of the acutest mental suffering. 
IC I leave," said Simon, turning to his master, with an 
utter disregard of l\Iig-gs's maidenly affliction, ,. a bo" 
of things up stairs. Do what you like with 'em. I don't 
want 'em. I'm never coming back here, any more. 
Provide yourself, sir, with a journeyman; I'm my 
country's journeyman; henceforward that's my line of 
business. " 
" Be what you like in hvo hours' time, but no'v go up 
to bed," returned the locksmith, planting- himself in the 
doorway. CI Do you hear me? Gl) to bed! " 
cc I hear you, and defy you, Varden," rejoined Simon 
Tappertit. CI This night, sir t I have been in the country, 
planning an expedition which shall fil1 your bell-hanging 
soul with wonder and dismay. The plot demands my ut- 
most energy. Let me pass! " 
,. I'JI knock you down if you come near the door," replied 
the locksmith. cc You had better go to bed! " 
Sinlon made no answer, but gathering himself up as 
straight as he could, plunged head foremost at his old 
master, and the two v.rent driving out into the workshop 
together, plying- their hanùs and feet so briskly that they 
looked like half a dozen, while Þrliggs and Mrs. Varden 
screamed for twelve. 
It would have been easy for Varden to knock his old 
'prentice down, and bind him hand and foot; but as he was 
loth to hurt him in his then defenceless state, he contented 
ñÎmself with parrying his blows when he could, taking 
them in perfect good part when he could not, and keeping- 
between hi,n and the door, until a favourable opportunity 
should present itself for forcing him to retreat up stairs, 
and shutting him up in his own room. But, in the good- 
ness of his heart, he calculated too much upon his adver- 
sary's v.'eakness, and forgot that drunken men who have 
lost the power of walking steadily, can often run. \Vatch- 
ing his time, Simon Tappertit made a cunning show of 
falling back, stagg-ered unexpectedly forward, brushed 
past him, opened the door (he knew the trick of that lock 



39 2 


Barnaby Rudge 


\vel1), and darted do\vn the street like a mad dog. The 
locksmith paused for a mOOlent in the excess of his as- 
tonishment, and then gave chase. 
It \vas an excellent season for a run, for at that silent 
hour the streets w.ere deserted, the air was cool, and the 
flying figure before him distinctly visible at a great dis- 
tance, as it sped away, \vith a long gaunt shado\v follO\\iTing 
at its heels. But the short-\vinded locksmith had no 
chance against a man of Sinl's youth and spare figure, 
though the day had been when he could have run him do\vn 
in no time. The space between them rapidly increased, 
and as the rays of the rising sun streamed upon Sinlon in 
the act of turning a distant corner, Gabriel \1arden \vas 
fain to give up, and sit dO\:tln on a door-step to fetch his 
breath. Simon mean\vhile, \vithout once stopping, fled at 
the same degree of swiftness to the Boot, \\7here, as he 
well kne\v, some of his company \\'ere lying, and at \vhich 
respectable hostelry-for he had already acquired the dis- 
tinction of being in great peril of the la\v-a friendly watch 
had been expecting hinl all night, and \\:as even no\v on 
the look-out for his coming. 
" Go thy ways, Sim, go thy ways," said the lockslnith, 
as soon as he could speak. "I have done my best for thee, 
poor lad, and \voldd have saved thee, but the rope is round 
thy neck, I fear. " 
So saying, and shaking his head in a very sorro\vful and 
disconsolate manner, he turned back, and soon re-entered 
his o\vn house, \\iThere 
Irs. Varden and the faithfull\liggs 
had been anxiously expecting his return. 
No\v 1\lrs. Varden (and by consequence :rvliss 
riggs like- 
wise) was inlpressed \vith a secret misgiving that she had 
done wrong; that she had, to the utmost of her small 
tDeans, aided and abetted the growth of disturbances, the 
end of which it \vas impossible to foresee; that she had led 
remotely to the scene \vhich had just passed; and that the 
locksnlith's time for triumph and reproach had no\v arrived 
indeed. And so strongly did 
lrs. \' arden feel this, and 
so crestfallen was she in consequence, that \vhile her hus- 
band was pursuing their lost journeyman, she secreted 
under her chair the little red-brick d\velling-house with the 
yellow roof, lest it should furnish new occasion for refer- 
ence to the painful theme; and now hid the same still 
further, with the skirts of her dress. 
But it happened that the locksrr:.ith had been thinking 



Barnaby Rudge 


393 


of this very article on his \vay home, and that, conling into 
the roonl and not seeing it, he at once demanded where 
it was. 
1\1rs. \'arden had no resource but to produce it, which 
she .did with many tears, and broken protestations that if 
she could have known- 
" Yes, yes," said Varden, " of course-I know that. J 
don't 111ean to reproach you, my dear. But recollect from 
this time that all good things perverted to evil purposes, 
are \vorse than those which are naturally bad. A 
thoroughly wicked woman, is wicked indeed. \Vhen re- 
ligion goes \vrong, she is \rery wrong for the same reason. 
Let us say no more about it, my dear. " 
So he dropped the red-brick dwelling-house on the floor, 
and setting his heel upon it, crushed it into pieces. The 
halfpence, and sixpences, and other voluntary contribu- 
tions, rolled about in all directions, but nobody offered to 
touch them, or to take them up. 
" That," said the locksmith, " is easily disposed of, and 
I would to Heaven that everything gro\ving out of the 
same society could be settled as easily. " 
" It happens very fortunately, Varden," said his \vife, 
with her handkerchief to her eyes, " that in case any more 
disturbances should happen-\vhich I hope not; I sincerely 
hope not-" 
" I hope so too, my dear. " 
"-That in case any should occur, we have the piece of 
paper which that poor misguided young man brought." 
"Ay, to be sure," said the locksmith, turning quickly 
round. "\Vhere is that pÌece of paper? " 
Mrs. Varden stood aghast as he took it from her out- 
stretched hand, tore it into fragments, and threw thelTI 
under the grate. 
" Not use it? " she said. 
"Use it!" cried the locksmith. "No! Let them 
come and pull the roof about our ears; let them burn us 
out of house and home; I'd neither have the protection of 
their leader, nor chalk their howl upon my door, though, 
for not doing it, they shot me on my own threshold. Use 
it! Let them COlne and do their worst. The first man 
\vho crosses my door-step on such an errand as theirs, had 
better be a hundred tniles away. Let him look to it. The 
others may have their will. I \vouldn't beg or buy them 
off, if, instead of every pound of iron in the place, there 



394 


Barnaby Rudge 


was a hundred \veight of gold. Get you to bed, rvlartha. 
I shall take down the shutters and go to work." 
" So early! " said his wife. 
"Ay," replied the locksmith cheerily," so early. Come 
when they may, they shall not fin j us skulking and hiding 
as if \ve feared to take our portion of the light of day, and 
left it all to them. So pleasant drearns to you, my dear, 
and cheerful sleep ! " 
With that he gave his \vife a hearty kiss, and bade her 
delay no longer, or it would be time to rise before she lay 
do\vn to rest. rvlrs. \Tarden quite arniably and meekly 
walked up stairs, followed by 11iggs, who, although a good 
deal subdued, could not refrain from sundry stimulatiyc 
coughs and sniffs by the \vay, or from holding up her hands 
in astonishment at the daring condJct of master. 


CHAPTER LII 


A MOB is usually a creature of very mysterious existence, 
particularly in a large city. 'Vhere it cornes from or 
whither it goes, few men can tell. Assembling and dis- 
persing \vith equal suddenness, it is as difficult to follow 
to its various sources as the sea itself; nor does the parallel 
stop here, for the ocean is not more fickle and uncertain, 
more terrible \vhen roused, more unreasonable, or more 
cruel. 
The people who \vere boistèrous at 'Vestminster upon 
the Friday morning, and were eagerly bent upon the work 
of devastation in Duke Street and \ V arwick Street at night, 
were, in the rnass, the same. Allowing for the chance acces- 
sions of which any crowd is morally sure in a town where 
there must always be a large nurnber of idle and profligate 
persons, one and the same mob \vas at both places. Yet 
they spread themselves in yarious directions \vhen they 
dispersed in the afternoon, rnade no appointment for re- 
assembling, had no definite purpose or design, and indeed, 
for anything they knew, were scattered beyond the hope of 
future union. 
At the Boot, which, as has been sho\\.n, was in a manner 
the headquarters of the rioters, there \vere not, upon this 
Friday night, a dozen people. Some slept in the stable 



Barnaby Rudge 


395 


and outhouses, some in the common rooOl, SOOle two or 
three in beds. The rest were in their usual homes or 
haunts. Perhaps not a score in all lay in the adjacent 
fields and lanes, and under haystacks, or near the warmth 
of brick-kilns, who had not their accustoDled place of rest 
beneath the open sky. As to the public ways within the 
town, they had their ordinary nightly occupants,. and no 
others; the usual amount of vice and wretchedness, but no 
1110re. 
The experience of one evening, however, had taught the 
reckless leaders of disturbance, that they had but to show 
themselves in the streets, to be inln1ediately surrounded by 
nlaterials which they could only have kept together when 
their aid w
s not required, at great risk, expense, and 
trouble. Once possessed of this secret, they were as con- 
fident as if Ì\\enty thousand men, devoted to their will, had 
been encamped about theIn, and assull1d a confidence which 
could not have been surpassed, thoug"h that had really been 
the case. All day, Saturday, they remained quiet. On 
Sunday, they rather studied how to keep their men within 
call, and in fuJl hope, than to follow out, by any very fierce 
01easure, their first day's proceedings. 
" I hope," said Dennis, as, with a loud yawn, he raised 
his body from a heap of straw on which he had been sleep- 
ing, and supporting his head upon his hand, appealed to 
I-I ugh on Sunday morning, ., that 1\1 uster Gashford allows 
SOIne rest? Perhaps he'd have us at \vork again already, 
eh? " 
" It's not his way to let matters drop, you may be sure 
of that," growled Hugh in answer. "I'm in no humour 
to stir yet, though. I'm as stiff as a dead body, and as 
full of ugly scratches as if I had been fighting all day yes- 
terday with wild cats. " 
" \'... ou 've so much enthusiasm, that's it," said Dennis t 
looking \vith g-reat admiration at the uncombed head, mat- 
ted beard, and torn hands and face of the wild figure before 
him; " you're such a devil of a fclÍow. You hurt yourself 
a hundred times nlore than you need, because you will be 
foremost in everything, and will do more than the rest. " 
" For the matter of that," returned Hugh, shaking back 
his ragged hair and glancing towards tl-te door of the stable 
in which they lay; "there's one yonder as good as me. 
What did I tell you about him? Did I say he was worth 
a dozen, when you doubted him? " 



39 6 


Barnaby Rudge 



lr. Dennis rolled lazily oyer upon his breast, and rest- 
ing his chin upon his hand in in1itation of the attitude in 
which H ugh lay, said, as he too looked towards the door: 
" Ay, ay, you knew hirn, brother, you knevJ hin1. But 
who'd suppose to look at that chap no\v, that he could be 
the man he is! Isn't it a thousand cruel pities, brother, 
that instead of taking his nat'ral rest and qualifying him- 
self for further exertions in this here honourable cause, 
he should be playing at soldiers like a boy? And his 
deanliness too! " said :[\1r. Dcnnis, who certainly had no 
reason to entertain a feIIov/-feeling \-vith anybody who was 
particular on that score; "\-vhat weaknesses he's guilty 
of, \-vith respect to his deanliness! 'At five o'clock this 
morning, there he was at the pump, though an.y one \-vould 
think he had gone through enough the day before yester- 
day, to be pretty fast asleep at that time. But no-when I 
woke for a minute or two, there he was at the pump, and 
if you'd seen him sticking them peacock's feathers into his 
hat when he'd done washing-ah! I'm sorry he's such a 
imperfect character, but the best on us is incornplete in 
some pint of view or another. " 
The subject of this dialogue and of these concluding re- 
marks, which were uttered in a tone of philosophical medi- 
tation, was, as the reader wiII have divined, no other than 
Barnaby, who, with his flag in his hand, stood sentry in 
the 1ittle patch of sunlight at the distant door, or walked 
to and fro outside, singing softly to himself, and keeping 
time to the music of son1e clear church bells. \Vhether he 
stood still, leaning with both hands on the flag-staff, or, 
bearing it upon his shoulder, paced slowly up and down, 
the careful arrangement of his poor dress, and his erect 
and lofty bearing, sho\,'ed ho\-v high a sense he had of the 
great importance of his trust, and ho\v happy and how 
proud it made him. To Hugh and his companion, who lay 
in a dark corner of the gloomy shed, he, and the sunlig'ht, 
and the peaceful Sabbath sound to 'which he made respon
e, 
seemed like a bright picture framed by the door, and set 
off by the stable's blackness. The whole fonned such a 

ontrast to themseh-es, as they lay \vallowing, like some 
obscene animals, in their squalor and \vickedness on the 
t\VO heaps of straw, that for a fe\v nloments they looked 
on \vithout speaking, and felt almost ashanled. 
" Ah ! " said Hugh at length, carrying it off \\lith a 
laugh: " He's a rare fello\v is Barnaby, and can do more, 



Barnaby Rudge 


397 


\yith less rest, or meat, or drink, than any of us. As to 
his soldiering, I put him on duty there. " 
" Then there \vas a object in it, and a proper good one 
too, I'll be s\vorn," retorted Dennis with a broad grin, and 
an oath of the same quality. "\Vhat was it, brother? " 
" \\Thy, you see," said Hugh, cra\vling a little nearer 
to hiln, " that our noble captain yonder, came in yesterday 
nlorning rather the \\'orse for liquor, and was--like you 
and me-ditto last night." 
Dennis looked to \vhere Simon Tappertit lay coiled upon 
a truss of hay, snoring profoundly, and nodded. 
" And our noble captain," continued Hugh \vith another 
laugh, ,( our noble captain and I, have planned for to-mor- 
ro\va roaring expedition, \vith good profit in it. " 
"Against the Papists?" asked Dennis, rubbing his 
hands. 
" Ay, against the Papists-against one of 'em at least, 
that some of us, and I for one, owe a good heavy grudge 
to. " 
"Not l\1uster Gashford's friend that he spoke to us 
about in my house, eh? " said Dennis, brimful of pleasant 
expectation. 
" The sanle man," said Hugh. 
.. That's your sort," cried 1\1r. Dennis, gaily shaking 
hands with him, "that's the kind of game. Let's have 
revenges and injuries, and all that, and we shall get on 
twice as fast. N o\V you talk, indeed! " 
"Ha ha ha! The captain," added Hugh, "has- 
thoughts of carrying off a woman in the bustle, and- 
ha ha ha !-and so have I ! " 
1\lr. Dennis received this part of the scheme with a wry 
face, observing that as a general principle he objected t<? 
\Vonlen altogether, as being unsafe and slippery persons on 
whom there was no calculating with any certainty, and 
who were never in the sanle mind for four-and-twenty hours 
at a stretch. He, might have expatiated on this suggestive 
thenle at much greater length, but that it occurred to him 
to ask what connection existed behveen the proposed ex- 
pedition and Barnaby's being posted at the stable-door as 
sentry; to which Hugh cautiously replied in these words: 
" \ Vhy, the people we mean to visit \vere friends of 
his, once upon atime, and I kno\v that muc.h of him to feel 
pretty sure that if he thought \ve were gOIng to do them 
any harm, he'd be no friènd to our side, but would lend 



39 8 


Barnaby Rudge 


a ready hand to the other. So I've persuaded him (for J 
know him of old) that Lord George has picked him out to 
guard this place to-morrow while we're away, and that it's 
,a great honour-and so he's on duty now, and as proud of 
it as if he was a general. Ha ha! \Vhat do you say to me 
for a careful man as \vell a
 a devil ot a one? J' 
!\Ir. Dennis exhausted himself in compliments, and then 
added, 
" But about the expedition itseH-" 
"About that," said Hugh, "you shall hear all par- 
ticulars from me and the great captain conjointly and both 
together-for see, he's waking up. Rouse yourself, lion- 
heart. I-Ia ha ! Put a good face upon it, and drink again. 
Another hair of the dog that bit you, captain! CaB for 
drink! There's enough of gold and silver cups and candle- 
sticks buried underneath my bed," he added, rolling back 
the stra\v, and pointing to where the ground \vas newly 
turned, "to pay for it, if it was a score 01 casks full. 
Drink, captain! " 
1\lr. Tappertit received these jovial promptings with a 
very bad grace, being much the worse, both in mind and 
body, for his Ì\vo nights of debauch, and but indifferently 
able to stand upon his legs. \\lith Hugh's assistance, how- 
ever, he contrived to stagger to the punlp; and having re- 
freshed himself with an abundant draught of cold water, 
and a copious shoV"rer of the same refreshing liquid on his 
head and face, he ordered some rum and milk to be served; 
and upon that innocent beverage and sonle biscuits and 
cheese made a pretty hearty meal. That done, he disposed 
himself in an cas)' attitude on the ground beside his two 
companions (who were carousing after their own tastes), 
and proceeded to enlighten !\Ir. Dennis in reference to to- 
morro\v's project. 
That their conversation \vas an interesting one, was 
rendered manifest by its length, and by the close attention 
of all three. That it was not of an oppressively gravE 
character, but \vas enlivened by various pleasantries arising 
out of the subject, was clear from their loud and freq'lent 
roars of laughter, which startled Barnaby on his post, and 
made him wonder at their levity. But he was not sum- 
moned to join them, until they had eaten, and drunk, and 
slept, and talked together for some hours; not, indeed, 
until the twilig-ht; \vnen they informed hin1 that they were 
about to make a slight demonstration in the streets-just 



Barnaby Rudge 


399 


to keep the people's hands in, as it was Sunday night, and 
the public might otherwise be disappointed-and that he 
was free to accompany them if he would. 
Without the slightest preparation, saving that they 
carried clubs and wore the blue cockade, they sallied out 
into the streets; and, with no more settled design than that 
of doing as much nlischief as they could, paraded them at 
random. Their numbers rapidly increasing, they soon 
divided into parties; and agreeing to meet by and by, in 
the fields near \ V elbeck Street, scoured the town in various 
directions. The largest body, and that \vhich augmented 
with the greatest rapidity, \vas the one to \vhich Hugh and 
Barnaby belonged. This took its way to\vards Moorfields, 
where there was a rich chapel, and in \vhich neighbourhood 
several Catholic families were kno\vn to reside. 
Beginning \vith the private houses so occupied, they 
broke open the doors and windows; and \vhile they 
destroyed the furniture and left but the bare walls, made' 
a sharp search for tools and engines of destruction, such as 
hammers, pokers, axes, sa\vs, and such like instruments. 
l\Iany of the rioters made belts of cord, of handkerchiefs, 
or any material they found at hand, and wore these weapons 
as openly as pioneers upon a field-day. There was not the 
least disguise or concealment-indeed, on this night, very 
little excitement or hurry. From the chapels, they tore 
down and took a\vay the very altars, benches, pulpits, 
pews, and flooring; from the d\velling-houses, the very 
\vainscoting and stairs. This Sunday evening's recrea-- 
tion they pursued like mere workmen who had a certain 
task to do, and did it. Fifty resolute men might have 
turned them at any moment; a single company of soldiers 
could have scattered them like dust; but no man inter- 
posed, no authority restrained them, and, except by the' 
terrified persons who fled from their approach, they were- 
as little heeded as if they \vere pursuing their la\vful occupa- 
tions \vith the utmost sobriety and good conduct. 
In the same manner, they n1arched to the place of ren- 
dezvous agreed upon, made great fires in the fields, and 
reserving the most valuable of their spoils, burnt the rest. 
Priestly garments, images of saints, rich stuffs and orna- 
ments, altar-furniture and household goods, \vere cast into 
the flames, and shed a glare on the whole country round; 
but they danced and howled, and roared about these fires 
till they were tired, and were never for an instant checked. 



4 00 


Barnaby Rudge 


As the main body filed off from this scene of action, anå 
passed down \Velbeck Street, they canle upon Gashford, 
who had been a \vitness of their proceedings, and was walk- 
ing stealthily along the pavement. Keeping up with hinl, 
and yet not seenling to speak, H ugh muttered in his ear: 
., Is this better, master? " 
" No, )) said Gashford. "I t is not." 
" \Vhat would you have? " said !-I ugh. "Fevers are 
never at their height at once. They must get on by 
-degrees. " 
" I would have you," said Gashford, pinching his arn1 
with such malevolence that his nails seemed to nlcet in 
the skin; " I would have you put some meaning into your 
work. Fools! Can you make no better bonfires than ot 
rags and scraps? Can you burn nothing whole? " 
" A little patience, master," said Hugh. "Wait but 
a fe\v hours, and you shall see. Look tor a redness in the 
sky, to-morrow night.)' 
V\Tith that he fell back into his place beside Barnaby; and 
when the secretary looked after him J both were lost in the 
,crowd. 


CHAPTER LIII 


THE next day was ushered in by merry peals of bells, and 
by the firing of the Tower guns; flags were hoisted on many 
of the church-steeples; the usual demonstrations were made 
in honour of the anniversary of the King's birthday; and 
every man went about his pleasure or business as if the 
city were in perfect order, and there were no half-smoulder- 
ing embers in its secret places \vhich on the approach of 
night would kindle up again, and scatter ruin and dismay 
abroad. The leaders of the riot, rendered still more daring 
by the success of last night and by the booty they had 
acquired, kept steadily together, and onJy thought of im- 
plicating the mass of their follo\vers so deeply that no hope 
of pardon or reward might tempt them to betray their more 
notorious confederates into the hands of justice. 
Indeed, the sense of having gone too far to be forgiven l 
held the timid together no less than the bold. 
1any, \vho 
would readily have pointed out the foremost rioters 



Barnaby Rudge 


4 01 


and given evidence against thf."m, felt that escape by that 
Il1eans was hopeless, when their every act had been 
observed by scores of people who had taken no part in the 
disturbances; \vho had suffered in their persons, peace, or 
property, by the outrages of the mob; \"ho \vould be most 
willing \vitnesses; and whom the government would, no 
doubt, prefer to any l{ing's e\
idence that might be offered. 
Many of this class had deserted their usual occupations on 
the Saturday morning; some had been seen by their en1- 
ployers, active in the tUI11Ult; others kne\v they must be 
suspected, and that they \vould be discharged if they re- 
turned; others had been desperate from the beginning, and 
conlforted themselves with the hOl11ely proverb, that, being 
hanged- at all, they might as \vell be hanged for a sheep as 
a lamó. They all hoped and believed, in a greater or less 
degree, that the governl11ent they seel11ed to have para- 
lysed, would, in its terror, come to terms with them in the 
end, and suffer them to make their own conditions. The 
least sanguine among them reasoned \vith himself that, at 
the \vorst, they were too l11any to be all punished, and that 
he had as good a chance of escape as any other man. The 
great mass never reasoned or thought at all, but were 
stimulated by their own headlong passions, by poverty, by 
ignorance, by the love of mischief, and the hope of plunder. 
One other circul11stance is \vorthy of remark; and that is, 
that from the monlent of their first outbreak at 'Vest- 
minster, every symptolTI of order or preconcerted arrange- 
ment among thenl vanished. 'Vhen they divided into 
parties and ran to different quarters of the to\vn, it \vas 
on the spontaneous suggestion of the moment. Each party 
swelled as it went along, like rivers as they roll to\vards the 
sea; new leaders sprang up as they were \vanted, dis- 
appeared v:hen the necessity ,vas o\
er, and reappeared at 
the next crisis. Each tumult took shape and form from 
the circu111stances of the momeñt; sober workmen, going- 
hOl11e fronl their day's labour, were seen to cast do\\"n their 
baskets of tools' and become rioters in an instant; nlere 
boys on errands did the like. In a word, a nloral plag-ue 
ran throug-h the city. The noise, and hurry, and excite- 
nlent, had for hundreds and hundreds an attraction they 
had no fin11ness to resist. The contagion spread like a 
dread fever: an infectious madness, as yet not near its 
heig-ht, seized on new victinls every hour, and society 
began to tremble at thcir ravings. 



4 02 


Barnaby Rudge 


It was between two and three o'clock in the afternoon 
when Gashford looked into the lair described in the last 
chapter, and seeing only Barnaby and Dennis there, in- 
quired for Hugh. 
He was out, Barnaby told hil11; had gone out more than 
an hour ago; and had not yet returned. 
" Dennis! " said the smiling secretary, in his smoothest 
voice, as he sat down cross-legged on a barrel, " Dennis! " 
The hanglnan struggled into a sitting posture directly, 
and with his eyes wide open, looked towards hil11. 
" How do you do, Dennis?" said Gashford, nodding. 
eel hope you have suffered no inconvenience from your late 
exertions, Dennis? " 
" I ahvays will say of you, l\Iuster Gashtord," returned 
the hangman, staring at hiln, " that that 'ere quiet \vay of 
yours might almost wake a dead man. It is," he added, 
\vith a muttered oath-still staring at him in a thoughtful 
manner-" so awful sly! " 
" So distinct, eh Dennis? " 
" Distinct! " he answered, scratching his head, and 
keeping his eyes upon the secretary's face; "I seem to 
hear it, Muster Gashford, in my wery bones." 
" I am very glad your sénse of hearing is so sharp, and 
that I succeed in making myself so intelligible, " said Gash- 
ford, in his unvarying, even tone. "vVhere is your 
friend? " 
Mr. Dennis looked round as in expectation of beholding 
him asleep upon his bed of straw; then remenlbering that 
he had seen him go out, replied: 
eel can't say where he is, Iv! uster Gashford, I expected 
him back afore now. I hope it isn't time that \Vc was busy, 
l\Iuster Gashford? " 
" Nay," said the secretary, " \\1ho should kno\v that as 
\vell as you? Ho\v can I tell you, Dennis ? You are per- 
fect 11laster of your own actions, you kno\v, and accountable 
to nobody-except sometimes to the law, eh? " 
Dennis, who \vas very l11uch baffled by the cool matter- 
of-course nlanner of this reply, recovered his self-possession 
on his professional pursuits being- referred to, and pointing 
towards Barnaby, shook his head and frowned. 
.c Hush! " cried Barnabv. 
" Ah! Do hush about tflat, Iv-fuster Gashford," said the 
hangman in a lo\v 
)ice, .. pop'lar prejudices-you always 
forget-\veII, Barnaby, my lad, what's the olatter? " 



Barnaby Rudge 


4 0 3 


" I hear him coming," he answered: " Hark! Do you 
mark that? That's his foot! Bless you, I know his step, 
and his dog's too. TraDlp, tramp, pit-pat, on they CODle 
together, and, ha ha ha I-and here they are! " he cried 
joyfully, we1collling H ugh with both hands, and then 
patting him fondly on the back, as if instead of being the 
rough companion he was, he had been one of the most 
prepossessing of men. .. Here he is, and safe too! laIn 
glad to see hirn back again, old Hugh I " 
" 1 '01 a Turk if he don't give me a warmer welcome 
always than any l11an of sense," said Hugh, shaking hands 
with him with a kind of ferocious friendship, strange 
enough to see. "How are you, boy? " 
,. Hearty! " cried Barnaby, waving his hat. II Ha ha 
ha! And merry too, Hugh! And ready to do anything 
tor the good cause, and the right, and to help the kind, 
mild, pale-faced gentlen1an-the lord they use so ill-eh, 
Hugh? " 
" Ay ! " returned his friend, dropping his hand, and 
looking at Gashford for an instant with a changed expres- 
sion before he spoke to him. "Good day, ß1aster ! ), 
" And good day to you,)) replied the secretary, nursing 
his leg. "And many good days-whole years of them, I 
hope. You are heated. " 
" So would you have been, master,)J said Hugh, wiping 
his face, " if you'd been running- here as fast as I have.)) 
, , You kno'.v the news, then? Yes, I supposed you 
would have heard it.)' 
" News! what news? )) 
" You don)t? " cried Gashford, raising his eyebrows 
with an exclamation of surprise. " Dear me! Come; 
then I am the first to make you acquainted \vith your dis- 
tinguished position, after all. Do you see the King's Arms 
a-top? " he smilin
ðy asked, as he took a larg-e paper froDl 
his pocket, unfolded it, and held it out for Hugh's in- 
spection. 
" \Vell ! " said Hug-h. "vVhat's that to me? " 
"Much. A great deal," replied the secretary. " Read 
it. " 
" I told you, the first time I sa\v you, that I couldn't 
read," said Hugh, impatiently. "vVhat in the Devil's 
name's inside of it? " 
" It is a proclamation from the King in Council," saId 
Gashford, "dated to-day, and offering a re\vard of five 



4 0 4 


Barnaby Rudge 


hundred pounds-five hundred pounds is a great deal of 
money, and a large temptation to sonle people-to anyone 
\vho \vill discover the person or persons most active in 
denl01ishing those chapels on Saturday night." 
"Is that all?" cried Hugh, \vith an indifferent air. 
" I knew of that." 
" Truly I might have kno\\'n you did," said Gashford, 
smiling, and folding up the docul11ent again. ' , Your 
friend, I might ha,-e guessed-indeed I did guess-\vas 
sure to tell you. " 
" l\Iy friend! " stammered Hugh, with an unsuccessful 
effort to appear surprised. " \\That friend? " 
"Tut tut-do you suppose I don't kno\v where you 
have been? J' retorted Gashford, rubbing his hands, and 
beating the back of one on the palm of the other, and 
looking at hil11 \vith a cunning eye. "Ho\v dun you think 
me! Shall I say his name? " 
" No," said Hug-h, \vith a hasty glance to\vards Dennis. 
" You haye also heard from hirn, no doubt," resumed 
the secretary, after a monlent's pause, "that the rioters 
who have been taken (poor fello\vs) are committed for 
trial, and that some very active witnesses haye had the 
temerity to appear against thenl. Arnong others-" and 
here he clenched his teeth, as if he would suppress, by 
force, some violent "voràs that rose upon his tongue; and 
spoke very slowly. "Arnong others, a gentleman who 
sa"v the work going on in \Varwick Street; a Catholic 
gentlel11an; one Haredale.' J 
Hugh would have prevented his uttering the \\'ord, but it 
was out already. Hearing the name, Barnaby turned 
s\viftly round. 
" Duty, duty, bold Barnaby!" cried Hugh, assunling 
his \vildest and most rapid manner, and thrusting into his 
hand his staff and flag which leant against the Vv"an. 
" !vlount guard without loss of tÌnle, for we are off upon 
our expedition. Up, Dennis, and g-et ready. Take care 
that no one turns the stra\v upon I11Y bed, brave Barnaby; 
\\Te kno"v what's underneath it-eh? N 0\\1, master, quick! 
\Vhat you have to say, say speedily, for the little captain 
and a cluster of 'enl are in the fields, and only waiting for 
us. Sharp's the \vord, and strike's the action. Quick! " 
Barnaby \vas not proof against this bustle and despatch. 
The look of mingled astonishment and anger \vhich had 
appeared in his face when he turned towards theIn, faded 



Barnaby Rudge 


4 0 5 


from it as the \\Tords passed from his memory, like breath 
fronl a polished mirror; and grasping the weapon which 
Hugh forced upon him, he proudly took his station at 
the door, beyond their hearing. 
" You might have spoiled our plans, master," said 
Hugh. " You, too, of all men! " 
., \Vho ","auld have supposed that he would be so 
quick? ,) urged Gashford. 
"I-Ie's as quick sometimes-I don't mean with his 
hands, for that you know, but with his head-as you or 
any man," said Hugh. "Dennis, it's time v.e were 
going; they're wai ting for us; I came to tell you. Reach 
me my stick and belt. Here! Lend a hand, master. 
Fling this over my shoulder, and buckle it behind, wiIJ 
you? " 
" Brisk as ever! " said the secretary, adjusting it for 
him as he desired. 
"A man need be brisk to-day; there's brisk \vork a- 
foot. ,) 
" There is, is there? " said Gashford. He said it with 
such a provoking assumption of ignorance, that Hugh, 
looking over his shoulder and angrily down upon him, 
replied : 
" Is there! YY ou know there is! \Vho knows better 
than you, master, that the first great step to be taken is 
to make examples of these witnesses, and frighten all men 
from appearing against us or any of our body, any more? " 
" There's one we know of," returned Gashford, \vith an 
expressive smile, " who is at least as well informed upon 
that subject as you or I." 
" If \ve mean the same gentleman, as I suppose "'-e do," 
Hugh rejoined softly, " I tell you this-he's as good and 
quick infonnation about everything as-" here he paused 
and looked round, as if to make quite sure that the person 
in question was not within hearing-" as Old Nick him- 
self. Have you done that, nlaster? How slow you are! " 
., It's quite fast now,'1 said Gashford, risi}'}g. "I say 
-you didn't find that your friend disapproved of to-day's 
little expedition? Ha ha ha! I t is fortunate it jumps so 
w
ll with the witness' policy; for, once planned, it must 
have been carried out. And now you are going-, eh? " 
" Now \\-e are going, master! " Hugh replied. ." Any 
parting Kords? " 
" Oh dear, no," said Gashford s\\Teetly. "None!" 



4 06 


Barnaby Rudge 


"You're sure?" CI ied Hugh, nudging the gnnillng 
Dennis. 
"Quite sure, eh, l\luster Gashlord?" chuckled the 
hangman. 
Gashford paused a l11oment, struggling with his caution 
and his malice; then putting hinlselJ bet \\ cen the t\\'O 01en, 
and laying a hand upon the an11 of each, said, in a cramped 
whisper: 
" Do not, my good friends-I anI sure you will not- 
forget our talk one night--in your house, Dennis-about 
this person. No mercy, no quarter, no t\vo beams of his 
house to be left standing where the builder placed them! 
Fire, the saying goes, is a good seryant, but a bad l11aster. 
l\1ake it his master; he deseryes no better. But I am sure 
you will be firm, I aln sure you will be very resolute, I 
am sure you wilJ remember that he thirsts for your li\'es, 
and those of a1] your brave conlpanions. J f you ever acted 
like staunch fellows, you \vill do so to-day. \V on't you, 
Dennis-won't you, Hugh? " 
The two looked at him, and at each other; then bursting 
into a roar of laughter, brandished their staves above their 
heads, shook hands, and hurried out. 
\Vhen they had been gone a little time, Gashford fol- 
lowed. They were yet in sight, and hastening- to that 
part of the adjacent fields in which their fellows had 
already nlustered; Hugh was looking back, and flourish- 
ing his hat to Barnaby, who, delighted with his trust, 
replied in the sanle 111anner, and then resumed his 
pacing up and down before the stable-door, where his feet 
had worn a path already. And when Gashford himself was 
far distant, and looked back for the last time, he was stilJ 
walking to and fro, \\lith the same measured tread; the 
most devoted and the blithest champion that ever main- 
tained a post, and felt his heart lifted up with å brave sense 
of duty, and determination to defend it to the last. 
Smiling at the sill1plicity of the poor idiot, Gashford 
betook himself to \Velbeck Street by a different path from 
that which he knew the rioters \vould take, and sitting- 
down behind a curtain in one of the upper windows of Lord 
George Gordon's house, waited impatiently for their 
coming. They \vere so long-, that although he knew it 
had been settled they should conle that \vay, he had a mis- 
giving they must have changed their plans and taken some 
other route. Dut at length the roar of voices was heard 



Barnaby Rudge 


4 0 7 


in the neighbouring fields, and soon afterwards they came 
thronging past, in a great body. 
However, they were not all, nor nearly all, in one body, 
but \\"ere, as he soon found, divided into four parties, each 
of which stopped before the house to give three cheers, 
and then went on ; the leaders crying out in what direction 
they were going, and calling on the spectators to join 
them. The first detachment, carrying, by ,vay of banners, 
SOl11e relics of the havoc they had made in l\loorfields, pro- 
claimed that they were on their way to Chelsea, whence 
they would return in the same order, to n1ake of the spoil 
they bore, a great bonfire, near at hand. The second gave 
out that they \vere bound for ,,, apping, to destroy a chapd ; 
the third, that their place of destination was East Smith- 
field, and their object the same. All this was done in 
broad, bright, summer day. Gay carriages and chairs 
stopped to let them pass, or turned back to avoid them; 
people on foot stood aside in doorways, or perhaps 
knocked and begged permission to stand at a window, or 
in the hall, until the rioters had passed: but nobody inter- 
fered with them; and directly they had gone by, every- 
thing went on as usual. 
There still remained the fourth body, and for that the 
secretary looked with a most intense eagerness. At last 
it came up. It was numerous, and con1posed of picked 
01cn; for as he gazed down among them, he recognised 
rnany upturned faces which he knew well-those of Simon 
Tappertit, Hugh, and Dennis in the front, of course. They 
halted and cheered, as the others had done; but \vhen they 
moved again, they did not, like then1, proclaim what 
design they had. Hugh merely raised his hat upon the 
bludgeon he carried, and glancing at a spectator on the 
opposite side of the way, was gone. 
Gashford followed the direction of his glance instinc- 
tively, and saw, standing on the pavement, and wearing the 
blue cockade, Sir John Chester. He held his hat an inch 
or two above his head, to propitiate the mob; and, resting 
gracefully on his cane, s01iling pleasantly, and displaying 
his dress and person to the very best advantage. looked on 
in the most tranquil state i01a
ðnable. For all that, and 
quick and dexterous as he ,vas, Gashford had seen him 
recognise Hugh ,vith the air of a patron. He had no 
longer any eyes for the crowd, but fixed his keen regards 
upon Sir John. 



4 08 


Barnaby Rudge 


He stood in the same place and posture, until the last 
man in the concourse had turned the corner of the street; 
then very deliberately took the blue cockade out of his hat; 
put it carefully in his pocket, ready for the next emergency; 
refreshed himself \vith a pinch of snuff; put up his box; 
and \vas walking slowly off, \vhen a passing carriage 
stopped, :and a lady's hand let down the glass. Sir John's 
hat was off again imlnediately. After a minute's con- 
versation at the carriage-window, in \vhich it was apparent 
that he was vastly entertaining on the subject of the mob, 
he stepped lightly in, and \vas driven away. 
The secretary snliled, but he had other thoughts to dwell 
upon, and soon disn1Ïssed the topic. Dinner ,vas brought 
him, but he sent it down untasted; and, in restless pacings 
up and down the room, and constant glances at the clock, 
and many futile efforts to sit' down and read, or go to sleep, 
or look out of the windo\v, consumed four weary hours. 
\tVhen the dial told him thus much time had crept away, 
he stole upstairs to the top of the house, and cOl11ing out 
upon the roof sat don,-n, \vith his face to\vards the east. 
Heedless of the fresh air that ble\v upon his heated brow, 
of the pleasant meado\vs from which he turned, of the pile
 
of roofs and chimneys upon which he looked, of the smoke 
and rising mist he vainly sought to pierce, of the shri]] 
cries of children at their evening sports, the distant hum 
and turmoil of the to\vn, the cheerful country breath that 
rustled past to meet it, and to droop, and die; he watched, 
and watched, till it ,vas dark-save for the specks of light 
that twinkled in the streets below and far away-and, as 
the darkness deepened, strained his gaze and grew more 
eager yet. 
"Nothing but gloom in that direction, still!" he 
muttered restlessly. "Dog! where is the redness in the 
sky, you promised nle ! ,. 


CHAPTER LIV 


RUMOURS of the prevailing disturbances had by this time 
begun to be pretty generally circulated through the towns 
and viJIages round London, and the tidings ,vere every- 
where received with that appetite for the marvellous and 



Barnaby Rudge 


4 0 9 


love of the terrible which have probably been among the 
natural characteristics of mankind since the creation of 
the world. These accounts, however, appeared, to many 
persons at that day, as they would to us at the present, 
but that \Ve kno\v them to be matter of history, so mon- 
strous and improbable, that a great number of those who 
\\'ere resident at a distance, and who were credulous enough 
on other points, \vere really unable to bring their minds to 
believe that such things could be; and rejected the intelIi- 
I gence they received on all hands, as \vholly fabulous and 
absurd. 
1\1r. \Vinet-not so much, perhaps, on account of his 
having argued and settled the matter with hilTIself, as by 
reason of his constitutional obstinacy-'was one of those 
who positively refused to entertain the current topic for a 
mOOlent. On this very evening, and perhaps at the very 
time when Gashford kept his solitary watch, old John was 
so red in the face with perpetually shaking- his head in 
contradiction of his three ancient cronies and pot com- 
panions, that he was quite a phenomenon to behold; and 
lighted up the l\laypole porch wherein they sat together, 
like a monstrous carbuncle in a fairy tale. 
" Do you think, sir," said l'vlr. \Villet, looking hard at 
Solomon Daisy-for it ,vas his custom in cases of personal 
altercation to fasten upon the smallest man in the party- 
" do you think, sir, that I'm a born fool? " 
" No, no, Johnny," returned Solomon, looking- round 
upon the little circle of which he formed a part: " \Ve aU 
know better than that. You're no fool, Johnny. No, no !" 
1\lr. Cobb and 11r. Parkes shook their heads in unison, 
muttering, "No, no, Johnny, not you!" But as such 
compliments had usually the effect of making 1\1r. \Villet 
rather more dogged than before, he surveyed them with a 
look of deep disdain, and returned for ansv
rer : 
" Then what do you nlean by coming here, and telling 
me that this eveni.ng you're a going to walk up to London 
together-you three-you-and have the evidence of your 
o\vn senses? An 't," said Mr. \Villet, putting his pipe in 
his mouth with an air of solemn disgust, " an't the evidence 
of my senses enough for you? " 
"But we haven't got it, Johnny," pleaded Parkes, 
hunlbly. 
" You haven't got it, sir? " repeated l\Ir. \Vil1et, eyeing- 
him from top to toe. "Y ou h
l\Ten 't got it, sir? \... ou 



4 10 


Barnaby Rudge 


have got it, sir. Don't I ten you that His blessed 
Majesty King George the Third would no more stand a 
rioting and rotIicking in his streets, than he'd stand being 
cro\ved over by his o\vn Parliament? " 
" Yes, Johnny, but that's your sense-not your senses," 
said the adventurous !\1 r. Parkes. 
" How do you know," retorted John \vith great dignity. 
" You're a contradicting pretty fn"e, you are, sir. How do 
you know which it is? I'm not aware [ ever told you, sir." 
Mr. Parkes, finding himself in the position of having g-ot 
into metaphysics without exactly seeing- hi
 \\ ay out of them, 
stammered forth an apology and retreated from the argu- 
ment. There then ensued a silence of some ten minutes 
or quarter of an hour, at the expiration of which period 
Mr. vVillet \vas ohserved to runlble and shake with laugh- 
ter, and presently remarked, in reference to his late 
adversary, " tha t he hoped he had tackled him enough." 
Thereupon Messrs. Cobb and Daisy laughed, and nodded, 
and Parkes was looked upon as thoroughly and effectually 
pu t down. 
" Do you suppose if an this \\"as true, that 1\lr. Hareda1c 
would be constantly away frOOl home, as he is? " said John, 
after another silence. "Do you think he wouldn't be 
afraid to leave his house with them two youn b - women in 
it, and only a couple of men, or so? " 
" Ay, but then you know," returned Solo111on Daisy, 
cc his house is a goodish \vay out of London, and they do 
say that the rioters won't go more th
n t\VO miles, or three 
at the farthest, off the stones. Besides, you know, some 
of the Catholic gentlefolks have actually sent trinkets and 
such-like do\vn here for safety-at least, so the story goes. " 
"The story goes! " said 
Ir. \Vil1et testily. "Yes, 
sir. The story goes that you sa\v a ghost last 
Iarch. 
But nobody believes it." 
" \VelJ ! " said Solomon, rising, to divert the attention 
of his t\VO friends, who tittered at this retort: "believed 
or disbeJieved, it's true: and true or not, if we mean to go 
to London, \Ve must be going at once. So shake hands, 
Johnny, and g-ood night." 
1& I shall shake hands," returned the landlord, putting 
his into his pockets, 1& with no man as g-oes to Lonùon on 
such nonsensical errands." <- 
The three cronies were therefore reduced to the necessitv 
of shaking his elbows; having performed that ceremony, 



Barnaby Rudge 


41 I 


and brought from the house their hats, and sticks, and 
great-coats, bade him good-nig-ht and departed; pro- 
mising to bring him on the morrow full and true ac- 
counts of the rea] state of the city, and if it were quiet, to 
give him the full merit of his victory. 
John \Vinet looked after them, as they plodded along the 
road in the rich glow of a summer evening; and knocking 
the ashes out of his pipe, laughed inwardly at their folly. 
until his sides \vere sore. \Vhen he had quite exhausted 
himself-which took some time, for he laughed as slowly 
as he thought and spoke-he sat himself comfortably with 
his back to the house, put his leg-s upon the bench, then his 
apron over his face, and fell sound asleep. 
How long he slept, matters not: but it \vas for no brief 
space, for ,vhen he awoke. the rich lig-ht had faded, the 
sombre hues of night were fal1ing fast upon the landscape, 
and a fe,v bright stars were already twinkling oyer-head. 
The birds were alI at roost, the daisies on the green had 
dosed their fairy hoods, the honeysuckle twining round 
the porch exhaled its perfume in a Ì\vofold degree, as 
though it lost its coyness at that silent time and loved to 
shed its frae-rance on the night; the ivy scarcely stirred 
its deep green leaves. Ho'v tranquil and how beautiful 
it was ! 
\Vas there no sound in the air, besjJes the gentle rustling 
of the trees, and the grasshopper's merry chirp? Hark! 
Something very faint and distant, not unlike the murmur- 
ing in a sea-shel1. Now it grew louder, fainter now, and 
now it altogether died away. Presently-it came again, 
subsided, came once more, grew louder, fainter-swelled 
into a roar. It was on the road, and varied \vith its wind- 
ings. All at once it burst with a distinct sound-the voices, 
and the tramping feet of many men. 
It is questionable \vhether old John "Tillet, even then, 
would have thought of the rioters, but for the cries of his 
cook and housemaid, who ran screaming up stairs, and 
locked themselves into one of the old garrets,-shrieking- 
dismally when they had done so, by way of rendering their 
place of refuge perfectly secret and secure. These two 
females did after\vards depone that 1\1r. 'Villet in his con- 
sternation uttered but one word, and cal1ed that up the 
stairs in a stentorian voice, six distinct times. But as this 
'-'Tord was a monosyllable, which, ho\vever inoffensive when 
applied to the quadruped it denotes, is highly reprehensible 



4 12 


Barnaby Rudge 


when used in connection ,vith females of unimpeachable 
character, n1any persons '''ere inclined to believe that the 
young ,vomen laboured under some hallucination caused by 
excessive fear; and that their ears deceived them. 
Be this as it may, ] ohn 'Vil1et, in \vhom the very utter- 
most extent of dull-headed perplexity supplied the place of 
courage, stationed himself in the porch, and waited for 
their coming up. Once, it dimly occurred to him that there 
was a kind of door to the house, which had a lock and 
bolts; and at the same time some shadowy ideas of shutters 
to the lo\ver \vindo,vs flitted through his brain. But he 
stood stock still, looking do,vn the road in the direction in 
which the noise ,vas rapidly advancing, and did not so much 
as take his hands out of his pockets. 
He had not to \vait long. A dark mass, looming through 
a cloud of dust, soon became visible; the mob quickened 
their pace; shouting- and whooping- like savages, they came 
rushing on pell-mell; and in a fe,v seconds he was bandied 
from hand to hand, in the heart of a crowd of men. 
" Halloa ! " cried a voice he knew, as the man who 
spoke came cleaving through the throng. "'Vhere is 
he? Give him to me. Don't hurt him. How now, old 
Jack! Ha ha ha ! " 
!vir. \Villet looked at hinl, and saw it ,vas Hugh; but he 
said nothing, and though t nothing. 
" These lads are thirsty and must drink! " cried Hugh, 
thrusting him back towards the house. "Bustle, Jack, 
bustle. Show us the best-the very best-the over-proof 
that you keep for your own drinking, Jack! " 
John faintly articulated the words, " \Vho's to pay? " 
" He says' vVho's to pay? ' " cried Hugh, ,vith a roar 
of laughter which was loudly echoed by the crowd. Then 
turning to John, he added, " Pay! Why, nobody." 
John stared round at the mass of faces-some grinning, 
some fierce, some lighted up by torches, sonle indistinct, 
some dusky and shadowy; some looking at him, some at his 
house, some at each other-and \vhile he \vas, as he 
thought, in the very act of doing so, found himself, without 
any consciousness of having moved, in the bar; sitting 
down in an arm-chair, and watching the destruction of his 
property, as if it v.-ere some queer play or entertainment, 
of an astonishing and stupefying nature, but having no 
reference to himself-that he could make out-at all. 
Yes. Here was the bar-the bar that the boldest never 



Barnaby Rudge 


4 1 3 


entered \vithout special in\.itation-the sanctuary, the 
nlystery, the hallowed ground: here it \vas crammed \vith 
nlen, clubs, sticks, torches, pistols; filled \\.ith a deafening 
noise, oaths, shouts, screalns, hootings; changed all at 
once into a bear-garden, a mad-house, an infernal temple: 
rnen darting in and out, by door and window, smashing 
the glass, turning the taps, drinking liquor out of china 
punch-bo\yls, sitting astride of casks, smoking private and 
personal pipes, cutting down the sacred grove of lemons, 
hacking and hewing at the celebrated cheese, breaking 
open inviolable drawers, putting things in their pockets 
which didn't belong to them, dividing his own money 
before his own eyes, \vantonly \vasting-, breaking, pulling 
do\\.n and tearing up : nothing quiet, nothing private: men 
cverywhere-above, belo\v, overhead, in the bedrooms, in 
the kitchen, in the yard, in the stables--clambering in at 
\vindo\vs \vhen thcre were doors wide open; dropping out 
of \vindows \vhen the stairs were handy; leaping over the 
bannisters into chasnls of passages: new faces and figures 
presenting themselves every instant-some yelling, some 
singing, sonle fighting, sonle breaking glass and crockery, 
sonle laying the dust \\Tith the liquor they couldn't drink, 
sonle ringing the bells till they pul1ed them down, others 
beating them with pokers till they beat them into frag-- 
ments: more men still-more, more, more-swarming on 
like insects: noise, smoke, light, darkness, frolic, anger, 
laughter, groans, plunder, fear, and ruin! 
N early all the time while John looked on at this be\vilder- 
ing scene, Hugh kept near him; and though he was the 
loudest, wildest, most destructive villain there, he saved 
his old m3.ster's bones a score of times. Nay, even when 

Ir. Tappertit, excited by liquor, came up, and in assertion 
of his pre
ogati\re politely kicked John 'Villet on the shins, 
Hugh bade hinl return the compliment; and if old John had 
had sufficient presence of nlind to understand this \vhispered 
direction, and to profit by it, he mig-ht no doubt, under 
Hugh's protectiori, have done so \vith impunity. 
At length, the band began to re-asselnble outside the 
house, and to cal1 to those within, to join them, for they 
were losing time. These murmurs increasing, and attain- 
ing a very high pitch, Hugh, and sonle of those who yet 
lingered in the bar, and \vho plainly were the leaders of the 
troop, took counsel toge
her 
part 
s to. \vha! \\.:1S to be 
d8ne with John, to keep hIm qUIet untlI theIr Chlgwell \vork 



4 1 4 


Barnaby Rudge 


was o\er. Some proposed to set the house on fire and 
leave him in it; others, that he should be reduced to a state 
of temporary insensibility, by knocking on the head; 
others, that he should be sworn to sit where he was until 
to-morrow at the same hour; others again, that he should 
be gagged and taken off with them, under a sufficient 
guard. All these propositions being overruled, it was con- 
cluded, at last, to bind him in his chair, and the word was 
passed for Dennis. 
" Look'ee here, Jack! " said Hugh, striding up to him: 
" We're going to tie you, hand and foot, but otherwise 
you won't be hurt. D'ye hear? " 
John \Villet looked at another man, as if he didn't know 
which was the speaker, and muttered something about an 
ordinary every Sunday at two o'clock. 
" You won't be hurt, I tell you, Jack-do you hear me?" 
roared Hugh, impressing the assurance upon him by means 
of a heavy blow on the back. "He's so dead scared, he's 
wool-gathering, I think. Ha ha! Give him a drop of 
something to drink here. Hand over, one of you. 11 
A glass of liquor being passed forward, Hugh poured 
the contents down old John's throat. Mr. \Villet feebly 
smacked his lips, thrust his hand into his pocket, and in- 
quired what was to pay; adding, as he looked vacantly 
round, that he believed there was a trifle of broken g-lass- 
" I-Ie's out of his senses for the time, it's my belief, " said 
I-Iugh, after shaking him, without any visible effect upon 
his system, until his keys rattled in his pocket. 
" \Vhere's that Dennis? " 
The \\"ord was again passed, and presently Mr. Dennis, 
\vith a long cord bound about his middle, something after 
the manner of a friar, came hurrying in, attended by a 
body-guard of half a dozen of his men. 
" Conle! Be alive here! " cried Hugh, stamping his 
foot upon the ground. "Make haste! " 
Dennis, \vith a wink and a nod, unwound the cord from 
about his person, and raising his eyes to the ceiling, looked 
all over it, and round the walls and cornice, \vith a curious 
eye; then shook his head. 
" l\1ove, man, can't you! " cried Hugh, with another 
impatient stamp of his foot. "Are we to wait here till the 
cry has Rone for ten miles round, and our work's in- 
terrupted? " 
Ie It's all very fine talking, brother," answered Dennis, 



Barnaby Rudge 


4 1 5 


stepping towards hin1; "but unless-" and here he 
whispered in his ear-" unless we do it over the door, it 
can't be done at aU in this here room." 
" vVhat can't? " Hugh demanded. 
" \Vhat can't! " retorted Dennis. "\Vhy, the old man 
can't. ' , 
" \Vhy, you weren't going to hang him? " cried Hugh. 
"No, brother! " returned the hangman with a stare. 
cc What else? " 
Hugh made no answer, but snatching the rope from his 
companion's hand, proceeded to bind old John himself; 
but his very first move was so bungling and unskilful, that 
rvIr. Dennis entreated, almost with tears in his eyes, that 
he might be permitted to perform the duty. Hugh con- 
senting, he achieved it in a twinkling. 
" There! " he said, looking mournfulJy at J oho vVillet, 
who displayed no more emotion in his bonds than he had 
shown out of them. "That's what I caB pretty and \vork- 
manlike. He's quite a picter now. But, brother, just 3 
word with you-now that he's ready trussed, as one may 
say, wouldn't it be better for all parties if we was to work 
him off? I t would read uncommon well in the newspapers, 
it would indeed. The pubJic would think a great deal more 
on us ! " 
Hugh, inferring 
'hat his con1panion meant, rathcr fronl 
his gestures than his technical mode of expressing himself 
(to which, as he was ignorant of his calling, he wanted the 
clue), rejected his proposition for the second time, and 
gave the \\'ord " Forward! " which was echoed by a hun- 
dred voices from without. 
" To the \Varren ! " shouted Dennis as he ran out, fol- 
lowed by the rest. "A witness's house, my lads! " 
A loud yell followed, and the whole throng hurried off, 
mad for pillage and destruction. Hugh lingered behind 
for a fe\v moments to stimulate himself with more drink, 
and to set all the taps running-, a few of which had acci- 
dentalIy been spared; then, glancing round the despoiled 
and plundered room, through \vhose shattered window the 
rioters had thrust the l\1aypole itseIf,-for even that had 
been sa\vn down,-lighted a torch, clapped the mute and 
motionless John 'Villet on the back, and waving- it above 
his head, and uttcring a fierce shout, hastcned after his 
companions. 



4 16 


Barnaby Rudge 


CHAPTER LV 


JOHN \'VILLET, left alone in his dismantled bar, continued 
to sit staring about him; awake as to his eyes, certainly, 
but with all his powers of reason and reflection in a sound 
and dreal11less sleep. He looked round upon the rOOI11 
which had been for years, and was within an hour ago, the 
pride of his heart; and not a muscle of his face \vas moved. 
The night, \vithout, looked black and cold through the 
dreary gaps in the casement; the precious liquids, now 
nearly leaked avvay, dripped \vith a hollo\v sound upon the 
floor; the ?vIaypole peered ruefully in through the broken 
window, like the bo\vsprit of a wrecked ship; the ground 
nlight have been the bottom of the sea, it was so stre\vn 
with precious fragments. Currents of air rushed in, :is 
the old doors jarred and creaked upon their hinges; the 
candles flickered and guttered do\vn, and made long wind- 
ing-sheets; the cheery deep-red curtains flapped and flut- 
tered idly in the \vind; even the stout Dutch kegs, oV
r- 
thro\vn and lying empty in dark corners, seemed the mere 
husks of good fellows \vhose jollity had departed, and \vho 
could kindle \vith a friendly glo\v no more. John saw this 
desolation, and yet saw it not. I-Ie ,vas perfectly contented 
to sit there staring at it, and feIt no more indignation or 
discomfort in his bonds than if they had been robes of 
honour. So far as he was personally concerned, old Tinle 
lay snoring, and the \vorld stood still. 
Saye for the dripping from the barrels, the rustling of 
such light fragments of destruction as the wind affected, 
and the duIl creaking of the open doors, all \vas profoundly 
quiet: indeed these sounds, like the ticking of the death- 
'
Tatch in the night, only made the silence they invaded 
deeper and more apparent. But quiet or noisy, it was all 
one to John. If a train of heavy artiIIery could have come 
up and commenced balI practice outside the window, it 
would haye been alI the sanle to hinl. He was a long way 
beyond surprise. A ghost coulùn't haye overtaken him. 
By and by he heard a footstep-a hurried, and yet cau- 
tious footstep-coITting on towards the house. It stopped, 
advanced again, then seemed to g-o quite round it. Havin
 
?one that, it came beneath the windo\v, and a head looked 
In. 



Barnaby Rudge 


4 1 7 


I t was strongly relieved against the darkness outside 
by the glare of the guttering candles. A pale, worn, 
withered face; the eyes-but that was owing- to its gaunt 
condition-unnaturally large and bright; the hair a grizz1ed 
black. It gave a searching glance all round the roonl, 
and a deep voice said: 
" Are vou alone in this house? " 
John rI;ade no sign, though the question was repeated 
twice, and he heard it distinctly. After a moment's 
pause, the n1an got in at the window. John was not 
at an surprised at this, either. There had been so much 
getting in and out of \vindow in the course of the last 
hour or so, that he had quite forgotten the door, and 
seemed to have lived among such exercises from infancy. 
. The man wore a large, dark, faded cloak, and a 
slouched hat; he \valked up close to John, and looked at 
him. John returned the con1pliment with interest. 
" How long have you been sitting thus? " said the man. 
John considered, but nothing- came of it. 
" \Vhich ,vay have the party gone? " 
Some wandering speculations relative to the fashion of 
the stranger's boots, got into Mr. \Villet's mind by some 
accident or other, but they got out again in a hurry, and 
left hinl in his fornler state. 
" You ,,-'ould do well to speak," said the man: U you 
may keep a whole skin, though you have nothing else left 
that can be hurt. \Vhich way have the party gone? " 
" That! " said John, finding his voice all at once, and 
nodding with perfect good faith-he couldn't point; he 
was so tightly bound-in exactly the opposite direction to 
the right one. 
, , You lie!" said the man angrily, and with é) 
threatening gesture. "I came that way. You would 
betray me." 
It \vas so evident that John's inlperturbability was ïot 
assumed, but \vas the result of the late proceedings under 
his roof, that the man stayed his hand in the very act 
of striking him, and turned away. 
John looked after hirTI without so much as a t\vitch in a 
single nerve of his face. He seized a glass, and holding 
it under one of the little casks until a few drops were 
col1ected, drank them greedily off; then dashing it down 
upon the floor impatiently, he took the vessel in his 
hands and drained it into his throat. Some scraps ot 
p 



4 18 


Barnaby Rudge 


bread and meat were scatiered about, and on these he 
feU next; eating them \vith great voracity, and pausing 
'every now and then to listen for some fancied noise out- 
side. \Vhen he had refreshed himself in this manner with 
'violent haste, and raised another barrel to his lips, he 
pulled his hat upon his. bro\v as though he were about to 
,leave the house, and turned to John. 
'" \Vhere are your servants? " 
11r. \Villet indistinctlv remembered to have heard the 
rioters calling to them to thro\v the key of the room in 
which they \\'ere, out of windo\v, for their keeping. He 
therefore replied, " Locked up." 
, , Well for them if they remain quiet, and \vell for 
you if you do the like," said the man. "Now show me 
the way the party went. " 
This tinle 1\1r. \Vil1et indicated it correctly. The man 
was hurrying to the door, when suddenly there came to- 
wards thein on the wind, the loud and rapid tolling of an 
alarm-bell, and then a brig-ht and vivid glare streamed up, 
which illumined, not only the whole chamber, but all 
the country. 
It \yas not the sudden change fronl darkness to this 
. dreadful light, it was not the sound of distant shrieks and 
shouts of triumph, it \vas not this dread invasion of the 
serenity and peace of night, that drove the man back as 
though a thunderbolt had struck him. It was the Bell. 
If the g"hastliest shape the human mind has ever pictured 
'in its \vildest dreams had risen up before him, he could 
'not have staggered back\\,Tard from its touch, as he did 
'from the first sound of that loud iron voice. \Vith eyes 
that started from his head, his limbs convulsed, his face 
'Ill0st horrible to see, he raised one arm high up into the 
nir, and holding something visionary, back and down, 
with his other hand, droye at it as though he held a knife 
and stabbed it to the heart. He clutched his hair, and 
stopped his ears, and travelled nladly round and round; 
then gave a frightful cry, and \vith it rushed away: still, 
still, the Bell tolled on and seemed to follo\v him-louder 
and louder, hotter and hotter yet. The glare grew 
brighter, the roar of \Toices deeper; the crash of heavy 
bodies falling, shook the air; bright streams of sparks 
rose up into the sky; but louder than them all- 
rising faster far, to Heaven-a million times more fierce 
and furious-pouring forth dreadful secrets after its long 



Barnaby Rudge 


4 1 9: 


silence-speaking the Janguage of the dead-the Bell-- 
the BeI1 ! 

Yhat h!lnt of spectres could surpass that dread pur- 
SUit and fhght! Had there been a legion of them on hi
 
track, he could have better borne it. - Thev would have 
had a beginning and an end, but here all space \vas full. 
The one pursuing "oice was everywhere: it sounded in thp 
earth, the air; shook the long g-rass, and ho\vled among- 
the treJnbling trees. The echocs caught it up, the owÌs 
hooted as it flc\v upon the breeze, the nightingale was 
silent and hid herself anlong the thickest boughs: it seemed 
to goad and urge the angry fire, and lash it into mad- 
ness; everything \\'as steeped in one prevailing red; the 
glo,v was eyery\vherc; nature was drenched in blood: stiJ1 
the remorseless crying of that awful voice-the Ben, the 
Bell ! 
I t ceased; but not in his ears. The kneIl was at his 
heart. No work of man had ever voice like that which 
sounded there, and warned him that it cried unceasingly 
to I-Ieaven. '\Tho could hear that bell, and not know what 
it said! There was murder in its every note-cruel, relent- 
less, savage murder-the murder of a confiding man, by 
one \vho held his every trust. I ts ringing summoned phan-, 
toms from their graves. \;\That face \vas tnat, in which a 
friendly snlile changed to a look of half incredulous 
horror, which stiffened for a monlent into one of pain, 
then chang-ed again into an imploring glance at Heaven, 
and so fen idly down with upturned eyes, like the dead 
stags he had often peeped at when a little child: shrinking 
and shuddering-there was a dreadful thing to think of 
no\v I-and clinging- to an apron as he looked! He sank 
upon the ground, and grovelling do\vn as if he \\Tould dig 
himself a place to hide in, covered his face and ears; but 
n o no no-a hundred \valls and roofs of brass would not 
, , 
shut out that bell, for in it spoke the wrathful voice of 
God, and from that, the ,vhole wide universe could not 
afford a refuge! 
'Vhile he rushed up and do,vn, not kno\ving where to 
turn, and while he lay crouching there, the ,,"ork went 
briskly on indeed. \Vhen they left the Maypole, the 
rioters formed into a solid body, and advanced at a quick 
pace to the \Varren. Rumour of their approach having- 
gone before, they found the garden doors fast closed, the 
windows made secure, and the house profoundly dark: not 



42Ò 


Barnaby Rudge 


a light being visible in any portion of the building. After 
S0111e fruitless ring-ing at the bells, and beating at the 
iron gates, they dre"v off a few paces to reconnoitre, and 
confer upon the course it "vould be best to take. 
Very little conference "vas needed, when all were bent 
upon one desperate purpose, infuriated with liquor, and 
flushed with successful riot. The \vord being given to sur- 
round the house, some climbed the gates, or dropped into 
the shallow trench and scaled the garden "vall, while others 
pulled down the solid iron fence, and ""hile they made a 
breach to enter by, made dcadly "veapons of the bars. 
The house being completely encircled, a small nun1ber of 
men \vere despatchcd to break open a tool-shed in the 
garden; and during their absence on this errand, the re- 
nlainder contented themselves \vith knocking violently at 
the doors, and calling to those \vithin, to come down and 
open them on peril of their lives. 
No answer bcing returned to this repeated summons, 
and the detachment who had been sent aVlay, coming back 
with an accession of pickaxes, spades, and hoes, they,-- 
togethcr "vith those who had such anns already, or carried 
(as many did) axes, poles, and crowbars,-struggled into 
the foremost rank, rcady to beset the doors and windows. 
They had not at this time more than a dozen lighted torches 
anlong them; but "vhen these preparations were completed, 
flaming links "vere distributed and passed from hand 
to hand with such rapidity, that, in a minute's time, at 
least two-thirds of the whole roaring- mass bore, each 
man in his hand, a blazing brand. V\'hiding these about 
their heads, they raised a loud shout, and fell to work 
upon the doors and windo\vs. 
An1idst the clattering of heavy blows, the rattling of 
broken glass, the cries and execrations of the mob, and 
all the din and turmoil of the scene, Hugh and his friends 
kept together at the turret doòr where Mr. Haredale had 
last admitted him and old John 'Villet; and spent their 
united force on that. It was a strong- old oaken door, 
guarded by good bolts and a heavy bar, but it soon went 
crashing in upon the narrow stairs behind, and made, 
as it were, a platform to facilitate their tearing up into 
the rooms above. Almost at the same moment, a dozen 
other points \vere forced, and at everyone the crowd 
poured in like water. 
A fe\v armed servant-men were posted in the halI, and 



Barnaby Rudge 


4 21 


\,,"hen the rioters forced an entrance there, they fired some 
half a dozen shots. But these takino- nO effect and the 
. b' 
concourse comIng- on like an army of deyils, they only 
thought of consulting their o\\'n safety, and retreated 
echoing their assailants' cries, and hoping in the confusio
 
to be taken for rioters themselves; in \vhich stratagem 
they succeeded, \vith the exception of one old man who \vas 
never heard of again, and was said to have had his brains 
beaten out \vith an iron bar (one of his fellows reported 
that he had seen the old man fall), and to haye been after- 
\\"ards burnt in the flames. 
The besiegers being no\v in complete possession of the 
house, spread themselves oyer it from g-arret to cellar, and 
plied their demon labours fiercely. \Vhile some small par- 
ties kindled bonfires underneath the \vindo\vs, others broke 
up the furniture and cast the fragments down to feed the 
flames belo\v; \vhere the apertures in the wall (windows no 
longer) were large enough, they hurled out tables, chests 
of dra\vers, beds, mirrors, pictures, and flung them \vhole 
into the fire; \vhile every fresh addition to the blazing 
nlasses was received \vith shouts, and ho,vls, and yells, 
\\"hich added ne\v and diSlnal terrors to the conflagration. 
Those \vho had axes and had spent their fury on the 
Inovables, chopped and tore do\vn the doors and \vindo\v- 
frames, broke up the flooring, he'\ved a\vay the rafters, 
and buried men who lingered in the upper rooms, in heaps 
of ruins. Some searched the drawers, the chests, the 
boxes, \vriting-desks, and closets, for jewels, plate, and 
money; \vhile others less mindful of g-ain and more mad 
for destruction, cast their '\vhole contents into the court- 
yard without examination, and called to those below, to 
heap them on the blaze. rvlen who had been into the 
cellars, and had sta\yed the casks, rushed to and fro stark 
mad, setting fire to all they saw-often to the dresses of 
their own friends-and kindling the building in so many 
parts that some had no time for escape, and were seen 
\vith drooping hands and blackened faces, hang-ing sense- 
less on the '\lindow-sills to \vhich they had crawled, until 
they \vere sucked and drawn into the burning gulf. The 
more the fire crackled and raged, the \vilder and more 
cruel the men gre\v; as though moving in that element 
they became fiends, and changed their earthly nature for 
the qualities that give delight in hell. 
The burning pile, revealing rooms and passages red hot, 



4 22 


Barnaby Rudge 


through gaps made in the crumbling \VanS; the tributary 
fires that licked the outer bricks and stones, with their 
long-forked tongues, and ran up to meet the glo\ving nlass 
within; the shining of the flames upon the villains \vho 
looked on and fed them; the roaring of the angry blaze, so 
bright and high that it seemed in its rapacity to have 
swallowed up the very smoke; the living flakes the \vind 
bore rapidly away and hurried on with, like a storm of 
fiery snow; the noiseless breaking of great beams of wood, 
which fell like feathers on