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fray, did not tarry to take leave of his master, | perceiving the discomfiture of their leader, but made the most of his way to Greavesbury-armed themselves with stones; the serjeant hall, where he appeared hardly with any ves- raised his halbert in a posture of defence, and tige of the human countenance, so much had immediately a severe action ensued. By he been defaced in this adventure. He did this time Crabshaw had drawn his sword, and not fail to raise a great clamour against Sir began to lay about him like a devil incarnate; Launcelot, whom he cursed as a coward in but, in a little time, he was saluted by a volley plain terms, swearing he would never serve of stones, one of which knocked out two of him another day but whether he altered his his grinders, and brought him to the earth, mind on cooler reflection, or was lectured by where he had liked to have found no quarter; his wife, who well understood her own in- for the whole company crowded about him, terest, he rose with the cock, and went with their cudgels brandished; and perhaps again in quest of Sir Launcelot, whom he he owed his preservation to their pressing found on the eve of a very hazardous enter- so hard that they hindered one another from prise. using their weapons.
"In the midst of a lane, the knight hap- "Sir Launcelot seeing, with indignation, pened to meet with a party of about forty the unworthy treatment his squire had rerecruits, commanded by a serjeant, a corpo-ceived, and scorning to stain his lance with ral, and a drummer, which last had his drum the blood of plebeians, instead of couching it slung at his back; but seeing such a strange in the rest, seized it by the middle, and figure mounted on a high-spirited horse, he fetching one blow at the serjeant, broke in was seized with an inclination to divert his twain the halbert, which he had raised as a company. With this view, he braced his quarter-staff for his defence. The second drum, and hanging it in its proper position, stroke encountered his pate, which being began to beat a point of war, advancing the hardest part about him, sustained the under the very nose of Bronzomarte; while shock without damage; but the third, lightthe corporal exclaimed,- Dn my eyes, ing on his ribs, he honoured the giver who have we got here!-Old King Stephen, with immediate prostration. The general from the horse armoury in the tower, or the being thus overthrown, Sir Launcelot adfellow that rides arined at my lord mayor's vanced to the relief of Crabshaw, and handled show? The knight's steed seemed at least his weapon so effectually, that the whole as well pleased with the sound of the drum, body of the enemy were disabled or routed, as were the recruits that followed it; and before one cudgel had touched the carcass signified his satisfaction in some curvetings of the fallen squire. As for the corporal, and caprioles, which did not at all discom- instead of standing by his commanding offipose the rider, who, addressing himself to cer, he had overleaped the hedge, and run the serjeant,- Friend,' said he, 'you ought to the constable of an adjoining village for to teach your drummer better manners. I assistance. Accordingly, before Crabshaw would chastise the fellow on the spot for could be properly remounted, the peacehis insolence, were it not out of the respect officer arrived with his posse; and by the I bear to his majesty's service.' 'Respect corporal was charged with Sir Launcelot mine a!' cried this ferocious commander, and his squire as two highwaymen. The 'what, d'ye think to frighten us with your constable, astonished at the martial figure pewter piss-pot on your skull, and your lac- of the knight, and intimidated at sight of the quered pot-lid on your arm? get out of the havoc he had made, contented himself with way, and be dd, or I'll raise with my standing at a distance, displaying the badge halbert such a clatter upon your target, that of his office, and reminding the knight that you'll remember it the longest day you have he represented his majesty's person. to live. At that instant Crabshaw arriving upon Gilbert, So, rascal,' said Sir Launcelot, you are returned. Go and beat in that scoundrel's drum-head.'
"The squire, who saw no weapons of offence about the drummer but a sword, which he hoped the owner durst not draw, and being resolved to exert himself in making atonement for his desertion, advanced to execute his master's orders; but Gilbert, who liked not the noise, refused to proceed in the ordinary way. Then the squire turning his tail to the drummer, he advanced in a retrograde motion, and with one kick of his heels, not only broke the drum into a thousand pieces, but laid the drummer in the mire, with such a blow upon his hip-bone, that he halted all the days of his life. The recruits,
"Sir Launcelot, seeing the poor man in great agitation, assured him that his design was to enforce, not violate the laws of his country; and that he and his squire would attend him to the next justice of peace; but, in the mean time, he, in his turn, charged the peace-officer with the serjeant and drummer, who had begun the fray.
"The justice had been a pettifogger, and was a sycophant to a nobleman in the neighbourhood, who had a post at court. therefore thought he should oblige his patron by showing his respect for the military; and treated our knight with the most boorish insolence; but refused to admit him into his house, until he had surrendered all his weapons of offence to the constable. Sir Laun
celot and his squire being found the aggress
ors, the justice insisted upon making out their mittimus, if they did not find bail im
some cases madness is catching.
mediately; and could hardly be prevailed In which the reader will perceive that in upon to agree that they should remain at the house of the constable, who being a publican, undertook to keep them in safe custody, until the knight could write to his steward. Meanwhile he was bound over to the peace; and the serjeant with his drummer were told they had a good action against him for assault and battery, either by information or indict
"They were not, however, so fond of the law as the justice seemed to be. Their sentiments had taken a turn in favour of Sir Launcelot, during the course of his examination, by which it appeared that he was really a gentleman of fashion and fortune; and they resolved to compromise the affair without the intervention of his worship. Accordingly, the serjeant repaired to the constable's house, where the knight was lodged, and humbled himself before his honour, protesting with many oaths, that, if he had known his quality, he would have beaten the drummer's brains about his ears, for presuming to give his honour or his horse the least disturbance; thof the fellow, he believed, was sufficiently punished in being a cripple for life.
"Sir Launcelot admitted of his apologies, and taking compassion on the fellow who had suffered so severely for his folly, resolved to provide for his maintenance. Upon the representation of the parties to the justice, the warrant was next day discharged; and the knight returned to his own house, attended by the serjeant and the drummer mounted on horseback, the recruits being left to the corporal's charge.
"The halberdier found the good effects of Sir Launcelot's liberality; and his companion being rendered unfit for his majesty's service, by the heels of Gilbert, is now entertained at Greavesbury-hall, where he will probably remain for life.
MR Clarke having made an end of his narrative, the surgeon thanked him for the entertainment he had received; and Mr Ferret shrugged up his shoulders in silent disapprobation. As for Captain Crowe, who used at such pauses to pour in a broadside of dismembered remarks, linked together like chain-shot, he spoke not a syllable for some time; but, lighting a fresh pipe at the candle, began to roll such voluminous clouds of smoke as in an instant filled the whole apartment, and rendered himself invisible to the whole company. Though he thus shrouded himself from their view, he did not long remain concealed from their hearing. They first heard a strange dissonant cackle, which the doctor knew to be a sea-laugh, and this was followed by an eager exclamation of"Rare pastime, strike my yards and topmasts ;-I've a good mind-why shouldn'tmany a losing voyage I've-smite my taffrel but I wool-"
By this time he had relaxed so much in his fumigation, that the tip of his nose and one eye re-appeared; and as he had drawn his wig forwards, so as to cover his whole forehead, the figure that now saluted their eyes was much more ferocious and terrible than the fire-breathing chimera of the ancients. Notwithstanding this dreadful appearance, there was no indignation in his heart, but, on the contrary, an agreeable curiosity, which he was determined to gratify.
Addressing himself to Mr Fillet,-" Pr'ythee, doctor," said he, "can'st tell whether a man, without being rated a lord or a baron, or what dy'ye call um, d'ye see, mayn't take to the highway in the way of a frolic d'ye see? Adad! for my own part, brother, I'm resolved as how to cruise a bit in the way of an arrant-if so be as I can't at once be com"As for Crabshaw, his master gave him mander, mayhap I may be bore upon the to understand, that if he did not think him books as a petty officer or the like, d'ye see." pretty well chastised for his presumption and Now, the Lord forbid!" cried Clarke, flight, by the discipline he had undergone in with tears in his eyes, "I'd rather see you the last two adventures, he would turn him dead than brought to such a dilemma." out of his service with disgrace. Timothy" Mayhap thou would'st," answered the unsaid, he believed it would be the greatest favour he could do him to turn him out of a service in which he knew he should be rib-roasted every day, and murdered at last.
"In this situation were things at Greavesbury-hall about a month ago, when I crossed the country to Ferrybridge, where I met my uncle; probably this is the first incident of their second excursion; for the distance between this here house and Sir Launcelot's estate does not exceed fourscore or ninety miles."
cle; "for then, my lad, there would be some
my compass long enough before thy keel-
The surgeon was one of those wags who can laugh inwardly, without exhibiting the least outward mark of mirth or satisfaction. He at once perceived the amusement which might be drawn from this strange disposition of the sailor, together with the most likely means which could be used to divert him from such an extravagant pursuit. He therefore tipped Clarke the wink with one side of his face, while the other was very gravely turned to the captain, whom he addressed to this effect." It is not far from hence to Sheffield, where you might be completely fitted in half a day-then you must wake your armour in church or chapel, and be dubbed. As for this last ceremony, it may be performed by any person whatsoever. Don Quixote was dubbed by his landlord; and there are many instances on record of errants obliging and compelling the next person they met to cross their shoulders, and dub them knights. I myself would undertake to be your godfather; and I have interest enough to procure the keys of the parish church that stands hard by; besides, this is the eve of St Martin, who was himself a knight-errant, and therefore a proper patron to noviciate. I wish we could borrow Sir Launcelot's armour for the occasion."
Crowe, being struck with this hint, started up, and, laying his fingers on his lips to enjoin silence, walked off softly on his tiptoes, to listen at the door of our knight's apartment, and judge whether or not he was asleep. Mr Fillet took this opportunity to tell his nephew that it would be in vain for him to combat this humour with reason and argument; but the most effectual way of diverting him from the plan of knight-errantry would be to frighten him heartily while he should keep his vigil in the church. Towards the accomplishment of which purpose, he craved the assistance of the misanthrope
as well as the nephew. Clarke seemed to relish the scheme; and observed, that his uncle, though endued with courage enough to face any human danger, had at bottom a strong fund of superstition, which he had acquired, or at least improved, in the course of a sea life. Ferret, who perhaps would not have gone ten paces out of his road to save Crowe from the gallows, nevertheless engaged as an auxiliary, merely in hope of seeing a fellow-creature miserable; and even undertook to be the principal agent in this adventure. For this office, indeed, he was better qualified than they could have imagined. In the bundle which he kept under his great coat, there was, together with divers nostrums, a small phial of liquid phosphorus, sufficient, as he had already observed, to frighten a whole neighbourhood out of their senses.
In order to concert the previous measures, without being overheard, these confederates retired with a candle and lanthorn into the stable; and their backs were scarce turned, when captain Crowe came in loaded with pieces of the knight's armour, which he had conveyed from the apartment of Sir Launcelot, whom he had left fast asleep.
Understanding that the rest of the company were gone out for a moment, he could not resist the inclination he felt of communicating his intention to the landlady, who, with her daughter, had been too much engaged in preparing Crabshaw's supper, to know the purport of their conversation. The good woman, being informed of the captain's design to remain alone all night in the church, began to oppose it with all her rhetoric. She said it was setting his Maker at defiance, and a wilful running into temptation. She assured him that all the country knew that the church was haunted by spirits and hobgoblins; that lights had been seen in every corner of it, and a tall woman in white had one night appeared upon the top of the tower; that dreadful shrieks were often heard to come from the south aisle, where a murdered man had been buried; that she herself had seen the cross on the steeple all a-fire; and one evening as she passed on horseback, close by the stile at the entrance into the church-yard, the horse stood still, sweating and trembling, and had no power to proceed until she had repeated the Lord's prayer.
These remarks made a strong impression on the imagination of Crowe, who asked, in some confusion, if she had got that same prayer in print? She made no answer, but reaching the prayer-book from a shelf, and turning up the leaf, put it into his hand; then the captain, having adjusted his spectacles, began to read, or rather spell aloud, with equal eagerness and solemnity. He had refreshed his memory so well as to remember the whole, when the doctor, returning with
his companions, gave him to understand that | devotion, and returned to the public house in he had procured the key of the chancel, order to execute the essential part of their where he might watch his armour as well as project. in the body of the church, and that he was ready to conduct him to the spot. Crowe was not now quite so forward as he had appeared before to achieve this adventure: he began to start objections with respect to the borrowed armour; he wanted to stipulate the comforts of a can of flip, and a candle's end, during his vigil; and hinted something of the damage he might sustain from your ma-anthrope and Tom Clarke in ghostly apparel, licious imps of darkness.
The doctor told him, the constitutions of chivalry absolutely required that he should be left in the dark alone, and fasting, to spend the night in pious meditations; but if he had any fears which disturbed his conscience, he had much better desist, and give up all thoughts of knight-errantry, which could not consist with the least shadow of apprehension. The captain, stung by this remark, replied not a word; but, gathering up the armour into a bundle, threw it on his back, and set out for the place of probation, preceded by Clarke with the lanthorn. When they arrived at the church, Fillet, who had procured the key from the sexton, who was his patient, opened the door, and conducted our novice into the middle of the chancel, where the armour was deposited; then bidding Crowe draw his hanger, committed him to the protection of Heaven, assuring him he would come back, and find him either dead or alive by daybreak, and perform the remaining part of the ceremony. So saying, he and the other associates shook him by the hand, and took their leave, after the surgeon had tilted up the lanthorn to take a view of his visage, which was pale and haggard.
In which the knight resumes his importance.
DOCTOR FILLET having borrowed a couple of sheets from the landlady, dressed the mis
which was reinforced by a few drops of liquid phosphorus, from Ferret's vial, rubbed on the foreheads of the two adventurers. Thus equipped, they returned to the church with their conductor, who entered with them softly at an aisle which was opposite to a place where the novice kept watch. They stole unperceived through the body of the church; and though it was so dark that they could not distinguish the captain with the eye, they heard the sound of his steps, as he walked backwards and forwards on the pavement with uncommon expedition, and an ejaculation now and then escaped in a murmur from his lips.
cried aloud,--"In the name of God, where are you bound, ho?" To this hail the misanthrope answered,-" We are the spirits of thy grandmother Jane and thy aunt Bridget."
The triumvirate having taken their station with a large pew in their front, the two ghosts uncovered their heads, which, by help of the phosphorus, exhibited a pale and lambent flame, extremely dismal and ghastly to the view: then Ferret, in a squeaking tone, exclaimed,-" Samuel Crowe! Samuel Crowe!" The captain hearing himself accosted in this manner, at such a time, and in such a place, replied," hilloa!" and, turning his eyes towards the quarter whence the voice seemed to proceed, beheld the terrible apparition. This no sooner saluted his view, "Before the door was locked upon him, than his hair bristled up, his knees began to he called aloud," hilloa! doctor, hip-knock, and his teeth to chatter, while he another word, d'ye see-" They forthwith returned to know what he wanted, and found him already in a sweat. "Hark ye, brother," said he, wiping his face, "I do suppose as how one may pass away the time in whistling the Black Joke, or singing Black Ey'd Susan, or some such sorrowful ditty." "By no means," cried the doctor, "such pastimes are neither suitable to the place nor the occasion, which is altogether a religious exercise. If you have got any psalms by heart, you may sing a stave or two, or repeat the Doxology." "Would I had Tom Laverick here," replied our noviciate," he would sing you anthems like a sea-mew-a had been a clerk ashore-many's the time and often I've given him a rope's end for singing psalms in the larboard watch-would I had hired the son of a b to have taught me a cast of his office-but it cannot be holp, brother-if we can't go large, we must haul upon a wind, as the saying is if we can't sing, we must pray." The company again left him to his
At mention of these names Crowe's terrors began to give way to his resentment, and he pronounced, in a quick tone of surprise, mixed with indignation,-" What d'ye want? what d'ye want? what d'ye want, ho?" The spirit replied,-"We are sent to warn thee of thy fate." "From whence, ho?" cried the captain, whose choler had by this time well nigh triumphed over his fear. From heaven," said the voice. Ye lie, ye b-s of hell!" did our novice exclaim, " ye are damned for heaving me out of my right, five fathom and a half by the lead, in burning brimstone. Don't I see the blue flames come out of your hawse holes-mayhap you may be the devil himself for aught I know-but I trust in the Lord, dy'e see-1 never disrated a kinsman, dy'e see, so don't come alongside of me-put about on t'other
tack, d'ye see-you need not clap hard | releasing him instantly from his grasp,—
aweather, for you'll soon get to hell again with a flowing sail."
So saying, he had recourse to his paternoster; but perceiving the apparitions approach, he thundered out," Avast, avast, sheer off, ye babes of hell, or I'll be foul of your forelights." He accordingly sprung forwards with his hanger, and very probably would have set the spirits on their way to the other world, had he not fallen over a pew in the dark, and entangled himself so much among the benches, that he could not immediately recover his footing. The triumvirate took this opportunity to retire; and such was the precipitation of Ferret in his retreat, that he encountered a post, by which his right eye sustained considerable damage; a circumstance which induced him to inveigh bitterly against his own folly, as well as the impertinence of his companions, who had inveigled him into such a troublesome adventure. Neither he nor Clarke could be prevailed upon to revisit the novice. The doctor himself thought his disease was desperate, and, mounting his horse, returned to his own habitation.
"Bodikins!" cried he, "I believe as how this
The noise of Crabshaw's cries had awaFerret, finding all the beds in the public kened and aroused his master, who, rising house were occupied, composed himself to suddenly in the dark, snatched up his sword sleep in a Windsor chair at the chimney that lay by his bed-side, and hastened to corner; and Mr Clarke, whose disposition the scene of tumult, where all their mouths were opened at once to explain the cause was extremely amorous, resolved to renew He said his practices on the heart of Dolly. He had of the disturbance, and make an apology reconnoitered the apartments in which the for breaking his honour's rest. bodies of the knight and his squire were de- nothing, but, taking the candle in his hand, posited, and discovered, close by the top of beckoned his squire to follow him into his Crabshaw understood his the stair-case, a sort of closet or hovel, just apartment, resolving to arm and take horse large enough to contain a truckle-bed, which, immediately. from some other particulars, he supposed to meaning; and while he shuffled on his clothes, be the bed-chamber of his beloved Dolly, who yawning hideously all the while, wished the Full lawyer at the devil for having visited him so had by this time retired to her repose. of this idea, and instigated by the demon of unseasonably; and even cursed himself for desire, Mr Thomas crept softly up stairs, the noise he had made, in consequence of and, lifting the latch of the closet door, his which he foresaw he should now be obliged heart began to palpitate with joyous expecta- to forfeit his night's rest, and travel in the tion; but before he could breathe the gentle dark, exposed to the inclemencies of the effusions of his love, the supposed damsel weather. "Pox rot thee, Tom Clarke, for started up, and, seizing him by the collar a wicked lawyer!" said he to himself, with an Herculean gripe, uttered, in the voice" hadst thou been hanged at Bartelmey-tide, of Crabshaw," It wan't for nothing that II should this night have slept in peace, that dreamed of Newgate, sirrah: but I'd have I should-an I would there were a blister on thee to know, an arrant squire is not to be this plaguy tongue_of mine for making such robbed by such a peddling thief as thee-a hollaballoo, that I do-five gallons of cold here I'll howld thee vast, and the devil were in thy doublet-help! murder! vire! help!" It was impossible for Mr Clarke to disengage himself, and equally impracticable to speak in his own vindication; so that here he stood trembling and half-throttled, until the whole house being alarmed, the landlady and her ostler ran up stairs with a candle. When the light rendered objects visible, an equal astonishment prevailed on all sides: Crabshaw was confounded at sight of Mr Clarke, whose person he well knew; and,
water has my poor belly been drenched with since night fell, so as my reins and my liver are all one as if they were turned into ice, and my whole harslet shakes and shivers like a vial of quicksilver. I have been dragged, half drowned like a rotten ewe, from the bottom of a river; and who knows but I may be next dragged quite dead from the bottom of a coal-pit-if so be as I am, I shall go to hell to be sure, for being consarned like in my own moorder, that I will, so I will; for a plague on it, I had no busi