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´╗┐Title: Westward Ho!, or, the voyages and adventures of Sir Amyas Leigh, Knight, of Burrough, in the county of Devon, in the reign of her most glorious majesty Queen Elizabeth
Author: Kingsley, Charles, 1819-1875
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Westward Ho!, or, the voyages and adventures of Sir Amyas Leigh, Knight, of Burrough, in the county of Devon, in the reign of her most glorious majesty Queen Elizabeth" ***

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by Charles Kingsley







By one who (unknown to them) has no other method of expressing his
admiration and reverence for their characters.

That type of English virtue, at once manful and godly, practical and
enthusiastic, prudent and self-sacrificing, which he has tried to depict
in these pages, they have exhibited in a form even purer and more
heroic than that in which he has drest it, and than that in which it was
exhibited by the worthies whom Elizabeth, without distinction of rank or
age, gathered round her in the ever glorious wars of her great reign.

C. K.








































     "The hollow oak our palace is,
        Our heritage the sea."

All who have travelled through the delicious scenery of North Devon must
needs know the little white town of Bideford, which slopes upwards from
its broad tide-river paved with yellow sands, and many-arched old bridge
where salmon wait for autumn floods, toward the pleasant upland on the
west. Above the town the hills close in, cushioned with deep oak woods,
through which juts here and there a crag of fern-fringed slate; below
they lower, and open more and more in softly rounded knolls, and fertile
squares of red and green, till they sink into the wide expanse of hazy
flats, rich salt-marshes, and rolling sand-hills, where Torridge joins
her sister Taw, and both together flow quietly toward the broad surges
of the bar, and the everlasting thunder of the long Atlantic swell.
Pleasantly the old town stands there, beneath its soft Italian sky,
fanned day and night by the fresh ocean breeze, which forbids alike the
keen winter frosts, and the fierce thunder heats of the midland; and
pleasantly it has stood there for now, perhaps, eight hundred years
since the first Grenville, cousin of the Conqueror, returning from the
conquest of South Wales, drew round him trusty Saxon serfs, and free
Norse rovers with their golden curls, and dark Silurian Britons from
the Swansea shore, and all the mingled blood which still gives to the
seaward folk of the next county their strength and intellect, and, even
in these levelling days, their peculiar beauty of face and form.

But at the time whereof I write, Bideford was not merely a pleasant
country town, whose quay was haunted by a few coasting craft. It was
one of the chief ports of England; it furnished seven ships to fight the
Armada: even more than a century afterwards, say the chroniclers, "it
sent more vessels to the northern trade than any port in England, saving
(strange juxtaposition!) London and Topsham," and was the centre of a
local civilization and enterprise, small perhaps compared with the
vast efforts of the present day: but who dare despise the day of small
things, if it has proved to be the dawn of mighty ones? And it is to the
sea-life and labor of Bideford, and Dartmouth, and Topsham, and Plymouth
(then a petty place), and many another little western town, that England
owes the foundation of her naval and commercial glory. It was the men
of Devon, the Drakes and Hawkins', Gilberts and Raleighs, Grenvilles and
Oxenhams, and a host more of "forgotten worthies," whom we shall learn
one day to honor as they deserve, to whom she owes her commerce, her
colonies, her very existence. For had they not first crippled, by their
West Indian raids, the ill-gotten resources of the Spaniard, and then
crushed his last huge effort in Britain's Salamis, the glorious fight of
1588, what had we been by now but a popish appanage of a world-tyranny
as cruel as heathen Rome itself, and far more devilish?

It is in memory of these men, their voyages and their battles, their
faith and their valor, their heroic lives and no less heroic deaths,
that I write this book; and if now and then I shall seem to warm into
a style somewhat too stilted and pompous, let me be excused for my
subject's sake, fit rather to have been sung than said, and to have
proclaimed to all true English hearts, not as a novel but as an epic
(which some man may yet gird himself to write), the same great message
which the songs of Troy, and the Persian wars, and the trophies of
Marathon and Salamis, spoke to the hearts of all true Greeks of old.

One bright summer's afternoon, in the year of grace 1575, a tall and
fair boy came lingering along Bideford quay, in his scholar's gown,
with satchel and slate in hand, watching wistfully the shipping and the
sailors, till, just after he had passed the bottom of the High Street,
he came opposite to one of the many taverns which looked out upon the
river. In the open bay window sat merchants and gentlemen, discoursing
over their afternoon's draught of sack; and outside the door was
gathered a group of sailors, listening earnestly to some one who stood
in the midst. The boy, all alive for any sea-news, must needs go up
to them, and take his place among the sailor-lads who were peeping and
whispering under the elbows of the men; and so came in for the following
speech, delivered in a loud bold voice, with a strong Devonshire accent,
and a fair sprinkling of oaths.

"If you don't believe me, go and see, or stay here and grow all over
blue mould. I tell you, as I am a gentleman, I saw it with these eyes,
and so did Salvation Yeo there, through a window in the lower room; and
we measured the heap, as I am a christened man, seventy foot long, ten
foot broad, and twelve foot high, of silver bars, and each bar between
a thirty and forty pound weight. And says Captain Drake: 'There, my lads
of Devon, I've brought you to the mouth of the world's treasure-house,
and it's your own fault now if you don't sweep it out as empty as a

"Why didn't you bring some of they home, then, Mr. Oxenham?"

"Why weren't you there to help to carry them? We would have brought
'em away, safe enough, and young Drake and I had broke the door abroad
already, but Captain Drake goes off in a dead faint; and when we came
to look, he had a wound in his leg you might have laid three fingers in,
and his boots were full of blood, and had been for an hour or more; but
the heart of him was that, that he never knew it till he dropped,
and then his brother and I got him away to the boats, he kicking and
struggling, and bidding us let him go on with the fight, though every
step he took in the sand was in a pool of blood; and so we got off. And
tell me, ye sons of shotten herrings, wasn't it worth more to save him
than the dirty silver? for silver we can get again, brave boys: there's
more fish in the sea than ever came out of it, and more silver in Nombre
de Dios than would pave all the streets in the west country: but of such
captains as Franky Drake, Heaven never makes but one at a time; and if
we lose him, good-bye to England's luck, say I, and who don't agree, let
him choose his weapons, and I'm his man."

He who delivered this harangue was a tall and sturdy personage, with a
florid black-bearded face, and bold restless dark eyes, who leaned, with
crossed legs and arms akimbo, against the wall of the house; and seemed
in the eyes of the schoolboy a very magnifico, some prince or duke at
least. He was dressed (contrary to all sumptuary laws of the time) in
a suit of crimson velvet, a little the worse, perhaps, for wear; by his
side were a long Spanish rapier and a brace of daggers, gaudy enough
about the hilts; his fingers sparkled with rings; he had two or three
gold chains about his neck, and large earrings in his ears, behind one
of which a red rose was stuck jauntily enough among the glossy black
curls; on his head was a broad velvet Spanish hat, in which instead of a
feather was fastened with a great gold clasp a whole Quezal bird, whose
gorgeous plumage of fretted golden green shone like one entire precious
stone. As he finished his speech, he took off the said hat, and looking
at the bird in it--

"Look ye, my lads, did you ever see such a fowl as that before? That's
the bird which the old Indian kings of Mexico let no one wear but their
own selves; and therefore I wear it,--I, John Oxenham of South Tawton,
for a sign to all brave lads of Devon, that as the Spaniards are the
masters of the Indians, we're the masters of the Spaniards:" and he
replaced his hat.

A murmur of applause followed: but one hinted that he "doubted the
Spaniards were too many for them."

"Too many? How many men did we take Nombre de Dios with? Seventy-three
were we, and no more when we sailed out of Plymouth Sound; and before we
saw the Spanish Main, half were gastados, used up, as the Dons say, with
the scurvy; and in Port Pheasant Captain Rawse of Cowes fell in with us,
and that gave us some thirty hands more; and with that handful, my lads,
only fifty-three in all, we picked the lock of the new world! And whom
did we lose but our trumpeter, who stood braying like an ass in
the middle of the square, instead of taking care of his neck like a
Christian? I tell you, those Spaniards are rank cowards, as all bullies
are. They pray to a woman, the idolatrous rascals! and no wonder they
fight like women."

"You'm right, captain," sang out a tall gaunt fellow who stood close to
him; "one westcountry-man can fight two easterlings, and an easterling
can beat three Dons any day. Eh! my lads of Devon?

     "For O! it's the herrings and the good brown beef,
       And the cider and the cream so white;
     O! they are the making of the jolly Devon lads,
       For to play, and eke to fight."

"Come," said Oxenham, "come along! Who lists? who lists? who'll make his

     "Oh, who will join, jolly mariners all?
        And who will join, says he, O!
     To fill his pockets with the good red goold,
        By sailing on the sea, O!"

"Who'll list?" cried the gaunt man again; "now's your time! We've got
forty men to Plymouth now, ready to sail the minute we get back, and we
want a dozen out of you Bideford men, and just a boy or two, and then
we'm off and away, and make our fortunes, or go to heaven.

     "Our bodies in the sea so deep,
        Our souls in heaven to rest!
     Where valiant seamen, one and all,
        Hereafter shall be blest!"

"Now," said Oxenham, "you won't let the Plymouth men say that the
Bideford men daren't follow them? North Devon against South, it is.
Who'll join? who'll join? It is but a step of a way, after all, and
sailing as smooth as a duck-pond as soon as you're past Cape Finisterre.
I'll run a Clovelly herring-boat there and back for a wager of twenty
pound, and never ship a bucketful all the way. Who'll join? Don't think
you're buying a pig in a poke. I know the road, and Salvation Yeo, here,
too, who was the gunner's mate, as well as I do the narrow seas, and
better. You ask him to show you the chart of it, now, and see if he
don't tell you over the ruttier as well as Drake himself."

On which the gaunt man pulled from under his arm a great white buffalo
horn covered with rough etchings of land and sea, and held it up to the
admiring ring.

"See here, boys all, and behold the pictur of the place, dra'ed out
so natural as ever was life. I got mun from a Portingal, down to the
Azores; and he'd pricked mun out, and pricked mun out, wheresoever he'd
sailed, and whatsoever he'd seen. Take mun in your hands now, Simon
Evans, take mun in your hands; look mun over, and I'll warrant you'll
know the way in five minutes so well as ever a shark in the seas."

And the horn was passed from hand to hand; while Oxenham, who saw that
his hearers were becoming moved, called through the open window for
a great tankard of sack, and passed that from hand to hand, after the

The school-boy, who had been devouring with eyes and ears all which
passed, and had contrived by this time to edge himself into the inner
ring, now stood face to face with the hero of the emerald crest, and got
as many peeps as he could at the wonder. But when he saw the sailors,
one after another, having turned it over a while, come forward and offer
to join Mr. Oxenham, his soul burned within him for a nearer view of
that wondrous horn, as magical in its effects as that of Tristrem, or
the enchanter's in Ariosto; and when the group had somewhat broken up,
and Oxenham was going into the tavern with his recruits, he asked boldly
for a nearer sight of the marvel, which was granted at once.

And now to his astonished gaze displayed themselves cities and harbors,
dragons and elephants, whales which fought with sharks, plate ships
of Spain, islands with apes and palm-trees, each with its name
over-written, and here and there, "Here is gold;" and again, "Much gold
and silver;" inserted most probably, as the words were in English, by
the hands of Mr. Oxenham himself. Lingeringly and longingly the boy
turned it round and round, and thought the owner of it more fortunate
than Khan or Kaiser. Oh, if he could but possess that horn, what needed
he on earth beside to make him blest!

"I say, will you sell this?"

"Yea, marry, or my own soul, if I can get the worth of it."

"I want the horn,--I don't want your soul; it's somewhat of a stale
sole, for aught I know; and there are plenty of fresh ones in the bay."

And therewith, after much fumbling, he pulled out a tester (the only one
he had), and asked if that would buy it?

"That! no, nor twenty of them."

The boy thought over what a good knight-errant would do in such case,
and then answered, "Tell you what: I'll fight you for it."

"Thank 'ee, sir!

"Break the jackanapes's head for him, Yeo," said Oxenham.

"Call me jackanapes again, and I break yours, sir." And the boy lifted
his fist fiercely.

Oxenham looked at him a minute smilingly. "Tut! tut! my man, hit one of
your own size, if you will, and spare little folk like me!"

"If I have a boy's age, sir, I have a man's fist. I shall be fifteen
years old this month, and know how to answer any one who insults me."

"Fifteen, my young cockerel? you look liker twenty," said Oxenham, with
an admiring glance at the lad's broad limbs, keen blue eyes, curling
golden locks, and round honest face. "Fifteen? If I had half-a-dozen
such lads as you, I would make knights of them before I died. Eh, Yeo?"

"He'll do," said Yeo; "he will make a brave gamecock in a year or
two, if he dares ruffle up so early at a tough old hen-master like the

At which there was a general laugh, in which Oxenham joined as loudly as
any, and then bade the lad tell him why he was so keen after the horn.

"Because," said he, looking up boldly, "I want to go to sea. I want to
see the Indies. I want to fight the Spaniards. Though I am a gentleman's
son, I'd a deal liever be a cabin-boy on board your ship." And the lad,
having hurried out his say fiercely enough, dropped his head again.

"And you shall," cried Oxenham, with a great oath; "and take a galloon,
and dine off carbonadoed Dons. Whose son are you, my gallant fellow?"

"Mr. Leigh's, of Burrough Court."

"Bless his soul! I know him as well as I do the Eddystone, and his
kitchen too. Who sups with him to-night?"

"Sir Richard Grenville."

"Dick Grenville? I did not know he was in town. Go home and tell your
father John Oxenham will come and keep him company. There, off with you!
I'll make all straight with the good gentleman, and you shall have your
venture with me; and as for the horn, let him have the horn, Yeo, and
I'll give you a noble for it."

"Not a penny, noble captain. If young master will take a poor mariner's
gift, there it is, for the sake of his love to the calling, and
Heaven send him luck therein." And the good fellow, with the impulsive
generosity of a true sailor, thrust the horn into the boy's hands, and
walked away to escape thanks.

"And now," quoth Oxenham, "my merry men all, make up your minds what
mannered men you be minded to be before you take your bounties. I want
none of your rascally lurching longshore vermin, who get five pounds
out of this captain, and ten out of that, and let him sail without them
after all, while they are stowed away under women's mufflers, and
in tavern cellars. If any man is of that humor, he had better to cut
himself up, and salt himself down in a barrel for pork, before he meets
me again; for by this light, let me catch him, be it seven years hence,
and if I do not cut his throat upon the streets, it's a pity! But if any
man will be true brother to me, true brother to him I'll be, come wreck
or prize, storm or calm, salt water or fresh, victuals or none, share
and fare alike; and here's my hand upon it, for every man and all! and

     "Westward ho! with a rumbelow,
        And hurra for the Spanish Main, O!"

After which oration Mr. Oxenham swaggered into the tavern, followed by
his new men; and the boy took his way homewards, nursing his precious
horn, trembling between hope and fear, and blushing with maidenly
shame, and a half-sense of wrong-doing at having revealed suddenly to a
stranger the darling wish which he had hidden from his father and mother
ever since he was ten years old.

Now this young gentleman, Amyas Leigh, though come of as good blood as
any in Devon, and having lived all his life in what we should even
now call the very best society, and being (on account of the valor,
courtesy, and truly noble qualities which he showed forth in his most
eventful life) chosen by me as the hero and centre of this story,
was not, saving for his good looks, by any means what would be called
now-a-days an "interesting" youth, still less a "highly educated" one;
for, with the exception of a little Latin, which had been driven into
him by repeated blows, as if it had been a nail, he knew no books
whatsoever, save his Bible, his Prayer-book, the old "Mort d'Arthur" of
Caxton's edition, which lay in the great bay window in the hall, and the
translation of "Las Casas' History of the West Indies," which lay beside
it, lately done into English under the title of "The Cruelties of the
Spaniards." He devoutly believed in fairies, whom he called pixies; and
held that they changed babies, and made the mushroom rings on the downs
to dance in. When he had warts or burns, he went to the white witch
at Northam to charm them away; he thought that the sun moved round the
earth, and that the moon had some kindred with a Cheshire cheese.
He held that the swallows slept all the winter at the bottom of the
horse-pond; talked, like Raleigh, Grenville, and other low persons,
with a broad Devonshire accent; and was in many other respects so very
ignorant a youth, that any pert monitor in a national school might have
had a hearty laugh at him. Nevertheless, this ignorant young savage,
vacant of the glorious gains of the nineteenth century, children's
literature and science made easy, and, worst of all, of those improved
views of English history now current among our railway essayists, which
consist in believing all persons, male and female, before the year 1688,
and nearly all after it, to have been either hypocrites or fools, had
learnt certain things which he would hardly have been taught just now
in any school in England; for his training had been that of the old
Persians, "to speak the truth and to draw the bow," both of which savage
virtues he had acquired to perfection, as well as the equally savage
ones of enduring pain cheerfully, and of believing it to be the finest
thing in the world to be a gentleman; by which word he had been taught
to understand the careful habit of causing needless pain to no human
being, poor or rich, and of taking pride in giving up his own pleasure
for the sake of those who were weaker than himself. Moreover, having
been entrusted for the last year with the breaking of a colt, and the
care of a cast of young hawks which his father had received from Lundy
Isle, he had been profiting much, by the means of those coarse and
frivolous amusements, in perseverance, thoughtfulness, and the habit
of keeping his temper; and though he had never had a single "object
lesson," or been taught to "use his intellectual powers," he knew the
names and ways of every bird, and fish, and fly, and could read, as
cunningly as the oldest sailor, the meaning of every drift of cloud
which crossed the heavens. Lastly, he had been for some time past, on
account of his extraordinary size and strength, undisputed cock of the
school, and the most terrible fighter among all Bideford boys; in which
brutal habit he took much delight, and contrived, strange as it may
seem, to extract from it good, not only for himself but for others,
doing justice among his school-fellows with a heavy hand, and succoring
the oppressed and afflicted; so that he was the terror of all the
sailor-lads, and the pride and stay of all the town's boys and girls,
and hardly considered that he had done his duty in his calling if he
went home without beating a big lad for bullying a little one. For the
rest, he never thought about thinking, or felt about feeling; and had
no ambition whatsoever beyond pleasing his father and mother, getting by
honest means the maximum of "red quarrenders" and mazard cherries,
and going to sea when he was big enough. Neither was he what would be
now-a-days called by many a pious child; for though he said his Creed
and Lord's Prayer night and morning, and went to the service at the
church every forenoon, and read the day's Psalms with his mother every
evening, and had learnt from her and from his father (as he proved well
in after life) that it was infinitely noble to do right and infinitely
base to do wrong, yet (the age of children's religious books not having
yet dawned on the world) he knew nothing more of theology, or of his
own soul, than is contained in the Church Catechism. It is a question,
however, on the whole, whether, though grossly ignorant (according to
our modern notions) in science and religion, he was altogether untrained
in manhood, virtue, and godliness; and whether the barbaric narrowness
of his information was not somewhat counterbalanced both in him and in
the rest of his generation by the depth, and breadth, and healthiness of
his education.

So let us watch him up the hill as he goes hugging his horn, to tell all
that has passed to his mother, from whom he had never hidden anything
in his life, save only that sea-fever; and that only because he foreknew
that it would give her pain; and because, moreover, being a prudent and
sensible lad, he knew that he was not yet old enough to go, and that, as
he expressed it to her that afternoon, "there was no use hollaing till
he was out of the wood."

So he goes up between the rich lane-banks, heavy with drooping ferns and
honeysuckle; out upon the windy down toward the old Court, nestled
amid its ring of wind-clipt oaks; through the gray gateway into the
homeclose; and then he pauses a moment to look around; first at the wide
bay to the westward, with its southern wall of purple cliffs; then at
the dim Isle of Lundy far away at sea; then at the cliffs and downs of
Morte and Braunton, right in front of him; then at the vast yellow sheet
of rolling sand-hill, and green alluvial plain dotted with red cattle,
at his feet, through which the silver estuary winds onward toward the
sea. Beneath him, on his right, the Torridge, like a land-locked lake,
sleeps broad and bright between the old park of Tapeley and the charmed
rock of the Hubbastone, where, seven hundred years ago, the Norse rovers
landed to lay siege to Kenwith Castle, a mile away on his left hand; and
not three fields away, are the old stones of "The Bloody Corner,"
where the retreating Danes, cut off from their ships, made their last
fruitless stand against the Saxon sheriff and the valiant men of Devon.
Within that charmed rock, so Torridge boatmen tell, sleeps now the old
Norse Viking in his leaden coffin, with all his fairy treasure and his
crown of gold; and as the boy looks at the spot, he fancies, and almost
hopes, that the day may come when he shall have to do his duty against
the invader as boldly as the men of Devon did then. And past him, far
below, upon the soft southeastern breeze, the stately ships go sliding
out to sea. When shall he sail in them, and see the wonders of the deep?
And as he stands there with beating heart and kindling eye, the cool
breeze whistling through his long fair curls, he is a symbol, though he
knows it not, of brave young England longing to wing its way out of its
island prison, to discover and to traffic, to colonize and to civilize,
until no wind can sweep the earth which does not bear the echoes of an
English voice. Patience, young Amyas! Thou too shalt forth, and westward
ho, beyond thy wildest dreams; and see brave sights, and do brave deeds,
which no man has since the foundation of the world. Thou too shalt face
invaders stronger and more cruel far than Dane or Norman, and bear thy
part in that great Titan strife before the renown of which the name of
Salamis shall fade away!

Mr. Oxenham came that evening to supper as he had promised: but as
people supped in those days in much the same manner as they do now, we
may drop the thread of the story for a few hours, and take it up again
after supper is over.

"Come now, Dick Grenville, do thou talk the good man round, and I'll
warrant myself to talk round the good wife."

The personage whom Oxenham addressed thus familiarly answered by a
somewhat sarcastic smile, and, "Mr. Oxenham gives Dick Grenville" (with
just enough emphasis on the "Mr." and the "Dick," to hint that a liberty
had been taken with him) "overmuch credit with the men. Mr. Oxenham's
credit with fair ladies, none can doubt. Friend Leigh, is Heard's great
ship home yet from the Straits?"

The speaker, known well in those days as Sir Richard Grenville,
Granville, Greenvil, Greenfield, with two or three other variations, was
one of those truly heroical personages whom Providence, fitting always
the men to their age and their work, had sent upon the earth whereof it
takes right good care, not in England only, but in Spain and Italy, in
Germany and the Netherlands, and wherever, in short, great men and great
deeds were needed to lift the mediaeval world into the modern.

And, among all the heroic faces which the painters of that age have
preserved, none, perhaps, hardly excepting Shakespeare's or Spenser's,
Alva's or Farina's, is more heroic than that of Richard Grenville, as it
stands in Prince's "Worthies of Devon;" of a Spanish type, perhaps
(or more truly speaking, a Cornish), rather than an English, with just
enough of the British element in it to give delicacy to its massiveness.
The forehead and whole brain are of extraordinary loftiness, and
perfectly upright; the nose long, aquiline, and delicately pointed;
the mouth fringed with a short silky beard, small and ripe, yet firm
as granite, with just pout enough of the lower lip to give hint of that
capacity of noble indignation which lay hid under its usual courtly calm
and sweetness; if there be a defect in the face, it is that the eyes are
somewhat small, and close together, and the eyebrows, though delicately
arched, and, without a trace of peevishness, too closely pressed
down upon them, the complexion is dark, the figure tall and graceful;
altogether the likeness of a wise and gallant gentleman, lovely to all
good men, awful to all bad men; in whose presence none dare say or do a
mean or a ribald thing; whom brave men left, feeling themselves nerved
to do their duty better, while cowards slipped away, as bats and
owls before the sun. So he lived and moved, whether in the Court of
Elizabeth, giving his counsel among the wisest; or in the streets of
Bideford, capped alike by squire and merchant, shopkeeper and sailor; or
riding along the moorland roads between his houses of Stow and Bideford,
while every woman ran out to her door to look at the great Sir Richard,
the pride of North Devon; or, sitting there in the low mullioned window
at Burrough, with his cup of malmsey before him, and the lute to which
he had just been singing laid across his knees, while the red western
sun streamed in upon his high, bland forehead, and soft curling locks;
ever the same steadfast, God-fearing, chivalrous man, conscious (as far
as a soul so healthy could be conscious) of the pride of beauty, and
strength, and valor, and wisdom, and a race and name which claimed
direct descent from the grandfather of the Conqueror, and was tracked
down the centuries by valiant deeds and noble benefits to his native
shire, himself the noblest of his race. Men said that he was proud; but
he could not look round him without having something to be proud of;
that he was stern and harsh to his sailors: but it was only when he saw
in them any taint of cowardice or falsehood; that he was subject, at
moments, to such fearful fits of rage, that he had been seen to snatch
the glasses from the table, grind them to pieces in his teeth, and
swallow them: but that was only when his indignation had been aroused by
some tale of cruelty or oppression, and, above all, by those West Indian
devilries of the Spaniards, whom he regarded (and in those days rightly
enough) as the enemies of God and man. Of this last fact Oxenham was
well aware, and therefore felt somewhat puzzled and nettled, when, after
having asked Mr. Leigh's leave to take young Amyas with him and set
forth in glowing colors the purpose of his voyage, he found Sir Richard
utterly unwilling to help him with his suit.

"Heyday, Sir Richard! You are not surely gone over to the side of those
canting fellows (Spanish Jesuits in disguise, every one of them, they
are), who pretended to turn up their noses at Franky Drake, as a pirate,
and be hanged to them?"

"My friend Oxenham," answered he, in the sententious and measured style
of the day, "I have always held, as you should know by this, that Mr.
Drake's booty, as well as my good friend Captain Hawkins's, is lawful
prize, as being taken from the Spaniard, who is not only hostis humani
generis, but has no right to the same, having robbed it violently, by
torture and extreme iniquity, from the poor Indian, whom God avenge, as
He surely will."

"Amen," said Mrs. Leigh.

"I say Amen, too," quoth Oxenham, "especially if it please Him to avenge
them by English hands."

"And I also," went on Sir Richard; "for the rightful owners of the said
goods being either miserably dead, or incapable, by reason of their
servitude, of ever recovering any share thereof, the treasure, falsely
called Spanish, cannot be better bestowed than in building up the state
of England against them, our natural enemies; and thereby, in building
up the weal of the Reformed Churches throughout the world, and the
liberties of all nations, against a tyranny more foul and rapacious than
that of Nero or Caligula; which, if it be not the cause of God, I, for
one, know not what God's cause is!" And, as he warmed in his speech, his
eyes flashed very fire.

"Hark now!" said Oxenham, "who can speak more boldly than he? and yet he
will not help this lad to so noble an adventure."

"You have asked his father and mother; what is their answer?"

"Mine is this," said Mr. Leigh; "if it be God's will that my boy should
become, hereafter, such a mariner as Sir Richard Grenville, let him go,
and God be with him; but let him first bide here at home and be
trained, if God give me grace, to become such a gentleman as Sir Richard

Sir Richard bowed low, and Mrs. Leigh catching up the last word--

"There, Mr. Oxenham, you cannot gainsay that, unless you will be
discourteous to his worship. And for me--though it be a weak woman's
reason, yet it is a mother's: he is my only child. His elder brother is
far away. God only knows whether I shall see him again; and what are all
reports of his virtues and his learning to me, compared to that sweet
presence which I daily miss? Ah! Mr. Oxenham, my beautiful Joseph is
gone; and though he be lord of Pharaoh's household, yet he is far away
in Egypt; and you will take Benjamm also! Ah! Mr. Oxenham, you have no
child, or you would not ask for mine!"

"And how do you know that, my sweet madam!" said the adventurer, turning
first deadly pale, and then glowing red. Her last words had touched him
to the quick in some unexpected place; and rising, he courteously laid
her hand to his lips, and said--"I say no more. Farewell, sweet madam,
and God send all men such wives as you."

"And all wives," said she, smiling, "such husbands as mine."

"Nay, I will not say that," answered he, with a half sneer--and then,
"Farewell, friend Leigh--farewell, gallant Dick Grenville. God send I
see thee Lord High Admiral when I come home. And yet, why should I come
home? Will you pray for poor Jack, gentles?"

"Tut, tut, man! good words," said Leigh; "let us drink to our merry
meeting before you go." And rising, and putting the tankard of malmsey
to his lips, he passed it to Sir Richard, who rose, and saying, "To the
fortune of a bold mariner and a gallant gentleman," drank, and put the
cup into Oxenham's hand.

The adventurer's face was flushed, and his eye wild. Whether from the
liquor he had drunk during the day, or whether from Mrs. Leigh's last
speech, he had not been himself for a few minutes. He lifted the cup,
and was in act to pledge them, when he suddenly dropped it on the table,
and pointed, staring and trembling, up and down, and round the room, as
if following some fluttering object.

"There! Do you see it? The bird!--the bird with the white breast!"

Each looked at the other; but Leigh, who was a quick-witted man and an
old courtier, forced a laugh instantly, and cried--"Nonsense, brave Jack
Oxenham! Leave white birds for men who will show the white feather. Mrs.
Leigh waits to pledge you."

Oxenham recovered himself in a moment, pledged them all round, drinking
deep and fiercely; and after hearty farewells, departed, never hinting
again at his strange exclamation.

After he was gone, and while Leigh was attending him to the door, Mrs.
Leigh and Grenville kept a few minutes' dead silence. At last--"God help
him!" said she.

"Amen!" said Grenville, "for he never needed it more. But, indeed,
madam, I put no faith in such omens."

"But, Sir Richard, that bird has been seen for generations before the
death of any of his family. I know those who were at South Tawton when
his mother died, and his brother also; and they both saw it. God help
him! for, after all, he is a proper man."

"So many a lady has thought before now, Mrs. Leigh, and well for him if
they had not. But, indeed, I make no account of omens. When God is ready
for each man, then he must go; and when can he go better?"

"But," said Mr. Leigh, who entered, "I have seen, and especially when
I was in Italy, omens and prophecies before now beget their own
fulfilment, by driving men into recklessness, and making them run
headlong upon that very ruin which, as they fancied, was running upon

"And which," said Sir Richard, "they might have avoided, if, instead of
trusting in I know not what dumb and dark destiny, they had trusted in
the living God, by faith in whom men may remove mountains, and quench
the fire, and put to flight the armies of the alien. I too know, and
know not how I know, that I shall never die in my bed."

"God forfend!" cried Mrs. Leigh.

"And why, fair madam, if I die doing my duty to my God and my queen? The
thought never moves me: nay, to tell the truth, I pray often enough that
I may be spared the miseries of imbecile old age, and that end which
the old Northmen rightly called 'a cow's death' rather than a man's. But
enough of this. Mr. Leigh, you have done wisely to-night. Poor Oxenham
does not go on his voyage with a single eye. I have talked about him
with Drake and Hawkins; and I guess why Mrs. Leigh touched him so home
when she told him that he had no child."

"Has he one, then, in the West Indies?" cried the good lady.

"God knows; and God grant we may not hear of shame and sorrow fallen
upon an ancient and honorable house of Devon. My brother Stukely is woe
enough to North Devon for this generation."

"Poor braggadocio!" said Mr. Leigh; "and yet not altogether that too,
for he can fight at least."

"So can every mastiff and boar, much more an Englishman. And now come
hither to me, my adventurous godson, and don't look in such doleful
dumps. I hear you have broken all the sailor-boys' heads already."

"Nearly all," said young Amyas, with due modesty.. "But am I not to go
to sea?"

"All things in their time, my boy, and God forbid that either I or your
worthy parents should keep you from that noble calling which is the
safeguard of this England and her queen. But you do not wish to live and
die the master of a trawler?"

"I should like to be a brave adventurer, like Mr. Oxenham."

"God grant you become a braver man than he! for, as I think, to be bold
against the enemy is common to the brutes; but the prerogative of a man
is to be bold against himself."

"How, sir?"

"To conquer our own fancies, Amyas, and our own lusts, and our ambition,
in the sacred name of duty; this it is to be truly brave, and truly
strong; for he who cannot rule himself, how can he rule his crew or his
fortunes? Come, now, I will make you a promise. If you will bide quietly
at home, and learn from your father and mother all which befits a
gentleman and a Christian, as well as a seaman, the day shall come when
you shall sail with Richard Grenville himself, or with better men than
he, on a nobler errand than gold-hunting on the Spanish Main."

"O my boy, my boy!" said Mrs. Leigh, "hear what the good Sir Richard
promises you. Many an earl's son would be glad to be in your place."

"And many an earl's son will be glad to be in his place a score years
hence, if he will but learn what I know you two can teach him. And now,
Amyas, my lad, I will tell you for a warning the history of that Sir
Thomas Stukely of whom I spoke just now, and who was, as all men know,
a gallant and courtly knight, of an ancient and worshipful family in
Ilfracombe, well practised in the wars, and well beloved at first by our
incomparable queen, the friend of all true virtue, as I trust she will
be of yours some day; who wanted but one step to greatness, and that
was this, that in his hurry to rule all the world, he forgot to rule
himself. At first, he wasted his estate in show and luxury, always
intending to be famous, and destroying his own fame all the while by
his vainglory and haste. Then, to retrieve his losses, he hit upon the
peopling of Florida, which thou and I will see done some day, by God's
blessing; for I and some good friends of mine have an errand there as
well as he. But he did not go about it as a loyal man, to advance the
honor of his queen, but his own honor only, dreaming that he too should
be a king; and was not ashamed to tell her majesty that he had rather be
sovereign of a molehill than the highest subject of an emperor."

"They say," said Mr. Leigh, "that he told her plainly he should be a
prince before he died, and that she gave him one of her pretty quips in

"I don't know that her majesty had the best of it. A fool is many times
too strong for a wise man, by virtue of his thick hide. For when she
said that she hoped she should hear from him in his new principality,
'Yes, sooth,' says he, graciously enough. 'And in what style?' asks she.
'To our dear sister,' says Stukely: to which her clemency had nothing to
reply, but turned away, as Mr. Burleigh told me, laughing."

"Alas for him!" said gentle Mrs. Leigh. "Such self-conceit--and Heaven
knows we have the root of it in ourselves also--is the very daughter of
self-will, and of that loud crying out about I, and me, and mine, which
is the very bird-call for all devils, and the broad road which leads to

"It will lead him to his," said Sir Richard; "God grant it be not upon
Tower-hill! for since that Florida plot, and after that his hopes of
Irish preferment came to naught, he who could not help himself by fair
means has taken to foul ones, and gone over to Italy to the Pope, whose
infallibility has not been proof against Stukely's wit; for he was soon
his Holiness's closet counsellor, and, they say, his bosom friend; and
made him give credit to his boasts that, with three thousand soldiers he
would beat the English out of Ireland, and make the Pope's son king of

"Ay, but," said Mr. Leigh, "I suppose the Italians have the same fetch
now as they had when I was there, to explain such ugly cases; namely,
that the Pope is infallible only in doctrine, and quoad Pope; while
quoad hominem, he is even as others, or indeed, in general, a deal
worse, so that the office, and not the man, may be glorified thereby.
But where is Stukely now?"

"At Rome when last I heard of him, ruffling it up and down the Vatican
as Baron Ross, Viscount Murrough, Earl Wexford, Marquis Leinster, and
a title or two more, which have cost the Pope little, seeing that
they never were his to give; and plotting, they say, some hare-brained
expedition against Ireland by the help of the Spanish king, which must
end in nothing but his shame and ruin. And now, my sweet hosts, I must
call for serving-boy and lantern, and home to my bed in Bideford."

And so Amyas Leigh went back to school, and Mr. Oxenham went his way to
Plymouth again, and sailed for the Spanish Main.



     "Si taceant homines, facient te sidera notum,
         Sol nescit comitis immemor esse sui."

                             Old Epigram on Drake.

Five years are past and gone. It is nine of the clock on a still, bright
November morning; but the bells of Bideford church are still ringing for
the daily service two hours after the usual time; and instead of going
soberly according to wont, cannot help breaking forth every five minutes
into a jocund peal, and tumbling head over heels in ecstasies of joy.
Bideford streets are a very flower-garden of all the colors, swarming
with seamen and burghers, and burghers' wives and daughters, all
in their holiday attire. Garlands are hung across the streets, and
tapestries from every window. The ships in the pool are dressed in all
their flags, and give tumultuous vent to their feelings by peals of
ordnance of every size. Every stable is crammed with horses; and
Sir Richard Grenville's house is like a very tavern, with eating
and drinking, and unsaddling, and running to and fro of grooms and
serving-men. Along the little churchyard, packed full with women,
streams all the gentle blood of North Devon,--tall and stately men, and
fair ladies, worthy of the days when the gentry of England were by due
right the leaders of the people, by personal prowess and beauty, as well
as by intellect and education. And first, there is my lady Countess of
Bath, whom Sir Richard Grenville is escorting, cap in hand (for her good
Earl Bourchier is in London with the queen); and there are Bassets
from beautiful Umberleigh, and Carys from more beautiful Clovelly, and
Fortescues of Wear, and Fortescues of Buckland, and Fortescues from all
quarters, and Coles from Slade, and Stukelys from Affton, and St. Legers
from Annery, and Coffins from Portledge, and even Coplestones from
Eggesford, thirty miles away: and last, but not least (for almost all
stop to give them place), Sir John Chichester of Ralegh, followed
in single file, after the good old patriarchal fashion, by his eight
daughters, and three of his five famous sons (one, to avenge his
murdered brother, is fighting valiantly in Ireland, hereafter to rule
there wisely also, as Lord Deputy and Baron of Belfast); and he meets
at the gate his cousin of Arlington, and behind him a train of four
daughters and nineteen sons, the last of whom has not yet passed the
town-hall, while the first is at the Lychgate, who, laughing, make way
for the elder though shorter branch of that most fruitful tree; and so
on into the church, where all are placed according to their degrees, or
at least as near as may be, not without a few sour looks, and shovings,
and whisperings, from one high-born matron and another; till the
churchwardens and sidesmen, who never had before so goodly a company to
arrange, have bustled themselves hot, and red, and frantic, and end by
imploring abjectly the help of the great Sir Richard himself to tell
them who everybody is, and which is the elder branch, and which is the
younger, and who carries eight quarterings in their arms, and who only
four, and so prevent their setting at deadly feud half the fine
ladies of North Devon; for the old men are all safe packed away in the
corporation pews, and the young ones care only to get a place whence
they may eye the ladies. And at last there is a silence, and a looking
toward the door, and then distant music, flutes and hautboys, drums and
trumpets, which come braying, and screaming, and thundering merrily
up to the very church doors, and then cease; and the churchwardens
and sidesmen bustle down to the entrance, rods in hand, and there is a
general whisper and rustle, not without glad tears and blessings from
many a woman, and from some men also, as the wonder of the day enters,
and the rector begins, not the morning service, but the good old
thanksgiving after a victory at sea.

And what is it which has thus sent old Bideford wild with that "goodly
joy and pious mirth," of which we now only retain traditions in
our translation of the Psalms? Why are all eyes fixed, with greedy
admiration, on those four weather-beaten mariners, decked out with knots
and ribbons by loving hands; and yet more on that gigantic figure who
walks before them, a beardless boy, and yet with the frame and stature
of a Hercules, towering, like Saul of old, a head and shoulders above
all the congregation, with his golden locks flowing down over his
shoulders? And why, as the five go instinctively up to the altar, and
there fall on their knees before the rails, are all eyes turned to the
pew where Mrs. Leigh of Burrough has hid her face between her hands,
and her hood rustles and shakes to her joyful sobs? Because there was
fellow-feeling of old in merry England, in county and in town; and
these are Devon men, and men of Bideford, whose names are Amyas Leigh of
Burrough, John Staveley, Michael Heard, and Jonas Marshall of Bideford,
and Thomas Braund of Clovelly: and they, the first of all English
mariners, have sailed round the world with Francis Drake, and are come
hither to give God thanks.

It is a long story. To explain how it happened we must go back for a
page or two, almost to the point from whence we started in the last

For somewhat more than a twelvemonth after Mr. Oxenham's departure,
young Amyas had gone on quietly enough, according to promise, with the
exception of certain occasional outbursts of fierceness common to all
young male animals, and especially to boys of any strength of character.
His scholarship, indeed, progressed no better than before; but his home
education went on healthily enough; and he was fast becoming, young as
he was, a right good archer, and rider, and swordsman (after the old
school of buckler practice), when his father, having gone down on
business to the Exeter Assizes, caught (as was too common in those days)
the gaol-fever from the prisoners; sickened in the very court; and died
within a week.

And now Mrs. Leigh was left to God and her own soul, with this young
lion-cub in leash, to tame and train for this life and the life to
come. She had loved her husband fervently and holily. He had been often
peevish, often melancholy; for he was a disappointed man, with an estate
impoverished by his father's folly, and his own youthful ambition, which
had led him up to Court, and made him waste his heart and his purse in
following a vain shadow. He was one of those men, moreover, who possess
almost every gift except the gift of the power to use them; and though
a scholar, a courtier, and a soldier, he had found himself, when he was
past forty, without settled employment or aim in life, by reason of
a certain shyness, pride, or delicate honor (call it which you will),
which had always kept him from playing a winning game in that very world
after whose prizes he hankered to the last, and on which he revenged
himself by continual grumbling. At last, by his good luck, he met with
a fair young Miss Foljambe, of Derbyshire, then about Queen Elizabeth's
Court, who was as tired as he of the sins of the world, though she had
seen less of them; and the two contrived to please each other so well,
that though the queen grumbled a little, as usual, at the lady for
marrying, and at the gentleman for adoring any one but her royal self,
they got leave to vanish from the little Babylon at Whitehall, and
settle in peace at Burrough. In her he found a treasure, and he knew
what he had found.

Mrs. Leigh was, and had been from her youth, one of those noble old
English churchwomen, without superstition, and without severity, who
are among the fairest features of that heroic time. There was a certain
melancholy about her, nevertheless; for the recollections of her
childhood carried her back to times when it was an awful thing to be a
Protestant. She could remember among them, five-and-twenty years ago,
the burning of poor blind Joan Waste at Derby, and of Mistress Joyce
Lewis, too, like herself, a lady born; and sometimes even now, in her
nightly dreams, rang in her ears her mother's bitter cries to God,
either to spare her that fiery torment, or to give her strength to bear
it, as she whom she loved had borne it before her. For her mother, who
was of a good family in Yorkshire, had been one of Queen Catherine's
bedchamber women, and the bosom friend and disciple of Anne Askew. And
she had sat in Smithfield, with blood curdled by horror, to see the
hapless Court beauty, a month before the paragon of Henry's Court,
carried in a chair (so crippled was she by the rack) to her fiery doom
at the stake, beside her fellow-courtier, Mr. Lascelles, while the very
heavens seemed to the shuddering mob around to speak their wrath and
grief in solemn thunder peals, and heavy drops which hissed upon the
crackling pile.

Therefore a sadness hung upon her all her life, and deepened in the days
of Queen Mary, when, as a notorious Protestant and heretic, she had had
to hide for her life among the hills and caverns of the Peak, and was
only saved, by the love which her husband's tenants bore her, and by his
bold declaration that, good Catholic as he was, he would run through
the body any constable, justice, or priest, yea, bishop or cardinal, who
dared to serve the queen's warrant upon his wife.

So she escaped: but, as I said, a sadness hung upon her all her life;
and the skirt of that dark mantle fell upon the young girl who had been
the partner of her wanderings and hidings among the lonely hills; and
who, after she was married, gave herself utterly up to God.

And yet in giving herself to God, Mrs. Leigh gave herself to her
husband, her children, and the poor of Northam Town, and was none the
less welcome to the Grenvilles, and Fortescues, and Chichesters, and
all the gentle families round, who honored her husband's talents, and
enjoyed his wit. She accustomed herself to austerities, which often
called forth the kindly rebukes of her husband; and yet she did so
without one superstitious thought of appeasing the fancied wrath of God,
or of giving Him pleasure (base thought) by any pain of hers; for her
spirit had been trained in the freest and loftiest doctrines of Luther's
school; and that little mystic "Alt-Deutsch Theologie" (to which the
great Reformer said that he owed more than to any book, save the Bible,
and St. Augustine) was her counsellor and comforter by day and night.

And now, at little past forty, she was left a widow: lovely still
in face and figure; and still more lovely from the divine calm which
brooded, like the dove of peace and the Holy Spirit of God (which indeed
it was), over every look, and word, and gesture; a sweetness which had
been ripened by storm, as well as by sunshine; which this world had
not given, and could not take away. No wonder that Sir Richard and Lady
Grenville loved her; no wonder that her children worshipped her; no
wonder that the young Amyas, when the first burst of grief was over, and
he knew again where he stood, felt that a new life had begun for him;
that his mother was no more to think and act for him only, but that he
must think and act for his mother. And so it was, that on the very day
after his father's funeral, when school-hours were over, instead of
coming straight home, he walked boldly into Sir Richard Grenville's
house, and asked to see his godfather.

"You must be my father now, sir," said he, firmly.

And Sir Richard looked at the boy's broad strong face, and swore a great
and holy oath, like Glasgerion's, "by oak, and ash, and thorn," that
he would be a father to him, and a brother to his mother, for Christ's
sake. And Lady Grenville took the boy by the hand, and walked home
with him to Burrough; and there the two fair women fell on each other's
necks, and wept together; the one for the loss which had been, the
other, as by a prophetic instinct, for the like loss which was to come
to her also. For the sweet St. Leger knew well that her husband's fiery
spirit would never leave his body on a peaceful bed; but that death (as
he prayed almost nightly that it might) would find him sword in
hand, upon the field of duty and of fame. And there those two vowed
everlasting sisterhood, and kept their vow; and after that all things
went on at Burrough as before; and Amyas rode, and shot, and boxed, and
wandered on the quay at Sir Richard's side; for Mrs. Leigh was too
wise a woman to alter one tittle of the training which her husband had
thought best for his younger boy. It was enough that her elder son had
of his own accord taken to that form of life in which she in her secret
heart would fain have moulded both her children. For Frank, God's
wedding gift to that pure love of hers, had won himself honor at home
and abroad; first at the school at Bideford; then at Exeter College,
where he had become a friend of Sir Philip Sidney's, and many another
young man of rank and promise; and next, in the summer of 1572, on his
way to the University of Heidelberg, he had gone to Paris, with (luckily
for him) letters of recommendation to Walsingham, at the English
Embassy: by which letters he not only fell in a second time with Philip
Sidney, but saved his own life (as Sidney did his) in the Massacre of
St. Bartholomew's Day. At Heidelberg he had stayed two years, winning
fresh honor from all who knew him, and resisting all Sidney's entreaties
to follow him into Italy. For, scorning to be a burden to his parents,
he had become at Heidelberg tutor to two young German princes, whom,
after living with them at their father's house for a year or more, he at
last, to his own great delight, took with him down to Padua, "to
perfect them," as he wrote home, "according to his insufficiency, in all
princely studies." Sidney was now returned to England; but Frank found
friends enough without him, such letters of recommendation and diplomas
did he carry from I know not how many princes, magnificos, and learned
doctors, who had fallen in love with the learning, modesty, and virtue
of the fair young Englishman. And ere Frank returned to Germany he had
satiated his soul with all the wonders of that wondrous land. He had
talked over the art of sonneteering with Tasso, the art of history
with Sarpi; he had listened, between awe and incredulity, to the daring
theories of Galileo; he had taken his pupils to Venice, that their
portraits might be painted by Paul Veronese; he had seen the palaces of
Palladio, and the merchant princes on the Rialto, and the argosies of
Ragusa, and all the wonders of that meeting-point of east and west; he
had watched Tintoretto's mighty hand "hurling tempestuous glories o'er
the scene;" and even, by dint of private intercession in high places,
had been admitted to that sacred room where, with long silver beard and
undimmed eye, amid a pantheon of his own creations, the ancient Titian,
patriarch of art, still lingered upon earth, and told old tales of the
Bellinis, and Raffaelle, and Michael Angelo, and the building of St.
Peter's, and the fire at Venice, and the sack of Rome, and of kings and
warriors, statesmen and poets, long since gone to their account, and
showed the sacred brush which Francis the First had stooped to pick up
for him. And (license forbidden to Sidney by his friend Languet) he had
been to Rome, and seen (much to the scandal of good Protestants at home)
that "right good fellow," as Sidney calls him, who had not yet eaten
himself to death, the Pope for the time being. And he had seen the
frescos of the Vatican, and heard Palestrina preside as chapel-master
over the performance of his own music beneath the dome of St. Peter's,
and fallen half in love with those luscious strains, till he was
awakened from his dream by the recollection that beneath that same dome
had gone up thanksgivings to the God of heaven for those blood-stained
streets, and shrieking women, and heaps of insulted corpses, which he
had beheld in Paris on the night of St. Bartholomew. At last, a few
months before his father died, he had taken back his pupils to their
home in Germany, from whence he was dismissed, as he wrote, with rich
gifts; and then Mrs. Leigh's heart beat high, at the thought that the
wanderer would return: but, alas! within a month after his father's
death, came a long letter from Frank, describing the Alps, and the
valleys of the Waldenses (with whose Barbes he had had much talk about
the late horrible persecutions), and setting forth how at Padua he had
made the acquaintance of that illustrious scholar and light of the age,
Stephanus Parmenius (commonly called from his native place, Budaeus),
who had visited Geneva with him, and heard the disputations of their
most learned doctors, which both he and Budaeus disliked for their hard
judgments both of God and man, as much as they admired them for their
subtlety, being themselves, as became Italian students, Platonists of
the school of Ficinus and Picus Mirandolensis. So wrote Master Frank,
in a long sententious letter, full of Latin quotations: but the letter
never reached the eyes of him for whose delight it had been penned: and
the widow had to weep over it alone, and to weep more bitterly than ever
at the conclusion, in which, with many excuses, Frank said that he had,
at the special entreaty of the said Budaeus, set out with him down the
Danube stream to Buda, that he might, before finishing his travels,
make experience of that learning for which the Hungarians were famous
throughout Europe. And after that, though he wrote again and again to
the father whom he fancied living, no letter in return reached him from
home for nearly two years; till, fearing some mishap, he hurried back to
England, to find his mother a widow, and his brother Amyas gone to the
South Seas with Captain Drake of Plymouth. And yet, even then, after
years of absence, he was not allowed to remain at home. For Sir Richard,
to whom idleness was a thing horrible and unrighteous, would have him up
and doing again before six months were over, and sent him off to Court
to Lord Hunsdon.

There, being as delicately beautiful as his brother was huge and strong,
he had speedily, by Carew's interest and that of Sidney and his Uncle
Leicester, found entrance into some office in the queen's household; and
he was now basking in the full sunshine of Court favor, and fair ladies'
eyes, and all the chivalries and euphuisms of Gloriana's fairyland, and
the fast friendship of that bright meteor Sidney, who had returned with
honor in 1577, from the delicate mission on behalf of the German and
Belgian Protestants, on which he had been sent to the Court of Vienna,
under color of condoling with the new Emperor Rodolph on his father's
death. Frank found him when he himself came to Court in 1579 as lovely
and loving as ever; and, at the early age of twenty-five, acknowledged
as one of the most remarkable men of Europe, the patron of all men of
letters, the counsellor of warriors and statesmen, and the confidant and
advocate of William of Orange, Languet, Plessis du Mornay, and all the
Protestant leaders on the Continent; and found, moreover, that the son
of the poor Devon squire was as welcome as ever to the friendship of
nature's and fortune's most favored, yet most unspoilt, minion.

Poor Mrs. Leigh, as one who had long since learned to have no self,
and to live not only for her children but in them, submitted without a
murmur, and only said, smiling, to her stern friend--"You took away my
mastiff-pup, and now you must needs have my fair greyhound also."

"Would you have your fair greyhound, dear lady, grow up a tall and
true Cotswold dog, that can pull down a stag of ten, or one of those
smooth-skinned poppets which the Florence ladies lead about with a ring
of bells round its neck, and a flannel farthingale over its loins?"

Mrs. Leigh submitted; and was rewarded after a few months by a letter,
sent through Sir Richard, from none other than Gloriana herself, in
which she thanked her for "the loan of that most delicate and flawless
crystal, the soul of her excellent son," with more praises of him than I
have room to insert, and finished by exalting the poor mother above the
famed Cornelia; "for those sons, whom she called her jewels, she
only showed, yet kept them to herself: but you, madam, having two as
precious, I doubt not, as were ever that Roman dame's, have, beyond her
courage, lent them both to your country and to your queen, who therein
holds herself indebted to you for that which, if God give her grace, she
will repay as becomes both her and you." Which epistle the sweet mother
bedewed with holy tears, and laid by in the cedar-box which held her
household gods, by the side of Frank's innumerable diplomas and letters
of recommendation, the Latin whereof she was always spelling over
(although she understood not a word of it), in hopes of finding, here
and there, that precious excellentissimus Noster Franciscus Leighius
Anglus, which was all in all to the mother's heart.

But why did Amyas go to the South Seas? Amyas went to the South Seas for
two causes, each of which has, before now, sent many a lad to far worse
places: first, because of an old schoolmaster; secondly, because of a
young beauty. I will take them in order and explain.

Vindex Brimblecombe, whilom servitor of Exeter College, Oxford (commonly
called Sir Vindex, after the fashion of the times), was, in those days,
master of the grammar-school of Bideford. He was, at root, a godly and
kind-hearted pedant enough; but, like most schoolmasters in the old
flogging days, had his heart pretty well hardened by long, baneful
license to inflict pain at will on those weaker than himself; a power
healthful enough for the victim (for, doubtless, flogging is the best of
all punishments, being not only the shortest, but also a mere bodily and
animal, and not, like most of our new-fangled "humane" punishments, a
spiritual and fiendish torture), but for the executioner pretty certain
to eradicate, from all but the noblest spirits, every trace of chivalry
and tenderness for the weak, as well, often, as all self-control and
command of temper. Be that as it may, old Sir Vindex had heart enough
to feel that it was now his duty to take especial care of the fatherless
boy to whom he tried to teach his qui, quae, quod: but the only outcome
of that new sense of responsibility was a rapid increase in the number
of floggings, which rose from about two a week to one per diem, not
without consequences to the pedagogue himself.

For all this while, Amyas had never for a moment lost sight of his
darling desire for a sea-life; and when he could not wander on the quay
and stare at the shipping, or go down to the pebble-ridge at Northam,
and there sit, devouring, with hungry eyes, the great expanse of ocean,
which seemed to woo him outward into boundless space, he used to console
himself, in school-hours, by drawing ships and imaginary charts upon his
slate, instead of minding his "humanities."

Now it befell, upon an afternoon, that he was very busy at a map, or
bird's-eye view of an island, whereon was a great castle, and at the
gate thereof a dragon, terrible to see; while in the foreground came
that which was meant for a gallant ship, with a great flag aloft, but
which, by reason of the forest of lances with which it was crowded,
looked much more like a porcupine carrying a sign-post; and, at the
roots of those lances, many little round o's, whereby was signified
the heads of Amyas and his schoolfellows, who were about to slay that
dragon, and rescue the beautiful princess who dwelt in that enchanted
tower. To behold which marvel of art, all the other boys at the same
desk must needs club their heads together, and with the more security,
because Sir Vindex, as was his custom after dinner, was lying back in
his chair, and slept the sleep of the just.

But when Amyas, by special instigation of the evil spirit who haunts
successful artists, proceeded further to introduce, heedless of
perspective, a rock, on which stood the lively portraiture of Sir
Vindex--nose, spectacles, gown, and all; and in his hand a brandished
rod, while out of his mouth a label shrieked after the runaways,
"You come back!" while a similar label replied from the gallant bark,
"Good-bye, master!" the shoving and tittering rose to such a pitch that
Cerberus awoke, and demanded sternly what the noise was about. To which,
of course, there was no answer.

"You, of course, Leigh! Come up, sir, and show me your exercitation."

Now of Amyas's exercitation not a word was written; and, moreover,
he was in the very article of putting the last touches to Mr.
Brimblecombe's portrait. Whereon, to the astonishment of all hearers, he
made answer--

"All in good time, sir!" and went on drawing.

"In good time, sir! Insolent, veni et vapula!"

But Amyas went on drawing.

"Come hither, sirrah, or I'll flay you alive!"

"Wait a bit!" answered Amyas.

The old gentleman jumped up, ferula in hand, and darted across the
school, and saw himself upon the fatal slate.

"Proh flagitium! what have we here, villain?" and clutching at his
victim, he raised the cane. Whereupon, with a serene and cheerful
countenance, up rose the mighty form of Amyas Leigh, a head and
shoulders above his tormentor, and that slate descended on the bald
coxcomb of Sir Vindex Brimblecombe, with so shrewd a blow that slate and
pate cracked at the same instant, and the poor pedagogue dropped to the
floor, and lay for dead.

After which Amyas arose, and walked out of the school, and so quietly
home; and having taken counsel with himself, went to his mother, and
said, "Please, mother, I've broken schoolmaster's head."

"Broken his head, thou wicked boy!" shrieked the poor widow; "what didst
do that for?"

"I can't tell," said Amyas, penitently; "I couldn't help it. It looked
so smooth, and bald, and round, and--you know?"

"I know? Oh, wicked boy! thou hast given place to the devil; and now,
perhaps, thou hast killed him."

"Killed the devil?" asked Amyas, hopefully but doubtfully.

"No, killed the schoolmaster, sirrah! Is he dead?"

"I don't think he's dead; his coxcomb sounded too hard for that. But had
not I better go and tell Sir Richard?"

The poor mother could hardly help laughing, in spite of her terror,
at Amyas's perfect coolness (which was not in the least meant for
insolence), and being at her wits' end, sent him, as usual, to his

Amyas rehearsed his story again, with pretty nearly the same
exclamations, to which he gave pretty nearly the same answers; and
then--"What was he going to do to you, then, sirrah?"

"Flog me, because I could not write my exercise, and so drew a picture
of him instead."

"What! art afraid of being flogged?"

"Not a bit; besides, I'm too much accustomed to it; but I was busy, and
he was in such a desperate hurry; and, oh, sir, if you had but seen his
bald head, you would have broken it yourself!"

Now Sir Richard had, twenty years ago, in like place, and very much
in like manner, broken the head of Vindex Brimblecombe's father,
schoolmaster in his day, and therefore had a precedent to direct him;
and he answered--"Amyas, sirrah! those who cannot obey will never be fit
to rule. If thou canst not keep discipline now, thou wilt never make a
company or a crew keep it when thou art grown. Dost mind that, sirrah?"

"Yes," said Amyas.

"Then go back to school this moment, sir, and be flogged."

"Very well," said Amyas, considering that he had got off very cheaply;
while Sir Richard, as soon as he was out of the room, lay back in his
chair, and laughed till he cried again.

So Amyas went back, and said that he was come to be flogged; whereon the
old schoolmaster, whose pate had been plastered meanwhile, wept tears of
joy over the returning prodigal, and then gave him such a switching as
he did not forget for eight-and-forty hours.

But that evening Sir Richard sent for old Vindex, who entered,
trembling, cap in hand; and having primed him with a cup of sack,
said--"Well, Mr. Schoolmaster! My godson has been somewhat too much for
you to-day. There are a couple of nobles to pay the doctor."

"O Sir Richard, gratias tibi et Domino! but the boy hits shrewdly
hard. Nevertheless I have repaid him in inverse kind, and set him an
imposition, to learn me one of Phaedrus his fables, Sir Richard, if you
do not think it too much."

"Which, then? The one about the man who brought up a lion's cub, and was
eaten by him in play at last?"

"Ah, Sir Richard! you have always a merry wit. But, indeed, the boy is a
brave boy, and a quick boy, Sir Richard, but more forgetful than Lethe;
and--sapienti loquor--it were well if he were away, for I shall never
see him again without my head aching. Moreover, he put my son Jack upon
the fire last Wednesday, as you would put a football, though he is a
year older, your worship, because, he said, he looked so like a roasting
pig, Sir Richard."

"Alas, poor Jack!"

"And what's more, your worship, he is pugnax, bellicosus, gladiator,
a fire-eater and swash-buckler, beyond all Christian measure; a
very sucking Entellus, Sir Richard, and will do to death some of her
majesty's lieges erelong, if he be not wisely curbed. It was but a month
agone that he bemoaned himself, I hear, as Alexander did, because there
were no more worlds to conquer, saying that it was a pity he was so
strong; for, now he had thrashed all the Bideford lads, he had no sport
left; and so, as my Jack tells me, last Tuesday week he fell upon a
young man of Barnstaple, Sir Richard, a hosier's man, sir, and plebeius
(which I consider unfit for one of his blood), and, moreover, a man full
grown, and as big as either of us (Vindex stood five feet four in his
high-heeled shoes), and smote him clean over the quay into the mud,
because he said that there was a prettier maid in Barnstaple (your
worship will forgive my speaking of such toys, to which my fidelity
compels me) than ever Bideford could show; and then offered to do the
same to any man who dare say that Mistress Rose Salterne, his worship
the mayor's daughter, was not the fairest lass in all Devon."

"Eh? Say that over again, my good sir," quoth Sir Richard, who had thus
arrived, as we have seen, at the second count of the indictment. "I say,
good sir, whence dost thou hear all these pretty stories?"

"My son Jack, Sir Richard, my son Jack, ingenui vultus puer."

"But not, it seems, ingenui pudoris. Tell thee what, Mr. Schoolmaster,
no wonder if thy son gets put on the fire, if thou employ him as a
tale-bearer. But that is the way of all pedagogues and their sons,
by which they train the lads up eavesdroppers and favor-curriers, and
prepare them--sirrah, do you hear?--for a much more lasting and hotter
fire than that which has scorched thy son Jack's nether-tackle. Do you
mark me, sir?"

The poor pedagogue, thus cunningly caught in his own trap, stood
trembling before his patron, who, as hereditary head of the Bridge
Trust, which endowed the school and the rest of the Bideford charities,
could, by a turn of his finger, sweep him forth with the besom
of destruction; and he gasped with terror as Sir Richard went
on--"Therefore, mind you, Sir Schoolmaster, unless you shall promise me
never to hint word of what has passed between us two, and that neither
you nor yours shall henceforth carry tales of my godson, or speak his
name within a day's march of Mistress Salterne's, look to it, if I do

What was to be done in default was not spoken; for down went poor old
Vindex on his knees:--

"Oh, Sir Richard! Excellentissime, immo praecelsissime Domine et
Senator, I promise! O sir, Miles et Eques of the Garter, Bath, and
Golden Fleece, consider your dignities, and my old age--and my great
family--nine children--oh, Sir Richard, and eight of them girls!--Do
eagles war with mice? says the ancient!"

"Thy large family, eh? How old is that fat-witted son of thine?"

"Sixteen, Sir Richard; but that is not his fault, indeed!"

"Nay, I suppose he would be still sucking his thumb if he dared--get up,
man--get up and seat yourself."

"Heaven forbid!" murmured poor Vindex, with deep humility.

"Why is not the rogue at Oxford, with a murrain on him, instead of
lurching about here carrying tales and ogling the maidens?"

"I had hoped, Sir Richard--and therefore I said it was not his
fault--but there was never a servitorship at Exeter open."

"Go to, man--go to! I will speak to my brethren of the Trust, and to
Oxford he shall go this autumn, or else to Exeter gaol, for a strong
rogue, and a masterless man. Do you hear?"

"Hear?--oh, sir, yes! and return thanks. Jack shall go, Sir Richard,
doubt it not--I were mad else; and, Sir Richard, may I go too?"

And therewith Vindex vanished, and Sir Richard enjoyed a second mighty
laugh, which brought in Lady Grenville, who possibly had overheard the
whole; for the first words she said were--

"I think, my sweet life, we had better go up to Burrough."

So to Burrough they went; and after much talk, and many tears, matters
were so concluded that Amyas Leigh found himself riding joyfully towards
Plymouth, by the side of Sir Richard, and being handed over to Captain
Drake, vanished for three years from the good town of Bideford.

And now he is returned in triumph, and the observed of all observers;
and looks round and round, and sees all faces whom he expects, except
one; and that the one which he had rather see than his mother's? He is
not quite sure. Shame on himself!

And now the prayers being ended, the rector ascends the pulpit, and
begins his sermon on the text:--

"The heaven and the heaven of heavens are the Lord's; the whole earth
hath he given to the children of men;" deducing therefrom craftily, to
the exceeding pleasure of his hearers, the iniquity of the Spaniards
in dispossessing the Indians, and in arrogating to themselves the
sovereignty of the tropic seas; the vanity of the Pope of Rome in
pretending to bestow on them the new countries of America; and the
justice, valor, and glory of Mr. Drake and his expedition, as testified
by God's miraculous protection of him and his, both in the Straits of
Magellan, and in his battle with the Galleon; and last, but not least,
upon the rock by Celebes, when the Pelican lay for hours firmly fixed,
and was floated off unhurt, as it were by miracle, by a sudden shift of

Ay, smile, reader, if you will; and, perhaps, there was matter for a
smile in that honest sermon, interlarded, as it was, with scraps of
Greek and Hebrew, which no one understood, but every one expected as
their right (for a preacher was nothing then who could not prove himself
"a good Latiner"); and graced, moreover, by a somewhat pedantic and
lengthy refutation from Scripture of Dan Horace's cockney horror of the

     "Illi robur et aes triplex," etc.

and his infidel and ungodly slander against the impias rates, and their

Smile, if you will: but those were days (and there were never less
superstitious ones) in which Englishmen believed in the living God, and
were not ashamed to acknowledge, as a matter of course, His help and
providence, and calling, in the matters of daily life, which we now
in our covert atheism term "secular and carnal;" and when, the sermon
ended, the communion service had begun, and the bread and the wine were
given to those five mariners, every gallant gentleman who stood near
them (for the press would not allow of more) knelt and received the
elements with them as a thing of course, and then rose to join with
heart and voice not merely in the Gloria in Excelsis, but in the Te
Deum, which was the closing act of all. And no sooner had the clerk
given out the first verse of that great hymn, than it was taken up by
five hundred voices within the church, in bass and tenor, treble and
alto (for every one could sing in those days, and the west-country folk,
as now, were fuller than any of music), the chant was caught up by the
crowd outside, and rang away over roof and river, up to the woods of
Annery, and down to the marshes of the Taw, in wave on wave of harmony.
And as it died away, the shipping in the river made answer with their
thunder, and the crowd streamed out again toward the Bridge Head,
whither Sir Richard Grenville, and Sir John Chichester, and Mr.
Salterne, the Mayor, led the five heroes of the day to await the pageant
which had been prepared in honor of them. And as they went by, there
were few in the crowd who did not press forward to shake them by the
hand, and not only them, but their parents and kinsfolk who walked
behind, till Mrs. Leigh, her stately joy quite broken down at last,
could only answer between her sobs, "Go along, good people--God a mercy,
go along--and God send you all such sons!"

"God give me back mine!" cried an old red-cloaked dame in the crowd; and
then, struck by some hidden impulse, she sprang forward, and catching
hold of young Amyas's sleeve--

"Kind sir! dear sir! For Christ his sake answer a poor old widow woman!"

"What is it, dame?" quoth Amyas, gently enough.

"Did you see my son to the Indies?--my son Salvation?"

"Salvation?" replied he, with the air of one who recollected the name.

"Yes, sure, Salvation Yeo, of Clovelly. A tall man and black, and
sweareth awfully in his talk, the Lord forgive him!"

Amyas recollected now. It was the name of the sailor who had given him
the wondrous horn five years ago.

"My good dame," said he, "the Indies are a very large place, and your
son may be safe and sound enough there, without my having seen him.
I knew one Salvation Yeo. But he must have come with--By the by,
godfather, has Mr. Oxenham come home?"

There was a dead silence for a moment among the gentlemen round; and
then Sir Richard said solemnly, and in a low voice, turning away from
the old dame,--

"Amyas, Mr. Oxenham has not come home; and from the day he sailed, no
word has been heard of him and all his crew."

"Oh, Sir Richard! and you kept me from sailing with him! Had I known
this before I went into church, I had had one mercy more to thank God

"Thank Him all the more in thy life, my child!" whispered his mother.

"And no news of him whatsoever?"

"None; but that the year after he sailed, a ship belonging to Andrew
Barker, of Bristol, took out of a Spanish caravel, somewhere off the
Honduras, his two brass guns; but whence they came the Spaniard knew
not, having bought them at Nombre de Dios."

"Yes!" cried the old woman; "they brought home the guns, and never
brought home my boy!"

"They never saw your boy, mother," said Sir Richard.

"But I've seen him! I saw him in a dream four years last Whitsuntide, as
plain as I see you now, gentles, a-lying upon a rock, calling for a drop
of water to cool his tongue, like Dives to the torment! Oh! dear me!"
and the old dame wept bitterly.

"There is a rose noble for you!" said Mrs. Leigh.

"And there another!" said Sir Richard. And in a few minutes four or five
gold coins were in her hand. But the old dame did but look wonderingly
at the gold a moment, and then--

"Ah! dear gentles, God's blessing on you, and Mr. Cary's mighty good to
me already; but gold won't buy back childer! O! young gentleman! young
gentleman! make me a promise; if you want God's blessing on you this
day, bring me back my boy, if you find him sailing on the seas! Bring
him back, and an old widow's blessing be on you!"

Amyas promised--what else could he do?--and the group hurried on; but
the lad's heart was heavy in the midst of joy, with the thought of John
Oxenham, as he walked through the churchyard, and down the short street
which led between the ancient school and still more ancient town-house,
to the head of the long bridge, across which the pageant, having
arranged "east-the-water," was to defile, and then turn to the right
along the quay.

However, he was bound in all courtesy to turn his attention now to the
show which had been prepared in his honor, and which was really well
enough worth seeing and hearing. The English were, in those days, an
altogether dramatic people; ready and able, as in Bideford that day, to
extemporize a pageant, a masque, or any effort of the Thespian art short
of the regular drama. For they were, in the first place, even down to
the very poorest, a well-fed people, with fewer luxuries than we, but
more abundant necessaries; and while beef, ale, and good woollen clothes
could be obtained in plenty, without overworking either body or soul,
men had time to amuse themselves in something more intellectual
than mere toping in pot-houses. Moreover, the half century after the
Reformation in England was one not merely of new intellectual freedom,
but of immense animal good spirits. After years of dumb confusion and
cruel persecution, a breathing time had come: Mary and the fires of
Smithfield had vanished together like a hideous dream, and the mighty
shout of joy which greeted Elizabeth's entry into London, was the
key-note of fifty glorious years; the expression of a new-found strength
and freedom, which vented itself at home in drama and in song; abroad
in mighty conquests, achieved with the laughing recklessness of boys at

So first, preceded by the waits, came along the bridge toward the
town-hall a device prepared by the good rector, who, standing by, acted
as showman, and explained anxiously to the bystanders the import of
a certain "allegory" wherein on a great banner was depicted Queen
Elizabeth herself, who, in ample ruff and farthingale, a Bible in one
hand and a sword in the other, stood triumphant upon the necks of two
sufficiently abject personages, whose triple tiara and imperial crown
proclaimed them the Pope and the King of Spain; while a label, issuing
from her royal mouth, informed the world that--

     "By land and sea a virgin queen I reign,
     And spurn to dust both Antichrist and Spain."

Which, having been received with due applause, a well-bedizened lad,
having in his cap as a posy "Loyalty," stepped forward, and delivered
himself of the following verses:--

     "Oh, great Eliza! oh, world-famous crew!
     Which shall I hail more blest, your queen or you?
     While without other either falls to wrack,
     And light must eyes, or eyes their light must lack.
     She without you, a diamond sunk in mine,
     Its worth unprized, to self alone must shine;
     You without her, like hands bereft of head,
     Like Ajax rage, by blindfold lust misled.
     She light, you eyes; she head, and you the hands,
     In fair proportion knit by heavenly hands;
     Servants in queen, and queen in servants blest;
     Your only glory, how to serve her best;
     And hers how best the adventurous might to guide,
     Which knows no check of foemen, wind, or tide,
     So fair Eliza's spotless fame may fly
     Triumphant round the globe, and shake th' astounded sky!"

With which sufficiently bad verses Loyalty passed on, while my Lady Bath
hinted to Sir Richard, not without reason, that the poet, in trying to
exalt both parties, had very sufficiently snubbed both, and intimated
that it was "hardly safe for country wits to attempt that euphuistic,
antithetical, and delicately conceited vein, whose proper fountain was
in Whitehall." However, on went Loyalty, very well pleased with himself,
and next, amid much cheering, two great tinsel fish, a salmon and a
trout, symbolical of the wealth of Torridge, waddled along, by means
of two human legs and a staff apiece, which protruded from the fishes'
stomachs. They drew (or seemed to draw, for half the 'prentices in the
town were shoving it behind, and cheering on the panting monarchs of
the flood) a car wherein sate, amid reeds and river-flags, three or
four pretty girls in robes of gray-blue spangled with gold, their heads
wreathed one with a crown of the sweet bog-myrtle, another with hops
and white convolvulus, the third with pale heather and golden fern. They
stopped opposite Amyas; and she of the myrtle wreath, rising and bowing
to him and the company, began with a pretty blush to say her say:--

     "Hither from my moorland home,
     Nymph of Torridge, proud I come;
     Leaving fen and furzy brake,
     Haunt of eft and spotted snake,
     Where to fill mine urns I use,
     Daily with Atlantic dews;
     While beside the reedy flood
     Wild duck leads her paddling brood.
     For this morn, as Phoebus gay
     Chased through heaven the night mist gray,
     Close beside me, prankt in pride,
     Sister Tamar rose, and cried,
     'Sluggard, up! 'Tis holiday,
     In the lowlands far away.
     Hark! how jocund Plymouth bells,
     Wandering up through mazy dells,
     Call me down, with smiles to hail,
     My daring Drake's returning sail.'
     'Thine alone?' I answer'd.  'Nay;
     Mine as well the joy to-day.
     Heroes train'd on Northern wave,
     To that Argo new I gave;
     Lent to thee, they roam'd the main;
     Give me, nymph, my sons again.'
     'Go, they wait Thee,' Tamar cried,
     Southward bounding from my side.
     Glad I rose, and at my call,
     Came my Naiads, one and all.
     Nursling of the mountain sky,
     Leaving Dian's choir on high,
     Down her cataracts laughing loud,
     Ockment leapt from crag and cloud,
     Leading many a nymph, who dwells
     Where wild deer drink in ferny dells;
     While the Oreads as they past
     Peep'd from Druid Tors aghast.
     By alder copses sliding slow,
     Knee-deep in flowers came gentler Yeo
     And paused awhile her locks to twine
     With musky hops and white woodbine,
     Then joined the silver-footed band,
     Which circled down my golden sand,
     By dappled park, and harbor shady,
     Haunt of love-lorn knight and lady,
     My thrice-renowned sons to greet,
     With rustic song and pageant meet.
     For joy! the girdled robe around
     Eliza's name henceforth shall sound,
     Whose venturous fleets to conquest start,
     Where ended once the seaman's chart,
     While circling Sol his steps shall count
     Henceforth from Thule's western mount,
     And lead new rulers round the seas
     From furthest Cassiterides.
     For found is now the golden tree,
     Solv'd th' Atlantic mystery,
     Pluck'd the dragon-guarded fruit;
     While around the charmed root,
     Wailing loud, the Hesperids
     Watch their warder's drooping lids.
     Low he lies with grisly wound,
     While the sorceress triple-crown'd
     In her scarlet robe doth shield him,
     Till her cunning spells have heal'd him.
     Ye, meanwhile, around the earth
     Bear the prize of manful worth.
     Yet a nobler meed than gold
     Waits for Albion's children bold;
     Great Eliza's virgin hand
     Welcomes you to Fairy-land,
     While your native Naiads bring
     Native wreaths as offering.
     Simple though their show may be,
     Britain's worship in them see.
     'Tis not price, nor outward fairness,
     Gives the victor's palm its rareness;
     Simplest tokens can impart
     Noble throb to noble heart:
     Graecia, prize thy parsley crown,
     Boast thy laurel, Caesar's town;
     Moorland myrtle still shall be
     Badge of Devon's Chivalry!"

And so ending, she took the wreath of fragrant gale from her own head,
and stooping from the car, placed it on the head of Amyas Leigh, who
made answer--

"There is no place like home, my fair mistress and no scent to my taste
like this old home-scent in all the spice-islands that I ever sailed

"Her song was not so bad," said Sir Richard to Lady Bath--"but how came
she to hear Plymouth bells at Tamar-head, full fifty miles away? That's
too much of a poet's license, is it not?"

"The river-nymphs, as daughters of Oceanus, and thus of immortal
parentage, are bound to possess organs of more than mortal keenness;
but, as you say, the song was not so bad--erudite, as well as
prettily conceived--and, saving for a certain rustical simplicity and
monosyllabic baldness, smacks rather of the forests of Castaly than
those of Torridge."

So spake my Lady Bath; whom Sir Richard wisely answered not; for she was
a terribly learned member of the college of critics, and disputed even
with Sidney's sister the chieftaincy of the Euphuists; so Sir Richard
answered not, but answer was made for him.

"Since the whole choir of Muses, madam, have migrated to the Court of
Whitehall, no wonder if some dews of Parnassus should fertilize at times
even our Devon moors."

The speaker was a tall and slim young man, some five-and-twenty years
old, of so rare and delicate a beauty, that it seemed that some Greek
statue, or rather one of those pensive and pious knights whom the old
German artists took delight to paint, had condescended to tread awhile
this work-day earth in living flesh and blood. The forehead was very
lofty and smooth, the eyebrows thin and greatly arched (the envious
gallants whispered that something at least of their curve was due to
art, as was also the exceeding smoothness of those delicate cheeks).
The face was somewhat long and thin; the nose aquiline; and the languid
mouth showed, perhaps, too much of the ivory upper teeth; but the
most striking point of the speaker's appearance was the extraordinary
brilliancy of his complexion, which shamed with its whiteness that of
all fair ladies round, save where open on each cheek a bright red spot
gave warning, as did the long thin neck and the taper hands, of sad
possibilities, perhaps not far off; possibilities which all saw with an
inward sigh, except she whose doting glances, as well as her resemblance
to the fair youth, proclaimed her at once his mother, Mrs. Leigh

Master Frank, for he it was, was dressed in the very extravagance of
the fashion,--not so much from vanity, as from that delicate instinct
of self-respect which would keep some men spruce and spotless from one
year's end to another upon a desert island; "for," as Frank used to say
in his sententious way, "Mr. Frank Leigh at least beholds me, though
none else be by; and why should I be more discourteous to him than
I permit others to be? Be sure that he who is a Grobian in his own
company, will, sooner or later, become a Grobian in that of his

So Mr. Frank was arrayed spotlessly; but after the latest fashion of
Milan, not in trunk hose and slashed sleeves, nor in "French standing
collar, treble quadruple daedalian ruff, or stiff-necked rabato, that
had more arches for pride, propped up with wire and timber, than five
London Bridges;" but in a close-fitting and perfectly plain suit of
dove-color, which set off cunningly the delicate proportions of his
figure, and the delicate hue of his complexion, which was shaded from
the sun by a broad dove-colored Spanish hat, with feather to match,
looped up over the right ear with a pearl brooch, and therein a crowned
E, supposed by the damsels of Bideford to stand for Elizabeth, which
was whispered to be the gift of some most illustrious hand. This same
looping up was not without good reason and purpose prepense; thereby all
the world had full view of a beautiful little ear, which looked as if
it had been cut of cameo, and made, as my Lady Rich once told him, "to
hearken only to the music of the spheres, or to the chants of cherubim."
Behind the said ear was stuck a fresh rose; and the golden hair was all
drawn smoothly back and round to the left temple, whence, tied with a
pink ribbon in a great true lover's knot, a mighty love-lock, "curled as
it had been laid in press," rolled down low upon his bosom. Oh, Frank!
Frank! have you come out on purpose to break the hearts of all Bideford
burghers' daughters? And if so, did you expect to further that triumph
by dyeing that pretty little pointed beard (with shame I report it) of
a bright vermilion? But we know you better, Frank, and so does your
mother; and you are but a masquerading angel after all, in spite of
your knots and your perfumes, and the gold chain round your neck which a
German princess gave you; and the emerald ring on your right fore-finger
which Hatton gave you; and the pair of perfumed gloves in your left
which Sidney's sister gave you; and the silver-hilted Toledo which an
Italian marquis gave you on a certain occasion of which you never choose
to talk, like a prudent and modest gentleman as you are; but of which
the gossips talk, of course, all the more, and whisper that you saved
his life from bravoes--a dozen, at the least; and had that sword for
your reward, and might have had his beautiful sister's hand beside, and
I know not what else; but that you had so many lady-loves already that
you were loath to burden yourself with a fresh one. That, at least, we
know to be a lie, fair Frank; for your heart is as pure this day as when
you knelt in your little crib at Burrough, and said--

     "Four corners to my bed
     Four angels round my head;
     Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John,
     Bless the bed that I lie on."

And who could doubt it (if being pure themselves, they have instinctive
sympathy with what is pure), who ever looked into those great deep blue
eyes of yours, "the black fringed curtains of whose azure lids,"
usually down-dropt as if in deepest thought, you raise slowly, almost
wonderingly each time you speak, as if awakening from some fair dream
whose home is rather in your platonical "eternal world of supra-sensible
forms," than on that work-day earth wherein you nevertheless acquit
yourself so well? There--I must stop describing you, or I shall catch
the infection of your own euphuism, and talk of you as you would have
talked of Sidney or of Spenser, or of that Swan of Avon, whose song
had just begun when yours--but I will not anticipate; my Lady Bath is
waiting to give you her rejoinder.

"Ah, my silver-tongued scholar! and are you, then, the poet? or have
you been drawing on the inexhaustible bank of your friend Raleigh, or my
cousin Sidney? or has our new Cygnet Immerito lent you a few unpublished
leaves from some fresh Shepherd's Calendar?"

"Had either, madam, of that cynosural triad been within call of my
most humble importunities, your ears had been delectate with far nobler

"But not our eyes with fairer faces, eh? Well, you have chosen your
nymphs, and had good store from whence to pick, I doubt not. Few
young Dulcineas round but must have been glad to take service under so
renowned a captain?"

"The only difficulty, gracious countess, has been to know where to fix
the wandering choice of my bewildered eyes, where all alike are fair,
and all alike facund."

"We understand," said she, smiling;--

     "Dan Cupid, choosing 'midst his mother's graces,
     Himself more fair, made scorn of fairest faces."

The young scholar capped her distich forthwith, and bowing to her with a
meaning look,

"'Then, Goddess, turn,' he cried, 'and veil thy light; Blinded by thine,
what eyes can choose aright?'"

"Go, saucy sir," said my lady, in high glee: "the pageant stays your
supreme pleasure."

And away went Mr. Frank as master of the revels, to bring up the
'prentices' pageant; while, for his sake, the nymph of Torridge was
forgotten for awhile by all young dames, and most young gentlemen: and
his mother heaved a deep sigh, which Lady Bath overhearing--

"What? in the dumps, good madam, while all are rejoicing in your joy?
Are you afraid that we court-dames shall turn your Adonis's brain for

"I do, indeed, fear lest your condescension should make him forget that
he is only a poor squire's orphan."

"I will warrant him never to forget aught that he should recollect,"
said my Lady Bath.

And she spoke truly. But soon Frank's silver voice was heard calling

"Room there, good people, for the gallant 'prentice lads!"

And on they came, headed by a giant of buckram and pasteboard armor,
forth of whose stomach looked, like a clock-face in a steeple, a human
visage, to be greeted, as was the fashion then, by a volley of quips and
puns from high and low.

Young Mr. William Cary, of Clovelly, who was the wit of those parts,
opened the fire by asking him whether he were Goliath, Gogmagog, or
Grantorto in the romance; for giants' names always began with a G. To
which the giant's stomach answered pretty surlily--

"Mine don't; I begin with an O."

"Then thou criest out before thou art hurt, O cowardly giant!"

"Let me out, lads," quoth the irascible visage, struggling in his
buckram prison, "and I soon show him whether I be a coward."

"Nay, if thou gettest out of thyself, thou wouldst be beside thyself,
and so wert but a mad giant."

"And that were pity," said Lady Bath; "for by the romances, giants have
never overmuch wit to spare."

"Mercy, dear lady!" said Frank, "and let the giant begin with an O."

"A ----"

"A false start, giant! you were to begin with an O."

"I'll make you end with an O, Mr. William Cary!" roared the testy tower
of buckram.

"And so I do, for I end with 'Fico!'"

"Be mollified, sweet giant," said Frank, "and spare the rash youth of
yon foolish knight. Shall elephants catch flies, or Hurlo-Thrumbo stain
his club with brains of Dagonet the jester? Be mollified; leave thy
caverned grumblings, like Etna when its windy wrath is past, and
discourse eloquence from thy central omphalos, like Pythoness

"If you do begin laughing at me too, Mr. Leigh ----" said the giant's
clock-face, in a piteous tone.

"I laugh not. Art thou not Ordulf the earl, and I thy humblest squire?
Speak up, my lord; your cousin, my Lady Bath, commands you."

And at last the giant began:--

     "A giant I, Earl Ordulf men me call,--
     'Gainst Paynim foes Devonia's champion tall;
     In single fight six thousand Turks I slew;
     Pull'd off a lion's head, and ate it too:
     With one shrewd blow, to let St. Edward in,
     I smote the gates of Exeter in twain;
     Till aged grown, by angels warn'd in dream,
     I built an abbey fair by Tavy stream.
     But treacherous time hath tripped my glories up,
     The stanch old hound must yield to stancher pup;
     Here's one so tall as I, and twice so bold,
     Where I took only cuffs, takes good red gold.
     From pole to pole resound his wondrous works,
     Who slew more Spaniards than I e'er slew Turks;
     I strode across the Tavy stream: but he
     Strode round the world and back; and here 'a be!"

"Oh, bathos!" said Lady Bath, while the 'prentices shouted applause. "Is
this hedge-bantling to be fathered on you, Mr. Frank?"

"It is necessary, by all laws of the drama, madam," said Frank, with a
sly smile, "that the speech and the speaker shall fit each other. Pass
on, Earl Ordulf; a more learned worthy waits."

Whereon, up came a fresh member of the procession; namely, no less
a person than Vindex Brimblecombe, the ancient schoolmaster, with
five-and-forty boys at his heels, who halting, pulled out his
spectacles, and thus signified his forgiveness of his whilom broken

"That the world should have been circumnavigated, ladies and gentles,
were matter enough of jubilation to the student of Herodotus and Plato,
Plinius and ---- ahem! much more when the circumnavigators are Britons;
more, again, when Damnonians."

"Don't swear, master," said young Will Cary.

"Gulielme Cary, Gulielme Cary, hast thou forgotten thy--"

"Whippings? Never, old lad! Go on; but let not the license of the
scholar overtop the modesty of the Christian."

"More again, as I said, when, incolae, inhabitants of Devon; but,
most of all, men of Bideford school. Oh renowned school! Oh schoolboys
ennobled by fellowship with him! Oh most happy pedagogue, to whom it has
befallen to have chastised a circumnavigator, and, like another Chiron,
trained another Hercules: yet more than Hercules, for he placed
his pillars on the ocean shore, and then returned; but my scholar's

"Hark how the old fox is praising himself all along on the sly," said

"Mr. William, Mr. William, peace;--silentium, my graceless pupil. Urge
the foaming steed, and strike terror into the rapid stag, but meddle not
with matters too high for thee."

"He has given you the dor now, sir," said Lady Bath; "let the old man
say his say."

"I bring, therefore, as my small contribution to this day's feast; first
a Latin epigram, as thus--"

"Latin? Let us hear it forthwith," cried my lady.

And the old pedant mouthed out--

     "Torriguiam Tamaris ne spernat; Leighius addet
     Mox terras terris, inclyte Drake, tuis."

"Neat, i' faith, la!" Whereon all the rest, as in duty bound, approved

"This for the erudite: for vulgar ears the vernacular is more consonant,
sympathetic, instructive; as thus:--

     "Famed Argo ship, that noble chip, by doughty Jason's steering,
     Brought back to Greece the golden fleece, from Colchis home
     But now her fame is put to shame, while new Devonian Argo,
     Round earth doth run in wake of sun, and brings wealthier cargo."

"Runs with a right fa-lal-la," observed Cary; "and would go nobly to a
fiddle and a big drum."

     "Ye Spaniards, quake! our doughty Drake a royal swan is tested,
     On wing and oar, from shore to shore, the raging main who
     But never needs to chant his deeds, like swan that lies a-dying,
     So far his name, by trump of fame, around the sphere is flying."

"Hillo ho! schoolmaster!" shouted a voice from behind; "move on, and
make way for Father Neptune!" Whereon a whole storm of raillery fell
upon the hapless pedagogue.

"We waited for the parson's alligator, but we wain't for yourn."

"Allegory! my children, allegory!" shrieked the man of letters.

"What do ye call he an alligator for? He is but a poor little starved

"Out of the road, old Custis! March on, Don Palmado!"

These allusions to the usual instrument of torture in West-country
schools made the old gentleman wince; especially when they were followed
home by--

"Who stole Admiral Grenville's brooms, because birch rods were dear?"

But proudly he shook his bald head, as a bull shakes off the flies, and
returned to the charge once more.

"Great Alexander, famed commander, wept and made a pother, At conquering
only half the world, but Drake had conquer'd t'other; And Hercules to
brink of seas!--"


And clapping both hands to the back of his neck, the schoolmaster began
dancing frantically about, while his boys broke out tittering, "O! the
ochidore! look to the blue ochidore! Who've put ochidore to maister's

It was too true: neatly inserted, as he stooped forward, between his
neck and his collar, was a large live shore-crab, holding on tight with
both hands.

"Gentles! good Christians! save me! I am mare-rode! Incubo, vel ab
incubo, opprimor! Satanas has me by the poll! Help! he tears my jugular;
he wrings my neck, as he does to Dr. Faustus in the play. Confiteor!--I
confess! Satan, I defy thee! Good people, I confess! [Greek text]! The
truth will out. Mr. Francis Leigh wrote the epigram!" And diving through
the crowd, the pedagogue vanished howling, while Father Neptune, crowned
with sea-weeds, a trident in one hand, and a live dog-fish in the other,
swaggered up the street surrounded by a tall bodyguard of mariners, and
followed by a great banner, on which was depicted a globe, with Drake's
ship sailing thereon upside down, and overwritten--

     "See every man the Pelican,
        Which round the world did go,
     While her stern-post was uppermost,
        And topmasts down below.
     And by the way she lost a day,
        Out of her log was stole:
     But Neptune kind, with favoring wind,
        Hath brought her safe and whole."

"Now, lads!" cried Neptune; "hand me my parable that's writ for me, and
here goeth!"

And at the top of his bull-voice, he began roaring--

     "I am King Neptune bold,
       The ruler of the seas
     I don't understand much singing upon land,
       But I hope what I say will please.

     "Here be five Bideford men,
       Which have sail'd the world around,
     And I watch'd them well, as they all can tell,
       And brought them home safe and sound.

     "For it is the men of Devon.
       To see them I take delight,
     Both to tack and to hull, and to heave and to pull,
       And to prove themselves in fight.

     "Where be those Spaniards proud,
       That make their valiant boasts;
     And think for to keep the poor Indians for their sheep,
       And to farm my golden coasts?

     "'Twas the devil and the Pope gave them
       My kingdom for their own:
     But my nephew Francis Drake, he caused them to quake,
       And he pick'd them to the bone.

     "For the sea my realm it is,
       As good Queen Bess's is the land;
     So freely come again, all merry Devon men,
       And there's old Neptune's hand."

"Holla, boys! holla! Blow up, Triton, and bring forward the freedom of
the seas."

Triton, roaring through a conch, brought forward a cockle-shell full of
salt-water, and delivered it solemnly to Amyas, who, of course, put a
noble into it, and returned it after Grenville had done the same.

"Holla, Dick Admiral!" cried neptune, who was pretty far gone in liquor;
"we knew thou hadst a right English heart in thee, for all thou standest
there as taut as a Don who has swallowed his rapier."

"Grammercy, stop thy bellowing, fellow, and on; for thou smellest vilely
of fish."

"Everything smells sweet in its right place. I'm going home."

"I thought thou wert there all along, being already half-seas over,"
said Cary.

"Ay, right Upsee-Dutch; and that's more than thou ever wilt be, thou
'long-shore stay-at-home. Why wast making sheep's eyes at Mistress
Salterne here, while my pretty little chuck of Burrough there was
playing at shove-groat with Spanish doubloons?"

"Go to the devil, sirrah!" said Cary. Neptune had touched on a sore
subject; and more cheeks than Amyas Leigh's reddened at the hint.

"Amen, if Heaven so please!" and on rolled the monarch of the seas; and
so the pageant ended.

The moment Amyas had an opportunity, he asked his brother Frank,
somewhat peevishly, where Rose Salterne was.

"What! the mayor's daughter? With her uncle by Kilkhampton, I believe."

Now cunning Master Frank, whose daily wish was to "seek peace and ensue
it," told Amyas this, because he must needs speak the truth: but he was
purposed at the same time to speak as little truth as he could, for fear
of accidents; and, therefore, omitted to tell his brother how that he,
two days before, had entreated Rose Salterne herself to appear as the
nymph of Torridge; which honor she, who had no objection either to
exhibit her pretty face, to recite pretty poetry, or to be trained
thereto by the cynosure of North Devon, would have assented willingly,
but that her father stopped the pretty project by a peremptory
countermove, and packed her off, in spite of her tears, to the said
uncle on the Atlantic cliffs; after which he went up to Burrough, and
laughed over the whole matter with Mrs. Leigh.

"I am but a burgher, Mrs. Leigh, and you a lady of blood; but I am too
proud to let any man say that Simon Salterne threw his daughter at your
son's head;--no; not if you were an empress!"

"And to speak truth, Mr. Salterne, there are young gallants enough in
the country quarrelling about her pretty face every day, without making
her a tourney-queen to tilt about."

Which was very true; for during the three years of Amyas's absence, Rose
Salterne had grown into so beautiful a girl of eighteen, that half North
Devon was mad about the "Rose of Torridge," as she was called; and
there was not a young gallant for ten miles round (not to speak of her
father's clerks and 'prentices, who moped about after her like so many
Malvolios, and treasured up the very parings of her nails) who would
not have gone to Jerusalem to win her. So that all along the vales of
Torridge and of Taw, and even away to Clovelly (for young Mr. Cary was
one of the sick), not a gay bachelor but was frowning on his fellows,
and vying with them in the fashion of his clothes, the set of his ruffs,
the harness of his horse, the carriage of his hawks, the pattern of his
sword-hilt; and those were golden days for all tailors and armorers,
from Exmoor to Okehampton town. But of all those foolish young lads
not one would speak to the other, either out hunting, or at the archery
butts, or in the tilt-yard; and my Lady Bath (who confessed that there
was no use in bringing out her daughters where Rose Salterne was in the
way) prophesied in her classical fashion that Rose's wedding bid fair
to be a very bridal of Atalanta, and feast of the Lapithae; and poor
Mr. Will Cary (who always blurted out the truth), when old Salterne once
asked him angrily in Bideford Market, "What a plague business had he
making sheep's eyes at his daughter?" broke out before all bystanders,
"And what a plague business had you, old boy, to throw such an apple of
discord into our merry meetings hereabouts? If you choose to have such
a daughter, you must take the consequences, and be hanged to you." To
which Mr. Salterne answered with some truth, "That she was none of his
choosing, nor of Mr. Cary's neither." And so the dor being given, the
belligerents parted laughing, but the war remained in statu quo; and
not a week passed but, by mysterious hands, some nosegay, or languishing
sonnet, was conveyed into The Rose's chamber, all which she stowed away,
with the simplicity of a country girl, finding it mighty pleasant; and
took all compliments quietly enough, probably because, on the authority
of her mirror, she considered them no more than her due.

And now, to add to the general confusion, home was come young Amyas
Leigh, more desperately in love with her than ever. For, as is the
way with sailors (who after all are the truest lovers, as they are the
finest fellows, God bless them, upon earth), his lonely ship-watches
had been spent in imprinting on his imagination, month after month, year
after year, every feature and gesture and tone of the fair lass whom he
had left behind him; and that all the more intensely, because, beside
his mother, he had no one else to think of, and was as pure as the day
he was born, having been trained as many a brave young man was then,
to look upon profligacy not as a proof of manhood, but as what the old
Germans, and those Gortyneans who crowned the offender with wool, knew
it to be, a cowardly and effeminate sin.



     "I know that Deformed; he has been a vile thief this seven years;
     he goes up and down like a gentleman: I remember his name."--Much
     Ado About Nothing.

Amyas slept that night a tired and yet a troubled sleep; and his mother
and Frank, as they bent over his pillow, could see that his brain was
busy with many dreams.

And no wonder; for over and above all the excitement of the day, the
recollection of John Oxenham had taken strange possession of his mind;
and all that evening, as he sat in the bay-windowed room where he had
seen him last, Amyas was recalling to himself every look and gesture
of the lost adventurer, and wondering at himself for so doing, till
he retired to sleep, only to renew the fancy in his dreams. At last he
found himself, he knew not how, sailing westward ever, up the wake of
the setting sun, in chase of a tiny sail which was John Oxenham's.
Upon him was a painful sense that, unless he came up with her in time,
something fearful would come to pass; but the ship would not sail. All
around floated the sargasso beds, clogging her bows with their long
snaky coils of weed; and still he tried to sail, and tried to fancy that
he was sailing, till the sun went down and all was utter dark. And then
the moon arose, and in a moment John Oxenham's ship was close aboard;
her sails were torn and fluttering; the pitch was streaming from her
sides; her bulwarks were rotting to decay. And what was that line of
dark objects dangling along the mainyard?--A line of hanged men! And,
horror of horrors, from the yard-arm close above him, John Oxenham's
corpse looked down with grave-light eyes, and beckoned and pointed, as
if to show him his way, and strove to speak, and could not, and pointed
still, not forward, but back along their course. And when Amyas looked
back, behold, behind him was the snow range of the Andes glittering in
the moon, and he knew that he was in the South Seas once more, and that
all America was between him and home. And still the corpse kept pointing
back, and back, and looking at him with yearning eyes of agony, and lips
which longed to tell some awful secret; till he sprang up, and woke with
a shout of terror, and found himself lying in the little coved chamber
in dear old Burrough, with the gray autumn morning already stealing in.

Feverish and excited, he tried in vain to sleep again; and after an
hour's tossing, rose and dressed, and started for a bathe on his beloved
old pebble ridge. As he passed his mother's door, he could not help
looking in. The dim light of morning showed him the bed; but its
pillow had not been pressed that night. His mother, in her long white
night-dress, was kneeling at the other end of the chamber at her
prie-dieu, absorbed in devotion. Gently he slipped in without a word,
and knelt down at her side. She turned, smiled, passed her arm around
him, and went on silently with her prayers. Why not? They were for him,
and he knew it, and prayed also; and his prayers were for her, and for
poor lost John Oxenham, and all his vanished crew.

At last she rose, and standing above him, parted the yellow locks from
off his brow, and looked long and lovingly into his face. There was
nothing to be spoken, for there was nothing to be concealed between
these two souls as clear as glass. Each knew all which the other meant;
each knew that its own thoughts were known. At last the mutual gaze was
over; she stooped and kissed him on the brow, and was in the act to
turn away, as a tear dropped on his forehead. Her little bare feet were
peeping out from under her dress. He bent down and kissed them again and
again; and then looking up, as if to excuse himself,--

"You have such pretty feet, mother!"

Instantly, with a woman's instinct, she had hidden them. She had been a
beauty once, as I said; and though her hair was gray, and her roses had
faded long ago, she was beautiful still, in all eyes which saw deeper
than the mere outward red and white.

"Your dear father used to say so thirty years ago."

"And I say so still: you always were beautiful; you are beautiful now."

"What is that to you, silly boy? Will you play the lover with an old
mother? Go and take your walk, and think of younger ladies, if you can
find any worthy of you."

And so the son went forth, and the mother returned to her prayers.

He walked down to the pebble ridge, where the surges of the bay have
defeated their own fury, by rolling up in the course of ages a rampart
of gray boulder-stones, some two miles long, as cunningly curved, and
smoothed, and fitted, as if the work had been done by human hands, which
protects from the high tides of spring and autumn a fertile sheet of
smooth, alluvial turf. Sniffing the keen salt air like a young sea-dog,
he stripped and plunged into the breakers, and dived, and rolled, and
tossed about the foam with stalwart arms, till he heard himself hailed
from off the shore, and looking up, saw standing on the top of the
rampart the tall figure of his cousin Eustace.

Amyas was half-disappointed at his coming; for, love-lorn rascal, he had
been dreaming all the way thither of Rose Salterne, and had no wish
for a companion who would prevent his dreaming of her all the way back.
Nevertheless, not having seen Eustace for three years, it was but civil
to scramble out and dress, while his cousin walked up and down upon the
turf inside.

Eustace Leigh was the son of a younger brother of Leigh of Burrough, who
had more or less cut himself off from his family, and indeed from his
countrymen, by remaining a Papist. True, though born a Papist, he had
not always been one; for, like many of the gentry, he had become a
Protestant under Edward the Sixth, and then a Papist again under Mary.
But, to his honor be it said, at that point he had stopped, having
too much honesty to turn Protestant a second time, as hundreds did, at
Elizabeth's accession. So a Papist he remained, living out of the way
of the world in a great, rambling, dark house, still called "Chapel,"
on the Atlantic cliffs, in Moorwinstow parish, not far from Sir Richard
Grenville's house of Stow. The penal laws never troubled him; for, in
the first place, they never troubled any one who did not make conspiracy
and rebellion an integral doctrine of his religious creed; and next,
they seldom troubled even them, unless, fired with the glory of
martyrdom, they bullied the long-suffering of Elizabeth and her council
into giving them their deserts, and, like poor Father Southwell in
after years, insisted on being hanged, whether Burleigh liked or not.
Moreover, in such a no-man's-land and end-of-all-the-earth was that old
house at Moorwinstow, that a dozen conspiracies might have been hatched
there without any one hearing of it; and Jesuits and seminary priests
skulked in and out all the year round, unquestioned though unblest; and
found a sort of piquant pleasure, like naughty boys who have crept
into the store-closet, in living in mysterious little dens in a lonely
turret, and going up through a trap-door to celebrate mass in a secret
chamber in the roof, where they were allowed by the powers that were to
play as much as they chose at persecuted saints, and preach about hiding
in dens and caves of the earth. For once, when the zealous parson
of Moorwinstow, having discovered (what everybody knew already) the
existence of "mass priests and their idolatry" at Chapel House, made
formal complaint thereof to Sir Richard, and called on him, as the
nearest justice of the peace, to put in force the act of the fourteenth
of Elizabeth, that worthy knight only rated him soundly for a
fantastical Puritan, and bade him mind his own business, if he wished
not to make the place too hot for him; whereon (for the temporal
authorities, happily for the peace of England, kept in those days
a somewhat tight hand upon the spiritual ones) the worthy parson
subsided,--for, after all, Mr. Thomas Leigh paid his tithes regularly
enough,--and was content, as he expressed it, to bow his head in the
house of Rimmon like Naaman of old, by eating Mr. Leigh's dinners
as often as he was invited, and ignoring the vocation of old Father
Francis, who sat opposite to him, dressed as a layman, and calling
himself the young gentleman's pedagogue.

But the said birds of ill-omen had a very considerable lien on the
conscience of poor Mr. Thomas Leigh, the father of Eustace, in the form
of certain lands once belonging to the Abbey of Hartland. He more than
half believed that he should be lost for holding those lands; but he did
not believe it wholly, and, therefore, he did not give them up; which
was the case, as poor Mary Tudor found to her sorrow, with most of her
"Catholic" subjects, whose consciences, while they compelled them to
return to the only safe fold of Mother Church (extra quam nulla salus),
by no means compelled them to disgorge the wealth of which they had
plundered that only hope of their salvation. Most of them, however, like
poor Tom Leigh, felt the abbey rents burn in their purses; and, as John
Bull generally does in a difficulty, compromised the matter by a second
folly (as if two wrong things made one right one), and petted foreign
priests, and listened, or pretended not to listen, to their plottings
and their practisings; and gave up a son here, and a son there, as a
sort of a sin-offering and scapegoat, to be carried off to Douay, or
Rheims, or Rome, and trained as a seminary priest; in plain English, to
be taught the science of villainy, on the motive of superstition. One of
such hapless scapegoats, and children who had been cast into the fire to
Moloch, was Eustace Leigh, whom his father had sent, giving the fruit of
his body for the sin of his soul, to be made a liar of at Rheims.

And a very fair liar he had become. Not that the lad was a bad fellow at
heart; but he had been chosen by the harpies at home, on account of his
"peculiar vocation;" in plain English, because the wily priests had seen
in him certain capacities of vague hysterical fear of the unseen (the
religious sentiment, we call it now-a-days), and with them that tendency
to be a rogue, which superstitious men always have. He was now a tall,
handsome, light-complexioned man, with a huge upright forehead, a very
small mouth, and a dry and set expression of face, which was always
trying to get free, or rather to seem free, and indulge in smiles and
dimples which were proper; for one ought to have Christian love, and
if one had love one ought to be cheerful, and when people were cheerful
they smiled; and therefore he would smile, and tried to do so; but his
charity prepense looked no more alluring than malice prepense would have
done; and, had he not been really a handsome fellow, many a woman who
raved about his sweetness would have likened his frankness to that of a
skeleton dancing in fetters, and his smiles to the grins thereof.

He had returned to England about a month before, in obedience to the
proclamation which had been set forth for that purpose (and certainly
not before it was needed), that, "whosoever had children, wards,
etc., in the parts beyond the seas, should send in their names to the
ordinary, and within four months call them home again." So Eustace was
now staying with his father at Chapel, having, nevertheless, his private
matters to transact on behalf of the virtuous society by whom he
had been brought up; one of which private matters had brought him to
Bideford the night before.

So he sat down beside Amyas on the pebbles, and looked at him all over
out of the corners of his eyes very gently, as if he did not wish to
hurt him, or even the flies on his back; and Amyas faced right round,
and looked him full in the face with the heartiest of smiles, and held
out a lion's paw, which Eustace took rapturously, and a great shaking of
hands ensued; Amyas gripping with a great round fist, and a quiet quiver
thereof, as much as to say, "I AM glad to see you;" and Eustace pinching
hard with white, straight fingers, and sawing the air violently up and
down, as much as to say, "DON'T YOU SEE how glad I am to see you?" A
very different greeting from the former.

"Hold hard, old lad," said Amyas, "before you break my elbow. And where
do you come from?"

"From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in
it," said he, with a little smile and nod of mysterious self-importance.

"Like the devil, eh? Well, every man has his pattern. How is my uncle?"

Now, if there was one man on earth above another, of whom Eustace Leigh
stood in dread, it was his cousin Amyas. In the first place, he knew
Amyas could have killed him with a blow; and there are natures, who,
instead of rejoicing in the strength of men of greater prowess than
themselves, look at such with irritation, dread, at last, spite;
expecting, perhaps, that the stronger will do to them what they feel
they might have done in his place. Every one, perhaps, has the same
envious, cowardly devil haunting about his heart; but the brave men,
though they be very sparrows, kick him out; the cowards keep him, and
foster him; and so did poor Eustace Leigh.

Next, he could not help feeling that Amyas despised him. They had not
met for three years; but before Amyas went, Eustace never could argue
with him, simply because Amyas treated him as beneath argument. No doubt
he was often rude and unfair enough; but the whole mass of questions
concerning the unseen world, which the priests had stimulated in his
cousin's mind into an unhealthy fungus crop, were to Amyas simply, as he
expressed it, "wind and moonshine;" and he treated his cousin as a
sort of harmless lunatic, and, as they say in Devon, "half-baked." And
Eustace knew it; and knew, too, that his cousin did him an injustice.
"He used to undervalue me," said he to himself; "let us see whether he
does not find me a match for him now." And then went off into an agony
of secret contrition for his self-seeking and his forgetting that
"the glory of God, and not his own exaltation," was the object of his

There, dear readers, Ex pede Herculem; I cannot tire myself or you
(especially in this book) with any wire-drawn soul-dissections. I have
tried to hint to you two opposite sorts of men,--the one trying to be
good with all his might and main, according to certain approved methods
and rules, which he has got by heart, and like a weak oarsman, feeling
and fingering his spiritual muscles over all day, to see if they are
growing; the other not even knowing whether he is good or not, but just
doing the right thing without thinking about it, as simply as a little
child, because the Spirit of God is with him. If you cannot see the
great gulf fixed between the two, I trust that you will discover it some

But in justice be it said, all this came upon Eustace, not because he
was a Romanist, but because he was educated by the Jesuits. Had he been
saved from them, he might have lived and died as simple and honest a
gentleman as his brothers, who turned out like true Englishmen (as did
all the Romish laity) to face the great Armada, and one of whom was
fighting at that very minute under St. Leger in Ireland, and as brave
and loyal a soldier as those Roman Catholics whose noble blood has
stained every Crimean battlefield; but his fate was appointed otherwise;
and the Upas-shadow which has blighted the whole Romish Church, blighted
him also.

"Ah, my dearest cousin!" said Eustace, "how disappointed I was this
morning at finding I had arrived just a day too late to witness your
triumph! But I hastened to your home as soon as I could, and learning
from your mother that I should find you here, hurried down to bid you
welcome again to Devon."

"Well, old lad, it does look very natural to see you. I often used to
think of you walking the deck o' nights. Uncle and the girls are all
right, then? But is the old pony dead yet? And how's Dick the smith, and
Nancy? Grown a fine maid by now, I warrant. 'Slid, it seems half a life
that I've been away.

"And you really thought of your poor cousin? Be sure that he, too,
thought of you, and offered up nightly his weak prayers for your safety
(doubtless, not without avail) to those saints, to whom would that

"Halt there, coz. If they are half as good fellows as you and I take
them for, they'll help me without asking."

"They have helped you, Amyas."

"Maybe; I'd have done as much, I'm sure, for them, if I 'd been in their

"And do you not feel, then, that you owe a debt of gratitude to them;
and, above all, to her, whose intercessions have, I doubt not, availed
for your preservation? Her, the star of the sea, the all-compassionate
guide of the mariner?"

"Humph!" said Amyas. "Here's Frank; let him answer."

And, as he spoke, up came Frank, and after due greetings, sat down
beside them on the ridge.

"I say, brother, here's Eustace trying already to convert me; and
telling me that I owe all my luck to the Blessed Virgin's prayers for

"It may be so," said Frank; "at least you owe it to the prayers of that
most pure and peerless virgin by whose commands you sailed; the sweet
incense of whose orisons has gone up for you daily, and for whose sake
you were preserved from flood and foe, that you might spread the fame
and advance the power of the spotless championess of truth, and right,
and freedom,--Elizabeth, your queen."

Amyas answered this rhapsody, which would have been then both
fashionable and sincere, by a loyal chuckle. Eustace smiled meekly, but
answered somewhat venomously nevertheless--

"I, at least, am certain that I speak the truth, when I call my
patroness a virgin undefiled."

Both the brothers' brows clouded at once. Amyas, as he lay on his back
on the pebbles, said quietly to the gulls over his head--"I wonder what
the Frenchman whose head I cut off at the Azores, thinks by now about
all that."

"Cut off a Frenchman's head?" said Frank.

"Yes, faith; and so fleshed my maiden sword. I'll tell you. It was
in some tavern; I and George Drake had gone in, and there sat this
Frenchman, with his sword on the table, ready for a quarrel (I found
afterwards he was a noted bully), and begins with us loudly enough about
this and that; but, after awhile, by the instigation of the devil, what
does he vent but a dozen slanders against her majesty's honor, one atop
of the other? I was ashamed to hear them, and I should be more ashamed
to repeat them."

"I have heard enough of such," said Frank. "They come mostly through
lewd rascals about the French ambassador, who have been bred (God help
them) among the filthy vices of that Medicean Court in which the Queen
of Scots had her schooling; and can only perceive in a virtuous freedom
a cloak for licentiousness like their own. Let the curs bark; Honi soit
qui mal y pense is our motto, and shall be forever."

"But I didn't let the cur bark; for I took him by the ears, to show him
out into the street. Whereon he got to his sword, and I to mine; and a
very near chance I had of never bathing on the pebble ridge more; for
the fellow did not fight with edge and buckler, like a Christian, but
had some newfangled French devil's device of scryming and foining with
his point, ha'ing and stamping, and tracing at me, that I expected to be
full of eyelet holes ere I could close with him."

"Thank God that you are safe, then!" said Frank. "I know that play well
enough, and dangerous enough it is."

"Of course you know it; but I didn't, more's the pity."

"Well, I'll teach it thee, lad, as well as Rowland Yorke himself,

     'Thy fincture, carricade, and sly passata,
     Thy stramazon, and resolute stoccata,
     Wiping maudritta, closing embrocata,
     And all the cant of the honorable fencing mystery.'"

"Rowland Yorke? Who's he, then?"

"A very roystering rascal, who is making good profit in London just now
by teaching this very art of fence; and is as likely to have his mortal
thread clipt in a tavern brawl, as thy Frenchman. But how did you escape
his pinking iron?"

"How? Had it through my left arm before I could look round; and at that
I got mad, and leapt upon him, and caught him by the wrist, and then had
a fair side-blow; and, as fortune would have it, off tumbled his head on
to the table, and there was an end of his slanders."

"So perish all her enemies!" said Frank; and Eustace, who had been
trying not to listen, rose and said--

"I trust that you do not number me among them?"

"As you speak, I do, coz," said Frank. "But for your own sake, let
me advise you to put faith in the true report of those who have daily
experience of their mistress's excellent virtue, as they have of the
sun's shining, and of the earth's bringing forth fruit, and not in the
tattle of a few cowardly back-stair rogues, who wish to curry favor with
the Guises. Come, we will say no more. Walk round with us by Appledore,
and then home to breakfast."

But Eustace declined, having immediate business, he said, in Northam
town, and then in Bideford; and so left them to lounge for another
half-hour on the beach, and then walk across the smooth sheet of turf to
the little white fishing village, which stands some two miles above the
bar, at the meeting of the Torridge and the Taw.

Now it came to pass, that Eustace Leigh, as we have seen, told his
cousins that he was going to Northam: but he did not tell them that
his point was really the same as their own, namely, Appledore; and,
therefore, after having satisfied his conscience by going as far as the
very nearest house in Northam village, he struck away sharp to the left
across the fields, repeating I know not what to the Blessed Virgin all
the way; whereby he went several miles out of his road; and also, as
is the wont of crooked spirits, Jesuits especially (as three centuries
sufficiently testify), only outwitted himself. For his cousins going
merrily, like honest men, along the straight road across the turf,
arrived in Appledore, opposite the little "Mariner's Rest" Inn, just in
time to see what Eustace had taken so much trouble to hide from them,
namely, four of Mr. Thomas Leigh's horses standing at the door, held by
his groom, saddles and mail-bags on back, and mounting three of them,
Eustace Leigh and two strange gentlemen.

"There's one lie already this morning," growled Amyas; "he told us he
was going to Northam."

"And we do not know that he has not been there," blandly suggested

"Why, you are as bad a Jesuit as he, to help him out with such a fetch."

"He may have changed his mind."

"Bless your pure imagination, my sweet boy," said Amyas, laying his
great hand on Frank's head, and mimicking his mother's manner. "I
say, dear Frank, let's step into this shop and buy a penny-worth of

"What do you want with whipcord, man?"

"To spin my top, to be sure."

"Top? how long hast had a top?"

"I'll buy one, then, and save my conscience; but the upshot of this
sport I must see. Why may not I have an excuse ready made as well as
Master Eustace?"

So saying, he pulled Frank into the little shop, unobserved by the party
at the inn-door.

"What strange cattle has he been importing now? Look at that
three-legged fellow, trying to get aloft on the wrong side. How he claws
at his horse's ribs, like a cat scratching an elder stem!"

The three-legged man was a tall, meek-looking person, who had bedizened
himself with gorgeous garments, a great feather, and a sword so long
and broad, that it differed little in size from the very thin and stiff
shanks between which it wandered uncomfortably.

"Young David in Saul's weapons," said Frank. "He had better not go in
them, for he certainly has not proved them."

"Look, if his third leg is not turned into a tail! Why does not some one
in charity haul in half-a-yard of his belt for him?"

It was too true; the sword, after being kicked out three or four times
from its uncomfortable post between his legs, had returned unconquered;
and the hilt getting a little too far back by reason of the too great
length of the belt, the weapon took up its post triumphantly behind,
standing out point in air, a tail confest, amid the tittering of the
ostlers, and the cheers of the sailors.

At last the poor man, by dint of a chair, was mounted safely, while his
fellow-stranger, a burly, coarse-looking man, equally gay, and rather
more handy, made so fierce a rush at his saddle, that, like "vaulting
ambition who o'erleaps his selle," he "fell on t'other side:" or would
have fallen, had he not been brought up short by the shoulders of the
ostler at his off-stirrup. In which shock off came hat and feather.

"Pardie, the bulldog-faced one is a fighting man. Dost see, Frank? he
has had his head broken."

"That scar came not, my son, but by a pair of most Catholic and
apostolic scissors. My gentle buzzard, that is a priest's tonsure."

"Hang the dog! O, that the sailors may but see it, and put him over the
quay head. I've a half mind to go and do it myself."

"My dear Amyas," said Frank, laying two fingers on his arm, "these
men, whosoever they are, are the guests of our uncle, and therefore
the guests of our family. Ham gained little by publishing Noah's shame;
neither shall we, by publishing our uncle's."

"Murrain on you, old Franky, you never let a man speak his mind, and
shame the devil."

"I have lived long enough in courts, old Amyas, without a murrain on
you, to have found out, first, that it is not so easy to shame the
devil; and secondly, that it is better to outwit him; and the only way
to do that, sweet chuck, is very often not to speak your mind at all.
We will go down and visit them at Chapel in a day or two, and see if we
cannot serve these reynards as the badger did the fox, when he found him
in his hole, and could not get him out by evil savors."

"How then?"

"Stuck a sweet nosegay in the door, which turned reynard's stomach at
once; and so overcame evil with good."

"Well, thou art too good for this world, that's certain; so we will go
home to breakfast. Those rogues are out of sight by now."

Nevertheless, Amyas was not proof against the temptation of going over
to the inn-door, and asking who were the gentlemen who went with Mr.

"Gentlemen of Wales," said the ostler, "who came last night in a pinnace
from Milford-haven, and their names, Mr. Morgan Evans and Mr. Evan

"Mr. Judas Iscariot and Mr. Iscariot Judas," said Amyas between his
teeth, and then observed aloud, that the Welsh gentlemen seemed rather
poor horsemen.

"So I said to Mr. Leigh's groom, your worship. But he says that those
parts be so uncommon rough and mountainous, that the poor gentlemen, you
see, being enforced to hunt on foot, have no such opportunities as young
gentlemen hereabout, like your worship; whom God preserve, and send a
virtuous lady, and one worthy of you."

"Thou hast a villainously glib tongue, fellow!" said Amyas, who was
thoroughly out of humor; "and a sneaking down visage too, when I come to
look at you. I doubt but you are a Papist too, I do!"

"Well, sir! and what if I am! I trust I don't break the queen's laws by
that. If I don't attend Northam church, I pay my month's shilling for
the use of the poor, as the act directs; and beyond that, neither you
nor any man dare demand of me."

"Dare! act directs! You rascally lawyer, you! and whence does an ostler
like you get your shilling to pay withal? Answer me." The examinate
found it so difficult to answer the question, that he suddenly became
afflicted with deafness.

"Do you hear?" roared Amyas, catching at him with his lion's paw.

"Yes, missus; anon, anon, missus!" quoth he to an imaginary landlady
inside, and twisting under Amyas's hand like an eel, vanished into the
house, while Frank got the hot-headed youth away.

"What a plague is one to do, then? That fellow was a Papist spy!"

"Of course he was!" said Frank.

"Then, what is one to do, if the whole country is full of them?"

"Not to make fools of ourselves about them, and so leave them to make
fools of themselves."

"That's all very fine: but--well, I shall remember the villain's face if
I see him again."

"There is no harm in that," said Frank.

"Glad you think so."

"Don't quarrel with me, Amyas, the first day."

"Quarrel with thee, my darling old fellow! I had sooner kiss the dust
off thy feet, if I were worthy of it. So now away home; my inside cries

In the meanwhile Messrs. Evans and Morgans were riding away, as fast
as the rough by-lanes would let them, along the fresh coast of the bay,
steering carefully clear of Northam town on the one hand, and on the
other, of Portledge, where dwelt that most Protestant justice of the
peace, Mr. Coffin. And it was well for them that neither Amyas Leigh,
nor indeed any other loyal Englishman, was by when they entered, as they
shortly did, the lonely woods which stretch along the southern wall of
the bay. For there Eustace Leigh pulled up short; and both he and his
groom, leaping from their horses, knelt down humbly in the wet grass,
and implored the blessing of the two valiant gentlemen of Wales,
who, having graciously bestowed it with three fingers apiece, became
thenceforth no longer Morgan Evans and Evan Morgans, Welshmen and
gentlemen; but Father Parsons and Father Gampian, Jesuits, and gentlemen
in no sense in which that word is applied in this book.

After a few minutes, the party were again in motion, ambling steadily
and cautiously along the high table-land, towards Moorwinstow in the
west; while beneath them on the right, at the mouth of rich-wooded
glens, opened vistas of the bright blue bay, and beyond it the sandhills
of Braunton, and the ragged rocks of Morte; while far away to the north
and west the lonely isle of Lundy hung like a soft gray cloud.

But they were not destined to reach their point as peaceably as they
could have wished. For just as they got opposite Clovelly dike, the huge
old Roman encampment which stands about midway in their journey, they
heard a halloo from the valley below, answered by a fainter one far
ahead. At which, like a couple of rogues (as indeed they were), Father
Campian and Father Parsons looked at each other, and then both stared
round at the wild, desolate, open pasture (for the country was then all
unenclosed), and the great dark furze-grown banks above their heads; and
Campian remarked gently to Parsons, that this was a very dreary spot,
and likely enough for robbers.

"A likelier spot for us, Father," said Eustace, punning. "The old Romans
knew what they were about when they put their legions up aloft here to
overlook land and sea for miles away; and we may thank them some day for
their leavings. The banks are all sound; there is plenty of good water
inside; and" (added he in Latin), "in case our Spanish friends--you

"Pauca verba, my son!" said Campian: but as he spoke, up from the ditch
close beside him, as if rising out of the earth, burst through the
furze-bushes an armed cavalier.

"Pardon, gentlemen!" shouted he, as the Jesuit and his horse recoiled
against the groom. "Stand, for your lives!"

"Mater caelorum!" moaned Campian; while Parsons, who, as all the world
knows, was a blustering bully enough (at least with his tongue), asked:
What a murrain right had he to stop honest folks on the queen's highway?
confirming the same with a mighty oath, which he set down as peccatum
veniale, on account of the sudden necessity; nay, indeed fraus pia, as
proper to support the character of that valiant gentleman of Wales, Mr.
Evan Morgans. But the horseman, taking no notice of his hint, dashed
across the nose of Eustace Leigh's horse, with a "Hillo, old lad! where
ridest so early?" and peering down for a moment into the ruts of the
narrow track-way, struck spurs into his horse, shouting, "A fresh
slot! right away for Hartland! Forward, gentlemen all! follow, follow,

"Who is this roysterer?" asked Parsons, loftily.

"Will Cary, of Clovelly; an awful heretic: and here come more behind."

And as he spoke four or five more mounted gallants plunged in and out of
the great dikes, and thundered on behind the party; whose horses, quite
understanding what game was up, burst into full gallop, neighing and
squealing; and in another minute the hapless Jesuits were hurling along
over moor and moss after a "hart of grease."

Parsons, who, though a vulgar bully, was no coward, supported the
character of Mr. Evan Morgans well enough; and he would have really
enjoyed himself, had he not been in agonies of fear lest those precious
saddle-bags in front of him should break from their lashings, and
rolling to the earth, expose to the hoofs of heretic horses, perhaps to
the gaze of heretic eyes, such a cargo of bulls, dispensations, secret
correspondences, seditious tracts, and so forth, that at the very
thought of their being seen, his head felt loose upon his shoulders. But
the future martyr behind him, Mr. Morgan Evans, gave himself up at once
to abject despair, and as he bumped and rolled along, sought vainly for
comfort in professional ejaculations in the Latin tongue.

"Mater intemerata! Eripe me e--Ugh! I am down! Adhaesit pavimento
venter!--No! I am not! El dilectum tuum e potestate canis--Ah! Audisti
me inter cornua unicornium! Put this, too, down in--ugh!--thy account in
favor of my poor--oh, sharpness of this saddle! Oh, whither, barbarous

Now riding on his quarter, not in the rough track-way like a cockney,
but through the soft heather like a sportsman, was a very gallant knight
whom we all know well by this time, Richard Grenville by name; who had
made Mr. Cary and the rest his guests the night before, and then ridden
out with them at five o'clock that morning, after the wholesome early
ways of the time, to rouse a well-known stag in the glens at Buckish, by
help of Mr. Coffin's hounds from Portledge. Who being as good a Latiner
as Campian's self, and overhearing both the scraps of psalm and the
"barbarous islanders," pushed his horse alongside of Mr. Eustace
Leigh, and at the first check said, with two low bows towards the two

"I hope Mr. Leigh will do me the honor of introducing me to his guests.
I should be sorry, and Mr. Cary also, that any gentle strangers should
become neighbors of ours, even for a day, without our knowing who they
are who honor our western Thule with a visit; and showing them ourselves
all due requital for the compliment of their presence."

After which, the only thing which poor Eustace could do (especially as
it was spoken loud enough for all bystanders), was to introduce in due
form Mr. Evan Morgans and Mr. Morgan Evans, who, hearing the name, and,
what was worse, seeing the terrible face with its quiet searching eye,
felt like a brace of partridge-poults cowering in the stubble, with a
hawk hanging ten feet over their heads.

"Gentlemen," said Sir Richard blandly, cap in hand, "I fear that your
mails must have been somewhat in your way in this unexpected gallop. If
you will permit my groom, who is behind, to disencumber you of them
and carry them to Chapel, you will both confer an honor on me, and be
enabled yourselves to see the mort more pleasantly."

A twinkle of fun, in spite of all his efforts, played about good Sir
Richard's eye as he gave this searching hint. The two Welsh gentlemen
stammered out clumsy thanks; and pleading great haste and fatigue from
a long journey, contrived to fall to the rear and vanish with their
guides, as soon as the slot had been recovered.

"Will!" said Sir Richard, pushing alongside of young Cary.

"Your worship?"

"Jesuits, Will!"

"May the father of lies fly away with them over the nearest cliff!"

"He will not do that while this Irish trouble is about. Those fellows
are come to practise here for Saunders and Desmond."

"Perhaps they have a consecrated banner in their bag, the scoundrels!
Shall I and young Coffin on and stop them? Hard if the honest men may
not rob the thieves once in a way."

"No; give the devil rope, and he will hang himself. Keep thy tongue at
home, and thine eyes too, Will."

"How then?"

"Let Clovelly beach be watched night and day like any mousehole. No one
can land round Harty Point with these south-westers. Stop every fellow
who has the ghost of an Irish brogue, come he in or go he out, and send
him over to me."

"Some one should guard Bude-haven, sir."

"Leave that to me. Now then, forward, gentlemen all, or the stag will
take the sea at the Abbey."

And on they crashed down the Hartland glens, through the oak-scrub and
the great crown-ferns; and the baying of the slow-hound and the tantaras
of the horn died away farther and fainter toward the blue Atlantic,
while the conspirators, with lightened hearts, pricked fast across
Bursdon upon their evil errand. But Eustace Leigh had other thoughts
and other cares than the safety of his father's two mysterious guests,
important as that was in his eyes; for he was one of the many who had
drunk in sweet poison (though in his case it could hardly be called
sweet) from the magic glances of the Rose of Torridge. He had seen her
in the town, and for the first time in his life fallen utterly in love;
and now that she had come down close to his father's house, he looked on
her as a lamb fallen unawares into the jaws of the greedy wolf, which
he felt himself to be. For Eustace's love had little or nothing of
chivalry, self-sacrifice, or purity in it; those were virtues which were
not taught at Rheims. Careful as the Jesuits were over the practical
morality of their pupils, this severe restraint had little effect in
producing real habits of self-control. What little Eustace had learnt of
women from them, was as base and vulgar as the rest of their teaching.
What could it be else, if instilled by men educated in the schools of
Italy and France, in the age which produced the foul novels of Cinthio
and Bandello, and compelled Rabelais in order to escape the rack and
stake, to hide the light of his great wisdom, not beneath a bushel, but
beneath a dunghill; the age in which the Romish Church had made
marriage a legalized tyranny, and the laity, by a natural and pardonable
revulsion, had exalted adultery into a virtue and a science? That all
love was lust; that all women had their price; that profligacy, though
an ecclesiastical sin, was so pardonable, if not necessary, as to be
hardly a moral sin, were notions which Eustace must needs have gathered
from the hints of his preceptors; for their written works bear to this
day fullest and foulest testimony that such was their opinion; and that
their conception of the relation of the sexes was really not a whit
higher than that of the profligate laity who confessed to them. He
longed to marry Rose Salterne, with a wild selfish fury; but only that
he might be able to claim her as his own property, and keep all others
from her. Of her as a co-equal and ennobling helpmate; as one in whose
honor, glory, growth of heart and soul, his own were inextricably wrapt
up, he had never dreamed. Marriage would prevent God from being angry
with that, with which otherwise He might be angry; and therefore the
sanction of the Church was the more "probable and safe" course. But as
yet his suit was in very embryo. He could not even tell whether Rose
knew of his love; and he wasted miserable hours in maddening thoughts,
and tost all night upon his sleepless bed, and rose next morning fierce
and pale, to invent fresh excuses for going over to her uncle's house,
and lingering about the fruit which he dared not snatch.



     "I could not love thee, dear, so much,
     Loved I not honor more."--LOVELACE.

And what all this while has become of the fair breaker of so many
hearts, to whom I have not yet even introduced my readers?

She was sitting in the little farm-house beside the mill, buried in the
green depths of the valley of Combe, half-way between Stow and Chapel,
sulking as much as her sweet nature would let her, at being thus
shut out from all the grand doings at Bideford, and forced to keep a
Martinmas Lent in that far western glen. So lonely was she, in fact,
that though she regarded Eustace Leigh with somewhat of aversion, and
(being a good Protestant) with a great deal of suspicion, she could not
find it in her heart to avoid a chat with him whenever he came down to
the farm and to its mill, which he contrived to do, on I know not what
would-be errand, almost every day. Her uncle and aunt at first looked
stiff enough at these visits, and the latter took care always to make a
third in every conversation; but still Mr. Leigh was a gentleman's
son, and it would not do to be rude to a neighboring squire and a good
customer; and Rose was the rich man's daughter and they poor cousins,
so it would not do either to quarrel with her; and besides, the
pretty maid, half by wilfulness, and half by her sweet winning tricks,
generally contrived to get her own way wheresoever she went; and
she herself had been wise enough to beg her aunt never to leave them
alone,--for she "could not a-bear the sight of Mr. Eustace, only
she must have some one to talk with down here." On which her aunt
considered, that she herself was but a simple country-woman; and that
townsfolks' ways of course must be very different from hers; and that
people knew their own business best; and so forth, and let things go
on their own way. Eustace, in the meanwhile, who knew well that the
difference in creed between him and Rose was likely to be the very
hardest obstacle in the way of his love, took care to keep his private
opinions well in the background; and instead of trying to convert the
folk at the mill, daily bought milk or flour from them, and gave it
away to the old women in Moorwinstow (who agreed that after all, for
a Papist, he was a godly young man enough); and at last, having taken
counsel with Campian and Parsons on certain political plots then on
foot, came with them to the conclusion that they would all three go to
church the next Sunday. Where Messrs. Evan Morgans and Morgan Evans,
having crammed up the rubrics beforehand, behaved themselves in a most
orthodox and unexceptionable manner; as did also poor Eustace, to the
great wonder of all good folks, and then went home flattering himself
that he had taken in parson, clerk, and people; not knowing in his
simple unsimplicity, and cunning foolishness, that each good wife in the
parish was saying to the other, "He turned Protestant? The devil turned
monk! He's only after Mistress Salterne, the young hypocrite."

But if the two Jesuits found it expedient, for the holy cause in which
they were embarked, to reconcile themselves outwardly to the powers
that were, they were none the less busy in private in plotting their

Ever since April last they had been playing at hide-and-seek through the
length and breadth of England, and now they were only lying quiet till
expected news from Ireland should give them their cue, and a great
"rising of the West" should sweep from her throne that stiff-necked,
persecuting, excommunicate, reprobate, illegitimate, and profligate
usurper, who falsely called herself the Queen of England.

For they had as stoutly persuaded themselves in those days, as they
have in these (with a real Baconian contempt of the results of sensible
experience), that the heart of England was really with them, and that
the British nation was on the point of returning to the bosom of the
Catholic Church, and giving up Elizabeth to be led in chains to the feet
of the rightful Lord of Creation, the Old Man of the Seven Hills.
And this fair hope, which has been skipping just in front of them for
centuries, always a step farther off, like the place where the rainbow
touches the ground, they used to announce at times, in language which
terrified old Mr. Leigh. One day, indeed, as Eustace entered his
father's private room, after his usual visit to the mill, he could
hear voices high in dispute; Parsons as usual, blustering; Mr. Leigh
peevishly deprecating, and Campian, who was really the sweetest-natured
of men, trying to pour oil on the troubled waters. Whereat Eustace (for
the good of the cause, of course) stopped outside and listened.

"My excellent sir," said Mr. Leigh, "does not your very presence here
show how I am affected toward the holy cause of the Catholic faith? But
I cannot in the meanwhile forget that I am an Englishman."

"And what is England?" said Parsons: "A heretic and schismatic Babylon,
whereof it is written, 'Come out of her, my people, lest you be partaker
of her plagues.' Yea, what is a country? An arbitrary division of
territory by the princes of this world, who are naught, and come to
naught. They are created by the people's will; their existence depends
on the sanction of him to whom all power is given in heaven and
earth--our Holy Father the Pope. Take away the latter, and what is a
king?--the people who have made him may unmake him."

"My dear sir, recollect that I have sworn allegiance to Queen

"Yes, sir, you have, sir; and, as I have shown at large in my writings,
you were absolved from that allegiance from the moment that the bull of
Pius the Fifth declared her a heretic and excommunicate, and thereby to
have forfeited all dominion whatsoever. I tell you, sir, what I thought
you should have known already, that since the year 1569, England has had
no queen, no magistrates, no laws, no lawful authority whatsoever; and
that to own allegiance to any English magistrate, sir, or to plead in an
English court of law, is to disobey the apostolic precept, 'How dare you
go to law before the unbelievers?' I tell you, sir, rebellion is now not
merely permitted, it is a duty."

"Take care, sir; for God's sake, take care!" said Mr. Leigh. "Right or
wrong, I cannot have such language used in my house. For the sake of my
wife and children, I cannot!"

"My dear brother Parsons, deal more gently with the flock," interposed
Campian. "Your opinion, though probable, as I well know, in the eyes of
most of our order, is hardly safe enough here; the opposite is at least
so safe that Mr. Leigh may well excuse his conscience for accepting it.
After all, are we not sent hither to proclaim this very thing, and to
relieve the souls of good Catholics from a burden which has seemed to
them too heavy?"

"Yes," said Parsons, half-sulkily, "to allow all Balaams who will to
sacrifice to Baal, while they call themselves by the name of the Lord."

"My dear brother, have I not often reminded you that Naaman was allowed
to bow himself in the house of Rimmon? And can we therefore complain of
the office to which the Holy Father has appointed us, to declare to such
as Mr. Leigh his especial grace, by which the bull of Pius the Fifth
(on whose soul God have mercy!) shall henceforth bind the queen and the
heretics only; but in no ways the Catholics, at least as long as the
present tyranny prevents the pious purposes of the bull?"

"Be it so, sir; be it so. Only observe this, Mr. Leigh, that our brother
Campian confesses this to be a tyranny. Observe, sir, that the bull does
still bind the so-called queen, and that she and her magistrates are
still none the less usurpers, nonentities, and shadows of a shade. And
observe this, sir, that when that which is lawful is excused to the
weak, it remains no less lawful to the strong. The seven thousand who
had not bowed the knee to Baal did not slay his priests; but Elijah did,
and won to himself a good reward. And if the rest of the children of
Israel sinned not in not slaying Eglon, yet Ehud's deed was none the
less justified by all laws human and divine."

"For Heaven's sake, do not talk so, sir! or I must leave the room. What
have I to do with Ehud and Eglon, and slaughters, and tyrannies? Our
queen is a very good queen, if Heaven would but grant her repentance,
and turn her to the true faith. I have never been troubled about
religion, nor any one else that I know of in the West country."

"You forget Mr. Trudgeon of Launceston, father, and poor Father Mayne,"
interposed Eustace, who had by this time slipped in; and Campian added

"Yes, your West of England also has been honored by its martyrs, as well
as my London by the precious blood of Story."

"What, young malapert?" cried poor Leigh, facing round upon his son,
glad to find any one on whom he might vent his ill-humor; "are you too
against me, with a murrain on you? And pray, what the devil brought
Cuthbert Mayne to the gallows, and turned Mr. Trudgeon (he was always a
foolish hot-head) out of house and home, but just such treasonable talk
as Mr. Parsons must needs hold in my house, to make a beggar of me and
my children, as he will before he has done."

"The Blessed Virgin forbid!" said Campian.

"The Blessed Virgin forbid? But you must help her to forbid it, Mr.
Campian. We should never have had the law of 1571, against bulls, and
Agnus Deis, and blessed grains, if the Pope's bull of 1569 had not made
them matter of treason, by preventing a poor creature's saving his soul
in the true Church without putting his neck into a halter by denying the
queen's authority."

"What, sir?" almost roared Parsons, "do you dare to speak evil of the
edicts of the Vicar of Christ?"

"I? No. I didn't. Who says I did? All I meant was, I am sure--Mr.
Campian, you are a reasonable man, speak for me."

"Mr. Leigh only meant, I am sure, that the Holy Father's prudent
intentions have been so far defeated by the perverseness and invincible
misunderstanding of the heretics, that that which was in itself meant
for the good of the oppressed English Catholics has been perverted to
their harm."

"And thus, reverend sir," said Eustace, glad to get into his father's
good graces again, "my father attaches blame, not to the Pope--Heaven
forbid!--but to the pravity of his enemies."

"And it is for this very reason," said Campian, "that we have brought
with us the present merciful explanation of the bull."

"I'll tell you what, gentlemen," said Mr. Leigh, who, like other weak
men, grew in valor as his opponent seemed inclined to make peace, "I
don't think the declaration was needed. After the new law of 1571 was
made, it was never put in force till Mayne and Trudgeon made fools of
themselves, and that was full six years. There were a few offenders,
they say, who were brought up and admonished, and let go; but even that
did not happen down here, and need not happen now, unless you put my son
here (for you shall never put me, I warrant you) upon some deed which
had better be left alone, and so bring us all to shame."

"Your son, sir, if not openly vowed to God, has, I hope, a due sense
of that inward vocation which we have seen in him, and reverences his
spiritual fathers too well to listen to the temptations of his earthly

"What, sir, will you teach my son to disobey me?"

"Your son is ours also, sir. This is strange language in one who owes a
debt to the Church, which it was charitably fancied he meant to pay in
the person of his child."

These last words touched poor Mr. Leigh in a sore point, and breaking
all bounds, he swore roundly at Parsons, who stood foaming with rage.

"A plague upon you, sir, and a black assizes for you, for you will come
to the gallows yet! Do you mean to taunt me in my own house with that
Hartland land? You had better go back and ask those who sent you where
the dispensation to hold the land is, which they promised to get me
years ago, and have gone on putting me off, till they have got my money,
and my son, and my conscience, and I vow before all the saints, seem now
to want my head over and above. God help me!"--and the poor man's eyes
fairly filled with tears.

Now was Eustace's turn to be roused; for, after all, he was an
Englishman and a gentleman; and he said kindly enough, but firmly--

"Courage, my dearest father. Remember that I am still your son, and not
a Jesuit yet; and whether I ever become one, I promise you, will depend
mainly on the treatment which you meet with at the hands of these
reverend gentlemen, for whom I, as having brought them hither, must
consider myself as surety to you."

If a powder-barrel had exploded in the Jesuits' faces, they could not
have been more amazed. Campian looked blank at Parsons, and Parsons at
Campian; till the stouter-hearted of the two, recovering his breath at

"Sir! do you know, sir, the curse pronounced on those who, after putting
their hand to the plough, look back?"

Eustace was one of those impulsive men, with a lack of moral courage,
who dare raise the devil, but never dare fight him after he has been
raised; and he now tried to pass off his speech by winking and making
signs in the direction of his father, as much as to say that he was only
trying to quiet the old man's fears. But Campian was too frightened,
Parsons too angry, to take his hints: and he had to carry his part

"All I read is, Father Parsons, that such are not fit for the kingdom of
God; of which high honor I have for some time past felt myself unworthy.
I have much doubt just now as to my vocation; and in the meanwhile have
not forgotten that I am a citizen of a free country." And so saying, he
took his father's arm, and walked out.

His last words had hit the Jesuits hard. They had put the poor
cobweb-spinners in mind of the humiliating fact, which they have had
thrust on them daily from that time till now, and yet have never learnt
the lesson, that all their scholastic cunning, plotting, intriguing,
bulls, pardons, indulgences, and the rest of it, are, on this side
the Channel, a mere enchanter's cloud-castle and Fata Morgana, which
vanishes into empty air by one touch of that magic wand, the constable's
staff. "A citizen of a free country!"--there was the rub; and they
looked at each other in more utter perplexity than ever. At last Parsons

"There's a woman in the wind. I'll lay my life on it. I saw him blush up
crimson yesterday when his mother asked him whether some Rose Salterne
or other was still in the neighborhood."

"A woman! Well, the spirit may be willing, though the flesh be weak. We
will inquire into this. The youth may do us good service as a layman;
and if anything should happen to his elder brother (whom the saints
protect!) he is heir to some wealth. In the meanwhile, our dear brother
Parsons will perhaps see the expediency of altering our tactics somewhat
while we are here."

And thereupon a long conversation began between the two, who had been
sent together, after the wise method of their order, in obedience to the
precept, "Two are better than one," in order that Campian might restrain
Parsons' vehemence, and Parsons spur on Campian's gentleness, and so
each act as the supplement of the other, and each also, it must be
confessed, gave advice pretty nearly contradictory to his fellow's if
occasion should require, "without the danger," as their writers have it,
"of seeming changeable and inconsistent."

The upshot of this conversation was, that in a day or two (during which
time Mr. Leigh and Eustace also had made the amende honorable, and
matters went smoothly enough) Father Campian asked Father Francis,
the household chaplain, to allow him, as an especial favor, to hear
Eustace's usual confession on the ensuing Friday.

Poor Father Francis dared not refuse so great a man; and assented with
an inward groan, knowing well that the intent was to worm out some
family secrets, whereby his power would be diminished, and the Jesuits'
increased. For the regular priesthood and the Jesuits throughout England
were toward each other in a state of armed neutrality, which wanted but
little at any moment to become open war, as it did in James the First's
time, when those meek missionaries, by their gentle moral tortures,
literally hunted to death the poor Popish bishop of Hippopotamus (that
is to say, London) for the time being.

However, Campian heard Eustace's confession; and by putting to him such
questions as may be easily conceived by those who know anything about
the confessional, discovered satisfactorily enough, that he was what
Campian would have called "in love:" though I should question much
the propriety of the term as applied to any facts which poor prurient
Campian discovered, or indeed knew how to discover, seeing that a swine
has no eye for pearls. But he had found out enough: he smiled, and set
to work next vigorously to discover who the lady might be.

If he had frankly said to Eustace, "I feel for you; and if your desires
are reasonable, or lawful, or possible, I will help you with all my
heart and soul," he might have had the young man's secret heart, and
saved himself an hour's trouble; but, of course, he took instinctively
the crooked and suspicious method, expected to find the case the worst
possible,--as a man was bound to do who had been trained to take the
lowest possible view of human nature, and to consider the basest motives
as the mainspring of all human action,--and began his moral torture
accordingly by a series of delicate questions, which poor Eustace dodged
in every possible way, though he knew that the good father was too
cunning for him, and that he must give in at last. Nevertheless, like a
rabbit who runs squealing round and round before the weasel, into whose
jaws it knows that it must jump at last by force of fascination, he
parried and parried, and pretended to be stupid, and surprised, and
honorably scrupulous, and even angry; while every question as to her
being married or single, Catholic or heretic, English or foreign,
brought his tormentor a step nearer the goal. At last, when Campian,
finding the business not such a very bad one, had asked something about
her worldly wealth, Eustace saw a door of escape and sprang at it.

"Even if she be a heretic, she is heiress to one of the wealthiest
merchants in Devon."

"Ah!" said Campian, thoughtfully. "And she is but eighteen, you say?"

"Only eighteen."

"Ah! well, my son, there is time. She may be reconciled to the Church:
or you may change."

"I shall die first."

"Ah, poor lad! Well; she may be reconciled, and her wealth may be of use
to the cause of Heaven."

"And it shall be of use. Only absolve me, and let me be at peace. Let
me have but her," he cried piteously. "I do not want her wealth,--not I!
Let me have but her, and that but for one year, one month, one day!--and
all the rest--money, fame, talents, yea, my life itself, hers if it be
needed--are at the service of Holy Church. Ay, I shall glory in showing
my devotion by some special sacrifice,--some desperate deed. Prove me
now, and see what there is I will not do!"

And so Eustace was absolved; after which Campian added,--

"This is indeed well, my son: for there is a thing to be done now, but
it may be at the risk of life."

"Prove me!" cried Eustace, impatiently.

"Here is a letter which was brought me last night; no matter from
whence; you can understand it better than I, and I longed to have shown
it you, but that I feared my son had become--"

"You feared wrongly, then, my dear Father Campian."

So Campian translated to him the cipher of the letter.

"This to Evan Morgans, gentleman, at Mr. Leigh's house in Moorwinstow,
Devonshire. News may be had by one who will go to the shore of Clovelly,
any evening after the 25th of November, at dead low tide, and there
watch for a boat, rowed by one with a red beard, and a Portugal by his
speech. If he be asked, 'How many?' he will answer, 'Eight hundred and
one.' Take his letters and read them. If the shore be watched, let him
who comes show a light three times in a safe place under the cliff
above the town; below is dangerous landing. Farewell, and expect great

"I will go," said Eustace; "to-morrow is the 25th, and I know a sure and
easy place. Your friend seems to know these shores well."

"Ah! what is it we do not know?" said Campian, with a mysterious smile.
"And now?"

"And now, to prove to you how I trust to you, you shall come with me,
and see this--the lady of whom I spoke, and judge for yourself whether
my fault is not a venial one."

"Ah, my son, have I not absolved you already? What have I to do with
fair faces? Nevertheless, I will come, both to show you that I trust
you, and it may be to help towards reclaiming a heretic, and saving a
lost soul: who knows?"

So the two set out together; and, as it was appointed, they had just got
to the top of the hill between Chapel and Stow mill, when up the lane
came none other than Mistress Rose Salterne herself, in all the glories
of a new scarlet hood, from under which her large dark languid eyes
gleamed soft lightnings through poor Eustace's heart and marrow. Up
to them she tripped on delicate ankles and tiny feet, tall, lithe, and
graceful, a true West-country lass; and as she passed them with a
pretty blush and courtesy, even Campian looked back at the fair innocent
creature, whose long dark curls, after the then country fashion, rolled
down from beneath the hood below her waist, entangling the soul of
Eustace Leigh within their glossy nets.

"There!" whispered he, trembling from head to foot. "Can you excuse me

"I had excused you long ago;" said the kindhearted father. "Alas, that
so much fair red and white should have been created only as a feast for

"A feast for gods, you mean!" cried Eustace, on whose common sense the
naive absurdity of the last speech struck keenly; and then, as if to
escape the scolding which he deserved for his heathenry--

"Will you let me return for a moment? I will follow you: let me go!"

Campian saw that it was of no use to say no, and nodded. Eustace darted
from his side, and running across a field, met Rose full at the next
turn of the road.

She started, and gave a pretty little shriek.

"Mr. Leigh! I thought you had gone forward."

"I came back to speak to you, Rose--Mistress Salterne, I mean."

"To me?"

"To you I must speak, tell you all, or die!" And he pressed up close to
her. She shrank back, somewhat frightened.

"Do not stir; do not go, I implore you! Rose, only hear me!" And
fiercely and passionately seizing her by the hand, he poured out the
whole story of his love, heaping her with every fantastic epithet of
admiration which he could devise.

There was little, perhaps, of all his words which Rose had not heard
many a time before; but there was a quiver in his voice, and a fire in
his eye, from which she shrank by instinct.

"Let me go!" she said; "you are too rough, sir!"

"Ay!" he said, seizing now both her hands, "rougher, perhaps, than the
gay gallants of Bideford, who serenade you, and write sonnets to you,
and send you posies. Rougher, but more loving, Rose! Do not turn away!
I shall die if you take your eyes off me! Tell me,--tell me, now
here--this moment--before we part--if I may love you!"

"Go away!" she answered, struggling, and bursting into tears. "This is
too rude. If I am but a merchant's daughter. I am God's child. Remember
that I am alone. Leave me; go! or I will call for help!"

Eustace had heard or read somewhere that such expressions in a woman's
mouth were mere facons de parler, and on the whole signs that she had no
objection to be alone, and did not intend to call for help; and he only
grasped her hands the more fiercely, and looked into her face with keen
and hungry eyes; but she was in earnest, nevertheless, and a loud shriek
made him aware that, if he wished to save his own good name, he must
go: but there was one question, for an answer to which he would risk his
very life.

"Yes, proud woman! I thought so! Some one of those gay gallants has been
beforehand with me. Tell me who--"

But she broke from him, and passed him, and fled down the lane.

"Mark it!" cried he, after her. "You shall rue the day when you despised
Eustace Leigh! Mark it, proud beauty!" And he turned back to join
Campian, who stood in some trepidation.

"You have not hurt the maiden, my son? I thought I heard a scream."

"Hurt her! No. Would God that she were dead, nevertheless, and I by her!
Say no more to me, father. We will home." Even Campian knew enough of
the world to guess what had happened, and they both hurried home in

And so Eustace Leigh played his move, and lost it.

Poor little Rose, having run nearly to Chapel, stopped for very shame,
and walked quietly by the cottages which stood opposite the gate, and
then turned up the lane towards Moorwinstow village, whither she was
bound. But on second thoughts, she felt herself so "red and flustered,"
that she was afraid of going into the village, for fear (as she said to
herself) of making people talk, and so, turning into a by-path, struck
away toward the cliffs, to cool her blushes in the sea-breeze. And there
finding a quiet grassy nook beneath the crest of the rocks, she sat down
on the turf, and fell into a great meditation.

Rose Salterne was a thorough specimen of a West-coast maiden, full of
passionate impulsive affections, and wild dreamy imaginations, a fit
subject, as the North-Devon women are still, for all romantic and gentle
superstitions. Left early without mother's care, she had fed her fancy
upon the legends and ballads of her native land, till she believed--what
did she not believe?--of mermaids and pixies, charms and witches,
dreams and omens, and all that world of magic in which most of the
countrywomen, and countrymen too, believed firmly enough but twenty
years ago. Then her father's house was seldom without some merchant, or
sea-captain from foreign parts, who, like Othello, had his tales of--

        "Antres vast, and deserts idle,
     Of rough quarries, rocks, and hills whose heads reach heaven."


     "And of the cannibals that each other eat,
     The anthropophagi, and men whose heads
     Do grow beneath their shoulders."

All which tales, she, like Desdemona, devoured with greedy ears,
whenever she could "the house affairs with haste despatch." And when
these failed, there was still boundless store of wonders open to her in
old romances which were then to be found in every English house of the
better class. The Legend of King Arthur, Florice and Blancheflour, Sir
Ysumbras, Sir Guy of Warwick, Palamon and Arcite, and the Romaunt of the
Rose, were with her text-books and canonical authorities. And lucky it
was, perhaps, for her that Sidney's Arcadia was still in petto, or Mr.
Frank (who had already seen the first book or two in manuscript, and
extolled it above all books past, present, or to come) would have surely
brought a copy down for Rose, and thereby have turned her poor little
flighty brains upside down forever. And with her head full of these, it
was no wonder if she had likened herself of late more than once to some
of those peerless princesses of old, for whose fair hand paladins and
kaisers thundered against each other in tilted field; and perhaps she
would not have been sorry (provided, of course, no one was killed) if
duels, and passages of arms in honor of her, as her father reasonably
dreaded, had actually taken place.

For Rose was not only well aware that she was wooed, but found the said
wooing (and little shame to her) a very pleasant process. Not that she
had any wish to break hearts: she did not break her heart for any of her
admirers, and why should they break theirs for her? They were all very
charming, each in his way (the gentlemen, at least; for she had long
since learnt to turn up her nose at merchants and burghers); but one of
them was not so very much better than the other.

Of course, Mr. Frank Leigh was the most charming; but then, as a
courtier and squire of dames, he had never given her a sign of real
love, nothing but sonnets and compliments, and there was no trusting
such things from a gallant, who was said (though, by the by, most
scandalously) to have a lady love at Milan, and another at Vienna, and
half-a-dozen in the Court, and half-a-dozen more in the city.

And very charming was Mr. William Cary, with his quips and his jests,
and his galliards and lavoltas; over and above his rich inheritance;
but then, charming also Mr. Coffin of Portledge, though he were a little
proud and stately; but which of the two should she choose? It would be
very pleasant to be mistress of Clovelly Court; but just as pleasant to
find herself lady of Portledge, where the Coffins had lived ever since
Noah's flood (if, indeed, they had not merely returned thither after
that temporary displacement), and to bring her wealth into a family
which was as proud of its antiquity as any nobleman in Devon, and might
have made a fourth to that famous trio of Devonshire Cs, of which it is

     "Crocker, Cruwys, and Copplestone,
     When the Conqueror came were all at home."

And Mr. Hugh Fortescue, too--people said that he was certain to become a
great soldier--perhaps as great as his brother Arthur--and that would
be pleasant enough, too, though he was but the younger son of an
innumerable family: but then, so was Amyas Leigh. Ah, poor Amyas! Her
girl's fancy for him had vanished, or rather, perhaps, it was very much
what it always had been, only that four or five more girl's fancies
beside it had entered in, and kept it in due subjection. But still, she
could not help thinking a good deal about him, and his voyage, and the
reports of his great strength, and beauty, and valor, which had already
reached her in that out-of-the-way corner; and though she was not in the
least in love with him, she could not help hoping that he had at least
(to put her pretty little thought in the mildest shape) not altogether
forgotten her; and was hungering, too, with all her fancy, to give him
no peace till he had told her all the wonderful things which he had seen
and done in this ever-memorable voyage. So that, altogether, it was no
wonder, if in her last night's dream the figure of Amyas had been even
more forward and troublesome than that of Frank or the rest.

But, moreover, another figure had been forward and troublesome enough in
last night's sleep-world; and forward and troublesome enough, too, now
in to-day's waking-world, namely, Eustace, the rejected. How strange
that she should have dreamt of him the night before! and dreamt, too,
of his fighting with Mr. Frank and Mr. Amyas! It must be a warning--see,
she had met him the very next day in this strange way; so the first half
of her dream had come true; and after what had past, she only had to
breathe a whisper, and the second part of the dream would come true
also. If she wished for a passage of arms in her own honor, she could
easily enough compass one: not that she would do it for worlds! And
after all, though Mr. Eustace had been very rude and naughty, yet still
it was not his own fault; he could not help being in love with her.
And--and, in short, the poor little maid felt herself one of the most
important personages on earth, with all the cares (or hearts) of the
country in her keeping, and as much perplexed with matters of weight as
ever was any Cleophila, or Dianeme, Fiordispina or Flourdeluce, in verse
run tame, or prose run mad.

Poor little Rose! Had she but had a mother! But she was to learn her
lesson, such as it was, in another school. She was too shy (too proud
perhaps) to tell her aunt her mighty troubles; but a counsellor she must
have; and after sitting with her head in her hands, for half-an-hour
or more, she arose suddenly, and started off along the cliffs towards
Marsland. She would go and see Lucy Passmore, the white witch; Lucy knew
everything; Lucy would tell her what to do; perhaps even whom to marry.

Lucy was a fat, jolly woman of fifty, with little pig-eyes, which
twinkled like sparks of fire, and eyebrows which sloped upwards and
outwards, like those of a satyr, as if she had been (as indeed she had)
all her life looking out of the corners of her eyes. Her qualifications
as white witch were boundless cunning, equally boundless good nature,
considerable knowledge of human weaknesses, some mesmeric power, some
skill in "yarbs," as she called her simples, a firm faith in the virtue
of her own incantations, and the faculty of holding her tongue. By dint
of these she contrived to gain a fair share of money, and also (which
she liked even better) of power, among the simple folk for many miles
round. If a child was scalded, a tooth ached, a piece of silver was
stolen, a heifer shrew-struck, a pig bewitched, a young damsel crost in
love, Lucy was called in, and Lucy found a remedy, especially for the
latter complaint. Now and then she found herself on ticklish ground, for
the kind-heartedness which compelled her to help all distressed damsels
out of a scrape, sometimes compelled her also to help them into one;
whereon enraged fathers called Lucy ugly names, and threatened to send
her into Exeter gaol for a witch, and she smiled quietly, and hinted
that if she were "like some that were ready to return evil for evil,
such talk as that would bring no blessing on them that spoke it;" which
being translated into plain English, meant, "If you trouble me, I will
overlook (i. e. fascinate) you, and then your pigs will die, your horses
stray, your cream turn sour, your barns be fired, your son have St.
Vitus's dance, your daughter fits, and so on, woe on woe, till you are
very probably starved to death in a ditch, by virtue of this terrible
little eye of mine, at which, in spite of all your swearing and
bullying, you know you are now shaking in your shoes for fear. So you
had much better hold your tongue, give me a drink of cider, and leave
ill alone, lest you make it worse."

Not that Lucy ever proceeded to any such fearful extremities. On the
contrary, her boast, and her belief too, was, that she was sent into
the world to make poor souls as happy as she could, by lawful means,
of course, if possible, but if not--why, unlawful ones were better than
none; for she "couldn't a-bear to see the poor creatures taking on;
she was too, too tender-hearted." And so she was, to every one but her
husband, a tall, simple-hearted rabbit-faced man, a good deal older than
herself. Fully agreeing with Sir Richard Grenville's great axiom,
that he who cannot obey cannot rule, Lucy had been for the last
five-and-twenty years training him pretty smartly to obey her, with the
intention, it is to be charitably hoped, of letting him rule her in
turn when his lesson was perfected. He bore his honors, however, meekly
enough, having a boundless respect for his wife's wisdom, and a firm
belief in her supernatural powers, and let her go her own way and earn
her own money, while he got a little more in a truly pastoral method
(not extinct yet along those lonely cliffs), by feeding a herd of some
dozen donkeys and twenty goats. The donkeys fetched, at each low-tide,
white shell-sand which was to be sold for manure to the neighboring
farmers; the goats furnished milk and "kiddy-pies;" and when there was
neither milking nor sand-carrying to be done, old Will Passmore just
sat under a sunny rock and watched the buck-goats rattle their horns
together, thinking about nothing at all, and taking very good care
all the while neither to inquire nor to see who came in and out of his
little cottage in the glen.

The prophetess, when Rose approached her oracular cave, was seated on
a tripod in front of the fire, distilling strong waters out of
penny-royal. But no sooner did her distinguished visitor appear at the
hatch, than the still was left to take care of itself, and a clean
apron and mutch having been slipt on, Lucy welcomed Rose with endless
courtesies, and--"Bless my dear soul alive, who ever would have thought
to see the Rose of Torridge to my poor little place!"

Rose sat down: and then? How to begin was more than she knew, and she
stayed silent a full five minutes, looking earnestly at the point of
her shoe, till Lucy, who was an adept in such cases, thought it best
to proceed to business at once, and save Rose the delicate operation
of opening the ball herself; and so, in her own way, half fawning, half

"Well, my dear young lady, and what is it I can do for ye? For I guess
you want a bit of old Lucy's help, eh? Though I'm most mazed to see ye
here, surely. I should have supposed that pretty face could manage they
sort of matters for itself. Eh?"

Rose, thus bluntly charged, confessed at once, and with many blushes and
hesitations, made her soon understand that what she wanted was "To have
her fortune told."

"Eh? Oh! I see. The pretty face has managed it a bit too well already,
eh? Tu many o' mun, pure fellows? Well, 'tain't every mayden has her
pick and choose, like some I know of, as be blest in love by stars
above. So you hain't made up your mind, then?"

Rose shook her head.

"Ah--well," she went on, in a half-bantering tone. "Not so asy, is it,
then? One's gude for one thing, and one for another, eh? One has the
blood, and another the money."

And so the "cunning woman" (as she truly was), talking half to herself,
ran over all the names which she thought likely, peering at Rose all the
while out of the corners of her foxy bright eyes, while Rose stirred the
peat ashes steadfastly with the point of her little shoe, half angry,
half ashamed, half frightened, to find that "the cunning woman" had
guessed so well both her suitors and her thoughts about them, and tried
to look unconcerned at each name as it came out.

"Well, well," said Lucy, who took nothing by her move, simply because
there was nothing to take; "think over it--think over it, my dear life;
and if you did set your mind on any one--why, then--then maybe I might
help you to a sight of him."

"A sight of him?"

"His sperrit, dear life, his sperrit only, I mane. I 'udn't have no
keeping company in my house, no, not for gowld untowld, I 'udn't; but
the sperrit of mun--to see whether mun would be true or not, you'd like
to know that, now, 'udn't you, my darling?"

Rose sighed, and stirred the ashes about vehemently.

"I must first know who it is to be. If you could show me that--now--"

"Oh, I can show ye that, tu, I can. Ben there's a way to 't, a sure way;
but 'tis mortal cold for the time o' year, you zee."

"But what is it, then?" said Rose, who had in her heart been longing for
something of that very kind, and had half made up her mind to ask for a

"Why, you'm not afraid to goo into the say by night for a minute, are
you? And to-morrow night would serve, too; 't will be just low tide to

"If you would come with me perhaps--"

"I'll come, I'll come, and stand within call, to be sure. Only do ye
mind this, dear soul alive, not to goo telling a crumb about mun, noo,
not for the world, or yu'll see naught at all, indeed, now. And beside,
there's a noxious business grow'd up against me up to Chapel there; and
I hear tell how Mr. Leigh saith I shall to Exeter gaol for a witch--did
ye ever hear the likes?--because his groom Jan saith I overlooked
mun--the Papist dog! And now never he nor th' owld Father Francis goo by
me without a spetting, and saying of their Ayes and Malificas--I do
know what their Rooman Latin do mane, zo well as ever they, I du!--and a
making o' their charms and incantations to their saints and idols! They
be mortal feared of witches, they Papists, and mortal hard on 'em, even
on a pure body like me, that doth a bit in the white way; 'case why you
see, dear life," said she, with one of her humorous twinkles, "tu to a
trade do never agree. Do ye try my bit of a charm, now; do ye!"

Rose could not resist the temptation; and between them both the charm
was agreed on, and the next night was fixed for its trial, on the
payment of certain current coins of the realm (for Lucy, of course,
must live by her trade); and slipping a tester into the dame's hand as
earnest, Rose went away home, and got there in safety.

But in the meanwhile, at the very hour that Eustace had been prosecuting
his suit in the lane at Moorwinstow, a very different scene was being
enacted in Mrs. Leigh's room at Burrough.

For the night before, Amyas, as he was going to bed, heard his brother
Frank in the next room tune his lute, and then begin to sing. And
both their windows being open, and only a thin partition between the
chambers, Amyas's admiring ears came in for every word of the following
canzonet, sung in that delicate and mellow tenor voice for which Frank
was famed among all fair ladies:--

      "Ah, tyrant Love, Megaera's serpents bearing,
     Why thus requite my sighs with venom'd smart?
       Ah, ruthless dove, the vulture's talons wearing,
     Why flesh them, traitress, in this faithful heart?
       Is this my meed?  Must dragons' teeth alone
       In Venus' lawns by lovers' hands be sown?

      "Nay, gentlest Cupid; 'twas my pride undid me.
     Nay, guiltless dove; by mine own wound I fell.
       To worship, not to wed, Celestials bid me:
     I dreamt to mate in heaven, and wake in hell;
       Forever doom'd, Ixion-like, to reel
       On mine own passions' ever-burning wheel."

At which the simple sailor sighed, and longed that he could write such
neat verses, and sing them so sweetly. How he would besiege the ear
of Rose Salterne with amorous ditties! But still, he could not be
everything; and if he had the bone and muscle of the family, it was but
fair that Frank should have the brains and voice; and, after all, he was
bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, and it was just the same as
if he himself could do all the fine things which Frank could do; for as
long as one of the family won honor, what matter which of them it was?
Whereon he shouted through the wall, "Good night, old song-thrush; I
suppose I need not pay the musicians."

"What, awake?" answered Frank. "Come in here, and lull me to sleep with
a sea-song."

So Amyas went in, and found Frank laid on the outside of his bed not yet

"I am a bad sleeper," said he; "I spend more time, I fear, in burning
the midnight oil than prudent men should. Come and be my jongleur,
my minnesinger, and tell me about Andes, and cannibals, and the
ice-regions, and the fire-regions, and the paradises of the West."

So Amyas sat down, and told: but somehow, every story which he tried to
tell came round, by crooked paths, yet sure, to none other point than
Rose Salterne, and how he thought of her here and thought of her there,
and how he wondered what she would say if she had seen him in this
adventure, and how he longed to have had her with him to show her that
glorious sight, till Frank let him have his own way, and then out came
the whole story of the simple fellow's daily and hourly devotion to her,
through those three long years of world-wide wanderings.

"And oh, Frank, I could hardly think of anything but her in the church
the other day, God forgive me! and it did seem so hard for her to be the
only face which I did not see--and have not seen her yet, either."

"So I thought, dear lad," said Frank, with one of his sweetest smiles;
"and tried to get her father to let her impersonate the nymph of

"Did you, you dear kind fellow? That would have been too delicious."

"Just so, too delicious; wherefore, I suppose, it was ordained not to
be, that which was being delicious enough."

"And is she as pretty as ever?"

"Ten times as pretty, dear lad, as half the young fellows round have
discovered. If you mean to win her and wear her (and God grant you may
fare no worse!) you will have rivals enough to get rid of."

"Humph!" said Amyas, "I hope I shall not have to make short work with
some of them."

"I hope not," said Frank, laughing. "Now go to bed, and to-morrow
morning give your sword to mother to keep, lest you should be tempted to
draw it on any of her majesty's lieges."

"No fear of that, Frank; I am no swash-buckler, thank God; but if any
one gets in my way, I'll serve him as the mastiff did the terrier,
and just drop him over the quay into the river, to cool himself, or my
name's not Amyas."

And the giant swung himself laughing out of the room, and slept all
night like a seal, not without dreams, of course, of Rose Salterne.

The next morning, according to his wont, he went into his mother's room,
whom he was sure to find up and at her prayers; for he liked to say his
prayers, too, by her side, as he used to do when he was a little boy. It
seemed so homelike, he said, after three years' knocking up and down
in no-man's land. But coming gently to the door, for fear of disturbing
her, and entering unperceived, beheld a sight which stopped him short.

Mrs. Leigh was sitting in her chair, with her face bowed fondly down
upon the head of his brother Frank, who knelt before her, his face
buried in her lap. Amyas could see that his whole form was quivering
with stifled emotion. Their mother was just finishing the last words
of a well-known text,--"for my sake, and the Gospel's, shall receive a
hundred-fold in this present life, fathers, and mothers, and brothers,
and sisters."

"But not a wife!" interrupted Frank, with a voice stifled with sobs;
"that was too precious a gift for even Him to promise to those who gave
up a first love for His sake!"

"And yet," said he, after a moment's silence, "has He not heaped me with
blessings enough already, that I must repine and rage at His refusing me
one more, even though that one be--No, mother! I am your son, and God's;
and you shall know it, even though Amyas never does!" And he looked up
with his clear blue eyes and white forehead; and his face was as the
face of an angel.

Both of them saw that Amyas was present, and started and blushed. His
mother motioned him away with her eyes, and he went quietly out, as one
stunned. Why had his name been mentioned?

Love, cunning love, told him all at once. This was the meaning of last
night's canzonet! This was why its words had seemed to fit his own heart
so well! His brother was his rival. And he had been telling him all his
love last night. What a stupid brute he was! How it must have made poor
Frank wince! And then Frank had listened so kindly; even bid him God
speed in his suit. What a gentleman old Frank was, to be sure! No wonder
the queen was so fond of him, and all the Court ladies!--Why, if it
came to that, what wonder if Rose Salterne should be fond of him too?
Hey-day! "That would be a pretty fish to find in my net when I come to
haul it!" quoth Amyas to himself, as he paced the garden; and clutching
desperately hold of his locks with both hands, as if to hold his poor
confused head on its shoulders, he strode and tramped up and down the
shell-paved garden walks for a full half hour, till Frank's voice (as
cheerful as ever, though he more than suspected all) called him.

"Come in to breakfast, lad; and stop grinding and creaking upon those
miserable limpets, before thou hast set every tooth in my head on edge!"

Amyas, whether by dint of holding his head straight, or by higher means,
had got the thoughts of the said head straight enough by this time; and
in he came, and fell to upon the broiled fish and strong ale, with a
sort of fury, as determined to do his duty to the utmost in all matters
that day, and therefore, of course, in that most important matter of
bodily sustenance; while his mother and Frank looked at him, not without
anxiety and even terror, doubting what turn his fancy might have taken
in so new a case; at last--

"My dear Amyas, you will really heat your blood with all that strong
ale! Remember, those who drink beer, think beer."

"Then they think right good thoughts, mother. And in the meanwhile,
those who drink water, think water. Eh, old Frank? and here's your

"And clouds are water," said his mother, somewhat reassured by his
genuine good humor; "and so are rainbows; and clouds are angels'
thrones, and rainbows the sign of God's peace on earth."

Amyas understood the hint, and laughed. "Then I'll pledge Frank out
of the next ditch, if it please you and him. But first--I say--he must
hearken to a parable; a manner mystery, miracle play, I have got in
my head, like what they have at Easter, to the town-hall. Now then,
hearken, madam, and I and Frank will act." And up rose Amyas, and shoved
back his chair, and put on a solemn face.

Mrs. Leigh looked up, trembling; and Frank, he scarce knew why, rose.

"No; you pitch again. You are King David, and sit still upon your
throne. David was a great singer, you know, and a player on the viols;
and ruddy, too, and of a fair countenance; so that will fit. Now, then,
mother, don't look so frightened. I am not going to play Goliath, for
all my cubits; I am to present Nathan the prophet. Now, David, hearken,
for I have a message unto thee, O King!

"There were two men in one city, one rich, and the other poor: and the
rich man had many flocks and herds, and all the fine ladies in Whitehall
to court if he liked; and the poor man had nothing but--"

And in spite of his broad honest smile, Amyas's deep voice began to
tremble and choke.

Frank sprang up, and burst into tears: "Oh! Amyas, my brother, my
brother! stop! I cannot endure this. Oh, God! was it not enough to have
entangled myself in this fatal fancy, but over and above, I must meet
the shame of my brother's discovering it?"

"What shame, then, I'd like to know?" said Amyas, recovering himself.
"Look here, brother Frank! I've thought it all over in the garden; and
I was an ass and a braggart for talking to you as I did last night.
Of course you love her! Everybody must; and I was a fool for not
recollecting that; and if you love her, your taste and mine agree, and
what can be better? I think you are a sensible fellow for loving her,
and you think me one. And as for who has her, why, you're the eldest;
and first come first served is the rule, and best to keep to it.
Besides, brother Frank, though I'm no scholar, yet I'm not so blind but
that I tell the difference between you and me; and of course your chance
against mine, for a hundred to one; and I am not going to be fool enough
to row against wind and tide too. I'm good enough for her, I hope; but
if I am, you are better, and the good dog may run, but it's the best
that takes the hare; and so I have nothing more to do with the matter
at all; and if you marry her, why, it will set the old house on its legs
again, and that's the first thing to be thought of, and you may just as
well do it as I, and better too. Not but that it's a plague, a horrible
plague!" went on Amyas, with a ludicrously doleful visage; "but so
are other things too, by the dozen; it's all in the day's work, as the
huntsman said when the lion ate him. One would never get through the
furze-croft if one stopped to pull out the prickles. The pig didn't
scramble out of the ditch by squeaking; and the less said the sooner
mended; nobody was sent into the world only to suck honey-pots. What
must be must, man is but dust; if you can't get crumb, you must fain
eat crust. So I'll go and join the army in Ireland, and get it out of
my head, for cannon balls fright away love as well as poverty does; and
that's all I've got to say." Wherewith Amyas sat down, and returned to
the beer; while Mrs. Leigh wept tears of joy.

"Amyas! Amyas!" said Frank; "you must not throw away the hopes of years,
and for me, too! Oh, how just was your parable! Ah! mother mine! to
what use is all my scholarship and my philosophy, when this dear simple
sailor-lad outdoes me at the first trial of courtesy!"

"My children, my children, which of you shall I love best? Which of you
is the more noble? I thanked God this morning for having given me one
such son; but to have found that I possess two!" And Mrs. Leigh laid her
head on the table, and buried her face in her hands, while the generous
battle went on.

"But, dearest Amyas!--"

"But, Frank! if you don't hold your tongue, I must go forth. It
was quite trouble enough to make up one's mind, without having you
afterwards trying to unmake it again."

"Amyas! if you give her up to me, God do so to me, and more also, if I
do not hereby give her up to you!"

"He had done it already--this morning!" said Mrs. Leigh, looking up
through her tears. "He renounced her forever on his knees before me!
only he is too noble to tell you so."

"The more reason I should copy him," said Amyas, setting his lips, and
trying to look desperately determined, and then suddenly jumping up,
he leaped upon Frank, and throwing his arms round his neck, sobbed out,
"There, there, now! For God's sake, let us forget all, and think about
our mother, and the old house, and how we may win her honor before we
die! and that will be enough to keep our hands full, without fretting
about this woman and that.--What an ass I have been for years! instead
of learning my calling, dreaming about her, and don't know at this
minute whether she cares more for me than she does for her father's

"Oh, Amyas! every word of yours puts me to fresh shame! Will you believe
that I know as little of her likings as you do?"

"Don't tell me that, and play the devil's game by putting fresh hopes
into me, when I am trying to kick them out. I won't believe it. If she
is not a fool, she must love you; and if she don't, why, be hanged if
she is worth loving!"

"My dearest Amyas! I must ask you too to make no more such speeches to
me. All those thoughts I have forsworn."

"Only this morning; so there is time to catch them again before they are
gone too far."

"Only this morning," said Frank, with a quiet smile: "but centuries have
passed since then."

"Centuries? I don't see many gray hairs yet."

"I should not have been surprised if you had, though," answered Frank,
in so sad and meaning a tone that Amyas could only answer--

"Well, you are an angel!"

"You, at least, are something even more to the purpose, for you are a

And both spoke truth, and so the battle ended; and Frank went to his
books, while Amyas, who must needs be doing, if he was not to dream,
started off to the dockyard to potter about a new ship of Sir Richard's,
and forget his woes, in the capacity of Sir Oracle among the sailors.
And so he had played his move for Rose, even as Eustace had, and lost
her: but not as Eustace had.



          "It was among the ways of good Queen Bess,
             Who ruled as well as ever mortal can, sir,
           When she was stogg'd, and the country in a mess,
             She was wont to send for a Devon man, sir."

                                         West Country Song.

The next morning Amyas Leigh was not to be found. Not that he had gone
out to drown himself in despair, or even to bemoan himself "down by the
Torridge side." He had simply ridden off, Frank found, to Sir Richard
Grenville at Stow: his mother at once divined the truth, that he was
gone to try for a post in the Irish army, and sent off Frank after him
to bring him home again, and make him at least reconsider himself.

So Frank took horse and rode thereon ten miles or more: and then, as
there were no inns on the road in those days, or indeed in these, and
he had some ten miles more of hilly road before him, he turned down
the hill towards Clovelly Court, to obtain, after the hospitable humane
fashion of those days, good entertainment for man and horse from Mr.
Cary the squire.

And when he walked self-invited, like the loud-shouting Menelaus, into
the long dark wainscoted hall of the court, the first object he beheld
was the mighty form of Amyas, who, seated at the long table, was
alternately burying his face in a pasty, and the pasty in his face, his
sorrows having, as it seemed, only sharpened his appetite, while young
Will Cary, kneeling on the opposite bench, with his elbows on the table,
was in that graceful attitude laying down the law fiercely to him in a
low voice.

"Hillo! lad," cried Amyas; "come hither and deliver me out of the hands
of this fire-eater, who I verily believe will kill me, if I do not let
him kill some one else."

"Ah! Mr. Frank," said Will Cary, who, like all other young gentlemen of
these parts, held Frank in high honor, and considered him a very oracle
and cynosure of fashion and chivalry, "welcome here: I was just longing
for you, too; I wanted your advice on half-a-dozen matters. Sit down,
and eat. There is the ale."

"None so early, thank you."

"Ah no!" said Amyas, burying his head in the tankard, and then mimicking
Frank, "avoid strong ale o' mornings. It heats the blood, thickens
the animal spirits, and obfuscates the cerebrum with frenetical and
lymphatic idols, which cloud the quintessential light of the pure
reason. Eh? young Plato, young Daniel, come hither to judgment! And yet,
though I cannot see through the bottom of the tankard already, I can see
plain enough still to see this, that Will shall not fight."

"Shall I not, eh? who says that? Mr. Frank, I appeal to you, now; only

"We are in the judgment-seat," said Frank, settling to the pasty.
"Proceed, appellant."

"Well, I was telling Amyas, that Tom Coffin, of Portledge; I will stand
him no longer."

"Let him be, then," said Amyas; "he could stand very well by himself,
when I saw him last."

"Plague on you, hold your tongue. Has he any right to look at me as he
does, whenever I pass him?"

"That depends on how he looks; a cat may look at a king, provided she
don't take him for a mouse."

"Oh, I know how he looks, and what he means too, and he shall stop, or I
will stop him. And the other day, when I spoke of Rose Salterne"--"Ah!"
groaned Frank, "Ate's apple again!"--"(never mind what I said) he burst
out laughing in my face; and is not that a fair quarrel? And what is
more, I know that he wrote a sonnet, and sent it to her to Stow by a
market woman. What right has he to write sonnets when I can't? It's not
fair play, Mr. Frank, or I am a Jew, and a Spaniard, and a Papist; it's
not!" And Will smote the table till the plates danced again.

"My dear knight of the burning pestle, I have a plan, a device, a
disentanglement, according to most approved rules of chivalry. Let us
fix a day, and summon by tuck of drum all young gentlemen under the
age of thirty, dwelling within fifteen miles of the habitation of that
peerless Oriana."

"And all 'prentice-boys too," cried Amyas, out of the pasty.

"And all 'prentice-boys. The bold lads shall fight first, with good
quarterstaves, in Bideford Market, till all heads are broken; and the
head which is not broken, let the back belonging to it pay the penalty
of the noble member's cowardice. After which grand tournament, to which
that of Tottenham shall be but a flea-bite and a batrachomyomachy--"

"Confound you, and your long words, sir," said poor Will, "I know you
are flouting me."

"Pazienza, Signor Cavaliere; that which is to come is no flouting, but
bloody and warlike earnest. For afterwards all the young gentlemen
shall adjourn into a convenient field, sand, or bog--which last will be
better, as no man will be able to run away, if he be up to his knees
in soft peat: and there stripping to our shirts, with rapiers of equal
length and keenest temper, each shall slay his man, catch who catch can,
and the conquerors fight again, like a most valiant main of gamecocks
as we are, till all be dead, and out of their woes; after which the
survivor, bewailing before heaven and earth the cruelty of our Fair
Oriana, and the slaughter which her basiliscine eyes have caused, shall
fall gracefully upon his sword, and so end the woes of this our lovelorn
generation. Placetne Domini? as they used to ask in the Senate at

"Really," said Cary, "this is too bad."

"So is, pardon me, your fighting Mr. Coffin with anything longer than a

"Bodkins are too short for such fierce Bobadils," said Amyas; "they
would close in so near, that we should have them falling to fisticuffs
after the first bout."

"Then let them fight with squirts across the market-place; for by heaven
and the queen's laws, they shall fight with nothing else."

"My dear Mr. Cary," went on Frank, suddenly changing his bantering tone
to one of the most winning sweetness, "do not fancy that I cannot feel
for you, or that I, as well as you, have not known the stings of love
and the bitterer stings of jealousy. But oh, Mr. Cary, does it not seem
to you an awful thing to waste selfishly upon your own quarrel that
divine wrath which, as Plato says, is the very root of all virtues, and
which has been given you, like all else which you have, that you may
spend it in the service of her whom all bad souls fear, and all virtuous
souls adore,--our peerless queen? Who dares, while she rules England,
call his sword or his courage his own, or any one's but hers? Are there
no Spaniards to conquer, no wild Irish to deliver from their oppressors,
that two gentlemen of Devon can find no better place to flesh their
blades than in each other's valiant and honorable hearts?"

"By heaven!" cried Amyas, "Frank speaks like a book; and for me, I do
think that Christian gentlemen may leave love quarrels to bulls and

"And that the heir of Clovelly," said Frank, smiling, "may find more
noble examples to copy than the stags in his own deer-park."

"Well," said Will, penitently, "you are a great scholar, Mr. Frank, and
you speak like one; but gentlemen must fight sometimes, or where would
be their honor?"

"I speak," said Frank, a little proudly, "not merely as a scholar,
but as a gentleman, and one who has fought ere now, and to whom it has
happened, Mr. Cary, to kill his man (on whose soul may God have mercy);
but it is my pride to remember that I have never yet fought in my own
quarrel, and my trust in God that I never shall. For as there is nothing
more noble and blessed than to fight in behalf of those whom we love,
so to fight in our own private behalf is a thing not to be allowed to a
Christian man, unless refusal imports utter loss of life or honor;
and even then, it may be (though I would not lay a burden on any man's
conscience), it is better not to resist evil, but to overcome it with

"And I can tell you, Will," said Amyas, "I am not troubled with fear of
ghosts; but when I cut off the Frenchman's head, I said to myself, 'If
that braggart had been slandering me instead of her gracious majesty, I
should expect to see that head lying on my pillow every time I went to
bed at night.'"

"God forbid!" said Will, with a shudder. "But what shall I do? for to
the market tomorrow I will go, if it were choke-full of Coffins, and a
ghost in each coffin of the lot."

"Leave the matter to me," said Amyas. "I have my device, as well as
scholar Frank here; and if there be, as I suppose there must be, a
quarrel in the market to-morrow, see if I do not--"

"Well, you are two good fellows," said Will. "Let us have another
tankard in."

"And drink the health of Mr. Coffin, and all gallant lads of the North,"
said Frank; "and now to my business. I have to take this runaway youth
here home to his mother; and if he will not go quietly, I have orders to
carry him across my saddle."

"I hope your nag has a strong back, then," said Amyas; "but I must go on
and see Sir Richard, Frank. It is all very well to jest as we have been
doing, but my mind is made up."

"Stop," said Cary. "You must stay here tonight; first, for good
fellowship's sake; and next, because I want the advice of our Phoenix
here, our oracle, our paragon. There, Mr. Frank, can you construe that
for me? Speak low, though, gentlemen both; there comes my father; you
had better give me the letter again. Well, father, whence this morning?"

"Eh, company here? Young men, you are always welcome, and such as you.
Would there were more of your sort in these dirty times! How is your
good mother, Frank, eh? Where have I been, Will? Round the house-farm,
to look at the beeves. That sheeted heifer of Prowse's is all wrong;
her coat stares like a hedgepig's. Tell Jewell to go up and bring her in
before night. And then up the forty acres; sprang two coveys, and picked
a leash out of them. The Irish hawk flies as wild as any haggard still,
and will never make a bird. I had to hand her to Tom, and take the
little peregrine. Give me a Clovelly hawk against the world, after
all; and--heigh ho, I am very hungry! Half-past twelve, and dinner not
served? What, Master Amyas, spoiling your appetite with strong ale?
Better have tried sack, lad; have some now with me."

And the worthy old gentleman, having finished his oration, settled
himself on a great bench inside the chimney, and put his hawk on a perch
over his head, while his cockers coiled themselves up close to the warm
peat-ashes, and his son set to work to pull off his father's boots, amid
sundry warnings to take care of his corns.

"Come, Master Amyas, a pint of white wine and sugar, and a bit of a
shoeing-horn to it ere we dine. Some pickled prawns, now, or a rasher
off the coals, to whet you?"

"Thank you," quoth Amyas; "but I have drunk a mort of outlandish
liquors, better and worse, in the last three years, and yet never found
aught to come up to good ale, which needs neither shoeing-horn before
nor after, but takes care of itself, and of all honest stomachs too, I

"You speak like a book, boy," said old Cary; "and after all, what a
plague comes of these newfangled hot wines, and aqua vitaes, which have
come in since the wars, but maddening of the brains, and fever of the

"I fear we have not seen the end of that yet," said Frank. "My friends
write me from the Netherlands that our men are falling into a swinish
trick of swilling like the Hollanders. Heaven grant that they may not
bring home the fashion with them."

"A man must drink, they say, or die of the ague, in those vile swamps,"
said Amyas. "When they get home here, they will not need it."

"Heaven grant it," said Frank; "I should be sorry to see Devonshire
a drunken county; and there are many of our men out there with Mr.

"Ah," said Cary, "there, as in Ireland, we are proving her majesty's
saying true, that Devonshire is her right hand, and the young children
thereof like the arrows in the hand of the giant."

"They may well be," said his son, "when some of them are giants
themselves, like my tall school-fellow opposite."

"He will be up and doing again presently, I'll warrant him," said old

"And that I shall," quoth Amyas. "I have been devising brave deeds;
and see in the distance enchanters to be bound, dragons choked, empires
conquered, though not in Holland."

"You do?" asked Will, a little sharply; for he had had a half suspicion
that more was meant than met the ear.

"Yes," said Amyas, turning off his jest again, "I go to what Raleigh
calls the Land of the Nymphs. Another month, I hope, will see me abroad
in Ireland."

"Abroad? Call it rather at home," said old Cary; "for it is full of
Devon men from end to end, and you will be among friends all day long.
George Bourchier from Tawstock has the army now in Munster, and Warham
St. Leger is marshal; George Carew is with Lord Grey of Wilton (Poor
Peter Carew was killed at Glendalough); and after the defeat last year,
when that villain Desmond cut off Herbert and Price, the companies were
made up with six hundred Devon men, and Arthur Fortescue at their head;
so that the old county holds her head as proudly in the Land of Ire as
she does in the Low Countries and the Spanish Main."

"And where," asked Amyas, "is Davils of Marsland, who used to teach me
how to catch trout, when I was staying down at Stow? He is in Ireland,
too, is he not?"

"Ah, my lad," said Mr. Cary, "that is a sad story. I thought all England
had known it."

"You forget, sir, I am a stranger. Surely he is not dead?"

"Murdered foully, lad! Murdered like a dog, and by the man whom he had
treated as his son, and who pretended, the false knave! to call him

"His blood is avenged?" said Amyas, fiercely.

"No, by heaven, not yet! Stay, don't cry out again. I am getting
old--I must tell my story my own way. It was last July,--was it not,
Will?--Over comes to Ireland Saunders, one of those Jesuit foxes, as the
Pope's legate, with money and bulls, and a banner hallowed by the Pope,
and the devil knows what beside; and with him James Fitzmaurice, the
same fellow who had sworn on his knees to Perrott, in the church at
Kilmallock, to be a true liegeman to Queen Elizabeth, and confirmed it
by all his saints, and such a world of his Irish howling, that Perrott
told me he was fain to stop his own ears. Well, he had been practising
with the King of France, but got nothing but laughter for his pains, and
so went over to the Most Catholic King, and promises him to join Ireland
to Spain, and set up Popery again, and what not. And he, I suppose,
thinking it better that Ireland should belong to him than to the Pope's
bastard, fits him out, and sends him off on such another errand as
Stukely's,--though I will say, for the honor of Devon, if Stukely lived
like a fool, he died like an honest man."

"Sir Thomas Stukely dead too?" said Amyas.

"Wait a while, lad, and you shall have that tragedy afterwards. Well,
where was I? Oh, Fitzmaurice and the Jesuits land at Smerwick, with
three ships, choose a place for a fort, bless it with their holy water,
and their moppings and their scourings, and the rest of it, to purify
it from the stain of heretic dominion; but in the meanwhile one of
the Courtenays,--a Courtenay of Haccombe, was it?--or a Courtenay of
Boconnock? Silence, Will, I shall have it in a minute--yes, a Courtenay
of Haccombe it was, lying at anchor near by, in a ship of war of his,
cuts out the three ships, and cuts off the Dons from the sea. John and
James Desmond, with some small rabble, go over to the Spaniards. Earl
Desmond will not join them, but will not fight them, and stands by to
take the winning side; and then in comes poor Davils, sent down by the
Lord Deputy to charge Desmond and his brothers, in the queen's name, to
assault the Spaniards. Folks say it was rash of his lordship: but I
say, what could be better done? Every one knows that there never was a
stouter or shrewder soldier than Davils; and the young Desmonds, I have
heard him say many a time, used to look on him as their father. But
he found out what it was to trust Englishmen turned Irish. Well,
the Desmonds found out on a sudden that the Dons were such desperate
Paladins, that it was madness to meddle, though they were five to one;
and poor Davils, seeing that there was no fight in them, goes back for
help, and sleeps that night at some place called Tralee. Arthur Carter
of Bideford, St. Leger's lieutenant, as stout an old soldier as Davils
himself, sleeps in the same bed with him; the lacquey-boy, who is now
with Sir Richard at Stow, on the floor at their feet. But in the dead of
night, who should come in but James Desmond, sword in hand, with a dozen
of his ruffians at his heels, each with his glib over his ugly face,
and his skene in his hand. Davils springs up in bed, and asks but this,
'What is the matter, my son?' whereon the treacherous villain, without
giving him time to say a prayer, strikes at him, naked as he was,
crying, 'Thou shalt be my father no longer, nor I thy son! Thou shalt
die!' and at that all the rest fall on him. The poor little lad (so he
says) leaps up to cover his master with his naked body, gets three or
four stabs of skenes, and so falls for dead; with his master and Captain
Carter, who were dead indeed--God reward them! After that the ruffians
ransacked the house, till they had murdered every Englishman in it, the
lacquey-boy only excepted, who crawled out, wounded as he was, through
a window; while Desmond, if you will believe it, went back, up to his
elbows in blood, and vaunted his deeds to the Spaniards, and asked
them--'There! Will you take that as a pledge that I am faithful to you?'
And that, my lad, was the end of Henry Davils, and will be of all who
trust to the faith of wild savages."

"I would go a hundred miles to see that Desmond hanged!" said Amyas,
while great tears ran down his face. "Poor Mr. Davils! And now, what is
the story of Sir Thomas?"

"Your brother must tell you that, lad; I am somewhat out of breath."

"And I have a right to tell it," said Frank, with a smile. "Do you know
that I was very near being Earl of the bog of Allen, and one of the
peers of the realm to King Buoncompagna, son and heir to his holiness
Pope Gregory the Thirteenth?"

"No, surely!"

"As I am a gentleman. When I was at Rome I saw poor Stukely often; and
this and more he offered me on the part (as he said) of the Pope, if I
would just oblige him in the two little matters of being reconciled to
the Catholic Church, and joining the invasion of Ireland."

"Poor deluded heretic," said Will Cary, "to have lost an earldom for
your family by such silly scruples of loyalty!"

"It is not a matter for jesting, after all," said Frank; "but I saw Sir
Thomas often, and I cannot believe he was in his senses, so frantic was
his vanity and his ambition; and all the while, in private matters as
honorable a gentleman as ever. However, he sailed at last for Ireland,
with his eight hundred Spaniards and Italians; and what is more, I
know that the King of Spain paid their charges. Marquis Vinola--James
Buoncompagna, that is--stayed quietly at Rome, preferring that Stukely
should conquer his paternal heritage of Ireland for him while he took
care of the bona robas at home. I went down to Civita Vecchia to see
him off; and though his younger by many years, I could not but take
the liberty of entreating him, as a gentleman and a man of Devon, to
consider his faith to his queen and the honor of his country. There were
high words between us; God forgive me if I spoke too fiercely, for I
never saw him again."

"Too fiercely to an open traitor, Frank? Why not have run him through?"

"Nay, I had no clean life for Sundays, Amyas; so I could not throw away
my week-day one; and as for the weal of England, I knew that it was
little he would damage it, and told him so. And at that he waxed utterly
mad, for it touched his pride, and swore that if the wind had not been
fair for sailing, he would have fought me there and then; to which I
could only answer, that I was ready to meet him when he would; and he
parted from me, saying, 'It is a pity, sir, I cannot fight you now; when
next we meet, it will be beneath my dignity to measure swords with you.'

"I suppose he expected to come back a prince at least--Heaven knows; I
owe him no ill-will, nor I hope does any man. He has paid all debts now
in full, and got his receipt for them."

"How did he die, then, after all?"

"On his voyage he touched in Portugal. King Sebastian was just sailing
for Africa with his new ally, Mohammed the Prince of Fez, to help King
Abdallah, and conquer what he could. He persuaded Stukely to go with
him. There were those who thought that he, as well as the Spaniards, had
no stomach for seeing the Pope's son King of Ireland. Others used to
say that he thought an island too small for his ambition, and must needs
conquer a continent--I know not why it was, but he went. They had heavy
weather in the passage; and when they landed, many of their soldiers
were sea-sick. Stukely, reasonably enough, counselled that they should
wait two or three days and recruit; but Don Sebastian was so mad for the
assault that he must needs have his veni, vidi, vici; and so ended with
a veni, vidi, perii; for he Abdallah, and his son Mohammed, all perished
in the first battle at Alcasar; and Stukely, surrounded and overpowered,
fought till he could fight no more, and then died like a hero with all
his wounds in front; and may God have mercy on his soul!"

"Ah!" said Amyas, "we heard of that battle off Lima, but nothing about
poor Stukely."

"That last was a Popish prayer, Master Frank," said old Mr. Cary.

"Most worshipful sir, you surely would not wish God not to have mercy on
his soul?"

"No--eh? Of course not: but that's all settled by now, for he is dead,
poor fellow."

"Certainly, my dear sir. And you cannot help being a little fond of him

"Eh? why, I should be a brute if I were not. He and I were
schoolfellows, though he was somewhat the younger; and many a good
thrashing have I given him, and one cannot help having a tenderness for
a man after that. Beside, we used to hunt together in Exmoor, and have
royal nights afterward into Ilfracombe, when we were a couple of mad
young blades. Fond of him? Why, I would have sooner given my forefinger
than that he should have gone to the dogs thus."

"Then, my dear sir, if you feel for him still, in spite of all his
faults, how do you know that God may not feel for him still, in spite of
all his faults? For my part," quoth Frank, in his fanciful way, "without
believing in that Popish Purgatory, I cannot help holding with Plato,
that such heroical souls, who have wanted but little of true greatness,
are hereafter by some strait discipline brought to a better mind;
perhaps, as many ancients have held with the Indian Gymnosophists, by
transmigration into the bodies of those animals whom they have resembled
in their passions; and indeed, if Sir Thomas Stukely's soul should now
animate the body of a lion, all I can say is that he would be a very
valiant and royal lion; and also doubtless become in due time heartily
ashamed and penitent for having been nothing better than a lion."

"What now, Master Frank? I don't trouble my head with such matters--I
say Stukely was a right good-hearted fellow at bottom; and if you plague
my head with any of your dialectics, and propositions, and college quips
and quiddities, you sha'n't have any more sack, sir. But here come the
knaves, and I hear the cook knock to dinner."

After a madrigal or two, and an Italian song of Master Frank's, all
which went sweetly enough, the ladies rose, and went. Whereon Will Cary,
drawing his chair close to Frank's, put quietly into his hand a dirty

"This was the letter left for me," whispered he, "by a country fellow
this morning. Look at it and tell me what I am to do."

Whereon Frank opened, and read--

     "Mister Cary, be you wary
        By deer park end to-night.
     Yf Irish ffoxe com out of rocks
        Grip and hold hym tight."

"I would have showed it my father," said Will, "but--"

"I verily believe it to be a blind. See now, this is the handwriting of
a man who has been trying to write vilely, and yet cannot. Look at
that B, and that G; their formae formativae never were begotten in a
hedge-school. And what is more, this is no Devon man's handiwork. We say
'to' and not 'by,' Will, eh? in the West country?"

"Of course."

"And 'man,' instead of 'him'?"

"True, O Daniel! But am I to do nothing therefore?"

"On that matter I am no judge. Let us ask much-enduring Ulysses here;
perhaps he has not sailed round the world without bringing home a device
or two."

Whereon Amyas was called to counsel, as soon as Mr. Cary could be
stopped in a long cross-examination of him as to Mr. Doughty's famous
trial and execution.

Amyas pondered awhile, thrusting his hands into his long curls; and

"Will, my lad, have you been watching at the Deer Park End of late?"


"Where, then?"

"At the town-beach."

"Where else?

"At the town-head."

"Where else?"

"Why, the fellow is turned lawyer! Above Freshwater."

"Where is Freshwater?"

"Why, where the water-fall comes over the cliff, half-a-mile from the
town. There is a path there up into the forest."

"I know. I'll watch there to-night. Do you keep all your old haunts
safe, of course, and send a couple of stout knaves to the mill, to watch
the beach at the Deer Park End, on the chance; for your poet may be a
true man, after all. But my heart's faith is, that this comes just to
draw you off from some old beat of yours, upon a wild-goose chase. If
they shoot the miller by mistake, I suppose it don't much matter?"

"Marry, no."

     "'When a miller's knock'd on the head,
     The less of flour makes the more of bread.'"

"Or, again," chimed in old Mr. Cary, "as they say in the North--

     "'Find a miller that will not steal,
     Or a webster that is leal,
     Or a priest that is not greedy,
     And lay them three a dead corpse by;
     And by the virtue of them three,
     The said dead corpse shall quicken'd be.'"

"But why are you so ready to watch Freshwater to-night, Master Amyas?"

"Because, sir, those who come, if they come, will never land at
Mouthmill; if they are strangers, they dare not; and if they are
bay's-men, they are too wise, as long as the westerly swell sets in. As
for landing at the town, that would be too great a risk; but Freshwater
is as lonely as the Bermudas; and they can beach a boat up under the
cliff at all tides, and in all weathers, except north and nor'west. I
have done it many a time, when I was a boy."

"And give us the fruit of your experience now in your old age, eh? Well,
you have a gray head on green shoulders, my lad; and I verily believe
you are right. Who will you take with you to watch?"

"Sir," said Frank, "I will go with my brother; and that will be enough."

"Enough? He is big enough, and you brave enough, for ten; but still, the
more the merrier."

"But the fewer, the better fare. If I might ask a first and last favor,
worshipful sir," said Frank, very earnestly, "you would grant me two
things: that you would let none go to Freshwater but me and my brother;
and that whatsoever we shall bring you back shall be kept as secret as
the commonweal and your loyalty shall permit. I trust that we are not so
unknown to you, or to others, that you can doubt for a moment but that
whatsoever we may do will satisfy at once your honor and our own."

"My dear young gentleman, there is no need of so many courtier's words.
I am your father's friend, and yours. And God forbid that a Cary--for I
guess your drift--should ever wish to make a head or a heart ache; that
is, more than--"

"Those of whom it is written, 'Though thou bray a fool in a mortar, yet
will not his folly depart from him,'" interposed Frank, in so sad a tone
that no one at the table replied; and few more words were exchanged,
till the two brothers were safe outside the house; and then--

"Amyas," said Frank, "that was a Devon man's handiwork, nevertheless; it
was Eustace's handwriting."


"No, lad. I have been secretary to a prince, and learnt to interpret
cipher, and to watch every pen-stroke; and, young as I am, I think that
I am not easily deceived. Would God I were! Come on, lad; and strike no
man hastily, lest thou cut off thine own flesh."

So forth the two went, along the park to the eastward, and past the
head of the little wood-embosomed fishing-town, a steep stair of houses
clinging to the cliff far below them, the bright slate roofs and white
walls glittering in the moonlight; and on some half-mile farther, along
the steep hill-side, fenced with oak wood down to the water's edge, by
a narrow forest path, to a point where two glens meet and pour their
streamlets over a cascade some hundred feet in height into the sea
below. By the side of this waterfall a narrow path climbs upward from
the beach; and here it was that the two brothers expected to meet the

Frank insisted on taking his station below Amyas. He said that he was
certain that Eustace himself would make his appearance, and that he
was more fit than Amyas to bring him to reason by parley; that if Amyas
would keep watch some twenty yards above, the escape of the messenger
would be impossible. Moreover, he was the elder brother, and the post of
honor was his right. So Amyas obeyed him, after making him promise that
if more than one man came up the path, he would let them pass him before
he challenged, so that both might bring them to bay at the same time.

So Amyas took his station under a high marl bank, and, bedded in
luxuriant crown-ferns, kept his eye steadily on Frank, who sat down on
a little knoll of rock (where is now a garden on the cliff-edge) which
parts the path and the dark chasm down which the stream rushes to its
final leap over the cliff.

There Amyas sat a full half-hour, and glanced at whiles from Frank to
look upon the scene around. Outside the southwest wind blew fresh and
strong, and the moonlight danced upon a thousand crests of foam; but
within the black jagged point which sheltered the town, the sea did
but heave, in long oily swells of rolling silver, onward into the black
shadow of the hills, within which the town and pier lay invisible,
save where a twinkling light gave token of some lonely fisher's wife,
watching the weary night through for the boat which would return with
dawn. Here and there upon the sea, a black speck marked a herring-boat,
drifting with its line of nets; and right off the mouth of the
glen, Amyas saw, with a beating heart, a large two-masted vessel
lying-to--that must be the "Portugal"! Eagerly he looked up the glen,
and listened; but he heard nothing but the sweeping of the wind across
the downs five hundred feet above, and the sough of the waterfall upon
the rocks below; he saw nothing but the vast black sheets of oak-wood
sloping up to the narrow blue sky above, and the broad bright hunter's
moon, and the woodcocks, which, chuckling to each other, hawked to and
fro, like swallows, between the tree-tops and the sky.

At last he heard a rustle of the fallen leaves; he shrank closer and
closer into the darkness of the bank. Then swift light steps--not down
the path, from above, but upward, from below; his heart beat quick and
loud. And in another half-minute a man came in sight, within three yards
of Frank's hiding-place.

Frank sprang out instantly. Amyas saw his bright blade glance in the
clear October moonlight.

"Stand in the queen's name!"

The man drew a pistol from under his cloak, and fired full in his face.
Had it happened in these days of detonators, Frank's chance had been
small; but to get a ponderous wheel-lock under weigh was a longer
business, and before the fizzing of the flint had ceased, Frank had
struck up the pistol with his rapier, and it exploded harmlessly over
his head. The man instantly dashed the weapon in his face and closed.

The blow, luckily, did not take effect on that delicate forehead, but
struck him on the shoulder: nevertheless, Frank, who with all his grace
and agility was as fragile as a lily, and a very bubble of the earth,
staggered, and lost his guard, and before he could recover himself,
Amyas saw a dagger gleam, and one, two, three blows fiercely repeated.

Mad with fury, he was with them in an instant. They were scuffling
together so closely in the shade that he was afraid to use his sword
point; but with the hilt he dealt a single blow full on the ruffian's
cheek. It was enough; with a hideous shriek, the fellow rolled over at
his feet, and Amyas set his foot on him, in act to run him through.

"Stop! stay!" almost screamed Frank; "it is Eustace! our cousin
Eustace!" and he leant against a tree.

Amyas sprang towards him: but Frank waved him off.

"It is nothing--a scratch. He has papers: I am sure of it. Take them;
and for God's sake let him go!"

"Villain! give me your papers!" cried Amyas, setting his foot once more
on the writhing Eustace, whose jaw was broken across.

"You struck me foully from behind," moaned he, his vanity and envy even
then coming out, in that faint and foolish attempt to prove Amyas not so
very much better a man.

"Hound, do you think that I dare not strike you in front? Give me your
papers, letters, whatever Popish devilry you carry; or as I live, I will
cut off your head, and take them myself, even if it cost me the shame
of stripping your corpse. Give them up! Traitor, murderer! give them, I
say!" And setting his foot on him afresh, he raised his sword.

Eustace was usually no craven: but he was cowed. Between agony and
shame, he had no heart to resist. Martyrdom, which looked so splendid
when consummated selon les regles on Tower Hill or Tyburn, before
pitying, or (still better) scoffing multitudes, looked a confused,
dirty, ugly business there in the dark forest; and as he lay, a stream
of moonlight bathed his mighty cousin's broad clear forehead, and his
long golden locks, and his white terrible blade, till he seemed, to
Eustace's superstitious eye, like one of those fair young St. Michaels
trampling on the fiend, which he had seen abroad in old German pictures.
He shuddered; pulled a packet from his bosom, and threw it from him,
murmuring, "I have not given it."

"Swear to me that these are all the papers which you have in cipher or
out of cipher. Swear on your soul, or you die!"

Eustace swore.

"Tell me, who are your accomplices?"

"Never!" said Eustace. "Cruel! have you not degraded me enough already?"
and the wretched young man burst into tears, and hid his bleeding face
in his hands.

One hint of honor made Amyas as gentle as a lamb. He lifted Eustace up,
and bade him run for his life.

"I am to owe my life, then, to you?"

"Not in the least; only to your being a Leigh. Go, or it will be worse
for you!" And Eustace went; while Amyas, catching up the precious
packet, hurried to Frank. He had fainted already, and his brother had
to carry him as far as the park before he could find any of the other
watchers. The blind, as far as they were concerned, was complete. They
had heard and seen nothing. Whosoever had brought the packet had landed
they knew not where; and so all returned to the court, carrying Frank,
who recovered gradually, having rather bruises than wounds; for his foe
had struck wildly, and with a trembling hand.

Half-an-hour after, Amyas, Mr. Cary, and his son Will were in deep
consultation over the following epistle, the only paper in the packet
which was not in cipher:--

"'DEAR BROTHER N. S. in Chto. et Ecclesia.

"This is to inform you and the friends of the cause, that S. Josephus
has landed in Smerwick, with eight hundred valiant Crusaders, burning
with holy zeal to imitate last year's martyrs of Carrigfolium, and
to expiate their offences (which I fear may have been many) by the
propagation of our most holy faith. I have purified the fort (which they
are strenuously rebuilding) with prayer and holy water, from the stain
of heretical footsteps, and consecrated it afresh to the service of
Heaven, as the first-fruits of the isle of saints; and having displayed
the consecrated banner to the adoration of the faithful, have returned
to Earl Desmond, that I may establish his faith, weak as yet, by reason
of the allurements of this world: though since, by the valor of his
brother James, he that hindered was taken out of the way (I mean Davils
the heretic, sacrifice well-pleasing in the eyes of Heaven!), the young
man has lent a more obedient ear to my counsels. If you can do anything,
do it quickly, for a great door and effectual is opened, and there are
many adversaries. But be swift, for so do the poor lambs of the Church
tremble at the fury of the heretics, that a hundred will flee before one
Englishman. And, indeed, were it not for that divine charity toward
the Church (which covers the multitude of sins) with which they are
resplendent, neither they nor their country would be, by the carnal
judgment, counted worthy of so great labor in their behalf. For they
themselves are given much to lying, theft, and drunkenness, vain
babbling, and profane dancing and singing; and are still, as S. Gildas
reports of them, 'more careful to shroud their villainous faces in bushy
hair, than decently to cover their bodies; while their land (by
reason of the tyranny of their chieftains, and the continual wars and
plunderings among their tribes, which leave them weak and divided,
an easy prey to the myrmidons of the excommunicate and usurping
Englishwoman) lies utterly waste with fire, and defaced with corpses of
the starved and slain. But what are these things, while the holy virtue
of Catholic obedience still flourishes in their hearts? The Church cares
not for the conservation of body and goods, but of immortal souls.

"If any devout lady shall so will, you may obtain from her liberality a
shirt for this worthless tabernacle, and also a pair of hose; for I am
unsavory to myself and to others, and of such luxuries none here has
superfluity; for all live in holy poverty, except the fleas, who have
that consolation in this world for which this unhappy nation, and those
who labor among them, must wait till the world to come.*

"Your loving brother,

"N. S."

     * See note at end of chapter.

"Sir Richard must know of this before daybreak," cried old Cary. "Eight
hundred men landed! We must call out the Posse Comitatus, and sail with
them bodily. I will go myself, old as I am. Spaniards in Ireland? not a
dog of them must go home again."

"Not a dog of them," answered Will; "but where is Mr. Winter and his

"Safe in Milford Haven; a messenger must be sent to him too."

"I'll go," said Amyas: "but Mr. Cary is right. Sir Richard must know all

"And we must have those Jesuits."

"What? Mr. Evans and Mr. Morgans? God help us--they are at my uncle's!
Consider the honor of our family!"

"Judge for yourself, my dear boy," said old Mr. Cary, gently: "would
it not be rank treason to let these foxes escape, while we have this
damning proof against them?"

"I will go myself, then."

"Why not? You may keep all straight, and Will shall go with you. Call a
groom, Will, and get your horse saddled, and my Yorkshire gray; he will
make better play with this big fellow on his back, than the little pony
astride of which Mr. Leigh came walking in (as I hear) this morning. As
for Frank, the ladies will see to him well enough, and glad enough, too,
to have so fine a bird in their cage for a week or two."

"And my mother?"

"We'll send to her to-morrow by daybreak. Come, a stirrup cup to start
with, hot and hot. Now, boots, cloaks, swords, a deep pull and a warm
one, and away!"

And the jolly old man bustled them out of the house and into their
saddles, under the broad bright winter's moon.

"You must make your pace, lads, or the moon will be down before you are
over the moors." And so away they went.

Neither of them spoke for many a mile. Amyas, because his mind was fixed
firmly on the one object of saving the honor of his house; and Will,
because he was hesitating between Ireland and the wars, and Rose
Salterne and love-making. At last he spoke suddenly.

"I'll go, Amyas."


"To Ireland with you, old man. I have dragged my anchor at last."

"What anchor, my lad of parables?"

"See, here am I, a tall and gallant ship."

"Modest even if not true."

"Inclination, like an anchor, holds me tight."

"To the mud."

"Nay, to a bed of roses--not without their thorns."

"Hillo! I have seen oysters grow on fruit-trees before now, but never an
anchor in a rose-garden."

"Silence, or my allegory will go to noggin-staves."

"Against the rocks of my flinty discernment."

"Pooh--well. Up comes duty like a jolly breeze, blowing dead from the
northeast, and as bitter and cross as a northeaster too, and tugs
me away toward Ireland. I hold on by the rosebed--any ground in a
storm--till every strand is parted, and off I go, westward ho! to get my
throat cut in a bog-hole with Amyas Leigh."

"Earnest, Will?"

"As I am a sinful man."

"Well done, young hawk of the White Cliff!"

"I had rather have called it Gallantry Bower still, though," said
Will, punning on the double name of the noble precipice which forms the
highest point of the deer park.

"Well, as long as you are on land, you know it is Gallantry Bower still:
but we always call it White Cliff when you see it from the sea-board, as
you and I shall do, I hope, to-morrow evening."

"What, so soon?"

"Dare we lose a day?"

"I suppose not: heigh-ho!"

And they rode on again in silence, Amyas in the meanwhile being not a
little content (in spite of his late self-renunciation) to find that one
of his rivals at least was going to raise the siege of the Rose garden
for a few months, and withdraw his forces to the coast of Kerry.

As they went over Bursdon, Amyas pulled up suddenly.

"Did you not hear a horse's step on our left?"

"On our left--coming up from Welsford moor? Impossible at this time of
night. It must have been a stag, or a sownder of wild swine: or may be
only an old cow."

"It was the ring of iron, friend. Let us stand and watch."

Bursdon and Welsford were then, as now, a rolling range of dreary
moors, unbroken by tor or tree, or anything save few and far between
a world-old furze-bank which marked the common rights of some distant
cattle farm, and crossed then, not as now, by a decent road, but by a
rough confused track-way, the remnant of an old Roman road from Clovelly
dikes to Launceston. To the left it trended down towards a lower range
of moors, which form the watershed of the heads of Torridge; and thither
the two young men peered down over the expanse of bog and furze, which
glittered for miles beneath the moon, one sheet of frosted silver, in
the heavy autumn dew.

"If any of Eustace's party are trying to get home from Freshwater, they
might save a couple of miles by coming across Welsford, instead of going
by the main track, as we have done." So said Amyas, who though (luckily
for him) no "genius," was cunning as a fox in all matters of tactic and
practic, and would have in these days proved his right to be considered
an intellectual person by being a thorough man of business.

"If any of his party are mad, they'll try it, and be stogged till the
day of judgment. There are bogs in the bottom twenty feet deep. Plague
on the fellow, whoever he is, he has dodged us! Look there!"

It was too true. The unknown horseman had evidently dismounted below,
and led his horse up on the other side of a long furze-dike; till coming
to the point where it turned away again from his intended course, he
appeared against the sky, in the act of leading his nag over a gap.

"Ride like the wind!" and both youths galloped across furze and heather
at him; but ere they were within a hundred yards of him, he had leapt
again on his horse, and was away far ahead.

"There is the dor to us, with a vengeance," cried Cary, putting in the

"It is but a lad; we shall never catch him."

"I'll try, though; and do you lumber after as you can, old heavysides;"
and Cary pushed forward.

Amyas lost sight of him for ten minutes, and then came up with him
dismounted, and feeling disconsolately at his horse's knees.

"Look for my head. It lies somewhere about among the furze there; and
oh! I am as full of needles as ever was a pin-cushion."

"Are his knees broken?"

"I daren't look. No, I believe not. Come along, and make the best of a
bad matter. The fellow is a mile ahead, and to the right, too."

"He is going for Moorwinstow, then; but where is my cousin?"

"Behind us, I dare say. We shall nab him at least."

"Cary, promise me that if we do, you will keep out of sight, and let me
manage him."

"My boy, I only want Evan Morgans and Morgan Evans. He is but the cat's
paw, and we are after the cats themselves."

And so they went on another dreary six miles, till the land trended
downwards, showing dark glens and masses of woodland far below.

"Now, then, straight to Chapel, and stop the foxes' earth? Or through
the King's Park to Stow, and get out Sir Richard's hounds, hue and cry,
and queen's warrant in proper form?"

"Let us see Sir Richard first; and whatsoever he decides about my uncle,
I will endure as a loyal subject must."

So they rode through the King's Park, while Sir Richard's colts came
whinnying and staring round the intruders, and down through a rich
woodland lane five hundred feet into the valley, till they could hear
the brawling of the little trout-stream, and beyond, the everlasting
thunder of the ocean surf.

Down through warm woods, all fragrant with dying autumn flowers, leaving
far above the keen Atlantic breeze, into one of those delicious Western
combes, and so past the mill, and the little knot of flower-clad
cottages. In the window of one of them a light was still burning. The
two young men knew well whose window that was; and both hearts beat
fast; for Rose Salterne slept, or rather seemed to wake, in that

"Folks are late in Combe to-night," said Amyas, as carelessly as he

Cary looked earnestly at the window, and then sharply enough at Amyas;
but Amyas was busy settling his stirrup; and Cary rode on, unconscious
that every fibre in his companion's huge frame was trembling like his

"Muggy and close down here," said Amyas, who, in reality, was quite
faint with his own inward struggles.

"We shall be at Stow gate in five minutes," said Cary, looking back and
down longingly as his horse climbed the opposite hill; but a turn of the
zigzag road hid the cottage, and the next thought was, how to effect an
entrance into Stow at three in the morning without being eaten by the
ban-dogs, who were already howling and growling at the sound of the

However, they got safely in, after much knocking and calling, through
the postern gate in the high west wall, into a mansion, the description
whereof I must defer to the next chapter, seeing that the moon has
already sunk into the Atlantic, and there is darkness over land and sea.

Sir Richard, in his long gown, was soon downstairs in the hall; the
letter read, and the story told; but ere it was half finished--

"Anthony, call up a groom, and let him bring me a horse round.
Gentlemen, if you will excuse me five minutes, I shall be at your

"You will not go alone, Richard?" asked Lady Grenville, putting her
beautiful face in its nightcoif out of an adjoining door.

"Surely, sweet chuck, we three are enough to take two poor polecats of
Jesuits. Go in, and help me to boot and gird."

In half an hour they were down and up across the valley again, under the
few low ashes clipt flat by the sea-breeze which stood round the lonely
gate of Chapel.

"Mr. Cary, there is a back path across the downs to Marsland; go and
guard that." Cary rode off; and Sir Richard, as he knocked loudly at the

"Mr. Leigh, you see that I have consulted your honor, and that of your
poor uncle, by adventuring thus alone. What will you have me do now,
which may not be unfit for me and you?"

"Oh, sir!" said Amyas, with tears in his honest eyes, "you have shown
yourself once more what you always have been--my dear and beloved master
on earth, not second even to my admiral Sir Francis Drake."

"Or the queen, I hope," said Grenville, smiling, "but pocas palabras.
What will you do?"

"My wretched cousin, sir, may not have returned--and if I might watch
for him on the main road--unless you want me with you."

"Richard Grenville can walk alone, lad. But what will you do with your

"Send him out of the country, never to return; or if he refuses, run him
through on the spot."

"Go, lad." And as he spoke, a sleepy voice asked inside the gate, "Who
was there?"

"Sir Richard Grenville. Open, in the queen's name?"

"Sir Richard? He is in bed, and be hanged to you. No honest folk come at
this hour of night."

"Amyas!" shouted Sir Richard. Amyas rode back.

"Burst that gate for me, while I hold your horse."

Amyas leaped down, took up a rock from the roadside, such as Homer's
heroes used to send at each other's heads, and in an instant the door
was flat on the ground, and the serving-man on his back inside, while
Sir Richard quietly entering over it, like Una into the hut, told the
fellow to get up and hold his horse for him (which the clod, who knew
well enough that terrible voice, did without further murmurs), and then
strode straight to the front door. It was already opened. The household
had been up and about all along, or the noise at the entry had aroused

Sir Richard knocked, however, at the open door; and, to his
astonishment, his knock was answered by Mr. Leigh himself, fully
dressed, and candle in hand.

"Sir Richard Grenville! What, sir! is this neighborly, not to say
gentle, to break into my house in the dead of night?"

"I broke your outer door, sir, because I was refused entrance when I
asked in the queen's name. I knocked at your inner one, as I should
have knocked at the poorest cottager's in the parish, because I found
it open. You have two Jesuits here, sir! and here is the queen's warrant
for apprehending them. I have signed it with my own hand, and, moreover,
serve it now, with my own hand, in order to save you scandal--and it may
be, worse. I must have these men, Mr. Leigh."

"My dear Sir Richard--!"

"I must have them, or I must search the house; and you would not put
either yourself or me to so shameful a necessity?"

"My dear Sir Richard!--"

"Must I, then, ask you to stand back from your own doorway, my dear
sir?" said Grenville. And then changing his voice to that fearful lion's
roar, for which he was famous, and which it seemed impossible that lips
so delicate could utter, he thundered, "Knaves, behind there! Back!"

This was spoken to half-a-dozen grooms and serving-men, who, well armed,
were clustered in the passage.

"What? swords out, you sons of cliff rabbits?" And in a moment, Sir
Richard's long blade flashed out also, and putting Mr. Leigh gently
aside, as if he had been a child, he walked up to the party, who
vanished right and left; having expected a cur dog, in the shape of a
parish constable, and come upon a lion instead. They were stout fellows
enough, no doubt, in a fair fight: but they had no stomach to be hanged
in a row at Launceston Castle, after a preliminary running through the
body by that redoubted admiral and most unpeaceful justice of the peace.

"And now, my dear Mr. Leigh," said Sir Richard, as blandly as ever,
"where are my men? The night is cold; and you, as well as I, need to be
in our beds."

"The men, Sir Richard--the Jesuits--they are not here, indeed."

"Not here, sir?"

"On the word of a gentleman, they left my house an hour ago. Believe me,
sir, they did. I will swear to you if you need."

"I believe Mr. Leigh of Chapel's word without oaths. Whither are they

"Nay, sir--how can I tell? They are--they are, as I may say, fled, sir;

"With your connivance; at least with your son's. Where are they gone?"

"As I live, I do not know."

"Mr. Leigh--is this possible? Can you add untruth to that treason from
the punishment of which I am trying to shield you?"

Poor Mr. Leigh burst into tears.

"Oh! my God! my God! is it come to this? Over and above having the fear
and anxiety of keeping these black rascals in my house, and having to
stop their villainous mouths every minute, for fear they should hang me
and themselves, I am to be called a traitor and a liar in my old age,
and that, too, by Richard Grenville! Would God I had never been born!
Would God I had no soul to be saved, and I'd just go and drown care in
drink, and let the queen and the Pope fight it out their own way!" And
the poor old man sank into a chair, and covered his face with his hands,
and then leaped up again.

"Bless my heart! Excuse me, Sir Richard--to sit down and leave you
standing. 'S life, sir, sorrow is making a hawbuck of me. Sit down, my
dear sir! my worshipful sir! or rather come with me into my room, and
hear a poor wretched man's story, for I swear before God the men are
fled; and my poor boy Eustace is not home either, and the groom tells me
that his devil of a cousin has broken his jaw for him; and his mother is
all but mad this hour past. Good lack! good lack!"

"He nearly murdered his angel of a cousin, sir!" said Sir Richard,

"What, sir? They never told me."

"He had stabbed his cousin Frank three times, sir, before Amyas, who is
as noble a lad as walks God's earth, struck him down. And in defence
of what, forsooth, did he play the ruffian and the swashbuckler, but to
bring home to your house this letter, sir, which you shall hear at your
leisure, the moment I have taken order about your priests." And walking
out of the house he went round and called to Cary to come to him.

"The birds are flown, Will," whispered he. "There is but one chance for
us, and that is Marsland Mouth. If they are trying to take boat there,
you may be yet in time. If they are gone inland we can do nothing till
we raise the hue and cry to-morrow."

And Will galloped off over the downs toward Marsland, while Sir Richard
ceremoniously walked in again, and professed himself ready and happy to
have the honor of an audience in Mr. Leigh's private chamber. And as we
know pretty well already what was to be discussed therein, we had better
go over to Marsland Mouth, and, if possible, arrive there before Will
Cary: seeing that he arrived hot and swearing, half an hour too late.

Note.--I have shrunk somewhat from giving these and other sketches (true
and accurate as I believe them to be) of Ireland during Elizabeth's
reign, when the tyranny and lawlessness of the feudal chiefs had reduced
the island to such a state of weakness and barbarism, that it was
absolutely necessary for England either to crush the Norman-Irish
nobility, and organize some sort of law and order, or to leave Ireland
an easy prey to the Spaniards, or any other nation which should go to
war with us. The work was done--clumsily rather than cruelly; but wrongs
were inflicted, and avenged by fresh wrongs, and those by fresh again.
May the memory of them perish forever! It has been reserved for this
age, and for the liberal policy of this age, to see the last ebullitions
of Celtic excitability die out harmless and ashamed of itself, and
to find that the Irishman, when he is brought as a soldier under the
regenerative influence of law, discipline, self-respect, and loyalty,
can prove himself a worthy rival of the more stern Norse-Saxon warrior.
God grant that the military brotherhood between Irish and English,
which is the special glory of the present war, may be the germ of a
brotherhood industrial, political, and hereafter, perhaps, religious
also; and that not merely the corpses of heroes, but the feuds and
wrongs which have parted them for centuries, may lie buried, once and
forever, in the noble graves of Alma and Inkerman.



            "Far, far from hence
     The Adriatic breaks in a warm bay
     Among the green Illyrian hills, and there
     The sunshine in the happy glens is fair,
     And by the sea and in the brakes
     The grass is cool, the sea-side air
     Buoyant and fresh, the mountain flowers
     More virginal and sweet than ours."

                                  MATTHEW ARNOLD.

And even such are those delightful glens, which cut the high table-land
of the confines of Devon and Cornwall, and opening each through its
gorge of down and rock, towards the boundless Western Ocean. Each is
like the other, and each is like no other English scenery. Each has its
upright walls, inland of rich oak-wood, nearer the sea of dark green
furze, then of smooth turf, then of weird black cliffs which range out
right and left far into the deep sea, in castles, spires, and wings
of jagged iron-stone. Each has its narrow strip of fertile meadow, its
crystal trout stream winding across and across from one hill-foot to the
other; its gray stone mill, with the water sparkling and humming round
the dripping wheel; its dark, rock pools above the tide mark, where the
salmon-trout gather in from their Atlantic wanderings, after each autumn
flood: its ridge of blown sand, bright with golden trefoil and crimson
lady's finger; its gray bank of polished pebbles, down which the
stream rattles toward the sea below. Each has its black field of jagged
shark's-tooth rock which paves the cove from side to side, streaked with
here and there a pink line of shell sand, and laced with white foam from
the eternal surge, stretching in parallel lines out to the westward,
in strata set upright on edge, or tilted towards each other at strange
angles by primeval earthquakes;--such is the "mouth"--as those coves are
called; and such the jaw of teeth which they display, one rasp of which
would grind abroad the timbers of the stoutest ship. To landward,
all richness, softness, and peace; to seaward, a waste and howling
wilderness of rock and roller, barren to the fisherman, and hopeless to
the shipwrecked mariner.

In only one of these "mouths" is a landing for boats, made possible by
a long sea-wall of rock, which protects it from the rollers of the
Atlantic; and that mouth is Marsland, the abode of the White Witch, Lucy
Passmore; whither, as Sir Richard Grenville rightly judged, the Jesuits
were gone. But before the Jesuits came, two other persons were standing
on that lonely beach, under the bright October moon, namely, Rose
Salterne and the White Witch herself; for Rose, fevered with curiosity
and superstition, and allured by the very wildness and possible danger
of the spell, had kept her appointment; and, a few minutes before
midnight, stood on the gray shingle beach with her counsellor.

"You be safe enough here to-night, miss. My old man is snoring sound
abed, and there's no other soul ever sets foot here o' nights, except
it be the mermaids now and then. Goodness, Father, where's our boat? It
ought to be up here on the pebbles."

Rose pointed to a strip of sand some forty yards nearer the sea, where
the boat lay.

"Oh, the lazy old villain! he's been round the rocks after pollock this
evening, and never taken the trouble to hale the boat up. I'll trounce
him for it when I get home. I only hope he's made her fast where she is,
that's all! He's more plague to me than ever my money will be. O deary

And the goodwife bustled down toward the boat, with Rose behind her.

"Iss, 'tis fast, sure enough: and the oars aboard too! Well, I never!
Oh, the lazy thief, to leave they here to be stole! I'll just sit in the
boat, dear, and watch mun, while you go down to the say; for you must
be all alone to yourself, you know, or you'll see nothing. There's the
looking-glass; now go, and dip your head three times, and mind you don't
look to land or sea before you've said the words, and looked upon the
glass. Now, be quick, it's just upon midnight."

And she coiled herself up in the boat, while Rose went faltering down
the strip of sand, some twenty yards farther, and there slipping off her
clothes, stood shivering and trembling for a moment before she entered
the sea.

She was between two walls of rock: that on her left hand, some twenty
feet high, hid her in deepest shade; that on her right, though much
lower, took the whole blaze of the midnight moon. Great festoons of live
and purple sea-weed hung from it, shading dark cracks and crevices, fit
haunts for all the goblins of the sea. On her left hand, the peaks of
the rock frowned down ghastly black; on her right hand, far aloft, the
downs slept bright and cold.

The breeze had died away; not even a roller broke the perfect stillness
of the cove. The gulls were all asleep upon the ledges. Over all was a
true autumn silence; a silence which may be heard. She stood awed, and
listened in hope of a sound which might tell her that any living thing
beside herself existed.

There was a faint bleat, as of a new-born lamb, high above her head;
she started and looked up. Then a wail from the cliffs, as of a child
in pain, answered by another from the opposite rocks. They were but the
passing snipe, and the otter calling to her brood; but to her they
were mysterious, supernatural goblins, come to answer to her call.
Nevertheless, they only quickened her expectation; and the witch had
told her not to fear them. If she performed the rite duly, nothing
would harm her: but she could hear the beating of her own heart, as she
stepped, mirror in hand, into the cold water, waded hastily, as far as
she dare, and then stopped aghast.

A ring of flame was round her waist; every limb was bathed in lambent
light; all the multitudinous life of the autumn sea, stirred by her
approach, had flashed suddenly into glory;--

"And around her the lamps of the sea nymphs, Myriad fiery globes, swam
heaving and panting, and rainbows, Crimson and azure and emerald, were
broken in star-showers, lighting Far through the wine-dark depths of the
crystal, the gardens of Nereus, Coral and sea-fan and tangle, the blooms
and the palms of the ocean."

She could see every shell which crawled on the white sand at her feet,
every rock-fish which played in and out of the crannies, and stared at
her with its broad bright eyes; while the great palmate oarweeds which
waved along the chasm, half-seen in the glimmering water, seemed to
beckon her down with long brown hands to a grave amid their chilly
bowers. She turned to flee; but she had gone too far now to retreat;
hastily dipping her head three times, she hurried out to the sea-marge,
and looking through her dripping locks at the magic mirror, pronounced
the incantation--

     "A maiden pure, here I stand,
     Neither on sea, nor yet on land;
     Angels watch me on either hand.
     If you be landsman, come down the strand;
     If you be sailor, come up the sand;
     If you be angel, come from the sky,
     Look in my glass, and pass me by;
     Look in my glass, and go from the shore;
     Leave me, but love me for evermore."

The incantation was hardly finished, her eyes were straining into the
mirror, where, as may be supposed, nothing appeared but the sparkle of
the drops from her own tresses, when she heard rattling down the pebbles
the hasty feet of men and horses.

She darted into a cavern of the high rock, and hastily dressed herself:
the steps held on right to the boat. Peeping out, half-dead with terror,
she saw there four men, two of whom had just leaped from their horses,
and turning them adrift, began to help the other two in running the boat

Whereon, out of the stern sheets, arose, like an angry ghost, the portly
figure of Lucy Passmore, and shrieked in shrillest treble--

"Eh! ye villains, ye roogs, what do ye want staling poor folks' boats by
night like this?"

The whole party recoiled in terror, and one turned to run up the beach,
shouting at the top of his voice, "'Tis a marmaiden--a marmaiden asleep
in Willy Passmore's boat!"

"I wish it were any sich good luck," she could hear Will say; "'tis my
wife, oh dear!" and he cowered down, expecting the hearty cuff which he
received duly, as the White Witch, leaping out of the boat, dared any
man to touch it, and thundered to her husband to go home to bed.

The wily dame, as Rose well guessed, was keeping up this delay chiefly
to gain time for her pupil: but she had also more solid reasons for
making the fight as hard as possible; for she, as well as Rose, had
already discerned in the ungainly figure of one of the party the same
suspicious Welsh gentleman, on whose calling she had divined long
ago; and she was so loyal a subject as to hold in extreme horror her
husband's meddling with such "Popish skulkers" (as she called the whole
party roundly to their face)--unless on consideration of a very handsome
sum of money. In vain Parsons thundered, Campian entreated, Mr. Leigh's
groom swore, and her husband danced round in an agony of mingled fear
and covetousness.

"No," she cried, "as I am an honest woman and loyal! This is why you
left the boat down to the shoore, you old traitor, you, is it? To help
off sich noxious trade as this out of the hands of her majesty's quorum
and rotulorum? Eh? Stand back, cowards! Will you strike a woman?"

This last speech (as usual) was merely indicative of her intention to
strike the men; for, getting out one of the oars, she swung it round and
round fiercely, and at last caught Father Parsons such a crack across
the shins, that he retreated with a howl.

"Lucy, Lucy!" shrieked her husband, in shrillest Devon falsetto, "be you
mazed? Be you mazed, lass? They promised me two gold nobles before I'd
lend them the boot!"

"Tu?" shrieked the matron, with a tone of ineffable scorn. "And do yu
call yourself a man?"

"Tu nobles! tu nobles!" shrieked he again, hopping about at oar's

"Tu? And would you sell your soul under ten?"

"Oh, if that is it," cried poor Campian, "give her ten, give her
ten, brother Pars--Morgans, I mean; and take care of your shins, Offa
Cerbero, you know--Oh, virago! Furens quid faemina possit! Certainly she
is some Lamia, some Gorgon, some--"

"Take that, for your Lamys and Gorgons to an honest woman!" and in
a moment poor Campian's thin legs were cut from under him, while the
virago, "mounting on his trunk astride," like that more famous one on
Hudibras, cried, "Ten nobles, or I'll kep ye here till morning!" And the
ten nobles were paid into her hand.

And now the boat, its dragon guardian being pacified, was run down to
the sea, and close past the nook where poor little Rose was squeezing
herself into the farthest and darkest corner, among wet sea-weed and
rough barnacles, holding her breath as they approached.

They passed her, and the boat's keel was already in the water; Lucy had
followed them close, for reasons of her own, and perceiving close to the
water's edge a dark cavern, cunningly surmised that it contained Rose,
and planted her ample person right across its mouth, while she grumbled
at her husband, the strangers, and above all at Mr. Leigh's groom, to
whom she prophesied pretty plainly Launceston gaol and the gallows;
while the wretched serving-man, who would as soon have dared to leap off
Welcombe Cliff as to return railing for railing to the White Witch, in
vain entreated her mercy, and tried, by all possible dodging, to keep
one of the party between himself and her, lest her redoubted eye should
"overlook" him once more to his ruin.

But the night's adventures were not ended yet; for just as the boat was
launched, a faint halloo was heard upon the beach, and a minute after,
a horseman plunged down the pebbles, and along the sand, and pulling his
horse up on its haunches close to the terrified group, dropped, rather
than leaped, from the saddle.

The serving-man, though he dared not tackle a witch, knew well enough
how to deal with a swordsman; and drawing, sprang upon the newcomer, and
then recoiled--

"God forgive me, it's Mr. Eustace! Oh, dear sir, I took you for one of
Sir Richard's men! Oh, sir, you're hurt!"

"A scratch, a scratch!" almost moaned Eustace. "Help me into the boat,
Jack. Gentlemen, I must with you."

"Not with us, surely, my dear son, vagabonds upon the face of the
earth?" said kind-hearted Campian.

"With you, forever. All is over here. Whither God and the cause
lead"--and he staggered toward the boat.

As he passed Rose, she saw his ghastly bleeding face, half bound up with
a handkerchief, which could not conceal the convulsions of rage, shame,
and despair, which twisted it from all its usual beauty. His eyes glared
wildly round--and once, right into the cavern. They met hers, so full,
and keen, and dreadful, that forgetting she was utterly invisible, the
terrified girl was on the point of shrieking aloud.

"He has overlooked me!" said she, shuddering to herself, as she
recollected his threat of yesterday.

"Who has wounded you?" asked Campian.

"My cousin--Amyas--and taken the letter!"

"The devil take him, then!" cried Parsons, stamping up and down upon the
sand in fury.

"Ay, curse him--you may! I dare not! He saved me--sent me here!"--and
with a groan, he made an effort to enter the boat.

"Oh, my dear young gentleman," cried Lucy Passmore, her woman's heart
bursting out at the sight of pain, "you must not goo forth with a grane
wound like to that. Do ye let me just bind mun up--do ye now!" and she

Eustace thrust her back.

"No! better bear it, I deserve it--devils! I deserve it! On board, or we
shall all be lost--William Cary is close behind me!"

And at that news the boat was thrust into the sea, faster than ever it
went before, and only in time; for it was but just round the rocks, and
out of sight, when the rattle of Cary's horsehoofs was heard above.

"That rascal of Mr. Leigh's will catch it now, the Popish villain!" said
Lucy Passmore, aloud. "You lie still there, dear life, and settle your
sperrits; you'm so safe as ever was rabbit to burrow. I'll see what
happens, if I die for it!" And so saying, she squeezed herself up
through a cleft to a higher ledge, from whence she could see what passed
in the valley.

"There mun is! in the meadow, trying to catch the horses! There comes
Mr. Cary! Goodness, Father, how a rid'th! he's over wall already! Ron,
Jack! ron then! A'll get to the river! No, a wain't! Goodness, Father!
There's Mr. Cary cotched mun! A's down, a's down!"

"Is he dead?" asked Rose, shuddering.

"Iss, fegs, dead as nits! and Mr. Cary off his horse, standing
overthwart mun! No, a bain't! A's up now. Suspose he was hit wi' the
flat. Whatever is Mr. Cary tu? Telling wi' mun, a bit. Oh dear, dear,

"Has he killed him?" cried poor Rose.

"No, fegs, no! kecking mun, kecking mun, so hard as ever was futeball!
Goodness, Father, who did ever? If a haven't kecked mun right into
river, and got on mun's horse and rod away!"

And so saying, down she came again.

"And now then, my dear life, us be better to goo hoom and get you sommat
warm. You'm mortal cold, I rackon, by now. I was cruel fear'd for ye:
but I kept mun off clever, didn't I, now?"

"I wish--I wish I had not seen Mr. Leigh's face!"

"Iss, dreadful, weren't it, poor young soul; a sad night for his poor

"Lucy, I can't get his face out of my mind. I'm sure he overlooked me."

"Oh then! who ever heard the like o' that? When young gentlemen do
overlook young ladies, tain't thikketheor aways, I knoo. Never you think
on it."

"But I can't help thinking of it," said Rose. "Stop. Shall we go home
yet? Where's that servant?"

"Never mind, he wain't see us, here under the hill. I'd much sooner to
know where my old man was. I've a sort of a forecasting in my inwards,
like, as I always has when aught's gwain to happen, as though I shuldn't
zee mun again, like, I have, miss. Well--he was a bedient old soul,
after all, he was. Goodness, Father! and all this while us have forgot
the very thing us come about! Who did you see?"

"Only that face!" said Rose, shuddering.

"Not in the glass, maid? Say then, not in the glass?"

"Would to heaven it had been! Lucy, what if he were the man I was fated

"He? Why, he's a praste, a Popish praste, that can't marry if he would,
poor wratch."

"He is none; and I have cause enough to know it!" And, for want of a
better confidant, Rose poured into the willing ears of her companion the
whole story of yesterday's meeting.

"He's a pretty wooer!" said Lucy at last, contemptuously. "Be a brave
maid, then, be a brave maid, and never terrify yourself with his unlucky
face. It's because there was none here worthy of ye, that ye seed none
in glass. Maybe he's to be a foreigner, from over seas, and that's why
his sperit was so long a coming. A duke, or a prince to the least, I'll
warrant, he'll be, that carries off the Rose of Bideford."

But in spite of all the good dame's flattery, Rose could not wipe that
fierce face away from her eyeballs. She reached home safely, and crept
to bed undiscovered: and when the next morning, as was to be expected,
found her laid up with something very like a fever, from excitement,
terror, and cold, the phantom grew stronger and stronger before her, and
it required all her woman's tact and self-restraint to avoid betraying
by her exclamations what had happened on that fantastic night. After a
fortnight's weakness, however, she recovered and went back to Bideford:
but ere she arrived there, Amyas was far across the seas on his way to
Milford Haven, as shall be told in the ensuing chapters.



     "The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew;
       The furrow follow'd free;
     We were the first that ever burst
       Into that silent sea."

                          The Ancient Mariner.

It was too late and too dark last night to see the old house at Stow. We
will look round us, then, this bright October day, while Sir Richard and
Amyas, about eleven o'clock in the forenoon, are pacing up and down the
terraced garden to the south. Amyas has slept till luncheon, i. e. till
an hour ago: but Sir Richard, in spite of the bustle of last night, was
up and in the valley by six o'clock, recreating the valiant souls of
himself and two terrier dogs by the chase of sundry badgers.

Old Stow House stands, or rather stood, some four miles beyond the
Cornish border, on the northern slope of the largest and loveliest of
those combes of which I spoke in the last chapter. Eighty years after
Sir Richard's time there arose there a huge Palladian pile, bedizened
with every monstrosity of bad taste, which was built, so the story runs,
by Charles the Second, for Sir Richard's great-grandson, the heir of
that famous Sir Bevil who defeated the Parliamentary troops at Stratton,
and died soon after, fighting valiantly at Lansdowne over Bath. But,
like most other things which owed their existence to the Stuarts,
it rose only to fall again. An old man who had seen, as a boy, the
foundation of the new house laid, lived to see it pulled down again,
and the very bricks and timber sold upon the spot; and since then the
stables have become a farm-house, the tennis-court a sheep-cote, the
great quadrangle a rick-yard; and civilization, spreading wave on
wave so fast elsewhere, has surged back from that lonely corner of the
land--let us hope, only for a while.

But I am not writing of that great new Stow House, of the past glories
whereof quaint pictures still hang in the neighboring houses; nor of
that famed Sir Bevil, most beautiful and gallant of his generation,
on whom, with his grandfather Sir Richard, old Prince has his pompous

     "Where next shall famous Grenvil's ashes stand?
     Thy grandsire fills the sea, and thou the land."

I have to deal with a simpler age, and a sterner generation; and with
the old house, which had stood there, in part at least, from gray and
mythic ages, when the first Sir Richard, son of Hamon Dentatus, Lord of
Carboyle, the grandson of Duke Robert, son of Rou, settled at Bideford,
after slaying the Prince of South-Galis, and the Lord of Glamorgan, and
gave to the Cistercian monks of Neath all his conquests in South Wales.
It was a huge rambling building, half castle, half dwelling-house, such
as may be seen still (almost an unique specimen) in Compton Castle
near Torquay, the dwelling-place of Humphrey Gilbert, Walter Raleigh's
half-brother, and Richard Grenville's bosom friend, of whom more
hereafter. On three sides, to the north, west, and south, the lofty
walls of the old ballium still stood, with their machicolated turrets,
loopholes, and dark downward crannies for dropping stones and fire on
the besiegers, the relics of a more unsettled age: but the southern
court of the ballium had become a flower-garden, with quaint terraces,
statues, knots of flowers, clipped yews and hollies, and all the
pedantries of the topiarian art. And toward the east, where the vista
of the valley opened, the old walls were gone, and the frowning Norman
keep, ruined in the Wars of the Roses, had been replaced by the rich
and stately architecture of the Tudors. Altogether, the house, like the
time, was in a transitionary state, and represented faithfully enough
the passage of the old middle age into the new life which had just burst
into blossom throughout Europe, never, let us pray, to see its autumn or
its winter.

From the house on three sides, the hill sloped steeply down, and the
garden where Sir Richard and Amyas were walking gave a truly English
prospect. At one turn they could catch, over the western walls, a
glimpse of the blue ocean flecked with passing sails; and at the next,
spread far below them, range on range of fertile park, stately avenue,
yellow autumn woodland, and purple heather moors, lapping over and over
each other up the valley to the old British earthwork, which stood black
and furze-grown on its conical peak; and standing out against the sky on
the highest bank of hill which closed the valley to the east, the lofty
tower of Kilkhampton church, rich with the monuments and offerings of
five centuries of Grenvilles. A yellow eastern haze hung soft over park,
and wood, and moor; the red cattle lowed to each other as they stood
brushing away the flies in the rivulet far below; the colts in the
horse-park close on their right whinnied as they played together, and
their sires from the Queen's Park, on the opposite hill, answered them
in fuller though fainter voices. A rutting stag made the still woodland
rattle with his hoarse thunder, and a rival far up the valley gave back
a trumpet note of defiance, and was himself defied from heathery brows
which quivered far away above, half seen through the veil of eastern
mist. And close at home, upon the terrace before the house, amid romping
spaniels and golden-haired children, sat Lady Grenville herself, the
beautiful St. Leger of Annery, the central jewel of all that glorious
place, and looked down at her noble children, and then up at her more
noble husband, and round at that broad paradise of the West, till life
seemed too full of happiness, and heaven of light.

And all the while up and down paced Amyas and Sir Richard, talking long,
earnestly, and slow; for they both knew that the turning point of the
boy's life was come.

"Yes," said Sir Richard, after Amyas, in his blunt simple way, had told
him the whole story about Rose Salterne and his brother,--"yes, sweet
lad, thou hast chosen the better part, thou and thy brother also, and it
shall not be taken from you. Only be strong, lad, and trust in God that
He will make a man of you."

"I do trust," said Amyas.

"Thank God," said Sir Richard, "that you have yourself taken from my
heart that which was my great anxiety for you, from the day that your
good father, who sleeps in peace, committed you to my hands. For all
best things, Amyas, become, when misused, the very worst; and the love
of woman, because it is able to lift man's soul to the heavens, is also
able to drag him down to hell. But you have learnt better, Amyas; and
know, with our old German forefathers, that, as Tacitus saith, Sera
juvenum Venus, ideoque inexhausta pubertas. And not only that, Amyas;
but trust me, that silly fashion of the French and Italians, to be
hanging ever at some woman's apron string, so that no boy shall count
himself a man unless he can vagghezziare le donne, whether maids or
wives, alas! matters little; that fashion, I say, is little less hurtful
to the soul than open sin; for by it are bred vanity and expense, envy
and heart-burning, yea, hatred and murder often; and even if that be
escaped, yet the rich treasure of a manly worship, which should be kept
for one alone, is squandered and parted upon many, and the bride at last
comes in for nothing but the very last leavings and caput mortuum of
her bridegroom's heart, and becomes a mere ornament for his table, and
a means whereby he may obtain a progeny. May God, who has saved me from
that death in life, save you also!" And as he spoke, he looked down
toward his wife upon the terrace below; and she, as if guessing
instinctively that he was talking of her, looked up with so sweet
a smile, that Sir Richard's stern face melted into a very glory of
spiritual sunshine.

Amyas looked at them both and sighed; and then turning the conversation

"And I may go to Ireland to-morrow?"

"You shall sail in the 'Mary' for Milford Haven, with these letters to
Winter. If the wind serves, you may bid the master drop down the river
tonight, and be off; for we must lose no time."

"Winter?" said Amyas. "He is no friend of mine, since he left Drake and
us so cowardly at the Straits of Magellan."

"Duty must not wait for private quarrels, even though they be just ones,
lad: but he will not be your general. When you come to the marshal, or
the Lord Deputy, give either of them this letter, and they will set you
work,--and hard work too, I warrant.

"I want nothing better."

"Right, lad; the best reward for having wrought well already, is to have
more to do; and he that has been faithful over a few things, must find
his account in being made ruler over many things. That is the true and
heroical rest, which only is worthy of gentlemen and sons of God. As for
those who, either in this world or the world to come, look for idleness,
and hope that God shall feed them with pleasant things, as it were with
a spoon, Amyas, I count them cowards and base, even though they call
themselves saints and elect."

"I wish you could persuade my poor cousin of that."

"He has yet to learn what losing his life to save it means, Amyas. Bad
men have taught him (and I fear these Anabaptists and Puritans at home
teach little else), that it is the one great business of every one to
save his own soul after he dies; every one for himself; and that that,
and not divine self-sacrifice, is the one thing needful, and the better
part which Mary chose."

"I think men are inclined enough already to be selfish, without being
taught that."

"Right, lad. For me, if I could hang up such a teacher on high as an
enemy of mankind, and a corrupter of youth, I would do it gladly. Is
there not cowardice and self-seeking enough about the hearts of us
fallen sons of Adam, that these false prophets, with their baits of
heaven, and their terrors of hell, must exalt our dirtiest vices into
heavenly virtues and the means of bliss? Farewell to chivalry and to
desperate valor, farewell to patriotism and loyalty, farewell to England
and to the manhood of England, if once it shall become the fashion of
our preachers to bid every man, as the Jesuits do, take care first of
what they call the safety of his soul. Every man will be afraid to die
at his post, because he will be afraid that he is not fit to die. Amyas,
do thou do thy duty like a man, to thy country, thy queen, and thy God;
and count thy life a worthless thing, as did the holy men of old. Do
thy work, lad; and leave thy soul to the care of Him who is just and
merciful in this, that He rewards every man according to his work. Is
there respect of persons with God? Now come in, and take the letters,
and to horse. And if I hear of thee dead there at Smerwick fort, with
all thy wounds in front, I shall weep for thy mother, lad; but I shall
have never a sigh for thee."

If any one shall be startled at hearing a fine gentleman and a warrior
like Sir Richard quote Scripture, and think Scripture also, they must
be referred to the writings of the time; which they may read not without
profit to themselves, if they discover therefrom how it was possible
then for men of the world to be thoroughly ingrained with the Gospel,
and yet to be free from any taint of superstitious fear, or false
devoutness. The religion of those days was such as no soldier need have
been ashamed of confessing. At least, Sir Richard died as he lived,
without a shudder, and without a whine; and these were his last words,
fifteen years after that, as he lay shot through and through, a captive
among Popish Spaniards, priests, crucifixes, confession, extreme
unction, and all other means and appliances for delivering men out of
the hands of a God of love:--

"Here die I, Richard Grenville, with a joyful and quiet mind; for that
I have ended my life as a true soldier ought, fighting for his country,
queen, religion, and honor: my soul willingly departing from this body,
leaving behind the lasting fame of having behaved as every valiant
soldier is in his duty bound to do."

Those were the last words of Richard Grenville. The pulpits of those
days had taught them to him.

But to return. That day's events were not over yet. For, when they went
down into the house, the first person whom they met was the old steward,
in search of his master.

"There is a manner of roog, Sir Richard, a masterless man, at the door;
a very forward fellow, and must needs speak with you."

"A masterless man? He had better not to speak to me, unless he is in
love with gaol and gallows."

"Well, your worship," said the steward, "I expect that is what he does
want, for he swears he will not leave the gate till he has seen you."

"Seen me? Halidame! he shall see me, here and at Launceston too, if he
likes. Bring him in."

"Fegs, Sir Richard, we are half afeard. With your good leave--"

"Hillo, Tony," cried Amyas, "who was ever afeard yet with Sir Richard's
good leave?"

"What, has the fellow a tail or horns?"

"Massy no: but I be afeard of treason for your honor; for the fellow is
pinked all over in heathen patterns, and as brown as a filbert; and a
tall roog, a very strong roog, sir, and a foreigner too, and a mighty
staff with him. I expect him to be a manner of Jesuit, or wild Irish,
sir; and indeed the grooms have no stomach to handle him, nor the dogs
neither, or he had been under the pump before now, for they that saw him
coming up the hill swear that he had fire coming out of his mouth."

"Fire out of his mouth?" said Sir Richard. "The men are drunk."

"Pinked all over? He must be a sailor," said Amyas; "let me out and see
the fellow, and if he needs putting forth--"

"Why, I dare say he is not so big but what he will go into thy pocket.
So go, lad, while I finish my writing."

Amyas went out, and at the back door, leaning on his staff, stood a
tall, raw-boned, ragged man, "pinked all over," as the steward had said.

"Hillo, lad!" quoth Amyas. "Before we come to talk, thou wilt please to
lay down that Plymouth cloak of thine." And he pointed to the cudgel,
which among West-country mariners usually bore that name.

"I'll warrant," said the old steward, "that where he found his cloak he
found purse not far off."

"But not hose or doublet; so the magical virtue of his staff has
not helped him much. But put down thy staff, man, and speak like a
Christian, if thou be one."

"I am a Christian, though I look like a heathen; and no rogue, though
a masterless man, alas! But I want nothing, deserving nothing, and only
ask to speak with Sir Richard, before I go on my way."

There was something stately and yet humble about the man's tone and
manner which attracted Amyas, and he asked more gently where he was
going and whence he came.

"From Padstow Port, sir, to Clovelly town, to see my old mother, if
indeed she be yet alive, which God knoweth."

"Clovally man! why didn't thee say thee was Clovally man?" asked all the
grooms at once, to whom a West-countryman was of course a brother. The
old steward asked--

"What's thy mother's name, then?"

"Susan Yeo."

"What, that lived under the archway?" asked a groom.

"Lived?" said the man.

"Iss, sure; her died three days since, so we heard, poor soul."

The man stood quite silent and unmoved for a minute or two; and then
said quietly to himself, in Spanish, "That which is, is best."

"You speak Spanish?" asked Amyas, more and more interested.

"I had need to do so, young sir; I have been five years in the Spanish
Main, and only set foot on shore two days ago; and if you will let me
have speech of Sir Richard, I will tell him that at which both the ears
of him that heareth it shall tingle; and if not, I can but go on to Mr.
Cary of Clovelly, if he be yet alive, and there disburden my soul; but I
would sooner have spoken with one that is a mariner like to myself."

"And you shall," said Amyas. "Steward, we will have this man in; for all
his rags, he is a man of wit." And he led him in.

"I only hope he ben't one of those Popish murderers," said the old
steward, keeping at a safe distance from him as they entered the hall.

"Popish, old master? There's little fear of my being that. Look here!"
And drawing back his rags, he showed a ghastly scar, which encircled his
wrist and wound round and up his fore-arm.

"I got that on the rack," said he, quietly, "in the Inquisition at

"O Father! Father! why didn't you tell us that you were a poor
Christian?" asked the penitent steward.

"Because I have had naught but my deserts; and but a taste of them
either, as the Lord knoweth who delivered me; and I wasn't going to make
myself a beggar and a show on their account."

"By heaven, you are a brave fellow!" said Amyas. "Come along straight to
Sir Richard's room."

So in they went, where Sir Richard sat in his library among books,
despatches, state-papers, and warrants; for though he was not yet, as in
after times (after the fashion of those days) admiral, general, member
of parliament, privy councillor, justice of the peace, and so forth, all
at once, yet there were few great men with whom he did not correspond,
or great matters with which he was not cognizant.

"Hillo, Amyas, have you bound the wild man already, and brought him in
to swear allegiance?"

But before Amyas could answer, the man looked earnestly on him--"Amyas?"
said he; "is that your name, sir?"

"Amyas Leigh is my name, at your service, good fellow."

"Of Burrough by Bideford?"

"Why then? What do you know of me?"

"Oh sir, sir! young brains and happy ones have short memories; but old
and sad brains too long ones often! Do you mind one that was with Mr.
Oxenham, sir? A swearing reprobate he was, God forgive him, and hath
forgiven him too, for His dear Son's sake--one, sir, that gave you a
horn, a toy with a chart on it?"

"Soul alive!" cried Amyas, catching him by the hand; "and are you he?
The horn? why, I have it still, and will keep it to my dying day, too.
But where is Mr. Oxenham?"

"Yes, my good fellow, where is Mr. Oxenham?" asked Sir Richard, rising.
"You are somewhat over-hasty in welcoming your old acquaintance, Amyas,
before we have heard from him whether he can give honest account of
himself and of his captain. For there is more than one way by which
sailors may come home without their captains, as poor Mr. Barker of
Bristol found to his cost. God grant that there may have been no such
traitorous dealing here."

"Sir Richard Grenville, if I had been a guilty man to my noble captain,
as I have to God, I had not come here this day to you, from whom
villainy has never found favor, nor ever will; for I know your
conditions well, sir; and trust in the Lord, that if you will be pleased
to hear me, you shall know mine."

"Thou art a well-spoken knave. We shall see."

"My dear sir," said Amyas, in a whisper, "I will warrant this man

"I verily believe him to be; but this is too serious a matter to be left
on guess. If he will be sworn--"

Whereon the man, humbly enough, said, that if it would please Sir
Richard, he would rather not be sworn.

"But it does not please me, rascal! Did I not warn thee, Amyas?"

"Sir," said the man, proudly, "God forbid that my word should not be as
good as my oath: but it is against my conscience to be sworn."

"What have we here? some fantastical Anabaptist, who is wiser than his

"My conscience, sir--"

"The devil take it and thee! I never heard a man yet begin to prate of
his conscience, but I knew that he was about to do something more than
ordinarily cruel or false."

"Sir," said the man, coolly enough, "do you sit here to judge me
according to law, and yet contrary to the law swear profane oaths, for
which a fine is provided?"

Amyas expected an explosion: but Sir Richard pulled a shilling out and
put it on the table. "There--my fine is paid, sirrah, to the poor of
Kilkhampton: but hearken thou all the same. If thou wilt not speak an
oath, thou shalt speak on compulsion; for to Launceston gaol thou goest,
there to answer for Mr. Oxenham's death, on suspicion whereof, and of
mutiny causing it, I will attach thee and every soul of his crew that
comes home. We have lost too many gallant captains of late by treachery
of their crews, and he that will not clear himself on oath, must be held
for guilty, and self-condemned."

"My good fellow," said Amyas, who could not give up his belief in the
man's honesty, "why, for such fantastical scruples, peril not only your
life, but your honor, and Mr. Oxenham's also? For if you be examined by
question, you may be forced by torment to say that which is not true."

"Little fear of that, young sir!" answered he, with a grim smile; "I
have had too much of the rack already, and the strappado too, to care
much what man can do unto me. I would heartily that I thought it lawful
to be sworn: but not so thinking, I can but submit to the cruelty of
man; though I did expect more merciful things, as a most miserable and
wrecked mariner, at the hands of one who hath himself seen God's ways
in the sea, and His wonders in the great deep. Sir Richard Grenville,
if you will hear my story, may God avenge on my head all my sins from my
youth up until now, and cut me off from the blood of Christ, and, if it
were possible, from the number of His elect, if I tell you one whit more
or less than truth; and if not, I commend myself into the hands of God."

Sir Richard smiled. "Well, thou art a brave ass, and valiant, though an
ass manifest. Dost thou not see, fellow, how thou hast sworn a ten-times
bigger oath than ever I should have asked of thee? But this is the way
with your Anabaptists, who by their very hatred of forms and ceremonies,
show of how much account they think them, and then bind themselves out
of their own fantastical self-will with far heavier burdens than ever
the lawful authorities have laid on them for the sake of the commonweal.
But what do they care for the commonweal, as long as they can save, as
they fancy, each man his own dirty soul for himself? However, thou art
sworn now with a vengeance; go on with thy tale: and first, who art
thou, and whence?"

"Well, sir," said the man, quite unmoved by this last explosion; "my
name is Salvation Yeo, born in Clovelly Street, in the year 1526, where
my father exercised the mystery of a barber surgeon, and a preacher of
the people since called Anabaptists, for which I return humble thanks to

Sir Richard.--Fie! thou naughty knave; return thanks that thy father was
an ass?

Yeo.--Nay, but because he was a barber surgeon; for I myself learnt
a touch of that trade, and thereby saved my life, as I will tell
presently. And I do think that a good mariner ought to have all
knowledge of carnal and worldly cunning, even to tailoring and
shoemaking, that he may be able to turn his hand to whatsoever may hap.

Sir Richard.--Well spoken, fellow: but let us have thy text without thy
comments. Forwards!

Yeo.--Well, sir. I was bred to the sea from my youth, and was with
Captain Hawkins in his three voyages, which he made to Guinea for negro
slaves, and thence to the West Indies.

Sir Richard.--Then thrice thou wentest to a bad end, though Captain
Hawkins be my good friend; and the last time to a bad end thou camest.

Yeo.--No denying that last, your worship: but as for the former, I
doubt--about the unlawfulness, I mean; being the negroes are of the
children of Ham, who are cursed and reprobate, as Scripture declares,
and their blackness testifies, being Satan's own livery; among whom
therefore there can be none of the elect, wherefore the elect are not
required to treat them as brethren.

Sir Richard.--What a plague of a pragmatical sea-lawyer have we here?
And I doubt not, thou hypocrite, that though thou wilt call the negroes'
black skin Satan's livery, when it serves thy turn to steal them, thou
wilt find out sables to be Heaven's livery every Sunday, and up with a
godly howl unless a parson shall preach in a black gown, Geneva fashion.
Out upon thee! Go on with thy tale, lest thou finish thy sermon at
Launceston after all.

Yeo.--The Lord's people were always a reviled people and a persecuted
people: but I will go forward, sir; for Heaven forbid but that I should
declare what God has done for me. For till lately, from my youth up,
I was given over to all wretchlessness and unclean living, and was by
nature a child of the devil, and to every good work reprobate, even as

Sir Richard.--Hark to his "even as others"! Thou new-whelped Pharisee,
canst not confess thine own villainies without making out others as bad
as thyself, and so thyself no worse than others? I only hope that thou
hast shown none of thy devil's doings to Mr. Oxenham.

Yeo.--On the word of a Christian man, sir, as I said before, I kept true
faith with him, and would have been a better friend to him, sir, what is
more, than ever he was to himself.

Sir Richard.--Alas! that might easily be.

Yeo.--I think, sir, and will make good against any man, that Mr. Oxenham
was a noble and valiant gentleman; true of his word, stout of his sword,
skilful by sea and land, and worthy to have been Lord High Admiral of
England (saving your worship's presence), but that through two great
sins, wrath and avarice, he was cast away miserably or ever his soul was
brought to the knowledge of the truth. Ah, sir, he was a captain worth
sailing under!

And Yeo heaved a deep sigh.

Sir Richard.--Steady, steady, good fellow! If thou wouldst quit
preaching, thou art no fool after all. But tell us the story without
more bush-beating.

So at last Yeo settled himself to his tale:--

"Well, sirs, I went, as Mr. Leigh knows, to Nombre de Dios, with Mr.
Drake and Mr. Oxenham, in 1572, where what we saw and did, your worship,
I suppose, knows as well as I; and there was, as you've heard maybe,
a covenant between Mr. Oxenham and Mr. Drake to sail the South Seas
together, which they made, your worship, in my hearing, under the tree
over Panama. For when Mr. Drake came down from the tree, after seeing
the sea afar off, Mr. Oxenham and I went up and saw it too; and when we
came down, Drake says, 'John, I have made a vow to God that I will sail
that water, if I live and God gives me grace;' which he had done, sir,
upon his bended knees, like a godly man as he always was, and would I
had taken after him! and Mr. O. says, 'I am with you, Drake, to live or
die, and I think I know some one there already, so we shall not be quite
among strangers;' and laughed withal. Well, sirs, that voyage, as you
know, never came off, because Captain Drake was fighting in Ireland; so
Mr. Oxenham, who must be up and doing, sailed for himself, and I, who
loved him, God knows, like a brother (saving the difference in our
ranks), helped him to get the crew together, and went as his gunner.
That was in 1575; as you know, he had a 140-ton ship, sir, and seventy
men out of Plymouth and Fowey and Dartmouth, and many of them old hands
of Drake's, beside a dozen or so from Bideford that I picked up when I
saw young Master here."

"Thank God that you did not pick me up too."

"Amen, amen!" said Yeo, clasping his hands on his breast. "Those seventy
men, sir,--seventy gallant men, sir, with every one of them an immortal
soul within him,--where are they now? Gone, like the spray!" And he
swept his hands abroad with a wild and solemn gesture. "And their blood
is upon my head!"

Both Sir Richard and Amyas began to suspect that the man's brain was not
altogether sound.

"God forbid, my man," said the knight, kindly.

"Thirteen men I persuaded to join in Bideford town, beside William
Penberthy of Marazion, my good comrade. And what if it be said to me at
the day of judgment, 'Salvation Yeo, where are those fourteen whom thou
didst tempt to their deaths by covetousness and lust of gold?' Not that
I was alone in my sin, if the truth must be told. For all the way out
Mr. Oxenham was making loud speech, after his pleasant way, that he
would make all their fortunes, and take them to such a Paradise, that
they should have no lust to come home again. And I--God knows why--for
every one boast of his would make two, even to lying and empty fables,
and anything to keep up the men's hearts. For I had really persuaded
myself that we should all find treasures beyond Solomon his temple,
and Mr. Oxenham would surely show us how to conquer some golden city or
discover some island all made of precious stones. And one day, as the
captain and I were talking after our fashion, I said, 'And you shall be
our king, captain.' To which he, 'If I be, I shall not be long without
a queen, and that no Indian one either.' And after that he often jested
about the Spanish ladies, saying that none could show us the way to
their hearts better than he. Which speeches I took no count of then,
sirs: but after I minded them, whether I would or not. Well, sirs, we
came to the shore of New Spain, near to the old place--that's Nombre
de Dios; and there Mr. Oxenham went ashore into the woods with a boat's
crew, to find the negroes who helped us three years before. Those are
the Cimaroons, gentles, negro slaves who have fled from those devils
incarnate, their Spanish masters, and live wild, like the beasts
that perish; men of great stature, sirs, and fierce as wolves in
the onslaught, but poor jabbering mazed fellows if they be but a bit
dismayed: and have many Indian women with them, who take to these
negroes a deal better than to their own kin, which breeds war enough, as
you may guess.

"Well, sirs, after three days the captain comes back, looking heavy
enough, and says, 'We played our trick once too often, when we played
it once. There is no chance of stopping another reco (that is, a
mule-train, sirs) now. The Cimaroons say that since our last visit
they never move without plenty of soldiers, two hundred shot at least.
Therefore,' he said, 'my gallants, we must either return empty-handed
from this, the very market and treasury of the whole Indies, or do such
a deed as men never did before, which I shall like all the better for
that very reason.' And we, asking his meaning, 'Why,' he said, 'if Drake
will not sail the South Seas, we will;' adding profanely that Drake was
like Moses, who beheld the promised land afar; but he was Joshua, who
would enter into it, and smite the inhabitants thereof. And, for our
confirmation, showed me and the rest the superscription of a letter: and
said, 'How I came by this is none of your business: but I have had it in
my bosom ever since I left Plymouth; and I tell you now, what I forbore
to tell you at first, that the South Seas have been my mark all along!
such news have I herein of plate-ships, and gold-ships, and what not,
which will come up from Quito and Lima this very month, all which, with
the pearls of the Gulf of Panama, and other wealth unspeakable, will be
ours, if we have but true English hearts within us.'

"At which, gentles, we were like madmen for lust of that gold, and
cheerfully undertook a toil incredible; for first we run our ship
aground in a great wood which grew in the very sea itself, and then took
out her masts, and covered her in boughs, with her four cast pieces of
great ordnance (of which more hereafter), and leaving no man in her,
started for the South Seas across the neck of Panama, with two small
pieces of ordnance and our culverins, and good store of victuals, and
with us six of those negroes for a guide, and so twelve leagues to a
river which runs into the South Sea.

"And there, having cut wood, we made a pinnace (and work enough we had
at it) of five-and-forty foot in the keel; and in her down the stream,
and to the Isle of Pearls in the Gulf of Panama."

"Into the South Sea? Impossible!" said Sir Richard. "Have a care what
you say, my man; for there is that about you which would make me sorry
to find you out a liar."

"Impossible or not, liar or none, we went there, sir."

"Question him, Amyas, lest he turn out to have been beforehand with

The man looked inquiringly at Amyas, who said--

"Well, my man, of the Gulf of Panama I cannot ask you, for I never was
inside it, but what other parts of the coast do you know?"

"Every inch, sir, from Cabo San Francisco to Lima; more is my sorrow,
for I was a galley-slave there for two years and more."

"You know Lima?"

"I was there three times, worshipful gentlemen, and the last was
February come two years; and there I helped lade a great plate-ship, the
Cacafuogo,' they called her."

Amyas started. Sir Richard nodded to him gently to be silent, and then--

"And what became of her, my lad?"

"God knows, who knows all, and the devil who freighted her. I broke
prison six weeks afterwards, and never heard but that she got safe into

"You never heard, then, that she was taken?"

"Taken, your worships? Who should take her?"

"Why should not a good English ship take her as well as another?" said

"Lord love you, sir; yes, faith, if they had but been there. Many's the
time that I thought to myself, as we went alongside, 'Oh, if Captain
Drake was but here, well to windward, and our old crew of the "Dragon"!'
Ask your pardon, gentles: but how is Captain Drake, if I may make so

Neither could hold out longer.

"Fellow, fellow!" cried Sir Richard, springing up, "either thou art the
cunningest liar that ever earned a halter, or thou hast done a deed
the like of which never man adventured. Dost thou not know that Captain
Drake took that 'Cacafuogo' and all her freight, in February come two

"Captain Drake! God forgive me, sir; but--Captain Drake in the South
Seas? He saw them, sir, from the tree-top over Panama, when I was with
him, and I too; but sailed them, sir?--sailed them?"

"Yes, and round the world too," said Amyas, "and I with him; and took
that very 'Cacafuogo' off Cape San Francisco, as she came up to Panama."

One glance at the man's face was enough to prove his sincerity. The
great stern Anabaptist, who had not winced at the news of his mother's
death, dropt right on his knees on the floor, and burst into violent

"Glory to God! Glory to God! O Lord, I thank thee! Captain Drake in
the South Seas! The blood of thy innocents avenged, O Lord! The spoiler
spoiled, and the proud robbed; and all they whose hands were mighty have
found nothing. Glory, glory! Oh, tell me, sir, did she fight?"

"We gave her three pieces of ordnance only, and struck down her
mizzenmast, and then boarded sword in hand, but never had need to strike
a blow; and before we left her, one of her own boys had changed her
name, and rechristened her the 'Cacaplata.'"

"Glory, glory! Cowards they are, as I told them. I told them they never
could stand the Devon mastiffs, and well they flogged me for saying it;
but they could not stop my mouth. O sir, tell me, did you get the ship
that came up after her?"

"What was that?"

"A long race-ship, sir, from Guayaquil, with an old gentleman on
board,--Don Francisco de Xararte was his name, and by token, he had a
gold falcon hanging to a chain round his neck, and a green stone in the
breast of it. I saw it as we rowed him aboard. O tell me, sir, tell me
for the love of God, did you take that ship?"

"We did take that ship, and the jewel too, and her majesty has it at
this very hour."

"Then tell me, sir," said he slowly, as if he dreaded an answer; "tell
me, sir, and oh, try and mind--was there a little maid aboard with the
old gentleman?"

"A little maid? Let me think. No; I saw none."

The man settled his features again sadly.

"I thought not. I never saw her come aboard. Still I hoped, like; I
hoped. Alackaday! God help me, Salvation Yeo!"

"What have you to do with this little maid, then, good fellow!" asked

"Ah, sir, before I tell you that, I must go back and finish the story of
Mr. Oxenham, if you will believe me enough to hear it."

"I do believe thee, good fellow, and honor thee too."

"Then, sir, I can speak with a free tongue. Where was I?"

"Where was he, Amyas?"

"At the Isle of Pearls."

"And yet, O gentles, tell me first, how Captain Drake came into the
South Seas:--over the neck, as we did?"

"Through the Straits, good fellow, like any Spaniard: but go on with thy
story, and thou shalt have Mr. Leigh's after."

"Through the Straits! O glory! But I'll tell my tale. Well, sirs
both--To the Island of Pearls we came, we and some of the negroes. We
found many huts, and Indians fishing for pearls, and also a fair house,
with porches; but no Spaniard therein, save one man; at which Mr.
Oxenham was like a man transported, and fell on that Spaniard, crying,
'Perro, where is your mistress? Where is the bark from Lima?' To which
he boldly enough, 'What was his mistress to the Englishman?' But Mr. O.
threatened to twine a cord round his head till his eyes burst out; and
the Spaniard, being terrified, said that the ship from Lima was expected
in a fortnight's time. So for ten days we lay quiet, letting neither
negro nor Spaniard leave the island, and took good store of pearls,
feeding sumptuously on wild cattle and hogs until the tenth day, when
there came by a small bark; her we took, and found her from Quito, and
on board 60,000 pezos of gold and other store. With which if we had been
content, gentlemen, all had gone well. And some were willing to go back
at once, having both treasure and pearls in plenty; but Mr. O., he
waxed right mad, and swore to slay any one who made that motion again,
assuring us that the Lima ship of which he had news was far greater and
richer, and would make princes of us all; which bark came in sight on
the sixteenth day, and was taken without shot or slaughter. The taking
of which bark, I verily believe, was the ruin of every mother's son of

And being asked why, he answered, "First, because of the discontent
which was bred thereby; for on board was found no gold, but only 100,000
pezos of silver."

Sir Richard Grenville.--Thou greedy fellow; and was not that enough to
stay your stomachs?

Yeo answered that he would to God it had been; and that, moreover, the
weight of that silver was afterwards a hindrance to them, and fresh
cause of discontent, as he would afterwards declare. "So that it had
been well for us, sirs, if we had left it behind, as Mr. Drake left his
three years before, and carried away the gold only. In which I do see
the evident hand of God, and His just punishment for our greediness
of gain; who caused Mr. Oxenham, by whom we had hoped to attain great
wealth, to be a snare to us, and a cause of utter ruin."

"Do you think, then," said Sir Richard, "that Mr. Oxenham deceived you

"I will never believe that, sir: Mr. Oxenham had his private reasons for
waiting for that ship, for the sake of one on board, whose face would
that he had never seen, though he saw it then, as I fear, not for the
first time by many a one." And so was silent.

"Come," said both his hearers, "you have brought us thus far, and you
must go on."

"Gentlemen, I have concealed this matter from all men, both on my voyage
home and since; and I hope you will be secret in the matter, for the
honor of my noble captain, and the comfort of his friends who are alive.
For I think it shame to publish harm of a gallant gentleman, and of an
ancient and worshipful family, and to me a true and kind captain, when
what is done cannot be undone, and least said soonest mended. Neither
now would I have spoken of it, but that I was inwardly moved to it for
the sake of that young gentleman there" (looking at Amyas), "that
he might be warned in time of God's wrath against the crying sin of
adultery, and flee youthful lusts, which war against the soul."

"Thou hast done wisely enough, then," said Sir Richard; "and look to it
if I do not reward thee: but the young gentleman here, thank God, needs
no such warnings, having got them already both by precept and example,
where thou and poor Oxenham might have had them also."

"You mean Captain Drake, your worship?"

"I do, sirrah. If all men were as clean livers as he, the world would be
spared one half the tears that are shed in it."

"Amen, sir. At least there would have been many a tear spared to us and
ours. For--as all must out--in that bark of Lima he took a young
lady, as fair as the sunshine, sir, and seemingly about two or
three-and-twenty years of age, having with her a tall young lad of
sixteen, and a little girl, a marvellously pretty child, of about a
six or seven. And the lady herself was of an excellent beauty, like a
whale's tooth for whiteness, so that all the crew wondered at her, and
could not be satisfied with looking upon her. And, gentlemen, this was
strange, that the lady seemed in no wise afraid or mournful, and bid
her little girl fear naught, as did also Mr. Oxenham: but the lad kept a
very sour countenance, and the more when he saw the lady and Mr. Oxenham
speaking together apart.

"Well, sir, after this good luck we were minded to have gone straight
back to the river whence we came, and so home to England with all speed.
But Mr. Oxenham persuaded us to return to the island, and get a few more
pearls. To which foolishness (which after caused the mishap) I verily
believe he was moved by the instigation of the devil and of that lady.
For as we were about to go ashore, I, going down into the cabin of the
prize, saw Mr. Oxenham and that lady making great cheer of each other
with, 'My life,' and 'My king,' and 'Light of my eyes,' and such toys;
and being bidden by Mr. Oxenham to fetch out the lady's mails, and take
them ashore, heard how the two laughed together about the old ape of
Panama (which ape, or devil rather, I saw afterwards to my cost), and
also how she said that she had been dead for five years, and now that
Mr. Oxenham was come, she was alive again, and so forth.

"Mr. Oxenham bade take the little maid ashore, kissing her and playing
with her, and saying to the lady, 'What is yours is mine, and what is
mine is yours.' And she asking whether the lad should come ashore, he
answered, 'He is neither yours nor mine; let the spawn of Beelzebub stay
on shore.' After which I, coming on deck again, stumbled over that very
lad, upon the hatchway ladder, who bore so black and despiteful a face,
that I verily believe he had overheard their speech, and so thrust him
upon deck; and going below again, told Mr. Oxenham what I thought, and
said that it were better to put a dagger into him at once, professing to
be ready so to do. For which grievous sin, seeing that it was
committed in my unregenerate days, I hope I have obtained the grace of
forgiveness, as I have that of hearty repentance. But the lady cried
out, 'Though he be none of mine, I have sin enough already on my soul;'
and so laid her hand on Mr. Oxenham's mouth, entreating pitifully. And
Mr. Oxenham answered laughing, when she would let him, 'What care we?
let the young monkey go and howl to the old one;' and so went ashore
with the lady to that house, whence for three days he never came forth,
and would have remained longer, but that the men, finding but few
pearls, and being wearied with the watching and warding so many
Spaniards, and negroes came clamoring to him, and swore that they
would return or leave him there with the lady. So all went on board
the pinnace again, every one in ill humor with the captain, and he with

"Well, sirs, we came back to the mouth of the river, and there began our
troubles; for the negroes, as soon as we were on shore, called on Mr.
Oxenham to fulfil the bargain he had made with them. And now it came out
(what few of us knew till then) that he had agreed with the Cimaroons
that they should have all the prisoners which were taken, save the gold.
And he, though loath, was about to give up the Spaniards to them, near
forty in all, supposing that they intended to use them as slaves: but
as we all stood talking, one of the Spaniards, understanding what was
forward, threw himself on his knees before Mr. Oxenham, and shrieking
like a madman, entreated not to be given up into the hands of 'those
devils,' said he, 'who never take a Spanish prisoner, but they roast him
alive, and then eat his heart among them.' We asked the negroes if this
was possible? To which some answered, What was that to us? But others
said boldly, that it was true enough, and that revenge made the best
sauce, and nothing was so sweet as Spanish blood; and one, pointing
to the lady, said such foul and devilish things as I should be ashamed
either for me to speak, or you to hear. At this we were like men amazed
for very horror; and Mr. Oxenham said, 'You incarnate fiends, if you had
taken these fellows for slaves, it had been fair enough; for you were
once slaves to them, and I doubt not cruelly used enough: but as for
this abomination,' says he, 'God do so to me, and more also, if I
let one of them come into your murderous hands.' So there was a great
quarrel; but Mr. Oxenham stoutly bade put the prisoners on board
the ships again, and so let the prizes go, taking with him only the
treasure, and the lady and the little maid. And so the lad went on to
Panama, God's wrath having gone out against us.

"Well, sirs, the Cimaroons after that went away from us, swearing
revenge (for which we cared little enough), and we rowed up the river
to a place where three streams met, and then up the least of the three,
some four days' journey, till it grew all shoal and swift; and there we
hauled the pinnace upon the sands, and Mr. Oxenham asked the men whether
they were willing to carry the gold and silver over the mountains to the
North Sea. Some of them at first were loath to do it, and I and others
advised that we should leave the plate behind, and take the gold only,
for it would have cost us three or four journeys at the least. But Mr.
Oxenham promised every man 100 pezos of silver over and above his wages,
which made them content enough, and we were all to start the morrow
morning. But, sirs, that night, as God had ordained, came a mishap by
some rash speeches of Mr. Oxenham's, which threw all abroad again; for
when we had carried the treasure about half a league inland, and hidden
it away in a house which we made of boughs, Mr. O. being always full of
that his fair lady, spoke to me and William Penberthy of Marazion, my
good comrade, and a few more, saying, 'That we had no need to return
to England, seeing that we were already in the very garden of Eden, and
wanted for nothing, but could live without labor or toil; and that it
was better, when we got over to the North Sea, to go and seek out some
fair island, and there dwell in joy and pleasure till our lives' end.
And we two,' he said, 'will be king and queen, and you, whom I can
trust, my officers; and for servants we will have the Indians, who, I
warrant, will be more fain to serve honest and merry masters like us
than those Spanish devils,' and much more of the like; which words I
liked well,--my mind, alas! being given altogether to carnal pleasure
and vanity,--as did William Penberthy, my good comrade, on whom I trust
God has had mercy. But the rest, sirs, took the matter all across, and
began murmuring against the captain, saying that poor honest mariners
like them had always the labor and the pain, while he took his delight
with his lady; and that they would have at least one merry night before
they were slain by the Cimaroons, or eaten by panthers and lagartos;
and so got out of the pinnace two great skins of Canary wine, which were
taken in the Lima prize, and sat themselves down to drink. Moreover,
there were in the pinnace a great sight of hens, which came from the
same prize, by which Mr. O. set great store, keeping them for the lady
and the little maid; and falling upon these, the men began to blaspheme,
saying, 'What a plague had the captain to fill the boat with dirty live
lumber for that giglet's sake? They had a better right to a good supper
than ever she had, and might fast awhile to cool her hot blood;' and
so cooked and ate those hens, plucking them on board the pinnace, and
letting the feathers fall into the stream. But when William Penberthy,
my good comrade, saw the feathers floating away down, he asked them if
they were mad, to lay a trail by which the Spaniards would surely track
them out, if they came after them, as without doubt they would. But they
laughed him to scorn, and said that no Spanish cur dared follow on
the heels of true English mastiffs as they were, and other boastful
speeches; and at last, being heated with wine, began afresh to murmur at
the captain. And one speaking of his counsel about the island, the rest
altogether took it amiss and out of the way; and some sprang up crying
treason, and others that he meant to defraud them of the plate which he
had promised, and others that he meant to desert them in a strange land,
and so forth, till Mr. O., hearing the hubbub, came out to them from
the house, when they reviled him foully, swearing that he meant to cheat
them; and one Edward Stiles, a Wapping man, mad with drink, dared to say
that he was a fool for not giving up the prisoners to the negroes, and
what was it to him if the lady roasted? the negroes should have her yet;
and drawing his sword, ran upon the captain: for which I was about to
strike him through the body; but the captain, not caring to waste steel
on such a ribald, with his fist caught him such a buffet behind the ear,
that he fell down stark dead, and all the rest stood amazed. Then Mr.
Oxenham called out, 'All honest men who know me, and can trust me, stand
by your lawful captain against these ruffians.' Whereon, sirs, I, and
Penberthy my good comrade, and four Plymouth men, who had sailed with
Mr. O. in Mr. Drake's ship, and knew his trusty and valiant conditions,
came over to him, and swore before God to stand by him and the lady.
Then said Mr. O. to the rest, 'Will you carry this treasure, knaves,
or will you not? Give me an answer here.' And they refused, unless he
would, before they started, give each man his share. So Mr. O. waxed
very mad, and swore that he would never be served by men who did not
trust him, and so went in again; and that night was spent in great
disquiet, I and those five others keeping watch about the house of
boughs till the rest fell asleep, in their drink. And next morning, when
the wine was gone out of them, Mr. O. asked them whether they would go
to the hills with him, and find those negroes, and persuade them after
all to carry the treasure. To which they agreed after awhile, thinking
that so they should save themselves labor; and went off with Mr.
Oxenham, leaving us six who had stood by him to watch the lady and the
treasure, after he had taken an oath of us that we would deal justly and
obediently by him and by her, which God knows, gentlemen, we did. So
he parted with much weeping and wailing of the lady, and was gone seven
days; and all that time we kept that lady faithfully and honestly,
bringing her the best we could find, and serving her upon our bended
knees, both for her admirable beauty, and for her excellent conditions,
for she was certainly of some noble kin, and courteous, and without
fear, as if she had been a very princess. But she kept always within the
house, which the little maid (God bless her!) did not, but soon learned
to play with us and we with her, so that we made great cheer of her,
gentlemen, sailor fashion--for you know we must always have our minions
aboard to pet and amuse us--maybe a monkey, or a little dog, or a
singing bird, ay, or mice and spiders, if we have nothing better to
play withal. And she was wonderful sharp, sirs, was the little maid, and
picked up her English from us fast, calling us jolly mariners, which I
doubt but she has forgotten by now, but I hope in God it be not so;" and
therewith the good fellow began wiping his eyes.

"Well, sir, on the seventh day we six were down by the pinnace clearing
her out, and the little maid with us gathering of flowers, and William
Penberthy fishing on the bank, about a hundred yards below, when on
a sudden he leaps up and runs toward us, crying, 'Here come our hens'
feathers back again with a vengeance!' and so bade catch up the little
maid, and run for the house, for the Spaniards were upon us.

"Which was too true; for before we could win the house, there were full
eighty shot at our heels, but could not overtake us; nevertheless, some
of them stopping, fixed their calivers and let fly, killing one of the
Plymouth men. The rest of us escaped to the house, and catching up the
lady, fled forth, not knowing whither we went, while the Spaniards,
finding the house and treasure, pursued us no farther.

"For all that day and the next we wandered in great misery, the lady
weeping continually, and calling for Mr. Oxenham most piteously, and
the little maid likewise, till with much ado we found the track of our
comrades, and went up that as best we might: but at nightfall, by good
hap, we met the whole crew coming back, and with them 200 negroes or
more, with bows and arrows. At which sight was great joy and embracing,
and it was a strange thing, sirs, to see the lady; for before that she
was altogether desperate: and yet she was now a very lioness, as soon
as she had got her love again; and prayed him earnestly not to care
for that gold, but to go forward to the North Sea, vowing to him in my
hearing that she cared no more for poverty than she had cared for her
good name, and then--they being a little apart from the rest--pointed
round to the green forest, and said in Spanish--which I suppose they
knew not that I understood,--'See, all round us is Paradise. Were it not
enough for you and me to stay here forever, and let them take the gold
or leave it as they will?'

"To which Mr. Oxenham--'Those who lived in Paradise had not sinned as we
have, and would never have grown old or sick, as we shall.'

"And she--'If we do that, there are poisons enough in these woods, by
which we may die in each other's arms, as would to Heaven we had died
seven years agone!'

"But he--'No, no, my life. It stands upon my honor both to fulfil my
bond with these men, whom I have brought hither, and to take home to
England at least something of my prize as a proof of my own valor.'

"Then she smiling--'Am I not prize enough, and proof enough?' But he
would not be so tempted, and turning to us offered us the half of that
treasure, if we would go back with him, and rescue it from the Spaniard.
At which the lady wept and wailed much; but I took upon myself to
comfort her, though I was but a simple mariner, telling her that it
stood upon Mr. Oxenham's honor; and that in England nothing was esteemed
so foul as cowardice, or breaking word and troth betwixt man and man;
and that better was it for him to die seven times by the Spaniards, than
to face at home the scorn of all who sailed the seas. So, after much
ado, back they went again; I and Penberthy, and the three Plymouth men
which escaped from the pinnace, keeping the lady as before.

"Well, sirs, we waited five days, having made houses of boughs as
before, without hearing aught; and on the sixth we saw coming afar off
Mr. Oxenham, and with him fifteen or twenty men, who seemed very weary
and wounded; and when we looked for the rest to be behind them, behold
there were no more; at which, sirs, as you may well think, our hearts
sank within us.

"And Mr. O., coming nearer, cried out afar off, 'All is lost!' and so
walked into the camp without a word, and sat himself down at the foot
of a great tree with his head between his hands, speaking neither to the
lady or to any one, till she very pitifully kneeling before him, cursing
herself for the cause of all his mischief, and praying him to avenge
himself upon that her tender body, won him hardly to look once upon her,
after which (as is the way of vain and unstable man) all between them
was as before.

"But the men were full of curses against the negroes, for their
cowardice and treachery; yea, and against high Heaven itself, which had
put the most part of their ammunition into the Spaniards' hands; and
told me, and I believe truly, how they forced the enemy awaiting them in
a little copse of great trees, well fortified with barricades of boughs,
and having with them our two falcons, which they had taken out of the
pinnace. And how Mr. Oxenham divided both the English and the negroes
into two bands, that one might attack the enemy in front, and the
other in the rear, and so set upon them with great fury, and would have
utterly driven them out, but that the negroes, who had come on with much
howling, like very wild beasts, being suddenly scared with the shot and
noise of the ordnance, turned and fled, leaving the Englishmen alone; in
which evil strait Mr. O. fought like a very Guy of Warwick, and I verily
believe every man of them likewise; for there was none of them who had
not his shrewd scratch to show. And indeed, Mr. Oxenham's party had once
gotten within the barricades, but the Spaniards being sheltered by
the tree trunks (and especially by one mighty tree, which stood as I
remembered it, and remember it now, borne up two fathoms high upon its
own roots, as it were upon arches and pillars), shot at them with such
advantage, that they had several slain, and seven more taken alive, only
among the roots of that tree. So seeing that they could prevail nothing,
having little but their pikes and swords, they were fain to give back;
though Mr. Oxenham swore he would not stir a foot, and making at the
Spanish captain was borne down with pikes, and hardly pulled away by
some, who at last reminding him of his lady, persuaded him to come away
with the rest. Whereon the other party fled also; but what had become
of them they knew not, for they took another way. And so they miserably
drew off, having lost in men eleven killed and seven taken alive,
besides five of the rascal negroes who were killed before they had time
to run; and there was an end of the matter.*

     * In the documents from which I have drawn this veracious
     history, a note is appended to this point of Yeo's story,
     which seems to me to smack sufficiently of the old
     Elizabethan seaman, to be inserted at length.

     "All so far, and most after, agreeth with Lopez Vaz his
     tale, taken from his pocket by my Lord Cumberland's mariners
     at the river Plate, in the year 1586.  But note here his
     vainglory and falsehood, or else fear of the Spaniard.

     "First, lest it should be seen how great an advantage the
     Spaniards had, he maketh no mention of the English calivers,
     nor those two pieces of ordnance which were in the pinnace.

     "Second, he saith nothing of the flight of the Cimaroons:
     though it was evidently to be gathered from that which he
     himself saith, that of less than seventy English were slain
     eleven, and of the negroes but five.  And while of the
     English seven were taken alive, yet of the negroes none.
     And why, but because the rascals ran?

     "Thirdly, it is a thing incredible, and out of experience,
     that eleven English should be slain and seven taken, with
     loss only of two Spaniards killed.

     "Search now, and see (for I will not speak of mine own small
     doings), in all those memorable voyages, which the worthy
     and learned Mr. Hakluyt hath so painfully collected, and
     which are to my old age next only to my Bible, whether in
     all the fights which we have endured with the Spaniards,
     their loss, even in victory, hath not far exceeded ours.
     For we are both bigger of body and fiercer of spirit, being
     even to the poorest of us (thanks so the care of our
     illustrious princes), the best fed men of Europe, the most
     trained to feats of strength and use of weapons, and put our
     trust also not in any Virgin or saints, dead rags and bones,
     painted idols which have no breath in their mouths, or St.
     Bartholomew medals and such devil's remembrancers; but in
     the only true God and our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom
     whosoever trusteth, one of them shall chase a thousand.  So
     I hold, having had good experience; and say, if they have
     done it once, let them do it again, and kill their eleven to
     our two, with any weapon they will, save paper bullets blown
     out of Fame's lying trumpet.  Yet I have no quarrel with the
     poor Portugal; for I doubt not but friend Lopez Vaz had
     looking over his shoulder as he wrote some mighty black
     velvet Don, with a name as long as that Don Bernaldino
     Delgadillo de Avellaneda who set forth lately his
     vainglorious libel of lies concerning the last and fatal
     voyage of my dear friends Sir F. Drake and Sir John Hawkins,
     who rest in peace, having finished their labors, as would
     God I rested.  To whose shameless and unspeakable lying my
     good friend Mr. Henry Savile of this county did most pithily
     and wittily reply, stripping the ass out of his lion's skin;
     and Sir Thomas Baskerville, general of the fleet, by my
     advice, send him a cartel of defiance, offering to meet him
     with choice of weapons, in any indifferent kingdom of equal
     distance from this realm; which challenge he hath prudently
     put in his pipe, or rather rolled it up for one of his
     Spanish cigarros, and smoked it, and I doubt not, found it
     foul in the mouth."

"But the next day, gentlemen, in came some five-and-twenty more, being
the wreck of the other party, and with them a few negroes; and these
last proved themselves no honester men than they were brave, for there
being great misery among us English, and every one of us straggling
where he could to get food, every day one or more who went out never
came back, and that caused a suspicion that the negroes had betrayed
them to the Spaniards, or, maybe, slain and eaten them. So these fellows
being upbraided, with that altogether left us, telling us boldly,
that if they had eaten our fellows, we owed them a debt instead of the
Spanish prisoners; and we, in great terror and hunger, went forward and
over the mountains till we came to a little river which ran northward,
which seemed to lead into the Northern Sea; and there Mr. O.--who, sirs,
I will say, after his first rage was over, behaved himself all through
like a valiant and skilful commander--bade us cut down trees and make
canoes, to go down to the sea; which we began to do, with great labor
and little profit, hewing down trees with our swords, and burning them
out with fire, which, after much labor, we kindled; but as we were
a-burning out of the first tree, and cutting down of another, a great
party of negroes came upon us, and with much friendly show bade us flee
for our lives, for the Spaniards were upon us in great force. And so we
were up and away again, hardly able to drag our legs after us for hunger
and weariness, and the broiling heat. And some were taken (God help
them!) and some fled with the negroes, of whom what became God alone
knoweth; but eight or ten held on with the captain, among whom was I,
and fled downward toward the sea for one day; but afterwards finding, by
the noise in the woods, that the Spaniards were on the track of us, we
turned up again toward the inland, and coming to a cliff, climbed up
over it, drawing up the lady and the little maid with cords of liana
(which hang from those trees as honeysuckle does here, but exceeding
stout and long, even to fifty fathoms); and so breaking the track, hoped
to be out of the way of the enemy.

"By which, nevertheless, we only increased our misery. For two fell from
that cliff, as men asleep for very weariness, and miserably broke their
bones; and others, whether by the great toil, or sunstrokes, or eating
of strange berries, fell sick of fluxes and fevers; where was no drop
of water, but rock of pumice stone as bare as the back of my hand, and
full, moreover, of great cracks, black and without bottom, over which
we had not strength to lift the sick, but were fain to leave them there
aloft, in the sunshine, like Dives in his torments, crying aloud for
a drop of water to cool their tongues; and every man a great stinking
vulture or two sitting by him, like an ugly black fiend out of the pit,
waiting till the poor soul should depart out of the corpse: but nothing
could avail, and for the dear life we must down again and into the
woods, or be burned up alive upon those rocks.

"So getting down the slope on the farther side, we came into the woods
once more, and there wandered for many days, I know not how many;
our shoes being gone, and our clothes all rent off us with brakes and
briars. And yet how the lady endured all was a marvel to see; for she
went barefoot many days, and for clothes was fain to wrap herself in Mr.
Oxenham's cloak; while the little maid went all but naked: but ever she
looked still on Mr. Oxenham, and seemed to take no care as long as he
was by, comforting and cheering us all with pleasant words; yea, and
once sitting down under a great fig-tree, sang us all to sleep with
very sweet music; yet, waking about midnight, I saw her sitting still
upright, weeping very bitterly; on whom, sirs, God have mercy; for she
was a fair and a brave jewel.

"And so, to make few words of a sad matter, at last there were none left
but Mr. Oxenham and the lady and the little maid, together with me and
William Penberthy of Marazion, my good comrade. And Mr. Oxenham always
led the lady, and Penberthy and I carried the little maid. And for food
we had fruits, such as we could find, and water we got from the leaves
of certain lilies which grew on the bark of trees, which I found by
seeing the monkeys drink at them; and the little maid called them
monkey-cups, and asked for them continually, making me climb for them.
And so we wandered on, and upward into very high mountains, always
fearing lest the Spaniards should track us with dogs, which made the
lady leap up often in her sleep, crying that the bloodhounds were upon
her. And it befell upon a day, that we came into a great wood of ferns
(which grew not on the ground like ours, but on stems as big as a
pinnace's mast, and the bark of them was like a fine meshed net, very
strange to see), where was very pleasant shade, cool and green; and
there, gentlemen, we sat down on a bank of moss, like folk desperate and
fordone, and every one looked the other in the face for a long while.
After which I took off the bark of those ferns, for I must needs be
doing something to drive away thought, and began to plait slippers for
the little maid.

"And as I was plaiting, Mr. Oxenham said, 'What hinders us from dying
like men, every man falling on his own sword?' To which I answered that
I dare not; for a wise woman had prophesied of me, sirs, that I should
die at sea, and yet neither by water or battle, wherefore I did not
think right to meddle with the Lord's purposes. And William Penberthy
said, 'That he would sell his life, and that dear, but never give it
away.' But the lady said, 'Ah, how gladly would I die! but then la
paouvre garse,' which is in French 'the poor maid,' meaning the little
one. Then Mr. Oxenham fell into a very great weeping, a weakness I never
saw him in before or since; and with many tears besought me never
to desert that little maid, whatever might befall; which I promised,
swearing to it like a heathen, but would, if I had been able, have kept
it like a Christian. But on a sudden there was a great cry in the
wood, and coming through the trees on all sides Spanish arquebusiers,
a hundred strong at least, and negroes with them, who bade us stand
or they would shoot. William Penberthy leapt up, crying 'Treason!' and
running upon the nearest negro ran him through, and then another, and
then falling on the Spaniards, fought manfully till he was borne down
with pikes, and so died. But I, seeing no thing better to do, sate
still and finished my plaiting. And so we were all taken, and I and Mr.
Oxenham bound with cords; but the soldiers made a litter for the lady
and child, by commandment of Senor Diego de Trees, their commander, a
very courteous gentleman.

"Well, sirs, we were brought down to the place where the house of boughs
had been by the river-side; there we went over in boats, and found
waiting for us certain Spanish gentlemen, and among others one old and
ill-favored man, gray-bearded and bent, in a suit of black velvet, who
seemed to be a great man among them. And if you will believe me, Mr.
Leigh, that was none other than the old man with the gold falcon at his
breast, Don Francisco Xararte by name, whom you found aboard of the Lima
ship. And had you known as much of him as I do, or as Mr. Oxenham did
either, you had cut him up for shark's bait, or ever you let the cur
ashore again.

"Well, sirs, as soon as the lady came to shore, that old man ran upon
her sword in hand, and would have slain her, but some there held him
back. On which he turned to, and reviled with every foul and spiteful
word which he could think of, so that some there bade him be silent for
shame; and Mr. Oxenham said, 'It is worthy of you, Don Francisco, thus
to trumpet abroad your own disgrace. Did I not tell you years ago that
you were a cur; and are you not proving my words for me?'

"He answered, 'English dog, would to Heaven I had never seen you!'

"And Mr. Oxenham, 'Spanish ape, would to Heaven that I had sent
my dagger through your herring-ribs when you passed me behind St.
Ildegonde's church, eight years last Easter-eve.' At which the old man
turned pale, and then began again to upbraid the lady, vowing that
he would have her burnt alive, and other devilish words, to which she
answered at last--

"'Would that you had burnt me alive on my wedding morning, and spared me
eight years of misery!' And he--

"'Misery? Hear the witch, senors! Oh, have I not pampered her, heaped
with jewels, clothes, coaches, what not? The saints alone know what 'I
have spent on her. What more would she have of me?'

"To which she answered only but this one word, 'Fool!' but in so
terrible a voice, though low, that they who were about to laugh at the
old pantaloon, were more minded to weep for her.

"'Fool!' she said again, after a while, 'I will waste no words upon you.
I would have driven a dagger to your heart months ago, but that I
was loath to set you free so soon from your gout and your rheumatism.
Selfish and stupid, know when you bought my body from my parents, you
did not buy my soul! Farewell, my love, my life! and farewell, senors!
May you be more merciful to your daughters than my parents were to me!'
And so, catching a dagger from the girdle of one of the soldiers, smote
herself to the heart, and fell dead before them all.

"At which Mr. Oxenham smiled, and said, 'That was worthy of us both. If
you will unbind my hands, senors, I shall be most happy to copy so fair
a schoolmistress.'

"But Don Diego shook his head, and said--

"'It were well for you, valiant senor, were I at liberty to do so; but
on questioning those of your sailors whom I have already taken, I cannot
hear that you have any letters of license, either from the queen of
England, or any other potentate. I am compelled, therefore, to ask you
whether this is so; for it is a matter of life and death.'

"To which Mr. Oxenham answered merrily, that so it was: but that he
was not aware that any potentate's license was required to permit a
gentleman's meeting his lady love; and that as for the gold which they
had taken, if they had never allowed that fresh and fair young May to be
forced into marrying that old January, he should never have meddled with
their gold; so that was rather their fault than his. And added, that if
he was to be hanged, as he supposed, the only favor which he asked for
was a long drop and no priests. And all the while, gentlemen, he still
kept his eyes fixed on the lady's corpse, till he was led away with me,
while all that stood by, God reward them for it, lamented openly the
tragical end of those two sinful lovers.

"And now, sirs, what befell me after that matters little; for I never
saw Captain Oxenham again, nor ever shall in this life."

"He was hanged, then?"

"So I heard for certain the next year, and with him the gunner and
sundry more: but some were given away for slaves to the Spaniards,
and may be alive now, unless, like me, they have fallen into the cruel
clutches of the Inquisition. For the Inquisition now, gentlemen, claims
the bodies and souls of all heretics all over the world (as the devils
told me with their own lips, when I pleaded that I was no Spanish
subject); and none that it catches, whether peaceable merchants or
shipwrecked mariners, but must turn or burn."

"But how did you get into the Inquisition?"

"Why, sir, after we were taken, we set forth to go down the river again;
and the old Don took the little maid with him in one boat (and bitterly
she screeched at parting from us and from the poor dead corpse), and Mr.
Oxenham with Don Diego de Trees in another, and I in a third. And from
the Spaniards I learnt that we were to be taken down to Lima, to the
Viceroy; but that the old man lived hard by Panama, and was going
straight back to Panama forthwith with the little maid. But they said,
'It will be well for her if she ever gets there, for the old man swears
she is none of his, and would have left her behind him in the woods,
now, if Don Diego had not shamed him out of it.' And when I heard that,
seeing that there was nothing but death before me, I made up my mind
to escape; and the very first night, sirs, by God's help, I did it,
and went southward away into the forest, avoiding the tracks of the
Cimaroons, till I came to an Indian town. And there, gentlemen, I got
more mercy from heathens than ever I had from Christians; for when they
found that I was no Spaniard, they fed me and gave me a house, and
a wife (and a good wife she was to me), and painted me all over in
patterns, as you see; and because I had some knowledge of surgery and
blood-letting, and my fleams in my pocket, which were worth to me a
fortune, I rose to great honor among them, though they taught me more of
simples than ever I taught them of surgery. So I lived with them merrily
enough, being a very heathen like them, or indeed worse, for they
worshipped their Xemes, but I nothing. And in time my wife bare me a
child; in looking at whose sweet face, gentlemen, I forgot Mr. Oxenham
and his little maid, and my oath, ay, and my native land also. Wherefore
it was taken from me, else had I lived and died as the beasts which
perish; for one night, after we were all lain down, came a noise outside
the town, and I starting up saw armed men and calivers shining in the
moonlight, and heard one read in Spanish, with a loud voice, some fool's
sermon, after their custom when they hunt the poor Indians, how God had
given to St. Peter the dominion of the whole earth, and St. Peter
again the Indies to the Catholic king; wherefore, if they would all
be baptized and serve the Spaniard, they should have some monkey's
allowance or other of more kicks than pence; and if not, then have
at them with fire and sword; but I dare say your worships know that
devilish trick of theirs better than I."

"I know it, man. Go on."

"Well--no sooner were the words spoken than, without waiting to hear
what the poor innocents within would answer (though that mattered
little, for they understood not one word of it), what do the villains
but let fly right into the town with their calivers, and then rush
in, sword in hand, killing pell-mell all they met, one of which shots,
gentlemen, passing through the doorway, and close by me, struck my poor
wife to the heart, that she never spoke word more. I, catching up the
babe from her breast, tried to run: but when I saw the town full of
them, and their dogs with them in leashes, which was yet worse, I knew
all was lost, and sat down again by the corpse with the babe on my
knees, waiting the end, like one stunned and in a dream; for now I
thought God from whom I had fled had surely found me out, as He did
Jonah, and the punishment of all my sins was come. Well, gentlemen, they
dragged me out, and all the young men and women, and chained us together
by the neck; and one, catching the pretty babe out of my arms, calls
for water and a priest (for they had their shavelings with them), and no
sooner was it christened than, catching the babe by the heels, he dashed
out its brains,--oh! gentlemen, gentlemen!--against the ground, as if it
had been a kitten; and so did they to several more innocents that night,
after they had christened them; saying it was best for them to go to
heaven while they were still sure thereof; and so marched us all for
slaves, leaving the old folk and the wounded to die at leisure. But when
morning came, and they knew by my skin that I was no Indian, and by my
speech that I was no Spaniard, they began threatening me with torments,
till I confessed that I was an Englishman, and one of Oxenham's crew.
At that says the leader, 'Then you shall to Lima, to hang by the side of
your captain the pirate;' by which I first knew that my poor captain was
certainly gone; but alas for me! the priest steps in and claims me for
his booty, calling me Lutheran, heretic, and enemy of God; and so, to
make short a sad story, to the Inquisition at Cartagena I went, where
what I suffered, gentlemen, were as disgustful for you to hear, as
unmanly for me to complain of; but so it was, that being twice racked,
and having endured the water-torment as best I could, I was put to the
scarpines, whereof I am, as you see, somewhat lame of one leg to this
day. At which I could abide no more, and so, wretch that I am! denied my
God, in hope to save my life; which indeed I did, but little it profited
me; for though I had turned to their superstition, I must have two
hundred stripes in the public place, and then go to the galleys for
seven years. And there, gentlemen, ofttimes I thought that it had been
better for me to have been burned at once and for all: but you know
as well as I what a floating hell of heat and cold, hunger and thirst,
stripes and toil, is every one of those accursed craft. In which hell,
nevertheless, gentlemen, I found the road to heaven,--I had almost said
heaven itself. For it fell out, by God's mercy, that my next comrade was
an Englishman like myself, a young man of Bristol, who, as he told me,
had been some manner of factor on board poor Captain Barker's ship, and
had been a preacher among the Anabaptists here in England. And, oh! Sir
Richard Grenville, if that man had done for you what he did for me, you
would never say a word against those who serve the same Lord, because
they don't altogether hold with you. For from time to time, sir, seeing
me altogether despairing and furious, like a wild beast in a pit, he set
before me in secret earnestly the sweet promises of God in Christ,--who
says, 'Come to me, all ye that are heavy laden, and I will refresh
you; and though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as
snow,--till all that past sinful life of mine looked like a dream when
one awaketh, and I forgot all my bodily miseries in the misery of my
soul, so did I loathe and hate myself for my rebellion against that
loving God who had chosen me before the foundation of the world, and
come to seek and save me when I was lost; and falling into very despair
at the burden of my heinous sins, knew no peace until I gained sweet
assurance that my Lord had hanged my burden upon His cross, and washed
my sinful soul in His most sinless blood, Amen!"

And Sir Richard Grenville said Amen also.

"But, gentlemen, if that sweet youth won a soul to Christ, he paid
as dearly for it as ever did saint of God. For after a three or four
months, when I had been all that while in sweet converse with him, and
I may say in heaven in the midst of hell, there came one night to the
barranco at Lima, where we were kept when on shore, three black devils
of the Holy Office, and carried him off without a word, only saying to
me, 'Look that your turn come not next, for we hear that you have had
much talk with the villain.' And at these words I was so struck cold
with terror that I swooned right away, and verily, if they had taken me
there and then, I should have denied my God again, for my faith was but
young and weak: but instead, they left me aboard the galley for a few
months more (that was a whole voyage to Panama and back), in daily dread
lest I should find myself in their cruel claws again--and then nothing
for me, but to burn as a relapsed heretic. But when we came back to
Lima, the officers came on board again, and said to me, 'That heretic
has confessed naught against you, so we will leave you for this time:
but because you have been seen talking with him so much, and the Holy
Office suspects your conversion to be but a rotten one, you are adjudged
to the galleys for the rest of your life in perpetual servitude.'"

"But what became of him?" asked Amyas.

"He was burned, sir, a day or two before we got to Lima, and five others
with him at the same stake, of whom two were Englishmen; old comrades of
mine, as I guess."

"Ah!" said Amyas, "we heard of that when we were off Lima; and they
said, too, that there were six more lying still in prison, to be burnt
in a few days. If we had had our fleet with us (as we should have had if
it had not been for John Winter) we would have gone in and rescued them
all, poor wretches, and sacked the town to boot: but what could we do
with one ship?"

"Would to God you had, sir; for the story was true enough; and among
them, I heard, were two young ladies of quality and their confessor,
who came to their ends for reproving out of Scripture the filthy and
loathsome living of those parts, which, as I saw well enough and too
well, is liker to Sodom than to a Christian town; but God will avenge
His saints, and their sins. Amen."

"Amen," said Sir Richard: "but on with thy tale, for it is as strange as
ever man heard."

"Well, gentlemen, when I heard that I must end my days in that galley, I
was for awhile like a madman: but in a day or two there came over me, I
know not how, a full assurance of salvation, both for this life and the
life to come, such as I had never had before; and it was revealed to me
(I speak the truth, gentlemen, before Heaven) that now I had been tried
to the uttermost, and that my deliverance was at hand.

"And all the way up to Panama (that was after we had laden the
'Cacafuogo') I cast in my mind how to escape, and found no way: but just
as I was beginning to lose heart again, a door was opened by the Lord's
own hand; for (I know not why) we were marched across from Panama to
Nombre, which had never happened before, and there put all together into
a great barranco close by the quay-side, shackled, as is the fashion, to
one long bar that ran the whole length of the house. And the very first
night that we were there, I, looking out of the window, spied, lying
close aboard of the quay, a good-sized caravel well armed and just
loading for sea; and the land breeze blew off very strong, so that the
sailors were laying out a fresh warp to hold her to the shore. And it
came into my mind, that if we were aboard of her, we should be at sea
in five minutes; and looking at the quay, I saw all the soldiers who had
guarded us scattered about drinking and gambling, and some going into
taverns to refresh themselves after their journey. That was just at
sundown; and half an hour after, in comes the gaoler to take a last look
at us for the night, and his keys at his girdle. Whereon, sirs (whether
by madness, or whether by the spirit which gave Samson strength to rend
the lion), I rose against him as he passed me, without forethought or
treachery of any kind, chained though I was, caught him by the head,
and threw him there and then against the wall, that he never spoke word
after; and then with his keys freed myself and every soul in that
room, and bid them follow me, vowing to kill any man who disobeyed my
commands. They followed, as men astounded and leaping out of night into
day, and death into life, and so aboard that caravel and out of the
harbor (the Lord only knows how, who blinded the eyes of the idolaters),
'with no more hurt than a few chance-shot from the soldiers on the quay.
But my tale has been over-long already, gentlemen--"

"Go on till midnight, my good fellow, if you will."

"Well, sirs, they chose me for captain, and a certain Genoese for
lieutenant, and away to go. I would fain have gone ashore after all, and
back to Panama to hear news of the little maid: but that would have been
but a fool's errand. Some wanted to turn pirates: but I, and the Genoese
too, who was a prudent man, though an evil one, persuaded them to run
for England and get employment in the Netherland wars, assuring them
that there would be no safety in the Spanish Main, when once our escape
got wind. And the more part being of one mind, for England we sailed,
watering at the Barbadoes because it was desolate; and so eastward
toward the Canaries. In which voyage what we endured (being taken by
long calms), by scurvy, calentures, hunger, and thirst, no tongue can
tell. Many a time were we glad to lay out sheets at night to catch
the dew, and suck them in the morning; and he that had a noggin of
rain-water out of the scuppers was as much sought to as if he had been
Adelantado of all the Indies; till of a hundred and forty poor wretches
a hundred and ten were dead, blaspheming God and man, and above all
me and the Genoese, for taking the Europe voyage, as if I had not sins
enough of my own already. And last of all, when we thought ourselves
safe, we were wrecked by southwesters on the coast of Brittany, near to
Cape Race, from which but nine souls of us came ashore with their lives;
and so to Brest, where I found a Flushinger who carried me to Falmouth
and so ends my tale, in which if I have said one word more or less than
truth, I can wish myself no worse, than to have it all to undergo a
second time."

And his voice, as he finished, sank from very weariness of soul; while
Sir Richard sat opposite him in silence, his elbows on the table,
his cheeks on his doubled fists, looking him through and through with
kindling eyes. No one spoke for several minutes; and then--

"Amyas, you have heard this story. You believe it?"

"Every word, sir, or I should not have the heart of a Christian man."

"So do I. Anthony!"

The butler entered.

"Take this man to the buttery; clothe him comfortably, and feed him with
the best; and bid the knaves treat him as if he were their own father."

But Yeo lingered.

"If I might be so bold as to ask your worship a favor?--"

"Anything in reason, my brave fellow."

"If your worship could put me in the way of another adventure to the

"Another! Hast not had enough of the Spaniards already?"

"Never enough, sir, while one of the idolatrous tyrants is left
unhanged," said he, with a right bitter smile. "But it's not for that
only, sir: but my little maid--Oh, sir! my little maid, that I swore to
Mr. Oxenham to look to, and never saw her from that day to this! I must
find her, sir, or I shall go mad, I believe. Not a night but she comes
and calls to me in my dreams, the poor darling; and not a morning but
when I wake there is my oath lying on my soul, like a great black cloud,
and I no nearer the keeping of it. I told that poor young minister of it
when we were in the galleys together; and he said oaths were oaths, and
keep it I must; and keep it I will, sir, if you'll but help me."

"Have patience, man. God will take as good care of thy little maid as
ever thou wilt."

"I know it, sir. I know it: but faith's weak, sir! and oh! if she were
bred up a Papist and an idolater; wouldn't her blood be on my head then,
sir? Sooner than that, sooner than that, I'd be in the Inquisition again
to-morrow, I would!"

"My good fellow, there are no adventures to the Indies forward now: but
if you want to fight Spaniards, here is a gentleman will show you the
way. Amyas, take him with you to Ireland. If he has learnt half the
lessons God has set him to learn, he ought to stand you in good stead."

Yeo looked eagerly at the young giant.

"Will you have me, sir? There's few matters I can't turn my hand to:
and maybe you'll be going to the Indies again, some day, eh? and take me
with you? I'd serve your turn well, though I say it, either for gunner
or for pilot. I know every stone and tree from Nombre to Panama, and all
the ports of both the seas. You'll never be content, I'll warrant, till
you've had another turn along the gold coasts, will you now?"

Amyas laughed, and nodded; and the bargain was concluded.

So out went Yeo to eat, and Amyas having received his despatches, got
ready for his journey home.

"Go the short way over the moors, lad; and send back Cary's gray when
you can. You must not lose an hour, but be ready to sail the moment the
wind goes about."

So they started: but as Amyas was getting into the saddle, he saw that
there was some stir among the servants, who seemed to keep carefully out
of Yeo's way, whispering and nodding mysteriously; and just as his foot
was in the stirrup, Anthony, the old butler, plucked him back.

"Dear father alive, Mr. Amyas!" whispered he: "and you ben't going by
the moor road all alone with that chap?"

"Why not, then? I'm too big for him to eat, I reckon."

"Oh, Mr. Amyas! he's not right, I tell you; not company for a
Christian--to go forth with creatures as has flames of fire in their
inwards; 'tis temptation of Providence, indeed, then, it is."

"Tale of a tub."

"Tale of a Christian, sir. There was two boys pig-minding, seed him at
it down the hill, beside a maiden that was taken mazed (and no wonder,
poor soul!) and lying in screeching asterisks now down to the mill--you
ask as you go by--and saw the flames come out of the mouth of mun, and
the smoke out of mun's nose like a vire-drake, and the roaring of mun
like the roaring of ten thousand bulls. Oh, sir! and to go with he after
dark over moor! 'Tis the devil's devices, sir, against you, because
you'm going against his sarvants the Pope of Room and the Spaniard; and
you'll be Pixy-led, sure as life, and locked into a bog, you will, and
see mun vanish away to fire and brimstone, like a jack-o'-lantern. Oh,
have a care, then, have a care!"

And the old man wrung his hands, while Amyas, bursting with laughter,
rode off down the park, with the unconscious Yeo at his stirrup,
chatting away about the Indies, and delighting Amyas more and more by
his shrewdness, high spirit, and rough eloquence.

They had gone ten miles or more; the day began to draw in, and the
western wind to sweep more cold and cheerless every moment, when Amyas,
knowing that there was not an inn hard by around for many a mile ahead,
took a pull at a certain bottle which Lady Grenville had put into his
holster, and then offered Yeo a pull also.

He declined; he had meat and drink too about him, Heaven be praised!

"Meat and drink? Fall to, then, man, and don't stand on manners."

Whereon Yeo, seeing an old decayed willow by a brook, went to it, and
took therefrom some touchwood, to which he set a light with his knife
and a stone, while Amyas watched, a little puzzled and startled,
as Yeo's fiery reputation came into his mind. Was he really a
salamander-sprite, and going to warm his inside by a meal of burning
tinder? But now Yeo, in his solemn methodical way, pulled out of his
bosom a brown leaf, and began rolling a piece of it up neatly to the
size of his little finger; and then, putting the one end into his mouth
and the other on the tinder, sucked at it till it was a-light; and
drinking down the smoke, began puffing it out again at his nostrils with
a grunt of deepest satisfaction, and resumed his dog-trot by Amyas's
side, as if he had been a walking chimney.

On which Amyas burst into a loud laugh, and cried--

"Why, no wonder they said you breathed fire? Is not that the Indians'

"Yea, verily, Heaven be praised! but did you never see it before?"

"Never, though we heard talk of it along the coast; but we took it for
one more Spanish lie. Humph--well, live and learn!"

"Ah, sir, no lie, but a blessed truth, as I can tell, who have ere now
gone in the strength of this weed three days and nights without eating;
and therefore, sir, the Indians always carry it with them on their
war-parties: and no wonder; for when all things were made none was made
better than this; to be a lone man's companion, a bachelor's friend,
a hungry man's food, a sad man's cordial, a wakeful man's sleep, and a
chilly man's fire, sir; while for stanching of wounds, purging of rheum,
and settling of the stomach, there's no herb like unto it under the
canopy of heaven."

The truth of which eulogium Amyas tested in after years, as shall be
fully set forth in due place and time. But "Mark in the meanwhile," says
one of the veracious chroniclers from whom I draw these facts, writing
seemingly in the palmy days of good Queen Anne, and "not having" (as he
says) "before his eyes the fear of that misocapnic Solomon James I. or
of any other lying Stuart," "that not to South Devon, but to North; not
to Sir Walter Raleigh, but to Sir Amyas Leigh; not to the banks of Dart,
but to the banks of Torridge, does Europe owe the day-spring of the
latter age, that age of smoke which shall endure and thrive, when the
age of brass shall have vanished like those of iron and of gold; for
whereas Mr. Lane is said to have brought home that divine weed (as
Spenser well names it) from Virginia, in the year 1584, it is hereby
indisputable that full four years earlier, by the bridge of Putford in
the Torridge moors (which all true smokers shall hereafter visit as a
hallowed spot and point of pilgrimage) first twinkled that fiery beacon
and beneficent lodestar of Bidefordian commerce, to spread hereafter
from port to port and peak to peak, like the watch-fires which
proclaimed the coming of the Armada or the fall of Troy, even to the
shores of the Bosphorus, the peaks of the Caucasus, and the farthest
isles of the Malayan sea, while Bideford, metropolis of tobacco, saw her
Pool choked with Virginian traders, and the pavement of her Bridgeland
Street groaning beneath the savory bales of roll Trinadado, leaf, and
pudding; and her grave burghers, bolstered and blocked out of their own
houses by the scarce less savory stock-fish casks which filled cellar,
parlor, and attic, were fain to sit outside the door, a silver pipe
in every strong right hand, and each left hand chinking cheerfully the
doubloons deep lodged in the auriferous caverns of their trunk-hose;
while in those fairy-rings of fragrant mist, which circled round their
contemplative brows, flitted most pleasant visions of Wiltshire farmers
jogging into Sherborne fair, their heaviest shillings in their pockets,
to buy (unless old Aubrey lies) the lotus-leaf of Torridge for its
weight in silver, and draw from thence, after the example of the
Caciques of Dariena, supplies of inspiration much needed, then as now,
in those Gothamite regions. And yet did these improve, as Englishmen,
upon the method of those heathen savages; for the latter (so Salvation
Yeo reported as a truth, and Dampier's surgeon Mr. Wafer after him),
when they will deliberate of war or policy, sit round in the hut of the
chief; where being placed, enter to them a small boy with a cigarro of
the bigness of a rolling-pin and puffs the smoke thereof into the face
of each warrior, from the eldest to the youngest; while they, putting
their hand funnel-wise round their mouths, draw into the sinuosities of
the brain that more than Delphic vapor of prophecy; which boy presently
falls down in a swoon, and being dragged out by the heels and laid by to
sober, enter another to puff at the sacred cigarro, till he is dragged
out likewise; and so on till the tobacco is finished, and the seed of
wisdom has sprouted in every soul into the tree of meditation, bearing
the flowers of eloquence, and in due time the fruit of valiant action."
With which quaint fact (for fact it is, in spite of the bombast) I end
the present chapter.



     "It is virtue, yea virtue, gentlemen, that maketh gentlemen; that
     maketh the poor rich, the base-born noble, the subject a sovereign,
     the deformed beautiful, the sick whole, the weak strong, the most
     miserable most happy.  There are two principal and peculiar gifts
     in the nature of man, knowledge and reason; the one commandeth, and
     the other obeyeth: these things neither the whirling wheel of
     fortune can change, neither the deceitful cavillings of worldlings
     separate, neither sickness abate, neither age abolish."--LILLY's
     Euphues, 1586.

It now falls to my lot to write of the foundation of that most
chivalrous brotherhood of the Rose, which after a few years made itself
not only famous in its native country of Devon, but formidable, as will
be related hereafter, both in Ireland and in the Netherlands, in the
Spanish Main and the heart of South America. And if this chapter shall
seem to any Quixotic and fantastical, let them recollect that the
generation who spoke and acted thus in matters of love and honor were,
nevertheless, practised and valiant soldiers, and prudent and crafty
politicians; that he who wrote the "Arcadia" was at the same time, in
spite of his youth, one of the subtlest diplomatists of Europe; that
the poet of the "Faerie Queene" was also the author of "The State
of Ireland;" and if they shall quote against me with a sneer Lilly's
"Euphues" itself, I shall only answer by asking--Have they ever read
it? For if they have done so, I pity them if they have not found it, in
spite of occasional tediousness and pedantry, as brave, righteous, and
pious a book as man need look into: and wish for no better proof of
the nobleness and virtue of the Elizabethan age, than the fact that
"Euphues" and the "Arcadia" were the two popular romances of the day. It
may have suited the purposes of Sir Walter Scott, in his cleverly drawn
Sir Piercie Shafton, to ridicule the Euphuists, and that affectatam
comitatem of the travelled English of which Languet complains; but over
and above the anachronism of the whole character (for, to give but one
instance, the Euphuist knight talks of Sidney's quarrel with Lord Oxford
at least ten years before it happened), we do deny that Lilly's book
could, if read by any man of common sense, produce such a coxcomb,
whose spiritual ancestors would rather have been Gabriel Harvey and
Lord Oxford,--if indeed the former has not maligned the latter, and
ill-tempered Tom Nash maligned the maligner in his turn.

But, indeed, there is a double anachronism in Sir Piercie; for he does
not even belong to the days of Sidney, but to those worse times which
began in the latter years of Elizabeth, and after breaking her mighty
heart, had full license to bear their crop of fools' heads in the
profligate days of James. Of them, perhaps, hereafter. And in the
meanwhile, let those who have not read "Euphues" believe that, if they
could train a son after the fashion of his Ephoebus, to the great
saving of their own money and his virtue, all fathers, even in these
money-making days, would rise up and call them blessed. Let us
rather open our eyes, and see in these old Elizabeth gallants our own
ancestors, showing forth with the luxuriant wildness of youth all the
virtues which still go to the making of a true Englishman. Let us not
only see in their commercial and military daring, in their political
astuteness, in their deep reverence for law, and in their solemn sense
of the great calling of the English nation, the antitypes or rather
the examples of our own: but let us confess that their chivalry is only
another garb of that beautiful tenderness and mercy which is now, as
it was then, the twin sister of English valor; and even in their
extravagant fondness for Continental manners and literature, let us
recognize that old Anglo-Norman teachableness and wide-heartedness,
which has enabled us to profit by the wisdom and civilization of all
ages and of all lands, without prejudice to our own distinctive national

And so I go to my story, which, if any one dislikes, he has but to turn
the leaf till he finds pasturage which suits him better.

Amyas could not sail the next day, or the day after; for the southwester
freshened, and blew three parts of a gale dead into the bay. So having
got the "Mary Grenville" down the river into Appledore pool, ready to
start with the first shift of wind, he went quietly home; and when
his mother started on a pillion behind the old serving-man to ride
to Clovelly, where Frank lay wounded, he went in with her as far as
Bideford, and there met, coming down the High Street, a procession of
horsemen headed by Will Cary, who, clad cap-a-pie in a shining armor,
sword on thigh, and helmet at saddle-bow, looked as gallant a young
gentleman as ever Bideford dames peeped at from door and window. Behind
him, upon country ponies, came four or five stout serving-men, carrying
his lances and baggage, and their own long-bows, swords, and bucklers;
and behind all, in a horse-litter, to Mrs. Leigh's great joy, Master
Frank himself. He deposed that his wounds were only flesh-wounds, the
dagger having turned against his ribs; that he must see the last of
his brother; and that with her good leave he would not come home to
Burrough, but take up his abode with Cary in the Ship Tavern, close to
the Bridge-foot. This he did forthwith, and settling himself on a couch,
held his levee there in state, mobbed by all the gossips of the town,
not without white fibs as to who had brought him into that sorry plight.

But in the meanwhile he and Amyas concocted a scheme, which was put
into effect the next day (being market-day); first by the innkeeper, who
began under Amyas's orders a bustle of roasting, boiling, and frying,
unparalleled in the annals of the Ship Tavern; and next by Amyas
himself, who, going out into the market, invited as many of his old
schoolfellows, one by one apart, as Frank had pointed out to him, to a
merry supper and a "rowse" thereon consequent; by which crafty scheme,
in came each of Rose Salterne's gentle admirers, and found himself, to
his considerable disgust, seated at the same table with six rivals, to
none of whom had he spoken for the last six months. However, all were
too well bred to let the Leighs discern as much; and they (though, of
course, they knew all) settled their guests, Frank on his couch lying
at the head of the table, and Amyas taking the bottom: and contrived, by
filling all mouths with good things, to save them the pain of speaking
to each other till the wine should have loosened their tongues and
warmed their hearts. In the meanwhile both Amyas and Frank, ignoring the
silence of their guests with the most provoking good-humor, chatted,
and joked, and told stories, and made themselves such good company, that
Will Cary, who always found merriment infectious, melted into a jest,
and then into another, and finding good-humor far more pleasant than
bad, tried to make Mr. Coffin laugh, and only made him bow, and to
make Mr. Fortescue laugh, and only made him frown; and unabashed
nevertheless, began playing his light artillery upon the waiters, till
he drove them out of the room bursting with laughter.

So far so good. And when the cloth was drawn, and sack and sugar became
the order of the day, and "Queen and Bible" had been duly drunk with all
the honors, Frank tried a fresh move, and--

"I have a toast, gentlemen--here it is. 'The gentlemen of the Irish
wars; and may Ireland never be without a St. Leger to stand by a
Fortescue, a Fortescue to stand by a St. Leger, and a Chichester to
stand by both.'"

Which toast of course involved the drinking the healths of the three
representatives of those families, and their returning thanks, and
paying a compliment each to the other's house: and so the ice cracked a
little further; and young Fortescue proposed the health of "Amyas Leigh
and all bold mariners;" to which Amyas replied by a few blunt kindly
words, "that he wished to know no better fortune than to sail round the
world again with the present company as fellow-adventurers, and so give
the Spaniards another taste of the men of Devon."

And by this time, the wine going down sweetly, caused the lips of them
that were asleep to speak; till the ice broke up altogether, and every
man began talking like a rational Englishman to the man who sat next

"And now, gentlemen," said Frank, who saw that it was the fit moment
for the grand assault which he had planned all along; "let me give you
a health which none of you, I dare say, will refuse to drink with heart
and soul as well as with lips;--the health of one whom beauty and virtue
have so ennobled, that in their light the shadow of lowly birth
is unseen;--the health of one whom I would proclaim as peerless in
loveliness, were it not that every gentleman here has sisters, who might
well challenge from her the girdle of Venus: and yet what else dare
I say, while those same lovely ladies who, if they but use their own
mirrors, must needs be far better judges of beauty than I can be, have
in my own hearing again and again assigned the palm to her? Surely, if
the goddesses decide among themselves the question of the golden apple,
Paris himself must vacate the judgment-seat. Gentlemen, your hearts, I
doubt not, have already bid you, as my unworthy lips do now, to drink
'The Rose of Torridge.'"

If the Rose of Torridge herself had walked into the room, she could
hardly have caused more blank astonishment than Frank's bold speech.
Every guest turned red, and pale, and red again, and looked at the other
as much as to say, "What right has any one but I to drink her? Lift
your glass, and I will dash it out of your hand;" but Frank, with sweet
effrontery, drank "The health of the Rose of Torridge, and a double
health to that worthy gentleman, whosoever he may be, whom she is fated
to honor with her love!"

"Well done, cunning Frank Leigh!" cried blunt Will Cary; "none of us
dare quarrel with you now, however much we may sulk at each other. For
there's none of us, I'll warrant, but thinks that she likes him the best
of all; and so we are bound to believe that you have drunk our healths
all round."

"And so I have: and what better thing can you do, gentlemen, than to
drink each other's healths all round likewise: and so show yourselves
true gentlemen, true Christians, ay, and true lovers? For what is love
(let me speak freely to you, gentlemen and guests), what is love, but
the very inspiration of that Deity whose name is Love? Be sure that not
without reason did the ancients feign Eros to be the eldest of the gods,
by whom the jarring elements of chaos were attuned into harmony and
order. How, then, shall lovers make him the father of strife? Shall
Psyche wed with Cupid, to bring forth a cockatrice's egg? or the soul be
filled with love, the likeness of the immortals, to burn with envy and
jealousy, division and distrust? True, the rose has its thorn: but it
leaves poison and stings to the nettle. Cupid has his arrow: but he
hurls no scorpions. Venus is awful when despised, as the daughters of
Proetus found: but her handmaids are the Graces, not the Furies. Surely
he who loves aright will not only find love lovely, but become himself
lovely also. I speak not to reprehend you, gentlemen; for to you (as
your piercing wits have already perceived, to judge by your honorable
blushes) my discourse tends; but to point you, if you will but permit
me, to that rock which I myself have, I know not by what Divine good
hap, attained; if, indeed, I have attained it, and am not about to be
washed off again by the next tide."

Frank's rapid and fantastic oratory, utterly unexpected as it was, had
as yet left their wits no time to set their tempers on fire; but when,
weak from his wounds, he paused for breath, there was a haughty
murmur from more than one young gentleman, who took his speech as
an impertinent interference with each man's right to make a fool of
himself; and Mr. Coffin, who had sat quietly bolt upright, and looking
at the opposite wall, now rose as quietly, and with a face which tried
to look utterly unconcerned, was walking out of the room: another
minute, and Lady Bath's prophecy about the feast of the Lapithae might
have come true.

But Frank's heart and head never failed him.

"Mr. Coffin!" said he, in a tone which compelled that gentleman to turn
round, and so brought him under the power of a face which none could
have beheld for five minutes and borne malice, so imploring, tender,
earnest was it. "My dear Mr. Coffin! If my earnestness has made me
forget even for a moment the bounds of courtesy, let me entreat you to
forgive me. Do not add to my heavy griefs, heavy enough already, the
grief of losing a friend. Only hear me patiently to the end (generously,
I know, you will hear me); and then, if you are still incensed, I can
but again entreat your forgiveness a second time."

Mr. Coffin, to tell the truth, had at that time never been to Court; and
he was therefore somewhat jealous of Frank, and his Court talk, and his
Court clothes, and his Court company; and moreover, being the eldest
of the guests, and only two years younger than Frank himself, he was a
little nettled at being classed in the same category with some who were
scarce eighteen. And if Frank had given the least hint which seemed
to assume his own superiority, all had been lost: but when, instead
thereof, he sued in forma pauperis, and threw himself upon Coffin's
mercy, the latter, who was a true-hearted man enough, and after all had
known Frank ever since either of them could walk, had nothing to do but
to sit down again and submit, while Frank went on more earnestly than

"Believe me; believe me, Mr. Coffin, and gentlemen all, I no more
arrogate to myself a superiority over you than does the sailor hurled
on shore by the surge fancy himself better than his comrade who is still
battling with the foam. For I too, gentlemen,--let me confess it, that
by confiding in you I may, perhaps, win you to confide in me,--have
loved, ay and do love, where you love also. Do not start. Is it a matter
of wonder that the sun which has dazzled you has dazzled me; that
the lodestone which has drawn you has drawn me? Do not frown, either,
gentlemen. I have learnt to love you for loving what I love, and to
admire you for admiring that which I admire. Will you not try the same
lesson: so easy, and, when learnt, so blissful? What breeds more close
communion between subjects than allegiance to the same queen? between
brothers, than duty to the same father? between the devout, than
adoration for the same Deity? And shall not worship for the same beauty
be likewise a bond of love between the worshippers? and each lover see
in his rival not an enemy, but a fellow-sufferer? You smile and say in
your hearts, that though all may worship, but one can enjoy; and that
one man's meat must be the poison of the rest. Be it so, though I deny
it. Shall we anticipate our own doom, and slay ourselves for fear of
dying? Shall we make ourselves unworthy of her from our very eagerness
to win her, and show ourselves her faithful knights, by cherishing
envy,--most unknightly of all sins? Shall we dream with the Italian
or the Spaniard that we can become more amiable in a lady's eyes, by
becoming hateful in the eyes of God and of each other? Will she love
us the better, if we come to her with hands stained in the blood of
him whom she loves better than us? Let us recollect ourselves rather,
gentlemen; and be sure that our only chance of winning her, if she be
worth winning, is to will what she wills, honor whom she honors, love
whom she loves. If there is to be rivalry among us, let it be a rivalry
in nobleness, an emulation in virtue. Let each try to outstrip the other
in loyalty to his queen, in valor against her foes, in deeds of courtesy
and mercy to the afflicted and oppressed; and thus our love will indeed
prove its own divine origin, by raising us nearer to those gods whose
gift it is. But yet I show you a more excellent way, and that is
charity. Why should we not make this common love to her, whom I am
unworthy to name, the sacrament of a common love to each other? Why
should we not follow the heroical examples of those ancient knights, who
having but one grief, one desire, one goddess, held that one heart was
enough to contain that grief, to nourish that desire, to worship that
divinity; and so uniting themselves in friendship till they became but
one soul in two bodies, lived only for each other in living only for
her, vowing as faithful worshippers to abide by her decision, to find
their own bliss in hers, and whomsoever she esteemed most worthy of
her love, to esteem most worthy also, and count themselves, by that her
choice, the bounden servants of him whom their mistress had condescended
to advance to the dignity of her master?--as I (not without hope that I
shall be outdone in generous strife) do here promise to be the faithful
friend, and, to my ability, the hearty servant, of him who shall be
honored with the love of the Rose of Torridge."

He ceased, and there was a pause.

At last young Fortescue spoke.

"I may be paying you a left-handed compliment, sir: but it seems to me
that you are so likely, in that case, to become your own faithful friend
and hearty servant (even if you have not borne off the bell already
while we have been asleep), that the bargain is hardly fair between such
a gay Italianist and us country swains."

"You undervalue yourself and your country, my dear sir. But set your
mind at rest. I know no more of that lady's mind than you do: nor shall
I know. For the sake of my own peace, I have made a vow neither to see
her, nor to hear, if possible, tidings of her, till three full years are
past. Dixi?"

Mr. Coffin rose.

"Gentlemen, I may submit to be outdone by Mr. Leigh in eloquence, but
not in generosity; if he leaves these parts for three years, I do so

"And go in charity with all mankind," said Cary. "Give us your hand,
old fellow. If you are a Coffin, you were sawn out of no wishy-washy
elm-board, but right heart-of-oak. I am going, too, as Amyas here can
tell, to Ireland away, to cool my hot liver in a bog, like a Jack-hare
in March. Come, give us thy neif, and let us part in peace. I was minded
to have fought thee this day--"

"I should have been most happy, sir," said Coffin.

--"But now I am all love and charity to mankind. Can I have the pleasure
of begging pardon of the world in general, and thee in particular? Does
any one wish to pull my nose; send me an errand; make me lend him five
pounds; ay, make me buy a horse of him, which will be as good as giving
him ten? Come along! Join hands all round, and swear eternal friendship,
as brothers of the sacred order of the--of what. Frank Leigh? Open thy
mouth, Daniel, and christen us!"

"The Rose!" said Frank quietly, seeing that his new love-philtre was
working well, and determined to strike while the iron was hot, and carry
the matter too far to carry it back again.

"The Rose!" cried Cary, catching hold of Coffin's hand with his right,
and Fortescue's with his left. "Come, Mr. Coffin! Bend, sturdy oak! 'Woe
to the stiffnecked and stout-hearted!' says Scripture."

And somehow or other, whether it was Frank's chivalrous speech, or
Cary's fun, or Amyas's good wine, or the nobleness which lies in every
young lad's heart, if their elders will take the trouble to call it out,
the whole party came in to terms one by one, shook hands all round, and
vowed on the hilt of Amyas's sword to make fools of themselves no more,
at least by jealousy: but to stand by each other and by their lady-love,
and neither grudge nor grumble, let her dance with, flirt with, or marry
with whom she would; and in order that the honor of their peerless dame,
and the brotherhood which was named after her, might be spread through
all lands, and equal that of Angelica or Isonde of Brittany, they would
each go home, and ask their fathers' leave (easy enough to obtain in
those brave times) to go abroad wheresoever there were "good wars," to
emulate there the courage and the courtesy of Walter Manny and Gonzalo
Fernandes, Bayard and Gaston de Foix. Why not? Sidney was the hero of
Europe at five-and-twenty; and why not they?

And Frank watched and listened with one of his quiet smiles (his eyes,
as some folks' do, smiled even when his lips were still), and only said:
"Gentlemen, be sure that you will never repent this day."

"Repent?" said Cary. "I feel already as angelical as thou lookest, Saint
Silvertongue. What was it that sneezed?--the cat?"

"The lion, rather, by the roar of it," said Amyas, making a dash at the
arras behind him. "Why, here is a doorway here! and--"

And rushing under the arras, through an open door behind, he returned,
dragging out by the head Mr. John Brimblecombe.

Who was Mr. John Brimblecombe?

If you have forgotten him, you have done pretty nearly what every one
else in the room had done. But you recollect a certain fat lad, son of
the schoolmaster, whom Sir Richard punished for tale-bearing three years
before, by sending him, not to Coventry, but to Oxford. That was the
man. He was now one-and-twenty, and a bachelor of Oxford, where he
had learnt such things as were taught in those days, with more or less
success; and he was now hanging about Bideford once more, intending to
return after Christmas and read divinity, that he might become a parson,
and a shepherd of souls in his native land.

Jack was in person exceedingly like a pig: but not like every pig: not
in the least like the Devon pigs of those days, which, I am sorry to
say, were no more shapely than the true Irish greyhound who pays
Pat's "rint" for him; or than the lanky monsters who wallow in German
rivulets, while the village swineherd, beneath a shady lime, forgets his
fleas in the melody of a Jew's harp--strange mud-colored creatures, four
feet high and four inches thick, which look as if they had passed their
lives, as a collar of Oxford brawn is said to do, between two tight
boards. Such were then the pigs of Devon: not to be compared with the
true wild descendant of Noah's stock, high-withered, furry, grizzled,
game-flavored little rooklers, whereof many a sownder still grunted
about Swinley down and Braunton woods, Clovelly glens and Bursdon moor.
Not like these, nor like the tame abomination of those barbarous times,
was Jack: but prophetic in face, figure, and complexion, of Fisher Hobbs
and the triumphs of science. A Fisher Hobbs' pig of twelve stone, on
his hind-legs--that was what he was, and nothing else; and if you do not
know, reader, what a Fisher Hobbs is, you know nothing about pigs,
and deserve no bacon for breakfast. But such was Jack. The same plump
mulberry complexion, garnished with a few scattered black bristles; the
same sleek skin, looking always as if it was upon the point of bursting;
the same little toddling legs; the same dapper bend in the small of the
back; the same cracked squeak; the same low upright forehead, and tiny
eyes; the same round self-satisfied jowl; the same charming sensitive
little cocked nose, always on the look-out for a savory smell,--and
yet while watching for the best, contented with the worst; a pig of
self-helpful and serene spirit, as Jack was, and therefore, like him,
fatting fast while other pigs' ribs are staring through their skins.

Such was Jack; and lucky it was for him that such he was; for it was
little that he got to fat him at Oxford, in days when a servitor meant
really a servant-student; and wistfully that day did his eyes, led by
his nose, survey at the end of the Ship Inn passage the preparations
for Amyas's supper. The innkeeper was a friend of his; for, in the first
place, they had lived within three doors of each other all their lives;
and next, Jack was quite pleasant company enough, beside being a
learned man and an Oxford scholar, to be asked in now and then to the
innkeeper's private parlor, when there were no gentlemen there, to
crack his little joke and tell his little story, sip the leavings of the
guests' sack, and sometimes help the host to eat the leavings of their
supper. And it was, perhaps, with some such hope that Jack trotted off
round the corner to the Ship that very afternoon; for that faithful
little nose of his, as it sniffed out of a back window of the school,
had given him warning of Sabean gales, and scents of Paradise, from the
inn kitchen below; so he went round, and asked for his pot of small ale
(his only luxury), and stood at the bar to drink it; and looked inward
with his little twinkling right eye, and sniffed inward with his little
curling right nostril, and beheld, in the kitchen beyond, salad in
stacks and fagots: salad of lettuce, salad of cress and endive, salad of
boiled coleworts, salad of pickled coleworts, salad of angelica, salad
of scurvy-wort, and seven salads more; for potatoes were not as yet, and
salads were during eight months of the year the only vegetable. And on
the dresser, and before the fire, whole hecatombs of fragrant victims,
which needed neither frankincense nor myrrh; Clovelly herrings and
Torridge salmon, Exmoor mutton and Stow venison, stubble geese and
woodcocks, curlew and snipe, hams of Hampshire, chitterlings of Taunton,
and botargos of Cadiz, such as Pantagruel himself might have devoured.
And Jack eyed them, as a ragged boy eyes the cakes in a pastrycook's
window; and thought of the scraps from the commoners' dinner, which were
his wages for cleaning out the hall; and meditated deeply on the unequal
distribution of human bliss.

"Ah, Mr. Brimblecombe!" said the host, bustling out with knife and apron
to cool himself in the passage. "Here are doings! Nine gentlemen to

"Nine! Are they going to eat all that?"

"Well, I can't say--that Mr. Amyas is as good as three to his trencher:
but still there's crumbs, Mr. Brimblecombe, crumbs; and waste not
want not is my doctrine; so you and I may have a somewhat to stay our
stomachs, about an eight o'clock."

"Eight?" said Jack, looking wistfully at the clock. "It's but four now.
Well, it's kind of you, and perhaps I'll look in."

"Just you step in now, and look to this venison. There's a breast! you
may lay your two fingers into the say there, and not get to the bottom
of the fat. That's Sir Richard's sending. He's all for them Leighs, and
no wonder, they'm brave lads, surely; and there's a saddle-o'-mutton! I
rode twenty miles for mun yesterday, I did, over beyond Barnstaple; and
five year old, Mr. John, it is, if ever five years was; and not a tooth
to mun's head, for I looked to that; and smelt all the way home like any
apple; and if it don't ate so soft as ever was scald cream, never you
call me Thomas Burman."

"Humph!" said Jack. "And that's their dinner. Well, some are born with a
silver spoon in their mouth."

"Some be born with roast beef in their mouths, and plum-pudding in
their pocket to take away the taste o' mun; and that's better than empty
spunes, eh?"

"For them that get it," said Jack. "But for them that don't--" And with
a sigh he returned to his small ale, and then lingered in and out of the
inn, watching the dinner as it went into the best room, where the guests
were assembled.

And as he lounged there, Amyas went in, and saw him, and held out his
hand, and said--

"Hillo, Jack! how goes the world? How you've grown!" and passed
on;--what had Jack Brimblecombe to do with Rose Salterne?

So Jack lingered on, hovering around the fragrant smell like a fly round
a honey-pot, till he found himself invisibly attracted, and as it were
led by the nose out of the passage into the adjoining room, and to that
side of the room where there was a door; and once there he could not
help hearing what passed inside; till Rose Salterne's name fell on his
ear. So, as it was ordained, he was taken in the fact. And now behold
him brought in red-hand to judgment, not without a kick or two from
the wrathful foot of Amyas Leigh. Whereat there fell on him a storm of
abuse, which, for the honor of that gallant company, I shall not give in
detail; but which abuse, strange to say, seemed to have no effect on the
impenitent and unabashed Jack, who, as soon as he could get his breath,
made answer fiercely, amid much puffing and blowing.

"What business have I here? As much as any of you. If you had asked me
in, I would have come: but as you didn't, I came without asking."

"You shameless rascal!" said Cary. "Come if you were asked, where there
was good wine? I'll warrant you for that!"

"Why," said Amyas, "no lad ever had a cake at school but he would
dog him up one street and down another all day for the crumbs, the
trencher-scraping spaniel!"

"Patience, masters!" said Frank. "That Jack's is somewhat of a gnathonic
and parasitic soul, or stomach, all Bideford apple-women know; but I
suspect more than Deus Venter has brought him hither."

"Deus eavesdropping, then. We shall have the whole story over the town
by to-morrow," said another; beginning at that thought to feel somewhat
ashamed of his late enthusiasm.

"Ah, Mr. Frank! You were always the only one that would stand up for me!
Deus Venter, quotha? 'Twas Deus Cupid, it was!"

A roar of laughter followed this announcement.

"What?" asked Frank; "was it Cupid, then, who sneezed approval to our
love, Jack, as he did to that of Dido and Aeneas?"

But Jack went on desperately.

"I was in the next room, drinking of my beer. I couldn't help that,
could I? And then I heard her name; and I couldn't help listening then.
Flesh and blood couldn't."

"Nor fat either!"

"No, nor fat, Mr. Cary. Do you suppose fat men haven't souls to be saved
as well as thin ones, and hearts to burst, too, as well as stomachs?
Fat! Fat can feel, I reckon, as well as lean. Do you suppose there's
naught inside here but beer?"

And he laid his hand, as Drayton might have said, on that stout bastion,
hornwork, ravelin, or demilune, which formed the outworks to the citadel
of his purple isle of man.

"Naught but beer?--Cheese, I suppose?"



"Love!" cried Jack. "Yes, Love!--Ay, you laugh; but my eyes are not so
grown up with fat but what I can see what's fair as well as you."

"Oh, Jack, naughty Jack, dost thou heap sin on sin, and luxury on

"Sin? If I sin, you sin: I tell you, and I don't care who knows it, I've
loved her these three years as well as e'er a one of you, I have. I've
thought o' nothing else, prayed for nothing else, God forgive me! And
then you laugh at me, because I'm a poor parson's son, and you fine
gentlemen: God made us both, I reckon. You?--you make a deal of giving
her up to-day. Why, it's what I've done for three miserable years as
ever poor sinner spent; ay, from the first day I said to myself, 'Jack,
if you can't have that pearl, you'll have none; and that you can't
have, for it's meat for your masters: so conquer or die.' And I couldn't
conquer. I can't help loving her, worshipping her, no more than you; and
I will die: but you needn't laugh meanwhile at me that have done as much
as you, and will do again."

"It is the old tale," said Frank to himself; "whom will not love
transform into a hero?"

And so it was. Jack's squeaking voice was firm and manly, his pig's
eyes flashed very fire, his gestures were so free and earnest, that the
ungainliness of his figure was forgotten; and when he finished with
a violent burst of tears, Frank, forgetting his wounds, sprang up and
caught him by the hand.

"John Brimblecombe, forgive me! Gentlemen, if we are gentlemen, we
ought to ask his pardon. Has he not shown already more chivalry, more
self-denial, and therefore more true love, than any of us? My friends,
let the fierceness of affection, which we have used as an excuse for
many a sin of our own, excuse his listening to a conversation in which
he well deserved to bear a part."

"Ah," said Jack, "you make me one of your brotherhood; and see if I do
not dare to suffer as much as any of you! You laugh? Do you fancy none
can use a sword unless he has a baker's dozen of quarterings in his
arms, or that Oxford scholars know only how to handle a pen?"

"Let us try his metal," said St. Leger. "Here's my sword, Jack; draw,
Coffin! and have at him."

"Nonsense!" said Coffin, looking somewhat disgusted at the notion of
fighting a man of Jack's rank; but Jack caught at the weapon offered to

"Give me a buckler, and have at any of you!"

"Here's a chair bottom," cried Cary; and Jack, seizing it in his left,
flourished his sword so fiercely, and called so loudly to Coffin to come
on, that all present found it necessary, unless they wished blood to be
spilt, to turn the matter off with a laugh: but Jack would not hear of

"Nay: if you will let me be of your brotherhood, well and good: but if
not, one or other I will fight: and that's flat."

"You see, gentlemen," said Amyas, "we must admit him or die the death;
so we needs must go when Sir Urian drives. Come up, Jack, and take the
oaths. You admit him, gentlemen?"

"Let me but be your chaplain," said Jack, "and pray for your luck when
you're at the wars. If I do stay at home in a country curacy, 'tis not
much that you need be jealous of me with her, I reckon," said Jack, with
a pathetical glance at his own stomach.

"Sia!" said Cary: "but if he be admitted, it must be done according to
the solemn forms and ceremonies in such cases provided. Take him into
the next room, Amyas, and prepare him for his initiation."

"What's that?" asked Amyas, puzzled by the word. But judging from the
corner of Will's eye that initiation was Latin for a practical joke,
he led forth his victim behind the arras again, and waited five minutes
while the room was being darkened, till Frank's voice called to him to
bring in the neophyte.

"John Brimblecombe," said Frank, in a sepulchral tone, "you cannot be
ignorant, as a scholar and bachelor of Oxford, of that dread sacrament
by which Catiline bound the soul of his fellow-conspirators, in order
that both by the daring of the deed he might have proof of their
sincerity, and by the horror thereof astringe their souls by adamantine
fetters, and Novem-Stygian oaths, to that wherefrom hereafter the
weakness of the flesh might shrink. Wherefore, O Jack! we too have
determined, following that ancient and classical example, to fill, as he
did, a bowl with the lifeblood of our most heroic selves, and to pledge
each other therein, with vows whereat the stars shall tremble in their
spheres, and Luna, blushing, veil her silver cheeks. Your blood alone is
wanted to fill up the goblet. Sit down, John Brimblecombe, and bare your

"But, Mr. Frank!--" said Jack, who was as superstitious as any old
wife, and, what with the darkness and the discourse, already in a cold

"But me no buts! or depart as recreant, not by the door like a man, but
up the chimney like a flittermouse."

"But, Mr. Frank!"

"Thy vital juice, or the chimney! Choose!" roared Cary in his ear.

"Well, if I must," said Jack; "but it's desperate hard that because you
can't keep faith without these barbarous oaths, I must take them too,
that have kept faith these three years without any."

At this pathetic appeal Frank nearly melted: but Amyas and Cary had
thrust the victim into a chair and all was prepared for the sacrifice.

"Bind his eyes, according to the classic fashion," said Will.

"Oh no, dear Mr. Cary; I'll shut them tight enough, I warrant: but not
with your dagger, dear Mr. William--sure, not with your dagger? I can't
afford to lose blood, though I do look lusty--I can't indeed; sure, a
pin would do--I've got one here, to my sleeve, somewhere--Oh!"

"See the fount of generous juice! Flow on, fair stream. How he
bleeds!--pints, quarts! Ah, this proves him to be in earnest!"

"A true lover's blood is always at his fingers' ends."

"He does not grudge it; of course not. Eh, Jack? What matters an odd
gallon for her sake?"

"For her sake? Nothing, nothing! Take my life, if you will: but--oh,
gentlemen, a surgeon, if you love me! I'm going off--I 'm fainting!"

"Drink, then, quick; drink and swear! Pat his back, Cary. Courage, man!
it will be over in a minute. Now, Frank!--"

And Frank spoke--

"If plighted troth I fail, or secret speech reveal, May Cocytean ghosts
around my pillow squeal; While Ate's brazen claws distringe my spleen
in sunder, And drag me deep to Pluto's keep, 'mid brimstone, smoke, and

"Placetne, domine?"

"Placet!" squeaked Jack, who thought himself at the last gasp, and
gulped down full three-quarters of the goblet which Cary held to his

"Ugh--Ah--Puh! Mercy on us! It tastes mighty like wine!"

"A proof, my virtuous brother," said Frank, "first, of thy
abstemiousness, which has thus forgotten what wine tastes like; and
next, of thy pure and heroical affection, by which thy carnal senses
being exalted to a higher and supra-lunar sphere, like those Platonical
daemonizomenoi and enthusiazomenoi (of whom Jamblichus says that they
were insensible to wounds and flame, and much more, therefore, to evil
savors), doth make even the most nauseous draught redolent of that
celestial fragrance, which proceeding, O Jack! from thine own inward
virtue, assimilates by sympathy even outward accidents unto its own
harmony and melody; for fragrance is, as has been said well, the song
of flowers, and sweetness, the music of apples--Ahem! Go in peace, thou
hast conquered!"

"Put him out of the door, Will," said Amyas, "or he will swoon on our

"Give him some sack," said Frank.

"Not a blessed drop of yours, sir," said Jack. "I like good wine as well
as any man on earth, and see as little of it; but not a drop of
yours, sirs, after your frumps and flouts about hanging-on and
trencher-scraping. When I first began to love her, I bid good-bye to all
dirty tricks; for I had some one then for whom to keep myself clean."

And so Jack was sent home, with a pint of good red Alicant wine in him
(more, poor fellow, than he had tasted at once in his life before);
while the rest, in high glee with themselves and the rest of the world,
relighted the candles, had a right merry evening, and parted like good
friends and sensible gentlemen of devon, thinking (all except Frank)
Jack Brimblecombe and his vow the merriest jest they had heard for
many a day. After which they all departed: Amyas and Cary to Winter's
squadron; Frank (as soon as he could travel) to the Court again;
and with him young Basset, whose father Sir Arthur, being in London,
procured for him a page's place in Leicester's household. Fortescue and
Chicester went to their brothers in Dublin; St. Leger to his uncle
the Marshal of Munster; Coffin joined Champernoun and Norris in the
Netherlands; and so the Brotherhood of the Rose was scattered far and
wide, and Mistress Salterne was left alone with her looking-glass.



     "Take aim, you noble musqueteers,
     And shoot you round about;
     Stand to it, valiant pikemen,
     And we shall keep them out.
     There's not a man of all of us
     A foot will backward flee;
     I'll be the foremost man in fight,
     Says brave Lord Willoughby!"

                   Elizabethan Ballad.

It was the blessed Christmas afternoon. The light was fading down; the
even-song was done; and the good folks of Bideford were trooping home
in merry groups, the father with his children, the lover with his
sweetheart, to cakes and ale, and flapdragons and mummer's plays, and
all the happy sports of Christmas night. One lady only, wrapped close in
her black muffler and followed by her maid, walked swiftly, yet sadly,
toward the long causeway and bridge which led to Northam town.
Sir Richard Grenville and his wife caught her up and stopped her

"You will come home with us, Mrs. Leigh," said Lady Grenville, "and
spend a pleasant Christmas night?"

Mrs. Leigh smiled sweetly, and laying one hand on Lady Grenville's arm,
pointed with the other to the westward, and said:

"I cannot well spend a merry Christmas night while that sound is in my

The whole party around looked in the direction in which she pointed.
Above their heads the soft blue sky was fading into gray, and here and
there a misty star peeped out: but to the westward, where the downs and
woods of Raleigh closed in with those of Abbotsham, the blue was webbed
and turfed with delicate white flakes; iridescent spots, marking the
path by which the sun had sunk, showed all the colors of the dying
dolphin; and low on the horizon lay a long band of grassy green. But
what was the sound which troubled Mrs. Leigh? None of them, with their
merry hearts, and ears dulled with the din and bustle of the town, had
heard it till that moment: and yet now--listen! It was dead calm. There
was not a breath to stir a blade of grass. And yet the air was full of
sound, a low deep roar which hovered over down and wood, salt-marsh and
river, like the roll of a thousand wheels, the tramp of endless armies,
or--what it was--the thunder of a mighty surge upon the boulders of the
pebble ridge.

"The ridge is noisy to-night," said Sir Richard. "There has been wind

"There is wind now, where my boy is, God help him!" said Mrs. Leigh: and
all knew that she spoke truly. The spirit of the Atlantic storm had sent
forward the token of his coming, in the smooth ground-swell which was
heard inland, two miles away. To-morrow the pebbles, which were now
rattling down with each retreating wave, might be leaping to the ridge
top, and hurled like round-shot far ashore upon the marsh by the
force of the advancing wave, fleeing before the wrath of the western

"God help my boy!" said Mrs. Leigh again.

"God is as near him by sea as by land," said good Sir Richard.

"True, but I am a lone mother; and one that has no heart just now but to
go home and pray."

And so Mrs. Leigh went onward up the lane, and spent all that night in
listening between her prayers to the thunder of the surge, till it was
drowned, long ere the sun rose, in the thunder of the storm.

And where is Amyas on this same Christmas afternoon?

Amyas is sitting bareheaded in a boat's stern in Smerwick bay, with the
spray whistling through his curls, as he shouts cheerfully--

"Pull, and with a will, my merry men all, and never mind shipping a sea.
Cannon balls are a cargo that don't spoil by taking salt-water."

His mother's presage has been true enough. Christmas eve has been the
last of the still, dark, steaming nights of the early winter; and the
western gale has been roaring for the last twelve hours upon the Irish

The short light of the winter day is fading fast. Behind him is a
leaping line of billows lashed into mist by the tempest. Beside him
green foam-fringed columns are rushing up the black rocks, and falling
again in a thousand cataracts of snow. Before him is the deep and
sheltered bay: but it is not far up the bay that he and his can see; for
some four miles out at sea begins a sloping roof of thick gray cloud,
which stretches over their heads, and up and far away inland, cutting
the cliffs off at mid-height, hiding all the Kerry mountains, and
darkening the hollows of the distant firths into the blackness of night.
And underneath that awful roof of whirling mist the storm is howling
inland ever, sweeping before it the great foam-sponges, and the gray
salt spray, till all the land is hazy, dim, and dun. Let it howl on! for
there is more mist than ever salt spray made, flying before that gale;
more thunder than ever sea-surge wakened echoing among the cliffs of
Smerwick bay; along those sand-hills flash in the evening gloom red
sparks which never came from heaven; for that fort, now christened by
the invaders the Fort Del Oro, where flaunts the hated golden flag of
Spain, holds San Josepho and eight hundred of the foe; and but three
nights ago, Amyas and Yeo, and the rest of Winter's shrewdest hands,
slung four culverins out of the Admiral's main deck, and floated them
ashore, and dragged them up to the battery among the sand-hills; and now
it shall be seen whether Spanish and Italian condottieri can hold their
own on British ground against the men of Devon.

Small blame to Amyas if he was thinking, not of his lonely mother at
Burrough Court, but of those quick bright flashes on sand-hill and
on fort, where Salvation Yeo was hurling the eighteen-pound shot with
deadly aim, and watching with a cool and bitter smile of triumph the
flying of the sand, and the crashing of the gabions. Amyas and his party
had been on board, at the risk of their lives, for a fresh supply of
shot; for Winter's battery was out of ball, and had been firing stones
for the last four hours, in default of better missiles. They ran the
boat on shore through the surf, where a cove in the shore made landing
possible, and almost careless whether she stove or not, scrambled
over the sand-hills with each man his brace of shot slung across his
shoulder; and Amyas, leaping into the trenches, shouted cheerfully to
Salvation Yeo--

"More food for the bull-dogs, Gunner, and plums for the Spaniards'
Christmas pudding!"

"Don't speak to a man at his business, Master Amyas. Five mortal times
have I missed; but I will have that accursed Popish rag down, as I'm a

"Down with it, then; nobody wants you to shoot crooked. Take good iron
to it, and not footy paving-stones."

"I believe, sir, that the foul fiend is there, a turning of my shot
aside, I do. I thought I saw him once: but, thank Heaven, here's ball
again. Ah, sir, if one could but cast a silver one! Now, stand by, men!"

And once again Yeo's eighteen-pounder roared, and away. And, oh glory!
the great yellow flag of Spain, which streamed in the gale, lifted
clean into the air, flagstaff and all, and then pitched wildly down
head-foremost, far to leeward.

A hurrah from the sailors, answered by the soldiers of the opposite
camp, shook the very cloud above them: but ere its echoes had died away,
a tall officer leapt upon the parapet of the fort, with the fallen flag
in his hand, and rearing it as well as he could upon his lance point,
held it firmly against the gale, while the fallen flagstaff was raised
again within.

In a moment a dozen long bows were bent at the daring foeman: but Amyas
behind shouted--

"Shame, lads! Stop and let the gallant gentleman have due courtesy!"

So they stopped, while Amyas, springing on the rampart of the battery,
took off his hat, and bowed to the flag-holder, who, as soon as relieved
of his charge, returned the bow courteously, and descended.

It was by this time all but dark, and the firing began to slacken on
all sides; Salvation and his brother gunners, having covered up their
slaughtering tackle with tarpaulings, retired for the night, leaving
Amyas, who had volunteered to take the watch till midnight; and the rest
of the force having got their scanty supper of biscuit (for provisions
were running very short) lay down under arms among the sand-hills, and
grumbled themselves to sleep.

He had paced up and down in the gusty darkness for some hour or more,
exchanging a passing word now and then with the sentinel, when two
men entered the battery, chatting busily together. One was in complete
armor; the other wrapped in the plain short cloak of a man of pens
and peace: but the talk of both was neither of sieges nor of sallies,
catapult, bombard, nor culverin, but simply of English hexameters.

And fancy not, gentle reader, that the two were therein fiddling while
Rome was burning; for the commonweal of poetry and letters, in that same
critical year 1580, was in far greater danger from those same hexameters
than the common woe of Ireland (as Raleigh called it) was from the

Imitating the classic metres, "versifying," as it was called in
contradistinction to rhyming, was becoming fast the fashion among the
more learned. Stonyhurst and others had tried their hands at hexameter
translations from the Latin and Greek epics, which seem to have been
doggerel enough; and ever and anon some youthful wit broke out in
iambics, sapphics, elegiacs, and what not, to the great detriment of the
queen's English and her subjects' ears.

I know not whether Mr. William Webbe had yet given to the world any
fragments of his precious hints for the "Reformation of English poetry,"
to the tune of his own "Tityrus, happily thou liest tumbling under a
beech-tree:" but the Cambridge Malvolio, Gabriel Harvey, had succeeded
in arguing Spenser, Dyer, Sidney, and probably Sidney's sister, and the
whole clique of beaux-esprits round them, into following his model of

     "What might I call this tree?  A laurel?  O bonny laurel!
     Needes to thy bowes will I bowe this knee, and vail my bonetto;"

after snubbing the first book of "that Elvish Queene," which was then
in manuscript, as a base declension from the classical to the romantic

And now Spenser (perhaps in mere melancholy wilfulness and want of
purpose, for he had just been jilted by a fair maid of Kent) was wasting
his mighty genius upon doggerel which he fancied antique; and some
piratical publisher (bitter Tom Nash swears, and with likelihood that
Harvey did it himself) had just given to the world,--"Three proper
wittie and familiar Letters, lately past between two University
men, touching the Earthquake in April last, and our English reformed
Versifying," which had set all town wits a-buzzing like a swarm of
flies, being none other than a correspondence between Spenser and
Harvey, which was to prove to the world forever the correctness and
melody of such lines as,

     "For like magnificoes, not a beck but glorious in show,
     In deede most frivolous, not a looke but Tuscanish always."

Let them pass--Alma Mater has seen as bad hexameters since. But then the
matter was serious. There is a story (I know not how true) that Spenser
was half bullied into re-writing the "Faerie Queene" in hexameters, had
not Raleigh, a true romanticist, "whose vein for ditty or amorous ode
was most lofty, insolent, and passionate," persuaded him to follow
his better genius. The great dramatists had not yet arisen, to form
completely that truly English school, of which Spenser, unconscious of
his own vast powers, was laying the foundation. And, indeed, it was not
till Daniel, twenty years after, in his admirable apology for rhyme, had
smashed Mr. Campian and his "eight several kinds of classical numbers,"
that the matter was finally settled, and the English tongue left to go
the road on which Heaven had started it. So that we may excuse Raleigh's
answering somewhat waspish to some quotation of Spenser's from the three
letters of "Immerito and G. H."

"Tut, tut, Colin Clout, much learning has made thee mad. A good old
fishwives' ballad jingle is worth all your sapphics and trimeters, and
'riff-raff thurlery bouncing.' Hey? have I you there, old lad? Do you
mind that precious verse?"

"But, dear Wat, Homer and Virgil--"

"But, dear Ned, Petrarch and Ovid--"

"But, Wat, what have we that we do not owe to the ancients?"

"Ancients, quotha? Why, the legend of King Arthur, and Chevy Chase too,
of which even your fellow-sinner Sidney cannot deny that every time
he hears it even from a blind fiddler it stirs his heart like a
trumpet-blast. Speak well of the bridge that carries you over, man! Did
you find your Redcross Knight in Virgil, or such a dame as Una in old
Ovid? No more than you did your Pater and Credo, you renegado baptized
heathen, you!"

"Yet, surely, our younger and more barbarous taste must bow before
divine antiquity, and imitate afar--"

"As dottrels do fowlers. If Homer was blind, lad, why dost not poke
out thine eye? Ay, this hexameter is of an ancient house, truly, Ned
Spenser, and so is many a rogue: but he cannot make way on our rough
English roads. He goes hopping and twitching in our language like a
three-legged terrier over a pebble-bank, tumble and up again, rattle and

"Nay, hear, now--

     'See ye the blindfolded pretty god that feathered archer,
        Of lovers' miseries which maketh his bloody game?'*

True, the accent gapes in places, as I have often confessed to Harvey,

     * Strange as it may seem, this distich is Spenser's own; and
     the other hexameters are all authentic.

Harvey be hanged for a pedant, and the whole crew of versifiers, from
Lord Dorset (but he, poor man, has been past hanging some time since)
to yourself! Why delude you into playing Procrustes as he does with the
queen's English, racking one word till its joints be pulled asunder, and
squeezing the next all a-heap as the Inquisitors do heretics in their
banca cava? Out upon him and you, and Sidney, and the whole kin. You
have not made a verse among you, and never will, which is not as lame a
gosling as Harvey's own--

     'Oh thou weathercocke, that stands on the top of Allhallows,
     Come thy ways down, if thou dar'st for thy crown, and take the wall
     on us.'

"Hark, now! There is our young giant comforting his soul with a ballad.
You will hear rhyme and reason together here, now. He will not miscall
'blind-folded,' 'blind-fold-ed, I warrant; or make an 'of' and a 'which'
and a 'his' carry a whole verse on their wretched little backs."

And as he spoke, Amyas, who had been grumbling to himself some Christmas
carol, broke out full-mouthed:--

     "As Joseph was a-walking
     He heard an angel sing--
     'This night shall be the birth night
     Of Christ, our heavenly King.

     His birthbed shall be neither
     In housen nor in hall,
     Nor in the place of paradise,
     But in the oxen's stall.

     He neither shall be rocked
     In silver nor in gold,
     But in the wooden manger
     That lieth on the mould.

     He neither shall be washen
     With white wine nor with red,
     But with the fair spring water
     That on you shall be shed.

     He neither shall be clothed
     In purple nor in pall,
     But in the fair white linen
     That usen babies all.'

     As Joseph was a-walking
     Thus did the angel sing,
     And Mary's Son at midnight
     Was born to be our King.

     Then be you glad, good people,
     At this time of the year;
     And light you up your candles,
     For His star it shineth clear."

"There, Edmunde Classicaster," said Raleigh, "does not that simple
strain go nearer to the heart of him who wrote 'The Shepherd's
Calendar,' than all artificial and outlandish

     'Wote ye why his mother with a veil hath covered his face?'

Why dost not answer, man?"

But Spenser was silent awhile, and then,--

"Because I was thinking rather of the rhymer than the rhyme. Good
heaven! how that brave lad shames me, singing here the hymns which his
mother taught him, before the very muzzles of Spanish guns; instead of
bewailing unmanly, as I have done, the love which he held, I doubt not,
as dear as I did even my Rosalind. This is his welcome to the winter's
storm; while I, who dream, forsooth, of heavenly inspiration, can but
see therein an image of mine own cowardly despair.

     'Thou barren ground, whom winter's wrath has wasted,
     Art made a mirror to behold my plight.'*

Pah! away with frosts, icicles, and tears, and sighs--"

     * "The Shepherd's Calendar."

"And with hexameters and trimeters too, I hope," interrupted Raleigh:
"and all the trickeries of self-pleasing sorrow."

"--I will set my heart to higher work than barking at the hand which
chastens me."

"Wilt put the lad into the 'Faerie Queene,' then, by my side? He
deserves as good a place there, believe me, as ever a Guyon, or even as
Lord Grey your Arthegall. Let us hail him. Hallo! young chanticleer of
Devon! Art not afraid of a chance shot, that thou crowest so lustily
upon thine own mixen?"

"Cocks crow all night long at Christmas, Captain Raleigh, and so do I,"
said Amyas's cheerful voice; "but who's there with you?"

"A penitent pupil of yours--Mr. Secretary Spenser."

"Pupil of mine?" said Amyas. "I wish he'd teach me a little of his art;
I could fill up my time here with making verses."

"And who would be your theme, fair sir?" said Spenser.

"No 'who' at all. I don't want to make sonnets to blue eyes, nor black
either: but if I could put down some of the things I saw in the Spice

"Ah," said Raleigh, "he would beat you out of Parnassus, Mr. Secretary.
Remember, you may write about Fairyland, but he has seen it."

"And so have others," said Spenser; "it is not so far off from any one
of us. Wherever is love and loyalty, great purposes, and lofty souls,
even though in a hovel or a mine, there is Fairyland."

"Then Fairyland should be here, friend; for you represent love, and
Leigh loyalty; while, as for great purposes and lofty souls, who so fit
to stand for them as I, being (unless my enemies and my conscience are
liars both) as ambitious and as proud as Lucifer's own self?"

"Ah, Walter, Walter, why wilt always slander thyself thus?"

"Slander? Tut.--I do but give the world a fair challenge, and tell it,
'There--you know the worst of me: come on and try a fall, for either
you or I must down.' Slander? Ask Leigh here, who has but known me a
fortnight, whether I am not as vain as a peacock, as selfish as a fox,
as imperious as a bona roba, and ready to make a cat's paw of him or any
man, if there be a chestnut in the fire: and yet the poor fool cannot
help loving me, and running of my errands, and taking all my schemes and
my dreams for gospel; and verily believes now, I think, that I shall be
the man in the moon some day, and he my big dog."

"Well," said Amyas, half apologetically, "if you are the cleverest man
in the world what harm in my thinking so?"

"Hearken to him, Edmund! He will know better when he has outgrown this
same callow trick of honesty, and learnt of the great goddess Detraction
how to show himself wiser than the wise, by pointing out to the world
the fool's motley which peeps through the rents in the philosopher's
cloak. Go to, lad! slander thy equals, envy thy betters, pray for an eye
which sees spots in every sun, and for a vulture's nose to scent
carrion in every rose-bed. If thy friend win a battle, show that he has
needlessly thrown away his men; if he lose one, hint that he sold it;
if he rise to a place, argue favor; if he fall from one, argue divine
justice. Believe nothing, hope nothing, but endure all things, even to
kicking, if aught may be got thereby; so shalt thou be clothed in purple
and fine linen, and sit in kings' palaces, and fare sumptuously every

"And wake with Dives in the torment," said Amyas. "Thank you for
nothing, captain."

"Go to, Misanthropos," said Spenser. "Thou hast not yet tasted the
sweets of this world's comfits, and thou railest at them?"

"The grapes are sour, lad."

"And will be to the end," said Amyas, "if they come off such a devil's
tree as that. I really think you are out of your mind, Captain Raleigh,
at times."

"I wish I were; for it is a troublesome, hungry, windy mind as man ever
was cursed withal. But come in, lad. We were sent from the lord deputy
to bid thee to supper. There is a dainty lump of dead horse waiting for

"Send me some out, then," said matter-of-fact Amyas. "And tell his
lordship that, with his good leave, I don't stir from here till morning,
if I can keep awake. There is a stir in the fort, and I expect them out
on us."

"Tut, man! their hearts are broken. We know it by their deserters."

"Seeing's believing. I never trust runaway rogues. If they are false to
their masters, they'll be false to us."

"Well, go thy ways, old honesty; and Mr. Secretary shall give you a
book to yourself in the 'Faerie Queene'--'Sir Monoculus or the Legend of
Common Sense,' eh, Edmund?"


"Ay, Single-eye, my prince of word-coiners--won't that fit?--And give
him the Cyclops head for a device. Heigh-ho! They may laugh that win.
I am sick of this Irish work; were it not for the chance of advancement
I'd sooner be driving a team of red Devons on Dartside; and now I am
angry with the dear lad because he is not sick of it too. What a plague
business has he to be paddling up and down, contentedly doing his duty,
like any city watchman? It is an insult to the mighty aspirations of our
nobler hearts,--eh, my would-be Ariosto?"

"Ah, Raleigh! you can afford to confess yourself less than some, for you
are greater than all. Go on and conquer, noble heart! But as for me, I
sow the wind, and I suppose I shall reap the whirlwind."

"Your harvest seems come already; what a blast that was! Hold on by me,
Colin Clout, and I'll hold on by thee. So! Don't tread on that pikeman's
stomach, lest he take thee for a marauding Don, and with sudden dagger
slit Cohn's pipe, and Colin's weasand too."

And the two stumbled away into the darkness, leaving Amyas to stride up
and down as before, puzzling his brains over Raleigh's wild words and
Spenser's melancholy, till he came to the conclusion that there was some
mysterious connection between cleverness and unhappiness, and thanking
his stars that he was neither scholar, courtier, nor poet, said grace
over his lump of horseflesh when it arrived, devoured it as if it had
been venison, and then returned to his pacing up and down; but this time
in silence, for the night was drawing on, and there was no need to tell
the Spaniards that any one was awake and watching.

So he began to think about his mother, and how she might be spending
her Christmas; and then about Frank, and wondered at what grand Court
festival he was assisting, amid bright lights and sweet music and gay
ladies, and how he was dressed, and whether he thought of his brother
there far away on the dark Atlantic shore; and then he said his prayers
and his creed; and then he tried not to think of Rose Salterne, and of
course thought about her all the more. So on passed the dull hours, till
it might be past eleven o'clock, and all lights were out in the battery
and the shipping, and there was no sound of living thing but the
monotonous tramp of the two sentinels beside him, and now and then a
grunt from the party who slept under arms some twenty yards to the rear.

So he paced to and fro, looking carefully out now and then over the
strip of sand-hill which lay between him and the fort; but all was blank
and black, and moreover it began to rain furiously.

Suddenly he seemed to hear a rustle among the harsh sand-grass. True,
the wind was whistling through it loudly enough, but that sound was
not altogether like the wind. Then a soft sliding noise; something had
slipped down a bank, and brought the sand down after it. Amyas stopped,
crouched down beside a gun, and laid his ear to the rampart, whereby
he heard clearly, as he thought, the noise of approaching feet; whether
rabbits or Christians, he knew not, but he shrewdly guessed the latter.

Now Amyas was of a sober and business-like turn, at least when he was
not in a passion; and thinking within himself that if he made any noise,
the enemy (whether four or two-legged) would retire, and all the sport
be lost, he did not call to the two sentries, who were at the opposite
ends of the battery; neither did he think it worth while to rouse the
sleeping company, lest his ears should have deceived him, and the whole
camp turn out to repulse the attack of a buck rabbit.

So he crouched lower and lower beside the culverin, and was rewarded in
a minute or two by hearing something gently deposited against the mouth
of the embrasure, which, by the noise, should be a piece of timber.

"So far, so good," said he to himself; "when the scaling ladder is up,
the soldier follows, I suppose. I can only humbly thank them for giving
my embrasure the preference. There he comes! I hear his feet scuffling."

He could hear plainly enough some one working himself into the mouth of
the embrasure: but the plague was, that it was so dark that he could
not see his hand between him and the sky, much less his foe at two yards
off. However, he made a pretty fair guess as to the whereabouts, and,
rising softly, discharged such a blow downwards as would have split a
yule log. A volley of sparks flew up from the hapless Spaniard's armor,
and a grunt issued from within it, which proved that, whether he was
killed or not, the blow had not improved his respiration.

Amyas felt for his head, seized it, dragged him in over the gun, sprang
into the embrasure on his knees, felt for the top of the ladder, found
it, hove it clean off and out, with four or five men on it, and then of
course tumbled after it ten feet into the sand, roaring like a town bull
to her majesty's liege subjects in general.

Sailor-fashion, he had no armor on but a light morion and a cuirass,
so he was not too much encumbered to prevent his springing to his legs
instantly, and setting to work, cutting and foining right and left at
every sound, for sight there was none.

Battles (as soldiers know, and newspaper editors do not) are usually
fought, not as they ought to be fought, but as they can be fought; and
while the literary man is laying down the law at his desk as to how many
troops should be moved here, and what rivers should be crossed there,
and where the cavalry should have been brought up, and when the flank
should have been turned, the wretched man who has to do the work finds
the matter settled for him by pestilence, want of shoes, empty stomachs,
bad roads, heavy rains, hot suns, and a thousand other stern warriors
who never show on paper.

So with this skirmish; "according to Cocker," it ought to have been
a very pretty one; for Hercules of Pisa, who planned the sortie, had
arranged it all (being a very sans-appel in all military science) upon
the best Italian precedents, and had brought against this very hapless
battery a column of a hundred to attack directly in front, a company of
fifty to turn the right flank, and a company of fifty to turn the left
flank, with regulations, orders, passwords, countersigns, and what not;
so that if every man had had his rights (as seldom happens), Don Guzman
Maria Magdalena de Soto, who commanded the sortie, ought to have taken
the work out of hand, and annihilated all therein. But alas! here stern
fate interfered. They had chosen a dark night, as was politic; they had
waited till the moon was up, lest it should be too dark, as was politic
likewise: but, just as they had started, on came a heavy squall of rain,
through which seven moons would have given no light, and which washed
out the plans of Hercules of Pisa as if they had been written on a
schoolboy's slate. The company who were to turn the left flank walked
manfully down into the sea, and never found out where they were going
till they were knee-deep in water. The company who were to turn the
right flank, bewildered by the utter darkness, turned their own flank
so often, that tired of falling into rabbit-burrows and filling their
mouths with sand, they halted and prayed to all the saints for a compass
and lantern; while the centre body, who held straight on by a trackway
to within fifty yards of the battery, so miscalculated that short
distance, that while they thought the ditch two pikes' length off, they
fell into it one over the other, and of six scaling ladders, the only
one which could be found was the very one which Amyas threw down again.
After which the clouds broke, the wind shifted, and the moon shone out
merrily. And so was the deep policy of Hercules of Pisa, on which hung
the fate of Ireland and the Papacy, decided by a ten minutes' squall.

But where is Amyas?

In the ditch, aware that the enemy is tumbling into it, but unable to
find them; while the company above, finding it much too dark to attempt
a counter sortie, have opened a smart fire of musketry and arrows on
things in general, whereat the Spaniards are swearing like Spaniards (I
need say no more), and the Italians spitting like venomous cats; while
Amyas, not wishing to be riddled by friendly balls, has got his back
against the foot of the rampart, and waits on Providence.

Suddenly the moon clears; and with one more fierce volley, the English
sailors, seeing the confusion, leap down from the embrasures, and to it
pell-mell. Whether this also was "according to Cocker," I know not: but
the sailor, then as now, is not susceptible of highly-finished drill.

Amyas is now in his element, and so are the brave fellows at his heels;
and there are ten breathless, furious minutes among the sand-hills; and
then the trumpets blow a recall, and the sailors drop back again by twos
and threes, and are helped up into the embrasures over many a dead and
dying foe; while the guns of Fort del Oro open on them, and blaze away
for half an hour without reply; and then all is still once more. And in
the meanwhile, the sortie against the deputy's camp has fared no better,
and the victory of the night remains with the English.

Twenty minutes after, Winter and the captains who were on shore were
drying themselves round a peat-fire on the beach, and talking over the
skirmish, when Will Cary asked--

"Where is Leigh? who has seen him? I am sadly afraid he has gone too
far, and been slain."

"Slain? Never less, gentlemen!" replied the voice of the very person in
question, as he stalked out of the darkness into the glare of the fire,
and shot down from his shoulders into the midst of the ring, as he might
a sack of corn, a huge dark body, which was gradually seen to be a man
in rich armor; who being so shot down, lay quietly where he was dropped,
with his feet (luckily for him mailed) in the fire.

"I say," quoth Amyas, "some of you had better take him up, if he is to
be of any use. Unlace his helm, Will Cary."

"Pull his feet out of the embers; I dare say he would have been glad
enough to put us to the scarpines; but that's no reason we should put
him to them."

As has been hinted, there was no love lost between Admiral Winter
and Amyas; and Amyas might certainly have reported himself in a more
ceremonious manner. So Winter, whom Amyas either had not seen, or had
not chosen to see, asked him pretty sharply, "What the plague he had to
do with bringing dead men into camp?"

"If he's dead, it's not my fault. He was alive enough when I started
with him, and I kept him right end uppermost all the way; and what would
you have more, sir?"

"Mr. Leigh!" said Winter, "it behoves you to speak with somewhat
more courtesy, if not respect, to captains who are your elders and

"Ask your pardon, sir," said the giant, as he stood in front of the fire
with the rain steaming and smoking off his armor; "but I was bred in
a school where getting good service done was more esteemed than making
fine speeches."

"Whatsoever school you were trained in, sir," said Winter, nettled at
the hint about Drake; "it does not seem to have been one in which you
learned to obey orders. Why did you not come in when the recall was

"Because," said Amyas, very coolly, "in the first place I did not hear
it; and in the next, in my school I was taught when I had once started
not to come home empty-handed."

This was too pointed; and Winter sprang up with an oath--"Do you mean to
insult me, sir?"

"I am sorry, sir, that you should take a compliment to Sir Francis Drake
as an insult to yourself. I brought in this gentleman because I thought
he might give you good information; if he dies meanwhile, the loss will
be yours, or rather the queen's."

"Help me, then," said Cary, glad to create a diversion in Amyas's favor,
"and we will bring him round;" while Raleigh rose, and catching Winter's
arm, drew him aside, and began talking earnestly.

"What a murrain have you, Leigh, to quarrel with Winter?" asked two or

"I say, my reverend fathers and dear children, do get the Don's talking
tackle free again, and leave me and the admiral to settle it our own

There was more than one captain sitting in the ring, but discipline, and
the degrees of rank, were not so severely defined as now; and Amyas, as
a "gentleman adventurer," was, on land, in a position very difficult
to be settled, though at sea he was as liable to be hanged as any other
person on board; and on the whole it was found expedient to patch the
matter up. So Captain Raleigh returning, said that though Admiral Winter
had doubtless taken umbrage at certain words of Mr. Leigh's, yet that
he had no doubt that Mr. Leigh meant nothing thereby but what was
consistent with the profession of a soldier and a gentleman, and worthy
both of himself and of the admiral.

From which proposition Amyas found it impossible to dissent; whereon
Raleigh went back, and informed Winter that Leigh had freely retracted
his words, and fully wiped off any imputation which Mr. Winter might
conceive to have been put upon him, and so forth. So Winter returned,
and Amyas said frankly enough--

"Admiral Winter, I hope, as a loyal soldier, that you will understand
thus far; that naught which has passed to-night shall in any way prevent
you finding me a forward and obedient servant to all your commands, be
they what they may, and a supporter of your authority among the men,
and honor against the foe, even with my life. For I should be ashamed if
private differences should ever prejudice by a grain the public weal."

This was a great effort of oratory for Amyas; and he therefore, in order
to be safe by following precedent, tried to talk as much as he could
like Sir Richard Grenville. Of course Winter could answer nothing to it,
in spite of the plain hint of private differences, but that he should
not fail to show himself a captain worthy of so valiant and trusty
a gentleman; whereon the whole party turned their attention to the
captive, who, thanks to Will Cary, was by this time sitting up, standing
much in need of a handkerchief, and looking about him, having been
unhelmed, in a confused and doleful manner.

"Take the gentleman to my tent," said Winter, "and let the surgeon see
to him. Mr. Leigh, who is he?--"

"An enemy, but whether Spaniard or Italian I know not; but he seemed
somebody among them, I thought the captain of a company. He and I cut at
each other twice or thrice at first, and then lost each other; and after
that I came on him among the sand-hills, trying to rally his men, and
swearing like the mouth of the pit, whereby I guess him a Spaniard. But
his men ran; so I brought him in."

"And how?" asked Raleigh. "Thou art giving us all the play but the
murders and the marriages."

"Why, I bid him yield, and he would not. Then I bid him run, and he
would not. And it was too pitch-dark for fighting; so I took him by the
ears, and shook the wind out of him, and so brought him in."

"Shook the wind out of him?" cried Cary, amid the roar of laughter which
followed. "Dost know thou hast nearly wrung his neck in two? His vizor
was full of blood."

"He should have run or yielded, then," said Amyas; and getting up,
slipped off to find some ale, and then to sleep comfortably in a dry
burrow which he scratched out of a sandbank.

The next morning, as Amyas was discussing a scanty breakfast of biscuit
(for provisions were running very short in camp), Raleigh came up to

"What, eating? That's more than I have done to-day."

"Sit down, and share, then."

"Nay, lad, I did not come a-begging. I have set some of my rogues to dig
rabbits; but as I live, young Colbrand, you may thank your stars that
you are alive to-day to eat. Poor young Cheek--Sir John Cheek, the
grammarian's son--got his quittance last night by a Spanish pike,
rushing headlong on, just as you did. But have you seen your prisoner?"

"No; nor shall, while he is in Winter's tent."

"Why not, then? What quarrel have you against the admiral, friend
Bobadil? Cannot you let Francis Drake fight his own battles, without
thrusting your head in between them?"

"Well, that is good! As if the quarrel was not just as much mine, and
every man's in the ship. Why, when he left Drake, he left us all, did he

"And what if he did? Let bygones be bygones is the rule of a Christian,
and of a wise man too, Amyas. Here the man is, at least, safe home,
in favor and in power; and a prudent youth will just hold his tongue,
mumchance, and swim with the stream."

"But that's just what makes me mad; to see this fellow, after deserting
us there in unknown seas, win credit and rank at home here for being the
first man who ever sailed back through the Straits. What had he to do
with sailing back at all! As well make the fox a knight for being the
first that ever jumped down a jakes to escape the hounds. The fiercer
the flight the fouler the fear, say I."

"Amyas! Amyas! thou art a hard hitter, but a soft politician."

"I am no politician, Captain Raleigh, nor ever wish to be. An honest
man's my friend, and a rogue's my foe; and I'll tell both as much, as
long as I breathe."

"And die a poor saint," said Raleigh, laughing. "But if Winter invites
you to his tent himself, you won't refuse to come?"

"Why, no, considering his years and rank; but he knows too well to do

"He knows too well not to do it," said Raleigh, laughing as he walked
away. And verily in half-an-hour came an invitation, extracted of
course, from the admiral by Raleigh's silver tongue, which Amyas could
not but obey.

"We all owe you thanks for last night's service, sir," said Winter, who
had for some good reasons changed his tone. "Your prisoner is found to
be a gentleman of birth and experience, and the leader of the assault
last night. He has already told us more than we had hoped, for which
also we are beholden to you; and, indeed, my Lord Grey has been asking
for you already."

"I have, young sir," said a quiet and lofty voice; and Amyas saw limping
from the inner tent the proud and stately figure of the stern deputy,
Lord Grey of Wilton, a brave and wise man, but with a naturally harsh
temper, which had been soured still more by the wound which had crippled
him, while yet a boy, at the battle of Leith. He owed that limp to Mary
Queen of Scots; and he did not forget the debt.

"I have been asking for you; having heard from many, both of your last
night's prowess, and of your conduct and courage beyond the promise of
your years, displayed in that ever-memorable voyage, which may well be
ranked with the deeds of the ancient Argonauts."

Amyas bowed low; and the lord deputy went on, "You will needs wish
to see your prisoner. You will find him such a one as you need not be
ashamed to have taken, and as need not be ashamed to have been taken by
you: but here he is, and will, I doubt not, answer as much for himself.
Know each other better, gentlemen both: last night was an ill one for
making acquaintances. Don Guzman Maria Magdalena Sotomayor de Soto, know
the hidalgo, Amyas Leigh!"

As he spoke, the Spaniard came forward, still in his armor, all save his
head, which was bound up in a handkerchief.

He was an exceedingly tall and graceful personage, of that sangre azul
which marked high Visigothic descent; golden-haired and fair-skinned,
with hands as small and white as a woman's; his lips were delicate but
thin, and compressed closely at the corners of the mouth; and his pale
blue eye had a glassy dulness. In spite of his beauty and his carriage,
Amyas shrank from him instinctively; and yet he could not help
holding out his hand in return, as the Spaniard, holding out his, said
languidly, in most sweet and sonorous Spanish--

"I kiss his hands and feet. The senor speaks, I am told, my native

"I have that honor."

"Then accept in it (for I can better express myself therein than in
English, though I am not altogether ignorant of that witty and learned
language) the expression of my pleasure at having fallen into the
hands of one so renowned in war and travel; and of one also," he added,
glancing at Amyas's giant bulk, "the vastness of whose strength, beyond
that of common mortality, makes it no more shame for me to have been
overpowered and carried away by him than if my captor had been a paladin
of Charlemagne's."

Honest Amyas bowed and stammered, a little thrown off his balance by the
unexpected assurance and cool flattery of his prisoner; but he said--

"If you are satisfied, illustrious senor, I am bound to be so. I
only trust that in my hurry and the darkness I have not hurt you

The Don laughed a pretty little hollow laugh: "No, kind senor, my head,
I trust, will after a few days have become united to my shoulders;
and, for the present, your company will make me forget any slight

"Pardon me, senor; but by this daylight I should have seen that armor

"I doubt it not, senor, as having been yourself also in the forefront of
the battle," said the Spaniard, with a proud smile.

"If I am right, senor, you are he who yesterday held up the standard
after it was shot down."

"I do not deny that undeserved honor; and I have to thank the courtesy
of you and your countrymen for having permitted me to do so with

"Ah, I heard of that brave feat," said the lord deputy. "You should
consider yourself, Mr. Leigh, honored by being enabled to show courtesy
to such a warrior."

How long this interchange of solemn compliments, of which Amyas was
getting somewhat weary, would have gone on, I know not; but at that
moment Raleigh entered hastily--

"My lord, they have hung out a white flag, and are calling for a

The Spaniard turned pale, and felt for his sword, which was gone; and
then, with a bitter laugh, murmured to himself--"As I expected."

"I am very sorry to hear it. Would to Heaven they had simply fought it
out!" said Lord Grey, half to himself; and then, "Go, Captain Raleigh,
and answer them that (saving this gentleman's presence) the laws of
war forbid a parley with any who are leagued with rebels against their
lawful sovereign."

"But what if they wish to treat for this gentleman's ransom?"

"For their own, more likely," said the Spaniard; "but tell them, on my
part, senor, that Don Guzman refuses to be ransomed; and will return to
no camp where the commanding officer, unable to infect his captains with
his own cowardice, dishonors them against their will."

"You speak sharply, senor," said Winter, after Raleigh had gone out.

"I have reason, Senor Admiral, as you will find, I fear, erelong."

"We shall have the honor of leaving you here, for the present, sir, as
Admiral Winter's guest," said the lord deputy.

"But not my sword, it seems."

"Pardon me, senor; but no one has deprived you of your sword," said

"I don't wish to pain you, sir," said Amyas, "but I fear that we were
both careless enough to leave it behind last night."

A flash passed over the Spaniard's face, which disclosed terrible depths
of fury and hatred beneath that quiet mask, as the summer lightning
displays the black abysses of the thunder-storm; but like the summer
lightning it passed almost unseen; and blandly as ever, he answered:

"I can forgive you for such a neglect, most valiant sir, more easily
than I can forgive myself. Farewell, sir! One who has lost his sword is
no fit company for you." And as Amyas and the rest departed, he plunged
into the inner tent, stamping and writhing, gnawing his hands with rage
and shame.

As Amyas came out on the battery, Yeo hailed him:

"Master Amyas! Hillo, sir! For the love of Heaven, tell me!"

"What, then?"

"Is his lordship stanch? Will he do the Lord's work faithfully, root and
branch: or will he spare the Amalekites?"

"The latter, I think, old hip-and-thigh," said Amyas, hurrying forward
to hear the news from Raleigh, who appeared in sight once more.

"They ask to depart with bag and baggage," said he, when he came up.

"God do so to me, and more also, if they carry away a straw!" said Lord
Grey. "Make short work of it, sir!"

"I do not know how that will be, my lord; as I came up a captain shouted
to me off the walls that there were mutineers; and, denying that he
surrendered, would have pulled down the flag of truce, but the soldiers
beat him off."

"A house divided against itself will not stand long, gentlemen. Tell
them that I give no conditions. Let them lay down their arms, and trust
in the Bishop of Rome who sent them hither, and may come to save them
if he wants them. Gunners, if you see the white flag go down, open your
fire instantly. Captain Raleigh, we need your counsel here. Mr. Cary,
will you be my herald this time?"

"A better Protestant never went on a pleasanter errand, my lord."

So Cary went, and then ensued an argument, as to what should be done
with the prisoners in case of a surrender.

I cannot tell whether my Lord Grey meant, by offering conditions which
the Spaniards would not accept, to force them into fighting the quarrel
out, and so save himself the responsibility of deciding on their
fate; or whether his mere natural stubbornness, as well as his just
indignation, drove him on too far to retract: but the council of war
which followed was both a sad and a stormy one, and one which he had
reason to regret to his dying day. What was to be done with the enemy?
They already outnumbered the English; and some fifteen hundred of
Desmond's wild Irish hovered in the forests round, ready to side with
the winning party, or even to attack the English at the least sign of
vacillation or fear. They could not carry the Spaniards away with them,
for they had neither shipping nor food, not even handcuffs enough for
them; and as Mackworth told Winter when he proposed it, the only plan
was for him to make San Josepho a present of his ships, and swim home
himself as he could. To turn loose in Ireland, as Captain Touch urged,
on the other hand, seven hundred such monsters of lawlessness, cruelty,
and lust, as Spanish and Italian condottieri were in those days, was
as fatal to their own safety as cruel to the wretched Irish. All the
captains, without exception, followed on the same side. "What was to be
done, then?" asked Lord Grey, impatiently. "Would they have him murder
them all in cold blood?"

And for a while every man, knowing that it must come to that, and yet
not daring to say it; till Sir Warham St. Leger, the marshal of Munster,
spoke out stoutly: "Foreigners had been scoffing them too long and too
truly with waging these Irish wars as if they meant to keep them alive,
rather than end them. Mercy and faith to every Irishman who would show
mercy and faith, was his motto; but to invaders, no mercy. Ireland was
England's vulnerable point; it might be some day her ruin; a terrible
example must be made of those who dare to touch the sore. Rather pardon
the Spaniards for landing in the Thames than in Ireland!"--till Lord
Grey became much excited, and turning as a last hope to Raleigh, asked
his opinion: but Raleigh's silver tongue was that day not on the side
of indulgence. He skilfully recapitulated the arguments of his
fellow-captains, improving them as he went on, till each worthy soldier
was surprised to find himself so much wiser a man than he had thought;
and finished by one of his rapid and passionate perorations upon his
favorite theme--the West Indian cruelties of the Spaniards, ". . .
by which great tracts and fair countries are now utterly stripped of
inhabitants by heavy bondage and torments unspeakable. Oh, witless
Islanders!" said he, apostrophizing the Irish, "would to Heaven that you
were here to listen to me! What other fate awaits you, if this viper,
which you are so ready to take into your bosom, should be warmed to
life, but to groan like the Indians, slaves to the Spaniard; but to
perish like the Indians, by heavy burdens, cruel chains, plunder and
ravishment; scourged, racked, roasted, stabbed, sawn in sunder, cast to
feed the dogs, as simple and more righteous peoples have perished ere
now by millions? And what else, I say, had been the fate of Ireland
had this invasion prospered, which God has now, by our weak hands,
confounded and brought to naught? Shall we then answer it, my lord,
either to our conscience, our God, or our queen, if we shall set loose
men (not one of whom, I warrant, but is stained with murder on murder)
to go and fill up the cup of their iniquity among these silly sheep?
Have not their native wolves, their barbarous chieftains, shorn, peeled,
and slaughtered them enough already, but we must add this pack of
foreign wolves to the number of their tormentors, and fit the Desmond
with a body-guard of seven, yea, seven hundred devils worse than
himself? Nay, rather let us do violence to our own human nature, and
show ourselves in appearance rigorous, that we may be kind indeed; lest
while we presume to be over-merciful to the guilty, we prove ourselves
to be over-cruel to the innocent."

"Captain Raleigh, Captain Raleigh," said Lord Grey, "the blood of these
men be on your head!"

"It ill befits your lordship," answered Raleigh, "to throw on your
subordinates the blame of that which your reason approves as necessary."

"I should have thought, sir, that one so noted for ambition as Captain
Raleigh would have been more careful of the favor of that queen for
whose smiles he is said to be so longing a competitor. If you have not
yet been of her counsels, sir, I can tell you you are not likely to be.
She will be furious when she hears of this cruelty."

Lord Grey had lost his temper: but Raleigh kept his, and answered

"Her majesty shall at least not find me among the number of those who
prefer her favor to her safety, and abuse to their own profit that
over-tenderness and mercifulness of heart which is the only blemish
(and yet, rather like a mole on a fair cheek, but a new beauty) in her
manifold perfections."

At this juncture Cary returned.

"My lord," said he, in some confusion, "I have proposed your terms; but
the captains still entreat for some mitigation; and, to tell you truth,
one of them has insisted on accompanying me hither to plead his cause

"I will not see him, sir. Who is he?"

"His name is Sebastian of Modena, my lord."

"Sebastian of Modena? What think you, gentlemen? May we make an
exception in favor of so famous a soldier?"

"So villainous a cut-throat," said Zouch to Raleigh, under his breath.

All, however, were for speaking with so famous a man; and in came, in
full armor, a short, bull-necked Italian, evidently of immense strength,
of the true Caesar Borgia stamp.

"Will you please to be seated, sir?" said Lord Grey, coldly.

"I kiss your hands, most illustrious: but I do not sit in an enemy's
camp. Ha, my friend Zouch! How has your signoria fared since we fought
side by side at Lepanto? So you too are here, sitting in council on the
hanging of me."

"What is your errand, sir? Time is short," said the lord deputy.

"Corpo di Bacco! It has been long enough all the morning, for my
rascals have kept me and my friend the Colonel Hercules (whom you know,
doubtless) prisoners in our tents at the pike's point. My lord deputy,
I have but a few words. I shall thank you to take every soldier in the
fort--Italian, Spaniard, and Irish--and hang them up as high as Haman,
for a set of mutinous cowards, with the arch-traitor San Josepho at
their head."

"I am obliged to you for your offer, sir, and shall deliberate presently
as to whether I shall not accept it."

"But as for us captains, really your excellency must consider that we
are gentlemen born, and give us either buena querra, as the Spaniards
say, or a fair chance for life; and so to my business."

"Stay, sir. Answer this first. Have you or yours any commission to show
either from the King of Spain or any other potentate?"

"Never a one but the cause of Heaven and our own swords. And with them,
my lord, we are ready to meet any gentlemen of your camp, man to man,
with our swords only, half-way between your leaguer and ours; and I
doubt not that your lordship will see fair play. Will any gentleman
accept so civil an offer? There sits a tall youth in that corner
who would suit me very well. Will any fit my gallant comrades with
half-an-hour's punto and stoccado?"

There was a silence, all looking at the lord deputy, whose eyes were
kindling in a very ugly way.

"No answer? Then I must proceed to exhortation. So! Will that be

And walking composedly across the tent, the fearless ruffian quietly
stooped down, and smote Amyas Leigh full in the face.

Up sprang Amyas, heedless of all the august assembly, and with a single
buffet felled him to the earth.

"Excellent!" said he, rising unabashed. "I can always trust my instinct.
I knew the moment I saw him that he was a cavalier worth letting blood.
Now, sir, your sword and harness, and I am at your service outside!"

The solemn and sententious Englishmen were altogether taken aback by the
Italian's impudence; but Zouch settled the matter.

"Most noble captain, will you be pleased to recollect a certain little
occurrence at Messina, in the year 1575? For if you do not, I do; and
beg to inform this gentleman that you are unworthy of his sword, and
had you, unluckily for you, been an Englishman, would have found the
fashions of our country so different from your own that you would have
been then hanged, sir, and probably may be so still."

The Italian's sword flashed out in a moment: but Lord Grey interfered.

"No fighting here, gentlemen. That may wait; and, what is more, shall
wait till--Strike their swords down, Raleigh, Mackworth! Strike their
swords down! Colonel Sebastian, you will be pleased to return as you
came, in safety, having lost nothing, as (I frankly tell you) you
have gained nothing, by your wild bearing here. We shall proceed to
deliberate on your fate."

"I trust, my lord," said Amyas, "that you will spare this braggart's
life, at least for a day or two. For in spite of Captain Zouch's
warning, I must have to do with him yet, or my cheek will rise up in
judgment against me at the last day."

"Well spoken, lad," said the colonel, as he swung out. "So! worth a
reprieve, by this sword, to have one more rapier-rattle before the
gallows! Then I take back no further answer, my lord deputy? Not even
our swords, our virgin blades, signor, the soldier's cherished bride?
Shall we go forth weeping widowers, and leave to strange embrace the
lovely steel?"

"None, sir, by heaven!" said he, waxing wroth. "Do you come hither,
pirates as you are, to dictate terms upon a foreign soil? Is it not
enough to have set up here the Spanish flag, and claimed the land
of Ireland as the Pope's gift to the Spaniard; violated the laws of
nations, and the solemn treaties of princes, under color of a mad

"Superstition, my lord? Nothing less. Believe a philosopher who has not
said a pater or an ave for seven years past at least. Quod tango
credo, is my motto; and though I am bound to say, under pain of the
Inquisition, that the most holy Father the Pope has given this land of
Ireland to his most Catholic Majesty the King of Spain, Queen Elizabeth
having forfeited her title to it by heresy,--why, my lord, I believe it
as little as you do. I believe that Ireland would have been mine, if I
had won it; I believe religiously that it is not mine, now I have lost
it. What is, is, and a fig for priests; to-day to thee, to-morrow to me.
Addio!" And out he swung.

"There goes a most gallant rascal," said the lord deputy.

"And a most rascally gallant," said Zouch. "The murder of his own page,
of which I gave him a remembrancer, is among the least of his sins."

"And now, Captain Raleigh," said Lord Grey, "as you have been so earnest
in preaching this butchery, I have a right to ask none but you to
practise it."

Raleigh bit his lip, and replied by the "quip courteous--"

"I am at least a man, my lord, who thinks it shame to allow others to do
that which I dare not do myself."

Lord Grey might probably have returned "the countercheck quarrelsome,"
had not Mackworth risen--

"And I, my lord, being in that matter at least one of Captain Raleigh's
kidney, will just go with him to see that he takes no harm by being bold
enough to carry out an ugly business, and serving these rascals as their
countrymen served Mr. Oxenham."

"I bid you good morning, then, gentlemen, though I cannot bid you God
speed," said Lord Grey; and sitting down again, covered his face with
his hands, and, to the astonishment of all bystanders, burst, say the
chroniclers, into tears.

Amyas followed Raleigh out. The latter was pale, but determined, and
very wroth against the deputy.

"Does the man take me for a hangman," said he, "that he speaks to me
thus? But such is the way of the great. If you neglect your duty,
they haul you over the coals; if you do it, you must do it on your
own responsibility. Farewell, Amyas; you will not shrink from me as a
butcher when I return?"

"God forbid! But how will you do it?"

"March one company in, and drive them forth, and let the other cut them
down as they come out.--Pah!"

      *    *    *    *    *

It was done. Right or wrong, it was done. The shrieks and curses had
died away, and the Fort del Oro was a red shambles, which the soldiers
were trying to cover from the sight of heaven and earth, by dragging the
bodies into the ditch, and covering them with the ruins of the rampart;
while the Irish, who had beheld from the woods that awful warning, fled
trembling into the deepest recesses of the forest. It was done; and
it never needed to be done again. The hint was severe, but it was
sufficient. Many years passed before a Spaniard set foot again in

The Spanish and Italian officers were spared, and Amyas had Don Guzman
Maria Magdalena Sotomayor de Soto duly adjudged to him, as his prize
by right of war. He was, of course, ready enough to fight Sebastian
of Modena: but Lord Grey forbade the duel: blood enough had been shed
already. The next question was, where to bestow Don Guzman till his
ransom should arrive; and as Amyas could not well deliver the gallant
Don into the safe custody of Mrs. Leigh at Burrough, and still less into
that of Frank at Court, he was fain to write to Sir Richard Grenville,
and ask his advice, and in the meanwhile keep the Spaniard with him upon
parole, which he frankly gave,--saying that as for running away, he had
nowhere to run to; and as for joining the Irish he had no mind to turn
pig; and Amyas found him, as shall be hereafter told, pleasant company
enough. But one morning Raleigh entered--

"I have done you a good turn, Leigh, if you think it one. I have talked
St. Leger into making you my lieutenant, and giving you the custody of
a right pleasant hermitage--some castle Shackatory or other in the midst
of a big bog, where time will run swift and smooth with you, between
hunting wild Irish, snaring snipes, and drinking yourself drunk with
usquebaugh over a turf fire."

"I'll go," quoth Amyas; "anything for work." So he went and took
possession of his lieutenancy and his black robber tower, and there
passed the rest of the winter, fighting or hunting all day, and chatting
and reading all the evening, with Senor Don Guzman, who, like a good
soldier of fortune, made himself thoroughly at home, and a general
favorite with the soldiers.

At first, indeed, his Spanish pride and stateliness, and Amyas's English
taciturnity, kept the two apart somewhat; but they soon began, if not
to trust, at least to like each other; and Don Guzman told Amyas, bit by
bit, who he was, of what an ancient house, and of what a poor one; and
laughed over the very small chance of his ransom being raised, and
the certainty that, at least, it could not come for a couple of years,
seeing that the only De Soto who had a penny to spare was a fat old dean
at St. Yago de Leon, in the Caracas, at which place Don Guzman had been
born. This of course led to much talk about the West Indies, and the
Don was as much interested to find that Amyas had been one of Drake's
world-famous crew, as Amyas was to find that his captive was the
grandson of none other than that most terrible of man-hunters, Don
Ferdinando de Soto, the conqueror of Florida, of whom Amyas had read
many a time in Las Casas, "as the captain of tyrants, the notoriousest
and most experimented amongst them that have done the most hurts,
mischiefs, and destructions in many realms." And often enough his blood
boiled, and he had much ado to recollect that the speaker was his guest,
as Don Guzman chatted away about his grandfather's hunts of innocent
women and children, murders of caciques and burnings alive of guides,
"pour encourager les autres," without, seemingly, the least feeling that
the victims were human beings or subjects for human pity; anything, in
short, but heathen dogs, enemies of God, servants of the devil, to be
used by the Christian when he needed, and when not needed killed down
as cumberers of the ground. But Don Guzman was a most finished gentleman
nevertheless; and told many a good story of the Indies, and told it
well; and over and above his stories, he had among his baggage two
books,--the one Antonio Galvano's "Discoveries of the World," a mine
of winter evening amusement to Amyas; and the other, a manuscript book,
which, perhaps, it had been well for Amyas had he never seen. For it was
none other than a sort of rough journal which Don Guzman had kept as a
lad, when he went down with the Adelantado Gonzales Ximenes de Casada,
from Peru to the River of Amazons, to look for the golden country of El
Dorado, and the city of Manoa, which stands in the midst of the White
Lake, and equals or surpasses in glory even the palace of the Inca
Huaynacapac; "all the vessels of whose house and kitchen are of gold
and silver, and in his wardrobe statues of gold which seemed giants, and
figures in proportion and bigness of all the beasts, birds, trees, and
herbs of the earth, and the fishes of the water; and ropes, budgets,
chests, and troughs of gold: yea, and a garden of pleasure in an Island
near Puna, where they went to recreate themselves when they would take
the air of the sea, which had all kind of garden herbs, flowers, and
trees of gold and silver of an invention and magnificence till then
never seen."

Now the greater part of this treasure (and be it remembered that these
wonders were hardly exaggerated, and that there were many men alive then
who had beheld them, as they had worse things, "with their corporal and
mortal eyes") was hidden by the Indians when Pizarro conquered Peru and
slew Atahuallpa, son of Huaynacapac; at whose death, it was said, one
of the Inca's younger brothers fled out of Peru, and taking with him
a great army, vanquished all that tract which lieth between the great
Rivers of Amazons and Baraquan, otherwise called Maranon and Orenoque.

There he sits to this day, beside the golden lake, in the golden city,
which is in breadth a three days' journey, covered, he and his court,
with gold dust from head to foot, waiting for the fulfilment of the
ancient prophecy which was written in the temple of Caxamarca, where his
ancestors worshipped of old; that heroes shall come out of the West, and
lead him back across the forests to the kingdom of Peru, and restore him
to the glory of his forefathers.

Golden phantom! so possible, so probable, to imaginations which were yet
reeling before the actual and veritable prodigies of Peru, Mexico, and
the East Indies. Golden phantom! which has cost already the lives
of thousands, and shall yet cost more; from Diego de Ordas, and Juan
Corteso, and many another, who went forth on the quest by the Andes, and
by the Orinoco, and by the Amazons; Antonio Sedenno, with his ghastly
caravan of manacled Indians, "on whose dead carcasses the tigers being
fleshed, assaulted the Spaniards;" Augustine Delgado, who "came to a
cacique, who entertained him with all kindness, and gave him beside much
gold and slaves, three nymphs very beautiful, which bare the names
of three provinces, Guanba, Gotoguane, and Maiarare. To requite which
manifold courtesies, he carried off, not only all the gold, but all the
Indians he could seize, and took them in irons to Cubagua, and sold them
for slaves; after which, Delgado was shot in the eye by an Indian, of
which hurt he died;" Pedro d'Orsua, who found the cinnamon forests of
Loxas, "whom his men murdered, and afterwards beheaded Lady Anes his
wife, who forsook not her lord in all his travels unto death," and many
another, who has vanished with valiant comrades at his back into the
green gulfs of the primaeval forests, never to emerge again. Golden
phantom! man-devouring, whose maw is never satiate with souls of heroes;
fatal to Spain, more fatal still to England upon that shameful day, when
the last of Elizabeth's heroes shall lay down his head upon the block,
nominally for having believed what all around him believed likewise
till they found it expedient to deny it in order to curry favor with the
crowned cur who betrayed him, really because he alone dared to make one
last protest in behalf of liberty and Protestantism against the incoming
night of tyranny and superstition. Little thought Amyas, as he devoured
the pages of that manuscript, that he was laying a snare for the life of
the man whom, next to Drake and Grenville, he most admired on earth.

But Don Guzman, on the other hand, seemed to have an instinct that that
book might be a fatal gift to his captor; for one day ere Amyas had
looked into it, he began questioning the Don about El Dorado. Whereon
Don Guzman replied with one of those smiles of his, which (as Amyas said
afterwards) was so abominably like a sneer, that he had often hard work
to keep his hands off the man--

"Ah! You have been eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, senor?
Well; if you have any ambition to follow many another brave captain
to the pit, I know no shorter or easier path than is contained in that
little book."

"I have never opened your book," said Amyas; "your private manuscripts
are no concern of mine: but my man who recovered your baggage read
part of it, knowing no better; and now you are at liberty to tell me as
little as you like."

The "man," it should be said, was none other than Salvation Yeo, who
had attached himself by this time inseparably to Amyas, in quality of
body-guard: and, as was common enough in those days, had turned soldier
for the nonce, and taken under his patronage two or three rusty bases
(swivels) and falconets (four-pounders), which grinned harmlessly enough
from the tower top across the cheerful expanse of bog.

Amyas once asked him, how he reconciled this Irish sojourn with his vow
to find his little maid? Yeo shook his head.

"I can't tell, sir, but there's something that makes me always to think
of you when I think of her; and that's often enough, the Lord knows.
Whether it is that I ben't to find the dear without your help; or
whether it is your pleasant face puts me in mind of hers; or what, I
can't tell; but don't you part me from you, sir, for I'm like Ruth,
and where you lodge I lodge; and where you go I go; and where you
die--though I shall die many a year first--there I'll die, I hope and
trust; for I can't abear you out of my sight; and that's the truth

So Yeo remained with Amyas, while Cary went elsewhere with Sir Warham
St. Leger, and the two friends met seldom for many months; so that
Amyas's only companion was Don Guzman, who, as he grew more familiar,
and more careless about what he said and did in his captor's presence,
often puzzled and scandalized him by his waywardness. Fits of deep
melancholy alternated with bursts of Spanish boastfulness, utterly
astonishing to the modest and sober-minded Englishman, who would often
have fancied him inspired by usquebaugh, had he not had ocular proof of
his extreme abstemiousness.

"Miserable?" said he, one night in one of these fits. "And have I not
a right to be miserable? Why should I not curse the virgin and all the
saints, and die? I have not a friend, not a ducat on earth; not even a
sword--hell and the furies! It was my all: the only bequest I ever had
from my father, and I lived by it and earned by it. Two years ago I had
as pretty a sum of gold as cavalier could wish--and now!"--

"What is become of it, then? I cannot hear that our men plundered you of

"Your men? No, senor! What fifty men dared not have done, one woman did!
a painted, patched, fucused, periwigged, bolstered, Charybdis, cannibal,
Megaera, Lamia! Why did I ever go near that cursed Naples, the common
sewer of Europe? whose women, I believe, would be swallowed up by
Vesuvius to-morrow, if it were not that Belphegor is afraid of their
making the pit itself too hot to hold him. Well, sir, she had all of
mine and more; and when all was gone in wine and dice, woodcocks' brains
and ortolans' tongues, I met the witch walking with another man. I had
a sword and a dagger; I gave him the first (though the dog fought well
enough, to give him his due), and her the second; left them lying across
each other, and fled for my life,--and here I am! after twenty years of
fighting, from the Levant to the Orellana--for I began ere I had a
hair on my chin--and this is the end!--No, it is not! I'll have that El
Dorado yet! the Adelantado made Berreo, when he gave him his daughter,
swear that he would hunt for it, through life and death.--We'll see
who finds it first, he or I. He's a bungler; Orsua was a bungler--Pooh!
Cortes and Pizarro? we'll see whether there are not as good Castilians
as they left still. I can do it, senor. I know a track, a plan; over the
Llanos is the road; and I'll be Emperor of Manoa yet--possess the jewels
of all the Incas; and gold, gold! Pizarro was a beggar to what I will

Conceive, sir, he broke forth during another of these peacock fits,
as Amyas and he were riding along the hill-side; "conceive! with forty
chosen cavaliers (what need of more?) I present myself before the golden
king, trembling amid his myriad guards at the new miracle of the mailed
centaurs of the West; and without dismounting, I approach his throne,
lift the crucifix which hangs around my neck, and pressing it to my
lips, present it for the adoration of the idolater, and give him his
alternative; that which Gayferos and the Cid, my ancestors, offered
the Soldan and the Moor--baptism or death! He hesitates; perhaps
smiles scornfully upon my little band; I answer him by deeds, as Don
Ferdinando, my illustrious grandfather, answered Atahuallpa at Peru, in
sight of all his court and camp."

"With your lance-point, as Gayferos did the Soldan?" asked Amyas,

"No, sir; persuasion first, for the salvation of a soul is at stake. Not
with the lance-point, but the spur, sir, thus!"--

And striking his heels into his horse's flanks, he darted off at full

"The Spanish traitor!" shouted Yeo. "He's going to escape! Shall we
shoot, sir? Shall we shoot?"

"For Heaven's sake, no!" said Amyas, looking somewhat blank,
nevertheless, for he much doubted whether the whole was not a ruse on
the part of the Spaniard, and he knew how impossible it was for his
fifteen stone of flesh to give chase to the Spaniard's twelve. But he
was soon reassured; the Spaniard wheeled round towards him, and began to
put the rough hackney through all the paces of the manege with a grace
and skill which won applause from the beholders.

"Thus!" he shouted, waving his hand to Amyas, between his curvets and
caracoles, "did my illustrious grandfather exhibit to the Paynim emperor
the prowess of a Castilian cavalier! Thus!--and thus!--and thus, at
last, he dashed up to his very feet, as I to yours, and bespattering
that unbaptized visage with his Christian bridle foam, pulled up his
charger on his haunches, thus!"

And (as was to be expected from a blown Irish garron on a peaty Irish
hill-side) down went the hapless hackney on his tail, away went his
heels a yard in front of him, and ere Don Guzman could "avoid his
selle," horse and man rolled over into neighboring bog-hole.

"After pride comes a fall," quoth Yeo with unmoved visage, as he lugged
him out.

"And what would you do with the emperor at last?" asked Amyas when the
Don had been scrubbed somewhat clean with a bunch of rushes. "Kill him,
as your grandfather did Atahuallpa?"

"My grandfather," answered the Spaniard, indignantly, "was one of those
who, to their eternal honor, protested to the last against that most
cruel and unknightly massacre. He could be terrible to the heathen; but
he kept his plighted word, sir, and taught me to keep mine, as you have
seen to-day."

"I have, senor," said Amyas. "You might have given us the slip easily
enough just now, and did not. Pardon me, if I have offended you."

The Spaniard (who, after all, was cross principally with himself and the
"unlucky mare's son," as the old romances have it, which had played him
so scurvy a trick) was all smiles again forthwith; and Amyas, as they
chatted on, could not help asking him next--

"I wonder why you are so frank about your own intentions to an enemy
like me, who will surely forestall you if he can."

"Sir, a Spaniard needs no concealment, and fears no rivalry. He is the
soldier of the Cross, and in it he conquers, like Constantine of old.
Not that you English are not very heroes; but you have not, sir, and
you cannot have, who have forsworn our Lady and the choir of saints, the
same divine protection, the same celestial mission, which enables the
Catholic cavalier single-handed to chase a thousand Paynims."

And Don Guzman crossed himself devoutly, and muttered half-a-dozen Ave
Marias in succession, while Amyas rode silently by his side, utterly
puzzled at this strange compound of shrewdness with fanaticism, of
perfect high-breeding with a boastfulness which in an Englishman would
have been the sure mark of vulgarity.

At last came a letter from Sir Richard Grenville, complimenting Amyas
on his success and promotion, bearing a long and courtly message to Don
Guzman (whom Grenville had known when he was in the Mediterranean, at
the battle of Lepanto), and offering to receive him as his own guest
at Bideford, till his ransom should arrive; a proposition which the
Spaniard (who of course was getting sufficiently tired of the Irish
bogs) could not but gladly accept; and one of Winter's ships, returning
to England in the spring of 1581, delivered duly at the quay of Bideford
the body of Don Guzman Maria Magdalena. Raleigh, after forming for
that summer one of the triumvirate by which Munster was governed after
Ormond's departure, at last got his wish and departed for England and
the Court; and Amyas was left alone with the snipes and yellow mantles
for two more weary years.



     "And therewith he blent, and cried ha!
     As though he had been stricken to the harte."

                              Palamon and Arcite.

So it befell to Chaucer's knight in prison; and so it befell also to Don
Guzman; and it befell on this wise.

He settled down quietly enough at Bideford on his parole, in better
quarters than he had occupied for many a day, and took things as they
came, like a true soldier of fortune; till, after he had been with
Grenville hardly a month, old Salterne the Mayor came to supper.

Now Don Guzman, however much he might be puzzled at first at our strange
English ways of asking burghers and such low-bred folk to eat and drink
above the salt, in the company of noble persons, was quite gentleman
enough to know that Richard Grenville was gentleman enough to do only
what was correct, and according to the customs and proprieties. So after
shrugging the shoulders of his spirit, he submitted to eat and drink at
the same board with a tradesman who sat at a desk, and made up ledgers,
and took apprentices; and hearing him talk with Grenville neither
unwisely nor in a vulgar fashion, actually before the evening was out
condescended to exchange words with him himself. Whereon he found him
a very prudent and courteous person, quite aware of the Spaniard's
superior rank, and making him feel in every sentence that he was aware
thereof; and yet holding his own opinion, and asserting his own rights
as a wise elder in a fashion which the Spaniard had only seen before
among the merchant princes of Genoa and Venice.

At the end of supper, Salterne asked Grenville to do his humble roof the
honor, etc. etc., of supping with him the next evening, and then turning
to the Don, said quite frankly, that he knew how great a condescension
it would be on the part of a nobleman of Spain to sit at the board of
a simple merchant: but that if the Spaniard deigned to do him such
a favor, he would find that the cheer was fit enough for any rank,
whatsoever the company might be; which invitation Don Guzman, being on
the whole glad enough of anything to amuse him, graciously condescended
to accept, and gained thereby an excellent supper, and, if he had chosen
to drink it, much good wine.

Now Mr. Salterne was, of course, as a wise merchant, as ready as any man
for an adventure to foreign parts, as was afterwards proved by his great
exertions in the settlement of Virginia; and he was, therefore, equally
ready to rack the brains of any guest whom he suspected of knowing
anything concerning strange lands; and so he thought no shame, first to
try to loose his guest's tongue by much good sack, and next, to ask him
prudent and well-concocted questions concerning the Spanish Main, Peru,
the Moluccas, China, the Indies, and all parts.

The first of which schemes failed; for the Spaniard was as abstemious
as any monk, and drank little but water; the second succeeded not over
well, for the Spaniard was as cunning as any fox, and answered little
but wind.

In the midst of which tongue-fence in came the Rose of Torridge, looking
as beautiful as usual; and hearing what they were upon, added, artlessly
enough, her questions to her father's: to her Don Guzman could not but
answer; and without revealing any very important commercial secrets,
gave his host and his host's daughter a very amusing evening.

Now little Eros, though spirits like Frank Leigh's may choose to call
him (as, perhaps, he really is to them) the eldest of the gods, and
the son of Jove and Venus, yet is reported by other equally good
authorities, as Burton has set forth in his "Anatomy of Melancholy," to
be after all only the child of idleness and fulness of bread. To which
scandalous calumny the thoughts of Don Guzman's heart gave at least a
certain color; for he being idle (as captives needs must be), and also
full of bread (for Sir Richard kept a very good table), had already
looked round for mere amusement's sake after some one with whom to fall
in love. Lady Grenville, as nearest, was, I blush to say, thought of
first; but the Spaniard was a man of honor, and Sir Richard his host; so
he put away from his mind (with a self-denial on which he plumed himself
much) the pleasure of a chase equally exciting to his pride and his love
of danger. As for the sinfulness of the said chase, he of course thought
no more of that than other Southern Europeans did then, or than (I blush
again to have to say it) the English did afterwards in the days of the
Stuarts. Nevertheless, he had put Lady Grenville out of his mind; and so
left room to take Rose Salterne into it, not with any distinct purpose
of wronging her: but, as I said before, half to amuse himself, and half,
too, because he could not help it. For there was an innocent freshness
about the Rose of Torridge, fond as she was of being admired, which was
new to him and most attractive. "The train of the peacock," as he
said to himself, "and yet the heart of the dove," made so charming a
combination, that if he could have persuaded her to love no one but him,
perhaps he might become fool enough to love no one but her. And at that
thought he was seized with a very panic of prudence, and resolved to
keep out of her way; and yet the days ran slowly, and Lady Grenville
when at home was stupid enough to talk and think about nothing but her
husband; and when she went to Stow, and left the Don alone in one corner
of the great house at Bideford, what could he do but lounge down to the
butt-gardens to show off his fine black cloak and fine black feather,
see the shooting, have a game or two of rackets with the youngsters, a
game or two of bowls with the elders, and get himself invited home to
supper by Mr. Salterne?

And there, of course, he had it all his own way, and ruled the roast
(which he was fond enough of doing) right royally, not only on account
of his rank, but because he had something to say worth hearing, as a
travelled man. For those times were the day-dawn of English commerce;
and not a merchant in Bideford, or in all England, but had his
imagination all on fire with projects of discoveries, companies,
privileges, patents, and settlements; with gallant rivalry of the brave
adventures of Sir Edward Osborne and his new London Company of Turkey
Merchants; with the privileges just granted by the Sultan Murad Khan
to the English; with the worthy Levant voyages of Roger Bodenham in
the great bark Aucher, and of John Fox, and Lawrence Aldersey, and John
Rule; and with hopes from the vast door for Mediterranean trade, which
the crushing of the Venetian power at Famagusta in Cyprus, and the
alliance made between Elizabeth and the Grand Turk, had just thrown
open. So not a word could fall from the Spaniard about the Mediterranean
but took root at once in right fertile soil. Besides, Master Edmund
Hogan had been on a successful embassy to the Emperor of Morocco; John
Hawkins and George Fenner had been to Guinea (and with the latter Mr.
Walter Wren, a Bideford man), and had traded there for musk and civet,
gold and grain; and African news was becoming almost as valuable as West
Indian. Moreover, but two months before had gone from London Captain
Hare in the bark Minion, for Brazil, and a company of adventurers with
him, with Sheffield hardware, and "Devonshire and Northern kersies,"
hollands and "Manchester cottons," for there was a great opening for
English goods by the help of one John Whithall, who had married a
Spanish heiress, and had an ingenio and slaves in Santos. (Don't smile,
reader, or despise the day of small things, and those who sowed the seed
whereof you reap the mighty harvest.) In the meanwhile, Drake had proved
not merely the possibility of plundering the American coasts, but
of establishing an East Indian trade; Frobisher and Davis, worthy
forefathers of our Parrys and Franklins, had begun to bore their way
upward through the Northern ice, in search of a passage to China which
should avoid the dangers of the Spanish seas; and Anthony Jenkinson, not
the least of English travellers, had, in six-and-twenty years of travel
in behalf of the Muscovite Company, penetrated into not merely Russia
and the Levant, but Persia and Armenia, Bokhara, Tartary, Siberia, and
those waste Arctic shores where, thirty years before, the brave Sir Hugh

          "In Arzina caught,
     Perished with all his crew."

Everywhere English commerce, under the genial sunshine of Elizabeth's
wise rule, was spreading and taking root; and as Don Guzman talked
with his new friends, he soon saw (for he was shrewd enough) that they
belonged to a race which must be exterminated if Spain intended to
become (as she did intend) the mistress of the world; and that it was
not enough for Spain to have seized in the Pope's name the whole new
world, and claimed the exclusive right to sail the seas of America; not
enough to have crushed the Hollanders; not enough to have degraded the
Venetians into her bankers, and the Genoese into her mercenaries; not
enough to have incorporated into herself, with the kingdom of Portugal,
the whole East Indian trade of Portugal, while these fierce islanders
remained to assert, with cunning policy and texts of Scripture, and, if
they failed, with sharp shot and cold steel, free seas and free trade
for all the nations upon earth. He saw it, and his countrymen saw it
too: and therefore the Spanish Armada came: but of that hereafter. And
Don Guzman knew also, by hard experience, that these same islanders, who
sat in Salterne's parlor, talking broad Devon through their noses, were
no mere counters of money and hucksters of goods: but men who, though
they thoroughly hated fighting, and loved making money instead, could
fight, upon occasion, after a very dogged and terrible fashion, as well
as the bluest blood in Spain; and who sent out their merchant ships
armed up to the teeth, and filled with men who had been trained from
childhood to use those arms, and had orders to use them without mercy
if either Spaniard, Portugal, or other created being dared to stop their
money-making. And one evening he waxed quite mad, when, after having
civilly enough hinted that if Englishmen came where they had no right to
come, they might find themselves sent back again, he was answered by a
volley of--

"We'll see that, sir."

"Depends on who says 'No right.'"

"You found might right," said another, "when you claimed the Indian
seas; we may find right might when we try them."

"Try them, then, gentlemen, by all means, if it shall so please your
worships; and find the sacred flag of Spain as invincible as ever was
the Roman eagle."

"We have, sir. Did you ever hear of Francis Drake?"

"Or of George Fenner and the Portugals at the Azores, one against

"Or of John Hawkins, at St. Juan d'Ulloa?"

"You are insolent burghers," said Don Guzman, and rose to go.

"Sir," said old Salterne, "as you say, we are burghers and plain men,
and some of us have forgotten ourselves a little, perhaps; we must beg
you to forgive our want of manners, and to put it down to the strength
of my wine; for insolent we never meant to be, especially to a noble
gentleman and a foreigner."

But the Don would not be pacified; and walked out, calling himself
an ass and a blinkard for having demeaned himself to such a company,
forgetting that he had brought it on himself.

Salterne (prompted by the great devil Mammon) came up to him next day,
and begged pardon again; promising, moreover, that none of those who had
been so rude should be henceforth asked to meet him, if he would deign
to honor his house once more. And the Don actually was appeased, and
went there the very next evening, sneering at himself the whole time for

"Fool that I am! that girl has bewitched me, I believe. Go I must, and
eat my share of dirt, for her sake."

So he went; and, cunningly enough, hinted to old Salterne that he
had taken such a fancy to him, and felt so bound by his courtesy and
hospitality, that he might not object to tell him things which he would
not mention to every one; for that the Spaniards were not jealous of
single traders, but of any general attempt to deprive them of their
hard-earned wealth: that, however, in the meanwhile, there were plenty
of opportunities for one man here and there to enrich himself, etc.

Old Salterne, shrewd as he was, had his weak point, and the Spaniard had
touched it; and delighted at this opportunity of learning the mysteries
of the Spanish monopoly, he often actually set Rose on to draw out the
Don, without a fear (so blind does money make men) lest she might be
herself drawn in. For, first, he held it as impossible that she would
think of marrying a Popish Spaniard as of marrying the man in the moon;
and, next, as impossible that he would think of marrying a burgher's
daughter as of marrying a negress; and trusted that the religion of the
one, and the family pride of the other, would keep them as separate as
beings of two different species. And as for love without marriage, if
such a possibility ever crossed him, the thought was rendered absurd;
on Rose's part by her virtue, on which the old roan (and rightly) would
have staked every farthing he had on earth; and on the Don's part, by a
certain human fondness for the continuity of the carotid artery and the
parts adjoining, for which (and that not altogether justly, seeing
that Don Guzman cared as little for his own life as he did for his
neighbor's) Mr. Salterne gave him credit. And so it came to pass, that
for weeks and months the merchant's house was the Don's favorite haunt,
and he saw the Rose of Torridge daily, and the Rose of Torridge heard

And as for her, poor child, she had never seen such a man. He had, or
seemed to have, all the high-bred grace of Frank, and yet he was cast in
a manlier mould; he had just enough of his nation's proud self-assertion
to make a woman bow before him as before a superior, and yet tact enough
to let it very seldom degenerate into that boastfulness of which the
Spaniards were then so often and so justly accused. He had marvels to
tell by flood and field as many and more than Amyas; and he told
them with a grace and an eloquence of which modest, simple, old Amyas
possessed nothing. Besides, he was on the spot, and the Leighs were not,
nor indeed were any of her old lovers; and what could she do but amuse
herself with the only person who came to hand?

So thought, in time, more ladies than she; for the country, the north of
it at least, was all but bare just then of young gallants, what with the
Netherland wars and the Irish wars; and the Spaniard became soon welcome
at every house for many a mile round, and made use of his welcome so
freely, and received so much unwonted attention from fair young dames,
that his head might have been a little turned, and Rose Salterne have
thereby escaped, had not Sir Richard delicately given him to understand
that in spite of the free and easy manners of English ladies, brothers
were just as jealous, and ladies' honors at least as inexpugnable, as
in the land of demureness and duennas. Don Guzman took the hint well
enough, and kept on good terms with the country gentlemen as with their
daughters; and to tell the truth, the cunning soldier of fortune found
his account in being intimate with all the ladies he could, in order to
prevent old Salterne from fancying that he had any peculiar predilection
for Mistress Rose.

Nevertheless, Mr. Salterne's parlor being nearest to him, still remained
his most common haunt; where, while he discoursed for hours about

     "Antres vast and deserts idle,
     And of the cannibals that each other eat,
     Of Anthropophagi, and men whose heads
     Do grow beneath their shoulders,"

to the boundless satisfaction of poor Rose's fancy, he took care to
season his discourse with scraps of mercantile information, which kept
the old merchant always expectant and hankering for more, and made it
worth his while to ask the Spaniard in again and again.

And his stories, certainly, were worth hearing. He seemed to have been
everywhere, and to have seen everything: born in Peru, and sent home to
Spain at ten years old; brought up in Italy; a soldier in the Levant; an
adventurer to the East Indies; again in America, first in the islands,
and then in Mexico. Then back again to Spain, and thence to Rome, and
thence to Ireland. Shipwrecked; captive among savages; looking down the
craters of volcanoes; hanging about all the courts of Europe; fighting
Turks, Indians, lions, elephants, alligators, and what not? At
five-and-thirty he had seen enough for three lives, and knew how to make
the best of what he had seen.

He had shared, as a lad, in the horrors of the memorable siege of
Famagusta, and had escaped, he hardly knew himself how, from the hands
of the victorious Turks, and from the certainty (if he escaped being
flayed alive or impaled, as most of the captive officers were) of ending
his life as a Janissary at the Sultan's court. He had been at the Battle
of the Three Kings; had seen Stukely borne down by a hundred lances,
unconquered even in death; and had held upon his knee the head of the
dying King of Portugal.

And now, as he said to Rose one evening, what had he left on earth, but
a heart trampled as hard as the pavement? Whom had he to love? Who loved
him? He had nothing for which to live but fame: and even that was denied
to him, a prisoner in a foreign land.

Had he no kindred, then? asked pitying Rose.

"My two sisters are in a convent;--they had neither money nor beauty;
so they are dead to me. My brother is a Jesuit, so he is dead to me. My
father fell by the hands of Indians in Mexico; my mother, a penniless
widow, is companion, duenna--whatsoever they may choose to call
it--carrying fans and lapdogs for some princess or other there in
Seville, of no better blood than herself; and I--devil! I have lost even
my sword--and so fares the house of De Soto."

Don Guzman, of course, intended to be pitied, and pitied he was
accordingly. And then he would turn the conversation, and begin telling
Italian stories, after the Italian fashion, according to his auditory:
the pathetic ones when Rose was present, the racy ones when she was
absent; so that Rose had wept over the sorrows of Juliet and Desdemona,
and over many another moving tale, long before they were ever enacted
on an English stage, and the ribs of the Bideford worthies had shaken to
many a jest which Cinthio and Bandello's ghosts must come and make for
themselves over again if they wish them to be remembered, for I shall
lend them no shove toward immortality.

And so on, and so on. What need of more words? Before a year was out,
Rose Salterne was far more in love with Don Guzman than he with her; and
both suspected each other's mind, though neither hinted at the truth;
she from fear, and he, to tell the truth, from sheer Spanish pride of
blood. For he soon began to find out that he must compromise that blood
by marrying the heretic burgher's daughter, or all his labor would be
thrown away.

He had seen with much astonishment, and then practised with much
pleasure, that graceful old English fashion of saluting every lady on
the cheek at meeting, which (like the old Dutch fashion of asking young
ladies out to feasts without their mothers) used to give such cause of
brutal calumny and scandal to the coarse minds of Romish visitors from
the Continent; and he had seen, too, fuming with jealous rage, more than
one Bideford burgher, redolent of onions, profane in that way the velvet
cheek of Rose Salterne.

So, one day, he offered his salute in like wise; but he did it when she
was alone; for something within (perhaps a guilty conscience) whispered
that it might be hardly politic to make the proffer in her father's
presence: however, to his astonishment, he received a prompt though
quiet rebuff.

"No, sir; you should know that my cheek is not for you."

"Why," said he, stifling his anger, "it seems free enough to every
counter-jumper in the town!"

Was it love, or simple innocence, which made her answer apologetically?

"True, Don Guzman; but they are my equals."

"And I?"

"You are a nobleman, sir; and should recollect that you are one."

"Well," said he, forcing a sneer, "it is a strange taste to prefer the

"Prefer?" said she, forcing a laugh in her turn; "it is a mere form
among us. They are nothing to me, I can tell you."

"And I, then, less than nothing?"

Rose turned very red; but she had nerve to answer--

"And why should you be anything to me? You have condescended too much,
sir, already to us, in giving us many a--many a pleasant evening. You
must condescend no further. You wrong yourself, sir, and me too. No,
sir; not a step nearer!--I will not! A salute between equals means
nothing: but between you and me--I vow, sir, if you do not leave me this
moment, I will complain to my father."

"Do so, madam! I care as little for your father's anger, as you for my

"Cruel!" cried Rose, trembling from head to foot.

"I love you, madam!" cried he, throwing himself at her feet. "I adore
you! Never mention differences of rank to me more; for I have forgotten
them; forgotten all but love, all but you, madam! My light, my lodestar,
my princess, my goddess! You see where my pride is gone; remember I
plead as a suppliant, a beggar--though one who may be one day a prince,
a king! ay, and a prince now, a very Lucifer of pride to all except to
you; to you a wretch who grovels at your feet, and cries, 'Have mercy
on me, on my loneliness, my homelessness, my friendlessness.' Ah, Rose
(madam I should have said, forgive the madness of my passion), you know
not the heart which you break. Cold Northerns, you little dream how a
Spaniard can love. Love? Worship, rather; as I worship you, madam; as
I bless the captivity which brought me the sight of you, and the ruin
which first made me rich. Is it possible, saints and Virgin! do my own
tears deceive my eyes, or are there tears, too, in those radiant orbs?"

"Go, sir!" cried poor Rose, recovering herself suddenly; "and let me
never see you more." And, as a last chance for life, she darted out of
the room.

"Your slave obeys you, madam, and kisses your hands and feet forever
and a day," said the cunning Spaniard, and drawing himself up, walked
serenely out of the house; while she, poor fool, peeped after him out
of her window upstairs, and her heart sank within her as she watched his
jaunty and careless air.

How much of that rhapsody of his was honest, how much premeditated, I
cannot tell: though she, poor child, began to fancy that it was all a
set speech, when she found that he had really taken her at her word, and
set foot no more within her father's house. So she reproached herself
for the cruelest of women; settled, that if he died, she should be his
murderess; watched for him to pass at the window, in hopes that he might
look up, and then hid herself in terror the moment he appeared round
the corner; and so forth, and so forth:--one love-making is very like
another, and has been so, I suppose, since that first blessed marriage
in Paradise, when Adam and Eve made no love at all, but found it
ready-made for them from heaven; and really it is fiddling while Rome
is burning, to spend more pages over the sorrows of poor little Rose
Salterne, while the destinies of Europe are hanging on the marriage
between Elizabeth and Anjou: and Sir Humphrey Gilbert is stirring heaven
and earth, and Devonshire, of course, as the most important portion
of the said earth, to carry out his dormant patent, which will give to
England in due time (we are not jesting now) Newfoundland, Nova Scotia,
and Canada, and the Northern States; and to Humphrey Gilbert himself
something better than a new world, namely another world, and a crown of
glory therein which never fades away.



     "Misguided, rash, intruding fool, farewell!
     Thou see'st to be too busy is some danger."


It is the spring of 1582-3. The gray March skies are curdling hard and
high above black mountain peaks. The keen March wind is sweeping harsh
and dry across a dreary sheet of bog, still red and yellow with the
stains of winter frost. One brown knoll alone breaks the waste, and on
it a few leafless wind-clipt oaks stretch their moss-grown arms, like
giant hairy spiders, above a desolate pool which crisps and shivers in
the biting breeze, while from beside its brink rises a mournful cry, and
sweeps down, faint and fitful, amid the howling of the wind.

Along the brink of the bog, picking their road among crumbling rocks and
green spongy springs, a company of English soldiers are pushing fast,
clad cap-a-pie in helmet and quilted jerkin, with arquebus on shoulder,
and pikes trailing behind them; stern steadfast men, who, two years
since, were working the guns at Smerwick fort, and have since then seen
many a bloody fray, and shall see more before they die. Two captains
ride before them on shaggy ponies, the taller in armor, stained and
rusted with many a storm and fray, the other in brilliant inlaid cuirass
and helmet, gaudy sash and plume, and sword hilt glittering with gold,
a quaint contrast enough to the meager garron which carries him and his
finery. Beside them, secured by a cord which a pikeman has fastened to
his own wrist, trots a bare-legged Irish kerne, whose only clothing is
his ragged yellow mantle, and the unkempt "glib" of hair, through which
his eyes peer out, right and left, in mingled fear and sullenness. He is
the guide of the company, in their hunt after the rebel Baltinglas; and
woe to him if he play them false.

"A pleasant country, truly, Captain Raleigh," says the dingy officer to
the gay one. "I wonder how, having once escaped from it to Whitehall,
you have the courage to come back and spoil that gay suit with bog-water
and mud."

"A very pleasant country, my friend Amyas; what you say in jest, I say
in earnest."

"Hillo! Our tastes have changed places. I am sick of it already, as you
foretold. Would Heaven that I could hear of some adventure Westward-ho!
and find these big bones swinging in a hammock once more. Pray what has
made you so suddenly in love with bog and rock, that you come back to
tramp them with us? I thought you had spied out the nakedness of the
land long ago."

"Bog and rock? Nakedness of the land? What is needed here but prudence
and skill, justice and law? This soil, see, is fat enough, if men were
here to till it. These rocks--who knows what minerals they may hold? I
hear of gold and jewels found already in divers parts; and Daniel, my
brother Humphrey's German assayer, assures me that these rocks are of
the very same kind as those which yield the silver in Peru. Tut, man!
if her gracious majesty would but bestow on me some few square miles of
this same wilderness, in seven years' time I would make it blossom like
the rose, by God's good help."

"Humph! I should be more inclined to stay here, then."

"So you shall, and be my agent, if you will, to get in my mine-rents and
my corn-rents, and my fishery-rents, eh? Could you keep accounts, old
knight of the bear's-paw?"

"Well enough for such short reckonings as yours would be, on the profit
side at least. No, no--I'd sooner carry lime all my days from Cauldy to
Bideford, than pass another twelve-month in the land of Ire, among
the children of wrath. There is a curse upon the face of the earth, I

"There is no curse upon it, save the old one of man's sin--'Thorns and
thistles it shall bring forth to thee.' But if you root up the thorns
and thistles, Amyas, I know no fiend who can prevent your growing wheat
instead; and if you till the ground like a man, you plough and barrow
away nature's curse, and other fables of the schoolmen beside," added
he, in that daring fashion which afterwards obtained for him (and never
did good Christian less deserve it) the imputation of atheism.

"It is sword and bullet, I think, that are needed here, before plough
and harrow, to clear away some of the curse. Until a few more of these
Irish lords are gone where the Desmonds are, there is no peace for

"Humph! not so far wrong, I fear. And yet--Irish lords? These very
traitors are better English blood than we who hunt them down. When Yeo
here slew the Desmond the other day, he no more let out a drop of Irish
blood, than if he had slain the lord deputy himself."

"His blood be on his own head," said Yeo, "He looked as wild a savage as
the worst of them, more shame to him; and the ancient here had nigh cut
off his arm before he told us who he was: and then, your worship, having
a price upon his head, and like to bleed to death too--"

"Enough, enough, good fellow," said Raleigh. "Thou hast done what was
given thee to do. Strange, Amyas, is it not? Noble Normans sunk into
savages--Hibernis ipsis hiberniores! Is there some uncivilizing venom in
the air?"

"Some venom, at least, which makes English men traitors. But the Irish
themselves are well enough, if their tyrants would let them be. See now,
what more faithful liegeman has her majesty than the Inchiquin, who,
they say, is Prince of Themond, and should be king of all Ireland, if
every man had his right?"

"Don't talk of rights in the land of wrongs, man. But the Inchiquin
knows well that the true Irish Esau has no worse enemy than his
supplanter, the Norman Jacob. And yet, Amyas are even these men worse
than we might be, if we had been bred up masters over the bodies and
souls of men, in some remote land where law and order had never come?
Look at this Desmond, brought up a savage among savages, a Papist among
Papists, a despot among slaves; a thousand easy maidens deeming it honor
to serve his pleasure, a thousand wild ruffians deeming it piety to
fulfil his revenge: and let him that is without sin among us cast the
first stone."

"Ay," went on Raleigh to himself, as the conversation dropped. "What
hadst thou been, Raleigh, hadst thou been that Desmond whose lands thou
now desirest? What wilt thou be when thou hast them? Will thy children
sink downwards, as these noble barons sank? Will the genius of tyranny
and falsehood find soil within thy heart to grow and ripen fruit? What
guarantee hast thou for doing better here than those who went before
thee? And yet, cannot I do justice and love mercy? Can I not establish
plantations, build and sow, and make the desert valleys laugh with corn?
Shall I not have my Spenser with me, to fill me with all noble thoughts,
and raise my soul to his heroic pitch? Is not this true knight-errantry,
to redeem to peace and use, and to the glory of that glorious queen whom
God has given to me, a generous soil and a more generous race? Trustful
and tenderhearted they are--none more; and if they be fickle and
passionate, will not that very softness of temper, which makes them so
easily led to evil, make them as easy to be led towards good? Yes--here,
away from courts, among a people who should bless me as their benefactor
and deliverer--what golden days might be mine! And yet--is this but
another angel's mask from that same cunning fiend ambition's stage? And
will my house be indeed the house of God, the foundations of which are
loyalty, and its bulwarks righteousness, and not the house of fame,
whose walls are of the soap-bubble, and its floor a sea of glass mingled
with fire? I would be good and great--When will the day come when I
shall be content to be good, and yet not great, like this same simple
Leigh, toiling on by my side to do his duty, with no more thought for
the morrow than the birds of God? Greatness? I have tasted that cup
within the last twelve months; do I not know that it is sweet in the
mouth, but bitter in the belly? Greatness? And was not Essex great, and
John of Austria great, and Desmond great, whose race, but three
short years ago, had stood for ages higher than I shall ever hope to
climb--castles, and lands, and slaves by thousands, and five hundred
gentlemen of his name, who had vowed to forswear God before they
forswore him and well have they kept their vow! And now, dead in a
turf-hovel, like a coney in a burrow! Leigh, what noise was that?"

"An Irish howl, I fancied: but it came from off the bog; it may be only
a plover's cry."

"Something not quite right, sir captain, to my mind," said the ancient.
"They have ugly stories here of pucks and banshees, and what not of
ghosts. There it was again, wailing just like a woman. They say the
banshee cried all night before Desmond was slain."

"Perhaps, then, this one may be crying for Baltinglas; for his turn is
likely to come next--not that I believe in such old wives' tales."

"Shamus, my man," said Amyas to the guide, "do you hear that cry in the

The guide put on the most stolid of faces, and answered in broken

"Shamus hear naught. Perhaps--what you call him?--fishing in ta pool."

"An otter, he means, and I believe he is right. Stay, no! Did you not
hear it then, Shamus? It was a woman's voice."

"Shamus is shick in his ears ever since Christmas."

"Shamus will go after Desmond if he lies," said Amyas. "Ancient, we had
better send a few men to see what it is; there may be a poor soul taken
by robbers, or perhaps starving to death, as I have seen many a one."

"And I too, poor wretches; and by no fault of their own or ours either:
but if their lords will fall to quarrelling, and then drive each other's
cattle, and waste each other's lands, sir, you know--"

"I know," said Amyas, impatiently; "why dost not take the men, and go?"

"Cry you mercy, noble captain, but--I fear nothing born of woman."

"Well, what of that?" said Amyas, with a smile.

"But these pucks, sir. The wild Irish do say that they haunt the pools;
and they do no manner of harm, sir, when you are coming up to them; but
when you are past, sir, they jump on your back like to apes, sir,--and
who can tackle that manner of fiend?"

"Why, then, by thine own showing, ancient," said Raleigh, "thou may'st
go and see all safely enough, and then if the puck jumps on thee as thou
comest back, just run in with him here, and I'll buy him of thee for a
noble; or thou may'st keep him in a cage, and make money in London by
showing him for a monster."

"Good heavens forefend, Captain Raleigh! but you talk rashly! But if I
must, Captain Leigh--

           'Where duty calls
            To brazen walls,
     How base the slave who flinches'

Lads, who'll follow me?"

"Thou askest for volunteers, as if thou wert to lead a forlorn hope.
Pull away at the usquebaugh, man, and swallow Dutch courage, since thine
English is oozed away. Stay, I'll go myself."

"And I with you," said Raleigh. "As the queen's true knight-errant, I
am bound to be behindhand in no adventure. Who knows but we may find a
wicked magician, just going to cut off the head of some saffron-mantled
princess?" and he dismounted.

"Oh, sirs, sirs, to endanger your precious--"

"Pooh," said Raleigh. "I wear an amulet, and have a spell of art-magic
at my tongue's end, whereby, sir ancient, neither can a ghost see me,
nor I see them. Come with us, Yeo, the Desmond-slayer, and we will shame
the devil, or be shamed by him."

"He may shame me, sir, but he will never frighten me," quoth Yeo; "but
the bog, captains?"

"Tut! Devonshire men, and heath-trotters born, and not know our way over
a peat moor!"

And the three strode away.

They splashed and scrambled for some quarter of a mile to the knoll,
while the cry became louder and louder as they neared.

"That's neither ghost nor otter, sirs, but a true Irish howl, as Captain
Leigh said; and I'll warrant Master Shamus knew as much long ago," said

And in fact, they could now hear plainly the "Ochone, Ochonorie," of
some wild woman; and scrambling over the boulders of the knoll, in
another minute came full upon her.

She was a young girl, sluttish and unkempt, of course, but fair enough:
her only covering, as usual, was the ample yellow mantle. There she sat
upon a stone, tearing her black dishevelled hair, and every now and then
throwing up her head, and bursting into a long mournful cry, "for all
the world," as Yeo said, "like a dumb four-footed hound, and not a
Christian soul."

On her knees lay the head of a man of middle age, in the long soutane of
a Romish priest. One look at the attitude of his limbs told them that he
was dead.

The two paused in awe; and Raleigh's spirit, susceptible of all poetical
images, felt keenly that strange scene,--the bleak and bitter sky, the
shapeless bog, the stunted trees, the savage girl alone with the corpse
in that utter desolation. And as she bent her head over the still face,
and called wildly to him who heard her not, and then, utterly unmindful
of the intruders, sent up again that dreary wail into the dreary air,
they felt a sacred horror, which almost made them turn away, and leave
her unquestioned: but Yeo, whose nerves were of tougher fibre, asked

"Shall I go and search the fellow, captain?"

"Better, I think," said Amyas.

Raleigh went gently to the girl, and spoke to her in English. She looked
up at him, his armor and his plume, with wide and wondering eyes, and
then shook her head, and returned to her lamentation.

Raleigh gently laid his hand on her arm, and lifted her up, while Yeo
and Amyas bent over the corpse.

It was the body of a large and coarse-featured man, but wasted and
shrunk as if by famine to a very skeleton. The hands and legs were
cramped up, and the trunk bowed together, as if the man had died of cold
or famine. Yeo drew back the clothes from the thin bosom, while the girl
screamed and wept, but made no effort to stop him.

"Ask her who it is? Yeo, you know a little Irish," said Amyas.

He asked, but the girl made no answer. "The stubborn jade won't tell, of
course, sir. If she were but a man, I'd make her soon enough."

"Ask her who killed him?"

"No one, she says; and I believe she says true, for I can find no wound.
The man has been starved, sirs, as I am a sinful man. God help him,
though he is a priest; and yet he seems full enough down below. What's
here? A big pouch, sirs, stuffed full of somewhat."

"Hand it hither."

The two opened the pouch; papers, papers, but no scrap of food. Then a
parchment. They unrolled it.

"Latin," said Amyas; "you must construe, Don Scholar."

"Is it possible?" said Raleigh, after reading a moment. "This is indeed
a prize! This is Saunders himself!"

Yeo sprang up from the body as if he had touched an adder. "Nick
Saunders, the Legacy, sir?"

"Nicholas Saunders, the legate."

"The villain! why did not he wait for me to have the comfort of killing
him? Dog!" and he kicked the corpse with his foot.

"Quiet! quiet! Remember the poor girl," said Amyas, as she shrieked at
the profanation, while Raleigh went on, half to himself:

"Yes, this is Saunders. Misguided fool, and this is the end! To this
thou hast come with thy plotting and thy conspiring, thy lying and thy
boasting, consecrated banners and Pope's bulls, Agnus Deis and holy
waters, the blessing of all saints and angels, and thy Lady of the
Immaculate Conception! Thou hast called on the heavens to judge between
thee and us, and here is their answer! What is that in his hand, Amyas?
Give it me. A pastoral epistle to the Earl of Ormond, and all nobles of
the realm of Ireland; 'To all who groan beneath the loathsome tyranny
of an illegitimate adulteress, etc., Nicholas Saunders, by the grace
of God, Legate, etc.' Bah! and this forsooth was thy last meditation!
Incorrigible pedant! Victrix causa Diis placuit, sed victa Catoni!"

He ran his eye through various other documents, written in the usual
strain: full of huge promises from the Pope and the king of Spain;
frantic and filthy slanders against Elizabeth, Burghley, Leicester,
Essex (the elder), Sidney, and every great and good man (never mind
of which party) who then upheld the commonweal; bombastic attempts to
terrify weak consciences, by denouncing endless fire against those who
opposed the true faith; fulsome ascriptions of martyrdom and sanctity to
every rebel and traitor who had been hanged for the last twenty
years; wearisome arguments about the bull In Caena Domini, Elizabeth's
excommunication, the nullity of English law, the sacred duty of
rebellion, the right to kill a prince impenitently heretical, and the
like insanities and villainies, which may be read at large in Camden,
the Phoenix Britannicus, Fox's Martyrs, or, surest of all, in the
writings of the worthies themselves.

With a gesture of disgust, Raleigh crammed the foul stuff back again
into the pouch. Taking it with them, they walked back to the company,
and then remounting, marched away once more towards the lands of the
Desmonds; and the girl was left alone with the dead.

An hour had passed, when another Englishman was standing by the wailing
girl, and round him a dozen shockheaded kernes, skene on thigh and
javelin in hand, were tossing about their tawny rags, and adding their
lamentations to those of the lonely watcher.

The Englishman was Eustace Leigh; a layman still, but still at his old
work. By two years of intrigue and labor from one end of Ireland to the
other, he had been trying to satisfy his conscience for rejecting "the
higher calling" of the celibate; for mad hopes still lurked within that
fiery heart. His brow was wrinkled now; his features harshened; the
scar upon his face, and the slight distortion which accompanied it, was
hidden by a bushy beard from all but himself; and he never forgot it for
a day, nor forgot who had given it to him.

He had been with Desmond, wandering in moor and moss for many a month
in danger of his life; and now he was on his way to James Fitz-Eustace,
Lord Baltinglas, to bring him the news of Desmond's death; and with
him a remnant of the clan, who were either too stout-hearted, or too
desperately stained with crime, to seek peace from the English, and, as
their fellows did, find it at once and freely.

There Eustace stood, looking down on all that was left of the most
sacred personage of Ireland; the man who, as he once had hoped, was to
regenerate his native land, and bring the proud island of the West once
more beneath that gentle yoke, in which united Christendom labored for
the commonweal of the universal Church. There he was, and with him all
Eustace's dreams, in the very heart of that country which he had vowed,
and believed as he vowed, was ready to rise in arms as one man, even to
the baby at the breast (so he had said), in vengeance against the Saxon
heretic, and sweep the hated name of Englishman into the deepest abysses
of the surge which walled her coasts; with Spain and the Pope to back
him, and the wealth of the Jesuits at his command; in the midst
of faithful Catholics, valiant soldiers, noblemen who had pledged
themselves to die for the cause, serfs who worshipped him as a
demigod--starved to death in a bog! It was a pretty plain verdict on the
reasonableness of his expectations; but not to Eustace Leigh.

It was a failure, of course; but it was an accident; indeed, to have
been expected, in a wicked world whose prince and master, as all
knew, was the devil himself; indeed, proof of the righteousness of
the cause--for when had the true faith been other than persecuted and
trampled under foot? If one came to think of it with eyes purified from
the tears of carnal impatience, what was it but a glorious martyrdom?

"Blest Saunders!" murmured Eustace Leigh; "let me die the death of the
righteous, and let my last end he like this! Ora pro me, most excellent
martyr, while I dig thy grave upon this lonely moor, to wait there for
thy translation to one of those stately shrines, which, cemented by the
blood of such as thee, shall hereafter rise restored toward heaven, to
make this land once more 'The Isle of Saints.'"

The corpse was buried; a few prayers said hastily; and Eustace Leigh was
away again, not now to find Baltinglas; for it was more than his life
was worth. The girl had told him of the English soldiers who had passed,
and he knew that they would reach the earl probably before he did. The
game was up; all was lost. So he retraced his steps, as a desperate
resource, to the last place where he would be looked for, and after a
month of disguising, hiding, and other expedients, found himself again
in his native county of Devon, while Fitz-Eustace Viscount Baltinglas
had taken ship for Spain, having got little by his famous argument
to Ormond in behalf of his joining the Church of Rome, "Had not thine
ancestor, blessed Thomas of Canterbury, died for the Church of Rome,
thou hadst never been Earl of Ormond." The premises were certainly
sounder than those of his party were wont to be; for it was to expiate
the murder of that turbulent hero that the Ormond lands had been granted
by Henry II.: but as for the conclusion therefrom, it was much on a par
with the rest.

And now let us return to Raleigh and Amyas, as they jog along their
weary road. They have many things to talk of; for it is but three days
since they met.

Amyas, as you see, is coming fast into Raleigh's old opinion of Ireland.
Raleigh, under the inspiration of a possible grant of Desmond's lands,
looks on bogs and rocks transfigured by his own hopes and fancy, as if
by the glory of a rainbow. He looked at all things so, noble fellow,
even thirty years after, when old, worn out, and ruined; well for him
had it been otherwise, and his heart had grown old with his head! Amyas,
who knows nothing about Desmond's lands, is puzzled at the change.

"Why, what is this, Raleigh? You are like children sitting in the
market-place, and nothing pleases you. You wanted to get to Court, and
you have got there; and are lord and master, I hear, or something very
like it, already--and as soon as fortune stuffs your mouth full of
sweet-meats, do you turn informer on her?"

Raleigh laughed insignificantly, but was silent.

"And how is your friend Mr. Secretary Spenser, who was with us at

"Spenser? He has thriven even as I have; and he has found, as I have,
that in making one friend at Court you make ten foes; but 'Oderint dum
metuant' is no more my motto than his, Leigh. I want to be great--great
I am already, they say, if princes' favor can swell the frog into an ox;
but I want to be liked, loved--I want to see people smile when I enter."

"So they do, I'll warrant," said Amyas.

"So do hyenas," said Raleigh; "grin because they are hungry, and I may
throw them a bone; I'll throw you one now, old lad, or rather a good
sirloin of beef, for the sake of your smile. That's honest, at least,
I'll warrant, whosoever's else is not. Have you heard of my brother
Humphrey's new project?"

"How should I hear anything in this waste howling wilderness?"

"Kiss hands to the wilderness, then, and come with me to Newfoundland!"

"You to Newfoundland?"

"Yes. I to Newfoundland, unless my little matter here is settled at
once. Gloriana don't know it, and sha'n't till I'm off. She'd send me to
the Tower, I think, if she caught me playing truant. I could hardly get
leave to come hither; but I must out, and try my fortune. I am over ears
in debt already, and sick of courts and courtiers. Humphrey must go next
spring and take possession of his kingdom beyond seas, or his patent
expires; and with him I go, and you too, my circumnavigating giant."

And then Raleigh expounded to Amyas the details of the great
Newfoundland scheme, which whoso will may read in the pages of Hakluyt.

Sir Humphrey Gilbert, Raleigh's half-brother, held a patent for
"planting" the lands of Newfoundland and "Meta Incognita" (Labrador).
He had attempted a voyage thither with Raleigh in 1578, whereof I never
could find any news, save that he came back again, after a heavy brush
with some Spanish ships (in which his best captain, Mr. Morgan, was
killed), having done nothing, and much impaired his own estate: but now
he had collected a large sum; Sir Gilbert Peckham of London, Mr. Hayes
of South Devon, and various other gentlemen, of whom more hereafter, had
adventured their money; and a considerable colony was to be sent out the
next year, with miners, assayers, and, what was more, Parmenius Budaeus,
Frank's old friend, who had come to England full of thirst to see the
wonders of the New World; and over and above this, as Raleigh told Amyas
in strictest secrecy, Adrian Gilbert, Humphrey's brother, was turning
every stone at Court for a patent of discovery in the North-West;
and this Newfoundland colony, though it was to produce gold, silver,
merchandise, and what not, was but a basis of operations, a halfway
house from whence to work out the North-West passage to the Indies--that
golden dream, as fatal to English valor as the Guiana one to
Spanish--and yet hardly, hardly to be regretted, when we remember the
seamanship, the science, the chivalry, the heroism, unequalled in the
history of the English nation, which it has called forth among those
our later Arctic voyagers, who have combined the knight-errantry of the
middle age with the practical prudence of the modern, and dared for duty
more than Cortez or Pizarro dared for gold.

Amyas, simple fellow, took all in greedily; he knew enough of the
dangers of the Magellan passage to appreciate the boundless value of a
road to the East Indies which would (as all supposed then) save half the
distance, and be as it were a private possession of the English, safe
from Spanish interference; and he listened reverently to Sir Humphrey's
quaint proofs, half true, half fantastic, of such a passage, which
Raleigh detailed to him--of the Primum Mobile, and its diurnal motion
from east to west, in obedience to which the sea-current flowed westward
ever round the Cape of Good Hope, and being unable to pass through the
narrow strait between South America and the Antarctic Continent, rushed
up the American shore, as the Gulf Stream, and poured northwestward
between Greenland and Labrador towards Cathay and India; of that most
crafty argument of Sir Humphrey's--how Aristotle in his book "De Mundo,"
and Simon Gryneus in his annotations thereon, declare that the world
(the Old World) is an island, compassed by that which Homer calls the
river Oceanus; ergo, the New World is an island also, and there is
a North-West passage; of the three brothers (names unknown) who had
actually made the voyage, and named what was afterwards called Davis's
Strait after themselves; of the Indians who were cast ashore in Germany
in the reign of Frederic Barbarossa who, as Sir Humphrey had learnedly
proved per modum tollendi, could have come only by the North-West; and
above all, of Salvaterra, the Spaniard, who in 1568 had told Sir Henry
Sidney (Philip's father), there in Ireland, how he had spoken with a
Mexican friar named Urdaneta, who had himself come from Mar del Zur (the
Pacific) into Germany by that very North-West passage; at which last
Amyas shook his head, and said that friars were liars, and seeing
believing; "but if you must needs have an adventure, you insatiable soul
you, why not try for the golden city of Manoa?"

"Manoa?" asked Raleigh, who had heard, as most had, dim rumors of the
place. "What do you know of it?"

Whereon Amyas told him all that he had gathered from the Spaniard; and
Raleigh, in his turn, believed every word.

"Humph!" said he after a long silence. "To find that golden emperor;
offer him help and friendship from the queen of England; defend him
against the Spaniards; if we became strong enough, conquer back all Peru
from the Popish tyrants, and reinstate him on the throne of the Incas,
with ourselves for his body-guard, as the Norman Varangians were to
the effeminate emperors of Byzant--Hey, Amyas? You would make a gallant
chieftain of Varangs. We'll do it, lad!"

"We'll try," said Amyas; "but we must be quick, for there's one Berreo
sworn to carry out the quest to the death; and if the Spaniards once get
thither, their plan of works will be much more like Pizarro's than like
yours; and by the time we come, there will be neither gold nor city

"Nor Indians either, I'll warrant the butchers; but, lad, I am promised
to Humphrey; I have a bark fitting out already, and all I have, and
more, adventured in her; so Manoa must wait."

"It will wait well enough, if the Spaniards prosper no better on the
Amazon than they have done; but must I come with you? To tell the truth,
I am quite shore-sick, and to sea I must go. What will my mother say?"

"I'll manage thy mother," said Raleigh; and so he did; for, to cut a
long story short, he went back the month after, and he not only took
home letters from Amyas to his mother, but so impressed on that good
lady the enormous profits and honors to be derived from Meta Incognita,
and (which was most true) the advantage to any young man of sailing
with such a general as Humphrey Gilbert, most pious and most learned of
seamen and of cavaliers, beloved and honored above all his compeers by
Queen Elizabeth, that she consented to Amyas's adventuring in the
voyage some two hundred pounds which had come to him as his share of
prize-money, after the ever memorable circumnavigation. For Mrs.
Leigh, be it understood, was no longer at Burrough Court. By Frank's
persuasion, she had let the old place, moved up to London with her
eldest son, and taken for herself a lodging somewhere by Palace Stairs,
which looked out upon the silver Thames (for Thames was silver then),
with its busy ferries and gliding boats, across to the pleasant fields
of Lambeth, and the Archbishop's palace, and the wooded Surrey hills;
and there she spent her peaceful days, close to her Frank and to the
Court. Elizabeth would have had her re-enter it, offering her a small
place in the household: but she declined, saying that she was too old
and heart-weary for aught but prayer. So by prayer she lived, under the
sheltering shadow of the tall minster where she went morn and even to
worship, and to entreat for the two in whom her heart was bound up; and
Frank slipped in every day if but for five minutes, and brought with him
Spenser, or Raleigh, or Dyer, or Budaeus or sometimes Sidney's self: and
there was talk of high and holy things, of which none could speak better
than could she; and each guest went from that hallowed room a humbler
and yet a loftier man. So slipped on the peaceful months, and few
and far between came Irish letters, for Ireland was then farther from
Westminster than is the Black Sea now; but those were days in which
wives and mothers had learned (as they have learned once more, sweet
souls!) to walk by faith and not by sight for those they love: and Mrs.
Leigh was content (though when was she not content?) to hear that Amyas
was winning a good report as a brave and prudent officer, sober, just,
and faithful, beloved and obeyed alike by English soldiers and Irish

Those two years, and the one which followed, were the happiest which she
had known since her husband's death. But the cloud was fast coming up
the horizon, though she saw it not. A little longer, and the sun would
be hid for many a wintry day.

Amyas went to Plymouth (with Yeo, of course, at his heels), and there
beheld, for the first time, the majestic countenance of the philosopher
of Compton castle. He lodged with Drake, and found him not over-sanguine
as to the success of the voyage.

"For learning and manners, Amyas, there's not his equal; and the queen
may well love him, and Devon be proud of him: but book-learning is not
business: book-learning didn't get me round the world; book-learning
didn't make Captain Hawkins, nor his father neither, the best
ship-builders from Hull to Cadiz; and book-learning, I very much fear,
won't plant Newfoundland."

However, the die was cast, and the little fleet of five sail assembled
in Cawsand Bay. Amyas was to go as a gentleman adventurer on board of
Raleigh's bark; Raleigh himself, however, at the eleventh hour, had been
forbidden by the queen to leave England. Ere they left, Sir Humphrey
Gilbert's picture was painted by some Plymouth artist, to be sent up to
Elizabeth in answer to a letter and a gift sent by Raleigh, which, as a
specimen of the men and of the time, I here transcribe*--

"BROTHER--I have sent you a token from her Majesty, an anchor guided
by a lady, as you see. And further, her Highness willed me to send you
word, that she wisheth you as great good hap and safety to your ship as
if she were there in person, desiring you to have care of yourself as of
that which she tendereth and, therefore, for her sake, you must provide
for it accordingly. Furthermore, she commandeth that you leave your
picture with her. For the rest I leave till our meeting, or to the
report of the bearer, who would needs be the messenger of this good
news. So I commit you to the will and protection of God, who send us
such life and death as he shall please, or hath appointed.

"Richmond, this Friday morning,

"Your true Brother,


     * This letter was a few years since in the possession of Mr.
     Pomeroy Gilbert, fort-major at Dartmouth, a descendant of
     the admiral's.

"Who would not die, sir, for such a woman?" said Sir Humphrey (and he
said truly), as he showed that letter to Amyas.

"Who would not? But she bids you rather live for her."

"I shall do both, young man; and for God too, I trust. We are going in
God's cause; we go for the honor of God's Gospel, for the deliverance of
poor infidels led captive by the devil; for the relief of my distressed
countrymen unemployed within this narrow isle; and to God we commit our
cause. We fight against the devil himself; and stronger is He that is
within us than he that is against us."

Some say that Raleigh himself came down to Plymouth, accompanied the
fleet a day's sail to sea, and would have given her majesty the slip,
and gone with them Westward-ho, but for Sir Humphrey's advice. It is
likely enough: but I cannot find evidence for it. At all events, on the
11th June the fleet sailed out, having, says Mr. Hayes, "in number about
260 men, among whom we had of every faculty good choice, as shipwrights,
masons, carpenters, smiths, and such like, requisite for such an action;
also mineral men and refiners. Beside, for solace of our people and
allurement of the savages, we were provided of musique in good variety;
not omitting the least toys, as morris-dancers, hobby-horses, and
May-like conceits, to delight the savage people, whom we intended to win
by all fair means possible." An armament complete enough, even to that
tenderness towards the Indians, which is so striking a feature of
the Elizabethan seamen (called out in them, perhaps, by horror at the
Spanish cruelties, as well as by their more liberal creed), and to the
daily service of God on board of every ship, according to the simple
old instructions of Captain John Hawkins to one of his little squadrons,
"Keep good company; beware of fire; serve God daily; and love one
another"--an armament, in short, complete in all but men. The sailors
had been picked up hastily and anywhere, and soon proved themselves a
mutinous, and, in the case of the bark Swallow, a piratical set. The
mechanics were little better. The gentlemen-adventurers, puffed up with
vain hopes of finding a new Mexico, became soon disappointed and surly
at the hard practical reality; while over all was the head of a sage and
an enthusiast, a man too noble to suspect others, and too pure to
make allowances for poor dirty human weaknesses. He had got his scheme
perfect upon paper; well for him, and for his company, if he had asked
Francis Drake to translate it for him into fact! As early as the second
day, the seeds of failure began to sprout above ground. The men of
Raleigh's bark, the Vice-Admiral, suddenly found themselves seized, or
supposed themselves seized, with a contagious sickness, and at midnight
forsook the fleet, and went back to Plymouth; whereto Mr. Hayes can only
say, "The reason I never could understand. Sure I am that Mr. Raleigh
spared no cost in setting them forth. And so I leave it unto God!"

But Amyas said more. He told Butler the captain plainly that, if the
bark went back, he would not; that he had seen enough of ships deserting
their consorts; that it should never be said of him that he had followed
Winter's example, and that, too, on a fair easterly wind; and finally
that he had seen Doughty hanged for trying to play such a trick; and
that he might see others hanged too before he died. Whereon Captain
Butler offered to draw and fight, to which Amyas showed no repugnance;
whereon the captain, having taken a second look at Amyas's thews and
sinews, reconsidered the matter, and offered to put Amyas on board of
Sir Humphrey's Delight, if he could find a crew to row him.

Amyas looked around.

"Are there any of Sir Francis Drake's men on board?"

"Three, sir," said Yeo. "Robert Drew, and two others."

"Pelicans!" roared Amyas, "you have been round the world, and will you
turn back from Westward-ho?"

There was a moment's silence, and then Drew came forward.

"Lower us a boat, captain, and lend us a caliver to make signals with,
while I get my kit on deck; I'll after Captain Leigh, if I row him
aboard all alone to my own hands."

"If I ever command a ship, I will not forget you," said Amyas.

"Nor us either, sir, we hope; for we haven't forgotten you and your
honest conditions," said both the other Pelicans; and so away over the
side went all the five, and pulled away after the admiral's lantern,
firing shots at intervals as signals. Luckily for the five desperadoes,
the night was all but calm. They got on board before the morning, and so
away into the boundless West.*

     * The Raleigh, the largest ship of the squadron, was of only
     200 tons burden; The Golden Hind, Hayes' ship, which
     returned safe, of 40; and The Squirrel (whereof more
     hereafter), of 10 tons!  In such cockboats did these old
     heroes brave the unknown seas.



     "Three lords sat drinking late yestreen,
     And ere they paid the lawing,
     They set a combat them between,
     To fight it in the dawing"--Scotch Ballad.

Every one who knows Bideford cannot but know Bideford bridge; for it is
the very omphalos, cynosure, and soul, around which the town, as a body,
has organized itself; and as Edinburgh is Edinburgh by virtue of its
castle, Rome Rome by virtue of its capitol, and Egypt Egypt by virtue of
its pyramids, so is Bideford Bideford by virtue of its bridge. But all
do not know the occult powers which have advanced and animated the
said wondrous bridge for now five hundred years, and made it the chief
wonder, according to Prince and Fuller, of this fair land of Devon:
being first an inspired bridge, a soul-saving bridge, an alms-giving
bridge, an educational bridge, a sentient bridge, and last, but not
least, a dinner-giving bridge. All do not know how, when it began to
be built some half mile higher up, hands invisible carried the stones
down-stream each night to the present site; until Sir Richard Gurney,
parson of the parish, going to bed one night in sore perplexity and fear
of the evil spirit who seemed so busy in his sheepfold, beheld a vision
of an angel, who bade build the bridge where he himself had so kindly
transported the materials; for there alone was sure foundation amid the
broad sheet of shifting sand. All do not know how Bishop Grandison of
Exeter proclaimed throughout his diocese indulgences, benedictions, and
"participation in all spiritual blessings for ever," to all who would
promote the bridging of that dangerous ford; and so, consulting alike
the interests of their souls and of their bodies, "make the best of both

All do not know, nor do I, that "though the foundation of the bridge
is laid upon wool, yet it shakes at the slightest step of a horse;" or
that, "though it has twenty-three arches, yet one Wm. Alford (another
Milo) carried on his back for a wager four bushels salt-water measure,
all the length thereof;" or that the bridge is a veritable esquire,
bearing arms of its own (a ship and bridge proper on a plain field),
and owning lands and tenements in many parishes, with which the said
miraculous bridge has, from time to time, founded charities, built
schools, waged suits at law, and finally (for this concerns us most)
given yearly dinners, and kept for that purpose (luxurious and liquorish
bridge that it was) the best stocked cellar of wines in all Devon.

To one of these dinners, as it happened, were invited in the year 1583
all the notabilities of Bideford, and beside them Mr. St. Leger
of Annery close by, brother of the marshal of Munster, and of Lady
Grenville; a most worthy and hospitable gentleman, who, finding riches
a snare, parted with them so freely to all his neighbors as long as he
lived, that he effectually prevented his children after him from falling
into the temptations thereunto incident.

Between him and one of the bridge trustees arose an argument, whether
a salmon caught below the bridge was better or worse than one caught
above; and as that weighty question could only be decided by practical
experiment, Mr. St. Leger vowed that as the bridge had given him a good
dinner, he would give the bridge one; offered a bet of five pounds that
he would find them, out of the pool below Annery, as firm and flaky a
salmon as the Appledore one which they had just eaten; and then, in the
fulness of his heart, invited the whole company present to dine with him
at Annery three days after, and bring with them each a wife or daughter;
and Don Guzman being at table, he was invited too.

So there was a mighty feast in the great hall at Annery, such as had
seldom been since Judge Hankford feasted Edward the Fourth there; and
while every one was eating their best and drinking their worst, Rose
Salterne and Don Guzman were pretending not to see each other, and
watching each other all the more. But Rose, at least, had to be very
careful of her glances; for not only was her father at the table, but
just opposite her sat none other than Messrs. William Cary and Arthur
St. Leger, lieutenants in her majesty's Irish army, who had returned on
furlough a few days before.

Rose Salterne and the Spaniard had not exchanged a word in the last six
months, though they had met many times. The Spaniard by no means avoided
her company, except in her father's house; he only took care to obey
her carefully, by seeming always unconscious of her presence, beyond the
stateliest of salutes at entering and departing. But he took care, at
the same time, to lay himself out to the very best advantage whenever
he was in her presence; to be more witty, more eloquent, more romantic,
more full of wonderful tales than he ever yet had been. The cunning
Don had found himself foiled in his first tactic; and he was now
trying another, and a far more formidable one. In the first place, Rose
deserved a very severe punishment, for having dared to refuse the love
of a Spanish nobleman; and what greater punishment could he inflict than
withdrawing the honor of his attentions, and the sunshine of his smiles?
There was conceit enough in that notion, but there was cunning too;
for none knew better than the Spaniard, that women, like the world, are
pretty sure to value a man (especially if there be any real worth in
him) at his own price; and that the more he demands for himself, the
more they will give for him.

And now he would put a high price on himself, and pique her pride, as
she was too much accustomed to worship, to be won by flattering it. He
might have done that by paying attention to some one else: but he was
too wise to employ so coarse a method, which might raise indignation, or
disgust, or despair in Rose's heart, but would have never brought her to
his feet--as it will never bring any woman worth bringing. So he quietly
and unobtrusively showed her that he could do without her; and she, poor
fool, as she was meant to do, began forthwith to ask herself--why? What
was the hidden treasure, what was the reserve force, which made him
independent of her, while she could not say that she was independent of
him? Had he a secret? how pleasant to know it! Some huge ambition? how
pleasant to share in it! Some mysterious knowledge? how pleasant to
learn it! Some capacity of love beyond the common? how delicious to have
it all for her own! He must be greater, wiser, richer-hearted than she
was, as well as better-born. Ah, if his wealth would but supply her
poverty! And so, step by step, she was being led to sue in forma
pauperis to the very man whom she had spurned when he sued in like form
to her. That temptation of having some mysterious private treasure, of
being the priestess of some hidden sanctuary, and being able to thank
Heaven that she was not as other women are, was becoming fast too much
for Rose, as it is too much for most. For none knew better than the
Spaniard how much more fond women are, by the very law of their sex,
of worshipping than of being worshipped, and of obeying than of being
obeyed; how their coyness, often their scorn, is but a mask to hide
their consciousness of weakness; and a mask, too, of which they
themselves will often be the first to tire.

And Rose was utterly tired of that same mask as she sat at table at
Annery that day; and Don Guzman saw it in her uneasy and downcast looks,
and thinking (conceited coxcomb) that she must be by now sufficiently
punished, stole a glance at her now and then, and was not abashed when
he saw that she dropped her eyes when they met his, because he saw her
silence and abstraction increase, and something like a blush steal into
her cheeks. So he pretended to be as much downcast and abstracted as she
was, and went on with his glances, till he once found her, poor thing,
looking at him to see if he was looking at her; and then he knew his
prey was safe, and asked her, with his eyes, "Do you forgive me?" and
saw her stop dead in her talk to her next neighbor, and falter, and drop
her eyes, and raise them again after a minute in search of his, that
he might repeat the pleasant question. And then what could she do but
answer with all her face and every bend of her pretty neck, "And do you
forgive me in turn?"

Whereon Don Guzman broke out jubilant, like nightingale on bough, with
story, and jest, and repartee; and became forthwith the soul of the
whole company, and the most charming of all cavaliers. And poor Rose
knew that she was the cause of his sudden change of mood, and blamed
herself for what she had done, and shuddered and blushed at her own
delight, and longed that the feast was over, that she might hurry home
and hide herself alone with sweet fancies about a love the reality of
which she felt she dared not face.

It was a beautiful sight, the great terrace at Annery that afternoon;
with the smart dames in their gaudy dresses parading up and down in twos
and threes before the stately house; or looking down upon the park, with
the old oaks, and the deer, and the broad land-locked river spread out
like a lake beneath, all bright in the glare of the midsummer sun; or
listening obsequiously to the two great ladies who did the honors, Mrs.
St. Leger the hostess, and her sister-in-law, fair Lady Grenville. All
chatted, and laughed, and eyed each other's dresses, and gossiped about
each other's husbands and servants: only Rose Salterne kept apart, and
longed to get into a corner and laugh or cry, she knew not which.

"Our pretty Rose seems sad," said Lady Grenville, coming up to her.
"Cheer up, child! we want you to come and sing to us."

Rose answered she knew not what, and obeyed mechanically.

She took the lute, and sat down on a bench beneath the house, while the
rest grouped themselves round her.

"What shall I sing?"

"Let us have your old song, 'Earl Haldan's Daughter.'"

Rose shrank from it. It was a loud and dashing ballad, which chimed in
but little with her thoughts; and Frank had praised it too, in happier
days long since gone by. She thought of him, and of others, and of her
pride and carelessness; and the song seemed ominous to her: and yet for
that very reason she dared not refuse to sing it, for fear of suspicion
where no one suspected; and so she began per force--


"It was Earl Haldan's daughter, She look'd across the sea; She look'd
across the water, And long and loud laugh'd she; 'The locks of six
princesses Must be my marriage-fee, So hey bonny boat, and ho bonny
boat! Who comes a wooing me?'


"It was Earl Haldan's daughter, She walk'd along the sand; When she was
aware of a knight so fair, Come sailing to the land. His sails were all
of velvet, His mast of beaten gold, And 'hey bonny boat, and ho bonny
boat, Who saileth here so bold?'


"'The locks of five princesses I won beyond the sea; I shore their
golden tresses, To fringe a cloak for thee. One handful yet is wanting,
But one of all the tale; So hey bonny boat, and ho bonny boat! Furl up
thy velvet sail!'


"He leapt into the water, That rover young and bold; He gript Earl
Haldan's daughter, He shore her locks of gold; 'Go weep, go weep, proud
maiden, The tale is full to-day. Now hey bonny boat, and ho bonny boat!
Sail Westward-ho, and away!'"

As she ceased, a measured voice, with a foreign accent, thrilled through

"In the East, they say the nightingale sings to the rose; Devon, more
happy, has nightingale and rose in one."

"We have no nightingales in Devon, Don Guzman," said Lady Grenville;
"but our little forest thrushes sing, as you hear, sweetly enough to
content any ear. But what brings you away from the gentlemen so early?"

"These letters," said he, "which have just been put into my hand; and
as they call me home to Spain, I was loath to lose a moment of that
delightful company from which I must part so soon."

"To Spain?" asked half-a-dozen voices: for the Don was a general

"Yes, and thence to the Indies. My ransom has arrived, and with it
the promise of an office. I am to be Governor of La Guayra in Caracas.
Congratulate me on my promotion."

A mist was over Rose's eyes. The Spaniard's voice was hard and flippant.
Did he care for her, after all? And if he did, was it nevertheless
hopeless? How her cheeks glowed! Everybody must see it! Anything to turn
away their attention from her, and in that nervous haste which makes
people speak, and speak foolishly too, just because they ought to be
silent, she asked--

"And where is La Guayra?"

"Half round the world, on the coast of the Spanish Main. The loveliest
place on earth, and the loveliest governor's house, in a forest of palms
at the foot of a mountain eight thousand feet high: I shall only want a
wife there to be in paradise."

"I don't doubt that you may persuade some fair lady of Seville to
accompany you thither," said Lady Grenville.

"Thanks, gracious madam: but the truth is, that since I have had the
bliss of knowing English ladies, I have begun to think that they are the
only ones on earth worth wooing."

"A thousand thanks for the compliment; but I fear none of our free
English maidens would like to submit to the guardianship of a duenna.
Eh, Rose? how should you like to be kept under lock and key all day by
an ugly old woman with a horn on her forehead?"

Poor Rose turned so scarlet that Lady Grenville knew her secret on the
spot, and would have tried to turn the conversation: but before she
could speak, some burgher's wife blundered out a commonplace about
the jealousy of Spanish husbands; and another, to make matters better,
giggled out something more true than delicate about West Indian masters
and fair slaves.

"Ladies," said Don Guzman, reddening, "believe me that these are but the
calumnies of ignorance. If we be more jealous than other nations, it is
because we love more passionately. If some of us abroad are profligate,
it is because they, poor men, have no helpmate, which, like the
amethyst, keeps its wearer pure. I could tell you stories, ladies, of
the constancy and devotion of Spanish husbands, even in the Indies, as
strange as ever romancer invented."

"Can you? Then we challenge you to give us one at least."

"I fear it would be too long, madam."

"The longer the more pleasant, senor. How can we spend an hour better
this afternoon, while the gentlemen within are finishing their wine?"

Story-telling, in those old times, when books (and authors also, lucky
for the public) were rarer than now, was a common amusement; and as the
Spaniard's accomplishments in that line were well known, all the ladies
crowded round him; the servants brought chairs and benches; and Don
Guzman, taking his seat in the midst, with a proud humility, at Lady
Grenville's feet, began--

"Your perfections, fair and illustrious ladies, must doubtless have
heard, ere now, how Sebastian Cabota, some forty-five years ago, sailed
forth with a commission from my late master, the Emperor Charles the
Fifth, to discover the golden lands of Tarshish, Ophir, and Cipango; but
being in want of provisions, stopped short at the mouth of that mighty
South American river to which he gave the name of Rio de la Plata, and
sailing up it, discovered the fair land of Paraguay. But you may not
have heard how, on the bank of that river, at the mouth of the Rio
Terceiro, he built a fort which men still call Cabot's Tower; nor have
you, perhaps, heard of the strange tale which will ever make the tower a
sacred spot to all true lovers.

"For when he returned to Spain the year after, he left in his tower a
garrison of a hundred and twenty men, under the command of Nuno de Lara,
Ruiz Moschera, and Sebastian da Hurtado, old friends and fellow-soldiers
of my invincible grandfather Don Ferdinando da Soto; and with them
a jewel, than which Spain never possessed one more precious, Lucia
Miranda, the wife of Hurtado, who, famed in the court of the emperor
no less for her wisdom and modesty than for her unrivalled beauty,
had thrown up all the pomp and ambition of a palace, to marry a poor
adventurer, and to encounter with him the hardships of a voyage round
the world. Mangora, the cacique of the neighboring Timbuez Indians (with
whom Lara had contrived to establish a friendship), cast his eyes on
this fair creature, and no sooner saw than he coveted; no sooner coveted
than he plotted, with the devilish subtilty of a savage, to seize by
force what he knew he could never gain by right. She soon found out his
passion (she was wise enough--what every woman is not--to know when she
is loved), and telling her husband, kept as much as she could out of her
new lover's sight; while the savage pressed Hurtado to come and visit
him, and to bring his lady with him. Hurtado, suspecting the snare, and
yet fearing to offend the cacique, excused himself courteously on
the score of his soldier's duty; and the savage, mad with desire and
disappointment, began plotting against Hurtado's life.

"So went on several weeks, till food grew scarce, and Don Hurtado and
Don Ruiz Moschera, with fifty soldiers, were sent up the river on a
foraging party. Mangora saw his opportunity, and leapt at it forthwith.

"The tower, ladies, as I have heard from those who have seen it, stands
on a knoll at the meeting of the two rivers, while on the land side
stretches a dreary marsh, covered with tall grass and bushes; a fit
place for the ambuscade of four thousand Indians, which Mangora, with
devilish cunning, placed around the tower, while he himself went boldly
up to it, followed by thirty men, laden with grain, fruit, game, and all
the delicacies which his forests could afford.

"There, with a smiling face, he told the unsuspecting Lara his sorrow
for the Spaniards' want of food; besought him to accept the provision he
had brought, and was, as he had expected, invited by Lara to come in and
taste the wines of Spain.

"In went he and his thirty fellow-bandits, and the feast continued,
with songs and libations, far into the night, while Mangora often looked
round, and at last boldly asked for the fair Miranda: but she had shut
herself into her lodging, pleading illness.

"A plea, fair ladies, which little availed that hapless dame, for no
sooner had the Spaniards retired to rest, leaving (by I know not what
madness) Mangora and his Indians within, than they were awakened by the
cry of fire, the explosion of their magazine, and the inward rush of the
four thousand from the marsh outside.

"Why pain your gentle ears with details of slaughter? A few fearful
minutes sufficed to exterminate my bewildered and unarmed countrymen, to
bind the only survivors, Miranda (innocent cause of the whole tragedy)
and four other women with their infants, and to lead them away in
triumph across the forest towards the Indian town.

"Stunned by the suddenness of the evils which had passed, and still
more by the thought of those worse which were to come (as she too
well foresaw), Miranda travelled all night through the forest, and was
brought in triumph at day-dawn before the Indian king to receive her
doom. Judge of her astonishment, when, on looking up, she saw that he
was not Mangora.

"A ray of hope flashed across her, and she asked where he was.

"'He was slain last night,' said the king; 'and I, his brother Siripa,
am now cacique of the Timbuez.'

"It was true; Lara, maddened with drink, rage, and wounds, had caught up
his sword, rushed into the thick of the fight, singled out the traitor,
and slain him on the spot; and then, forgetting safety in revenge, had
continued to plunge his sword into the corpse, heedless of the blows of
the savages, till he fell pierced with a hundred wounds.

"A ray of hope, as I said, flashed across the wretched Miranda for a
moment; but the next she found that she had been freed from one bandit
only to be delivered to another.

"'Yes,' said the new king, in broken Spanish; 'my brother played a bold
stake, and lost it; but it was well worth the risk, and he showed his
wisdom thereby. You cannot be his queen now: you must content yourself
with being mine.'

"Miranda, desperate, answered him with every fierce taunt which she
could invent against his treachery and his crime; and asked him, how he
came to dream that the wife of a Christian Spaniard would condescend
to become the mistress of a heathen savage; hoping, unhappy lady, to
exasperate him into killing her on the spot. But in vain; she only
prolonged thereby her own misery. For, whether it was, ladies, that the
novel sight of divine virtue and beauty awed (as it may have awed me ere
now), where it had just before maddened; or whether some dream crossed
the savage (as it may have crossed me ere now), that he could make the
wisdom of a mortal angel help his ambition, as well as her beauty his
happiness; or whether (which I will never believe of one of those dark
children of the devil, though I can boldly assert it of myself) some
spark of boldness within him made him too proud to take by force what
he could not win by persuasion, certain it is, as the Indians themselves
confessed afterwards, that the savage only answered her by smiles; and
bidding his men unbind her, told her that she was no slave of his, and
that it only lay with her to become the sovereign of him and all
his vassals; assigned her a hut to herself, loaded her with savage
ornaments, and for several weeks treated her with no less courtesy
(so miraculous is the power of love) than if he had been a cavalier of

"Three months and more, ladies, as I have heard, passed in this misery,
and every day Miranda grew more desperate of all deliverance, and saw
staring her in the face, nearer and nearer, some hideous and shameful
end; when one day going down with the wives of the cacique to draw water
in the river, she saw on the opposite bank a white man in a tattered
Spanish dress, with a drawn sword in his hand; who had no sooner espied
her, than shrieking her name, he plunged into the stream, swam across,
landed at her feet, and clasped her in his arms. It was no other,
ladies, incredible as it may seem, than Don Sebastian himself, who had
returned with Ruiz Moschera to the tower, and found it only a charred
and bloodstained heap of ruins.

"He guessed, as by inspiration, what had passed, and whither his lady
was gone; and without a thought of danger, like a true Spanish gentleman
and a true Spanish lover, darted off alone into the forest, and
guided only by the inspiration of his own loyal heart, found again his
treasure, and found it still unstained and his own.

"Who can describe the joy, and who again the terror, of their meeting?
The Indian women had fled in fear, and for the short ten minutes that
the lovers were left together, life, to be sure, was one long kiss.
But what to do they knew not. To go inland was to rush into the enemy's
arms. He would have swum with her across the river, and attempted it;
but his strength, worn out with hunger and travel, failed him; he drew
her with difficulty on shore again, and sat down by her to await their
doom with prayer, the first and last resource of virtuous ladies, as
weapons are of cavaliers.

"Alas for them! May no true lovers ever have to weep over joys so soon
lost, after having been so hardly found! For, ere a quarter of an hour
was passed, the Indian women, who had fled at his approach, returned
with all the warriors of the tribe. Don Sebastian, desperate, would
fain have slain his wife and himself on the spot; but his hand sank
again--and whose would not but an Indian's?--as he raised it against
that fair and faithful breast; in a few minutes he was surrounded,
seized from behind, disarmed, and carried in triumph into the village.
And if you cannot feel for him in that misery, fair ladies, who have
known no sorrow, yet I, a prisoner, can."

Don Guzman paused a moment, as if overcome by emotion; and I will not
say that, as he paused, he did not look to see if Rose Salterne's eyes
were on him, as indeed they were.

"Yes, I can feel with him; I can estimate, better than you, ladies, the
greatness of that love which could submit to captivity; to the loss of
his sword; to the loss of that honor, which, next to god and his mother,
is the true Spaniard's deity. There are those who have suffered that
shame at the hands of valiant gentlemen" (and again Don Guzman looked
up at Rose), "and yet would have sooner died a thousand deaths; but he
dared to endure it from the hands of villains, savages, heathens; for he
was a true Spaniard, and therefore a true lover: but I will go on with
my tale.

"This wretched pair, then, as I have been told by Ruiz Moschera himself,
stood together before the cacique. He, like a true child of the devil,
comprehending in a moment who Don Sebastian was, laughed with delight at
seeing his rival in his power, and bade bind him at once to a tree, and
shoot him to death with arrows.

"But the poor Miranda sprang forward, and threw herself at his feet, and
with piteous entreaties besought for mercy from him who knew no mercy.

"And yet love and the sight of her beauty, and the terrible eloquence of
her words, while she invoked on his head the just vengeance of Heaven,
wrought even on his heart: nevertheless the pleasure of seeing her, who
had so long scorned him, a suppliant at his feet, was too delicate to
be speedily foregone; and not till she was all but blind with tears,
and dumb with agony of pleading, did he make answer, that if she would
consent to become his wife, her husband's life should be spared. She, in
her haste and madness, sobbed out desperately I know not what consent.
Don Sebastian, who understood, if not the language, still the meaning
(so had love quickened his understanding), shrieked to her not to lose
her precious soul for the sake of his worthless body; that death was
nothing compared to the horror of that shame; and such other words as
became a noble and valiant gentleman. She, shuddering now at her own
frailty, would have recalled her promise; but Siripa kept her to it,
vowing, if she disappointed him again, such a death to her husband as
made her blood run cold to hear of; and the wretched woman could only
escape for the present by some story, that it was not the custom of her
race to celebrate nuptials till a month after the betrothment; that the
anger of Heaven would be on her, unless she first performed in solitude
certain religious rites; and lastly, that if he dared to lay hands
on her husband, she would die so resolutely, that every drop of water
should be deep enough to drown her, every thorn sharp enough to stab
her to the heart: till fearing lest by demanding too much he should lose
all, and awed too, as he had been at first by a voice and looks which
seemed to be, in comparison with his own, divine, Siripa bade her go
back to her hut, promising her husband life; but promising too, that
if he ever found the two speaking together, even for a moment, he would
pour out on them both all the cruelty of those tortures in which the
devil, their father, has so perfectly instructed the Indians.

"So Don Sebastian, being stripped of his garments, and painted after
the Indian fashion, was set to all mean and toilsome work, amid the
buffetings and insults of the whole village. And this, ladies, he
endured without a murmur, ay, took delight in enduring it, as he would
have endured things worse a thousand times, only for the sake, like a
true lover as he was, of being near the goddess whom he worshipped, and
of seeing her now and then afar off, happy enough to be repaid even by
that for all indignities.

"And yet, you who have loved may well guess, as I can, that ere a week
had passed, Don Sebastian and the Lady Miranda had found means, in spite
of all spiteful eyes, to speak to each other once and again; and to
assure each other of their love; even to talk of escape, before the
month's grace should be expired. And Miranda, whose heart was full of
courage as long as she felt her husband near her, went so far as to plan
a means of escape which seemed possible and hopeful.

"For the youngest wife of the cacique, who, till Miranda's coming,
had been his favorite, often talked with the captive, insulting and
tormenting her in her spite and jealousy, and receiving in return only
gentle and conciliatory words. And one day when the woman had been
threatening to kill her, Miranda took courage to say, 'Do you fancy that
I shall not be as glad to be rid of your husband, as you to be rid of
me? Why kill me needlessly, when all that you require is to get me forth
of the place? Out of sight, out of mind. When I am gone, your husband
will soon forget me, and you will be his favorite as before.' Soon,
seeing that the girl was inclined to listen, she went on to tell her
of her love to Don Sebastian, entreating and adjuring her, by the love
which she bore the cacique, to pity and help her; and so won upon the
girl, that she consented to be privy to Miranda's escape, and even
offered to give her an opportunity of speaking to her husband about it;
and at last was so won over by Miranda, that she consented to keep all
intruders out of the way, while Don Sebastian that very night visited
Miranda in her hut.

"The hapless husband, thirsting for his love, was in that hut, be sure,
the moment that kind darkness covered his steps:--and what cheer these
two made of each other, when they once found themselves together,
lovers must fancy for themselves: but so it was, that after many a
leave-taking, there was no departure; and when the night was well-nigh
past, Sebastian and Miranda were still talking together as if they had
never met before, and would never meet again.

"But it befell, ladies (would that I was not speaking truth, but
inventing, that I might have invented something merrier for your ears),
it befell that very night, that the young wife of the cacique, whose
heart was lifted up with the thought that her rival was now at last
disposed of, tried all her wiles to win back her faithless husband;
but in vain. He only answered her caresses by indifference, then by
contempt, then insults, then blows (for with the Indians, woman is
always a slave, or rather a beast of burden), and went on to draw such
cruel comparisons between her dark skin and the glorious fairness of the
Spanish lady, that the wretched girl, beside herself with rage, burst
out at last with her own secret. 'Fool that you are to madden yourself
about a stranger who prizes one hair of her Spanish husband's head more
than your whole body! Much does your new bride care for you! She is at
this moment in her husband's arms!'

"The cacique screamed furiously to know what she meant; and she, her
jealousy and hate of the guiltless lady boiling over once for all, bade
him, if he doubted her, go see for himself.

"What use of many words? They were taken. Love, or rather lust,
repelled, turned in a moment into devilish hate; and the cacique,
summoning his Indians, bade them bind the wretched Don Sebastian to a
tree, and there inflicted on him the lingering death to which he had at
first been doomed. For Miranda he had more exquisite cruelty in store.
And shall I tell it? Yes, ladies, for the honor of love and of Spain,
and for a justification of those cruelties against the Indians which are
so falsely imputed to our most Christian nation, it shall be told: he
delivered the wretched lady over to the tender mercies of his wives; and
what they were is neither fit for me to tell, nor you to hear.

"The two wretched lovers cast themselves upon each other's neck; drank
each other's salt tears with the last kisses; accused themselves as
the cause of each other's death; and then, rising above fear and grief,
broke out into triumph at thus dying for and with each other; and
proclaiming themselves the martyrs of love, commended their souls to
God, and then stepped joyfully and proudly to their doom."

"And what was that?" asked half-a-dozen trembling voices.

"Don Sebastian, as I have said, was shot to death with arrows; but as
for the Lady Miranda, the wretches themselves confessed afterwards, when
they received due vengeance for their crimes (as they did receive it),
that after all shameful and horrible indignities, she was bound to
a tree, and there burned slowly in her husband's sight, stifling her
shrieks lest they should wring his heart by one additional pang, and
never taking her eyes, to the last, off that beloved face. And so died
(but not unavenged) Sebastian de Hurtado and Lucia Miranda,--a Spanish
husband and a Spanish wife."

The Don paused, and the ladies were silent awhile, for, indeed, there
was many a gentle tear to be dried; but at last Mrs. St. Leger spoke,
half, it seemed, to turn off the too painful impression of the over-true
tale, the outlines whereof may be still read in old Charlevoix.

"You have told a sad and a noble tale, sir, and told it well; but,
though your story was to set forth a perfect husband, it has ended
rather by setting forth a perfect wife."

"And if I have forgotten, madam, in praising her to praise him also,
have I not done that which would have best pleased his heroical and
chivalrous spirit? He, be sure, would have forgotten his own virtue in
the light of hers; and he would have wished me, I doubt not, to do the
same also. And beside, madam, where ladies are the theme, who has time
or heart to cast one thought upon their slaves?" And the Don made one of
his deliberate and highly-finished bows.

"Don Guzman is courtier enough, as far as compliments go," said one of
the young ladies; "but it was hardly courtier-like of him to find us so
sad an entertainment, upon a merry evening."

"Yes," said another; "we must ask him for no more stories."

"Or songs either," said a third. "I fear he knows none but about
forsaken maidens and despairing lovers."

"I know nothing at all about forsaken ladies, madam; because ladies are
never forsaken in Spain."

"Nor about lovers despairing there, I suppose?"

"That good opinion of ourselves, madam, with which you English are
pleased to twit us now and then, always prevents so sad a state of mind.
For myself, I have had little to do with love; but I have had still less
to do with despair, and intend, by help of Heaven, to have less."

"You are valiant, sir."

"You would not have me a coward, madam?" and so forth.

Now all this time Don Guzman had been talking at Rose Salterne, and
giving her the very slightest hint, every now and then, that he was
talking at her; till the poor girl's face was almost crimson with
pleasure, and she gave herself up to the spell. He loved her still;
perhaps he knew that she loved him: he must know some day. She felt now
that there was no escape; she was almost glad to think that there was

The dark, handsome, stately face; the melodious voice, with its rich
Spanish accent; the quiet grace of the gestures; the wild pathos of
the story; even the measured and inflated style, as of one speaking of
another and a loftier world; the chivalrous respect and admiration for
woman, and for faithfulness to woman--what a man he was! If he had been
pleasant heretofore, he was now enchanting. All the ladies round felt
that, she could see, as much as she herself did; no, not quite as much,
she hoped. She surely understood him, and felt for his loneliness more
than any of them. Had she not been feeling for it through long and sad
months? But it was she whom he was thinking of, she whom he was speaking
to, all along. Oh, why had the tale ended so soon? She would gladly have
sat and wept her eyes out till midnight over one melodious misery after
another; but she was quite wise enough to keep her secret to herself;
and sat behind the rest, with greedy eyes and demure lips, full of
strange and new happiness--or misery; she knew not which to call it.

In the meanwhile, as it was ordained, Cary could see and hear through
the window of the hall a good deal of what was going on.

"How that Spanish crocodile ogles the Rose!" whispered he to young St.

"What wonder? He is not the first by many a one."

"Ay--but--By heaven, she is making side-shots at him with those
languishing eyes of hers, the little baggage!"

"What wonder? He is not the first, say I, and won't be the last. Pass
the wine, man."

"I have had enough; between sack and singing, my head is as mazed as a
dizzy sheep. Let me slip out."

"Not yet, man; remember you are bound for one song more."

So Cary, against his will, sat and sang another song; and in the
meanwhile the party had broken up, and wandered away by twos and threes,
among trim gardens and pleasaunces, and clipped yew-walks--

     Where west-winds with musky wing
     About the cedarn alleys fling
     Nard and cassia's balmy smells--"

admiring the beauty of that stately place, long since passed into other
hands, and fallen to decay, but then (if old Prince speaks true) one of
the noblest mansions of the West.

At last Cary got away and out; sober, but just enough flushed with wine
to be ready for any quarrel; and luckily for him, had not gone twenty
yards along the great terrace before he met Lady Grenville.

"Has your ladyship seen Don Guzman?"

"Yes--why, where is he? He was with me not ten minutes ago. You know he
is going back to Spain."

"Going! Has his ransom come?"

"Yes, and with it a governorship in the Indies."

"Governorship! Much good may it do the governed."

"Why not, then? He is surely a most gallant gentleman."

"Gallant enough--yes," said Cary, carelessly. "I must find him, and
congratulate him on his honors."

"I will help you to find him," said Lady Grenville, whose woman's eye
and ear had already suspected something. "Escort me, sir."

"It is but too great an honor to squire the Queen of Bideford," said
Cary, offering his hand.

"If I am your queen, sir, I must be obeyed," answered she, in a meaning
tone. Cary took the hint, and went on chattering cheerfully enough.

But Don Guzman was not to be found in garden or in pleasaunce.

"Perhaps," at last said a burgher's wife, with a toss of her head, "your
ladyship may meet with him at Hankford's oak."

"At Hankford's oak! what should take him there?"

"Pleasant company, I reckon" (with another toss). "I heard him and
Mistress Salterne talking about the oak just now."

Cary turned pale and drew in his breath.

"Very likely," said Lady Grenville, quietly. "Will you walk with me so
far, Mr. Cary?"

"To the world's end, if your ladyship condescends so far." And off they
went, Lady Grenville wishing that they were going anywhere else, but
afraid to let Cary go alone; and suspecting, too, that some one or other
ought to go.

So they went down past the herds of deer, by a trim-kept path into
the lonely dell where stood the fatal oak; and, as they went, Lady
Grenville, to avoid more unpleasant talk, poured into Cary's unheeding
ears the story (which he probably had heard fifty times before) how old
Chief-justice Hankford (whom some contradictory myths make the man who
committed Prince Henry to prison for striking him on the bench), weary
of life and sickened at the horrors and desolations of the Wars of the
Roses, went down to his house at Annery there, and bade his keeper shoot
any man who, passing through the deer-park at night, should refuse to
stand when challenged; and then going down into that glen himself, and
hiding himself beneath that oak, met willingly by his keeper's hand the
death which his own dared not inflict: but ere the story was half done,
Cary grasped Lady Grenville's hand so tightly that she gave a little
shriek of pain.

"There they are!" whispered he, heedless of her; and pointed to the oak,
where, half hidden by the tall fern, stood Rose and the Spaniard.

Her head was on his bosom. She seemed sobbing, trembling; he talking
earnestly and passionately; but Lady Grenville's little shriek made them
both look up. To turn and try to escape was to confess all; and the
two, collecting themselves instantly, walked towards her, Rose wishing
herself fathoms deep beneath the earth.

"Mind, sir," whispered Lady Grenville as they came up; "you have seen


"If you are not on my ground, you are on my brother's. Obey me!"

Cary bit his lip, and bowed courteously to the Don.

"I have to congratulate you, I hear, senor, on your approaching

"I kiss your hands, senor, in return; but I question whether it be a
matter of congratulation, considering all that I leave behind."

"So do I," answered Cary, bluntly enough, and the four walked back to
the house, Lady Grenville taking everything for granted with the most
charming good humor, and chatting to her three silent companions
till they gained the terrace once more, and found four or five of
the gentlemen, with Sir Richard at their head, proceeding to the

Lady Grenville, in an agony of fear about the quarrel which she knew
must come, would have gladly whispered five words to her husband: but
she dared not do it before the Spaniard, and dreaded, too, a faint or
a scream from the Rose, whose father was of the party. So she walked
on with her fair prisoner, commanding Cary to escort them in, and the
Spaniard to go to the bowling-green.

Cary obeyed: but he gave her the slip the moment she was inside the
door, and then darted off to the gentlemen.

His heart was on fire: all his old passion for the Rose had flashed up
again at the sight of her with a lover;--and that lover a Spaniard! He
would cut his throat for him, if steel could do it! Only he recollected
that Salterne was there, and shrank from exposing Rose; and shrank, too,
as every gentleman should, from making a public quarrel in another man's
house. Never mind. Where there was a will there was a way. He could get
him into a corner, and quarrel with him privately about the cut of
his beard, or the color of his ribbon. So in he went; and, luckily or
unluckily, found standing together apart from the rest, Sir Richard, the
Don, and young St. Leger.

"Well, Don Guzman, you have given us wine-bibbers the slip this
afternoon. I hope you have been well employed in the meanwhile?"

"Delightfully to myself, senor," said the Don, who, enraged at being
interrupted, if not discovered, was as ready to fight as Cary, but
disliked, of course, an explosion as much as he did; "and to others, I
doubt not."

"So the ladies say," quoth St. Leger. "He has been making them all cry
with one of his stories, and robbing us meanwhile of the pleasure we had
hoped for from some of his Spanish songs."

"The devil take Spanish songs!" said Cary, in a low voice, but loud
enough for the Spaniard. Don Guzman clapt his hand on his sword-hilt

"Lieutenant Cary," said Sir Richard, in a stern voice, "the wine has
surely made you forget yourself!"

"As sober as yourself, most worshipful knight; but if you want a Spanish
song, here's one; and a very scurvy one it is, like its subject--

       "Don Desperado
        Walked on the Prado,
     And there he met his enemy.
        He pulled out a knife, a,
        And let out his life, a,
     And fled for his own across the sea."

And he bowed low to the Spaniard.

The insult was too gross to require any spluttering.

"Senor Cary, we meet?"

"I thank your quick apprehension, Don Guzman Maria Magdalena Sotomayor
de Soto. When, where, and with what weapons?"

"For God's sake, gentlemen! Nephew Arthur, Cary is your guest; do you
know the meaning of this?"

St. Leger was silent. Cary answered for him.

"An old Irish quarrel, I assure you, sir. A matter of years' standing.
In unlacing the senor's helmet, the evening that he was taken prisoner,
I was unlucky enough to twitch his mustachios. You recollect the fact,
of course, senor?"

"Perfectly," said the Spaniard; and then, half-amused and half-pleased,
in spite of his bitter wrath, at Cary's quickness and delicacy in
shielding Rose, he bowed, and--

"And it gives me much pleasure to find that he whom I trust to have the
pleasure of killing tomorrow morning is a gentleman whose nice sense of
honor renders him thoroughly worthy of the sword of a De Soto."

Cary bowed in return, while Sir Richard, who saw plainly enough that the
excuse was feigned, shrugged his shoulders.

"What weapons, senor?" asked Will again.

"I should have preferred a horse and pistols," said Don Guzman after
a moment, half to himself, and in Spanish; "they make surer work of it
than bodkins; but" (with a sigh and one of his smiles) "beggars must not
be choosers."

"The best horse in my stable is at your service, senor," said Sir
Richard Grenville, instantly.

"And in mine also, senor," said Cary; "and I shall be happy to allow you
a week to train him, if he does not answer at first to a Spanish hand."

"You forget in your courtesy, gentle sir, that the insult being with me,
the time lies with me also. We wipe it off to-morrow morning with simple
rapiers and daggers. Who is your second?"

"Mr. Arthur St. Leger here, senor: who is yours?"

The Spaniard felt himself alone in the world for one moment; and then
answered with another of his smiles,--

"Your nation possesses the soul of honor. He who fights an Englishman
needs no second."

"And he who fights among Englishmen will always find one," said Sir
Richard. "I am the fittest second for my guest."

"You only add one more obligation, illustrious cavalier, to a two-years'
prodigality of favors, which I shall never be able to repay."

"But, Nephew Arthur," said Grenville, "you cannot surely be second
against your father's guest, and your own uncle."

"I cannot help it, sir; I am bound by an oath, as Will can tell you. I
suppose you won't think it necessary to let me blood?"

"You half deserve it, sirrah!" said Sir Richard, who was very angry: but
the Don interposed quickly.

"Heaven forbid, senors! We are no French duellists, who are mad enough
to make four or six lives answer for the sins of two. This gentleman
and I have quarrel enough between us, I suspect, to make a right bloody

"The dependence is good enough, sir," said Cary, licking his sinful
lips at the thought. "Very well. Rapiers and shirts at three tomorrow
morning--Is that the bill of fare? Ask Sir Richard where, Atty? It is
against punctilio now for me to speak to him till after I am killed."

"On the sands opposite. The tide will be out at three. And now, gallant
gentlemen, let us join the bowlers."

And so they went back and spent a merry evening, all except poor Rose,
who, ere she went back, had poured all her sorrows into Lady Grenville's
ear. For the kind woman, knowing that she was motherless and guileless,
carried her off into Mrs. St. Leger's chamber, and there entreated her
to tell the truth, and heaped her with pity but with no comfort. For
indeed, what comfort was there to give?

      *    *    *    *    *

Three o'clock, upon a still pure bright midsummer morning. A broad
and yellow sheet of ribbed tide-sands, through which the shallow river
wanders from one hill-foot to the other, whispering round dark knolls
of rock, and under low tree-fringed cliffs, and banks of golden broom.
A mile below, the long bridge and the white walled town, all sleeping
pearly in the soft haze, beneath a cloudless vault of blue. The
white glare of dawn, which last night hung high in the northwest, has
travelled now to the northeast, and above the wooded wall of the hills
the sky is flushing with rose and amber.

A long line of gulls goes wailing up inland; the rooks from Annery come
cawing and sporting round the corner at Landcross, while high above them
four or five herons flap solemnly along to find their breakfast on the
shallows. The pheasants and partridges are clucking merrily in the long
wet grass; every copse and hedgerow rings with the voice of birds, but
the lark, who has been singing since midnight in the "blank height of
the dark," suddenly hushes his carol and drops headlong among the corn,
as a broad-winged buzzard swings from some wooded peak into the abyss of
the valley, and hangs high-poised above the heavenward songster. The air
is full of perfume; sweet clover, new-mown hay, the fragrant breath of
kine, the dainty scent of sea-weed wreaths and fresh wet sand. Glorious
day, glorious place, "bridal of earth and sky," decked well with bridal
garlands, bridal perfumes, bridal songs,--What do those four cloaked
figures there by the river brink, a dark spot on the fair face of the
summer morn?

Yet one is as cheerful as if he too, like all nature round him, were
going to a wedding; and that is Will Cary. He has been bathing down
below, to cool his brain and steady his hand; and he intends to stop Don
Guzman Maria Magdalena Sotomayor de Soto's wooing for ever and a day.
The Spaniard is in a very different mood; fierce and haggard, he is
pacing up and down the sand. He intends to kill Will Cary; but then?
Will he be the nearer to Rose by doing so? Can he stay in Bideford?
Will she go with him? Shall he stoop to stain his family by marrying a
burgher's daughter? It is a confused, all but desperate business; and
Don Guzman is certain but of one thing, that he is madly in love with
this fair witch, and that if she refuse him, then, rather than see her
accept another man, he would kill her with his own hands.

Sir Richard Grenville too is in no very pleasant humor, as St. Leger
soon discovers, when the two seconds begin whispering over their

"We cannot have either of them killed, Arthur."

"Mr. Cary swears he will kill the Spaniard, sir."

"He sha'n't. The Spaniard is my guest. I am answerable for him to Leigh,
and for his ransom too. And how can Leigh accept the ransom if the man
is not given up safe and sound? They won't pay for a dead carcass, boy!
The man's life is worth two hundred pounds."

"A very bad bargain, sir, for those who pay the said two hundred for
the rascal; but what if he kills Cary?"

"Worse still. Cary must not be killed. I am very angry with him, but he
is too good a lad to be lost; and his father would never forgive us. We
must strike up their swords at the first scratch."

"It will make them very mad, sir."

"Hang them! let them fight us then, if they don't like our counsel. It
must be, Arthur."

"Be sure, sir," said Arthur, "that whatsoever you shall command I shall
perform. It is only too great an honor to a young man as I am to find
myself in the same duel with your worship, and to have the advantage of
your wisdom and experience."

Sir Richard smiles, and says--"Now, gentlemen! are you ready?"

The Spaniard pulls out a little crucifix, and kisses it devoutly,
smiting on his breast; crosses himself two or three times, and
says--"Most willingly, senor."

Cary kisses no crucifix, but says a prayer nevertheless.

Cloaks and doublets are tossed off, the men placed, the rapiers measured
hilt and point; Sir Richard and St. Leger place themselves right and
left of the combatants, facing each other, the points of their drawn
swords on the sand. Cary and the Spaniard stand for a moment quite
upright, their sword-arms stretched straight before them, holding the
long rapier horizontally, the left hand clutching the dagger close to
their breasts. So they stand eye to eye, with clenched teeth and pale
crushed lips, while men might count a score; St. Leger can hear the
beating of his own heart; Sir Richard is praying inwardly that no life
may be lost. Suddenly there is a quick turn of Cary's wrist and a leap
forward. The Spaniard's dagger flashes, and the rapier is turned aside;
Cary springs six feet back as the Spaniard rushes on him in turn. Parry,
thrust, parry--the steel rattles, the sparks fly, the men breathe fierce
and loud; the devil's game is begun in earnest.

Five minutes have the two had instant death a short six inches off from
those wild sinful hearts of theirs, and not a scratch has been given.
Yes! the Spaniard's rapier passes under Cary's left arm; he bleeds.

"A hit! a hit! Strike up, Atty!" and the swords are struck up instantly.

Cary, nettled by the smart, tries to close with his foe, but the seconds
cross their swords before him.

"It is enough, gentlemen. Don Guzman's honor is satisfied!"

"But not my revenge, senor," says the Spaniard, with a frown. "This duel
is a l'outrance, on my part; and, I believe, on Mr. Cary's also."

"By heaven, it is!" says Will, trying to push past. "Let me go, Arthur
St. Leger; one of us must down. Let me go, I say!"

"If you stir, Mr. Cary, you have to do with Richard Grenville!" thunders
the lion voice. "I am angry enough with you for having brought on this
duel at all. Don't provoke me still further, young hot-head!"

Cary stops sulkily.

"You do not know all, Sir Richard, or you would not speak in this way."

"I do, sir, all; and I shall have the honor of talking it over with Don
Guzman myself."

"Hey!" said the Spaniard. "You came here as my second, Sir Richard, as I
understood, but not as my counsellor."

"Arthur, take your man away! Cary! obey me as you would your father,
sir! Can you not trust Richard Grenville?"

"Come away, for God's sake!" says poor Arthur, dragging Cary's sword
from him; "Sir Richard must know best!"

So Cary is led off sulking, and Sir Richard turns to the Spaniard,

"And now, Don Guzman, allow me, though much against my will, to speak to
you as a friend to a friend. You will pardon me if I say that I cannot
but have seen last night's devotion to--"

"You will be pleased, senor, not to mention the name of any lady to whom
I may have shown devotion. I am not accustomed to have my little affairs
talked over by any unbidden counsellors."

"Well, senor, if you take offence, you take that which is not given.
Only I warn you, with all apologies for any seeming forwardness, that
the quest on which you seem to be is one on which you will not be
allowed to proceed."

"And who will stop me?" asked the Spaniard, with a fierce oath.

"You are not aware, illustrious senor," said Sir Richard, parrying the
question, "that our English laity look upon mixed marriages with full as
much dislike as your own ecclesiastics."

"Marriage, sir? Who gave you leave to mention that word to me?"

Sir Richard's brow darkened; the Spaniard, in his insane pride, had
forced upon the good knight a suspicion which was not really just.

"Is it possible, then, Senor Don Guzman, that I am to have the shame of
mentioning a baser word?"

"Mention what you will, sir. All words are the same to me; for, just or
unjust, I shall answer them alike only by my sword."

"You will do no such thing, sir. You forget that I am your host."

"And do you suppose that you have therefore a right to insult me? Stand
on your guard, sir!"

Grenville answered by slapping his own rapier home into the sheath with
a quiet smile.

"Senor Don Guzman must be well enough aware of who Richard Grenville is,
to know that he may claim the right of refusing duel to any man, if he
shall so think fit."

"Sir!" cried the Spaniard, with an oath, "this is too much! Do you dare
to hint that I am unworthy of your sword? Know, insolent Englishman, I
am not merely a De Soto, though that, by St. James, were enough for you
or any man. I am a Sotomayor, a Mendoza, a Bovadilla, a Losada, a--sir!
I have blood royal in my veins, and you dare to refuse my challenge?"

"Richard Grenville can show quarterings, probably, against even Don
Guzman Maria Magdalena Sotomayor de Soto, or against (with no offence to
the unquestioned nobility of your pedigree) the bluest blood of Spain.
But he can show, moreover, thank God, a reputation which raises him
as much above the imputation of cowardice, as it does above that of
discourtesy. If you think fit, senor, to forget what you have just, in
very excusable anger, vented, and to return with me, you will find me
still, as ever, your most faithful servant and host. If otherwise, you
have only to name whither you wish your mails to be sent, and I shall,
with unfeigned sorrow, obey your commands concerning them."

The Spaniard bowed stiffly, answered, "To the nearest tavern, senor,"
and then strode away. His baggage was sent thither. He took a boat down
to Appledore that very afternoon, and vanished, none knew whither. A
very courteous note to Lady Grenville, enclosing the jewel which he had
been used to wear round his neck, was the only memorial he left behind
him: except, indeed, the scar on Cary's arm, and poor Rose's broken

Now county towns are scandalous places at best; and though all parties
tried to keep the duel secret, yet, of course, before noon all Bideford
knew what had happened, and a great deal more; and what was even worse,
Rose, in an agony of terror, had seen Sir Richard Grenville enter her
father's private room, and sit there closeted with him for an hour and
more; and when he went, upstairs came old Salterne, with his stick in
his hand, and after rating her soundly for far worse than a flirt, gave
her (I am sorry to have to say it, but such was the mild fashion of
paternal rule in those times, even over such daughters as Lady Jane
Grey, if Roger Ascham is to be believed) such a beating that her poor
sides were black and blue for many a day; and then putting her on a
pillion behind him, carried her off twenty miles to her old prison at
Stow mill, commanding her aunt to tame down her saucy blood with bread
of affliction and water of affliction. Which commands were willingly
enough fulfilled by the old dame, who had always borne a grudge against
Rose for being rich while she was poor, and pretty while her daughter
was plain; so that between flouts, and sneers, and watchings, and pretty
open hints that she was a disgrace to her family, and no better than she
should be, the poor innocent child watered her couch with her tears for
a fortnight or more, stretching out her hands to the wide Atlantic, and
calling wildly to Don Guzman to return and take her where he would, and
she would live for him and die for him; and perhaps she did not call in



     "The spirits of your fathers
       Shall start from every wave;
     For the deck it was their field of fame,
       And ocean was their grave."


"So you see, my dear Mrs. Hawkins, having the silver, as your own eyes
show you, beside the ores of lead, manganese, and copper, and above all
this gossan (as the Cornish call it), which I suspect to be not merely
the matrix of the ore, but also the very crude form and materia prima
of all metals--you mark me?--If my recipes, which I had from Doctor Dee,
succeed only half so well as I expect, then I refine out the luna, the
silver, lay it by, and transmute the remaining ores into sol, gold.
Whereupon Peru and Mexico become superfluities, and England the mistress
of the globe. Strange, no doubt; distant, no doubt: but possible, my
dear madam, possible!"

"And what good to you if it be, Mr. Gilbert? If you could find a
philosopher's stone to turn sinners into saints, now--but naught save
God's grace can do that; and that last seems ofttimes over long in
coming." And Mrs. Hawkins sighed.

"But indeed, my dear madam, conceive now.--The Comb Martin mine thus
becomes a gold mine, perhaps inexhaustible; yields me wherewithal to
carry out my North-West patent; meanwhile my brother Humphrey holds
Newfoundland, and builds me fresh ships year by year (for the forests of
pine are boundless) for my China voyage."

"Sir Humphrey has better thoughts in his dear heart than gold, Mr.
Adrian; a very close and gracious walker he has been this seven year. I
wish my Captain John were so too."

"And how do you know I have naught better in my mind's eye than gold?
Or, indeed, what better could I have? Is not gold the Spaniard's
strength--the very mainspring of Antichrist? By gold only, therefore,
can we out-wrestle him. You shake your head, but say, dear madam (for
gold England must have), which is better, to make gold bloodlessly at
home, or take it bloodily abroad?"

"Oh, Mr. Gilbert, Mr. Gilbert! is it not written, that those who make
haste to be rich, pierce themselves through with many sorrows? Oh, Mr.
Gilbert! God's blessing is not on it all."

"Not on you, madam? Be sure that brave Captain John Hawkins's star
told me a different tale, when I cast his nativity for him.--Born under
stormy planets, truly, but under right royal and fortunate ones."

"Ah, Mr. Adrian! I am a simple body, and you a great philosopher, but
I hold there is no star for the seaman like the Star of Bethlehem; and
that goes with 'peace on earth and good will to men,' and not with such
arms as that, Mr. Adrian. I can't abide to look upon them."

And she pointed up to one of the bosses of the ribbed oak-roof, on which
was emblazoned the fatal crest which Clarencieux Hervey had granted
years before to her husband, the "Demi-Moor proper, bound."

"Ah, Mr. Gilbert! since first he went to Guinea after those poor
negroes, little lightness has my heart known; and the very day that that
crest was put up in our grand new house, as the parson read the first
lesson, there was this text in it, Mr. Gilbert, 'Woe to him that
buildeth his house by iniquity, and his chambers by wrong. Shalt thou
live because thou closest thyself in cedar?' And it went into my ears
like fire, Mr. Gilbert, and into my heart like lead; and when the parson
went on, 'Did not thy father eat and drink, and do judgment and justice?
Then it was well with him,' I thought of good old Captain Will; and--I
tell you, Mr. Gilbert, those negroes are on my soul from morning until
night! We are all mighty grand now, and money comes in fast, but the
Lord will require the blood of them at our hands yet, He will!"

"My dearest madam, who can prosper more than you? If your husband copied
the Dons too closely once or twice in the matter of those negroes (which
I do not deny,) was he not punished at once when he lost ships, men, all
but life, at St. Juan d'Ulloa?"

"Ay, yes," she said; "and that did give me a bit of comfort, especially
when the queen--God save her tender heart!--was so sharp with him for
pity of the poor wretches, but it has not mended him. He is growing fast
like the rest now, Mr. Gilbert, greedy to win, and niggardly to spend
(God forgive him!) and always fretting and plotting for some new gain,
and envying and grudging at Drake, and all who are deeper in the
snare of prosperity than he is. Gold, gold, nothing but gold in
every mouth--there it is! Ah! I mind when Plymouth was a quiet little
God-fearing place as God could smile upon: but ever since my John, and
Sir Francis, and poor Mr. Oxenham found out the way to the Indies, it's
been a sad place. Not a sailor's wife but is crying 'Give, give,' like
the daughters of the horse-leech; and every woman must drive her
husband out across seas to bring her home money to squander on hoods and
farthingales, and go mincing with outstretched necks and wanton eyes;
and they will soon learn to do worse than that, for the sake of gain.
But the Lord's hand will be against their tires and crisping-pins, their
mufflers and farthingales, as it was against the Jews of old. Ah, dear

The two interlocutors in this dialogue were sitting in a low
oak-panelled room in Plymouth town, handsomely enough furnished, adorned
with carving and gilding and coats of arms, and noteworthy for many
strange knickknacks, Spanish gold and silver vessels on the sideboard;
strange birds and skins, and charts and rough drawings of coast which
hung about the room; while over the fireplace, above the portrait of old
Captain Will Hawkins, pet of Henry the Eighth, hung the Spanish ensign
which Captain John had taken in fair fight at Rio de la Hacha fifteen
years before, when, with two hundred men, he seized the town in despite
of ten hundred Spanish soldiers, and watered his ship triumphantly at
the enemy's wells.

The gentleman was a tall fair man, with a broad and lofty forehead,
wrinkled with study, and eyes weakened by long poring over the crucible
and the furnace.

The lady had once been comely enough, but she was aged and worn, as
sailors' wives are apt to be, by many sorrows. Many a sad day had she
had already; for although John Hawkins, port-admiral of Plymouth, and
patriarch of British shipbuilders, was a faithful husband enough, and
as ready to forgive as he was to quarrel, yet he was obstinate and
ruthless, and in spite of his religiosity (for all men were religious
then) was by no means a "consistent walker."

And sadder days were in store for her, poor soul. Nine years hence she
would be asked to name her son's brave new ship, and would christen it
The Repentance, giving no reason in her quiet steadfast way (so says
her son Sir Richard) but that "Repentance was the best ship in which
we could sail to the harbor of heaven;" and she would hear that Queen
Elizabeth, complaining of the name for an unlucky one, had re-christened
her The Dainty, not without some by-quip, perhaps, at the character
of her most dainty captain, Richard Hawkins, the complete seaman and
Euphuist afloat, of whom, perhaps, more hereafter.

With sad eyes Mrs. (then Lady) Hawkins would see that gallant bark sail
Westward-ho, to go the world around, as many another ship sailed; and
then wait, as many a mother beside had waited, for the sail which never
returned; till, dim and uncertain, came tidings of her boy fighting for
four days three great Armadas (for the coxcomb had his father's heart in
him after all), a prisoner, wounded, ruined, languishing for weary years
in Spanish prisons. And a sadder day than that was in store, when a
gallant fleet should round the Ram Head, not with drum and trumpet, but
with solemn minute-guns, and all flags half-mast high, to tell her
that her terrible husband's work was done, his terrible heart broken by
failure and fatigue, and his body laid by Drake's beneath the far-off
tropic seas.

And if, at the close of her eventful life, one gleam of sunshine opened
for a while, when her boy Richard returned to her bosom from his Spanish
prison, to be knighted for his valor, and made a privy councillor for
his wisdom; yet soon, how soon, was the old cloud to close in again
above her, until her weary eyes should open in the light of Paradise.
For that son dropped dead, some say at the very council-table, leaving
behind him naught but broken fortunes, and huge purposes which never
were fulfilled; and the stormy star of that bold race was set forever,
and Lady Hawkins bowed her weary head and died, the groan of those
stolen negroes ringing in her ears, having lived long enough to see her
husband's youthful sin become a national institution, and a national
curse for generations yet unborn.

I know not why she opened her heart that night to Adrian Gilbert, with
a frankness which she would hardly have dared to use to her own family.
Perhaps it was that Adrian, like his great brothers, Humphrey and
Raleigh, was a man full of all lofty and delicate enthusiasms, tender
and poetical, such as women cling to when their hearts are lonely; but
so it was; and Adrian, half ashamed of his own ambitious dreams, sate
looking at her a while in silence; and then--

"The Lord be with you, dearest lady. Strange, how you women sit at home
to love and suffer, while we men rush forth to break our hearts and
yours against rocks of our own seeking! Ah well! were it not for
Scripture, I should have thought that Adam, rather than Eve, had been
the one who plucked the fruit of the forbidden tree."

"We women, I fear; did the deed nevertheless; for we bear the doom of it
our lives long."

"You always remind me, madam, of my dear Mrs. Leigh of Burrough, and her

"Do you see her often? I hear of her as one of the Lord's most precious

"I would have done more ere now than see her," said he with a blush,
"had she allowed me: but she lives only for the memory of her husband
and the fame of her noble sons."

As he spoke the door opened, and in walked, wrapped in his rough
sea-gown, none other than one of those said noble sons.

Adrian turned pale.

"Amyas Leigh! What brings you hither? how fares my brother? Where is the

"Your brother is well, Mr. Gilbert. The Golden Hind is gone on to
Dartmouth, with Mr. Hayes. I came ashore here, meaning to go north to
Bideford, ere I went to London. I called at Drake's just now, but he was

"The Golden Hind? What brings her home so soon?"

"Yet welcome ever, sir," said Mrs. Hawkins. "This is a great surprise,
though. Captain John did not look for you till next year."

Amyas was silent.

"Something is wrong!" cried Adrian. "Speak!"

Amyas tried, but could not.

"Will you drive a man mad, sir? Has the adventure failed? You said my
brother was well."

"He is well."

"Then what--Why do you look at me in that fashion, sir?" and springing
up, Adrian rushed forward, and held the candle to Amyas's face.

Amyas's lip quivered, as he laid his hand on Adrian's shoulder.

"Your great and glorious brother, sir, is better bestowed than in
settling Newfoundland."

"Dead?" shrieked Adrian.

"He is with the God whom he served!"

"He was always with Him, like Enoch: parable me no parables, if you love
me, sir!"

"And, like Enoch, he was not; for God took him."

Adrian clasped his hands over his forehead, and leaned against the

"Go on, sir, go on. God will give me strength to hear all."

And gradually Amyas opened to Adrian that tragic story, which Mr. Hayes
has long ago told far too well to allow a second edition of it from me:
of the unruliness of the men, ruffians, as I said before, caught up at
hap-hazard; of conspiracies to carry off the ships, plunder of fishing
vessels, desertions multiplying daily; licenses from the general to the
lazy and fearful to return home: till Adrian broke out with a groan--

"From him? Conspired against him? Deserted from him? Dotards, buzzards!
Where would they have found such another leader?"

"Your illustrious brother, sir," said Amyas, "if you will pardon me, was
a very great philosopher, but not so much of a general."

"General, sir? Where was braver man?"

"Not on God's earth, but that does not make a general, sir. If Cortez
had been brave and no more, Mexico would have been Mexico still. The
truth is, sir, Cortez, like my Captain Drake, knew when to hang a man;
and your great brother did not."

Amyas, as I suppose, was right. Gilbert was a man who could be angry
enough at baseness or neglect, but who was too kindly to punish it; he
was one who could form the wisest and best-digested plans, but who could
not stoop to that hail-fellow-well-met drudgery among his subordinates
which has been the talisman of great captains.

Then Amyas went on to tell the rest of his story; the setting sail from
St. John's to discover the southward coast; Sir Humphrey's chivalrous
determination to go in the little Squirrel of only ten tons, and
"overcharged with nettings, fights, and small ordnance," not only
because she was more fit to examine the creeks, but because he had heard
of some taunt against him among the men, that he was afraid of the sea.

After that, woe on woe; how, seven days after they left Cape Raz, their
largest ship, the Delight, after she had "most part of the night" (I
quote Hayes), "like the swan that singeth before her death, continued in
sounding of trumpets, drums, and fifes, also winding of the comets and
hautboys, and, in the end of their jollity, left off with the battle and
doleful knells," struck the next day (the Golden Hind and the Squirrel
sheering off just in time) upon unknown shoals; where were lost all but
fourteen, and among them Frank's philosopher friend, poor Budaeus; and
those who escaped, after all horrors of cold and famine, were cast on
shore in Newfoundland. How, worn out with hunger and want of clothes,
the crews of the two remaining ships persuaded Sir Humphrey to sail
toward England on the 31st of August; and on "that very instant, even in
winding about," beheld close alongside "a very lion in shape, hair, and
color, not swimming, but sliding on the water, with his whole body; who
passed along, turning his head to and fro, yawning and gaping wide,
with ugly demonstration of long teeth and glaring eyes; and to bid us
farewell (coming right against the Hind) he sent forth a horrible voice,
roaring or bellowing as doth a lion." "What opinion others had thereof,
and chiefly the general himself, I forbear to deliver; but he took it
for bonum omen, rejoicing that he was to war against such an enemy, if
it were the devil."

"And the devil it was, doubtless," said Adrian, "the roaring lion who
goes about seeking whom he may devour."

"He has not got your brother, at least," quoth Amyas.

"No," rejoined Mrs. Hawkins (smile not, reader, for those were days in
which men believed in the devil); "he roared for joy to think how many
poor souls would be left still in heathen darkness by Sir Humphrey's
death. God be with that good knight, and send all mariners where he is

Then Amyas told the last scene; how, when they were off the Azores, the
storms came on heavier than ever, with "terrible seas, breaking short
and pyramid-wise," till, on the 9th September, the tiny Squirrel nearly
foundered and yet recovered; "and the general, sitting abaft with a
book in his hand, cried out to us in the Hind so oft as we did approach
within hearing, 'We are as near heaven by sea as by land,' reiterating
the same speech, well beseeming a soldier resolute in Jesus Christ, as I
can testify he was.

"The same Monday, about twelve of the clock, or not long after, the
frigate (the Squirrel) being ahead of us in the Golden Hind, suddenly
her lights were out; and withal our watch cried, the general was cast
away, which was true; for in that moment the frigate was devoured and
swallowed up of the sea."

And so ended (I have used Hayes' own words) Amyas Leigh's story.

"Oh, my brother! my brother!" moaned poor Adrian; "the glory of his
house, the glory of Devon!"

"Ah! what will the queen say?" asked Mrs. Hawkins through her tears.

"Tell me," asked Adrian, "had he the jewel on when he died?"

"The queen's jewel? He always wore that, and his own posy too, 'Mutare
vel timere sperno.' He wore it; and he lived it."

"Ay," said Adrian, "the same to the last!"

"Not quite that," said Amyas. "He was a meeker man latterly than he used
to be. As he said himself once, a better refiner than any whom he had on
board had followed him close all the seas over, and purified him in the
fire. And gold seven times tried he was, when God, having done His work
in him, took him home at last."

And so the talk ended. There was no doubt that the expedition had
been an utter failure; Adrian was a ruined man; and Amyas had lost his

Adrian rose, and begged leave to retire; he must collect himself.

"Poor gentleman!" said Mrs. Hawkins; "it is little else he has left to

"Or I either," said Amyas. "I was going to ask you to lend me one of
your son's shirts, and five pounds to get myself and my men home."

"Five? Fifty, Mr. Leigh! God forbid that John Hawkins's wife should
refuse her last penny to a distressed mariner, and he a gentleman born.
But you must eat and drink."

"It's more than I have done for many a day worth speaking of."

And Amyas sat down in his rags to a good supper, while Mrs. Hawkins told
him all the news which she could of his mother, whom Adrian Gilbert had
seen a few months before in London; and then went on, naturally enough,
to the Bideford news.

"And by the by, Captain Leigh, I've sad news for you from your place;
and I had it from one who was there at the time. You must know a Spanish
captain, a prisoner--"

"What, the one I sent home from Smerwick?"

"You sent? Mercy on us! Then, perhaps, you've heard--"

"How can I have heard? What?"

"That he's gone off, the villain?"

"Without paying his ransom?"

"I can't say that; but there's a poor innocent young maid gone off with
him, one Salterne's daughter--the Popish serpent!"

"Rose Salterne, the mayor's daughter, the Rose of Torridge!"

"That's her. Bless your dear soul, what ails you?"

Amyas had dropped back in his seat as if he had been shot; but he
recovered himself before kind Mrs. Hawkins could rush to the cupboard
for cordials.

"You'll forgive me, madam; but I'm weak from the sea; and your good ale
has turned me a bit dizzy, I think."

"Ay, yes, 'tis too, too heavy, till you've been on shore a while. Try
the aqua vitae; my Captain John has it right good; and a bit too fond of
it too, poor dear soul, between whiles, Heaven forgive him!"

So she poured some strong brandy and water down Amyas's throat, in spite
of his refusals, and sent him to bed, but not to sleep; and after a
night of tossing, he started for Bideford, having obtained the means for
so doing from Mrs. Hawkins.



     "Ignorance and evil, even in full flight, deal terrible backhanded
     strokes at their pursuers."--HELPS.

Now I am sorry to say, for the honor of my country, that it was by no
means a safe thing in those days to travel from Plymouth to the north of
Devon; because, to get to your journey's end, unless you were minded to
make a circuit of many miles, you must needs pass through the territory
of a foreign and hostile potentate, who had many times ravaged the
dominions, and defeated the forces of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, and
was named (behind his back at least) the King of the Gubbings. "So now
I dare call them," says Fuller, "secured by distance, which one of more
valor durst not do to their face, for fear their fury fall upon him. Yet
hitherto have I met with none who could render a reason of their name.
We call the shavings of fish (which are little worth) gubbings; and sure
it is that they are sensible that the word importeth shame and disgrace.

"As for the suggestion of my worthy and learned friend, Mr. Joseph
Maynard, that such as did inhabitare montes gibberosos, were called
Gubbings, such will smile at the ingenuity who dissent from the truth of
the etymology.

"I have read of an England beyond Wales, but the Gubbings land is a
Scythia within England, and they pure heathens therein. It lieth nigh
Brent. For in the edge of Dartmoor it is reported that, some two hundred
years since, two bad women, being with child, fled thither to hide
themselves; to whom certain lewd fellows resorted, and this was their
first original. They are a peculiar of their own making, exempt from
bishop, archdeacon, and all authority, either ecclesiastical or civil.
They live in cots (rather holes than houses) like swine, having all in
common, multiplied without marriage into many hundreds. Their language
is the dross of the dregs of the vulgar Devonian; and the more learned
a man is, the worse he can understand them. During our civil wars no
soldiers were quartered upon them, for fear of being quartered amongst
them. Their wealth consisteth in other men's goods; they live by
stealing the sheep on the moors; and vain is it for any to search their
houses, being a work beneath the pains of any sheriff, and above the
power of any constable. Such is their fleetness, they will outrun many
horses; vivaciousness, they outlive most men; living in an ignorance of
luxury, the extinguisher of life. They hold together like bees; offend
one, and all will revenge his quarrel.

"But now I am informed that they begin to be civilized, and tender their
children to baptism, and return to be men, yea, Christians again. I hope
no CIVIL people amongst us will turn barbarians, now these barbarians
begin to be civilized."*

     * Fuller, p. 398.

With which quip against the Anabaptists of his day, Fuller ends his
story; and I leave him to set forth how Amyas, in fear of these same
Scythians and heathens, rode out of Plymouth on a right good horse, in
his full suit of armor, carrying lance and sword, and over and above two
great dags, or horse-pistols; and behind him Salvation Yeo, and five
or six north Devon men (who had served with him in Ireland, and were
returning on furlough), clad in head-pieces and quilted jerkins, each
man with his pike and sword, and Yeo with arquebuse and match, while two
sumpter ponies carried the baggage of this formidable troop.

They pushed on as fast as they could, through Tavistock, to reach before
nightfall Lydford, where they meant to sleep; but what with buying the
horses, and other delays, they had not been able to start before
noon; and night fell just as they reached the frontiers of the enemy's
country. A dreary place enough it was, by the wild glare of sunset. A
high tableland of heath, banked on the right by the crags and hills of
Dartmoor, and sloping away to the south and west toward the foot of the
great cone of Brent-Tor, which towered up like an extinct volcano (as
some say that it really is), crowned with the tiny church, the votive
offering of some Plymouth merchant of old times, who vowed in sore
distress to build a church to the Blessed Virgin on the first point of
English land which he should see. Far away, down those waste slopes,
they could see the tiny threads of blue smoke rising from the dens of
the Gubbings; and more than once they called a halt, to examine whether
distant furze-bushes and ponies might not be the patrols of an advancing
army. It is all very well to laugh at it now, in the nineteenth century,
but it was no laughing matter then; as they found before they had gone
two miles farther.

On the middle of the down stood a wayside inn; a desolate and
villainous-looking lump of lichen-spotted granite, with windows
paper-patched, and rotting thatch kept down by stones and straw-banks;
and at the back a rambling court-ledge of barns and walls, around which
pigs and barefoot children grunted in loving communion of dirt. At the
door, rapt apparently in the contemplation of the mountain peaks which
glowed rich orange in the last lingering sun-rays, but really watching
which way the sheep on the moor were taking, stood the innkeeper, a
brawny, sodden-visaged, blear-eyed six feet of brutishness, holding up
his hose with one hand, for want of points, and clawing with the other
his elf-locks, on which a fair sprinkling of feathers might denote:
first, that he was just out of bed, having been out sheep-stealing
all the night before; and secondly, that by natural genius he had
anticipated the opinion of that great apostle of sluttishness,
Fridericus Dedekind, and his faithful disciple Dekker, which last speaks
thus to all gulls and grobians: "Consider that as those trees of cobweb
lawn, woven by spinners in the fresh May mornings, do dress the curled
heads of the mountains, and adorn the swelling bosoms of the valleys; or
as those snowy fleeces, which the naked briar steals from the innocent
sheep to make himself a warm winter livery, are, to either of them
both, an excellent ornament; so make thou account, that to have feathers
sticking here and there on thy head will embellish thee, and set thy
crown out rarely. None dare upbraid thee, that like a beggar thou hast
lain on straw, or like a travelling pedlar upon musty flocks; for those
feathers will rise up as witnesses to choke him that says so, and to
prove thy bed to have been of the softest down." Even so did those
feathers bear witness that the possessor of Rogues' Harbor Inn, on
Brent-Tor Down, whatever else he lacked, lacked not geese enough to keep
him in soft lying.

Presently he spies Amyas and his party coming slowly over the hill,
pricks up his ears, and counts them; sees Amyas's armor; shakes his head
and grunts; and then, being a man of few words, utters a sleepy howl--

"Mirooi!--Fushing pooale!"

A strapping lass--whose only covering (for country women at work in
those days dispensed with the ornament of a gown) is a green bodice and
red petticoat, neither of them over ample--brings out his fishing-rod
and basket, and the man, having tied up his hose with some ends of
string, examines the footlink.

"Don vlies' gone!"

"May be," says Mary; "shouldn't hay' left mun out to coort. May be old
hen's ate mun off. I see her chocking about a while agone."

The host receives this intelligence with an oath, and replies by a
violent blow at Mary's head, which she, accustomed to such slight
matters, dodges, and then returns the blow with good effect on the shock

Whereon mine host, equally accustomed to such slight matters, quietly
shambles off, howling as he departs--

"Tell Patrico!"

Mary runs in, combs her hair, slips a pair of stockings and her best
gown over her dirt, and awaits the coming guests, who make a few long
faces at the "mucksy sort of a place," but prefer to spend the night
there than to bivouac close to the enemy's camp.

So the old hen who has swallowed the dun fly is killed, plucked, and
roasted, and certain "black Dartmoor mutton" is put on the gridiron, and
being compelled to confess the truth by that fiery torment, proclaims
itself to all noses as red-deer venison. In the meanwhile Amyas has put
his horse and the ponies into a shed, to which he can find neither
lock nor key, and therefore returns grumbling, not without fear for his
steed's safety. The baggage is heaped in a corner of the room, and Amyas
stretches his legs before a turf fire; while Yeo, who has his notions
about the place, posts himself at the door, and the men are seized with
a desire to superintend the cooking, probably to be attributed to the
fact that Mary is cook.

Presently Yeo comes in again.

"There's a gentleman just coming up, sir, all alone."

"Ask him to make one of our party, then, with my compliments." Yeo goes
out, and returns in five minutes.

"Please, sir, he's gone in back ways, by the court."

"Well, he has an odd taste, if he makes himself at home here."

Out goes Yeo again, and comes back once more after five minutes, in high

"Come out, sir; for goodness' sake come out. I've got him. Safe as a rat
in a trap, I have!"


"A Jesuit, sir."

"Nonsense, man!"

"I tell you truth, sir. I went round the house, for I didn't like the
looks of him as he came up. I knew he was one of them villains the
minute he came up, by the way he turned in his toes, and put down his
feet so still and careful, like as if he was afraid of offending God at
every step. So I just put my eye between the wall and the dern of the
gate, and I saw him come up to the back door and knock, and call 'Mary!'
quite still, like any Jesuit; and the wench flies out to him ready to
eat him; and 'Go away,' I heard her say, 'there's a dear man;' and then
something about a 'queer cuffin' (that's a justice in these canters'
thieves' Latin); and with that he takes out a somewhat--I'll swear it
was one of those Popish Agnuses--and gives it her; and she kisses it,
and crosses herself, and asks him if that's the right way, and then puts
it into her bosom, and he says, 'Bless you, my daughter;' and then I was
sure of the dog: and he slips quite still to the stable, and peeps in,
and when he sees no one there, in he goes, and out I go, and shut to the
door, and back a cart that was there up against it, and call out one of
the men to watch the stable, and the girl's crying like mad."

"What a fool's trick, man! How do you know that he is not some honest
gentleman, after all?"

"Fool or none, sir; honest gentlemen don't give maidens Agnuses. I've
put him in; and if you want him let out again, you must come and do it
yourself, for my conscience is against it, sir. If the Lord's enemies
are delivered into my hand, I'm answerable, sir," went on Yeo as Amyas
hurried out with him. "'Tis written, 'If any let one of them go, his
life shall be for the life of him.'"

So Amyas ran out, pulled back the cart grumbling, opened the door, and
began a string of apologies to--his cousin Eustace.

Yes, here he was, with such a countenance, half foolish, half venomous,
as reynard wears when the last spadeful of earth is thrown back, and
he is revealed sitting disconsolately on his tail within a yard of the
terriers' noses.

Neither cousin spoke for a minute or two. At last Amyas--

"Well, cousin hide-and-seek, how long have you added horse-stealing to
your other trades?"

"My dear Amyas," said Eustace, very meekly, "I may surely go into an inn
stable without intending to steal what is in it."

"Of course, old fellow," said Amyas, mollified, "I was only in jest. But
what brings you here? Not prudence, certainly."

"I am bound to know no prudence save for the Lord's work."

"That's giving away Agnus Deis, and deceiving poor heathen wenches, I
suppose," said Yeo.

Eustace answered pretty roundly--

"Heathens? Yes, truly; you Protestants leave these poor wretches
heathens, and then insult and persecute those who, with a devotion
unknown to you, labor at the danger of their lives to make them
Christians. Mr. Amyas Leigh, you can give me up to be hanged at Exeter,
if it shall so please you to disgrace your own family; but from this
spot neither you, no, nor all the myrmidons of your queen, shall drive
me, while there is a soul here left unsaved."

"Come out of the stable, at least," said Amyas; "you don't want to make
the horses Papists, as well as the asses, do you? Come out, man, and go
to the devil your own way. I sha'n't inform against you; and Yeo here
will hold his tongue if I tell him, I know."

"It goes sorely against my conscience, sir; but being that he is your
cousin, of course--"

"Of course; and now come in and eat with me; supper's just ready, and
bygones shall be bygones, if you will have them so."

How much forgiveness Eustace felt in his heart, I know not: but he knew,
of course, that he ought to forgive; and to go in and eat with Amyas was
to perform an act of forgiveness, and for the best of motives, too, for
by it the cause of the Church might be furthered; and acts and motives
being correct, what more was needed? So in he went; and yet he never
forgot that scar upon his cheek; and Amyas could not look him in the
face but Eustace must fancy that his eyes were on the scar, and peep
up from under his lids to see if there was any smile of triumph on that
honest visage. They talked away over the venison, guardedly enough at
first; but as they went on, Amyas's straightforward kindliness warmed
poor Eustace's frozen heart; and ere they were aware, they found
themselves talking over old haunts and old passages of their
boyhood--uncles, aunts, and cousins; and Eustace, without any sinister
intention, asked Amyas why he was going to Bideford, while Frank and his
mother were in London.

"To tell you the truth, I cannot rest till I have heard the whole story
about poor Rose Salterne."

"What about her?" cried Eustace.

"Do you not know?"

"How should I know anything here? For heaven's sake, what has happened?"

Amyas told him, wondering at his eagerness, for he had never had the
least suspicion of Eustace's love.

Eustace shrieked aloud.

"Fool, fool that I have been! Caught in my own trap! Villain, villain
that he is! After all he promised me at Lundy!"

And springing up, Eustace stamped up and down the room, gnashing
his teeth, tossing his head from side to side, and clutching with
outstretched hands at the empty air, with the horrible gesture (Heaven
grant that no reader has ever witnessed it!) of that despair which still
seeks blindly for the object which it knows is lost forever.

Amyas sat thunderstruck. His first impulse was to ask, "Lundy? What
knew you of him? What had he or you to do at Lundy?" but pity conquered

"Oh, Eustace! And you then loved her too?"

"Don't speak to me! Loved her? Yes, sir, and had as good a right to love
her as any one of your precious Brotherhood of the Rose. Don't speak to
me, I say, or I shall do you a mischief!"

So Eustace knew of the brotherhood too! Amyas longed to ask him how; but
what use in that? If he knew it, he knew it; and what harm? So he only

"My good cousin, why be wroth with me? If you really love her, now is
the time to take counsel with me how best we shall--"

Eustace did not let him finish his sentence. Conscious that he had
betrayed himself upon more points than one, he stopped short in his
walk, suddenly collected himself by one great effort, and eyed Amyas
from underneath his brows with the old down look.

"How best we shall do what, my valiant cousin?" said he, in a meaning
and half-scornful voice. "What does your most chivalrous Brotherhood of
the Rose purpose in such a case?"

Amyas, a little nettled, stood on his guard in return, and answered

"What the Brotherhood of the Rose will do, I can't yet say. What it
ought to do, I have a pretty sure guess."

"So have I. To hunt her down as you would an outlaw, because forsooth
she has dared to love a Catholic; to murder her lover in her arms, and
drag her home again stained with his blood, to be forced by threats and
persecution to renounce that Church into whose maternal bosom she has
doubtless long since found rest and holiness!"

"If she has found holiness, it matters little to me where she has found
it, Master Eustace, but that is the very point that I should be glad to
know for certain."

"And you will go and discover for yourself?"

"Have you no wish to discover it also?"

"And if I had, what would that be to you?"

"Only," said Amyas, trying hard to keep his temper, "that, if we had the
same purpose, we might sail in the same ship."

"You intend to sail, then?"

"I mean simply, that we might work together."

"Our paths lie on very different roads, sir!"

"I am afraid you never spoke a truer word, sir. In the meanwhile, ere we
part, be so kind as to tell me what you meant by saying that you had met
this Spaniard at Lundy?"

"I shall refuse to answer that."

"You will please to recollect, Eustace, that however good friends we
have been for the last half-hour, you are in my power. I have a right to
know the bottom of this matter; and, by heaven, I will know it."

"In your power? See that you are not in mine! Remember, sir, that you
are within a--within a few miles, at least, of those who will obey me,
their Catholic benefactor, but who owe no allegiance to those Protestant
authorities who have left them to the lot of the beasts which perish."

Amyas was very angry. He wanted but little more to make him catch
Eustace by the shoulders, shake the life out of him, and deliver him
into the tender guardianship of Yeo; but he knew that to take him at
all was to bring certain death on him, and disgrace on the family; and
remembering Frank's conduct on that memorable night at Clovelly, he kept
himself down.

"Take me," said Eustace, "if you will, sir. You, who complain of us that
we keep no faith with heretics, will perhaps recollect that you asked me
into this room as your guest, and that in your good faith I trusted when
I entered it."

The argument was a worthless one in law; for Eustace had been a prisoner
before he was a guest, and Amyas was guilty of something very like
misprision of treason in not handing him over to the nearest justice.
However, all he did was, to go to the door, open it, and bowing to his
cousin, bid him walk out and go to the devil, since he seemed to have
set his mind on ending his days in the company of that personage.

Whereon Eustace vanished.

"Pooh!" said Amyas to himself, "I can find out enough, and too much, I
fear, without the help of such crooked vermin. I must see Cary; I must
see Salterne; and I suppose, if I am ready to do my duty, I shall learn
somehow what it is. Now to sleep; to-morrow up and away to what God

"Come in hither, men," shouted he down the passage, "and sleep here.
Haven't you had enough of this villainous sour cider?"

The men came in yawning, and settled themselves to sleep on the floor.

"Where's Yeo?"

No one knew; he had gone out to say his prayers, and had not returned.

"Never mind," said Amyas, who suspected some plot on the old man's part.
"He'll take care of himself, I'll warrant him."

"No fear of that, sir;" and the four tars were soon snoring in concert
round the fire, while Amyas laid himself on the settle, with his saddle
for a pillow.

      *    *    *    *    *

It was about midnight, when Amyas leaped to his feet, or rather fell
upon his back, upsetting saddle, settle, and finally, table, under the
notion that ten thousand flying dragons were bursting in the window
close to his ear, with howls most fierce and fell. The flying dragons
past, however, being only a flock of terror-stricken geese, which flew
flapping and screaming round the corner of the house; but the noise
which had startled them did not pass; and another minute made it evident
that a sharp fight was going on in the courtyard, and that Yeo was
hallooing lustily for help.

Out turned the men, sword in hand, burst the back door open, stumbling
over pails and pitchers, and into the courtyard, where Yeo, his back
against the stable-door, was holding his own manfully with sword and
buckler against a dozen men.

Dire and manifold was the screaming; geese screamed, chickens screamed,
pigs screamed, donkeys screamed, Mary screamed from an upper window;
and to complete the chorus, a flock of plovers, attracted by the noise,
wheeled round and round overhead, and added their screams also to that
Dutch concert.

The screaming went on, but the fight ceased; for, as Amyas rushed into
the yard, the whole party of ruffians took to their heels, and vanished
over a low hedge at the other end of the yard.

"Are you hurt, Yeo?"

"Not a scratch, thank Heaven! But I've got two of them, the ringleaders,
I have. One of them's against the wall. Your horse did for t'other."

The wounded man was lifted up; a huge ruffian, nearly as big as Amyas
himself. Yeo's sword had passed through his body. He groaned and choked
for breath.

"Carry him indoors. Where is the other?"

"Dead as a herring, in the straw. Have a care, men, have a care how you
go in! the horses are near mad!"

However, the man was brought out after a while. With him all was over.
They could feel neither pulse nor breath.

"Carry him in too, poor wretch. And now, Yeo, what is the meaning of all

Yeo's story was soon told. He could not get out of his Puritan head the
notion (quite unfounded, of course) that Eustace had meant to steal
the horses. He had seen the inn-keeper sneak off at their approach; and
expecting some night-attack, he had taken up his lodging for the night
in the stable.

As he expected, an attempt was made. The door was opened (how, he could
not guess, for he had fastened it inside), and two fellows came in, and
began to loose the beasts. Yeo's account was, that he seized the big
fellow, who drew a knife on him, and broke loose; the horses, terrified
at the scuffle, kicked right and left; one man fell, and the other
ran out, calling for help, with Yeo at his heels; "Whereon," said
Yeo, "seeing a dozen more on me with clubs and bows, I thought best to
shorten the number while I could, ran the rascal through, and stood on
my ward; and only just in time I was, what's more; there's two arrows in
the house wall, and two or three more in my buckler, which I caught up
as I went out, for I had hung it close by the door, you see, sir, to be
all ready in case," said the cunning old Philistine-slayer, as they went
in after the wounded man.

But hardly had they stumbled through the low doorway into the
back-kitchen when a fresh hubbub arose inside--more shouts for help.
Amyas ran forward breaking his head against the doorway, and beheld, as
soon as he could see for the flashes in his eyes, an old acquaintance,
held on each side by a sturdy sailor.

With one arm in the sleeve of his doublet, and the other in a not over
spotless shirt; holding up his hose with one hand, and with the other
a candle, whereby he had lighted himself to his own confusion; foaming
with rage, stood Mr. Evan Morgans, alias Father Parsons, looking,
between his confused habiliments and his fiery visage (as Yeo told him
to his face), "the very moral of a half-plucked turkey-cock." And behind
him, dressed, stood Eustace Leigh.

"We found the maid letting these here two out by the front door," said
one of the captors.

"Well, Mr. Parsons," said Amyas; "and what are you about here? A pretty
nest of thieves and Jesuits we seem to have routed out this evening."

"About my calling, sir," said Parsons, stoutly. "By your leave, I
shall prepare this my wounded lamb for that account to which your man's
cruelty has untimely sent him."

The wounded man, who lay upon the floor, heard Parsons' voice, and
moaned for the "Patrico."

"You see, sir," said he, pompously, "the sheep know their shepherd's

"The wolves you mean, you hypocritical scoundrel!" said Amyas, who could
not contain his disgust. "Let the fellow truss up his points, lads, and
do his work. After all, the man is dying."

"The requisite matters, sir, are not at hand," said Parsons, unabashed.

"Eustace, go and fetch his matters for him; you seem to be in all his

Eustace went silently and sullenly.

"What's that fresh noise at the back, now?"

"The maid, sir, a wailing over her uncle; the fellow that we saw sneak
away when we came up. It was him the horse killed."

It was true. The wretched host had slipped off on their approach, simply
to call the neighboring outlaws to the spoil; and he had been filled
with the fruit of his own devices.

"His blood be on his own head," said Amyas.

"I question, sir," said Yeo, in a low voice, "whether some of it will
not be on the heads of those proud prelates who go clothed in purple
and fine linen, instead of going forth to convert such as he, and then
wonder how these Jesuits get hold of them. If they give place to the
devil in their sheepfolds, sure he'll come in and lodge there. Look,
sir, there's a sight in a gospel land!"

And, indeed, the sight was curious enough. For Parsons was kneeling by
the side of the dying man, listening earnestly to the confession which
the man sobbed out in his gibberish, between the spasms of his wounded
chest. Now and then Parsons shook his head; and when Eustace returned
with the holy wafer, and the oil for extreme unction, he asked him, in a
low voice, "Ballard, interpret for me."

And Eustace knelt down on the other side of the sufferer, and
interpreted his thieves' dialect into Latin; and the dying man held
a hand of each, and turned first to one and then to the other stupid
eyes,--not without affection, though, and gratitude.

"I can't stand this mummery any longer," said Yeo. "Here's a soul
perishing before my eyes, and it's on my conscience to speak a word in

"Silence!" whispered Amyas, holding him back by the arm; "he knows them,
and he don't know you; they are the first who ever spoke to him as if
he had a soul to be saved, and first come, first served; you can do no
good. See, the man's face is brightening already."

"But, sir, 'tis a false peace."

"At all events he is confessing his sins, Yeo; and if that's not good
for him, and you, and me, what is?"

"Yea, Amen! sir; but this is not to the right person."

"How do you know his words will not go to the right person, after all,
though he may not send them there? By heaven! the man is dead!"

It was so. The dark catalogue of brutal deeds had been gasped out; but
ere the words of absolution could follow, the head had fallen back, and
all was over.

"Confession in extremis is sufficient," said Parsons to Eustace
("Ballard," as Parsons called him, to Amyas's surprise), as he rose. "As
for the rest, the intention will be accepted instead of the act."

"The Lord have mercy on his soul!" said Eustace.

"His soul is lost before our very eyes," said Yeo.

"Mind your own business," said Amyas.

"Humph; but I'll tell you, sir, what our business is, if you'll step
aside with me. I find that poor fellow that lies dead is none other than
the leader of the Gubbings; the king of them, as they dare to call him."

"Well, what of that?"

"Mark my words, sir, if we have not a hundred stout rogues upon us
before two hours are out; forgive us they never will; and if we get off
with our lives, which I don't much expect, we shall leave our horses
behind; for we can hold the house, sir, well enough till morning, but
the courtyard we can't, that's certain!"

"We had better march at once, then."

"Think, sir; if they catch us up--as they are sure to do, knowing the
country better than we--how will our shot stand their arrows?"

"True, old wisdom; we must keep the road; and we must keep together; and
so be a mark for them, while they will be behind every rock and bank;
and two or three flights of arrows will do our business for us. Humph!
stay, I have a plan." And stepping forward he spoke--

"Eustace, you will be so kind as to go back to your lambs; and tell
them, that if they meddle with us cruel wolves again to-night, we are
ready and willing to fight to the death, and have plenty of shot and
powder at their service. Father Parsons, you will be so kind as to
accompany us; it is but fitting that the shepherd should be hostage for
his sheep."

"If you carry me off this spot, sir, you carry my corpse only," said
Parsons. "I may as well die here as be hanged elsewhere, like my
martyred brother Campian."

"If you take him, you must take me too," said Eustace.

"What if we won't?"

"How will you gain by that? you can only leave me here. You cannot make
me go to the Gubbings, if I do not choose."

Amyas uttered sotto voce an anathema on Jesuits, Gubbings, and things in
general. He was in a great hurry to get to Bideford, and he feared that
this business would delay him, as it was, a day or two. He wanted to
hang Parsons, he did not want to hang Eustace; and Eustace, he knew,
was well aware of that latter fact, and played his game accordingly; but
time ran on, and he had to answer sulkily enough:

"Well then; if you, Eustace, will go and give my message to your
converts, I will promise to set Mr. Parsons free again before we come to
Lydford town; and I advise you, if you have any regard for his life,
to see that your eloquence be persuasive enough; for as sure as I am
an Englishman, and he none, if the Gubbings attack us, the first
bullet that I shall fire at them will have gone through his scoundrelly

Parsons still kicked.

"Very well, then, my merry men all. Tie this gentleman's hands behind
his back, get the horses out, and we'll right away up into Dartmoor,
find a good high tor, stand our ground there till morning, and then
carry him into Okehampton to the nearest justice. If he chooses to delay
me in my journey, it is fair that I should make him pay for it."

Whereon Parsons gave in, and being fast tied by his arm to Amyas's
saddle, trudged alongside his horse for several weary miles, while Yeo
walked by his side, like a friar by a condemned criminal; and in order
to keep up his spirits, told him the woful end of Nicholas Saunders the
Legate, and how he was found starved to death in a bog.

"And if you wish, sir, to follow in his blessed steps, which I heartily
hope you will do, you have only to go over that big cow-backed hill
there on your right hand, and down again the other side to Crawmere
pool, and there you'll find as pretty a bog to die in as ever Jesuit
needed; and your ghost may sit there on a grass tummock, and tell your
beads without any one asking for you till the day of judgment; and much
good may it do you!"

At which imagination Yeo was actually heard, for the first and last time
in this history, to laugh most heartily.

His ho-ho's had scarcely died away when they saw shining under the moon
the old tower of Lydford castle.

"Cast the fellow off now," said Amyas.

"Ay, ay, sir!" and Yeo and Simon Evans stopped behind, and did not come
up for ten minutes after.

"What have you been about so long?"

"Why, sir," said Evans, "you see the man had a very fair pair of hose
on, and a bran-new kersey doublet, very warm-lined; and so, thinking it
a pity good clothes should be wasted on such noxious trade, we've just
brought them along with us."

"Spoiling the Egyptians," said Yeo as comment.

"And what have you done with the man?"

"Hove him over the bank, sir; he pitched into a big furze-bush, and for
aught I know, there he'll bide."

"You rascal, have you killed him?

"Never fear, sir," said Yeo, in his cool fashion. "A Jesuit has as many
lives as a cat, and, I believe, rides broomsticks post, like a witch. He
would be at Lydford now before us, if his master Satan had any business
for him there."

Leaving on their left Lydford and its ill-omened castle (which, a
century after, was one of the principal scenes of Judge Jeffreys's
cruelty), Amyas and his party trudged on through the mire toward
Okehampton till sunrise; and ere the vapors had lifted from the mountain
tops, they were descending the long slopes from Sourton down, while
Yestor and Amicombe slept steep and black beneath their misty pall; and
roaring far below unseen,

     "Ockment leapt from crag and cloud
     Down her cataracts, laughing loud."

The voice of the stream recalled these words to Amyas's mind. The nymph
of Torridge had spoken them upon the day of his triumph. He recollected,
too, his vexation on that day at not seeing Rose Salterne. Why, he had
never seen her since. Never seen her now for six years and more! Of her
ripened beauty he knew only by hearsay; she was still to him the lovely
fifteen years' girl for whose sake he had smitten the Barnstaple draper
over the quay. What a chain of petty accidents had kept them from
meeting, though so often within a mile of each other! "And what a lucky
one!" said practical old Amyas to himself. "If I had seen her as she is
now, I might have loved her as Frank does--poor Frank! what will he
say? What does he say, for he must know it already? And what ought I to
say--to do rather, for talking is no use on this side the grave, nor on
the other either, I expect!" And then he asked himself whether his old
oath meant nothing or something; whether it was a mere tavern frolic, or
a sacred duty. And he held, the more that he looked at it, that it meant
the latter.

But what could he do? He had nothing on earth but his sword, so he could
not travel to find her. After all, she might not be gone far. Perhaps
not gone at all. It might be a mistake, an exaggerated scandal. He
would hope so. And yet it was evident that there had been some passages
between her and Don Guzman. Eustace's mysterious words about the promise
at Lundy proved that. The villain! He had felt all along that he was a
villain; but just the one to win a woman's heart, too. Frank had been
away--all the Brotherhood away. What a fool he had been, to turn the
wolf loose into the sheepfold! And yet who would have dreamed of
it? . . .

"At all events," said Amyas, trying to comfort himself, "I need not
complain. I have lost nothing. I stood no more chance of her against
Frank than I should have stood against the Don. So there is no use for
me to cry about the matter." And he tried to hum a tune concerning the
general frailty of women, but nevertheless, like Sir Hugh, felt that "he
had a great disposition to cry."

He never had expected to win her, and yet it seemed bitter to know that
she was lost to him forever. It was not so easy for a heart of his make
to toss away the image of a first love; and all the less easy because
that image was stained and ruined.

"Curses on the man who had done that deed! I will yet have his heart's
blood somehow, if I go round the world again to find him. If there's no
law for it on earth, there's law in heaven, or I'm much mistaken."

With which determination he rode into the ugly, dirty, and stupid town
of Okehampton, with which fallen man (by some strange perversity) has
chosen to defile one of the loveliest sites in the pleasant land of
Devon. And heartily did Amyas abuse the old town that day; for he was
detained there, as he expected, full three hours, while the Justice
Shallow of the place was sent for from his farm (whither he had gone
at sunrise, after the early-rising fashion of those days) to take Yeo's
deposition concerning last night's affray. Moreover, when Shallow came,
he refused to take the depositions, because they ought to have been made
before a brother Shallow at Lydford; and in the wrangling which ensued,
was very near finding out what Amyas (fearing fresh loss of time and
worse evils beside) had commanded to be concealed, namely, the presence
of Jesuits in that Moorland Utopia. Then, in broadest Devon--

"And do you call this Christian conduct, sir, to set a quiet man like me
upon they Gubbings, as if I was going to risk my precious life--no, nor
ever a constable to Okehampton neither? Let Lydfor' men mind Lydfor'
roogs, and by Lydfor' law if they will, hang first and try after; but
as for me, I've rade my Bible, and 'He that meddleth with strife is like
him that taketh a dog by the ears.' So if you choose to sit down and ate
your breakfast with me, well and good: but depositions I'll have none.
If your man is enquired for, you'll be answerable for his appearing, in
course; but I expect mortally" (with a wink), "you wain't hear much more
of the matter from any hand. 'Leave well alone is a good rule, but leave
ill alone is a better.'--So we says round about here; and so you'll say,
captain, when you be so old as I."

So Amyas sat down and ate his breakfast, and went on afterwards a long
and weary day's journey, till he saw at last beneath him the broad
shining river, and the long bridge, and the white houses piled up the
hill-side; and beyond, over Raleigh downs, the dear old tower of Northam

Alas! Northam was altogether a desert to him then; and Bideford, as it
turned out, hardly less so. For when he rode up to Sir Richard's door,
he found that the good knight was still in Ireland, and Lady Grenville
at Stow. Whereupon he rode back again down the High Street to that same
bow-windowed Ship Tavern where the Brotherhood of the Rose made their
vow, and settled himself in the very room where they had supped.

"Ah! Mr. Leigh--Captain Leigh now, I beg pardon," quoth mine host.
"Bideford is an empty place now-a-days, and nothing stirring, sir. What
with Sir Richard to Ireland, and Sir John to London, and all the young
gentlemen to the wars, there's no one to buy good liquor, and no one to
court the young ladies, neither. Sack, sir? I hope so. I haven't brewed
a gallon of it this fortnight, if you'll believe me; ale, sir, and aqua
vitae, and such low-bred trade, is all I draw now-a-days. Try a pint of
sherry, sir, now, to give you an appetite. You mind my sherry of old?
Jane! Sherry and sugar, quick, while I pull off the captain's boots."

Amyas sat weary and sad, while the innkeeper chattered on.

"Ah, sir! two or three like you would set the young ladies all alive
again. By-the-by, there's been strange doings among them since you were
here last. You mind Mistress Salterne!"

"For God's sake, don't let us have that story, man! I heard enough of it
at Plymouth!" said Amyas, in so disturbed a tone that mine host looked
up, and said to himself--

"Ah, poor young gentleman, he's one of the hard-hit ones."

"How is the old man?" asked Amyas, after a pause.

"Bears it well enough, sir; but a changed man. Never speaks to a soul,
if he can help it. Some folk say he's not right in his head; or turned
miser, or somewhat, and takes naught but bread and water, and sits up
all night in the room as was hers, turning over her garments. Heaven
knows what's on his mind--they do say he was over hard on her, and that
drove her to it. All I know is, he has never been in here for a drop
of liquor (and he came as regular every evening as the town clock, sir)
since she went, except a ten days ago, and then he met young Mr. Cary at
the door, and I heard him ask Mr. Cary when you would be home, sir."

"Put on my boots again. I'll go and see him."

"Bless you, sir! What, without your sack?"

"Drink it yourself, man."

"But you wouldn't go out again this time o' night on an empty stomach,

"Fill my men's stomachs for them, and never mind mine. It's market-day,
is it not? Send out, and see whether Mr. Cary is still in town;" and
Amyas strode out, and along the quay to Bridgeland Street, and knocked
at Mr. Salterne's door.

Salterne himself opened it, with his usual stern courtesy.

"I saw you coming up the street, sir. I have been expecting this honor
from you for some time past. I dreamt of you only last night, and many
a night before that too. Welcome, sir, into a lonely house. I trust the
good knight your general is well."

"The good knight my general is with God who made him, Mr. Salterne."

"Dead, sir?"

"Foundered at sea on our way home; and the Delight lost too."

"Humph!" growled Salterne, after a minute's silence. "I had a venture in
her. I suppose it's gone. No matter--I can afford it, sir, and more,
I trust. And he was three years younger than I! And Draper Heard was
buried yesterday, five years younger.--How is it that every one can die,
except me? Come in, sir, come in; I have forgotten my manners."

And he led Amyas into his parlor, and called to the apprentices to run
one way, and to the cook to run another.

"You must not trouble yourself to get me supper, indeed."

"I must though, sir, and the best of wine too; and old Salterne had a
good tap of Alicant in old time, old time, old time, sir! and you must
drink it now, whether he does or not!" and out he bustled.

Amyas sat still, wondering what was coming next, and puzzled at the
sudden hilarity of the man, as well as his hospitality, so different
from what the innkeeper had led him to expect.

In a minute more one of the apprentices came in to lay the cloth, and
Amyas questioned him about his master.

"Thank the Lord that you are come, sir," said the lad.

"Why, then?"

"Because there'll be a chance of us poor fellows getting a little broken
meat. We'm half-starved this three months--bread and dripping, bread and
dripping, oh dear, sir! And now he's sent out to the inn for chickens,
and game, and salads, and all that money can buy, and down in the cellar
haling out the best of wine."--And the lad smacked his lips audibly at
the thought.

"Is he out of his mind?"

"I can't tell; he saith as how he must save mun's money now-a-days; for
he've a got a great venture on hand: but what a be he tell'th no man.
They call'th mun 'bread and dripping' now, sir, all town over," said the
prentice, confidentially, to Amyas.

"They do, do they, sirrah! Then they will call me bread and no dripping
to-morrow!" and old Salterne, entering from behind, made a dash at the
poor fellow's ears: but luckily thought better of it, having a couple of
bottles in each hand.

"My dear sir," said Amyas, "you don't mean us to drink all that wine?"

"Why not, sir?" answered Salterne, in a grim, half-sneering tone,
thrusting out his square-grizzled beard and chin. "Why not, sir? why
should I not make merry when I have the honor of a noble captain in my
house? one who has sailed the seas, sir, and cut Spaniards' throats; and
may cut them again too; eh, sir? Boy, where's the kettle and the sugar?"

"What on earth is the man at?" quoth Amyas to himself--"flattering me,
or laughing at me?"

"Yes," he ran on, half to himself, in a deliberate tone, evidently
intending to hint more than he said, as he began brewing the sack--in
plain English, hot negus; "Yes, bread and dripping for those who can't
fight Spaniards; but the best that money can buy for those who can. I
heard of you at Smerwick, sir--Yes, bread and dripping for me too--I
can't fight Spaniards: but for such as you. Look here, sir; I should
like to feed a crew of such up, as you'd feed a main of fighting-cocks,
and then start them with a pair of Sheffield spurs a-piece--you've a
good one there to your side, sir: but don't you think a man might carry
two now, and fight as they say those Chineses do, a sword to each hand?
You could kill more that way, Captain Leigh, I reckon?"

Amyas half laughed.

"One will do, Mr. Salterne, if one is quick enough with it."

"Humph!--Ah--No use being in a hurry. I haven't been in a hurry. No--I
waited for you; and here you are and welcome, sir! Here comes supper, a
light matter, sir, you see. A capon and a brace of partridges. I had no
time to feast you as you deserve."

And so he ran on all supper-time, hardly allowing Amyas to get a word
in edge-ways; but heaping him with coarse flattery, and urging him to
drink, till after the cloth was drawn, and the two left alone, he grew
so outrageous that Amyas was forced to take him to task good-humoredly.

"Now, my dear sir, you have feasted me royally, and better far than I
deserve, but why will you go about to make me drunk twice over, first
with vainglory and then with wine?"

Salterne looked at him a while fixedly, and then, sticking out his
chin--"Because, Captain Leigh, I am a man who has all his life tried the
crooked road first, and found the straight one the safer after all."

"Eh, sir? That is a strange speech for one who bears the character of
the most upright man in Bideford."

"Humph. So I thought myself once, sir; and well I have proved it. But
I'll be plain with you, sir. You've heard how--how I've fared since you
saw me last?"

Amyas nodded his head.

"I thought so. Shame rides post. Now then, Captain Leigh, listen to me.
I, being a plain man and a burgher, and one that never drew iron in my
life except to mend a pen, ask you, being a gentleman and a captain
and a man of honor, with a weapon to your side, and harness to your
back--what would you do in my place?"

"Humph!" said Amyas, "that would very much depend on whether 'my place'
was my own fault or not."

"And what if it were, sir? What if all that the charitable folks of
Bideford--(Heaven reward them for their tender mercies!)--have been
telling you in the last hour be true, sir,--true! and yet not half the

Amyas gave a start.

"Ah, you shrink from me! Of course a man is too righteous to forgive
those who repent, though God is not."

"God knows, sir--"

"Yes, sir, God does know--all; and you shall know a little--as much as I
can tell--or you understand. Come upstairs with me, sir, as you'll drink
no more; I have a liking for you. I have watched you from your boyhood,
and I can trust you, and I'll show you what I never showed to mortal man
but one."

And, taking up a candle, he led the way upstairs, while Amyas followed

He stopped at a door, and unlocked it.

"There, come in. Those shutters have not been opened since she--" and
the old man was silent.

Amyas looked round the room. It was a low wainscoted room, such as one
sees in old houses: everything was in the most perfect neatness.
The snow-white sheets on the bed were turned down as if ready for an
occupant. There were books arranged on the shelves, fresh flowers on the
table; the dressing-table had all its woman's mundus of pins, and rings,
and brushes; even the dressing-gown lay over the chair-back. Everything
was evidently just as it had been left.

"This was her room, sir," whispered the old man.

Amyas nodded silently, and half drew back.

"You need not be modest about entering it now, sir," whispered he, with
a sort of sneer. "There has been no frail flesh and blood in it for many
a day."

Amyas sighed.

"I sweep it out myself every morning, and keep all tidy. See here!"
and he pulled open a drawer. "Here are all her gowns, and there are her
hoods; and there--I know 'em all by heart now, and the place of every
one. And there, sir--"

And he opened a cupboard, where lay in rows all Rose's dolls, and the
worn-out playthings of her childhood.

"That's the pleasantest place of all in the room to me," said he,
whispering still, "for it minds me of when--and maybe, she may become a
little child once more, sir; it's written in the Scripture, you know--"

"Amen!" said Amyas, who felt, to his own wonder, a big tear stealing
down each cheek.

"And now," he whispered, "one thing more. Look here!"--and pulling out a
key, he unlocked a chest, and lifted up tray after tray of necklaces
and jewels, furs, lawns, cloth of gold. "Look there! Two thousand pound
won't buy that chest. Twenty years have I been getting those things
together. That's the cream of many a Levant voyage, and East Indian
voyage, and West Indian voyage. My Lady Bath can't match those pearls in
her grand house at Tawstock; I got 'em from a Genoese, though, and paid
for 'em. Look at that embroidered lawn! There's not such a piece in
London; no, nor in Alexandria, I'll warrant; nor short of Calicut, where
it came from. . . . Look here again, there's a golden cup! I bought that
of one that was out with Pizarro in Peru. And look here, again!"--and
the old man gloated over the treasure.

"And whom do you think I kept all these for? These were for her
wedding-day--for her wedding-day. For your wedding-day, if you'd been
minded, sir! Yes, yours, sir! And yet, I believe, I was so ambitious
that I would not have let her marry under an earl, all the while I was
pretending to be too proud to throw her at the head of a squire's son.
Ah, well! There was my idol, sir. I made her mad, I pampered her up with
gewgaws and vanity; and then, because my idol was just what I had made
her, I turned again and rent her.

"And now," said he, pointing to the open chest, "that was what I meant;
and that" (pointing to the empty bed) "was what God meant. Never mind.
Come downstairs and finish your wine. I see you don't care about it all.
Why should you! you are not her father, and you may thank God you are
not. Go, and be merry while you can, young sir! . . . And yet, all this
might have been yours. And--but I don't suppose you are one to be won
by money--but all this may be yours still, and twenty thousand pounds to

"I want no money, sir, but what I can earn with my own sword."

"Earn my money, then!"

"What on earth do you want of me!"

"To keep your oath," said Salterne, clutching his arm, and looking up
into his face with searching eyes.

"My oath! How did you know that I had one?"

"Ah! you were well ashamed of it, I suppose, next day! A drunken frolic
all about a poor merchant's daughter! But there is nothing hidden that
shall not be revealed, nor done in the closet that is not proclaimed on
the house-tops."

"Ashamed of it, sir, I never was: but I have a right to ask how you came
to know it?"

"What if a poor fat squinny rogue, a low-born fellow even as I am,
whom you had baffled and made a laughing-stock, had come to me in my
loneliness and sworn before God that if you honorable gentlemen would
not keep your words, he the clown would?"

"John Brimblecombe?"

"And what if I had brought him where I have brought you, and shown
him what I have shown you, and, instead of standing as stiff as any
Spaniard, as you do, he had thrown himself on his knees by that bedside,
and wept and prayed, sir, till he opened my hard heart for the first
and last time, and I fell down on my sinful knees and wept and prayed by

"I am not given to weeping, Mr. Salterne," said Amyas; "and as for
praying, I don't know yet what I have to pray for, on her account: my
business is to work. Show me what I can do; and when you have done that,
it will be full time to upbraid me with not doing it."

"You can cut that fellow's throat."

"It will take a long arm to reach him."

"I suppose it is as easy to sail to the Spanish Main as it was to sail
round the world."

"My good sir," said Amyas, "I have at this moment no more worldly goods
than my clothes and my sword, so how to sail to the Spanish Main, I
don't quite see."

"And do you suppose, sir, that I should hint to you of such a voyage if
I meant you to be at the charge of it? No, sir; if you want two thousand
pounds, or five, to fit a ship, take it! Take it, sir! I hoarded money
for my child: and now I will spend it to avenge her."

Amyas was silent for a while; the old man still held his arm, still
looked up steadfastly and fiercely in his face.

"Bring me home that man's head, and take ship, prizes--all! Keep the
gain, sir, and give me the revenge!"

"Gain? Do you think I need bribing, sir? What kept me silent was the
thought of my mother. I dare not go without her leave."

Salterne made a gesture of impatience.

"I dare not, sir; I must obey my parent, whatever else I do."

"Humph!" said he. "If others had obeyed theirs as well!--But you are
right, Captain Leigh, right. You will prosper, whoever else does not.
Now, sir, good-night, if you will let me be the first to say so. My old
eyes grow heavy early now-a-days. Perhaps it's old age, perhaps it's

So Amyas departed to the inn, and there, to his great joy, found Cary
waiting for him, from whom he learnt details, which must be kept for
another chapter, and which I shall tell, for convenience' sake, in my
own words and not in his.



     "The Kynge of Spayn is a foul paynim,
     And lieveth on Mahound;
     And pity it were that lady fayre
     Should marry a heathen hound."

                           Kyng Estmere.

About six weeks after the duel, the miller at Stow had come up to
the great house in much tribulation, to borrow the bloodhounds. Rose
Salterne had vanished in the night, no man knew whither.

Sir Richard was in Bideford: but the old steward took on himself to send
for the keepers, and down went the serving-men to the mill with all the
idle lads of the parish at their heels, thinking a maiden-hunt very good
sport; and of course taking a view of the case as favorable as possible
to Rose.

They reviled the miller and his wife roundly for hard-hearted old
heathens; and had no doubt that they had driven the poor maid to throw
herself over cliff, or drown herself in the sea; while all the women of
Stow, on the other hand, were of unanimous opinion that the hussy had
"gone off" with some bad fellow; and that pride was sure to have a fall,
and so forth.

The facts of the case were, that all Rose's trinkets were left behind,
so that she had at least gone off honestly; and nothing seemed to be
missing, but some of her linen, which old Anthony the steward broadly
hinted was likely to be found in other people's boxes. The only trace
was a little footmark under her bedroom window. On that the bloodhound
was laid (of course in leash), and after a premonitory whimper, lifted
up his mighty voice, and started bell-mouthed through the garden gate,
and up the lane, towing behind him the panting keeper, till they reached
the downs above, and went straight away for Marslandmouth, where the
whole posse comitatus pulled up breathless at the door of Lucy Passmore.

Lucy, as perhaps I should have said before, was now a widow, and found
her widowhood not altogether contrary to her interest. Her augury about
her old man had been fulfilled; he had never returned since the night on
which he put to sea with Eustace and the Jesuits.

     *"Some natural tears she shed, but dried them soon"

as many of them, at least, as were not required for purposes of
business; and then determined to prevent suspicion by a bold move; she
started off to Stow, and told Lady Grenville a most pathetic tale: how
her husband had gone out to pollock fishing, and never returned: but how
she had heard horsemen gallop past her window in the dead of night, and
was sure they must have been the Jesuits, and that they had carried off
her old man by main force, and probably, after making use of his
services, had killed and salted him down for provision on their voyage
back to the Pope at Rome; after which she ended by entreating protection
against those "Popish skulkers up to Chapel," who were sworn to do her a
mischief; and by an appeal to Lady Grenville's sense of justice, as to
whether the queen ought not to allow her a pension, for having had her
heart's love turned into a sainted martyr by the hands of idolatrous

Lady Grenville (who had a great opinion of Lucy's medical skill, and
always sent for her if one of the children had a "housty," i. e. sore
throat) went forth and pleaded the case before Sir Richard with such
effect, that Lucy was on the whole better off than ever for the next two
or three years.  But now--what had she to do with Rose's disappearance?
and, indeed, where was she herself?  Her door was fast; and round it her
flock of goats stood, crying in vain for her to come and milk them;
while from the down above, her donkeys, wandering at their own sweet
will, answered the bay of the bloodhound with a burst of harmony.

"They'm laughing at us, keper, they neddies; sure enough, we'm lost our
labor here."

But the bloodhound, after working about the door a while, turned down
the glen, and never stopped till he reached the margin of the sea.

"They'm taken water.  Let's go back, and rout out the old witch's

"'Tis just like that old Lucy, to lock a poor maid into shame."

And returning, they attacked the cottage, and by a general plebiscitum,
ransacked the little dwelling, partly in indignation, and partly, if the
truth be told, in the hope of plunder; but plunder there was none.  Lucy
had decamped with all her movable wealth, saving the huge black cat
among the embers, who at the sight of the bloodhound vanished up the
chimney (some said with a strong smell of brimstone), and being viewed
outside, was chased into the woods, where she lived, I doubt not, many
happy years, a scourge to all the rabbits of the glen.

The goats and donkeys were driven off up to Stow; and the mob returned,
a little ashamed of themselves when their brief wrath was past; and a
little afraid, too, of what Sir Richard might say.

He, when he returned, sold the donkeys and goats, and gave the money to
the poor, promising to refund the same, if Lucy returned and gave
herself up to justice.  But Lucy did not return; and her cottage, from
which the neighbors shrank as from a haunted place, remained as she had
left it, and crumbled slowly down to four fern-covered walls, past which
the little stream went murmuring on from pool to pool--the only voice,
for many a year to come, which broke the silence of that lonely glen.

A few days afterwards, Sir Richard, on his way from Bideford to Stow,
looked in at Clovelly Court, and mentioned, with a "by the by," news
which made Will Cary leap from his seat almost to the ceiling.  What it
was we know already.

"And there is no clue?" asked old Cary; for his son was speechless.

"Only this; I hear that some fellow prowling about the cliffs that night
saw a pinnace running for Lundy."

Will rose, and went hastily out of the room.

In half an hour he and three or four armed servants were on board a
trawling-skiff, and away to Lundy.  He did not return for three days,
and then brought news: that an elderly man, seemingly a foreigner, had
been lodging for some months past in a part of the ruined Moresco
Castle, which was tenanted by one John Braund; that a few weeks since a
younger man, a foreigner also, had joined him from on board a ship: the
ship a Flushinger, or Easterling of some sort.  The ship came and went
more than once; and the young man in her.  A few days since, a lady and
her maid, a stout woman, came with him up to the castle, and talked with
the elder man a long while in secret; abode there all night; and then
all three sailed in the morning.  The fishermen on the beach had heard
the young man call the other father.  He was a very still man, much as a
mass-priest might be.  More they did not know, or did not choose to

Whereon old Cary and Sir Richard sent Will on a second trip with the
parish constable of Hartland (in which huge parish, for its sins, is
situate the Isle of Lundy, ten miles out at sea); who returned with the
body of the hapless John Braund, farmer, fisherman, smuggler, etc.;
which worthy, after much fruitless examination (wherein examinate was
afflicted with extreme deafness and loss of memory), departed to Exeter
gaol, on a charge of "harboring priests, Jesuits, gipsies, and other
suspect and traitorous persons."

Poor John Braund, whose motive for entertaining the said ugly customers
had probably been not treason, but a wife, seven children, and arrears
of rent, did not thrive under the change from the pure air of Lundy to
the pestiferous one of Exeter gaol, made infamous, but two years after
(if I recollect right), by a "black assizes," nearly as fatal as that
more notorious one at Oxford; for in it, "whether by the stench of the
prisoners, or by a stream of foul air," judge, jury, counsel, and
bystanders, numbering among them many members of the best families in
Devon, sickened in court, and died miserably within a few days.

John Braund, then, took the gaol-fever in a week, and died raving in
that noisome den: his secret, if he had one, perished with him, and
nothing but vague suspicion was left as to Rose Salterne's fate.  That
she had gone off with the Spaniard, few doubted; but whither, and in
what character?  On that last subject, be sure, no mercy was shown to
her by many a Bideford dame, who had hated the poor girl simply for her
beauty; and by many a country lady, who had "always expected that the
girl would be brought to ruin by the absurd notice, beyond what her
station had a right to, which was taken of her," while every young
maiden aspired to fill the throne which Rose had abdicated.  So that, on
the whole, Bideford considered itself as going on as well without poor
Rose as it had done with her, or even better.  And though she lingered
in some hearts still as a fair dream, the business and the bustle of
each day soon swept that dream away, and her place knew her no more.

And Will Cary?

He was for a while like a man distracted.  He heaped himself with all
manner of superfluous reproaches, for having (as he said) first brought
the Rose into disgrace, and then driven her into the arms of the
Spaniard; while St. Leger, who was a sensible man enough, tried in vain
to persuade him that the fault was not his at all; that the two must
have been attached to each other long before the quarrel; that it must
have ended so, sooner or later; that old Salterne's harshness, rather
than Cary's wrath, had hastened the catastrophe; and finally, that the
Rose and her fortunes were, now that she had eloped with a Spaniard, not
worth troubling their heads about.  Poor Will would not be so comforted.
He wrote off to Frank at Whitehall, telling him the whole truth, calling
himself all fools and villains, and entreating Frank's forgiveness; to
which he received an answer, in which Frank said that Will had no reason
to accuse himself; that these strange attachments were due to a
synastria, or sympathy of the stars, which ruled the destinies of each
person, to fight against which was to fight against the heavens
themselves; that he, as a brother of the Rose, was bound to believe,
nay, to assert at the sword's point if need were, that the incomparable
Rose of Torridge could make none but a worthy and virtuous choice; and
that to the man whom she had honored by her affection was due on their
part, Spaniard and Papist though he might be, all friendship, worship,
and loyal faith for evermore.

And honest Will took it all for gospel, little dreaming what agony of
despair, what fearful suspicions, what bitter prayers, this letter had
cost to the gentle heart of Francis Leigh.

He showed the letter triumphantly to St. Leger; and he was quite wise
enough to gainsay no word of it, at least aloud; but quite wise enough,
also, to believe in secret that Frank looked on the matter in quite a
different light; however, he contented himself with saying:

"The man is an angel as his mother is!" and there the matter dropped for
a few days, till one came forward who had no mind to let it drop, and
that was Jack Brimblecombe, now curate of Hartland town, and "passing
rich on forty pounds a year.

"I hope no offence, Mr. William; but when are you and the rest going
after--after her?"  The name stuck in his throat.

Cary was taken aback.

"What's that to thee, Catiline the blood-drinker?" asked he, trying to
laugh it off.

"What?  Don't laugh at me, sir, for it's no laughing matter.  I drank
that night naught worse, I expect, than red wine.  Whatever it was, we
swore our oaths, Mr. Cary; and oaths are oaths, say I."

"Of course, Jack, of course; but to go to look for her--and when we've
found her, cut her lover's throat.  Absurd, Jack, even if she were worth
looking for, or his throat worth cutting.  Tut, tut, tut--"

But Jack looked steadfastly in his face, and after some silence:

How far is it to the Caracas, then, sir?"

"What is that to thee, man?"

"Why, he was made governor thereof, I hear; so that would be the place
to find her?"

"You don't mean to go thither to seek her?" shouted Cary, forcing a

"That depends on whether I can go, sir; but if I can scrape the money
together, or get a berth on board some ship, why, God's will must be

Will looked at him, to see if he had been drinking, or gone mad; but the
little pigs' eyes were both sane and sober.

Will knew no answer.  To laugh at the poor fellow was easy enough; to
deny that he was right, that he was a hero and cavalier, outdoing
romance itself in faithfulness, not so easy; and Cary, in the first
impulse, wished him at the bottom of the bay for shaming him.  Of
course, his own plan of letting ill alone was the rational, prudent,
irreproachable plan, and just what any gentleman in his senses would
have done; but here was a vulgar, fat curate, out of his senses,
determined not to let ill alone, but to do something, as Cary felt in
his heart, of a far diviner stamp.

"Well," said Jack, in his stupid steadfast way, "it's a very bad
look-out; but mother's pretty well off, if father dies, and the maidens
are stout wenches enough, and will make tidy servants, please the Lord.
And you'll see that they come to no harm, Mr. William, for old
acquaintance' sake, if I never come back."

Cary was silent with amazement.

"And, Mr. William, you know me for an honest man, I hope.  Will you lend
me a five pound, and take my books in pawn for them, just to help me

"Are you mad, or in a dream?  You will never find her!"

"That's no reason why I shouldn't do my duty in looking for her, Mr.

"But, my good fellow, even if you get to the Indies, you will be clapt
into the Inquisition, and burnt alive, as sure as your name is Jack."

"I know that," said he, in a doleful tone; "and a sore struggle of the
flesh I have had about it; for I am a great coward, Mr. William, a dirty
coward, and always was, as you know: but maybe the Lord will take care
of me, as He does of little children and drunken men; and if not, Mr.
Will, I'd sooner burn, and have it over, than go on this way any longer,
I would!" and Jack burst out blubbering.

"What way, my dear old lad?" said Will, softened as he well might be.

"Why, not--not to know whether--whether--whether she's married to him or
not--her that I looked up to as an angel of God, as pure as the light of
day; and knew she was too good for a poor pot-head like me; and prayed
for her every night, God knows, that she might marry a king, if there
was one fit for her--and I not to know whether she's living in sin or
not, Mr. William.--It's more than I can bear, and there's an end of it.
And if she is married to him they keep no faith with heretics; they can
dissolve the marriage, or make away with her into the Inquisition; burn
her, Mr. Cary, as soon as burn me, the devils incarnate!"

Cary shuddered; the fact, true and palpable as it was, had never struck
him before.

"Yes! or make her deny her God by torments, if she hasn't done it
already for love to that--I know how love will make a body sell his
soul, for I've been in love.  Don't you laugh at me, Mr. Will, or I
shall go mad!"

"God knows, I was never less inclined to laugh at you in my life, my
brave old Jack."

"Is it so, then?  Bless you for that word!" and Jack held out his hand.
"But what will become of my soul, after my oath, if I don't seek her
out, just to speak to her, to warn her, for God's sake, even if it did
no good; just to set before her the Lord's curse on idolatry and
Antichrist, and those who deny Him for the sake of any creature, though
I can't think he would be hard on her,--for who could?  But I must speak
all the same.  The Lord has laid the burden on me, and done it must be.
God help me!"

"Jack," said Cary, "if this is your duty, it is others'."

"No, sir, I don't say that; you're a layman, but I am a deacon, and the
chaplain of you all, and sworn to seek out Christ's sheep scattered up
and down this naughty world, and that innocent lamb first of all."

"You have sheep at Hartland, Jack, already."

"There's plenty better than I will tend them, when I am gone; but none
that will tend her, because none love her like me, and they won't
venture.  Who will?  It can't be expected, and no shame to them?"

"I wonder what Amyas Leigh would say to all this, if he were at home?"

"Say?  He'd do.  He isn't one for talking.  He'd go through fire and
water for her, you trust him, Will Cary; and call me an ass if he

"Will you wait, then, till he comes back, and ask him?"

"He may not be back for a year and more."

"Hear reason, Jack.  If you will wait like a rational and patient man,
instead of rushing blindfold on your ruin, something may be done."

"You think so!"

"I cannot promise; but--"

"But promise me one thing.  Do you tell Mr. Frank what I say--or rather,
I'll warrant, if I knew the truth, he has said the very same thing
himself already."

"You are out there, old man; for here is his own handwriting."

Jack read the letter and sighed bitterly.  "Well, I did take him for
another guess sort of fine gentleman.  Still, if my duty isn't his, it's
mine all the same.  I judge no man; but I go, Mr. Cary."

"But go you shall not till Amyas returns.  As I live, I will tell your
father, Jack, unless you promise; and you dare not disobey him."

"I don't know even that, for conscience' sake," said Jack, doubtfully.

"At least, you stay and dine here, old fellow, and we will settle
whether you are to break the fifth commandment or not, over good brewed

Now a good dinner was (as we know) what Jack loved, and loved too oft in
vain; so he submitted for the nonce, and Cary thought, ere he went, that
he had talked him pretty well round.  At least he went home, and was
seen no more for a week.

But at the end of that time he returned, and said with a joyful voice--

"I have settled all, Mr. Will.  The parson of Welcombe will serve my
church for two Sundays, and I am away for London town, to speak to Mr.

"To London?  How wilt get there?"

"On Shanks his mare," said Jack, pointing to his bandy legs.  "But I
expect I can get a lift on board of a coaster so far as Bristol, and
it's no way on to signify, I hear."

Cary tried in vain to dissuade him; and then forced on him a small loan,
with which away went Jack, and Cary heard no more of him for three

At last he walked into Clovelly Court again just before supper-time,
thin and leg-weary, and sat himself down among the serving-men till Will

Will took him up above the salt, and made much of him (which indeed the
honest fellow much needed), and after supper asked him in private how he
had sped.

"I have learnt a lesson, Mr. William.  I've learnt that there is one on
earth loves her better than I, if she had but had the wit to have taken

"But what says he of going to seek her?"

"He says what I say, Go! and he says what you say, Wait."

"Go?  Impossible!  How can that agree with his letter?"

"That's no concern of mine.  Of course, being nearer heaven than I am,
he sees clearer what he should say and do than I can see for him.  Oh,
Mr. Will, that's not a man, he's an angel of God; but he's dying, Mr.


"Yes, faith, of love for her.  I can see it in his eyes, and hear it in
his voice; but I am of tougher hide and stiffer clay, and so you see I
can't die even if I tried.  But I'll obey my betters, and wait."

And so Jack went home to his parish that very evening, weary as he was,
in spite of all entreaties to pass the night at Clovelly.  But he had
left behind him thoughts in Cary's mind, which gave their owner no rest
by day or night, till the touch of a seeming accident made them all
start suddenly into shape, as a touch of the freezing water covers it in
an instant with crystals of ice.

He was lounging (so he told Amyas) one murky day on Bideford quay, when
up came Mr. Salterne.  Cary had shunned him of late, partly from
delicacy, partly from dislike of his supposed hard-heartedness.  But
this time they happened to meet full; and Cary could not pass without
speaking to him.

"Well, Mr. Salterne, and how goes on the shipping trade?"

"Well enough, sir, if some of you young gentlemen would but follow Mr.
Leigh's example, and go forth to find us stay-at-homes new markets for
our ware."

"What? you want to be rid of us, eh?"

"I don't know why I should, sir.  We sha'n't cross each other now, sir,
whatever might have been once.  But if I were you, I should be in the
Indies about now, if I were not fighting the queen's battles nearer

"In the Indies?  I should make but a poor hand of Drake's trade." And so
the conversation dropped; but Cary did not forget the hint.

"So, lad, to make an end of a long story," said he to Amyas; "if you are
minded to take the old man's offer, so am I: and Westward-ho with you,
come foul come fair."

"It will be but a wild-goose chase, Will."

"If she is with him, we shall find her at La Guayra.  If she is not, and
the villain has cast her off down the wind, that will be only an
additional reason for making an example of him."

"And if neither of them are there, Will, the Plate-fleets will be; so it
will be our own shame if we come home empty-handed.  But will your
father let you run such a risk?"

"My father!" said Cary, laughing.  "He has just now so good hope of a
long string of little Carys to fill my place, that he will be in no lack
of an heir, come what will."

"Little Carys?"

"I tell you truth.  I think he must have had a sly sup of that fountain
of perpetual youth, which our friend Don Guzman's grandfather went to
seek in Florida; for some twelvemonth since, he must needs marry a
tenant's buxom daughter; and Mistress Abishag Jewell has brought him one
fat baby already.  So I shall go, back to Ireland, or with you: but
somewhere.  I can't abide the thing's squalling, any more than I can
seeing Mistress Abishag sitting in my poor dear mother's place, and
informing me every other day that she is come of an illustrious house,
because she is (or is not) third cousin seven times removed to my
father's old friend, Bishop Jewell of glorious memory.  I had
three-parts of a quarrel with the dear old man the other day; for after
one of her peacock-bouts, I couldn't for the life of me help saying,
that as the Bishop had written an Apology for the people of England, my
father had better conjure up his ghost to write an apology for him, and
head it, 'Why green heads should grow on gray shoulders.'"

"You impudent villain!  And what did he say?"

Laughed till he cried again, and told me if I did not like it I might
leave it; which is just what I intend to do.  Only mind, if we go, we
must needs take Jack Brimblecombe with us, or he will surely heave
himself over Harty Point, and his ghost will haunt us to our dying day."

"Jack shall go.  None deserves it better."

After which there was a long consultation on practical matters, and it
was concluded that Amyas should go up to London and sound Frank and his
mother before any further steps were taken.  The other brethren of the
Rose were scattered far and wide, each at his post, and St. Leger had
returned to his uncle, so that it would be unfair to them, as well as a
considerable delay, to demand of them any fulfilment of their vow.
And, as Amyas sagely remarked, "Too many cooks spoil the broth, and
half-a-dozen gentlemen aboard one ship are as bad as two kings of

With which maxim he departed next morning for London, leaving Yeo with



     "He is brass within, and steel without,
     With beams on his topcastle strong;
     And eighteen pieces of ordinance
     He carries on either side along."

                         Sir Andrew Barton.

Let us take boat, as Amyas did, at Whitehall-stairs, and slip down ahead
of him under old London Bridge, and so to Deptford Creek, where remains,
as it were embalmed, the famous ship Pelican, in which Drake had sailed
round the world. There she stands, drawn up high and dry upon the sedgy
bank of Thames, like an old warrior resting after his toil. Nailed upon
her mainmast are epigrams and verses in honor of her and of her captain,
three of which, by the Winchester scholar, Camden gives in his History;
and Elizabeth's self consecrated her solemnly, and having banqueted on
board, there and then honored Drake with the dignity of knighthood. "At
which time a bridge of planks, by which they came on board, broke under
the press of people, and fell down with a hundred men upon it, who,
notwithstanding, had none of them any harm. So as that ship may seem to
have been built under a lucky planet."

There she has remained since as a show, and moreover as a sort of
dining-hall for jovial parties from the city; one of which would seem
to be on board this afternoon, to judge from the flags which bedizen the
masts, the sounds of revelry and savory steams which issue from those
windows which once were portholes, and the rushing to and fro along the
river brink, and across that lucky bridge, of white-aproned waiters from
the neighboring Pelican Inn. A great feast is evidently toward, for
with those white-aproned waiters are gay serving men, wearing on their
shoulders the city-badge. The lord mayor is giving a dinner to certain
gentlemen of the Leicester house party, who are interested in foreign
discoveries; and what place so fit for such a feast as the Pelican

Look at the men all round; a nobler company you will seldom see.
Especially too, if you be Americans, look at their faces, and reverence
them; for to them and to their wisdom you owe the existence of your
mighty fatherland.

At the head of the table sits the lord mayor; whom all readers will
recognize at once, for he is none other than that famous Sir Edward
Osborne, clothworker, and ancestor of the dukes of Leeds, whose romance
now-a-days is in every one's hands. He is aged, but not changed, since
he leaped from the window upon London Bridge into the roaring tide
below, to rescue the infant who is now his wife. The chivalry and
promptitude of the 'prentice boy have grown and hardened into the
thoughtful daring of the wealthy merchant adventurer. There he sits, a
right kingly man, with my lord Earl of Cumberland on his right hand, and
Walter Raleigh on his left; the three talk together in a low voice on
the chance of there being vast and rich countries still undiscovered
between Florida and the River of Canada. Raleigh's half-scientific
declamation and his often quotations of Doctor Dee the conjuror, have
less effect on Osborne than on Cumberland (who tried many an adventure
to foreign parts, and failed in all of them; apparently for the simple
reason that, instead of going himself, he sent other people), and
Raleigh is fain to call to his help the quiet student who sits on his
left hand, Richard Hakluyt, of Oxford. But he is deep in talk with a
reverend elder, whose long white beard flows almost to his waist, and
whose face is furrowed by a thousand storms; Anthony Jenkinson by name,
the great Asiatic traveller, who is discoursing to the Christ-church
virtuoso of reindeer sledges and Siberian steppes, and of the fossil
ivory, plain proof of Noah's flood, which the Tungoos dig from the
ice-cliffs of the Arctic sea. Next to him is Christopher Carlile,
Walsingham's son-in-law (as Sidney also is now), a valiant captain,
afterwards general of the soldiery in Drake's triumphant West Indian
raid of 1585, with whom a certain Bishop of Carthagena will hereafter
drink good wine. He is now busy talking with Alderman Hart the
grocer, Sheriff Spencer the clothworker, and Charles Leigh (Amyas's
merchant-cousin), and with Aldworth the mayor of Bristol, and William
Salterne, alderman thereof, and cousin of our friend at Bideford. For
Carlile, and Secretary Walsingham also, have been helping them heart
and soul for the last two years to collect money for Humphrey and Adrian
Gilbert's great adventures to the North-West, on one of which Carlile
was indeed to have sailed himself, but did not go after all; I never
could discover for what reason.

On the opposite side of the table is a group, scarcely less interesting.
Martin Frobisher and John Davis, the pioneers of the North-West passage,
are talking with Alderman Sanderson, the great geographer and "setter
forth of globes;" with Mr. Towerson, Sir Gilbert Peckham, our old
acquaintance Captain John Winter, and last, but not least, with Philip
Sidney himself, who, with his accustomed courtesy; has given up his
rightful place toward the head of the table that he may have a knot of
virtuosi all to himself; and has brought with him, of course, his two
especial intimates, Mr. Edward Dyer and Mr. Francis Leigh. They too are
talking of the North-West passage: and Sidney is lamenting that he is
tied to diplomacy and courts, and expressing his envy of old Martin
Frobisher in all sorts of pretty compliments; to which the other replies

"It's all very fine to talk of here, a sailing on dry land with a
good glass of wine before you; but you'd find it another guess sort of
business, knocking about among the icebergs with your beard frozen fast
to your ruff, Sir Philip, specially if you were a bit squeamish about
the stomach."

"That were a slight matter to endure, my dear sir, if by it I could win
the honor which her majesty bestowed on you, when her own ivory hand
waved a farewell 'kerchief to your ship from the windows of Greenwich

"Well, sir, folks say you have no reason to complain of lack of favors,
as you have no reason to deserve lack; and if you can get them by
staying ashore, don't you go to sea to look for more, say I. Eh, Master

Towerson's gray beard, which has stood many a foreign voyage, both fair
and foul, wags grim assent. But at this moment a Waiter enters, and--

"Please my lord mayor's worship, there is a tall gentleman outside,
would speak with the Right Honorable Sir Walter Raleigh."

"Show him in, man. Sir Walter's friends are ours."

Amyas enters, and stands hesitating in the doorway.

"Captain Leigh!" cry half a-dozen voices.

"Why did you not walk in, sir?" says Osborne. "You should know your way
well enough between these decks."

"Well enough, my lords and gentlemen. But, Sir Walter--you will excuse
me"--and he gave Raleigh a look which was enough for his quick wit.
Turning pale as death, he rose, and followed Amyas into an adjoining
cabin. They were five minutes together; and then Amyas came out alone.

In few words he told the company the sad story which we already know.
Ere it was ended, noble tears were glistening on some of those stern

"The old Egyptians," said Sir Edward Osborne, "when they banqueted, set
a corpse among their guests, for a memorial of human vanity. Have we
forgotten God and our own weakness in this our feast, that He Himself
has sent us thus a message from the dead?"

"Nay, my lord mayor," said Sidney, "not from the dead, but from the
realm of everlasting life."

"Amen!" answered Osborne. "But, gentlemen, our feast is at an end. There
are those here who would drink on merrily, as brave men should, in spite
of the private losses of which they have just had news; but none here
who can drink with the loss of so great a man still ringing in his

It was true. Though many of the guests had suffered severely by the
failure of the expedition, they had utterly forgotten that fact in the
awful news of Sir Humphrey's death; and the feast broke up sadly and
hurriedly, while each man asked his neighbor, "What will the queen say?"

Raleigh re-entered in a few minutes, but was silent, and pressing many
an honest hand as he passed, went out to call a wherry, beckoning Amyas
to follow him. Sidney, Cumberland, and Frank went with them in another
boat, leaving the two to talk over the sad details.

They disembarked at Whitehall-stairs; Raleigh, Sidney, and Cumberland
went to the palace; and the two brothers to their mother's lodgings.

Amyas had prepared his speech to Frank about Rose Salterne, but now that
it was come to the point, he had not courage to begin, and longed that
Frank would open the matter. Frank, too, shrank from what he knew must
come, and all the more because he was ignorant that Amyas had been to
Bideford, or knew aught of the Rose's disappearance.

So they went upstairs; and it was a relief to both of them to find that
their mother was at the Abbey; for it was for her sake that both dreaded
what was coming. So they went and stood in the bay-window which looked
out upon the river, and talked of things indifferent, and looked
earnestly at each other's faces by the fading light, for it was now
three years since they had met.

Years and events had deepened the contrast between the two brothers; and
Frank smiled with affectionate pride as he looked up in Amyas's face,
and saw that he was no longer merely the rollicking handy sailor-lad,
but the self-confident and stately warrior, showing in every look and

     "The reason firm, the temperate will,
     Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill,"

worthy of one whose education had been begun by such men as Drake and
Grenville, and finished by such as Raleigh and Gilbert. His long locks
were now cropped close to the head; but as a set-off, the lips and chin
were covered with rich golden beard; his face was browned by a thousand
suns and storms; a long scar, the trophy of some Irish fight, crossed
his right temple; his huge figure had gained breadth in proportion to
its height; and his hand, as it lay upon the window-sill, was hard and
massive as a smith's. Frank laid his own upon it, and sighed; and Amyas
looked down, and started at the contrast between the two--so slender,
bloodless, all but transparent, were the delicate fingers of the
courtier. Amyas looked anxiously into his brother's face. It was
changed, indeed, since they last met. The brilliant red was still on
either cheek, but the white had become dull and opaque; the lips were
pale, the features sharpened; the eyes glittered with unnatural fire:
and when Frank told Amyas that he looked aged, Amyas could not help
thinking that the remark was far more true of the speaker himself.

Trying to shut his eyes to the palpable truth, he went on with his chat,
asking the names of one building after another.

"And so this is old Father Thames, with his bank of palaces?"

"Yes. His banks are stately enough; yet, you see, he cannot stay to look
at them. He hurries down to the sea; and the sea into the ocean; and the
ocean Westward-ho, forever. All things move Westward-ho. Perhaps we may
move that way ourselves some day, Amyas."

"What do you mean by that strange talk?"

"Only that the ocean follows the primum mobile of the heavens, and flows
forever from east to west. Is there anything so strange in my thinking
of that, when I am just come from a party where we have been drinking
success to Westward-ho?"

"And much good has come of it! I have lost the best friend and the
noblest captain upon earth, not to mention all my little earnings, in
that same confounded gulf of Westward-ho."

"Yes, Sir Humphrey Gilbert's star has set in the West--why not? Sun,
moon, and planets sink into the West: why not the meteors of this lower
world? why not a will-o'-the-wisp like me, Amyas?"

"God forbid, Frank!"

"Why, then? Is not the West the land of peace, and the land of dreams?
Do not our hearts tell us so each time we look upon the setting sun, and
long to float away with him upon the golden-cushioned clouds? They bury
men with their faces to the East. I should rather have mine turned
to the West, Amyas, when I die; for I cannot but think it some divine
instinct which made the ancient poets guess that Elysium lay beneath the
setting sun. It is bound up in the heart of man, that longing for the
West. I complain of no one for fleeing away thither beyond the utmost
sea, as David wished to flee, and be at peace."

"Complain of no one for fleeing thither?" asked Amyas. "That is more
than I do."

Frank looked inquiringly at him; and then--

"No. If I had complained of any one, it would have been of you just now,
for seeming to be tired of going Westward-ho."

"Do you wish me to go, then?"

"God knows," said Frank, after a moment's pause. "But I must tell you
now, I suppose, once and for all. That has happened at Bideford which--"

"Spare us both, Frank; I know all. I came through Bideford on my way
hither; and came hither not merely to see you and my mother, but to ask
your advice and her permission."

"True heart! noble heart!" cried Frank. "I knew you would be stanch!"

"Westward-ho it is, then?"

"Can we escape?"


"Amyas, does not that which binds you bind me?"

Amyas started back, and held Frank by the shoulders at arm's length; as
he did so, he could feel through, that his brother's arms were but skin
and bone.

"You? Dearest man, a month of it would kill you!"

Frank smiled, and tossed his head on one side in his pretty way.

"I belong to the school of Thales, who held that the ocean is the mother
of all life; and feel no more repugnance at returning to her bosom again
than Humphrey Gilbert did."

"But, Frank,--my mother?"

"My mother knows all; and would not have us unworthy of her."

"Impossible! She will never give you up!"

"All things are possible to them that believe in God, my brother; and
she believes. But, indeed, Doctor Dee, the wise man, gave her but this
summer I know not what of prognostics and diagnostics concerning me. I
am born, it seems, under a cold and watery planet, and need, if I am to
be long-lived, to go nearer to the vivifying heat of the sun, and there
bask out my little life, like fly on wall. To tell truth, he has bidden
me spend no more winters here in the East; but return to our native
sea-breezes, there to warm my frozen lungs; and has so filled my
mother's fancy with stories of sick men, who were given up for lost in
Germany and France, and yet renewed their youth, like any serpent or
eagle, by going to Italy, Spain, and the Canaries, that she herself will
be more ready to let me go than I to leave her all alone. And yet I must
go, Amyas. It is not merely that my heart pants, as Sidney's does, as
every gallant's ought, to make one of your noble choir of Argonauts,
who are now replenishing the earth and subduing it for God and for the
queen; it is not merely, Amyas, that love calls me,--love tyrannous and
uncontrollable, strengthened by absence, and deepened by despair; but
honor, Amyas--my oath--"

And he paused for lack of breath, and bursting into a violent fit of
coughing, leaned on his brother's shoulder, while Amyas cried,

"Fools, fools that we were--that I was, I mean--to take that fantastical

"Not so," answered a gentle voice from behind: "you vowed for the
sake of peace on earth, and good-will toward men, and 'Blessed are the
peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.' No my sons,
be sure that such self-sacrifice as you have shown will meet its full
reward at the hand of Him who sacrificed Himself for you."

"Oh, mother! mother!" said Amyas, "and do you not hate the very sight of
me--come here to take away your first-born?"

"My boy, God takes him, and not you. And if I dare believe in such
predictions, Doctor Dee assured me that some exceeding honor awaited you
both in the West, to each of you according to your deserts."

"Ah!" said Amyas. "My blessing, I suppose, will be like Esau's, to live
by my sword; while Jacob here, the spiritual man, inherits the kingdom
of heaven, and an angel's crown."

"Be it what it may, it will surely be a blessing, as long as you are
such, my children, as you have been. At least my Frank will be safe from
the intrigues of court, and the temptations of the world. Would that I
too could go with you, and share in your glory! Come, now," said she,
laying her head upon Amyas's breast, and looking up into his face with
one of her most winning smiles, "I have heard of heroic mothers ere
now who went forth with their sons to battle, and cheered them on to
victory. Why should I not go with you on a more peaceful errand? I could
nurse the sick, if there were any; I could perhaps have speech of that
poor girl, and win her back more easily than you. She might listen to
words from a woman--a woman, too, who has loved--which she could not
hear from men. At least I could mend and wash for you. I suppose it is
as easy to play the good housewife afloat as on shore? Come, now!"

Amyas looked from one to the other.

"God only knows which of the two is less fit to go. Mother! mother! you
know not what you ask. Frank! Frank! I do not want you with me. This
is a sterner matter than either of you fancy it to be; one that must be
worked out, not with kind words, but with sharp shot and cold steel."

"How?" cried both together, aghast.

"I must pay my men, and pay my fellow-adventurers; and I must pay them
with Spanish gold. And what is more, I cannot, as a loyal subject of
the queen's, go to the Spanish Main with a clear conscience on my own
private quarrel, unless I do all the harm that my hand finds to do, by
day and night, to her enemies, and the enemies of God."

"What nobler knight-errantry?" said Frank, cheerfully; but Mrs. Leigh

"What! Frank too?" she said, half to herself; but her sons knew what she
meant. Amyas's warlike life, honorable and righteous as she knew it
to be, she had borne as a sad necessity: but that Frank as well should
become "a man of blood," was more than her gentle heart could face at
first sight. That one youthful duel of his he had carefully concealed
from her, knowing her feeling on such matters. And it seemed too
dreadful to her to associate that gentle spirit with all the ferocities
and the carnage of a battlefield. "And yet," said she to herself, "is
this but another of the self-willed idols which I must renounce one by
one?" And then, catching at a last hope, she answered--

"Frank must at least ask the queen's leave to go; and if she permits,
how can I gainsay her wisdom?"

And so the conversation dropped, sadly enough.

But now began a fresh perplexity in Frank's soul, which amused Amyas at
first, when it seemed merely jest, but nettled him a good deal when
he found it earnest. For Frank looked forward to asking the queen's
permission for his voyage with the most abject despondency and terror.
Two or three days passed before he could make up his mind to ask for
an interview with her; and he spent the time in making as much interest
with Leicester, Hatton, and Sidney, as if he were about to sue for a
reprieve from the scaffold.

So said Amyas, remarking, further, that the queen could not cut his head
off for wanting to go to sea.

"But what axe so sharp as her frown?" said Frank in most lugubrious

Amyas began to whistle in a very rude way.

"Ah, my brother, you cannot comprehend the pain of parting from her."

"No, I can't. I would die for the least hair of her royal head, God
bless it! but I could live very well from now till Doomsday without ever
setting eyes on the said head."

"Plato's Troglodytes regretted not that sunlight which they had never

Amyas, not understanding this recondite conceit, made no answer to it,
and there the matter ended for the time. But at last Frank obtained his
audience; and after a couple of hours' absence returned quite pale and

"Thank Heaven, it is over! She was very angry at first--what else could
she be?--and upbraided me with having set my love so low. I could only
answer, that my fatal fault was committed before the sight of her had
taught me what was supremely lovely, and only worthy of admiration. Then
she accused me of disloyalty in having taken an oath which bound me to
the service of another than her. I confessed my sin with tears, and when
she threatened punishment, pleaded that the offence had avenged itself
heavily already,--for what worse punishment than exile from the sunlight
of her presence, into the outer darkness which reigns where she is not?
Then she was pleased to ask me, how I could dare, as her sworn servant,
to desert her side in such dangerous times as these; and asked me how I
should reconcile it to my conscience, if on my return I found her dead
by the assassin's knife? At which most pathetic demand I could only
throw myself at once on my own knees and her mercy, and so awaited
my sentence. Whereon, with that angelic pity which alone makes her
awfulness endurable, she turned to Hatton and asked, 'What say you,
Mouton? Is he humbled sufficiently?' and so dismissed me."

"Heigh-ho!" yawned Amyas;

     "If the bridge had been stronger,
     My tale had been longer."

"Amyas! Amyas!" quoth Frank, solemnly, "you know not what power over the
soul has the native and God-given majesty of royalty (awful enough in
itself) when to it is superadded the wisdom of the sage, and therewithal
the tenderness of the woman. Had I my will, there should be in every
realm not a salique, but an anti-salique law: whereby no kings, but only
queens should rule mankind. Then would weakness and not power be to man
the symbol of divinity; love, and not cunning, would be the arbiter of
every cause; and chivalry, not fear, the spring of all obedience."

"Humph! There's some sense in that," quoth Amyas. "I'd run a mile for
a woman when I would not walk a yard for a man; and--Who is this our
mother is bringing in? The handsomest fellow I ever saw in my life!"

Amyas was not far wrong; for Mrs. Leigh's companion was none other than
Mr. Secretary, Amyas's Smerwick Fort acquaintance; alias Colin Clout,
alias Immerito, alias Edmund Spenser. Some half-jesting conversation had
seemingly been passing between the poet and the saint; for as they came
in she said with a smile (which was somewhat of a forced one)--"Well,
my dear sons, you are sure of immortality, at least on earth; for Mr.
Spenser has been vowing to me to give your adventure a whole canto to
itself in his 'Faerie Queene'."

"And you no less, madam," said Spenser. "What were the story of the
Gracchi worth without the figure of Cornelia? If I honor the fruit, I
must not forget the stem which bears it. Frank, I congratulate you."

"Then you know the result of my interview, mother?"

"I know everything, and am content," said Mrs. Leigh.

"Mrs. Leigh has reason to be content," said Spenser, "with that which is
but her own likeness."

Spare your flattery to an old woman, Mr. Spenser. When, pray, did I"
(with a most loving look at Frank) "refuse knighthood for duty's sake?"

"Knighthood?" cried Amyas. "You never told me that, Frank!"

"That may well be, Captain Leigh," said Spenser; "but believe me, her
majesty (so Hatton assures me) told him this day, no less than that by
going on this quest he deprived himself of that highest earthly honor,
which crowned heads are fain to seek from their own subjects."

Spenser did not exaggerate. Knighthood was then the prize of merit only;
and one so valuable, that Elizabeth herself said, when asked why she did
not bestow a peerage upon some favorite, that having already knighted
him, she had nothing better to bestow. It remained for young Essex to
begin the degradation of the order in his hapless Irish campaign, and
for James to complete that degradation by his novel method of raising
money by the sale of baronetcies; a new order of hereditary knighthood
which was the laughing-stock of the day, and which (however venerable
it may have since become) reflects anything but honor upon its first

"I owe you no thanks, Colin," said Frank, "for having broached my
secret: but I have lost nothing after all. There is still an order of
knighthood in which I may win my spurs, even though her majesty refuse
me the accolade."

"What, then? you will not take it from a foreign prince?"

Frank smiled.

"Have you never read of that knighthood which is eternal in the heavens,
and of those true cavaliers whom John saw in Patmos, riding on white
horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, knights-errant in the
everlasting war against the False Prophet and the Beast? Let me but
become worthy of their ranks hereafter, what matter whether I be called
Sir Frank on earth?"

"My son," said Mrs. Leigh, "remember that they follow One whose vesture
is dipped, not in the blood of His enemies, but in His own."

"I have remembered it for many a day; and remembered, too, that the
garments of the knights may need the same tokens as their captain's."

"Oh, Frank! Frank! is not His precious blood enough to cleanse all sin,
without the sacrifice of our own?"

"We may need no more than His blood, mother, and yet He may need ours,"
said Frank.

      *    *    *    *    *

How that conversation ended I know not, nor whether Spenser fulfilled
his purpose of introducing the two brothers and their mother into his
"Faerie Queene." If so, the manuscripts must have been lost among those
which perished (along with Spenser's baby) in the sack of Kilcolman by
the Irish in 1598. But we need hardly regret the loss of them; for the
temper of the Leighs and their mother is the same which inspires every
canto of that noblest of poems; and which inspired, too, hundreds in
those noble days, when the chivalry of the Middle Ages was wedded to the
free thought and enterprise of the new.

      *    *    *    *    *

So mother and sons returned to Bideford, and set to work. Frank
mortgaged a farm; Will Cary did the same (having some land of his own
from his mother). Old Salterne grumbled at any man save himself spending
a penny on the voyage, and forced on the adventurers a good ship of two
hundred tons burden, and five hundred pounds toward fitting her out;
Mrs. Leigh worked day and night at clothes and comforts of every kind;
Amyas had nothing to give but his time and his brains: but, as Salterne
said, the rest would have been of little use without them; and day after
day he and the old merchant were on board the ship, superintending
with their own eyes the fitting of every rope and nail. Cary went about
beating up recruits; and made, with his jests and his frankness, the
best of crimps: while John Brimblecombe, beside himself with joy,
toddled about after him from tavern to tavern, and quay to quay, exalted
for the time being (as Cary told him) into a second Peter the Hermit;
and so fiercely did he preach a crusade against the Spaniards, through
Bideford and Appledore, Clovelly and Ilfracombe, that Amyas might have
had a hundred and fifty loose fellows in the first fortnight. But he
knew better: still smarting from the effects of a similar haste in the
Newfoundland adventure, he had determined to take none but picked men;
and by dint of labor he obtained them.

Only one scapegrace did he take into his crew, named Parracombe; and
by that scapegrace hangs a tale. He was an old schoolfellow of his
at Bideford, and son of a merchant in that town--one of those unlucky
members who are "nobody's enemy but their own"--a handsome, idle,
clever fellow, who used his scholarship, of which he had picked up some
smattering, chiefly to justify his own escapades, and to string songs
together. Having drunk all that he was worth at home, he had in a
penitent fit forsworn liquor, and tormented Amyas into taking him to
sea, where he afterwards made as good a sailor as any one else,
but sorely scandalized John Brimblecombe by all manner of heretical
arguments, half Anacreontic, half smacking of the rather loose doctrines
of that "Family of Love" which tormented the orthodoxy and morality of
more than one Bishop of Exeter. Poor Will Parracombe! he was born a few
centuries too early. Had he but lived now, he might have published
a volume or two of poetry, and then settled down on the staff of a
newspaper. Had he even lived thirty years later than he did, he might
have written frantic tragedies or filthy comedies for the edification of
James's profligate metropolis, and roistered it in taverns with Marlowe,
to die as Marlowe did, by a footman's sword in a drunken brawl. But in
those stern days such weak and hysterical spirits had no fair vent for
their "humors," save in being reconciled to the Church of Rome, and
plotting with Jesuits to assassinate the queen, as Parry and Somerville,
and many other madmen, did.

So, at least, some Jesuit or other seems to have thought, shortly after
Amyas had agreed to give the spendthrift a berth on board. For one day
Amyas, going down to Appledore about his business, was called into the
little Mariners' Rest inn, to extract therefrom poor Will Parracombe,
who (in spite of his vow) was drunk and outrageous, and had vowed the
death of the landlady and all her kin. So Amyas fetched him out by the
collar, and walked him home thereby to Bideford; during which walk Will
told him a long and confused story; how an Egyptian rogue had met him
that morning on the sands by Boathythe, offered to tell his fortune,
and prophesied to him great wealth and honor, but not from the Queen of
England; had coaxed him to the Mariners' Rest, and gambled with him
for liquor, at which it seemed Will always won, and of course drank his
winnings on the spot; whereon the Egyptian began asking him all sorts of
questions about the projected voyage of the Rose--a good many of which,
Will confessed, he had answered before he saw the fellow's drift;
after which the Egyptian had offered him a vast sum of money to do some
desperate villainy; but whether it was to murder Amyas or the queen,
whether to bore a hole in the bottom of the good ship Rose or to set the
Torridge on fire by art-magic, he was too drunk to recollect exactly.
Whereon Amyas treated three-quarters of the story as a tipsy dream,
and contented himself by getting a warrant against the landlady for
harboring "Egyptians," which was then a heavy offence--a gipsy disguise
being a favorite one with Jesuits and their emissaries. She of course
denied that any gipsy had been there; and though there were some who
thought they had seen such a man come in, none had seen him go out
again. On which Amyas took occasion to ask, what had become of the
suspicious Popish ostler whom he had seen at the Mariners' Rest three
years before; and discovered, to his surprise, that the said ostler
had vanished from the very day of Don Guzman's departure from Bideford.
There was evidently a mystery somewhere: but nothing could be proved;
the landlady was dismissed with a reprimand, and Amyas soon forgot the
whole matter, after rating Parracombe soundly. After all, he could not
have told the gipsy (if one existed) anything important; for the special
destination of the voyage (as was the custom in those times, for fear of
Jesuits playing into the hands of Spain) had been carefully kept secret
among the adventurers themselves, and, except Yeo and Drew, none of the
men had any suspicion that La Guayra was to be their aim.

And Salvation Yeo?

Salvation was almost wild for a few days, at the sudden prospect of
going in search of his little maid, and of fighting Spaniards once more
before he died. I will not quote the texts out of Isaiah and the Psalms
with which his mouth was filled from morning to night, for fear of
seeming irreverent in the eyes of a generation which does not believe,
as Yeo believed, that fighting the Spaniards was as really fighting in
God's battle against evil as were the wars of Joshua or David. But the
old man had his practical hint too, and entreated to be sent back to
Plymouth to look for men.

"There's many a man of the old Pelican, sir, and of Captain Hawkins's
Minion that knows the Indies as well as I, and longs to be back again.
There's Drew, sir, that we left behind (and no better sailing-master for
us in the West-country, and has accounts against the Spaniards, too; for
it was his brother, the Barnstaple man, that was factor aboard of poor
Mr. Andrew Barker, and got clapt into the Inquisition at the Canaries);
you promised him, sir, that night he stood by you on board the Raleigh:
and if you'll be as good as your word, he'll be as good as his; and
bring a score more brave fellows with him."

So off went Yeo to Plymouth, and returned with Drew and a score of old
never-strikes. One look at their visages, as Yeo proudly ushered them
into the Ship Tavern, showed Amyas that they were of the metal which he
wanted, and that, with the four North-Devon men who had gone round the
world with him in the Pelican (who all joined in the first week), he had
a reserve-force on which he could depend in utter need; and that utter
need might come he knew as well as any.

Nor was this all which Yeo had brought; for he had with him a letter
from Sir Francis Drake, full of regrets that he had not seen "his dear
lad" as he went through Plymouth. "But indeed I was up to Dartmoor,
surveying with cross-staff and chain, over my knees in bog for a three
weeks or more. For I have a project to bring down a leat of fair water
from the hill-tops right into Plymouth town, cutting off the heads
of Tavy, Meavy, Wallcomb, and West Dart, and thereby purging Plymouth
harbor from the silt of the mines whereby it has been choked of late
years, and giving pure drink not only to the townsmen, but to the fleets
of the queen's majesty; which if I do, I shall both make some poor
return to God for all His unspeakable mercies, and erect unto myself a
monument better than of brass or marble, not merely honorable to me, but
useful to my countrymen."* Whereon Frank sent Drake a pretty epigram,
comparing Drake's projected leat to that river of eternal life whereof
the just would drink throughout eternity, and quoting (after the fashion
of those days) John vii. 38; while Amyas took more heed of a practical
appendage to the same letter, which was a list of hints scrawled for
his use by Captain John Hawkins himself, on all sea matters, from
the mounting of ordnance to the use of vitriol against the scurvy, in
default of oranges and "limmons;" all which stood Amyas in good stead
during the ensuing month, while Frank grew more and more proud of his
brother, and more and more humble about himself.

     * This noble monument of Drake's piety and public spirit
     still remains in full use.

For he watched with astonishment how the simple sailor, without genius,
scholarship, or fancy, had gained, by plain honesty, patience, and
common sense, a power over the human heart, and a power over his work,
whatsoever it might be, which Frank could only admire afar off. The men
looked up to him as infallible, prided themselves on forestalling his
wishes, carried out his slightest hint, worked early and late to win
a smile from him; while as for him, no detail escaped him, no drudgery
sickened him, no disappointment angered him, till on the 15th of
November, 1583, dropped down from Bideford Quay to Appledore Pool the
tall ship Rose, with a hundred men on board (for sailors packed close
in those days), beef, pork, biscuit, and good ale (for ale went to sea
always then) in abundance, four culverins on her main deck, her poop and
forecastle well fitted with swivels of every size, and her racks so full
of muskets, calivers, long bows, pikes, and swords, that all agreed so
well-appointed a ship had never sailed "out over Bar."

The next day being Sunday, the whole crew received the Communion
together at Northam Church, amid a mighty crowd; and then going on board
again, hove anchor and sailed out over the Bar before a soft east wind,
to the music of sacbut, fife, and drum, with discharge of all ordnance,
great and small, with cheering of young and old from cliff and strand
and quay, and with many a tearful prayer and blessing upon that gallant
bark, and all brave hearts on board.

And Mrs. Leigh who had kissed her sons for the last time after the
Communion at the altar-steps (and what more fit place for a mother's
kiss?) went to the rocky knoll outside the churchyard wall, and watched
the ship glide out between the yellow denes, and lessen slowly hour by
hour into the boundless West, till her hull sank below the dim horizon,
and her white sails faded away into the gray Atlantic mist, perhaps

And Mrs. Leigh gathered her cloak about her, and bowed her head and
worshipped; and then went home to loneliness and prayer.



     "The sun's rim dips; the stars rush out;
     At one stride comes the dark."


Land! land! land! Yes, there it was, far away to the south and west,
beside the setting sun, a long blue bar between the crimson sea and
golden sky. Land at last, with fresh streams, and cooling fruits, and
free room for cramped and scurvy-weakened limbs. And there, too, might
be gold, and gems, and all the wealth of Ind. Who knew? Why not? The old
world of fact and prose lay thousands of miles behind them, and before
them and around them was the realm of wonder and fable, of boundless
hope and possibility. Sick men crawled up out of their stifling
hammocks; strong men fell on their knees and gave God thanks; and all
eyes and hands were stretched eagerly toward the far blue cloud, fading
as the sun sank down, yet rising higher and broader as the ship rushed
on before the rich trade-wind, which whispered lovingly round brow
and sail, "I am the faithful friend of those who dare!" "Blow freshly,
freshlier yet, thou good trade-wind, of whom it is written that He makes
the winds His angels, ministering breaths to the heirs of His salvation.
Blow freshlier yet, and save, if not me from death, yet her from worse
than death. Blow on, and land me at her feet, to call the lost lamb
home, and die!"

So murmured Frank to himself, as with straining eyes he gazed upon that
first outlier of the New World which held his all. His cheeks were thin
and wasted, and the hectic spot on each glowed crimson in the crimson
light of the setting sun. A few minutes more, and the rainbows of the
West were gone; emerald and topaz, amethyst and ruby, had faded into
silver-gray; and overhead, through the dark sapphire depths, the Moon
and Venus reigned above the sea.

"That should be Barbados, your worship," said Drew, the master; "unless
my reckoning is far out, which, Heaven knows, it has no right to be,
after such a passage, and God be praised."

"Barbados? I never heard of it."

"Very like, sir: but Yeo and I were here with Captain Drake, and I was
here after, too, with poor Captain Barlow; and there is good harborage
to the south and west of it, I remember."

"And neither Spaniard, cannibal, or other evil beast," said Yeo. "A very
garden of the Lord, sir, hid away in the seas, for an inheritance to
those who love Him. I heard Captain Drake talk of planting it, if ever
he had a chance."

"I recollect now," said Amyas, "some talk between him and poor Sir
Humphrey about an island here. Would God he had gone thither instead of
to Newfoundland!"

"Nay, then," said Yeo, "he is in bliss now with the Lord; and you would
not have kept him from that, sir?"

"He would have waited as willingly as he went, if he could have served
his queen thereby. But what say you, my masters? How can we do better
than to spend a few days here, to get our sick round, before we make the
Main, and set to our work?"

All approved the counsel except Frank, who was silent.

"Come, fellow-adventurer," said Cary, "we must have your voice too."

"To my impatience, Will," said he, aside in a low voice, "there is but
one place on earth, and I am all day longing for wings to fly thither:
but the counsel is right. I approve it."

So the verdict was announced, and received with a hearty cheer by the
crew; and long before morning they had run along the southern shore of
the island, and were feeling their way into the bay where Bridgetown now
stands. All eyes were eagerly fixed on the low wooded hills which slept
in the moonlight, spangled by fireflies, with a million dancing stars;
all nostrils drank greedily the fragrant air, which swept from the land,
laden with the scent of a thousand flowers; all ears welcomed, as a
grateful change from the monotonous whisper and lap of the water, the
hum of insects, the snore of the tree-toads, the plaintive notes of the
shore-fowl, which fill a tropic night with noisy life.

At last she stopped; at last the cable rattled through the hawsehole;
and then, careless of the chance of lurking Spaniard or Carib, an
instinctive cheer burst from every throat. Poor fellows! Amyas had much
ado to prevent them going on shore at once, dark as it was, by reminding
them that it wanted but two hours of day.

"Never were two such long hours," said one young lad, fidgeting up and

"You never were in the Inquisition," said Yeo, "or you'd know better how
slow time can run. Stand you still, and give God thanks you're where you

"I say, Gunner, be there goold to that island?"

"Never heard of none; and so much the better for it," said Yeo, dryly.

"But, I say, Gunner," said a poor scurvy-stricken cripple, licking his
lips, "be there oranges and limmons there?"

"Not of my seeing; but plenty of good fruit down to the beach, thank the
Lord. There comes the dawn at last."

Up flushed the rose, up rushed the sun, and the level rays glittered on
the smooth stems of the palm-trees, and threw rainbows across the foam
upon the coral-reefs, and gilded lonely uplands far away, where now
stands many a stately country-seat and busy engine-house. Long lines of
pelicans went clanging out to sea; the hum of the insects hushed, and a
thousand birds burst into jubilant song; a thin blue mist crept upward
toward the inner downs, and vanished, leaving them to quiver in the
burning glare; the land-breeze, which had blown fresh out to sea all
night, died away into glassy calm, and the tropic day was begun.

The sick were lifted over the side, and landed boat-load after boat-load
on the beach, to stretch themselves in the shade of the palms; and in
half-an-hour the whole crew were scattered on the shore, except some
dozen worthy men, who had volunteered to keep watch and ward on board
till noon.

And now the first instinctive cry of nature was for fruit! fruit! fruit!
The poor lame wretches crawled from place to place plucking greedily the
violet grapes of the creeping shore vine, and staining their mouths
and blistering their lips with the prickly pears, in spite of Yeo's
entreaties and warnings against the thorns. Some of the healthy began
hewing down cocoa-nut trees to get at the nuts, doing little thereby but
blunt their hatchets; till Yeo and Drew, having mustered half-a-dozen
reasonable men, went off inland, and returned in an hour laden with the
dainties of that primeval orchard,--with acid junipa-apples, luscious
guavas, and crowned ananas, queen of all the fruits, which they had
found by hundreds on the broiling ledges of the low tufa-cliffs;
and then all, sitting on the sandy turf, defiant of galliwasps and
jackspaniards, and all the weapons of the insect host, partook of the
equal banquet, while old blue land-crabs sat in their house-doors and
brandished their fists in defiance at the invaders, and solemn cranes
stood in the water on the shoals with their heads on one side, and
meditated how long it was since they had seen bipeds without feathers
breaking the solitude of their isle.

And Frank wandered up and down, silent, but rather in wonder than
in sadness, while great Amyas walked after him, his mouth full
of junipa-apples, and enacted the part of showman, with a sort of
patronizing air, as one who had seen the wonders already, and was above
being astonished at them.

"New, new; everything new!" said Frank, meditatively. "Oh, awful
feeling! All things changed around us, even to the tiniest fly and
flower; yet we the same, the same forever!"

Amyas, to whom such utterances were altogether sibylline and
unintelligible, answered by:

"Look, Frank, that's a colibri. You 've heard of colibris?"

Frank looked at the living gem, which hung, loud humming, over some
fantastic bloom, and then dashed away, seemingly to call its mate, and
whirred and danced with it round and round the flower-starred bushes,
flashing fresh rainbows at every shifting of the lights.

Frank watched solemnly awhile, and then:

"Qualis Natura formatrix, si talis formata? Oh my God, how fair must be
Thy real world, if even Thy phantoms are so fair!"

"Phantoms?" asked Amyas, uneasily. "That's no ghost, Frank, but a jolly
little honey-sucker, with a wee wife, and children no bigger than peas,
but yet solid greedy little fellows enough, I'll warrant."

"Not phantoms in thy sense, good fellow, but in the sense of those who
know the worthlessness of all below."

"I'll tell you what, brother Frank, you are a great deal wiser than me,
I know; but I can't abide to see you turn up your nose as it were at
God's good earth. See now, God made all these things; and never a man,
perhaps, set eyes on them till fifty years agone; and yet they were as
pretty as they are now, ever since the making of the world. And why
do you think God could have put them here, then, but to please
Himself"--and Amyas took off his hat--"with the sight of them? Now, I
say, brother Frank, what's good enough to please God, is good enough to
please you and me."

"Your rebuke is just, dear old simple-hearted fellow; and God forgive
me, if with all my learning, which has brought me no profit, and my
longings, which have brought me no peace, I presume at moments, sinner
that I am, to be more dainty than the Lord Himself. He walked in
Paradise among the trees of the garden, Amyas; and so will we, and
be content with what He sends. Why should we long for the next world,
before we are fit even for this one?"

"And in the meanwhile," said Amyas, "this earth's quite good enough, at
least here in Barbados."

"Do you believe," asked Frank, trying to turn his own thoughts, "in
those tales of the Spaniards, that the Sirens and Tritons are heard
singing in these seas?"

"I can't tell. There's more fish in the water than ever came out of it,
and more wonders in the world, I'll warrant, than we ever dreamt of; but
I was never in these parts before; and in the South Sea, I must say, I
never came across any, though Yeo says he has heard fair music at night
up in the Gulf, far away from land."

"The Spaniards report that at certain seasons choirs of these nymphs
assemble in the sea, and with ravishing music sing their watery loves.
It may be so. For Nature, which has peopled the land with rational
souls, may not have left the sea altogether barren of them; above all,
when we remember that the ocean is as it were the very fount of all
fertility, and its slime (as the most learned hold with Thales of
Miletus) that prima materia out of which all things were one by one
concocted. Therefore, the ancients feigned wisely that Venus, the mother
of all living things, whereby they designed the plastic force of nature,
was born of the sea-foam, and rising from the deep, floated ashore upon
the isles of Greece."

"I don't know what plastic force is; but I wish I had had the luck to be
by when the pretty poppet came up: however, the nearest thing I ever saw
to that was maidens swimming alongside of us when we were in the South
Seas, and would have come aboard, too; but Drake sent them all off again
for a lot of naughty packs, and I verily believe they were no better.
Look at the butterflies, now! Don't you wish you were a boy again, and
not too proud to go catching them in your cap?"

And so the two wandered on together through the glorious tropic woods,
and then returned to the beach to find the sick already grown cheerful,
and many who that morning could not stir from their hammocks, pacing up
and down, and gaining strength with every step.

"Well done, lads!" cried Amyas, "keep a cheerful mind. We will have the
music ashore after dinner, for want of mermaids to sing to us, and those
that can dance may."

And so those four days were spent; and the men, like schoolboys on
a holiday, gave themselves up to simple merriment, not forgetting,
however, to wash the clothes, take in fresh water, and store up a
good supply of such fruit as seemed likely to keep; until, tired with
fruitless rambles after gold, which they expected to find in every bush,
in spite of Yeo's warnings that none had been heard of on the island,
they were fain to lounge about, full-grown babies, picking up shells and
sea-fans to take home to their sweethearts, smoking agoutis out of the
hollow trees, with shout and laughter, and tormenting every living thing
they could come near, till not a land-crab dare look out of his hole, or
an armadillo unroll himself, till they were safe out of the bay, and
off again to the westward, unconscious pioneers of all the wealth, and
commerce, and beauty, and science which has in later centuries made that
lovely isle the richest gem of all the tropic seas.



     P. Henry.  Why, what a rascal art thou, then, to praise him so for
     Falstaff.  O' horseback, ye cuckoo! but a-foot, he will not budge a
     P. Henry.  Yes, Jack, upon instinct.
     Falstaff.  I grant ye, upon instinct.

                                                  Henry IV.  Pt. I.

They had slipped past the southern point of Grenada in the night, and
were at last within that fairy ring of islands, on which nature had
concentrated all her beauty, and man all his sin. If Barbados had been
invested in the eyes of the newcomers with some strange glory, how much
more the seas on which they now entered, which smile in almost perpetual
calm, untouched by the hurricane which roars past them far to northward!
Sky, sea, and islands were one vast rainbow; though little marked,
perhaps, by those sturdy practical sailors, whose main thought was of
Spanish gold and pearls; and as little by Amyas, who, accustomed to the
scenery of the tropics, was speculating inwardly on the possibility of
extirpating the Spaniards, and annexing the West Indies to the domains
of Queen Elizabeth. And yet even their unpoetic eyes could not behold
without awe and excitement lands so famous and yet so new, around
which all the wonder, all the pity, and all the greed of the age had
concentrated itself. It was an awful thought, and yet inspiriting, that
they were entering regions all but unknown to Englishmen, where the
penalty of failure would be worse than death--the torments of the
Inquisition. Not more than five times before, perhaps, had those
mysterious seas been visited by English keels; but there were those
on board who knew them well, and too well; who, first of all British
mariners, had attempted under Captain John Hawkins to trade along those
very coasts, and, interdicted from the necessaries of life by Spanish
jealousy, had, in true English fashion, won their markets at the sword's
point, and then bought and sold honestly and peaceably therein. The old
mariners of the Pelican and the Minion were questioned all day long for
the names of every isle and cape, every fish and bird; while Frank stood
by, listening serious and silent.

A great awe seemed to have possessed his soul; yet not a sad one: for
his face seemed daily to drink in glory from the glory round him; and
murmuring to himself at whiles, "This is the gate of heaven," he stood
watching all day long, careless of food and rest, as every forward
plunge of the ship displayed some fresh wonder. Islands and capes hung
high in air, with their inverted images below them; long sand-hills
rolled and weltered in the mirage; and the yellow flower-beds, and huge
thorny cacti like giant candelabra, which clothed the glaring slopes,
twisted, tossed, and flickered, till the whole scene seemed one blazing
phantom-world, in which everything was as unstable as it was fantastic,
even to the sun itself, distorted into strange oval and pear-shaped
figures by the beds of crimson mist through which he sank to rest. But
while Frank wondered, Yeo rejoiced; for to the southward of that setting
sun a cluster of tall peaks rose from the sea; and they, unless his
reckonings were wrong, were the mountains of Macanao, at the western end
of Margarita, the Isle of Pearls, then famous in all the cities of
the Mediterranean, and at the great German fairs, and second only in
richness to that pearl island in the gulf of Panama, which fifteen years
before had cost John Oxenham his life.

The next day saw them running along the north side of the island, having
passed undiscovered (as far as they could see) the castle which the
Spaniards had built at the eastern end for the protection of the pearl

At last they opened a deep and still bight, wooded to the water's edge;
and lying in the roadstead a caravel, and three boats by her. And at
that sight there was not a man but was on deck at once, and not a mouth
but was giving its opinion of what should be done. Some were for sailing
right into the roadstead, the breeze blowing fresh toward the shore (as
it usually does throughout those islands in the afternoon). However,
seeing the billows break here and there off the bay's mouth, they
thought it better, for fear of rocks, to run by quietly, and then
send in the pinnace and the boat. Yeo would have had them show Spanish
colors, for fear of alarming the caravel; but Amyas stoutly refused,
"counting it," he said, "a mean thing to tell a lie in that way, unless
in extreme danger, or for great ends of state."

So holding on their course till they were shut out by the next point,
they started; Cary in the largest boat with twenty men, and Amyas in
the smaller one with fifteen more; among whom was John Brimblecombe,
who must needs come in his cassock and bands, with an old sword of his
uncle's which he prized mightily.

When they came to the bight's mouth, they found, as they had expected,
coral rocks, and too many of them; so that they had to run along the
edge of the reef a long way before they could find a passage for the
boats. While they were so doing, and those of them who were new to the
Indies were admiring through the clear element those living flower-beds,
and subaqueous gardens of Nereus and Amphitrite, there suddenly appeared
below what Yeo called "a school of sharks," some of them nearly as long
as the boat, who looked up at them wistfully enough out of their wicked
scowling eyes.

"Jack," said Amyas, who sat next to him, "look how that big fellow
eyes thee: he has surely taken a fancy to that plump hide of thine, and
thinks thou wouldst eat as tender as any sucking porker."

Jack turned very pale, but said nothing.

Now, as it befell, just then that very big fellow, seeing a parrot-fish
come out of a cleft of the coral, made at him from below, as did two or
three more; the poor fish finding no other escape, leaped clean into the
air, and almost aboard the boat; while just where he had come out of
the water, three or four great brown shagreened noses clashed together
within two yards of Jack as he sat, each showing its horrible rows of
saw teeth, and then sank sulkily down again, to watch for a fresh bait.
At which Jack said very softly, "In manus tuas, Domine!" and turning his
eyes in board, had no lust to look at sharks any more.

So having got through the reef, in they ran with a fair breeze, the
caravel not being now a musket-shot off. Cary laid her aboard before
the Spaniards had time to get to their ordnance; and standing up in the
stern-sheets, shouted to them to yield. The captain asked boldly enough,
in whose name? "In the name of common sense, ye dogs," cries Will; "do
you not see that you are but fifty strong to our twenty?" Whereon up the
side he scrambled, and the captain fired a pistol at him. Cary knocked
him over, unwilling to shed needless blood; on which all the crew
yielded, some falling on their knees, some leaping overboard; and the
prize was taken.

In the meanwhile, Amyas had pulled round under her stern, and boarded
the boat which was second from her, for the nearest was fast alongside,
and so a sure prize. The Spaniards in her yielded without a blow, crying
"Misericordia;" and the negroes, leaping overboard, swam ashore like
sea-dogs. Meanwhile, the third boat, which was not an oar's length
off, turned to pull away. Whereby befell a notable adventure: for John
Brimblecombe, casting about in a valiant mind how he should distinguish
himself that day, must needs catch up a boat-hook, and claw on to her
stern, shouting, "Stay, ye Papists! Stay, Spanish dogs!"--by which, as
was to be expected, they being ten to his one, he was forthwith pulled
overboard, and fell all along on his nose in the sea, leaving the hook
fast in her stern.

Where, I know not how, being seized with some panic fear (his lively
imagination filling all the sea with those sharks which he had just
seen), he fell a-roaring like any town-bull, and in his confusion never
thought to turn and get aboard again, but struck out lustily after the
Spanish boat, whether in hope of catching hold of the boat-hook which
trailed behind her, or from a very madness of valor, no man could
divine; but on he swam, his cassock afloat behind him, looking for all
the world like a great black monk-fish, and howling and puffing, with
his mouth full of salt water, "Stay, ye Spanish dogs! Help, all good
fellows! See you not that I am a dead man? They are nuzzling already at
my toes! He hath hold of my leg! My right thigh is bitten clean off!
Oh that I were preaching in Hartland pulpit! Stay, Spanish dogs! Yield,
Papist cowards, least I make mincemeat of you; and take me aboard!
Yield, I say, or my blood be on your heads! I am no Jonah; if he swallow
me, he will never cast me up again! it is better to fall into the hands
of man, than into the hands of devils with three rows of teeth apiece.
In manus tuas. Orate pro anima--!"

And so forth, in more frantic case than ever was Panurge in that his
ever-memorable seasickness; till the English, expecting him every minute
to be snapped up by sharks, or brained by the Spaniard's oars, let fly a
volley into the fugitives, on which they all leaped overboard like their
fellows; whereon Jack scrambled into the boat, and drawing sword with
one hand, while he wiped the water out of his eyes with the other, began
to lay about him like a very lion, cutting the empty air, and crying,
"Yield, idolaters! Yield, Spanish dogs!" However, coming to himself
after a while, and seeing that there was no one on whom to flesh his
maiden steel, he sits down panting in the sternsheets, and begins
stripping off his hose. On which Amyas, thinking surely that the good
fellow had gone mad with some stroke of the sun, or by having fallen
into the sea after being overheated with his rowing, bade pull
alongside, and asked him in heaven's name what he was doing with his
nether tackle. On which Jack, amid such laughter as may be conceived,
vowed and swore that his right thigh was bitten clean through, and to
the bone; yea, and that he felt his hose full of blood; and so would
have swooned away for imaginary loss of blood (so strong was the
delusion on him) had not his friends, after much arguing on their part,
and anger on his, persuaded him that he was whole and sound.

After which they set to work to overhaul their maiden prize, which they
found full of hides and salt-pork; and yet not of that alone; for in
the captain's cabin, and also in the sternsheets of the boat which
Brimblecombe had so valorously boarded, were certain frails of leaves
packed neatly enough, which being opened were full of goodly pearls,
though somewhat brown (for the Spaniards used to damage the color in
their haste and greediness, opening the shells by fire, instead of
leaving them to decay gradually after the Arabian fashion); with which
prize, though they could not guess its value very exactly, they went off
content enough, after some malicious fellow had set the ship on fire,
which, being laden with hides, was no nosegay as it burnt.

Amyas was very angry at this wanton damage, in which his model,
Drake, had never indulged; but Cary had his jest ready. "Ah!" said he,
"'Lutheran devils' we are, you know; so we are bound to vanish, like
other fiends, with an evil savor."

As soon, however, as Amyas was on board again, he rounded his friend
Mr. Brimblecombe in the ear, and told him he had better play the man a
little more, roaring less before he was hurt, and keeping his breath
to help his strokes, if he wished the crew to listen much to his
discourses. Frank, hearing this, bade Amyas leave the offender to him,
and so began upon him with--

"Come hither, thou recreant Jack, thou lily-livered Jack, thou
hysterical Jack. Tell me now, thou hast read Plato's Dialogues, and
Aristotle's Logic?"

To which Jack very meekly answered, "Yes."

"Then I will deal with thee after the manner of those ancient sages, and
ask whether the greater must not contain the less?"

Jack. Yes, sure.

Frank. And that which is more than a part, contain that part, more than
which it is?

Jack. Yes, sure.

Frank. Then tell me, is not a priest more than a layman?

Jack (who was always very loud about the dignity of the priesthood,
as many of his cloth are, who have no other dignity whereon to stand)
answered very boldly, "Of course."

Frank. Then a priest containeth a man, and is a man, and something
over--viz, his priesthood?

Jack (who saw whither this would lead). I suppose so.

Frank. Then, if a priest show himself no man, he shows himself all the
more no priest?

"I'll tell you what, Master Frank," says Jack, "you may be right by
logic; but sharks aren't logic, nor don't understand it neither."

Frank. Nay but, my recalcitrant Jack, my stiff-necked Jack, is it the
part of a man to howl like a pig in a gate, because he thinks that is
there which is not there?

Jack had not a word to say.

Frank. And still more, when if that had been there, it had been the duty
of a brave man to have kept his mouth shut, if only to keep salt water
out, and not add the evil of choking to that of being eaten?

"Ah!" says Jack, "that's all very fine; but you know as well as I that
it was not the Spaniards I was afraid of. They were Heaven's handiwork,
and I knew how to deal with them; but as for those fiends' spawn of
sharks, when I saw that fellow take the fish alongside, it upset me
clean, and there's an end of it!"

Frank. Oh, Jack, Jack, behold how one sin begets another! Just now thou
wert but a coward, and now thou art a Manichee. For thou hast imputed
to an evil creator that which was formed only for a good end, namely,
sharks, which were made on purpose to devour useless carcasses like
thine. Moreover, as a brother of the Rose, thou wert bound by the vow of
thy brotherhood to have leaped joyfully down that shark's mouth.

Jack. Ay, very likely, if Mistress Rose had been in his stomach; but I
wanted to fight Spaniards just then, not to be shark-bitten.

Frank. Jack, thy answer savors of self-will. If it is ordained that thou
shouldst advance the ends of the Brotherhood by being shark-bitten,
or flea-bitten, or bitten by sharpers, to the detriment of thy carnal
wealth, or, shortly, to suffer any shame or torment whatsoever, even to
strappado and scarpines, thou art bound to obey thy destiny, and not,
after that vain Roman conceit, to choose the manner of thine own death,
which is indeed only another sort of self-murder. We therefore consider
thee as a cause of scandal, and a rotten and creaking branch, to be
excised by the spiritual arm, and do hereby excise thee, and cut thee

Jack. Nay faith, that's a little too much, Master Frank. How long have
you been Bishop of Exeter?

Frank. Jack, thy wit being blinded, and full of gross vapors, by reason
of the perturbations of fear (which, like anger, is a short madness,
and raises in the phantasy vain spectres,--videlicet, of sharks and
Spaniards), mistakes our lucidity. For thy Manicheeism, let his lordship
of Exeter deal with it. For thy abominable howling and caterwauling,
offensive in a chained cur, but scandalous in a preacher and a brother
of the Rose, we do hereby deprive thee of thine office of chaplain to
the Brotherhood; and warn thee, that unless within seven days thou do
some deed equal to the Seven Champions, or Ruggiero and Orlando's self,
thou shalt be deprived of sword and dagger, and allowed henceforth to
carry no more iron about thee than will serve to mend thy pen.

"And now, Jack," said Amyas, "I will give thee a piece of news. No
wonder that young men, as the parsons complain so loudly, will not
listen to the Gospel, while it is preached to them by men on whom they
cannot but look down; a set of softhanded fellows who cannot dig, and
are ashamed to beg; and, as my brother has it, must needs be parsons
before they are men.

"Frank. Ay, and even though we may excuse that in Popish priests and
friars, who are vowed not to be men, and get their bread shamefully
and rascally by telling sinners who owe a hundred measures to sit down
quickly and take their bill and write fifty: yet for a priest of the
Church of England (whose business is not merely to smuggle sinful souls
up the backstairs into heaven, but to make men good Christians by making
them good men, good gentlemen, and good Englishmen) to show the white
feather in the hour of need, is to unpreach in one minute all that he
had been preaching his life long.

"I tell thee," says Amyas, "if I had not taken thee for another guess
sort of man, I had never let thee have the care of a hundred brave lads'
immortal souls--"

And so on, both of them boarding him at once with their heavy shot,
larboard and starboard, till he fairly clapped his hands to his ears
and ran for it, leaving poor Frank laughing so heartily, that Amyas was
after all glad the thing had happened, for the sake of the smile which
it put into his sad and steadfast countenance.

The next day was Sunday; on which, after divine service (which they
could hardly persuade Jack to read, so shamefaced was he; and as for
preaching after it, he would not hear of such a thing), Amyas read
aloud, according to custom, the articles of their agreement; and then
seeing abreast of them a sloping beach with a shoot of clear water
running into the sea, agreed that they should land there, wash the
clothes, and again water the ship; for they had found water somewhat
scarce at Barbados. On this party Jack Brimblecombe must needs go,
taking with him his sword and a great arquebuse; for he had dreamed last
night (he said) that he was set upon by Spaniards, and was sure that the
dream would come true; and moreover, that he did not very much care if
they did, or if he ever got back alive; "for it was better to die than
be made an ape, and a scarecrow, and laughed at by the men, and badgered
with Ramus his logic, and Plato his dialectical devilries, to confess
himself a Manichee, and, for aught he knew, a turbaned Turk, or Hebrew
Jew," and so flung into the boat like a man desperate.

So they went ashore, after Amyas had given strict commands against
letting off firearms, for fear of alarming the Spaniards. There they
washed their clothes, and stretched their legs with great joy, admiring
the beauty of the place, and then began to shoot the seine which they
had brought on shore with them. "In which," says the chronicler, "we
caught many strange fishes, and beside them, a sea-cow full seven feet
long, with limpets and barnacles on her back, as if she had been a stick
of drift-timber. This is a fond and foolish beast: and yet pious withal;
for finding a corpse, she watches over it day and night until it decay
or be buried. The Indians call her manati; who carries her young
under her arm, and gives it suck like a woman; and being wounded, she
lamenteth aloud with a human voice, and is said at certain seasons to
sing very melodiously; which melody, perhaps, having been heard in those
seas, is that which Mr. Frank reported to be the choirs of the Sirens
and Tritons. The which I do not avouch for truth, neither rashly deny,
having seen myself such fertility of Nature's wonders that I hold him
who denieth aught merely for its strangeness to be a ribald and an
ignoramus. Also one of our men brought in two great black fowls which
he had shot with a crossbow, bodied and headed like a capon, but bigger
than any eagle, which the Spaniards call curassos; which, with that
sea-cow, afterwards made us good cheer, both roast and sodden, for the
cow was very dainty meat, as good as a four-months' calf, and tender and
fat withal."

After that they set to work filling the casks and barricos, having laid
the boat up to the outflow of the rivulet. And lucky for them it was,
as it fell out, that they were all close together at that work, and not
abroad skylarking as they had been half-an-hour before.

Now John Brimblecombe had gone apart as soon as they landed, with a
shamefaced and doleful countenance; and sitting down under a great tree,
plucked a Bible from his bosom, and read steadfastly, girded with his
great sword, and his arquebuse lying by him. This too was well for him,
and for the rest; for they had not yet finished their watering, when
there was a cry that the enemy was on them; and out of the wood,
not twenty yards from the good parson, came full fifty shot, with a
multitude of negroes behind them, and an officer in front on horseback,
with a great plume of feathers in his hat, and his sword drawn in his

"Stand, for your lives!" shouted Amyas: and only just in time; for there
was ten good minutes lost in running up and down before he could get his
men into some order of battle. But when Jack beheld the Spaniards, as if
he had expected their coming, he plucked a leaf and put it into the
page of his book for a mark, laid the book down soberly, caught up his
arquebuse, ran like a mad dog right at the Spanish captain, shot him
through the body stark dead, and then, flinging the arquebuse at the
head of him who stood next, fell on with his sword like a very Colbrand,
breaking in among the arquebuses, and striking right and left such ugly
strokes, that the Spaniards (who thought him a very fiend, or Luther's
self come to life to plague them) gave back pell-mell, and shot at him
five or six at once with their arquebuses: but whether from fear of him,
or of wounding each other, made so bad play with their pieces, that he
only got one shrewd gall in his thigh, which made him limp for many a
day. But as fast as they gave back he came on; and the rest by this time
ran up in good order, and altogether nearly forty men well armed. On
which the Spaniards turned, and went as fast as they had come, while
Cary hinted that, "The dogs had had such a taste of the parson, that
they had no mind to wait for the clerk and people."

"Come back, Jack! are you mad?" shouted Amyas.

But Jack (who had not all this time spoken one word) followed them
as fiercely as ever, till, reaching a great blow at one of the
arquebusiers, he caught his foot in a root; on which down he went, and
striking his head against the ground, knocked out of himself all the
breath he had left (which between fatness and fighting was not much),
and so lay. Amyas, seeing the Spaniards gone, did not care to pursue
them: but picked up Jack, who, staring about, cried, "Glory be! glory
be!--How many have I killed? How many have I killed?"

"Nineteen, at the least," quoth Cary, "and seven with one back
stroke;" and then showed Brimblecombe the captain lying dead, and two
arquebusiers, one of which was the fugitive by whom he came to his fall,
beside three or four more who were limping away wounded, some of them by
their fellows' shot.

"There!" said Jack, pausing and blowing, "will you laugh at me any more,
Mr. Cary; or say that I cannot fight, because I am a poor parson's son?"

Cary took him by the hand, and asked pardon of him for his scoffing,
saying that he had that day played the best man of all of them; and
Jack, who never bore malice, began laughing in his turn, and--

"Oh, Mr. Cary, we have all known your pleasant ways, ever since you used
to put drumble-drones into my desk to Bideford school." And so they went
to the boats, and pulled off, thanking God (as they had need to do) for
their great deliverance: while all the boats' crew rejoiced over Jack,
who after a while grew very faint (having bled a good deal without
knowing it), and made as little of his real wound as he made much the
day before of his imaginary one.

Frank asked him that evening how he came to show so cool and approved a
valor in so sudden a mishap.

"Well, my masters," said Jack, "I don't deny that I was very downcast on
account of what you said, and the scandal which I had given to the crew;
but as it happened, I was reading there under the tree, to fortify my
spirits, the history of the ancient worthies, in St. Paul his eleventh
chapter to the Hebrews; and just as I came to that, 'out of weakness
were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies
of the aliens,' arose the cry of the Spaniards. At which, gentlemen,
thinking in myself that I fought in just so good a cause as they, and,
as I hoped, with like faith, there came upon me so strange an assurance
of victory, that I verily believed in myself that if there had been
a ten thousand of them, I should have taken no hurt. Wherefore," said
Jack, modestly, "there is no credit due to me, for there was no valor
in me whatsoever, but only a certainty of safety; and any coward would
fight if he knew that he were to have all the killing and none of the

Which words he next day, being Sunday, repeated in his sermon which he
made on that chapter, with which all, even Salvation Yeo himself, were
well content and edified, and allowed him to be as godly a preacher as
he was (in spite of his simple ways) a valiant and true-hearted comrade.

They brought away the Spanish officer's sword (a very good blade), and
also a great chain of gold which he wore about his neck; both of which
were allotted to Brimblecombe as his fair prize; but he, accepting the
sword, steadfastly refused the chain, entreating Amyas to put it into
the common stock; and when Amyas refused, he cut it into links and
distributed it among those of the boat's crew who had succored him,
winning thereby much good-will. "And indeed" (says the chronicler),
"I never saw in that worthy man, from the first day of our
school-fellowship till he was laid in his parish church of Hartland
(where he now sleeps in peace), any touch of that sin of covetousness
which has in all ages, and in ours no less than others, beset especially
(I know not why) them who minister about the sanctuary. But this man,
though he was ugly and lowly in person, and in understanding simple, and
of breeding but a poor parson's son, had yet in him a spirit so loving
and cheerful, so lifted from base and selfish purposes to the worship
of duty, and to a generosity rather knightly than sacerdotal, that all
through his life he seemed to think only that it was more blessed to
give than to receive. And all that wealth which he gained in the wars he
dispersed among his sisters and the poor of his parish, living unmarried
till his death like a true lover and constant mourner (as shall be said
in place), and leaving hardly wherewith to bring his body to the
grave. At whom if we often laughed once, we should now rather envy him,
desiring to be here what he was, that we may be hereafter where he is.



       "Great was the crying, the running and riding,
     Which at that season was made in the place;
        The beacons were fired, as need then required,
     To save their great treasure they had little space."

                                       Winning of Cales.

The men would gladly have hawked awhile round Margarita and Cubagua for
another pearl prize. But Amyas having, as he phrased it, "fleshed his
dogs," was loth to hang about the islands after the alarm had been
given. They ran, therefore, south-west across the mouth of that great
bay which stretches from the Peninsula of Paria to Cape Codera, leaving
on their right hand Tortuga, and on their left the meadow-islands of the
Piritoos, two long green lines but a few inches above the tideless sea.
Yeo and Drew knew every foot of the way, and had good reason to know it;
for they, the first of all English mariners, had tried to trade along
this coast with Hawkins. And now, right ahead, sheer out of the sea from
base to peak, arose higher and higher the mighty range of the Caracas
mountains; beside which all hills which most of the crew had ever seen
seemed petty mounds. Frank, of course, knew the Alps; and Amyas the
Andes; but Cary's notions of height were bounded by M'Gillicuddy's
Reeks, and Brimblecombe's by Exmoor; and the latter, to Cary's infinite
amusement, spent a whole day holding on by the rigging, and staring
upwards with his chin higher than his nose, till he got a stiff neck.
Soon the sea became rough and chopping, though the breeze was fair and
gentle; and ere they were abreast of the Cape, they became aware of
that strong eastward current which, during the winter months, so often
baffles the mariner who wishes to go to the westward. All night long
they struggled through the billows, with the huge wall of Cape Codera a
thousand feet above their heads to the left, and beyond it again, bank
upon bank of mountain, bathed in the yellow moonlight.

Morning showed them a large ship, which had passed them during the night
upon the opposite course, and was now a good ten miles to the eastward.
Yeo was for going back and taking her. Of the latter he made a matter of
course; and the former was easy enough, for the breeze blowing dead off
the land, was a "soldier's wind, there and back again," for either ship;
but Amyas and Frank were both unwilling.

"Why, Yeo, you said that one day more would bring us to La Guayra."

"All the more reason, sir, for doing the Lord's work thoroughly, when He
has brought us safely so far on our journey."

"She can pass well enough, and no loss."

"Ah, sirs, sirs, she is delivered into your hands, and you will have to
give an account of her."

"My good Yeo," said Frank, "I trust we shall give good account enough
of many a tall Spaniard before we return: but you know surely that La
Guayra, and the salvation of one whom we believe dwells there, was our
first object in this adventure."

Yeo shook his head sadly. "Ah, sirs, a lady brought Captain Oxenham to

"You do not dare to compare her with this one?" said Frank and Cary,
both in a breath.

"God forbid, gentlemen: but no adventure will prosper, unless there is a
single eye to the Lord's work; and that is, as I take it, to cripple
the Spaniard, and exalt her majesty the queen. And I had thought that
nothing was more dear than that to Captain Leigh's heart."

Amyas stood somewhat irresolute. His duty to the queen bade him follow
the Spanish vessel: his duty to his vow, to go on to La Guayra. It may
seem a far-fetched dilemma. He found it a practical one enough.

However, the counsel of Frank prevailed, and on to La Guayra he went. He
half hoped that the Spaniard would see and attack them. However, he went
on his way to the eastward; which if he had not done, my story had had a
very different ending.

About mid-day a canoe, the first which they had seen, came staggering
toward them under a huge three-cornered sail. As it came near, they
could see two Indians on board.

"Metal floats in these seas, you see," quoth Cary. "There's a fresh
marvel, for you, Frank."

"Expound," quoth Frank, who was really ready to swallow any fresh
marvel, so many had he seen already.

"Why, how else would those two bronze statues dare to go to sea in such
a cockleshell, eh? Have I given you the dor now, master courtier!"

"I am long past dors, Will. But what noble creatures they are! and how
fearlessly they are coming alongside! Can they know that we are English,
and the avengers of the Indians?"

"I suspect they just take us for Spaniards, and want to sell their
cocoa-nuts. See, the canoe is laden with vegetables."

"Hail them, Yeo!" said Amyas. "You talk the best Spanish, and I want
speech of one of them."

Yeo did so; the canoe, without more ado, ran alongside, and lowered her
felucca sail, while a splendid Indian scrambled on board like a cat.

He was full six feet high, and as bold and graceful of bearing as Frank
or Amyas's self. He looked round for the first moment smilingly, showing
his white teeth; but the next, his countenance changed; and springing to
the side, he shouted to his comrade in Spanish--

"Treachery! No Spaniard," and would have leaped overboard, but a dozen
strong fellows caught him ere he could do so.

It required some trouble to master him, so strong was he, and so
slippery his naked limbs; Amyas, meanwhile, alternately entreated the
men not to hurt the Indian, and the Indian to be quiet, and no harm
should happen to him; and so, after five minutes' confusion, the
stranger gave in sulkily.

"Don't bind him. Let him loose, and make a ring round him. Now, my man,
there's a dollar for you."

The Indian's eyes glistened, and he took the coin.

"All I want of you is, first, to tell me what ships are in La Guayra,
and next, to go thither on board of me, and show me which is the
governor's house, and which the custom-house."

The Indian laid the coin down on the deck, and crossing himself, looked
Amyas in the face.

"No, senor! I am a freeman and a cavalier, a Christian Guayqueria,
whose forefathers, first of all the Indians, swore fealty to the King of
Spain, and whom he calls to this day in all his proclamations his most
faithful, loyal, and noble Guayquerias. God forbid, therefore, that I
should tell aught to his enemies, who are my enemies likewise."

A growl arose from those of the men who understood him; and more than
one hinted that a cord twined round the head, or a match put between the
fingers, would speedily extract the required information.

"God forbid!" said Amyas; "a brave and loyal man he is, and as such
will I treat him. Tell me, my brave fellow, how do you know us to be his
Catholic majesty's enemies?"

The Indian, with a shrewd smile, pointed to half-a-dozen different
objects, saying to each, "Not Spanish."

"Well, and what of that?"

"None but Spaniards and free Guayquerias have a right to sail these

Amyas laughed.

"Thou art a right valiant bit of copper. Pick up thy dollar, and go thy
way in peace. Make room for him, men. We can learn what we want without
his help."

The Indian paused, incredulous and astonished. "Overboard with you!"
quoth Amyas. "Don't you know when you are well off?"

"Most illustrious senor," began the Indian, in the drawling sententious
fashion of his race (when they take the trouble to talk at all), "I
have been deceived. I heard that you heretics roasted and ate all true
Catholics (as we Guayquerias are), and that all your padres had tails."

"Plague on you, sirrah!" squeaked Jack Brimblecombe. "Have I a tail?
Look here!"

"Quien sabe? Who knows?" quoth the Indian through his nose.

"How do you know we are heretics?" said Amyas.

"Humph! But in repayment for your kindness, I would warn you,
illustrious senor, not to go on to La Guayra. There are ships of war
there waiting for you; and moreover, the governor Don Guzman sailed to
the eastward only yesterday to look for you; and I wonder much that you
did not meet him."

"To look for us! On the watch for us!" said Cary. "Impossible; lies!
Amyas, this is some trick of the rascal's to frighten us away."

"Don Guzman came out but yesterday to look for us? Are you sure you
spoke truth?"

"As I live, senor, he and another ship, for which I took yours."

Amyas stamped upon the deck: that then was the ship which they had

"Fool that I was to have been close to my enemy, and let my opportunity
slip! If I had but done my duty, all would have gone right!"

But it was too late to repine; and after all, the Indian's story was
likely enough to be false.

"Off with you!" said he; and the Indian bounded over the side into his
canoe, leaving the whole crew wondering at the stateliness and courtesy
of this bold sea-cavalier.

So Westward-ho they ran, beneath the mighty northern wall, the highest
cliff on earth, some seven thousand feet of rock parted from the sea
by a narrow strip of bright green lowland. Here and there a patch of
sugar-cane, or a knot of cocoa-nut trees, close to the water's edge,
reminded them that they were in the tropics; but above, all was savage,
rough, and bare as an Alpine precipice. Sometimes deep clefts allowed
the southern sun to pour a blaze of light down to the sea marge, and
gave glimpses far above of strange and stately trees lining the glens,
and of a veil of perpetual mist which shrouded the inner summits; while
up and down, between them and the mountain side, white fleecy clouds
hung motionless in the burning air, increasing the impression of
vastness and of solemn rest, which was already overpowering.

"Within those mountains, three thousand feet above our heads," said
Drew, the master, "lies Saint Yago de Leon, the great city which the
Spaniards founded fifteen years agone."

"Is it a rich place?" asked Cary.

"Very, they say."

"Is it a strong place?" asked Amyas.

"No forts to it at all, they say. The Spaniards boast, that Heaven has
made such good walls to it already, that man need make none."

"I don't know," quoth Amyas. "Lads, could you climb those hills, do you

"Rather higher than Harty Point, sir: but it depends pretty much on
what's behind them."

And now the last point is rounded, and they are full in sight of the
spot in quest of which they have sailed four thousand miles of sea. A
low black cliff, crowned by a wall; a battery at either end. Within, a
few narrow streets of white houses, running parallel with the sea, upon
a strip of flat, which seemed not two hundred yards in breadth; and
behind, the mountain wall, covering the whole in deepest shade. How that
wall was ever ascended to the inland seemed the puzzle; but Drew, who
had been off the place before, pointed out to them a narrow path, which
wound upwards through a glen, seemingly sheer perpendicular. That was
the road to the capital, if any man dare try it. In spite of the shadow
of the mountain, the whole place wore a dusty and glaring look. The
breaths of air which came off the land were utterly stifling; and no
wonder, for La Guayra, owing to the radiation of that vast fire-brick
of heated rock, is one of the hottest spots upon the face of the whole

Where was the harbor? There was none. Only an open roadstead, wherein
lay tossing at anchor five vessels. The two outer ones were small
merchant caravels. Behind them lay two long, low, ugly-looking craft, at
sight of which Yeo gave a long whew.

"Galleys, as I'm a sinful saint! And what's that big one inside of them,
Robert Drew? She has more than hawseholes in her idolatrous black sides,
I think."

"We shall open her astern of the galleys in another minute," said Amyas.
"Look out, Cary, your eyes are better than mine."

"Six round portholes on the main deck," quoth Will.

"And I can see the brass patararoes glittering on her poop," quoth
Amyas. "Will, we're in for it."

"In for it we are, captain.

     "Farewell, farewell, my parents dear.
     I never shall see you more, I fear.

"Let's go in, nevertheless, and pound the Don's ribs, my old lad of
Smerwick. Eh? Three to one is very fair odds."

"Not underneath those fort guns, I beg leave to say," quoth Yeo. "If the
Philistines will but come out unto us, we will make them like unto Zeba
and Zalmunna."

"Quite true," said Amyas. "Game cocks are game cocks, but reason's

"If the Philistines are not coming out, they are going to send a
messenger instead," quoth Cary. "Look out, all thin skulls!"

And as he spoke, a puff of white smoke rolled from the eastern fort, and
a heavy ball plunged into the water between it and the ship.

"I don't altogether like this," quoth Amyas. "What do they mean by
firing on us without warning? And what are these ships of war doing
here? Drew, you told me the armadas never lay here."

"No more, I believe, they do, sir, on account of the anchorage being so
bad, as you may see. I'm mortal afeared that rascal's story was true,
and that the Dons have got wind of our coming."

"Run up a white flag, at all events. If they do expect us, they must
have known some time since, or how could they have got their craft

"True, sir. They must have come from Santa Marta, at the least; perhaps
from Cartagena. And that would take a month at least going and coming."

Amyas suddenly recollected Eustace's threat in the wayside inn. Could he
have betrayed their purpose? Impossible!

"Let us hold a council of war, at all events, Frank."

Frank was absorbed in a very different matter. A half-mile to the
eastward of the town, two or three hundred feet up the steep mountain
side, stood a large, low, white house embosomed in trees and gardens.
There was no other house of similar size near; no place for one. And was
not that the royal flag of Spain which flaunted before it? That must be
the governor's house; that must be the abode of the Rose of Torridge!
And Frank stood devouring it with wild eyes, till he had persuaded
himself that he could see a woman's figure walking upon the terrace
in front, and that the figure was none other than hers whom he sought.
Amyas could hardly tear him away to a council of war, which was a sad,
and only not a peevish one.

The three adventurers, with Brimblecombe, Yeo, and Drew, went apart upon
the poop; and each looked the other in the face awhile. For what was
to be done? The plans and hopes of months were brought to naught in an

"It is impossible, you see," said Amyas, at last, "to surprise the town
by land, while these ships are here; for if we land our men, we leave
our ship without defence."

"As impossible as to challenge Don Guzman while he is not here," said

"I wonder why the ships have not opened on us already," said Drew.

"Perhaps they respect our flag of truce," said Cary. "Why not send in a
boat to treat with them, and to inquire for--

"For her?" interrupted Frank. "If we show that we are aware of her
existence, her name is blasted in the eyes of those jealous Spaniards."

"And as for respecting our flag of truce, gentlemen," said Yeo, "if you
will take an old man's advice, trust them not. They will keep the same
faith with us as they kept with Captain Hawkins at San Juan d'Ulloa, in
that accursed business which was the beginning of all the wars; when
we might have taken the whole plate-fleet, with two hundred thousand
pounds' worth of gold on board, and did not, but only asked license to
trade like honest men. And yet, after they had granted us license, and
deceived us by fair speech into landing ourselves and our ordnance, the
governor and all the fleet set upon us, five to one, and gave no quarter
to any soul whom he took. No, sir; I expect the only reason why they
don't attack us is, because their crews are not on board."

"They will be, soon enough, then," said Amyas. "I can see soldiers
coming down the landing-stairs."

And, in fact, boats full of armed men began to push off to the ships.

"We may thank Heaven," said Drew, "that we were not here two hours
agone. The sun will be down before they are ready for sea, and the
fellows will have no stomach to go looking for us by night."

"So much the worse for us. If they will but do that, we may give them
the slip, and back again to the town, and there try our luck; for I
cannot find it in my heart to leave the place without having one dash at

Yeo shook his head. "There are plenty more towns along the coast more
worth trying than this, sir: but Heaven's will be done!"

And as they spoke, the sun plunged into the sea, and all was dark.

At last it was agreed to anchor, and wait till midnight. If the ships
of war came out, they were to try to run in past them, and, desperate
as the attempt might be, attempt their original plan of landing to the
westward of the town, taking it in flank, plundering the government
storehouses, which they saw close to the landing-place, and then
fighting their way back to their boats, and out of the roadstead. Two
hours would suffice if the armada and the galleys were but once out of
the way.

Amyas went forward, called the men together, and told them the plan. It
was not very cheerfully received: but what else was there to be done!

They ran down about a mile and a half to the westward, and anchored.

The night wore on, and there was no sign of stir among the shipping;
for though they could not see the vessels themselves, yet their lights
(easily distinguished by their relative height from those in the town
above) remained motionless; and the men fretted and fumed for weary
hours at thus seeing a rich prize (for of course the town was paved with
gold) within arm's reach, and yet impossible.

Let Amyas and his men have patience. Some short five years more, and the
great Armada will have come and gone; and then that avenging storm,
of which they, like Oxenham, Hawkins, and Drake, are but the
avant-couriers, will burst upon every Spanish port from Corunna to
Cadiz, from the Canaries to Havana, and La Guayra and St. Yago de Leon
will not escape their share. Captain Amyas Preston and Captain Sommers,
the colonist of the Bermudas, or Sommers' Islands, will land, with a
force tiny enough, though larger far than Leigh's, where Leigh dare not
land; and taking the fort of Guayra, will find, as Leigh found, that
their coming has been expected, and that the Pass of the Venta, three
thousand feet above, has been fortified with huge barricadoes, abattis,
and cannon, making the capital, amid its ring of mountain-walls,
impregnable--to all but Englishmen or Zouaves. For up that seven
thousand feet of precipice, which rises stair on stair behind the town,
those fierce adventurers will climb hand over hand, through rain and
fog, while men lie down, and beg their officers to kill them, for no
farther can they go. Yet farther they will go, hewing a path with their
swords through woods of wild plantain, and rhododendron thickets, over
(so it seems, however incredible) the very saddle of the Silla,* down
upon the astonished "Mantuanos" of St. Jago, driving all before them;
and having burnt the city in default of ransom, will return triumphant
by the right road, and pass along the coast, the masters of the deep.

     * Humboldt says that there is a path from Caravellada to St.
     Jago, between the peaks, used by smugglers.  This is
     probably the "unknowen way of the Indians," which Preston

I know not whether any men still live who count their descent from those
two valiant captains; but if such there be, let them be sure that the
history of the English navy tells no more Titanic victory over nature
and man than that now forgotten raid of Amyas Preston and his comrade,
in the year of grace 1595.

But though a venture on the town was impossible, yet there was another
venture which Frank was unwilling to let slip. A light which now shone
brightly in one of the windows of the governor's house was the lodestar
to which all his thoughts were turned; and as he sat in the cabin with
Amyas, Cary, and Jack, he opened his heart to them.

"And are we, then," asked he, mournfully, "to go without doing the very
thing for which we came?"

All were silent awhile. At last John Brimblecombe spoke.

"Show me the way to do it, Mr. Frank, and I will go."

"My dearest man," said Amyas, "what would you have? Any attempt to see
her, even if she be here, would be all but certain death."

"And what if it were? What if it were, my brother Amyas? Listen to me. I
have long ceased to shrink from Death; but till I came into these magic
climes, I never knew the beauty of his face."

"Of death?" said Cary. "I should have said, of life. God forgive me! but
man might wish to live forever, if he had such a world as this wherein
to live."

"And do you forget, Cary, that the more fair this passing world of time,
by so much the more fair is that eternal world, whereof all here is but
a shadow and a dream; by so much the more fair is He before whose throne
the four mystic beasts, the substantial ideas of Nature and her powers,
stand day and night, crying, 'Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts, Thou
hast made all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created!'
My friends, if He be so prodigal of His own glory as to have decked
these lonely shores, all but unknown since the foundation of the world,
with splendors beyond all our dreams, what must be the glory of His face
itself! I have done with vain shadows. It is better to depart and to be
with Him, where shall be neither desire nor anger, self-deception nor
pretence, but the eternal fulness of reality and truth. One thing I
have to do before I die, for God has laid it on me. Let that be done
to-night, and then, farewell!"

"Frank! Frank! remember our mother!"

"I do remember her. I have talked over these things with her many a
time; and where I would fain be, she would fain be also. She sent me out
with my virgin honor, as the Spartan mother did her boy with the shield,
saying, 'Come back either with this, or upon this;' and one or the other
I must do, if I would meet her either in this life or in the next. But
in the meanwhile do not mistake me; my life is God's, and I promise not
to cast it away rashly."

"What would you do, then?"

"Go up to that house, Amyas, and speak with her, if Heaven gives me an
opportunity, as Heaven, I feel assured, will give."

"And do you call that no rashness?"

"Is any duty rashness? Is it rash to stand amid the flying bullets, if
your queen has sent you? Is it more rash to go to seek Christ's lost
lamb, if God and your own oath hath sent you? John Brimblecombe answered
that question for us long ago."

"If you go, I go with you!" said all three at once.

"No. Amyas, you owe a duty to our mother and to your ship. Cary, you are
heir to great estates, and are bound thereby to your country and to your
tenants. John Brimblecombe--"

"Ay!" squeaked Jack. "And what have you to say, Mr. Frank, against my
going?--I, who have neither ship nor estates--except, I suppose, that I
am not worthy to travel in such good company?"

"Think of your old parents, John, and all your sisters."

"I thought of them before I started, sir, as Mr. Cary knows, and
you know too. I came here to keep my vow, and I am not going to turn
renegade at the very foot of the cross."

"Some one must go with you, Frank," said Amyas; "if it were only to
bring back the boat's crew in case--" and he faltered.

"In case I fall," replied Frank, with a smile. "I will finish your
sentence for you, lad; I am not afraid of it, though you may be for me.
Yet some one, I fear, must go. Unhappy me! that I cannot risk my own
worthless life without risking your more precious lives!"

"Not so, Mr. Frank! Your oath is our oath, and your duty ours!" said
John. "I will tell you what we will do, gentlemen all. We three will
draw cuts for the honor of going with him."

"Lots?" said Amyas. "I don't like leaving such grave matters to chance,
friend John."

"Chance, sir? When you have used all your own wit, and find it fail you,
then what is drawing lots but taking the matter out of your own weak
hands, and laying it in God's strong hands?"

"Right, John!" said Frank. "So did the apostles choose their successor,
and so did holy men of old decide controversies too subtle for them;
and we will not be ashamed to follow their example. For my part, I have
often said to Sidney and to Spenser, when we have babbled together of
Utopian governments in days which are now dreams to me, that I would
have all officers of state chosen by lot out of the wisest and most fit;
so making sure that they should be called by God, and not by man alone.
Gentlemen, do you agree to Sir John's advice?"

They agreed, seeing no better counsel, and John put three slips of paper
into Frank's hand, with the simple old apostolic prayer--

"Show which of us three Thou hast chosen."

The lot fell upon Amyas Leigh.

Frank shuddered, and clasped his hands over his face.

"Well," said Cary, "I have ill-luck to-night: but Frank goes at least in
good company."

"Ah, that it had been I!" said Jack; "though I suppose I was too poor a
body to have such an honor fall on me. And yet it is hard for flesh and
blood; hard indeed to have come all this way, and not to see her after

"Jack," said Frank, "you are kept to do better work than this, doubt
not. But if the lot had fallen on you--ay, if it had fallen on a three
years' child, I would have gone up as cheerfully with that child to lead
me, as I do now with this my brother! Amyas, can we have a boat, and a
crew? It is near midnight already."

Amyas went on deck, and asked for six volunteers. Whosoever would come,
Amyas would double out of his own purse any prize-money which might fall
to that man's share.

One of the old Pelican's crew, Simon Evans of Clovelly, stepped out at

"Why six only, captain? Give the word, and any and all of us will go
up with you, sack the house, and bring off the treasure and the lady,
before two hours are out."

"No, no, my brave lads! As for treasure, if there be any, it is sure to
have been put all safe into the forts, or hidden in the mountains; and
as for the lady, God forbid that we should force her a step without her
own will."

The honest sailor did not quite understand this punctilio: but--

"Well, captain," quoth he, "as you like; but no man shall say that you
asked for a volunteer, were it to jump down a shark's throat, but what
you had me first of all the crew."

After this sort of temper had been exhibited, three or four more came
forward--Yeo was very anxious to go, but Amyas forbade him.

"I'll volunteer, sir, without reward, for this or anything; though"
(added he in a lower tone) "I would to Heaven that the thought had never
entered your head."

"And so would I have volunteered," said Simon Evans, "if it were the
ship's quarrel, or the queen's; but being it's a private matter of the
captain's, and I've a wife and children at home, why, I take no shame to
myself for asking money for my life."

So the crew was made up; but ere they pushed off, Amyas called Cary

"If I perish, Will--"

"Don't talk of such things, dear old lad."

"I must. Then you are captain. Do nothing without Yeo and Drew. But if
they approve, go right north away for San Domingo and Cuba, and try the
ports; they can have no news of us there, and there is booty without
end. Tell my mother that I died like a gentleman; and mind--mind, dear
lad, to keep your temper with the men, let the poor fellows grumble as
they may. Mind but that, and fear God, and all will go well."

The tears were glistening in Cary's eyes as he pressed Amyas's hand, and
watched the two brothers down over the side upon their desperate errand.

They reached the pebble beach. There seemed no difficulty about finding
the path to the house--so bright was the moon, and so careful a survey
of the place had Frank taken. Leaving the men with the boat (Amyas had
taken care that they should be well armed), they started up the beach,
with their swords only. Frank assured Amyas that they would find a path
leading from the beach up to the house, and he was not mistaken. They
found it easily, for it was made of white shell sand; and following it,
struck into a "tunal," or belt of tall thorny cactuses. Through this
the path wound in zigzags up a steep rocky slope, and ended at a
wicket-gate. They tried it, and found it open.

"She may expect us," whispered Frank.


"Why not? She must have seen our ship; and if, as seems, the townsfolk
know who we are, how much more must she! Yes, doubt it not, she still
longs to hear news of her own land, and some secret sympathy will draw
her down towards the sea to-night. See! the light is in the window

"But if not," said Amyas, who had no such expectation, "what is your

"I have none."


"I have imagined twenty different ones in the last hour; but all are
equally uncertain, impossible. I have ceased to struggle--I go where
I am called, love's willing victim. If Heaven accept the sacrifice, it
will provide the altar and the knife."

Aymas was at his wits' end. Judging of his brother by himself, he had
taken for granted that Frank had some well-concocted scheme for gaining
admittance to the Rose; and as the wiles of love were altogether out of
his province, he had followed in full faith such a sans-appel as he held
Frank to be. But now he almost doubted of his brother's sanity, though
Frank's manner was perfectly collected and his voice firm. Amyas, honest
fellow, had no understanding of that intense devotion, which so many in
those days (not content with looking on it as a lofty virtue, and yet
one to be duly kept in its place by other duties) prided themselves on
pampering into the most fantastic and self-willed excesses.

Beautiful folly! the death-song of which two great geniuses were
composing at that very moment, each according to his light. For, while
Spenser was embalming in immortal verse all that it contained of noble
and Christian elements, Cervantes sat, perhaps, in his dungeon, writing
with his left hand Don Quixote, saddest of books, in spite of all its
wit; the story of a pure and noble soul, who mistakes this actual life
for that ideal one which he fancies (and not so wrongly either) eternal
in the heavens: and finding instead of a battlefield for heroes in God's
cause, nothing but frivolity, heartlessness, and godlessness, becomes a
laughing-stock,--and dies. One of the saddest books, I say again, which
man can read.

Amyas hardly dare trust himself to speak, for fear of saying too much;
but he could not help saying--

"You are going to certain death, Frank."

"Did I not entreat," answered he, very quietly, "to go alone?"

Amyas had half a mind to compel him to return: but he feared Frank's
obstinacy; and feared, too, the shame of returning on board without
having done anything; so they went up through the wicket-gate, along a
smooth turf walk, into what seemed a pleasure-garden, formed by the hand
of man, or rather of woman. For by the light, not only of the moon, but
of the innumerable fireflies, which flitted to and fro across the sward
like fiery imps sent to light the brothers on their way, they could see
that the bushes on either side, and the trees above their heads, were
decked with flowers of such strangeness and beauty, that, as Frank
once said of Barbados, "even the gardens of Wilton were a desert in
comparison." All around were orange and lemon trees (probably the only
addition which man had made to Nature's prodigality), the fruit of
which, in that strange colored light of the fireflies, flashed in their
eyes like balls of burnished gold and emerald; while great white tassels
swinging from every tree in the breeze which swept down the glade,
tossed in their faces a fragrant snow of blossoms, and glittering drops
of perfumed dew.

"What a paradise!" said Amyas to Frank, "with the serpent in it, as of
old. Look!"

And as he spoke, there dropped slowly down from a bough, right before
them, what seemed a living chain of gold, ruby, and sapphire. Both
stopped, and another glance showed the small head and bright eyes of a
snake, hissing and glaring full in their faces.

"See!" said Frank. "And he comes, as of old, in the likeness of an angel
of light. Do not strike it. There are worse devils to be fought with
to-night than that poor beast." And stepping aside, they passed the
snake safely, and arrived in front of the house.

It was, as I have said, a long low house, with balconies along the upper
story, and the under part mostly open to the wind. The light was still
burning in the window.

"Whither now?" said Amyas, in a tone of desperate resignation.

"Thither! Where else on earth?" and Frank pointed to the light,
trembling from head to foot, and pushed on.

"For Heaven's sake! Look at the negroes on the barbecue!"

It was indeed time to stop; for on the barbecue, or terrace of white
plaster, which ran all round the front, lay sleeping full twenty black

"What will you do now? You must step over them to gain an entrance."

"Wait here, and I will go up gently towards the window. She may see me.
She will see me as I step into the moonlight. At least I know an air by
which she will recognize me, if I do but hum a stave."

"Why, you do not even know that that light is hers!--Down, for your

And Amyas dragged him down into the bushes on his left hand; for one
of the negroes, wakening suddenly with a cry, had sat up, and began
crossing himself four or five times, in fear of "Duppy," and mumbling
various charms, ayes, or what not.

The light above was extinguished instantly.

"Did you see her?" whispered Frank.


"I did--the shadow of the face, and the neck! Can I be mistaken?" And
then, covering his face with his hands, he murmured to himself, "Misery!
misery! So near and yet impossible?"

"Would it be the less impossible were you face to face? Let us go back.
We cannot go up without detection, even if our going were of use. Come
back, for God's sake, ere all is lost! If you have seen her, as you say,
you know at least that she is alive, and safe in his house--"

"As his mistress? or as his wife? Do I know that yet, Amyas, and can I
depart until I know?" There was a few minutes' silence, and then Amyas,
making one last attempt to awaken Frank to the absurdity of the whole
thing, and to laugh him, if possible, out of it, as argument had no

"My dear fellow, I am very hungry and sleepy; and this bush is very
prickly; and my boots are full of ants--"

"So are mine.--Look!" and Frank caught Amyas's arm, and clenched it

For round the farther corner of the house a dark cloaked figure stole
gently, turning a look now and then upon the sleeping negroes, and came
on right toward them.

"Did I not tell you she would come?" whispered Frank, in a triumphant

Amyas was quite bewildered; and to his mind the apparition seemed
magical, and Frank prophetic; for as the figure came nearer, incredulous
as he tried to be, there was no denying that the shape and the walk were
exactly those of her, to find whom they had crossed the Atlantic. True,
the figure was somewhat taller; but then, "she must be grown since I saw
her," thought Amyas; and his heart for the moment beat as fiercely as

But what was that behind her? Her shadow against the white wall of the
house. Not so. Another figure, cloaked likewise, but taller far, was
following on her steps. It was a man's. They could see that he wore a
broad sombrero. It could not be Don Guzman, for he was at sea. Who then?
Here was a mystery; perhaps a tragedy. And both brothers held their
breaths, while Amyas felt whether his sword was loose in the sheath.

The Rose (if indeed it was she) was within ten yards of them, when she
perceived that she was followed. She gave a little shriek. The cavalier
sprang forward, lifted his hat courteously, and joined her, bowing low.
The moonlight was full upon his face.

"It is Eustace, our cousin! How came he here, in the name of all the

"Eustace! Then that is she, after all!" said Frank, forgetting
everything else in her.

And now flashed across Amyas all that had passed between him and Eustace
in the moorland inn, and Parracombe's story, too, of the suspicious
gipsy. Eustace had been beforehand with them, and warned Don Guzman! All
was explained now: but how had he got hither?

"The devil, his master, sent him hither on a broomstick, I suppose: or
what matter how? Here he is; and here we are, worse luck!" And, setting
his teeth, Amyas awaited the end.

The two came on, talking earnestly, and walking at a slow pace, so that
the brothers could hear every word.

"What shall we do now?" said Frank. "We have no right to be

"But we must be, right or none." And Amyas held him down firmly by the

"But whither are you going, then, my dear madam?" they heard Eustace
say in a wheedling tone. "Can you wonder if such strange conduct should
cause at least sorrow to your admirable and faithful husband?"

"Husband!" whispered Frank faintly to Amyas. "Thank God, thank God! I am
content. Let us go."

But to go was impossible; for, as fate would have it, the two had
stopped just opposite them.

"The inestimable Senor Don Guzman--" began Eustace again.

"What do you mean by praising him to me in this fulsome way, sir? Do you
suppose that I do not know his virtues better than you?"

"If you do, madam" (this was spoken in a harder tone), "it were wise for
you to try them less severely, than by wandering down towards the beach
on the very night that you know his most deadly enemies are lying in
wait to slay him, plunder his house, and most probably to carry you off
from him."

"Carry me off? I will die first!"

"Who can prove that to him? Appearances are at least against you."

"My love to him, and his trust for me, sir!"

"His trust? Have you forgotten, madam, what passed last week, and why he
sailed yesterday?"

The only answer was a burst of tears. Eustace stood watching her with a
terrible eye; but they could see his face writhing in the moonlight.

"Oh!" sobbed she at last. "And if I have been imprudent, was it not
natural to wish to look once more upon an English ship? Are you not
English as well as I? Have you no longing recollections of the dear old
land at home?"

Eustace was silent; but his face worked more fiercely than ever.

"How can he ever know it?"

"Why should he not know it?"

"Ah!" she burst out passionately, "why not, indeed, while you are here?
You, sir, the tempter, you the eavesdropper, you the sunderer of loving
hearts! You, serpent, who found our home a paradise, and see it now a

"Do you dare to accuse me thus, madam, without a shadow of evidence?"

"Dare? I dare anything, for I know all! I have watched you, sir, and I
have borne with you too long."

"Me, madam, whose only sin towards you, as you should know by now, is to
have loved you too well? Rose! Rose! have you not blighted my life for
me--broken my heart? And how have I repaid you? How but by sacrificing
myself to seek you over land and sea, that I might complete your
conversion to the bosom of that Church where a Virgin Mother stands
stretching forth soft arms to embrace her wandering daughter, and cries
to you all day long, 'Come unto me, ye that are weary and heavy laden,
and I will give you rest!' And this is my reward!"

"Depart with your Virgin Mother, sir, and tempt me no more! You have
asked me what I dare; and I dare this, upon my own ground, and in my
own garden, I, Donna Rosa de Soto, to bid you leave this place now and
forever, after having insulted me by talking of your love, and tempted
me to give up that faith which my husband promised me he would respect
and protect. Go, sir!"

The brothers listened breathless with surprise as much as with rage.
Love and conscience, and perhaps, too, the pride of her lofty alliance,
had converted the once gentle and dreamy Rose into a very Roxana; but it
was only the impulse of a moment. The words had hardly passed her lips,
when, terrified at what she had said, she burst into a fresh flood of
tears; while Eustace answered calmly:

"I go, madam: but how know you that I may not have orders, and that,
after your last strange speech, my conscience may compel me to obey
those orders, to take you with me?"

"Me? with you?"

"My heart has bled for you, madam, for many a year. It longs now that
it had bled itself to death, and never known the last worst agony of
telling you--"

And drawing close to her he whispered in her ear--what, the brothers
heard not--but her answer was a shriek which rang through the woods, and
sent the night-birds fluttering up from every bough above their heads.

"By Heaven!" said Amyas, "I can stand this no longer. Cut that devil's
throat I must--"

"She is lost if his dead body is found by her."

"We are lost if we stay here, then," said Amyas; "for those negroes will
hurry down at her cry, and then found we must be."

"Are you mad, madam, to betray yourself by your own cries? The negroes
will be here in a moment. I give you one last chance for life, then:"
and Eustace shouted in Spanish at the top of his voice, "Help, help,
servants! Your mistress is being carried off by bandits!"

"What do you mean, sir?"

"Let your woman's wit supply the rest: and forget not him who thus saves
you from disgrace."

Whether the brothers heard the last words or not, I know not; but taking
for granted that Eustace had discovered them, they sprang to their feet
at once, determined to make one last appeal, and then to sell their
lives as dearly as they could.

Eustace started back at the unexpected apparition; but a second glance
showed him Amyas's mighty bulk; and he spoke calmly--

"You see, madam, I did not call without need. Welcome, good cousins. My
charity, as you perceive, has found means to outstrip your craft; while
the fair lady, as was but natural, has been true to her assignation!"

"Liar!" cried Frank. "She never knew of our being--"

"Credat Judaeus!" answered Eustace; but, as he spoke, Amyas burst
through the bushes at him. There was no time to be lost; and ere the
giant could disentangle himself from the boughs and shrubs, Eustace had
slipped off his long cloak, thrown it over Amyas's head, and ran up the
alley shouting for help.

Mad with rage, Amyas gave chase: but in two minutes more Eustace was
safe among the ranks of the negroes, who came shouting and jabbering
down the path.

He rushed back. Frank was just ending some wild appeal to Rose--

"Your conscience! your religion!--"

"No, never! I can face the chance of death, but not the loss of him. Go!
for God's sake, leave me!"

"You are lost, then,--and I have ruined you!"

"Come off, now or never," cried Amyas, clutching him by the arm, and
dragging him away like a child.

"You forgive me?" cried he.

"Forgive you?" and she burst into tears again.

Frank burst into tears also.

"Let me go back, and die with her--Amyas!--my oath!--my honor!" and he
struggled to turn back.

Amyas looked back too, and saw her standing calmly, with her hands
folded across her breast, awaiting Eustace and the servants; and he half
turned to go back also. Both saw how fearfully appearances had put her
into Eustace's power. Had he not a right to suspect that they were there
by her appointment; that she was going to escape with them? And would
not Eustace use his power? The thought of the Inquisition crossed their
minds. "Was that the threat which Eustace had whispered?" asked he of

"It was," groaned Frank, in answer.

For the first and last time in his life, Amyas Leigh stood irresolute.

"Back, and stab her to the heart first!" said Frank, struggling to
escape from him.

Oh, if Amyas were but alone, and Frank safe home in England! To charge
the whole mob, kill her, kill Eustace, and then cut his way back again
to the ship, or die,--what matter? as he must die some day,--sword in
hand! But Frank!--and then flashed before his eyes his mother's hopeless
face; then rang in his ears his mother's last bequest to him of that
frail treasure. Let Rose, let honor, let the whole world perish, he must
save Frank. See! the negroes were up with her now--past her--away for
life! and once more he dragged his brother down the hill, and through
the wicket, only just in time; for the whole gang of negroes were within
ten yards of them in full pursuit.

"Frank," said he, sharply, "if you ever hope to see your mother again,
rouse yourself, man, and fight!" And, without waiting for an answer, he
turned, and charged up-hill upon his pursuers, who saw the long bright
blade, and fled instantly.

Again he hurried Frank down the hill; the path wound in zigzags, and he
feared that the negroes would come straight over the cliff, and so cut
off his retreat: but the prickly cactuses were too much for them, and
they were forced to follow by the path, while the brothers (Frank having
somewhat regained his senses) turned every now and then to menace
them: but once on the rocky path, stones began to fly fast; small ones
fortunately, and wide and wild for want of light--but when they reached
the pebble-beach? Both were too proud to run; but, if ever Amyas prayed
in his life, he prayed for the last twenty yards before he reached the

"Now, Frank! down to the boat as hard as you can run, while I keep the
curs back."

"Amyas! what do you take me for? My madness brought you hither: your
devotion shall not bring me back without you."

"Together, then!"

And putting Frank's arm through his, they hurried down, shouting to
their men.

The boat was not fifty yards off: but fast travelling over the pebbles
was impossible, and long ere half the distance was crossed, the negroes
were on the beach, and the storm burst. A volley of great quartz pebbles
whistled round their heads.

"Come on, Frank! for life's sake! Men, to the rescue! Ah! what was

The dull crash of a pebble against Frank's fair head! Drooping like
Hyacinthus beneath the blow of the quoit, he sank on Amyas's arm. The
giant threw him over his shoulder, and plunged blindly on,--himself
struck again and again.

"Fire, men! Give it the black villains!"

The arquebuses crackled from the boat in front. What were those
dull thuds which answered from behind? Echoes? No. Over his head the
caliver-balls went screeching. The governors' guard have turned out,
followed them to the beach, fixed their calivers, and are firing over
the negroes' heads, as the savages rush down upon the hapless brothers.

If, as all say, there are moments which are hours, how many hours was
Amyas Leigh in reaching that boat's bow? Alas! the negroes are there as
soon as he, and the guard, having left their calivers, are close behind
them, sword in hand. Amyas is up to his knees in water--battered with
stones--blinded with blood. The boat is swaying off and on against the
steep pebble-bank: he clutches at it--misses--falls headlong--rises
half-choked with water: but Frank is still in his arms. Another heavy
blow--a confused roar of shouts, shots, curses--a confused mass of
negroes and English, foam and pebbles--and he recollects no more.

      *    *    *    *    *

He is lying in the stern-sheets of the boat; stiff, weak, half blind
with blood. He looks up; the moon is still bright overhead: but they are
away from the shore now, for the wave-crests are dancing white before
the land-breeze, high above the boat's side. The boat seems strangely
empty. Two men are pulling instead of six! And what is this lying heavy
across his chest? He pushes, and is answered by a groan. He puts his
hand down to rise, and is answered by another groan.

"What's this?"

"All that are left of us," says Simon Evans of Clovelly.

"All?" The bottom of the boat seemed paved with human bodies. "Oh
God! oh God!" moans Amyas, trying to rise. "And where--where is Frank?

"Mr. Frank!" cries Evans. There is no answer.

"Dead?" shrieks Amyas. "Look for him, for God's sake, look!" and
struggling from under his living load, he peers into each pale and
bleeding face.

"Where is he? Why don't you speak, forward there?"

"Because we have naught to say, sir," answers Evans, almost surlily.

Frank was not there.

"Put the boat about! To the shore!" roars Amyas.

"Look over the gunwale, and judge for yourself, sir!"

The waves are leaping fierce and high before a furious land-breeze.
Return is impossible.

"Cowards! villains! traitors! hounds! to have left him behind."

"Listen you to me, Captain Amyas Leigh," says Simon Evans, resting on
his oar; "and hang me for mutiny, if you will, when we're aboard, if we
ever get there. Isn't it enough to bring us out to death (as you knew
yourself, sir, for you're prudent enough) to please that poor young
gentleman's fancy about a wench; but you must call coward an honest man
that have saved your life this night, and not a one of us but has his
wound to show?"

Amyas was silent; the rebuke was just.

"I tell you, sir, if we've hove a stone out of this boat since we got
off, we've hove two hundredweight, and, if the Lord had not fought for
us, she'd have been beat to noggin-staves there on the beach."

"How did I come here, then?"

"Tom Hart dragged you in out of five feet water, and then thrust the
boat off, and had his brains beat out for reward. All were knocked down
but us two. So help me God, we thought that you had hove Mr. Frank on
board just as you were knocked down, and saw William Frost drag him in."

But William Frost was lying senseless in the bottom of the boat. There
was no explanation. After all, none was needed.

"And I have three wounds from stones, and this man behind me as many
more, beside a shot through his shoulder. Now, sir, be we cowards?"

"You have done your duty," said Amyas, and sank down in the boat, and
cried as if his heart would break; and then sprang up, and, wounded as
he was, took the oar from Evans's hands. With weary work they made the
ship, but so exhausted that another boat had to be lowered to get them

The alarm being now given, it was hardly safe to remain where they were;
and after a stormy and sad argument, it was agreed to weigh anchor and
stand off and on till morning; for Amyas refused to leave the spot till
he was compelled, though he had no hope (how could he have?) that Frank
might still be alive. And perhaps it was well for them, as will appear
in the next chapter, that morning did not find them at anchor close to
the town.

However that may be, so ended that fatal venture of mistaken chivalry.



     "Full seven long hours in all men's sight
       This fight endured sore,
     Until our men so feeble grew,
       That they could fight no more.
     And then upon dead horses
       Full savorly they fed,
     And drank the puddle water,
       They could no better get.

     "When they had fed so freely
       They kneeled on the ground,
     And gave God thanks devoutly for
       The favor they had found;
     Then beating up their colors,
       The fight they did renew;
     And turning to the Spaniards,
       A thousand more they slew."

       The Brave Lord Willoughby.  1586.

When the sun leaped up the next morning, and the tropic light
flashed suddenly into the tropic day, Amyas was pacing the deck, with
dishevelled hair and torn clothes, his eyes red with rage and weeping,
his heart full--how can I describe it? Picture it to yourselves, picture
it to yourselves, you who have ever lost a brother; and you who have
not, thank God that you know nothing of his agony. Full of impossible
projects, he strode and staggered up and down, as the ship thrashed
close-hauled through the rolling seas. He would go back and burn the
villa. He would take Guayra, and have the life of every man in it in
return for his brother's. "We can do it, lads!" he shouted. "If Drake
took Nombre de Dios, we can take La Guayra." And every voice shouted,

"We will have it, Amyas, and have Frank too, yet," cried Cary; but Amyas
shook his head. He knew, and knew not why he knew, that all the ports in
New Spain would never restore to him that one beloved face.

"Yes, he shall be well avenged. And look there! There is the first crop
of our vengeance. And he pointed toward the shore, where between them
and the now distant peaks of the Silla, three sails appeared, not five
miles to windward.

"There are the Spanish bloodhounds on our heels, the same ships which we
saw yesterday off Guayra. Back, lads, and welcome them, if they were a

There was a murmur of applause from all around; and if any young heart
sank for a moment at the prospect of fighting three ships at once, it
was awed into silence by the cheer which rose from all the older men,
and by Salvation Yeo's stentorian voice.

"If there were a dozen, the Lord is with us, who has said, 'One of you
shall chase a thousand.' Clear away, lads, and see the glory of the Lord
this day."

"Amen!" cried Cary; and the ship was kept still closer to the wind.

Amyas had revived at the sight of battle. He no longer felt his wounds,
or his great sorrow; even Frank's last angel's look grew dimmer every
moment as he bustled about the deck; and ere a quarter of an hour had
passed, his voice cried firmly and cheerfully as of old--

"Now, my masters, let us serve God, and then to breakfast, and after
that clear for action."

Jack Brimblecombe read the daily prayers, and the prayers before a
fight at sea, and his honest voice trembled, as, in the Prayer for
all Conditions of Men (in spite of Amyas's despair), he added, "and
especially for our dear brother Mr. Francis Leigh, perhaps captive among
the idolaters;" and so they rose.

"Now, then," said Amyas, "to breakfast. A Frenchman fights best fasting,
a Dutchman drunk, an Englishman full, and a Spaniard when the devil is
in him, and that's always."

"And good beef and the good cause are a match for the devil," said Cary.
"Come down, captain; you must eat too."

Amyas shook his head, took the tiller from the steersman, and bade him
go below and fill himself. Will Cary went down, and returned in five
minutes, with a plate of bread and beef, and a great jack of ale,
coaxed them down Amyas's throat, as a nurse does with a child, and then
scuttled below again with tears hopping down his face.

Amyas stood still steering. His face was grown seven years older in
the last night. A terrible set calm was on him. Woe to the man who came
across him that day!

"There are three of them, you see, my masters," said he, as the crew
came on deck again. "A big ship forward, and two galleys astern of her.
The big ship may keep; she is a race ship, and if we can but recover
the wind of her, we will see whether our height is not a match for her
length. We must give her the slip, and take the galleys first."

"I thank the Lord," said Yeo, "who has given so wise a heart to so young
a general; a very David and Daniel, saving his presence, lads; and if
any dare not follow him, let him be as the men of Meroz and of Succoth.
Amen! Silas Staveley, smite me that boy over the head, the young monkey;
why is he not down at the powder-room door?"

And Yeo went about his gunnery, as one who knew how to do it, and had
the most terrible mind to do it thoroughly, and the most terrible faith
that it was God's work.

So all fell to; and though there was comparatively little to be done,
the ship having been kept as far as could be in fighting order all
night, yet there was "clearing of decks, lacing of nettings, making of
bulwarks, fitting of waist-cloths, arming of tops, tallowing of pikes,
slinging of yards, doubling of sheets and tacks," enough to satisfy even
the pedantical soul of Richard Hawkins himself. Amyas took charge of
the poop, Cary of the forecastle, and Yeo, as gunner, of the main-deck,
while Drew, as master, settled himself in the waist; and all was ready,
and more than ready, before the great ship was within two miles of them.

And now while the mastiffs of England and the bloodhounds of Spain are
nearing and nearing over the rolling surges, thirsting for each other's
blood, let us spend a few minutes at least in looking at them both, and
considering the causes which in those days enabled the English to face
and conquer armaments immensely superior in size and number of ships,
and to boast that in the whole Spanish war but one queen's ship, the
Revenge, and (if I recollect right) but one private man-of-war, Sir
Richard Hawkins's Dainty, had ever struck their colors to the enemy.

What was it which enabled Sir Richard Grenville's Revenge, in his last
fearful fight off the Azores, to endure, for twelve hours before she
struck, the attack of eight Spanish armadas, of which two (three times
her own burden) sank at her side; and after all her masts were gone, and
she had been boarded three times without success, to defy to the last
the whole fleet of fifty-four sail, which lay around her, waiting for
her to sink, "like dogs around the dying forest king"?

What enabled young Richard Hawkins's Dainty, though half her guns were
useless through the carelessness or treachery of the gunner, to maintain
for three days a running fight with two Spaniards of equal size with
her, double the weight of metal, and ten times the number of men?

What enabled Sir George Cary's illustrious ship, the Content, to fight,
single-handed, from seven in the morning till eleven at night, with
four great armadas and two galleys, though her heaviest gun was but
one nine-pounder, and for many hours she had but thirteen men fit for

What enabled, in the very year of which I write, those two "valiant
Turkey Merchantmen of London, the Merchant Royal and the Tobie,"
with their three small consorts, to cripple, off Pantellaria in the
Mediterranean, the whole fleet of Spanish galleys sent to intercept
them, and return triumphant through the Straits of Gibraltar?

And lastly, what in the fight of 1588, whereof more hereafter, enabled
the English fleet to capture, destroy, and scatter that Great Armada,
with the loss (but not the capture) of one pinnace, and one gentleman of

There were more causes than one: the first seems to have lain in the
build of the English ships; the second in their superior gunnery and
weight of metal; the third (without which the first would have been
useless) in the hearts of the English men.

The English ship was much shorter than the Spanish; and this (with
the rig of those days) gave them an ease in manoeuvring, which utterly
confounded their Spanish foes. "The English ships in the fight of 1588,"
says Camden, "charged the enemy with marvellous agility, and having
discharged their broadsides, flew forth presently into the deep, and
levelled their shot directly, without missing, at those great ships of
the Spaniards, which were altogether heavy and unwieldy." Moreover, the
Spanish fashion, in the West Indies at least, though not in the ships
of the Great Armada, was, for the sake of carrying merchandise, to build
their men-of-war flush-decked, or as it was called "race" (razes), which
left those on deck exposed and open; while the English fashion was to
heighten the ship as much as possible at stem and stern, both by
the sweep of her lines, and also by stockades ("close fights and
cage-works") on the poop and forecastle, thus giving to the men
a shelter, which was further increased by strong bulkheads
("cobridgeheads") across the main-deck below, dividing the ship thus
into a number of separate forts, fitted with swivels ("bases, fowlers,
and murderers") and loopholed for musketry and arrows.

But the great source of superiority was, after all, in the men
themselves. The English sailor was then, as now, a quite amphibious
and all-cunning animal, capable of turning his hand to everything, from
needlework and carpentry to gunnery or hand-to-hand blows; and he
was, moreover, one of a nation, every citizen of which was not merely
permitted to carry arms, but compelled by law to practise from
childhood the use of the bow, and accustomed to consider sword-play
and quarter-staff as a necessary part and parcel of education, and the
pastime of every leisure hour. The "fiercest nation upon earth," as
they were then called, and the freest also, each man of them fought for
himself with the self-help and self-respect of a Yankee ranger, and once
bidden to do his work, was trusted to carry it out by his own wit as
best he could. In one word, he was a free man.

The English officers, too, as now, lived on terms of sympathy with their
men unknown to the Spaniards, who raised between the commander and the
commanded absurd barriers of rank and blood, which forbade to his pride
any labor but that of fighting. The English officers, on the other hand,
brought up to the same athletic sports, the same martial exercises, as
their men, were not ashamed to care for them, to win their friendship,
even on emergency to consult their judgment; and used their rank, not to
differ from their men, but to outvie them; not merely to command and be
obeyed, but, like Homer's heroes, or the old Norse Vikings, to lead and
be followed. Drake touched the true mainspring of English success when
he once (in his voyage round the world) indignantly rebuked some coxcomb
gentlemen-adventurers with--"I should like to see the gentleman that
will refuse to set his hand to a rope. I must have the gentlemen to hale
and draw with the mariners." But those were days in which her majesty's
service was as little overridden by absurd rules of seniority, as by
that etiquette which is at once the counterfeit and the ruin of true
discipline. Under Elizabeth and her ministers, a brave and a shrewd man
was certain of promotion, let his rank or his age be what they might;
the true honor of knighthood covered once and for all any lowliness of
birth; and the merchant service (in which all the best sea-captains,
even those of noble blood, were more or less engaged) was then a
nursery, not only for seamen, but for warriors, in days when Spanish
and Portuguese traders (whenever they had a chance) got rid of English
competition by salvos of cannon-shot.

Hence, as I have said, that strong fellow-feeling between officers and
men; and hence mutinies (as Sir Richard Hawkins tells us) were all but
unknown in the English ships, while in the Spanish they broke out on
every slight occasion. For the Spaniards, by some suicidal pedantry, had
allowed their navy to be crippled by the same despotism, etiquette,
and official routine, by which the whole nation was gradually frozen to
death in the course of the next century or two; forgetting that, fifty
years before, Cortez, Pizarro, and the early Conquistadores of America
had achieved their miraculous triumphs on the exactly opposite method
by that very fellow-feeling between commander and commanded by which the
English were now conquering them in their turn.

Their navy was organized on a plan complete enough; but on one which
was, as the event proved, utterly fatal to their prowess and unanimity,
and which made even their courage and honor useless against the assaults
of free men. "They do, in their armadas at sea, divide themselves into
three bodies; to wit, soldiers, mariners, and gunners. The soldiers and
officers watch and ward as if on shore; and this is the only duty they
undergo, except cleaning their arms, wherein they are not over curious.
The gunners are exempted from all labor and care, except about the
artillery; and these are either Almaines, Flemings, or strangers; for
the Spaniards are but indifferently practised in this art. The mariners
are but as slaves to the rest, to moil and to toil day and night; and
those but few and bad, and not suffered to sleep or harbor under the
decks. For in fair or foul weather, in storms, sun, or rain, they must
pass void of covert or succor."

This is the account of one who was long prisoner on board their ships;
let it explain itself, while I return to my tale. For the great ship is
now within two musket-shots of the Rose, with the golden flag of Spain
floating at her poop; and her trumpets are shouting defiance up the
breeze, from a dozen brazen throats, which two or three answer lustily
from the Rose, from whose poop flies the flag of England, and from her
fore the arms of Leigh and Cary side by side, and over them the ship and
bridge of the good town of Bideford. And then Amyas calls:

"Now, silence trumpets, waits, play up! 'Fortune my foe!' and God and
the Queen be with us!"

Whereon (laugh not, reader, for it was the fashion of those musical
as well as valiant days) up rose that noble old favorite of good Queen
Bess, from cornet and sackbut, fife and drum; while Parson Jack, who had
taken his stand with the musicians on the poop, worked away lustily at
his violin, and like Volker of the Nibelungen Lied.

"Well played, Jack; thy elbow flies like a lamb's tail," said Amyas,
forcing a jest.

"It shall fly to a better fiddle-bow presently, sir, an I have the

"Steady, helm!" said Amyas. "What is he after now?"

The Spaniard, who had been coming upon them right down the wind under a
press of sail, took in his light canvas.

"He don't know what to make of our waiting for him so bold," said the

"He does though, and means to fight us," cried another. "See, he is
hauling up the foot of his mainsail, but he wants to keep the wind of

"Let him try, then," quoth Amyas. "Keep her closer still. Let no one
fire till we are about. Man the starboard guns; to starboard, and wait,
all small arm men. Pass the order down to the gunner, and bid all fire
high, and take the rigging."

Bang went one of the Spaniard's bow guns, and the shot went wide.
Then another and another, while the men fidgeted about, looking at the
priming of their muskets, and loosened their arrows in the sheaf.

"Lie down, men, and sing a psalm. When I want you, I'll call you. Closer
still, if you can, helmsman, and we will try a short ship against a long
one. We can sail two points nearer the wind than he."

As Amyas had calculated, the Spaniard would gladly enough have stood
across the Rose's bows, but knowing the English readiness, dare not for
fear of being raked; so her only plan, if she did not intend to shoot
past her foe down to leeward, was to put her head close to the wind, and
wait for her on the same tack.

Amyas laughed to himself. "Hold on yet awhile. More ways of killing a
cat than choking her with cream. Drew, there, are your men ready?"

"Ay, ay, sir!" and on they went, closing fast with the Spaniard, till
within a pistol-shot.

"Ready about!" and about she went like an eel, and ran upon the opposite
tack right under the Spaniard's stern. The Spaniard, astounded at the
quickness of the manoeuvre, hesitated a moment, and then tried to get
about also, as his only chance; but it was too late, and while his
lumbering length was still hanging in the wind's eye, Amyas's bowsprit
had all but scraped his quarter, and the Rose passed slowly across his
stern at ten yards' distance.

"Now, then!" roared Amyas. "Fire, and with a will! Have at her,
archers: have at her, muskets all!" and in an instant a storm of bar and
chain-shot, round and canister, swept the proud Don from stem to stern,
while through the white cloud of smoke the musket-balls, and the still
deadlier cloth-yard arrows, whistled and rushed upon their venomous
errand. Down went the steersman, and every soul who manned the
poop. Down went the mizzen topmast, in went the stern-windows and
quarter-galleries; and as the smoke cleared away, the gorgeous painting
of the Madre Dolorosa, with her heart full of seven swords, which, in
a gilded frame, bedizened the Spanish stern, was shivered in splinters;
while, most glorious of all, the golden flag of Spain, which the last
moment flaunted above their heads, hung trailing in the water. The ship,
her tiller shot away, and her helmsman killed, staggered helplessly a
moment, and then fell up into the wind.

"Well done, men of Devon!" shouted Amyas, as cheers rent the welkin.

"She has struck," cried some, as the deafening hurrahs died away.

"Not a bit," said Amyas. "Hold on, helmsman, and leave her to patch her
tackle while we settle the galleys."

On they shot merrily, and long ere the armada could get herself to
rights again, were two good miles to windward, with the galleys sweeping
down fast upon them.

And two venomous-looking craft they were, as they shot through the
short chopping sea upon some forty oars apiece, stretching their long
sword-fish snouts over the water, as if snuffing for their prey. Behind
this long snout, a strong square forecastle was crammed with soldiers,
and the muzzles of cannon grinned out through portholes, not only in the
sides of the forecastle, but forward in the line of the galley's course,
thus enabling her to keep up a continual fire on a ship right ahead.

The long low waist was packed full of the slaves, some five or six to
each oar, and down the centre, between the two banks, the English could
see the slave-drivers walking up and down a long gangway, whip in hand.
A raised quarter-deck at the stern held more soldiers, the sunlight
flashing merrily upon their armor and their gun-barrels; as they neared,
the English could hear plainly the cracks of the whips, and the yells as
of wild beasts which answered them; the roll and rattle of the oars,
and the loud "Ha!" of the slaves which accompanied every stroke, and the
oaths and curses of the drivers; while a sickening musky smell, as of
a pack of kennelled hounds, came down the wind from off those dens of
misery. No wonder if many a young heart shuddered as it faced, for the
first time, the horrible reality of those floating hells, the cruelties
whereof had rung so often in English ears, from the stories of their own
countrymen, who had passed them, fought them, and now and then passed
years of misery on board of them. Who knew but what there might be
English among those sun-browned half-naked masses of panting wretches?

"Must we fire upon the slaves?" asked more than one, as the thought
crossed him.

Amyas sighed.

"Spare them all you can, in God's name; but if they try to run us down,
rake them we must, and God forgive us."

The two galleys came on abreast of each other, some forty yards apart.
To outmanoeuvre their oars as he had done the ship's sails, Amyas knew
was impossible. To run from them was to be caught between them and the

He made up his mind, as usual, to the desperate game.

"Lay her head up in the wind, helmsman, and we will wait for them."

They were now within musket-shot, and opened fire from their bow-guns;
but, owing to the chopping sea, their aim was wild. Amyas, as usual,
withheld his fire.

The men stood at quarters with compressed lips, not knowing what was
to come next. Amyas, towering motionless on the quarter-deck, gave his
orders calmly and decisively. The men saw that he trusted himself, and
trusted him accordingly.

The Spaniards, seeing him wait for them, gave a shout of joy--was the
Englishman mad? And the two galleys converged rapidly, intending to
strike him full, one on each bow.

They were within forty yards--another minute, and the shock would come.
The Englishman's helm went up, his yards creaked round, and gathering
way, he plunged upon the larboard galley.

"A dozen gold nobles to him who brings down the steersman!" shouted
Cary, who had his cue.

And a flight of arrows from the forecastle rattled upon the galley's

Hit or not hit, the steersman lost his nerve, and shrank from the coming
shock. The galley's helm went up to port, and her beak slid all but
harmless along Amyas's bow; a long dull grind, and then loud crack on
crack, as the Rose sawed slowly through the bank of oars from stem to
stern, hurling the wretched slaves in heaps upon each other; and ere
her mate on the other side could swing round, to strike him in his new
position, Amyas's whole broadside, great and small, had been poured into
her at pistol-shot, answered by a yell which rent their ears and hearts.

"Spare the slaves! Fire at the soldiers!" cried Amyas; but the work was
too hot for much discrimination; for the larboard galley, crippled
but not undaunted, swung round across his stern, and hooked herself
venomously on to him.

It was a move more brave than wise; for it prevented the other galley
from returning to the attack without exposing herself a second time to
the English broadside; and a desperate attempt of the Spaniards to board
at once through the stern-ports and up the quarter was met with such a
demurrer of shot and steel, that they found themselves in three minutes
again upon the galley's poop, accompanied, to their intense disgust, by
Amyas Leigh and twenty English swords.

Five minutes' hard cutting, hand to hand, and the poop was clear. The
soldiers in the forecastle had been able to give them no assistance,
open as they lay to the arrows and musketry from the Rose's lofty stern.
Amyas rushed along the central gangway, shouting in Spanish, "Freedom
to the slaves! death to the masters!" clambered into the forecastle,
followed close by his swarm of wasps, and set them so good an example
how to use their stings, that in three minutes more there was not a
Spaniard on board who was not dead or dying.

"Let the slaves free!" shouted he. "Throw us a hammer down, men. Hark!
there's an English voice!"

There is indeed. From amid the wreck of broken oars and writhing limbs,
a voice is shrieking in broadest Devon to the master, who is looking
over the side.

"Oh, Robert Drew! Robert Drew! Come down, and take me out of hell!"

"Who be you, in the name of the Lord!"

"Don't you mind William Prust, that Captain Hawkins left behind in the
Honduras, years and years agone? There's nine of us aboard, if your shot
hasn't put 'em out of their misery. Come down, if you've a Christian
heart, come down!"

Utterly forgetful of all discipline, Drew leaps down hammer in hand, and
the two old comrades rush into each other's arms.

Why make a long story of what took but five minutes to do? The nine men
(luckily none of them wounded) are freed, and helped on board, to be
hugged and kissed by old comrades and young kinsmen; while the remaining
slaves, furnished with a couple of hammers, are told to free themselves
and help the English. The wretches answer by a shout; and Amyas, once
more safe on board again, dashes after the other galley, which has
been hovering out of reach of his guns: but there is no need to trouble
himself about her; sickened with what she has got, she is struggling
right up wind, leaning over to one side, and seemingly ready to sink.

"Are there any English on board of her?" asks Amyas, loath to lose the
chance of freeing a countryman.

"Never a one, sir, thank God."

So they set to work to repair damages; while the liberated slaves,
having shifted some of the galley's oars, pull away after their comrade;
and that with such a will, that in ten minutes they have caught her up,
and careless of the Spaniard's fire, boarded her en masse, with yells
as of a thousand wolves. There will be fearful vengeance taken on those
tyrants, unless they play the man this day.

And in the meanwhile half the crew are clothing, feeding, questioning,
caressing those nine poor fellows thus snatched from living death;
and Yeo, hearing the news, has rushed up on deck to welcome his old
comrades, and--

"Is Michael Heard, my cousin, here among you?"

Yes, Michael Heard is there, white-headed rather from misery than age;
and the embracings and questionings begin afresh.

"Where is my wife, Salvation Yeo?"

"With the Lord."

"Amen!" says the old man, with a short shudder. "I thought so much; and
my two boys?"

"With the Lord."

The old man catches Yeo by the arm.

"How, then?" It is Yeo's turn to shudder now.

"Killed in Panama, fighting the Spaniards; sailing with Mr. Oxenham; and
'twas I led 'em into it. May God and you forgive me!"

"They couldn't die better, cousin Yeo. Where's my girl Grace?"

"Died in childbed."

"Any childer?"


The old man covers his face with his hands for a while.

"Well, I've been alone with the Lord these fifteen years, so I must not
whine at being alone a while longer--'t won't be long."

"Put this coat on your back, uncle," says some one.

"No; no coats for me. Naked came I into the world, and naked I go out of
it this day, if I have a chance. You'm better to go to your work, lads,
or the big one will have the wind of you yet."

"So she will," said Amyas, who has overheard; but so great is the
curiosity on all hands, that he has some trouble in getting the men
to quarters again; indeed, they only go on condition of parting among
themselves with them the new-comers, each to tell his sad and strange
story. How after Captain Hawkins, constrained by famine, had put them
ashore, they wandered in misery till the Spaniards took them; how,
instead of hanging them (as they at first intended), the Dons fed and
clothed them, and allotted them as servants to various gentlemen about
Mexico, where they throve, turned their hands (like true sailors) to all
manner of trades, and made much money, and some of them were married,
even to women of wealth; so that all went well, until the fatal year
1574, when, "much against the minds of many of the Spaniards themselves,
that cruel and bloody Inquisition was established for the first time in
the Indies;" and how from that moment their lives were one long
tragedy; how they were all imprisoned for a year and a half, not for
proselytizing, but simply for not believing in transubstantiation;
racked again and again, and at last adjudged to receive publicly, on
Good Friday, 1575, some three hundred, some one hundred stripes, and to
serve in the galleys for six or ten years each; while, as the crowning
atrocity of the Moloch sacrifice, three of them were burnt alive in the
market-place of Mexico; a story no less hideous than true, the details
whereof whoso list may read in Hakluyt's third volume, as told by
Philip Miles, one of that hapless crew; as well as the adventures of Job
Hortop, a messmate of his, who, after being sent to Spain, and seeing
two more of his companions burnt alive at Seville, was sentenced to
row in the galleys ten years, and after that to go to the "everlasting
prison remediless;" from which doom, after twenty-three years of
slavery, he was delivered by the galleon Dudley, and came safely home to

The fate of Hortop and his comrades was, of course, still unknown to
the rescued men; but the history even of their party was not likely to
improve the good feeling of the crew toward the Spanish ship which was
two miles to leeward of them, and which must be fought with, or fled
from, before a quarter of an hour was past. So, kneeling down upon the
deck, as many a brave crew in those days did in like case, they "gave
God thanks devoutly for the favor they had found;" and then with one
accord, at Jack's leading, sang one and all the Ninety-fourth Psalm:*

     "Oh, Lord, thou dost revenge all wrong;
       Vengeance belongs to thee," etc.

     * The crew of the Tobie, cast away on the Barbary coast a
     few years after, "began with heavy hearts to sing the
     twelfth Psalm, 'Help, Lord, for good and godly men,' etc.
     Howbeit, ere we had finished four verses, the waves of the
     sea had stopped the breaths of most."

And then again to quarters; for half the day's work, or more than half,
still remained to be done; and hardly were the decks cleared afresh,
and the damage repaired as best it could be, when she came ranging up to
leeward, as closehauled as she could.

She was, as I said, a long flush-decked ship of full five hundred tons,
more than double the size, in fact, of the Rose, though not so lofty in
proportion; and many a bold heart beat loud, and no shame to them, as
she began firing away merrily, determined, as all well knew, to wipe out
in English blood the disgrace of her late foil.

"Never mind, my merry masters," said Amyas, "she has quantity and we

"That's true," said one, "for one honest man is worth two rogues."

"And one culverin three of their footy little ordnance," said another.
"So when you will, captain, and have at her."

"Let her come abreast of us, and don't burn powder. We have the wind,
and can do what we like with her. Serve the men out a horn of ale all
round, steward, and all take your time."

So they waited for five minutes more, and then set to work quietly,
after the fashion of English mastiffs, though, like those mastiffs, they
waxed right mad before three rounds were fired, and the white splinters
(sight beloved) began to crackle and fly.

Amyas, having, as he had said, the wind, and being able to go nearer it
than the Spaniard, kept his place at easy point-blank range for his two
eighteen-pounder culverins, which Yeo and his mate worked with terrible

"We are lacking her through and through every shot," said he. "Leave the
small ordnance alone yet awhile, and we shall sink her without them."

"Whing, whing," went the Spaniard's shot, like so many humming-tops,
through the rigging far above their heads; for the ill-constructed
ports of those days prevented the guns from hulling an enemy who was to
windward, unless close alongside.

"Blow, jolly breeze," cried one, "and lay the Don over all thou
canst.--What the murrain is gone, aloft there?"

Alas! a crack, a flap, a rattle; and blank dismay! An unlucky shot had
cut the foremast (already wounded) in two, and all forward was a mass of
dangling wreck.

"Forward, and cut away the wreck!" said Amyas, unmoved. "Small arm men,
be ready. He will be aboard of us in five minutes!"

It was too true. The Rose, unmanageable from the loss of her head-sail,
lay at the mercy of the Spaniard; and the archers and musqueteers had
hardly time to range themselves to leeward, when the Madre Dolorosa's
chains were grinding against the Rose's, and grapples tossed on board
from stem to stern.

"Don't cut them loose!" roared Amyas. "Let them stay and see the fun!
Now, dogs of Devon, show your teeth, and hurrah for God and the queen!"

And then began a fight most fierce and fell: the Spaniards, according to
their fashion, attempting to board, the English, amid fierce shouts of
"God and the queen!" "God and St. George for England!" sweeping them
back by showers of arrows and musquet balls, thrusting them down with
pikes, hurling grenades and stink-pots from the tops; while the swivels
on both sides poured their grape, and bar, and chain, and the great
main-deck guns, thundering muzzle to muzzle, made both ships quiver and
recoil, as they smashed the round shot through and through each other.

So they roared and flashed, fast clenched to each other in that devil's
wedlock, under a cloud of smoke beneath the cloudless tropic sky; while
all around, the dolphins gambolled, and the flying-fish shot on from
swell to swell, and the rainbow-hued jellies opened and shut their cups
of living crystal to the sun, as merrily as if man had never fallen, and
hell had never broken loose on earth.

So it raged for an hour or more, till all arms were weary, and all
tongues clove to the mouth. And sick men, rotting with scurvy,
scrambled up on deck, and fought with the strength of madness; and tiny
powder-boys, handing up cartridges from the hold, laughed and cheered
as the shots ran past their ears; and old Salvation Yeo, a text upon his
lips, and a fury in his heart as of Joshua or Elijah in old time, worked
on, calm and grim, but with the energy of a boy at play. And now and
then an opening in the smoke showed the Spanish captain, in his suit
of black steel armor, standing cool and proud, guiding and pointing,
careless of the iron hail, but too lofty a gentleman to soil his glove
with aught but a knightly sword-hilt: while Amyas and Will, after the
fashion of the English gentlemen, had stripped themselves nearly as bare
as their own sailors, and were cheering, thrusting, hewing, and hauling,
here, there, and everywhere, like any common mariner, and filling them
with a spirit of self-respect, fellow-feeling, and personal daring,
which the discipline of the Spaniards, more perfect mechanically, but
cold and tyrannous, and crushing spiritually, never could bestow. The
black-plumed senor was obeyed; but the golden-locked Amyas was followed,
and would have been followed through the jaws of hell.

The Spaniards, ere five minutes had passed, poured en masse into the
Rose's waist, but only to their destruction. Between the poop and
forecastle (as was then the fashion) the upper-deck beams were left open
and unplanked, with the exception of a narrow gangway on either side;
and off that fatal ledge the boarders, thrust on by those behind, fell
headlong between the beams to the main-deck below, to be slaughtered
helpless in that pit of destruction, by the double fire from the
bulkheads fore and aft; while the few who kept their footing on
the gangway, after vain attempts to force the stockades on poop and
forecastle, leaped overboard again amid a shower of shot and arrows.
The fire of the English was as steady as it was quick; and though
three-fourths of the crew had never smelt powder before, they proved
well the truth of the old chronicler's saying (since proved again more
gloriously than ever, at Alma, Balaklava, and Inkerman), that "the
English never fight better than in their first battle."

Thrice the Spaniards clambered on board, and thrice surged back before
that deadly hail. The decks on both sides were very shambles; and Jack
Brimblecombe, who had fought as long as his conscience would allow him,
found, when he turned to a more clerical occupation, enough to do in
carrying poor wretches to the surgeon, without giving that spiritual
consolation which he longed to give, and they to receive. At last there
was a lull in that wild storm. No shot was heard from the Spaniard's

Amyas leaped into the mizzen rigging, and looked through the smoke. Dead
men he could descry through the blinding veil, rolled in heaps, laid
flat; dead men and dying: but no man upon his feet. The last volley had
swept the deck clear; one by one had dropped below to escape that
fiery shower: and alone at the helm, grinding his teeth with rage, his
mustachios curling up to his very eyes, stood the Spanish captain.

Now was the moment for a counter-stroke. Amyas shouted for the boarders,
and in two minutes more he was over the side, and clutching at the
Spaniard's mizzen rigging.

What was this? The distance between him and the enemy's side was
widening. Was she sheering off? Yes--and rising too, growing bodily
higher every moment, as if by magic. Amyas looked up in astonishment and
saw what it was. The Spaniard was heeling fast over to leeward away from
him. Her masts were all sloping forward, swifter and swifter--the end
was come, then!

"Back! in God's name back, men! She is sinking by the head!" And with
much ado some were dragged back, some leaped back--all but old Michael

With hair and beard floating in the wind, the bronzed naked figure,
like some weird old Indian fakir, still climbed on steadfastly up the
mizzen-chains of the Spaniard, hatchet in hand.

"Come back, Michael! Leap while you may!" shouted a dozen voices.
Michael turned--

"And what should I come back for, then, to go home where no one knoweth
me? I'll die like an Englishman this day, or I'll know the rason why!"
and turning, he sprang in over the bulwarks, as the huge ship rolled
up more and more, like a dying whale, exposing all her long black
hulk almost down to the keel, and one of her lower-deck guns, as if in
defiance, exploded upright into the air, hurling the ball to the very

In an instant it was answered from the Rose by a column of smoke, and
the eighteen-pound ball crashed through the bottom of the defenceless

"Who fired? Shame to fire on a sinking ship!"

"Gunner Yeo, sir," shouted a voice up from the main-deck. "He's like a
madman down here."

"Tell him if he fires again, I'll put him in irons, if he were my own
brother. Cut away the grapples aloft, men. Don't you see how she drags
us over? Cut away, or we shall sink with her."

They cut away, and the Rose, released from the strain, shook her
feathers on the wave-crest like a freed sea-gull, while all men held
their breaths.

Suddenly the glorious creature righted herself, and rose again, as if in
noble shame, for one last struggle with her doom. Her bows were deep in
the water, but her after-deck still dry. Righted: but only for a moment,
long enough to let her crew come pouring wildly up on deck, with cries
and prayers, and rush aft to the poop, where, under the flag of Spain,
stood the tall captain, his left hand on the standard-staff, his sword
pointed in his right.

"Back, men!" they heard him cry, "and die like valiant mariners."

Some of them ran to the bulwarks, and shouted "Mercy! We surrender!" and
the English broke into a cheer and called to them to run her alongside.

"Silence!" shouted Amyas. "I take no surrender from mutineers. Senor,"
cried he to the captain, springing into the rigging and taking off his
hat, "for the love of God and these men, strike! and surrender a buena

The Spaniard lifted his hat and bowed courteously, and answered,
"Impossible, senor. No querra is good which stains my honor."

"God have mercy on you, then!"

"Amen!" said the Spaniard, crossing himself.

She gave one awful lounge forward, and dived under the coming swell,
hurling her crew into the eddies. Nothing but the point of her poop
remained, and there stood the stern and steadfast Don, cap-a-pie in his
glistening black armor, immovable as a man of iron, while over him the
flag, which claimed the empire of both worlds, flaunted its gold aloft
and upwards in the glare of the tropic noon.

"He shall not carry that flag to the devil with him; I will have it
yet, if I die for it!" said Will Cary, and rushed to the side to leap
overboard, but Amyas stopped him.

"Let him die as he has lived, with honor."

A wild figure sprang out of the mass of sailors who struggled and
shrieked amid the foam, and rushed upward at the Spaniard. It was
Michael Heard. The Don, who stood above him, plunged his sword into the
old man's body: but the hatchet gleamed, nevertheless: down went the
blade through headpiece and through head; and as Heard sprang onward,
bleeding, but alive, the steel-clad corpse rattled down the deck into
the surge. Two more strokes, struck with the fury of a dying man, and
the standard-staff was hewn through. Old Michael collected all his
strength, hurled the flag far from the sinking ship, and then stood
erect one moment and shouted, "God save Queen Bess!" and the English
answered with a "Hurrah!" which rent the welkin.

Another moment and the gulf had swallowed his victim, and the poop, and
him; and nothing remained of the Madre Dolorosa but a few floating spars
and struggling wretches, while a great awe fell upon all men, and a
solemn silence, broken only by the cry

     "Of some strong swimmer in his agony."

And then, suddenly collecting themselves, as men awakened from a dream,
half-a-dozen desperate gallants, reckless of sharks and eddies, leaped
overboard, swam towards the flag, and towed it alongside in triumph.

"Ah!" said Salvation Yeo, as he helped the trophy up over the side; "ah!
it was not for nothing that we found poor Michael! He was always a good
comrade--nigh as good a one as William Penberthy of Marazion, whom the
Lord grant I meet in bliss! And now, then, my masters, shall we inshore
again and burn La Guayra?"

"Art thou never glutted with Spanish blood, thou old wolf?" asked Will

"Never, sir," answered Yeo.

"To St. Jago be it," said Amyas, "if we can get there; but--God help

And he looked round sadly enough; while no one needed that he should
finish his sentence, or explain his "but."

The foremast was gone, the main-yard sprung, the rigging hanging in
elf-locks, the hull shot through and through in twenty places, the deck
strewn with the bodies of nine good men, beside sixteen wounded down
below; while the pitiless sun, right above their heads, poured down a
flood of fire upon a sea of glass.

And it would have been well if faintness and weariness had been all that
was the matter; but now that the excitement was over, the collapse came;
and the men sat down listlessly and sulkily by twos and threes upon the
deck, starting and wincing when they heard some poor fellow below cry
out under the surgeon's knife; or murmuring to each other that all was
lost. Drew tried in vain to rouse them, telling them that all depended
on rigging a jury-mast forward as soon as possible. They answered only
by growls; and at last broke into open reproaches. Even Will Cary's
volatile nature, which had kept him up during the fight, gave way, when
Yeo and the carpenter came aft, and told Amyas in a low voice--

"We are hit somewhere forward, below the water-line, sir. She leaks a
terrible deal, and the Lord will not vouchsafe to us to lay our hands on
the place, for all our searching."

"What are we to do now, Amyas, in the devil's name?" asked Cary,

"What are we to do, in God's name, rather," answered Amyas, in a low
voice. "Will, Will, what did God make you a gentleman for, but to know
better than those poor fickle fellows forward, who blow hot and cold at
every change of weather!"

"I wish you'd come forward and speak to them, sir," said Yeo, who had
overheard the last words, "or we shall get naught done."

Amyas went forward instantly.

"Now then, my brave lads, what's the matter here, that you are all
sitting on your tails like monkeys?"

"Ugh!" grunts one. "Don't you think our day's work has been long enough
yet, captain?"

"You don't want us to go in to La Guayra again, sir? There are enough of
us thrown away already, I reckon, about that wench there."

"Best sit here, and sink quietly. There's no getting home again, that's

"Why were we brought out here to be killed?"

"For shame, men!" cries Yeo; "you're no better than a set of
stiff-necked Hebrew Jews, murmuring against Moses the very minute after
the Lord has delivered you from the Egyptians."

Now I do not wish to set Amyas up as a perfect man; for he had his
faults, like every one else; nor as better, thank God, than many and
many a brave and virtuous captain in her majesty's service at this very
day: but certainly he behaved admirably under that trial. Drake had
trained him, as he trained many another excellent officer, to be as
stout in discipline, and as dogged of purpose, as he himself was: but
he had trained him also to feel with and for his men, to make allowances
for them, and to keep his temper with them, as he did this day. True, he
had seen Drake in a rage; he had seen him hang one man for a mutiny
(and that man his dearest friend), and threaten to hang thirty more;
but Amyas remembered well that that explosion took place when having, as
Drake said publicly himself, "taken in hand that I know not in the world
how to go through with; it passeth my capacity; it hath even bereaved
me of my wits to think of it," . . . and having "now set together by
the ears three mighty princes, her majesty and the kings of Spain
and Portugal," he found his whole voyage ready to come to naught, "by
mutinies and discords, controversy between the sailors and gentlemen,
and stomaching between the gentlemen and sailors." "But, my masters"
(quoth the self-trained hero, and Amyas never forgot his words), "I must
have it left; for I must have the gentlemen to haul and draw with the
mariner, and the mariner with the gentlemen. I would like to know him
that would refuse to set his hand to a rope!"

And now Amyas's conscience smote him (and his simple and pious soul took
the loss of his brother as God's verdict on his conduct), because he had
set his own private affection, even his own private revenge, before the
safety of his ship's company, and the good of his country.

"Ah," said he to himself, as he listened to his men's reproaches, "if
I had been thinking, like a loyal soldier, of serving my queen, and
crippling the Spaniard, I should have taken that great bark three days
ago, and in it the very man I sought!"

So "choking down his old man," as Yeo used to say, he made answer

"Pooh! pooh! brave lads! For shame, for shame! You were lions
half-an-hour ago; you are not surely turned sheep already! Why, but
yesterday evening you were grumbling because I would not run in and
fight those three ships under the batteries of La Guayra, and now
you think it too much to have fought them fairly out at sea? What has
happened but the chances of war, which might have happened anywhere?
Nothing venture, nothing win; and nobody goes bird-nesting without a
fall at times. If any one wants to be safe in this life, he'd best stay
at home and keep his bed; though even there, who knows but the roof
might fall through on him?"

"Ah, it's all very well for you, captain," said some grumbling younker,
with a vague notion that Amyas must be better off than he, because he
was a gentleman. Amyas's blood rose.

"Yes, sirrah! it is very well for me, as long as God is with me: but He
is with every man in this ship, I would have you to know, as much as
He is with me. Do you fancy that I have nothing to lose? I who have
adventured in this voyage all I am worth, and more; who, if I fail, must
return to beggary and scorn? And if I have ventured rashly, sinfully,
if you will, the lives of any of you in my own private quarrel, am I not
punished? Have I not lost--?"

His voice trembled and stopped there, but he recovered himself in a

"Pish! I can't stand here chattering. Carpenter! an axe! and help me to
cast these spars loose. Get out of my way, there! lumbering the scuppers
up like so many moulting fowls! Here, all old friends, lend a hand!
Pelican's men, stand by your captain! Did we sail round the world for

This last appeal struck home, and up leaped half-a-dozen of the old
Pelicans, and set to work at his side manfully to rig the jury-mast.

"Come along!" cried Cary to the malcontents; "we're raw longshore
fellows, but we won't be outdone by any old sea-dog of them all." And
setting to work himself, he was soon followed by one and another, till
order and work went on well enough.

"And where are we going, when the mast's up?" shouted some saucy hand
from behind.

"Where you daren't follow us alone by yourself, so you had better keep
us company," replied Yeo.

"I'll tell you where we are going, lads," said Amyas, rising from his
work. "Like it or leave it as you will, I have no secrets from my crew.
We are going inshore there to find a harbor, and careen the ship."

There was a start and a murmur.

"Inshore? Into the Spaniards' mouths?"

"All in the Inquisition in a week's time."

"Better stay here, and be drowned."

"You're right in that last," shouts Cary. "That's the right death for
blind puppies. Look you! I don't know in the least where we are, and I
hardly know stem from stern aboard ship; and the captain may be right or
wrong--that's nothing to me; but this I know, that I am a soldier, and
will obey orders; and where he goes, I go; and whosoever hinders me must
walk up my sword to do it."

Amyas pressed Cary's hand, and then--

"And here's my broadside next, men. I'll go nowhere, and do nothing
without the advice of Salvation Yeo and Robert Drew; and if any man in
the ship knows better than these two, let him up, and we'll give him a
hearing. Eh, Pelicans?"

There was a grunt of approbation from the Pelicans; and Amyas returned
to the charge.

"We have five shot between wind and water, and one somewhere below. Can
we face a gale of wind in that state, or can we not?"


"Can we get home with a leak in our bottom?"


"Then what can we do but run inshore, and take our chance? Speak! It's
a coward's trick to do nothing because what we must do is not pleasant.
Will you be like children, that would sooner die than take nasty physic,
or will you not?"

Silence still.

"Come along now! Here's the wind again round with the sun, and up to the
north-west. In with her!"

Sulkily enough, but unable to deny the necessity, the men set to work,
and the vessel's head was put toward the land; but when she began to
slip through the water, the leak increased so fast, that they were kept
hard at work at the pumps for the rest of the afternoon.

The current had by this time brought them abreast of the bay of
Higuerote; and, luckily for them, safe out of the short heavy swell
which it causes round Cape Codera. Looking inland, they had now to the
south-west that noble headland, backed by the Caracas Mountains, range
on range, up to the Silla and the Neguater; while, right ahead of them
to the south, the shore sank suddenly into a low line of mangrove-wood,
backed by primaeval forest. As they ran inward, all eyes were strained
greedily to find some opening in the mangrove belt; but none was to
be seen for some time. The lead was kept going; and every fresh heave
announced shallower water.

"We shall have very shoal work off those mangroves, Yeo," said Amyas; "I
doubt whether we shall do aught now, unless we find a river's mouth."

"If the Lord thinks a river good for us, sir, He'll show us one." So on
they went, keeping a south-east course, and at last an opening in the
mangrove belt was hailed with a cheer from the older hands, though
the majority shrugged their shoulders, as men going open-eyed to

Off the mouth they sent in Drew and Cary with a boat, and watched
anxiously for an hour. The boat returned with a good report of two
fathoms of water over the bar, impenetrable forests for two miles up,
the river sixty yards broad, and no sign of man. The river's banks were
soft and sloping mud, fit for careening.

"Safe quarters, sir," said Yeo, privately, "as far as Spaniards go. I
hope in God it may be as safe from calentures and fevers."

"Beggars must not be choosers," said Amyas. So in they went.

They towed the ship up about half-a-mile to a point where she could not
be seen from the seaward; and there moored her to the mangrove-stems.
Amyas ordered a boat out, and went up the river himself to reconnoitre.
He rowed some three miles, till the river narrowed suddenly, and was all
but covered in by the interlacing boughs of mighty trees. There was no
sign that man had been there since the making of the world.

He dropped down the stream again, thoughtfully and sadly. How many years
ago was it that he passed this river's mouth? Three days. And yet how
much had passed in them! Don Guzman found and lost--Rose found and
lost--a great victory gained, and yet lost--perhaps his ship lost--above
all, his brother lost.

Lost! O God, how should he find his brother?

Some strange bird out of the woods made mournful answer--"Never, never,

How should he face his mother?

"Never, never, never!" wailed the bird again; and Amyas smiled bitterly,
and said "Never!" likewise.

The night mist began to steam and wreathe upon the foul beer-colored
stream. The loathy floor of liquid mud lay bare beneath the mangrove
forest. Upon the endless web of interarching roots great purple crabs
were crawling up and down. They would have supped with pleasure upon
Amyas's corpse; perhaps they might sup on him after all; for a heavy
sickening graveyard smell made his heart sink within him, and his
stomach heave; and his weary body, and more weary soul, gave themselves
up helplessly to the depressing influence of that doleful place.
The black bank of dingy leathern leaves above his head, the endless
labyrinth of stems and withes (for every bough had lowered its own
living cord, to take fresh hold of the foul soil below); the web of
roots, which stretched away inland till it was lost in the shades of
evening--all seemed one horrid complicated trap for him and his; and
even where, here and there, he passed the mouth of a lagoon, there was
no opening, no relief--nothing but the dark ring of mangroves, and here
and there an isolated group of large and small, parents and children,
breeding and spreading, as if in hideous haste to choke out air and sky.
Wailing sadly, sad-colored mangrove-hens ran off across the mud into the
dreary dark. The hoarse night-raven, hid among the roots, startled the
voyagers with a sudden shout, and then all was again silent as a grave.
The loathly alligators, lounging in the slime, lifted their horny
eyelids lazily, and leered upon him as he passed with stupid savageness.
Lines of tall herons stood dimly in the growing gloom, like white
fantastic ghosts, watching the passage of the doomed boat. All was foul,
sullen, weird as witches' dream. If Amyas had seen a crew of skeletons
glide down the stream behind him, with Satan standing at the helm, he
would have scarcely been surprised. What fitter craft could haunt that
Stygian flood?

That night every man of the boat's crew, save Amyas, was down with
raging fever; before ten the next morning, five more men were taken, and
others sickening fast.



     "Follow thee?  Follow thee?  Wha wad na follow thee?  Lang hast
     thou looed and trusted us fairly."

Amyas would have certainly taken the yellow fever, but for one reason,
which he himself gave to Cary. He had no time to be sick while his men
were sick; a valid and sufficient reason (as many a noble soul in
the Crimea has known too well), as long as the excitement of work is
present, but too apt to fail the hero, and to let him sink into the pit
which he has so often over-leapt, the moment that his work is done.

He called a council of war, or rather a sanitary commission, the
next morning; for he was fairly at his wits' end. The men were
panic-stricken, ready to mutiny: Amyas told them that he could not see
any possible good which could accrue to them by killing him, or--(for
there were two sides to every question)--being killed by him; and then
went below to consult. The doctor talked mere science, or nonscience,
about humors, complexions, and animal spirits. Jack Brimblecombe, mere
pulpit, about its being the visitation of God. Cary, mere despair,
though he jested over it with a smile. Yeo, mere stoic fatalism, though
he quoted Scripture to back the same. Drew, the master, had nothing to
say. His "business was to sail the ship, and not to cure calentures."

Whereon Amyas clutched his locks, according to custom; and at last broke
forth--"Doctor! a fig for your humors and complexions! Can you cure
a man's humors, or change his complexion? Can an Ethiopian change his
skin, or a leopard his spots? Don't shove off your ignorance on God,
sir. I ask you what's the reason of this sickness, and you don't know.
Jack Brimblecombe, don't talk to me about God's visitation; this looks
much more like the devil's visitation, to my mind. We are doing God's
work, Sir John, and He is not likely to hinder us. So down with the
devil, say I. Cary, laughing killed the cat, but it won't cure a
Christian. Yeo, when an angel tells me that it's God's will that we
should all die like dogs in a ditch, I'll call this God's will; but not
before. Drew, you say your business is to sail the ship; then sail her
out of this infernal poison-trap this very morning, if you can, which
you can't. The mischief's in the air, and nowhere else. I felt it run
through me coming down last night, and smelt it like any sewer: and
if it was not in the air, why was my boat's crew taken first, tell me

There was no answer.

"Then I'll tell you why they were taken first: because the mist, when
we came through it, only rose five or six feet above the stream, and we
were in it, while you on board were above it. And those that were taken
on board this morning, every one of them, slept on the main-deck, and
every one of them, too, was in fear of the fever, whereby I judge two
things,--Keep as high as you can, and fear nothing but God, and we're
all safe yet."

"But the fog was up to our round-tops at sunrise this morning," said

"I know it: but we who were on the half-deck were not in it so long as
those below, and that may have made the difference, let alone our having
free air. Beside, I suspect the heat in the evening draws the poison out
more, and that when it gets cold toward morning, the venom of it goes
off somehow."

How it went off Amyas could not tell (right in his facts as he was), for
nobody on earth knew I suppose, at that day; and it was not till
nearly two centuries of fatal experience that the settlers in America
discovered the simple laws of these epidemics which now every child
knows, or ought to know. But common sense was on his side; and Yeo rose
and spoke--

"As I have said before, many a time, the Lord has sent us a very young
Daniel for judge. I remember now to have heard the Spaniards say, how
these calentures lay always in the low ground, and never came more than
a few hundred feet above the sea."

"Let us go up those few hundred feet, then."

Every man looked at Amyas, and then at his neighbor.

"Gentlemen, 'Look the devil straight in the face, if you would hit him
in the right place.' We cannot get the ship to sea as she is; and if we
could, we cannot go home empty-handed; and we surely cannot stay here to
die of fever.--We must leave the ship and go inland."

"Inland?" answered every voice but Yeo's.

"Up those hundred feet which Yeo talks of. Up to the mountains; stockade
a camp, and get our sick and provisions thither."

"And what next?"

"And when we are recruited, march over the mountains, and surprise St.
Jago de Leon."

Cary swore a great oath. "Amyas! you are a daring fellow!"

"Not a bit. It's the plain path of prudence."

"So it is, sir," said old Yeo, "and I follow you in it."

"And so do I," squeaked Jack Brimblecombe.

"Nay, then, Jack, thou shalt not outrun me. So I say yes too," quoth

"Mr. Drew?"

"At your service, sir, to live or die. I know naught about stockading;
but Sir Francis would have given the same counsel, I verily believe, if
he had been in your place."

"Then tell the men that we start in an hour's time. Win over the
Pelicans, Yeo and Drew; and the rest must follow, like sheep over a

The Pelicans, and the liberated galley-slaves, joined the project at
once; but the rest gave Amyas a stormy hour. The great question was,
where were the hills? In that dense mangrove thicket they could not see
fifty yards before them.

"The hills are not three miles to the south-west of you at this moment,"
said Amyas. "I marked every shoulder of them as we ran in."

"I suppose you meant to take us there?"

The question set a light to a train--and angry suspicions were blazing
up one after another, but Amyas silenced them with a countermine.

"Fools! if I had not wit enow to look ahead a little farther than you
do, where would you be? Are you mad as well as reckless, to rise against
your own captain because he has two strings to his bow? Go my way, I
say, or, as I live, I'll blow up the ship and every soul on board, and
save you the pain of rotting here by inches."

The men knew that Amyas never said what he did not intend to do; not
that Amyas intended to do this, because he knew that the threat would be
enough. So they, agreed to go; and were reassured by seeing that the old
Pelican's men turned to the work heartily and cheerfully.

There is no use keeping the reader for five or six weary hours, under a
broiling (or rather stewing) sun, stumbling over mangrove roots, hewing
his way through thorny thickets, dragging sick men and provisions up
mountain steeps, amid disappointment, fatigue, murmurs, curses, snakes,
mosquitoes, false alarms of Spaniards, and every misery, save cold,
which flesh is heir to. Suffice it that by sunset that evening they had
gained a level spot, a full thousand feet above the sea, backed by an
inaccessible cliff which formed the upper shoulder of a mighty mountain,
defended below by steep wooded slopes, and needing but the felling of a
few trees to make it impregnable.

Amyas settled the sick under the arched roots of an enormous cottonwood
tree, and made a second journey to the ship, to bring up hammocks and
blankets for them; while Yeo's wisdom and courage were of inestimable
value. He, as pioneer, had found the little brook up which they forced
their way; he had encouraged them to climb the cliffs over which it
fell, arguing rightly that on its course they were sure to find some
ground fit for encampment within the reach of water; he had supported
Amyas, when again and again the weary crew entreated to be dragged no
farther, and had gone back again a dozen times to cheer them upward;
while Cary, who brought up the rear, bullied and cheered on the
stragglers who sat down and refused to move, drove back at the sword's
point more than one who was beating a retreat, carried their burdens for
them, sang them songs on the halt; in all things approving himself the
gallant and hopeful soul which he had always been: till Amyas, beside
himself with joy at finding that the two men on whom he had counted
most were utterly worthy of his trust, went so far as to whisper to them
both, in confidence, that very night--

"Cortez burnt his ships when he landed. Why should not we?"

Yeo leapt upright; and then sat down again, and whispered--

"Do you say that, captain? 'Tis from above, then, that's certain; for
it's been hanging on my mind too all day."

"There's no hurry," quoth Amyas; "we must clear her out first, you
know," while Cary sat silent and musing. Amyas had evidently more
schemes in his head than he chose to tell.

The men were too tired that evening to do much, but ere the sun rose
next morning Amyas had them hard at work fortifying their position. It
was, as I said, strong enough by nature; for though it was commanded by
high cliffs on three sides, yet there was no chance of an enemy coming
over the enormous mountain-range behind them, and still less chance
that, if he came, he would discover them through the dense mass of
trees which crowned the cliff, and clothed the hills for a thousand feet
above. The attack, if it took place, would come from below; and against
that Amyas guarded by felling the smaller trees, and laying them with
their boughs outward over the crest of the slope, thus forming an abatis
(as every one who has shot in thick cover knows to his cost) warranted
to bring up in two steps, horse, dog, or man. The trunks were sawn into
logs, laid lengthwise, and steadied by stakes and mould; and three or
four hours' hard work finished a stockade which would defy anything
but artillery. The work done, Amyas scrambled up into the boughs of the
enormous ceiba-tree, and there sat inspecting his own handiwork, looking
out far and wide over the forest-covered plains and the blue sea beyond,
and thinking, in his simple straightforward way, of what was to be done

To stay there long was impossible; to avenge himself upon La Guayra was
impossible; to go until he had found out whether Frank was alive or dead
seemed at first equally impossible. But were Brimblecombe, Cary, and
those eighty men to be sacrificed a second time to his private interest?
Amyas wept with rage, and then wept again with earnest, honest prayer,
before he could make up his mind. But he made it up. There were a
hundred chances to one that Frank was dead; and if not, he was equally
past their help; for he was--Amyas knew that too well--by this time
in the hands of the Inquisition. Who could lift him from that pit? Not
Amyas, at least! And crying aloud in his agony, "God help him! for I
cannot!" Amyas made up his mind to move. But whither? Many an hour he
thought and thought alone, there in his airy nest; and at last he went
down, calm and cheerful, and drew Cary and Yeo aside. They could not,
he said, refit the ship without dying of fever during the process; an
assertion which neither of his hearers was bold enough to deny. Even
if they refitted her, they would be pretty certain to have to fight the
Spaniards again; for it was impossible to doubt the Indian's story, that
they had been forewarned of the Rose's coming, or to doubt, either, that
Eustace had been the traitor.

"Let us try St. Jago, then; sack it, come down on La Guayra in the rear,
take a ship there, and so get home."

"Nay, Will. If they have strengthened themselves against us at La
Guayra, where they had little to lose, surely they have done so at St.
Jago, where they have much. I hear the town is large, though new; and
besides, how can we get over these mountains without a guide?"

"Or with one?" said Cary, with a sigh, looking up at the vast walls of
wood and rock which rose range on range for miles. "But it is strange to
find you, at least, throwing cold water on a daring plot."

"What if I had a still more daring one? Did you ever hear of the golden
city of Manoa?"

Yeo laughed a grim but joyful laugh. "I have, sir; and so have the old
hands from the Pelican and the Jesus of Lubec, I doubt not."

"So much the better;" and Amyas began to tell Cary all which he had
learned from the Spaniard, while Yeo capped every word thereof with
rumors and traditions of his own gathering. Cary sat half aghast as
the huge phantasmagoria unfolded itself before his dazzled eyes; and at

"So that was why you wanted to burn the ship! Well, after all, nobody
needs me at home, and one less at table won't be missed. So you want to
play Cortez, eh?"

"We shall never need to play Cortez (who was not such a bad fellow after
all, Will), because we shall have no such cannibal fiends' tyranny to
rid the earth of, as he had. And I trust we shall fear God enough not to
play Pizarro."

So the conversation dropped for the time, but none of them forgot it.

In that mountain-nook the party spent some ten days and more. Several of
the sick men died, some from the fever superadded to their wounds;
some, probably, from having been bled by the surgeon; the others mended
steadily, by the help of certain herbs which Yeo administered, much
to the disgust of the doctor, who, of course, wanted to bleed the poor
fellows all round, and was all but mutinous when Amyas stayed his hand.
In the meanwhile, by dint of daily trips to the ship, provisions
were plentiful enough,--beside the raccoons, monkeys, and other small
animals, which Yeo and the veterans of Hawkins's crew knew how to catch,
and the fruit and vegetables; above all, the delicious mountain cabbage
of the Areca palm, and the fresh milk of the cow-tree, which they
brought in daily, paying well thereby for the hospitality they received.

All day long a careful watch was kept among the branches of the mighty
ceiba-tree. And what a tree that was! The hugest English oak would have
seemed a stunted bush beside it. Borne up on roots, or rather walls,
of twisted board, some twelve feet high, between which the whole
crew, their ammunitions, and provisions, were housed roomily, rose
the enormous trunk full forty feet in girth, towering like some tall
lighthouse, smooth for a hundred feet, then crowned with boughs, each of
which was a stately tree, whose topmost twigs were full two hundred
and fifty feet from the ground. And yet it was easy for the sailors to
ascend; so many natural ropes had kind Nature lowered for their use, in
the smooth lianes which hung to the very earth, often without a knot or
leaf. Once in the tree, you were within a new world, suspended between
heaven and earth, and as Cary said, no wonder if, like Jack when he
climbed the magic bean-stalk, you had found a castle, a giant, and a few
acres of well-stocked park, packed away somewhere amid that labyrinth of
timber. Flower-gardens at least were there in plenty; for every limb was
covered with pendent cactuses, gorgeous orchises, and wild pines; and
while one-half the tree was clothed in rich foliage, the other half,
utterly leafless, bore on every twig brilliant yellow flowers, around
which humming-birds whirred all day long. Parrots peeped in and out of
every cranny, while, within the airy woodland, brilliant lizards basked
like living gems upon the bark, gaudy finches flitted and chirruped,
butterflies of every size and color hovered over the topmost twigs,
innumerable insects hummed from morn till eve; and when the sun went
down, tree-toads came out to snore and croak till dawn. There was more
life round that one tree than in a whole square mile of English soil.

And Amyas, as he lounged among the branches, felt at moments as if he
would be content to stay there forever, and feed his eyes and ears
with all its wonders--and then started sighing from his dream, as he
recollected that a few days must bring the foe upon them, and force
him to decide upon some scheme at which the bravest heart might falter
without shame. So there he sat (for he often took the scout's place
himself), looking out over the fantastic tropic forest at his feet,
and the flat mangrove-swamps below, and the white sheet of foam-flecked
blue; and yet no sail appeared; and the men, as their fear of fever
subsided, began to ask when they would go down and refit the ship, and
Amyas put them off as best he could, till one noon he saw slipping
along the shore from the westward, a large ship under easy sail, and
recognized in her, or thought he did so, the ship which they had passed
upon their way.

If it was she, she must have run past them to La Guayra in the night,
and have now returned, perhaps, to search for them along the coast.

She crept along slowly. He was in hopes that she might pass the river's
mouth: but no. She lay-to close to the shore; and, after a while, Amyas
saw two boats pull in from her, and vanish behind the mangroves.

Sliding down a liane, he told what he had seen. The men, tired of
inactivity, received the news with a shout of joy, and set to work to
make all ready for their guests. Four brass swivels, which they had
brought up, were mounted, fixed in logs, so as to command the path; the
musketeers and archers clustered round them with their tackle ready, and
half-a-dozen good marksmen volunteered into the cotton-tree with their
arquebuses, as a post whence "a man might have very pretty shooting."
Prayers followed as a matter of course, and dinner as a matter of
course also; but two weary hours passed before there was any sign of the

Presently a wreath of white smoke curled up from the swamp, and then the
report of a caliver. Then, amid the growls of the English, the Spanish
flag ran up above the trees, and floated--horrible to behold--at the
mast-head of the Rose. They were signalling the ship for more hands;
and, in effect, a third boat soon pushed off and vanished into the

Another hour, during which the men had thoroughly lost their temper, but
not their hearts, by waiting; and talked so loud, and strode up and down
so wildly, that Amyas had to warn them that there was no need to betray
themselves; that the Spaniards might not find them after all; that they
might pass the stockade close without seeing it; that, unless they hit
off the track at once, they would probably return to their ship for the
present; and exacted a promise from them that they would be perfectly
silent till he gave the word to fire.

Which wise commands had scarcely passed his lips, when, in the path
below, glanced the headpiece of a Spanish soldier, and then another and

"Fools!" whispered Amyas to Cary; "they are coming up in single file,
rushing on their own death. Lie close, men!"

The path was so narrow that two could seldom come up abreast, and so
steep that the enemy had much ado to struggle and stumble upwards. The
men seemed half unwilling to proceed, and hung back more than once;
but Amyas could hear an authoritative voice behind, and presently there
emerged to the front, sword in hand, a figure at which Amyas and Cary
both started.

"Is it he?"

"Surely I know those legs among a thousand, though they are in armor."

"It is my turn for him, now, Cary, remember! Silence, silence, men!"

The Spaniards seemed to feel that they were leading a forlorn hope. Don
Guzman (for there was little doubt that it was he) had much ado to get
them on at all.

"The fellows have heard how gently we handled the Guayra squadron,"
whispers Cary, "and have no wish to become fellow-martyrs with the
captain of the Madre Dolorosa."

At last the Spaniards get up the steep slope to within forty yards of
the stockade, and pause, suspecting a trap, and puzzled by the complete
silence. Amyas leaps on the top of it, a white flag in his hand; but his
heart beats so fiercely at the sight of that hated figure, that he can
hardly get out the words--

"Don Guzman, the quarrel is between you and me, not between your men and
mine. I would have sent in a challenge to you at La Guayra, but you were
away; I challenge you now to single combat."

"Lutheran dog, I have a halter for you, but no sword! As you served us
at Smerwick, we will serve you now. Pirate and ravisher, you and yours
shall share Oxenham's fate, as you have copied his crimes, and learn
what it is to set foot unbidden on the dominions of the king of Spain."

"The devil take you and the king of Spain together!" shouts Amyas,
laughing loudly. "This ground belongs to him no more than it does to
me, but to the Queen Elizabeth, in whose name I have taken as lawful
possession of it as you ever did of Caracas. Fire, men! and God defend
the right!"

Both parties obeyed the order; Amyas dropped down behind the stockade
in time to let a caliver bullet whistle over his head; and the Spaniards
recoiled as the narrow face of the stockade burst into one blaze of
musketry and swivels, raking their long array from front to rear.

The front ranks fell over each other in heaps; the rear ones turned and
ran; overtaken, nevertheless, by the English bullets and arrows, which
tumbled them headlong down the steep path.

"Out, men, and charge them. See! the Don is running like the rest!" And
scrambling over the abattis, Amyas and about thirty followed them fast;
for he had hope of learning from some prisoner his brother's fate.

Amyas was unjust in his last words. Don Guzman, as if by miracle, had
been only slightly wounded; and seeing his men run, had rushed back and
tried to rally them, but was borne away by the fugitives.

However, the Spaniards were out of sight among the thick bushes before
the English could overtake them; and Amyas, afraid lest they should
rally and surround his small party, withdrew sorely against his will,
and found in the pathway fourteen Spaniards, but all dead. For one of
the wounded, with more courage than wisdom, had fired on the English
as he lay; and Amyas's men, whose blood was maddened both by their
desperate situation, and the frightful stories of the rescued
galley-slaves, had killed them all before their captain could stop them.

"Are you mad?" cries Amyas, as he strikes up one fellow's sword. "Will
you kill an Indian?"

And he drags out of the bushes an Indian lad of sixteen, who, slightly
wounded, is crawling away like a copper snake along the ground.

"The black vermin has sent an arrow through my leg; and poisoned too,
most like."

"God grant not: but an Indian is worth his weight in gold to us now,"
said Amyas, tucking his prize under his arm like a bundle. The lad, as
soon as he saw there was no escape, resigned himself to his fate with
true Indian stoicism, was brought in, and treated kindly enough, but
refused to eat. For which, after much questioning, he gave as a reason,
that he would make them kill him at once; for fat him they should not;
and gradually gave them to understand that the English always (so
at least the Spaniards said) fatted and ate their prisoners like
the Caribs; and till he saw them go out and bury the bodies of the
Spaniards, nothing would persuade him that the corpses were not to be
cooked for supper.

However, kind words, kind looks, and the present of that inestimable
treasure--a knife, brought him to reason; and he told Amyas that he
belonged to a Spaniard who had an "encomienda" of Indians some fifteen
miles to the south-west; that he had fled from his master, and lived
by hunting for some months past; and having seen the ship where she lay
moored, and boarded her in hope of plunder, had been surprised therein
by the Spaniards, and forced by threats to go with them as a guide in
their search for the English. But now came a part of his story which
filled the soul of Amyas with delight. He was an Indian of the Llanos,
or great savannahs which lay to the southward beyond the mountains, and
had actually been upon the Orinoco. He had been stolen as a boy by some
Spaniards, who had gone down (as was the fashion of the Jesuits even
as late as 1790) for the pious purpose of converting the savages by the
simple process of catching, baptizing, and making servants of those
whom they could carry off, and murdering those who resisted their gentle
method of salvation. Did he know the way back again? Who could ask such
a question of an Indian? And the lad's black eyes flashed fire, as Amyas
offered him liberty and iron enough for a dozen Indians, if he would
lead them through the passes of the mountains, and southward to the
mighty river, where lay their golden hopes. Hernando de Serpa, Amyas
knew, had tried the same course, which was supposed to be about one
hundred and twenty leagues, and failed, being overthrown utterly by the
Wikiri Indians; but Amyas knew enough of the Spaniards' brutal method
of treating those Indians, to be pretty sure that they had brought that
catastrophe upon themselves, and that he might avoid it well enough by
that common justice and mercy toward the savages which he had learned
from his incomparable tutor, Francis Drake.

Now was the time to speak; and, assembling his men around him, Amyas
opened his whole heart, simply and manfully. This was their only hope
of safety. Some of them had murmured that they should perish like John
Oxenham's crew. This plan was rather the only way to avoid perishing
like them. Don Guzman would certainly return to seek them; and not only
he, but land-forces from St. Jago. Even if the stockade was not forced,
they would be soon starved out; why not move at once, ere the Spaniards
could return, and begin a blockade? As for taking St. Jago, it was
impossible. The treasure would all be safely hidden, and the town well
prepared to meet them. If they wanted gold and glory, they must seek it
elsewhere. Neither was there any use in marching along the coast, and
trying the ports: ships could outstrip them, and the country was already
warned. There was but this one chance; and on it Amyas, the first and
last time in his life, waxed eloquent, and set forth the glory of the
enterprise, the service to the queen, the salvation of heathens, and
the certainty that, if successful, they should win honor and wealth and
everlasting fame, beyond that of Cortez or Pizarro, till the men, sulky
at first, warmed every moment; and one old Pelican broke out with--

"Yes, sir! we didn't go round the world with you for naught; and watched
your works and ways, which was always those of a gentleman, as you
are--who spoke a word for a poor fellow when he was in a scrape, and saw
all you ought to see, and naught that you ought not. And we'll follow
you, sir, all alone to ourselves; and let those that know you worse
follow after when they're come to their right mind."

Man after man capped this brave speech; the minority, who, if they liked
little to go, liked still less to be left behind, gave in their consent
perforce; and, to make a long story short, Amyas conquered, and the plan
was accepted.

"This," said Amyas, "is indeed the proudest day of my life! I have lost
one brother, but I have gained fourscore. God do so to me and more also,
if I do not deal with you according to the trust which you have put in
me this day!"

We, I suppose, are to believe that we have a right to laugh at Amyas's
scheme as frantic and chimerical. It is easy to amuse ourselves with the
premises, after the conclusion has been found for us. We know, now, that
he was mistaken: but we have not discovered his mistake for ourselves,
and have no right to plume ourselves on other men's discoveries. Had we
lived in Amyas's days, we should have belonged either to the many wise
men who believed as he did, or to the many foolish men, who not only
sneered at the story of Manoa, but at a hundred other stories, which we
now know to be true. Columbus was laughed at: but he found a new world,
nevertheless. Cortez was laughed at: but he found Mexico. Pizarro: but
he found Peru. I ask any fair reader of those two charming books, Mr.
Prescott's Conquest of Mexico and his Conquest of Peru, whether the true
wonders in them described do not outdo all the false wonders of Manoa.

But what reason was there to think them false? One quarter, perhaps, of
America had been explored, and yet in that quarter two empires had been
already found, in a state of mechanical, military, and agricultural
civilization superior, in many things, to any nation of Europe. Was
it not most rational to suppose that in the remaining three-quarters
similar empires existed? If a second Mexico had been discovered in the
mountains of Parima, and a second Peru in those of Brazil, what right
would any man have had to wonder? As for the gold legends, nothing was
told of Manoa which had not been seen in Peru and Mexico by the bodily
eyes of men then living. Why should not the rocks of Guiana have been
as full of the precious metals (we do not know yet that they are not) as
the rocks of Peru and Mexico were known to be? Even the details of the
story, its standing on a lake, for instance, bore a probability with
them. Mexico actually stood in the centre of a lake--why should not
Manoa? The Peruvian worship centred round a sacred lake--why not that
of Manoa? Pizarro and Cortez, again, were led on to their desperate
enterprises by the sight of small quantities of gold among savages, who
told them of a civilized gold-country near at hand; and they found that
those savages spoke truth. Why was the unanimous report of the Carib
tribes of the Orinoco to be disbelieved, when they told a similar tale?
Sir Richard Schomburgk's admirable preface to Raleigh's Guiana proves,
surely, that the Indians themselves were deceived, as well as deceivers.
It was known, again, that vast quantities of the Peruvian treasure had
been concealed by the priests, and that members of the Inca family had
fled across the Andes, and held out against the Spaniards. Barely fifty
years had elapsed since then;--what more probable than that this remnant
of the Peruvian dynasty and treasure still existed? Even the story of
the Amazons, though it may serve Hume as a point for his ungenerous and
untruthful attempt to make Raleigh out either fool or villain, has
come from Spaniards, who had with their own eyes seen the Indian women
fighting by their husbands' sides, and from Indians, who asserted the
existence of an Amazonian tribe. What right had Amyas, or any man, to
disbelieve the story? The existence of the Amazons in ancient Asia, and
of their intercourse with Alexander the Great, was then an accredited
part of history, which it would have been gratuitous impertinence to
deny. And what if some stories connected these warlike women with the
Emperor of Manoa, and the capital itself? This generation ought surely
to be the last to laugh at such a story, at least as long as the
Amazonian guards of the King of Dahomey continue to outvie the men in
that relentless ferocity, with which they have subdued every neighboring
tribe, save the Christians of Abbeokuta. In this case, as in a hundred
more, fact not only outdoes, but justifies imagination; and Amyas spoke
common sense when he said to his men that day--

"Let fools laugh and stay at home. Wise men dare and win. Saul went to
look for his father's asses, and found a kingdom; and Columbus, my men,
was called a madman for only going to seek China, and never knew, they
say, until his dying day, that he had found a whole new world instead
of it. Find Manoa? God only, who made all things, knows what we may find

So underneath that giant ceiba-tree, those valiant men, reduced by
battle and sickness to some eighty, swore a great oath, and kept that
oath like men. To search for the golden city for two full years to come,
whatever might befall; to stand to each other for weal or woe; to obey
their officers to the death; to murmur privately against no man, but
bring all complaints to a council of war; to use no profane oaths, but
serve God daily with prayer; to take by violence from no man, save from
their natural enemies the Spaniards; to be civil and merciful to all
savages, and chaste and courteous to all women; to bring all booty and
all food into the common stock, and observe to the utmost their faith
with the adventurers who had fitted out the ship; and finally, to march
at sunrise the next morning toward the south, trusting in God to be
their guide.

"It is a great oath, and a hard one," said Brimblecombe; "but God will
give us strength to keep it." And they knelt all together and received
the Holy Communion, and then rose to pack provisions and ammunition,
and lay down again to sleep and to dream that they were sailing home
up Torridge stream--as Cavendish, returning from round the world, did
actually sail home up Thames but five years afterwards--"with mariners
and soldiers clothed in silk, with sails of damask, and topsails of
cloth of gold, and the richest prize which ever was brought at one time
unto English shores."

      *    *    *    *    *

The Cross stands upright in the southern sky. It is the middle of the
night. Cary and Yeo glide silently up the hill and into the camp,
and whisper to Amyas that they have done the deed. The sleepers are
awakened, and the train sets forth.

Upward and southward ever: but whither, who can tell? They hardly think
of the whither; but go like sleep-walkers, shaken out of one land of
dreams, only to find themselves in another and stranger one. All around
is fantastic and unearthly; now each man starts as he sees the figures
of his fellows, clothed from head to foot in golden filigree; looks up,
and sees the yellow moonlight through the fronds of the huge tree-ferns
overhead, as through a cloud of glittering lace. Now they are hewing
their way through a thicket of enormous flags; now through bamboos forty
feet high; now they are stumbling over boulders, waist-deep in cushions
of club-moss; now they are struggling through shrubberies of heaths and
rhododendrons, and woolly incense-trees, where every leaf, as they brush
past, dashes some fresh scent into their faces, and

     "The winds, with musky wing,
     About the cedarn alleys fling
     Nard and cassia's balmy smells."

Now they open upon some craggy brow, from whence they can see far below
an ocean of soft cloud, whose silver billows, girdled by the mountain
sides, hide the lowland from their sight.

And from beneath the cloud strange voices rise; the screams of thousand
night-birds, and wild howls, which they used at first to fancy were the
cries of ravenous beasts, till they found them to proceed from nothing
fiercer than an ape. But what is that deeper note, like a series
of muffled explosions,--arquebuses fired within some subterranean
cavern,--the heavy pulse of which rolls up through the depths of the
unseen forest? They hear it now for the first time, but they will hear
it many a time again; and the Indian lad is hushed, and cowers close
to them, and then takes heart, as he looks upon their swords and
arquebuses; for that is the roar of the jaguar, "seeking his meat from

But what is that glare away to the northward? The yellow moon is ringed
with gay rainbows; but that light is far too red to be the reflection
of any beams of hers. Now through the cloud rises a column of black and
lurid smoke; the fog clears away right and left around it, and shows
beneath, a mighty fire.

The men look at each other with questioning eyes, each half suspecting,
and yet not daring to confess their own suspicions; and Amyas whispers
to Yeo--

"You took care to flood the powder?"

"Ay, ay, sir, and to unload the ordnance too. No use in making a noise
to tell the Spaniards our whereabouts."

Yes; that glare rises from the good ship Rose. Amyas, like Cortez of
old, has burnt his ship, and retreat is now impossible. Forward into the
unknown abyss of the New World, and God be with them as they go!

The Indian knows a cunning path: it winds along the highest ridges of
the mountains; but the travelling is far more open and easy.

They have passed the head of a valley which leads down to St. Jago.
Beneath that long shining river of mist, which ends at the foot of
the great Silla, lies (so says the Indian lad) the rich capital of
Venezuela; and beyond, the gold-mines of Los Teques and Baruta, which
first attracted the founder Diego de Losada; and many a longing eye is
turned towards it as they pass the saddle at the valley head; but the
attempt is hopeless, they turn again to the left, and so down towards
the rancho, taking care (so the prudent Amyas had commanded) to break
down, after crossing, the frail rope bridge which spans each torrent and

They are at the rancho long before daybreak, and have secured there,
not only fourteen mules, but eight or nine Indians stolen from off
the Llanos, like their guide, who are glad enough to escape from their
tyrants by taking service with them. And now southward and away, with
lightened shoulders and hearts; for they are all but safe from pursuit.
The broken bridges prevent the news of their raid reaching St. Jago
until nightfall; and in the meanwhile, Don Guzman returns to the river
mouth the next day to find the ship a blackened wreck, and the camp
empty; follows their trail over the hills till he is stopped by a broken
bridge; surmounts that difficulty, and meets a second; his men are
worn out with heat, and a little afraid of stumbling on the heretic
desperadoes, and he returns by land to St. Jago; and when he arrives
there, has news from home which gives him other things to think of than
following those mad Englishmen, who have vanished into the wilderness.
"What need, after all, to follow them?" asked the Spaniards of each
other. "Blinded by the devil, whom they serve, they rush on in search of
certain death, as many a larger company has before them, and they will
find it, and will trouble La Guayra no more forever." "Lutheran dogs and
enemies of God," said Don Guzman to his soldiers, "they will leave their
bones to whiten on the Llanos, as may every heretic who sets foot on
Spanish soil!"

Will they do so, Don Guzman? Or wilt thou and Amyas meet again upon a
mightier battlefield, to learn a lesson which neither of you yet has



My next chapter is perhaps too sad; it shall be at least as short as I
can make it; but it was needful to be written, that readers may judge
fairly for themselves what sort of enemies the English nation had to
face in those stern days.

Three weeks have passed, and the scene is shifted to a long, low range
of cells in a dark corridor in the city of Cartagena. The door of one is
open; and within stand two cloaked figures, one of whom we know. It is
Eustace Leigh. The other is a familiar of the Holy Office.

He holds in his hand a lamp, from which the light falls on a bed of
straw, and on the sleeping figure of a man. The high white brow, the
pale and delicate features--them too we know, for they are those of
Frank. Saved half-dead from the fury of the savage negroes, he has been
reserved for the more delicate cruelty of civilized and Christian men.
He underwent the question but this afternoon; and now Eustace, his
betrayer, is come to persuade him--or to entrap him? Eustace himself
hardly knows whether of the two.

And yet he would give his life to save his cousin.

His life? He has long since ceased to care for that. He has done what
he has done, because it is his duty; and now he is to do his duty
once more, and wake the sleeper, and argue, coax, threaten him into
recantation while "his heart is still tender from the torture," so
Eustace's employers phrase it.

And yet how calmly he is sleeping! Is it but a freak of the lamplight,
or is there a smile upon his lips? Eustace takes the lamp and bends over
him to see; and as he bends he hears Frank whispering in his dreams his
mother's name, and a name higher and holier still.

Eustace cannot find the heart to wake him.

"Let him rest," whispers he to his companion. "After all, I fear my
words will be of little use."

"I fear so too, sir. Never did I behold a more obdurate heretic. He did
not scruple to scoff openly at their holinesses."

"Ah!" said Eustace; "great is the pravity of the human heart, and the
power of Satan! Let us go for the present."

"Where is she?"

"The elder sorceress, or the younger?"

"The younger--the--"

"The Senora de Soto? Ah, poor thing! One could be sorry for her, were
she not a heretic." And the man eyed Eustace keenly, and then quietly
added, "She is at present with the notary; to the benefit of her soul, I

Eustace half stopped, shuddering. He could hardly collect himself enough
to gasp out an "Amen!"

"Within there," said the man, pointing carelessly to a door as they
went down the corridor. "We can listen a moment, if you like; but don't
betray me, senor."

Eustace knows well enough that the fellow is probably on the watch to
betray him, if he shows any signs of compunction; at least to report
faithfully to his superiors the slightest expression of sympathy with
a heretic; but a horrible curiosity prevails over fear, and he pauses
close to the fatal door. His face is all of a flame, his knees knock
together, his ears are ringing, his heart bursting through his ribs, as
he supports himself against the wall, hiding his convulsed face as well
as he can from his companion.

A man's voice is plainly audible within; low, but distinct. The notary
is trying that old charge of witchcraft, which the Inquisitors, whether
to justify themselves to their own consciences, or to whiten their
villainy somewhat in the eyes of the mob, so often brought against their
victims. And then Eustace's heart sinks within him as he hears a woman's
voice reply, sharpened by indignation and agony--

"Witchcraft against Don Guzman? What need of that, oh God! what need?"

"You deny it then, senora? we are sorry for you; but--"

A confused choking murmur from the victim, mingled with words which
might mean anything or nothing.

"She has confessed!" whispered Eustace; "saints, I thank you!--she--"

A wail which rings through Eustace's ears, and brain, and heart! He
would have torn at the door to open it; but his companion forces him
away. Another, and another wail, while the wretched man hurries off,
stopping his ears in vain against those piercing cries, which follow
him, like avenging angels, through the dreadful vaults.

He escaped into the fragrant open air, and the golden tropic moonlight,
and a garden which might have served as a model for Eden; but man's hell
followed into God's heaven, and still those wails seemed to ring through
his ears.

"Oh, misery, misery, misery!" murmured he to himself through grinding
teeth; "and I have brought her to this! I have had to bring her to it!
What else could I? Who dare blame me? And yet what devilish sin can I
have committed, that requires to be punished thus? Was there no one to
be found but me? No one? And yet it may save her soul. It may bring her
to repentance!"

"It may, indeed; for she is delicate, and cannot endure much. You
ought to know as well as I, senor, the merciful disposition of the Holy

"I know it, I know it," interrupted poor Eustace, trembling now for
himself. "All in love--all in love.--A paternal chastisement--"

"And the proofs of heresy are patent, beside the strong suspicion
of enchantment, and the known character of the elder sorceress.
You yourself, you must remember, senor, told us that she had been a
notorious witch in England, before the senora brought her hither as her

"Of course she was; of course. Yes; there was no other course open. And
though the flesh may be weak, sir, in my case, yet none can have proved
better to the Holy Office how willing is the spirit!"

And so Eustace departed; and ere another sun had set, he had gone to the
principal of the Jesuits; told him his whole heart, or as much of it,
poor wretch, as he dare tell to himself; and entreated to be allowed to
finish his novitiate, and enter the order, on the understanding that he
was to be sent at once back to Europe, or anywhere else; "Otherwise,"
as he said frankly, "he should go mad, even if he were not mad already."
The Jesuit, who was a kindly man enough, went to the Holy Office, and
settled all with the Inquisitors, recounting to them, to set him above
all suspicion, Eustace's past valiant services to the Church. His
testimony was no longer needed; he left Cartagena for Nombre that very
night, and sailed the next week I know not whither.

I say, I know not whither. Eustace Leigh vanishes henceforth from these
pages. He may have ended as General of his Order. He may have worn out
his years in some tropic forest, "conquering the souls" (including, of
course, the bodies) of Indians; he may have gone back to his old work
in England, and been the very Ballard who was hanged and quartered three
years afterwards for his share in Babington's villainous conspiracy:
I know not. This book is a history of men,--of men's virtues and sins,
victories and defeats; and Eustace is a man no longer: he is become a
thing, a tool, a Jesuit; which goes only where it is sent, and does good
or evil indifferently as it is bid; which, by an act of moral suicide,
has lost its soul, in the hope of saving it; without a will, a
conscience, a responsibility (as it fancies), to God or man, but only to
"The Society." In a word, Eustace, as he says himself, is "dead." Twice
dead, I fear. Let the dead bury their dead. We have no more concern with
Eustace Leigh.



                                        "My mariners,
     Souls that have toil'd, and wrought, and thought with
          me--Death closes all: but something ere the end,
     Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
     Not unbecoming men that strove with gods!"

                                         TENNYSON'S Ulysses.

Nearly three years are past and gone since that little band had knelt
at evensong beneath the giant tree of Guayra--years of seeming blank,
through which they are to be tracked only by scattered notes and
mis-spelt names. Through untrodden hills and forests, over a space of
some eight hundred miles in length by four hundred in breadth, they had
been seeking for the Golden City, and they had sought in vain. They had
sought it along the wooded banks of the Orinoco, and beyond the roaring
foam-world of Maypures, and on the upper waters of the mighty Amazon.
They had gone up the streams even into Peru itself, and had trodden the
cinchona groves of Loxa, ignorant, as all the world was then, of their
healing virtues. They had seen the virgin snows of Chimborazo towering
white above the thundercloud, and the giant cone of Cotopaxi blackening
in its sullen wrath, before the fiery streams rolled down its sides.
Foiled in their search at the back of the Andes, they had turned
eastward once more, and plunged from the alpine cliffs into "the green
and misty ocean of the Montana." Slowly and painfully they had worked
their way northward again, along the eastern foot of the inland
Cordillera, and now they were bivouacking, as it seems, upon one of the
many feeders of the Meta, which flow down from the Suma Paz into the
forest-covered plains. There they sat, their watch-fires glittering
on the stream, beneath the shadow of enormous trees, Amyas and Cary,
Brimblecombe, Yeo, and the Indian lad, who has followed them in all
their wanderings, alive and well: but as far as ever from Manoa, and
its fairy lake, and golden palaces, and all the wonders of the Indian's
tale. Again and again in their wanderings they had heard faint rumors of
its existence, and started off in some fresh direction, to meet only a
fresh disappointment, and hope deferred, which maketh sick the heart.

There they sit at last--four-and-forty men out of the eighty-four who
left the tree of Guayra:--where are the rest?

     "Their bones are scatter'd far and wide,
     By mount, by stream, and sea."

Drew, the master, lies on the banks of the Rio Negro, and five brave
fellows by him, slain in fight by the poisoned arrows of the Indians, in
a vain attempt to penetrate the mountain-gorges of the Parima. Two more
lie amid the valleys of the Andes, frozen to death by the fierce slaty
hail which sweeps down from the condor's eyrie; four more were drowned
at one of the rapids of the Orinoco; five or six more wounded men are
left behind at another rapid among friendly Indians, to be recovered
when they can be: perhaps never. Fever, snakes, jaguars, alligators,
cannibal fish, electric eels, have thinned their ranks month by month,
and of their march through the primeval wilderness no track remains,
except those lonely graves.

And there the survivors sit, beside the silent stream, beneath the
tropic moon; sun-dried and lean, but strong and bold as ever, with the
quiet fire of English courage burning undimmed in every eye, and the
genial smile of English mirth fresh on every lip; making a jest of
danger and a sport of toil, as cheerily as when they sailed over the bar
of Bideford, in days which seem to belong to some antenatal life. Their
beards have grown down upon their breasts; their long hair is knotted
on their heads, like women's, to keep off the burning sunshine; their
leggings are of the skin of the delicate Guazu-puti deer; their shirts
are patched with Indian cotton web; the spoils of jaguar, puma, and ape
hang from their shoulders. Their ammunition is long since spent, their
muskets, spoilt by the perpetual vapor-bath of the steaming woods, are
left behind as useless in a cave by some cataract of the Orinoco: but
their swords are bright and terrible as ever; and they carry bows of
a strength which no Indian arm can bend, and arrows pointed with the
remnants of their armor; many of them, too, are armed with the pocuna
or blowgun of the Indians--more deadly, because more silent, than the
firearms which they have left behind them. So they have wandered, and so
they will wander still, the lords of the forest and its beasts; terrible
to all hostile Indians, but kindly, just, and generous to all who will
deal faithfully with them; and many a smooth-chinned Carib and
Ature, Solimo and Guahiba, recounts with wonder and admiration the
righteousness of the bearded heroes, who proclaimed themselves the
deadly foes of the faithless and murderous Spaniard, and spoke to them
of the great and good queen beyond the seas, who would send her warriors
to deliver and avenge the oppressed Indian.

The men are sleeping among the trees, some on the ground, and some in
grass-hammocks slung between the stems. All is silent, save the heavy
plunge of the tapir in the river, as he tears up the water-weeds for
his night's repast. Sometimes, indeed, the jaguar, as he climbs from one
tree-top to another after his prey, wakens the monkeys clustered on the
boughs, and they again arouse the birds, and ten minutes of unearthly
roars, howls, shrieks, and cacklings make the forest ring as if all
pandemonium had broke loose; but that soon dies away again; and, even
while it lasts, it is too common a matter to awaken the sleepers,
much less to interrupt the council of war which is going on beside
the watch-fire, between the three adventurers and the faithful Yeo. A
hundred times have they held such a council, and in vain; and, for aught
they know, this one will be as fruitless as those which have gone before
it. Nevertheless, it is a more solemn one than usual; for the two years
during which they had agreed to search for Manoa are long past, and some
new place must be determined on, unless they intend to spend the rest of
their lives in that green wilderness.

"Well," says Will Cary, taking his cigar out of his mouth, "at least we
have got something out of those last Indians. It is a comfort to have a
puff at tobacco once more, after three weeks' fasting."

"For me," said Jack Brimblecombe, "Heaven forgive me! but when I get the
magical leaf between my teeth again, I feel tempted to sit as still as a
chimney, and smoke till my dying day, without stirring hand or foot."

"Then I shall forbid you tobacco, Master Parson," said Amyas; "for we
must be up and away again to-morrow. We have been idling here three
mortal days, and nothing done."

"Shall we ever do anything? I think the gold of Manoa is like the gold
which lies where the rainbow touches the ground, always a field beyond

Amyas was silent awhile, and so were the rest. There was no denying that
their hopes were all but gone. In the immense circuit which they had
made, they had met with nothing but disappointment.

"There is but one more chance," said he at length, "and that is, the
mountains to the east of the Orinoco, where we failed the first time.
The Incas may have moved on to them when they escaped."

"Why not?" said Cary; "they would so put all the forests, beside the
Llanos and half-a-dozen great rivers, between them and those dogs of

"Shall we try it once more?" said Amyas. "This river ought to run
into the Orinoco; and once there, we are again at the very foot of the
mountains. What say you, Yeo?"

"I cannot but mind, your worship, that when we came up the Orinoco,
the Indians told us terrible stories of those mountains, how far they
stretched, and how difficult they were to cross, by reason of the cliffs
aloft, and the thick forests in the valleys. And have we not lost five
good men there already?"

"What care we? No forests can be thicker than those we have bored
through already; why, if one had had but a tail, like a monkey, for
an extra warp, one might have gone a hundred miles on end along the
tree-tops, and found it far pleasanter walking than tripping in withes,
and being eaten up with creeping things, from morn till night."

"But remember, too," said Jack, "how they told us to beware of the

"What, Jack, afraid of a parcel of women?"

"Why not?" said Jack, "I wouldn't run from a man, as you know; but a
woman--it's not natural, like. They must be witches or devils. See how
the Caribs feared them. And there were men there without necks, and with
their eyes in their breasts, they said. Now how could a Christian tackle
such customers as them?"

"He couldn't cut off their heads, that's certain; but, I suppose, a poke
in the ribs will do as much for them as for their neighbors."

"Well," said Jack, "if I fight, let me fight honest flesh and blood,
that's all, and none of these outlandish monsters. How do you know but
that they are invulnerable by art-magic?"

"How do you know that they are? And as for the Amazons," said Cary,
"woman's woman, all the world over. I'll bet that you may wheedle them
round with a compliment or two, just as if they were so many burghers'
wives. Pity I have not a court-suit and a Spanish hat. I would have
taken an orange in one hand and a handkerchief in the other, gone all
alone to them as ambassador, and been in a week as great with Queen
Blackfacealinda as ever Raleigh is at Whitehall."

"Gentlemen!" said Yeo, "where you go, I go; and not only I, but every
man of us, I doubt not; but we have lost now half our company, and spent
our ammunition, so we are no better men, were it not for our swords,
than these naked heathens round us. Now it was, as you all know, by the
wonder and noise of their ordnance (let alone their horses, which is a
break-neck beast I put no faith in) that both Cortez and Pizarro, those
imps of Satan, made their golden conquests, with which if we could have
astounded the people of Manoa--"

"Having first found the said people," laughed Amyas. "It is like the
old fable. Every craftsman thinks his own trade the one pillar of the

"Well! your worship," quoth Yeo, "it may be that being a gunner I
overprize guns. But it don't need slate and pencil to do this sum--Are
forty men without shot as good as eighty with?"

"Thou art right, old fellow, right enough, and I was only jesting for
very sorrow, and must needs laugh about it lest I weep about it. Our
chance is over, I believe, though I dare not confess as much to the

"Sir," said Yeo, "I have a feeling on me that the Lord's hand is against
us in this matter. Whether He means to keep this wealth for worthier men
than us, or whether it is His will to hide this great city in the secret
place of His presence from the strife of tongues, and so to spare them
from sinful man's covetousness, and England from that sin and luxury
which I have seen gold beget among the Spaniards, I know not, sir; for
who knoweth the counsels of the Lord? But I have long had a voice within
which saith, 'Salvation Yeo, thou shalt never behold the Golden City
which is on earth, where heathens worship sun and moon and the hosts of
heaven; be content, therefore, to see that Golden City which is above,
where is neither sun nor moon, but the Lord God and the Lamb are the
light thereof."

There was a simple majesty about old Yeo when he broke forth in
utterances like these, which made his comrades, and even Amyas and Cary,
look on him as Mussulmans look on madmen, as possessed of mysterious
knowledge and flashes of inspiration; and Brimblecombe, whose pious soul
looked up to the old hero with a reverence which had overcome all his
Churchman's prejudices against Anabaptists, answered gently,--

"Amen! amen! my masters all: and it has been on my mind, too, this long
time, that there is a providence against our going east; for see how
this two years past, whenever we have pushed eastward, we have fallen
into trouble, and lost good men; and whenever we went Westward-ho, we
have prospered; and do prosper to this day."

"And what is more, gentlemen," said Yeo, "if, as Scripture says, dreams
are from the Lord, I verily believe mine last night came from Him; for
as I lay by the fire, sirs, I heard my little maid's voice calling of
me, as plain as ever I heard in my life; and the very same words, sirs,
which she learned from me and my good comrade William Penberthy to say,
'Westward-ho! jolly mariners all!' a bit of an ungodly song, my masters,
which we sang in our wild days; but she stood and called it as plain as
ever mortal ears heard, and called again till I answered, 'Coming! my
maid, coming!' and after that the dear chuck called no more--God grant I
find her yet!--and so I woke."

Cary had long since given up laughing at Yeo about the "little maid;"
and Amyas answered,--

"So let it be, Yeo, if the rest agree: but what shall we do to the

"Do?" said Cary; "there's plenty to do; for there's plenty of gold,
and plenty of Spaniards, too, they say, on the other side of these
mountains: so that our swords will not rust for lack of adventures, my
gay knights-errant all."

So they chatted on; and before night was half through a plan was
matured, desperate enough--but what cared those brave hearts for that?
They would cross the Cordillera to Santa Fe de Bogota, of the wealth
whereof both Yeo and Amyas had often heard in the Pacific: try to seize
either the town or some convoy of gold going from it; make for the
nearest river (there was said to be a large one which ran northward
thence), build canoes, and try to reach the Northern Sea once more; and
then, if Heaven prospered them, they might seize a Spanish ship, and
make their way home to England, not, indeed, with the wealth of Manoa,
but with a fair booty of Spanish gold. This was their new dream. It was
a wild one: but hardly more wild than the one which Drake had fulfilled,
and not as wild as the one which Oxenham might have fulfilled, but for
his own fatal folly.

Amyas sat watching late that night, sad of heart. To give up the
cherished dream of years was hard; to face his mother, harder still: but
it must be done, for the men's sake. So the new plan was proposed next
day, and accepted joyfully. They would go up to the mountains and rest
awhile; if possible, bring up the wounded whom they had left behind; and
then, try a new venture, with new hopes, perhaps new dangers; they were
inured to the latter.

They started next morning cheerfully enough, and for three hours or more
paddled easily up the glassy and windless reaches, between two green
flower-bespangled walls of forest, gay with innumerable birds and
insects; while down from the branches which overhung the stream long
trailers hung to the water's edge, and seemed admiring in the clear
mirror the images of their own gorgeous flowers. River, trees, flowers,
birds, insects,--it was all a fairy-land: but it was a colossal one; and
yet the voyagers took little note of it. It was now to them an everyday
occurrence, to see trees full two hundred feet high one mass of yellow
or purple blossom to the highest twigs, and every branch and stem one
hanging garden of crimson and orange orchids or vanillas. Common to them
were all the fantastic and enormous shapes with which Nature bedecks her
robes beneath the fierce suns and fattening rains of the tropic forest.
Common were forms and colors of bird, and fish, and butterfly, more
strange and bright than ever opium-eater dreamed. The long processions
of monkeys, who kept pace with them along the tree-tops, and proclaimed
their wonder in every imaginable whistle, and grunt, and howl, had
ceased to move their laughter, as much as the roar of the jaguar and the
rustle of the boa had ceased to move their fear; and when a brilliant
green and rose-colored fish, flat-bodied like a bream, flab-finned like
a salmon, and saw-toothed like a shark, leapt clean on board of the
canoe to escape the rush of the huge alligator (whose loathsome snout,
ere he could stop, actually rattled against the canoe within a foot of
Jack Brimblecombe's hand), Jack, instead of turning pale, as he had done
at the sharks upon a certain memorable occasion, coolly picked up the
fish, and said, "He's four pound weight! If you can catch 'pirai' for
us like that, old fellow, just keep in our wake, and we'll give you the
cleanings for wages."

Yes. The mind of man is not so "infinite," in the vulgar sense of that
word, as people fancy; and however greedy the appetite for wonder may
be, while it remains unsatisfied in everyday European life, it is as
easily satiated as any other appetite, and then leaves the senses of
its possessor as dull as those of a city gourmand after a lord mayor's
feast. Only the highest minds--our Humboldts, and Bonplands, and
Schomburgks (and they only when quickened to an almost unhealthy
activity by civilization)--can go on long appreciating where Nature is
insatiable, imperious, maddening, in her demands on our admiration. The
very power of observing wears out under the rush of ever new objects;
and the dizzy spectator is fain at last to shut the eyes of his soul,
and take refuge (as West Indian Spaniards do) in tobacco and stupidity.
The man, too, who has not only eyes but utterance,--what shall he do
where all words fail him? Superlatives are but inarticulate, after all,
and give no pictures even of size any more than do numbers of feet and
yards: and yet what else can we do, but heap superlative on superlative,
and cry, "Wonderful, wonderful!" and after that, "wonderful, past all
whooping"? What Humboldt's self cannot paint, we will not try to daub.
The voyagers were in a South American forest, readers. Fill up the
meaning of those words, each as your knowledge enables you, for I cannot
do it for you.

Certainly those adventurers could not. The absence of any attempt at
word-painting, even of admiration at the glorious things which they saw,
is most remarkable in all early voyagers, both Spanish and English. The
only two exceptions which I recollect are Columbus--(but then all was
new, and he was bound to tell what he had seen)--and Raleigh; the two
most gifted men, perhaps, with the exception of Humboldt, who ever set
foot in tropical America; but even they dare nothing but a few feeble
hints in passing. Their souls had been dazzled and stunned by a great
glory. Coming out of our European Nature into that tropic one, they had
felt like Plato's men, bred in the twilight cavern, and then suddenly
turned round to the broad blaze of day; they had seen things awful and
unspeakable: why talk of them, except to say with the Turks, "God is

So it was with these men. Among the higher-hearted of them, the grandeur
and the glory around had attuned their spirits to itself, and kept up in
them a lofty, heroical, reverent frame of mind; but they knew as little
about the trees and animals in an "artistic" or "critical" point
of view, as in a scientific one. This tree the Indians called one
unpronounceable name, and it made good bows; that, some other name, and
it made good canoes; of that, you could eat the fruit; that produced the
caoutchouc gum, useful for a hundred matters; that was what the Indians
(and they likewise) used to poison their arrows with; from the ashes of
those palm-nuts you could make good salt; that tree, again, was full of
good milk if you bored the stem: they drank it, and gave God thanks, and
were not astonished. God was great: but that they had discovered long
before they came into the tropics. Noble old child-hearted heroes, with
just romance and superstition enough about them to keep them from that
prurient hysterical wonder and enthusiasm, which is simply, one often
fears, a product of our scepticism! We do not trust enough in God, we do
not really believe His power enough, to be ready, as they were, as every
one ought to be on a God-made earth, for anything and everything being
possible; and then, when a wonder is discovered, we go into ecstasies
and shrieks over it, and take to ourselves credit for being susceptible
of so lofty a feeling, true index, forsooth, of a refined and cultivated

They paddled onward hour after hour, sheltering themselves as best they
could under the shadow of the southern bank, while on their right hand
the full sun-glare lay upon the enormous wall of mimosas, figs, and
laurels, which formed the northern forest, broken by the slender shafts
of bamboo tufts, and decked with a thousand gaudy parasites; bank upon
bank of gorgeous bloom piled upward to the sky, till where its outline
cut the blue, flowers and leaves, too lofty to be distinguished by the
eye, formed a broken rainbow of all hues quivering in the ascending
streams of azure mist, until they seemed to melt and mingle with the
very heavens.

And as the sun rose higher and higher, a great stillness fell upon the
forest. The jaguars and the monkeys had hidden themselves in the darkest
depths of the woods. The birds' notes died out one by one; the very
butterflies ceased their flitting over the tree-tops, and slept with
outspread wings upon the glossy leaves, undistinguishable from the
flowers around them. Now and then a colibri whirred downward toward
the water, hummed for a moment around some pendent flower, and then
the living gem was lost in the deep blackness of the inner wood, among
tree-trunks as huge and dark as the pillars of some Hindoo shrine; or
a parrot swung and screamed at them from an overhanging bough; or a
thirsty monkey slid lazily down a liana to the surface of the stream,
dipped up the water in his tiny hand, and started chattering back, as
his eyes met those of some foul alligator peering upward through the
clear depths below. In shaded nooks beneath the boughs, the capybaras,
rabbits as large as sheep, went paddling sleepily round and round,
thrusting up their unwieldy heads among the blooms of the blue
water-lilies; while black and purple water-hens ran up and down upon the
rafts of floating leaves. The shining snout of a freshwater dolphin rose
slowly to the surface; a jet of spray whirred up; a rainbow hung upon
it for a moment; and the black snout sank lazily again. Here and there,
too, upon some shallow pebbly shore, scarlet flamingoes stood dreaming
knee-deep, on one leg; crested cranes pranced up and down, admiring
their own finery; and ibises and egrets dipped their bills under water
in search of prey: but before noon even those had slipped away, and
there reigned a stillness which might be heard--such a stillness (to
compare small things with great) as broods beneath the rich shadows of
Amyas's own Devon woods, or among the lonely sweeps of Exmoor, when the
heather is in flower--a stillness in which, as Humboldt says, "If beyond
the silence we listen for the faintest undertones, we detect a stifled,
continuous hum of insects, which crowd the air close to the earth; a
confused swarming murmur which hangs round every bush, in the cracked
bark of trees, in the soil undermined by lizards, millepedes, and
bees; a voice proclaiming to us that all Nature breathes, that under a
thousand different forms life swarms in the gaping and dusty earth, as
much as in the bosom of the waters, and the air which breathes around."

At last a soft and distant murmur, increasing gradually to a heavy roar,
announced that they were nearing some cataract; till turning a point,
where the deep alluvial soil rose into a low cliff fringed with delicate
ferns, they came full in sight of a scene at which all paused: not with
astonishment, but with something very like disgust.

"Rapids again!" grumbled one. "I thought we had had enough of them on
the Orinoco."

"We shall have to get out, and draw the canoes overland, I suppose.
Three hours will be lost, and in the very hottest of the day, too."

"There's worse behind; don't you see the spray behind the palms?"

"Stop grumbling, my masters, and don't cry out before you are hurt.
Paddle right up to the largest of those islands, and let us look about

In front of them was a snow-white bar of raging foam, some ten feet
high, along which were ranged three or four islands of black rock. Each
was crested with a knot of lofty palms, whose green tops stood out clear
against the bright sky, while the lower half of their stems loomed hazy
through a luminous veil of rainbowed mist. The banks right and left
of the fall were so densely fringed with a low hedge of shrubs, that
landing seemed all but impossible; and their Indian guide, suddenly
looking round him and whispering, bade them beware of savages; and
pointed to a canoe which lay swinging in the eddies under the largest
island, moored apparently to the root of some tree.

"Silence all!" cried Amyas, "and paddle up thither and seize the canoe.
If there be an Indian on the island, we will have speech of him: but
mind and treat him friendly; and on your lives, neither strike nor
shoot, even if he offers to fight."

So, choosing a line of smooth backwater just in the wake of the island,
they drove their canoes up by main force, and fastened them safely
by the side of the Indian's, while Amyas, always the foremost, sprang
boldly on shore, whispering to the Indian boy to follow him.

Once on the island, Amyas felt sure enough, that if its wild tenant had
not seen them approach, he certainly had not heard them, so deafening
was the noise which filled his brain, and seemed to make the very leaves
upon the bushes quiver, and the solid stone beneath his feet to reel and
ring. For two hundred yards and more above the fall nothing met his eye
but one white waste of raging foam, with here and there a transverse
dyke of rock, which hurled columns of spray and surges of beaded water
high into the air,--strangely contrasting with the still and silent
cliffs of green leaves which walled the river right and left, and more
strangely still with the knots of enormous palms upon the islets, which
reared their polished shafts a hundred feet into the air, straight and
upright as masts, while their broad plumes and golden-clustered fruit
slept in the sunshine far aloft, the image of the stateliest repose amid
the wildest wrath of Nature.

He looked round anxiously for the expected Indian; but he was nowhere to
be seen; and, in the meanwhile, as he stept cautiously along the island,
which was some fifty yards in length and breadth, his senses, accustomed
as they were to such sights, could not help dwelling on the exquisite
beauty of the scene; on the garden of gay flowers, of every imaginable
form and hue, which fringed every boulder at his feet, peeping out amid
delicate fern-fans and luxuriant cushions of moss; on the chequered
shade of the palms, and the cool air, which wafted down from the
cataracts above the scents of a thousand flowers. Gradually his ear
became accustomed to the roar, and, above its mighty undertone, he could
hear the whisper of the wind among the shrubs, and the hum of myriad
insects; while the rock manakin, with its saffron plumage, flitted
before him from stone to stone, calling cheerily, and seeming to lead
him on. Suddenly, scrambling over the rocky flower-beds to the other
side of the isle, he came upon a little shady beach, which, beneath a
bank of stone some six feet high, fringed the edge of a perfectly still
and glassy bay. Ten yards farther, the cataract fell sheer in thunder:
but a high fern-fringed rock turned its force away from that quiet nook.
In it the water swung slowly round and round in glassy dark-green rings,
among which dimpled a hundred gaudy fish, waiting for every fly and worm
which spun and quivered on the eddy. Here, if anywhere, was the place to
find the owner of the canoe. He leapt down upon the pebbles; and as he
did so, a figure rose from behind a neighboring rock, and met him face
to face.

It was an Indian girl; and yet, when he looked again,--was it an Indian
girl? Amyas had seen hundreds of those delicate dark-skinned daughters
of the forest, but never such a one as this. Her stature was taller,
her limbs were fuller and more rounded; her complexion, though tanned by
light, was fairer by far than his own sunburnt face; her hair, crowned
with a garland of white flowers, was not lank, and straight, and black,
like an Indian's, but of a rich, glossy brown, and curling richly and
crisply from her very temples to her knees. Her forehead, though low,
was upright and ample; her nose was straight and small; her lips, the
lips of a European; her whole face of the highest and richest type of
Spanish beauty; a collar of gold mingled with green beads hung round her
neck, and golden bracelets were on her wrists. All the strange and dim
legends of white Indians, and of nations of a higher race than Carib, or
Arrowak, or Solimo, which Amyas had ever heard, rose up in his memory.
She must be the daughter of some great cacique, perhaps of the lost
Incas themselves--why not? And full of simple wonder, he gazed upon
that fairy vision, while she, unabashed in her free innocence, gazed
fearlessly in return, as Eve might have done in Paradise, upon the
mighty stature, and the strange garments, and above all, on the bushy
beard and flowing yellow locks of the Englishman.

He spoke first, in some Indian tongue, gently and smilingly, and made
a half-step forward; but quick as light she caught up from the ground a
bow, and held it fiercely toward him, fitted with the long arrow,
with which, as he could see, she had been striking fish, for a line of
twisted grass hung from its barbed head. Amyas stopped, laid down his
own bow and sword, and made another step in advance, smiling still,
and making all Indian signs of amity: but the arrow was still pointed
straight at his breast, and he knew the mettle and strength of the
forest nymphs well enough to stand still and call for the Indian boy;
too proud to retreat, but in the uncomfortable expectation of feeling
every moment the shaft quivering between his ribs.

The boy, who had been peering from above, leaped down to them in a
moment; and began, as the safest method, grovelling on his nose upon the
pebbles, while he tried two or three dialects; one of which at last she
seemed to understand, and answered in a tone of evident suspicion and

"What does she say?"

"That you are a Spaniard and a robber, because you have a beard."

"Tell her that we are no Spaniards, but that we hate them; and are come
across the great waters to help the Indians to kill them."

The boy translated his speech. The nymph answered by a contemptuous
shake of the head.

"Tell her, that if she will send her tribe to us, we will do them no
harm. We are going over the mountains to fight the Spaniards, and we
want them to show us the way."

The boy had no sooner spoken, than, nimble as a deer, the nymph had
sprung up the rocks, and darted between the palm-stems to her canoe.
Suddenly she caught sight of the English boat, and stopped with a cry of
fear and rage.

"Let her pass!" shouted Amyas, who had followed her close. "Push your
boat off, and let her pass. Boy, tell her to go on; they will not come
near her."

But she hesitated still, and with arrow drawn to the head, faced first
on the boat's crew, and then on Amyas, till the Englishmen had shoved
off full twenty yards.

Then, leaping into her tiny piragua, she darted into the wildest whirl
of the eddies, shooting along with vigorous strokes, while the English
trembled as they saw the frail bark spinning and leaping amid the
muzzles of the alligators, and the huge dog-toothed trout: but with the
swiftness of an arrow she reached the northern bank, drove her canoe
among the bushes, and leaping from it, darted through some narrow
opening in the bush, and vanished like a dream.

"What fair virago have you unearthed?" cried Cary, as they toiled up
again to the landing-place.

"Beshrew me," quoth Jack, "but we are in the very land of the nymphs,
and I shall expect to see Diana herself next, with the moon on her

"Take care, then, where you wander hereabouts, Sir John: lest you end as
Actaeon did, by turning into a stag, and being eaten by a jaguar."

"Actaeon was eaten by his own hounds, Mr. Cary, so the parallel don't
hold. But surely she was a very wonder of beauty!"

Why was it that Amyas did not like this harmless talk? There had come
over him the strangest new feeling; as if that fair vision was his
property, and the men had no right to talk about her, no right to have
even seen her. And he spoke quite surlily as he said--

"You may leave the women to themselves, my masters; you'll have to deal
with the men ere long: so get your canoes up on the rock, and keep good

"Hillo!" shouted one in a few minutes, "here's fresh fish enough to feed
us all round. I suppose that young cat-a-mountain left it behind her
in her hurry. I wish she had left her golden chains and ouches into the

"Well," said another, "we'll take it as fair payment, for having made
us drop down the current again to let her ladyship pass."

"Leave that fish alone," said Amyas; "it is none of yours."

"Why, sir!" quoth the finder in a tone of sulky deprecation.

"If we are to make good friends with the heathens, we had better not
begin by stealing their goods. There are plenty more fish in the river;
go and catch them, and let the Indians have their own."

The men were accustomed enough to strict and stern justice in their
dealings with the savages: but they could not help looking slyly at
each other, and hinting, when out of sight, that the captain seemed in a
mighty fuss about his new acquaintance.

However, they were expert by this time in all the Indian's fishing
methods; and so abundant was the animal life which swarmed around every
rock, that in an hour fish enough lay on the beach to feed them all;
whose forms and colors, names and families, I must leave the reader to
guess from the wondrous pages of Sir Richard Schomburgk, for I know too
little of them to speak without the fear of making mistakes.

A full hour passed before they saw anything more of their Indian
neighbors; and then from under the bushes shot out a canoe, on which all
eyes were fixed in expectation.

Amyas, who expected to find there some remnant of a higher race, was
disappointed enough at seeing on board only the usual half-dozen of
low-browed, dirty Orsons, painted red with arnotto: but a gray-headed
elder at the stern seemed, by his feathers and gold ornaments, to be
some man of note in the little woodland community.

The canoe came close up to the island; Amyas saw that they were unarmed,
and, laying down his weapons, advanced alone to the bank, making all
signs of amity. They were returned with interest by the old man, and
Amyas's next care was to bring forward the fish which the fair nymph
had left behind, and, through the medium of the Indian lad, to give the
cacique (for so he seemed to be) to understand that he wished to render
every one his own. This offer was received, as Amyas expected, with
great applause, and the canoe came alongside; but the crew still seemed
afraid to land. Amyas bade his men throw the fish one by one into the
boat; and then proclaimed by the boy's mouth, as was his custom with all
Indians, that he and his were enemies of the Spaniards, and on their
way to make war against them,--and that all which they desired was a
peaceable and safe passage through the dominions of the mighty potentate
and renowned warrior whom they beheld before them; for Amyas argued
rightly enough, that even if the old fellow aft was not the cacique, he
would be none the less pleased at being mistaken for him.

Whereon the ancient worthy, rising in the canoe, pointed to heaven,
earth, and the things under, and commenced a long sermon, in tone,
manner, and articulation, very like one of those which the great
black-bearded apes were in the habit of preaching every evening when
they could get together a congregation of little monkeys to listen, to
the great scandal of Jack, who would have it that some evil spirit set
them on to mimic him; which sermon, being partly interpreted by the
Indian lad, seemed to signify, that the valor and justice of the white
men had already reached the ears of the speaker, and that he was sent to
welcome them into those regions by the Daughter of the Sun.

"The Daughter of the Sun!" quoth Amyas; "then we have found the lost
Incas after all."

"We have found something," said Cary; "I only hope it may not be a
mare's nest, like many another of our finding."

"Or an adder's," said Yeo. "We must beware of treachery."

"We must beware of no such thing," said Amyas, pretty sharply. "Have I
not told you fifty times, that if they see that we trust them, they will
trust us, and if they see that we suspect them, they will suspect us?
And when two parties are watching to see who strikes the first blow,
they are sure to come to fisticuffs from mere dirty fear of each other."

Amyas spoke truth; for almost every atrocity against savages which had
been committed by the Spaniards, and which was in later and worse times
committed by the English, was wont to be excused in that same base fear
of treachery. Amyas's plan, like that of Drake, and Cook, and all
great English voyagers, had been all along to inspire at once awe
and confidence, by a frank and fearless carriage; and he was not
disappointed here. He bade the men step boldly into their canoes, and
follow the old Indian whither he would. The simple children of the
forest bowed themselves reverently before the mighty strangers, and then
led them smilingly across the stream, and through a narrow passage in
the covert, to a hidden lagoon, on the banks of which stood, not Manoa,
but a tiny Indian village.



     "Let us alone.  What pleasure can we have
        To war with evil?  Is there any peace
     In always climbing up the climbing wave?
        All things have rest, and ripen toward the grave
     In silence; ripen, fall, and cease:
        Give us long rest or death, dark death, or dreamful ease."


Humboldt has somewhere a curious passage; in which, looking on some
wretched group of Indians, squatting stupidly round their fires,
besmeared with grease and paint, and devouring ants and clay, he
somewhat naively remarks, that were it not for science, which teaches
us that such is the crude material of humanity, and this the state from
which we all have risen, he should have been tempted rather to look upon
those hapless beings as the last degraded remnants of some fallen and
dying race. One wishes that the great traveller had been bold enough
to yield to that temptation, which his own reason and common sense
presented to him as the real explanation of the sad sight, instead
of following the dogmas of a so-called science, which has not a fact
whereon to base its wild notion, and must ignore a thousand facts in
asserting it. His own good sense, it seems, coincided instinctively with
the Bible doctrine, that man in a state of nature is a fallen being,
doomed to death--a view which may be a sad one, but still one more
honorable to poor humanity than the theory, that we all began as some
sort of two-handed apes. It is surely more hopeful to believe that those
poor Otomacs or Guahibas were not what they ought to be, than to believe
that they were. It is certainly more complimentary to them to think that
they had been somewhat nobler and more prudent in centuries gone by,
than that they were such blockheads as to have dragged on, the son after
the father, for all the thousands of years which have elapsed since man
was made, without having had wit enough to discover any better food than
ants and clay.

Our voyagers, however, like those of their time, troubled their heads
with no such questions. Taking the Bible story as they found it, they
agreed with Humboldt's reason, and not with his science; or, to speak
correctly, agreed with Humboldt's self, and not with the shallow
anthropologic theories which happened to be in vogue fifty years ago;
and their new hosts were in their eyes immortal souls like themselves,
"captivated by the devil at his will," lost there in the pathless
forests, likely to be lost hereafter.

And certainly facts seemed to bear out their old-fashioned theories;
although these Indians had sunk by no means so low as the Guahibas whom
they had met upon the lower waters of the same river.

They beheld, on landing, a scattered village of palm-leaf sheds, under
which, as usual, the hammocks were slung from tree to tree. Here
and there, in openings in the forest, patches of cassava and indigo
appeared; and there was a look of neatness and comfort about the little
settlement superior to the average.

But now for the signs of the evil spirit. Certainly it was no good
spirit who had inspired them with the art of music; or else (as Cary
said) Apollo and Mercury (if they ever visited America) had played their
forefathers a shabby trick, and put them off with very poor instruments,
and still poorer taste. For on either side of the landing-place were
arranged four or five stout fellows, each with a tall drum, or long
earthen trumpet, swelling out in the course of its length into several
hollow balls from which arose, the moment the strangers set foot on
shore, so deafening a cacophony of howls, and groans, and thumps, as
fully to justify Yeo's remark, "They are calling upon their devil, sir."
To which Cary answered, with some show of reason, that "they were the
less likely to be disappointed, for none but Sir Urian would ever come
to listen to such a noise."

"And you mark, sirs," said Yeo, "there's some feast or sacrifice toward.
I'm not overconfident of them yet."

"Nonsense!" said Amyas, "we could kill every soul of them in
half-an-hour, and they know that as well as we."

But some great demonstration was plainly toward; for the children of the
forest were arrayed in two lines, right and left of the open space, the
men in front, and the women behind; and all bedizened, to the best of
their power, with arnotto, indigo, and feathers.

Next, with a hideous yell, leapt into the centre of the space a
personage who certainly could not have complained if any one had taken
him for the devil, for he had dressed himself up carefully for that very
intent, in a jaguar-skin with a long tail, grinning teeth, a pair of
horns, a plume of black and yellow feathers, and a huge rattle.

"Here's the Piache, the rascal," says Amyas.

"Ay," says Yeo, "in Satan's livery, and I've no doubt his works are
according, trust him for it."

"Don't be frightened, Jack," says Cary, backing up Brimblecombe from
behind. "It's your business to tackle him, you know. At him boldly, and
he'll run."

Whereat all the men laughed; and the Piache, who had intended to produce
a very solemn impression, hung fire a little. However, being accustomed
to get his bread by his impudence, he soon recovered himself, advanced,
smote one of the musicians over the head with his rattle to procure
silence; and then began a harangue, to which Amyas listened patiently,
cigar in mouth.

"What's it all about, boy?"

"He wants to know whether you have seen Amalivaca on the other shore of
the great water?"

Amyas was accustomed to this inquiry after the mythic civilizer of
the forest Indians, who, after carving the mysterious sculptures which
appear upon so many inland cliffs of that region, returned again whence
he came, beyond the ocean. He answered, as usual, by setting forth the
praises of Queen Elizabeth.

To which the Piache replied, that she must be one of Amalivaca's seven
daughters, some of whom he took back with him, while he broke the legs
of the rest to prevent their running away, and left them to people the

To which Amyas replied, that his queen's legs were certainly not broken;
for she was a very model of grace and activity, and the best dancer in
all her dominions; but that it was more important to him to know whether
the tribe would give them cassava bread, and let them stay peaceably on
that island, to rest a while before they went on to fight the clothed
men (the Spaniards), on the other side of the mountains.

On which the Piache, after capering and turning head over heels with
much howling, beckoned Amyas and his party to follow him; they did so,
seeing that the Indians were all unarmed, and evidently in the highest
good humor.

The Piache went toward the door of a carefully closed hut, and crawling
up to it on all-fours in most abject fashion, began whining to some one

"Ask what he is about, boy."

The lad asked the old cacique, who had accompanied them, and received
for answer, that he was consulting the Daughter of the Sun.

"Here is our mare's nest at last," quoth Cary, as the Piache from whines
rose to screams and gesticulations, and then to violent convulsions,
foaming at the mouth, and rolling of the eyeballs, till he suddenly sank
exhausted, and lay for dead.

"As good as a stage play."

"The devil has played his part," says Jack; "and now by the rules of all
plays Vice should come on."

"And a very fair Vice it will be, I suspect; a right sweet Iniquity, my
Jack! Listen."

And from the interior of the hut rose a low sweet song, at which all
the simple Indians bowed their heads in reverence; and the English were
hushed in astonishment; for the voice was not shrill or guttural, like
that of an Indian, but round, clear, and rich, like a European's; and as
it swelled and rose louder and louder, showed a compass and power which
would have been extraordinary anywhere (and many a man of the party,
as was usual in musical old England, was a good judge enough of such
a matter, and could hold his part right well in glee, and catch, and
roundelay, and psalm). And as it leaped, and ran, and sank again, and
rose once more to fall once more, all but inarticulate, yet perfect in
melody, like the voice of bird on bough, the wild wanderers were rapt
in new delight, and did not wonder at the Indians as they bowed their
heads, and welcomed the notes as messengers from some higher world. At
last one triumphant burst, so shrill that all ears rang again, and then
dead silence. The Piache, suddenly restored to life, jumped upright, and
recommenced preaching at Amyas.

"Tell the howling villain to make short work of it, lad! His tune won't
do after that last one."

The lad, grinning, informed Amyas that the Piache signified their
acceptance as friends by the Daughter of the Sun; that her friends were
theirs, and her foes theirs. Whereon the Indians set up a scream of
delight, and Amyas, rolling another tobacco leaf up in another strip of
plantain, answered,--

"Then let her give us some cassava," and lighted a fresh cigar.

Whereon the door of the hut opened, and the Indians prostrated
themselves to the earth, as there came forth the same fair apparition
which they had encountered upon the island, but decked now in
feather-robes, and plumes of every imaginable hue.

Slowly and stately, as one accustomed to command, she walked up to
Amyas, glancing proudly round on her prostrate adorers, and pointing
with graceful arms to the trees, the gardens, and the huts, gave him to
understand by signs (so expressive were her looks, that no words were
needed) that all was at his service; after which, taking his hand, she
lifted it gently to her forehead.

At that sign of submission a shout of rapture rose from the crowd; and
as the mysterious maiden retired again to her hut, they pressed round
the English, caressing and admiring, pointing with equal surprise to
their swords, to their Indian bows and blow-guns, and to the trophies
of wild beasts with which they were clothed; while women hastened off
to bring fruit, and flowers, and cassava, and (to Amyas's great anxiety)
calabashes of intoxicating drink; and, to make a long story short, the
English sat down beneath the trees, and feasted merrily, while the drums
and trumpets made hideous music, and lithe young girls and lads danced
uncouth dances, which so scandalized both Brimblecombe and Yeo, that
they persuaded Amyas to beat an early retreat. He was willing enough
to get back to the island while the men were still sober; so there were
many leave-takings and promises of return on the morrow, and the party
paddled back to their island-fortress, racking their wits as to who or
what the mysterious maid could be.

Amyas, however, had settled in his mind that she was one of the lost
Inca race; perhaps a descendant of that very fair girl, wife of the
Inca Manco, whom Pizarro, forty years before, had, merely to torture
the fugitive king's heart, as his body was safe from the tyrant's reach,
stripped, scourged, and shot to death with arrows, uncomplaining to the

They all assembled for the evening service (hardly a day had passed
since they left England on which they had not done the same); and after
it was over, they must needs sing a Psalm, and then a catch or two, ere
they went to sleep; and till the moon was high in heaven, twenty mellow
voices rang out above the roar of the cataract, in many a good old tune.
Once or twice they thought they heard an echo to their song: but they
took no note of it, till Cary, who had gone apart for a few minutes,
returned, and whispered Amyas away.

"The sweet Iniquity is mimicking us, lad."

They went to the brink of the river; and there (for their ears were by
this time dead to the noise of the torrent) they could hear plainly the
same voice which had so surprised them in the hut, repeating, clear
and true, snatches of the airs which they had sung. Strange and solemn
enough was the effect of the men's deep voices on the island, answered
out of the dark forest by those sweet treble notes; and the two young
men stood a long while listening and looking out across the eddies,
which swirled down golden in the moonlight: but they could see nothing
beyond save the black wall of trees. After a while the voice ceased, and
the two returned to dream of Incas and nightingales.

They visited the village again next day; and every day for a week or
more: but the maiden appeared but rarely, and when she did, kept her
distance as haughtily as a queen.

Amyas, of course, as soon as he could converse somewhat better with his
new friends, was not long before he questioned the cacique about
her. But the old man made an owl's face at her name, and intimated by
mysterious shakes of the head, that she was a very strange personage,
and the less said about her the better. She was "a child of the Sun,"
and that was enough.

"Tell him, boy," quoth Cary, "that we are the children of the Sun by
his first wife; and have orders from him to inquire how the Indians
have behaved to our step-sister, for he cannot see all their tricks down
here, the trees are so thick. So let him tell us, or all the cassava
plants shall be blighted."

"Will, Will, don't play with lying!" said Amyas: but the threat was
enough for the cacique, and taking them in his canoe a full mile down
the stream, as if in fear that the wonderful maiden should overhear him,
he told them, in a sort of rhythmic chant, how, many moons ago (he
could not tell how many), his tribe was a mighty nation, and dwelt in
Papamene, till the Spaniards drove them forth. And how, as they wandered
northward, far away upon the mountain spurs beneath the flaming cone
of Cotopaxi, they had found this fair creature wandering in the forest,
about the bigness of a seven years' child. Wondering at her white skin
and her delicate beauty, the simple Indians worshipped her as a god,
and led her home with them. And when they found that she was human like
themselves, their wonder scarcely lessened. How could so tender a being
have sustained life in those forests, and escaped the jaguar and the
snake? She must be under some Divine protection: she must be a daughter
of the Sun, one of that mighty Inca race, the news of whose fearful
fall had reached even those lonely wildernesses; who had, many of them,
haunted for years as exiles the eastern slopes of the Andes, about the
Ucalayi and the Maranon; who would, as all Indians knew, rise again
some day to power, when bearded white men should come across the seas to
restore them to their ancient throne.

So, as the girl grew up among them, she was tended with royal honors,
by command of the conjuror of the tribe, that so her forefather the Sun
might be propitious to them, and the Incas might show favor to the poor
ruined Omaguas, in the day of their coming glory. And as she grew, she
had become, it seemed, somewhat of a prophetess among them, as well
as an object of fetish-worship; for she was more prudent in council,
valiant in war, and cunning in the chase, than all the elders of the
tribe; and those strange and sweet songs of hers, which had so surprised
the white men, were full of mysterious wisdom about the birds, and the
animals, and the flowers, and the rivers, which the Sun and the Good
Spirit taught her from above. So she had lived among them, unmarried
still, not only because she despised the addresses of all Indian youths,
but because the conjuror had declared it to be profane in them to mingle
with the race of the Sun, and had assigned her a cabin near his own,
where she was served in state, and gave some sort of oracular responses,
as they had seen, to the questions which he put to her.

Such was the cacique's tale; on which Cary remarked, probably not
unjustly, that he "dared to say the conjuror made a very good thing of
it:" but Amyas was silent, full of dreams, if not about Manoa, still
about the remnant of the Inca race. What if they were still to be found
about the southern sources of the Amazon? He must have been very near
them already, in that case. It was vexatious; but at least he might
be sure that they had formed no great kingdom in that direction, or he
should have heard of it long ago. Perhaps they had moved lately from
thence eastward, to escape some fresh encroachment of the Spaniards; and
this girl had been left behind in their flight. And then he recollected,
with a sigh, how hopeless was any further search with his diminished
band. At least, he might learn something of the truth from the maiden
herself. It might be useful to him in some future attempt; for he
had not yet given up Manoa. If he but got safe home, there was many a
gallant gentleman (and Raleigh came at once into his mind) who would
join him in a fresh search for the Golden City of Guiana; not by the
upper waters, but by the mouth of the Orinoco.

So they paddled back, while the simple cacique entreated them to tell
the Sun, in their daily prayers, how well the wild people had treated
his descendant; and besought them not to take her away with them, lest
the Sun should forget the poor Omaguas, and ripen their manioc and their
fruit no more.

Amyas had no wish to stay where he was longer than was absolutely
necessary to bring up the sick men from the Orinoco; but this, he well
knew, would be a journey probably of some months, and attended with much

Cary volunteered at once, however, to undertake the adventure, if
half-a-dozen men would join him, and the Indians would send a few young
men to help in working the canoe: but this latter item was not an easy
one to obtain; for the tribe with whom they now were, stood in some fear
of the fierce and brutal Guahibas, through whose country they must pass;
and every Indian tribe, as Amyas knew well enough, looks on each tribe
of different language to itself as natural enemies, hateful, and made
only to be destroyed wherever met. This strange fact, too, Amyas and his
party attributed to delusion of the devil, the divider and accuser; and
I am of opinion that they were perfectly right: only let Amyas take care
that while he is discovering the devil in the Indians, he does not give
place to him in himself, and that in more ways than one. But of that
more hereafter.

Whether, however, it was pride or shyness which kept the maiden aloof,
she conquered it after a while; perhaps through mere woman's curiosity;
and perhaps, too, from mere longing for amusement in a place so
unspeakably stupid as the forest. She gave the English to understand,
however, that though they all might be very important personages, none
of them was to be her companion but Amyas. And ere a month was past, she
was often hunting with him far and wide in the neighboring forest, with
a train of chosen nymphs, whom she had persuaded to follow her example
and spurn the dusky suitors around. This fashion, not uncommon, perhaps,
among the Indian tribes, where women are continually escaping to
the forest from the tyranny of the men, and often, perhaps, forming
temporary communities, was to the English a plain proof that they were
near the land of the famous Amazons, of whom they had heard so often
from the Indians; while Amyas had no doubt that, as a descendant of the
Incas, the maiden preserved the tradition of the Virgins of the Sun, and
of the austere monastic rule of the Peruvian superstition. Had not that
valiant German, George of Spires, and Jeronimo Ortal too, fifty years
before, found convents of the Sun upon these very upper waters?

So a harmless friendship sprang up between Amyas and the girl, which
soon turned to good account. For she no sooner heard that he needed a
crew of Indians, than she consulted the Piache, assembled the tribe, and
having retired to her hut, commenced a song, which (unless the Piache
lied) was a command to furnish young men for Cary's expedition,
under penalty of the sovereign displeasure of an evil spirit with an
unpronounceable name--an argument which succeeded on the spot, and the
canoe departed on its perilous errand.

John Brimblecombe had great doubts whether a venture thus started by
direct help and patronage of the fiend would succeed; and Amyas himself,
disliking the humbug, told Ayacanora that it would be better to have
told the tribe that it was a good deed, and pleasing to the Good Spirit.

"Ah!" said she, naively enough, "they know better than that. The Good
Spirit is big and lazy; and he smiles, and takes no trouble: but the
little bad spirit, he is so busy--here, and there, and everywhere," and
she waved her pretty hands up and down; "he is the useful one to have
for a friend!" Which sentiment the Piache much approved, as became his
occupation; and once told Brimblecombe pretty sharply, that he was a
meddlesome fellow for telling the Indians that the Good Spirit cared for
them; "for," quoth he, "if they begin to ask the Good Spirit for what
they want, who will bring me cassava and coca for keeping the bad spirit
quiet?" This argument, however forcible the devil's priests in all ages
have felt it to be, did not stop Jack's preaching (and very good and
righteous preaching it was, moreover), and much less the morning and
evening service in the island camp. This last, the Indians, attracted
by the singing, attended in such numbers, that the Piache found his
occupation gone, and vowed to put an end to Jack's Gospel with a
poisoned arrow.

Which plan he (blinded by his master, Satan, so Jack phrased it) took
into his head to impart to Ayacanora, as the partner of his tithes and
offerings; and was exceedingly astonished to receive in answer a box on
the ear, and a storm of abuse. After which, Ayacanora went to Amyas,
and telling him all, proposed that the Piache should be thrown to the
alligators, and Jack installed in his place; declaring that whatsoever
the bearded men said must be true, and whosoever plotted against them
should die the death.

Jack, however, magnanimously forgave his foe, and preached on, of course
with fresh zeal; but not, alas! with much success. For the conjuror,
though his main treasure was gone over to the camp of the enemy, had a
reserve in a certain holy trumpet, which was hidden mysteriously in a
cave on the neighboring hills, not to be looked on by woman under pain
of death; and it was well known, and had been known for generations,
that unless that trumpet, after fastings, flagellations, and other
solemn rites, was blown by night throughout the woods, the palm-trees
would bear no fruit; yea, so great was the fame of that trumpet, that
neighboring tribes sent at the proper season to hire it and the blower
thereof, by payment of much precious trumpery, that so they might be
sharers in its fertilizing powers.

So the Piache announced one day in public, that in consequence of the
impiety of the Omaguas, he should retire to a neighboring tribe, of more
religious turn of mind; and taking with him the precious instrument,
leave their palms to blight, and themselves to the evil spirit.

Dire was the wailing, and dire the wrath throughout the village.
Jack's words were allowed to be good words; but what was the Gospel in
comparison of the trumpet? The rascal saw his advantage, and began
a fierce harangue against the heretic strangers. As he maddened, his
hearers maddened; the savage nature, capricious as a child's, flashed
out in wild suspicion. Women yelled, men scowled, and ran hastily to
their huts for bows and blow-guns. The case was grown critical. There
were not more than a dozen men with Amyas at the time, and they had only
their swords, while the Indian men might muster nearly a hundred. Amyas
forbade his men either to draw or to retreat; but poisoned arrows were
weapons before which the boldest might well quail; and more than one
cheek grew pale, which had seldom been pale before.

"It is God's quarrel, sirs all," said Jack Brimblecombe; "let Him defend
the right."

As he spoke, from Ayacanora's hut arose her magic song, and quivered
aloft among the green heights of the forest.

The mob stood spell-bound, still growling fiercely, but not daring to
move. Another moment, and she had rushed out, like a very Diana, into
the centre of the ring, bow in hand, and arrow on the string.

The fallen "children of wrath" had found their match in her; for her
beautiful face was convulsed with fury. Almost foaming in her passion,
she burst forth with bitter revilings; she pointed with admiration to
the English, and then with fiercest contempt to the Indians; and at
last, with fierce gestures, seemed to cast off the very dust of her
feet against them, and springing to Amyas's side, placed herself in the
forefront of the English battle.

The whole scene was so sudden, that Amyas had hardly discovered whether
she came as friend or foe, before her bow was raised. He had just time
to strike up her hand, when the arrow flew past the ear of the offending
Piache, and stuck quivering in a tree.

"Let me kill the wretch!" said she, stamping with rage; but Amyas held
her arm firmly.

"Fools!" cried she to the tribe, while tears of anger rolled down her
cheeks. "Choose between me and your trumpet! I am a daughter of the Sun;
I am white; I am a companion for Englishmen! But you! your mothers were
Guahibas, and ate mud; and your fathers--they were howling apes! Let
them sing to you! I shall go to the white men, and never sing you to
sleep any more; and when the little evil spirit misses my voice, he will
come and tumble you out of your hammocks, and make you dream of ghosts
every night, till you grow as thin as blow-guns, and as stupid as

     * Two-toed sloths.

This terrible counter-threat, in spite of the slight bathos involved,
had its effect; for it appealed to that dread of the sleep world which
is common to all savages: but the conjuror was ready to outbid the
prophetess, and had begun a fresh oration, when Amyas turned the tide
of war. Bursting into a huge laugh at the whole matter, he took the
conjuror by his shoulders, sent him with one crafty kick half-a-dozen
yards off upon his nose; and then, walking out of the ranks, shook hands
round with all his Indian acquaintances.

Whereon, like grown-up babies, they all burst out laughing too, shook
hands with all the English, and then with each other; being, after all,
as glad as any bishops to prorogue the convocation, and let unpleasant
questions stand over till the next session. The Piache relented, like
a prudent man; Ayacanora returned to her hut to sulk; and Amyas to his
island, to long for Cary's return, for he felt himself on dangerous

At last Will returned, safe and sound, and as merry as ever, not having
lost a man (though he had had a smart brush with the Guahibas). He
brought back three of the wounded men, now pretty nigh cured; the other
two, who had lost a leg apiece, had refused to come. They had Indian
wives; more than they could eat; and tobacco without end: and if it were
not for the gnats (of which Cary said that there were more mosquitoes
than there was air), they should be the happiest men alive. Amyas could
hardly blame the poor fellows; for the chance of their getting home
through the forest with one leg each was very small, and, after all,
they were making the best of a bad matter. And a very bad matter it
seemed to him, to be left in a heathen land; and a still worse matter,
when he overheard some of the men talking about their comrades' lonely
fate, as if, after all, they were not so much to be pitied. He said
nothing about it then, for he made a rule never to take notice of any
facts which he got at by eavesdropping, however unintentional; but he
longed that one of them would say as much to him, and he would "give
them a piece of his mind." And a piece of his mind he had to give within
the week; for while he was on a hunting party, two of his men were
missing, and were not heard of for some days; at the end of which time
the old cacique come to tell him that he believed they had taken to the
forest, each with an Indian girl.

Amyas was very wroth at the news. First, because it had never happened
before: he could say with honest pride, as Raleigh did afterwards when
he returned from his Guiana voyage, that no Indian woman had ever been
the worse for any man of his. He had preached on this point month after
month, and practised what he preached; and now his pride was sorely

Moreover, he dreaded offence to the Indians themselves: but on this
score the cacique soon comforted him, telling him that the girls, as far
as he could find, had gone off of their own free will; intimating that
he thought it somewhat an honor to the tribe that they had found favor
in the eyes of the bearded men; and moreover, that late wars had so
thinned the ranks of their men, that they were glad enough to find
husbands for their maidens, and had been driven of late years to kill
many of their female infants. This sad story, common perhaps to every
American tribe, and one of the chief causes of their extermination,
reassured Amyas somewhat: but he could not stomach either the loss of
his men, or their breach of discipline; and look for them he would. Did
any one know where they were? If the tribe knew, they did not care to
tell: but Ayacanora, the moment she found out his wishes, vanished into
the forest, and returned in two days, saying that she had found the
fugitives; but she would not show him where they were, unless he
promised not to kill them. He, of course, had no mind for so rigorous a
method: he both needed the men, and he had no malice against them,--for
the one, Ebsworthy, was a plain, honest, happy-go-lucky sailor, and
as good a hand as there was in the crew; and the other was that same
ne'er-do-weel Will Parracombe, his old schoolfellow, who had been
tempted by the gipsy-Jesuit at Appledore, and resisting that bait, had
made a very fair seaman.

So forth Amyas went, with Ayacanora as a guide, some five miles upward
along the forest slopes, till the girl whispered, "There they are;"
and Amyas, pushing himself gently through a thicket of bamboo, beheld
a scene which, in spite of his wrath, kept him silent, and perhaps
softened, for a minute.

On the farther side of a little lawn, the stream leapt through a chasm
beneath overarching vines, sprinkling eternal freshness upon all around,
and then sank foaming into a clear rock-basin, a bath for Dian's self.
On its farther side, the crag rose some twenty feet in height, bank upon
bank of feathered ferns and cushioned moss, over the rich green beds of
which drooped a thousand orchids, scarlet, white, and orange, and made
the still pool gorgeous with the reflection of their gorgeousness. At
its more quiet outfall, it was half-hidden in huge fantastic leaves and
tall flowering stems; but near the waterfall the grassy bank sloped
down toward the stream, and there, on palm-leaves strewed upon the turf,
beneath the shadow of the crags, lay the two men whom Amyas sought,
and whom, now he had found them, he had hardly heart to wake from their
delicious dream.

For what a nest it was which they had found! the air was heavy with
the scent of flowers, and quivering with the murmur of the stream, the
humming of the colibris and insects, the cheerful song of birds, the
gentle cooing of a hundred doves; while now and then, from far away,
the musical wail of the sloth, or the deep toll of the bell-bird, came
softly to the ear. What was not there which eye or ear could need? And
what which palate could need either? For on the rock above, some strange
tree, leaning forward, dropped every now and then a luscious apple upon
the grass below, and huge wild plantains bent beneath their load of

There, on the stream bank, lay the two renegades from civilized life.
They had cast away their clothes, and painted themselves, like the
Indians, with arnotto and indigo. One lay lazily picking up the fruit
which fell close to his side; the other sat, his back against a cushion
of soft moss, his hands folded languidly upon his lap, giving himself up
to the soft influence of the narcotic coca-juice, with half-shut dreamy
eyes fixed on the everlasting sparkle of the waterfall--

     "While beauty, born of murmuring sound,
     Did pass into his face."

Somewhat apart crouched their two dusky brides, crowned with fragrant
flowers, but working busily, like true women, for the lords whom they
delighted to honor. One sat plaiting palm fibres into a basket; the
other was boring the stem of a huge milk-tree, which rose like some
mighty column on the right hand of the lawn, its broad canopy of leaves
unseen through the dense underwood of laurel and bamboo, and betokened
only by the rustle far aloft, and by the mellow shade in which it bathed
the whole delicious scene.

Amyas stood silent for awhile, partly from noble shame at seeing two
Christian men thus fallen of their own self-will; partly because--and
he could not but confess that--a solemn calm brooded above that glorious
place, to break through which seemed sacrilege even while he felt it
a duty. Such, he thought, was Paradise of old; such our first parents'
bridal bower! Ah! if man had not fallen, he too might have dwelt forever
in such a home--with whom? He started, and shaking off the spell,
advanced sword in hand.

The women saw him, and springing to their feet, caught up their long
pocunas, and leapt like deer each in front of her beloved. There they
stood, the deadly tubes pressed to their lips, eyeing him like tigresses
who protect their young, while every slender limb quivered, not with
terror, but with rage.

Amyas paused, half in admiration, half in prudence; for one rash step
was death. But rushing through the canes, Ayacanora sprang to the front,
and shrieked to them in Indian. At the sight of the prophetess the women
wavered, and Amyas, putting on as gentle a face as he could, stepped
forward, assuring them in his best Indian that he would harm no one.

"Ebsworthy! Parracombe! Are you grown such savages already, that you
have forgotten your captain? Stand up, men, and salute!"

Ebsworthy sprang to his feet, obeyed mechanically, and then slipped
behind his bride again, as if in shame. The dreamer turned his head
languidly, raised his hand to his forehead, and then returned to his

Amyas rested the point of his sword on the ground, and his hands upon
the hilt, and looked sadly and solemnly upon the pair. Ebsworthy broke
the silence, half reproachfully, half trying to bluster away the coming

"Well, noble captain, so you've hunted out us poor fellows; and want to
drag us back again in a halter, I suppose?"

"I came to look for Christians, and I find heathens; for men, and I find
swine. I shall leave the heathens to their wilderness, and the swine to
their trough. Parracombe!"

"He's too happy to answer you, sir. And why not? What do you want of us?
Our two years vow is out, and we are free men now."

"Free to become like the beasts that perish? You are the queen's
servants still, and in her name I charge you--

"Free to be happy," interrupted the man. "With the best of wives, the
best of food, a warmer bed than a duke's, and a finer garden than an
emperor's. As for clothes, why the plague should a man wear them where
he don't need them? As for gold, what's the use of it where Heaven sends
everything ready-made to your hands? Hearken, Captain Leigh. You've been
a good captain to me, and I'll repay you with a bit of sound advice.
Give up your gold-hunting, and toiling and moiling after honor and
glory, and copy us. Take that fair maid behind you there to wife; pitch
here with us; and see if you are not happier in one day than ever you
were in all your life before."

"You are drunk, sirrah! William Parracombe! Will you speak to me, or
shall I heave you into the stream to sober you?"

"Who calls William Parracombe?" answered a sleepy voice.

"I, fool!--your captain."

"I am not William Parracombe. He is dead long ago of hunger, and labor,
and heavy sorrow, and will never see Bideford town any more. He is
turned into an Indian now; and he is to sleep, sleep, sleep for a
hundred years, till he gets his strength again, poor fellow--"

"Awake, then, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ
shall give thee light! A christened Englishman, and living thus the life
of a beast?"

"Christ shall give thee light?" answered the same unnatural abstracted
voice. "Yes; so the parsons say. And they say too, that He is Lord of
heaven and earth. I should have thought His light was as near us here
as anywhere, and nearer too, by the look of the place. Look round!"
said he, waving a lazy hand, "and see the works of God, and the place of
Paradise, whither poor weary souls go home and rest, after their masters
in the wicked world have used them up, with labor and sorrow, and made
them wade knee-deep in blood--I'm tired of blood, and tired of gold.
I'll march no more; I'll fight no more; I'll hunger no more after vanity
and vexation of spirit. What shall I get by it? Maybe I shall leave my
bones in the wilderness. I can but do that here. Maybe I shall get home
with a few pezos, to die an old cripple in some stinking hovel, that a
monkey would scorn to lodge in here. You may go on; it'll pay you. You
may be a rich man, and a knight, and live in a fine house, and drink
good wine, and go to Court, and torment your soul with trying to
get more, when you've got too much already; plotting and planning to
scramble upon your neighbor's shoulders, as they all did--Sir Richard,
and Mr. Raleigh, and Chichester, and poor dear old Sir Warham, and all
of them that I used to watch when I lived before. They were no happier
than I was then; I'll warrant they are no happier now. Go your ways,
captain; climb to glory upon some other backs than ours, and leave us
here in peace, alone with God and God's woods, and the good wives that
God has given us, to play a little like school children. It's long since
I've had play-hours; and now I'll be a little child once more, with the
flowers, and the singing birds, and the silver fishes in the stream,
that are at peace, and think no harm, and want neither clothes, nor
money, nor knighthood, nor peerage, but just take what comes; and their
heavenly Father feedeth them, and Solomon in all his glory was not
arrayed like one of these--and will He not much more feed us, that are
of more value than many sparrows?"

"And will you live here, shut out from all Christian ordinances?"

"Christian ordinances? Adam and Eve had no parsons in Paradise. The Lord
was their priest, and the Lord was their shepherd, and He'll be ours
too. But go your ways, sir, and send up Sir John Brimblecombe, and let
him marry us here Church fashion (though we have sworn troth to each
other before God already), and let him give us the Holy Sacrament once
and for all, and then read the funeral service over us, and go his ways,
and count us for dead, sir--for dead we are to the wicked worthless
world we came out of three years ago. And when the Lord chooses to call
us, the little birds will cover us with leaves, as they did the babies
in the wood, and fresher flowers will grow out of our graves, sir, than
out of yours in that bare Northam churchyard there beyond the weary,
weary, weary sea."

His voice died away to a murmur, and his head sank on his breast.

Amyas stood spell-bound. The effect of the narcotic was all but
miraculous in his eyes. The sustained eloquence, the novel richness of
diction in one seemingly drowned in sensual sloth, were, in his eyes,
the possession of some evil spirit. And yet he could not answer the Evil
One. His English heart, full of the divine instinct of duty and public
spirit, told him that it must be a lie: but how to prove it a lie? And
he stood for full ten minutes searching for an answer, which seemed to
fly farther and farther off the more he sought for it.

His eye glanced upon Ayacanora. The two girls were whispering to her
smilingly. He saw one of them glance a look toward him, and then say
something, which raised a beautiful blush in the maiden's face. With a
playful blow at the speaker, she turned away. Amyas knew instinctively
that they were giving her the same advice as Ebsworthy had given to him.
Oh, how beautiful she was! Might not the renegades have some reason on
their side after all.

He shuddered at the thought: but he could not shake it off. It glided
in like some gaudy snake, and wreathed its coils round all his heart
and brain. He drew back to the other side of the lawn, and thought and

Should he ever get home? If he did, might he not get home a beggar?
Beggar or rich, he would still have to face his mother, to go through
that meeting, to tell that tale, perhaps, to hear those reproaches, the
forecast of which had weighed on him like a dark thunder-cloud for two
weary years; to wipe out which by some desperate deed of glory he had
wandered the wilderness, and wandered in vain.

Could he not settle here? He need not be a savage, he and his might
Christianize, civilize, teach equal law, mercy in war, chivalry to
women; found a community which might be hereafter as strong a barrier
against the encroachments of the Spaniard, as Manoa itself would have
been. Who knew the wealth of the surrounding forests? Even if there were
no gold, there were boundless vegetable treasures. What might he not
export down the rivers? This might be the nucleus of a great commercial

And yet, was even that worth while? To settle here only to torment
his soul with fresh schemes, fresh ambitions; not to rest, but only to
change one labor for another? Was not your dreamer right? Did they not
all need rest? What if they each sat down among the flowers, beside an
Indian bride? They might live like Christians, while they lived like the
birds of heaven.--

What a dead silence! He looked up and round; the birds had ceased to
chirp; the parroquets were hiding behind the leaves; the monkeys were
clustered motionless upon the highest twigs; only out of the far depths
of the forest, the campanero gave its solemn toll, once, twice, thrice,
like a great death-knell rolling down from far cathedral towers. Was
it an omen? He looked up hastily at Ayacanora. She was watching him
earnestly. Heavens! was she waiting for his decision? Both dropped their
eyes. The decision was not to come from them.

A rustle! a roar! a shriek! and Amyas lifted his eyes in time to see a
huge dark bar shoot from the crag above the dreamer's head, among the
group of girls.

A dull crash, as the group flew asunder; and in the midst, upon the
ground, the tawny limbs of one were writhing beneath the fangs of a
black jaguar, the rarest and most terrible of the forest kings. Of one?
But of which? Was it Ayacanora? And sword in hand, Amyas rushed madly
forward; before he reached the spot those tortured limbs were still.

It was not Ayacanora, for with a shriek which rang through the woods,
the wretched dreamer, wakened thus at last, sprang up and felt for his
sword. Fool! he had left it in his hammock! Screaming the name of his
dead bride, he rushed on the jaguar, as it crouched above its prey, and
seizing its head with teeth and nails, worried it, in the ferocity of
his madness, like a mastiff-dog.

The brute wrenched its head from his grasp, and raised its dreadful paw.
Another moment and the husband's corpse would have lain by the wife's.

But high in air gleamed Amyas's blade; down with all the weight of his
huge body and strong arm, fell that most trusty steel; the head of the
jaguar dropped grinning on its victim's corpse;

     "And all stood still, who saw him fall,
     While men might count a score."

"O Lord Jesus," said Amyas to himself, "Thou hast answered the devil
for me! And this is the selfish rest for which I would have bartered the
rest which comes by working where Thou hast put me!"

They bore away the lithe corpse into the forest, and buried it under
soft moss and virgin mould; and so the fair clay was transfigured into
fairer flowers, and the poor, gentle, untaught spirit returned to God
who gave it.

And then Amyas went sadly and silently back again, and Parracombe walked
after him, like one who walks in sleep.

Ebsworthy, sobered by the shock, entreated to come too: but Amyas
forbade him gently,--

"No, lad, you are forgiven. God forbid that I should judge you or any
man! Sir John shall come up and marry you; and then, if it still be your
will to stay, the Lord forgive you, if you be wrong; in the meanwhile,
we will leave with you all that we can spare. Stay here and pray to God
to make you, and me too, wiser men."

And so Amyas departed. He had come out stern and proud; but he came back
again like a little child.

Three days after Parracombe was dead. Once in camp he seemed unable to
eat or move, and having received absolution and communion from good Sir
John, faded away without disease or pain, "babbling of green fields,"
and murmuring the name of his lost Indian bride.

Amyas, too, sought ghostly council of Sir John, and told him all which
had passed through his mind.

"It was indeed a temptation of Diabolus," said that simple sage; "for he
is by his very name the divider who sets man against man, and tempts
one to care only for oneself, and forget kin and country, and duty
and queen. But you have resisted him, Captain Leigh, like a true-born
Englishman, as you always are, and he has fled from you. But that is no
reason why we should not flee from him too; and so I think the sooner we
are out of this place, and at work again, the better for all our souls."

To which Amyas most devoutly said, "Amen!" If Ayacanora were the
daughter of ten thousand Incas, he must get out of her way as soon as

The next day he announced his intention to march once more, and to
his delight found the men ready enough to move towards the Spanish
settlements. One thing they needed: gunpowder for their muskets. But
that they must make as they went along; that is, if they could get the
materials. Charcoal they could procure, enough to set the world on fire;
but nitre they had not yet seen; perhaps they should find it among the
hills: while as for sulphur, any brave man could get that where there
were volcanoes. Who had not heard how one of Cortez' Spaniards, in like
need, was lowered in a basket down the smoking crater of Popocatepetl,
till he had gathered sulphur enough to conquer an empire? And what a
Spaniard could do an Englishman could do, or they would know the reason
why. And if they found none--why clothyard arrows had done Englishmen's
work many a time already, and they could do it again, not to mention
those same blow-guns and their arrows of curare poison, which, though
they might be useless against Spaniards' armor, were far more valuable
than muskets for procuring food, from the simple fact of their silence.

One thing remained; to invite their Indian friends to join them. And
that was done in due form the next day.

Ayacanora was consulted, of course, and by the Piache, too, who was glad
enough to be rid of the rival preacher, and his unpleasantly good news
that men need not worship the devil, because there was a good God above
them. The maiden sang most melodious assent; the whole tribe echoed it;
and all went smoothly enough till the old cacique observed that before
starting a compact should be made between the allies as to their share
of the booty.

Nothing could be more reasonable; and Amyas