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THE 



JACQUERIE; 



OB, 



THE LADY AND THE PAGE; 



9n Huttorital iUinuime. 



BY 



G. P. R. JAMES, ESQ. 

ikUTHOK or 

THE Oirsr^** ** THE BOBBER,*' " THE GBMTLEMJkN OF THE 
OLD school/* etc. ETC. ETC. 



IN THREE VOLUMES. 

VOL. III. 



LONDON: 

PRINTED FOB 

LONGMAN, BROWN, GREEN, & LONGMANS* 

FATEBNOSTEB-BOW. 
1841. 



2_\\^'=^2,,\'\ 




'» >'"  I . •' * • .. 
--- ,.—• 

THE 



JACQUERIE. 



CHAPTER I. 

The glorious summer had come back again, 
calling back out of the earth the flowers and 
leaves, spreading over the sky the sunshine and 
the blue, and giving back to the choristers of 
nature cheerfulness and song — as we may 
suppose the dawning of another life will do to 
the heart, which has been chilled in the wintry 
grave, restoring to it the bright objects of love 
and affection lost upon earth, giving the sun- 
shine of faith, and the blue sky of peace, and 
drawing from the spirit the melodious voice of 
praise. 

It was in the early morning, somewhere to- 

VOL. Ill* B 



2 THE JACQUERIE. 

wards the hour of six, and the slanting sun, 
like hope in youth, brightened all the salient 
objects in the picture, and promised a long 
course of glory and of brightness. The heart 
of him that looked upon the glittering scene 
around beat in glad response to its aspect, as, 
keeping his horse at a quick pace during the 
freshness of the morning, a young cavalier, 
mounted upon a strong destrier or charger, 
trotted gaily along through the hilly country, 
which at that time formed the frontier of France 
on the side of Lower Lorraine. Like every one 
else in those days he rode fully armed, though 
the steel panoply by which he was covered was 
in a great measure concealed by a surcoat of 
arms, presenting a silver ground, traversed by 
a broad stripe, called a bend dexter, in deep 
blue, bearing on the centre of the breast, tech- 
nically the fess point, a heart embroidered in 
red. The cavalier was stout and tall, a light 
mustachio fringed his upper lip, and the hair, 
which was suffered to appear by sf velvet cap 
replacing the helmet that hung at his saddle^ 
liow, curled in profuse masses over his neck 



THE JACQUERIE. 3 

and shoulder. His complexion was browned 
by exercise and exposure ; and upon his cheek 
and brow appeared more than one deep scar, 
telling of blows boldly met, and probably as 
vigorously returned. As he gazed round him, 
there was an air of glad hilarity in his face, 
and in all his bearing, which spoke a lieart full 
of hope and joy. One perceived it in the light 
touch of his left hand upon the bridle; one 
marked it in the half-suspended position of the 
right ; one saw it in the bright sparkling of his 
clear hazel eye, in the thrown back head, the 
expanded chest, and the smiling curl of the 
lip, as the varied thoughts chased each other 
through his busy mind. 

That young cavalier was Albert Denyn, re- 
turning to his native land, after his first cam- 
paign under the glorious leading of the Captal 
de Buch ; and to say sooth, though there were 
manifold feelings in his bosom which combined 
to give that joyful air to his whole person, the 
surcoat of arms which we have said he wore 
was not amongst the least important causes of 
the gladness which sparkled on his countenance.* 

B 2 



4 THE JACQU£RI£. 

He had gone forth with no right to any 
other garment than that of the serf; he came 
back clad in the coat of arms which he had 
won from a grateful prince by his own merits ; 
and the feelings which had given him energy 
to win that garb were now his chief recom- 
pense in wearing it. 

In every faculty of the mind and body^ 
Albert Denyn had expanded, if we may use 
the term, since last we saw him ; and all those 
faculties had been directed to win high renown 
by an eager and enthusiastic spirit prompted 
to vast exertions by the strong love which we 
have already seen working at his heart. 

I believe that the portion of earthly greatness 
which men acquire is regulated as much by 
the strength of the passions which prompt them 
as by the powers of their minds. The passions^ 
in short, are the main springs which move 
the watches of the world, the principles are the 
pendulums or balances which regulate the move- 
ments, the talents are the wheels which carry 
on the action. But, alas ! the human kind but 
little appreciates a correct result, and the 



THE JACQUERIE. 5 

Strength of the main spring too often obtains 
more admiration in the world than the nice 
adaptation of those principles which regulate 
its movement. It is sad, it is very sad, to think 
that the meed of fame, of power, and of 
success, is more frequently assigned to the 
action of strong passions than to the operation 
of great intellect. The ambition that carried 
forward Napoleon Buonaparte raised him above 
La Place in the estimation of the world, because 
La Place was without any strong passion to 
direct his efforts on those roads where power 
and fortune are to be gained; but who can 
doubt, that traces calmly the course of the 
one and the other, where the greatest mind, 
the greatest soul, resided ? 

That man whose passions are so strong as to 
trample upon all restraint, to east behind him 
virtue and remorse, and to use his talents solely 
for the gratification of his predominant desire, 
whatever that desire may be, has a field open 
before him, from which the man of stronger 
principles is excluded ; and though his success 
will often depend as much upon accident as 

B 3 



6 ^ THE JACQUERIS. 

upon his own efforts, yet he will acquire, either 
in fortune or misfortune, the renown x){ great 
enterprises, which is the most dazzling of all 
tinsel in the eyes of the world. 

It must be acknowledged, that although 
Albert Denyn was possessed of great natural 
energies of mind and activity of body ; although 
he was brave to a fault, quick, skilful, talented ; 
though he had genius for every thing which in 
that age led to greatness ; nevertheless he owed 
his prompt and rapid success to the eager impe- 
tuosity, the resolute and unconquerable perse- 
verance which was given by the presence of a 
strong master passion in his heart. Love, with 
him, was as one of those generals, whom we have 
heard of, who have still conquered by their own 
energy, when every one around deemed success 
impossible; who when repelled at one point 
still attacked at another, and whose fire gave 
courage and energy to every part of the army 
that surrounded them. 

Thus, during the time that he had followed 
the captal in his expedition against the pagans of 
Prussia, and in various other accidental enter- 



THE JACQUERIE; 7 

prises which presented themselves, and were 
liever neglected by that great adventurous 
leader, the thought of Adela de Mauvinet, 
the hope of justifying her regard, of winning re- 
nown which might reach her ears, and of grati- 
fying her heart by his own success, seemed to 
give him eyes for opportunities that other people 
overlooked, and to endow him with resolution, 
endurance, courage, and activity, which he 
might never have displayed in the same degree, 
had not that strong motive been ever present to 
his thoughts. 

We will not pause upon all that took place 
during the period of his absence. That period 
was but brief, it is true ; but those were dayg 
in which great events and strange adventures 
crowded themselves into a narrow space, and 
jostled each other, if we may so term it, upon 
the highways of life. We have instances of 
men sharing in the great victory of Cressy, in 
the north of France, and aiding to conquer the 
Saracens in the south of Spain, within six 
weeks; and the Captal de Buch was not one 

to let his sword slumber in the scabbard, 

B 4 



8 THE JACQUERI£. 

whenever there was an occasion of drawing it 
with honour. As he went towards the north, 
he aided several of the princes of Germany in 
the wars which were then raging; and as he 
returned, he took service for twenty days with 
the emperor, and in that short space went 
through all the hazards, the adventures, and 
the struggles of a campaign. 

Throughout the whole of these proceedings, 
Albert Denyn had every day some oppor- 
tunities of distinguishing himself; and indeed 
it became visible to his own eyes as well as to 
those of others, that such opportunities were 
studiously afforded him by the captal. This 
was the only sign of peculiar favour that the 
great leader bestowed upon him. At first it 
made the rest of the band somewhat jealous ; 
but they found that to counterbalance, as it 
were, the advantage given, the captal was more 
sparing of reward and praise to Albert than to 
any other of his followers. He knew that an 
opening was what the youth desired, and that 
the honour was the best recompense for his 
exertions. Thus gradually the stout men- 



THE JACQUERIE* 9 

at-arms became reconciled to see Albert 
Deriyn always chosen as one in any important 
undertaking; and even more, his success was 
so continual) his exertions so great, his talents 
so conspicuous, and his superiority so evident, 
even to themselves, that they began to acknow- 
ledge his right to lead, and to be obeyed, and 
often wondered amongst themselves, why it was 
that the captal seemed so niggardly of praise 
and reward to one who so well deserved it. 

Whatever might be the object of the captal in 
the conduct which he pursued, Albert Denyn 
himself was well satisfied. There were occasional 
little traits which showed him that he was both 
esteemed and loved. More than once, when there 
was a difficulty in procuring quarters, his leader 
made him sleep in the same chamber with 
himself. On various expeditions, he invited him 
to sit down to meat with him, and sent him 
the cup out of which he drank. At other times, 
too, when they were alone together, Albert 
would see the captal's eyes rest upon him with 
an expression of thoughtful interest, which was 
not to be mistaken ; and all these signs showed 



10 THE JACQUERIE* 

him, that neither the silence which his leader 
maintained regarding his successes, nor the se- 
verity with which he put him upon every service 
of danger, difficulty, or fatigue, was any indi- 
cation of want of regard and care. He felt, 
moreover, that by this very conduct the captal 
was eifecting for him the greatest of all objects, 
rendering him a hardy and experienced soldier 
in the shortest possible time. 

If the captal was niggardly of praise, there 
were others who were not so; and several of 
the princes whom the wandering band of 
soldiers aided for the time, distinguished the 
youth greatly, both by applause and rewards. 
He bore away from one a rich casque; from 
another a splendid sword; another gave him 
a jewel of much value ; another bestowed upon 
him a golden chain ; and at length, the emperor 
himself called him forth, while the captal was 
sitting at meat with him, and asked what he 
could do to reward his gallant efforts in defence 
of the empire. 

" He is as brave a youth, sir emperor," the 
captal replied, " as ever drew a sword, and 



.THE JACQUERIE* 11 

there is nothing that you can do for him of 
which he will not show himself as worthy as any 
knight in all the land." 

The emperor gazed upon him for a moment 
from head to foot, and then said, ^^ Take the 
cup, young man, and give me to drink/* 

Albert approached the high officer who held 
the golden hannap on the monarch's right 
hand ; but the German noble hesitated for a 
moment to give him the cup, till the emperor 
signified his pleasure again, by an inclination 
of the head. He then suffered Albert to take 
the hannap, while he himself filled it with wine ; 
and bending his knee, the youth offered it to 
the German sovereign, who took it with a smile^ 
saying, " Do you know what this means, good 
youth ? — It means that, noble or not noble 
heretofore, you are so from this moment. Go 
to our heralds, and bid them give you a coat 
of arms, and take this cup with which you have 
served me for your fee." 

Had the monarch bestowed on him half 
his treasury, the gift would not have been so 
great to Albert Denyn ; and gladly he accom- 



12 THE JACQUERIE* 

panied the captal on his way back towards 
France, bearing with him feelings changed, 
indeed, hopes raised, prospects widened, em* 
pectations excited; but having still the same 
principles warm at his heart, the same passion 
strong in his bosom. 

I have said his hopes were raised. Do not 
let my meaning be mistaken: the hopes that 
were entertained by Albert Denyn were of a 
kind difficult nowadays to be conceived, and 
belonged entirely to the age he lived in and 
its chivalrous spirit. Far, far different were 
they from the warm and glittering hopes, which 
— like the beams of the summer sun — pervade 
the universe of the human heart, cheering, 
brightening, vivifying all things. In com- 
parison with these, they were pale and cold, 
like the reflected light of the moon, shining 
brightly, it is true, upon some objects, but 
throwing long, dark shadows, too, upon those 
spots where the rays could not penetrate. 

His hopes never reached to, never even 
approached, the very thought of winning her 
he loved for his own. What though he might 



THE JACQUERI£. Id 

now call himself noble ; what though he might 
now be entitled to move in the same society as 
herself, yet he was well aware that there v/as no 
earthly chance of him, who had been but yester- 
day a serf, ever being considered worthy of one 
descended from a long line of glorious ances- 
toi*s. The vision would have been a vain one, 
and, knowing that it must be so, he limited his 
highest expectations, and his most enthusiastic 
hopes, to the joy of showing her whom he loved 

— and by whose heart, he too well knew, he was 

r 

loved in return — that he was worthy of that 
higher happiness of which he dared not even 
dream* Such hopes, indeed, he did entertain, 
and they were sufficient to make his return 
joyful. 

There was something, too, in re-entering his 
native land — in crossing the frontier from a 
foreign state — in pronouncing the word France 

— and in feeling himself suiTounded by all 
the bright associations which are gathered to- 
gether for almost every man within the circle 
of his country, that added to his happiness ; so 
that, perhaps, that moment, in which we have 



14 THE JACQUERIE. 

depicted him returning from the far north of 
Germany to the land of his birth, was the 
brightest that he had known since first he had 
learned what it is to love. 

Albert Denyn was glad that he was alone; 
for he could indulge his thoughts and his feel- 
ings without any eye to mark the changes which 
they might produce in his demeanour. He had 
sought, indeed, for the opportunity of preceding 
the captal by a few days in their return to 
France ; and, though his leader remonstrated 
upon the risk of passing alone through a country 
which had been, when they had left it, very 
nearly in a state of anarchy, Albert Denyn had 
pressed his request, and had been accordingly 
charged by the captal, with letters and mes- 
sages to the King of Navarre, one of the most 
extraordinary, though, unfortunately, not one of 
the most virtuous, personages of his day. 
I The young man-at-arms now rode on con- 
fident in success, and we may say, also, con-* 
scious of strong powers of body and of mind; 
and certainly, as he looked round him and 
saw a well cultivated country, and a con- 



THE JACQUERIE; 15 

tented peasantry, his eye lighted upon nothing 
to create apprehension or diminish his joy at 
re-entering his native land. Situated upon 
the extreme frontier of France, and under the 
rule of great barons who had mingled but little 
in the desolating contest between France and 
England, the district which he was traversing 
had suffered comparatively little from the scourge 
of war. The desolating bands which had visited 
the other parts of France had not ventured 
thither; and the poor man sitting before his 
door, or the merry host of the little inn, hanging 
up the garland upon the tall pole that gave 
notice of his vocation, spoke of peace and se- 
curity, which went calmly and pleasantly to the 
heart of the wayfarer. 

It was about six o'clock in the evening when 
Albert Denyn reached the small village of Orny, 
just upon the frontier of Champagne and Bur- 
gundy ; and as his horse was tired by a long 
day's journey, he looked round him for some 
place of rest for the night. Inns were naturally 
more scarce in those days than they are at pre- 
sent, an^ were rarely to be found, except iix 



16 THE JACQUERIE* 

great towns, or situated at certain distances 
from each other upon the most frequented high 
roads. There were, indeed, smaller places of ac- 
commodation, where the foot-passenger, or the 
peasant who drove his cattle to some neigh- 
bouring fair or market, could obtain repose and 
food, in almost every considerable village ; but 
these auberges were seldom frequented by 
the traveller on horseback, and, indeed, were 
at one time prohibited from receiving him« 
The adventurous man at arms, however, the 
knight, or the leader of a troop, was very rarely 
unable to find lodging and refreshment. Hos- 
pitality was a chivalrous duty, and perhaps one 
of the most generally practised. Occasionally, 
indeed, the great lord, the baron of the neigh- 
bouring castle, the chatelain in his manoir, set 
at nought all the principles of knighthood, and 
exercised his hospitality in a very unpleasant 
manner: but there was no medium; and the 
traveller who had any claim, however small, to 
distinction, was sure either to be received and 
entertained with joy and liberality, or plundered, 
and perhaps murdered into the bargain. 



THE JACQUERIE, 17 

Albert Denyn, however, had no inclination 
to try the welcome of the castle, if he (;ould 
find food and rest any where else; and he 
gazed inquiringly round the little village 
green, on the one side of which stood the 
church, and on the other a small but neat- 
looking house, with a little piece of vineyard 
attached to it, which he judged might be 
either that of some peasant well to do, or that 
of the curate of the parish. He was soon led 
to conclude that the latter was the case, by 
perceiving an elderly man in the habit of a 
priest crossing over from the church with a 
slow step and eyes bent down upon the ground, 
and approaching the door of the house after 
having passed through the little vineyard. 

Albert Denyn had not been taught to phi- 
losophise, or to enter deeply into the meta- 
physics of the human character; but to some 
men it is natural to take keen and rapid note 
of the various peculiarities in the appearance 
and demeanour of others, and to apply them 
as keys to read the inmost secrets of the heart. 
It is done almost unconsciously : we arrive at.a 

VOL. III. c 



18 THE JACQUERIE. 

judgment scarcely knowing how at the time; 
and it requires thought, and the act of tracing 
back our course step by step, before we can tell 
how we came to the conclusion which we have 
reached. 

Such was the case with Albert Denyn : it was 
a part of his nature to mark instantly each trait 
in the bearing of others ; and the habit had been 
still more strongly grafted in his mind during 
his service with the captal, whose keen and ob- 
servant character had its influence on all who 
were long near him. Thus, as Albert's eye 
rested on the priest while crossing the small 
piece of vine, and remarked that the good old 
man neither turned to the right or left, neither 
paused to examine whether the flower of his 
vineyard was going on prosperously, nor halted 
to look at some particular plant upon his path-— 
for each man has his favourite, even in a vine- 
yard — but walked silently on, with his eyes 
fixed heavily on the ground beneath his feet — 
as he marked all this, the young man said to 
himself, " The good father has something 
heavy at his heart, not to notice the things in 
which he usually takes pleasure. I must disturb 



THE JACQUERIE. 19 

him, however, to know where I can rest to- 
night;" and riding up to the vineyard just as 
the priest was opening the door of his cottage, 
he said, " Your blessing, my father ! " 

" You have it, my son," replied the priest, 
raising his eyes for the first time. " What would 
you farther?" 

" I would merely know," replied Albert 
Denyn, " if there be any place near, where I 
can lodge for the night?" 

The priest gazed in his face for a minute or 
two inquiringly, and then, as if satisfied with 
what he had seen, replied, " Yes, my son, for the 
night you can lodge here : there is no other place 
within four leagues of this village, and you seem 
tired ; but, alas I I can only give you lodging for 
one night, for I must hurry afar myself to other 
scenes, whence, perhaps, I may never return." 

" Rest for the next six hours," answered 
Albert Denyn, " is all that I require, good 
father. On the morrow, too, I must wend for- 
ward on my way ; and, indeed, were it not that 
my beast is weary, I would willingly go some 
leagues farther to-night.", . 

2 



20 THE JACQUERIE. 

** It is a noble beast," said the priest, looking 
at the horse, " and seems to bear you well. You 
will find a stable at the back of the house : there 
is room for him beside my mule : I will go in, 
and bid the maid prepare you some supper." 

Albert Denyn took round his horse to the 
stable which the priest had mentioned, and, as 
every good man would do, cared fully for the ac- 
commodation of his dumb companion before he 
thought of his own. He then returned, and lifted 
the latch of the cottage door, which at once gave 
him admission, for no bolts and bars were there 
to keep out a marauder from the humble abode 
of the village curate. The room in which Albert 
found the good priest was a neat but simple 
chamber, with one or two wooden stools, a small 
table in the midst, and one at the side, which 
supported three books, a missal, a volume of 
homilies, and a Bible, in the ordinary Latin 
translation of the Roman church. Above the 
whole rose an oaken crucifix, with the figure of 
the expiring Saviour, sculptured, not amiss, in 
the same wood. Upon it the eyes of the priest 
were fixed when Albert entered the room. 



THE JACQUERIE. 21 

bearing in them a peculiar expression, which 
the young soldier afterwards recollected, and 
easily interpreted when once he had got the key 
to his companion's feelings : that expression, 
though it had much humble piety in it, had 
much questioning meditation : it seemed to ask 
of the Saviour, " Thou who didst die to give 
peace to mankind, thou who art God as well as 
man, how is it that, notwithstanding thy inef- 
fable love and mighty power, the same fearful 
passions, the same acts of blood and crime, dis* 
grace that race for which thou hast made so 
awful a sacrifice?" 

The supper was soon served after Albert 
entered the room ; and the good man blessed 
the meal, but ate little himself, while the sad- 
ness which appeared in his whole countenance 
and manner gradually communicated itself to 
his younger companion, and quenched the tem- 
porary gaiety with which he had returned to 
his native land, Albert longed to question his 
new acquaintance as to the cause of his care or 
sorrow, but he did not dare to do so openly ; 
for reverence towards age, and respect for the 

c 3 



22 THE JACQUERIE. 

sacred character of the priesthood, had been 
early implanted in his mind ; and in those days 
it was neither a mode nor a custom to hold 
lightly every venerable institution. He ap- 
proached the subject, however, saying, " Which 
way do you travel, good father, to-morrow, for I 
am journeying on into France, and perhaps may 
afford you some protection by the way ? '* 

" I am going towards Paris, my son," replied 
the priest ; " but I fear that a single arm would 
be but of very little avail against those who 
might be disposed to molest me." 

" In some cases certainly but little," rejoined 
Albert Denyn ; " but there are other circum- 
stances in which it might not prove so inefficient, 
good father. If it be the adventurers that you 
fear, they were as often to be found, when I left 
France, in bands of three or four, as in bands of 
fifty or sixty." 

" And you think you could protect me against 
any three or four," said the priest with a slight 
smile. 

** I would do my best at least," answered 
Albert Denyn, the colour mounting in his cheek 



THE JACQU£RIE. SS 

— " I would do my best, good father, and I have 



seen some service." 



" Your countenance speaks it, my son," re- 
plied the priest, looking at the scars which we 
have mentioned, on the young man's cheek and 
brow, " and willingly will I accept your com- 
pany, and protection, if you go towards Paris. 
But you are very young to have seen much ser- 
vice. In what wars have you borne arms ? You 
could not have been at Poitiers ? " 

" Not till the battle was over," said Albert 
Denyn. " But I went to the field shortly after 
to seek for my lord, who was supposed to be 
dead. Since then," he continued, " I have served 
with the noble Captal de Buch." 

" What then ! " exclaimed the priest with a 
start, " you are not a Frenchman ! " 

" Nay," rejoined Albert, " I am a Frenchman 
altogether, and have never borne arms against 
my country. But Thave been fighting under the 
captal's banners for the emperor and some of 
the princes of Germany, and also in company 
with the Teutonic knights, against the pagans of 
Prussia;'* 

c 4 



24 THE JACQUERIE. 

^* That, at all events, is a noble cause," replied 
the priest ; " but you may chance to meet with 
worse than pagans here, my young friend. Yet I 
will willingly take your escort ; for many of the 
bands of revolted peasants separate into parties 
of four and five, and I cannot but think that the 
arm of one gentleman, such as yourself, is at al} 
events equal to those of four or five villeins." 

The blood mounted again into the cheek of 
Albert Denyn as he recollected how short a 
time he had possessed a right to bear the 

honourable name which the priest gave him, 
and how lately the contemptuous epithet ap- 
plied to the peasantry might as well have been 
used to designate himself. 

" I really do not know, father," he an- 
swered, " but I will do my best to protect 
you ; yet I cannot but think, that amongst the 
peasantry of every country there are as strong 
arms, as brave hearts, and as high spirits as 
amongst the nobles. We see that it is so in 
England, where there are no such class as that 
of villeins j and, doubtless, it would be the same 
with the peasants of France if they had the 
same advantages." 



THE JACQUERIE. 25 

The priest gazed at him with a look of dark 
surprise, and, after a moment's silence, ex- 
claimed, " You astonish me ! — But you have 
been long out of France, my son, and you do 
not know what has happened here, what is 
happening every day in this land of our birth. 
You have not heard of all the horrors that have 
been perpetrated within the last three months." 

" No, no," cried Albert Denyn, with no 
slight surprise and apprehension, as many an 
incident in the past recurred to his mind — 
seeds which might now be producing sad and 
terrible fruits for the nobility of France. " No, 
no, I have heard nothing ! No news has reached 
me from my native country since I quitted it in 
the autumn of last year/' 

" Then," said the priest, " there is a moui*nful 
tale to be told, and perchance the news may 
come sadly to your own heart ; the peasantry, 
oppressed as perhaps they really were, suf-» 
fering as they certainly were, have risen in 
Beauvoisis, have spread over Picardy, and, aa 
it were, mad with sorrow and endurance, are 
now committing, in their frenzy, crimes that 



26 THE JACQUERIE. 

will shut them out from the support of all 
good men, from the mitigation of their woes 
and wrongs, and from the attainment of the 
very ends they aim at. But, in the mean while, 
all is giving way before them ; castle after castle 
has been taken ; towns have been stormed ; 
the most dreadful massacres have been com- 
mitted; blood, desolation, and destruction, are 
spreading over the whole face of France ; and 
those whom honourable warfare had spared, and 
the sword of the marauder had not yet reached, 
are falling by thousands under the scythes and 
the flails of these wild madmen." 

" But they must have a leader," exclaimed 
Albert Denyn : " have any of the nobles joined 
them, 01* the townspeople?" 

" None of the nobles," replied the priest, 
** and but few of the communes as yet ; but it 
would appear that the latter will soon give 
them too terrible help. In the mean time they 
are led by a fiend incarnate, whose heart 
Satan must possess entirely, for he has endowed 
his brain with talents which are but used for 
the purposes of desolation and destruction. No 



THE JACQUERIE. 27 

one seems to stand before him, no power has 
been found capable of opposing him ; and with 
the rude and unpractised hands of peasantry 
he has accomplished enterprises that would 
have set regular armies at defiance." 

" What is his name?" exclaimed Albert 
Denyn, starting up with a degree of emotion, 
which the good priest did not understand, 
though the reader perhaps may. " What is his 
name, good father?'* 

" His nanie is William Caillet," replied the 
priest : ** do you know him ?" 

But before the last words were uttered, Albert 
Denyn had drawn his sword from the scabbard, 
and holding up the cross of the hilt before his 
eyes, as was very common in the oaths of that 
day, he exclaimed, " God give him to my sword, 
as I swear never to use it, except in self-defence, 
or for the protection of the wronged, against any 
other than him and his, till he or I be dead !'* 

" Amen," said the priest ; " and God's 
blessing go with you, young man ! But tell me 
more of this business : you seem to have been 
acquainted with this fiend in former days," 



28 THE JACQU£RIE. 

** I was ! 1 was I " replied Albert Denyn, 
*' and I know to what his infernal schemes tend." 

As he spoke^ and the thought presented itself 
to his mind of all the consequences towards 
Adela de Mauvinet and her noble father, 
which the successes of William Caillet might 
produce, a wild feeling of anxiety and alarm 
took possession of him, and he exclaimed, 
" Would that the captal were here ! — What 
shall I do? — Where shall I find men ? — In Beau- 
voisis, you said, good father ; in Beauvoisis and 
Picardy ; not in Touraine?*' 

**A11 over France, my son," replied the 
priest : " the malady is more or less raging in 
every part of the country, though most power- 
fully in Picardy and the Beauvoisis. But come, 
you are much moved ; tell me your history, and 
perhaps I can counsel you as to your future 
conduct. After that, we will pray God to give 
us health and sleep, in the trust that he will 
guide, guard, and deliver us." 



THE JACQUERIE. 29 



CHAP. 11. 

By daylight on the following morning, Albert 
Denyn and the priest were on their way towards 
Paris; but the countenance of the young cavalier 
had lost all the gaiety which it had presented on 
the preceding day ; and the traces of deep 
anxiety were to be marked in every line, as 
he rode on discussing eagerly with his com- 
panion all the events which had taken place 
in France during the preceding winter. It 
seemed that he could never hear too much of 
the progress of the Jacquerie. He asked question 
after question, then paused for a moment to 
meditate, till some new inquiry suggested itself 
to his mind ; and, although his fellow-traveller 
gave as distinct answers as he could, all seemed 
unsatisfactory, leaving a cloud of doubt and 
trouble on his countenance, which no explan* 
. ation from the good priest could remove. 



30 THE JACQUERIS. 

The truth is, that he found the nobility of 
France — the warrior class of a warlike nation — 
those who had affected peculiarly to themselves 
the right of bearing arms and waging battle — 
had been struck with a general panic by the 
rising of the peasantry, and, instead of making 
one powerful effort to crush the insurrection, 
had offered their throats, as it were, to the 
butchers, who had slain them with merciless 
determination. He asked himself what could 
be the cause of this conduct? Was it — ds 
Caillet had so boldly asserted not long before— 
was it, that these men were really cowards, 
and that their courage only consisted in vain 
boasts and idle pretences ? or was there some- 
thing in the sense of the oppression that they 
had exercised towards the peasantry, which 
weighed down their arms, and took the spirit 
from their hearts ? 

Such were some amongst the questions that 
Albert Denyn asked himself; but he knew not 
one half of the circumstances which combined 
to paralyse for a time the power of the nobility 
of France, and to render the fiery courage which 



THE JACQUERIE, 31 

they undoubtedly possessed utterly unavailing 
against the unarmed multitudes of peasantry by 
whom they were assailed. The young soldier 
wa& not aware that universal disunion reigned 
amongst the higher classes, that it was difficult 
to find three gentlemen in all France who were 
striving for the same object, acting upon the 
same principles, or directed by the same views, 
that during the absence and the imprisonment 
of the king, the whole realm was torn by con- 
tending factions, the capital itself in a state of 
insurrection against its legitimate prince, and 
each separate castle throughout the country 
tenanted by those who differed from the inha- 
bitants of the neighbouring one in every prin- 
ciple and every purpose, and were often in 
actual warfare with them. 

The sense of common danger had not yet 
convinced the nobles of the necessity of even 
temporary union; and, consequently, though 
the ravages of the peasantry spread consterna- 
tion amongst them, yet each saw his neighbour 
butchered without making an effort to help him, 
and often laughed at the fate of his enemy, when 



82 THE JACQUERIE. 

the same knife that had murdered him was well 
nigh at his own throat. 

All these things, however, Albert Denyn had 
still to learn, and the facts that he saw, without 
comprehending the causes, at once perplexed, 
surprised, and dismayed him. Still, amongst 
the crowd of vague and anxious thoughts 
which hurried through his brain, there were 
fears and doubts respecting the fate of the 
house of Mauvinet, which made his heart sink. 
He knew that it had been the intention of the 
count to visit his territories in the north of 
France, though he tried to console himself 
with the hope that, as the year had been far ad- 
vanced when he left Touraine, the purpose of 
the Lord of Mauvinet might have been delayed 
in execution, and that he and his household 
might have remained in a part of the country 
where the insurrection of the peasantry was 
not so general, and where the strength of his 
dwelling-place would enable him to set such 
foes at defiance. 

The good priest marked the trouble of his 
young companion's mind, and sought as far as 



THE JACQUERIE. 33 

possible to give him relief; but although Albert 
had afforded him some insight into his previous 
history, he did not completely comprehend all 
the deep anxiety that the young soldier felt; 
for there were parts of his connection with the 
house of Mauvinet which to no living ear 
would Albert Denyn have uttered for the 
wealth of worlds, and those were more es- 
pecially the parts which gave poignancy, almost 
to agony, to the apprehensions which he en- 
tertained. 

Of the Lord of Mauvinet himself the priest 
could tell nothing; he had some vague recol- 
lection of that nobleman havin^: been amons^st 
those summoned to hold council with the regent 
in Paris ; and certainly he had not heard his 
name mentioned as one of those who had suf- 
fered from the ravages of the peasantry ; but, 
nevertheless — although he saw that the young 
soldier was more deeply interested in the 
fate of that nobleman than was usual with 
any dependent of a noble house — yet he was 
forced to admit that he himself might have 
been murdered and his castle destroyed, with- 

VOL. 111. D 



34 THE JACQUERIE. 

out the tidings reaching that part of the 
country. 

** It was more than three weeks," he added 
to what he had been saying on the subject, 
" before the unfortunate news which now takes 
me to Paris found . its way to my dwelling, 
though 'tis but a two days' journey." 

" May I ask," said Albert Denyn, " what is 
the nature of your errand, good father ? I have 
seen that you were sad — very sad ; but I did 
not like to inquire the cause till you alluded 
to it yourself." 

" There is no secret in it, my son," replied 
the priest; ^^ but though sympathy is a soothing 
thing, I did not mention the occasion of my 
grief, because I believe that we have no right to 
load others with the burden of our sorrow, 
unless they themselves seek to share it. I will 
tell you the story, however, to-night at our 
first resting-place, if we reach one in safety; 
but the tale is somewhat long, and might bring 
tears into my eyes." 

Albert pressed him no farther, but rode on 
conversing with the good old man of other 



THE JACQUERIE. 35 

matters, and remarking from time to time the 
changes which became apparent in the face of 
the country. After pursuing their journey 
for about two hours, every thing indicated that 
they were entering those districts which for 
the last three months had been a scene of 
continued strife and confusion. Here and 
there a smoking ruin was to be seen, some- 
times of a village, sometimes of a castle. All 
the small towns through which the road passed 
were fortified and barricaded at each end, in 
the best manner that the inhabitants could 
devise. No man was met altogether unarmed, 
except in the very smallest hamlets; and, at 
the first sight of Albert Denyn's crest and 
plume, the shepherds in the fields, unless two 
or three were together, set off running to- 
wards the nearest wood, leaving their sheep in 
charge of the dogs. The stumps of fruit trees, 
which had been cut down and used for firing, 
in those parts of the country where no forests 
were near, showed the lawless recklessness of 
the bands which had swept the land during 
the winter ; and in many places fields, untilled 

J} 2 



36 THE JACQU£RI£. 

and unsown, but rank with weeds and wila 
grass, told a terrible tale of depopulation and 
despair. 

A little before sunset the two travellers rode 
up the gentle slope of a hill, from the summit 
of which they perceived a wide plain, slightly 
undulating and marked by long lines of light 
and shade, as the sweeps of the ground and 
the masses of distant woods caught or obstructed 
the rays of the declining sun* The golden light 
of evening was in the sky, and spread more or 
less over the whole scene, mingling even with 
the blue shadows, and giving them a warmer 
and a richer hue. In the foreground, at about 
a mile's distance, was a village bosomed in elms, 
with the square spire of the church, new built 
and white with freshness, rising above tlie trees 
and shining bright in the evening sun. Every 
thing was beautiful, and calm, and peaceful; and 
it was scarcely possible to conceive that the 
fierce and cruel passions which were ravaging 
the rest of France could exercise their virulent 
activity in so tranquil a scene as that. 

It was so, however; and as Albert Denyn and 



THE JACQUERIE. 87 

his companion rode into the village, they found 
the grass growing in the little street as thick as 
in a meadow. Several of the houses had been 
burnt, others were scorched with fire, but had 
been afterwards extinguished, and the only 
buildings that seemed to have escaped were the 
church and the priest's house adjoining. 

As they passed by the churchyard, Albert 
perceived a number of fresh made graves, which 
told their own sad tale, and he inquired no 
farther. It was to the habitation of the curate 
that they now bent their way ; and Albert's 
fellow-traveller knocked some time for ad- 
mittance without the door being opened, while 
first a female, and then a male head, Ex- 
amined the wayfarers closely through a window 
at the side. At length a strong middle-aged 
man in a priest's garments opened the door, and 
instantly recognising one of his visiters, ex- 
claimed, " Ah ! Monsieur Dacy, is it you?" 

" It is, indeed, my good brother," replied the 
cure. " I have come, with a young friend here, 
to claim your hospitality for a night; shall we 
be safe?" 

D 3 



38 THE JACQUERIE. 

" Oh yes," answered the priest, " quite safe 
will you be, though I always like to see who it is, 
before I draw a bolt, that I may be prepared 
for the worst. Yet those burnt houses at the end 
of the place, and those fresh graves, are as good 
as a fortification. If any band of plunderers 
come, they know by those signs that others have 
been here before them, and they turn away again 
for some better booty. You shall be right 
welcome, my good friend; but how is it, Father 
Dacy, that you leave your own pleasant village^ 
which has, as I hear, escaped hitherto ?" 

" I will tell you presently," said the good 
priest ; " but let us first take care of our 
beasts." 

The welcome that the travellers received was 
hearty and kind: the food which the priest set 
before them was indeed as homely as it well 
could be, but it was abundant, and the evening 
passed tranquilly, though the chief topic of 
conversation during the meal was the sorrows 
and miseries of the land. Such a subject na- 
turally led the good Cure Dacy to explain the 
cause of his present journey ; and although he 



THE JACQUERIE. 39 

had told Albert that the tale was long, yet the 
pain that the relation occasioned to himself 
made him shorten it as much as possible. 

" You know," he began, addressing the priest 
of the place, " that my brother, animated by a 
more ambitious spirit than I ever possessed, 
had raised himself high in the world, and had 
become one of the advocates general of the king." 

" Had !" exclaimed the priest: " you speak as 
if he were so no longer." 

" Neither is he," answered the Cure Dacy, " for 
. he is in a bloody grave. He was one of those 
bold or brave men who most strongly advised 
the Duke of Normandy to resist the ambition 
of the Prevot Marcel ; and with the marshals 
of Normandy and Champagne drew upon them- 
selves the anger of the whole faction. The great 
men escaped; but my poor brother, in passing 
through the streets witb his daughter — just at 
the time that the bad King of Navarre was 
haranguing the people in the Pre aux Clercs — 
was attacked by a furious mob, and fled into 
the shop of a confectioner for safety. The man 
would willingly have saved him and his child, 

D 4 



40 THE JACQUERIES. 

and was putting up the boards before the shop 
to keep the people out ; but ere he could do it, 
three or four leaped up upon the booth where 
his wares were exposed, and sprang into the in- 
side. My brother defended himself well with 
a beam he had caught up; his poor child 
clung to the knees of his assassins, and be- 
sought them to be merciful; but, in spite of all 
they murdered him before her very eyes, and 
would, most likely, have killed her also, as 
she lay fainting and deluged with her father's 
blood, had not Marcel himself come by at that 
moment, and rescued her from their hands. 
As soon as she could, she sent messengers to me, 
beseeching me to come, as speedily as possible; 
for in the house of the pr^vot she is without 
protection, and surrounded by the youth of a 
wild licentious party, who have as little respect 
for innocence as they, have for law or order. 
I am hastening, therefore, to Paris, to take her 
quickly from amongst them, though Heaven 
only knows whether I shall ever return alive 
myself, or whether they will suffer her to ac- 
company me." 



THE JACQUERIE. 41 

After the Cure Dacy stopped, Albert Denyn 
remained for a moment or two in deep thought, 
while, the good priest of the place spoke a few 
words of comfort to his sorrowing brother. At 
length, however, the young soldier looked up, 
and asked, though still with an air of medi- 
tation, " Is the King of Navarre, then, still in 
Paris ?" 

" Ay, my son," answered Monsieur Dacy ; 
" not only is he in Paris, but he and Marcel 
rule all there, so that the life of the regent him- 
self is every hour in danger/' 

" Can he aid," demanded Albert, *' in making 
them give your niece up to you, and in securing 
your safety and free departure ?" 

" None so much," replied the priest; "for 
they report that Marcel is but his tool, and to- 
tally dependent upon him." 

" Well, then," said Albert Denyn, "per- 
haps I can help you, more than either I or you 
expected." 

" Indeed !" exclaimed Dacy with much sur- 
prise ; " do you know him, then ?" 

" No," answered Albert with a smile, " I do 



42 THE JACQUERIE. 

not know him, and cannot well explain to you 
the whole matter. This much I may say, how- 
ever, I have letters to him both from the Count 
de Foix and the noble Captal de Buch, and he 
is likely to attend to any thing that I may ask/* 

" God be praised, then," cried the priest, 
" God be praised for sending you to my assist- 
ance, young man ; for this King of Navarre is 
as lawless as any of the other rovers that torture 
our poor land of France. We are told that his 
partisans are even more cruel and barbarous 
than the rest, and as for himself, nothing stays 
him but the consideration of his own pleasure 
or his own interest." 

" A sweet character, good father," replied 
Albert Denyn, " but it will be for his own 
interest to attend to what I say." 

" Will it so ? " exclaimed a voice very 
different in tone and accent from any of those 
which had been yet speaking. All eyes were 
directed at once to the low narrow door of the 
small chamber, just behind the back of Albert 
Denyn. It had been left ajar to give air to 
the room, which was close and hot; and it 



THE JACQUERIE. 43 

was opening as Albert turned his head, pre-* 
senting a sight that made him instantly rise, 
front the door-way, and without farther cere- 
mony draw his sword from the sheath. 

" Put up, put up your sword," said the 
voice which had just spoken, and at the same 
moment a person entered the room, completely 
armed except the head, and having nothing in 
his hand but a leading staff, while a page 
followed with his helmet, and two or three men 
at arms were seen looking over his shoulder. 
He was somewhat less than the middle size, 
but formed with wonderful grace, and his 
countenance was as beautiful as it was possible 
to conceive, somewhat effeminate, indeed, in 
features, and gentle in expression. The tone 
of his voice, too, harmonised perfectly with the 
rest, being peculiarly melodious and soft ; and 
there was even a degree of languor in his 
sleepy dark eye, which gave the idea of a 
chai'acter and disposition very different from 
those of the turbulent, ruthless, wily person, 
who now stood before the young soldier and 
his companions. " Put up your sword, young 



44 THE JACQUERIE. 

gentleman,^' he said, " for you can do nothing 
with it : we are many, and you are few," 

« Very true," replied Albert Denyn ; " but 
few have often done much against many, and, 
therefore, I do not put up my sword until I 
know what is your purpose, fair sir, — Neither 
will it be very safe," he added, " to advance 
another step farther, till you have explained 
that purpose," 

" It is quite peaceable," answered the stran- 
ger, regarding the youthful man-at-arms with 
a smile, " The truth is, that having ridden 
somewhat late, my horses being tired, and my 
men in need of repose, I have come hither to 
seek a night's lodging, without the intention of 
hurting any one — no not even the good priest 
who was giving me so high a character but 
now, I shall take no notice of his words, let 
him rest assured," 

" Doubtless your grace will not," said^ Albert 
Denyn ; " for, to an honourable man, a thing 
so overheard must be as if it had never been 
spoken." 

" Not on that account," replied the King of 



THE JACQUERIE. 45 

Navarre, for he it was, ^' but because the good 
priest's speech suited me well. Every one has 
his taste in this world, and the character which 
would please others may not please me. It 
is a very wholesome and good reputation that 
I have found in his mouth ; one that I have 
long sought to establish. No man after that 
can mistake my views and purposes. He wha 
trusts me is a fool, except it be my interest 
to keep faith with him. He who fears me 
is wise, and will take care not to ofiFend me.— 
Now, good father, see to the lodging of my 
people, and give me a share of your supper." 
Thus saying, he passed by Albert Denyn, and 
took a seat calmly at the table. 

The young gentleman put his sword up into 
the sheath, and the two priests stood by, gazing 
for a moment or two upon the King of Navarre 
and his followers with astonishment, not un- 
mixed with fear. At length, however, the king 
made an impatient movement with his hand, 
saying, " Do as I bid you ! " and the curate of 
the place quietly slipped out of the chamber 
to follow the orders he had received. 



46 THE JACQUERIB. 



« 



And now, young gentleman/' continued 
the King of Navarre, drawing one of the dishes 
towards him, and loading a clean trencher 
which happened to stand near with its contents, 
** tell me, while I eat my supper, how it may 
be my interest to attend to what you say? 
Such I think was your expression just as I 
entered." 

" It was so, your grace," replied Albert 
Denyn, ^' and the reason I made use of such 
words, was that I bear you letters of some 
importance from the noble Captal de Buch, 
who allows me to add that he holds me in some 



esteem." 



" That alters the case," rejoined the King of 
Navarre, "and you have said right; I have 
too high regard for my cousin the captal not 
to treat with all reverence his messengers. — 
Besides," he continued with a laugh, " whether 
I regard him or not, the captal can serve me. 
Where are your letters, young man? — yet 
keep them," he added, seeing Albert Denyn 
put his hand into the bosom of his surcoat. 
** I am sleepy to-night; you shall deliver them 



TaE JACQUERIE. 47 

to-morrow to me in Paris. I shall set off at 
four in the morning: you come after quickly, 
and seek me at the abbey of St. Germain 
des Pres. Bring yon good priest with you, 
too ; and if he have any favour to require at 
our hands we will grant it him, in consideration 
of the sweet character that he gave us not 
long since." 

The dark smile which followed the latter part 
of his speech might well make the good Cure 
Dacy feel somewhat doubtful of the king's in- 
tentions; but Charles the Bad took no farther 
notice of him during the few minutes that he 
stayed in the room, finishing his supper quickly, 
and then betaking himself to sleep in the 
priest's own bed. 

Every one found a place of repose where 
he could for the night, and early on the follow- 
ing morning the King of Navarre departed, 
leaving much fewer traces of his visit behind 
him than was usually the case. Some of his 
soldiers, indeed, had slept on straw in the 
church, and, as might be expected, the door of 
the sacristy was found broken open, and the 



48 THE JACQUERIE* 

place itself stripped of all that it contained ; for 
where Charles appeared in person very little 
reverence was shown to the church ; and those 
things which even the most ruthless bands of 
plunderers spared were sure to disappear during 
one of his visitations. 



THE JACQUERIE. 49 



CHAP. III. 

It was about three o'clock on the following day 
when Albert Denyn and the good priest Dacy 
entered the city of Paris ; but let the reader re- 
member, that by those words, the city of Parisy 
we do not in the least mean to imply any thing 
like that great and extraordinary abode of talent 
and folly, virtue and crime, distinguished by a 
similar name in the present day. The city of 
Paris at that period was inferior in extent to 
many provincial towns of our own times, and 
very much inferior, indeed, to any provincial 
town in point of comfort and accommodation, 
cleanliness and neatness. Only a few of the 
principal streets were paved; all were so narrow 
that in most of them not more than three horses 
could go abreast ; sand, filth, and ordure filled 
the lesser thoroughfares; and the ways were 
seldom, if ever, cleansed, except when the au- 

VOL. III. E 



50 THE JACQUERIE. 

tumnal inundations of the Seine washed away 
the dirt that had accumulated during the past 
year, and sometimes carried off several of the 
houses likewise. Here and there, indeed, rose, 
from the midst of the wild and confused mass 
of hovels and cabins which then formed the 
French capital, some of those splendid monu- 
ments of architectural genius which are never 
sufficiently marvelled at and appreciated, ex- 
cept when we look to the state of society and 
art at the time of their construction. Here 
appeared a magnificent church, there a vast 
abbey, there a noble palace, and every where 
was seen, amidst wooden houses and mere huts, 
tracery of stotie-work so fine and beautiful, 
that modern times have never been able to 
approach the excellence of the execution, even 
when they have -ventured upon the labour and 
expense. 

Albert Denyn, however, and the priest were 
both full of anxious thoughts, which left little 
room for new impressions to penetrate. When 
man is at ease in himself, and the mind, as it 
were, idle in its empty house, it is natural that 



THE JACQUERIE. 51 

the spirit should look out of the window and 
mark every thing that is passing in the world 
without; but when there is business within of 
high moment, the casements are closed against 
external objects, while the soul holds council in 
the secret chambers of the heart. 

The young cavalier and his companion then 
rode along in silence, giving little attention to 
the mere physical appearance of the city they 
had entered, the one having seen it many times 
before, the other having come lately from 
foreign towns at that time far more splendid 
than the French capital itself. 

There were other sights, however, of a kind 
calculated to awaken Albert Denyn's habit of 
observation, which now crossed his eyes as he 
rode on guided by the priest. Crowds of people 
were seen hurryhig hither and thither, and every 
now and then, four or five persons would pause 
as they passed to gaze at the two wayfarers who 
were entering the great city, regarding them ap- 
parently with no very friendly looks, and making 
comments as they went on, which the young 
soldier judged, from a word or two that reached 

E 2 



52 THE JACQUERIE. 

his ear, to be of a somewhat offensive and me- 
nacing nature. He remarked, too, that almost 
every body whom he met, whatever might be the 
variety of colours and materials in other parts of 
their garments, had one piece of dress uniformly 
alike. This was the hood, which was the ge* 
neral covering for the head used in that day ; 
and not one Parisian out of a hundred that the 
travellers passed in the streets were without a 
chaperon^ as it was called, of party-coloured cloth 
or silk, half red, half green, with an enamelled 
clasp under the chin. 

" How is it," demanded Albert, " that the 
people of Paris have their hoods all of one colour, 
good father ? Is there any law to that effect ? " 

" The law of fear, my son," answered the 
priest : ^^ that party-coloured hood is the mark 
of the pr^vot's party, and if you were to look at 
the clasp, you would find enamelled on it the 
words d bonne Jin, It was taken at first only by 
those who thought the prevot was right; but 
since men have found that life is not safe with- 
out that mark of partisanship, even those that 
hate him the most have adopted it too. God 



THE JACQUERIE. 53 

send that we get much further in safety with- 
out it." 

Scarcely had he spoken when a body of armed 
citizens stopped Albert Denyn and himself, de* 
manding, " Where go you, gentlemen travellers, 
and who are you for ? " 

Albert Denyn answered at once that they 
were going towards the Abbey of St. Germain 
des Pres, to seek the King of Navarre ; and, as it 
fortunately happened that the interrogators were 
of the prevot's party, with whom Charles the 
Bad was leagued, the reply was satisfactory, and 
the two were told to pass on their way in peace* 

They met with no farther interruption till 
they reached the small square before the eastern 
gate of the Abbey of St. Germain, where on 
the one side appeared the inn or hostelry of 
the Red Hat ; on the other, the bridge of the 
abbey ditch; and between the church and the 
tavern, that ancient instrument of disgrace and 
punishment, the pillory. 

A sturdy porter stopped Albert Denyn and 
his companion at the entrance of the monastery, 
demanding whom they sought, and on the 

E a 



54 THE JACQUERIE. 

reply being given, told them that the King 
of Navarre was at that moment in the champ 
dos of the Pres aux Clercs hai*d by, and 
had left particular orders that if any mes- 
sengers from the Captal de Buch came to seek 
him, they were to be sent thither with all 
speed. Albert and his companion accordingly 
turned the heads of their beasts towards the 
rich meadows that at that time extended west- 
ward of the Abbey of St. Germain, and soon 
reached a spot where the murmuring sound 
of many voices showed that a number of people 
were assembled. In a minute or two after 
entering the space set apart for judicial combats, 
they found themselves in the midst of eight or 
ten thousand Parisians, who were crowding 
round the raised platform of wood from which 
the judges of the field generally witnessed the 
duels that took place below. 

The front seats on the scaffold were now 
occupied by the King of Navarre, his officers 
and partisans ; and from it he was addressing 
the people in a strain of eloquent blandishment, 
well calculated to gain the affections of the 



/THE JACQUERIE. 55 

easily flattered multitude. At the same time, 
it was evident that he laboured hard to inspire 
them with a great idea of his power and in- 
fluence, and to show, that although the dauphin 
and royal family of France had proclaimed 
themselves his enemies, yet many of the greatest 
men in Europe held him in high veneration 
and respect. He was mentioning the names of 
several great leaders as friendly to him when 
Albert Denyn entered; and it now became 
evident with what view he had refused to re- 
ceive the letters which the young soldier bore 
him from the Captal de Buch on the preceding 
night, reserving them to work their effect on 
the Parisians at the present moment. 

^* Who have we here ? " he exclaimed, as 
his eyes fell upon Albert. " What seek you» 
young gentleman?" Albert's errand was soon 
told; but the Navarrese monarch caused him 
to ascend the platform, and deliver his des- 
patches before the eyes of the crowd. He 
then affected to consult with him long apart, 
and in the end announced to the willing ears 

around, that his noble cousin, the famous Captal 

£ 4 



56 THE JACQUERIE. 

de Buch, had promised him the aid of his whole 
forces and his great renown. He pointed out 
Albert as a young gentleman high in the con- 
fidence of the captaly sent on purpose from 
Germany to bear him tidings of his speedy 
approach, and he then turned to the young 
soldier, asking what guerdon he would have 
for the good intelligence he bore. 

Albert smiled at the farce that was played 
before his eyes, not having yet suflSciently 
mingled in the busy scenes of life to know that, 
in nine cases out of ten, " all the world is in- 
deed a stage.;" though in a different sense 
from that of the great poet, " and all the men 
and women merely players." 

He forgot not, however, the errand of his 
reverend companion, Monsieur Dacy, and he 
replied, in a low voice, " I ask no guerdon, 
your grace; but I do beseech you to take 
measures, that this good man's niece shall be 
given up to' him, and that he shall have free 
passage with her out of Paris." 

" Let me hear more of his story," said the 
Navarrese ; " speak quick and low, and I will 
do what I can." 



THE JACQUERIE* 57 

Albert answered briefly, and the wily king 
of Navarre seemed to listen to him with one 
ear, while with the other he gathered the sense 
of a long and vehement oration, which was 
commenced as if to fill up the time, by a tall 
powerful man, with a party-coloured chaperon, 
who stood near the king. Ever and anon, too, 
Charles the Bad would interrupt his conference 
with Albert, either to address a word to the 
speaker in a low tone, or to express his loud 
approbation of what was uttered. 

" You say she is in the prevot's house — " he 
proceeded, talking to the young soldier; and 
then added aloud, " it is true, every word of 
it. Excellent! excellent ! — Keep off the sub- 
ject of the money. Marcel.-— Now, my friend, 
she shall be set free, and all aid given to 
good Monsieur Dacy. Qur good Parisians will 
not hurt him : they have had one out of the 
family, and that is surely enough. — Now, 
Marcel, dismiss them with a benediction, and 
speak to me here." 

The last words were spoken to the orator ; 
and Albert turned to gaze upon the famous 



58 THE JACQUERIE. 

man before him, not doubting, from the name 
by which the King of Navarre addressed him, 
that the person who had been haranguing the 
people was the well-known pr^vot des mar- 
chands. His countenance was somewhat bull- 
like, but in other respects not disagreeable; 
and there certainly was a high intellectual 
expression in the forehead and eyes, though 
the mouth and lower part of the face was 
heavy and earthly. 

Marcel soon brought his speech to a con- 
clusion, upon the hint of his confederate, 
and the multitude began slowly to disperse, 
while the pr6v6t came closer to the King of 
Navarre, and heard what he had to tell him, 
examining Albert Denyn narrowly from head* 
to foot as he listened. 

" And you are the lady's lover, I suppose,'* 
he said, addressing the young soldier as soon as 
the King of Navarre had finished. 

** You mistake, my good sir," replied Albert, 
in a tone of very little reverence; " I never saw 
her in my life. It is for her uncle I am moved." 

<* A disinterested youth!" cried the prevot 



THE JACQUERIE. 69 

with a sneer : " we must not keep him long in 
Paris, or the metal will get tarnished. How- 
ever, if that be her uncle, he shall have my 
help to take her from my house as quickly as 
may be ; for my wild nephew would fain have 
her for his paramour, and I approve not of such 
follies. — You should thank me for saving her 
from the rough hands into which she had 
&llen, when I found her," continued Marcel, 
addressing the priest. But the good old man 
shook his head with a mournful air, answering, 
" My brother's blood, sir, were surely weight 
enough upon the hand that slew him, without 
the blood of his unhappy child." 

'* I slew not your brother," replied the 
pr^v6t sternly : " he was partly answerable for 
his own death. Why did he meddle with things 
that concerned him not ? However, you shall 
have your niece, and God speed you home with 
her. Who has an inkhorn here? Maitre 
Jacques, you have some parchment; give me 
two fingers' breadth." 

Thus saying, he wrote a few words hastily on 
the parchment, commanding those of his house- 



60 THE JACQUERIE* 

hold to give up to the Cure Dacy the daughter 
of his brother, and to suffer him to depart with 
her in peace. He then put the order into the 
poor man's hand, who received it with tears of 
joy, and taking leave of Albert Denyn, not 
without regret, left the spot to seek his niece 
at once. 

The King of Navarre and the pr^vot stood 
silent for a moment, after Dacy had left them, 
gazing apparently with some interest at the 
young soldier, who had cast down his eyes 
thoughtfully upon the ground, and remained 
for a very brief space, absorbed in deep 
meditation, though surrounded by scenes and 
people that might well call for active presence 
of mind. 

" And so now, young man, you are thinking 
what you are to do next," said the prevot, as 
Albert looked up again. 

" Not so," replied Albert ; " I have no doubts 
of the kind." 

*' Why, how, then, do you intend to bestow 
yourself?" demanded the prevot. 

I intend to take up my lodging for the night 



THE JACQUERIE. 61 

at the sign of the Red Hat, before the gate of 
the abbey/' Albert replied ; " and to-morrow 
I set forth again, either for Touraine or the 
Beauvoisis, according to the information I 
receive this night." 

The prevot looked at him for an instant'in 
silence, and then asked, " Will you sup with 
me to-night, young gentleman?" 

Albert's first impulse was to refuse ; but the 
moment after, he thought, " I shall hear more 
there of all that is passing in France than I 
can any where else ;" and he accordingly an- 
swered, " Willingly, sir: at what hour?" 

" At the hour of seven," replied the prevot; 
and Albert, remounting his horse, rode away 
towards the inn which he had seen before the 
gate of the abbey of St. Germain. 

" What want you with that youth?" de- 
manded the King of Navarre, as Albert turned 
from them : " he is a clever lad, but raw ; 
yet, doubtless, a stout man at arms." 

" I want many such, most noble king," an- 
swered the prevot : ** we are all busy with such 
things, that it is well to have help at hand, in 



62 THE JACQUERIE. 

case of need. Six strong men, such as that^ 
in his anteroom, would haVe saved Charles of 
Spain from the knife." 

" I think not, Marcel," replied the King of 
Navarre, speaking of the murder which he had 
committed not long before, with the same calm 
carelessness with which the prevot had him- 
self alluded to it — " I think not; for I had 
twenty such with me, so that six would have 
been of small service. However, I beseech 
you, take care of the youth here in Paris ; for 
the captal writes in such terms of him, that 
were any evil to happen to him, it might de- 
prive us of our best hopes. — You know the 
captal as well as I do." 

" I will guard him as the apple of my eye," 
replied the prev6t; " but let us go." 



THE JACQUERIE. 63 



CHAP. IV. 

Albert Denyn found his way back to the 
Chapeau Bouge^ and, like all true men at arms, 
provided for the accommodation of his horse 
before he attended in any degree to himself. 
Nor, to say the truth, did he feel disposed to 
eat ; for there had come upon him that feeling 
of oppression which the thoughtful and imagin- 
ative mind experiences in scenes through which 
the mere man of action passes with no other 
sensation than that of animal exertion. If he 
have but a heart, the man of the strongest in- 
tellect and most daring courage will find at 
certain moments, when surrounded by the 
whirlwind of passions and the storm of party 
strife, a shadow fall upon him like that of a 
storm cloud rushing over a summer sky. With- 
out any definite reflections upon the emptiness 
of human endeavours, without any philosophic 



64 THE JACQUERIE. 

thought upon the baseness of human nature, 
and the lowness of even man's highest earthly 
objects, a sensation of weariness and disgust at 
all that is passing aroimd us will benumb us 
for a time, till some strong excitement calls us 
to mingle in the very scenes, to take part in 
the very deeds, which had produced the loath- 
ing. Then even we rise up like a slave to his 
appointed labour, and feel that we are but 
buckling on the burden of human destiny, 
till we are fully launched in a sea of exertions, 
and the more earthly portion of our mixed life 
in the excitement of action, overcomes the 
heavenly. 

Albert entered the inn, and as the hour of 
supper was still at some distance, sat down at 
a table in the hall, and leaned his head upon 
his hand in deep thought. He had no active 
part in the things that were passing round 
him ; he had but to stand by, and see the busy 
passions and fierce deeds of others ; to witness 
the cunning of one, the bold knavery of 
another, the fierce ambition of a third, and the 
evils that were the result of all. He had but, 



THE JACQUERIE. 65 

as I have said, to stand by and look on ; and it 
seemed as if the splendid veil with which all the 
things of earth invest themselves had. dropped 
down, and that he beheld at once the dust and 
ashes of which the whole is composed. These 
moments come to every one at some time or 
another in life — moments when we look, as it 
were, prophetically into the coffin of human 
desire and enjoyment, and see the mouldering 
bones and crumbling clay of these two bright 
children of earthly existence, as at some future 
period we may expect to behold them from the 
height of an after and a better state of being. 

His thoughts first turned to the King of 
Navarre, and then to Marcel, and he asked 
himself, " Are these the men for whom France 
sheds her best blood? How vain, how very 
vain, are all the quarrels and dissensions of life ! 
Well might the good prior say, that sooner or 
later I would see that the world I would not 
quit is a world of emptiness and sorrow, with 
scarce a grain of real gold to gild it for the 
eyes of children." 

Such was for some time the train that his 

VOL. III. F 



66 THE JACQUERIE. 

thoughts followed, but we need not pursue 
them farther ourselves. Almost every one in 
the end rises from such contemplations better, 
perhaps, than when he sat down ; but still with 
a feeling that thej too are vain, that, tied as 
we are to the burden of mortal existence, it is 
useless to inquire of what it is composed, or to 
try in a fine balance the weight of that which 
we are bound to bear. 

After resting thus, then, for about half an 
hour, Albert rose up suddenly, and tightening 
the belt that held his sword, strolled forth into 
the streets, saying to himself, " I must gather 
some tidings in the city of what is passing in 
Touraine or Beauvoisis." 

Who ever saw Paris, except In the dead of 
night, without her myriads rushing here and 
there in the fierce pursuit of pleasure, ven- 
geance, amusement, or folly? If the gay 
capital ever was still, such was not the case 
when Albert Denyn now issued out of the 
Chapeau Rouge. For the moment, indeed, 
the vicinity of the abbey of St. Germain was 
comparatively deserted, the tide having flowed 



THE JACQUERIE. 67 

another way after the prevot and the King of 
Navarre had left the Pre aux Clercs : but a 
very few minutes brought the young soldier 
into the midst of crowds of men, and women, 
and children, all seeming as busy and as gay as 
if the whole world was happiness and industry. 
Every where were seen the chaperons of red 
and green, and even the women affected the well- 
known colours in their garments, so that any 
one passing along the thronged thoroughfares 
without such a symbol might well be remarked 
by the eager eyes of a population, always ready 
to quarrel with those who give them any or no 
offence. Scarcely had Albert reached the 
bridge, when five strong men walking nearly 
abreast, and talking vehemently, stopped him 
rudely, and examined him from head to foot, 
exclaiming, *' Where is the chaperon ? Where 
the clasp ? '* 

Albert Denyn felt his blood boil within him, 
and would willingly have replied with the 
sword, but outmatched as he was by the persons 
who opposed his passage, and knowing well that 
if even he escaped from them, that he was sur- 

F 2 



68 THE JACQUERIE. 

rounded on every side by partisans of the same 
faction, he answered, with an appearance of 
calmness that he did not feel, " I have been 
but a few hours at Paris — let me go on f " 

"Ay, that is some reason,** replied one of 
the men. 

" Why, he is the man who was speaking with 
the prevot," said another. 

" One of those English dogs," exclaimed 
a third : " the pr6v6t is too fond of them ; " 
but at the same time the speaker drew 
back with the rest, and suffered the young 
soldier to pursue his way. For some distance 
he was not subject to any farther annoyance, 
-although the peculiar air and manner which 
always indicates the stranger in a town which 
Tie has not frequently or lately visited, pointed 
him out to the eyes of the Parisians, and called 
attention to his want of those party symbols, 
under which alone safety was to be found in 
the French capital. 

At length, however, as he entered one of 
the streets leading from the water's edge 
towards the great hotel of St. Paul, he ob- 



THE JACQUERIE. 69 

served a crowd of people gathered together 
at the distance of some three hundred yards 
from him, and as he approached he heard 
remonstrances uttered in a loud voice, mingled 
with urgent complaints and entreaties. There 
was a sufficient portion of the chivalrous spirit 
in the breast of Albert Denyn to make hiui 
take part eagerly with the weak and the dis- 
tressed ; and although he knew that his single 
hand could be of but little service where so 
many persons were engaged, he could not 
refrain from scanning the crowd with his eyes 
as he approached, in order to ascertain who 
was the sufferer whose entreaties met his ear. 

For a moment or two he could only see a 
number ^of people all pressing round one 
' particular spot; but the next moment, as the 
mob swayed to and fro, he caught a glimpse of 
a man in a clerical habit, and thought he 
recognised the form of the good Cure Dacy. 
He was instantly springing forward to satisfy 
himself of the fact, when a hand was laid upon 
his arm; and, turning sharply round, he 
beheld another group of soldiery, who had 

F 3 



70 THE JACQUERIE. 

come up the street behind him with a quicker 
step than his own. The face of the person who 
held him appeared familiar to him, though 
in the various scenes of strife and conten- 
tion in which he had lately been engaged he 
had seen so many men of different grades and 
characters that he could not connect it with 
any particular train of events. There was a 
smile upon the soldier's countenance, too, which 
seemed to show that his recollection was better 
than that of Albert himself. 

The latter, however, hastily disengaged his 
arm, exclaiming, ^' I cannot stop : they are 
hurting the poor old man, and I must help 
him. Who are you ? what do you want ?" 

" Do you not recollect the Captain GriflSth?" 
said the personage who had detained him. ^^ But 
what are you going to do with these fellows ? 
They are too many for you, if I judge what 
you are about rightly." 

" Then give me some help," cried Albert 
Denyn : " they are maltreating the poor old 
man Dacy, and his niece too : do you not see 
her?" 



THE JACQUERIE. 71 

<< O ho! is that the game?" exclaimed Griffith. 
" Well, lead on, we will aid you, though it is 
no business of ours after all. Still it keeps 
one in exercise, and that is something in this 
world." 

Albert Denyn darted forward, followed by 
Griffith and the four or five free companions 
who were with him, and, pushing their way 
with fierce recklessness through the mob, they 
were soon in the c^itre, where a young man of 
handsome person, but of somewhat loose and 
dissolute appearance, was dragging a very 
lovely girl away from the arms of the good old 
Cure Dacy, in spite of her tears, remonstrances, 
and cries. The people who stood round, took 
little part in the matter, except by laughter at 
the poor girl's agony, and the priest's grief and 
reproaches. 

The scene, however, was changed in a min- 
ute : for Albert Denyn with one blow of his 
gauntleted hand struck the young ribald to 
the ground, while Dacy caught his niece in 
his arms; and Griffith and his companions 
drove back the crowd on both sides. 

F 4 



7*2 THE JACQUERIE. 

Swords were instantly drawn on the part 
of the Parisians; but Albert Denyn, un- 
sheathing his own weapon, placed bis foot 
on the prostrate body of the youth he had 
knocked down, exclaiming, " Take care, my 
men, take care, or worse may come of it. This 
fellow I have found violating the commands of 
the prevot, and I will drag him to the Hotel 
de Ville, or kill him if he resists." 

" Why it is the prevot's own nephew," cried 
several voices from the crowd. 

" I know that," replied Albert Denyn, " or, 
at least, I guess it from what the prevot said." 

The people seemed to. hesitate, in con- 
sequence of what they heard and saw; and, 
probably, the matter might have ended peace- 
ably, but some of those on the right pressed 
rather sharply upon one of Griffith's men, 
who, not being of a very patient and enduring 
race, struck the Parisian who was next to him 
a blow in the face, with the pommel of his 
sword, which dashed out three of his front 
teeth, and cast him back, bleeding, on those 
behind. 



THE JACQUERIE. 73 

An instant shout of indignation burst from 
the crowd, and a tremendous rush was made 
upon the small knot of soldiery who were 
gathered together round the good Cure Dacy 
and his niece. Albert Denyn thrust himself 
between the poor girl and the foremost of the 
mob. Griffith's practised sword waved not in 
vain; and, to say truths though the numbera 
who were opposed to the Parisians were but 
small, yet their great superiority in the use of 
their arms, their daring habits, vigorous frames, 
and thorough contempt for their enemies, ren- 
dered each man there, in reality, equal to four or 
five of their assailants, so that the strife was by 
no means as unequal as it appeared. 

After but a few blows had been given, the 
armed crowd recoiled, with several severe 
gashes apparent amongst the foremost of them ; 
and Griffith, with Albert Denyn, as if com- 
prehending, at once, what was best to be done, 
began to force their way onward, with the rest 
surrounding the poor girl and her nncle, as if 
to guide them in safety towards the Hotel de 
Ville. 



74 THE JACQUERIE. 

For a minute or two the mob continued to 
give way before the brandished weapons of the 
adventurers ; but it soon became apparent that 
numbers were flocking up to the aid of the Pa* 
risians. A more formidable attack than ever 
was made at the comer of the next street ; and 
one of Griffith's men was brought to the ground 
stunned by the blow of a mace, which dented 
in his steel cap, and well nigh fractured his 
skull. Griffith, himself, stepped forward to 
defend him, but, in so doing, he left a gap in 
their little circle. The nephew of the pr^vot, 
who was then, again, at the head of his people, 
dashed in with two of the others, in spite of all 
the efforts of Albert Denyn, and, once more» 
seized his prey ; and the situation of the young 
soldier, his companions, and the object of his 
interest, appeared nearly desperate, when a cry 
of " Marcel ! Marcel I Long live the prevot !'* 
came thundering down the street, and a con- 
fused troop of horse and foot rushed on, driving 
in the stragglers, and making a way into the 
very heart of the crowd. 

" What is this ?' What is this ?" exclaimed the 



THE JACQUERIE. 75 

Frevot Marcel, q>ringing to the ground and 
catching his nephew with a vehement and angry 
grasp.'^ ^^ Jean, you are a licentious fool ! Did I 
not forbid this? Did I not give orders that 
the girl should be suffered to depart ? " 

As he spoke, he thrust the young man vehe- 
mently from him; but at the same instant 
came first a low murmur, and then a loud shout 
from the mob, with the words, " Down with the 
English ! Away with the adventurers ! *' 

Marcel looked fiercely round him for a mo- 
ment, first turning his eyes upon the citizens, 
and then upon his own armed followers. But 
one or two of the latter had taken up the cry 
also, and were vociferating with the rest, 
" Down with them ! down with them ! down 
with the English I " The prevot saw that 
whatever might be his inclination, he would 
find but little support among his own people in 
any endeavour that he might mttke to protect 
the adventurers ; and like all fierce demagogues, 
though internally furious at any opposition on 
the part of those whom he was accustomed to 
lead blindfold, he determined to temporise and 



76 THE JACQU£RI£. 

yield to their clamour, with a strong determin- 
ation of taking vengeance, at a future period, 
upon the chief of those who opposed his will. 

<< Fear not, my friends," he exclaimed in a 
loud and impressive tone : " your prevot will 
do equal justice upon all offenders. Stand 
back, my men, stand back, and let my train 
gather round us; we will deal with the En- 
glishmen, and treat them according to their 
deserts." 

The aspect of affairs now began to be serious ; 
for GrifEth and his companions and Albert 
Denyn himself could catch no glance of recog- 
nition upon the prevot's countenance. 

" A pretty pass!" cried Griffith, as he saw 
the forty or fifty well armed soldiers of which the 
pr^vot's train was composed gather in a stern 
circle round him and the rest, keeping back the 
crowd but presenting a much more formidable 
array than the undisciplined multitude. ^' Let 
us stand back to back, my men, for we know 
not on which side we shall be taken : we can 
make a pretty little hash of them yet, if they 
come near. .^— Now, master prevot, what is it 



THE JACQUERIE. 77 

that you mean by this? Are we not your 
friends, and the friends of the King of Na- 
varre?" 

*^ Not when I find you brawling in the streets," 
said the prevot, affecting a fierce tone ; but the 
moment after, he beckoned to Albert Denyn, 
saying, " You, at least, are a Frenchman — 
approach and speak to me." 

" They came to help me," replied Albert 
Denyn, " in protecting this poor girl and the 
priest, who were attacked contrary to your own 
orders. — For good or ill I will take my part 
with them." 

" Well done, my young gallant," cried 
Griffith : " you will soar high some of these 
days." 

But in the mean time the prevot made a 
quick and angry gesture, exclaiming, " Come 
hither, I say : you will make mischief speedily. 
You shall return to them, if you please." 

Albert Denyn took a step or two forward, to 
the spot where the pr6v6t stood, close to the 
old priest and his niece, with his hand still 
grasping his nephew by the shoulder. It was to 



78 THE JACQUERIE. 

the latter, however, that Marcel first spoke: 
" Get ye gone, Jean," he said, pushing the 
young man back, " get ye gone to my house, 
and there wait as if you were a prisoner. I will 
not be long, and you shall remember this 
day's fine deeds — There, make your way 
through the crowd, and begone ! " 

" And you, old man," he continued, turning 
to the priest^ " hie thee hence, out of Paris, as 
fast as may be, and take thy pretty mischief 
with thee : we have causes of contention enough 
among us already. — I know what thou wouldst 
say, but thou shalt have safe guard and convey- 
ance. — Here, Guetry, take four strong men 
with you ; find quick a litter or a horse for this 
girl ; conduct her and her uncle safely for ten 
leagues upon their road ere noon to-morrow. 
You answer for them with your life." 

The man to whom he spoke was an old 
weather-beaten soldier, whose habit was ever to 
obey without any comment; and merely nodding 
his head, and saying, ** Well, sir, well I " he 
took the priest by the arm, and drew him and 
his niece across the little space which had been 



TH£ JACQUERIE. 79 

cleared round the pr^vot, towards the side next 
the river. 

" Now, what would you with me ? " de- 
manded Albert Denyn : *' these men, I tell you, 
pr^vot, were aiding me to rescue that pooi? 
girl, to whom you yourself promised protection 
and assistance. I now require you to give 
them an opportunity of going free, if they have 
done no other wrong than defending the weak 
and helpless against your vicious rabble of 
Paris." 

" And what would be the consequences if I 
made the attempt?" asked tlje prevot, leaning 
down his head and speaking low. " They would 
be torn to pieces, and so should I myself. No, 
no, that will never do. Go tell them in a 
whisper," he continued in the same under 
tone — " Go tell them in a whisper, that there 
is but one way to save them. — If they resist 
they ai^ lost. Let them seem to submit to my 
will, go whither I would have them, and as 
I would have them, and I pledge my salvation 
that they shall be out of Paris to-morrow." 
" How is that ? " demanded Albert ; but the 



80 THE JACQUERIE. 

prevot made an impatient gesture with his 
hand, exclaiming, '« Go ! go quick ! there is no 
time to spare ! " 

A fresh cry of " Down with the English ! 
Down with the adventurers ! " confirmed the 
words of Marcel ; and Albert, returning to the 
side of Griffith, who stood contemplating the 
menacing looks of the prevot's followers, and 
the crowd that was seen behind them, with an 
air of very great indifference, spoke with the 
leader of the free companions for a moment 
in a low voice. Ere Griffith could answer, 
however, the soldiers of the prevot began to 
press closer round; and, in a moment after, 
a general rush was made upon the little group 
in the centre of the circle. One of the as- 
sailants went down in an instant by a blow 
from the hand of Griffith ! A second was 
struck to the earth a little to the left. But 
ere another stroke could be given, the ad- 
venturers and Albert Denyn himself, were 
seized by the hands of the crowd, and most 
likely would have fared ill, had it not been 
for the prompt and vigorous interference of 



THE JACQUERIE. 81 

Marcel, and two or three of his officers, who 
thought fit on this occasion to follow his lead. 

** Do not hurt them, do not hurt them," 
shouted the pr^v6t, loudly. " Bring them along 
to the Tour de Nesle : tie them if they resist. — 
By Sainte Genevieve, I will cleave you down to 
the mouth, Fran9ois, if you touch him with 
that dagger. Take that, then," and he dashed 
one of his unruly followers to the ground with 
a blow from the back of his battle axe which 
drove his iron cap down upon his head. 

" I will be obeyed," continued Marcel : 
"bring these men on to the Tour de Nesle. 
They shall be judged and dealt with according 
to law ; but we will have no more murder in 
the streets. Come, away with them, away with 
them ! and to-morrow they shall have sentence." 

" Long live the pr^vot ! Long live Stephen 
Marcel !" cried one of the men in the crowd. 
The rest took it up ; and amidst a number of 
incongruous shouts and exclamations, Albert 
Denyn, Griffith, and the rest, were hurried 
on with no very great ceremony or tenderness 
towards an old tower, which stood by the side 

VOL. III. a 



82 TU£ JACQUEBIE. 

pf the river at the end of the town. As they 
came near the building, a number of the people 
ran on before, to call out the keepers of the 
prison in order to receive the captives. Marcel 
himself, who had remounted his hoi'se, was also 
a little in advance; and as Albert Denyn was 
hurried past through the low-browed arch of 
the Tour de Nesle, he saw the pr6v6t speak- 
ing eagerly to a broad, square-built, heavy-* 
looking man, with a knot of immense keys in 
his hand. 

In the mean time the prisoners were driven 
forward ; and it so happened, that the young 
follower of the Captal de Buch being the last 
in the line was in the very door-way of a larger 
dull-looking room on the left of the gate into 
which they had thrust his companions, when 
the person he had seen speaking to the prevot 
pushed his way hastily through the soldiery and 
^ught him by the arm, exclaiming, ^' Not in 
there, not in there, there are too many there 
already. — Here, Pierre le Nain I take two of 
them up-stairs; I will put this one in th^ 
prison behind 1 " 



THE JACQUEBIE. 83 

Albert Denyn saw little more, for he was 
dragged forward; and ere he well knew which 
way they were taking him, he was thrust into 
a small narrow chamber at the back of the 
building, the door of which was instantly closed 
and locked upon him. 



G 2 



84 THE JACQUERIE. 



CHAP. V. 

Under the shadow of one of those deep old 
woods, whereof we have more than once had 
occasion to speak — which at that time covered 
nearly one third of the whole soil of France, 
and of which vestiges are still to be met with 
in almost every part of that fair land — in the 
dark hours of the night of the bright month of 
May, sat a group of men round a large watch- 
fire, whose lurid glare was the fittest light for the 
deeds of those on whose faces it shone. Gleam- 
ing througli the bolls of the trees flashed the 
flame of many more; and those who gazed 
upon that part of the forest from a height, 
might well have thought that some ruthless hand 
was endeavouring to consume it all. 

At the spot which we have mentioned were 
collected some ten or twelve persons, as difierent 
from each other in mind, character, and pur« 



THE JACQUERIE. 85 

poses, as it is possible to conceive. There was 
the hardy, honest peasant of a superior class, 
who, roused up by intolerable wrongs, had 
joined the Jacquerie, and had been led on, step 
by step, to deeds of blood and horror, which 
his soul abhoiTed. Close by him sat the rude, 
relentless ruffian, whose sole object was blood 
and lust, and who, after being long kept down 
by the hand of power, now revelled even unto 
drunkenness in the anarchies of the times. 
There, too, appeared the daring freebooter, who 
had long lived upon plunder, and who, finding 
the Jacquerie a more profitable means of pur- 
suing the same trade, had joined the revolted 
peasants with many of his band. There, too, 
was the dull, but remorseless Jacques Morne; 
there, Thibalt de la Rue; and there, William 
Caillet, still maintaining that superiority over 
all around, which from the* first had been the 
meed of higher intellect and greater energies. 

It was strange to see these men, some of 
whom had been very lately not even clothed 
in the garb of peasants, but covered with rags 
or skins, now robed in silk and rich cloth, or 

G 3 



86 THE JACQUERIE. 

cased in splendid armour, and decorated with 
chains of gold. The whole wealth of a pro- 
vince was theirs ; for the first wild attack upon 
Plessy had not only encouraged their friends^ 
and at once roused the whole peasantry 
throughout the land, but had, by its success, 
struck terror into their enemies, and caused 
£l general consternation wherever the report 
was heard. Knights and nobles had fled be- 
fore them; castle after castle had been taken 
by storm ; small towns even had been captured 
and plundered; and still the cry went forth 
from many thousands of men in arms, " War to 
the castle and the palace I Death to the noble 
and the rich ! " 

Scenes of horror which no pen can describe, 
acts of barbarity that imagination can scarcely 
conceive, not only initiated the peasant into 
the new trade of the Jacquerie, but bound 
him to his bloody calling by the irreparable 
ties of crime. And there they now sat, the 
leaders of the insurrection, each urging it 
forward in his own peculiar way, and all con- 
tributing by their various passions to its dis- 
tinctive character and extraordinary success. 



THE JACQUERIE. 87 

Amongst them all, with their furred gowns, 
and their scarlet robes, and their rich em- 
broidery, William* Caillet appeared in a garb 
chosen with that peculiar and careful adaptation 
of means to an end which so strongly charac- 
terised his mind, and blended in such an ex- 
traordinary manner with the fierce passions of 
which he was the slave. No gold, no jewels, no 
sparkling ornaments appeared upon his person. 
He was clad in armour of the finest kind, and 
over all he wore a surcoat of unmingled black. 
His helmet lay beside him, even when he slept, 
and the only decoration which it displayed was 
a tall black plume, which, together with his 
commanding height, he knew would make him 
an object easy to be distinguished amongst the 
peasantry whom he had excited to revolt. 

It was not, however, to produce an effect 
upon the enemy that he assumed this peculiarity 
of dress ; he thought more of the people who 
surrounded him, and of the danger of losing 
his influence and command over them. It 
was thus an impression upon their minds that 
he sought to effect, and for that purpose he 

G 4 



88 THE JACQUERIE. 

chose his garb with care. Every serf who 
pillaged a nobleman's wardrobe he knew would 
appear in tinsel and glitter; but those plain 
dark arms, the black plume and coat^ had not 
only something mysterious and solemn in their 
aspect, but something that harmonised with 
the character of his own feelings, and especially 
accorded with the stern, determined severity, 
the immovable, unrelenting determination which 
he found no difficulty in displaying. 

He had become frugal of his speech since bis 
first success ; he conversed but little with any 
one, and made confidants of none but those 
whom he was forced to trust. From time to 
time, indeed, when any thing induced him to 
suspect tliat the zeal of bis followers began to 
slacken ; that some apprehension of the result 
produced a momentary hesitation ; when he saw 
them divided in councils, or seeking some petty 
object to the neglect of a greater one, then his 
wonted eloquence would burst forth in words 
of fire, and lead all hearts away. 

The con8«equenee of this conduct lya^,: that 
ithe whole body looked up to him with rever- 



THE JACQUERIE. 89 

ence, not unmixed with fear. Even those^ 
strange as it may seem, who had cast behind 
them every human apprehension, every holy 
respect, regarded him with some degree of awe, 
and obeyed him when he thought (it to com- 
mand, without a word of opposition or a thought 
of resistance. 

There was but one person who approached 
him with no such feelings, and that was old 
Thibalt de la Rue. His was a nature totally 
without deference for any thing. He was one of 
those who were very rare in that age, an utter 
unbeliever in all that others hold sacred ; he 
wanted, in short, the faculty of reverence ; and 
the very existence of a God he did not give 
credit to, because he could not comprehend 
the nature of any being wortliy of veneration 
and respect. He believed not in virtue, except 
such animal qualities as the human creature 
shares with the brute; and, perhaps, if he had 
inquired strictly into his own heart, he would 
have found that he only admitted that man 
might be brave, and woman tender, without 
conceiving that the one could be honest, 4m: 



96 THE JACQUERIF. 

the other chaste ; and yet such are the strange 
contradictions in our nature^ that this unbe- 
lieving frame of mind did not exclude super- 
stition. The fact was, he could fear, though 
he could not reverence. 

Not only were splendid dresses around that 
fire, though upon rude limbs, and unsymmetrical 
forms enough, but rich cheer, such as those lips 
had never tasted before the commencement of 
that year, was spread out in i*ude fashion for the 
leaders of the revolt. Fine trout from the stream, 
and carp from the tank ; game of such kind as 
was then in season ; and even the baronial pea* 
cock, with his spreading tail, was there, rudely 
cooked indeed, but washed down with wine 
which might have pleased an emperor, the warm 
vintages of the luxuriant south brought from 
afar, for those never destined to drink it. 

We may well believe, that, under swdi cir« 
cumstances, but small moderation was observed. 
Golden hanaps, plundered from this castle and 
that, passed freely round the circle ; and under 
the daring influence of the grape, the joke, the 
jest, and the ribald song, passed hither and 



THE JACQUERIE. 91 

thither, while similar sounds echoed up from the 
other fires which had been kindled in every part 
of the forest, giving the best indication, to any 
ears that listened, of the wild saturnalia which 
reigned in one of the fairest provinces of France. 
There were only two of the persons present 
who drank moderately, and consequently were 
more silent — Caillet and Thibalt de la Rue. 
The first scarcely uttered a word to any one> 
passed the cup often untouched, and gazed, 
with his large flashing eyes, full upon the blazing 
pile before him, as if giving it back, fire for 
fire. Thibalt la Rue, on his part, spoke some- 
what more ; glanced round the scene about him 
with keen, small, serpent-like eyes, and ever 
and anon, as he marked the traces of coming 
drunkenness m the vacant look and dropping 
mouths of his companions, a withering smile of 
anefiable scorn, and, as it were, of hatred for 
the whole human race, glanced over his lip, 
and passed away in an instant. His word^ 
though sweet in tone, and accompanied with 
» bland expression, were generally venomously 
hitter, searching out, with terrible sagacity, the 



92 THE JACQUERIE. 

tender point in every one to whom he spoke, 
and plunging in a dagger, where it was least 
expected. 

To Caillet, indeed, that night his language 
was peculiarly gentle. There was a honied 
smoothness about it, which did more to put the 
keen leader of the insurrection upon his guard 
than if he had openly avowed the most hostile 
purposes. In one respect, Caillet had mistaken 
the character of Thibalt la Rue: he knew 
well his passion for gold, and had, in their late 
successes, pampered it to the utmost ; but he 
had fancied that passioii to be the only ones 
He believed that in him, as so often happens 
in the world, avarice had swallowed up every 
other feeling. 

In this, however, he erred: the love of 
power was strong in the heart of the old man ; 
he cared not, indeed, whether he ruled openly, 
or by another ; but still he was well pleased to 
rule ; to exercise his cunning and his skill, in 
guiding, directing, commanding ; and he could 
not bear to see even Caillet himself, though he 
knew and felt his superior genius, completely 



THE JACQUERIE. 93 

independent of his sway, by the influence he 
had gained over his fellow-insurgents. He had 
resolved^ then, long before this period, that 
such a state of things should be changed, and, 
as his whole spirit was intrigue, he took no small 
delight in working for his own ends. 

Let it not be supposed, indeed, that his design 
was to overthrow Caillet, for he saw too clearly 
that STich an event as that man's fall must prove 
the destruction of all around. But he sought 
to gain such power over Caillet himself, as, 
through him, to govern the whole. Circum- 
stances, as we shall sooti see, had, up to this 
poiiit, wonderfully favoured his schemes; but 
this was one of those critical instants, in which 
there was likely to be a struggle, and it was 
his object to turn Caillet in one direction, while 
he himself acted in another, in order to possess 
himself of an advantage which he felt sure 
would enable him to rule the leader at his will. 

He had prepared all for his purpose before he 
sat down beside that fire, and by subtle in- 
sinuations to several of the persons present, he 
had prompted that proposal w*hich was certain 



94 THE JACQUERIE. 

to* lead the forces of the insurgents in the 
direction that he desired, if Caillet still re- 
mained ignorant of facts with which he himself 
had accidentally become acquainted. He had 
so schemed, also, that if Caillet resisted, he was 
likely to meet with opposition for the first timOi 
and perhaps to have his determination over- 
ruled by the voices of all the leaders present. 

The proposal of which we have spoken had 
been delayed, and the feast and the revd 
protracted, somewhat longer than the old man 
liked; and at length, looking towards the 
captain of the freebooters we have mentioned, 
a man of great corporeal powers and no slight 
talents, he said aloud, after an unnoticed sign 
for the other to begin, " IVell, my friends, we 
had better settle our proceedings for to-morrow, 
before we are all quite drunk." 

Caillet remained silent ; and the freebooter, 
then remembering the suggestionis that had been 
niade to him by Thibalt, exclaimed, " Of course 
vre shall now go to Senlis, as we proposed last 
week! There is nothing to stop us now; the 
town is open, and full of Wiealth; we shall get 



THE JACQUERIE. 95 

immense booty^ and destroy a whole nest of the 
viper nobility." 

Caillet gazed at him, as he spoke, with a 
stern smile ; but before he could answer, several 
of the others round exclaimed, " Oh, yes, to 
Senlis — to Senlis let us go : we shall never get 
such plunder as that" 

The leader frowned, and replied sternly, 
** We go first to Ermenonville ! That casde 
taken, I lead you to Senlis ; but we must not 
leave it behind us, with its garrison ready to 
attack us in the rear." 

^< Send old Thibalt with ten thousand men 
to blockade it," cried the freebooter who bad 
been well tutored : " there are not fifty men in 
the place; but before we have captured it^ 
the dauphin's troops may be in Senlis, and we 
lose the best thing that has offered itself since 
the beginning." 

Thibalt cast a rapid glance towards Caillet, to 
see how he relished the proposal ; but the latter 
replied, fixing his eyes sternly upon the free- 
booter, ** I do not change my purposes! What 
I have said is determined. We take Ermenoni^ 



96 THE JACQUERIE. 

ville, and then attack Senlis; and should the 
dauphin's troops be in it, if there be no cowards 
amongst ourselves, we will burn them and 
Senlis together." 

" Nay," cried the freebooter boldly, while 
several voices murmured something about pro- 
ceeding to Senlis at once, " I see not why one 
man's voice should overthrow all our counsels. 
Let us put it to the vote here, whether we shall 
go first to Senlis or Ermenonville. You are 
a brave, strong man, William Caillet, and a 
good leader to boot ; but not a bit braver, or 
stronger, or wiser, than I or any one else here 
present." 

If I am not," answered Caillet, rising coldly 
and slowly from the ground, ^^ I am not fit to 
overrule your opinion, which I will do, or die. 
We will have no disputes or factions amongst 
us. There is one way, when any two leaders 
differ, of settling the matter at once, without 
sending the quarrel throughout the whole. 
Stand up, man, I say ! stand up and draw your 
sword ! — No words,|my friends, but make a space 
around. He has said that I am not braver, or 



THE JACQUERIE. 97 

Stronger, or wiser than he is ; I say that I am 
all! Now let him try. Stand back, I say; 
those that know me will not meddle. — Are you 
a coward?" he added, seeing that the freebooter 
hesitated. 

His opponent's weapon instantly flashed in 
the air, and was aimed at Caillet's naked head, 
with a sudden straight-forward stroke which 
seemed destined to cleave him to the ground ; 
but it was parried in a moment ; and ere he 
could recover his guard, the sweeping blade of 
the insurgent leader struck him on the neck 
beneath the left ear, and laid him a headless 
trunk upon the earth, as if hq. had been 
smitten with a scythe. The dark blood spouted 
forth, and deluged the grass; and Caillet, 
wiping his blade upon a handful of leaves, 
replaced it in the sheath, saying, " A body of 
our men are already before Ermenonville ; we 
will take it, ere two suns have risen and set, 
and then I promise I will lead to Senlis." 

" When you have possessed yourself of fair 
Adela de Mauvinet," added Thibalt la Rue, with 
a sweet smile, and in a low tone ; " but what 

VOL. III. H 



98 THE JACQUERIE. 

is to be done with this piece of flesh that lies 
quivering here? I fear it will be difficult to fit 
the head upon the body again ; and if those he 
brought with him see them thus disjoined^ they 
may very likely quit us, or breed a tumult." 

" If they seek to quit us, let them go," re- 
plied Caillet ; " we can well spare them. If 
they breed a tumult, there are plenty of trees 
to hang them to ; nor will ropes be wanting, 
nor hands willing to do it. As for the rest, let 
his body be taken away and buried. The 
matter is suflScient as it is, to serve for a good 
warning, my friend Thibalt, both for those who 
listen to evil counsels, and to those who give 
them." 

It was early on the following morning when 
the immense multitude of the insurgents 
surrounded the castle of Ermenonville ; and, 
though the place was strong and well defended, 
yet before night, terrible progress had been 
made towards its destruction. The walls were 
undermined in various places, and two or three 
more hours of light would have seen many 
a yawning breach in the defences. 



THE JACQUERIE. 99 

Just about the time that the sun was setting, 
old Thibalt la Rue was seen speaking eagerly 
with four of the peasants, who had been carry- 
ing forward the attack on the side where he 
himself commanded. 

" But I tell you," he said, in answer to 
some objection which one of them had seemed 
to make — " but I tell you, that as soon as he 
has got possession of this girl, he will have all 
that he has ever desired, and then he will 
marry her, get a promise of pardon, and 
distinction for himself, quit us, and leave us 
to our fate ; nay perhaps be the first to head 
the troops against us. No, no, we must enable 
her to make her escape, or else get hold of her 
ourselves, which would be better still ; for then 
we could rule him as we liked." 

" But how can we do it, how can we do it ? " 
asked the peasant, to whom he was speaking. 
" The old lord is too cunning to believe any 
thing you can write to him," 

« I don't know that," replied Thibalt ; " and 
besides, there are four or five of the men from 
St. Leu who were villeins of the old lord's, and 

H 2 



100 THE JACQUERIE. 

they go to this business with an unwilling 
heart, for they love him much. If you will 
consent and help me, I will speak with them 
as soon as the sun is down. We can get them, 
I dare say, to be hostages." 

" But how can we get hold of the girl, then ? " 
demanded the peasant to whom he spoke. 

" By a sudden attack laid in ambush," 
replied Thibalt. ** You shall command it; 
and can easily hide two or three hundred men 
in the brushwood on the skirts of the forest. 
It will all be easily managed: make his own 
people persuade the old lord to try an escape 
during the night, they becoming pledges for 
his safety. Do not set upon him till he is 
beyond our farthest posts : by that time the 
hostages will be free; so that if these men of 
Mauvinet require any sureties themselves, I 
can give myself up for one, and be at liberty 
before you make your attack. But mind, on 
your life and honour, you do no harm to the 
girl ; otherwise, we lose our whole hold upon 
Caillet." 

" I will take care of that," answered the other 



THE JACQUERIE. 101 

— " I will take care of that; but now, Master 
Thibalt, if I bring her safe to you, you shall 
ransom her from me, for it is for you I am 
working, that is clear enough." 

** I will give you a hundred pieces of gold," 
said Thibalt. 

" If you do not make it five hundred," 
replied the man, " I will take her up to 
Caillet, or keep her myself to be my own 
paramour." 

Even villains find a state of society in which 
all principle is at an end very inconvenient to 
live in ; and old Thibalt himself, who had never 
conceived any moral tie as binding, now 
longed for some such bond, wherewith to 
secure his own instruments. He was obliged, 
however, to deal with things as he found them ; 
and after settling the affair as far as possible, 
with those to whom he had first communicated 
his views, he prowled about till the sun was 
down, and then gathered together five or six 
of the men of Mauvinet, with whom he held 
a long and eager conversation. At length 
he procured a light, and a piece of parchment, 

H 3 



102 THE JACQUERIE. 

and sending for a cunning scribe over whom he 
had gained some power, he caused him to write 
hastily the following lines : — 

" Lord of Mauvinet, 

" These are written to you by a friend. 
The castle of Ermenonville cannot be held out. 
If you are the man that we believe, you are 
already thinking of cutting your way through, 
and selling your life dearly. However, as 
you were always a kind lord, and a good 
master, your friends in the camp of the free 
people of France have determined to give you 
an opportunity of escaping, if you choose to 
take advantage of it. In the quarter opposite 
to the western postern you will find a path 
open for you; and you may rest perfectly 
certain that you will be safe for the distance 
of two miles. But to render you more secure, 
as you may well entertain a doubt of the word 
pledged to you, you will find three hostages, 
unarmed, within five yards of the door. 
Them you will take with you for a mile on 
your way, and then set them free. But as you 



THE JACQUERIE. 103 

value your own life, and the lives of those 
who risk all to save you, you must be as still 
as death, while you and yours go through the 
midst of the camp. Not a word must be 
spoken, and you must pass along slowly, lest 
the noise of your horses, or the jingling of 
your harness, should rouse others than those 
who seek your good. The hour is midnight." 

« 

As soon as this was written, it was tied to 
the head of an arrow, round the shaft of which 
was wrapped some tow. That material was 
then lighted, and the whole was shot into 
the castle. For several hours after, the or- 
dinary scenes took place amongst the insur- 
gents, but gradually about ten o'clock all noises 
ceased, and weariness laid the strong limbs 
at rest. Little guard or watch of any kind 
was kept amongst them, for their numbers 
were so immense, that they imagined they had 
no cause for fear. To all appearance the only 
persons that were awake amongst the whole 
multitude were William Caillet and Thibalt 
la Rue, who sat close together, talking eagerly 

H 4 



104 THE JACQUERIE. 

in their usual strain. The old man seemed 
anxious, rather than otherwise, to keep his 
companion's eyes from sleep, laying out schemes 
and plans for the future, and inquiring into 
the tidings which Caillet had received from 
various parts of France. 

At length, however, Caillet exclaimed, " Get 
you gone, Thibalt, get you gone ! I must 
sleep ! For three nights I have not closed my 
eyes -#- but now I have them in my grasp ! 
Nothing can snatch them from me now, and 
I may well have a few hours slumber." 

Old Thibalt suppressed the bitter smile that 
was rising to his lip, and merely adding in a 
taunting tone, " I thought you never slept, 
Caillet," he left him, returning to his own part 
of their leaguer, where he instantly sought out the 
men he had been conversing with at nightfall. 

" I am come, you see," he said, " to place 
myself in your hands. Where are the three 
men who are to be hostages ? " 

" They are gone forward already," replied 
one of the peasants. " Let us draw back. 
Master Thibalt, into this hollow, and watch 
what follows." 



THE JACQUERIE. 105 

Thibalt accompanied them in silence; and 
then seating themselves in a little cavity of the 
ground, the party gazed eagerly for some 
minutes over the slope towards the castle. 
The night was very dark; and though one 
could see the sombre masses of towers and 
walls, marked by a deeper blackness upon 
the sky behind, nothing else was visible. 
All was silent too; but after a time the 
keen ears of the old man caught a s^nd, 
and raising himself upon his knees, he soon 
saw a number of dark objects, which might 
be men and horses, moving slowly and silently 
forward. They passed on with a low rustling, 
and were soon lost to his sight, Thibalt and 
liis companions listened eagerly for several 
minutes, but at length, as all remained still, 
he turned, and said, " You see I have dealt 
fairly with you." 

In less than half an hour, the three men, 
who had been given as hostages, came back; 
and Thibalt, without waiting to hear their 
account of what had taken place, exclaimed, 
" All is now safe, so I will retire to rest ! and 



106 THE JACQUERIE. 

he hurried away to a hut in which he had taken 
up his abode. 

It was situated near the edge of the camp, 
and the old man was some time in reaching 
it; but even when he had entered and closed 
the door, far from seeking repose, he listened, 
with his head inclined and his ear turned to 
the window, till, suddenly, he heard a distant 
sound of shouts and clashing of arms, as of 
men in strife. Others heard it also, and rushed 
forth : the whole camp was soon roused, and 
«very thing was noise and confusion. But in 
the midst of all, the leader of the peasants 
whom he had cunningly placed in ambush was 
brought into his hut, wounded and bleeding. 

" Curse upon them and you ! " he exclaimed 
as soon as he saw^Thibalt. " They have es- 
caped, and half killed me." 

The old man tried to give him consolation ; 
but the dying Jacque rolled his eyes wildly 
round, saying to one of his companions, who 
had helped him thither, " Fetch me Caillet. 
— I would fain speak to William Caillet." 

" Go, go ! " cried Thibalt, in a sweet tone. 



THE JACQUERIE. 107 

" fetch him Caillet, as he wants to speak to 
him." 

The man retired, leaving his comrade alone 
with the old serpent who had employed him ; 
and in less than ten minutes Caillet was in the 
hut. 

" Alas ! you are too late,*' said Thibalt, as he 
saw him -. — " the poor fellow is dead. They have 
broken through, Caillet, you have heard, and 
killed poor Merlache, here. What he had to 
say, I know not, but he wanted much to speak 
with you." 

Caillet uttered not a word, but turned upon 
his heel. 



108 THE JACQUERIE. 



CHAP. VI. 

The only article of furniture that was to be 
found in the prison to which Albert Denyn 
had been consigned was a small three-legged 
stool. And as the young soldier looked round 
at the bare walls, the small grated window some 
two or three feet above his head, the damp 
earthen floor, and the strong iron-plaited door 
covered with dull and dropping mould, he could 
not but feel a sort of heavy and cheerless cloud 
come over his brighter hopes, and make the 
prospect before him look more dark and gloomy 
than it really was. A moment after, however, 
the buoyant heart of youth rose up again, and 
he murmured to himself, with a smile, " This 
is certainly a strange turn of fate 1 " 

He had still to undergo that which is more 
difficult to endure, without despondency, than 
any sudden misfortune or disappointment j 



THE JACQUERIE. 109 

namely, the weary passing of hours in solitude 
and idleness. At first, he consoled himself with 
the thought, that the prevot would certainly not 
fail to keep his promise, and set him and the rest 
of the prisoners at liberty, as soon as he could 
do so without danger. The king of Navarre, 
he fancied, also, out of respect for the Captal 
de Buch, would not suffer his imprisonment to 
be long. 

Nevertheless, as hour after hour went by, 
and not a soul entered the prison, either to 
bring him provisions, or exchange a word with 
him, his spirits sank, and he felt a degree of 
melancholy creep over him, of which he was 
ashamed, and with which he struggled, without 
being able to overcome it. 

The light which the chamber possessed 
was but little, even in the brightest part 
of the day; but now that light began to 
decrease; and, at length, the young soldier 
saw the last ray fade away, and all was 
darkness. He continued to walk up and 
down the room, however, giving way to all 
the sad thoughts which were naturally sug- 



110 THE JACQUERIE. 

gested, not only by his own situation, but 
by the state of France, and the dangers which 
surrounded those who were most dear to him. 
The wing of Time flew on, with nothing to 
relieve the monotony of its passing, except the 
noises which he heard, occasionally, proceeding 
either from other parts of the prison, or from 
the busy world without, the tie between him 
and which seemed now to his eyes entirely 
dissevered. 

During the early part of the night the sound 
of tongues reachec um, talking loudly, in some 
of the neighbourmg chambers; and once he 
heard a gay voice singing in the English 
tongue ; showing, that either the other prisoners 
did not share his despondency, or else were 
better provided with means of lightening 
the load of imprisonment. Tlien, again, the 
plashing sound of oars, and the rushing of a 
boat through the water immediately beneath 
the tower, struck his ear, and gay tongues, and 
a merry laugh, from a distance — probably 
from the other side of the river — served more 
to increase his melancholy, by contrasting 



THE JACQUERIE. Ill 

harshly with his own feelings, than to enliven 
him, by showing that there was still joy and 
cheerfulness in the world. As time went on, 
however, all these sounds ceased, and silence 
took up her dominion over the gay metropolis 
of France. 

To the best of Albert Denyn's judgment, 
midnight was past by more than one hour, when 
he again heard the noise of oars, and a boat 
seemed to stop beneath the walls of the tower 
itself. The next moment, three sharp blows, 
as if struck by some heavy substance against a 
wooden door, reached the ear of the young 
prisoner; and, after an interval of silence, 
which lasted, perhaps, four or five minutes, 
the blows were repeated, and a voice exclaimed, 
" Mathew, Mathew ! open and let me in !" 

For a short time no other sound was 
heard, but then a heavy foot sounded upon 
the stairs, the great gate creaked upon its 
hinges, and the murmur of two persons speak-* 
ing low made itself faintly heard through the 
door of his prison. An instant after, that 
door, itself, opened, and a bright light flashed 



112 THE JACQUERIE, 

in, dazzling Albert Denyn's eyes, so that he 
could not, at first, see who it was that 
approached. It was the voice of the Pr^vot 
Marcel, however, that exclaimed, as he turned 
sharply to the keeper of the tower, who was 
behind him, " How is this, Mathew ? You 
have left him without bed, or light, or food, 
apparently ! " 

" You never told me to give him either," 
replied the gaoler : *^ you said to keep him 
alone — — " 

** But not to starve him," cried the prevot. 
" However, quick, bring him some food and 
wine. They have treated you ill, my young 
friend, but I have not forgotten my promise." 

Certainly, five minutes before, Albert Denyn 
would have thought a jest the most unpalat- 
able thing in the world. But so speedy are the 
revolutions of feeling in the human heart, that 
apprehension and despondency vanished at 
once, and he replied gaily, " You invited me 
to supper, monsieur le prevot — I must say you 
have given me dainty fare." 

" Knights errant," answered the prevot with 



THE JACQUERIE. 113 

a grim smile, "have always been known to 
feed poorly, and sleep on hard beds ; and such 
will ever be the case, my good sir, with those 
who meddle in affairs with which they have 
nothing to do." 

" But/' exclaimed Albert Denyn, " you 
would not have me stand tamely by, and 
see '' 

** Well, well," exclaimed the prevot, in- 
terrupting him, " we have no time to talk of 
these things now. Besides, the matter is 
settled, and there is never any use of returning 
to a business that is gone. Let the past have 
its own ! From its sad and dark dominion 
we can never recover one of all the things 
that have bowed to its sway — be they the 
bright and beautiful ; be they the stern and 
terrible; be they good, be they bad. The 
Past is the only monarch against whose sway 
there is no appeal, and from whose dread 
sceptre there is no escaping. — The old man 
and his niece are safe, far beyond the walls of 
Paris. Your friends here, in the prison with 
you, shall be set at liberty before to-morrow 

VOL. III. I 



114 THE JACQUERIE. 

morning. But it is with you that I liave to 
speak, and with the present that we have to 
deal. You are a Frenchman, are you not?'* 

" A true one,'* answered Albert Denyn, 

" Then, how come you to be serving with 
the Captal de Buch?" demanded the prevot. 

" I have only served with him in foreign 
lands," replied Albert ; " but never against my 
native country. For it I will always draw my 
sword, and never against it; and that the 
noble captal knows right well." 

" Good — good," said the prevot ; and, after 
thinking for a moment, he added, " I have a 
task for you, which you must not refuse." 

" Tell me more of it, prevot," rejoined Albert. 
*^ I have learned many a lesson of late, and, 
amongst the rest, know, that one ought to 
undertake nothing, without comprehending, 
clearly, what it is, and what it leads to." 

" You are right to be cautious," said the 
prevot ; "but it is a task that you may well be 
proud to perform." 

He paused and mused for several minutes ; 
and then, while the gaoler brought in a small 



THE JACQUERIE. 115 

table and some food, he spoke of indifferent 
subjects, or else gazed heavily upon the ground* 
As soon as the man was gone, however, he con- 
tinued, saying, " Fall to and refresh yourself; 
but keep your ears open. — There is a young lady 
now in this town of Paris — would to God that 
she had not come hither ! — of high rank and 
station ; but of a race who are safer any where 
else than in the French capital. You have 
heard of the taking of the tower of the Louvre, 
where we found such a supply of arms and 
ammunition: she was known to be therein, 
and the mob sought for her, somewhat eager 
for bloodshed. I found means to save her from 
their fury, for the time ; for, though no way 
tender-hearted, I love not to see a woman's 
blood spilled ;—' and, besides, it is always well to 
leave some door open for retreat in case of 
need. I concealed her then ; but these people, 
these Parisians, the most turbulent and uii- 
governable race on the face of the earth, know 
that she is still in the capital, suspect me, and 
watch every movement that I make. She must 
be got out of Paris before day-break to-morrow. 

I 2 



116 THE JACQUERIE. 

I dare send none of my own people with 
her to give her protection, and I know no one 
to apply to but you." 

Albert Denyn listened eagerly, and imagina-* 
tion whispered instantly in his ear the name of 
Adela de Mauvinet, There was no cause, it is 
true, why he should suppose the prevot spoke of 
her. He had merely mentioned a lady of high 
rank, and there was not any reason whatso- 
ever for believing that Adela was in Paris ; but 
yet a feeling of hope and expectation rose in 
the breast of the young soldier, which made his 
heart beat high as he listened. Did you never 
remark in the midst of some wide extended 
plain, while the clouds of. an April day ar6 
passing over, sweeping forest and field, vil- 
lage and stream, with their blue shadows as 
they fly, one bright particular spot — some 
church spire, or cottage window — on which the 
light rests longer, and catches more frequently, 
than on any other point in the whole scene — 
a spot which seems to draw to itself every stray 
Sunbeam that visits the landscape, and which 
shines out the moment that a ray finds its way 



THE JACQUEKIE. 117 

« 

through the cloud ? Such is the object of its love 
to a young heart. The moment that the light of 
hope breaks through the darkness of despon* 
dency and the clouds of care, the first rays fall 
naturally upon the predominant object of the 
heart's affections, making it sparkle with con^- 
trasted splendour from the gloom of the scene 
around. 

Without an instant's hesitation Albert Denyn 
accepted the task, only remarking, " It is un- 
fortunate that you can give me no one to 
accompany me, a single hand can do but little 
in times like these.*' 

" I have no one, I have no one,'' said the 
prevot impatiently. ^' If I contrive to get her 
safe from Paris, it will be no slight thing. 
Your task must be to bring her in safety to 
Ermenonville or Beaumont.** 

*' Could I not have some of the English with 
me ? " demanded Albert Denyn. " There are 
Several of them I have seen before, and one 
named Scroope, who stood strongly by me 
when they had taken me prisoner, and were 
about putting me to death." 

I 3 



118 THE JACQUERm. 

** I dare not trust them," replied the prevot, 
" I dare not trust them ; they are all rank 
marauders; and if they were to discover the 
prize they have in their hands, they would cut 
your throat for the mere ransom, if they could 
not get you to join and share with them. Yet 
stay — this fellow Scroope, you may take him 
with you ! Man to man, you will be his matdr, 
doubtless, and he must promise to be under 
your command. Wait a moment or two and 
finish your supper; I will go and speak with 
him.*' 

The pr^vot quitted the chamber, and Albert 
Denyn was left for about a quarter of an hour 
in solitude. At the end of that time, however, 
Marcel returned with the soldier Scroope, who 
laughed when he saw the young soldier, saying 
good humouredly, " So I am to be under 
your command, though I have seen more bat- 
tles than you have seen years. However, Td 
be under the command of a baby of six months 
old, in order to get out of the hole into which 
they have crammed me, giving me nothing but 
sour wine and hogs' flesh. — But tell me, how 



THE JACQUERIE. 119 

came you by this fine coat of arras ? When 
last I saw you, there was something not quite 
so gay about you.*' 

" That is nothing to you, my good friend," 
replied Albert Denyn : " be you sure that the 
arms are my own, as well as that medal of the 
emperor, at which you are looking. — He put it 
round my neck with his own hand^" the youtli 
added proudly. " But let us not waste time. 
I am ready, sir prevot." 

" Not till I have finished this flagon," cried 
Scroope; " if you do not drink it, I see no 
reason why I should not." 

Tlie rest, of their proceedings in the prison 
were soon brought to an end. Marcel led the 
way out, and descending the little sloping 
muddy path which led to the bank of the river, 
they found a boat with a solitary boatman, who 
rose as he perceived the prevot. 

" Quick, Mathurin,"said the prevot, speaking 
to the person in the skiff; " you I can trust. 
Run back with this key; bring out another 
horse, a destrier j to the place where I sent the 
boy with the others. If they seek to stop you 

I 4 



120 THE JACQUERIE. 

at the gate, show them your badge : we will 
row ourselves to the place." 

The man sprang to the shore ; Albert 
Denyn, the prevot, and Scroope entered the 
boat ; and the Englishman, seizing the oars of 
his own free will, rowed rapidly on, under the 
direction of Marcel, to a spot on the other bank 
of the river. 

As near as possible, at the point where the 
houses of the village of Passy approach the 
river in the present day — but which then 
formed part of a green field bordered by a 
vineyard and embellished with several groups 
of tall trees — appeared in the clear moon- 
light a dark mass standing under one of the 
elms. It might have been composed of bushes 
for aught that the eye could really discern, 
but the imagination of Albert Denyn instantly 
aided him to arrange it as a group of men 
and horses. In this instance, imagination 
was right to a certain degree : the horses were 
there ; one tied to the tree itself, ^and another 
held by a page covered with a large riding 
mantle. No other human beings, however. 



THE JACQUERIE. 121 

were there ; and Albert Denyn, who sprang to 
the ground before the prevot, looked round in 
vain for the lady. 

Marcel spoke a few words to the page in a 
low voice; and speedily after was heard the 
sound of another horse's feet coming rapidly. 
The noise was soon found to proceed, however, 
from the approach of the man named Mathurin, 
leading a charger provided with a strong steel 
saddle and head-piece. 

" Now mount quick," said the prevot ; 
<* and God speed you." 

" But where is the lady?" demanded Albert 
Denyn. 

" You will find her by the way," replied 
the prevot. 

" I am to ride her horse, and enact the lady, 
till you do," cried the page, springing upon the 
light jennet which he had hitherto held : " I can 
show you the road, if you do not know it." 

" Oh, we all know the way right well," 
replied the man named Scroope ; *^ you saucy 
pages think that no one is acquainted with any 
thing but yourselves." 



122 THE JACQUERIE. 

Thus saying, he mounted the beast pro- 
vided for him ; and taking leave of Marcel, 
with one or two words of instruction from the 
pr^vot, as to what places they were to avoid, 
and what places to seek, the little party set out 
upon its journey. 



THE JACQUERIE. 125 



CHAP. VII. 

Albert Denyn, the page, and the stout 
yeoman, Scroope, rode on for about an hour 
almost in silence; the two former were cer- 
tainly occupied with thoughts of their own ; 
the latter was troubled with very few thoughts 
of any kind ; but, unlike some persons, whose 
mind is lightly loaded, his tongue was not the 
more active on that account. He was the per- 
fect soldier of that day, though a favourable 
specimen of the animal ; for his heart was good, 
his judgment not bad; and when called upon 
to act, he did so in a manner very creditable 
to himself; but until the moment for action 
came, he went on, without the slightest inquiry 
regarding what was to happen next, and in 
utter carelessness of every thing that was taking 
place around him. He was exactly one of those^ 
so well depicted by Dryden, who whistle as 



124 THE JACQUERIE. 

they go for want of thought; and, indeed, in 
the present instance, he practised the same 
musical idleness, whistling a light air, till 
Albert put him in mind that he might call at- 
tention to their party, which was not at all to 
be desired. 

During the hour that we have mentioned, 
the thoughts of Albert Denyn were stirred up 
by expectation, and he looked anxiously forward 
every moment, in the hope of seeing the person 
whom he was destined to escort. At the end 
of that time, however, the moon touched the 
edge of the sky; and although morning was 
near, the sun yet gave no light. There seemed 
every chance of passing her in the darkness ; 
and Albert Denyn could refrain no longer, but 
turning to the page, he said, ** Surely we can- 
not have missed the lady." 

" Do not fear, do not fear,'* replied the boy, 
laughing ; ^* all will go right, I dare say." 

" But I do not choose to trust to dare says," 
rejoined the young soldier, not particularly well 
pleased with the tone of the page's answer. 
^^ Have you good reason to think that we are on 



THE JACQUERIE. 126 

the tract to find her? — The pr^vot told me 
that it would be ^with the greatest difficulty 
that he got her out of Paris ; and if he brought 
her as far as this, he might send her with equal 
safety to Beaumont," 

"Doubtless," said the boy in the same 
tone ; " but she may be nearer to us than we 
think ! — Do you not understand yet, young 
man?" 

" Perhaps I do," replied Albert Denyn ; but 
at the same time his expectations grew cold, 
for the voice that spoke to him was certainly 
iiot that of Adela de Mauvinet. 

The party relapsed into silence again; and 
in about half an hour, the eastern sky grew 
grey and then yellow, and twilight and light 
suc(ieeded to darkness. Albert Denyn turned 
a near glance upon the countenance of his 
yourtg companion, and he saw, beneath the 
page's hood, the soft features and fair skin of a 
very beautiful girl, of about two or three and 
twenty years of age; but that girl was not 
Adela de Mauvinet. Tenderness and courtesy 
towards woman, however, was a part of the 



126 THE JACQUERIE, 

young soldier's code ; and after riding on by the 
lady's side for some way, he said, " Are you 
not likely to be much fatigued?" 

" Oh no," she replied ; ** I have been used 
lately to a harder life than I ever thought to- 
know. But at all events it were better to die 
of weariness, than to be torn to pieces by the 
mad mob of Paris/* 

" But what can you have done/' asked Albert 
Denyn, " to offend the people? I thought 
that the good Parisians were softened in a 
moment by youth and beauty," 

" You have heard the same story," answered 
the lady, " of the effect produced by an in- 
nocent maiden upon a lion. I should not like 
to be the virgin to try, however, and much less 
to trust the tiger of Paris — I mean the mob of 
the capital— with no other arms than youth, 
beauty, or innocence either. Why, without 
«hame or remorse, they would cut off Diana's 
«ars, and hang up Venus to the first spout 
they could find." 

She spoke laughing, but with some degree of 
bitterness, and similar to the specimen we have 



THE JACQUERIE. 127 

given was her conversation as they proceeded* 
In despite of all that she had gone through, she 
was still light, gay, and somewhat coquettish 
withal : by no means without a due sense of 
her own beauty, and her own wit, and of the 
united effect of both upon her companions. Nor 
is it to be denied that, as he rode on hour 
after hour, by the side of this fair being, Albert 
Denyn felt no slight degree of interest and ad- 
miration. But still she was not to him, nor 
ever could be, Adela de Mauvinet. 

We must not pause upon all the little ad- 
ventures that took place by the way ; nor tell all 
the little acts of kindness and attention which 
Albert paid to his fair charge; nor must we 
detail how she assuredly tried to pique his ad- 
miration to the highest point, and felt some- 
what pettish and disappointed on finding that, 
though full of chivalrous courtesy and attention, 
there was none of that fiery and eager admir- 
ation about him which is in general so easily 
excited in the breast of the young. 

All passed in safety. Here and there, in- 
deed, the travellers heard of parties of free 



128 THE JACQUERIE* 

companions, and as they proceeded farther 
from ParlSj sad tales of the ravages of the 
Jacquerie met their ears. Once^ indeed, they 
were induced to turn several miles out of the 
direct road, so that Ermenonville was still at 
some distance when day began to decline ; but 
no troop, either of the adventurers or of the 
insurgent peasants, presented themselves ; and 
the lady continued to make light of the revolt, 
and to declare that all the Jacques in the world 
could not be so bad as the citizens of Paris* 

Even her tone, however, was changed, when, 
pausing at a small village where they proposed 
to pass the night, she saw the smoking ruins 
of a tall castle on the neighbouring hill, and 
heard that it had been burned to the ground 
three days before by the peasantry of Brie. 

A hurried consultation was held on the fol- 
lowing morning early, between the lady and 
Albert Denyn, for it can hardly be said that 
Scroope took any part therein ; ready to follow 
wherever any one else preceded him, but neither 
willing nor, indeed, able to lead. The first 
point to be considered was, in what direction 



THE JACQUERIE. 129 

their steps should be turned ; for some rumours 
had reached them during the precedmg evening, 
of a large body of insurgents barring the way 
towards Ermenonville ; but the lady pressed 
eagerly that they should, at least, make the 
attempt in that quarter. 

" I have faithful friends," she said, " in the 
castle itself; and if I could once reach them, I 
should feel safe." 

" We will try," replied Albert Denyn, " we 
will try. But if we find ourselves shut out 
from Ermenonville, it is to Beaumont, is it 
not, that we must direct our steps ?" 

The lady assented, and they rode on with 
the first light of the day, in the direction which 
had been fixed upon. 

They had proceeded about six miles when, 
towards seven o'clock in the morning, the sun, 
which was still low down in the sky, appeared 
to pour all his rays upon one spot in the land- 
scape, at the distance of about a mile from them, 
as they passed across the brow of a hill which 
looked over the country, far and wide around. 
The light flashed brightly back from that point 

VOL. III. K 



130 THE JACQUERIE. 

to the eyes of the little party, as if reflected from 
some bright substance ; and the lady, drawing 
in her horse's rein, exclaimed, " What is that? 
what is that ? Those must be armed men." 

'* I think it is so,'* replied Albert Denyn ; 
^^ and, by seeing no surcoat amongst them, I 
should judge that they are the rebel Jacques. 
Wait here, with this soldier, lady, and I will go 
on and ascertain." 

Although his fair companion besought him, 
eagerly, to stay with her himself, and send the 
man Scroope forward to reconnoitre, Albert 
Denyn would not trust that task to his 
somewhat duller intellects, and rode on, winding 
amongst the lanes and high banks, in order to 
get as near as possible, without being observed, 
to the party he had seen. 

At length, at a spot where he could just raise 
his head above the bank, he obtained a full view 
into the meadow, where some thirty or forty 
men-at«arms were collected ; and the scene pre- 
sented to his eyes was one of no slight interest. 
The distance was too great for him to distin- 
guish the faces ; but he was soon satisfied that 



THE JACQUERIE. 131 

the persons there collected did not belong to the 
Jacquerie. In one part, a group was gathered 
together, eating what seemed a hasty meal ; in 
another, a strong man with his corselets stripped 
off, was holding out his naked arm, while a 
woman, on her knees beside hun, twined a long 
bandage round what seemed a severe wound. 
Under some trees appeared three or four 
ladies and two men, with a page apparently 
helping them to wine ; while at a little distance 
under a bank were collected the horses of the 
party with a boy watching them. 

Satisfied with what he had seen, but yet 
judging that it was more prudent, circumstanced 
as he was, to avoid all communication with 
strangers, Albert Denyn rode back, and met his 
fair companion — whose impatient spirit would 
not suffer her to remain where he left her — 
coming down by the road which he h^d followed* 

*^ Well, what are they ? what are they, 
ungallant squire?" she cried. "If you leave 
ladies, intrusted to your care, in that manner, 
you will get no fair hands to buckle on your 
knightly spurs — what are these men ?" 

K 2 



132 THE JACQUERIE. 

" They seem of gentle blood, lady," replied 
Albert, "and have women with them ; but, 
nevertheless, I think we had better pass on 
our way without venturing to speak with them. 
They may be some of the English bands, and 
as bad as the Jacquerie." 

" Worse, perhaps," said Scroope, bluntly : 
" were they to meet with a pretty lady dressed 
as a boy, I would not answer for any of our 
brave fellows not thinking her fair game." 

" Hush, sir I" cried the lady, turning upon 
him with an air of dignity and sternness, very 
different from the coquettish manner which she 
had assumed towards Albert Denyn: "hush, 
sir ! you do not know of whom you speak." 

" By the Lord, it matters very little," replied 
the man, with a tone of indifference : " a good 
English rider would not stop to ask who or 
what you are, so that he found you in that dress, 
and in these fields. Nevertheless, do not be 
offended or afraid: I will do my best to 
befriend and protect you, as I have promised ; 
but I think, with my good companion,, we had 
better keep out of the way of superior numbers.'* 



THE JACQUERIE. 133 

By this time they had reached the spot 
from which Albert Denyn had reconnoitred 
the party; and a little farther on, the bank 
sloped down still more, so that the lady herself 
was enabled to see over into the meadow. 
That little germ of curiosity which is at the 
bottom of every heart, both male and female, 
and mingles itself with more things than we 
think of, would not suffer her to let the op- 
portunity pass unemployed; and, drawing in 
her rein, she gazed out over the field, where 
the party we have spoken of was, by this time, 
in the act of gathering together their equipf- 
ments, and mounting their horses for the pur- 
pose of departure. 

" I cannot but think," exclaimed the lady, 
" that those must be French arms I see yonder." 

" You had better ride on, lady," said Albert 
Denyn : " they will see our heads above the 
bank, and worse may come of it." 

" See, see !" said the lady, without attending 
to what her companion said — " see ! they are 
raising a banner there. — Whose arms are 
those?" 

K 3 



134 THE JACQUERIE. 

" Mauvinet ! Mauvinet I" cried Albert 
Denyn, clasping bis bands with joy: ^^good 
friends to tbe crown' of France, lady! The 
seneschal of Toumine ! Let us haste to meet 
them : they must cross by the gap we have just 
passed;'' and without more ado^ he turned his 
horse and galloped back, scarcely remarking 
whether the lady followed him or not. 

In a minute he had reached the break in the 
bank which led into the fields; and spurring 
his charger through, he dashed forward, at full 
speed, to meet the party, which was now coming 
slowly on, four or five abreast, with the good 
Lord of Mauvinet and several other gentlemen 
in the front, forming a guard on either side of a 
fair female form, the sight of which made the 
stout heart of Albert Denyn flutter like that of 
a timid girl. 

On the other hand, the sudden appearance 
of a horseman covei'ed with a surcoat of arms^ 
unknown to any one present, followed at some 
little distance by what seemed a page and 
another man at arms, created some surprise. 



THE JACQUERIE. 135 

and, as it happened, apprehension amongst the 
party of the Lord of Mauvinet* 

^* Halt !" cried the count, as soon as he saw 
him approaching. " Who have we here ? — 
Some fresh bad tidings, I fear. — Whose are 
those bearings on his coat? Argent a bend 
dexter azure — those are not French arms, I 
think. Why turn you so pale, my Adela? 
Fear not, fear not: we can defend you stilly 
dear girl — but, surely, I know that youth 
— Albert Denyn, as I live. Welcome, .wel- 
come, my dear boy!" and the old nobleman 
held out his arras to his young retainer as if he 
had been a son. 

Albert Denyn sprang to the ground, and ea- 
gerly kissed the good lord's hand, and then 
turning a look full of emotion to the other side, 
he saw the sweet eyes of Adela de Mauvinet, 
filled with tears, bent down towards the saddle- 
bow, while the quivering of her lip told to him, 
and perhaps to others, what a struggle there was 
in her breast to prevent the words of joy from 
breaking forth. 

A few moments of silence followed on uU 

K 4 



136 THE JACQUERIE. 

parts, and then some sentences of explanation 
succeeded ; but ere Albert Denyn could say one 
half of that which he had to tell, the eyes of the 
old Lord of Mauvinet had lighted on the lady 
in a page's habit, who was now approaching 
near ; and after passing his hand twice across 

• 

his sight, as if to clear it from some illusion, 
he cast his rein to an attendant, sprang to the 
ground, and advancing towards the fair rider 
with a lowly inclination, pressed his lips upon 
her hand. This act, as may be supposed, 
created some small bustle and surprise in his own 
troop; and under favour thereof Adela bent down 
her head to speak to the companion of her 
childhood, saying first aloud, " Who is that, 
Albert?" and then adding, in a low voice, 
" Thank God ! thank God, you have come 
back to us ! Ay, and with this too," she added, 
laying her finger lightly for a single instant on 
his coat of arms. *' Well won has it been, I am 
sure, dear Albert, and ever will be nobly borne — 
But who is this my father is bringing up?" 

" In truth I do not know, dear lady," replied 
Albert : " she is a high-bred, and somewhat 



THE JACQUERIE. 137 

» < 

high-mannered, lady, who was put under my 
charge to conduct in safety from Paris, where 
her life was in danger, to Ermenonville." 

He had not time to say any more, when the 
Lord of Mauvinet, leading the lady's horse by 
the bridle, approached, saying, " Dismount, my 
Adela, and pay due reverence to the Duchess of 
Orleans." 

The surprise of Albert Denyn was not less 
than that of those around him : but after the 
little bustle occasioned by the meeting was over, 
a short consultation was held ; and on hearing 
that the duchess was wending her way towards 
Ermenonville, the Lord of Mauvinet shook his 
head mournfully^ saying, " Ermenonville is but 
a name, madam. Two days ago we ourselves, 
in all but thirty fighting men, strove to hold 
out the place against eight thousand Jacques. 
Finding it in vain, we made our way through 
them in the night, not without some loss and 
some wounds, leaving behind us at Clari on the 
hill two men to watch the proceedites of the 
villains, and bring us tidings. Fromi^hem we 
find that ere the sun had risen three Hours, on 



138 THE JACQUERIE. 

the day we left it, not a stone was left standing 
of Ermenonville. We were even now bending 
our steps towards Beaumont on the Oyse^ think* 
ing, madam^ that you were there. We know, 
however, that there is a strong body of men in 
the place, and we niay well expect aid from 
Paris, or from Montereau." 

" From Montereau, perhaps," replied the 
duchess ; " but from Paris, none. However, 
let us onward, my good lord, for it seems that 
danger lies upon the path that we were following. 
At Beaumont we shall find some repose, and 
can hold counsel farther.'' 

As^the lady spoke, she took her place between 
theLordof Mauvinet and his daughter, making 
a sign to Albert Denyn to occupy a place be^ 
hind her, and saying aloud, ^^ Follow me, my 
young friend ; you shall still be my squire, so 
keep close to your lady. I owe that good youth 
much, my Lord of Mauvinet, though whether 
from some secret knowledge of my name and 
station, or because he is somewhat young in 
ladies* company, he has been as cold and shy 
as a new captain of the guard." 



THE JACQUERIE. 139 

The Lord of Mauvinet replied something in 
a light tone; but Adela turned her eyes to the 
young soldier's countenance with a smile which 
seemed to say, that she knew better than the gay 
duchess the causes of his coldness and his shyness. 

The party proceeded, and after a somewhat 
fatiguing march, they came in sight of the tall 
towers and heavy walls of the castle of Beau- 
mont on the Oyse, and rode gladly up the as- 
cent, iu hopes of repose and safety. 

One after another, the cavalcade entered 
through the heavy arches of the gate tower ; but 
ere Albert Denyn followed their example, he 
turned for a moment to gaze around him, and 
to examine the features of the country in which 
he was about to pause for the night, as had be- 
come habitual with him, during the wandering 
life which he had lately led under the banner of 
the Captal de Buch. 

The spring sun was shining over a sparkling 
scene, casting long shadows here and there, from 
Wood, and village, and rising ground ; so that, 
though the scene was fair to look upon, it was 
difficult for any unpractised eye to judge ex- 



140 THE JACQUERIE. 

actly of the various objects which the prospect 
might contain. At two points of the plain of 
Chambly, however, Albert Denyn saw some 
sombre masses of considerable extent, which 
puzzled him not a little. They were darker 
than the mere shadows cast by the copses, yet 
they did not seem to be sufficiently raised from 
the surface of the country to be either woods or 
hamlets. Albert continued to gaze, for the pur- 
pose of seeing if they were stationary, but they 
neither advanced nor receded, and he then cast 
his eyes upon the ground, and remained musing 
somewhat gloomily for a moment or two. Sud- 
denly, however, a hand was laid upon his arm, and 
the friendly voice of the Lord of Mauvinet said, 
" How now, Albert, why are you tarrying here, 
when there are friends within who are anxious 
to hear all that has happened to you ? and why 
look you so sad, wlien, from all that I have 
heard, and all that I see, there is no man in all 
France, should have a gladder heart than you ? " 
" My noble lord," replied Albert, willing to 
avoid the real subject of his thoughts, " I can- 
not think how any one in France can have a 



THE JACQUERIE, 141 

cheerful heart, and see her in such a state as she 
now is ; but if you would know what I have 
been watching, look there, at those two dark 
spots some five miles off." 
. " What are they ? " said the Lord of Mau- 
vinet : " your young eyes are better than mine, 
Albert. I do not see them move : they seem 
to me like the young plantations made by the 
last king." 

" If they be young plantations, my lord," re- 
plied Albert, " there are men in them. They 
do not advance, it is true ; but if you will look 
steadfastly, you will see the edges change their 
shape from time to time, like the outskirts of a 
great crowd of people collected in one spot, for 
the night." 

" The Jacques, for my life, then," cried the 
old lord : " we must have them well watched, 
Albert : ay, and by some of our own people too; 
for I find these fellows in the castle here had 
thoughts of abandoning it before we came up, 
and I do not believe they are much to be trusted. 
I will set Pierrot to look out from the highest 
tower. — But you come in with us ; the duchess 



142 THE JACQUERIE. 

asks for you ; and you must tell us all your ad- 
ventures." 

" Nay, nay, my lord," answered the youth, 
** my adventures are little worth hearing, and, 
in truth, I cannot speak of them before a erowd 
who care nought for me, and know nought of 
me." 

" Nonsense, nonsense," ci'ied the old lord ; 
*^ there is no crowd there ; the knights and the 
men at arms are all in the hall, the duchess 
sups in her own bower, with none but myself 
and Adela, and one whom you must love and 
like, the young Lord Louis de Cbamble. He 
saved my life at Ermenonville, and is very dear 
to me. The duchess asks for your presence, too, 
and you must obey." 

" But," said Albert Den3m, ** perhaps she 
does not know " 

" Yes, yes, she does know," replied the old 
nobleman, " she knows more than I did, till she 
herself told me : that it was the emperor himself 
who gave you that chain and surcoat ; so come, 
my good youth, without further words." 

Thus speaking, the count turned into the 



THE JACQUERIE. 143 

castle again, and Albert Denyn followed, to the 
presence of the Duchess of Orleans. 

The page's garb was now thrown aside, the 
princess had resumed her own attire, and with 
it her manner had become more dignified and 
calm, though not without a spice of gay coquetry 
from time to time, which sat not ill upon her 
pretty features. She welcomed the young sol- 
dier graciously enough ; but after the first formal 
compliment to herself, the eyes of Albert Denyn 
instantly turned to the only other male person 
present, the Lord of Mauvinet having left the 
room for an instant, in order to give directions 
for watching the castle walls during the night» 
By the side of the duchess was seated the young 
nobleman of whom the count had spoken. He 
was handsome and prepossessing in look, distin- 
guished in demeanour, and with every external 
sign of one as likely to win a lady's heart as to 
gain the approbation of those on whose decisior 
her hand depended. % 

Albert Denyn owned that there was nothing 
that he could find fault with in the whole ap- 
pearance of the young Lord of Chamble, un- 



144 THE JACQUERIE. 

less, indeed, it were the slightest possible tinge 
of superciliousness in his manner towards him- 
self; but yet he loved him not, and felt towards 
liim all that eager jealousy which can exist so 
well in love without hope. 

The Count de Mauvinet soon returned, and, 
although he little doubted that the dark masses 
which they had seen were, as Albert Denyn 
suspected, the revolted serfs, pausing only for 
the night in their advance to attack the very 
castle where he was, yet so hardened was the 
mind of the veteran soldier to danger, that he 
seemed to cast all thought of it from him, enjoyed 
to the full the period of refreshment and rest 
afforded to him, and laughed gaily over the joy- 
ous board, even while the hard hand of peril was 
knocking at the very gates. 

Notwithstanding all Albert Denyn's unwilling- 
ness, the good old lord pressed him almost in a 
tone of command to relate all that had befallen 
him in foreign countries. Adela's sweet eyes 
brightened at the very thought, and the Duchess 
of Orleans herself added her voice, which of 
course was not to be refused. We must not 



THE JACQUERIE. 145 

pause upon Albert's history. He told it as one 
who, having great deeds to recount, was fearful, 
even in seeming, to overrate his own merit. 
He referred, then, not to himself so much as to 
Captal de Buch. It was thus acted the captal 
here, so spoke the captal there ; here were the 
pagans defeated, there a body of the Teutonic 
knights were saved. 

Those who knew him well understood the 
whole matter ; and even the Duchess of Orleans, 
with a woman's tact, comprehended that he 
might have spoken more of himself if he had so 
willed, while Adela, with her colour varying 
every moment, gazed down upon the ground, 
and the good old Lord of Mauvinet forced him 
by questions to relate a great part of that which 
he had withheld. 

The keen eyes of the Duchess of Orleans, 
too, were not long in discovering more of the 
secrets of Albert's heart than he fancied that 
either word, or look, or tone displayed ; and she 
marked, not without a certain degree of playful 
malice, that there were no very kindly glances 
passed between the young soldier and the gay 

VOL. III. L 



146 THE JACQUERIE. 

« 

Lord of Chamble. It might come across her 
mind, too — for she had many of those little 
faults which checker the brighter parts of wo- 
man's character — ^it might come across her mind^ 
too, to give some brief pain to the heart of poor 
Adela de Mauvinet by coquetting with him who, 
she saw, was not a little loved; but better 
thoughts came after, and more generous feelings 
whispered, " Tliis youth served and protected 
me, not knowing who I was, and I will reward 
him in the way he will best like." 

" Come hither, Albert Denyn," she said, after 
supper was over, as she sat in somewhat a 
queenly state, with the rest of the party ranged 
around — "I owe you some recompence for my 
safe escort hither, and you shall have this string 
of pearls to match your golden chain. Kneel, 
good youth, and I will put it on. The first 
time you carry this through a body of the 
Jacques, I will ask knighthood for you at the 
dauphin's own hand." 

" It shall not be long, lady," replied Albert 
Denyn, while the princess hung the pearls to 
the chain given him by the emperor; but the 



THE JACQUERIE. 147 

duchess at the same time bent down her head, 
saying, in a lower tone, " Now mark, if I do 
not reward you better still ! so do not let idle 
jealousy lose you opportunity, while I sport 
with a fool's vanity." 

No one but Albert heard the words which 
she uttered ; and he rose, and went back to bis 
place, scarcely comprehending their meaning 
Aimself. In a few minutes, however, he saw 
the duchess call the attention of the I-.ord of 
Chamble, and during the whole of the evening, 
ere she retired to rest, she left no fascination 
of tone, look, or manner untried upon the young 
knight to withdraw him from Adela de MaU"* 
vinet, and attach him to herself. She had not 
so easy a task as she had expected, however : 
Louis de Chamble was not so weak as she had 
imagined ; and the beauty of Adela was so far 
superior to her own, that the vague charm of 
her rank was not sufficient to counterbalance 
the exceeding loveliness of the old seneschal's 
daughter. The result was, that the princess 
became somewhat piqued at her own want of 
success, and then presuming on her station, she 

L 2 



148 THE JACQUERIE. 

exacted, but more severely, those attentions 
which she saw were burdensome. 

Thus, from time to time, Albert Denyn had 
an opportunity of saying much to her he loved. 
On the subject of his attachment, indeed, he did 
not speak ; but all he saw in the demeanour of 
Adela herself was sufficient to tell him that, 
as far as her affections went, he had no cause 
of jealousy in regard to the young Lord of 
Chamble. 

Thus passed the first evening in the castle 
of Beaumont sur Oyse ; and when the duchess 
rose to seek repose, which was not till a late 
hour of the night, she laid her hand upon that 
of Adela, saying, " You shall lie in my cham- 
ber, sweet lady. Fare you well, knights and 
gentlemen, and good dreams sit on your pil- 
lows." 

** Albert, come with me," said the old Lord of 
Mauvinet : " you shall tell me something more 
of yourself ere I sleep. Good night, my Lord 
of Chamble : we will talk farther on the subject 
of which you spoke to me this morning, when 
we see what to-morrow brings forth. All I 



THE JACQUERIE. 149 

can reply at present is, you have my best 
wishes.'* 

The Lord of Chamble remained alone in 
the room after the others left it; and, if one 
might judge by the frown upon his brow, the 
subject of his meditations was not very pleasant. 
At length, however, he started from his fit of 
thought, and retired to his own chamber ; but 
it was not to sleep, for there were those pas- 
sions in his heart that are the bitterest foes to 
slumber. 



L 3 



150 THE JACQUERIE. 



CHAP. VIIL 

" He will have his best wishes ! " muttered 
Albert Denyn to himself, meditating on what 
the Lord of Mauvinet had said, while, about 
an hour after the duchess had retired, he wan- 
dered round the dark battlements of Beaumont. 
All that those few words might imply, all that 
they might produce, came up before the mind 
of the young soldier, saddening his heart, and 
once more drowning out every spark of hope, 
if, indeed, he can be said to have entertained any. 

"I am a fool," he continued : " I dream of 
things that can never be, and then my heart is 
wrung to wake and find that I have been 
dreaming — but, hark I What is that sound ? 
Some people speaking in the court beneath. 
I thought that all. but the guai*ds upon the 
walls were sound asleep." 

The words that were uttered below rose up 



THE JACQU£R]£. 151 

to him as he stood above, and he heard one 
man say to the other, " Do not let us wait for 
them any longer. Go in, I say, and down the 
steps; we cannot lose our way, and they must 
come after, if they will.'* 

" But are you sure that we can get out at 
the other end ?*' demanded another voice, " Is 
there no door to keep us in ?*' 

" None," answered the first, " none, I tell 
you. It opens out amongst the furze bushes 
two hundred yards beyond the moat. Hark ! 
I hear the rest coming." 

"Men deserting from the castle!" said 
Albert to himself — " I must go and wake the 
Lord of Mauvinet ; though it is better, indeed, 
that the cowards should be away than remain 
here to cast ice upon brave men's hearts." 

Nevertheless, he turned his steps in haste 

towards the apartment where he had left the 

count; but ere he had reached the spot at 

which a flight of steps descended from the 

battlements, the young Lord of Chambl^ cast 

himself in his way, saying, " Stay, young man, 

I have a word of advice to give you." 

L 4 



152 THE JACQUERIE. 

" You must choose some other time, then, 
my lord," replied Albert Denyn — " at present 
I am in haste." 

" And yet you must stay," rejoined the Lord 
of Chamble, in a cold, and a somewhat sneermg 
tone. " What I have to tell you is of moment, 
too ; for if you do not attend to it, you may 
fall into disgrace." 

" Stand back, sir, and let me pass," cried 
Albert Denyn. " There are men deserting 
from the castle, and it may be my good lord's 
wish to stop them. — Stand back, I say, or by 
the heaven above us I will cast you over into 
the court beneath ! Each moment, you are 
doing an injury you can never repair;" and 
thrusting the young knight out of his way, 
witli a force that he could not resist, Albert 
Denyn strode on, attending but little to the 
fierce mutterings of the angry noble, and soon 
reached the apartments of the count. 

A door opening at once from the stairs led 
into an antechamber, where two stout yeomen 
slept with their bed drawn across the entrance 
of the inner room. It was with difficulty that 



THE JACQUERIE. 153 

Albert Denyn woke them ; but having at 
length, if we may use the expression^ undrawn 
these living bolts, he entered the chamber 
of the count, and strove to rouse the page, 
who lay on a truckle-bed, at the old noble- 
man's feet. The boy, like the yeomen, how- 
ever, tired out with a long day's march, slept 
like the rock on which the castle was built; 
and ere Albert Denyn had made the slightest 
progress in awakening him, the count started 
up, demanding, " Who is there?" 

The matter was soon explained; and the 
count, rising at once, threw on his furred gown, 
exclaiming, " We must stay these cowards : 
they will do quite as well upon the battlements 
as marks for the enemy's arrows, as better 
men." 

"I fear, my lord, it is too late," replied 
Albert Denyn ; " for I met your good friend, 
the Lord of Chamble, who would insist upon 
stopping me, to speak of something, I kno 
not what, and in the mean time the mischief 
must have been done." 

" Lead on, however," cried the old lord — 



154 THE JACQUERIE* 

** lead on, to the spot where you heard these 
voices* We must see how they contrived to 
escape at least; for, by the duchess's per- 
mission, I ordered all the gates to be strictly 
closed, and watched by my own men/' 

As Albert Denyn anticipated, the court was 
found deserted but the path which the deserters 
had taken was discovered without difficulty. A 
large arched doorway, through which a tall horse 
could be led with ease^ was open on the eastern 
side of the court; and when, by the light of 
torches, which were soon procured, Albert and 
the Lord of Mauvinet entered the passage, with 
which the door communicated, and advanced 
some fifty or sixty paces therein, they could hear 
the sound of horse's feet echoing along the vault 
from a distance^ showing that the fugitives were 
beyond recall. 

The old lord pursued the examination, 
however; observing, with a grim smile, '* This 
place may serve as an entrance for brave 
enemies, as well as an exit for cowardly 
friends." 

Various gates, and heavy doors, were found 



THE JACQUERIE. 155 

all left wide open; and these being closed, and 
other precautions taken for the defence of the 
place, the Lord of Mauvinet and his com- 
panions returned to the court, to inquire who 
were the deserters, and how many effective 
soldiers were left within the walls. Just as 
they were issuing from the vault, however, they 
were met by the young Lord of Chamble, who 
advanced furiously upon Albert Denyn, ex* 
claiming, ^^ Villain, you struck me ! and if I live 
another hour I will punish you as such a pre- 
sumptuous slave deserves." 

Though the blood mounted high on Albert 
Denyn's cheek, and his heart burned within 
him, he replied calmly, though sternly, ^^ I struck 
you not, my lord, though I thrust you from my 
way, when you stayed me in doing my duty. 
Villain I am none, young sir, thanks to God 
and the hand of the emperor ; and as to pre- 
sumption, I know not what you mean; for I 
have never presumed towards you at least." 

*« My Lord of Chambl^,'* cried the Count 
de Mauvinet, " I must beseech you to forbear* 
This youth is as noble in heart as any in the 



156 THE JACQUERIE. 

 

land: I owe him more than life — my daughter, 
and my daughter's safety. Believe me, you have 
mistaken him : he could never intend to offend 
you, and only acted in haste, as no time was to be 
lost — he is not one to presume in any shape." 

" My lord count, you are blind," replied the 
young knight sharply: "you see not how far 
he dares to presume. — Ay, sir, he does pre- 
sume upon some slight services he may have 
rendered — he presumes, I say, to raise his in- 
solent eyes even to your daughter, and yet you 
see it not." 

The count gazed on the young lord's face as 
if struck dumb, and then turned a stern and in- 
quiring glance upon Albert Denyn, whose cheek 
was very pale, and whose look was bent upon 
the ground. 

" Speak," cried the Lord of Mauvinet, 
" speak, Albert. Do you not hear his charge ?" 

" I hear, my lord," answered Albert, " a vague 
charge, which implies a falsehood that it does not 
boldly assert. If this lord would merely say, that 
I love your daughter he tells the truth; for who 
could live with her as I have lived and not love 



THE JACQUERIE, 157 

her? I do, my lord ; I love her better than any 
other being, or thing, on earth — the companion 
of my childhood, the friend of my youth, the 
brightest and the best of earthly beings. But 
this, my lord, is a privilege of the lowest in all 
the land — to love and admire that which is 
fair and high. It is a duty of chivalry, and 
from such duties, I am not now, thank God, 
excluded. But if he would say that I love her 
with but one purpose or one thought that is not 
high and noble; if by the words, * raising my 
eyes to her,' he means, that I aspire to that 
which is impossible, I tell him that he lies to 

his beard, and will prove it on him with " 

*^ Hush, hush !" exclaimed the Lord of Mau- 
vinet, who had listened in stern thoughtfulness, 
while the young soldier spoke — "I will not suffer 
such words to pass on either side ; at least not 
in times of peril like these, when every sword 
is wanted against the bosoms of the enemy. 
My lord, you have done Albert wrong. Every 
one on this earth has a right to choose out his 
fair lady, to love and serve her by all honourable 
means; and the highest chatelain in all the land, 



158 THE JACQUERIE. 

nay, the queen herself upon her throne^ receives 
honour from the love of any gentleman, however 
poor his estate, provided he pass not the bounds 
•pf due respect. So say the laws of chivalry, my 
lord; and due respect, I am right sure, Albert 
Denyn will never forget towards the daughter of 
his friend — Nay, frown not, my good lord : I 
entreat you both, forbear all angry words, and 
all sharp discussions. He, who says one syllable 
more, at least till all these troubles be appeased, 
makes an enemy of me. Let each man honour 
the lady that he loves by doing great *deeds in 
behalf of his native land ; and so no more of 
this ! — Now call all the soldiers in the castle 
forth, and let us see who are these runaways." 
" My lord, my lord," cried a trooper, coming 
in breathless haste from the walls above, ^^ there 
is danger abroad. The bands of villeins are 
advancing against the castle, I do believe, for I 
heard but now a rushing sound coming up from 
the plain. It was like the noise of a full stream, 
or a heavy wind blowing through a forest in the 
winter ; and then came a sharp cry, mingled, it 
seemed, with groans; I fear they have come 



THE JACQUERIE. 159 

upon some poor fellow's house, and murdered 
those within/' 

*^ More likely have caught the cowards who 
have deserted," replied the Lord of Mauvinet^ 
*' and given them due punishment for their 
treachery. — Away to the walls — call all the men 
out. Carry forth torches on the battlements, 
and light the beacon on the highest tower ! Let 
them see that we are prepared for them." 

Thus saying, the good seneschal strode up to 
the platform to look out. Albert Denyn and 
several others followed close upon him, but 
all was obscurity round about. The moon 
was down, not a star was in the sky. The old 
trees which surrounded the castle at no great 
distance could hardly be distinguished from 
the dark masses of the ground; and in vain the 
eye of the count plunged into the void of the 
night, seeking for human forms — he could 
discover nothing. There was a low rustle, 
indeed, but nothing like the voice of man met 
the ear; it might be the wind beginning to 
rise; it might be the rushing of the Oyse, 
heard through the stillness of the night. 



160 THE JACQUERIE. 

" Can you see any thing, Albert?" whispered 
the seneschal to the young man-at-arms, with 
his eyes bent sternly upon the darkness — "can 
you see any thing ? I am blind, I think/' 

Albert Denyn did not reply, but he put his 
hand back to one of the yeomen who stood a 
step behind, took the long bow of yew, which 
he carried from him, and said in a low voice^ 
"An arrow !" 

The youth laid the feather to the string, 
stretched forth his left arm to its full extent, 
and drew his right hand to his ear. The string 
twanged, the arrow whizzed from the bow, and 
the next instant a shrill cry of agony, followed 
by a confused murmur and the rushing sound of 
many feet, rose from the other side of the moaU 
Almost at the same moment the flame of the 
beacon towered up high in the air above, and 
a crowd of grim faces and shadowy forms were 
seen, by the glare, within half a bow- shot of the 
walls. 

" Well done, my boy ! well done, Albert ! " 
cried the seneschal : " you have sent one of them 
to Satan's kingdom, at all events. — Now, my 



THE JACQUERIE. 161 

men, bring us up some piles of wood. We must 
keep up a blaze along the battlements till day* 
break, lest they try to take us unawares." 

No attack was made, however, during the 
night, by the immense body of armed peasantry 
which now surrounded the castle. Some one of 
importance seemed to have been hit by Albert 
Denyn's shaft, and when daylight dawned, a 
great deal of confusion and hurrying to and fro 
was still remarked among them. Still it was 
an awful sight to see that ocean of grim faces, 
marked by every wild and savage passion, and 
that crowd of powerful forms covered with every 
sort of wild and unusual arms, all surrounding 
the castle of Beaumont, which, alas ! now num-* 
bered within its walls not more than forty per- 
sons capable of making any effectual defence. 

The good Lord of Mauvinet counted his gar- 
rison over eagerly, but with an undaunted look ; 
and when some one said, in a low tone, " We 
shall never be able to keep the place," he replied, 
^* I have fled once from them, and I will not 
fly again. The place is strong ; and were the 
women not here, I would hold it out till the very 

VOL. III. M 



162 THE JACQUERIE. 

last, and die amongst the walls, rather than 
abandon them. Would to God the women were 
not here ! they cow my heart, and make an in- 
fant of me. However, we must double our 
energies, and our activity. You, Albert, defend 
the north tower with your companion, Scroope, 
and four of the soldiery — It is one of the points 
of the greatest danger. My Lord of Cbambl^, 
you, with'your men, take the eastern side— It is 
scarcely less perilous than the other. Herestall, 
and Huguenin, you to the south tower; the 
west needs no defence but its own walls* I 
will be with you all from time to time. There 
seems to be store of arrows, quarrels, and every 
implement of war in the place : we will have 
them brought up as speedily as possible, and 
you must pour them upon the enemy without 
ceasing. The duchess said there were mango- 
nels somewhere — they might serve us bravely 
if we could find them. Let some one ask her, 
where they may be found." 

In about half an hour the attack of the castle 
commenced, and was met with that sort of 
gallant determination which renders small means 



THE JACQUERIE* 163 

more available than the most extensive supplies 
in the hands of the irresolute^. We will not pause> 
however, to detail the strife that took place, for 
we may have had too much of such things 
already. Suffice it, that it was waged with wild 
and savage fury on the one part, and with 
steady, though fiery, courage on the other, 
through the greater part of the day. 

It is strange what companionship in such 
scenes of peril and exertion can do to soften 
animosities, and make even the fiercest passions 
of the human heart forget their virulence, at 
least for a time. Towards three o'clock, Albert 
Denyn perceived that the attack, which had 
slackened on his own side, was directed against 
the easternVall, where the young lord of Cham- 
bid had been placed, and he sent three of hi& 
men to give him aid in repelling it. Shortly after, 
the tide turned again, and the northern tower 
was once more assailed with violence. Loui& 
of Chamble then came round himself to ask how 
the day went with Albert Denyn, and to see if 
he could give him help in driving back the 
enemy. 

M 2 



164 THE JACQUERIE. 

Albert thanked him^ but said no ; and 
pointing with his hand to a spot amidst the 
crowd beneath the walls, he added, " We must 
all look well to ourselves now, my good lord, 
for the fiercest of the strife is yet to come. Do 
you see that man on horseback ?" 

" Ay," answered the young knight ; " I saw 
him before, at Ermenonville. Who is he ? He 
seems to have just arrived." 

*^ He has so, my lord," replied Albert. 
" Hitherto these fools have been knocking their 
heads against stone walls; but now you will 
find them better directed. That is the fiend, 
William Caillet ! I would willingly give my 
right hand to-morrow morning, to be one hour 
with him upon the hill-side this night." 

The anticipations of Albert Denyn proved 
correct. The plan of the assault was immediately 
changed ; the northern and eastern parts of the 
castle of Beaumont were left, comparatively, at 
peace, though two strong bodies of the revolt- 
ed peasantry still remained opposite to them j 
but the principal attack was directed at once 
against the southern tower, which was a large 



THE JACQUERIE. 166 

building lately added to the old castle of 
Beaumont, and connected with it by an arch 
over the moat, which had not vet been carried 
round it. 

There was now no longer any wavering, any 
hesitation amongst the insurgents : the assault 
of the peasantry was not only fierce but in-- 
cessant; and labouring with pickaxes and 
iron bars, though numbers of them fell by 
arrows and by stones cast down upon their 
heads, they succeeded in shaking the foun- 
dation of one part of the tower; and towards 
seven o'clock, a large portion of the wall gave 
way, crushing a number of assailants under 
it, but leaving an entrance open into the tower 
itself. 

The Lord of Mauvinet, with one of his chief 
followers named Herestall, had taken the de- 
fence of that part upon themselves ; but both 
Albert Denyn and the young Lord of Chamble, 
seeing that the assault had ceased at every other 
point, had yielded to their impatience, and 
joined the party in the tower. 

When the first stones were loosened from 

M 3 



166 TH£ JACQU£RI£. 

the foundations, however, Albert Denyn had 
disappeared; but he returned just at the mo^ 
ment when, the fall of the wall being inevitable, 
the seneschal and the rest were retiring from 
the spot which had been undermined. 

" We must defend the bridge over the moat, 
Albert," said the Lord of Mauvinet ; " or break 
it down, if it be possible." 

*'' I have thought of that, my lord," replied 
the youth ; " and every thing is prepared." 

^ It is very strong, is it not ? " demanded the 
count: " how long will it take to throw it 
down ?" 

" One minute, and three blows of an axe," 
replied the young soldier : " I have had the 
beams sawn underneath." 

" Thanks, thanks, my dear boy," replied the 
Lord of Mauvinet : " you have saved us half 
a dozen lives at least." 

" Then I beseech you let me finish the work, 
my lord," replied Albert: " I would give a 
year of life to strike one blow, hand to hand, 
with the enemy." 

" Do it, do it, my dear boy," said the old 



THE JACQUERIE. 167 

lord. ** There, there goes the wall !" and 
down it rolled in thunder. 

" Away with you, away with you, over the 
bridge, my men," cried the seneschal ; *^ Albert, 
you and I will be the last." 

'* I with you ! I with you ! " exclaimed the 
young Lord of Charable. 

" Ay, but we are all under Albert's command 
for the moment," said the count : ^^ he breaks 
down the bridge ! He has won the honour well. 
Here, here they come ! Back, back, my lord, 
to the bridge! — Now, Albert, now my boy, 
give them not too much time. — This axe is 
heavier than yours." 

Albert caught the ponderous weapon from 
the seneschal's hand, and retreating side by side 
with him, he struck a blow with his full force 
upon the spot where he had caused the wood- 
work to be sawn through on one side of the 
bridge. A large portion of the structure, stone, 
and lime, and beams, and iron, plunged down 
in dust and ruin into the moat beneath. 

" Quick, my lord, quick !" he cried; " pass 
over ! Tread lightly, I beseech you !" 

M 4 



168 THE JACQUERIE. 

" They are breaking down the bridge, they 
are breaking down the bridge," cried the voices 
of the peasantry, rushing up over the fallen 
walls of the tower. 

" Out of my way, out of my way," shouted 
the thundering voice of Caillet; and darting 
forward with the leap of a tiger, he sprang 
towai'ds Albert Denyn, who stood with one foot 
upon the entrance of the bridge, and the other 
upon the threshold of the arched door-way, 
which led to the platform of the captured tower. 

" That to send thee to hell," cried Caillet, 
striking a sweeping blow with his long sword at 
the neck of Albert Denyn. 

But the young soldier caught it upon his 
shield, without wavering more than if he had 
been struck with a willow wand ; and whirling 
the battle-axe over his head, he dashed it with 
such force upon the helmet of Caillet, that 
driving in the steel-cap, it hurled him back- 
wards, wounding and bleeding, into tlie mass 
of peasantry that were following close beliind. 
With one bound, Albert Denyn then sprang 
across the bridge, and two more blows upon 



THE JACQUERIE. 169 

the wood-work of the ruined arch placed a 
yawning chasm between the southern tower and 
the old castle of Beaumont. 
' A flight of arrows, which told sadly amongst 
the peasantry in the tower, now poured upon 
them from the walls of the castle; and In a 
few minutes after, the part of the building 
they had gained was abandoned by the Jacques, 
who retired, carrying with them — apparently 
with much care— one of their wounded leaders 
to a group of trees at some little distance. 
The rest of the insurgent force around the 
castle remained firm, but did not renew the 
attack ; and as Albert Denyn, with a feeling 
of proud satisfaction at his heart, stood lean- 
ing on the battle-axe which had done such 
good service, and gazing out upon the dark 
masses of the enemy, the good Lord of Mau- 
vinet grasped him by the hand, saying, " I 
trust you have killed the villain, Albert. I 
never yet beheld a better blow ; but come, they 
will do no more to-night, and we all want re- 
freshment. We will place a watch upon the 
walls, and see for some wine and meat.'* 



170 THE JACQUERIE. 

Thus speaking, the old nobleman turned away, 
and descended to the hall ; but Albert Denyn 
remained upon the battlements, musing deeply 
and sadly upon the fruitlessness of all that he 
could do to remove the original stain of his 
birth. After pausing for about half an hour, he 
sent down for some food, saying that he wished 
to remain on the walls and watch ; and it was 
there that he saw the dull shades of night 
creep on once more upon the grey and heavy 
sky. 

He was sitting thus, upon one of the stone 
benches of the parapet, when the young Lord 
of Chamble approached the spot where he had 
placed himself, and said, ^^ I have come to seek 
you myself, for your noble friend, the Lord of 
Mauvinet, wishes to speak with you." 

Albert rose in silence and followed him ; and 
as they passed through one of the stone passages 
where there was a torch, he saw the eye of the 
young nobleman fixed upon him with a look of 
much interest, though there was still some stern- 
ness mixed with it. What was to come next 
Albert Denyn did not know; but it is only 



THE, JACQUEEIE. 171 

people of unsteady minds that are ever taken by 
surprise ; men of strong principles are always 
prepared. 

On entering the hall, he found the Lord of 
Mauvinet alone: his sword, unbuckled, lay 
upon the table before him, and there was an 
expression of stern sadness about him which 
was soon explained. He held out his hand to 
Albert Denyn, who kissed it affectionately, and 
the seneschal then said, ^^ Albert, my mind is 
made up, never to yield the castle of Beaumont; 
I will hold it out to the last ; but, as I told you 
this morning, the thought that there are four 
women in it, and one of them so high in rank, 
hangs like a weight upon me. I have deter- 
mined to send them away : I have spoken to 
the duchess, and she consents. They must have 
a small guard ; and your hand, which has so 
often defended and delivered Adela, must pro- 
tect her now." 

Albert Denyn cast himself upon his knee 
before his ancient master: — " My lord, I do 
beseech you," he cried, " let me stay with you ; 
let me stay and share your fate, whatever it may 



172 THE JACQUERIE. 

be — to die with you, if God wills it so, and if 
not, to live and share your glory. Hear me, my 
lord, hear me. I know that the task you would 
give me is one of danger, honour, and high 
esteem; but here is this noble gentleman 
standing beside you, much more worthy of the 
distinction than I am ; fitted in all respects to 
give protection to the Lady Adela, and doubtless 
desirous to show what great deeds he can do in 
her defence. Let him go upon this generous 
task, my lord, which befits him far better than 
It does me, while I, a poor adventurer, without 
home or name, remain to do what is indeed 
my duty, and defend, with my heart's blood, 
that good old master, to whom I owe every 
thing from childhood until now." 

The tears came into the old seneschal's eyes, 
and he laid his hand fondly on Albert's head, 
saying, ^^ God bless you, my son ; but it must 
not be. You know that I value my children 
more than my own life ; and if I should die, you 
will live to be the defence and prop of my son, 

m .1* 

who, thank God, is safe, as yet, in Touraihe. 
You will not refuse to go with Adela, Albert ; 



THE JACQUERIE. 173 

this noble lord accompanies you ; and to your 
mutual care and honour I confide both her 
and that high lady who takes part in the jour- 
ney. Fear not for me, Albert. I doubt not to 
hold out the castle till help arrives ; .the more 
so, indeed, now that other tower is gone. With 
our small means it was but an encumbrance^ 
and it can do nothing now against us." 

" But, my lord," replied Albert Denyn, 
' *' we take men from you." 

^' Not half so many as were required to 
defend that tower," replied the old lord. " I 
shall give you but four — your companion 
Scroope and three others. You two will make 
six; there are four women, ten in all." 

<' But think you, my lord," said Albert, 
'* that we shall be able to cut our way through, 
with so small a force ? *' 

" You must not make the attempt," replied 
the old lord: ** our sally from Ermenonville 
has put them upon their guard ; but the pas* 
sage, the passage under ground, my dear boy : 
the duchess has shown me where it issues forth. 
It is to the right there, far beyond their line 



174 THE JACQUERIE. 

^ at least beyond where their line was when 
the sun set." 

** Then why not come yourself, my lord," 
said Albert : ^^ let us all abandon the castle : 
you cannot be expected " 

** No, no," cried the veteran soldier, " I 
have fled once, I will not fly twice for all the 
Jacques in Brie — Not a word more, my boy* 
Guide the ladies all safe to Meaux; the market- 
place there is impregnable; then send me 
help as speedily as possible. But remember, 
both of you, young men," he continued, ^' that 
the safety of those who are dearest to me may 
be fiitally compromised, if there be still one 
thought of misunderstanding between you." 

** There shall be none on my part, noble 
count," replied the young Lord of Chambl^, 
holding out his hand frankly to Albert Denyn. 
^^ I find I have mistaken him ; and if we must 
still be rivals, our rivalry, for the time, at least, 
shall consist alone in seeing who can do most to 
guide, defend, and comfort the ladies committed 
to our charge. What say you ? do you pledge 
yourself to this ? " 



THE JACQUERIE; 175 

" By my honour and hopes of heaven," 
replied Albert Denyn, grasping the hand the 
other gave him. — *' When shall we set out, 
my lord ? " 

" Some two hours hence," answered the Count 
de Mauvinet. " They will all then be asleep. 
Nevertheless, you must proceed with great cau-* 
tion. Let one go out first, to make sure that 
there is no party beyond the mouth of the vault. 
If he do not come back or give a signal, the 
rest can follow. In the mean time, I will send 
some flights of arrows amongst them from the 
other side, so as to create confusion in that 
quarter." 

" In an hour and a half, my lord, then, I 
will be ready," said Albert Denyn, '* and yet 
I would iain stay ; but I will obey you in this 
also, and, if I live, will bring you succour ere 
three days be over. Fare you well then, for the 
present, my lord: I will go and watch those 
men. This night is somewhat lighter than the 
last, and I should much fear for the result of 
our expedition, did I not trust, that the bead 
which was most likely to watch for our de* 



176 THE JACQUERIE, 

struction lies on an aching pillow, with no 
great power to rise." 

** Ay, or on a still one, from which it will 
never rise again,'* replied the Lord of Mau- 
vinet. 

As Albert Denyn had said, the night was 
somewhat clearer, and his last look from the 
battlements ere he descended to the court-yard 
at the appointed hour showed him that, a? 
before, the principal body of the insurgents 
lay before the great gates of the castle, while 
another smaller party, but still some thousands 
strong, were pressed close round a postern to 
the east, by which they doubtless thought that 
an escape might be attempted. 

" Keep the torches moving quickly round 
the walls," said Albert to one of the sentinels 
on guard; and then, mounting to the beacon 
tower, he bade the man slacken the flame a 
little, saying, " Our good lord is going to 
give them soon a flight or two of arrows." 

After one more glance towards the fields, 
he descended, and found all prepared.' Adela 
and the duchess, with two other women, ap« 



THE JACQUERIE. 177 

peared a moment or two aftei* ; the first with 
her countenance very pale, the second pre* 
serving the same light, and somewhat care- 
less bearing, which she had always hitherto 
maintained. 

" Here, young gentleman," she said, as 
soon as she saw Albert — - " tell your sweet 
friend, here, that there is not so much danger 
as she fancies. Me she will not believe." 

" I trust that there is not much danger, in- 
deed," replied Albert ; " for if we find that there 
is any one near the sally-port, or whatever it 
may be, at the end of the vault, we can but 
retreat to the castle again, and my good lord 
will keep some one there to give us admission." 

'* I will, I will," replied the old Lord of 
Mauvinet ; " but I will see you forth myself. 
Now lead the horses. — Do you know, madam," 
he continued, speaking to the duchess, ** whe- 
ther the roof rises, so that you can mount before 
you issue forth ? " 

" Oh yes, my lord," she replied—'* there are 
some fifty yards of a dark sort of cavern in the 
rock, beyond the last gate; one can mount 

VOL. III. N 



178 THE JACQUERIE. 

there. — My Lord of Chamble, you are my 
knight for the time ; you shall win high thanks 
if you bring me safe to Meaux." 

Thus speaking, she led the way onward 
through the vault, lighted by a single torch, 
with the horses brought after. The Lord of 
Mauvinet paused for a moment, to give some 
orders for diverting the attention of the in- 
surgents to the other side of the castle, and 
then followed quickly. The vault was long, 
and not a word was spoken : the hearts of all 
there present were too full for words. At 
length, however, they redched the last door, 
and entered the natural cavern. 

" Farewell, my lord," said the duchess, 
extending her hand to the count. The old 
seneschal pressed his lips upon it, and then 
casting his arms round his daughter, he held 
her to his heart with a long and a close em- 
brace. Adela's tears fell quick upon his 
cheek, as he bent to kiss her $ and, feeling that 
it was too much for either of them to speak, he 
lifted her on her horse in silence. 

" Albert," said the count, in a low, but 



THE JACQUEIUE. 179 

solemn voice, grasping the young soldier's 
hand, " Albert, I trust her to you, with but 
one injunction — mark, you obey it ! Should 
you all be made prisoners by these slaves, let her 
not fall alive into their hands. You understand 
me. Slay her, if you love her. Slay her, as 
I would slay her ; and her spirit and mine will 
thank you for it in heaven." 

" I will give her my dagger, my lord," replied 
Albert, calmly : " I shall be dead, ere then ! " 



N 2 



180 THE JACQUERI£. 



CHAR IX. 

** I CANNOT follow them so fast, Albert, I cannot 
follow them so fast : my horse is very lame, and 
will not go on." 

" Yet a little while, dear lady, yet a little 
while : I fear we are not past all danger yet. 
Their bands stretch out far and wide around 
the castle, and methinks I see a light yonder 
which may belong to them. Stay, I will dis- 
mount and look what is the matter ; perhaps it 
may be a stone in the beast's foot." 

It was in vain, however, that Albert Denyn 
examined ; no stone could he find ; but still the 
horse went lame, and could not keep up with 
the rest. 

•* What is the matter ? " demanded the voice 
of the duchess? as she remarked a pause, and 
some confusion. 

" The lady's horse, madam, is lame," replied 



THE JACQUERIE, 18l 

Albert, " and cannot follow you so fast ; and 
yet I am afraid that by any delay we may en- 
danger your safety." 

" We must have passed all danger now," said 
the princess. ** There is a light down there — 
from some peasant's cottage, doubtless. Let us 
turn our steps thither, and examine what is the 
matter with the beast," 

** Madam," replied Albert, *^ your security 
must be the first thing thought of. " Let the 
lady's saddle be put upon my horse — I will 
follow you on foot." 

** Nay, nay," cried the princess, " that shall 

never be ! Take her behind you, good youth* 
Make a pillion of your cloak ; but first let us 
see what yon light is. We must have gone neat 
two leagues by this time, and I have no fear." 

Thus saying, and without waiting for reply, 
she turned her rein in the direction of the 
light, and rode on with the young Lord of 
Chambl^. It soon became evident that they 
were approaching some huts; but before she 
reached them, Albert Denyn spurred on, and 
laid his hand upon her bridle, saying, " I beseech 

N 3 



182 THE JACQUERIE. 

you, madam, let me go forward first oh foot — I 
hear voices speaking. Here^ Scroope, hold my 
rein for a moment, and for Heaven's sake make 
up a pillion for the Lady Adela behind my saddle. 
I will be back in an instant, madam ; but if you 
hear me shout loudly, ride on with all speed, 
and leave me to my fate/' 

As he spoke, Albert dismounted and advaneed 
towards the light ; but when he came nearer to 
the hut, he' could distinguish that the sounds 
which had met bis ear as he rode up were those 
of complaint and pain. 

The cabins were few in number ; all were dark 
save one, and, by the rays that Issued from it, 
Albert gazed around, but could see no human 
being near. He af^roached close to the door, 
and listened ;but the first thing that broke the 
silence was merely a groiui of anguish* 

<^ Ah, that does me good to hear," said a 
shrill voice. ^* It is medicine to me, it is balm ; 
but yet I would fain have a drop of water. They 
have all left me, and they think I will die ; but 
they are mistaken. Woinan, give me a drop 
of water, and I vow you shall go free : I k^t 



r 



THE JACQUERIE. 183 

you from them to be my paramour ; but if you 
will give me a cup of water, I. promise you 
shall go free." 

Another deep groan from a spot near broke 
in upon what he was saying, and then a sweets 
toned woman's voice^ full of deep sadness, re* 
plied, " How can I give thee water with my 
hands tied ? Think you that if I could give it to 
any one, it would not be to my own father, 
whom you have so inhumanly mangled ? " 

" Fiend, give me water," cried the same voice, 
frantically ; " or when my men come, I will 
make them dishonour thee before his eyes." 

A low sob was the only reply, and Albert 
Dei^yn, re-assured, thrust open the door and en- 
tered. 

The scene was a strange and horrible one, as 
ever war with all its horrors presented. Cast 
down in one corner of the hut lay the mangled 
form of a tall and powerful man, past the middle 
age ; whose dress, though torn and dabbled with 
blood, bespoke high rank and station. His ar- 
mour had been stripped off, except the grieves, 
which were still upon his legs, while both his 

N 4 



184 THE JACQUERIE. 

arms, from the way in which they lay, seemed 
to be broken. Crouching on the ground near 
him, with her hands tied behind her back, and 
gazing upon him with a look full of deep but 
agonised affection, was a beautiful girl, of perhaps 
nineteen years of age, whp seemed to have suf- 
fered no violence, though her robe was spotted 
with drops of blood, which probably had flowed 
from the dying man beside her. 

A resin torch was stuck in one corner of the 
hut, and by its light was seen, on the other hand, 
a low bed piled up with straw, over which was 
cast a rich crimson cloak. Thereon was 
stretched the lean and withered form of old 
Thibalt la Rue, with an arrow still left 
plunged in his right side, just beneath the 
arm, which seemed to keep him in great 
torture, and prevent him from moving hand or 
foot without pain. 

As may be well supposed, all the eyes 
of those within the cabin were instantly 
turned upon the opening door; and when 
the fine majestic form of the young soldier ap» 
peared, covered with his coat of arms, a look of 



THE JACQUERIE. 185 

terror passed over the fiend-like countenance of 
the oJd man, while a cry of joy burst from the 
lips of the fair girl at the other side of the hut, 

" It is a gentleman, my father," she cried, 
" Oh God, it is a gentleman come to help us," 

The dying man strove to turn, but could 
not, and Albert Denyn instantly advancing, cut 
the cord that tied the lady's hands. Without a 
pause, she started to a table, on which stood a 
cup of water, and brought it to her father's lips ; 
while Albert gazed earnestly upon him, saying, 
^' Surely I have seen your face before. Is it 
possible that I behold my good Lord of 
St. Leu?" 

*' Yes, yes !" cried the wounded nobleman, his 
lips now moistened and refreshed, " and you are 
the man of all others I would see. Take care 
of my daughter, good youth. Convey her safely 
to the Captal de Buch : she has a packet for him 
in her bosom, which he will give much to have. 
Away with her, quick ! Mind not me. Thank 
God I she is unpolluted as yet. I trust her to 
your honour. Away ! away " 

His mind, occupied by one all-engrossing 



186 THE JACQUERIE. 

thought, evidently took into consideration no- 
thing else; but the poor girl again cast herself 
on her knees beside him, exclaiming, ^^ I can- 
not, I will not leave you ! Oh my father, let me 
stay and die beside you." 

" Give me some drink ! give me some 
drink ! " shrieked the voice of the old man 
from the other bed. " Monsters, will you not 
give me some drink ? May hell seize upon you 

all!" 

Ko one attended to him, however— the hour of 
retribution was eome^-^and the agony he had so 
often inflicted upon others now fell upon him^fl 

*' I know not how I can save her," said 
Albert Denyn, speaking in a low voice to the 
Lord of St. Leu ; ^^ we are ourselves embatrassed 
for chargers. One has fallen lam^ and ** 

" There must be horses near, " replied 
the dying man. ^^ Our own cannot be far ofiv 
They pursued us as we were trying to escape 
towards Paris : they caught us not far from 
this spot, and our beasts must be here. ^— Take 
her ! take her quick ! " 



THE JACQUERIE, 187 

** Stay," cried Albert, " I will go and see 
what can be done.'* 

Thus saying, he left the hut, and found that 
the Duchess of Orleans and her party had gra- 
dually advanced to within a few steps of the 
spot where it stood. To her and the rest he 
explained briefly what he had seen. The other 
hovels were searched immediately, and in one 
of them three or four horses were found, with 
a young peasant of some twelve years old 
dressed in the rich embroidered suit which 
had once covered a nobleman's son, sound 
Asleep on some straw in a comer of this 
temporary stable. The boy was roused and 
tied hand and foot, and two fresh holies were 
brought forth for Adela and Margaret of 
St. Leu. There was a third powerful beast, 
which had evidently been the charger of a man-* 
at-arms ; and a vagae hope of being able to save 
the Lord of St. Leu himself crossed the mind 
of the young soldier, as he turned back with 
Sctoope and another to the little hut. The 
moment he entered, the voice of the old man 



Jdd THE JACQUERIE. 

Thibalt assailed him, calling him by name, and 
beseeching him to bring him water. 

** If you will give me but one drop, Albert 
Denyn," he said, *' I will tell you a secret you 
would cut off your right hand to bear ! " 

*^ Albert Denyn ! " cried tlie young lady of 
St, Leu, looking at him. " Are you Albert 
Denyn ? — Give him some water," 

The youth took the cup and filled it from a 
jar that stood near. The unfortunate wretch 
clutched it eagerly and drank, and then ex- 
claimed, " More, give me more ! " 

*' What is your secret, then ? " demanded 
Albert Denyn. 

*' Listen, listen," said the old man. 

The youth put down his ear, and Thibalt 
whispered a word which made the light flash 
from the young soldier's eyes. 

" Give me more drink," cried Thibalt, seeing 
the effect that he had produced, ^^ give me 
more drink, and I will tell thee all." 

Albert turned eagerly to seek it; but at that 
moment the young Lord of Chamble entered 



THE JACQUERIE. 189 

the place, and his eyes fell at once upon old 
Thibalt de la Rue, 

" Ha ! " he exclaimed. " This is the darkest 
fiend of them all ! — Lying on my murdered 
brother^s cloak too ! — Down to hell, old mon- 
ster ! " and ere Albert Denyn could stop him, 
he had driven his dagger into Thibalt's heart. 
With a yell, a gasp, and a fearful contortion, 
the wretched old man gave up his spirit to its 
terrible account* 

" My lord, you have stopped words I would 
have given a world to hear," cried Albert 
Denyn ; " but it is done, and cannot now be 
helped. — Dear lady," he continued, turning to 
the Lord of St. Leu*s daughter, " perhaps we 
may be able to carry your father with us, if we 
be not sharply pursued. If he can sit upon a 
horse at all, I and another will support him in 
our arms." 

*^ God of heaven reward you !" cried the girl. 
" I will reward you, too. — Father, dear father, 
do you hear him?" and she again turned to 
gaze into her parent's face. 

The wounded man made no reply. The eyes 



190 THE JACQUERIE. 

were fixed and glassy : there was a gi'ey shade 
over the whole countenance ; and Albert Denyn, 
starting forward, gazed at him intently fijr a 
moment. He took her hand, saying, " Lady^ 
come away ! Your cares are fruitless." 

" One moment," she said, in a calmer tone 
than he expected — "but one moment," and 
bending down her head, she pressed her lips 
upon the cold brow of her dead father. 

^' Now," she continued, " now I am ready. I 
have no right to keep you longer." 

Her eyes were dry, but an unwonted drop 
glistened on the lids of Albert Denyn as he 
«aid, " Alas, poor lady ! Would that we could 
have saved him." 

She gave him a grateful look, but made no 
reply ; and he led her out, accompanied by the 
rest, one of the rude soldiers, before they went, 
spurning the body of Thibalt de la Rue from 
the straw on which it was stretched, and 
spreading the cloak over the dead form of the 
Lord of St. Leu. But few words more were 
spoken, and none that it may be necessary to 
repeat ; for the recognition of Adela and Mar- 



THE JACQUERIE* 191 

garet of St. Leu was too full of sad feelings on 
both parts to admit of conversation. The 
saddle was changed from the horse which 
had fallen lame to one of those which had 
been brought out of the hut, the young lady 
of St. Leii was placed upon another, and the 
party once more proceeded in the darkness* 
Two of the troopers lingered for a moment 
or two, indeed, and then came up at a quick 
pace ; but Albert Denyn had heard a sharp cry 
and a groan behind them, and he turned sharply 
to one of the men, saying, " You have not hurt 
the boy?" 

" Out upon the wolfs whelp ! " was the only 
reply; and Albert very well divined the 
fate of the unfortunate Jad who had been 
left by the insurgents to guard the horses. 
It did not surprise him; for such was the 
merciless conduct of each party to the other, in 
the fearful strife that was then going on, that 
no one could hope for pity if he fell into the 
hands of the enemy. 

It may be easily imagined that the journey 
was a painful one to all. Apprehension, 



192 THE JACQUERIE. 

indeed, decreased every minute, as mile after 
mile was placed between them and the castle of 
Beaumont. But there was scarcely one person 
present who had not some deep cause for 
care or for sorrow in his breast ; and the lightest 
hearted of the cavalcade seemed to be the 
Duchess of Orleans herself, who led the way 
with the young Lord of Chambl^ talking 
almost gaily, and keeping him constantly by 
her side. 

Margaret of St. Leu, Albert Denyn, and Adela 
de Mauvinet followed, while between the two 
latter existed those deep feelings of anxiety and 
grief for the same objects, and from the same 
causes, which, like almost every other circum- 
stance that had taken place in their mutual lives, 
were calculated to draw their hearts closer and 
closer together, and to render the love which 
was in the bosom of each unchangeable and 
eternal. They spoke but little in words, it is 
true; but their thoughts spoke, and each, in 
mind, was conversing with the other. 

At length, as the grey streaks in the sky 
told the approach of day, Adela addressed her 



THE JACQUERIE. 193 

companion in a low voice, saying, " Where do 
you think you can obtain help for my father?*' 
" I know but one place," replied Albert 
Denyn, " in which it can be found, and but one 
person capable of giving it — Paris, and the king 
of Navarre. As soon as you are safe in Meaux, 
I must hasten to the king — some other 
messenger must also be sent; for I risk 
my liberty by going, and may be arrested 
before I reach him." 

" Oh, he will give no aid," cried Adela. 
" My father is of the regent's party, and 
Charles the Bad hates him bitterly; but the 
Captal de Buch — Albert, where is the captal ?" 

" By this time he must be in France," 
answered Albert Denyn. " But, alas ! dear lady, 
he had but sixteen men with him ! all the rest 
were left behind to aid the Teutonic knights : — 
the dauphin is powerless, and there is no time 
to be lost." 

" I fear there is not," said Adela, " I 
fear there is not, indeed. Oh, tell me the 
truth, Albert, tell me the whole truth. My 
father put on a face of hope and confidence, 

VOL. in. o 



194 THE JACQUERIE. 

and said he could hold out the castle for a 
week. But I heard something of one of the 
towers being taken." 

" That is no disadvantage, dear lady," re- 
plied Albert. " The tower was a weak point, 
rather than a defence. We have broken down 
the bridge between it and the castle, and, as 
they have no machines of war it gives them no 
assistance. I trust your father may hold out for 
a week, perhaps for longer ; the more so, as I 
believe that villain Caillet — who, from his 
talent, is more to be dreaded than all the rest — 
is at least disabled for a time. If his casque 
had not been of the best tried steel, he would 
have been a corpse ere now. As it was, the 
battle-axe must have reached his head ; for I 
saw the blood start as he fell." 

" God forgive me that I must rejoice," said 
Adela, " at any man's sufferings." 

" I think he is dead, lady," joined in one of 
the troopers who was riding near ; " for I be- 
held the blow given, and he went down much 
like a dead man." 

" No, no," answered Albert Denyn — ** he 



THE JACQUERIE. 195 

died not on the spot ; for I afterwards saw him 
walk to the rear, supported by two of his base 
companions ; but, for a time at least, I trust 
that he is disabled. That old man, too, cannot 
direct them now; and he was as shrewd a 
miscreant as ever lived. It was. a serviceable 
bow that sent that arrow to his breast." 

" I ratlier think it was your own. Master 
Albert," replied the soldier who had previously 
spoken ; ^' for that young wolf told us, before 
Peter cut his throat, that the old knave was 
wounded by an arrow, shot in the darkness of 
the night, on their very first arrival under 
Beaumont." 

" That is strange, indeed," said Albert 
Denyn; and after a moment's musing he 
added, — " Let us hope for the best, dear lady.. 
Look where the sun is rising brightly ; so may 
a better day rise for us all ! " 

" God grant it !" cried Adela; " God grant 
it ! " And she turned her glistening eyes on 
him who spoke, with a look which seemed to say,, 
that if her day was to be bright, his happiness 
must have a share in making it so. *^ But stilly 

o 2 



1^ THE JACQUERIE. 

Albert," she continued, " still some aid must 
be sought for my father. Whither shall we 
turn for that ? " 

" If the captal has not passed on yet to 
Paris/* replied Albert, " he cannot be very 
far distant. I know the road he is to take ; I 
will seek him, and ask his counsel. Perhaps 
we can raise men ; call the nobles to arms 
throughout the country, and march against 
these savages at once. But, lo ! surely those 
are the buildings of Meaux. Two hours more 
will bring us thither." 

Adela looked forward, and saw at the edge 
of thejplain that they were now traversing some 
tall towers and spires, with several glistening 
pieces of water; but, why she could not tell, 
her bosom did not experience that joy which 
the sensation of renewed security generally in- 
spires. She asked herself what next was to 
happen ; and felt that, if the heart be prophetic, 
no great happiness awaited her there. 

After a pause of about ah hour, in a small 
town not far from the spot where Meaux 
first appeared to their eyes, they again re- 



THE JACQUEJIIE, 197 

newed their journey, and entered the city 
about mid-day. There were many people in 
the streets, and a number more came out tp 
gaze upon them as they passed; but Albert 
Denyn could not help thinking that he saw 
some scowling malevolence in the eyes of the 
citizens. Opposite the principal church, how- 
ever, they were met by the mayor, to whom 
the Duchess of Orleans was known, and to 
whom she had sent forward a messenger from 
their last halting place. He received her with 
fawning smiles, and lowly inclinations of the 
head, and besought her to take up her resi- 
dence in the town-house, at least for a time ; 
but while they were yet parleying on the sub- 
ject, a messenger arrived in breathless haste, 
saying, " That the young Duchess of Normandy, 
having heard of her fair aunt's arrival, had sent 
him to beg that she would join her instantly 
in the great market-place, where she and 
some other persons of quality were then 
residing." 

The duchess rode on accordingly ; and Albert 
Denyn followed with the rest, thinking it not 

o 3 



198 THE JACQUERIE. 

a little strange to hear that the wife of the 
dauphin, the regent of the kingdom, should be 
making her abode in the market-place of Meaux. 
As they rode on, however, and passed over the 
old bridge across the river Marne, he perceived 
the meaning of that term which he had before 
not understood. The stream of the Marne 
itself flowed between the city and the market- 
place, which was situated on an island, formed 
by the river and by a deep and broad canal. A 
number of fine edifices surrounded the square 
where the weekly markets were held, and these 
buildings were protected by walls, towers, and 
ditches, like a regular fortress. The fortifica- 
tions, indeed, did not embrace the whole of the 
island, the unenclosed space being covered by 
green pasture, upon which some cattle and 
sheep were feeding peacefully. 

At the fortified gate of the market-place, 
when the fugitives from Beaumont arrived 
there, stood two men at arms, and two or three 
domestic servants, as it appeared; and when 
the great doors were thrown open, and Albert 
Denyn, together with the rest of the troop, 



THE JACQUERIE. 199 

followed the Duchess of Orleans in, the first 
object that his eyes lighted upon was the young 
Duchess of Normandy, with a number of other 
ladies and female attendants, come forth to 
greet her noble relation ; but he was surprised 
to see only two or three pages, and still fewer 
serving men, without a single knight or man-at- 
arms to give them protection. 

The two ladies embraced eagerly, and con*- 
tinued in conversation for some time, while the 
gentlemen who had accompanied the Duchess of 
Orleans remained at some little distance. At 
length, the princess beckoned to Albert Denyn, 
and he could see at his approach that her face 
was graver than he had beheld it before. 

" You are weary, and well nigh exhausted,'' 
said the duchess ; ^' and yet, good youth, I doubt 
not that you will undertake to ride forth again 
within an hour, to do good service- both to me 
and the lady that you love." 

" I proposed, madam," replied Albert, " but 
to feed my horse, and to set out, in order to 
rejoin the noble Captal de Buch, and lead him 
to the deliverance of the Lord of Mauvinet." 

o 4 



200 THE JACQUERIE. 

The lady paused, thoughtfully, and then said, 
" Well, that must do. Can you trust the man 
Scroope to deliver a message faithfully ? " 

" I think I can, madam," replied Albert 
Denyn. " But let me hear its nature." 

" The message I would send," answered the 
duchess, \ " is to the regent, now at Mon- 
terreaux. I would have him told, that, left 
well nigh defenceless as we are, we doubt the 
faith of the people of Meaux ; and that, not- 
withstanding all the oaths and protestations of 
John Soulas and his companions, we believe 
him to be a knave, and that they mean to play 
us false. We would beseech the dauphin to 
return directly with force to deliver us, or 
worse may come of it. Now, good youth, take 
the man Scroope with you — you will find 
fresh horses in the stable. You can either 
trust him to seek the captal, and go on with 
the message to the regent, or you can send 
him to the regent, and seek the captal your- 
self. But I will tell you, that he who bears 
this message to the dauphin will meet the 
best reward in the regent's power to bestow." 



THE JACQUERIE. 201 

" Madam," replied Albert Denyn," Scroope's 
path and mine will lie for some way together. 
Perhaps I may meet the captal, ere we are 
obliged to separate; for that noble lord comes 
by Provins and Melun. But if we are forced 
to part, believe me, madam, by all I hold most 
dear, I will do that which in my poor judg- 
ment seems at the time best calculated to 
bring you speedy aid; for if I judge rightly, 
the Lord of Mauvinet can make good his part 
much longer than you could do here with the 
very few men you have about you." 

" There are some soldiers, sir, on the walls," 
answered the Duchess of Normandy ; " but, 
alas ! they are not many." 

" No time is then to be lost, your highness," 
replied Albert Denyn : " I will go forth at 
once." 

" At le^t take some refreshment," said the 
duchess. " Happily we have abundance here ; 
though, alas ! each meal that we eat we know 
not but it may, be the last. There are plenty 
of fresh horses too in the stables." 

Albert was turning away ; but the Duchess 



1202 TH£ JACQUERIE. 

of Orleans followed him a step, and then 
said, in a low voice, " Your devotion pleases 
me, sir, and is worthy of high reward. In 
those points that you hold most dear, I will 
take care that you shall not lose by your 
absence. Though the page was not happy that 
loved the lady of high degree, yet there are 
times and seasons when the differences of 
station are swjept away, and when bold love, if 
joined with valour and with virtue, may be 
successful. Say a word to your fair lady before 
you go. Ask her if she have a token to send to 
her father — and now fare you well. — My Lord 
of Chambl^," she continued, raising her voice, 
" I would speak with you for a moment. You 
must conduct our defence for us here in case 
of need, for we have great fear of these men 
of Meaux." 

The young nobleman advanced ; but Albert 
Denyn stopped him for a moment as he passed, 
saying, *^ Farewell, my lord: perhaps we may 
never meet again; but I know I leave the 
Lady Adela under the protection of a good 
knight, and a strong sword. I think you 



THE JACQUERIE. 208 

neard what her father said to me, as we parted* 
I trust that task to you, should such a dreadful 
day ever come ; and I beseech you, and this 
noble lady also, to take care of that poor for- 
lorn girl, whose father we saw expire last 
night." 

A few words to Adela, and a few to the 
orphan lady of St. Leu, were all that Albert 
Denyn indulged in; and then explaining to 
Scroope the task that was given them, he 
sought fresh horses in the stables of the market- 
place, and passing over the bridge, issued forth 
again from the town of Meaux. 



204 THE JACQUERIE. 



CHAP. X. 

If in this earth on which we live^ and this 
state of mortal being, a foretaste of that hell 
which evil actions prepai'e for men hereafter 
be allowed to visit the bosoms of the wicked, 
it must surely be when, in the struggle against 
virtue and right, they find themselves baffled 
and overthrown ; when they see that holy 
obedience to God's high will, which they con- 
temned as pusillanimous or scoffed at as feeble, 
triumphing, in the power of wisdom and the 
might of justice, over their furious weakness 
and their foolish cunning. 

That foretaste of hell was in the heart of 
William Caillet, when, after having been 
dashed backward amongst his blood-thirsty 
followers by the hand of the youth he affected 
to scorn and despise, he was led away from 
the southern tower of the castle of Beaumont, 
bleeding, dizzy, and baffled. 



THE JACQUERIE. 205 

Ere he could recover his recollection, Jacques 
Morne and another had drawn him not only 
away from the tower, but to a considerable dis- 
tance from the fortress itself, out of the reach of 
the missiles which from time to time were poured 
from the walls. The peasantry gazed at him 
as he moved slowly along, with anxiety and 
wonder. This was the first time that they had 
ever seen him wounded; and as his fiery courage 
had led him into the very front on every occa- 
sion of danjger and strife, they' had become 
possessed with a superstitious notion that he 
was invulnerable. His superiority of mind, his 
powers of language, his fierce daring, the calm, 
deliberate cruelty with which he committed, 
or ordered, barbarous acts, which the others 
performed when maddened by excited passions, 
his continual success, and his thirst, as it were, 
for strife and bloodshed, had all convinced 
them that he was of a different kind of being 
from themselves; and, as there is always some 
justice in the appreciation of character by mul- 
titudes, however rude, the revolted peasantry 
imagined that their leader, if not absolutely a 



1206 THE JACQUERIE. 

fiend, was endowed by the spirits of darkness 
with supernatural powers. 

As Caillet recovered, in some degree, from 
the first effects of the blow, he saw the dis- 
mayed and wondering eyes that turned upon 
him ; and feeling that unless he made a great 
effort, a part of the influence of his character 
would be lost with the people, he exclaimed, 
in his short, stern manner, " No farther ! " and 
poshing from him on either side the men who 
were supporting him, he drew himself to his 
full height, and spreading out his shoulders, 
took in a deep, long breath. 

The next moment, feeling that his strength 
was indeed gone for the time, he sat down upon 
the ground to hide his weakness, and in a full 
and yet powerful voice said to Jacques Morne, 
** Take off my casque ; — bring me a bucket 
full of water." 

The casque was soon removed; and looking 
at the deep rent through the steel, as he held 
it on his knee, without attempting to stop the 
blood that continued flowing from his forehead, 
he continued to those around, '^ The blade 



THE JACQUERIE. 207 

must have been enchanted that struck that 
blow. — The tower, however, is ours. I knew 
that somethuig must be paid for it, and it is 
well worth a few drops of blood. — Let it flow, 
let it flow," he continued, removing the hand of 
one of the men who attempted to stanch it with 
some bandages of linen which had been brought 
to the spot : " when enough has come, I will stop 
it myself. Did not somebody tell me, when 
I came up a few hours ago, that old Thibalt 
had been wounded by an arrow last night ? " 

" Yes," replied one of the men with a sar- 
castic grin ; " and he caused himself to be re- 
moved to a hut a mile or two behind, where he 
had laid a trap for the old Lord of St. Leu and 
the Lady Magaret, whom he intends to keep 
for his paramour. 

" If he can think of paramours," answered 
Caillet, " he cannot be badly hurt, and must 
come up to-morrow to bear his share in the 
day's work. I intend to take the castle before 
noon. We have done enough for one day. — Now^ 
Morne, dip the bandages in the water; bind them 
round my head. — Withdraw the men a little 



208 THE JACQUERIE. 

distance from the walls, as the sun is going down ; 
but mind that they keep close together, and lie 
shoulder to shoulder through the night, tliat we 
may have no more escaping as at Ermenonville* 
I will go to yon cottage, and have an hour or 
two's sleep. I have had none for many a day. 
Come with me, Morne, for a while : I would 
speak to you as we go. — I expect great tidings 
and great deeds to-morrow, my friends," he 
continued, turning to the peasantry who stood 
near; « and if my mind does not deceive me^ I 
shall lead you to a higher enterprise than any 
you have yet undertaken. Wake me if any thing 
happens, or if any messenger arrives; and an 
hour before daylight send a messenger to old 
Thibalt, bidding him come up by dawn." 

Thus saying, Caillet turned and walked away ; 
proceeding with a firm strong step, an upright 
mien, and unchanged demeanour, till he had 
passed the greater part of the peasantry. He 
then, however, took Jacques Mome's arm, leant 
heavily upon it, and when he had reached the 
cottage, he cast himself down in a bed, in the 
right-hand room, with a deep groan. 



THE JACQUERIE. 209 

" What can I get you, Caillet ? '* said Jacques 
Morne : " you are badly hurt." 

*' No, no,'* he replied, " I am not. I shall 
be well to-morrow: my head aches with the 
blow, that is all. Bring me plenty of water 
to keep these bandages wet. — Put a man to 
guard the door. — Let me hear every thing that 
happens during the night ; and, now leave me." 

It was about two o'clock in the mornings 
when CaiUet, who had at length fallen asleep^ 
was roused by some one bringing him in letters. 
A torch was soon procured, and he read the 
contents eagerly, and with a smile of triumph. 
Then turning to the messenger he said, " You 
come from Paris yourself? " 

The man bowed his head ; and Caillet con- 
tinued, " Well, take some short rest. Go back 
and tell Vaillant and Giles that I will not fail 
them. I will be there to a moment, with twenty 
thousand men. I have no materials here, or I 
would write ; but you know what to say, and 
will say it exactly." 

The messenger retired; and Caillet asked 
those who had brought him in, whether any 

VOL. III. P 



210 THE JACQUERIE* 

thing had occurred in the neighbourhood of the 
castle. 

. " Nothing," replied the man : " nothing 
could happen. There is not room for a mouse 
to creep out of it between our mien. They dis- 
charged a flight of arrows, indeed, about mid- 
night; but without eiBFect." 

Caillet started up off the bed, and gazed in 
the face of the man who spoke. " A flight of 
arrows at midnight!" he exclaimed — "that 
was not without its purpose. We shall hear 
more anon. Where lies Jacques Morne ? Bring 
the casque after me ; but stay, give me a cup 
of wine." 

While the peasant was seeking in the other 
chamber of the cottage for the wine that Caillet 
demanded, there were voices heard at the door, 
and the insurgent leader went out himself to 
see who it was. 

" Here is bad news, Caillet," said Jacques 
Morne, who was one of the speakers. " Old 
Thibalt is dead ! " 

" Then death be his paramour !" cried Caillet, 
with a bitter and a somewhat wild laugh. " What 



THE JACQUEKIE. 211 

had the old dry lath to do with paramours? — 
I wonder if his inquisitive mind have found the 
way to hell yet ? — It was no bad hand that shot 
that arrow. That old man would have made 
mischief amongst us, Morne. He could not be 
honest even with his brethren." 

" It was not the arrow killed him," replied 
Morne, in a low tone. " There was a dagger 
wound in his heart ; and a horse-boy, who was 
found dying, said that there had been several 
women and five or six men there, mounted on 
strong horses. They stabbed oldThibalt, and cut 
the boy's throat, it seems ; but he is still living, 
if you would ask him any farther questions. — 
I fear, Caillet, that they have escaped from the 
castle; for the boy heard one of them call 
another, Albert Denyn, and they spoke about 
going to Meaux — yet how they got out I 
cannot tell; for, on my life, they must have 
marched across our bodies." 

" Ha, ha, ha !" laughed Caillet, with a wild, 
fiendish, mocking laugh ; " they will make me 
hunt them throughout all France ; but so shall 
we find the richer castles and towns to plunder, 

p 2 



212 THE JACQU£RI£. 

and the more of these locust nobles to destroy. 
— Meaux, gone to M eaux, have they ? Well, 
then, we will go to Meaux too. — Go, go, 
Morne, go ! Gather all the people together 
where I can speak to them. Get the men of 
influence in the front. I have great news for 
them, Morne ; so let the tidings of the principal 
people having escaped from the castle spread 
among them. I will be there by day-break." 

As soon as Morne was gone Caillet quaffed off 
the cup of wine that the peasant brought him ; 
and then sitting down, leaned his head upon 
his hands, muttering to himself, " How it aches ! 
Nor are my thoughts so clear as they used to 
be. I wonder why images that one would 
banish will return to plague us — I, who can 
command thousands of men, cannot I command 
these phantoms, these creatures of my own 
brain ? — That old man ! — That Walleran 
Urgel, that I slew in the wood ! — That 
daughter of the Lord of Plessis, that I spurned 
away from me to the blood-hounds that fol- 
lowed ! and the little children too ! I can see 
them standing, pale, at the other side of the 



THE JACQUERIE. ^IH 

room. How she did shriek when the men 
seized her ! — Hark, she is shrieking still ! — > 
No ! all is silence. The cry was in my own 
heart ! 

" But," he continued, " this is frenzy. I 
will go forth : the cool air will calm my brain* 
See, there is the grey morning. — Hark ye 
without there, bring my casque after me, and 
a lance ; " and thus saying, he wandered forth 
with his eyes bent upon the ground. 

As soon as the sun had fully risen, a large 
body of the peasantry had been gathered to- 
gether upon the slope descending from the 
castle. They were not all there, although 
William Caillet had demanded that all should 
be collected; but it was in vain, with the 
mixed, undisciplined, many-passioned crowd, 
without any law, or recognised authority what- 
soever, to attempt a universal movement* 
General impulses might be given, carrying a 
great majority in a particular way ; but the 
leaders had always found that there were 
numbers, not absolutely dissentient, but who 
straggled away to some other object, in spite 

p 3 



214 THE JACQUERIE. 

of all that could be doiie to keep them toge- 
thet. 

Such, then, was the case on the present 
occasion. Some fifteen or sixteen thousand 
men were collected, however; and amongst 
them, all those who generally led the rest, 
receiving their directions from Caillet himself; 
Some standing, some sitting, some lying on the 
grass, now waited for his coming with not a 
little impatience; for the tidings had been 
spread amongst them that the principal persons 
who had been in the castle of Beaumont on the 
preceding day had made their escape during 
the night, and also that some great enterprise 
was about to be proposed to them. They had 
just arrived at that period of the insurrection 
when the first ardour of their furious outbreak 
began to die away, and some new stimulus^ 
some great object, was wanting to call forth 
again the same terrible energies which they had 
at first displayed. 

At length there came a murmur from the 
side of the castle next to the gate, and, in a 
minute after, Caillet appeared amongst them ; 



!i 



THE JACQUERIE. 215 

the impression of his presence being rather 
heightened than diminished, by the sternness 
of his pale and dark, but magnificent, coun- 
tenance^ and by the bloody bandages that 
ivrapped his brow. 

He paused and looked around him, in silence, 
for a moment, and then said, " My friends, you 
have, heard that the prey have escaped us for the 
time — I know not bow, and it matters but little." 

" We have discovered how, we have dis- 
covered how," cried half-a-dosien voices. " We 
have traced the horses' feet from a cave hidden 
by the gorse and bushes there ; but there are 
3till men in the castle." 

" It matters not," replied Caillet. " Those 
who made it worth taking are gone. You have 
heard that they have escaped, I say, but there is 
one thing that you have not heard, that they have 
escaped, only to fall again into our hands with 
greater certainty than ever. There were some 
of you that feared, there were some of you that 
doubted, when I told you, that our very first 
success would bring millions to aid and support 
us in breaking our chains, and crushing our 

p 4 



216 THE JACQUERIE, 

enemies. What I have told you has now proved 
true : all your best hopes are fulfilled. The 
people of Paris — I mean the oppressed people of 
Paris — not only offer to join you, but call you 
to take part with them in a great enterprise; 
and the commune of another important city, 
with the mayor and magistrates at its head, 
offer to receive you as brothers, to give up the 
place to you, and to enable you, at one blow, 
to crush the whole brood of serpents that hoxe 
poisoned France. This is more than I evex' 
dreamed or hoped for. My friends, my deal 
fellow-countrymen, John Soulas, mayor of Meaux, 
offers to receive us, and our Parisian brethren, 
under Vaillant and Giles, into that great and 
important city. You will ask, perhaps, what is 
the advantage of that ? There are some, indeed, 
who may think it will be enough to plunder the 
rich houses of the nobles therein ; to sack the 
king's palace; to break into the many convents 
and abbeys it contains. But I tell you, all 
this is nothing, in comparison with that which 
our entrance into Meaux will afford us. Listen 
and mark me# Shut up in the market-place 



THE JACQUERIE, 217 

of that town, and the buildings that surround it, 
are the Duchess of Normandy, the young wife 
of the regent, Isabel of France, the regent's 
sister, a young and lovely woman, with two 
hundred others of all the highest ladies of the 
land of France, They have none to defend or 
help them : they are in our power ; they are at 
our tnercy. Wealth, too, and jewels in abun- 
dance, are there, and those who have fled from 
this castle have madly directed their course 
thither. Here are the letters of the mayor in- 
viting us ; here are the letters of Vaillant and 
his friends beseeching us to join them. It is 
for you, you, my friends, to say what shall be 
done. Speak ! shall we continue the siege of 
this castle of Beaumont, or shall I instantly lead 
you to Meaux ?" 

" To Meaux, to Meaux ! " shouted a thousand 
voices. " Lead us to Meaux, brave Caillet ! " 

^' We will have princesses for our wives and 
concubines," said one. 

" We will not keep them long," answered 
another. 

" The dagger can soon cut such marriage 



218 TMR JACQUERIE. 

VOWS," cried Caillet with the sneer upon his lip. 
" Is it to Meaux then ? *' 

"To Meaux, to Meaux!" again exclaimed 
the multitude. 

" Well, then," continued Caillet, " let us not 
pause a moment. Bring me a horse, and I am 
ready as I stand. Let a few remain here to 
blockade this place, that the men therein issue 
not forth to cut off the stragglers. Let others 
follow after, who are encumbered with their 
baggage or their wealth ; but all that are young, 
and active, and daring, follow me without de- 

lay." 

Ere half an hour was over, a great part of 
the immense multitudes which had been 
gathered together under the walls of Beaumont 
was in movement towards Meaux. A new 
impetus was given to them, and they rushed on 
like famished tigers, either for blood or 
crime. It was night when they reached the 
town ; and such was their impatient confidence^ 
that on finding the gates shut it was with 
difliculty Caillet restrained them from attempting 
to storm the place. They spread themselves, 



THE JACQUERIE. 219 

however, through the smaller houses scattered 
about in the fields, and on the banks of the 
river; and many a bright flame rising up from 
the country for miles round Meaux told of the 
scenes of devastation and violence that v^rere 
taking place. 

r At the demand of the insurgent leader, the 
mayor himself came, early on the following 
morning, to one of the wickets to speak with him 
yfho had already made himself such a meteor-^ 
like reputation for wonderful as well as 
horrible deeds. Caillet asked him but few 
questions, and those in a tone of authority and 
power, that made the magistrate shrink, over-* 
awed before him. The first demand was^ 
would the citizens thraw open their gates to 
receive him, as had been promised, or should 
he open a passage through the walls, which 
would give him and his party speedy admission 
to the city. 

The mayor replied in humble tone, That not 
only would the gates be very soon cast wide to 
admit him, but that he would quickly see with 
what joy the people were ready to welcome him* 



220 THE JACQUERIE. 

Caillet's last question was, " Did any of the 
fugitives from Beaumont enter Meaux to-day ? " 
and on hearing a full account of the arrival of 
the duchess and her party, he muttered to him- 
self, " Now, Adela de Mauvinet, now ! " 

Till nine o'clock all the entrances of the town 
remained closed, and it was with difficulty that 
Caillet restrained the Jacques ; but at that hour 
the gates were thrown open, and the mayor him- 
self appeared on horseback, to usher the leaders 
in. Shouts and acclamations rang through the 
air, and it required no slight exertion to main- 
tain a degree of order and regularity, as the 
peasantry were led into the city through the 
, various narrow streets, and were directed in 
masses towards the wide open space which fronted 
the bridge leading to the market-place. 

There, new shouts burst upon the air, when the 
rude multitude found large tables spread for them 
in the midst of the streets, groaning with 
abundance, and the townsmen of Meaux in arms 
ready to provide every thing they might want 
at their repast. 

In the same place appeared likewise some 



THE JACQUERIE. 221 

fifteen hundred of the citizens of Paris under 
the two insurgent chiefs, Giles and Vaillant; 
and many were the smooth congratulations 
which the would-be polite Parisians poured 
forth upon Caillet, as he rode on by the side 
of the mayor. But the stern, dark leader of 
the peasants' revolt replied to them very briefly, 
yet in words which, even accustomed as their earg 
were to a higher sort of eloquence than the 
country people ever heard, struck and astonished 
them, and at once taught them, that they had 
come there to be led, and not to lead. 

Caillet stood by, while the peasants devoured 
the food that had been prepared for them, glancing 
his eyes from the walls and towers of the market- 
place on the other side of the Marne to his 
rude followers, and muttering to himself, " I 
must allow them to sate one beast's appetite 
before I lead the wolves to gratify another. — 
This place is stronger than I thought," he said 
aloud, speaking to the Parisians and the mayor. 
" It will take us two days to reduce it, if there 
be many men therein." 

" Two days ! " cried the mayor — " more than 



■222 THE JACQUERIE. 

that, good sir, though there be not a score of 
men within the place." 

Caillet gazed at him with a scornful smile. 
'^^ Why," he replied, " it is the work of a car- 
penter to take it ! — It needs no general. Have 
you no boats or ladders ? This bridge, indeed, 
they can defend. But give me boats and 
ladders, and we will be in that market square 
within an hour. They must be made, I know. 
But that can well be done in two days, as I have 
«aid." 

" And yet, my good friend," answered the 
mayor, speaking to him in a low voice, that the 
rest of those around might not hear, " did I not 
understand you rightly, that there is a lady in 
the place whom you would fain reserve to 
yourself from less scrupulous hands? The 
same is the case with me. If we assault the 
wall at many points, who can tell where the 
entrance will first be made. If we attack the 
gate alone " 

" You are right," said Caillet : " we will 
attack the gate; but it shall not require more 
time either to take the place. What car- 



THE JACQtJERIE. 223 

penters have you here? Let them be brought : 
with planks, and heavy beams of wood, we 
will soon shatter that gate to atoms, and have 
a fair way in." 

Carpenters were accordingly called for- 
ward: beams and planks were procured; and 
under the direction and continual superin- 
tendence of Caillet, one of the vast and power- 
ful machines was commenced, which in those 
days supplied the place of cannon. The con- 
struction proceeded with great rapidity ; and the 
insurgents, heavy with wine and meat, gathered 
round the spot where the carpenters were labour- 
ing, and viewed their progress with surprise and 
admiration. But their wonder was still more 
excited by Caillet's knowledge and skill, he 
alone, of all the persons present, being able to 
direct the workmen in what they had to do. 
The rude Jacques gazed and muttered, com- 
menting upon every part of the work; and 
.though they knew, generally, that the object 
of the machine was to drive down the walls 
or burst open the gates, much did they marvel 
at many of the things they saw, asking each other. 



224 THE JACQUERIE* 

« What is that for ? What is that to do ? " 
and still they turned their eyes to Caillet, who 
stood stern and dark, giving no explanation 
to any one, but ordering with clear precision 
every thing that was to be done. 

'^ I believe he is something more than a 
man," said one of the peasants* 

^' I think he is the devil himself," murmured 
another. 

" I have heard," answered a third, " that his 
sword cuts through an enemy without his ever 
moving an arm/^ 

" Joachim Verger, who was there, when he 
killed Antoine the robber," whispered another, 
" told me, that his blade gave but one wave, 
and the fellow's head rolled along the ground 
like a dropped pippin." 

" He can read and write," said the person 
who had first spoken, " which is more than 
half the lords of the land can do ; and where he 
got such knowledge, unless from the devil, I^ 
do not know." 

Such was the conversation amongst one of 
the many groups of Jacques who wandered 



THE JACQUERIE. 225 

through the town of Meaux. It was a curious 
thing to see the different effects which their 
appearance in the city produced upon the citi- 
zens themselves, according to their various cha- 
racters. There were some who had shut up 
and barred their houses, covered their windows 
over with planks, and blocked up the staircases 
that led to the higher stories. There were 
others, a great deal more frightened than these 
at the presence of the Jacques in Meaux, who 
nevertheless stood at their own doors, with 
faces full of forced and fearful smiles, shaking 
hands with the rude peasantry, or offering 
them wine and hydromel. There were priests 
and monks who led them into the church 
or the convent; and,, while in their hearts 
they were giving them to eternal condemnation, 
called down with loud voices the blessings of 
God upon them, and prayed for success to their 
holy cause. In short, all the hypocrisy of fear 
was enacted with various grimaces in different 
parts of the town of Meaux. 

But there were other places where the Jacques 
were in truth willingly received, and where 

VOL. III. . Q 



226 THE JACQUERIE. 

the poorer sort of artisans — those who were 
either driven to despair by unmerited poverty, 
or those who were reduced to it by vice, by 
debauchery, and bad conduct — halloed on the 
fierce insurgents from the country, and excited 
them with the thought of the lewd horrors of 
the ensuing day, when they should have broken 
into the market-place of Meaux, and torn the 
victims it contained from their only place of 
refuge. 

During this time, however, the machine which 
was to batter down the gate proceeded rapidly, 
and ere night fell was well nigh complete. The 
news spread through the people that at day- 
break the next morning the attack would 
commence; and each man prepared himself—- 
sitting at the doors and in the streets, where 
tables were spread for them — with gluttony 
and drunkenness, for the brief strife and the 
brutal gratification of the following day. 

In the mean while, however, Caillet, Soulas, 
Vaillant, and Giles, held counsel together, of a 
kind which, perhaps, might not altogether 
have pleased their followers, had they been 



THE JACQUEniE* 227 

able to hear it. They parted before hand the 

principal captives amongst them : each claimed 

his choice of one, or perhaps two, of the fair 

unhappy beings, who remained trembling 

within those walls. Soulas and Caillet were 

animated by individual passion, and each 

named the woman that was to fall to his share ; 

but the other two were mad with crime and 

folly, and had well nigh quarrelled as to who 

should seize upon the young wife of the regent. 

Vaillant, however, contented himself at last 

with the Duchess of Orleans; and all that 

remained to be settled was the means of 

securing to themselves, in the midst of such a 

scene as was to ensue, the captives they had thus 

appropriated. Every one, however, had, or 

fancied he had, a certain number of devoted 

followers who would obey his will. Soulas 

had a guard at his disposal ; Vaillant and 

Giles boasted how many they could command ; 

but Caillet only said, " No one disobeys me 

twice ! " 

Ere he lay down to rest, he sent for Jacques 
Morne, and spoke with him long. The man 

Q 2 



228 THE JACQUERIE. 

was but the slave of his will, and ended by 
saying, " Oh ay, Caillet, oh ay, Caillet : there 
are plenty of people from about Beauvois that 
know her, and will help me willingly enough. 
I will answer for saving her, if you do not get 
hold of her first yourself— only I bargain to kill 
all the rest as I find them. I care not for 
women ; and, as you said yourself one day, we 
must crush the dams, if we would have no 
more young vipers bred to sting us." 

Caillet made no reply, except by the word 
" Well ! " and a nod of the head, which Jacques 
Morne rightly understood as an order to leave 
him. 

As soon as he was alone, the leader of the 
revolt sat down in a large curiously-fashioned 
chair of ivory, which was placed near a table in 
the centre of the room ; and after leaning his 
head upon his hand for several minutes, and 
muttering to himself " How it aches !" he turned 
and gazed around him upon the, splendid fur- 
niture of the apartment in which the mayor had 
lodged him. It was in the king's palace at 
Meaux, and in the very bed-room which the 



THE JACQUERIE. 229 

regent had occupied, that John Soulas had 
placed thechief of the insurgent peasants. Rich 
arras hung around ; the arms of France were 
emblazoned over each of the two doors ; and 
a royal crown surmounting the curtains of 
crimson velvet and gold, which surrounded the 
beds instantly showed Caillet that he was in the 
state chamber of the monarch himself. 

" How it aches !" he said again, pressing his 
hand upon his brow. ** I wonder if the other 
heads which have lain upon that gorgeous pillow 
have throbbed as mine does now : perhaps they 
have ; for to the weak, luxurious triflers, from 
amongst whom our kings are chosen, the weight 
of a crown is a heaw burden ; and that which 
would soon bring ease to my aching temples 
may well sicken them. A crown ! It is a 
strange and mysterious garland that — not with- 
out its thorns, perhaps, but still with flowers of 
the brightest hue and finest odour. First, in 
the wreath is power ! — To command and to be 
obeyed ! or simply to know that, at our will, 
millions are ready to act whatever part wie 
please ; to feel that our word, like lightning, can 

Q 3 



230 THE JACQUERIE. 

carry death from one side of the world to the 
other ! Then comes the utter independence of 
our will, which no man under a monarch can be 
said to have — the despotic sway over ourselves, 
our actions, thoughts, and seemings ! None of 
the hard task-masters affect the monarch that 
goad all inferior men through life— the care, the 
caution, the prudence, the hypocrisy, that are 
necessary for eveiy one in his dealings with the 
world, let his mind be as high as it will, let his 
objects be as mighty and as wise as any that the 
earth can show ! — No one but a king can have this 
immunity ! — Why, hei-e I am, myself, as much a 
slave as ever, forced to bend my looks, and shape 
my words, and suit my actions to the will, and 
to the whim, and to the prejudices of the thou- 
sands that follow me. Not even a glance of my 
eye is wholly free. Have I not eternally to 
think of how it may suit the masters that I seem 
to command? — No, no, freedom is only to be 
found in power ; and oh ! what a grand thing 
it must be to feel one's self able not only to 
scorn and hate, but to make contempt and 
detestation felt ! Then comes enjoyment — un- 



THE JACQUERIE. 231 

limited gratification, with no bounds but the 
capabilities of the body and the mind. Varied, 
everlasting, with the whole world for a garden, 
and every delight that it produces for the fruit ! 
How immense might be one's range, how mar- 
vellous the sudden contrast of pleasure ; to 
change from fiery passion to calm tranquillity, 
from the burning flame of desire to the soft 
lulling draught of sweet music ; to vary the 
corporeal pleasures of the table and the wine 
cup, the dance and the chase, with the go- 
vernment of nations, the mazes of policy, the 
extension of territory, the battle and the vic- 
tory ! — Then comes — But who is there ? " he 
continued, turning sharply round as he heard 
the door open behind him. " What would you 
have with me, Vaillant, and what makes you 
look pale?" 

The man to whom he spoke — one of the chief 
leaders, as the reader already knows, of the re- 
volted citizens of Paris who had joined with 
the Jacques in the attack of Meaux — advanced 
to the table with a quick step, and an air from 
which he made an effort to banish all anxiety. 

Q 4 



Q32 THE JACQUERIE. 

He could not effect that purpose so success- 
fully, however, as to prevent the eyes of Caillet 
from perceiving that there was emotion within, 
and the latter repeated, " What makes you look 
so pale? — Pray be seated, sir." 

"Am I pale?" said Vaillant, drawing for- 
ward a stool. " It is fatigue. I came to seek 
you, honourable sir, to have some consultation 
with you without the presence of these citizens 
of Meaux. They are a faithless race, now joining 
with us, now perhaps turning against us. I 
know not what hold you have over them " 

" Power !" rejoined Caillet. « Go on !" 

" But we citizens," continued Vaillant, "only 
rely upon them inasmuch as we have thousands 
behind us in Paris to support us. If any thing 
were to go wrong in the capital, it is not im- 
possible that these men would seize and deliver 
us to the dauphin." 

" Hark ye, Vaillant," replied Caillet : " your 
friends in Paris have received a heavy blow ! 
— There is no use of hypocrisy with me." 

" Ha ! " cried Vaillant : " have you then 
heard the news ? " 



THE JACQUERIE. 233 

" I have not heard," answered Caillet, " but 
I have read it." 

" Read it?" exclaimed the Parisian. 

" Ay, in your face," said Caillet : " what are 
the tidings, Vaillant? speak them plainly and 
at once. Your situation and mine in regard of 
these men of Meaux is much the same. They 
cannot betray you without betraying me also, 
they cannot frustrate your objects without dis* 
appointing mine. As our security depends upon 
each other, our thoughts must be in common. 
What is your news ? Is the dauphin in Paris ? " 

" No, no, not yet," exclaimed Vaillant ; " but 
the great prevot is dead ! Stephen Marcel has 
been horribly murdered !" 

Caillet mused without reply, though to the 
surprise of his companion a slight smile fluttered 
on his lip. It was not that he was amused to 
hear a man, whose business at that very hour 
was murder, talk with a seeming abhorrence of a 
similar crime ; Caillet knew the human heart too 
well to wonder at that. But it was, that he was 
not displeased at the fact of the pr^vot's death ; 
and although he would hardly own his satisfaction 



234 THE JACQUERIE. 

to himself, the signs of it made themselves vi* 
sible in his countenance. He had regarded 
Marcel with a certain degree of jealousy ; he 
had seen him take the lead of the insurgents in 
the capital, as he himself had done in the 
country, and he had looked forward to the time 
when, the nobles having been destroyed and 
trampled under foot, and the royal authority 
having been utterly overthrown, he himself and 
the prevot, holding from their several factions 
the only power remaining in the state, would 
stand up, two mighty rivals, one against the 
other, and end the great contest which had 
begun, by a last struggle between themselves. 

Though pleased, however, he was not wholly 
satisfied. With the peculiar boldness of his 
character he had calculated upon making even 
Marcel himself an instrument for effecting 
his purposes, till such time, at least, as the 
strife necessarily began between them ; and 
there was therefore before his eyes some de- 
rangement of his more remote schemes in 
consequence of the death of that celebrated 
demagogue. 



THE JACQUERIE. 235 

Caillet's first words were, " We must find 
another/' 

They were addressed^ indeed, more to himself 
than to his companion ; but Vaillant instantly 
exclaimed, ^^ Another ! where shall we find such 
another ? Wlio shall supply the place of Stephen 
Marcel ? *' 

" Why not, Pierre Vaillant?*' demanded Cail<» 
let, turning upon him his flashing eyes : ^^ such 
things are not impossible. But how did this 
man die ? " 

" All I know is but a report by word of 
mouth," replied Vaillant ; " I hear, however, 
that he had covenanted last night to give admis- 
sion to the King of Navarre — '' 

" Ha ! " cried Caillet, his brow becoming 
as black as night. 

" And he had gone," continued the Parisian, 
*' to the gate of St. Anthony to open it for the 
Navarrese troops, when two of those tyrannical 
royalists, John of Charny and Pepin des Essarts, 
fell upon him with their battle-axes on the steps 
of the Bastille. Marcel fought like a lion, they 
say, and so did those who were with him, but 



236 THE JACQUERIE. 

more came up to join the murderers, and they 
dashed his brains out upon the stones." 

" Served the traitor right ! " replied Caillet : 
" what had he to do with kings ? Had he been 
true to the commons, he would not have died." 

" But I hear — " said Vaillant in a low tone, 
*' but I hear that it was their intention to put 
all our enemies to death that night, and the 
houses were marked for the purpose. No man 
was to be left living but such as are known 
friends to the people. All the rest were to be 
slain without mercv." 

" There he was right," replied Caillet; " and 
if such were really his purposes, he was more 
lionest than wise; for to deal with king, or 
prince, or noble, otherwise than with a dagger 
or a spear, is a folly for any man who seeks to 
overthrow our tyrants. As for the rest, fear not 
this good mayor of Meaux: he is in my hands, 
my friend ; and were he but to dream of treason 
he should see this town one mass of flames be- 
fore an hour was over. I have not cast down 
thirty fortified places, I have not trodden on 
the neck of thirty lordly barons, supported by 



THE JACQUERIE. 237 

their veteran bands, to fear a petty thing like 
Soulas, Mayor of Meaux. But I will tell you 
what we have to dread : it is that the dauphin, 
freed from his apprehensions of Marcel, may 
turn his forces against us here at once, before we 
have captured yon market-place. Attacked in 
Meaux, we should fight to a disadvantage ; and, 
therefore, my good sir, we must resolve to force 
those walls and gates before noon to-morrow. 
We must not pause for sleep. Come with me ! 
That engine shall be finished before I lay my 
head upon a pillow; at least so far, that the 
rudest workman may complete it in my absence.*' 
Thus saying, he raised the lamp from the table, 
and followed by Vaillant proceeded to the spot 
where the huge mangonel, which he had laboured 
to construct all day, lay still incomplete. The 
carpenters were again summoned to their task ; 
and though they proceeded more slowly than 
he desired or expected, Caillet remained till he 
saw the engine ready, and nothing left to be 
done on the following morning but to bring up 
to the open space before the bridge the large 
masses of stone with which the mangonel was 
to be charged. 



288 THE JACQUERIE. 



CHAP. XI. 

It was night; and Albert Denyn and the 
stout soldier Scroope sat by the fire-side of the 
good Cure Dacy; while his niece — her eyes 
sparkling with pleasure to render any service 
to him who had so greatly contributed to her 
deliverance — poured out from one of those 
lai*ge leathern bottles then in use some choice 
wine, which her uncle had brought forth to 
refresh the weary travellers after their long 
and hard day's ride. 

At every village through which they had 
passed) Albert Denyn had inquired for the troop 
of the Captal de Buch ; and as such a celebrated 
leader was not likely to cross the country un- 
noticed, he concluded, from all he heard, that 
his noble friend had not yet arrived. The 
fear that he might not appear in time, and thus 
disappoint one of his chief hopes for the de- 



THE JACQUERIE. 239 

liverance of those he loved, saddened the young 
soldier, and threw him into deep fits of thought; 
and imagination tormented him with appre-^ 
hensions for Adela and her father. 

" Poor as I am," cried Albert, at length, " I 
would give a purse of gold to have tidings to- 
morrow morning either from Beaumont or from 
Meaux/' 

" Rest, Test, my son," replied the cure, 
"and trust in God: He brings deliverance when 
we least expect it. Finish thy supper, and then 
to bed: thy horses shall be well cared for; 
and if you must needs part at day-break to- 
morrow, they will not go unfed. — Drink 
another cup of wine, worthy trooper," he con- 
tinued, speaking to Scx'oope. " It was for such 
occasions as these that wine was given to man." 

" By my faith, good father," answered Scroope, 
" I think it is for every occasion. 1 do not 
know the time or the circumstances in which 
wine does not do my heart good : it's the best 
of all liquors, bating beer. Good barley beer, 
that some folks call ale, is worth all the other 
liquors in the world put together." 



240 THE JACQUERIE. 

Ere long, Albert Denyn and the trooper 
retired to rest ; but there were people on foot 
in the cure*s house all night ; and he himself 
returned upon his mule, as from a long ride, at 
tlie hour of three in the morning. 

" I have been able to get no intelligence, 
my child," he said to his niece, who was wait- 
ing in the passage to receive him. " There 
is a rumour of a bad man, named Peter Giles, 
having marched from Paris, with some men- 
at-arms, towards the town of Meaux; but 
whether to attack or defend it, no one could 
tell. Has the man returned from Beaumont ? 
— but that is impossible ; he has not had 



time.*' 



Shortly after, the step of Albert Denyn was 
heard upon the stairs, and he and Scroope 
prepared instantly to set out. 

" Whither do you turn your steps first, my 
sons ?" asked the cur6. 

" To Provins, my good father," replied 
Albert Denyn : " there we part, and one of 
us goes to'Montereau, while the other speeds 
away towards the frontier." 



. THE JACQUERIE. 241 

The old man made no answer, but gave them 
his benediction, and let them depart. 

The two horsemen rode on till the middle of 
the day ; but they were then obliged to halt, in 
order to refresh their horses. As soon as the 
beasts had taken some food, they were brought 
out again ; and Albert Denyn had his foot in the 
stirrup, when the sound of a trumpet was heard, 
and shortly after, over a gentle slope in the 
road, at about the distance of a quarter of a 
mile, some fluttering pennons, and two broad 
banners, were seen rising in the air. 
• " The captal, as I live !" exclaimed Albert 
Denyn ; " but whose can be that other ban- 
ner? Or, a pale gules !" 

' "That?" answered Scroope; "why you 
should know it better than I do — it is the 
device of the Count of Foix. I saw it often in 
Perigueux. It gave us some trouble at times." 

Albert Denyn spurred on, and in a minute 
or two more, sprang to the ground by the side 
of the captal's horse. The eagerness of his 
countenance, and the few first words that he 
spoke, made the great leader instantly halt his 

VOL. III. R 



242 THE JACQU£EIE. 

little troop, Tvliile the principal persons present 
gathered round him. 

^^ What news from Paris? What news of this 
Jacquerie we hear of? What news of die King 
of Navarre?" 

^^ Bad from allquarters, I fear,'' replied Albert 
Denyn. ^' The King of Navarre and the dau- 
phin are at open. war $ the Parisians are in revolt; 
the Jacques are slaughtering the nobles through- 
out the land. But, my lord captal," he con- 
tinued, ^^ I came hither, seeking you at full 
speed. I have an adventure for you, fair sir, 
which you will not fail to undertake. My good 
Lord of Mauvinet, with but a handful of men, 
is shut up in the castle of Beaumont — some 
thirty leagues hence — by tlie Jacques of Brie." 

'< How many are there against him?" de- 
manded the captal. 

" I cannot justly say," answered Albert 
Denyn : " were they regular troops one might 
judge, but they are merely a wild multitude — 
certainly more than twenty thousand men." 

" And we have five-and-thirty, noble count," 
replied the captal, turning towards the Count 



THE JACQUERIE. 243 

de Foix. — "Well, Albert, now tell me two 
things. How long can the good lord hold out ? 
and is the Lady Adela with him?" 

"* The count can keep the castle, I should 
judge, two or three days," replied the young 
soldier—" a week at the utmost. But we ran 
raise men» my lord. I am sure that from some 
of the neighbouTing castles we can gain assist- 
ance. A^ for the Lady Adela," and the co- 
lour came up into hijs cheek, while the keen eye 
of the captal rested firmly upon him, "she 
is in Meaux,' in not much greater safety than 
her fattier. The Duchess of Orleans and her- 
self resolved to make their escaj^ from Beau- 
mont, and I, with scmie others, were sent to 
guard them to Meaux, where it was supposed 
the regent might be found. None of the royal 
family was there, however, when we arrived, 
but the Duchess of Normandy; and with her 
some sixty or seventy of the highest ladies in 
France, I was told, but scarcely enough men- 
at-arms to play sentinel on the battlements of 
the market-place. The citizens are disaffected, 
it seems ; the ladies are terrified at their situa- 

R 2 



244 THE JACQUERIE. 

tion ; and I came away with the purpose of 
either going to Montereau, or sending this good 
fellow, to the dauphin, for the purpose of call- 
ing him back to Meaux, with what troops he 
may have at his command." 

" Better go youself, Albert," said the captal: 
*^ you may gain a high reward, while we raise 
men, and ride on to Beaumont." 

" No, my lord," replied Albert, " by your 
good leave, I will go with you to Beaumont : 
Scroope, here, can carry the message to the 
dauphin, and win the guerdon." 

" Well, then, forward, my good friend," 
said the captal, addressing Scroope : ^^ do you 
know the message and the road?" 

" Both, both sir," answered Scroope, passing 
on, '^ and I will not miss the reward for want of 
the spur." 

" Come, Albert, with us then," continued the 
captal, *^ and tell us more of those sad events as 
we go. Will France never be at peace?" 

" God forbid that there should be peace for 
any length of time !" cried the Count de Foix. 
^< War is the occupation of a gentleman ; and 



THE JACQUERIE. 245 

what should we do, captal, if all the world were 
to agree to remain slobbering in furred gowns ? 
But as for these Jacques, I have no notion of 
the villains taking the trade out of our • hands. 
Plunder is a part of our especial privileges, 
captal; and we must not let mere peasants 
share with us." 

He spoke laughingly, and with a certain de- 
gree of sarcastic bitterness ; for there was not 
wanting even in those days, amongst the nobles 
themselves, a perception of the vices of their 
social state ; although they would have sooner 
given up life itself than that curious mixture of 
fierce and gentle, cruel and generous, pursuits, 
which formed the chivalrous occupation of the 
day. 

The captal, without pausing, rode on for 
about ten miles past the little inn where Albert 
had stopped to refresh his horses, and at length 
drew in the rein at a small place called Touquin, 
intending to pass the night there : it was but a 
hamlet, but at that time a populous one. The 
castles of several nobles were seen rising round ; 
the Jacquerie had not, as yet, infected the pea- 

R 3 



246 THE JACQUERIE. 

santry; and besides finding ample accommo- 
dation for their men in the cottages around^ the 
captal and the Count de Foix trusted to obtain 
there, such an accession of strength from the 
castles of Coulommiers, Villeneuve, Rosoy, and 
from the height near Jouy, which was then 
crowned by one of the finest chateaus in the 
country, as to enable them to attempt the relief 
of Beaumont with some certainty of success. 

The evening meal was soon spread; the captal 
and the count took their places at the head of 
the table ; their followers ranged thepaselves on 
either side, keeping due distinction of rank; and 
with the light-hearted spirit of the day, th^ 
laughed, and joked^ and drank as if there were 
no such things as bloodshed, and murder, and 
civil contentions in all the world. 

" Why, Albert, where got you that string"of 
pearls ?" demanded the captal at length. " The 
gold chain, I know was the emperor's gift, but 
that must have been from the hand of some fair 
lady, surely." 

^^ It was given me, beau sire, by the Duchess 
of Orleans," replied Albert Denyn, " as a reward 



THE JACQUERIE. 247 

fer guarding her from Paris to Beaumont ; and 
she, moreover, promised me, if I carried itthrougli 
the midst of the Jacques, to ask knighthood for 
me from the hand of the dauphin himself." 

" There was never any thing like his luck," 
said Bassot de Mauleon, one of tlie gentlemen 
attached to the Captal de Buch : ^' he seems to 
fall in with every good thing that is going !" 

<< Because he is -always in the saddle to seek 
them, Bassot," replied the captal. " Why, you 
tnight have won the gold chain, the emperor 
gave him^ for you set out together ; only you 
staid to nuike love to a pretty girl in a village 
cm the Danube, and lost the reward." 

" But I won the girl," cried Mauleon, " and 
that was better of the two. Yet it must be 
owned, be is a lucky man." 

^^ He will be more lucky still, before he has 
done," said the captal. 

" Fortune is conduct," observed the Count 
de Foix ; '* but I suppose, young gentleman, 
you look upon yourself in a state to claim 
the duchess's promise; for if I understood you 
rightly, you guarded her safely to Meaux from 

R 4 



248 THE JACQU£RI£. 

Beaumont, when the castle was besieged by the 
Jacques.'* 

" No, no, my lord," replied Albert Denyn, 
" such was not her meaning, and I would never 
dare claim knighthood upon such a ground. If 
I carry the trinket through the villains, sword 
in hand, in the open day, it may be considered 
as something, but our escape from Beaumont 
was made by secret ways, and in the darkness 
of the night." 

. " Well," said the captal, *' we must not linger 
long over our food, for, with my good will, to- 
morrow evening shall find us under the walls 
of Beaumont. We will send messengers imme- 
diately to the lords of Jouy, Villeneuve, and 
Rosoy ; and with the first gleam of light, if they 
send us any reinforcements, we will be upon our 
way to deliver my good Lord of Mauvinet. — 
Mauleon, you shall go to Jouy, and beseech the 
chatelain to give us his company on this — * 

" Noble gentlemen," said the aubergiste en- 
tering, <^ here is a priest without, asking to , 
speak with one of you, named Denyn, and if he 
be not here, with the noble Captal de Buch." . 



THE JACQUERIE. 249 

" Why, Albert," cried the captal, " what do 
you do with a priest ? Are you going to make 
confession before you are hanged?" 

" Your pardon, noble sirs," urged the auber- 
giste, " but the good priest is very earnest for 
instant admission. He says the matter is of life 
and death." 

" Send him in, send him in then," ex- 
claimed the captal ; and at the same moment 
Albert Denyn started up, and advanced to- 
wards the door. Before he reached it, however, 
the good priest, Dacy, entered the room, . with 
a face very pale, and a dress soiled with dust 
and hard riding. , . 

" My son," he said, grasping the young 
soldier's hand, " you were eager for tidings 
from Beaumont and from Meaux; I bring 
you both. Beaumont is well nigh free; the 
Jacques have decamped from it, leaving only 
enough to keep the garrison in. But alas for 
Meaux ! the mayor and the people have thrown 
open the gates to the villeins; the rabble of 
Paris have joined them; they are even now at- 
tacking the market-place, where are collected 



250 THE JACQUERIE. 

all the noblest ladies in France, almost without 
defence." 

Albert struck his band against his forehead, 
forgetting all restraint in the agony of the 
moment. 

'' She will be lost ! She will be lost !" he 
exclaimed. '^ My beautiful, my beloved ! and I 
not there to die for her !" 
' The powerful hand of the captal was laid upon 
his shoulder. " Fear not, dear boy," he said ; 
and then turning to the rest, added in a loud 
voice, " Give my banner to the wind ! Every 
foot into the stirrup ! Greilly to the rescue ! 
and shame upon him who will not follow to 
deliver the ladies of France !" 

Albert turned and grasped his hand; but the 
captal stopped him — " Not a word, not a word ! *' 
he cried. *^ We go to great deeds, Albert^ 
which will make our names immortal whether 
we live or die. — By Heaven, my cousin of Foix, 
I would rather have this opportunity of march* 
ing, with five-and-thirty men, to deliver the 
ladies of France from an army of villeins, than 
wear the crown of any realm in Christendom. 



THE JACQUERIE. 251 

What say you, my men ? is not this glorious 
fortune?" 

A shout was the reply; and ere half an hour 
was over, the gallant little band was on its way 
to Meaux. 



252 THE JACQUERIE. 



CHAP. XII. 

The waiting for deliverance ! — It is a terrible 
thing, wherever we put our trust or hope, if that 
hope be of earth. Ay, it is a terrible thing, 
even when our hope is from heaven ; for, unto 
all of us, from one end of the world to the 
other, might be addressed the often-repeated 
reproach of the Redeemer, that we are of but 
little faith. However strong may be our con- 
viction of God's mercy and tenderness, of his 
unwillingness to punish, of his readiness to for- 
give, of the omniscience of his wisdom, and the 
omnipotence of his power, the weak spirit of 
man will still tremble, and doubt, and fear ; will 
shrink from each painful trial, whatever be the 
object, and think the deliverance long and 
tardy, even while he continues to hope that it 
will come. But how often is it with us that 
hope itself goes out; that looking round, and 



THE JACQUERIE. 253 

calculating all the chances and probabilities of 
human aid, we see none on any side ; that all 
assistance from any being on the earth seems 
impossible, and blasphemous fear even whispers 
a doubt, that God himself can help us ? 
' The situation of those within the market- 
place of Meaux might well produce in their 
minds the utmost pitch of despair; when, on 
the night after Albert Denyn had left them, 
they heard the shouts of the wild and furious 
multitude that poured down to the banks of the 
Marne, and when they saw rising up through 
the country round the flames of houses, and 
cottages, and hamlets mingling with the blaze of 
watch-fires and the glare of torches. It was by 
these terrible signs they first learned that the 
Jacques were under the walls of Meaux. 

Little sleep had any one that night, though 
many there present needed it greatly ; and by 
those on the battlements could be heard, till a 
late hour, the shrieks and cries, as well as the 
sounds of revelry and rude merriment, which 
rose up from the fields round the city. In the 
mean while, within the walls of the market- 



254 THE JACQUBRIE. 

place, circulated the report that the mayor, 
whose faith had been long doubtful, had pro- 
mised admission to the enemy; and the com- 
munication which they held with tlu>se in the 
town, little as it was, soon confirmed the tidings. 
Many were the anxious consultations ; many the 
fruitless inquiries, as to when the message could 
reach the dauphin, and as to how long the 
place could be held out ; mietny the bitter 
murmurings and keen reproaches with which 
they loaded the name of Soulas the treacherous 
mayor of Meaux and the faithless citizens, to 
whose courage and truth the ladies of France 
had been committed. Often, too, during the 
night, some timid girl, who at any other time 
would have feared to have set her foot at that 
hour beyond the precincts of her paternal dwell- 
ing, stole up to the unguarded battlements to 
listen for the sounds that she dreaded to hear, 
and scan the darkness with an eager eye, lest 
the ruffians by whom she was surrounded should 
take advantage 'of the obscurity to steal upon 
them unperceived. 

But of all within those walls, there was none 



THE JACQUERIE. 255 

SO sad, there was none so apprehensive, as poor 
Adela de Mauvinet ; for she bad not alone to ask 
herself what might be her own fate the next mo-» 
xnent, but she had bitterly to inquire, without 
the power of obtaining any certain answer, what 
might be the condition of her beloved &ther at 
that very time. Would the multitude of Jac- 
querie have quitted Beaumont, she asked herseli^ 

without having taken the ca$de? and as her 
heart replied to the question but too sadly, tears 
as for the dead rolled over her fair cheeks. 

There were but two other beings to whom 
she was attached on earth, her young brodier 
and Albert Denyn. That the former was 
safe, she thanked God ; but as she did so, she 
added, in her own mind, " I shall never be* 
hold him more." It must be owned, however, 
that it was to the companion of her childhoo<^ 
the friend of her youth, her deliverer from 
danger and from worse than death, her lover, 
her best beloved, that her thoughts turned most 
eagerly. What would be his feelings, she 
asked, when he returned to Meaux, and 
found the place of their refuge in the power of 



256 THE JACQUERIE. 

the unsparing, sanguinary, barbarous multitude; 
what would be his anguish, when he learned 
that she had fallen into the brutal hands of him 
from whom he had once saved her, and when he 
could not know to what horrors she might be 
subjected before death delivered her. 

She thought of him, and she grieved for bis 
agony; but Ade]a judged, and judged rightly, 
that Albert would not long survive her, and 
something like hope and joy sprung up again in 
her mind, as she said to herself, ^' It was impos- 
sible we ever could be united on earth; but 
now, though our bridal be a bloody one, we shall 
soon be united in heaven." 

From time to time the contemplation of 
her own fate, too, pressed heavily upon her. 
** What would she herself do ? she asked. 
How should she herself act ? Was she bound 
by any religious tie to suffer dishonour, rather 
than to seek death ?" and she tried to call up 
again to memory all that she knew of the word 
of Truth, in order to gain some rule for her 
conduct, and to justify, if possible, to her own 
mind, the last terrible act of maiden purity. 



THE JACQUERIE. 257 

The legends of her church supplied her with 
manifold examples' of such conduct ; but still 
she shrunk from the idea of suicide. " Would 
they but kill me ! '' she thought, ** would 
they but kill me !— Yet surely woman, though 
she be weak, has a right to defend herself to 
the last. There are not men enough to guard 
the walls, or to protect us and themselves, if 
the villeins break in. Why should we not take 
what arms we can get ? Why should we not aid 
to defend ourselves ? Why should we not, as 
a last resource, drive them to slay us, by re- 
sistance even unto death ? Then the whole sin 
and crime would be theirs; we shall die un- 
polluted ; and the weight of the murder will rest 
heavy upon them.'* 

To a night of agitation and fear succeeded 
a day of terror and dismay. The young 
Duchess of Normandy and her companions 
gathered themselves together in the midst of 
the market-place, not to consult as much as to 
lament; and the dark and anxious counte- 
nances of the few men that were with them — 
countenances in which there was no hope^* 

VOL. III. s 



258 THE JACQUERIE. 

served but to dispirit them the more. Each 
told the other how she had spent the hours, 
the sad thoughts, the fearful visions, the dark 
imaginations that had possessed them. 

There was not a woi^d of courage or energy 
amongst them, till Adela related what had been 
passing in her mind ; and it was strange to hear 
that sweet and gentle voice proposing high deeds 
to women like herself, in defence of their honouL* 
and their purity ; and to see the fair and beau** 
tiful beings around her roused into ardour and 
eagerness by her example, and with renewed 
courage seeking for those arms which their 
hands were but little accustomed to wield. 

*^ We can but die," they exclaimed, ** we caa 
but die ; and it is better to die by any other 
hands than our own." 

A faint, sad smile came over the countenance 
of the young Lord of Chambl^, as he heard their 
determination* 

" I never thought to fall," he said, " with 
such fair companions in arms ; but I fear we can 
make no great resistance, and my fate will be 
soon decided. I^ therefore, you are deter* 



THE JACQUEEIE. 259 

mined upon your conduct — and I cannot but 
applaud the purpose — take the lightest weapons 
that you can get, I saw some cross-bows, with 
which the pages learn to aim their quarrels; 
these, with daggers, and short swords, and 
knives, very weak bands can use ; and as what 
you seek is, alas ! but death hi the end, you may 
well draw it down upon your heads from the 
enemy, if you employ such arms with determin- 
ation." 

While he was yet speaking, a messenger 
came to call him to the gate tower ; and after 
a few minutes' absence, he returned, saying, " I 
know not what these treacherous communes are 
doihg. They are laying out tables in the streets, 
as if for some great festival." 

The matter was speedily explained, however. 
The sight of the Jacques pouring in soon 
brought all the men-at-arms to the walls. The 
pages joined them to make the greater show ; 
and to the honour of those within the market- 
place of Meaux, let it be remembered, that not 
the lowest person there present, not the serving 
man, who never raised his ambition higher 

s 2 



260 TH£ JACQU£RI£. 

than perhaps to groom the horse of the knight, 
where he before groomed the horse of the 
squire, who did not now swear to die willingly, 
for the ladies of France, and to spend the. last 
drop of his blood to protect them. 

Anxiously the women remained behind, with 
sinking hearts and trembling limbs, but still 
resolved and prepared. The suspense, how- 
ever, proved too much for endurance; and at 
the end of an hour, one of die boldest ven-. 
tured up to the top of the wall, to ascertain 
what was taking place. 

^' They seem to be constructing a machine 
for battering down the gates," said the Lord of 
Chambl^, in reply to her questions. ^^ If sd, it 
must be to-morrow, or the next day, before they 
begin the attack." 

« Thank God, thank God I" cried the lady; 
** then we may yet be saved." 

^^ Montereau is far off," answered the Lord 
of Chamble, sadly. ^^ The messenger knew not 
that the danger was so pressing ; the dauphin, 
I find, had but three hundred men with him; 
and there are many thousands within sight of 



THE JACQtJERlEl 261 

this gate. Not only the villain peasants, but 
men-at-arms, I see, with banners — ' probably 
the commons of Paris. Take not hold of a 
foolish hope, lady : I feel upon my heart that 
weight which tells me we are to die here, and 
soon.'* 

During the rest of the day, after this brief 
conversation, pages were sent down from timel 
to time, to tell the princesses and their com- 
panions what was taking place in the town, 
as far as those on the gate tower could discover; 
but the delay of the attack was an aggravation 
rather than a relief. It wore out and exhausted 
the energies of the hearts within those walls; 
it made the iifterval like the agony of a pro- 
longed death ; and by the time that night came, 
there was more than one of the ladies there 
present who proposed not to wait for the at- 
tack, but to destroy themselves together, and at 
once. Some, however, clung to the last hope 
of life, and their voices prevailed to stay the 
rash act* 

Towards sunset, the young Lord of Chamble 
came down for a few moments to take some 

s 3 



1262 THE JACQUERIE. 

refreshment ; and when the Duchess of Nor- 
mandy asked him at what time he thought the 
attack would commence, he replied, " Early 
to-morrow morning, lady, if not during the 
darkness. The engine they are making has 
been constructed with incredible rapidity ; and a 
few hours more of daylight will enable them 
to complete it, even if they do not go on by 

torchlight. We must remain upon the walls all 
night, and show lights here and there^ to deceive 
them : they evidently think that we are ten times 
more numerous than we are, otherwise they 
would have scaled the walls at twenty points 
long ere this." 

" Had we not better, then, spread round the 
battlements ourselves," said the duchess of 
Normandy, " and keep up fires, and carry 
torches, during the night? they cannot see 
whether we are men or women ; and if we can 
but intimidate them for a time, my husband 
may come up." 

" You can do so, if you please," replied the 
young knight, sadly ; " but some of you had 
better sleep, while some keep the walls. Then, 



THE JAC&UEnilS^. 283 

as to tormorrow, if you still hold your re^olu- 
tioi), and think there is.no chance of these men 
tearing you, when I go up to the tower I will 
order the small gate in the palisade behind to 
be fastened up. There is no need for us to 
leave ourselves a retreat ; and you will have 
then some defence, which will oblige them 
to " 

** Butcher us witliout dishonouring us, you 
would say, my lord," added the Duchess of 
Orleans, as the young knight left the sentence 
unfinished. — " Well, dear niece, you and I will 
be captain of the two bands, who watch the 
walls, and rest by turns. As I am brave, I will 
have some coward for my lieutenant ; and as 
you are cowardly, you shall have our swe^ 
Adela for yours, for she comes of a brave race." 

There is nothing so sad as when mirth min- 
gles with misery ; and the tears rose in the young 
duchess's eyes, as she heard her fair relation's 
words. The night, however, passed as had 
been appointed ; and throughout those hours of 
darkness bands of noble ladies and fair girls 
patrolled the beleaguered walls, armed with 

s 4 



264 THE JACQUERIE, 

such light weapons as they could wield, and 
trembling as they went 

The Duchess of Normandy had returned to 
the house she inhabited about an hour, when 
daylight began to dawn; and looking up, she 
said to Adela de Mauvinet, who was lying at 
her feet, ** I wish, dear girl, you would go to 
the walls, and look out on the road that leads to- 
wards Fontenoy. Perhaps the dauphin may be 
coming. — God of heaven ! this is very terrible, 
not to know that one has half an hour to live. 
^- Take some one with you, and go, Adela." 

<< I fear not ! I will go alone, madam," replied 
the young Lady of Mauvinet. ^' Look how yon 
poor thing is sleeping, quite worn out : it were 
barbarous to wake her. I will go alone." 

As she went, however, she found a young 
waiting-woman of the Duchess sitting weeping 
on the stairs, who, when she heard whither she 
was going, said, ^' Let me go with you, lady, as 
far as the stairs up to the wall. I dare not show 
my head above in the daylight, for fear they 
should shoot me with an arrow." 

^^ Come as far as thou wilt, and no farther," 



I'HE JACQUERIE. 2M 

replied Adela. <^ Would to God they would 
shoot me with an arrow! It would find no hope 
in my heart to quell." 

They soon reached the foot of the wall, and 
mounted the steps, the poor girl following, till 
she was within a few feet of the top^ There 
however, the young lady left her, and going On, 
soon obtained a view over the fields around. 
The side to which she had been told to direct 
her attention was that which, looking over the 
meadow we have before mentioned, turned 
towards the south, where the bend of the river 
Marne, with the canal which insulated the 
market-place, could be clearly discerned, as well 
as a little sloping field beyond, and then some 
undulating country, stretching away towards 
Couilly. 

Adela gazed out with even more than the 
eager anxiety of the sister in the fairy tale, but 
nothing did she see except the fair face of 
nature. She turned her eyes towards the town , 
but the great mass of the market-place lay 
between her and the bridge, and she could 
behold nothing in that direction either. 



266 THE JACQUERIE. 

« If we had but a boat," she thought, ** we 
might ferry over into those fields, and perhaps 
escape;" but then she remarked, some wayup^ 
by the side of the canal, at a spot which must 
have been visible from many parts of the town, 
some two or three hundred of the Jacques lolling 
idly about, as if upon the watch, and she added 
to herself, "They would catch us ere we could 
fly." 

At that moment a sort of rushing sounds 
and then a dull, heavy noise, as if a violent 
blow were struck upon some large hollow sur- 
face, met her ear, and made her clasp her 
hands with terror. 

" Run, run," she exclaimed to tlie girl who 
was upon the steps — " Run and ask what that 
sound is, and come back and let me know." 

The girl was away, and returned in a minute, 
with a face still paler than before, and her teeth 
chattering in her head with fear. 

" The attack has begun!" she said — "the at- 
tack has begun ! That was a stone as big as one 
of these in the wall cast against the gates by 
the mangonel they have made." 



THE JACQUERIE. 267 

" Now were the time to die," said Adela to 
herself, looking at a dagger which Albert 
Denyn had given her — " Now were the time to 
die." 

" Oh, look out, look out!'* exclaimed the 
girl, wringing her hands. " Is there no hope? 
Is there no help ?" 

Adela turned her faint eyes over the prospect, 
towards Fontenoy, and was silent. The next 
instant she uttered a loud shriek, but it wa3 
a shriek of joy. 

" Yes, yes I" she cried — " it is — it must be 
a banner, that is rising over the hill I Yes, there 
it is, full ! A banner ! a banner I The Captal 
de Buch ! The Captal de Buch ! Another, toq^ 
or, a pale gules ! — The Count of Foix ! Spears, 
spears coming up over the hill ! Run, tell the 
princess, girl ! Tell the poor Lady of St. Leu 
too ! — Call it up to them upon the gate tower ! 
Bid them fight for their honour ! Say help is at 
hand ! — Run, girl, run ! — Who is this first, that 
comes spurring on like fire ? Albert, as I live ! 
my own dear Albert ! bearing the captal's ^ 
banner too !" 



268 THE JACQUERIE. 

** Where are they, where are they ?" cried 
the voice of the Dachess of Normandy, rushing 
with her hair all dishevelled, to the battlements, 
followed by a number of others. " Where are 
our deliverers? Alas! they are very few. — 
They must be but the advance — Still, still they 
will enable us to keep the place till the dauphin 
comes. — But how are they to pass ? There is 
no bridge —there is no boat — How will they 
pass? — oh I how will they pass ?" 

Adela made no reply. Her eyes, her heart, 
her soul, were fixed upon the banner of the 
Captal de Buch and him who bore it. Right 
onward he rode, like lightning down the slope, 
towards the spot where the canal was cut from 
the Marne, and where the current, being some* 
what diverted, was consequently not so strong. 
No pause, no hesitation, was seen ; but waving 
the banner over his head as he approached the 
stream, he struck the rowels of his spurs deep 
into his horse's sides, and plunged down the 
bank into the water. Loaded with heavy 
armour, horse and man for a moment well nigh 
disappeared in the tide; but the banner still 



THE JACQUERIEi^ 269 

waved in the air, and the next instant charger 
and rider rose. up and came rapidly towards the 
meadow. The distance was but small ; and ere 
the rest of the horsemen reached the bank, the 
fore-feet of Albert Denyn's steed were striking 
the firm ground on the other side. No one 
hesitated to follow up his example. The captal 
and the Count of Foix plunged in the first; 
then came the banner-bearer of the count, and 
then, man by man, the gentlemen of their train. 

" Throw open the postern on the meadow 1 " 
cried the duchess. *^ Run and tell our dear 
Lady of Orleans. — Come, let us greet our de- 
liverers." 

" Look, look ! " exclaimed Adela — " yon 
poor fellow is off his horse. — Help him, good 
God I he will be drowned I No, no — tlie gallant 
captal has got him by the hand. He is safe ! he 
is safe!" 

With gladly beating hearts, and brains well 
n%h bewildered by renewed hope, that bevy 
of fair girls ran down the steps to meet the noble 
gentlemen and tbeir train, who came to fight 
in their defence. . They found the postern gate 



270 THE JACQU£RIB. 

open, and the Duchess of Orleans and a number 
of other ladies already there. The captal had 
^rung from his horse, and was leading him by 
the rein, speaking as he came to Albert Denyn^ 
who had also dismoanted, as was likewise the case 
with the Count of Foix and several otiiers. 

'^ By my honour, Albert," said the captal, 
<^ these brave fellows may well accuse me of 
having a favourite now. In letting you lead 
through that river, I have done for you what I 
would not do for any other man on earth ; and 
yet you are so ungrateful, that you are going to 
take from me what I once coveted more than a 
monarch's crown." 

There was gaiety and sadness mixed in the 
leader's tone ; but the voice of Albert Denyn 
was all sad, as he answered, " My lord, my 
lord, do not make me remember too bitterly that 
I was once a serf." 

"Well, well," replied the captal, "I will soon 
give you an opportunity of doing great deeds5 
my friends. — Martin, see that the horses be fed 
instantly, and if any fresh ones can be had in 
the place bring them all forth, — Cousin of Foisf^ 



THE JACQUERIE. 271 

is not this our fair princess of Normandy ? •— 
Ladys by your leave, I kiss your sweet hand^ 
and upon this fair book I swear, that, although 
I have but too often drawn my harsh sword 
against your husband and his friends, it sliall 
to-day achieve your deliverance, or John de 
Greilly shall sleep this night in death. — Lady 
of Orleans, I know you well. La I Here stands 
d good knight of Foix for your defence.— Sweet 
Adela de Mauvinet, I bring you good tidings — » 
your father is quite safe. But whom shall I give 
you for your champion ? My young hero, here, 
good Albert Denyn, who certainly has borne 
my banner this day through fields I never 
thought to see it cross !-*- Ladies dear, for the 
rest of you, on my life, you are so many and we 
so few, you must e'en share the rest of u» 
amongst you; but, nevertheless, I will trust 
that one good man-at-arms will show himself 
able this day to defend four ladies against at 
least a hundred Jacques." 

" Alas ! my lord," said the Duchess of Nor-r 
mandy, ^^ speak not of it so lightly : you are 
very, very few, and you know not the numbers 



272 THE JACQUERIE* 

that are opposed to you. We hoped that you 
but led the advanced party of a larger force.^ 
There are very many thousands in the town of 
Meaux and the neighbouring fields. They 
are even now attacking the gate. Hark ! the 
engine has dashed another stone against it.^' 

'^Fear not, lady, fear not," answered the 
captal. ^^ By my life and by my honour, there is 
not a doubt or an apprehension in my mind 
that these few hands which you see around you 
are quite sufficient to scatter yon base rabble to 
the winds of heaven, and give their carcasses to 
the ravens. Some two miles hence, I have seen 
a sight which has filled my spirit with a fire 
that burns for the destruction of these men, 
who have not only cast off a yoke which was 
perhaps a heavy one, but have cast off also every 
feeling of humanity, and by deeds of blood and 
horror, and infernally devised cruelty, have 
shown themselves unworthy of any state but tliat 
against which they have risen. •— • But who have 
we here?" 

« My Lord of Chambl^," said the Count of 
Foix, who had been speaking to the Duchess 



THE JACQUERIE. 273 

of Orleans, and now advanced toward the gen- 
tleman who approached, ^' how goes it with you? 
But badly, I fear. However, we have come to 
give you help, and we will soon, please God 
and our Lady, set this affair to rights." 

The tone of confidence in which the captal 
and the Count of Foix spoke^ as well as the 
very fact of receiving assistance at all, at a mo- 
ment when it seemed beyond all expectation, 
had restored, in some degree, lost hope and 
comfort to the breasts of the ladies of France ; 
but such was not the effect upon the young 
Lord of Chambl^, when he beheld the scanty 
numbers which followed the two leaders, and 
remembered the immense multitude he had 
lately had before his eyes. 

** There may now be some chance, my lord/' 
he said, <'of repelling these villains, and de- 
fending the place; for even your small force 
will enable us to man the walls, and to re- 
pair what evil is done to the gates ; but as for 
deliverance, I fear we must wait till the regent 



arrives." 



<^ Small force I " exclaimed the Count of Foix, 

VOL. III. T 



274 THE JACQUERIE, 

with a gay and cheerful laugh. ^' Why, my 
friend, do j'ou not see we have an army ? Is not 
this the Captal de Buch standing here ? to say 
nothing of the poor Count of Foix ; and as for 
the rest, were you to ask any of the gentlemen 
ranged in that band, whether for half a king- 
dom lie would have its numbers tripled, I tell 
you he would say, No ! So greedy are we of 
the glory of this day, that you may think your- 
self lucky, Monsieur de Chamble, if we let you 
share in it ? " 

" Please God, my lords," replied the young 
nobleman, " what you share I will share ; but 
tell me, what is it that you intend to do ? for I 
see nothing that can be done." 

" You ask, what we will do," said the Captal 
de Buch, taking a step forward, and speaking 
in a calm, determined tone : " this, my noble 
lord. With God's pleasure, and these ladies' 
favour, as soon as our horses are fed, or we can 
procure fresh ones, we will throw open yonder 
gates, give our bannera to the wind, clear the 
bridge, we saw as we came down, of the enetoyj 
and smite the base knaves as long as there is one 



THE JACQUERIE. 27$ 

of them or us left living. This ia oux* purpose ; 
and it shall never be said that we suffered our- 
selves to be herie cooped up, trusting to stone 
walls for defence against the scum of France. 
I declare, before Heaven, that would no one 
else go with me, I would set out myself with 
my lance in my hand, and ride them down. 
Who will refuse to do the same?" 

"Not I," "Not I," "Not I," cried all the 
voices round. 

" Nor I, my lord," replied the young Lord 
of Chamble ; " but — — " and he glanced his 
eye over the group of ladies who stood near. 

" Doubt not ! doubt not ! " exclaimed the 
Count of Foix. — " Ladies, do you trust us?" 
" Ay, my lord ! " answered the Duchess of 
Orleans. " Were they ten times as many, we 
would rely on you as if you were a host. As for 
horses, there are plenty here : had we had men 
to mount them, we might have been delivered 
long ago." 

" Quick, then ! Let them be brought forth ! " 
exclaimed the Captal de Buch. " Put our 
caparisons on them : they are somewhat wet 

T 2 



376 THE JACQUERIE. 

with the water of the river, but we will soon 
dry them in the fire of the battle. Ladies 
fair, if we deliver you this day, as we trust 
right certainly to do, I pray you remember, 
whether I live or fall, it is to this young gen- 
tleman here present, as much as any one, that 
you owe your safety." 

♦* I, for one, do owe him much already, my 
lord," said a pale but beautiful girl, taking a 
step forward. " He generously tried to save 
my dying father, when delay might have been 
worse than death to himself. But that father, 
noble captal, commanded me strictly, the very 
first moment I could gain speech with you, to 
give you this packet, and beg you to see right 
done. I will explain hereafter every thing 
concerning it, but I must not fail to obey his 
words. Here is the packet." 
I The captal took it, saying, with a smile, ^< I 
must not stay to read it now, fair lady, for there 
are some skilful hands plying a mangonel 
against the gates, I hear. -— Lo ! here are the 
horses. — Cousin, take you your choice : — the 
grey?-— well, give me the black one then* 



THE JACQUERIE. 277 

Brace up those girths tighter, good youth 

— how the brute plunges!— he has not been 
forth for many a day. We will take down that 
lire before we have done. — Albert, you shall 
be my squire, and win the spurs you talked of. 

— Mauleon, come you on the other side. — 
Cousin of Foix, let us make our front as wide 
as the gate will admit. Bring down any men- 
at-arms that can be had from the tower, and 
let the varlets twang the bow-string eagerly 
upon the enemy till we be past the bridge. — 
Fair ladies, adieu. Close well the gates behind 
us, and then watch us from the walls. Your 
bright eyes will give us a thousand hearts. — 
Down with your vizor, Albert ! " 

^' I would fain that he should know me, my 
lord," replied Albert Denyn. 

" Ha ! " said the captal — " Well, as you will. 
Now let our trumpet sound to the charge.— 
Open the doors, and on them ! '* 

The gates of the market-place were suddenly 
thrown back ; and through tlie archway might 
be seen tlie line of the bridge over the Marne 
witli but very few men upon it; but beyond it 

T 3 



278 THE JACQUERIB. 

appeared a sea of fierce and furious faces^ turned 
up towards the walls from the large open space 
on the other side of the riven A great part of 
the multitude were but rudely armed, with 
pikes, or bills, or scythes ; but amongst them, 
too, were men covered from head to foot with 
armour ; and banners and standards were like* 
wise displayed in their ranks, whilst in the 
midst, the huge mangonel was seen, in the act 
of heaving another immense stcme into the air. 

<• Halt ! " cried the captal, « halt ! till it has 
fallen. -— Now on them I — charge ! — Greilly 
-to the rescue ! St. George for merry Eng- 
land ! " 

« Foix ! Foix! St. Michael and St. George 1 
St. Michael and St. George ! " cried the Count 
of Foix; and, dashing their spurs into their 
horses' flanks, they galloped through the arch- 
way, the proud beasts that bore tiiem, full of 
food and rest, plunging fiercely as if to escape 
from the rein. 

The news of a reinforcement having thrown 
itself into the market-place had reached the 
multitudes of the Jacquerie, a few minutes 



THE JACQUERIE. 279 

before, and had somewhat shaken their confi- 
dence ; but when they saw the gates thrown 
open, and banners and spears coming forth, 
many a heart, not knowing the scanty num- 
bers of their adversaries, began to quail, ere 
the first horsemen were tipon the bridge, 

A movement of flight instantly took place* 
In vain Caillet tried to rally the multitude ; in 
vain the Paris^ians, and a number of his own 
determined followers, made a fierce stand to 
oppose the passage of the fugitives. As man 
after man poured forth from the narrow arch- 
way and thundered along the bridge, and a» 
the arrows from the gate fell amongst them» 
"wounding many and killing one or two, the 
effort for flight became general, and every 
street leading from the bridge was jammed up 
with people. 

Mad, furious, and despairing, Caillet seized 
a crossbow from one of the men near him^ 
saying, " I will show you how to treat the 
vipers," and aiming a quarrel at the Gaptal 
de' Buch he loosed the string. The missile 
flew off with a hi^ng sound, but the pressure 

T 4 



280 THE JACQUERIE. 

of the people had shaken the marksman's aim. 
The captal rode on unharmed, piercing at the 
very moment the back of one of the fugitives 
"with his keen lance ; but the Lord of Chamble 
wavered in the saddle, dropped the reins, fell, 
and was dragged by a page from under the 
horse's feet. 

The young noble uttered no sound ; but the 
man whom the captal transfixed with his lance 
gave a sudden yell of agony that spread new 
consternation amongst the people. Caillet, 
Jacques Morne, Vaillant, Soulas, and the rest, 
were borne away in spite of all their efforts ; and 
urging on their horses fiercely through the 
streets, the men-at-arms, some with their 
lances, and some with their long swords, 
pierced, and cut down, or trampled under foot, 
the immense multitude which had so lately been 
attacking the fortified market-place of M eaux, 
but who, now smitten with an inconceivable 
panic, fled before less than a score and a 
half of men. They pressed each other to death 
in the narrow streets, trod upon every one that 
fell without mercy, and at once, terrifying and 



THE JACQUERIE. 281 

slaying each other, issued forth into the fields 
and meadows round Meaux, fleeing in every 
direction but fleeing in vain. Wherever they 
turned, wherever a group gathered together, 
there the fierce hand of the pursuers was 
upon them, hewing them down without mercy, 
and giving no ear to the cries and entreaties 
of those who had never listened to pity in their 
own hour of power. 

From seven o'clock in the morning till nearly 
three in the afternoon, the band of the Captal 
de Buch and the Count of Foix continued to 
slay tlie Jacques and their accomplices; and 
however marvellous it may appear, no fact of 
history is more clearly ascertained than that, 
either pressed to death in the narrow streets, or 
killed by the sword in the city and the fields 
around, seven thousand men died in that day 
before the efibrts of less than forty. 

Very early in the fight, or rather slaughter, 
the little band of the captal and the Count of 
Foix had divided into five separate parties; 
and when, about three o'clock, the former 
planted his banner upon a small hill, and 



282 THE JACQUERIE. 

looked over the plains around, he could see 
his horsemen wheeling hither and thither, hut 
no body of the insurgents was to be distin*- 
guished in any direction. 

He ordered his trumpet then to sound a 
recall ; and he was shortly after rejoined by the 
Count of Foix, who sprang firom his horse and 
cast himself down upon the turf, saying, ^^ On 
my life, captal, though I have seen many hard*- 
fought days, and hunted many a wild beast 
from morning until nightfall, I never remember 
having been so weary in all my life. Why, till 
the last hour, my arm has not ceased slaying 
for a minute. Never let them talk of Samson 
after this day's work. I wish my sword had 
been the jaw-bone of an ass^ it would have been 
easier wielded. How many thousand did you 
kill, captal ? — Ho ! Raonl, take &S my casque, 
and let me have a little air." 

** I slew till I was sick. of the bloody work,'* 
replied the captal. " It was mere butchery; 
and, on my life, I think I should have sheathed 
my sword and let them go free,, had not the tale 
of that poor dying wretch we found last night •^ 



THE JACQUERIE. 283^ 

how that they had I'oasted her husband's body 
before her eyes and made her eat him — rung in 
my ears, and rendered me as merciless as the 
north-east wind. I have no taste for killing 
sheep." 

" Nor I either," answered the Count of Foix; 
and, to say truth, I had but one fair stroke 
or two with any man — one of the Parisian 
fellows, I imagine, who, finding me close upon 
him, turned and aimed a blow at my thigh. 
He had good arms, for my lance broke on his^ 
plastron, and it took me two good thrusts of 
my sword, which is heavy enough, to end him."* 

" Albert Denyn had the best of the day, my 
lords," said Mauleon, joining in ; " for he at- 
tached himself to the man in the black armour^ 
who was worth the whole of the rest of them 
put together. Albert touched no one else but 
him, except when people came between them, 
and then he cut his way through, as a ship 
cleaves the sea." 

<* That was Caillet ! " exclaimed the Captal de 
Buch : '* that was their leader. Albert vowed 
himself to his destruction. — Did he kill him ?'^ 



284 THE JACQUERIE. 

" Not that I saw, my lord," replied Mauleon. 
" Just out of the town gates, that fellow, and 
four or five others who were with him, found 
horses; but there the black armour turned upon 
Albert, and they had two or three stout blows 
together. Then the other put the spur to his 
horse and galloped, and Albert after him. 
More than once they came to blows ; for, ever 
and anon, the black armour faced round upon 
his pursuer, sometimes alone, sometimes with 
two others; but still Albert made his part 
good ; for I saw him cleave one of them, who 
had no head-piece, down to the very jaws, and 
then wheel upon the others again. After that, 
I followed you, my lord, and saw no more." 

" Let the trumpet sound ! " said the captal : 
" they are coming in but slowly." 

" They are weary to death, I dare say," re- 
plied the Count of Foix ; "but let us be riding 
back towards Meaux, there will be bright eyes 
looldng out for us. — I think we have lost none 
of our number, but one who was shot by a 
quarrel on the bridge. Who was he? I saw 
some one fall, but did not mark who it was." 



THE JACQUERIE. 285 

" It was the young gentleman we found in 
the place, my lord," answered one' of the men- 
at-arms. ^^Monsieur de Chamble, I think 
they called him." 

. " Indeed I " cried the count. " Poor fellow ! 
Was he killed?" 

'^ As dead as a roebuck," replied the man. 
^^ He was raising his vizor just at the moment, 
and it went into his forehead." 

<^ Well, some one must be killed," said the 
count; and with this brief elegy the subject was 
dismissed. 

The Count of Foix mounted his horse again, 
and, with their trumpet sounding, he and the 
captal took their way back towards Meaux. 
As they rode on, party after party came in and 
joined them ; and before they reached the gates 
of the city, no one was wanting but one or two 
pages and varlets, who were known to have re- 
turned to the market-place with some prisoners, 
the young Lord of Chambl^, and Albert 
Denyn. 

An unexpected obstacle, however, presented 
itself under the very walls. Some of the citizens 



5286 THE JACQUERIE. 

appeared upon the battlements and threatened 
to keep the gates closed, unless a promise of 
amnesty was given for the part that the people 
of Meaux had taken. The cheek of the 
<:apta1 turned very red; but the Count of Foix, 
remarking that the great valves of the gate did 
not seem fully closed, spurred forward, and 
pushed them hard with his hand. 

The door gave way, in spite of some resist-* 
ance that was made. The men-at-arms rushed 
in, and were joined by a part of the citizens, 
cryingi " Down with the traitors ! . Down with 
the traitors! Long live the dauphin ! Long 
live the dauphin ! " and in a moment the 
scene of strife was renewed in the streets of 
the city. 

Worsted, but desperate, some of the mayor's 
party fled into the houses, and opened a 
discharge of arrows and quarrels from the 
windows, drawing down a bitter retribution on 
their own heads. 

" Out upon the traitorous hounds ! '* ex- 
claimed the Captal de Buch. 

** Bum them out 1 *' cried the Count of Foix. 



THE JACQUERIE. 287 

The suggestion was too rapidly adopted — fire 
was brought; and ere an hour wasovei', one half 
of the town of Meaux was in flames. In one 
of the houses was taken John Sonlas, the 
treacherous mayor; and some of the other 
citizens would have put him to death at once 
for the evils that he had brought upon the city : 
but the captal and the Count of Foix in- 
terfered, and, tying him hand and foot, had him 
•carried with them into the market-place, to 
await the judgment of the dauphin« 

In the midst of that small square, where, nof 
many hours before, they had stood expecting 
death with all the most aggravating circum- 
stances, the ladies af France were now collected 
to welcome the little band of their gallant 
deliverers. Two by two, as they passed the 
gate, the nobles and their men-at-arms, leaving 
their exhausted horses panting in the shade, 
advanced to meet the gratulations that poured 
upon them. 

All was joy and satisfaction in every bosom^ 
but one, there present. Adela de Mauvinet, 
however, gazed over the band as they ad- 



288 THE JACQUERIE. 

vanced, and searched amongst them, with an 
eager and an anxious eye, for the one being most 
dear to her own heart* She saw him not : she 
counted them over again and again. He was 
not there ; and as she stood by the side of the 
Duchess of Orleans, who was pouring forth 
thanks with an eloquent voice, Adela sunk 
slowly down, and was caught in the arms of 
the young lady of St Leu, hearing not the 
words which the latter addressed to her, ^^ He - 
is safe — I am sure he is safe I" 



THE JACQUERIE. 289 



CHAP. XIII. 

We must now not only change the scene to a 
camp, at some distance from Meaux, but pass 
over, at once, seven days in the course of our 
history. 

In the centre of the long rows of canvass 
streets, was a large open space before a royal 
pavilion, with the standard of France upon 
the right-hand, and another banner upon the 
left. On either side appeared a long rank 
of men-at-arms; and the curtain of the tent 
drawn up, displayed a young, and somewhat 
pallid, man, seated in a large chair of state; 
while round about him, and back to the 
very crimson hangings behind, appeared a 
crowd of noblemen and gentlemen, for the 
most part armed completely except the head. 

Placed in a somewhat lower chair, by the 
side of the principal personage, was the young 
Duchess of Normandy, and next to her, again, 
the Duchess of Orleans. A number of ladies 

VOL. III. ^T 



290 THE JACQUERIE. 

Stood behind and around them; and though 
all, more or less, were dressed with such 
splendour as befits a court, it was sad to see 
that many were in the weeds of mourning. 

On the right of the dauphin, a little in 
advance, was a group composed of the most 
distinguished men in France, and amongst them 
were to be seen the Count of Foix, the Begue 
de Vilaine, the Captal de Buch, and the old 
Lord of Mauvinet — last, as the poet says, but 
not least, for he was standing next to the 
prince himself, with his arms crossed upon his 
chest, his grey hair escaping from under his 
velvet cap, and his eyes bent thoughtfully, but 
not sadly, upon the ground. 

Near the Duchess of Orleans appeared 
Adela de Mauvinet, somewhat pale, but with a 
fluttering colour upon her cheek, which came 
and went at almost every word ; and though her 
eyes were generally bent on the ground, yet, 
from time to time, she raised them to a con- 
siderable group of persons who had been 
brought into the presence of the regent by two 
heralds. One of the party had been speaking 



THE JACQUERIE. 291 

to the Duke of Normandy for a considerable 
time ; and when he came to the end of their 
communication, the prince bowed his head^ 
saying, *' Monsieur de Picquigny, greet well, 
for us, our noble cousin of Navarre, and tell him 
that there is nothing we desire more than peace 
with him and all the world. As soon as he gives 
us such proof and assurance of his good inten- 
tions towards ourselves, as may prove satisfactory 
to us, and to our council, we will gladly believe 
his professions, sheath the sword, and take him 
to our bosom with brotherly love. In the mean 
time, we readily consent to meet him at our 
father's royal mansion at St. Ouen, and pledge 
him our word, in presence of these noble 
gentlemen, that he shall be safe in person, and 
have liberty to come and go, without stop or 
hinderance, for two days before and after our 
interview. Let him name the day." 

*' I humbly thank your highness," said the 
personage who had spoken on behalf of the King 
of Navarre ; " and I beg to present to you, 
according to your desire, the young gentleman, 
who, with his own hand, took that traitorous 

u 2 



292 THE JACQUERIE. 

villain, William Caillet, after pursuing him for 
two days, in the fields near Clermont. I my- 
self it was who found him bleeding and ex- 
hausted, and demanded his prisoner at his 
hands on behalf of the King of Navarre." 

" And so the king struck off his head," added 
the dauphin — "it was too much honour for a 
villain like that He should have hanged hirai 
to a tree. However, we thank the noble king 
for the good service he has rendered France, for 
exterminating the remainder of these Jacques 
near Clermont. — Young gentleman, stand for- 
ward: I find that you have done right well, 
and gallantly ; but tell me something more of 
the means by which you accomplished what has 
foiled so many experienced knights. How did 
you contrive to take this villain?" 

" I pursued him, your highness," replied 
Albert Denyn, " from Meaux to Nanteiul, and 
there lost sight of him during the night. But 
I knew he could not go far, for he had often 
turned upon me, and was badly wounded. The 
other man who was with him was wounded too, 
•— one I killed under the walls of Meaux. At 



THE JACQUERIE. 293 

day-break, however, after sleeping in the fields, 
I caught sight of them again, pursued, and 
overtook them beyond Senlis. There they 
turned again ; and after a few strokes, Caillet*s 
companion, Morne, was killed. The two who 
remained alive were both much hurt,, and had 
lost some blood; but though he was weaker 
and had suffered more, he would have con-: 
tinned the fight ; but some horsemen appeared 
afar ofF, and he fled again. I pursued once 
more, but my horse was weary, and could hardly 
carry me farther, when, after a long chase, I 
found my enemy dropped from his beast, unable 
to go farther. We had been friends in boy- 
hood; and I could not kill him in cold blood. 
So I bound him and gave him up to Monsieur 
de Picquigny who followed." 

" And for the capture of this notorious ma- 
lefactor what do you claim as" your reward ? " 
demanded the regent. " Knighthood, doubtless, 

so kneel down." 

Albert Denyn knelt at the feet of the prince, 
with his face glowing up to the very brow, on 
which were the scars of more than one fresh 

u 3 



294 THE JACQUERIE. 

wound. Ere he could answer, however, the 
Duchess of Orleans rose, and laying her hand 
playfully on the string of pearls which Albert 
wore, twisted through the gold chain round 
his neck, she said, ^^ By this sign and token, 
I redeem my promise. — Charles, your highness 
must seek some other recompence : I promised, 
that if he bore this trinket through the hosts of 
the Jacquerie to demand knighthood for him of 
yoitrself, or of any other knight, who, for my 
love and his merit, would bestow it." 

** Well, then," replied the dauphin, " I grant 
it to your suit, fair lady, and dub him even now. 
He shall buckle on the spurs hereafter. In the 
name of God, St. Michael, and St. George, I 
dub thee knight;" and he laid his sword upon 
Albert Denyn's shoulder ; adding, " This is for 
that lady's sake I What other guerdon do you 
demand or me for your good service done ?" 

Still, ere Albert could reply, he was again 
interrupted. The Captal de Buch stepped 
forward, saying, " Your highness promised, 
that, as soon as you had given an answer to the 
King of Navarre, you would grant me a boon. 



THE JACQUERIE. 295 

I have yielded to a lady, but can yield to no 
one else." 

"Well, what is it?" demanded the dauphin, 
looking round with a smile. 

** I have told your highness," replied the 
captal. 

** Oh, yes ! I remember," said the dauphin* 
•r— " Know all men by these presents, that I re- 
voke and annul the sentence of high treason 
which went forth against the Lord of Granville, 
some fourteen or fifteen years ago ; restore to his 
heirs and race their honours, dignities, and pos- 
sessions, of all kinds whatsoever, and pronounce 
the said sentence of no effect, and as if it never 
had been. — Let letters of abolition be drawn 
up," be added, turning to an officer behind. — 
*' I perform this act, my lord captal, with the 
greater pleasure, as I myself can bear witness 
that my father erred, and that the noble gen- 
tleman he did to death was wholly innocent." 

*^ I give your highness thanks," exclaimed 
the Count of Mauvinet, stepping forward ; " for 
though we had not met for years before his 
death, he was my dearest friend." 

u 4 



296 THE JACQUERIE. 

" I thank your highness, also," said the young 
lady of St. Leu, "for he was my poor mother's 
brother." 

" Well, now your boon, young gentleman ?" 
asked the dauphin : "we must not keep you 
kneeling here all day." 

Albert Denyn turned first pale, and next 
red, and then rising from his knee, bowed low, 
and took a step back. 

" I have none to ask, your highness," he 
replied — "I have obtained more than I either 
expected or asked. There is but one thing 
farther, in all the earth, that I could desire; 
but it is so much beyond all hope, as well as be- 
yond my worthiness, that I might be well ac- 
cused of daring presumption, were I to dream 
of it. For an instant it may have crossed my 
mind, but I now banish it for ever, and I neither 
can nor will utter it to any one." 

" Then I will for you," said the Captal de 

Buch. — "My Lord of Mauvinet, it is only you 

can give him his guerdon. The boon he would 

^^ ask, if he dared, is this lady's fair hand," and 

crossing over, he took that of Adela in his 



THE JACQUERIE. 297 

She trembled violently; and the Count de 
Mauvinet stood silent, with no expression of 
surprise on his countenance, but with a flushed 
cheek, a downcast eye, a quivering lip, and all 
those signs which may best denote a fierce 
mental struggle going on within. 

" My lord," continued the Captal de Buch, 
" remember all that this young man has been to 
her, all that he has done for her ;— think that he 
has been as a brother in her infancy and youth ; 
think that he has been her protector in his man- 
hood ; think that he has defended her honour 
and her life; think that he has spilt his blood as 
freely as if it had Ijeen water, to save her from 
death and shame ! My lord, we know that many 
a born villein has won the hand of a noble 
lady by the mere force of riches — at least so 
says many an old song. Now, my lord, his riches 
are of a nobler kind than ever were brought to 
barter yet ; and, moreover, he has been ennobled 
by the hand of the emperor, knighted by the 
hand of the regent — — " 

" Cease, my good lord, pray cease ! It is 
in vain,'* cried Albert Denyn: "the original 
taint is there, and cannot be removed." 



298 THE JACQUERIE. 

But the Captal de Buch went on without 
heeding him. — ** Fair lady," he said, turning to 
Adela, " I know not well what areyo»r feelings; 
and therefore to you, too, I will plead for my 
young friend. The time was, when no gift on 
earth I coveted so much as this fair hand. I 
thought it was a prize for which kings might 
strive : I deemed that few on the earth were 
worthy of it. Forgive me, lady, if I say that he 
is worthy, at least as much as any man can be, 
in services rendered, in noble deeds o( arms, in 
generous courage, and in a lofty spirit. I, 
John de Greilly, have been held no mean judge 
of such things, and by my honour and my chi- 
valry, I speak the truth when I say, that were 
you my own child, were you my own sister, I 
would give you to him. — What say you, my 
Lord of Mauvinet? Remember what he has 
done for your child, remember what he has done 
for you, and above all, remember what he has 
done for France. Then if you can lay your 
finger upon a nobler youth in all this presence, 
refuse him your daughter's hand." 

"But does he ask it?" inquired the Lord 
of Mauvinet. 



THE JACQUERIE. 299 

" I dare not ask it, my lord," replied Albert 
Denyn. " Were it possible for me to do so, I 
would dispute it with a world." 

" Well ! " said the old nobleman, at length — 
** Well, Albert^ one ought rightly to be assured 
that the blood is noble which is permitted to 
mingle with the race of Mauvinet. Neverthe- 
less, you have indeed done things that may 
well prove you of gentle race. If my child 
loves you, I will not say you nay. — Adela^ 
decide for youself, now and for ever. Your 
hand might be a boon for the highest and 
noblest in France; station, and rank, and 
honour, might well be yours — and may still be 
yours ! Bat if your heart tells you that he ha& 
won you well, if yoii can choose him, and never 
regret your choice, why, then, now let it be 
made." 

Adela sprang forward, knelt at her father'^ 
feet, and held out her hand to Albert Denyn. 

" Out of all the world !" she exclaimed, with 
a burst of strong feeling that nothing could 
restrain — " out of all the world ! Would that 
the emperor had not ennobled him! — would 



300 THE JACQUERIE. 

that the sword of knighthood had never touched 
his shoulder! — that I might show him how 
noble I think him." And hiding her eyes on 
her father's coat of arms, she wept with mingled 
joy and agitation. But when she raised them 
again, and looked from her parent to her lover, 
the colour came somewhat into her cheek ; for 
with a faint and sad smile the young lady of 
St. Leu came forward, and throwing her arm 
over Albert's shoulder, kissed him on either 
cheek. ; 

, "I give you joy!" she said, "my noble 
cousin — I give you joy ! " 

A proud and meaning smile curled the lip of 
the Captal de Buch; but his was the only 
countenance there present which did not bear a 
strong expression of surprise. 

" What is the meaning of this?" exclaimed 
the old Lord of Mauvinet. "Your cousin, 
lady? Have my dreams proved right? And 
is the orphan boy I educated " 

" Albert Denyn, Count of Granville," re- 
plied the young lady, " and my dear cousin. 
It was to your abode, my lord, that he was 



THE JACQUERIE. 301 

taken by my unhappy uncle Walleran, when 
the death of his elder brother, and the pro- 
scription of the whole race, drove him mad 
himself, and left the young heir destitute and 
in danger. He feared to tell you, it seems, 
who the child was, lest he should bring your 
house also into peril ; he dared not carry him 
to my father, who was already suspected, from 
his connection with the house of Granville." 

" But where is your uncle Walleran?" ex- 
claimed the count. " I knew him well in 
former times : he was always wild and strange, 
but good at heart," 

" Alas ! my lord, he is dead," replied the 
Captal de Buch. " The brief history of the last 
year is this : — By a strange fate — for I must not 
venture to call it chance — my band was joined 
by Count Walleran de Granville as I was riding 
away from your castle of Mauvinet. His own 
nephew, not knowing him as his relation, 
pledged himself for his good faith. I soon dis- 
covered that the wild^ooking man was not the 
being which he seemed; and when he found the 
station in which Albert was placed with me, he 



S02 THE JACQUERIE. 

vevealed the whole secret, promising me the in- 
contestible proofs of his nejdiew's birth and 
rank. These were to be given me at a little inii 
near St. Leu, where he proposed to leave iis» 
There, however he suddenly disappeared, enticed 
away, it seems, daring the night, by a fiend-like 
old man, named Thibalt de la Rue, and some 
accomplices. That old man had brought down 
death upon his brother, the Lord of Granville, 
whose servant he was, by a false accusation ; and 
he now betrayed Count Walleran into the hands 
of William Caillet, who slew him for some old 
offence. Thibalt de la Rue, however, possessed 
himself of the papers which had been drawn up 
for me. I, in the mean time, had left behind 
Albert and some others to seek for Walleran : they 
found the body, and the Lord of St. Leu coming 
up, old Thibalt was arrested upon strong sus- 
picion. The Lord of St. Leu turned him over 
to the Lord of Flessis, as his natural superior ; 
but Monsieur de St. Leu's men searched him 
before delivering him up, and found the papers 
for which Albert Denyn had been inquiring, in 
my name. That noble gentleman kept them. 



THE JACQUERIE. 803 

waiting for my return fi'om Prussia ; but 
intending to act strongly against the Jacques^ 
and fearing that he might be killed in some 
encounter, the Lord of St. Leu gave those 
papers to his daughter, with directions to de- 
liver them to me, that I might, when occasion 
served, assert her cousin's rights. Since his 
unfortunate death, she has placed them in my 
hand?, and I have fulfilled the task. The ways 
of Providence are strange ; and we often see a 
retributive justice in this world, as if directed 
immediately by God himself. I find that it was 
an arrow from the hand of Albert Denyn which 
smote the old fiend, who had betrayed his father 
and his uncle. His arm was it, also, that, after 
pursuing his uncle's murderer through two long 
days, delivered him up to justice, bound and 
overcome. — I have but one word more to say, 
and it is to you, lady," he continued, turning to 
Adela. " You heard me declare, I believe, when 
I entered the market-place at Meaux, that I 
would not have had another man with me to 
share in the honour of that day for half a king- 
dom. I believe, from my heart, that, with some-* 






304 THE JACQU£RIE« 

what similar feelings, you would not have lost 
the opportunity of choosing this noble youth on 
account of his merit alone, for the brightest 
coronet that ever sat upon mortal brow; and, 
therefore, you will easily forgive me, that I kept 
the secret till your choice was made." 

" Oh, my lord," exclaimed Adela, " how ge- 
nerous you are ! Noble in every feeling, chi- 
valrous in every act, your name shall long 
stand high upon the roll of renown *, and men 
shall point to the words, ^John de Greilly, 
Captal de Buch,' and say, < That was a knight, 
indeed!'" 

 It stands still in St. George's Hall at Windsor, 
amongst the first of those mighty champions, who are 
known by the title of ** Founders of the Order of the 
Garter." 



Note on Page 288, 

The account given by Froissart of this adventure 
of the Captal de Buch and bis companions is as' 
follows. The reader will see that I have deviated 
very little from this account; and, even in the 
Variations I have made, I am justified by other 
Contemporary authors who have written on the 
subject : — 

<' £n ce temps que ces mechants gens couroient^ 
revinrent de Prusse le Comte de Foix et le Captal 
de Buch, son cousin ; et entendirent sur le chemin, 
si comme ils devoient entrer en France, la pestil- 
lence et Thorriblit^ qui couroit sur le gentilshommes. 
Si en eurent ces deux seigneurs grand' piti6. Si 
chevauchdrent par leur joum^es tant qu'ils vinrent 
a Chalons en Champagne, qui rien ne se mouvoit 
du fait des vilains, ni point n'y entroient. Si leur 
fut dit en la dite cit6 que la Duchesse de Nor- 
tnandie et la Duchesse d'Orleans, et bien trois cents 
dames et damoiselles, et le Due d'Orleans aussi, 
^toient ^ Meaux en Brie, en grand meschef de coeur, 
pour cette Jaquerie. Ces deux bons chevaliers 
s*accorderent que ils iroient voir les dames et les 
reconforteroient a leur pouvoir, combien que le 
captal fut Anglois. Mais ils ^toient pour ce temps 
troves entre le royaume de France et le royaume 
d' Angleterre ; si pouvoit bien le dit captal chevau- 
cher partout ; et aussi la 11 vouloit remontrer sa 

VOL. III. X 



306 NOT£. 

gentillesse, en la compagnie du Comte de Foix. Si 
pouvoient ^tre de leur route environ quarantc 
lances, et non plus ; car ils venoient d'un p61erinage, 
ainsi que je vous ai j^ dit 

Tant chevauchdrent que ils vinrent a Meaux en 
Brie. Si allerent tantdt devers la Duchesse de 
Normandie et lea autres damesy qui furent moult 
li6es de leur yenue ; car tous lea jours elles 6toient 
menac^es des Jacques et des vilains de Brie» et 
m^mement de ceux de la ville, ainsi qu'il fut ap» 
parent. Car encore pour ce que ces m^chants gens 
entendirent que il avoit la foison de dames et de 
damoiselles et de jeunes gentils enfants, ils s'assem- 
blerent ensemble, et ceux de la Comt^ de Valois 
aussi, et s'en vinrent devers Meaux, D 'autre party 
ceux de Paris, qui bien savoient cette assemble, 
se partirent un jour de Paris, par flottes et par 
troupeaux, et s'envinrent avecques les autres. £t 
furent bien neuf mille tous ensemble, en tres grand' 
volont^ de jnal faire. £t toujours leur croissoient 
gens de divers iienx et de plusieurs chemins qui se 
raccordoient a Meaux. £t s'envinrent jusques aux 
portes de la dite ville. £t ces m^hants gens de la 
vilie ne voulurent contredire Fentr^e a ceux de 
Paris, mais ouvrirent leur portes* Si entrerent au 
bourg si grand* plenty que toutes les rues en ^toient 
convertes jusques au march6. • * * 

<< Quand ces noblea dames, qui 6toient herbergees 
au marcli6 de Meaux, qui est assez fort, mais qu'il 
soit gard^ et d^fendu, car la riviere de Maroe 
I'avironne, virent si grand' quantity de gens ac-^ 
courir et venir sur elles, si furent moult 6bahies et 
effray^es ; mais le Comte de Foix et le Captal de 



308 NOTE. 

account of an interview he had with Bassot de MaU- 
leon, mentioned in the text, in which the captal's 
companion informed him that the ladies of France 
were totally alone in the market-place, and that the 
number of Jacques killed was six thousand. Another 
author greatly reduces the number of the com-* 
panions of the Count de Foix and the Captal de 
Buch. By this last authority, also, we find that 
only one of the gentlemen who issued forth from 
the market-place was killed upon this occasion* 
The name, however, is by him written Chambly. 

The description of the market-place of Meaux, 
as I have given it in the text, is, I believe, a com* 
plete picture of what it was at that time ; at least I 
am led to suppose so» from the statements of Mon- 
sieur de Secousse, who took infinite pains to ascer- 
tain the facts. It may be remarked, also, that 
many other places mentioned in this work have 
changed in appearance as much as Meaux ; cities 
having grown up round castles, which then stood 
naked on the hill side, or at most had a small village 
of peasant's huts attached to them. 



THE END. 



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