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THE 



JACQUERIE; 



OR, 



THE LADY AND THE PAGE: 



9n HUtortoil ftamxntr. 



BY 



G. P. R. JAMES, ESQ. 

AUTHOR OF 

« THX GIP8T," '' THE ROBBER,** " THE GENTLEMAN OF THE 
OLD SCHOOL,** ETC. ETC. ETC. 



IN THREE VOLUMES. 

VOL. I. 



LONDON: 

FEINTED FOR 

LONGMAN, BROWN, GREEN, & LONGMANS, 

FATERNOSTER.ROW. 
1841. 



*'|IAY 20 1921 



^ 






PREFACE. 



I HAVE ventured in the following pages to 
present to the reader a tale relating to re- 
mote times, though not so remote by more 
than a century as those which have already 
afforded me a subject which became very popu^- 
lan Periods of history with which the reader 
is not already well acquainted are not the most 
favourable for engaging his attention , and 
exciting his interest in a work of fiction ; but 
very few persons who are likely to read this 
book have not heard of the famous insurrection 
of the. peasantry, called the Jacquerie^ and do 
not know something of its horrible details. 
Amongst those details, dreadful as they were, 
manypointsof deep tragic interest are to be found, 
some of which I have endeavoured to display in 

A 3 



VI PREFACE. 

the following pages; while, at the same time, I 
have striven to keep in the shade the more re- 
volting excesses of the insurgents. 

Whether, in my anxiety to avoid that 
extravagance of horrors, of which we are all too 
fond in the present day, I have diminished the 
tragic effect of some of the incidents, I cannot 
tell ; but I would always rather be accused of 
under-drawing than over-drawing such pictures. 

Historians have* taken very different views of 
the great event which forms the subject of my 
work, some regarding the revolt of the peasantry 
as a grand political convulsion, brought about 
by complex and deep-seated causes; while 
others look upon it merely as an accidental 
burst of brute force against the trammels in 
which it alv/ays has been, and always must 
be, held by superior knowledge and intellect. 
Under not less different points of view have 
been considered and judged the character and 
motives of the leader of the insurrection. By 
some, he has been pronounced a hero ; by some, 
he has been painted as a demon ; by some, he 
is represented as a mere savage ; by some, he is 



PREFACE. Vii 



elevated to the rank of a philosopher and a polw 
tician. 

That he was a man of superior education to 
those by whom he was surrounded, I can have 
no doubt That he was a blood-thirsty and 
ferocious monster, the records of those times 
prove beyond the possibility of refutation ; and 
it is very fair to conclude, as he was undoubt- 
edly possessed of considerable abilities, skill, 
aiid information, that some strong personal 
motives, some particular passion or desire, led 
him to use the miseries and wrongs of his fellow- 
serfs for the attainment of his own objects. 
Of course, in the ranks of the Jacquerie there 
were various classes of intellect, and various 
degrees of education. There might be one or 
two persons who saw beyond the immediate 
efforts of the day; there might even be some who 
proposed to themselves objects superior to any 
selfish gratification ; but I am bound to say, 
that not the slightest trace of vast conceptions, 
projects of public good, political reasoning, or 
even any purpose of generally benefitting their 
kind, is to be found amongst all the accounts 



Vin PREFACE. 

which we have received of these insurgents; 
It is more wonderful that they achieved great 
enterprises with such objects than with such 
means. There is not in the annals of the world 
an instance in which^ if we are to believe the 
statements of contemporaries^ so much bar* 
barous brutality and so little mind was dis- 
played by any body of rebels against existing 
authority. We know not what was the account 
that Caillet gave of himself, but we find that a 
number of others, when interrogated, could 
assign no reason for their rising, but that they 
were miserable. The very words are striking, 
and, coupled with the fact that these men pro- 
posed to themselves no object but the slaughter 
of the nobility, gives us, perhaps, the true secret 
of the Jacquerie, and shows that, with the mass, 
it was the frenzied outbreak of despair. 

The events to which this insurrection gave 
place, the dangers, the perils, and the sufferings of 
some of the best people in the land, and the ulti- 
mate overthrow and destruction of the insurgents 
by a mere handful of gallant gentlemen, form 
the materials from which the following pages 



PREFACE. IX 

are composed. In my mani^ement of the snb« 
ject, while I have endeavoured to bring the 
scenes before the reader^s eyes as far as pos-> 
sible as pictures, and have introduced some 
of ^those little traits of the times, which give 
identity and verisimilitude to a tafe, making the 
reader familiar, as it were, with things afar off, 
I have likewise tried to avoid those long details 
of customs, ceremonies, and dresses, which 
please a few readers and fatigue many. While 
I trust I have not violated historical accumcy, 
I have laboured more ta depict the men than 
the habits of the age; and in so doing I have 
generally kept away from those broad and 
striking contrasts, which are met with occa^ 
sionallt/ in human life, so that we may occasionaUy 
introduce them, but are nevertheless so rare, 
that we should not make use of them frequently. 
Thus, in Albert Denyn and William Caillet, 
I have given one of liiese conti*asts, bringing 
into strong opposition a selfish and a generous 
character, and endowing both with thase in- 
tellectual powers, and that moving energy, 
which are necessary to carry out the pecu- 



X PREFACE. 

liarities of any particular disposition to an 
important result. I have endeavoured also to 
trace the effect, the original bias, upon the con- 
duct, and upon the fate of each, making the same 
passion which leads the selfish man to all that is 
base, violent, and criminal, conduct the generous 
one to all that is high, virtuous, and noble. 

In the other personages of the tale I have 
attempted, without losing sight of the peculiar 
spirit of the chivalrous ages, which threw, as it 
were, a uniform tone or hue over society, to 
mark the slighter distinctions of character, so 
that the Lord of Mauvinet may be different 
from the Captal de Buch, the;captal quite 
distinct from the Count of Foix, and the count 
from the Lord of St. Leu. I have aimed at 
the same in the female characters, though they 
are few in number, and of less importance than 
the others. 

In regard to the conclusion of the tale, 
I have adhered to the plan of the work 
that I had originally formed, which certainly 
renders the plot more complete and more in 
accordance with the general taste of the day, 



PREFACE, XI 

than another termination which suggested itself 
to my mind while I was writing, the nature of 
which the reader will easily divine if he reads 
the book to an end. Nevertheless, I was greatly 
tempted to adopt the latter, and even doubt 
now that I judged rightly. 

In depicting the historical personages, who 
from time to time figure on the scene, I believe 
I have adhered strictly to truth, making them 
such as they were and no other; and if I may 
seem to have carried chivalrous'generqsity too far 
in the character of the Captal de Buch, let the 
reader remember some of the ascertained points 
in his history — that he was the bosom friend 
of Edward the Black Prince — that he was one 
of the founders of the Garter — that he remained 
for many years in prison rather than promise 
not to fight for England — and that there is every 
reason to believe that he died of grief for the 
loss of his friend and his commander. Such 
things can be told of few upon this earth, and 
those who have been so distinguished may well 
be represented in somewhat dazzling colours. 



THE 



JACQUERIE 



CHAPTER L 

Even in the middle of the fourteenth century 
the tint of age had overspread the vast old 
church of St. Peter of Montvoye, some twenty 
miles from Tours- The stone, which had once 
been light grey, was stained with many a dingy 
colour, and the sharp cutting of the mason's 
chisel had been rounded away by the ob- 
literating hand of time. Indeed, so tall and 
shadowy was the building, that, although in its 
first newness the exterior might have appeared 
bright and shining, amidst the green woods that 
covered the surrounding country, the interior 

VOL. I. B 



'^^^s 



2 THE JACQUERIE. 

never could have given the spectator the idea 
of freshness ; but in its dim obscurity must have 
looked old even from the first. It had been 
built in that style mistakenly called Norman, 
but at a period when the round arch was gra- 
dually declining, and the long lancet-shaped 
window, the lofty column, and the horse-shoe 
arch, were occasionally used. The lighter forms, 
indeed, of a later period were not there to be 
seen; and all was heavy, massive, and stern, 
scarcely relieved by the many mouldings and 
rich ornaments of the arches, and the quaint 
and ever-varying decorations of the capitals. 
The tall windows afforded but a faint and 
uncertain light, except when the full sunshine 
of the summer poured at noon through the 
arch of the southern transept, and even then 
the stained glass softened and saddened the 
blaze, giving a sort of unearthly hue to the 
rays, as they fell upon the checkered pavement. 
Round the chancel ran two dark side aisles, 
which received none but wandering beams, 
that found their way thither from the body of 
the church — except, indeed, when one of the 



THE JACQUERIE. 8 

small, low-arched doors, that led into the cloisters 
of the neighbouring abbey, opened, and the day- 
light, for a few moments, streamed in, display- 
ing the figure of a priest or monk, and casting 
his long shadow upon the floor. 

In this church, one evening in the autumn of 
the year 1357, just when the light was growing 
feint, ere the going down of the sun left all 
in darkness, was a tallf handsome young man, 
of four or five and twenty years of age, with 
his arms crossed upon his bosom, and his eye 
bent down upon the ground. The dark aisle 
of the transept in which he stood was too 
shadowy for any one to have distinguished his 
features, or their expression, had there been 
other people in the church, but he was quite 
alone. Neither priest appeared at tlie altar, 
nor penitent in the confessional ; and the flick- 
ering of a faint lamp before one of the shrines 
was the only thing that looked like life within 
the walls of the building. 

Though no one saw his features, it may be 
necessarv that the reader should see them with 
the eye of imagin^atiop, and also requisite that 

B 2 



4 THE JACQUERIE. 

he should mark the peculiar expression which 
those features wore. The lines were all good, 
except perhaps about the mouth, where a certain 
heavy fulness of the lips took away all beauty 
from that part of the face. The forehead was 
broad and capacious, though not remarkably 
high; the brow strongly marked, but finely 
shaped; the eyes large, sparkling, and full of 
thoughtful meaning ; the nose small, but beau- 
tifully cut, and the chin perhaps a little more 
prominent than is exactly symmetrical, but still 
rounded into that form, which the Grecian 
chisel was delighted to display. The hair and 
beard, which were all short, were of a rich brown 
colour, and curled about the face in many a 
graceful sweep; but the form of the head was in 
itself remarkable, being nearly spherical, though 
there certainly did appear a degree of fulness 
behind the ears and at the back of the skull, 
which diminished the beauty of the whole. 

Could any body have watched the expression 
which the countenance we have described wore 
at that moment, he might have been more 
puzzled than ever he was in life before, to in* 



THE JACQUERIE, 5 

terpret the meaning of what waa written on that 
page. Dark and stern it certainly was ; but at 
the same time, there was a mingling of scorn 
and melancholy, too, with that look of fierce de- 
termination, which had a strange effect. The 
brow was knitted into a heavy frown ; the full 
black eye fixed upon the pavement, though 
nothing was to be seen there but the dim 
shadow of the aisle; the nostril was curled as 
if with strong contempt for some object in his 
own thoughts ; but the turn of the mouth was 
that of deep sadness ; and thus he stood for 
several minutes, till suddenly the whole aspect 
changed, and, though as mingled as before, the 
expression presented elements entirely different. 
A low suppressed laugh caused his lips to 
part; a gleam of triumphant joy lighted up 
his eye as if from the anticipation of some 
difficult success ; the knitting of the brow passed 
away, and the only part of his former look that 
remained was the scornful turn of the nostril 
and the upper lip. 

It may seem strange to the reader that I 
have paused to give so minute a description of 

B 3 



6 THE JACQUERIE. 

the features of a man who was dressed in the 
garb of a villein or serf, attached as domestic 
to some noble house; but so it was, and such 
in fact was the condition of the personage 
now before us. The dress that he wore was 
of brown hure^ as it was then called, but it 
fitted him well ; and, with a certain degree of 
vanity as well as taste, he had contrived to give 
it so much additional smartness, that it became 
his person as well as more lordly robes- Each 
sinewy limb was shown to the best advantage, 
and the symmetrical grace of his whole person 
was displayed, rather than concealed, by the 
close-fitting garments which covered him. 

In saying that his station was that of a 
domestic in some noble house, I do not mean 
to imply that it was inferior, as compared 
with that held by others in his own grade of 
society. It must be remembered, that many 
of those tasks of personal attendance and ser- 
vice which are now performed by hired servants 
were in those days executed by young nobles 
of the highest rank and fairest prospects, either 
in the dwelling of their own parents, or in the 



THE JACQUERIE. 7 

castles of the friends and relations of their 
family, where they appeared as pages or squires; 
and to wait upon their lord's person, to clean 
his armour as well as the dressing of his horse, 
the service of his table, and various other 
acts now considered menial, were then part of 
their daily duty. Many other functions, how- 
ever, were assigned in every large mansion' 
to serfs or villeins, who sometimes, in the 
house of a liberal and kindly master, were 
raised to offices apparently higher than those 
which were conferred on the young nobility 
of the household. There was a distinction, 
however, which perhaps we do not very clearly 
understand at present; and although a villein 
might fill the post of chaplain, almoner, and 
counsellor, and sit at his lord's table*, while 
the sons of princes poured the wine or carved 
the meat, yet the serf could not, except in 
default of noble hands, bear his lord's shield 
or spear, could not give him the water to wash 

* This fact is proved by various particulars given by the 
Sire de Joinville respecting the household of St. Louis. 

B 4 



8 THE JACQU£RIE. 

before dinner, or hand him the cup out of which 
he drank. 

The dress of the person whom I have de- 
scribed was good, fine in the texture, and such 
as none but one highly favoured would have 
been permitted to wear, though it was still that 
of the villein, and showed that, although the 
form and the features might all be as high and 
refined as Grecian sculpture ever displayed, yet 
the taint of slavery was in the blood, and that 
the wearer was a serf of the soil. 

By this time, however, great changes and 
ameliorations had taken place in the condition 
of that class, and they stood in a very dif- 
ferent position from that in which they had 
been placed at the time that Europe first issued 
forth from the darkness of the ninth century. 
Many wise and good monarchs had willingly 
and anxiously contributed to add comforts to 
the situation of the lower orders, and if not 
actually to unbind the fetters from their hands, 
at least so to regulate the relations between 
the lords of the soil and them, that those fetters 
might not be made more galling. Many unwise 



THE JACQUERIE, 9 

and vicious monarchs, too — for God often uses 
the wicked as instruments of good — in their 
quarrels with the baronage, which sometimes 
trod rather hard upon the skirts of the royal 
mantle^ had endeavoured to punish the ob- 
noxious class, by giving back some of the privi- 
leges of man to those on whom that class 
trampled ; and thus, though the villeins upon 
the lord's estates or territory were still nominally 
his chattels, as much as his horse, his dog, or 
his hawk, yet he was restrained in his dealing 
with them within certain limits and by cer- 
tain rules : their property was protected, their 
lives and persons were under the safeguard of 
the law, and they were no longer a mere herd 
of cattle, to be dealt with at the pleasure of a 
brutal owner. The cultivators of the soil, the 
mechanic, the manufacturer, the merchant, the 
inhabitants of all villages, and many of the 
dwellers in towns, were generally classed as 
villeins. " Though, long before the period of 
which I now speak, the formation of com- 
munes had introduced a distinction, and the 
free commons of a great number of cities pre- 



10 THE JACQUERIE. 

sented an intermediate class between the ba- 
ronage and the serfs, they were still ranked 
as villeins by blood, though enjoying all the 
rights of freemen, without the privileges of 
nobility. In rural districts, however, many a 
terrible and degrading badge of slavery still 
remained fixed upon the peasant. In one 
place, the right of the lord implied one degrading 
service, in another, it comprised others ; and in 
times of trouble and disaster, when the strong 
hand of lawful authority was removed, and the 
arm of the law shortened, exaction, pillage, op- 
pression, and tyranny, resumed their full sway : 
the dearest rights and most sacred feelings of 
human nature were set at nought ; and the only 
safeguard of the peasant was the honour, virtue, 
and benevolence of some of the chivalrous lords 
of the land. That safeguard was sufficient to 
protect many, but it was not sufficient to se- 
cure all ; and although, in some instances, the 
nobl^ chatelain was a father to those below 
him, ever ready to succour them in sorrow or 
calamity, to shield them from danger, and to 
avenge them against wrong, yet in others, the 



THE JACQUERIE. 11 

feudal lord was the enemy of all around, the 
tyrant of all beneath. 

The times I write of, too, were amongst the 
most terrible that ever the fair land of France 
beheld. Her king was a captive in a foreign 
land, her nobility, overthrown in the terrible 
day of Poitiers, were scattered, disunited, and 
dismayed, her fields overrun with bands of law- 
less adventurers, living alone by plunder, and 
inured to massacre and bloodshed, as a trade, 
her finances ruined, her young prince power- 
less, insulted, and betrayed, struggling with a 
fierce faction and ambitious demagogues in the 
capital, and not one bond of union existing 
throughout the whole land, but that of similar 
language, manners, and faith. The latter, 
alas I was suffered to have but little sway either 
in moderating men's passions or directing their 
actions. In the turbulence, the excitement, the 
disorganisation of the day, the functions of re- 
ligion were reduced to the task of affording 
consolation and nourishing hope; but even 
this was a blessed privilege where all else 
was sorrow, wretchedness, and despair. 

It may easily be conceived, then, that while 



12 THE JACQUERIE. 

such a State of anarchy existed in the land, 
the condition of the peasantry in many districts 
daily became worse. Though the law existed, 
there was none to administer the law, or to 
enforce it between the lord and his serf, and 
thus the will of every man became the only 
rule in his own territories. Jacques Borihomme^ 
as the insolent nobles called the unfortunate 
cultivator of the soil, sowed in fear and reaped 
with pain; and in many places ills more bur- 
thensome than human nature could bear ground 
the labourer to the earth. 

Such was the state of France at the time 
when the personage whom I have described 
stood alone in the dark aisle of the church of 
St. Peter at Montvoye, musing bitterly over 
many a topic of deep and terrible interest. 
By his dress one might perceive that he was 
of the class of serfs, and that he was some 
favoured domestic in a noble house. From the 
scenes that are to come, we shall gather the 
character of his mind, and see more of his con-^ 
dition and feelings, as w^ell as learn those actions, 
which gained him a place, though a sad one, in 
the history of the times in which he lived. 



THE JACQUERIE. 13 



CHAP. 11. 

Suddenly the door at the end of the aisle 
opened, and a ray from the setting sun broke 
in upon the darkness, tinting the manifold 
columns and arches as it passed, and casting a 
sudden brilliance down the long perspective of 
the pavement — like one of those bright and 
wonderful thoughts, which sometimes, in the 
mental world, burst upon subjects that have 
remained obscure for ages, discovering to the 
eye of a Newton or a Hei'schei a long chain of 
beautiful facts, all lighted up by the removal of 
one dark obstacle. 

The opening of the door disclosed to the 
eyes of him who was standing in the church 
two forn^s entering from the cloistered quad* 
rangle of the abbey adjoining, and he instantly 
drew back into one of the small chapels, 
and bent his knee before a shrine, though, to 



14 THE JACQUERIE. 

say sooth) he prayed not in his heart, but 
gazed between the pillars that concealed his 
own person at the others, as they paused 
for a moment in the archway, with the light 
shining round them as if in a picture. 

The two figures were those of an old man 
and a young one : the first was dressed in the 
long robe of a grey friar ; but the loose heavy 
gown — even when massed in the dark shadow, 
as he stood with the light flowing in fi*om 
behind — could not conceal the calm dignity of 
his person ; while the ray, catching upon the 
bald head, and streaming through the white 
hair, showed enough to account for a certain 
bend of the whole form by the heavy pressure 
of the hand of time. The younger man, who 
stood beside him, was tall and upright, with 
an air of easy grace and commanding power 
in every line, and as he advanced with a step 
firm but noiseless, and slow to suit the pace of 
his more aged companion, he offered a picture 
of vigorous manhood in its early prime, such 
as might well busy the hand of a skilful artist 
to depict. • 



THE JACQUERIE. 15 

As the latter turned to speak to the good prior 
of Montvoye, for such was the monk who walked 
by his side, the light caught upon his face, and 
displayed a countenance decidedly handsome 
in feature, but deriving its great beauty from 
the expression, which was very peculiar. It 
was calm, thoughtful, and even gentle, with a 
flickering smile hanging at that moment round 
the lip, which seemed to denote a quick and 
playful fancy ; but the tranquillity of the ex- 
pression had nothing of weakness in it : as 
did his whole figure and carriage, it gave the 
idea of high mental and bodily powers, great 
energy and activity of character, though those 
qualities were for the time in repose. 

The complexion was fair rather than dark ; 
but the face was browned with much ex- 
posure to the sun and wind; and a distinct 
line across the forehead showed where the 
casque or the cap had shaded the head from 
the summer heat. The eyes were hazel, and 
fringed with long dark lashes, but the hair and 
beard were of a light, rich brown. 

He was speaking as he came forward ; but the 



16 THE JACQUERIE. 

only words which caught the ear of the person 
who remained kneeling in the neighbouring 
chapel were, " I am right glad it is so, father^ 
for I have myself known what it is to lose those 
who are most dear. Not only is your noble 
brother living, but in good health. His 
wounds are now healed ; but he is one of those 
who could not survive a field like that, without 
some worthy marks of having done his duty." 

" You do him justice, noble lord," replied 
the prior : " Maurice de Mauvinet * will never 
shame his race* We have mourned for him as 
dead ; and well may we now rejoice to find him 
living." 

The prior said no more for the moment, 
but walked on by the side of his more youthful 
companion, musing as he went. Both paused, 
bowed, and crossed themselves as they traversed 
the nave before the high altar; and then, taking 
their way to the opposite door of the transept, 

* Maurice de Mauvinet was seneschal of Touraine, 
and was taken prisoner, severely wounded, at the battle of 
Poitiers. He is one of those particularly mentioned in 
the letter of the Black Prince. 



THE JACQUERIE. 17 

they issued forth upon the steps of the church ; 
before which stood a glittering train of men^t- 
arms> calmly talking with some monks and 
serving men, or arranging the caparisons of 
their horses and soothing the eager fire with 
which the chargers fretted to depart. 

The young nobleman turned as if to take his 
leave ; but the prior spoke first, with a thought 
ful smile. " I will not detain you long, noble 
sir," he said, '^ for the evening is at hand ; and 
night is no time to travel in this poor land of 
France; but yet I would fain hear another 
word or two of my dear brother's fate ere we 
part, though to-morrow perhaps I shall meet 
with you again." 

" Nay, speak boldly, my good father," re- 
plied the knight : ^^ I fear not the darkness. 
What would you know more ?" 

" First," said the prior, " I would ask, when 
we may hope to see my brother back ? " 

" Nay, that I know not," answered his com- 
panion : ^^ right soon, I trust, good father. 
He may come whensoever he will. *Tis now 
some six weeks since that, journeying by 

VOL. 1 c 



18 THE JACQUERIE. 

Poitiers, I first had reason to believe the 
letters he had written, as soon as his wounds 
were healed, had never reached his friends in 
France. It is no marvel that such has been 
the case; for where no law remains, and it 
would seem that all rule has been done away 
with here, letters often find other bands than 
those for which they were intended. However, 
I wrote to the noble lord at once, and sent the 
packet by a trusty messenger — who I know 
has since reached the good city of London— r 
telling him what I had heard, and beseeching 
him to come over hither and seek his liberty 
himself, lest men should say I had acted so 
discourteously as not to put a worthy prisoner 
to ransom. It never crossed my mind, how- 
ever, that his near friends and children them- 
selves were all this time ignorant that he was 
in life, till last night, at Tours, I heard, by a 
mere gossip's talk in the inn, that he was 
mourned as dead, and his young son, called 
Count of Mauvinet, in his place." 

" The boy will gladly give his countship up,'' 
replied the prior, ^^to see his small image in 



THE JACQUERIE. 19 

his dear father's ejes again. — But one question 
more, most noble captal. At what sum have 
you fixed my brother's ransom? We will 
raise it speedily, and with right good will." 

" Faith, my father," answered the other, ** it 
was not I who fixed it; 'twas himself. The 
simple facts are these. After the battle, when 
night was just approaching, I went out to seek 
for the body of my sister's son, who had 
fiJlen. We found it amongst a heap of dead, 
and, lying near, was what seemed the corpse 
of my good Lord of Mauvinet. They had 
stripped him of his arms and clothing : but I 
knew his face, for we had held a conference 
the day before on some matters regarding a 
truce; and, thinking it were but an act of 
charity towards his friends, I bade my people 
raise his body, too, and bear it to my tent. 
Ere we reached the camp, however, I found 
that the spark of life was not yet extinct, and 
therefore we gave him such tending as the 
time admitted. He recovered, as you know; 
and I scarcely held it just to put a man so 
captured to ransom. He, however, fixed the 

c 2 



t20 THE JACQUERIE. 

£um himself at five thousand marks of silver, 
and reckoned on having it right speedily. 
However, believe me, my good father, it was 
not seeking his ransom that I came; it was 
merely, that, hearing you all believed him dead, 
I thought it but a pleasant ride to turn some 
twenty miles from my way, and, by the tidings 
of his safety, to light up joy in hearts that had 
long been desolate." 

** Joy, indeed, do you bear with you, noble 
captal," replied the prior, **and glad will be 
the welcome that waits you at my brother's 
house, when once the news that you bring is 
known; but yet, as at this hour, and in these 
times, I fear you would not easily get ad* 
mission within the gates of a castle whose cha- 
telain is a boy of six years old, and whose lady 
does not yet number nineteen, unless you were 
accompanied by some known friend. I have 
therefore ^* 

m 

** I should but have to ride a few miles 
farther," replied the knight, interrupting him 
with a gay laugh. " The truce holds me from 
storming the castle ; and if they will not have 



THE JACQUERIE, 21 

the good news I bear them to-night, they 
must wait till you carry it to them to-morrow 
morning." 

" Not so, noble sir," replied the prior ; " for 
although, as I told you, the abbot being absent 
at this moment, I cannot to-night have the 
satisfaction of accompanying you to Mauvinet 
myself, yet I have provided means for insuring 
your reception. I have just sent for a youth, 
now at the abbey. He is well known in my 
brother's house, and greatly trusted by us all, 
who will both serve to guide you thither, and 
open the gates to you when you arrive. He 
has not yet come up, I see ; but I suppose he 
was taken by surprise, and has some small 
preparations to make for his journey." 

The knight thanked the good monl^for his 
care in simple terms, and then remained 
plunged in silence, for he had many another 
thought to busy his mind withal ; and the things 
that were now passing round him formed as yet 
but a light episode in his existence. The prior 
himself resumed the discourse, however, saying, 
after a short pause, ^* In behalf of the youth 

c 3 



22 THE JACQUERIE. 

who is coming I would bespeak your kind 
consideration, my lord ; for though I must not 
say that he is of noble blood, yet he is in all 
things far above the race of mere peasants.'^ 

" The son of some citizen ?" asked the 
knight, with an air of indifference. 

" Not exactly," replied the prior. " His 
father held lands in Normandy, but fell under 
some false suspicions during the troubles in that 
district, and was put to death by his lord un- 
justly. His wife and child fled hither, where 
they found a protector in my brother ; and the 
mother dying, the youth has been brought up 
partly at the abbey, partly at the castle." 

" There have been so many troubles in Nor- 
mandy, good father," answered the knight, 
" that I know not well which you mean ; but 
if you speak of those that occurred a few 
years ago, when your good prince, King John, 
held what we call the hloody feast of Bxmm^ 
arrested many noble gentlemen at his son^s 
own table, and after dinner struck off their 
heads in the field behind the castle — if you 
mean those troubles, all I can say is, the 



THE JACQUERIE. 23 

unjust lord of this good youth's father had a 
goodly example of cruelty and tyranny before 
his eyes," 

^^ It was previous to the time you speak of 
that these events took place," replied the 
prior ; ^^ but I beseech you, noble sir, cast no 
harsh censure on my king, while he lies yet a 
prisoner in a distant land. So long as he was 
able he was ever ready to meet in arms, as a 
monarch and a knight, those who gainsayed his 
deeds, but now—" 

" I was wrong — I was wrong, good father," 

replied tl^ captal : ^^ he is as valiant a prince 

as ever drew a sword, and I should not have 

blamed him when he could not answer to the 

charge." 

*^ He may have had good cause for what he 

did, my lord," replied the churchman. ^^ There 
runs a whisper amongst us, that the false King 
of Navarre had seduced the inexperience of 
the prince to rise against his father, and that 
the Lord of Harcourt was privy thereunta" 

*^ Still the king confounded guilt and in- 
nocence together," replied the other, " and 

c 4 



24 THE JACQUERIE. 

put noble gentlemen to death without a trial. 
— But here comes the youth of whom you 
spoke I suppose. He seems a likely stripling, 
and more fit to make a man-at-arms of than a 
monk." 

" In truth, my lord," answered the prior, 
'^ it is plain to see that he has no great taste for 
the gown. We have done the best we could 
for him — taught him a world of learning, if he 
would use it wisely : but, to say sooth, he has 
ever shown himself fonder of watching the tilt- 
yard, and secretly practising with the sword 
and spear, than reading theology or singing in 
our choir. He was generally at the castle till 
my brother marched for Poitiers; but since 
then I have not well known how to dispose of 
him — for here we cannot do as in England, 
where persons, not of noble birth, can bear 
honourable arms, and gain a high renown." 

A kind and ready answer sprang to the lips 
of his companion, but a moment's thought 
made him determine to pause a while; and he 
turned to examine more particularly the person 
of the young man who approached. 



THE JACQU£RIK. 25 

. He was a very different being from him 
whom we have already described as lingering 
moodily in the aisle of the church. He was 
not by four or five years so old as the other, 
and his countenance bore the expression of 
youth » which is a very peculiar one, and which 
once lost can never be regained. It was not 
that his face was without traces of thought, for 
vtrith all its cheerful sunshiny look there was 
reflection, and imagination, and mind in every 
line ; but it was, that there were none of the 
furrows of care, anxiety, and grief upon it, 
jione of the lines that show that the heart has 
been used, and a portion of its freshness taken 
away« There might, indeed, come a shade of 
melancholy over his brow from time to time, 
but that shade was as a floating cloud over a 
summer sky, and not the dull grey expanse 
of a chill autumn day. Neither were there 
on that countenance the branded stamp of 
fiery passions, nor the harsh traces of gnawing 
discontent. It was frank and open ; changeful, 
but not moody ; thoughtful, but not sad. 
The complexion was rather fair than dark; 



26 THE JACQUERIE. 

the limbs light and active, though giving a 
promise of great strength ; and there was in 
every motion, as in every look, a breathing 
spirit of yomig exuberant life that had some* 
thing wonderfully prepossessing in it to the eye. 
His dress was that of the richest class of 
peasantry; but that he had received an edu- 
cation far above his birth was evident, from the 
grace with which he moved. As he approached 
the prior and his companion, he uncovered his 
head, listened with respectful but not servile 
attention to the directions that he received; 
and then, as soon as the knight had mounted, 
laid his hand upon the saddle-bow of a horse 
that had been prepared for himself, and without 
touching the stirrup bounded into the seat. 



THE JACQUERIE. 27 



CHAP. III. 

There was a castle upon a slight rising ground 
in the midst of a wide basin in the hills. It 
was strongly fortified, according to the military 
architecture of the fourteenth century : bar- 
bican, portcullis, moat, and drawbridge de- 
fended it sufficiently on all sides against the 
ordinary means of attack ; and the tall walls 
and towers, with their crenelles and loopholes, 
threatened an approaching enemy with sad an- 
noyance in his advance. Sweeping down the 
lower slopes of the neighbouring uplands, 
indeed, were various scattered woods, leaving 
wide open fields between them; but they 
came at not point so near to the castle as to 
give a coming foe the means of concealing his 
proceedings. 

The moat, or piece of water which surrounded 
the fortress itself, was somewhat more than fifty 



28 THE JACQUEKIE, 

yards broad, and was indeed one of its best 
defences ; for only one means of traversing its 
deep water existed, which was by a narrow 
causeway, not carried straight across, but with 
a benj^ or elbow in the middle, so that any 
inimical troops which might attempt to force 
their way over, before they reached the draw- 
bridge and barbican, must necessarily expose 
their flank, first on the one side and then 
jon the other, to the whole artillery of the 
castle walls. 

Those walls themselves, at the point opposite 
to the causeway, approached close to the edge 
of the water, and in some places the grey 
foundations dipped themselves therein ; but on 
the three other sides a crescent-shaped slip of 
meadow stretched out between the chateau 
itself and the greater moat, together with a 
small piece of ground cultivated as a garden, 
and one or two old trees. The breadth of this 
field was no where more than thirty or forty 
yards, and between it and the walls was a 
narrower moat, ciit from the other, and crossed 
by two or three drawbridges which led to 



THE JACQUERIE. 29 

posterns in the towers, sufficiently wide and 
high to permit the passage of a horse ; for in 
truth the green meadow that we have men- 
tioned was used — in times when it might be 
dangerous to cross to the other side^of the 
great moat — for the purpose of practising 
those chivalrous sports which were a part of 
the daily life of that period. 

It was about half past eight o'clock when the 
party, which we have seen quit the Abbey of 
Montvoye, paused for a moment on the slope 
of one of the neighbouring hills, and the young 
guide, who had not quitted the side of his 
noble companion during the ride, pointed with 
his hand towards the valley below, saying, 
^* There, noble sir, is the castle !" 

The moon had risen little more than an hour 
above a line of dark wood' that skirted the 
distant horizon behind the castle; and her living 
beams showed the whole dark masses of the 
ancient feudal building cutting clear upon the 
luminous sky behind, while the wide moat^ 
except where the shadow of the towers fell^ 
shone bright and silverlike in the white 



80 THE JACQUERIE. 

moonlight. A long row of windows in the 
lower part of the keep appeared illuminated 
by lights within, and from the casement of a 
chamber in the story just above came forth the 
rays of a lamp. 

^^ You see, noble sir," continued the youth^ 
after they had paused for a moment, ^^ you 
see they are still waking. That is the cham- 
ber of the Lady Adela, above the knight's 
hall." 

^^ You have guided us well and quickly, good 
youth," answered his companion : ^^ let us spur 
on, however, lest we have yet to wake the lady 
from her slumbers." 

The young man followed rapidly, but still a 
step behind the knight ; for though he had been 
treated with kindly courtesy, there had not 
been wanting that tone of conscious superiority 
in the captal's demeanour which he was well 
entitled to assume, both by station and renown 
in arms. The youth felt it somewhat painfully, 
however, even more, perhaps, than he would 
have done from those whom he knew well, 
and who had not the habit of treating him as 



THE JACQUERIE. 31 

the mere peasant^ whom the churl's blood 
excluded from all courteous consideration. I 
have said, indeed, that he had not been so used 
by the knight, who had addressed him often, 
and asked him many a question, showing more 
interest in him than most men might have 
done so circumstanced. But still, the moment 
the answer was given, the captal had relapsed 
into a state of apparent indifference, remained 
silent for several minutes, and then speaking 
of something totally different. 

Why he should expect more attention from 
strangers than from those with whom he was fa- 
miliar, the youth could hardly tell; but yet 
the cold want of interest with which the knight 
heard his replies seemed to show him, more 
sensibly, the dark spot of the serf's blood : it 
was as if each man be met marked it upon his 
forehead, and treated him accordingly. His 
nature was a generous nature, however: he 
might grieve without anger; he could feel 
pain without bitterness; and although he 
longed to conquer his &te, it was by great 
^nd noble deeds which would shame the world 



32 THE JACQUERIE. 

for fixing on any class of men the odious name 
of villeins. 

When they had reached the bottom of the 
descent, the knight again drew in his horse and 
paused to look up at the dark towers, as they 
rose majestically against the sky. The light 
was still shining from the window above, and 
a faint strain of music found its way out into 
the air of night. 

'^ She sings I " said the captal, speaking to 
himself. ^^ She sings t So soon do deep griefs 
pass from the mind of youth ! " 

To his surprise, the young man who rode by 
his side, and who had never ventured to address 
him, except when he himself was spoken to, 
now replied somewhat sharply, saying, " It is 
a hymn f — Hark I " 

The captal made no observation, but 
paused and listened ; and now distinctly heard 
that the strain which he had taken for a light 
song was, in fact, a solemn address to Heaven. 
He did not answer the youth's observation, 
however, but only crossed himself, saying, " God 
hear her orisons ! Now, we must seek ad- 



THE JACQUERIE. 3^ 

mission quickly. Over this causeway seems 
our nearest way." 

. " It is the only way," replied the young man ; 
*' but take care how you try it, till I have blown 
my horn, for you might have a flight of arrows 
on you, such as fell at Poitiers." 

" Now Heaven forbid ! " replied the captal ; 

« 

'' wind your horn, good youth ! " 

The young man raised his horn to his lips, 
and blew a long and cheerful blast. A moment 
after^ a warder on the barbican answered in the 
same tone, and shouted out a welcome in reply 
to the well-known sounds, but at the same time 
demanded aloud, " Who have you got with 
you ? " 

" I know not your name, noble sir," said the 
guide to his companion " All I know is, that 
you are a friend of my good lord the prior." 

" Say it is the Captal de Buch," answered 
the knight, "who comes with good tidings to 
the house of Mauvinet." 

" What, the noble Captal de Buch ! " ex- 
claimed the youth, gazing up in his com* 
panion's face, " who led the English horse 

VOL. I. D 



34 THE JACQU£RI£. 

against the battle of the constables at Poi- 
tiers?" 

" The same," replied the captal, " the same, 
young man ; but be sure you say he brings good 
tidings : for my name is not too well loved in 
France, and may not gain me admission, without 
something added." 

" Your name is honoured throughout the 
world ! " replied the young man, " but I will 
do your bidding, if you will wait for but a 
moment here;" and riding on alone he ap- 
proached the barbican, and after a few words 
was admitted by the warder. 

The Captal de Buch remained in a musing 
mood, sometimes gazing down into the glis- 
tening waters of the moat, sometimes looking 
up to the moonlight sky, sometimes scanning 
the dark towers, and, while his spirit was in 
truth busy with other things, taking in vague 
impressions of their military strength ; for in 
despite of all that has been said against it, the 
mind is not only capable to a certain degree of 
carrying on two operations at once, but gene- 
rally does so; and we continually find, that 
while we are revolving one definite train of 



THE JACQU£RI£. 35 

ideas with all the intensity of deep reflection, 
the casual sights that pass before the eye, 
and the sounds that fall upon the ear, are each 
marked and considered in a general manner as 
if by separate powers of perception and thought 
within us. The armed attendants of the knight 
in the meanwhile remained at some short dis- 
tance behind, the younger and more impetuous 
fretting at the brief pause, and the old and 
veteran followers of the great leader calmly 
enduring a delay which they were well aware 
proceeded but from necessary caution, gazing 
up with curious eyes at the battlements, and 
thinking how such a castle might be best at- 
tacked. 

There was another person present, however, 
who had joined the party at some distance from 
the abbey, and who after speaking a word to 
their young guide had fallen behind. This was 
the remarkable man whom we have described 
in the first chapter, and who after overtaking 
the troop had shown no disposition to converse 
or jest with the light-hearted men-at-arms of 
the captal's train, during the whole journey 

D 2 



36 THE JACQUERIE. 

they had made together. His eyes were now 
neither turned to the sky, nor to the moat, nor 
to the castle, but were either fixed upon the 
ground, or busily engaged in scanning the 
forms of his temporary companions. The 
same scornful bend was still about his lip, and 
it might curl somewhat more strongly at some 
of the words which he caught, but he uttered 
not a syllable in reply. 

At the end of about ten minutes the delay 
seemed to be long even to the captal, and from 
time to time he turned his eyes towards the 
barbican, while his horse pawed the ground 
impatiently, as if wondering what stayed his 
impetuous rider. 

At length, however, the light of torches ap- 
peared in the gate; the drawbridge was once 
more let down, the portcullis was raised, and 
by the flickering glare of the flambeaux might 
be seen a number of armed men arraying 
themselves on either side of the causeway, while 
the youth, who had guided the party thither, 
came forth and announced to the captal that he 
was welcome to the castle of Mauvinet. 



THE JACQUERIE. 37 

Ere he entered, however, one of the old 
soldiers of that great oflScer's band rode up to 
his lord's side, and begged him to remark the 
armed throng which lined the portal of the 
barbican. The captal, however, merely replied 
with an impatient " Pshaw ! " and touching his 
horse slightly with the spur rode on across the 
causeway, passed the outer defences, and bowing 
with a courteous inclination to the soldiery as he 
proceeded, entered the gates of the castle upon 
horseback, and dismounted in the court yard. 
Here he found stationed several old officers to 
receive him ; but the youth, who had guided 
him thither, still acted the part of his chief 
conductor, and led him forward up the steps to 
the great hall of the building, which was known 
by the name of " the knights' hall." 

Although the room contained many lights, 
yet the part where they first entered was com- 
paratively dark, but at the farther end was 
an object, which instantly attracted the captal's 
attention, and seemed to surprise him not a little. 
It was the form of a girl, apparently of nine- 
teen or twenty years of age, habited ingarmenti? 

D 3 



38 THE JACQUERIE. 

of deep blacky and followed by a waiting-woman 
in the same sombre garb. The captal could not 
doubt for a moment that the lady before him 
was the person whom he came to see ; and the 
surprise, which he evidently felt, must have 
been excited either by the beauty and grace of 
her form, and the loveliness of her face, or by 
the expression of wondering hope and joy which 
lighted up her countenance. 

He advanced quickly towards her, however, 
while she on her part came forward with a 
hasty step, exclaiming, " Welcome, welcome, 
my good Lord Captal. Albert tells me, you 
bring me glad tidings — I know it ; I know 
it ! My father is alive ! — A thousand welcomes 
for such happy news ! " And in the eagerness 
of her joy, according to the simple custom of 
that day, without shame or reserve, the lady 
approached the knight and kissed him on either 
side of the face ; while her eyes beamed forth 
the delight that was in her heart. At the same 
time, however, as if doubting her own hopes, 
she repeated twice, " Is it not true ? is it not 
true, noble knight ? " 



1 



THE JACQUERIE. 39 

"Yes, lady," replied the captal, "it is true. 
Your noble father does live, is well, and will 
soon be restored unto you. I have brought you 
the tidings myself, that I might have the satis- 
faction of witnessing the joy which I now be- 
hold." 

" Joy, indeed," replied the lady, "joy indeed ! 
the greatest that has entered these gates for 
many a day; but I must send for my poor 
brother ! Though the dear child sleeps, it is no 
sin to wake him with such news as this." 

I will not pause to detail the farther convers- 
ation of the knight and the young lady of 
Mauvinet. It lasted nearly an hour, and in the 
course of it, all that the captal had to tell 
brought forth on her fair face a thousand varying 
and beautiful expressions, which caught the eye 
of one not insensible to beauty, and made him 
long to know more of the bright heart, from 
which such gleams seemed to issue forth. 

With graceful courtesy and kindness, though 
with some timidity of manner, the lady caused 
refreshments to be set before her guest, and 
pressed him to his food, while several of the old 

D 4 



40 THE JACQUERIE. 

officers of her father's household stood around 
the table, and others went to prepare lodg- 
ings in the castle for the knight and his fol- 
lowers. • 

Adela de Mauvinet was soon joined in her 
task of entertaining her unexpected guest by her 
young brother, a boy of six or seven years old, 
whose gladness to hear of his father's safety 
seemed even beyond his years, and increased the 
recompence which Adela's joy had already 
bestowed upon the captal for the glad tidings 
which he had brought. 

It was not till after he had told the story 
twice, and added many a little anecdote to gra- 
tify the children of his prisoner, that the great 
leader retired to rest; but if we must say truths 
the thought of Adela de Mauvinet, of her beauty, 
and of the varying changes which had come over 
her countenance while he told her of her father's 
safety, somewhat disturbed his repose, and made 
his slumbers more dreamy and disturbed than 
they were wont to be. 

Let it not be supposed for one moment that 
the captal was already in love. Though those 



THE JACQUERIE. 41 

were days in which such a thing was quite pos- 
sible — when the Romeo and Juliet love, 
brought forth, like the lightning from its cloud, 
in a single moment, often produced effects as 
fierce and keen as that of heaven's bolt itself, 
rending the stubborn heart, and spreading 
desolation round — yet the captal was of a 
different nature, and loved not easily though 
long. Still the beauty and the grace of her 
whom he had that night seen for the first time 
touched his imagination, though not his heart, 
and he lay and thought for more than one half 
hour of Adela de Mauvinet, and dreamed of 
her in sleep. 



42 THE JACQUERIE* 



CHAP. IV. 

There had been a light frost upon the ground, 
but the morning was bright and clear, and 
some of the soldiery of the castle had been 
wrestling and playing at backsword and 
buckler in that open space between the walls of 
the castle and the great moat, which we have 
already mentioned. It was a fine sight to see 
them in the clear fresh air, with their strong 
and muscular limbs cast every moment into 
some new and graceful attitude ; and several of 
the followers of the Captal de Buch, who came 
at first merely to look on, soon entered so fully 
into the spirit of the contest, that, when in- 
vited by some of the wrestlers to take part, 
they joined in and tried a fall with the rest. 

There were two persons, however, who 
gazed for some time on the sports, but took no 
part therein, remaining aloof at some distance, 



THE JACQUERIE. 4d 

and with crossed arms and bended heads 
watching the exercises, in which they were 
unwilling or unable to mingle. Those persona 
were no other than the youth who had con- 
ducted the Captal de Buch to Mauvinet^ and 
the man whom we have described as lin- 
gering in the church of Montvoye. Very 
different, however, was the expression on the 
countenance of each, as they stood there and 
gazed. The face of the younger displayed 
a keen interest in all that he saw going on 
before him, while that of his companion was 
unmoved, and calm, and seemed rather to hold 
the wrestlers and their sports in contempt, than 
to derive any pleasure from the sight of their 
pastime. 

^^ Come, Albert," he said at length, addressing 
the other, ^^ come, let us get away from these 
brawling fools. To stand here and watch 
them does no good either to you or me. You 
would &in join them, and be such another as 
themselves : I despise them, and would not be 
one of them if I could. Come, Albert, come 
and let us talk over poor France." 



44 THE JACQUERIE. 



(( 



I might join them this moment if I 
would," replied the other ; " you know they 
are all very kind to me." 

" Kind !'* replied his companion with a 
bitter sneer upon his lip, and at the same time 
walking slowly away ; " kind ! " and you are 
content to take from kindness that which is 
your own by right." 

The young man to whom he spoke started, 
and looked inquiringly in his companion's 
face. " Mine bv right ! " he exclaimed ; " how 
is it mine by right more than yours? — What is it 
that you mean, William Caillet ? How is it mine 
more than yours ?" 

" I said not that it was yours more than 
mine," replied Caillet ; " but come away where 
we cannot be heard, and I will explain to you 
my meaning." 

As he spoke, he moved away with a slow 
step and a careless air, as if unwilling to let 
any of those around see that there was in his 
bosom deeper thoughts than were displayed by 
the mere surface. The other followed him 
across one of the small bridges, and by a pos- 



THE JACQUERIE. 45 

tern into the castle. Caillet paused not within 
the building, but crossed the court, and saun- 
tering through the great gates approached the 
barbican. He walked on with an air of listless 
indifFerence, spoke a few words to the warder 
that let down the drawbridge for them, and 
then, seeing that his companion lingered, as if 
unwilling to go on, he said, " Come, Albert, 
will you not take a walk this fine morning ? See 
how bright the sun shines : you will find matter 
for some new song." 

The youth, whom he called Albert, smiled 
and followed him, merely replying, *' I cannot 
go far, Caillet, for I have charge to wait upon 
the noble Captal de Buch till the good prior 
comes." 

" The captal will not want you for an hour 
or two," replied Caillet, " and you have plenty 
of time for a walk. Come, if you be willing; 
if not, stop behind. Good faith, it is the same 
to me. I seldom seek better company than 
my own ; for nowadays one's thoughts are one's 
best friends." 

The other made no answer, but accompanied 



46 THE JACQUERIE. 

him in silence, and CaiUet took his way 
through the meadows on the opposite side of 
the moat, and walked on up the slope of the 
hill to some trees a little in advance of the wood, 
which crowned a spot where a precipitous bank 
of no great height afforded a full view into the 
valley with the castle and all the adjoining lands. 
There the two sat themselves down ; and for 
several minutes Caillet spoke not a word, but 
continued gazing with a meditative look over 
the fair scene spread out before him. 

His companion's eyes rested long upon the 
landscape also with much real enjoyment of 
all that is fine in nature; and, to say truth, 
attaching no great importance to the words of 
Caillet, he had totally forgotten all that had 
previously passed between them, when the other 
again resumed the subject, saying, " I asked you 
if you were content to take as a favour what 
is yours by right; land you seemed as much 
surprised at my saying that it is yours by right, 
as if you were as ignorant a peasant as any of 
all the many who hug their chains, scarcely 
knowing that they bear them." 



THE JACQUERIE. 47 

^^ Still I do not understand what you mean, 
Caillet," replied the other. ** 1 have no right to 
meddle with the sports of a rank above myself 
unless I am invited." 

" They have thrown away much teaching 
upon you to very little purpose I " replied 
Caillet in a tone of scornful wonder* ^' Is it 
possible, that you, Albert, who have had all the 
learning the monks of the convent can give, 
and have been taught every thing that even 
a knightly education can bestow, should 
be so blind, so dull, so stupid, as not to know, 
or so base as not to feel, that yours are the 
same rights as those of any other man on earth ; 
and that these proud nobles, in their gilded 
garments, are but of the same clay as you and 
I, without one difiFerence between us and them, 
except that some braver and more powerful 
robber than themselves chanced to be the 
founder of their race, and to snatch from our 
ancestors the lands that they now possess. To 
prevent us froni ever taking back our own 
they have called us villeins — serfs; they have 
prescribed to us certain garments as a badge 



48 THE JACQUERIE. 

of our slavery, forbidden us the use of all but 
certain weapons, even to defend our lives against 
the beasts of the forest^ or the field. They 
have denied us practice and skill in arms, lest 
we should use those arms against themselves. 
They keep from us all knowledge, too, lest we 
should learn our rights as men, the tyrant 
vanity of their pretensions, and their feebleness 
and baseness when stripped of the advantages 
which circumstances have given them. 

" Nay, nay," replied his companion, inter- 
rupting him, " they do not keep from us all 
knowledge ! Are we not both instances of the 
contrary ? How very many do they themselves 
educate? And how very, very many of the 
church have sprung from our own class ? " 

" Ay, of the church ! " replied Caillet with a 
look of scorn, " granted of the church. Nay, 
more, my short-sighted friend, I will concede 
more still : they are ready, they are anxious, when 
they see any one of more genius than the rest — 
when they see any one whose mind is fitted for 
great things, whose spirit and nature empower 
him to accomplish great enterprises, they are 



THE JACQUERIE. 49 

ready, I say, gladly to educate him for the 
church/' 

^'^ And is not that noble and kind?" cried 
Albert, interrupting him. 

*' It might be so," answered the other in a 
sharp tone, " were it done with a good motive ; 
but why is it they do this ? Is it not to bind 
down both the souls and bodies of the great 
and high-minded to a profession which affords 
the surest safeguard their usurpation can have, 
which bids us still endure in patience, and cuts 
us off from all those ties of kindred which would 
make us feel for the wrongs of our fellow-men ? 
The hands of the clergy cannot bear arms 
against the cowards that enslave us ; the voice 
of the clergy must not be raised to bid the serf 
ishake off his chains, the villein to cast off his 
bondage. This is the cause why, whenever a 
child is perceived of somewhat greater powers 
than the rest of his race, he is sent to the convent 
or the seminary, and bred up in the trammels 
of another sort of servitude, more lowering, more 
debasing, than that from which he escapes, be- 

VOL. I. E 



50 THE JACQUERIE. 

cause it is the servitude of the mind, because it 
is the villeinage of the heart. — And why is all 
this ? why is it, but because they are afraid of 
us; because these insolent men, who, when 
they meet the peasant in the field, scatter the 
dust over him with their horses' hoofs, and call 
him in contempt Jacques Banliomme; because 
these very men are cowards at their hearts, and 
fear the very worms they tread upon.'* 

His young companion had listened with a 
thoughtful brow, a somewhat gloomy air, and 
an eye bent upon the ground, with sensations 
that prevented him for some time from making 
any reply. He felt that there was some truth 
in what Caillet said; but he felt, also, that it 
was not all true, and yet did not at once see 
where lay the line between the truth and false- 
hood. At length, however, when his companion 
accused the nobles, whom he had been ac- 
customed through life to honour and to respect, 
of cowardice as well as tyranny, he burst forth 
with a laugh, not altogether gay : " Nay, nay," 
he cried, " nay, nay, Caillet, some of them may 
be tyrants, bloodthirsty, cruel tyrants — nay, 



THE JACQUERIE. 51 

we know that it is so, but they are no cowards. 
I would fain see you, my good friend, try your 
hands with one of these who you say are afraid." 
" Some day, perchance, you may," replied the 
other; " and wherever the fear lay, Albert, it 
should not be on my part. But enough of that ! 
I am no boaster ; and when the time of trial 
comes, I shall not be found wanting. You say 
they are no cowards : would that France could 
find it so ! for if she did, these proud English-- 
men would not thus be riding over the land as 
lords and masters. Would that France had 
ever found it so ! for then we should not have 
seen King John's whole host scattered like a 
fiock of sheep by a poor handful of &mished 
English knights ; we should not have seen eight 
thousand men chasing a host ten times their 
number ; we should not have seen men drown- 
ing themselves in the fords for very terror. 
Out upon it ! Will you tell me that, at Poitiers, 
the cowardly nobles did not betray their king 
and sell their country? Shame, shame upon 
France I If the villeins had fought at Poitiers, 
instead of their lords, history would have had 

E 2 



52 THE JACQUERIE. 

to tell another tale, and this young tiger of 
England, this black prince, Edward, would now 
be in chains in Paris. Out upon it, I say, that 
we should thus be sold by dastards into the 
hands of our enemies 1 " 

He had spoken so vehemently, that his com- 
panion had not an opportunity to interrupt him, 
though he had been very willing so to do. The 
moment the other stopped, however, he ex- 
claimed, " No, Caillet, no ! you are wrong, you 
are quite wrong. Who does not know that 
courage without conduct is nothing? Look 
at our own King John : did not the great 
prince, who conquered him, pronounce that 
he had done to the utmost his duties as a 
knight? Did you not hear the herald tell in 
the castle-hall, how the English prince himself 
served him the cup at supper, and declared that 
he had won the fame of the best knight in that 
day's battle ? — Then look at our own noble lord, 
found upon the field with twenty wounds upon 
him : was that like a coward, Caillet ? — All the 
eight thousand noblemen, who died where they 
{Stood, did they show any lack of courage ? '* 



THE JACQUERIE. 53 

" No," replied Caillet, with a bitter sneer 
curling his lip ; " no, they certainly did not. 
But what think you, Albert, of the twenty 
thousand, who fled without striking a stroke? 
what think you of the thousands and the tens 
of thousands — ay, the hundreds of thousands— 
that were seen flying over the plains of Foitou, 
with nothing but their own fear pursuing them ? 
I have said, and say again, that at Poitiers 
France was sold to England, not for gold, but 
for a worse price — fear !" 

*^ Nay, nay/' replied his companion, " you 
do them wrong. Have we not all heard, how 
often, in every period of history, a momentary 
panic has overthrown a host?" 

" Perhaps," replied Caillet, " had you been 
there, you would have fled too." 

The young man's cheek turned red; but 
Caillet proceeded, before he could reply, adding, 
" No, Albert, no, I am well aware you would 
not — there is not one of us that would ; and 
therefore it is that I say, if the peasants of 
France had fought at Poitiers, England would 
not have won so great a victory." 

E 3 



54 THE JACQUERIE. 

' " I know not," replied his companion, " I 
know not that ! All I am sure of is, that 
thousands of our nobles did their duty gal- 
lantly, fought well, and if they did not con- 
quer, died, or were taken prisoners, when they 
could resist no more/' 

" And is that all that you am sure of, Albert 
Denyn ?" continued his companion, in a stern 
and reproachful tone ; " is that all that you have 
learned ? you, who so lately have travelled all the 
way to Poitiers, to inquire about our lord ? Do 
you not know, that the country is in misery 
and starvation? Do you not know, that the 
peasantry are oppressed and ground into the 
dust ? Do you not know, that even where the 
cruel lord of the land spares the countrymen, 
the bloody hand of the adventurers, who ravage 
the country, plagues them at their very hearths 
with fire and sword ? Do you not know, that 
the misery, the agony, and the distress of the 
people, can reach no higher point? that they 
labour in the fields with their terrified eyes 
looking round every moment for an enemy? 
that they pass by the chateau and the town in 



THE JACQUERIE. 55 

haste, lest the scourge of their oppressors should 
reach them on the way? that they dare not 
sleep even in their wretched cabins for fear the 
robbers should be upon them? and that they 
lie through the miserable night in boats moored 
in the river, or the lake, lest murder, and violar 
tion, and wrong should visit their habitation in 
the darkness ? Do you not know all this, Al- 
bert Denyn? and do you find nothing to pity 
in the state of our brethren throughout the 
land ?" 

" I have heard that such things do exist," 
replied the other, in a sad tone ; " but on the 
road to Poitiers I saw little of them. I saw the 
effects of war : I saw desolated fields, and people 
in distress, and much mourning, and many a 
noble castle ruined and destroyed; but the 
peasant seemed to have suffered less than his 
lord ; and I was told every where that the adven- 
turers made war upon the palace, but not upon 
the cottage. Yet I say not, Caillet, that your 
representation is not just: I am aware that 
such great miseries exist: I am aware that 
want and starvation reign in some of the finest 

£ 4 



56 THE JACQUERIE. 

parts of France; and, from my very soul, I 
grieve for and pity the poor creatures who are 
so suffering/' 

" Ay," said Caillet, in a musing tone, " I 
have been told, that on the side of Poitiers the 
famine is not so bad ; but I will tell you, Albert, 
what I myself have seen. I have seen a dying 
child clinging to the cold breast of its dead 
mother, and seeking nourishment in vain, while 
the famished father sat by, and saw, and could 
give no aid, because he had not s^en food him- 
self for many a day. This was the first sight I 
beheld, when I was lately sent to Brie. A little 
farther on I came to a brighter scene, a spot 
in the hills, which seemed to have escaped the 
scourge of war, and to enjoy as much happiness 
as yet remained in France. The fields were 
rich and plentiful — it was then, you know, the 
time of harvest — and abundant sheafs of corn 
loaded the ground. I even heard a peasant 
singing — a sound that had not met my ear for 
many a day; but suddenly I saw a band of 
men come down from the neighbouring castle 
with carts and waggons, many a train; they 



s 



THE JACQUERIE. 57 

came into those fields ; they took up that bar- 
vest ; they loaded their waggons therewith ; 
they asked no man*s leave ; they gave no man 
an account; all they said was, that it was for 
their lord's ransom — their lord, who had been 
taken while flying like a coward from the field 
of Poitiers. I turned to look for the man 
who bad been singing, and saw him sitting 
lyitb the tears flowing from his eyes, thinking 
of the coming winter, and the misery of his 
wife and cbil|clren. I rode on as fast as I could 
go, for the sight was terrible to me; and at 
length I heard the sound of merriment, the 
tabret and the flute, and my heart rejoiced at 
the sound. Dismounting from my horse, I 
went into the village to see what good fortune 
could make people so happy in the midst of 
misery and sorrow. It was a marriage going 
on, and the farmer's daughter was being led 
back from the church to the sound of the pipe. 
All that her parents could spare had been given 
to deck her out upon her bridal day. She 
was as fair a young creature as ever you be- 
held, not unlike our own sweet lady of the 



58 THE JACQUERIE. 

eastle ; " and as be spoke» CaiUet fixed his eyes 
keenly upon the countenance of his companion, 
repeating, " not unlike, I say, the Lady Adela. 
Her bridegroom walked beside her, and ever 
and anon he turned to gaze upon her, thinking 
that she was his own, and never to be parted 
from him again. But at that moment came by 
a gay troop, with glittering garments, and gold, 
and furs, and all the good peasants bowed them 
lowly down before the lord of the village and 
his guests. So the noble stopped to speak, 
and to gaze upon the peasant's daughter in her 
bridal finery; and he said a world of gallant 
things to her, and told her she was as fair as 
any lady in the land ; and then she blushed to 
hear such praises, and looked lovelier than 
before. At length he went away ; but ere he 
had been gone half an hour, his people came 
down, to summon the young bride up to the 
castle, without father, or brother, or mother, or 
husband; and when she trembled, and would 
not go, they took her by force; and when the 
bridegroom strove to rescue her, they struck 



THE JACQUERIE. 59 

him with a partisan upon the head, and left 
him as one dead upon the ground." 

" And was he dead," exclaimed Albert, with 
his eyes flashing fire ; " and was he really dead ?" 

" I know not," answered the other coldly, 
but in his heart well pleased to see the eager- 
ness which he had raised in his companion ; ^^ I 
know not. It was no business of mine, you know, 
Albert ; — they were but peasants — villeins — 
serfs. — * How now, Jacques Bonhomme !' cried 
the lord's bailiff, as he struck the bridegroom 
on his head with his partisan. * Dare you 
resist my lord's will?' and I heard the iron 
strike against the bone of his skull." 

" But was he dead ? -^ What became of the 
bride?" demanded Albert, eagerly. " You did 
not leave them so, Caillet. Was he dead, I 
say?". 

" Better for him if he had been," replied 
Caillet, in a solemn tone : ^' he lived, but how 
long I know not. His bride did not return for 
several days ; and she was dead ere I passed by 
again." 

Albert Denyn pressed his hands upon his 



60 THE JACQUERIE* 

eyes, and remained for several minutes in deep 
thought. Caillet took care not to disturb his 
reverie, adding not another word to those which 
had produced the effect he wanted. At length 
Albert raised his head suddenly, and started up 
from the spot where they were sitting, exclaim- 
ing, ^^ It is time that I should go, Caillet : it is 
time that I should go." 

- *' Nay, nay," replied the other, " you have 
half an hour yet, and I have much to say ; — 
but I know whitlier you would go, and I cannot 
blame you. Though I grieve for you, Albert, I 
cannot blame you — for she is well worthy of 
love." 

" Who ? What do you mean ? " exclaimed 
Albert Denyn. " I know not what you would 
say, Caillet." 

" You know right well, Albert Denyn ! " re- 
plied Caillet ; " but don't let me pry into your 
secrets. Once we were friends, but now you 
give me not your confidence; and yet I wish 
you well, and would fain see you happy. You 
might be so, too, were you other than you are ; 
but they have taken care so to enthral you with 



THE JACQUERIE. 61 

prejudices, that I fear you will not dare to strive 
for the prize, were you even certain of winning 
it/' 

Albert gazed at him for a moment, and then 
resuming his seat, once more covered his eyes 
with his hands, and seemed to fall into deep 
thought. Caillet also bent his look upon the 
ground, in a musing mood; but he turned his 
gaze from time to time for a single moment 
upon his young companion, calculating all that 
was passing within, till, at length, judging that 
what he had said had worked in his mind suf- 
ficiently, he once more renewed the subject. 

" I cannot blame you, Albert," he said, " and 
you might be happy, if you would ; but with 
your feelings and your thoughts in regard to 
our tyrant masters, what you dream of is mad- 
ness, and every thought that you give to her is 
but adding to your own miseiy." 

^^And it is madness in you to speak thus, 
Caillet," replied Albert, suddenly rising again ; 
" utter madness I You know not what you 
speak of ! You do not know my feelings, nor 
my thoughts ! You fancy that I imagine things 



62 THE JACQUERIE. 

impossible, when no such ideas ever enter intx> 
my mind. It is phrensy, William Caillet: I 
tell you, it is sheer phrensy in you to talk thus ; 
and would be worse in me to listen to you." 

" Stay, Albert, yet stay a moment," replied 
Caillet, laying his hand upon his arm. *^ You 
must listen to a few words more, as you have 
heard so much already. You need not go 
to the castle yet : the captal is with the lady 
Adela; and if I judged his looks last night 
aright, he will not thank the man who in- 
terrupts him. You may well spare me a few 
minutes more; and ere you again say that I 
know not the feelings of your heart, be a little 
more sure that the assertion is true." 

" You do not know, you cannot know," an- 
swered Albert, vehemently, but still with a 
sudden degree of hesitation and sinking of his 
voice, which showed the keen eye of his com- 
panion that he was afraid the inmost thoughts 
of his bosom were really discovered. Gently 
drawing him by the arm, Caillet made him once 
more sit down by him, saying, " Albert Denyn, 
it is a friend who speaks to you. Listen, and 



THE JACQUERIE* 63 

I will show you what I know, or, if you like 
the term better, what I fancy/' 

" You are wrong — you are wrong," replied 
Albert, as he sat down ; ^' but speak on if you 
will, it matters not: I am not the madman 
that you think ;*' and while his companion pro- 
ceeded, he gazed forward upon vacancy with an 
abstracted air, as if he would fain have per- 
suaded himself and Caillet that he was utterly 
indifferent to the subject of discourse. 

His keen companion was not to be deceived, 
however ; and he went on, saying, " Do you 
think, Albert, that I have gone on in the same 
dwelling with you, except during the time that 
you have been away at the abbey, for nearly 
ten years, without knowing something of your 
mind and character? Do you think that I have 
lived with you so intimately the last four years^ 
watching you every day, marking your every 
action, and hearing your every word, without 
knowing the passion that has been growing up 
in your heart, without seeing that in some sort 
it is returned?" 

"Hush I hush! Caillet," replied his com- 



64 THE JACQUERIE. 

panion. " Returned ! — what mean you by re- 
turned? — But I must not pretend to misun* 
derstand you. Yet you are mistaken ; — in all 
this you are mistaken. Passion ! — It cannot be 
passion that I feel ; it is too humble^ too lowly, 
too hopeless. — Oh 1 no, Caillet, no ; call it by 
some other name — deep, deep devotion, if yoii 
will — respect, admiration, love — yes, love ; ^ — 
love such as the most humble may feel to the 
most high, but love without even a dream of 
hope, without an expectation, without one pre- 
sumptuous thought.-^ Oh ! no, Caillet,*no; call 
it not passion, that is not the name." 

He spoke with great agitation and eagerness, 
and when he had done, pressed his hand upon his% 
brow, and bent down his head upon his knee. 
"Call it what name thou wilt, my good Albert," 
replied Caillet, with a slight sneer : " thou art far 
more learned than I am, though the chaplain 
vowed I was a good scholar, too. — - But, I say, call 
it what thou wilt. So that my meaning is clear, 
it is all the same to me." 

" Returned!" continued Albert Denyn, again 
raising his head, and heeding not the words of 



THE JACQUERIE. 65 

his companion^ but going on in the train of his 
own thoughts; " returned ! — Vain, vain imagina* 
tion ! Surely, Caillet, Satan must have put such 
a vision in your mind to tempt and grieve me. 
Oh ! no, as we have spoken thus far, I must 
speak farther, I believe you love me, Caillet : I 
am sure, at least, you would not injure me ; and 
I will not deny that, to me, there seems about 
that sweet lady's looks, and words, and move- 
ments, some spirit almost divine, which hallows 
the very ground on which she sets her foot. 
How often have I stood, and watched for the 
hour of her coming forth, as weary travellers 
look for the rising of the sun ! How often have 
I stood, when I could not, or dared not, join the 
gay cavalcade, to gaze upon her from some 
distant tower, as she followed her father, while 
he flew his hawks over the plains round about ! 
How often have 1 contented myself since I 
have lately been at the abbey, by standing in yon 
meadow opposite, and watching the light in her 
chamber window, and thinking that she sat 
there at her orisons, while I prayed Heaven to 
pour its blessings on her, too ! " 

VOL. I. F 



66 THE JACQUERIE. 

^^ And has she not marked that service, that 
devotion ? " said Caillet, more in the tone of an 
assertion than a question. ^^ Has she not marked 
it, and rewarded it with smiles, such as she 
bestows on none of all the household but your- 
self?" 

" Smiles," replied Albert ; ** oh ! yes, she 
smiles kindly and sweetly, because she sees that 
I would fein please and serve her ; but they are 
cold, cold smiles, Caillet — cold to what I feel. 
It is but the approbation that she gives to the 
devoted servant of her house ; a passing casual 
glance, with one kindly look upon him, who the 
moment after is altogether forgotten, but who 
never forgets her — no, not for one moment 
throughout the livelong day. Yes, Caillet, you 
have seen her smile upon me gently and placidly; 
but as the moon shines on the water — bright 
sweetness, without warmth. Oh ! no, Caillet, 
no; that is no return for sensations such as 
mine." 

Caillet laughed, and answered, "And yet you 
disclaim all passion, Albert. You own, however, 
that she smiles upon you, and all who see her 



THE JACQUERIE. 67 

know it. You acknowledge, too, that you love 
faer, and none wbo have eyes and see you near 
her ean doubt it. Nor do I deny that she is 
worthy of all devotion, though she deals 
proudly with me, as you well know. Though 
when she passes by me, her head is carried 
more haughtily, her eye assumes a deeper 
fire, — though to me she takes all the air of 
one of the proud tyrants of the land, yet I 
deny not — nay I willingly allow, that her 
beauty is worth the attachment of any one, 
whether rich or poor, noble or serf." 

" Oh ! more than her beauty," exclaimed 
Albert ; " her gentleness, her kindness, her true 
nobility of nature, — those are worth love in- 
deed. Were she not beautiful, I could love her 
full as well." 

Caillet smiled again. " Had she not been 
beautiful," he said, " would you have ever felt 
so, Albert?" 

" Oh I yes," replied the other, " beyond a 
doubt. How many things would have made 
me love her, — how many acts of kindness has 
she shown me, — how much goodness that I have 

F 2 



68 THE JACQUERIR. 

not deserved ! Thanks be to God, that I have 
neither known sickness nor much care in life; 
but when her father's horse struck me on the 
shoulder, and cast me down upon the ground, 
what a cry she gave, and sprang forward to see 
if I were hurt I — When have I asked for any 
favour at the hands either of our noble lord or 
the good prior, without her seconding my prayer, 
and ensuring its success ? " 

" And yet," said Caillet, " you would have 
jne think that she does not return your affec- 
tion/* 

*^ I say again, it is but simple kindness 
that she feels," replied Albert; **when I tell 
these things, I speak selfishly. Are there not 
a thousand other motives for loving her besides 
these ? I will ask you, Caillet, you yourself, who 
judge so harshly — I will ask you, I say, whether 
there was ever any one so tender, so gentle, so 
beneficent to every one who approaches her ? 
Have we not all seen her tend upon the sick bed 
of a poor peasant with as much care as if that 
peasant had been a prince? Do you not re- 
member, when the poor girl Marritonne died. 



THE JACQUERIE. 69 

how night after night she sat by her bedside, 
watching her pale face, and giving her the cool 
drink to quench the terrible thirst that she en- 
dured ? " 

" I know nothing of it," replied Caillet some- 
what impatiently ; " I visited not the girl's sick 
chamber ; and you, good Albert, can but know 
this tale from the report of some of the serving 
women." 

" Nay, nay," replied Albert, " not from their 
report, but my own eyesight, Caillet ; for I was 
sent many a time by my good lord to call the 
lady from a task which he feared might injure 
her health. Twice, too, I went with him my- 
self; so that I speak from my own knowledge, 
Caillet, and not from, the tales of any one, how- 
ever true those tales might be. But why should 
I pause upon one instance ? Do not you as well 
as I know a thousand such acts ? You do not 
doubt them any more than I do, Caillet. You 
but affect to do so." 

" Nay," answered Caillet, " I neither doubt, 
nor affect a doubt. Have I not already said 
that I hold her to be worthy of the love of any 

F 3 



70 THE JACQUERIE. 

one?Jand only grieve, good Albert, that you 
are mad enough to love her, or foolish enough 
not to take the way of winning her." 

" Winning her !" exclaimed the other with 
an indignant scoff; " you are indeed mad 
now, Caillet, to talk of such a thing. We have 
heard, it is true, of rich peasants marrying the 
daughters of poor lords ; and the fabliau of the 
Villein and the Lady shows us how the daughter 
of a noble can shrink from such an union. 
But for a poor peasant like me, depending 
solely upon his lord's bounty, without even a 
title to claim that — as I was not born on this 
good lord's lands — for one whom he first re- 
ceived and protected from charity, whom he has 
educated from kindness, and who is wholly 
indebted to him for his daily bread, — for such 
a one, I say, to dream of winning one whom 
the whole country is ready to seek, — for whom 
knights, and nobles, and the princes of the 
land might well lay lance in rest, were some- 
what worse than madness, Caillet. — Try not 
to put such visions into my mind. Yqu know, 
as well as I, that such things are quite impos- 
sible." 



THE JACQUERIE. 71 

^* I know the contrary," replied Caillet in a 
calm determined tone. " I know that they are 
possible — quite possible ; but I will admit that 
they are impossible to you^ for you will not take 
the means to bring that prize within your reach 
which is but at a short distance from your grasp. 
I see that it is so : and though I do not regret 
that I have spoken to you thus, yet I fear, Albert, 
I fear for your own happiness that it will be in 
vain. Come, let us go back." 

Thus saying he rose, and walked slowly 
towards the castle, with his companion at his 
side, both musing and silent for some way; 
though Caillet, notwithstanding the air of 
indifference which he assumed, watched the 
countenance of Albert eagerly though stealthily, 
and tried to read thereon each passing emotion 
which the dangerous words he had uttered 
called up in his young comrade's heart. He 
spoke not, however, thinking that he had said 
enough for the day, and that at some after- 
period he might return to the same theme. 

But Albert himself was too much moved by 
all that he had heard to let the subject drop 

F 4 



72 THE JACQUERIC. 

there ; and ere they had reached the foot of the 
slope, he said, " Would to Heaven, Caillet, 
that you had not spoken to me all you have 
this day, or that you had said more." 

" I will add more, if you desire it," replied 
his companion. " I know that with you I am 
safe in utterhig all that I think ; but as to your 
wishing that I had not spoken at all, that is a 
weak wish, good Albert. Why should you 
entertain it ? Is it because I have made you 
look into your own heart, and see things in it 
that you never beheld before ? — Is it because I 
have made you look around at your situation, 
and shown you that you are placed within reach 
of honour and happiness, where great glory 
and joy, and a bright name are to be gained, if 
you will but seek them, although there be diffi-» 
culties and dangers in the way, strong resolu- 
tions to be taken, and great exertions to be 
made " 

" I fear no difficulties, I fear no great exer- 
tions," exclaimed Albert, eagerly; "but you 
have not shown me this " 

Caillet went on, however, without heeding, 



THE JACQUERIE. 7t3 

his fine countenance assuming an expression 
even more stern than that which it usually 
bore, — " Or is it because I have placed before 
your eyes that jtvhich every Frenchman should 
know, whatever be his rank, whatever be his 
class ; namely, the dreadful state to which the 
land has been reduced by the baseness of the 
class that call themselves noble — because I have 
shown you how shamefully they abuse the 
power that they shamefully possess, — how the 
poor peasant groans throughout the land — and 
how dark a debt of crime and sorrow is daily 
accumulating against the rich, the powerful, 
and the great, which must one day be paid, 
and that ere many years be past?" 

Albert heard the latter part of Caillet's speech 
in silence; but in the end replied, after musing 
a moment or two over what had been said, 
" Caillet, I do not understand you clearly ; but 
it is none of all these things that I wish I had 
never heard. The words you have spoken this 
day have kindled thoughts in my mind which 
but for you could never have been there. You 
are right well aware that hope once roused can 



74 THE JACQUERIE. 

sleep no more, and that whatever she has seized 
remains in her grasp for ever. Why or where- 
fore, you know best; but I see, Caillet — I see 
clearly, that you have carefully tried to raise 
hopes up in my bosom which should never be 
there, and which it must now be the study of 
my life to forget. Would to Heaven you 
had never done this ! But as you have, you 
must tell me why it has been done, why you 
should seek to encourage feelings that you know 
can but make me miserable — Uioughts that 
are worse than idle vanity, — that are wicked, 
presumptuous, evil ! " 

Caillet gazed upon him for a moment in 
silence ere he replied, with a look that had 
something contemptuous in it. The expression 
of scorn, indeed, was so constantly upon his 
countenance, that it was difficult to tell whether 
the curl of his lip proceeded from some secret 
emotion of the mind, or merely from an acci-» 
dental movement of the features ; but Albert, 
who knew him well, saw that look, and was not 
pleased with it; and although it passed away in 
a moment, he remembered it when it was gone. 



THE JACQUERIE. 75 

and recalled it afterwards, when many circum- 
s.tances had changed their relative position to 
each other. 

" My answer to your question," said Caillet 
at length, "is very simple. I have done all 
this that you say, in the hope of promoting 
your happiness. I have done it because the 
feelings that you speak of need not necessarily 
produce evil, or sorrow, or disappointment -~ 
because, if you would yield to reason, give your 
own mind sway, and exert those talents that 
God has bestowed upon you, the very wishes 
and the hopes that you entertain might lead 
to the greatest results, and be beneficial both to 
yourself and to your country." 

« Still, still," replied Albert, « I know not 
what you mean. I must hear more, Caillet, — 
I must hear all." 

" You shall," answered Caillet, " you shall 
hear all, Albert, and I would fain tell you all 
now; but, lo ! there comes the train of the good 
prior over the hill, and we must both return to 
the chateau. One word, then, for all, before we 
go. The state of misery in which France exists 



76 THE JACQUERIE. 

cannot endure much longer; the bondage in 
which we, the peasantry of France, are kept, 
must soon come to an end. Ere long, the 
rights now withheld will be struggled for and 
regained; men will recover the privileges of 
men, and will cast from them the yoke of others 
not more worthy than themselves. We are on 
the eve of great events ; and when they come 
to pass, if you but choose the side of honour 
and freedom, you will win your own happiness, 
as well as give happiness to thousands. — I ask 
you to take no active part," he continued, seeing 
a cloud come over his companion's brow at the 
vague hints which he gave, — « I ask you to take 
no active part as yet^ but merely to watch 
events as they arise, to judge sanely, and act 
nobly." 

As soon as he had uttered these words, Caillet 
— fearful that anything more might startle and 
alarm his companion — left what he had said to 
work out its effect, and to familiarise the mind 
of Albert Denyn with thoughts of change and 
strife, with which ideas he had, as we have 
seen, contrived to mingle hopes and expect- 



THE JACQUERIE. 77 

ations the most likely to have effect upon a 
young and inexperienced mind. Without 
pausing, then, to permit any farther questions 
to be addressed to him at the time, he hurried 
his pace back towards the castle, which they 
reached not long before the arrival of the 
train of horsemen whom they had seen coming 
over the hill. 



78 TRE JACQUERIE. 



CHAP. V. 

The sweet hours of the morning I There is 
nothing on earth like the sweet hours of the 
morning ! It is the youth of the day ; and the 
childhood of all things is beautiful. The fresh- 
ness, the unpolluted freshness of infancy, hangs 
about the early moments of the dawn ; the air 
seems to breathe of innocence and truth ; the 
very light is instinct with youth, and speaks of 
hopes. Who is there that loves beauty and 
brightness, and does not enjoy the early hours 
of the morning ? 

Such at least was not the case with the 
Captal de Buch. Of all the heroic followers 
of that heroic prince, whose deeds occupy so 
great a space in the annals of British glory, 
one of the most feeling, one of the most ima- 
ginative, one of the most chivalrous, in the 
best and highest sense of the word, was that 



THE JACQUERIE. 79 

famous leader, who led the small body of horse 
which by a sudden and unexpected charge 
contributed so much to win the battle of 
Poitiers. His whole life proved it, and his 
death not less so. 

Although I know not that he has left any 
thing like verse behind, yet it is evident that 
his heart overflowed with the true spirit of 
poetry; and often in the camp or the fortress, 
when he had spent a great part of the night 
in watching, he would rise betimes like any 
common soldier in the army, to mark the bright 
dawning of the day, and enjoy all the fresh 
beauties of the early morning. It was so even 
now in the castle of Mauvinet ; and with the 
first stirrers in the place he was on foot, and 
gazing forth from the window of his chamber 
upon the clear, grey coming of the autumnal 
day. Each object that his eye rested on sug* 
gested some new train of thought, excited some 
fresh current of feelings; and he stood for 
more than an hour, sometimes turning his eyes 
upon the soldiers below, as they wrestled and 
pitched the bar, sometimes gazing up towards 



80 THE JACQUERIE* 

the hills, and marking the gleams and shadows 
which the floating clouds cast upon the meadows 
and the woods. 

In his fanciful mood he compared those 
meadows and woods to man and his ever-chang- 
ing fate and fortunes, — now looking bright and 
smiling, now plunged into gloom and obscu- 
rity ; and all by objects which are but vapour, 
blown hither and thither by the breath of 
accident. For the autumn colours of the woods, 
too, he would have a likeness ; and he thought 
that that rich brown was like the hue of 
mature life, when the vigorous fruits of judgment 
and experience are succeeding to the green 
leaves arid fresh flowers of youth. All things, in 
short, excited his imagination at that moment, 
even more than was usually the case ; for the 
fair being with whom he had passed a few 
short hours on the preceding night had 
awakened sensations, which always, more or 
less, rouse fancy from her slumbers even in 
the most dull and unideal breast. 

As he thus stood and gazed, he marked the 
youth who had conducted him thither on 



THE JACQUERIE. 81 

the preceding night, walking forward, as we 
iiave shown, with his companion towards the 
hill; and when once his eye had lighted on him, 
he continued to look after him, — not exactly 
watching his movements, but with a certain 
feeling of interest, for which it was diflBcult to 
account. 

^^ It is strange,'^ he said to himself, after a 
tim'e, — "it is strange how we sometimes feel 
towards persons, the first time we behold them, 
sensations totally different from those which we 
ever experience towards others — affection, dis- 
like, confidence, esteem ! I remember once being 
told by an old priest, who thought much of 
such things, that when we find such an interest 
suddenly arise in our hearts, without being 
able to discover any real cause, either reason- 
able or unreasonable, we may be sure that our 
&te is some way connected with that of the 
person who has excited it; and that sooner or 
later, perhaps many years after, our weal or 
woe will be affected by our acquaintance with 
him. I must hear more of that youth; for it 
is strange why I should experience sensations 

VOL. I. G 



82 THE JACQU£RIE. 

towards him different from those called forth by 
any other peasant that one meets with every 
day. Who is that with him, I wonder, — a 
tall powerful fellow, who would make a good 
billman in case of need?" 

The captal continued to gaze for some time, 
till at length a sewer, with one of his own at- 
tendants, summoned him to breakfast; and 
descending he found the whole of the party of 
the castle assembled in the hall, except the young 
Lady Adela, who sent him kindly greeting, but 
did not appear herself. 

An old knight, whose years and station placed 
him highest in the household of the Senechal of 
Touraine, led the captal by the hand to the 
seat of honour, and then sat down beside 
him. But as it is not the object of this book 
to describe the particular customs of the day, 
and rather its intent to deal with the men than 
the manners of the times, I shall pass over all 
the ceremonies of the breakfast, though those 
were days in which ceremonies were not few, 
and proceed at once to the moment when the 
eaptal, having finished his meal and washed his 



THE JACQUERIE. 83 

hands, the old knight we have mentioned in- 
vited him, in his lady's name, to visit her in her 
own apartment. 

The captal followed willingly enough; and 
when he saw Adela de Mauvinet by the morn- 
ing light, he thought her still more beautidd 
than on the preceding night Her young 
brother was with her; and again and again 
they both thanked him, not only for the good 
tidings that he had brought, but for the kindness 
which had prompted him to bring them that 
intelligence himself. The captal, according to 
the custom of the day, denied all merit, but 
yet was not sorry to hear such words from such 
lips ; and as the boy was very like his sister, he 
bestowed on him the caresses that he could not 
offer to her. A short time thus passed jojrfully ; 
but the interview was not destined to be long 
uninterrupted, for a few minutes after, the door 
opened, and Albert Denyn appeared, with a fa- 
miliarity that somewhat surprised the captal. 

He was received by the lady with a smile, which 
for an instant made a strange feeling of dis- 
pleasure pass through the warrior's heart, though 

G 2 



84 THE JACQUERIE. 

be would have laughed if any one had told him 
he was in love with the lady, or jealous of the 
peasant page. The demeanour of the youth 
himself was all respect and reverence ; his coun- 
tenance was grave, and even melancholy, and 
all his tones were sad. 

" I come, lady," he said, as soon as he en- 
tered, " to tell you, that my lord the prior 
must be even now at the gates. I saw him 
riding over the hill with a large train, and 
hastened to inform you, as I thought you might 
wish to meet him on the steps.'* 

" Oh ! yes, yes !" cried the Lady Adela, joy- 
fully, " let us go, let us go ! You know my 
dear uncle already, my lord captal," she con- 
tinued, " and can well judge what joy his pre- 
sence gives me whenever he can come hither." 

" I have seen him but once, sweet lady," re- 
plied the captal; "but after that once I need no 
assurance that his disposition is one to win 
love as well as respect from all who know him 
well." 

" You do him but justice," replied the lady, 
suffering him to take her hand, to lead her 



THE JACQUERIE. 85 

down; "you do him but justice; as you will 
each day feel more and more, when longer ac- 
quaintance shows you his heart more fully.'* 

The train of the prior had not yet passed the 
causeway, when the Lady Adela, the captal, 
and the lady's brother, followed by Albert 
Denyn, reached the steps which led from the 
great gates down to the open space between it 
and the barbican. A number of the retainers 
of the castle were already congregated there to 
receive the brother of their lord ; but with con- 
fusion somewhat unusual, they were gathered 
into separate groups, speaking low together, and 
fixing their eyes with a degree of anxiety upon 
the troop that approached, which was certainly 
larger than the train with which the good prior 
generally travelled. All made way, however, 
for the lady and her company, and she paused 
upon the steps while the new-comers advanced 
across the causeway, three abreast, and then 
passed the barbican. 

As they came nearer, however, the eye of the 
captal lighted up with a look of eagerness. 
The young Lord of Mauvinet laid his hand 

o 3 



86 THE JACQUERIE. 

suddenly upon his sister's arm, and the next 
instant Adela herself, with a cry of joy, 
darted down the steps like lightning, and in a 
moment was clasped in the arms of a noble- 
looking man, who followed close upon the right 
of the prior. Her little brother sprang after 
her as fast as his young limbs would carry him, 
and he, also, with tears of pleasure, was pressed to 
his father's heart, while the acclamations of the 
retainers round about rent the air; and the glad 
faces that every where presented themselves told 
how truly loved a feudal lord might make him- 
self, if he chose to exercise the great power that 
he possessed with benevolence and humanity* 

As soon as he had received the welcome of 
his children, tlie Lord of Mauvinet turned to 
the Captal de Buch, and greeted him as a well- 
loved friend; but his next salutation, to the 
surprise of that nobleman, was given to the 
youth, Albert Denyn. To him the count extend- 
ed his hand ; and though the youth bent down to 
kiss it respectfully, the senechal pressed his with 
fatherly kindness, saying, ^^ I have heard, Albert, 
of all that you did to discover me, or at 



THE JACQUERIE. 87 

least to find my bones, at the peril of your own 
life and liberty. I knew, my boy, that your 
love would not fail me, and I thank you 
much." 

The young man heard him in silence, with- 
out venturing a word in reply ; but tears rose 
in his eyes, while his look spoke how happy 
his lord's commendation made him; and 
bowing low, he retired speedily amongst the 
throng, with a reverence to the prior as he 
passed, and one brief glance towards the captal 
and the Lady Adela. 

From feelings that he could not explain, the 
captal watched the youth with perhaps more 
attention than he had ever before bestowed on 
any person of the same rank; but, just and 
generous under all circumstances, he admitted 
to his own heart that the young man's de- 
meanour fully justified that affection and esteem 
which the whole family of his lord displayed 
towards him. 

As may be well supposed, after his long 
absence and supposed death, there was many 
a one to claim the Lord of Mauvinet's at- 

G 4 



88 TH£ JACQUERIE. 

tention, and to congratulate him upon his 
return ; and for all, he bad some kindly word, 
which sent them away content with the atten- 
tion which they had received. Amongst the 
rest the baron remarked Caillet, spoke to him 
kindly and familiarly; but not in the same 
terms of confidence and regard which he had 
used towards Albert Denyn. His notice, how- 
ever^ called the attention of the captal to the 
striking person of the young peasant; and he 
gazed at him for some time, examining with 
keen and experienced eyes a countenance^ 
which might well afford matter of curious 
speculation. 

It would appear that the result was not 
satisfactory to the captal, for his brow became 
slightly contracted; and walking beside the 
prior's mule, he asked him, " Who is that 
strong, well-looking youth, my lord prior, with 
whom your brother is now speaking?" 

" His name is Caillet," replied the prior : 
" he is a young man of great talent, born on 
my brother^s estates in Beauvoisis. The good 
chaplain tried to make a priest of him, but 



THE JACQUERIE. 89 

failed : not for want of quickness on the part of 
his scholar, but from somewhat too great quick- 
ness and a strength of determination not easily 
mastered. What he thought fit to study he 
acquired with surprising ease, and much he 
learned that good Father Robert would fain 
have prevented ; but what he did not choose to 
apply to, nothing on earth would make him 
look at." 

'* I should judge so," replied the captal, 
" from his face : a sturdy and determined spirit 
is written in every line, and no slight opinion of 
himself." 

** He is not humble," replied the prior, but 
made no other comment 

When they had passed on into the chateau, 
one of the first tasks of its lord was to beseech 
the Captal De Buch to spend some short time 
as a guest in the castle of Mauvinet ; and, to 
say the truth, the captal had no strong inclina- 
tion to refuse ; for bright eyes were there which 
had about them a strange fascination, that the 
heart of the gallant knight was not well cal- 
culated to resist He agreed willingly, then, to 



90 THE JACQUERIE. 

spend ten days with his noble prisoner in the 
forest sports of those times; and the Lord of 
Mauvinet sincerely rejoiced to secure the 
society of one whom he had learned to love 
and to respect during the tedious hours of his 
captivity in England. 

Let us leave the count for a time, however, 
in the embraces of his children, and the first 
delights of his return, and turn to others with 
whom we shall have more to do than even with 
that nobleman himself. The captal, on his 
part, knew that there are moments when the 
society of any one, however friendly, may be a 
restraint upon feelings which require full in- 
dulgence ; and not long after they had entered 
the castle he drew the prior of Montvoye 
aside, saying, " You have ridden far this 
morning, my good lord prior, otherwise I 
would claim your company for a walk in the 
sunshine yonder under the castle-wall; but if 
you will be a guest of my chamber for half an 
hour, I would fain ask you a question or two 
about my young guide of last night, and make 
you a proposal about him, which may, perhaps, 



THE JACQUERIE. 91 

meet your views and his, perhaps not, but 
which you shall decide when you have heard 
it fully." 

" I am no way fatigued, my good lord," 
replied the prior, " and will willingly be the 
comrade of your walk. Albert is as good a 
youth as ever lived, and right gladly shall I 
hear any thing for his advantage." 

Leaving the count and his children, then, 
alone, the prior and the captal issued forth, and 
took their way through the many square courts 
of the castle — into the depth of which, enclosed 
as they were by tall buildings, the sunshine 
rarely found its way, except at noon—- till they 
issued forth by one of the posterns upon the 
meadow under the walls, whicli we have already 
more than once mentioned. They there again 
paused to gaze at the scene around, both en- 
joying greatly the picturesque beauties of the 
landscape. 

It would be an egregious mistake to suppose 
that in that age, however rude and barbarous 
in some respects, there did not exist a love for, 
and fine appreciation of, all that is beautiful in 



92 THE JACQUERIE. 

this world, in which our lot is cast The very 
architecture of the time shows that such a feel- 
ing of the graceful and the sublime existed : the 
fifteenth century followed soon after, with all 
its miracles of art ; and even at the time of 
which I speak there were many persons living 
who had in their own bosoms as much of the 
spirit of the picturesque as a Prout or a Turner, 
though they had not a knowledge of how to re- 
present for others that which they felt so keenly. 

After having gazed, then, for some moments, 
over the fair prospect which was to be seen from 
the meadow, the captal turned to the prior to 
resume the subject of their discourse, first com- 
menting for a moment, as was natural, on 
that which had just occupied his attention. 
" This is as sweet a spot, my lord prior," he 
said, " as ever I beheld — calm, bright, and 
beautiful !" 

" Heaven keep it peaceful, too !" replied the 
prior. " We have as yet luckily escaped here 
many of the horrors of war ; and I trust it may 
be long ere we know any thing of that deso- 
lating power. But you, of course, noble 



THE JACQUERIE. 93 

captal," he continued, ^' cannot look upon the 
sad pursuits of strife with the same horror that 
I do." 

" I suppose not, good father," replied the 
captal : " each man has in this world his vo- 
cation ; and I cannot but think that war, when 
honourably waged and justly undertaken, is 
the most noble calling that man can have. So 
it would seem, too, thinks the youth of whom 
we were speaking. From what you said, I 
took an interest in him, and I asked him some 
questions on the road last night. His answers 
pleased me well: he seems frank and true. 
But I have lived long enough in the world, 
good prior, to know that frankness is sometimes 
assumed as one of the cunningest cloaks for 
cunning; and I would fain know from you 
what is this youth's real disposition." 

" He is truth and honour itself, my lord," 
replied the prior. " In no rank have I ever 
found so much sincerity, so much unvarying 
uprightness of heart, so scrupulous a regard for 
plighted faith, so knightly a scorn of falsehood." 

" The character you give him is high, in- 



94 THE JACQUERIE. 

deed," replied the captal ; " doubtless, too, he 
is brave — at least he has the air, the eye, of a 
brave man." 

" Ay, and the heart," answered the prior. 
" After that sad field of Poitiers, when terror 
and consternation spread over the whole king- 
dom, and every day brought past this place parties 
of fugitives, each full of wild tales of English 
bands pursuing, ravaging the country round, 
and slaying all they met with — when the 
dauphin himself scarcely dared to pause for 
half an hour, to take some light refreshment 
here, and when his own attendants told the 
same tale of the whole land being covered 
by your troops — that lad, when no other 
would go, went boldly to the very field of 
Poitiers itself, to seek his lord, and, at no 
persuasion, would take the cognisance of the 
house of Mauvinet from his bonnet." 

" He was quite safe !" said the captal — " we 
warred not with peasants." 

" True, my lord, true, my lord," replied 
the prior ; " but that sad disease, terror, has its 
delirium, like all other fevers; and our pea- 



THE JACQUERIE. 95 

santry fled as fast or even faster than many of 
their lords. It was vain to argue, it was 
vain to reason with them. Day after day 
brought new rumours, each more wild and 
foolish than the former. No man consulted 
his understanding-— no man believed aught but 
the last tale of terror which the day brought 
forth; and, in some parts of the country, the 
fields and>illages were quite deserted. Why, 
the very ferries over the river were, in many 
places, left without boats or boatmen. But, 
in the midst of all this, Albert pursued his way, 
and searched for his lord, far and near, for 
several weeks.'* 

** He is such as I thought him," replied the 
captal ; ^^ and what I was going to propose as a 
&vour to him, I shall now. ask, my good lord, 
as a favour to myself. His taste, it seems, is 
for arms. In France he can never hope to rise 
higher than a mere common soldier of some 
commune, or, at best, the constable of a band 
of burgesses. In England, such distinctions 
. are not to be found. The noble, it is true, is 
still noble, but we have no such things as 



96 THE JACQUERIE. 

villeins; they have been long done away in 
that land, though, at one time, the custom did 
exist there as well as in France. With us in 
Gascony there are villeins enough ; but if you 
will give the youth to me, he shall serve in my 
band till I can get him better service in 
England. And as I must pass my leisure time, 
whilst this truce exists, in seeking some feats of 
arms elsewhere, doubtless he may gain some 
renown, which will obtain for him consideration 
in a country where great deeds are always 
honoured, let the doer of them be who he may. 
This is the proposal that I have to make, my 
lord prior, in regard to your young client. 
I thought of offering it last night, when you 
spoke about his wish for arms, but I judged it 
better to wait till I had seen farther. What 
say you; shall it be so?" 

Somewhat to the surprise of the Captal de 
Buch, the prior hesitated ere he replied, and 
then answered, " I must consult my brother 
first, my good lord. It is he who brought up 
the youth, not I ; he has only been resident 



THE JACQUERIE. 9? 

with me since the battle, when I thought it best 
that he should be at the abbey." 

" May I inquire, good fatlier," demanded 
the captal, ^' was there any thing in his conduct 
to show that he could not be trusted except 
under your eye ?" 

" No, no I " answered the prior, eagerly ; 
'^ nothing of the kind, my good lord. But my 
brother, who had his own views for him, being 
supposed dead, I saw no fate before him but the 
cloister or the priest's office, and it was with the 
object of providing for him thus that I took 
him* Now, however, that the count has re- 
turned in safety, he of course must act as before, 
and I must either refer you to him, or consult 
with him upon the subject myself, before I give 
you a reply." 

" Consult with him, by all means," answered 
the captal ; "if you think what I have proposed 
advantageous for the youth, well ! I am ready 
to do my best for him ; if not, it is well also ; only 
I do beseech you, my good lord prior, do not 
make him a priest against his will ; for if you do, 

VOL. 1. u 



98 THE JACQUERIE. 

the community will suffer fully as much as him- 
self-" 

« Far be it from me," replied the prior, smiling, 
" and I feel very sure that I might at once ac- 
cept your offer ; for I know that my brother 
seeks nothing but Albert's good, and your 
proposal is most generous and kind. Never- 
theless, there are some things to be considered, of 
which I will speak with you more hereafter ; but 
in the mean time, I thank you gratefully on 
Albert's part for the bounty that you show 
him." 

The captal bowed somewhat stiffly ; for from 
what the prior had said the day before, he had 
not doubted that he would eagerly avail himself 
of any means to promote, the young peasant's 
wishes for a military life. And it must be re- 
membered, that the offer of the knight was one 
that might well be received with gladness, even 
by a youth of the very highest rank. Renown 
in arms was then the first claim to reverence 
from all classes; and the fame of the cs^tal, 
as a commander, was scarcely second to that 
of any one in the days wherein he lived. In 



THE JACQUERIE. 99 

that famous order of chivalry, which, both from 
its priority in point of time, and the renown 
of those who have borne it, leaves every other 
but a mere shadow, I mean the order of the 
Garter, his name stands fifth amongst the 
founders, and with only one subject between him 
and princes of the royal blood ; and, in those 
times, that distinction was held far higher than 
even now. Well might the captal think that the 
offer he made in fiivour of a mere French peasant 
was one of no slight kindness ; and well might 
he feel somewhat surprised that the prior should 
receive it with any hesitation, however slight. 
He pressed the matter no farther, then, at the 
time ; but after speaking gravely with his com- 
panion on other subjects, he returned with him 
to the hall, jested for a few minutes with some 
of the French gentlemen present, displayed his 
great muscular powers and skill in one or two 
feats of strength, and then retiring to his cham- 
ber, was heard singing to an instrument pf music, 
which was always borne with him by one of his 
train. At dinner, too, he was somewhat grave ; 
but afterwards, as the shades of evening were 

H 2 



100 THE JACQUERIE. 

beginning to fall, he was seen walking with the 
prior and the Count of Mauvinet, and bearing 
a lighter countenance, while all three spoke in 
somewhat low tones together, and the attendants 
kept far behind. They were at this time beyond 
the great moat, and under a small hanging 
wood. As they proceeded, something was heard 
to rustle amongst the brown leaves within ear- 
shot of the pages. " There is a wolf I" cried 
one of the boys, throwing a stone into the 
covert ; but the sound instantly ceased, and they 
passed on. 



THE JACQUERIE. 101 



CHAP. VI. 

Nearly a fortnight passed over in the chateau 
of Mauvinet without any one incident worthy 
of remark, and yet there is much to telL The 
small things of life are often more important than 
the great, the slow than the quick, the still than 
the noisy. The castle, and the palace, and the 
church stand for years the raging of the wind, 
the beating of the rain, the red bolt of the light- 
ning, yet crumble down beneath the quiet touch 
of time, without any one seeing where and when 
the fell destroyer is at work. There may well 
be no great incident, and yet a change the 
most happy, or the most disastrous, may have 
taken place in the space of a few short days. 

There was then, as we have said, much to tell, 
though there was no marked event upon which 
the pen of the narrator can dwell. There had 
been forest sports, the hunting of the boar and 

H 3 



102 THE JACQUERIE. 

the wolf; there had been the flight of the falcon 
over the valleys and the plains around ; there 
had been gay autumnal evenings within the 
castle-walls, with the blazing fire, and the cheer- 
ful tale, and the song of chivalry and love, and the 
sharp sirvente^ and sometimes the merry dance* 
In fact, the time had passed so gaily, that one 
might almost have forgotten the terrible state of 
the country around, had it not been that from 
time to time a report reached the castle of out- 
rages committed by this and that band of 
marauders, and once rumour brought the adven- 
turers so near that the Lord of Mauvinet and the 
Captal de Buch both rode out armed to give 
them the encounter, and drive them forth from 
Touraine. The report proved false, however, 
and was, in fact, merely one of those tales of 
terror which circulated from mouth to mouth 
throughout the land. 

On all these things it is unnecessary to dwell 
longer, as they afford no matter of interest but 
for those who may be inclined to study deeply 
the manners of the times ; but day by day, and 
hour by hour, and moment by moment, feelings 



THE JACQUERIE. 103 

were coining into the bosom of Captal de Buch, 
such as he had never before experienced. Ere 
a week was over, he had fully determined to 
demand the hand of Adela de Mauvinet, and the 
rest of the fortnight he employed in eagerly 
seeking her regard. 

Love in a young and timid man may often, 
from its very newness and intensity, bafBe its 
own endeavours; it may obscure high talents 
and bright qualities, and weigh down the eager 
and the ardent spirit, and even the active and 
powerful mind, so that the lover may appear 
in the very worst light to the person he most 
wishes to please; but with knowledge and 
experience of the world, and that confidence 
in one's own powers, that just appreciation of 
ourselves which nothing but such knowledge 
of the world can give, love produces none of 
those results, but, on the contrary, stimulates 
every nerve to exertion, acuminates every faculty 
of the mind and the body, and teaches us to 
display to the very best advantage every grace 
or perfection that we may happen to possess. 

Such, then, was the case with the Captal de 

H 4 



104 THE JACQUERIE, 

Buch; he certainly loved deeply and well ; he 
felt for Adela what he had never felt for any 
one else — and his whole mind was bent upon 
obtaining her regard. But those very sensa- 
tions only induced him to put forth his great 
power of pleasing, called into activity the vigour 
of his mind, and taught him to use all those 
means which, he knew right well, are the most 
successful with the female heart. He was con- 
stantly by her side when the opportunity 
naturally presented itself. The tone of his 
conversation was that which seemed best to 
accord with the general character of her own 
mind ; and yet the brilliancy of his thoughts, 
the richness of idea which had been acquired 
by seeing many scenes, mingling with many 
events, and frequenting many courts, gave a 
sort of sparkling effect to his conversation, even 
when, as I have said, it took its general hue 
from the character of her with whom he spoke. 
It was as if his mind was a magic mirror which 
reflected hers, but gave additional brightness 
to all the images it received. 

And yet — for generally in this world there 



THE JACQUERIE. 105 

is some fatal abatement to the pleasure of the 
day — and yet there was something in the 
manner of Adela that surprised, disappointed, 
and grieved the captal. That she did not dis- 
like his society was evident; that his words, 
his manners, and accomplishments were justly 
appreciated by her, was also clear; but still 
there was an indescribable something in her 
manner which showed him that he did not 
make that progress in her heart which he so 
ardently desired. 

On almost all subjects she spoke with him 
willingly, cheerfully, but there was one on which 
she spoke not at all. When he talked of love 
she was silent — love, I mean in the abstract, 
or with reference to others; for his own love 
towards her he had never yet ventured to tell. 
The moment the subject was mentioned Adela 
replied not, unless she was forced to do so, and 
when such was the case answered but vaguely, 
and generally fell into a fit of musing, from 
which the captal found it difficult to rouse 
her. He knew not how to account for such 
conduct; it appealed to him strange, and 



106 THE JACQUERIE. 

certainly alarmed him, but still he was quite 
sufficiently in love to listen eagerly to any 
thing that hope whispered. He thought to 
himself, " She is so young, she knows not yet 
what love is ;" and still he went on in the same 
course, with little fear of ultimate success* 

To those who knew her well, however, a 
change might be seen in Adela herself; she 
had become graver, more thoughtful : at times 
even somewhat sad. She showed no distaste 
to the society of the captal: how could she 
to that of a man who had saved her father's^ 
life, who had been his friend in adversity, and 
who had cheered for him the hours of captivity 
and sorrow? but still there was not that 
alacrity in going forth with him which might 
have been expected from her character in times 
of old. The bounding joy with which at one 
time she would have sprung to meet the de- 
liverer of her parent was no longer seen. 

The count himself remarked that it was so, 
and he too thought it strange, although he 
doubted not, and could not doubt, the affection 
of his child. Still it struck him as extra-* 



THE JACQUERIE. 107 

ordinary, the more so, indeed, from all he 
knew of Adela's character. There were others, 
who marked the difference likewise, and on 
whom it made the same impression. To Adela 
no one said any thing, however; and she re- 
mained not only unconscious that the coldness 
in her demeanour towards the captal had been 
perceived, but in truth unconscious that there 
was a coldness. Had she known it she would 
certainly have been greatly grieved, — but whe- 
ther she would have changed or not who can 
say? 

Thus passed the time with her. With her 
father it might be somewhat different. It seldom 
happens, I believe, that parents, even the most 
anxious and careful, become aware of the at- 
tachments which their children inspire, or of 
the affections which they feel, till the time 
to prevent the danger is over. Loving Adela, 
as he did, the count thought naturally that she 
was worthy of all admiration ; and in the cap- 
taPs attention towards her he saw nothing but 
what might naturally be expected from so 
gallant a knight towards so fair a lady. In the 



108 THE JACQUERIE, 

end, indeed, he thought that there was some- 
times a sparkling brightness in his guest's eyes, 
which betrayed a greater degree of warmth 
than the mere courtesy of the day required; 
but he marked it little, though others marked 
it much, and he gave no thought to the question, 
of whether it would please him well to see his 
daughter united to the great English leader. 

There was another, in regard to whom we 
must also trace the passing of the time, although 
he may seem a very insignificant personage 
amongst those of whom we have been lately 
speaking. That personage was Albert Denyn, 
and he had also undergone a change ; he, too, 
had become sad, and thoughtful, and gloomy. 
Smiles had nearly forsaken his countenance 
since the captal entered the castle of Mauvinet ; 
and he was seen, day by day, wandering 
through the woods and over the hills around, 
with his eyes fixed upon the dull ground, as if 
questioning his mother earth of his hard des- 
tiny, and finding no reply; or sitting gazing 
on the hilt of the sword, which he, as well as 
Caillet, and several other favourite attendants 



THE JACQUERIE. 109 

of the Lord of Mauvinet, were permitted to 
wear; as if demanding why the hand which 
could use it as bravely as any lord in the land^ 
should not be held as noble as that of others 
less worthy. 

He seemed to avoid the society of all. The 
tilt-yard and the meadow, where the soldiery 
used to practise, and where he himself had a 
sort of prescriptive right to mingle with others 
of nobler birth, now beheld him no more; 
and even Caillet, who, though he in general 
sought conversation with few in the castle, 
now looked for every opportunity of speaking 
with him, found none without great diffi- 
culty, and even when he did obtain a moment, 
met with some interruption almost as soon as 
their conference began. 

The captal, from motives secret even to 
himself, watched the young peasant, whenever 
he happened to be in the same chamber with 
,him, and, more especially, when Adela was 
there; but he saw nothing but what the 
youth's station in the household of the lady's 
father warranted. There was deep respect and 



110 TH£ JACQUERIE. 

reverence, zeal and affection in bis manner; 
but humble and calm withal, without presump*- 
tion in look or word. 

The captal took it for granted, in the end, 
that the youth's melancholy was habitual ; but 
others knew better; and more than one of 
those who had been accustomed to see him the 
gayest of a thousand gay hearts, now questioned 
him regarding his sudden gloom. Amongst 
the rest was the prior ; but the good father -^ 
forced to reside at the abbey, and paying 
but short visits to his brother's castle — saw 
not many of those slighter traits which might, 
perhaps, have directed his judgment aright, 
could he have watched them; and thus he 
attributed Albert's sadness to motives far from 
the real ones. 

" My dear son," he said, one day, when he 
was riding over to the castle, and found the 
youth upon the hills by the way, " I have 
remarked, with grief, the gloom that hangs^ 
upon you; for I cannot but ascribe it, in 
some degree, to what my brother and myself 
have yielded to, out of kindness for you, with- 



THE JACQUERIE. Ill 

out dreaming that it could produce pain and 
sorrow instead." 

The youth started and turned red, but in- 
stantly became pale, demanding, " What mean 
you, father? I know not to what you can 
allude/' 

" Nay I my son," answered the prior, " I saw 
this sadness fall upon you the moment we men- 
tioned what we considered the splendid offer 
made in your favour by the noble Captal de 
Buch ; and I have marked the gloom coming 
deeper and deeper every day since, so that I 
cannot be mistaken." 

Albert paused a moment, but his heart was 
too pure and true to suffer him to take advan- 
tage of the good prior's mistake, even to hide 
the many feelings wfthin his bosom that he 
dared not avow ; and in this, as in all things, 
he spoke the plain truth. ^' Indeed, dear and 
noble sir," he said, " you are mistaken. When 
you told me of the generous offer of the cap- 
tal, I became grave, perhaps, because my heart 
was filled with two strong emotions — joy to 
see what I had scarcely deemed possible ful- 



112 THE JACQUERIE. 

filled, and yet sorrow to part with many dear 
and true friends such as I shall never find 
again. Oh ! my lord, can you suppose that, 
after all the kindness you have shown me, I 
can think of the hour that must separate me 
from your paternal care, perhaps for ever, 
without a painful feeling of apprehension and 
regret ? Can I either think of leaving my 
noble lord, your brother, or our sweet lady 
Adela, without deep grief? Oh ! no, my 
lord. This, I assure you, was all that called a 
shadow over my face when first you told me of 
the captal's offer; and, since then, perhaps 
other things — fancies — wayward fancies — ap- 
prehensions of never seeing those I love again, 
or seeing them changed towards me — or — or 
— a thousand idle dreands, have made me sad ; 
but this will all pass away when I am gone." 

" Fear not ! Albert," replied the prior, gazing 
on him with a look of approbation and regard— 
" Fear not 1 We shall meet again, and, perhaps, 
in happier circumstances than the times admit 
at present. Fear not, either, that you will find 
us changed. We are not of a race that change* 



THE JACQUERIE. 113 

Only act honourably wherever you may be, 
and you will learn that we are still the same 
under all circumstances." 

" I trust I ever shall act honourably, my 
lord," replied Albert. " I have but one ap- 
prehension ; and that is, that I may, at some 
time, be compelled to lay down those arms 
which I am now about to bear, by being called 
to use them against France; and should that 
be " 

" No fear ! no fear !" exclaimed the prior : 
" the captal has plighted his word that such an 
act shall never be required of you, my son. If 
that idea has disturbed you, let it do so no 
more ; for you know that his word is never 
broken." 

The youth kissed the good monk's hand in 
sign of gratitude; but, notwithstanding such 
assurance, Albert was not gayer than before. 
For the day, indeed, he made an effort, but ere 
night fell he had sunk back into deeper gloom 
than ever. Even in the hall, after supper, a 
dark fit of thought came upon him, and he stood 
silent and- sad, with his gaze fixed upon the 

VOL. I. I 



114 THE JACQUERIE. 

pavement, while all were laughing and jesting 
around, till suddenly raising his head, he found 
the eyes of the Lady Adela resting upon him 
with a look little less sorrowful than his own. 
He started^ and turned away, and strove for 
the rest of the evening to assume a more cheer- 
ful air when he passed the spot where she sat ; 
but the sight of the Captal de Buch placed 
beside her, and striving by every means to win 
her attention and regard, was not calculated to 
cheer the heart of Albert Denyn. 

On the morning following, however, from one 
of the windows at which he had watched the 
sun rise with eyes that had not been closed all 
night, he beheld the captal and the Lord of 
Mauvinet walk forth together unattended ; and 
knowing that at that hour the great hall of 
the castle was likely to be vacant, he proceeded 
thither to indulge his thoughts more at ease, 
than in the narrow space of the small room 
which he tenanted in one of the turrets. Intense 
thought may take place in narrow chambers ; 
the mathematician may pursue his calculations, 
the philosopher his reasonings, the politician 



THE JACQUERIE. 115 

his schemes, within the straitest confines ; but, 
where strong emotions of the heart mingle with 
the deep workings of the brain, the spirit within 
us seems to pant for space, and the movement 
of the mind requires room for the movements 
also of the corporeal frame. Albert Denyn felt 
relieved in the great hall, where he could now 
be quite solitary : it seemed as if the busy 
thoughts within his bosom found freer play. 
There he walked to and fro for some minutes 
alone, stopping from time to time to gaze out 
of the window, till at length seeing the captal 
and the count on their way back towards the 
chateau, he paused for a moment to consider 
whether he would wait their coming where he 
^as, or retire again to his own chamber. He 
felt, however, that his thoughts at that moment 
were too painful to endure the presence of 
others, and turning away, he passed along the 
corridor which led from room to room by the 
principal apartments of the castle, intending to 
mount to the turret in which he slept by a 
small staircase at the end. 

Ere he reached the farther extremity of the 

I 2 



116 THE JACQU£RI£. 

gallery, however, he beheld the Lady Adela 
comiDg towards him, and for an instant he 
hesitated what to do ; but he soon saw that she 
had remarked his presence, and he advanced^ 
making a lowly bow as he approached her. 

Adela, however, paused when he came near, 
cast a hurried glance around the corridor to 
assure herself that they were alone, and then 
said, '^ Albert, what is it that makes you so 
sad ? why are you so changed, so gloomy ? has 
any thing gone wrong with you ? " 

" Nothing, lady, nothing, indeed," replied 
Albert ; " far from it, all has gone well — well 
in a way that I could not hope.*' 

" Then what is the cause of your gloom, 
Albert?" she asked; " what is the occasion of 
the melancholy that hangs upon you ? " 

Albert Denyn was shaken with agitation, so 
that his very limbs trembled; his countenance 
was as pale as death, and his breath seemed to 
come hard. Adela marked all those signs of * 
strong emotion, and as he did not answer, she 
added in a gentle tone, " Nay, nay, Albert, you 
must speak : we have been brought up together 



THE JACQUERIE. 117 

almost all our lives, and you will not surely re- 
fuse to tell me — me, Albert — me you will not 
refuse to tell ! " 

Albert could bear no more. " You ! you !'* 
he exclaimed — " Oh ! lady, you are the last 
that I ought to tell 1 " 

The words had scarcely passed his lips, when 
the Captal de Buch entered the gallery alone 
and thoughtful, with his eyes bent upon the 
ground. The moment he came in, however, he 
raised his head, and saw Albert Denyn ad- 
vancing towards him, while the Lady Adela 
turned away with a glowing cheek and agitated 
air. But Albert had at once regained his 
calmness, as soon as he became aware of the 
presence of a third person, for there was a depth 
in his sorrow which gave vigour to every effort 
of his mind ; and he came slowly but firmly 
on towards the captal, reaiching the spot where 
the knight stood, at the very moment that 
Adela quitted the corridor by another door. 

In those days there was a sort of parental 
power in great military leaders over the young 
men who attached themselves to them, which 

1 3 



118 THE JACQUERIE. 

gave a right to question and to govern them, 
in a way that might not otherwise have been 
submitted to by hot and fiery spirits in tlie 
heyday of youth. It was in this tone, rather 
than in that of a master, that the Captal de Bueh 
now addressed Albert Denyn, saying, " What 
has agitated the lady, my young friend?*' 

The captal himself was not free from emo- 
tion as he spoke; but Albert replied calmly, 
" Why she is agitated, my lord, I cannot pre- 
tend to inform you. All that passed was, that 
she was kind enough to ask what had made me 
80 sad, and whether any thing had gone wrong 
with me. I assured her that such was not the 
case — but she would not believe my assurance; 
though, as you know, my lord, from your own 
noble offer, all has gone better with me than I 
ever could have dared to hope." 

The captal bit his lip, and then fixing his 
eyes upon the ground, remained in thought for 
a moment or two. He had thus continued, till 
Albert doubted whether he ought to retire or 
wait his further commands, when raising his 
eyes proudly, the knight added, " If you are still 



THE JACQUERIE. 119 

inclined to accept my offer, young man, it would 
be as well for you to know that I shall not 
remain here many days longer ; perhaps even 
to-morrow may be fixed for my departure. Are 
you still desirous of accompanying me, or not ?" 

Albert gazed in the captal's face with evident 
surprise. " Most gratefully I most thankfully ! 
noble sir," he said : " I should ill deserve your 
&vour, did I even hesitate." 

" You are the best judge," replied the captal, 
in a sharp tone, and passed on towards h!s own 
apartments. 

Albert remained for a moment or two where 
the captal had left him ; and then retiring to his 
own chamber, spent an hour in thought. 

Ere we turn to new events, however, and more 
active scenes than those in which we have lately 
engaged, we must pause to relate the conver- 
sation which had taken place between the Captal 
de Buch and the Count de Mauvinet during 
their morning walk ; — a conversation which, 
as we have seen, had made the former forget in 
a degree that courteous kindness for which he 
had ever been celebrated. 

I 4 



120 THE JACQUERIE. 

Not unmerited praises of the Lady Adela de 
Mauvinet, on the part of the captai, began his 
conferencie with the count ; and her father cer- 
tainly heard those praises with pleasure, although 
by this time he had learned to apprehend some 
proposal on the part of his friend, which might 
give him pain either to refuse or to accede to. 
He replied, however, cautiously, and in such a 
manner as he thought might perhaps check 
expectation ; but the captal went on and told 
the tale of his love, ending with a demand of 
the hand of Adela de Mauvinet. It often re- 
quires more courage to encounter a painful 
proposition such as this, than any corporeal 
danger ; and the Lord of Mauvinet would more 
willingly have met an enemy in the field than 
have heard the wishes of the Captal de Buch.. 

Nevertheless when it was once pronounced, he 
met it decidedly. " My noble lord," he replied, 
"and my dear good friend, it would be less grie- 
vous to me far, to lie once more upon the field 
of Poitiers amongst the dead and dying, than to 
say what I must say. If I had been asked not 
many months ago," he proceeded sadly, "whe- 



THE JACQUERIE. 121 

ther I would ever consent to give my child to 
one who had aided, as much as any man now 
living, to overthrow the hosts of France at 
Poitiers, I would have answered, No; it is a thing 
utterly impossible — of which I can never dream. 
Those feelings have been changed by your ge- 
nerous kindness. But if any one asks me even 
now, whether I will consent to give my daughter 
to a man who still remains an enemy of my coun- 
try, I must repeat those words. No ! it is im- 
possible ! Could you, my lord captal, quit the 
cause of England, espouse the cause of France, 
cast from you all the ties that have long bound 
you, and become a faithful subject of the same 

land as myself " 

" Impossible, impossible ! " replied the captal 

— " never ! By the side of that noble prince 
under whose standard I have fought for years 

— whose very name is renown, whose spirit is 
chivalry, whose, heart is honour, and whose look 
is victory — by him will I stand to the last day 
of life and glory, in the companionship of Edward 
of England ! " 

" Right well, my lord, I know it must be so," 



12*2 THE JACQUERIE. 

answered the Count de Mauvinet : " so noble a 
spirit as yours could never quit, even for the 
smile of the brightest lady in all the land, the 
standard under which he has won fame ; but, 
alas ! in knowing that such will be your conduct, 
I must also feel that my daughter can never be 
the bride of any one but a friend to France, and 
an enemy to France's enemies. My lord captal," 
he continued, ** think me not ungrateful ; but 
put it to your own noble heart how you would 
act, were you placed as I am ; put it to your 
own heart, I say, and answer for me truly and 
straightforwardly. As knight, and nobleman, 
and man of honour, I charge you tell me how 
would you behave ?" 

The captal stopped suddenly in their pro- 
gress, bent his eyes sternly upon the ground, 
and, for nearly two minutes, seemed to put the 
painful question to his own conscience. Then, 
starting from his reverie, he wrung the count's 
hand vehemently in his own ; and, as if that ges- 
ture were sufficient answer to the question, he 
added not a word more, but darted back at once 
to the castle. 



THE JACQUERIE. 123 



CHAP. VIL ' 

When the Captal de Buch had left Albert 
Denyn in the corridor, he walked on straight to 
his own chamber, passing through the ante- 
room, where some of his pages and attendants 
were stationed, and closing the door carefully 
behind him. He then advanced towards a great 
chair, which was placed near the window, but 
he reached it not, pausing in the midst of the 
room, and remaining there with his eyes bent 
upon the ground in deep thought. He con- 
tinued in this meditative mood for several mi- 
nutes, perfectly motionless and still, though with 
a knitted brow and heavy air, showing evidently 
that the matter of his reflexions was any thing 
but pleasing or calm. At length, however, he 
lifted his head with an air somewhat melancholy, 
yet somewhat proud, saying aloud, as he did so, 
*' It is well I It is well as it is I Better far not 



124 THE JACQUERIE. 

her hand, than not her love ! Better far, better 
far ! Farewell such fantasies, they shall soon 
be forgotten." 

Yet he spoke with a sigh.; and after he had 
done, he sat down, and seemed to think sadly 
and bitterly over all that had just passed. 

That day had been appointed for a long ex- 
pedition to meet the Prior of Montvoye, at a 
small chapel attached to the abbey, some seven 
or eighf miles from the castle, and the captal 
had looked forward to the ride with no small 
pleasure in the anticipation. He had thought 
how he would keep by the side of Adela de 
Mauvinet, and what he would say — ay, and 
what she would reply ; and with the fond fancy 
of love he had pictured to his own imagination 
her bright looks, and the sunny smile that 
sometimes came into her face when she was well 
pleased with any thing that met her ear or eye. 
But now, alas ! the captal's vision was broken, 
and the prospect of the journey presented to him 
nothing but pain. At one time he hesitated as 
to whether he would go; but then again he recol- 
lected that it might seem weak and unmanly in 



THE JACQUERIE. 125 

the eyes of the Lord of Mauvmet, and even of 
Adela herself, should he give way to such feel- 
ings ; and then he thought that, at all events, 
he might enjoy the satisfaction of being with 
her for the time. Thus he would gradually have 
reasoned himself into once more looking for- 
ward to the expedition with pleasure, had there 
not been from time to time a painful recollection 
of the glowing colour, which he had seen upon , 
Adela's cheek, when his sudden coming inter- 
rupted her conversation with Albert Denyn* 
The remembrance, as I have said, gave him 
pain, and he loved not to let his mind rest upon 
it; but yet the importunate memory thereof 
would not be denied; and for more than an 
hour he remained calling back every look that 
he had seen pass between Adela and the young 
peasant. How long he might have remained 
thus I cannot tell, had he not been visited at 
the end of an hour and a half by the Count 
de Mauvinet himself. 

" The horses are prepared, and in the court- 
yard, noble sir," he said, " and I have come to 
be your esquire ; but I trust that you will not 



126 THE JACQUERIE. 

go this dayi to do me pleasure, if it accord not 
with your own inclination." 

" I am most ready and willing, my lord," 
replied the captal, starting up; ^^but I had 
fallen into a fit of musing. I am with you 
in a moment, however;" and making some 
slight change in his apparel, he hastened to 
descend with his friend to the court-yard of 
the castle, where horses and attendants were 
already prepared and arrayed to set out upon 
their expedition to the chapel. Amongst 
the foremost stood the beautiful white jennet 
which had been brought out for Adela de 
Mauvinet; but she herself had not yet come 
down to take her place in the cavalcade. The 
count sent a page to call her, and after a mo* 
ment's delay, she too appeared; but it seemed 
to the captal, as he gazed at her for a moment, 
that there were traces of tears upon her cheek. 
They had been carefully wiped away, however, 
and during the ride no difference from her 
ordinary demeanour showed that she he had 
been grieved or agitated during that morning. 

When they had passed the drawbridge and 



THE JACQUERIE. 127 

the barbican, and were proceeding over the 
causeway, three abreast, the captal looked 
round for Albert Denyn, but the youth was not 
with them; and perhaps with some curiosity, 
to see what effect his words would produce upon 
Adela, he turned towards the Count of Mau- 
vinet, inquiring, " Where is the good youth, 
Albert Denyn ? he has not gone with us to-day." 

" He asked my permission," replied the Lord 
of Mauvinet, ^^ to remain behind, in order to 
see some cottagers, with whom he was placed 
in his infancy, after his father's death. They 
were very kind to him, and Albert is not one 
to forget kindness from any one." 

The captal fixed his eyes upon Adela, and 
then fell into a fit of musing, but made no reply 
to the words of the Lord of Mauvinet. He taxed 
his own heart, however, with want of courtesy 
and benevolence, in feeling pain at hearing 
the commendation of any good man. 

" This is not right," he said to himself, " this 
is not right. If the youth deserves praise, praise 
let him have — ay, and win honour and re- 
nown too, if God so wills it I " 



12S THE JACQUERIE. 

Let US not pause in this place upon the 
expedition which was now undertaken by the 
party from the chateau. The circumstances 
under which they went were distressing to 
all of die principal personages concerned. The 
feelings of the count and the captal may be 
easily conceived; and could any one have seen 
into the bosom of the fair girl who rode be- 
tween them, her state of mind would have 
appeared even more painful ; for from various 
minute facts, which had come to her know- 
ledge in the course of the preceding day, 
Adela had discovered that the deliverer of 
her father entertained towards her a passion 
which she could not return. His conduct had 
lately alarmed her ; and though for some time 
she had striven to shut the facts from her own 
eyes, yet the truth had forced itself upon her 
at last, and she had become convinced not only 
that the captal loved her, but that he would 
demand her hand. What might be the decision 
of her parent she knew not, but she felt but too 
well that she could never entertain for ihe captal 
that affection which a wife should feel towards 



THE JACQUERIE. 129 

a husband. When she discovered such sen* 
sations in her own bosom, her first question 
to herself was why her heart was so cold and 
indifferent to one well calculated to please and 
to win. He had all that could attract — beauty 
of person, grace, and courtesy of manner ; high 
qualities of mind ; dignity, and command in his 
whole air; he was renowned in arms, kind, 
generous, gay, wise, faithful, just, and true of 
heart ; and Adela again and again asked herself 
why it was she could not love him. It was 
early on that morning that these things were 
passing in her mind; and busy with such 
ideas, she had lingered beyond the hour at 
which she usually visited her father's chamber, 
to wish him health and happiness through the 
day. When she went, she found that he was 
already gone forth with the Captal de Buch ; 
and a cold sensation came over her heart when 
she thought of what might be the subject of 
their conversation. As she was returning, she 
met Albert Denyn, as we have shown, and the 
brief conversation which we have related, took 
place between them. After it was over, Adela 

VOL. I. K 



130 THE JACQUERIE. 

asked herself no more why she could not love 
the captal, but she sat down in her chamber, 
and wept. 

She had sufficient command over herself, to 
prevent the feelings of her heart from affecting 
her demeanour in any great degree : but it may 
be well believed, that her sensations were not 
a little sad ; and the day which had been in- 
tended to be a day of pleasure, proved, in most 
res{}ects, one of pain to almost all the parties 
concerned. 

When they had visited the chapel, paid their 
devotions at the shrine, and again taken leave 
of the prior, the Count de Mauvinet somewhat 
hurried his pace; for several delays had oc- 
curred during the morning, and the sun was 
beginning to decline. Those were times, too, 
in which, as we have before shown, it was 
neither safe nor agreeable to travel late at 
night, although the proximity of the castle of 
Mauvinet, and the general tranquillity of that 
part of the country, seemed to promise the 
party of the count full security on the way. 
He had with him, too, a stout band of attend- 



THE JACQUERIE. 131 

ants ; and the very presence of Captal de Buch 
himself was a host. 

The sun had just touched the edge of the 
sky, when they again came within a mile of the 
castle; but here they were detained for some 
time, by an incident of deep interest to the 
Count de Mauvinet himself, and little less so 
in the eyes of the captal. They found the 
road at the top of the hill crowded with 
peasantry of the richer class, wealthy farmers, 
and landholders on the estates of Mauvinet, 
all* dressed in their holyday costume, and 
bearing a certain expression of pleasure and 
satisfaction in their faces, that seemed to speak 
of some occasion of much joy. Two or three 
of the principal persons were collected in front 
of the rest ; and as the count's party approached, 
one of them advanced a little before the others, 
and respectfully stopped their lord as he was 
coming forward. 

" What would you, good Larchenay ? " said 
the count, bending his head a little, and ad- 
dressing him with a well-pleased air. " Is 

K 2 



132 THE JACQUERIE, 

there any thing in which I can serve you, my 
good friend ? " 

" Yes, my lord, much," replied the farmer ; 
" and, indeed, we have all met here to make 
you a humble request^ which we trust you 
will not deny us." 

" I am not accustomed, my good Larchenay, 
to refuse you any thing in reason," replied the 
Lord of Mauvinet ; ^^ and so glad am I to find 
myself amongst you all once more, that I am 
little likely to be hard-hearted now." 

" Thanks, then, my noble lord," replied the 
peasant : " our request, I see, is half granted 
already. We have heard that to-morrow you 
propose to pay your ransom to the noble 
Captal de Buch, and yet your faithful pea- 
santry have not been called upon to bear a 
share therein. It was never yet known, my 
lord, that the poor tenants of so noble a gen- 
tleman as yourself were refused the right of 
contributmgto redeem their good lord ; and we 
have collected together and brought hither our 
little tribute of gratitude and attachment to one 
who has ever been a kind master to all — who 



THE JACQUERIE. 133 

has aided us in sickness, has spared us in ad- 
versity, and protected us in danger. We know 
not, my lord, the exact sum at which your ransom 
has been fixed, but we have gathered, amongst 
us here some ten thousand crowns, which we 
come to offer with a very willing heart." 

The affection of his peasantry brought tears 
into the eyes of the Lord of Mauvinet, and he 
thanked them in words which were evidently 
not words of course, although he would fain 
have declined the aid tendered to him. " The 
peasantry of France,** he said, " have suffered 
too much already, my good friends, for me 
at least to press upon them more, whatever 
Others may do. This was the reason why I 
asked no assistance from my people ; not that 
I doubted in the least their love for their lord, 
or their willingness to help him in a time of 
need. My ransom is provided, my friends ; half 
is ready here, and half must be prepared by this 
time in Beauvoisis; and, as I fixed it myself, when 
my noble friend here, the Captal de Buch, would 
scarcely accept of any, so would I also fain pay 
it myself, although you offer me such an aid," 

K 8 



134 THE JFACQUERIE. 

The farmer^ whom he had called Larchenay, 
heard him in respectful silence, and drew a 
step back with a disappointed air; but an 
older, and somewhat ruder looking man, 
stepped forward, and said in a bolder tone, 
" My lord the count, you have never taken 
from us more than was your due, very often 
much less. It is seldom that we have an 
opportunity of showing our thanks. It has 
pleased God that you should be taken pri- 
soner, while you were gallantly defending your 
country, and when others had basely fled and 
abandoned her cause. Depend upon it, my 
lord, one reason why you have thus been suf- 
fered to fall into the hands of the enemy was, 
that your faithful peasantry might have an op- 
portunity of showing that the poor people of 
France can be grateful to those who love and 
protect them. I beseech you, my lord, do not 
refuse our request, but let us pay our master's 
ransom, right glad as we are to get him back." 
** Oh, my father," said Adela, seeing that 
the count still hesitated, " pray accept it : I am 
sure there is not a peasant on the land who 



THE JACQU£RIE. 135 

will not feel happy and proud to have contri- 
buted to your deliverance." 

" Well, be it so, my good friends," said the 
count, with a voice trembling with emotion, 
^^ be it so. It seems as if I gained my liberty 
twice, when it is my people that give it me. 
Come then, come to the chateau, and we will 
speak more of all this. I would fain thank you, 
my friends, better than I can now when words 
fail me, and my heart is full. Larchenay, 
come hither, and, as we go, assure me, that in 
these times of difficulty and distress this gift 
does not press upon you too hardly." 

" Oh, no," replied the good man, " on my 
life it does not. Thanks to your kindly care, 
and. that of your good brother, there are no 
peasants in France who have suffered so little 
as we have done. The enemy has never 
visited our fields; famine has never been felt 
amongst us ; if we ever have wanted any thing, 
it has been supplied to us, my lord, by your 
bounty ; so that we are wealthy as well as con- 
tented ; and we know that we owe that wealth 
to you." 

K 4 



136 THE JACQUERIE. 

Thus conversing, the Lord of Mauvinet arid 
his peasantry, with the rest of the company, 
which had accompanied him during the day, 
proceeded slowly back towards the chateau, 
wliile the sun set, but left the sky glowing 
with the glory of his departing light. They 
reached the foot of the slope, and were be- 
ginning to cross the meadows, which ex- 
tended from the hills to the moat of the castle, 
when suddenly a quarrel from a crossbow struck 
the horse of the Captal de Buch, and the 
noble animal, with the blood flowing in pro- 
fusion from a wound in his side, reared, and 
then staggered under his gallant rider. 

The captal, however, though taken by sur- 
prise, sprang to the ground before the charger 
fell, exclaiming, " My Lord of Mauvinet, that 
was meant for you. — Draw round your lord." 

Even while he was speaking, more serious 
cause of alarm appeared ; for from the hanging 
wood, which we have already mentioned, rode 
forth at full speed a large body of men- 
at-arms, bearing down with levelled lances 
upon the little party which was crossing the 



THE JACQUERIIS. 137 

meadow. The peasantry were defenceless, and 
one of the first thoughts of the Lord of Mau- 
vinet was for them. He himself and all his 
armed attendants, as well as the Captal de 
Buch and his followers, hastened to cast them- 
selves into the front and meet the shock of the 
enemy's charge. But the number of the as- 
sailants was far superior to their own ; and it 
was very evident from the order in which they 
came on, that they were all experienced men- 
at-arms. 

" Your horse, your horse," cried the captal 
to one of his men : " give me a spear, St. John. 
Keep the line there, my men, keep the line. 
My Lord of Mauvinet, if you take ground a 
little to the right, our flank will be protected 
by those trees. Stand firm, stand firm ! St. 
George for merry England !" 

Almost as he spoke, and while he was yet 
mounting the horse which had been brought up 
for himj the body of adventurers, for such were 
evidently the assailants, came up at full speed, 
expecting, undoubtedly, to find all give way 
before them. In this, however, they were 



138 THE JACQUERIE. 

greatly mistaken; the veteran attendants of 
the captal and the Count de Mauvinet pre- 
senting a firm and unwavering face to the 
enemy, and the captal himself causing his 
horse to passage, by a hard stroke of the spur, 
at the very moment that one of the heavy- 
armed leaders of the enemy's troop came 
impetuously upon him, suffered the man to 
dash between him and one of his retainers, 
but at the same time, with his shortened lance, 
struck him fiercely in the throat, and hurled 
him bleeding to the ground. 

" A good stroke!" he cried, as gaily as if 
the dangerous strife were but a May-day 
pastime. " A good stroke ! St. George for 
merry England !" 

Notwithstanding the skill of the captal and 
the Count of Mauvinet, and the bravery and 
determination of their own personal follow- 
ers, the advantage was still on the side of 
the adversary, who, besides numbers, had the 
hill in his favour; and although, where the 
two leaders were, the line was kept firm and 
no ground lost, yet the centre even of their 



THE JACQUERIE. 139 

short phalanx was beginning to waver and 
give way, when some cried aloud, ** They are 
coming from the casde I They are coming 
from the castle I" 

The captal, even while he struck down one of 
the adventurers with his heavy sword, turned 
his eyes towards the chateau of Mauvinet, and 
saw a straggling band of men galloping over 
the causeway at full speed; but far before 
them was a horseman who seemed to gain 
ground upon those who. followed every mo- 
ment, and the captal thought he recognised, 
though the light was now becoming faint, the 
form of Albert Denyn. 

"Courage! courage, my men!'' cried the 
great leader — " aid is at hand ! Hold firm there 
in the centre I By heaven, they ai-e breaking 
in I Down with that green plume ! strike him 
on the head, Martin I down with him ! down 
with him ! — It is too late V* 

And he said truly, for, notwithstanding a 
vigorous effort made by the men in the centre 
to recover their position, a strong body of the 
adventurers forced their way through, and the 



110 THE JACQUERIE. 

line was completely broken. At that moment, 
however, the first of the horsemen from the 
castle arrived, proving, as the captal had 
imagined, Albert Denyn. His body was un- 
defended, but his head was covered with a 
plain steel cap, such as the commons usually 
wore in the field, and in his hand was a heavy 
battle-axe which he had caught up in haste. 
His eye ran rapidly over the conflict as he 
came up ; and although the Lord of Mauvinet 
cried, " Hither, Albert ! hither ! " he directed 
his course to the rear of the peasantry, forced 
his way through the midst of the frightened 
multitude, and cast himself between Adela and 
the man in the green plume, who had nearly 
reached the spot where she stood. 

" He is right, he is right," cried the Captal 
de Buch, spurring on his horse, and leading 
forward the soldiers who were near him, to at- 
tack the flank of the enemy. 

All he could do, however, was to break their 
line as they had broken the small band of the 
Count de Mauvinet ; and the whole became a 
scene of strife, confusion, and disarray, in which 



THE JACQUERIE. l4l 

each man was soon found fighting for his own 
life, and little heeding the proceedings of his 
comrades. 

In the mean time the retainers of the house 
of Mauvinet were every moment reinforced by 
fresh arrivals from the chateau; and the ad- 
venturers speedily found that the day was 
going against them — a discovery which soon 
led to an attempt to rally their forces and 
make their retreat in an orderly manner. 
But the party whom they had attacked had 
become aware of their own advantage, and of 
course were but little disposed to suffer them 
to retire in peace. 

As they drew out, and endeavoured to form, 
the Lord of Mauvinet, seeing many of his poor 
tenants either wounded or killed, and indignant 
at the very fact of an ambush being laid so near 
his own castle, eagerly arrayed his men to pursue 
the assailants, and only paused to give one glance 
roufid, in order to ascertain that his daughter 
was in safety. 

At the moment that he thus turned to 
gaze, she had dismounted from her horse, and 



142 THE JACQUERIE. 

was bending, in no slight terror, by the ani- 
mal's side. The space around was not yet 
absolutely cleared of enemies, but they were 
now only seeking to retreat ; and before her 
stood Albert Denyn, with his foot planted on 
the dead body of the man with the green 
plume, who had led the party of adventurers, 
which first broke the ranks of the vassals of 
Mauvinet The battle-axe which had slain 
him was bloody in the youth's hand, and his 
horse's bridle, cast over the other arm, seemed 
to show that he had sprung to the ground for 
the defence of his young mistress. 

Feeling that Adela was now safe, the count 
hesitated no longer, but, uniting his men with 
those of the captal, he urged the pursuit of the 
enemy fiercely, slaying many, and taking se- 
veral more, though, in truth, few condescended 
to ask for quarter. In the mean time, Albert 
Denyn paused for a moment by the side of the 
Lady Adela, inquiring eagerly, though gently, 
whether she were injured. 

" Oh, no, no, Albert," she replied ; " thanks 
to God, I am not ; but oh ! help my father. 



THE JACQUERIE. 143 

Albert, help my father. See, he is pursuing 
them fiercely. I fear only for him." 

Albert looked around, saying, ^^ It is growing 
dark, lady ; I cannot leave you without pro- 
tection." 

Adela, however, again besought him more 
earnestly than before to fly to the assistance of 
her father ; and some of the peasantry around 
exclaimed, ^^ We will guard her to the castle, 
oh we will guard her;" but Albert did not 
feel well satisfied with the protection that they 
could give, till William Caillet, forcing his way 
through the rest, approached Albert, saying, 
" Leave her to me, Albert, I will defend the 
Lady Adela in case of need : you know that I 
can do so well." 

Albert hesitated for a moment, though he 
knew not why; but at that instant the lady 
repeated, " Go, Albert, go I See I they are sur- 
rounding my father. Go I Oh go all of you ! I 
shall be very safe now." 

Albert Denyn paused no longer, but, setting 
his foot in the stirrup, sprang upon his horse's 
back, and galloped at full speed after the 



144 THE JACQUERIE- 

Lord of Mauvinet and his party^ His aid, 
however, was scarcely required, for the ad- 
venturers were in full retreat, and Adela*s 
eyes had deceived her when she imagined 
that her father was surrounded by any but 
friends. The increasing darkness, too, soon 
put a stop to the pursuit, and the Captal de 
Biich, drawing in his horse, said, with a faint 
smile, ** This is but a scurvy jest, my Lord of 
Mauvinet, and I fear your poor peasants have 
suffered/' 

" I fear so, too," replied the count in a sad 
tone, while he turned his horse to return to 
the castle. —-" Ha, Albert, where is Adela? 
why did you leave her?" 

" She would have me follow you, my lord," 
replied Albert Denyn ; " and Caillet, who was 
there, promised to guard her back." 

^^ Then she is safe I then she is safe I " said 
the Count. " Come, my good lord captal — I 
must give you some better entertainment than 
this, or you will call me churlish;" and thus 
saying, he led the cavalcade homeward. 



THE JACQUERIE. 145 



CHAP. VIII. 

*^ You had better mount, lady, and get back to 
the castle with all speed," said Caillet as soon 
as Albert Denyn had left them : " Peter the 
horse-boy promised to bring me out a horse, 
but I fear the knave has failed me." 

" No, no ! there he stands," cried one of the 
peasants who heard what was said, ^^ there he 
stands, and the horse with him." 

" Let me help you, lady," continued Caillet, 
^offering to assist her to her saddle, and beckon- 
ing for the boy to bring up his horse ; but Adela 
motioned him back, saying, *^I need no aid, 
William Caillet," and at the same time she 
sprang upon her well-taught jennet, which re- 
mained perfecdy still till she was in the seat. 
" I see not," she continued, speaking to Caillet, 
^' that you need a horse to accompany me to the 
castle. You can walk at my side." 

VOL. I. L 



k. 



146 THE JACQUERIE. 

" But in case we should be obliged to make 
more baste, lady," replied Caillet. " The enemy 
are still scattered about, madam. See there ! 
and there ! " and as he spoke he, too, leapt into 
the saddle. 

" Then we will go quick," said Adela shaking 
her rein, and turning her jennet's head towards 
the castle. 

Caillet rode on also, not, as might have been 
expected from his station, a step behind, but 
close to her horse's side, and Adela only the 
more eagerly urged the beast forward. Just as 
they were within two hundred yards of the moat, 
however, some five or six horsemen passed be- 
tween them and the castle at full speed, and 
Caillet, laying his hand on Adela's bridle-rein, 
exclaimed, " This way ! this way, lady I " 

As he spoke he turned her jennet's head 
towards the wood that skirted the hill ;*and as 
there seemed no other way of avoiding the party 
of adventurers, Adela bewildered and confused 
suffered him to do as he pleased, thinking that 
as the men were evidently flying the danger 
would soon be over. 



THE JACQUERIE. 147 

In the mean while the group of peasantry, 
which had remained on the slope of the hill, 
continued gathered together on the same spot 
engaged in the various sad occupations that such 
an event as that which had just taken place na- 
turally left for them to perform. There were 
dead amongst them to be mourned ; there were 
wounded to be tended; the adventurers had 
found time, even in the midst of bloodshed and 
confusion, to strip several of the money which 
they had brought for their lord's ransom, 
and that also had to be lamented and com- 
mented upon. But upon the little knoll, from 
which Adela and Caillet had departed for the 
castle, four or five men stood apart talking 
eagerly together, and not paying any attention 
to matters which might well interest them as 
well as their companions. Their eyes were 
fixed upon the course taken by Caillet and the 
lady, whom they continued to trace by Adela's 
white jennet, which could still be seen, notwith* 
standing the increasing darkness of the evening. 

" Yes, yes," said ope, "it is all right : you see 
he is going straight to the castle.'' 

L *2 



]48 THE JACQUERIE. 

" Watch him still, watch him still," cried an- 
other: " I love him not at all. As the lady said, 
why should he take a horse, to go back with 
her a five minutes' walk ? see how he rides close 
to her side, too, as if he were the Captal de Buch. 
Some one ha3 certainly betrayed us into the 
hands of these companions, otherwise they would 
never have come so near the castle, and I as 
well as Larchenay doubt him much. He 
was the only one that knew of our intention of 
bringing the money here, as far as I know ; and 
when I was speaking with old Tourmont, the 
warder at the castle, just now, he told me that 
Caillet had been absent all this day and yester*- 
day, and he said, he wondered that our lord let 
him go on so." 

" So do I," replied an old peasant who formed 
one of the group; " and I am determined, for my 
part, to tell my lord the count that I found him 
persuading my second son Charles that I did 
not treat him well : he has been a mischief-maker 
in more than one house, and it is time that the 
thing should be stopped ! So I shall let my lord 
know the whole without ceremony. But look 



THE JACQUERIE. 149 

there, look there, Larchenay ! He is leading my 
young lady towards the wood : he is bent upon 
some mischief, depend upon it." 

"I will stop him," cried Larchenay : "if he 
goes up there, I can cut him off by the well 
path. Come with me, Peter John, come with me, 
quick, quick — Santa Maria ! there is a scream." 

Thus saying he darted away up the side of 
the hill, took a road through the wood, and raix 
at full speed for some two or three hundred 
yards along the narrow and intricate turningi$ 
and windings of the forest ways. He was then 
pausing for a moment to take breath, when an- 
other scream at no great distance reached hia 
ear, and rushing on as fast as possible, he suddenly 
came to a spot where two paths met. Along 
the one crossing that which he himself was 
pursuing, was coming up at the moment with 
furious speed the very person whom he sought, 
William Caillet, leading on the jennet of Adela 
de Mauvinet It was in vain that the poor 
girl attempted to pull in her horse ; for Caillet 
had contrived to grasp the bridle in such a 
manner that she had no longer any power over 

L a 



150 THE JACQUERIE. 

the animal ; and he continued galloping on^ 
without paying the slightest attention either to 
her remonstrances or to her cries for help. 

The instant Larchenay beheld such a scene, 
he darted forward and attempted to stop the 
horse of Cailljet. Nor was he altogether un- 
successful, for, catching the bridle, he checked 
the animal for a moment But, without uttering 
a word, Caillet struck him a blow on the head, 
with a heavy mace, which hung at the saddle- 
bow, and laid the poor man senseless on the 
ground. 

The villein then spurred on at full speed 
as before, making no reply to the entreaties 
and tears of the lady, and indeed not even 
seeming to hear her, till at length, finding her- 
self carried farther and farther from assistance, 
Adela exclaimed, " If you do not instantly stop, 
you will drive me to spring from the horse." 

Caillet merely looked round, replying, " If 
you do, you will kill yourself. You had bet- 
ter submit quietly to what cannot be avoided. 
— I tell you," he continued in a sharper tone, 
seeing her resolutely disengage herself from the 



THE JACQUERIE. ]51 

saddle and trappings of the horse for the pur- 
pose of casting herself off — "I tell you, if you 
do, you will kill yourself." ' 

But even while he spoke he relaxed in a 
degree the horses' speed, and Adela seizing 
the opportunity, after hesitating in terror a 
single instant, summoned all her courage and 
sprang from her jennet to the ground. 

She had been taught to practise such things, 
when a child in sport, and she had often 
done it with ease and safety ; but the case was 
very different now : she was cast violently for- 
ward and fell ; nor can there be a doubt, that 
she would have sustained severe injury had not 
the path been covered with long forest grass. 

Caillet reined up the horses violently, and 
springing to the ground bent over her with a 
look of alarm and grief. ^^You have killed 
yourself," he exclaimed : " rash girl, you have 
killed yourself rather than fly with one who 
loves you to madness." 

" Leave me," said Adela, ** leave me ; if you 
are sorry for what you have done, leave me, and 
provide for your own safety. Some one will be 

L 4 



152 THE JACQUERIE. 

here sooii) and I shall have help ; leave me, then^ 
leave me, tpr I am resolved to go no farther ; 
so that, if you are wise, you will now think only 
of yourselC 

" No, lady, no," exclaimed the villein — "I 
have not done all this to be now disappointed. 
You are not so much hurt, I see, as your 
rashness might have brought about, and you 
i^hall go on with me, if we both die before to- 



morrow." 



" Never," replied Adela, firmly, "never, while 
I have power to resist." Caillet answered merely 
by a laugh, and raising her like a feather from 
the ground in his powerful arms, he placed 
her once more upon her horse, in spite of her 
screams and tears, strapped her tightly to the 
saddle with one of the stirrup leathers of his 
own charger, and then, remounting, proceeded 
with the same furious pace as before. 

Adela clasped her hands in despair ; she could 
no longer escape ; she saw that if she now at- 
tempted to cast herself down, certain death would 
be the consequence; for, dragged along by the 
band which fastened her to the saddle, she 



THE JACQUERIE. 153 

must evidently perish in the most horrible 
manner ; and yet she asked herself whether it 
would not be better so to perish, than to remain 
in the power of one so hateful to her in every 
respect; one from whom she could expect 
neither mercy nor consideration; who had in- 
curred by the very act he had that night com- 
mitted the inevitable punishment of death, 
if taken, and who had consequently nothing 
else to fear, let his acts be what they would. She 
asked herself whether it would not be better to 
die at once, horrible as the mode might be, than 
to continue in his hands and at his mercy. She 
felt that it would be so, but yet her heart failed 
her; imagination painted all that she would have 
to suffer — the lingering agony of being dragged 
along upon the ground, till life was extinguished 
— the probable chance that, maimed and injured, 
she might still remain in his power, without ab- 
solute death bringing her relief, and at the same 
time hope, persevering hope, yet whispered that 
9ome help might come — that her father, or 
the captal, or Albert Denyn, might learn her 
fate in time to save her from Caillet's hands ; 



154 THE JACQU£KI£. 

and thus, for many minutes, with agony of mind 
inconceivable, she struggled between terror and 
strong resolution* 

Her fall, too, had hurt her, though not 
severely : she had suffered much fatigue as 
well as apprehension during the day; and at 
length as the last ray of twilight went out and 
left her in utter darkness, in the midst of the 
deep wood, and in the power of a man whom 
she detested, strength failed as well as courage ; 
her head grew giddy, and exclaiming, " Stop, 
stop, I shall faint, I shall die," she fell forward 
upon her horse's neck. 

When Adela's recollection returned, she 
found herself still in the wood, but seated on 
the ground at the foot of an old decayed beech 
tree, with none but William Caillet near her. 
A large fire, however, was blazing before her, 
branches of the trees, thickly piled up with 
leaves, were under her head, and various 
minute circumstances showed, not only that 
some care had been taken to recall her to 
consciousness and to provide for her comfort, 
but apparently that a considerable period of 



THE JACQUERIE. 155 

time must have elapsed, since the moment at 
Mrhich memory and sensation had lefl her. 

As she opened her eyes, she gazed around 
with fresh terror and dismay; but no con- 
solation, no hope, was afforded by any of 
the objects on which the poor girl's glance 
fell. Caillet was standing before her, gazing 
upon her. At first he was apparently moved 
with pity, but the moment that he saw she 
had fully recovered from the fit of faint- 
ing into which she had fallen, it seemed as 
if some demon, which had rested for a time 
under the command of a better power, roused 
itself again to triumph in her misery and dis- 
tress ; and his usual sneering curl came upon 
his lip as he said, " You are well now, lady, 
and no doubt you will soon get reconciled to 
your fate, though it may seem a hard one to 
you at present."* 

Adela, for a moment, covered her eyes with 
her hands, and strove to recall those powers 
of thought which for some time had been 
utterly extinct, and were still feeble and 
wavering. " My fate?" said she, wildly; and. 



156 THE JACQUERIE. 

speaking more to herself than him, " What 
fate?'^ 

" To be mine," replied Caillet, watching every 
look and gesture of his victim — " ay, lady, to be 
imine. — Yes !" he continued, seeing an involun- 
tary shudder come over lier as he spoke, " yes, 
to be mine — mine, whom you have treated 
with contumely and contempt because I dared 
to love you, and, if not to avow, to let you see 
that love — mine, whom you trod upon, at 
whom you looked indignation and scorn, while 
on the weak boy, who neither dared to speak 
nor show his love, you smiled continually, en- 
couraging him in a passion which you would 
have scoffed at as soon as it was displayed. — Ay, 
you may tremble, lady ! but I tell you you are 
mine ! No help can reach you here — mine, 
and on my own terms." 

He paused a moment, gazing full upon her 
by the fire light as she sat with her hands 
covering her eyes, and the tears streaming 
rapidly down her cheeks ; but at length he 
added, in a softer tone, " Listen to me. Mode- 
rate your pride ; cast away the evil spirit of your 
class ; and perhaps you may have some comfort." 



THE JACQUERIE. 157 

" What? what? Oh what?" exclaimed Adela, 
eagerly ; " I have no pride ! William Caillet, 
you have no right to say I have any pride." 

" Well, then, listen to me," he repeated, as* 
suming a kindly tone and an air of tenderness, 
which, to say the truth, sat not ill upon his fine 
features — "listen to me, Adela; for between 
you and me — and ere a few short months be 
over, between lord and serf through the whole 
land — the terms of master and dependant must 
be at an end. Listen to me, and I will tell 
you how you may save yourself much pain, 
and save me from a harsh determination, which 
I seek not to display, unless I am driven 
to it." 

As he spoke, he drew nearer to her, and 
seated himself beside her at the foot of the 
beech tree; but Adela started up with a look 
of horror which she could not repress, and 
drew far back from him, gazing at him with 
terror and apprehension, such as the bird may 
be supposed to feel, when it finds the fatal eyes 
of the serpent upon it. 

A bittei^ frown came upon the face of Caillet 



158 THE JACQUERIE. 

as she did so, and he too rose, saying, " Am I so 
hateful to you, lady ? Then I must use another 
tone — Down by my side, I say I You are the^ 
serf here, and I am lord. Do not think that I 
have risked death and torture, and cast behind 
me every ordinary hope of man, to be now 
mocked by a weak girl. Down by my side, I 
say 1 To-morrow, the idle rites of the aJtar 
shall unite us for ever; for I would fain see 
whether, in case of misfortune, the Lord of 
Mauvinet will slay his daughter's husband. 
Ay, to-morrow you shall be my wife ; but ere 
to-morrow comes, you shall humbly thank me 
for granting you that name." 

Adela had gazed upon him while he spoke '\ ^^j 

with a look of horror and apprehension which 
she could not repress, though she hardly un- 
derstood the meaning of his words ; but when, 
as the villiin ended, he made a movement to- 
wards her as if to seize her by the arm, she 
uttered a loud scream, and darted away down 
the forest road ; the profound darkness, which, 
at any other time, might have terrified her, now 
seeming a refuge from her brutal pursuer. 



^ 



THE JACQUERIE. 159 

Ere she had taken ten steps, however, and 
while the light of the fire still shone upon her 
patli, a living being — but whether man or 
beast she did not at first clearly see — came 
out rapidly, but quietly, from amongst the trees 
on her left hand, and stood in the way between 
her and Caillet 

The villain, for a moment, recoiled, so strange 
was the sight presented to him by the red glare 
of the fire. At first he, too, doubted whether it 
was a human creature that he saw ; and had his 
been an ordinary mind, or had his education 
been that of a common peasant, he might have 
supposed that some of the numerous evil spirits 
with which the fanciful superstitions of the 
times peopled the forests and the mountains now 
stood before him. He soon perceived, however, 
that though nearly covered by the long and 
tangled beard and the grey locks which hung in 
wild profusion over the brow, it was the face of a 
man which glared fiercely upon him. The form, 
indeed, was scarcely human; the height not 
more than four feet; the breadth great; and the 
arms exceedingly long and powerful ; but the 



^ 



160 THE JACQUERIE. 

whole frame contorted, and more resembling 
the knotted trunk of some old hawthorn tree 
than the body of a man. He was covered, too, 
with untanned goat-skins for clothing, which 
added to the wild savageness of his appear^ 
ance. 

Caillet paused only sufficient time to see that 
it was one of his own species, and then sprang 
forward again to grasp the poor girl, who fled 
half fainting from his pursuit ; but the strange 
being which had crossed his path stretched out 
its long arms from side to side of the road, ex- 
claiming in a deep loud voice, " Stop ! " and as 
Caillet, fearful of losing the object for which he 
had played so rash and daring a game, rushed 
on, his knees were suddenly twined round by 
the sinewy limbs of this new opponent; and 
feeling as if he had been clasped tight in bands 
of iron, he reeled and fell headlong as he 
endeavoured to disentangle himself. 

His adversary relaxed his grasp as they fell 
together, and both started up at the same mo- 
ment ; but still the wild-looking creature which 
had interrupted Caillet in his course was be* 



r 



THE JACQUERIE. 161 

tween him and the way she had taken; and, 
brandishing a huge axe which had hung at his 
back, he barred the road, saying, " I have let 
thee stay for the last hour by my fire, and stable 
thy horse under my trees, and use my fountain 
of pure water; and now, brute beast, not know- 
ing that there was any one that watched thee 
but the high unseen eye of God, thou wouldst 
offer violence to innocence even in my pre- 
sence. — Get thee gone ! lest I slay thee ! Be- 
take thee to thy horse's back and flee, or I will 
dash thy brains out where thou standest." 

Caillet made no reply, but taking a single 
step back, laid his hand upon the hilt of the 
sword which he wore, and drawing it from the 
scabbard, aimed a sudden and violent blow 
at the head of his adversary. It was instantly 
met by the staff of the axe, however, and the 
edge cut deep into the wood ; but ere it could 
be returned, sounds met the ears of both the 
combatants, which, for a moment, suspended 
the encounter. 



VOL. I. M 



162 THE JACQUERIE, 



CHAP. IX. 

Adela d£ Mauvinet paused not^ to ascertain 
who or what it was that interposed between her 
and her abhorred pursuer. She saw that he was 
delayed) and [even a moment gained, seemed to 
her a blessing so great as to give fresh strength 
to her weak and fainting steps. She flew on, 
then, down the road till the darkness caused her 
to stop for an instant and ask herself whether 
she might not plunge into the thick wood which 
stretched out on either hand, and, like the timid 
hare or the wild deer, conceal herself amidst 
the underwood till the return of light enabled 
her to find some place of refuge, or brought her 
some help. 

As she thus paused for a moment, she heard 
the blast of a distant horn, and her heart beat 
almost to bursting with renewed hope. She 
thought at first only of rushing on ; but it was 



THE JACQUEKIE. 168 

far off: — the person who blew the blast might 
take some other path : Caillet was sure to over- 
take her ere the other could come near ; and she 
turned hastily towards the thicket. For another 
instant she listened again, holding the stem of 
one of the trees for support. The horn wa& 
not heard ; but she caught what seemed fierce 
Words from the other side ; and, at all events, it 
was clear that her enemy's pursuit was stopped 
for the moment. 

The horn sounded again, in a moment or 
two, but it was still very distant; and Adela 
was drawing gently back from the road amongst 
the brushwood, when there came a flash along 
the path, as if some one bearing a torch were 
approaching from the side nearest to Mauvinet. 
Her first impulse was to spring forward and meet 
it, and when she heard horses' feet, too, coming 
rapidly, hope rose high ; but then she thought 
of the attack upon her father's band, and her 
heart fell again. It might be the adventurers 
— it might be some base confederate of Caillet, 
and she drew farther back amongst the trees^ 

M 2 



164 THE JACQUERIE. 

but not so completely as to deprive herself of 
a view of the road. 

Eagerly did she gaze towards it for the next 
few minutes, the light increasing quickly, and 
the horses' feet sounding near and more near. 
At length it came in sight; and Adela, uttering 
a cry of joy, darted forward, exclaiming, " Oh, 
Albert, Albert ! — you have come to save me I** 

Albert Denyn sprang to the ground, and cast 
his left arm round her, while his right hand 
grasped the torch, and with eager eyes and a 
look mingling fierce indignation with anxiety 
and alarm, he asked hurriedly, " Has he in- 
jured you, dear lady ? — Where is he ? Where 
is he ? — No hand but mine must punish him. 
Tell me quick, Lady Adela ; for your father 
and the captal follow fast behind, and I would 
fain be the first." 

" Oh, leave him to them, Albert !" exclaimed 
Adela. " He is strong ; he is well armed : — he 
fights for existence. Some one has stopped him, 
or he would have pursued me. Leave him, 
Albert, leave him, at least till some others come 
to aid you !" 



THE JACQUERIE. 165 

" Hark ! " cried the youth, not heeding her 
entreaties, " I hear voices there on before. — 
Dear lady, you are safe. My lord the count 
will be with you in a moment Let me — let 
me, I beseech you, give him his due reward;" 
and, without waiting to hear more, he pressed 
his lips respectfully upon Adela's hand, and 
burst away. 

Darting forward like lightning, Albert soon 
heard the clang of steel, and caught a glimpse 
of the fire from beside which Adela had fled. 
It shone faintly through the trees, indeed, for 
the road had taken a slight turn : but it was 
sufficiently bright to show him two dark forms, 
engaged in what seemed a struggle for life and 
death, the light flashing occasionally upon the 
blade of the sword, or the head of the axe, as 
they whirled round and round the heads of the 
combatants. 

With his whole soul burning with anger 
and indignation the youth rushed on, ex- 
claiming, " Leave him to me — leave him to 
me. — ^Villain ! traitor ! is this all your boasted 
zeal ? Turn upon me, Caillet, turn upon me ; 

M 3 



166 THE JACQUERIE. 

leave him to me, old man; I will punish 
him." 

** Ha I ha ! *' cried the strange being who 
had interrupted Caillet in his pursuit of Adela 
— "art thou come hither to deal with him? So 
be it then ; deal with him thou shalt.'' 

Almost at the same moment^ Caillet ex- 
claimed, with flashing eyes, " Now, then, 
meddling young fool, you shall have your 
reward, though doubtless you are not here 
alone. You have not courage to be aught 
but the lackey of some pitiful lord, or to wait 
upon a ladj^s serving woman. Serf by choice 
as well as &te, come on, I say ! I may, 
perhaps, have time yet to give you a chance, 
like the fools you so proudly serve, of dying 
for a lady love, if not, at least I can die myself, 
and I well deserve it, for having suffered either 
pity or remorse, or any other such idle dream, 
to make me miss my opportunity. Come on, 
though I well know you have cowardly odds 
enough against me ! " 

" I trust to have time to slay you before 
they can interfere," replied Albert, whose. 



THE JACQUERIE. 167 

sword was already crossed with that of Caillet; 
<^ and all that I wish is^ that I were but 
sure of half an hour with you alone here in 
the wood. — - Back^ back, traitor, into the 
clearer light: this darkness suits your spirit 
better than miine.*' 

Thus saying, he pressed forward upon his 
adversary with such fierceness and activity, that 
Caillet was compelled to retreat towards the 
centre of the little opening in the wood, while 
the wild spectator of their combat, who had 
stood by for a moment, listening and leaning 
on his axe, now rushed forward to the fire 
of withered branches, and dry fern and gorse, 
and tossing them high in the air, made a 
pyramid of flame blaze up, and cast a bright 
glare of red light over the whole scene around. 

Nor, to say the truth, was Caillet displeased 
to be thus enabled to see more clearly, in his 
strife with Albert Denyn, He was much too 
clear-sighted and shrewd, not to have perceived 
the youth's natural genius for military ex- 
ercises, and marked the great progress which 
he had made with very little instruction ; and, 

M 4 



168 THE JACQUERIE, 

indeed, though, from his greater age and ex- 
perience, he had always affected a superiority 
over Albert, and pretended to regard him as a 
mere youth, yet, in reality, he had feared him, 
rather than despised him ; had been jesdous of 
him, rather than looked down upon him. He 
was thus well aware, that it was with no com- 
mon antagonist he had to do ; and though he 

« 

vainly fancied himself as superior in skUl, as he 
.was in age and strength, he knew that a false 
step, or an ill-aimed blow, might well turn the 
chances aganst himself. 

Caillet retreated then more willingly than 
Albert thought, watching the eager thrusts and 
blows of his assailant, and ready at any 
moment to take advantage of a mistake. The 
youth rushed on fiercely, and perhaps some- 
what rashly, and a lunge that passed close to 
his breast, and wounded him slightly in the 
shoulder, showed him that he must be more 
cautious in his dealings with his adversary. 
In the open light, however, he took more 
care ; and a scornful smile of satisfaction, which 
^ame upon Caillet's face, when he saw the 



THE JACQUERIE. 169 

blood flow rapidly from his companion's arm^ 
was the next moment changed into a scowl 
of malignant hatred, as an unexpected blow, 
from Albert's sword, covered his whole face 
with blood, and made him stagger as he stood* 
Nevertheless he parried a second blow, and 
only became the more wary, from the injury 
he had received; his first fear being, lest 
the flowing of the gore, which dimmed his 
sight, might prevent him from taking that 
revenge for which his soul thirsted. For a 
moment or two he kept entirely on the de- 
fensive, retreating slowly round the fire; and 
Albert became possessed with the idea, that 
he was endeavouring to reach his horse, 
which stood hard by cropping the grass, at 
the side of Adela's jennet. 

Determined that he should not escape, the 
youth sprang, with one bound, into the midst 
of the burning branches, and then, by another, 
placed himself between his enemy and the 
horses; the intense heat, however, and the 
sufibcating smoke of the fire, made his head 
giddy, and his sight dim; and Caillet, who 



170 THE JACQUERIE. 

now attacked him with redoubled fury, mighty 
perhaps, have ultimately gained the advantage, 
had not the galloping of cavalry sounded close 
at hand, and drawn the villein's attention to 
the other side. Albert took immediate ad- 
vantage of the opportunity, sprang fiercely 
upon him, closed with him in a moment, and 
shortening his sword, was about to drive it 
into his heart, when his arm was suddenly 
seized, and a loud voice exclaimed, '^Come, 
come, my young tiger ! On my soul, you 
have well nigh killed your game ; but I must 
stop you, however; for if I mistake not, this 
is the youth who gave us tidings of such a 
goodly booty." 

^^And this is he," exclaimed Caillet, now 
freed from Albert's grasp — **and this is he 
who defeated your plan, and prevented you 
from reaping the harvest which I had pro- 
mised you. Leave him to me, leave him to 
me, I beseech you: I have an account as 
well as you to settle with him." 

" By Heaven," cried the person who had be- 
fore spoken, and in whom Albert instantly re- 



THE JACQUERIE. 171 

cognised one of the band of adventurers that 
he had found contending with the Lord of 
Mauyinet and his little party — ** By Heaven, 
if we had left him to you, my man, for 
another minute, he would soon have settled 
that account you talk of: at least so it seemed 
just now. But we have no time to wait for idle 
talk : you must both come with 'us ; for it 
seems we owe you both something, and that 
score had better be cleared." 

Too many persons stood round at the mo- 
ment, and those persons too well armed, for 
Albert Denyn to offer any opposition. He 
had about him, it is true, all the eager spirit of 
youth; he had in his heart that daring courage^ 
which utter contempt of danger, inexperience, 
a hardy education, and a mind neither sof- 
tened by luxury nor attached to the world 
by high fortunes and bright hopes, can alone 
give; he had, in short, courage approaching 
to rashness. But yet there are some circum- 
stances, in which successful resistance is so 
evidently impossible, that even rashness itself 
dare not attempt it; and in the present in- 



172 THE JACQUERIE. 

tance, Albert did not even dream of opposing 
the force which now surrounded him. All his 
thoughts were, how best to act, in the situ- 
ation in which he was placed, not for hi§ own 
security but for the safety of Adela. He knew, 
or at least he believed, that the party of the 
Lord of Mauvinet, and the Captal de Buch, 
could be at no great distance ; and there was 
every probability of their coming to his relief, 
if he could delay the adventurers for a few 
moments; but he hesitated even to make the 
attempt, lest by any means the safety of Adela 
might be compromised, and she might likewise 
fall into the hands of the free companions, 
before those who had quitted Mauvinet to 
deliver her could come up. 

Ere he had time to arrange any plan Caillet, 
as if he could have divined what was passing 
in his enemy's mind, and sought to frustrate 
his design, turned to the leader of the troop, 
exclaiming, " I will go with you willingly 
enough, noble sir ; but I beseech you seek for 
the lady who was with me, and who must, 
even now, be at no great distance along that 



THE JACQUERIE. 173 

road. You know our contract was, that she 
was to be my share of the day's booty.'* 

"It was your business to keep her when you 
had got her, then," replied the adventurer, 
harshly: "we have no time to seek this errant 
lady now.'* 

" You had better not dally," cried Albert 
Denyn, eagerly : ** the count and the Captal 
de Buch, with all their men, must be here 
ere many minutes are over. Some went by 
the one path, and some by the other, while I 
cut across through the brushwood by the 
chapel, till I reached the road again; but I 
cannot have gained ten minutes upon the rest* 
Hark ! there is a horn : those are the captal's 
men coming up on the right." 
't " By the bones of the saints, then," exclaimed 
the captain of the adventurers, " we have but 
little time to spare. Quick! to your horses! 
— Come, come, young man," he continued, 
speaking to Albert : " if you try to delay, we 
will drive you on with a lance I Mount your 
horse! quick!" 



174 THE JACQUERIE. 

" That is not my horse," said Albert Denyn, 
" that is the lad/s." 

** Here is another in the lane/' said a second 
man. 

" Bring it, Hugo ! bring it up ! " cried the 
first; and in a moment Albert's horse, which 
had followed him slowly frorii the spot where he 
had left Adela, was led forward, and he was 
forced to mount, in order to proceed with his 
captors. Placed between two of the free com- 
panions, his sword having been taken from him, 
and no means, either of resistance or defence, 
being left to him, Albert Denyn suffered himself 
to be hurried along at a quick pace, hearing 
from time to time the distant horns of the 
firiendly troop, from which he had been se- 
parated, but with the mortification of finding 
that the sounds grew fainter and more faint, as 
he was thus borne on against his will to a dis- 
tance from all those for whom he felt any attach- 
ment. He had but one consolation : that]|Adela, 
at least, had escaped; that she was delivered 
from the hands of Caillet, and had not fallen 
into those of the adventurers. 



THE JACQUERIE. 175 

This was certainly no slight comfort; but 
still, with the restless anxiety of all those who 
love well; imagination suggested a thousand 
dangers, and created a thousand fears, in regard 
to the safety of the fair Lady of Mauvinet. 
He fancied that the count and the captal might 
not find her ; that she might be forced to stray 
in terror and solitude through that dark wood 
during the livelong night, and perhaps pe- 
rish ere the morning, with hunger, cold, and 
apprehension. For his own fate he cared little : 
he feared not that any evil would befall him, al- 
though he knew that the free companions had 
sometimes shown great cruelty to prisoners who 
could not or would not pay a large ransom; 
but his was not a heart at all prone to appre- 
hension; and he rode on, endeavouring to 
solace himself with youth's bright hope, that 
" all will go well," which lights us still, though 
the clouds lour above, and the tempest beats 
around us. 

The march of the adventurers lasted the 
whole night, at first proceeding very rapidly, 
but gradually assuming a slower pace, as they 



176 THE JACQUERIE. 

imagined pursuit to be left far behind tjjem. 
During the earlier part of. the journey, Albert 
paid but little attention to any thing that was 
said or done by those around him ; and, in- 
deed> but little conversation took place among 
the men themselves. As their progress became 
slow, however, they began to speak over the 
events of the day, first in broken sentences and 
detached words, and then in more lengthened 
discussions, to which Albert — somewhat re- 
covered from the first tumultuous feelings 
that his captivity had occasioned — turned an 
attentive ear, the subject being one in which, 
as may be well supposed, he took some interest. 
It would be tedious, both to the reader and 
the writer, to detail the whole conversation of 
the two men who guarded Albert on either side, 
in which those who rode immediately before 
and behind also joined occasionally. The 
youth gathered, however, that although they 
had been disappointed in a part of their booty, 
they had yet contrived to strip the good farmers 
of Mauvinet of a very considerable sum ; but 
the loss of men they had sustained also ap- 



THE JACQUERIE. 177 

peared to have been severe ; and they spoke in 
terms of so much anger, regarding the death 
of the leader who had first broken through 
the little band of the count and the captaly 
that Albert began to apprehend his own life 
might not be in safety if it were discovered 
that his was the hand which slew him. 

" We shall never get his like," exclaimed 
one of the men, " if we seek him far and wide." 

"I wish," cried another, "that I could have 
struck only one blow at the fellow, when he hit 
him on the head with the axe : he should 
have kept him company on the road, wherever 
he is gone." 

** It is a bad day's work," rejoined the [first. 
" To lose such a captain as that, may well 
make us curse the hand that did it." 

" I got hold of him by the collar, at one 
time," said a third speaker, " and in another 
moment would have cleft his skull, but, just 
then, fresh people came up from the castle, and 
I was obliged to let go my grasp : I would have 
given my right hand for five ftiinutes more; 
but the time may come when we shall meet 

VOL. I. N 



178 THE JACQUERIE. 

ivith the lad again. I wish Sir Robert would 
go and storm the castle some day." 

" That would take more men than wf have 
got to spare,'* replied the first who had 
spoken ; " but I trust we shall lay hands upon 
the youth some time or another, as you say, 
and then woe be to him, if he come in my way." 
" Or in mine," answered the other ; " but 
see, there is the daylight coming in. We 
cannot have much farther to march." 

What he said was true. The soft morning 
light was beginning to appear in the east ; and 
the objects around became more distinctly 
visible, every thing looking calm, and sweet, 
and peaceful, and the whole scene seeming to 
reproach man for the folly and the wickedness 
^f his unceasing strife and vain contentions. 

The adventurers had quitted the wood for 
some time when the day dawned, and the land- 
scape presented merely a quiet country scenes 
-with fields spread out in various states of 
cultivation ; and some scattered cottages nested 
in various sheltered nooks of that undulating 
track of country which lies upon the frontiers 



THE JACQUERIE. 179 

of Main and Touraine. On a distant emi- 
nence, however, was seen a tall tower rising 
np and commanding the whole country round 
about, and towards it the band of free com- 
panions now took their way, passing through 
the midst of several of the fields, without the 
slightest consideration for some of the late 
crops, which were still upon the ground. 

As the light grew brighter and brighter 
every moment, Albert could perceive one of 
the men who rode beside him turn round 
several times with a frowning brow, to gaze 
upon his countenance, and, at length, without 
sajdng any thing, but merely making a sign 
for those who were behind, to ride forward 
and fill up his place, the adventurer galloped 
on, towards the head of the line, and spoke 
for several moments with the leader. He then 
came back again and resumed his place, without 
making any comment; and a few moments 
after, the whole body wound slowly up a 
steep ascent towards the gates of the castle. 

To whom it originally belonged, Albert 
knew not, but it was now evidently in the 

N 2 



180 THE JACQUERIE. 

hands of a large body of plunderers, of which 
the troop that carried him along with them 
formed a part. As they approached, a number 
of the soldiery were seen sitting round the 
barbican, which was beyond the moat, cleaning 
their arms, or playing at various games of 
chance; and little discipline or regularity of 
any kind seemed to be maintained amongst 
them. Even the band which had captured 
Albert, dispersed, without order, as they came 
up. Some, stopping to speak with their com- 
panions, remained behind, some dismounting, 
led their horses through the gates, some staid 
in a group to talk together over the adventures 
of the past night. The men who surrounded 
him, however, and those who accompanied 
Caillet in the rear, rode on into the outer 
court without losing sight of them for a 
moment ; and the instant he had passed through 
the long dark archway, Albert heard an order 
given for the gates to be closed behind. 



THE JACQUERIE. 181 



CHAP. X. 

To retrace one's steps is almost always an un** 
pleasant task. Whether the path that we have 
followed be one of joy or of sorrow; whether the 
bright beams of hope, or the dark clouds of 
despondency, have hung upon our way, it is 
still an unpleasant thing to tread back our 
course, and resume our advance again from 
a spot which we left long before* If sorrow 
have been our companion in the scenes which 
we are called upon to revisit, though there 
is an accidental sweetness that mingles with 
the bitterness of recollected woes, yet dark- 
ness must ever fill the principal part of the 
picture, and the light be faint and sad. Even 
if we have known bright joys and that glorious 
happiness which visits the mortal being but 
once or twice in life, still we find something 
unpleasant in retreading our steps : the scenes 

N 3 



18S THE JACQUERIE. 



m 



are less fair than memory painted them; the 
light that gave them lustre is gone out, and 
the contrast generally renders that which might 
otherwise have been pleasing, sad, and very 
often more gloomy than if there had never 
been any thing glittering and joyfiil in the 
things around us. 

We must, nevertheless, turn back, in the 
course of this history's chronology, to the mo- 
ment at which we left the Count de Mauvinet, 
the Captal de Buch, and Albert Denyn, re* 
turning towards the chateau, after having dis- 
persed the body of adventurers, and pursued 
them as far as was judged necessary. The 
count and the captal rode on, without any 
thing like apprehension or alarm, although 
both' were grave ; for the latter was any thing 
but sanguinary by nature, and loved not to 
see unnecessary bloodshed, and the count, on 
his part, had a personal interest of a painful 
kind in the events of the day. Many of his 
peasantry, upon whose superiority he prided 
himself, as much as upon the protection and 
happiness which they enjoyed upon his do- 



THE JACQUERIE. 183 

mainS) had been slaughtered or wounded be- 
fore his eyes, when they came to offer an 
honourable tribute of gratitude for the kind- 
ness which he had ever displayed towards 
them. Thus neither of the two noblemen 
could feel gay or even cheerful ; although, in 
the first excitement of success, they might 
jest at the discomfiture of the adventurers* 
But still, neither of them experienced the least 
apprehension in regard to Adela, after the 
explanation which Albert Denyn had given. 

Albert himself was not so well satisfied ;^ 
why or wherefore he knew not. There were 
fears in his mind, vague, indefinite, perhaps un- 
reasonable; and he looked eagerly first to* 
wards the chateau and then towards the hill, 
though too little light remained in the sky 
for him to see distinctly any object at a dis- 
tance. When they had reached a small mound, 
however, about a hundred yards from the cause- 
way, which led across the moat, they were met 
by one of the peasants running at full speed, 
and exclaiming, " Oh, my lord, my lord! the 
Lady Adela P' 

N 4 



184 THE jacquerie/ 

** What of her ?" exclaimed the count, appre- 
hensions for his daughter immediately taking 
possession of his bosom ; ^^ what of your lady ? 
*— Speak, man, speak ! " 

*^ He has carried her off,*' cried the man, 
out of breath. " Instead of turning towards the 
castle, he has forced her away into the wood." 

" Who do you mean by he?" demanded the 
captal : " what can we understand by he 9^ 

** I mean William Caillet," replied the maUj 
^' I saw him do it myself, and Larchenay has 
followed him into the wood. Peter John has 
gone thither also; but I fear they will not 
overtake him, for they have no horses." 

" Why did you leave her, Albert?" ex- 
claimed the Count de Mauvinet ; ^^ why did 
you leave her?" 

" She commanded me to do so, my lord," 
answered Albert : " she thought you were in 
danger. Caillet, too — the traitor I" 

" Which w*ay did they take ? " cried the 
count ; " which way did they take ?" 

The man explained as well as he could; 
but in the dim light he had not seen the 



THE JACQUERIE. 185 

proceedings of Caillet distinctly, and more 
of the peasantry coining up only embarrassed 
the statements of the first/ The count and his 
companions paused but for a moment to hear ; 
and then exclaiming, ** On into the wood I — 
My lord captal, I will tiot ask you if you will 
seek my child with me, I know you will,*' 
the Lord of Mauvinet spurred forward his horse 
towards the side of the wood, and entered by 
the first path he could find* 

It so happened that his knowledge of the 
country, and a rapid calculation of the road which 
a person engaged in such a base enterprise was 
likely to take, led him at once directly upon 
the track of Caillet ; and the count for some 
minutes pursued it fiercely, galloping at full 
speed, and without drawing a rein. The 
shadows of the night, however, were creeping 
over the scene apace; and at length the horse 
of the captal, which, though somewhat weary 
with a long day's journey, was still full of 
fire, shied at an object by the side of the road, 
and the moment after, the count himself pulled 
In his rein, exclaiming, ^' There is a dead man !'' 



186 THE JACQUERIE. 

** No, not yet dead,'* cried a faint voice, 
<< though well nigh dead, my lord ; for that 
yillain Caillet has fractured my skull, I am 
sure/* 

** What, Larchenay !" exclaimed the count, 
'* is that you, my poor fellow ? Where is the 
villain ? Was your lady with him ?" 

" Ay, that she was, my lord," answered the 
ftrmer, in a faint.voice. <^ He was leading the 
horse along by the bridle, whether she would 
or not; and I am sure there was magic in the 
thing ; for though she screamed so loudly, and 
it was her own fiivourite jennet, the beast 
went on without heeding her cries, at the 
slightest touch of that traitor's hand. 

<* Which way did he take?'* demanded the 
Lord of Mauvinet. 

<^ Oh, straight on, straight on,** replied the 
farmer : ^^ he staid for no one, but dealt me 
that one blow on the head, and galloped for- 
ward at full speed." 

^* Some one see to him/* exclaimed the count, 
pointing to the poor &rmer : ^< let him be 
carried to the castle, and have all care and 



THE JACQUERIB. 187 

tendance. Let us on now ourselves ; we must 
soon come up with the villain ; his horse can 
never match ours." 

** Alas ! my lord," said Larchenay, " he 
has dared to take out one of your own noblest 
chargers.*' 

" Accursed villain,'* cried the count ; " then 
we must but make the more speed. Set to your 
spurs, my lord captal ; this is a sad day's work, 
indeed." 

They galloped on for some way, without 
check or pause^ no one uttering a word, but all 
listening eagerly, although the noise of their 
own horses' feet must have drowned every 
lighter sound. At length, however, Albert 
Denyn spoke. 

" Hark I my lord, hark !" he said; " surely 
there is a horse's feet before us ?" 

t 

The Lord ^of Mauvinet paused, exclaiming, 
" Halt I" and the whole line of those who 
were following instantly drew in their reins. 
At first, no other sound was heard; but 
the next instant the captal exclaimed, '^ You 
are right, young man, you are right ; there is 



188 THE JACQUERIE. 

some one flying along the road ;" and in a 
moment after, the noise of a horse's feet, as 
they passed over some more stony part of the 
road, were distinctly heard, beating the ground 
with furious rapidity. 

No more words were spoken; no thought 
animated the bosom of any one, but who 
should first overtake the villain that had com-^ 
mitted so terrible an outrage. But still the 
sounds went on before them, and led them 
for some way in the pursuit; till at length, 
through the dim light, they suddenly caught 
a sight of the charger, which the moment after 
stood quite still ; and at the same instant, the 
rider put his hand to his head, and fell for- 
ward upon the neck of his horse. The next 
minute the Count de Mauvinet was by his 
side ; but instead of William Caillet, the figure 
was that of one of the heavy-armed adven- 
turers whom they had so lately overthrown; 
and almost at the same time that the count 
laid his hand upon the bridle, so as to make 
the horse suddenly retreat a step, the man 
fell headlong to the ground, dead from the 



THE JACQUERIE. 189 

wounds he had received in the late combat 
Some of the men sprang to the ground, and 
opened his casque^ but life was quite extinct. 

" We have been mistaken," cried the Lord of 
Mauvinet, "and without torches, our pursuit 
will be vain. Can you tell, Albert, where we 
can find either torches or flambeaux to guide 
lis on our way onward ? " 

« There is St. Mary's Chapel not far off,'* 
said Albert, rapidly; " the priest there has 
doubtless both." 

" Thither, thither ! " cried the Lord of Mau- 
vinet, " let us go thither;" and turning his horse's 
bridle, he led the way to a small chapel in the 
wood, by the side of which stood the house of 
a poor priest, who, though in truth he had 
nothing within his dwelling to justify him in 
thinking that any one would plunder his abode, 
would yet scarcely, on any persuasion, open 
the gates to the Lord of Mauvinet and his 
party, though the count threatened to drive 
in the door if he hesitated any longer. When 
the- good man was at length convinced, that 
it was indeed his chief patron who was there 



190 THE JACQUERIE. 

waiting for torches, he would have fain made 
a thousand excuses for the delay ; and in the 
very attempt wasted so much time, that Albert 
Denyn, springing to the ground, entered with- 
out farther ceremony, and soon returned, bear- 
ing in his hand that which was wanted, much 
to the satisfaction of his lord. 

Leaving the poor priest to close his house again 
at leisure, the party proceeded once more upon 
the search, the hearts of all sinking with ap- 
prehension at the many long delays which had 
intervened. To describe the feelings of Albert 
Denyn would be impossible; and though, if any 
one could have seen his countenance, those 
feelings would have been found plainly written 
there, yet as he had uttered not one word but 
those which we have mentioned, during the whole 
ride, no one present had any idea of what was 
going on in his breast, unless, indeed, it was 
the Captal de Buch, who might entertain some 
suspicion that the heart of his young retainer 
was less at ease than some of those present 
suspected. 

At length, on reaching a spot where several 



THE JACQUERIE. 191 

ways divided, the whole party were obliged 
to make a pause, to settle their farther course^ 
lest, while they were proceeding on one path, 
Caillet should escape by another. All the 
roads, it appeared, joined again at the distance 
of a few miles ; and while the j^captal took one, 
the Count de Mauvinet chose another, and 
despatched three or four of the men by a 
small path which led between the two* There 
was still, however, an extensive track where 
the wood had been cut down, to afford firing 
for the ensuing winter; and lest the villain 
Caillet should evade their pursuit by cross- 
ing that, Albert besought his lord's permission 
to gallop forward by tfie only open path he 
knew of across the brushwood, and rejoin 
them somewhat farther on* 

He took one of the torches with him; and 
as he turned to go, the Captal de Buch said, 
gazing on him with a peculiar sort of smile, 
*^ We will sound our horns, young man, in case 
you should need helpj though I do not think 
you are one to call for it without great ne- 
cessity.'* 



192 THE JACQUERIE, 

** I trust nol^ my lord," replied Albert ; "and 
in this case I think I could well deal with that 
base villain alone.'' 

** And doubtless would willingly do so," said 
the captal. 

" Most willingly, my lord,*' replied Albert— 
" pray God send me that good fortune !"— and 
thus saying, he rode away. His horse, which 
had not been out with the party in the morning, 
was of course fresher than any of the others; 
and as we have shown — what between the 
shortness of the path and the pace at which 
he went — he gained a considerable way upon 
his companions. In the mean time, the*count and 
the Captal de Buch rode on, pushing their 
chargers to their utmost speed, each party guided 
by persons who knew the way well, and each 
keeping nearly on a line with the other,, though 
that of the captal was perhaps a little in ad- 
vance. 

The great English commander, however, had 
not reached the spot where the brief combat 
had taken place, between Albert Denjm and 
Caillet more than a single minute, when the 



THE JACQUERIE. 193 

count himself galloped up, exclaiming, " What 
have we here? a fire! — and as I live, my poor 
Adela's jennet ! Oh, my lord captal, this is very 
terrible." 

The captal gazed sternly round him for a 
moment in silence, and then sprang to the 
ground, saying, "Here is something more! That 
good youth has overtaken him, my lord — here 
is the torch he carried, and the ground covered 
with blood. See, see — Here amongst the grass 
— There has been a sharp strife ! — but what 
have we ? Here are the foot-marks of many 
horses. A whole band has been here not 
long ago — some thirty or forty, it would seem. 
Take my word for it, my lord, this is a deeper 
scheme than we have fancied : this villain is in 
lea<rue with the men who attacked us to- 
night, and it is they who have got your 
daughter, for the sake of a ransom. Albert, 
poor boy, has met with them, and has fared 
ill, it would seem. They have not killed him, 
however, or we should find his body ; but he 
must be badly wounded, if this be all his blood.*' 

When he had done speaking, the captal 
VOL. I. o 



194 THE JACQUERIE. 

turned to the count, and standing by the side of 
that nobleman's horse, laid his hand upon the 
animaVs neck, gazing up into his friend's face, 
which was full of the anguish that a parent alone 
can feel in such circumstances. The captal 
was moved by the depth of sorrow which he 
beheld. "Take comfort," he said, "my good 
lord, take comfort!" 

" Oh, my lord captal," replied the count, 
" there can be no comfort for a father, while he 
knows not his child's fate I But you cannot feel 
what I feel, nor can I expect or ask you to 
follow out this enterprise as I must follow it ! 
I can know no rest till I have delivered my 
child." 

** Am I a knight, a noble, and your friend," 
demanded the captal, grasping his hand, " and 
shall I quit you in such an hour as this?-^ 
Nay, nay, my lord, hear me but one word," and 
unsheathing his sword, he held up the cross 
of the hilt before his eyes, saying, " So help me 
God and our Lady, in my utmost need, as I 
do never sheath this sword or lay my head 
upon a pillow, or eat aught but bread, till I 



THE JACQUERIE. 195 

have delivered the Lady Adela, or taken ven- 
geance of those that have done her wrong. Nor 
will I forget the man who has injured that poor 
boy, Albert. I have not been so kind to him 
in my thoughts, as I might have been, but I 
will do him justice, if God give me grace, here- 
after. And now, my lord, let us on upon our way, 
as far as our tired horses will carry us. These 
men themselves cannot outrun us far, for their 
beasts were evidently hard pressed when last 
we saw them.'* 

** We shall find a village some three miles 
on," said the Lord of Mauvinet, in a sad tone 
— ^* perhaps there we may obtain some intelli- 
gence." 



o 2 



1 96 THE JACQUERIE, 



CHAP. XL 

Albert Denyn gazed round the small court 
of the castle, when the gate was shut behind 
him, with feelings not a little painful. His 
heart was one which might find joy and satis- 
faction in honourable danger and noble strife 
which, even had death been imminent, nay, cer- 
tain, would not have hesitated for an instant to 
plunge into a struggle, which had any high and 
generous object. But the aspect of the battle 
field, with its eager endeavour, its inspiriting 
emulation, with the bray of trumpets and the 
clang of arms, is very, very different from the 
silent grey walls of the prison, with the pros- 
pect of lengthened captivity, and of unrecorded 
d eat. Such were the things which Albert 
Denyn had now to contemplate, as he gazed 
around him in the castle of the adventurers ; 
for the menacing looks which he had seen, and 



THE JACQUERIE. 197 

the words which he had heard, were not to be 
mistaken. 

The court was nearly empty of all human 
beings but those who brought him thither ; and 
there seemed something solemn and sad even in 
the sunshine, as it rested on the tall wall of 
the principal keep of the castle, with none but 
a few small irregular windows breaking the 
flat monotony of the surface. The large doors 
of the keep were half open^ and from within — 
but seeming as if they echoed through many 
vacant halls — came the sounds of laughter and 
merriment, ringing harsh upon the ear of the 
young captive. 

He and Caillet were now both told to dis- 
mount; and while they stood face to face, at 
some little distance, with no very pleasant 
sensations in their hearts towards each other, 
five or six of the adventurers stood round 
watching them; and two, who seemed to be 
principal personages in the band, passed through 
the doors into the keep, and disappeared for 
some time. 

While they were gone, Caillet fixed his eyes 

o 3 



198 THE JACQUERIE. 

upon Albert sternly and steadfastly, but met a 
look not less fixed and determined tban his 
own. Neither spoke, however ; and at length 
one of the adventurers who had left them re- 
appeared at the door of the hall, making a 
sign to the others, who immediately bade 
their two prisoners to go on, and led them 
forward to the keep. Albert thought that 
he could perceive a gleam of triumph come 
over Caillet's countenance as he passed, but 
that look left it In a moment, and his features 
relapsed into their usual expression of cold 
scorn. 

Mounting the steps, they were hurried 
through the great hall of the keep, which was 
quite empty, and across another vacant room 
beyond, to a small dark chamber, which had 
once been painted with various gay devices, 
but which was already blackened over with 
the smoke of many years. In the large chimney 
blazed an immense fire of wood ; and the white 
wreaths of shioke, still escaping, curled round 
the rafters above, and made the eyes wink 
with the pungent vapour. In the midst stood a 



THE JACQU£BI£. 199 

table loaded with viands, and covered with large 
leathern bottles of wine, while round the 
upper end sat four strong middle-aged men, 
with harsh and weather-beaten countenances, 
on most of which were to be traced manifold 
scars. The one at the head of the board, 
who seemed to be superior to the rest, had a 
frank and somewhat gay look, with large' 
square heavy features, and bushy overhanging 
eyebrows. He and the rest gazed upon Al- 
bert and Caillet for a moment without speakings 
while two or three of the adventurers who had 
brought them thither seated themselves at the 
table with the others, and the rest, who ap- 
peared of an inferior grade, stood round the 
prisoners. 

Albert, on his part — wisely resolved to keep 
silence as far as possible — • remained standing 
before the adventurers with as calm an air as 
he could assume. Caillet, however, bent his 
brows — somewhat angrily it seemed — upon 
the personage at the head of the table, and, 
after pausing for a short time, as if to see 
whether the other would begin, he spoke 

o 4 



200 THE JACQUERIE. 

himself, saying, " This is not fair or right ; 
I thought I was dealing with men of honour, 
who would keep their word with me, when I 
kept my word with them." 

" You are saucy, my friend/' said the leader 
of the adventurers — " take a quieter tone here/ 
We are men of honour, and do keep our word 
with all those who trust us and who show good 
faith towards us; but it seems that there are 
suspicions of your not having so done, and 
it is but fair that we should know whether 
such be the case or not. I have sad news 
here : not half the plunder that you promised 
has been obtained; our people have been 
attacked unexpectedly, and met with severe 
loss. You yourself, I am told, were seen 
amongst those who led the rescue from the 
castle, and it is much doubted whether you 
did or did not betray us into the hands of the 
enemy." 

" He who pretends to doubt, is a knave,'* 
replied Caillet boldly, ** and he who really 
doubts, is a fool. - Did I not stipulate for a 
certain prize, and was I not to take my own 



THE JACQUERIE. 201 

means and time for obtaining it? How could 
I gain possession of her but by the way I 
took? It was the meddling boy who stands 
there that led the rescue from the castle ; I had 
nothing to do with it." 

" We will speak of him by and by," said 
the leader ; " in the mean time, keep to your own 
al&ir. How was it discovered so soon from die 
castle that they had made the attack?" 

** Because, " replied Caillet, " they were 
half an hour later than they promised to be. 
If they had been to their time, nothing of the 
kind could have happened, but they were 
not; and they have no right now to lay the 
fault upon me of that which was their own 
doing." 

" How is this, Harvft ?" said the leader, " how 
came you to be so late ?" 

<* Why, I will tell you, Griffith," answered 
the man ; " it was Chapelle, who would stay 
to drink some wine, which we found at the 
miller's : I told him five times to come away^ 
but he would not; aud then he was so drunk, 
we were forced to dra(w him through tlie river 



202 THE JACQUERIE. 

to get him sober again, as he had to command 
the second troop, you know." 

" In short, then, it was your own fault," re- 
plied the commander, " and you have no right 
to blame others for that which you did your- 
selves. There is no proof at all that he had 
any thing to do with the rescue, and I see 
not why you interrupted him or brought him 
hither." 

^^ It is not of that alone which I complain," 
said Caillet ; " it is, that they have prevented me 
from punishing yon insolent boy, who was the 
cause of all the mischief, and, by dragging me 
away, have suffered the very prize for which 
I had risked all, to be snatched from my hands 
for ever." 

''As to punishing him," said one of the men, 
laughing, '' he was more in the way to punish 
you, good youth. When we found you, you 
were but in a bad taking, and in a few minutes 
more would certainly have measured your length 
upon the ground with more than one hole in 
your throat, if I judge right ; why, he had cut 
you over the head, had got you by the neck, 



THE JACQUERIE. 203 

and had very nearly settled the affiiir to his 
own satis&ction, I suppose, before we came 
up. — Was it not so V* he added, addressing 
Albert Denjoi.'; 

But' Albert made no reply; and one of the 
leaders who were sittmg at the table burst out 
into a laugh, exclaiming, " Better say no more 
on that subject, my hero ; and as for the woman, 
give him a hundred crowns, Griffith, and send 
him about his business, then he will have no 
reason to complain. — Surely a hundred crowns 
is above the worth of any woman that ever yet 
was bom,— -Why he looks discontented: what 
would he have ? Give it^hira, and send him off; 
for we must have no saucy grumblers here.'* 

But the other, whom he had called Griffith, 
and who, as the reader perhaps may know, was 
afterwards one of the most distinguished 
amongst the adventurous leaders of the time, 
treated the claims of Caillet with somewhat 
more respect, saying, "I am sorry you have 
been disappointed, and will willingly do all I 
can to make up for it. What will you have ? 
what do you wish for ? '* 



204 THE JACQUERIE. 

Caillet gazed sternly down upon the ground 
for a moment or two, and then raising his eyes, 
replied with a heavy frown upon his counte- 
nance, " For the objects and purposes which j with 
you and through you, I have lost I sacrificed 
every thing on earth. I have no longer an 
abode, a friend, or aught else that can make 
existence tolerable ; and therefore it is tliat I 
, demand to be received into your band, to have 
a new existence given me by youraelves, as 
through you I have lost that which I myself 
possessed. You will neither find me wanting in 
strength or skill, as I am ready to prove with 
any one, or upon any one here present ; and of 
my determination and resolution you may 
judge by what you know of me already. Tliisi 
then, I say, is the only compensation that can 
be made me for that of which the silly inter- 
ference of the men who brought me hither has 
deprived me." 

The men round the table looked in each 
other's faces with evident surprise, but that sur- 
prise was clearly not pleasurable ; and after a 
moment Griffith answered, " No, no, my good 



THE JACQUERIE. 205 

friend, jou make a great mistake: it is im» 
possible that you can be received into this band 
for manifold strong reasons ; first, if you must 
needs know them, we have none amongst us 
but gentlemen and soldiers of tried courage 
and of old repute; secondly, although you seem 
to think that your coming here and proposing 
to DS a little enterprise, which if fully successful 
might have increased our treasure in no slight 
degree, is a service deserving high encourage- 
ment, yet I have to tell you, that that very fact 
— though we may pay you with a part of the 
$P<h], or suffer you to take the prize you coveted 
•—far from gaining you admission into our band, 
would exclude you from amongst us for ever. 
]Khow that we hate and despise traitors ; that 
we abominate and contemn those who betray 
the trust reposed in them; that we have no place 
amongst us for sucli people ; and though we may 
use them, as men use' dirty tools to work great 
(^nds, ,yet we cast them from us as soon as pos- 
sible^ and wash our hands when we have done. 
The insolence of your demand is forgiven, and 
we. will not treat you ill, though you have for- 



206 THE JACQUERIE. 

gotten yourself. Nay more, we will make you 
the compensation proposed. Take him away, 
Harv^, and give him a hundred crowns ; restore 
to him his horse and his weapons, or if his 
horse be tired, let him have another, as good as 
his own, for he will have to make his escape 
from this part of the country. Furnish him 
with a safe-conduct, too, that none of our people 
may hurt him, and let him go in peace. This 
is all that can be done for you, young man, and 
more than most men would do ; so say no more, 
if— -as I judge by your look— what is hanging 
upon your lips is insolent, for the Welsh blood 
in my veins is not cool, and you may chance to 
set it on fire." 

" You mistake,'^ replied Caillet ; " I am going 
to say nothing that can give you offence; you 
are the best judge whom you will admit into 
your band. Filled already with brave men, 
you need no more, but you would not have found 
me wanting. All I could desire further were but 
one short half hour with that youth whom your 
comrade here so foolishly fencied had done me 
some serious hurt." 



THE JACQUERIE. 207 

" No, no/' cried Griffith ; « be wise, and 
take care of yourself ! The sooner you are away 
from this place the better, both for you and us : 
we love not your presence. As to this youth, we 
have to deal with him ourselves, and will do so 
as we think fit, without your help or counsel." 

" You owe to him," added Caillet, unwilling 
to leave any thing unsaid that could injure the 
man he hated, " you owe to him whatever evil 
has befallen your band ; for he it was who, 
watching from one of the windows of the tower, 
first saw the attack upon the count, and then 
called the whole place to arms." 

" Leave him to us, leave him to us," said 
Griffith impatiently ; " we will act towards him 
as we judge right. Take him away, Harvfe, take 
the fellow away ! — We have heard too much of 
his babble already." 

Caillet was accordingly led out of the room ; 
but, as he passed, he twice turned his eyes 
fiercely upon Albert Denyn, and ran his hand 
along his belt as if feeling for some weapon 
of offence, to smite his adversary with, at any 
risk. As soon as he was gone, the leader of the 



208 THE JACQUERIE. 

adventurers turned to Albert, demanding, 
** Well, young man, what have you to say ? " 

** Nothing," replied Albert calmly. 

^^ That is soon said/' answered the other ; 
** but we may have something more to say to 
you. They tell me that it was you who slew, 
by the blow of an axe, one of our dearest 
companions and best leaders.'' 

He paused as if for a reply; and Albert an- 
swered, " It is very possible: one of them I cer- 
tainly did slay, and he looked like a brave man 
and a valiant captain, so it is doubtless of him 
you'speak." 

** Cool enough," replied Griffith : " let me see 
now, young man, if you can give me as calm an 
answer to what I have next to ask. Can you 
tell me any reason why, as you slew him, we 
should not slay you ? " 

**The best of all reasons," replied Albert 
Denyn — " because I have done nothing for 
which I should be slain. I have done nothing 
but what any man here would have done in my 
place. I have served and defended my lord ; 
I have defended his daughter. If I had died 



THE JACQUERIE. 209: 

upon the field, I should have died doing what 
was right; and if I am killed now, those who 
put me to death will neither show knightly 
courtesy nor the dealing of true soldiers, but 
will commit a murder like base assassins upon 
an unarmed man. If there be any man among 
you who would not have done as I have done^ 
I teli him that he is a traitor and a felon, to his 
beard; and let him come forth and slay me^ 
if I am to be slain, for the trade of a murderer 
will suit well with his character. But if there 
be one noble heart and good soldier amongst 
you, he will defend me.'* 

" On my soul that will I ! *' said one of those 
who had been sitting at meat when the party 
which conducted the youth had entered; " Grif- 
fith, you see well the lad did but do his duty. 
Out upon it ! If we are to punish a man for 
fighting well in his captain's behalf and fairly 
killing a bold adversary, I will put my head 
iinder a monk's cowl and patter henedicites to 
every one I meet ; for I trust — Heaven help 
me ! — to kill as good a man as Chapelle every 
year, if I keep to this trade. Set the youth 

VOL. I. p 



210 THE JACQUERIE. 

free ! set him free 1 — Did he do any thing 
unfair, MaiUot ?— Speak ! " 

"No," answered the adventurer who had 
ridden beside Albert, and who was one of those 
that had taken ^eir places at the table ; " but 
he killed my sworn brother Chapelle. I claim 
his blood, and his blood I will have." 

"Poo! nonsense!" exclaimed Griffith: "the 
lad did his duty bravely; no one can say more 
•—let him go ! let him go ! " 

" Not till I have his head," said the man they 
called MaiUot. " He is my prisoner : I took him, 
and I have a right to dispose of him as I will." 

" But you did not take him in fair fight," said 
Griffith: " if I understood Harve right you came 
upon him while he was fighting with the other 
fellow, and seized him without resistance." 

" It was Harve seized him and not Maillot," 
cried another man. 

^^ I took him by one arm while Harve caught 
him by the other," replied the man named 
Maillot, ^< and I say he shall die." 

<^ I say he shall not, however," replied Grif- 
fith — " at all events, not till Sir Robert Knowles 



THE JACQUERIE. 211 

decides upon it I determine that at once, Master 
Maillot ! and if you dare to show your refrac- 
tory spirit any more, I will cleave you down to 
the jaws for your pains. Hark ye, young man j 
I will take care diat no harm shall happen to 
you. Sir Robert Knowles, oar present leader, 
is a good soldier and a true knight ; and he will 
liot suffer a prisoner to be butchered in cold 
blood for any man's will. To-morrow some of 
Our purty will move hence and go back into 
Maine, where Sir Robert is. You shall go 
with them, and, in the mean time,^ you shall 
have free quarters in the castle here." 

As he spoke, one of those who were sitting 
at the table with him leant across, and spoke to 
the leader in a low voice, nothing being heard 
but the words, '* Maillot — find means — blood- 
thirsty — take care," 

" By Heaven !" exclaimed GriflSth when the 
6ther bad done — " by Heaven I he had better 
hot, for he should not be alive many honrs after 
liimself. But to make all sure, give the youth 
back his sword, some one. He looks as if he 
could defend himself right well." 

p 2 



212 THE JACQUERIE. 

While the sword was handed to Albert De* 
nyii, who gladly thrust the scabbard back into 
his belt again, the man named Maillot gazed 
upon him with fierce and angry eyes, turning 
from time to time towards his companion Grif- 
fith, and gnawing his lip as if he would fain have 
given vent to his indignation, but did not dare 
to do so. Griffith took no notice of him, but 
still was evidently irritated, and somewhat ex« 
cited by the man's demeanour ; and, in order to 
have an excuse for not remarking it, spokie in 
a low tone to one of those who sat at t^ble 
with him. A short period of reflection, howeverj 
showed Maillot that he was placing himself in 
circumstance of danger, and made him de- 
determine somewhat to change his manner. 
It was with difficulty, however, that he could 
sufficiently repress his feelings to say in a 
sullen voice^ " You Will do as you like. 
Master Griffith, but I do think it tomewhat 
hard that my prisoner should be thus suffered 
purposely to escape under the pretence of 
sending him to Knowles; for ^nothing else 
can be meant by the letting hini go free in 



THE JACQUERIE, 213 

this way. Why, the first time the gates of 
the castle are open he will pass, through^ of 
course, if he be not a (ixAj and then I not only 
lose my revenge, but any nmsom, too, which 
I might get^ if Knowles says he shall not be 
killed.*' 

*^ Come, that i^ fair enough," said one of the 
men at the table ; ^' we must not do injustice, 
Griffith, either." 

" He can*t escape, he wo*n't escape/' said 
Griffith ; ^^ no fear of that. Hark ye ! young 
man, give us your parole— -your word of 
honour, I mean — that come what will^ you 
will not try to escape*" 

" Rescue, or no rescue ? " demanded Albert 
Denyn. 

" Ay," answered Griffith, " rescue, or no 



rescue." 



♦* And what if I refuse?'* said Albert. 

"Why," answered Griffith, laughing at the 
youth's boldness, " why, then, my young con- 
dition-maker, I shall take leave to thrust you 
into prison, instead of letting you walk about^ 
the castle." 

P 3 



214 THE JACQUERIEa^ 

"Do SO, then," replied Albert, " for I will have 
ho hand in giving up my liberty voluntarily/* 

"On my life,** answered Griffith, "you 
are a determined youth, but nevertlieless I 
will not see wrong done you. If you value 
the free air so little, you must lose it ; but for 
the rest, no man shall take your life while I 
^an prevent it, except it. be in &ir and open, 
fight. Still, as you like a prisbn, a prison you 
shall have. I^et him be put into the tower 
on the left hand of the gate, since such is his 
fancy. There he will find strong doors enougb»^ 
and I wish him joy of his solitude; for I think 
he will see nothing but a heron in the ditch^ 
andy perhaps, not even that.'* 

" I should think not,'* replied another, " for 
Pierrot with his crossbow would not let any bird 
rest there long. There, away with him, away 
with him -^ we have had enough of such gossip 
for once.** 

As they spoke, one of the men laid bis 
hands upon the collar of Albert Denyn, and 
pulled him somewhat rudely away, Griffith ex- 
claiming, at the same time, " Give him b<A 



I 

I THE JACQt7£ai£« 215 

though, give him food ! It is not good to be 
hungry in prison, as I can tell my friends. I re- 
collect once catching a rat that visited me in my 
dungeon at Evreux, and saying grace most de- 
voutly over my supper, though I was obliged to 
eat him raw notwithstanding." 

A loud laugh burst from the whole of the 
adventurers, at the idea of their companion's 
dainty regale, and Albert Denyn was led out 
of the room to be conducted to the place of 
his temporary abode. 



p 4 



216 THE JACQUERIE. 



CHAP. XII. 

There is nothing so difficult to bear, there is 
nothing which requires so much courage of 
^e most serviceable kind to endure, as anxiety 
in solitude and inactivity. The very movement of 
the mind when we suffer great agitation lightens 
its weight ; but when we have to sit and count 
the livelong hours alone, confined to one small 
space, and limited to mere reflection, thought 
becomes a burden, and imagination a torment, 
and every feeling of our heart seems to war 
against our peace. 

Thus it was with Albert Denyn. So long as 
he was in the presence of the adventurers he 
had the ideas of personal danger to occupy 
him. He had felt the other evils of his situa- 
tion comparatively little, and had looked upon 
the imprisonment, to which he, in some de« 
gree, voluntarily subjected himself, as some- 



THE JACQUERIE. 217 

tbing requiring no great fortitude to bear; but; 
wben he was actually thrust into the chamber 
irhere he was to pass an indefinite space of 
time, and where he might have to undergo 
any thing that his captors chose to inflict upon 
biniy his heart gradually sunk, and a deep 
and overwhelming feeling of melancholy took 
possession of him. 

The first half hour, indeed, was broken by 
two visits from one of the adventurers bringing 
him jbome food and a pitcher of good wine. 
The man seemed a good-natured pei*sonage, 
spoke to him in a kindly tone; and, though 
he accused him of folly in not promising to 
liold himself as a prisoner, rescue or no rescue, 
he still assured him that he would be taken 
good care of, and that no harm would hap- 
pen to hip» 

After he was gone, however, the hours wore 
away slowly ; and though Albert tasted the 
food which was set before him, and tried to 
occupy a part of the time in any manner, yet 
be felt no appetite, and was obliged to betake 
himself to a prisoner's wonted occupation of 



218 THE jacquerie; 

pacing up and down the room. Weariness, 
however, at length overcame him, and lying 
down upon the ground, for they had not yet 
furnished him either with bed or stool, he 
placed his arm under his head fora pillow and 
fell into a sound sleep. Jt lasted some time ; 
and loud laughter in some of the neighbouring 
parts of the building was the first thing that 
roused him. The sound of merriment, as may 
well be conceived, was harsh to his ear, for he 
had been dreaming of Adela de Mauvinet;— a 
vague, confused, wild vision it was of dangers 
and terrors, which, even when he woke, left him 
disturbed, and agitated. He found, however^ 
that though his sleep had been thus resdess, 
it must have been very deep ; for somebody had 
visited the chamber during his slumber, and 
had left a settle and a table, and put down 
also some straw in one corner of the room* 

The sight of these few articles of furniture 
was a much greater comfort to the poor youth 
than might be supposed; for before he bad 
fallen asleep, he had remarked a window above 
him, which he could by no means reach, so as 



THE JACQUERIE* 21 & 

to gaze from it out into the country beyond ; 
but the tall stool which had been brought, 
enabled him to see with ease, resting his 
arms in the deep opening of the wall. 

When he first looked out, the mellow evening 
sun was just approaching the verge of the sky^ 
and all thi^ bright and beautiful colours of an 
autumn evening were tinging the clouds, and 
hanging on the woods and fields around. The 
country was not particularly beautifiil; but 
there was something in ' that bright evening 
light which gave it a loveliness that it would not 
otherwise have possessed. Each green slope 
seemed rounded with gold, and a rich misty 
purple rested in all the woods and dells around. 
The fantastic vapours that hung upon the edge 
of the sky changed every moment in hue and 
in form, as if they had been full of life, and 
playiilg with the setting sun ; and every thing 
on which the eye of Albert rested recalled to his 
memory many a happy day, when, on' such an 
autumn*tide as that, his own fancy had 
seemed to take part with the light clouds, and 
join, in their sports with the departing rays. 



220 THE JACQUERIE* 

After any deep passion, however, has taken 
possession of our hearts, it seizes -~ like some 
iavading tyrant in a conquered country — ? 
upon every bright thing within us, whether it 
lie sweet memories, or warm hopes, or grand 
energies, appropriating all to its purposes, and 
marking them as its own for ever. It was thus 
with the heart of Albert Denyn. The sight of 
that fair sunset called back the memories of 
dear early days, but instantly, with those me-^ 
mories, came the image of Adela de Mauvinet, 
mingling the painful fears and apprehensions 
that the circumstances in which she was 
placed might naturally call forth, with every 
happier feeling to which the associations, con-* 
nected with the sight before his eyes, would 
have otherwise given rise. 

Where was she? he asked himself: what 
had become of her ? Was she still wandering 
in the wood alone, or had her father and the 
captal come to her deliverance? It was all 
vague, and uncertain, and terrible; and howi 
ever strongly hope might be inclined to raise 
her voice in a young bosom, fear for the time 



THE JACQC£RIE. 221 

was predominant, and sadness altogether took 
possession of Albert's heart. 

The sun had half gone down, and half of the 
broad golden disk was still seen above the 
distant forest, when Albert perceived two or 
three mounted men coming over the slope of 
a hill half way between the castle and the 
woods. Immediately after the horsemen, came 
some persons on foot, and then others leading 
horses, amongst whom, the youth thought he 
could distinguish the flutter of a woman^s gar-^ 
mehts, and his heart sunk with a sensation of 
dread and apprehension which language can 
scarcely convey. 

He asked himself if it could he Adela; if 
she had really fallen into the hands of some 
brutal band of plunderers; and his heart 
seemed prophetically to answer " Yes I'* 

Ere the party came near enough for him 
to distinguish any thing clearly, the sun sunk 
altogether amongst the trees, and the group 
on which his eyes were fixed giw more and 
more dim, till at length it was lost to his sight. 
But still Albert remained convinced that Adela 



222 THE JACQUERIE. 

was a captiye there, and leaping down into 
the room, he walked backwards and- forwards 
in a state almost approaching distraction. 

It was some time before reflection came to his 
aid; but when be did take time to think, he 
remembered that the lady perhaps might be 
more safe in the hands of the adventurers than 
any woman of a lower rank. Her ransom was 
sure to be large, if she were treated with all 
honour; and the vengeance of her father and 
the whole of France was to be dreaded if 
any harm befell her; so that he could not but 
judge that the free companions would show 
her tenderness and respect as soon as they 
were aware of her name, which she would 
UDdoubtedly make known as soon as die fell 
into their power. 

Albert tried to comfort himself with such 
thoughts ; but still his heart beat with anxiety 
and alarm; and in a few minutes after, the 
sound of a trumpet, apparently coming from 
the court-yard, a number of voices speakings 
and a loud tongue calling upon the name of 
several women, seemed to indicate the arrival 



THE jacquerie; 223 

of the party he had seen. The place, how- 
ever, soon resumed its tranquillity ; and a period 
of about a quarter of an hour passed without 
any other sound, till at length there was a 
considerable noise; and several voices speaking 
in the adjoining passage were heard, with the 
sound of coming footsteps, and now and then 
a sharp oath* 

The steps paused at the door of the chamber 
in which Albert was confined, and the door was 
thrown violently open, admitting the blaze of a 
torch. At first the light dazzled him ; but the 
moment after, he perceived in the hands of 
some of the adventurers without, that strange, 
uncouth4ooking being whom he had found 
contending with Caillet, in defence of Adela. 
Although it cannot be said that the young 
man felt pleasure at the sight of any human 
being deprived of liberty, and although the 
appearance of the old man but tended to con- 
firm his apprehensions in regard to Adela's 
being captured, yet certainly it was a relief to 
behold some one who could give him a know* 
ledge of the exact truth. 



224 THE JACQUERIE. 

Fearful, however, that he might be deprived 
of even that satisfaction, if his captors per* 
ceived that there was any feeling of interest 
between him and the person whom they 
seemed to destine for his fellow-prisoner, he 
remained perfectly silent^ and kept as far back 
as possible in the chamber. The old man 
was thrust in with unnecessary vehemence; and 
it is probable that those who brought him 
thither had already treated him somewhat 
roughly, for one of the leaders who came up at 
the moment exclaimed,-— 

** Calmly, calmly ! Remember his age.** 
'. As soon as the new captive was in the 
chamber, the door was shut, and the two 
prisoners were left in utter darkness. For some 
minutes neither of them spoke, though the elder 
was heard muttering to himself, but the words 
were indistinct to any other ears than his own. 
Albert kept silence for a moment or two, lest 
any one whp might be near should overhear 
what he was about to say; and he still heard 
various voices speaking without, when siid-^ 



THE JACQUERIE. 225 

deuly, to his surprise, his strange companion 
burst into a loud and vehement laugh. 

" You seem to bear your imprisonment 
lightly," said Albert at length : " would that 
I could laugh as you do." 

" Why do you not, then?" demanded the old 
man; " but you need not tell me; I know why 
as well as you do. It is that you have known so 
few and such slight sorrows, that a day's im- 
prisonment, even in such a chamber as this, with 
every comfort and aid to boot, is, to you, as 
heavy a grief as the loss of all that makes life 
valuable would be to me. Misfortune is a 
hard master, and requires a long apprentice- 
ship, young man." 

" Doubtless," answered Albert, " doubtless 
it is so ; but yet I cannot but think a long im« 
prisonment, the uncertainty of our future fate, 
and a separation, perhaps for ever, from those 
we love best, might well make us sad, even 
if we had more philosophy than I pretend to.** 

" I will tell thee what, youth," answered the 
old man : " the time may come when the loss 
of friends, the breaking of all hopes, the dis- 

VOL. I. Q 



226 THE JACQUERIE* 

appointment of every expectation, the murder 
of your children or your relations, the agonies, 
the tears, and the ruin of those you love best 
on earth, will so teach you to expect misfor- 
tune, that a brief imprisonment, such as you 
have met with now, will seem to you as a relief 
from worse, rather than a disappointment of 
your hopes. This, I tell you, may happen to 
you* It has happened to many of your relations 

before^ and why not to you also ?" 

** How do you know," answered Albert, 

** that it has befallen any of my relations ? " 

** Because they were men,'* replied his strange 
companion ; ^^ therefore, all must have suffered, 
and some must have suffered thus. Thus, too, 
very likely you will suffer, when your ap- 
pointed time is come." 

" Perhaps it may be so," said the youth : 
^< I have a good foretaste of such suffering even 



now." 



*^ Call you what you now endure a foretaste 
of such sufferings?" cried the old man; " call 
you this, then, a foretaste — this which is but a 
mere nothing? It is mere foolishness. The 



THE JACQUERIE. 227 

time will be when you shall look back to 
this period, and wish it could come over again/' 

** No," answered Albert firmly, " no : what 
I felt yesterday can hardly ever be surpassed by 
what I may feel hereafter. — No, it cannot be ! 
What may be my future fate, I do not know; 
but of one thing I am certain, that there were 
moments in the course of last night which no 
after sorrow can ever surpass — nay, nor can it 
exceed that which I feel now, ignorant as I am 
of what has befallen the daughter of my noble 
and generous lord." 

His fellow-prisoner remained silent for se- 
veral moments, and then replied, " You wish 
to know what has become of her. She is here — 
in this very castle— but a few yards distant." 

" As I thought," cried Albert, " as I 
thought ! This is indeed terrible; but they dare 
not, surely they dare not, treat her ill." 

" No," answered the old man ; " oh no ! Fear 
not for that ; they will not treat her ill ! Fools 
as they are, they are too wise for that." 

" I trust they are," said Albert, " I trust 
they are ; and yet what reliance can be placed 

Q 2 



228 THE JACQUERIE. 

in such men ? Their passions are their guides 
as often as their interests." 

« That is true," replied his companion, " that 
is very true ; you are wiser than I thought you, 
youth ; and yet you have a right to be wise 
too. But put your mind at ease. The wife 
of the man named Griffith is here in the 
castle even now, and she is a woman of high 

birth herself." 

" Of high birth ! " exclaimed Albert, " and 
the wife of an adventurer like this?" 

" Even so," answered the old man. " Know 
you not that half of those who live by plun- 
dering their fellow-creatures call themselves 
of high race, and that many of them have well 
won the only title to nobility, which this age 
knows, by shedding more blood than any of 
the other barbarous monsters of the time? — ^[But 
to what I was saying — the wife of this Griffith 
is here. The lady has been taken to her 
chamber, and there she will be well. I have 
heard them talking about her ransom already. 
Set your mind at ease, set your mind at ease ! 
When I look back upon the past," he continued, 



THE JACQUERIE. 229 

after a momentary pause — " When I look back 
upon the past, I often think that the light sor- 
rows of youth are as heavy to those that bear 
them as the weightier woes of age. There was 
an old Greek, a slave, who dealt in fabliaux — 
I know not whether you have ever heard of 
him.*' 

" Oh yes," replied Albert. " His name was 
Esopus." 

" The same, the same," replied the old man, 
whose learning did certainly surprise Albert 
Denyn. " That old Greek told a story of a 
hare running a race with a tortoise, which was 
intended to represent the heedless lightness of 
youth contending against the cautious expe- 
rience of age; but while he showed that the 
slow perseverance of the one ultimately outdid 
the excessive activity of the other, he should 
have shown also, that the hare might have been 
crushed to death under a weight which the 
tortoise would hardly have felt Thus it is 
with age and youth: the apathy of age is a 
hard shell, which enables it to bear cares a 
thousand times more heavy than those which 

Q 3 



830 ' THE JACQUERIE. 

would crush youth at once under their burden. 
We have so many times in life the opportunity 
of practising the art of endurance, that it would 
be hard if we did not learn the lesson ere we 
have done." 

" Thank God, to hear of the lady's safety, 
however," said Albert — " that is one great 
satisfaction ; and with it I will comfort myself, 
although your picture of life is not altogether 
consolatory." 

" It is such as life is," replied the old man, 
** and such as you will find it, youth. The 
man that sees fifty years, and yet finds any 
thing to enjoy in life, is either a beast or a 
fool; for by that time all the better parts of 
our nature have discovered that their home is 
in another place." 

" And yet," said Albert Denyn, ** you 
laughed right heartily but now." 

" That did I," rejoined his companion : " I 
laughed — I did not smile; and laughter is only 
a sign of sadness or of folly, not of happiness. 
Happiness never does more than smile. It is 
that insane thing merriment, or mockery, or 



l^HE JACQUERIE. 031 

scorn, or despair, that laughs. I laughed in 
mockery of thsoe who shut me in here." 

'* And why in mockery?" demanded Albert. 
^^ Good faith, I have not the heart to mock 
them : they have too much power over me for 
me to scorn them." 

** They have no power over me," replied the 
old man. " I will tell you hereafter why I 
laughed, and why I scorn them : let it be suffi- 
cient for you now to know that the lady is safe." 

" That is, indeed, much," replied Albert ; 
" and I could almost content myself with 
being assured that such is the case, if I had any 
means of informing my good lord, her father, 
that she runs no risk. But that is hopeless." 

"Ha!" said the old man, "ha I we may 
find such means, nevertheless ; yet why would 
you send him such tidings?" 

"Why?" exclaimed Albert, "has he not 
been a friend, a father to me ? And were it 
not so, is he not a human being, a parent, a 
fond, affectionate, tender parent, whose heart 
must be now bleeding with apprehension, and 
grief, and terrible anxiety." 

Q 4 



232 THE JACQUERIE. 

*< Then he really loves his daughter," said 
the old man, in a cold tone. 

<< Loves her ! exclaimed Albert — " how can 
he help loving her ? Loves her ! better than 
his own life ; better than aught else on earth, 
except his honour !" 

** By so much the more,*' replied the old man 
in a stern tone, <^ will he contemn the presump- 
tuous thoughts that are in your bosom, youth." 

Albert Denyn was silent for a moment — not 
with shame; but he was surprised and pained 
to find that his feelings towards Adela showed 
themselves so plainly, that the scanty means of 
observation which the old man as yet possessed 
were nevertheless sufficient to discover a secret, 
which he had thought well concealed from all 
eyes but those which watched him with such 
keenness and suspicion as had been displayed 
by Caillet. 

He answered quite calmly, however, when he 
did speak ; for although his own eyes had now 
been long opened to all that was passing in bis 
heart, though he felt and knew that he loved 
with all the ardour, as well as the devotion, of 



THE JACQUERIE. 233' 

the deepest passion, yet his love was utterly 
without the presumption of a single hbpe* He 
felt so humble in his affectioh, that he was not 
moved by many of the agitating emotions 
which affect other men under the influence of 
the same passion ; and although it certainly was 
his purpose to hide his love for his lord's 
daughter, out of respect and reverence, yet 
he was so conscious of rectitude of purpose, as 
well as humility of feeling, that though he did 
not wish, yet he did not much fear discovery. 

" You are mistaken," he replied at lengthy 
in a tone so tranquil and cool as to surprise bis 
hearer, **you are mistaken. I have no pre- 
sumptuous thoughts in my bosom, old man; 
my thoughts are as humble as my station.** 

"Do you pretend to say," demanded hia 
strange companion, "do you pretend to say 
that you do not love this lady?" 

" God forbid!" answered Albert — *• I love 
her with my whole heart and soul. I would 
willingly sacrifice my life for her, and yet, old 
man, all this can be without one presumptuous 
thought. — Can you not understand this?" 



334 THE JACQUERIE. 

The old man paused for a moment, and then 
replied, ^^ I can understand it well; but I kneiRr 
not that you could either understand or feel it.'' 

** Why what can you know,'* asked Albert^ 
** either of me or of my^ nature, by seeing 
me in curcumstances of excitement, for some 
short five minutes? I should almost think that^ 
in this dark place^ you mistook me for some 
one else, were it not for what you say of the 
Lady Adela." 

" No I" replied the old 'man' — "no— I make 
no mistake — your voice is enough for me* I 
never forget sounds that I once hear, and I should 
know your voice amidst the shout of an army* 
But you are wrong in another point — this is Hot 
the first time that I have seen, these are not 
the only means I have had of knowing you* 
From your birth till now I have been near 
you. — But all that matters not — What have I 
to do in life, but to watch those that are around 
me; to mark their qualities, and to hate or 
love them as those qualities may require?" 

" Methinks,*' replied Albert, "it might be as 
well to leave them without either hate or love**' 



THE JACQUEKIE. ^235 

" Not SO, not so" answered the old man: "to 
hate and to love is a necessity of our nature^ 
nay more, it is an ordinance of God. Not to 
abhor vice, not to feel affection for virtue, is 
to share with the evil. Vice is, in fact, only a 
bolder sort of indifference to virtue. I would 
father almost see a man wicked than the friend 
* of wicked men.*' 

There was something strange and rambling 
in the old man's discourse, which certainly had 
80 much of singularity in it as to lead Albert 
to imagine that his reason was somewhat un« 
settled* ^The singularity of his appearance, 
which has been already described, might not 
alone have produced such a conviction ; for in 
that age, what we should now call eccentricity, 
in that particular shape, was not only common, 
but was absolutely sanctioned by the super- 
stitions of the day. Many a man still thought 
he was doing God good service, and insuring 
the salvation of his own soul, by wearing gar- 
ments of skins> feeding upon roots, and separating 
himself from his fellow-men, so that to encounter 
a: person habited like Albert^ present comr 



S39 THE JACQUERIE; 

panion, and to find him a devout, discreet^ and 
sensible person, though sonaewhat tinged with 
janaticism, was by no means an uncommoa 
case. The peculiarity of the opinions, however^ 
which the old man entertained, without any ia« 
quiry as -to whether tliey were right or wron^ 
might well lead the youth to imagine that l)i$ 
intellect was somewhat shaken; for in those days 
it was rare, indeed, to find any one who w6nt 
out of the beaten track. 

Judging thus of his companion's state of mind^ 
Albert cared not to enter into any abstruse dhr 
cussions, but turned the conversation back to 
what the old man had been saying in regard to 
himself. ^' Was it from knowing that I was the 
companion of wicked men, then," he asked^ 
^^ that you supposed me filled with presumptuous 
ihoughts, which certainly I never entertained? 
I know not that I ever showed myself the 
friend of wicked men : when have I done 60^ 
my good friend? *' 

** Have you not been always the companioii 
and the friend of this very Caillet, to whom 
you show so mortal a hatred, now that a ri- 



THE JACQUERIE. 287 

Talry has sprung up between you ? Who was 
90 often seen with him as you ? who seemed to 
share bis thoughts and his counsels but your* 
self?'* 

^ Nay, nay, you are much mistaken," replied 
Albert eagerly: ^'circumstances cast ustogetheTy 
biit not affection : there was a link between us^ 
which bound us to companionship, with our hearts 
idnbound. We were both serfs in a house 
where all were noble round us; except the other 
servants of the mansion, who were all differently 
treated from ourselves. They were, indeed, a 
separate order of beings in mind as well as in 
treatment; but in scarcely any respect was 
diere a distinction made between us and those 
Aoble pages, whom, from time to time, the 
highest personages in the land sent to receive 
instruction in the house of our generous and 
knightly master. If there was a difference^ it 
was only, that more knowledge was given to us 
than to them; that to us were opened the stores 
of ancient learning ; that for us all the know- 
ledge of the schools was poured forth, and that« 
as our lord wished to place us in the church, we 



238 THE JACQUERIE. 

were taught many an art and many a science 
that the high nobles of the land did not re- 
ceive. Thus were we companions from early 
years, though he was older than I, and thus, 
were we cast upon each other, for society, 
by similarity of situation though not of tastes. 
He, however, was discontented with all things : 
I was with all things well contented. I might 
regret, it is true, that I was not one of the 
nobles that I saw from day to day. I might 
wish that fortune had placed me amongst them, 
but I hated them not, because such was not 
my lot. I was happy, I was grateful for the 
superior instruction accorded to me, and for 
the kindly treatment I received; but Caillet 
vowed, for'^his part, that he would rather have 
remained in ignorance, and in the lowest state 
of bondage, than acquire knowledge, which 
only showed him the evils of his station. He 
detested the nobles of the land, and avowed that 
detestation when conversing with those whom he 
believed would not report the fact ; and such was 
I. Not that he ever loved me, for he loved me 
not, but that I was the only one in the same 



THE JACQUERIE. 239^ 

State and situation as himself, — • the only one^ 
in short, to whom he could speak his feelings 
freely. He knew that I would not betray him, 
and therefore he dared to say to me what he 
thought, although his feelings and mine were 
always different, and he was sure to encounter 
opposition and dispute. Thus were we, as I 
have said, companions without being friends, 
til], by his last act, he has ended the conv 
panionship also— and if ever we spend another 
half hour together, it will be the last that one 
or the other will see in this world." 

** Did the Lord of Mauvinet teach you the use 
of arms?" demanded the old man, in a slow 
and thoughtful tone: ^^you seem skilful with 
the sword.'* 

*^ I was early taught," replied Albert, *^ to 
wield all such weapons as peasants are per- 
mitted to employ, and the sword was placed in 
my hands when I was very young. Afterwards, 
my noble lord — though I cannot say that he 
caused me to be taught to bear the weapons of 
a man-at-arms, yet when he saw how much 
delight I took therein — suffered me to learn 



240 THE JACQUERIE. 

the use of the lance, the management of the 
boi^e, and indeed all the exercises of chivalry. 
Caillet also had the same advantage; but I 
think he was not more skilful than myself. He 
'was older, and more confident, perhaps ; but yet 
I should not fear to meet him in a good cause, 
even though he had some superiority." 

^* And you would slay him, boy," replied his 
companion ; ^^ for his heart is bad, and yours is 
good ; and the man who wants the armour of 
a just spirit has but a feeble defence in all 
external arms/' 

** I know not," answered Albert Denyn ; 
^ though I can well conceive, that many a man, 
feeling his conscience ill at ease, may become 
weak and timid in the hour of danger. Such, 
however, I am sure, is not the case with Cailletr 
He thinks all that he does is right — not that he 
does it because he thinks it right, but that he 
thinks it right because he does it. I have heard 
him defend eagerly the same feelings and con* 
duct in himself which I have heard him blame 
most bitterly in men of noble blood; and I 
never yet, in all my life, heard him acknowledge^ 



THE JACQU£RI£. 241 

or saw him feel^ that he was wrong. Such a 
thing is not in his nature. — Call him not, ia 
Heaven's name, call him not my friend," he 
continued, reverting to what had passed before.; 
^^ I should hate myself if I could ever have been 
a friend to one so base and utterly unworthy. 
But now that you have probed my spirit to the 
bottom, let me hear that which I own is of 
greater moment to me than all things. Tell me 
more of the lady ; tell me all that you know con- 
cerning her. How came they not to find her?— 
her father and the captal, I mean. How came 
she taken by these men ? and what, think you, 
will be the result of the situation in which we 
all are placed ? " 

^^ Manifold questions,^' answered the old 
man, **none of which I will answer now* 
Wait till after midnight be passed," he continued 
in a lower tone, " and I will then reply to you 
fully. I have that to tell you which may 
surprise you not a little. Now lay down your 
head upon the table, for you have need of 
repose." 

^**I have slept already," replied Albert. 

VOL. I. R 



242 THE JACQUERIE.' 

But the old man instantly rejoined, ^* Sleep 
again then, sleep again ! What right has youth 
to think ? Sleep again, I say, for not a word 
more shall you hear from my lips till after 
midnight; and it yet wants full four hours to 
the time when the sun turns back again to 
this side of the earth.'' 

Albert Denyn saw by the faint light, which 
found its way into the room from the moon* 
light sky without, that the old man crossed hia 
arms upon his chesty and buried the greater 
part of his face in the skins of which his dress 
was formed; and perceiving that it would be 
useless to seek farther conversation for the time^ 
he, too, bent down his eyes upon his folded 
hands, and remained silent, though he slept not. 



THE JACQUERIE. 243 



CHAP. XIII, 

To an active mind there is something solemn, 
and even elevating, in the task of watching in 
the night. The silence, the darkness, have their 
effect ; the sally-ports of the ear and the eye are 
closed. The spirit shut up within its citadel 
holds no intercourse with the world without. 
The thoughts, the feelings, the fancies, the 
passions, which form the turbulent garrison of 
the human heart, cut off from communion with 
all the busy things of external life, may be re- 
viewed by reason, and brought under the rod of 
judgment. Well used, an home's watching in 
the midst of the night is often more valuable 
to the mind of man than whole years of the 
busy life of day. The world, and all its im- 
portant littlenesses seem, for the time, to be 
dead ; the immortal being within us feels alone 
in the presence of its God; the heart speaks to 
the heart of all the higher purposes of life, and 

R 2 



244 THE JACQUERIE, 

the clay that encumbers us appears to be, in a 
degree, cast aside together with our intercourse 
with other earthly creatures. If ever spirit 
triumphs over matter in this world, it is in the 
hours of 'solemn and silent watching in the 
midst of the night. 

Albert Denyn remained without speaking 
for a long time; and although his watch was 
not so still and calm, as it might have been 
at a later hour, still it gave opportunity for 
thought, which was not lost upon him. From 
time to time there came sounds of voices speak- 
ing, of merriment, of laughter, and of song; but 
gradually these bursts became shorter, and 
more short, the Intervals longer, and the silence 
between more profound, till at length all be- 
came still, while the gloom was increased by the 
moon getting behind the hills, and leaving 
notliing within the sight of the watchers in the 
prison but a bright star shining through the 
high window — like some of the mysterious 
truths of revelation, bright and wonderful, 
amidst darkness, but castbg no light upon any 
other object. 



THE JACQUERIE, 245 

In the mean while, Albert Gommuned with 
his own heart. At first, his feelings and thoughts 
were turbulent and wild, refusing all control, 
so that though he felt they wanted regula- 
rity, he almost despaired of their ever re- 
turning to order again. Gradually, however, 
of themselves, they became more calm ; and ere 
long he could reason collectedly, and thought 
and reflection brought on high resolves. He 
found that a passion had grown upon his heart 
which should never have taken root therein; and 
he accused himself of folly and of weakness, even 
although his own heart acquitted him of pre-» 
sumption. To cast that passion from him, he 
never hoped to do: he never wished it; he felt 
it was impossible; but he believed that in a 
firm and noble spirit — and he knew his own to 
be so — that passion itself might be so purified 
and elevated, as to lead him on to great and 
worthy deeds, to be a new principle of action in 
his breast, to inspire high purposes and efforts, 
and give a mightier energy to the chivalrous 
spirit that existed within him. 

R 3 



246 THE JACQUERIE. 

He fancied that the very thought of what 
would be Adela's feelings, if she heard, by chance^ 
of some great enterprise achieved by him, would 
carry him on to exertions that nothing could 
resist ; and thus judgment and reason employed 
the power of fancy to lead and guide the pas-» ' 
sions of his heart to grand purposes, rather 
than in the paths of vice, and wrong. So may 
we always do in life if our will be towards virtue 
rather than crime. 

Thus had passed the li!tftp*for' laany hours; 
silence had come completely oves«^e world ; 
and Albert had more than once turned his eyes 
impatiently towards a spot, on the other fide 
of the chamber, at whichr he could faintly per- 
ceive a dim obscure mass, * marking the' place 
where the old man sat ; but had seen, not the 
slightest movement, nor heard the lightest sound. 
At length, however, the clear voice of a cock, 
crowing at some distance, came upon the air, and 
his strange companion suddenly broke silence. 
** Now, now," he said, " I will tell you what 
you wish to hear, and more than you expect ; 



THE JACQUERIE. 247 

for the time is coming, when you may ax^t as 
well as speak." 

*< Tell me first of the Lady Adela," exclaimed 
Albert ; ^^ it is of her I would fain have tidings, 
old man." 

''Call me not old man/' replied the other; 
'^ that is not my name, youth, though I be old, 
and though I be a man." 

*' I would willingly give you your own name, 
if I knew it," answered Albert Denyn. 

"Call me Waltelttn Urgel," said his. com- 
panion; ^^:ihsit is the name which the people 
give me ; and as to the lady, be satisfied she is 
weH^ and safe* The object of these plunderers i& 
to win gold. They are like children piling up 
heaps 'of dirt, for -the purpose of casting it to 
the winds the next moment— still their object 
is gold ; and when they have so fair a chance 
of gaining a great sum, by this poor girl's 
ransom, they will not risk the loss of it by 
doing her any injury. No, no ! they have given 
her a chamber near that of their leader's wife, 
and ther^ she will be tended with all courtesy. 
To-morrow they will bid her write to her 

R 4 



S48 THE JACQUERIE. 

father, showing what gentle usage she has re- 
ceived, and naming the ransom they have fixed. 
But they will hold out the fear of less gentle 
deeds, if he should attempt to recover her by 
force of arms. So much for that : your second 
question was, how she was taken by these 
men *' 

<^ And how it happened that her father and 
the captal found her not,'' added Albert, ^< for 
they were close behind.*' 

" Of that I know nothing," replied the old 
man ; " but how they took her, I can tell right 
well. I left you contending with the villain 
Caillet, and sought the lady to give her help. 
She had seen me defend her with my] axe, 
and so she trusted me; but when the men 
came up, who took you prisoner, we had well 
nigh fallen into their hands at once, for she 
thought it was her father's party, and would 
have darted forward to meet them, had I not 
shown her who they really were. I then led 
her to a place of security, made her a bed of 
leaves, sheltered her from the winds of night, 
and lighted her a fii*e, to dispel the damp air of 



THE JACQUERIE. 249^ 

the forest; for she has ever been good to the 
poor and the lowly^ and deserves the careful 
watching of all who love the noble and the 
kind. I promised to guide her safely back to 
her home the next day ; but ere I could do so, 
at an early hour this morning these knavish 
companions, hearing that I was still in the 
neighbouring wood, came out to hunt me down 
like a wild beast." 

" Why, what harm had you done them?'* 
demanded Albert. 

" None," replied the old man ; " but do 
we need to harm others to make them harm 
us ? No, no, not so in this world t For the last 
twelve years have I dwelt either in this old castle, 
or in that dim wood. Neither in the wood nor 
the castle had I any right but sufferance ; but 
the building itself was only tenanted by some 
servants of a lord who spent his days in 
rioting afar. They charitably gave me a 
dwelling in the- winter time, and all the 
bright summer I spent in the green forest. 
With the chambers, the passages, the towers, 
and even the dungeons of this place, and with 



850 THE JACQUEBZIIw 

th^ most secret paths of the wood, no one in 
all the land is so well acquainted as I am, and 
when, some ten days ago, these filthy robbers 
^ame and took possession of the place, I fled, 
and sought refuge where you saw me last night. 
There is a tower herein, to which they could fin d 
no entrance, and it is called the Stairless Tower. 
They thought, it seems, that it must contain 
treasure ; and the people they found here told 
ihem that none knew its secrets biit] myself, 
for they had seen me more than once upon the 
top, when they, poor fools, could not find the 
way up. This led to more inquiries ; and as 
wicked men never feel safe in their wickedness, 
the plunderers fancied that my knowledge of 
the place would be dangerous to them, if, as 
they intend to do, they kept possession of it, 
as a sort of advanced post on the side of 
Touraine. They sent out one party to seek me 
many days, hoping to lure me back with pro* 
mises and offers ; but they found me not, and 
at length, this morning, they despatched another 
to hunt me down like a wild beast/' 



THE JACQUERIE. 251 

*' But the Lady Adela," cried Albert Denyn 
*— •" What became of her ? " 

** I had watched the lady through the night,'* 
replied the old man ; ^^ but she slept not, till 
just before the morning's dawn, when her eyes 
grew heavy, and a short slumber came upon 
hen Not long after, I heard some sounds; 
and, though the fire had now sunk low, there 
came a smoke and the crackling of wood, with 
shouts and cries from several sides; a light 
redder than the morning, too, began to glare 
upon the trees, and I soon found that the 
villains had^ tracked me into the covert, and 
had then set fire to the wood to drive me out. 
I had still hope to bafile them, and for some 
time wound through paths they knew not of, 
leading the lady by the hand. But it proved 
all in vain : they had guarded the outlets well, 
and when we issued forth they were upon us. 
They shouted loud at their double prize ; and 
though they became more reverent when they 
heard the lady's name, yet were they not the 
less joyful. On reaching this place, they first pro- 
vided for her comfort. The leader's wife was 



252 THE JACQUERIE. 

called, and maids, and women; and with as 
much ceremony as if the desolate castle had 
been a court, she was ushered to her chamber. 
They then turned to me, mocked my contorted 
back, bade me stretch out my lengthy arms, and 
made sport of me for some ten minutes, till 
they bethought them of the Stairless Tower— 
then their greediness would know no delay. 
They took me to the foot of it, and told me 
instantly to show them the way ; but I was lord 
now, and I laughed them to scorn, telling them 
they should never know from me till they asked 
me with lowered voices and in humbler terms ; 
till they promised me part of the spoil, and 
seasoned their offers with fine words. They 
saw that I mocked them, and thrust me in 
here, threatening me with torture on the mor- 
row, if I still remained refractory. When the 
morning comes, however, for me they will look 
in vain. Had they wished really to torture me, 
tlie time was when their hands were upon my 
shoulders." 

" But how will you escape ?" demanded 
Albert : '^ the walls of this prison are thick, the 



THE JACQUERIE. 253 

door by which they brought us in is strong ; 
and I see not how any one could free himself 
from this place without tools for breaking out, 
such as we do not possess. There are stout 
bars upon that window, good Walleran ; and 
though they have left me my sword, yet it 
would take many a long day, I fear, to wrench 
oiF those bars, even if it could be done at all.'^ 

The old man laughed aloud. " Listen, youth," 
he replied at length. " I said I would tell 
you something you did not expect to hear. 
What if I set you free this very night, this very 
hour ? What if I show you the means by which 
such a youth as thou art can be back at the 
castle of Mauvinet before mid-day to-morrow?'* 

Albert started up. " Do you jest, or speak 
in earnest?" he exclaimed: "can it be pos- 
sible?" 

" In serious earnest," answered the other ; 
" and so possible is it, that I will do it." 

" But Adela," said Albert, hesitating — " but 
the Lady Adela, can I leave her here?" 

" What good can you do her by remaining?** 
demanded the old man. 



254 THE JACQUERIE. 

: " But little, in truth," answered Albert ; 
<^ yet still, while there is a possibility of as-* 
fisting her, I would fain be near. If we can 
fly? why can she not fly also ? You know where 
they have placed her — can we not find some 
means of communicating with her, and telling 
her what we intend to do?" 

" All this is very possible," replied the old 
man, ^' and she may even fly, if she will trust 
herself to you." 

" She will," replied Albert, " I am sure she 
will." 

^^ Be not too sure, till you have heard the 
whole," replied his companion. " There are 
dangers and difficulties to be encountered, 
youog man, which may not be easily overcome, 
and it may seem better to her to wait for the 
ransom from her father." 

: " At all events, she shall have the choice," 
replied Albert, " if I can give it her." 
: ** That you shall be enabled to do, if you 
will," replied . the other ; ** but there may be 
Jperils in so doing, which even you may not 
choose to risk." 



THE JACQUERIE. 255 

" None, none ! " cried Albert Denyn, reso- 
lutely : ^^ there is no difficulty, no danger, t 
would not undertake, to set her free. I would 
lose this right hand to be the man that gives 
her liberty.** 

<^ Idle talk^ idle talk !." said the old man ; 
** boyish passion all 1 But hear me^ and then act 
as you think fit. Your own liberty is easy of 
attamment, for there is, in fact, no obstacle in 
your way." 

< ' ^^ How no obstacle?** cried Albert Denyn, 
" when these barred windows, and * * 

^< Oh the prompt and presumptuous heart of 
youth } " exclaimed his companion, ^* never wait- 
ing till it understands, seldom even listenmg tiU 
it hears I I tell thee th^e is, in &ct, no obstacle 
in your way to liberly ; but in i>rder to set her 
free, you must enter the castle again— > you 
niust swim the moat to readi it; you must find 
your way in darkness and in solitude, through 
passages which no feet but mine have trodden 
Ibr many years^ and then through rooms where 
4^acb instant you are likely to be seized and 
murdered.'* 



256 THE JACQUERIE. 

" Never mind," cried Albert — " I fear not. 
I will set her free or die.'* 

*^ Ay ; but when you have found her," 
added the old man, << when she has agreed to 
fly with you — when you have led her back by 
those same difficult passages, remember there 
is still the moat to cross, and it is both broad 
and deep." 

" I thought not of that," said Albert with a 
sigh, *^ I thought not of that." 

^^ But in such enterprises we should think of 
all things," answered Walleran Urgel. ^* Now 
will you undertake it?" 

" Without a doubt," replied Albert at once; 
<< without the slightest doubt or hesitation 
whatsoever. I have swam three times that 
distance, with heavier biirdens than she is, and 
J fear not." 

** But she may very likely fear,** replied the 
old man. 

" Perhaps she may,*' replied Albert Denyn ; 
^' I am afraid she will ; but at all events she shall 
have the choice. I would risk far more, for a 
less object than that." 



THE JACQUEUIE. 237 



u 



Well, then," rejoined his companion, " if 

you are so resolved, you shall not want the 

means. Mount upon that stool, and make 
your way through the window." 

" But the bars, the bars," said Albert, 
** how am I to remove the bars?" 

** Take the grating by the lower edge,** 
said the old man, *^ and pull with all your 
strength." 

Albert did as Walleran bade him, but the 
bars remained immovable. 

" It is in vain," he said, turning round, ** it 
is altogether in vain." 

" So soon are youth's best energies checked 
by disappointment," rejoined the other. '* For 
a great object you must have more than courage^ 
you must have resolution, you must have more 
even than resolution, you must haveperseverance 
unto death. Now, then, put to your strength, 
and try again — but not as before, not as before! 
— Lift the bars upward. Do they move?" 

** Yes, yes," exclaimed Albert eagerly, 
** they slide up as if by magic." 

*^ There is no magic like a little knowledge," 

VOL. I. s 



/ 



258 THE JACQUERIE 

ireplied the old man. " Now mark what I say, 
and proceed gently; for, if you do not, you will 
call listening ears this way^ or even perchance 
wake those that sleep. The bars have moved 
upwards, iiow they will move outwards too, 
and, falling on a hinge below, will make you a 
ladder to descend ; but you must hold them 
fast, and let them down gently, or the clang 
will rouse others, with whose presence we can 
well dispense.** 

Albert followed the directions he received 
exactly, and without any trouble lowered down 
the whole grate, which being pushed outwards 
when once raised, freed itself from the grooves 
ito which the two ends moved, and turning (m 
pivots in the lower rim, swung over and hung 
down against the wall. It required great 
strength, indeed, to hold the mass of iron 
work up, so that it descended without noise; but 
the joy with which Albert saw the task accom- 
plished would be very, very difficult to tell. 
• ^^ Now," said the old man, as soon as this was 
done, "make your way down to the ground^ 
. beneath the wall, then, before you cross the 



N 



THE JAGaUERIE% Q69 

Bioat, creep rounds along the narrow ridge of 
earth between the masonry and the water* 
After you have passed three round towers you 
will come to a square one which dips itself into 
the moat, there you must plunge in and swim 
across f and then going round to the other 
side of that square tower, you must enter the 
moat again and swim over once more. You 
will there find, not far from the place where you 
cross, a small archway, like the mouth of a con- 
duit. Bow your head and enter it; then go 
on straight It will lead you to some stairs, 
which when you have mounted, you will find 
yourself in a narrow passage, at the end of 
which there is a door with a latch in the ^ in- 
side ; lift that latch, and the next step takes 
you into tlie corridor leading to the chief 
rooms in the building. Where they have 
lodged the lady I cannot exactly tell, but I heai*d 
some mention made of a small room, which 
you will find the thirds upon the left-hand side. 
There you must try your fortune: I can help you 
po more, for I have now told you all I know.** 
** I give you many thanks," replied Albert^ 

s 2 



■' 'St 

^60 I'HE JACQUERII!. 

*^ and will now speed away ; but ere I go, let 
me, at least, aid you from the window : you are 
neither so young nor so strong as I am, and 
it were well that you have some one with you 
while you cross the moat.'* 

" Alas ! good youth," replied the old man^ 
" you must leave me behind ; I cannot pass the 
Water as thou canst. My crippled frame could 
never learn the art which will soon bear thee 
to the other side." 

" But I can support you," replied Albert t 
" it has ever been a sport of my youth to carry 
great weights across the moat at Mauvineti 
which is far broader than this seems to be." 

** Nay, nay," replied the old man — " go you 
upon your way. Fear not for me ; I will find 
other means to fly. Fear not for me, I say, I 
shall be safe, and even if they slew me here, 
what matter ? am I not old and crippled, poor, 
miserable, abandoned?'* 

" Yes," replied Albert ; " but I see, notwith- 
standing, that you are kind of heart and 
generous. I found you defending innocence^ 
and contending with a villain; and now you 



THE JACQUERIE. ^61 

take an interest in me, and set me free. I would 
fain, therefore, aid you before I go." 

"What!" exclaimed the old man, as if 
speaking to himself, " what ! one to love and 
to esteem me ! — But go, go, good youth ; this 
enterprise will take you time ; I will find my way 
forth alone. I tell you that within these walls, 
ftt least, they cannot keep me ; but be careful 
of yourself, for your task is a harder one than 
mine; and remember, leave the door, which 
Jeads into the corridor, open behind you ; for 
once closed, you will not find it again." He 
added some more directions which Albert 
stored carefully in his memory, and then, 
grasping the youth's hand in his large sinewy 
fingers, he bade God speed him, and aided 
him to pass through the window. 

When he was gone, the old man paused for 
a moment, listening for any sound, and then 
returned to his seat, saying, " He is noble and 
good ! he is noble and good ! What will be 
the end of all this ? what will be the end ?" 

In the mean while, Albert, dropping from the 
window, found himself on a small ridge of land 

s 3 



262 THE JACQUERIE. 

immediately under the wall of the castle) with 
scarcely sufficient footing between him and the 
moat to admit of his proceeding step by step, in 
the direction which he had been told to follow* 
Sometimes, however, the space grew wider, and 
enabled him to go on more rapidly; but his 
progress was necessarily so slow for some way, 
that he was tempted, more than once, to plunge 
into the moat, as the shortest method. 

At length, however, a tall square tower pre- 
scfnted itself, much larger than any of the others, 
with its foundations dipping into the moat, as the 
old man had described; and without further 
hesitation, Albert plunged in and swam round 
till he reached the same shelf of land which 
recommenced on the other side of the towen 

After some search, he found the small arch to 
which he had been directed, though the lower 
part of it was pai*tially filled with water, and en-» 
tering, in. profound darkness, he found his way 
along, feeling with his hands against the wall, 
and sometimes stumbling over pieces of stone 
which had fallen from above; showing that 
ho careful eye had for many years examined 



THE JACQU£RI£« 263 

the spat to take precautions against de« 
cay. The description of Walleran Urgel had 
been so exact, that the youth met with no 
great difficulty; and he soon reached the 
door, and found the latch which caused it to 
open. 

Albert raised it gently, and the door moved 
back without noise; but the moment it did so, 
a bright light burst in upon him, and, instead 
of seeing before him a corridor, as he had 
expected, he found himself entering a small 
chamber in which a light was burning. On 
two sides of the room appeared the old black 
oak wood-work, which had originally lined 
the corridor, but on the other two sides the 
walls were composedjof rough thick plankings 
bearing the marks of the saw fresh upon it^ 
so that it was evident to Albert Denyn, that 
the adventurers had converted the corridor 
into separate apartments since they had taken 
possession of the castle. 

The light which struck him as he opened th^ 
door, proceeded from a tall sconce containing 
three lamps, which apparently had not been 

s 4 



264 THE JACQUERIE. 

trimmed for some hours ; and Albert drew back 
U» he marked the interior of the room, not 
doubting, from all he saw, that he was in the 
chamber of one of the free leaders* A large 
bed, occupying at least one fourth of the small 
loom, stood in the corner opposite, with the 
thick green curtains drawn closely round it. 
]3u€ all within was perfectly silent and still, so 
that it was clear the tenant of the room was 
either absent or asleep. 

To advance offered certainly no small risk, 
and yet Albert could not make up his mind to 
return, and leave the task he had undertaken 
unaccomplished. He paused, then, and gazed 
into the room for a moment, hesitating how to 
Act; but the next instant he drew his sword 
and took a few steps forward, resolved at all 
events to go on. There was a door on either side 
m the new partitions. That on the left was fas- 
tened by two large wooden bolts, and against it 
lay a casque, and a cuirasse, with a pair of heavy 
i^eel gloves, which it seemed scarcely possible to 
move without making some noise ; but the other 
doer, to which Albert next turned, was secured 



THE JACQUERIE. 265 

In a different manner. It opened into the room^ 
and across it had been laid one of those movable 
cupboards) few of which have descended to the 
present day, although their place has been sap^ 
plied by things much less convenient than them-* 
selves. It must have cost some trouble to place 
it in the position which it then occupied, and 
while it there remained, no man, unassisted^ 
could have forced the door open from without. 
Piled up upon it also, were several other ar* 
tides of furniture ; and when Albert perceived 
all this caution to prevent any one entering 
the chamber during the slumbers of its oc- 
cupant, a hope came upon him, which made 
bis heart beat wildlv. 

A moment after, his eye lighted upon some of 
the apparel of a lady ; and instead of trying, as 
be had at first proposed, to make his way forth 
undiscovered by one of the doors, he now gently 
approached the bed, and drew back one of the 
curtains. 

His hopes had not deceived him. Before his 
eyes, overpowered by slumber, lay Adelaide 
Mauvinet, with one beautiful arm bent under* 



266 THE JACQUERIE. 

neath her head, and ll^e other resting on the 
cover of the bed, while the fair hand dropped 
gracefully over the edge* Her rich browa 
hair, which she had unloosed ere she cast her- 
self down, to take the repose which she so 
much needed, but almost feared to indulge fell 
round her face and over her shoulder in beau- 
tiful proiusion ; and, lovely as Albert had 
always thought her, she seemed fairer, brighter 
than ever to his eyes, as she there lay, buried 
in deep, calm sleep, in the midst of such perils 
as those that surrounded her/^ - Jl 

^ He stood and gazed upon her for several mi- 
nutes, drinking deep draughts of love, if I may 
so express it, till at length the resolutions, which 
he had that very night formed, came back to 
his mind, and he instantly asked himself how 
he might best wake her without giving her 
alarm. At length, sheatTung his sword, he knelt 
down by the bedside, threw back the curtain 
that the flight might fall full upon him, and 
then taking- the hand that dropped over the 
edge, he pressed his lips. tenderly but respect- 
fully upon it. 



THE JACQUERIE. . 267 

Adela instantly woke, started, raised herself 
partly on her arm, and gazed wildly at the youth 
as he knelt beside her. As soon as she saw who 
it was, however, a bright smile of joy lighted 
Tip her countenance. None of the particulars 
of her situation seemed to have been forgotten 
even in sleep ; for, raising her finger, she said 
in a low tone, ** Oh, Albert, is it possible? How 
came you hither? It is indeed joy to see you 
here — but speak low, speak low, for they are in 
that room, and there are people all around 
us." 

** I am here, lady, to set you free," replied 
Albert, in a whisper. "I have been a prisoner 
like you, and have found means to escape, by 
those means also I can set you free ; but I must 
not conceal from you that there are dangers and 
difficulties in the way, though I would not quit 
this place without offering you the opportunity 
of flying also." 

** But how came you here?" demanded Adela. 
** I have been so anxious about you ever since 
you left me; for you were scarcely gone, er^ 
these men passed by; and I feared that they 



26Q THE JACQUERIE. 

ivould find you contending with that base man 
Caillet." 

Albert told her that they had done so : but 
she would not be satisfied, until he had related 
1(11 that had befallen him ; and the interest and 
the pity that fehe showed as he proceeded were 
sweet but dangerous to his heart. 

In return, while she related a part of what 
liad occurred to her, she dwelt much and .long 
upon the apprehensions she had entertained for 
him, speaking little of her own fears and su& 
ferings; and it was a strange and somewhat 
agitating conversation for both that took place 
during the next half hour, while, with Albert 
kneeling by her bedside, with whispered words 
and eyes gazing into each other's, they poured 
forth every feeling and thought of their bosoms 
*— except that one passion, which gave tone and 
depth to all the rest 

It may well be asked, " Was that one passion 
then not spoken? Was it possible at such a time, 
and in such circumstances, not to open the gates 
of the heart and set the imprisoned secret free?" 

It was not spoken. Not a word did Albert 



THE JACQUERIE. 269 

Utter that he would not have uttered in the halls 
of Mauvinet : there was as much deep respect 
in manner and in gesture; but from his coun- 
tenance he could not banish what he felt: it 
sparkled in his eyes, it was heard, too, in his 
tone, whenever Adela's dangers, or griefs, or 
sufferings were mentioned. Neither did she 
name the name of love — nor, indeed, did she 
think of it at that moment. In the agitation^ 
the fears, the cares, the hopes of such a situ-« 
ation, she looked upon the youth beside her 
only as the companion of her infancy and her 
girlhood, as the person in whom she had most 
confidence on earth, to whom she could speak 
as to a brother. If her tones were those of 
love — if her look was that of deep affection — it 
was that the moment was one of those when 
circumstances break down the barriers which we 
raise in our hearts against bur own feelings, and 
when the stream of passion flows forth without 
our will, mingling with the whole current of our 
actions. 

However that may be, during that night a 
Hew consciousness came upon the heart of Al- 



270 THE JACQUEJIIE. 

bert Dienyn— -the consciousness that he was 
beloved ; and however he might school himseUy 
he could not so far play the hypocrite with his 
own soul, as to wish that it were otherwise. 

Though much was said, and many a thing 
was told, their conversation was but short, for 
their words were quick as the time required. 
And though Albert could have remained there 
in that sweet intercourse for ever, it became 
necessary that he should press Adela to decide 
whether she would attempt to fly with him or 
not. He informed her of all she would have to 
encounter; he showed her that he should be 
obliged to swim with her across the moat ; and^ 
after a moment's hesitation, she replied, •— 

" No, Albert, no — you shall not risk your 
life for me any more.'' 

" There is no danger, dear lady," he replied, 
*^ there is no risk of that kind : I know I can 
do it with ease ; I only fear for you who have 
suffered so terribly already; I dread that the 
cold and the night wandering might injure, nayi 
even kill youi" 
> << Perhaps it might," she said, in a sad toiie^ 



THE JACQUERIE. 271 

<< perhaps it might ; and I cling weakly to life, 
Albert) I know not why." 

** Oh yes, live, live, deai' lady !'* replied Albert, 
" live for brighter days I live to make others 
happy, and to be happy also yourself I'* 

Adefa made no reply for some moments ; but 
her eyes filled with tears, and a look of deep 
sadness came over her whole countenance. 
" No,*' she said at length, ** no, I will not fly 
at such a risk to you. Besides, I know my 
&ther will right gladly pay the ransom that 
they fix ; and these men have treated me with 
all honour and some kindness, so that I have 
nothing to fear. Their chief himself, to give 
me security in my chamber, blocked up the 
door as you see there ; the other door leads to 
the room where sleeps his child, and there are 
also bolts which no strength could break. He 
showed me these things himself and his wife 
gave me all comfort, and promised me her aid 
and protection. Under these circumstances 
it were wrong to risk so much. Go, then, 
Albert, go, and tell my father my situation —I 
know I need not ask him to set me free 



272 THE JACQUERIE. 

speedily. You will reach him probably evert 
before the letter which they have made me 
write can inform him of my fate. Tell him 
I am well — far better^ indeed, in health than I 
could, by any means, have expected. I must 
not add that I am happy," she continued, ^^ for 
that I am not — perhaps may never be so 
again." 

Albert gazed sadly on the ground, but made 
no reply; and after a moment Adela added, 
^ Now go, Albert, now go — may Heaven send 
jou a blessing for all that you have done for 
ine!" 

*' One thing more, dear lady," replied Albert, 
**one thing more before I do as you bid me — 
Recollect that the door by which I entered here, 
and which you see stand open there, is unknown 
to these people themselves. That passage might 
afford you a place of refuge, in case their con- 
duct towards you should change at any time. 
On the other side there is a lock ; but I must 
see how it can be opened from this room." 

It was not without difficulty that the method 
was discovered, for the wood-work fitted so close 



THE JACQUERIE. 273 

as to afford not the slightest indication of an 
opening. when it was shut. At length, however, 
having found the way of closing and unclosing 
it at pleasure, and explained the means to 
Adela, Albert again approached to bid her 
adieu, and once more knelt by her side to kiss 
)ier hand, 

" Oh ! Albert," she said in the same low tone 
in which they had hitherto spoken, " it is a ter^ 
rible thing to bid you go, and leave me her0 
alone, but it must be so at length. It is very, 
very terrible ; " and she bent down her head^ 
till her eyes almost I'ested on his shoulder, whil^ 
her tears fell thick and fast. 

" Go, Albert," she continued at length, " go — 
I will be thus selfish no longer ! Go at once ! 
Fare you weU, fare you well ; I shall never for- 
get you, I shall never forget your kindness* 
Now leave me without another word, for J am 
weak, and overcome already." 

Albert felt that it would be best to depart, 
and only pausing to press his lips again upon 
her hand, he tore himself away, and left her^ 
In a few minutes he had passed through th^ 

VOL. I. T 



274 THE JACQUERIE. 

long passage which conducted to the meaty 
and with a fiselingof reckless self-abandcmmenty 
he plunged in without a moment's pause or 
thought. 

The noise of his sudden leap into the watfflr 
called the attention of some one above, and 
a cry of " Who goes there ? ♦" was heard, 
warning him to be more cautious* He made 
no reply, but swam gently. on; and he could 
hear the man say to himself, ^^It must be a 
dog — I will give him a shot, at all events." The 
next instant, the twang of a crossbow met his 
ear, and a quarrel struck the water close beside 
him. 

* It was luckily too dark for any thing to 
be seen distinctly, and proceeding as quietly 
and silently as possible, Albert reached the 
other side of the moat, and for a moment lay 
still under the shadow of the bank. The heed* 
less soldier above seemed quite satisfied with 
what he had done, and in a few minutes walked 
on, whistling a light air ; while Albert, on his 
part, crept slowly up the bank, and was soon 
amongst the fields of the open country. 



,THE JACQUERIE. 275 

All was dark, however ; there were woods, 
and orchards, and vineyards around, and, en- 
tangled amongst them, Albert could for some 
time find no path, but wandered without guide, 
and with no knowledge whither he was direct- 
ing his steps* At length he came upon a road, 
which, though neither very large nor very good, 
he judged to be much used, from the ruts and 
irregularities which it presented ; and following 
it for about half a mile, the youth came sud- 
denly upon a rising ground, whence he could 
discover^ somewhat to his surprise and conster- 
nation, the faint outline of the castle he had 
just quitted, rising at the distance of a few 
hundred yards. He was once more turning 
away to seek some other path, when he was 
suddenly startled by the cry of "Who goes 
there ? " and the next instant rough hands were 
laid upon his shoulders. 



T 2 



276 THE JACQUERIE. 



CHAP. XIV, 

Leaving Albert Denyn in the hands of his 
captors, we must turn to follow the proceedings 
of the Ck)unt de Mauvinet and the Captal de 
Bnch, who were not long in hearing news of 
the body of adventurers which had taken pos* 
session of the castle on the hill. Every peasant 
that they met with when day dawned gave them 
jsome tidings of a detachment from the famous 
jcompany of Sir Robert Knowles who had lately 
establislied themselves in the neighbourhood, 
and laid the country under contribution as far 
as Mans and La Fleche, None, indeed, could 
give any information regarding the exact fate 
of the Lady Adela ; but some had heard a troop 
of horse pass their cottages during the night ; 
and the two noblemen were so thoroughly 
convinced that the lady had fallen into the 
hands of these adventurers, that after giving 
their horses a few hours' rest at the first 



THE JACQUERIE* 277 

village they could find, they marched oiij 
guided by some of the peasantry, and only 
halted at length, in order to send back messen- 
gers to Mauvinet, with directions to call forth 
every retainer of the house, and bring them to 
a certain spot by daybreak on the following 
morning.; 

Some consultation was held as to whether it 
would be better to send a summons, requiring 
the marauders in the castle to give up their 
prisoners, or to proceed at once by force. But 
the captal strongly urged the necessity of giving 
no intimation of their purpose to the adven-* 
turers till the last moment; and the count 
yielded, although his deep anxiety for his child 
made him desirous of taking the most speedy 
means that could be adopted for bringing her 
captivity to an end. No rest nor sleep was his 
portion during the night, though he adopted 
the best measures that circumstances permitted 
him to use, for refreshing his men and horses 
against the following day. 

The captal, on his part, not forgetting the 
vow that he had made, entered no bouse, but laid 

T 3 



S78 WHE JACQUERIB. 

himself down in the open fields, with his meii 
around him, and his naked sword by his side* 
An hour before daylight the two leaders met, 
to consult together upon their after proceed- 
ings ; and before they separated, several bands 
pf the retainers of the house of Mauvinet came 
in, and reported that others were following hard 
behind. The whole country, they said, was 
risinig in indignation and alarm ; and severed of 
the vassals of other noble houses in the neigh<^ 
bourhood were found to have joined themselves 
|o the troops of the Lord of Mauvinet ; so that 
an overpowering force might soon be expected^ 
ready to act at once against the adventurers. > 
After a short conference, the Captal de Buch 
proposed to his friend to go forward with bis 
men, and reconnoitre the enemy's position, 
while the count himself remained behind, to 
collect the various bands as they came up. The 
captal promised to return before day had dawned 
fnore than half an hour ; and his proposal being 
agreed to, he set out at once, accompanied by 
the troop of twenty, or five and twenty men, 
.which had followed him to Mauvinet. 



THE jacquerie; 1279 

It was somewhat later than the hour he bad 
lipecified ere he did indeed return ; but then be 
came with a smiling countenance, assuring the 
count that the place was one of no great strength^ 
and could not make any formidable resistance* 
The array which presented itself to his eyes oni 
rejoining the count, seemed to warrant well the 
expectation of speedy success ; for more than 
four hundred men were now in the field ; vo* 
lunteers were coming in every moment, and 
various implements for assaulting the castle had 
already been provided. No farther delay took 
place : the troops instantly were put in motion ; 
and the Lord of Mauvinet and his friend le4 
the way a few hundred yards in advance, at the 
head of a small^body of chosen men* § 

The whole aspect of the scene, as they 
approached the castle, seemed to show, that 
the free companions had not the slightest idea 
of being attacked; and in passing through a 
small hollow-way, at about a mile's distcmce 
from the fortress, the count and his com- 
panions came suddenly upon an armed man, 
riding on with the utmost tranquillity. The 

T 4 



280 THE JACQUEBIE. 

space between him and them, when be first 
appeared, was not more than forty or fiftj 
yatds, and reining up his horse quickly, he 
seemed about to fly; but perceiving levelled 
lances and preparations for instant pursuit^ 
he laid down his bridle and halted, waiting 
till they came up. His appearance left ho 
doubt of his being one of the adventurers ; and 
he was instantly surrounded by the men of 
Mauvinet, who, perhaps, might have treated 
him ill, had it not been for the interference 
of the captal ; for the Lord of Mauvinet himself 
was too much enraged to respect the cha* 
I'acter of soldiers in so lawless a body of 
marauders. 

" Nay, nay, count," said the captal, seeing 
the fierce look which the father of Adela bent 
upon the prisoner : " remember these are all 
good men at arms, most of them gentlemen 
of birth ; and the unhappy licence of the times 
has justified things that in other days were 
unjustifiable/' 

** I shall ever give heed to your voice, my 
roble^ friend/' replied the Lord of Mauvinet^ 



THE JACQUERIE* 261 

*< when it is raised in a righteous cause ; but 
you will not expect me to spare men who, 
without the warrant of actual war, do acts that 
actual war itself has never sanctioned — carry 
off women and children from their parents, 
and wage dishonest hostilities in time of truce 
ligainst the innocent and unoffending. The 
slaughter of my peasantry were enough, but 
the outrage offered to my child leaves no 
room for mercy or forbearance ; and a short 
shrift, and a neighbouring tree, is all the lenity 
I can show." 

. . " Yet listen, my good lord," rejoined the 
eaptal: ^^this man may, perhaps, if you grant 
him pardon, give us some good information 
regarding the enemy. Hark, fellow — you look 
wondrous pale for one who has chosen so 
perilous a trade — stand forward, and try, by 
anwering truly, to save your life. You come 
from the castle of La Trie aux Bois — is it not 
so?" 

** Yes, noble sir," replied the man, who evi- 
dently did not like the aspect of death in the 
shape which it now assumed; ^' but I have only 



S82 THE JACQUERIE. 

4 

been there three days, and have had no share 
in what has been done there.'* 

** How came you to go thither at all ? " de- 
manded the captal. : 

*^ I carried letters, noble sir/* answered the 
man, ^^ from good Sir Robert Knowles to 
worthy Captain Griffith.'' 

^^ Ha I my old companion Knowles ! " cried 
the captal — << is he come so near? and Griffith 
too I he is a good soldier, if ever man was; 
Nor is he discourteous either. The Lady Adda 
will suffer no wrong at his hands. I shall like 
wdl to try twelve strokes of a good sword with 
him^ and will, please Heaven, ere the world be 
three hours older." 

*^'Ah, sir, you reckon ill,*' rejoined the ad- 
venturer: ^^ be left the castle this morning in 
ibe grey, with a score of lances, to confer with 
good Sir Robert ; nor will he return till ton 
morrow at noon. They say there is some di& 
ference between them — but I know not.*' 

** And whither were you going iiow? " asked 
the count, ^^ wbo had hitherto remained silent': 
^ you seemed in great haste." 



THE jacquerie; 283 

*^ I was carrying a letter, noble sir,'' replied 
the man. 

"What, another letter I " exclaimed the Cap* 
tal de Buch« ^^ By your leave, sir letter 
carrier, we will see this epistle." 

*^ It is directed to the noble Lord of Mau-* 
vinet,** replied the adventurer, " and is written 
by the lady they took yesterday." 

*• Then give it to me instantly," exclaimed 
the count : *< quick, fellow I quick I or we will 
take it in a way that may be somewhat more 
speedy." 

The prisoner, whose senses were so far con- 
fused that he did not yet understand that one 
of the personages who spoke to him was the 
very nobleman to whom the letter was ad- 
dressed, gave it up with evident reluctance; 
and— first kissing the handwriting of his be^ 
loved child 'T-^ the count tore it open and read. 
The captal watched his countenance narrowly, 
and saw, with no small delight, that the brow of 
Adela's father grew^ brighter, and that a look 
of relief came over his whole face. 

" She is well, thanks be to God I " exclaimed 



284 THE JACQUERIE. 

the count, turning to his friend. ^' She is well, 
and they have used her with all respect and 
courtesy; but tell me, my good lord captain 
did ever mortal man hear such insolence as 
this? They come hither, into the heart of the 
land, carry off our children, and boldly put 
them to ransom, as if there were a war pro- 
claimed against bdbes and ladies. They ask a 
thousand crowns of gold, and bid me ransom 
my daughter at once, as if she were a knight 
captured in fair fight. By St. Maurice, tills 13 
too much ! " 

<^ Do they mention the villain who carried 
her off?" demanded the captal: "it would 
seem they have taken her out of his hands." 

** They neither mention him, nor my poor 
boy, Albert," replied the count. " Of the one I 
will have signal vengeance, and for the safety 
of the other good account. That youth is like 
a son to me, captal, and I will reckon with 
that man severely who does him wrong. But 
let us march on, and by the way, speak of this 
ransoming. What say you ? — should I give^ 
it?" 



THB JACQUERIE. 285 

" No, my good lord, no," replied the capta], 
'* I can feel that you are anxious for your 
daughter, but they dare not — it is impossible — 
they dare not injure her, I am sure. My oath 
IS, that I will set her free, and of course that 
oath implies by force of arms. It I must 
keep; and I will answer for it that the lady 
shall suffer no Wrong, although these men per- 
chance may threaten it« Let us march on, my 
lord; and bringing this man along with us, use 
him for what "^purposes we may think fit here* 
after." 

As was very natural, the Lord of Mauvinet 
could hardly, in his anxiety for his daughter^ 
feel satisfied with the assurance of the captal ; 
but still, as is often the case with all men, he 
would not show the weakness that he felt, and 
agreed to the proposal of his friend, though 
he would fain have yielded to 'the demand 
of ransom, however unreasonable, and secured 
his child's safety, before he sought vengeance 
for the insult that had been offered to him. 

Marching on, then, they soon came within 
sight of the castle; but as they rode forward^ 



286 THE jacquerie; 

upon a rising ground, wfaith looked down upon 
kt the eount observed a small patty of horsemen 
coming up at some distance, nearly on a parallel 
line with his own forces. • . 

<^ Who are these?" he exclaimed, speaking to 
^e captal — " who are these, my good lord ? We 
had better send out to cut them oiF/' 

" No, no," replied the captal, smiling, *' they 
are my oWn men. I thought it best, when I 
returned to you just now, to leave a party upon 
that road, both to bring us any intelligence, 
and to cut oiF the enemy, should they think fit 
to send out for aid in that direction. My 
people will come up against the other side of 
the castle, and make all sure there." 

" Well bethought, well bethought, my noble 
friend," replied the count : ** we will teach 
those hardy plunderers another tale* Bring 
that fellow hither from behind; and let Bertrand, 
with the men from the abbey, sweep round to 
the right, while we advance against the barr 
bican. Now, noble captal, where will you cora«- 
mand?" 

^^ Upon the left, my good lord," answered the 



mZ JACQtTEBIS. 287 

captaL ^ Methinks I will attack the wall near 
yon square tower : it is there, most likely, that 
they have lodged the lady, and I would &in 
have it no other hand than mine which sets 
her free.** 

^< But the wall seems strong and high th^e^" 
replied the Lord of Mauvinet* 

*^The more the honour of scaling it^'^said 
the captal, with a laugh. ^^ We must show them 
what the chivalry of France and England can 
do when united. Let us ride on together, 
however ; but first, send on this fellow to sum- 
mon them to set the lady free^ and then we 
will act as we may find needful/* 

The captal's plan wds followed; the troops 
of Mauvinet advanced,- in somewhat irregular 
arder^ if such an expression may be permitted; 
for the best arrayed feudal armies of that day 
seldom presmted any very great appearance of 
discipline ; and troops so hastily called together 
as those now before the castle could not be 
expected to equal a long organised force. They 
made a gallant show, however, as they came 
up with their armour shining in the sun^ and 



288 THE JACQUERIS. 

their 'peoncMis flattering in the breeze, while 
the castle, whidi when they first approached 
it had a^eared almost entirely deserted, with 
nothing but two soldiers pacing upon the walls, 
and a few moi loitering about the gate of the 
barbican, suddenly displayed an aspect of &r 
greater busde and activity. Soldiers were 
seal running here and there, the drawbridge 
was sudd^y drawn up, the portcullis let fall, 
the walls became strongly manned, and all the 
bustle and agitation of a place suddenly and 
unexpectedly attacked showed itself in the 
fortress. 

At the distance of an arrow's flight fix>m the 
barbican the count and the captal paused upoa 
a litde mound, and for a few moments gazed 
upon the active scene before them. The pri- 
soner was then called up, and the count in- 
formed him that he spared his life upon the 
condition, he should go into the castle and 
bear the message with which he was about to 
charge him. 

** Tell them,** he said, " that I have come 
to punish them for their unheard-of insp^ 



THE JACQUERIE. 289 

leiic^ in daring to carry off my child almost 
from my very side, and for their discourtesy 
and unknightly baseness, in tearing a lady 
from her home, and demanding a ransom for 
her liberty. Bid them, if they would escape 
my utmost vengeance, instantly set free the 
Lady Adela de Mauvinet ; bid them surrender 
to me, tied hand and foot, the villain named 
William Caillet, who dared to carry her off, and 
also bid them send back to me, or give a good 
account of the youth named Albeit Denyn, 
whom I have reason to believe has fallen into 
their power. Go, and bring me back a speedy 
answer.*' 

The man hesitated before he departed, and 
even when he had taken two or three steps 
came back and said, " I am afraid, my noble 
lord, they will not suflFer me to return." 

" Thou hadst better find means to return,*' 
said the captal sternly; "for be perfectly as- 
sured, my friend, that within one hour from 
this time I will speak with thee in that castle, 
if thou art not here before; and what I say 
then will not please thee. — I mean, fellow, that 

VOL. I, u 



290 THE JACQUERIE. 

thy life shall answer for thy disobedience ; and 
that if thou art not here ere our trumpets 
sound to the attack, it were better for thee 
to seek a priest quickly, for thou wilt have short 
time for shrift." 

The tone in which the captal spoke was 
as significant as his words, and the man went 
away somewhat pale in the face. 

" The villain ought to be hanged for his 
cowardice," said the captal. " He is one of those 
who hang upon the skirts of braver rascals than 
himself, finding just sufficient valour in a 
multitude of companions to carry him through 
a general battle. — We will give them some ten 
minutes, my lord, to send their answer. I have 
despatched two or three of my people down to 
the village that we passed on the right, to seek 
some of their masons' ladders. We must con- 
trive to join two together to reach that wall ; 
and even then we shall have some difficulty.*' 

" Better by far," said the count, " join 
your efforts to mine, my lord, and force our 
way in together at this gate : I fear you will 
make no impression on the wall.'* 



THE JACQUERIE. 291 

" Will you bet me a Barbary horse/' said 
the captal, laughingly, ^^ that I am not in before 
you, my lord? — But see, my men are already 
making preparations; and, as I live, here 
comes our messenger again — He has had a 
speedy answer .'* 

The man approached slowly and evidently 
with trepidation ; which the looks of the 
captal and the count were not well calculated 
to remove. " Well, fellow," exclaimed the 
Lord of Mauvinet, ere he reached them, *^ what 
is the reply?" 

" I dare not give it you, my lord," said 
the man — " I dare not give it you, unless 
you promise me your pardon." 

*^ Well, well, you shall be pardoned," joined 
in the captal ; ^' and if my Lord of Mauvinet 
follows my advice, he will shave your head, 
and thrust you into a monastery." 

"Speak, man, speak!" cried the count, 
^* or, by Heaven, I will thrust my sword through 
thee." 

" Well, then, my lord," replied the mes^ 
senger, " though I beseech your forgiveness for 

u 2 



292 THE JACQU£RIE. 

speaking it, the Captain Maillot, who now com- 
mands in the absence of the Welshman, bade 
me give you this answer at once — That as to 
William Cailiet he knows nothing of him ; that 
as for Albert Denyn, you may seek him where 
you will find him; and that as for the Lady 
Adela, she shall not have her liberty unless 
you pay the thousand crowns demanded." 

*^ Courteous, modest, and reasonaUe,''. said 
the captal; ^^but what more^ my friend, what 
more? I see there is something more under 
that white face." 

<< It must be told,'' said the man, with a 
sigh; ^^ and it is this — He bade me say tQ 
the count, that the safety of his daughter de- 
pends upon his withdrawijs^ his banner in- 
stantly from before those walls* — He i^ke 
it in harder terms than I dare name, and I 
believe he will keep his word." 

The count gazed with a countenance of an- 
guish and anxiety in the face of the: captal, 
struggling between apprehension for his phild 
and the consciousness that his honour, as 
% lg»i^t» was. pledged to resent the insult 



THE JACQUERIE. 293 

offered to him. The face of the eaptal gave 
him no relief, though it was certainly much 
calmer than he expected to see it; yet there 
WBS a heavy frown upon that leader's brow^ 
which spoke at once the determination that tlie 
count feared they must both take. 
' <« My lord," said the eaptal, after a moment's 
pause, ^^your situation is painful, but yield 
not, I beseech you, to apprehension ! In truth, 
there is nothing to fear. Again I pledge myself 
|hat there shall no harm happen; . However^ db 
you as you like : my answer I will send to these 
nien myself. — Go back to them,*' hejcontinued, 
turning to the messenger — -"go back to them^ 
and say that the Captal de Bueh has pledged 
himself to set free the Lady Adela de Mau** 
vinet ; that he will not only set her free, but 
punish them who keep her ; and that he 
vows by his faith and honour, as a Christian 
knight, if he find that insult or injury of 
any kind bfts been offered to the lad}', not 
contented with putting * every man that he 
^nds within the cadtle to the sword, he will 
hung Maillot and twelve of his companions 



294 THE JACQUERIE. 

by their feet from the walls of the castle, 
till deatli deliver them, or the ravens eat 
them living. Go tell them that I swear this 
on my honour and on my faith : now let 
me see what they dare do. — Give me my 
casque. — What! you are afraid? — Well, poor 
fool, I will go myself. — My Lord of Mauvinet, I 
beseech you prepare all means for instant attack* 
I see they have brougiit up the ladders there to 
my men. The instant I have given my message^ 
I will ride round and scale the walls. You, 
at the same moment, force your way in here, 
while others attack at different points. They 
cannot long hold out against such a force a$ 
we have here : it is a place of no strength— 
a mere cottage. Be of good cheer, my lord, be 
of good cheer — no harm shall happen." 

The count shook his head mournfully, say'*^ 
ing, " We must do what our honour requires, 
lord captal ; God give us a good issue." 

^^ Fear not, fear not," exclaimed the captal, 
who had by this time put on his casque ; and 
thus saying, he galloped forward with the 
two or three men whom he had kept with him. 



THE JACQUERIE. 295 

approaching the barbican, the wall of which, 
at this moment, was covered with men-at-arms. 
When the captal was about forty or fifty yards 
from that outwork, the count and those who 
stood beside him perceived the adventurers 
bend their bows, and in a moment several 
arrows fell around the captal. 

The Lord of Mauvinet's indignation was 
roused more vehemently than ever; and, 
waving his hand to his followers, he exclaimed, 
" On, on, to the barbican ! A purse of gold 
and knighthood for the first man who crosses 
the bridge!'* 

The retainers of Mauvinet were in movement 
in a moment ; and, dashing on towards the gates, 
they arrived just as the captal was once more 
turning away, shaking his fist fiercely towards 
the men upon the walls. His visor was up, and 
they could see that he had been slightly 
wounded in the face, but his countenance was 
all courage, and even gaiety ; and he waved his 
hand to the count, crying, — 

" On, on, my lord !" whilst he himself gal- 



i296 THE JACQUERIE. 

loped round towards the point of attack he had 
chosen. 

The enemy sent a flight of arrows after him, 
but their attention was soon called in another 
direction; for the men of Mauvinet rushing 
forward, soon reached the foot of the barbican ; 
and so fiercely did they ply the axe and hammer, 
that in a few minutes, notwithstanding all the 
shouts and cries that echoed around, the 
crashing sound of large masses of wood torn 
ofiF from the gate, and the giving way of the 
iron work within, in several places, showed 
the besieged that the outwork could not be 
maintained any longer. 

As soon as they perceived that such was 
the case, they made signs at once, to their 
companions on the other side of the moat, 
to let down the drawbridge; and a general 
rush took place amongst the soldiery in the 
barbican to make their escape. Ere they could 
all pass, however, the gate which had been 
attacked gave way at once, with a tremendous 
crash, the troops of Mauvinet rushed in ; and, 
before the bridge could be raised, several of 



THE JACQUERIE. 297 

those upon it were thrown over into the moat ; 
and a number of assailants rushing across^ with 
repeated blows of their axes cut through the 
wood-work where the chains were fastened, 
and the pont-levis, which was slowly rising, 
fell again with great force. 

The" portcullis, however, was down, the 
gates closed, and the walls above covered 
with archers : but the barbican served the 
Count de Mauvinet as a fort; and while a 
number of his men plied the bars of the 
portcullis with blows of the axe, others with 
crossbows kept up an answering discharge 
against those upon the battlements. 

In an instant afterwards, however, the Lord 
of Mauvinet suddenly cried, " Stop, stop, 
every man of you!" and all eyes turning to 
the gallery above the gate, beheld a man-at- 
arms dragging forth Adela by the hand, to the 
very spot where all the bolts were directed. 



END OF THE FIRST VOLUME. 



VOL. I. 



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