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ness with the vagaries of this crazy-peated the kitchen with all the marks of horror measter of mine : a pox on him, say I.” and consternation.
He had just finished this soliloquy as he When Sir Launcelot came forth wrapped entered the apartment of his master, who in his cloak, and demanded his arms, Crabdesired to know what was become of his shaw declared that the devil had them in
Timothy, understanding that it possession : and this assertion was confirmed had been left in the room when the knight by the ostler, who pretended to know the undressed, began to scratch his head in devil by his roar. Ferret sat in his corner, great perplexity; and at last declared it as maintaining the most mortifying silence, and his opinion, that it must have been carried enjoying the impatience of the knight, who off by witchcraft. Then he related his ad. in vain requested an explanation of this mys. venture with Tom Clarke, who (he said) tery. At length his eyes began to lighten, was conveyed to his bed-side he knew not when, seizing Crabshaw in one hand, and how; and concluded with affirming they the ostler in the other, he swore by Heaven were no better than papishes who did not he would dash their souls out, and rase the believe in witchcraft. Sir Launcelot could house to the foundation, if they did not in. not help smiling at his simplicity ; but, as- stantly disclose the particulars of this transsuming a peremptory air, he commanded action. The good woman fell on her knees, him to fetch the armour without delay, protesting, in the name of the Lord, that she that he might afterwards saddle the horses, was innocent as the child unborn, thof she in order to prosecute their journey. had lent the captain a prayer-book to learn
Timothy retired in great tribulation to the the Lord's prayer, a candle and lanthorn to kitchen, where, finding the misanthrope, light him to the church, and a couple of whom the noise had also disturbed, and clean sheets for the use of the other gentle. still impressed with the notion of his being men. The knight was more and more a conjuror, he offered him a shilling if he puzzled by this declaration, when Mr Clarke, would cast a figure, and let him know what coming into the kitchen, presented himself had become of his master's armour.
with a low obeisance to his old patron. Ferret, in hope of producing more mis- Sir Launcelot's anger was immediately chief, informed him, without hesitation, that converted into surprise. He set at liberty one of the company had conveyed it into the squire and ostler, and, stretching out his the chancel of the church, where he would hand to the lawyer,—“My good friend now find it deposited ; at the same time pre. Clarke," said he, " how came you hither? senting him with the key, which Mr Fillet Can you solve this knotty point which has had left in his custody.
involved us all in such confusion ?" The squire, who was none of those who Torn forthwith began a very circumstantial set hobgoblins at defiance, being afraid to recapitulation of what had happened to his enter the church alone at these hours, bar- uncle; in what manner he had been disapgained with the ostler to accompany and pointed of the estate ; how he had accidentlight him with a lanthorn. Thus attended, ally seen his honour, been enamoured of his he advanced to the place, where the armour character, and become ambitious of followlay in a heap, and loaded it upon the back ing his example. Then he related the parof his attendant without molestation, the ticulars of the plan which had been laid down lance being shouldered over the whole. to divert him from his design: and conIn this equipage they were just going to cluded with assuring the knight, that the retire, when the ostler, hearing a noise at captain was a very honest man, though he some distance, wheeled about with such ve- seemed to be a little disordered in his intellocity, that one end of the spear saluting lects. “I believe it," replied Sir Launcelot, Crabshaw's pate, the poor squire measured madness and honesty are not incompatible his length on the ground; and, crushing -indeed I feel it by experience.” the lanthorn in his fall, the light was ex- Tom proceeded to ask pardon, in his un. tinguished. The ostler, terrified at these cle's name, for having made so free with the effects of his own sudden motion, threw knights armour: and begged his honour, for down his burden, and would have betaken the love of God, would use his authority with himself to flight, had not Crabshaw laid fast Crowe, that he might quit all thoughts of hold on his leg, that he himself might not knight-errantry, for which he was by no be deserted. The sound of the pieces clat- means qualified; for, being totally ignorant tering on the pavement roused Captain of the laws of the land, he would be continuCrowe from a trance of slumber, in which ally committing trespasses, and bring him, he had lain since the apparition vanished : self into trouble. He said, in case he should and he hallooed, or rather bellowed, with prove refractory, he might be apprehended vast vociferation. Timothy and his friend by virtue of a friendly warrant, for having were so intimidated by this terrific strain, feloniously carried off the knight's accoutre that they thought no more of the armour, ments. “Taking away another man's but ran home arm in arm, and appeared in /movables," said he, “and personal goods
against the will of the owner, is furtum and so your ambition is commendable. But tofelony according to the statute ; different in wards the practice of chivalry there is somedeed from robbery, which implies putting in thing more required than the virtues of coufear on the king's highway, in alta via regia rage and generosity. A knight-errant ought violenter et felonice captum et asportatum, to understand the sciences, to be master of in magnum terrorem, &c.; for if the robbery ethics or morality, to be well versed in the. be laid in the indictment as done in quadam ology, a complete casuist, and minutely acvia pedestri, in a footpath, the offender will quainted with the laws of his country. He not be ousted of his clergy. It must be in should not only be patient of cold, hunger, alta via regia; and your honour will please and fatigue, righteous, just, and valiant, but to take notice, that robberies committed on also chaste, religious, temperate, polite, and the river Thames are adjudged as done in conversable ; and have all his passions under alta via regia; for the king's high-stream is the rein, except love, whose empire he should all the same as the king's highway.” submissively acknowledge.” He said, this
Sir Launcelot could not help smiling at was the very essence of chivalry; and no Tom's learned investigation. He congratu. man had ever made such a profession of lated him on the progress he had made in arms, without first having placed his affecthe study of the law. He expressed his con- tion upon some beauteous object, for whose cern at the strange turn the captain had ta- honour, and at whose command, he would ken, and promised to use his influence in cheerfully encounter the most dreadful perils. persuading him to desist from the preposter- He took notice, that nothing could be ous design he had formed.
more irregular than the manner in which The lawyer, thus assured, repaired imme. Crowe had attempted to keep his vigil; for diately to the church, accompanied by the he had never served his noviciate-he had squire, and held a parley with his uncle, who, not prepared himself with abstinence and when he understood that the knight in per- prayer-he had not provided a qualified godson desired a conference, surrendered up the father for the ceremony of dubbing—he had arms quietly, and returned to the public no armour of his own to wake; but, on the house.
very threshold of chivalry, which is the perSir Launcelot received the honest seaman fection of justice, had unjustly purloined the with his usual complacency; and, perceiving arms of another knight. That this was a great discomposure in his looks, said he was mere mockery of a religious institution, and sorry to hear he had passed such a disagree therefore unpleasing in the sight of Heaven; able night to so little purpose. Crowe, hav. witness the demons and hobgoblins that were ing recruited his spirits with a bumper of permitted to disturb and torment him in his brandy, thanked him for his concern, and trial. observed, that he had passed many a hard Crowe having listened to these remarks night in his time; but such another as this with earnest attention, replied, after some he would not be bound to weather for the hesitation,—"I am bound to you, brother, command of the whole British navy. "I for your kind and christian counsel—I doubt have seen Davy Jones in the shape of a blue as how I've steered by a wrong chart, d'ye flame, d'ye see, hopping to and fro on the see-as for the matter of the sciences, to be sprit-sail-yard-arm; and I've seen your Jacks- sure, I know plain sailing and Mercator, and o'-the-lanthorn, and Wills-o'-the-wisp, and am an indifferent good seaman, thof I say it
I many such spirits, both by sea and land; but that should not say it : but as to all the rest, to-night I've been boarded by all tlfe devils no better than the viol-block or the geer-capand damned souls in hell, squeaking and stan. Religion I han't much overhauled ; squalling, and glimmering and glaring. and we tars laugh at your polite conversaBounce went the door-crack went the pew tion, thof, mayhap, we can chant a few bal-crash came the tackle-white sheeted lads to keep the hands awake in the night. ghosts dancing in one corner by the glow. watch; then for chastity, brother, I doubt worm's light-black devils hobbling in ano. that's not expected in a sailor just come ther-Lord have mercy upon us ! and I was ashore, after a long voyage-sure all those hailed, Tom, I was, by my grandmother poor hearts won't be damned for steering in Jane and my Aunt Bridget, d’ye see—a cou- the wake of nature. As for a sweetheart, ple of damn'd—but they're roasting, that's Bet Mizen of St Catharine's would fit me to one comfort, my lad.”
a hair-she and I are old messmates : and When he had thus disburdened his con- what signifies talking, brother ? she knows science, Sir Launcelot introduced the sub- already the trim of my vessel, d'ye see.” He ject of the new occupation at which he as- concluded with saying,—“ He thought he pired. “I understand,” said he, “that you wan't too old to learn, and if Sir Launcelot are desirous of treading the paths of errantry, would take him in tow, as his tender, he which, I assure you, are thorny and trouble. would stand by him all weathers, and it some. Nevertheless, as your purpose is to should not cost his consort a farthing's ex. exercise your humanity and benevolence, I pense.”
i Nor you
The knight said, he did not think himself man, what may his distemper be ?" “ Mad. of consequence enough to have such a pupil, ness," answered Sir Launcelot. “Bodibut should always be ready to give him his kins,” exclaimed the squire, “I doubt as best advice ; as a specimen of which, he ex- how other volks are leame of the same leghorted him to weigh all the circumstances, but a'n't vor such small gentry as he to be and deliberate calmly and leisurely, before mad; they mun leave that to their betters.” he actually engaged in such a boisterous “ You seem to hint at me, Crabshaw: do profession, assuring him, that if, at the end of you really think I am mad?” “I may say three months, his resolution should continue, as how I have looked your honour in the he would take upon himself the office of his mouth; and a sorry dog should I be, if I did instructor. In the mean time, he gratified not know your humours as well as I know the hostess for his lodging, put on his armour, e'er a beast in the steable at Greavesburytook leave of the company, and mounting hall.” “Since you are so well acquainted Bronzomarte, proceeded southerly, being at- with my madness," said the knight, “what tended by his squire Crabshaw, grumbling, opinion have you of yourself, who serve and on the back of Gilbert.
follow a lunatic ?" “I hope I han't served your honour for nothing, but I shall inherit
some of your cast vagaries—when your hoCHAPTER VIII.
nour is pleased to be mad, I should be very
sorry to be found right in my senses. Timo. Which is within a hair's breadth of proving thy Crabshaw will never eat the bread of highly interesting.
unthankfulness-it shall never be said of
him, that he was wiser than his measter: as LEAVING Captain Crowe and his nephew for the matter of following a madman, we for the present, though they, and even the may see your honour's face is made of a misanthrope, will re-appear in due season, fiddle; every one that looks on you, loves we are now obliged to attend the progress you.” This compliment the knight returned, of the knight, who proceeded in a southerly by saying,—"If my face is a fiddle, Crabdirection, insensible of the storm that blew, shaw, your tongue is a fiddlestick that plays as well as of the darkness, which was hor- upon it-yet your music is very disagreerible. For some time, Crabshaw ejaculated able—you don't keep time.” curses in silence; till at length his anger neither, measter," cried Timothy, “or we gave way to his fear, which waxed so strong shouldn't be here wandering about under upon him, that he could no longer resist the cloud of night, like sheep-stealers, or evil desire of alleviating it, by entering into a spirits with troubled consciences." conversation with his master. By way of Here the discourse was interrupted by a introduction, he gave Gilbert the spur, direct sudden disaster; in consequence of which, ing him towards the flank of Bronzomarte, the squire uttered an inarticulate roar, that which he encountered with such a shock, startled the knight himself, who was very that the knight vias almost dismounted. little subject to the sensation of fear; but When Sir Launcelot, with some warmth, his surprise was changed into vexation, when asked the reason of this attack, the squire he perceived Gilbert without a rider passing replied in these words," The devil, God by, and kicking his heels with great agility. bless us, mun be playing his pranks with He forthwith turned his steed, and riding Gilbert too, as sure as I'm a living soul- back a few paces, found Crabshaw rising I'se wager a teaster, the foul fiend has left from the ground. When he asked what was the seaman,
and got into Gilbert, that he become of his horse, he answered, in a whimhas—when a has passed through an ass and pering tone, Horse! would I could once a horse, l'se marvel what beast a will get see him fairly carrion for the hounds-for into next." • Probably into a mule,” said my part, I believe as how 'tis no horse, but the knight; "in that case, you will be in a devil incarnate; and yet I've been worse some danger—but I can, at any time, dis-mounted, that I have-I'd like to have rid a possess you with a horsewhip.” · Aye, horse that was foaled of an acorn." aye,” answered Timothy, “ your honour has This accident happened in a hollow way, a mortal good hand at giving a flap with a overshadowed with trees, one of which the fox's tail, as the saying is—'tis a wonderment storm had blown down, so that it lay over you did not try your hand on that there wise- the road, and one of its boughs projecting acre that stole your honour's harness, and horizontally, encountered the squire as he wants to be an arrant, with a murrain to ’un. trotted along in the dark. Chancing to hitch Lord help his fool's head ! it becomes him as under his long chin, he could not disengage a sow doth a cart-saddle.” “There is no himself, but hung suspended like a fitch of guilt in infirmity,” said the knight ; “ I punish bacon; while Gilbert, pushing forward, left the vicious only.” “I would your honour him dangling, and, by his awkward gambols, would punish Gilbert then,” cried the squire, seemed to be pleased with the joke. This • for 'tis the most vicious tuoad that ever I capricious animal was not retaken without aid a leg over—but as to that same seafaring the personal endeavours of the knight ; for
Crabshaw absolutely refusing to budge a foot both sides, i'faith. But, I hope, as by the from his honour's side, he was obliged to blessing of God I have run mad, so I shall alight, and fasten Bronzomarte to a tree; in good time grow valiant, under your hothen they set out together, and, with some nour's precept and example.” difficulty, found Gilbert with his neck stretch- By this time a very disagreeable night ed over a five-barred gate, snuffing up the was succeeded by a fair, bright morning, and morning air. The squire, however, was not a market town appeared at the distance of remounted without first having undergone a three or four miles, when Crabshaw, having severe reprehension from his master, who no longer the fear of hobgoblins before his upbraided him with his cowardice, threat- eyes, and being moreover cheered by the ered to chastise him on the spot, and de- sight of a place where he hoped to meet clared that he would divorce his dastardly with comfortable entertainment, began to soul from his body, should he ever be incom- talk big, to expatiate on the folly of being moded or affronted with another instance afraid, and finally set all danger at defiance; of bis base-born apprehension.
when all of a sudden he was presented with Though there was some risk in carrying an opportunity of putting in practice those on the altercation at this juncture, Timothy, new adopted maxims. In an opening behaving bound up his jaws, could not with tween two lanes, they perceived a gentlestand the inclination he had to confute bis man's coach stopped by two highwaymen on master. He therefore, in a muttering accent, horseback, one of whom advanced to reconprotested, that, if the knight would give noitre and keep the coast clear, while the him leave, he should prove that his honour other exacted contribution from the travel had tied a knot with his tongue, which he lers in the coach. He who acted as centinel, could not untie with all his teeth.—“How, no sooner saw our adventurer appearing caitiff,” cried Sir Launcelot, “presume to from the lane, than he rode up with a pistol contend with me in argument !". Your in his hand, and ordered him to halt on pain mouth is scarce shut," said the other, "since of immediate death. vou declared that a man was not to be pun. To this peremptory mandate the knight ished for madness, because it was a distem- made no other reply than charging him with per; now I will maintain that cowardice is such impetuosity, that he was unhorsed in a a distemper, as well as madness; for nubody twinkling, and lay sprawling on the ground, would be afraid, if he could help it.” “There seemingly sore bruised with his fall. Sir is more logic in that remark,” resumed the Launcelot commanding Timothy to alight knight, " than I expected from your clod- and secure the prisoner, couched his lance, pate, Crabshaw; but I must explain the and rode full speed at the other highway. difference between cowardice and madness. man, who was not a little disturbed at sight Cowardice, though sometimes the effect of of such an apparition. Nevertheless, he natural imbecility, is generally a prejudice fired his pistol without effect; and, clapping of education, or bad habit contracied from spurs to his horse, fled away at full gallop. misinformation, or misapprehension; and The knight pursued hini with all the speed may certainly be cured by experience, and that Bronzomarte could exert: but the robthe exercise of reason; but this remedy can- ber being mounted on a swift hunter, kept not be applied in madness, which is a priva- him at a distance ; and after a chase of tion or disorder of reason itself.” “So is several miles, escaped through a wood so cowardice, as I'm a living soul,” exclaimed entangled with coppice, that Sir Launcelot the squire; “don't you say a man is fright- thought proper to desist. He then, for the ened out of his sensés ? for my peart, meas-first time, recollected the situation in which ter, I can neither see nor hear, much less he had left the other thief, and remembering argufy, when I'm in such a quandary; where to have heard a female shriek as he passed före, I do believe, odds bodikins! that cow. by the coach window, resolved to return arılice and madness are both distempers, and with all expedition, that he might make a differ no more than the hot and cold fits proffer of his service to the lady, according of an ague. When it teakes your honour, to the obligation of knight-erraniry. But he you're all heat, and fire, and fury, Lord had lost his way; and after an hour's ride, bless us ! !:ut when it catches poor Tim, he's during which he traversed many a field, and cold and dead-hearted, he sheakes and shivers circled divers hedges, he found himself in like an aspen leaf, that he does." “ In that the market town afore mentioned. Here the case,” answered the knight, “I shall not first object that presented itself to his eyes, punish you for the distemper which you can. was Crabshaw on foot surrounded by a mob, not belp, but for engaging in a service ex- tearing his hair, stamping with his feet, and posed to perils, when you knew your own roaring out in manifest distraction,-“Show infirmity : in the same manner as a man de me the mayor, for the love of God, show me serves punishment, who enlists himself for a the mayor !-0 Gilbert, Gilbert ! a murrain soldier, while he labours under any secret take thee, Gilbert ! sure thou wast foaled for disease." “At that rate,” said the squire. my destruction !" “my bread is like to be rarely buttered o' From these exclamations, and the antic
dress of the squire, the people, not without the footmen who attended the coach, he im. reason, concluded that the poor soul had lost printed a kiss on his forehead; and hanging his wits : and the beadle was just going to about his neck, with the tears in his eyes, secure him, when the knight interposed, and hailed his return with the following salutaat once attracted the whole attention of the tion :-“ Art thou come back, my darling? populace. Timothy seeing his master, fell ah Gilbert, Gilbert ! a pize upon thee! thou down on his knees, crying,—“The thief has hadst like to have been a dear Gilbert to me! run away with Gilbert--you may pound me how couldst thou break the heart of thy old into a peast, as the saying is : but now I'se friend, who has known thee from a colt ? as mad as your worship, an't afeard of the seven years next grass have I fed thee and devil and all his works.” Sir Launcelot de- bred thee ; provided thee with sweet hay, siring the beadle would forbear, was instantly delicate corn, and fresh litter, that thou obeyed by that officer, who had no inclina- mought lie warm, dry, and comfortable. tion to put the authority of his place in com- Ha'n't I currycombed thy carcass till it was petition with the power of such a figure, as sleek as a sloe, and cherished thee as the armed at all points, mounted on a fiery apple of mine eye ? for all that thou hast steed, and ready for the combat. He ordered played me a hundred dog's tricks; biting Crabshaw to attend him to the next inn, and kicking and plunging, as if the devil was where he alighted; and taking him into a in thy body ; and now thou could'st run away separate apartment, demanded an explana- with a thief, and leave me to be flayed alive tion of the unconnected words he had ut- by measter: what canst thou say for thyself, tered.
thou cruel, hard-hearted unchristian tuoad ?" The squire was in such agitation, that, To this tender expostulation, which afforded with infinite difficulty, and by dint of a thou- much entertainment to the boys, Gilbert an. sand different questions, his master learned swered not one word; but seemed altogether the adventure to this effect :-Crabshaw, insensible to the caresses of Timothy, who according to Sir Launcelot's command, had forthwith led him into the stable. On the alighted from his horse, and drawn his cut- whole, he seems to have been an unsocial lass, in hope of intimidating the discomfited animal ; for it does not appear that he ever robber into a tame surrender, though he did contracted any degree of intimacy, even with not at all relish the nature of the service ; but Bronzomarte, during the whole course of the thief was neither so much hurt, nor so their acquaintance and fellowship. On the tame, as Timothy had imagined. He started contrary, he has been more than once known on his feet with his pistol still in his hand; to signify his aversion, by throwing out be. and, presenting it to the squire, swore, with hind, and other eruptive marks of contempt dreadful imprecations, that he would blow for that elegant charger, who excelled him as his brains out in an instant. Crabshaw, un- much in personal merit, as his rider Timowilling to hazard the trial of this experiment, thy was outshone by his all-accomplished turned his back, and fled with great precipi- master. tation ; while the robber, whose horse had While the squire accommodated Gilbert in run away, mounted Gilbert, and rode off the stable, the knight sent for the footman across the country. It was at this period, who had brought him back; and, having prethat two footmen belonging to the coach, sented him with a liber acknowledgement, who had staid behind to take their morning's desired to know in what manner the horse whet at the inn where they lodged, came up had been retrieved. to the assistance of the ladies, armed with The stranger satisfied him in this particublunderbusses; and the carriage proceeded, lar, by giving him to understand, that the leaving Timothy alone in distraction and de- highwayman, perceiving himself pursued spair. He knew not which way to turn, and across the country, plied Gilbert so severely was afraid of remaining on the spot, lest the with whip and spur, that the animal resented robbers should come back, and revenge the usage, and being besides, perhaps, a little themselves upon him for the disappointment struck with remorse for having left his old they had undergone. In this distress, the friend Crabshaw, suddenly halted, and stood first thought that occurred, was to make the stock still, notwithstanding all the stripes best of his way to the town, and demand the and tortures he underwent : or if he moved assistance of the civil magistrate towards at all, it was in a retrograde direction. The the retrieval of what he had lost ; a design thief, seeing all his endeavours ineffectual, which he executed in such a manner, as and himself in danger of being overtaken, justly entailed upon him the imputation of wisely quitted his acquisition, and fled into lunacy.
the bosom of a neighbouring wood. While Timothy stood fronting the win. Then the knight inquired about the situadow, and answering the interrogations of his tion of the lady in the coach, and offered master, he suddenly exclaimed," Bodikins! himself as her guard and conductor ; but there's Gilbert!" and sprung into the street was told that she was already safely lodged with incredible agility. There finding his in the house of a gentleman at some distance strayed companion brought back by one of l from the road. He likewise learned that she