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Full text of "The Cock and Anchor. Illus. by Brinsley Le Fanu"

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NOTE. 



' THE COCK AND ANCHOR : a Chronicle of Old Dublin City," was 
first published in Dublin in three volumes in 1845, with the 
joint imprints of William Curry, Junior, & Co., Dublin ; Long- 
man, Brown, Green & Longmans, London ; and Fraser & Co., 
Edinburgh. There is no author's name on the title-page of 
the original edition. The work has not since been reprinted 
under the title of " The Cock and Anchor ; " but some years 
after its first appearance my father made several alterations 
(most of which are adhered to in the present edition) in the 
story, and it was re-issued in the Select Library of Fiction 
under the title of "Morley Court." 

The novel has been out of print for a long period, and I have 
decided to republish it now under its original and proper title. 
I have made no changes in such dates as are mentioned here 
and there in the course of the narrative, but the reader should 
bear* in mind that this "Chronicle of Old Dublin City" was 
written fifty years ago. 

BRINSLEY SHERIDAN LE FANTT. 

London, July, 1895. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER PAGE 

I. THE " COCK AND ANCHOR" .... 1 

II. A BED IN THE " COCK AND ANCHOR'' . . 6 

III. THE LITTLE MAN 10 

IV. A SCARLET HOOD ...... 14 

V. O'CONNOR'S MOONLIGHT WALK .... 23 

VI. THE SOLDIER ....... 28 

VII. THREE GRIM FIGURES 36 

VIII. THE WARNING 40 

IX. THE "BLEEDING HORSE" . . . .44 

X. THE MASTER OF MORLEY COURT ... 51 

XL THE OLD BEECH TREE WALK . . . .62 

XII. THE APPOINTED HOUR 72 

XIII. THE INTERVIEW 75 

XIV. ABOUT A CERTAIN GARDEN AND A DAMSEL . 83 

XV. THE TRAITOR 88 

XVI. SIGNOR PARUCCI ALONE ... . . .92 

XVII. DUBLIN CASTLE BY NIGHT 99 

XVIII. THE Two COUSINS 106 

XIX. THE THEATRE . . ' . . . . . 110 

XX. THE LODGING 116 

XXI. WHO APPEARED TO MART AsHWOODE . . . 122 

XXII. THE SPINET 125 

XXIII. THE DARK ROOM . .' . . . .131 

XXIV. A CRITIC . . 135 

XXV. THE COMBAT AND ITS ISSUE . . . .140 

XXVI. THE HELL . . . . . . . . 143 

XXVII. THE DEPARTURE OF THE PEER . . . . 151 

XXVIII. THE THUNDER-STORM 154 

XXIX. THE CRONES . 157 

XXX. SKY-COPPER COURT 163 

XXXI. THE USURER AND THE OAKEN Box . . . 168 

XXXII. THE DIABOLIC WHISPER 171 

XXXIII. How SIR HENRY ASHWOODE PLAYED AND 

PLOTTED 174 

XXXIV. THE " OLD ST. COLUMBKIL " . . .178 

XXXV. THE COUSIN AND THE BLACK CABINET . . 184 

XXXVI. JEWELS, PLATE, HORSES, DOGS .... 189 

XXXVII. THE RECKONING .... 191 



vi Contents. 

CHAI'TEK 
XXXVIII. STRANGE GUESTS AT THE MANOR . . -196 

XXXIX. THE BARGAIN 199 

XL. DREAMS 204 

XLI. A CERTAIN TRAVELLING ECCLESIASTIC . . 208 

XLIL THE SQUIRES 212 

XLIIL THE WILD WOOD 217 

XLIV. THE DOOM 222 

XLV. THE MAN IN THE CLOAK 226 

XLVI. THE DOUBLE CONFERENCE 231 

XL VII. THE "JOLLY BOWLERS' ' 236 

XLVIIL THE STAINED EUFFLES 241 

XLIX. OLD SONGS ....... 246 

L. THE PRESS IN THE WALL 252 

LI. FLORA GUY 259 

LII. MARY ASHWOODE'S WALK 262 

LIII. THE DOUBLE FAREWELL 266 

LIV. THE Two CHANCES 273 

LV. THE FEARFUL VISITANT 277 

LVI. EBENEZER SHYCOCK 280 

LVIL THE CHAPLAIN'S ARRIVAL AT MORLET COURT . 284 

LVIII. THE SIGNAL 290 

LIX. HASTE AND PERIL 296 

LX. THE UNTREASURED CHAMBER .... 299 

LXI. THE CART AND THE STRAW 302 

LXII. THE COUNCIL 308 

LXIIL PARTING 311 

LXIV. MISTRESS MARTHA AND BLACK M< GUINNESS . 315 

LXV. THE CONFERENCE 319 

LXVL THE BED-CHAMBER 322 

LXVIL THE EXPULSION 327 

LXVIIL THE FRAY 332 

LXIX. THE BOLTED WINDOW 337 

LXX. THE BARONET'S ROOM 341 

LXXI. THE FAREWELL 345 

LXXII. THE ROPE AND THE RIOT . * ;>;>v' . . 349 

LXXIII. THE LAST LOOK 354 

CONCLUSION 357 



LIST OF FULL PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS. 



" Farewell, my lord," said Swift, abruptly . . Frontispiece 

Threw himself luxuriously into a capacious leather- 
bottomed chair . io face page 4 

Again the conqueror crowed the shrill note of 

victory ,, 34 

Parrucci approached the prostrate figure . . ,, 156 

" Painted ! varnished ! " she screamed hysterically 188 

He made his way to the aperture . . . . , , 223 

Glide noiselessly behind Chancey . v . . ,, 293 

Driven to bay ... he drew his sword . . . ,, 338 

His horse, snorting loudly, checked his pace . ,, 354 



THE "COCK AND ANCHOR." 



CHAPTER I. 

THE "COCK AND ANCHOR" TWO HORSEMEN AND A SUPPER BY 
THE INN FIRE. 

SOME time within the first ten years of the last century, there 
stood in the fair city of Dublin, and in one of those sinuous 
and narrow streets which lay in the immediate vicinity of the 
Castle, a goodly and capacious hostelry, snug and sound, and 
withal carrying in its aspect something staid and aristocratic, 
and perhaps in nowise the less comfortable that it was rated, 
in point of fashion, somewhat obsolete. Its structure was 
quaint and antique ; so much so, that had its counterpart pre- 
sented itself within the precincts of "the Borough," it might 
fairly have passed itself off for the genuine old Tabard of 
Geoffry Chaucer. 

The front of the building, facing the street, rested upon a 
row of massive wooden blocks, set endwise, at intervals of 
some six or eight feet, and running parallel at about the same 
distance, to the wall of the lower story of the house, thus 
forming a kind of rude cloister or open corridor, running the 
whole length of the building. 

The spaces between these rude pillars were, by a light 
frame-work of timber, converted into a succession of arches ; 
and by an application of the same ornamental process, the 
ceiling of this extended porch was made to carry a clumsy 
but not unpicturesque imitation of groining. Upon this 
open-work of timber, as we have already said, rested the 
second story of the buiLling; protruding beyond which again, 
and supported upon beams whose projecting ends were carved 
into the semblance of heads hideous as the fantastic monsters 
of heraldrv, arose the third story, presenting a series of tall 
and fancifully-shaped gables, decorated, like the rest of the 

B 



2 The " Cock and A nckor? 

building, with an abundance of grotesque timber-work. A 
wide passage, opening under the corridor which we have de- 
scribed, gave admission into the inn-yard, surrounded partly by 
the building itself, and partly by the stables and other offices 
connected with it. Viewed from a little distance, the old 
fabric presented by no means an unsightly or ungraceful 
aspect : on the contrary, its very irregularities and antiquity, 
however in reality objectionable, gave to it an air of comfort 
and almost of dignity to which many of its more pretending 
and modern competitors might in vain have aspired. Whether 
it was, that from the first the substantial fabric had asserted a 
conscious superiority over all the minor tenements which 
surrounded it, or that they in modest deference had gradually 
conceded to it the prominence which it deserved whether, in 
short, it had always stood foremost, or that the street had 
slightly altered its course and gradually receded, leaving it 
behind, an immemorial and immovable landmark by which to 
measure the encroachments of ages certain it is, that at the 
time we speak of, the sturdy hostelry stood many feet in 
advance of the line of houses which flanked it on either side, 
narrowing the street with a most aristocratic indifference to 
the comforts of the pedestrian public, thus forced to shift for 
life and limb, as best they might, among the vehicles and 
horses which then thronged the city streets no doubt, too, 
often by the very difficulties which it presented, entrapping 
the over-cautious passenger, who preferred entering the 
harbour which its hospitable and capacious doorway offered, 
to encountering all the perils involved in doubling the point. 

Such as we have attempted to describe it, the old building 
stood more than a century since ; and when the level sunbeams 
at eventide glinted brightly on its thousand miniature window 
panes, and upon the broad hanging panel, which bore, in the 
brighest hues and richest gilding, the portraiture of a Cock 
and Anchor ; and when the warm, discoloured glow of sunset 
touched the time-worn front of the old building with a rich 
and cheery blush, even the most fastidious would have allowed 
that the object was no unpleasiug one. 

A dark autumnal night had closed over the old city of 
Dublin, and the wind was blustering in hoarse gusts through 
the crowded chimney-stacks careering desolately through 
the dim streets, and occasionally whirling some loose tile or 
fragment of plaster from the house tops. The streets were 
silent and deserted, except when occasionally traversed by 
some great man's carriage, thundering and clattering along 
the broken pavement; and by its passing glare and rattle 
making the succeeding darkness and silence but the more 
dreary. None stirred abroad who could avoid it; and with 
the exception, oi such rare interruptions as we have mentioned, 



Tht " Cock and A nchor" 3 

the storm and darkness held undisputed possession of the 
city. Upon this ungenial night, and somewhat past the hour 
of ten, a well-mounted traveller rode into the narrow and 
sheltered yard of the "Cock and Anchor;" and having 
bestowed upon the groom who took the bridle of his steed 
sueh minute and anxious directions as betokened a kind and 
knightly tenderness for the comforts of his good beast, he forth- 
with entered the public room of the inn a large and com- 
fortable chamber, having at the far end a huge hearth 
overspanned by a broad and lofty mantelpiece of stone, and 
now sending lorth a warm and ruddy glow, which penetrated 
in genial streams to every recess and corner of the room, 
tinging the dark wainscoting of the walls, glinting red an-t 
brightly upon the burnished tankards and flagons with which 
the cupboard was laden, and playing cheerily over the massive 
beams which traversed the ceiling. Groups of men, variously 
occupied and variously composed, embracing all the usual 
company of a well frequented city tavern from the staid 
and sober man of business, who smokes his pipe in peace, to 
the loud disputatious, half-tipsy town idler, who calls for 
more flagons than he can well reckon, and then quarrels with 
mine host about the shot were disposed, some singly, others 
in social clusters, in cosy and luxurious ease at the stout oak 
tables which occupied the expansive chamber. Among these 
the stranger passed leisurely to a vacant table in the neigh- 
bourhood of the good fire, and seating himself thereat, dotfed 
his hat and cloak, thereby exhibiting a finely proportioned 
and graceful figure, and a face of singular nobleness and 
beauty. He might have seen some thirty summers perhaps 
less but his dark and expressive features bore a character of 
resolution and melancholy which seemed to tell of more griefs 
and perils overpast than men so young in the world can 
generally count.* 

The new-comer, having thrown his hat and gloves upon the 
table at which he had placed himself, stretched his stalwart 
limbs toward the fire in the full enjoyment of its genial 
influence, and advancing the heels of his huge jack boots 
nearly to the bars, he seemed for a time wholly lost in the 
comfortable contemplation of the red embers which flickered, 
glowed, and shifted before his eyes. From his quiet reverie 
he was soon recalled by mine host in person, who, with all 
courtesy, desired to know " whether his honour wished supper 
and a bed ? " Both questions were promptly answered in the 
affirmative : and before many minutes the young horseman 
was deep in the discussion of a glorious pasty, flanked by 
a tiagon of claret, such as he had seldom tasted before. He 
hd,d scarcely concluded his meal, when another traveller, 
cloaked, booted, and spurred, and carrying under his arm 

B 2 



4 The " Cock and A nchor? 

a pair of long horse-pistols, and a heavy whip, entered the 
apartment, walked straight up to the fire-place, and having 
obtained permission of the cavalier already established 
there to take share of his table, he deposited thereon the 
formidable weapons which he carried, cast his hat, gloves, 
and cloak upon the floor, and threw himself luxuriously 
into a capacious leather- bottomed chair which confronted the 
cheery fire. 

" A bleak night, sir, and a dark, for a ride of twenty miles," 
observed the stranger, addressing the younger guest. 

" I can the more readily agree with you, sir," replied the 
latter, " seeing that I myself have ridden nigh forty, and am 
but just arrived." 

" Whew ! that beats me hollow," cried the other, with a 
kind of self-congratulatory shrug. " You see, sir, we never 
know how to thank our stars for the luck we have until we 
come to learn what luck we might have had. I rode fronn 
Wicklow pray, sir, if it be not too bold a question, what line 
did you travel?" 

"The Cork road." 

" Ha ! that's an ugly line they say to travel by night. You 
met yith no interruption ? '' 

"Troth, but I did, sir," replied the young man, " and none 
of the pleasantest either. I was stopped, and put in no small 
peril, too." 

" How ! stopped stopped on the highway ! By the mass, 
you outdo me in every point! Would you, sir, please to 
favour me, if 'twere not too much trouble, with the facts of 
the adventure the particulars?" 

"Faith, sir," rejoined the yonng man, "as far as my 
knowledge serves me, you are welcome to them all. When I 
was still about twelve miles from this, I was joined from a 
by-road by a well mounted, and (as far as I could discern) a 
respectable- looking traveller, who told me he rode for Dublin, 
and asked to join company by the way. I assented ; and we 
jogged on pleasantly 'enough for some two or three miles. It 
was very dark '' 

"As pitch,'' ejaculated the stranger, parenthetically. 

" And what little scope of vision I might have had," con- 
tinued .the younger traveller, " was well nigh altogether 
obstructed by the constant flapping of my cloak, blown, by the 
storm over my face and eyes. I suddenly became conscious 
that we had been joined by a third horseman, who, in total 
silence, rode at my other side.'' 

" How and when did lie come up with you ? " 

" 3 can't say,'' replied the narrator " nor did his presence 
give me the smallest uneasiness. He who had joined me first, 
all at once called out that his stirrup strap was broken, and 



The "Cock and Anchor!" 5 

halloo'd to me to rein in until he should repair the accident. 
This I had hardly done, when some fellow, whom I had not 
seen, sprang from behind upon my horse, and clasped my arms 
so tightly to my body, that so far from making use of them, 
1 could hardly breathe. The scoundrel who had dismounted 
caught my horse by the head and held him firmly, while my 
hitherto silent companion clapped a pistol to my ear." 

" The devil ! '' exclaimed the elder man, " that was checkmate 
with a vengeance. ' 

" Why, in truth, so it turned out," rejoined his companion ; 
" though I confess my first impulse was to bulk the gentlemen 
of the road at any hazard; and with this view I plied my 
Kpnrs rowel deep, but the rascal who held the bridle was too 
old a hand to be shaken oil by a plunge or two. He swung 
with his whole weight to the bit, and literally brought poor 
Eowley's nose within an inch of the road. Finding that 
resistance was utterly vain, and not caring to squander what 
little brains I have upon so paltry an adventure, I acknowledged 
the jurisdiction of the gentleman's pistol, and replied to his 
questions." 

" You proved your sound sense by so doing,'' observed the 
other. " But what was their purpose ? " 

"As far as I could gather/' replied the younger man, 
" they were upon the look-out for some particular person, I 
cannot say whom ; for, either satisfied by my answers, or 
having otherwise discovered their mistake, they released me 
without taking anything from me but my sword, which, how- 
ever, I regret much, for it was my father's; and having blown 
the priming from my pistols, they wished me the best of good 
luck, and so we parted, without the smallest desire on my part 
to renew the intimacy. And now, sir, you know just as much 
of the matter as I do myself." 

"And a very serious matter it is, too," observed the 
stranger, with an emphatic nod. " Landlord ! a pint of 
Tuulled claret and spice it as I taught yon d'ye mind? A 
very grave matter do you think you could possibly identify 
those men ? " 

" Identify them ! how the devil could I P it was dark as 
pitch a cat could not have seen them." 

" But was there no mark no peculiarity discernible, even 
in the dense obscurity nothing about any of them, such as 
you might know again ? '' 

"Nothing the very outline was indistinct. I could merely 
see that they were shaped like men." 

"Truly, truly, that is much to be lamented," said the elder 
gentleman; ''though fifty to one,'' he added, devoutly, "they'll 
hang one day or another let that console us. Meantime, 
here comes the clarst." 



6 The "Cock and A nchor: 1 

So saying, the new-comer rose from his seat, coolly removed 
his black matted peruke from his shorn head, and replaced it 
by a dark velvet cap, which he drew from some mysterious 
iiookin his breeches pocket ; then, hanging the wig upon the 
back of his chair, he wheeled the seat round to the table, and 
for the first time offered to his companion an opportunity of 
looking him fairly in the face. If he were a believer in the 
influence of first impressions, he had certainly acted wisely 
in deferring the exhibition until the acquaintance had made 
some progress, for his countenance was, in sober truth, 
anything but attractive a pair of grizzled brows overshadowed 
eyes of quick and piercing black, rather small, and unusually 
restless and vivid the mouth was wide, and the jaw so much 
underhung as to amount almost to a deformity, giving to the 
lower part of the face a character of resolute ferocity which 
was not at all softened by the keen fiery glance of his eye ; a 
massive projecting forehead, marked over the brow with a 
deep scar, and furrowed by years and thought, added not a 
little to the stern and commanding expression of the face. 
The complexion was swarthy ; and altogether the countenance 
was one of that sinister and unpleasant kind which the 
imagination associates with scenes of cruelty and terror, and 
which might appropriately take a prominent place in the 
foreground of a feverish dream. The young traveller had 
seen too many ugly sights, in the course of a roving life of 
danger and adventure, to remember for a moment the im- 
pression which his new companion's visage was calculated to 
produce. They chatted together freely ; and the elder (who, 
by the way, exhibited no very strong Irish peculiarities of 
accent or idiom, any more than did the other) when he bid 
his companion grood-night, left him under the impression that, 
however forbidding his aspect might be, his physical dis- 
advantages were more than counterbalanced by the shrewd, 
quick sagacity, correct judgment, and wide range of experience 
of which he appeared possessed. 



CHAPTER II. 

A BED IN THE " COCK AND ANCHOR" A LANTERN AND AN 
UGLY VISITOR BY THE BEDSIDE. 

LEAVING the public room to such as chose to push their 
revels beyond the modesty of midnight, our young friend 
betook himself to his chamber; where, snugly deposited in one 
of the snuggest beds which the " Cock and Anchor " afforded, 



A Bed in the "Cock and A nchor" J 

with the ample tapestry curtains drawn from post to post, 
while the rude wind buffeted the casements and moaned 
through the antique chimney-tops, he was soon locked in the 
deep, dreamless slumber of fatigue. 

How long this sweet oblivion may have lasted it was not 
easy to say ; some hours, however, had no doubt intervened, 
when the sleeper was startled from his repose by a noise at 
his chamber door. The latch was raised, and someone bearing 
a shaded light entered the room and cautiously closed the 
door again. In the belief that the intruder was some guest 
or domestic of the inn who either mistook the room or was 
not aware of its occupation, the young man coughed once or 
twice slightly in token of his presence, and observing that 
his signal had not the desired effect, he inquired rather 
sharply, 

" Who is there?" 

The only answer returned was a long " Hist ! " and forth- 
with the steps of the unseasonable visitor were directed to the 
bedside. The person thus disturbed had hardly time to raise 
himself half upright when the curtains at one side were drawn 
apart, and by the imperfect light which forced its way through 
the horn enclosure of a lantern, he beheld the bronzed and 
sinister features of his fireside companion of the previous 
evening. The stranger was arrayed for the road, with his cloa-k 
and cocked hat on. Both parties, the visited and the visitor, 
for a time remained silent and in the same fixed attitude. 

"Pray, sir," at length inquired the person thus abruptly 
intruded upon, " to what special good fortune do I owe this 
most unlooked-for visit? " 

The elder man made no reply ; but deliberately planted the 
large dingy lantern which he carried upon the bed in which 
the young man lay. 

" You have tarried somewhat too long over the wine-cup," 
continued he, not a little provoked at the coolness of the 
intruder. " This, sir, is not your chamber ; seek it elsewhere. 
T am in no mood to bandy jests. You will consult your own 
ease as well as mine by quitting this room with all dispatch.'' 

" Young gentleman," replied the elder man in a low, firm 
tone, " I have used short ceremony in disturbing you thus. 
To judge from your face you are no less frank than hardy. 
You will not require apologies when you have heard me. 
When I last night sate with you I observed about you a token 
long since familiar to me as the light you wear it on your 
linger it is a diamond ring. That ring belonged to a dear 
friend of mine an old comrade and a tried friend in a 
hundred griefs and perils : the owner was Richard O'Connor. 
1 have not heard from him for ten years or more. Can you 
say how he fares ? " 



8 The "Cock and Anchor" 

" The brave soldier and good man you have named was my 
father," replied the young man, mournfully. 

" Was ! " repeated the stranger. " Is he then no more is 
he dead?" 

" Even so," replied the young man, sadly. 

" I knew it I i'elt it. When I saw that jewel last night 
something smote at my heart and told me, that the hand that 
wore it once was cold. Ah, me ! it was a friendly and a brave 
hand. Through all the wars of King James" (and so saying 
he touched his hat) " we were together, companions in arms 
and bosom friends. He was a comely man and a strong ; no 
hardship tired him, no difficulty dismayed him; and the 
merriest fellow he was that ever trod on Irish ground. Poor 
O'Connor! in exile; away, far away from the country he 
loved so well ; among foreigners too. Well, well, wheresoever 
they have laid tbee, there moulders not a truer nor a braver 
heart in the fields of all the world ! " 

He paused, sighed deeply, and then continued, 

" Sorely, sorely are thine old comrades put to it, day by 
day, and night by night, for comfort and for safety sorely 
vexed and pillaged. Nevertheless over-ridden, and despised, 
and scattered as we are, mercenaries and beggars abroad, and 
landless at home still something whispers in my ear that 
there will come at last a retribution, and such a one as will 
make this perjured, corrupt, and robbing ascendency a warn- 
ing and a wonder to all after times. Is it a common thing, 
think you, that all the gentlemen, all the chivalry of a whole 
country the natural leaders and protectors of the people 
should be stripped of their birthright, ay, even of the poor 
privilege of seeing in this their native country, strangers 
possessing the inheritances which are in all right their own ; 
cast abroad upon the world; soldiers of fortune, selling their 
blood for a bare subsistence ; many of them dying of want ; 
and all because for honour and conscience sake they refused 
to break the oath which bound them to a ruined prince ? Is 
it a slight thing, think you, to visit with pains and penalties 
such as these, men guilty of no crimes beyond those of fidelity 
and honour? " 

The stranger said this with an intensity of passion, to which 
the low tone in which he spoke but gave an additional im- 
pressiveness. After a short pause he again spoke, 

" Young gentleman," said he, " you may have heard your 
father whom the saints receive ! ?peak, when talking over 
old recollections, of one Captain O'Hanlon, who shared with 
him the most eventful scenes of a perilous time. He may, I 
say, have spoken of such a one." 

" He has spoken of him," replied the young man ; " often, 
and kindly too." 



A Bed in the "Cock and Anchor." g 

"I am that man," continued the stranger; "your father's 
oil friend and comrade ; and right glad am I, seeing that I 
can never hope to meet him more on this side the grave, to 
renew, after a kind, a friendship which I much prized, now in 
the person of his son. Give me yonr hand, young gentleman : 
I pledge you mine in the spirit of a tried and faithful friend- 
ship. I inquire not what has brought you to this unhappy 
country ; I am sure it can be nothing which lies not within 
the eye of honour, so I ask not concerning it ; but on the 
contrary, I will tell you of myself what may surprise you 
what will, at least, show that I am ready to trust yon freely. 
You were stopped to-night upon the Southern road, some ten 
miles from this. It was I who stopped you ! " 

O'Oonnoi made a sudden but involuntary movement of 
menace ; but without regarding it, O'Hanlon continued, 

" You are astonished, perhaps shocked you look so ; but 
mind you, there is some difference between stopping men on 
the highway, and robbing them when you have stopped them. 
I took you for one who we were informed would pass that 
way, and about the same hour one who carried letters from 
a pretended friend one whom I have long suspected, a half- 
faced, cold-hearted friend carried letters, I say, from such a 
one to the Castle here; to that malignant, perjured reprobate 
and apostate, the so-called Lord Wharton as meet an orna- 
ment for a gibbet as ever yet made a feast for the ravens. I 
was mistaken : here is your sword ; and may you long wear it 
as well as he from whom it was inherited." Here he raised 
the weapon, the blade of which he held in his hand, and the 
young man saw it and the hilt flash and glitter in the dusky 
light. "And take the advice of an old soldier, young friend," 
continued O'Hanlon, "and when you are next, which I hope 
may not be for many a long day, overpowered by odds and 
at their mercy, do not by truitless violence tempt them to 
disable you by a simpler and less pleasant process than that 
of merely taking your sword and unpriming your pistols. 
Many a good man has thrown away his life by such boyish 
foolery. Upon the table by your bed you will in the morning 
find your rapier, and God grant that it and you may long 
prove fortunate companions!" He was turning to go, but 
recollecting himself, he added, " One word before I go. I am 
known here as Mr. Dwyer remember the name, Dwyer I 
am generally to be heard of in this place. Should you at any 
time during your stay in this city require the assistance of a 
friend who has a cheerful willingness to serve you, and who is 
not perhaps altogether destitute of power, you have only to 
leave a billet in the hand of the keeper of this inn, and if I be 
above ground it will reach me of course address it under the 
name I have last mentioned and so, young gentleman, fare 



10 The "Cock and Anchor." 

you well." So saying, he grasped the hand of his new friend, 
shook it warmly, and then, turning upon hi.s heel, strode swiftly 
to the door, and so departed, leaving O'Connor with so much 
abruptness as not to allow him time to utter a question or 
remark on what had passed. 

The excitement of the interview speedily passed away, the 
fatigues of the preceding day were persuasively seconded by 
the soothing sound of the now abated wind and by the utter 
darkness of the chamber, and the young man was soon deep 
in the forgetfulness of sleep once more. When the broad, red 
light of the morning sun broke cheerily into his room, stream- 
ing through the chinks of the old shutters, and penetrating 
through the voluminous folds of the vast curtains of rich, 
faded damask which surmounted the huge hearse-like bed in 
which he lay, so as to make its inmate aware that the hour of 
repose was past and that of action come, O'Connor remembered 
the circumstances of the interview which had been so strangely 
intruded upon him but as a dream ; nor was it until he saw 
the sword which he had believed irrecoverably lost lying safely 
upon the table, that he felt assured that the visit and its 
purport were not the creation of his slumbering fancy. In 
reply to his questions when he descended, he was informed 
by mine host of the " Cock and Anchor," that Mr. Dwyer 
had left the inn-yard upon his stout hack, 'a good hour before 
daybreak. 



CHAPTER III. 

THE LITTLE MAN IN BLUE AND SILVER. 

AMONG the loungers who loitered at the door of the " Cock and 
Anchor," as the day wore on, there appeared a personage whom 
it behoves us to describe. This was a small man, with a very red 
face and little grey eyes he wore a cloth coat of sky blue, 
with here and there a piece of silver lace laid upon it without 
much regard to symmetry ; for the scissors had evidently dis- 
placed far the greater part of the original decorations, whose 
primitive distribution might be traced by the greater freshness 
of the otherwise faded cloth which they had covered, as well as 
by some stray threads, which stood like stubbles here and there 
to mark the ravages of the sickle. One hand was buried in 
the deep flap pocket of a waistcoat of the same hue and 
material, and bearing also, in like manner, the evidences of a 
very decided retrenchment ia the article of silver lace. These 
symptoms of economy, however, in no degree abated the 



The Little Man. 



ii 



evident admiration with which the wearer every now and then 
stole a glance on what remained of its pristine splendours a 
glance which descended not ungraciously upon a leg in whose 
fascinations its owner reposed an implicit faith. His right 
hand held a tobacco-pipe, which, although its contents were 
not ignited, he carried with a luxurious nonchalance ever and 
anon to the corner of his mouth, where it afforded him sundry 
imaginary puffs a cheap and fanciful luxury, in which my 
Irish readers need not be told their humbler countrymen, for 
lack of better, are wont to indulge. He leaned against one of 
the stout wooden pillars on which the front of the building 
was reared, and interlarded his economical pantomime of pipe- 
smoking with familiar and easy conversation with certain of 
the outdoor servants of the inn a familiarity which argued 
not any sense of superiority proportionate to the pretension, 
of his attire. 

" And so," said the little man, turning with an aristocratic 
ease towards a stout fellow in a jerkin, with bluff visage and 
folded arms, who stood beside him, and addressing him in a 
most melodious brogue " and so, for sartain, you have but 
five single gintlemeu in the house mind, I say single gintle- 
men for, divil carry me if ever I take up with a family again 
it doesn't answer it don't shoot me I was never made for 

a family, nor a family for me I can't stand their b y 

regularity; and ''with a sigh of profound sentiment, and lower- 
ing his voice, he added "and, the maid-sarvants no, devil a 
taste they don't answer they don't shoot. My disposition, 
Tom, is tindher tindher to imbecility I never see a petticoat 
but it flutters my heart the short and the long of it is, I'm 
always falling in love and sometimes the passion is not retali- 
ated by the object, and more times it is but, in both cases, I'm 
aiqually the victim for my intintions is always honourable, 
and of course nothin' comes of it. My life was fairly frettin' 
away in a dhrame of passion among the housemaids I felt 
myself witherin' away like a flower in autumn 1 was losing 
my relish for everything, from bacon and table-dhrink upwards 
dangers were thickening round me I had but one way to 
execrate myself I gave notice I departed, and here I am." 

Having wound up the sentence, the speaker leaned forward 
and spat passionately on the ground a pause ensued, which 
was at length broken by the same speaker. 

" Only two out of the five," said he, reflectively, " only two 
unprovided with sarvants." 

" And neither of 'em," rejoined Tom, a blunt English 
groom, "very likely to want one. The one is a lawyer, with a 
hack as lean as himself, and more holes, I warrant, than half- 
1 ence in his breeches pocket. He's out a-looking for lodgings, 
I take it." 



1 2 The " Cock and A nchor" 

"He's not exactly what I want," rejoined the little man. 
" What's th'other like ? '' 

" A gentleman, every inch, or Tm no judge," replied the 
groom. " He came last night, and as likely a bit of horseflesh 
under him as evor my two hands wisped down. He chucked 
me a crown-piece this morning, as if it had been no more nor 
a cockle shell he did." 

" By gorra, he'll do ! "exclaimed the little man energetically. 
" It's a bargain I'm his man." 

"Ay, but you mayn't answer, brother ; he mayn't take you," 
observed Tom. 

" Wait a bit jist wait a bit, till he sees me," replied he of 
the blue coat. 

" Ay, wait a bit," persevered the groom, coolly " wait a bit, 
and when he does see you, it strikes me wery possible he mayn't 
like your cut.'' 

" Not like my cut ! '' exclaimed the little man, as soon as he 
had recovered breath ; for the bare supposition of such an 
occurrence involved in his opinion so utter and astounding a 
contradiction of all the laws by which human antipathies and 
affections are supposed to be regulated, that he felt for a 
moment as if his whole previous existence had been a dream 
and an illusion. " Not like my cut I '' 

" No," rejoined the groom, with perfect imperturbability. 

The little man deigned no other reply than that conveyed 
in a glance of the most inexpressible contempt, which, 
having wandered over the person and accoutrements of 
the unconscious Tom, at length settled upon his own lower 
extremities, where it gradually softened into a gaze of 
melancholy complacency, while he muttered, with a pitying 
smile, "Not like my cut not like it!" and then, turning 
majestically towards the groom, he observed, with laconic 
dignity, 

"I humbly consave the gintleman has an eye in his 
head." 

This rebuke had hardly been administered when the sub- 
ject of their conference in person passed from the inn into the 
street. 

" There he goes," ob?erved Tom. 

" And here /go after him," added the candidate for a place ; 
and in a moment he was following O'Connor with rapid steps 
through the narrow streets of the town, southward. It 
occurred to him, as he hurried after his intended master, that 
it might not be amiss to defer his interview until they were 
out of the streets, and in some more quiet place ; nor in all 
probability would he have disturbed himself at all to follow 
the young gentleman, were it not that even in the transient 
glimpse which he had had of the person and features of 



The Little Man. 13 

O'Connor, the little man thought, and by no means in- 
correctly, that he recognized the form of one whom he had 
often seen before. 

" That's Mr. O'Connor, as sure as my name's Larry Toole," 
muttered the little man, half out of breath with his exertions 
" an' it's himself '11 be proud to get me. I wondher what he's 
afther now. I'll soon see, at any rate." 

Thus communing within himself, Larry alternately walked 
and trotted to keep the chase in view. He might very easily 
have come up with the object of his pursuit, for on reaching 
St. Patrick's Cathedral, O'Connor paused, and for some 
minutes contemplated the old building. Larry, however, did 
not care to commence his intended negotiation in the street ; 
he purposed giving him rope enough, having, in truth, no 
peculiar object in following him a,t that precise moment, 
beyond the gratification of an idle curiosity ; he therefore 
hung back until O'Connor was again in motion, when he once 
more renewed his pursuit. 

O'Connor had soon passed the smoky precincts of the town, 
and was now walking at a slackened pace among the green 
fields and the trees, all clothed in the rich melancholy hues of 
early autumn. The evening sun was already throwing its 
mellow tint on all the landscape, and the lengthening shadows 
told how far the day was spent. In the transition from the 
bustle of a town to the lonely quiet of the country at eventide, 
and especially at that season of the year when decay begins to 
sadden the beauties of nature, there is something at once sooth- 
ing and unutterably melancholy. Leaving behind the glare, 
and dust, and hubbub of the town, who has not felt in his 
inmost heart the still appeal of nature ? The saddened beauty 
of sear autumn, enhanced by the rich and subdued light of 
gorgeous sunset the filmy mist the stretching shadows 
the serene quiet, broken only by rural sounds, more soothing 
even than silence all these, contrasted with the sounds and 
sights of the close, restless city, speak tenderly and solemnly 
to the heart of man of the beauty of creation, of the goodness 
of God, and, along with these, of the mournful condition of all 
nature change, decay, and death. Such thoughts and 
feelings, stealing in succession upon the heart, touch, one by 
one, the springs of all our sublimest sympathies, and fill the 
mind with the beautiful sense of brotherhood, under God, with 
all nature. Under the not unpleasing influence of such 
suggestions, O'Connor slackened his pace to a slow irregular 
walk, which sorely tried the patience of honest Larry Toole. 

" After all," exclaimed that worthy, " it's nothin' more nor 
less than an evening walk he's takin', God bless the mark ! 
What business have I followin' him ? unless see .sure 
enough he's takin' the short cut to the manor. By gorra, t. JB 



1 4 The " Cock and A nchor. " 

is worth mindin' I must not folly him, however I don't want 
to meet the family so here I'll plant myself until sich times 
as he's comin' back airain." 

So saying, Larry Toole clambered to the top of the grassy 
embankment which fenced the road, and seating himself 
between a pair of aged hawthorn trees, he watched young 
O'Connor as he followed the wanderings of a wild bridle-road 
until he was at length fairly hidden from view by the inter- 
vening trees and brushwood. 



CHAPTER IV. 

A SCARLET HOOD AMONG THE OLD TREES TEE MANOR OF 
MORLEY COURT AND A PEEP INTO AN ANTIQUE CHAMBER. 

THE path which O'Connor followed was one of those quiet and 
pleasant by-roads which, in defiance of what are called im- 
provements, are still to be discovered throughout Ireland here 
and there, in some unsuspected region, winding their green 
and sequestered ways through many a varied scene of rural 
beauty ; and, unless when explored by some chance fisherman 
or tourist, unknown to all except the poor peasant to whose 
simple conveniences they minister. 

Low and uneven embankments, overgrown by a thousand 
kinds of weeds and wild flowers and brushwood, marked the 
boundaries of this rustic pathway, but in so friendly a sort, 
and with so little jealousy or exclusion, that they seemed 
designed rather to lend a soft and sheltered resting-place to 
the tired traveller than to check the wayward excursions of 
the idle rambler into the merry fields and woodlands through, 
which it wound. On either side the tall, hoary trees, like 
time-worn pillars, reared their grey, moss-grown trunks and 
arching branches, now but thinly clothed with the discoloured 
foliage of autumn, and casting their long shadows in the 
evening sun far over the sloping and unequal sward. The 
scene, the hour, and the loneliness of the place, would of them- 
selves have been enough to induce a pensive train of thought ; 
but, beyond the silence and seclusion, and the falling of the 
leaves in their eternal farewell, and all the other touching 
signs of nature's beautiful decay, there were deep in O'Connor'8 
"breast recollections and passions with which the scene before 
him was more nearly associated, than with the ordinary 
suggestions of fantastic melancholy. 

At some distance from this road, and half hidden among 
the trees, there stood an old and extensive building, chiefly 



A Scarlet Hood. 1 5 

of deep red brick, presenting many and varied fronts and 
quaint gables, antique-fashioned casements, and whole groups 
of fantastic chimneys, sending up their thin curl of smoke into 
the still air, and glinting tall and red in the declining sun ; 
while the dusky hue of the old bricks was every here and there 
concealed under rich mantles of dark, luxuriant ivy, which, in 
some parts of the structure, had not only mounted to the 
summits of the wall, but clambered, in rich profusion, over 
the steep roof, and even to the very chimney tops. This 
antique building rambling, massive, and picturesque in no 
ordinary degree might well have attracted the observation of 
the passer-by, as it presented in succession, through the irregu- 
lar vistas of the rich old timber, now one front, now another, 
alternately hidden and revealed as the point of observation 
was removed. But the eyes of O'Connor sought this ancient 
mansion, and dwelt upon its ever- varying aspacts, as he pur- 
sued his way, with an interest more deep and absorbing than 
that of mere curiosity or admiration ; and as he slowly 
followed the grass-grown road, a thousand emotions and 
remembrances came crowding upon his mind, impetuous, pas- 
sionate, and wild, but all tinged with a melancholy which even 
the strong and sanguine heart of early manhood could not 
overcome. As the path proceeded, it became more closely 
sheltered by the wild bushes and trees, and its windings grew 
more wayward and frequent, when on a sudden, from behind a 
screen of old thorns which lay a little in advance, a noble dog, 
of the true old Irish wolf breed, came bounding towards him, 
with every token of joy and welcome. 

" Eover, Rover down, boy, down," said the stranger, as the 
huge animal, iu his boisterous greeting, leaped upon him 
again and again, flinging his massive paws upon his shoulders, 
and thrusting his cold nose into his bosom " down, Rover, 
down." 

The first transport of welcome past, the noble dog waited to 
receive from his old friend some marks of recognition in return, 
and then, swinging his long tail from side to side, away he 
sprang, as if to carry the joyful tidings to the companion of 
his evening ramble. 

O'Connor knew that some of those whom he should not 
have chosen to meet just then or there were probably within 
a stone's throw of the spot where he now stood, and for a 
moment he was strongly tempted to turn, and, if so it might 
be, unobserved to retrace his steps. The close screen of wild 
trees which overshadowed the road would have rendered this 
design easy of achievement; but while he was upon the point 
of turning to depart, a few notes of some wild and simple 
Irian melody, carelessly lilted by a voice of silvery sweetness, 
floated to his ear. Every cudeuoe and vibration of that voice 



i6 



The "Cock and Anchor -." 



was to him enchautment he could not choose but pause. 
The sweet sounds were interrupted by a rustling among the 
withered leaves which strewed the ground. Again the fine old 
dog made his appearance, dashing joyously along the path 
towards him, and following in his wake, with slow and gentle 
steps, came a light and graceful female form. On her 
shoulders rested a short mantle of scarlet cloth ; the hood was 




thrown partially backward, so as to leave the rich dark ringlets 
to float freely in the light breeze of evening ; the faintest 
Hush imaginable tinged the clear paleness of her cheek, giving 
to her exquisitely beautiful features a lustre, whose richness 
did not, however, subdue their habitual and tender melan- 
choly. The moment the full dark eyes of the girl encountered 



A Scarlet Hood. 1 7 

O'Connor, the song died away upon her lips the colour fled 
from her cheeks, and as instantaneously the sudden paleness 
was succeeded by a blush of such depth and brilliancy as 
threw far into shade even the brightest imagery of poetic 
fancy. 

" Edmond ! " she exclaimed, in a tone so faint and low as 
scarcely to reach his ear, and which yet thrilled to his very 
heart. 

"Yes, Mary it is, indeed, Edmond O'Connor," answered 
he, passionately and mournfully "come, after long years of 
separation, over many a mile of sea and land unlooked-for, 
and, mayhap, unwished-forcome once more to see you, and, 
in seeing you, to be happy, were it but for a moment come to 
tell you that he L-ves you fondly, passionately as ever come 
to ask you, dear, dear Mary, if you, too, are unchanged P " 

As he thus spoke, standing by her side, O'Connor gazed on 
the sad, sweet face of her he loved so well, and held that little 
hand, which he would have given worlds to call his own. The 
beautiful girl was too artless to disguise her agitation. She 
would have spoken, but the effort was vain the tears 
gathered in her dark eyes, and fell faster and faster, till at 
length the fruitless struggle ceased, and she wept long and 
bitterly. 

" Oh ! Edmond," said she, at length, raiding her eyes 
sorrowfully and fondly to O'Connor's face "what has called 
you hither ? We two should hardly have met now or thus." 

*' Dear Mary," answered he, with melancholy fervour, 
" since last I held this loved hand, years have passed away 
three long years and more in which we two have never met 
in which you scarce have even heard of me. Mary, three 
years bring many changes changes irreparable. Time 
which has, if it were possible, made you more beautiful even 
than when I saw you last may yet have altered earlier 
feelings, and turned your heart from me. Were it so, Marv, 
I would not seek to blame you. I am not so vain your rank 
your great attractions your surpissiag beautv, must have 
won many admirers drawn many suitors round you; and I 
I, amoug all these, may well have been forgotten I, whose 
best merit is but in loving you beyond my life. I will not, 
then I will not, Mary, ask if you love me still : but coming 
thus unbidden and unlooked-for, am I forgiven am I wel- 
come, Mary ? " 

The artless girl looked up in his face with such a beautiful 
Bmile of trust and love as told more in one brief moment than 
language could in volumes. 

" Yes, Mary," said O'Connor, reading that smile aright, 
with swelling heart and proud devotion ; " yes, Mary. I am 
remembered you are still my own my own : true, faithful, 

c 



1 8 7 he " Cock and A nchor" 

unchanged, in spite of years of time and leagues of separa- 
tion ; in spite of all ! my tme-hearted, my adored, my 
own ! " 

He spoke; and in ihe fulness of their hearts they were both 
for a while silent, each gazing on the other in the rapt tender- 
ness of long-tried love in the deep, guileless joj of this chance 
meeting-. 

" Hear me," he whispered, lower almost than the murmur 
of the breeze through the arching boughs above them, as if 
fearful that even a breath would trouble the still enchant- 
ment that held them spell-bound : "hear me, for I have much 
to tell. The years that have passed since I spoke to you 
before have brought to me their store of good and ill, of sorrow 
and of hope. I have many things to tell you, Mary ; much 
that gives me hope the cheeriest hope even that of over- 
coming Sir Eichard's opposition ! Ay, Mary, reasonable 
hope; and why? Because I urn no longer poor: an old 
friend of my father's, Mr. Audley, has taken me by the hand, 
adopted me, made me his heir the heir to riches and posses- 
sions which even your father will allow to be considerable 
which he well may think enough to engage his prudence in 
favour of our union. In this hope, dearest, I am here. I 
daily expect the arrival of my generous friend and benefactor; 
and with him I will go to your father and urge my suit once 
more, and with God's blessing at last prevail but hark ! some 
one comes." 

Even while he spoke, the lovers were startled by the sound 
of voices in gay colloquy, approaching along the quiet by-road 
on which they stood. 

" Leave me, Edmond, leave me," said the beautiful girl, 
with earnest entreaty ; " they must not see you with me 
now." 

" Farewell then, dearest, since it must be so," replied 
O'Connor, as he pressed her hand closely in his own ; " but 
meet me to-niorrow evening meet me by the old gate in the 
beech-tree walk, at the hour when you used to walk therf. 
Nay, refuse me not, Mary. Farewell, farewell till then!" 
and so saying, before she had time to frame an answer, he 
turned from her, and was quickly lost among the trees and 
underwood which skirted the pathway. 

In the speakers who approached, the young lady at once 
recognized her brother, Henry Ashwoode, and Emily Copland, 
her pretty cousin. The young man was handsome alike in 
face and figure, slightly made, and bearing in his carriage 
that indescribable air of aristocratic birth and pretension 
which sits not ungracefully upon a handsome person ; his 
countenance, too, bore a striking resemblance to that of his 
sister, and, allowing for the difference of sex, resembled it as 



A Scarlet Hood. 19 

nearly as any countenance which had never expressed a 
passion but such as had its aim and origin alike in self, could 
do. He was dressed in the extreme of the prevailing fashion ; 
and altogether his outward man was in all respects such as to 
justify his acknowledged pretensions to be considered one of 
the prettiest men in the then gay city of Dublin. The young 
lady who accompanied him was, in all points except in that of 
years, as unlike her cousin, Mary Ashwoode, as one pretty 
girl could well be to another. She was very fair ; had a 
quick, clear eye, which carried in its glance sometning more 
than mere mirth or vivacity; an animated face, with, how- 
ever, something of a bold, and at times even of a haughty 
expression. Laughing and chatting in light, careless gaiety, 
the youthful pair approached the spot where Mary Ashwoode 
stood. 

" So, so, fair sister," cried the young man, gaily, " alone and 
musing, and doubtless melancholy. Shall we venture to 
approach her, Emily ? " 

Women have keener eyes in small matters than men ; and 
Miss Copland at a glance perceived her fair cousin's flushed 
cheek and embarrassed manner. 

" Angels and ministers of grace defend us ! " cried she ; 
" the girl has certainly seen a ghost or a dragoon officer." 

" Neither, I assure you, cousin," replied Miss Ashwoode, with 
an effort; "my evening's ramble has not extended beyond 
this spot ; and as yet I've seen no monster more alarming 
than my brother's new periwig." 

The young man bowed. 

"Nay, nay," cried Miss Copland, "but I must hear it. 
There certainly is some awful mystery at the bottom of all 
these conscious looks ; but apropos of awful mysteries," con- 
tinued she, turning to young Ashwoode, half in pity for Mary's 
increasing embarrassment; "where is Major O'Leary ? 
What has become of your amusing old uncle? " 

" That's more than Jean tell," replied the young man ; " I 
wash my hands of the scapegrace. I know nothing of him 
I saw him for a moment in town this morning, and he pro- 
mised, with a round dozen of oaths, to be out to dine with us 
to-day. Thus much yon know, and thus much I know ; for the 
rest, having sins enough of my own to carry, as I said before, 
I wash my hands of him and his." 

" Well, now remember, Henry," continued she, " I make it 
a point with you to bring him out here to-morrow. In sober 
seriousness I can't get on without him. It is a melancholy 
and a terrible truth, but still one which I feel it my duty to 
speak boldly, that Major O'Leary is the only gallant and 
susceptible man in the family. 

" Monstrous assertion P " exclaimed the young man ; " why, 
c 2 



20 The " Cock and A nchor" 

not to mention myself, the acknowledged pink and perfection 
of everything that is irresistible, have you not the perfect 
command of my worthy cousin, Arthur Blake ? " 

" !Now don't put me in a passion, Henry," exclaimed the 
girl. " How dare you mention that wretch that irreclaimable, 
unredeemed fox-hunter. He never talks, nor thinks, nor 
dreams of anything but dogs and badgers, foxes and other 
vermin. I verily believe he never yet was seen off a horse's 
back, except sometimes in a stable he is an absolute Irish 
centaur I And then his odious attempts at finery his 
elaborate, perverse vulgarity the perpetual pinching and 
mincing of his words I An off-hand, shameless brogue I can 
endure a brogue that revels and riots, and defies the world 
like your uncle O'Leary's, I can respect and even admire but 
a brogue in a strait waistcoat " 

" Well, well," rejoined the young man, laughing, "though 
you may not find any sprout of the family tree, excepting 
Major O'Leary, worthy to contribute to your laudable require- 
ments ; yet surely you have a very fair catalogue of young 
and able-bodied gentlemen among our neighbours. What say 
you to young Lloyd he lives within a stone's throw. He is a 
most proper, pious, and punctual young gentleman; and 
would make, I doubt not, a most devout and exemplary 
' Cavalier servente' " 

" Worse and worse," cried the young lady despondingly ; 
"the most domestic, stupid, affectionate, invulnerable wretch. 
He never flirts out of his own family, and then, for charity I 
believe, with the oldest and ugliest. He is the very person 
for whose special case the rubric provided that no man shall 
marry his grandmother." 

" My fair cousin," replied the young man, laughing, " I 
see you are hard to please. Meanwhile, sweet ladies both, 
let me remind you that the sun has just set ; we must make 
our way homeward at least I must. By the way, can I do 
anything in town for you this evening, beyond a tender 
message to my reverend uncle? " 

"Dear me," exclaimed Miss Copland, "you have not passed 
an evening at home this age. What can you want, morning, 
noon, and night in that smoky, dirty town ? " 

" Why, the fact is, replied the young man, " business must 
be done ; I positively must attend two routs to-night." 

" Whose routs what are they ? " inquired the young lady. 

" One is Mrs. Tresham's, the other Lady Stukely's." 

" I guessed that ugly old kinswoman of mine was at the 
bottom of it," exclaimed the young lady with great vivacity. 
" Lady Stukely that pompous, old, frightful goose ! she has 
laid herself out to seduce you, Harry; but don't let that 
dismay you, for tea to one if you fall, she'll make an honest 



A Scarlet Hood. 2 1 

man of you in the end and marry yon. Only think, Mary, 
what a sister you shall have," and the young lady laughed 
heartily, and then added, " There are some excellent, worthy, 
abominable people, who seem made expressly to put one in a 
passion perpetual appeals to one's virtuous indignation. 
Now do, Henry, for goodness sake, if a matrimonial catastrophe 
must come, choose at least some nymph with less rouge and 
wrinkles than poor dear Lady Stukely." 

" Kind cousin, thyself shalt choose for me,'' answered the 
young man ; " but pray, suffer me to Le at large for a year or 
two more. I would fain live and breathe a little, before I go 
down into the matrimonial pit and be no more seen. But let 
us mend our pace, the evening tarns chill.' 3 

Thus chatting carelessly, they moved towards the large 
brick building which we have already described, embowered 
among the trees; where arrived, the young man forthwith 
applied himself to prepare for a night of dissipation, and the 
young ladies to get through a dull evening as best they might. 

The two fair cousins sate in a large, old-fashioned drawing- 
room ; the walls were covered with elaborately-wrought 
tapestry representing, in a manner sufficiently grim and 
alarming, certain scenes from Ovid's Metamorphoses ; a 
cheerful fire blazed in the capacious hearth ; and the cumbrous 
mantelpiece was covered with those grotesque and monstrous 
china figures, misnamed ornaments, which were then beginning 
to find favour in the eyes of fashion. Abundance of richly 
carved furniture was disposed variously throughout the room. 
The young ladies sate by a small table on which lay some 
books and materials for work, placed near the fire. They 
occupied each one of those huge, high-backed, and well- 
stufted chairs in which it is a mystery how our ancestors could 
sit and remain awake. Both were silently occupied with 
their own busy reflections; and it was not until the rapid 
clank of the horse's hoofs upon the pavement underneath the 
windows, as young Ashwoode started upon his night ride to 
the city, rose sharp and clear, that Miss Copland, waking 
from her reverie, exclaimed, 

" Well, sweet coz, were ever so woebegone and desolate a 
pair of damsels. The only available male creature in the 
establishment, with the exception of Sir Eichard, who has 
actually gone to bed, has fairly turned his back upon us." 

"Dear Emily," replied her cousin, "pray be serious. I 
wish to tell you what has passed this evening. You observed 
my confusion and agitation when you and Henry overtook me." 

"Why, to be sure I did,'' replied the young lady; "and 
now, like an honest coz, you are going to tell me all about it.'' 
She drew her chair nearer as she spoke. " Come, my dear, 
tell me everything what was your discovery ? Come, now, 



22 The "Cock and A nchor." 

there's a good girl, do confess." So saying she threw one 
arm round her cousin's neck and laid the other in her lap, 
looking curiously into her face the while. 

" Oh ! Emily, I have seen him ! " exclaimed Miss Ashwoode, 
with an effort. 

" Seen him ! seen whom ? old Nick, if I may judge from 
your looks. Whom have you seen, dear?' 5 eagerly inquired 
Mis* Copland. 

" I have seen Edmond O'Connor," answered she. 

"Edmond O'Connor!" repeated the girl in unfeigned 
surprise, "why, I thought he was in France, eating frogs and 
dancing cotillons. What has brought him here P why, he'll be 
taken fora spy and executed on the spot. But seriously, cau 
you conceive anything more rash and ill-judged than his 
coming over just now ? " 

" It is indeed, I greatly fear, very rash," replied the young 
lady ; " he is resolved to s-peak with my father once more.'' 

*' And your father in such a precious ill-humour just at this 
precise moment," exclaimed Miss Copland. " I never was so 
much afraid of Sir Richard as I have been for the last two 
days; he has been a perfect bruin begging your pardon, my 
dear girl but even you must admit, let filial piety and all the 
cardinal virtues say what they will, that whenever Sir 
Eichard is recovering from a fit of the gout he is nothing 
short of a perfect monster. 1 wager my diamond cross to a 
thimble, that he breaks the poor young man's head the 
moment he comes within reach of him. But jesting apart, I 
i>ar, my dear cousin, that my uncle is in no mood just now 
to listen to heroics." 

A sharp knocking upon the floor immediately above the 
chamber in which the young ladies sate, interrupted the con- 
ference at this juncture. 

"There is my father's signal he wants me," exclaimed 
Miss Ashwoode, and rising as she spoke, without more ado 
she ran to render the required attendance. 

" Strange girl," exclaimed Miss Copland, as her cousin's 
step was heard ascending the stairs, " strange girl ! she is 
the veriest simpleton I ever yet encountered. All this fuss 
to marry a fellow who is, in plain words, little better than a 
beggarman a good-looking beggarman, to be sure, but still 
a beggar. Oh, Mary, simple Mary*! I am very much 
tempted to despise you there is certainly something wrong 
about you ! I hate to see people without ambition enougn. 
even to wish to keep their own natural position. The girl is 
full of nonsense; but what's that to me ? she'll zmlearn it all 
one day ; but I'm much afraid, simple cousin, a little too late." 

Having thus soliloquized, she called her maid, and retired 
for the night to her chamber. 



O'Connor's Moonlight Walk. 23 

CHAPTER V. 

OF O'CONNOR'S MOONLIGHT WALK TO THE " COCK AND ANCHOR," 
AND WHAT BEFELL HIM BY THE WAY. 

As soon as O'Connor had made some little way from the 
scene of his sudden and agitating interview with Miss Ash- 
woode, he slackened his pace, and with slow steps began to 
retrace his way toward the ciiy. So listless and interrupted 
was his progress, that the sun had descended, and twilight was 
fast melting into darkness before he reached that poiut in the 
road at which diverged the sequestered path which he had 
followed. As he approached the spot, he observed a small 
man, with a pipe in bis mouth, and his person arranged in an 
attitude of ease and graceful negligence, admirably calcu- 
lated to exhibit the symmetry and perfection of his bodily 
proportions. This man had planted himself in the middle of 
the road, HO as completely to command the pass, and, as our 
reader need scarcely be informed, was no other than Larry 
Toole the important personage to whom we have already in- 
troduced him. 

As O'Connor approached, Larry advanced, with a slow and 
dignified motion, to receive him : and removing his pipe from 
his mouth with a nonchalant air, he compressed the lighted 
contents of the bowl with his finger, and then deposited the 
utensil in his coat pocket, at the same time, executing, in 
a very becoming manner, his most courtly bow. Somewhat 
surprised, and by no means pleasantly, at an interruption of so 
unlooked-for a kind, O'Connor observed, impatiently, " I have 
neither time nor temper, friend, to suffer delay or listen to 
foolery ;" and observing that Larry was preparing to follow 
him, he added curtly, " I desire no company, sirrah, and 
choose to be alone." 

"An' it's exactly because you wish to be alone, and likes 
solitude," observed the little man, " that you and me will 
shoot, being formed by the bountiful hand iv nature, barrin' a 
few small exceptions," here he glanced complacently at his 
right leg, which was a little in advance of its companion " as 
similiar as two eggs'." 

Being in no mood to tolerate, far less to encourage this" 
annoying intrusion, O'Connor pursued his way at a quickened 
pace, and in obstinate silence, and in a little time exhibited 
a total and very mortifying forgetfulness of Mr. Toole's 
bodily proximity. That gentleman, however, was not so 
easily to be shaken off he perseveringly followed, keeping a 
pace or two behind. 

" It's parfectly unconthrovertible," pursued that worthy, 



24 The "Cock and Anchor" 

with considerable solemnity and emphasis, "and at laste as 
plain as the nose on your face, that you haven't the smallest 
taste of a conciption who it is you're spakin' too, Mr. 
O'Connor.' 

"And pray who may you be, friend ? " inquired he, some- 
what surprised at being thus addressed by name. 

" Who else would I be, your honour," rejoined the perse- 
vering applicant " who else could I be, if you had but a 
erlimmer iv light to contemplate my forrum and fatures, but 
Laurence Toole called by the men for the most part Misthur 
Toole, and (he added in a softened tone) by the girls most 
commonly designated Larry." 

"Ha Larry Larry Toole!" exclaimed O'Connor, half 
reconciled to an intrusion up to that moment so ill endured. 
" Well, Larry, tell me briefly how are the family at the 
manor, yonder?" 

" Why, plase your honour," rejoined Larry, promptly, "the 
ould masthur, that's Sir Richard, is much oftener gouty than 
good-humoured, and more's the pity. I b'lieve he's breaking 
down very fast, and small blame to him, for he lived hard, 
like a rale honourable gentleman. An' then, the young 
masthur, that's Masthur Henry but you didn't know him so 
well he's getting on at the divil's rate scatt'ring guineas 
like small shot. They say he plays away a power of money ; 
and he and the masthur himself has often hard words enough 
between them about the way things is goin' on ; but he ates 
and dhrinks well, an' the health he gets is as 'good as he 
wants for his purposes." 

" Well but your young mistress," suggested O'Connor 
"you have not told me yet how Miss Aghwoode has been 
ever since. How have her health and spirits been has she 
been well ? " 

" Mixed middlin', like belly bacon," replied Mr. Toole, with 
an air of profound sympathy "shilly-shally, sir off an' on, 
like an April day sometimes atin' her victuals, sometimes 
lavin' them no sartainty. I think the ould masthur's gout 
and crossness, and the young one's vagaries, is frettin' her ; 
and it's sorry 1 am to see it. An' there's Miss Emily that's 
JVJiss Copland a rale jovial slip iv a young lady. I think 
you've seen her once or twice up at the manor ; but now, since 
her father, the ould General, died, she is stayin' for good with 
the family. She's a fine lady, and " (drawing close to O'Connor, 
and speaking with very significant emphasis) " she has ten 
thousand pounds of her own do you mind me, ten thousand 
it's a good fortune is not it, sir ? " 

He paused for a moment, and receiving no answer, which 
he interpreted as a sign that the announcement was operatiug 
as it ought, he added with a confidential wink 



O'Connor's Moonlight Walk. 25 

" I thought I might as well put you up to it, you know, for 
no one knows where a blessin' may light." 

" Larry," said O'Connor, after a considerable silence, some- 
what abruptly and suddenly recollecting the presence of that 
little person " if you have aught to say to me, speak it 
quickly. What may your business be ? " 

" Why, bir," replied he, " the long and short of it is, I left 
Sir Eichard more than a week since. Not that I was turned 
away no, Mr. O'Connor," continued Mr. Toole, with edifying 
majesty, " no sich thing at all in the wide world. My resig- 
nation, sir, was the fruit of my own solemn convictions for 
the five years i was with the family, I had no comfort, or aise, 
or pace. I may as well spake plain to you, sir, for you, like 
myself, is young " Mr. Toole was certainly at the wrong 
side of fifty " you can aisily understand me, sir, when I siy 
that I'm the victim iv romance, bad cess to it romance, sir ; 
my buzzam, sir, was always open to tindher impressions im- 
pressions, sir, that came into it as natural as pigs into a 
pittaty garden. I could not shut them out the short and the 
long iv it is, 1 was always fallin' in love, since I was the size 
iv a quart pot eternally fallin' in love." Mr. Toole sighed, 
and then resumed. " I done my best to smother my emotions, 
but passion, sir, young and ardent passion, is impossible to be 
suppressed : you might as well be trying to keep strong beer 
in starred bottles durin' the pariod iv the dog days. But I 
never knew rightly what love was all out, in rale, terrible 
perfection, antill Mistress Betsy came to live in the family. 
I'll not attempt to describe her it's enough to say she fixed 
my affections, and done for myself. She is own maid to the 
young mistress. I need not expectorate upon the progress 
iv my courtship it's quite enough to observe, that for a consid- 
herable time my path was strewed with flowers, antil a young 
chap an English bliggard, one Peter Clout an' it's many 'a 
the clout he got, the Lord be thanked for that same ! a lump 
iv a chap ten times as ugly as the divil, and without more 
shapes about him than a pound ofcruds an impittant, ignorant, 
presumptions, bothered, bosthoon antil this gentleman 

this Misthur Peter Clout, made his b y appearance ; then 

all at once the divil's delight began. Betsy the lovely 
Betsy Carey - the lovely, the vartious, the beautiful, and the ex- 
alted began to play thricks. I know she was in love with me 
over head and ears, as bad as myself but woman is a 
m)starious agent, an' bangs Banagher. Long as I've been 
larnin', I never could larn why it is they take delight in tor- 
mentin' the tindher-hearted." 

This reflection was uttered in a tone of tender woe, and the 
speaker paused for some symptom of assent from his auditor. 
It is, however, hardly necessary to say that he paused in vain. 



26 The "Cock and A nchor" 

O'Connor had enough to occupy his mind ; and so far from 
listening to his companion's narrative, he was scarcely con- 
scious that Mr. Toole, in bodily presence, was walking beside 
him. That " tindher-hearted" individual accordingly re- 
sumed the thread of his discourse. 

" Bat, at any rate, she laid herself out to make me jealous 
of Peter Clout ; and, with the blessin' iv the divil, she suc- 
ceeded complately. Things were going on this way she 
lettin' OD to be mighty fond iv Peter, an' me gettin' angrier 
an' angrier, and Mr. Clout more an' more impittent every day, 
antill I seen there was no use in purtendin' ; so one mornin' 
when we were both of us myself and Mr. Peter Clout 
clainin' up the things in the pantry, I thought I might as 
well have a bit iv discourse with him when I seen, do ye 
mind, there was no use in mortifyin' the chap with con- 
tempt, for I did not spake to him, good, bad, or indifferent, for 
more than a fortnight, an' he was so ignorant and unmannerly 
he never noticed the differ. When I seen there was no use in 
keepin' him at a distance, says I to him one day in the 
panthry ' Mr. Clout,' says I, ' your conduct in regard iv some 
persons in this house,' says I, ' is iv a description that may be 
shuitable to the English spalpeens,' says I, ' but is about as 
like the conduct of a gintleman,' says I, * asblackin'is to plate 
powder.' So he turns round, an' he looks at me as if I was a 
Pollyphamius. ' Mind your work,' says I, ' young man, an* 
don't be lookin' at me as if I was a hathian godess,' says I. 
' It's Mr. Toole that's speakin' to you, an' you betther mind 
what he says. The long an' the short iv it is, I don't like 
you to be hugger-muggering with a sartain delicate famale in 
this establishment ; an' it' I catch you talkin' any more to 
Misthress Betsy Carey, I give you i'air notice, it's at your 
own apparel. Beware of me for as sure as you don't behave 
to my likin', you might as well be in the one panthry with a 
hyania,' says J, an' it was thrue for me, an' it was the same 
way with my father before me, an' all the Tooles up to the 
time of Noah's ark. In pace I'm a turtle-dove all out; but 
once I'm riz, I'm a rale tarin' vulture." 

Here Mr. Toole paused to call up a look, and after a grim 
shake of the head, he resumed. 

"Things went on aisy enough for a day or two, antill I 
happened to walk into the sarvants' hall, an' who should I see 
but Mr. Clout sittin' on the same stool with Misthriss Betsy, 
an' his arm round her waist so when I see that, before any 
iv them could come between us, with the fair madness 1 made 
one jump at him, an' we both had one another by the windpipe 
before yon'd have time to bless yourself. Well, round an' 
round we went, rowlin' with our heads and backs agin the 
walls, an' divil a spot of us but was black an' blue, antill we 



O'Connor's Moonlight Walk. . 27 

kem to the chimney ; an' sure enough when we did, down we 
rowled both together, glory be to God ! into the fire, an' upset 
a kittle iv wather on top iv us ; an' with that there was sich a 
screechin' among the women, an' maybe a small taste from 
ourselves, that the masthur kem in, an' if he didn't lay on us 
with his walkin' stick it's no matter ; but, at any rate, as soon 
as we recovered from the scaldin' an' the bruises. /retired, an* 
the English chap was turned away ; an' that's the whole story, 
an' I tuk my oath that I'll never go into earvice in a family 
again. I can't make any hand of women they're made for 
desthroyin' all sorts iv pace iv mind they're etarnally triflin' 
with the most sarious and sacred emotions. I'll never sarve 
any but single gentlemen from this out, if I was to be sacri- 
ficed for it never a bit, by the hokey ! '' 

So saying, Mr. Toole, haying, in the course of his harangue, 
reproduced his pipe from his pocket, with a view to flourish it 
in emphatic accompaniment with the cadences of his voice, 
smote the bowl of it upon the edge of his cocked hat, which he 
held in his hand, with so much passion, that the head of the 
pipe flew across the road, and was for ever lost among the 
docks and nettles. One glance he deigned to the stump which 
remained in his hand, and then, with an air of romantic reck- 
lessness which laughs at all sacrifices, he flung it disdainfully 
from him, clapped his cocked hat upon his head with a 
vehemence which brought it nearly to the bridge of his 
nose, and, planting his hands in his breeches pockets, he 
glanced at the stars with a scowl which, if they take any 
note of things terrestrial, must have filled them with alarm. 

Suddenly recollecting himself, Mr. Toole perceived that his 
intended master, having walked on, had left him considerably 
behind ; he therefore put himself into an. easy amble, which 
speedily brought him up with the chase. 

" Mr. O'Connor, plase your honour," he exclaimed, " sure 
it's not possible it's groin' to lave me behind you are, an' me 
so proud iv your company ; an', moreover, after axin' you for 
a situation that is, always supposin' you want the sarvices iv 
a rale dashiu' young fellow, that's up to everything, an' 
willing to sarve you in any incapacity. An' by gorra, sir," 
continued he, pathetically, " it's next door to a charity to take 
me, for I've but one crown in the wide world left, an' I must 
change it to-night ; an' once I change money, the shillin's makes 
off with themselves like a hat full of sparrows into the elements, 
the Lord knows where.'' 

With a desolate recklessness, he chucked the crown-piece into 
the air, caught it in his palm, and walked silently on. 

"Well, well,'' said O'Connor, "if you choose to make so 
uncertain an engagement as for the term of my stay in, 
Dublin, you are welcome to be my servant tor so long." 



28 The " Cock and A nchorl ' 

"It's a bargain," shouted Mr. Toole " a ^ bargain, plase 
your honour, done and done on both, sides. I'm your man 
hurra ! " 

They had already entered the suburbs, and before many 
minutes were involved in the dark and narrow streets, 
threading their way, as best they might, toward the genial 
harbourage cf the ' Cock and Anchor." 



CHAPTER VI. 

THE SOLDIEK TUB NIGHT RAMBLE AND THE WINDOW THAT 
LET IN MOKE THAN THE MOONLIGHT. 

SHOUT as had been O'Connor's sojourn, it nevertheless had 
b^en sufficiently long to satisfy mine host of the "Cock and 
Anchor/' an acute observer in such particulars, that whatever 
his object might have been in avoiding the more fashionably 
frequented inns of the city, economy at least had no share in 
his motive. O'Connor, therefore, had hardly entered the public 
room of the inn, when a servant respectfully informed him 
that a private chamber was prepared for his reception, if he 
desired to occupy it. The proposition suited well with his 
temper at the minute, and with all alacrity he followed the 
waiter, who bowed him upstairs and through a dingy passage 
into a room whose claims, if not to elegance, at least to com- 
fort, could hardly have been equalled, certainly not excelled, 
by the more luxurious pretensions of most modern hotels. 

It was a large, capacious chamber, nearly square, wainscoted 
with dark shining wood, and decorated with certain dingy old 
pictures, which might have been, for anything to the contrary, 
appearing in so uncertain a light, chef* d'ceuvre of the mighty 
masters of the olden time : at all events, they looked as warm 
and comfortable as if they were. The hearth was broad, deep, 
and high enough to stable a Kerry pony, and was surmounted 
by a massive stone mantelpiece, rudely but richly carved 
abundance of old furniture tables, at which the saintly 
Cromwell might have smoked and boozed, and chairs old 
enough to have supported Sir Walter Raleigh himself, were 
disposed about the room with a profuseness which argued no 
niggard hospitality. A pair of wax-lights burned cheerily 
upon a table beside the bright crackling fire which blazed in 
the huge cavity of the hearth ; and O'Connor threw himself 
into one of those cumbrous, tall-backed, and well-stuffed 
chairs, which are in themselves more potent invitations to the 



The Soldier. 29 

sweet illusive visitings from the world of fancy and of dreams 
than all the drugs or weeds of eastern climes. Thus suffering 
all his material nature to rest in absolute repos<% he loosed at 
once the reins of imagination and memory, and yielded up his 
mind luxuriously to their mingled realities and illusions. 

He may have been, perhaps, for two or three hours employed 
thus listlessly in chewing the cud of sweet and bitter fancy, 
when his meditations were interrupted by a brisk step upon 
the passage leading to the apartment in which he sate, 
instantly succeeded by as brisk a knocking at the chamber 
door itself. 

" Is this Mr. O'Connor's chamber ? " inquired a voice of 
peculiar richness, intonated not unpleasingly with a certain 
melodious modification of the brogue, bespeaking a sort of 
passionate devil-may-carishness which they say in the good 
old times wrought grievous havoc among womankind. The 
summons was promptly answered by an invitation to enter ; 
and forthwith the door opened, and a comely man stepped 
into the room. The stranger might have seen some fifty or 
sixty summers, or even more; for his was one of those joyous, 
good-humoured, rubicund visages, upon which time vainly 
tries to write a wrinkle. His frame was robust and upright, 
his stature tall, and there was in his carriage something not 
exactly a swagger (for with all his oddities, the stranger was 
evidently a gentleman), but a certain rollicking carelessness, 
which irresistibly conveyed the character of a reckless, head- 
long good-humour and daring, to which nothing could come 
amiss. In the hale and jolly features, which many would have 
pronounced handsome, were written, in characters which none 
could mistake, the prevailing qualities of the man a gay and 
sparkling eye, in which lived the very soul of convivial jollity, 
harmonized right pleasantly with a smile, no less of archness 
than bonhomie, and in the brow there was a certain inde- 
scribable cock, which looked half pugnacious and half comic. 
On the whole, the stranger, to judge by his outward man, was 
precisely the person to take his share in a spree, be the same 
in joke or earnest to tell a good story finish a good bottle 
share his last guinea with you or blow your brains out, as 
the occasion might require. He was arrayed in a full suit of 
regimentals, and taken for all in all, one need hardly have 
desired a better sample of the dashing, light-hearted, dare- 
devil Irish soldier of more than a century since. 

" Ah ! Major O'Leary," cried O'Connor, starting from hia 
seat, and grasping the soldier's hand, " I am truly glad to 
see you ; you are the very man of all others I most require 
at this moment. I was just about to have a fit of the blue 
devils." 

''Blue devils!" exclaimed the major; "don't talk to a 



30 The "Cock and Anchor'' 

youngster like me of any such infernal beings ; but tell me 
how you are, every inch of you, and what brings you 
here?" 

"I never was better; and as to my business," replied 
O'Connor, " it is too long and too dull a story to tell you just 
now; but in the meantime, let us have a glass of Burgundy ; 
mine host of the 'Cock and Anchor' boasts a very peculiar 
cellar." So saying, O'Connor proceeded to issue the requisite 
order. 

" That does he, by my soul ! " replied the major, with 
alacrity ; " and for that express reason I invariably make it a 
point to renew my friendly intimacy with its contents when- 
ever I visit the metropolis. But I can't stay more than five 
minutes, so proceed to operations with all dispatch." 

'And why all this hurry?" inquired O'Connor. "Where 
need you go at this hour ? " 

" Faith, I don't precisely know myself," rejoined the soldier; 
"but I've a strong impression that my evil genius has con- 
trived a scheme to inveigle me into a cock-pit not a hundred 
miles away." 

"I'm sorry for it, with all my heart, Major," replied 
O'Connor, *' since it robs me of your company." 

" Nay, you must positively come along with me," resumed 
the major ; " I sip my Burgundy on these express conditions. 
Don't leave me at these years without a mentor. I rely upon 
your prudence and experience; if you turn me loose upon 
the town to-night, without a moral guide, upon my con- 
science, you have a great deal to answer for. I may be fleeced 
in a hell, or milled in a row ; and if I fall in with female 
society, by the, powers of celibacy! I can't answer for the 
consequences." 

" Sooth to say, Major," rejoined O'Connor, " I'm in no mood 
for mirth." 

" Come, come ! never look so glum, insisted his visitor. 
" Remember 1 have arrived at years of ^discretion, and must 
be looked after. Man's life, my dear fellow, naturally divides 
itself into three great stages ; the first is that in which the 
youthful disciple is carefully instructing his mind, and pre- 
paring his moral faculties, in silence, for all sorts of villainy 
this is the season of youth and innocence ; the second is that 
in which he practises all kinds of rascality and this is the 
flower of manhood, or the prime of life ; the third and last is 
that in which he strives to make his soul and this is the 
period of dotage. Now, you see, my dear O'Connor, I have 
unfortunately arrived at the prime of life, while you are still 
in the enjoyment of youth and innocence; I am practising 
what you are plotting. You are, unfortunately for yourself, 
a degree more sober than I ; you can therefore take care that 



The Soldier. 3 1 

I sin with due discretion permit me to rob or murder, without 
being robbed or murdered in return." 

Ht-re the major filled and quaffed another glass, and then 
continued, 

"In short, I am to apeak in all solemnity and sobriety 
so drunk, that it's a miracle how I mounted these rascally 
stairs without breaking my neck. I have no distinct recol- 
lection of the passage, except that I kissed some old hunks 
instead of the chamber-maid, and pulled his nose in revenge. 
I solemnly declare I can neither walk nor think without 
assistance ; my heels and head are inclined to change places, 
and I can't tell the moment the body politic may be capsized. 
I have no respect in the world for my intellectual or physical 
endowments at this particular crisis ; my sight is so infernally 
acute that I see all surrounding objects considerably augmented 
in number ; my legs have asserted their independence, and 
perform ' Sir .Roger de Coverley,' altogether unsolicited ; 
jind my memory and other small mental faculties have retired 
for the night. Under those melancholy circumstances, my 
dear fellow, you surely won't refuse me the consolation of 
your guidance.'' 

" Had not you better, my dear Major," said O'Connor, 
" remain with me quietly here for the night, out of the reach of 
sharks and sharpers, male and female? You shall have claret 
or Burgundy, which you please enough to fill a skin ! " 

" I can't hold more than a bottle additional," replied the 
major, regretfully, " if I can even do that ; so you see I'm 
bereft of domestic resources, and must look abroad for occu- 
pation. The fact is, I expect to meet one or two fellows whom 
I want to see, at the place I've named ; so if you can come 
along with me, and keep me from falling into the gutters, or 
any other indiscretion by the way, upon my conscience, you 
will confer a serious obligation on me." 

O'Connor plainly perceived that although the major's state- 
ment had been somewhat overcharged, yet that his admissions 
were not altogether fanciful ; there were in the gallant 
gentleman's face certain symptoms of recent conviviality 
which were not to be mistaken a perceptible roll of the eye, 
and a slight screwing of the lips, which peculiarities, along 
with the faintest possible approximation to a hiccough, and a 
gentle see-saw vibration of his stalwart person, were indi- 
cations highly corroborative of the general veracity of his 
confessions. Seeing that, in good earnest, the major was 
not precisely in a condition to be trusted with the manage- 
ment of anything pertaining to himself or others, O'Connor 
at once resolved to see him, if possible, safely through his 
excursion, if after the discussion of the wine which was now 
before them, he should persevere in his fancy for a night 



32 The "Cock and Anchor" 

ramble. They therefore sate down together in harmonious 
fellowship, to discuss the flasks which stood upon the board. 

O'Connor was about to fill his guest's glass for the tenth 
or twelfth time, when the major suddenly ejaculated, 

" Halt ! ground arms ! I can no more. Why, you hardened 
young reprobate, it's not to make me drank you're trying ? I 
must keep senses enough to behave like a Christian at the 
cock-fight ; and, upon my soul ! I've very little rationality to 
spare at this minute. Put on your hat, and come without 
delay, before I'm fairly extinguished." 

O'Connor accordingly donned his hat and cloak, and 
yielding the major the double support of his arm on the one 
side, and of the banisters on the other, he conducted him 
sat'ely down the stairs, and with wonderful steadiness, all 
things considered, they entered the street, whence, under 
the major's direction, they pursued their way. After a silence 
of a few minutes, that military functionary exclaimed, with 
much gravity, 

" I'm a great social philosopher, a great observer, and one 
who looks quite through the deeds of men. My dear boy, 
believe me, this country is in the process of a great moral 
reformation ; hospitality which I take to be the first, and the 
last, and the only one of all the virtues of a bishop which is fit 
for the practice of a gentleman hospitality, my dear O'Connor, 
is rapidly approaching to a climax in this country. I remem- 
ber, when I was a little boy, a gentleman might pay a visit 
of a week or so to another in the country, and be all the time 
nothing more than tipsy tipsy merely. However, matters 
gradually improved, and that stage which philosophers techni- 
cally term simple drunkenness, became the standard of hospi- 
tality. This passed away, and the sense of the country, in its 
silent but irresistible operation, has substituted blind drunken- 
ness ; and in the prophetic spirit of sublime philosophy, I 
foresee the arrival of that time when no man can escape the 
fangs of hospitality upon any conditions short of brain fever 
or delirium tremens." 

As the major delivered this philosophic discourse, he led 
O'Connor through several obscure streets and narrow lanes, 
till at length he paused in one of the very narrowest and 
darkest before a dingy brick house, whose lower windows were 
secured with heavy bars of iron. The door, which was so 
incrusted with dirt and dust that the original paint was hardly 
anywhere discernible, stood ajar, and within burned a feeble 
and ominous light, so faint and murky, that it seemed fearful 
of disclosing the deeds and forms which itself was forced to 
behold. Into this dim and suspicious-looking place the major 
walked, closely followed by O'Connor. In the hall he was 
encountered by a huge savage-looking fellow, who raised his 



The Soldier. 33 

squalid form lazily from a bench which rested against the wall 
at the further end, and in a low, grutf' voice, like the incipient 
growl ot a roused watch-dog, inquired what they wanted 
there. 

"Why, Mr. Creigan, dou't you know Major O'Leary?" 
inquired that gentleman. "I and a friend have business 
here." 

The man muttered something in the way of apology, and 
opening the dingy lantern in which burned the wretched 
tallow candle which half lighted the place, he snuffed it 
with his tinger and thumb, and while so doing, desired the 
major to proceed. Accordingly, with the precision of one 
who was familiar with every turn of the place, the gallant 
officer led O'Connor through several rooms, lighted in the 
same dim and shabby way, into a corridor leading directly 
to the rearward of the house, and connecting it with gome 
other detached building. As they threaded this long passage, 
the major turned towards O'Connor, who followed him, and 
whispered, 

"Did you mark that ill-looking fellow in the hall ? Poor 
Creigan ! a gentleman ! would you think it? a gentleman 
by birth, and with a snug property, too four hundred good 
pounds a year, and more all gone, like last year's snow, 
chiefly here in backing mains of his own ! poor dog ! 1 
remember him one of the best dressed men on town, and 
now he's fain to pick up a few shillings by the week in the 
place where he lott his thousands ; this is the state of 
man ! " 

As he spoke thus, they had reached the end of the passage. 
The major opened the door which terminated the corridor, and 
thus displayed a scene which, though commonplace enough in 
its ingredients, was, nevertheless, in its coup d'oeil, sufficiently 
striking. In the centre of a capacious and ill-n'nished cham- 
ber stood a circular platform, with a high ledge running 
round it. This arena, some fourteen feet in diameter, was 
surrounded by circular benches, which rose one outside the 
other, in parallel tiers, to the wall. Upon these seats were 
crowded some hundreds of men a strange mixture ; gentle- 
men of birth and honour sate side by side with notorious 
swindlers; noblemen withcoalheavers; simpletons with sharks; 
the unkempt, greasy locks of squalid destitution mingled in 
the curls of the patrician periwig; aristocratic lace and 
embroidery were rubbed by the dusty shoulders of draymen 
and potbovs ; all these gross and glaring contrarieties recon- 
ciled and bound together by one hellish sympathy. All sate 
locked iu breathle>s suspense, every countenance fixed in the 
hard lines of intense, excited anxiety and vigilance ; all 
leaned forward to gaze upon the combat whose crisis was 

D 



34 The "Cock and Anchor!' 

on the point of being determined. Those who occupied the 
back seats had started up, and pressing forward, almost 
crushed those iu front of them to death. Every aperture in 
this living pile was occupied by some eager, haggard, or ruffian 
face ; and, spite of all the pushing, and crowding, and bustling, 
all were silent, as if the powers of voice and utterance were 
unknown among them. 

The effect of this scene, so suddenly presented the crowd 
of ill-looking and anxious faces, the startling glare of light, 
and the unexpected rush of hot air from the place all so 
confounded him, that O'Connor did not for some moments 
direct his attention to the object upon which the gaze of the 
fascinated multitude was concentrated ; when he did so he 
beheld a spectacle, abstractedly, very disproportioned in in- 
terest to the passionate anxiety of which it was the subject. 
Two game cocks, duly trimmed, and having the long and 
formidable steel weapons with which the humane ingenuity of 
"the fancy'' supplies the natural spur of the poor biped, 
occupied the centre of the circular stage which we have de- 
scribed ; one of the birds lay upon his back, beneath the other, 
which had actually sent his spurs through and through his 
opponent's neck. In this posture the wounded animal lay, 
with his beak open, and the blood trickling copiously through 
it upon the board. The victorious bird crowed loud and clear, 
and a buzz began to spread through the spectators, as if the 
battle were already determined, and suspense at an end. 
The " law " had just expired, and the gentlemen whose 
business it was to handle the birds were preparing to with- 
draw them. 

" Twenty to one on the grey cock," exclaimed a large, ill- 
looking fellow, who sat close to the pit, clutching his arms 
in his brawny hands, as if actually hugging himself with glee, 
while he gazed with an exulting grin upon the rombat, whose 
issue seemed now beyond the reach of chance. The challenge 
was, of course, unaccepted. 

"Fifty to one!" exclaimed the same person, still more 
ecstatically. " One hundred to one two hundred to one ! " 

" I'll give you one guinea to two hundred." exclaimed per- 
haps the coolest gambler in that select assembly, young Henry 
Ashwoode, who sat also near the front. 

" Done, Mr. Ashwoode done with you\ it's a bet, sir," said 
the same ill-looking fellow. 

" Done, sir," replied Ashwoode. 

Again the conqueror crowed the shrill note of victory, and 
all seemed over, when, on a sudden, by one of those strange 
vicissitudes of which the annals of the cock-pit afford so many 
examples, the dying bird it may be roused by the vaunting 
challenge of his antagonist with one convulsive spasm, struck 




" Again the conqueror crowed the shrill note of victory." 

To face page 34. 



The Soldier. 35 

both his spurs through and through the head of his opponent, 
who dropped dead upon the table, while the wounded bird, 
springing to his legs, Happed his wings, as if victory had never 
hovered, and then as momentarily fell lifeless on the board, by 
this last heroic feat winning a main on which many thousands 
of pounds depended. A silence for a moment ensued, and 
then there followed the loud exulting cheers of some, and 
the hoarse, bitter blasphemies of others, clamorous expostula- 
tion, hoarse laughter, curses, congratulations, and invectives 
all mingled with the noise occasioned by those who came in or 
went out, the shuffling and pounding of feet, in one torrentaous 
and stunning volume of sound. 

Young Ashwoode having secured and settled all his bets, 
shouldered his way through the crowd, and with some difficulty, 
reached the door at which Major O'Leary and O'Connor were 
standing. 

" How do you do, uncl* 1 ? Were you in the room when I took 
v the two hundred to one? " inquired the young man. 

" By my conscience, I was, Hal, and wish you joy with 
all my heart. It was a sporting bet on both sides, and as 
game a fight as the world ever saw." 

" I must be off," continued the young man. " I promised 
to look in at Lady Stukely's to-night; but before 1 go, you 
must know they are all affronted with you at the manor. The 
girls are positively outrageous, and desired me to command 
your presence to-morrow on pain of excommunication." 

"Give my tender regards to them both," replied the major, 
" and assure them that I will be proud to obey them. But 
dou't you know my friend O'Connor," he added, in a lower 
tone, " you are old acquaintances, I believe ? " 

"Unless my memory deceives me, I have had the honour of 
meeting Mr. O'Connor before," said the young man, with a 
cold bow, which was returned by O'Connor with more than 
equal hauteur. " Recollect, uncle, no excuses," added young 
Ashwoode, as he retreated from the chamber %< you have 
promised to give to-morrow to the girls. Adieu." 

"There goes as finished a specimen of a mad-cnp, rake- 
helly young devil as ever carried the name of Ashwoode or 
the blood of the O'Leary X" observed the uncle; " but come, 
wft must look to the sport." 

So saying, the major, exerting his formidable strength, and 
accompanying his turbulent progress with a large distribution 
of apologetic and complimentary speeches of the most high- 
flown kind, shoved and jostled his way to a vacant place near 
the front of the benches, and, seating himself there, began 
to give and take bets to a large amount upon the next main. 
Tired of the noise, and nearly stifled with the heat of the 
place, O'Connor, seeing that the major was resolved to act 

D 2 



3 6 The ' ' Cock and A nchor" 

independently of him, thought that he might as well consult 
his own convenience as stay there to be stunned and suffo- 
cated without any prospect of expediting the major's retreat ; 
he therefore turned about and retraced his steps through 
the passage wl:ich we have mentioned. The grateful cool- 
ness of the air, and the lassitude induced by the scene in 
which he had t*ken a part, though no very prominent one, 
induced him to pause in the first room to which the passage, 
as we have said, gave access ; and happening to espy a bench 
in one of the recesses of the windows, he threw himself upon 
it, thoroughly to receive the visit ings of the cool, hovering 
air. As he lay listless and silently upon this rude couch, 
he was suddenly disturbed by a sound of someone treading 
the yard beneath. A figure sprang across toward the window ; 
and almost instantaneously Larry Toole for the moonlight 
clearly revealed the features of the intruder was presented 
at the aperture, and with an energetic sprinsr, accompanied 
by a no less energetic, devotional ejaculation, that worthy 
vaulted into the chamber, agitated, excited, and apparently 
at his wits' end. 



CHAPTER VII. 

THREE GRIM FIGURES IN A LONELY LANE TWO QUEER GUESTS 
HIDING TO TO>Y BLIGH'S THE WATCHER IN DANGER AND 
THE HIGHWAYMEN. 

A LIBERAL and unsolicited attention to the a.ffairs of other 
people, was one among the many amiable peculiarities of Mr. 
Laurence Toole : he had hardly, therefore, seen the major and 
O'Connor fairly beyond the threshold of the " Cock and 
Anchor/' when he donned his cocked hat and followed their 
steps, allowing, however, an interval sufficiently long to secure 
himself against detection. Larry Toole well knew the pur- 
poses to which the squalid mansion which we have described 
was dedicated, and having listened for a few moments at the 
door, to allow his master and his companion time to reach 
the inner sanctuary of vice and brutality, whither it was the 
will of Major O'Leary to lead his reluctant friend, this faithful 
squire entered at the half -open door, and began to traverse 
the passage which we have before mentioned. He was not, 
however, permitted long to do so undisturbed. The grim sen- 
tinel of these unhallowed regions on a sudden upreared his 
towering propoitions, heaving his huge shoulders with a very 



Three Grim Figures. 37 

unpleasant appearance of preparation for an effort, and with 
two or three formidable strides, brought himself up with the 
presumptuous intruder. 

" What do you want here eh ! you. d d scarecrow ? '' 

exclaimed the porter, in a tone which made the very walls to 
vibrate. 

Larry was too much astounded to reply he therefore re- 
mained mute and motionless. 

'* See, my good cove," observed the gaunt porter, in the 
same impressive accents of admonition " make yourself scarce, 
d'ye mind ; and if you want to see the pit, go round we don t 
let potboys and pickpockets in at this side cut and run, or 
I'll have to give you a lift." 

Larry was no poltroon ; but another glance at the colossal 
frame of the porter quelled effectually whatever pugnacious 
movements might have agitated his soul ; and the little man, 
having deigned one look of infinite contempt, which told his 
antagonist, as plainly as any look could do, that he owed his 
personal safety solely and exclusively to the sublime and un- 
merited pity of Mr. Laurence Toole, that dignitied individual 
turned on his heel, and withdrew somewhat precipitately 
through the door which he had just entered. 

The porter grinned, rolled his quid luxuriously till it made 
the grand tour of his mouth, shrugged his square shoulders, 
and burst into a harsh chuckle. Such triumphs as the one he 
had just enjoyed, were the only sweet drops which mingltd in 
the bitter cup of his savage existence. Meanwhile, our ro- 
mantic friend, traversing one or two dark lanes, made his way 
easily enough to the more public entrance of this temple of 
fortune. The door which our friend Larry now approached 
lay at the termination of a long and narrow lane, enclosed on 
each side with dead walls of brick at the far end towered the 
dark outline of the building, and over the arched doorway 
burned a faint and dingy light, without strength enough to 
illuminate even the bricks against which it hung, and serving 
only in nights of extraordinary 'darkness as a dim, solitary 
star, by which the adventurous night rambler might shape 
his course. The moon, however, was now shining broad and 
clear into the broken lane, revealing every inequality and 
pile of rubbish upon its surface, and throwing one side of 
the enclosure into black, impenetrable shadow. Without 
premeditation or choice, it happened that our friend Larry 
was \valking at the dark side of the lane, and shrouded in the 
deep obscurity he advanced leisurely toward the doorway. 
As he proceeded, his attention was arrested by a figure which 
presented itself at the entrance of the building, accompanied 
by two others, as it appeared, about to pass forth into the lane 
through which he himself was moving. They were engaged 



38 The "Cock and Anchor." 

in animated deV>ate as they approached the conversation 
was conducted in low and earnest tones their gestures were 
passionate and sudden their progress interrupted by many 
halts and the party evinced certain sinister indications of 
uneasy vigilance and caution, which impressed our friend 
with a dark suspicion of mischief, which was strengthened 
by his recognition of two of the persons composing the little 
group. His curiosity was irresistibly piqued, and he instinc- 
tively paused, lest the sound of his advancing steps should 
disturb the conference, and more than half in the undefined 
hope that he might catch the substance of their conversation 
before his presence should be detected. In this object he was 
perfectly successful. 

In the form which first offered itself, he instantly detected 
the well-known proportions and features of young Ashwoode's 
groom, who had attended his master into town ; and in com- 
pany with this fellow stood a person whom Larry had just 
as little difficulty in recognizing as a ruffian who had twice 
escaped the galljws by the critical interposition of fortune 
once by a flaw in the indictment, and again through lack of 
sufficient evidence in law each time having stood his trial on. 
a charge of murder. It was not very wonderful, then, that 
this startling companionship between, his old fellow- servant 
and Will Harris (or, as he was popularly termed, " Brimstone 
Bill") should have piqued the curiosity of so inquisitive a 
person as Larry Toole. 

In company with these worthies was a third, wrapped in a 
heavy riding-coat, and who now and then slightly took part 
in the conversation. They all talked in low, earnest whispers, 
casting many a stealthy glance backward as they advanced 
through the dim avenue toward our curious friend. 

As the party approached, Larry ensconced himself in the 
recess formed by the projection of two dilapidated brick piers, 
between which hung a crazy door, and in whose front there 
stood a mound of rubbish some three feet in height. In 
such a position he not unreasonably thought himself perfectly 
secure. 

" Why, what the devil ails you now, you cursed cowardly 
ninny," whispered Brimstone Bill, through his set teeth 
" what can happen you, win or lose ? turn up black, or turn 
up red, is it not all one to you, you mouth, you ? Your carcase 
is safe and sound then what do you funk for now p Bouse 

yourself, you d d idiot, or I'll drive a brace of lead pellets 

through your brains louse yourself ! " 

Thus speaking, he shook the groom roughly by the collar. 

" Stop, Bill hands off," muttered the man, sulkily " I'm 
not funking you know I'm not ; but 1 don't want to see him 
finished I don't want to see him murdered when there's no 



Three Grim Figures. 39 

occasion for it there's no great harm in that ; we want his 
ribben,not his blood ; there's no profit in taking his life.'' 

" Booby ! listen to me," replied the ruffian, in the same 
tone of intense impatience. " What do / want with his life 
any more than you do ? Nothing. Do not I wish to do the 
thing genteelly as much as youF He shall not lose a drop of 
blood, nor his skin have a scratch, if he knows how to behave 
and be a good boy. Bah ! we need but show him the lead 
towels, and the job's done. Look yon, I and Jack will sit in 
the private room of the 'Bleeding Horse.' Old Tony's a 
trump, and asks no questions ; so, as yon pass, give the 
window a skelp of the whip, and we'll be out in the snapping 
of a flint. Leave the rest to us. Yon have your instructions, 
you kedger, so act up to them, and the devil himself can't 
spoil our sport." 

" You may look out for us, then," said the servant, " in less 
than two hours. He never stays late at Lady Stukely's, and 
he must be home before two o'clock." 

" Do not forget to grease the hammers," suggested the 
fellow in the heavy coat. 

" He doesn't carry pistols to-night," replied the attendant. 

" 80 much the better all my luck," exclaimed Brimstone 
" I would not swap luck with the chancellor." 

" The devil's children, they say," observed the gentleman in 
the large coat, "have the devil's luck." 

These were the last words Larry Toole could distinguish as 
the party moved onward. He ventured, however, although 
with grievous tremors, to peep out of his berth to ascertain 
the movements of the party. They all stopped at a distance 
of some twenty or thirty yards from the spot where he crouched, 
and for a time appeared again absorbed in earnest debate. 
On a sudden, however, the fellow in the riding-coat, having 
frequently looked suspiciously up the lane in which they 
stood, stooped down, and, picking up a large stone, hurled it 
with his whole force in the direction of the embrasure in which 
Larry was lurking. The missile struck the projecting pier 
within a yard of that gentleman's head, with so much force 
that the stone burst into fragments and descended in a shower 
of splinters about his ears. This astounding salute was 
instantly followed by an occurrence still more formidable 
for the ruffian, not satisfied with the test already applied, 
strode up in person to the doorway in which Larry had placed 
himself. It was well for that person that he was sheltered in 
front by the mass of rubbish which we have mentioned : at 
the foot of this he lay coiled, not daring even to breathe ; 
every moment expecting to feel the cold point of the villain's 
sword poking against his ribs, and half inclined to start upon 
his feet and shout for help, although conscious that to do so 



40 The " Cock and A nc/wr" 

would scarcely leave him a chance for his life. The suspicions 
of the wretch were, fortunately for Larry, ill-directed. He 
planted one foot upon the heap of loose materials which, along 
with the deep shadow, constituted poor Mr. Toole's only safe- 
guard ; and while the stones which his weight dislo.Jged 
rolled over that prostrate person, he pushed open the door and 
gazed into the yard, lest any inquisitive ear or eye might have 
witnessed more than was consistent with the safety of the 
confederates of Brimstone Bill. The fellow was satisfied, and 
returned whistling, with affected carelessness, towards his 
comrades. 

More dead than alive, Larry remained mute and motionless 
for many minutes, not daring to peep forth from his hiding- 
place ; when at length he mustered courage to do so, he saw 
the two robbers still together, and again shrunk back into his 
retreat. Luckily for the poor wight, the fellow who had 
looked into the yard left the door unclosed, which, after a little 
lime perceiving, Larry glided stealthily in on all fours, and in 
u twinkling sprang into the window at which his master lay, 
as we have already recorded. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

THE WARNING SHOWING HOW LARRY TOOLE FARED WHOM HE 
SAW AND WHAT HE SAID AND HOW MUCH GOOD AND HOW 
LITTLE HE DID AND MOREOVER RELATING HOW SOMEBODY 
WAS LAID IN THE MIRE AND HOW HENRY ASHWOODE PUT 
HIS FOOT IN THE STIRRUP. 

FLURRIED and frightened as Larry was, his agitation was not 
strong enough to overcome m him the national, instinctive 
abhorrence of the character of an informer. To the close in- 
terrogatories of his master, he returned but vague and evasive 
answers. A few dark hints he threw out as to the cause of 
his alarm, but preserved an impenetrable silence respecting 
alike its particular nature and the persons of whose partici- 
pation in the scheme he was satisfied. 

In language incoherent and nearly unintelligible from ex- 
citement, he implored O'Connor to allow him to absent him- 
self for about one hour, promising the most important results, 
in case his request was complied with, and vowing upon his 
return to tell him everything about the matter from beginning 
to end. 

Seeing the agonized earnestness of the man, though wholly 
uuinformed of the cauae of his uneasiness, which Larry con- 



The Warning. 4 1 

stantly refused to divulge, O'Connor granted him the per- 
mission which he desired, and both left the building together. 
O'Connor pursued his way to the " Cock and Anchor,'' where, 
restored to his chamber and to solitude, he abandoned himself 
once more to the current of his wayward thoughts. 

Our friend Larry, however, was no sooner disengaged from 
his master, than he began, at his utmost speed, to thread the 
narrow and complicated lanes and streets which lay between 
the haunt of profligacy which we have just described, and the 
eastern extremity of the city. After an interrupted run of 
nearly half an hour through pitchy dark and narrow streets, 
he emerged into Stephen's Green ; at the eastern side of which, 
among other buildings of lesser note, there then stood, and 
perhaps (with a new face, and some slight external changes) 
still stands, a large and handsome mansion. Toward this 
building, conspicuous in the distance by the red glare of 
dozens of links and torches which flared and flashed outside, 
and by the gay light streaming from its many windows, Larry 
made his way. Too eager and hurried to pass along the sides 
of the square by the common road, he clambered over the 
broken wall which surrounded it, plunged through the broad 
trench, and ran among the deep grass and rank weeds, now 
heavy with the dews of night ; over the broad area he pur- 
sued his way, startling the quiet cattle from their midnight 
slumbers, and hastening rather than abating his speed, as he 
drew near to the termination of his hurried mission. As he 
approached, the long dark train of carriages, every here and 
there lighted by some flaming link still unextinguished, and 
surrounded by crowds of idle footmen, sufficiently indicated 
the scene of Lady Stukely's hospitalities. In a moment 
Larry had again crossed the fences which enclosed the square, 
and passing the broad road among the carriages, chairs, and 
lackeys, he sprang up the steps of the house, and thundered 
lustily at the hall-door. It was opened by a gruff and corpu- 
lent porter with a red face and majestic demeanour, who, 
having learned from Larry that he had an important message 
for Mr. Henry Ashwoode, desired him, in as few words as 
possible, to step into the hall. The official then swung the 
massive door to, rolled himself into his well-cushioned throne, 
and having scanned Larry's proportions for a minute or two 
with one eye, which he kept halt open for such purposes, he 
ejaculated 

" Mr. Finley, I say, Mr. Finley, here's one with a message 
upwards." Having thus delivered himself, he shut down his 
open eye, screwed his eyebrows, and became absorbed in ab- 
struse meditation. Meanwhile, Mr. Finley, in person arrayed 
in a rich livery, advanced languidly toward Larry Toole, 
throwing into his face a dreamy and supercilious expression, 



42 The "Cock and A nchor." 

while with one hand he faintly fanned himself with a white 
pocket handkerchief. 

" Your most obedient servant to command," drawled the 
footman, as he advanced. " What can I do, my good soul, to 
obleege you ? '' 

" 1 only want to see the young master that's young Mr. 
Ashwoode,'' replied Larry, "for one minute, and that's all." 

The footman gazed upon him for a moment with a languid 
smile, and observed in the same sleepy tone, " Absolutely 
impossible amposseeble, as they say at the Pallais Royal." 

"But, blur an' agers," exclaimed Larry, "it's a matther iv 
life an' death, robbery an' murdher." 

" Bloody murder ! " echoed the man in a sweet, low voice, 
and with a stare of fashionable abstraction. 

" Well, tear an' 'ounV cried Larry, almost beside himself 
with impatience, "if you won't bring him down tome, will 
you even as much as carry him a message ? " 

"To say the truth, and upon my honour," replied the man, 
" I can't engage to climb up stairs just now, they are so 
devilish fatiguing. Don't you find them so ? " 

The question was thrown out in that vacant, inattentive 
way which seems to dispense with an answer. 

" By my soul ! " rejoined Larry, almost crying with vexation, 
"it's a hard case. Do you mane to tell me, you'll neither 
bring him down to me nor carry him up a message ? " 

"You have, my excellent fellow," replied the footman, 
placidly, " precisely conveyed my meaning." 

" By the hokey ! " cried Larry, "you're fairly breaking my 
heart. In the divil's name, can you as much as let me stop 
here till he's comin' down ? '' 

" Absolutely impossible," replied the footman, in the same 
dulcet and deliberate tone. " It is indeed amposseeble, as the 
Parisians have it. You must be aware, my good old soul, 
that you're in a positive pickle. You are, pardon me, my 
excellent friend, very dirty and very disgusting. You must 
therefore go out in a few moments into the fresh air.'' At 
any other moment, such a speech would have infallibly pro- 
voked Mr. Toole's righteous and most rigorous vengeance; 
but he was now too completely absorbed in the mission which 
he had undertaken to suffer personal considerations to have a 
place in his bosom. 

" Will you, then," he ejaculated desperately, " will you as 
much, as give him a message yourselfj when he's comin' 
down?" 

" What message ? " drawled the lackey. 

"Tell him, for the love of God, to take the old road home, 
by the seven sallies," replied Larry. "Will you give him 
that message, if it isn't too long ? " 



The Warning. 43 

"I have a wretched memory for messages," observed the 
footman, as he leisurely opened the door u a perfect sieve : 
but should he catch my eye as he passes, I'll endeavour, upon 
my honour ; good night adieu ! " 

As he thus spoke, Larry had reached the threshold of the 
door, which observing, the polished footman, with a non- 
chalant and easy air, slammed the hall-door, thereby ad- 
ministering upon Larry's back, shoulders, and elbows, such 
a bang as to cause Mr. Toole to descend the night of steps at 
a pace much more marvellous to the spectators than agreeable 
to himself. Muttering a bitter curse upon his exquisite 
acquaintance, Larry took his stand among the expectants in 
the street ; there resolved to wait and watch for young Ash- 
woode, and to give him the warning which so nearly concerned 
his safety. 

.Meanwhile, Lady Stukely's drawing-rooms were crowded by 
the gay, the fashionable, and the frivolous, of all ages. Young 
Ashwoode stood behind his wealthy hostess's chair, while she 
played quadrille, scarce knowing whether she won or lost, for 
Henry Ashwoode had never been so fascinating before. Lady 
Stukely was a delicate, die-away lady, not very far from sixty ; 
the natural blush upon her nose outblazoned the rouge upon 
her cheeks ; several very long teeth " ivory and ebon alter- 
nately " peeped roguishly from beneath her upper lip, which 
her ladyship had a playful trick of screwing down, to conceal 
them a trick which made her ladyship's smile rather a sur- 
prising than an attractive exhibition. It is but justice, how- 
ever, to admit that she had a pair of very tolerable eyes, with 
which she executed the most masterly evolutions. For the 
rest, there having existed a very considerable disparity in 
years between herself and her dear deceased, Sir Charles 
Stukely, who had expired at the mature age of ninety, more 
than a year before, she conceived herself still a very young, 
artless, and interesting girl ; and under this happy halluci- 
nation she was more than half inclined to return in good 
earnest the disinterested affection of Henry Ashwoode. 

There, too, was old Lord Aspenly, who had, but two days 
before, solicited and received Sir Richard A^hwoode's per- 
mission to pay his court to his beautiful daughter, Mary. 
There, jerking and shrugging and grimacing, he hobbled 
through the rooms, all wrinkles and rappee ; bandying com- 
pliments and repartees, flirting and tooling, and beyond 
measure enchanted with himself, while every interval in 
frivolity and noise was filled up with images of his approaching 
nuptials and intended bride, while she, poor girl, happily 
unconscious of all their plans, was spared, for that night, the 
pangs and struggles which weie hereafter but too severely to 
try her heart. 



44 The "Cock and Anchor." 

'Twere needless to enumerate noble peers, whose very titles 
are now unknown poets, who alas ! were mortal men of 
promise, who performed nothing clever young men, who grew 
into stupid old ones and millionaires, whose money perished 
with them ; we shall not, therefore, weary the reader by de- 
scribing Lady Stukely's guests ; let it suffice to mention that 
Henry Ashwoode left the rooms with young Pigwiggynne, of 
Bolton's regiment of dragoons, and one of Lord Wharton's 
aides-de-camp. This circumstance is here recorded because it 
had an effect in producing the occurrences which we have to 
relate by-and-by ; for young Pigwigjjynne having partaken 
somewhat freely of Lady Stukely's wines, and being unusually 
exhilarated, came forth from the hall-door to assist Ashwoode 
in procuring a chair, which he did with a good deal more 
noise and blasphemy than was strictly necessary. Our friend 
Larry Toole, who had patiently waited the egress of his 
quondam young master, no sooner beheld him than he hastened 
to accost him, but Pigwiggynne being, as we have said, in high 
spirits and unusual good humour, cut short poor Larry's 
address by jocularly knocking him on the head with a heavy 
walking-cane a pleasantry which laid that person senseless 
upon the pavement. The humorist passed on with an ex- 
hilarating crow, after the manner of a cock ; and had not a 
matter-of-fact chairman drawn Mr. Toole from among the 
coach-wheels where the joke had happened to lay him, we 
might have been saved the trouble of recording the subsequent 
history of that very active member of society. Meanwhile, 
young Ashwoode was conveyed in a chair to a neighbouring 
fashionable hotel, where, having changed his suit, and again 
equipped himself for the road, he mounted his horse, and 
followed by his treacherous groom, set out at a brisk pace 
upon his hazardous, and as it turned out, eventful night-ride 
toward the manor of Morley Court. 



CHAPTEE IX. 

THE "BLEEDING HORSE'' HOLLANDS AND PIPES FOR TWO 
EVERY BULLET HAS ITS BILLET. 

AT the time in which the events that we have undertaken 
to record took place, there stood at the southern extremity of 
the city, near the point at which Camden Street now ter- 
minates, a small, old-fashioned building, something between 
an ale-house and an inn. It occupied the roadside by no 
means unpicturesquely ; one gable jutted into the road, with a 



The "Bleeding Horse" 4 5 

projecting window, which stood out from the building like a 
glass box held together by a massive frame of wood ; and 
commanded by this projecting gable, and a few yards in re- 
treat, but facing the road, was the inn door, over which hung 
a painted panel, representing a white horse, out of whose neck 
there spouted a crimson cascade, and underneath, in large 
letters, the traveller was informed that this was the genuine old 
" Bleeding Horse." Old enough, in all conscience, it appeared 
to be, for the tiled roof, except where the ivy clustered over it, 
was crowded with weeds of many kinds, and the boughs of the 
huge trees which embowered it had cracked and shattered 
one of the cumbrous chimney-stacks, and in many places it 
was evident that but for the timely interposition of the saw 
and the axe, the giant limbs of the old timber would, in the 
gradual increase of years, have forced their way through the 
roof and the masonry itself a tendency su fficiently indicated by 
sundry indentures and rude repairs in those parts of the 
building most exposed to such casualties. Upon the night in 
which the events that are recorded in the immediately pre- 
ceding chapters occurred, two horsemen rode up to this inn, 
and leisurely entering the stable yard, dismounted, and gave 
their horses in charge to a ragged boy who acted as hostler, 
directing him with a few very impressive figures of rhetoric, 
on no account 1o loosen girth or bridle, or to suffer the beasts 
to stir one yard from the spot where they stood. This matter 
settled, they entered the house. Both were muffled; the one 
a large, shambling fellow wore a capacious riding-coat; 
the other a small, wiry man was wrapped in a cloak ; both 
wore their hats pressed down over their brows, and had drawn 
their mufflers up, so as to conceal the lower part of the face. 
The lesser of the two men, leaving his companion in the 
passage, opened a door, within which were a few fellows 
drowsily toping, and one or two asleep. In a chair by the 
fire sat Tony Bligh, the proprietor of the " Bleeding Horse,'' 
a middle-aged man, rather corpulent, as pale as tallow, and 
with a sly, ugly squint. The little man in the cloak merely 
introduced his head and shoulders, and beckoned with his 
thumb. The signal, though scarcely observed by one other of 
the occupants of the room, was instantly and in silence obeyed 
by the landlord, who, casting one uneasy glance round, glided 
across the floor, and was in the passage almost as soon as the 
gentleman in the cloak. 

" Here, Tony, boy," whispered the man, as the innkeeper 
approached, "fetch us a pint of Hollands, a couple of pipes, 
and a glim ; but first turn the key in this door here, and come 
yourself, do ye mind?" 

Tony squeezed the speaker's arm in token of acquiescence, 
and turning a key gently in the lock, he noiselessly opened 



46 The "Cock and A nckor" 

the door which Brimstone Bill had indicated, and the two 
cavaliers strode into the dark and vacant chamber. Brim- 
stone walked to the window, pushed open the casement, and 
leaned out. The beautiful moon was shining above the old 
and tnfted trees which lined the quiet road ; he looked up and 
down the shaded avenue, but nothing was moving upon it, 
save the varying shadows as the night wind swung the 
branches to and fro. He listened, but no sound reached his 
ears, excepting the rustling and moaning of the boughs, 
through which the breeze was fitfully soughing. 

Scarcely had he drawn back again into the room, when Tony 
returned with the refreshments which the gentleman had 
ordered, and with a dark lantern enclosing a lighted candle. 

" Eight, old cove,' 3 said Bill. " I see you hav'n't forgot the 
trick of the trade. Who are jour pals inside ? " 

" Three of them sleep here to-night,' ; replied Tony. " They're 
all quiet coves enough, such as doesn't hear nor see any more 
than they ought." 

The two fellows filled a pipe each, and lighted them at the 
lantern. 

" What mischief are you after now, Bill? " inquired the host, 
with a peculiar leer. 

" Why should I be after any mischief," replied Brimstone 
jocularly, " any more than a sucking dove, eh ? Do I look 
like mischief to-night, old tickle-pitcher do I ? " 

He accompanied the question with a peculiar grin, which 
mine host answered by a prolonged wink ot no less peculiar 
significance. 

*' Well, Tony boy," rejoined Bill, "maybe I am and maybe 
I aint that's the way : but mind, you did not see a stim of 
me, nor of him, to-night (yrlancing at his comrade), nor ever, 
for that matter. But you did see two ill-looking fellows not 
a bit like us ; and 1 have a notion that these two chaps will 
manage to get into a sort of shindy before an hour's over, and 
then mizzle at once; and if all goes well, your hand shall be 
crossed with gold to-night." 

" Bill, Bill," said the landlord, with a smile of exquisite 
relish, and drawing his hand coaxingly over the man's fore- 
head, so as to smooth the curls of his periwig nearly into his 
eyes, " you're just the same old dodger you are the devil's 
own bird you have not cast a feather." 

It is hard to say how long this tender scene might have 
continued, had not the other ruffian knocked his knuckles 
sharply on the table, and cried 

"Hist! brother ch ise it enough fooling I hear a horse- 
shoe on the road." 

All held their breath, and remained motionless for a time. 
The fellow was, however, mistaken. Bill again advanced to 
the window, and gazed intently through the long vista of trees. 



The "B/eeding Horse." 47 

" There's not a bat stirring," said he, returning to the table, 
and rilling out successively two glasses of spirits, he emptied 
them both. "Meanwhile, Tony," continued he, "get back to 
your company. Some of the fellows may be poking their 
noses into this place. If you don't hear from me, at all events 
you'll hear of me before an hour. Hop the twig, boy, and 
keep all hard in for a bit skip/' 

With a roguish grin and a shake of the fist, honest Tony, 
not caring to dispute the commands of his friend, of whose 
temper he happened to know something, stealthily withdrew 
from the room, where we, too, shall for a time leave these 
worthy gentlemen of the road vigilantly awaiting the approach 
of their victim. 

Larry Toole had no sooner recovered his senses which was 
in less than a minute than he at once betook himself to the 
" Cock and Anchor,' 3 resolved, as the last resource, to inform 
O'Connor of the fact that an attack was meditated. Accord- 
ingly, he hastened with very little ceremony into the presence 
of his master, told him that young Ashwoode was to be way- 
laid upon the road, near the " Bleeding Horse," and im- 
plored him, without the loss of a moment, to ride in that 
direction, with a view, if indeed it might not already be too 
late, to intercept his passage, and forewarn him of the danger 
which awaited him. 

Without waiting to ask one useless question, O'Connor, 
before five minutes were passed, was mounted on his trusty 
horse, and riding at a hard pace through the dark streets 
towards the point of danger. 

Meanwhile, young Ashwoode, followed by his mounted 
attendant, proceeded at a brisk trot in the direction of the 
manor; his brain filled with a thousand busy thoughts and 
schemes, among which, not the least important, were sundry 
floating calculations as to the probable and possible amount 
of Lady Stukely's jointure, as well as some conjectures respect- 
ing the maximum duration of her ladyship's life. Involved in 
these pleasing ruminations, sometimes crossed by no less 
agreeable recollections, in which the triumphs of vanity and 
the successes of the gaming-table had their share, he had now 
reached that shadowy and silent part of the road at which 
stood the little inn, embowered in the great old trees, and 
peeping forth with a sort of humble and friendly aspect, 
bnt ill-according wilh the dangerous designs it served to 
shelter. 

Here the servant, falling Fomewhat further behind, brought 
his horse close under the projecting window of the inn as he 
passed, and with a sharp cut of his whip gave the concerted 
signal. Before sixty seconds had elapsed, two well-mounted 
cavaliers were riding at a hard gallop in their wake. At this 



48 The " Cock and A nchcr" 

headlong pace, the foremost of the two horsemen had passed 
Ashwoode by some dozen yards, when, checking his horse so 
suddenly as to throw him back upon his haunches, he wheeled 
him round, and plunging the spurs deep into his flanks, with 
two headlong springs, he dashed him madly upon the young 
man's steed, hurling the beast and his rider to the earth. 
Tremendous as was the fall, young Ashwoode, remarkable 
alike for personal courage and activity, was in a moment upon 
his feet, with his sword drawn, ready to receive the assault of 
the ruffian. 

" Let go your skiver drop it, you greenhorn," cried the 
fellow, hoarsely, as he wheeled round his plunging horse, and 

drew a pistol from the holster, " or, by the eternal , I'll 

blow your head into dust ! " 

Young Ashwoode attempted to seize the reins of the fellow's 
horse, and made a desperate pass at the rider. 

" Take it, then,'' cried the fellow, thrusting the muzzle of the 
pistol into Ashwoode's face and drawing the trigger. Fortu- 
nately for Ashwoode, the pistol missed fire, and almost at the 
same moment the rapid clang of a horse's hoofs, accompanied 
by the loud shout of menace, broke startlingly upon his ear. 
Happy was this interruption for Henry Ashwoode, for, stunned 
and dizzy from the shock, he at that moment tottered, and in 

the next was prostrate upon the ground. " Blowed, by ! " 

cried the villain, furiously, as the unwelcome sounds reached 
his ears, and dashing the spurs into his horse, he rode at a 
furious gallop down the road towards the country. This scene 
occupied scarce six seconds in the acting. Brimstone Bill, who 
had but a moment before come up to the succour of his com- 
rade, also heard the rapid approach of the galloping hoofs 
upon the road ; he knew that before he could count fifty seconds 
the new comer would have arrived. A few moments, however, 
he thought he could spare important moments th^y turned 
out to be to one of the party. Bill kept his eye steadily fixed 
upon the point some three or four hundred yards distant at 
which he knew the horseman whose approach was announced 
must first appear. 

In that brief moment, the cool-headed villain had rapidly 
calculated the danger of the groom's committing his accom- 
plices through want of coolness and presence of mind, should 
he himself, as was not unlikely, become suspected. The groom's 
pistols were still loaded, and he had taken no part in the 
conflict. Brimstone Bill fixed a stern glance upon his com- 
panion while all these and other thoughts flashed like 
lightning across his brain. 

' Darby," said he, hurriedly, to the man who sat half- 
stupen'ed in the saddle close beside him, " blaze off the lead 
towels crack them off, 1 say." 






The "Bleeding Horse." 



49 



Bill impatiently leaned forward, and himself drew the pistols 
from the groom's saddle-bow ; he fired one of them in the air 
he cocked the other. " This dolt will play the devil with us 
all," thought he, looking with a peculiar expression at the 
bewildered servant. With one hand he grasped him by the 
collar to steady his aim, and with the other, suddenly thrusting 



< 




the pistol to his ear, and drawing the trigger, he blew the 
wretched man's head into fragments like a potsherd ; and 
wheeling his horse's head about, he followed his comrade pell- 
mell, beating the sparks in showers from the stony road at 
every plunge. 

All this occurred in fewer moments than it has taken us lines 



5O The "Cock and Anchor" 

to describe it ; and before our friend Brimstone Bill had 
secured the odds which his safety required, O'Connor was 
thundering at a furious gallop within less than a hundred 
yards of him. Bill saw that his pursuer was better mounted 
than he to escape, therefore, by a fair race was out of the 
question. His resolution was quickly taken. By a suddeii 
and powerful effort he reined in his horse at a single pull, and, 
with one rearing wheel, brought him round upon his antagonist ; 
at the same time, drawing one of the large pistols from the 
saddle-bow, he rested it deliberately upon his bridle-arm, and 
tired at his pursuer, now within twenty yards of him. The 
ball passed so close to O'Connor's head that his ear rang shrilly 
with the sound of it for hours after. They had now closed ; 
the highwayman drew his second pistol from the holster, and 
each fired at the same instant. O'Connor's shot was well 
directed it struck his opponent in the bridle-arm, a little 
below the shoulder, shattering the bone to splinters. With a 
hoarse shriek of agony, the fellow, scarce knowing what he did, 
forced the spurs into his horse's si<les; and the animal reared, 
wheeled, and bore its rider at a reckless speed in the direction 
which his companion had followed. 

It was well for him that the shot, which at the same moment 
he had discharged, had not been altogether misdirected. 
O'Connor, indeed, escaped unscathed, but the ball struck nig 
horse between the eyes, and piercing the brain, the poor beast 
reared upright and fell dead upon the road. Extricating him- 
self from the saddle, O'Connor returned to the spot where 
young Ashwoode and the servant still lay. Stunned and 
dizzy with the fall which he had had, the excitement of actual 
conflict was no sooner over, than Ashwoode sank back into a 
state of insensibility. In this condition O'Connor found him, 
pale as death, and apparently lifeless. Raising him against 
the grassy bank at the roadside, and having cast some water 
from a pool close by into his face, he saw him speedily recover. 

"Mr. O'Connor," said Ashwoode, as soon as he was suffi- 
ciently restored, "you have saved my life how can I thank 
you ? " 

" Spare your thanks, sir," replied O'Connor, haughtily ; 
"for any man I would have done as much for anyone 
bearing your name I would do much more. Are you hurt, 
sir?" 

" O'Connor, I have done you much injustice,'' said the young 
man, betrayed for the moment into something like genuine 
feeling. "You must forget and forgive it I kaow_your 
feelings respecting others of my family henceforward I will 
be your friend do not refuse my hand." 

"Henry Ashwoode," replied O'Connor, " I take your hand 
gladly forgetting all past causes of resentment but I waut no 



The Master of Morley Court. 5 1 

vows of friendship, which to-morrow you may regret. Act 
with regard to me henceforward as it' this night had not been 
for I tell you truly again, that I would have done as much 
for the meanest peasant breathing as I have done to-night 
for you ; and once more I pray you tell me, are you much 
hurt?" 

"Nothing, iioth ; ng," replied Ashwoode " merely a fall such 
as I have had a thousand times after the hounds. It has 
made my head swim confoundedly ; but I'll soon be steady. 
What, in the meantime, has become of honest Darby ? If I 
mistake not, I see his horse browsing there by the roadside." 

A fow steps showed them what seemed a bundle of clothes 
lying heaped upon the road ; they approached it it was the 
body of the servant. 

" Get up, Darby get up, man," cried Ashwonde/at the same 
time pressing the prostrate figure with his boot. It had been 
lying with the back uppermost, and in a half-kneeling atti- 
tude; it now, however, rolled round, and disclosed, in the 
bright moonlight, the hideous aspect of the murdered man 
the head a mere mass of ragged flesh and bone, shapeless and 
blackened, and hollow as a shell. Horror-struck at the sight, 
they turned in silence away, and having secured the two 
horses, they both mounted and rode together .back to the little 
inn, where, having procured assistance, the body of the wretched 
servant was deposited. Young Ashwoode and O'Connor then 
parted, each ou his respective way. 



CHAPTER X. 

THE MASTER OF MORLEY COURT AND THR LITTLE GENTLEMAN IN 
BOTTLE-GREEN THE BARONET'S DAUGHTER AND THE TWO 
CONSPIRATORS. 

ENCOUNTERS such as those described in the last chapter were, 
it is needless to say, much more common a hundred and 
thirty years ago than they are now. lu fact, it was unsafe 
alike in town and country to stir abroad after dark in any 
district affording wealth and aristocracy sufficient to tempt 
the enterprise of professional gentlemen. If London and its 
environs, with all their protective advantages, were, neverthe- 
less, so infested with desperadoes as to render its very streets 
and most frequented ways perilous to pass through during the 
hours of night, it is hardly to be wondered at that Dublin, the 
capital of a rebellious and semi-barbarous country haunted 

E 2 



52 The "Cock and Anchor" 

by hungry adventurers, who had lost everything in the revolu- 
tionary ware with a most notoriously ineffective police, and 
a rash and dissolute aristocracy, with a great deal more money 
and a great deal less caution than usually fall to the lot of our 
gentry of the present day should have been p re- eminently the 
jscene of midnight violence and adventure. The continued 
frequency of such occurrences had habituated men to think 
very lightly of them ; and the feeble condition of the civil 
executive almost uniformly secured the impunity of the 
criminal. We shall not, therefore, weary the reader by inviting 
his attention to the formal investigation which was forthwith 
instituted ; it is enough for all purposes to record that, like most 
other investigations of the kind at that period, it ended in 
just nothing. 

Instead, then, of attending inquests and reading depositions, 
we must here request the gentle reader to acoompmy us for a 
brief space into the dressing-room of Sir Richard Ashwoode, 
where, upon the morning following the events which in our 
last we have detailed, the aristocratic invalid lay extended 
upon a well-cushioned sofa, arraved in a flowered silk dressinsr- 
gown, lined with crimson, and with a velvet cap upon his head. 
He was apparently considerably beyond sixty a slightly and 
rather an elegantly made man, with thin, anxious features, 
and a sallow complexion : his head rested upon his hand, and 
his eyes wandered with an air of discontented abstraction over 
the fair landscape which his window commanded. Before him 
was placed a small table, with all the appliances of an elegant 
breakfast ; and two or three books and pamphlets were laid 
within reach of his hand. A little way from him sate his 
beautiful child, Mary Ashwoode, paler than usual, though not 
less lovely for the past night had been to her one of fevered 
excitement, griefs, and fears. There she sate, with her work 
before her, and while her small hands pliei their appointed 
task, her soft, dark even wandered often with sweet looks of 
affection toward the reclining form of that old haughty and 
selfish man, her father. 

The silence had continued long, for the o ] d man's temper 
might not, perhaps, have brooked an interruptioa of his 
ruminations, although, if the sour and spited expression of his 
face might be trusted, his thoughts wefe not the most pleasant 
in the world. The train of reflection, whatever it might have 
been, was interrupted by the entrance of a servant, bearing in 
his hand a note, with which he approached Sir E/ichard, but 
with that air of nervous caution with which one might be 
supposed to present a sandwich to a tiger. 

' Why the devil, sirrah, do you pound the floor so ! " cried Sir 
Richard, turning shortly upon the man as he advanced, and 
speaking in sharp and bitter accents. " What's that you've 



The Master of M or ley Court. 5 3 

got ? a note ? take it back, you blockhead I'll not touch it 
it's some rascally scrap of dunning paper get out of my 
sight, sirrah." 

"An it pleape you, sir," replied the man, deferentially, "it 
comes from Lord Aspenly. 

"Eh! oh! ah!" exclaimed Sir Eichard, raising himself 
upon the sofa, and extending his hand with alacrity. " Here, 
give it to me ; 8O you may go, sir but stay, does a messenger 
wait? ask particularly from me how his lordship does, do 
you mind ? and let the man have refreshment ; go, sirrah, go 
begone ! " 

Sir Richard then to< k the note, broke the seal, and read 
the contents through, evidently with considerable satisfaction. 
Having completed the perusal of the note twice over, with a 
smile of unusuil gratih'cation, tinctured, perhaps, with the 
faintest possible admixture of ridicule, Sir Richard turned 
toward his daughter with more real cheerfulness than she had 
seen him exhibit for years before. 

" Mary, my good child," said he, " this note announces the 
arrival here, on to-morrow, of my old, or rather, my most^ar- 
ticular friend, Lord Aspenly ; he will pass some days with us 
days which we must all endeavour to make as agreeable to 
him as possible. You look you do look extremely well and 
pretty to-day ; come here and kiss me, child/' 

Overjoyed at this unwonted manifestation of affection, the 
girl cast her work awav, and with a beating heart and light 
step, she ran to her father's side, threw her arms about his 
neck, and kissed him again and again, in happy unconscious- 
ness of all that was passing in the mind of him she so fondly 
caressed. 

The door again opened, and the same servant once more 
presented him>elf. 

"What do you come to plague me about now ?" inquired 
the master, sharply ; recovering, in an instant, his usual 
peevish manner " What's this you've got ? what is it? " 

" A card, sir," replied the man, at the same time advancing 
the salver on which it lay within reach of the languid hand of 
his master. 

''Mr. Audley Mr. Audley," repeated Sir Richard, as he 
read the card ; '' I never heard of the man before, in the 
course of my lite ; I know nothing about him nothing and 
care as little. Pray what is he pestering about ? what does 
he want here ?'' 




the 

"what does he look Tike? is he well or ill-dressed? old or 

young? " 



54 The "Cock and Anchor" 

"A middle-aged man, sir ; rather well-dressed,' 3 answered 
the servant. 

" He did not mention his business? " asked Sir Richard. 

" No, sir," replied the man ; " but he said that it was very 
important, and that you would be glad to see him." 

" Show him up, then," said Sir Richard, decisively. 

The servant accordingly bowed and departed. 

"A stranger! a gentleman! and come to me upon im- 
portant and pleasant business," muttered the baronet, 
musingly " important and pleasant ! Can my old, cross- 
grained brother-in-law have mflde a favourable disposition of 
his property, and and died ! that were, indeed, news worth 
hearing ; too much luck to happen me, though no, no, it 
can't be it can't be.'' 

Nevertheless, he thought it might be; and thus believing, 
he awaited the entrance of his visitor with extreme impatience. 
This suspense, however, was not of long duration ; the door 
opened, and the servant announced Mr. Audley a dapper 
little gentleman, in grave habiliments of bottle-green cloth; 
in person somewhat short and stout ; and in countenance 
rather snub-featured and rubicund, but bearing an expression 
in which good -humour was largely blended with self-import- 
tance. This little person strutted briskly into the room. 

"Hem! Sir Richard Ashwoode, I presume?" exclaimed 
the visitor, with a profound bow, which threatened to roll his 
little person up like an armadillo. 

Sir Richard returned the salute by a slight nod and a 
gracious wave of the hand. 

" You will excuse my not rising to receive you, Mr. Audley," 
said the baronet, " when I inform you that I am tied here by 
the gout ; pray, sir, take a chair. Mary, remove your work 
to the room underneath, and lay the ebony wand within my 
reach ; I will tap upon the floor when I want you." 

The girl accordingly glided from the room. 

"We are now alone, sir,'' continued Sir Richard, after a 
short pause. " I fear, sir I know not why that your busi- 
ness has relation to my brother ; is he is he ill ?" 

" Faith, sir," replied the little man bluntly, u I never heard 
of the gentleman before in my life." 

" I breathe again, sir ; you have relieved me extremely," 
said the baronet, swallowing his disappointment with a ghastly 
smile ; " and now, sir, that you have thus considerately 
and expeditiously dispelled what were, thank heaven ! my 
groundless alarms, may I ask you to what accident I am in- 
debted for the singular good fortune of making your acquain- 
tance in short, sir, I would fain learn the object of your 
visit." 

" That you shall, sir that you shall, in a trice," replied 



The Master of Morley Court. 5 5 

the little gentleman in green. " I'm a plain man, my dear 
Sir Richard, and love to come to the point at once ahem ! 
The story, to be sure, is a long one, but don't be afraid, I'll 
abridge it I'll abridge it." He drew his watch from his fob, 
and layiag it upon the table before him, he continued " It 
now wants, my dear sir, precisely seven minutes of eleven, by 
London time ; I shall limit myself to half-an-hour." 

" I fear, Mr. Audley, you should find me a very unsatis- 
factory listener to a narrative of half-an-hour's length," ob- 
served Sir Richard, drily ; " m fact, I am not in a condition 
to make any such exertion ; if you will obligingly condense 
what you have to say into a few minutes, .you will confer a 
favour upon me, and lighten your own task considerably." 
Sir Richard then indignantly took a pinch of snuff, and 
muttered, almost audibly '* A vulgar, audacious, old boor." 

"Well, then, we must try we must try, my dear sir,' 1 
replied the little gentleman, wiping his face witn his hand- 
kerchief, by way of preparation "I'll just sum up the 
leading points, and leave particulars for a more favourable 
opportunity ; in fact, I'll hold over all details to our next 
merry meeting our next tete-a-tete when I hope we shall 
meet upon a pleasanter/oo^wgr your gouty toes, you know 
d'ye take me ? Ha ! ha ! excuse the joke ha ! ha ! ha ! " 

Sir Richard elevated his eyebrows, and looked upon the 
little gentleman with a gaze of stern and petrifying severity 
during this burst of merriment. 

" Well, my dear sir," continued Mr. Audley, again wiping 
his face, " to proceed to business. You have learned my 
name from my card, but beyond my name you know nothing 
about me." 

" Nothing whatever, sir," replied Sir Richard, with profound 
emphasis. 

" Just so ; well, then, you shall" rejoined the little gentle- 
man. " I have been a long time settled in France I brought 
over every penny I had in the world there in short, sir, 
something more than twelve thousand pounds. Well, sir, 
what did I do with it? There's the question. Your gay 
young fellows would have thrown it away at the gamingtable, 
or squandered it on gold lace and velvets or again, your 
prudent, plodding fellow would have lived quietly on the 
interest and left the principal to vegetate ; but what did I do ? 
Why, sir, not caring for idleness or show, I threw some of it 
into the wine trade, and with the rest 1 kept hammering at 
the funds, winning twice for every once I lost. In fact, sir, 
1 prospered the money rolled in, sir, and in due course I 
became rich, sir rich warm, as the phrase goes." 

" Very warm, indeed, sir," replied Sir Richard, observing 
that his visitor again wiped his face" but allow me to ask, 



56 The "Cock and A nchor" 

beyond the general interest which I may be presumed to feel 
in the prosperity of the whole human race, how on earth does 
all this concern me ? " 

" Ay, ay, there's the question," replied the stranger, looking 
unutterably knowing -'that's the puzzle. But all in good 
time ; you shall hear it in a twinkling. Now, being well to do 
in the world, you may ask me, why do not I look out for a 
wife? I answer you simply, that having escaped matrimooy 
hitherto, I have no wish to be taken in the noose at these 
years ; and now, before I go further, what do you take my 
age to be how old do I look ? " 

The little man squared himself, cocked his head on one 
side, and looked inquisitively at Sir Richard from the corner 
of his eye. The patience of the baronet was nigh giving way 
outright. 

" Sir," replied ho, in no very gracious tones, "you may be 
the ' Wandering Jew,' for anything I either know or see to the 
contrary." 

"Ha! good," rejoined the little man, with imperturbable 
good humour, " I see, Sir Richard, you are a wag the 
Wandering Jew ha, ha ! no not that quite. The fact is, 
sir, I am in my sixty-seventh year jou would not have 
thought that eh ? " 

Sir Richard made no reply whatever. 

" You'll acknowledge, sir, that that is not exactly the age 
at which to talk of hearts and darts, and gay gold rings," 
continued the communicative gentleman in the bottle-green. 
"1 know very well that no young woman, of her own free 
choice, could take a liking to me." 

" Quite impossible," with desperate emphasis, rejoined Sir 
Richard, upon whose ear the sentence grated unpleasantly ; 
lor Lord Aspenly's letter (in which "hearts and darts" were 
profusely noticed) lay before him on the table ; " but once 
more, sir, may I implore of you to tell me the drift of all 
this?" ' 

" The drift of it to be sure I will in due time," replied 
Mr. Audley. " You see, then, sir, that having no family of 
my own, and not having any intention of taking a wife, I 
have resolved to leave my money to a fine young fellow, the 
son of an old friend ; his name is O'Connor Edmond 
O'Connor a fine, handsome, young dog, and worthy to till 
any place in all the world a high-spirited, good-hearted, 
dashing young rascal you know something of him, iSir 
Richard?" 

The baronet nodded a supercilious assent ; his attention 
was now really enlisted. 

" Well, Sir Richard," continued the visitor, " I have wormed 
out of him for I have a knack of my own of getting at 






The Master of M or ley Court. 57 

people's secrets, no matter how close they keep them, d'ye 
see that he is over head and ears in love with your daughter 
I believe the young lady who just left the room on my 
arrival ; and indeed, if such is the case, I commend the young 
scoundrel's taste ; the lady is truly worthy of all admiration 
and 

" Pray, sir, proceed as briefly as may be to the object of 
your conversation with me," interrupted Sir Richard, drily. 

" Well, then, to return I understand, sir," continued 
Audley, "that you, suspecting something of the kind, and 
believing the young fellow to be penniless, very naturally, 
and, indeed, I may say, very prudently, and very sensibly, 
opposed yourself to the thing from the commencement, and 
obliged the sly young dog to discontinue his visits ; well, 
sir, matters stood so, until J cunning little J step in, and 
change the whole posture of affairs and how ? Marry, thus, 
I come hither and ask your daughter's hand for him, upon 
these terms following that I undertake to convey to him, at 
once, lands to the value of one thousand pounds a year, and 
that at my death I will leave him, with the exception of a few 
email legacies, sole heir to all I have ; and on his wedding- 
day give him and his lady their choice of either of two 
chateaux, the worst of them a worthy res-idence for a noble- 
man." 

"Are these chateaux in Spain?" inquired Sir Richard, 
sneeringly. 

"No, no, sir," replied the little man, with perfect guileless- 
ness ; " both in Flanders." 

" VVell, air," said Sir Richard Ashwoode, raising himself 
almost to a sitting posture, and preluding his observations 
with two unusually large pinches of snuff, " I have heard you 
very patiently throughout a statement, all of which was 
latiguing, and much of which was positively disagreeable to 
me : and I trust that what I have now to say will render it 
wholly unnecessary for you and me ever again to converse 
upon the same topic. Of Mr. O'Connor, whom, in spite of 
this strange repetition of an already rejected application, I 
believe to be a spirited young man, I shall say nothing more 
than that, from the bottom of my heart I wish him every 
success of every kind, so long as he confines his aspirations 
to what is suitable to his own position in society ; and, con- 
sequently, conducive to his own comfort and respectability. 
With respect to his very flattering vicarious proposal, I must 
assure you that I do not suspect Miss Ashwoode of any in- 
clination to descend from the station to which her birth and 
fortune entitle her ; and if I did suspect it, I should feel it to 
be my imperative duty to resist, by every means in my power, 
the indulgence of any such wayward caprice; but lest, after 



5 8 The " Cock and A nchor" 

what I have said, any doubt should rest upon your mind as to 
the value of these obstacles, it may not be amiss to add that 
my daughter, Miss Ashwoode, is actually promised in mar- 
riage to a gentleman of exalted rank and great fortune, and 
who is, in all respects, an unexceptionable connection. 1 have 
the honour, sir, to wish you good-morning." 

" The devil ! " exclaimed the little gentleman, as soon as 
his utter amazement allowed him to take breath. A long 
pause ensued, during which he twice inflated his cheeks to 
their utmost tension, and puffed the air forth with a prolonged 
whistle of desolate wonder. Recollecting himself, however, 
he hastily arose, wished Sir Richard good-day, and walked 
down staird, and out of the house, all the way muttering, 
" God bless my body and soul a thousand pounds a year 
the devil can it be? body o' me refuse a thousand a year 
what the deuce is he looking for?" and such other ejacu- 
lations ; stamping all the while emphatically upon every stair 
as he descended, to give vent to his indignation, as well as 
impressiveness to his remarks. 

Something like a smile for a moment lit up the withered 
features of the old baronet ; he leaned back luxuriously upon 
his sofa, and while he listened with delighted attention to the 
stormy descent of his visitor, he administered to its proper 
receptacle, with prolonged relish, two several pinches of 
rappee. 

" So, so," murmured he, complacently, " I suspect I have 
seen the last of honest Mr. Audley a little surprised and a 
little angry he does appear to be dear me ! he stamps fear- 
fully what a very strange creature it is.'' 

Having made this reflection, Sir Richard continued to 
listen pleasantly until the sounds were lost in the distance; 
he then rang a small hand-bell which lay upon the table, and 
a servant entered. 

" Tell Mistress Mary," said the baronet, " that I shall not 
want her just now, and desire Mr. Henry to come hither 
instantly begone, sirrah." 

The servant disappeared, and in a few moments young 
Ashwoode, looking unusually pale and haggard, and dressed 
in a morning suit, entered the chamber. Having saluted his 
father with the formality which the usages of the time pre- 
scribed, and having surveyed himself for a moment at the 
large mirror which stood in the room, and having adjusted 
thereat the tie of his lace cravat, he inquired, 

" Pray, sir, who was that piece of ' too, too solid flesh ' 
that passed me scarce a minute since upon the stairs, pound- 
ing all the way with the emphasis of a battering ram ? As 
far as I could judge, the thing had just been discharged from 
your room." 



The Master of M or ley Court. 59 

"You have happened, for once in your life, to talk with 
relation to the subject to which I would call your attention," 
said Sir Richard. " The person whom you describe with your 
wonted facetiousness, has just been talking with me; his name 
is Audley ; I never saw him till this morning, and he came 
coolly to make proposals, in young O'Connor's name, for your 
sister's hand, promising to settle some scurvy chateaux, heaven 
knows where, upon the happy pair." 
" Well, sir, and what followed ? " asked the young man. 
"Why simply, sir," replied his father, "that I gave him 
the answer which sent him stamping down stairs, as you saw 
him. I laughed in his face, and desired him to go about his 
business." 

" Very good, indeed, sir,'' observed yonng Ashwoode. 
"There is no occasion for commentary, sir," continued Sir 
Richard. <- Attend to what I have to say: a nobleman of 
large fortune has requested my permission to make his suit to 
your sister that I have, of course, granted; he will arrive 
here to-morrow, to make a stay of some days. I am resolved 
the thing shall be concluded. I ought to mention that the 
nobleman in question is Lord Aspenly." 

The young man looked for a moment or two the very im- 
personation of astonishment, and then burst into an uncon- 
trollable tit of laughter. 

" Either l>e silent, sir, or this moment quit the room," said 
Sir Richard, in a tone which few would have liked to disobey 
" how dare you you you insolent, dependent coxcomb 
how dare you, sir, treat me with this audacious disrespect? '' 

The young man hastened to avert the storm, whose violence 
he had more than once bitterly felt, by a timely submission. 

" I assure you, sir, nothing was further from my intention 
than to offend you," said he " I am fully alive as a man of 
the world, I could not be otherwise to the immense advan- 
tages of the connection; but Lord Aspenly I have known so 
long, and always looked upon as a confirmed old bachelor, 
that on hearing his name thus suddenly, something of incon- 
gruity, and and and J don't exactly know what struck me 
so very forcibly, that I involuntarily and very thoughtlessly 
began to laugh. I assure you, sir, I regret it very much, if it 
has offended you." 

" You are a weak fool, sir, I am afraid," replied his father, 
shortly : '* but that conviction has not come upon me by sur- 
prise ; you can, however, be of some use in this matter, and 
I am determined you shall be. Now, sir, mark me : I 
suspect that this young fellow this O'Connor, is not so in- 
different to Mary as he should be to a daughter of mine, and 
it is more than possible that he may endeavour to maintain, 
his interest in her affections, imaginary or real, by writing 



60 The "Cock and Anchor? 

letters, sending messages, and such manoeuvring. Now, you 
must call upon the young man, wherever he is to be found, 
and either procure from him a distinct pledge to the effect 
that he will think no more of her (the young fellow has a 
sense of honour, and I would rely upon his promise), or else 
you must have him out in short, make him fight you you 
attend, sir if you get hurt, we can eaeily make the country 
too hot to hold him ; and if, on the other hand, ynu poke him 
through the body, there's an end of the whole difficulty. This 
step, sir, you must take you understand me I am very much 
in earnest." 

This was delivered with a cold deliberateness, which young 
Ashwoode well understood, when his father used it to imply a 
fixity of purpose, such as brooked no question, and halted at 
no obstacle. 

" Sir," replied Henry Ashwoode, after an embarrassed pause 
of a few minutes, " you are not aware of one particular con- 
nected with last night's affray you have heard that poor 
Darby, who rode with me, was actually brained, and that I 
escaped a like fate by the interposition of one who, at his own 
personal risk, saved my life that one was the very Edmond 
O'Connor of whom we speak." 

" What you allude to," observed Sir Richard, with very 
edifying coolness, "is, no doubt, very shocking and very horri- 
ble. I regret the destruction of the man, although I neither 
saw nor knew much about him ; and for your eminently provi- 
dential escape, I trust I am fully as thankful as I ought to 
be ; and now, granting all you have said to be perfectly accu- 
rate which I take it to be what conclusion do you wish me 
to draw from it P " 

" Why, sir, without pretending to any very extraordinary 
proclivity to gratitude," replied the young man " for O'Connor 
told me plainly that he did not expect any T must consider 
what the world will say, if I return what it will be pleased to 
regard as an obligation, by challenging the person who con- 
ferred it." 

"Good, sir good," said the baronet, calmly: and gazing 
upon the ceiling with elevated eyebrows and a bitter smile, lie 
added, reflectively, "he's afraid afraid afraid ay, afraid 
afraid." 

" You wrong me very much, sir," rejoined young Ashwoode, 
" if you imagine that fear has anything to do with my reluc- 
tance to act as you would have me ; and no less do you wrong 
me, if you think I would allow any school-boy sentimentalism 
to stand in the way of my family's interests. My real ob- 
jection to the thing is this first, that I cannot see any satis- 
factory answer to the question, What will the world say of my 
conduct, in case I force a duel upon him the day after he has 



The Master of M or ley Court. 6 1 

saved my life? and again, T think it inevitably damages any 
young woman in the matrimonial market, to have low duels 
fought about her." 

Sir Richard screwed his eyebrows reflectively, and remained 
silent. 

" But at the same time, sir/' continued his son, " I see as 
clearly as you could wish me to do, the importance, under 
present circumstances or rather the absolute necessity of 
putting a stop to O'Connor's suit ; and, in short, to all com- 
munication between him and my sister, and I will undertake 
to do this effectually." 

" And how, sir, pray ? '' inquired the baronet. 

" I shall, as a matter of course, wait upon the young man," 
replied Henry Ashwoode " his services of last night demand 
that I should do so. I will explain to him, in a friendly way, 
the hopelessness of his suit. I should not hesitate either to 
throw a little colouring of my own over the matter. If I can 
induce O'Connor once to regard me as his friend and after 
all, it is but the part of a friend to put a stop to this foolish 
affair I will stake my existence that the matter shall be 
broken off for ever and a day. If, however, the young fellow 
turn out foolish and pig-headed, I can easily pick a quarrel 
with him upon some other subject, and get him out of the way 
as you propose; but without mixing up my sister's name in 
the dispute, or giving occasion for gossip. However, I half 
suspect that it will require neither crafty stratagem nor shrewd 
blows to bring this absurd business to an end. I daresay the 
parties are beginning to tire heartily of waiting, and perhaps 
a little even of one another ; and, for my part, I really do not 
know that the girl ever cared for him, or gave him the smallest 
encouragement.'' 

" But J know that she did," replied Sir Richard. "Carey 
has shown me letters from her to him, and from him to her, 
not six months since. Carey is a very useful woman, and 
may do us important service. I did not choose to mention 
that I had seen these letters; but I sounded Miry somewhat 
sternly, and left her with a caution which I think must have 
produced a salutary effect in short, I told her plainly, that 
it' I had reason to suspect any correspondence or understand- 
ing between her and O'Connor, I should not scruple to resort 
to the sternest and most rigorous interposition of parental 
authority, to put an end to it peremptorily. I confess, how- 
ever, that I have misgivings about this. I regard it as a very 
serious obstacle one, however, which, so sure as I live, I will 
entirely annihilate." 

There was a pause for a little while, and Sir Richard con- 
tinued, 

" There is a good deal of sense in what you have suggested. 



62 The "Cock and Anchor." 

We will talk it over and arrange operations systematically 
this evening. I presume you intend calling upon the fellow 
to-day ; it might not be amiss if you had him to dine with 
you once or twice in town : you must get up a kind of confi- 
dential acquaintance with him, a thing which you can easily 
terminate, as soon as its object is answered. He is, I believe, 
what they call a frank, honest sort of fellow, anl is, of course, 
very easily led ; and and, in short made & fool of: as for 
the girl, I think I know something of the sex, and very few of 
them are so romantic as not to understand the value of a title 
and ten thousand a year! Depend upon it, in spite of all 
her sighs, and vapours, and romance, the girl will be dazzled 
so effectually before three weeks, as to be blind to every other 
object in the world ; but if not, and f-hould she dare to oppose 
my wishes, I'll make her cross-grained folly more terrible to 
her than she dreams of but she knows me too well she dares 
not." 

Both parties remained silent and abstracted for a time, and 
then Sir Richard, turning sharply to his son, exclaimed, with 
his usual tart manner, 

"And now, sir, I must admit that T am a good deal tired of 
your very agreeable company. Go about your business, if you 
please, and he in this room this evening at half-past six o'clock. 
You had better not forget to be punctual; and, for the present, 
get out of my sight." 

With this very affectionate leave-taking, Sir Richard put 
an end to the family consultation, and the young man, relieved 
of the presence of the only person on earth whom he really 
feared, gladly closed the door behind him. 



CHAPTER XT. 

THE OLD BEECH-TREE WALK AND THE IVY-GBOWN GATEWAY 
THE TRYSTE AND THE CRUTCH-HANDLED CANE. 

IN the snug old " Cock and Anchor,'" the morning after the 
exciting scenes in which O'Connor had taken so active a part, 
that gentleman was pacing the floor of his sitting-room in no 
email agitation. On the result of that interview, which he 
had resolved no longer to postpone, depended his happiness 
for years it might be for life. Again and again he applied 
himself to the task of arranging clearly and concisely, and 
withal adroitly and with tact, the substance of what he had 
to say to Sir Richard Ashwoode. But, spite of all, his mind 



The Old Beech-Tree Walk. 63 

would wander to the pleasant hours he had passed with Mary 
Ashwoode in the quiet green wood and by the dark well's side, 
and through the moss-grown rocks, and by the chiming current 
of the wayward brook, long before the cold and worldly had 
suspected and repulsed that love which he knew could never 
die but when his heart had ceased to beat for ever. Again 
would he, banishing with a stoical effort these unbiddeji 
visions of memory, seek to accomplish the important task 
which he had proposed to himself; but still all in vain. There 
was she once more there was the p->le, pensive, lovely face 
there the long, dark, silken tresses there the deep, beautiful 
eyes and there the smile the artless, melancholy, enchant- 
ing smile. 

" It boots not trying," exclaimed O'Connor. " I cannot 
collect my thoughts; and yet what use in conning over the 
order and the words of what, after all, will be judged merely 
by its meaning ? Perhaps it is better that I should yield my- 
self wholly up to the impulse of the moment, and so speak but 
the more directly and the more boldly. No ; even in such a 
cause I will not accommodate myself to his cramp and crooked 
habits of thought and feeling. If I let him know all, it 
matters little how he learns it." 

As O'Connor finished this sentence, his meditations were 
dispelled by certain sounds, which issued from the passage 
leading to his room. 

" A young man," exclaimed a voice, interrupted by a good 
deal of puffing and blowing, probably caused by the steep 
ascent, "and a good-looking, eh ? (puff) dark eyes, eh ? 
(puff, puff) black hair and straight nose, eh? (puff, puff) 
long-limbed, tall, eh ? (puff)." 

The answers to the.se interrogatories, whatever they may 
have been, were, where O'Connor stood, wholly inaudible ; 
but the cross-examination was accompanied throughout by a 
stout, firm, stumping tread upon the old floor, which, along 
with the increasing clearness with which the noise made its 
way to O'Connor's door, sufficiently indicated that the speaker 
was approaching. The accents were familiar to him. He 
ran to his door, opened it ; and in an instant Hugh Audley, 
Esquire, very hot and very much out of breath, pitched him- 
self, wilh a good deal of precision, shoulders foremost, against 
the pit of the young man's stomach, and, embracing him a 
little above the hips, hugged him for some time in silence, 
swaying him to and fro with extraordinary energy, as if pre- 
paratory to tripping him up, and taking him off his feet 
altogether then giving him a shove straight from him, and 
holding him at arm's length, he looked with brimful eyes, 
and a countenance beaming with delight, full in O'Connor's 
face. 



64 The "Cock and Anchor" 

"Confound the dog, how well he looks," exclaimed the old 
gentleman, vehemently " devilish well, curse him ! " and he 
gave O'Connor a shove with his knuckles, and succeeded in 
staggering himself " never saw you look better in my life, 
nor anyone else for that matter ; and how is every inch of you, 
and what have you been doing with yourself ? Cotne, you 
young dog, account for yourself.'' 

' O'Connor had now, for the first time, an opportunity of 
bidding the kind old gentleman welcome, which he did to the 
full as cordially, if not so boisterously. 

" Let me sit down and rest myself : I must take breath for 
a minute,' 5 exclaimed the old gentleman. " Give me a chair, 
you nndutiful rascal. What a devil of a staircase that is, to 
be sure. Well, and what do you intend doing with yourself 
to-day?" 

" To say the truth," said the young man, while a swarthier 
glow crossed his dark features. "I was just about to start for 
Morley Court, to see Sir Eichard Ashwoode." 

k ' About his daughter, I take it ? " inquired the old gentle- 
man. 

"Just so, sir," replied the younger man. 
"Then you may spare yourself the pains," rejoined the old 
gentleman, briskly. " You are better at home. You have 
been forestalled." 

" What how, sir ? What do you mean ? " asked O'Connor, 
in great perplexity and alarm. 

" Just what [ say, my boy. You have been forestalled." 
"By whom, sir?" 
" By me." 
" By you ? " 
" Ay." 

The old gentleman screwed his brows and pursed up his 
mouth until it became a Gordian involution of knots and 
wriukles, threw a fierce and determined expression into his 
eyes, and wagged his head slightly from side to side looking 
altogether very like a " Cromwell guiltless of his country's 
blood." At length he said, 

"I'm an old fellow, and ought to know something by this 
time -think I do, for that matter ; and I say deliberately 
cut the whole concern and blow them all." 

Having thus delivered himself, the old gentleman resumed 
his sternest expression of countenance, and continued in 
silence to wag his head from time to time with an air of infi- 
nite defiance, leaving his young companion, if possible, more 
perplexed and bewildered than ever. 

" And have you, then, seen Sir Eichard Ashwoode ? " in- 
quired O'Connor. 

' Have I seen him ? " rejoined the old gentleman. " To be 



The Old Beech-Tree Walk. 65 

snre I have. The moment the boat touched the quay, and I 
fairly felt terra firma, I drove to the ' Fox in Breeches,' and 
donned a handsome suit" (here the gentleman glanced 
cursorily at his bottle-green habiliments) "I ordered a 
hack-coach got safely to Morley Court saw Sir Kichard, 
laid up with the gout, looking just like an old, dried-up, cross- 
grained monkey. There was, of course, a long explanation, 
and all that sort of thing a good deal of tact and diplomacy 
on my side, doubling about, neat fencing, and circumbendi- 
bus ; but all would not do an infernal smash. Sir Richard 
was all but downright uncivil would not hear of it said 
plump and plain he would never consent. The fact is, he's a 
sour, hard, insolent old scoundrel, and a bitter pill ; and I 
congratulate you heartily on having escaped all connection 
with him and his. Don't look so down in the mouth about 
the matter ; there's as good fish in the sea as ever was caught ; 
and if the young woman is half such a shrew as her father is a 
tartar, you have had ail escape to be thankful for the longest 
day you live." 

We shall not attempt to describe the feelings with which 
O'Connor received this somewhat eccentric communication. 
He folded his arms upon tbe table, and for many minutes 
leaned his head upon them, without motion, and without 
uttering one word. At length he said, 

" After all, I ought to have expected this. Sir Eichard is a 
bigoted man in his own faith an ambitious and a worldly 
man, too. It was folly, mere folly, knowing all this, to look 
for any other answer from him. He may indeed delay our 
union for a little, but he cannot bar it he shall not bar it. I 
could more easily doubt myself than Mary's constancy ; and 
if she be but firm and true and she is all loyalty and all 
truth the world cannot part us two. Our separation cannot 
outlast his life ; nor shall it last so long. I will overcome her 
scruples, combat all her doubts, satisfy her reason. She will 
consent she will be mine my own through life and until 
death. No hand shall sunder us for ever,'' he turned to the 
old man, and grasped his hand " My dear, kind, true friend, 
how can I ever thank you for all your generous acts of kind- 
ness. I cannot." 

" Never mind, never mind, my dear boy," said the old 
gentleman, blubbering in spite of himself "never mind 

what a d d old fool I am, to be sure. Come, come, you 

shall take a turn with me towards the country, and get an 
appetite for dinner. You'll be as well as ever in half an hour. 
When all's done, you stand no worse than you did yesterday ; 
and if the girl's a good girl, as I make no doubt she is, why, 
you are sure of her constancy and the devil himself shall not 
part you. Confound me if L don't run away with the girl for 



66 The "Cock and Anchor" , 

you myself if you make a pother about the matter. Come 
along, you dog come along. I say." 

"Nay, sir," replied O'Connor/" forgive me. I am keenly 
pained. I am agitated confounded at the suddenness of this 
this dreadful blow. I will go alone, pardon me, my kind 
and dear friend, I must go alone. I may chance to see the 
lady. I am sure she will not fail me she will meet me. 
Oh ! heart and brain, be still be steady I need your best 
counsels now. Farewell, sir for a little time, farewell." 

** Well, be it so since so it must be," said Mr. Audley, 
who did not care to combat a resolution, announced with all 
the wild energy of despairing passion, "by all means, my 
dear boy, alone it shall be, though I scarce think you would 
be the worse of a staid old fellow's company in your ramble 
but no matter, boys wJl be boys while the world goes 
round." 

The conclusion of this sentence was a soliloquy, for O'Con- 
nor had already descended to the inn yard, where he procured 
a horse, and was soon, with troubled mind and swelling heart, 
making rapid way toward Morley Court. It was now tue 
afternoon the sun had made nearly half his downward 
course the air was soft and fresh, and the birds sang sweetly 
in the dark nooks and bowers of the tall trees : it seemed 
almost as if summer had turned like a departing beauty, with 
one last look of loveliness to gladden the scene which she was 
regretfully leaving. So sweet and still the air so full and 
mellow the thrilling chorus of merry birds among the rustling 
leaves, flitting from bough to bough in the clear and lofty 
shadow so cloudless the golden flood, of sunlight. Such was 
the day so gladsome the sounds so serene the aspect of all 
nature as O'Connor, dismounting under the shadow of a tall, 
straggling hawthorn hedge, and knotting the bridle in one of 
its twisted branches, crossed a low stile, and thus entered the 
grounds of Morley Court. He threaded a winding path 
which led through a neglected wood of thorn and oak, and 
found himself after a few minutes in the spot he sousrht. The 
old beech walk had been once the mnia avenue to the house. 
Huge beech-trees flung their mighty boughs high in air across 
its long perspective and bright as was the day, the long laue 
lay in shadow deep and solemn as that of some old Gothic 
aisle. Down this dim vista did O'Connor pace with hurried 
steps toward the spot where, about midway in its length, 
there stood the half-ruined piers and low walls of what had 
once been a gateway. 

" Can it be tiiat she shrinks from this meeting ? * thought 
O'Connor, as his eye in vain sought the wished-for form of 
Mary Ashwoode, " will she disappoint me ? snrely she who 
has walked with me so many lonely hours in guileless trust 



The Old Beech-Tree Walk. 67 

mvl not have feared ti meet me here. It was not generous 
to deny me this boon to her so easy to me so rich yet 
perchance she judges wisely. What boots it that I should see 
her? Why see again that matchless beauty that touching 
smile those eyes that looked so fondly on me ? Why see her 
more since mayhap we shall never meet again ? She means 
it kindly. Her nature is all nobleness all generosity ; and 
yet and yet to see her no more to hear her voice no more 
have we have we then parted at last for evei ? But no by 
heavens 'tis she Mary ! " 

It was indeed Mary Ashwoode, blushing and beautiful as 
ever. In an instant O'Connor stood by her side. 

" My own my true-hearted Mary." 

"Oh! Edmond," said she, after a brief silence,"! fear I 
have done wrong have I P in meeting you thus. I ought 
not indeed I know 1 ought not to have come." 

" Nay, Mary, do not speak thus. Dear Mary, have we 
not been companions in many a pleasant ramble: in those 
times the times, Mary, that will never come again P Why, 
then, should you deny me a few minutes' mournful converse, 
where in other days we two have passed so many pleasant 
hours P " 

There was in the tone in which he spoke something so un- 
utterably melancholy and in the recollections which his few 
simple words called crowding to her mind, something at once 
so touching, so dearly cherished, and so bitterly regretted 
that the tears gathered in her full dark eyes, and fell one by 
one fast and unheeded. 

" You do not grieve, then, Mary," said he, " that you have 
come here that we have met once more : do you, Mary ? " 

"No, no, Edmond no, indeed," answered she, sobbing. 
" God knows I do not, Edmond no, no." 

" Well, Mary," said he, " I am happy in the belief that you 
feel toward me just as you used to do as happy as one so 
wretched can hope to be." 

"Edmond, your words affright me," said she, fixing her 
eyes full upon him with imploring earnestness: "you look 
sadder paler than you did yesterday ; something has 
happened since then. What what is it, Edmond ? tell me 
ah, tell me!" 

"Yes, Mary, much has happened," answered he, taking her 
hand between both of his, and meeting her gaze with a look 
of passionate sorrow and tenderness "yes, Mary, without my 
knowledge, the friend of whom I told you had arrived, and 
this morning saw your father, told him all, and was repulsed 
with sternness almost with insult. Sir Richard has resolved 
that it shall never be ; there is no more hope of bending him 
none none none." 

p 2 



68 The "Cock and Anchor?' 

While O'Connor spoke, the colour in Mary's cheeks came 
and fled in turn with quick alternations, in answer to every 
throb and flutter of the poor heart within. 

" See him speak to him yourself, Edmond, yourself. Oh ! 
do not despair see him speak to him," she almost whispered, 
for agitation had well-nigh deprived her of voice " see him, 
Edmond yourself for God's sake, dear Edmond yourself 
yourself" and she grasped his arm in her tiny hand, and 
gazed in his pale face with such a look of agonized entreaty 
as cut him to the very heart. 

" Yes, Mary, if it seems good to you, I will speak to him 
myself," said O'Connor, with deep melancholy. " 1 will, Mary, 
though my own heart my reason tells me it is all all 
utterly in vain ; but, Mary," continued he, suddenly changing 
his tone to one of more alacrity, " if he should still reject me 
if he shall forbid our ever meeting more -if he shall declare 
himself unalterably resolved against our union Mary, in 
'such a case, would you, too, tell me to see you no more 
would you, too, tell me to depart without hope, and never 
come again ? or would you, Mary could you dare you- 
dear, dear Mary, for once once only disobey your stern and 
haughty father dare you trust yourself with me fly with me 
to France, and be at last, and after all, my own my bride ? " 

" ISTo, Edmond," said she, solemnly and sadly, while her eyes 
again tilled with tears ; and though she trembled like the leaf 
on the tree, yet he knew by the sound of her sad voice that 
her purpose could not alter " that can never be never, 
Edmond no no." 

" Then, Mary, can it be, 5 ' he answered, with an accent so 
desolate that despair itself seemed breathing in its tone 
" can it be, after all all we have passed and proved all our 
love and constancy, and all our bright hopes, so long and 
fondly cherished cherished in the midst of grief and diffi- 
cultywhen we had no other stay but hope alone are we, 
after all at last, to part for ever ? is it, indeed, Mary, all all 
over ? " 

As the two lovers stood thus in deep and melancholy con- 
verse by the ivy-grown and ruined gateway, beneath the airy 
shadow of the old beech-trees, they were recalled to other 
thoughts by the hurried patter of footsteps, and the rustling 
of the branches among the underwood which skirted the 
avenue. As fortune willed it, however, the intruder was no 
other than the honest dog, Rover, Mary's companion in many 
a silent and melancholy ramble ; he came sniffing and bound- 
ing with boisterous greeting to hail his young mistress and 
her companion. The interruption, harmless as it was, startled 
Mary Ashwoode. 

" Were my father to find us here, Edmond," said she, " it 



The Old Beech-Tree Walk. 69 

were fatal to all our hopes. You know his temper well. Let 
us then part here. Follow the by-path leading to the house. 
Go and see him speak with him for my sake for my sake, 
Edmond and so and so farewell." 

" And farewell, Mary, since it must be," said O'Connor, 
with a bitter struggle. " Farewell, but only for a time only 
for a little time, Mary ; and whatever befalls, remember 
remember me. Farewell, Mary." 

As he thus spoke, he raised her hand to his lips, and kissed 
it for the first time, it might be for the last, in his life. For a 
moment he stood, and gazed with sad devotion upon the loved 
face. Then, with an effort, he turned abruptly away, and 
strode rapidly in the direction she had indicated ; and when he 
turned to look again, she was gone. 

O'Connor followed the narrow path, which, diverging a 
little from the broad grass lane, led with many a wayward 
turn among the tall trees toward the house. As he thus 
pursued his way, a few moments of reflection satisfied him of 
the desperate nature of the enterprise which he had under- 
taken. But if lovers are often upon unreal grounds despond- 
ing, it is likewise true that they are sometimes sanguine when 
others would despair ; and, spite of all his misgivings of all 
the irresistible conclusions of stern reason hope still beckoned 
him on. Thus agitated, he pursued his way, until, on turning 
an abrupt angle, he beheld, scarcely more than a dozen paces 
in advance, and moving slowly toward him in the shadowy 
pathway, a figure, at sight of which, thus suddenly presented, 
he recoiled, and stood for a moment fixed as a statue. He 
had encountered the object of his search. The form was that 
of Sir Richard Ashwoode himself, who, wrapped in his scarlet 
roqnelaure, and leaning upon the shoulder of his Italian valet, 
while he limped forward slowly and painfully, appeared full 
before him. 

" So, so, so, so," repeated the baronet, at first with unaffected 
astonishment, which speedily, however, deepened into intense 
but constrained anger his dark, prominent eyes peering 
fiercely upon tho young man, while, stooping forward, and 
clutching his crutch-handled cane hard in his lean fingers, he 
limped first one and then another step nearer. 

" Mr. O'Connor ! or my eyes deceive me." 

" Yes, Sir Richard," replied O'Connor, with a haughty bow, 
and advancing a little toward him in turn. " I am that 
Edmond O'Connor whom you once knew well, and whom it 
would seem you still know. I ought, doubtless " 

" Nay, sir, no flowers of rhetoric, if you please," interrupted 
Sir Richard, bitterly "no fustian speeches to the point to 
the point, sir. If you have ought to say to me, deliver it in 
six words. Your business, sir. Be brief." 



70 The "Cock and Anchor." 

"I will not indeed waste words, Sir Eichard Ashwoode," 
replied O'Connor, firmly. " There is but one subject on 
which I would seek a conference with you, and that subject 
you well may guess." 

" I do guess it," retorted Sir Eichard. " You would renew 
an absurd proposal one opened three years since, and re- 
peated this morning by the old booby, your elected spokesman. 
To that proposal I have ever given one answer no. I have 
not changed my mind, nor ever shall. Am I understood, sir ? 
And least of all should I think of changing my purpose now," 




continued hp, more pointedly, as a suspicion crossed his mind 
" now, sir, that you have forfeited by your own act whatever 
regard you once seemed to me to merit. You did not seek me 
here, sir. I'm not to be fooled, sir. You did not seek me 
don't assert it. I understand your purpose. You came here 
clandestinely to tamper like a schemer with my child. Yes, 
sir, a schemer ! " repeated Sir Eichard, with bitter emphasis, 
while his sharp sallow features grew sharper and more sallow 
still ; and he struck the point of his cane at every emphatic 
word deep into the sod " a mean, interested, cowardly 
schemer. How dare you steal into my place, you thrice- 
rejected, dishonourable, spiritless adventurer ? " 



The Old Beech-Tree Walk. 71 

The blood rushed to O'Connor's brow as the old man uttered 
this insulting invective. The tiery impulse which under other 
circumstances would have been uncontrollable, was, however, 
speedily, though with difficulty, mastered ; and O'Connor 
replied bitterly, 

" You are an old man, Sir Richard, and her father you are 
safe, sir. How much of chivalry or courage is shown in heap- 
ing insult upon one who will not retort upon you, judge lor 
yourself. Alter what has passed, I feel that I were, indeed, 
the vile thing you have described, if I were again to subject 
myself to your unprovoked insolence : be assured, I shall never 
place foot of mine within your boundaries again : relieve your- 
self, sir, of all fears upon that score ; and for your language, 
you know you can appreciate the respect that makes me leave 
you thus unanswered and unpunished." 

So saying, he turned, and with long and rapid strides retraced 
his steps, his heart swelling with a thousand struggling emo- 
tions. Scarce knowing what he did, O'Connor rode rapidly to the 
" Cock and Anchor," and too much stunned and confounded 
by the scenes in which he had just borne a part to exchange a 
word with Mr. Audley, whom he found still established in his 
chamber, he threw himself dejectedly into a chair, and sank 
into gloomy and obstinate abstraction. The good-natured old 
gentleman did not care to interrupt his young friend's rumina- 
tions, and hours might have passed away and found them still 
undisturbed, were it not that the door was suddenly thrown 
open, and the waiter announced Mr. Ashwoode. There was a 
spell in the name which instantly recalled O'Connor to the 
scene before him. Had a viper sprung up at his feet, he could 
not have recoiled with a stronger antipathy. With a mixture 
of feelings scarcely tolerable, he awaited his arrival, and after 
a moment or two of suspense, Henry Ashwoode entered the 
room. 

Mr. Audley, having heard the name, scowled fearfully from 
the centre of the room upon the young gentleman as he entered, 
stuffed his hands half-way to the elbows in his breeches pockets, 
and turning briskly upon his heel, marched emphatically to 
the window, and gazed out into the inn yard with remarkable 
perseverance. The obvious coldness with which he was re- 
ceived did not embarrass young Ashwoode in the least. With 
perfect ease and a graceful frankness of demeanour, he advanced 
to O'Connor, and after a greeting of extraordinary warmth, in- 
quired how he had gotten home, and whether he had suffered 
since any inconvenience from the fall which he had. He then 
went on to renew his protestations of gratitude for O'Connor's 
services, with so much ardour and apparent heartiness, that 
spite of his prejudices, the old man was moved in his favour; 
and when Ashwoode expressed in a low voice to O'Connor his 






; 2 The " Cock and A nchor? 

wish to be introduced to his friend, honest Mr. Audley felt his 
heart quite softened, and instead of merely bowing to him, 
absolutely shook him by the hand. The young man then, spite 
of O'Connor's evident reluctance, proceeded to relate to his new 
acquaintance the details of the adventures of the preceding 
night, in doing which, he took occasion to dwell, in the most 
glowing terms, upon his obligations to O'Connor. After 
sitting with them for nearly half an hour, young Ashwoode 
took his leave in the most affectionate manner possible, and 
withdrew. 

" Well, that is a good-looking young fellow, and a warm- 
hearted," exclaimed the old gentleman, as soon as the visitor 
had disappeared "what a pity he should be cursed with such 
a confounded old father.'' 



CHAPTER XII. 

THE APPOINTED HOUR THE SCHEMEES AND THE PLOT. 

" AND here comes my dear brother," exclaimed Mary Ash- 
woode, joyously, as she ran to welcome the young man, now 
entering her father's room, in which, for more than an hour 
previously, she had been sitting. Throwing her arm round 
his neck, and looking sweetly in his face, she continued " You 
will stay with us this evening, dear Harry do, for my sake 
you won't refuse it is so long since we have had you ; " and 
though she spoke with a gay look and a gladsome voice, a 
sense of real solitariness called a tear to her dark eye. 

" No, Mary not this evening,' 3 said the young man coldly ; 
" I must be in town again to-night, and before I go must have 
some conversation upon business with my father, so that I may 
not see you again till morning." 

" But, dear Henry," said she, still clinging affectionately to 
his arm, " you have been in such danger, and I knew nothing 
of it until after you went out this morning : are you quite 
well, Henry ? you were not hurt were you ? " 

" No, no nothing nothing I never was better,'' said he, 
impatiently. 

" Well, brother dear brother," she continued imploringly, 
" come early home to-night do not be upon the road late 
won't you promise P " 

" There, there, there," said he rudely, " run away take 
your work, or your book, or whatever it may be, down stairs ; 
your father wants to speak with me alone," and so saying, he 
turned pettishly from her. 



The Appointed Hour. 7 3 

His habitual coldness and carelessness of manner had 
never before seemed so ungracious. The poor girl felt her 
heart swell within her, as though it would burst. She had 
never felt so keenly that in all this world there lived but one 
being upon whose love she might rely, and he sepirated, it 
might be for ever, from her : she gathered up her work, and 
ran quickly from the room, to hide the tears which she could 
not restrain. 

Young Ashwoode was to the full as worldly and as un- 
principled a man as was his father ; and whatever reluctance 
he may have felt as to adopting Sir Richard's plans re- 
specting O'Connor, the reader would grievously wrong him 
in attributing his unwillingness to any visitings of gratitude, 
or, indeed, to any other feeling than that which he had him- 
self avowed. A few hours' reflection had satisfied the young 
man of the transcendent importance of securing Lord 
Aspenly ; and by a corresponding induction he had arrived 
at the conclusion to which his father had already come- 
namely, that it was imperatively necessary by all means to 
put an end effectually to his sister's correspondence with 
O'Connor. To effect this object both were equally resolved ; 
and with respect to the means to be employed both were 
equally unscrupulous. With Henry Ashwoode courage was 
constitutional, and art habitual. If" therefore, either duplicity 
or daring could ensure success, he felt that he must triumph ; 
and, at all events, he was sufficiently impressed with the 
importance of the object, to resolve to leave nothing untried 
for its achievement. 

" You are punctual, sir," said Sir Richard, glancing at his 
richly-chased watch; "sit down; I have considered your 
suggestions of this morning, and I am inclined to adopt 
them ; it is most probable that Mary, like the rest of her sex, 
will be taken by the splendour of the proposal fascinated 
in bhort, as I said this morning dazzled. Now, whether she 
be or not observe me, it shall be onr object to make 
O'Connor believe that she is so. You will have his ear, and 
through her maid, Carey, I can manage their correspondence; 
not a letter from either can reach the other, without first 
meeting my eye. I am very certain that the young fellow 
will lose no time in writing to her some more of those 
passionate epistles, of which, as I told you, 1 have seen a 
sample. I shall take care to have their letters re-written for 
the future, before they come to hand ; and it shall go hard, or 
between us we shall manage to give each a very moderate 
opinion of the other's constancy ; thus the affair will or 
rather must die a natural death after all, the most effectual 
kind of mortality in such cases." 

" I called to-day upon the fellow," said the young man. " I 



74 The " Cock and A nchor. " 

made him out, and without approaching the point of nearest 
interest, I have, nevertheless, opened operations successfully 
so far as a most auspicious re-commencement of our 
acquaintance may be so accounted." 

"And, stranger still to say," rejoined the baronet, "I also 
encountered him to-day ; but only for some dozen seconds." 

" How ! saw O'Connor! " exclaimeH young Ashwoode. 

"Yes, sir, O'Connor EJmond O'Connor," repeated Sir 
Richard. " He was coolly walking up to the house to see me, 
as it would seem ; and I do believe the fellow speaks truth 
he did see me, and that is all. I fancy he will scarcely come 
here again uninvited ; he said so pretty plainly-, and I believe 
the fellow has spirit enough to feel an affront." 

" He did not see Mary ? " inquired Henry. 

" I did not ask him, and don't choose to ask her; I don't 
mean to allude to the subject in her presence," replied Sir 
Richard, quickly. " I think indeed I know I can mar their 
plans better by appearing never once to apprehend anything 
from O'Connor's pretensions. I have reasons, too, for not 
wishing to deal harshly with Mary at present ; we must have 
no scenes, if possible. Were I to appear suspicious and un- 
easy, it would put them on their guard. And now, upon the 
other point, did you speak to Craven about the possibilitv of 
raising ten thousand pounds on the Glenvarlogh property ? " 

" He says it can be done very easily, if Mary joins you," 
replied the young man ; " but I have been thinking that if 
you ask her to sign any deed, it might as well be one assign- 
ing over her interest absolutely to you. Aspenly does not. 
want a penny with her in fact, from what fell from him to- 
day, when I met him in town, I'm inclined to think he believes 
that she has not a penny in the world ; so she may as well 
make it over to you, and then we can turn it all into money 
when and how we please. I desired Craven to work night 
and day at the deeds, and have them over by ten o'clock 
to-morrow morning." 

" You did quite rightly," rejoined the old gentleman. " I 
hardly expect any opposition from the girl at least no more 
than I can easily frighten her out of. Should she prove sulky, 
however, I do not well know where to turn : as to asking my 
brother Oliver, I might as well, or better, ask a Jew broker ; 
he hates me and mine with his whole heart ; and to say the 
truth, there is not much love lost between us. No, no, there's 
nothing to be looked for in that quarter. I daresay we'll 
manage one way or another lead or drive to get Mary to sign 
the deed, and if so, the ship rights again. Craven come?, you 
say, at ten to-morrow ? " 

" He engaged to be here at that hour with the deeds," 
tepeated the young man. 






The Interview. 75 

" Well," said his father, yawning, " you have nothing more 
to say, nor I neither oblige me by withdrawing." So parted 
these congenial relations. 

The past day had been an agitating one to Mary Ashwoode. 
Still suspense was to be her doom, and the same alternations 
of hope and of despair were again to rob her pillow of repose ; 
yet even thus, happy was she in comparison with what tjhe 
must have been, had she but known the schemes of which she 
was the unconscious subject. At this juncture we shall leave 
the actors in this true tale, and conclude the chapter with the 
close of day. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

THE INTERVIEW THE PARCHMENT AND THE NOBLEMAN'S 

COACH. 

SIR RICHARD ASHWOODE had never in the whole course of his 
life denied himself the indulgence of any passion or of any 
whim. From his childhood upward he had never considered 
the feelings or comforts of any living being but himself alone. 
As he advanced in life, this selfishness had improved to a 
degree of hardness and coldness so intense, that if ever he had 
felt a kindly impulse at any moment in his existence, the very 
remembrance of it had entirely faded from his mind: so that 
generosity, compassion, and natural affection were to him not 
only unknown, but incredible. To him mankind seemed all 
either fools, or such as he himself was. Without one particle 
of principle of any kind, he had uniformly maintained in the 
world the character of an honourable man. The ordinary 
rules of honesty and morality he regarded as so many con- 
ventional sentiments, to which every gentleman subscribed, 
as a matter of course, in public, but which in private he had 
an unquestionable right to dispense with at his own con- 
venience. He was imperious, fiery, and unforgiving to the 
uttermost ; but when he conceived it advantageous to do so, 
he could practise as well as any man the convenient art of 
masking malignity, hatred, and inveteracy behind the 
pleasantest of all pleasant smiles. Capable of any secret 
meanness for the sake of the smallest advantage to be gained 
by it, he was yet full of fierce and overbearing pride; and 
although this world was all in all to him, yet there never 
breathed a man who could on the slightest provocation risk 
his life in mortal combat with more alacrity and absolute 
sangfroid than Sir Richard Ashwoode. In his habits he was 



76 The "Cock and Anchor? 

unboundedly luxurious in his expenditure prodigal to 
recklessness. His own and his son's extravagance, which 
he hid indulged from a kind of pride, was now, however, 
beginning to make itself sorely felt in formidable and rapidly 
accumulating pecuniary embarrassments. These had served 
to embitter and exasperate a temper which at the best had 
never been a very sweet one, and of whose ordinary pitch the 
reader may form an estimate, when he hears that in the short 
glimpses which he has had of Sir Kichard, the baronet 
happened to be, owing to the circumstances with which we 
have acquainted him, in extraordinarily good humour. 

Sir Eichard had not married young ; and when he did marry 
it was to pay his debts. The lady of his choice was beautiful, 
accomplished, and an heiress; and, won by his agreeability, 
and by his well-assumed devotedness and passion, she yielded 
to the pressure of his suit. They were married, and she gave 
birth successively to a son and a daughter. Sir Richard's 
temper, as we have hinted, was not very placid, nor his habits 
very domestic; nevertheless, the world thought the match 
(putting his money difficulties out of the question) a very 
suitable and a very desirable one, and took it for granted that 
the gay baronet and his lady were just as happy as a fashion- 
able man and wife ought to be and perhaps they were so ; 
but, for all that, it happened that at the end of some four 
years the young wife died of a broken heart. Some strange 
scenes, it is said, followed between Sir Richard and the 
brother of the deceased lady, Oliver French. It is believed 
that this gentleman suspected the cause of Lady Ashwoode's 
death at all events he had ascertained that she had not been 
kindly used, and after one or two interviews with the baronet, 
in which bitter words were exchanged, the matter ended in a 
fierce and bloodily contested duel, in which the baronet 
received three desperate wounds. His recovery was long 
doubtful; but life burns strongly in some breasts; and, 
contrary to the desponding predictions of his surgeons, the 
valuable life of Sir Richard Ashwoode was prolonged to his 
family and friends. 

Since then, Sir Richard had by different agencies sought to 
bring about a reconciliation with his brother-in-law, but 
without the smallest success. Oliver French was a bachelor, 
and a very wealthy one. Moreover, he had it in his power to 
dispose of his lands and money jnst as he pleased. These 
circumstances had strongly impressed Sir Richard with a con- 
viction that quarrels among relations are not only unseemly, 
l>ut un-Christian. He was never in a more forgiving and 
forgetting mood. He was willing even to make concessions 
anything that could be reasonably asked of him, and even 
more, he was ready to do but all in vain. Oliver was 






The Interview. 77 

obdurate. He knew his man well. He saw and appreciated 
the baronet's motives, and hated and despised him ten thousand 
times more than ever. 

Repulsed in his first attempt, Sir Eichard resolved to give 
his adversary time to cool a little ; and accordingly, after a 
lapse of twelve or fourteen years, his son Henry being then a 
handsome lad, he wrote to his brother-in-law a very long and 
touching epistle, in which he proposed to send bis son down 
to Ardgillagh, the place where the alienated relative resided, 
with a portrait of his deceased lady, which, of course, with no 
object less sacred, and to no relative less near and respected, 
could he have induced himself to part. This, too, was a total 
failure. Oliver French, Esquire, wrote back a very succinct 
epistle, but one very full of unpleasant meaning. He said 
that the portrait would be odious to him, inasmuch as it would 
be necessarily associated in his mind with a marriage which had 
killed his sister, and with persons whom heabhorred that there- 
fore he would not allow it into his house. He stated, that to 
the motives which prompted his attention he was wide awake 
that he was, however, perfectly determined that no person 
bearing the name or the blood of Sir Richard Ashwoode 
should ever have one penny of his ; adding, that the baronet 
could leave his son, Mr. Henry Ashwoode, quite enough for a 
gentleman to live upon respectably ; and that, at all events, 
in his father's virtues the young gentleman would inherit a 
legacy such as would insure him universal respect, and a 
general welcome wherever he might happen to go, excepting 
only one locality, called Ardgillagh. 

With the failure of this last attempt, of course, disappeared 
every hope of success with the rich old bachelor ; and the 
forgiving baronet was forced to content himself, in the 
absence of all more substantial rewards, with the consciousness 
of having done what was, under all the circumstances, the 
most Christian thing he could have done, as well as played 
the most knowing game, though unsuccessful, which he could 
have played. 

Sir Richard Ashwoode limped downstairs to receive his 
intended son-in-law, Lord Aspenly, on the day following the 
events which we have detailed in our last and the preceding 
chapters. That nobleman had intimated his intention to be 
with Sir Richard about noon. It was now little more than 
ten, and the baronet was, nevertheless, restless and fidgety. 
The room he occupied was a large parlour, commanding a 
view of the approach to the house. Again and again he con- 
sulted his watch, and as often hobbled over, as well as he 
could, to the window, where he gazed in evident discontent 
down the long, straight avenue, with its double row of fine old 
giant lime-trees. 



;8 . The "Cock and Anchor." 

" Nearly half-past ten," muttered Sir Richard, to himself, 
for at his desire he had been left absolutely alone "ay, fully 
half-past, and the fellow not come yet. No less than two 
notes since eight this morning, both of them with gratuitous 
mendacity renewing the appointment for ten o'clock ; and ten 
o'clock comes and goes, and halt'-an-hour more along with it, 
and still no sign of Mr. Craven. If I had fixed ten o'clock to 
pay his accursed, unconscionable bill of costs, he'd have been 
prowling about the grounds from sunrise, and pounced upon me 
before the last stroke of the clock had sounded." 




While thus the baronet was engaged in muttering his dis- 
content, and venting secret imprecations on the whole race of 
attorneys, a vehicle rolled up to the hall-door. The bell 
pealed, and the knocker thundered, and in a moment a servant 
entered, and announced Mr. Craven a square-built man of 
low stature, wearing his own long, grizzled hair instead of a 
wig having a florid complexion, hooked nose, beetle brows, 
and long-cut, Jewish, black eyes, set close under the bridge 
of his nose who stepped with a velvet tread into the room. 
An unvarying smile sate upon his thin lips, and about his whole 
air and manner there was a certain indescribable sancti- 



The Interview. 79 

moniousness, which was rather enhanced by the puritanical 
plainness of his attire. 

" Sir Richard, I beg pardon rather late, I fear," said he, in 
a dulcet, insinuating tone " hard work, nevertheless, I do 
assure you ninety-seven skins splendidly engrossed quite 
a treat five of my young men up all night I have got one 
of them outside to witness it along with me. Some reading in 
the thing, I promise you ; but I hope I do hope, I am not 
very late ? " 

"Not at all not at all, my dear Mr. Craven," said Sir 
Richard, with his most engaging smile ; for, as we have 
hinted, " dear Mr. Craven " had not made the science of con- 
veyancing peculiarly cheap in practice to the baronet, who 
accordingly owed him more costs than it wouLl have been 
quite convenient to pay upon a short notice " I'll just, with 
your assistance, glance through these parchments, though to 
do so be but a matter of form. Pray take a chair beside me 
there. Now then to business." 

Accordingly to business they went. Practice, they say, 
makes perfect, and the baronet had had, unfortunately for 
himself, a great deal of it in such matters during the course of 
his life. He knew how to read a deed as well as the most 
experienced counsel at the Irish bar, and was able consequently 
to detect with wonderfully little rummaging and fumbling in 
the ninety-seven skins of closely written verbiage, the seven 
lines of sense which they enveloped. Little more than half- 
an-hour had therefore satisfied Sir Richard that the mass of 
parchment before him, after reciting with very considerable 
accuracy the deeds and process by which the lands of 
Glenvarlogh were settled upon his daughter, went on to 
state that for and in consideration of the sum of five shillings, 
good and lawful money, she, being past the age of twenty-one, 
in every possible phrase and by every word which tautology 
could accumulate, handed over the said lands, absolutely to 
her father, Sir Richard Ashwoode, Bart., of Morley Court, in 
the county of Dublin, to have, and to hold, and to make 'ducks 
and drakes of, to the end of time, constantly affirming at the 
end of every sentence that she was led to do all this for and 
in consideration of the sum of five shillings, good and lawful 
money. As soon as Sir Richard had seen all this, which was, 
as we have said, in little more than half-an-hour, he pulled 
the bell, and courteously informing Mr. Craven, the immortal 
author of the interesting document which he had just perused, 
that he would find chocolate and other refreshments in the 
library, and intimating that he would perhaps disturb him 
in about ten minutes, he consigned that gentleman to the 
guidance of the servant, whom he also directed to summon 
Miss Ashwoode to his presence. 



8o The "Cock and A nchor" 

"Her signing this deed, 7 ' thought he, as he awaited her 
arrival, " will make her absolutely dependent upon me it 
will make rebellion, resistance, murmuring, impossible; she 
then must do as I would have her, or Ah ? my dear child," 
exclaimed the baronet, as his daughter entered the room, 
addressing her in the sweetest imaginable voice, and instanta- 
neously dismissing the sinister menace which had sat upon, 
his countenance, and clothing it instead as suddenly with an 
absolute radiance of affection, " come here and kiss me and 
sit down by my side are you well to-day ? you look pale 
you smile well, well ! it cannot be anything very bad. You 
shall run out just now with Emily. Bat first, I must talk 
with you for a little, and, strange enough, on business too." 
The old gentleman paused for an instant to arrange the order 
of his address, and then continued. " Mary, 1 will tell you 
frankly more of my affairs than I have told to almost any 
person breatiiing. In my early days, and indeed after my 
marriage, I was far, far too careless in money matters. I 
involved myself considerably, and owing to various circum- 
stances, tiresome now to dwell upon, I have never bt x en able 
to extricate myself from these difficulties. Henry too, your 
brother, is fearfully prodigal fearfully ; and has within the 
last three or four years enormously aggravated my embarrass- 
ments, and of course multiplied my anxieties most grievously, 
most distractingly. I feel that my spirits are gone, my 
health declining, and, worse than all, my temper, yes my 
temper soured. You do not know, you. cannot know, how 
bitterly I feel, with what intense pain, and sorrow, ancTcon- 
trition, and and remorse, I reflect upon those bursts of ill- 
tcmper, of acrimony, of passion, to which, spite of every 
resistance, I am becoming every day more and more prone." 
Here the baronet paused to call up a look of compunctious 
anguish, an effort in which he was considerably assisted by an 
acute twinge in his great toe. 

" Yes," he continued, when the pain had subsided, " I am 
now growing old, I am breaking very fast, sinking, I feel it [ 
cannot be very long a trouble to anybody embarrassments 
are closing around me on all sides I have not the means of 
extricating myself despondency, despair have come upon me, 
and with them loss of spirits, loss of health, of strength, of 
everything which makes life a blessing; and, all these 
privations rendered more horrible, more agonizing, by the 
reflection that my ill-humour, my peevish temper, are con- 
tinually taxing the patience, wounding the feelings, perhaps 
alienating the affections of those who are nearest and dearest 
to me." 

Here the baronet became very much affected ; but, lest his 
agitation should be been, he turned his heai away, while he 



The Intemiew. 8 1 

grasped his daughter's hand convulsively: the poor girl 
covered his with kisses. He had wrung her very heart. 

" There is one course," continued he, " by adopting which I 
might extricate myself from all my difficulties " here he 
raised his eyes with a haggard expression, and glared wildly 
along, the cornice "but 1 confess I have great hesitation in 
leaving you" 

He wrung her hand very hard, and groaned slightly. 

" Father, dear father," said she, "do not speak thus do 
not you frighten me." 

" I was wrong, my dear child, to tell you of struggles of 
which none but myself ought to have known anything," said 
the baronet, gloomily. " One person indeed has the power to 
assist, I may say, to save me." 

" And who is that person, father ? " asked the girl. 

" Yourself," replied Sir Richard, emphatically. 

" How ? 1 ! " said she, turning very pale, for a dreadful 
suspicion crossed her mind " how can I help you, father ? " 

The old gentleman explained briefly; and the girl, relieved 
of her worst fears, started joyously from her seat, clapped her 
hands together with gladness, and, throwing her arms about 
her father's neck, exclaimed, 

" And is that all ? oh, father ; why did you defer telling 
me so long? you ought to have known how delighted I 
would have been to do anything for you ; indeed you ought ; 
tell them to get the papers ready immediately." 

" They are ready, my dear," said Sir Richard, recovering 
his self-possession wonderfully, and ringing the bell with a 
good deal of hurry for he fully acknowledged the wisdom of 
the old proverb, which inculcates the expediency of striking 
while the iron's hot " your brother had them prepared 
yesterday, I believe. Inform Mr. Craven," he continued, 
addressing the servant, " that I would be very glad to see him 
now, and say he may as well bring in the young gentleman 
who has accompanied him." 

Mr. Craven accordingly appeared, and the "young gentle- 
man," who had but one eye, and a very seedy coat, entered 
along with him. The latter personage bustled about a good 
deal, slapped the deeds very emphatically down on the table, 
and rumpled the parchments sonorously, looked about for 
pen and ink, set a chair before the document, and then held 
one side of the parchment, while Mr. Craven screwed his 
knuckles down upon the other, and the parties forthwith 
signed ; whereupon Mr. Craven and the one-eyed young 
gentleman both sat down, and began to sign away with a great 
deal of scratching and flourishing on the places allotted for 
witnesses; after all which, Mr. Craven, raising himself with a 
smile, told Miss Ashwoode, facetiously, that the Chancellor 

G 






82 The "Cock and Anchor'' 

could not have done so much for the deed as she had done ; 
and the one-eyed young gentleman held his nose contem- 
platively between his finger and thumb, and reviewed the 
signatures with his solitary optic. 

Miss Ashwoode then withdrew, and Mr. Craven and the 
"voung gentleman " made their bows. Sir Richard beckoned 
to" Mr. Craven, and he glided back and closed the door, having 
commanded the " young gentleman " to see if the coach was 
rearly. 

"You see, Mr. Craven," said Sir Richard, who, spite of all 
his philosophy, felt a little ashamed even that the attorney 
should have seen the transaction which had just been com- 
pleted " you see, sir, I may as well tell you candidly : my 
daughter, who has just signed this deed, is about immediately 
to be married to Lord Aspenly ; he kindly offered to lend me 
some fifteen thousand pounds, or thereabouts, and I converted 
this offer (which I, of course, accepted), into the assignment, 
from his bride, that is to be, of this little property, giving, of 
course, to his lordship my personal security for the debt which 
I consider as owed to him : this arrangement his lordship 
preferred as the most convenient possible. I thought it right, 
in strict confidence, of course, to explain the real state of the 
case to you, as at first sight the thing looks selfish, and I do 
not wish to stand worse in my friends' books than I actually 
deserve to do." This was spoken with Sir Richard's most 
engaging smile, and Mr. Craven smiled in return, most art- 
lessly at the same time he mentally ejaculated," d d sly !' ? 

" You'll bring this security, my dear Mr. Craven," continued 
the baronet, " into the market with all dispatch do you think 
you can manage twenty thousand upon it ? " 

"I fear not more than fourteen, or perhaps, sixteen, with 
an effort. I do not think Grlenvarlogh would carry much 
more I fear not ; but rely upon me, Sir Richard ; I'll do 
everything that can be done at all events, I'll lose no time 
about it, depend upon it I may as well take this deed along 
with me I have the rest; and title is very very satisfactory 
good-morning, Sir Richard," and the man of parchments 
withdrew, leaving Sir Richard in a more benevolent mood 
than he had experienced for many a long day. 

The attorney had not been many seconds gone, when a 
second vehicle thundered up to the door, and a perfect storm 
of knocking and ringing announced the arrival of Lord 
Aspenly himself. 



About a Certain Garden and a Damsel. 83 



CHAPTER XIV. 

ABOUT A CERTAIN GARDEN AND A DAMSEL AND ALSO 
CONCERNING A LETTER AND A RED LEATHERN BOX. 

SEVERAL days passed smoothly away Lord Aspenly was a 
perfect paragon of politeness ; but although his manner in- 
variably assumed a peculiar tenderness whenever he approached 
Miss Ashwoode, yet that young lady remained in happy 
ignorance of his real intentions. She saw before her a 
grotesque old fop, who might without any extraordinary 
parental precocity have very easily been her grandfather, 
and in his airs and graces, his rappee and his rouge (for his 
lordship condescended to borrow a few attractions from art), 
and in the thousand-and-one et ceteras of foppery which were 
accumulated, with great exactitude and precision, on and 
about his little person, she beheld nothing more than so many 
indications of obstinate and inveterate celibacy, and, of course, 
interpreted the exquisite attentions which were meant to 
enchain her young heart, merely as so much of that formal 
target practice in love's archery, in which gallant single gentle- 
men of seventy, or thereabout, will sometimes indulge them- 
selves. Emily Copland, however, at a glance, saw and 
understood the nature of Lord Aspenly's attentions, and 
she saw just as clearly the intended parts and the real position 
of the other actors in this somewhat ill-assorted drama, and 
thereupon she took counsel with herself, like a wise damsel, and 
arrived at the conclusion, that with some little management 
she might, very possibly, play her own cards to advantage 
among them. 

We must here, however, glance for a few minutes at some 
of the subordinate agents in our narrative, whose interposition, 
nevertheless, deeply, as well as permanently, affected the 
destinies of more important personages. 

It was the habit of the beautiful Mistress Betsy Carey, every 
morning, weather permitting, to enjoy a ramble in the grounds 
of Morley Court ; and as chance (of course it was chance) 
would have it, this early ramble invariably led her through 
several quiet fields, and over a stile, into a prettily-situated, 
but neglected flower-garden, which was now, however, under- 
going a thorough reform, according to the Dutch taste, under 
the presiding inspiration of Tobias Potts. Now Tobias Potts 
was a widower, having been in the course of his life twice 
disencumbered. The last Mrs. Potts had disappeared some 
five winters since, and Tobias was now well stricken in years ; 
he possessed the eyes of an owl, and the complexion of a 

G 2 



84 The "Cock and Anchor." 

turkey-cock, and was, morover, extremely hard of hearing, 
and, witha], a raan of few words; he was, however, hale, 
upright, and burly perfectly sound in wind and limb, and 
free from vice and children had a snug domicile, consisting 
of two rooms and a loft, enjoyed a comfortable salary, and 
had, it was confidently rumoured, put by a good round sum of 
money somewhere or other. It therefore struck Mrs. Carey 
very forcibly, that to be Mrs. Potts was a position worth 
attaining; and accordingly, without incurring any suspicion 
for the young women generally regarded Potts with awe, and 
the young men with contempt she began, according to the 
expressive phrase in such case made and provided, to set her 
cap at Tobias, 

In this, his usual haunt, she discovered the object of her 
search, busily employed in superintending the construction 
of a terrace walk, and issuing his orders with the brevity, 
decision, and clearness of a consummate gardener. 

*' Good-morning, Mr Potts," said the charming Betsy. Mr. 
Potts did not hear. " Good-morning, Mr. Potts," repeated the 
damsel, raising her voice to a scream. 

Tobias touched his hat with a gruff acknowledgment, 

"Well, but how beautiful you are doing it," shouted the 
handmaid again, gazing rapturously upon the red earthen 
rampnrt, in which none but the eye of an artist could have 
detected the rudiments of a terrace, *' it's wonderful neat, all 
must allow, and indeed it puzzles my head to think how you 
can think of it all ; it is now, raly elegant, so it is." 

Tobias did not reply, and the maiden continued, with 
a sentimental air, and still hallooing at the top of her 
voice,? 

"Well, of all the trades that is and big and little, there's 
a plenty of them there's none I'd choose, if I was a man, 
before the trade of a gardener." 

" No, you would not, I'm, sure," was the laconic reply. 

" Oh, but I declare and purtest I would though," bawled the 
young woman; "for gardeners, old or young, is always so 
good-humoured, and pleasant, and fresh-like. Oh, dear, but 
1 would like to be a gardener." 

" Not an old one, howsomever," growled Mr, Potts. 

" Yes, but I would though, I declare and purtest to good- 
ness gracious," persisted the nymph ; " I'd rather of the two 
perfer to be an old gardener" (this was a bold stroke of 
oratory; but Potts did not hear it) ; "I'd rather be an old 
gardener," she screamed a second time ; " I'd rather be an old 
gardener of the two, so I would." 

"That's more than I would," replied Potts, very abruptly, 
and with an air of uncommon asperity, for he silently cherished 
a lingering belief in his own juvenility, and not the less 



About a Certain Garden and a Damsel. 85 

obstinately that it was fast becoming desperate a peculiarity 
of which, unfortunately, until that moment the damsel had 
never been apprised. This, therefore, was a turn which a good 
deal disconcerted the young woman, especially as she thought 
she detected a satirical leer upon the countenance of a young 
man in crazy inexpressibles, who was trundling a wheelbarrow 
in tho immediate vicinity; she accordingly exclaimed not loud 
enough for Tobias, but quite loud enough for the young man 
in the infirm breeches to hear, 

" What an old fool. I purtest it's meat and drink to me to 
tease him eo it is ;" and with a forced giggle she tripped 
lightly away to retrace her steps towards the house. 

As she approached the stile we have mentioned, she thought 
she distinguished what appeared to be the inarticulate 
murmurings of some subterranean voice almost beneath her 
feet. A good deal startled at so prodigious a phenomenon, she 
stopped short, and immediately heard the following brief 
apostrophe delivered in a rich brogue : 

" Aiqually beautiful and engaging vartuous Betsy Carey 
listen to the voice of tindher emotion." 

The party addressed looked with some alarm in all directions 
for any visible intimation of the speaker's presence, but in vain. 
At length, from among an unusually thick and luxuriant tuft 
of docks and other weeds, which grew at the edge of a ditch 
close by, she beheld something red emerging, which in a few 
moments she clearly perceived to be the classical countenance 
of Larry Toole. 

" The Lord purtect us all, Mr. Toole. Why in the world do 
you frighten people this way ? " ejaculated the nymph, rather 
shrilly. 

" Whist ! most evangelical iv women," exclaimed Larry in a 
low key, and looking round suspiciously "whisht! or we are 
ruined." 

"La! Mr. Laurence, what are you after?" rejoined the 
damsel, with a good deal of asperity. " I'll have you to know 
I'm not used to talk with a man that's squat in a ditch, and 
his head in a dock plant. That's not the way for to come up 
to an honest woman, sir no more it is." 

"I'd live ten years in a ditch, and die in a dock plant," 
replied Larry with enthusiasm, "for one sight iv you." 

"And is that what brought you here ? " replied she, with a 
toss of her head. " I purtest some people's quite overbearing, 
so they are, and knows no bounds." 

" Stop a minute, most beautiful bayin' for one instant 
minute pay attintion," exclaimed Mr. Toole, eagerly, for he 
perceived that she had commenced her retreat. "Tare an' 
owns ! divine crature, it's not goin you are ? " 

" I have no notions, good or bad, Mr. Toole," replied the 



86 The ' ' Cock and A nchor." 

ymng lady, with great volubility and dignity, " and no idaya 
in the wide world for to be standing here prating, and talking, 
and losing my time with such as you if my business is 
neglected, it is not on your back the blame will light. I have 
my work,, and my duty, and my business to mind, and if I do 
not mind them, no one else will do it for me ; and I am 
astonished and surprised beyant telling, so I am, at the im- 
pittence of some people, thinking that the likes of me has 
nothing else to be doing but listening to them discoorsing in a 
dirty ditch, and more particular when their conduct has been 
sich as some people's that is old enough at any rate to know 
better." 

The fair handmaiden had now resumed her retreat ; so that 
Larry, having raised himself from his lowly hiding-place, was 
obliged to follow for some twenty yards before he again came 
up with her. 

" Wait one half second stop a bit, for the Lord's sake," 
exclaimed he, with most earnest energy. 

" Well, wonst for all, Mr. Laurence," exclaimed Mistress 
Carey severely, " what is your business with me? " 

" Jist this," rejoined Larry, with a mysterious wink, and 
lowering his voice " a letter to the young mistress from '' 
here he glanced jealously round, and then bringing him- 
self close beside her, he whispered in her ear " from Mr. 
O'Connor whisht not a word into her own hand, mind." 

The young woman took the letter, read the superscription, 
and forthwith placed it in her bosom, and rearranged her 
kerchief. 

"Never fear never fear," said she, "Miss Mary shall have 
it in half an hour. " And how, 5 ' added she, maliciously, " is Mr. 
O'Connor? He is a lovely gentleman, is not he ? " 

"He's uncommonly well in health, the Lord be praised," 
replied Mr. Toole, with very unaccountable severity. 

" Well, for my part," continued the girl, " I never seen the 
man yet to put beside him unless, indeed, the young master 
may be. He's a very pretty young man and so shocking 
agreeable." 

Mr. Toole nodded a pettish assent, coughed, muttered some- 
thing to himself, and then inquired when he should come for 
an answer. 

"I'll have an answer to-morrow morning maybe this 
evening," pursued she; "but do not be coming so close up to 
the house. Who knows who might be on our backs in an 
instant here ? I'll walk down whenever I get it to the two 
mulberries at the old gate ; and I'll go there either in the 
morning^at this hour, or else a little before supper-time in the 
evening." 

Mr. Toole, having gazed rapturously at the object of his 






About a Certain Garden and a Damsel. 87 

tenderest aspirations daring the delivery of this address, was 
at its termination so far transported by his feelings, as abso- 
lutely to make a kind of indistinct and flurried attempt to 
kiss her. 

" Well, I purtest, this is overbearing;-,'' exclaimed the virgin ; 
and at the same time bestowing Mr. Toole a sound box on the 
ear, she tripped lightly toward the house, leaving her admirer 
a prey to what are usually termed conflicting emotions. 

When Sir Richard returned to his dressing-room at about 
noon, to prepare for dinner, he had hardly walked to the 
toilet, and rung for his Italian servant, when a knock was 
heard at his chamber door, and, in obedience to his summons, 
Mistress Carey entered. 

" Well, Carey," inquired the baronet, as soon as she had 
appeared, u do you bring me any news ? '' 

The lady's-maid closed the door carefully. 

"News?" she repeated. "Indeed, but I do, Sir Richard 
and bad news, I'm afeard, sir. Mr. O'Connor has written a 
great long letter to my mistress, if you please, sir." 

" Have you gotten it ? " inquired the ba r onet, quickly. 

" Yes, sir," rejoined she, " safe and sound here in my breast, 
Sir Richard." 

" Your young mistress has not opened it or read it ? " 
inquired he. 

" Oh, dear ! Sir Richard, it is after all you said to me only 
the other day," rejoined she, in virtuous horror. " I hope I 
know my place better than to be fetching and carrying notes 
and letters, and all soarts, unnonst to my master. Don't I 
know, sir, very well how that you're the best judge what's 
fitting and what isn't for the sight of your own precious child ? 
and wouldn't I be very unnatural, and very hardened and 
ungrateful, if I was to be making secrets in the family, and if 
any ill-will or misfortunes was to come out of it? I purtest I 
never never would forgive myself never no more I ought 
never." 

Here Mistress Carey absolutely wept. 

" Give me the letter," said Sir Richard, drily. 

The damsel handed it to him ; and he, having glanced at 
the seal and the address, deposited the document safely in a 
small leathern box which stood upon his toilet, and having 
locked it safely therein, he turned to the maid, and patting her 
on the cheek with a smile, he remarked, 

" Be a good girl, Carey, and you shall find you have con- 
sulted your interest best." 

Here Mistress Carey was about to do justice to her own 
disinterestedness in a very strong protestation, but the 
baronet checked her with an impatient wave of the hand, and 
continued, 



88 The "Cock and Anchor." 

" Say not on any account one word to any person touching 
this letter, until you have your directions irom me. Stay 
this will buy you' a ribbon. Good-byebe a good girl." 

So saying, the baronet placed a guinea in the girl's hand, 
which, with a courtesy, having transferred to her pocket, she 
withdrew rather hurriedly, for she heard the valet in the next 
room. 



CHAPTER XY. 

THE TEAITOR. 

UPON the day following, O'Connor had not yet received any 
answer to his letter. He was, however, not a little surprised 
instead to receive a second visit from young Ashwoode. 

" I am very glad, my dear O'Connor," said the young man 
as he entered, " to have found you alone. I have been 
wishing very much for this opportunity, and was half afraid 
as I came upstairs that I should again have been disappointed. 
The fact is, I wish much to speak to you upon a subject of 
great difficulty and delicacy one in which, however, I 
naturally feel so strong an interest, that I may speak to you 
upon it, and freely, too, without impertinence. I allude to 

SDur attachment to my sister. Do not imagine, my dear 
'Connor, that I am going to lecture you on prudence and all 
that ; and above all, my dear fellow, do not think I want to 
tax your confidence more deeply than you are willing I 
should ; I know quite enough for all I would suggest; I know 
the plain fact that you love my sister I have long known 
it, and this is enough." 

" Well, sir, what follows ? " said O'Connor, dejectedly. 

" Do not call me sir call me friend fellow fool anything 
you please but that, 5 ' replied Ashwoode, kindly ; and after a 
brief pause, he continued : " I need not, and cannot disguise 
it from you, that I was much opposed to this, and vexed 
extremely at the girl's encouragement of what I considered a 
most imprudent suit. I have, however, learned to think 
differently very differently. After all my littlenesses and 
pettishness, for which you must have, if not abhorred, at least 
despised me from your very heart after all this, I say, your 
noble conduct in risking your own life to save my worthless 
blood is what I never can enough admire, and honour, and 
thank." Here he grasped O'Connor's hand, and shook it 
warmly. "After this, I tell you, O'Connor, that were there 
offered to me, on my sister's behoof, on the one side the most 
brilliant alliance in wealth and rank that ever ambition 
dreamed of, and upon the other side this hand of yours, I 



The Traitor. 89 

would, so heaven is my witness, forego every allurement of 
titles, rank, and riches, and give my sister to you. I have 
come here, O'Connor, frankly to offer you my aid and advice 
to prove to you my sincerity, and, if possible, to realize your 
wishes." 

O'Connor could hardly believe his senses. Here was the 
man who, scarcely six days since, he felt assured, would more 
readily have suffered him to thrust him through the body 
than consent to his marriage with Mary Ashwoode, now not 
merely consenting to it, but ottering cordially and spontaneously 
all the assistance in his power towards effecting that very 
object. Had he heard him aright ? One look at his expressive 
face the kindly pressure of his hand everything assured him 
that he had justly comprehended all that Ashwoode had 
j-poken, and a glow of hope, warmer than had visited him for 
years, cheered his heart. 

" In the meantime," continued Ashwoode, "I must tell you 
exactly how matters stand at Morley Court. The Earl of 
Aspenly, of whom you may have heard, is paying his addresses 
to my sister." 

" The Earl of Aspenly," echoed O'Connor, slightly colouring. 
"I had not heard of this before she did not name him." 

"Yet she has known it a good while," returned Ashwoode, 
with well-affected surprise "a month, I believe, or more. 
He's now at Morley Court, and means to make some stay 
are you sure she never mentioned him ? " 

"Titled, and, of course, rich," said O'Connor, scarce hearing 
the question. "Why should I have heard of this by chance, 
and from another why this reserve this silence ? " 

"Nay, nay," replied Henry, "you must not run away with 
the matter thus. Mary may have forgotten it, or or not 
liked to tell you not cared to give you needless uneasiness." 

" I wish she had I wish she had I am I am, indeed, 
Ashwoode, very, very unhappy," said O'Connor, with extreme 
dejection. " Forgive me forgive my folly, since folly it seems 
I fear I weary you." 

" Well, well, since it seems you have not heard of it," rejoined 
Henry, carelessly throwing himself back in his chair, " you 
may as well learn it now not that there is any real cause of 
alarm in the matter, as I shall presently show you, but simply 
that you may understand the position of the enemy. Lord 
Aspenly, then, is at present at Morley Court, where he is 
received as Mary's lover observe me, only as her lover not 
yet, and I trust never as her accepted lover." 

" G-o on pray go on," said O'Connor, with suppressed but 
agonized anxiety. 

" Now, though my father is very hot about the match," 
resumed his visitor, " it may appear strange enough to you 






90 The "Cock and Anchor'' 

that I never was. There are a few a very few advantages 
in the matter, cf course, viewing it merely in its worldly aspect. 
But Lord Aspenly's property is a good deal embarrassed, and 
he is of violently Whig politics and connections, the very 
thing most hated by my old Tory uncle, Oliver French, 
whom my father has been anxious to cultivate ; besides, the 
disparity in years is so very great that it is ridiculous I 
might almost say indecent and this even in point of family 
standing, and indeed of reputation, putting aside every better 
consideration, is objectionable. I have urged all these things 
upon my father, and perhaps we should not find any insur- 
mountable obstacle there; but the fact is, there is another 
difficulty, one of which until this morning I never dreamed 
the most whimsical difficulty imaginable.'' Here the young 
man raised his eyebrows, and laughed faintly, while he looked 
upon the floor, and O'Connor, with increasing earnestness, 
implored him to proceed. " It appears so very absurd and 
perverse an obstacle," continued Ashwoode, with a very 
quizzical expression, " that one does not exactly know how to 
encounter it to say the truth, I think that the girl is a little 
perhaps the least imaginable degree taken dazzled caught 
by the notion of being a countess ; it's very natural, you know, 
but then I would have expected better from her." 

" By heavens, it is impossible ! " exclaimed O'Connor, 
starting to his feet ; " I cannot believe it ; you must, indeed, 
my dear Ashwoode, you must have been deceived." 

" Well, then," rejoined the young man, " I have lost my skill 
in reading young ladies' minds that's all ; but even though I 
should be right and never believe me if I am not right it 
does not follow that the giddy whim won't pass away just as 
suddenly as it came ; her most lasting impressions with, I 
should hope, one exception were never very enduring. I 
have been talking to her for nearly half an hour this morning 
laughing with her about Lord Aspenly's suit, and building 
castles in the air about what she will and wnat she won't do 
when she's a countess. But, by the way, how did you let her 
know that you intend returning to France at the end of this 
month, only, as she told me, however, for a few weeks ? She 
mentioned it yesterday incidentally. Well, it is a comfort that 
I hear your secrets, though you won't entrust them to me. 
But do not, my dear fellow do not look so very black you very 
much overrate the firmness of women's minds, and greatly 
indeed exaggerate that of my sister's character if you believe 
that this vexatious whim which has entered her giddy pate 
will remain there longer than a week. The simple fact is that 
the excitement and bustle of all this has produced an unusual 
flow of high spirits, which will, of course, subside with the 
novelty of the occasion. Pshaw ! why so cast down ? there is 



The Traitor. 91 

nothing in the matter to surprise one the caprice of women 
knows DO rule. I tell you 1 would almost stake my reputation 
as a prophet, that when this giddy excitement passes away, 
her feelings will return to their old channel." O'Connor 
still paced the room in silence. " Meanwhile," continued the 
young man, " if anything occur to you if I can be useful to 
you in any way, command me absolutely, and till you see me 
next, take heart of grace." He grasped O'Connor's hand it 
was cold as clay ; and bidding him farewell, once more took 
his departure." 

" Well," thought he, as he threw his leg across his high-bred 
gelding at the inn door, " [ have shot the first shaft home." 

And so he had, for the heart at which it was directed, un- 
fenced by suspicion, lay open to his traitorous practices. 
O'Connor's letter, an urgent and a touching one, was still 
unanswered ; it never for a moment crossed his mind that it 
had not reached the hand for which it was intended. The 
maid who had faithfully delivered all the letters which had 
passed between them had herself received it ; and young Ash- 
woode had but the moment before mentioned, from his sister's 
lips, the subject on which it was written his meditated depar- 
ture for France. This, too, it appeared, she had spoken of in 
the midst of gay and light-hearted trifling, and projects of 
approaching magnificence and dissipation with his rich and 
noble rival. Twice since the delivery of that letter had his 
servant seen Miss Ashwoode's maid ; and in the communica- 
tive colloquy which had ensued she had told no doubt 
according to well- planned instructions how gay and unusually 
merry her mistress was, and how she passed whole hours at 
her toilet, and the rest of her time in the companionship of 
Lord Aspenly so that between his lordship's society, and her 
own preparations for it, she had scarcely allowed herself time 
to read the letter in question, much less to answer it. 

All these things served to fill O'Connor's mind with, vague 
but agonizing doubts doubts which he vainly strove to 
combat ; fears which had not their birth in an alarmed 
imagination, but which, alas ! were but too surely approved 
by reason. The notion of a systematic plot, embracing so 
many agents, and conducted with such deep and hellish 
hypocrisy, with the sole purpose of destroying affections the 
most beautiful, and of alienating hearts the truest, was a 
thought so monstrous and unnatural that it never for a second 
flashed upon his mind; still his heart struggled strongly 
against despair. Spite of all that looked gloomy in what he 
saw spite of the boding suggestions of his worst fears, he 
would not believe her false to him that she who had so long 
and so well loved and trusted him she whose gentle heart 
he knew unchanged and unchilled by years, and distance, and 



92 The "Cock and A nckor" 

misfortune? that she should, after all, have fallen away from 
him, and given up that heart, which once was his, to vanity 
and the hollow glitter of the world this he could hardly bring 
himself to believe, yet what was he to think ? alas ! what ? 



CHAPTER XVI. 

SHOWING SIGNOR, PARUCCI ALONE WITH THE WIG-BLOCKS THE 
BARONET'S HAND-BELL AND THE ITALIAN'S TASK. 

MORLEY COURT was a queer old building very large and very 
irregular. The main part of the dwelling, and what appeared 
to be the original nucleus, upon which after- additions had 
grown like fantastic incrustations, was built of deep-red 
brick, with many recesses and projections and gables, and 
tall and grotesquely-shaped chimneys, and having broad, 
jutting, heavily- sashed windows, such as belonged to Henry 
the Eighth's time, to which period tLe orisrin of the building 
was, with sufficient probability, referred. The great avenue, 
which extended in a direct line to more than the long half of 
an Irish mile, led through double rows of splendid old lime 
trees, some thirty paces apart, and arching in a vast and 
shadowy groining overhead, to the front of the building. To 
the rearward extended the rambling additions which necessity 
or caprice had from time to time suggested, as the place, in 
the lapse of years, passed into the hands of different masters. 
One of these excrescences, a quaint little prominence, with a 
fanciful gable and chimney of its own, jutted pleasantly out 
upon the green sward, courting the friendly shelter of the 
wild and graceful trees, and from its casement commanding 
through the parting boughs no views but those of quiet fields, 
distant woodlands, and the far-off blue hills. This portion of 
the building contained in the upper story one small room, to 
the full as oddly shaped as the outer casing of fantastic 
masonry in which it was inclosed the door opened upon a 
back staircase which led from the lower apartments to Sir 
Eichard's dressing-room ; and partly owing to this convenient 
arrangement, and partly perhaps to the comfort and seclusion 
of the chamber itself, it had been long appropriated to the 
exclusive occupation of Signor Jacopo Parucci, Sir Eichard's 
valet and confidential servant. This man was, as his name 
would imply, an Italian. Sir Eichard had picked him up, 
pome thirty years before the period at which we have dated 
our story, in Naples, where it was said the baronet had received 
from him very important instructions in the inner mysteries 



Signor Panicci Alone. 93 

of that golden science which converts chance into certainty 
a science in which Sir Kichard was said to have become a 
masterly proficient; and indeed so loudly had fame begun to 
bruit his excellence therein, that he found it at last necessary, 
or at least highly advisable, to forego the fascinations of the 
gaming-table, and to bid to the worship of fortune an eternal 
farewell, just at the moment when the fickle goddess promised 
with golden profusion to reward his devotion. 

Whatever his reason was, Sir Richard had been to this man 
a good master; he had, it was said, and not without reason, 
enriched him ; and, moreover, it was a strange fact, that in all 
his capricious and savage moods, from whose consequences 
not only his servants but his own children had no exemption, 
he had never once treated this person otherwise than with the 
most marked civility. What the man's services had actually 
been, and to what secret influence he owed the close and con- 
fidential terms upon which he unquestionably stood with Sir 
Richard, these things were mysteries, and, of course, furnished 
inexhaustible matter of scandalous speculation among the 
baronet's dependents and most intimate friends. 

The room of which we speak was Parucci's snuggery. It 
contained in a recess behind the door that gentleman's bed 
a plain, low, uncurtained couch ; and variously disposed about 
the apartment an abundance of furniture of much better kind ; 
the recess of the window was filled by a kind of squat press, 
which was constructed in the lower part, and which contained, 
as certain adventurous chambermaids averred, having peeped 
into its dim recesses when some precious opportunity pre- 
sented itself, among other shadowy shapes, the forms of 
certain flasks and bottles with long necks, and several tall 
glasses of different dimensions. Two or three tables of 
various sizes of dark shining wood, with legs after the fashion 
of the nether limbs of hippogriffs and fauns, seemed about to 
walk from their places, and to stamp and claw at random 
about the floor. A large, old press of polished oak, with spiral 
pillars of the same flanking it in front, contained the more 
precious articles of Signor Parucci's wardrobe. Close beside 
it, in a small recess, stood a set of shelves, on which were 
piled various matters, literary and otherwise, among which 
perhaps none were disturbed twice in the year, with the 
exception of six or eight packs of cards, with which, for old 
associations' sake, Signor Jacopo used to amuse himself now 
and again in his solitary hours. 

On one of the tables stood two blocks supporting each a 
flowing black peruke, which it was almost the only duty of the 
tenant of this interesting sanctuary to tend, and trim, and 
curl. Upon the dusky tapestry were pinned several coloured 
prints, somewhat dimmed by time, but evidently of very 






94 The "Cock and Anchor '." 

equivocal morality. A birding-piece and a fragment of a 
fishing-rod covered with dust, neither of which Signer Parucci 
had ever touched for the last twenty years, were suspended 
over the mantelpiece ; and upon the side of the recess, and 
fully lighted by the window, in attestation of his gentler and 
more refined pursuits, hung a dingy old guitar apparently 
still in use, for the strings, though a good deal cobbled and 
knotted, were perfect in number A huge, high-backed, well- 
stuffed chair, in which a man might lie as snugly as a kernel 
in its shell, was placed at the window, and in it reclined the 
presiding genius of the place himself, with his legs elevated 
so as to rest upon the broad window-sill, formed by the roof 
of the mysterious press which we have already mentioned. 
The Italian was a little man, very slight, with long hair, a 
good deal grizzled, flowing upon his shoulders ; he had a sallow 
complexion and thin hooked nose, piercing black eyes, lean 
cheeks, and sharp chin and altogether a lank, attentuated, 
and somewhat intellectual cast of face, with, however, a certain 
expression of malice and cunning about the leer of his eye, as 
well as in the character of his thin and colourless lip, which 
made him by no means a very pleasant object to look upon. 

"Fine weather almost Italy," said the little man, lazily 
pushing open the casement with his foot. " I am surprise, 
good, dear, sweet Sir Richard, his bell is stop so long quiet. 
Why is it not go ding, ding, dingeri, dingeri, ding-a-ding, ding, 
as usual. Damnation ! what do I care he ring de bell and I 
leesten. We are not always young, and I must be allow to be 
a leetle deaf when he is allow to be a leetle gouty. Gode blace 
my body, how hot is de sun. Corne down here, leer of Apollo 
come to my arm, meestress of my heart Orpheus' leer, 
come queekly." This was addressed to the ancient instru- 
ment of music which we have already mentioned, and the 
invitation was accompanied by an appropriate elevation of his 
two little legs, which he raised until he gently closed his feet 
upon the sides of the "leer of Apollo," which, with a good 
deal of dexterity, he unhung from its peg, and conveyed within 
reach of his hand. He cast a look of fond admiration at its 
dingy and time-dried face, and forthwith, his heels still 
resting upon the window-sill, he was soon thrumming a 
tinkling symphony, none of the most harmonious, and then, 
with uncommon zeal, he began, to his own accompaniment, to 
sing some ditty of Italian love. While engaged in this refined 
and touching employment, he espied, with unutterable indig- 
nation, a, young urchin, who, attracted by the sounds of his 
amorous minstrelsy, and with a view to torment the performer, 
who was an extremely unpopular personage, had stationed 
himself at a little distance before the casement, and accom- 
panied the vocal performance of the Italian with the most 



Stg nor Panted A lone. .9 5 

hideous grimaces, and the most absurd and insulting gesticula- 
tions. 

Signor Parucci would have given a good round sum to have 
had the engaging boy by the ears ; but this he knew was out 
of the question ; he therefore (for he was a philosopher) played 
and sung on without evincing the smallest consciousness of 
what was going forward. His plans of vengeance were, how- 
ever, speedily devised and no less quickly executed. There 
lay upon the window-sill a fragment of biscuit, which in the 
course of an. ecstatic flourish the little man kicked "carelessly 
over. The bait had hardly touched the ground beneath the 
casement when Jacopo, continuing to play and sing the while, 
and apparently unconscious of anything but his own music, 
to his infinite delight beheld the boy first abate his exertions, 
and finally put an end to his affronting pantomime altogether, 
and begin to manoeuvre in the direction of the treacherous 
windfall. The youth gradually approached it, and just at the 
moment when it was within his grasp, Signor Parucci, with 
another careless touch of his foot, sent over a large bow-pot 
well stored with clay, which stood upon the window-block. 
The descent of this ponderous missile was followed by a most 
heart- stirring acclamation from below; and good Mr. Parucci, 
clambering along the window-sill, and gazing downward, was 
regaled by the spectacle of the gesticulating youth stamping 
about the grass among what appeared to be the fragments of 
a hundred flower-pots, writhing and bellowing in transports 
of indignation and bodily torment. 

" Povero ragazzo Carissimo figlio," exclaimed the valet, 
looking out with an expression of infinite sweetness, "my 
dear child and charming boy, how 'av you broke my flower- 
pote, and when 'av you come here. Ah ! per Bacco, I think I 
'av see you before. Ah ! yees, you are that sweetest leetel boy 
that was leestening at my music so charming just now. 
How much clay is on your back ! a cielo! amiable child, you 
might 'av keel yourself. Sacro numine, what an escape ! Say 
your prayer, and thank heaven you are safe, my beautiful, 
sweetest, leetel boy. God blace you. Now rone away very 
fast, for fear you pool the other two flower-potes on your back, 
sweetest child. G-ode bless you, amiable boy they are very 
large and very heavy." 

The youth took the hint, and having had quite enough of 
Mr. Parucci's music for the evening, withdrew under the com- 
bined influences of fury and lumbago. The little man threw 
himself back in his chair, and hugged his shins in sheer 
delight, grinning and chattering like a delirious monkey, and 
rolling himself about, and laughing with the most exquisite 
relish. At length, after this had gone on tor some time, with 
the air of a man who has had enough of trifling, and must now 



96 The "Cock and Anchor:' 

apply himself to matters of graver importance, he arose, hung 
up his guitar, sent his chair, which was upon casters, rolling 
to the far end of the room, and proceeded to arrange the curls 
of one of the two magnificent perukes, on which it was his 
privilege to operate. After having applied himself with un- 
common attention to this labour of taste for some time in 
silence, he retired a few paces to contemplate the effect of his 
performance whereupon he fell into a musing mood, and 
began after his fashion to soliloquize with a good deal of 
energy and volubility in that dialect which had become more 
easy to him than his mother tongue. 

" Corpo di Bacco I what thing is life ! who would believe 
thirty years ago I should be here now in a barbaroose island 
to curl the wig of an old gouty blackguard but what matter. 
I am a philosopher damnation it is very well as it is per 
Bacco ! I can go way when I like. I am reech leetle fellow, 
and with Sir Richard, good Sir Richard, I do always whatever 
I may choose. Good Sir Richard,'' he continued, addressing 
the block on which hung the object of his tasteful labours, as 
it' it had been the baronet in person -" good Sir Richard, why 
are you so kind to me, when you are so cross as the old devil 
in hell with all the rest of the world? why, why, why? 
Shall I say to you the reason, good, kind Sir Richard ? Well, 
I weel. It is because you dare not dare not dare not 
da-a-a-are not vaix me. I am, you know, dear Sir Richard, a 
poor, leetle foreigner, who is depending on your goodness. I 
'ave nothing but your great pity and good charity- oh, no ! I 
am nothing at all ; but still you dare not vaix me you moste 
not be angry note at all but very quiet you moste not go 
in a passion oh ! never weeth me even if I was to make 
game of you, and to insult you, and to pool your nose." 

Here the Italian seized, with the tongs which he had in his 
hand, upon that prominence in the wooden block which cor- 
responded in position with the nose, which at other times the 
pernke overshadowed, and with a grin of infinite glee pinched 
and twisted the iron instrument until the requirements of his 
dramatic fancy were satisfied, when he delivered two or three 
sharp knocks on the smooth face of the block, and resumed 
his address. 

" No, no you moste not be angry, fore it would be great 
misfortune oh, it would if you and I should quarrel to- 
gether ; but tell me now, old truffatore tell me, I say, am I 
not very quiet, good-nature, merciful, peetying faylow ? Ah, 
yees very, very Madre di Dio very mocbe; and dear, good 
Sir Richard, shall I tell you why I am so very good-nature ? 
It is because I love you joste as moche as you love me it is 
because, most charitable patron, it is my convenience to go 
on weeth you quietly and 5 av no fighting yet bote you are 



Signor Panted Alone. 



97 



going to get money. Oh! so coning you are, you think I 
know nothing you think I am asleep bote I know it I 
know it quite well. You think I know nothing about the 
land you take from Miss Mary. Ah ! you are very coning 
oh! very ; but I 'av hear it all, and I tell you and I sweaT- 

per sangue di D , when you get that money I shall, and 

will, and moste mo-ooste 'av a very large, comfortable, beeg 
handful do you hear me ? Oh, you very coning old rascal ; 
and if you weel not geeve it, oh, my dear Sir Richard, echellent 
master, I am so moche afaid we will 'av a fight between us 
a quarrel that will spoil our love and friendship, and maybe, 
helas ! horte your reputation shoking make the gentlemen 



J 




spit on you, and avoid you, and call you all the ogly names 
oh ! shoking.'' 

Here he was interrupted by a loud ringing in Sir Richard's 
chamber. 

" There he is to pool his leetle bell damnation, what noise. 
I weel go up joste now time enough, dear, good, patient Sir 
Richard time enough oh, plainty, plainty." 

The little man then leisurely fumbled in his pocket until 
he brought forth a bunch of keys, from which, having selected 
one, he applied it to the lock of the little press which we have 
already mentioned, whence he deliberately produced one of 
the flasks which we have hinted at, along with a tall glnss with 



98 The "Cock and Anchor? 

a spiral stem, and filling himself a bumper of the liquor therein 
contained, he coolly sipped it to the bottom, accompanied 
throughout the performance by the incessant tinkling of Sir 
Richard's hand-bell. 

"Ah, very good, most echellent thank you, Sir Richard, 
you 'av give me so moche time and so moche music, I 'av drunk 
your very good health." 

So saying, he locked up the flask and glass again, and 
taking the block which had just represented Sir Richard in 
the imaginary colloquy in his hand, he left his own chamber, 
and ran upstairs to the baronet's dressing-room. He found 
his master alone. 

" Ah, Jacopo," exclaimed the baronet, looking somewhat 
flushed, but speaking, nevertheless, in a dulcet tone enough, 
" I have been ringing for nearly ten minutes ; but I suppose 
you did not hear me." 

" Jbfte so as you 'av say," replied the man. " Your signoria 
is very seJdom wrong. I was so charmed with my work I 
could not hear nothing." 

" Parucci,' 3 rejoined Sir Richard, after a slight pause, " you 
know I keep no secrets from you." 

" Ah, you flatter me, Signer yon flatter me indeed you 
do," said the valet, with ironical humility. 

His master well understood the tone in which the fellow- 
spoke, but did not care to notice it. 

" The fact is, Jacopo," continued Sir Richard, " you already 
know so many of my secrets, that I have now no motive in 
excluding you from any." 

" Goode, kind oh, very kind," ejaculated the valet. 

" In short," continued his master, who felt a little uneasy 
under the praises of his attendant "in short, to speak plainly, 
I want your assistance. I know your talents well. You 
can imitate any handwriting you please to copy with perfect 
accuracy. You must copy, in the handwriting of this manu- 
script, the draft of a letter which I will hand you this 
evening. You require some little time to study the character ; 
so take the letter with you, and be in my room at ten to-night. 
I will then hand you the draft of what I want written. 
You understand ? " 

" Understand ! To be sure most certilly I weel do it," 
replied the Italian, "so that the great devil himself will not 
tell the writing of the two, I'un dall' altro, one from the other. 
Never fear geeve me the letter. I must learn the writing. 
I weel be here to-night before you are arrive, and I weel do it 
very fast, and so like bpte you know how well I can copy. 
Ah ! yees ; you know it, Signer. I need not tell." 

" No more at present," said the baronet, with a gesture of 
caution. " Assist me to dress." 






Dublin Castle by Night. 99 

The Italian accordingly was soon deep in the mysteries of 
his elaborate functions, where we shall leave him and his 
master for the present. 



CE AFTER XVII. 

DUBLIN CASTLE BY NIGHT THE DRAWING-ROOM LORD WHARTON 
AND HIS COUKT. 

SIR RICHARD ASHWOODE had set his heart upon having Lord 
Aspenly for his son-in-law; and all things considered, his 
lordship was, perhaps, according to the standard by which the 
baronet measured merit, as good a son-in-law as he had any 
right to hope for. It was true, Lord Aspenly was neither very 
young nor very beautiful. Spite of all the ingenious arts by 
which he reinforced his declining graces, it was clear as the 
light that his lordship was not very far from seventy ; and it 
was just as apparent that it was not to any extraordinary 
supply of bone, muscle, or flesh that his vitality was attribu- 
table. His lordship was a little, spindle-shanked gentleman, 
with the complexion of a consumptive frog, aud features as 
sharp as edged tools. He condescended to borrow from the 
artistic talents of his valet the exquisite pencilling of his eye- 
brows, as well as the fine black line which gave effect to 
a set of imaginary eyelashes, and depth and brilliancy to a 
pair of eyes which, although naturally not very singularly 
effective, had, nevertheless, nearly as much vivacity in them 
as they had ever had. His smiles were perennial and un- 
ceasing, very winning and rather ghastly. He used much 
gesticulation, and his shrug was absolutely Parisian. To all 
these perfections he added a wonderful facility in rounding 
the periods of a compliment, and an inexhaustible affluence 
of something which passed for conversation. Thus endowed, 
and having, moreover, the additional recommendation of a 
handsome income, a peerage, and an unencumbered celibacy, 
it is hardly wonderful that his lordship was unanimously 
voted by all prudent and discriminating persons, without ex- 
ception, the most fascinating man in all Ireland. Sir Richard 
Ashwoode was not one whit more in earnest in desiring the 
match than was Lord Aspenly himself. His lordship had 
for some time begun to suspect that he had nearly sown his 
wild oats that it was time for him to reform that he was 
ripe for the domestic virtues, and ought to renounce scamp- 
hood. He therefore, in the laboratory of his secret soul, com- 
pounded a virtuous passion, which he resolved to expend 

H 2 



1 00 The "Cock and Anchor. ' ' 

npon the first eligible object who might present herself. Mary 
Ashwoode was the fortunate damsel who first happened to 
come within the scope and range of his lordship's premedi- 
tated love; and he forthwith in a matrimonial paroxysm 
applied, according to the good old custom, not to the lady 
herself, but to Sir Bichard Ashwoode, and was received with 
open arms. 

The baronet indeed, as the reader is aware, anticipated many 
difficulties in bringing the match about ; for he well knew 
how deeply his daughter's heart was engaged, and his mis- 
givings were more sombre and frequent than he cared to 
acknowledge even to himself. He resolved, however, that the 
thing should be ; and he was convinced, that if his lordship 
only were firm, spite of fate he would effect it. In order then 
to inspire Lord Aspenly with this desirable firmness, he not 
unwisely believed that his best course was to exhibit him as 
much as possible in public places, in the character of the 
avowed lover of Mary Ashwoode ; a position which, when once 
unequivocally assumed, afforded no creditable retreat, except 
through the gates of matrimony. It was arranged, therefore, 
that the young lady, under the protection of Lady Stukely, 
and accompanied by Lord Aspenly and Henry Ashwoode, 
should attend the first drawing-room at the Castle, a ceremo- 
nial which had been fixed to take place a few days subse- 
quently to the arrival of Lord Aspenly at Morley Court. 
Those who have seen the Castle of Dublin only as it now 
stands, have beheld but the creation of the last sixty or 
seventy years, with the exception only of the wardrobe tower, 
an old grey cylinder of masonry, very dingy and dirty, which 
appears to have gone into half mourning for its departed com- 
panions, and presents something of the imposing character of 
an overgrown, mouldy band-box. At the beginning of the 
last century, however, matters were very different. The trim 
brick buildings, with their spacious windows and symmetrical 
regularity of structure, which now complete the quadrangles 
of the castle, had not yet appeared; but in their stead masses 
of building, constructed with very little attention to archi- 
tectural precision, either in their individual formation or in 
their relative position, stood ranged together, so as to form 
two irregular and gloomy squares. That portion of the build- 
ing which was set apart for state occasions and the vice-regal 
residence, had undergone so many repairs and modifications, 
that very little if any of it could have been recognized by its 
original builder. Not so, however, with other portions of the 
pile : the ponderous old towers, which have since disappeared, 
with their narrow loop-holes and iron-studded doors looming 
darkly over the less massive fabrics of the place with stern and 
gloomy aspect, reminded the passer every moment, that the 



Dublin Castle by Night. 101 

building whose courts he trod was not merely the theatre of 
stately ceremonies, but a fortress and a prison. 

The viceroyalty of the Earl of Wharton was within a few 
weeks of its abrupt termination ; the approaching discomfiture 
of the Whigs was not, however, sufficiently clearly revealed, 
to thin the levees and drawing-rooms of the Whig lord-lieu- 
tenant. The castle yards were, therefore, upon the occasion 
in question, crowded to excess with the gorgeous equipages 
in which the Irish aristocracy of the time delighted. The 
night had closed in unusual darkness, and the massive build- 
ings, whose summits were buried in dense and black obscurity, 
were lighted only by the red reflected glow of crowded flam- 
beaux and links which, as the respective footmen, who at- 
tended the crowding chairs and coaches flourished them 
according to the approved fashion, scattered their wide showers 
ot sparks into the eddying air, and illumined in a broad and 
ruddy glare, like that of a bonfire, the gorgeous equipages 
with whioh the square was now thronged, and the splendid 
figures which they successively discharged. There were 
coaches-and-four out-riders running footmen and hanging 
footmen crushing and rushing jostling and swearing and 
burly coachmen, with inflamed visages, lashing one another's 
horses and their own. Lackeys collaring and throttling one 
another, all " for their master's honour,'' in the hot and dis- 
orderly dispute for precedence, and some even threateningan ap- 
peal to the swords which, according to the barbarous fashion 
of the day, thev carried, to the no small peril of the public and 
themselves. Others dragging the reins of strangers' horses, 
and backing them to make way for their own a proceeding 
which, of course, involved no small expenditure of blasphemy 
and vociferation. On the whole, it would not be easy to ex- 
aggerate the scene of riot and confusion which, under the very 
eye of the civil and military executive of the country, was 
perpetually recurring, and that, too, ostensibly in honour of 
the supreme head of the Irish Government. 

Through all this crash, and clatter, and brawling, and 
vociferation, the party whom we are bound to follow made 
their way with some difficulty and considerable delay. 

The Earl of Wharton with his countess, surrounded by a 
brilliant statf, and amid all the pomp and state of vice-regal 
dignity, received the distinguished courtiers who thronged the 
castle chambers. At the time of which we write, Lord Wharton 
was in his seventieth year. Few, however, would have guessed 
his age at more than sixty, though many might have supposed 
it under that. He was lather a spare figure, with an erect 
and dignified bearing, and a countenance which combined 
vivacity, good-humour, and boldness in an eminent degree. 
His manners were, to those who did not know how unreal was 



102 The " Cock and A nchor. ' ' 

everything in them that bore the promise of good, singularly 
engaging, and that in spite of a very strong spice of coarse- 
ness, and a very determined addiction to profane swearing. 
He had, however, in his whole air and address a kind of 
rollicking, good-humoured familiarity, which was very gene- 
rally mistaken for the quintessence of candour and good- 
fellowship, and which consequently rendered him unboundedly 
popular among those who were not aware of the fact that his 
complimentary speeches meant just nothing, and were very 
often followed, the moment the object of them had withdrawn, 
by the coarsest ridicule, and even by the grossest abuse. For 
the rest, he was undoubtedly an able statesman, and had 
clearly discerned and adroitly steered his way through the 
straits and perils of troublous and eventful times. He was, 
moreover, a stead} 7 and uncompromising Whig, upon whom, 
throughout a long and active life, the stain of inconsistency 
had never rested; a thorough partisan, a quick and ready 
debater, and an unscrupulous and daring political intriguer. 
In private, however, entirely profligate a sensualist and an 
infidel, and in both characters equally without shame. 

Through the rooms there wandered a very wild, madcap boy 
of some ten or eleven years, venting his turbulent spirits in 
all kinds of mischievous pranks sometimes planting himself 
behind Lord Wharton, and mimicking, with ludicrous exaggera- 
tion, which the courtly spectators had enough to do to resist, 
the ceremonious gestures and gracious nods of the viceroy ; at 
other times assuming a staid and manly carriage, and chatting 
with his elders with the air of perfect equality, and upon 
subjects which one would have thought immeasurably beyond 
his years, and this with a sound sense, suavity, and precision 
which would have done honour to many grey heads in the 
room. This strange, bold, precocious boy of eleven was Philip, 
afterwards Duke of Wharton, the wonder and the disgrace of 
the British peerage. 

" Ah ! Mr. Morris," exclaimed his excellency, as a middle- 
aged gentleman, with a fluttered air, a round face, and vacant 
smile, approached, "I am delighted to see you by Al- 
mighty i am give me your hand. I have written across 
about the matter we wot of: but for these cursed contrary 
winds, I make no doubt 1 should have had a letter before now. 
Is the young gentleman himself here ? " 

" A a not quite, your excellency. That is, not at all," 
stammered the gentleman, in mingled delight and alarm. " He 
is, my lord, a a laid up. He a it is a sore throat. Your 
excellency is most gracious." 

" Tell him from me," rejoined Wharton, " that he must get 
well as quickly as may be. We dcn't know the moment he 
may le wanted. You understand me ? " 



Dublin Castle by Night. 103 

" I a do indeed," replied Mr. Morris, retiring in graceful 
confusion. 

" A d d impudent booby," whispered Wharton to Addi- 

son, who stood beside him, uttering the remark without the 
change of a single muscle. " He has made some cursed un- 
conscionable request about his son. I'gad, I forget what ; but 
we want his vote on Tuesday ; and civility, you know, costa no 
coin." 

Addison smiled faintly, and shook his head. 

" May the Lord pardon us all," exclaimed a country clergy- 
man in a rusty gown and ill-dressed wig, with a pale, 
attenuated, eager face, which told mournful tales of short 
commons and hard work ; he had been for some time an in- 
tense and a grieved listener to the lord-lieutenant's conversa- 
tion, and was now slowly retiring with a companion as humble 
as himself from the circle which surrounded his excellency, 
with simple horror impressed upon his pale features " may 
the Lord preserve us all, how awful it is to hear one so 
highly trusted by Him, take His name thus momentarily in 
vain. Lord Wharton is, I fear me much, an habitual profane 
swearer." 

" Believe me, sir, you are very simple," rejoined a young 
clergyman who stood close to the position which the speaker 
now occupied. " His excellency's object in swearing by the 
different persons of the Trinity is to show that he believes 
in revealed religion a fact which else were doubtful ; and 
this being his main object, it is manifestly a secondary con- 
sideration to what particular asseveration or promises his 
excellency happens to tack his oaths." 

The lank, pale-faced prebendary looked suddenly and 
earnestly round upon the person who had accosted him, with 
an expression of curiosity and wonder, evidently in some 
doubt as to the spirit in which the observation had been made. 
He beheld a tall, stalwart man, arrayed in a clerical costume 
as rich as that of a churchman who has not attained to the 
rank of a dignitary in his profession could well be, and in all 
points equipped with the most perfect neatness. In the face 
he looked in vain for any indication of jocularity. It was a 
striking countenance striking for the extreme severity of its 
expression, and for its stern and handsome outline. The eye 
which encountered the inquiring glance of the elder man was 
of the clearest blue, singularly penetrating and commanding 
the eyebrow dark and shaggy the lips full and finely 
formed, but in their habitual expression bearing a character 
of haughty and indomitable determination the complexion of 
the face was dark ; and as the country prebendary gazed upon 
the countenance, full, as it seemed, of a scoruful, stern, merci- 
less energy and decision, something told him that he looked 



104 'The "Cock and Anchor." 

upon one born to lead and to command the people. All this 
he took in at a glance : and while he looked, Addison, who 
had detached himself from the vice-regal coterie, laid his 
hand upon the shoulder of the stern -featured young clergy- 
man. 

" Swift," said he, drawing him aside, "we see you too seldom 
here. His excellency begins to think and to hope you have 
reconsidered what I spoke about when last we met. Believe 
me, you wrong yourself in not rendering what service you can 
to men who are not ungrateful, and who have the power to 
reward. You were always a Whig, and a pamphlet were with 
you but the work of a few days." 

" Were I to write a pamphlet," rejoined Swift, " it is odds 
his excellency would not like it." 

" Have you not always been a Whig ? " urged Addison. 
" Sir, I am not to be taken by nicknames," rejoined Swift. 
"I know Godolphin, and I know Lord Wharton. I have long 
distrusted the government of each. I am no courtier, Mr. 
Secretary. What I suspect I will not seem to trust what I 
hate I hate entirely, and renounce openly. I have heard of 
my Lord Wharton's doing?, too. When I refused before to 
understand your overtures to me to write a pamphlet for his 
friends, he was pleased to say I refused because he would not 
make me his chaplain in saying which he knowingly and 
malignantly lied ; and to this lie he, after his accustomed 
fashion, tacked .a blasphemous < ath. He is therefore a perjured 
liar. I renounce him as heartily as I renounce the devil. I 
am come here, Mr. Secretary, not to do reverence to Lord 
Wharton God forbid ! but to offer my homage to the 
majesty of England, whose brightness is reflected even in that 
cracked and battered piece of pinchbeck yonder. Believe me, 
should his excellency be rash enough to engage me in talk 
to-night, I shall take care to let him know what opinion I have 
of him." 

" Come, come, you must not be so dogged," rejoined 
Addison. " You know Lord Wharton's ways. He says a good 
deal more than he cares to be believed everybody knows that 
and all take his lordship's asseverations with a grain of 
allowance ; besides, you ought to consider that when a man 
unused to contradiction is crossed by disappointment, he is 
apt to be choleric, and to forget his discretion. We all know 
his faults ; but even you will not deny his merits." 

Thus speaking, he led Swift toward the vice-regal circle, 
which they had no sooner reached than Wharton, with his 
most good-humoured smile, advanced to meet the young 
clergyman, exclaiming, 

" Swift ! so it is, by ! I am glad to see you by I 

am." 



Dublin Castle by Night. 105 

" I am glad, my lord,' 5 replied Swift, gravely, "that you take 
such frequent occasion to remind this godless company of the 
presence of the Almighty." 

" Well, you know," rejoined Wharton, good-humouredly, 
" the Scripture saith that the righteous man sweareth to his 
neighbour." 

"And disappointeth him not," rejoined Swift. 

"And disappointeth him not," repeated Wharton; "and by 

," continued he, with marked earnestness, and drawing 

the young politician aside as he spoke, "in whatsoever I swear 
to thee there shall be no disappointment." 

He paused, but Swift remained silent. The lord-lieutenant 
well knew that an English preferment was the nearest 
object of the young churchman's ambition. He therefore 
continued, 

" On my soul, we want you in England this is no stage 

for you. By you cannot hope to serve either yourself or 

your friends in this place." 

"Very few thrive here but scoundrels, my lord," rejoined 
Swift. 

"Even so," replied Wharton, with perfect equanimity "it 
is a nation of scoundrels dissent on the one side and popery 
on the other. The upper order harpies, and the lower a mere 
prey and all equally liars, rogues, rebels, slaves, and robbers. 

By some fine day the devil will carry off the island 

bodily. For very safety you must get out of it. By he'll 

have it." 

" I am not enough in the devil's confidence to speak of his 
designs with so much authority as your lordship," rejoined 
Swift; "but I incline to think that under your excellency's 
administration it will answer his end as well to leave the 
island where it is." 

"Ah! Swift, you are a wag," rejoined the viceroy; "but 

by I honour and respect your spirit. I know we shall 

agree yet by 1 know it. I respect your independence 

and honesty all the more that they are seldom met with in a 

presence-chamber. By I respect and love you more and 

more every day." 

" If your lordship will forego your professions of love, and 
graciously conHne yourself to the backbiting which must 
follow, you will do for me to the full as much as I either 
expect or desire," rejoined Swift, with a grave reverence. 

" Well, well," rejoined the viceroy, with the most unruffled 
good-humour, "I see, Swift, you are in no mood to play the 
courtier just now. Nevertheless, bear in mind what Addison 
advised you to attempt ; and though we part thus for the 
present, believe me, 1 love you all the better for your honest 
humour." 



1 06 The "Cock and A ncfior." 

" Farewell, my lord," repeated Swift, abruptly, and with a 
formal bow he retired among the common throng. 

" A hungry, ill-conditioned dog," said Wharton, turning to 
the person next him, " who, having never a bone to gnaw, 
whets his teeth on the shins of the company." 

Having vented this little criticism, the viceroy resumed 
once more the formal routine of state hospitality. 

" It is time we were going," suggested Mary Ashwoode to 
Emily Copland. " My lord,' 3 she continued, turning to Lord 
Aspenly, whose attentions had been just as conspicuous and 
incessant as Sir Richard Ashwoode could have wished them, 
" Do you know where Lady Stukely is ? " 

Lord Aspenly professed his ignorance. 

" Have you seen her ladyship ? " inquired Emily Copland 
of the gallant Major O'Leary, who stood ne*r her. 

" Upon my conscience, I have," rejoined the major. "I'm 
not considered a poltroon ; but I plead guilty to one weak- 
ness. I am bothered if I can stand fire when it appears in 
the nose of a gentlewoman ; so as soon as I saw her I beat a 
retreat, and left my valorous young nephew to stand or fall 
under the blaze of her artillery. She is at the far end of the 
room." 

The major was easily persuaded to undertake the mission, 
and a word to young Ashwoode settled the matter. The 
party accordingly left the rooms, having, however, previously 
to their doing so, arranged that Major O'Leary should pass 
the next day at Morley Court, and afterwards accompany 
them in tbe evening to the theatre, whither Sir Richard, in 
pursuance of his plans, had arranged that they should all 
repair. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

THE TWO COUSINS THE NEGLECTED JEWELS AND THE 
BROKEN SEAL. 

IT was drawing toward evening when Emily Copland, in high 
spirits, and richly and becomingly dressed, ran lightly to the 
d->or of her cousin's chamber. She knocked, but no answer 
was returned. She knocked again, but still without any 
reply. Then opening the door, she entered the room, and 
beheld her cousin Mary seated at a small work-table, at which 
it was her wont to read. There she lay motionless her small 
head leaned upon her graceful arms, over which flowed all 
negligently the dark luxuriant hair. An open letter was on 



The Two Cousins. 107 

the table before her, and two or three rich ornaments lay un- 
heeded on the floor beside her, as if they had fallen from her 
hand. There was in her attitude snch a passionate abandon- 
ment of grief, that she seemed the breathing image of despair. 
Spite of all her levity, the young lady was touched at the sight. 
She approached her gently, and laying her hand npon her 
shoulder, she stooped down and kissed her. 

"Mary, dear Mary, what grieves you?" she said. "Tell 
me. It's I, dear your cousin Emily. There's a good girl 
what has happened to vex you ? " 

Mary raised her head, and looked in her cousin's face. Her 
eye was wild she was pale as marble, and in her beautiful face 
was an expression so utterly woeful and piteous, that E oaily 
was almost moved. 

" Oh ! I have lost him for ever and ever I have lost him," 
said she, despairingly. " Oh ! cousin, dear cousin, he is gone 
from me. God pity me I am forsaken." 

"Nay, cousin, do not say so be cheerful it cannot be 
there, there ;' and Emily Copland kissed the poor girl's pale 
lip*. 

" Forsaken forsaken," continued Mary, for she heard not 
and heeded not the voice of vain consolation. " He has thrown 
me off for ever for ever quite quite. God pity me, where 
shall I look for hope ? " 

" Mary, dear Mary," said her cousin, " you are ill do not 
give way thus. Be assured it is not as you think. You must 
be in error." 

" In error ! Oh ! that I could think so. God knows how 
gladly I would give my poor life to think so. No, no it is 
real all real. Oh ! cousin, he has forsaken me." 

" I cannot believe it I can not," said Emily Copland. 
" Such folly can hardly exist. I will not believe it. What 
reason have you for thinking him changed ? " 

" Read oh, read it, cousin," replied the girl, motioning 
toward the letter, which lay open on the table "read it once, 
and you will not bid me hope any more. Oh ! cousin, dear 
cousin, there is no more joy for me in this world, turn where I 
will, do what I may I am heart-broken." 

Emily Copland glanced through the latter, shook her head, 
and dropped the note again where it had been lying. 

" You know, cousin Emily, how I loved him," continued 
Mary, while for the first time the tears flowed fast " you know 
that day after day, among all that happened to grieve me, my 
heart found rest in his love in the nope and trust that he 
would never grow cold ; and and oh ! God pity me now 
where is it all? You see you know his love is gone from me 
for evermore gone from me. Oh ! how I used to count the 
days and hours till the time would come round when I could 



108 The "Cock and Anchor: 1 

see him and speak to him but this has all gone. Hereafter 
all days are to be the same morning or evening, summer time 
or winter no change of seasons or of hours can bring to me 
any more hope or gladness, but ever the same sorrow and 
desolite loneliness for oh ! cousin, I am very desolate, and 
hopeless, and heart-broken." 

The poor girl threw her arras round her cousin's neck, and 
sobbed and wept, and wept and sobbed again, as though 
her heart would break. Long and bitterly she wept upon, 
her cousin's neck in silence, unbroken, except by her sobs. 
After a time, however, Emily Copland exclaimed, 

"Well, Mary, to say the truth, I never much liked the 
matter ; and as he is a fool, and an ungrateful fool to boot, 
1 am rot sorrv that he has shown his character as he has done. 
Believe me, painful as such discoveries are when made thus 
early, they are incomparably more agonizing when made too 
late. A little a very little time will enable you quite to 
forget him." 

" No, cousin, ' replied Mary " no, I never will forget him. 
He is changed indeed greatly changed from what he was 
bitterly has he disappointed and betrayed me; but I cannot 
forget him. There shall indeed never more pass word or look 
between us ; he shall be to me as one that is dead, whom I 
shall hear and see no more ; but the memory of what he was 
the memory of what 1 vainly thought him shall remain with 
me while my poor heart beats." 

"Well, Mary, time will show," said Emily. 

"Yes, time will show time will show," replied she, mourn- 
fully ; " be the time long or short, it will show." 

' You must forget him you will forget him ; a few weeks, 
and you will thank your stars you found him out so soon." 

" Ah, cousin," replied Mar} 7 , " you do not know bow 11 my 
thoughts, and hopes, and recollections everything I liked to 
remember, and to look forward to; you cannot know how all 
that was happy in my life but what boots it, I will keep 
my troth with him ; I will love no other, and wed with no 
other; and while this sorrowful life remains I will never never 
forget him." 

" I can only say, that were the case my own," rejoined 
Emily, " I would show the fellow how lightly I held him and 
his worthless heart, and marry within a month ; but every one 
has her own way of doing things. Remember it is nearly 
time to start for the theatre ; the coach will be at the door in 
half-an-hour. Surely you will come ; it would seem so very 
strange were you to change your mind thus suddenly ; and 
you may be very sure that, by some means or other, the 
impudent fellow about whom, I car not see why, you care 
so much would hear of all your grieving, and piaing, and 



The Two Cousins. 109 

love-sickness. Pah ! I'd rather die than please the hollow, 
worthless creature by letting him think he had caused ine a 
moment's uneasiness; and then, above all, Sir Richard would 
be so outrageously angry why, you would never, hear the 
end of it. Come, come, be a good girl. After all, it is only 
holding up your head, and looking pretty, which you can't 
help, for an hour or two. You must come to silence gossip 
abroad, as well as for the sake of peace at home you must 
come." 

" I would fain stay here at home," said the poor girl ; " heart 
and head are sick : but if you think my father would be angry 
with me for staying at home, I will go. It is indeed, as you 
say, a small matter to me where I pass an hour or two ; all 
times, all places crowds or solitudes are henceforward in- 
different to me. What care I where thev bring me ! Cousin 
Emily, I will do whatever you think best." 

The jw or girl spoke with a voice and look of such utter 
wretchedness, that even her light-hearted, worldly, selfish 
cousin was touched with pity. 

" Come, then ; I will assist you," said she, kissing the pale 
cheek of the heart-stricken girl. " Come, Mary, cheer up, you 
must call up yonr good looks it would never do to be seen 
thus." And so talking on, she assisted her to dress. 

Gaily and richly arrayed in the gorgeous and by no means 
unbecoming style of the times, and sparkling with brilliant 
jewels, poor Mary Ashwoode a changed and stricken creature, 
scarcely conscious of what was going on around her took her 
place in her father's carriage, and was borne rapidly toward 
the theatre. 

The p^rty consisted of the two young ladies, who were 
respectively under the protection of Lord Aspenly, who sate 
beside Mary Ashwoode, happily too much pleased with his own 
voluble frivolity to require anything more from her than her 
appearing to hear it, and young Ashwoode, who chatted gaily 
with his pretty cousin. 

" What has become of my venerable true-love, Major 
O'Leary ? " inquired Miss Copland. 

"He will follow on horseback," replied Ashwoode. "I 
beheld him, as I passed downstairs, admiring himself before 
the looking-glass in his new regimentals. He designs tre- 
mendous havoc to-night. His coat is a perfect phenomenon 
the investment of a year's pay at least with more gold about 
it than I thought the country could afford, and scarlet enough 
to make a whole wardrobe for the lady of Babylon a coat 
which, if left to itself, would storm the hearts of nine girls out 
of ten, and which, even with an officer in it, will enthral half 
the sex." 

"And here comes the coat itself," exclaimed the young lady, 



1 10 The "Cock and Anchor:" 

as the major rode up to the coach-window " I'm half in love 
with it myself already." 

"Ladies, your demoted slave: gentlemen, your most 
obedient," said the major, raising his three-cornered hat. " I 
hope to see you before half-an-hour, under circumstances more 
favourable to conversation. Miss Copland, depend upon it, 
with your permission, I'll pay my homage to you before half- 
an-hour, the more especially as 1 have a scandalous story to 
tell you. Meanwhile, I wish you all a safe journey, and a 
pleasant one." So saying, the major rode on, at a brisk pace, 
to the " Cock and Anchor," there intending to put up his horse, 
and to exchange a few words with young O'Connor. 

In the meantime the huge old coach, which contained the 
rest of the party, jolted and rumbled on, until at length, amid 
the confusion and clatter of crowded vehicles, restive horses, 
and vociferous coachmen, with all their accompaniments of 
swenring and whipping, the clank of scrambling hoofs, the 
bumping and hustling of carriages, and the desperate rushing 
of chairmen, bolting this way or that, with their living loads 
of foppery and fashion the coach-door was thrown open at ttie 
box-entrance of the Theatre Eoyal, in Smock Alley. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

THE THEATRE THE RUFFIAN THE ASSAULT, AND THE 
RENCONTRE. 

MAJOR O'LEARY had hardly dismounted in the quadrangle of 
the " Cock and Anchor," when O'Connor rode slowly into the 
inn-yard. 

" How are you, my dear fellow?" exclaimed the man of scarlet 
and gold; "I was just asking where you were. Come down, 
off that beast, I want to have a word in your ear a bit of news 
some fun. Descend, I say, descend." 

O'Connor accordingly dismounted. 

" Now then a hearty shake so. I have great news, and 
only a minute to tell it. Jack, run like a shot, and get me a 
chair. Here, Tim, take a napkin and an oyster-knife, and do 
not leave a bit of mud, or the sign of it, upon my back : take 
a general survey of the coat and breeches, and a particular 
review of the wig. And, Jem, do you give my boots a harum- 
scarum shot of a superficial scrub, and touch up the hat gently, 
do you mind and take care of the lace. So while the f jllows 
are finishing my toilet, I may as well tell you my morsel 



The Theatre. 1 1 1 

of news. Do you know who is to be at the playhouse to- 
night?" 

O'Connor expressed his ignorance. 

" Well, then, I'll tell you, and make what use you like of 
it," resumed the major. " Miss Mary Ashwoode ! There's 
for you. Take my advice, get into a decent coat and breeches, 
and run down to the theatre it is not five minutes' walk from 
this ; you'll easily find us, and I'll take care to make room for 
you. Why, you do not seem half pleased : what more can you 
wish for, unless you expect the girl to put up for the evening at 
the " Cock and Anchor " ? Rouse yourself. If you feel modest, 
there is nothing like a pint or two of Madeira : don't try 
brandy it's the father and mother of all sorts of indiscretions. 
Now, mind, you have the hint; it is an opportunity you ought 
to improve. By the powers, if I was in your place but no 
matter. You may not have an opportunity of seeing her again 
these six months ; and unless I'm completely mistaken, you 
are as much in love with the girl as I am with several 
that shall be nameless. Heigho ! next after Burgundy, and the 
cock-pit, and the fox-hounde, and two or three more frailties of 
the kind, there is nothing in the world I prefer to flirtation, 
without much minding whether I'm the principal or the second 
in the affair. But here comes the vehicle." 

Accordingly, without waiting to say any more, the major 
took his seat in the chair, and was borne by the lusty chair- 
men, at a swinging pace, through the narrow streets, and, 
without let or accident, safely deposited within the principal 
entrance of the theatre. 

The theatre of Smock Alley (or, as it was then called, 
Orange Street) was not quite what theatres are nowadays. 
It was a large building of the kind, as theatres were then 
rated, and contained three galleries, one above the other, 
supported by heavy wooden caryatides, and richly gilded and 
painted. The curtain, instead of rising and falling, opened, 
according to the old fashion, in the middle, and was drawu 
sideways apart, disclosing no triumphs of illusive colouring 
and perspective, but a succession of plain tapestry-covered 
screens, which, from early habit, the audience accommoda- 
tingly accepted for town or country, dry land or sea, or, in 
short, for any locality whatsoever, according to the manager's 
good will and pleasure. This docility and good faith on the 
part of the audience were, perhaps, the more praiseworthy, 
inasmuch as a very considerable number of the aristocratic 
spectators actually sate in long lines down either side of the 
stage a circumstance involving, by the continuous presence 
of the same perukes, and the same embroidered waistcoats, 
the same set of countenances, and the same set of legs, in 
every variety of clime and situation through which the way- 



I r 2 The "Cock and Anchor?' 

ward invention of the playwright hurried his action, a very 
severe additional tax upon the imaginative faculties of the 
audience. But perhaps the most striking peculiarities of the 
place were exhibited in the grim persons of two bond fide 
sentries, in genuine cocked hats and scarlet coat?, with their 
enormous muskets shouldered, and the ball-cartridges dang- 
ling in ostentatious rows from their bandoleers, planted at 
the front, and facing the audience, one at each side of the 
stage a vivid evidence of the stern vicissitudes and in- 
security of the times. For the rest, the audience of those 
days, in the brilliant colours, and glittering lace, and profuse 
ornament, which the gorgeous fashion of the time allowed, 
presented a spectacle of rich and dazzling magnificence, such 
as no modern assembly of the kind can even faintly 
approach. 

The major had hardly made his way to the box where his 
party were seated, when his attention was caught by an 
object which had for him all but irresistible attractions : 
this was the buxom person of Mistress Jannet Rumble, a 
plump, good-looking, young widow of five- and- forty, with a 
jolly smile, a hearty laugh, and a killing acquaintance with 
the language of the eyes. These perfections for of course 
her jointure, which, by the way, was very considerable, could 
ruive had nothing to do with it were too much for Major 
O'Leary. He met the widow accidentally, made a few careless 
inquiries about her finances, and fell over head and ears in 
love with her upon the shortest possible notice. Our friend 
had, therefore, hardly caught a glimpse of her, when Miss 
Copland, beside whom, he was seated, observed that he be- 
came unusually meditative, and at length, after two or three 
attempts to enter again into conversation all resulting in 
total and incoherent failure, the major made some blundering 
excuse, took his departure, and in a, moment had planted 
himself beside the fascinating Mistress Bumble where we 
shall allow him the protection of a generous concealment, 
and suffer him to read the lady's eyes, and insinuate his sott 
nonsense, without intruding for a moment upon the sanctity 
of lovers' mutual confidences. 

Emily Copland having watched and enjoyed the manoeuvres 
of her military friend till she was fairly tired of the amuse- 
ment, and having in vain sought to engage Henry Ashwoode, 
who was unusually moody and absent, in conversation, at 
length, as a last desperate resource, turned her attention to 
what was passing upon the stage. 

While all this was going forward, young Ashwoode was a 
good deal disconcerted at observing among the crowd in the 
pit. a personage with whom, in the vicious haunts which he 
irequented, he had made a sort of ambiguous acquaintance. 



The Theatre. 1 1 3 

The man was a bulky, broad-shouldered, ill-looking fellow, 
with a large, vulgar, red face, and a coarse, sensual mouth, 
whose blue, swollen lips indicated habitual intemperance, and 
the nauseous ugliness of which was further enhanced by the 
loss of two front teeth, probably by some violent agency, as 
was testified by a deep scar across the mouth ; the eyes of 
the man carried that uncertain expression, half of shame 
and half of defiance, which belongs to the coward, bully, and 
ruffian. The Vackness of habitually-indulged and ferocious 
passion was upon his countenance ; and the revolting char- 
acter of the face was the more unequivocally marked by a sort 
of smile, or rather sneer, which had in it neither intellectuality 
nor gladness an odious libel on the human smile, with 
nothing but brute insolence and scorn, and a sardonic glee in 
its baleful light a smile from which every human sympathy 
recoiled abashed and affrighted. Let not the reader imagine 
that the man and the character are but the dreams of fiction ; 
the wretch, whose outward seeming we have imperfectly 
sketched, lived and moved in the scenes where we have fixed 
our narrative there grew rich there rioted in the indul- 
gence of every passion which hell can inspire or to which 
wealth can pander there ministered to his insatiate avarice, 
by the destruction and beggary of thousands of the young 
and thoughtless and there at length, in the fulness of his 
time, died in the midst of splendour and infamy : with 
malignant and triumphant perseverance having persisted to 
his latest hour in the prosecution of his Satanic mission ; 
luring the unwary into the toils of crime and inextricable mad- 
ness, and thence into the pit of temporal and eternal ruin. 
This man, Nicholas Blavden, Esquire, was the proprietor of 
one of those places where fortunes are squandered, time sunk, 
habits, temper, character, morals, all, corrupted, blastel, 
destroyed one of those places which are set apart as the 
especial temples of avarice, in which, year after year, are for 
ever recurring the same perennial scenes of mad excess, of 
caculating, merciless fraud, of bleak, brain-stricken despair 
places to which hap been assigned, in a spirit of fearful truth, 
the appellative of " hell." 

The man whom we have mentioned, it had never been young 
Ashwoode's misfortune to meet, except in those scenes where 
his acquaintance was useful, without being actually discredit- 
able ; for it was the fellow's habit, with the instinctive caution 
which marks such gentlemen, to court public observation as 
little as possible, and to skulk systematically from the eye of 
popular scrutiny seldom embarrassing bis aristocratic acquain- 
tances by claiming the privilege of recognition at unseasonable 
times ; and confining himself, for the most part, exclusively 
to his own coterie. Independently of his unpleasant natural 

I 



1 1 4 The "Cock and A nchor? 

peculiarities there were other circumstances which tended to 
make him a conspicuous object in the crowd the fellow was 
extravagantly over-dressed, and had planted himself in a 
standing posture upon a bench, and from this elevated position 
was, with steady effrontery, gazing into the box in which 
young Ashwoode'iE party were seated, exchanging whispers 
and horse-laughs with three or four men who looked scarcely 
less villainous than himself, and, as soon becime apparent, 
directing his marked and exclusive attention to Miss Ash- 
woode, who was too deeply absorbed in her own sorrowful 
reflections to heed what was passing around her. The 
young man felt his choler mount, as he beheld the insolent 
conduct of the fellow he saw, however, that Blarden was 
evidently not perfectly sober, and hesitated what course he 
should take. Strongly as he was tempted to spring at once 
into the pit, and put an end to the impertinence by caning 
the fellow within an inch of his life, he yet felt that a dis- 
reputable conflict of the kind had better be avoided, and 
could not well be justified except as a last resource ; he, there- 
fore, made up his mind to bear it as long as human endurance 
could. 

Whatever hopes he entertained of escaping a collision with 
this man were, however, destined to be disappointed. Nicky 
Ularden (as his friends endearingly called him), to the great 
comfort of that part of the audience in his immediate neigh- 
bourhood, at length descended from his elevated stand, but 
not to conceal himself among the. less obtrusive spectators. 
With an insolent swagger the fellow shouldered his way 
among the crowd towards the box where the object of his 
grize was seated ; and, having planted himself directly beneath 
it, he stared impudently up at young Ashwoode, exclaiming at 
the same time, 
"I say, Ashwoode, how does the world wag with yon? 

why ain't you rattling the bones this evening? d n me, you 

may as well be off, and let me take care of the dimber mot up 
there ? " 

"Do you speak to me, sir?" inquired young Ashwoode, 
turning almost livid with passion, and speaking in that sub- 
dued tone, and with that constrained coolness, which precedes 
some ungovernable outburst of fury. 

" Why, me, how great we've srot all at once I sav, 

you don't know me Eh! don't you?" exclaimed the fellow, 
with vulgar scorn, at the same time rather roughly poking 
A^hwoode's hand with the hilt of his sword. 

"I shall show you, sir, when your drunken folly has passed 
away, by very sore proofs, that I do know you," replied the 
young man, clutching his cane with such a grip as threatened 
to force his fingers into it" be assured, sir, I shall know 



The Theatre. 1 1 5 

yon, and you me, as long as you have tlie power to re- 
member." 

" Whieu, d it, don't frighten us," said the fellow, look- 
ing round for the approbation of his companions. " I say, 

d n it, don't frighten the people come, come, no gammon. 

I say, Ashwoode, you must introduce me, or present me, or 
whatever's the word, to your sister up there I say you 



" Quit this part of the house this instant, sir, or nothing 
shall prevent me flogging you until I leave not a whole bone 
in your body this warning is the last prodt by it," rejoined 
Ashwoode, in a low tone of bitter rage. 

"Oh, ho! it's there you are is it?" rejoined the fellow, 
with a wink at his comrades, "so you're going to beat the 

people why, d n it, you're enough to make a horse laugh. 

1 say I want to know your sister, or your miss, or whatever 
she ie, with the black hair up there, and if you won't introduce 
me, d n it, I must only introduce myself." 

So saying, the fellow made a spring and caught the ledge 
of the front of the box, with the intention of vaulting into the 
place. Lord Aspenly and the young ladies had arisen in some 
alarm. 

" My lord," said young Ashwoode, " have the goodness to 
conduct the ladies to the lobby I will join you in a moment." 

This direction was promptly obeyed, and at the same 
moment the young man caught the fellow, already half into 
the box, by the neckcloth, dragged his body across the 
wooden parapet, and while he struggled helplessly to dis- 
engage himself half strangled, and without the power to get 
either up or down with his heavy cane, the young gentle- 
man every nerve, sinew, and muscle being strung to tenfold 
power by fury inflicted upon his back and ribs a castigition 
so prolonged and tremendous, that before it had ended, the 
scoundrel was perfectly insensible, in which state Henry Ash- 
woode flung him down again into the pit, amid the obstre- 
perous acclamations of all parts of the house an uproar of 
applause in which the spectators in the pit joined with such 
hearty enthusiam, that at length, touched with a kindred 
heroism, they turned upon the associates of the fallen cham- 
pion, and fairly kicked and cuffed ihem out of the house. 

This feat accomplished, the young gentleman went down 
the stairs to the street-entrance, and, after considerable delay, 
succeeded, with the assistance of the footman who had 
attended him into the house, in finding out their carriage, 
and having it brought to the door not judging it expedient 
that the ladies should return to their places, where they 
would, of course, be exposed to the gazing curiosity of the 
multitude. He found the party in the lobby quite recovered 

i 2 



1 1 6 The "Cock and A nchor? 

from whatever was unpleasant in the excitement of the scene, 
the more violent part of which they had not witnessed. Lord 
Aspenly and Emily Copland were laughing over the adventure ; 
and Mary, flashed and agitated, was looking better than she 
had before upon that night. Taking his cousin under his own 
protection, and consigning his sister to that of Lord Aspenly, 
young Ashwoode led the way to the carriage As they passed 
slowly along the lobby, the quick eye of Mary Ashwoode 
discerned a form, at sight of which her heart swelled and 
throbbed as though it would burst the colour fled from her 
cheeks, and she felt tor a moment on the point of swooning ; 
the pride of her sex, however, sustained ber ; the tingling 
blood again mounted warmly to her cheeks, her eye brightened, 
and she listened, with more apparent interest than perhaps she 
ever did before, to Lord Aspenly's remarks the form was 
O'Connor's. As she paseed him, she retarned his salute with 
a slight and haughty bow, and saw, and felt the stern, cold, 
proud expression which nurked his pale and handsome 
features. In another moment she was seated in the carriage ; 
the doors were closed, crack went the whip, and clatter go the 
iron hoofs on the pavement but before they had traversed a 
hundred yards on their homeward way, poor Mary Ashwoode 
sunk back in her place, and fainted away. 



CHAPTER XX. 

THE LODGING YOUNG MELANCHOLY AND OLD REMEMBRANCES 
AN ADVENTURE AMONG THE YEW HEDGES OF MORLEY COURT. 

" THERE is no more doubt no more hope " said O'Connor, 
as, wrapt in his cloak, he slowly pursued his way homeward 
"the worst is true she is quite estranged from me how 
deceived how utterly blind I have been yet who could have 
thought it ? Light-hearted, vain, worthless it is all, all true 
my own eyes have seen it. Well, even this must be borne 
borne as best it may, and with a manly spirit. I have been, 
indeed, miserably cheated " he continued, with bitter vehe- 
mence "and what remains for me? I've been infatuated a 
self-flattered fool, and waken thus to find all lost but grief 
avails not there lie before me many paths of honourable toil, 
and many avenues to honourable death the ambition of my 
life is over henceforth the world has nothing to offer me. I 
will leave this, the country of my ill-fated birth leave it for 
ever, and end my days honourably, and Grod grant soon, far 



The Lodging. 1 17 

away from the only one I ever loved from her who has betrayed 
me." 

Such were the thoughts which darkly and vaguely hurried 
through O'Connor's mind as he retraced his steps. Before he 
had arrived, however, at the " Cock and Anchor," whitherward 
he had mechanically directed his course, he bethought himself, 
and turned in a different direction towards the house in which 
his worthy friend, Mr. Audley having an inveterate prejudice 
against all inns, which, without exception, he averred to be the 
especial sanctuaries of damp sheets, bugs, thieves, andrheumatic 
fevers had already established himself as a weekly lodger. 

" Pooh, pooh ! you foolish boy," ejaculated the old bachelor, 
with considerable energy, in reply to O'Connor's gloomy and 
passionate language ; " nonsense, sir, and folly, and absurdity 
you'll give me the vapours if you go on this way what the 
devil do you want of foreign service and foreign graves do 
you think, booby, it was for that I came over here tilly vally, 
tilly vally I know as well as you, or any other jackanapes, 
what love is. I tell you, sirrah, I have been in love, and 1 have 
been jilted jilted, sir! and when I was jilted, I thought the 
jilting itself quite enough, without improving the matter by 
getting myself buried, dead or alive." Here the little gentle- 
man knocked the table recklessly with his knuckles, buried his 
hands in his breeches pockets, and rising from his chair, paced 
the room with an impressive tread. " Had you ever seen Letty 
Bodkin you might, indeed, have known what love is" he con- 
tinued, breathing very hard " Letty Bodkin jilted me, and I 
got over it. I did not ask for razors, or cannon balls, or foreign 
interment, sir ; but I vented my indignation like a man. of 
business, in totting up the books, and running up a heavy 
arrear in the office accounts yes, sir, I did more good in the 
way of arithmetic and book-keeping during that three weeks 
of Jove-sick agony, than an ordinary man, without the stimulus, 
would do in a year" there was another pause here, and he 
resumed in a softened tone " but Letty Bodkin was no ordi- 
nary woman. Oh ! you scoundrel, had you seen her, you'd 
have been neither to hold nor to bind there was nothing she 
could not do she embroidered a waistcoat for me heigho ! 
scarlet geraniums and parsley sprigs and she danced like 
like a a spring board she'd sail through a minuet like a duck 
in a pond, and hop and bounce through * Sir Roger de Coverley ' 
like a hot chestnut on a griddle ; and then she sang oh, her 
singing ! I've heard turtle-doves and thrushes, and, in fact, 
most kind of fowls of all sorts and sizes ; but no nightingale 
ever came up to her in ' The Captain endearing and tall,' and 
' The Shepherdess dying for love ' there never lived a man " 
continued he, with increasing vehemence " I don't care 
when or where, who could have stood, sate, or walked in her 



1 1 8 The "Cock and A nchor? 

company for half-an-hour, without making an old fool of him- 
self she was just my age, perhaps a year or two more I 
wonder whether she is much changed heigho ! " 

Having thus delivered himself, Mr. Audley lapsed into 
meditation, and thence into a faint and rather painful attempt 
to vocalize his remembrance of "The Captain endearing and 
tall," engaged in which desperate operation of memory, 
O'Connor left the old gentleman, and returned to his tempo- 
rary abode to pass a sleepless night of vain remembrancer, 
regrets, and despair. 

On the morning subsequent to the somewhat disorderly 
scene which we have described as having occurred in the theatre, 
Mary Ashwoode, as usual, sate silent and melancholy, in the 
dressing-room of her father, Sir Richard. The baronet was 
not yet sufficiently recovered to venture downstairs to break- 
fast, which in those days was a very early meal indeed. After 
an unusually prolonged silence, the old man, turning suddenly 
to his daughter, abruptly said, " Mary, you have now had 
some days to study Lord Aspenly how do you like him ? " 

The girl raised her eyes, not a little surprised at the question, 
and doubtful whether she had heard it aright. 

" I say," resumed he, "you ought to have been able by this 
time to arrive at a fair judgment as to Lord Aspenly 's merits 
what do you think of him do you like him P " 

" Indeed, father," replied she, " I have observed him very 
little he may be a very estimable man, but I have not seen 
enough of him to form any opinion ; and indeed, if I had, my 
opinion must needs be a matter of the merest indifference to 
him and everyone else." 

"Your opinion upon this point," replied Sir Richard, tartly, 
" happens not to be a matter of indifference " 

A considerable pause again ensued, during which Mary 
Ashwoode had ample time to reflect upon the very unpleasant 
doubts which this brief speech, and the tone in which it was 
uttered, were calculated to inspire. 

" Lord Aspenly 's manners are very agreeable, very," con- 
tinued Sir Richard, meditatively " I may say, indeed, fasci- 
nating very do you think so ? " he added sharply, turning 
towards his daughter. 

This was rather a puzzling question. The girl had never 
thought about him except as a frivolous old beau ; yet it was 
plain she could not say so without vexing her father; she 
therefore adopted the simplest expedient under such perplexing 
circumstances, and preserved an embarrassed silence. 

" The fact is," said Sir Richard, raising himself a little, so as 
to look full in his daughter's face, at the same time speaking 
slowly and sternly, " the fact is, I had better be explicit on this 
subject. Jam anxious that you should think well of Lord 



The L odging. 1 1 9 

Aspenly ; it is, in short, my wish and pleasure that you should 
like him ; you understand me you had better understand 
me." This was said with an emphasis not to be mistaken, 
and another piuse ensued. "For the present,' 7 continued he, 
" run down and amuse yourself and stay offer to show his 
lordship the old terrace garden do you mind? Now, once 
more, run away." 

So saying, the old gentleman turned coolly from her, and 
rnng his hand-bell vehemently. Scarcely knowing what she 
did, such was her astonishment at all that had passed, Mary 
Ashwoode left the room without any very clear notion as to 
whither she was going, or what to do ; nor was her confusion 
much relieved when, on entering the hall, the first object 
which encountered her was Lord Aspenly himself, with his 
triangular hat under his arm, while he adjusted his deep lare 
ruffles he had never looked so ugly before. As he stood 
beneath her while &he descended the broad staircase, smiling 
from ear to ear, and bowing with the most chivalric profundity, 
his skinny, lemon-coloured face, and cold, glittering little 
pyes raised toward her she thought that it was impossible for 
tbe human shape so nearly to assume the outward semblance 
of a squat, emaciated toad. 

"Miss Ashwoode, as I live!" exclaimed the noble peer, 
with his most gracious and fascinating smile. "On what 
mission of love and mercy does she move? Shall I hope that 
her first act of pity may be exercised in favour of the most 
devoted of her slaves? I have been looking in vain for a 
guide through the intricacies of Sir Kichard's yew hedges and 
leaden statues ; may I hope that my presiding angel has sent 
me one in you ? " 

Lord Aspenly paused, and grinned wider and wider, but 
receiving no answer, he resumed, 

" I understand, Miss Ashwoode, that the pleasure-grounds, 
which surround us, abound in samples of your exquisite taste ; 
as a votary of Flora, may I ask, if the request be not too 
bold, that you will vouchsafe to lead a bewildered pilgrim to 
the object of his search ? There is is there not ? shrined in 
the centre of these rustic labyrinths, a small flower-garden 
which owes its sweet existence to your creative genius ; if it 
be not too remote, and if you can afford so much leisure, allow 
me to implore your guidance." 

As he thus spoke, with a graceful flourish, the little gentle- 
man extended his hand, and courteously taking hers by the 
extreme points of the fingers, he led her forward in a manner, 
as he thought, so engaging as to put resistance out of the 
question. Mary Ashwoode felt far too little interest in any- 
thing but the one ever-present grief which weighed upon her 
heart, to deny the old fop his trifling request ; shrouding her 



1 20 The "Cock and A nchor" 

graceful limbs, therefore, in a short cloak, and drawing the 
hood over her head, she walked forth, with slow steps and an 
aching heart, among the trim hedges which fenced the old- 
t'ashioned pleasure walks. 

" Beauty," exclaimed the nobleman, as he walked with an 
air of romantic gallantry by her side, and glancing as he 
spoke at the flowers which adorned the border of the path 
" beauty is nowhere seen to greater advantage than in spots 
like this ; where nature has amassed whatever is most beautiful 
in the inanimate creation, only to prove how unutterably 
more exquisite are the charms of living loveliness : these walks, 
but this moment to me a wilderness, are now so many paths 
of magic pleasure how can I enough thank the kind en- 
chantress to whom I owe the transformation ? " Here the 
little gentleman looked unutterable things, and a silence of 
some minutes ensued, during which he effected some dozen 
very wheezy sighs. Emboldened by Miss Ashwoode's silence, 
which he interpreted as a very unequivocal proof of conscious 
tenderness, he resolved to put an end to the skirmishing with 
which he had opened his attack, and to commence the action 
in downright earnestness. " This p^ce breathes an atmo- 
sphere of romance ; it is a spot consecrated to the wor->hip of 
love; it is it is the shrine of passion, and I Jam a votary 
a worshipper." 

Miss Ashwoode paused in mingled surprise and displeasure, 
for his vehemence had become so excessive as, in conjunction 
with his asthma, to threaten to choke his lordship outright. 
When Mary Ashwoode stopped short, Lord Aspenly took it 
for granted that the crisis had arrived, and that the moment 
for the decisive onset was now come ; he therefore ejaculated 
with a rapturous croak, 

" And you you are my divinity ! " and at the same moment 
he descended stiffly upon his two knees, caught her hand in 
his, and began to mumble it with unmistakable devotion. 

" My lord Lord Aspenly ! surely your lordship cannot 
mean have done, my lord," exclaimed the astonished girl, 
withdrawing her hand indignantly from his grasp. " Rise, 
my lord ; you cannot mean otherwise than to mock me by 
such extravagance. My lord my lord, you surprise and 
shock me beyond expression." 

" Angel of beauty ! most exquisite most perfect of your 
sex," gasped his lordship, " I love you yes, to distraction. 
Answer me, if you would not have me expire at your feet 
ugh ugh tell me that I may hope ugh that I am not 
indifferent to you ugh, ugh, ugh, that that you can love 
me P " Here his lordship was seized with so violent a fit of 
coughing, that Miss Ashwoode began to fear that he would 
expire at her feet in downright earnest. During the paroxysm, 



The Lodging. 121 

in which, with one hand pressed upon his side, he supported 
himself by leaning with the o'her upon the ground, Mary had 
ample time to collect her thoughts, so that when at length he 
had recovered his breath, she addressed him with composure 
and decision. 

" My lord," she said, " I am grateful for your preference 
of me ; although, when I consider the shortness of my ac- 
quaintance with you, and how few have been your oppor- 
tunities of knowing me, I cannot but wonder very much at its 
vehemence. For me, your lordship cannot feel more than an 
idle fancy, which will, no doubt, pa*s away just as lightly as 
it came ; and as for my feelings, I have only to say, that it is 
wholly impossible for you ever to establish in them any 
interest of the kind you look for. Indeed, indeed, my lord, I 
hope I have not given you pain nothing can be further from 
my wish than to do so ; but it is my duty to tell you plainly 
and at once my real feelings. I should otherwise but trifle 
with your kindness, for which, although I cannot return it as 
yon desire, I shall ever be grateful." 

Having thus spoken, she turned from her noble suitor, and 
began to retrace her steps rapidly towards the house. 

" Stay, Miss Ashwoode remain here for a moment you 
tnvst hear me ! " exclaimed Lord Aspenly, in a tone so altered, 
that she involuntarily paused, while his lordship, with some 
difficulty, raised himself again to his feet, and with a flushed 
and haggard face, in which still lingered the ghastly phantom 
of his habitual smile, he hobbled to her side. " Miss Ash- 
woode," he exclaimed, in a tone tremulous with emotions very 
different from love, "I I I am not used to be treated 
cavalierly I I will not brook it : I am not to be trifled with 
jilted madam, jilted, and taken in. You have accepted 
and encouraged my attentions attentions which you cannot 
have mistaken ; and now, madam, when I make you an offer 
such as your ambition, your most presumptuous ambition, 
dared not have anticipated the offer of my hand and and 
a coronet, you coolly tell me you never cared for me. Why, 
what on earth do you look for or expect? a foreign prince or 
potentate, an emperor, ha ha he he ugh ugh ugh ! I 
tell you plainly, Miss Ashwoode, that my feelings must be 
considered. I have long made my passion known to you; it 
has been encouraged; and I have obtained Sir Richard's 
your father's sanction and approval. You had better re- 
consider what you have said. I shall give you an hour ; at 
the end of that time, unless you see the propriety of avowing 
feelings which, you must pardon me when I say it, your 
encouragement of my advances has long virtually acknow- 
ledged, 1 must lay the whole case, including all the painful 
details of my own ill-usage, before Sir Richard AshwuoJe, and 



122 The "Cock and Anchor:' 

trust to his powers of persuasion to induce yon to act reason- 
ably, and, I will add, honourably" 

Here his lordship took several extraordinarily copious 
pinches of snuff, after which he bowed very low, conjured up 
an unusually hideous smile, in which spite, fury, and trinmph 
were eagerly mingled, and hobbled away before the astonished 
girl had time to muster her spirits sufficiently to answer him. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

WHO APPEARED TO MARY ASH WOOD E AS SHE SATE UNDER THE 
TREES THE CHAMPION. 

WITH flashing eyes and a swelling heart, struck dumb with 
unutterable indignation, the beautiful girl stood fixed in the 
attitude in which his last words had reached her, while the 
enraged and unmanly old fop hobbled away, with the ease and 
grace with which a crippled ape might move over a hot griddle. 
He had disappeared for some minutes before she had recovered 
herself sufficiently to think or speak. 

" If he were by my side," she said, "this noble lord dared 
not have used me thus. Edmond would have died a thousand 
deaths first. But oh ! God look upon me, for his love is gone 
from me, and I am now a poor, grieved, desolate creature, with 
none to help me." 

Thus saying, she sate herself down upon the grass bank, 
beneath the tall and antique trees, and wept with all the 
bitter and devoted abandonment of hopeless sorrow. From 
this unrestrained transport of grief she was at length aroused 
by the pressure of a hand, gently and kindly laid upon her 
shoulder. 

" What vexes you, Mary, my little girl ? " inquired Major 
O'Leary, for he it was that stood by her. " Come, darling, 
don't fret, but tell your old uncle the whole business, and 
twenty to one, he has wit enough in his old noddle yet to set 
matters to rights. So, so, my darling, dry your pretty eyes 
wipe the tears away; why should they wet your young cheeks, 
my poor little doat, that you always were. It is too early yet 
for sorrow to come on you. Wouldn't I throw myself between 
my little pet and all grief, and danger ? Then trust to me, 

darling ; wipe away the tears, or by I'll begin to cry 

myself. Dry your eyes, and see if I can't help you one way 
or another." 

The mellow brogue of the old major had never fallen before 



Who appeared to Mary Ashwoode. 1 23 

with such a tender pathos upon the ear of his beautiful niece, 
as now that its rich current bore full upon her heart the 
unlooked-for words of kindness and comfort. 

" Were not you always my pet," continued he, with the same 
tenderness and pity in his tone, "from the time I first took 
you upon my knee, my poor little Mary ? And were not you 
fond of your old rascally uncle O'Leary? Usedn't I always 
to take your part, right or wrong; and do you think I'll desert 
you now ? Then tell it all to me ain't I your poor old uncle, 
the same as ever ? Come, then, dry the tears there's a darling 
wipe them away." 

While thus speaking, the warm-hearted old man took her 
hand, with a touching mixture of gallantry, pity, and affection, 
and kissed it again and again, with a thousand accompanying 
expressions of endearment, such as in the days of her cbild- 
hood he had been wont to lavish upon his little favourite. 
The poor girl, touched by the kindness of her early friend, 
whose good-natured sympathy was not to be mistaken, gradu- 
ally recovered her composure, and yielding to the urgencies of 
the major, who clearly perceived that something extraordi- 
narily distressing must have occurred to account for her 
extreme agitation, she at length told him the immediate cause 
of her grief and excitement. The major listened to the narra- 
tive with growing indignation, and when it had ended, he 
inquired, in a tone, about whose unnatural calmness there was 
something infinitely more formidable than in the noisiest 
clamour of fury, 

" Which way, darling, did his lordship go when he left 
yon ? " 

The girl looked in his face, and saw his deadly purpose 
there. , 

" Uncle, my own dear uncle," she cried distractedly, "for 
God's sake do not follow him for God's sake I conjure you, 
I implore " She would have cast herself at his feet, but 
the major caught her in his arms. 

" Well, well, my darling/' he exclaimed, " I'll not kill him, 
well as he deserves it I'll not: you have saved his life. I 
pledge you my honour, as a gentleman and a soldier, I'll not 
harm him for what he has said or done this dayare you 
satisfied ? " 

" I am, I am ! Thank God, thank God ! " exclaimed the pjor 
girl, eagerly. 

" But, Mary, I must see him,'' rejoined the major; "he has 
threatened to set Sir Kichard upon you I must see him ; you 
don't object to that, under the promise I have made ? I want 
to to reason with him. He shall not get you into trouble 
with the baronet ; for though Eichard and I came of the same 
mother, we are not of the same marriage, nor of the same 



1 24 The "Cock and A nchor" 

mould I wouW not for a cool hundred that he told his story 
to your father." 

"Indeed, indeed, dear uncle," replied the girl, "I fear me 
there is little hope of escape or ease for me. My father must 
know what has passed ; he will learn it inevitably, and then 
it needs no colouring or misrepresentation to call down upon 
me his heaviest displeasure; his anger I must endure as best 
I may. God help me. But neither threats nor violence shall 
make me retract the answer T have given to Lord Aspenly, nor 
ever yield consent to marry him nor any other now.' 3 

" Well, well, little Mary," rejoined the major, " I like your 
spirit. Stand to that, and you'll never be sorry for it. In the 
meantime, I'll venture to exercise his lordship's conversational 
powers in a brief conference of a few minutes, and if I find him 



as reasonable as I expect, you'll have no cause to regret my 
interposition. Don't look so frightened haven't I promised, 
on the honour of a gentleman, that I will not pink him for 
anything said or done in his conference with you ? To send a 
small sword through a bolster or a bailiff," he continued, medi- 
tatively, " is an indifferent action ; but to spit such a poisonous, 
crawling toad as the respectable old gentleman in question, 
would be nothing short of meritorious it is an act that 'ud 
tickle the fancy of every saint in heaven, and, if there's justice 
on earth, would canonize myself. But never mind, I'll let it 
alone the little thing shall escape, since you wish it Major 
O'Leary has said it, so let no doubt disturb you. Good-bye, 
my little darling, dry your eyes, and let me see you, before an 
hour, as merry as in the merriest days that are gone." 

So saying, Major O'Leary patted her cheek, and taking her 
hand affectionately in both his, he added, 

" Sure I am, that there is more in all this than you care to 
tell me, my little pet. I am sorely afraid there is something 
beyond my power to remedy, to change your light-hearted 
nature so mournfully. What it is, I will not inquire, but re- 
member, darling, whenever you want a friend, you'll find a sure 
one in me." 

Thus having spoken, he turned from her, and strode rapidly 
down the walk, until the thick, formal hedges concealed his 
retreating form behind their impenetrable screens of darksome 
verdure. 

Odd as were the manner and style of the major's professions, 
there was something tender, something of heartiness, in his 
speech, which assured her that she had indeed found a friend 
in him rash, volatile, and violent it might be, but still one on 
whose truth and energy she might calculate. That there was 
one being who felt with her and for her, was a discovery which 
touched her heart and moved her generous spirit, and she now 
regarded the old major, whose spoiled favourite in childhood she 



The Spinet. 125 

had been, but whom, before, she had never known capable of 
a serious feeling, with emotions of affection and gratitude, 
stronger and more ardent than he had ever earned from any 
other being. Agitated, grieved, and excited, she hurriedly left 
the scene of this interview, and sought relief for her over- 
charged feelings in the quiet and seclusion of her chamber. 



CHAPTER XXII. 

THE SPINET. 

IN no very pleasant frame of mind did Lord Aspenly retrace 
his steps toward the old house. His lordship had, all his lite, 
been firmly persuaded that the whole female creation had been 
sighing and pining for the possession of his heart and equip- 
age. He knew that among those with whom his chief experi- 
ence lay, his fortune and his coronet were considerations not 
to be resisted ; and he as firmly believed, that even without 
such recommendations, few women, certainly none of any 
taste or discrimination, could be found with hearts so steeled 
against the archery of Cupid, as to resist the fascinations of his 
manner and conversation, supported and directed, as both 
were, by the tact and experience drawn from a practice of 
more years than his Jordship cared to count, even to himself. 
He had, however, smiled, danced, and chatted, in impregnable 
celibacy, through more than half a century of gaiety aud 
frivolity breaking, as he thought, hearts innumerable, and, 
at all events, disappointing very many calculations until, at 
length, his lordwhip had arrived at that precise period of 
existence a,t which old gentlemen, not unfrequently, become 
all at once romantic, disinterested, and indiscreet nobody 
exactly knows why unless it be for variety, or to spite an heir 
presumptive, or else that, as a preliminary to second childhood, 
nature has ordained a second boyhood too. Certain, however, 
it is, that Lord Aspenly was seized, on a sudden, with a matri- 
monial frenzy ; and, tired of the hackneyed schemers, in the 
centre of whose manoeuvres he had stood and smiled so long 
in contemptuous security, he resolved that his choice should 
honour some simple, unsophisticated beauty, who had never 
plotted his matrimony. 

Fired with this benevolent resolution, he almost instantly 
selected Mary Ashwoode as the happy companion of his 
second childhood, acquainted Sir Richard with his purpose, 
of course received his consent and blessing, and forthwith 
opened his entrenchments with the same certainty of success 



1 26 The "Cock and A nchor" 

with which, the great Duke of Maryborough might have invested 
a Flanders village. The inexperience of a girl who had 
mixed, comparatively, so little in gay society, her consequent 
openness to flattery, and susceptibility of being fascinated 
by the elegance of his address, and the splendour of his 
fortune all these considerations, accompanied by a clear 
consciousness of his own infinite condescension in thinking 
of her at all, had completely excluded from all his calcula- 
tions the very possibility of her doing anything else than 
jump into- his arms the moment he should open them to 
receive her. The result of the interview which had just 
taken place, had come upon him with the overwhelming 
suddenness of a thunderbolt. Rejected! Lord Aspenly 
rejected ! a coronet, and a fortune, and a man whom all 
the male world might envy each and all rejected ! and by 
whom ? a chit of a girl, who had no right to look higher 
than a half-pay captain with a wooden leg, or a fox-hunting 
boor, with a few inaccessible acres of bog and mountain the 
daughter of a spendthrift baronet, who was, as everyone knew, 
on the high road to ruin. Death and fury ! was it to be 
endured? 

The little lover, absorbed in such tranquilizing reflections, 
arrived at the house, and entered the drawing-room. It was 
not unoccupied ; seated by a spinet, and with a sheet of 
music-paper in her lap, and a pencil in her hand, was the 
fair Emily Copland. As he entered, she raised her eyes, 
started a little, became gracefully confused, and then, with 
her archest smile, exclaimed, 

" What shall I say, my lord ? You have detected me. I 
have neither defence nor palliation to offer ; you hive fairly 
caught me. Here am I engaged in perhaps the most pre- 
sumptuous task that ever silly maiden undertook I am 
wedding your beautiful verses to most unworthy music of my 
own. After all, there is nothing like a simple ballad. Such 
exquisite lines as these inspire music of themselves. Would 
that Henry Purcell had had but a peep at tnem ! To what 
might they not have prompted such a genius to what, 
indeed ? " 

So sublime was the flight of fancy suggested by this 
interrogatory, that Miss Copland shook her head slowly 
in poetic rapture, and gazed fondly for some seconds upon the 
carpet, apparently unconscious of Lord Aspenly's presence. 

"She is a fine creature," half murmured he, with an 
emphasis upon the identity which implied a contrast not very 
favourable to Mary " and and very pretty nay, she looks 
almost beautiful, and so so lively so much vivacity. Never 
was poor poet so much flattered," continued his lordship, 
approaching, as he spoke, and raising his voice, but not above 



The Spinet. 127 

its most mellifluous pitch; " to have his verses read by such 
eyes, to have them chanted by such a minstrel, were honour 
too high for the noblest bards of the noblest daya of poetry : 
for me it is a happiness almost too great ; yet, if the request 
be not a presumptuous one, may I, in all humility, pray that 
you will favour me with the music to which you have coupled 
my most undeserving my most favoured lines?" 

The young lady looked modest, glanced coyly at the paper 
which lay in her lap, looked modest once more, and then 
arch again, and at length, with rather a fluttered air, she 
threw her hands over the keys of the instrument, and to a 
tune, of which we say enough when we state that it was in no 
way unworthy of the words, she sang, rather better than 
young ladies usually do, the following exquisite stanzas from 
his lordship's pen : 

" Tbo' Chloe slight me when I woo, 

And scorn the love of poor Philander ; 
The shepherd's heart she tcorna is true, 
His heart is true, his passion tender. 

" But poor Philander sighs in vain, 

In vaiu laments the poor Philander; 
Fair Chloe scorns with high disdain, 
His love so true and passion tender. 

"And here Philander lays him down, 

Here will expire the poor Philander ; 
The victim of fair Chloe's frown, 
Of love so true and passion tender. 

" Ah, well-a-day ! the shepherd's dead ; 

Ay, dead and gone, the poor Philander; 
And Dryads crown with flowers his head, 
And Cupid mourns his love so tender." 

During this performance, Lord Aspenly, who had now 
perfectly recovered his equanimity, marked the time with 
head and hand, standing the while beside the fair performer, 
and every note she sang found its way through the wide 
portals of his vanity, directly to his heart. 

" Brava ! brava ! bravissima ! " murmured his lordship, from 
time lo time. "Beautiful, beautiful air most appropriate 
most simple; not a note that accords not with the word it 
carries beautiful, indeed ! A thousand thanks ! I have 
become quite conceited of lines of which heretofore I was half 
ashamed. I am quite elated at once overpowered by the 
characteristic vanity of the poet, and more than recompensed 
by the reality of his proudest aspiration that of seeing his 
verses appreciated by a heart of sensibility, and of heariug 
them sung by the lips of beauty." 



128 



The "Cock and Anchor" 



"I am but too happy if I am forgiven" replied Emily 
Copland, slightly laughing, and with a heightened colour, 
while the momentary overflow of merriment was followed by 
a sigh, and her eyes sank pensively upon the eround. 

This little by-play was not lost upon Lord Aspenly. 

" Poor little thing," he inwardly remarked, " she is in a 
very bad way desperate quite desperate. What a devil of 
a rascal I am to be sure ! Egad ! it's almost a pity she's a 
decidedly superior person ; she has an elegant turn, of mind 




refinement taste egad ! she is a fine creature and so 
simple. She little knows I see it all ; perhaps she hardly 
knows herself what ails her poor, poor little thing ! '.' 

While these thoughts floated rapidly through his mind, he 
felt, along with his spite and anger towards Mary Ashwoode, 
a feeling of contempt, almost of disgust, engendered by her 
audacious non-appreciation of his merits an impertinence 
which appeared the more monstrous by the contrast of Emily 
Copland's tenderness. She had made it plain enough, by 
all the artless signs which simple maidens know not how 
to hide, that his fascinations had done their fatal work 



The Spinet, 1 29 

upon her heart. He had seen this for several days, but 
not with the overwhelming distinctness with which he now 
beheld it. 

"Poor, poor little girl!" said his lordship to himself; "I 
am very, very sorry, but it cannot be helped ; it is no fault 
of mine. I am really very, very, confoundedly sorry." 

In saying so to himself, however, he told himself a lie ; 
for, instead of being grieved, he was pleased beyond measure 
a fact which he might have ascertained by a single glance 
at the reflection of his wreathed smiles in the ponderous 
mirror which hung forward from the pier between the windows, 
as if staring down in wondering curiosity upon the progress 
of the flirtation. Not caring to disturb a train of thought 
which his vanity told him were but riveting the subtle 
chains which bound another victim to his conquering chariot- 
wheels, the Earl of Aspenly turned, with careless ease, to a 
table, on which lay some specimens of that worsted tapestry- 
work, in which the fair maidens of a century and a half ago 
were wont to exercise their taste and skill. 

" Your work is very, very beautiful/' said he, after a con- 
siderable pause, and laying down the canvas, upon whose 
unfinished worsted task he had been for some time gazing. 

'* That is my cousin's work," said Emily, not sorry to turn 
the conversation to a subject upon which, for many reasons, 
she wished to dwell ; " she used to work a great deal with me 
before she grew romantic before she fell in love." 

" In love ! with whom ? " inquired Lord Aspenly, with 
remarkable quickness. 

" Don't you know, my lord ? " inquired Emily Copland, in 
simple wonder. " May be I ought not to have told you I 
am sure I ought not. Do not ask me any more. I am the 
giddiest girl the most thoughtless ! '' 

" Nay, nay," said Lord Aspenly, " you need not be afraid to 
trust me I never tell tales ; and now that I know the fact 
that she is in love, there can be no harm in telling me the leas 
important particulars. On my honour," continued his lord- 
ship, with real earnestness, and affected playfulness " upon 
my sacred honour ! I shall not breathe one syllable of it to 
mortal--! shall be as secret as the tomb. Who is the happy 
person in question ? " 

" Well, my lord, you'll promise not to betray me," replied 
she. " I know very well I ought not to have said a word 
about it ; but as I have made the blunder, I see no harm in 
telling you all I know ; but you will be secret ? " 

" On my honour on my life and soul, I swear! " exclaimed 
his lordship, with unaffected eagerness. 

"Well, then, the happy man is a Mr. Edmond O'Connor," 
replied she. 

K 



130 The "Cock and Anchor? 

" O'Connor O'Connor I never saw nor heard of the man 
before," rejoined the earl, reflectively. " Is he wealthy ? " 

"Oh! no; a mere beggarman," replied Emily, "and a 
Papist to boot ! " 

" Ha, ha, ha he, he, he ! a Papist beggar," exclaimed his 
lordship, with an hysterical giggle, which was intended for a 
careless laugh. " Has he any conversation any manner 
any attraction of that kind ? "' 

" Oh ! none in the world ! both ignorant, and 1 think, 
vulgar," replied Emily. " In short, he is very nearly a stupid 
boor ! " 

" Excellent ! Ha, ha he, he, he ! ngh ! ugh ! very capital 
excellent ! excellent ! " exclaimed his lordship, although he 
might have found some difficulty in explaining in what, pre- 
cisely the peculiar excellence of the announcement consisted. 
" Is he is he a a handsome ? " 

" Decidedly not what I consider handsome ! " replied she ; 
" he is a large, coarse-looking fellow, with very broad shoulders 
very large and as they say of oxen, in very great condition 
a sort of a prize man ! " 

" Ha, ha ! ugh ! ugh ! he, he, he, he, he ! ugh, ugh, ugh ! 
de lightful quite delightful ! " exclaimed the earl, in a 
tone of intense chagrin, for he was conscious that his own 
figure was perhaps a little too scraggy, and his legs a leetle 
too nearly approaching the genus spindle, and being so, 
there was no trait in the female character which he so 
inveterately abhorred and despised as their tendency to 
prefer those figures which exhibited a due proportion of thew 
and muscle. Under a cloud of rappee, his lordship made a 
desperate attempt to look perfectly delighted and amused, 
and effected a retreat to the window, where he again indulged 
in a titter of unutterable spite and vexation. 

" And what says Sir Richard to the advances of this very 
desirable gentleman ? " inquired he, after a little time. 

" Sir Richard is, of course, violently against it," replied 
Emily Copland. 

" So I should have supposed," returned the little nobleman, 
briskly. And turning again to the window, he relapsed 
into silence, looked out intently for some minutes, took 
more snuff, and finally, consulting his watch, with a few 
words of apology, and a gracious smile and a bow, quitted the 
room. 



The Dark Room. 131 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

THE DARK BOOM CONTAINING PLENTY OF SCARS AND BRUISES 
AND PLANS OF VENGEANCE. 

ON the same day -a very different scene was passing in another 
quarter, whither for a few moments we must transport the 
reader. In a large and aristocratic-looking brick house, 
situated near the then fashionable suburb of Glasnevin, 
surrounded by stately trees, and within furnished with the 
most prodigal splendour, combined with the strictest and 
most minute attention to comfort and luxury, and in a large 
and lofty chamber, carefully darkened, screened round by the 
rich and voluminous folds of the silken curtains, with spider- 
tables laden with fruits and wines and phials of medicine, 
crowded around him, and rather buried than supported among 
a luxurious pile of pillows, lay, in sore bodily torment, with 
fevered pulse, and heart and brain busy with ;i thousand 
projects of revenge, the identical Nicholas Blarden, whose 
signal misadventure in the theatre, upon the preceding 
evening, we have already recorded. A decent-looking matron 
sate in a capacious chair, near the bed, in the capacity of 
nurse-tender, while her constrained and restless manner, as 
well as the frightened expression with which, from time to 
time, she stole a glance at the bloated mass of scars and 
bruises, of which she had the care, pretty plainly argued 
the sweet and patient resignation with which her charge 
endured his sufferings. In the recess of the curtained window 
sate a little black boy, arrayed according to the prevailing 
fashion, in a fancy suit, and with a turban on his head, and 
carrying in his awe-struck countenance, as well as in the 
immobility of his attitude, a woeful contradiction to the 
gaiety of his attire. 

" Drink drink where's that d d hag ? give me drink, 

I say ! " howled the prostrate gambler. 

The woman started to her feet, and with a step which fell 
noiselessly upon the deep-piled carpets which covered the floor, 
she hastened to supply him. 

He had hardly swallowed the draught, when a low knock at 
the door announced a visitor. 

" Come in, can't you ? '' shouted Blarden. 

" How do you feel now, Nicky dear ? " inquired a female 
voice and a handsome face, with rather a bold expression, 
and crowned by a small mob-cap, overlaid with a profusion of 
the richest lace, peeped into the room through the half-open 
door " how do you feel ? " 

" In hell that's all," shouted he. 
K 2 



132 The "Cock and Anchor." 

" Doctor Mallarde is below, love," added she, without 
evincing either surprise or emotion of any kind at the concise 
announcement which the patient had just delivered. 

" Let him come up then," was the reply. 

" And a Mr. M'Quirk a messenger from. Mr. Chancey." 

" Let Mm come up too. Bnt why the hell did not Chancey 
come himself P-That will do pack be off." 

The lady tossed her head, like one having authority, looked 
half inclined to say something sharp, but thought better of 
it, and contented herself with shutting the door with more 
emphasis than Dr. Mallarde would have recommended. 

The physician of those days was a solemn personage : he 
would as readily have appeared without his head, as without 
his full-bottomed wig ; and his ponderous gold-headed cane 
was a sort of fifth limb, the supposition of whose absence 
involved a contradiction to the laws of anatomy ; his dress 
was rich and funereal ; his step was slow and pompous ; his 
words very long and very few; his look was mysterious; his 
nod awful; and the shake of his head unfathomable : in short, 
he was in no respect very much better than a modern charlatan. 
The science which he professed was then overgrown with 
absurdities and mystification. The temper of the times 
was superstitious aud credulous, the physician, being wise 
in his generation, framed his outward man (including his 
air and language) accordingly, and the populace swallowed his 
long words and his electuaries with equal faith. 

Doctor Mallarde was a doctor-like person, and, in theatrical 
phraseology, looked the part well. He was tall and stately, 
saturnine and sallow in aspect, had bushy, grizzled brows, and 
a severe and prominent dark eye, a thin, hooked nose, and a 
pair of lips jutst as thin as it. Along with these advantages 
he had a habit of pressing the gold head of his professional 
cane against one corner of his mouth, in a way which 
produced a sinister and mysterious distortion of that organ ; 
and by exhibiting the medical baton, the outward and visible 
sign of doctorship, in immediate juxtaposition with the 
fountain of language, added enormously to the gravity and 
authority of the words which from time to time proceeded 
therefrom. 

In the presence of such a spectre as this intimately asso- 
ciated with all that was nauseous and deadly on earth it is 
hardly to be wondered at that even Nicholas Blarden felt 
himself somewhat uneasy and abashed. The physician felt 
his pulse, gazing the while upon the ceiling, and pressing the 
gold head of his cane, as usual, to the corner of his mouth ; 
made him put out his tongne, asked him innumerable ques- 
tion 8, which we forbear to publish, and ended by forbidding 
his patient the use of every comfort in which he had hitherto 



The Dark Room. 133 

found relief, and by writing 1 a prescription which might have 
furnished a country dispensary with good things for a twelve- 
month. He then took his leave and his fee, with the grisly 
announcement, that unless the drugs were all swallowed, and 
the other matters attended to in a spirit of absolute submission, 
he would not answer for the life of the patient. 

" I am d d glad he's gone at last," exclaimed Blarden, 

with, a kind of gasp, as if a weight had been removed from his 
breast. " Curse me, if I did not feel all the time as if my coffin 
was in the room. Are you there, M'Quirk ? " 

" Here I am, Mr. Blarden," rejoined the person addressed, 
whom we may as well describe, as we shall have more to say 
about him by-and-by. 

Mr. M'Quirk was a small, wiry man, of fifty years and 
upwards, arrayed in that style which is usually described as 
" shabby genteel." He was gifted with one of those mean and 
commonpface countenances which seem expressly made for the 
effectual concealment of the thoughts and feelings of the 
possessor an advantage which he further secured by habitually 
keeping his eyes as nearly closed as might be, so that, for any 
indication afforded by them of the movements of the inward 
man, they might as well have been shut up altogether. The 
peculiarity, if not the grace, of his appearance, was heightened 
by a contraction of the muscles at the nape of the neck, which 
drew his head backward, and produced a corresponding eleva- 
tion of the chin, which, along with a certain, habitual toss of 
the head, gave to his appearance a kind of caricatured affecta- 
tion of superciliousness and hauteur, very impressive to behold. 
Along with the swing of the head, which we have before 
noticed, there was, whenever he spoke, a sort of careless 
libration of the whole body, which, together with a certain 
way of jerking or twitching the right shoulder from time to 
time, were the only approaches to gesticulation in which he 
indulged. 

" Well, what does your master say ? " inquired Blarden 
" oufc with it, can't you." 

" Master master indeed ! Cock him up with master" 
echoed the man, with lofty disdain. 

" Ay ! what does he sav ? " reiterated Blarden, in no very 

musical tones. " D you, are you choking, or moonstruck ? 

Out with it, can't you ? " 

" Chancey says that you had better think the matter over 
arid that's bis opinion," replied M'Quirk. 

" And a fine opinion it is," rejoined Blarden, furiously. 
" Why, in hell's name, what's the matter with him the 
drivelling idiot ? What's law for what's the courts for ? 
Am I to be trounced and cudgelled in the face of hundreds, 
and and half murdered, and nothing for it? I tell jou, I'll 



134 The "Cock and Anchor" 

be beggared before the scoundrel shall escape. If every penny 
I'm worth in the world can buy it, I'll have justice. Tell 
that sleepy sot Chancey that I'll make him work. Ho o 
o oh ! " bawled the wretch, as hid anguish all returned 
a hundredfold in the fruitless attempt to raise himself in 
bed. 

" Drink, here drink I'm choking ! Hock and water. 

D you, don't look so stupid and frightened. I'll not be 

bamboozled by an old 'pothecary. Quick with it, you fum- 
bling witch." 

He finished the draught, and lay silently for a time. 

" See mind me, M'Quirk,'' he said, -after a pause, " tell 
Chancey to come out himself tell him to be here before 
evening, or I'll make him sorry for it, do you mind ; I want 
to give him directions. Tell him to come at once, or I'll make 
him smoke for it, that's all." 

" I understand all right very well ; and so, as you seem 
settling for a snooze, I wish you good-evening, Mr. Blarden, 
and all sorts of pleasure and happiness," rejoined the 
messenger. 

The patient answered by a grin and a stifled howl, and 
Mr. M'Quirk, having his head within the curtains, which 
screened him effectually from the observation of the two 
attendants, and observing that Mr. Blarden's eyes were closely 
shut in the rigid compression of pain, put out his tongue, 
and indulged for a few seconds in an exceedingly ugly 
grimace, after which, repeating his farewell in a tone of 
respectful sympathy, he took his departure, chuckling inwardly 
all the way downstairs, for the little gentleman had a playful 
turn for mischief. 

When Gordon Chancey, Esquire, barrister-at-law, in obe- 
dience to this summons, arrived at Cherry Hill, for so the 
residence of the sick voluptuary was called, he found his 
loving friend and patron, Nicholas Blarden, babbling not of 
green fields, but of green curtains, theatres, dice-boxes, bright 
eyes, small-swords, and the shades infernal in a word, in a 
high state of delirium. On calling next day, however, he 
beheld him much recovered ; and after an extremely animated 
discussion, these two well-assorted confederates at length, 
by their united ingenuity, succeeded in roughly sketching 
the outlines of a plan of terrific vengeance, in all respects 
worthy of the diabolical council in which it originated, and 
of whose progress and development this history very iully 
treats. 



A Critic. 135 

CHAPTER XXIY. 

A CRITIC A CONDITION AND THE SMALL-SWORDS. 

LORD ASPENLY walked forth among the trim hedges and 
secluded walks which surrounded the house, and by alternately 
taking enormous pinches of rappee, and humming a favourite 
air or two, he wonderfully assisted his philosophy in recovering 
his equanimity. 

" It matters but little how the affair ends," thought his 
lordship, " if in matrimony the girl is, after all, a very fine 
girl : but if the matter is fairly off, in that case I shall look 
very foolish," suggested his conscience faintly, but his lordship 
dismissed the thought precipitately " in that case I shall 
make it a point to marry within a fortnight. I should like to 
know the girl who would refuse me " " the only one you ever 
asked" suggested his conscience again, but with no better 
result "I should like to see the girl of sense or discrimina- 
tion who could refuse me. I shall marry the finest girl in the 
country, and then I presume very few will be inclined to call 
me fool." 

" Not I for one, my lord," exclaimed a voice close by. 
Lord Aspenly started, for he was conscious that in his energy 
he had uttered the concluding words of his proud peroration 
with audible emphasis, and became instantly aware that the 
speaker was no other than Major O'Leary. 

"Not J for one, my lord," repeated the major, with 
extreme gravity, " I take it for granted, my lord, that you are 
no fool." 

"I am obliged to you, Major O'Leary, for your good 
opinion," replied his lordship, drily, with a surprised look and 
a stiff inclination of his person. 

" Nothing to be grateful for in it," replied the major, 
returning the bow with grave politeness: "if years and dis- 
cretion increase together, you and I ought to be models of 
wisdom by this time of day. I'm proud of my years, my lord, 
and I would be half as proud again if I could count as many 
as your lordship." 

There was something singularly abrupt and uncalled for in 
all this, which Lord Aspenly did not very well understand ; 
he therefore stopped short, and looked in the major's face ; but 
reading in its staid and formal gravity nothing whatever to 
furnish a clue to his exact purpose, he made a kind of short 
bow, and continued his walk in dignified silence. There was 
something exceedingly disagreeable, he thought, in the manner 
of his companion something very near approaching to cool 
impertinence which he could not account for upun any other 



1 36 The "Cock and Anchor? 

supposition than that the major had been prematurely indulg- 
ing in the joys of Bacchus. If, however, he thought that by 
the assumption of the frigid and lofty dignity with which he 
met the advances of the major, he was likely to relieve himself 
of his company, he was never more lamentably mistaken. His 
military companion walked with a careless swagger by his 
side, exactly regulating his pace by that of the little nobleman, 
whose meditations he had so cruelly interrupted. 

"What on earth is to be done with this brnte beast?" 
muttered his lordship, taking care, however, that the query 
should not reach the subject of it. " I must get rid of him [ 
must speak with the girl privately what the deuce is to be 
done ? " 

They walked on a little further in perfect silence. At length 
his lordship stopped short and exclaimed, 

" My dear major, I am a very dull companion quite a 
bore ; there are times when the mind the the spirits 
leqnire solitude and these walks are the very scene for a 
lonely ramble. I dare venture to aver that you are courting 
solitude like myself your silence betrays you then pray do 
not stand on ceremony that walk leads down toward the 
river pray no ceremony." 

"Upon my conscience, my lord, I never was less inclined to 
stand on ceremony than I am at this moment," replied the 
major; "so give yourself no trouble in the world about me. 
Nothing would annoy me so much as to have you think I 
was doing anything but precisely what I liked best myself." 

Lord Aspenly bowed, took a violent pinch of snuff, and 
walked on, the major still keeping by his side. After a long 
silence his lordship began to lilt his own sweet verses in a 
careless sort of a way, which was intended to convey to his 
tormentor that he had totally forgotten his presence : 

" Tho' Chloe slight me when I woo, 

And scorn the love of poor Philander ; 
The shepherd's heart she scorns is true, 
Hib heart is true, his passion tender." 

" Passion tender," observed the major "passion tender 
it's a mtrse-tender the like of you and me ought to be looking' 
for passion tender upon my conscience, a good joke." 

Lord Aspenly was strongly tempted to give vent to his feel- 
ings ; but even at the imminent risk of bursting, he managed 
to suppress his fury. The major was certainly (however un- 
accountable and mysterious the fact might be) in a perfectly 
cut- throat frame ot mind, and Lord Aspenly had no desire to 
present his weasand for the entertainment of his military 
friend. 

" Tender tender," continued the inexorable major, " allow 



A Critic. 137 

me, my lord, to suggest the word tough as an improvement 
tender, my lord, is a term which does not apply to chickens 
beyond a certain time of life, and it strikes me as too bold a 
license of poetry to apply it to a gentleman of such extreme 
and venerable old age as your lordship ; for I take it for 
granted tha.t Philander is another name for yourself." 

As the major uttered this critical remark, Lord Aspenly 
felt his brain, as it were, fizz with downright fury ; the instinct 
of self-preservation, however, triumphed; he mastered his 
generous indignation, and resumed his walk in a state of mind 
nothing short of awful. 

" My lord," inquired the major, with tragic abruptness, and 
with very stern emphasis " I take the liberty of asking, have 
you made your soul ? " 

The precise nature of the major's next proceeding, Lord 
Aspenly could not exactly predict ; of one thing, however, he 
felt assured, and that was, that the designs of his companion 
were decidedly of a dangerous character, and as he gazed in 
mute horror upon the major, confused but terrific ideas of 
" homicidal monomania," and coroner's inquests floated dimly 
through his distracted brain. 

" My soul ? " faltered he, in undisguised trepidation. 

" Yes, my lord," repeated the major, with remarkable cool- 
ness, " have you made your soul ? " 

During this conference his lordship's complexion had 
shiited from its original lernon-colour to a lively orange, 
and thence faded gradually off into a pea-green ; at which 
hue it remained fixed during the remainder of the interview. 

" I protest you cannot be serious I am wholly in the dark. 
Positively, Major O'Leary, this is very unaccountable conduct 
you really ought pray explain." 

''Upon my conscience, I will explain," rejoined the major, 
"although the explanation won't make you much more in love 
with your present predicament, unless I am very much out. 
You made my niece, Mary Ashwoode, an offer of marriage to- 
day ; well, she was much obliged to you, but she did not want 
to marry you, and she told you so civilly. Did you then, like 
a man and a gentleman, take your answer from her as you 
ought to have done, quietly and courteously ? No, you did 
not ; you went to bully the poor girl, and to insult her ; 
because she politely declined to marry a a an ugly bunch of 
wrinkles, like you ; and you threatened to tell Sir Richard 
av, you did to tell him your pitiful story, you you you 
but wait awhile. You want to have the poor girl frightened 
and bullied into marrying you. Where's your spirit or your 
feeling, my lord ? But you don't know what the words mean. 
If ever you did, you'd sooner have been racked to death, than 
have terrified and insulted a poor friendless girl, as you 



138 The "Cock and A nchor? 

thought her. But she's not friendless. I'll teach you she's 
not. As long as this arm can lift a small-sword, and while 
the life is in my body, I'll never see any woman maltreated by 
a scoundrel a scoundrel, my lord ; but I'll bring him to his 
knees for it, or die in the attempt. And holding these 
opinions, did you think I'd let you oflend my niece ? No, sir, 
I'd be blown to atoms first." 

" Major O'Leary," replied his lordship, as soon as he had 
collected his thoughts and recovered breath to speak, " your 
conduct is exceedingly violent very, and, I will add, most 
hasty and indiscreet. You have entirely misconceived me, 
you have mistaken the whole affair. You will regret this 
violence I protest I know you will, when you understand 
the whole matter. At present, knowing the nature of your 
feelings, I protest, though I might naturally resent your 
observations, it is not in my nature, in my heart to be angry." 
This was spoken with a very audible quaver. 

" You would, my lord, you would be angry," rejoined the 
major, " you'd dance with fury this moment, if you dared. 
You could find it in your heart to go into a passion with a 
girl ; but talking with men is a different sort of thing. Now, 
my lord, we are both here, with our swords ; no place can be 
more secluded, and, I presume, no two men more willing. 
Pray draw, my lord, or I'll be apt to spoil your velvet and gold 
lace." 

"Major O'Leary, I will be heard!" exclaimed Lord 
Aspenly, with an earnestness which the imminent peril 
of his person inspired " I must have a word or two with 
you, before we put this dispute to so deadly an arbitra- 
ment." 

The major had foreseen and keenly enjoyed the reluctance 
and the evident tremors of his antagonist. He returned his 
half -drawn sword to its scabbard with an impatient thrust, and, 
folding his arms, looked down with supreme contempt upon 
the little peer. 

" Major O'Leary, you have been misinformed Miss Ash- 
woode has mistaken me. I assure you, I meant no disrespect 
none in the world, I protest. I may have spoken hastily 
perhaps I did but I never intended disrespect never for a 
moment." 

" Well, my lord, suppose that I admit that you did not 
mean any disrespect ; and suppose that I distinctly assert 
that I have neither right nor inclination just now to call 
you to an account for anything you may have said, in your 
interview this morning, offensive to my niece ; I give you leave 
to suppose it, and, what's more, in supposing it, I solemnly 
aver, you suppose neither more nor less than the exact truth," 
said the major. 



A Critic. 139 

" Well, then, Major O'Leary," replied Lord Aspenly, " I 
profess myself wholly at a loss to understand your conduct. 
I presume, at all events, that nothing further need pass 
between us about the matter." 

" Not so fast, my lord, if you please," rejoined the major ; 
" a great deal more must pass between us before I have done 
with your lordship; although I cannot punish you for the 
past, 1 have a perfect right to restrain you for the future. I 
have a proposal to make, to which I expect your lordship's 
assent a proposal which, under the circumstances, I dare 
say, you will think, however unpleasant, by no means un- 
reasonable." 

" Pray state it," said Lord Aspenly, considerably reassured 
on finding that the debate was beginning to take a diplomatic 
turn. 

" This is my proposal, then," replied the major : " you shall 
write a letter to Sir Richard, renouncing all pretensions to 
his daughter's hand, and taking upon yourself the whole 
responsibility of the measure, without implicating her directly 
or indirectly ; do you mind : and you shall leave this place, 
and go wherever you please, before supper-time to-night. 
These are the conditions on which I will consent to spare you, 
my lord, and upon no other shall you escape." 

" Whv> what can you mean, Major O'Leary ? " exclaimed 
the little coxcomb, distractedly. " If I did any such thing, I 
should be run through by Sir Richard or his rakehelly son ; 
besides, I came here for a wife my friends know it ; I cannot 
consent to make a fool of myself. How dare you presume to 
propose such conditions to me P " 

The little gentleman as he wound up, had warmed so much, 
that he placed his hand on the hilt of his sword. Without one 
word of commentary, the major drew his, and with a nod of 
invitation, threw himself into an attitude of defence, and 
resting the point of his weapon upon the ground, awaited 
the attack of his adversary. Perhaps Lord Aspenly re- 
gretted the precipitate valour which had prompted him to 
place his hand on his sword-hilt, as much as he had ever 
regretted any act of his whole life ; it was, however, too late 
to recede, and with the hurried manner of one who has made 
up his mind to a disagreeable thing, and wishes it soon over, 
he drew his also, and their blades were instantly crossed in 
mortal opposition. 



1 40 The " Cock and A nchor" 



CHAPTER XXV. 

THE COMBAT AND ITS ISSUE. 

LORD ASPENLY made one or two eager passes at his opponent, 
which were parried with perfect ease and coolness ; and before 
he had well recovered his position from the last of those 
lunges, a single clanging sweep of the major's sword, taking 
his adversary's blade from the point to the hilt with irresistible 
force, sent his lordship's weapon whirring through the air 
some eight or ten yards away. 

"Take your life, my lord," said the major, contemptuously ; 
" I give it to you freely, only wishing the present were more 
valuable. What do you say now, my lord, to the terms ? " 

"I say, sir what do /say? " echoed his lordship, not very 
coherently. "Major O'Leary, you have disarmed me, sir, and 
you ask me what I say to your terms. What do I say ? Why, 
sir, I say again what I said before, that I cannot and will not 
subscribe to them." 

Lord Aspenly, having thus delivered himself, looked half 
astonished and half frightened at his own valour. 

"Everyone to his taste your lordship has an uncommon 
inclination for slaughter," observed the major coolly, walking 
to the spot where lay the little gentleman's sword, raising 
it, and carelessly presenting it to him : " take it, my lord, 
and use it more cautiously than you have done defend your- 
self ! " 

Little expecting another encounter, yet ashamed to decline 
it, his lordship, with a trembling hand, grasped the weapon 
once more, and again their blades were crossed in deadly 
combat. This time his lordship prudently forbore to risk his 
safety by an impetuous attack upon an adversary so cool 
and practised as the major, and of whose skill he had just 
Lad so convincing a proof. Major O'Leary, therefore, began 
the attack ; and pressing his opponent with some slight feints 
and passes, followed him closely as he retreated for some 
twenty yards, and then, suddenly striking up to the point of 
his lordship's sword with his own, he seized the little noble- 
man's right arm at the wrist with a grasp like a vice, and once 
njore held his life at his disposal. 

" Take your life for the second and the last time," said the 
major, having suffered the wretched little gentleman for a 
brief pause to fully taste the bitterness of death; "mind, my 
lord, for the last time;" and so saying, he contemptuously 
Hung his lordship from him by the arm which he grasped. 

" Now, mv lord, before we begin for the last time, listen to 
me," said the major, with a sternness, which commanded all 



The Combat and its Issue, 



141 



the attention of the affrighted peer ; " I desire that you 
should fully understand what I propose. I would not like 
to kill you under a mistake there is nothing like a clear, 
mutual understanding during a quarrel. Such an understand- 
ing being once established, bloodshed, if it unfortunately 
occurs, can scarcely, even in the most scrupulous bosom, excite 
the mildest regret. I wish, my lord, to have nothing what- 
ever to reproach myself with in the catastrophe which you 
appear to have resolved shall overtake you; and, therefore, 




I'll state the whole case for your dying consolation in as few 
words as possible. Don't be in a hurry, my lord, I'll not 
detain you more than five minutes in this miserable world. 
Now, my lord, you have two strong, indeed I may call them 
in every sense fatal, objections to my proposal. The first is, 
that if you write the letter I propose, you must fight Sir 
Kichard and young Henry Ashwoode. Now, I pledge myself, 
my soul, and honour, as & Christian, a soldier, and a gentle- 
man, that I will stand between you and them that I will 
protect you completely from all responsibility upon that score 
and that it' anyone is to fight with either of them, it shall 



142 The "Cock and Anchor." 

not be you. Your second objection is, that having been fool 
enough to tell the world that you were coming here for a wife, 
you are ashamed to go away without one. Now, without 
meaning to be offensive, I never heard anything more idiotic 
in the whole course of my life. But if it must be s\ and that 

you cannot go away without a wife, why the d 1 don't 

you ask Emily Copland a fine girl with some thousands 
of pounds, I believe, and at all events dying for love of you, 
as I am sure you see yourself? You can't care for one more 
than the other, and why the deuce need you trouble your head 
about their gossip, if anyone wonders at the change? And 
now, my lord, mark me, I have said all that is to be said in the 
way of commentary or observation upon my proposal, and I 
must add a word or two about the consequences of finally 
rejecting it. I have spared your life twice, my lord, within 
these five minutes. If you refuse the accommodation I have 
proposed, I will a third time give you an opportunity of dis- 
embarrassing yourself of the whole affair by running me 
through the body in which, if you fail, so sure as you are 
this moment alive and breathing before me, you shall, at the 
end of the next five, be a corpse. So help me God ! " 

Major O'Leary paused, leaving Lord Aspenly in a state of 
confusion and horror, scarcely short of distraction. 

There was no mistaking the major's manner, and the old 
beau garqon already felt in imagination the cold steel busy 
with his intestines. 

" But, Major O'Leary," said he, despairingly, " will you 
engage can you pledge yourself that no mischief shall follow 
from my withdrawing as you say? not that I would care to 
avoid a duel when occasion required; but no one likes to 
unnecessarily risk himself. Will you indeed prevent all un- 
pleasantness ? " 

" Did I pledge my soul and honour that I would ? " inquired* 
the major sternly. 

" Well, I am satisfied. I do agree," replied his lordship. 
" But is there any occasion for me to remove to-night ? " 

" Every occasion," replied the major, coolly. " You must 
come directly with me, and write the letter and this evening, 
before supper, you must leave Morley Court. And, above all 
things, just remember this, let there be no trickery or treachery 
in this matter. So sure as I see the smallest symptom of 
anything of the kind, I will bring about such another piece 
of work as has not been for many a long day. Am I fully 
understood ? " 

" Perfectly perfectly, my dear sir," replied the nobleman. 
"Clearly understood. And believe me, Major, when I say 
that nothing but the fact that I myself, for private reasons, 
am not unwilling to break the matter off, could have induced 



The Hell. 143 

me to co-operate with you in this business. Believe me, sir, 
otherwise I should have fought until one or other of us had 
fallen to rise no more." 

" To be sure you would, my lord," rejoined the major, with 
edifying gravity. " And in the meantime yonr lordship will 
much oblige me by walking up to the house. There's pen and 
paper in Sir Kichard's study ; and between us we can 
compose something worthy of the occasion. Now, my lord, if 
you please." 

Thus, side by side, walked the two elderly gentlemen, like 
the very best friends, towards the old house. And shrewd 
indeed would have been that observer who could have gathered 
from the manner of either ^whatever their flushed faces and 
somewhat ruffled exterior might have told), as with formal 
courtesy they threaded the trim arbours together, that but a 
few minutes before each had sought the other's life. 



CHAPTER XXYI. 

THE HELL GORDON CHANCEY LUCK FRENZY AND A 
RESOLUTION. 

THE night which followed this day found young Henry 
Ash wood e, his purse replenished with bank-notes, that day 
advanced by Craven, to the amount of one thousand pounds, 
once more engaged in the delirious prosecution of his favourite 
pursuit gaming. In the neighbourhood of the theatre, in 
that narrow street now known as Smock Alley, there stood in 
those days a kind of coffee-house, rather of the better sort. 
From the public-room, in which actors, politicians, officers, 
and occasionally a member of parliament, or madcap Irish 
peer, chatted, lounged, and sipped their sack or coffee the 
initiated, or, in short, any man with a good coat on his back 
and a few pounds in his pocket, on exchanging a brief whisper 
with a singularly sleek-looking gentleman, who sate in the 
prospective of the background, might find his way through a 
small, baize-covered door in the back of the chamber, and 
through a lobby or two, and thence upstairs into a suite of 
rooms, decently hung with gilded leather, and well lighted 
with a profusion of wax candles, where hazard and cards were 
played for stakes unlimited, except by the fortunes and the 
credit of those who gamed. The ceaseless clang of the dice-box 
and rattle of the dice upon the table, and the clamorous 
challenging and taking of the odds upon the throwing, accom- 
panied by the ferocious blasphemies of desperate losers, who, 



144 The "Cock and Anchor." 

with clenched hands and distracted gesture?, poured, un- 
heeded, their frantic railings and imprecations, as they, in 
unpitied agony, withdrew from the fatal table ; and now and 
then the scarcely less hideous interruptions of brutal quarrels, 
accusations, and recriminations among the excited and half- 
drunken gamblers, were the sounds which greeted the ear of 
him who ascended toward this unhallowed scene. The rooms 
were crowded the atmosphere hot and stifling, and the 
company in birth and pretensions, if not in outward attire, 
to the full as mixed and various as the degrees of fortune, 
which scattered riches and ruin promiscuously among them. 
In the midst of all this riotous uproar, several persons sate 
and played at cards as if (as, perhaps, was really the case), 
perfectly unconscious of the ceaseless hubbub going on around 
them. B ere you might see in one place the hare-brained 
young squire, scarcely three months launched upon the road 
to ruin, snoring in drunken slumber, in his deep- cushioned 
chair, with bis cravat untied, and waistcoat loosened, and his 
last cup of mulled sack upset upon the table beside him, and 
streaming upon his velvet breeches and silken hose while 
his lightly- won bank notes, stuffed into the loose coat pocket, 
and peeping temptingly from the aperture, invited the fingers 
of the first chevalier d'industrie who wished to help himself. 
In another place you might behold two sharpers fulfilling the 
conditions of their partnership, by wheedling a half-tipy 
simpleton into a quiet game of ombre. And again, elsewhere 
you might descry some bully captain, whose occupation having 
ended with the Irish war?, indemnified himself as best he 
might by such contributions as he could manage to levy from 
the young and reckless in such haunts as this, busily and 
energetically engaged in brow-beating a timid greenhorn, who 
has the presumption to fancy that he has won something from 
the captain, which the captain has forgotten to pay. In 
another place you may see, unheeded and unheeding, the 
wretch who has played and lost his last stake; with white, 
unmeaning face and idiotic grin, glaring upon the floor, 
thought and feeling palsied, something worse, and more 
appalling than a maniac. 

The whole character of the assembly bespoke the reckless- 
ness and the selfishness of its ingredients. There was*, too, 
among them a certain coarse and revolting disregard and 
defiance of the etiquettes and conventional decencies of social 
life. More than half the men were either drunk or tipsy ; 
some had thrown off their coats and others wore their hats ; 
altogether the company had more the appearance of a band of 
reckless rioters in a public street, than of an assembly ot' 
persons professing to be gentlemen, and congregated in a 
drawing-room. 



The Hell. 145 

By the fireplace in the first and by far the largest and most 
crowded of the three drawing-rooms, there sate a person whose 
appearance was somewhat remarkable. He was an ill-made 
fellow, with long, lank, limber legs and arms, and an habitual 
lazy stoop. His face was sallow ; his mouth, heavy and 
sensual, was continually moistened with the brandy and water 
which stood beside him upon a small spider-table, placed there 
for his especial use. His eyes were long-cut, aod seldom more 
than half open, and carrying in their sleepy glitter a singular 
expression of treachery and brute cunning. He wore his own 
lank and grizzled hair, instead of a peruke, and sate before 
the fire with a drowsy inattention to all that was passing in 
the room ; and, except for the occasional twinkle of his eye as 
it glanced from the corner of his half-closed lids, he might 
have been believed to have been actually asleep. His attitude 
was lounging and listless, and all his movements so languid 
and heavy, that they seemed to be rather those of a somnam- 
bulist than of awaking man. His dress had little pretension, 
and less neatness ; it was a suit of threadbare, mulberry- 
coloured cloth, with steel buttons, and evidently but little 
acquainted with the clothes-brush. His linen was soiled and 
crumpled, his shoes ill-cleaned, his beard had enjoyed at least 
two days' undisturbed growth ; and the dingy hue of his face 
and hands bespoke altogether the extremest negligence and 
slovenliness of person. 

. This slovenly and ungainly being, who sate apparently 
unconscious of the existence of any other earthly thing than 
the fire on which he gazed, and the grog which from time to 
time he lazily sipped, was Gordon Chancey, Esquire, of Sky- 
copper Court, Whitefriar Street, in the city of Dublin, 
barrister-at-law a gentleman who had never been known to 
do any professional business, but who managed, nevertheless, 
to live, and to possess, somehow or other, the command of very 
considerable sums of money, which he most advantageously 
invested by discounting, at exorbitant interest, short bills and 
promissory notes in such places as that in which he now sate 
one of his favourite resorts, by the way. At intervals of 
from five to ten minutes he slowly drew from the vast pocket 
of his clumsy coat a bulky pocket-book, and sleepily conned 
over certain memoranda with which its leaves were charged 
then having looked into its well-lined receptacles, to satisfy 
himself that no miracle of legerdemain had abstracted the 
treasure on which his heart was set, he once more fastened 
the buckle of the leathern budget, and deposited it again in 
his pocket. This procedure, and his attentions to the spirits 
and water, which from time to time he swallowed, succeeded 
one another with a monotonous regularity altogether un- 
disturbed by the uproarious scene which surrounded him. 

L 



146 The "Cock and Anchor" 

As the night wore apace, and fortune played her wildest 
pranks, many an applicant some successfully, and some in 
vain sought Chancey's succour. 

" Come, my fine fellow, tip me a cool hundred," exclaimed a 
fashionably-dressed young man, flushed with the combined 
excitement of wine and the dice, and tapping Chancey on the 
back impatiently with his knuckles " this moment will you, 
and be d " 

" Oh, dear me, dear me, Captain Markham," drawled the 
barrister in a low, drowsy tone, as he turned sleepily toward 
the speaker, " have you lost the other hundred so soon ? Oh, 
dear ! oh, dear ! " 

" Never you mind, old fox. Shell out, if you're going to 
do it," rejoined the applicant. " What is it to you ? " 

" Oh, dear me, dear me ! " murmured Chancey, as he 
languidly drew the pocket-book from his pocket. " When 
shall I make it payable ? To-morrow ? " 

" D n to-morrow," replied the captain. "I'll sleep all to- 
morrow. Won't a fortnight do, you harpy ? " 

" Well, well sign sign it here," said the usurer, handing 
the paper, with a pen, to the young gentleman, and indicating 
with his finger the spot where the name was to be written. 

The roue wrote his name without ever reading the paper; 
and Chancey carefully deposited it in his book. 

" The money the money d n you, will you never give 

it ! " exclaimed the young man, actually stamping with im- 
patience, as if every moment's absence from the hazard-table 
cost him a fortune. " Give give give them." 

He seized the notes, and without counting, stuffed them 
into his coat-pocket, and plunged in an instant again among 
the gamblers who crowded the table. 

" Mr. Chancey Mr. Chancey," said a slight young man, 
whose whole appearance betokened a far progress in the 
wasting of a mortal decline. His face was pale as death itself, 
and glittering with the cold, clammy dew of weakness and 
excitement. The eye was bright, wild, and glassy; and the 
features of this attenuated face trembled and worked in the 
spasms of agonized anxiety and despair with timid voice, 
and with the fearful earnestness of one pleading for his life 
with knees half bent, and head stretched forward, while his 
thin fingers were clutched and knotted together in restless 
f everishness. He still repeated at intervals in low, supplicating 
accents " Mr. Chancey Mr. Chancey can you spare a 
moment, sir Mr. Chancey, good sir Mr. Chancey." 

.For many minutes the worthy barrister gazed on apa- 
thetically into the fire, as if wholly unconscious that this 
piteous spectacle was by his side, and all but begging his 
attention. 



The Hell. 147 

" Mr. Chancey, good sir Mr. Chancey, kind sir only one 
moment one word Mr. Chancey." 

This time the wretched young man advanced one of his 
trembling hands and laid it hesitatingly upon Chancey's knee 
the seat of mercy, as the ancients thought; but truly here 
it was otherwise. The hand was repulsed with insolent rude- 
ness ; and the wretched suppliant stood trembling in silence 
before the bill-discounter, who looked upon him with a scowl 
of brute ferocity, which the timid advances he had made could 
hardly have warranted. 

" Well," growhd Cbmcey, keeping his baleful eyes fixed not 
very encouragingly upon the poor young man. 

" I have been unfortunate, sir I have lost ray last shilling 
that is, the last 1 have about me at present." 

" Well," repeated he. 

" I might win it all back," continued the suppliant, becoming 
more voluble as he proceeded. " I might recover it all it has 
often happened to me before. Oh, sir, it is possible certain, 
if I had but a few pounds to play on." 

" Ay, the old story," rejoined Chancey. 

" Yes, sir, it is indeed indeed it is, Mr. Chancey," said the 
young man, eagerly, catching at this improvement upon his 
first laconic address as an indication of some tendency to re- 
lent, and making, at the same time, a most woeful attempt to 
look pleasant " it is, sir the old story, indeed ; but this time 
it will come out true indeed it will. Will you do one little 
note for me a little one twenty pounds ? " 

" No, I won't," drawled Chancey, imitating with coarse 
buffoonery the intonation of the request " I won't do a little 
one for you." 

" Well, for ten pounds for ten only." 

" No, nor for ten pence," rejoined Chancey, tranquilly. 

" You may keep five out of it for the discount for friendship 
only let me have five just^t-e," urged the wasted gambler, 
with an agony of supplication. 

" No. I won't ; junt five," replied the lawyer. 

"I'll make it payable to-morrow," urged the suppliant. 

" Maybe you'll be dead before that," drawled Chancey, with 
a sneer ; "the life don't look very tough in you." 

"Ah! Mr. Chancey, dear sir good Mr. Chancey," said the 
young man, " you often told me you'd do me a friendly turn 
yet. Do not you remember it ? when I was able to lend you 
money. For God's sake, lend me five pounds now, or any- 
thing ; I'll give you half my winnings. You'll save me from 
beggary ah, sir, for old friendship." 

Mr. Gordon Chancey seemed wondrously tickled by this 
appeal ; he gazed sleepily at the fire while he raked the embers 
with the toe of his shoe, stuffed his hands deep into his 

L 2 



148 The "Cock and Anchor?' 

breeches pocket- , and indulged in a sort of lazy, comfortable 
laughter, which lasted for several minutes, until at length it 
subsided, leaving him again apparently unconscious of the 
presence of his petitioner. Emboldened by the condescension 
of his quondam friend, the young man made a piteous effort to 
join in the laughter an attempt, however, which was speedily 
interrupted by the hollow cough of consumption. After a 
p^use of a minute or two, during which Chancey seemed to 
have forgotten his existence, he once more addressed that 
gentleman, 

Well, sir well, Mr. Chancey ? " 

The barrister turned full upon him with an expression of 
face not to be mistaken, and in a tone just as unequivocal, he 
growled, 

" I'm d d if I give you as much as a leaden penny. Be 

off; there's no begging allowed here away with you, you 
blackguard." 

Having thus delivered himself, Chancey relapsed into his 
ordinary dreamy quiet. 

Every muscle in the pale, wasted face of the ruined, dying 
gamester quivered with fruitless agony ; he opened his mouth 
to speak, but could not ; he gasped and sobbed, and then, 
clutching his lank hands over his eyes and forehead as though 
he would fain have crushed his head to pieces, he uttered one 
low cry of anguish, more despairing and appalling than the 
loudest shriek of horror, and passed from the room unnoticed. 

"Jeffries, can you lend me fifty or a hundred pounds till to- 
morrow P" said young Ashwoode, addressing a middle-aged 
fop who had just reeled in from an adjoining room. 

" Cuss me, Ashwoode, if the thing is a possibility," replied 
he, with a hiccough ; " I have just been fairly cleaned out by 
Snarley and two or three others not one guinea left con- 
found them all. I've this moment had to beg a crown to pay 
my chair and link-boy home ; but Chancey is here ; I saw him 
not an hour ago in his old corner." 

" So he is, egad thank you," and Ashwoode was instantly 
by the uionied man's side. " Chancey, I want a hundred -and 
fifty quickly, man, are you awake? " and so saying, he shook 
the lawyer roughly by the shoulder. 

" Oh, dear ! oh, dear ! " exclaimed he, in his usual low, sleepy 
voice, "it's Mr. A.shwoode, it is indeed dear me, dear me; 
and can I oblige you, Mr. Ashwoode ? " 

" Yes ; don't I tell you I want a hundred and fifty or stay, 
two hundred," said Ashwoode, impatiently. " I'll pay you in 
a week or less say to-morrow if you please it." 

" Whatever sum you like, Mr. Ashwoode," rejoined he 
" whatever sum or whatever date you please ; I declare to God 
I'm uncommonly glad to do it. Oh, dear, but them dice is 






The Hell. 149 

unruly. Two hundred, you say, and a a week we'll say, not 
to be pressing. Well, well, this money has luck in it, maybe. 
That's a long lane that has no turn fortune changes sides 
when it's least expected. Your name here, Mr. Ashwoode." 

The name was signed, the notes taken, and Ashwoode once 
more at the table ; but alack-a-day ! fortune was for once 
steady, and frowned with consistent obdurateness upon Henry 
Ashwoode. Five minutes had hardly passed, when the two 
hundred pounds had made themselves wings and followed the 
larger sums which he had already lost. Again he had re- 
course to Chancey: again he found that gentleman smooth, 
gracious, and obliging as he could have wished. Still his luck 
was adverse : as fast as he drew the notes from his pocket, 
they were caught and whirled away in the eddy of ruin. Once 
more from the accommodating barrister he drew a larger sum, 
still with a like result. So large and frequent were his 
drafts, that Chancey was obliged to go away and replenish his 
exhausted treasury; and still again and again, with a terrible 
monotony of disaster, young Ashwoode continued to lose. 

At length the grey, cold light of morning streamed drearily 
through the chinks of the window-shutters into the hot 
chamber of destruction and debauchery. The sounds of daily 
business began to make themselves heard from the streets. 
The wax lights were flaring in the sockets. The floor strewn 
with packs of cards, broken glasses, and plates, and fragments 
of fowls and bread, and a thousand other disgusting indications 
of recent riot and debauchery which need not to be mentioned. 
Soiled and jaded, with bloodshot eyes and haggard faces, the 
gamblers slunk, one by one, in spiritless exhaustion, from the 
scene of their distracting orgies, to rest the brain and refresh 
the body as best they might. 

With a stunning and indistinct sense of disaster and ruin ; 
a vague, fevered, dreamy remembrance of overwhelming 
calamity: a stupefying, haunting consciousness that all the 
clatter, and roaring, and stifling heat, and jostling, and angry 
words, and smooth, civil speeches of the night past, had been, 
somehow or other, to him fraught with fearful and tremendous 
agony, and delirium, and ruin Ashwoode stalked into the 
street, and mechanically proceeded to the inn where his horse 
was stabled. 

The ostler saw, by the haggard, vacant stare with which 
Ashwoode returned his salutation, that something had gone 
wrong, and, as he held the stirrup for him, he arrived at the 
conclusion that the young gentleman must have gotten at 
least a dozen duels upon his hands, to be settled, one and all, 
before breakfast. 

The young man dashed the spurs into the high-mettled 
horse, aud tiaversing the streets at a peiilous speed, without 



1 50 . The "Cock and Anchor? 

well thinking or knowing whitherward he was proceeding, he 
found himself at length among the wild lanes and brushwood 
of the Koyal Park, and was recalled to himself by finding his 
horse rearing and floundering up to his sides in a slough. 
Having extricated the animal, he dismounted, threw his hat 
beside him, and, kneeling down, bathed his head and face 
again and again in the water of a little brook, which ran in 
many a devious winding through the tangled briars and thorns. 
The cold, refreshing ablution, assisted by the sharp air of the 
morning, soon brought him to his recollection. 

" The fiend himself must have been by my elbow last night," 
he muttered, as he stood bare-headed, in wild disorder, by the 
brook's side. " I've lost before, and lost heavily too, but such 
a run, such an infernal string of ruinous losses. First, a 
thousand pounds gone swallowed up in little more than an 
hour ; and then the devil knows how much more curse me, 
if I can remember how much I borrowed. I am over head 
and ears in Chancey's books. How shall I face my father ? 
and how, in the fiend's name, am I to meet my engagements ? 
Craven will hand me no more of the money. Was I mad or 
drunk, to go on against such an accursed tide of bad luck ? 
what fury from hell possessed me ? I wish I had thrust my 
hand between the bars, and burnt it to the elbow, before I 
took the dice-box last night. What's to be done ? " he paused 
" Yes I must do it fate, destiny, circumstances drive me 
to it. T will marry the woman ; she can't live very long it's 
not likely ; and even if she does, what's that to me ? the 
world is wide enough for us both, and once married, we need 
not plague one another much with our society. I must see 

Chancey about those d d bills or notes: curse me, if I even 

know when they are payable. My brain swims like a sea. 
Lady Stukely, Lady Stukely, you are a happy woman : it's 
an ill wind that blows nobody good T am resolved my course 
is taken. First then for Morley Court, and next for the 

wealthy widow's. I don't half like the thing, but, d n it, 

what other chance have I? Then away with hesitation, away 
with thought ; fate has ordained it." 

So saying, the young man donned his hat, caught the bridle 
of his well-trained steed, vaulted into the saddle, and was soon 
far on his way to Morley Court, where strange and startling 
tidings awaited his arrival. 



The Departure of the Peer. 1 5 1 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

THE DEPARTURE OF THE PEER THE BILLET AND THE SHATTERED 
MIRROR. 

NEVER yet did day pass more disagreeably to mortal man 
than that whose early events we have recorded did to Lord 
Aspenly. His vanity and importance had suffered more mor- 
tification within the last few hours than he had ever before 
encountered in all the eight-and-sixty winters of his previous 
useful existence. And spite of the major's assurances to the 
contrary, he could not help feeling certain very unpleasant 
misgivings, as the evening approached, touching the con- 
sequences likely to follow to himself from his meditated 
retreat. 

He resolved by the major's advice to leave Morley Court 
without a formal leave-taking, or, in short, any explanatory 
interview whatever with Sir Richard. And for the purpose of 
taking his departure without obstruction or annoyance, he 
determined that the hour of his setting forth should be that at 
which the baronet was wont to retire for a time to his dressing- 
room, previously to appearing at supper. The note which was 
to announce his departure was written and sealed, and de- 
posited in his waistcoat pocket. He felt that it supplied but 
a very meagre explanation of so decided a step as he was con- 
strained to take ; nevertheless it was the only explanation he 
had to offer. He well knew that its perusal would be followed by 
an explosion, and he not unwisely thought it best, under all 
the circumstances, to withdraw to a reasonable distance before 
springing the mine. 

The evening closed ominously in storm and cloud ; the wind 
was hourly rising, and distant mutterings of thunder bespoke 
a night of tempest. Lord Aspenly had issued his orders with 
secrecy, and they were punctually obeyed. At the hoar indi- 
cated, his own and his servant's horses were at the door. Lord 
Aspenly was crossing the hall, cloaked, booted, and spurred for 
the road, when he encountered Emily Copland. 

" Dear me, my lord, can it be possible surely you are not 
going to leave us to-night ? " 

" Indeed, it is but too true, fair lady," rejoined his lordship, 
with a dolorous shrug. " An unlucky contretemps requires 
my attendance in town ; my precipitate flight," he continued, 
with an attempt at a playful smile, " is accounted for in this 
note, which perhaps you will kindly deliver to Sir Richard, 
when next you see him. I trust, Miss Copland, that fortune 
will often grant me the privilege of meeting you. Be assured 
it is one which I prize above all others. Adieu " 



152 The " Cock and A nchor. " 

His lordship gallantly kissed the hand which was extended 
to receive the note, and then, with his best bow, withdrew. 

A few petulant questions, which bespoke his inward 
acerbity, he addressed to his servant glanced with a very 
sour aspect at the lowering sky clambered stifflv into the 
saddle, and then, desiring his attendant to follow him, rode 
down the avenue at a speed which seemed prompted by aa 
instinctive dread of pursuit. 

As the wind howled and the thunder rolled and rumbled 
nearer and nearer, Emily Copland could not but wonder more 
and more what urgent and peremptory cause could have 
induced the little peer to adopt this sudden resolution, and to 
carry it into effect upon such a night of storm. Surely that 
motive must be a strange and urgent one which would not 
brook the delay of a few hours, especially during the violence 
of such weather as the luxurious little nobleman had perhups 
never voluntarily encountered in the whole course of his lite. 
Curiosity prompted her to deliver the note which she held in 
her hand at once; she therefore ran lightly upstairs, an-l 
rapidly threading all the intervening lobbies and rambling 
passages, she knocked at her uncle's door. 

" Come in, come in," cried the peevish voice of Sir Hichard 
Ashwoode. 

The girl entered the room. The Italian was at the toilet, 
arranging his master's dressing-case, and the baronet himself 
in his night-gown and slippers, and with a pamphlet in his 
hand, reclined listlessly upon a sofa. 

"Who is that? who is it?" inquired he in the same 
tone, without turning his eyes from the volume which he 
read. 

"Per dina ! " exclaimed the Neapolitan " Mees Emily 
she is vary seldom come here. You are wailcome, Mees Emily ; 
weel you sect down ? there is chair. Sir Bichard, it is Mees 
Emily." 

" What does the young lady want ? " inquired he, drily. 

" I have gotten a note for you, uncle," replied she. 

" Well, put it down? put it there on the table, anywhere ; I 
presume it will keep till morning," replied he, without 
removing his eyes from the pages. 

" It is from Lord Aspenly," urged the girl. 

" Eh ! Lord Aspenly. How give it to me," said the 
baronet, raising himself quickly and tossing the pamphlet 
aside. He broke the seal and read the note. Whatever its 
contents were, they produced upon the baronet an extraordinary 
effect; he started from the sofa with clenched hands and 
frantic gesture. 

"Who where stop him, after him he shall answer me 
he shall ! " cried, or rather shrieked, the baronet in the 



The Departure of the Peer. 153 

hoarse, choking scream of fury. "After him all my sword, 
my horse. By , be'll reckon with me this night." 

Never did the human form more fearfully embody the 
passions of hell; he stood before them absolutely transformed. 
The quivering face was pale as ashes; the livid veins, like 
blue knotted cordage, protruded upon his forehead ; the eye 
glared and rolled with the light of madness, and as he shook 
and raved there before them, no dream ever conjured up 
a spectacle more appalling ; he spit upon the letter he tore 
it into fragments, and with his gouty feet stamped it into the 
fire. 

There was no extravagance of frenzy which he did not 
enact. He tossed his arms into the air, and dashed his 
clenched hands upon the table; he stamped, he stormed, he 
howled; and as with thick and furious utterance he volleyed 
forth his incoherent threats, mandates, and curses, .the foam 
hung upon his blackened lips. 

" I'll bring . him to the dust to the earth. My very 
menials shall spurn him. Almighty, that he should dare 
trickster liar that he should dare to practise upon me 
this outrageous slight. Ay, ay ay, ay laugh, my lord 

laugh on ; but by the , this shall bring yon to your 

knees, ay, and to your grave ; and you you," thundered hp, 
turning upon the awe-struck and terrified young lady, "you 
no doubt had your share in this ay, you have you have 

yes, I know you you you hollow, lying , quit my house 

out with you turn her out drive her out away with 
her." 

As the horrible figure advanced towards her, the girl by an 
effort roused herself from the dreadful fascination, and turning 
from him, fled swiftly downstairs, and fell fainting at the 
parlour door. 

Sir Richard still strode through his chamber with the same 
frantic evidences of unabated fury ; and the Italian the 
only remaining spectator of the hideous scene sate calmly 
in a chair by the toilet, with his legs crossed, and his 
countenance composed into a kind of sanctimonious placidity, 
which, however, spite of all his efforts, betrayed at the 
corners of the mouth, and in the twinkle of the eye, a 
certain enjoyment of the spectacle, which was not altogether 
consistent with the perfect affection which he professed for his 
master. 

" Ay, ay, my lord," continued the baronet, madly, "laugh 

on laugh while you may; but by the , you shall 

gnash your teeth for this ! " 

" What coning, old gentleman is mi Lord Aspenly ah ! 
vary, vary," said the Italian, reflectively. 

" You shall, my lord," continued Sir Richard, furiously. 



1 54 The "Cock and A nchor? 

" Your disgrace shall be public exemplary the insult shall 
recoil upon yourself your punishment shall be memorable- 
public tremendous." 

" Mi Lord Aspenly and Sir Richard both so coning," con- 
tinued the Italian "yees yees set one thief to catch the 
other." 

The Neapolitan had, no doubt, bargained for the indulgence 
of his pleasant humour, as usual, free of cost; but he was 
mistaken. With the quickness of light, Sir Richard grasped 
a m-issive glass decanter, full of water, and hurled it at the 
head of his valet. Luckily for that gentleman's brains, it 
missed its object, and, alighting upon a huge mirror, it 
dashed it to fragments with a stunning crash. In the ex- 
tremity of his fury, Sir Richard grasped a heavy metal ink- 
stand, and just as the valet escaped through the private door 
of his room, hurled it, too, at his head. Two such escapes 
were quite enough for Signor Parucci on one evening ; and 
not wishing to tempt his luck further, he ran nimbly down 
the stairs, leaped into his own room, and bolted and double- 
locked the door ; and thence, as the night wore on, he still 
heard Sir Richard pacing up and down his chamber, and 
storming and raving in dreadful rivalry with the thunder and 
hurricane without. 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 
/ 

THE THUNDER- STORM THE EBONY STICK THE UNSEEN 
VISITANT TERROR. 

AT length the uproar in Sir Richard's room died away. The 
hoarse voice in furious soliloquy, and the rapid tread as he 
paced the floor, were no longer audible. In their stead was 
heard alone the stormy wind rushing and yelling through the 
old trees, and at intervals the deep volleying thunder. In the 
midst of this hubbub the Italian rubbed his hands, tripped 
lightly up and down his room, placed his ear at the keyhole, 
and chuckled and rubbed his hands again in a paroxvsm of 
glee now and again venting his gratification in brief ejacula- 
tions of intense delight the verv incarnation of the spirit of 
mischief. 

The sounds in Sir Richard's room had ceased for two 
hours or more ; and the piping wind and the deep-mouthed 
thunder still roared and rattled. The Neapolitan was too 
much excited to slumber. He continued, therefore, to pace 
the floor of his chamber sometimes gazing through his 



The Thunder-storm. 155 

window upon the black stormy sky and the blue lightning, 
which leaped in blinding flashes across its darkness, revealing 
for a moment the ivied walls, and the tossing trees, and the 
fields and hills, which were as instantaneously again 
swallowed in the blackness of the tempestuous night ; and 
then turning from the casement, he would plant himself by 
the door, and listen with eager curiosity for any sound from 
Sir Richard's room. 

As we have said before, several hours had passed, and all 
had long been silent in the baronet's apartment, when on a 
sudden Parucci thought Ire heard the sharp and well-known 
knocking of his patron's ebony stick upon the floor. He ran 
and listened at his own door. The sound was repeated with 
unequivocal and vehement distinctness, and was instantane- 
ously followed by a prolonged and violent peal from his 
master's hand-bell. The summons was so sustained and 
vehement, that the Italian at length cautiously withdrew the 
bolt, unlocked the door, and stole out upon the lobby. So 
far from abating, the sound grew louder and louder. On tip- 
toe he scaled the stairs, until he reached to about the midway ; 
and he there paused, for he heard his master's voice exerted in 
a tone of terrified entreaty, 

" Not now not now a vaunt not now. Oh, God ! help," 
cried the well-known voice. 

These words were followed by a crash, as of some heavy 
body springing from the bed then a rush upon the floor 
then another crash. 

The voice was hushed ; but in its stead the wild storm 
made a long and plaintive moan, and the listener's heart 
turned cold. 

"Malora Corpo di Pluto! " muttered he between his teeth. 
" What is it ? Will he reeng again ? Santo gennaro / there 
is something wrong." 

He paused in fearful curiosity ; but the summons was not 
repeated. Five minutes passed ; and yet no sound but the 
howling and pealing of the storm. Parucci, with a beating 
heart, ascended the stairs and knocked at the door of his 
patron's chamber. No answer was returned. 

" Sir Richard, Sir Richard," cried the man, "do you want 
me, Sir Richard ? " 

Still no answer. He pushed open the door and entered. A 
candle, wasted to the very socket, stood upon a table beside 
the huge hearse-like bed, which, for the convenience of the 
invalid, had been removed from his bed-chamber to his 
dressing-room. The light was dim, and waved uncertainly in 
the eddies which found their way through the chinks of the 
window, so that the lights and shadows flitted ambiguously 
across the objects in the room. At the end of the bed a table 



1 56 The "Cock and Anchor'.' 

had been upset ; and lying near it npon the floor was some- 
thing a heap of bed-clothes, or could it be? yes, it was Sir 
Richard Ashwoode. 

Parncci approached the prostrate figure: it was lying upon 
its back, the countenance fixed and livid, the eyes staring and 
glazed, and the jaw fallen he was a corpse. The Italian 
stooped down and took the hand of the dead man it was 
already cold ; h called him by his name and shook him, but 
all in vain. There lay the cunning intriguer, the fierce, fiery 
prodigal, the impetuous, unrelenting tyrant, the unbelieving, 
reckless man of the world, a ghastly lump of clay. 

With strange emotions the Neapolitan gazed upon the 
lifeless effigy from which the evil tenant had been so suddenly 
and fearfully called to its eternal and unseen abode. 

" Gone dead all over all past," muttered he, slowly, 
while he preBsed his foot upon the dead body, as if to satisfy 
himself that life was indeed extinct '' quite gone. Canchero ! 
it was ugly death there was something with him ; what was 
he speaking with ? " 

Parucci walked to the door leading to the great staircase, 
but found it bolted as usual. 

" Pshaw ! there was nothing," said he, looking fearfully 
round the room as he approached the body again, and repeating 
the negative as if to reassure himself "no, no nothing, 
nothing." 

He gazed again on the awful spectacle in silence for several 
minutes. 

" Corbezzoli, and so it is over," at length he ejaculated 
" the game is ended. See, see, the breast is bare, and there 
the two marks of Aldini's stiletto. Ah ! briccone, briccone, 
what wild laylow were you -panzanera,fot a pretty ankle 
and a pair of black eyes, you would dare the devil. Rotto di 
collo, his fnce is moving! pshaw! it is only the light that 
wavers. Diamine ! the face is terrible. \Vhat made him 
speak ? nothing was with him pshaw ! nothing could come 
to him here no, no, nothing." 

As he thus spoke, the wind swept vehemently upon the 
windows with a sound as if some great thing had rushed 
against them, and was pressing for admission, and the gust 
blew out the candle; the blast died away in a lengthened 
wail, and then again came rushing and howling up to the 
windows, as if the very prince of the powers of the air himself 
were thundering at the casement ; then again the blue 
dazzling lightning glared into the room and gave place to 
deeper darkness. 

"Pah! that lightning smells like brimstone. Sangue d'un 
dua, I hear something in the room." 

Yielding to his terrors, Parucci stumbled to the door open- 




I 



The Crones. 157 

iner upon the great lobby, and with cold and trembling fingers 
drawing the bolt, sprang to the stairs and shouted for 
assistance in a tone which speedily assembled half the house- 
hold in the chamber of death. 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

THE CRONES THE COKPSE, AND THE SHARPER. 

HAGGARD, exhausted, and in no very pleasant temper, Henry 
Ashwoode rode up the aveuue of Morley Court. 

" I shall have a blessed conference with my father," thought 
he, " when he learns the fate of the thousand pounds I was to 

have brought him a pleasant interview, by . How shall 

I open it ? He'll be no better than a Bedlamite. By , a 

pretty hot kettle of fish this but through it I must flounder 
as best I may curse it, what am I afraid of ? " 

Thus muttering, he leaped from the saddle, leaving the 
well-trained steed to make his way to the stable, and entered 
at the half open door. In the hall he encountered a servant, 
but was too much occupied by his own busy reflections to 
observe the earnest, awe-struck countenance of the old 
domestic. 

" Mr. Henry Mr. Henry stay, sir stay one moment," 
said the man, following and endeavouring to detain him. 

Ashwoode, however, without heeding the interruption, 
hastened by him, and mounted the stairs with long and rapid 
strides, resolved not unnecessarily to defer the interview 
which he believed must come sooner or later. He opened Sir 
Richard's door, and entered the chamber. He looked round 
the room for the object of his search in vain; but to his 
unmeasured astonishment, beheld instead three old shrivelled 
hags seated by the hearth, who all rose upon his entrance, 
except one, who was warming something in a saucepan upon 
the fire, and each and all resumed respectively the visages of 
woe which best became the occasion. 

"Eh! How is this? What brings you here, nurse P " 
exclaimed the young man, in a tone of startled curiosity. 

The old lady whom he addressed thought it advisable to 
weep, and instead of returning any answer, covered her face 
with her apron, turned away her head, and shook her palsied 
hand towards him with a gesture which was meant to express 
the mute anguish of unutterable sorrow. 

" What is it ? " said Ashwoode. " Are you all tongue-tied ? 
Speak, some of you." 



1 5 8 The "Cock and A nchor? 

" Oh, musha ! musha ! the crathur," observed the second 
witch, with a most lugubrious shake of the head, "but it is he 
that's to be pitied. Oh, wisha wisha wiristhroo ! " 

" What the d 1 ails you ? Can't you speak out ? Where's 

my father r " repeated the young man, with impatient 
perplexity. 

" With the blessed saints in glory," replied the third hag, 
giving the saucepan a slight whisk to prevent the contents 
from burniner, " and if ever there was an angel on earth, he 
was one. Well, well, he has his reward that's one comfort, 
sure. The crown of glory, with the holy apostles it's he's to 
be envied up in heaven, though he wint mighty suddint, 
surely." 

This was followed by a kind of semi -dolorous shake of the 
head, in which the three old women joined. 

With a hurried step, young Ashwoode strode to the bedside, 
drew the curtain, and gazed upon the sharp and fixed features 
of the corpse, as it leered with unclosed eyes from among the 
bed-clothes. It would not have been easy to analyze the 
feelings with which he looked upon this spectacle. A kind of 
incredulous horror sate upon his compressed features. He 
touched the hand, which rested stiffly upon the coverlet, as if 
doubtful that the old man, whom he had so long feared and 
obeyed, was actually dead. The cold, dull touch that met his 
was not to be mistaken, and he gazed fixedly with that awful 
curiosity with which in death the well-known features of a 
familiar face are looked on. There lay the being whose fierce 
passions had been to him from his earliest days a source of 
habitual fear in childhood, even of terror henceforth to be 
no more to him than a thing which had never been. There 
lay the scheming, busy head, but what availed all its calcula- 
tions and its cunning now ! No more thought or power has 
it than the cushion on which it stiffly rests. There lies the 
proud, worldly, unforgiving, violent man, a senseless effigy of 
cold clay a grim, impassive monument of the recent presence 
of the unearthly visitant. 

"It's a beautiful corpse, if the eyes were only shut," 
observed one of the crones, approaching ; " a purty corpse as 
ever was stretched." 

" The hands is very handsome entirely," observed another 
of them, " and so small, like a lady's." 

" It's himself was the good master," observed the old nurse, 
with a slow shake of the head ; " the likes of him did not 
thread in shoe leather. Oh ! but my heart's sore for you this 
day, Misther Harry." 

Thus speaking, with a good deal of screwing and puckering, 
she succeeded in squeezing a tear from one eye, like the last 
drop from an exhausted lemon, and suffering it to rest upon 



The Crones. 1 59 

her cheek, that it might not escape observation, she looked 
round with a most pity-moving visage upon her companions, 
and an expression of face which said as plainly as words, 
" What a faithful, attached, old creature lam, and how well I 
deserve any little token of regard which Sir .Richard's will 
may have bequeathed me." 

*' Ah ! then, look at him," said the matron of the saucepan, 
gazing with the most touching commiseration upon Henry 
Ashwoode, " see how he looks at it. Oh, but it's he that 
adored him ! Oh, the crathur, what will he do this day ? 
Look at him there he's an orphan now God help him." 

" Be off with yourselves, and leave me here," said Henry 
(now Sir Henry) Ashwoode, turning sharply upon them. 
" Send me some one that can speak a word of sense : call 
Parucci here, and get out of the room every one of you 
away ! " 

With abundance of muttering and grumbling, and many an 
indignant toss of the head, and many a dignified sniff, the old 
women hobbled from the room; and Henry Ashwoode had 
hardly been left alone, when the small private door com- 
municating with Parucci's apartment, opened, and the valet 
peeped in. 

" Come in come in, Jacopo," said the young man ; " come 
in, and close the door. When did this happen?" 

The Neapolitan recounted briefly the events which we have 
already recorded. 

" It was a fit some sudden seizure," said the young man, 
glancing at the features of the corpse. 

"Yes, vary like, vary like," said Parucci; "he used to 
complain sometimes that his head was sweeming round, and 
pains and aches ; but there was something more something 
more." 

"What do you mean? don't speak riddles," said Ash- 
woode. 

" 1 mean this, then," replied the Italian ; " something came 
to him something was in the room when he died." 

" How do you know that ? " inquired the young man. 

"I heard him talking loudly with it," replied he "talking 
and praying it to go away from him." 

" Why did you not come into the room yourself ? " asked 
Ashwoode. 

" So I did, Diamine, so I did," replied he. 

" Well, what saw you ? " 

"Nothing bote Sir Kichard, dead quite dead; and the far 
door was bolted inside, just so as he always used to do; and 
when the candle went ont, the thing was here again. I heard 
it myself, as sure as I ain leeving man I heard it close up 
with me by the body." 



160 The "Cock and Anchor:' 

11 Tut, tut, man ; speak sense. Do you mean to say that 
anyone talked with you ? " said Ashwoode. 

" I mean this, that something was in the chamber with me 
beside the dead man," replied the valet, doggedly. "I heard 
it with my own ears. Zucche ! I moste 'av benn deaf, if I did 
not hear it. It said ' hish,' and then agaiu, close up to my 
face, it said it ' hish, hish,' and laughed below its breath. 
Pah ! the place smelt of brimstone." 

" In plain terms, then, you believe that the devil was in the 
room ; is that it ? " said Ashwoode, with a ghastly smile of 
contempt. 

" Oh ! no," replied the servant, with a sneer as ghastly ; " it 
was an angel, of course an angel from heaven." 

" No more of this folly, sirrah," said Ashwoode, sharply. 

'* Your own d d cowardice fills your brain with these fancies. 

Here, give me the keys, and show me where the papers are 
laid. I shall first examine the cabinets here, and then in the 
library. Now open this one ; and do you hear, Parucci, not 
one word of this cock-and-bull story of yours to the servants. 
Good God ! my brain's unsettled. I can scarcely believe my 
father dead dead," and again he stood by the bedside, and 
looked upon the still face of the corpse. 

" We must send for Craven at once,'' said Ashwoode, turn- 
ing from the bed ; " I must confer with him ; he knows better 
than anyone else how all my father's affairs stand. There are 
some d -d bills ont, I believe, but we'll soon know." 

Having despatched an urgent note to Craven, the in- 
sinuating attorney, to whom we have already introduced the 
reader, Sir Henry Ashwoode proceeded roughly to examine 
the contents of boxes, escritoires, and cabinets filled with 
dusty papers, and accompanied and directed in his search by 
the Italian. 

*' You never heard him mention a will, did you ? " inquired 
the young man. 

The Neapolitan shook his head. 

" You did not know of his making one ? " he resumed. 

" No, no, I cannot remember," said the Italian, reflectively ; 
" but," he added quickly, while a peculiar meaning lit up the 
piercing eyes which he turned upon the interrogator " but 
do you weesh to find one? Maybe I could help you to fiud 
one." 

" Pshaw! folly ; what dp you take me for? " retorted Ash- 
woode, slightly colouring, in spite of his habitual insensibility, 
for Parucci was too intimate with his principles for him to 
assume ignorance of his meaning. " Why the devil should I 
wish to find a will, since I inherit everything without it ? " 

" Signer," said the little man, after an interval of silence, 
during which he seemed absorbed in deep reflection, "1 have 



The Crones. 161 

moche to say about what I shall do with mvself, and some 
things to ask from you. I will begin and end it here and now 
it is best over at once. I have served Sir Richard there for 
thirty-four years. I have served him well vary well. I have 
taught him great secrets. I have won great abundance ot' 
good moneys for him ; if he was not reech it is not my fault. 
I attend him through his sickness; and 'av been his companion 
for the half of a long life. What else I 'av done for him E 
need not count np, but most of it you know well. Sir 
Kichard is there dead and gone the service is ended, and 
now I 'av resolved I will go back again to Italy to Naples 
where I was born. You shall never hear of me any more if 
yon will do for me one little thing." 

" What is it? <*pe*k out. You want to extort money is 
it so? " said Ashwoode, slowly and sternly. 

" I want," continued the man, with equal distinctness and 
deliberateness, " I want one thousand pounds. I do not ask a 
penny more, and I will not take a penny less; and if you give 
me that, I will never trouble you m^re with word of mine 
you will never hear or see honest Jacopo Parmxji any mere." 

" Come, come, Jacopo, that were paying a little too dear, 
even for such a luxury," replied Ashwoocle. " A thousand 
pounds ! Ha ! ha ! A modest request, truly. I half suspect 
your brain is a little crazed." 

" Remember what I have done all I have done for him," 
rejoined the Italian, coolly. "And above all, remember what 
I have not done for him. I could have had him hanged up by 
the neck hanged like a dog but I never did. Oh! no, never 
though not a day went by that I might not 'av brought the 
house full of officers, and have him away to jail and get him 
hanged. Eemember all that, signer, and say is it in conscience 
too moche ?rotta di collo ! It is not half no, nor quarter 
so moche as I ought to ask. No, nor as you ought to give, 
signor, without ine to ask at all." 

" Parucci, you are either mad or drunk, or take me to be 
so," said Ashwoode, who could n >t feel quite comfortable in 
disputing the claims of the Italian, nor secure in provoking 
his anger. " But at all events, there is ample time to talk 
about these matters. We can settle it all more at our ease in 
a week or so." 

" No, no, signor. I will have my answer now," replied the 
man, doggedly. " Mr. Craven has money now the money of 
Miss Mary's land that Sir Richard got from her. But though 
the money is there notu, in a week or leetle more we will not 
see moche of it, and my pocket weel remain aimpty corbez- 
zolif am I a fool?" 

" I tell you, Parucci, I will give you no promises now," ex- 
claimed the young man, vehemently. ." Why, d it, the 

M 



1 62 The "Cock and Anchor? 

blood is hardly cold in the old man's vein?, and you begin to 
pester me for money. Can't yon wait till he's buried ? " 

" Ay yees yees wait till he's buried and then wait till 
the mourning's off and then wait for something more," said 
the Neapolitan, with a sneer, " and so wait on till the money's 
all spent. No, no, signor corpo di Bacco f I will have it 
now. I will have my answer now, before Mr. Craven comes 
giuro di Dio, I will have my answer." 

" Don't talk like a madman, Parucci, replied the young 
man, angrily. "I have no money here. I will make no 
promises. And besides, your request is perfectly ridiculous 
and unconscionable." 

" I ask for a thousand pounds," replied the valet. " I roust 
have the promise now, signer, and the money to-day. If you 
do not promise it here and at once, I will not ask again, 
and maybe you weel be sorry. I will take one thousand 
pounds. I want no more, and I accept no less. Signor, your 
answer." 

There was a cool, menacing insolence in the manner of the 
fellow which stung the pride of the young baronet to the 
quick. 

" Scoundrel," said he, " do you think I am to be bullied by 
your audacious threats? Do you dream that I am weak 
enough to suffer a wretch like you to practise his extortions 

upon me? By , you'll find to your co4 that you Have 

no longer to deal with a master who is in your power. What 
care I for your utmost ? Do your worst, miscreant I defy 
you. I warn you only to beware of giving an undue license 
to your foul, lying tongue for if I find that you have been 
spreading yonr libellous tales abroad, I'll have you pilloried 
and whipped." 

" Well, you 'av given me an answer," replied the Italian 
coolly. " I weel ask no more ; and now, signor, farewell 
adieu. I think, perhaps, you will hear of me again. I will 
not return here any more after I go out ; and so, for the last 
time," he continued, approaching the cold form which lay upon 
the bed, " farewell to you, Sir Richard Ashwoode. While 
I am alive I will never see your face again perhaps, if holy 
friars tell true, we may meet again. Till then till then 
farewell." 

With this strange speech the Neapolitan, having gazed for 
a brief space, with a strange expression, in which was a dash 
of something very nearly approaching to sorrow, upon the 
stern, moveless face before him, and then with an effort, and 
one long-drawn sigh, having turned away, deliberately with- 
drew from the room through the small door which led to his 
own apartment. 

" The lazzarone will come to himself in a little," muttered 



Sky -Copper Court. 163 

Ashwoode ; he will think twice before he leaves this place 
he'll cool he'll cool." 

Thus soliloquizing, the young man locked up the presses 
and desks which he had opened, bolted the door after the 
Italian, and hurried from the room ; for, sonuhow or other, 
he felt uneasy and fearful alone in the chamber with the 
body. 



CHAPTER XXX. 

8RY-COPPEE COURT. 

UPON the evening of the same day, the Italian having col- 
lected together the few movables which he called his own, and 
left them ready for removal in the chamber which he had for 
so long exclusively occupied, might have been seen, emerging 
from the old manor-house, and with a small parcel in his hand, 
wending his solitary, moon-lit way across the broad wooded 
pasture-lands of Morley Court. Without turning to-look back 
upon the familiar scene, which he was now for ever leaving 
fur all his faculties and feelings, such as they were, had busy 
occupation in the measures of revenge which he was keenly 
pursuing, he crossed the little stile which terminated the 
pathway he was following, and descended upon the public 
road shaking from his hat and cloak the heavy drops, which 
in his progress the close uuderwood through which he brushed 
had sited upon him. With a quickened pace, and with a stern, 
almost a savage countenance, over which from time to time 
there flitted a still more ominous smile, and muttering be- 
tween his teeth many a sbort and vehement apostrophe as he 
went, he held his way directly toward the city of Dublin; 
and once within the streets, he was not long in reaching the 
ancient, and by this time to the reader, familiar mansion, over 
whose portal swung the glittering sign of the " Cock and 
Anchor." 

"Now, then," thought Parucci, "let us see whether I have 
not one card left, and that a trump. What, because I wear 
no sword myself, shall you escape unpunished ? Fool mis- 
creant, I will this night conjure up such an avenger as will 
appal even you ; I will send him with a thousand atrocious 
wrocgs upon his head, frantic into your presence you had 
better cope with an actual incarnate demon." 

Such were the exulting thoughts which lighted the features 
of Parucci with a fitful smile of singular grimness as he 
entered the inn yard, where meeting one of the waiters, he 

M 2 



164 The "Cock and Anchor." 

promptly inquired for O'Connor. To his dismay, however, tie 
learnt that that gentleman had quitted the " Cock arid 
Anchor 5 ' on the day before, and whither he had gone, none 
conld inform him. As he stood, pondering in bitter dis- 
appointment what step was next to be taken, somebody 
tapped his shoulder smartly from behind. He turned, and 
beheld the square form and swarthy features of O'Hanlon, 
whose interview with O'Connor is recorded early in these 
pages. After a few brief questions and answers, in which, 
by a reference to the portly proprietor of the " Cock and 
Anchor," who vouched for the accuracy of his representations, 
O'Hanlon satisfied the vindictive foreigner that he might 
safely communicate the subject of his intended communica- 
tion to him, as to the sure friend of Mr. O'Connor. Both 
personages, Parucci and O'Hanlon or, as he was there called, 
Dwyer repaired to a private room, where they remained 
closeted for fully half an hour. That interview had its con- 
sequences consequences of which sooner or later the reader 
shall fully hear, and which were perhaps somewhat unlike 
those calculated upon by honest Jacopo. 

It is not necessary to detain the reader with a description of 
the ceremonial which conducted the mortal remains of Sir 
Henry Ashwoode to the grave. It is enough to say that if 
pomp and pageantry, lavished upon the fleeting tenement of 
clay which it has deserted, can delight the departed spirit, 
that of the deceased baronet was happy. The funeral was an 
aristocratic procession, well worthy of the rank and pre- 
tensions of the distinguished dead, and in numbers and eclat 
such as to satisfy even the exactions of Irish pride. 

Carriages and four were there in abundance, and others of 
lesser note without number. Outriders, and footmen, and 
corpulent coachmen filled the court and avenue of the manor, 
and crowded its hall, where refreshments enough for a garri- 
son were heaped together upon the tables. The funeral 
feasting and revelry finished, the enormous mob of coaches, 
horses, and lacqueys began to arrange itself, and assume 
something like order. The great velvet-covered coffin was 
carried out upon the shoulders of six footmeu, staggering 
under the leaden load, and was laid in the hearse. The high- 
born company, dressed in the fantastic trappings of mourniny, 
began to show themselves one by one, or in groups, at the 
hall-door, and took their places in their respective vehicles; 
and 'at length the enormous volume began to uncoil, and 
gradually passing down the great avenue, and winding along 
the road, to proceed toward the city, covering from the com'u 
to the last carriage a space of more than a mile in length. 

The body was laid in the aisle of St. Audoen's Church, and 
a comely monument, recording in eloquent periods the virtues 






Sky-Copper Court. 165 

of the deceased, was reared by the piety of his son. The aisle, 
however, in which it stood, is now a roofless ruin ; and this, 
along with many a more curious relic, has crumbled into dust 
from its time-worn wall : so that there now remains, except in 
these idle pages, no record to tell posterity that so important 
a personage as Sir Richard Ashwoode ever existed at all. 

Of all who donned " the customary suit of solemn black " 
upon the death of Sir Richard Ashwoode, but one human 
being felt a pang of sorrow. But there was one whose grief 
was real aud poignant one who mourned for him as though 
he had been all that was fond and tender who forgot and 
forgave all his faults and failings, and remembered only that 
he had b^en her father and she his child, and companion, 
and gentle, patient nurse-tender through many an hour of 
pain and sickm- ss. Mary wept for his death bitterly for many 
a day and night ; for all that he had ever done or said to 
give her pain, her noble nature found entire forgiveness, and 
every look, and smile, and word, and tone that had ever borne 
the semblance of kindness, were all treasured in her memory, 
and all called up again in affectionate and sorrowful review. 
Seldom indeed bad the hard nature of Sir Richard evinced 
even such transient indications ot tenderness, and when they 
did appear they were btill more rarely genuine. But Mary 
felt that an object of her kindly care and companionship was 
gone a familiar face tor ever hidden one of the only two 
who were near to her in the ties of blood, departed to return 
no more, and with all the deep, strong yearnings of kindred, 
she wept and mourned after her lather. 

Emily Copland had left Morley Court and was now residing 
with her gay relative, Lady Stukely, so that poor Mary was 
left almost entirely alone, and her brother, Sir Henry, was so 
immersed in business and papers that she scarcely saw him 
even for a moment except while he swallowed bis hasty meals ; 
aud sooth to say, his thoughts were not much oftener with 
her than his person. 

Though, as the reader is no doubt fully aware, Sir Henry's 
grief for the loss of his parent was by no means of that 
violent kind which refuses to be comforted, yet he was too 
chary of the world'.s opinion, as well as too punctilious an 
observer of etiquette, to make the cheerfulness of his re- 
signation under this dispensation startlingly apparent by any 
overt act of levity or indifference. Sir Henry, however, must 
see Gordon Chancey ; he must ascertain how much he owes 
him, and when it is all payable facts of which he has, if any, 
the very dimmest and vaguest possible recollection. Therefore, 
upon the very day on which the funeral had taken place, as 
soon as the evening had closed, and darkness succeeded the 
twilight, the young baronet ordered hiatruoty servant to bring 



1 66 The "Cock and Anchor." 

the horses to the door, and then muffling himself iu his cloak, 
and drawing it about his face, so that even in the reflection of 
an accidental link he might not by possibility be recognized, 
he threw himself into the saddle, and telling his servant to 
follow him, rode rapidly through the dense obscurity towards 
the town. 

When he had reached Whitefriar Street, he checked his 
pace to a walk, and calling his attendant to his side, directed 
him to await his return there ; then dismounting, he threw 
him the bridle, and proceeded upon his way. Guided by 
the hazy starlight and by an occasional gleam from a shop- 
window or tavern-door, as well as by the dusky glimmer of 
the wretched street lamps, the young man directed his 
course for some way along the open street, and then turning 
to the right into a dark archway which opened from it, he 
found himself in a small, square court, surrounded by tall, 
dingy, half-ruinous houses which loomed darkly around, 
deepening the shadows of the night into impenetrable gloom. 
From some of these dilapidated tenements issued smothered 
sounds of quarrelling, indistinctly mingled with the crying of 
children and the shrill accents of angry females ; from others 
the sounds of discordant singing and riotous carousal; while, 
as far as the eye could discern, few places could have been 
conceived with an aspect more dreary, forbidding, and cut- 
throat, and, in all respects, more depressing and suspicious. 

"This is unquestionably the place," exclaimed Ashwoode, 
as he stepped cautiously over the broken pavement ; " there 
is scarcely another like it in this town or any other; but 
heshrew me if 1 remember which is the house." 

He entered one of them, the hall-door of which stood half 
open, and through the chinks of whose parlour-door were 
issuing faint streams of light and gruff sounds of talking. 
At one of these doors he knocked sharply with his whip- 
handle, and instantly the voices were hushed. After a 
silence of a minute or two, the parties inside resumed their 
conversation, and Ashwoode more impatiently repeated his 
summons. 

"There is someone knocking I tould you there was," 
exclaimed a harsh voice from within. " Open the doore, 
Corny, and take a squint." 

The door opened cautiously; a great head, covered with 
shaggy elf-locks, was thrust through the aperture, and a 
singularly ill-looking face, as well as the imperfect light 
would allow Ashwoode to judge, was advanced towards his. 
The fellow just opened the door far enough to suffer the ray 
of the candle to fall upon the countenance of his visitant, 
and staring suspiciously into his face for some time, while he 
held the lock of the door in his hand, he asked, 



Sky -Copper Court. 167 

" Well, neighbour, did you rap at this doore ? " 

" Yes, I want to be directed to Mr. Chancey's rooms," 
replied Ashwoode. 

' Misthur who?" repeated the man. 

" Mr. Chancey Chancey : he lives in this court, and, 
unless I am mistaken, in this house, or the next to it," 
rejoined Ashwoode. 

" Chancey ; I don't know him," answered the man. " Do 
you know where Mr. Chancey lives, Garvey ? " 

" Not I, nor don't care," rejoined the person addressed, with 
a hoarse growl, and without taking the trouble to turn from 
the n're, over which he was cowering, with his back toward the 
door. " Slap the doore to, can't you r* and don't keep gostherin' 
there all ni^ht." 

" No, he won't slap the doore," exclaimed the shrill voice 
of a female. "I'll see the gentleman myself. Well, sir," 
she cried, presenting a tall, raw-boned figure, arrayed <n 
tawdry rags, at the door, and shoving the man with the 
unkempt locks aside, she eyed Ashwoode with a leer and a 
grin that were anything but inviting ' well, sir, is there 
anything I can do for yon. The chaps here is not used to 
quality, an' Father has a mighty ignorant manner; but they 
are placible boys, an' manes no offence. Who is it you're 
lookin' for, sir?" 

"Mr. Gordon Chancey: he lives in one of these houses. 
Can you direct me to him ? " 

" No, we can't," said the fellow from the fire, in a savage 
tone. " I tould you before. Won't you take your answer 
won't you? Slap that doore, Corny, or I'll get up to him 
myself." 

" Hould your tongue, you gaol bird, won't you?" rejoined 
the female, in accents of shrill displeasure. "Chancey/ is 
not he the counsellor gentleman ; he has a yallow face an' a 
down look, and never has his hands out of his breeches' 
pockets ? " 

' The very man," replied Ashwoode. 

"Well, sir, he does live in this court: he has the parlour 
next doore. The street doore stands open it's a lodging- 
house. One doore further on; you can't miss him." 

" Thank you, thank you," said Ashwoode. " Good-night." 
And as the door was closed upon him, he heard the voices of 
those within raised in hot debate. 

He stumbled and groped his way into 1he hall of the house 
which the gracious nymph, to whom he had just bidden fare- 
well, indicatt-d, and knocked stoutly at the parlour-door. It 
was opened by a sluttish girl, with bare feet, and a black eye, 
which had reached the green and yellow stage of recovery, 
blie had probably been interrupted in the midst of a spirited 



168 



The "Cock and Anchor" 



altercation with the barrister, for ill humour and excitement 
were unequivocally glowing in her face. 

Ashwoode walked in, and found matters as we shall describe 
them in the next chapter. 



CHAPTER XXXI. 

THE USURER AND THE OAKEN BOX. 

THE room which Sir Henry Ashwoode entered was one of 
squalid isorder. It was a large apartment, originally hand- 
somely wainscoted, but damp and vermin had made woeful 




havoc in the broad panels, and the ceiling was covered with 
green and black blotches of mildew. No carpet covered the 
bare boards, which were strewn with fragments of papers, rags, 
splinters of an old chest, which had been partially broken up 
to light the tire, and occasionally a potato-skin, a bone, or an 
old shoe. The furniture was scant, and no one piece matched 
the other. Little and bad as it was, its distribution about the 
room was more comfortless and wretched still. All was dreary 
disorder, dust, and dirt, and damp, and mildew, and rat-holes. 
By a large grate, scarcely half tilled with a pile of ashes and 
a few fragments of smouldering turf, sat Gordon Chancey, 



The Usurer and the Oaken Box. 169 

the master of this notable establishment; his arm rested upon 
a dirty deal table, and his fingers played listlessly with a dull 
and battered pewter goblet, which he had just replenishei from 
a two-quart measure of strong beer which stood upon the 
t-ible, and whose contents had dabbled that piece of furniture 
with sundry mimic lakes and rivers. Unrestrained by the 
ungenerous confinement of a fender, the cinders strayed over 
the crocked hearthstone, and even wandered to the boards 
beyond it. Mr. Gordon Chancey was himself, too, rather 
in deshabille. He had thrown off his shoes, and was in his 
stockings, which were unfortunately rather imperfect at the 
extremities. His waistcoat was unbuttoned, and his cravat 
lay upon the table, swimming in a sea of beer. As Ashwoode 
entered, with ill-suppressed disgust, this loathly den, the 
object of his visit languidly turned his head and his sleepy 
eyes over his shoulder, in the direction ot the door, and with- 
out making the smallest effort to rise, contented himself with 
extending his hand along the sloppy table, pdlm upwards, for 
Ashwoode to shake, at the same time exclaiming, with a drawl 
of gentle placidity, 

" Oh, dear oh, dear me ! Mr. Ashwoode, I declare to God 
I am very glad to see you. Won't you sit down and have 
some beer? Eliza, bring a cup for my friend, Mr. Ashwoode. 
Will you take a pipe too? I have some elegant tobacco. 
Bring my pipe to Mr. Ashwoode, and the little canister that 
M'Quirk left here last night." 

" I am much obliged to you," said Ashwoode, with difficulty 
swallowing his anger, and speaking with marked hauteur, " my 
visit, though an unseasonable one, is entirely one of business. 
I shall not give vou the trouble of providing any refreshment 
for me ; in a word, 1 have neither time nor appetite for it. I 
want to learn exactly how you and I stand : five minutes will 
show me the state of the account." 

" Oh, dear oh, dear ! and won't you take any beer, then ? 
it's elegant beer, from Mr. M'Gin's there, round the corner." 

Ashwoode bit his lips, and remained silent. 

"Eliza, bring a chair for my friend, Sir Henry Ashwoode," 
continued Chancey ; " he must be very tired indeed he must, 
after his long walk ; and here, Eliza, take the key and open 
the press, and do you see, bring me the little oak box on the 
second shelf. She's a very good little girl, Mr. Ashwoode, I 
assure you. Eliza is a very sensible, good little girl. Oh, 
dear ! oh, dear ! but your father's death was very sudden ; 
but old chaps always goes off that way, on short notice. Oh, 

dear me ! I declare to , only I had a pain in my (here 

he mentioned his lower stomach somewhat abruptly) I'd 
have gone to the funeral this morning. There was a great lot 
of coaches, wasn't there ? '' 



1 70 The "Cock and Anchor." 

" Pray, Mr. Chancey," said Ashwoode, preserving his temper 
with an effort, "let ns proceed at once to business. I am 
pressed for time, and I shall be glad, with as little delay as 
possible, to ascertain what I suppose there can be no difficulty 
in learning the exact state of our account." 

" Well, I'm very sorry, so I am, Mr. Ashwoode, that you are 

in such a hurry I declare to I am," observed Chancey, 

supplying his goblet afresh from the larger measure. " Eliza, 
have you the box? "Well, bring it here, and put it down on 
the table, like an elegant little girl." 

The girl shoved a small oaken chest over to Chancey's 
elbow ; and he forthwith proceeded to unlock it, and to draw 
forth the identical red leather pocket-book which had received 
in its page-* the records of Ashwoode's disasters upon the 
evening of their last meeting. 

" Here I have them. Captain Markham no. that is not it," 
said ChRncey, sleepily turing over the leaves ; " but this is it, 
Mr. Ashwoode ay, here ; first, two hundred pounds, promis- 
sory note payable one week after date. Mr. Ashwoode, 
again, one hundred and fifty promissory note one week. 
Lord Kilblatters no ay, here again Mr. Ashwoode, two 
hundred promissory note one week. Mr. Ashwoode, two 
hundred and fifty promissory note one week. Mr. Ash- 
woode, one hundred; Mr. Ashwoode, fifty. Oh, dear me! 
dear me! Mr. Ashwoode, three hundred." And so on, till it 
appeared that Sir Henry Ashwoode stood indebted to Gordon 
Chancey, Esq., in the sum of six thousand four hundred and 
fifty pounds, for which he had passed promissory notes which 
would all become due in two days' time. 

" I suppose, 5 ' said Ashwoode, "these notes have hardly been 
negotiated. Eh ?" 

"Oh, dear me! No oh, no, Mr. Ashwoode," replied 
Chancey. "They have not gone out of my desk. I would not 
put them into the hands of a stranger for any trifling advan- 
tage to myself. Oh, dear me ! not at all." 

" Well, then, I suppose you can renew them for a fortnight 
or so, or hold them over eh ? " asked Ashwoode. 

" I'm sure I can," rejoined Chancey. "The bills belong to 
the old cripple that lent the money ; and he does whatever I 
bid him. He trusts it all to me. He gives me the trouble, and 
takes the profit himself. Oh ! he does confide in me. I have 
only to say the word, and it's done. They shall be renewed or 
held over as often as you wish. Indeed, I can answer for it. 
Dear me, it would be very hard if I could not." 

"Well, then, Mr. Chancey," replied Ashwoode, "I may 
require it, or 1 may not. Craven has the promise of a large 
sum of money, within two or three days part of the loan he 
has already gotten. Will you favour me with a call on to- 



The Diabolic Whisper. I / I 

morrow afternoon at Morley Court. I will then have heard 
definitely fiotn Craven, and can tell you whether I require 
time or not." 

"Very good, sir very fair, indeed, Mr. Ashwoode. Nothing 
fairer," rejoined the lawyer. " But don't give yourself any 

uneasiness. Oh, dear, on no account ; for I declare to I 

would hold them over as long as you like. Oh, dear me 
indeed but I would. Well, then, I'll call out at about four 
o'clock.'' 

"Very good, Mr. Chancey," replied Ashwoode. "I shall 
expect you. Meanwhile, go )d-night." So they separated. 

The young baronet reached his ancestral dwelling without 
adventure of any kind, and Mr. Gordon Chancey poured out 
the last drops of beer from the inverted can into his pewter 
cup, and draining it calmly, anon buttoned his waistcoat, 
shook the wet from his cravat, and tied it on, thrust his feet 
into his shoes, and flinging his cocked hat cirelessly upon his 
head, walked forth in deep thought into the street, whistling 
a concerto of his own invention. 



CHAPTER XXXII. 

THE DIABOLIC WHISPER. 

GORDON CHANCEY sauntered in his usual lazy, lounging way, 
with his hands in his pockets, down the street. After a list- 
less walk of half-an-hour he found himself at the door of a 
handsome house, in the immediate neighbourhood of the Castle. 
He knocked, and was admitted by a servant in full livery. 

" Is he in the same room ? " inquired Chancey. 

" Yes, sir," replied the man ; and without further parley, 
the learned counsel proceeded upstair?, and knocked at the 
drawing-room door, which, without waiting for any answer, he 
forthwith opened. 

Nicholas Blarden with two ugly black plaisters across his 
fate, his arm in a sling, and his countenance bearing in 
abundance the livid marks of his late rencounter stood with 
his back to the fire-place ; a table, blazing with wax-lights, 
and stored with glittering wine-flasks and other matters, was 
placed at a little distance before him. As the man of law 
entered the room, the countenance of the invalid relaxed into 
an ugly grin of welcome. 

"Well, Gordy, boy, how goes the game? Out with your 
news, old rat-catcher," said Blarden, in high good humour. 



172 The "Cock and Anchor? 

" Dear me, dear me ! but the night is mighty chill, Mr. 
Blarden," observed Chancey, filling a glass of wine to the brim, 
and sipping it uninvited. " News," he continued, letting him- 
self drop into a chair "news ; well, there's not much stirring 
worth telling )ou." 

" Come, what is it ? You're not come here for nothing, old 

fox," rejoined Blarden, " I know by the twinkle iii the 

corner of your eye." 

" Well, he has been with me, just now," drawled Chancey. 

" Ashwoode?" 

" Yes." 

" Well ! what does he want what does he want, eh. ? " asked 
Blarden, with intense excitement. 

" He says he'll want time for the notes," replied Chancey. 

" God be thanked ! " ejaculated Blarden, and followed this 
ejaculation with a ferocious burst of laughter. " We'll have 

him, Chancey, boy, if only we know how to play him by , 

we'll have him, as sure as there's heat in hell." 

" Well, maybe we will," rejoined Chancey. 

" Does he say he can't pay them on the day ? " asked Blarden, 
exultingly. 

" No ; he says maybe he can't," replied the jackal. 

" That's all one," cried Blarden. " What do you think ? Do 
you think he can ?" 

" 1 think maybe he can, if we squeeze him," replied 
Chancey. 

" Then don't squeeze him he must not get out of our 
books on any terms we'll lose him if he does," said 
Nicholas. 

" We'll not renew the notes, but hold them over," said 
Chancey. " He must not feel them till he can't pay them. 
We'll make them sit light on him till then give him plenty of 
line for a while rope enough and a little patience and the 
devil himself can't keep him out of the noose." 

"You're right you are, Gordy, boy," rejoined Blarden. 
" Let him get through the ready money" first eh ? and then 
into the stone jug with him we'll just choose our own time 
for striking." 

" I tell you what it is?, if you are just said and led by me, 
you'll have a quare hold on him before three months are past 
and gone," said Chancey, lazily " mind I tell you, you will." 

" Well, Gordy, boy, fill again fill again here's success to 
you." 

Chancey filled, and quaffed his bumper, with a matter-of- 
fact, business-like air. 

"And do you mind me, boy," continued Blarden, "spare 
nothing in this business briug A^hwoode entirely under my 
knuckle and, bv , I'll make it a great job for you." 



T lie Diabolic Whisper. 173 

" Indeed indeed but I will, Mr. Blarden, if I can," rejoined 
Chancey ; "and I think I can f think I know a way, so I do, 
to get a halter round his neck do you mind? and leave the 
rope's end in your hand, to hang him or not, as you like." 

" To hang him ! " echoed Blarden, like one who hears some- 
thing too good to be true. 

" Yes, to hang him by the neck till he's dead dead dead," 
repeated Chancey, import urbably. 

" How the blazes will you do it ? " demanded the wretch, 
anxiously. " Pish, it's all prate and vapour." 

Gordon Chancey stole a suspicious glance round the room 
from the corner of his eye, and then suffering his gaze to rest 
sleepily upon the fire once more, he stretched out one of his 
lank arms, and after a little uncertain groping, succeeding in 
grasping the collar of his companion's coat, and drawing his 
head down toward him. Blarden knew Mr. Chancey's wj-y, and 
without a word, lowered his ear to that gentlemin's mouth, 
who forthwith whispered something into it which produced a 
marked effect upon Mr. Blarden. 

" If you do that," replied he with ferocious exultation, " by 
-, I'll make your fortune for you at a slap." 

And so saving, he struck his hand with heavy emphasis upon 
th barrister's shoulder, like a man who clenches a bargain. 

" Well, Mr. Blarden," replied Chancey, in the same drowsy 
tone, " as I said before, I declare it's my opinion I can, so it 
is I think I can." 

" And so do I think you can by , I'm sure of it," 

exclaimed Blardeu triumphantly ; " but take some more 
more wine, won't you? take some more, and stay a bit, can't 
you ? " 

Chancey had made his way to the door with his usual drowsy 
gait; and. passing O'lt without deigning any answer or w>rd 
of farewell, stumbled lazily downstairs. There was nothing 
odd, however, in this leave-taking ; it was Chancey's way. 

" We'll do it, and easily too," muttered Blarden with a gri-i 
of exaltation. " I never knew him fail that fellow is worth a 
mine. Ho! ho! Sir Henry, beware beware. E^ad, you had 
better keep a bright look-out. It's rather late for green goslings 
to look to their necks, when the fox claps his nose in one 
poultry-yard.'' 



1 74 The " Cock and Anchor." 



CHAPTER XXXIII. 

SHOWING HOW SIR HENRY ASHWOODE PLAYED AND PLOTTED 
AND OF THE SUDDEN SUMMONS Of GORDON CHANCEY. 

HENRY ASHWOOIE was but too anxious to avail himself of the 
indulgence offered by Gordon Chancey. With the immediate 
urgency of distress, any thoughts of prudence or retrench- 
ment which may have crossed his mind vanished, and along 
with the command of new resources came new wants and still 
more extravagant prodigality. His passion for gaming was 
now indulged without restraint, and almost without the inter- 
ruption of a day. For a .time his fortune rallied, and sums, 
whose amount would startle credulity, flowed into his hands, 
only to be lost and squandered again in dissipation and ex- 
travagance, which grew but the wilder and more reckless, in 
proportion as the sources which supplied them were temporarily 
increased. At length, after some coquetting, the giddy god- 
dess again desered him. Night after night brought new and 
heavier disasters ; and with this reverse of fortune came its 
invariable accompaniment a wilder and more daring reckless- 
ness, and a more unmeasured prodigality in hazardiug larger 
and larger sums; as if the victims of ill luck sought, by this 
frantic defiance, to bully and browbeat their capricious perse- 
cutor into subjection. There was scarcely an available security 
of any kind which he had not already turned into money, and 
now he began to feel, in downright earnest, the iron gripe of 
ruin closing upon him. 

He was changed in spirit and in aspect changed. The 
unwearied tire of a secret fever preyed upon his heart and 
brain; an untold horror robbed him of his rest, and haunted 
him night and day. 

" Brother," said Mary Ashwoode, throwing one hand fondly 
round his neck, and with the other pressing his, as he sate 
moodily, with compressed lips and haggard lace, arid ey*s 
fixed upon the floor, in the old parlour of Morley Court 
"dear brother, you are greatly changed; you are ill; some 
great trouble weighs upon your mind. Why will you keep 
all your cares and griels from me ? I would try to comfort 
you, whatever your sorrows may be. Then let me know it 
all, dear brother; why should your griefs be hidden from 
me ? Are there not now but the two of us in the wide world 
to care for each other ? " and as she said this her eyes filled 
with tears. 

" You would know what grieves me ? " said Ashwoode, after 
a short silence, and gaziug fixedly in her face, with stern, 



How Sir Henry Ashwoode Played and Plotted. 175 

dilated eyes, and pale features. He remained again silent for 
a time, and then uttered the emphatic word "Ruin." 

" How, dear brother, what has befallen you ? " asked the poor 
girl, pressing her brother's hand more kindly. 

" I say, we are ruined both of us. I've lost everything. 
We are little better than beggars,'' replied he. "There's no- 
thing I can call my own," he resumed, abruptly, after a pause, 
" but that old place, Incharden. It's worth next to nothing 
bo, rocks, brushwoo ', old stables, and all absolutely nothing. 
We are ruined beggared that's all." 

" Oh ! brother, I am glad we have still that dear old place. 
Oh, let us go down and live thtre together, among the quiet 
glen?, and the old green woods ; for amo-igst its pleasant 
shades I have known happier times than shall ever come again 
for me. I would like to ramble there again in the pleasant 
summer time, and hear the birds siug, aud the sound of the 
rustling leaves, and the clear winding brook, as I used to hear 
them long ago. There I could think over many things, that it 
breaks my heart to think of here; and you and 1, brother, 
would be always together, and we would soon be as happy as 
either of us can be in this sorrowful world." 

She threw her arms around her brother's neck, and while the 
tears flowed fast and silently, she kissed his pale and wasted 
cheeks again and again. 

" In the meantime," said Ashwoode, starting np abruptly, and 
looking at his watch, "I must go into town, and see some of 
these harpies usurers that have gotten their fangs in me. 
It is as well to keep out of jail as long as one can," and, with 
a very joyless laugh, he strode from the room. 

As he rode into town, his thoughts again and again recurred 
to his old scheme respecting Lady Stukely. 

" It is after all my only chance," said he. " I have made 

my mind up fifty times to it, but somehow or other, d n 

me, if I could ever bring myself to do it. That woman will live 
for five-and-twenty years to come, and she would as easily 
part with the control of her property as with her life. While 
she lives I must be her dependent her slave : there is no use 
in mincing the matter, I shall not have the command of a 
shilling, but as she pleases; but patience patience, Hurry 
Ashwoode, sooner or later death will come, and then begins 
your jubilee." 

As these thoughts hurried through his brain, he checked his 
horse at Lady Betty Stukely's door. 

As he traversed the capacious hall, and ascended the hand- 
some staircase " Well," thought he, " even with her ladyship, 
this were better than the jail." 

In the drawing-room he found Lady Stukely, Emily Cop- 
land, and Lord Aspenly. The two latter evidently deep in a 



1 76 The "Cock and A nchor." 

very desperate flirtation, and her ladyship meanwhile very 
considerately employed in trying a piece of music on the 
spinet. 

The entrance of Sir Henry produced a very manifest sensa- 
tion among the little party. Lady Stately looked charmingly 
conscious and fluttered. Emily Copland smiled a gracious 
welcome, for though she and her handsome cousin perfectly 
well understood each other, and both well knew that marriage 
was out of the question, they liad each, what is called, a fancy 
for the other ; and Emily, with the unreasonable jealousy of a 
woman, felt a kind of soreness, secretly and almost unacknow- 
ledged to herself, at Sir Henry's marked devotion to Lady 
Stukely, though, at the same time, no feeling of her own heart, 
beyond the lightest and the merest vanity, had ever been en- 
gaged in favour of Henry Ashwoode. Of the whole party, 
Lord Aspenly alone was a good deal disconcerted, and no 
wonder, for he had not the smallest notion upon what kind of 
terms he and Henry Ashwoode were to meet; whether that 
young gentleman would shake hands with him as usual, or 
proceed to throttle him on the spot. Ashwoode was, however, 
too completely a man of the world to make any unnecessary 
fuss about the awkward affair of Morley Court; he therefore 
met the little nobleman with cold and easy politeness ; and, 
turning from him, was soon engaged in an animated and 
somewhat tender colloquy with the love-stricken widow, 
whose last words to him, as at length he arose to take his 
leave, were. 

" Remember to-morrow evening, Sir Henry, we shall look for 
you early ; and you have promised not to disappoint your cousin 
Emily has not he, Emily? I shall positively be affronted 
with you for a week at least if you are late. I am very abso- 
lute, and never forgive an act of rebellion. I'm quite a little 
sovereign here, and very despotic ; so you had better not 
venture to be naughty." 

Here she raised her finger, and shook it in playful menace at 
her admirerf. 

Lady Stukely had, however, little reason to doubt his 
punctuality. It she had but known the true state of the case 
she would have been aware that in literal matter-of-fact she 
had become as necessary to Sir Henry Ashwoode as his daily 
bread. 

Accordingly, next evening Sir Henry Ashwoode was one of 
the gayest of the guests in Lady Stukely's drawing-rooms. 
His resolution was takjfen ; and he now looked round upon the 
splendid rooms and all their rich furniture as already his own. 
Some chatted, some played cards, some danced the courtly 
minuet, and some hovered about from group to group, without 
any determinate occupation, and sharing by turns in the 



How Sir Henry Ashwoode Played and Plotted. 177 

frivolities of all. Ashwoode was, of course, devoted exclusively 
to his fair hostess. She was all smiles, and sighs, and bash- 
ful coyness ; he all tenderness and fire. In short, he felt that 
all he wanted at that moment was the opportunity of asking, 
to ensure his instantaneous acceptance. While thus agree- 
ably employed, the yonng baronet was interrupted by a loot- 
man, who, with a solemn bow, presented a silver salver, on 
which was placed an exceedingly dirty and crumple i little 
note. Ashwoode instantly recognized the hand in which the 
address was written, and snatching the filthy billet from its 
conspicuous position, he thrust it into his waistcoat pocket. 

" A messenger, sir, waits for an answer," murmured the 
servant. 

"Where is he? " 

" He waits in the hall, sir." 

" Then I shall see him in a moment tell him so," said Ash- 
woode ; and turning to Lady Stukely, he spoke a few sweet 
words of gallantry, and with a forced smile, and casting a long- 
ing, lingering look behind, he glided from the room. 

" So, what can this mean ? " muttered he, as he placed 
himself immediately under a cluster of lights in the lobby, 
and hastily drew forth the crumpled note. He read as fol- 
lows : 

" MY DEAR SIR HENRY, There is bad news as bad as can 
be. Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, come on 
receipt of these, on the moment, to me. If you don't, you'll 
be done for to-morrow ; so come at once. Bobby M'Quirk will 
hand you these, and if you follow him, will bring you where I 
am now. I am desirous to serve yon, and if the art of man 
can do it, to keep you out of this pickle. 

"Your obedient, humble servant, 

" GORDON CHANCEY." 

" N.B. It is about these infernal notes, so come quickly." 

Through this production did Ashwoode glance with no 
very enviable feelings; and tearing the note into the very 
smallest possible pieces, he ran downstairs to the hall, where 
he found the aristocratic Mr. M'Quirk, with his chin as high 
as ever, marching up and down with a free and easy swagger, 
and one arm akimbo, and whistling the while an air of martial 
defiance. 

" Did you bring a note to me just now ? " inquired Ash- 
woode. 

" I have had that pleasure," replied M'Quirk, with an aris- 
tocratic air. " I presume I am addressed by Sir Henry Ash- 
woode, baronet. I am Mr. M'Quirk Mr. Robert M'Quirk:. 

a 



1 78 The "Cock and A nchor? 

Sir Henry, I kiss your hands proud of the honour of your 
acquaintance." 

" Is Mr. Chancey at his own lodging now? " inquired Ashr 
woode, without appearing to hear the speeches which M'Quirk 
thought proper to deliver. 

" Why, no," replied the little gentleman. " Our friend 
Chancey is just now swigging his pot of beer, and smoking his 
pen'orth of pigtail in the " Old Saint Columbkil," in Ship Street 
a comfortable house, Sir Henry, as any in Dublin, and very 
cheap cheap as dirt, sir. A Welsh rarebit, one penny; a 
black pudding, and neat cut of bread, and three leeks, for 
how much do you guess ? " 

" Have the goodness to conduct me to Mr. Chancey, 
wherever he is," said Ashwoode drily. " I will follow go on, 
sir." 

" Well, Sir Henry, I'm your man I'm your man glad of 
your company, Sir Henry," exclaimed the insinuating Bobby 
M'Quirk ; and following his voluble conductor in obstinate 
silence, Sir Henry Ashwoode found himself, after a dark and 
sloppy walk, for the first, though not for the last time in his 
life, under the roof tree of the " Old Saint Columbkil." 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 

THE " OLD ST. COLUMBKIL " A TETE-1-TETE IN THE " ROYAL BAM " 
THE TEMPTER. 

THE " Old Saint Columbkil " was a sort of low sporting tavern 
frequented chiefly by horse-jockeys, cock-fighters, and dog- 
fanciers ; it had its cock-pits, and its badger-baits, and an un- 
pretending little " hell " of its own ; and, in short, was defi- 
cient in noue of the attractions most potent in alluring such 
company as it was intended to receive. 

As Ashwoode, preceded by his agreeable companion, made 
his way into the low-roofed and irregular chamber, his senses 
were assailed by the thick fumes of tobacco, the reek of 
spirits, and the heavy steams of the hot dainties which minis- 
tered to the refined palates of the patrons of the " Old Saint 
Columbkil ; " and through the hazy atmosphere, seated at a 
table by himself, and lighted by a solitary tallow candle with 
a portentous snuff, and canopied in the clouds of tobacco 
smoke which he himself emitted, Gordon Chancey was dimly 
discernible. 

"Ah! dear me, dear me. I'm right glad to see you I 
declare to , I am, Mr. Ashwoode," said that eminent 



The "Old St. Columbkil." 1 79 

barrister, when the young gentleman had reached his side. 
"Indeed, I was thinking it was m^ybe too late to see you to- 
night, and that things would have to go on. Oh, dear me, 
but it's a regular Providence, so it is. You'd have been up in 
lavender to-morrow, as sure as eggs is eggs. I'm gladder than 
a crown piece, upon my soul, I am." 

" Don't talk of business here ; cannot we have some place to 
ourselves for five minutes, out of this stifling pig-sty. 1 can't 
bear the place ; besides, we shall be overheard," urged Ash- 
woode. 

" Well, and that's very true,'' assented Chancey, gently, 
" very true, so it is ; we'll get a small room above. You'll have 
to pay an extra sixpenny bit for it though, but what signifies 
the matter of that ? M'Quirk, ask old Pottles if ' Noah's Ark ' 
is empty either that or the ' Royal Ram ' run, Bobby." 

" I have something else to do, Mr. Chancey," replied Mr. 
M'Quirk, with hauteur. 

" Run, Bobby, run, man," repeated Chancey, tranquilly. 

" Run yourself," retorted M'Quii k, rebelliously. 

Chancey looked at him for a moment to ascertain by his 
visible aspect whether he had actually uttered the audacious 
suggestion, and reading in the red face of the little gentleman 
nothing but the most refractory dispositions, he said with A 
low, dogged emphasis which experience had long taught Mr. 
M'Quirk to respect, 

"Are you at your tricks again? D you, you black- 
guard, if you stand prating there another minute, I'll open 
your head with this pot be off, you scoundrel." 

The learned counsel enforced his eloquence by knocking the 
pewter pot with an emphatic clang upon the table. 

All the aristocratic blood of the M'Quirks mounted to the 
face of the gentleman thus addressed ; he suffered the noble 
inundation, however, to subside, and after some hesitation, and 
one long look of unutterable contempt, which Chancey bore 
with wonderful stoicism, he yielded to prudential considera- 
tions, as he had often done before, and proceeded to execute 
his orders. 

The effect was instantaneous Pottles himself appeared. 
A short, stout, asthmatic man was Pottles, bearing in his 
thoughtful countenance an ennobling consciousness that 
human society would feel it hard to go on without him, and 
carrying in his hand a soiled napkin, or rather clout, with 
which he wiped everything that came in his way, his own fore- 
head and nose included. 

With pompous step and wheezy respiration did Pottles 
conduct his honoured guests up the creaking stairs and into 
the" Royal Ram." He raked the erubeisinthe f re-place, threw 
on a piece of turt, and planting the candle wiich he carried 

^ 2 



1 80 The "Cock and Anchor:' 

upon a table covered with slop and pipe ashes, he wiped the 
candlestick, and then his own mouth carefully with his dingy 
napkin, and asked the gentlemen whether they desired any- 
thing for supper. 

"No, no, we want nothing but to be left to ourselves for 
ten or fifteen minutes," said Ashwoode, placing a piece of 
money upon the table. " Take this for the use of the room, 
and leave us." 

The landlord bowed and pocketed the coin, wheezed and 
bowed again, and then waddled magnificently out of the room. 
Ashwoode got up and closed the door after him, and then 
returning, drew his chair opposite to Chancey's, and in a low 
tone asked, 

" Well, what is all this about ? " 

"All about them notes, nothing else," replied Chancey, 
calmly. 

" Go on what of them ? " urged Ashwoode. 

" Can you pay them all to-morrow morning ? " inquired 
Chancey, tranquilly. 

" To-morrow ! " exclaimed Ashwoode. " Why, hell and 
death, man, you promised to hold them over for three months. 

To-morrow ! By , you must be joking," and as he spoke 

his face turned pale as ashes. 

" I told you all along, Mr. Ashwoode," said Chancey drowsily, 
" that the money was not my own ; I'm nothing more than an 
agent in the matter, and the notes are in the desk of that old 

bed- ridden cripple that lent it. D n him, he's as full of 

fumes and fancies as old cheese is of maggots. He has taken 
it into his head that your paper is not sate, and the devil him- 
self won't beat it out of him ; and the long and the short of it 
is, Mr. Ashwoode, he's going to arrest you to-morrow." 

In vain Ashwoode strove to hide his agitation he shook like 
a man in an ague. 

" Good heavens ! and is there no way of preventing this ? 
Make him wait for a week for a day," said Ashwoode. 

" Was not I speaking to him ten times to-day ay, twenty 
times," replied Chancey, " trying to make him wait even for one 
day? Why, I'm hoarse talking to him, and I might just as 
well be speaking to Patrick's tower ; so make your mind up to 
this. As sure as light, you'll be in gaol before to-morrow's 
past, unless you either settle it early some way or other, or 
take leg bail for it." 

" See, Chancey, I may as well tell you this," said Ash- 
woode, " before a fortnight, perhaps before a week, I shall 
have the means of satisfying these damned notes beyond the 
possibility of failure. Won't he hold them over for so long? " 

" I might as well be asking him to cut out his tongue and 
give it to me as to allow us even a day ; he has heard of 



The " Old St. Columbkiir 1 8 c 

different accidents that has happened to some of your paper 
lately and the long and the short of it is he won't hear of 
it, nor hold them over one hour more than he can help. I 
declare to , Mr. Ashwoode, T am very sorry for your dis- 
tress, so I am but you say you'll have the money in a week ? " 

" Ay, ay, ay, so I shall, if he don't arrest me," replied Ash- 
woode ; " but if he does, my perdition's sealed ; I shall lie in 
gaol till 1 rot ; but, curse it, can't the idiot see this P if he 
waits a week or so he'll get his money every penny back 
again but if he won't have patience, he loses every sixpence 
to all eternity." 

" You might as well be arguing with an iron box as think 
to change that old chap by talk, when he once gets a thing 
into his head," rejoined Chancey. Ashwoode walked wildly 
up and down the dingy, squalid apartment, exhibiting in his 
aristocratic form and face, and in the rich and elegant suit, 
flashing even in the dim light of that solitary, unsnuffed 
candle, with gold lace and jewelled buttons, and with cravat 
and ruffles fluttering with rich point lace, a strange and 
startling contrast to the slovenly and deserted scene of low 
debauchery which surrounded him. 

" Chancey," said he, suddenly stopping and grasping the 
shoulder of the sleepy barrister with a fierceness and energy 

which made him start " Chancey, rouse yourself, d you. 

Do you hear ? Is there no way of averting this awful ruin 
is there none?" 

As he spoke, Ashwoode held the shoulder of the fellow with 
a gripe like that of a vice, and stooping over him, glared in his 
face with the aspect of a maniac. 

The lawyer, though by no means of a very excitable tem- 
perament, was startled at the horrible expression which en- 
countered his gaze, and sate silently looking into his victim's 
face with a kind of fascination. 

" Well," said Chancey, turning away his head with an effort 
" there's but one way I can think of." 

" What is it P Do you know anyone that will take my note 
at a short date ? For God's sake, man, speak out at once, or 
my brain will turn. What is it ? " said Ashwoode. 

" Why, Mr. Ashwoode, to be plain with you," rejoined Chan- 
cey, " I do not know a soul in Dublin that would discount for 
you to one-fourth of the amount you require but there is 
another way." 

" In the fiend's name, out with it, then," said Ashwoode, 
shaking him fiercely by the shoulder. 

"Well, then, get Mr. Craven to join you in a bond for the 
amount, 3 ' said Chancey, "with a warrant of attorney to confess 
judgment." 

" Craven ! Why, he knows as well as yju do how I am 



1 82 The "Cock and Anchor" 

dipped. He'd just as readily thrust his hand into the fire," 
replied Ashwoode. " Is that your hopeful scheme ? " 

"Why, Mr. Craven might not do so well, after all/' said 
Chancey, meditatively, and without appearing to hear what 
the young baronet said. " Oh ! dear, dear, no, he would not 
do. Old Money-bags knows him no, no, that would not do.'' 

" Can your d d scheming brain plot no invention to help 

me ? In the devil's name, where are your wits ? Chancey, 
if you get me out of this accursed fix, I'll make a man of 
you." 

" I got a whole lot of bills done for you once by the very 

same old gentleman," continued Chancey, "and d n heavy 

bills they were too, but they had Mr. Nicholas Blarden's name 
across them ; would not he lend it again, if you told him how 
you stand? If you can come by the money in a month or so, 
you may be sure he'll do it." 

"Better and better ! Why, Blarden would ask no better fun 
than to see me ruined, dead, and damned," rejoined Ashwoode, 
bitterly. " Cudgel your brains for another bright thought." 

"Oh! dear me, dear me," said the barrister mildly, "I 
thought you were the best of friends. Well, well, it's hard to 
know. But are you sure he don't like you ? J ' 

" It's odd if he does," said Ashwoode, " seeing it's scarce a 
month since I trounced him almost to death in the theatre. 
Blarden, indeed ! " 

" Well, Mr. Ashwoode, sit down here for a minute, and I'll 
say all I have to say ; and if you like it, well and good ; and 
if not, there's no harm done, and things must only take their 
course. Are you quite sure of having the means within a 
month of taking up the notes ?" 

" As sure as I am that I see you before me," replied he. 

" Well, then, get Mr. Blarden's name along with your own 
to your joint and several bond the old chap won't have any- 
thing more to do with bills so, do you mind, your joint and 
several bond, with warrant of attorney to confess judgment 
and I'll stake my life, he'll take it as ready as so much cash, 
the instant I show it to him," said the lawyer quietly. 

" Are you dreaming or drunk ? Have not I told you twenty 
times over that Blarden would cut his throat first? " retorted 
Ashwoode, passionately. 

" Why," said Chancey, fixing his cunning eyes, with a pecu- 
liar meaning, upon the young man, and speaking with a 
lowered voice and marked deliberateness, "perhaps if Mr. 
Blarden knew that his name was wanted only to satisfy the 
whim of a fanciful old hunks if he knew that judgment should 
never be entered if he knew that the bond should never go 
outside a strong iron box, under an old bedridden cripple's bed 
if he knew that no questions should be asked as to how he 



The "Old St. Columbkiir 183 

came to write his name at the foot of it md if he knew that 
no mortal should ever Mee it until you paid it long before the 
day it was due .ind if he was quite aware that the whole 
transaction should be considered so strictly confidential, that 
even to himself do you mind no allusion should be made to 
it; don't you think, in such a case, you could, by some means 
or other, manage to get his name? '' 

They continued to gaze fixedly at one another in silence, 
until, at length, Ashwoode's countenance lighted into a strange, 
UD earthly smile. 

" I see what you mean, Chancey is it so ? " said he, in a 
voice so low, as scarcely to be audible. 

" Well, maybe you do," said the barrister, in a tone nearly 
as low, and returning the young man's smile with one to the 
full as sinister. Thus they remained without speaking for 
many minutes. 

" There's no danger in it," said Chancey, after a long pause ; 
" I would not take a part in it if there was. You can pay it 
eleven months before it's due. It's a thing I have known 
done a hundred times over, without risk ; here there can be 
none. I do all his business myself. I tell you, that for any- 
thing that any living mortal but you and me and the old 
badger himself will ever hear, or see, or know of the matter, 
the bond might as well be burnt to dust in the back of the fire. 
I declare to it's the plain truth I'm telling you Sir 
Henry so it is." 

There followed another silence of some minutes. At length 
Ashwoode said, "I'd rather use any name but Blardeu's, if it 
must be done." 

" What does it matter whose name is on it, if there is no one 
but ourselves to read it F " replied Chancey. " I say Blarden's 
is the best, because he accepted bills for you before, which 
were discounted by the same old codger ; and again, because 
the old fellow knows that the money was wanted to satisfy 
gambling debts, and Blarden would seem a very natural 
party in a gaming transaction. Blarden's is the name for 
us. And, for myself, all I ask is fifty pounds for my share in 
the trouble." 

" When must you have the bond ? " asked Ashwoode. 

" Set about it now" said Chancey ; " or stay, your hand 
shakes too much, and for both our sakes it must be done neatly ; 
so say to-morrow morning, early. I'll see the old gentleman 
to-night, and have the overdue notes to hand you in the morn- 
ing. I think that's doing business." 

" I would not do it I'd rather blow my brains out if there 
was a single chance of his entering judgment on the bond, or 
talking ot it," said Ashwoode, in great agitation. 

"A chance!'' said the barrister. "I tell you there's not a 



1 84 The "Cock and A nchor." 



I manage all his money matters, and I'd burn 
that bond, before it should see the outside of his strong box. 
Why, d - n ! do you think I'd let myself be ruined for fifty 
pounds ? You don't know Gordon Chancey, indeed you don't, 
Mr. Ashwoode." 

" Well, Chancey, I'll see you early to-morrow morning." 
said Ashwoode ; " but are you very very sure is there no 
ohcttice no possibility of of mischief?" 

' I tell you, Mr. Ashwoode," replied Chancey, " unless I 
chose to betray myself, you can't come by harm. As I told 
you before, I'm not such a fool as to ruin myself. Rely on me, 
Mr. Ashwoode rely on me. Do you believe what I say ?" 

Ashwoode walked slowly up to him, and fixing his eyes upon 
the barrister, with a glance which made Chancey 's heart turn 
chill within him, 

'* Yes, Mr. Chancey," he said, "you may be sure I believe 
you ; for if I did not so help me, God ! you should not quit 
this room alive." 

He eyed the caitiff for some minutes in silence.'and then 
returning the sword, which he had partially drawn, to its 
scabbard, he abruptly wished him good-night, and lert the 
room. 



CHAPTER XXXV. 

OF THE COUSIN AND THE BLACK CABINET AND OF HENRY ASH- 
WOODE'S DECISIVE INTERVIEW WITH LADY STUKRLY. 

" WELL, then," said Ashwoode, a few days after the occurrences 
which have just been faithfully recorded, " it behoves me wi&h- 
out loss of time to make provision for this infernal bond ; 
until I see it burned to dust, I feel as if I stood in the dock. 
This sha'n't last long my stars be thanked, one door of escape 
lies open to me, and through it I will pass; the sun shall not 
go down upon my uncertainty. To be sure, I shall be but 
curse it, it can't be helped now ; and let them laugh, and qu ; z, 
and sneer as they please, two-thirds of them would be bat 
too glad to marry Lady Stukely with half her fortune, were 
she twice as old and twice as ugly if, indeed, either were 
possible. Pshaw ! the laugh will subside in a week, and in 
the style in which I shall open, curse me, if half the world 
won't lie at my feet. Give me but money money plenty of 
money, and though I be a paragon of absurdity and vice, the 
whole town will vote me a Solomon and a saint ; so let's have 
no more shivering by the brink, but plunge boldly in at once 
arid have it over." 



The Cousin and the Black Cabinet. 185 

Fortified with tbese reflections, Sir Henry Ashwoode vaulted 
lightly into his saddle, and putting his horse into an easy 
canter, he found himself speedily at Lady Stukely's house in 
Stephen's Green. His servant held the rein and he dismounted, 
and, having obtained admission, summoned all his resolution, 
lightly mounted the stairs, and entered the handsome drawing- 
room. Lady Stukely was not there, but his cousin, Emily 
Copland, received him. 

'Lady Betty is not visible, then?" inquired he, after a 
little chat upon, indifferent subjects. 

" I believe she is out shopping indeed, you may be very 
certain she is not at home," replied Emily, with a malicious 
smile; "her ladyship is always visible to you. Now confess, 
have you ever had much cruelty or coldness to complain of at 
dear Lady Stukely's hands? " 

Ashwoode laughed, and perhaps for a moment appeared a 
little disconcerted. 

" I do admit, then, as you insist on placing me in the con- 
fessional, that I have always found Lady Betty as kind and 
polite as I could have expected or hoped," rejoined Ashwoode, 
assuming a grave and particularly proper air; "I were par- 
ticularly ungrateful if I said otherwise." 

" Oh, ho ! so her ladyship has actually succeeded in inspiring 
my platonic cousin with gratitude," continued Emily, in the 
same tone, "and gratitude we all know is Cupid's best disguise. 
Alas, and alack-a-day, to what vile uses may we come at last 
alas, my poor coz." 

"Nay, nay, Emily," replied he, a little piqned, "you need 
not write my epitaph yet ; I don't see exactly why you should 
pity me so enormously." 

" Haven't you confessed that you glow with gratitude to 
Lady Stukely ? " rejoined she. 

"Nonsense! I said nothing about glowing; but what if I 
had ? " answered he. 

" Then you acknowledge that you do glow ! Heaven help 
him, the man actually glow*," ejaculated Emily. 

"Pshaw! stuff, nonsense. Emily, don't be a blockhead," 
said he, impatiently. 

" Oh ! Harry, Harry, Harry, don't deny it," continued she, 
shaking her head with intense solemnity, and holding up her 
fingers in a monitory manner "you are then actually in love. 
Oh, Benedick, poor Benedick! would thou hadst chosen some 
Beatrice not quite so well stricken in years ; but what of that ? 
the beauties of age, if less attractive to the eye of thought- 
less folly than those of youth, are unquestionably more dura- 
ble; time may rob the cheek of its bloom, but I defy him to 
rob it of its rouge; years I might say centuries hava no 
power to blanche a wig or thin its flowing locks ; and thjugh 



1 86 The "Cock and A nchor." 

the nymph be blind with ag^, what matters it if the swain be 
blind with love? I make no doubt you'll be f ally as happy 
together as if she had twice as long to live." 

Ashwoode poked the tire and blew his nose violently, but 
nevertheless answered nothing. 

" The brilliant blush of her cheek and the raven blackness 
of her wig," continued the incorrigible Emily, "in close and 
striking contrast, will remind you, and 1 trust usefully, of that 
rouge et noir which has been your ruin all your days." 

Still Ashwoode spoke not. 

" The exquisite roundness of her ladyship's figure will 
remind you that flesh, if not exactly grass, is at least very 
little better than bran and buckram ; and her smile will in- 
variably suggest the great truth, that whenever you do not 
intend to bite it is better not to show your teeth, especially 
when they happen to be like her ladyship's; in short, you 
cannot look at her without feeling that in every particular, it' 
rightly read, she supplied a moral lesson, so that in her presence 
every unruly passion of man's nature must entirely subside 
and sink to rest. Yes, she will make you happy eminently 
happy ; every little attention, every caress, every fond glance 
she throws at you, will delightfully assure your affectionate 
spirit, as it wanders in memory back to the days of earliest 
childhood, that she will be to you all that your beloved grand- 
mother could have been, had she been spared. Oh ! Harry, 
Harry, this will indeed be too much happiness." 

Another pause ensued, and Emily approached Sir Henry as 
he stood sulkily by the mantelpiece, and laying her hand upoa 
his arm, looked archly up into his face, while shaking her 
head she slowly said, 

" Oh ! love, love oh ! Cupid, Cupid, mischievous little boy, 
what hast thou done with my poor cousin's heart ? 

" ' 'Twas on a widow's jointure land 
The archer, Cupid, took his stand.' " 

As she said this, she looked so unutterably mischievous 
and comical, that in spite of his vexation and all his efforts 
to the contrary, he burst into a long and hearty fit of 
laughter. 

" Emily," said he, at length, "you are absolutely incor- 
rigible gravity in your company is entirely out of the 
question ; but listen to me seriously for one moment, if you 
can. I will tell you plainly how I am circumstanced, and you 
must promise me in return that you will not quiz me any 
more about the matter. But first," he added, cautiously, 
" let us guard against eavesdroppers.' 3 

He accordingly walked into the next room, which opened 



The Cousin and the Black Cabinet. 1 87 

upon that in which they were, and proceeded to close the far 
door. Before he had reached it, however, that in the other 
room opened, and Lady Stukely herself entered. The instant 
she appeared, Emily Copland by a gesture enjoined silence, 
nodded towards the door of the next room, from which A.sh- 
woode's voice, as he carelessly hammed an air, was audible ; 
she then frowned, nodded, and pointed with vehement repe- 
tition toward a dark recess in the wall, made darker and 
more secure by the flanking projection of a huge, black, 
varnished cabinet. Lady Stukely looked puzzle 1, took a step 
in the direction of the post of conceal meat indicated by the 
girl, then looked puzzled, and hesitated again. More im- 
patiently Emily repeated her signal, and her ladyship, with- 
out any distinct reason, but with her curiosity all alive, 
glided behind the protecting cabinet, with all its army of 
china ornaments, into the recess, and there remained entirely 
concealed. She had hardly effected this movement, which 
the deep-piled carpet enabled her to do without noise, when 
Ashwoode returned, closed the door of communication between 
the two rooms, and then shut that through which Lady 
Stukely had just entered, almost brushing against her as he 
did so, so close was their proximity. These precautions taken, 
he returned. 

" Now," said he, in a low and deliberate tone, " the plain 
facts of the case are just these. I am dipped over head and 
ears in debt debts, too, of the most urgent kind debts 
which threaten me with ruin. Now, these must be paid one 
way or another they must be met. And to effect this I have 
but one course one expedient, and you have guessed it. No 
man knows better than I what Lady Stukely is. I can see 
all that is ridiculous and repulsive about her just as clearly 
as anybody else. She is old enough to be my grandmother, 
and ugly enough to be the devil's and, moreover, painted 
and varnished over like a signboard. She may be a fool 
she may be a termagant she may be what you please but 
but she has mouey. She has been throwing herself into my 
arms this twelvemonth or more and but what the deuce is 
that ? " 

This interrogatory was caused by certain choking sounds 
which proceeded with fearful suddenness from the place of 
Lady Stukely 's concealment, and which were instantaneously 
followed by the appearance of her ladyship in bodily presence. 
She opened her mouth, but gave utterance to nothing but a 
gaspdrew herself up with such portentous and swelling 
magnificence, that Ashwoode almost expected to see her 
expand like the spectre of a magic-lantern until her head 
touched the ceiling. Forward she came, in her progress 
sweeping a score of china ornaments from the cabinet, and 



i88 The "Cock and A nchor? 

strewing the whole floor with the crashing fragments of 
n onkeys, monsters, and mandarins, breathless, choking, and 
almost black with rage, Lady Stukely advanced to Ashwoode, 
who stood, for the first time in his life, bereft of every vestige 
of self-possession. 

" Painted ! varnished ! " she screamed hysterically, " ridi- 
culous ! repulsive! Oh, heaven and earth! you you preter- 
natural monster ! " "With these words she uttered two piercing 
shrieks, and threw herself in strong hysterics into a chair, 
holding on her wig distractedly with one hand, for fear of 
accidents. 

" Don't don't ring the bell," said she, with an abrupt acces- 
sion of fortitude, observing Emily Copland approach the bell. 
" Don't, I shall be better presently." And then, with another 
shriek, she opened afresh. 

As the hysterics subsided, Ashwoode began a little to 
recover his scattered wits, and observing that Lady Stukely 
had sunk back in extreme languor and exhaustion, with closed 
eyes, he ventured to approach the shrine of his outraged 
divinity. 

" I feel indeed I own, Lady Stukely," he said, hesitatingly, 
" I have much to explain. I ought to explain yes, I ought. 
I will, Lady Stukely and and I can entirely satisfy com- 
pletely dispel 

He was interrupted here ; for Lady Stukely, starting bolt 
upright in the chair, exclaimed, 

"You wretch ! you villain ! you perjured, scheming, design- 
ing, lying, paltry, stupid, insignificant, outrageous 

Whether it was that her ladyship wanted words to supply a 
climax, or that hysterics are usually attended with such results, 
we cannot pretend to say, but certain it is that at this precise 
point the languishing, fashionable, die-away Lady Stukely 
actually spat in the young baronet's face. 

Ashwoode changed colour, as he promptly discharged the 
ridiculous but very necessary task of wiping his face. With 
difficulty he restrained himself under this provocation, but he 
did command himself so far as to say nothing. He turned on 
his heel and walked downstairs, muttering as he went, 

" An old painted devil ! " 

The cool air, as he passed out, speedily dissipated the 
confusion and excitement of the scene that had just passed, 
; nd all the consequences of his rupture with Lady Stukely 
rushed upon his mind with overwhelming and maddening 
force. 

" You were right, perfectly right he is a cheat a trickster 
a villain ! " exclaimed Lady Stukely. " Only to think of him ! 
Oh, heaven and earth ! " And again she was seized with 
violent hysterics, in which state she was conducted up to her 




8 
' 
s. 






Jewels, Plate, Horses, Dogs. 189 

bedroom by Emily Copland, who had enjoyed the catastrophe 
with an intensity of relish which none but a female, and a 
mischievous one to boot, can know. 

Loud and repeated were Lady Stukely's thanksgivings for 
having escaped the snares of the designing young baronet, 
and warm and multiplied and grateful her acknowledgments 
to Emily Copland to whom, however, from that time forth 
she cherished an intense dislike. 



CHAPTER XXXVI. 

OF JEWELS, PLATE, HORSES, DOGS, AND FAMILY PICTURES AND 
CONCERNING THE APPOINTED HOUR. 

IN a state little, if at all, short of distraction, Sir Henry Ash- 
woode threw himself from his horse at Morley Court. That 
resource which he had calculated upon with absolute certainty 
had totally failed him; his last stake had been played and 
lost, and ruin in its most hideous aspect stared him in the 
face. 

Spattered from heel to head with mud for he had ridden 
at a reckless speed with a face pale as that of a corpse, and 
his dress all disordered, he entered the great old parlour, 
and scarcely knowing what he did, dashed the door to with 
violence and bolted it. His brain swam so that the floor 
seemed to heave and rock like a sea ; he cast his laced hat and 
his splendid peruke (the envy and admiration of half the petit 
maitres in Dublin) upon the ground, and stood in the centre 
of the room, with his hands clutched upon the temples of his 
bare, shorn head, and his teeth set, the breathing image of 
despair. Prom this state he was roused by some one en- 
deavouring to open the door. 

" Who's there ? " he shouted, springing backward and 
drawing his sword, as if he expected a troop of constables to 
burst in. 

Whoever the party may have been, the attempt was not 
repeated. 

" What's the matter with me am I mad ? " said Ashwoode, 
after a terrible pause, and hurling his sword to the far end of 
the room. " Lie there. I've let the moment pass I might 
have done it cut the Gordian knot, and there an end of all. 
What brought me here?" 

He stared about the room, for the first time conscious where 
he stood. 



I go The "Cock and A nchor" 

"Damn these pictures," he muttered ; "they're all alive 
everything moves towards me." He flung himself into a chair 
and clasped his fingers over his eyes. " I can't breathe the 
place is suffocating. Oh, God ! I shall go mad ! " He threw 
open one of the windows and stood gasping at it as if he stood 
at the mouth of a furnace. 

"Everything is hot and strange and maddening I can't 
endure this brain and heart are bursting it is HELL." 

In a state of excitement which nearly amounted to down- 
right insanity, he stood at the open window. It was long 
before this extravagant agitation subsided so as to allow room 
for thought or remembrance. At length he closed the window, 
and began to pace the room from end to end with long and 
heavy steps. He stopped by a pier-table, on which stood a china 
bowl full of flowern, and plunging his hands into it, dashed 
the water over his head and face. 

" Let me think let me think," said he. " I was not wont 
to be thus overcome by reverse. Surely I can master as much 
as will pay thut thrice-accursed bond, if I could but collect my 
thoughts there must yet be the means of meeting it. Let 
that be but paid, and then, welcome ruin in any other shape. 
Let me see. Ay, the furniture ; then the pictures some of 
them valuable very valuable ; then the horses and the dogs; 
and then ay, the plate. Why, to be sure what have I been 
dreaming of? the plate will go half-way to satisfy it; and 
then what else? Let me see. The whole thing is six thou- 
sand four hundred and fifty pounds what more ? Is there 
nothing more to meet it ? The plate the furniture the 
pictures ay, idiot that I am, why did I not think of them 
an hour since ? my sister's jewels why, it's all settled how 
the devil came it that I never thought of them before? It's 
very well, however, as it is for if I had, they would have 
gone long ago. Come, come, I breathe again I have gotten 
my neck out of the hemp, at all events. I'll send in 
for Craven this moment. He likes a bargain, and he shall 

have one before to-morrow's sun goes down, that d d bond 

shall be ashes. Mary's jewels are valued at two thousand 
pounds. Well, let him take them at one thousand five hun- 
dred ; and the pictures, plate, furniture, dogs, and horses for 
the rest and he has a bargain. These jewels have saved me 
bribed the hangman. What care I how or when I die, if I 
but avert that. Ten to one I blow my brains out before 
another month. A short life and a merry one was ever the 
motto of the Ashwoodes ; and as the mirth is pretty well over 
with me, I begin to think it time to retire. Satis edisti. satis 
lipisti, satis lusisti, tempus est tibi abire what am I raving 
about? There's business to be done now to it, then to it 
like a man while we are alive let us be alive." 



The Reckoning. 191 

Craven liked his bargain, and engaged that the money 
should be duly handed at noon next day to Sir Henry Ash- 
woode, who forthwith bade the worthy attorney good-night, 
and wrote the following brief note to Gordon Chancey, 
Esq. : 

" SIR, 

" I shall call upon you to-morrow at one of the clock, if the 
honr suit you, upon particular business, and shall be much 
obliged by your having a certain security by you, which I shall 
then be prepared to redeem. 

" I remain, sir, your very obedient servant, 

" HENRY ASHWOODE." 

" So," said Sir Henry, with a half shudder, as he folded and 
sealed this missive, " I shall, at all event?, escape the halter. 
To-morrow night, spite of wreck and ruin, I shall sleep soundly. 
God knows, 1 want rest. Since I wrote that name, and gave 
that accursed bond out of my hands, my whole existence, 
waking and sleeping, has been but one abhorred and ghastly 

nightmare. I would gladly give a limb to have that d d 

scrap of parchment in my hand this moment ; but patience, 
patience one night more one night only of fevered agony 
andhideous dreams one last night and then oncemore I am 
my own master my character and safety are again in my own 
hands and may I die the death, if ever I risk them again as I 
have done one night more would would to God it were 
morning ! " 



CHAPTER XXXVIT. 

THE RECKONING CHANCEY's LARGE CAT AND THE COACH. 

THE morning arrived, and at the appointed hour Sir Henry 
Ashwoode dismounted in Whitefriar Street, and gave the bridle 
of his horse to the groom who accompanied him. 

" Well," thought he, as he entered the din^y, dilapidated 
square in which Chancey 's lodgings were situated, "this 
matter, at all events, is arranged I sha'n't hang, though I'm 
half inclined to allow I deserve to do so for my infernal folly 
in trying the thing at all; but no matter, it has given me a 
lesson I sha'n't soon forget. As to the rest, what care I now ? 
Let ruin pounce upon me in any shape but that luckily I 
have still enough to keep body and soul together left." 

He paused to indulge in ruminations of no very pleasant 
kind, and then half muttered, 



The "Cock and A nchor" 
i 

" I have been a fool I have walked in a dream. Only to 
think of a man liko me, who has seen something of the world, 

allowing that d d hag to play him such a trick. Well, I 

believe it is true, after all, that we cannot have wisdom without 
paying for it. If my acquisitions bear any proportion to my 
outlay, I ought to be a Solomon by this time." 

The door was opened to his summons by Gordon Chancey 
himself. When Ashwoode entered, Chancey carefully locked 
the door on the inside and placed the key in his pocket 

"It's as well, Sir Henry, to be on the safe side, observed 
Chancey, shuffling towards the table. "Dear me, dear me, 
there's no such thing as being too careful is there, Sir 
Henry ? " 

" Well, well, well, let's to business," said young Ashwoode, 
hurriedly, seating himself at the end of a heavy deal table, at 
which was a chair, and taking from his pocket a large leathern 
pocket-book. " \ ou have the the security here P " 

" Of course oh, dear, of course," replied the barrister ; " the 

bond and warrant of attorney that d d forgery it is in 

the next room, very safe oh, dear me, yes indeed." 

It struck Ashwoode that there was something, he could 
not exactly say what, unusual and sinister in the manner of 
Mr. Chancey, as well as in his emphasis and language, and he 
fixed his eye upon him for a moment with a searching glance. 
The barrister, however, busied himself with tumbling over 
some papers in a drawer. 

" Well, why don't you get it ? " asked Ashwoode, impatiently. 

"Never mind, never mind," replied Chancey; "do you 
reckon your money over, and be very sure the bond will come 
time enough. 1 don't wonder, though, you're eager to have it 
fast in 3 our own hands again but it will come it will 
come." 

Ashwoode proceeded to open the pocket-book and to turn 
over the notes. 

"They're all right," said he, "they're all right. But, 
hush ! " he added, slightly changing colour " I hear some- 
thing stirring in the next room " 

" Oh, dear, dear, it's nothing but the cat," rejoined Chancey, 
with an ugly laugh. 

" Your cat treads very heavily," said Ashwoode, suspiciously. 
" So it does," rejoined Chancey, " it does tread heavy ; it's 
a very large cat, so it is ; it has wonderful great claws ; it 
can see in the dark; it's a great cat; it never missed a rat 
yet ; and I've seen it lure the bird off a branch with the mere 
power of its eye ; it's a great cat but reckon your money, and 
I'll go in for the bond." 

This strange speech was uttered in a manner at least as 
strange, and Chancey, without waiting for commentary or 



The Reckoning. 193 

interruption, passed into the next room. The step crossed the 
adjoining chamber, and Ashwoode heard the rustling of papers ; 
it then returned, the door opened, and not Gordon Chancey, 
but Nicholas Blarden entered the room and confronted Sir 
Henry Ashwoode. Personal fear in bodily conflict was a thing 
unknown to the young baronet, but now all courage, all 
strength forsook him, and he stood gazing in vacant horror 
upon that, to him, most tremendous apparition, with a face 
white as ashes, and covered with the starting dews of terror. 

With that hideous combination, a smile and a scowl, stamped 
upon his coarse features, the wretch stood with folded arms, in 
an attitude of indescribable exultation, gazing with savage, 
gloating eyes full upon his appalled and terror-stricken victim. 
Fixed as statues they both remained for several minutes. 

"Ho, ho, ho! you look frightened, young man," exclaimed 
Blarden, with a horse laugh ; " you look as if you were going 
to be hanged you look as if the hemp were round your neck 
you look as if the hangman had you by the collar, you do 
ho, ho, ho ! " 

Ashwoode's bloodless lips moved, but utterance was gone. 

" It's hard to get the words out," continued Blarden, with 
ferocious glee. " I never knew the man yet could do a last 
dying speech smooth a sort of choking comes on, eh ? the 
sight of the minister and the hangman makes a man feel so 
quare, eh ? and the coffin looks so ugly, and all the crowd ; 
it's confusing somehow, and puts a man out, eh P ho, ho, 
ho!" 

Ashwoode laid his hand upon his forehead, and gazed on in 
blank horror. 

" Why, you're not such a great man, by half, as you were in 
the play-house the other evening," continued Blarden ; " you 
don't look so grand, by any manner of means. Some way or 
other, you look a little sickish or so. I'm afraid you don't 
like my company ho, ho, ho ! " 

Still Sir Henry remained locked in the same stupefied 
silence. 

" Ho, ho ! you seem to think your hemp is twisted, and your 
boards sawed," resumed Blarden; "you seem to think you're 

in a fix at last and so do I, by ! " he thundered, " for I 

have the rope fairly round your weasand, and, by I'll 

make you dance upon nothing, at Gallows Hill, before you're 
a month older. Do you hear that do you you swindler ? 
Eh you gaol-bird, you common forger, you robber, you crows' 
meat who holds the winning cards now ? " 

11 Where where's the bond ? " said Ashwoode, scarce 
audibly. 

" Where's your precious bond, you forger, you gibbet- 
carrion ? " shouted Blarden, exultingly. " Where's your 

o 



194 The "Cock and Anchor? 

forged bond the bond that will crack your neck for you 
where is it, eh ? Why, here here in my breeches pocket 
that's where it is. I hope you think it safe enough eh, you 
gallows-tassle ? " 

Yielding to some confused instinctive prompting to recover 
the fatal instrument, Ashwoode drew his sword, and would 
have rushed upon his brutal and triumphant persecutor ; but 
Blarden was not unprepared even for this. With the quick- 
ness of light, he snatched a pistol from his coat pocket, recoil- 
ing, as he did so, a hurried pace or two, and while he turned, 
coward as he was, pale and livid as death, he levelled it at the 
young man's breast, and both stood for an instant motionless, 
in the attitudes of deadly antagonism. 

" Put up your sword ; I have you there, as well as every- 
where else regularly checkmated, by ! " shouted Blarden, 

with the ferocity of half -desperate cowardice. "Put up your 
sword, I say, and don't be a bloody idiot, along with every- 
thing else. Don't you see you're done for? there's not a 
chance left you. You're in the cage, and there's no need to 
knock yourself to pieces against the bars you're done for, I 
tell you." 

With a mute but expressive gesture of despair, Ashwoode 
grasped his sword by the slender, glittering blade, and broke 
it across. The fragments dropped from his hands, and he 
sunk almost lifeless into a chair a spectacle so ghastly, that 
Blarden for a moment thought that death was about to rescue 
his victim. 

" Chancey, come out here," exclaimed Blarden ; "the fellow 
has taken the staggers come out, will you ? " 

" Oh ! dear me, dear me," said Chancey, in his own quiet 
way, "but he looks very bad." 

" Go over and shake him," said Blarden, still holding the 
pistol in his hand. " What are you afraid of ? He can't hurt 
you he has broken his bilbo across the symbol of gentility. 

By ! he's a good deal down in the mouth." 

While they thus debated, Ashwoode rose up, looking more 
like a corpse endowed with motion than a living man. 

" Take me away at once," said he, with a sullen wildness 
" take me away to gaol, or where you will anywhere were 
better than this place. Take me away ; I am ruined blasted. 
Make the most of it your infernal scheme has succeeded 
take me to prison." 

"Oh, murder! he wants to go to gaol do you hear him, 
Chancey ? " cried Blarden " such an elegant, fine gentleman 
to think of such a thing : only to think of a baronet in gaol 
and for forgery, too and the condemned cell such an ungentle- 
manly sort of a hole. Why, you'd have to use perfumes to no 
end, to* make the place fit for the reception of your aristocratic 



The Reckoning. 195 

visitors my Lord this, and my Lady that for, of course, 
you'll keep none but the best of company ho, ho, ho ! Perhaps 
the judge that's to try you may tarn out to be an old acquaint- 
ance, for your luck is surprising isn't it, Chancey ? and he'll 
pay you a fine compliment, and express his regret when he's 
going to pass sentence, eh ? ho, ho, ho ! But, after all, I'd 
advise you, if the condescension is not too much to expect 
from such a very fine gentleman as you, to consort as much as 
possible with the turnkey he's the most useful friend you can 
make, under your peculiarly delicate circumstances ho, ho ! 
eh P It's just possible he mayn't like to associate with you, for 
some of them fellows are rather stiff, d'ye see, and won't keep 
company with certain classes of the coves in quod, such as 
forgers or pickpockets ; but if he'll allow it, you'd better get 
intimate with him ho, ho, ho ! eh ? " 

"Take me to the prison, sir," said Ashwoode, sternly "I 
suppose you mean to do so. Let your officers remove me at 
once you have, no doubt, men for the purpose in the next 
room. Let them call a coach, and 1 will go with them but 
let it be at once." 

" Well, you're not far out there, by ! " replied Blarden. 

"I have a broad-shouldered acquaintance or two, and a little 
bit of a warrant you understand ? in the next apartment. 
Grimes, Grimes, come in here you're wanted." 

A huge, ill-looking fellow, with his coat buttoned up to his 
chin, and a short pipe protruding from the corner of his mouth, 
swaggered into the chamber, with that peculiar gait which 
seems as if contracted by habitually shouldering and jostling 
through mobs and all manner of riotous assemblies. 

"That's the bird?" said the fellow, interrogatively, and 
pointing with his pipe carelessly at Ashwoode. " You're my 
prisoner," he added, gruffly addressing the unfortunate young 
man, and at the same time planting his ponderous hand 
heavily upon his shoulder, he in the other exhibited a crumpled 
warrant. 

" Grimes, go call a coach," said Blarden, " and don't be a 
brace of shakes about it, do you mind." 

Grimes departed, and Blarden, after a long pause, suddenly 
addressing himself to Ashwoode, resumed, in a somewhat 
altered tone, but with intenser sternness still, 

" Now, I tell you what it is, my young cove, I have a sort of 
half a notion not to send you to gaol at all, do you hear ? " 

" Pshaw, pshaw ! " said Ashwoode, turning bitterly away. 

" I tell you I'm speaking what I mean," rejoined Blarden ; 
" I'll not send you there now at any rate. I want to have a 
bit of chat with you this evening, and it shall rest with you 
whether you go there at all or not ; I'll give you the choice 
fairly. We'll meet, then, at Morley Court this evening, at 

2 



196 The "Cock and Anchor." 

eight o'clock ; and for fear of accidents in the meantime, you'll 
have no objection to our mutual friend, Mr. Chancey, and our 
common acquaintance, Mr. Grimes, accompanying you home 
in the coach, and just keeping an eye on you till I come, for 
fear you might be out walking when I call you understand 
me ? But here's Grimes. Mr. Grimes, my particular friend 
Sir Henry Ashwoode has taken an extraordinary remarkable 
fancy to you, and wishes to know whether you'll do him the 
favour to take a jaunt with him in a carriage to see his house 
at Morley Court, and to spend the day with him and Mr. 
Chancey, for he finds that his health requires him to keep at 
home, and he has a particular objection to be left alone, even 
for a minute. Sir Henry, the coach is at the door. You'd 
better bundle up your bank-notes, they may be useful to you. 
Chancey, tell Sir Henry's groom, as you pass, that he'll not 
want his horse any more to-day." 

The party went out ; Sir Henry, pale as death, and scarcely 
able to support himself on his limbs, walking between Chancey 
and the herculean constable. Blarden saw them safely shut 
up in the vehicle, and giving the coachman his orders, gazed 
after them as they drove away in the direction of Morley 
Court, with a flushed face and a bounding heart. 



CHAPTER XXXVIII. 

STRANGE GUESTS AT THE MANOR. 

THE coach jingled, jolted, and rumbled on, and Ashwoode lay 
back in the crazy conveyance in a kind of stupefied apathy. 
The scene which had just closed was, in his mind, a chaos of 
horrible confusion a hideous, stunning dream, whose in- 
cidents, as they floated through his passive memory, seemed 
like unreal and terrific exaggerations, into whose reality he 
wanted energy and power to inquire. Still before him sate a 
breathing evidence of the truth of all these confused and 
horrible recollections the stalwart, ruffianly figure of the 
constable with his great red horny hands, and greasy cuffs, 
and the heavy coat buttoned up to his unshorn chin and the 
short, discoloured pipe, protruding from the corner of his 
mouth lounging back with half-closed eyes, and the air of a 
man who had passed the night in wearisome vigils among 
strife and riot, and who has acquired the compensating power 
of dividing his faculties at all times pretty nearly between 
sleep and waking a kind of sottish, semi-existence some- 
thing between that of a swine and a sloth. Over this figure 



Strange Guests at the Manor. 197 

the eyes of the young man vacantly wandered, and thence to 
the cheerful fields and trees visible from the window, and back 
again to the burly constable, until every seam and button in 
his coat grew familiar to his mind as the oldest tenants of his 
memory. Beside him, too, sate Chaucey his artful, cowardly 
betrayer. Yet even against him he could not feel anger ; 
all energy of thought and feeling seemed lost to him; and 
nothing but a dull ambiguous incredulity and a scared stupor 
were there in their stead. On on they rolled and rumbled, 
among pleasant fields and stately hedge-rows, toward the 
ancestral dwelling of the miserable prisoner, who sate like a 
lifeless effigy, yielding passively to every jolt and movement 
of the carriage. 

" I say, Grimes, were you ever out here before ? " inquired 
Mr. Chancey. " We'll soon be in the manor, driving up to 
Morley Court. It's a fine place, I'm given to understand. I 
never was here but once before, long as I know Sir Henry ; 
but better late than never. Do you know this place, Mr. 
Grimes ? " 

A negative grunt and a short nod relieved Mr. Grimes 
from the painful necessity of removing his pipe for the purpose 
of uttering an articulate answer. 

" Oh, dear me, dear me," resumed Mr. Chancey, " but I'm 
uncommon hungry and dry. I wish to God we were safe and 
sound in Sir Henry's house. Grimes, are you dry ? " 

Mr. Grimes removed his pipe, and spat upon the coach 
floor. 

"Am I dhry?" said he. " About as dhry as a sprat in a 
tindher-box, that's all. Is there much more to go ? " 

Chancey stretched his head out of the coach window. 

" I see the old piers of the avenue," said he ; " and God 
knows but it's I that's glad we're near our journey's end. 
Now we're passing in we're in the avenue." 

Mr. Grimes hereupon uttered a grunt of approbation ; and 
pressing down the ashes of his pipe with his thumb, he 
deposited that instrument in his waistcoat pocket whence, 
at the same time, he drew a small plug of tobacco, which he 
inserted in his mouth, and rolled it about with his tongue 
from time to time during the remainder of their progress. 

" Sir Henry, we're arrived," said Chancey, admonishing the 
baronet with his elbow " we're at the hall-door at Morley 
Court. Sir Henry dear me, dear me, he's very abstracted, 
so he is. I say, Sir Henry, we're at Morley Court." 

Ashwoode looked vacantly in Chancey 's face, and then upon 
the stately door of the old house, and suddenly recollecting 
himself, he said with strange alacrity, 

" Ay, ay at Morley Court so we are. Come, then, gentle- 
men, let us get down." 



198 The "Cock and Anchor:' 

Accordingly the three companions descended from the con- 
veyance, and entered the ancient dwelling-house together. 

" Follow me, gentlemen," said Ash\voode, leading the way 
to a small, oak-wainscoted parlour. " You shall have refresh- 
ments immediately." 

He called the servant to the door, and continued addressing 
himself to Chancey, and his no less refined companion. 

" Order what you please, gentlemen I can't think of these 
things just now ; and, sirrah, do you hear me, bring a large 
vessel of water my throat is literally scorched." 

"Well, Mr. Chancey, what do you say?" said Grimes. 
" I'm for a couple of bottles of sack, and a good pitcher of 
ale, to begin with, in the way of liquor." 

" Well, it wouldn't be that bad," said Chancey. " What 
meat have you on the spit, my good man ? " 

" I don't exactly know, sir," replied the wondering domestic ; 
" but I'll inquire." 

" And see, my good man," continued Chancey, " ask them 
whether there isn't some cold roast beef in the buttery ; and 
if so, bring it up in a jiffy, for, I declare to G d I'm un- 
common hungry; and let the cook send up a hot joint 
directly ; and do you mind, my honest man, light a bit 
of a lire here, for it's rather chill, and put plenty of dry 
sticks " 

" Give us the ale and the sack this instant minute, do you 
see," said Mr. Grimes. " You may do the rest after." 

" Yes. you may as well," resumed Chancey ; " for indeed 
I'm lost with the drooth myself." 

" Cut your stick, saucepan," said Mr. Grimes, authorita- 
tively ; and the servant departed in unfeigned astonisment 
to execute his various commissions. 

Ashwoode threw himself into a seat, and in silence endea- 
voured to collect his thoughts. Faint, sick, and stunned, he 
nevertheless began gradually to comprehend every particular 
of his position more and more fully until at length all the 
ghastly truth stood revealed to his mind's eye in vivid and 
glaring distinctness. While Ashwoode was engaged in his 
agreeable ruminations, Mr. Chancey and Mr. Grimes were 
busily employed in discussing the substantial fare which his 
larder had supplied, and pledging one another in copious 
libations of generous liquor. 






The Bargain. 199 



CHAPTER XXXIX. 

THE BARGAIN, AND TUB NEW CONFEDERATES. 

AT length the evening came darkness closed over the old 
place, and as the appointed hour approached, Ashwoode 
became more and more excited. 

" 1 must," thought he, " keep every faculty intensely on the 
stretch, to detect, if possible, the nature of their schemes. 
Blarden and Chancey have unquestionably hatched some other 

d d plot, though what worse can befall me ? J am netted 

as completely as their worst malice can desire. It is now seven 
o'clock. Another hour will determine all my doubts. Hark 
you, sirrah ! " continued he, raising his voice, and addressing 
a servant who had entered the chamber, " I expect a gentleman 
upon particular business at eight o'clock. On his arrival 
conduct him directly to this room." 

He then relapsed into the same train of gloomy and agitated 
thought. 

Chancey and his burly companion both sat snugly before the 
fire smoking their pipes in silent enjoyment, while their miser- 
able host paced the room from wall to wall in mental torments 
indescribable. 

At length the weary interval expired, and within a few 
minutes of the appointed hour, Nicholas Blarden was admitted 
by the servant, and ushered into the chamber in which Ash- 
woode expected his arrival. 

" Well, Sir Henry," exclaimed Blarden, as he swaggered 
into the room, " you seem a little flustered still eh? Hope 
you found your company pleasant. My friends' society is con- 
sidered uncommon agreeable." 

The visitor here threw himself into a chair, and continued 

" By the holy Saint Paul, as I rode up your cursed old dusky 
avenue, I began to think the chances were ten to one you had 
brought your throat and a razor acquainted before this. I 
have known men do it under your circumstances of course I 
mean gentlemen, with fine friends and delicate habits, and who 
could not stand exposure and all that kind of thing. I say, 
Mr. Grimes, my sweet fellow, you may leave the room, but 
keep within call, do ye mind. Mr. Chancey and I want to have 
a little confidential conversation with my friend, Sir Henry. 
Bundle out, and the moment you hear me call your name, bolt 
in again like a shot." 

Mr. Grimes, without answering, rose and lounged out of the 
room. 

" Chancey, shut that door," continued Blarden. " Shut it 



200 The "Cock and A nchor" 

tight, as tight as a drum. There, to your seat again. Now then, 
Sir Henry, we may as well to business ; but first of all, sit 
down. I have no objection to your sitting. Don't be shy." 

Sir Henry Ashwoode did seat himself, and the three members 
of this secret council drew their chairs around the table, each 
with very different feelings. 

" I take it for granted," said Blarden, planting his elbow 
upon the table, and supporting his chin upon his hand, while 
he fixed his baleful eyes upon the young man, " I take it for 
granted, and as a matter of course, that you have been puzzling 
your brains all day to come at the reason why I allow you to 
be sitting in this house, instead of clapping your four bones 
under lock and key, in another place." 

He paused here, as if to allow his exordium to impress itself 
upon the memory of his auditory, and then resumed, 

" And I take it for granted, moreover, that you are not quite 
fool enough to imagine that I care one blast if you were strung 
up by the hangman, and carved by the doctors, to-morrow 
eh?" 

He paused again. 

" Well, then, it's possible you think I have some end of my 
own to serve, by letting the matter stand over this way. And 

so I have, by . Y ou think right, if you never thought right 

before. I have an object in view, and it lies with you whether 
it's gained or lost. Do you mind ? " 

" Go on go on go on," repeated Ashwoode, gloomily. 

" What a devil of a hurry you're in," observed Blarden, with 
a scornful chuckle. " But don't tear yourself ; you'll have it 
all time enough. Now I'm going to do great things for you 
do you mind me ? I'm going, in the first place, to give you 
your life and your character such as it is ; and, what's more, 
I'll not let you go to jail for debt neither. I'll not let you be 
ruined ; for Nickey Blarden was never the man to do things 
by halves. Do you hear all I'm saying ? " 

" Yes, yes," said Ashwoode, faintly; "but the condition- 
come to that the condition." 

"Well, I will come to that. I will tell you the terms," 
rejoined Blarden. " I suppose you need not be told that I am 
worth a good penny, no matter how much. At any rate I'm 
rich that much you do know. Well, perhaps you'll think it 
odd that I have not taken up a little to live more quiet and 
orderly ; in short, that I have not sown my wild oats, and 
settled down, and all that, and become what they call an orna- 
ment to society eh ? You, perhaps, wonder how it comes I 
have not taken a rib why I have not got married eh ? Well, 
I think myself it ** a wonder, especially for such an admirer of 
the sex as I am, and I think it's a pity besides, and so I've 
made up my mind to mend the matter, do you see, and to take 



The Bargain. 201 

a wife without loss of time. She must have family, for I 
want that, and she must have beauty, for I would not marry 
the queen without it family and beauty. I don't ask money ; 
I have more of my own than I well know what to do with. 
Family and beauty is what T require. And I have settled the 
thing in my own mind, that the very article I want, just the 
thing to a nicety, is your sister little, bright-eyed Mary 
sporting Molly. I wish to marry her, and her I'll have and 
that's the long and the short of the whole business." 

" You you marry my sister," exclaimed Ashwoode, return- 
ing the fellow's insolent gaze with a look of indescribable 
scorn and astonishment. 

" Yes I I myself I, Nicholas Blarden, with more gold 
thai a man could count in three lives," shouted Blarden, re- 
turning his gaze with a scowl of defiance "J condescend to 
marry the sister of a ruined, beggared profligate a common 
forger, who has one foot in the dock at this minute. Down 
upon your marrow-bones, and thank me for my condescension 
down, I say.'' 

Overwhelmed with indignation and disgust, Ashwoode 
could not answer. All his self-command was required to 
resist his vehement internal impulse to strike the fellow to 
the ground and trample upon him. This strong emotion, 
however, had its spring in no generous source. No thought 
or care for Mary's feelings or fate crossed his mind ; but only 
the sense of insulted pride, for even in the midst of all his 
misery and abasement, his hereditary pride of birth survived : 
that this low, this entirely blasted, this branded ruffian should 
dare to propose to ally himself with the Ashwoodes of Morley 
Court a family whose blood was as pure as centuries of 
aristocratic transmission, and repeated commixture with that 
of nobility, could make it a family who stood, in considera- 
tion and respect, one of the very highest of the country! 
Could flesh and blood endure it ? 

" Make your mind up at once I have no time to spare ; 
and just remember that the locality of your night's lodging 
depends upon your decision," said Blarden, coolly, looking at 
his watch. " If, unfortunately for yourself, you should resolve 
against the connection, then you must have the goodness to 
accompany us into town to-night, and the law takes its course 
quietly with you, and your neck-bone must only reconcile 
itself to an ugly bit of a twist. If otherwise, you're a made 
man. Run the matter fairly over in your mind, and see 
which of us two should desire the thing most. As for me, I 
tell you plainly, it's a bit of a fancy no more and may pass 
off in a day or two, for I don't pretend to be extraordinarily 
steady in love affairs, and always had rather a roving eye ; 
and if I should happen to cool, by , you'll be in a nice 



2O2 The "Cock and Anchor" 

hobble. So I think yon had best take the ball at the hop- 
do you mind and make no mouths at your good fortune." 

Blarden paused, and looked at his huge ebased-gold watch 
again, and laid it on the table, as if to measure Ashwoode's 
deliberation by the minute. Meanwhile the young baronet 
had ample time to recollect the desperate pressure of his 
circumstances, which outraged pride had for a moment half 
obliterated from his mind, and the process of remembrance 
was in no small degree assisted by the heavy tread of the 
constable, distinctly audible from the hall. 

" Blarden," said Ashwoode, in a voice low and husky with 
agitation, "'she'll never consent you can't expect it: she'll 
never marry you." 

" I'm not talking of the girl's consent just now," replied 
Blarden : " I'm asking only for yours in the first place. Am 
I to understand that you're agreed ? " 

" Yes," replied Ashwoode, sullenly ; " what is there left to 
me, but to agree ? " 

"Then leave me alone to gain her consent," retorted 
Blarden, with a brutal smile. " I have a bit of a winning 
way with me a knack of my own for coming round a girl ; 
and if she don't yield to that, why we must only try another 
course. When love is wanting, obedience is the next best 
thing : although we can't charm her, she's no girl if we can't 
frighten her eh ? " 

Ashwoode was silent. 

"Now mind, I require your active co-operation," continued 
Blarden ; " there's to be no shamming. I'm no greenhorn, 
and know a loaded die from a fair one. It's not safe to try 
hocus pocus with me, and if I don't get the girl, of course 
you're no brother of mine, and must not expect me to forget 
the old score that's between us. Do you understand me? 
Unless you bring this marriage about, you must only take 
the consequences, and I promise you they'll be of the very 
ugliest possible description." 

"Agreed, agreed; talk no more of it just now," said Ash- 
woode, vehemently " we understand one another. To- 
morrow we may talk of it again ; meanwhile torment me no 
more ! " 

" Well, I have said my say," rejoined Blarden, " and have 
nothing more to do but to inform you, that I intend passing 
the night here, and, in short, to make a visit of a week or so, 
for it's right the young lady should have an opportunity of 
knowing my geography before she marries me ; and besides, 
I have heard a great account of old Sir Eichard's cellar. 
Chancey, do you tell my servant to bring my things up to the 
room that Sir Henry will point out. Sir Henry, you'll see 
about my room have a bit of fire in it see to it yourself, 



The Bargain. 203 

mind ; for do you mind, between ourselves, I think it's on 
the whole your better course to be uncommonly civil to me. 
Stir yourselves, gentlemen. And, Chaucey, hand Grimes his 
fee, and let him be off. We'll try a jug of your claret, Sir 
Henry, and a spatchcock, or some little thing of the kind, 
and then to our virtuous beds eh ? " 

After a carousal protracted to nearly three hours, during 
which Nickey Blarden treated his two companions to sundry 
ballads, and other vocal efforts somewhat more boisterous 
than elegant, and supplying frequent allusion, and not of the 
most delicate kind, to his contemplated change of condition, 
that interesting person proceeded somewhat unsteadily up- 
stairs to his bed-chamber. With a supicion, which even his 
tipsiness could not overcome, he jealously bolted the door 
upon the inside, and laid his sword and pistols upon the 
table by his bed, remembering that it was just possible that 
his entertainer might conceive an expeditious project for 
relieving himself of all his troubles, or at least the greater 
part of them. These pleasant precautions taken, Mr. Blarden 
undressed himself with all celerity and threw himself into 
bed. 

This gentleman's opinion of mankind was by no means 
exalted, nor at all complimentary to human nature. Utter, 
hardened selfishness he believed to be the master-passion of 
the human race, and any appeal which addressed itself to 
that, he looked upon as irresistible. In applying this rule to 
Sir Henry Ashwoode he happened, indeed, to be critically 
correct, for the young baronet was in very nearly all points 
fashioned precisely according to honest Nickey's standard of 
humanity. That gentleman experienced, therefore, no mis- 
givings as to his young friend's preferring at all hazards to 
remain at Morley Court, rather than quit the country, and 
enter upon a life of vagabond beggary. 

" No, no," thought Blarden, " he'll not take leg bail, just 
because he can gain nothing earthly by it now ; the only 
thing I can see that could serve him at all that is, supposing 
him to be against the match is to cut my throat ; however, 
I don't think he's wild enough to run that risk, and if he does 
try it, by , he'll have the worst of the game." 

Thus, after a day of unclouded triumph, did Mr. Blarden 
compose himself to light and happy slumbers. 



2O4 The "Cock and Anchor -." 



CHAPTER XL. 

DREAMS FIRST IMPRESSIONS THE MAN IN THE PLUM-COLOURED 

SUIT. 

THE sun shone cheerily through the casement of the quaint 
and pretty little chamber which called Mary Ashwoode its 
mistress. It was a fresh and sunny autumn morning ; the 
last leaves rustled on the boughs, and the thrush and black- 
bird sang their merry morning lays. Mary sat by the window, 
looking sadly forth upon the slopes and woods which caught 
the slanting beams of the ruddy sun. 

"I have passed, indeed, a very troubled night I have been 
haunted with strange and fearful dreams. I feel very sorrow- 
ful and uneasy indeed, indeed I do, Carey." 

"It's only the vapours, my lady," replied the maid; "a 
glass of orange-flower water and camphor is the sovereignest 
thing in the world for them." 

" Indeed, Carey,'' continued the young lady, still gazing 
sadly from the casement, " I know not why it is so a foolish 
dream, wild and most extravagant, yet still it will not leave 
me. I cannot shake off this fear and depression. I will run 
down stairs and talk with my dear brother that may cheer 
me." 

She arose, ran lightly down the stairs, and entered the 
parlour. The first object that met her gaze, standing full 
before her, was a large and singularly ill-looking man, arrayed 
in a suit of plum-coloured cloth, richly laced. It was Nicholas 
Blarden. With a vulgar swagger, half abashed and half 
impudent, the fellow acknowledged her entrance by retreating 
a little and making an awkward bow, while a smile and a leer, 
more calculated to frighten than to attract, lighted his coarse 
and swollen features. The girl looked at this object with a 
startled air, she felt that she had seen that sinister face before, 
but where or when whether waking or in a dream, she strove 
in vain to remember. 

" I say, Ashwoode, where's your manners ? " said Blarden, 
turning angrily towards the young baronet, who was scarcely 
less confounded at her sudden entrance than was the girl 
herself. " What do you stand gaping there for ? Don't you 
see the young lady wants to know who I am ? " 

Blarden followed this vehement exhortation with a look 
which at once recalled Ashwoode to his senses. 

" Mary," said he, approaching, " this is my particular friend, 
Mr. Nicholas Blarden. Mr. Blarden, my sister, Miss Mary 
Ashwoode." 

" Your most obedient humble servant, Mistress Mary," said 



Dreams. 205 

Blarden, with a gallant air. Wonderful beautiful weather ; 

d me, but it's like the middle of summer. I'm just going 

out to take a bit of a tramp among the bushes and lead god- 
desses," he added, not feeling, spite of all his effrontery, quite 
at his ease in the presence of the elegant and high-born girl ; 
and, more confounded and abashed by the simple dignity of 
her artless nature than he ever remembered to have been 
before, under any circumstances whatever, he made his exit 
from the chamber. 

" Who is that man ? " said the girl, drawing close to her 
brother's side, and clinging timidly to his arm. " His face is 
familiar to me I have seen or dreamed of it before ; it has 
been before me either in some troubled scene or dream. I 
feel frightened and oppressed when he is near me. Who is 
he, brother ? " 

" Pshaw ! nonsense, girl," said her brother, in vain attempt- 
ing to appear unconstrained and at his ease ; " he is a very 
good, honest fellow, not, as you see, the most polished in the 
world, but in essentials an excellent fellow ; you'll easily get 
over your antipathy his oddity of manner and appearance is 
soon forgotten, and in all other points he is an admirable 
fellow. Pshaw ! you have too much sense to hate a man for 
his face and manner." 

" I do not hate him, brother," said Mary, " how could I ? 
The man has never wronged me ; but there is something in his 
eye, in his air and expression, in his whole appearance, sinister 
and terrible something which oppresses and terrifies me. I 
can scarcely move or breathe in his presence. I only hope 
that I may never meet him so near again." 

" Your hope is not likely to be realized, then," replied Ash- 
woode, abruptly, " he makes a stay here of a week, or perhaps 
more." 

A silence followed, during which he revolved the expediency 
of hinting at once at the designs of Blarden. As he thus 
paused, moodily plotting how best to open the subject, the 
unconscious girl stood beside him, and, looking fondly in his 
face, she said, 

" Dear brother, you must not be so sad. When all's done, 
what have we lost but some of the wealth which we can spare ? 
We have still enough, quite enough. You shall live with your 
poor little sister, and I will take care of you, and read to you, 
and sing to you whenever you are sad ; and we will walk to- 
gether in the old green woods, and be far happier and merrier 
than ever we could have been in the midst of cold and heart- 
less luxury and dissipation. Brother, dear brother, when shall 
we go to Incharden ?" 

" I can't say ; I I don't know that we shall go there at all," 
replied he, shortly. 



206 The "Cock and Anchor." 

Deep disappointment clouded the poor girl's face for a 
moment, but as instantly the sweet smile returned, and she 
laid her hand affectionately upon her brother's shoulder, and 
looked in his face. 

" Well, dear brother, wherever you go, there is my home, 
and there I will be happy as happy as being with the only 
creature that cares for me now can make me. 3 ' 

" Perhaps there are others who care for you ay even 
more than I do," said the young man deliberately, and fixing 
his eyes upon her searchingly, as he spoke. 

" How, brother ; what do you mean ? " said the poor girl, 
faintly, and turning pale as death. " Have you seen have 

you heard from " She paused, trembling violently, and 

Ashwoode resumed, 

" No, no, child ; I have neither seen nor heard from anyone 
whom you know anything of. Why are you so agitated? 
Pshaw ! nonsense." 

" I know not how it is, brother ; I am depressed, and easily 
agitated to-day," rejoined she ; " perhaps it is that I cannot 
forget a fearful dream which troubled me last night." 

" Tut, tut, child," replied he ; "I thought you had other 
matters to think of.'' 

" And so I have, God knows, dear brother," resumed she 
" so I have ; but this dream haunted me long, and haunts me 
still ; it was about you. I dreamed that we were walking, 
lovingly, hand in hand, among the shady walks in this old 
place ; when, on a sudden, a great savage dog just like the 
old blood-hound you had shot last summer came, with open 
jaws and all its fangs exposed, springing towards us. I threw 
myself, terrified, into your arms, but you grasped me, with 
iron strength, and held me forth toward the frightful animal. 
I saw your face ; it was changed and horrible. I struggled I 
screamed and awakened, gasping with afright." 

"A silly, unmeaning dream," said Ashwoode, slightly 
changing colour, and turning from her. " You're not such a 
child, surely, as to let that trouble you." 

" No, indeed, brother," replied she, " I do not suffer it to 
trouble my mind; but it has fastened somehow upon my 
imagination, and spite of all I can do, the impression remains 

There there see that horrible man staring in at us, 

from behind the evergreens," she added, glancing at a large, 
tufted laurel, which partially screened the unprepossessing 
form of Nicholas Blarden, who was intently watching the 
youthful pair as they conversed. Perhaps conscious that he 
had been observed, he quitted his lurking-place, and plunged 
deeper into the thick screen of foliage. 

" Dear Henry," said she, turning imploringly toward her 
brother, " there is something about that man which frightens 






Dreams. 207 

me ; my heart sickens whenever I see him. I feel like some 
poor bird under the eye of a hawk. I do not feel safe when 
he is looking at me ; there is some evil influence in his gaze 
something bad, satanic, in his look and presence ; I dread 
him instinctively. For God's sake, dear, dear brother, do not 
keep company with him he will harm you it cannot lead to 
good." 

"This is mere folly downright raving," said Ashwoode, 
vehemently, but with an uneasiness which he could not con- 
ceal. " He is my guest, and will remain so for some weeks. I 
must be civil to him both of us must." 

" Surely, dear brother after all I have said you will not 
ask me to associate with him during his stay, since stay he 
must," urged Mary. 

" We ought not to consult our whims at the expense of 
civility," retorted the baronet, drily. 

" But surely my presence is not required," urged she. 

" You cannot tell how that may be," replied Ashwoode, 
abruptly, and then added, abstractedly, as he walked slowly 
towards the door: "We often speak, we know not what; we 
often stand, we know not where necessity, fate, destiny 
whatever is, must be. Let this be our philosophy, Mary." 

Wholly at a loss to comprehend this incoherent speech, his 
sister remained silent for some minutes. 

" Well, child, how say you P " exclaimed Ashwoode, turning 
suddenly round. 

" Dear brother," said she, " I would fain not meet that man 
any more while he remains here. You will not ask me to 
come down." 

" A truce to this folly," exclaimed Ashwoode, with loud and 
sudden emphasis. " You must you must, I say, appear at 
breakfast, at dinner, and at supper. You must see Blarden, 
and talk with him he's my friend you must know him." 
Then checking himself, he added, in a less vehement tone 
" Mary, don't act like a fool you are none : these silly fancies 
must not be indulged remember, he's my friend. There, 
there, be a good girl no more folly." 

He came over, patted her cheek, and then turned abruptly 
from her, and left the room. His parting caress, however, 
was not sufficient to obliterate the painful impression which 
his momentary violence had left, for in that brief space of 
angry excitement his countenance had worn the self-same 
sinister expression which had appalled her in her last night's 
dream. 



208 The ( ' Cock and A nchor" 



CHAPTER XLL 

OF O'CONNOR AND A CERTAIN TRAVELLING ECCLESIASTIC AND 
HOW THE DARKNESS OVERTOOK THEM. 



IT has become necessary, in order to a clear and chronologi- 
cally arranged exposition of events to return for a little while 
to our melancholy young friend, Edmond O'Connor, who, 
with his faithful squire, Larry Toole, following in close atten- 
dance upon his progress, was now returning from a last visit 
to the poor fragment of his patrimony, the wreck of his father's 
fortunes, and which consisted of a few hundred acres of wild 
woodland, surrounding a small square tower half gone to 
decay, and bidding fair to become in a few years a mere roof- 
less ruin. He had seen the few retainers of his family who 
still remained, and bidden them a last farewell, and was now 
far in his second day's leisurely journey toward the city of 
Dublin. 

The sun was fast declining among the rich and glowing 
clouds of an autumnal evening, and pouring its melancholy 
lustre upon the woods and the old towers of Leixlip, as the 
young man rode into that ancient town. How different were 
his present feelings from those with which he had last 
traversed the quiet little village then his bright hopes and 
cheery fancies had tinged every object vhe looked on with their 
own warm and happy colouring ; but now, alas ! how mournful 
the reverse. With the sweet illusions he had so fondly 
cherished had vanished all the charm of all he saw ; the scene 
was disenchanted now, and all seemed coloured in the sombre 
and chastened hues of his own deep melancholy ; the river, 
with all its brawling falls and windings, filled his ear with 
plaintive harmonies, and all its dancing foam-bells, that 
chased one another down its broad eddies, glancing in the 
dim, discoloured light of the evening sun, seemed but so 
many images of the wayward courses and light illusions of 
human hope ; even the old ivy-mantled towers, as he looked 
upon their time-worn front, seemed to have suffered a cen- 
tury's decay since last he beheld them ; every scene that met 
his eye, and every sound that floated to his ear on the still 
air of evening, was alike charged with sadness. 

At a slow pace, and with a heart oppressed, he passed the 
little town, and soon its trees, and humble roofs, and blue 
curling smoke were left far behind him. He had proceeded 
more than a mile when the sun descended, and the dusky 



A Certain Travelling Ecclesiastic. 209 

twilight began to deepen. He spurred his horse, and at a 
rate more suited to the limited duration of the little light 
which remained, he rode at a sharp trot along the uneven 
way toward Dublin. He had not proceeded far at this rate 
when he overtook a gentleman on horseback, who was list- 
lessly walking his steed in the same direction, and who, on 
seeing a cavalier thus wending his way on the same route, 
either with a view to secure good company upon the road, or 
for some other less obvious purpose, spurred on also, and 
took his place by the side of our young friend. O'Connor 
looked upon his uninvited companion with a jealous eve, for 
his right adventure of a few months since was forcibly re- 
called to his memory by the circumstances of his present 
situation. The person who rode by his side was, as well as 
he could descry, a tall, lank man, with a hooked nose, heavy 
brows, and sallow complexion, having something grim and 
ascetic in the character of his face. After turning slightly 
twice or thrice towards O'Connor, as if doubtful whether 
to address him, the stranger at length accosted the young 
man. 

" A fair evening this, sir," said he, " and just cool enough 
to make a brisk ride pleasant." 

O'Connor assented drily, and without waiting for a renewal 
of the conversation, spurred his horse into a canter, with the 
intention of leaving his new companion behind. That per- 
sonage was not, however, so easily to be shaken off; he, in 
turn, put his horse to precisely the same pace, and remarked 
composedly, 

" I see, sir, you wish to make the most of the light we've 
left us ; dark riding, they say, is dangerous riding hereabout. 
I suppose you ride for the city? " 

O'Connor made no answer. 

" I presume you make Dublin yonr halting-place ? " re- 
peated the man. 

"You are at liberty, sir," replied O'Connor, somewhat 
sharply, " to presume what you please ; I have good reasons, 
however, for not caring to bandy words with strangers. 
Where I rest for the night cannot concern anybody but 
myself." 

"No offence, sir no offence meant," replied the man, in 
the same even tone, " and I hope none taken." 

A silence of some minutes ensued, during which O'Connor 
suddenly slackened his horse's pace to a walk. The stranger 
made a corresponding alteration in that of his. 

" Your pace, sir, is mine," observed the stranger. " We 
may as well breathe our beasts a little." 

Another pause followed, which was at length broken by 
the stranger's observing, 

P 



2 1 o The "Cock and A nchor" 

"A lucky chance, in truth. A comrade is an important 
acquisition in such a ride as ours promises to be." 

" I already have one of my own choosing," replied O'Connor 
drily ; " I ride attended." 

" And so do I," continued the other, " and doubtless our 
trusty squires are just as happy in the reuconter as are their 
masters." 

A considerable silence ensued, which at length was broken 
by the stranger. 

" Your reserve, sir," said he, " as well as the hour at which 
you travel, leads me to conjecture that we are both bound on 
the same errand. Am I understood ? " 

" You must speak more plainly if you would be so," replied 
O'Connor. 

"Well, then," resumed he, "I half believe that we shall 
meet to-night where it is no sin to speak loyalty." 

" Still, sir, you leave me in the dark as to your meaning," 
replied O'Connor. 

" At a certain well of sweet water," said the man with 
deliberate significance " is it not so eh am I right P " 

"No, sir," replied O'Connor, "your sagacity is at fault; 
or else, it may be, your wit is too subtle, or mine too dull ; 
for, if your conjectures be correct, I cannot comprehend 
your meaning nor indeed is it very important that I 
should." 

" Well, sir," replied he, " I am seldom wrong when I 
hazard a guess of this kind ; but no matter if we meet we 
shall be better friends, I promise you." 

They had now reached the little town of Chapelizod, and 
darkness had closed in. At the door of a hovel, from which 
streamed a strong red light, the stranger drew his bridle, and 
called for a cup of water. A ragged urchin brought it forth. 

"Pax Domini vobiscum" said the stranger, restoring the 
vessel, and looking upward steadfastly for a minute, as if in 
mental prayer, he raised his hat, and in doing so exhibited 
the monkish tonsure upon his head; and as he sate there 
motionless upon his horse, with his sable cloak wrapped in 
ample folds about him, and the strong red light from the 
hovel door falling upon his thin and well-marked features, 
bringing into strong relief the prominences of his form and 
attire, and shining full upon the drooping head of the tired 
steed which he bestrode this equestrian figure might have 
furnished no unworthy study for the pencil of Schalken. 

In a few minutes they were again riding side by side along 
the street of the straggling little town. 

" I perceive, sir," said O'Connor, " that you are a clergy- 
man. Unless this dim light deceives me, I saw the tonsure 
when you raised your hat just now." 



A Certain Travelling Ecclesiastic. 2 1 1 

"Your eyes deceived you not I am one of a religious 
order," replied the man, " and perchance not on that account 
a more acceptable companion to you." 

" Indeed you wrong me, reverend sir," said O'Connor. 
" I owe you an apology for receiving your advances as I 
have done ; but experience has taught me caution ; and until 
I know something of those whom I encounter on the highway, 
I hold with them as little communication as I can well avoid. 
So far from being the less acceptable a companion to me by 
reason of your sacred office, believe me, you need no better 
recommendation. I am myself an humble child of the true 
Church ; and her ministers have never claimed respect from me 
in vain." 

The priest looked searchingly at the young man ; but the 
light afforded but an imperfect scrutiny. 

" You say, sir," rejoined he after a pause, " that you 
acknowledge our father of Rome that you are one of those 
who eschew heresy, and cling constantly to the old true 
faith that you are free from the mortal taint of Protestant 
infidelity." 

" That do I with my whole heart," rejoined O'Connor. 

" Are you, moreover, one of those who still look with a holy 
confidence to the return of better days ? When the present 
order of things, this usurped government and abused autho- 
rity, shall pass away like a dark dream, and fly before the 
glory of returning truth. Do you look for the restoration of 
the royal heritage to its rightful owner, and of these afflicted 
countries to the bosom of mother Church ? " 

" Happy were I to see these things accomplished," rejoined 
O'Connor ; " but I hold their achievement, except by the in- 
tervention of Almighty Providence, impossible. Methinks we 
have in Ireland neither the spirit nor the power to do it. The 
people are heartbroken ; and so far from coming to the field 
in this quarrel, they dare not even speak of it above their 
breath." 

"Young man, you speak as one without understanding. 
You know not this people of Ireland of whom you speak. 
Believe me, sir, the spirit to right these things is deep and 
strong in the bosoms of the people. What though they do 
not cry aloud in agony for vengeance, are they therefore 
content, and at their heart's ease ? 

" * Quamvis tacet Herrnogenes, cantor taraen atque, 
Optimus est modulator.' 

Their silence is not dumbness you shall hear them speak 
plainly yet." 

"Well, it may be so," rejoined O'Connor; "but be the 
p 2 



2 1 2 The "Cock and A nchor" 

people ever so willing, another difficulty arises where are the 
men to lead them on ? who are they ? " 

The priest again looked quickly and suspiciously at the 
speaker ; but the gloom prevented his discerning the features 
of his companion. He became silent perhaps half-repenting 
his momentary candour, and rode slowly forward by O'Connor's 
side, until they had reached the extremity of the town. The 
priest then abruptly said, 

"I find, sir, I have been wrong in my conjecture. Our 
paths at this point diverge, I believe. You pursue your way 
by the river's side, and I take mine to the left. Do not follow 
me. If you be what you represent yourself, my command 
will be sufficient to prevent your doing so ; if otherwise, I ride 
armed, and can enforce what I conceive necessary to my 
safety. Farewell." 

And so saying, the priest turned his horse's head in the 
direction which he had intimated, rode up the steep ascent 
which loomed over the narrow level by the river's side; and 
his dark form quickly disappeared beyond the brow of the 
dusky hill. O'Connor's eyes instinctively followed the re- 
treating figure of his companion, until it was lost in the pro- 
found darkness ; and then looking back for any dim intimation 
of the presence of his trusty follower, he beheld nothing but 
the dark void. He listened ; but no sound of horse's hoofs 
betokened pursuit. He shouted he called upon his squire by 
name ; but all in vain ; and at length, after straining his voice 
to its utmost pitch for six or ten minutes without eliciting 
any other reply than the prolonged barking of halt" the village 
curs in Chapelizod, he turned away, and pursued his course 
alone, consoling himself with the reflection that his attendant 
was at least as well acquainted with the way as was he him- 
self, and that he could not fail to reach the " Cock and 
A.nchor" whenever he pleased to exert himself for the pur- 
pose. 



CHAPTER XLII. 

THE SQUIRES. 

O'CONNOR had scarcely been joined by the priest, when Larry 
Toole, who jogged quietly on, pipe in mouth, behind his master, 
was accosted by his reverence's servant, a stout, clean-limbed 
fellow, arrayed in blue frieze, who rode a large, ill-made horse, 
and bumped listlessly .along at that easy swinging jog at 



The Squires. 213 

which our southern farmers are wont to ride. The fellow had 
a shrewd eye, and a pleasant countenance withal to look upon, 
and might be in years some five or six and thirty. 

" God save you, neighbour," said he. 

" God save you kindly," rejoined Mr. Toole graciously. 

" A plisint evenin' for a quiet bit iv a smoke," rejoined the 
stranger. 

*' None better," rejoined Larry, scanning the stranger's 
proportions, to see whether, in his own phrase, " he liked his 
cut." The scrutiny evidently resulted favourably, for Larry 
removed his pipe, and handing it to his new acquaintance, 
observed courteously, " Maybe you'd take a draw, neighbour." 

" I thank you kindly," said the stranger, as he transferred 
the utensil from Larry's mouth to his own. " It's turning 
cowld, I think. I wish to the Lord we had a dhrop iv some- 
thing to warm us," observed he, speaking out of the unoccupied 
corner of his mouth. 

" We'll be in Chapelizod, plase God," said Larry Toole, 
" in half an hour, an' if ould Tim Delany isn't gone undher 
the daisies, maybe we won't have a taste iv his best." 

" Are you follyin' that gintleman ? " inquired the stranger, 
with his pipe indicating O'Connor, " that gintleman that the 
masther is talking to ? " 

" I am so," rejoined Larry promptly, " an' a good gintle- 
man he is ; an' that's your masther there. What sort is he ? " 

" Oh, good enough, as masthers goes no way surprisin' 
one way or th' other." 

" Where are you goin* to ? " pursued Larry. 

" I never axed, bedad," rejoined the man, " only to folly on, 
wherever he goes an' divil a hair I care where that is. What 
way are you two goin' ? " 

" To Dublin, to be sure," rejoined Larry. " I wisht we wor 
there now. What the divil makes him ride so unaiqual 
sometimes cantherin', and other times mostly walkin' it's 
mighty nansinsical, so it is." 

" By gorra, I don't know, anless fancy alone," rejoined the 
stranger. 

"Here's your pipe," continued he, after some pause, "an' I 
thank you kindly, misther misther how's this they call 
you? " 

" Misther Larry Toole is the name I was christened by," 
rejoined the gentleman so interrogated. 

"An' a rale illegant name it is," replied the stranger. 
" The Tooles is a royal family, an' may the Lord restore them 
to their rights." 

" Amen, bedad," rejoined Larry devoutly. 

"My name's Ned Mollowney," continued he, anticipating 
Larry's interrogatory, "from the town of Ballydun, the 



2 1 4 The " Cock and A nchor? ' 

plisintest spot in the beautiful county iv Tipperary. There 
isn't it's aquil out for fine men and purty girls." Larry 
sighed. 

The conversation then took that romantic turn which best 
suited the melancholy chivalry of Larry's mind, after which 
ihe current of their mutual discoursing, by the attraction of 
irresistible association, led them, as they approached the little 
village, once more into suggestive commentaries upon the 
bitter cold, and sundry pleasant speculations respecting the 
creature comforts which awaited them under Tim Delany's 
genial roof-tree. 

" The holy saints be praised," said Ned Mollowney, " we're 
in the village at last. The tellin' iv stories is the dhryest 
work that ever a boy tuck in hand. My mouth is like a 
cindher all as one." 

" Tim Delany's is the second house beyant that wind in the 
street," said Larry, pointing down the road as they advanced. 
" We'll jist get down for a minute or two, an' have somethin' 
warrum by the fire ; we'll overtake the gintlemen asy 
enough." 

" I'm agreeable, Mr. Toole," said the accommodating Ned 
Mollowney. " Let the gintlemen take care iv themselves. 
They're come to an age when they ought to know what they're 
about." 

" This is it," said Larry, checking his horse before a low 
thatched house, from whose doorway the cheerful light was 
gleaming upon the bushes opposite. 

The two worthies dismounted, and entered the humble place 
of entertainment. Tim Delany's company was singularly 
fascinating, and his liquor was, if possible, more so besides, 
the evening was chill, and his hearth blazed with a fire, the 
very sight of which made the blood circulate freely, and the 
finger-tops grow warm. Larry Toole was prepossessed in 
favour of Ned Mollowney, and Ned Mollowney had fallen in 
love with Larry Toole, so that it is hardly to be wondered at 
that the two gentlemen yielded to the combined seduction of 
their situation, and seated themselves snugly by the fire, each 
with his due allowance of stimulating liquor, and with a very 
vague and uncertain kind of belief in the likelihood of their 
following their masters respectively until they had made them- 
selves particularly comfortable. It was not until after nearly 
two hours of blissful communion with his delectable companion, 
that Larry Tooie suddenly bethought him of the fact that he 
had allowed his master, at the lowest calculation, time enough 
to have ridden to and from the " Cock and Anchor " at least 
half a dozen times. He, therefore, hurriedly bade good-night, 
with many a fond vow of eternal friendship for the two com- 
panions of his princely revelry, mounted his horse with some 



The Squires. 215 

little difficulty, and becoming every moment more and more 
confused, and less and less perpendicular, found himself at 
length with an indistinct remembrance of having had several 
hundred falls upon every possible part of his body, and upon 
every possible geological substance, from soft alluvial mud up 
to plain lime-stone, during the c >urse of his progress within 
the brick precincts of the city. The horse, with an instinctive 
contempt for Mr. Toole's judgment, wholly disregarded that 
gentleman's vehement appeals to the bridle, and quietly pur- 
sued his well-known way to the hostelry of the " Cock and 
Anchor." 

Our honest friend had hardly dismounted, which he did 
with one eye closed, and a hiccough, and a happy smile which 
mournfully contrasted with his filthy and battered condition, 
when he at once became absolutely insensible, from which con- 
dition he did not recover till next morning, when he found 
himself partially in bed, quite undressed, with the exception 
of his breeches, boots, and spurs, which he had forgotten to 
remove, and which latter, along with his feet, he had deposited 
upon the pillow, allowing his head to slope gently downward 
towards the foot of the bed. 

As soon as Mr. Toole had ascertained where he was, and 
begun to recollect how he came there, he removed his legs 
from the pillow, and softly slid upon the floor. His first 
solicitude was for his clothes, the spattered and villainous 
condition of which appalled him ; his next was to endeavour 
to remember whether or not his master had witnessed his 
weakness. Absorbed in this severe effort of memory, he sat 
upon the bedside, gazing upon the floor, and scratching his 
head, when the door opened, and his friend the groom entered 
the chamber. 

" I say, old gentleman, you've been having a little bit of a 
spree," observed he, gazing pleasantly upon the disconsolate 
figure of the little man, who sat in his shirt and jack-boots, 
staring at him with a woe- begone and bewildered air. " Why, 
you had a bushel of mud about your body when you came in, 
and no hat at all. Well, you had a pleasant night of it 
there's no denying that." 

" No hat ; " said Larry desolately. " It isn't possible I 
dropped my hat off my head unknownest. Bloody wars, my 
hat ! is it gone in airnest ? " 

" Yes, young gentleman, you came here bareheaded. The 
hat is gone, and that's a fact," replied the groom. 

" I thought my coat was bad enough ; but oh ! blur-anagers, 
my hat ! " ejaculated Larry with abandonment. " Bad luck 
go with the liquor tare-an-ouns, my hat ! " 

" There's a shoe off the horse," observed the groom; "and 
the seat is gone out of your breeches as clean as if it never 



216 The "Cock and Anchor." 

was in it. Well, but yon had a pleasant evening of it you 
had." 

"An' my breeches desthroyed ruined beyant cure! See, 
Tom Berry, take a blundherbuz, will you, and put me out of 
pain at wonst. My breeches ! Oh, divil go with the liquor ! 
Holy Moses, is it possible ? my breeches ! " 

In an agony of contrition and desperate remorse, Larry 
Toole clasped his hands over his eyes and remained for some 
minutes silent ; at length he said 

" An' what did the masther say ? Don't be keeping me in 
pain out with it at wonst." 

" What master ? " inquired the groom. 

" What masther? " echoed Mr. Toole" why Mr. O'Connor, 
to be sure." 

" I'm sure I can't say," replied the man ; " I have not seen 
him this month." 

" Wasn't he here before me last night ? " inquired the little 
man. 

" No, nor after neither," replied his visitor. 

" Do you mane to tell me that he's not in the house at all ? " 
interrogated Mr. Toole. 

"Yes," replied he, "Mr. O'Connor is not in the house; 
the horse did not cross the yard this month. Will that do 
you?" 

" Be the hoky," said Larry, " that's exthramely quare. But 
are you raly sure and quite sartin ? " 

" Yes, I tell you yes," replied he. 

" Well, well," said Mr. Toole, " but that puts me to the 
divil's rounds to undherstand it not come at all. What 
in the world's gone with him not come where else could 
he go to? Begorra, the whole iv the occurrences iv last 
night is a blaggard mysthery. What the divil's gone with 
him where is he at all ? why couldn't he wait a bit for me 
an 5 I'd iv tuck the best care iv him ? but gintlemen is 
always anruly. What the divil's keepin' him ? I wouldn't 
be surprised if he made a baste iv himself in some public- 
house last night. A man ought never to take a dhrop more 
than jist what makes him plisant bad luck to it. Lend me 
a breeches, an' I'll pray for you all the rest of my days. I 
must go out at wonst an' look for him ; maybe he's at Mr. 
Audley's lodgings ay, sure enough, it's there he is. Bad 
luck to the liquor. Why the divil did I let him go alone ? 
Oh ! sweet bad luck to it," he continued in fierce anguish, 
as he held up the muddy wreck of his favourite coat before 
his aching eyes " my elegant coat bad luck to it again 
an' my beautiful hat once more bad luck to it; an' my 
breeches oh ! it's fairly past bearin' my elegant breeches ! 
Bad luck to it for a threacherous drop an' the masther lost, 



The Wild Wood. 

and no one knows what's done with him. Up with that 
poker, I tell you, and blow my brains out at once ; there's 
nothing before me in this life but the divil's own delight 
finish me, I tell you, and let me rest in the shade. I'll never 
hould up my head again, there's no use in purtendin'. Oh ! 
bad luck to the dhrink ! " 

In this distracted frame of mind did Larry continue for 
nearly an hour, after which, with the aid of some contribu- 
tions from the wardrobe of honest Tom Berry, he clothed 
himself, and went forth in quest of his master. 



CHAPTER XLIII. 

THE WILD WOOD THE OLD MANSION-HOUSE OF FINISKEA 
SECRETS, AND A SURPRISE. 

O'CONNOR pursued his way towards the city, following the 
broken horse-track, which then traversed the low grounds 
which lie upon the left bank of the Liffey. The Phoenix Park, 
or, as it was then called, the Koyal Park, was at the time 01 
which we write a much wilder place than it now is. There 
were no trim plantations nor stately clumps of tufted trees, 
no signs of care or culture. Broad patches of shaggy thorn 
spread with little interruption over the grounds, and regular 
roads were then unknown. The darkness became momentarily 
deeper and more deep as O'Connor pursued his solitary way ; 
and the difficulty of proceeding grew every instant greater, 
for the heavy rains had interrupted his path with deep sloughs 
and pools, which became at length so frequent, and so difficult 
of passage, that he was fain to turn from the ordinary track, 
and seek an easier path along the high grounds which over- 
hang the river. The close screen of the wild gnarled thorns 
which covered the upper level on which he now moved, still 
further deepened the darkness ; and he became at length so 
entirely involved in the pitchy glcom, that lie dismounted, and 
taking his horse by the head, led him forward through the 
tangled brake, and under the knotted branches of the old 
hoary thorns, stumbling among the briers and the crooked 
roots, and every moment encountering the sudden obstruction, 
either of some stooping branch, or the trunk of one of the old 
trees; so that altogether his progress was as tedious and un- 
pleasant as it well could be. His annoyance became the 
greater as he proceeded ; for he was so often compelled to turn 
aside, and change his course, to avoid these interruptions, 
that in the utter darkness he began to grow entirely uncertain 



The "Cock and Anchor?' 

whether or not he was moving in the right direction. The 
more he paused, and the of tener he reflected, the more entirely 
puzzled and bewildered did he become. Glad indeed would 
he have been that he had followed the track upon which he 
had at first entered, and run the hazard of all the sloughs 
and pools which crossed it ; but he was now embarked in 
another route ; and even had he desired it, so perplexed was 
he, that he could not have effected his retreat. Fully alive 
to the ridiculousness, as well as the annoyance of his situation, 
he slowly and painfully stumbled forward, conscious that if 
only he could move for half an hour or thereabout consistently 
in the same direction, he must disengage himself in some 
quarter or another from the entanglement in which he was 
involved. In vain he looked round him ; nothing but entire 
darkness encountered him. In vain he listened for any 
sound which might intimate the neighbourhood of any living 
thing. Nothing but the hushed soughing of the evening 
breeze through the old boughs was audible ; and he was 
forced to continue his route in the same troublesome uncer- 
tainty. 

At length he saw, or thought he saw, a red light gleaming 
through the trees. It disappeared it came again. He 
stopped, uncertain whether it was one of those fitful marsh- 
fires which but mock the perplexity of benighted travellers ; 
but no this light shone clearly, and with a steady beam, 
through the branches ; and towards it he directed his steps, 
losing it now, and again recovering it, till at length, after a 
longer probation than he had at first expected, he gained a 
clear space of ground, intersected only by a few broken 
hedges and ditches, but free from the close wood which had 
so entirely darkened his advance. In this position he was 
enabled to discern that the light which had guided him 
streamed from the window of an old shattered house, partially 
surrounded by a dilapidated wall, having a few ruinous out- 
houses attached to it. In this building he beheld the old 
mansion-house of Finiskea, which then occupied the ground 
on which at present stands the powder-magazine, and which, 
by a slight alteration in sound, though without any analogy 
in meaning, has given its name to the Phoenix Park. The 
light streamed through the diamond panes of a narrow case- 
ment ; and still leading his horse, O'Connor made his way 
over the broken fences towards the old house. As he ap- 
proached, he perceived several figures moving to and fro in 
the chamber from which the light issued, and detected, or 
thought he did so, among them the remarkable form of the 
priest who had lately been his companion upon the road. As 
he advanced, someone inside drew a curtain across the window, 
though, as O'Connor conjectured, wholly unaware of his 



The Wild Wood. 21 9 

approach, and thus precluded any further reconnoitering on 
his part. 

" At all events," thought he, " they can spare me some one 
to put me upon my way. They can hardly complain if I 
intrude upon such an errand." 

With this reflection, he led his horse round the corner of 
the building to the door, which was sheltered by a small porch 
roofed with tiles. By the faint light, which in the open space 
made objects partially discernible, he perceived two men, as it 
appeared to him, fast asleep half sitting and half lying on 
the low step of the door. He had just come near enough to 
accost them, when, somewhat to his surprise, he was seized 
from behind in a powerful grip, and his arms pinioned to his 
sides. A single antagonist he would easily have shaken off; 
but a reinforcement was at hand. 

"Up, boys be stirring open the door," cried the hoarse 
voice of the person who held" O'Connor. 

The two figures started to their feet ; their strength, com- 
bined with the efforts of his first assailant, effectually mastered 
O'Connor, and one of them shoved the door open. 

" Pretty watch you keep," said he, as the party hurried 
their prisoner, wholly without the power of resistance, into 
the house. 

Three or four powerful, large- limbed fellows, well armed, 
were seated in the hall, and arose on his entrance. O'Connor 
saw that resistance against such odds were idle, and resolved 
patiently to submit to the issue, whatever it might be. 

" Gentlemen that's caught peeping is sometimes made to see 
more than they have a mind to," observed one of O'Connor's 
conductors. 

Another removed his sword, and having satisfied himself 
that he had not any other weapon upon his person, ob- 
served, 

"You may let his elbows loose ; but jist keep him tight by 
the collar." 

" Let the gentlemen know there's a bird limed," observed 
the first speaker ; and one of the others passed from the narrow 
hall to execute the mission. 

After some little delay, O'Connor, who awaited the result with 
more of curiosity and impatience than of alarm, was conducted 
by two of the armed men who had secured him through a 
large passage terminating in a chamber, which they also 
traversed, and by a second door at its far extremity found 
entrance into a rude but spacious apartment, floored with 
tiles, and with a low ceiling of dark plank, supported by 
ponderous beams. A large wood fire burned in the hearth, 
beside which some half dozen men were congregated ; several 
others were seated by a massive table, on which were writing 



220 The "Cock and Anchor'' 

materials, with which two or three of them were busily em- 
ployed ; a number of open letters were also strewn upon it, 
and here and there a brace of horse-pistols or a carbine 
showed that the party felt neither very secure, nor very 
much disposed to surrender without a struggle, should their 
worst anticipations be realized, in any attempt to surprise 
them. 

Most of those who were present bore, in their disordered 
dress and mud-soiled boots, the evidence of recent travel. 
They were lighted chiefly by the broad, uncertain gleam of 
the blazing wood fire, in which the misty flame of two or three 
wretched candles which burned upon the table shone pale and 
dim as the last stars of night in the red dawn of an autumnal 
sun. In this strong and ruddy light the groups of figures, 
variously attired, some seated by the table, and others stand- 
ing with their ample cloaks still folded around them, acquired 
by the contrast of broad light and shade a character of 
picturesqueness which had in it something wild and imposing. 
This singular tableau occupied the further end of the room, 
which was one of considerable length, and as the prisoner was 
led forward to the bar of the tribunal, those who composed it 
eyed him sternly and fixedly. 

" Bind his hands fast," said a lean and dark-featured man, 
with a singularly forbidding aspect and a deep, stern voice, 
who sat at the head of the table with a pile of papers beside 
him. Spite of O'Connor's struggles, the order was speedily 
executed, and with such good-will that the blood almost 
started from his nails. 

" Now, sir," continued the same speaker, " who are you, 
and what may your errand be ? " 

" Before I answer your questions you must satisfy me that 
you have authority to ask them," replied O'Connor. " "Who, 
I pray, are you, who dare to seize the person, and to bind the 
limbs of a free man? I shall know this ere one of your 
questions shall have a reply." 

" I have seen you, young sir, before scarce an hour since," 
observed one of those who stood by the hearth. " Look at me, 
and say do you remember my features ? " 

" I do," replied O'Connor, who had no difficulty in recog- 
nizing those of the priest who had parted from him so abruptly 
on that evening " of course I recollect your face ; we rode 
side by side from Leixlip to-day." 

" You recollect my caution too you cannot have forgotten 
that," continued the priest, menacingly. " You know how 
peremptorily I warned you against following me, yet you have 
dogged me here ; on your own head be the consequences the 
fool shall perish in his folly." 

" I have not dogged you here, sir," replied O'Connor ; " I 






The Wild Wood. 221 

seek my way to Dublin. The river banks are so soft that a 
horse had better swim than seek to keep them ; I therefore 
took the upper ground, and after losing myself among the 
woods, at length saw a light, reached it, and here I am." 

The priest heard the statement with a sinister smile. 

"A truce to these inventions, sir," said he. "It is indeed 
possible that you speak the truth, but it is in the highest 
degree probable that you lie ; it is, in a word, plain satis- 
factorily plain, that you followed me hither, as I suspected 
you might have done; you have dogged me, sir, and you 
have seen all that you sought to behold ; you have seen my 
place of destination and my company. I care not with what 
motive you have acted that is between yourself and your 
Maker. If you are a spy, which I shrewdly suspect, Pro- 
vidence has defeated your treason, and punished the traitor; 
if mere curiosity impelled you, you will remember that ill- 
directed curiosity was the sin which brought death upon man- 
kind, and cease to wonder that its fruits may be bitter to 
yourself. What say you, young man ? " 

" I have told you plainly how I happened to reach this 
place," replied O'Connor ; " I have told you once I will 
repeat the statement no more ; and once again I ask, on what 
authority you question me, and dare thus to bind my hands 
and keep me here against my will ? ' 

"Authority sufficient to satisfy our own consciences," re- 
joined the priest. "The responsibility rests not upon you; 
enough it is for you to know that we have the power to detain 
you, and that we exercise that power, as we most probably 
shall another, still less conducive to your comfort." 

" You have the power to make me captive, I admit," 
rejoined O'Connor "you have the power to murder me, 
as you threaten, but though power to keep or kill is all the 
justification a robber or a bravo needs, methinks such an 
argument should hardly satisfy a consecrated minister of 
Christ." 

The expression with which the priest regarded the young 
man grew blacker and more truculent at this rebuke, and 
after a silence of a few seconds he replied, 

" We are doubly authorized in what we do ay, trebly 
warranted, young traitor. God Almighty has given us the 
instinct of self-defence, which in a righteous cause it is laud- 
able to consult and indulge ; the Church, too, tells us in these 
times to deal strictly with the malignant persecutors of God's 
truth; and lastly, we have a royal warranty the authority 
of the rightful king of these realms, investing us with powers 
to deal summarily with rebels and traitors. Let this satisfy 
you." 

" I honour the king," rejoined O'Connor, " as truly as any 



222 The " Cock and A nchor! ' 

man here, seeing that my father lost all in the service of his 
illustrious sire, but I need some more satisfactory assurance 
of his delegated authority than the bare assertion of a violent 
man, of whom I know absolutely nothing, and until you show 
me some instrument empowering you to act thus, I will not 
acknowledge your competency to subject me to an examina- 
tion, and still resolutely protest against your detaining me 
here." 

" You refuse, then, to answer our questions ? " said the 
hard-featured little person who sat at the far end of the 
table. 

" Until you show authority to put them, I peremptorily do 
refuse to answer them," replied the young man. 

The little person looked expressively at the priest, who 
appeared to hold a high influence among the party. He 
answered the look by saying, 

"His blood be upon his own head." 

" Nay, not so fast, holy father ; let us debate upon this 
matter for a few minutes, ere we execute sentence," said a 
singularly noble-looking man who stood beside the priest. 
" Remove the prisoner," he added, with a voice of command, 
" and keep him strictly guarded." 

" Well, be it so," said he, reluctantly. 

The little man who sat at the head of the table made a 
gesture to those who guarded O'Connor, and the order thus 
given and sanctioned was at once carried into execution. 



CHAPTER XLIV. 

THE DOOM. 

THE young man was conveyed from the chamber by his two 
athletic conductors, the door closed upon the deliberations of 
the stern tribunal who were just about to debate upon the 
question of his life or death, and he was led round the corner 
of a lobby, a few steps from the chamber where his judges 
sat ; a stout door in the wall was pushed open and he himself 
thrust through it into a cold, empty apartment, in perfect 
darkness, and the door shut and barred behind him. 

Here, in solitude and darkness, the horrors of his situation 
rushed upon him with tremendous and overwhelming reality. 
His life was in the hands of fierce and relentless men, by 
whom, he had little doubt, he was already judged and con- 
demned; bound and helpless, he must await, without the 
power of hastening or of deferring bis fate by a single minute, 




He made his way to the aperture 



To face page 223. 



The Doom. 223 

the cold-blooded deliberations of the conclave who sat within. 
Unable even to hear the progress of the debate on whose 
result his life was suspended, a faint and dizzy sickness came 
upon him, and the cold dew burst from every pore ; ghastly, 
shapeless images of horror hurried with sightless speed across 
his mind, and his brain throbbed with the fearful excitement 
of madness. With a desperate effort he roused his energies ; 
but what could human ingenuity, even sharpened by the pre- 
sence of urgent and terrific danger, suggest or devise ? His 
hands were firmly bound behind his back ; in vain he tugged 
with all his strength, in the fruitless hope of disengaging the 
cords which crushed them together. He groaned in downright 
agony as, strength and hope exhausted, he gave up the des- 
perate attempt ; nothing then could be done ; there remained 
for him no hope no chance. In this horrible condition he 
walked with slow steps to and fro in the dark chamber, in 
vain endeavouring to compose his terrible agitation. 

" Were my hands but free," thought he, " I should let the 
villains know that against any odds a resolute man may sell 
his life dearly. But it is in vain to struggle ; they have bound 
me here but too securely." 

Thus saying, he leaned himself against the partition, to 
await, passively, the event which he knew could not be far 
distant. The surface against which he leaned was not that 
of the wall it yielded slightly to his pressure it was a door. 
With his knee and shoulder he easily forced it open, and 
entered another chamber, at the far-side of which he distinctly 
saw a stream of light, which, passing through a chink, fell 
upon the opposite wall, and, at the same time, ne clearly heard 
the muffled sound of voices in debate. He made his way to 
the aperture through which the light found entrance, and as 
he did so, the sound of the voices fell more and more distinctly 
upon his ear. A small square, of about two feet each way, 
was cut in the wall, affording an orifice through which, pro- 
bably, the closet in which he stood was imperfectly lighted in 
the daytime. A plank shutter was closed over this, and barred 
upon the outside, through the imperfect joints of which the 
light had found its way, and O'Connor now scanned the con- 
tents of the outer chamber. It was that in which the assembly, 
in whose presence he had, but a few minutes before, been 
standing, were congregated. A low, broad-shouldered man, 
whose dress was that of mourning, and who wore his own 
hair, which descended in meagre ringlets of black upon either 
side, leaving the bald summit of his head exposed, and who 
added to the singularity of his appearance not a little by a 
long, thick beard, which covered his chin and upper lip this 
man, who sat nearly opposite to the opening through which 
O'Connor looked, was speaking and addressing himself to 



224 The "Cock and Anchor'' 

some person who stood, as it appeared, divided by little more 
than the thickness of the wall from the party whose life he 
was debating. 

"And against all this," continued the speaker, "what 
weighs the life of one man one life, at best useless to the 
country, and useless to the king at lest, I say ? What came 
we here for P No light matter to take in hand, sirs ; to be 
pursued with no small risk ; each comes hither, cinctus gladio, 
in the cause of the king. That cause with our own lives we 
are bound to maintain ; and why not, if need be, at the cost 
of the lives of others ? No good can come of sparing this 
fellow at the best, no advantage to the cause : and, on the 
other hand, should he prove a traitor, a spy, or even an idle 
babbler, the heaviest damage may befall us. Tush, tush, 
gentlemen, it is ill straining at gnats in such times. We are 
here a court-martial, or no court at all. If I find that such 
dangerous vacillation as this carries it in your councils, I 
shall, for one,' henceforward hang my sword over the mantel- 
piece, and obey the new laws. What ! one life against such 
a risk one execution, to save the cause and secure us all. To 
us, who have served in the king's wars, and hanged rebels by 
the round dozen even on suspicion of being so such in- 
decision seems incredible. There ought not to be two words 
about the matter. Put him to death." 

Having thus acquitted himself, this somewhat unattractive 
personage applied himself, with much industry and absorp- 
tion, to the task of chopping, shredding, rolling up, and 
otherwise preparing a piece of tobacco for the bowl of his 
pipe. 

"I confess," said someone whom O'Connor could not see, 
" that in pleading what may be said on behalf of this young 
man, I have no ground to go upon beyond a mere instinctive 
belief in the poor fellow's honesty, and in the truth of his 
story." 

"Pardon me, sir," replied one in whose voice O'Connor 
thought he recognized that of the priest, " if I say, that to 
act upon such fanciful impressions, as if they were grounded 
upon evidence, were, in nine cases out of every ten, the most 
transcendent and mischievous folly. I repeat my own con- 
viction, upon something like satisfactory evidence, that he is 
not honest. I talked with the fellow this evening perhaps 
a little too freely but in that conference, if he lied not, I 
learned that he belonged to that most dangerous class the 
worst with whom we have to contend the lukewarm, profess- 
ing, passive Catholics the very stuff of which the worst kind 
of spies and informers are made. He, no doubt, guessed, 
from what I said for, to be plain with yon, I spoke too freely 
by a great deal, in the belief, I know not how assumed, that 



The Doom. 225 

he was one of ourselves he guessed, I say, something of the 
nature of my mission, and tracked me hither at all events, 
by some strange coincidence, hither he came. It is for you 
to weigh the question of probabilities." 

" It matters not, in my mind, why or how he came hither," 
observed the ill-favoured gentleman, who sate at the head of the 
table ; " he is here, and he hath seen our meeting, and could 
identify many of us. This is too large a confidence to repose 
in a stranger, and I. for one do not like it, and therefore I 
say let him be killed without any more parley or debate." 

The old man paused, and a silence followed. With an 
agonized attention, O'Connor listened for one word or move- 
ment of dissent; it came not. 

" All agreed ? " said the bearded hero, preparing to light his 
tobacco pipe at the candle. " Well, so I expected." 

The little man who had spoken before him knocked sharply 
with the butt of a pistol upon the table, and O'Connor heard 
the door of the room open. The same person beckoned with 
his hand, and one of the stalwart men who had assisted in 
securing him, advanced to the foot of the board. 

" Let a grave be digged in the orchard," said he, " and when 
it is ready, bring the prisoner out and despatch him, Let it 
be all done and the grave closed in half an hour.'' 

The man made a rude obeisance, and left the room in 
silence. 

Bound as he was, O'Connor traced the four walls of the 
room, in the vague hope that he might discover some other 
outlet from the chamber than that which he had just entered. 
But in vain; nothing encountered him but the hard, cold 
wall; and even had it been otherwise, thus helplessly man- 
acled, what would it have availed him ? He passed into the 
room into which he had been first thrust by the two guards, 
and in a state little short of frenzy, he cast himself upon the 
floor. 

" Oh God ! " said he, "it is terrible to see death thus creep- 
ing toward me, and not to have the power to help myself. 
I am doomed my life already devoted, and before another 
hour I shall lie under the clay, a corpse. Is there nothing to 
be done no hope, no chance ? Oh, God ! nothing ! " 

As he lay in this strong agony, he heard, or thought he 
heard, the clank of the spade upon the stony soil without. 
The work was begun the grave was opened. Madly he 
strained at the cords he tugged with more than human might 
but all in vain. Still with horrible monotony he heard the 
clank of the iron mattock tinkling and clanking in the gravelly 
soil. Oh ! that he could have stopped his ears to exclude the 
maddening sound. The pulses smote upon his brain like 
floods of fire. With closed eyes, and teeth set, and hards 

Q 



226 The Cock and A nchor." 

desperately clenched, lie drew himself together, in the awful 
spasms of uncontrollable horror. Suddenly this fearful 
paroxysm departed, and a kind of awful calm supervened. It 
was no dull insensibility to his real situation, but a certain 
collectedness and calm self-possession, which enabled him to 
behold the grim adversary of human kind, even arrayed in all 
the terrors of his nearest approach, with a steady eye. 

" After all, when all's done, what have I to lose ? Life had 
no more joys for me happy I could never more have been. 
Why should the miserable dread death, and cling to life like 
cowards ? What is it ? A brief struggle the agony of a few 
minutes the instinctive yearnings of our nature after life ; 
and this over, comes rest eternal quiet." 

He then endeavoured, in prayer, earnestly to commend his 
spirit to its Maker. While thus employed lie heard steps 
upon the hard tiles of the passage. His heart swelled as 
though it would burst. He rightly guessed their mission. The 
bolt was slowly drawn ; the dusky light of a lantern streamed 
into the room, and revealed upon the threshold the forms of 
three tall men. 

" Lift him up rise him, boys, 5 ' said he who carried the 
lantern. 

" You must come with us," said one of the two who advanced 
to O'Connor. 

Resistance was fruitless, and he offered none. A cold, 
sick, overwhelming horror unstrung his joints and dimmed 
his sight. He suffered them to lead him passively from the 
room. 



CHAPTER XLV. 

THE MAN IN THE CLOAK AND HIS BED-CHAMBER. 

As O'Connor approached the outer door through which he was 
to pass to certain and speedy death, it were not easy to describe 
or analyze his sensations ; every object he beheld in the 
brief glance he cast around him as he passed along the hall 
appeared invested with a strangely sharp and vivid intensity 
of distinctness, and had in its aspect something indefinably 
spectral and ghastly like things beheld under the terrific 
spell of a waking nightmare. His tremendous situation 
seemed to him something unreal, incredible ; he walked in an 
appalling dream ; in vain he strove to fix his thoughts 
myriads and myriads of scenes and incidents, never remem- 
bered since childhood's days, now with strange distinctness 



The Man in the Cloak. 227 

and wild rapidity whirled through his brain. The hall-door 
stood half open, and the fellow who led the way had almost 
reached it, when it was on a sudden thrown wide, and a 
figure, muffled in a cloak, confronted the funeral procession. 

The foremost man raised the ponderous weapon which he 
carried, and held it poised in the air, ready to shiver the head 
of the intruder should he venture to advance the two guards 
who held O'Connor halted at the same time. 

"How's this, Cormack!" said the stranger. Do you lift 
your weapon against the life of a friend ? rub your eyes and 
waken how is it you cannot know me ? you've been drink- 
ing, sirrah." 

At the sound of the speaker's voice the man at once lowered 
his hatchet and withdrew, a little sulkily, like a rebuked 
mastiff. 

' What means all this ? " continued he in the cloak, looking 
searchingly at the party in the rear; "whom have we got 
here ? where made you this prisoner? So, so this must be 
looked to. How were you about to deal with him, fellow ? " 
he added, addressing himself to him whom he had first 
encountered. 

" According to orders, captain," replied tho man, doggedly. 

" And how may that have been ? " interrogated the gentle- 
man in the cloak. 

"End him," replied he, sulkily. 

" Has he been before the council in the great parlour ? " 
inquired the stranger. 

" Yes, captain long enough, too," replied the fellow. 

"And they have ordered this execution? " added the newly 
arrived. 

*' Yes, sir who else ? Come on, boys bring him out, will 
you? Time is running short," he added, addressing his 
comrades, and himself approaching the door. 

" Ee-conduct the prisoner to the council-board," said the 
stranger, in a tone of command. 

Without a moment's hesitation they obeyed the order ; and 
O'Connor, followed by the muffled figure of the stranger, for 
the second time entered the apartment where his relentless 
judges sate. 

The new-comer strode up the room to the table at which the 
self-styled council were seated. 

" G-od save you, gentlemen," said he, "and prosper the good 
work ye have taken in hand ; " and thus speaking, he removed 
and cast upon the table his hat and cloak, thereby revealing 
the square-built form and harsh features of O'Hanlon. 

O'Connor no sooner recognized the traits of his mysterious 
acquaintance, than he felt a hope which thrilled with a strange 
agony of his heart a hope almost a conviction that he. 

2 



228 The "Cock and Anchor." 

should escape ; and unaccountable though it may appear, in 
this hope he felt more unmanned and agitated than lie had 
done but a few moments before, in the apparent certainty of 
immediate and inevitable destruction. 

The salutation of O'Hanlon was warmly, almost enjbhusi- 
astically, returned, and after this interchange of friendly 
greeting, and a few brief questions and answers touching com- 
paratively indifferent matters, he glanced toward O'Connor, 
and said, 

" I've so far presumed upon my favour with you, gentlemen, 
as to stay your orders in respect of that young gentleman, 
whom, it would appear, you have judged worthy of death. 
Death is a matter whose importance I've never very much 
insisted upon that you know at least, several among you, 
gentlemen, well know it, for you have seen me deal it somewhat 
unsparingly when the cause required it ; but I profess I do 
not care in cool blood to take life upon insufficient reason. 
Life is lightly taken ; but once gone, who can restore it ? 
Therefore, I think it very meet that patient consideration 
should be had of all cases, when such deliberation is possible 
and convenient, before proceeding to the last irrevocable 
extremity. Pray you inform me upon what charges does this 
youth stand convicted, that his life should be forfeit ? '' 

" It is briefly told," replied the priest. " On my way hither 
I encountered him ; we rode and conversed together ; and con- 
jecturing that he travelled on the same errand as myself, I 
talked to him more freely than in all discretion I ought to have 
done. I discovered my mistake, and at Chapelizod I turned 
and left him, telling him with threats not to follow me ; yet 
scarcely had I been here ten minutes, when this gentleman is 
found lurking near the house and about to enter it. He is 
seized, bound, brought in here, and witnesses our assembly 
and proceedings. Under these suspicious circumstances, and 
with the knowledge of our meeting and its objects, were 
it wise to let him go ? Surely not so but the veriest mad- 
ness." 

"Young man," said O'Hanlon, turning to O'Connor, " what 
say you to this P " 

" No more than what I already told these gentlemen 
simply, that taking the upper level to avoid the sloughs by 
the river side, I became in the darkness entangled in the 
dense woods which cover these grounds, and at length, after 
groping my way through the trees as best I might, arrived by 
the merest chance at this place, and without the slighest 
knowledge, or even suspicion, either that I was following the 
course taken by that gentleman, or intruding myself upon any 
secret councils. I have no more to say this is the simple 
truth.'' 



The Man in the Cloak. 229 

" Well, gentlemen," said O'Hanlon, " you hear the prisoner's 
defence. What think you ? '' 

" We have decided already, and he has now produced nothing 
new in his favour. I see no reason why we should alter our 
decision," replied the priest. 

" You would, then, put him to death ? " inquired he. 

" Assuredly," replied the priest, calmly. 

" But this shall not be, gentlemen ; he shall not die. You 
shall slay me first," replied O'Hanlon. "I know this youth ; 
and every word he has spoken I believe. He is the son of one 
who risked his life a hundred times, and lost all for the sake 
of the king and his country one who, throughout the desperate 
and fruitless struggles of Irish loyalty, was in the field my 
constant comrade, and a braver and a better one none ever 
need desire. The son of such a man shall not perish by our 
hands ; and for the risk of his talking elsewhere of this night's 
adventure, I will be his surety, with my life, that he mentions 
it to no one, and nowhere.'' 

A silence of some seconds followed this unexpected declara- 
tion. 

" Be it so, then," said the priest ; " for my part, I offer no 
resistance." 

" So say I," added the person who sat with the papers by 
him at the extremity or the board. " On you, however, 
Captain O'Hanlon, rest the whole responsibility of this act.'' 

"On me alone. Were there the possibility of treason in 
that youth, I would myself perish ere I should move a hand 
to save him," replied O'Hanlon. " I gladly take upon myself 
the whole accountability, and all the consequences of the 
act." 

" Your life and liberty are yours, sir," said the priest, 
addressing O'Connor ; " see that you abuse neither to our 
prejudice. Unbind and let the prisoner go." 

"Stay," said O'Hanlon. "Mr. O'Connor, I have one 
request to make." 

" It is granted ere it is made. What can I return you in 
exchange for my life ? " replied O'Connor. 

" I wish to speak with you to-night," continued O'flanlon 
"on matters which concern you nearly. You will remain here 
you can have a chamber. Farewell for the present. Con- 
duct Mr. O'Connor to my apartment," he added, addressing 
the attendants, who were employed in loosening the strained 
cords which bound his hands ; and with this direction, O'Hanlon 
mingled with the group at the hearth, and began to converse 
with them in a low voice. 

O'Connor followed his guide through a narrow, damp-stained 
corridor, with tiled flooring, and up a broad staircase, with 
heavy oaken balustrades, and steps whose planks seemed worn 



230 The "Cock and A nchor" 

by the tread of centuries ; and then along another passage, 
more cheerless still than the first several of the narrow win- 
dows, by which in the daytime it was lighted, had now lost every 
vestige of glass, and even of the wooden framework in which it 
had been fixed, and gave free admission to the fitful night- 
wind, as well as to the straggling boughs of ivy which mantled 
the old walls and clustered shelteringly about the ruined 
casements. Screening the candle which he carried behind the 
flap of his coat, to prevent its being extinguished by the gusts 
which somewhat rudely swept the narrow passage, the man 
led O'Connor to a chamber, which they both entered. It was 
not quite so cheerless as the desolate condition of the approach 
to it might have warranted one in expecting ; a wood-fire, 
which had been recently replenished, blazed and crackled 
briskly upon the hearth, and shed an uncertain but cheerful 
glow through the recesses of the chamber. It was a spacious 
apartment, hung with stamped leather, in many places stained 
and rotted by the damp, and here and there hanging in rags 
from the wall, and exposing the bare, mildewed plaster beneath. 
The furniture was scanty, and in keeping with the place old, 
dark, and crazy ; and a wretched bed, with very spare covering, 
was, as it seemed, temporarily strewn upon the floor, near the 
hearth. The man placed the candle upon a small table, black 
with age, and patched and crutched up like a battered pen- 
sioner, and flinging some more wood upon the fire, turned and 
left the room in silence. 

Alone, his first employment was to review again and again 
the strange events of that night; his next was to conjecture 
the nature of O'Hanlon's promised communication. Baflled 
in these latter speculations, he applied himself to examine the 
old chamber in which he sat, and to endeavour to trace the 
half-obliterated pattern of the tattered hangings. These occu- 
pations, along with sundry speculations just as idle, touching 
the original of a grim old portrait, faded and torn, which 
hung over the fireplace, filled up the tedious hours which 
preceded his expected interview with his preserver. 

At length the weary interval elapsed, and the anxiously 
expected moment arrived. The door opened, and O'Hanlon 
entered. He approached the young man, who advanced to 
meet him, and extending his hand, grasped that of O'Connor 
with a warm and friendly pressure. 



The Double Conference. 231 



CHAPTER XLVI. 

THE DOUBLE CONFERENCE OLD PAPERS. 

" WHEN last I saw you," said O'Hanlon, seating himself before 
the hearth, and motioning O'Connor to take a chair also, " I 
told you that you ought to tame your rash young blood, and 
gave you thereupon an old soldier's best advice. It seems, 
however, that you are wayward and headlong still. Young 
soldiers look for danger old ones are content to meet it when 
it comes, knowing well that it will come often enough, unin- 
vited and unsought ; nevertheless, we will pass by this night's 
adventure, and turn to other matters. First, however, it were 
meet and necessary that you should have somewhat to refresh 
you; you must needs be weary and exhausted." 

" If you can give me some wine, it will be very welcome. I 
care not for anything more to-night," replied O'Connor. 

" That can I," replied he, " and will myself do you reason." 
He arose, and after a few minutes' absence entered with two 
flasks, whose dust and cobwebs bespoke their antiquity, and 
filled two large, long-stemmed glasses with the generous 
liquor. 

"Young man," said O'Hanlon, "from the moment I saw 
you in the inner room yonder, I know not how or wherefore 
my heart clave to you ; and now knowing you for the son of 
my true friend, I feel for you the stronger love. I will tell 
you now how matters stand with us. I will hide nothing 
from you. I am old enough to have learned the last lesson of 
experience the folly of too much suspicion. I will not 
distrust the son of Richard O'Connor. I need hardly tell you 
that those men whom you saw below stairs are no friends of 
the ruling powers, but devoted entirely to the service and the 
fortunes of the rightful heir of the throne of England and of 
Ireland, met here together not without great peril.'"' 

" I had conjectured as much from what I myself witnessed, 3 ' 
rejoined O'Connor. 

" Well, then, I tell you this the cause is not a hopeless 
one ; the exiled king has warm, zealous, and powerful friends 
where their existence is least suspected," continued O'Hanlon. 
" In the Parliament of England he has a strong and untiring 
party undetected some of them, too, must soon wield the 
enormous powers of government, and have already gotten 
entire possesion of the ear of the Queen ; and so soon as events 
invite, and the time is ripe for action, a mighty and a sudden 
constitutional movement will be made in favour of the prince 



232 The "Cock and Anchor." 

a movement entirely constitutional and in the Parliament. 
This will, whether successful or not, raise the intolerant party 
here into fierce resistance the resistance of the firelock and 
the sword; all the usurpers, the perjurers, and the plunderers 
who now possess the wealth and dignities of this spoiled and 
oppressed country, will arise in terror to defend their booty, 
and unless met and encountered, and defeated by the party of 
the young king in this island, will embolden the malignant 
rebels of the sister country to imitate their example, and so 
overawe the Parliament, and frustrate their beneficent inten- 
tions. To us, therefore, has fallen the humbler but important 
task of organizing here, in the heart of this country, and in 
entire secrecy, a power sufficient for the occasion. Fain would 
I have thee along with us in so great and good a work, but 
will not urge you now ; think upon it, however it is not so 
mad a scheme as you may have thought, but such a one as 
looked on calmly, with the cold eye of reason, seems practic- 
ableay, sure of success. Ponder the matter, then ; give me no 
answer now I will take none but think well upon it, and 
after a week, and not sooner, when you have decided, tell me 
whether you will be one of us or not. Meanwhile, I have other 
matters to tell you of, in which perhaps your young heart will 
take a nearer interest." 

He paused, and having replenished their glasses, and thrown 
a fresh supply of wood upon the fire, he continued, 

" Are you acquainted with a family named Ashwoode ? " 

"Yes," replied O'Connor, quickly, "I have known them 
long." 

O'Hanlon looked searchingly at the young man, and then 
continued, 

"Yes," said he, "I see it is even so your face betrays it 
you loved the young lady, Mary Ashwoode deny it not I 
am your friend, and seek not idly or without purpose thus to 
question you. What thought you of Henry Ashwoode, now 
Sir Henry Ashwoode ? " 

" He was latterly much entirely my friend," replied 
O'Connor. 

" He so professed himself ? " asked O'Hanlon. 

" Ay," replied O'Connor, somewhat surprised at the tone in 
which the question was put, " he did so profess himself, and 
repeatedly." 

" He is a villain he has betrayed you," said the elder man, 
sternly. 

"How what a villain! Henry Ashwoode deceive me?" 
said O'Connor, turning pale as death. 

"Yes unless I've been strangely practised on he has 
villainously deceived alike you and his own sister pretending 
friendship, he has sowed distrust between you." 



The Double Conference. 233 

" But have you evidence of what you say ? " cried O'Connor. 
' ' Gracious God what have I done ! " 

" I have evidence, and you shall hear and judge of it your- 
self," replied O'Haulon ; "you cannot hear it to-night, how- 
ever, nor I produce it you need some rest, and so in truth do 
I make use of that poor bed a tired brain and weary body 
need no luxurious couch T shall see you in the morning 
betimes till then farewell." 

The young man would fain have detained O'Hanlon, and 
spoken with him, but in vain. 

" We have talked enough for this night," said the elder 
man " I have it not in my power now to satisfy you I 
shall, however, in the morning I have taken measures for 
the purpose good-night." 

So saying, O'Hanlon left the chamber, and closed the 
door upon his young friend, now less than ever disposed to 
slumber. 

He threw himself upon the pallet, the victim of a thousand 
harassing and exciting thoughts sleep was effectually 
banished ; and at length, tired of the fruitless attitude of 
repose which he courted in vain, he arose and resumed his 
seat by the hearth, in anxious and weary expectation of the 
morning. 

At length the red light of the dawn broke over the smoky 
city, and with a dusky glow the foggy sun emerged from the 
horizon of chimney-tops, and threw his crimson mantle of 
ruddy light over the hoary thorn-wood and the shattered 
mansion, beneath whose roof had passed the scenes we have 
just described. Never did the sick wretch, who in sleepless 
anguish has tossed and fretted through the tedious watches 
of the night, welcome the return of day with more cordial 
greeting than did O'Connor upon this dusky morn. The 
time which was to satisfy his doubts could not now be far 
distant, and every sound which smote upon his ear seemed 
to announce the approach of him who was to dispel them 
all. 

Weary, haggard, and nervous after the fatigues and 
agitation of the previous day unrefreshed by the slumbers 
he so much required, his irritation and excitement were 
perhaps even greater than under other circumstances they 
would have been. The torments of suspense were at length, 
however, ended he did hear steps approach the chamber 
the steps evidently of more than one person the door 
opened, and O'Hanlon, followed by Signor Parucci, entered 
the room. 

" I believe, young gentleman, you have seen this person 
before ? " said O'Hanlon, addressing O'Connor, while he glanced 
at the Italian. 



234 The "Cock and Anchor." 

O'Connor assented. 

" Ah ! yees," said the Neapolitan, with a winning smile ; 
" he has see me vary often. Signer O'Connor he know me 
vary well. I am so happy to see him again vary oh ! 
vary." 

"Let Mr. O'Connor know briefly and distinctly what you 
have already told me," said O'Hanlon. 

" About the letters ? " asked the Italian. 

" Yes, be brief," replied O'Hanlon. 

" Ah ! did he not guess ? " rejoined the Neapolitan ; "per 
crilla ! the deception succeed, then vary coniug faylow was 
old Sir Kichard bote not half so coning as his son, Sir 
Henry. He never suspect Mr. O'Connor never doubt, bote 
took all the letters and read them just so as Sir Henry said 
he would. Malora / what great meesfortune." 

" Parucci, speak plainly to the point ; I cannot endure this. 
Say at once what has he done how have I been deceived ? " 
cried O'Connor. 

" You remember when the old gentleman Mr. Audley, I 
think he is call saw Sir Bichard immediately after that 
some letters passed between you and Mees Mary Ashwoode." 

" I do remember it proceed," replied O'Connor. 

" Mees Mary's letters to you were cold and unkind, and 
make you think she did not love you any more," added 
Parucci. 

" Well, well say on say on for God's sake, man say 
on," cried O'Connor, vehemently. 

" Those letters you got were not written by her," continued 
the Italian, coolly ; " they were all wat you call forged 
written by another person, and planned by Sir Henry and 
Sir Reechard ; and the same way on the other side the 
letters you wrote to her were all stopped, and read by the 
same two gentlemen, and other letters written in stead, and 
she is breaking her heart, because she thinks you 'av betrayed 
her, and given her up rotta di collo ! they 'av make nice 
work ! " 

" Prove this to me, prove it," said O'Connor, wildly, while 
his eye burned with the kindling fire of fury. 

" I weel prove it," rejoined Parucci, but with an agitated 
voice and a troubled face ; " bote, corpo di Plato, you weel 
keel me if I tell promise swear by your honour you weel 
not horte me you weel not toche me swear, Signor, and I 
weel tell." 

" Miserable caitiff speak, and quickly you are safe I 
swear it," rejoined he. 

" Well, then," resumed the Italian, with restored calmness, 
" I will prove it so that you cannot doubt any more it was I 
that wrote the letters for them I, myself and beside, here 



The Double Conference. 235 

is the bundle with all of them written out for me to copy 
most of them by Sir Henry you know his hand-writing 
you weel see the character corbezzoli ! he is a great rogue 
and you will find all the real letters from you and Mees Mary 
that were stopped I have them here." 

He here disengaged from the deep pocket of his coat, a red 
leathern case stamped with golden flowers, and opening it 
presented it to the young man. 

With shifting colour and eyes almost blinded with agitation, 
O'Connor read and re-read these documents. 

" Where is Ashwoode? " at length he cried ; " bring me to 
him gracious God, what a monster I must have appeared 
will she can she ever forgive me ? " 

Disregarding in entire contempt the mean agent of Ash- 
woode's villainy, and thinking only of the high-born principal, 
O'Connor, pale as death, but with perfect deliberateness, arose 
and took the sword which the attendant who conducted him 
to the room had laid by the wall, and replacing it at his side, 
said sternly, 

"Bring me to Sir Henry Ashwoode where is he ? I must 
speak with him." 

" I cannot breeng you to him now," replied Parucci, in 
internal ecstasies, " for I cannot say where he is ; bote I know 
vary well where he weel be to-day after dinner time, in the 
evening, and I weel breeng you; bote I hope very moche you 
are not intending any mischiefs ; if I thought so, I would be 
vary sorry oh ! vary." 

" Well," be it so, if it may not be sooner," said O'Connor, 
gloomily, " this evening at all events he shall account with 
me." 

"Meanwhile," said O'Hanlon, "you may as well remain 
here; and when the time arrives which this Italian fellow 
names, we can start. I will accompany you, for in such cases 
the arm of a friend can do you no harm and may secure you 
fair play. Hear me, you Italian scoundrel, remain here until 
we are ready to depart with you, and that shall be whenever 
you think it time to seek Sir Henry Ashwoode ; you shall 
have enough to eat and drink meanwhile ; depart, and relieve 
us of your company." 

Signer Parucci smiled sweetly from ear to ear, shrugged, 
and bowed, and then glided lightly from the room, exulting 
in the pleasant conviction that he had commenced operations 
against his ungrateful patron, by involving him in a scrape 
which must inevitably result in somewhat unpleasant ex- 
posures, and which had beside reduced the question of Sir 
Henry's life or death to an even chance. 



236 The "Cock and A nchor." 

CHAPTER XLVII. 

" THE JOLLY BOWLERS '' THE DOUBLE FRAY AND THE PLIGHT. 

AT the time of which we write, there lay at the southern 
extremity of the city of Dublin, a bowling-green of fashionable 
resort, well known as " Cullen's Green." For greater privacy 
it was enclosed by a brick wall of considerable height, which 
again was surrounded by stately rows of lofty and ancient 
elms. A few humble dwellings were clustered about it ; and 
through one of them, a low, tiled public-house, lay the 
entrance into this place of pastime. Thitherward O'Connor 
and O'Hanlon, having left their horses at the "Cock and 
Anchor," were led by the wily Italian. 

" The players you say, will not stop till dusk," said 
O'Connor; "we can go in, and I shall wait until the party 
have broken up, to speak to Ashwoode ; in the interval we 
can mix with the spectators, and so escape remark." 

They were now approaching the little tavern embowered in 
tufted trees, and as they advanced, they perceived a number 
of hack carriages and led horses congregated upon the road 
about its entrance. 

" Sir Henry is within ; that iron-grey is his horse ; sangue 
dun dua, there is no mistake," observed the Neapolitan. 

The little party entered the humble tavern, but here they 
were encountered by a new difficulty. 

" You can't get in to-night, gentlemen sorry to disappint, 
gentlemen ; but the green's engaged," said mine host, with an 
air of mysterious importance ; " a private party, engaged two 
days since for fear of a disappint." 

" Are they so strictly private, that they would not suffer 
two gentlemen to be spectators of their play ? " inquired 
O'Hanlon. 

" My orders is not to let anyone in, good, bad, or indifferent, 
while they are playing the match ; that's my orders," replied 
the man ; " sorry to disappint, but can't break my word with 
the gentlemen, you know." 

" Is there any other entrance into the bowling-green ? " 
inquired O'Connor, " except through that door." 

" Divil a one, sir, where would it be ? divil a one, gentle- 
men," replied mine host, " no other way in or out." 

" We will rest ourselves here for a time, then," said 
O'Connor. 

Accordingly the party seated themselves in the low-roofed 
chamber through which the bowlers on quitting the ground 



" The Jolly Bowlers:' 237 

must necessarily pass ; and calling for some liquor to prevent 
suspicion, moodily awaited the appearance of the young 
baronet and his companions. Many a stern, impatient glance 
of expectation did O'Connor direct to the old door which 
alone separated him from the traitor and hypocrite who had 
with such monstrous fraud practised upon his unsuspecting 
confidence. At length he heard gay laughter and the tread of 
many feet approaching; the proprietor of " The Jolly Bowlers " 
opened the door, and several merry groups passed them by 
and took their departure, but O'Connor's eye in vain sought 
among them the form of young Ashwoode. 

" I see the grey horse still at the door ; I know it as well as I 
know my own hand," said the Italian ; " as sure as I am leeving 
man, Sir Henry is there still." 

After an interval so considerable that O'Connor almost 
despaired of the appearance of Ashwoode, voices were again 
audible, and steps approaching the door-way at a slow pace ; 
the time between the first approach of those sounds, and the 
actual appearance of those who caused them, appeared to the 
overwrought anxiety of O'Connor all but interminable. At 
length, however, two figures entered from the bowling-green 
the one was that of a spare but dignified-looking man, some- 
what advanced in years, but carrying in his countenance a 
singular expression of jollity and good humour the other was 
that of Sir Henry Ashwoode. 

" God be thanked," said O'Hanlon, grasping the hilt of his 
sword, " here comes the perjured villain Wharton." 

O'Connor had another object, however, and beheld no one 
existing thing but only the now hated form of his false friend ; 
both he and O'Hanlon started to their feet as the two figures 
entered the small and darksome room. O'Connor threw 
himself directly in their path and said, 

" Sir Henry Ashwoode, a word with you." 

The appeal was startling and unexpected, and there was in 
the voice and attitude of him who uttered it, something of 
deep, intense, constrained passion and resolution, which made 
the two companions involuntarily and. suddenly check their 
advance. One moment sufficed for Sir Henry to recognize 
O'Connor, and another convinced him that his quondam 
friend had discovered his treachery, and was there to unmask, 
perhaps to punish him. His presence of mind, however, 
seldom, if ever, forsook him in such scenes as this he in- 
stantly resolved upon the tone in which to meet his injured 
antagonist. 

" Pray, sir," said he, with stern hauteur, " upon what ground 
do you presume to throw yourself thus menacingly in my 
way ? Move aside and let me pass, or your rashness shall cost 
you dearly." 



238 The "Cock and* A nchor" 

" Ashwoode Sir Henry you well know there is one con- 
sideration which would unstring my arm if lifted against your 
life you presume upon the forbearance which this respect 
commands," said O'Connor. "Promise but this that you 
will undeceive your sister, whom you have practised upon as 
cruelly as you have on me, and I will call you to no further 
account, and inflict no further humiliation." 

" Very good, sir, very magnanimous, and exceedingly tragic," 
rejoined Ashwoode, scornfully. " Tarn aside, sirrah, and 
leave my path open, or by the you shall rue it." 

" I will not leave the spot on which I stand but with 
my life, except on the conditions I have named," replied 
O'Connor. 

" Once more, before I strike you, leave the way," cried Ash- 
woode, whose constitutional pugnacity began to be thoroughly 
aroused. " Turn aside, sirrah ! How dare you confront 
gentlemen insolent beggar, how dare you ! " 

Yielding to the furious impulse of the moment, Sir Henry 
Ashwoode drew his sword, and with the naked blade struck his 
antagonist twice with no sparing hand. The passions which 
O'Connor had, with all his energy, hitherto striven to master, 
would now brook restraint no longer ; at this last extremity 
of insult the blood sprang from his heart in fiery currents 
and tingled through every vein ; every feeling but the one 
deadly sense of outraged pride, of repeated wrong, followed 
and consummated by one degrading and intolerable outrage, 
vanished from his mind. With the speed of light his sword 
was drawn and presented at Ashwoode's breast. Each threw 
himself into the cautious attitude of deadly vigilance, and 
quick as lightning the bright blades crossed and clashed in 
the mortal rivalry of cunning fence. Each party was pos- 
sessed of consummate skill in the use of the fatal weapon 
which he wielded, and several times in the course of the fierce 
debate, so evenly were they matched, the two, as by voluntary 
accommodation, paused in the conflict to take breath. 

With faces pale as death with rage, and a consciousness of 
the deadly issue in which alone the struggle could end, and 
with eyes that glared like those of savage beasts at bay, each 
eyed the other. Thus alternately they paused and renewed 
the combat, and for long, with doubtful fortune. In the 
position of the antagonists there was, however, an inequality, 
and, as it turned out, a decisive one the door through which 
Ashwoode and his companion had entered, and to which his 
back was turned, lay open, and the light which it admitted 
fell full in O'Connor's eyes. This, as all who have handled 
the foil can tell, is a disadvantage quite sufficient to determine 
even a less nicely balanced contest than that of which we write. 
After several pauses in the combat, and as many desperate 



" The Jolly Bowlers." 



239 



renewals of it, Ashwoode, in one quick lunge, passed his 
blade through his opponent's sword-arm. Though the blood 
flowed plenteously, neither party seemed inclined to abate his 
deadly efforts. O'Connor's arm began to grow stiff and weak, 
and the energy and quickness of his action impaired ; the 
consequences of this were soon exhibited. Ashwoode lunged 
twice or thrice rapidly, and one of these passes, being im- 
perfectly parried, took effect in his opponent's breast. O'Con- 
nor staggered backward, and his hand and eye faltered for 
a moment ; but he quickly recovered, and again advanced 
and again with the same result. 
Faint, dizzy, and half blind, 
but with resolution and rage, 
enhanced by defeat, he stag- 
gered forward again, wild 
and powerless, and was 
received once more upon 
the point of his adversary's 
sword. He reeled 
back, stood for .a 
moment, his sword 
dropped upon the 
ground, and 'he 
shook his empty 
hand in 
fruitless 
menace at 
his 




triumphant antagonist, and then rolled headlong upon the 
pavement, insensible, and weltering in gore the combat was 



over. 



Ashwoode and O'Connor had hardly crossed their weapons 
when O'Hanlon sprang forward and sternly accosted Lord 
Wharton, for it was no other, who accompanied Ashwoode. 

" My lord, you need not interfere," said he, observing a 
movement on Lord Wharton's part as if he would have 
separated the combatants. " This is a question which all 
your diplomacy will not arrange they will fight it to the end. 
If you give them not fair play while I secure the door, I will 
send my sword through your excellency's body." 



240 The "Cock and A nckor" 

So saying, O'Hanlon drew his weapon, and keeping occa- 
sional watch upon Wharton who, however, did not exhibit 
any further disposition to interfere he strode to the outer 
door, which opened upon the public road, and to prevent 
interruption from that quarter, drew the bar and secured it 
effectually. 

"Now, my lord," said he, returning and resuming his 
position, " I have secured this fortunate meeting against in- 
trusion. What think you, while our friends are thus engaged, 
were we, for warmth and exercise sake, likewise to cross our 
blades ? Will your lordship condescend to gratify a simple 
gentleman so far?" 

" Out upon you, fellow ; know you who T am ? " said 
Wharton, with sturdy good-humour. 

" I know thee well, Lord Wharton a wily, selfish, double- 
dealing politician ; a profligate in morals ; an infidel in re- 
ligion ; and a traitor in politics. I know thee who doth 
not ? " 

" Landlord," said Wharton, turning toward that personage, 
who, with amazement, irresolution, and terror in his face, 
inspected these violent proceedings, " landlord, I say, call in a 
lackey or two ; I'll bring this ruffian to reason quickly. Have 
you gotten a pump in the neighbourhood? Landlord, I 
say, bestir thyself, or, by , I'll spur thee with my sword- 
point." 

" Stir not, if you would keep your life," said O'Hanlon, in 
a tone which the half- stupefied host of "The Jolly Bowlers " 
dared not disobey. " If you would not suffer death upon the 
spot where you stand, do not attempt to move one step, nor 
to speak one word. My lord," he continued, " I am right glad 
of this rencounter. I would have freely given half what I 
possess in the world to have secured it. Believe me, I will not 
leave it unimproved. My lord, in plain terms, for ten thou- 
sand reasons I desire your death, and will not leave this place 
till I have striven to effect it. Draw your sword, if you be a 
man ; draw your sword, unless cowardice has come to crown 
your vices." 

O'Hanlon drew his sword, and allowing Wharton hardly 
time sufficient to throw himself into an attitude of defence, he 
attacked him with deadly resolution. It was well for the 
viceroy that he was an expert swordsman, otherwise his career 
would undoubtedly have been abruptly terminated upon the 
floor of " The Jolly Bowlers." As it was, he received a thrust 
right through the shoulder, and staggering back, stumbled 
and fell upon the uneven pavement which studded the floor. 
This occurred almost at the same moment with O'Connor's 
fall, and believing that he had mortally hurt his noble an- 
tagonist, O'Hanlon, without stopping to look about him 



The Stained Ruffles. 241 

hastily lifted his fallen and senseless companion from the 
pavement and bore hiin in his arms through the outer door, 
which the landlord had at length found resolution enough to 
unbar. Fortunately a hackney coach stood there waiting for 
a chance job from some of the aristocratic bowlers within, and 
in this vehicle he hurriedly deposited his inanimate burden, 
and desiring the coachman to drive for his life into the city, 
sprang into the conveyance himself. Irishmen are pro- 
verbially ready at all times to aid an escape from the fangs of 
justice, and without pausing to ask a question, the coachman, 
to whom the sight of blood and of the naked sword, which 
O'Hanlon still carried, was warrant sufficient, mounted the 
box with incredible speed, pressed his hat firmly down upon 
his brows, shook the reins, and lashed his horses till they 
smoked again ; and thus, at a gallop, O'Hanlon and his 
bleeding companion thundered onward toward the city. Ash- 
woode did not interfere to stay the fugitives, for he was not 
sorry to be relieved of the embarrassment which he foresaw 
in having the body of his victim left, as it were, in his charge. 
He therefore gladly witnessed its removal, and addressed him- 
self to Lord Wharton, who was rising with some difficulty 
from his prostrate position. 

" Are you hurt, my lord ? " inquired Ashwoode, kneeling by 
his side and assisting him to rise. 

" Hush ! nothing a mere scratch. Above all things, make 
no row about it. By , I would not for worlds that any- 
thing were heard of it. Fortunately, this accident is a trivial 
one the blood flows rather fast, though. Let's get into a 
coach, if, indeed, the scoundrels have not run away with the 
last of them." 

They found one, however, at the door, and getting in with 
all convenient dispatch, desired the man to drive slowly 
toward the castle. 



CHAPTER XLVIII. 

THE STAINED EUFFLES. 

WE must now return for a brief space to Morley Court. The 
apartment which lay beneath what had been Sir Richard Ash- 
woode's bed-chamber, and in which Mary and her gay cousin, 
Emily Copland, had been wont to sit and work, and read 
and sing together, had grown to be considered, by long- 
established usage, the rightful and exclusive property of the 
ladies of the family, and had been surrendered up to their 

B, 



242 The "Cock and Anchor!' 

private occupation and absolute control. Around it stood 
full many a quaint cabinet of dark old wood, shining like 
polished jet, little bookcases, and tall old screens, and music 
stands, and drawing tables. These, along with a spinet and a 
guitar, and countless other quaint and pretty sundries indi- 
cating the habitual presence of feminine refinement and taste, 
abundantly furnished the chamber. In the window stood 
some choice and fragrant flowers, and the light fell softly 
upon the carpet through the clustering bowers of creeping 
plants which mantled the outer wall, in sombre rivalry of the 
full damask curtains, whose draperies hung around the deep 
receding casements. 

Here sat Mary Ashwoode, as the evening, whose tragic 
events we have in our last chapter described, began to close 
over the old manor of Morley Court. Her embroidery had 
been thrown aside, and lay upon the table, and a book, which 
she had been reading, was open before her ; but her eyes now 
looked pensively through the window upon the fair, sad land- 
scape, clothed in the warm and melancholy tints of evening. 
Her graceful arm leaned upon the table, and her small, white 
hand supported her head and mingled in the waving tresses of 
her dark hair. 

"At what hour did my brother promise to return ?" said 
she, addressing herself to her maid, who was listlessly arrang- 
ing some books in the little book-case. 

" Well, I declare and purtest, I can't rightly remember," 
rejoined the maid, cocking her head on one side reflectively, 
and tapping her eyebrow to assist her recollection. "I don't 
think, my lady, he named any hour precisely ; but at any rate, 
you may be sure he'll not be long away now." 

" I thought he said seven o'clock," continued Mary ; " would 
he were come ! I feel very solitary to-day ; and this evening 
we might pass happily together, for that strange man will not 
return to-night he said so my brother told me so." 

" I believe Mr. Blarden changed his mind, my lady," said 
the maid ; " for I know he gave orders before he went for a 
fire in his room to-night." 

Even as she spoke she heard Sir Henry's step upon the 
stairs, and her brother entered the room. 

" Harry, Harry, 1 am so glad to see you," said she, running 
lightly to him and throwing her arms around his neck. 
"Come, come, sit you down beside me; we shall be happy 
tog-ether at least for this evening. Come, Harry, come." 

So saying she led him, passive and gloomy, to the fireside, 
and drew a chair beside that into which he had thrown 
himself. 

" Dear brother, the time seemed so very tedious to-day while 
you were away," said she. " I thought it would never pass. 



The Stained Ruffles. 243 

"Why are you so silent and thoughtful, brother ? has anything 
happened to vex you P " 

"Nothing," said he, glancing at her with a strange ex- 
pression "nothing to vex me no, nothing perhaps the 
contrary." 

" Dear brother, have you heard good news ? Come and tell 
me," said she ; " though I fear from the sadness of your face 
you do but natter me. Have you, Harry have you heard or 
seen anything that gave you comfort? " 

" No, not comfort ; I know not what I say. Have you any 
wine here?" said Ashwoode, hurriedly; "I am tired and 
thirsty." 

"No, not here," answered she, somewhat surprised at the 




oddity of the question, as well as by the abruptness and 
abstraction of his manner. 

" Carey," said he, " run down bring wine quickly ; I'm 
exhausted quite wearied. I have played more at bowls this 
afternoon than I've done for years," he added, addressing his 
sister as the maid departed on her errand. 

"You do look very pale, brother," said she, "and your 
dress is all disordered ; and, gracious God ! see all the ruffles 
of this hand are steeped in blood brother, brother, for God's 
sake are you hurt ? " 

" Hurt I ? " said he hastily, and endeavouring to smile ! 
" no, indeed I hurt ! far be it from me this blood is none 



244 The " Cock and A nchor? ' 

of mine ; one of our party scratched his hand, and I bound 
his handkerchief round the wound, and in so doing contracted 
these tragic spots that startle you so. No, no, believe me, 
when I am hart I will make no secret of it. Carey, pour 
some wine into that glass fill it fill it, child there," and 
he drank it off " fill it again so two or three more, and I 
shall be quite myself again. How snug this room of yours is, 
Mary." 

" Yes, brother, I am very fond of it ; it is a pleasant old 
room, and one that has often seen me happier than I shall 
be again," said she, with a sigh ; " but do you feel better ? has 
the wine refreshed you ? You still look pale," she added, with 
fears not yet half quieted. 

" Yes, Mary, I am refreshed," he said, with a sudden and 
reckless burst of strange merriment that shocked her; "I 
could play the match through again I could leap, and laugh 
and sing ; " and then he added quickly in an altered voice 
" has Blarden returned ? " 

" No," said she ; " I thought you said he would remain in 
town to-night." 

" I said wrong if I said so at all," replied Ashwoode ; " and 
if he did intend to stay in town he has changed his plans 
he will be here this evening ; I thought I should have found 
him here on my return ; I expect him every moment." 

" When, dear brother, is this visit of his to end ? " asked the 
girl imploringly. 

"Not for weeks for months, I hope," replied Ashwoode 
drily and quickly ; " why do you inquire, pray ? " 

" Simply because I wish it were ended, brother," answered 
she sadly ; " but if it vexes you I will ask no more." 

" It does vex me, then," said Ashwoode, sternly ; " it does, 
and you know it" he accompanied these words with a look 
even more savage than the tone in which he had uttered them, 
and a silence of some minutes followed. 

Ashwoode desired nothing so much as to speak with his 
sister intelligibly upon the subject of Blarden's designs, and 
of his own entire approval of them ; but, somehow, often as 
he had resolved upon it, he had never yet approached the 
topic, even in imagination, in his sister's presence, without 
feeling himself unnerved and abashed. He now strove to 
fret himself into a rage, in the instinctive hope that under 
the influence of this stimulus he might find nerve to broach 
the subject in plain terms ; he strode quickly to and fro across 
the floor, casting from time to time many an angry glance at 
the poor girl, and seeking by every mechanical agency to work 
himself into a passion." 

" And so it is come to this at last," said he, vehemently, 
" that I may not invite my friends to my own house ; or that 



The Stained Ruffles. 245 

if I dare to do so, they shall necessarily be exposed to the con- 
stant contempt and rudeness of those who ought to be their 
entertainers ; all their advances towards acquaintance met 
with a hoity-toity, repulsive impertinence, and themselves 
treated with a marked and insulting avoidance, shunned as 
though they bad the plague. I tell you now plainly, once 
for all, I will be master in my own house ; you shall treat my 
guests with attention and respect ; you must do so ; I command 
you ; you shall find that I am master here." 

"Ho doubt of it, by ," ejaculated Nicholas Blarden, 

himself entering the room at the termination of Ashwoode's 
stormy harangue ; " but where the devil is the good of roaring 
that way ? your sister is not deaf, I suppose ? Mistress Mary, 
your most obedient " 

Mary did not wait for further conference ; but rising with 
a proud mien and a burning cheek, she left the room and went 
quickly to her own chamber, where she threw herself into a 
chair, covered her eyes with her hands, and burst into an 
agony of weeping. 

" Well, but she is a fine wench," cried Nicholas Blarden, 
as soon as she had disappeared. " The tantarums become 
her better than good humour ; " so saying, he half filled Ash- 
woode's glass with wine, and rinsed it into the fireplace; 
then coolly filled a bumper and quaffed it off, and then 
another and another. 

" Sit down here and listen to me," said he to Ashwoode, in 
that insolent, domineering tone which he so loved to employ 
in accosting him, "sit down here, I say, young man, and 
listen to me while I give you a bit of my mind/' 

Ashwoode, who knew too well the consequences of even 
murmuring under the tyranny of his task-master, in silence 
did as he was commanded. 

" I tell you what it is," said Blarden, " I don't like the way 
this affair is going on; the girl avoids me; I don't know her, 

by , a curse better to-day than I did the first day I 

came into the house ; this won't do, you know ; it will never 
do ; you had better strike out some expeditious plan, or it's 
very possible I may tire of the whole concern and cut it 
black, do you mind ; you had better sharpen your wits, my 
fine fellow." 

" The fault is your own," said Ashwoode gloomily ; " if 
you desire expedition, you can command it, by yourself speak- 
ing to her ; you have not as yet even hinted at your inten- 
tions, nor by any one act made her acquainted with your 
designs ; let her see that you like her ; let her understand you ; 
you have never done so yet." 

" She's infernally proud," said Blarden, " just as proud as 
yourself : but we know a knack, don't we, for bringing pride 



246 The "Cock and Anchor" 

to its senses? Eh? Nothing, I believe, Sir Henry, like 
fear in such cases ; don't you think so ? I've known it 
succeed sometimes to a miracle fear of one kind or an- 
other is the only way we have of working men or women. 
Mind I tell you she must be frightened, and well frightened 
too, or she'll run rusty. I have a knack with me a kind of 
gift of frightening people when I have a fancy ; and if you're 
in earnest, as I guess you pretty well are, between us we'll 
tame her." 

" It were not advisable to proceed at once to extremities," 
said Ashwoode, who, spite of his constitutional selfishness, 
felt some odd sensations, and not of the pleasantest kind, 
while they thus conversed. " You must begin by showing your 
wishes in your manner; be attentive to her; and, in short, 
let her unequivocally see the nature of your intentions ; tell 
her that you want to marry her ; and when she refuses, then 
it is time enough to commence those those other operations 
at which you hint." 

" Well, d n me, but there is some sense in what you say," 
observed Blarden, filling his glass again. " Umph ! perhaps 
I've been rather backward ; I believe I have ; she's coy, shy, 
and a proud little baggage withal I lika her the better for 
it and requires a lot of wooing before she's won ; well, I'll 
make myself clear on to-morrow. I'm blessed if she sha'n't 
understand me beyond the possibility of question or doubt ; 
and if she won t listen to reason, then we'll see whether there 
isn't a way to break her spirit if she was as proud as the 
Queen." With these words Blarden arose and drained the 
flask of wine, then observed authoritatively, 

" Get the cards and follow me to the parlour. I want 
something to amuse me ; be quick, d'ye hear P " 

And so saying he took his departure, followed by Sir Henry 
Ashwoode, whose condition was now more thoroughly abject 
and degraded than that of a purchased slave. 



CHAPTER XLIX. 

OLD SONGS THE UNWELCOME LISTENER THE BAEONET's 
PLEDGE. 

NEXT day Mary Ashwoode sat alone in the same room in 
which she had been so unpleasantly intruded upon on the 
evening before. The unkindness of her brother had caused 
her many a bitter tear during the past night, and although 
still entirely in the dark as to Blarden's designs, there was yet 



Old Songs. 247 

something in his manner during the brief moment of their 
yesterday evening's rencontre which alarmed her, and sug- 
gested, in a few hurried and fevered dreams which troubled 
her broken slumbers of the night past, his dreaded image in a 
hundred wild and fantastic adventures. 

She sat, as we have already said, alone in the self-same 
room, and as mechanically she pursued her work, her thoughts 
were far away, and wherever they turned still were they 
clouded with anxiety and sorrow. Wearied at length with the 
monotony of an occupation which availed not even momen- 
tarily to draw her attention from the griefs which weighed 
upon her, she threw her work aside, and taking the guitar 
which in gayer hours had often yielded its light music to her 
touch, and trying to forget the consciousness of her changed 
and lonely existence in the happier recollections which 
returned in these once familiar sounds, she played and sang 
the simple melodies which had been her favourites long ago ; 
but while thus her hands strayed over the chords of the 
instrument, and the low and silvery cadences of her sweet 
voice recalled many a touching remembrance of the past, 
she was startled and recalled at once from her momentary 
forgetf ulness of the present by a voice close behind her which 
exclaimed, 

" Capital never a better encore, encore ; " and on looking 
hurriedly round, her glance at once encountered and recog- 
nized the form and features of Nicholas Blarden. " Go on, 
go on, do," said that gentleman in his most engaging way, 

and with an amorous grin; "do go on, can't you by , 

I'm half sorry I said a word." 

"I I would rather not," stammered she, rising and 
colouring; "I have played and sung enough too much 
already." 

" No, no, not at all," continued Blarden, warming as he 
proceeded; "hang me, no such thing, you were just going 
on strong when I came in come, come, I won't let you 
stop." 

Her heart swelled with indignation at the coarse, familiar 
insolence of his manner ; but she made no other answer than 
that conveyed by laying down the instrument, and turning 
from it and him. 

"Well, rot me, but this is too bad," continued he, play- 
fully; "come, take it up again come, you must tip us 
another stave, young lady do curse me ii: I heard half your 
songs, you're a perfect nightingale." 

So saying he took up the guitar, and followed her with it 
towards the fireplace. 

" Come, you won't refuse, eh ? I'm in earnest," he con- 
tinued ; " upon my soul and oath I want to hear more of it." 



248 The "Cock and A nchor." 

" I have already told you, sir," said Mary Ashwoode, " that 
I do not wish to play or sing any more at present. I am 
sure you are not aware, Mr. Blarden, that this is my private 
apartment; no one visits me here uninvited, and at present 
I wish to be alone." 

Thus speaking, she resumed her seat and her work, and sat 
in perfect silence, her heaving breast and glowing cheeks 
alone betraying the strength of her emotions. 

" Ho, ho ! rot me, but she's sulky," cried Blarden, with a 
horse-laugh, while he flung the guitar carelessly upon the 
table ; " sure you wouldn't turn me out that would be very 
hard usage, and no mistake. Eh ! Miss Mary ? " 

Mary continued to ply her silks in silence, and Blarden 
threw himself into a chair opposite to her. 

"I like to rise you hang me, if I don't," said Blarden, 
exultingly "you are always a snug-looking bit of goods, but 
when your blood's up, you're a downright beauty rot me, but 
you are why the devil don't you talk to me eh ? " he added, 
more roughly than he had yet spoken. 

Mary Ashwoode began now to feel seriously alarmed at the 
man's manner, and as her eyes encountered his gloating gaze, 
her colour came and went in quick succession. 

" Confoundedly pretty, sure enough, and well you know it, 
too," continued he "curse me, but you are a fine wench 
and I'll tell you what's more I'm more than half in love with 
you at this minute, may the devil have me but I am." 

Thus speaking, he drew his chair nearer hers. 

" Mr. Blarden sir I insist on your leaving me," said 
Mary, now thoroughly frightened. 

"And I insist on not leaving you," replied Blarden, with 
an insolent chuckle " so it's a fair trial of strength between 
us, eh ? ho, ho, what are you afraid of ? stick up to your 
fight do then I like you all the better for your spirit 
confound me but I do." 

He advanced his chair still nearer to that on which she was 
seated. 

" Well, but you do look pretty, by Jove," he exclaimed. " I 
like you, and I am determined to make you like me I am 
you 'shall like me." 

He arose, and approached her with a half amorous, half 
menacing air. 

Pale as death, Mary Ashwoode arose also, and moved with 
hurried, trembling steps towards the door. He made a move- 
ment as if to intercept her exit, but checked the impulse, and 
contented himself with observing with a scowl of spite and 
disappointment, as she passed from the room, 

" Pride will have a fall, my fine lady you'll be tame enough 
yet for all your tantarums, by Jove." 



Old Songs. 249 

Breathless with haste and agitation, Mary reached the 
study, where she knew her brother was now generally to be 
found. He was there engaged in the miserable labour of 
looking through accounts and letters, in arranging the com- 
plicated records of his own ruin. 

"Brother," said she, running to his side with the earnest- 
ness of deep agitation, " brother, listen to me." 

He raised his eyes, and at a glance easily divined the cause 
of her excitement. 

"Well," said he, "speak on I hear." 

"Brother," she resumed, "that man that Mr. Blarden, 
came uninvited into my study ; he was at first very coarse 
and free in his manner very disagreeable and impudent 
he refused to leave me when I requested him to do so, and 
every moment became more and more insolent his manner 
and language terrified me. Brother, dear brother, you must 
not expose me to another such scene as that which has just 



Ashwoode paused for a good while, with the pen still in 
his fingers, and his eyes fixed abstractedly upon his sister's 
pale face. At length he said, 

" Do you wish me to make this a quarrel with Blarden ? 
Was there enough to warrant a a duel ? " 

He well knew, however, that he was safe in putting the 
question, and in anticipating her answer, he calculated rightly 
the strength of his sister's affection for him. 

"Oh! no, no, brother no!'' she cried, with imploring 
terror ; " dear brother, you are everything to me now. No, 
no ; promise that you will not ! '' 

" Well, well, I do,'' said Ashwoode; "but how would you 
have me act ? '' 

4< Do not ask this man to prolong his visit,'' replied she ; " or 
if he must, at least let me go elsewhere while he remains 
here." 

" You have but one female relative in Ireland with a house 
to receive you," rejoined Ashwoode, " and that is Lady 
Stukely ; and I have reason to think she would not like to 
have you as a guest just now. 3 ' 

" Dear Harry dear brother, think of some place," said she, 
with earnest entreaty. " I now feel secure nowhere ; that 
rude man, the very sight of whom affrights me, will not 
forbear to intrude upon my privacy ; alone in my own little 
room anywhere in this house 1 am equally liable to his 
intrusions and his rudeness. Dear brother, take pity on me 
think of some place/' 

" Curse that beast Blarden ! " muttered Sir Henry Ash- 
woode, between his teeth. "Will nothing ever teach the 
ruffian one particle of tact or common sense ? What good 



250 The "Cock and Anchor." 

end could he possibly propose to himself by terrifying the 
girl?" 

Ashwoode bit his lips and frowned, while he thought the 
matter over. At length he said, 

" I shall speak to Blarden immediately. I begin to think 
that the man is not fit company for civilized people. I think 
we must get rid of him at whatever temporary inconvenience, 
without actual rudeness. Without anything approaching to 
a quarrel, I can shorten his visit. He shall leave this either 
to-night or before seven o'clock to-morrow morning." 

" And you promise there shall be no quarrel no violence? " 
urged she. 

" Yes, Mary, I do promise," rejoined Ashwoode. 

" Dear, dear brother, you have set my heart at rest," cried 
she. "Yes, you are my own dear brother my protector !" 
And with all the warmth and enthusiasm of unsuspecting 
love, she threw her arms around his neck and kissed her 
betrayer. 

Mary had scarcely left the room in which Sir Henry Ash- 
woode was seated, when he perceived Blarden sauntering 
among the trees by the window, with his usual swagger ; the 
young man put on his hat and walked quickly forth to join 
him ; as soon as he had come up with him, Blarden turned, 
and anticipating him, said, 

" Well, I /tare spoken out, and I think she understands me 
too ; at any rate, if she don't, it's no fault of mine." 

" I wish you had managed it better/' said Ashwoode ; 
" there is a way of doing these things. You have frightened 
the foolish girl half out of her wits." 

" Have I, though ? " exclaimed Blarden, with a triumphant 
grin. " She's just the girl we want easily cowed. I'm glad 
to hear it. We'll manage her we'll bring her into training 
before a week hang me, but we will." 

"You began a little too soon, though," urged Ashwoode; 
'* you ought to have tried gentle means first.'' 

" Devil the morsel of good in them," rejoined Blarden. " I 
see well enough how the wind sits she don't like me ; and 
I haven't time to waste in wooing. Once we're buckled, she'll 
be fond enough of me ; matrimony '11 turn out smooth enough 
I'll take devilish good care of that ; but the courtship will 
be the devil's tough business. We must begin the taming 
system off-hand ; there's no use in shilly shally." 

" I tell you," rejoined Ashwoode, " you have been too pre- 
cipitate 1 speak, of course, merely in relation to the policy 
and expediency of the thing. I don't mean to pretend that 
constraint may not become necessary hereafter ; but just 
now, and before our plans are well considered, and our 
arrangements made, I think it was injudicious to frighten 



Old Songs. 251 

her so. She was talking of leaving the house and going to 
Lady Stukely's, or, in short, anywhere rather than remain 
here." 

" Threaten to run away, did she ? " cried Blarden, with a 
whistle of surprise which passed off into a chuckle. 

" Yes, in plain terms, she said so," rejoined Ashwoode. 

" Then just turn the key upon her at once," replied Blarden 
" lock her up let her measure her rambles by the four walls 
of her room ! Hang me, if I can see the difficulty.'' 

Ashwoode remained silent, and they walked side by side for 
a time without exchanging a word. 

" Well, I believe I'm right," cried Blarden, at length ; " I 
think our game is plain enough, eh ? Don't let her budge an 
inch. Do you act turnkey, and I'll pay her a visit once a 
day for fear she'd forget me I'll be her father confessor, eh P 
ho, ho ! and between us I think we'll manage to bring her 
to before long." 

" We must take care before we proceed to this extremity 
that all our agents are trustworty," said Ashwoode. " There 
is no immediate danger of her attempting an escape, for I told 
her that you were leaving this either to-night or to-morrow 
morning, and she's now just as sure as if we had her under 
lock and key." 

" Well, what do you advise ? Can't you speak out ? What's 
all the delay to lead to ? " said Blarden. 

" Merely that we shall have time to adjust our schemes," 
replied Ashwoode ; " there is more to be done than perhaps 
you think of. We must cut off all possibility of corre- 
spondence with friends out of doors, and we must guard against 
suspicion among the servants ; they are all fond of her, and 
there is no knowing what mischief might be done even by the 
most contemptible agents. Some little preparation before we 
employ coercion is absolutely indispensable." 

" Well, then, you'd have me keep out of the way," said 
Blarden. " But mind you, I won't leave this ; I like to have 
my own eye upon my own business." 

"There is no reason why you should leave it," rejoined 
Ashwoode. " The weather is now cold and broken, so that 
Mary will seldom leave the house ; and when she remains in it, 
she is almost always in the little drawing-room with her work, 
and books, and music ; with the slightest precaution you can 
effectually avoid her for a few days." 

" Well, then, agreed done and done a fair go on both 
sides," replied Blarden, " but it must not be too long ; knock 
out some scheme that will wind matters up within a fortnight 
at furthest; be lively, or she shall lead apes, and you swing as 
sure as there's six sides to a die." 



252 The " Cock and A nchor" 



CHAPTER L. 

THE PRESS IN THE WALL. 

LARRY TOOLE, haying visited in vain all his master's usual 
haunts, returned in the evening of that day on which we last 
beheld him, to the " Cock and Anchor," in a state of extreme 
depression and desolateness. 

" By the holy man," said Larry, in reply to the inquiries of 
the groom, who encountered him at the yard gate, " he's gone 
as clane as a whistle. It's dacent thratement, so it is gone, 
and laves me behind to rummage the town for him, and divil a 
sign of him, good or bad. I'm fairly burstin' with emotions. 
Why did he make off with himself ? Why the devil did he 
desart me? There's no apology for sich minewvers, nor no 
excuse in the wide world, anless, indeed, he happened to 
be dhrounded or dhrunk. I'm fairly dry with the frettin . 
Come in with me, and we'll have a sorrowful pot iv strong 
ale together by the kitchen fire ; for, bedad, I want something 
badly." 

Accordingly the two worthies entered the great old kitchen, 
and by the genial blaze of its cheering hearth, they dis- 
cussed at length the probabilities of recovering Larry's lost 
master. 

" Usedn't he to take a run out now and again to Morley 
Court ? " inquired the groom ; " you told me so." 

"By the hokey," exclaimed Larry, with sudden alacrity, 
" there is some siiise in what you say bedad, there is. I 
don't know how in the world I didn't think iv going out 
there to-day. But no matter, I'll do it to-morrow." 

And in accordance with this resolution, upon the next 
day, early in the forenoon, Mr. Toole pursued his route 
toward the old manor-house. As he approached the domain, 
however, he slackened his pace, and, with extreme hesitation 
and caution, began to loiter toward the mansion, screening 
his approach as much as possible among the thick brush- 
wood which skirted the rich old timber that clothed the 
slopes and hollows of the manor in irregular and stately 
masses. Sheltered in his post of observation, Larry lounged 
about until he beheld Sir Henry emerge from the hall door 
and join Nicholas Blarden in the tete-a-tete which we have 
in our last chapter described. Our romantic friend no sooner 
beheld this occurrence, than he felt all his uneasiness at 
once dispelled. He marched rapidly to the hall door, which 
remained open, and forthwith entered the house. He had 



The Press in the Wall. 253 

hardly reached the interior of the hall, when he was encoun- 
tered by no less a person than the fair object of his soul's 
idolatry, the beauteous Mistress Betsy Carey. 

"La, Mr. Laurence," cried she, with an affected start, 
"you're always turning up like a ghost, when you're least 
expected." 

" By the powers of Moll Kelly ! " rejoined Larry, with 
fervour, " it's more and more beautiful, the Lord be merciful 
to us, you're growin' every day you live. What the divil will 
you come to at last ? " 

" Well, Mr. Toole," rejoined she, relaxing into a gracious 
smile, " but you do talk more nonsense than any ten beside. 
I wonder at you, so I do, Mr. Toole. Why don't you have a 
discreeterer way of conversation and discourse ? " 

" Och ! murdher ! heigho ! beautiful Betsy," sighed Larry, 
rapturously. 

" Did you walk, Mr. Toole ? " inquired the maiden. 

" I did so," rejoined Larry. 

" Young master's just gone out," continued the maid. 

" So I seen, jewel," replied Mr. Toole. 

" An' you may as well come into the parlour, an' have some 
drink and victuals," added she, with an encouraging smile. 

" Is there no fear of his coming in on me ? " inquired Larry, 
cautiously. 

"Tilly vally, man, who are you afraid of? " exclaimed the 
handmaiden, cheerily. " Come, Mr. Toole, you used not to be 
so easily frightened." 

" I'll never be afraid to folly your lead, most beautiful and 
hewildhering iv famales,'' ejaculated Mr. Toole, gallantly. 
" So here goes ; folly on, and I'll attind you behind." 

Accordingly, they both entered the great parlour, where the 
table bore abundant relics of a plenteous meal, and Mistress 
Betsy Carey, with her own fair hands, placed a chair for him 
at the table, and heaping a plate with cold beef and bread, laid 
it before her grateful swain, along with a foaming tankard of 
humming ale. The maid was gracious, and the beef delicious ; 
his ears drank in her accents, and his throat her ale, and his 
heart and mouth were equally full. Thus, in a condition as 
nearly as human happiness can approach to unalloyed felicity, 
realizing the substantial bliss of Mahomet's paradise, Mr. Toole 
ogled and ate, and glanced and guzzled in soft rapture, until 
the force of nature could no further go on, and laying down 
his knife and fork, he took one long last draught of ale, 
measuring, it is supposed, about three half -pints, and then, 
with an easy negligence, wiping the froth from his mouth with 
the cuff of his coat, he addressed himself to the fair dame once 
more, 

" They may say what they like, by the hokey ! all the world 



254 The "Cock and Anchor. 33 

over ; but divil bellows me, if ever I seen sich another beau- 
tiful, fascinating, flusthrating famale, since I was the sizeiv 
that musthard pot may the divil bile me if I did," ejaculated 
Mr. Toole, rapturously throwing himself into the chair with 
something between a sigh and a grunt, and ready to burst with 
love and repletion. 

The fair maiden endeavoured to look contemptuous ; but 
she smiled in spite of herself. 

" Well, well, Mr. Toole," she exclaimed, " I see there is no 
use in talking ; a fool's a fool to the end of his days, and some 
people's past cure. But tell me, how's Mr. O'Connor ? " 

" Bedad, it's time for me to think iv it," exclaimed Larry, 
briskly. " Do you know what brought me here ? " 

" How should I know ? " responded she, with a careless toss 
of her head, and a very conscious look. 

" Well," replied Mr. Toole, " I'll tell you at once. I lost the 
masther as clane as a new shilling, an' I'm fairly braking my 
heart lookin' for him ; an' here I come, trying would I get the 
chance iv hearing some soart iv a sketch iv him.' 5 

" Is that all? " inquired the damsel, drily. 

"All ! " ejaculated Larry ; begorra, I think it's enough, an' 
something to spare. All ! why, I tell you the masther's lost, 
an' anless I get some news of him here, it's twenty to one the 
two of us 'ill never meet in this disappinting world again. 
All! I think that something." 

"An 5 pray, what should J know about Mr. O'Connor?" 
inquired the girl, tartly. 

"Did you see him, or hear of him, or was he out here at 
all? "asked he. 

" No, he wasn't. What would bring him ? " replied she. 

" Then he is gone in airnest," exclaimed Larry, passionately ; 
" he's gone entirely ! I half guessed it from the first minute. 
By jabers, my bitther curse attind that bloody little public. 
He's lost, an' tin to one he's in glory, for he was always 
unfortunate. Och ! divil fly away with the liquor." 

" Well, to be sure," ejaculated the lady's maid, with con- 
temptuous severity, tl but it is surprising what fools some 
people is. Don't you think your master can go anywhere for 
a day or two, but he must bring you along with him, or ask 
your leave and licence to go where he pleases forsooth? 
Marry, come up, it's enough to make a pig laugh only to listen 
to you." 

Just at this moment, and when Larry was meditating his 
reply, steps were heard in the hall, and voices in debate. 
They were those of Nicholas Blarden and of Sir Henry Ash- 
woode. Larry instantly recognized the latter, and his com- 
panion both of them. 

" They're coming this way," gasped Larry, with agonized 



The Press in the Wall. 255 

alarm. " Tare an' ouns, evangelical girl, we're done for. Put 
me somewhere quick, or begorra it's all over with uy." 

"What's to be done, merciful Moses? Where can you 
go ? " ejaculated the terrified girl, surveying the room with 
frantic haste. " The press. Oh ! thank God, the press. 
Come along, quick, quick, Mr. Toole, for gracious goodness 
sake." 

So saying, she rushed headlong at a kind of cupboard or 
press, whose doors opened in the panelling of the wall, and 
fumbling with frightful agitation among her keys, she suc- 
ceeded at length in unlocking it, and throwing open its door, 
exhibited a small orifice of about four feet and a half by three 
in the wall. 

" Now, Mr. Toole, into it, as you vally your precious life 
quick, quick, for the love of heaven," ejaculated the maiden. 

Larry was firmly persuaded that the feat was a downright 
physical impossibility ; yet with a devotion and desperation 
which love and terror combined alone could inspire, he mounted 
a chair, and, supported by all the muscular strength of his 
soul's idol, scrambled into the aperture. A projecting shelf 
about half way up threw his figure so much out of equili- 
brium, that the task of keeping him in his place was no light 
one. By main strength, however, the girl succeeded in closing 
the door and locking her visitor fairly in, and before her 
master entered the chamber, Mr. Toole became a close 
prisoner, and the key which confined him was safely 
deposited in the charming Betsy's pocket. 

Blarden roared lustily to the servants, and with sundry 
impressive imprecations, commanded them to remove every 
vestige of the breakfast of which the prisoner had just 
clandestinely partaken. Meanwhile he continued to walk up 
and down the room, whistling a lively ditty, and here and 
there, at particularly sprightly parts, drumming with his foot 
in time upon the floor. 

"Well, that job's done at last," said he. "The room's 
clean and quiet, and we can't do better than take a twist 
at the cards. So let's have a pack, and play your best, d'ye 
mind." 

This was addressed to Ashwoode, who, of course, ac- 
quiesced. 

" Oh, bloody wars, I'm in for it," murmured Larry, " they'll 
be playin' here to no end, and I smothering fast, as it is ; 
I'll never come out iv this pisition with my life." 

Few situations could indeed be conceived physically more 
uncomfortable. A shelf projecting about midway pressed him 
forward, exerting anything but a soothing influence upon the 
backbone, so that his whole weight rested against the door 
of his narrow prison, and was chiefly sustained by his breast- 



256 The "Cock and A nckor." 

bone and chin. In this very constrained attitude, and afraid 
to relieve his fatigue by moving even in the very slightest 
degree, lest some accidental noise should excite suspicion and 
betray his presence, the ill-starred squire remained ; his dis- 
comforts still further enhanced by the pouring of some pickles, 
which had been overturned upon an upper shelf, in cool 
streams of vinegar down his back. 

" I could not have betther luck," murmured he. " I never 
discoorsed a famale yet, but I paid through the nose for it. 
Didn't I get enough iv romance, bad luck to it, an' isn't it a 
plisint pisition I'm in at last locked up in an ould cupboard 
in the wall, an' fairly swimming in vinegar. Oh, the women, 
the women. I'd rather than every stitch of cloth on my back, 
I walked out clever an' clane to meet the young masther, and 
not let myself be boxed up this way, almost dying with 
the cramps and the snuffication. Oh, them women, them 
women ! " 

Thus mourned our helpless friend in inarticulate murmur- 
ings. Meanwhile young Ashwoode opened two or three 
drawers in search of a pack of cards. 

"There are several, I know, in that locker," said Ashwoode. 
" I laid some of them there myself." 

"This one?" inquired Blarden, making the interrogatory 
by a sharp application of the head of his cane to the very 
panel against which Larry's chin was resting. The shock, 
the pain, and the exaggerated loudness of the application 
caused the inmate of the press, in spite of himself, to 
ejaculate, 

Oh,holyPether!" 

" Did you hear anything queer ? ' inquired Blarden, with 
some consternation. " Anyone calling out ? " 

" No," said Ashwoode. 

" Well, see what the nerves is," cried Blarden, " by , I'd 

Irave bet ten to one I heard a voice in the wall the minute I 
hit that locker door this weather don't agree with me." 

This sentence he wound up by administering a second knock 
where he had given the first ; and Larry, with set teeth and 
a grin, which in a horse-collar would have won whole pyramids 
of gingerbread, nevertheless bore it this time with the silent 
stoicism of a tortured Indian. 

" The nerves is a quare piece of business," observed 

Mr. Blarden a philosophical remark in which Larry heartily 

coocurred " but get the cards, will you what the is all 

the delay about ? " 

In obedience to Ashwoode's summons, Mistress Betsy Carey 
entered the room. 

" Carey," said he, " open that press and take out two or three 
packs of ca.rds." 



The Press in the Wall. 257 

" 1 can't open the locker," replied she, readily, " for the 
young mistress put the key astray, sir I'll ran and look for 
it, if you please, sir." 

" God bless you," murmured Larry, with fervent gratitude. 

" Hand me that bunch of keys from under your apron," 
said Blarden, " ten to one we'll find some one among them 
that'll open it." 

" There's no use in trying, sir," replied the girl, very much 
alarmed, " it's a pitiklar spart of a lock, and has a pitiklar 
key you'll ruinate it, sir, if you go for to think to open it with 
a key that don't fit it, so you will I'll run and look for it if 
you please, sir." 

" Give me that bunch of keys, young woman ; give them, 
I tell you," exclaimed Blarden. 

Thus constrained, she reluctantly gave the keys, and among 
them the identical one to whose kind offices Mr. O'Toole owed 
his present dignified privacy. 

" Come in here, Chancey," said Mr. Blarden, addressing that 
gentleman, who happened at that moment to be crossing the 
hall " take these keys here and try if any of them will pick 
that lock." 

Chancey accordingly took the keys, and mounting languidly 
upon a chair, began his operations. 

It were not easy to describe Mr. Toole's emotions as these 
proceedings were going forward some of the keys would not 
go in at all others went in with great difficulty, and came 
out with as much some entered easily, but refused to turn, 
and during the whole of these various attempts upon his 
" dungeon keep," his mental agonies grew momentarily more 
and more intense, so much so that he was repeatedly prompted 
to precipitate the denouement, by shouting his confession from 
within. His heart failed him, however, and his resolution 
grew momentarily feebler and more feeble he would have 
given worlds at that moment that he could have shrunk into 
the pickle-pot, whose contents were then streaming down his 
back gladly would he have compounded for escape at the 
price of being metamorphosed for ever into a gherkin. His 
prayers were, however, unanswered, and he felt his inevitable 
fate momentarily approaching. 

" This one will do it I declare to God I have it at last," 
drawled Chancey, looking lazily at a key which he held in his 
hand ; and then applying it, it found its way freely into the 
key -hole. 

" Bravo, Gordy.by ," cried Blarden, " I never knew you 

fail yet you're as cute as a pet fox, you are." 

Mr. Blarden had hardly finished this flattering eulogium, 
when Chancey turned the key in the lock : with astonishing 
violence the doors burst open, and Larry Toole, Mr. Chancey, 



258 "The Cock and Anchor." 

and the chair on which he was mounted, descended with the 
force of a thunderbolt on the floor. In sheer terror, Chancey 
clutched the interesting stranger by the throat, and Larry, in 
self-defence, bit the lawyer's thumb, which had by a trifling 
inaccuracy entered his mouth, and at the same time, with both 
his hands, dragged his nose in a lateral direction until it had 
attained an extraordinary length and breadth. In equal terror 
and torment the two combatants rolled breathless along the 
floor ; the charming Betsy Carey screamed murder, robbery, 
and fire while Ashwoode and Blarden both started to their 
feet in the extremest amazement. 

"How the devil did you get into that press ?" exclaimed 
Ashwoode, as soon as the rival athletes had been separated 
and placed upon their feet, addressing Larry Toole. 

" Oh ! the robbing villain," ejaculated Mistress Betsy Carey 
"don't suffer nor allow him to speak bring him to the 

Samp, gentlemen oh ! the lying villain kick him put, Mr. 
hancey thump him, Sir Henry don't spare him, Mr. 
Blarden turn him out, gentlemen all he's quite aperiently 
a robber oh ! blessed hour, but it's I that ought to be thank- 
ful what in the world wide would I do if he came powdering 
down on me, the overbearing savage ! " 

" Och ! murder the cruelty iv women ! " ejaculated Larry, 
reproachfully " oh ! murdher, beautiful Betsy." 

" Don't be talking to me, you sneaking, skulking villain," 
cried Mistress Carey, vehemently, " you must have stole the 
key, so you must, and locked yourself up, you frightful baste. 
For goodness gracious sake, gentlemen, don't keep him talk- 
ing here he's dangerous the Turk." 

" Oh ! the villainy iv women ! " repeated Larry, with deep 
pathos. 

A brief cross-examination of Mistress Carey and of Larry 
Toole sufficed to convict the fair maiden of her share in con- 
cealing the prisoner. 

" Now, Mr. Toole," said Ashwoode, addressing that person* 
age, " you have been once before turned out of this house for 
misconduct I tell you, that if you do not make good use of 
your time, and run as fast as your best exertions will enable 
you, you shall have abundant reason to repent it, for in five 
minutes more I will set the dogs after you ; and if ever I find 
you here again, I will have you ducked in the horse-pond for 
a full hour depart, sirrah away run." 

Larry did not require any more urgent remonstrances to 
induce him to expedite his retreat he made a contrite bow to 
Sir Henry cast a look of melancholy reproach at the beauti- 
ful Betsy, who, with a heightened colour, was withdrawing 
from the scene, and then with sudden nimbleness, effected his 
retreat. 



Flora Guy. 259 

"The fellow," said Ashwoode, "is a servant of that 
O'Connor, whom I mentioned to you. I do not think we 
shall ever have the pleasure of his company again. I am 
glad the thing has happened, for it proves that we cannot 
trust Carey." 

"That it does," echoed Blarden, with an oath. 

" Well, then, she shall take her departure hence before a 
week," rejoined Ashwoode. " We shall see about her suc- 
cessor without loss of time. So much for Mistress Carey." 



CHAPTER LI. 

FLORA GUY. 

" WHY, I thought you had done for that fellow, that 
O'Connor," exclaimed Blarden, after he had carefully closed 
the door. " I thought you had pinked him through and 
through like a riddle isn't he dead didn't you settle him ? " 

" So I thought myself, but some troublesome people have 
the art of living through what might have killed a hundred," 
rejoined Ashwoode ; " and I do not at all like this servant of 
his privately coming here, to hold conference with my sister's 
maid it looks suspicious ; if it be, however, as I suspect, I 
have effectually countermined them." 

" Well, then," replied Blarden, with an oath, " at all events 
we must set to work now in earnest." 

"The first thing to be done is to find a substitute for the 
girl whom I am about to dismiss," said Ashwoode, " we must 
select carefully, one whom we can rely upon do you choose 
her ? " 

" Why, I'm no great judge of such cattle," rejoined Blarden. 
" But here's Chancey that understands them. I stake this 
ring to a sixpence he has one in his eye this very minute 
that'll fit our purpose to a hair what do you say, Gordy, boy 
can you hit on the kind of wench we want eh, you old 
sly boots?'' 

Chancey sat sleepily before the fire, and a languid, lazy 
smile expanded his sallow sensual face as he gazed at the bars 
of the grate. 

" Are you tongue-tied, or what ? " exclaimed Blarden ; 
" speak out can you find us such a one as we want ? she 
must be a regular knowing devil, and no mistake as sly as 
yourself a dead hand at a scheming game like this a deep 
one." 

s 2 



260 The "Cock and Anchor." 

" Well, maybe I do,'' drawled Chancey, " I think I know a 
girl that would do, but maybe you'd think her too bad.'* 

" She can't be too bad for the work we want her for what 
the devil do you mean by BAD ? '' exclaimed Blarden. 

"Well," continued Chancey, disregarding the last inter- 
rogatory, " she's Flora Guy, she attends in the ' Old Saint 
Columbkil,' a very arch little girl I think she'll do to a 
nicety." 

"Use your own judgment, I leave it all to you," said 
Blarden, " only get one at once, do you mind, you know the 
sort we want.'' 

" I suppose she can't come any sooner than to-morrow, she 
must have notice," said Chancey, " but I'll go in there to-day if 
you like, and talk to her about it ; I'll have her out with you 

here to-morrow to a certainty, an' I declare to G she's a 

very smart little girl." 

" Do so," said Ashwoode, " and the sooner the better." 

Chancey arose, stuffed his hands into his breeches pockets 
according to his wont, and with a long yawn lounged out of 
the room. 

" Do you keep out of the way after this evening," continued 
Sir Henry, addressing himself to Blarden; "I will tell her 
that you are to leave us this night, and that your visit ends ; 
this will keep her quiet until all is ready, and then she must 
be tractable." 

"Do you run and find her, then," said Blarden, "and tell 
her that I'm off for town this evening tell her at once and 
mind, bring me word what she says off with you, doctor 
ho, ho, ho ! mind, bring me word what she says do you 
hear ? " 

With this pleasant charge ringing in his ears, Sir Henry 
Ashwoode departed upon his honourable mission. 

Chancey strolled listlessly into town, and after an easy 
ramble, at length found himself safe and sound once more 
beneath the roof of the ' Old Saint Columbkil.' He walked 
through the dingy deserted benches and tables of the old 
tavern, and seating himself near the hearth, called a greasy 
waiter who was dozing in a corner. 

" Tim, I'm rayther dry to-day, Timothy," said Mr. Chancey, 
addressing the functionary, who shambled up to him more 
than half asleep ; " what will you recommend, Timothy what 
do you think of a pot of light ale ? " 

" Pint or quart ? " inquired Tim shortly. 

"Well, we'll say a pint to begin with, Timothy," said 
Chancey, meekly ; " and do you see, Timothy, if Miss Flora Guy 
is on the tap ; I wish she would bring it to me herself do you 
mind, Timothy ? '' 

Tim nodded and departed, and in a few minutes a brisk 



Flora Guy. 261 

step was heard, and a neat, good-humoured looking wench 
approached Mr. Chancey, and planted a pint pot of ale before 
him. 

" Well, my little girl," said Chancey, with the quiet dignity 
of a patron, "would you like to get a fine situation in a 
baronet's family, my dear ; to be own maid to a baronet's 
sister, where they eat off of silver every day in the week, and 
have more money than you or I could count in a twelve- 
month ? " 

" Where's the good of liking it, Mr. Chancey ? " replied the 
girl, laughing; "it's time enough to be thinking of it when I 
get the offer." 

" Well, you have the offer this minute, my little girl," re- 
joined Chancey ; " I have an elegant place for you upon my 
conscience I have up at Morley Court, with Sir Henry Ash- 
woode ; he's a baronet, dear, and you're to be own maid to Miss 
Mary Ashwoode." 

" It can't be the truth you're telling me," said the girl, in 
unfeigned amazement. 

" I declare to G d, and upon my soul, it is the plain truth," 
drawled Chancey ; " Sir Henry Ashwoode, the baronet, asked 
me to recommend a tidy, sprightly little girl, to be own maid 
to his elegant, fine sister, and I recommended you I declare to 
G d but I did, and I come in to-day from the baronet's house 
to hire you, so I did.'' 

" Well, an' is it in airnest you are ? " said the girl. 

"What I'm telling you is the rale truth," rejoined Chancey : 
"I declare to G d upon my soul and conscience, and I 
wouldn't swear that in a lie, if you like to take the place you 
can get it." 

*' Well, well, after that why, my fortune's made," cried the 
girl, in ecstasies. 

" It is so, indeed, my little girl," rejoined Chancey ; " your 
fortune's made, sure enough." 

" An' my dream's out, too ; for I was dreaming of nothing 
but washing, and that's a sure sign of a change, all the live- 
long night," cried she, " washing linen, and such lots of it, all 
heaped up ; well, I'm a sharp dreamer ain't I, though P " 

" You will take it, then ? " inquired Chancey. 

" Will I maybe I won't," rejoined she. 

" Well, come out to-morrow," said Chancey. 

" I can't to-morrow," replied she; "for all the table-cloth is 
to be done, an' I would not like to disappoint the master after 
being with him so long." 

" Well, can you next day ? " 

" I can," replied she ; " tell me where it is." 

" Do you know Tony Bligh's public the old ' Bleeding 
Horse ? '" inquired he. 



262 The "Cock and A nchor." 

" I do right well," she rejoined with alacrity. 

" They'll direct you there," said Chancey ; " ask for the 
manor of Morley Court ; it's a great old brick house, you can see 
it a mile away, and whole acres of wood round it it's a 
wonderful fine place, so it is ; remember it's Sir Henry himself 
you're to see when you go there ; an' do you mind what I'm 
saying to you, if I hear that you were talking and prating 
about the place here to the chaps that's idling about, or to old 
Pottles, or the sluts of maids, or, in short, to anyone at all, 
good or bad, you'll be sure to lose the situation ; so mind my 
advice, like a good little girl, and don't be talking to any of 
them about where you're going ; for it wouldn't look respect- 
able for a baronet to be hiring his servants out of a tavern 
do you mind me, dear." 

" Oh, never fear me, Mr. Chancey," she rejoined ; " I'll not 
say a word to a living soul ; but I hope there's no fear the 
place will be taken before me, by not going to-morrow." 

" Oh ! dear me ! no fear at all, I'll keep it open for you ; now 
be a good girl, and remember, don't disappoint." 

So saying he drained his pot of ale to the last drop, and 
took his departure in the pleasing conviction that he had 
secured the services of a fitting instrument to carry out the 
infernal schemes of his employers. 



, CHAPTER LIT. 
OF MARY ASHWOODE'S WALK TO THE LONESOME WELL AND or 

WHAT SHE SAW THERE AND SHOWING HOW SCHEMES OF 
PERIL BEGAN TO CLOSE AROUND HER. 

ON the following evening, Mary Ashwoode, in the happy con- 
viction that Nicholas Blarden was far away, and for ever 
removed from her neighbourhood, walked forth at the fall of 
the evening unattended, to ramble among the sequestered, but 
now almost leafless woods, which richly ornamented the old 
place. Through sloping woodlands, among the stately trees 
and wild straggling brushwood, now densely crowded together, 
and again opening in broad vistas and showing the level sward, 
and then again enclosing her amid the gnarled and hoary 
trunks and fantastic boughs, all touched with the mellow 
golden hue of the rich lingering light of evening, she wandered 
on, now treading the smooth sod among the branching roots, 
now stepping from mossy stone to stone across the wayward 
brook now pausing on a gentle eminence to admire the glow- 



Mary Ashwoode's Walk. 263 

ing sky and the thin haze of evening, mellowing all the distant 
shadowy outlines of the landscape ; and by all she saw at every 
step beguiled into forgetfulness of the distance to which she 
had wandered. 

She now approached what had been once a favourite spot 
with her. In a gentle slope, and almost enclosed by wooded 
banks, was a small clear well, an ancient lichen-covered arch 
enclosed it ; and all around in untended wildness grew the 
rugged thorn and dwarf oak, crowding around it with a friendly 
pressure, and embowering its dark clear waters with their ivy- 
clothed limbs ; close by it stood a tall and graceful ash, and 
among its roots was placed a little rustic bench where, in 
happier times, Mary had often sat and read through the 
pleasant summer hours ; and now, alas ! there was the little 
seat and there the gnarled roots and the hoary stems of the 
wild trees, and the graceful ivy clusters, and the time-worn 
mossy arch that vaulted the clear waters bubbling so joyously 
beneath ; how could she look on these old familiar friends, 
and not feel what all who with changed hearts and altered 
fortunes revisit the scenes of happier times are doomed to 
feel? 

For a moment she paused and stood lost in vain and bitter 
regrets by the old well-side. Her reverie was, however, soon and 
suddenly interrupted by the sound of something moving among 
the brittle brushwood close by; she looked quickly in the 
direction of the noise, and though the light had now almost 
entirely failed, she yet discovered, too clearly to be mistaken, 
the head and shoulders of Nicholas Blarden, as he pushed his 
way among the bushes toward the very spot where she stood. 
With an involuntary cry of terror she turned, and running ather 
utmost speed, retraced her steps toward the old mansion ; not 
daring even to look behind her, she pursued her way among the 
deepening shadows of the old trees with the swiftness of 
terror ; and, as she ran, her fears were momentarily enhanced 
by the sound of heavy foot-falls in pursuit, accompanied by the 
loud short breathing of one exerting his utmost speed. On 
on she flew with dizzy haste ; the distance seemed intermin- 
able, and her exhaustion was such that she felt momentarily 
tempted to forego the hopeless effort, and surrender herself to 
the mercy of her pursuer. At length she approached the old 
house the sounds behind her abated ; she thought she heard 
hoarse volleys of muttered imprecations, but not hazarding 
even a look behind, she still held on her way, and at length, 
almost wild with fear, entered the hall and threw herself 
sobbing into her brother's arms. 

" Oh God ! brother ; he's here ; am I safe ? '' and she burst 
into hysterical sobs. 

As soon as she was a little calmed, he asked her, 



264 The "Cock and A nchor" 

" What has alarmed yon, Mary ; what have you seen to 
agitate yon so ? " 

"Oh! brother; have yon deceived me; is that fearful man 
still an inmate of the house ? " she said. 

"No; 1 tell yon no," replied Ashwoode, "he's gone; his 
visit ended with yesterday evening; he's fifty miles away 
by this time ; tut tut folly, child ; you must not be so 
fanciful." 

" Well, brother, lie has deceived you" she rejoined, with the 
earnestness of terror ; " he is not gone ; he is about this place ; 
so surely as you stand there, I saw him ; and, O God! he 
pursued me, and had my strength faltered for a moment, or 
my foot slipped, I should have been in his power ;" she leaned 
down her head and clasped her hands across her eyes, as if to 
exclude some image of horror. 

" This is mere raving, child," said Ashwoode, " the veriest 
folly ; I tell you the man is gone ; you heard, if anything at 
all, a dog or a hare springing through the leaves, and your 
imagination supplied the rest. I tell you, once for all, that 
Blardenis threescore good miles away." 

" Brother, as surely as I see you, 1 saw him this night," she 
replied. " I could not be mistaken ; I saw him, and for several 
seconds befoie I could move, such was the palsy of terror that 
struck me. I saw him, and watched him advancing towards 
me gracious he.aven ! for while I could reckon ten ; and then, 
as I fled, he still pursued ; he was so near that I actually 
heard his panting, as well as the tread of his feet ; brother 
brother there was no mistake ; there could be none in this." 

" Well, be it so, since you will have it," replied Ashwoode, 
trying to laugh it off ; " you have seen his fetch I think they 
call it so. I'll not dispute the matter with yon ; but this I 
will aver, that his corporeal presence is removed some fifty 
miles from hence at this moment ; take some tea and get yon 
to bed, child ; you have got a fit ot' the vapours ; you'll laugh 
at your own foolish fancies to-morrow morning." 

That night Sir Henry Ashwoode, Nicholas Blarden, and 
their worthy confederate, Gordon Chancey, were closeted to- 
gether in earnest and secret consultation in the parlour. 

" Why did yon act so rashly what could have possessed 
you to follow the girl?" asked Ashwoode, "you have 
managed one way or another so thoroughly to frighten the 
girl, to make her so fear and avoid you, that i entirely 
despair, by fair means, of ever inducing her to listen to your 
proposals." 

" Well, that does not take me altogether by surprise," said 
Blarden, " for I have been suspecting so much this many a 
day ; we must then go to work in right earnest at once.'' 






Mary Ashwoode' s Walk. 265 

"What measures shall we take ? " said Ashwoode. 

"What measures ! " echoed Blarden ; " well, confound me if 
I know what to begin with, there's such a lot of them, and all 
good what do you say, Gordy ? " 

"You ought to ask her to marry you off-hand," said 
Chancey, demurely, but promptly; "and if she refuses, let 
her be locked up, and treat her as if she was mad do you 
mind ; and I'll go to Patrick's-close, and bring out old Shy- 
cock, the clergyman ; and the minute she strikes, you can be 
coupled ; she'll give in very soon, you'll find ; little Ebenezer 
will do whatever we bid him, and swear whatever we like ; 
we'll all swear that you and she are man and wife already; 
and when she denies it, threaten her with the mad-house ; and 
then we'll see if she won't come round ; and you must first 
send away the old servants every mother's skin of them 
and get new ones instead ; and that's my advice." 

"It's not bad, either," said Blarden, knitting his brows twice 
or thrice, and setting his teeth. "I like that notion of 
threatening her with Bedlam ; it's a devilish good idea; and 
I'll give long odds it will work wonders ; what do you say, 
Ashwoode ? " 

"Choose your own measures," replied the baronet. "I'm 
incapable of advising you." 

"Well, then, Gordy, that's the go," said Blarden; "bring 
out his reverence whenever I tip you the signal ; and he shall 
have board and lodging until the job's done ; he'll make a tip- 
top domestic chaplain ; I suppose we'll have family prayers 
while he stays eh? ho, ho! devilish good idea, that; and 
Chancey 'ill act clerk eh ? won't you, Gordy ? " and, tickled 
beyond measure at the facetious suggestion, Mr. Blarden 
laughed long and lustily. 

" I suppose I may as well keep close until our private 
chaplain arrives, and the new waiting-maid," said Blarden ; 
" and as soon as all is ready, I'll blaze out in style, and I'll 
tell you what, Ashwoode, a precious good thought strikes me; 
turn about you know is fair play ; and as I'm fifty miles away 
to-day, it occurs to me it would be a deuced good plan to 
have you fifty miles away to-morrow eh ? we could manage 
matters better if you were supposed out of the way, and that 
she knew I had the whole command of the house, and every- 
thing in it ; she'd be a cursed deal more frightened ; what do 
you think ? " 

" Yes, I entirely agree with you," said Ashwoode, eagerly 
catching at a scheme which would relieve him of all prominent 
participation in the infamous proceedings an exemption 
which, spite of his utter selfishness, he gladly snatched at. 
" I will do so. I will leave the house in reality." 

" No no ; my tight chap, not so fast," rejoined Blarden, 



266 The "Cock and Anchor:' 

with a savage chuckle. " I'd rather have my eye on you, if you 
please ; just write her a letter, dated from Dublin, and say 
you're obliged to go anywhere you please for a month or so ; 
she'll not find you out, for we'll not let her out of her room ; 
and now I think everything is settled to a turn, and we may 
as well get under the blankets at once, and be stirring be- 
times in the morning." 



CHAPTER LIII. 

THE DOUBLE FAREWELL. 

NEXT day Mistress Betsy Carey bustled into her young mis- 
tress's chamber looking very red and excited. 

" Well, ma'am," said she, dropping a short indignant 
courtesy, " I'm come to bid you good-bye, ma'am.'' 

" How what can you mean, Carey ? " said Mary Ash- 
woode. 

" I hope them as comes after me," continued the hand- 
maiden, vehemently, "will strive to please you in all pints 
and manners as well as them that's going. 1 ' 

" Going ! " echoed Mary ; " why, this can't be there must 
be some great mistake here." 

" No mistake at all, ma'am, of any sort or description ; the 
master has just paid up my wages, and gave me my discharge," 
rejoined the maid. " Oh, the ingratitude of some people to 
their servants is past bearing, so it is." 

And so saying, Mistress Carey burst into a passion of 
tears. 

" There is some mistake in all this, my poor Carey," said 
the young lady ; " I will speak to my brother about it imme- 
diately ; don't cry so." 

" Oh ! my lady, it ain't for myself I'm crying ; the blessed 
saints in heaven knows it ain't," cried the beautiful Betsy, 
glancing devotionally upward through her tears ; " not at all 
and by no means, ma'am, it's all for other people, so it is, my 
lady ; oh ! ma'am, you don't know the badness and the villainy 
of people, my lady." 

" Don't cry so, Carey," replied Mary Ashwoode, " but tell 
me frankly what fault you have committed let me know 
why my brother has discharged you." 

" Just because he thinks I'm too fond of you, my lady, 
and too honest for what's going on," cried she, drying her 
eyes in her apron with angry vehemence, and speaking with 
extraordinary sharpness and volubility; "because I saw Mr. 



The Double Farewell. 267 

O'Connor's man yesterday and found out that the young 
gentleman's letters used to be stopped by the old master, God 
rest him, and Sir Henry, and all kinds of false letters written 
to him and to you by themselves, to breed mischief between 
you. I never knew the reason before, why in the world it 
was the master used to make me leave every letter that went 
between you, for a day or more in his keeping. Heaven be 
his bed ; I was too innocent for them, my lady ; we were 
both of us too simple ; oh dear ! oh dear ! it's a quare world, 
my lady. And that wasn't all but who do you think I 
meets to-day skulking about the house in company with the 
young master, but Mr. Blarden, that we all thought, glory be 
to God, was I don't know how far off out of the place ; and so, 
my lady, because them things has come to my knowledge, 
and because they knowed in their hearts, so they did, that 
I'd rayther be crucified than hide as much as the black of my 
nail from you, my lady, they put me away, thinking to keep 
you in the dark. Oh ! but it's a dangerous, bad world, so it 
is to put me out of the way of tellin' you whatever I 
knowed ; and all I'm hoping for is, that them that's coming 
in my room won't help the mischief, and try to blind you 
to what's going on ;" hereupon she again burst into a flood of 
tears. 

" Good God," said Mary Ashwoode, in the low tones of 
horror, and with a face as pale as marble, " is that dreadful 
man here have you seen him ? " 

" Yes, my lady, seen and talked with him, my lady, not ten 
minutes since," replied the maid, " and he gave me a guinea, 
and told me not to let on that I seen him he did but he 
little knew who he was speaking to oh ! ma'am, but it's a 
terrible shocking bad world, so it is." 

Mary Ashwoode leaned her head upon her hand in fearful 
agitation. This ruffian, who had menaced and insulted and 
pursued her, a single glance at whose guilty and frightful 
aspect was enough to warn and terrify, was in league and 
close alliance with her own brother to entrap and deceive her 
Heaven only could know with what horrible intent. 

" Carey, Carey," said the pale and affrighted lady, " for 
God's sake send my brother bring him here I must see Sir 
Henry, your master quickly, Carey for God's sake quickly." 

The young lady again leaned her head upon her hand and 
became silent; so the lady's maid dried her eyes, and left the 
room to execute her mission. 

The apartment in which Mary Ashwoode was now seated, 
was a small dressing-room or boudoir, which communicated 
with her bed-chamber, and itself opened upon a large wains- 
cotted lobby, surrounded with doors, and hung with portraits, 
too dingy and faded to have a place in the lower rooms. She 



268 The "Cock and A nchor." 

had thus an opportunity of hearing any step which ascended 
the stairs, and waited, in breathless expectation, for the 
sounds of her brother's approach. As the interval was pro- 
longed her impatience increased, and again and again she 
was tempted to go down stairs and seek him herself ; but the 
dread of encountering Blarden, and the terror in which she 
held him, kept her trembling in her room. At length she 
heard two persons approach, and her heart swelled almost to 
bursting, as, with excited anticipation, she listened to their 
advance. 

" Here's the room for you at last," said the voice of an old 
female servant, who forthwith turned and departed. 

" I thank you kindly, ma'am," said the second voice, also 
that of a female, and the sentence was immediately followed 
by a low, timid knock at the chamber door. 

" Come in," said Mary Ashwoode, relieved by the conscious- 
ness that her first fears had been delusive and a good-looking 
wench, with rosy cheeks, and a clear, good-humoured eye, 
timidly and hesitatingly entered the room, and dropped a 
bashful courtesy. 

" Who are you, my good girl, and what do you want with 
me P '' inquired Mary, gently. 

" I'm the new maid, please your ladyship, that Sir Henry 
Ashwoode hired, if it pleases you, ma'am, instead of the young 
woman that's just gone away," replied she, her eyes staring 
wider and wider, and her cheeks flushing redder and redder 
every moment, while she made another courtesy more energetic 
than the first. 

" And what is your name, my good girl ? " inquired 
Mary. 

" Flora Guy, may it please your ladyship," replied the new- 
comer, with another courtesy. 

" Well, Flora," said her new mistress, " have you ever been 
in service before ? " 

*' No, ma'am, if you please," replied she, " unless in the old 
Saint Columbkil." 

" The old Saint Columbkil," rejoined Mary. " What is that, 
my good girl ? " 

The ignorance implied in this question was so incredibly 
absurd, that spite of all her fears and all her modesty, the girl 
smiled, and looked down upon the floor, and then coloured to 
the eyes at her own presumption. 

" It's the great wine-tavern and eating-house, ma'am, in 
Ship Street, if you please," rejoined she. 

" And who hired you ? " inquired Mary, in undisguised 
surprise. 

" It was Mr. Chancey, ma'am the lawyer gentleman, please 
your ladyship," answered she. 






The Double Farewell. 269 

" Mr. Chancey ! I never heard of him before," said the 

Smng lady, more and more astonished. " Have you seen Sir 
enry my brother ? " 

" Oh ! yes, my lady, if you please I saw him and the other 
gentleman just before I came upstairs, ma'am," replied the 
maid. 

" What other gentleman P " inquired Mary, faintly. 

" I think Sir Henry was the young gentleman in the frock 
suit of sky-blue and silver, ma'am a nice young gentleman, 
ma'am and there was another gentleman, my lady, with 
him; he had a plum-coloured suit with gold lace; he spoke 
very loud, and cursed a great deal ; a large gentleman, my 
lady, with a very red face, and one of his teeth out. I seen 
him once in the tap-room. I remembered him the minute I 
set eyes on him, but I can't think of his name. He came in, 
my lady, with that young lord I forget his name, too that 
was ruined with play and dicing, my lady ; and they had a 

?uart of mulled sack it was I that brought it to them and 
remembered the red-faced gentleman very well, for he was 
turning round over his shoulder, and putting out his tongue, 
making fun of the young lord because he was tipsy and 
winking to his own friends." 

"What did my brother Sir Henry your master what 
did he say to you just now ? " inquired Mary, faintly, and 
scarcely conscious what she said. 

" He gave me a bit of a note to your ladyship," said the 
girl, fumbling in the profundity of her pocket for it, " just as 
soon as he put the other girl her that's gone, my lady into 
the chaise here it is, ma'am, if you please." 

Mary took the letter, opened it hurriedly, and with eyes 
unsteady with agitation, read as follows : 

" MY DEAR MARY, I am compelled to fly as fast as horse- 
flesh can carry me, to escape arrest and the entire loss of 
whatever little chance remains of averting ruin. I don't see 
you before leaving this my doing so were alike painful to 
us both perhaps I shall be here again by the end of a 
month at all events, you shall hear of me some time before 
I arrive. I have had to discharge Carey for very ill-conduct 
I have not time to write fully now. I have hired in her 
stead the bearer, Flora Guy, a very respectable, good girl. I 
shall have made at least two miles away in my flight before 
you read this. Perhaps you had better keep within your 
own room, for Mr. Blarden will shortly be here to look after 
matters in my absence. I have hardly a moment to scratch 
this line. 

" Always your attached brother, 

"HENRY ASHWOODE." 



270 The "Cock and Anchor." 

Her eye had hardly glanced through this production when 
she ran wildly toward the door ; but, checking herself before 
she reached it, she turned to the girl, and with an earnestness 
of agony which thrilled to her very heart, she cried, 

" Is he gone ? tell me, as you hope for mercy, is he is he 
gone ? " 

" Who, who is it, my lady ? " inquired the girl, a good deal 
startled. 

" My brother my brother : is he gone ? " cried she more 
wildly still. 

" I seen him riding away very fast on a grey horse, my 
lady," said the maid, " not five minutes before I came up 
stairs." 

" Then it's too late. God be merciful to me ! I am lost, 
I have none to guard me ; I have none to help me don't 
don't leave me ; for God's sake don't leave the room for one 
instant " 

There was an imploring earnestness of entreaty in the young 
lady's accents and manner, and a degree of excited terror in 
her dilated eyes and pale face, which absolutely affrighted the 
attendant. 

" No, my lady," said she, " I won't leave you, I won't 
indeed, my lady." 

" Oh ! my poor girl," said Mary, "you little know the griefs 
and fears of her you've come to serve. I fear me you have 
changed your lot, however hard before, much for the worst 
in coming here ; never yet did creature need a friend so much 
as I ; and never was one so friendless before," and thus 
speaking, poor Mary Ashwoode leaned forward and wept so 
bitterly that the girl was almost constrained to weep too for 
very pity. 

" Don't take it to heart so much, my lady ; don't cry. I'll 
do my best, ruy lady, to serve you well ; indeed I will, my 
lady, and true and faithful," said the poor damsel, approaching 
timidly but kindly to her young mistress's side. . "I'll not 
leave you, my lady ; no one shall harm you nor hurt a hair of 
your head ; I'll stay with you night and day as long as you're 
pleased to keep me, my lady, and don't cry ; sure you won't, 
my lady ? '' 

So the poor girl in her own simple way strove to comfort 
and encourage her desolate mistress. 

It is a wonderful and a beautiful thing how surely, spite of 
every difference of rank and kind and forms of language, the 
words of kindness and of sympathy be they the rudest ever 
spoken, if only they flow warm from the heart of a fellow- 
mortal will gladden, comfort, and cheer the sorrow-stricken 
spirit. Mary felt comforted and assured. 

" Do you be but true to me ; stay by my side in this season 



The Double Farewell. 



271 



of my sorest trouble ; and may God reward you as richly as I 
would my poor means could," said Mary, with the same in- 
tense earnestness of entreaty. " There is kindness and truth 
in your face. I am sure you will not deceive me." 

" Deceive you, my lady ! God forbid," said the poor maid, 
earnestly ; " I'd die before I'd deceive you ; only tell me how 
to serve you, my lady, and it will be a hard thing that I won't 
do for you." 

" There is no need to conceal from you what, if you do not 
already know, you soon must," said Mary, speaking in a low 
tone, as if fearful of being overheard ; " that red-faced man 
you spoke of, that talked so loud and swore so much, that man 
I fear fear him more than ever yet I dreaded any living 
thing more than I thought I could fear anything earthly 
him, this Mr. Blarden, we must avoid." 

" Blarden Mr. Blarden," said the maid, while a new light 
dawned upon her mind. " I could not think of his name 
Nicholas Blarden Tommy, that is one of the waiters in the 
* Columbkil,' my lady, used to call him ' red ruin.' I know it 
all now, my lady ; it's he that owns the great gaming house 
near High Street, my lady ; and another in Smock Alley ; I 
heard Mr. Pottles say he could buy and sell half Dublin, 
he's mighty rich, but everyone says he's a very bad man : I 
couldn't think of his name, and I remember everything about 
him now ; it's all found out. Oh ! dear dear ; then it's all a 
lie ; just what I thought, every bit from beginning to end 
nothing else but a lie. Oh, the villain ! " 

" What lie do you speak of ? " asked Mary ; " tell me." 

" Oh, the villain ! " repeated the girl. " I wish to God, my 
lady, you were safe out of this house " 

" What is it ? " urged Mary, with fearful eagerness ; " what 
lie did you speak of ? what makes you now think my danger 
greater ? " 

" Oh ! my lady, the lies, the horrible lies he told me to-day, 
when Sir Henry and himself were hiring me," replied she. 
" Oh ! my lady, I'm sure you are not safe here " 

" For God's sake tell me plainly, what did they say ?" 
repeated Mary. 

" Oh, ma'am, what do you think he told me ? As sure as 
you're sitting there, he told me he was a mad-doctor," replied 
she ; " and he said, my lady, how that you were not in your 
right mind, and that he had the care of you ; and, oh, my 
God, my lady, he told me never to be frightened if I heard you 
crying out and screaming when he was alone with you, for that 
all mad people was the same way " 

" And was Sir Henry present when he told you this ? " said 
Mary, scarce articulately. 

" He was, my lady," replied she, " and I thought he turned 



272 The "Cock and A nchor" 

pale when the red-faced man said that j but he did not speak, 
only kept biting his lips and saying nothing." 

"Then, indeed, my case is hopeless,'' 3 said Mary, faintly, 
while all expression, save that of vacant terror, faded from her 
face ; '' give me some counsel advise me, for God's sake, in 
this terrible hour. What shall I do ? " 

" Ah, my lady, I wish to the blessed saints I could," rejoined 
the girl ; " haven't you some friends in Dublin ; couldn't I go 
for them ? " 

"No no," said she, hastily, "you must not leave me ; but, 
thank God, you have advised me well. I have one friend, 
and indeed only one, in Dublin, whom I may rely upon, my 
uncle, Major O'Leary ; I will write to him." 

She sat down, and with cold trembling hands traced the 
hurried lines which implored his succour ; she then rang the 
bell. After some delay it was answered by a strange servant ; 
and, after a few brief inquiries, to her unutterable horror she 
learned that all who remained of the old faithful servants of 
the family had been dismissed, and persons whose faces she 
had never seen before, hired in their stead. 

These were prompt and decisive measures, and ominously 
portended some sinister catastrophe; the whole establish- 
ment reduced to a few strangers, and as she had too much 
reason to fear tools and creatures of the wretch Blarden. 
Having ascertained these facts, Mary Ashwoode, without 
giving the letter to the man, dismissed him with some trivial 
direction, and turning to her maid, said, 

"You see how it is ; I am beset by enemies; may God 
protect and save me ; what shall I do ? my mind my senses, 
will forsake me. Merciful heaven ! what will become of 
me?" 

" Shall I take it myself, my lady ? " inquired the maid. 

Mary raised herself eagerly, but with sudden dejection, 
said, 

" No no ; it cannot be ; you must not leave me. I could 
not bear to be alone here ; besides, they must not think you 
are my friend ; no, no, it cannot be.'' 

" Well, my lady," said the maid decisively, " we'll leave the 
house to-night ; they'll not be on their guard against that, and 
once beyond the walls, you're safe." 

" It is, I believe, the only chance of safety left me," replied 
Mary, distractedly ; " and, as such, it shall be tried," 



The Two Chances The Bribed Courier. 273 
CHAPTER LIV. 

THE TWO CHANCES THE BRIBED COUKIER. 

" I DON'T half like the girl you've picked up," said Nicholas 
Blarden, addressing his favourite parasite, Chancey ; " she don't 
look half sharp enough for our work ; she hasn't the cut of a 
town lass about her ; she's too like a milk-maid, too simple, too 
soft. I've confounded misgivings she's no schemer." 

" Well, well dear me, but you're very suspicious," said 
Chancey. " I'd like to know did ever anything honest come 
out of the * Old Saint Columbkil ! ' there wasn't a sharper little 
wench in the place than herself, and I'll tell you that's a big 
word no, no ; there's not an inch of the fool about her." 

" Well, she can't do us much mischief anyway," said Blarden ; 
"the three others are as true as steel the devil's own 
chickens ; and mind you don't let the door-keys out of your 
pocket. Honour's all very fine, and ought not to be doubted ; 
out there's nothing to my mind like a stiff bit of a rusty lock." 

Chancey smiled sleepily, and slapped the broad skirt of his 
coat twice or thrice, producing therefrom the ringing clank 
which betoken the presence of the keys in question. 

"So then we're all caged, by Jove," continued Blarden, 
rapturously ; " and very different sorts of game we are too : did 
you ever see the show-box where the cats and the rats and 
the little birds are all boxed up together, higgledy-piggledy, 
in the same wire cage. I can't but think of it ; it's so devilish 
like." 

" Well, well dear me ; I declare to God but you're a terrible 
funny chap," said Chancey, enjoying a quiet chuckle ; " but 
some way or another," he continued, significantly, " I'm think- 
ing the cat will have a claw at the little bird yet." 

" Well, maybe it will ; " rejoined Blarden, " you never knew 
one yet that was not fond of a tit-bit when he could have it. 
Eh?" 

Thus playfully they conversed, seasoning their pleasantries 
with sack and claret, and whatever else the cellars of Morley 
Court afforded, until evening closed, and the darkness of night 
succeeded. 

Mary Ashwoode and her maid sat prepared for the execu- 
tion of their adventurous project ; they had early left the outer 
room in which we saw them last, and retired into her bed- 
chamber to avoid suspicion ; as the night advanced they ex- 
tinguished the lights, lest their gleaming through the windows 
should betray the lateness of their vigil, and alarm the fears of 
their persecutors. Thus, in silence and darkness, not daring 

T 



274 The "Cock and Anchor'' 

to speak, and almost afraid to breathe, they waited hour after 
hour until long past midnight. The well-known sounds of 
riotous swearing and horse-laughter, and the heavy trampling 
of feet, as the half-drunken revellers staggered to their beds, 
now reached their ears in noises faint and muffled by the dis- 
tance. At length all was again quiet, and nearly a whole hour 
of silence passed away ere they ventured to move, almost to 
breathe. 

" Now, Flora, open the outer door softly," whispered Mary, 
" and listen for any, the faintest sound ; take off your shoes, 
and for your life move noiselessly." 

" Never fear, my lady," responded the girl in a tone as low ; 
and slipping off her shoes from her feet, she pressed her hand 
upon the young lady's wrist, to intimate silence, and glided 
into the little boudoir. With sickening anxiety the young 
lady heard her cross the small chamber, now and then 
stumbling against some pieces of furniture and cautiously 
groping her way ; at length the door-handle turned, and then 
followed a silence. After an interval of a few seconds the girl 
returned. 

" Well, Flora," whispered Mary, eagerly, as she approached, 
"is all still p" 

" Oh ! blessed hour ! my lady, the door's locked on the out- 
side," replied the maid. 

" It can't be," said Mary Ashwoode, while her very heart 
sank within her. " Oh ! Flora, Flora girl, don't say that." 

" It is indeed, my lady as sure as I'm a living soul, it is 
so," replied she fearfully ; " and it was wide open when I 
came up. Oh ! blessed hour ! my lady, what are we to do ? " 

"I will try; I will see; perhaps you are mistaken. God 
grant you may be," said the young lady, making her way to the 
door which opened on to the lobby. She reached it turned 
the handle pressed it with all her feeble strength, but in vain ; 
it was indeed securely locked upon the outside ; her project of 
escape was baffled at the very outset, and with a heart- 
sickening sense of terror and dismay such as she had never 
felt before she returned with her attendant to her chamber. 

A night, sleepless, except for a few brief and fevered slumbers, 
crowded with terrors, passed heavily away, and the morning 
found Mary Ashwoode, pale, nervous, and feverish. She re- 
solved, at whatever hazard, to endeavour to induce one of the 
new servants to convey her letter to Major O'Leary. The 
detection of this attempt could at worst result in nothing 
worse than to precipitate whatever mischief Blarden and his 
confederates had plotted, and which would if not so speedily, 
at all events as surely overtake her, were no such attempt 
made. 

" Flora," said she, " I am resolved to try this chance, I 



The Two Chances the Bribed Courier. 275 

fear me it is but a poor one ; you, however, my poor girl, 
must not be compromised should it fail ; you must not be 
exposed by your faithfulness to the vengeance of these 
villains ; do you go into the next room, and I will try what 
may be done." 

So saying, she rang the bell, and in a few minutes it was 
answered by the same man who had obeyed her summons 
on the day before. The man, although arrayed in livery, had 
by no means the dapper air of a professed footman, and 
possessed rather a villainous countenance than otherwise ; 
he stood at the door with one hand fumbling at the handle, 
while he asked with an air half gruff and half awkward what 
she wanted. She sat in silence for a minute like the 
enchanter whose spells have been for the first time answered 
by the appearance of the familiar; too much agitated and 
affrighted to utter her mandate; with a violent effort she 
mastered her trepidation, and with an appearance of self- 
possession and carelessness which she was far from feeling, 
she said, 

" Can you, my good man, find a trusty messenger to carry 
a letter for me to a friend in Dublin ? " 

The man remained silent for some seconds, twisted his 
mouth into several strange contortions, and looked very hard 
indeed at her. At length he said, closing the door at the 
same time, and speaking in a low key, 

" Well, I don't say but I might find one, but there's a great 
many things would make it very costly ; maybe you could not 
afford to pay him ? " 

"I could I would see here," and she took a diamond 
ring from her finger; " this is a diamond; it is of value 
convey but this letter safely and it is yours." 

The man took the ring from the table where she laid it, and 
examined it curiously. 

" It's a pretty ring it is," said he, removing it a little from 
his eye, and turning it in different directions so as to make it 
flash and sparkle in the light, " it is a pretty ring, rayther 
small for my fingers, though it's a real diamond ? " 

" It is indeed, valuable worth forty pounds at least," she 
replied. 

" Well, then, here goes, it's worth a bit of a risk," and so 
saying he deposited it carefully in a corner of his waistcoat 
pocket, " give me the letter now, ma'am." 

She handed him the letter, and he thrust it into the deepest 
abyss of his breeches pocket. 

"Deliver that letter but safely," said she, "and what I 
have given you shall be but the earnest of what's to come, it 
is important urgent execute but the mission truly, and I 
will not spare rewards." 

T 2 



276 



The "Cock and Anchor " 



The man gave two short nods of huge significance, accom- 
panied with a slight grunt. 

" I say again, let me but have assurance that the message 
has been done," repeated she, "and you shall have abundant 
reason to rejoice, above all things dispatch and and 
secrecy." 

The man winked very hard with one eye, and at the 
same time with his crooked finger drew his nose so much on 
one side, that he seemed intent on removing that feature 




into exile somewhere about the region of his ear; and 
having performed this elegant and expressive pantomime for 
several seconds, he stooped forward, and in an emphatic 
whisper said, 

" Ne-verfear." 

He then opened the door and abruptly made his exit, 
leaving poor Mary Ashwoode full of agitating hopes. 



The Fearful Visitant. 277 



CHAPTER LV. 

THE FEARFUL VISITANT. 

Two or three days had passed, during which Mary had ascer- 
tained the fact that every door affording egress from the 
house was kept constantly locked, and that the new servants, 
as well as Blarden and his companions, were perpetually on 
the alert, and traversing the lower apartments, so that even 
had the door of the mansion laid open it would have been im- 
possible to attempt an escape without encountering some one 
of those whose chief object was to keep her in close confine- 
ment, perhaps the very man from whose presence her inmost 
soul shrank in terror she felt, therefore, that she was as 
effectually and as helplessly a prisoner as if she lay in the 
dungeons of a gaol. 

Often again had she endeavoured to see the man to whom 
she had confided her letter to Major O'Leary, but in vain ; her 
summons was invariably answered by the others, and fearing 
to excite suspicion, she, of course, did not inquire for him, and 
so, after a time, desisted from her endeavours. 

Her window commanded a partial view of the old shaded 
avenue, and hour after hour would she sit at her casement, 
watching in vain for the longed-for appearance of her uncle, 
and listening, as fruitlessly, for the clang of his horse's hoofs 
upon the stony court. 

" Oh ! Flora, will he ever come ? " she would exclaim, with 
a voice of anguish, " will he ever ever come to deliver me 
from this horrible thraldom P I watch in vain, from the light 
of early dawn till darkness comes I watch in vain, for 
the welcome sight of my friend in vain in vain I listen for 
the sound of his approach heaven pity me, where shall I 
turn for hope all all have forsaken me all that ever I 
loved have fallen from me, and left me desolate in this ex- 
tremity has he, too, my last friend, forsaken me will they 
leave me here to misery oh, that I might lay me down where 
head and heart are troubled no more, and be at rest in the 
cold grave. He'll never come no no no never." 

Then she would wring her hands, still gazing from the 
casement, and hopelessly sob and weep. 

She knew not why it was that Nicholas Blarden had suffered 
her, for a day or two, to be exempt from the dreaded intru- 
sions of his hated presence. But this afforded her little 
comfort; she knew not how soon at what moment the 
monster might choose to present himself before her under 
circumstances of horror so dreadful as those of her present 



278 The "Cock and Anchor? 

friendless and forsaken abandonment to his mercy and 
when these imminent fears were for an instant hnshed, a 
thousand agonizing thoughts, arising from the partial revela- 
tions of her late servant, Carey, occupied her mind. That 
the correspondence between her and O'Connor had been 
falsified she dreaded, yet she hoped it might be true she 
feared, yet prayed it might be so and while the thought that 
others had wrought their estrangement, and that the coolness 
of indifference had not touched the heart of him she so fondly 
loved visited her mind, a thousand bright, bat momentary 
hopes, fluttered her poor heart, and, for an instant, her dangers 
and her fears were all forgotten. 

The day had passed, and its broad, clear light had given 
place to the red, dusky glow of sunset, when Mary Ashwoode 
heard the measured tread of several persons approaching her 
room. With an instinctive consciousness of her peril, she 
started to her feet, while every tinge of colour fled entirely 
from her cheeks. 

" Flora stay by me oh, God, they are coming ! " she 
said, and the words had hardly escaped her lips, when the 
door of the boudoir, in which she stood, was pushed open, 
and Nicholas Blarden, followed by Gordon Chancey, entered 
the room. There was in the countenance of Blarden none of 
his usual affectation of good humour ; on the contrary, it 
wore a scowl of undisguised and formidable menace, the 
effect of which was enhanced by the baleful significance of 
the malignant glance which he fixed upon her, and as he 
stood there biting his lips in ominous silence, and gazing 
with savage, gloating eyes, upon the affrighted girl, it were 
not easy to imagine an apparition more intimidating and 
hideous" Even Chancey seemed a little uneasy in the anti- 
cipation of what was coming, and the sallow face of the 
barrister looked more than usually sallow, and his glittering 
eyes more glossy than ever. 

" Go out of the room, you do you mind," said Blarden, 
grimly, addressing Flora Guy, who had placed herself a little 
in advance of her young mistress, and who stood mute and 
thunderstruck, looking upon the two intruders "are you 
palsied, or what quit the room when I command you, you 
brimstone fool ; " and he clutched her by the shoulder, and 
thrust her headlong out of the chamber, flinging the door to, 
with a crash that made the walls ring again. 

" Listen to me and mind me, and weigh my words, or you'll 
rue it," said he, with a tremendous oath, addressing himself 
to the speechless and terrified lady. " I have a bit of infor- 
mation to give you, and then a bit of advice after it; you 
must know it's my intention we shall be married ; mind me, 
married to-morrow evening ; I know you don't like it ; but I 



The Fearful Visitant. 279 

do, and that's enough for my purpose ; and whenever I make 
my mind up to a thing, there is not that power in earth, or 
heaven, or hell, to turn me from it. I was always considered 
a tough sort of a chap when I was in earnest about anything ; 
and I can tell you I'm mighty well in earnest here ; and now 
you may as well know how completely I have you under my 
thumb ; there is not a servant in the house that does not 
belong to me ; there is not a door in the house but the key 
of it is in my keeping ; there is not a word spoken in the 
house but I hear it, nor a thing done that I don't know of it, 
and here's your letter for you," he shouted, and flung her 
letter to Major O'Leary open before her on the table. " How 
dare you tamper with my servant's honesty ? how dare you ? " 
thundered he, with a stamp upon the floor which made the 
ornaments on the cabinet dance and jingle ; " but mind how 
you try it again beware ; mind how you offer to bribe them 
again; I give you fair warning; you're my property now 
to do what I like with, just as much as my horse or my dog ; 
and if you won't obey me, why I'll find a way to make you ; 
to-morrow evening I'll have a parson here, and we'll be 
buckled ; make no rout about it, and it will be better for you, 
for whatever you do or say, if I had to get you into a strait- 
waistcoat and clap a plaister over your mouth to keep you 
quiet, married we shall be ; husband and wife, and plenty of 
witnesses to vouch for it; do you understand me, and no 
mistake ; and if you're foolish enough to make a row about 
it, I'll tell you what I'll do in such a case," and he fixed his 
eyes with a still more horrible expression upon her. " I have 
a particular friend, do you mind a very obliging, particular 
old friend that's a mad-doctor ; do you liear me ; not a very 
lucky one to be sure, for he has made devilish few cures ; a 
mad-doctor, do you mind ? and I'll have him to reside here 
and superintend your treatment ; do you hear me ? don't stand 
gaping there like an idiot ; do you hear me P " 

Blarden during this address had advanced into the room 
and stood by the little table, leaning his knuckles upon it, 
and stooping forward and advancing his menacing and 
hideous face, so as to diminish still further the intervening 
distance, when, all on a sudden, like a startled bird, she 
darted across the room, and ere they had time to interpose, 
had opened the door, and was half-way across the lobby ; she 
passed Flora Guy, who was sobbing at the door with her 
apron to her eyes, and at the head of the stairs beheld Sir 
Henry Ashwoode, no less confounded at the rencounter than 
was she herself. 

" My brother ! my brother !" she shrieked, and threw herself 
fainting into his arras. 

Spite of all that was base in his character, the young man 



280 The "Cock and A nchor." 

was go shocked and confounded that he turned pale as death, 
and speech and recollection for a moment forsook him. 

Almost at the same instant Chancey and Blarden were at 
his side. 

" What the devil ails you P " said Blarden, furiously, 
addressing Ashwoode, "what do you stand there huggir ^ her 
for, you white-faced idiot ? " 

Ashwoode's lips moved; but he could not speak, and the 
senseless burden still lay in his arms. 

"Let her go, will you, you d d oaf? take hold of the 

girl, Chancey, and you, you idiot, come here and lend a hand ; 
carry her into her room, and mind, sweet lips, keep the key in 
your pocket ; and if you want help tatter the bells ; get down, 
will you, you moon-struck fool ? " he continued, addressing 
Ashwoode ; " what do you stand there for, with your white- 
washed face ? " 

Ashwoode, scarcely knowing what he did, staggered down 
the stairs and made his way to the parlour, where he sat 
gasping, with his face buried in his hands. Meanwhile, with 
many a meek expression of pity, the lawyer assisted Flora 
Guy in bearing the inanimate body of her mistress into the 
chamber, where, in happy unconsciousness, she lay under the 
tender care of her humble friend and servant. Blarden and 
Chancey having accomplished the object of their mission, 
departed to the lower regions to enjoy whatever good cheer 
Morley Court afforded. 



CHAPTER LYI. 

EBENEZEB, SHYCOCK. 

IN pursuance of the arrangements which Mr. Blarden had, on 
the evening before, announced to his intended victim, Gordon 
Chancey was despatched early the next morning to engage the 
services of a clergyman for the occasion. He knew pretty 
well how to choose his man, and for the most part, when a 
plot was to be executed, in theatrical phrase, cast the parts 
well. He proceeded leisurely to the city, and sauntering 
through the streets, found himself at length in Saint Patrick's 
Close ; beneath the shadow of the old Cathedral he turned 
down a narrow and deserted lane and stopped before a dingy, 
miserable little shop, over whose doorway hung a panel with 
the dusky and faded similitude of two great keys crossed, now 
scarcely discernible through the ancient dust and soot. The 
shop itself was a chaotic depository of old locks, holdfasts, 



Ebenezer Shy cock. 281 

chisels, crowbars, and in short, of rusty iron in almost every 
conceivable shape. Chancey entered this dusky shop, and 
accosting a very grimed and rusty-looking little boy who was, 
with a file, industriously employed in converting a kitchen 
candlestick into a cannon, inquired, 

" I say, my good boy, does the Reverend Doctor Ebenezer 
Shycock stop here yet ? " 

"Aye, does he," said the youth, inspecting the visitor with 
a broad and leisurely stare, while he wiped his forehead with 
his shirt sleeve. 

" Up the stairs, is it ? " demanded Chancey. 
" Aye, the garrets," replied the boy. " And mind the hole 
in the top lobby," he shouted after him, as he passed through 
the little door in the back of the shop and began to ascend 
the narrow stairs. 

He did " mind the hole in the top lobby " (a very neces- 
sary caution, by the way, as he might otherwise have been 
easily engulfed therein and broken either his neck or his 
leg, after descending through the lath and plaster, upon the 
floor of the landing-place underneath) ; and having thus 
safely reached the garret door, he knocked thereupon with his 
knuckles. 

"Come in," answered a female voice, not of the most 
musical quality, and Chancey accordingly entered. A dirty, 
sluttish woman was sitting by the window, knitting, and as it 
seemed, she was the only inmate of the room. 

"Is the Eeverend Ebenezer at home, my dear?" inquired 
the barrister. 

" He is, and he isn't," rejoined the female, oracularly. 
11 How's that, my good girl ? " inquired Chancey. 
" He's in the house, but he's not good for much," answered 
she. 

" Has he been throwing up the little finger, my dear?" said 
Chancey, "he used to be rayther partial to brandy." 

" Brandy brandy who says brandy ? " exclaimed a voice 
briskly from behind a sheet which hung upon a string so as to 
screen off one corner of the chamber. 

" Ay, ay, that's the word that'll waken you," said the 
woman. " Here's a gentleman wants to speak with you." 

" The devil there is ! " exclaimed the clerical worthy, 
abruptly, while with a sudden chuck he dislodged the sheet 
which had veiled his presence, and disclosed, by so doing, the 
form of a stout, short, bull-necked man, with a mulberry- 
coloured face and twinkling grey eyes one of them in deep 
mourning. He wore a greasy red night-cap and a very 
tattered and sad-coloured shirt, and was sitting upright in a 
miserable bed, the covering of which appeared to be a piece 
of ancient carpet. With one hand he scratched his head, 



282 The "Cock and A nchor." 

while in the other he held the sheet which he had just pulled 
down. 

" How are you, Parson Shycock ? " said Chancey ; " how do 
you find yourself this morning, doctor ? " 

" Tolerably well. But what is it you want with me ? out 
with it, spooney. Any job in my line, eh ? " inquired the 
clergyman. 

" Yes, indeed, doctor," replied Chancey, "and a very good 
job ; you're wanted to marry a gentleman and a lady privately, 
not a mile and a half out of town, this evening ; you'll get 
five guineas for the job, and I think that's no trifle." 

The parson mused, and scratched his head again. 

"Well," said he, "you must do a little job for me first. 
You can't be ignorant that we members of the Church mili- 
tant are often hard up ; and whenever I'm in a fix I pop wig, 
breeches, and gown, and take to my bed ; you'll find the three 
articles in this lane, corner house sign, three golden balls ; 
present this docket where the devil is it ? ay, here ; all right 




some one talking of brandy ? or or was I dreaming ? You 
may as well get in a half-pint, for I'm never the thing till I 
have some little moderate refreshment ; so, dearly beloved, 
mizzle at once." 

" Dear me, dear me, doctor," said Chancey, " how can you 
think I'd go for to bring two guineas along with me ? " 

" If you haven't the rhino, this is no place for you, my 
fellow-sinner," rejoined the couple-beggar ; " and if you have, 
off with you and deliver the togs out of pop. You wouldn't 
have a clergyman walk the streets without breeches, eh, dearly 
beloved cove ? " 

" Well, well, but you're a wonderful man," rejoined Chancey, 
with a faint smile. " I suppose, then, I must do it ; so give 
me the docket, and I'll be here again as soon as I can." 

" And do you mind me, you stray sheep, you, don't forget 
the lush," added the pastor. " I'm very desirous to wet my 
whistle ; my mums, by the hokey, is as dry as a Dutch brick. 
Good-bye to you, and do you mind, be back here in the 
twinkling of a brace of bed-posts." 

With this injunction, and bearing the crumpled document, 
which the reverend divine had given him, as his credentials 
with the pawnbroker, Mr. Chancey cautiously lounged down 
the crazy stairs. 

" I say, my nutty Nancy," observed the parson, after a long 
yawn and a stretch, addressing the female who sat at the 
window, " that chap's made of money. I had a pint with him 
once in Clarke's public round the corner there. His name's 



Ebenezer Shy cock. 283 

Chancey, and he does half the bills in town a regular Jew 
chap." 

So saying, the Reverend Ebenezer Shycock, LL.D., un- 
ceremoniously rolled himself out of bed and hobbled to a crazy 
deal box, in which were deposited such articles of attire as 
had not been transmitted to the obliging proprietor of the 
neighbouring three golden balls. 

While the reverend divine was kneeling before this box, and, 
with a tenderness suited to their frail condition, removing the 
few scanty articles of his wardrobe and laying them reverently 
upon a crazy stool beside him, Mr. Chancey returned, bearing 
the liberated decorations of the doctor's person, as also a small 
black bottle. 

" Oh, dear me, doctor," said Chancey, " but I'm glad to see 
you're stirring. Here's the things." 

" And the the lush, eh ? " inquired the clergyman, peering 
inquisitively round Chancey's side to have a peep at the 
bottle. 

" Yes, and the lush too," said the barrister. 

" Well, give me the breeches," said the doctor, with alacrity, 
clutching those essential articles and proceeding to invest his 
limbs therein. " And, Nancy, a sup of water and a brace of 
cups." 

A cracked mug and a battered pewter goblet made their 
appearance, and, along with the ruin of a teapot which con- 
tained the pure element, were deposited on a chair for 
tables were singularly scarce in the reverend doctor's establish- 
ment. 

"Now, my beloved fellow-sinner, mix like a Trojan!" ex- 
claimed the divine ; " and take care, take care, pogey aqua, 
don't drown it with water ; chise it, chise it, man, that'll do." 

With these words he grasped the vessel, nodded to Chancey, 
and directing his two grey eyes with a greedy squint upon the 
liquor as it approached his lips, he quaffed it at a single 
draught. 

Without waiting for an invitation, which Chancey thought 
his clerical acquaintance might possibly forget, the barrister 
mingled some of the same beverage for his own private use, 
and quietly gulped it down ; seeing which, and dreading Mr. 
Chancey's powers, which he remembered to have already seen 
tested at " Clarke's public," the learned divine abstractedly 
inverted the brandy bottle into his pewter goblet, and 
shedding upon it an almost imperceptible dew from the dilapi- 
dated teapot, he terminated the symposium and proceeded to 
finish his toilet. 

This was quickly done, and Mr. Gordon Chancey and the 
Reverend Ebenezer Shycock two illustrious and singularly 
well-matched ornaments of their respective professions pro- 



284 The "Cock and A nchor" 

ceeded arm in arm, both redolent of grog, to the nearest coach 
stand, where they forthwith supplied themselves with a 
vehicle ; and while Mr. Chancey pretty fully instructed his 
reverend companion in the precise nature of the service re- 
quired of him, and, as far a.s was necessary, communicated the 
circumstances of the whole case, they traversed the interval 
which separated Dublin city from the manor of Morley 
Court. 



CHAPTER LVII. 

THE CHAPLAIN'S ARRIVAL AT MORLEY COURT THE KEY AND 
THE BOOZE IN THE BOUDOIR. 

THE hall door was opened to the summons of the two gentle- 
men by no less a personage than Nicholas Blarden himself, 
who, having carefully locked it again, handed the key to his 
accomplice, Gordon Chancey. 

" Here, take it, Gordy, boy," exclaimed he, " I make you 
porter for the term of the honeymoon. Keep the gates well, 
old boy, and never let the keys out of your pocket unless 1 
tell you. And so," continued he, treating the Reverend 
Ebenezer Shycock to a stare which took in his whole person, 
"you have caught the doctor and landed him fairly. Doctor 
what's your name ? no matter it's a delightful turn-up for 
a sinner like me to have the heavenly consolation of your 
pious company. Follow me in here ; I dare say your reverence 
would not object to a short interview with the brandy flask, 
or something of the kind even saints must wet their whistles 
now and again." 

So saying, Blarden led the way into the parlour. 

" Here, guzzle away, old gentleman, there's plenty of the 
stuff here," said Blarden, " only beware how you make a beast 
of yourself. You mustn't tie up your red rag, do you mind ? 
We'll want you to stand and read; and if you just keep 
senses enough for that, you may do whatever you like with 
the rest." 

The clergyman nodded, and with a single sweep of his grey 
eyes, took in the contents of the whole table. His shaking 
hand quickly grasped the neck of the brandy flask, and he 
filled out and quaffed a comforting bumper. 

" Now, take it easy, do, or, by Jove, you'll not keep till 
evening," said Blarden. " Chancey, have an eye on the parson, 
for his mind's so intent on heaven that he may possibly forget 
where he is and what he's doing. After dinner, Ashwoode and 



The Chaplain's Arrival at Morley Court. 285 

I have to go into town some matters that must be wound up 
before the evening's entertainment begins we'll be out, how- 
ever, at eight o'clock or so. And mind this," he continued, 
gripping the barrister's shoulder in his hand with an energizing 
pressure, and speaking into his ear to secure attention, " you 
know that little room upstairs wherein we had the bit of chat 
with my lady love the the boudoir, I think they call it now, 
mind me well when the dusk conies on, do you and his 
reverence there take your pipes and your brandy, or whatever 
else you're amusing yourselves with at the time, and sit in 
that same room together, so that not a mouse can cross the 
floor unknown to you. Don't forget this, for we can't be too 
sharp. Do you hear me, old Lucifer ? " 

" Never fear, never fear," rejoined Mr. Chancey. " The 
Eeverend Ebenezer and I will spend the evening there and, 
indeed, I declare to God, it's a very neat little room, so it is, 
for a quiet pipe and a pot of sack." 

" Well, that's a point settled," rejoined Blarden. " And do 
you mind me, don't let that beastly old sot knock himself up 
before we come home. Do you hear me, old scarecrow," he 
continued, poking the reverend doctor somewhere about the 
region of the abdomen with the hilt of his sword, which he 
was adjusting at his side, and addressing himself to that 

fentleman, "if I find you drunk when I return this evening, 
'11 make it your last bout I'll tap the brandy, old tickle 
pitcher, and stave the cask, and send you to seek your for- 
tune in the other world. Mind my words I'm not given to 
joking when I have real business on hand ; and faith, you'll 
find me as ready to do as to promise." 

So saying, he left the room. 

" A rnm cove, that, upon my little word," said the Eeverend 
Ebenezer Shycock, filling out another bumper of his beloved 
cordial. " Take the bottle away at once ; lock it up, my fellow- 
worm, lock it up, or I'll be at it again. Lock it up while I 
have this glass in my hand, or I must have another, and that 

might be might, I say possibly might but d n it, no, it 

can't I will have one more." And so saying, with desperate 
resolution, he quaffed what he had already in his hand and 
filled out another, 

Chancey did not wait till he had repeated his mandate, but 
quietly removed the seductive flask and placed it beyond the 
reach and the sight of his clerical friend, who, feeling himself 
a little pleasant, sat down before the hearth, and in a voice 
whose tone nearly resembled that of a raven labouring under 
an ati'ection of the chest, he chaunted through his nose, with 
many significant winks and grimaces, a ditty at that time in 
high acceptance among the votaries of vice and license, and 
whose words were such as even the ' Old St. Columbkil' would 



286 The " Cock arid A nchor" 

hardly have tolerated. This performance over which, by the 
way, Chancey relished in hia own quiet way with intense 
enjoyment the reverend gentleman composed himself for a 
doze for several hours, from which he aroused himself to eat 
and to drink a little more. 

Thus pleasantly the day wore on, until at length the sun 
descended in glory behind the far-off blue hills, and the pale 
twilight began to herald the approach of night. 

That day Mary Ashwoode appeared to have lost all energy 
of thought and feeling ; she lay pale and silent upon her bed, 
seeming scarcely conscious even of the presence of her 
faithful attendant. From the moment of her yesterday's 
interview with Blarden, and the meeting with her brother, 
she had been thus despairing and stupefied. Flora Guy sat 
in the window, sometimes watching the pale face of the 
wretched lady, and at others looking out upon the old wood- 
lands and the great avenue, darkened among its double 
rows of huge old limes. As the day wore on she suddenly 
exclaimed, 

" Oh, my lady, here's a gentleman coming with Mr. Chancey 
up the avenue, I see them between the trees, and the coach 
driving away." 

" Can it can it be P " exclaimed Mary, starting wildly up in 
the bed "is it he?" 

" It's a little stout gentleman, with a red pimply face 
they're talking under the window now, my lady ; he has a 
band on, and a black gown across his arm as sure as daylight, 
my lady he is blessed hour ; he is a parson." 

Mary Ashwoode did not speak, but the momentary flash of 
hope faded from her face, and was succeeded by a pale- 
ness so deadly that lips and cheeks looked bloodless as the 
marble lineaments of a statue ; in dull and silent despair she 
sank again where she had lain before. 

" Don't fear them, my lady," said the poor girl, placing 
herself by the bedside where, more like a corpse than a living 
being, her hapless mistress lay ; " I will not leave you, and 
though they may threaten, they dare not hurt you don't fear 
them, my lady." 

The blanched cheeks and evident excitement of the honest 
maiden, however, too clearly belied her words of encourage- 
ment. 

Twice or thrice the girl, in the course of the day, locking the 
door of her mistress's chamber, according to the orders of 
Nicholas Blarden and his confederates, but less in obedience 
to them than for the sake of her security, ran downstairs to 
learn whatever could be gathered from the servants of the 
intended movements of the conspirators ; each time, as she 
descended the stairs, the parlour bell was rung, and a servant 



The Chaplain's Arrival at Morley Court. 287 

encountered her before she had well reached the hall ; and Mr. 
Chancey, too, with his hands in his pockets, and his cunning 
eyes glittering suspiciously through their half-closed lids, 
would meet and question her before she passed : were ever 
sentinels more vigilant was ever surveillance more jealous 
and complete ? 

During these excursions she picked up whatever was to be 
learned of the intentions of those in whose power her young 
mistress now helplessly and despairingly lay. 

" Sir Henry Ashwoode and Mr. Blarden is gone to town 
together, my lady," said the maid, in a whisper, for she felt 
the vigilance of Chancey and his creatures might pursue her 
even to the chamber where she stood ; " they'll not be out till 
about eight o'clock, my lady, at the soonest, maybe not till near 
nine or ten ; at any rate it will be dark long before they come, 
and God knows what may turn up before then don't lose 
heart, my lady don't give up.'' 

In vain, entirely in vain, however, were the words of hope 
and courage spoken ; they fell cold and dead upon the 
palsied senses and stricken heart of despairing terror. Mary 
Ashwoode scarcely understood, and seemed not even to have 
heard them. 

As the evening approached the poor girl made another 
exploring ramble, in the almost desperate speculation that 
she might possibly hit upon something which might suggest 
even a hint of some mode of escape. Having encountered 
Chancey and one of the serving men, as usual, and passed her 
examination, she crossed the large old hall, and without any 
definite pre-determination, entered Sir Henry's study, where 
he and Blarden had been sitting, and carelessly thrown upon 
the table a large key. For a moment she could scarcely 
believe her eyes, and her heart bounded high with hope as 
she grasped it quickly and rolled it in her apron " Could 
it be the key of one of the doors through which alone liberty 
was to be regained ? " With a deliberate step, which strangely 
belied her restless anxiety, she passed the door within 
which Chancey was sitting, and ascended to the young lady's 
chamber. 

" My lady, is this it ? " exclaimed she. almost breathless with 
excitement, and holding the key before the lady's face. 

Mary Ashwoode with a momentary eagerness glanced at 
it. 

" No, no," said she, faintly, " I know all the keys of the 
outer doors ; it was I who brought them to my father every 
night ; but this is none of them no, no, no, no." There was 
a duln-ess and apathy upon the young lady, and a seeming 
insensibility to everything to hope, to danger to all, in 
short, which had intensely interested every faculty of mind 



288 The "Cock and Anchor :" 

and feeling but the day before which frightened and dis- 
mayed her humble friend. 

" Don't, my lady don't give up oh, sure you won't lose 
heart entirely ; see if I won't think of something never mind, 
if I don't think of some way or another yet." 

The red discoloured tints of evening were now fading from 
the landscape, and rapidly giving place to the dim twilight 
the harbinger of a night of dangers, terrors, and adventures ; 
and as the poor maiden sat by the young lady's side, with a 
heart full of dark and ominous foreboding, she heard the door 
of the outer chamber the little boudoir which we have 
often had occasion to mention opened, and two persons 
entered it. 

" They are here they are come. Oh, God ! they are here," 
exclaimed Mary Ashwoode, clasping her small hand in terror 
round the girl's wrist. 

" The door's locked, my lady," said the girl, scarcely less 
terrified than her mistress ; " they can't come in without 
letting us know first.'' So saying, she ran to the door and 
peeped through the keyhole, to reconnoitre the party, and 
then stepping on tip-toe to the young lady, who, more 
dead than alive, was sitting by the bed-side, she said in a 
whisper, 

"Who do you think it is, ma'am? blessed hour ! my lady, 
who should it be but that lawyer gentleman that Mr. 
Chancey, and the old parson they are settling themselves 
at the table.'' 

Mr. Gordon Chancey and the Reverend Ebenezer Shycock 
were determined to make themselves comfortable in their new 
quarters. Accordingly they heaped wood and turf upon the 
expiring fire, and compelled the servant to ply the kitchen 
bellows, until the hearth crackled and roared again; then 
drawing the table to the fire-side a pretty little work-table 
of poor Mary's now covered with brandy-flasks, pieces of 
tobacco, pipes, and the other apparatus of their coarse debauch 
the two worthies, illuminated by a pair of ponderous wax- 
candles, and by the blaze of a fire, and having drawn the 
curtains, sat themselves down and commenced their jolly 
vigils. 

Chancey possessed the rare faculty of preserving his charac- 
teristic cunningthroughouteveryphaseand stage of intoxication 
short of absolute insensibility; on the present occasion, however, 
he was resolved not to put this convenient accomplishment to 
the test. The good will of Nicholas Blarden was too lucrative 
a possession to be lightly parted with, and he could not afford 
to hazard it by too free an indulgence upon the present im- 
portant occasion; he therefore conducted his assaults upon 
the bottle with a very laudable abstemiousness. Not so, how- 



The Chaplain's Arrival at Morley Court. 289 

ever, his clerical companion ; he, too, had, in connection with 
his convivial frailties, a compensating gift of his own ; he 
possessed, in an eminent degree, the power of recovering his 
intellects upon short notice from the influence of brandy, and 
of descending almost at a single bound from the loftiest alti- 
tude of drunken inspiration to the dull insipid level of ordinary 
sobriety ; all he asked was fifteen minutes to bring himself to. 
He used to say with becoming pride " If I could have done 
it in ten, I'd have been a bishop by this time ; but dis aliter 
visum ; I had not time one forenoon ; being wapper-eyed, I 
was five minutes short of my allowance to get right, con- 
sequently officiated oddly fell on my back on the way out, 
and couldn't get up ; but what signifies it ? I'm better off, as 
matters stand, ten to one ; so here goes, my fellow-sinner, to 
it again ; one brimmer more." 

The reverend doctor, therefore, was much less cautious than 
his companion, and soon began to exhibit very unequivocal 
symptoms of a declension in his intellectual and physical 
energies, and a more than corresponding elevation in his 
hilarious spirits. 

" I say,'' said Chancey, " my good man, you'd better stop ; 
you have too much in as it is ; they'll be here before half-an- 
hour, and if Mr. Blarden finds you this way, I declare to God 
1 think he'll crack your neck down the staircase." 

*| Well, dearly beloved," said the clerical gentleman, " I 
believe you are right; I'll bring myself to. I am a little 
heavy-eyed or so ; all I ask for is a towel and cold water." So 
saying, with many a screw of the lips, and many a hiccough, 
he made an effort to rise, but tumbled back with an expres- 
sion of the most heavenly benevolence into his chair, knock- 
ing his head with an audible sound upon the back of it, and at 
the same time overturning one of the candles. 

" Pull the bell, dearly beloved," said he, with a smile and a 
hiccough" a basin of water and a towel." 

"Devil broil you, for a drunken beast," said Chancey, 
seriously alarmed at the condition of the couple-beggar ; " he'll 
never be fit for his work to-night.'' 

^ " Fifteen minutes, neither more nor less," hiccoughed the 
divine, with the same celestial smile---" towel, basin of cold 
water, and fifteen minutes." 

Chancey did procure the cold water and a napkin, 
which, being laid before the clergyman, he proceeded with 
much deliberation, while various expressions of stupendous 
solemnity and beaming benevolence flitted in beautiful 
alternations across his expressive countenance, to prepare 
them for use. He doffed his wig, and first bathing his head, 
face, and temples completely in the cool liquid, saturated the 
towel likewise therein, and wound it round his shorn head in 

u 



290 The "Cock and Anchor" 

the fashion of a Turkish turban ; having accomplished 
which feat, he leaned back in his chair, closed his eyes, and 
became, to all intents and purposes, for the time being, stone 
dead. 

Leaving his reverend companion undisturbed to the operation 
of his own hydropathic treatment, Gordon Chancey drew his 
seat near to the fire, and filling his pipe anew with tobacco, 
leaned back in the chair, crossed his legs, and more than halt 
closing his eyes, prepared himself luxuriously for what he 
called " a raal elegant draw of particular pigtail." 



CHAPTER LVIII. 

THE SIGNAL. 

FLORA GUY peeped eagerly through the keyhole of her lady's 
chamber into the little apartment in which the two boon com- 
panions were seated. After reconnoitring for a very long 
time, she moved lightly to her mistress's side, and said, in a 
low but distinct tone, 

" Now, my lady, you must get up and rouse yourself for 
God's sake, mistress dear, sha.ke off the heaviness that's over 
you, and we have a chance left still." 

" Are they not in the next room to us ? " inquired Mary. 

" Yes, my lady,' 3 replied the maid, " but the parson gentle- 
man is drunk or asleep, and Mr. Chancey is there alone and 
and has the four keys beside him on the table ; don't be 
frightened, my lady, do you stay quite quiet, and I'll go into 
the room." 

Mary Ashwoode made no answer, but pressed the poor girl's 
hand in her cold fingers, and without moving, almost without 
breathing, awaited the result. Flora Guy, meanwhile, opened 
the door, and passed into the outer apartment, assuming, as 
she did so, an air of easy and careless indifference. Chancey 
turned as she entered the room, fanning the smoke of his 
tobacco pipe aside with his hand, and eying her with a jealous 
glance. 

" Well, my little girl," said he, " and what makes you leave 
your young lady, my dear ? " 

" An' is a body never to get an instant minute to them- 
selves P " rejoined she, with an indignant toss of her head ; 
"why then, I tell you what it is, Mr. Chancey, I'm tired to 
death, BO I am, sitting in that little room the whole blessed 
day, and not a word, good or bad, will the young lady say 
she's gone stupid like." 






The Signal. 291 

" Is the door locked ? " said Chancey, suspiciously, and at 
the same time rising and approaching the young lady's 
chamber. 

As he did so, Flora Guy, availing herself instantly of this 
averted position, snatched up, without waiting to choose, one of 
the four great keys which lay upon the table, and replaced it 
dexterously with that which she had but a short time before 
shown to her mistress ; in doing so, however, spite of all her 
caution, a slight clank was audible. 

" Well, is it locked ?'' inquired the damsel, hoping by the 
loud tone in which she uttered the question to drown the 
suspicious sounds which threatened her schemes with instant 
detection. 

" Yes, it is locked," rejoined Chancey, glancing quickly at 
the keys ; " but what do you want there ? move off from my 
place, will you ? " and shambling to the table he hastily 
gathered the four keys in his grasp, and thrust them into his 
deep coat pocket. 

" You're in a mighty quare humour, so you are, Mr. 
Chancey,'' said the girl, affecting a saucy tone, through which, 
had his ear been listening for the sound, he might have 
detected the quaver of extreme agitation, " you usedn't to be so 
cross by no means at the Columbkil, but mighty pleasant, so 
you used.'' 

" Well, my little girl," said Chancey, whose suspicions were 
now effectually quieted, " I declare to God you're the first 
that ever said I was bad tempered, so you are will you have 
something to drink ? " 

" What have you there, Mr. Chancey ? " inquired she. 

" This is brandy, my little girl, and this is sack, dear," re- 
joined Chancey, " both of them elegant ; you must have 
whichever you like which will you choose, dear ? " 

"Well, then, I'll have a little drop of the sack, mulled, I 
thank you, Mr. Chancey," replied she. 

" There's nothing to mull it in here, my little girl," objected 
the barrister. 

" Oh, but I'll get it in a minute though," replied she, "I'll 
run down for a saucepan." 

" Well, dear, run away,'' replied he, " but don't be long, for 
Miss Ashwoode might want you, my little girl, and it wouldn't 
do if you were out of the way, you know." 

Without waiting to hear the end of this charge, Flora Guy- 
ran down the staircase, and speedily returned with the utensil 
required. 

" Maybe I'd better go in for a minute first, and see if she 
wants me,'' suggested the girl. 

" Very well, my dear," replied Chancey. 

And accordingly, she turned the key in the chamber door, 
u "2 



2Q2 The "Cock and Anchor." 

closed it again, and stood by the young lady's side; such 
was her agitation that for three or four seconds she could not 
speak. 

" My lady," at length she said, " I have one of the keys 
when I go in next I'll leave your room door unlocked, only 
closed just, and no more the lobby door is ajar I left it that 
way this very minute ; and when you hear me saying ' the 
sack's upset ! ' do you open your door, and cross the room as 
quick as light, and out on the lobby, and stop by the stairs, my 
lady, and HI follow you as fast as I can. Here, my lady," 
continued the poor girl, bringing a small box from her 
mistress's toilet ; " your rings, my lady they'll be wanted 
mind, your rings, my lady there is the little case, keep it in 
your pocket ; if we escape, my lady, they'll be wanted mind, 
Mr. Chancey has ears like needle points. Keep up your heart, 
my lady, and in the name of God we'll try this chance." 

" Into His hands I commit myself," said the young lady, 
with a tone and air of more firmness and energy than she had 
shown for days ; " my heart is strengthened, my courage 
comes again oh, thank God, I am equal to this dreadful 
hour." 

Flora Guy made a gesture of silence, and then, opening the 
door briskly, and shutting it again with an ostentatious noise, 
and drawing the key from the lock, she crossed the room to 
where Chancey, who had watched her entrance, was sitting. 

" Well, my dear," said he, " how is that delicate young lady 
in there ? " 

" Why, she's raythur bad, I'm afraid," rejoined the girl ; 
" she's the whole day long in a sort of a heavy dulness like 
she don't seem to mind anything." 

"So much the better, my dear," said Chancey, " she'll be 
the less inclined to gad, or to be troublesome come, mix the 
spices and the sugar, dear, and settle the liquor in the sauce- 
pan you want some refreshment, so you do, for I declare to 
God, I never saw anyone so pale in all my life as you are this 
minute." 

" I'll not be long so," said the girl, affecting a tone of brisk- 
ness, and proceeding to mingle the ingredients in the little 
saucepan, " for 1 think if I was dead itself, let alone a little bit 
tired, a cup of mulled sack would cheer me up again." 

So saying, she placed the little saucepan on the bar. 

" Is the parson asleep ? " inquired she. 

" Indeed, my dear, I'm very much afraid it's tipsy he is, 5 ' 
drawled Chancey, demurely, "take care of that clergyman, my 
dear, for indeed I'm afraid he has very loose conduct.'' 

" Will I blacken his nose with a burned cork ? " inquired she. 

" Oh ! no, my little girl," replied Chancey, with a tranquil 
chuckle, and turning his sleepy grey eyes upon the apoplectic 



The Signal. 293 

visage of the stupefied drunkard who sat bolt upright before 
him ; " no, no, we don't know the minute he may be wanted ; 
he'll have to perform the ceremony very soon, my dear ; and 
Mr. Blarden, if he took the fancy, would think nothing of 
braining half a dozen of us. I declare to God he wouldn't." 

" Well, Mr. Chancey, will you mind the little saucepan for 
one minute," said she, " while I'm putting a bit of turf or a 
few sticks under it." 

" Indeed I will," said he, turning his eyes lazily upon the 
utensil, but doing nothing more to secure it. Flora Guy 
accordingly took some wood, and, pretending to arrange the 
fire, overturned the wine ; the loud hiss of the boiling liquid, 
and the sudden cloud of whirling steam and ashes, ascending 
toward the ceiling, and puffing into his face, half confounded 
the barrister, and at the same instant, Flora Guy, clapping 
her hands, and exclaimed with a shrill cry, 

" The sack's upset/ the sack's upset/ lend a hand, Mr. 
Chancey Mr. Chancey, do you hear ? " and, while thus con- 
jured, the barrister, in obedience to her vociferous appeal, 
made some indistinct passes at the saucepan with the poker, 
which he had grasped at the first alarm ; the damsel, without 
daring to look directly where every feeling would have riveted 
her eyes, beheld a dark form glide noiselessly behind Chancey, 
and pass from the room. For the moment, so intense was her 
agony of anxiety, she felt upon the very point of fainting ; in 
an instant more, however, she had recovered all her energies, 
and was bold and quick-witted as ever; one glance in the 
direction of the lady's chamber showed her the door slowly 
swinging open ; fortunately the barrister was at the moment 
too much occupied with the extraction of the remainder of the 
saucepan from the fire, to have yet perceived the treacherous 
accident, one glance at which would have sealed their ruin, 
and Flora Guy, running noiselessly to the door, remedied the 
perilous disclosure by shutting it softly andquickly ; and then, 
with much clattering of the key, and a good deal of pushing 
beside, forcing it open again, she passed into the room and 
spoke a little in a low tone, as if to her mistress ; and then, 
returning, she locked the door of the then untenanted chamber 
in real earnest, and, crossing to Chancey, said : " I wonder at 
you, so I do, Mr. Chancey ; you frightened the young mistress 
half out of her wits ; and I'm all over dust and ashes ; I must 
run down and wash every inch of my face and hands, so I 
must ; and here, Mr. Chancey, will you keep the key of the 
bed-room till I come back ? afraid I might drop it ; and don't 
let it out of your hands." 

" I will indeed, dear; but don't be long away, 3 ' rejoined the 
barrister, extending his hand to receive the key of the now 
vacant chamber. 



294 The "Cock and A nchor^ 

So Flora Guy boldly walked forth upon the lobby, and 
closing the chamber door behind her, found herself in the vast 
old gallery, hung round with grim and antique portraits, and 
lighted only by the fitful beams of a clouded moon shining 
doubtfully through the stained glass of a solitary window. 

Mary Ashwoode awaited her approach, concealed in a small 
recess or niche in the wall, shrined like an image in the narrow 
enclosure of carved oak, not daring to stir, and with a heart 
throbbing as though it would burst. 

" My lady, are you there ? " whispered the maid, scarce 
audibly ; great nervous excitement renders the sense morbidly 
acute, and Mary Ashwoode heard the sound distinctly, faint 
though it was, and at some distance from her ; she stepped 
falteringly from her place of concealment, and took the hand 
of her conductress in a grasp cold as that of death itself, and 
side by side they proceeded down the broad staircase. They 
had descended about half-way when a loud and violent ring- 
ing from the bell of the chamber where Chancey was seated 
made their very hearts bound with terror ; they stood fixed 
and breathless on the stair where the fearful peal had first 
reached their ears. Again the summons came louder still, and 
at the same moment the sounds of steps approached from 
below, and the gleam of a candle quickly followed ; Mary 
Ashwoode felt her ears tingle and her head swim with terror ; 
she was on the point of sinking upon the floor. In this 
dreadful extremity her presence of mind did not forsake Flora 
Guy : disengaging her hand from that of her terrified mistress, 
she tripped lightly down the stairs to meet the person who 
was approaching a turn in the staircase confronted them, 
and she saw before her the serving man whose treachery had 
already defeated Mary Ashwoode' s hopes of deliverance. 

"What keeps you such a time answering the bell? ''in- 
quired she, saucily, " you needn't go up now, for I've got your 
message ; bring up clean cups and a clean saucepan, for 
everything's destroyed with the dust and dirt Mr. Chancey's 
after kicking up; what did he do, do you think, but upsets the 
sack into the fire. Now be quick with the things, will you ? 
the bell won't be easy one minute till they're done." 

*' Give me a kiss, sweet lips," exclaimed the man, setting 
down his candle, " and I'll not be a brace of shakes about the 
message ; come, you must? he continued, playfully struggling 
with the affrighted girl. 

" Well, do the message first, at any rate," said she, forcing 
herself, with some difficulty, from his grasp, as the bell rang a 
third time ; " it will be a nice piece of business, so it will, if 
Mr. Chancey comes down and catches you here, pulling 
me about, so it will, you'll look well, won't you, when he's 
telling it to Mr. Blarden ? don't be a fool." 



The Signal. 295 

The reiterated application to the bell had more effect upon 
the serving man than all her oratory, and muttering a curse 
or two, he ran down, determined, vindictively, to bring up 
soiled cups, and a dirty saucepan. The man had hardly de- 
parted, when the maid exclaimed, in a hurried whisper, 
" Come come quick quick, for your life ! '' and with scarcely 
the interval of three seconds, they found themselves in the hall. 

" Here's the key, my lady ; see which of the doors does it 
open," whispered she, exhibiting the key in the dusky and 
imperfect light. 

" Here here this way," said Mary Ashwoode, moving with 
weak and stumbling steps through a tiled lobby which opened 
upon the preat hall, and thence along a narrow passage upon 
which several doors opened. "Here, here," she exclaimed, 
" this door this I cannot open it my strength is gone this 
is it for God's sake, quickly." 

After two or three trials, Flora Guy succeeded in getting the 
key into the lock, and then exerting the whole strength of her 
two hands, with a hoarse jarring clang the bolt revolved, the 
door opened, and they stood upon the fresh and dewy sward, 
beneath the shadow of the old ivy-mantled walls. The girl 
locked the door upon the outside, fearful that its lying open 
should excite suspicion, and flung the key away into the thick 
weeds and brushwood. 

"Now, my lady, the shortest way to the high road?" in- 
quired Flora in a hurried whisper, and supporting, as well as 
she could, the tottering steps of her mistress, " how do you 
feel, my lady ? Don't lose heart now, a few minutes more and 
you will be safe courage courage, my lady." 

" I am better now, Flora," said Mary faintly, " much better 
the cool air refreshes me.'' As she thus spoke, her strength 
returned, her step grew fleeter and firmer, and she led the 
way round the irregular ivy-clothed masses of the dark old 
building and through the stately trees that stood gathered 
round it. Over the unequal sward they ran with the light 
steps of fear, and under the darksome canopy of the vast and 
ancient linden trees, gliding upon the smooth grass like two 
ghosts among the chequered shade and dusky light. On, on 
they sped, scarcely feeling the ground beneath their feet as 
they pursued their terrified flight ; they had now gained the 
midway distance in the ancient avenue between the mansion 
and great gate, and still ran noiselessly and fleetly along, when 
the quick ear of Mary Ashwoode caught the distant sounds of 
pursuit. 

" Flora Flora oh, God ! we are followed," gasped the 
young lady. 

" Stop an instant, my lady," rejoined the maid, " let us 
listen for a second." 



296 The " Cock and A nchorT 

They did pause, and distinctly, between them and the old 
mansion, they heard, among the dry leaves with which in 
places the gronnd was strewn, the tread of steps pursuing at 
headlong speed. 

" It is it is, I hear them," said Mary distractedly. 

" Now, my lady, we must run run for our lives ; if we but 
reach the road before them, we may yet be saved ; now, my 
lady, for God's sake don't falter don't give up." 

And while the sounds of pursuit grew momentarily louder 
and more loud, they still held their onward way with throbbing 
hearts, and eyes almost sightless with fatigue and terror. 



CHAPTER LIX. 

HASTE AND PERIL. 

THE rush of feet among the leaves grew every moment closer 
and closer upon them, and now they heard the breathing of 
their pursuer the sounds came near nearer they ap- 
proached they reached them. 

" Oh, God ! they are up with us they are upon us, 5 ' said 
Mary, stumbling blindly onward, and at the same moment 
she felt something laid heavily upon her shoulder she 
tottered her strength forsook her, and she fell helplessly 
among the branching roots of the old trees. 

"My lady oh, my lady thank God, it's only the dog," 
cried Flora Guy, clapping her hands in grateful ecstasies; 
and at the same time, Mary felt a cold nose thrust under her 
neck and her chin and cheeks licked by her old favourite, 
poor Rover. More dead than alive, she raised herself again to 
her feet, and before her sat the great old dog, his tail sweeping 
the rustling leaves in wide circles, and his good-humoured 
tongue lolling from among his ivory fangs. With many a frisk 
and bound the fine dog greeted his long-lost mistress, and 
seemed resolved to make himself one of the party. 

" No, no, poor Rover," said Mary, hurriedly " we have 
rambled our last together home, Rover, home." 

The old dog looked wonderingly in the face of his mistress. 

"Home, Rover home," repeated she, and the noble dog 
did credit to his good training by turning dejectedly, and 
proceeding at a slow, broken trot homeward, after stopping, 
however, and peeping round his shoulder, as though in the 
hope of some signal relentingly inviting his return. 

Thus relieved of their immediate fears, the two fugitives, 
weak, exhausted, and breathless, reached the great gate, and 



Haste and Peril. 297 

found themselves at length upon the high road. Here they 
ventured to check their speed, and pursue their way at a pace 
which enabled them to recover breath and strength, but still 
fearfully listening for any sound indicative of pursuit. 

The moon was high in the heavens, but the dark, drifting 
scud was sailing across her misty disc, and giving to her light 
the character of ceaseless and ever varying uncertainty. The 
road on which they walked was that which led to Dublin city, 
and from each side was embowered by tall old trees, and 
rudely fenced by unequal grassy banks. They had proceeded 
nearly half-a-mile without encountering any living being, 
when they heard, suddenly, a little way before them, the sharp 
clang of horses' hoofs upon the road, and shortly after, the 
moon shining forth for a moment, revealed distinctly the forms 
of two horsemen approaching at a slow trot. 

" As sure as light, my lady, it's they," said Flora Guy, " I 
know Sir Henry's grey horse don't stop, my lady don't try 
to hide just draw the hood over your head, and walk on 
steady with me, and they'll never mind us, but pass on." 

With a throbbing heart, Mary obeyed her companion, and 
they walked side by side by the edge of the grassy bank and 
under the tall trees the distance between them and the two 
mounted figures momentarily diminishing. 

" 1 say he's as lame as a hop-jack," cried the well-known 
voice of Nicholas Blarden, as they approached " hav'n't you 
an eye in your head, you mouth, you look there another 
false step, by Jove." 

Just at this moment the girls, looking neither to the right 
nor left, and almost sinking with fear, were passing them by. 
" Stop you, one of you, will you ? " said Blarden, addressing 
them, and at the same time reining in his horse. 

Flora Guy stopped, and making a slight curtsey, awaited 
his further pleasure, while Mary Ashwoode, with faltering 
steps and almost dead with terror, walked slowly on. 

" Have you light enough to see a stone in a horse's hoof, 
my dimber hen ? have you, I say ? " 

" Yes, sir," faltered the girl, with another curtsey, and not 
venturing to raise her voice, for fear of detection. 

"Well, look into them all in turn, will you?" continued 
Blarden, "while I walk the beast a bit. Do you see any- 
thing ? is there a stone there ? is there ? " 
" No, sir," said she again, with a curtsey. 
" No, sir,'' echoed he" but I say ' yes, sir,' and I'll take 
my oath of it. D n it, it can't be a strain. Get down, Ash- 
woode, I say, and look to it yourself ; these blasted women 
are fit for nothing but darning old stockings get down, I say, 
Ashwoode." 

Without awaiting for any more formal dismissal, Flora 



298 The "Cock and Anchor'' 

Guy walked quickly on, and speedily overtook her companion, 
and side by side they continued to go at the same moderate 
pace, until a sudden turn in the road interposing trees and 
bushes between them and the two horsemen, they renewed 
their flight at the swiftest pace which their exhausted strength 
could sustain ; and need had they to exert their utmost speed, 
for greater dangers than they had yet escaped were still to 
follow. 

Meanwhile Nicholas Blarden and Sir Henry Ashwoode 
mended their pace, and proceeded at a brisk trot toward the 
manor of Morley Court. Both rode on more than commonly 
silent, and whenever Blarden spoke, it was with something 
more than his usual savage -moroseness. No doubt their 
rapid approach to the scene where their hellish cruelty and 
oppression were to be completed, did not serve either to ex- 
hilarate their spirits or to soothe the asperities of Blarden's 
ruffian temper. Now and then, indeed, he did indulge in a 
few flashes of savage exulting glee at his anticipated triumph 
over the hereditary pride of Sir Henry, against whom, with 
all a coward's rancour, he still cherished a " lodged hate," and 
in mortifying and insulting whom his kestrel heart delighted 
and rioted with joy. As they approached the ancient avenue, 
as if by mutual consent, they both drew bridle and reduced 
their pace to a walk. 

" You shall be present and give her away do you mind ? " 
said Blarden, abruptly breaking silence. 

" There's no need for that surely there is none ? " said 
Ashwoode. 

" Need or no need, it's my humour/' replied Blarden. 

" I've suffered enough already in this matter," replied Sir 
Henry, bitterly ; " there's no use in heaping gratuitous 
annoyances and degradation upon me." 

" Ho, ho, running rusty," exclaimed Blarden, with the harsh 
laugh of coarse insult " running rusty, eh ? I thought you 
were broken in by this time paces learned and mouth made, 
eh ? take care, take care." 

" I say," repeated Ashwood, impetuously, " you can have 
no object in compelling my presence, except to torment 
me." 

" Well, suppose I allow that what then, eh ? ho, ho ! '' 
retorted Blarden. 

Sir Henry did not reply, but a strange fancy crossed his 
mind. 

" I say," resumed Blarden, " I'll have no argument about 
it; I choose it, and what I choose must be done that's 
enough." 

The road was silent and deserted ; no sound, save the 
ringing of their own horses' hoofs upon the stones, disturbed 



The Untreasured Chamber. 299 

the stillness of the air; dark, ragged clouds obscured the 
waning moon, and the shadows were deepened further by 
the stooping branches of the tall trees which guarded the 
road on either side. Ashwoode's hand rested upon the 
pommel of his holster pistol, and by his side moved the 
wretch whose cunning and ferocity had dogged and destroyed 
him with startling vividness the suggestion came. His 
eyes rested upon the dusky form of his companion, all cal- 
culations of consequences faded away from his remem- 
brance, and yielding to the dark, dreadful influence which 
was upon him, he clutched the weapon with a deadly 
gripe. 

" What are you staring at me for ? am I a stone wall, 
eh ? " exclaimed Blarden, who instinctively perceived some- 
thing odd in Ashwoode's air and attitude, spite of the 
obscurity in which they rode. 

The spell was broken. Ashwoode felt as if awaking from a 
dream, and looked fearfully round, almost expecting to behold 
the visible presence of the principle of mischief by his side, so 
powerful and vivid had been the satanic impulse of the 
moment before. 

They turned into the great avenue through which so lately 
the fugitives had fearfully sped. 

" "We're at home now," cried Blarden ; " come, be brisk, will 
you P " And so saying, he struck Ashwoode's horse a heavy 
blow with his whip. The spirited animal reared and bolted, 
and finally started at a gallop down the broad avenue towards 
the mansion, and at the' same pace Nicholas Blarden also 
thundered to the hall door. 



CHAPTER LX. 

THE UNTREASURED CHAMBER. 

THEIR obstreperous summons at the door was speedily 
answered, and the two cavaliers stood in the hall. 

" Well, all's right, I suppose ? " inquired Blarden, tossing 
his gloves and hat upon the table. 

" Yes, sir,'' replied the servant, " all but the lady's maid ; 
Mr. Chancey's been calling for her these five minutes and 
more, and we can't find her." 

"How's this all the doors locked?" inquired Blarden 
vehemently. 

" Ay, sir, every one of them," replied the man. 

" Who has the keys ? " asked Blarden. 



300 The " Cock and A nchor. ' ' 

" Mr. Chancey, sir," replied the servant. 

" Did he allow them out of his keeping did he ? " urged 
Blarden. 

"No, sir not a moment for he was saying this very- 
minute," answered the domestic, " he had them in his pocket, 
and the key of Miss Mary's room along with them ; he took 
it from Flora Guy, the maid, scarce a quarter of an hour ago." 

"Then all is right," said Blarden, while the momentary 
blackness of suspicion passed from his face, " the girl's in 
some hole or corner of this lumbering old barrack, but here 
comes Chancey himself, what's all the fuss about who's in 
the upper room the the boudoir, eh?" he continued, 
addressing the barrister, who was sneaking downstairs with a 
candle in his hand, and looking unusually sallow. 

"The Eeverend Ebenezer and one of the lads they're 
sitting there," answered Chancey, "but we can't find that 
little girl, Flora Guy, anywhere.'' 

" Have you the keys ? " asked Blarden. 

" Ay, dear me, to be sure I have, except the one that I gave 
to little Bat there, to let you in this minute. I have the 
three other keys ; dear me dear me what could ail me ? " 
And so saying, Chancey slapped the skirt of his coat slightly 
so as to make them jingle in his pocket. 

" The windows are all fast and safe as the wall itself 
screwed down," observed Blarden, " let's see the keys show 
them here." 

Chancey accordingly drew them from his pocket, and laid 
them on the table. 

" There's the three of them," observed he, calmly. 

"Have you no more ?" inquired Blarden, lookingrather aghast. 

" No, indeed, the devil a one," replied Chancey, thrusting 
his arm to the elbow in his coat pocket. 

"D n me, but I think this is the key of the cellar," 
ejaculated Blarden, in a tone which energized even the apa- 
thetic lawyer, " come here, Ashwoode, what key's this ? " 

" It is the cellar key," said Ashwoode, in a faltering voice 
and turning very pale. 

" Try your pockets for another, and find it, or ." The 

aposiopesis was alarming, and Blarden's direction was obeyed 
instantaneously. 

" I declare to God," said Chancey, much alarmed, " I have 
but the three, and that in the door makes four. 

"You d d oaf," said Blarden, between his set teeth, "if 

you have botched this business, I'll let you know for what. 
Ashwoode, which of the keys is missing ? " 

After a moment's hesitation, Ashwoode led the way through 
the passage which Mary and her companion had so lately 
traversed. 



The Untreasured Chamber. 301 

" That's the door,'' said he, pointing to that through which 
the escape had been effected. 

" And what's this ? " cried Blarden, shouldering past Sir 
Henry, and raising something from the ground, just by the 
door-post, " a handkerchief, and marked, too it's the young 
lady's own give me the key of the lady's chamber," con- 
tinued he, in a low changed voice, which had, in the 
ears of the barrister, something more unpleasant still than 
his loudest and harshest tones " give me the key, and follow 
me." 

He clutched it, and followed by the terror-stricken barrister, 
and by Sir Henry Ashwoode, he retraced his steps, and scaled 
the stairs with hurried and lengthy strides. Without stopping 
to glance at the form of the still slumbering drunkard, or to 
question the servant who sat opposite, on the chair recently 
occupied by Chancey, he strode directly to the door of Mary 
Ashwoode's sleeping apartment, opened it, and stood in an 
untenanted chamber. 

For a moment he paused, aghast and motionless ; he ran to 
the bed still warm with the recent pressure of his intended 
victim the room was, indeed, deserted. He turned round, 
absolutely black and speechless with rage. As he advanced, 
the wretched barrister the tool of his worst schemes cowered 
back in terror. Without speaking one word, Blarden clutched 
him by the throat, and hurled him with his whole power back- 
ward. With tremendous force he descended with his head 
upon the bar of the grate, and thence to the hearthstone ; 
there, breathless, powerless, and to all outward seeming a 
livid corpse, lay the devil's cast-off servant, the red blood 
trickling fast from ears, nose, and mouth. Not waiting to 
see whether Chancey was alive or dead, Mr. Blarden seized 
the brandy flask and dashed it in the face of the stupid 
drunkard who, disturbed by the fearful hubbub, was just 
beginning to open his.eyes and leaving that reverend person- 
age drenched in blood and brandy, to take care of his boon 
companion as best he might, Blarden strode down the stairs, 
followed by Ashwoode and the servants. 

" Get horses horses all," shouted he, " to the stables by 
Jove, it was they we met on the road the two girls quick to 
the stables whoever catches them shall have his hat full of 
crowns." 

Led by Blarden, they all hurried to the stables, where they 
found the horses unsaddled. 

"On with the saddles for your life be quick,'' cried 
Blarden, " four horses fresh ones." 

While uttering his furious mandates, with many a blasphe- 
mous imprecation, he aided the preparations himself, and with 
hands that trembled, with eagerness and rage, he drew the 



302 The "Cock and A nchor" 

girths, and buckled the bridles, and in almost less than a 
minute, the four horses were led out upon the broken pave- 
ment of the stable-yard. 

" Mind, boys," cried Blarden, " they are two mad-women 
escaped mad-women ride for your lives. Ashwoode, do you 
take the right, and I'll take the left when we come on the 
road do you follow me, Tony and Dick, do you go with Sir 
Henry and, now, devil take the hindmost." With these 
words he plunged the spurs into his horse's flanks, and with 
the speed of a thunder blast, they all rode helter-skelter, in 
pursuit of their human prey. 



CHAPTER LXI. 

THE CART AND THE STRAW. 

WHILE this was passing, the two girls continued their flight 
toward Dublin city. They had not long passed Ashwoode 
and Nicholas Blarden, when Mary's strength entirely failed, 
and she was forced first to moderate her pace to a walk, and 
finally to stop altogether and seat herself upon the bank which 
sloped abruptly down to the road. 

" Flora," said she, faintly. " I am quite exhausted my 
strength is entirely gone ; I must perforce rest myself and take 
breath here for a few minutes, and then, with God's help, I 
shall again have power to proceed." 

" Do so, my lady," said Flora, taking her stand beside her 
mistress, " and I'll watch and listen here by you. Hish ! 
don't I hear the sound of a car on the road before us ? " 

So, indeed, it seemed, and at no great distance too. The 
road, however, just where they had placed themselves, made a 
sweep which concealed the vehicle, whatever it might be, 
effectually from their sight. The girl clambered to the top of 
the bank, and thence commanding a view of that part of the 
highway which beneath was hidden from sight, she beheld, 
two or three hundred yards in advance of them, a horse and 
cart, the driver of which was seated upon- the shaft, slowly 
wending along in the direction of the city. 

" My lady," said she, descending from her post of observa- 
tion, " if you have strength to run on for only a few perches 
more of the road, we'll be up with a car, and get a lift into 
town without any more trouble ; try it, my lady." 

Accordingly they again set forth, and after a few minutes' 
further exertion, they came up with the vehicle and accosted 
the driver, a countryman, with a short pipe in his mouth, 
who, with folded arms, sat listlessly upon the shaft. 






The Cart and the Straw. 303 

" Honest man, God bless you, and give us a bit of a lift," 
said Flora Guy ; " we've come a long way and very fast, and 
we are fairly tired to death." 

The countryman drew the halter which he held, and uttering 
an unspellable sound, addressed to his horse, succeeded in 
bringing him and the vehicle to a standstill. 

"Never say it twiste, 5 ' said he; "get up, and welcome. 
Wait a bit, till I give the straw a turn for yees ; not for it ; 
step on the wheel ; don't be in dread, he won't move." 

So saying, he assisted Mary Ashwoode into the rude vehicle, 
and not without wondering cariosity, for the hand which she 
extended to him was white and slender, and glittered in the 
moonlight with jewelled rings. Flora Guy followed; but 
before the cart was again in motion, they distinctly heard the 
far-off clatter of galloping hoofs upon the road. Their fears 
too truly accounted for these sounds. 

" Merciful God ! we are pursued," said Mary Ashwoode ; and 
then turning to the driver, she continued, with an agony of 
imploring terror " as you look for pity at the dreadful hour 
when all shall need it, do not betray us. If it be as I suspect, 
we are pursued pursued with an evil a dreadful purpose. I 
had rather die a thousand deaths than fall into the hands of 
those who are approaching." 

" Never fear," interrupted the man ; " lie down flat both of 
you in the cart and I'll hide you never fear." 

They obeyed his directions, and he spread over their 
prostrate bodies a covering of straw ; not quite so thick, 
however, as their fears would have desired ; and thus screened, 
they awaited the approach of those whom they rightly 
conjectured to be in hot pursuit of them. The man re- 
sumed his seat upon the shaft, and once more the cart was 
in motion. 

Meanwhile, the sharp and rapid clang of the hoofs ap- 
proached, and before the horsemen had reached them, the voice 
of Nicholas Blarden was shouting 

" Holloa holloa, honest fellow saw you two young women 
on the road?" 

There was scarcely time allowed for an answer, when the 
thundering clang of the iron hoofs resounded beside the con- 
veyance in which the fugitives were lying, and the horsemen 
both, with a sudden and violent exertion, brought their 
beasts to a halt, and so abruptly, that although thrown back 
upon their haunches, the horses slid on for several yards upon 
the hard road, by the mere impetus of their former speed, 
knocking showers of fire flakes from the stones. 

" I say,'' repeated Blarden, "did two girls pass you on the 
road did you see them ? " 

" Divil a sign of a girl I see," replied the man, carelessly ; 



304 The "Cock and Anchor'' 

and to their infinite relief, the two fugitives heard their 
pursuer, with a muttered curse, plunge forward upon his way. 
This relief, however, was but momentary, for checking his 
horse again, Blarden returned. 

" I say, my good chap, I passed you before to-night, not 
ten minutes since, on my way out of town, not half-a-mile 
from this spot the girls were running this way, and if 
they're between this and the gate they must have passed 
you." 

" Devil a girl I seen this Oh, begorra ! you're right, 

sure enough," said the driver " what the devil was I thinkin' 
about two girls one of them tall and slim, with rings 
on her fingers and the other a short, active bit of a 
colleen ? " 

" Ay ay ay," cried Blarden. 

" Sure enough they did overtake me," said the man, " shortly 
after I passed two gentlemen I suppose you are one of them 
and the little one axed me the direction of Harold's-cross-*- 
and when I showed it to them, bedad they both made no more 
bones about it, but across the ditch with them, an' away over 
the fields they're half-way there by this time it was jist 
down there by the broken bridge they were quare-looking 
girls.'' 

" It would be d d odd if they were not they're both 

mad," replied Blarden ; " thank you for your hint.'' 

And so saying, as he turned his horse's head in the direction 
indicated, he chucked a crown piece into the cart. As the 
conveyance proceeded, they heard the driver soliloquizing with 
evident satisfaction 

" Bedad, they'll have a plisint serenade through the fields, 
the two of them," observed he, standing upon the shafts, and 
watching the progress of the two horsemen " there they go, 
begorra over the ditch with them. Oh, by the hokey, the 
sarvint boy's down the heart's blood iv a toss an' oh, bloody 
wars ! see the skelp iv the whip the big chap gives him 
there they go again down the slope now for it over the 
gripe with them well done, bedad, and into the green lane 
devil take the bushes, I can't see another sight iv them, 
f oung women,'' he continued, again assuming his sitting 
position, and replacing his pipe in the corner of his mouth 
"all's safe now they're clean out of sight you may get 
up, miss." 

Accordingly, Mary Ashwoode and Flora Guy raised them- 
selves. 

" Here," said the latter, extending her hand toward the 
driver, " here's the silver he threw to you." 

" I wisht I could aim as much every day as aisily," said the 
man, securing his prize ; " that chap has raal villiany in 



The Cart and the Straw. 305 

his face ; he looks so like ould Nick, I'm half afeard to take 
his money ; the crass of Christ about us, I never seen such a 
face." 

" You're an honest boy at any rate," said Flora Guy, " you 
brought us safe through the danger." 

" An' why wouldn't I what else 'id I do ? " rejoined the 
countryman ; " it wasn't for to sell you I was goin'." 

" You have earned my gratitude for ever," said Mary Ash- 
woode ; " ray thanks, my prayers ; you have saved me ; your 
generosity, and humanity, and pity, have delivered me from 
the deadliest peril that ever yet overtook living creature. 
God bless you for it." 

She removed a ring from her finger, and added "Take 
this ; nay, do not refuse so poor an acknowledgment for 
services inestimable." 

" No, miss, no," rejoined the countryman, warmly, " I'll 
not take it ; I'll not have it ; do you think I could do any- 
tning else but what I did, and you putting yourself into my 
hands the way you did, and trusting to me, and laving 
yourselves in my power intirely? I'm not a Turk, nor an 
unnatural Jew; may the devil have me, body and soul, 
the hour I take money, or money's worth, for doin' the 
like." ^ 

Seeing the man thus resolved, she forbore to irritate him 
by further pressing the jewel on his acceptance, and he, 
probably to put an end to the controversy, began to shake and 
chuck the rope halter with extraordinary vehemence, and at 
the same time with the heel of his brogue, to stimulate the 
lagging jade, accompanying the application with a sustained 
hissing ; the combined effect of all which was to cause the 
animal to break into a kind of hobbling canter ; and so they 
rumbled and clattered over the stony road, until at length 
their charioteer checked the progress of his vehicle before the 
hospitable door- way of " The Bleeding Horsa" the little inn 
to which, in the commencement of these records, we have 
already introduced the reader. 

" Hould that, if you plase," said he, placing the end of the 
halter in Flora Guy's hand, "an' don't let him loose, or he'll 
be makin' for the grass and have you upset in the ditch. I'll 
not be a minute in here ; and maybe the young lady and 
yourself 'id take a drop of something ; the evenin's mighty 
chill entirely." 

They both, of course, declined the hospitable proposal, and 
their conductor, leaving them on the cart, entered the little 
hostelry ; outside the door were two or three cars and horses, 
whose owners were boosing within ; and feeling some return of 
confidence in the consciousness that they were in the neigh- 
bourhood of persons who could, and probably would, protect 



306 The "Cock and Anchor" 

them, should occasion arise, Mary Ashwoode, with her light 
mantle drawn around her, and the hood over her head, sat 
along with her faithful companion, awaiting his return, under 
the embowering shadow of the old trees. 

" Flora, I am sorely perplexed ; I know not whither to go 
when we have reached the city," said Mary, addressing her 
companion in a low tone. " I have but one female relative 
residing in Dublin, and she would believe, and think, and do, 
just as iny brother might wish to make her. Oh, woeful hour ! 
that it should ever come to this that I should fear to trust 
another because she is my own brother's friend." 

She had hardly ceased to speak when a small man, with his 
cocked hat set somewhat rakishly on one side, stepped forth 
from the little inn door; he had just lighted his pipe, and was 
inhaling its smoke with anxious attention lest the spark which 
he cherished should expire before the ignition of the weed 
became sufficiently general ; his walk was therefore slow and 
interrupted ; the top of his finger tenderly moved the kindling 
tobacco, and his two eyes squinted with intense absorption at 
the bowl of the pipe ; by the time he had reached the back of the 
cart in which Mary Ashwoode and her attendant were seated, 
his labours were crowned by complete success, as was attested 
by the dense volumes of smoke which at regular intervals he 
puffed forth. He carried a cutting-whip under his arm, and 
was directing his steps toward a horse which, with its bridle 
thrown over a gate-post, was patiently awaiting his return. 
As he passed the rude vehicle in which the two fugitives were 
couched, he happened to pause for a moment, and Mary 
thought she recognized the figure before her as that of an old 
acquaintance. 

" Is that Larry Larry Toole ? " inquired she. 

" It's myself, sure enough," rejoined that identical person- 
age ; " an' who are you a woman, to be sure, who else 'id be 
axin' for me ? " 

" Larry, don't you know me ? " said she. 

" Divil a taste," replied he. " I only see you're a female av 
coorse, why wouldn't you, for, by the piper that played 
before Moses, I'm never out of one romance till I'm into 
another." 

" Larry," said she, lowering her voice, " it is Miss Ashwoode 
who speaks to you." 

"Don't be funnin' me, can't you?" rejoined Larry, rather 
pettishly. " I've got enough iv the thricks iv women latterly ; 
an' too much. I'm a raal marthyr to famale mineuvers ; 
there's a bump on my head as big as a goose's egg, glory be to 
God ! an' my bones is fairly aching with what I've gone 
through by raison iv confidin' myself to the mercy of women. 
Oh thunder " 



The Cart and the Straw. 307 

" I tell you, Larry," repeated Mary, " I am, indeed, Miss 
Ashwoode." 

" No, but who are you, in earnest ? " urged Larry Toole ; 
" can't you put me out iv pain at wonst ; upon my sowl I don'fc 
know you from Moses this blessed minute." 

" Well, Larry, although you cannot recognize my voice," said 
she, turning back her hood so as to reveal her pale features in 
the moonlight, " you have not forgotten my face." 

" Oh, blessed hour ! Miss Mary," exclaimed Larry, in un- 
feigned amazement, while he hurriedly thrust his pipe into 
his pocket, and respectfully doffed his hat. 

" Hush, hush," said Mary, with a gesture of caution. " Put 
on your hat, too ; I wish to escape observation ; put it on, 
Larry ; it is my wish." 

Larry reluctantly complied. 

" Can you tell me where in town my uncle O'Leary is to be 
found ? " inquired she, eagerly. 

Bedad, Miss Mary, he isn't in town at all,'' replied the man; 
" they say he married a widdy lady about ten days ago ; at 
any rate he's gone out of town more than a week ; I didn't 
hear where." 

" I know not whither to turn for help or counsel, Flora," 
said she, despairingly, " my best friend is gone." 

" Well," said Larry who, though entirely ignorant of the 
exact nature of the young lady's fears, had yet quite sufficient 
shrewdness to perceive that she was, indeed, involved in some 
emergency of extraordinary difficulty and peril " well, miss, 
maybe if you'd take a fool's advice for once, it might turn out 
best," said Larry. " There's an ould gentleman that knows all 
about your family ; he was out at the manor, and had a long 
discoorse, himself and Sir Richard God rest him a short 
time before the ould masther died ; the gentleman's name is 
Audley ; and, though he never seen you but once, he wishes 
you well, and 'id go a long way to sarve you ; an' above all, 
he's a raal rock iv sinse. I'm not bad myself, but, begorra, 
I'm nothin' but a fool beside him ; now do you, Miss Mary, 
and the young girl that's along with you, jist come in here ; 
you can have a snug little room to yourselves, and I'll go into 
town and have the ould gentleman out withyou before you know 
what you're about, or where you are ; he'll ax no more than 
the wind iv the word to bring him here in a brace iv shakes ; 
and my name's not Larry if he don't give you suparior 
advice." 

A slight thing determines a mind perplexed and despond- 
ing ; and Mary Ashwoode, feeling that whatever objection 
might well be started against the plan proposed by Larry 
Toole, yet felt that, were it rejected, she had none better to 
follow in its stead ; anything rather than run the risk of 

x 2 



308 The "Cock and A nchor." 

being placed again in her brother's keeping; there was no 
time for deliberation, and therefore she at once adopted the 
suggestion. Larry, accordingly, conducted them into the 
little inn, and consigned them to the care of a haggard, 
slovenly girl, who, upon a hint from that gentleman, con- 
ducted them to a little chamber, up a flight of stairs, looking 
out upon the back yard, where, with a candle and a scanty 
fire, she left the two anxious fugitives ; and, as she descended, 
they heard the clank of the iron shoes, as Larry spurred his 
horse into a hard gallop, speeding like the wind upon his 
mission. 

The receding sounds of his rapid progress had, however, 
hardly ceased to be heard, when the fears and anxieties which 
had been for a moment forgotten, returned with heavier pres- 
sure upon the poor girl's heart, and she every moment expected 
to hear the dreaded voices of her pursuers in the passage 
beneath, or to see their faces entering at the door. Thus rest- 
lessly and fearfully she awaited the return of her courier. 



CHAPTER LXII. 

THE COUNCIL SHOWING WHAT ADVICE MR. ATJDLEY GAVE, AND 
HOW IT WAS TAKEN. 

HARRY TOOLE was true to his word. Without turning from 
the direct course, or pausing on his way for one moment, he 
accomplished the service which he had volunteered, and in an 
incredibly short time returned to the little inn, bringing Mr. 
Audley with him in a coach. 

With an air of importance and mystery, suitable to the 
occasion, the little gentleman, followed by his attendant, 
proceeded to the chamber where Miss Ashwoode and her maid 
were awaiting his arrival. Mary arose as he entered the room, 
and Larry, from behind, ejaculated, in a tone of pompous 
exultation, " Here he is, Miss Mary Mr. Audley himself, an' 
no mistake.** 

" Tut, tut, Larry," exclaimed the little gentleman, turning 
impatiently toward that personage, whose obstreperous 
announcement had disarranged his plans of approach ; " hold 
your tongue, Larry, I say ahem ! " 

"Mr. Audley/' said Mary, " I hope you will pardon " 

" Not one word of the kind excuse the interruption not a 
word," exclaimed the little gentleman, gallantly waving his 
hand " only too much honour too proud, Miss Ashwoode, 
I have long known something of your family, and, strange 



The Council. 309 

as it may appear, have felt a peculiar interest in you although 
I had not the honour of your acquaintance for the sake of of 
other parties. I have ever entertained a warm regard for your 
welfare, and although circumstances are much, very much 
changed, I cannot forget relations that once subsisted 
ahem ! " This was said diplomatically, and he blew his nose 
with a short decisive twang. " I understand, my poor young 
lady," he continued, relapsing into the cordial manner that 
was natural to him, " that your are at this moment in circum- 
stances of difficulty, perhaps of danger, and that you have 
been disappointed in this emergency by the absence of your 
relative, Major O'Leary, with whose acquaintance, by-the-bye, 
I am honoured, and a more worthy, warm-hearted but no 
matter in his absence, then, I venture to tender my poor 
services pray, if it be not too bold a request, tell me fully and 
fairly, the nature of your embarrassment ; and if zeal, activity, 
and the friendliest dispositions can avail to extricate you, you 
may command them all pray, then, let me know what I can 
do to serve you." So saying, the old gentleman took the pale 
and lovely lady's hand, with a mixture of tenderness and 
respect which encouraged and assured her. 

Larry having withdrawn, she told the little gentleman all 
that she could communicate, without disclosing her brother's 
implication in the conspiracy. Even this reserve, the old 
gentleman's warm and kindly manner, and the good-natured 
simplicity, apparent in all he said and did, effectually removed, 
and the whole case, in all its bearings, and with all its cir- 
cumstances, was plainly put before him. During the narra- 
tive, the little gentleman was repeatedly so transported with 
ire as to slap his thigh, sniff violently, and mutter incoherent 
ejaculations between his teeth ; and when it was ended, was 
so far overcome by his feelings, that he did not trust himself 
to address the young lady, until he had a little vented his 
indignation by marching and countermarching, at quick time, 
up and down the room, blowing his nose with desperate 
abandonment, and muttering sundry startling interjections. 
At length he grew composed, and addressing Mary Ashwoode, 
observed, 

" You are quite right, my dear young lady quite right, 
indeed, in resolving against putting yourself into the hands of 
anybody under Sir Henry's influence perfectly right and 
wise. Have you no relatives in this country, none capable of 
protecting you, and willing to do so V " 

" I have, indeed, one relative,'' rejoined she, but " 

" Who is it P " interrupted Audley. 

" An uncle," replied Mary. 

" His name, my dear his name ? " inquired the old gentle- 
man, impatiently. 



3 10 The "Cock and Anchor." 

" His name is French Oliver French," replied she, 
but " 

" Never mind," interrupted Audley again, " where does he 
live?" 

" He lives in an old place called. Ardgillagh," rejoined she, 
" on the borders of the county of Limerick." 

" Is it easily found out P near the high road from Dublin ? 
near any town ? easily got at P " inquired be, with extra- 
ordinary volubility. 

" I've heard my brother say," rejoined she, " that it is not 
far from the high road from Dublin; he was there himself. I 
believe the place is well known by the peasantry for many 
miles round ; but " 

"Very good, very good, my dear," interposed Mr. Audley 
again. "Has he a family a wife ? " 

'' No,'' rejoined Mary ; " he is unmarried, and an old 
man." 

" Pooh, pooh ! why the devil hasn't he a wife ? but no 
matter, you'll be all the welcomer. That's our ground all 
the safer that it's a little out of the way," exclaimed the old 
man. " We'll steal a march they'll never suspect us ; we'll 
start at once." 

"But I fear,'' said Mary, dejectedly, "that he will not 
receive me. There has long been an estrangement between 
our family and him ; with my father he had a deadly quarrel 
while I was yet an infant. He vowed that neither my father 
nor any child of his should ever cross his threshold. I've 
been told he bitterly resented what he believed to have been 
my father's harsh treatment of my mother. I was too young, 
however, to know on which side the right of the quarrel was ; 
but I fear there is little hope of his doing as you expect, for 
some six or seven years since my brother was sent down, in 
the hope of a reconciliation, and in vain. He returned, re- 
porting that my uncle Oliver had met all his advances with 
scorn. No, no, I fear I greatly fear he will not receive me." 

"Never believe it never think so," rejoined old Audley, 
warmly; "if he were man enough to resent your mother's 
wrongs, think you his heart will have no room for yours ? 
Think you his nature's changed, that he cannot pity the dis- 
tressed, and hate tyranny any longer ? Never believe me, if 
he won't hug you to his heart the minute he sees you. I like 
the old chap ; he was right to be angry it was his duty to 
be in a confounded passion ; he ought to have been kicked 
if he hadn't done just as he did I'd swear he was right. 
Never trust me, if he'll not take your part with his whole 
heart, and make you his pet for as long as you please to stay 
with him. Deuce take him, I like the old fellow." 

" You would advise me, then, to apply to him for protec- 



Parting. 311 

tion ? " asked Mary Ashwoode, " and I suppose to go down 
there immediately." 

" Most unquestionably so," replied Mr. Audley, with a 
short nod of decision " most unquestionably start to-night ; 
we shall go as far as the town of Naas ; I will accompany 
you. I consider you my ward until your natural protectors 
take you under their affectionate charge, and guard you from 
grief and danger as they ought. My good girl," he continued, 
addressing Flora Guy, "you must come along with your 
mistress ; I've a coach at the door. We shall go directly into 
town, and my landlady shall take you both under her care 
until I have procured two chaises, the one for myself, and the 
other for your mistress and you. You will find Mrs. Pickley, 
my landlady, a very kind, excellent person, and ready to 
assist you in making your preparations for the journey." 

The old gentleman then led his young and beautiful charge, 
with a mixture of gallantry and pity, by the hand down the 
little inn stairs, and in a very brief time Mary Ashwoode and 
her faithful attendant found themselves under the hospitable 
protection of Mrs. Pickley 's roof-tree. 



CHAPTER LXIII. 

PARTING THE SHELTERED VILLAGE, AND THE 
JOURNEY'S END. 

NEVER was little gentleman in such a fuss as Mr. Audley 
never were so many orders issued and countermanded and 
given again never were Larry Toole's energies so severely 
tried and his intellects so distracted impossible tasks and 
contradictory orders so " huddled on his back," that he well 
nigh went mad under the burthen ; at length, however, 
matters were arranged, two coaches with post-horses were 
brought to the door, Mary Ashwoode and her attendant were 
deposited in one, along with such extempore appliances for 
wardrobe and toilet as Mrs. Pickley, in a hurried excursion, 
was enabled to collect from the neighbouring shops and pack 
up for the journey, and Mr. Audley stood ready to take his 
place in the other. 

" Larry, 5 ' said he, before ascending, " here are ten guineas, 
which will keep you in bread and cheese until you hear from 
me again ; don't on any account leave the ' Cock and Anchor,' 
your master's horse and luggage are there, and, no doubt, 
whenever he returns to Dublin, which T am very certain must 
soon occur, he will go directly thither ; so be you sure to meet 



3 1 2 The " Cock and A nchor." 

him there, should he happen during my absence to arrive ; and 
mark me, be very careful of this letter, give it him the moment 
you see him, which, please God, will be very soon indeed ; 
keep it in some safe place don't carry it in your breeches 
pocket, you blockhead, you'll grind it to powder, booby! 
indeed, now that I think on't, you had better give it at once in 
charge to the innkeeper of the 'Cock and Anchor;' don't 
forget, on your life I charge you, and now good-night." 

" Good-night, and good luck, your honour, and may God 
speed you ! " ejaculated Larry, as the vehicles rumbled away. 
The charioteers had received their directions, and Mary Ash- 
woode and her trusty companion, confused and bewildered by 
the rapidity with which events had succeeded one another 
during the day, and stunned by the magnitude of the dangers 
which they had so narrowly escaped, found themselves, 
scarcely crediting the evidence of their senses, rapidly 
traversing the interval which separated Dublin city from the 
little town of Naas. 

It is not our intention to weary our readers with a detailed 
account of the occurrences of the journey, nor to present them 
with a catalogue of all the mishaps and delays to which Irish 
posting in those days, and indeed much later, was liable ; it 
is enough to state that upon the evening of the fourth day 
the two carriages clattered into the wretched little village 
which occupied the road on which opened the avenue leading 
up to the great house of Ardgillagh. The village, though 
obviously the abode of little comfort or cheerfulness, was not 
on that account the less picturesque ; the road wound irre- 
gularly where it stood, and was carried by an old narrow bridge 
across a wayward mountain stream which wheeled and foamed 
in many a sportive eddy within its devious banks. Close by, 
the little mill was couched among the sheltering trees, which, 
extending in irregular and scattered groups through the 
village, and mingling with the stunted bushes and briars of 
the hedges, were nearly met from the other side of the narrow 
street by the broad branching limbs of the giant trees which 
skirted the wild wooded domain of Ardgillagh. Thus occupy- 
ing a sweeping curve of the road, and embowered among the 
shadowy arches of the noble timber, the little village had at 
first sight an air of tranquillity, seclusion, and comfort, which 
made the traveller pause to contemplate its simple attractions 
and to admire how it could be that a few wretched hovels with 
crazy walls and thatch overgrown with weeds, thus irregularly 
huddled together beneath the rude shelter of the wood, could 
make a picture so pleasing to the eye and so soothing to the 
heart. The vehicles were drawn up by their drivers before the 
door of a small thatched building which, however, stood a 
whole head and shoulders higher than the surrounding hovels, 



Parting. 313 

exhibiting a second storey with three narrow windows in front, 
and over its doorway, from which a large pig, under the 
stimulus of a broomstick, was majestically issuing, a sign- 
board, the admiration of connoisseurs for miles round, pre- 
senting a half-length portrait of the illustrious Brian 
Borhome, and admitted to be a startling likeness. Before this 
mansion the only one in the place which pretended to the 
character of a house of public entertainment the post-boys 
drew bridle, and brought the vehicles to a halt. Mr. Audley 
was upon the road in an instant, and with fussy gallantry 
assisting Mary Ashwoode to descend. Their sudden arrival 
had astounded the whole household consternation and 
curiosity filled the little establishment. The proprietor, who 
sat beneath the capacious chimney, started to his feet, swallow- 
ing, in his surprise, a whole potato, which he was just 
deliberately commencing, and by a miracle escaped choking. 
The landlady dropped a pot, which she was scrubbing, upon 
the back of a venerable personage who was in a stooping 
posture, lighting his pipe, and inadvertently wiped her face in 
the pot clout ; everybody did something wrong, and nobody 
anything right ; the dog was kicked and the cat scalded, and 
in short, never was known in the little village of Ardgillagh, 
within the memory of man, except when Ginckle marched his 
troops through the town, such a universal hubbub as that 
which welcomed the two chaises and their contents to the door 
of Pat Moron ey's hospitable mansion. 

Mrs. Moroney, with more lampblack upon her comely 
features than she was at that moment precisely aware of, 
hastened to the door, which she occupied as completely and 
exclusively as the corpulent specimen of Irish royalty over 
her head did his proper sign-board ; all the time gazing with 
an admiring grin upon Mr. Audley and the lady whom he 
assisted to descend ; and at exceedingly short and irregular 
intervals, executing sundry slight ducks, intended to testify 
her exuberant satisfaction and respect, while all around and 
about her were thrust the wondering visages of the less 
important inmates of the establishment ; many were the 
murmured criticisms, and many the ejaculations of admiration 
and surprise, which accompanied every movement of the party 
under observation. 

" Oh ! but she's a fine young lady, God bless her ! " said one. 

" But isn't she mighty pale, though, entirely ? " observed 
another. 

" That's her father the little stout gentleman ; see how he 
houlds her hand for fear she'd thrip comin' out. Oh ! but he's 
a nate man ! " remarked a third. 

" An' her hand as white as milk ; an' look at her fine 
rings," said a fourth. 



3 14 The "Cock and Anchor r 

" She's a rale lady ; see the grand look of her, and the 
stately step, God bless her ! '' said a fifth. 

" See, see ; here's another comin' out ; that's her sisther," 
remarked another. 

" Hould your tongues, will yees ? " ejaculated the landlady, 
jogging her elbow at random into somebody's mouth. 

" An' see the little one taking the box in her hand,'' observed 
one. 

" Look at the tall lady, how she smiles at her, God bless 
her ! she's a rale good lady,'' remarked another. 

" An' now she's linkin' with him, and here they come, by 
gorra," exclaimed a third. 

" Back with yees, an' lave the way," exclaimed Mrs. Moroney ; 
" don't you see the quality comin' P " 

Accordingly, with a palpitating heart, the worthy mistress 
of King Brian Borhome prepared to receive her aristocratic 
guests. With due state and ceremony she conducted them 
into the narrow chamber which, except the kitchen, was the 
only public apartment in the establishment. After due 
attention to his fair charge, Mr. Audley inquired of the 
hostess, 

" Pray, my good worthy woman, are we not now within a 
mile or less of the entrance into the domain of Ardgillagh ? " 

" The gate's not two perches down the road, your honour," 
replied she ; " is it to the great house you want to go, sir ? '' 

"Yes, my good woman ; certainly," replied he. 

" Come here, Shawneen, come, asthore ! " cried she, through 
the half-open door. " I'll send the little gossoon with you, 
your honour ; he'll show you the way, and keep the dogs off, 
for they all knows him up at the great house. Here, Shaw- 
neen ; this gintleman wants to be showed the way up to the 
g-eat house ; and don't let the dogs near him ; do you mind ? 
e hasn't much English," said she, turning to her guest, by 
way of apology, and then conveying her directions anew in the 
mother tongue. 

Under the guidance of this ragged little urchin, Mr. Audley 
accordingly set forth upon his adventurous excursion. 

Mrs. Moroney brought in bread, milk, eggs, and in short, 
the best cheer which her limited resources could supply ; and, 
although Mary Ash woode was far too anxious about the result 
of Mr. Audley's visit to do more than taste the tempting bowl 
of new milk which was courteously placed before her, Flora 
Guy, with right good will and hearty appetite, did ample justice 
to the viands which the hostess provided. 

After some idle talk between herself and Flora Guy, 
Mrs. Moroney observed in reply to an interrogatory from the 
girl, 

" Twenty or thirty years ago there wasn't such a fox-hunter 



Mistress Martha and Black M'Guinness. 315 

in the country as Mr. French ; but he's this many a year ailing, 
and winter after winter, it's worse and worse always he's 
getting, until at last he never stirs out at all ; and for the 
most part he keeps his bed." 

" Is anyone living with him P " inquired Flora. 

" No, none of his family," answered she ; " no one at all, you 
may say ; there's no one does anything in his place, an' very 
seldom anyone sees him except Mistress Martha and Black 
M'Guinness ; them two has him all to themselves ; and, indeed, 
there's quare stories goin' about them." 



CHAPTER LXIV. 

MISTRESS MAETHA AND BLACK M'GUINNESB. 

MR. AUDLEY, preceded by his little ragged guide, walked 
thoughtfully on his way to visit the old gentleman, of whose 
oddities and strange and wayward temper the keeper of the 
place where they had last obtained a relay of horses had given 
a marvellous and perhaps somewhat exaggerated account. 
Now that he had reached the spot, and that the moment 
approached which was to be the crisis of the adventure, he 
began to feel far less confident of success than he had been 
while the issue of his project was comparatively remote. 

They passed down the irregular street of the village, and 
beneath the trees which arched overhead like the vast and airy 
aisles of some huge Gothic pile, and after a short walk of some 
two or three hundred yards, during which they furnished 
matter of interesting speculation to half the village idlers, 
they reached a rude gate of great dimensions, but which had 
obviously seen better days. There was no lodge or gate- 
house, and Mr. Audley followed the little conductor over a 
stile, which occupied the side of one of the great ivy-mantled 
stone piers ; crossing this, he found himself in the demesne. 
A broken and irregular avenue or bridle track for in most 
places it was little more led onward over hill and through 
hollow, along the undulations of the soft green sward, and 
under the fantastic boughs of gnarled thorns and oaks and 
sylvan birches, which in thick groups, wild and graceful as 
nature had placed them, clothed the varied slopes. The rude 
approach which they followed led them a wayward course over 
every variety of ground now flat and boggy, again up hill, 
and over the grey surface of lichen-covered rocks again down 
into deep fern-clothed hollows, and then across the shallow, 
brawling stream, without bridge or appliance of any kind, but 



316 The "Cock and Anchor." 

simply through its waters, forced, as best they might, to pick 
their steps upon the moss-grown stones that peeped above the 
clear devious current. Thus they passed along through this 
wild and extensive demesne, varied by a thousand inequalities 
of ground and by the irregular grouping of the woods, which 
owed their picturesque arrangement to the untutored fancies 
of nature herself, whose dominion had there never known the 
intrusions of the axe, or the spade, or the pruning-hook, but 
exulted in the unshackled indulgence of all her wildest revelry. 
After a walk of more than half-an-hour's duration, through a 
long vista among the trees, the grey gable of the old mansion 
of Ardgillagh, with its small windows and high and massive 
chimney stacks, presented itself. 

There was a depressing air of neglect and desertion about the 
old place, which even the unimaginative temperament of Mr. 
Audley was obliged to acknowledge. Eank weeds and grass 
had forced their way through the pavement of the courtyard, 
and crowded in patches of vegetation, even to the very door of 
the house. The same was observable, in no less a degree, in 
the great stable-yard, the gate of which, unhinged, lay wide 
open, exhibiting a range of out-houses and stables, which would 
have afforded lodging for horse and man to a whole regiment 
of dragoons. Two men, one of them in livery, were loitering 
through the courtyard, apparently not very well knowing what 
to do with themselves ; and as the visitors approached, a whole 
squadron of dogs, the little ones bouncing in front with shrill 
alarm, and the more formidable, at a majestic canter and 
with deep-mouthed note of menace, bringing up the rear, came 
snarling, barking, and growling, towards the intruders at 
startling speed. 

"Piper, Piper, Toby, Fan, Motheradauua, Boxer, Boxer, 
Toby ! " screamed the little guide, advancing a few yards before 
Mr. Audley, who, in considerable uneasiness, grasped his 
walking cane with no small energy. The interposition of the 
urchin was successful, the dogs recognized their young friend, 
the angry clangour was hushed and their pace abated, and 
when they reached Mr. Audley and his guide, in compliment 
to the latter they suffered the little gentleman to pass on, with 
no further question than a few suspicious sniffs, as they applied 
their noses to the calves of that gentleman's legs. As they 
continued to approach, the men in the court, now alarmed by 
the vociferous challenge of the dogs, eyed the little gentleman 
inquisitively, for a visitor at Ardgillagh was a thing that had 
not been heard of for years. As Mr. Audley's intention became 
more determinate, and his design appeared more unequivocally 
to apply for admission, the servant, who watched his progress, 
ran by some hidden passage in the stable-yard into the man- 
sion and was ready to gratify his curiosity legitimately, by 






Mistress Martha and Black M' Guinness. 317 

taking his post in the hall in readiness to answer Mr. Audley's 
summons, and to hold parley with him at the door. 

" Is Mr. French at home ? '' inquired Mr. Audley. 

"Ay, sir, he is at home," rejoined the man, deliberately, 
to allow himself time fully to scrutinize the visitor's outward 
man. 

" Can I see him, pray ? " asked the little gentleman. 

" Why, raly, sir, I can't exactly say,'' observed the man, 
scratching his head. "He's upstairs in his own chamber 
indeed, for that matter, he's seldom out of it. If you'll walk 
into the room there, sir, I'll inquire.'' 

Accordingly, Mr. Audley entered the apartment indicated 
and sat himself down in the deep recess of the window to 
take breath. He well knew the kind of person with whom 
he had to deal, previously to encountering Oliver French in 
person. He had heard quite enough of Mistress Martha and 
of Black M'Guinness already, to put him upon his guard, and 
fill him with just suspicions as to their character and designs ; 
ho therefore availed himself of the little interval to arrange 
his plans of operation in his own mind. He had not waited 
long, when the door opened, and a tall, elderly woman, with a 
bunch of keys at her side, and arrayed in a rich satin dress, 
walked demurely into the room. There was something un- 
pleasant and deceitful in the expression of the half-closed eyes 
and thin lips of this lady which inspired Mr. Audley with 
instinctive dislike of her an impression which was rather 
heightened than otherwise by the obvious profusion with which 
her sunken and sallow cheeks were tinged with rouge. This 
demure and painted lady made a courtesy on seeing Mr. Audley, 
and in a low and subdued tone which well accorded with her 
meek exterior, inquired, 

" You were asking for Mr. Oliver French, sir ? " 

" Yes, madam," replied Mr. Audley, returning the salute with 
a bow as formal; "I wish much to see him, if he could afford 
me half an hour's chat." 

"Mr. French is very ill very very poorly, indeed," said 
Mistress Martha, closing her eyes, and shaking her head. 
" He dislikes talking to strangers. Are you a relative, pray, 
sir ? " 

"Not I, madam not at all, madam," rejoined Mr. 
Audley. 

A silence ensued, during which he looked out for a minute 
at the view commanded by the window ; and as he did so, 
he observed with the corner of his eyes that the lady was 
studying him with a severe and searching scrutiny. She was 
the first to break the silence. 

" I suppose it's about business you want to see him ? " 
inquired she, still looking at him with the same sharp glance. 



3i8 The "Cock and Anchor? 

"Just so," rejoined Mr. Audley; "it is indeed upon 
business." 

"He dislikes transacting business or speaking of it him- 
self," said she. " He always employs his own man, Mr. 
M'Guinness. I'll call Mr. M'Guinness, that you may com- 
municate the matter to him." 

" You must excuse me," said Mr. Audley. " My instruc- 
tions are to give my message to Mr. Oliver French in person 
though indeed there's no secret in the matter. The fact 
is, Madam, my mission is of a kind which ought to make me 
welcome. You understand me? I come here to announce 
a a an acquisition, in short a sudden and, I believe, a 
most unexpected acquisition. But perhaps I've said too 
much; the facts are for his own ear solely. Such are my 
instructions ; and you know I have no choice. I've posted 
all the way from Dublin to execute the message ; and between 
ourselves, should he suffer this occasion to escape him, he 
may never again have an opportunity of making such an 

addition to but I must hold my tongue I'm prating 

against orders. In a word, madam, I'm greatly mistaken, or 
it will prove the best news that has been told in this house 
since its master was christened." 

He accompanied his announcement with a prodigious number 
of nods and winks of huge significance, and all designed to 
beget the belief that he carried in his pocket the copy of a 
will, or other instrument, conveying to the said Oliver 
French of Ardgillagh the gold mines of Peru, or some such 
trifle. 

Mistress Martha paused, looked hard at him, then reflected 
again. At length she said, with the air of a woman who has 
made up her mind, 

" I dare to say, sir, it is possible for you to see Mr. French. 
He is a little better to-day. You'll promise not to fatigue him 
but you must first see Mr. M'Guinness. He can tell better 
than I whether his master is sufficiently well to-day for an 
interview of the kind." 

So saying, Mrs. Martha sailed, with saint-like dignity, from 
the room. 

"She rules the roast, I believe," said Mr. Audley within 
himself. "If so, all's smooth from this forth. Here comes 
the gentleman, however and, by the laws, a very suitable 
co-mate for that painted Jezebel." 

As Mr. Audley concluded this criticism, a small man, with 
a greasy and dingy complexion, and in a rusty suit of black, 
made his appearance. 

This individual was, if possible, more subdued, meek, and 
Christian-like than the lady who had just evacuated the room 
in his favour. His eyes were, if possible, habitually more 



The Conference. . 319 

nearly closed ; his step was as soft and cat-like to the full ; 
and, in a word, he was in air, manner, gait, and expression as 
like his accomplice as a man can well be to one of the other 
sex. 

A short explanation having passed between this person and 
Mr. Audley, he retired for a few minutes to prepare his master 
for the visit, and then returning, conducted the little bachelor 
upstairs. 



CHAPTER LXV. 

THE CONFERENCE SHOWING HOW OLIVER FRENCH BURST INTO A 
RAGE AND FLUNG HIS CAP ON THE FLOOR. 

MR. AUDLEY followed Black M* Guinness as we have said up 
the stairs, and was, after an introductory knock at the door, 
ushered by him into Oliver French's bed-room. Its arrange- 
ments were somewhat singular a dressing-table with all the 
appliances of the most elaborate cultivation of the graces, and 
a huge mirror upon it, stood directly opposite to the door ; 
against the other wall, between the door and this table, was 
placed a massive sideboard covered with plate and wine flasks, 
cork-screws and cold meat, in the most admired disorder two 
large presses were also visible, one of which lay open, exhibiting 
clothes, and papers, and other articles piled together in a 
highly original manner two or three very beautiful pictures 
hung upon the walls. At the far end of the room stood the bed, 
and at one side of it a table covered with wines and viands, 
and at the other, a large iron-bound chest, with a heavy 
bunch of keys dangling from its lock a little shelf, too, 
occupied the wall beside the invalid, abundantly stored with 
tall phials with parchment labels, and pill-boxes and gallipots 
innumerable. In the bed, surrounded by the drapery of the 
drawn curtains, lay, or rather sat, Oliver French himself, 
propped up by the pillows : he was a corpulent man, with a 
generous double chin ; a good-natured grey eye twinkled 
under a bushy, grizzed eye-brow, and a countenance which 
bore unequivocally the lines of masculine beauty, although 
considerably disfigured by the traces of age, as well as of 
something very like intemperance and full living : he wore a 
silk night-gown and a shirt of snowy whiteness, with lace 
ruffles, and on his head was a crimson velvet cap. 

Grotesque as were the arrangements of the room, there was, 
nevertheless, about its occupant an air of aristocratic 
superiority and ease which at once dispelled any tendency to 
ridicule. 



3 2O The " Cock and A nchor? 

" Mr. Audley, I presume," said the invalid. 

Mr. Audley bowed. 

" Pray, sir, take a chair. M'Guinness, place a chair for 
Mr. Audley, beside the table here. I am, as you see, sir," 
continued he, " a confirmed valetudinarian ; I suffer abomin- 
ably from gout, and have not been able to remove to my easy 
chair by the fire for more than a week. I understand that 
you have some matters of importance to communicate to me ; 
but before doing so, let me request of you to take a little wine, 
you can have whatever you like best there's some Madeira at 
your elbow there, which I can safely recommend, as I have just 

tasted it myself o-oh ! d the gout you'll excuse me, sir 

a cursed twinge." 

" Very sorry to see you suffering," responded Mr. Audley 
" very, indeed, sir." 

"It sha'n't, however, prevent my doing you reason, sir," 
replied he, with alacrity. " M'Guinness, two glasses. I drink, 
sir, to our better acquaintance. Now, M'Guinness, you may 
leave the room." 

Accordingly Mr. M'Guinness withdrew, and the gentlemen 
were left tete-a-tete. 

" And now, sir," continued Oliver French, " be so good as 
to open the subject of your visit." 

Mr. Audley cleared his voice twice or thrice, in the hope of 
clearing his head at the same time, and then, with some force 
and embarrassment, observed, 

" I am necessarily obliged, Mr. French, to allude to matters 
which may possibly revive unpleasant recollections. I trust, 
indeed, my dear sir, I'm sure that you will not suffer your- 
self to be distressed or unduly excited, when I tell you that I 
must recall to your memory a name which I believe does not 
sound gratefully to your ear the name of Ashwoode." 

" Curse them," was the energetic commentary of the 
invalid. 

" Well, sir, I dare venture to say that you and I are not 
very much at variance in our estimate of the character of the 
Ashwoodes generally," said Mr. Audley. " You are aware, I 
presume, that Sir Richard has been some time dead." 

" Ha ! actually gone to hell P no, sir, I was not aware of 
this. Pray, proceed, sir," responded Oliver French. 

" I am aware, sir, that he treated his lady harshly," resumed 
Audley. 

" Harshly, harshly -, sir," cried the old man, with an energy 
that well nigh made his companion bounce from his seat 
" why, sir, beginning with neglect and ending with blows 
through every stage of savage insult and injury, his wretched 
wife, my sister the most gentle, trusting, lovely creature that 
ever yet was born to misery, was dragged by that inhuman 



The Conference. 321 

monster, her husband, Sir Richard Ashwoode; he broke her 
heart he killed her, sir killed her. She was my sister my 
only sister; I was justly proud of her loved her most dearly, 
and the inhuman villain broke her heart." 

Through his clenched teeth he uttered a malediction, and 
with a vehemence of hatred which plainly showed that his 
feelings toward the family had undergone no favourable 
change. 

" Well, sir," resumed Mr. Audley, after a considerable in- 
terval, " I cannot wonder at the strength of your feelings in 
this matter, more especially at this moment. I myself burn 
with indignation scarce one degree less intense than yours 
against the worthy son of that most execrable man, and upon 
grounds, too, very nearly similar." 

He then proceeded to recount to his auditor, waxing warm 
as he went on, all the circumstances of Mary Ashwoode's 
sufferings, and every particular of the grievous persecution 
which she had endured at the hands of her brother, Sir Henry. 
Oliver BVench ground his teeth and clutched the bed-clothes 
as he listened, and when the narrative was ended, he whisked 
the velvet cap from his head, and flung it with all his force 
upon the floor. 

" Oh, God Almighty ! that I had but the use of my limbs," 
exclaimed he, with desperation "I would give the whole 
world a lesson in the person of that despicable scoundrel. I 
would but," he added bitterly, " I am powerless I am a 
cripple." 

" You are not powerless, sir, for purposes nobler than 
revenge," exclaimed Audley, with eagerness; "you may 
shelter and protect the helpless, friendless child of calamity, 
the story of whose wrongs has so justly fired you with indigna- 
tion." 

" Where is she where ?" cried Oliver French, eagerly "I 
ought to have asked you long ago." 

" She is not far away she even now awaits your decision 
in the little village hard by," responded Mr. Audley. 

" Poor child poor child ! " ejaculated Oliver, much agitated. 
" And did she could she doubt my willingness to befriend her 
good God could she doubt it ? bring her bring her here at 
once I long to see her poor bird poor bird the world's 
winter has closed over thee too soon. Alas ! poor child tell 
her tell her, Mr. Audley, that I long to see her that she is 
most welcome that all which I command is heartily and 
entirely at her service. Plead my apology for not going myself 
to meet her as God knows T would fain do ; you see I am a 
poor cripple a very worthless, helpless, good-for-nothing old 
man. Tell her all better than I can do it now. God bless 
you, sir Grod bless you, for believing that such an ill-con- 

y 



322 The "Cock and Anchor? 

ditioned old fellow as I am had yet heart enough to feel 
rightly sometimes. I had rather die a thousand deaths than 
that you had not brought the poor outcast child to my roof. 
Tell her how glad how very, very happy how proud it makes 
me that she should come to her old uncle Oliver tell her this. 
God bless you, sir ! " 

With a cordial pressure, he gripped Audley's hand, and the 
old gentleman, with a heart overflowing with exultation and 
delight, retraced his steps to the little village, absolutely 
bursting with impatience to communicate the triumphant 
result of his visit. 



CHAPTER LXVI. 

THE BED-CHAMBER. 

BLACK M'GUINNESS and Mistress Martha had listened in vain 
to catch the purport of Mr. Audley's communication. Unfor- 
tunately for them, their master's chamber was guarded by a 
double door, and his companion had taken especial pains to 
close both of them before detailing the subject of his visit. 
They were, however a good deal astonished by Mr. French's 
insisting upon rising forthwith, and having himself clothed 
and shaved. This huge, good-natured lump of gout was, 
accordingly, arrayed in full suit one of the handsomest 
which his wardrobe commanded his velvet cap replaced by 
a flowing peruke his gouty feet smothered in endless flannels, 
and himself deposited in his great easy chair by the fire, and 
his lower extremities propped up upon stools and pillows. 
These preparations, along with a complete re- arrangement of 
the furniture, and other contents of the room, effectually 
perplexed and somewhat alarmed his disinterested depen- 
dents. 

Mr. Audley returned ere the preparations were well com- 
pleted, and handed Mary Ashwoode and her attendant from 
the chaise. It needs not to say how the old bachelor of 
Ardgillagh received her with, perhaps, the more warmth and 
tenderness that, as he protested, with tears in his eyes, she 
was so like her poor mother, that he felt as if old times had 
come again, and that she stood once more before him, clothed 
in the melancholy beauty of her early and ill-fated youth. It 
were idle to describe the overflowing kindness of the old man's 
greeting, and the depth of gratitude with which his affection- 
ate and hearty welcome was accepted by the poor grieved 
girl. He would scarcely, for the whole evening, allow her to 



The Bed-Chamber. 



323 



leave him for one moment ; and every now and again renewed 
his pressing invitation to her and to Mr. Audley to take some 
more wine or some new delicacy; he himself enforcing his 
solicitations by eating and drinking in almost unbroken con- 
tinuity during the whole time. All his habits were those of 
the most unlimited self-indulgence ; and his chief, if not his 
sole recreation for years, had consisted in compounding, during 
the whole day long, those astounding gastronomic combina- 
tions, which embraced every possible variety of wine and 
liqueur, of vegetable, meat, and confection ; so that the fact 
of his existing at all, under the extraordinary regimen which 
he had adopted, was a triumph of the genius of digestion over 
the demon of dyspepsia, such as this miserable world has 
seldom witnessed. Nevertheless, that he did exist, and that 
too, apparently, in robust though unwieldy health, with the 
exception of his one malady, his constitutional gout, was a 
fact which nobody could look upon and dispute. With an 
imperiousness which brooked no contradiction, he compelled 
Mr. Audley to eat and drink very greatly more than he could 
conveniently contain browbeating the poor little gentleman 
into submission, and swearing, in the most impressive manner, 
that he had not eaten one ounce weight of food of any kind 
since his entrance into the house ; although the unhappy little 
gentleman felt at that moment like a boa constrictor who has 
just bolted a buffalo, and pleaded in stifled accents for quarter ; 
but it would not do. Oliver French, Esq., had not had his 
humour crossed, nor one of his fancies contradicted, for the 
last forty years, and he was not now to be thwarted or put 
down by a little " hop-o'-my-thumb," who, though ravenously 
hungry, pretended, through mere perverseness, to be bursting 
with repletion. Mr. Audley's labours were every now and 
again pleasingly relieved by such applications as these from 
his merciless entertainer. 

" Now, my good friend my worthy friend will you think 
it too great a liberty, sir, if I ask you to move the pillow a 
leetle under this foot ? " 

" None in the world, sir quite the contrary I shall have 
the very greatest possible pleasure," would poor Mr. Audley 
reply, preparing for the task. 

" You. are very good, sir, very kind, sir. Just draw it 
quietly to the right a little, a very little you are very good, 
indeed, sir. Oh oh, oh, you you booby you'll excuse 
me, sir gently there, there gently, gently. O oh, you 
d d handless idiot pray pardon me, sir ; that will do." 

Such passages as these were of frequent occurrence; but 
though Mr. Audley was as choleric as most men at his time 
of life, yet the incongruous terms of abuse were so obviously 
the result of inveterate and almost unconscious habit, stimu- 

y 2 



324 The "Cock and Anchor? 

lated by the momentary twinges of acute pain, that he did not 
suffer this for an. instant to disturb the serenity and goodwill 
with which he regarded his host, spite of all his oddities and 
self-indulgence. 

In the course of the evening Oliver French ordered Mistress 
Martha to have beds prepared for the party, and that lady, 
with rather a vicious look, withdrew. She'soon returned, and 
asked in her usual low, dulcet tone, whether the young lady 
could spare her maid to assist in arranging the room, and 
forthwith Flora Guy consigned herself to the guidance of the 
sinister- looking Abigail. 

" This is a fine country, isn't it ? " inquired Mistress Martha, 
softly, when they were quite alone. 

" A very fine country, indeed, ma'am," rejoined Flora, who 
had heard enough to inspire her with a certain awe of her con- 
ductress, which inclined her as much as possible to assent to 
whatever proposition she might be inclined to advance, with- 
out herself hazarding much original matter. 

" It's a pity you can't see it in the summer time ; this is a 
very fine place indeed when all the leaves are on the trees," 
repeated Mistress Martha. 

" Indeed, so I'd take it to be, ma'am," rejoined the maid. 

"Just passing through this way hurried like, you can't 
notice much about it though," remarked the elderly lady, 
carelessly. 

"No, ma'am," replied Flora, becoming more reserved, as 
she detected in her companion a wish to draw from her all she 
knew of her mistress's plans. 

" There are some views that are greatly admired in the 
neighbourhood the gleri and the falls of Glashangower. If 
she could stay a week she might see everything." 

" Oh ! indeed, it's a lovely place," observed Flora, eva- 
sively. 

" That old gentleman, that Mr. Audley, your young mis- 
tress's father, or or uncle, or whatever he is" Mistress 
Martha here made a considerable pause, but Flora did not 
enlighten her, and she continued " whatever he is to her, it's 
no matter, he seems a very good-humoured nice old gentleman 
he's in a great hurry back to Dublin, where he came from, 
I suppose." 

" Well, I raly don't know," replied the girl. 

" He looks very comfortable, and everything handsome and 
nice about him," observed Mistress Martha again. " I suppose 
he's well off plenty of money not in want at all." 

" Indeed he seems all that," rejoined the maid. 

"He's cousin, or something or another, to the master, 
Mr. French; didn't you tell me so?" asked the painted 
Abigail. 



The Bed-Chamber. 



325 



" No, ma'am ; I didn't tell you ; I don't know," replied she. 

"This is a very damp old house, and full of rats ; I wish I 
had known a week ago that beds would be wanting; but 1 
suppose it was a sudden thing,'"' said the housekeeper. 

" Indeed, I suppose it just was, ma'am," responded the 
attendant. 

"Are you going to stay here long?" asked the old lady, 
more briskly than she had yet spoken. 

" Italy, ma'am, I don't know," replied Flora. 

The old painted termagant shot a glance at her of no plea- 
sant meaning ; but for the present checked the impulse in 
which it had its birth, and repeated softly " You don't know ; 
why, you are a very innocent, simple little girl." 

" Pray, ma'am, if it's not making too bold, which is the 
room, ma'am ? " asked Flora. 

41 What's 'your young lady's name ? " asked the matron, 
directly, and disregarding the question of the girl. 

Flora Guy hesitated. 

" Do you hear me what's your young lady's name ? " 
repeated the woman, softly, but deliberately. 

"Her name, to be sure; her name is Miss Mary," replied 
she. 

" Mary what ?" asked Martha. 

" Miss Mary Ashwoode," replied Flora, half afraid as she 
uttered it. 

Spite of all her efforts, the woman's face exhibited disagree- 
able symptoms of emotion at this announcement ; she bit her 
lips and dropped her eyelids lower than usual, to conceal the 
expression which gleamed to her eyes, while her colour shifted 
even through her rouge. At length, with a smile infinitely 
more unpleasant than any expression which her face had yet 
worn, she observed, 

" Ashwoode, Ashwoode. Oh ! dear, to be sure ; some of Sir 
Richard's family ; well, I did not expect to see them darken 
these doors again. Dear me ! who'd have thought of the 
Ashwoodes looking after him again ? well, well, but they're a 
very forgiving family," and she uttered an ill-omened tittering. 

" Which is the room, ma'am, if you please ? " repeated 
Flora. 

" That's the room," cried the stalwart dame, with astound- 
ing vehemence, and at the same time opening a door and 
exhibiting a large neglected bed-chamber, with its bed-clothes 
and other furniture lying about in entire disorder, and no 
vestige of a fire in the grate ; " that's the room, miss, and 
make the best of it yourself, for you've nothing else to do." 

In this very uncomfortable predicament Flora Guy applied 
herself energetically to reduce the room to something like 
order, and although it was very cold and not a little damp, 



326 The "Cock and Anchor?' 

she succeeded, nevertheless, in giving it an air of tolerable 
comfort by the time her young mistress was prepared to retire 
to it. 

As soon as Mary Ashwoode had entered this chamber her 
maid proceeded to narrate the occurrences which had just taken 
place. 

" Well, Mora," said she, smiling, " I hope the old lady will 
resume her good temper by to-morrow, for one night I can 
easily contrive to rest with such appliances as we have. I am 
more sorry, for your sake, my poor girl, than for mine, how- 
ever, and wherever I lay me down, my rest will be, I fear me, 
very nearly alike." 

" She's the darkest, ill-lookingest old woman, God bless us, 
that ever I set my two good-looking eyes upon, my lady, 3 ' said 
Flora. " I'll put a table to the door ; for, to tell God's truth, 
I'm half afeard of her. She has a nasty look in her, my lady 
a bad look entirely." 

Flora had hardly spoken when the door opened, and the 
subject of their conversation entered. 

" Good evening to you, Miss Ashwoode," said she, advancing 
close to the young lady, and speaking in her usual low soft 
tone. " I hope you find everything to your liking. I suppose 
your own maid has settled everything according to your fancy. 
Of course, she knows best how to please you. I'm very 
delighted to see you here in Ardgillagh, as I was telling your 
innocent maid there very glad, indeed ; because, as I said, it 
shows how forgiving you are, after all the master has said 
and done, and the way he has always spit on every one of your 
family that ever came here looking after his money though, 
indeed, I'm sure you're a great deal too good and too religious 
to care about money ; and I'm sure and certain it's only for 
the sake of Christian charity, and out of a forgiving disposi- 
tion, and to show that there isn't a bit of pride of any sort, or 
kind, or description in your carcase that you're come here to 
make yourself at home in this house, that never belonged to 
you, and that never will, and to beg favours of the gentleman 
that hates, and despises, and insults everyone that carries 
your name so that the very dogs in the streets would not 
lick their blood. I like that, Miss Ashwoode I do like it," 
she continued, advancing a little nearer ; " for it shows you 
don't care what bad people may say or think, provided you do 
your Christian duty. They may say you're come here to try 
and get the old gentleman's money ; they may say that you're 
eaten up to the very backbone with meanness, and that you'd 
bear to be kicked and spit upon from one year's end to the 
other for the sake of a few pounds they'll call you a sycophant 
and a schemer but you don't mind that and I admire you 
for it they'll say, miss for they don't scruple at anything 



The Expulsion. 



327 



they'll say you lost your character and fortune in Dublin, and 
came down here in the hope of finding them again ; but I tell 
you what it is," she continued, giving full vent to her fury, 
and raising her accents to a tone more resembling the scream 
of a screech-owl than the voice of a human being, " I know 
what you're at, and I'll blow your schemes, Miss Innocence. 
I'll make the house too hot to hold you. Do you think I mind 
the old bed-ridden cripple, or anyone else within its four walls ? 
Hoo ! I'd make no more of them or of you than that old glass 
there ; " and so saying, she hurled the candlestick, with all 
her force, against the large mirror which depended from the 
wall, and dashed it to atoms. 

" Hoo ! hoo ! " she screamed, " you think I am afraid to do 
what I threatened ; but wait wait, I say ; and now good- 
night to you, Miss Ashwoode, for the first time, and pleasant 
dreams to you." 

So saying, the fiendish hag, actually quivering with fury, 
quitted the room, drawing the door after her with a stunning 
crash, and leaving Mary Ashwoode and her servant breathless 
with astonishment and consternation. 



CHAPTER LXVII. 



THE EXPULSION. 

WHILE this scene was going on in Mary Ashwoode's chamber, 
our friend Oliver French, having wished Mr. Audley good- 
night, had summoned to his presence his confidential servant, 
Mr. M'Guinness. The corpulent invalid sat in his capacious 
chair by the fireside, with his muffled legs extended upon a 
pile of pillows, a table loaded with the materials of his pro- 
tracted and omnigenous repast at his side. Black M'Guinness 
made his appearance, evidently a little intoxicated, and not a 
little excited. He proceeded in a serpentine course through 
the chamber, overturning, of malice prepense, everything in 
which he came in contact. 

" What the devil ails you, sir ? " ejaculated Mr. French 
" what the plague do you mean ? D n you, M'Guinness, 
you're drunk, sir, or mad." 

" Ay, to be sure," ejaculated M'Guinness, grimly. " Why 
not oh, do I've no objection ; d n away, sir, pray, do." 

" What do you mean by talking that way, you scoundrel P " 
exclaimed old French. 

" Scoundrel ! " repeated M'Guinness, overturning a small 
table, and all thereupon, with a crash upon the floor, and 



328 The "Cock and Anchor." 

approaching the old gentleman, while his ugly face grew to a 
sickly, tallowy white with rage, " you go for to bring a whole 
lot of beggarly squatters into the house to make away with 
your substance, and to turn you against your faithful, tried, 
trusty, and dutiful servants," he continued, shaking his fist in 
his master's face. " You do, and to leave them, ten to one, in 
their old days unprovided for. Damn ingratitude ! to the 
devil with thankless, unnatural vermin ! You call me 
scoundrel. Scoundrel was the word by this cross it was." 

While Oliver French, speechless with astonishment and 
rage, gazed upon the audacious menial, Mistress Martha 
herself entered the chamber. 

"Yes, they are, you old dark-hearted hypocrite they're 
settled here -fixed in the house they are," screamed she; 
" but they sha'rit stay long ; or, if they do, I'll not leave a 
whole bone in their skins. What did they ever do for you, 
you thankless wretch ? " 

" Ay, what did they ever do for you ? " shouted M' Guinness. 

"Do you think we're fools do you? and idiots do you? 
not to know what you're at, you ungrateful miscreant ! Turn 
them out, bag and baggage every mother's skin of them, or 
I'll show them the reason why, turn them out, I say." 

" You infernal hag, I'd see you in hell or Bedlam first," 
shouted Oliver, transported with fury. " You have had your 
way too long, you accursed witch you have." 

" Never mind oh ! you wretch," shrieked she 

" never mind wait a bit and never fear, you old crippled 
sinner, I'll be revenged on you, you old devil's limb. Here's 
your watch for you," screamed she, snatching a massive, 
chased gold watch from her side, and hurling it at his head. 
It passed close by his ear, and struck the floor behind him, 
attesting the force with which it had been thrown, as well as 
the solidity of its workmanship, by a deep mark ploughed in 
the floor. 

Oliver French grasped his crutch and raised it threaten- 
ingly. 

" 5fou old wretch, I'll not let you strike the woman," cried 
M'Guinness, snatching the poker, and preparing to dash it at 
the old man's head. What might have been the issue of the 
strife it were hard to say, had not Mr. Audley at that moment 
entered the room. 

"Heyday! " cried that gentleman, "I thought it had been 
robbers what's all this ? " 

M'Guinness turned upon him, but observing that he carried 
a pistol in each hand, he contented himself with muttering a 
curse and lowering the poker which he held in his hand. 

" Why, what the devil your own servants your own 
man and woman ! " exclaimed Mr. Audley. " I beg your 



The Expulsion. 329 

pardon, sir pray excuse me, Mr. French ; perhaps I ought 
not to have intruded upon you." 

"Pray don't go, Mr. Audley don't think of going," said 
Oliver, eagerly, observing that his visitor was drawing to the 
door. " These beasts will murder me if you leave me ; I 
can't help myself do stay." 

" Pray, madam, you are the amiable and remarkably quiet 
gentlewoman with whom I was to-day honoured by an inter- 
view ? God bless my body and soul, can it possibly be?" 
said Mr. Audley, addressing himself to the lady. 

"You vile old swindling schemer," shrieked she, returning 
"you skulking, mean dog you brandy-faced old reprobate, 
you hoo ! wait, wait wait awhile ; I'll master you yet just 
wait never mind hoo ! " and with something like an Indian 
war-whoop she dashed out of the room. 

" Get out of this apartment, you ruffian, you M'Guinness, 
get out of the room," cried old French, addressing the fellow, 
who still stood grinning and growling there. 

" No, I'll not till I do my business," retorted the man, 
doggedly ; " I'll put you to bed first. I've a right to do my 
own business; I'll undress you and put you to bed first 
bellows me, but I will." 

" Mr. Audley, I beg pardon for troubling you," said Oliver, 
" but will you pull the bell if you please, like the very devil." 

"Pull away till you are black in the 'face; Til not stir," 
retorted M'Guinness. 

Mr. Audley pulled the bell with a sustained f vehemence 
which it put Mr. French into a perspiration even to witness. 

" Pull away, old gentleman you may pull till you burst 
to the devil with you all. I'll not stir a peg till I choose it 
myself; I'll do my business what I was hired for ; there's no 

treason in that. D me, if I stir a peg for you," repeated 

M'Guinness, doggedly. 

Meanwhile, two half-dressed, scared-looking servants, 
alarmed by Mr. Audley's persevering appeals, showed them- 
selves at the door. 

"Thomas Martin come in here, you pair of boobies," 
exclaimed French, authoritatively; "Martin, do you keep an 
eye on that scoundrel, and Thomas, run you down and 
waken the post-boy and tell him to put his horses to, and 
do you assist him, sir, away ! 

With unqualified amazement in their faces, the men pro- 
ceeded to obey their orders. . 

" So, so," said Oliver, still out of breath with anger, 
11 matters are come to a pleasant pass, I'm to be brained with 
my own poker by my own servant in my own house very 
pleasant, because forsooth, I dare to do what I please with 
my own highly agreeable, truly ! Mr. Audley, may I trouble 



330 The "Cock and A nchor." 

you to give me a glass of noyeau let me recommend that to 
you, Mr. Audley, it has the true flavour iiay, nay I'll hear 
of no excuse I'm absolute in my own room at least come, 
my dear sir I implore I insist nay, I command ; come 
come a bumper; very good health, sir; a pleasant pair of 
furies ! just give me the legs of that woodcock while we are 
waiting." 

Accordingly Mr. Oliver French filled up the brief interval 
after his usual fashion, by adding slightly to the contents of 
his stomach, and in a little time the servant whom he had 
dispatched downward, returned with the post-boy in person. 

" Are your horses under the coach, my good lad ? " inquired 
old French. 

" No, but they're to it, and that's better," responded the 
charioteer. 

" You'll not have far to go only to the little village at the 
end of the avenue," said Mr. French. " Mr. Audley, may I 
trouble you to fill a large glass of Creme de Portugal ; thank 
you; now, my good lad, take that," continued he, delighted 
at an opportunity of indulging his passion for ministering 
to the stomach of a fellow mortal, " take it take it every 
drop good now Martin, do you and Thomas find that 
termagant fury Martha Montgomery, and conduct her to 
the coach carry her down if necessary put her into it, and 
one of you remain with her, to prevent her getting out again, 
and let the other return, and with my friend the post-boy, do 
a like good office by my honest comrade Mr. M'Guinness 
mind you go along with them to the village, and let them be 
set down at Moroney's public-house ; everything belonging to 
them shall be sent down to-morrow morning, and if you ever 
catch either of them about the place duck them whip them 
set the dogs on them that's all." 

Shrieking as though body and soul were parting, Mrs. Martha 
was half-carried, half-dragged from the scene of her long- 
abused authority ; screaming her threats, curses, and abuse 
in volleys, she was deposited safely in the vehicle, and guarded 
by the footman who in secret rejoiced in common with all 
the rest of the household at the disgrace of the two insolent 
favourites and was forced to sit therein until her companion 
in misfortune being placed at her side, they were both, under 
a like escort, safely deposited at the door of the little public- 
house, scarcely crediting the evidence of their senses for the 
reality of their situation. 

Henceforward Ardgillagh was a tranquil place, and day 
after day old Oliver French grew to love the gentle creature, 
whom a chance wind had thus carried to his door, more and 
more fondly. There was an artlessness and a warmth of 



The Expulsion. 331 

affection, and a kindliness about her, which all, from the 
master down to the humblest servant, felt and loved ; a grace, 
and dignity, and a simple beauty in every look and action, 
which none could see and not admire. The strange old man, 
whose humour had never brooked contradiction, felt for her, 
he knew not why, a tenderness and respect such as he never 
before believed a mortal creature could inspire; her gentle 
wish was law to him ; to see her sweet face was his greatest 
joy to please her his first ambition ; she grew to be, as it 
were, his idol. 

It was her chief delight to ramble unattended through the 
fine old place. Often, with her faithful follower, Flora Guy, 
she would visit the humble dwellings of the poor, wherever 
grief or sickness was, and with gentle words of comfort and 
bounteous pity, cheer and relieve. But still, from week to 
week it became too mournfully plain that the sweet, sad face 
was growing paler and ever paler, and the graceful form more 
delicately slight. In the silent watches of the night often 
would Flora Guy hear her loved young mistress weep on for 
hours, as though her heart were breaking ; yet from her lips 
there never fell at any time one word of murmuring, nor any 
save those of gentle kindness ; and often would she sit by the 
casement and reverently read the pages of one old volume, and 
think and read again, while ever and anon the silent tears, 
gathering on the long, dark lashes, would fall one by one upon 
the leaf, and then would she rise with such a smile of heavenly 
comfort breaking through her tears, that peace, and hope, and 
glory seemed beaming in her pale angelic face. 

Thus from day to day, in the old mansion of Ardgillagh, 
did she, whose beauty none, even the most stoical, had ever 
seen unmoved whose artless graces and perfections all who 
had ever beheld her had thought unmatched, fade slowly and 
uncomplainingly, but with beauty if possible enhanced, before 
the eyes of those who loved her ; yet they hoped on, and 
strongly hoped why should they not? She was young yes, 
very young, and why should the young die in the glad season 
of their early bloom ? 

Mr. Audley became a wondrous favourite with his eccentric 
entertainer, who would not hear of his fixing a time for his 
departure, but partly by entreaties, partly by bullying, man- 
aged to induce him to prolong his stay from week to week. 
These concessions were not, however, made without corre- 
sponding conditions imposed by the consenting party, among 
the foremost of which was the express stipulation that he 
should not be expected, nor by cajolery nor menaces induced 
or compelled, to eat or drink at all more than he himself felt 
prompted by the cravings of his natural appetite to do. The 
old gentlemen had much in common upon which to exercise 



332 The "Cock and Anchor" 

their sympathies ; they were both staunch Tories, both ad- 
mirable judges of claret, and no less both extraordinary 
proficients in the delectable pastimes of backgammon and 
draughts, whereat, when other resources failed, they played 
with uncommon industry and perseverance, and sometimes 
indulged in slight ebullitions of acrimonious feeling, scarcely 
exhibited, however, before they were atoned for by fervent 
apologies and vehement vows of good behaviour for the future. 
Leaving this little party to the quiet seclusion of Ardgillagh, 
it becomes now our duty to return for a time to very different 
scenes and other personages. 






CHAPTER LXVIII. 

THE FRAY. 

IT now becomes onr dnty to return for a short time to Sir 
Henry Ashwoode and Nicholas Blarden, whom we left in hot 
pursuit of the trembling fugitives. The night was consumed 
in vain but restless search, and yet no satisfactory clue to the 
direction of their flight had been discovered ; no evidence, not 
even a hint, by which to guide their pursuit. Jaded by his 
fruitless exertions, frantic with rage and disappointment, 
Nicholas Blarden at peep of light rode up to the hall door of 
Morley Court. 

" No news since? " cried he, fixing his bloodshot eyes upon 
the man who took his horse's bridle, " no news since? '' 

" No, sir," cried the fellow, shaking his head, " not a 
word." 

" Is Sir Henry within ? " inquired Blarden, throwing him- 
self from the saddle. 

" No, sir," replied the man. 

"Not returned yet, eh ? " asked Nicholas. 

" Yes, sir, he did return, and he left again about ten 
minutes ago," responded the groom. 

" And left no message for me, eh? " rejoined Blarden. 

" There's a note, sir, on a scrap of paper, on the table in 
the hall, I forgot to mention," replied the man " he wrote it 
in a hurry, with a pencil, sir.' 3 

Blarden strode into the hall, and easily discovered the 
document a hurried scrawl, scarcely legible ; it ran as 
follows : 

"Nothing yet no trace I half suspect they're lurking in 
the neighbourhood of the house. I must return to town 



The Fray. 333 

there are two places which I forgot to try. Meet me, if you 
can say in the old Saint Columbia 1; it's a deserted place, in 
the morning about ten or eleven o'clock. 

"HENRY ASHWOODE.'' 

Blarden glanced quickly through this effusion. 

" A precious piece of paper, that ! " muttered he, tearing it 
across, "worthy of its author a cursed greenhorn ; consume 
him for a mouth, but no matter no matter yet. Here, you 
rake-helly squad, some of you," shouted he, addressing him- 
self at random to the servants, one of whom he heard ap- 
proaching, " here, I say, get me some food and drink, and 
don't be long about it either, I can scarce stand." So saying, 
and satisfied that his directions would be promptly attended 
to, he shambled into one of the sitting-rooms, and flung him- 
self at his full length upon a sofa ; his disordered and bespat- 
tered dress and mud-stained boots contrasted agreeably with 
the rich crimson damask and gilded backs and arms of the 
couch on which he lay. As he applied himself voraciously 
to the solid fare and the wines with which he was speedily 
supplied, a thousand incoherent schemes, and none of them of 
the most amiable kind, busily engaged his thoughts. After 
many wandering speculations, he returned again to a subject 
which had more than once already presented itself. " And 
then for the brother, the fellow that laid his blows on me 
before a whole play-house full of people, the vile spawn of 
insolent beggary, that struck me till his arm was fairly tired 
with striking I'm no fool to forget such things the rascally 
forging ruffian the mean, swaggering, lying bully no matter 
he must be served out in style, and so he shall. I'll not 
hang him though, I may turn him to account yet, some way 
or other no, I'll not hang him, keep the halter in my hand 
the best trump for the last card hold the gallows over him, 
and make him lead a pleasant sort of life of it, one way or 
other. I'll not leave a spark of pride in his body I'll not 
thrash out of him. I'll make him meeker and sleeker and 
humbler than a spaniel ; he shall, before the face of all the 
world, just bear what I give him, and do what I bid him, like 
a trained dog sink me, but he shall." 

Somewhat comforted by these ruminations, Nicholas Blar- 
den arose from a substantial meal, and a reverie, which 
had occupied some hours; and without caring to remove 
from his person the traces of his toilsome exertions of the 
night past, nor otherwise to render himself one whit a less 
slovenly and neglected-looking figure than when he had that 
morning dismounted at the hall door, he called for a fresh 
horse, threw himself into the saddle, and spurred away for 
Dublin city. 



334 The "Cock and Anchor" 

He reached the doorway of the old Saint Oolumbkil, and, 
under the shadow of its ancient sign-board, dismounted. He 
entered the tavern, but Ashwoode was not there ; and, in 
answer to his inquiries, Mr. Blarden was informed that Sir 
Henry Ashwoode had gone over to the " Cock and Anchor," 
to have his horse cared for, and that he was momentarily 
expected back. 

Blarden consulted his huge gold watch. " It's eleven o'clock 
now, every minute of it, and he's not come hoity toity rather, 
I should say, all things considered. I thought he was better 
up to his game by this time but no matter I'll give him a 
lesson just now." 

As if for the express purpose of further irritating Mr. Blar- 
den's already by no means angelic temper, several parties, 
composed of second-rate sporting characters, all laughing, 
swearing, joking, betting, whistling, and by every device, con- 
triving together to produce as much clatter and uproar as it 
was possible to do, successively entered the place. 

" Well, Nicky, boy, how does the world wag with you ? '' 
inquired a dapper little fellow, approaching Blarden with a 
kind of brisk, hopping gait, aad coaxingly digging that gen- 
tleman's ribs with the butt of his silver-mounted whip. 

" What the devil brings all these chaps here at this hour ? '' 
inquired Blarden. 

" Soft is your horn, old boy," rejoined his acquaintance, in 
the same arch strain of pleasantry ; " two regulur good mains 
to be fought to-day tough ones, I promise you Fermanagh 
Dick against Long White fifty birds each splendid fowls, 
I'm told great betting it will come off in little more than an 
hour." 

" I don't care if it never come off," rejoined Blarden ; " I'm 
waiting for a chap that ought to have been here half an hour 
ago. Eot him, I'm sick waiting." 

" Well, come, I'll tell you how we'll pass the time. I'll 
toss you for guineas, as many tosses as you like," rejoined the 
small gentleman, accommodatingly. " What do you say ? is 
it a go ? " 

" Sit down, then," replied Blarden ; " sit down, can't you ? 
and begin." 

Accordingly the two friends proceeded to recreate them- 
selves thus pleasantly. Mr. Blarden's luck was decidedly 
bad, and he had been already "physicked," as his companion 
playfully remarked, to the amount of some five-and-twenty 
guineas, and his temper had become in a corresponding degree 
affected, when he observed Sir Henry Ashwoode, jaded, hag- 
gard, and with dress disordered, approaching the place where 
he sat. 

" Blarden, we had better leave this place," said Ashwoode, 



The Fray. 335 

glancing round at the crowded benches ; " there's too much 
noise here. What say you ? " 

" What do I say P " rejoined Blarden, in his very loudest 
and most insolent tone " I say you have made an appoint- 
ment and broke it, so stand there till it's my convenience to 
talk to you that's all." 

Ashwoode felt his blood tingling in his veins with fury as he 
observed the sneering significant faces of those who, attracted 
by the loud tones of Nicholas Blarden, watched the effect of 
his insolence upon its object. He heard conversations subside 
into whispers and titters among the low scoundrels who en- 
joyed his humiliation ; yet he dared not answer Blarden as he 
would have given worlds at that moment to have done, and 
with the extremest difficulty restrained himself from rushing 
among the vile rabble who exulted in his degradation, and 
compelling them at least to respect and fear him. While he 
stood thus with compressed lips and a face pale as ashes with 
rage, irresolute what course to take, one of the coins for which 
Blarden played rolled along the table, and thence along the 
floor for some distance. 

"Go, fetch that guinea jump, will you?" cried Blarden, 
in the same boisterous and intentionally insolent tone. 
" What are you standing there for, like a stick ? Pick it up, sir." 

Ashwoode did not move, and an universal titter ran round 
the spectators, whose attention was now effectually enlisted. 

" Do what I order you do it this moment. D your 

audacity, you had better do it," said Blarden, dashing his 
clenched fist on the table so as to make the coin thereon jump 
and jingle. 

Still Ashwoode remained resolutely fixed, trembling in every 
joint with very passion ; prudence told him that he ought to 
leave the place instantly, but pride and obstinacy, or his evil 
angel, held him there. 

The sneering whispers of the crowd, who now pressed 
more nearly round them in the hope of some amusement, 
became more and more loud and distinct, and the words, 
"white feather," "white liver,'' "muff," "cur," and other 
terms of a like import reached Ashwoode's ear. Furious at 
the contumacy of his wretched slave, and determined to over- 
bear and humble him, Blarden exclaimed in a tone of ferocious 
menace, 

" Do as I bid you, you cursed, insolent upstart pick up 
that coin, and give it to me or by the laws, you'll shake for it." 

Still Ashwoode moved not. 

" Do as I bid you, you robbing swindler," shouted he, with 
an oath too appalling for our pages, and again rising, and 
stamping on the floor, " or I'll give you to the crows." 

The titter which followed this menace was unexpectedly 



3 36 The "Cock and A nckor." 

interrupted. The young man's aspect changed; the blood 
rushed in livid streams to his face ; his dark eyes blazed with 
deadly fire ; and, like the bursting of a storm, all the gathering 
rage and vengeance of weeks in one tremendous moment found 
vent. With a spring like that of a tiger, he rushed upon bis 
persecutor, and before the astonished spectators could interfere, 
he had planted his clenched fists dozens of times, with furious 
strength, in Blarden's face. Utterly destitute of personal 
courage, the wretch, though incomparably a more powerful 
man than his light-limbed antagonist, shrank back, stunned 
and affrighted, under the shower of blows, and stumbled and 
fell over a wooden stool. With murderous resolution, Ash- 
woode instantly drew his sword, and another moment would 
have witnessed the last of Blarden's life, had not several 
persons thrown them selves between that person and his frantic 
assailant. 

" Hold back," cried one. " The man's down don't murder 
him." 

" Down with him he's mad ! " cried another ; tl brain him 
with the stool." 

"Hold his arm, some of you, or he'll murder the man!" 
shouted a third, " hold him, will you? " 

Overpowered by numbers, with his face lacerated and his 
clothes torn, and his naked sword still in his hand, Ashwoode 
struggled and foamed, and actually howled, to reach his 
abhorred enemy glaring like a baffled beast upon his prey. 

" Send for constables, quick quick, I say," shouted Blarden, 
with a frantic imprecation, his face all bleeding under his 
recent discipline. 

" Let me go let me go, I tell you, or by the father that 
made me, I'll send my sword through half-a-dozen of you," 
almost shrieked Ashwoode. 

" Hold him hold him fast consume you, hold him back ! " 
shouted Blarden ; " he's a forger ! run for constables ! " 

Several did run in various directions for peace officers. 

" Wring the sword from his hand, why don't you ? " cried 
one ; " cut it out of his hand with a knife ! " 

" Knock him down ! down with him ! Hold on ! " 

Amid such exclamations, Ashwoode at length succeeded, by 
several desperate efforts, in extricating himself from those who 
held him ; and without hat, and with clothes rent to fragments 
in the scuffle, and his face and hands all torn and bleeding, 
still carrying his naked sword in his hand, he rushed from the 
room, and, followed at a respectable distance by several of 
those who had witnessed the scuffle, and by his distracted 
appearance attracting the wondering gaze of those who 
traversed the streets, he ran recklessly onward to the " Cock 
and Anchor," 



The Bolted Window. 337 



CHAPTER LXIX. 

THE BOLTED WINDOW. 

FOLLOWED at some distance by a wondering crowd, he entered 
the inn-yard, where, for the first time, he checked his flight, 
and returned his sword to the scabbard. 

" Here, ostler, groom quickly, here ! " cried Ashwoode. 
" In the devil's name, where are you ? " 

The ostler presented himself, gazing in unfeigned astonish- 
ment at the distracted, pale, and bleeding figure before 
him. 

" Where have you put my horse ? " said Ashwoode. 

" The boy's whispiog him down in the back stable, your 
honour," replied he. 

" Have him saddled and bridled in three seconds," said 
Ashwoode, striding before the man towards the place indicated. 
" I'll make it worth your while. My life my life depends on 

" Never fear," said the fellow, quickening his pace, " may I 
never buckle a strap if I don't." 

With these words, they entered the stable together, but the 
horse was not there. 

" Confound them, they brought him to the dark stable, 
I suppose," said the groom, impatiently. " Come along, 
sir." 

" 'Sdeath ! it will be too late ! Quick ! quick, man ! in 
the fiend's name, be quick ! " said Ashwoode, glaring fearfully 
towards the entrance to the inn-yard. 

Their visit to the second stable was not more satisfac- 
tory. 

" Where the devil's Sir Henry Ashwoode's horse ? " inquired 
the groom, addressing a fellow who was seated on an oat- 
bin, drumming listlessly with his heela upon its sides, and 
smoking a pipe the while " where's the horse ? " repeated 
he. 

The man first satisfied his curiosity by a leisurely .view of 
Ashwoode's disordered dress and person, and then removed 
his pipe deliberately from his mouth, and spat upon the 
ground. 

"Where's Sir Henry's .horse ? " he repeated. "Why, Jim 
took him out a quarter of an hour ago, walking down towards 
the Poddle there. I'm thinking he'll be back soon now." 

"Saddle a horse any horse only let him be sure and 
fleet/' cried Ashwoode, "and I'll pay you his price thrice 
over!" 



338 The "Cock and Anchor'' 

" Well, it's a bargain," replied the groom, promptly ; " I 
don't like to see a gentleman caught in a hobble, if I can 
help him out of it. Take my advice, though, and duck your 
head under the water in the trough there ; your face is full 
of -blood and dust, and couldn't but be noticed wherever you 
went.' 3 

While the groom was with marvellous celerity preparing 
the horse which he selected for the young man's service, 
Ashwoode, seeing the reasonableness of his advice, ran to 
the large trough full of water which stood before the pump 
in the inn-yard; bat as he reached it, he perceived the 
entrance of some four or five persons into the little quadrangle 
whom, at a glance, he discovered to be constables. 

" That's him he's our bird ! After him ! there he goes ! " 
cried several voices. 

Ashwoode sprang up the stairs of the gallery which, as in 
most old inns, overhung the yard. He ran along it, and 
rushed into the first passage which opened from it. This he 
traversed with his utmost speed, and reached a chamber door. 
It was fastened ; but hurling himself against it with his whole 
weight, he burst it open, the hoarse voices of his pursuers, and 
their heavy tread, ringing in his ears. He ran directly to the 
casement ; it looked out upon a narrow by -lane. He strove to 
open it, that he might leap down upon the pavement, but it 
resisted his efforts ; and, driven to bay, and hearing the steps 
at the very door of the chamber, he turned about and drew his 
sword. 

" Come, no sparring," cried the foremost, a huge fellow in a 
great coat, and with a bludgeon in his hand ; " give in quietly ; 
you're regularly caged.'' 

As the fellow advanced, Ashwoode met him with a thrust 
of his sword. The constable partly threw it up with his hand, 
but it entered the fleshy part of his arm, and came out near 
his shoulder blade. 

" Murder ! murder ! help ! help '' shouted the man, stagger- 
ing back, while two or three more of his companions thrust 
themselves in at. the door. 

Ashwoode had hardly disengaged his sword, when a tre- 
mendous blow upon the knuckles with a bludgeon dashed it 
from his grasp, and almost at the same instant, he received a 
second blow upon the head, which felled him to the ground, 
insensible, and weltering in blood, the execrations and uproar 
of his assailants still ringing in his ears. 

" Lift him on the bed. Pull off his cravat. By the hoky, 
he's done for. Devil a kick in him. Open his vest. Are you 
hurted, Grotty? Get some water and spirits, some of yees, an' 
a towel. Begorra, we just nicked him. He's an active chap. 
See, he's opening his mouth and his eyes. Houldhim, Teague, 



The Bolted Window. 339 

for he's the devil's bird. Never mind it, Grotty. Devil a fear 
of you. Tear open the shirt. Bedad, it was close shaving. 
Give him a drop iv the brandy. Never a fear of you, old bull- 
dog." 

These and such broken sentences from fifty voices filled the 
little chamber where Ashwoode lay in dull and ghastly insensi- 
bility after his recent deadly struggle, while some stuped the 
wounds of the combatants with spirits and water, and others 
applied the same medicaments to their own interiors, and all 
talked loud and fast together, as men are apt to do after 
scenes of excitement. 

We need not follow Ashwoode through the dreadful pre- 
liminaries which terminated in his trial. In vain did he 
implore an interview with Nicholas Blarden, his relentless 
prosecutor. It were needless to enter into the evidence for 
the prosecution, and that for the defence, together with the 
points made arguments, and advanced by the opposing coun- 
sel ; it is enough to know that the case was conducted with 
much ability on both sides, and that the jury, having de- 
liberated for more than an hour, at length found the verdict 
which we shall just now state. A baronet in the dock was too 
novel an exhibition to fail in drawing a full attendance, and 
the consequence was, that never was known such a crowd of 
human beings in a compass so small as that which packed the 
court-house upon this memorable occasion. 

Throughout the whole proceedings, Sir Henry Ashwoode, 
though deadly pale, conducted himself with singular coolness 
and self-possession, frequently suggesting questions to his 
counsel, and watching the proceedings apparently with a mind 
as disengaged from every agitating consciousness of personal 
danger as that of any of the indifferent but curious bystanders 
who looked on. He was handsomely dressed, and in his de- 
graded and awful situation preserved, nevertheless, in his out- 
ward mien and attire, the dignity of his rank and former 
pretensions. As is invariably the case in Ireland, popular 
sympathy moved strongly in favour of the prisoner, a feeling 
of interest which the grace, beauty, and evident youth of the 
accused, as well as his high rank for the Irish have ever been 
an aristocratic race served much to enhance ; and when the 
case closed, and the jury retired after an adverse charge 
from the learned judge, to consider their verdict, perhaps Ash- 
woode himself would have seemed, to the careless observer, the 
least interested in the result of all who were assembled in that 
densely crowded place, to hear the final adjudication of the 
law. Those, however, who watched him more narrowly could 
observe, in this dreadful interval, that he raised his handker- 
chief often to his face, keeping it almost constantly at his 

z 2 



34-Q The "Cock and Anchor? 

mouth to conceal the nervous twitching of the muscles 
which he could not control. The eyes of the eager multitude 
wandered from the prisoner to the jury-box, and thence to the 
impassive parchment countenance of the old ermined effigy 
who presided at the harrowing scene, and not one ventured to 
speak above his breath. At length, a sound was heard at the 
door of the jury-box the jury was returning. A buzz ran 
through the court, and then the prolonged " hish," enjoining 
silence, while one by one the jurors entered and resumed their 
places in the box. The verdict was Guilty.. 

In reply to the usual interrogatory from the officer of the 
court, Sir Henry Ashwoode spoke, and though many there 
were moved, even to sobs and tears, yet his manner had 
recovered its grace and collectedness, and his voice was un- 
broken and musical as when it was wont to charm all 
hearers in the gay saloons of fashion, and splendour, and 
heedless folly, in other times when he, blasted and ruined 
as he stood there, was the admired and courted favourite of 
the great and gay. 

" My lord," said he, " I have nothing to urge which, in the 
strict requirements of the law, avails to abate the solemn 
sentence which you are about to pronounce for my life I 
care not something is, however, due to my character and 
the name I bear a name, my lord, never, never except on 
this day, never clouded by the shadow of dishonour a name 
which will yet, after I am dead and gone, be surely and 
entirely vindicated ; vindicated, my lord, in the entire dis- 
persion of the foul imputations and fatal contrivances under 
which my fame is darkened and my life is taken. Far am I 
from impeaching the verdict that I have just heard. I will 
not arraign the jurymen, nor lay to their charge that I am this 
day wrongfully condemned, but to the charge of those who, on 
that witness table, have sworn my life away perjurers pro- 
cured for money, whose exposure I leave to time, and whose 
punishment to God. Knowing that although my body shall 
ignominiously perish, and though my fame be tarnished for an 
hour, yet shall truth and years, with irresistible power, bring 
my innocence to light rescue my character and restore the 
name I bear. He who stands in the shadow of death, as I do, 
has little to fear in human censure, and little to gather from 
the applause of men. My life is forfeited, and 1 must soon 
go into the presence of my Creator, to receive my everlasting 
doom ; and in presence of that almighty and terrible God 
before whom I must soon stand, and as I look for mercy when He 
shall judge me, I declare, that of this crime, of which I am pro- 
nounced guilty, I am altogether innocent. I am a victim of a 
conspiracy, the motives of which my defence hath truly showed 
you. I never committed the crime for which I am to suffer. 



The Baronefs Room. 341 

I repeat that I am innocent, and in witness of the truth of 
what I say, I appeal to my Maker and my Judge, the Eternal 
and Almighty God." 

Having thus spoken, Ashwoode received his sentence, and 
was forthwith removed to the condemned cell. 

Ashwoode had many and influential friends, and it required 
but a small exercise of their good offices to procure a reprieve. 
He would not suffer himself to despond no, nor for one 
moment to doubt his final escape from the fangs of justice. He 
was first reprieved for a fortnight, and before that term 
expired again for six weeks. In the course of the latter term, 
however, an event occurred which fearfully altered his chances 
of escape, and filled his mind with the justest and most dread- 
ful apprehensions. This was the recall of Wharton from the 
viceroy alty of Ireland. 

The new lord-lieutenant could not see, in the case of the 
young Whig baronet, the same extenuating circumstances 
which had wrought so effectually upon his predecessor, 
Wharton. The judge who had tried the case refused to re- 
commend the prisoner to the mercy of the Crown ; and the 
viceroy accordingly, in his turn, refused to entertain any 
application for the commutation or further suspension of his 
sentence ; and now, for the first time, Sir Henry Ashwoode 
felt the tremendous reality of his situation. The term for 
which he was reprieved had nearly expired, and he felt that the 
hours which separated him from the deadly offices of the 
hangman were numbered. Still, in this dreadful conscious- 
ness, there mingled some faint and flickering ray of hope by 
its uncertain mockery rendering the terrors of his situation 
but the more intolerable, and by the sleepless agonies of 
suspense, unnerving the resolution which he might have other- 
wise summoned to his aid. 



CHAPTER LXX. 
THE BARONET'S BOOM. 

DESPERATELY wounded, O'Connor lay between life and death 
for many weeks in the dim and secluded apartment whither 
O'Hanlon had borne him after his combat with Sir Henry 
Ashwoode. There, fearing lest his own encounter with 
Wharton, and its startling result, should mark them for 
pursuit and search, he placed O'Connor under the charge of 
trusty creatures of his own for some time not daring to visit 
him except under cover of the night. This alarm, however, 



342 The "Cock and A nchor" 

soon subsided ; and consequently less precaution was adopted. 
O'Connor's wounds were, as we have said, most dangerous, and 
for fully two months he lay upon the fiery couch of fever, 
alternately raving in delirium, and locked in the dull stupor 
of entire apathy and exhaustion. Through this season of pain 
and peril he was sustained, however, by the energies of a 
young and vigorous constitution. The fever, at length, abated, 
and the unclouded light of reason returned ; still, however, in 
body he was weak, so weak that, sorely against his will, he was 
perforce obliged to continue the occupant of his narrow bed, in 
the dingy and secluded lodgings in which he lay. Impatient 
to learn something of her who entirely filled his thoughts, 
and of the truth of whose love for him he now felt the revival 
of more than hope, he chafed and fretted in the narrow 
limits of his dark and gloomy chamber. Spite of all the 
remonstrances of the old crone who attended him, backed by 
the more awful fulminations of his apothecary, O'Connor would 
not submit any longer to the confinement of his bed ; and, but 
for the firm and effectual resistance of O'Hanlon, would have 
succeeded, weak as he was, in making his escape from the 
house, and resuming his ordinary occupations and pursuits, as 
though his health had not suffered, nor his strength become 
impaired, so as to leave him scarcely the power of walking a 
hundred steps, without the extremest exhaustion and lassi- 
tude. To O'Hanlon's expostulations he was forced to yield, 
and even pledged his word to him not to attempt a removal 
from his hated lodgings, without his consent and approbation. 
In reply to a message to his friend Audley, he learned, much to 
his mortification, that that gentleman had left town, and as 
thus full of disquiet and anxiety, one day O'Connor was seated, 
pale and languid, in his usual place by the window, the door of 
his apartment opened, and O'Hanlon entered. He took the 
hand of the invalid and said, 

" I commend your patience, young man, you have been 
my parole prisoner for many days. When is this durance to 
end?" 

" 1'faith, I believe with my life," rejoined O'Connor, "I never 
knew before what weariness and vexation in perfection are 
this dusky room is hateful to me, it grows narrower and 
narrower every day and those old houses opposite every 
pane of glass in their windows, and every brick in their walls 
I have learned by rote I am tired to death. But, seriously, 
I have other and very different reasons for wishing to be at 
liberty again reasons so urgent as to leave me no rest by 
night or day. I chafe and fret here like a caged bird. I have 
been too long shut up my strength will never come again 
unless I am allowed to breathe the fresh air you are all 
literally killing me with kindness." 



The Baronet's Room. 343 

" And yet," rejoined O'Hanlon, " I have never been thought 
an over-careful leech, and truth to say, had I suffered you to 
have your own way, you would not now have been a living 
man. I know, as well as any of them, how to tend a wound, 
and this I will say, that in all my practice it never yet has 
been my lot to meet with so ill-conditioned and cross-grained 
a patient as yourself. Why, nothing short of downright force 
has kept you in your room your life is saved in spite of your- 
self." 

"If you keep me here much longer," replied O'Connor, 
" it will prove but indifferent economy as regards my bodily 
health, for I shall undoubtedly cut my throat before another 
week." 

" There shall be no need, my friend, to find such an escape," 
replied O'Hanlon, " for I now absolve you of your promise, 
hitherto so well observed; nay, more, I advise you to leave the 
house to-day. I think your strength sufficient, and the 
occasion, moreover, demands that you should visit an acquaint- 
ance immediately." 

" Who is it ? " inquired O'Connor, starting to his feet with 
alacrity, "thank God I am at length again my own master." 

" When I this day entered the yard of the * Cock and 
Anchor," answered O'Hanlon, " the inn where you and I first 
encountered, I found a fellow inquiring after you. most 
earnestly; he had a letter with which he was charged. It is 
from Sir Henry Ashwoode, who lies now in prison, and under 
sentence of death. You start, and no wonder his old 
associates have convicted him of forgery." 

" Gracious Heaven, is it possible P '' exclaimed O'Connor. 

" Nay, certain? continued O'Hanlon, " nor has he any 
longer a chance of escape. He has been twice reprieved but 
his friend Wharton is recalled his reprieve expires in three 
days' time, and then he will be inevitably executed." 

" Good God, is this can it be reality ? " exclaimed 
O'Connor, trembling with the violence of his agitation, 
"give me the letter.'' He broke the seal, and read as 
follows : 

" EDMOND O'CONNOR, I know I have wronged you sorely. 
I have destroyed your peace and endangered your life. You 
are more than avenged. I write this in the condemned cell of 
the gaol. If you can bring yourself to confer with me for a 
few minutes, come here. I stand on no ceremony, and time 
presses. Do not fail. If you be living I shall expect you. 

"HENRY ASHWOODE." 

O'Connor's preparations were speedily made, and leaning 
upon the arm of his elder friend, he, with slow and feeble 



344 The "Cock and Anchor'' 

steps, and a head giddy with his long confinement, and the 
agitating anticipation of the scene in which he was just about 
to be engaged, traversed the streets which separated his 
lodging from the old city gaol a sombre, stern, and melan- 
choly-looking building, surrounded by crowded and dilapidated 
houses, with decayed plaster and patched windows, and a 
certain desolate and sickly aspect, as though scared and blasted 
by the contagious proximity of that dark receptacle of crime 
and desperation which loomed above them. At the gate 
O'Hanlon parted from him, appointing to meet him again in 
the " Cock and Anchor," whither he repaired. After some 
questions, O'Connor was admitted. The clanging of bolts, 
and bars, and door-chains, smote heavily on his heart he 
heard no other sounds but these and the echoing tread of their 
own feet, as they traversed the long, dark, stone-paved 
passages which led to the dungeon in which he whom he had 
last seen in the pride of fashion, and youth, and strength, was 
now a condemned felon, and within a few hours of a public 
and ignominious death. The turnkey paused at one of the 
narrow doors opening from the dusky corridor, and unclosing 
it, said, 

" A gentleman, sir, to see you." 

" Request him to corne in," replied a voice, which, though 
feebler than it used to be, O'Connor had no difficulty in re- 
cognizing. In compliance with this invitation, he with a 
throbbing heart entered the prison- room. It was dimly 
lighted by a single small window set high in the wall, and 
darkened by iron bars. A small deal table, with a few books 
carelessly laid upon it, occupied the centre of the cell, and two 
heavy stools were placed beside it, on one of which was seated 
a figure, with his back to the light, to conceal, with a desperate 
tenacity of pride, the ravages which the terrific mental fever of 
weeks had wrought in his once bold and handsome face. By 
the wall was stretched a wretched pallet; and upon the 
plaster were written and scratched, according to the various 
moods of the miserable and guilty tenants of the place, a 
hundred records, some of slang philosophy, some, of desperate 
drunken defiance, and some again of terror, but all bearing 
reference to the dreadful scene to which this was but the 
ante-chamber and the passage. Many hieroglyphical emblems 
of unmistakable significance had also been traced upon the 
walls by the successive occupants of the place, such as coffins, 
gallows-trees, skulls and cross-bones ; the most striking 
among which symbols was a large figure of death upon a 
horse, sketched with much spirit, by some moralizing convict, 
with a piece of burned stick, and to which some waggish 
successor had appropriately added, in red chalk, a gigantic 
pair of spurs. As soon as O'Connor entered, the turnkey 



The Farewell. 345 

closed the door, and he and Sir Henry Ashwoode were left 
alone. A silence of some minutes, which neither party dared 
to break, ensued. 



CHAPTER LXXI. 

THE FAREWELL. 

O'CONNOR was the first to speak. In a low voice, which 
trembled with agitation, he said, 

" Sir Henry Ashwoode, I have come here in answer to a 
note which reached me but a few minutes since. You desired 
a conference with me ; it there any commission with which you 
would wish to charge me ? if so, let me know it, and it shall 
be done.' 5 

" None, none, Mr. O'Connor, thank you," rejoined Ash- 
woode, recovering his characteristic self-possession, and con- 
tinuing proudly, " if you add to your visit a patient audience 
of a few minutes, you will have conferred upon me the only 
favour I desire. Pray, sit down; it is rather a hard and a 
homely seat," he added, with a haggard, joyless smile "but 
the only one this place supplies." 

Another silence followed, during which Sir Henry Ash- 
woode restlessly shifted his attitude every moment, in evident 
and uncontrollable nervous excitement. At length he arose, 
and walked twice or thrice up and down the narrow chamber, 
exhibiting without any longer care for concealment his pale, 
wasted face in the full light which streamed in through the 
grated window, his sunken eyes and unshorn chin, and worn 
and attenuated figure. 

" You hear that sound,' 3 said he, abruptly stopping short, 
and looking with the same strange smile upon O'Connor ; " the 
clank upon the flags as I walk up and down the jingle of 
the fetters isn't it strange isn't it odd like a dream 
eh?" 

Another silence followed, which Ashwoode again abruptly 
interrupted. 

" You know all this story ? of course you do everybody 
does how the wretches have trapped me isn't it terrible 
isn't it dreadful ? Oh ! you cannot know what it is to mope 
about this place alone, when it is growing dark, as I do 
every evening, and in the night time, if I had been another 
man, I'd have been raving mad by this time. I said alone 
did I?" he continued, with increasing excitement; "oh! 
that it were ! oh ! that it were ! He comes there there,'' 



346 



The "Cock and Anchor." 



he screamed, pointing to the foot of the bed, " with all those 
infernal cloths and fringes about his face, morning and 
evening. Ah, G-od ! such a thing half idiot, half fiend ; and 
still the same, though I curse him till I'm hoarse, he won't 




leave it. Can't they wait can't they wait? for-ever is a 
long day. As I'm a living man, he's with me every night 
there there is the body, gaping and nodding there there 
there ! " 

As he shouted this with frantic and despairing horror, 
shaking his clenched hands toward the place of his dreaded 



The Farewell. 347 

nightly visitant, O'Connor felt a thrill of horror such as he 
had never known before, and hardly recovered from this painful 
feeling, when Sir Henry Ashwoode turned to the little table 
on which, among many things, a vessel of water was placed, 
and filling some out into a cracked cup, he added to it drops 
from a phial, and hastily swallowed the mixture. 

" Laudanum is all the philosophy or religion I can boast; it's 
well to have even so much/' said he, returning the bottle to his 
pocket. " It's a dead secret, though, that I have got any ; 
this is a present from the doctor they allow me to see, and 
I'm on honour not-to poison myself isn't it comical ? for 
fear he should get into a scrape ; but I've another game to 
play no fear of that no, no.'' 

Another silence followed, and Sir Henry Ashwoode said 
quickly, 

" What do the people say about it P Do they think I forged 
that accursed bond ? Do they think me guilty ? " 

O'Connor declared his entire ignorance of public rumour, 
alleging his own illness, and consequent close confinement, as 
the cause of it. 

" They sha'n't believe me guilty, no, they sha'n't. Look ye, 
sir, I have one good feeling left," he resumed, vehemently ; 
" I will not let my name suffer. If the most resolute firmness 
to the very last, and the most solemn renunciation of the 
charges preferred against me, reiterated at the foot of the 
gallows, with the halter about my neck if these can beget a 
belief of my innocence, my name shall be clear my name 
shall not suffer ; this last outrage I will avert ; but oh, my 
God ! is there no chance yet must I must I perish ? Will 
no one save me will no one help me? Oh, God! oh, God! 
is there no pity no succour ; must it come? " 

Thus crying, he threw himself forward upon the table, while 
every joint and muscle quivered and heaved with fierce 
hysterical sobs which, more like a succession of short convulsive 
shrieks than actual weeping, betrayed his agony, while O'Connor 
looked on with a mixture of horror and pity, which all that was 
past could not suppress. 

At length the paroxysm subsided. The wretched man 
filled out some more water, and mingling some drops of 
laudanum ,in it, he drank it off, and became comparatively 
composed. 

"Not a word of this to any living being, I charge you," 
said he, clutching O'Connor's arm in his attenuated hand, 
and fixing his sunken fiery eyes upon his ; " I would not have 
my folly known ; I'm not always so weak as you have seen 
me. It must be, that's all no help for it. It's rather a novel 
thing, though, to hang a baronet ha ! ha ! You look scared 
you think my wits are unsettled; but you're wrong. I 



348 The " Cock and Anchor? 

don't sleep ; I hav'n't for some time ; and want of rest, you 
know, makes a man's manner odd; makes him excitable 
nervons. I'm more myself now. 3 ' 

After a short pause, Sir Henry Ashwoode resumed, 

" When we had that affray together, in which would to God 
you had run me through the heart, you put a question to me 
about my sister poor Mary; I will answer that now, and more 
than answer it. That girl loves you with her whole heart ; 
loves you alone ; never loved another. It matters not to tell 
how I and my father the great and accursed first cause of 
all our misfortunes and miseries effected your estrangement. 
The Italian miscreant told you truth. The girl is gone I know 
not whither, to seek an asylum from me ay, from we. To save 
my life and honour. I would have constrained her to marry 
the wretch who has destroyed me. It was he he who urged 
it, who cajoled me. I joined him, to save my life and honour ! 
and now oh ! God, where are they ? " 

O'Connor rose, and said somewhat sternly, 

" May God pardon you, Sir Henry Ashwoode, for all you have 
done against the peace of that most noble and generous being, 
your sister. What I have suffered at your hands I heartily 
forgive." 

" 1 ask forgiveness nowhere," rejoined Ashwoode, stoically ; 
" what's done is done. It has been a wild and fitful life, and 
is now over. What forgiveness can you give me or she that's 
worth a thought P folly, folly ! " 

" One word of earnest hope before I leave you ; one word 
of solemn warning," said O'Connor; "the vanities of this 
world are fading fast and for ever from your view ; you are 
going where the applause of men can reach you no more ! I 
conjure yon, then, for the sake of your eternal peace, if your 
sentence be a just one, do not insult your Creator by denying 
your guilt, and pass into His awful presence with a lie upon 
your lips." 

Ashwoode paused for a moment, and then walked suddenly 
up to O'Connor, and almost in a whisper said, 

" Not a word of that, my course is chosen ; not one Word 
more. Observe, what has passed between us is private ; now 
leave me." So saying, Ashwoode turned from him, and 
walked toward the narrow window of his cell. 

" Farewell, Sir Henry Ashwoode, farewell for ever ; and may 
God have mercy upon you," said O'Connor, passing out upou 
the dark and narrow corridor. 

The turnkey closed the door with a heavy crash upon his 
prisoner, and locked it once more, and thus the two young 
men, who had so often and so variously encountered in the 
unequal path of life, were parted never again to meet in the 
wayward scenes of this chequered and changeful existence. 



The Rope and the Riot. 349 

Tired and agitated, O'Connor threw himself into the first 
coach he met, and was deposited safely in the "Cock and 
Anchor.'' It were vain to attempt to describe the ecstasies 
and transports of honest Larry Toole at the unexpected re- 
covery of his long-lost master ; we shall not attempt to do so. 
It is enough for our purpose to state that at the " Cock and 
Anchor" O'Connor received two letters from his old friend, 
Mr. Audley, and one conveying a pressing invitation from 
Oliver French of Ardgillagh, in compliance with which, early 
on the next morning, he mounted his horse, and set forth, 
followed by his trusty squire, upon the high road to Naas, re- 
solved to task his strength to the uttermost, although he knew 
that even thus he must necessarily divide his journey into 
many more stages than his impatience would have allowed, 
had more rapid travelling in his weak condition been 
possible. 



CHAPTER LXXII. 

THE EOPE AND THE RIOT IN GALLOWS GREEN AND THE WOODS 
OF ARDGILLAGH BY MOONLIGHT. 

AT length came that day, that dreadful day, whose evening 
Sir Henry Ashwoode was never to see. Noon was the time 
fixed for the fatal ceremonial ; and long before that hour, the 
mob, in one dense mass of thousands, had thronged and 
choked the streets leading to the old gaol. Upon this awful 
day the wretched man acquired, by a strange revulsion, a kind 
of stoical composure, which sustained him throughout the 
dreadful preparations. With hands cold as clay, and a face 
white as ashes, and from which every vestige of animation 
had vanished, he proceeded, nevertheless, with a calm and 
collected demeanour to make all his predetermined arrange- 
ments for the fearful scene. With a minute elaborateness he 
finished his toilet, and dressed himself in a grave, but particu- 
larly handsome suit. Could this shrunken, torpid, ghastly 
spectre, in reality be the same creature who, a few months 
since, was the admiration and envy of half the beaux of 
Dublin ? 

There was little or none of the fitful excitability about him 
which had heretofore marked his demeanour during his con- 
finement ; on the contrary a kind of stupor and apathy had 
supervened, partly occasioned by the laudanum which he had 
taken in unusually large quantities, and partly by the over- 
whelming horror of his situation. He seemed to observe and 



350 The " Cock and A nckor." 

hear nothing. When the gaoler entered to remove his irons, 
shortly before the time of his removal had arrived, he seemed 
a little startled, and observing the physician who had attended 
him among those who stood at the door of his cell, he beckoned 
him toward him. 

"Doctor, doctor," said he in a dusky voice, "how much 
laudanum may I safely take ? I want my head clear to say 
a few words, to speak to the people. Don't give me too much ; 
but let me, with that condition, have whatever I can safely 
swallow. You know you understand me ; don't oblige me to 
speak any more just now." 

The physician felt his pulse, and looked in his face, and 
then mingled a little laudanum and water, which he applied 
to the young man's pale ? dry lips. This dose was hardly 
swallowed, when one of the gaol officials entered, and stated 
that the ordinary was anxious to know whether the prisoner 
wished to pray or confer with him in private before his 
departure. The question had to be twice repeated ere it 
reached Sir Henry. He replied, however, quickly, and in a 
low tone, 

" No, no, not for the world. I can't bear it ; don't disturb 
me don't, don't." 

It was now intimated to the prisoner that he must proceed. 
His arms were pinioned, and he was conducted along the 
passages leading to the entrance of the gaol, where he was 
received by the sheriff. For a moment, as he passed out into 
the broad light and the keen fresh air, he beheld the vast and 
eager mob pressing and heaving like a great dark sea around 
him, and the mounted escort of dragoons with drawn swords 
and gay uniforms ; and without attaching any clear or definite 
meaning to the spectacle, he beheld the plumes of a hearse, 
and two or three fellows engaged in sliding the long black 
coffin into its place. These sights, and the strange, gaping 
faces of the crowd, and the sheriff's carriage, and the gay 
liveries, and the crowded fronts and roofs of the crazy old 
houses opposite, for one moment danced like the fragment of 
a dream across his vision, and in the next he sat in the old- 
fashioned coach which was to convey him to the place of 
execution. 

" Only twenty-seven years, only twenty-seven years, only 
twenty-seven years," he muttered, vacantly and mechanically 
repeating the words which had reached his ear from those 
who were curiously reading the plate upon the coffin as he 
entered the coach " only twenty-seven, twenty-seven." 

The awful procession moved on to the place of its final 
destination ; the enormous mob rushing along with it 
crowding, jostling, swearing, laughing, whistling, quarrelling, 
and hustling, as they forced their way onward, and staring 



The Rope and the Riot. 35 1 

with coarse and eager curiosity whenever they could into the 
vehicle in which Ashwoode sat. All the sights the haggard, 
smirched, and eager faces, the prancing horses of the troopers, 
the well-known shops and streets, and the crowded windows 
all sailed by his eyes like some unintelligible and heart- 
sickening dream. The place of public execution for criminals 
was then, and continued to be for long after, a spot signifi- 
ficantly denominated " Gallows Hill," situated in the neigh- 
bourhood of St. Stephen's Green, and not far from the line at 
present traversed by Baggot Street. There a permanent 
gallows was erected, and thither, at length, amid thousands 
of crowding spectators, the melancholy procession came, and 
proceeded to the centre of area, where the gallows stood, with 
the long new rope swinging in the wind, and the cart and the 
hangman, with the guard of soldiers, prepared for their recep- 
tion. The vehicles drew up, and those who had to play a 
part in the dreadful scene descended. The guard took their 
place, preserving a narrow circle around the fatal spot, free 
from the pressure of the crowd. The carriages were driven a 
little away, and the coffin was placed close under the gallows, 
while Ashwoode, leaning upon the chaplain and upon one of 
the sheriffs, proceeded toward the cart, which made the rude 
platform on which he was to stand. 

" Sir Henry Ashwoode," observes a contemporary authority, 
the Dublin Journal, " showed a great deal of calmness and 
dignity, insomuch that a great many of the mob, especially 
among the women, were weeping. His figure and features 
were handsome, and he was finely dressed. He prayed a 
short time with the ordinary, and then, with little assistance, 
mounted the hurdle, whence he spoke to the people, declaring 
his innocence with great solemnity. Then the hangman 
loosened his cravat, and opened his shirt at the neck, and Sir 
Henry turning to him, bid him, as it was understood, to take a 
ring from his finger, for a token of forgiveness, which he did, 
and then the man drew the cap over his eyes ; but he made a 
sign, and the hangman lifted it up again, and Sir Henry, look- 
ing round at all the multitude, said again, three times,' In the 
presence of God Almighty, I stand here innocent ; ' and then, 
a minute after, * I forgive all my enemies, and I die innocent ; ' 
then he spoke a word to the hangman, and the cap being 
pulled down, and the rope quickly adjusted, the hurdle was 
moved away, and he swung off, the people with one consent 
crying out the while. He struggled for a long time, and very 
hard ; and not for more than an hour was the body cut down, 
and laid in the coffin. He was buried in the night-time. His 
last dying words have begot among most people a great 
opinion of his innocence, though the lawyers still hold to it 
that he was guilty. It was said that Mr. Blarden, the prose- 



352 The "Cock and Anchor." 

cutor, Was in a house in Stephen's Green, to see the hanging, 
and as soon as the mob heard it, they went and broke the 
windows, and, but for the soldiers, would have forced their 
way in, and done more violence." 

Thus speaks the Dublin Journal, and the extract needs no 
addition from us. 

Gladly do we leave this hateful scene, and turn from the 
dreadful fate of him whose follies and vices had wrought so 
much misery to others, and ended in such fearful ignominy 
and destruction to himself. We leave the smoky town, with 
all its fashion, vice, and villainy ; its princely equipages ; its 
prodigals ; its paupers ; its great men and its sycophants ; its 
mountebanks and mendicants ; its riches and its wretched- 
ness. We leave that old city of strange compounds, where 
the sublime and the ridiculous, deep tragedies and most 
whimsical farces are ever mingling where magnificence and 
squalor rub shoulders day by day, and beggars sit upon the 
steps of palaces. How much of what is wonderful, wild, and 
awful, has not thy secret history known ! How much of the 
romance of human act and passion, vicissitude, joy and sorrow, 
grandeur and despair, has there not lived, and moved, and 
perished, age after age, under thy perennial curtain of solemn 
smoke ! 

Far, far behind, we leave the sickly smoky town and over 
the far blue hills and wooded country through rocky glens, 
and by sonorous streams, and over broad undulating plains, 
and through the quiet villages, with their humble thatched 
roofs from which curls up the light blue smoke among the 
sheltering bushes and tall hedge-rows through ever- changing 
scenes of softest rural beauty, in day time and at even- 
tide, and by the wan, misty moonlight, we follow the two 
travellers who ride toward the old domain of Ardgillagh. 

The fourth day's journey brought them to the little village 
which formed one of the boundaries of that old place. But, 
long ere they reached it, the sun had gone down behind the 
distant hills, under his dusky canopy of crimson clouds, and 
the pale moon had thrown its broad light and shadows over 
the misty landscape. Under the soft splendour of the moon, 
chequered by the moving shadows of the tall and ancient 
trees, they rode into the humble village no sound arose to 
greet them but the desultory baying of the village dogs, and 
the soft sighing of the light breeze through the spreading 
boughs and no signal of waking life was seen, except, few and 
far between, the red level beam of some still glowing turf fire, 
shining through the rude and narrow aperture that served the 
simple rustic instead of casement. 

At one of these humble dwellings Larry Toole applied for 



The Rope and the Riot. . 353 

information, and with ready courtesy the " man of the house," 
in person, walked with them to the entrance of the place, and 
shoved open one of the valves of the crazy old gate, and 
O'Connor rode slowly in, following, with his best caution, the 
directions of his guide. His honest squire, Larry, meanwhile, 
loitered a little behind, in conference with the courteous 
peasant, and with the laudable intention of procuring some 
trifling refection, which, however, he determined to swallow 
without dismounting, and with all convenient dispatch, bear- 
ing in mind a wholesome remembrance of the disasters which 
followed his convivial indulgence in the little town of 
Chapelizod. While Larry thus loitered, O'Connor followed 
the wild winding avenue which formed the only approach to 
the old mansion. This rude track led him a devious way 
over slopes, and through hollows, and by the broad grey 
rocks, white as' sheeted phantoms in the moonlight, and the 
thick weeds and brushwood glittering with the heavy dew of 
night, and through the beautiful misty vistas of the ancient 
wild wood, now still and solemn as old cathedral aisles. Thus, 
under the serene and cloudless light of the sailing moon, he 
had reached the bank of the broad and shallow brook whose 
shadowy nooks and gleaming eddies were canopied under the 
gnarled and arching boughs of the hoary thorn and oak and 
here tradition tells a marvellous tale. 

It is narrated that when O'Connor reached this point, his 
jaded horse stopped short, refusing to cross the stream, and 
when urged by voice and spur, reared, snorted, and by every 
indication exhibited the extremest terror and an obstinate 
reluctance to pass the brook. The rider dismounted took his 
steed by the head, patted and caressed him, and by every art 
endeavoured to induce him to traverse the little stream, but in 
vain ; while thus fruitlessly employed, his attention was 
arrested by the sounds of a female voice, in low and singularly 
sweet and plaintive lamentation, and looking across the water, 
for the first time he beheld the object which so affrighted his 
steed. It was a female figure arrayed in a mantle of dusky 
red, the hood of which hung forward so as to hide the face 
and head : she was seated upon a broad grey rock by the 
brook's side, and her head leaned forward so as to rest upon 
her knees ; her bare arm hung by her side, and the white 
fingers played listlessly in the clear waters of the brook, while 
with a wild and piteous chaunt, which grew louder and clearer 
as he gazed, she still sang on her strange mournful song. 
Spellbound and entranced, he knew not why, O'Connor gazed 
on in speechless and breathless awe, until at length the tall 
form arose and disappeared among the old trees, and the 
sounds melted away and were lost among the soft chiming of 
the brook, and heard no more. He dared not say whether it 

A a 



354 The "Cock and Anchor " 

was reality or illusion, he felt like one suddenly recalled from 
a dream, and a certain awe, and horror, and dismay still hung- 
upon him, for which he scarcely could account. 

Without further resistance, the hor&e now crossed the brook ; 
O'Connor remounted, and followed the shadowy track; but 
again he was destined to meet with interruption ; the pathway 
which he followed, embowered among the branching trees and 
bushes, at one point wound beneath a low, ivy-mantled rock ; 
he was turning this point, when his horse, snorting loudly, 
checked his pace with a recoil so sudden that he threw him- 
self back upon his haunches, and remained, except for his 
violent trembling, fixed and motionless. O'Connor raised his 
eyes, and standing upon the rock which overhung the avenue, 
he beheld, for a moment, a tall female form clothed in an ample 
cloak of dusky red. The arms with the hands clasped, as if in 
the extremity of woe, firmly together, were extended above her 
head, the face white as the foam of the river, and the eyes 
preternaturally large and wild, were raised fixedly toward the 
broad bright moon ; this phantom, for such it was, for a 
moment occupied his gaze, and in the next, with a scream so 
piercing and appalling that his very marrow seemed to freeze 
at the sound, she threw herself forward as though she would 
cast herself upon the horse and rider and, was gone. 

The horse started wildly off and galloped at headlong speed 
up the broken ascent, and for some time O'Connor had not 
collectedness to check his frantic course, or even to think; 
at length, however, he succeeded in calming the terrified 
animal and, uttering a fervent prayer, he proceeded, without 
further adventure, till the tall gable of the old mansion in the 
spectral light of the moon among its thick embowering trees 
and rich ivy-mantles, with all its tall white chimney stacks 
and narrow windows with their thousand glittering panes, 
arose before his anxious gaze. 



CHAPTER LXXIII. 

THE LAST LOOK. 

TIME had flowed on smoothly in the qniet old place, with an 
even current unbroken and unmarred, except by one event. 
Sir Henry Ashwoode's danger was known to old French and 
Mr. Audley ; but with anxious and effectual care they kept all 
knowledge of his peril and disgrace from poor Mary : this 
pang was spared her. The months that passed had wrought 
in her a change so great and so melancholy, that none could 




His horse, snorting loudly, checked his pace." 

To face page 354. 



The Last Look. 355 

look upon her without sorrowful forebodings, without mis- 
givings against which they vainly strove. Sore grief had 
done its worst : the light and graceful step grew languid and 
feeble the young face wan and wasted the beautiful eyes 
grew dim; and now in her sad and early decline, as in other 
times, when her smile was sunshine, and her very step light 
music, -was still with her the same warm and gentle spirit; 
and even amid the waste and desolation of decay, still pre- 
vailed the ineffaceable lines of that matchless and touching 
beauty, which in other times had wrought such magic. 

It was upon that day, the night of which saw O'Connor's 
long-deferred arrival at Ardgillagb, that Flora Guy, vainly 
striving to restrain her tears, knocked at Mr. Audley's 
chamber door. The old gentleman quickly answered the 
summons. 

"Ah, sir," said the girl, "she's very bad, sir, if you wish to 
see her. come at once." 

" I do, indeed, wish to see her, the dear child," said he, 
while the tears started to his eyes ; " bring me to the room." 

He followed the kind girl to the door, and she first went in, 
and in a low voke told her that Mr. Audley wished much to 
see her, and she, with her own sweet, sad smile, bade her bring 
him to her bedside. 

Twice the old man essayed to enter, and twice he stayed 
to weep bitterly as a child. At length he commanded com- 
posure enough to enter, and stood by the bedside, and silently 
and reverently held the hand of her that was dying. 

" My dear child ! my darling ! " said he, vainly striving to 
suppress his sobs, while the tears fell fast upon the thin 
small hand he held in his " I have sought this interview, 
to tell you what I would fain have told you often before now 
but knew not how to speak of it, I want to speak to you of 
one who loved you, and loves you still, as mortal has seldom 
loved ; of of my good young friend O'Connor." 

As he said this, he saw, or was it fancy, the faintest flush 
imaginable for one moment tinge her pale cheek. He had 
touched a chord to which the pulses of her heart, until they 
had ceased to beat, must tremble ; and silently and slow the 
tears gathered upon her long dark lashes, and followed one 
another down her wan face, unheeded. Thus she listened 
while he related how truly O'Connor had loved her, and when 
the tale was ended she wept on long and silently. 

" Flora," she said at length, " cut off a lock of my hair." 

The girl did as she was desired, and in her thin and feeble 
hand her young mistress took it. 

" Whenever you see him, sir," said she, " will you give him 
this, and say that I sent it for a token that to the last I loved 
him, and to help him to remember me when I am gone : this 

A a 2 



The "Cock and Anchor " 

is my last message and poor Flora, won't you take care of 
her ? " 

" Won't I, won't I ! '' sobbed the old man, vehemently. 
" While I have a shilling in the world she shall never know 
want faithful creature" and he grasped the honest girl's- 
hand, and shook it, and sobbed and wept like a child. 

He took the long dark ringlet, which he had promised to- 
give to O'Connor ; and seeing that his presence agitated her, 
he took a long last look at the young face he was never more 
to see in life, and kissing the small hand again and again, he 
turned and went out, crying bitterly. 

Soon after this she grew much fainter, and twice or thrice- 
she spoke as though her mind was busy with other scenes. 

" Let us go down to the well side," she said, " the primroses- 
and cowslips are always there the earliest ;*' and then she 
said again, "He's coming, Flora; he'll be here very soon, so 
come and dress my hair ; he likes to see my hair dressed with- 
flowers wild flowers." 

Shortly after this she sank into a soft and gentle sleep, and 
while she lay thus calmly, there came over her pale face a 
smile of such a pure and heavenly light, that angelic hope r 
and peace, and glory, shone in its beauty. The smile changed 
not; but she was dead! The sorrowful struggle was over 
the weary bosom was at rest the true and gentle heart was 
cold for ever the brief but sorrowful trial was over the 
desolate mourner was gone to the land where the pangs of 
grief, the tumults of passion, regrets, and cold neglect are felt 
no more. 

Her favourite bird, with gay wings, flutters to the casement;, 
the flowers she planted are sweet upon the evening air ; and 
by their hearths the poor still talk of her and bless her; but 
the silvery voice that spoke, and the gentle hand that tended, 
and the beautiful smile that gave an angelic grace to the 
offices of charity, where are they ? 

The tapers are lighted in the silent chamber, and Flora 
Guy has laid early spring flowers on the still cold form that 
sleeps there in its serene sad beauty tranquilly and for ever ; 
when in the court-yard are heard the tramp and clatter of a, 
horse's hoofs it is he O'Connor, he comes for her the 
long lost the dearly loved the true-hearted the found 
again. 

'Twere vain to tell of frantic grief words cannot tell, nor 
imagination conceive, the depth the wildness the desolation 
of that woe. 



Conclusion . 357 

CONCLUSION". 

SOME fifteen years ago there was still to be seen in the little 
mined church which occupies a corner in what yet remains of 
the once magnificent domain of Ardgillagh, side by side among- 
the tangled weeds, two gravestones ; one recording the death 
of Mary Ashwoode, at the early age of twenty-two, in the year 
of grace 1710; the other, that of Edmond O'Connor, who fell 
at Denain, in the year of our Lord 1712. Thus they were, 
who in life were separated, laid side by side in death. It is 
a still and sequestered spot, and the little ruin clothed in rich 
ivy, and sheltered by the great old trees with its solemn and 
holy quiet, in such a resting-place as most mortals would 
fain repose in when their race is done. 

For the rest our task is quickly done. Mr. Audley and 
Oliver French had so much gotten into one another's way of 
going on, that the former gentleman from week to week, and 
from month to month, continued to prolong his visit, until 
after a residence of eight years, he died at length in the 
mansion of Ardgillagh, at a very advanced age, and without 
more than two days' illness, having never experienced before, 
in all his life, one hour's sickness of any kind. Honest Oliver 
French outlived his boon companion by the space of two years, 
having just eaten an omelette and actually called for some 
woodcock-pie ; he departed suddenly while the servant was 
raising the crust. Old Audley left Flora Guy well provided 
for at his death, but somehow or other considerably before 
that event Larry Toole succeeded in prevailing on the honest 
handmaiden to marry him, and altnough, questionless, there 
was some disparity in point of years, yet tradition says, and 
we believe it, that there never lived a fonder or a happier 
couple, and it is a genealogical fact, that half the Tooles who 
are now to be found in that quarter of the country, derive 
their descent from the very alliance in question. 

Of Major O'Leary we have only to say that the rumour 
which hinted at his having united his fortunes with those of 
the house of Rumble, were but too well founded. He retired 
with his buxom bride to a small property, remote from the 
dissipation of the capital, and except in the matter of an occa- 
sional cock-fight, whenever it happened to be within reach, 
or a tough encounter with the squire, when a new pipe of claret 
was to be tasted, one or two occasional indiscretions, he became, 
as he himself declared, in all respects an ornament to society. 

Lady Stukely, within a few months after the explosion with 
young Ashwoode, vented her indignation by actually marrying 
young Pigwiggynne. It was said, indeed, that they were not 
happy ; of this, however, we cannot be sure ; but it is un- 
doubtedly certain that they used to beat, scratch, and pinch 



35 The "Cock and Anchor" 

ach other in private whether in play merely, or with the 
serious intention of correcting one another's infirmities of 
temper, we know not. Several weeks before Lady Stukely's 
marriage, Emily Copland succeeded in her long-cherished 
schemes against the celibacy of poor Lord Aspenly. His 
lordship, however, lived on with a perseverance perfectly 
spiteful, and his lady, alas and alack-a-day, tired out, at 
length committed a faux pas the trial is on record, and 
eventuated, it is sufficient to say, in a verdict for the plaintiff. 

Of Chancey, we have only to say that his fate was as 
miserable as his life had been abject and guilty. "When he 
arose after the tremendous fall which he had received at the 
hands of his employer, Nicholas Blarden, upon the memor- 
able night which defeated all their schemes, for he did arise 
with life intellect and remembrance were alike quenched 
he was thenceforward a drivelling idiot. Though none cared 
to inquire into the cause and circumstances of his miserable 
privation, long was he well known and pointed out in the 
streets of Dublin, where he subsisted upon the scanty alms 
of superstitious charity, until at length, during the great frost 
in the year 1739, he was found dead one morning, in a corner 
under St. Andoen's Arch, stark and cold, cowering in his 
accustomed attitude. 

Nicholas Blarden died upon his feather bed, and if every 
luxury which imagination can devise, or prodigal wealth pro- 
cure, can avail to soothe the racking torments of the body, 
and the terrors of the appalled spirit, he died happy. 

Of the other actors in this drama with the exception of 
M'Quirk, who was publicly whipped for stealing four pounds 
of sausages from an eating house in Bride Street, and the 
Italian, who, we believe, was seen as groom-porter in Mr. 
Blarden's hell, for many years after tradition is silent. 




GILBERT AND BIVINGTON, LD., ST. JOHN'S HOUSE, CLEBKBNWELL, 



r 






F'L ^-k- i 



PR Le Fanu, Joseph Sheridan 

4879 The Cock and Anchor 

L7C6 

1895 



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