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panied with marks of horror and despair, my father. These affairs being discussed, prevailed upon his son to withdraw himself he spared no pains to get intelligence confrom the kingdom, until such time as the cerning Miss Darnel ; and soon learned more storm should be overblown. Had his heart of that young lady than he desired to know; been unengaged, he would have chose to for it was become the common talk of the travel ; but at this period, when his whole country, that a match was agreed upon besoul was engrossed, and so violently agitated tween her and young Squire Sycamore, a by his passion for Aurelia, nothing but the gentleman of a very great fortune. These fear of seeing the old gentleman run dis- tidings were probably confirmed under her tracted, would have induced him to desistown hand, in a letter which she wrote to Sir from the pursuit of that young lady, far less Launcelot. The contents were never exactly quit the kingdom where she resided. known but to the parties themselves; never
“Well, then, gemmen, he repaired to Har- theless, the effects were too visible, for, from wich, where he embarked for Holland, from that blessed moment, he spoke not one word whence he proceeded to Brussels, where he to any living creature, for the space of three procured a passport from the French king, days; but was seen sometimes to shed a flood by virtue of which he travelled to Marseilles, of tears, and sometimes to burst out into a and there took a tartan for Genoa. The fit of laughing. At last he broke silence, fir letter Sir Everh received from him and seemed to wa from his disorder. He was dated at Florence. Meanwhile the sur- became more fond than ever of the exercise geon's prognostic was not altogether verified. of riding, and began to amuse himself again Mr Darnel did not die immediately of his with acts of benevolence. wounds; but he lingered a long time, as it “One instance of his generosity and juswere in the arms of death, and even partly tice deserves to be recorded in brass or marrecovered: yet, in all probability, he will ble: you must know, gemmen, the rector of never be wholly restored to the enjoyment the parish was lately dead, and Sir Everhard of his health; and is obliged every summer had promised the presentation to another to attend the hot-well at Bristol. As his clergyman. In the mean time, Sir Launcclot wounds began to heal, his hatred to Mr chancing one Sunday to ride through a lane, Greaves seemed to revive with augmented vi- perceived a horse saddled and bridled, feedolence; and he is now, if possible, more than ing on the side of a fence; and, casting his ever determined against all reconciliation. eyes around, beheld on the other side of the
“ Mr Launcelot, after having endeavoured hedge an object lying extended on the ground, to amuse his imagination with a succession which he took to be the body of a murdered of curious objects, in a tour of Italy, took up traveller. He forthwith alighted, and leaphis residence at a town called Pisa, and there ing into the field, descried a man at full fell into a deep melancholy, from which length, wrapped in a great coat, and writhing nothing could rouse him but the news of his in agony. Approaching nearer, he found it father's death.
was a clergyman, in his gown and cassoc. “The old gentleman (God rest his soul) When he inquired into the case, and offered never held up his head after the departure his assistance, the stranger rose up, thanked of his darling Launcelot; and the dangerous him for his courtesy, and declared that he condition of Darnel kept up his apprehen- was now very well. The knight, who sion: this was reinforced by the obstinate thought there was something mysterious in silence of the youth, and certain accounts of this incident, expressed a desire to know the his disordered mind, which he had received cause of his rolling in the grass in that manfrom some of those persons who take pleasure ner; and the clergyman, who knew his perin communicating disagreeable tidings. A son, made no scruple in gratifying his curicomplication of all these grievances, co-ope- i osity. • You must know, sir,' said he, •I rating with a severe fit of the gout and gravel, serve the curacy of your own parish; for produced a fever, which, in a few days, which the late incumbent paid me twenty brought Sir Everhard to his long home, after pounds a-year; but this sum being scarce he had settled his affairs with heaven and sufficient to maintain my wife and children, earth, and made his peace with God and man. who are five in number, I agreed to read I'll assure you, genmen, he made a most prayers in the afternoon at another church, edifying and christian end : he died regretted about four miles from hence; and for this by all his neighbours except Anthony, and additional duty I receive ten pounds more: might be said to be embalmed by the tears as I keep a horse, it was formerly an agreeof the poor, to whom he was always a boun- able exercise rather than a toil; but of late teous benefactor.
years I have been afflicted with a rupture, “ When the son, now Sir Launcelot, came for which I consulted the most eminent opehome, he appeared so meagre, wan, and rators in the kingdom; but I have no cause hollow-eyed, that the servants hardly knew to rejoice in the effects of their advice, their young master. His first care was to though one of them assured me I was comtake possession of his fortune, and settle ac- pletely cured. The malady is now more counts with the steward who had succeeded troublesome than ever, and often comes upon
me so violently while I am on horseback, that | So saying, he retired, leaving Mr Jenkins I am forced to alight, and lie down upon the incapable of uttering one syllable, so powerground, until the cause of the disorder can fully was he struck with this unexpected turn for the time be reduced.'
of fortune. The presentation was immedi. “Sir Launcelot not only condoled with ately made out, and in a few days Mr Jenhim upon his misfortune, but desired him to kins was put in possession of his benefice, throw up the second cure, and he would pay to the inexpressible joy of the congregation. him ten pounds a-year out of his own pocket. Hitherto everything went right, and • Your generosity confounds me, good sir,' every unprejudiced person commended the replied the clergyman; and yet I ought not knight's conduct; but in a little time his to be surprised at any instance of benevo- generosity seemed to overleap the bounds of lence in Sir Launcelot Greaves; but I will discretion, and even in some cases might be check the fullness of my heart. I shall only thought tending to a breach of the king's observe, that your good intention towards peace. For example, he compelled, vi et me can hardly take effect. The gentleman armis, a rich farmer's son to marry the who is to succeed the late incumbent, has daughter of a cottager, whom the young given me notice to quit the premises, as he fellow had debauched. Indeed it seems there hath provided a friend of his own for the was a promise of marriage in the case, curacy.' •What!' cried the knight, does though it could not be legally ascertained. he mean to take your bread from you, with. The wench took on dismally, and her paout assigning any other reason ?'' •Surely, rents had recourse to Sir Launcelot, who, sir,' replied the ecclesiastic, I know of sending for the delinquent, expostulated with no other reason. I hope my morals are irre- him severely on the injury he had done the proachable, and that I have done my duty young woman, and exhorted him to save her with a conscientious regard; I may venture life and reputation by performing his promise, an appeal to the parishioners, among whom in which case he (Sir Launcelot) would give I have lived these seventeen years. After her three hundred pounds to her portion. all, it is natural for every man to favour his Whether the farmer thought there was someown friends in preference to strangers. As thing interested in this uncommon offer, or for me, I propose to try my fortune in the was a little elevated by the consciousness of great city, and I doubt not but Providence his father's wealth, he rejected the proposal will provide for me and my little ones.' with rustic disdain, and said, if so be as how
“ To this declaration Sir Launcelot made the wench would swear the child to him, he no reply; but riding home, set on foot a strict would settle it with the parish ; but declared, inquiry into the character of this man, whose that no squire in the land should oblige him name was Jenkins. He found that he was to buckle with such a cracked pitcher. This a reputed scholar, equally remarkable for his resolution, however, he could not maintain ; modesty and good life; that he visited the for in less than two hours the rector of the sick, assisted the needy, compromised dis- parish had directions to publish the banns, putes among his neighbours, and spent his and the ceremony was performed in due time in such a manner as would have done course. Jionour to any christian divine. Thus in. “Now, though we know not precisely the formed, the knight sent for the gentleman to nature of the arguments that were used with whom the living had been promised, and ac- the farmer, we may conclude they were of costed him to this effect. --Mr Tootle, I the minatory species, for the young fellow have a favour to ask of you. The person could not, for some time, look any person in who serves the cure of this parish, is a man the face. of good character, beloved by the people, and “The knight acted as the general redresser has a large family. I shall be obliged to you of grievances. If a woman complained to if you will continue him in your curacy.' him of being ill-treated by her husband, he The other told him he was sorry he could first inquired into the foundation of the comnot comply with his request, being that he plaint, and if he found it just, catechised the had already promised the curacy to a friend defendant. If the warning had no effect, of his own. • No matter,' replied Sir Laun- and the man proceeded to fresh acts of viocelot, since I have not interest with you, lence, then his judge took the execution of I will endeavour to provide for Mr Jenkins in the law in his own hand, and horse-whipped some other way.'
Thus he involved himself in “That same afternoon he walked over to several law-suits, that drained him of pretty the curate's house, and told him that he had large sums of money. He seemed particu. spoken in his behalf to Dr Tootle, but the larly incensed at the least appearance of curacy was pre-engaged. The good man oppression, and supported divers poor tenants having made a thousand acknowledgements against the extortion of their landlords. for the trouble his honour had taken; • Nay, he has been known to travel two hun. have not interest sufficient to make you cu- dred miles as a volunteer, to offer his assist. rate,' said the knight, but I can give you ance in the cause of a person who, he heard, the living itself, and that you shall have.'l was by chicanery and oppression wronged of
a considerable estate. He accordingly took | law ; against him, therefore, the first effort her under his protection, relieved her dis- of his despair was directed. He started tresses, and was at a vast expense in bring- upon the floor, and seizing a certain utensil, ing the suit to a determination; which being that shall be nameless, launched it at the unfavourable to his client, he resolved to misanthrope with such violence, that, had he bring an appeal into the house of lords, and not cautiously slipped his head aside, it is certainly would have executed his purpose, supposed that actual fire would have been if the gentlewoman had not died in the in- produced from the collision of two such hard terim."
and solid substances. All future mischief At this period Ferret interrupted the nar- was prevented by the strength and agility rator, by observing, that the said Greaves of Captain Crowe, who, springing upon the was a common nuisance, and ought to be assailant, pinioned his arms to his sides, prosecuted on the statute of barretry. crying,—" O damn ye, if you are for running
“ No, sir,” resumed Mr Clarke, “ he can-a-head, I'll soon bring you to your bearings. not be convicted of barretry, unless he is al- The squire, thus restrained, soon recollectways at variance with some person or other, ed himself, and gazing upon every individual a mover of suits and quarrels, who disturbs in the apartment," Wounds !" said he, the peace under colour of law. Therefore I've had an ugly dream. I thought, for all he is in the indictment styled, communis the world, they were carrying me to Newmalefactor, calumniator, et seminator liti- gate, and that there was Jack Ketch coom um.'
to vetch me before my taim." “ Pr’ythee truce with thy definitions," Ferret, who was the person he had thus cried Ferret, “and make an end of thy long-distinguished, eyeing him with a look of the winded story. Thou hast no title to be so most emphatic malevolence, told him, it was tedious, until thou comest to have a coif in very natural for a knave to dream of New. the court of common pleas.”
gate ; and that he hoped to see the day Tom smiled contemptuous, and had just when this dream would be found a true proopened his mouth to proceed, when the com- phecy, and the commonwealth purged of all pany were disturbed by a hideous repetition such rogues and vagabonds : but it could not of groans, that seemed to issue from the be expected that the vulgar would be honest chamber in which the body of the squire was and conscientious, while the great were disdeposited. The landlady snatched the can- tinguished by profligacy and corruption. The dle, and ran into the room, followed by the squire was disposed to make a practical redoctor and the rest; and this accident natu- ply to this insinuation, when Mr Ferret prurally suspended the narration. In like man- dently withdrew himself from the scene of ner, we shall conclude the chapter, that the altercation. The good woman of the house reader may have time to breathe, and digest persuaded his antagonist to take out his nap, what he has already heard.
assuring him, that the eggs and bacon, with a mug of excellent ale, should be forthcom.
ing in due season. The affair being thus CHAPTER V.
fortunately adjusted, the guests returned to
the kitchen, and Mr Clarke resumed his story In which this recapitulation draws to a to this effect. close.
“ You'll please to take notice, gemmen,
that, besides the instances I have alleged of When the landlady entered the room from Sir Launcelot's extravagant benevolence, I whence the groaning proceeded, she found could recount a. great many others of the the squire lying on his back, under the domi- same nature, and particularly the laudable nion of the night-mare, which rode him so vengeance he took of a country lawyer. I'm hard, that he not only groaned and snorted, sorry that any such miscreant should belong but the sweat ran down his face in streams. to the profession. He was clerk of the asThe perturbation of his brain, occasioned by size, gemmen, in a certain town, not a great this pressure, and the fright he had lately way distant; and having a blank pardon left undergone, gave rise to a very terrible dream, by the judges for some criminals whose cases in which he fancied himself apprehended for were attended with favourable circumstances, a robbery. The horror of the gallows was he would not insert the name of one who strong upon him, when he was suddenly could not procure a guinea for the fee; and awaked by a violent shock from the doctor; the poor fellow, who had only
. stole an hourand the company broke in upon his view, glass out of a shoemaker's window, was ac. still perverted by fear, and bedimmed by tually executed, after a long respite, during slumber. His dream was now realized by a which he had been permitted to go abroad, full persuasion that he was surrounded by and earn his subsistence by his daily labour. the constable and his gang. The first ob- "Sir Launcelot, being informed of this ject that presented itself to his disordered barbarous act of avarice, and having some view was the figure of Ferret, who might ground that bordered on the lawyer's estate, very well have passed for the finisher of the I not only rendered him contemptible and infamous, by exposing him as often as they met assembled. They gazed at one another in on the grand jury, but also, being vested silent horror, and when Sir Launcelot came with the property of the great tithes, proved forth completely armed, took to their heels such a troublesome neighbour, sometimes by in a body, and Aed with the utmost precipi. making waste among his hay and corn, tation. I myself was overturned in the sometimes by instituting suits against him crowd ; and this was the case with that very for petty trespasses, that he was fairly individual person who now serves him as a obliged to quit his habitation, and remove squire. He was so frightened, that he could into another part of the kingdom.
not rise, but lay roaring in such a manner, “ All these avocations could not divert Sir that the knight came up, and gave him a Launcelot from the execution of a wild thwack with his lance across the shoulders, scheme, which has carried his extravagance which roused him with a vengeance. For my to such a pitch, that I am afraid, if a statute own part, I freely own I was not unmoved -you understand me, gemmen-were sued, at seeing such a figure come stalking out of the jury would—I don't choose to explain a church in the grey of the morning ; for it myself further on this circumstance. Be recalled to my remembrance the idea of the that as it may, the servants at Greavesbury- ghost in Hamlet, which I had seen acted in hall were not a little confounded, when their Drury-lane, when I made my first trip to master took down from the family armoury London, and I had not yet got rid of the ima complete suit of armour, which had be- pression. longed to his great-grandfather, Sir Marma- “Sir Launcelot, attended by the other duke Greaves, a great warrior, who lost his knight, proceeded to the stable, from whence, life in the service of his king. This armour with his own hands, he drew forth one of his being scoured, repaired, and altered, so as to best horses, a fine mettlesome sorrel, who had fit Sir Launcelot, a certain knight, whom I got blood in him, ornamented with rich trapdon't choose to name, because I believe he pings. In a trice, the two knights, and the cannot be proved compos mentis, came down, other two strangers, who now appeared to seemingly on a visit, with two attendants ; be trumpeters, were mounted. Sir Launceand, on the eve of the festival of St George, lot's armour was lacquered black ; and on his the armour being carried into the chapel, Šir shield was represented the moon in her first Launcelot (Lord have mercy upon us !) re-quarter, with the motto Impleat orbem. mained all night in that dismal place alone, The trumpets having sounded a charge, the and without light, though it was confidently stranger pronounced with a loud voice,reported all over the country, that the place God preserve this gallant knight in all his was haunted by the spirit of his great-great- honourable achievements; and may he long uncle, who, being lunatic had cut his throat continue to press the sides of his now adopted from ear to ear, and was found dead on the steed, which I denominate Bronzomarte, communion table."
hoping that he will rival in swiftness and It was observed, that, while Mr Clarke re- spirit, Bayardo, Brigliadoro, or any other hearsed this circumstance, his eyes began to steed of past or present chivalry!' After stare, and his teeth to chatter; while Dolly, another Aourish of the trumpets, all four whose looks were fixed invariably on this clapped spurs to their horses, Sir Launcelot narrator, growing pale, and hitching her couching his lance, and galloped to and fro,
joint-stool nearer the chimney, exclaimed, in as if they had been mad, to the terror and a frightened tone,—“Moother, moother, in astonishment of all the spectators. the name of God, look to 'un ! how a quakes ! “What should have induced our knight to As I'm a precious saoul, a looks as if a saw choose this here man for his squire, is not something." Tom forced a smile, and thus easy to determine; for, of all the servants proceeded.
about the house, he was the least likely “ While Sir Launcelot tarried within the either to please his master, or engage in such chapel, with the doors all locked, the other an undertaking. His name is Timothy Crabknight stalked round and round it on the out- shaw, and he acted in the capacity of whipperside, with his sword drawn, to the terror of in to Sir Everhard. He afterwards married divers persons who were present at the cere- the daughter of a poor cottager, by whom he mony. As soon as day broke, he opened one has several children, and was employed about of the doors, and, going in to Sir Launcelot, the house as a ploughman and carter. To read a book for some time, which we did sup- be sure, the fellow has a dry sort of humour pose to be the constitutions of knight-errant- about him; but he was universally hated ry: then we heard a loud slap, which echoed among the servants for his abusive tongue through the whole chapel, and the stranger and perverse disposition, which often brought pronounced, with an audible and solemn him into trouble ; for, although the fellow is voice,—“In the name of God, St Michael, as strong as an elephant, he has no more courand St George, I dub thee knight-be faith age naturally than a chicken- I say naturally, ful, bold, and fortunate.” You cannot ima- because, since his being a member of knightgine, gemmen, what an effect this strange errantry, he has done some things that appear ceremony had upon the people who were altogether incredible and preternatural.
“Timothy kept such a bawling, after he and family were removed into a snug farmhad received the blow from Sir Launcelot, house that happened to be empty, and care that every body on the field thought some of taken that they should be comfortably mainhis bones were broken ; and his wife, with tained. five bantlings came snivelling to the knight, “ These precautions being taken, the knight, who ordered her to send the husband directly one morning at day-break, mounted Bronzoto his house. Tim accordingly went thither, marte, and Crabshaw, as his squire, ascended groaning piteously all the way, creeping the back of a clumsy cart-horse, called Gil. along with his body bent like a Greenland bert. This again was looked upon as an
As soon as he entered the court, the instance of insanity in the said Crabshaw; outward door was shut; and Sir Launcelot, for, of all horses in the stable, Gilbert was coming down stairs with a horsewhip in his the most stubborn and vicious, and had often hand, asked what was the matter with him like to have done mischief to Timothy while that he complained so dismally. To this he drove the cart and plough. When he question he replied,- That it was as com- was out of humour, he would kick and plunge, mon as duck-weed in his country, for a man as if the devil was in him. He once thrust to complain when his bones were broken.' Crabshaw into the middle of a quickset-hedge, • What should have broken your bones ?' said where he was terribly torn: another time he the knight. I cannot guess,' answered the canted him over his head into a quagmire, other, unless it was that delicate switch where he stuck with his heels up, and must that your honour in your mad pranks handled have perished, if people had not been passing so dexterously upon my carcass.' Sir Laun- that way: a third time he seized him in the celot then told him there was nothing so stable with his teeth by the rim of the belly, good for a bruise as a sweat, and he had the and swung, him off the ground, to the great remedy in his hand. Timothy, eyeing the danger of his life: and I'll be hanged, if it horsewhip askance, observed that there was was not owing to Gilbert, that Crabshaw another still more speedy, to wit, a moderate was now thrown into the river. pill of lead, with a sufficient dose of gun- “ Thus mounted and accoutred, the knight powder. No, rascal, cried the knight, and his squire set out on their first excursion. * that must be reserved for your betters. They turned off from the common highway, So saying, he employed the instrument so and travelled all that day without meeting effectually, that Crabshaw soon forgot his any thing worthy recounting; but, in the fractured ribs, and capered about with great morning of the second day, they were faagility.
voured with an adventure. The hunt was " When he had been disciplined in this upon a common through which they travelled, manner to some purpose, the knight told him and the hounds were in full cry after a fox, he might retire, but ordered him to return when Crabshaw, prompted by his own misnext morning, when he should have a repe- chievous disposition, and neglecting the order tition of the men'cine, provided he did not of his master, who called aloud to him to defind himself capable of walking in an erect sist, rode up to the hounds, and crossed them posture.
at full gallop. The huntsman, who was not “ The gate was no sooner thrown open, far off, running towards the squire, bestowed than Timothy ran home with all the speed upon his head such a memento with his pole, of a greyhound, and corrected his wife, by as made the landscape dance before his eyes; whose advice he had pretended to be so and in a twinkling he was surrounded by all grievously damaged in his person.
the foxhunters, who plied their whips about “Nobody dreamed that he would next day his ears with infinite agility: Sir Launcelot present himself at Greavesbury-hall; never- advancing at an easy pace, instead of assisttheless, he was there very early in the morn- ing the disastrous squire, exhorted his advering, and even closeted a whole hour with saries to punish him severely for his insolence, Sir Launcelot. He came out making wry and they were not slow in obeying this in. faces, and several tiines slapped himself on junction. Crabshaw finding himself in this the forehead, crying — Bodikins ! thof he be disagreeable situation, and that there was no crazy, 1 an't, that I an't!' When he was succour to be expected from his master, on asked what was the matter? he said, he whose prowess he had depended, grew desbelieved the devil had got in him, and he perate, and, clubbing his whip, laid about should never be his own man again. him with great fury, wheeling about Gilbert,
“ That same day the knight carried him to who was not idle ; for he, having received Ashenton, where he bespoke those accoutre- some of the favours intended for his rider, ments which he now wears; and while these both bit with his teeth, and kicked with his were making, it was thought the poor fellow heels; and at last made his way through the would have run distracted. He did nothing ring that encircled him, though not before he but growl, and curse, and swear to himself
, had broken the huntsman's leg, lamed one of run backwards and forwards between his own the best horses on the field, and killed half a hut and Greavesbury-hall, and quarrel with score of the hounds. the horses in the stable. At length his wife “Crabshaw, seeing himself clear of the