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THE GUNPOWDER TREASON,
AN HISTORICAL ROMANCE
AVILLIAM HARRISON AINSVORTH.
AUTHOR OF THE " TOWER OF LONDON." F.TC,
' You shall swear by the blessed Trinity, and bj tht sacrament you now propo*
to receive, n^cr to disclose directly o> indirectly, by word or circumstame,
the matter mat shall be proposed to 'you to keep secret; nor desist from the
execution thereof till the rest shall give you leave."
oath of the Conspirators.
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS liY GEORGE CRUIKSHANK
IN THREE VOLUMES.
RICH- *r> BENTLEY, NEW BURLINGTON STREET.
KINGSTON LISLE, BERKS.
My dear Mrs. Hughes,
You are aware that this Romance was brought
to a close during my last brief visit at King-
ston Lisle, when the time necessary to be de-
voted to it deprived me of the full enjoyment
of your society, and, limiting my range — no
very irksome restriction, — to your own charm-
ing garden and grounds, prevented me from
accompanying you in your walks to your fa-
vourite and beautiful downs. This circum-
. stance, which will suffice to give it some in-
terest in your eyes by associating it with your
residence, furnishes me with a plea, of which I
gladly avail myself, of inscribing it with your
name, and of recording, at the same time, the
high sense I entertain of your goodness and
worth, the value I set upon your friendship, — a
friendship shared in common with some of the
most illustrious writers of our time, — and the
gratitude I shall never cease to feel for atten-
tions and kindnesses little less than maternal,
which I have experienced at your hands.
In the hope that you may long continue to
diffuse happiness round your own circle, and
contribute to the instruction and delight of the
many attached friends with whom you main-
tain so active and so interesting a correspon-
dence ; and that you may live to see your
grandsons fulfil their present promise, and tread
in the footsteps of their high-minded and excel-
lent-hearted father, — and of his father! I
Your affectionate and obliged friend,
W. Harrison Ainsworth.
Kensal Manor House, Harrow Road,
July 26, 1841.
The tyrannical measures adopted against the
Roman Catholics in the early part of the reign
of James the First, when the severe penal en-
actments against recusants were revived, and
with additional rigour, and which led to the
remarkable conspiracy about to be related,
have been so forcibly and faithfully described
by Doctor Lingard,* that the following extract
from his history will form a fitting introduction
to the present work.
" The oppressive and sanguinary code framed
in the reign of Elizabeth, was re-enacted to its
full extent, and even improved with additional
severities. Every individual who had studied or
resided, or should afterwards study or reside in
any college or seminary beyond the sea, was
rendered incapable of inheriting, or purchasing,
or enjoying lands, annuities, chattels, debts, or
* Vide History of England, vol ix. New Edition.
sums of money, within the realm ; and as mis-
sionaries sometimes eluded detection under the
disguise of tutors, it was provided that no man
should teach even the rudiments of grammar
in public or in private, without the previous
approbation of the diocesan.
" The execution of the penal laws enabled the
king, by an ingenious comment, to derive con-
siderable profit from his past forbearance. It
was pretended that he had never forgiven the
penalties of recusancy ; he had merely for-
bidden them to be exacted for a time, in the
hope that this indulgence would lead to con-
formity ; but his expectations had been de-
ceived ; the obstinacy of the Catholics had
grown with the lenity of the sovereign ; and,
as they were unworthy of further favour, they
should now be left to the severity of the law.
To their dismay, the legal fine of twenty
pounds per lunar month was again demanded,
and not only for the time to come, but for
the whole period of the suspension ; a demand
which, by crowding thirteen payments into
one, reduced many families of moderate, in-
comes to a state of absolute beggary. Nor
was this all. James was surrounded by num-
bers of his indigent countrymen. Their habits
were expensive, their wants many, and their
importunities incessant. To satisfy the more
clamorous, a new expedient was devised. The
king transferred to them his claims on some
of the more opulent recusants, against whom
they were at liberty to proceed by law, in
his name, unless the sufferers should submit
to compound by the grant of an annuity for
life, or the immediate payment of a considerable
sum. This was at a time when the jealousies
between the two nations had reached a height,
of which, at the present day, we have but
little conception. Had the money been carried
to the royal coffers, the recusants would have
had sufficient reason to complain ; but that
Englishmen should be placed by their king
at the mercy of foreigners, that they should
be stripped of their property to support the
extravagance of his Scottish minions, this added
indignity to injustice, exacerbated their already
wounded feelings, and goaded the most mo-
derate almost to desperation." From this de-
plorable state of things, which is by no means
over-coloured in the above description, sprang
the Gunpowder Plot.
The county of Lancaster has always abound-
ed in Catholic families, and at no period were
the proceedings of the ecclesiastical commis-
sioners more rigorous against them than at that
under consideration. Manchester, "the Goshen
of this Egypt," as it is termed by the fiery zealot,
Warden Hey rick, being the place where all
the recusants were imprisoned, the scene of
the early part of this history has been laid in
that town and its immediate neighbourhood.
For the introduction of the munificent founder
of the Blue Coat Hospital into a tale of this
description I ought, perhaps, to apologize, but
if I should succeed by it in arousing my fellow-
townsmen to a more lively appreciation of the
great benefits they have derived from him, I
shall not regret what I have written.
In Viviana Radcliffe I have sought to portray
the loyal and devout Catholic, such as I con-
ceive the character to have existed at the
period. In Catesby, the unscrupulous and
ambitious plotter, masking his designs under
the cloak of religion. In Garnet, the subtle,
and yet sincere Jesuit. And in Fawkes the
gloomy and superstitious enthusiast. One doc-
trine I have endeavoured to enforce through-
out, — Toleration.
From those who have wilfully misinterpreted
one of my former productions, and have at-
tributed to it a purpose and an aim utterly
foreign to my own intentions, I can scarcely
expect fairer treatment for the present work.
But to that wider and more discriminating
class of readers from whom I have experienced
so much favour and support, I confidently com-
mit these volumes, certain of meeting with
leniency and impartiality.
Book tljc dfust.
I. AN EXECUTION IN MANCHESTER, AT THE BE"
GINNING OF THE SEVENTEENTH 1
THE SEA UC II .
CHAT -MOSS ....
THE MAGIC GLASS
THE PRISON ON SALFORD BRIDGE
THE FATE OF THE PURSUIVANT
Chapter Pa £ e
XL THE PILGRIMAGE TO SAINT WINIFRED'S WELL . 189
XII. THE VISION
XIII. THE CONSPIRATORS
XIV. THE PACKET .
XV. THE ELIXIR
ILLUSTRATIONS TO GUY FAWKES.
Guy Fawkes and Clietham rescuing Father Oldeorne
and Viviana . . to face the Title.
Guy Fawkes in Ordsall Cave . . Page 30
Guy Fawkes discovers Dr. Dee disinterring the body
of Elizabeth Orton .... 131
Dr. Dee exhibiting his magical skill to Guy Fawkes 11)2
Vision of Guy Fawkes at St. Winifred's Well . 21 9
Guy Fawkes preventing Sir William Radcliffe from
joining the conspiracy . . . 252
Dr. Dee resuscitating Guy Fawkes . . . 301
Guy Fawkes keeping watch upon Tresham and Lord
Mounteagle . . .to face the Title.
Guy Fawkes protecting Chetham from Catesby Page 44
Viviana imploring Guy Fawkes to abandon the con-
spiracy . . . . . 76
Guy Fawkes and Catesby landing the powder . 11$
Guy Fawkes and the other Conspirators alarmed 175
ia examined by the Earl of Salisbury, &c. in the
Star Chamber ....
Guy Fawkes laying the train . . . 305
Execution of Guy Fawkes . to face the Title.
Guy Fawkes arrested by Sir Thomas Knevett and
Topcliffe .... Page 46
Guy Fawkes interrogated by King James the First 87
Guy Fawkes subscribing his examination after the
torture .... 125
The explosion at Holbeach . . 178
Death of Catesby .... 203
Discovery of Garnet and Oldcorne at Hendlip . 268
Death of Viviana ...... 324
33oofc tf)t d?trst,
Their searches are many and severe. They come either in the ni^ht
or early in the morning, and ever seek their opportunity, when the Ca-
tholics are or would be best occupied, or are likely to be worse provided
or look for nothing. They willingliest come when few are at home to
resist them, that they may rifle coders, and do what they list. They lock
up the servants, and the mistress of the house, and the whole family,
in a room by themselves, while they, like young princes, go rifling the
house at their will.
Letter to Verstegan, ap. Stonyhurst MSS.
What a thing is it for a Catholic gentleman to have his house suddenly
beset on all sides with a number of men in arms, both horse and foot!
and not only his house and gardens, and such enclosed places all beset,
but all highways laid, for some miles near unto him, that none shall pass,
but they shall be examined ! Then are these searchers oft-times so rude
and barbarous, that, if the doors be not opened in the instant they would
enter, they break open the doors with all violence, as if they were to
sack a town of enemies won by the sword.
Father Gerard's MS.
AN EXECUTION IN MANCHESTER, AT THE BEGINNING OF THE
More than two hundred and thirty-five years
ago, or, to speak with greater precision, in 1605,
at the latter end of June, it was rumoured one
morning in Manchester that two seminary priests,
condemned at the late assizes under the severe
penal enactments then in force against the Pa-
pists, were about to suffer death on that day.
Attracted by the report, large crowds flocked to-
wards the place of execution, which, in order to
give greater solemnity to the spectacle, had been
fixed at the southern gate of the old Collegiate
Church, where a scaffold was erected. Near it
was a large blood-stained block, the use of which
will be readily divined, and adjoining the block,
4 GUY FAWKES.
upon a heap of blazing coals, smoked a caldron
filled with boiling pitch, intended to receive the
quarters of the miserable sufferers.
The place was guarded by a small band of
soldiers, fully accoutred in corslets and morions,
and armed with swords, half-pikes, and calivers.
Upon the steps of the scaffold stood the execu-
tioner, — a square-built, ill-favoured personage,
busied in arranging a bundle of straw upon the
boards. He was dressed in a buff jerkin, and
had a long-bladed, two-edged knife thrust into
his girdle. Besides these persons, there was a
pursuivant, — an officer appointed by the Privy
Council to make search throughout the provinces
for recusants, Popish priests, and other religious
offenders. He was occupied at this moment in
reading over a list of suspected persons.
Neither the executioner nor his companions
appeared in the slightest degree impressed by the
butcherly business about to be enacted ; for the
former whistled carelessly as he pursued his task,
while the latter laughed and chatted with the
crowd, or jestingly pointed their matchlocks at
the jackdaws wheeling above them in the sunny
EXECUTION AT MANCHESTER. O
air, or perching upon the pinnacles and tower of
the neighbouring fane. Not so the majority of
the assemblage. Most of the older and wealthier
families in Lancashire still -continuing to adhere
to the ancient faith of their fathers, it will not be
wondered that many of their dependants should
follow their example. And, even of those who
were adverse to the creed of Rome, there were
few who did not murmur at the rigorous system
of persecution adopted towards its professors.
At nine o'clock, the hollow rolling of a muf-
fled drum was heard at a distance. The deep
bell of the church began to toll, and presently
afterwards the mournful procession was seen ad-
vancing from the market-place. It consisted of
a troop of mounted soldiers, equipped in all re-
spects like those stationed at the scaffold, with
their captain at their head, and followed by two
of their number with hurdles attached to their
steeds, on which were tied the unfortunate vic-
tims. Both were young men — both apparently
prepared to meet their fate with firmness and re-
signation. They had been brought from Rad-
cliffe Hall — an old moated and fortified mansion
6 GUY FAWKES.
belonging to a wealthy family of that name, situ-
ated where the close, called Pool Fold now
stands, and then recently converted into a place
of security for recusants ; the two other prisons in
Manchester — namely, the New Fleet on Hunt's
Bank, and the gaol on Salford Bridge, — not
being found adequate to the accommodation of
the numerous religious offenders.
By this time, the cavalcade had reached the
place of execution. The soldiers drove back the
throng with their pikes, and cleared a space in
front of the scaffold ; when, just as the cords that
bound the limbs of the priests were unfastened,
a woman in a tattered woollen robe, with a hood
partially drawn over her face, — the features of
which, so far as they could be discerned, were
sharp and attenuated, — a rope girded round her
waist, bare feet, and having altogether the ap-
pearance of a sister of Charity, sprang forward,
and flung herself on her knees beside them.
Clasping the hem of the garment of the nearest
priest, she pressed it to her lips, and gazed earn-
estly at him, as if imploring a blessing.
" You have your wish, daughter,' 1 said the
EXECUTION AT MANCHESTER.
priest, extending his arms over her. " Heaven
and Our Lady bless you ! "
The woman then turned towards the other
victim, who was audibly reciting the Miserere.
"Back, spawn of Antichrist !" interposed a
soldier, rudely thrusting her aside. " Don't you
see you disturb the father's devotions ? He has
enough to do to take care of his own soul without
" Take this, daughter," cried the priest who
had been first addressed, offering her a small
volume, which he took from his vest, " and fail
not to remember in your prayers the sinful soul
of Robert Woodroofe, a brother of the order of
The woman put out her hand to take the book ;
but before it could be delivered to her, it was
seized by the soldier.
IC Your priests have seldom anything to leave
behind them," he shouted, with a brutal laugh,
" except some worthless and superstitious relic
of a saint or martyr. What 's this ? Ah ! a
breviary — a mass-book. I 've too much regard
for your spiritual welfare to allow you to re-
8 GUY FAWKES
ceive it," he added, about to place it in his
" Give it her," exclaimed a young man, snatch-
ing it from him, and handing it to the woman,
who disappeared as soon as she had obtained pos-
session of it.
The soldier eyed the new-comer as if disposed
to resent the interference, but a glance at his
apparel, which, though plain, and of a sober hue,
was rather above the middle class, as well as a
murmur from the crowd, who were evidently dis-
posed to take part with the young man, induced
him to stay his hand. He, therefore, contented
himself with crying, " A recusant ! a Papist !"
"I am neither recusant nor Papist, knave ! "
replied the other, sternly ; u and I counsel you
to amend your manners, and show more hu-
manity, or you shall find I have interest enough
to procure your dismissal from a service which
you disgrace. 1 '
This reply elicited a shout of applause from the
" Who is that bold speaker? 11 demanded the
pursuivant from one of his attendants.
EXECUTION AT MANCHESTER. y
" Humphrey Chetliam of CrumpsaU,' 1 answer-
ed the man ; " son to one of the wealthiest mer-
chants of the town, and a zealous upholder of the
true faith. 11
" He has a strange way of showing his zeal,' 1
rejoined the pursuivant, entering the answer in
his note-book. " And who is the woman he
" A half-crazed being called Elizabeth Orton,"
replied the attendant. " She was scourged and
tortured during Queen Elizabeth's reign for pre-
tending to the gift of prophecy, and wa§ com-
pelled to utter her recantation within yonder
church. Since then she has never opened her
" Indeed ! " exclaimed the pursuivant : " I
will engage to make her speak, and to some pur-
pose. Where does she live P 11
" In a cave on the banks of the Irw ell, near
Ordsall' Hall, 11 replied the attendant. " She
subsists on the chance contributions of the cha-
ritable ; but she solicits nothing, — and, indeed, is
seldom seen. 11
" Her cave must be searched, 11 observed the
10 GUY FAWKES.
pursuivant ; " it may be the hiding-place of a
priest. Father Campion was concealed in such
another spot at Stonor Park, near Henley-on-
Thames, where he composed his 'Decern Ra-
tiones ,*' and, for a long time, eluded the vigilance
of the commissioners. — We shall pass it in our
way to Ordsall Hall to-night, shall we not?"
The attendant nodded an affirmative.
" If we surprise Father Oldcorne," continued
the pursuivant, " and can prove that Sir William
Radcliffe and his daughter, both of whom are
denounced in my list, are harbourers and shel-
terers of recusants, we shall have done a good
At this moment, an officer advanced, and com-
manded the priests to ascend the scaffold.
As Father Woodroofe, who was the last to
mount, reached the uppermost step, he turned
round and cried in a loud voice, " Good people,
I take you all to witness that I die in the true
Catholic religion, and that I rejoice and thank
God with all my soul, that he hath made me wor-
thy to testify my faith therein by shedding my
blood in this manner." He then advanced to-
EXECUTION AT MANCHESTER. 11
wards the executioner, who was busied in adjust-
ing the cord round his companion's throat, and
said, " God forgive thee — do thine office quick-
ly ;" adding in a lower tone, M Asperge me,
Domine ; Domine, miserere met ! "
And, amid the deep silence that ensued, the
executioner performed his horrible task.
The execution over, the crowd began to sepa-
rate slowly, and various opinions were expressed
respecting the revolting and sanguinary spectacle
just witnessed. Many, who condemned — and
the majority did so — the extreme severity of
the laws by which the unfortunate priests had
just suffered, uttered their sentiments with ex-
treme caution ; but there were some whose feel-
ings had been too much excited for prudence, and
who inveighed loudly and bitterly against the
spirit of religious persecution then prevailing ;
while a few others of an entirely opposite persua-
sion looked upon the rigorous proceedings adopt-
ed against the Papists, and the punishment now
inflicted upon their priesthood, as a just retribu-
tion for their own severities during the reign of
Mary. In general, the common people enter-
12 GUY FAWKES.
tained a strong prejudice against the Catholic
party, — for, as it has been shrewdly observed,
" they must ever have some object to hate ; here-
tofore it was the Welsh, the Scots, or the Spa-
niards, but now in these latter times only the
Papists ;" but in Manchester, near which, as has
been already stated, so many old and important
families, professing that religion, resided, the case
was widely different ; and the mass of the inha-
bitants were favourably inclined towards them.
It was the knowledge of this feeling that induced
the commissioners, appointed to superintend the
execution of the enactments against recusants, to
proceed with unusual rigour in this neighbour-
The state of the Roman Catholic party at the
period of this history, was indeed most grievous.
The hopes they had indulged of greater toleration
on the accession of James the First, had been
entirely destroyed. The persecutions, suspended
during the first year of the reign of the new mon-
arch, were now renewed with greater severity
than ever ; and though their present condition
was deplorable enough, it was feared that worse
EXECUTION AT MANCHESTER. 13
remained in store for tliem. " They bethought
themselves,"" writes Bishop Goodman, " that now
their case was far worse than in the time of Queen
Elizabeth ; for they did live in some hope that
after the old woman's life, they might have some
mitigation, and even those who did then perse-
cute them were a little more moderate, as being
doubtful what times might succeed, and fearing
their own case. But, now that they saw the
times settled, having no hope of better days, but
expecting that the uttermost rigour of the law
should be executed, they became desperate : find-
ing that by the laws of the kingdom their own
lives were not secured, and for the carrying over
of a priest into England it was no less than high
treason. A gentlewoman was hanged only for re-
lieving and harbouring a priest ; a citizen was
hanged only for being reconciled to the Church of
Rome ; besides, the penal laws were such, and so
executed, that they could not subsist. What
was usually sold in shops and usually bought, this
the pursuivant would take away from them as
being Popish and superstitious. One knight did
affirm that in one term he gave twenty nobles in
14 GUY FAWKES.
rewards to the door-keeper of the Attorney-gene-
ral ; another did affirm, that his third part which
remained unto him of his estate did hardly serve
for his expense in law to defend him from other
oppressions; besides their children to be taken
from home, to be brought up in another religion.
So they did every way conclude that their estate
was desperate ; they could die but once, and
their religion was more precious unto them than
their lives. They did further consider their mi-
sery ; how they were debarred in any course of
life to help themselves. They could not practise
law, — they could not be citizens, — they could
have no office ; they could not breed up their
sons — none did desire to match with them ; they
had neither fit marriages for their daughters, nor
nunneries to put them into ; for those few which
are beyond seas are not considerable in respect
of the number of recusants, and none can be ad-
mitted into them without great sums of money,
which they, being exhausted, could not supply.
The Spiritual Court did not cease to molest them,
to excommunicate them, then to imprison them ;
and thereby they were utterly disenabled to sue
EXECUTION AT MANCHESTER. 15
for their own." Such is a faithful picture of the
state of the Catholic party at the commencement
of the reign of James the First.
Pressed down by these intolerable grievances,
is it to be wondered at that the Papists should
repine, — or that some among their number, when
all other means failed, should seek redress by
darker measures ? By a statute of Elizabeth, all
who refused to conform to the established religion
were subjected to a fine of twenty pounds a lunar
month ; and this heavy penalty, remitted, or
rather suspended, on the accession of the new
sovereign, was again exacted, and all arrears
claimed. Added to this, James, whose court was
thronged by a host of needy Scottish retainers,
assigned to them a certain number of wealthy
recusants, and empowered them to levy the fines,
— a privilege of which they were not slow to
avail themselves. There were other pains and
penalties provided for by the same statute, which
were rigorously inflicted. To withdraw, or seek
to withdraw another from the established religion
was accounted high treason, and punished accord-
ingly ; to hear mass involved a penalty of one
16 GUY FAWKES.
hundred marks and a year's imprisonment ; and to
harbour a priest, under the denomination of a
tutor, rendered the latter liable to a year's im-
prisonment, and his employer to a fine of ten
pounds a-month. Impressed with the belief that,
in consequence of the unremitting persecutions
which the Catholics underwent in Elizabeth's
time, the religion would be wholly extirpated,
Doctor Allen, a Lancashire divine, who after-
Wards received a cardinal's hat, founded a college
at Douay, for the reception and education of
those intending to take orders. From this uni-
versity a number of missionary priests, or semi-
narists, as they were termed, were annually sent
over to England ; and it was against these per-
sons, who submitted to every hardship and priva-
tion, to danger, and death itself, for the welfare
of their religion, and in the hope of propagating
its doctrines, that the utmost rigour of the penal
enactments was directed. Among the number
of seminarists despatched from Douay, and capi-
tally convicted under the statute above-men-
tioned, were the two priests whose execution has
just been narrated.
EXECUTION AT MANCHESTER. 17
As a portion of the crowd passed over the old
bridge across the Irwell connecting Manchester
with Salford, on which stood an ancient chapel
erected by Thomas de Booth, in the reign of
Edward the Third, and recently converted into a
prison for recusants, they perceived the pro-
phetess, Elizabeth Orton, seated upon the stone
steps of the desecrated structure, earnestly peru-
sing the missal given her by Father Woodroofe.
A mob speedily collected round her ; but, un-
conscious seemingly of their presence, the poor
woman turned over leaf after leaf, and pursued
her studies. Her hood was thrown back, and
discovered her bare and withered neck, over
which her dishevelled hair streamed in long sable
elf-locks. Irritated by her indifference, several
of the by-standers, who had questioned her as to
the nature of her studies, began to mock and jeer
her, and endeavoured by plucking her robe, and
casting little pebbles at her, to attract her atten-
tion. Roused at length by these annoyances, she
arose ; and fixing her large black eyes menacingly
upon them, was about to stalk away, when they
surrounded and detained her.
18 GUY FAWKES.
" Speak to us, Bess," cried several voices.
" Prophesy — prophesy/'
" I will speak to you," replied the poor wo-
man, shaking her hand at them, " I will prophesy
to you. And mark me, though ye believe me
not, my words shall not fall to the ground."
" A miracle ! a miracle ! " shouted the by-
standers. " Bess Orton, who has been silent for
twenty years, has found her tongue at last."
" I have seen a vision, and dreamed a dream,"
continued the prophetess. " As I lay in my cell
last night, meditating upon the forlorn state of
our religion, and of its professors, methought
nineteen shadowy figures stood before me — ay,
nineteen — for I counted them thrice — and when
I questioned them as to their coming, — for my
tongue, at first, clove to the roof of my mouth,
and my lips refused their office, — one of them
answered in a voice which yet rings in my ears,
' We are the chosen deliverers of our fallen and
persecuted church. To us is intrusted the re-
building of her temples, — to our hands is com-
mitted the destruction of her enemies. The
work will be done in darkness and in secret, —
EXECUTION AT MANCHESTER. 19
with toil and travail, — but it will at length be
made manifest ; and when the hour is arrived, our
vengeance will be terrible and exterminating.' 1
With these words, they vanished from my sight.
Ah !" she exclaimed, suddenly starting, and pass-
ing her hand across her brow, as if to clear her
sight, " it was no dream — no vision. I see one
of them now."
" Where ? where ?" cried several voices.
The prophetess answered by extending her
skinny arm towards some object immediately be-
All eyes were instantly turned in the same
direction, when they beheld a Spanish soldier —
for such his garb proclaimed him — standing at a
few paces 1 distance from them. He was wrapped
in an ample cloak, with a broad-leafed steeple-
crowned hat, decorated with a single green feather,
pulled over his brows, and wore a polished-steel
brigandine, trunk loose, and buff boots drawn up
to the knees. His arms consisted of a brace of
petronels thrust into his belt, whence a long
rapier depended. His features were dark as
bronze, and well-formed, though strongly marked,
20 GUY FAWKES.
and had an expression of settled sternness. His
eyes were grey and penetrating, and shaded by
thick beetle-brows ; and his physiognomy was
completed by a black peaked beard. His person
was tall and erect, and his deportment soldier-like
and commanding. Perceiving he had become an
object of notice, the stranger cast a compassionate
look at the prophetess, who still remained gazing
fixedly at him, and throwing her a few pieces of
money, strode away.
Watching his retreating figure till it disap-
peared from view, the crazed woman tossed her
arms wildly in the air, and cried, in a voice of
exultation, " Did I not speak the truth ? — did I
not tell you I had seen him ? He is the de-
liverer of our church, and is come to avenge the
righteous blood which hath been this day shed."
" Peace, woman, and fly while there is yet
time,'" cried the young man who had been desig-
nated as Humphrey Chetham. " The pursuivant
and his myrmidons are in search of you."
" Then they need not go far to find me,""
replied the prophetess. " I will tell them what
I told these people, that the day of bloody retri-
EXECUTION AT MANCHESTER. 21
bution is at hand, — that the avenger is arrived.
I have seen him twice, — once in my cave, and
once again here, — even where you stand."
" If you do not keep silence and fly, my poor
creature," rejoined Humphrey Chetham, " you
will have to endure what you suffered years ago,
— stripes, and perhaps torture. Be warned by
me — ah ! it is too late. He is approaching."
" Let him come," replied Elizabeth Orton, " I
am ready for him."
" Can none of you force her away ? " cried
Humphrey Chetham, appealing to the crowd;
" I will reward you."
" I will not stir from this spot," rejoined the
prophetess, obstinately ; w I will testify to the
The kind-hearted young merchant, finding any
further attempt to preserve her fruitless, drew
By this time, the pursuivant and his attendants
had come up. "Seize her!" cried the former,
" and let her be placed within this prison till I
have reported her to the commissioners. If you
will confess to me, woman," he added in a whis-
%% GUY FAWKES.
per to her, " that you have harboured a priest, and
will guide us to his hiding-place, you shall be
" I know of no priests but those you iiave
murdered," returned the prophetess, in a loud
voice, " but I will tell you something that you
wot not of. The avenger of blood is at hand.
I have seen him. All here have seen him. And
you shall see him — but not now — not now."
" What is the meaning of this raving?" de-
manded the pursuivant.
" Pay no heed to her talk," interposed Hum-
phrey Chetham ; " she is a poor crazed being,
who knows not what she says. I will be surety
for her inoffensive conduct."
" You must give me surety for yourself, sir,"
replied the pursuivant. " I have just learnt
that you were last night at Ordsall Hall, the seat
of that ' dangerous temporiser,' — for so he is de-
signated in my warrant, — Sir William Radcliffe.
And if report speaks truly, you are not altogether
insensible to the charms of his fair daughter,
" What is this to thee, thou malapert knave ?"
EXECUTION AT MANCHESTER. 23
cried Humphrey Chetham, reddening partly from
anger, partly, it might be, from another emotion.
" Much, as you shall presently find, good
Master Wolf-in-sheep's-clothing," retorted the
pursuivant ; "if you prove not a rank Papist at
heart then do I not know a true man from a false."
This angry conference was cut short by a pier-
cing scream from the prophetess. Breaking from
the grasp of her captors, who were about to force
her into the prison, she sprang with a single
bound upon the parapet of the bridge ; and utterly
regardless of her dangerous position, turned, and
faced the soldiers, who were struck mute with
" Tremble ! " she cried in a loud voice, —
" tremble, ye evil-doers ! Ye who have despoil-
ed the house of God, — have broken his altars, —
scattered his incense, — slain his priests. Trem-
ble, I say. The avenger is arrived. The bolt is
in his hand. It shall strike king, lords, com-
mons, — all ! These- are my last words, — take
them to heart."
" Drag her off ! " roared the pursuivant,
24 GUY FAWKES.
" Use care — use gentleness, if ye are men !"
cried Humphrey Chetham.
" Think not you can detain me!" cried the
prophetess. " Avaunt, and tremble !"
So saying she flung herself from the parapet.
The height from which she fell was about fifty
feet. Dashed into the air like jets from a foun-
tain by the weight and force of the descending
body, the water instantly closed over her. But
she rose to the surface of the stream, about twenty
yards below the bridge.
" She may yet be saved," cried Humphrey
Chetham, who with the by-standers had hurried
to the side of the bridge.
" You will only preserve her for the gallows,"
observed the pursuivant.
44 Your malice shall not prevent my making
the attempt," replied the young merchant.
" Ha ! assistance is at hand."
The exclamation was occasioned by the sudden
appearance of the soldier in the Spanish dress,
who rushed towards the left bank of the river,
which was here, as elsewhere, formed of red sand-
stone rock, and following the course of the cur-
EXECUTION AT MANCHESTER. 25
rent, awaited the next appearance of the drowning
woman. It did not occur till she had been
carried a considerable distance down the stream,
when the soldier, swiftly divesting himself of his
cloak, plunged into the water, and dragged her
" Follow me, 11 cried the pursuivant to his
attendants. " I will not lose my prey."
But before he gained the bank of the river,
the soldier and his charge had disappeared, nor
could he detect any traces of them.
26 GUY FAWKES.
After rescuing the unfortunate prophetess
from a watery grave in the manner just related,
the soldier snatched up his cloak, and, taking
his dripping burthen in his arms, hurried swiftly
along the bank of the river, until he came to a
large cleft in the rock, into which he crept, taking
the prophetess with him, and thus eluded ob-
servation. In this retreat he continued upwards
of two hours, during which time the poor crea-
ture, to whom he paid every attention that cir-
cumstances would admit, had so far recovered as
to be able to speak. But it was evident that the
shock had been too much for her, and that she
was sinking fast. She was so faint that she conld
scarcely move ; but she expressed a strong desire
to reach her cell before she breathed her last.
ORDSALL CAVE. 27
Having described its situation as accurately as
she could to the soldier, — who before he ventured
forth peeped out to reconnoitre, — he again raised
her in his arms, and by her direction struck into
a narrow lane skirting the bank of the river.
Pursuing this road for about half a mile, he
arrived at the foot of a small knoll, covered by a
clump of magnificent beech-trees, and still acting
under the guidance of the dying woman, whose
voice grew more feeble each instant, he mounted
it, and from its summit took a rapid survey of
the surrounding country. On the opposite bank
of the river stood an old hall, while further on, at
some distance, he could perceive through the
trees the gables and chimneys of another ancient
u Raise me up," said Elizabeth Orton, as he
lingered on this spot for a moment. " In that
old house, which you see yonder, Hulme Hall, I
was born. I would willingly take one look at it
before I die."
" And the other hall which I discern through
the trees is Ordsall, is it not ? " inquired the
28 GUY FAWKES.
" It is," replied the prophetess. (l And now
let us make what haste we can. We have not
far to go ; and I feel I shall not last long. 11
Descending the eminence, and again entering
the lane, which here made a turn, the soldier
approached a grassy space, walled in on either
side by steep sandstone rocks. At the further
extremity of the enclosure, after a moment's
search, by the direction of his companion, he
found, artfully concealed by overhanging brush-
wood, the mouth of a small cave. He crept into
the excavation, and found it about six feet high,
and of considerable depth. The roof was orna-
mented with Runic characters and other grotesque
and half-effaced inscriptions, while the sides were
embellished with Gothic tracery, amid which the
letters I.H.S, carved in ancient church text, could
be easily distinguished. Tradition assigned the
cell to the priests of Odin, but it was evident that
worshippers at other and holier altars had more
recently made it their retreat. Its present occu-
pant had furnished it with a straw pallet and a
small wooden crucifix fixed in a recess in the wall.
Gently depositing her upon the pallet, the soldier
ORDSALL CAVE. 29
took a seat beside her on a stone slab at the foot
of the bed. He next, at her request, as the cave
was rendered almost wholly dark by the over-
hanging trees, struck a light, and set fire to a
candle placed within a lantern.
After a few moments passed in prayer, the
recluse begged him to give her the crucifix that
she might clasp it to her breast. This done, she
became more composed, and prepared to meet her
end. Suddenly, as if something had again dis-
turbed her, she opened wide her glazing eyes, and
starting up with a dying effort, stretched out her
61 I see him before them ! " she cried. " They
examine him, — they adjudge him ! Ah ! he is
now in a dungeon ! See, the torturers advance !
He is placed on the rack — once — twice — thrice
— they turn the levers ! His joints snap in their
sockets — his sinews crack ! Mercy ! he con-
fesses ! He is led to execution. I see him
ascend the scaffold !"
" Whom do you behold?" inquired the sol-
dier, listening to her in astonishment.
" His face is hidden from me," replied the
SO GUY FAWKES.
prophetess ; " but his figure is not unlike your
own. Ha ! I hear the executioner pronounce his
name. How are you called ?"
" Guy Fawkes," replied the soldier.
"It is the name I heard," rejoined Elizabeth
And, sinking backward, she expired.
Guy Fawkes gazed at her for some time till he
felt assured that the last spark of life had fled.
He then turned away, and placing his hand upon
his chin, became lost in deep reflection.
ju\( JWhL&s i I C&'
ORDSALL HALL. 31
Soon after sunset, on the evening of the events
previously related, the inmates of Ordsall Hall
were disturbed and alarmed (for in those times
of trouble any casual disturbance at night was
sufficient to occasion alarm to a Catholic family)
by a loud clamour for admittance from some one
stationed at the farther side of the moat, then, as
now, surrounding that ancient manorial residence.
The drawbridge being raised, no apprehension
was entertained of an attempt at forcible entrance
on the part of the intruder, who, so far as he
could be discerned in the deepening twilight,
rendered yet more obscure by the shade of the
trees under which he stood, appeared to be a
solitary horseman. Still, for fear of a surprise, it
was judged prudent by those inside the hall to
32 GUY FAWKES.
turn a deaf ear to the summons ; nor was it until
it had been more than once repeated in a per-
emptory tone that any attention was paid to it.
The outer gate was then cautiously opened by an
old steward, and a couple of serving-men, armed
with pikes and swords, who demanded the
stranger's business, and were answered that he
desired to speak with Sir William RadclifTe.
The steward rejoined that his master was not at
home, having set out the day before for Chester ;
but that even if he were, he would take upon
himself to affirm that no audience would be
given, on any pretence whatever, to a stranger
at such an unseasonable hour. To this the other
replied, in a haughty and commanding voice, that
he was neither a stranger to Sir William Rad-
clifTe, nor ignorant of the necessity of caution,
though in this instance it was altogether super-
fluous ; and, as notwithstanding the steward's
assertion to the contrary, he was fully persuaded
his master was at home, he insisted upon being
conducted to him without further parley, as his
business would not brook delay. In vain the
steward declared he had spoken the truth. The
ORDSALL HALL. 33
stranger evidently disbelieved him ; but, as he
could obtain no more satisfactory answer to his
interrogations, he suddenly shifted his ground,
and inquired whether Sir William's daughter,
Mistress Viviana, was likewise absent from home.
" Before I reply to the question, I must know
by whom and wherefore it is put?" returned the
" Trouble not yourself further, friend, but
deliver this letter to her," rejoined the horseman,
flinging a packet across the moat. "It is ad-
dressed to her father, but there is no reason why
she should not be acquainted with its contents."
" Take it up, Olin Birtwissel," cried the
steward, eyeing the packet which had fallen at
his feet suspiciously, — " take it up, I say, and
hold it to the light, that I may consider it well
before I carry it to our young mistress. I have
heard of strange treacheries practised by such
means, and care not to meddle with it." ,
" Neither do I, good Master Heydocke," re-
plied Birtwissel. " I would not touch it for a
twelvemonth's wages. It may burst, and spoil
my good looks, and so ruin my fortunes with the
34- GUY FAWKES.
damsels. But here is Jeff Gellibronde, who
having no beauty to lose, and being, moreover,
afraid of nothing, will pick it up for you."
" Speak for yourself, Olin," rejoined Gelli-
bronde, in a surly tone. " I have no more fancy
for a shattered limb, or a scorched face, than my
" Dolts !" cried the stranger, who had listened
to these observations with angry impatience, " if
you will not convey my packet, which has no-
thing more dangerous about it than an ordinary
letter, to your mistress, at least acquaint her that
Mr. Robert Catesby, of Ashby St. Legers, is
without, and craves an instant speech with her."
" Mr. Catesby!" exclaimed the steward, in
astonishment. " If it be indeed your worship,
why did you not declare yourself at once ? "
" I may have as good reason for caution as
yourself, Master Heydocke," returned Catesby,
" True, 1 ' rejoined the steward ; " but, me-
thinks, it is somewhat strange to find your wor-
ship here, when I am aware that my master ex-
pected to meet you, and certain other honourable
ORDSALL HALL. oo
gentlemen that you wot of, at a place in a clean
opposite direction, — Holywell, in Flintshire."
" The cause of my presence, since you desire
to be certified of the matter, is simply this,""
replied Catesby, urging his steed towards the
edge of the moat, while the steward advanced tg
meet him on the opposite bank, so that a few
yards only lay between them ; " I came round
by Manchester," he continued in a lower tone,
" to see if any assistance could be rendered
to the unfortunate fathers Woodroofe and For-
shawe ; but found on my arrival this morning that
I was too late, as they had just been executed."
" Heaven have mercy on their souls ! " ejacu-
lated Heydocke, shuddering, and crossing him-
self. " Yours was a pious mission, Mr. Cates-
by. Would it had been availing ! "
" I would so, too, with all my soul ! " rejoined
the other, fervently ; " but fate ordained it other-
wise. While I was in the town, I accidentally
learnt from one, who informed me he had just
parted with him, that your master was at home ;
and, fearing he might not be able to attend the
meeting at Holywell, I resolved to proceed hither
36 GUY FAWKES.
at nightfall, when my visit was not likely to be
observed ; having motives, which you may rea-
dily conjecture, for preserving the strictest secrecy
on the occasion. The letter was prepared in case
I should fail in meeting with him. And now
that I have satisfied your scruples, good master
steward, if Sir William be really within, I pray
you lead me to him forthwith. If not, your
young mistress must serve my turn, for I have
that to say which it imports one or other of them
" In regard to my master," replied the steward,
" he departed yesterday for Chester, on his way
to join the pilgrimage to St. Winifred's Well, as
I have already assured your worship. And who-
ever informed you to the contrary, spoke falsely.
But I will convey your letter and message to my
young mistress, and on learning her pleasure as
to receiving you, will instantly return, and report
it. These are dangerous times, your worship, — ■
dangerous times. A good Catholic knows not
whom to trust, there are so many spoilers abroad."
" How, sirrah f " cried Catesby, angrily, " do
you apply that observation to me ? "
ORDSALL HALL. 37
" Far be it from me," answered Heydocke,
respectfully, " to apply any observation that may
sound offensive to your worship, whom I know to
be a most worthy gentleman, and as free from
heresy, as any in the kingdom. I was merely
endeavouring to account for what may appear my
over-caution in detaining you where you are, till
I learn my lady's pleasure. It is a rule in this
house not to lower the drawbridge without orders
after sunset ; and I dare not, for my place, dis-
obey it. Young Mr. Humphrey Chetham, of
Crumpsall, was detained in the like manner no later
than last night ; and he is a visiter," he added, in
a significant tone, " who is not altogether unwel-
come to my mistress — ahem ! But duty is no
respecter of persons ; and in my master's absence
my duty is to protect his household. Your wor-
ship will pardon me."
" I will pardon anything but your loquacity
and tediousness, 11 rejoined Catesby, impatiently.
" About your errand quickly. 1 ''
" I am gone, your worship,'" returned the
steward, disappearing with his companions.
Throwing the bridle over his horse's neck, and
38 GUY FAWKES.-
allowing him to drink his fill from the water of
the moat, and afterwards to pluck a few mouth-
fuls of the long grass that fringed its brink,
Catesby abandoned himself to reflection. In a
few moments, as the steward did not return, he
raised his eyes, and fixed them upon the ancient
habitation before him, — ancient, indeed, it was
not at this time, having been in a great measure
rebuilt by its possessor, Sir William RadclifTe,
during the latter part of the reign of Elizabeth,
in the rich and picturesque style of that period.
Little could be distinguished of its projecting and
retiring wings, its walls decorated with black and
white chequer-work, the characteristic of the class
of architecture to which it belonged, or of its
magnificent embayed windows filled with stained
glass ; but the outline of its heavy roof, with its
numerous gables, and groups of tall and elabo-
rately-ornamented chimneys might be distinctly
traced in strong relief against the warm and still-
glowing western sky.
Though much gone to decay, grievously neg-
lected, and divided into three separate dwelling-
houses, Ordsall Hall still retains much of its
ORDSALL HALL. 39
original character and beauty ; and viewed at the
magic hour above described, when the changes
produced by the lapse of years cannot be de-
tected, it presents much the same striking ap-
pearance that it offered to the gaze of Catesby.
Situated on the north bank of the Irwell, which
supplies the moat with a constant stream of fresh
water, it commands on the south-west a beautiful
view of the winding course of the river here al-
most forming an island, of Trafford Park and its
hall, of the woody uplands beyond it, and of the
distant hills of Cheshire. The mansion itself is
an irregular quadrangle, covering a considerable
tract of ground. The gardens, once exquisitely
laid out in the formal taste of Elizabeth's days,
are also enclosed by the moat, surrounding (ex-
cept in the intervals where it is filled up) a space
of some acres in extent. At the period of this
history, it was approached on the north-east by a
noble avenue of sycamores, leading to within a
short distance of its gates.
As Catesby surveyed this stately structure, and
pondered upon the wealth and power of its owner,
his meditations thus found vent in words : — " If
40 GUY FAWKES.
I could but link Radcliffe to our cause, or win .
the hand of his fair daughter, and so bind him to
me, the great attempt could not fail. She has
refused me once. No matter. — I will persevere
till she yields. With Father Oldcorne to back
my suit, I am assured of success. She is neces-
sary to my purpose, and shall be mine. r>
Descended from an ancient Northamptonshire
family, and numbering among his ancestry the
well-known minister of the same name, who flou-
rished in the reign of Richard the .Third, Robert
Catesby, — at this time about forty, — had in his
youth led a wild and dissolute life ; and though
bred in the faith of Rome, he had for some years
abandoned its worship. In 1580, when the Je-
suits, Campion and Persons, visited England,
he was reconciled to the church he had quitted,
and thenceforth became as zealous a supporter and
promoter of its doctrines as he had heretofore
been their bitter opponent. He was now actively
engaged in all the Popish plots of the period, and
was even supposed to be connected with those
designs of a darker dye which were set on foot for
Elizabeth's destruction, — with Somerville's con-
ORDSALL HALL. 41
spiracy, — -with that of Arden and Throckmorton,
— the latter of whom was his uncle on the mater-
nal side, — with the plots of Bury and Savage,—
of Ballard, — and of Babington. After the exe-
cution of the unfortunate Queen of Scots, he
devoted himself to what was termed the Spanish
faction, and endeavoured to carry out the schemes
of a party, who, distrusting the vague promises of
James, were anxious to secure the succession to a
Catholic, — the Infanta of Spain, or the Duke of
Parma. On the insurrection of the Earl of
Essex, he took part with that ill-fated nobleman ;
and, though he escaped condign punishment for
the offence, he was imprisoned and heavily fined.
From this time his career ran in darker chan-
nels. " Hunger-starved for innovation," as he
is finely described by Camden, — imbued with the
fiercest religious fanaticism, — eloquent, wily, reso-
lute, — able alike to delude the powerful and inti-
midate the weak, — he possessed all the ingre-
dients of a conspirator. Associating with men
like himself, of desperate character and broken
fortunes, he was ever on the look out for some
means of retrieving his own condition, and re-
42 GUY FAWKES.
dressing the wrongs of his church. Well inform-
ed of the actual state of James's sentiments, when,
on that monarch's accession, confident hopes were
entertained by the Romanists of greater toleration
for their religion, Catesby was the first to point
out their mistake, and to foretel the season of
terrible persecution that was at hand. On this
persecution he grounded his hopes — hopes, never
realized, for the sufferers, amid all the grievances
they endured, remained constant in their fidelity
to the throne— of exciting a general insurrection
among the Catholics.
Disappointed in this expectation, — disappoint-
ed, also, in his hopes of Spain, of France, and of
aid from Rome, he fell back upon himself, and
resolved upon the execution of a dark and dreadful
project which he had long conceived, and which he
could execute almost single-handed, without aid
from foreign powers, and without the co-operation
of his own party. The nature of this project, which,
if it succeeded, would, he imagined, accomplish
all or more than his wildest dreams of ambition
or fanaticism had ever conceived, it will be the
business of this history to develope. Without
ORDSALL HALL. 43
going further into detail at present, it may be
mentioned that the success of the plot depended
so entirely on its secrecy, and so well aware was
its contriver of the extraordinary system of espi-
onage carried on by the Earl of Salisbury and the
Privy Council, that for some time he scarcely
dared to trust it out of his own keeping. At
length, after much deliberation, he communicated
it to five others, all of whom were bound to si-
lence by an oath of unusual solemnity ; and as
it was necessary to the complete success of the
conspiracy that its outbreak should be instan-
taneously followed by a rise on the part of the
Catholics, he darkly hinted that a plan was on
foot for their deliverance from the yoke of their
oppressors, and counselled them to hold them-
selves in readiness to fly to arms at a moment's
notice. But here again he failed. Few were
disposed to listen to him ; and of those who
did, the majority returned for answer, " that their
part was endurance, and that the only arms which
Christians could use against lawful powers in their
severity were prayers and tears."
Among the Popish party of that period, as in
44 GUY FAWKES.
our own time, were ranked many of the oldest
and most illustrious families in the kingdom, —
families not less remarkable for their zeal for their
religion than, as has before been observed, for
their loyalty ; — a loyalty afterwards approved in
the disastrous reign of James the Second, by their
firm adherence to what they considered the in-
defeasible right of inheritance. Plots, indeed,
were constantly hatched throughout the reigns of
Elizabeth and James by persons professing the
religion of Rome ; but in these the mass of the
Catholics had no share. And even in the seasons
of the bitterest persecution, when every fresh act
of treason, perpetrated by some lawless and dis-
affected individual, was visited with additional
rigour on their heads, — when the scaffold reeked
with their blood, and the stake smoked with their
ashes, — when their quarters were blackening on
the gates and market-crosses of every city in the
realm, — when their hearths were invaded, their
religion proscribed, and the very name of Papist
had become a by-word, — even in those terrible
seasons, as in the season under consideration, they
remained constant in their fidelity to the crown.
ORDSALL HALL. 45
From the troubled elements at work some
fierce and turbulent spirits were sure to arise, —
some gloomy fanatics who, having brooded over
their wrongs, real or imaginary, till they had lost
all scruples of conscience, hesitated at no means
of procuring redress. But it would be unjust to
hold up such persons as representatives of the
whole body of Catholics. Among the conspira-
tors themselves there were redeeming shades.
All were not actuated by the same atrocious
motives. Mixed feelings induced Catesby to
adopt the measure. Not so Guy Fawkes, who
had already been leagued with the design. One
idea alone ruled him. A soldier of fortune, but
a stern religious enthusiast, he supposed himself
chosen by Heaven for the redemption of his
Church, and cared not what happened to himself,
provided he accomplished his (as he conceived)
In considering the causes which produced the
conspiracy about to be related, and in separating
the disaffected party of the Papists from the tem-
perate, due weight must be given to the influence
of the priesthood. Of the Romish clergy there
46 GUY FAWKES.
were two classes — the secular priests, and the
Jesuits and missionaries. While the former, like
the more moderate of the laity, would have been
well-contented with toleration for their religion,
the latter breathed nothing but revenge, and de-
sired the utter subversion of the existing govern-
ment, — temporal as well as ecclesiastical. Men,
for the most part, of high intellectual powers, of
untiring energy, and unconquerable fortitude,
they were enabled by their zeal and ability to
make many proselytes. By their means, secret
correspondence was carried on with the different
courts of Europe ; and they were not without
hope that, taking advantage of some favourable
crisis, they should yet restore their church to its
former supremacy. To these persons, — who held
as a maxim, " Qui religionem Catholicam deserit
regnandi jus omne amisit" — Catesby and his
associates proved ready and devoted agents.
Through their instrumentality, they hoped to
accomplish the great work of their restoration.
To Father Garnet, the provincial of the English
Jesuits, of whom it will be necessary to speak
more fully hereafter, the plot had been revealed
ORDSALL HALL. 47
by Catesby under the seal of confession ; and,
though it subsequently became a question whe-
ther he was justified in withholding a se-
cret of such importance to the state, it is suf-
ficient for the present purpose to say that he did
withhold it. For the treasonable practices of the
Jesuits and their faction some palliation may per-
haps be found in the unrelenting persecution to
which they were subjected ; but if any excuse can
be admitted for them, what opinion must be
formed of the conduct of their temperate bre-
thren ? Surely, while the one is condemned,
admiration may be mingled with the sympathy
which must be felt for the unmerited sufferings of
the other !
x From the foregoing statement, it will be rea-
dily inferred that Sir William Radcliffe, a devout
Catholic, and a man of large possessions, though
somewhat reduced by the heavy fines imposed
upon him as a recusant, must have appeared an
object of importance to the conspirators ; nor will
it be wondered at, that every means were used to
gain him to their cause. Acting, however, upon
the principles that swayed the well-disposed of
48 GUY FAWKES.
his party, the knight resisted all these overtures,
and refused to take any share in proceedings from
which his conscience and loyalty alike revolted.
Baffled, but not defeated, Catesby returned to
the charge on a new point of assault. Himself a
widower (or supposed to be so), he solicited the
hand of the lovely Viviana Radcliffe, Sir Wil-
liam's only child, and the sole heiress of his
possessions. But his suit in this quarter was,
also, unsuccessful. The knight rejected the pro-
posal, alleging that his daughter had no inclina-
tion to any alliance, inasmuch as she entertained
serious thoughts of vowing herself to Heaven.
Thus foiled, Catesby ostensibly relinquished his
Shortly before the commencement of this his-
tory, a pilgrimage to Saint Winifred's Well, in
Flintshire, was undertaken by Father Garnet, the
provincial of the Jesuists before mentioned, in
company with several distinguished Catholic per-
sonages of both sexes, and to this ceremonial Sir
William and his daughter were urgently bidden.
The invitation was declined on the part of Vivi-
ana, but accepted by the knight, who, though
ORDSALL HALL. 49
unwilling to leave home at a period of so much
danger, or to commit his daughter to any care but
his own, even for so short a space, felt it to be
his duty to give countenance by his presence to
Accordingly, he departed for Chester on the
previous day, as stated by the steward. And,
though Catesby professed ignorance on the sub-
ject, and even affirmed he had heard to the con-
trary, it may be doubted whether he was not
secretly informed of the circumstance, and whe-
ther his arrival, at this particular conjuncture, was
Thus much in explanation of what is to follow.
— The course of Catesby's reflections was cut
short by the return of the steward, who, inform-
ing him that he had his mistress's commands to
admit him, immediately lowered the drawbridge
for that purpose. Dismounting, and committing
his steed to one of the serving-men, who advanced
to take it, Catesby followed his conductor through
a stone gateway, and crossing the garden, was
ushered into a spacious and lofty hall, furnished
with a long massy oak table, at the upper end of
VOL. I. D
50 GUY FAWKES.
which was a raised dais. At one side of the
chamber yawned a huge arched fire-place, gar-
nished with enormous andirons, on which smoul-
dered a fire composed of mixed turf and wood.
Above the chimney-piece hung a suit of chain-
armour, with the battle-axe, helmet, and gauntlets
of Sir John Radcliffe, the first possessor of Ords-
all, who flourished in the reign of Edward the
First : on the right, masking the entrance, stood
a magnificent screen of carved oak.
Traversing this hall, Heydocke led the way to
another large apartment ; and placing lights on a
Gothic-shaped table, offered a seat to the new-
comer, and departed. The room in which Cates-
by was left was termed the star-chamber — a
name retained to this day — from the circumstance
of its ceiling being moulded and painted to re-
semble the heavenly vault when studded with the
luminaries of night. It was terminated by a
deeply-embayed window filled with stained glass
of the most gorgeous colours. The walls, in
some places, were hung with arras, in others,
wainscoted with dark, lustrous oak, embellished
with scrolls, cyphers, and fanciful designs. The
ORDSALL HALL. 51
mantel-piece was of the same solid material,
curiously carved, and of extraordinary size. It
was adorned with the armorial bearings of the
family — two bends engrailed, and in chief a label
of three, — and other devices and inscriptions.
The hearth was considerably raised above the
level of the floor, and there was a peculiarity in
the construction of the massive wooden pillars
flanking it, that attracted the attention of Cates-
by, who rose with the intention of examining
them more narrowly, when he was interrupted by
the entrance of the lady of the mansion.
Advancing at a slow and dignified pace, Vi-
viana RadclifFe courteously but gravely saluted
her guest ; and, without offering him her hand,
motioned him to a chair, while she seated herself
at a little distance. Catesby had seen her twice
before; and whether the circumstances under
which they now met might have caused some
change in her demeanour he could not tell, but he
thought her singularly altered. A year ago, she
had been a lively, laughing girl of seventeen, with
a bright brown skin, dark flowing tresses, and
eyes as black and radiant as those of a gipsy.
52 GUY FAWKES.
She was now a grave, collected woman, infinitely
more beautiful, but wholly changed in character.
Her complexion had become a clear, transparent
white, and set off to great advantage her large,
luminous eyes, and jetty brows. Her figure was
tall and majestic ; her features regular, delicately
formed, and of the rarest 'and proudest class of
beauty. She was attired in a dress of black
wrought velvet, entirely without ornament except
the rosary at her girdle, with a small ebony cru-
cifix attached to it. She wore a close-fitting cap,
likewise of black velvet, edged with pearls, be-
neath which her raven tresses were gathered in
such a manner as to display most becomingly the
smooth and snowy expanse of her forehead. The
gravity of her manner, not less than her charms
of person, seemed to have struck Catesby mute.
He gazed on her in silent admiration for a brief
space, utterly forgetful of the object of his visit,
and the part he intended to play. During this
pause, she maintained the most perfect composure,
and fixing her dark eyes full upon him, appeared
to await the moment when he might choose to
open the conversation.
ORDSALL HALL. 53
Notwithstanding his age, and the dissolute and
distracted life he had led, Catesby was still good-
looking enough to have produced a favourable
impression upon any woman easily captivated by
manly beauty. The very expression of his mark-
ed and peculiar physiognomy, — in some degree an
index to his character, — was sufficient to rivet
attention ; and the mysterious interest generally
inspired by his presence was not diminished on
further acquaintance with him. Though some-
what stern in their expression, his features were
strikingly handsome, cast in an oval mould, and
clothed with the pointed beard and trimmed
mustaches invariably met with in the portraits
of Vandyck. His frame was strongly built, but
well proportioned, and seemed capable of endur-
ing the greatest fatigue. His dress was that of
an ordinary gentleman of the period, and con-
sisted of a doublet of quilted silk, of sober colour
and stout texture ; large trunk-hose swelling out
at the hips ; and buff boots, armed with spurs
with immense rowels. He wore a high and
stiffly-starched ruff round his throat; and his
apparel was completed by a short cloak of brown
54 GUY FAWKES.
cloth, lined with silk of a similar colour. His
arms were rapier and poniard, and his high-
crowned plumed hat, of the peculiar form then
in vogue, and looped on the " leer-side " with
a diamond clasp, was thrown upon the table.
Some little time having elapsed, during which
he made no effort to address her, Viviana broke
" I understood you desired to speak with me
on a matter of urgency, Mr. Catesby," she
" I did so," he replied, as if aroused from a
reverie ; " and I can only excuse my absence of
mind and ill manners, on the plea that the con-
templation of your charms has driven all other
matter out of my head."
" Mr. Catesby," returned Viviana, rising, " if
the purpose of your visit be merely to pay un-
merited compliments, I must at once put an end
" I have only obeyed the impulse of my
heart," resumed the other, passionately, " and
uttered what involuntarily rose to my lips. But,"
he added, checking himself, " I will not offend
ORDSALL HALL. 55
you with my admiration. If you have read my
letter to your father, you will not require to be
informed of the object of my visit. 11
" I have not read it, 11 replied Viviana, return*
ing him the packet with the seal unbroken. " I
can give no opinion on any matter of difficulty.
And I have no desire to know any secret with
which my father might not desire me to be ac-
" Are we overheard? 11 inquired Catesby, glan-
cing suspiciously at the fire-place.
" By no one whom you would care to overhear
us, 11 returned the maiden.
" Then it is as I supposed, 11 rejoined Catesby.
" Father Oldcorne is concealed behind that
Viviana smiled an affirmative.
" Let him come forth, I pray you, 11 returned
Catesby. " What I have to say concerns him
as much as yourself or your father ; and I would
gladly have his voice in the matter. 11
" You shall have it, my son, 11 replied a re-
verend personage, clad in a priestly garb, stepping
from out one side of the mantel-piece, which
56 GUY FAWKES.
flew suddenly open, disclosing a recess curiously
contrived in the thickness of the wall. " You
shall have it," said Father Oldcorne, for he it
was, approaching and extending his arms over
him. " Accept my blessing and my welcome.'"
Catesby received the benediction with bowed
head and bended knee.
" And now," continued the priest, " what has
the bravest soldier of our Church to declare to its
Catesby then briefly explained, as he had
before done to the steward, why he had taken
Manchester in his route to North Wales ; and,
after lamenting his inability to render any assist-
ance to the unfortunate priests, he went on to
state that he had accidentally learnt, from a few
words let fall by the pursuivant to his attendant,
that a warrant had been sent by the Earl of Sa-
lisbury for Sir William RadclifiVs arrest.
" My father's arrest ! " exclaimed Viviana,
trembling violently. " What — what is laid to
his charge ? "
" Felony," rejoined Catesby, sternly — " fe-
lony, without benefit of clergy — for so it is
ORDSALL HALL. 57
accounted by the present execrable laws of our
land, — in harbouring a Jesuit priest. If he is
convicted of the offence, his punishment will be
death — death on the gibbet, accompanied by in-
dignities worse than those shown to a common
" Holy Virgin ! " ejaculated Father Oldcorne,
lifting up his hands, and raising his eyes to
" From what I gathered the officers will visit
this house to-night," continued Catesby.
" Our Lady be praised, they will not find
him ! " cried Viviana, who had been thrown into
an agony of distress. M What is to be done in
this frightful emergency, holy father ? " she add-
ed, turning to the priest, with a supplicating look.
" Heaven only knows, dear daughter," replied
Oldcorne. " You had better appeal for counsel
to one who is more able to afford it than I am, —
Mr. Catesby. Well aware of the crafty devices
of our enemies, and having often eluded their
snares himself, he may enable you to escape them.
My own course is clear. I shall quit this roof
at once, deeply and bitterly regretting that by
58 GUY FAWKES.
entering it, I have placed those whom I hold so
dear, and from whom I have experienced so
much kindness, in such fearful jeopardy."
" Oh, no, father ! " exclaimed Viviana, " you
shall not go."
" Daughter," replied Oldcorne, solemnly, " I
have long borne the cross of Christ, — have long
endured the stripes, inflicted upon me by the
adversaries of our faith, in patience ; and my
last actions and last breath shall testify to the
truth of our holy religion. But, though I could
endure aught on my own account, I cannot con-
sent to bring misery and destruction upon others.
Hinder me not, dear daughter. I will go at
" Hold, father IV interposed Catesby. " The
step you would take may bring about what you
are most anxious to avoid. If you are discovered
and apprehended in this neighbourhood, suspicion
will still attach to your protectors, and the secret
of your departure will be wrung from some of the
more timid of the household. Tarry where you
are. Let the pursuivant make his search. I will
engage to baffle his vigilance."
ORDSALL HALL. 59
" He speaks the truth, dear father,''' returned
Viviana. " You must not — shall not depart.
There are plenty of hiding-places, as you know,
within the mansion. Let them be as rigorous as
they may in their search, they will not discover
" Whatever course you adjudge best for the
security of others I will pursue," rejoined Old-
corne, turning to Catesby. " Put me out of the
" My opinion has already been given, father,"
replied Catesby. " Remain where you are."
" But, if the officers should ascertain that my
father is at Chester, and pursue him thither ? "
cried Viviana, suddenly struck by a new cause of
" A messenger must be immediately despatch-
ed after him to give him warning," returned
" Will you be that messenger ? " asked the
" I would shed my heart's best blood to plea-
sure you," returned Catesby.
" Then I may count upon this service, for
60 GUY FAWKES.
which, rest assured, I will not prove ungrateful,"
M You may," answered Catesby. " And yet
I would, on Father Oldcorne's account, that my
departure might be delayed till to-morrow."
" The delay might be fatal," cried Viviana.
u You must be in Chester before that time."
" Doubt it not," returned Catesby. a Charged
with your wishes, the wind shall scarcely outstrip
So saying, he marched irresolutely towards the
door, as if about to depart, when, just as he had
reached it, he turned sharply round, and threw
himself at Viviana's feet.
" Forgive me, Miss Radcliffe," he cried, " if
I once again, even at a critical moment like the
present, dare to renew ray suit. I fancied I had
subdued my passion for you, but your presence
has awakened it with greater violence than ever."
" Rise, sir, I pray," rejoined the maiden, in an
" Hear me, I beseech you," continued Cates-
by, seizing her hand. " Before you reject my
suit, consider well that in these perilous seasons,
ORDSALL HALL. 61
when no true Catholic can call his life his own,
you may need a protector."
" In the event you describe, Mr. Catesby,"
answered Viviana, a I would at once fulfil the
intention I have formed of devoting myself to
Heaven, and retire to the convent of Benedictine
nuns, founded by Lady Mary Percy, at Brus-
" You would much more effectually serve the
cause of your religion by acceding to my suit," 1
observed Catesby, rising.
" How so ? " she inquired.
" Listen to me, Miss Radcliffe," he rejoined,
gravely, " and let my words be deeply graven
upon your heart. In your hands rests the destiny
of the Catholic Church/ 1
" In mine ! " exclaimed Viviana.
" In yours,*" returned Catesby. " A mighty
blow is about to be struck for her deliver-
ance. 1 '
M Ay, marry, is it," cried Oldcorne, with sud-
den fervour. " Redemption draweth nigh ; the
year of visitation approacheth to an end ; and
jubilation is at hand. England shall again be
62 GUY FAWKES.
called a happy realm, a blessed country, a reli-
gious people. Those who knew the former glory
of religion shall lift up their hands for joy to see
it returned again. Righteousness shall prosper,
and infidelity be plucked up by the root. False
error shall vanish like smoke, and they which saw
it shall say where is it become ? The daughters
of Babylon shall be cast down, and in the dust
lament their ruin. Proud heresy shall strike her
sail, and groan as a beast crushed under a cart-
wheel. The memory of novelties shall perish
with a crack, and as a ruinous house falling to
the ground. Repent, ye seducers, with speed,
and prevent the dreadful wrath of the Powerable.
He will come as flame that burneth out beyond
the furnace. His fury shall fly forth as thunder,
and pitch upon their- tops that malign him. They
shall perish in his fury, and melt like wax before
" Amen !" ejaculated Catesby, as the priest
concluded " You have spoken prophetically,
" I have but recited a prayer transmitted to
me by Father Garnet," rejoined Oldcorne.
ORDSALL HALL. 63
" Do you discern any hidden meaning in it ? "
" Yea, verily, my son," returned the priest.
" In the 'false error vanishing like smoke,'' —
in the 6 house perishing with a crack,' — and in
the ' fury flying forth as thunder, 1 — I read
the mode the great work shall be brought about."
" And you applaud the design ? " asked Cates-
" Non vero factum probo, sed eventum amo"
rejoined the priest.
a The secret is safe in your keeping, father?"
asked Catesby, uneasily.
" As if it had been disclosed to me in private
confession," replied Oldcorne.
" Hum ! " muttered Catesby. " Confessions
of as much consequence to the state have ere now
been revealed, father."
" A decree has been passed by his holiness,
Clement VIII, forbidding all such revelations,"
replied Oldcorne. " And the question has been
recently propounded by a learned brother of our
order, Father Antonio Delrio, who, in his Ma-
gical Disquisitions, putteth it thus : — s Supposing
64 GUY FAWKES.
a malefactor shall confess that he himself or some
other has laid Gunpowder, or the like combus-
tible matter, under a building — ' M
" Ha ! " exclaimed Catesby, starting,
" — 'And, unless it be taken away,'" proceeded
the priest, regarding him fixedly, " c the whole
house will be burnt, the prince destroyed, and as
many as go into or out of the city will come to
great mischief or peril ! ' " *
" Well !" exclaimed Catesby.
" The point then arises," continued Oldcome,
<c whether the priest may make use of the secret
thus obtained for the good of the government,
and the averting of such danger ; and, after fully
discussing it, Father Delrio decides in the ne-
" Enough," returned Catesby.
" By whom is the blow to be struck ?" asked
Viviana, who had listened to the foregoing dis-
course in silent wonder.
* Confitetur maleficus se vel alium posuisse pulverem
vel quid aliud sub tali limine, et nisi tollantur domum com-
burendam, principem interiturum, quotquot urbem egre-
dienturque in magnam perniciem aut periculum venturos. —
Delrio Disq. Mag., lib. vi. cap. i. \_Edit. 1G00.]
ORDSALL HALL. 65
" By me," answered Catesby. " It is for you
to nerve my arm.'"
" You speak in riddles," she replied. " I
understand you not."
" Question Father Oldcorne then, as to my
meaning," rejoined Catesby ; "he will tell you
that, allied to you, I could not fail in the enter-
prise on which I am engaged."
" It is the truth, dear daughter," Oldcorne
" I will not inquire further into this mystery,"
returned Viviana, u for such it is to me. But,
believing what you both assert, I answer, that
willingly as I would lay down my life for the
welfare of our holy religion, persuading myself,
as I do, that I have constancy enough to endure
martyrdom for its sake, — I cannot consent to your
proposal. Nay, if I must avouch the whole
truth," she continued, blushing deeply, "my
affections are already engaged, — though to one
with whom I can never hope to be united."
" You have your answer, my son," observed
Catesby replied with a look of the deepest mor-
66 GUY FAWKES.
tification and disappointment ; and, bowing coldly
to Viviana, said, " I now depart to obey your
behests, Miss Radcliffe."
" Commend me in all duty to my dear father,"
replied Viviana, " and believe that I shall for
ever feel bound to you for your zeal."
" Neglect not all due caution, father," ob-
served Catesby, glancing significantly at Oldcorne.
4< Forewarned, forearmed."
" Doubt me not, my son," rejoined the Jesuit.
" My prayers shall be for you.
Gentem auferte perfidam
Credentium de finibus,
Ut Christo laudes debitas
After receiving a parting benediction from the
priest, Catesby took his leave. His steed was
speedily brought to the door by the old steward ;
and mounting it, he crossed the drawbridge,
which was immediately raised behind him, and
hastened on his journey.
THE SEARCH. 67
Immediately after Catesby's departure, Hey-
docke was summoned to his mistress's presence.
He found her with the priest, and was informed
that in all probability the house would be visited
that night by the messengers of the Privy
Council. The old steward received the intelli-
gence as he might have done his death-warrant,
and looked so bewildered and affrighted, that
Viviana half repented having acquainted him
" Compose yourself, Master Heydocke," she
said, trying to reason him out of his fears ; " the
search may not take place. And if it does, there-
is nothing to be alarmed at. I am not afraid,
you perceive."' 1
" Nothing to be alarmed at, my dear young
68 GUY FAWKES.
lady ! " gasped the steward. " You have never
witnessed a midnight search for a priest by these
ruffianly catchpoles, as I have, or you would not
say so. Father Oldcorne will comprehend my
uneasiness, and excuse it. The miscreants break
into the house like robbers, and treat its inmates
worse than robbers would treat them. They
have no regard for decency, — no consideration for
sex, — no respect for persons. Not a chamber is
sacred from them. If a door is bolted, they
burst it open ; a cabinet locked, they tarry not
for the key. They pull down the hangings,
thrust their rapier-points into the crevices of the
wainscot, discharge their fire-arms against the
wall, and sometimes threaten to pull down the
house itself, if the object of their quest be not
delivered to them. Their oaths, abominations,
and menaces are horrible ; and their treatment of
females, even of your degree, honoured mistress,
too barbarous to relate. Poor Lady Ncvil died
of the fright she got by such a visit at dead of
night to her residence in Holborn. Mrs. Vava-
sour, of York, lost her senses ; and many others
whom I could mention have been equal sufferers.
THE SEARCH. 69
Nothing to be alarmed at ! Heaven grant, my
dear, dear young lady, that you may never be
fatally convinced to the contrary !"
" Suppose my apprehensions are as great as
your own, Master Heydocke," replied Viviana,
who, though somewhat infected by his terrors,
still maintained her firmness ; " I do not see how
the danger is to be averted by idle lamentations
and misgivings. We must meet it boldly ; and
trust to Him who is our only safeguard in the
hour of peril, for protection. Do not alarm the
household, but let all retire to rest as usual.'"
" Right, daughter," observed the priest.
" Preparations for resistance would only excite
" Can you depend on the servants, in case
they are examined ? " asked Viviana of the stew-
ard, who by this time had partially recovered his
" I think so," returned Heydocke ; " but the
threats of the officers are so dreadful, and their
conduct so violent and outrageous, that I can
scarcely answer for myself. I would not advise
your reverence to remain in that hiding-place,"
70 GUY FAWKES.
he added, pointing to the chimney-piece ; " they
are sure to discover it."
" If not here, where shall I conceal myself? 11
rejoined Oldcorne, uneasily.
" There are many nooks in which your rever-
ence might hide," replied the steward ; " but the
knaves are so crafty, and so well experienced in
their vocation, that I dare not recommend any of
them as secure. I would advise you to remain
on the watch, and, in case of alarm, I will con-
duct you to the oratory in the north gallery,
adjoining Mistress Viviana's sleeping-chamber,
where there is a panel in the wall, known only to
myself and my master, opening upon a secret
passage running many hundred yards under-
ground, and communicating with a small out-
building on the other side of the moat. There is
a contrivance in this passage, which I will explain
to your reverence if need be, which will cut off
any possibility of pursuit in that quarter. 11
" Be it so, 11 replied the priest. " I place my-
self in your hands, good Master Heydocke, well
assured of your fidelity. I shall remain through-
out the night in this chamber, occupied in my
THE SEARCH. 71
" You will suffer mc to pray with you, father,
I trust, 1 '' said Viviana.
" If you desire it, assuredly, dear daughter,"
rejoined Oldcorne ; " but I am unwilling you
should sacrifice your rest."
c ' It will be no sacrifice, father, for I should
not slumber, even if I sought my couch," she
returned. " Go, good Heydocke. Keep vigi-
lant watch : and, if you hear the slightest noise
without, fail not to give us warning."
The steward bowed, and departed.
Some hours elapsed, during which nothing
occurred to alarm .Viviana and her companion,
who consumed the time in prayer and devout
conversation ; when, just at the stroke of two, —
as the former was kneeling before her spiritual
adviser, and receiving absolution for the slight
offences of which a being so pure-minded could
be supposed capable, — a noise like the falling of
a bar of iron was heard beneath the window.
The priest turned pale, and cast a look of un-
easiness at the maiden, who said nothing, but
snatching up the light, and motioning him to
remain quiet, hurried out of the room in search
72 GUY FAVVKES.
of the steward. He was nowhere to be found.
In vain, she examined all the lower rooms, — in
vain, called to him by name. No answer was
Greatly terrified, she was preparing to retrace
her steps, when she heard the sound of muttered
voices in the hall. Extinguishing her light, she
advanced to the door, which was left ajar, and,
taking care not to expose herself to observation,
beheld several armed figures, some of whom bore
dark lanterns, while others surrounded and me-
naced with their drawn swords the unfortunate
steward. From their discourse she ascertained
that, having thrown a plank across the moat, and
concealed themselves within the garden until they
had reconnoitred the premises, they had contrived
to gain admittance unperceived through the win-
dow of a small back room, in which they had
surprised Heydocke, who had fallen asleep on
his post, and captured him. One amongst their
number, who appeared to act as leader, and
whom, from his garb, and the white wand he
carried, Viviana knew must be a pursuivant, now
proceeded to interrogate the prisoner. To every
THE SEARCH. 73
question proposed to him the steward shook his
head ; and, in spite of the threats of the exami ri-
ant, and the blows of his followers, he persisted
in maintaining silence.
" If we cannot make this contumacious rascal
speak, we will find others more tractable," ob-
served the pursuivant. " I will not leave any
corner of the house unvisited ; nor a soul within
it unquestioned. Ah ! here they come ! "
As he spoke, several of the serving-men, with
some of the female domestics, who had been
alarmed by the noise, rushed into the hall, and
on seeing it filled with armed men, were about
to retreat, when they were instantly seized and
detained. A scene of great confusion now en-
sued. The women screamed, and cried for
mercy, while the men struggled and fought with
their captors. Commanding silence at length,
the pursuivant proclaimed in the King's name
that whoever would guide him to the hiding-
place of Father Oldcorne, a Jesuit priest, whom
it was known, and could be proved, was har-
boured within the mansion, should receive a free
pardon and reward ; while those who screened
VOL. i. e
74 GUY FAWKES.
him, or connived at his concealment, were liable
to fine, imprisonment, and even more severe
punishment. Each servant was then questioned
separately. But, though all were more or less
rudely dealt with, no information could be
Meanwhile, Viviana was a prey to the most
intolerable anxiety. Unable to reach Father
Oldcorne without crossing the hall, which she
did not dare to attempt, she gave him up for
lost ; her sole hope being that, on hearing the
cries of the domestics, he would provide for his
own safety. Her anxiety was still farther in-
creased when the pursuivant, having exhausted
his patience by fruitless interrogatories, and sa-
tisfied his malice by frightening two of the
females into fits, departed with a portion of his
band to search the house, leaving the rest as a
guard over the prisoners.
Viviana then felt that, if she would save Father
Oldcorne, the attempt must be made without a
moment's delay, and at any hazard. Watching
her opportunity, when the troopers were occupied,
— some in helping themselves to such viands and
THE SEARCH. 10
liquors as they could lay hands upon, — some in
searching the persons of the prisoners for amulets
and relics, — "while others, more humane, 'were
trying to revive the swooning women, she con-
trived to steal unperceived across the lower end
of the hall. Having gained the passage, she
found to her horror that the pursuivant and his
band were already within the star-chamber.
They were sounding the walls with hammers
and mallets, and from their exclamations, she
learnt that they had discovered the retreat behind
the fire-place, and were about to break it open.
" We have him, 1 ' roared the pursuivant, in
a voice of triumph. " The old owl's roost is
Viviana, who stood at the door, drew in her
breath, expecting that the next moment would
inform her that the priest was made captive.
Instead of this, she was delighted to find, from
the oaths of rage and disappointment uttered by
the troopers, that he had eluded them.
" He must be in the house, at all events,"
growled the pursuivant ; " nor is it long since he
quitted his hiding-place, as this cushion proves.
76 GUY FAWKES.
We will not go away without him. And now,
let us proceed to the upper chambers."
Hearing their footsteps approach, Viviana
darted off, and quickly ascending the principal
staircase, entered a long corridor. Uncertain
what to do, she was about to proceed to her own
chamber, and bar the door, when she felt her arm
grasped by a man. With difficulty repressing a
shriek, she strove to disengage herself, when a
whisper told her it was the priest,
" Heaven be praised ! " cried Viviana, " you
are safe. How — how did you escape ?"
" I flew up stairs on hearing the voices,'' re-
plied Oldcorne. " But what has happened to
the steward ? "
" He is a prisoner," replied Viviana.
" All then is lost, unless you are acquainted
with the secret panel he spoke of in the oratory."
" Alas ! father, I am wholly ignorant of it,"
she answered. " But, come with me into my
chamber ; they will not dare to invade it."
'* I know not that," returned the priest, de-
spairingly. " These sacrilegious villains would
not respect the sanctity of the altar itself."
THE SEARCH. 77
" They come ! " cried Viviana, as lights were
seen at the foot of the stairs. " Take my hand
— this way, father."
They had scarcely gained the room, and fas-
tened the door, when the pursuivant and his
attendants appeared in the corridor. The officer,
it would seem, had been well instructed where to
search, or was sufficiently practised in his duty,
for he proceeded at once to several hiding-places
in the different chambers which he visited. In
one room he detected a secret staircase in the
wall, which he mounted, and discovered a small
chapel built in the roof. Stripping it of its altar,
its statue of the virgin, its crucifix, pix, chalice,
and other consecrated vessels, he descended, and
continued his search. Viviana's chamber was
now the only one unvisited. Trying the door,
and finding it locked, he tapped against it with
" Who knocks ?" asked the maiden.
" A state-messenger," was the reply. " I
demand entrance in the King's name."
" You cannot have it," she replied. " It is
" My duty allows me no alternative," re-
78 GUY FAWKES.
joined the pursuivant, harshly. M If you will not
admit me quietly, I must use force."
"Do you know to whom you offer this rude-
ness?" returned Viviana. " I am the daughter
of Sir William Radcliffe."
" I know it," replied the pursuivant ; " but
I am not exceeding my authority. I hold a
warrant for your father's arrest. And, if he had
not been from home, I should have carried him
to prison along with the Jesuit priest, whom I
suspect is concealed within your chamber. Open
the door, I command you ; and do not hinder me
in the execution of my duty."
As no answer was returned to the application,
the pursuivant commanded his men to burst open
the door ; and the order was promptly obeyed.
The chamber was empty.
On searching it, however, the pursuivant found
a door concealed by the hangings of the bed. It
was bolted on the other side, but speedily yielded
to his efforts. Passing through it, he entered
upon a narrow gallery, at the extremity of which
his progress was stopped by another door, likewise
fastened on the further side. On bursting it
THE SEARCH. 79
open, he entered a small oratory, wainscoted with
oak, and lighted by an oriel window filled with
stained glass, through which the newly-risen moon
was pouring its full radiance, and discovered the
object of his search.
" Father Oldcorne, I arrest you as a Jesuit
and a traitor,'" shouted the pursuivant, in a voice
of exultation. " Seize him ! " he added, calling
to his men.
" You shall not take him," cried Viviana,
clinging despairingly to the priest, who offered no
resistance, but clasped a crucifix to his breast.
" Leave go your hold, young mistress,'" re-
joined the pursuivant, grasping Oldcorne by the
collar of his vestment, and dragging him along;
" and rest thankful that I make you not, also,
" Take me ; but spare him ! — in mercy spare
him !" shrieked Viviana.
" You solicit mercy from one who knows it
not, daughter," observed the priest. " Lead on,
sir. I am ready to attend you."
" Your destination is the New Fleet, father,''''
retorted the pursuivant, in a tone of bitter
80 GUY FAWKES.
raillery ; " unless you prefer the ceil in Radcliffe
Hall lately vacated by your saintly predecessor,
" Help ! help ! " shrieked Viviana.
" You may spare your voice, fair lady," sneer-
ed the pursuivant. " No help is at hand. Your
servants are all prisoners."
The words were scarcely uttered, when a sliding
panel in the wall flew open, and Guy Fawkes,
followed by Humphrey Chetham, and another
personage, sprang through the aperture, and pre-
sented a petronel at the head of the pursuivant.
CHAT MOSS. 81
The pursuivant was taken so completely un-
awares by the sudden appearance of Guy Fawkes
and his companions, that he made no attempt at
resistance. Nor were his attendants less con-
founded. Before they recovered from their sur-
prise, Humphrey Chetham seized Viviana in his
arms, and darting through the panel, called to
the priest to follow him. Father Oldcorne was
about to comply, when one of the soldiers,
grasping the surcingle at his waist, dragged him
forcibly backwards. The next moment, however,
he was set free by Guy Fawkes, who felling the
man to the ground, and, interposing himself
between the priest and the other soldier, enabled
the former to make good his retreat. This done,
he planted himself in front of the panel, and
82 GUY FAWKES.
with a petronel in each hand, menaced his
" Fly for your lives ! " he shouted in a loud
voice to the others. " Not a moment is to be
lost. I have taken greater odds, and in a worse
cause, and have not been worsted. Heed me
not, I say. I will defend the passage till you
are beyond reach of danger. Fly ! — fly ! "
"After them!'" vociferated the pursuivant,
stamping with rage and vexation ; " after them
instantly ! Hew down that bold traitor. Show
him no quarter. His life is forfeit to the king.
Slay him as you would a dog ! "
But the men, having no fire-arms, were so
much intimidated by the fierce looks of Guy
Fawkes, and the deadly weapons he pointed at
their heads, that they hesitated to obey their
" Do you hear what I say to you, cravens ?"
roared the pursuivant. " Cut him down without
" They dare not move a footstep, 1 ' rejoined
Guy Fawkes, in a derisive tone.
"Recreants!" cried the pursuivant, foaming
CHAT MOSS. 83
with rage, " is my prey to be snatched from me
at the very moment I have secured it, through
your cowardice ? Obey me instantly, or, as
Heaven shall judge me, I will denounce you to
my Lord Derby and the Commissioners as aiders
and abettors in Father Oldcorne's escape ! — and
you well know what your punishment will be
if I do so. What ! — are you afraid of one
" Our pikes are no match for his petronels,"
observed the foremost soldier, sullenly.
" They are not," rejoined Guy Fawkes ; " and
you will do well not to compel me to prove the
truth of your assertion. As to you, Master
Pursuivant," he continued, with a look so stern
that the other quailed before it, " unwilling as I
am to shed bloodj I shall hold your life, if I am
compelled to take it, but just retribution for the
fate you have brought upon the unfortunate
"Ha!" exclaimed the pursuivant, starting.
" I thought I recognized you. You are the
soldier in the Spanish garb who saved that false
prophetess from drowning."
84 GUY FAWKES.
" I saved her only for a more lingering death, 1,1
rejoined Guy Fawkes.
" I know it," retorted the pursuivant. " I
found her dead body when I visited her cell on
my way hither, and gave orders to have it in-
terred without coffin or shroud in that part of the
burial-ground of the Collegiate Church in Man-
chester reserved for common felons.""
" I know not what stays my hand, 11 rejoined
Guy Fawkes, fiercely. " But I am strongly
tempted to give you a grave beside her."
" I will put your daring to the proof ! " cried
the pursuivant, snatching a pike from one of his
followers, and brandishing it over his head.
" Throw down your arms, or you die !"
" Back !" exclaimed Guy Fawkes, presenting
a petronel at him, " or I lodge a bullet in your
" Be advised by me, and rush not on certain
destruction, good Master Pursuivant," said the
foremost soldier, plucking his mantle. " I see by
his bloodthirsty looks that the villian is in earnest."
<; I hear footsteps," cried the other soldier;
" our comrades are at hand."
CHAT MOSS. 85
" Then it is time for me to depart," cried Guy
Fawkes, springing through the secret door, and
closing it after him.
" Confusion ! " exclaimed the pursuivant ;
" but he shall not escape. Break open the
The order was promptly obeyed. The men
battered the stout oak board, which was of great
thickness, with their pikes, but it resisted every
effort ; nor was it until the arrival of a fresh band
of soldiers with lights, mallets, chisels, and other
implements suitable to the purpose, that it could
be forced open. This accomplished, the pur-
suivant, commanding his attendants to follow him,
dashed through the aperture. As they proceeded
singly along the narrow passage, the roof became
so low that they were compelled to adopt a stoop-
ing posture. In this manner they hurried on
until their further progress was stopped by a
massive stone door, which appeared to descend
from above by some hidden contrivance, no trace
of bolt or other fastening being discernible. The
flag fitted closely in channels in the walls, and had
all the appearance of solid masonry. After
86 GUY FAWKES.
examining this obstacle for a moment, the pur-
suivant was convinced that any attempt to move
it would be impracticable, and muttering a deep
execration, he gave the word to return.
" From the course it appears to take," he ob-
served, " this passage must communicate with the
garden, — perhaps with the further side of the moat.
"We may yet secure them, if we use despatch."
To return to the fugitives. On arriving at the
point where the stone door was situated, which
he discovered by the channels in the wall above-
mentioned, Guy Fawkes searched for an iron
ring, and, having found it, drew it towards him,
and the ponderous flag slowly dropped into its
place. He then groped his way cautiously along
in the dark, until his foot encountered the top of
a ladder, down which he crept, and landed on
the floor of a damp deep vault. Having taken
the precaution to remove the ladder, he hastened
onwards for about fifty yards, when he came to
a steep flight of stone steps, distinguishable by
a feeble glimmer of light from above, and mount-
ing them, emerged through an open trap-door
into a small building situated at the western side
CHAT MOSS. 87
of the moat, where, to his surprise and disap-
pointment, he found the other fugitives.
" How comes it you are here?" he exclaimed
in a reproachful tone. " I kept the wolves at
bay thus long, to enable you to make good your
" Miss Radcliffe is too weak to move, 11 replied
Humphrey Chetham ; " and I could not persuade
Father Oldcorne to leave her. 11
" I care not what becomes of me, 11 said the
priest. " The sooner my painful race is run the
better. But I cannot — will not abandon my dear
charge thus. 11
" Think not of me, father, I implore you, 11
rejoined Viviana, who had sunk overpowered with
terror and exhaustion. " I shall be better soon.
Master Chetham, I am assured, will remain with
me till our enemies have departed, and I will
then return to the hall. 11
" Command me as you please, Miss Rad-
clifFe, 11 replied Humphrey Chetham. " You
have but to express a wish to insure its fulfilment
on my part. 11
" Oh ! that you had suffered Mr. Catesby to
88 GUY FAWKES.
tarry with us till the morning, as he himself pro-
posed, dear daughter," observed the priest, turn-
ing to Viviana.
"Has Catesby been here?" inquired Guy
Fawkes, with a look of astonishment.
" He has," replied Oldcorne. " He came to
warn us that the hall would be this night searched
by the officers of state ; and he also brought word
that a warrant had been issued by the Privy
Council for the arrest of Sir William RadclifFe."
" Where is he now?" demanded Fawkes,
" On the way to Chester, whither he departed
in all haste, at Viviana's urgent request, to ap-
prise her father of his danger," rejoined the
"This is strange!" muttered Guy Fawkes.
" Catesby here, and I not know it ! "
" He had a secret motive for his visit, my
son," whispered Oldcorne, significantly.
" So I conclude, father," replied Fawkes, in
the same tone.
" Viviana Radcliffe," murmured Humphrey
Chetham, in low and tender accents, " something
CHAT MOSS. 89
tells me that this moment will decide my future
fate. Emboldened by the mysterious manner in
which we have been brought together, and you,
as it were, have been thrown upon my protection,
I venture to declare the passion I have long
indulged for you ; — a passion which, though
deep and fervent as ever agitated human bosom,
has hitherto, from the difference of our rank, and
yet more from the difference of our religious
opinions, been without hope. What has just
occurred, — added to the peril in which your
worthy father stands, and the difficulties in which
you yourself will necessarily be involved, — makes
me cast aside all misgiving, and perhaps with too
much presumption, but with a confident belief
that the sincerity of my love renders me not
wholly undeserving of your regard, earnestly so-
licit you to give me a husband's right to watch
over and defend you."
Viviana was silent. .But even by the imper-
fect light the young merchant could discern that
her cheek was covered with blushes.
" Your answer? 11 he cried, taking her hand.
" You must take it from my lips, Master
90 GUY FAWKES.
Chetham, interposed the priest, " Viviana Rad-
cliffe never can be yours."
" Be pleased to let her speak for herself,
reverend sir," rejoined the young merchant,
" I represent her father, and have acquainted
you with his determination,'" rejoined the priest.
61 Appeal to her, and she will confirm my words.""
"Viviana, is this true?" asked Chetham.
" Does your father object to your union with
Viviana answered by a deep sigh, and gently
withdrew her hand from the young merchant's
" Then there is no hope for me ? " cried
" Alas ! no," replied Viviana ; " nor for me —
of earthly affection. I am already dead to the
M How so ? " he asked.
" I am about to vow myself to Heaven," she
" Viviana ! " exclaimed the young man, throw-
ing himself at her feet, " reflect ! — oh ! re-
CHAT MOSS. 91
fleet, before you take this fatal — this irrevocable
" Rise, sir," interposed the priest, sternly ;
" you plead in vain. Sir William Radcliffe will
never wed his daughter to a heretic. In his
name I command you to desist from further
" I obey," replied Chetham, rising.
" We lose time here," observed Guy Fawkes,
who had been lost for a moment in reflection.
" I will undertake to provide for your safety,
father. But, what must be done with Viviana ?
She cannot be left here. And her return to the
hall would be attended with danger."
" I will not return till the miscreants have
quitted it," said Viviana.
" Their departure is uncertain," replied Fawkes.
" When they are baulked of their prey they
sometimes haunt a dwelling for weeks."
" What will become of me ? " cried Viviana,
" It were vain, I fear, to entreat you to accept
an asylum with my father at Clayton Hall, or at
my own residence at Crumpsall," said Humphrey
02 GUY FAWKES.
u Your offer is most kind, sir," replied Old-
come, " and is duly appreciated. But Viviana
will see the propriety — on every account — of
" I do — I do," she acquiesced.
" Will you entrust yourself to my protection p"
" Willingly," replied the priest, answering for
her. " We shall find some place of refuge," he
added, turning to Viviana, " where your father
can join us, and where we can remain concealed
till this storm has blown over."
" I know many such," rejoined Fawkes, " both
in this country, and in Yorkshire, and will guide
you to one."
" My horses are at your service," said Hum-
phrey Chetham. " They are tied beneath the
trees in the avenue. My servant shall bring
them to the door," and, turning to his attendant,
he gave him directions to that effect. " I was
riding hither an hour before midnight," he con-
tinued, addressing Viviana, " to offer you assist-
ance, having accidentally heard the pursuivant
mention his meditated visit to Ordsall Hall to
CHAT MOSS. 93
one of his followers, when, as I approached the
gates, this person," pointing to Guy Fawkes,
" crossed my path, and, seizing the bridle of my
steed, demanded whether I was a friend to Sir
William Radcliffe. I answered in the affirma-
tive, and desired to know the motive of his in-
quiry. He then told me that the house was
invested by a numerous band of armed men, who
had crossed the moat by means of a plank, and
were at that moment concealed within the garden.
This intelligence, besides filling me with alarm,
disconcerted all my plans, as I hoped to have
been beforehand with them, — their inquisitorial
searches being generally made at a late hour,
when all the inmates of a house intended to be
surprised are certain to have retired to rest.
While I was bitterly reproaching myself for my
dilatoriness, and considering what course it would
be best to pursue, my servant, Martin Heydocke,
— son to your father's old steward, — who had
ridden up at the stranger's approach, informed
me that he was acquainted with a secret passage
communicating beneath the moat with the hall.
Upon this, I dismounted ; and fastening my horse
94 GUY FAWKES.
to a tree, ordered him to lead me to it without an
instants delay. The stranger, who gave his name
as Guy Fawkes, and professed himself a stanch
Catholic, and a friend of Father Oldcorne, begged
permission to join us in a tone so earnest that I
at once acceded to his request. We then pro-
ceeded to this building, and after some search
discovered the trap-door. Much time was lost,
owing to our being unprovided with lights, in the
subterranean passage ; and it was more than two
hours before we could find the ring connected
with the stone door, the mystery of which Martin
explained to us. This delay we feared would
render our scheme abortive, when, just as we
reached the panel, we heard your shrieks. The
spring was touched, and — you know the rest."
" And shall never forget it,"" replied Viviana,
in a tone of the deepest gratitude.
At this juncture, the tramp of horses was
heard at the door ; and the next moment it was
thrown open by the younger Heydocke,, who,
with a look, and in a voice of the utmost terror,
exclaimed, " They are coming! — they are
coming ! "
CHAT MOSS. 95
" The pursuivant ? " cried Guy Fawkes.
" Not him alone, but the whole gang," re-
joined Martin. " Some of them are lowering
the drawbridge, while others are crossing the
plank. Several are on horseback, and I think
I discern the pursuivant amongst the number.
They have seen me, and are hurrying in this
As he spoke a loud shout corroborated his
" We are lost ! " exclaimed Oldcorne.
" Do not despair, father," rejoined Guy
Fawkes. " Heaven will not abandon its faithful
servants. The Lord will deliver us out of the
hands of these Amalekites."
" To horse, then, if you would indeed avoid
them,"" urged Humphrey Chetham. " The
shouts grow louder. Your enemies are fast
u Viviana," said Guy Fawkes, " are you wil-
ling to fly with us ? "
" I will do anything rather than be left to
those horrible men," she answered.
Guy Fawkes then raised her in his arms, and
96 GUY FAWKES.
sprang with his lovely burthen upon the nearest
charger. His example was quickly followed by
Humphrey Chetham, who, vaulting on the other
horse, assisted the priest to mount behind him.
While this took place, Martin Heydocke darted
into the shed, and instantly bolted the door.
It was a beautiful moonlight night, almost as
bright as day, and the movements of each party
were fully revealed to the other, Guy Fawkes
perceived at a glance that they were surrounded ;
and, though he had no fears for himself, he was full
of apprehension for the safety of his companion.
While he was debating with himself as to the
course it would be best to pursue, Humphrey
Chetham shouted to him to turn to the left, and
started off in that direction. Grasping his fail
charge, whom he had placed before him on the
saddle, firmly with his left arm, and wrapping hei
in his ample cloak, Guy Fawkes drew his sword,
and striking spurs into his steed, followed in the
The little fabric which had afforded them tem-
porary shelter, it has already been mentioned, was
situated on the west of the hall, a* a short dis-
CHAT MOSS. 97
tance from the moat, and was screened from ob-
servation by a small shrubbery. No sooner did
the fugitives emerge from this cover than loud
outcries were raised by their antagonists, and
every effort was made to intercept them. On
the right, galloping towards them on a light but
swift courser, taken from Sir William RadclinVs
stables, came the pursuivant, attended by half-a-
dozen troopers, who had accommodated them-
selves with horses in the same manner as their
leader. Between them and the road leading to
Manchester, were stationed several armed men on
foot. At the rear, voices proclaimed that others
were in full pursuit ; while in front, a fourth de-
tachment menaced them with their pikes. Thus
beset on all sides, it seemed scarcely possible
to escape. Nothing daunted, however, by the
threats and vociferations with which they were
received, the two horsemen boldly charged this
party. The encounter w r as instantaneous. Guy
Fawkes warded off a blow, which, if it had taken
effect, must have robbed Viviana of life, and
struck down the fellow who aimed it.- - At the
same moment, his career was checked by another
VOL. I. F
98 GUY FAWKES.
assailant, who, catching his bridle with the hook
of his pike, commanded him to surrender. Fawkes
replied by cleaving the man's staff asunder, and,
having thus disembarrassed himself, was about to
pursue his course, when he perceived that Hum-
phrey Chetham was in imminent danger from a
couple of soldiers who had stopped him, and
were trying to unhorse his companion. Riding
up to them, Guy Fawkes, by a vigorous and well-
directed attack, speedily drove them off; and the '
fugitives, being now unimpeded, were enabled to
continue their career.
The foregoing occurrences were witnessed by
the pursuivant with the utmost rage and vexa-
tion. Pouring forth a torrent of threats and im-
precations, he swore he would never rest till
he had secured them, and urging his courser to
its utmost speed commanded his men to give
Skirting a sluice, communicating between the
Irwell and the moat, Humphrey Chetham, who,
as better acquainted with the country than his
companions, took the lead, proceeded along its
edge for about a hundred yards, when he sud-
CHAT MOSS. 99
denly struck across a narrow bridge covered with
sod, and entered the open fields. Hitherto Vivi-
ana had remained silent. Though fully aware of
the risk she had run, she gave no sign of alarm,
— not even when the blow was aimed against her
life ; and it was only on conceiving the danger
in some degree passed that she ventured to ex-
press her gratitude.
" You have displayed so much courage," said
Guy Fawkes, in answer to her speech, " that it
would be unpardonable to deceive you. Our
foes are too near us, and too well mounted, to
make it by any means certain we shall escape
them, — unless by stratagem."
" They are within a hundred yards of us,"
cried Humphrey Chetham, glancing fearfully
backwards. " They have possessed themselves
of your father's fleetest horses ; and, if I mis-
take not, the rascally pursuivant has secured your
" My gentle Zayda !" exclaimed Viviana.
" Then indeed we are lost. She has not her
match for speed "
" If she bring her rider to us alone, she will
100 GUY FAWKES.
do us good service," observed Guy Fawkes, sig-
The same notion, almost at the same moment,
occurred to the pursuivant. Having witnessed
the prowess displayed by Guy Fawkes in his
recent attack on the soldiers, he felt no dispo-
sition to encounter so formidable an opponent
single-handed ; and finding that the high-mettled
barb on which he was mounted, by its superior
speed and fiery temper, would inevitably place
him in such a dilemma, he prudently resolved to
halt, and exchange it for a more manageable
This delay was of great service to the fugi-
tives, and enabled them to get considerably ahead.
They had now gained a narrow lane, and, tracking
it, speedily reached the rocky banks of the Irwell.
Galloping along a foot-path that followed the
serpentine course of the stream for a quarter of a
mile, they arrived at a spot marked by a bed of
osiers, where Humphrey Chetham informed them
there was a ford.
Accordingly, they plunged into the river, and
while stemming the current, which here ran with
CHAT MOSS. 101
great swiftness, and rose up above the saddles,
the neighing of a steed was heard from the bank
they had quitted. Turning at the sound, Vivi-
ana beheld her favourite courser on the sum-
mit of a high rock. The soldier to whom Zayda
was intrusted had speedily, as the pursuivant
foresaw, distanced his companions, and chose this
elevated position to take sure aim at Guy Fawkes,
against whom he was now levelling a caliver.
The next moment a bullet struck against his
brigand ine, but without doing him any injury.
The soldier, however, did not escape so lightly.
Startled by the discharge, the fiery barb leaped
from the precipice into the river, and throwing
her rider, who was borne off by the rapid stream,
swam towards the opposite bank, which she reach-
ed just as the others were landing. At the
sound of her mistress's voice she stood still, and
allowed Humphrey Chetham to lay hold of her
bridle ; and Viviana declaring she was able to
mount her, Guy Fawkes, who felt that such an
arrangement was most likely to conduce to her
safety, and who was, moreover, inclined to view
the occurrence as a providential interference in
102 GUY FAWKES.
their behalf, immediately assisted her into the
Before this transfer could be effected, the pur-
suivant and his attendants had begun to ford the
stream. The former had witnessed the accident
that had befallen the soldier from a short dis-
tance ; and, while he affected to deplore it, inter-
nally congratulated himself on his prudence and
foresight. But he was by no means so well
satisfied when he saw how it served to benefit
" That unlucky beast !" he exclaimed. " Some
fiend must have prompted me to bring her out
of the stable. Would she had drowned herself
instead of poor Dickon Duckesbury, whom she
hath sent to feed the fishes ! With her aid,
Miss RadclifTe will doubtless escape. No matter.
If I secure Father Oldcorne, and that black-
visaged trooper in the Spanish garb, who, I '11 be
sworn, is a secret intelligencer of the pope, if not
of the devil, I shall be well contented. I "11
hang them both on a gibbet higher than Ha-
And muttering other threats to the same effect,
CHAT MOSS. 103
he picked his way to the opposite shore. Long
before he reached it,- the fugitives had disappear-
ed ; but on climbing the bank, he beheld them
galloping swiftly across a well-wooded district
steeped in moonlight, and spread out before his
view, and inflamed by the sight he shouted to
his attendants, and once more started in pur-
Cheered by the fortunate incident above re-
lated, which, in presenting her with her own
steed in a manner so surprising and unexpected,
seemed almost to give her assurance of deliver-
ance, Viviana, inspirited by the exercise, felt her
strength and spirits rapidly revive. At her side
rode Guy Fawkes, who ever and anon cast an
anxious look behind, to ascertain the distance of
their pursuers, but suffered no exclamation to
escape his lips. Indeed, throughout the whole
affair, he maintained the reserve belonging to his
sombre and taciturn character, and neither ques-
tioned Humphrey Chetham as to where he was
leading them, nor proposed any deviation from
the route he had apparently chosen. To such
remarks as were addressed to him, Fawkes an-
104 GUY FAWKES.
swered in monosyllables ; and it was only when
occasion required, that he volunteered any ob-
servation or advice. He seemed to surrender
himself to chance. And perhaps, if his bosom
could have been examined, it would have been
found that he considered himself a mere puppet
in the hands of destiny.
In other and calmer seasons, he might have
dwelt with rapture on the beautiful and varied
country through which they were speeding, and
which from every knoll they mounted, every slope
they descended, every glade they threaded, in-
tricacy pierced, or tangled dell tracked, presented
new and increasing attractions. This charming
district, since formed into a park by the Traf-
fords, from whom it derives its present designa-
tion, was at this time, — though part of the do-
main of that ancient family, — wholly unenclosed.
Old Trafford Hall lies (for it is still in existence,)
more than a mile nearer to Manchester, a little
to the east of Ordsall Hall ; but the modern
residence of the family is situated in the midst of
the lovely region through which the fugitives
CHAT MOSS. 105
But, though the charms of the scene, heighten-
ed by the gentle medium through which they
were viewed, produced little effect upon the iron
nature of Guy Fawkes, they were not with-
out influence on his companions, especially Vivi-
ana. Soothed by the stillness of all around her,
she almost forgot her danger ; and surrendering
herself to the dreamy enjoyment generally expe-
rienced in contemplating such a scene at such an
hour, suffered her gaze to wander over the fair
woody landscape before her, till it was lost in the
distant moonlit wolds.
From the train of thought naturally awakened
by this spectacle, she was roused by the shouts
of the pursuers ; and, glancing timorously behind
her, beheld them hurrying swiftly along the valley
they had just quitted. From the rapidity with
which they were advancing, it was evident they
were gaining upon them, and she was about to
urge her courser to greater speed, when Hum-
phrey Chetham laid his hand upon the rein to
" Reserve yourself till we gain the brow of this
hill," he remarked ; " and then put Zayda to
106 GUY FAWKES.
her mettle. We are not far from our destina-
" Indeed !" exclaimed Viviana. " Where is
" 1 will show it to you presently," he answered.
Arrived at the summit of the high ground,
which they had been for some time gradually as-
cending, the young merchant pointed out a vast
boggy tract, about two miles off, in the vale be-
61 That is our destination," he said.
" Did I not hold it impossible you could trifle
with me at such a time as this, I should say you
were jesting," rejoined Viviana. " The place
you indicate, unless I mistake you, is Chat Moss,
the largest and most dangerous marsh in Lan-
44 You do not mistake me, neither am I jest-
ing, Viviana," replied the young merchant, grave-
ly. " Chat Moss is the mark at which I aim."
" If we are to cross it, we shall need a Will-o'-
the-wisp to guide us, and some friendly elf to
make firm the ground beneath our steeds," re-
joined Viviana, in a slightly-sarcastic tone.
CHAT MOSS. 107
" Trust to me and you shall traverse it in
safety," resumed Humphrey Chetham.
" I would sooner trust myself to the pursui-
vant and his band, than venture upon its treacher-
ous surface," she replied.
" How is this, young sir ?" interposed Guy
Fawkes, sternly. " Is it from heedlessness or
rashness that you are about to expose us to this
new danger ? — which, if Viviana judges correctly,
and my own experience of such places inclines me
to think she does so, — is greater than that which
now besets us."
" If there is any danger I shall, be the first to
encounter it, for I propose to act as your guide,"
returned Humphrey Chetham, in an offended
tone. " But the treacherous character of the
marsh constitutes our safety. I am acquainted
with a narrow path across it, from which the devi-
ation of a foot will bring certain death. If our
pursuers attempt to follow us their destruction
is inevitable. Viviana may rest assured I would
not needlessly expose so dear a life as hers. But
it is our best chance of safety."
" Humphrey Chetham is in the right," ob-
108 GUY FAWKES.
served the priest. " I have heard of the path he
describes ; and if he can guide us along it, we
shall effectually baffle our enemies."
' ; I cry you mercy, sir," said Viviana. " I did
not apprehend your meaning. But I now thank-
fully resign myself to your care."
" Forward, then," cried the young merchant.
And they dashed swiftly down the declivity.
Chat Moss, towards which they were hastening,
though now drained, in part cultivated, and tra-
versed by the busiest and most-frequented rail-
road in England, or the world, was, within the
recollection of many of the youngest of the pre-
sent generation, a dreary and almost impassable
waste. Surveyed from the heights of Dunham,
whence the writer has often gazed upon it, envy-
ing the plover her wing to skim over its broad
expanse, it presented with its black boggy soil,
striped like a motley garment, with patches of
grey, tawny, and dunnish red, a singular and
mysterious appearance. Conjecture fixes this mo-
rass as the site of a vast forest, whose immemo-
rial and Druid-haunted groves were burnt by the
Roman invaders ; and seeks to account for its
CHAT MOSS. 109
present condition by supposing that the charred
trees — still frequently found within its depths
— being left where the conflagration had placed
them, had choked up its brooks and springs,
and so reduced it to a general swamp. Dray-
ton, however, in the following lines from the
Faerie Land, places its origin as far back as
the Deluge : —
Great Chat Moss at my fall
Lies full of turf and marl, her unctuous mineral ;
And blocks as black as pitch, with boring augers found,
There at the General Flood supposed to be drown'd.
But the former hypothesis appears the more pro-
bable. A curious description of Chat Moss, as
it appeared at the time of this history, is fur-
nished by Camden, who terms it, " a swampy tract
of great extent, a considerable part of which was
carried off in the last age by swollen rivers with
great danger, whereby the rivers were infected,
and great quantities of fish died. Instead thereof
is now a valley watered by a small stream ; and
many trees were discovered thrown down, and
lying flat, so that one may suppose when the
ground lay neglected, and the waste water of
110 GUY FAWKES.
brooks was not drained off into the open valleys,
or their courses stopped by neglect or desolation,
all the lower grounds were turned into swamps,
(which we call mosses,) or into pools. If this
was the case, no wonder so many trees are found
covered, and, as it were, buried in such places
all over England, but especially here. For the
roots being loosened by too excessive wet, they
must necessarily fall down and sink in so soft
a soil. The people hereabouts search for them
with poles and spits, and after marking the place,
dig them up and use them for firing, for they are
like torches, equally fit to burn and to give light,
which is probably owing to the bituminous earth
that surrounds them, whence the common people
suppose them firs, though Caesar denies that there
were such trees in Britain.'"
But, though vast masses of the bog had been
carried off by the Irwell and the Mersey, as
related by Camden, the general appearance of the
waste, — with the exception of the valley and the
small stream, — was much the same as it con-
tinued to our own time. Its surface was more
CHAT MOSS. Ill
broken and irregular, and black gaping chasms
and pits filled with water and slime as dark-
coloured as the turf whence it flowed, pointed out
the spots where the swollen and heaving swamp
had burst its bondage. Narrow paths, known
only to the poor turf-cutters and other labourers
who dwelt upon its borders, and gathered fuel
with poles and spits in the manner above de-
scribed, intersected it at various points. But
as they led in many cases to dangerous and deep
gulfs, to dismal quagmires and fathomless pits ;
and, moreover, as the slightest departure from
the proper track would have whelmed the tra-
veller in an oozy bed, from which, as from a
quicksand, he would have vainly striven to ex-
tricate himself, — it was never crossed without
a guide, except by those familiar with its perilous
courses. One painful circumstance connected with
the history of Chat Moss remains to be recorded,
namely, that the attempt made to cultivate it by
the great historian Roscoe, — an attempt since
carried out, as has already been shown, with
complete success, — ended in a result ruinous to
112 GUY FAWKES.
the fortunes of that highly-gifted person, who,
up to the period of this luckless undertaking,
was as prosperous as he was meritorious.
By this time the fugitives had approached
the confines of the marsh. An accident, how-
ever, had just occurred, which nearly proved
fatal to Viviana, and, owing to the delay it
occasioned, brought their pursuers into danger-
ous proximity with them. In fording the Irwell,
which, from its devious course, they were again
compelled to cross, about a quarter of a mile
below Barton, her horse missed its footing, and
precipitated her into the rapid current. In an-
other instant, she would have been borne away,
if Guy Fawkes had not flung himself into the
water, and seized her before she sank. Her
affrighted steed, having got out of its depth,
began to swim off, and it required the utmost
exertion on the part of Humphrey Chetham,
embarrassed as he was by the priest, to secure it.
In a few minutes all was set to rights, and Vivi-
ana was once more placed on the saddle, without
having: sustained further inconvenience than was
CHAT MOSS. 113
occasioned by her dripping apparel. But those
few minutes, as has been just stated, sufficed
to bring the pursuivant and his men close upon
them ; and as they scrambled up the opposite
bank, the plunging and shouting behind them
told that the latter had entered the stream.
" Yonder is Baysnape," exclaimed Humphrey
Chetham, calling Viviana's attention to a ridge
of high ground on the borders of the waste.
" Below it lies the path by which I propose to
enter the moss. We shall speedily be out of
the reach of our enemies. 1 '
" The marsh at least will hide us," answered
Viviana, with a shudder. " It is a terrible al-
" Fear nothing, dear daughter," observed the
priest. " The saints, who have thus marvellously
protected us, will continue to watch over us to
the end, and will make the path over yon
perilous waste as safe as the ground on which
" I like not the appearance of the sky," ob-
served Guy Fawkes, looking uneasily upwards.
114 GUY FAWKES.
" Before we reach the spot you have pointed
out, the moon will be obscured. Will it be
safe to traverse the moss in the dark ?"
"It is our only chance," replied the young
merchant, speaking in a low tone, that his answer
might not reach Viviana's ears ; " and after all,
the darkness may be serviceable. Our pursuers
are so near, that if it were less gloomy, they
might hit upon the right track. It will be a
risk to us to proceed, but certain destruction to
those who follow. And now let us make what
haste we can. Every moment is precious. ,,
The dreary and fast darkening waste had now
opened upon them in ail its horrors. Far as
the gaze could reach appeared an immense ex-
panse, flat almost as the surface of the ocean,
and unmarked, so far as could be discerned in
that doubtful light, by any trace of human foot-
step or habitation. It was a stern and sombre
prospect, and calculated to inspire terror in the
stoutest bosom. What effect it produced on
Viviana may be easily conjectured. But her
nature was brave and enduring, and, though she
trembled so violently as scarcely to be able to
CHAT MOSS. 115
keep lier seat, she gave no utterance to her fears.
They were now skirting that part of the morass,
since denominated, from the unfortunate specu-
lation previously alluded to, " Roscoe's Improve-
ments." This tract was the worst and most dan-
gerous portion of the whole moss. Soft, slabby,
and unsubstantial, its treacherous beds scarcely
offered secure footing to the heron that alighted
on them. The ground shook beneath the fugi-
tives as they hurried past the edge of the groan-
ing and quivering marsh. The plover, scared
from its nest, uttered its peculiar and plaintive
cry ; the bittern shrieked ; other night-fowl
poured forth their doleful notes ; and the bull-
frog added its deep croak to the ominous concert.
Behind them came the thundering tramp and
loud shouts of their pursuers. Guy Fawkes
had judged correctly. Before they reached Bay-
snape the moon had withdrawn behind a rack of
clouds, and it had become profoundly dark. Ar-
rived at this point, Humphrey Chetham called
to them to turn off to the right.
" Follow singly,' 1 he said, w; and do not swerve
a hair's breadth from the path. The slightest
116 GUY FAWKES.
deviation will be fatal. Do you, sir," he added
to the priest, " mount behind Guy Fawkes, and
let Viviana come next after me. If I should
miss my way, do not stir for your life."
The transfer effected, the fugitives turned off
to the right, and proceeded at a cautious pace
along a narrow and shaking path. The ground
trembled so much beneath them, and their horses'
feet sank so deeply in the plashy bog, that Vivi-
ana demanded, in a tone of some uneasiness, if
he was sure he had taken the right course ?
" If T had not," replied Humphrey Chetham,
" we should ere this have found our way to the
bottom of the morass.' 1
As he spoke, a floundering plunge, accom-
panied by a horrible and quickly-stifled cry, told
that one of their pursuers had perished in endea-
vouring to follow them.
" The poor wretch is gone to his account,"
observed Viviana, in a tone of commiseration.
"Have a care! — have a care, lest you share
the same fate."
M If I can save you, I care not what becomes
of me," replied the young merchant. " Since
CHAT MOSS. 117
I can never hope to possess you, life has become
valueless in my eyes. 1 '*
" Quicken your pace," shouted Guy Fawkes,
who brought up the rear. " Our pursuers have
discovered the track, and are making towards us."
" Let them do so," replied the young mer-
chant. " They can do us no farther injury."
" That is false !" cried the voice of a soldier
from behind. And as the words were uttered
a shot was fired, which, though aimed against
Chetham, took effect upon his steed. The ani-
mal staggered, and his rider had onlv time to
slide from his back when he reeled off the path,
and was ingulfed in the marsh.
Hearing the plunge of the steed, the man
fancied he had hit his mark, and hallooed in
an exulting voice to his companions. But his
triumph was of short duration. A ball from the
petronel of Guy Fawkes pierced his brain, and
dropping from his saddle, he sank, together with
his horse, which he dragged along with him into
44 Waste no more shot," cried Humphrey
Chetham ; " the swamp will fight our battles
118 GUY FAWKES.
for us. Though I grieve for the loss of my
horse, I may be better able to guide you on
With this, he seized Viviana's bridle, and
drew her steed along at a quick pace, but with
the greatest caution. As they proceeded, a light
like that of a lantern was seen to rise from the
earth, and approach them.
" Heaven be praised !" exclaimed Viviana :
" some one has heard us, and is hastening to
" Not so," replied Humphrey Chetham.
" The light you behold is an ignis fatuus.
Were you to trust yourself to its delusive
gleam, it would lead you to the most dangerous
parts of the moss."
And, as if to exhibit its real character, the
little flame, which hitherto had burnt as brightly
and steadily as a wax-candle, suddenly appeared
to dilate, and assuming a purple tinge emitted a
shower of sparks, and then flitted rapidly over
" Woe to him that follows it ! " cried Hum-
CHAT MOSS. 119
" It has a strange unearthly look, 11 observed
Viviana, crossing herself. " I have much diffi-
culty in persuading myself it is not the work
of some malignant sprite. 11
"It is only an exhalation of the marsh, 11 re-
plied Chetham. " But, see ! others are at hand. 11
Their approach, indeed, seemed to have dis-
turbed all the weird children of the waste.
Lights were seen trooping towards them in every
direction ; sometimes stopping, sometimes rising
in the air, now 'contracting, now expanding, and
when within a few yards of the travellers, re-
treating with inconceivable swiftness.
•■' It is a marvellous and incomprehensible spec-
tacle, " remarked Viviana.
16 The common folk hereabouts affirm that
these Jack-o'-lanterns, as they term them, always
appear in greater numbers when some direful
catastrophe is about to take place, 11 rejoined the
" Heaven avert it from us, 11 ejaculated Viviana.
" It is an idle superstition," returned Chet-
ham. " But we must now keep silence, 11 he
continued, lowering his voice, and stopping near
120 GUY FAWKES.
the charred stump of a tree, left, it would seem,
as a mark. " The road turns here ; and, unless
our pursuers know it, we shall now quit them for
ever. We must not let a sound betray the course
we are about to take."
Having turned this dangerous corner in safety,
and conducted his companions as noiselessly as
possible for a few yards along the cross path,
which being much narrower was consequently
more perilous than the first, Humphrey Chet-
ham stood still, and, imposing silence upon the
others, listened to the approach of their pursuers.
His prediction was speedily and terribly verified.
Hearing the movement in advance, but unable
to discover the course taken by the fugitives,
the unfortunate soldiers, fearful of losing their
prey, quickened their pace, in the expectation
of 'instantly overtaking them. They were fatally
undeceived. Four only of their number, besides
their leader, remained, — two having perished in
the manner heretofore described. The first of
these, disregarding the caution of his comrade,
laughingly urged his horse into a gallop, and,
on passing the mark, sunk as if by magic, and
CHAT MOSS. 121
before he could utter a single warning cry, into
the depths of the morass. His disappearance
was so instantaneous, that the next in order,
though he heard the sullen plunge, was unable
to draw in the rein, and was likewise ingulfed.
A third followed ; and a fourth, in his efforts
to avoid their fate, backed his steed over the
slippery edge of the path. Only one now re-
mained. It was the pursuivant, who, with the
prudence that characterised all his proceedings,
had followed in the rear. He was so dread-
fully frightened, that, adding his shrieks to those
of his attendants, he shouted to the fugitives,
imploring assistance in the most piteous terms,
and promising never again to molest them, if
they would guide him to a place of safety. But
his cries were wholly unheeded ; and he perhaps
endured in those few minutes of agony as much
suffering as he had inflicted on the numerous
victims of his barbarity. It was indeed an ap-
palling moment. Three of the wretched men
had not yet sunk, but were floundering about
in the swamp, and shrieking for help. The
horses, as much terrified as their riders, added
VOL. I. G
122 GUY FAWKES.
their piercing cries to the half-suffocated yells.
And, as if to make the scene more ghastly, my-
riads of dancing lights flitted towards them, and
throwing an unearthly glimmer over this part
of the morass, fully revealed their struggling
figures. Moved by compassion for the poor
wretches, Viviana implored Humphrey Chetham
to assist them, and, finding him immovable,
she appealed to Guy Fawkes.
" They are beyond all human aid," the latter
" Heaven have mercy on their souls ! " ejacu-
lated the priest. " Pray for them, dear daugh-
ter. Pray heartily, as I am about to do." And
he recited in an audible voice the Romish for-
mula of supplication for those in extremis.
Averting her gaze from the spectacle, Viviana
joined fervently in the prayer.
By this time two of the strugglers had dis-
appeared. The third, having freed himself from
his horse, contrived for some moments, during
which he uttered the most frightful cries, to
keep his head above the swamp. His efforts
were tremendous, but unavailing, and served
CHAT MOSS. 123
only to accelerate his fate. Making a last des-
perate plunge towards the bank where the fugi-
tives were standing, he sank above the chin.
The expression of his face, shown by the ghastly
glimmer of the fen-fires, as he was gradually
swallowed up, was horrible.
M Requiem teternam dona m, Domine" ex-
claimed the priest.
" All is over, 1 ' cried Humphrey Chetham,
taking the bridle of Viviana's steed, and leading
her onwards. " We are free from our pur-
" There is one left,'' 1 she rejoined, casting a
"It is the pursuivant," returned Guy Fawkes,
sternly. " He is within shot," he added, draw-
ing his petronel.
"Oh, no — no! — in pity spare him!" cried
Viviana. " Too many lives have been sacrificed
" He is the cause of all the mischief," answered
Guy Fawkes, unwillingly replacing the petronel
in his belt, " and may live to injure you and
124 GUY FAWKES.
" I will hope not," rejoined Viviana ; " but,
spare him ! — oh, spare him ! "
"Be it as you please," replied Guy Fawkes.
44 The marsh, I trust, will not be so mer-
With this, they slowly resumed their pro-
gress. On hearing their departure, the pursui-
vant renewed his cries in a more piteous tone
than ever ; but, in spite of the entreaties of
Viviana, nothing could induce her companions
to lend him assistance.
For some time they proceeded in silence, and
without accident. As they advanced, the diffi-
culties of the path increased, and it was fortu-
nate that the moon, emerging from the clouds
in which, up to this moment, she had been
shrouded, enabled them to steer their course
in safety. At length, after a tedious and toil-
some march for nearly half a mile, the footing
became more secure, the road widened, and they
were able to quicken their pace. Another half
mile landed them upon the western bank of the
morass. Viviana^s first impulse was to give
thanks to Heaven for their deliverance, nor did
CHAT MOSS. 125
she omit in her prayer a supplication for the
unfortunate beings who had perished.
Arrived at the point now known as Rawson
Nook, they entered a lane, and proceeded to-
wards Astley Green, where perceiving a cluster
of thatched cottages among the trees, they knock-
ed at the door of the first, and speedily obtained
admittance from its inmates, a turf-cutter and his
wife. The man conveyed their steeds to a neigh-
bouring barn, while the good dame offered Vi-
viana such accommodation and refreshment as
her humble dwelling afforded. Here they tarried
till the following evening, as much to recruit
Miss RadclinVs strength, as for security.
At the young merchant's request, the turf-cutter
went in the course of the day to see what had
become of the pursuivant. He was nowhere to
be found. But he accidentally learned from
another hind, who followed the same occupation
as himself, that a person answering to the officer's
description had been seen to emerge from the
moss near Baysnape at daybreak, and take the
road towards Manchester. Of the unfortunate
soldiers nothing but a steel cap and a pike, which
126 GUY FAWKES.
the man brought away with him, could be dis-
After much debate, it was decided that their
safest plan would be to proceed to Manchester,
where Humphrey Chetham undertook to procure
them safe lodgings at the Seven Stars, — an
excellent hostel, kept by a worthy widow, who, he
affirmed, would do anything to serve him. Ac-
cordingly, they set out at night-fall, — Viviana
taking her place before Guy Fawkes, and relin-
quishing Zayda to the young merchant and the
priest. Shaping their course through Worsley,
by Monton Green and Pendleton, they arrived in
about an hour within sight of the town, which
then, — not a tithe of its present size, and unpol-
luted by the smoky atmosphere in which it is
now constantly enveloped, — was not without some
pretensions to a picturesque appearance. Cross-
ing Salford Bridge, they mounted Smithy Bank,
as it was then termed, and proceeding along
Cateaton Street and Hanging Ditch, struck into
Whithing (now Withy) Grove, at the right of
which, just where a few houses were beginning to
straggle up Shude Hill, stood, and still stands.
CHAT MOSS. 127
the comfortable hostel of the Seven Stars. Here
they stopped, and were warmly welcomed by its
buxom mistress, Dame Sutcliffe. Muffled in Guy
Fawkes's cloak, the priest gained the chamber to
which he was ushered unobserved. And Dame
Sutcliffe, though her Protestant notions were a
little scandalized at her dwelling being made the
sanctuary of a Popish priest, promised, at the in-
stance of Master Chetham, whom she knew to
be no favourer of idolatry in a general way, to
be answerable for his safety.
128 GUY FAWKES.
Having seen every attention shown to Viviana
by the hostess, — who, as soon as she discovered
that she had the daughter of Sir William Rad-
cliffe of Ordsall, under her roof, bestirred herself
in right earnest for her accommodation, — Hum-
phrey Chetham, notwithstanding the lateness of
the hour, — it was past midnight, — expressed his
determination to walk to his residence at Crump-
sail, to put an end to any apprehension which
might be entertained by the household at his
With this view, he set forth ; and Guy
Fawkes, who seemed to be meditating some pro-
ject which he was unwilling to disclose to the
others, quitted the hostel with him, bidding the
THE DISINTERMENT. 129
chamberlain sit up for him, as he should speedily
return. They had not gone far when he inquired
the nearest way to the Collegiate Church, and
was answered that they were then proceeding to-
wards it, and in a few moments should arrive at
its walls. He next asked the young merchant
whether he could inform him which part of the
churchyard was allotted to criminals. Humphrey
Chetham, somewhat surprised by the question,
replied, " At the north-west, near the charnel ;*
adding, " I shall pass within a short distance of
the spot, and will point it out to you."
Entering Fennel Street, at the end of which
stood an ancient cross, they soon came in sight
of the church. The moon was shining brightly,
and -silvered the massive square tower of the fane,
the battlements, pinnacles, buttresses, and noble
eastern window, with its gorgeous tracery. Whili
Guy Fawkes paused for a moment to contemplate
this reverend and beautiful structure, two vener-
able personages, having long snowy beards, and
wrapped in flowing mantles edged with sable fur,
passed the end of the street. One of them car-
ried a lantern, though it was wholly needless, as
130 GUY FAWKES.
it was bright as day ; and as they glided stealthily
along, there was something so mysterious in their
manner, that it greatly excited the curiosity of
Guy Fawkes, who inquired from his companion
if he knew who they were.
" The foremost is the warden of Manchester,
the famous Doctor Dee," replied Humphrey Chet-
ham, "divine, mathematician, astrologer, — and,
if report speaks truly, conjuror."
" Is that Doctor Dee ?" cried Guy Fawkes, in
" It is," replied the young merchant ; " and
the other in the Polish cap is the no-less cele-
brated Edward Kelley, the doctor's assistant, or,
as he is ordinarily termed, his seer."
" They have entered the churchyard," remarked
Guy Fawkes. " I will follow them."
" I would not advise you to do so," rejoined
the other. " Strange tales are told of them.
You may witness that it is not safe to look
The caution, however, was unheeded. Guy
Fawkes had already disappeared, and the young
THE DISINTERMENT. 131
merchant, shrugging his shoulders, proceeded on
his way towards Hunt's Bank.
On gaining the churchyard, Guy Fawkes per-
ceived the warden and his companion creeping
stealthily beneath the shadow of a wall in the
direction of a low fabric, which appeared to be
a bone-house, or charnel, situated at the north-
western extremity of the church. Before this
building grew a black and stunted yew-tree.
Arrived at it, they paused, and looked round to
see whether they were observed. They did no
however, notice Guy Fawkes, who had concealec.
himself behind a buttress. Kelley then unlocked
the door of the charnel, and brought out a pickaxe
and mattock. Having divested himself of his
cloak, he proceeded to shovel out the mould from
a new-made grave at a little distance from the
building. Doctor Dee stood by, and held the
lantern for his assistant.
Determined to watch their proceedings, Guy
Fawkes crept towards the yew-tree, behind which
he ensconced himself. Kelley, meanwhile, con-
tinued to ply his spade with a vigour that seemed
132 GUY FAWKES.
almost incomprehensible in one so far stricken in
years, and of such infirm appearance. At length
he paused, and kneeling within the shallow grave,
endeavoured to drag something from it. Doctor
Dee knelt to assist him. After some exertion,
they drew forth the corpse of a female, which
had been interred without coffin, and apparently
in the habiliments worn during life. A horrible
suspicion crossed Guy Fawkes. Resolving to
satisfy his doubts at once, he rushed forward, and
beheld in the ghastly lineaments of the dead the
features of the unfortunate prophetess, Elizabeth
DOCTOR DEE. 133
" How now, ye impious violators of the tomb !
ye worse than famine-stricken wolves, that rake
up the dead in churchyards ! " cried Guy Fawkes,
in a voice of thunder, to Doctor Dee and his
companion ; who, startled by his sudden appear-
ance, dropped the body, and retreated to a short
distance. " What devilish rites are ye about
to enact, that ye thus profane the sanctity of the
grave ? "
" And who art thou that darest thus to inter-
rupt us ?" demanded Dee, sternly.
" It matters not," rejoined Fawkes, striding
towards them. u Suffice it you are both known
to me. You, John Dee, warden of Manchester,
who deserve to be burnt at the stake for your
134 GUY FAWKES.
damnable practices, rather than hold the sacred
office you fill ; and you, Edward Kelley, his
associate, who boast of familiar intercourse with
demons, and, unless fame belies you, have pur-
chased the intimacy at the price of your soul's
salvation. I know you both. I know, also,
whose body you have disinterred, — it is that of
the ill-fated prophetess, Elizabeth Orton. And,
if you do not instantly restore it to the grave
whence you have snatched it, I will denounce you
to the authorities of the town. 1 "
" Knowing thus much, you should know still
more," retorted Doctor Dee, " namely, that I am
not to be lightly provoked. You have no power
to quit the churchyard — nay, not so much as to
move a limb without my permission."
As he spoke, he drew from beneath his cloak
a small phial, the contents of which he sprinkled
over the intruder. Its effect was wonderful and
instantaneous. The limbs of Guy Eawkes stiffen-
ed where he stood. His hand remained immov-
ably fixed upon the pommel of his sword, and he
seemed transformed into a marble statue.
" Ycu will henceforth acknowledge and respect
DOCTOR DEE. 135
my power," lie continued. " Were it my pleasure,
I could bury you twenty fathoms deep in the
earth beneath our feet ; or, by invoking certain
spirits, convey you to the summit of yon lofty
tower," pointing to the church, " and hurl you
from it headlong. But I content myself with
depriving you of motion, and leave you in pos-
session of sight and speech, that you may endure
the torture of witnessing what you cannot pre-
So saying, he was about to return to the corpse
with Kelley, when Guy Fawkes exclaimed in a
" Set me free, and I will instantly depart."
" Will you swear never to divulge what you
have seen ? " demanded Dee, pausing.
" Solemnly," he replied.
" I will trust you, then," rejoined the Doctor ;
— " the rather that your presence interferes with
Taking a handful of loose earth from an ad-
joining grave, and muttering a few words, that
sounded like a charm, he scattered it over Fawkes.
The spell was instantly broken. A leaden weight
136 GUY FAWKES.
seemed to be removed from his limbs. His
joints regained their suppleness, and with a con-
vulsive start, like that by which a dreamer casts
off a nightmare, he was liberated from his pre-
" And now, begone ! " cried Doctor Dee, au-
" Suffer me to tarry with you a few moments,""
said Guy Fawkes, in a deferential tone. " Here-
tofore, I will freely admit, I regarded you as an
impostor ; but now I am convinced you are deeply
skilled in the occult sciences, and would fain
consult you on the future."
" I have already said that your presence troubles
me," replied Doctor Dee. " But if you will call
upon me at the College to-morrow, it may be
I will give you further proofs of my skill."
" Why not now, reverend sir ?" urged Fawkes.
" The question I would ask is better suited to
this dismal spot and witching hour, than to day-
light and the walls of your study."
" Indeed ! " exclaimed Dee. " Your name ? "
" Guy Fawkes," replied the other.
" Guy Fawkes !" echoed the Doctor, starting.
DOCTOR DEE. 137
" Nay, then, I guess the nature of the question
you would ask. 11
"Am I then known to you, reverend sir? 11
inquired Fawkes, uneasily.
" As well as to yourself — nay, better, 11 answered
the Doctor. " Bring the lantern hither, Kelley, 11
he continued, addressing his companion. " Look I 11
he added, elevating the light so as to throw it
upon the countenance of Fawkes : " it is the
very face, — the bronzed and strongly-marked
features, — the fierce black eye, — the iron frame,
and foreign garb of the figure we beheld in the
" It is, 11 replied Kelley. " I could have singled
him out amid a thousand. He looked thus as
we tracked his perilous course, with his three
companions, the priest, Chetham, and Viviana
Radcliffe, across Chat Moss. 11
" How have you learned this ? 11 cried Guy
Fawkes, in amazement.
" By the art that reveals all things, 11 answered
u In proof that your thoughts are known to
me, 11 observed Dee, " I will tell you the inquiry
138 GUY FAWKES.
you would make before it is uttered. You would
learn whether the enterprise on which you are
engaged will succeed."
" I would," replied Fawkes.
" Yet more," continued Dee. M I am aware
of the nature of the plot, and could name to
you all connected with it."
" Your power is, indeed, wonderful," rejoined
Fawkes in an altered tone. " But will you give
me the information I require ?"
" Hum ! " muttered Dee.
"I am too poor to purchase it," proceeded
Fawkes, " unless a relic I have brought from
Spain has any value in your eyes."
" Tush ! " exclaimed Dee, angrily. " Do you
suppose I am a common juggler, and practise
my art for gain ?"
" By no means, reverend sir," said Fawkes.
4< But I would not willingly put you to trouble
without evincing my gratitude."
" Well, then," replied Dee, " I will not refuse
your request. And yet I would caution you
to beware how you pry into the future. You
may repent your rashness when it is too late."
DOCTOR DEE. 139
" I have no fear," rejoined Fawkes. " Let
me know the worst."
" Enough," answered Dee. " And now listen
to me. That carcass having been placed in the
ground without the holy rites of burial being
duly performed, I have power over it. And,
as the witch of Endor called up Samuel, as is
recorded in Holy Writ, — as Erichtho raised up
a corpse to reveal to Sextus Pompeius the event
of the Pharsalian war, — as Elisha breathed life
into the nostrils of the Shunamite's son, — as
Alcestis was invoked by Hercules, — and as the
dead maid was brought back to life by Apollonius
Thyaneus, — so I, by certain powerful incanta-
tions, will allure the soul of the prophetess, for
a short space, to its former tenement, and compel
it to answer my questions. Dare you be present
at this ceremony?"
" I dare," replied Fawkes.
" Follow me, then," said Dee. " You will
need all your courage."
Muttering a hasty prayer, and secretly crossing
himself, Guy Fawkes strode after him towards
the grave. By the Doctor's directions, he, with
140 GUY FAWKES.
some reluctance, assisted Kelley to raise the
corpse, and convey it to the charnel. Dee fol-
lowed, bearing the lantern, and, on entering the
building, closed and fastened the door.
The chamber in which Guy Fawkes found
himself was in perfect keeping with the horrible
ceremonial about to be performed. In one corner
lay a mouldering heap of skulls, bones, and other
fragments of mortality ; in the other a pile of
broken coffins, emptied of their tenants, and
reared on end. But what chiefly attracted his
attention, was a ghastly collection of human
limbs, blackened with pitch, girded round with
iron hoops, and hung, like meat in a shambles,
against the wall. There were two heads, and,
though the features were scarcely distinguishable,
owing to the liquid in which they had been
immersed, they still retained a terrific expression
of agony. Seeing his attention directed to these
revolting objects, Kelley informed him they were
the quarters of the two priests who had recently
been put to death, which had been left there
previously to being placed on the church-gates.
The implements, and some part of the attire
DOCTOR DEE. 141
used by the executioner in his butcherly office,
were scattered about, and mixed with the tools
of the sexton ; while in the centre of the room
stood a large wooden frame supported by trestles.
On this frame, stained with blood and smeared
with pitch, showing the purpose to which it had
been recently put, the body was placed. This
done, Doctor Dee set down the lantern beside it ;
and, as the light fell upon its livid features, sullied
with earth, and exhibiting traces of decay, Guy
Fawkes was so appalled by the sight that he
half repented of what he had undertaken.
Noticing his irresolution, Doctor Dee said,
" You may yet retire if you think proper.""
" No ;" replied Fawkes, rousing himself; " I
will go through with it."
" It is well," replied Dee. And he extin-
guished the light.
An awful silence now ensued, broken only
by a low murmur from Doctor Dee, who ap-
peared to be reciting an incantation. As he
proceeded, his tones became louder, and his
accents those of command. Suddenly, he paused,
and seemed to await a response. But, as none
142 GUY FAWKES.
was made, greatly to the disappointment of
Guy Fawkes, whose curiosity, notwithstand-
ing his fears, was raised to the highest pitch,
he cried, " Blood is wanting to complete the
" If that is all, I will speedily supply the
deficiency,'" replied Guy Fawkes ; and, drawing
his rapier, he oared his left arm, and pricked
it deeply with the point of the weapon.
" I bleed now," he cried.
" Sprinkle the corpse with the ruddy current,"
rejoined Doctor Dee.
" Your commands are obeyed," replied Fawkes.
" I have placed my hand on its breast, and the
blood is flowing upon it."
Upon this the Doctor began to mutter an
incantation in a louder and more authoritative
tone than before. Presently, Kelley added his
voice, and they both joined in a sort of chorus,
but in a jargon wholly unintelligible to Guy
All at once a blue flame appeared above their
heads, and, slowly descending, settled upon the
brow of the corpse, lighting up the sunken
DOCTOR DEE. 143
cavities of the eyes, and the discoloured and
" The charm Works, 11 shouted Doctor Dee.
"She moves! she moves! 1 ' exclaimed Guy
Fawkes. " She is alive ! "
" Take off your hand, 1 '' cried the Doctor, " or
mischief may ensue. 11 And he again continued
" Down on your knees! 11 he exclaimed, at
length, in a terrible voice. " The spirit is at
There was a rushing sound, and a stream of
dazzling lightning shot down upon the corpse,
which emitted a hollow groan. In obedience to
the Doctor's commands, Guy Fawkes had pro-
strated himself on the ground ; but he kept his
gaze steadily fixed on the body, which, to his
infinite astonishment, slowly arose, until it stood
erect upon the frame. There it remained per-
fectly motionless, with the arms close to the sides,
and the habiliments torn and dishevelled. The
blue light still retained its position upon the brow,
and communicated a horrible glimmer to the
features. The spectacle was so dreadful that
144 GUY FAWKES.
Guy Fawkes would fain have averted his eyes,
but he was unable to do so. Doctor Dee and
his companion, meanwhile, continued their invo-
cations, until, as it seemed to Fawkes, the lips
of the corpse moved, and an awful voice exclaim-
ed, " Why have you called me ?"
" Daughter ! 11 replied Doctor Dee, rising, " in
life thou wert endowed with the gift of prophecy.
In the grave, that which is to come must be
revealed to thee. "We would question thee.'' 1
" Speak, and I will answer," replied the corpse.
" Interrogate her, my son, 11 said Dee, address-
ing Fawkes, " and be brief, for the time is short.
So long only as that flame burns have I power
over her. 11
" Spirit of Elizabeth Orton, 11 cried Guy Fawkes,
" if indeed thou standest before me, and some
demon hath not entered thy frame to delude me,
— by all that is holy, and by every blessed saint, I
adjure thee to tell me whether the scheme on
which I am now engaged for the advantage of the
Catholic Church will prosper ? "
" Thou art mistaken, Guy Fawkes, 11 returned
DOCTOR DEE. 145
the corpse. " Thy scheme is not for the ad-
vantage of the Catholic Church."
" I will not pause to inquire wherefore," con-
tinued Fawkes. "But, grant that the means
are violent and wrongful, will the end be suc-
" The end will be death," replied the corpse.
" To the tyrant — to the oppressors ? " de-
" To the conspirators," was the answer.
" Ha !" ejaculated Fawkes.
" Proceed, if you have aught more to ask,"
cried Doctor Dee. " The flame is expiring."
" Shall we restore the fallen religion ?" de-
But before the words could be pronounced the
light vanished, and a heavy sound was heard, as
of the body falling on the frame.
" It is over," said Doctor Dee.
" Can you not summon her again ? " asked
Fawkes, in a tone of deep disappointment. " I
had other questions to ask."
" Impossible ! " replied the Doctor. " The
VOL. I. H
146 GUY FAWKES.
spirit is fled, and will not be recalled. We must
now commit the body to the earth. And this
time it shall be more decently interred. r>
" My curiosity is excited, — not satisfied," said
Guy Fawkes. " Would it were to occur again !"
" It is ever thus," replied Doctor Dee. " We
seek to know that which is interdicted, — and
quench our thirst at a fountain that only inflames
our curiosity the more. Be warned, my son.
You are embarked on a perilous enterprise, and
if you pursue it, it will lead you to certain de-
" I cannot retreat," rejoined Fawkes, " and
would not, if I could. I am bound by an oath
too terrible to be broken."
u I will absolve you of your oath, my son,"
said Doctor Dee, eagerly.
" You cannot, reverend sir," replied Fawkes.
" By no sophistry could I clear my conscience of
the ties imposed upon it. I have sworn never
to desist from the execution of this scheme, unless
those engaged in it shall give me leave. Nay,
so resolved am I, that if I stood alone I would
DOCTOR DEE. 147
As he spoke, a deep groan issued from the
" You are again warned, my son," said
" Come forth," said Guy Fawkes, rushing to-
wards the door, and throwing it open. " This
place stifles me."
The night has already been described as bright
and beautiful. Before him stood the Collegiate
Church bathed in moonlight. He gazed ab-
stractedly at this venerable structure for a few
moments, and then returned to the charnel, where
he found Doctor Dee and Kelley employed in
placing the body of the prophetess in a coffin,
which they had taken from a pile in the corner
He immediately proffered his assistance, and in
a short space the task was completed. The coffin
was then borne towards the grave, at the edge of
which it was laid while the burial-service was
recited by Doctor Dee. This ended, it was
lowered into its shallow resting-place, and speedily
covered with earth.
When all was ready for their departure, the
148 GUY FAWKES.
Doctor turned to Fawkes, and, bidding him fare-
" If you are wise, my son, you will profit
by the awful warning you have this night re-
" Before we part, reverend sir," replied Fawkes,
" I -would ask if you know of other means where-
by an insight may be obtained into the future ?"
" Many, my son," replied Dee. " I have a
magic glass, in which, with due preparation,
you may behold exact representations of coming
events. I am now returning to the College, and
if you will accompany me, I will show it to you."
The offer was eagerly accepted, and the party
quitted the churchyard.
THE MAGIC GLASS. 149
THE MAGIC GLASS.
The old College of Manchester occupied, as
is well known, the site of the existing structure,
called after the benevolent individual by whom
that admirable charity was founded, and whom
we have ventured to introduce in this history, —
the Chetham Hospital. Much, indeed, of the
ancient building remains ; for though it was con-
siderably repaired and enlarged, being " very
ruinous and in great decay," at the time of its
purchase in 1654, by the feoffees under Hum-
phrey Chetham's will, from the sequestrators of
the Earl of Derby's estates, still the general
character of the fabric has been preserved, and
several of its chambers retained. Originally built
on the foundation of a manor-house denominated
The Baron's Hall, — the abode of the Grelleys
150 GUY FAWKES.
and the De la Warrs, lords of Manchester, —
the College continued to be used as the resi-
dence of the warden and fellows of the Collegiate
Church until the reign of Edward the First,
when that body was dissolved. On the acces-
sion, however, of Mary, the College was re-estab-
lished ; but the residence of the ecclesiastical
body being removed to a house in Deansgate,
the building was allowed to become extremely
dilapidated, and was used partly as a prison for
recusants and other offenders, and partly as a
magazine for powder. In this state Doctor Dee
found it when he succeeded to the wardenship
in 1595, and preferring it, notwithstanding its
ruinous condition, to the house appointed for
him elsewhere, took up his abode within it.
Situated on a high rock, overhanging the river
Irk — at that time a clear stream, remarkable for
the excellence of its fish, — and constructed en-
tirely of stone, the old College had then, and
still has to a certain extent, a venerable and
monastic appearance. During Dee's occupation
of it, it became a sort of- weird abode in the eyes
of the vulgar, and many a timorous look was
THE MAGIC GLASS. 151
cast at it by those who walked at eventide on
the opposite bank of the Irk. Sometimes the
curiosity of the watchers was rewarded by behold-
ing a few sparks issue from the chimney, and
now and then, the red reflection of a fire might
be discerned through the window. But gener-
ally nothing could be perceived, and the building
seemed as dark and mysterious as its occupant.
One night, however, a loud explosion took
place, — so loud, indeed, that it shook the whole
pile to its foundation, dislodged one or two of
the chimneys, and overthrew an old wall, the
stones of which rolled into the river beneath.
Alarmed by the concussion, the inhabitants of
Hunt's Bank rushed forth, and saw, to their
great alarm, that the wing of the College occu-
pied by Doctor Dee was in flames. Though
many of them attributed the circumstance to
supernatural agency, and were fully persuaded
that the enemy of mankind was at that instant
bearing off the conjuror and his assistant, and
refused to interfere to stop the conflagration,
others more humane, and less superstitious, hast-
ened to lend their aid to extinguish the flames.
152 GUY FAWKES.
On reaching the College, they could scarcely
credit their senses on finding that there was
no appearance of fire ; and they were met by
the Doctor and his companion at the gates,
who informed them that their presence was un-
necessary, as all danger was over. From that
night Doctor Dee's reputation as a wizard was
At the period of this history, Doctor Dee was
fast verging on eighty, having passed a long
life in severe and abstruse study. He had tra-
velled much, had visited most of the foreign
courts, where he was generally well received, and
was profoundly versed in mathematics, astronomy,
the then popular science of judicial astrology,
and other occult learning. So accurate were his
calculations esteemed, that he was universally
consulted as an oracle. For some time, he re-
sided in Germany, where he was invited by the
Emperor Charles the Fifth, and retained by his
brother and successor, Ferdinando. » He next
went to Louvain, where his reputation had pre-
ceded him ; and from thence to Paris, where
he lectured at the schools on geometry, and
THE MAGIC GLASS. 153
was offered a professorship of the university,
but declined it. On his return to England in
1551, he was appointed one of the instructors
of the youthful monarch, Edward the Sixth,
who presented him with an annual pension of
a hundred marks. This he was permitted to
commute for the rectory of Upton-upon-Severn,
which he retained until the accession of Mary,
when being charged with devising her Majesty's
destruction by enchantments, — certain waxen
images of the Queen having been found within
his abode, — he was thrown into prison, rigor-
ously treated, and kept in durance for a long
period. At length, from want of sufficient proof
against him, he was liberated.
Dee shared the common fate of all astrologers :
he was alternately honoured and disgraced. His
next patron was Lord Robert Dudley (afterwards
the celebrated Earl of Leicester), who,, it is well-
known, was a firm believer in the superstitious
arts to which Dee was addicted, and by whom he
was employed, on the accession of Elizabeth,
to erect a scheme to ascertain the best day for
her coronation. His prediction was so fortunate
154 GUY FAWKES.
that it procured him the favour of the Queen,
from whom he received many, marks of regard.
As it is not needful to follow him through his
various wanderings, it may be sufficient to men-
tion, that in 1564 he proceeded to Germany on
a visit to the Emperor Maximilian, to whom
he dedicated his " Monas Hieroglyphica ;™ that
in 1571 he fell grievously sick in Lorrain, whi-
ther two physicians were despatched to his aid by
Elizabeth ; and that on his recoveryiie returned
to his own country, and retired to Mortlake,
where he gathered together a vast library, com-
prising the rarest and most curious works on all
sciences, together with a large collection of manu-
While thus living in retirement, he was sought
out by Edward Kelley, a native of Worcester-
shire, who represented himself as in possession
of an old book of magic, containing forms of
invocation, by which spirits might be summoned
and controlled, as well as a ball of ivory, found
in the tomb of a bishop who had made great
progress in hermetic philosophy, which was filled
with the powder of projection. These treasures
THE MAGIC GLASS. 155
Kelley offered to place in the hands of the
Doctor on certain conditions, which were imme-
diately acquiesced in, and thenceforth Kelley
became a constant inmate in his house, and an
assistant in all his practices. Shortly afterwards,
they were joined by a Polish nobleman, Albert
de Laski, Palatine of Suabia, whom they accom-
panied to Prague, at the instance of the Emperor
Rodolph the Second, who desired to be initiated
into their mysteries. Their reception at this court
was not such as to induce a long sojourn at it ;
and Dee having been warned by his familiar
spirits to sell his effects and depart, complied
with the intimation, and removed to Poland.
The same fate attended him here. The nuncio
of the Pope denounced him as a sorcerer, and
demanded that he should be delivered up to the
Inquisition. This was refused by the monarch ;
but Dee and his companion were banished from
his dominions, and compelled to fly to Bohemia,
where they took refuge in the castle of Trebona,
belonging to Count Rosenberg. Shortly after-
wards, Dee and Kelley separated, the magical
instruments being delivered to the former, who
156 GUY FAWKES.
bent his course homewards ; and on his arrival
in London was warmly welcomed by the Queen.
During his absence, his house at Mortlake had
been broken open by the populace, under the
pretence of its being the abode of a wizard,
and rifled of its valuable library and manuscripts,
— a loss severely felt by its owner. Some
years were now passed by Dee in great destitu-
tion, during which he prosecuted his studies
with the same ardour as before, until at length
in 1595, when he was turned seventy, fortune
again smiled upon him, and he was appointed
to the wardenship of the College at Manchester,
whither he repaired, and was installed in great
But his residence in this place was not des-
tined to be a tranquil one. His reputation as
a dealer in the black art had preceded him,
and rendered him obnoxious to the clergy, with
whom he had constant disputes, and a feud
subsisted between him and the fellows of his
church. It has already been mentioned that
he refused to occupy the house allotted him,
but preferred taking up his quarters in the old
THE MAGIC GLASS. 157
dilapidated College. Various reasons were as-
signed by his enemies for this singular choice
of abode. They affirmed — and with some rea-
son — that he selected it because he desired to
elude observation, — and that his mode of life,
sufficiently improper in a layman, was altogether
indecorous in an ecclesiastic. By the common
people he was universally regarded as a conjuror
— and many at first came to consult him ; but
he peremptorily dismissed all such applicants ;
and, when seven females, supposed to be possess-
ed, were brought to him that he might exercise
his power over the evil spirits, he refused to
interfere. He also publicly examined and re-
buked a juggler, named Hartley, who pretended
to magical knowledge. But these things did
not blind his enemies, who continued to harass
him to such a degree, that he addressed a petition
to James the First, entreating to be brought
to trial, when the accusations preferred against
him might be fully investigated, and his character
cleared. The application, and another to the
like effect addressed to parliament, were disregard-
ed. Dee had not been long established in Man-
158 GUY FAWKES.
Chester when he was secretly joined by Kelley, and
they recommenced their search after the grand
secret, — passing the nights in making various
alchymical experiments, or in fancied conferences
with invisible beings.
Among other magical articles possessed by
Doctor Dee was a large globe of crystal, which
he termed the Holy Stone, because he believed
it had been brought him by "angelical ministry; "
and " in which," according to Meric Casaubon,
"and out of which, by persons qualified for it,
and admitted to the sight of it, all shapes and
figures mentioned in every action were seen,
and voices heard." The same writer informs
us it was " round-shaped, of a pretty bigness,
and most like unto crystal." Dee himself de-
clared to the Emperor Rodolph, "that the spirits
had brought him a stone of that value that no
earthly kingdom was of such worthiness as to
be compared to the virtue and dignity thereof."
He was in the habit of daily consulting this
marvellous stone, and recording the visions he
saw therein, and the conferences he held through
it with the invisible world.
THE MAGIC GLASS. 159
Followed by Guy Fawkes and Kelley, the
Doctor took his way down Long Mill Gate,
and stopping at an arched gateway on the left'
near which, on the site of the modem structure,
stood the public school, founded a century before
by Hugh Oldham, Bishop of Exeter, — he un-
locked a small wicket, and entered a spacious
court, surrounded on one side by high stone
walls, and on the other by a wing of the College.
Conducting his guest to the principal entrance
of the building, which lay at the farther end
of the court, Doctor Dee ushered him into a
large chamber, panelled with oak, and having a
curiously-moulded ceiling, ornamented with gro-
tesque sculpture. This room, still in existence,
and now occupied by the master of the school,
formed Doctor Dee's library. Offering Fawkes
a chair, the Doctor informed him that when
all was ready, Kelley should summon him, and,
accompanied by his assistant, he withdrew. Half
an hour elapsed before Kelley returned. Motion-
ing Guy Fawkes to follow him, he led the way
through several intricate passages to a chamber
which was evidently the magician's sacred retreat.
160 GUY FAWKES.
In a recess on one side stood a table, covered
with cabalistic characters and figures, referring
to the celestial influences. On it was placed
the holy stone, diffusing such a glistening ra-
diance as is emitted by the pebble called cat's-eye.
On the floor a wide circle was described, in
the rings of which magical characters, resembling
those on the table, were traced. In front stood
a brasier, filled with flaming coals ; and before
it hung a heavy black curtain, appearing to
shroud some mystery from view.
Desiring Fawkes to place himself in the cen-
tre of the circle, Doctor Dee took several in-
gredients from a basket handed him by Kelley,
and cast them into the brasier. As each herb
or gum was ignited, the flame changed its colour ;
now becoming crimson, now green, now blue,
while fragrant or noxious odours loaded the
atmosphere. These suffumigations ended, Dee
seated himself on a chair near the table, whither
he was followed by Kelley, and commanding
Fawkes not to move a footstep, as he valued
his safety, he waved his wand, and began in a
solemn tone to utter an invocation. As he con-
tinued, a hollow noise was heard overhead,
THE MAGIC GLASS. 161
which gradually increased in loudness, until it
appeared as if the walls were tumbling about
" The spirits are at hand !" cried Dee. " Do
not look behind you, or they will tear you in
As he spoke, a horrible din was heard, as of
mingled howling, shrieking, and laughter. It
was succeeded by a low faint strain of music,
which gradually died away, and then all was
" All is prepared," cried Dee. " Now, what
would you behold ? "
" The progress of the great enterprise," re-
Doctor Dee waved his wand. The curtains
slowly unfolded, and Guy Fawkes perceived as
in a glass a group of dark figures ; amongst
which he noticed one in all respects resembling
himself. A priest was apparently proposing an
oath, which the others were uttering.
<c Do you recognise them ?" said Doctor Dee.
" Perfectly, " replied Fawkes.
" Look again," said Dee.
As he spoke the figures melted away, and
162 GUY FAWKES.
a new scene was presented on the glass. It was
a gloomy vault, filled with barrels, partly covered
with fagots and billets of wood.
1* Have you seen enough ? " demanded Dee.
" No," replied Fawkes, firmly. " I have seen
what is past. I would behold that which is
" Look again, then," rejoined the Doctor,
waving his wand.
For an instant the glass was darkened, and
nothing could be discerned except the lurid
flame and thick smoke arising from the brasier.
The next moment, an icy chill shot through the
frame of Guy Fawkes as he beheld a throng of
skeletons arranged before him. The bony fin-
gers of the foremost of the grisly assemblage
were pointed towards an indistinct object at its
feet. As this object gradually became more de-
fined, Guy Fawkes perceived that it was a figure
resembling himself, stretched upon the wheel,
and writhing in the agonies of torture.
He uttered an exclamation of terror, and the
curtains were instantly closed.
Half an hour afterwards, Guy Fawkes quitted
the College, and returned to the Seven Stars.
Off o'y-o cvruHr^ luvwI'C--
THE PRISON ON SALFORD BRIDGE. 163
THE PRISON ON SALFORD BRIDGE.
On the following morning, Guy Fawkes had
a long and private conference with Father Old-
corne. The priest appeared greatly troubled by
the communication made to him, but he said
nothing, and was for some time lost in reflection,
and evidently weighing within himself what
course it would be best to pursue. His un-
easiness was not without effect on Viviana Rad-
clirTe, and she ventured at last to inquire whether
he apprehended any new danger.
" I scarcely know what I apprehend, dear
daughter," he answered. " But circumstances
have occurred which render it impossible we can
remain longer in our present asylum with safe-
ty. We must quit it at nightfall."
"Is our retreat then discovered?" inquired
Viviana, in alarm.
164 GUY FAWKES.
" Not as yet, I trust," replied Oldcorne ;
" but I have just ascertained from a messenger
that the pursuivant, who, we thought, had de-
parted for Chester, is still lingering within the
town. He has offered a large reward for my
apprehension, and having traced us to Manches-
ter, declares he will leave no house unsearched
till he finds us. He has got together a fresh
band of soldiers, and is now visiting every place
he thinks likely to afford us shelter."
"If this is the case," rejoined Viviana,
" why remain here a single moment ? Let us
fly at once."
" That would avail nothing, — or rather, it
would expose us to fresh risk, dear daughter,"
replied Oldcorne. " Every approach to the town
is guarded, and soldiers are posted at the corners
of the streets, who stop and examine each sus-
" Heaven protect us ! " exclaimed Viviana.
" But this is not all," continued the priest.
" By some inexplicable and mysterious means,
the designs of certain of the most assured friends
of the Catholic cause have come to the know-
THE PRISON ON SALFORD BRIDGE. 165
ledge of our enemies, and the lives and safeties
of many worthy men will be endangered : amongst
others, that of your father."
" You terrify me !" cried Viviana.
" The rack shall force nothing from me, fa-
ther," said Fawkes, sternly.
" Nor from me, my son," rejoined Oldcorne.
" I have that within me which will enable me
to sustain the bitterest agonies that the perse-
cutors of our Church can inflict."
" Nor shall it force aught from me," added
Viviana. " For, though you have trusted me
with nothing that can implicate others, I plainly
perceive some plot is in agitation for the restora-
tion of our religion, and I more than suspect
Mr. Catesby is its chief contriver."
" Daughter !" exclaimed Oldcorne, uneasily.
" Fear nothing, father," she rejoined. " As
I have said, the rack shall not force me to betray
you. Neither should it keep me silent when
I feel that my counsel — such as it is — may avail
you. The course you are pursuing is a danger-
ous and fatal one, — dangerous to yourselves, and
fatal to the cause you would serve. Do not
166 GUY FAWKES.
deceive yourselves, You are struggling hope-
lessly and unrighteously, and Heaven will never
assist an undertaking which has its aim in the
terrible waste of life you meditate. v
Father Oldcorne made no reply, but walked
apart with Guy Fawkes ; and Viviana aban-
doned herself to sorrowful reflection.
Shortly after this, the door was suddenly
thrown open, and Humphrey Chetham rushed
into the room. His looks were full of appre-
hension, and Viviana was at no loss to perceive
that some calamity was at hand.
" What is the matter ?" she cried, rising.
" The pursuivant and bis men are below," he
replied. " They are interrogating the hostess,
and are about to search the house. I managed
to pass them unperceived."
" We will resist them to the last," said Guy
Fawkes, drawing a petronel.
" Resistance will be in vain," rejoined Hum-
phrey Chetham. " They more than treble our
"Is there no means of escape?" asked Vi-
THE PRISON ON SALFORD BRIDGE. 167
" None whatever," replied Chethain. " I hear
them on the stairs. The terrified hostess has
not dared to deny you, and is conducting them
"Stand back!" cried Guy Fawkes, striding
towards the door, "and let me alone confront
them. That accursed pursuivant has escaped
me once. But he shall not do so a second
" My son," said Oldcorne, advancing towards
him, " preserve yourself, if possible. Your life
is of consequence to the great cause. Think not
of us — think not of revenging yourself upon this
caitiff. But think of the high destiny for which
you are reserved. That window offers a means
of retreat. Avail yourself of it. Fly ! —
"Ay, fly!" repeated Viviana. "And you,
Humphrey Chetham, — your presence here can
do no good. Quick ! — they come !"
" Nothing should induce me to quit you at
such a moment, Viviana," replied Chetham, " but
the conviction that I may be able to liberate you,
should these miscreants convey you to prison."
168 GUY FAWKES.
« Fly ! — fly, my son," cried Oldcorne. a They
are at the door."
Thus urged, Guy Fawkes reluctantly yielded
to Oldcorne's entreaties, and sprang through the
window. He was followed by Chetham. Vi-
viana darted to the casement, and saw that they
had alighted in safety on the ground, and were fly-
ing swiftly up Shude Hill. Meanwhile, the pur-
suivant had reached the door, which Chetham
had taken the precaution to fasten, and was
trying to burst it open. The bolts offered but
a feeble resistance to his fury, and the next mo-
ment he dashed into the room, at the head of
a band of soldiers.
" Seize them !" he cried. " Ha !" he added,
glancing round the room with a look of dis-
appointment, " where are the others ? Where
is the soldier in the Spanish garb ? Where
is Humphrey Chetham ? Confess at once,
dog !" he continued, seizing the priest by the
throat, " or I will pluck the secret from your
" Do not harm him," interposed Viviana. 6i I
will answer the question. They are fled."
THE PRISON ON SALFORD BRIDGE. 169
" Fled V echoed the pursuivant in conster-
nation. " How ?"
" Through that window," replied Viviana.
11 After them ! " cried the pursuivant to some
of his attendants. " Take the soldier, dead or
alive ! — And now," he continued, as his orders
were obeyed, " you, Father Oldcorne, Jesuit and
traitor, and you, Viviana Radcliffe, his shelterer
and abettor, I shall convey you both to the pri-
son on Salford Bridge. Seize them, and bring
" Touch me not," rejoined Viviana, pushing
the men aside, who rudely advanced to obey their
leader's command. " You have no warrant for
this brutality. I am ready to attend you. Take
my arm, father."
Abashed at this reproof, the pursuivant stalked
out of the room. Surrounded by the soldiers,
Viviana and the priest followed. The sad pro-
cession was attended by crowds to the very door
of the prison, where, by the pursuivant's com-
mands, they were locked in separate cells.
The cell in which Viviana was confined was
a small chamber at the back of the prison, and
VOL. I. I
170 GUY FAWKES.
on the upper story. It had a small grated
window overlooking the river. It has already
been mentioned that this prison was originally
a chapel built in the reign of Edward the Third,
and had only recently been converted into a place
of security for recusants. The chamber allotted
to Viviana was contrived in the roof, and was
so low that she could scarcely stand upright in
it. It was furnished with a chair, a small table,
and a straw pallet.
The hours passed wearily with Viviana as
they were marked by the deep-toned clock of
the Collegiate Church, the tall tower of which
fronted her window. Oppressed by the most
melancholy reflections, she was for some time
a prey almost to despair. On whatever side
she looked, the prospect was equally cheerless,
and her sole desire was that she might find a
refuge from her cares in the seclusion of a convent.
For this she prayed, — and she prayed also
that Heaven would soften the hearts of her
oppressors, and enable those who suffered to
endure their yoke with patience. In the evening
provisions were brought her, and placed upon
THE PRISON ON SALFORD BRIDGE. 171
the table, together with a lamp, by a surly
looking gaoler. But Viviana had no inclination
to eat, and left them untouched. Neither could
she prevail upon herself to lie down on the
wretched pallet, and she therefore determined
to pass the night in the chair.
After some hours of watchfulness, her eyelids
closed, and she continued to slumber until she
was aroused by a slight noise at the window.
Starting at the sound, she flew towards it, and
perceived in the gloom the face of a man. She
would have uttered a loud cry, when the cir-
cumstances of her situation rushed to her mind,
and the possibility that it might be a friend
checked her. The next moment satisfied her
that she had acted rightly. A voice, which
she recognised as that of Humphrey Chetham,
called to her by name in a low tone, bidding
her fear nothing, as he was come to set her free.
" How have you managed to reach this win-
dow ? " asked Viviana.
" By a rope ladder," he answered. " I con-
trived in the darkness to clamber upon the roof
of the prison from the parapets of the bridge,
172 GUY FAWKES.
and, after securing the ladder to a projection,
dropped the other end into a boat, rowed by
Guy Fawkes, and concealed beneath the arches
of the bridge. If I can remove this bar so
as to allow you to pass through the window, dare
you descend the ladder?"
" No," replied Viviana, shuddering. " My
brain reels at the mere idea."
" Think of the fate you will escape," urged
" And what will become of Father Oldcorne ?"
asked Viviana. " Where is he ? "
" In the cell immediately beneath you," re-
" Can you not liberate him ?" she continued.
" Assuredly, if he will risk the descent," an-
swered Chetham, reluctantly.
" Free him first," rejoined Viviana, " and
at all hazards I will accompany you."
The young merchant made no reply, but dis-
appeared from the window. Viviana strained
her gaze downwards ; but it was too dark to allow
her to see anything. She, however, heard a noise
like that occasioned by a file ; and shortly after-
THE PRISON ON SALFORD BRIDGE. 173
wards a few muttered words informed her that
the priest was passing through the window. The
eords of the ladder shook against the bars of her
window, — and she held her breath for fear.
From this state of suspense she was relieved
in a few minutes by Humphrey Chetham, who
informed her that Oldcorne had descended in
safety, and was in the boat with Guy Fawkes.
" I will fulfil my promise," replied Viviana,
trembling ; " but I fear my strength will fail
" You had better find death below than tarry
here," replied Humphrey Chetham, who as he
spoke was rapidly filing through the iron bar.
"In a few minutes this impediment will be
removed. 1 ''
The young merchant worked hard, and in
a short time the stout bar yielded to his efforts.
" Now, then," he cried, springing into the
room, " you are free."
" I dare not make the attempt," said Viviana ;
" my strength utterly fails me."
" Nay, then," he replied ; " I will take the
risk upon myself. You must not remain here."
174 GUY FAWKES.
So saying, he caught her in his arms, and bore
her through the window.
With some difficulty, and no little risk, he
succeeded in gaining a footing on the ladder.
This accomplished, he began slowly to descend.
When half way down, he found he had overrated
his strength, and he feared he should be com-
pelled to quit his hold ; but, nerved by his
passion, he held on, and making a desperate
effort, completed the descent in safety.
THE PURSUIVANT. 175
THE FATE OF THE PURSUIVANT.
Assisted by the stream, and plying his
oars with great rapidity, Guy Fawkes soon
left the town far behind him ; nor did he relax
his exertions until checked by Humphrey Chet-
ham. He then ceased rowing, and directed
the boat towards the left bank of the river.
" Here we propose to land," observed the
young merchant to Viviana. " We are not
more than a hundred yards from Ordsall Cave,
where you can take refuge for a short time, while
I proceed to the Hall, and ascertain whether
you can return to it with safety."
" I place myself entirely in your hands," she
replied ; " but I fear such a course will be to
rush into the very face of danger. Oh ! that
176 GUY FAWKES.
I could join my father at Holywell ! With
him I should feel secure."
66 Means may be found to effect your wishes,"
returned Humphrey Chetham ; "but, after the
suffering you have recently endured, it will
scarcely be prudent to undertake so long a
journey without a few hours'* repose. To-mor-
row, — or the next day, — you may set out."
" I am fully equal to it now," rejoined Viviana,
eagerly ; " and any fatigue I may undergo will
not equal my present anxiety. You have
already done so much for me, that I venture
to presume still further upon your kindness.
Provide some means of conveyance for me and
for Father Oldcorne to Chester, and I shall for
ever be beholden to you."
" I will not only do what you desire, Viviana,
if it be possible," answered Chetham; "but,
if you will allow me, I will serve as your escort."
" And I, also," added Guy Fawkes.
"All I fear is, that your strength may fail
you," continued the young merchant in a tone
THE PURSUIVANT. 177
" Fear nothing then," replied Viviana. " I
am made of firmer material than you imagine.
Think only of what you can do, and doubt not
my ability to do it, also."
" I ever deemed you of a courageous nature,
daughter," observed Oldcorne ; " but your re-
solution surpasses my belief."
By this time the boat had approached the
shore. Leaping upon the rocky bank, the young
merchant assisted Viviana to land, and then
performed the same service for the priest. Guy
Fawkes was the last to disembark ; and, having
pulled the skiff aground, he followed the others,
who waited for him at a short distance. The
night was profoundly dark, and the path they
had taken, being shaded by large trees, was
scarcely discernible. Carefully guiding Viviana,
who leaned on him for support, the young mer-
chant proceeded at a slow pace, and with the
utmost caution. Suddenly, they were surprised
and alarmed by a vivid blaze of light bursting
through the trees on the left.
" Some building must be on fire ! " exclaimed
178 GUY FAWKES.
" It is Ordsall Hall, — it is your father's resi-
dence, 11 cried Humphrey Chetham.
" It is the work of that accursed pursuivant, I
will be sworn, 11 said Guy Fawkes.
" If it be so, may Heaven^ fire consume
him ! " rejoined Oldcorne.
" Alas ! alas ! " cried Viviana, bursting into
tears, " I thought myself equal to every calamity;
but this new stroke of fate is more than I can
As she spoke, the conflagration evidently in-
creased. The sky was illumined by the red
reflection of the flames ; and as the party
hurried forward to a rising ground, whence a
better view could be obtained of the spectacle,
they saw the dark walls of the ancient mansion
apparently wrapped in the devouring element.
" Let us hasten thither, 11 cried Viviana, dis-
" I and Guy Fawkes will fly there, 11 replied
the young merchant, " and render all the assist-
ance in our power. But, first, let me convey
you to the cave. 11
More dead than alive, Viviana suffered herself
THE PURSUIVANT. 179
to be borne in that direction. Making his -way
over every impediment, Chetham soon reached
the excavation ; and depositing his lovely burthen
upon the stone couch, and leaving her in charge
of the priest, he hurried with Guy Fawkes to-
wards the Hall.
On arriving at the termination of the avenue,
they found, to their great relief, that it was
not the main structure, but an outbuilding which
was in flames, and from its situation the young
merchant conceived it to be the stables. As
soon as they made this discovery, they slackened
their pace, being apprehensive, from the shouts
and other sounds that reached them, that some
hostile party might be among the assemblage.
Crossing the drawbridge — which was fortunately
lowered, — they were about to shape their course
towards the stables, which lay at the further
side of the Hall, when they perceived the old
steward, Heydocke, standing at the doorway
and wringing his hands in distraction. Hum-
phrey Chetham immediately called to him.
" I should know that voice ! n cried the old
man, stepping forward. " Ah ! Mr. Chetham,
180 GUY FAWKES.
is it you ? You are arrived at a sad time,
sir — a sad time — to seethe old house, where
I have dwelt, man and boy, sixty years and more,
in flames. But one calamity has trodden upon
the heels of another. Ever since Sir William
departed for Holywell nothing has gone right
— nothing whatever. First, the house was search-
ed by the pursuivant and his gang; then, my
young mistress disappeared ; then it was rifled
by these plunderers ; and now, to crown all, it
is on fire, and will speedily be burnt to the
" Say not so," replied the young merchant.
" The flames have not yet reached the Hall;
and, if exertion is used, they may be extin-
guished without further mischief."
" Let those who have kindled them extinguish
them," replied Heydocke, sullenly. " I will
not raise hand more."
"Who are the incendiaries?" demanded
"The pursuivant and his myrmidons," replied
Heydocke. "They came here to-night; and
after ransacking the house under pretence of
THE PURSUIVANT. 181
procuring further evidence against my master,
and carrying off everything valuable they could
collect, — plate, jewels, ornaments, money, and
even wearing-apparel, — they ended by locking
up all the servants, — except myself, who ma-
naged to elude their vigilance, — in the cellar,
and setting fire to the stables."
" Wretches !" exclaimed Humphrey Chetham.
" Wretches, indeed I" repeated the steward.
" But this is not all the villany they contem-
plate. I had concealed myself in the store-room,
under a heap of lumber, and in searching for me
they chanced upon a barrel of gunpowder — "
" Well !" interrupted Guy Fawkes.
" Well, sir, 11 pursued Heydocke, " I heard
the pursuivant remark to one of his comrades,
6 This is a lucky discovery. If we can't find
the steward, we '11 blow him and the old house
to the devil.' Just then, some one came to tell
him I was hidden in the stables, and the whole
troop adjourned thither. But being baulked
of their prey, I suppose, they wreaked their ven-
geance in the way you perceive."
" No doubt," rejoined Humphrey Chetham.
182 GUY FAWKES.
" But they shall bitterly rue it. I will myself
represent the affair to the Commissioners."
" It will be useless," groaned Heydocke.
" There is no law to protect the property of a
" Where is the barrel of gunpowder you spoke
of ? " asked Guy Fawkes, as if struck by a sudden
" The villains took it with them when they
quitted the store-room," replied the steward. " I
suppose they have got it in the yard."
u They have lighted a fire which shall be
quenched with their blood," rejoined Fawkes
fiercely. " Follow me. I may need you both."
So saying, he darted off, and turning the
corner, came in front of the blazing pile. Oc-
cupying one side of a large quadrangular court, the
stables were wholly disconnected with the Hall,
and though the fire burnt furiously, yet as the
wind carried the flames and sparks in a contrary
direction, it was possible the latter building
might escape if due precaution were taken. So
far, however, from this being the case, it seemed
the object of the bystanders to assist the pro-
THE PURSUIVANT. 183
gross of the conflagration. Several horses, sad-
dled and bridled, had been removed from the
stable, and placed within an open cowhouse. To
these Guy Fawkes called Chetham's attention,
and desired him and the old steward to secure
some of them. Hastily giving directions to
Heydocke, the young merchant obeyed, — sprang
on the back of the nearest courser, and seizing
the bridles of two others, rode off with them.
His example was followed by Heydocke, and
one steed only was left. Such was the confusion
and clamour prevailing around, that the above
proceeding passed unnoticed.
Guy Fawkes, meanwhile, ensconcing himself
behind the court-gate, looked about for the barrel
of gunpowder. For some time he could dis-
cover no trace of it. At length, beneath a shed,
not far from him, he perceived a soldier seated
upon a small cask, which he had no doubt was
the object he was in search of. So intent was
the man upon the spectacle before him, that he
was wholly unaware of the approach of an enemy;
and creeping noiselessly up to him, Guy Fawkes
felled him to the ground with a blow from the
184 GUY FAWKES.
heavy butt-end of his petronel. The action was
not perceived by the others ; and carrying the
cask out of the yard, Fawkes burst in the lid,
and ascertained that the contents were what they
had been represented. He then glanced around,
to see how he could best execute his purpose.
On the top of the wall adjoining the stables
he beheld the pursuivant, with three or four
soldiers, giving directions and issuing orders.
Another and lower wall, forming the opposite
side of the quadrangle, and built on the edge
of the moat, approached the scene of the fire,
and on this, Guy Fawkes with the barrel of
gunpowder on his shoulder, mounted. Concealing
himself behind a tree which overshadowed it,
he watched a favourable moment for his enterprise.
He had not to wait long. Prompted by
some undefinable feeling, which caused him to
rush upon his destruction, the pursuivant ven-
tured upon the roof of the stables, and was
followed by his companions. No sooner did
this occur, than Guy Fawkes dashed forward,
and hurled the barrel with all his force into the
midst of the flames, throwing himself at the same
THE PURSUIVANT. 185
moment into the moat. The explosion was
instantaneous and tremendous; — so loud as to
be audible even under the water. Its effects
were terrible. The bodies of the pursuivant
and his companions were blown into the air,
and carried to the further side of the moat. Of
those standing before the building, several were
destroyed, and all more or less injured. The
walls were thrown down by the concussion, and
the roof and its fiery fragments projected into
the moat. An effectual stop was put to the
conflagration ; and, when Guy Fawkes rose to
the boiling and agitated surface of the water,
the flames were entirely extinguished. Hearing
groans on the opposite bank of the moat, he
forced his way through the blazing beams, which
were hissing near hini ; and snatching up a still
burning fragment, hastened in the direction of
the sound. In the blackened and mutilated
object that met his gaze, lie recognised the
pursuivant. The dying wretch also recognised
him, and attempted to speak; but in vain — his
tongue refused its office, and with a horrible
attempt at articulation he expired.
186 GUY FAWKES.
Alarmed by the explosion, the domestics, — who
it has already been mentioned, were confined in
the cellar, — were rendered so desperate by their
fears, that they contrived to break out of their
prison, and now hastened to the stables to ascer-
tain the cause of the report. Leaving them
to assist the sufferers, whose dreadful groans
awakened some feelings of compunction in his
iron breast, Guy Fawkes caught the steed, —
which had broken its bridle and rushed off, and
now stood shivering, shaking, and drenched in
moisture near the drawbridge, — and, mounting
it, galloped towards the cave.
At its entrance, he was met by Humphrey
Chetham and Oldcorne, who eagerly inquired
what had happened.
Guy Fawkes briefly explained.
"It is the hand of Heaven manifested by
your arm, my son," observed the priest. " Would
that it had stricken the tyrant and apostate
prince by whom our Church is persecuted ! But
his turn will speedily arrive."
" Peace, father !" cried Guy Fawkes sternly.
" I do not lament the fate of the pursuivant,"
THE PURSUIVANT. 187
observed Humphrey Chetham. " But this is
a frightful waste of human life — and in such a
"It is the cause of Heaven, young sir," re-
joined the priest, angrily.
" I do not think so," returned Chetham ;
" and, but for my devotion to Viviana, I would
have no further share in it."
" You are at liberty to leave us, if you think
proper," retorted the priest, coldly.
" Nay, say not so, father," interposed Viviana,
who had been an unobserved listener to the fore-
going discourse. " You owe your life — your
liberty to Mr. Chetham."
" True, daughter," replied the priest. " I have
been too hasty, and entreat his forgiveness."
" You have it, reverend sir," rejoined the
young merchant. " And now, Master Hey-
docke," he added, turning to the steward, " you
may return to the Hall with safety. No one
will molest you more, and your presence may be
" But my young mistress — " said Heydocke.
" I am setting out for Holywell to join my
188 GUY FAWKES.
father," replied Viviana. Ct You will receive
our instructions from that place."
" It is well," returned the old man, bowing
respectfully. " Heaven shield us from further
misfortune ! "
Humphrey Chetham having assisted Viviana
into the saddle, and the rest of the party having
mounted, they took the road to Chester, while
Heydocke returned to the Hall.
THE PILGRIMAGE. 189
THE PILGRIMAGE TO SAINT WINIFRED'S WELL.
Early on the following morning, the party,
who had ridden hard, and had paused only for
a short time at Knutsford to rest their steeds,
approached the ancient and picturesque city of
Chester. Skirting its high, and then partly
fortified walls, above which appeared the massive
tower of the venerable cathedral, they passed
through the east-gate, and proceeding along the
street deriving its name from that entrance, were
about to halt before the door of a large hostel,
called the Sain_t Werburgh's Abbey, when, to
their great surprise, they perceived Catesby
riding towards them.
" I thought I could not be mistaken, 1 ' cried
the latter, as he drew near and saluted Viviana.
" I was about to set out for Manchester with
190 GUY FAWKES.
a despatch to you from your father, Miss Rad-
cliffe, when this most unexpected and fortunate
encounter spares me the journey. But may
I ask why I see you here, and thus attend-
ed?" he added, glancing uneasily at Humphrey
A few words from Father Oldcorne explained
all. Catesby affected to bend his brow, and
appear concerned at the relation. But he could
scarcely repress his satisfaction.
" Sir William Radcliffe must join us now,*'
he whispered to the priest.
"He must — he shall" replied Oldcorne, in
the same tone.
" Your father wishes you to join him at Holt,
Miss RaddlAe," remarked Catesby, turning to
her, " whence the pilgrimage starts to-morrow
for Saint Winifred's Well. There are already
nearly thirty devout persons assembled. 1 "'
" Indeed !" replied Viviana. " May I inquire
their names ? "
" Sir Everard and Lady Digby," replied Cates-
by ; " the Lady Anne Vaux and her sister, Mrs.
Brooksby ; Mr. Ambrose Rookwood and his
THE PILGRIMAGE. 191
wife, the two Winters, Tresham, Wright, Fathers
Garnet and Fisher, and many others, in all
probability unknown to you. The procession
started ten days ago from Gothurst, in Bucking-
hamshire, Sir Everard Digby's residence, and
proceeded from thence by slow stages to Nor-
brook and Haddington, at each of which houses
it halted for some days. Yesterday, it reached
Holt, and starts, as I have just told you, to-
morrow for Holywell. If you are so disposed,
you will be able to attend it."
" I will gladly do so," replied Viviana. " And
since I find it is not necessary to hurry forward,
I will rest myself for a short time here."
So saying, she dismounted, and the whole
party entered the hostel. Viviana withdrew
to seek a short repose, and glance over her
father's letter, while Catesby, Guy Fawkes, and
Oldcorne, were engaged in deep consultation.
Humphrey Chetham, perceiving that his attend-
ance was no further required, and that he was
an object of suspicion and dislike to Catesby, —
for whom he also entertained a similar aversion, —
prepared to return. And when Viviana made
Y92 GUY FAWKES.
her appearance, he advanced to bid her fare-
" I can be of no further service to you,
Viviana," he said, in a mournful tone ; " and
as ray presence might be as unwelcome to your
father, as it seems to be to others of your friends,
T will now take my leave."
" Farewell, Mr. Chetham," she replied. " I
will not attempt to oppose your departure ; for,
much as I grieve to lose, you — and that I do
so these tears will testify, — I feel that it is for
the best. I owe you much — more — far more
than I can ever repay. It would be unworthy
in me, and unfair to you, to say that I do
not, and shall not ever feel the deepest interest
in you ; that, next to my father, there is no
one whom I regard — nay, whom I love so
wt Love ! Viviana?" echoed the young mer-
" Love, Mr. Chetham," she continued, turn-
ing very pale ; " since you compel me to repeat
the word. I avow it boldly, because — " and
her voice faltered, — " I would not have vou
THE PILGRIMAGE. 193
suppose me ungrateful, and because I never can
be yours. 1 ''
" I will not attempt to dissuade you from the
fatal determination you have formed of burying
your charms in a cloister," rejoined Humphrey
Chetham. " But, oh ! if you do love me, why
condemn yourself — why condemn me to hopeless
misery ? "
" I will tell you why, 1 ' replied Viviana. " Be-
cause you are not of my faith ; and because I
never will wed a heretic."
u Iam answered," replied the young merchant,
" Mr. Chetham," interposed Oldcorne, who
had approached them unperceived ; "it is in
your power to change Viviana's determination."
" How?" asked the young merchant, starting.
" By being reconciled to the Church of Rome."
" Then it will remain unaltered," replied
"And, if Mr. Chetham would consent to this
proposal, / would not," said Viviana. " Fare-
well," she added, extending her hand to him,
which he pressed to his lips. " Do not let us
vol. i. k
194 GUY FAWKES.
prolong an interview so painful to us both. The
best wish I can desire for you is, that we may
never meet again."
Without another word, and without hazarding
a look at the object of his affections, Chetham
rushed out of the room, and mounting his horse,
rode off in the direction of Manchester.
" Daughter," observed Oldcorne, as soon as
he was gone, " I cannot too highly approve
of your conduct, or too warmly applaud the
mastery you display over your feelings. But — "
and he hesitated.
" But what, father?" cried Viviana eagerly.
" Do you think I have done wrong in dismissing
" By no means, dear daughter," replied the
priest. " You have acted most discreetly. But
you will forgive me if I urge you — nay, implore
you not to take the veil ; but rather to bestow
your hand upon some Catholic gentleman "
" Such as Mr. Catesby," interrupted Viviana,
glancing in the direction of the individual she
mentioned, who was watching them narrowly
from the further end of the room.
THE PILGRIMAGE. 195
"Ay, Mr. Catcsby," repeated Oldcorne, af-
fecting not to notice the scornful emphasis laid
on the name. " None more fitting could be
found, nor more worthy of you. Our Church
has not a more zealous servant and upholder;
and he will be at once a father and a husband
to you. Such a union would be highly profit-
able to our religion. And, though it is well
for those whose hearts are burthened with afflic-
tion, and who are unable to render any active
service to their faith, to retire from the world,
it behoves every sister of the Romish Church
to support it at a juncture like the present, at
any sacrifice of personal feeling."
" Urge me no more, father," replied Viviana,
firmly. " I will make every sacrifice for ■my*
religion, consistent with principle and feeling.
But I will not make this ; neither am I required
to make it. And I beg you will entreat Mr.
Catesby to desist from further importunity."
Oldcorne bowed, and retired. Nor was an-
other syllable exchanged between them prior to
Crossing the old bridge over the Dee, then
196 GUY FAWKES.
defended at each extremity by a gate and tower,
the party took the road to Holt, where they
arrived in about an hour. The recent conver-
sation had thrown a restraint over them, which
was not removed during the journey. Habitu-
ally taciturn, as has already been remarked, Guy
Fawkes seemed gloomier and more thoughtful
than ever; and though he rode by the side of
Viviana, he did not volunteer a remark, and
scarcely appeared conscious of her presence.
Catesby and Oldcorne kept aloof, and it was
not until they came in sight of the little town
which formed their destination that the former
galloped forward, and striking into the path
cm the right begged Viviana to follow him. A
turn in the road shortly afterwards showed them
a large mansion screened by a grove of beech
u That is the house to which we are going,"
And as he spoke, they approached a lodge,
the gates of which being opened by an attendant,
admitted them to the avenue.
Viviana's heart throbbed with delight at the
THE PILGRIMAGE. 197
anticipated meeting with her father ; but she
could not repress a feeling of anxiety at the dis-
tressing intelligence she had to impart to him.
As she drew near the house she perceived him
walking beneath the shade of the trees with two
other persons ; and quickening her pace, sprang
from her steed, and almost before he was aware
of it was in his arms.
" Why do I see you here so unexpectedly,
my dear child?" cried Sir William RadclifTe,
as soon as he had recovered from the surprise
which her sudden appearance occasioned him.
M Mr. Catesby only left this morning, charged
with a letter entreating you to set out without
delay, — and now I behold you. What has hap-
pened ? "
Viviana then recounted the occurrences of the
last few days.
" It is as I feared," replied Sir William, in a
desponding tone. " Our oppressors will never
cease till they drive us to desperation !"
"They will not!" rejoined a voice behin<
him. " Well may we exclaim with the prophet
— < How long, O Lord, shall I cry, and thou
198 GUY FAWKES.
wilt not hear ? Shall I cry out to thee suffering
violence, and thou wilt not save ? Why hast
thou showed me iniquity and grievance, to see
rapine and injustice before me ? Why lookest
thou upon them that do unjust things, and
holdest thy peace when the wicked devoureth
the man that is more just than himself? 5 :
Viviana looked in the direction of the speaker
and beheld a man in a priestly garb, whose coun-
tenance struck her forcibly. He was rather
under the middle height, of a slight spare figure,
and in age might be about fifty. His features,
which in his youth must have been pleasing,
if not handsome, and which were still regular,
were pale and emaciated ; but his eye was dark,
and of unusual brilliancy. A single glance at
this person satisfied her it was Father Garnet,
the provincial of the English Jesuits ; nor was
she mistaken in her supposition.
Of this remarkable person, so intimately con-
nected with the main events of the history
about to be related, it may be proper to offer
some preliminary account. Born at Nottingham
in 1554, in the reign of Queen Mary, and of
THE PILGRIMAGE. 199
obscure parentage, Henry Garnet was originally
destined to the Protestant Church, and educated,
with a view to taking orders, at Winchester
school, whence it was intended he should be
removed in due course to Oxford. But this
design was never carried into effect. Influenced
by motives, into which it is now scarcely worth
while inquiring, and which have been contested
by writers on both sides of the question, Garnet
proceeded from Winchester to London, where
lie engaged himself as corrector of the press
to a printer of law-books, named Tottel, in
which capacity he became acquainted with Sir
Edward Coke and Chief Justice Popham, —
one of whom was afterwards to be the leading
counsel against him, and the other his judge.
After continuing in this employment for two
years, during which he had meditated a change
in his religion, he went abroad, and travelling
first to Madrid, and then to Rome, saw enough
of the Catholic priesthood to confirm his reso-
lution, and in 1575 he assumed the habit ot
a Jesuit. Pursuing his studies with the utmost
zeal and ardour at the Jesuits' College, under
200 GUY FAWKES.
the celebrated Bellarmine, and the no less cele-
brated Clavius, he made such progress, that
upon the indisposition of the latter, he was able
to fill the mathematical chair. Nor was he less
skilled in philosophy, metaphysics, and divinity ;
and his knowledge of Hebrew was so profound,
that he taught it publicly in the Roman schools.
To an enthusiastic zeal in the cause of the
religion he had espoused, Garnet added great
powers of persuasion and eloquence, — a combi-
nation of qualities well fitting him for the office
of a missionary priest ; and undismayed by the
dangers he would have to encounter, and eager to
propagate his doctrines, he solicited to be sent
on this errand to his own country. At the
instance of Father Persons, he received an ap-
pointment to the mission in 1586, and he secret-
ly landed in England in the same year. Braving
every danger, and shrinking from no labour, he
sought on all hands to make proselytes to the
ancient faith, and to sustain the wavering courage
of its professors. Two years afterwards, on the
imprisonment of the Superior of the Jesuits,
being raised to that important post, he was
THE PILGRIMAGE. 201
enabled to extend his sphere of action ; and
redoubling his exertions in consequence, he so
well discharged his duties, that it was mainly
owing to him that the Catholic party was kept
together during the fierce persecutions of the
latter end of Elizabeth's reign.
Compelled to personate various characters, as
he travelled from place to place, Garnet had
acquired a remarkable facility for disguise ; and
such was his address and courage, that he not
unfrequently imposed upon the very officers sent
in pursuit of him. Up to the period of Eliza-
beth's demise, he had escaped arrest ; and,
though involved in the treasonable intrigue with
the King of Spain, and other conspiracies, he
procured a general pardon under the great seal.
.His office and profession naturally brought him
into contact with the chief Catholic families
throughout the kingdom ; and he maintained an
active correspondence with many of them, by
means of his various agents and emissaries. The
great object of his life being the restoration of
the fallen religion, to accomplish this, as he con-
ceived, great and desirable end, he was prepared
°202 GUY FAWKES.
to adopt any means, however violent or ob-
noxious. When, under the seal of confession,
Catesby revealed to him his dark designs, so
far from discouraging him, all he counselled was
caution. Having tested the disposition of the
wealthier Romanists to rise against their oppres-
sors, and finding a general insurrection, as has
before been stated, impracticable, he gave every
encouragement and assistance to the conspiracy
forming among the more desperate and discon-
tented of the party. At his instigation, the
present pilgrimage to Saint Winifred's Well
was undertaken, in the hope that, when so large
a body of the Catholics were collected together,
some additional aid to the project might be
One of the most mysterious and inexplicable
portions of Garnet's history is that relating to
Anne Vaux. This lady, the daughter of Lord
Vaux of Harrowden, a rigid Catholic nobleman,
and one of Garnet's earliest patrons and friends,
on the death of her father, in 1595, attached
herself to his fortunes, — accompanied him in all
his missions, — shared all his privations and dan-
THE PILGRIMAGE. U0<>
gers, — and, regardless of calumny or reproach,
devoted herself entirely to his service. What
is not less singular, her sister, who had married a
Catholic gentleman named Brooksby, became his
equally zealous attendant. Their enthusiasm pro-
duced a similar effect on Mr. Brooksby; and
wherever Garnet went, all three accompanied
By his side, on the present occasion, stood
Sir Everard Digby. Accounted one of the
handsomest, most accomplished, and best-in-
formed men of his time, Sir Everard, at the
period of this history only twenty-four, had mar-
ried, when scarcely sixteen, Maria, heiress of the
ancient and honourable family of Mulshoe, with
whom he obtained a large fortune, and the mag-
nificent estate of Gothurst, or Gaythurst, in
Buckinghamshire. Knighted by James the First
at Belvoir Castle, on his way from Scotland to
London, Digby, who had once formed one of
the most brilliant ornaments of the court, had
of late in a great degree retired from it. " Not-
Avith standing," writes Father Green way, " that
he had dwelt much in the Queen's court, and
204 GUY FAWKES.
was in the way of obtaining honours and dis-
tinction by his graceful manners and rare parts,
he chose rather to bear the cross with the per-
secuted Catholics, et vivere abjectus in domo
Domini, than to sail through the pleasures of a
palace and the prosperities of the world, to the
shipwreck of his conscience and the destruction
of his soul." Having only when he completed
his minority professed the Catholic religion, he-
became deeply concerned at its fallen state, and
his whole thoughts were bent upon its restora-
tion. This change in feeling was occasioned
chiefly, if not altogether, by Garnet, by whom
his conversion had been accomplished.
Sir Everard Digby was richly attired in a
black velvet doublet, with sleeves slashed with
white satin, and wore a short mantle of the same
material, similarly lined. He had the enormous
trunk hose heretofore mentioned as the distin-
guishing peculiarity of the costume of the period,
and wore black velvet shoes, ornamented with
white roses. An ample ruff encircled his throat.
His hat was steeple-crowned, and somewhat
broader in the leaf than was ordinarily worn,
THE PILGRIMAGE. 205
and shaded with a plume of black feathers. His
hair was raven-black, and he wore a pointed
beard, and mustaches. His figure was tall and
stately, and his features grave and finely formed.
By this time the group had been joined by
the others, and a friendly greeting took place.
Guy Fawkes was presented by Catesby to Sir
William Radcliffe and Sir Everard Digby. To
Garnet he required no introduction, and Father
Oldcorne was known to all. After a little fur-
ther conversation, the party adjourned to the
house which belonged to a Welsh Catholic gen-
tleman, named Griffiths, who, thougli absent at
the time, had surrendered it to the use of Sir
Everard Digby and his friends.
On their entrance, Viviana was introduced by
her father to Lady Digby, who presided as hos-
tess, and welcomed her with great cordiality.
She was then conducted to her own room, where
she was speedily joined by Sir William, and they
remained closeted together till summoned to the
principal meal of the day. At the table, which
was most hospitably served, Viviana found, in
addition to her former companions, a large assem-
206 GUY FAWKES.
blage, to most of whom she was a stranger, con-
sisting of Anne Vaux, Mr. Brooksby and his
wife, Ambrose Rookwood, two brothers named
Winter, two Wrights, Francis Tresham, — per-
sons of whom it will be necessary to make par-
ticular mention hereafter, — and several others,
in. all amounting to thirty.
The meal over, the company dispersed, and
Viviana and her father, passing through an open
window, wandered forth upon a beautiful and
spreading lawn, and thence under the shade of
the beech-trees. They had not been long here,
anxiously conferring on recent events, when they
perceived Garnet and Catesby approaching.
" Father,* dear father ! " cried Viviana, hastily,
" I was about to warn you ; but I have not
time to do so now. Some dark and dangerous
plot is in agitation to restore our religion. Mr.
Catesby is anxious to league you with it. Do
not — do not yield to his solicitations !"
" Fear nothing on that score, Viviana," re-
plied Sir William, " I have already perplexities
enow, without adding to them.'' 1
" I will leave you, then,"' she replied. And,
THE PILGRIMAGE. 207
as soon as the others came up, she made some
excuse for withdrawing, and returned to the
house. The window of her chamber commanded
the avenue, and from it she watched the group.
They remained for a long time pacing up and
down, in earnest conversation. By and by, they
were joined by Oldcorne and Fawkes. Then
came a third party, consisting of the Winters
and Wrights ; and, lastly, Sir Everard Digby
and Tresham swelled the list.
The assemblage was then harangued by Cates-
by, and the most profound attention paid to his
address. Viviana kept her eye fixed upon her
father's countenance, and from its changing ex-
pression inferred what effect the speech produced
upon him. At its conclusion, the assemblage
separated in little groups ; and she perceived,
with great uneasiness, that Father Garnet passed
his arm through that of her father, and led him
away. Some time elapsed, and neither of them
M My warning was in vain, he has joined
them !" she exclaimed.
" No, Viviana !" cried her father's voice be-
208 GUY FAWKES.
hind her. " I have not joined them. Nor
shall I do so."
"Heaven be praised!" she exclaimed, fling-
ing her arms around his neck.
Neither of them were aware that they were
overheard by Garnet, who had noiselessly fol-
lowed Sir William into the room, and muttered
to himself — " For all this, he shall join the plot,
and she shall wed Catesbv."
He then coughed slightly, to announce his
presence ; and, apologizing to Viviana for the
intrusion, told her he came to confess her pre-
viously to the celebration of mass, which would
take place that evening, in a small chapel in the
house. Wholly obedient to the command of her
spiritual advisers, Viviana instantly signified her
assent ; and, her father having withdrawn, she
laid open the inmost secrets of her heart to the
Jesuit. Severely reprobating her love for a
heretic, before he would give her absolution,
Garnet enjoined her, as a penance, to walk bare-
foot to the holy well on the morrow, and to make
a costly offering at the shrine of the saint. Com-
THE PILGRIMAGE. 209
pliance being promised to his injunction, he pro-
nounced the absolution, and departed.
Soon after this, mass was celebrated by Garnet,
and the sacrament administered to the assem-
An hour before daybreak, the party again
assembled in the chapel, where matins were
performed ; after which, the female devotees,
who were clothed in snow-white woollen robes,
with wide sleeves and hoods, and having large
black crosses woven in front, retired for a short
time, and re-appeared, with their feet bared, and
hair unbound. Each had a large rosary attached
to the cord that bound her waist.
Catesby thought Viviana had never appeared
so lovely as in this costume ; and as he gazed
at her white and delicately formed feet, her small
rounded ankles, her dark and abundant tresses
falling in showers almost to the ground, he be-
came more deeply enamoured than before. His
passionate gaze was, however, unnoticed, as the
object of it kept her eyes steadily fixed on the
ground. Lady Digby, who was a most beautiful
210 GUY FAWKES.
woman, scarcely appeared to less advantage ; and,
as she walked side by side with Viviana in the
procession, the pair attracted universal admiration
from all who beheld them.
Everything being at last in readiness, and the
order of march fully arranged, two youthful cho-
risters, in surplices, chanting a hymn to Saint
Winifred, set forth. They were followed by
two men bearing silken banners, on one of which
was displayed the martyrdom of the saint whose
shrine they were about to visit, and on the other
a lamb carrying a cross ; next came Fathers Old-
corne and Fisher, each sustaining a large silver
crucifix ; next, Garnet alone, in the full habit
of his order ; next, the females, in the attire
before described, and walking two and two ;
next, Sir Everard Digby, and Sir William Rad-
cliffe ; and lastly, the rest of the pilgrims, to
the number of fourteen. These were all on foot.
But at the distance of fifty paces behind them
rode Guy Fawkes and Catesby, at the head of
twenty well-armed and well-mounted attendants,
intended to serve as a guard in case of need.
In such order, this singular procession moved
THE PILGRIMAGE. 211
forward at a slow pace, taking its course along
a secluded road leading to the ridge of hills
extending from the neighbourhood of Wrexham
to Mold, and from thence, in an almost unbroken
chain, to Holywell.
Along these heights, whence magnificent views
were obtained of the broad estuary of the Dee
and the more distant ocean, the train proceeded
without interruption ; and though the road se-
lected was one seldom traversed, and through
a country thinly peopled, still, the rumour of
the pilgrimage having gone abroad, hundreds
were stationed at different points to behold it.
Some expressions of disapprobation were occa-
sionally manifested by the spectators ; but the
presence of the large armed force effectually pre-
vented any interference.
Whenever such a course could be pursued,
the procession took its way over the sward. Still
the sufferings of the females were severe in the
extreme ; and before Viviana had proceeded a
mile, her white, tender feet were cut and bruised
by the sharp flints over which she walked ; every
step she took leaving a bloody print behind
212 GUY FAWKES.
it. Lady Digby was n little better condition.
But such was the zeal by which they, in common
with all the other devotees following them, were
animated, that not a single murmur was uttered.
Proceeding in this way, they reached at mid-
day a small stone chapel on the summit of the
hill overlooking Plas-Newydd, where they halted,
and devotions being performed, the females bath-
ed their lacerated limbs in a neighbouring brook,
after which they were rubbed with a cooling and
odorous ointment. Thus refreshed, they again
set forward, and halting a second time at Plas-
Isaf, where similar religious ceremonies were ob-
served, they rested for the day at a lodging
prepared for their reception in the vicinity of
The night being passed in prayer, early in the
morning they commenced their march in the
same order as before. When Viviana first set
her feet to the ground, she felt as if she were
treading on hot iron, and the pain she endured
was so excruciating, that she could not repress
" Heed not your sufferings, dear daughter,"
THE PILGRIMAGE. 213
observed Garnet, compassionately. " The waters
of the holy fountain will heal the wounds both
of soul and body."
Overcoming her agony by a powerful effort,
she contrived to limp forward ; and the whole
party was soon after in motion. Halting for
two hours at Pentre-Terfyn, and again at Ske-
viog, the train, towards evening, reached the
summit of the hill overlooking Holywell, at the
foot of which could be seen the ruins of Basing-
werk Abbey, and the roof of the ancient chapel
erected over the sacred spring. At this sight,
those who were foremost in the procession fell
on their knees ; and the horsemen dismounting,
imitated their example. An earnest supplica-
tion to Saint Winifred was then poured forth
by Father Garnet, in which all the others joined,
and a hymn in her honour chanted by the
Their devotions ended, the whole train arose,
and walked slowly down the steep descent. As
they entered the little town, which owes its name
and celebrity to the miraculous spring rising
within it, they were met by a large concourse
214 GUY FAWKES.
of people, who had flocked from Flint and the
other neighbouring places to witness the cere-
monial. Most of the inhabitants of Holywell,
holding their saintly patroness in the deepest
veneration, viewed this pilgrimage to her shrine
as a proper tribute of respect, while those of the
opposite faith were greatly impressed by it. As
the procession advanced, the crowd divided into
two lines to allow it passage, and many fell on
their knees imploring a blessing from Garnet,
which he in no instance refused. When within
a hundred yards of the sacred well, they were
met by a priest, followed by another small train
of pilgrims. A Latin oration having been pro-
nounced by this priest, and replied to in the
same language by Garnet, the train was once
more put in motion, and presently reached the
ancient fabric built over the sacred fountain.
The legend of Saint Winifred is so well known,
that it is scarcely necessary to repeat it. For
the benefit of the uninformed, however, it may
be stated that she flourished about the middle
of the seventh century, and was the daughter of
Thewith, one of the chief lords of Wales. De-
THE PILGRIMAGE. ^10
voutly educated by a monk named Beuno, who
afterwards received canonization, she took the
veil, and retired to a small monastery (the ruins
of which still exist), built by her father near
the scene of her subsequent martyrdom. Per-
secuted by the addresses of Caradoc, son of
Alan, Prince of Wales, she fled from him to
avoid his violence. He followed, and inflamed
by fury at her resistance, struck off her head.
For this atrocity, the earth instantly opened
and swallowed him alive, while from the spot
where the head had fallen gushed forth a foun-
tain of unequalled force and purity, producing
more than a hundred tons a minute. The
bottom of this miraculous well is strewn with
pebbles streaked with red veins, in memory
of the virgin saint from whose blood it sprung.
On its margin grows an odorous moss, while
its gelid and translucent waters are esteemed
a remedy for many disorders. Winifred's career
did not terminate with her decapitation. Re-
suscitated by the prayers of Saint Beuno, she
lived many years a life of the utmost sanctity,
bearing, as a mark of the miracle performed
216 GUY FAWKES.
in her behalf, a narrow crimson circle round her
Passing the chapel adjoining the well, built
in the reign of Henry the Seventh by his
mother, the pious Countess of Richmond, the
pilgrims came to the swift clear stream rushing
from the well. Instead of ascending the steps
leading to the edifice built over the spring,
they plunged into the stream, and crossing it
entered the structure by a doorway on the further
side. Erected by the Countess of Richmond
at the same period as the chapel, this structure,
quadrangular in form, and of great beauty, con-
sists of light clustered pillars and mouldings,
supporting the most gorgeous tracery and groin-
ing, the whole being ornamented with sculptured
bosses, pendent capitals, fretwork, niches, and
tabernacles. In the midst is a large stone
basin, to receive the water of the fountain,
around which the procession now grouped, and
as soon as all were assembled, at the command
of Father Garnet they fell on their knees.
It was a solemn and striking sight to see this
large group prostrated around that beautiful
THE PILGRIMAGE. 217
fountain, and, covered by that ancient structure,
— a touching thing to hear the voice of prayer
mingling with the sound of the rushing water.
After this, they all arose. A hymn was then
chanted, and votive offerings made at the shrine
of the saint. The male portion of the as-
semblage then followed Garnet to the chapel,
where further religious rites were performed,
while the female devotees, remaining near the
fountain, resigned themselves to the care of
several attendants of their own sex, who, hav-
ing bathed their feet in the water, applied
some of the fragrant moss above described to
the wounds ; and, such was the faith of the
patients, or the virtue of the application, that
in a short time they all felt perfectly restored,
and able to join their companions in the chapel.
In this way, the evening was spent ; and it
was not until late that they finished their de-
votions, and departed to the lodgings provided
for them in the town.
Impressed with a strange superstitious feeling,
which he would scarcely acknowledge to himself,
Guy Fawkes determined to pass the night
VOL I. L
218 GUY FAWKES.
near the well. Accordingly, without communi-
cating his intention to his companions, he threw
a small knapsack over his shoulder, containing
a change of linen, and a few articles of attire,
and proceeded thither.
It was a brilliant moonlight night, and, as
the radiance, streaming through the thin cluster-
ed columns of the structure, lighted up its
fairy architecture, and fell upon the clear cold
waves of the fountain, revealing the blood-streak-
ed pebbles beneath, the effect was inexpressibly
beautiful. So charmed was Guy Fawkes by the
sight, that he remained for some time stand-
ing near the edge of the basin, as if fascinated
by the marvellous spring that boiled up and
sparkled at his feet. Resolved to try the
efficacy of the bath, he threw off his clothes
and plunged into it. The water was cold as
ice ; but on emerging from it he felt wonderfully
refreshed. Having dressed himself, he wrap-
ped his cloak around him, and throwing himself
on the stone floor, placed the knapsack under
his head, and grasping a petronel in his right
THE PILGRIMAGE. 219
hand, to be ready in case of a surprise, disposed
himself to slumber.
Accustomed to a soldier's couch, he soon
fell asleep. He had not long closed his eves
when he dreamed that from out the well, a
female figure, slight and unsubstantial as the
element from which it sprang, arose. It was
robed in what resembled a nun's garb ; buc
so thin and vapoury, that the very moonlight
shone through it. From the garments of the
figure, as well as from the crimson circle round
its throat, he knew that it must be the patroness
of the place, the sainted Winifred, that he
beheld. He felt no terror, but the deepest
awe. The arm of the figure was raised, — its
benignant regards fixed upon him, — and, as
soon as it gained the level of the basin, it glided
220 GUY FAWKES.
Before daybreak on the following morning,
Garnet, who had been engaged in earnest confer-
ence with Catesby during the whole of the night,
repaired to the sacred spring for the purpose of
bathing within it, and performing his solitary
devotions at the shrine of the saint. On ascend-
ing the steps of the structure, he perceived Guy
Fawkes kneeling beside the fountain, apparently
occupied in prayer ; and, being unwilling to dis-
turb him, he paused. Finding, however, after
the lapse of a few minutes, that he did not move,
he advanced towards him, and was about to lay
his hand upon his shoulder, when he was arrested
by the very extraordinary expression of his coun-
tenance. His lips were partly open, but perfect-
THE VISION. 221
ly motionless, and his eyes, almost starting from
their sockets, were fixed upon the boiling waters
of the spring. His hands were clasped, and his
look altogether Avas that of one whose faculties
were benumbed by awe or terror.
Aware of the fanatical and enthusiastic cha-
racter of Fawkes, Garnet had little doubt that,
by keeping long vigil at the fountain, he had
worked himself into such a state of over-
excitement as to imagine he beheld some pre-
ternatural appearance ; and it was with some
curiosity that he awaited the result. Glancing
in the same direction, his eye rested upon the
bottom of the well, but he could discern nothing
except the glittering and blood-streaked pebbles,
and the reflection of the early sunbeams that
quivered on its steaming surface. At length, a
convulsion passed over the frame of the kneeler,
and heaving a deep sigh he arose. Turning to
quit the spring, he confronted Garnet, and de-
manded in a low voice,
" Have you likewise seen the vision, father ?"
Garnet made no reply, but regarded him stead-
222 GUY FAWKES.
" Has the blessed Winifred appeared to you,
I say ? " continued Fawkes.
" No," answered Garnet ; "I am but just
come hither. It is for you, my son, — the fa-
voured of Heaven, — for whom such glorious visions
are reserved. I have seen nothing. How did
the saint manifest herself to you ?"
64 In her earthly form," replied Fawkes ; "or
rather, I should say, in the semblance of the
form she bore on earth. Listen to me, father.
I came hither last night to make my couch beside
the fountain. After plunging into it, I felt
marvellously refreshed, and disposed myself to
rest on that stone. Scarcely had my eyes closed
when the saintly virgin appeared to me. Oh !
father, it was a vision of seraphic beauty, such
as the eye of man hath seldom seen ! "
" And such only as it is permitted the elect of
Heaven to see," observed Garnet.
" Alas ! father," rejoined Guy Fawkes, u I
can lay little claim to such an epithet. Nay, I
begin to fear that I have incurred the displeasure
" Think not so, my son," replied Garnet, un-
THE VISION. 223
easily. " Relate your vision, and I will inter-
pret it to you."
" Tims then it was, father," returned Fawkes.
" The figure of the saint arose from out the well,
and gliding towards me laid its finger upon my
brow. My eyes opened, but I was as one op-
pressed with a nightmare, unable to move. I
then thought I heard my name pronounced by a
voice so wondrously sweet that my senses were
quite ravished. Fain would I have prostrated
myself, but my limbs refused their office. Nei-
ther could I speak, for my tongue was also en-
" Proceed, my son," observed Garnet ; "I
am curious to know what ensued."
" Father," replied Guy Fawkes, " if the form
I beheld was that of Saint Winifred, — and that
it was so, I cannot doubt, — the enterprise on
which we are engaged will fail. It is not ap-
proved by Heaven. The vision warned me to
" You cannot desist, my son," rejoined Garnet,
sternly. " Your oath binds you to the project."
" True," replied Fawkes ; " and I have no
224 GUY FAWKES.
thought of abandoning it. But I am well as-
sured it will not be successful."
M Your thinking so, my son, will be the most
certain means of realizing your apprehensions,"
replied Garnet, gravely. " But let me hear the
exact words of the spirit. You may have mis-
" I cannot repeat them precisely, father," re-
plied Fawkes ; " but I could not misapprehend
their import, which was the deepest commisera-
tion for our forlorn and fallen church, but a posi-
tive interdiction against any attempt to restore it
by bloodshed. ' Suffer on, 1 said the spirit ; 'bear
the yoke patiently, and in due season God will
avenge your wrongs, and free you from oppression.
You are thus afflicted that your faith may be
purified. But if you resort to violence, you will
breed confusion, and injure, not serve, the holy
cause on which you are embarked.' Such, fa-
ther, was the language of the saint. It was
uttered in a tone so tender and sympathizing,
that every word found an echo in my heart, and
I repented having pledged myself to the under-
taking. But, when I tell you that she added
THE VISION. 225
that all concerned in the conspiracy should pe-
rish, perhaps you may be deterred from proceed-
" Never !" returned Garnet. " Nor will I
suffer any one engaged in it to retreat. What
matter if a few perish, if the many survive ? Our
blood will not be shed in vain, if the true reli-
gion of God is restored. Nay, as strongly as
the blessed Winifred herself resisted the impi-
ous ravisher, Caradoc, will I resist all induce-
ments to turn aside from my purpose. It may
be that the enterprise will fail. It may be that
we shall perish. But if we die thus, we shall
die as martyrs, and our deaths will be highly
profitable to the Catholic religion."
" I doubt it," observed Fawkes.
" My son," said Garnet, solemnly, " I have
ever looked upon you as one destined to be the
chief agent in the great work of redemption. I
have thought that, like Judith, you were chosen
to. destroy the Holofernes who oppresses us.
Having noted in you a religious fervour, and
resolution admirably fitting you for the task,
I thought, and still think you expressly chosen
226 GUY FAWKES.
by Heaven for it. But, if you have any mis-
giving, I beseech you to withdraw from it. I
will absolve you from your oath ; and, enjoining
you only to strictest secrecy, will pray you to
depart at once, lest your irresolution should be
communicated to the others. ,,
" Fear nothing from me, father,' ' rejoined
Fawkes. " I have no irresolution, no wavering,
nor shall any engaged with us be shaken by my
apprehension. You have asked me what I saw
and heard, and I have told you truly. But I
will speak of it no* more."
" It will be well to observe silence, my
son," answered Garnet ; " for though you, like
myself, are unnerved, its effect on others might
be injurious. But you have not yet brought
your relation to an end. How did the figure
disappear ? "
" As it arose, father," replied Fawkes. " Ut-
tering in a sweet but solemn voice, which yet
rings in my ears, the words, ' Be warned ! ' it
glided back to the fountain, whose waves as
it approached grew still, and gradually melted
from my view."
THE VISION. 227
" But when I came hither, you appeared to
be gazing at the spring," said Garnet. " What
did you then behold ? "
" My first impulse on awaking about an hour
ago," replied Fawkes, " was to prostrate myself
before the fountain, and to entreat the inter-
cession of the saint, who had thus marvellously
revealed herself to me. As I prayed, me-
thought its clear lucid waters became turbid,
and turned to the colour of blood."
" It is a type of the blood of slaughtered
brethren of our faith, which has been shed by
our oppressors," rejoined Garnet.
" Rather of our own, which shall be poured
forth in this cause," retorted Fawkes. " No
matter. I am prepared to lose the last drop
44 And I," said Garnet ; " and, I doubt not,
like those holy men who have suffered for their
faith, that we shall both win a crown of martyr-
"Amen!" exclaimed Fawkes. "And you
think the sacrifice we are about to offer will
prove acceptable to God ? "
228 GUY FAWKES.
" I am convinced of it, my son," answered
Garnet. " And I take the sainted virgin, from
whose blood this marvellous spring was produced,
to witness that I devote myself unhesitatingly to
the project, and that I firmly believe it will profit
our church ."
As he spoke, a singular circumstance occurred,
which did not fail to produce an impression on
both parties, — especially Guy Fawkes. A vio-
lent gust of wind, apparently suddenly aroused,
whistled through the slender columns of the
structure, and catching the surface of the water
dashed it in tiny waves against their feet.
" The saint is offended,"" observed Fawkes.
" It would almost seem so," replied Garnet,
after a pause. " Let us proceed to the chapel,
and pray at her shrine. We will confer on this
matter hereafter. Meantime, swear to me that
you will observe profound secrecy respecting this
" I swear," replied Guy Fawkes.
At this moment, another and more violent
gust agitated the fountain.
" We will tarry here no longer," said Garnet.
THE VISION. 229
" I am not proof against these portents of
So saying, he led the way to the chapel. Here
they were presently joined by several of the fe-
male devotees, including Yiviana, Anne Vaux,
and Lady Digby. Matins were then said, after
which various offerings were made at the shrine
of the saint. Lady Digby presented a small
tablet set in gold, representing on one side the
martyrdom of Saint Winifred, and on the other
the Salutation of our Lady. Anne Vaux gave
a small enamelled cross of gold ; Viviana a
girdle of the same metal, with a pendant sus-
taining a small Saint John's head surrounded
" Mine will be a poor soldier's offering," said
Guy Fawkes, approaching the shrine, which was
hung around with the crutches, staves, and band-
ages of those cured by the healing waters of the
miraculous spring. " This small silver scallop-
shell, given me by a pilgrim, who died in my
arms near the chapel of Saint James of Com-
postella, in Spain, is the sole valuable I pos-
£30 GUY FAWKES.
" It will be as acceptable as a more costly
gift, my son," replied Garnet, placing it on the
Of all the offerings then made, that silver
scallop-shell is the only one preserved.
THE CONSPIRATORS. 231
On Viviana's return from her devotions, she
found her father in the greatest perturbation and
alarm. The old steward, Heydocke, who had
ridden express from Ordsall Hall, had just ar-
rived, bringing word that the miserable fate of
the pursuivant and his crew had aroused the
whole country ; that officers, attended by a
strong force, and breathing vengeance, were in
pursuit of Sir William Radcliffe and his daugh-
ter ; that large sums were offered for the cap-
ture of Guy Fawkes and Father Oldcorne ; that
most of the servants were imprisoned ; that he
himself had escaped with great difficulty ; and
that, to sum up this long catalogue of calamities,
Master Humphrey Chetham was arrested, and
232 GUY FAWKES.
placed in the New Fleet. " In short, my dear
young mistress,' 1 concluded the old man, "as I
have just observed to Sir William, all is over
with us, and there is nothing left but the grave/'
" What course have you resolved upon, dear
father ? V inquired Viviana, turning anxiously
" I shall surrender myself," he answered. " I
am guilty of no crime, and can easily clear my-
self from all imputation."
<; You are mistaken," she replied. " Do not
hope for justice from those who know it not.
But, while the means of escape are allowed you,
avail yourself of them."
il No, Viviana," replied Sir William Rad-
cliffe, firmly ; " my part is taken. I shall
abide the arrival of the officers. For you, I
shall intrust you to the care of Mr. Catesby."
" You cannot mean this, dear father," she
cried, with a look of distress. " And, if you
do, I will never consent to such an arrange-
" Mr. Catesby is strongly attached to you,
child," replied Sir William, " and will watch over
THE CONSPIRATORS. 233
your safety as carefully as I could do my-
" He may be attached to me," rejoined Vi-
viana, " though I doubt the disinterestedness
of his love. But nothing can remove my repug-
nance to him. Forgive me, therefore, if, in this
one instance I decline to obey your commands.
I dare not trust myself with Mr. Catesby."
" How am I to understand you ?" inquired
" Do not ask me to explain, dear father,"
she answered, " but imagine I must have good
reason for what I say. Since you are resolved
upon surrendering yourself, I will go into capti-
vity with you. The alternative is less dreadful
than that you have proposed."
" You distract me, child," cried the knight,
rising and pacing the chamber in great agitation.
" I cannot bear the thought of your imprison-
ment. Yet if I fly, I appear to confess myself
" If your worship will intrust Mistress Vi-
viana with me," interposed the old steward, " I
will convey her whithersoever you direct, — will
234 GUY FAWKES.
watch over her day and night, — and, if need be,
die in her defence."
" Thou wert ever a faithful servant, good
Heydocke," rejoined Sir William, extending
his hand kindly to him, "and art as true in
adversity as in prosperity.' 1
" Shame to me if I were not," replied Hey-
docke, pressing the knight's fingers to his lips
and bathing them in his tears. " Shame to me
if I hesitated to lay down my life for a master
to whom I owe so much."
"If it is your pleasure, dear father," observed
Viviana, " I will accompany Master Heydocke ;
but I would far rather be permitted to remain
" It would avail nothing," replied Sir William,
" we should be separated by the officers. Retire
to your chamber, and prepare for instant depar-
ture ; and, in the mean while, I will consider
what is best to be done."
" Your worship's decision must be speedy,"
observed Heydocke : " I had only a few hours'
start of the officers. They will be here ere
THE CONSPIRATORS. 235
" Take this purse," replied Sir William, " and
hire three of the fleetest horses you can procure,
and station yourself at the outskirts of the town,
on the road to Saint Asaph. You understand."
" Perfectly," replied Heydocke. And he de-
parted to execute his master's commands, while
Viviana withdrew to her own chamber.
Left alone, the knight was perplexing himself
as to where he should shape his course, when he
was interrupted by the sudden entrance of Cates-
by and Garnet.
" We have just met your servant, Sir Wil-
liam," said the former, "and have learnt the
alarming intelligence he has brought."
" What is your counsel in this emergency,
father ?" said Radcliffe, appealing to Garnet.
" Flight, — instant flight, my son," was the
" My counsel is resistance," said Catesby.
" We are here assembled in large numbers, and
are well armed. Let us await the arrival of
the officers, and see whether they will venture
to arrest you."
" They will arrest us all, if they have force
236 GUY FAWKES.
sufficient to do so," replied Garnet ; " and there
are many reasons, as you well know, why it
is desirable to avoid any disturbance at pre-
" True,'" replied Catesby. " What say you
then," he continued, addressing Radcliffe, " to
our immediate return to Holt, where means
may be found to screen you till this storm is
blown over ? "
Sir William having assented to the proposal,
Catesby instantly departed to acquaint the others,
and, as soon as preparations could be made, and
horses procured, the whole party composing the
pilgrimage, quitted Holywell, and, ascending the
hill at the back of the town took the direction
of Mold, where they arrived, having ridden at a
swift pace, in about half an hour. From thence
they proceeded, without accident or interruption,
to the mansion they had recently occupied near
Holt. On reaching it, all the domestics were
armed, and certain of their number stationed
at the different approaches to the house to give
the alarm in case of the enemy's appearance.
THE CONSPIRATORS. 237
But as nothing occurred during the night, the
fears of Sir William and his friends began in
some degree to subside.
About noon, on the following day, as Guy
Fawkes, who ever since the vision at Saint Wini-
fred's Well had shunned all companionship, walk-
ed forth beneath the avenue alone, he heard a
light step behind him, and, turning, beheld
Viviana. Gravely bowing, he was about to pur-
sue his course, when quickening her pace she
was instantly by his side.
" I have a favour to solicit, 11 she said.
" There is none I would refuse you, 11 answer-
ed Fawkes, halting; " but, though I have the
will, I may not have the power to grant your
" Hear me, then, 11 she replied, hurriedly. " Of
all my father's friends — of all who are here as-
sembled, you are the only one I dare trust, —
the only one from whom I can hope for assist-
" I am at once nattered and perplexed by your
words, Viviana, 11 he rejoined ; " nor can I guess
238 GUY FAWKES.
whither they tend. But speak freely. If I
cannot render you aid, I can at least give you
counsel. 1 '
" I must premise, then," said Viviana, " that
I am aware from certain obscure hints let fall by
Father Oldcorne, that you, Mr. Catesby, and
others are engaged in a dark and dangerous con-
u Viviana Radcliffe," returned Guy Fawkes,
sternly, " you have once before avowed your
knowledge of this plot. I will not attempt dis-
guise with you. A project is in agitation for
the deliverance of our fallen church ; and, since
you have become acquainted with its existence —
no matter how — you must be bound by an oath
of secrecy, or," and his look grew darker, and his
voice sterner, " I will not answer for your life."
" I will willingly take the oath, on certain con-
ditions," said Viviana.
" You must take it unconditionally," rejoined
'? Hear me out," said Viviana. " Knowing
that Mr. Catesby and Father Garnet are anxious
to induce my father to join this conspiracy, I
THE CONSPIRATORS. 239
came hither to implore you to prevent him from
" Were I even willing to do this, — which I
am not," replied Fawkes, " I have not the
power. Sir William Radcliffe would be justly
indignant at any interference on my part."
w Heed not that," replied Viviana. " You, I
fear, are linked to this fearful project beyond
the possibility of being set free. But he is not.
Save him ! save him ! "
" I will take no part in urging him to join it,"
replied Fawkes. " But I can promise nothing
" Then mark me," she returned ; '* if further
attempts are made by any of your confederates to
league him with their plot, I myself will disclose
all I know of it."
" Viviana," rejoined Fawkes, in a threatening
tone, " I again warn you that you endanger your
"I care not," she rejoined; "I would risk
twenty lives, if I possessed them, to preserve my
u You are a noble-hearted lady," replied
240 GUY FAWKES.
Fawkes, unable to repress the admiration inspired
by her conduct ; " and if I can accomplish what
} r ou desire, I will. But I see not how it can be
" Everything is possible to one of your resolu-
tion, " replied Viviana.
" Well, well, - " replied Fawkes, a slight smile
crossing his rugged features ; " the effort at least
shall be made."
" Thanks ! thanks !" ejaculated Viviana ; and,
overcome by her emotion, she sank half-fainting
into his arms.
While he held her thus, debating within him-
self whether he should convey her to the house,
Garnet and Catesby appeared at the other end of
the avenue. Their surprise at the sight was ex-
treme ; nor was it less when Viviana, opening
her eyes as they drew near, uttered a slight cry,
" This requires an explanation," said Catesby,
glancing fiercely at Fawkes.
" You must seek it, then, of the lady," re-
joined the latter, moodily.
" It will be easily explained, I have no doubt,"
THE CONSPIRATORS. 241
interposed Garnet. " Miss Radcliffe was seized
with a momentary weakness, and her companion
offered her support."
" That will scarcely suffice for me," cried
" Let the subject be dropped for the present,"
rejoined Garnet, authoritatively. " More im-
portant matter claims our attention. We came
to seek you, my son," he continued, addressing
Fawkes. " All those engaged in the great en-
terprise are about to meet in a summer-house in
"lam ready to attend you," replied Fawkes.
« Will Sir William Radcliffe be there ?"
" No," replied Garnet ; " he has not yet join-
ed us. None will be present at this meeting
but the sworn conspirators."
With this, the trio took their way towards
the garden, and proceeding along a walk edged
with clipped yew-trees, came to the summer-
house, — a small circular building overrun with
ivy and creepers, and ornamented in front by two
stone statues on pedestals. Here they found
Sir Everard Digby, Ambrose Rookwood, Francis
VOL. I. M
242 GUY FAWKES.
Tresham,' Thomas and Robert Winter, John and
Christopher Wright, awaiting their arrival.
The door being closed and bolted, Garnet,
placing himself in the midst of the assemblage,
said, '" Before we proceed further, I will again
administer the oath to all present." Drawing
from his vest a primer, and addressing Sir Ever-
ard Digby, he desired him to kneel, and continu-
ed thus in a solemn tone, " You shall swear by
the Blessed Trinity, and by the sacrament you
propose to receive, never to disclose directly nor
indirectly, by word or circumstance, the matter
that shall be proposed to you to keep secret, nor
desist from the execution thereof, until the rest
shall give you leave.'"
il I swear," replied Digby, kissing the primer.
The oath was then taken in like manner by the
others. This done, Catesby was about to ad-
dress the meeting, when Tresham, glancing un-
easily at the door, remarked, " Are you assured
we have no eavesdroppers ? "
" I will keep watch without," rejoined Fawkes,
" if you have any fears."
" It were better," replied Robert Winter.
THE CONSPIRATORS. 243
" We cannot be too cautious. But if you go
forth, you will not be able to take part in tlie
" My part is to act, not talk, 11 rejoined
Fawkes, marching towards the door. And shut-
ting it after him, he took up his position out-
Upon this Catesby commenced a long and in-
flammatory harangue, in which he expatiated with
great eloquence and fervour on the wrongs of the
Catholic party, and the deplorable condition of
their church. " It were easy to slay the tyrant
by whom we are oppressed," he said, in conclu-
sion ; u but his destruction would be small gain
to us. We must strike deeper, to hew down the
baneful stock of heresy. All our adversaries
must perish with him, and in such manner as
shall best attest the vengeance of Heaven.
Placed beneath the Parliament-house, a mine of
powder shall hurl its heretical occupants into the
air, — nor shall any one survive the terrible ex-
plosion. Are we all agreed to this plan ?"
All the conspirators expressed their assent, ex-
cept Sir Everard Digby.
244 GUY FAWKES.
" Before I give my concurrence to the mea-
sure," observed the latter ; "I would fain be
resolved by Father Garnet whether it is lawful
to destroy some few of our own faith with so
" Unquestionably, my son," replied Garnet.
"As in besieging a city we have a right to kill
all within it, whether friends or enemies, so in
this case we are justified in destroying the in-
nocent with the guilty, because their destruction
will be advantageous to the Catholic cause."
"lam satisfied," replied Digby.
"As to the tyrant and apostate James," con-
tinued Garnet, "he is excommunicated, and his
subjects released from their allegiance. I have
two breves sent over by his holiness Pope Clement
VIII. three years ago, one directed to the clergy,
and the other to the nobility of this realm, where-
in, alluding to Queen Elizabeth, it is expressly
declared that, ' so soon as that miserable woman
should depart out of this life, none shall be per-
mitted to ascend the throne, how near soever in
proximity of blood, unless they are such as will
not only tolerate the Catholic faith, but in every
THE CONSPIRATORS. 245
way support it.' By this brief, James is ex-
pressly excluded. He has betrayed, not sup-
ported the church of Rome. Having broken his
word with us, and oppressed our brethren more
rigorously even than his predecessor, the remorse-
less Elizabeth, he is unworthy longer to reign, and
must be removed."
" He must," reiterated the conspirators.
" The Parliament-house being the place where
all the mischief done us has been contrived by
our adversaries, it is fitting that it should be the
place of their chastisement," remarked Catesby.
" Doubtless," rejoined Ambrose Rookwood.
" Yet if the blow we meditate should mis-
carry," observed Thomas Winter, " the injury to
the Catholic religion will be so great, that not
only our enemies, but our very friends will con-
" There is no chance of miscarriage, if we are
true to each other," returned Catesby confidently.
" And if I suspected any one of treachery, I would
plunge my sword into his bosom, were he my
" You would do wrong to act thus on mere
246 GUY FAWKES.
suspicion," remarked Tresham, who stood near
" In a case like this, he who gave the slightest
ground for doubt would merit death," replied
Catesby, sternly ; " and I would slay him."
" Hum !" exclaimed Tresham, uneasily.
" Mr. Catesby will now perhaps inform us what
has been done to carry the project into effect?"
inquired Sir Everard Digby.
" A small habitation has been taken by one of
our confederates, Mr. Thomas Percy, immediate-
ly adjoining the Parliament - house," replied
Catesby, M from the cellar of which it is proposed
to dig a mine through the wall of the devoted
building, and to deposit within it a sufficient
quantity of gunpowder, and other combustibles
to accomplish our purpose. This mine must be
digged by ourselves, as we can employ no as-
sistants, and will be a laborious and dangerous
task. But I for one will cheerfully under-
" And I," said the elder Wright.
" And I," cried several others.
" Supposing the mine digged, and the powder
THE CONSPIRATORS. 247
deposited/' observed Ambrose Rookwood, "whose
hand will fire the train ? "
" Mine !" cried Guy Fawkes, throwing open
the door. As soon as he had spoken, he retired
and closed it after him.
" He will keep his word," remarked Garnet.
" He is of a nature so resolute that he would
destroy himself with the victims rather than fail.
Catiline was not a bolder conspirator than Guy
" Well, gentlemen," observed Catesby, " we
are now at the latter end of July, All must
be ready against the meeting of Parliament in
" There is some likelihood, I hear, that the
meeting of the house will be prorogued till
February ," remarked Tresham.
" So much the better," rejoined Catesby, " it
will give us more time for preparation."
" So much the worse, I think," cried Ambrose
Rookwood. " Delays are ever dangerous, and
doubly dangerous in a case like ours."
" I am far from desiring to throw any impedi-
ment in the way of our design," observed Sir
248 GUY FAWKES.
Everard Digby, " but I would recommend, be-
fore we proceed to this terrible extremity, that
one last effort should be made to move the
King in our behalf."
" It is useless,"" replied Catesby. " So far
from toleration, he meditates severer measures
against us ; and, I am well assured, if Parliament
is allowed to meet, such laws will be passed
as will bring all of us within premunire. No,
no. We have no hope from James, nor his
"Nor yet from France or Spain, 1 "' observed
Thomas Winter. " In my conference with the
Constable Velasco at Bergen, I received assur-
ances of the good-will of Philip towards us,
but no distinct promise of interference in our
behalf. The Archduke Albert is well disposed,
but he can render no assistance. We must de-
pend upon ourselves.""
" Ay, marry, must we," replied Catesby, " and
fortunate is it that we have devised a plan by
which we can accomplish our purpose unaided.
We only require funds to follow up with effect
the blow we shall strike."
THE CONSPIRATORS. 249
" My whole fortune shall be placed at your
disposal, 11 replied Sir Everard Digby.
" Part of mine has already been given, 11 said
Tresham, a and the rest shall follow. 11
" Would I had aught to peril in the matter
except my life, 11 said Catesby. " I would throw
everything upon the stake. 11
" You do enough in venturing thus much,
my son, 11 rejoined Garnet. " To you the whole
conduct of the enterprise is committed. 11
" I live for nothing else, 11 replied Catesby,
" and if I see it successful, I shall have lived
long enough. 11
" Cannot Sir William Radcliffe be induced
to join us P 11 asked Rook wood. " He would
be an important acquisition, and his wealth
would prove highly serviceable. 11
" I have sounded him, 11 answered Catesby.
" But he appears reluctant. 11
" Be not satisfied with one attempt, 11 urged
Christopher Wright. " The jeopardy in which
he now stands may make him change his mind. 11
" I am loth to interrupt the discussion, 11 re-
turned Garnet, " but I think we have tarried
250 GUY FAWKES.
here long enough. We will meet again at mid-
night, when I hope to introduce Sir William
Radcliffe to you as a confederate. "
The party then separated, and Garnet went
in search of the knight.
Ascertaining that he was in his own chamber, he
proceeded thither, and found him alone. Entering
at once upon the subject in hand, Garnet pleaded
his cause with so much zeal that he at last wrung
a reluctant consent from the listener. Scarcely
able to conceal his exultation, he then pro-
posed to Sir William to adjourn with him to the
private chapel in the house, where, having taken
the oath, and received the sacrament upon it,
he should forthwith be introduced to the con-
spirators, and the whole particulars of the plot
revealed to him. To this the knight, with some
hesitation, agreed. As they traversed a gal-
lery leading to the chapel, they met Viviana.
For the first time in his life Radeliffe's gaze
sank before his daughter, and he would have
passed her without speaking had she not stopped
THE CONSPIRATORS. 251
11 Father ! dear father ! " she cried, " I know
whither you are going — and for what purpose.
Do not — do not join them."
Sir William RadclifTe made no reply^ but en-
deavoured gently to push her aside.
She would not, however, be repulsed, but
prostrating herself before him, clasped his knees,
and besought him not to proceed.
Making a significant gesture to Sir William,
Garnet walked forward.
" Viviana," cried the knight, sternly, "my
resolution is taken. I command you to retire
to your chamber."
So saying, he broke from her, and followed
Garnet. Clasping her hands to her brow, Vi-
viana gazed for a moment with a frenzied look
after him, and then rushed from the gallery.
On reaching the chapel, Sir William, who
had been much shaken by this meeting, was
some minutes in recovering his composure.
Garnet employed the time in renewing his argu-
ments, and with so much address that he suc-
ceeded in quieting the scruples of conscience
252 GUY FAWKES.
which had been awakened in the knight's breast
by his daughter's warning.
" And now, my son," he said, u since you
have determined to enrol your name in the list of
those sworn to deliver their church from oppres-
sion, take this primer in your hand, and kneel
down before the altar, while I administer the
oath which is to unite you to us."
Garnet then advanced towards the altar, and
Sir William was about to prostrate himself upon
a cushion beside it, when the door was suddenly
thrown open, and Guy Fawkes strode into the
" Hold !" he exclaimed, grasping Radcliffe's
right arm, and fixing his dark glance upon him ;
" you shall not take that oath."
" What mean you ? " cried Garnet, who, as
well as the knight, was paralysed with astonish-
ment at this intrusion. " Sir William Radcliffe
is about to join us."
" I know it," replied Fawkes ; " but it may
not be. He has no heart in the business, and
will lend it no efficient assistance. We are
better without him, than with him."
THE CONSPIRATORS. 253
As he spoke, he took the primer from the
knight's hand, and laid it upon the altar.
" This conduct is inexplicable," cried Garnet,
angrily. " You will answer for it to others, as
well as to me."
" I will answer for it to all," replied Guy
Fawkes. " Let Sir William Radcliffe declare
before me, and before Heaven, that he approves
the measure, and I am content he should take
" I cannot belie my conscience by saying so,"
replied the knight, who appeared agitated by con-
" Yet you have promised to join us," cried
" Better break that promise than a solemn
oath," rejoined Guy Fawkes, sternly. " Sir
William Radcliffe, there are reasons why you
should not join this conspiracy. Examine your
inmost heart, and it will tell you what they
" I understand you," replied the knight.
" Get hence," cried Garnet, unable to con-
trol his indignation, " or I will pronounce
254* GUY FAWKES.
our Church's most terrible malediction against
" I shall not shrink from it, father," rejoined
Fawkes, humbly, but firmly, " seeing I am acting
u Undeceive yourself, then, at once," returned
Garnet, " and learn that you are thwarting our
great and holy purpose."
" On the contrary," replied Fawkes, " I am
promoting it, by preventing one from joining it
who will endanger its success."
" You are a traitor ! " cried Garnet, furiously.
" A traitor !" exclaimed Guy Fawkes, his eye
blazing with fierce lustre, though his voice and
demeanour were unaltered,—" I, who have been
warned thrice, — twice by the dead, — and lastly
by a vision from heaven, yet still remain firm to
my purpose, — I, who have voluntarily embraced
the most dangerous and difficult part of the enter-
prise, — I, who would suffer the utmost extremity
of torture, rather than utter a word that should
reveal it, — a traitor ! No, father, I am none.
If you think so, take this sword and at once put
an end to your doubts."
THE CONSPIRATORS. 255
There was something so irresistible in the
manner of Guy Fawkes, that Garnet remained
" Do with me what you please," continued
Fawkes : " but do not compel Sir William
Radcliffe to join the conspiracy. He will be
fatal to it."
" No one shall compel me to join it," replied
" Perhaps it is better thus," returned Garnet,
after a pause, during which he was buried in
reflection. " I will urge you no further, my
son. But before you depart you must swear
not to divulge what you have just learnt."
" Willingly," replied the knight.
M There is another person who must also
take that oath," said Guy Fawkes, " having
accidentally become acquainted with as much as
And stepping out of the chapel, he imme-
diately afterwards returned with Viviana
" You will now understand why I would not
allow Sir William to join the conspiracy," he
observed to Garnet.
256 GUY FAWKES.
" I do," replied the latter, gloomily.
The oath administered, the knight and his
daughter quitted the chapel, accompanied by
Guy Fawkes. Viviana was profuse in her ex-
pressions of gratitude, nor was her father less
earnest in his acknowledgments.
A few hours after this, Sir William Rad-
cliffe informed Sir Everard Digby that it was
his intention to depart immediately, and, though
the latter attempted to dissuade him by repre-
senting the danger to which he would be exposed,
he continued inflexible. The announcement
surprised both Catesby and Garnet, who were
present when it was made, and added their en-
treaties to those of Digby — but without effect.
Catesby's proposal to serve as an escort was
likewise refused by Sir William," who said he
had no fears, and when questioned as to his
destination, he returned an evasive answer. This
sudden resolution of the knight, coupled with
his refusal to join the plot, alarmed the conspira-
tors, and more than one expressed fears of treach-
ery. Sir Everard Digby, however, was not
of the number, but asserted that Radcliffe was a
THE CONSPIRATORS. 257
man of the highest honour, and he would answer
for his secrecy with his life.
" Will you answer for that of his daughter ? "
" / will," replied Fawkes.
" To put the matter beyond a doubt," observed
Catesby, <c I will set out shortly after him, and
follow him unobserved till he halts for the
night, and ascertain whether he stops at any
" Do so, my son," replied Garnet.
" It is needless," observed Sir Everard Digby;
" but do as you please."
By this time, RadclinVs horses being brought
round by Heydocke, he and his daughter took
a hasty leave of their friends. When they had
been gone a few minutes, Catesby called for
his steed ; and, after exchanging a word or
two with Garnet, rode after them. He had
proceeded about a couple of miles along a cross-
road leading to Nantwich, which he learnt from
some cottagers was the route taken by the party
before him, when he heard the tramp of a horse
in the rear, and, turning at the sound, beheld
258 GUY FAWKES.
Guy Fawkes. Drawing in the bridle, he halted
till the latter came up, and angrily demanded
on what errand he was bent.
" My errand is the same as your own," replied
Fawkes. " I intend to follow Sir William Rad-
cliffe, and, if need be, defend him."
Whatever Catesby's objections might be to
this companionship, he did not think fit to de-
clare them, and, though evidently much dis-
pleased, suffered Guy Fawkes to ride by his side
Having gained the summit of the mountainous
range extending from Malpas to Tottenhall,
whence they beheld the party whose course they
were tracking enter a narrow lane at the foot
of the hill, Catesby, fearful of losing sight of
them, set spurs to his steed. Guy Fawkes kept
close beside him, and they did not slacken their
pace until they reached the lane.
Having proceeded along it for a quarter of
a mile, they were alarmed by the sudden report
of fire-arms, followed by a loud shriek, which
neither of them doubted was uttered by Viviana.
Again dashing forward, on turning a corner of
THE CONSPIRATORS. 259
the road, they beheld the party surrounded by
half-a-dozen troopers. Sir William RadclifFe had
shot one of his assailants, and, assisted by Hcy-
docke, was defending himself bravely against
the others. With loud shouts, Catesby and Guy
Fawkes galloped towards the scene of strife.
But they were too late. A bullet pierced the
knight's brain ; and he no sooner fell, than,
regardless of himself, the old steward flung away
his sword, and threw himself, with the most
piteous lamentations, on the body.
Viviana, meanwhile, had been compelled to
dismount, and was in the hands of the troopers.
On seeing her father's fate, her shrieks were
so heart-piercing, that even her captors were
moved to compassion. Fighting his way towards
her, Catesby cut down one of the troopers, and
snatching her from the grasp of the other, who
was terrified by the furious assault, placed her
on the saddle beside him, and striking spurs into
his charger at the same moment, leapt the hedge,
and made good his retreat.
This daring action, however, could not have
been accomplished without the assistance of Guy
260 GUY FAWKES.
Fawkes, who warded off with his rapier all the
blows aimed at him and his lovely charge.
While thus engaged, he received a severe cut
on the head, which stretched him senseless and
bleeding beneath his horse's feet.
THE PACKET. 261
On recovering from the effects of the wound
he had received from the trooper, Guy Fawkes
found himself stretched upon a small bed in a
cottage, with Viviana and Catesby watching be-
side him. A thick fold of linen was bandaged
round his head, and he was so faint from the
great effusion of blood he had sustained, that,
after gazing vacantly around him for a few mi-
nutes, and but imperfectly comprehending what
he beheld, his eyes closed, and he relapsed into
insensibility. Restoratives being applied, he re-
vived in a short time, and, in answer to his
inquiries as to how he came thither, was
informed by Catesby that he had been left for
dead by his assailants, who, contenting them-
selves with making the old steward prisoner,
had ridden off in the direction of Chester.
262 GUY FAWKES.
" What has become of Sir William Rad-
cliffe ?" asked the wounded man in a feeble
Catesby raised his finger to his lips, and
Fawkes learnt the distressing nature of the ques-
tion he had asked by the agonizing cry that burst
from Viviana. Unable to control her grief, she
withdrew, and Catesby then told him that the
body of Sir William Radcliffe was lying in an
adjoining cottage, whither it had been trans-
ported from the scene of the conflict ; adding
that it was Viviana's earnest desire that it should
be conveyed to Manchester to the family vault
in the Collegiate Church ; but that he feared
her wish could not be safely complied with.
A messenger, however, had been despatched to
Holt ; and Sir Everard Digby, and Fathers
Garnet and Oldcorne, were momentarily expected,
when some course would be decided upon for the
disposal of the unfortunate knight's remains.
"Poor Viviana!" groaned Fawkes. "She
has now no protector."
" Rest easy on that score," rejoined Catesby.
" She shall never want one while I live."
THE PACKET. 263
The wounded man fixed his eyes, now blazing
with red and unnatural light, inquiringly upon
him, but he said nothing.
" I know what you mean," continued Catesby ;
" you think I shall wed her, and you are in the
right. I shall. The marriage is essential to
our enterprise ; and the only obstacle to it is
Fawkes attempted to reply, but his parched
tongue refused its office. Catesby arose, and
carefully raising his head, held a cup of water
to his lips. The sufferer eagerly drained it,
and would have asked for more ; but seeing that
the request would be refused, he left it un-
" Have you examined my wound?" he said,
after a pause.
Catesby answered in the affirmative.
"And do you judge it mortal?'" continued
Fawkes. u Not that I have any fear of Death.
I have looked him in the face too often for that.
But I have somewhat on my mind which I would
fain discharge before my earthly pilgrimage is
264 GUY FAWKES.
" Do not delay it, then," rejoined the other.
" Knowing I speak to a soldier, and a brave
one, I do not hesitate to tell you your hours
" Heaven's will be done ! " exclaimed Fawkes,
in a tone of resignation. " I thought myself
destined to be one of the chief instruments of
the restoration of our holy religion. But I find
I was mistaken. When Father Garnet arrives,
I beseech you let me see him instantly. Or, if
he should not come speedily, entreat Miss Rad-
cliffe to grant me a few moments in private."
" Why not unburthen yourself to me ?" re-
turned Catesby, distrustfully. " In your cir-
cumstances I should desire no better confessor
than a brother soldier, — no other crucifix than
" Nor I," rejoined Fawkes. " But this is no
confession I am about to make. What I have
to say relates to others, not to myself."
" Indeed !" exclaimed Catesby. " Then there
is the more reason why it should not be deferred.
I hold it my duty to tell you that the fever of
your w r ound will, in all probability, produce de-
THE PACKET. 265
lirium. Make your communication while your
senses remain to you. And whatever you enjoin
shall be rigorously fulfilled. "
" Will you swear this ?" cried Fawkes, eagerly.
But before an answer could be returned, he added,
in an altered tone, " No, — no, — it cannot be."
" This is no time for anger," rejoined Catesby,
sternly, " or I should ask whether you doubt the
assurance I have given you ? "
" I doubt nothing but your compliance with
my request," returned Fawkes. " And oh ! if
you hope to be succoured at your hour of need,
tell Miss Radcliffe I desire to speak with her."
" The message will not need to be conveyed,"
said Viviana, who had noiselessly entered the
room ; " she is here."
Guy Fawkes turned his gaze in the direction
of the voice ; and, notwithstanding his own de-
plorable condition, he was filled with concern at
the change wrought in her appearance by the
terrible shock she had undergone. Her counte-
nance was as pale as death, — her eyes, from
which no tears would flow, as is ever the case
with the deepest distress, were glassy and lustre-
VOL. I. N
266 GUY FAWKES.
less, — her luxuriant hair hung in dishevelled
masses over her shoulders, — and her attire was
soiled and disordered.
"You desire to speak with me?" she con-
tinued, advancing towards the couch of the
" It must be alone," he replied.
Viviana glanced at Catesby, who reluctantly
arose, and closed the door after him. " We are
alone now," she said.
" Water ! water ! " gasped the sufferer, " or I
perish." His request being complied with, he
continued in a low solemn voice, " Viviana, you
have lost the dearest friend you had on earth,
and you will soon lose one who, if he had been
spared, would have endeavoured, as far as he
could, to repair the loss. I say not this to
aggravate your distress, but to prove the sin-
cerity of my regard. Let me conjure you, with
my dying breath, not to wed Mr. Catesby."
" Fear it not," replied Viviana. " I would
rather endure death than consent to do so."
" Be upon your guard against him, then,"
continued Fawkes. " When an object is to
THE PACKET. 267
be gained, he suffers few scruples to stand in his
" I am well aware of it," replied Viviana';
" and on the arrival of Sir Everard Digby, I
shall place myself under his protection."
" Should you be driven to extremity," said
Fawkes, taking a small packet from the folds
of his doublet, " break open this ; it will inform
you what to do. Only promise me you will not
have recourse to it till all other means have
Viviana took the packet, and gave the re-
" Conceal it about your person, and guard it
carefully," continued Fawkes ; " for you know
not when you may require it. And now, having
cleared my conscience, I can die easily. Let me
have your prayers."
Viviana knelt down by the bedside, and pour-
ed forth the most earnest supplications in his
" Perhaps," she said, as she arose, " and it
is some consolation to think so, — you may be
saved by death from the commission of a great
268 GUY FAWKES.
crime, which would for ever have excluded you
from the joys of heaven."
" Say rather," cried Guy Fawkes, whose brain
began to wander, " which would have secured
them to me. Others will achieve it ; but I shall
have no share in their glory, or their reward. ,1
" Their reward will be perdition in this world
and the next," rejoined Viviana. " I repeat,
that though I deeply deplore your condition,
I rejoice in your delivery from this sin. It is
better — far better — to die thus, than by the
hands of the common executioner."
" What do I see ?" cried Guy Fawkes, trying
to raise himself, and sinking back again instantly
upon the pillow. " Elizabeth Orton rises before
me. She beckons me after her — I come ! —
I come ! "
u Heaven pity him ! " cried Viviana. " His
senses have left him !"
" She leads me into a gloomy cavern," con-
tinued Fawkes more wildly ; " but my eyes are
like the wolfs, and can penetrate the darkness.
It is filled with barrels of gunpowder. I see
them ranged in tiers, one above another. Ah !
THE PACKET. 269
I know where I am now. It is the vault be-
neath the Parliament-house. The King and
his nobles are assembled in the hall above.
Lend me a torch, that I may fire the train, and
blow them into the air. Quick ! quick ! I have
sworn their destruction, and will keep my oath.
What matter if I perish with them ? Give me
the torch, I say, or it will be too late. Is the
powder damp that it will not kindle ? And see !
the torch is expiring — it is gone out ! Distrac-
tion ! — to be baffled thus ! Why do you stand
and glare at me with your stony eyes ? Who
are those with you ? Fiends ! — no ! they are
armed men. They seize me — they drag me
before a grave assemblage. What is that hide-
ous engine ? The rack ! — Bind me on it —
break every limb — ye shall not force me to
confess — ha! ha! I laugh at your threats —
ha ! ha ! "
" Mother of mercy ! release him from this
torture ! n cried Viviana.
"So ! ye have condemned mc, 11 continued
Fawkes, w and will drag me to execution. Well,
well, I am prepared. But what a host is as-
270 GUY FAWKES.
sembled to see me ! Ten thousand faces are
turned towards me, and all with one abhorrent
bloodthirsty expression. And what a scaffold !
Get it done quickly, thou butcherly villain. The
rope is twisted round my throat in serpent folds.
It strangles me — ah V
"Horror!" exclaimed Viviana. "I can lis-
ten to this no longer. Help, Mr. Catesby,
u The knife is at my breast — it pierces my
flesh — my heart is torn forth — I die ! I die !"
And he utterred a dreadful groan.
" What has happened? 1 "' cried Catesby, rush-
ing into the room. " Is he dead ?"
" I fear so," replied Viviana ; " and his end
has been a fearful one. 1 ''
" No — no, 11 said Catesby ; " his pulse still
beats — but fiercely and feverishly. You had
better not remain here longer, Miss Radcliffe.
I will watch over him. All will soon be over. 11
Aware that she could be of no further use,
Viviana cast a look of the deepest commiseration
at the sufferer, and retired. The occupant of
the cottage, an elderly female, had surrendered
THE PACKET. 271
all the apartments of her tenement, except one
small room, to her guests, and she was therefore
undisturbed. The terrible event which had re-
cently occurred, and the harrowing scene she had
just witnessed, were too much for Viviana, and
her anguish was so intense, that she began to
fear her reason was deserting her. She stood
still, — gazed fearfully round, as if some secret
danger environed her, — clasped her hands to her
temples, and found them burning like hot iron, —
and, then, alarmed at her own state, knelt down,
prayed, and wept. Yes ! she wept, for the first
time, since her father's destruction, and the re-
lief afforded by those scalding tears was inex-
From this piteous state she was aroused by
the tramp of horses at the door of the cottage,
and the next moment Father Garnet presented
" How uncertain are human affairs ! " he said,
after a sorrowful greeting had passed between
them. " I little thought, when we parted yes-
terday, we should meet again so soon, and under
such afflicting circumstances. "
272 GUY FAWKES.
" It is the will of Heaven, father," replied
Viviana, " and we must not murmur at its de-
crees, but bear our chastening as we best may."
"I am happy to find you in such a com-
fortable frame of mind, dear daughter. I feared
the effect of the shock upon your feelings. But
I am glad to find you bear up against it so well. ,,
"I am surprised at my own firmness, father,"
replied Viviana. " But I have been schooled
in affliction. I have no tie left to bind me to
the world, and shall retire from it, not only with-
out regret, but with eagerness."
" Say not so, dear daughter," replied Garnet.
" You have, I trust, much happiness in store
for you. And when the sharpness of your afflic-
tion is worn off, you will view your condition
in a more cheering light."
" Impossible !" she cried, mournfully. "Hope
is wholly extinct in my breast. But I will not
contest the point. Is not Sir Everard Digby
with you ? "
" He is not, daughter," replied Garnet, " and
I will explain to you wherefore. Soon after your
departure yesterday, the mansion we occupied at
THE PACKET. 278
Holt was attacked by a band of soldiers, headed
by Miles Topcliffe, one of the most unrelenting
of our persecutors ; and though they were driven
off with some loss, yet, as there was every
reason to apprehend they would return with fresh
force, Sir Everard judged it prudent to retreat;
and accordingly he and his friends, with all their
attendants, except those he has sent with me,
have departed for Buckinghamshire."
" Where, then, is Father Oldcorne ?" in-
" Alas ! daughter," rejoined Garnet, " I grieve
to say he is a prisoner. Imprudently exposing
himself during the attack, he was seized and
carried off by Topcliffe and his myrmidons. 1 "
" How true is the saying, that misfortunes
never come single ! " sighed Viviana. " I seem
bereft of all I hold dear. 11
" Sir Everard has sent four of his trustiest
servants with me, 11 remarked Garnet. " They
are well armed, and will attend you wherever
you choose to lead them. He has also furnished
me with a sum of money for your use."
u He is most kind and considerate,' 1 replied
274 GUY FAWKES.
Viviana. " And now, father," she faltered,
" there is one subject which it is necessary to
speak upon ; and, though I shrink from it, it
must not be postponed."
" I guess what you mean, daughter," said Gar-
net, sympathizingly ; u you allude to the inter-
ment of Sir William Radcliffe. Is the body
" It is in an adjoining cottage," replied Vi-
viana, in a broken voice. " I have already ex-
pressed my wish to Mr. Catesby to have it con-
veyed to Manchester, to our family vault."
" I see not how that can be accomplished,
dear daughter," replied Garnet ; " but I will
confer with Mr. Catesby on the subject. Where
is he ? "
" In the next room by the couch of Guy
Fawkes, who is dying," said Viviana.
" Dying ! " echoed Garnet, starting. " I
heard he was dangerously hurt, but did not sup-
pose the wound would prove fatal. Here is
another grievous blow to the good cause."
At this moment the door was opened by
THE PACKET. 275
" How is the sufferer ?" asked Garnet.
"A slight change for the better appears to
have taken place," answered Catesby. " His
fever has in some degree abated, and he has sunk
into a gentle slumber."
" Can he be removed with safety ?" inquired
Garnet ; " for, I fear, if he remains here he will
fall into the hands of Topcliffe and his crew,
who are scouring the country in every direction."
And he recapitulated all he had just stated to
Catesby was for some time lost in reflec-
"Iara fairly perplexed as to what course it
will be best to pursue," he said. i6 Dangers and
difficulties beset us on every side. I am in-
clined to yield to Viviana's request, and pro-
ceed to Manchester."
" That will be rushing into the very face of
danger," observed Garnet.
" And, therefore, may be the safest plan,"
replied Catesby. u Our adversaries will scarcely
suspect us of so desperate a step."
" Perhaps you are in the right, my son, v
276 GUY FAWKES.
returned Garnet, after a moment's reflection.
" At all events, I bow to your judgment."
" The plan is too much in accordance with
my own wishes to meet with any opposition on
my part," observed Viviana.
" Will you accompany us, father?" asked
Catesby ; "or do you proceed to Gothurst ?"
" I will go with you, my son. Viviana will
need a protector. And, till I have seen her
in some place of safety, I will not leave her."
" Since we have come to this determination,"
rejoined Catesby, " as soon as the needful pre-
parations can be made, and Guy Fawkes has
had some hours'' repose, we will set out. Un-
der cover of night we can travel with security;
and, by using some exertion, may reach Ordsall
Hall, whither, I presume, Viviana would choose
to proceed, in the first instance, before daybreak."
" I am well mounted, and so are my atten-
dants," replied Garnet ; " and, by the provident
care of Sir Everard Digby, each of them has
a led horse with him."
" That is well," said Catesby. " And now,
Viviana, may I entreat you to take my place
THE PACKET. 277
for a short time by the coucli of the sufferer.
Jn a few hours everything shall be in readiness."
He then retired with Garnet, while Viviana
proceeded to the adjoining chamber, where she
found Guy Fawkes still slumbering tranquilly.
As the evening advanced, he awoke, and
appeared much refreshed. While he was speak-
ing, Garnet and Catesby approached his bedside,
and he seemed overjoyed at the sight of the
former. The subject of the journey being
mentioned to him, he at once expressed his
ready compliance with the arrangement, and only
desired that the last rites of his church might be
performed for him before he set out.
Garnet informed him that he came for that
very purpose ; and as soon as they were left
alone, he proceeded to the discharge of his
priestly duties, confessed and absolved him,
giving him the viaticum and the extreme unction.
And, lastly, he judged it expedient to administer
a powerful opiate, to lull the pain of his wound
on the journey.
This done, he summoned Catesby, who, with
two of the attendants, raised the couch on which
278 GUY FAWKES.
the wounded man was stretched, and conveyed
him to the litter. So well was this managed,
that Fawkes sustained no injury, and little
inconvenience, from the movement. Two strong
country vehicles had been procured ; the one
containing the wounded man's litter, the other
the shell, which had been hastily put together, to
hold the remains of the unfortunate Sir William
Radcliffe. Viviana being placed in the saddle,
and Catesby having liberally rewarded the cot-
tagers who had afforded them shelter, the little
cavalcade was put in motion. In this way
they journeyed through the night; and shaping
their course through Tarporley, Northwich.
and Altringham, arrived at daybreak in the
neighbourhood of Ordsall Halh
THE ELIXIR. 279
On beholding the well-remenibered roof and
gables of the old mansion peeping from out
the grove of trees in which it was embosomed,
Viviana's heart died away within her. The
thought that her father, who had so recently
quitted it in the full enjoyment of health, and
of every worldly blessing, should be so soon
brought back a corpse, was almost too agonizing
for endurance. Reflecting, however, that this
was no season for the indulgence of grief, but
that she was called upon to act with firmness,
she bore up resolutely against her emotion.
Arrived within a short distance of the Hall,
Catesby caused the little train to halt under the
shelter of the trees, while he rode forward to
280 GUY FAWKES.
ascertain that they could safely approach it. As
he drew near, everything proclaimed that the
hand of the spoiler had been there. Crossing
the drawbridge, he entered the court, which bore
abundant marks of the devastation recently com-
mitted. Various articles of furniture, broken,
burnt, or otherwise destroyed, were lying scatter-
ed about. The glass in the windows was shi-
vered ; the doors forced from their hinges ; the
stone-copings of the walls pushed off; the flower-
beds trampled upon ; the moat itself was in some
places choked up with rubbish, while in others
its surface was covered with floating pieces of
Led by curiosity, Catesby proceeded to the
spot where the stables had stood. Nothing but
a heap of blackened ruins met his gaze. Scarcely
one stone was standing on another. The ap-
pearance of the place was so desolate and dis-
heartening, that he turned away instantly. Leaving
his horse in a shed, he entered the house. Here,
again, he encountered fresh ravages. The oak-
panels and skirting-boards were torn from the
walls ; the ceilings pulled down ; and the floor
THE ELIXIR. 281
lay inch-deep in broken plaster and dust. On
ascending to the upper rooms, he found the same
disorder. The banisters of the stairs were
broken ; the bedsteads destroyed ; the roof par-
tially untiled. Every room was thickly strewn
with leaves torn from valuable books, with frag-
ments of apparel, and other articles, which the
searchers not being able to carry off had wan-
Having contemplated this scene of havoc for
some time, with feelings of the bitterest indig-
nation, Catesby descended to the lowest story ;
and, after searching ineffectually for the domes-
tics, was about to depart, when, turning suddenly,
he perceived a man watching him from an adjoin-
ing room. Catesby instantly called to him ;
but, seeing that the fellow disregarded his assur-
ances, and was about to take to his heels, he
drew his sword, and threatened him with severe
punishment if he attempted to fly. Thus ex-
horted, the man — who was no other than the
younger Heydocke — advanced tow r ards him ; and
throwing himself at his feet, begged him in the
most piteous terms to do him no injury.
2H2 GUY FAWKES.
" I have already told you I am a friend, 1 ' re-
plied Catesby, sheathing his sword.
" Ah ! Mr. Catesby, is it you I behold ? *
cried Martin Heydocke, whose fears had hitherto
prevented him from noticing the features of the
intruder. " What brings your worship to this
ill-fated house ?"
" First let me know if there is any enemy
about ?" replied Catesby.
" None that I am aware of," rejoined Martin.
" Having ransacked the premises, and done all
the mischief they could, as you perceive, the
miscreants departed the day before yesterday, and
I have seen nothing of them since, though I have
been constantly on the watch. The only alarm
I have had was that occasioned by your worship
just now. ,,
" Are you alone here ? " demanded Catesby.
" No, your worship," answered Martin.
" There are several of the servants concealed in
a secret passage under the house. But they are
so terrified by what has lately happened, that
they never dare show themselves, except during
the night- time."
" I do not wonder at it," replied Catesby.
THE ELIXIR. 283
" And now may I inquire whether your wor-
ship brings any tidings of Sir William Radcliffe
and Mistress Viviana?" rejoined Martin. "I
hope no ill has befallen them. My father, old
Jerome Heydocke, set out to Holywell a few
days ago, to apprise them of their danger, and I
have not heard of them since."
" Sir William Radcliffe is dead," replied
Catesby. " The villains have murdered him.
Your father is a prisoner."
" Alas ! alas !" cried the young man, bursting
into tears ; " these are fearful times to live in.
What will become of us all ? "
" We must rise against the oppressor," replied
Catesby sternly. " Bite the heel that tramples
" We must," rejoined Martin. " And if my
poor arm could avail, it should not be slow to
''Manfully resolved!" cried Catesby, who
never lost an opportunity of gaining a proselyte.
" I will point out to you a way by which you
may accomplish what you desire. But we will
talk of this hereafter. Hoard up your vengeance
till the fitting moment for action arrives."
284 GUY FAWKES.
He then proceeded to explain to the young
man, who was greatly surprised by the intelli-
gence, that Viviana was at hand, and that the
body of Sir William had been brought thither
for interment in the family vault at the Collegiate
Church. Having ascertained that there was a
chamber, which, having suffered less than the
others, might serve for Viviana's accommodation,
Catesby returned to the party.
A more melancholy cavalcade has been seldom
seen than now approached the gates of Ordsall
Hall. First rode Viviana, in an agony of tears,
for her grief had by this time become absolutely
uncontrolable, with Catesby on foot, leading her
horse. Next came Garnet, greatly exhausted
and depressed ; his eyes cast dejectedly on the
ground. Then came the litter, containing Guy
Fawkes ; and, lastly, the vehicle with the body
of Sir William Radcliffe. On arriving at the
gate, Viviana was met by two female servants,
whom Martin Heydocke had summoned from
their hiding-places ; and, as soon as she had dis-
mounted, she was supported, for she was scarcely
able to walk unaided, to the chamber destined for
THE ELIXIR. 285
her reception. This done, Catesby proceeded,
with some anxiety, to superintend the removal of
Fawkes, who was perfectly insensible. His
wound had bled considerably during the journey ;
but the effusion had stopped, when the faintness
supervened. He was placed in one of the lower
rooms till a sleeping-chamber could be prepared
for him. The last task was to attend to the re-
mains of the late unfortunate possessor of the
mansion. By Catesby's directions a large oak
table, once occupying the great hall, was removed
to the Star Chamber, already described as the
principal room of the house ; and, being securely
propped up, — for, like the rest of the furniture,
it had been much damaged by the spoilers,
though, being of substantial material, it offered
greater resistance to their efforts, — the shell con-
taining the body was placed upon it.
" Better he should lie thus,'" exclaimed Catesby,
when the melancholy office was completed,
" than live to witness the wreck around him.
Fatal as are these occurrences," he added, pur-
suing the train of thought suggested by the scene,
" they are yet favourable to my purpose. The
286 GUY FAWKES.
only person who could have prevented my union
with Viviana RadclifTe — her father — lies there.
Who would have thought when she rejected my
proposal a few days ago, in this very room, how
fortune would conspire — and by what dark and
inscrutable means — to bring it about ! Fallen
as it is, this house is not yet fallen so low, but I
can reinstate it. Its young mistress mine, her
estates mine, — for she is now inheritress of all
her father's possessions, — the utmost reach of
my ambition were gained, and all but one object
of my life — for which I have dared so much, and
struggled so long — achieved ! "
" What are you thinking of, my son ?" asked
Garnet, who had watched the changing expres-
sion of his sombre countenance, — " what are you
thinking of?" he said, tapping him on the
64 Of that which is never absent from my
thoughts, father — the great design," replied
Catesby ; " and of the means of its accomplish-
ment, which this sad scene suggests."
" I do not understand you, my son," rejoined
THE ELIXIR. 287
" Does not Radcliffe's blood cry aloud for
vengeance ? n continued Catesby ; " and, think
you liis child will be deaf to the cry ? No,
father, she will no longer tamely submit to
wrongs that would steel the gentlest bosom, and
make firm the feeblest arm, but will go hand and
heart with us in our project. Viviana must be
mine," he added, altering his tone, " ours, I
should say, — for, if she is mine, all the vast pos-
sessions that have accrued to her by her father's
death shall be devoted to the furtherance of the
" I cannot think she will refuse you now, my
son," replied Garnet.
" She shall not refuse me, father," rejoined
Catesby. " The time is gone by for idle wooing."
" I will be no party to forcible measures, my
son," returned Garnet, gravely. "As far as per-
suasion goes, I will lend you every assistance in
my power, but nothing further."
" Persuasion is all that will be required, I am
assured, father," answered Catesby, hastily, per-
ceiving he had committed himself too far. " But
let us now see what can be done- for Guy
288 GUY FAWKES.
" Would there was any hope of his life ! "
exclaimed Garnet, sighing deeply. " In losing
him, we lose the bravest of our band. 11
" We do," returned Catesby. "And yet he
has been subject to strange fancies of late."
" He has been appalled, but never shaken, 11
rejoined Garnet. " Of all our number, you
and he were the only two upon whom I could
rely. When he is gone, you will stand alone."
Catesby made no reply, but led the way to
the chamber where the wounded man lay. He
had regained his consciousness, but was too feeble
to speak. After such restoratives as were at
hand had been administered, Catesby was about
to order a room to be fitted up for him, when
Viviana, whose anxiety for the sufferer had over-
come her affliction, made her appearance. On
learning Catesby's intentions, she insisted upon
Fawkes being removed to the room allotted to
her, which had not been dismantled like the rest.
Seeing it was in vain to oppose her, Catesby
assented, and the sufferer was accordingly carried
thither, and placed within the bed — a large an-
tique piece of furniture, hung with faded damask
THE ELIXIR. 289
curtains. The room was one of the oldest in the
house, and at the further end stood a small
closet, approached by an arched doorway, and
fitted up with a hassock and crucifix, which,
strange to say, had escaped the ravages of the
Placed within the couch, Guy Fawkes began
to ramble as before about the conspiracy ; and
fearing his ravings might awaken the suspicion
of the servants, Catesby would not suffer any of
them to come near him, but arranged with Gar-
net to keep watch over him by turns. By de-
grees, he became more composed ; and, after
dozing a little, opened his eyes, and, looking
round, inquired anxiously for his sword. At
first, Catesby, who was alone with him at the
time, hesitated in his answer, but seeing he ap-
peared greatly disturbed, he showed him that his
hat, gauntlets, and rapier were lying by the bedside.
"I am content," replied the wounded man,
smiling faintly ; " that sword has never left my
side, waking or sleeping, for twenty years. Let
me grasp it once more — perhaps for the last
290 GUY FAWKES.
Catesby handed him the weapon. He looked
at it for a few moments, and pressed the blade to
" Farewell, old friend ! " he said, a tear ga-
thering in his eye, " farewell ! Catesby," he
added, as he resigned the weapon to him, cc I
have one request to make. Let my sword be
buried with me."
" It shall," replied Catesby, in a voice suffo-
cated by emotion, for the request touched him
where his stern nature was most accessible : " I
will place it by you myself."
" Thanks ! " exclaimed Fawkes. And soon
after this, he again fell into a slumber.
His sleep endured for some hours ; but his
breathing grew fainter and fainter, so that at the
last it was scarcely perceptible. A striking change
had likewise taken place in his countenance, and
these signs convinced Catesby he had not long to
live. While he was watching him with great
anxiety, Viviana appeared at the door of the
chamber, and beckoned him out. Noiselessly
obeying the summons, and following her along
the gallery, he entered a room where he found
THE ELIXIR. 291
" I have called you to say that a remedy has
been suggested to me by Martin Heydockc," ob-
served Viviana, " by -which I trust Guy Fawkes
may yet be saved."
" How ?" asked Catesby, eagerly.
" Doctor Dee, the warden of Manchester, of
whom you must have heard," she continued, " is
said to possess an elixir of such virtue, that a few
drops of it will snatch him who drinks them from
the very jaws of death."
" I should not have suspected you of so much
credulity, Viviana," replied Catesby : " but grant
that Doctor Dee possesses this marvellous elixir —
which for my own part I doubt — how are we to
obtain it ? "
" If you will repair to the college, and see him,
I doubt not he will give it you," rejoined Viviana.
Catesby smiled incredulously.
" I have a claim upon Doctor Dee," she per-
sisted, " which I have never enforced. I will
now use it. Show him this token," she conti-
nued, detaching a small ornament from her neck ;
" tell him you bring it from me, and I am sure
he will comply with your request."
292 GUY FAWKES.
" Your commands shall be obeyed, Viviana,"
replied Catesby ; " but I frankly confess I have
no faith in the remedy."
" It is at least worth the trial, my son," ob-
served Garnet. " Doctor .Dee is a wonderful
person, and has made many discoveries in medi-
cine, as in other sciences, and this marvellous
specific may, for aught we know, turn out no im-
66 If such is your opinion," replied Catesby,
" I will set out at once. If it is to be tried at
all, it must be without delay. The poor sufferer
is sinking fast."
" Go then," cried Viviana, " and heaven
speed your mission ! If you could prevail upon
Doctor Dee to visit the wounded man in person,
I should prefer it. Besides, I have another re-
quest to make of him — but that will do hereafter.
Lose not a moment now."
" I will fly on the wings of the wind," replied
Catesby. " Heaven grant that when I return
the object of our solicitude may not be past all
human aid ! "
With this, he hurried to an out-building in
THE ELIXIR. 293
which the horses were placed, and choosing the
strongest and fleetest from out their number,
mounted, and started at fall gallop in the direc-
tion of Manchester; nor did he relax his speed
until he reached the gates of the ancient College.
Hanging the bridle of his smoking steed to a
hook in the wall, he crossed the large quadran-
gular court ; and finding the principal entrance
open, passed the lofty room now used as the re-
fectory, ascended the flight of stone stairs that
conducts the modern visiter to the library, and
was traversing the long galleries communicating
with it, and now crowded with the learning of
ages, bequeathed by the benevolence of his rival,
Humphrey Chetham, when he encountered a
grave but crafty-looking personage, in a loose
brown robe and Polish cap, who angrily de-
manded his business.
Apologizing for the intrusion, Catesby was
about to explain, when a small oak door near
them was partly opened, and an authoritative
voice, from within, exclaimed, " Do not hinder
him, Kelley. I know his business, and will sec
294 GUY FAWKES.
The seer made no further remark, but point-
ing to the door, Catesby at once comprehended
that it was Dee's voice he had heard; and,
though somewhat startled by the intimation that
he was expected, entered the room. He found
the Doctor surrounded by his magical apparatus,
and slowly returning to the chair he had just
Without looking behind him to see whom
he addressed, Dee continued, " I have just con-
sulted my show-stone, and know why you are
come hither. You bring a token from Viviana
u I do," replied Catesby, in increased astonish-
ment. " It is here."
" It is needless to produce it," replied Dee,
still keeping his back towards him. " I have
seen it already. Kelley," he continued, " I am
about to set out for Ordsall Hall immediately.
You must accompany me."
" Amazement ! " cried Catesby. " Is the
purpose of my visit then really known to your
" You shall hear/' rejoined Dee, facing him.
THE ELIXIR. 295
" You have a friend who is at the point of
death, and having heard that I possess an elixir
of wonderful efficacy, are come in quest of it. 11
" True," replied Catesby, utterly confounded.
" The name of that friend," pursued Dee,
regarding him fixedly, " is Guy Fawkes, — your
own, Robert Catesby.'"
" I need no more to convince me, reverend
sir," rejoined Catesby, trembling, in spite of
himself, " that all I have heard of your wonderful
powers falls far short of the truth."
" You are but just in time," replied Dee,
bowing gravely, in acknowledgment of the com-
pliment. " Another hour, and it would have
been too late."
"Then you think he will live!" cried
" I am sure of it," replied Dee, " provided — "
" Provided what ?" interrupted Catesby. " Is
there aught I can do to ensure his recovery?"
" No," replied Dee, sternly. " I am de-
bating within myself whether it is worth while
reviving him for a more dreadful fate."
"What mean you, reverend sir?" asked
296 GUY FAWKES.
Catesby, a shade passing over his counte-
" You understand my meaning, and therefore
need no explanation," replied Dee. *' Return
to Ordsall Hall, and tell Miss Radcliffe I will
be there in an hour. Bid her have no further
fear. If the wounded man breathes when I
arrive, I will undertake to cure him. Add
further, that I know the other request she desires
to make of me, and that it is granted before it
is asked. Farewell, sir, for a short time.'?
On reaching the court, Catesby expanded his
chest, shook his limbs, and exclaimed, " At
length, I breathe freely. The atmosphere of
that infernal chamber smelt so horribly of sul-
phur that it almost stifled me. Well, if Doctor
Dee has not dealings with the devil, man never
had ! However, if he cures Guy Fawkes, I care
not whence the medicine comes from."
As he descended Smithy Bank, and was about
to cross the old bridge over the Irwell, he per-
ceived a man riding before him, who seemed
anxious to avoid him. Struck by this person's
manner, he urged his horse into a quicker pace,
THE ELIXIR. 297
and being the better mounted of the two, soon
overtook him, when to his surprise he found it
was Martin Heydocke.
" What are you doing here, sirrah?" he de-
4i I have been sent by Mistress Viviana with
a message to Mr. Humphrey Chetham," replied
the young man, in great confusion.
" Indeed ! " exclaimed Catesby, angrily.
" And how dared you convey a message to him,
without consulting me on the subject?"
" I was not aware you were my master," re-
plied Martin, sulkily. " If I owe obedience
to any one, it is to Mr. Chetham, whose servant
I am. But if Mistress Viviana gives me a mes-
sage to deliver, I will execute her commands,
whoever may be pleased, or displeased."
" I did but jest, thou saucy knave," returned
Catesby, who did not desire to offend him.
" Here is a piece of money for thee. Now, if
it be no secret, what was Miss RadclifiVs mes-
sage to thy master ? "
" I know not what her letter contained,"
replied Martin; "but his answer was, that he
would come to the hall at midnight."
2.98 GUY FAWKES.
" It is well I ascertained this," thought
Catesby, and he added aloud, " I understood
your master had been arrested and impri-
" So he was," replied Martin; "but he had
interest enough with the Commissioners to pro-
cure his liberation."
" Enough," replied Catesby ; and striking
spurs into his charger, he dashed off.
A quarter of an hour's hard riding brought
him to the hall, and, on arriving there, he pro-
ceeded at once to the wounded man's chamber,
where he found Viviana and Garnet.
" Have you succeeded in your errand ? " cried
the former, eagerly. " Will Doctor Dee come,
or has he sent the elixir ? "
"He will bring it himself," replied Catesby.
Viviana uttered an exclamation of joy, and
the sound appeared to reach the ears of the
sufferer, for he stirred, and groaned faintly.
" Doctor Dee desired me to tell you," con-
tinued Catesby, drawing Viviana aside, and
speaking in a low tone, " that your other request
THE ELIXIR. 299
Viviana looked surprised, and as if she did not
clearly understand him.
" Might he not refer to Humphrey Che-
tham ? " remarked Catesby, somewhat malici-
" Ah ! you have learnt from Martin Hey-
docke that I have written to him," returned
Viviana, blushing deeply. " What I was about
to ask of Doctor Dee had no reference to
Humphrey Chetham. It was to request permis-
sion to privately inter my father's remains in
our family vault in the Collegiate Church.
But how did he know I had any request to
make ? "
" That passes my comprehension," replied
Catesby, " unless he obtained his information
from his familiar spirits."
Shortly after this, Doctor Dee and Kelley
arrived at the hall. Catesby met them at the
gate, and conducted them to the wounded man's
chamber. Coldly saluting Garnet, whom he
eyed with suspicion, and bowing respectfully to
Viviana, the Doctor slowly advanced to the bed-
side. He gazed for a short time at the wounded
300 GUY FAWKES.
man, and folded his arms thoughtfully upon his
breast. The eyes of the sufferer were closed,
and his lips slightly apart, but no breath seemed
to issue from them. His bronzed complexion
had assumed the ghastly hue of death, and his
strongly-marked features had become fixed and
rigid. His black hair, stiffened and caked with
blood, escaped from the bandages around his
head, and hung in elf-locks on the pillow. It
was a piteous spectacle ; and Doctor Dee ap-
peared much moved by it.
" The worst is over," he muttered : " why
recall the spirit to its wretched tenement ? "
" If you can save him, reverend sir, do not
hesitate," implored Viviana.
"I am come hither for that purpose," re-
plied Dee ; " but I must have no other witness
to the experiment except yourself, and my at-
"I do not desire to be present, reverend
sir," replied Viviana ; " but I will retire into
that closet, and pray that your remedy may
" My prayers for the same end shall be of-
THE ELIXIR. 301
fered in the adjoining room," observed Garnet ;
and taking Catesby's arm, who seemed spell-
bound by curiosity, he dragged him away.
The door closed, and Viviana withdrew into
the closet, where she knelt down before the
crucifix, Doctor Dee seated himself on the bed-
side ; and taking a gourd-shaped bottle, filled
with a clear sparkling liquid, from beneath his
robe, he raised it to his eyes with his left hand,
while he placed his right on the wrist of the
wounded man. In this attitude he continued
for a few seconds, while Kelley, with his arms
folded, likewise kept his gaze fixed on the phial.
At the expiration of that time, Dee, who had
apparently counted the pulsations of the sufferer,
took out the glass stopper from the bottle, the
contents of which diffused a pungent odour
around ; and wetting a small piece of linen
with it, applied it to his temples. He then
desired Kelley to raise his head, and poured
a few drops down his throat. This done, he
waited a few minntes, and repeated the appli-
w J ™i : ! » l ie cried t0 Kelley. « The elixir
302 GUY FAWKES.
already begins to operate. His chest heaves.
His limbs shiver. That flush upon the cheek,
and that dampness on the brow, denote that
the animal heat is restored. A third draught
will accomplish the cure."
" I can already feel his heart palpitate," ob-
served Kelley, placing his hand on the patient's
" Heaven be praised ! " ejaculated Viviana,
who had suspended her devotions to listen.
" Hold him tightly," cried Dee to his as-
sistant, " while I administer the last draught.
He may injure himself by his struggles.'"
Kelley obeyed, and twined his arms tightly
round the wounded man. And, fortunate it was
that the precaution was taken ; for, the elixir
was no sooner poured down his throat than his
chest began to labour violently, his eyes opened ;
and, raising himself bolt-upright, he struggled
violently to break from the hold imposed upon
him. This he would have effected, if Dee had
not likewise lent his aid to prevent him.
" This is, indeed, a wonderful sight !" cried
Viviana, who had quitted the closet, and nou
THE ELIXIR. 303
gazed on, in awe and astonishment. " I can
never be sufficiently thankful to you, reverend
c< Give thanks to Him to whom alone they
are due, 11 replied Dee. " Summon your friends.
They may now resume their posts. My task
Catesby and Garnet being called into the
room, could scarcely credit their senses when
they beheld Guy Fawkes, who by this time
had ceased struggling, reclining on Kelley's
shoulder, and, except a certain wildness in the
eye, and cadaverousness of hue, looking as he
was wont to do.
END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.
PRINTED BY SAMUEL BENTLE'i,
Bangor House, Shoe Lane.
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