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Sir Launcelot Greaves, baron knaight, and pear in the cart with a nosegay in one hand, arrant knaight, who ran mad for a wench, and the Whole Duty of Man in the other. as your worship’s conjuration well knoweth." But if in case it should be in the winter," The person below is Captain Crowe; and said the squire, “when a nosegay can't be we coom, by Margery Cook's recommenda- had ?" “Why, then,” replied the conjuror, tion, to seek after my master, who is gone an orange
will do as well." away, or made away, the Lord knows how These material points being adjusted to and where."
the entire satisfaction of Timothy, he deHere he was interrupted by the conjuror, clared he would bestow another shilling to who exhorted him to sit down and compose know the fortune of an old companion, who himself till he should cast a figure; then he truly did not deserve so much at his hands, scrawled the paper, and, waving his wand, but he could not help loving him better than repeated abundance of gibberish concerning e'er a friend he had in the world. So saythe number, the names, the houses, and re- ing he dropped a third offering in the coffin, volutions of the planets, with their conjunc- and desired to know the fate of his horse tions, oppositions, signs, circles, cycles, trines, Gilbert. The astrologer having again conand trigons. When he perceived that this sulted his art, pronounced that Gilbert would artifice had its proper effect in disturbing die of the staggers, and his carcass be given to the brain of Crabshaw, he proceeded to tell the hounds : a sentence which made a much him from the stars that his name was Crab- deeper impression upon Crabshaw's mind, shaw, or Crabsclaw ; that he was born in the than did the prediction of his own untimely East Riding of Yorkshire, of poor, yet honest and disgraceful fate. He shed a plenteous parents, and had some skill in horses; and shower of tears, and his grief broke forth in that he served a gentleman whose name be- some passionate expressions of tenderness; gan with the letter Gm, which gentleman at length he told the astrologer he would go had run mad for love, and left his family, but and send up the captain, who wanted to conwhether he would return alive or dead, the sult him about Margery Cook, because as stars had not yet determined.
how she had informed him that Dr Grubble Poor Timothy was thunderstruck to find had described just such another man as the the conjurer acquainted with all these cir- captain for her true love; and he had no cumstances, and begged to know if he mought great stomach to the match, if so be as the be so bauld as to ax a question or two about stars were not bent upon their coming tohis own fortune. The astrologer pointing to gether. the little coffin, our squire understood the Accordingly, the squire, being dismissed hint, and deposited another shilling. The by the conjurer, descended to the parlour sage had recourse to his book, erected an- with a rueful length of face, which being other scheme, performed once more his airy perceived by the captain, he demanded, evolutions with the wand, and, having recited - What cheer, ho?" with some signs of apanother mystical preamble, expounded the prehension. Crabshaw making no return to book of fate in these words:" You shall this salute, he asked if the conjurer had neither die by war nor water, by hunger or taken an observation, and told him any thing. by thirst, nor be brought to the grave by old Then the other replied, he had told him more age or distemper; but, let me see—ay, the than he desired to know. " Why, an that stars will have it so-you shall be-exalted - be the case," said the seaman, “I have no hah !—ay, that is—hanged for horse-steal- occasion to go aloft this trip, brother.". ing." "0! good my lord conjurer!" roared This evasion would not serve his turn: the squire, “ I'd as lief give forty shillings as old Tisiphone was at hand, and led him up be hanged." “Peace, sirrah !” cried the growling into the hall of audience, which he other, " would you contradict or reverse the did not examine without trepidation. Havimmutable decrees of fate? Hanging is your ing been directed to the coffin, where he destiny, and hanged you shall be--and com- presented half-a-crown, in hope of rendering fort yourself with the reflection, that as you the fates more propitious, the usual cereare not the first, so neither will you be the mony was performed, and the doctor adlast, to swing on Tyburn tree.” This com- dressed him in these words :" Approach, fortable assurance composed the mind of raven.” The captain advancing, -" You Timothy, and in a great measure reconciled an't much mistaken, brother,” said he, him to the prediction. He now proceeded, “heave your eye into the binnacle, and box in a whining tone, to ask whether he should your compass, you'll find I'm a Crowe, not a suffer for the first fact? whether it would raven, tho'f indeed they be both fowls of a be for a horse or a mare? and of what co- feather, as the saying is.” “I know it,” cried lour ? that he might know when his hour the conjurer, “thou art a northern crow,-, was come. The conjurer gravely answered, sea crow; not a crow of prey, but a crow to that he would steal å dappled gelding on a be preyed upon ;-a crow to be plucked, Wednesday, be cast at the Old Bailey on to be fayed,—to be basted,—to be broiled Thursday, and suffer on a Friday; and he by Margery upon the gridiron of matrimostrenuously recommended it to him to ap-I ny.”—The novice changing colour at this
denunciation,—“I do understand your sig. I the resentment, and in some measure mitinals, brother,” said he, "and if it be set gated the grief of Captain Crowe, who took down in the log-book of fate that we must his leave without much ceremony: and, begrapple, why then 'ware timbers. But as I ing joined by Crabshaw, proceeded with a know how the land lies, d’ye see, and the heavy heart to the house of Sir Launcelot, current of my inclination sets me off, I shall where they found the domestics at breakfast, haul up close to the wind, and mayhap we without exhibiting the least symptom of con. shall clear Cape Margery. But, howsom-cern for their absent master. Crowe had ever, we shall leave that reef in the fore been wise enough to conceal from Crabshaw top-sail—I was bound upon another voyage, what he had learned of the knight's fate. d'ye see—to look and to see, and to know This fatal intelligence he reserved for the if so be as how I could pick up any intelli- ear of his nephew Mr Clarke, who did not gence along shore concerning my friend Sir fail to attend him in the forenoon. Launcelot, who slipped his cable last night, As for the squire, he did nothing but rumi. and has lost company, d’ye see.” “What!" nate in rueful silence upon the dappled geld. exclaimed the cunning man, “ art thou a ing, the nosegay, and the predicted fate of crow, and canst not smell carrion? If thou Gilbert. Him he forthwith visited in the would'st grieve for Greaves, behold his stable, and saluted with the kiss of peace; naked carcass lies unburied, to feed the kites, then he bemoaned his fortune with tears, the crows, the gulls, the rooks, and ravens." and, by the sound of his own lamentation, “ What! broach'd to?" “ Dead as a boiled was lulled asleep among the litter. lobster." “ Odds heart, friend, these are the heaviest tidings I have heard these seven long years—there must have been deadly
CHAPTER XXIII. odds when he lowered his topsails—Smite my eyes! I had rather the Mufti had foun- In which the clouds that cover the catastrodered at sea, with myself and all my genera
phe begin to disperse. tion on board. Well fare thy soul, flower of the world! Had honest Sam Crowe been We must now leave Captain Crowe and his within hail—but what signifies palavering." nephew Mr Clarke, arguing with great veheHere the tears of unaffected sorrow flowed mence about the fatal intelligence obtained plentifully down the furrows of the seaman's from the conjurer, and penetrate at once the cheeks; then his grief giving way to his veil that concealed our hero. Know then, indignation," Hark ye, brother conjurer,” reader, that Sir Launcelot Greaves, repairsaid he, "you can spy foul weather before ing to the place described in the billet which it comes, damn your eyes ! why did not you he had received, was accosted by a person give us warning of this here squall? Blast muffled in a cloak, who began to amuse him my limbs! I'll make you give an account of with a feigned story of Aurelia, to which this here damned, horrid, confounded mur- while he listened with great attention, he der, d'ye see—mayhap you yourself was con- found himself suddenly surrounded by armed cerned, d'ye see. For my own part, brother, men, who seized and pinioned down his arms, I put my trust in God, and steer by the com- took away his sword, and conveyed him by pass, and I value not your paw-wawing and force into a hackney-coach provided for the your conjuration of a rope's end, d'ye see.” purpose. In vain he expostulated on this
The conjurer was by no means pleased violence with three persons who accompaeither with the matter or the manner of this nied him in the vehicle. He could not exaddress. He therefore began to soothe the tort one word by way of reply; and, from captain's choler, by representing that he did their gloomy aspects, he began to be apprenot pretend to omniscience, which was the hensive of assassination. Had the carriage attribute of God alone; that human art was passed through any frequented place, he fallible and imperfect; and all that it could would have endeavoured to alarm the inhaperform, was to discover certain partial cir- bitants; but it was already clear of the cumstances of any particular object to which town, and his conductors took care to avoid its inquiries were directed. That being ques. all villages and inhabited houses. tioned by the other man concerning the After having travelled about two miles, cause of his master's disappearing, he had the coach stopped at a large iron gate, which exercised his skill upon the subject, and being opened, our adventurer was led in found reason to believe that Sir Launcelot silence through a spacious house into a tole. was assassinated: that he should think him- rably decent apartment, which he understood self happy in being the instrument of bring- was intended for his bed-chamber. In a few ing the murderers to justice, though he fore- minutes after his arrival, he was visited by a saw they would of themselves save him that man of no very prepossessing appearance, trouble : for they would quarrel about divid- who endeavoured to smooth his countenance, ing the spoil, and one would give informa- which was naturally stern, welcomed our adtion against the other.
venturer to his house, exhorted him to be The prospect of this satisfaction appeased l of good cheer, assuring him he should want for nothing, and desired to know what he which was a wicked work--but now I have would choose for supper.
got a glimpse of the new light-I feel the Sir Launcelot, in answer to this civil ad- operations of grace—I am of the new birthdress, begged he would explain the nature I abhor good works—I detest all working of his confinement, and the reasons for but the working of the spirit-Avaunt, Satan which his arms were tied like those of the -0! how I thirst for communication with worst malefactor. The other postponed till our sister Jolly." to-morrow the explanation he demanded, but • The communication is already open with in the mean time unbound his fetters, and, the Marche," said the first, “ but as for thee, as he declined eating, left him alone to his thou caitiff, who hast presumed to disparage repose. He took care, however, in retiring, my works, I'll have thee rammed into a mor. to double lock the door of the room, whose tar with a double charge of powder, and windows were grated on the outside with thrown into the enemy's quarters." iron.
This dialogue operated like a train upon The knight, being thus abandoned to his many other inhabitants of the place; one own meditations, began to ruminate on the swore he was within three vibrations of findpresent adventure with equal surprise and ing the longitude, when this noise confoundconcern; but the more he revolved circum- ed his calculations: a second, in broken stances, the more was he perplexed in his English, complained he was distorted in the conjectures. According to the state of the moment of de proshection: a third, in the mind, a very subtile philosopher is often character of his holiness, denounced interpuzzled by a very plain proposition; and diction, excommunication, and anathemas; this was the case of our adventurer. What swore by St Peter's keys, they should howl made the strongest impression upon his ten thousand years in purgatory, without the mind, was a notion that he was apprehended benefit of a single mass : a fourth began to on suspicion of treasonable practices, by a halloo in all the vociferations of a fox-hunter warrant from the secretary of state, in con- in the chase: and in an instant the whole sequence of some false malicious informa- house was in an uproar. tion; and that his prison was no other than The clamour, however, was of a short the house of a messenger, set apart for the duration. The different chambers being accommodation of suspected persons. In opened successively, every individual was this opinion he comforted himself by recol- effectually silenced by the sound of one lecting his own conscious innocence, and cabalistical word, which was no other than reflecting that he should be entitled to the waistcoat : a charm which at once cowed the privilege of habeas corpus, as the act in- king of Prussia, dispossessed the fanatic, cluding that inestimable jewel was happily dumb-founded the matheinatician, dismayed not suspended at this time.
the alchemist, deposed the pope, and deConsoled by this self-assurance, he quietly prived the squire of all utterance. resigned himself to slumber; but before he Our adventurer was no longer in doubt fell asleep he was very disagreeably unde concerning the place to which he had been ceived in his conjecture. His ears were all conveyed; and the more he reflected on his at once saluted with a noise from the next situation, the more he was overwhelmed room, conveyed in distinct bounces against with the most perplexing chagrin. He could the wainscot; then a hoarse voice exclaim- not conceive by whose means he had been ed, “ Bring up the artillery_let Brutandorf's immured in a mad-house; but he heartily brigade advance-detach my black hussars repented of his knight-errantry, as a frolic to ravage the country- let them be new which might have very serious consequences booted--take particular care of the spur-lea. with respect to his future life and fortune. thers-make a desert of Lusatia-bombard After mature deliberation, he resolved to the suburbs of Pera--go, tell my brother demean himself with the utmost circumspecHenry to pass the Elbe at Meissen with tion, well knowing that every violent transforty battalions and fifty squadrons-so ho, port would be interpreted into an undeniable you Major-general Donder, why don't you symptom of insanity. He was not without finish your second parallel ?-send hither the hope of being able to move his jailor by a engineer Shittenback—I'll lay all the shoes due administration of that which is generally in my shop, the breach will be practicable in more efficacious than all the flowers of elofour-and-twenty hours—don't tell me of cution ; but when he rose in the morning, he your works-you and your works may be found his pockets had been carefully exadamn'd."
mined, and emptied of all his papers and Assuredly," cried another voice from a cash. different quarter, “ he that thinks to be saved The keeper entering, he inquired about by works is in a state of utter reprobation- these particulars, and was given to underI'myself was a profane weaver, and trusted to stand, that they were all safely deposited for the rottenness of works—I kept my journey. his use, to be forthcoming at a proper seamen and 'prentices at constant work, and my son; but, at present, as he should want for heart was set upon the riches of this world, I nothing, he had no occasion for money.
The knight acquiesced in this declaration, most flagrant iniquities; that it contained and ate his breakfast in quiet.
fathers kidnapped by their children, wives About eleven, he received a visit from the confined by their husbands, gentlemen of physician, who contemplated his looks with fortune sequestered by their relations, and great solemnity; and having examined his innocent persons immúred by the malice of pulse, shook his head, saying, “Well, sir, their adversaries. He affirmed this was his how d’ye do?-come, don't be dejected— own case ; and asked if our hero had never every thing is for the best—you are in very heard of Dick Distich, the poet and satirist. good hands, sir, I assure you; and I dare" Ben Bullock and I,” said he, “were consay will refuse nothing that may be thought fident against the world in arms-did you conducive to the recovery of your health.” never see his ode to me beginning with,
“ Doctor," said our hero, “if it is not an “ Fair blooming youth.” We were sworn improper question to ask, I should be glad brothers; admired and praised, and quoted to know your opinion of my disorder.” “0! each other, sir : we denounced war against sir, as to that,” replied the physician, "your all the world, actors, authors, and critics; disorder is a-kind of a--sir, 'tis very com- and having drawn the sword, threw away mon in this country—a sort of a—" Do the scabbard—we pushed through thick and you think my distemper is madness, doc- thin, hacked and hewed helter-skelter, and tor?” “O Lord, sir, not absolute madness, became as formidable to the writers of the no—not madness-you have heard, no doubt, age as the Bæotian band of Thebes. My of what is called a weakness of the nerves, friend Bullock, indeed, was once rolled in sir,—though that is a very inaccurate ex- the kennel ; but soon pression; for this phrase, denoting a morbid excess of sensation, seems to imply that
He vigorous rose, and from the elluvia strong sensation itself is owing to the loose cohe
Imbibed new life, and scoured and stunk along. sion of those material particles which con. Here is a satire which I wrote in an alestitute the nervous substance, inasmuch as house when I was drunk-I can prove it by the quantity of every effect must be propor- the evidence of the landlord and his wife: tionable to its cause ; now you'll please to I fancy you'll own I have some right to say take notice, sir, if the case were really what with my friend Horace, these words seem to import, all bodies whose
"Qui me commorit, melius non tangere clamo; particles do not cohere with too great a de
Flebit et insignis tota contabitur urbe" gree of proximity, would be nervous; that is, endowed with sensation--sir, I shall or- The knight, having perused the papers, der some cooling things to keep you in due declared his opinion that the verses were temperature; and you'll do very well—sir, tolerably good, but at the same time obyour humble servant.”
served that the author had reviled as igno. So saying, he retired, and our adventurer rant dunces several persons who had written could not but think it was very hard that with reputation, and were generally allowed one man should not dare to ask the most to have genius ; a circumstance that would ordinary question without being reputed mad, detract more from his candour than could be while another should talk nonsense by the allowed to his capacity. hour, and yet be esteemed as an oracle. “ Damn their genius !” cried the satirist,
The master of the house finding Sir "a pack of impertinent rascals! I will tell Launcelot so tame and tractable, indulged you, sir, Ben Bullock and I had determined to him after dinner with a walk in a little pri- crush all that were not of our own party—be. vate garden, under the eye of a servant who sides, I said before, this piece was written in followed him at a distance. Here he was drink.” “ Was you drunk too when it was . saluted by a brother prisoner, a man seem- printed and published ?" "Yes, the printer ingly turned of thirty, tall and thin, with shall make affidavit that I was never other. staring eyes, a hook-nose, and a face cov- wise than drunk or maudlin, till my enemies, ered with pimples.
on pretence that my brain was turned, conThe usual compliments having passed, veyed me to this infernal mansion." the stranger, without further ceremony, • They seem to have been
best asked if he would oblige him with a chew friends," said the knight, “and have put the of tobacco, or could spare him a mouthful most tender interpretation on your conduct ; of any sort of cordial, declaring he had not for, waving the plea of insanity, your chatasted brandy since he came to the house. racter must stand as that of a man who hath The knight assured him it was not in his some small share of genius, without an power to comply with his request; and be atom of integrity. Of all those whom Pope gan to ask some questions relating to the lashed in his Dunciad, there was not one character of their landlord, which the stran- who did not richly deserve the imputation ger represented in very unfavourable colours. of dulness, and every one of them had proHe described him as a ruffian, capable of voked the satirist by a personal attack.' In undertaking the darkest schemes of villainy. this respect the English poet was much He said his house was a repository of the I more honest than his French patron Boileau,
who stigmatized several men of acknow- be in reality so dangerous or dreadful as a ledged genius ; such as Quinault, Perrault, private madhouse in England, under the diand the celebrated Lully : for which reason rection of a ruffian ? The Bastile is a state every man of a liberal turn must, in spite prison, the Inquisition is a spiritual tribunal; of all his poetical merit, despise him as a but both are under the direction of governrancorous knave. If this disingenuous con- ment. It seldom, if ever, happens that a duct cannot be forgiven in a writer of his man entirely innocent is confined in either; superior genius, who will pardon it in you, or, if he should, he lays his account with a whose name is not half-emerged from ob- legal trial before established judges. But in scurity ?"
England, the most innocent person upon “Hark ye, friend,” replied the bard, earth is liable to be immured for life under "keep your pardon and your counsel for the pretext of lunacy, sequestered from his those who ask it; or, if you will force them wife, children, and friends, robbed of his upon people, take one piece of advice in fortune, deprived even of necessaries, and return : if you don't like your present situ- subjected to the most brutal treatment from ation, apply for a committee without delay: a low-bred barbarian, who raises an ample they'll find you too much of a fool to have fortune on the misery of his fellow-creatures, the least tincture of madness : and you'll be and may, during his whole life, practise this released without further scruple ; in that horrid oppression, without question or concase I shall rejoice in your deliverance; you troul.” will be freed from confinement, and I shall This uncomfortable reverie was interruptbe happily deprived of your conversation.” ed by a very unexpected sound that seemed
So saying, he flew off at a tangent, and to issue from the other side of a thick partyour knight could not help smiling at the pe- wall. It was a strain of vocal music, more culiar virulence of his disposition. Sir plaintive than the widowed turtle's moan, Launcelot then endeavoured to enter into more sweet and ravishing than Philomel's conversation with his attendant, by asking love-warbled song. Through his ear it inhow long Mr Distich had resided in the stantly pierced into his heart: for at once house ; but he might as well have addressed he recognized it to be the voice of his adohimself to a Turkish mute : the fellow either red Aurelia. Heavens ! what was the agi. pretended ignorance, or refused an answer tation of his soul, when he made this disco. to every question that was proposed. He very ! how did every nerve quiver! how did would not even disclose the name of his his heart throb with the most violent emolandlord, nor inform him whereabouts the tion! He ran round the room in distraction, house was situated.
foaming like a lion in the toil—then he Finding himself agitated with impatience placed his ear close to the partition, and and indignation, he returned to his apart- listened as if his whole soul was exerted in ment, and the door being locked upon him, his sense of hearing. When the sound began to review, not without horror, the ceased to vibrate on his ear, he threw him. particulars of his fate. “How little reason,' self on the bed; he groaned with anguish, said he to himself, “have we to boast of he exclaimed in broken accents; and in all the blessings enjoyed by the British subject, probability his heart would have burst, had if he holds them on such a precarious te- not the violence of his sorrow found vent in nure: if a man of rank and property may be a flood of tears. thus kidnapped even in the capital ; if he These first transports were succeeded by may be seized by ruffians, insulted, robbed, a fit of impatience, which had well nigh deand conveyed to such a prison as this, from prived him of his senses in good earnest. which there seems to be no possibility of His surprise at finding his lost Aurelia in escape; should I be indulged with pen, ink, such a place, the seeming impossibility of and paper, and appeal to my relations, or to relieving her, and his unspeakable eagerness the magistrates of my country, my letters to contrive some scheme for profiling by would be intercepted by those who super- the interesting discovery he had made, conintend my confinement. Should I try to curred in brewing up a second ecstasy, duralarm the neighbourhood, my cries would be ing which he acted a thousand extravaganneglected as those of some unhappy lunatic ces, which it was well for him the attendants under necessary correction. Should I em- did not observe. Perhaps it was well for the ploy the force which Heaven has lent me, I servant that he did not enter while the parmight inbrue my hands in blood, and after oxysm prevailed; had this been the case, he all find it impossible to escape through a num- might have met with the fate of Lychas, ber of successive doors, locks, bolts,
and sen- whom Hercules in his frenzy destroyed. tinels. Should I endeavour to tamper with Before the cloth was laid for supper, he the servant, he might discover my design, was calm enough to conceal the disorder of and then I should be abridged of the little his mind; but he complained of the headach, comfort I enjoy. People may inveigh against and desired he might be next day visited by the Bastile in France, and the Inquisition in the physician, to whom he resolved to explain Portugal; but I would ask, if either of these l himself in such a manner, as should make