out the jurisdiction of the town, whose of my boltsprit. Hearkye, hearkye, brother magistrates therefore could not take cogni. -damn'd hard to engage with three at a zance of his conduct; but application was time, one upon my bow, one upon my quarmade to the constable of the other parish, ter, and one right ahead, rubbing and drubwhile our nostrum-monger proceeded in his bing, lying athwart hawse, raking fore and speech, the conclusion of which produced aft, battering and grappling, and lashing and such an effect upon his hearers, that his clashing-adds heart, brother-crash went whole cargo was immediately exhausted. He the boltsprit-down came the round-top-up had just stepped down from his stool, when with the dead-lights—I saw nothing but the the constable with his staff arrived, and took stars at noon- - lost the helm of my seven him under his guidance. Mr Ferret on this senses, and down I broached upon my broad. occasion attempted to interest the people side.” in his behalf, by exhorting them to vindicate As Mr Clarke rightly conceived that his the liberty of the subject against such an act uncle would need an interpreter, he began of oppression ; but finding them deaf to the to explain these hints, by giving a circumtropes and figures of his elocution, he ad- stantial detail of his own and the captain's dressed himself to our knight, reminding disaster. him of his duty to protect the helpless and He told Sir Launcelot, that, notwithstandthe injured, and earnestly soliciting his in- ing all his persuasion and remonstrances, terposition.

Captain Crowe insisted upon appearing in Sir Launcelot, without making the least the character of a knight-errant; and, with reply to his entreaties, resolved to see the that view, had set out from the public house end of this adventure ; and, being joined by on the morning that succeeded his vigil in his squire, followed the prisoner at a distance, the church : that upon the highway they had measuring back the ground he had travelled met with a coach containing two ladies, one the day before, until he reached another of whom seemed to be under great agitation; small borough, where Ferret was housed in for, as they passed, she struggled with the the common prison.

other, thrust out her head at the window, While he sat a-horseback, deliberating on and said something which he could not disthe next step he should take, he was accost- tinctly hear: that Captain Crowe was struck ed by the voice of Tom Clarke, who called, with admiration of her unequalled beauty, in a whimpering tone, through a window and he (Tom) no sooner informed him who grated with iron,-“ For the love of God, she was, than he resolved to set her at liber. Šir Launcelot, do, dear sir, be so good as to ty, on the supposition that she was under take the trouble to alight, and come up restraint, and in distress : that he accordingstairs—I have something to communicate, ly unsheathed his cutlass, and riding after of consequence to the community in general, the coach, commanded the driver to bring to and you in particular–Pray do, dear sir on pain of death : that one of the servants, knight. I beg a boon in the name of St Mi- believing the captain to be a highwayman, chael and St George for England.”

presented a blunderbuss, and in all probability Our adventurer, not a little surprised at this would have shot him on the spot, had not he address, dismounted without hesitation, and, (the nephew) rode up, and assured them the being admitted to the common jail, there gentleman was non compos : that notwithfound not only his old friend Tom, but also standing his intimation, all the three attacked the uncle, sitting on a bench, with a woollen him with the butt-ends of their horse-whips, night-cap on his head, and a pair of specta- while the coach drove on, and, although he cles on his nose, reading very earnestly in a laid about him with great fury, at last brought book, which he afterwards understood was him to the ground, by a stroke on the tementitled, " The Life and Adventures of Va- ple: that Mr Clarke himself then interposed lentine and Orson.” The captain no sooner in defence of his kinsman, and was also saw his great pattern enter, than he rose, severely beaten ; that two of the servants, and received him with the salutation of- upon application to a justice of the peace, “ What cheer, brother ?" and, before the residing near the field of battle, had granted knight could answer, added these words.- a warrant against the captain and his ne“ You see how the land lies—here have Tom phew, and, without exainination, committed and I been fast ashore these four-and-twenty them as idle vagrants, after having seized hours ; and this berth we have got by at their horses and their money, on pretence tempting to tow your galley, brother, from of their being suspected for highwaymen. the enemy's harbour.-Adds bobs ! if we had "But as there was no just cause of suspithis here fellow whoreson for a consort, with cion," added he, “I am of opinion the jus. all our tackle in order, brother, we'd soon tice is guilty of a trespass, and may be sued show 'em the topsail, slip our cable, and for falsum imprisonamentum, and considerdown with their barricadoes. But, howsom- able damages obtained; for you will please ever, it don't signify talking-patience is a to observe, sir, no justice has a right to comgood stream-anchor, and will hold, as the mit any person till after due examination ; saying is—but, damn my-as for the matter besides, we were not committed for an as.

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sault and battery, audita querela, nor as there being reason to think the servants were wandering lunatics by the statute, who, to be enjoined secrecy. sure, may be apprehended by a justice's war- The knight, in order to meditate on this rant, and locked up and chained, if necessary, unexpected adventure, sat down by his old or to be sent to their last legal settlement ; friend, and entered into a reverie, which but we were committed as vagrants and sus- lasted about a quarter of an hour, and might pected highwaymen. Now, we do not fall have continued longer, had it not been inunder the description of vagrants; nor did terrupted by the voice of Crabshaw, who any circumstance appear to support the sus- bawled aloud,—"Look to it my masters—as picion of robbery ; for, to constitute robbery, you brew you must drink—this shall be a there must be something taken ; but here dear day's work to some of you ; for my part, nothing was taken but blows, and they were I say nothing—the braying ass eats little upon compulsion. Even an attempt to rob, grass—one barber shaves not so close, but without any taking, is not felony, but a mis- another finds a few stubble—you wanted to demeanour. To be sure, there is a taking catch a capon, and you've stole a cat—he in deed, and a taking in law ; but still the that takes up his lodgings in a stable, must robber must be in possession of a thing be contented to lie upon litter." stolen ; and we attempted to steal ourselves The knight, desirous of knowing the cause away.--My uncle, indeed, would have re- that prompted Timothy to apothegmatize in leased the young lady vi et armis, had his this manner, looked through the grate, and strength been equal to his inclination; and perceived the squire fairly set in the stocks, in so doing I would have willingly lent my surrounded by a mob of people. When he assistance, both from a desire to serve such called to him, and asked the reason of this a beautiful young creature, and also in re- disgraceful restraint, Crabshaw replied,gard to your honour, for I thought I heard " There's no cake, but there's another of the her call upon your name."

same make-who never climbed, never fell “ Ha! how! what! whose name ? say, {-after clouds comes clear weather. "Tis speak—Heaven and earth!” cried the knight, all long of your honour I've met with this with marks of the most violent emotion. preferment; no deservings of my own, but Clarke, terrified at his looks, replied, "I the interest of my master. Sir knight, if beg your pardon a thousand times; I did not you will flay the justice, hang the constable, say positively she did speak those words, but release your squire, and burn the town, your I apprehended she did speak them. Words, name will be famous in story; but, if you which may be taken or interpreted by law in are content, I am thankful. Two hours are a general or common sense,'ought not to re- soon spent in such good company; in the ceive a strained or unusual construction ; mean time, look to 'un jailor, there's a frog and ambiguous words” “Speak or be in the stocks." dumb for ever!" exclaimed Sir Launcelot, in Sir Launcelot, incensed at this affront a terrific tone, laying his hand on his sword, offered to bis servant, advanced to the prison “what young lady, ha! what name did she door, but found it fast locked ; and when he call upon;" Clarke, falling on his knees, called to the turnkey, he was given to underanswered not without stammering, -—“Miss stand that he himself was a prisoner. Enraged Aurelia Darnel ; to the best of my recollec- at this intimation, he demanded at whose tion, she called upon Sir Launcelot Greaves." suit, and was answered through the wicket, “Sacred powers !” cried our adventurer, _" at the suit of the king, in whose name I “ which way did the carriage proceed ?". will hold you fast, with God's assistance."

When Tom told him that the coach quitted The knight's looks now began to lighten; the post-road, and struck away to the right he rolled his eyes around, and, snatching up at full speed, Sir Launcelot was seized with an oaken bench, which three ordinary men a pensive fit; his head sunk upon his breast, could scarce have lifted from the ground, he, and he mused in silence for several minutes, in all likelihood, would have shattered the with the most melancholy expression on his door in pieces, had not he been restrained by countenance; then recollecting himself, he the interposition of Mr Clarke, who intreated assumed a more composed and cheerful air, him to have a little patience, assuring him and asked several questions with respect to he would suggest a plan that would avenge the arms on the coach, and the liveries worn himself amply on the justice, without any by the servants. It was in the course of breach of the peace. "say the justice, this interrogation that he discovered he had added Tom, “because it must be his doing. actually conversed with one of the footmen, He is a little petulant sort of a fellow, ignowho had brought back Crabshaw's horse ; a rant of the law, guilty of numberless irregucircumstance that filled him with anxiety and larities, and, if properly managed, may, for chagrin, as he had omitted to inquire the this here act of arbitrary power, be not only name of his master, and the place to which cast in a swinging sum, but even turned out the coach was travelling; though, in all pro- of the commission with disgrace." bability, had he made these inquiries, he This was a very seasonable hint ; in conwould have received very little satisfaction, sequence of which the bench was softly replaced, and Captain Crowe deposited the himself into the good graces of the widow, poker, with which he had armed himself to who took him for her husband, so that he second the efforts of Sir Launcelot. They became a person of some consideration, and now, for the first time, perceived that Ferret saved money apace; that his pride, increashad disappeared ; and, upon inquiry, found ing with his substance, was reinforced by the that he was in fuct the occasion of the vanity of his wife, who persuaded him to reknight's detention and the squire's disgrace. tire from business, that they might live gen

teelly in the country ; that his father dying,

and leaving a couple of houses in this town, CHAPTER XI.

Mr Gobble had come down with his lady to

take possession, and liked the place so well, Description of a modern magistrate. as to make a more considerable purchase in

the neighbourhood; that a certain peer being Before the knight would take any resolution indebted to him in the large way of his busifor extricating himself from his present em- ness, and either unable or unwilling to pay barrassment, he desired to be better ac- the money, had compounded the debt,' by quainted with the character and circumstances inserting his name in the commission ; since of the justice by whom he had been confined, which period, his own insolence, and his and likewise to understand the meaning of wife's ostentation, had exceeded all bounds; his own detention. To be informed in this that, in the exccution of his authority, he had last particular, he renewed his dialogue with committed a thousand acts of cruelty and the turnkey, who told him through the grate, injustice against the poorer sort of people, that Ferret no sooner perceived him in the who were unable to call him to a proper jail, without his offensive arms, which he had account; that his wife domineered with a left below, than he desired to be carried be more ridiculous, though less pernicious usurfore the justice, where he had given infor- pation among the females of the place; that, mation against the knight, as a violater of in a word, she was the subject of continual the public peace, who strolled about the mirth, and he the object of universal detes. country with unlawful arms, rendering the tation. highways unsafe, encroaching upon the free. Our adventurer, though extremely well dom of elections, putting his majesty's liege disposed to believe what was said to the presubjects in fear of their lives, and, in all judice of Gobble, would not give entire credit probability, harbouring more dangerous de- to this description, without first inquiring signs under an affected cloak of lunacy. into the particulars of his conduct. He Ferret, upon this information, had been re- therefore asked the speaker, what was the leased, and entertained as an evidence for cause of his particular complaint ? “ For my the king; and Crabshaw was put into the own part, sir," said he, I lived in repute, stocks as an idle stroller.

and kept a shop in this here town, well furSir Launcelot, being satisfied in these nished with a great variety of articles. All particulars, addressed himself to his fellow the people in the place were my customers ; prisoners, and begged they would communi- but what I and many others chiefly depended cate what they knew respecting the worthy upon, was the extraordinary sale at two magistrate, who had been so premature in annual customary fairs, to which all the the execution of his office. This request was country people in the neighbourhood resorted no sooner signified than a crew of naked to lay out their money. I had employed all wretches crowded around him, and, like a my stock, and even engaged my credit, to congregation of rooks, opened their throats procure a large assortment of goods for the all at once, in accusation of Justice Gobble. Lammas market; but having given my vote, The knight was moved at this scene, which in the election of a vestry-clerk, contrary to he could not help comparing, in his own the interest of Justice Gobble, he resolved to mind, to what would appear upon a much work my ruin. He suppressed the annual more awful occasion, when the cries of the fairs, by which a great many people, espewidow and the orphan, the injured and op- cially publicans, earned the best of their subpressed, would be uttered at the tribunal of sistence. The country people resorted to an unerring Judge, against the villainous and another town. I was overstocked with a insolent authors of their calamity:

load of perishable commodities, and found When he had, with some difficulty, quieted myself deprived of the best part of my home their clamours, and confined his interroga- customers, by the ill nature and revenge of tion to one person of a tolerably decent ap- the justice, who employed all his influence pearance, he learned, that Justice Gobble, among the common people, making use of whose father was a tailor, had for some time threats and promises to make them desert served as a journeyman hosier in London, my shop, and give their custom to another where he had picked up some law terms, by person, whom he settled in the same business conversing with hackney writers and attor under my nose. Being thus disabled from ney's clerks of the lowest order ; that, upon making punctual payments, my commodities the death of his master, he had insinuated spoiling, and my wife breaking her heart, I

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grew negligent and careless, took to drink- | lings, was passed to her husband's settlement ing, and my affairs went to wreck. Being in a different part of the country. one day in liquor, and provoked by the fleers A stout squat felloy, rattling with chains, and taunts of the man who had set up against had just taken up the ball of accusation, when me, I struck him at his own door; upon Sir Launcelot was startled with the appear. which I was carried before the justice, who ance of a woman, whose looks and equipage treated me with such insolence, that I became indicated the most piteous distress. She desperate, and not only abused him in the seemed to be turned of the middle age, was execution of his office, but also made an of a lofty carriage, tall, thin, weather-beaten, attempt to lay violent hands upon his person. and wretchedly attired : her eyes were inYou know, sir, when a man is both drunk flamed with weeping, and her looks displayed and desperate, he cannot be supposed to have that wildness and peculiarity which denote any command of himself. I was sent hither distraction. Advancing to Sir Launcelot, to jail

. My creditors immediately seized she fell upon her knees, and, clasping her my effects ; and, as they were not sufficient hands together, uttered the following rhapto discharge my debts, a statute of bank- sody in the most vehement tone of affliction : ruptcy was taken out against me; so that • Thrice potent, generous, and august here I must lie, until they think proper to emperor, here let my knees cleave to the sign my certificate, or the parliament shall earth, until thou shalt do me justice on that please to pass an act for the relief of insol. inhuman caitiff, Gobble. Let him disgorge vent debtors.”

my substance, which he hath devoured ; let The next person who presented himself in him restore to my widowed arms my child, the crowd of accusers, was a meagre figure, my boy, the delight of my eyes, the prop of with a green apron, who told the knight that my life, the staff of my sustenance, whom he he had kept a public house in town for a hath torn from my embrace, stolen, betrayed, dozen of years, and enjoyed a good trade, sent into captivity, and murdered !-behold which was in a great measure owing to a these bleeding wounds upon his lovely breast! skittle-ground, in which the best people of see how they mangle his lifeless corse! the place diverted themselves occasionally : Horror! give me my child, barbarians ! his that Justice Gobble, being disobliged at his head shall lie upon his Suky's bosom—she refusing to part with a gelding which he had will embalm him with her tears.

Ha! plunge bred for his own use, first of all shut up the him in the deep! shall my boy then float in skittle-ground; but finding the publican still a watery tomb?—Justice, most mighty emkept his house open, he took care that he peror! justice upon the villain who hath should be deprived of his licence, on pretence ruined us all! May heaven's dreadful venthat the number of ale-houses was too great, geance overtake him! may the keen storm and that this man had been bred to another of adversity strip him of all his leaves and employment. The poor publican, being thus fruit ! may peace forsake his mind, and rest deprived of his bread, was obliged to try the be banished from his pillow, so that all his stay-making business, to which he had served days shall be filled with reproach and sorrow, an apprenticeship; but being very ill quali- and all his nights be haunted with horror fied for this profession, he soon fell to decay, and remorse! may he be stung by jealousy and contracted debts, in consequence of without cause, and maddened by revenge which he was now in prison, where he had without the means of execution ! may all his no other support but what arose from the offspring be blighted and consumed, like the labour of his wife, who had gone to service. mildewed ears of corn, except one that shall

The next prisoner who preferred his com- grow up to curse his old age, and bring his plaint against the unrighteous judge, was a hoary head with sorrow to the grave, as he poacher, at whose practices Justice Gobble himself has proved a curse to me and mine!” had for some years connived, so as even to The rest of the prisoners, perceiving the screen him from punishment, in considera- knight extremely shocked at her misery and tion of being supplied with game gratis, till horrid imprecation, removed her by force at length he was disappointed by accident. from his presence, and conveyed her to His lady had invited guests to an entertain- another room; while our adventurer under. ment, and bespoke a hare, which the poacher went a violent agitation, and could not for undertook to furnish. He laid his snares some minutes compose himself so well as to accordingly over night; but they were dis. inquire into the nature of this wretched creacovered, and taken away by the gamekeeper ture's calamity. of the gentleman to whom the ground be- The shopkeeper, of whom he demanded longed. All the excuses the poacher could this satisfaction, gave him to understand that make proved ineffectual in appeasing the she was born a gentlewoman, and had been resentment of the justice and his wife, at well educated ; that she married a curate, being thus disconcerted. Measures were who did not long survive his nuptials, and taken to detect the delinquent in the exercise afterwards became the wife of one Oakley, of his illicit occupation; he was committed a farmer in opulent circumstances; that, to safe custody, and his wife, with five bant- 1 after twenty years cohabitation with her husband, he sustained such losses by the dis- softly down each cheek. Then he desired temper among the cattle, as he could not to know if the poor lunatic had any intervals repair; and that this reverse of fortune was of reason; and was given to understand, that supposed to have hastened his death; that the she was always quiet, and generally supposed widow, being a woman of spirit, determined to have the use of her senses, except when to keep up and manage the farm, with the she was disturbed by some extraordinary assistance of an only son, a very promising noise, or when any person touched upon her youth, who was already contracted in mar- misfortune, or mentioned the name of her riage with the daughter of another wealthy oppressor, in all which cases she started out fariner. Thus the mother had a prospect of into extravagance and frenzy. They likeretrieving the affairs of her family, when all wise imputed great part of the disorder to her hopes were dashed and destroyed by a the want of quiet, proper food, and necesridiculous pique which Mrs Gobble conceived saries, with which she was but poorly supagainst the young farmer's sweetheart, Mrs plied by the cold hand of chance charity. Susan Sedgemoor. This young woman Our adventurer was exceedingly affected by chancing to be at a country assembly, where the distress of this woman, whom he resolved the grave-digger of the parish acted as master to relieve; and in proportion as his commisof the ceremonies, was called out to dance eration was excited, his resentment rose before Miss Gobble, who happened to be there against the miscreant, who emed to have present also with her mother. The circum- insinuated himself into the commission of stance was construed into an unpardonable the peace on purpose to harass and oppress affront by the justice's lady, who abused the his fellow-creatures. director in the most opprobrious terms for Thus animated, he entered into consulta. his insolence and ill-manners; and, retiring tion with Mr Thomas Clarke concerning the in a storm of passion, vowed revenge against steps he should take, first for their deliverthe saucy minx who had presumed to vie in ance, and then for prosecuting and punishing gentility with Miss Gobble. The justice the justice. In result of this conference, the entered into her resentment. The grave- knight called aloud for the jailor, and dedigger lost his place; and Suky's lover, young manded to see a copy of his commitment, Oakley, was pressed for a soldier. Before that he might know the cause of his imprihis mother could take any steps for his dis- sonment, and offer bail; or, in case that he charge, he was hurried away to the East should be refused, move for a writ of habeas Indies, by the industry and contrivance of corpus. The jailor told him the copy of the the justice. Poor Suky wept and pined until writ should be forthcoming ; but, after he she fell into a consumption. The forlorn bad waited some time, and repeated the dewidow, being thus deprived of her son, was mand before witnesses, it was not yet prooverwhelmed with grief to such a degree, duced. Mr Clarke then, in a solemn tone, that she could no longer manage her con- gave the jailor to understand, that an officer cerns. Every thing went backwards ; she refusing io deliver a true copy of the comran in arrears with her landlord ; and the mitment warrant, was liable to the forfeiture prospect of bankruptcy aggravated her afflic-of one hundred pounds for the first offence, tion, while it added to her incapacity. In and for the second to a forfeiture of twice the midst of these disastrous circumstances, that sum, besides being disabled from exenews arrived that her son Greaves had lost cuting his office. his life in a sea engagement with the enemy; Indeed it was no easy matter to comply and these tidings almost instantly deprived with Sir Launcelot's demand; for no warrant her of reason. Then the landlord seized for had been granted, nor was it now in the his rent, and she was arrested at the suit of power of the justice to remedy this defect, Justice Gobble. who had bought up one of as Mr Ferret had taken himself away priher debts in order to distress her, and now vately, without having communicated the pretended that her madness was feigned. name and designation of the prisoner; a cir

When the name of Greaves was mentioned, cumstance the more mortifying to the jailor, our adventurer started and changed colour; as he perceived the extraordinary respect and, now the story was ended, asked, with which Mr Clarke and the captain paid to marks of eager emotion, if the name of the the knight, and was now fully convinced woman's first husband was not Wilford. that he would be dealt with according to When the prisoner answered in the affirma-law. Disordered with these reflections, he tive, he rose up, and striking his breast,— imparted them to the justice, who had in Good heaven!" cried he, “the very woman vain caused search to be made for Ferret, who watched over my infancy, and even and was now extremely well inclined to set nourished me with her milk !-She was my the knight and his friends at liberty, though mother's humble friend. Alas! poor Doro- he did not at all suspect the quality and imthy! how would your old mistress grieve to portance of our adventurer. He could not, see her favourite in this miserable condition.” however, resist the temptation of displaying While he pronounced these words, to the the authority of his office, and therefore astonishment of the hearers, a tear stole I ordered the prisoners to be brought before

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