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Title: Walladmor: - And Now Freely Translated from the German into English. - In Two Volumes. Vol. I.
Author: De Quincey, Thomas, 1785-1859
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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 "Walladmor: - And Now Freely Translated from the German into English. - In Two Volumes. Vol. I." ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

Transcriber's Notes:

1. Scans provided by The Web Archive:

2. The 3-volume German original was fictitiously attributed to Sir
Walter Scott, but actually written by G.W.H. Häring (under the pseud.
of Willibald Alexis). It was freely adapted into English by Thomas De

3. The diphthong oe is indicated by [oe].



                                AND NOW
                           FREELY TRANSLATED
                      FROM THE GERMAN INTO ENGLISH.

                            IN TWO VOLUMES.

            My root is earthed; and I, a desolate branch,
            Left scattered in the highway of the world,
            Trod under foot, that might have been a column
            Mainly supporting our demolished house.--_Massinger_.

                                VOL. I.

                     PRINTED FOR TAYLOR AND HESSEY,


                             TO THE READER.

The following novel was originally produced in the German language, as
a _soi disant_ translation from Sir Walter Scott, to meet the demands
of the last Easter fair at Leipsic.

In Germany, from the extreme difficulties and slowness of communication
between remote parts of the country, it would be altogether impossible
to effect the publication of books, upon the vast scale of the current
German literature, without some such general rendezvous and place of
depot and exchange as the Leipsic fair presents to the dispersed
members of the publishing body. By means of this fair (which is held
half-yearly--at Easter and Michaelmas) a connexion is established
between the remotest points of the German continent--which, in a
literary[1] sense, comprehends many parts of Europe that politically
are wholly distinct from Germany. The publishers of Vienna, Trieste,
and Munich, here meet with those of Hamburgh and Dresden, of Berlin and
Königsburg: Copenhagen and  Stockholm send their representatives: and
the booksellers of Warsaw and even of  Moscow are brought into direct
contact with the agents of the foreign booksellers in London.

Hence, as may be supposed, it is an object of much importance that all
books, which found any part of their interest upon their novelty,
should be brought out at this time: and something or other is generally
looked for from the pen of every popular writer as a means of giving
zest and seasoning to the heavy Mess-Catalog. If it happens therefore
upon any account that an author fails to meet these expectations of the
Leipsic fair,--obliging persons are often at hand who step forward as
his proxy by forging something in his name. This pleasant hoax it was
at length judged convenient to practise upon the author of Waverley;
the Easter fair offering a favourable opportunity for such an attempt,
from the circumstance of there being just then no acknowledged novel in
the market from the pen of that writer which was sufficiently recent to
gratify the wishes of the fair or to throw suspicion upon the
pretensions of the hoaxer. These pretensions, it is asserted, for some
time passed unquestioned; and the good people of Germany, as we are
assured, were universally duped. A work, produced to the German public
and circulated with success under such assumptions, must naturally
excite some curiosity in this country; to gratify which it has been
judged proper to translate it.

It may be as well to add that the name "_Walladmor_" is accented upon
the first syllable, and _not_ upon the penultimate, by the German
author; who may reasonably be allowed to dictate the pronunciation of
names invented by himself.


[Footnote 1: Many literary men of Russia, Denmark, &c write
indifferently in their native or the German languages.]



            _W----s, the German 'Translator' of Walladmor._


Having some intention of speaking rather freely of you and your German
'Translation' in a postscript to the second volume of my English one--I
am shy of sending a presentation copy to Berlin: neither you, nor your
publisher, Herr Herbig, might relish all that I may take it into my
head to say. Yet, as books sometimes travel far,--if you should ever
happen to meet with mine knocking about the world in Germany, I would
wish you to know that I have endeavoured to make you what amends I
could for any little affront which I meditate in that Postscript by
dedicating my English translation to yourself.

You will be surprised to observe that your three corpulent German
volumes have collapsed into two English ones of rather consumptive
appearance. The English climate, you see, does not agree with them: and
they have lost flesh as rapidly as Captain le Harnois in Chapter the
Eighth. The truth is this: on examining your ship, I found that the dry
rot had got into her: she might answer the helm pretty well in your
milder waters; but I was convinced that upon our stormy English seas
she would founder, unless I flung overboard part of her heavy ballast,
and cut away some of her middle timbers, which (I assure you) were mere
touchwood. I did so; and she righted in a moment: and now, that I have
driven a few new bolts into her--'calked' her--and 'payed' her, I am in
hopes she will prove sea-worthy for a voyage or so.

We have a story in England, rather trite here, and a sort of
philosophic common-place, like Buridan's 'Ass between two bundles of
hay,' but possibly unknown in Germany: and, as it is pertinent to
the case between ourselves, I will tell it: the more so, as it involves
a metaphysical question; and such questions, you know, go up to
you people in Germany from all parts of Europe as to "the courts
above."----Sir John Cutler had a pair of silk stockings: which
stockings his housekeeper Dolly continually darned for the term of three
years with worsted: at the end of which term the last faint gleam of silk
had finally vanished, and Sir John's _silk_ stockings were found in their
old age absolutely to have degenerated into _worsted_ stockings. Now
upon this a question arose among the metaphysicians--whether Sir John's
stockings retained (or, if not, at what precise period they lost) their
"personal identity." The moralists also were anxious to know whether
Sir John's stockings could be considered the same "accountable"
stockings from first to last. And the lawyers put the same question in
another shape by asking--whether any felony, which Sir John's stockings
could be supposed to have committed in youth, might lawfully be the
subject of an indictment against Sir John's stockings when
superannuated: whether a legacy, left to the stockings in the second
year, could be claimed by the stockings at the end of the third: and
whether the worsted stockings could be sued for the debts of the silk
stockings.--Some such question, I conceive, will arise upon your
account of St. David's Day, as darned by myself.

But here, My good Sir, stop a moment: I must not have you interpret the
precedent of Sir John and Dolly too strictly: Sir John's stockings were
originally of silk, and darned with worsted: but don't conceit _that_
to be the case here. No, no, my good Sir;--I flatter myself the case
between us is just the other way: your _worsted_ stockings it is that I
have darned with silk: and the relations, which I and Dolly bear to you
and Sir John, are precisely inverted.

What could induce you to dress good St. David in an old threadbare
coat, it passes my skill to guess: it is enough that I am sure it would
give general disgust; and therefore I have not only made him a present
of a new coat, but have also put a little embroidery upon it. And I
really think I shall astonish the good folks in Merionethshire by my
account of that saint's festival. In my young days I wandered much in
that beautiful shire and other shires which he contiguous: and many a
kind thing was done to me in poor men's cottages which to my dying day
I shall never be able to repay individually: hence, as occasions offer,
I would seek to make my acknowledgments generally to the county. Upon
Penmorfa sands I once had an interesting adventure, and I have
accordingly commemorated Penmorfa. To the little town of Machynleth I
am indebted for various hospitalities: and I think they will
acknowledge that they are indebted to me exclusively for their mayor
and corporation. And there are others in that neighbourhood that, when
they read of St. David's day, will hardly know whether they are
standing on their head or their heels. As to the Bishop of Bangor of
those days, I owed his lordship no particular favor: and I have here
taken my vengeance on that see for ever by making it do suit and
service to the house of Walladmor.

But enough of St. David's day. There are some other little changes
which I have been obliged to make in deference to the taste of this
country. In the case of Captain le Harnois it appears to me that, from
imperfect knowledge of the English language, you have confounded the
words 'sailor' and 'tailor'; for you make the Captain talk exactly like
the latter. There is however a great deal of difference in the habits
of the two animals according to our English natural histories: and I
have therefore slightly retouched the Captain, and curled his whiskers.
I have also taken the liberty, in the seventh chapter, of curing Miss
Walladmor of an hysterical affection: what purpose it answered, I
believe you would find it hard to say: and I am sure she has enough to
bear without that.

Your geography, let me tell you, was none of the best: and I have
repaired it myself. It was in fact a damaged lot. Something the public
will bear: topographical sins dwindle into peccadilloes in a romance;
and no candid people look very sharply after the hydrography of a
novel. But still it did strike me--that the case of a man's swimming on
his back from Bristol to the Isle of Anglesea, was more than the most
indulgent public would bear. They would not stand it, Sir, I was
convinced. Besides, it would have exposed me to attacks from Mr. Barrow
of the Admiralty, in the Quarterly Review: especially as I had taken
liberties with Mr. Croker in a note.--Your chronology was almost
equally out of order: but I put _that_ into the hands of an eminent
watchmaker; and he assures me that he has 'regulated' it, and will
warrant its now going as true as the Horse Guards'.

Well, to conclude: I am not quite sure but we ought to be angry at your
taking these sort of hoaxing liberties with our literati; and I don't
know but some of us will be making reprisals. What should you say to it
in Germany if one of these days for example you were to receive a large
parcel by the '_post-wagen_' containing Posthumous Works of Mr. Kant. I
won't swear but I shall make up such a parcel myself: and, if I should,
I bet you any thing you choose that I hoax the great Bavarian
professor[2] with a treatise on the "Categorical Imperative," and "The
last words of Mr. Kant on Transcendental Apperception."--Look about
you, therefore, my gay fellows in Germany: for, if I live, you shall
not have all the hoaxing to yourselves.

[Footnote 2: Mr. Schelling: for whom however, without any joke at all,
I profess the very highest respect.]

Meantime, "mine dear Sare," could you not translate me back again into
German; and darn me as I have darned you? But you must not "sweat" me
down in the same ratio that I have "sweated" you: for, if you do that,
I fear that my "dimensions will become invisible to any thick sight" in
Germany; and I shall "present no mark" to the critical enemy. Darn me
into two portly volumes: and then I give you my word of honor that I
will again translate you into English, and darn you in such grand style
that, if Dolly and Professor Kant were both to rise from the dead,
Dolly should grow jealous of me--and Kant confess himself more puzzled
on the matter of personal identity by the final Walladmor than ever he
had been by the Cutlerian stockings.

Jusqu'au revoir! my dear principal: hoping that you will soon invest me
with that character in relation to yourself; and sign, as it is now
_my_ turn to sign,

                              Your obedient

                       (but not quite faithful),



[Footnote 1: Mr. Schelling: for whom however, without any joke at all,
I profess the very highest respect.]

                         GERMAN "TRANSLATOR'S"

                        SIR WALTER SCOTT, BART.

Sir,--Uncommon it may certainly be, but surely not a thing quite
unheard of, that a translator should dedicate his translation to the
author of the original work: and, the translation here offered to your
notice--being, as the writer flatters himself, by no means a _common
one_,--he is the more encouraged to take this very uncommon liberty.

Ah Sir Walter!--did you but know to what straits the poor German
translator of Walter-Scottish novels is reduced, you would pardon
greater liberties than this. _Ecoutez._ First of all, comes the
bookseller and cheapens a translator in the very cheapest market of
translation-jobbers that can be supposed likely to do any justice to
the work. Next,--the sheets, dripping wet as they arrive by every post
from the Edinburgh press, must be translated just as they stand with or
without sense or connexion. Nay it happens not unfrequently that, if a
sheet should chance to end with one or two syllables of an unfinished
word, we are obliged to translate this first instalment of a future
meaning; and, by the time the next sheet arrives with the syllables in
arrear, we first learn into what confounded scrapes we have fallen by
guessing and translating at hap-hazard. _Nomina sunt odiosa_: else--but
I shall content myself with reminding the public of the well-known
and sad mishap that occurred in the translation of Kenilworth. In
another instance the sheet unfortunately closed thus:--"_to save
himself from these disasters, he became an agent of Smith-_;" and we
all translated--"um sich aus diesen trübseligkeiten zu erretten, wurde
er Agent bei einem Schmiedemeister;" that is, "_he became foreman to a
blacksmith_." Now sad it is to tell what followed: we had dashed at it,
and waited in trembling hope for the result: next morning's post
arrived, and showed that all Germany had been basely betrayed by a
catch-word of Mr. Constable's. For the next sheet took up the imperfect
and embryo catch-word thus:--"_field matches, or marriages contracted
fur the sake of money_;" and the whole Gasman sentence should have been
repaired and put to rights as follows: "Er negocirte, um sich
aufzuhelfen, die sogenannten Smithfields heirathen oder Ehen, welche
des Gewinnstes wegen geschlossen werden:" I say, it _should_ have been:
but woe is me! it was too late: the translated sheet had been already
printed off with the blacksmith in it (lord confound him!); and the
blacksmith is there to this day, and cannot be ejected.

You see, Sir Walter, into what "sloughs of despond" we German
translators fall--with the sad necessity of dragging your honor after
us. Yet this is but a part of the general woe. When you hear in every
bookseller's shop throughout Germany one unanimous complaint of the
non-purchasing public and of those great profit-absorbing whirlpools,
the circulating libraries,--in short all possible causes of diminished
sale on the one hand; and on the other hand the forestalling spirit of
competition among the translation-jobbers, bidding over each other's
heads as at an auction, where the translation is knocked down to him
that will contract for bringing his wares soonest to market;--hearing
all this, Sir Walter, you will perceive that our old German proverb
"_Eile mit Weile_," (i.e. Festina lente, or _the more haste, the less
speed_) must in this case, where _haste_ happens to be the one great
qualification and _sine-quâ-non_ of a translator, be thrown altogether
into the shade by that other proverb--"Wer zuerst kommt mahlt zuerst"
(_First come first served_).

I for my part, that I might not lie so wholly at the mercy of this
tyrant--_Haste_, struck out a fresh path--in which you, Sir, were so
obliging as to assist me. But see what new troubles arise out of this
to the unhappy translator. The world pretends to doubt whether the novel
is really yours:[1] people actually begin to talk of your friend Washington
Irving as the author, and God knows whom beside. As if any man, poets out
of the question, could be supposed capable of an act of self-sacrifice so
severe as that of writing a romance in 3 vols. under the name of a friend.

All this tends to drive us translators to utter despair. However I, in
my garret, comfort myself by exclaiming "Odi profanum--," if I cannot
altogether subjoin--"et arceo." From your obliging disposition, Sir
Walter, I anticipate the gratification of a few lines by the next post
establishing the authenticity of Walladmor. Should these lines even not
be duly certified "coram notario duobusque testibus," yet if
transmitted through the embassy--they will sufficiently attest their
own legitimacy as well as that of your youngest child Walladmor.

Notwithstanding what I have said about _haste_, I fear that haste has
played me a trick here and there. The fact is--we are in dread of three
simultaneous translations of Walladmor from three different publishers:
and you will hardly believe how much the anxiety lest another
translation should get the start of us can shake the stoutest of
translating hearts. The names of Lindau--Methusalem Müller--Dr.
Spieker--Von Halem--and Loz[2] sound awfully in the ears of us
gentlemen of the trade. And now, alas! as many more are crowding into
this Quinquevirate.

Should it happen that the recent versions of your works had not
entirely satisfied your judgment, and that mine of Walladmor _had_,--I
would in that case esteem myself greatly flattered by your _again_
sending me through the house of B---- a copy of the manuscript of your
next romance; in provision for which case I do here by anticipation
acknowledge my obligations to you; and in due form of law bind myself

1. To the making good all expenses of "copy," &c.;

2. To the translation of both prose and verse according to the best of
my poor abilities; that your eminent name may not fall into discredit
through the translator's incompetence;

3. To all possible affection, friendship, respect, &c. in so far as you
yourself shall be pleased to accept of any or all of these from

                              _The German Translator of Walladmor._


[Footnote 1: Oh! spirit of modern scepticism, to what shocking results
art thou leading us! Already have Lycurgus, Romulus, Numa, &c. been
resolved into mere allegorized ideas. And a learned friend has
undertaken to prove, within the next 50 years, according to the best
rules of modern _scepsis_, that no such banker as Mr. Rothschild ever
existed; that the word _Rothschild_ in fact was nothing more than a
symbolic expression for a habit of advancing loans at the beginning of
the 19th century: which indeed the word itself indicates, if reduced to
its roots. I should not be surprized to hear that some man had
undertaken to demonstrate the non-existence of Sir Walter Scott:
already there are symptoms abroad: for the mysterious author of
Waverley has in our own days been detected in the persons of so many
poets and historians the most opposite to each other, that by this time
his personality must have been evaporated and volatilized into a whole
synod of men.--_Note of the Dedicator._]

[Footnote 2: Names of persons who have translated one or more of Sir
Walter Scott's novels into German.]


                               CHAPTER I.                    PAGE.

Shipwreck and Storm.                                             1

                              CHAPTER II.

Smuggler's Hut.                                                 23

                              CHAPTER III.

Captain le Harnois.                                             47

                              CHAPTER IV.

Welch Coast at Christmas.                                       73

                               CHAPTER V.

Night Walk to Machynleth.                                      101

                              CHAPTER VI.

Bar of the Walladmor Arms.                                     125

                              CHAPTER VII.

St. David's Day.                                               161

                             CHAPTER VIII.

Suitors in Court, and Suitors out of Court.                    191

                              CHAPTER IX.

Funeral of Captain le Harnois.                                 219


                              CHAPTER I.

      As when a dolphin and a sele are met
      In the wide champian of the ocean plaine,
      With cruell chaufe their courages they whet,
      The maysterdome of each by force to gaine,
      And dreadfull battaile twixt them do darraine;
      They snuf, they snort, they bounce, they rage, they rore,
      That all: the sea, disturbed with their traine,
      Doth frie with fome above the surges hore:
    Such was betwixt these two the troublesome uprore.
                                     _Faerie Queene_.--B. v. C. ii.

Perhaps the reader may still remember the following article in the
Times newspaper, which about a year or two ago raised a powerful
interest on the Welch coast.

"Carnarvon.-Yesterday the inhabitants of this city were witnesses to a
grand but afflicting spectacle from the highlands of the coast. The
steam-vessel, Halcyon, from the Isle of Wight, and bound to the north
coast of Wales, was suddenly in mid-channel--when not a breath of wind
ruffled the surface of the sea--driven into our bay. Scarcely had she
rounded the point of Harlech when we beheld a column of smoke rising;
and in a moment after a dreadful report, echoing from the mountains,
made known that the powder magazine was blown up, and the ship
shattered into fragments. The barks, which crowded to the spot from all
quarters, found nothing but floating spars; and were soon compelled to
return by the coming-on of a dreadful hurricane. Of the whole crew, and
of sixty passengers (chiefly English people returning from France), not
one is saved. It is said that a very atrocious criminal was on board
the Halcyon. We look with the utmost anxiety for the details of this
melancholy event."

To the grief of several noble families in England, this account was
confirmed in its most dreadful circumstances. Some days after the
bodies of Lord W----, and of Sir O---- ---- (that distinguished
ornament for so long a period of the House of Commons), were found upon
the rocks. So much were they disfigured, that it was with difficulty
they were recognized.

On that day there stood upon the deck of the Halcyon a young man, who
gazed on the distant coasts of Wales apparently with deep emotion. From
this reverie he was suddenly roused as the ship whirled round with a
hideous heaving. He turned, as did all the other passengers who had
been attracted on deck by the beauty of the evening, to the man at the
helm. He was in the act of stretching out his arms to the centre of the
ship, whence a cloud of smoke was billowing upwards in voluminous
surges: the passengers turned pale: the sailors began to swear:
"It's all over!" they shouted: "old Davy has us. So huzza! let's
have some sport as long as he leaves us any day-light." Amidst an
uproar of voices the majority of the crew rushed below; stove in the
brandy-casks; drank every thing they could find; and paid no sort of
regard to the clamorous outcries of the passengers for help! help!
except that here and there a voice replied--Help? There _is_ no help:
Old Nick will swallow us all; so let _us_ swallow a little comfort

The master of the vessel, who retained most presence of mind, hurried
on deck. With his sabre he made a cut at the ropes which suspended the
boat: and, as he passed Bertram, the young man already mentioned (who
in preparation for the approaching catastrophe had buckled about his
person a small portmanteau and stood ready to leap into the boat), with
a blow of his fist he struck him overboard. All this was the work of a

Scarcely had the young man been swept to a little distance by a wave,
when the ship blew up with a tremendous crash. The shattered ruins were
carried aloft to an immense elevation: Bertram was stunned by the
explosion: and, upon recovering his senses, he saw no object upon the
surface of the waters: the ship had vanished; and nothing remained but
a few spars floating in the offing.

Urgent distress throws us back upon our real and unfanciful wants.
In the peril of the moment Bertram forgot all the prospects, sad or
gay--painful or flattering, which had occupied his thoughts on board
the ship; and exerted his utmost force to swim through the tumbling
billows to a barrel at a little distance which appeared and disappeared
at intervals, sometimes riding aloft, and sometimes hidden by the
waves. At the moment when his powers began to fail him, he succeeded in
reaching the barrel.--But scarcely had he laid hold of the outermost
rim with both hands, when the barrel was swayed down from the opposite
side. A shipwrecked man, whose long wet hair streamed down over his
face, fixed his nails, as it were the talons of a vulture, on the hoops
of the barrel; and by the energy of his gripe--it seemed as though he
would have pressed them through the wood itself.--He was aware of his
competitor: and he shook his head wildly to clear the hair out of his
eyes--and opened his lips, which displayed his teeth pressed firmly

"No: though the d--l himself,--thou must down into the sea: for the
barrel will not support both."

So speaking he shook the barrel with such force--that the young man,
had he not been struggling with death, would have been pushed under
water. Both pulled at the barrel for some minutes, without either
succeeding in hoisting himself upon it.--In any further contest they
seemed likely to endanger themselves or to sink together with the cask.
They agreed therefore to an armistice. Each kept his hold by his right
hand,--each raised his left aloft, and shouted for succour. But they
shouted in vain; for the storm advanced, as if it heard and were
summoned by the cry; the sky was black and portentously lurid; thunder
now began to roll; and the waves, which had hardly moved before the
explosion, raised their heads crested with foam more turbulently at
every instant. "It is in vain," said the second man; "Heaven and Earth
are against us: one or both must perish: Messmate, shall we go down

At these words the wild devil all at once left loose of the barrel; by
which means the other, who had not anticipated this movement, lost his
balance, and was sinking. His antagonist made use of his opportunity.
He dashed at the sinking man's throat--in order to drag him entirely
under the water; but he caught only his neck-handkerchief, which
luckily gave way. The other thus murderously assaulted, on finding
himself at liberty for an instant, used his time, and sprang upon the
barrel; and just as his desperate enemy was hazarding a new attack, in
a death struggle he struck him with his clenched fist upon the breast;
the wild man threw up his arms; groaned; sank back;--and the waves
swallowed him up.

In the moments of mortal agony and conflict human laws cease, for
punishments have lost their terrors; even higher laws are then silent.
But, in the pauses of the struggle, the voice of conscience resumes its
power,--and the heart of man again relents. As Bertram went rocking
over the waves numbed in body and exhausted in spirits, all about him
hideous gloom, and the fitful flashes of lightning serving but to light
up the great world of terrors--this inner voice was not so silenced but
that he felt a pang of sorrow at the thought of having destroyed the
partner of his misfortunes. A few minutes however had scarcely passed
before he heard a groaning near him. Happily at this instant a flash of
lightning illuminated the surrounding tract of water; and he descried
his antagonist still fighting with the waves: he was holding by a spar
too weak to support his weight, but capable of assisting him in
swimming. His powers were apparently failing him, as he looked up to
his more fortunate enemy: He stretched out his hand to him, and said:

"Stranger! show me this pity. All is over with me; or in a moment will
be: should you have a happier fate, take from my pocket-book this
letter--and convey it to the lady. Oh! if thou hast ever loved, I
beseech thee to do this: tell her that I never ceased to think of
her--that I thought of her only when I was at the point of death: and,
whatsoever I may have been to man, that to her I have been most
faithful." With frantic efforts he strove to unclasp his pocket-book:
but could not succeed. Bertram was deeply touched by the pallid and
ghastly countenance of the man (in whose features however there was a
wild and licentious expression which could not be mistaken); and he
said to him:

"Friend below, if I should have better luck, I will endeavour to
execute your commission. Meantime I can swim; and I have now rested
myself. Give me your hand. You may come aloft; and I will take a turn
in the waters until I am tired. In this way, by taking turn about,
possibly both of us may be saved."

"What!" cried the other--"are you crazy? Or are there really men upon
this earth such as books describe?"

"No matter:" said Bertram, "give me your hand; and spring up. I will
catch at the barrel when I feel weak."

The other grasped the outstretched hand; and, supporting himself for a
few moments upon his elbows, gradually ascended the barrel. Bertram, on
his part, resigning the portmanteau to his companion, slipped off into
the waves.

Meanwhile the storm continued, and the natural darkness of night was
now blended with the darkness of tempest. After some minutes, the man,
who was at present in possession of the barrel, began thus:

"You fool, below there, are you still alive?"

"Yes: but I am faint, and would wish to catch hold of the barrel

"Catch away then:--Do you know any thing of the sea hereabouts?"

"No: it was the first time in my life that I was ever on shipboard."

The other laughed. "You don't know it? Well! now I _do_: and I can tell
you this: there's no manner of use in our plaguing ourselves, and
spending the last strength we have in keeping ourselves afloat. I know
this same sea as well as I know my own country: and I am satisfied that
no deliverance is possible. There is not a spot of shore that we can
reach--not a point of rock big enough for a sea-mew; and the only
question for us is--whether we shall enter the fishes' maw alive or

"It is still possible," said the other--"that some human brother may
come to our assistance."

The other laughed again and said--"Human brother, eh? Methinks, my
friend, you should be rather young in this world of ours--and have no
great acquaintance with master _man_: I know the animal: and you may
take my word for it, that, on such a night as this, no soul will
venture out to sea. What man of sense indeed would hazard his life--for
a couple of ragamuffins like you and me? and suppose he would, who
knows but that it might be worse to fall into the hands of some _men of
sense_ than into the tender mercies of the sea? But I know a trick
worth two of that."

"Tell it then."

"Let us leave fooling: This cask, on which I sit, to my knowledge
contains rum; or arrack; which is as good. We can easily knock a hole
in it; then make ourselves happy and bouzy--fling our arms about each
other like brothers, and go down together to the bottom: after _that_,
I think we shall neither trouble nor be troubled; for we shall hardly
come up again, if we go down groggy."

"Shocking? why that's suicide!"

"Well! is your conscience so delicate and scrupulous? However as _you_
please: for any thing I care, and as you like it better, some dog of a
fish may do for us what we might as well have done for ourselves. But
now come aloft, my darling. I'll take my turn at swimming--as long as
the state of things will allow it; and wait for you below." They
changed situations.--But even upon the barrel, Bertram began to feel
his powers sinking. He clung as firmly as he could. But the storm grew
more and more terrific: and many times he felt faint in his wild
descents from the summit of some mounting wave into the yawning chasm
below: Nature is benign even in the midst of her terrors: and, when
horrors have been accumulated till man can bear no more, then his
sufferings are relieved for a time by insensibility. On awakening it is
true that the horrors will return; but the heart has gained fresh
strength to support them.

So it fared with Bertram, who continued to grow fainter and fainter;
until at length in the midst of silent prayer he finally lost all

When Bertram next awoke from his fainting fit, he heard the sea no
longer thundering about him, and no longer felt himself tossing upon
its waves. There was darkness around him, but not the darkness of that
mighty night which the elements in uproar form. What first met his eyes
was the obscure outline of a rude hut. For a long time he stared
without consciousness upon the rafters of the ceiling, on which fish
and ragged aprons were hung up to dry, and swinging to and fro in the
current of air. This monotonous motion, which under other circumstances
might have lulled him to sleep like the ticking of a clock, gradually
awoke him to entire consciousness. The awful scene, which had just
passed over him, came up to his mind in sudden contrast with that
bright moment on the deck of the Halcyon in which he had first beheld
the coasts of Wales lying in sunshine before him; and his thoughts soon
took a coherent arrangement; though he could not yet make out the
connexion between the barrel on which he had navigated the ocean and
his present bed, nor between that fearful night abroad and the dried
herrings and patched aprons which now dangled above him. These thoughts
however gave way at this moment to anxiety about his portmanteau. This
to his great satisfaction he found beneath his head; and he now turned
his attention to the other objects about him.

The cottage was of that humble order which in this kingdom are found
only at the extremities of the Scotch Highlands, and tenanted by a race
of paupers who gain a scanty subsistence from the limpits and other
marine products which they take at low water. The frame-work of the
hovel was rudely put together of undressed pine-boughs: the walls were
a mixed composition of clay, turf, sea-weed, muscle-shells, and flints:
timbers had been laid for the main-beams of a ceiling; but they were
not connected by joists, nor covered in; so that the view was left open
to the summit of the roof, which being composed of sedge and moss
allowed a passage to the wind and rain. In the little room were hanging
all kinds of utensils, but in so confused an arrangement and in so
dubious a light that Bertram could make out but little of what he saw.
The sole light in the hut proceeded from a fire in the corner. But this
fire was so sparingly fed, that it seldom blazed up or shot forth a
tongue of flame except when a draught of wind swept through; which
however happened pretty often. The smoke escaped much less through the
chimney than through the chinks of the wall; enveloping every object in
a dusky shade, and deepening the gloom. Perfect silence reigned in the
house; and no living creature appeared to be present. But once, when
the fire happened to shoot forth a livelier gleam, the clouds of smoke
parted and discovered a female countenance--old, and with striking
features, and fixing a pair of large dark-grey eyes upon a pan or
cauldron which hung over the fire. Sometimes, when a cloud of vapour
arose from the pan, and collected in a corner into fantastic wreaths,
she pursued it with her eyes, and a smile played over her withered
cheeks: but, when it dispersed or escaped through the chinks, a low
muttering and sometimes a moaning might be distinguished. She had, as
Bertram observed, a spinning-wheel between her feet: but busy as her
hands seemed, and mechanically in motion, it was evident that she did
little or no work. At intervals she sang: but what she sang was more
like a low muttered chaunt, than a regular song: at least Bertram
understood not a word of it, if words they were that escaped her.

After one of these chaunts, the old woman rose suddenly from her seat,
wrung her hands, seemed to trace strange circles in the air, and then
scattered some substance into the fire which raised a sudden burst of
flames that curled over the cauldron, lit up the house for a few
moments, and then roaring up the chimney left all in greater darkness
than before. During these few moments however Bertram had time to
observe the whole appearance of the woman with some distinctness. She
seemed to have the stature of a well-grown man; but her flesh had
fallen away so remarkably that the red frieze gown which she wore hung
in loose folds about her. Much as Bertram was shocked at first by the
spectacle of her harsh bony lineaments, her fiery eye, and her grey
disheveled hair,--he yet perceived in her face the traces of former
beauty. She raised her bony arms, as if in supplication, to that
quarter of the room where Bertram was lying: he perceived however that
it was not himself, but some object near him which drew her attention.
To his great alarm he now discovered close to himself a chair--the only
one in the room,--and sitting upon it some motionless figure in the
attitude of a living man. The old woman stretched out her hands with
more and more earnestness to this object, as though she looked for some
sign from it: but, receiving none, she struck her hands violently
together; in a transport of rage upset the spinning-wheel; and fell
back into her seat. If Bertram had at first felt compassion on
witnessing the expressions of her grief and the anguish of her
expectation, this feeling was soon put to flight by the frantic
explosion of anger which followed. So great was his consternation that
he resolved to attempt escaping unobserved from the cottage; and he
first hoped to recover his full self-possession when he should find
himself at liberty and in the open air. With this intention, it may be
readily imagined how much his consternation was increased on finding
himself unable to stir either hand or foot. His head even moved with
difficulty: and it seemed as though no faculty had been left unaffected
but that of eye-sight, which served but to torment him by bringing
before him this scene of terror. He could almost have wished to
exchange his present situation for his recent exposure to the fury of
the elements. He attempted to sleep; but found himself unable; and
after the lapse of two long hours he heard a knocking at the door.

                              CHAPTER II.

        _Tit._ Fear her not, Lucius; somewhat doth she mean:
      Canst thou not guess wherefore she plies thee thus?

        _Boy._ My Lord, I know not, I; nor can I guess;
      Unless some fit or frenzy do possess her:
      For I have heard my grandsire say full often,
      Extremity of griefs would make men mad:
      And I have read that Hecuba of Troy
      Ran mad through sorrow: that made me to fear.
                                          _Tit. Andron._--Act. iv.

The knocking grew louder and louder; but the old woman answered not a
word; on the contrary she seemed only the more earnestly intent on her
spinning. At length a little rustling was heard; by some artifice the
door was unbolted from the outside; and somebody stepped in. Even then
the old woman did not stir from her seat; and the man who had entered,
flinging down a heap of old drift wood, opened the conversation

"What's the matter now, mother, that you keep me so long waiting?"

"Waiting!" retorted the old woman without raising her eyes from her
wheel, "_you_ waiting!--Humph! A pretty waiting _I_ should have, if I
were to wait on every idle fellow that knocks."

"Aye, mother; but think of the weather and the frost that----"

"The frost? I tell thee what--a bonnier lad than thou, and one that I
loved better far, lies frozen in his grave."

"Well, here's a brave load of wood! I gathered it on the beach."

"Wood! aye, ragged fragments! There's many such drifting about in this

"Like enough, mother: and, ragged as they are, there's many a bold
fellow with rags on his back that would be glad to warm his hands over

"There's one in his grave will never warm himself again." And here the
old woman began to mutter her unintelligible songs.

"So!--the old crooning!" said the young man to himself: and, going up
to the fire, he said--"Mother, you mind nothing: you've no thought for
any of us; and one of these days you'll be doing something or other
that will bring the police rats upon us: and then all's up; and we
shall all go to the old tree."

"To the tree? go, and welcome! And I'll go with you. All the tribe of you
is not worth a hair of _him_ that I knew once. And when the day comes
that some are outside and knocking at the door that _shall_ knock (well
I wot) one of these days,--and all you are hushed and trembling within,
and the proudest of you shaking at the knees,--then comes my time for
laughing: and I will open the door, and cry--Here they are!"

The young man muttered something to himself, pushed aside the cauldron,
and laid on some faggots and dry wood,--so that the rude hovel was
suddenly illuminated with splendour.

"Aye!" said the old woman, "best make a beacon-fire, and light all the
constables up hither!"

"Well, better be hanged than freeze!--But, mother--mother, where's the
warm broth for the poor perishing soul when he wakes?"

"What!" said the old woman angrily, "shall I go down on my knees, and
tend him like a son of my own? Well I remember the day (woe is me!) that
they all scoffed at me when I moaned for one that was _not_ a stranger:
as God's my help, I'll be no laughing-stock again: it's my turn to laugh

"But Nicholas, mother--it's Nicholas that bids us tend him; and our
souls are pledged for the stranger's."

"Nicholas! eh? Oh! yes, bonny Nicholas! And _his_ soul is in pledge
too. The old one has had him once by the head: and for that time he let
him go: but he _has_ him for all that: the noose is fast; and there's
no sheers will ever cut _that_ noose."

Without paying any further regard to her words, the young man filled a
kettle with water and placed it on the fire: then, shaking the old
woman's arm--as if to rouse her (like a child) into some attention to
his words--he said to her earnestly:

"Mother Gillie, now boil the sea-man's drink of thyme, ground-ivy,
pepper, ginger, honey, brandy, and all that belongs to it--you know
how: make it, as you make it for ship-wrecked folk; and give it every
hour to the poor soul there: and remember this--mother Gillie's life
answers for his."

Like a child that has been told to do something under pain of
punishment, the old woman answered--"Aye, aye; thyme, ground-ivy,
pepper, ginger"--and went about her work. The young man then came up to
the bed; and, laying his hands on Bertram, said--

"Ah, poor soul! he'll never be warm again: the sea has broke over him
too roughly: but no matter: mother Gillie must brew the drink, if the
man were a corpse; for Nicholas has said it.--Well, mother, God bless
you! and another time when a Christian and one of us knocks at the door
on a winter's night, sing out--_Come in!_ and, if he should chance to
be cold and thirsty, give him a glass of brandy; and think now and then
that a living man is made of flesh as well as bones."

"Whither away then, Tom? To Grace, I'll warrant--the wench that has
snared thee, and carries thee away from all thy kinsfolk."

"No: I must be gone to the castle; for Sir Morgan hunts in the

"Ah! _that_ Sir Morgan! _that_ Sir Morgan! He wheedles thee, Tom; and
to serve him thou leavest thy old mother. He and the young lady, and
that lass Grace build houses for thee; but a mother's curse will pull
them down."

"Mother, the baronet is my good friend: his father gave mine the
oat-field by the shore: his grandfather saved mine from death in
Canada: and the Walladmors have still been good masters; and we have
still been faithful servants: and, let the white hats say what they
will,--them that the quality calls radicals,--my notion is that people
should stick to their old masters, and be true to them; and that's best
for both sides."

"Go, get thee gone to thy boat,--falsehearted lad; snakes will rear
their heads out of the water, and seize on him that honoureth not his
parents and that forgetteth his brother!"

Without shewing the least displeasure at these angry words, Tom took
his leave; and the old woman now addressed herself in good earnest to
the task of preparing the cordial for the young stranger. He meantime
had gradually recovered his entire self-possession; and from the
conversation between mother and son, most of which he understood, he
had drawn conclusions which tended more and more to alarm him at his
total loss of power over his limbs. From the expressions of the old
woman, which marked an entire indifference about him, he anticipated
that she would be apt to mistake his apparent want of animation for a
real one; and busied himself with all the horrors which such an error
might occasion. But he was mistaken. The old woman followed the
directions of her son to the letter. When her preparations were
finished, a pleasant odour began to diffuse itself over the house; she
drew near to the sick stranger; and rubbed his breast with a handful of
the liquor. Almost immediately he felt the genial effects: the muscles
of his face relaxed; he breathed more freely; his lips opened; and she
poured a few spoonfuls of the cordial down his throat. Then wrapping
him up in blankets, she raised him with a strength like that of a stout
man rather than of an aged woman, and laid him down by the fire-side.
Here the cordial, combined with previous exhaustion and agitation, and
the genial warmth of the fire, soon threw him into a profound sleep. He
slept as powerless as a child that is rocked by its nurse, lulled by
the unintelligible songs which the old woman continued to murmur to her
spinning-wheel--and which still echoed through his dreams, though they
had lost their power to alarm him.

Some hours he had slumbered, when he suddenly awoke to perfect
consciousness and (what gave him still greater satisfaction) to the
entire command of his limbs. He unswathed himself from his blankets;
stood upright on his feet; and felt a lively sense of power and freedom
as he was once more able to stretch out his arms and legs. In the house
all was silent. The fire upon the hearth was glimmering with a sullen
glow of red light; and it appeared to be about day-break; window there
was none; but through a sort of narrow loop-hole penetrated a grey beam
of early light. This however lent no aspect of cheerfulness to the hut.
On the contrary, the ruddy blaze of a fire had given a more human and
habitable (though at the same time more picturesque) air to a dwelling
which seemed expressly contrived to shut out the sun and the
revelations of day light.--Looking round, he observed that the old
woman was asleep: he drew near and touched her: she did not however
awaken under the firmest pressure of his hand; but still in dreams
continued at intervals to mutter, and to croon snatches of old songs.

An instinctive feeling convinced Bertram that he was a prisoner, and
that it would be advisable for him to quit the hut clandestinely: this
purpose he prepared to execute as speedily as possible. Without delay
he caught up his portmanteau and advanced to the door. It cost him no
great trouble to find the bolts, and to draw them without noise. But,
on opening the door and shutting it behind him, he found himself in
fresh perplexity; for on all sides he was surrounded by precipitous
banks of earth, and the faint light of early dawn descended as into a
vault through a perforated ceiling. However he discovered in one corner
a rude ladder, by means of which he mounted aloft, and now found that
the roof of this vault consisted of overarching eglantine, thorn
bushes, furze, and a thick growth of weeds and tangled underwood. From
this he soon disengaged himself: turning round and finding that the hut
had totally disappeared from sight, he now perceived that the main body
of the building was concealed in a sort of cleft or small deserted
quarry, whilst its roof, irregularly covered over with mosses and wild
plants, was sufficiently harmonized with the surrounding brakes, and in
some places actually interlaced with them, effectually to prevent all
suspicion of human neighbourhood. At this moment a slight covering of
snow assisted the disguise: and in summer time a thicket of wild cherry
trees, woven into a sort of fortification by an undergrowth of nettles,
brambles, and thorns, sufficiently protected the spot from the scrutiny
of the curious.

Having wound his way through these perplexities, he found his labour
rewarded; for at a little distance before him lay the main ocean. He
stood upon the summit of a shingly declivity which was slippery from
the recent storm, and intersected by numerous channels; so that he was
obliged in his descent to catch hold of the bushes to save himself from
falling. The sea was still agitated; the sky was covered with scattered
clouds; and in the eastern quarter the sun was just in the act of
rising,--not however in majestic serenity, but blood-red and invested
with a pomp of clouds, which reflected from their iron-grey the dull
ruddy colors of the sun.

"When the sun rises red," said Bertram, "it foreshows stormy weather.
Have I then not had storms enough in this life?"--He looked down upon
the sea, and saw the waves as they rolled to shore bringing with them
spars, sails, cordage, &c., which either dashed to pieces against the
rocks, or by the reflux of the waves were carried back into the sea.

"Strange!" said he, "what has with difficulty escaped the sea--after
struggling fruitlessly for preservation--is destroyed in a moment
or carried back into the scene of its conflicts. Is not this the
image of my own lot? With what mysterious yearning did I long for
England! All the difficulties which threatened me on the Continent
I surmounted--only to struggle for my life as I came within view of the
English shores, to witness the barbarizing effects upon human kindness
of death approaching in its terrors, and at last perhaps to find myself
a helpless outcast summoned again to face some new perils."

He still felt the effects of his late exhaustion; and, sitting down
upon a large stone, he threw his eyes over the steely surface of the
sea. Looking upwards again,--he was shocked at beholding a few paces
from him the tall erect person of his hostess. She stood upon a point
of rock with her back to the sun, and intercepting his orb from
Bertram, so that her grey hair streaming upon the wind, her red cloak
which seemed to be _set_ as it were in the solar radiance, and the
lower part of her figure, which was strongly relieved upon the
tremulous surface of the sea, gave to her a more than usually wild and
unearthly appearance. Bertram shuddered as before a fiend; whilst the
old woman, by whose side crept a large wolf-dog, said with an air of

"So then I see the old proverb is true--_Save a drowning man, and
beware of an adders sting._ But I have power: and can punish the
thankless heart. So rise, traitor, and back to the house."

Bertram felt himself too much reduced in spirits, and too little
acquainted with the neighbourhood, to contest the point at present: he
considered besides that he was really indebted to her for attentions
and hospitality; and was unwilling to appear in the light of a
thankless guest. In this feeling he surrendered himself to her
guidance; but to gratify his curiosity he said--

"Good mother, I owe you much for my recovery: but who is it that I must
thank for my deliverance from the water? I was lying upon a barrel, at
the mercy of the waves. I lost my senses; and on recovering I find
myself with you, and know not how, or by whose compassion."

"What then? You'll never be a hair the drier for knowing _that_."

"But, mother, I had a companion in my misfortunes; was he saved along
with me; or have the waves parted us for ever?"

"Never trouble yourself about that: _you_ are saved; that's news enough
for one day:--if the other fellow is drowned all the better for him;
he'll not need hanging." Here the old woman laughed scornfully, and
sang a song of which the burthen was

      High is the gallows, the ocean is deep;
      One aloft, one below: how sound is their sleep!

Bertram now descended again into the hovel: and, finding that the old
woman would answer no more questions, he stretched himself upon his
bed; and throughout the day resigned himself to the rest which his late
exhaustion had rendered necessary.

From a slumber, into which he had fallen towards evening, he was awaked
by a gentle pressure upon his arm. He unclosed his eyes for one moment,
but shut them again immediately under the dazzling glare of a resinous
torch which the old woman held. In his present situation he thought it
best to dissemble; and therefore kept his eyes half closed, peering at
the same time from beneath his eye-lids and watching the old woman's
motions. She was kneeling by the side of his bed: with her left hand
she raised aloft a torch; with her right she had raised a corner of the
blanket and was in the act of examining his left arm, having stripped
his shirt sleeve above his elbow, and appearing at this moment to be in
anxious search of some spot or mark of recognition. Her whole attitude
and action betrayed a feverish agitation: her dark eyes flashed with
savage fire and seemed as though straining out of their sockets: and
Bertram observed that she trembled--a circumstance which strikingly
contrasted with the whole of her former deportment, which had
discovered a firmness and intrepidity very alien to her sex and age.
Presuming that her guest was asleep, the old woman now transferred her
examination to his right arm, which lay doubled beneath his body, and
which she endeavoured gently to draw out. Not succeeding in this, she
made an effort to turn him completely over. To this effort however,
without exactly knowing why, Bertram opposed all the resistance which
he could without discovering that he was awake: and the old woman,
unless she would rouse him up--which probably was not within her
intention, found herself obliged to desist. Her failure however seemed
but to increase the fiendish delirium which possessed her. She snatched
a blazing pine-bough from the fire; stepped into the centre of the
room; and, waving her torch in fantastic circles about her head, began
a solemn chaunt in a language unknown to Bertram--at first low and
deep--but gradually swelling into bolder intonations. Towards the end
the song became more rapid and impetuous; and at last it terminated in
a sort of wild shriek. Keeping her eyes fixed upon Bertram, as if to
remark the effect of her song upon him, the old woman prepared to
repeat it: but just at this moment was heard the sound of voices
approaching. A wild hubbub succeeded of wrangling, laughing, swearing,
from the side on which Bertram had ascended the ladder; and directly
after a clamorous summons of knocking, pushing, drumming, kicking,
at the door. The aged hostess, faithful to her custom, laid down her
 pine-brand on the hearth; arranged the blanket again; and seated
herself quietly without taking any notice of the noise. Only, whilst
she turned her spinning-wheel, she sang in an under voice--

      He, that knocks so loud, must knock once and again:
      Knock soft and low, or ye knock in vain.

Mean time the clamorers without contrived to admit themselves, as the
young man had done before, but did not take the delay so patiently. It
was a company of five or six stout men, any of whom (to judge by their
appearance) a traveller would not have been ambitious of meeting
in a lonely situation. The general air of their costume was that of
sea-faring men; close, short jackets; long, roomy, slops; and coloured
handkerchiefs tied loosely about the neck, and depending in long flaps
below the breast. A fisherman's hat, with large slouched brim, was
drawn down so as nearly to conceal the face; all wore side-arms; and
some had pistols in their belts. In colours their dress presented no
air of national distinction: for the most part it seemed to be composed
of a coarse sacking--originally gray, but disfigured by every variety
of stains blended and mottled by rain and salt water.

Bertram could discover no marks of rank or precedency amongst these
men, as they passed him one by one, each turning aside to throw a
searching glance on the apparently sleeping stranger. As they advanced
to the old woman, they began to scold her: so at least Bertram gathered
from their looks, gestures, and angry tones; for they spoke in a
language with which he was wholly unacquainted. She, whom they
addressed, however seemed tolerably familiarized to this mode of
salutation; for she neither betrayed any discomposure in her answers,
nor ever honoured them by raising her eyes to their faces, but
tranquilly pursued her labours at the spinning-wheel. It was pretty
evident that the aged woman exercised a very remarkable influence and
some degree of authority over these rough seamen. She allowed them to
run on with their peal of angry complaint; and, as soon as the volley
was over, she started up to her feet with an authoritative air--and
uttered a few words which, interpreted by such gestures as hers, would
have been understood by a deaf man as words of command that looked for
no disobedience.

The men muttered, swore a little, and cursed a little; and then
sitting down in any order and place, just as every man happened to
find a seat, made preparations for a meal such as circumstances
allowed. Broth was simmering on the fire: from various baskets were
produced bread--ship-biscuit--and brandy; dried haddock and sprats were
taken down from the chimney; fresh herrings were boiling; and in no
long space of time the whole wealth of the hut, together with no small
addition imported by the new-comers, seemed in a fair way of
extinction. Bertram felt violently irritated by appetite to jump up and
join the banqueters: for this was the second night since his shipwreck,
and he was beginning to recover from his fatigues. But doubts and
irresolution checked him; and a misgiving that this was not the most
favourable moment for such an experiment; especially as he perceived
that he himself was the subject of general conversation. Without
relaxing in their genial labours, the men showed sufficiently by their
looks and gestures that they were deliberating on some question
connected with himself. The old woman now and then interposed a word;
and the name of Nicholas, as Bertram remarked, was often repeated by
all parties. Some person of this name continued to occupy the
conversation an hour longer. Frequently it happened that one or other
of the company uttered an oath in English or Dutch, and seemed disposed
to pursue the conversation in one of those languages; but in such cases
the old woman never failed to check him either by signs or in her own
language which was wholly unintelligible to Bertram: so that of the
entire conversation he could make out nothing more than that it related
to himself. After the lapse of about an hour, the whole party retired;
and the hut was again restored to its former solitude and quiet.

                              CHAPTER III.

      This loller here wol prechen us somwhat.
        "Nay by my father's soule, that shal be nat,"
      Saydé the Shipman, "here shal be nat preche;
      He shal no gospel glosen here ne teche:
      We leven all in the gret God, quod he.
      He woldé sowen som difficultee,
      Or springen cockle in our clené come."--_Chaucer_.

As soon as the last echo of the retreating footsteps had died away,
Bertram raised himself up from his couch; and playing the part of one
just in the act of awaking, he yawned and asked for something to eat
and drink. The old woman grumbled, and fetched him the remains of a jug
of whiskey with some biscuit and fish--never troubling herself to
inquire about the palateableness of these viands. Bertram ate and drank
with as little scrupulousness as belonged to his situation; and then,
finding his spirits somewhat restored, he began to question his hostess

"Good mother, I know not whether I was dreaming or half awake; but it
seemed to me that there were fishermen or some such people in the
house; and that the refreshment I have just taken came from their

"Aye," said the old woman drily, "_they_ can find time to dream that do
little with their hands."

"But what would you have me do, my good hostess? Have _you_ any work
for me?"

The old woman shook her head.

"Well then, give me the means of going where I _have_ something to do."

"And where is that?"

"The coast of Wales, for which I was bound when I met with my

"The coast of Wales? Never trouble it: they've rogues enough already."
Then, fixing her eyes steadily on Bertram, she looked thoughtfully; and
shook her head: "Were you ever in Wales before?"


"Look well to yourself then."

"And why?"

"The gallows is high, my bonny lad; and they don't stand much upon

"What is it then you take me for? Am I like a thief or a robber?"

"I know not: but you've a wicked look of one that I know well; and he's
doomed to the gallows, if there's a gallows in England."

The old woman now relapsed into her moody silence, or answered only by
peevish monosyllables: and, despairing of gaining any further
information from her, Bertram contented himself with requesting that
she would acquaint him with the first opportunity which might offer for
quitting his present abode; upon which his hostess muttered something
in no very cordial or acquiescing tone; and Bertram, drawing the
blankets about him, resigned himself to the consideration of his
present prospects. He was now so much recovered from his late suffering
and exhaustion, that he felt prepared to set his hostess and her
wolf-dog at defiance: but the scene, which he had just witnessed,
suggested another kind of dangers. He feared that he had been thrown on
a nest of smugglers, or worse: some piratical attempts had recently
been made on the Belgian flag off Antwerp: the parties concerned were
said to be smugglers occupying some rock or islet off the coast of
Wales: and into their hands Bertram began to fear that he had fallen.
Closing his eyes, he continued to ruminate on these possibilities,
until at length he dropped into a slumber.

From this he was awakened in the middle of the night by a hand laid
roughly on his shoulder. He stared up and beheld the old woman at his

"Get up," said she, "or it will be too late. Yonder's a French captain
taking water aboard: make haste, and he'll give you a passage."

Bertram sprang from his couch; recompensed his hostess; and hastily
prepared for departure. In the midst of this hurry however his thoughts
had leisure to revert to those anxieties which had occupied him as he
was falling asleep. Who was this French captain? Whither bound? What
was his connexion with those in whose hands he now found himself? On
what terms, and with what motives, had they treated for his passage?
When all is darkness however, the benighted traveller surrenders
himself to the guidance of any light--though possibly no more than a
wildering ignis fatuus--in the hope that it may lead him out of his
perplexities. And fortunately Bertram had little time to pursue any
train of anxious deliberations: for at this moment two seamen appeared
at the door with a summons to follow them; the French captain having
taken his water aboard, and being on the point of weighing his anchor.

Having made up his mind to take his chance, Bertram prepared cheerfully
to follow his conductors; first offering his acknowledgments however,
in few words, to his ancient hostess, who on her part muttered some
indistinct reply--without raising her eyes, or quitting her usual
posture at the spinning-wheel. The night was profoundly dark, even
after they had cleared the brush-wood and tangled thickets which
smothered up the rocky vault: the weather however was calm; a star or
two gleamed out from the thick pall of clouds; and the sea broke upon
the coast with no more than its ordinary thunders. Supported by his two
guides, Bertram easily contrived to slide down the shingly precipice;
and on reaching the bottom, crossed the beach and stepped on board a
very large twelve-oared boat heavily laden. In the bottom were lying a
number of casks and bales: and she was full of men. But what
particularly struck Bertram was the gloomy silence which prevailed--so
opposite to the spirit of life and gaiety which usually attend the
embarkation of sailors.

Whilst the boat was now cutting her way through the waves, and the
monotonous stroke of the oars broke upon the silence of the night,
Bertram had leisure to renew his speculations upon the nature of his
immediate prospects. A slight circumstance gave them a favourable
color:--at this moment a night-breeze was sweeping pretty freshly over
the water; and Bertram, who had preserved but a slender wardrobe from
his shipwreck, felt its influence so much that he shivered from head to
foot. This was not unobserved: and one of the men drew out a large
woollen boat-cloak, and wrapped it about him with an air of surly
good-nature. This was a trifle, but it indicated that he had fallen
amongst human hearts: and it is benignly arranged by Providence that,
as in this life "trifles light as air" furnish the food of our fears,
our jealousies, and unhappy suspicions,--so also oftentimes from
trifles of no higher character we draw much of our comfort, our hopes,
and assurance.

Although the boat was rowed stoutly, yet--being very deeply
laden--nearly an hour elapsed before she fell alongside the French
captain. A solitary lanthorn or two were twinkling from the sides; and
they were hailed by the party who had the watch, with a--"_Qui va là?_"
uttered however, as Bertram remarked, in a cautious and subdued tone.
To this challenge the boat returned for answer--"_Pécheurs du Roi et de
la Sainte Vierge_:" upon which rope-ladders were dropped; the boat's
company ascended; and the barrels, &c. were hoisted up by pullies to
the deck. Bertram admired the activity, address, and perfect
orderliness, with which so many heavy casks were raised above the decks
and then lowered into their several stations; at the same time that he
could not but suspect, from their number and appearance, that the
business of "watering" was not the only one which had induced the
French captain to drop his anchor at this point. It tended however
somewhat to abate these suspicions--that, by the flashes of the
lanthorns, as they played unsteadily upon the guns, anchors, and
tackling of the vessel, he could distinguish the lilies of France: and
upon inquiry from the helmsman, who spoke to him however in English, he
learned that he was on board a French corvette--_Les trois fleurs de

At this moment the wind veered a point; and instantly a voice of
thunder was heard exclaiming

"_Mort de ma vie!_ look sharp: by the three names of Satan, I'll send
you a message else from this little brace of bulldogs: you there at the
foresheet,--be handy, will you? Or by our lady I'll nail you to the
mast, until the cormorants have made their breakfast."

All was now life and activity: the sails were bent and furled: men and
boys were crawling about every part of the rigging: the helmsman took
his quiet station: and just as day began to break, the "Trois fleurs de
lys," with all sails set, was running gaily before a fresh breeze of
wind. She had made a good deal of way before there was light enough for
Bertram to examine the coast he was leaving; and, by the time he became
able to use his eyes with effect, all the details by which it was
possible to have identified the exact situation of his late confinement
were obliterated and melted into indistinct haze which preserved only
the great outlines of the coast: in these the principal feature was a
bold headland; and within _that_ a pretty deep bay.

"What is that promontory called?" said Bertram, addressing an old
sailor who was passing him at the moment.

"What--_that_ right a helm?" said the sailor.


"They call _that_ Lubber's Point."

"And what do you call the bay beyond?"

"The bay? Why Buttermilk bay: and t'other horn to leward is Cape

So saying, the old sailor hitched his trowsers; and with perfect
gravity passed on--leaving Bertram not much in his debt for any
accessions to his geographical knowledge. He had no leisure however
to ruminate on this little specimen of nautical gaiety; for just at
this moment up rolled a brawny thick-set figure, and without any
ceremonies of introduction or salutation spoke to him--or rather spoke
_at_ him--thus:

"So!--This is the son of a gun that was asking for a passage?"

The lordly step and gay confidence of eye sufficiently announced to
Bertram that he who addressed him was the captain of the ship: apart
from which claims of rank, he was striking enough by mere personal
appearance to have commanded the homage of very particular attention
from any judicious spectator. His figure was short, broad, and
prodigiously muscular; his limbs, though stunted, appearing knotty and
(in woodman's language) gnarled; at the same time that the trunk of his
body was lusty--and, for a seaman, somewhat unwieldy. In age he seemed
nearer to seventy than sixty; but still manifested an unusual strength
hardened to the temper of steel by constant exposure to the elements
and by a life of activity. The colour of his hair was probably white;
that is, _per se_, and with reference to its absolute or fundamental
base; but by smoke and neglect it had been tarnished into grim upper
strata of rusty grey and sullen yellow--which, contrasted with a broad
fiery disk of face--harsh bushy eyebrows--and a Bardolph nose,
effectually extinguished all ideas of the _venerable_ which might else
have been suggested by his age. A pair of keen grey eyes looked out
from a mass of flesh in which they were sunk; and by their cat-like
glances showed pretty clearly that in the hour of danger and conflict
they could awaken into another sort of expression more characteristic
of the man; an expression however, which, in this "piping time of
peace" and in the hours of his gentle morning potations, was content
habitually to slumber. The Captain's gait we have described as
"rolling;" which in fact it was; but without meaning at all, by that
expression, to derogate from its firmness: for firm it also was as the
tread of a hippopotamus; and wheresoever the sole of his vast splay
foot was planted, _there_ a man would have sworn it had taken root like
a young oak: but a figure as broad as his could do no other than roll
when treading the deck of a vessel that was ploughing through a gay
tumbling sea. As to dress, the Captain wore long slops of striped
linen; stout shoes; and immense shoe-buckles: but for the upper
part of his costume, in spite of his official dignity, he chose to
sport--instead of the long uniform coat of a French captain, a short
blue jacket worn over a red waistcoat; to which last was attached a
broad leathern belt bearing a brace of pistols; and depending from the
belt by a short chain he carried a Turkish scymeter in a silver
scabbard. Upon his head only could he be said to wear any mark of
distinction that proclaimed his rank; for upon his hat--which was a
round one like that of all the crew, and slouched like theirs, but a
little higher,--he advanced, by way of cockade (and as a badge at once
of the national flag he hoisted and of his own rank), a very conspicuous
white lily.

Such was the portly personage that now came up to Bertram, or rather
shouldered him in passing, and summoned him as it seemed to face about
by demanding in the voice of a Stentor:--

"So!--this is the son of a gun that was asking for a passage?"

Bertram turned to face the Captain's side, made his bow, and modestly
replied that he _was_ the person who had been a candidate for that

Without altering his oblique position, the Captain slightly turned his
head, carelessly glanced his eye over Bertram's person, and replied

"So!--Humph!--Damn!--And where do you want to go ashore?"

"At Bristol," said Bertram, "or any place on the coast of Wales."

"Bristol?--the devil! Coast of Wales? The devil's grandmother! Was the
like ever heard?--Captain le Harnois to alter his course, the _Trois
fleurs de lys_ to tack and wear--drop her anchor and weigh her anchor,
for a smock-faced vagabond?"

"But I thought, Sir,--that is, I understood,--that the _Fleurs de lys_
was expressly purposing to cruize off the Welch coast?

"Expressly purposing a tobacco-box!--I tell you what, Tom Drum: there's
a d---d deal too many rogues running about these seas--a d---d deal;
and the English police is no great shakes of a police that doesn't look
more sharply after them:--Who the devil are you?"

Bertram was preparing to answer this unceremonious question; but the
Captain interrupted him--

"Aye: I can see with half an eye: an Abram man; a mumper; a knight of
the post; that jumps up behind coaches, and cuts the straps of
portmanteaus: steals into houses in the dusk: waylays poor old people
and women, to rob them of their rags and their halfpence. For as to the
highway, and cutting throats, I think he has hardly metal for that. Or
may be he's a juggler; a rope-dancer; and plays off his _hocus pocus_
on people's pockets?"

"Upon my word, Captain, you put unspeakable wrong upon me."

"With all my heart: God give you health to wear it!"

Touched to the quick by these affronts, Bertram drew out his
pocket-book; and taking out some papers, he presented them with all the
_hauteur_ he could assume to the Captain; saying, at the same time----

"If, Sir, you will do me the honour to run your eye over my passport
and the certificates annexed, I am disposed to think that I shall not
need any further vindication from the suspicions you are pleased to

"Toll-de-roll-loll!" said Captain le Harnois: "what's this trumpery?
Whose pot-hooks are these?" At the same time negligently unfolding the
papers, and tearing several by his coarse way of handling them. He
threw a hasty glance over one or two: but it struck Bertram that he was
holding them upside down. Be that as it might,--after tumbling,
mumbling, and tearing one document after another,--the noble Captain
tossed them all on the deck, advanced the broad extinguisher of his
foot upon--them--blew out a cloud of breath into the morning air, and

"Pooh--pooh! Tom Drum: Lillibullero! 'Twon't do:--forged papers! Never
think to put off your rogue's tricks on Captain le Harnois." So saying
he rolled off to complete his quarter-deck turn, preparing however to
open his fire again when he came upon the other tack.

Bertram's indignation was naturally great at what he viewed as an
unprovoked outrage; and in spite of his precarious situation, and
though fully aware that he was in the Captain's power, he was on the
point of giving a loose to those feelings which calumniated innocence
is at all times privileged to express--when the boatswain tapped him on
the shoulder and whispered in his ear:

"Easy, master, easy: the Captain doesn't mean all he says: he speaks
worse than he thinks, when he has taken his breakfast rather early. He
takes brandy to breakfast, you understand. Twice a day he hauls his
wind, and speaks you as fair as a man could wish; just afore breakfast,
that's once; your next time's just afore noon. Oh! but it's pleasant
talking with the Captain then."

At this moment Captain le Harnois was again bearing down; and, just
as he brought his broadside to bear, Bertram--who was in the act
of gathering up his scattered papers and replacing them in his
pocket-book-contented himself with observing that on shore he hoped at
least to meet with some magistrate that would pay more respect to
papers regularly authenticated.

"Shore magistrate!" thundered the Captain, "the dragon and his horns!
what's a shore magistrate more than a salt-water magistrate? _Mort de
ma vie!_ I take it a Captain's commission, with four ministers' hands
to it--signed and countersigned, should be as good as a lubber's
warrant. What talk to me of lawyers and justices? The _Fleurs de lys_
is as good a lawyer as I know. Egad, when she shows her teeth" (and
here Captain le Harnois grinned horribly, and showed his own which
"after _their_ kind" were not less formidable),--"Egad, she can lay
down the law too: egad, can she: aye and I've seen the day" (and here
the Captain chuckled in a fondling tone), "I've seen the day that the
little wanton devil has _made_ law: and d---d good law it was; though
some said not--blast their eyes!"

To all this Bertram was silent: and Captain le Harnois, pursuing his
tender remembrances, broke out afresh:

"Ah the pretty little vengeful devil!--Ha! ha! ha! I remember----but
d---n me, if that's not the very thing that Master Tommy here is
thinking of. He has heard that story; or some other as good; and that's
what he means by singing out for shore law. But, youngster, I'd have
you to know _that's_ all over: that score's rubbed out; and the little
frisky gipsy (d---n her for a little hardened devil!) has got her
pardon. All's right now: her decks are washed: she has a chaplain on
board; and she carries the flag of His Most Christian Majesty."

"Indeed!" said Bertram.

"Aye indeed, most venerable youth; the flag of _Louis le Desiré_, do
you hear? Have you any thing to say against that? What does Smock-face
think of the Bourbons? Is Smock-face not a good subject? Eh?"

"Captain le Harnois, I am neither a French subject by birth; nor in any
respect indebted to the French government; nor owe it any obedience. On
which account I am sure you will see the propriety of dispensing with
any declaration of my political sentiments in this matter."

"What, what, what? not Bourbonish? Oh! but that's a foul fault, master
Tommy. My ship--(d---n her for a little vixen! she doesn't know
what she'd be at!)--My ship, _she's_ Bourbonish: _I_'m Bourbonish: my
lads--_they_'re Bourbonish: we're all Bourbonish: and I'll have nobody
swabbing my deck, that's not Bourbonish."

"I congratulate myself," said Bertram, "on sailing with so loyal a
subject of his Most Christian Majesty."

"Aye, _that's_ soon said. But, if youngster is not Bourbonish, is he
not _liberal_ neither?"

"Such are my unfortunate circumstances, Captain le Harnois, that at
present it is wholly out of my power to be liberal: I really----."

"Come, _that's_ well however: glad of that: that's something,
my shy cock: any thing but a liberal or a constitutional. Cut
portmanteau-straps; waylay old women; hocus pocus; any thing you like.
But I'll have no liberal doings here: no liberality shall be found on
board of me, whilst my name's le Harnois. Damn! I've a character to

"I believe we mistake each other: there are different sorts of
liberality; and what I meant to say was----

"I care nothing about it: it signifies nothing talking about sorts of
liberality: I'll have _no_ sort.--And now, pray, what religion are you
of? Has Smock-face no religion, eh?"

"Really, Captain le Harnois, it does appear to me, that no man is
authorized or commissioned, merely upon the strength of flinging a rope
to a drowning man, or affording him some common office of humanity, to
institute an inquiry into his religious creed."

"Oh crimini! Not commissioned? By my commission I'm to lay hold
of every man that has any thing to say against his Most Christian
Majesty--the Catholic faith--or our Lady. My commission is that I'm to
overhaul _every_ man's religion. And as to what younker says about
flinging a rope,--a rope's end for it! If I fling a rope to a drowning
man and he lays hold of it, by my commission I'm to say--Ahoy there,
waterfowl, are you religious? Is your religion so and so? And, if he
sings out--_No_, my commission is to let go the rope and to say--Then
first of all get baptized with salt water; and, when that's done, come
and tell Captain le Harnois. _That's_ my commission. D---n! I think I
should know what my commission is: d---n!"

"But, Captain, you can surely make allowances for my education: _that_
may have been unfortunate; but still I profess the most entire respect
for the Romish church and her adherents."

"Respect and be d---d! I'll have no respect; I'll have religion--pure,
neat, religion--with none of your Protestant water in it, or d---d half
and half. My ship, a little vixen, _she's_ religious: for I tell you
she's had her decks scrubbed by the chaplain: _I_'m religious; ship's
company's religious: we're _all_ religious. And my passengers shall be
religious: or my name's not le Harnois. For my commission says, that
I'm to have none but the very best of Christians aboard: prime
articles, and none else: no damaged lots."

Bertram was perfectly confounded at hearing of such intense orthodoxy
on board a man of war: but he was disposed to question the entire
accuracy of the representation on chancing to observe, that all the
crew, who were behind the Captain's back, were laughing as they went
about their work. Captain le Harnois himself seemed more than half
disposed to laugh at his own picture of the holy _Fleurs de lys_. But
at this moment he began to feel drowsy; and, giving up for the present
any further examination of his passenger's theology, he got under
weigh for his cabin: grumbling out, as he advanced, but without looking

"Well: this'll do for the first examination. And for our Lady's sake,
and for the honour of the white lily, Smockface may bundle himself
between decks--till the next time that we pump ship; and then he must
over board with the bilge water. We must be charitable now and then for
our Lady's sake. But let us have no irreligion. Let all be handsome,
lovely, Bourbonish, and religious. What the d---l! An irreligious
dog aboard Captain le Harnois? But I shall overhaul his principles:
for that's what my commission says: else my name's not le Harnois:
damn!"--With which emphatic monosyllable, ascending in a growl from the
bottom of the companion ladder, Captain le Harnois concluded his matins
on the deck of the _Fleurs de lys_.

A roar of laughter followed his final disappearance; and a succession
of songs, which seemed any thing but "handsome, lovely, Bourbonish,
or religious."

                              CHAPTER IV.

       _Pist._ Perpend my words, O Signieur Dew, and mark;
      O Signieur Dew, thou diest on point of fox,
      Except, O Signieur, thou do give to me
      Egregious ransome.

       _Fr. Sol._ O prenez misericorde, ayez pitie de moy!
       _Pis._ Moy shall not sarve; I will have forty moys.
                                                 _Hen. V._--Act 4.

Spite of the Captain's absence, and though there was no regular officer
to represent him, Bertram was surprised to find that the duty on deck
seemed in no respect to suffer--either in order, precision, or
alacrity. All were in full activity, moving with the industry, and
almost with the instinct of bees, in the tops--among the shrouds--or on
deck; handling the ropes, trimming the sails, sounding, and performing
all other parts of a vigilant seaman's duty. This seemed the more
remarkable, as most of the crew carried a flask of brandy slung about
their necks; very few of them choosing to justify the Captain's
flattering picture of their orthodoxy by substituting a rosary.

The steady old helmsman, to whom Bertram was communicating his
astonishment, replied--

"Aye, aye; but this is nothing: you should see them in a storm, or on a
boarding party. There's not a man of 'em but might take the Captain's
place. And, for that matter, the Captain might take any of ours: for
he's as good a seaman as ever stept the deck. And once he was the
handiest among us all, and would take his turn at any thing. But now I
know not what's come to him. Ever since we were made 'regular,' (you
understand), and crossed out of the king's black books,--and since the
captain got his commission,--it's partly my belief that he's not right
here" (touching his forehead). "And no good will come of it. For one
hour we must behave pretty, and be upon honour, and, says he, 'Lads, I
must have you chained up, by reason we're now a king's ship:' and the
next hour he'll be laying his plots and his plans for doing some
business in the old line. The Captain must have a spree now and then.
He couldn't be well without it. Whereby it comes that, what between the
old way and the new way, a queer rum-looking life we lead."

Of the business on board, however, though interesting for a short
period, Bertram soon grew weary: and, stretching himself at his length
upon the deck, he gradually withdrew his attention from every thing
that was going on about him to the contemplation of the sea and the
distant shores which he was approaching. The day, for a winter's day,
was bright and sunny: the sky without a cloud; the atmosphere of a
frosty clearness; and the sea so calm, that it appeared scarcely to
swell into a ripple, except immediately in the ship's wake. The distant
promontory, which he suspected to be the point whither he had been
washed by the waves, after the explosion of the Halcyon, and which
seemed the extremity of a small island, had now receded into an azure
speck: the ship's course lay to the southward or south-east: and on the
larboard quarter a long line of coast trended away to the south-west. A
remarkable pile of rock on this coast attracted his attention, and
rivetted his gaze as by some power of fascination. Who will refuse to
sympathize with the feeling which at this moment possessed him? What
person of much sensibility or reflection but has, in travelling, or on
other occasions, sometimes felt a dim and perplexing sense of
_recognition_ awakened by certain objects or scenes which yet he had no
reason to believe that he could ever have seen before? So it was with
Bertram: a feeling of painful perplexity disturbed and saddened him as
he gazed upon the coast before him: he felt as though he had at some
early period of his life been familiar with some of its features: which
yet seemed impossible: for he now understood from the helmsman that
what he saw were parts of the Caernarvonshire and Merionethshire coasts
in the neighbourhood of Pwlheli Bay.

The wind was fair, and the _Fleurs de lys_ carried so much sail, that
within the next hour the whole line of coast and bay began to unfold
itself; and all the larger objects were now becoming tolerably
distinct. Of these the most conspicuous was a lofty headland which
threw its bold granite front in advance of all the adjacent shore, and
ran out far into the sea. Like a diadem upon its summit was planted an
ancient castle; presenting a most interesting object to the painter, if
it were not in some respects rather grotesque. It might truly be
described as "planted:" for it seemed literally a natural growth of the
rock, and without division of substance: it was indeed in many places
an excavation quarried into the rocks rather than a superstructure upon
it: and, where this was not the case, the foundations had yet been
inlaid and dovetailed as it were so artificially into the splintered
crest of the rock, and the whole surface had been for ages so
completely harmonized in colour by storms and accidents of climate,
that it was impossible to say where the hand of art began or that of
nature ended. The whole building displayed a naked baronial grandeur
and disdain of ornament; whatever beauty it had--seeming to exist
rather in defiance of the intentions of its occupants and as if won
from those advantages of age and situation which it had not been in
their power to destroy. The main body of the building, by following and
adjusting itself to the outline of the rock, had of necessity taken the
arrangement of a vast system of towers and quadrangles irregularly
grouped and connected: at intervals it was belted with turrets: and its
habitable character was chiefly proclaimed by the immense number of its
windows, and by a roof of deep red tiles; which last, though generally
felt as a harsh blot in the picturesque honours of the castle, were
however at this particular time lowered into something like keeping by
the warm ruddy light of the morning sun which was now glancing upon
every window in the sea-front, and also by the dusky scarlet of
decaying ferns which climbed all the neighbouring hills and in many
plains skirted the water's edge. In what style of architecture the
castle was built, it would have been difficult to say: it was neither
exactly Gothic nor Italian of the middle ages: and upon the whole it
might safely be referred to some rude and remote age which had aimed at
nothing more than availing itself of the local advantages and the
materials furnished by nature on the spot for the purpose of
constructing a secure and imposing fortress; without any further regard
to the rules or pedantries of architecture. Attached to the main
building, which ascended to the height of five stories--and yet did not
seem disproportionately high from the extent of its range, were several
smaller dependencies--some of which appeared to be framed of wood. The
purists of our days, who are so anxious to brush away all the wooden
patchwork and little tributary cells that formerly clustered about the
pillars and nooks of cathedrals like so many swallows' nests, had here
apparently made no proselytes. And on the whole the final impression
was that of a very venerable and antique but at the same time rather
fantastic building.

From each side of the promontory on which the castle stood, ran off at
right angles a smaller promontory; that, which was on the left side as
viewed from the sea, though narrower and lower than the corresponding
one on the other side, terminated however in a much larger area: and on
that consideration apparently, in spite of its less commanding
elevation, had been selected as the station for a watch-tower. This
tower was circular; and in that respect accurately fitted to the area
or platform on which it stood; the platform itself being a table of
rock at the summit of a rude colossal cylinder which appeared to grow
out of the waves. The whole of this lateral process from the main
promontory presented a most impressive object to a spectator
approaching it from sea: for the connecting part, which ran at right
angles, from the great promontory to the platform, had been partly
undermined; originally perhaps by some convulsion of nature: but
latterly the breach had been greatly widened by storms; so that at
length a vast aerial arch of granite was suspended over the waves:
which arch once giving away and falling in, the rocky pillar and the
watch-tower which it carried would be left insulated in the waves.

Bertram was more and more fascinated by the aspect of the ancient
castle and the quiet hills behind it, with their silent fields and
woodlands, which lay basking as it were in the morning sun. The whole
scene was at once gay and tranquil. The sea had put off its terrors and
wore the beauty of a lake: the air was "frosty but kindly:" and the
shores of merry England, which he now for the first time contemplated
in peace and serenity, were dressed in morning smiles; a morning, it is
true, of winter; yet of winter not angry--not churlish and chiding--but
of winter cheerful and proclaiming welcome to Christmas. The colours,
which predominated, were of autumnal warmth: the tawny ferns had not
been drenched and discoloured by rains; the oaks retained their dying
leaves: and, even where the scene was most wintry, it was cheerful: the
forest of ported lances, which the deciduous trees presented, were
broken pleasingly by the dark glittering leaves of the holly; and the
massy gloom of the yew and other evergreens was pierced and irradiated
by the scarlet berries of various shrubs, or by the puce-coloured
branches and the silvery stem of the birch. The _Fleurs de lys_ had
gradually neared the shore; and in the deep waters upon this part of
the coast there was so little danger for a ship of much heavier
burthen, that she was now running down within pistol shot of the
scenery which Bertram contemplated with so much pleasure. He could
distinguish every cottage that lurked in the nooks of the hills, as it
sent up its light vapoury column of smoke: here and there he could see
the dark blue dresses of the cottage-children: and occasionally a sound
of laughter or the tones of their innocent voices, betraying them to
the ear where they were not seen,--or the crowing of a cock from the
bosom of some hamlet

            Answer'd by faintly echoing farms remote,

gave language and expression to the tranquil beauty of the spectacle.

Bertram absolutely shuddered, with the feeling of one who treads, upon
a snake, as he turned from these touching images of human happiness to
the grim tackling and warlike furniture of the "little bloody: vixen"
on board which he was embarked, together with the ferocious though
intelligent aspects of her desperate crew. He was already eager to be
set ashore; and the sudden shock of contrast made him more so. On
communicating his wishes to the boatswain, however, he was honoured by
a broad stare and a laugh of derision:

"What," said the boatswain, "put you ashore close under the muzzle of
Walladmor Castle?"

"And why not?"

"Ask the Captain, my good lad: ask Captain Jackson."

"Jackson! I thought the Captain's name had been le Harnois."

"All's one for _that_: le Harnois or Jackson; one name's as good as
t'other. But I wouldn't be the man to put you upon asking the Captain
any such a thing. It's odds? but you'd be sent overboard, my good lad,
head over heels--that's to say on any day when the Captain had taken
his breakfast. No, no: high as it's perched up amongst the eagle's
nests, that d---d old castle has been the rock that many a good ship
has struck on. But wait till three or four o'clock; and then maybe
we'll put you on ashore further down."

When wishes are hopeless, the mind is soon reconciled to give them up.
Bertram felt that his were so; and, contentedly stretching himself
again upon the deck, surrendered his thoughts to the influence of the
lovely scenery before him.

At length the sun was setting, and another reach of coast had unfolded
upon his view, when all at once he heard the dash of oars; and on
rising up, he observed a little skiff rapidly nearing them. In a few
minutes she boarded the _Fleurs de lys_: and all was life and motion
upon deck. Casks and packages were interchanged; and private signals
in abundance passed between the different parties. Bertram took the
opportunity of bargaining for a passage to shore; and was in the act of
stepping into the boat, when he was suddenly summoned before the

He found the old tiger on the quarterdeck, and in one of his blander
humours. Captain le Harnois was sitting on a coil of rope, his back
reclining against a carronade, with a keg of brandy on the dexter hand
and a keg of whisky on the sinister. An air of grim good humour was
spread over his features; he had just awaked from slumber; was for a
few minutes sober; and had possibly forgotten the heterodoxy of his
passenger; whom he saluted thus:

"Well, sweet Sir, and how goes the world with you?"

"Captain le Harnois, I understand that I can have a passage in the boat
alongside; and I am really anxious to go ashore."

"Well, Tom, and what's to hinder it? The shore's big enough to hold
you: and, if it isn't, I can't make it bigger."

"Then, Captain, I have the honour to wish you a very good evening."

"The same to you, Tom; and I have the honour, Tom, to drink your
worship's health."

"I thank you, Sir; and perhaps you will allow me to leave a trifle to
drink for the boat's crew that brought me aboard."

"Do, Tom, leave a trifle: I'll allow you to put fifty francs down on
this whisky keg."

"Fifty francs, Captain le Harnois! Permit me to remind you that I only
came aboard this morning, and that----"

"Jessamy, it's no use talking: fifty francs: we give no change here.
And what the d---l? Would you think to treat the crew of the _Fleurs de
lys_, four and forty picked men, with less than sixty franks?"

"Sixty! Captain, you said fifty."

"Did I? Well, but that was the first time of asking. Come, quick,--my
young gallant,--or I shall hoist it up to seventy. I say, boatswain,
tell the smith to send me a hammer and a few tenpenny nails: I've a
customer here that's wanting to cheat me; and I see I must nail him to
the mast, before we shall balance books. But stop a minute: I'll tell
you what, Jessamy,--if you'll enter aboard the _Fleurs de lys_, I'll
let you off for the money."

"I fear, Captain, that your work would be too much for my constitution:
I am hardly strong enough to undertake such severe duty."

"Not strong enough? Oh! the dragon! my darling, what should ail you?
I'll make you strong enough by to-morrow morning. Just hang him up an
hour to the mast head, salt him, take him down, pickle him, hoist him
up in the main tops to season, then give him some flap-dragon and
biscuit, and I'll be bound there's not a lubber that lives but will be
cured into a prime salt-water article. But come, sixty francs!"

Bertram hesitated for a moment: during which Captain le Harnois rose;
turned on his heel; placed himself astride the carronade with a large
goblet of brandy in his right hand; and with the air of an old Cupid
who was affecting to look amiable and to warble, but in reality more
like a Boreas who was growling, he opened the vast chasm of his mouth
and began to sing a sentimental love song.

Bertram perceived that, as the brandy lowered, Captain le Harnois'
demand would be likely to rise; and therefore paid the money without
further demur.

"And now, my sweet boy," said Captain le Harnois, "what do you think of
the _Fleurs de lys_? Tight sea-boat! isn't she, and a little better
managed than the Halcyon, eh?--Things go on in another _guess_ fashion
here than they did on board your d---d steam boat? Different work on
_my_ deck, eh?"

"Very different work, indeed, Captain le Harnois!"

"Aye, a d---d deal different, my boy. I know what it is I'm speaking
to, when I speak to my lads: but I'm d---d if a man knows what he's
speaking to, when he speaks to a boiler."

During this speech Bertram was descending the ship's side: when he had
seated himself in the boat, he looked up; and, seeing the Captain
lounging over the taffarel, he said by way of parting speech--

"You are right, Captain le Harnois; perfectly right: and I shall always
remember the very great difference I found between the Halcyon and the
Fleurs de Lys."

The old ruffian grinned, and appeared to comprehend and to enjoy the
_equivoque_. He was in no hurry to clear scores with Bertram; but
leisurely pursued the boat with a truculent leer; nailed Bertram with
his eye; and, when the boat was just within proper range, he took his
speaking-trumpet and hailed him:

"Tom Drum, ahoy!--Take care now, when you get ashore, where you begin
your old tricks--portmanteaus, old women, tumbling; mind you don't
begin _hocus pocus_ too soon: steer large, and leave Walladmor Castle
on the larboard tack: for there's an old dragon in Walladmor that has
one of his eyes on you by this time. He's on the look-out for you. So
farewell: he's angling for you. Good bye, my lily-white Tom! A handier
lad has been caught than you, Tom. So let the old women pass quietly,
till Walladmor's out of hearing. I can't cry, Tom: but here's my

So saying Captain le Harnois drank up his goblet of brandy; and,
tossing his heel-taps contemptuously after the boat, rolled away to his
orgies at the carronade. And in this manner terminated Bertram's
connexion with the _Trois Fleurs de lys_.

It was not very agreeable to Bertram that the gallant Captain's farewell
speech had drawn the attention of all in the boat upon himself, and in
no very advantageous way. Most of the party laughed pretty freely: at
the bottom of the boat lay a man muffled up in a cloak, and apparently
asleep: but it appeared to Bertram that he also was laughing. To relieve
himself from this distressing attention, he took out his pocket-book and
busied himself with his pencil; using it alternately for minuting memoranda
of the scene before him, or sketching some of its more striking features.
These were at this moment irresistibly captivating. The boat was
gliding through a sea unrippled by a breeze: the water was exquisitely
clear and reflecting the rich orange lights of the decaying sunset: a
bold rocky shore was before him--haunted by gulls and sea-mews, flights
of which last pursued the boat for the sake of the refuse fish which
were occasionally tossed overboard: behind the rocky screen of the
coast appeared a tumultuous assemblage of mountains, the remotest of
which melted away into a faint aerial blue: and finally the boat's
company itself, consisting of sailors rowing in their shirt-sleeves,
fishermen and their wives in dresses of deep red and indigo, with the
usual marine adjuncts of fish, tangle, sea-weed, &c. composed a centre
to the spectacle which inspirited the whole by its rich colouring,
grouping, and picturesque forms. The living part of the contributors to
this fine composition seemed however but little aware of their own
share in the production of the picturesque: for most of them were
engaged in amusing their fancies at the expense of Bertram, whose
motions had but given a different turn to the satiric humour which
Captain le Harnois had called forth. One old man, who sate opposite to
Bertram, laid aside his pipe, and said in an under tone to his next

"Well, in my life I never saw the man that brought as much to paper in
a summer's day as young master here has done in one half hour; he beats
the parson and 'torney Williams all to nothing. But I see how it is:
they say Merlin wrote the History of Wales down to the day of judgment
upon these very rocks that lie right a-head: and sure, if he did,
there's somebody must come to read it: and _that_ must be young master
here. For you see he cocks his eye at the rocks, as if he had some run
goods in his pocket, and was looking out for a signal to come on shore.
Look at him now! Lord how nimbly his fingers go! One would swear he
believed that all must be over with this world, if he should stop above
half a minute. See, look at him! there he goes again!"

"Aye," said another: "but I think he's hardly writing Merlin's history:
though it's true enough that old saying about Merlin: he wrote it all
with his fore finger: and yet they tell me it is cut as deep into the
rock as if it had been done with chisel and mallet. But he must clear
the moss off the face of the rock before he'll read _that_. And it's
not every man that will read it when that's done,"

"Who then?"

"Why none but a seventh son of a seventh son; nor he neither, except in
the moonlight."

"Well, I know not," said the first speaker: "but, as to this writing
and reading, I see little good it does. Lord! to think of these
gentlefolks that come up to Tan-y-bwlch and Festiniog in the summer
time like a shoal of herrings: I go with scores of parties to
Pont-aber-glas-llyn. Well, now, what should you think there could be to
write down consarning a great cobble stone? or consarning a bit of a
shaw, or a puddle of water? Yet there's not one of the young quality
but, as soon as ever they get sight of the Llyn, bless your eyes!
they'll stand, and they'll lift up their hands, and they'll raise the
whites of their eyes, and skrike out to one another--that it's awful to
be near 'em."

"The d---l! you don't say so?"

"Aye, and then down they all sits: and out comes their books: and the
young gentlemen holds their bits of umbrellas for the ladies; and away
all their fingers are running like a dozen of harpers playing _Morfa
Rhuddlam_. And many's the time I've seen 'em stand, whilst a man would
walk a mile and a half, staring up at widow Davis's cottage that one
can hardly see for the ivy, and writing consarning it--that one would
think it was as old and as big as Harlich or Walladmor. Gad I'll make
bold some summer to ask 'em what they see about it: for, as widow Davis
said to me, 'I wonder what _they_ find on the outside; for I never
could find any thing in the inside.'"

"And what do they do with their writings when they've penned 'em?"

"God knows: I'm sure it's past my power to think. For it's clear to me,
Owen, that a writ consarning a spring will never quench a man's thirst.
And as to these limners that go about making a likeness of the sea, why
they'll never get a herring out of it."

By this time the boat was running up a narrow creek, which soon
contracted into the mouth of a little mountain brook. Here the boat
took the ground, and all on board began to jump ashore--except Bertram,
who was lost in contemplation of the long vista of mountains through
which the brook appeared to descend. From this abstraction he was at
length awakened by the voice of the old fisherman, who was mooring the
skiff, and drily asked him if he purposed to go out to sea again in
chace of Captain le Harnois. At this summons he started up, and was
surprised to observe that his companions were already dispersed, and
going off through various avenues amongst the mountains. The boat was
quite empty; and his own portmanteau even had been carried out, and was
lying on a stone.

"And now, my good friend," said Bertram, "answer me one question--What
is the name of the nearest town? For you must know that I am quite a
stranger in these parts: in what direction does it lie? how far from
this spot? and which is the direct road to it?"

"One question! why that's four questions, master; and more by three
than you bargained for. However, as you're a stranger, I'll make shift
to fit you with three short answers that shall unlock your four
riddles: The nighest town is Machynleth; and a rum-looking town it is.
Ifs just fifteen miles off. And you can't miss it, if you follow your
nose by the side of this brook till it leads you into yon pass amongst
the mountains."

"I'm much obliged to you, friend. But is there any person you know of
that could guide me through this pass and carry my portmanteau?"

"Aye, master, I know of three such persons."

"And where are they?"

"Two of them are on board Captain le Harnois: and the other----"

"Is where?"

"At Machynleth, and I'll warrant him as drunk as he can go."

"And of what use will that be to me?"

"Nay, master, it's past my power to find out: but you're a scholar, and
can tell more than I can."

Perceiving that he had got all the information from the old fisherman
which he was likely to get, Bertram wished him good night; and,
hoisting his portmanteau on his shoulder, set off in the direction
pointed out.

                               CHAPTER V.

      Wher dwellen ye, if it to tellen be?
         In the subarbés of a town, quod he,
      Lurking in bernés and in lanés blind
      Whereas thise robbours and thise theves by kinde
      Holden hir privee fereful residence
      As they that dare not shewen hir presence,--
      So faren we, if I shal say the sothe.--_Chaucer._

Bertram now found himself in a situation of some perplexity: he was
alone; perfectly unacquainted with the country; it was already dusk,
and he had to make his way through a labyrinth of hills which was
likely to present danger in more shapes than one: his experience on
board Captain le Harnois had taught him that he was not perfectly
secure from behind; and before him was a mountainous region--better
peopled in all probability with precipices and torrents than with human
habitations. Under these circumstances he had to go in quest of a
lodging for the night; and this, from all that he had read of England,
on a double account he could scarcely venture to anticipate under any
respectable roof; first because he was on foot, and secondly because he
carried his own portmanteau. However he entered on his course with
spirit; and for some time advanced without much difficulty. The path
meandered away along the margin of the little brook, diverging from it
at times, but soon winding back upon it. And as long as the road
continued to lie over the little common which lay between the sea and
the hills, the light being here less intercepted and reflected more
freely from the pellucid brook, he had no difficulty in proceeding.
But, when he had reached the foot of the hills, and found that the
brook suddenly immerged into a mountain ravine, he halted in utter
despondency. Looking back upon the shore, which lay due West, he
perceived that the last faint blush of color had died away in the sky:
a solemn veil of darkness had descended over the sea; even _that_ was
disappearing; and, within the narrow windings of the hills upon which
he was now entering, the darkness of "chaos and old night" seemed to
brood. That his road would be likely to lead him over precipices
elevated enough for all purposes of danger, he already knew: for now
and then the path began to ascend pretty steeply from the edge of the
brook, though it soon again subsided to the same level. All around him
was the sound of waters and of torrents: no ray of candlelight or
cheerful fire issued from any cottage amongst the hills: he shouted,
but received no answer: and he sate down to deliberate upon his

Just at this moment it seemed to him that he heard somewhere in his
neighbourhood a low muttering. He looked round: but it was impossible
to distinguish any object at more than a few paces distance; and, as he
had repeatedly turned to look back in his road from the sea, and had
besides walked fast, he felt convinced that no person could have
dogged him; and was disposed to think that he had been mistaken.
The next minute however the noise recurred: he rose and moved a
few paces onwards. Again he heard the low muttering as of some
person talking to himself: in a moment after steps rang upon the
hard frosty ground as of a heavy foot behind him; and, before he
could collect his thoughts, a hand touched him on the shoulder, and a
deep-toned voice exclaimed--Halt!

He had now no choice left but to face the danger: he stopped therefore;
and, turning round, he perceived close to his elbow a man in no very
respectable attire, so far as the obscurity would allow him to judge,
but half muffled up in a cloak, and armed with a stout bludgeon. Much
as he had just now been wishing for some guide, he yet could not
congratulate himself on so unpropitious a rencontre. The stranger's
dress and unceremonious greeting were not more suspicious than the
abruptness of his appearance: for Bertram felt convinced that he must
have way-laid him. Assuming however as much composure as he could, he
demanded in a loud tone,

"Why did you not answer me when I shouted just now? You must have heard

"Heard you?" said the other, in a low but remarkably firm and deep
voice,--"Heard you? Yes, I heard you well enough: but who in his senses
goes shouting at night-time up and down a bye-road on a smuggler's
coast, as if he meant to waken all the dogs and men in the country."

"Who? why any man that has a good conscience: what difference can the
night make?"

"Aye, that _has_! But take my word for it, friend, a man that comes
ashore from Jackson's brig may as well go quietly along and say as
little as possible about his conscience. In this country they don't
mind much what a man _says_: many a gay fellow to my knowledge has
continued to give the very best character of himself all the way up the
ladder of the new drop, and yet after all has been nonsuited by Jack
Ketch when he got to the top of it for wanting so little a matter as
another witness or so to back his own evidence."

"Well, but, I suppose, something must be _proved_ against a man,--some
overt act against the laws, before he can be suspected in any country:
till that is done, the presumption is that he is a respectable man: and
every judge will act on that presumption."

"Yes, in books perhaps: but when a running-fire of cross-examinations
opens from under some great wig, and one's blood gets up, and one
doesn't well remember all that one has said before,--I know not how it
is, but things are apt to take a different turn."

"Well, my rule is to steer wide of all temptation to do ill; and then a
man will carry his ship through in any waters."

"Will he? Why, may be so; and may be not. There are such things as sunk
rocks: and it's not so easy to steer wide of _them_: constables for
instance, justices of peace, lawyers, juries."

"But how came you to know that I was put on shore from Jackson's brig?"

"Why, to tell you a secret, it was I that lay at the bottom of the
boat, whilst your learned self were writing notes in a pocketbook.--But
hush! what's that?"

He stopped suddenly; looked cautiously round; and then went on:

"It was nothing, I believe. We may go on; but we must talk lower: in
these cursed times every stone has ears. Here we must cross the brook,
and double the rock on the left."

Whilst Bertram went on, he loitered a few steps behind, and then cried
out--"Do you see any body?" On receiving an answer in the negative, he
advanced; turned the corner, and then began again:

"You are going to Machynleth; and you want a guide to show you the road
and to carry your portmanteau: Now I'll do both on cheap terms; for all
I ask in return is this--that, up to the inn-door, if we meet any body
that asks unpleasant questions, you will just be so good as to let me
pass for your servant whom you have brought from abroad. What say you?
Is it a bargain?"

"My good friend,--according to the most flattering account I have yet
received of your morals (which is your own), they are rather of a loose
description; and with all possible respect for your virtue that the
case allows, you will admit yourself that I should be running some
little risk in confiding my portmanteau to your care: for I know not
who you are; and, before I could look round, you might be off with my
whole property; in which case I should certainly be on a 'sunk rock.'
Some little risk, yon must candidly allow?"

"No," said the stranger--"No, not at all: and if that's all the
objection you have, I'll convince you that you are wrong in a moment.
Now just look at me (there's a little starlight at this moment).
Perhaps you'll admit that I'm rather a stouter man than yourself?"

"Oh! doubtless."

"And possibly this bludgeon would be no especial disadvantage to me in
a contest with an unarmed man?"

"I must acknowledge it would not."

"Nor this particular knife? according to your view of my 'morals,' as
you call them, I suppose it would not be very difficult for me to
cut your throat with it, and then pitch you into one of these dark
mountain ravines--where some six weeks hence a mouldering corpse of a
stranger might chance to be found, that nobody would trouble his head
about?--Are my arguments forcible? satisfactory, eh?"

"Undoubtedly. I must grant that there is considerable force in your way
of arguing the case. But permit me to ask, what particular
consideration moves you to conduct me and my portmanteau without hire
to Machynleth? It seems too disinterested a proposal, to awaken no

"Not so disinterested as you may fancy. Suppose now I happen to have
left a few debts behind me in this country: or suppose I were an alien
with no passport:--or suppose any other little supposes you like: only
keep them to yourself, and talk as low if you please as convenient."

"Well, be it so: here's the portmanteau: take care you don't drop this
little letter-case."

The stranger tossed the portmanteau over his shoulder; and both pushed
forward up the pass at a rapid pace. For some miles they advanced in
silence: and Bertram, being again left to his own meditations, had
leisure to recur to his original suspicions. Whenever the stranger
happened to be a little a-head of him, Bertram feared that he might be
then absconding with his property. When he stopped for a moment,
Bertram feared that he was stopping for no good. In no way could he
entirely liberate himself from uneasy thoughts. Even upon his own
account of himself the man wore rather a suspicious character; and what
made it most so in the eyes of Bertram was the varying style of his
dialect. He seemed to have engrafted the humorous phraseology of
nautical life, which he wished to pass for his natural style, upon the
original stock of a provincial dialect: and yet at times, when he was
betrayed into any emotion or was expressing anger at social
institutions, a more elevated diction and finer choice of expressions
showed that somewhere or other the man must have enjoyed an intercourse
with company of a higher class. In one or other part it was clear that
he was a dissembler, and wearing a masque that could not argue any
good purposes. Spite of all which however, and in the midst of his
distrust, some feeling of kinder interest in the man arose in Bertram's
mind--whether it were from compassion as towards one who seemed to have
been unfortunate, or from some more obscure feeling that he could not
explain to himself.

The road now wound over a rising ground; and the stranger pointed out
some lights on the left which gleamed out from the universal darkness.

"Yonder is Machynleth, if _that_ is to be our destination. But, if the
gentleman's journey lies further, I could show him another way which
fetches a compass about the town."

"It is late already and very cold: for what reason then should I avoid

"Oh, every man has his own thoughts and reasons: and very advisable it
is that he should keep as many of them as possible to himself. Let no
man ask another his name, his rank, whither he is bound, on what
errand, and so forth. And, if he does, let no man answer him. For under
all these little matters may chance to lurk some ugly construction in a
court of justice--when a man is obliged to give evidence against a poor
devil that at any rate has done _him_ no harm."

"Aye," said Bertram, "and there are other reasons which should make the
traveller cautious of answering such questions: for consider--how is he
to know in what dark lane he may chance to meet the curious stranger on
his next day's journey? Though to be sure you'll say that, for a man
with no more baggage than myself, such caution is somewhat

The stranger laughed heartily, and said: "True, too true, as the
gentleman observes: and indeed the gentleman seems to understand how
such matters are conducted very well. However, after all, I would
strongly recommend it to the gentleman to avoid the town of

"But why so? Is it a nest of thieves?"

"Oh! Lord bless us! no: quite the other way: rather too honest, and
strict, you understand."

"Well, and for what reason then avoid making the acquaintance of so
very virtuous a town?"

"Why, for _that_ reason. It's unreasonably virtuous. In particular
there is a certain magistrate in the neighbourhood, who hangs his 12
men _per annum_: and why? For no other cause on God's earth than
because their blood is hotter than his own. He has his bloodhounds for
tracking them, and his spies for trepanning; and all the old women say
that he can read in the stars, and in coffee grounds, where contraband
goods come ashore."

"Why, my pleasant friend, what is it you take me for?"

The stranger turned round; pressed his companion's hand; but, not
finding the pressure returned, he laughed and said in a significant

"Take him for? I take the gentleman to be as respectable and honourable
a gentleman as any that----frequents the highway by night. You are
come from abroad: at school you had read flattering accounts of this
famous kingdom of England and its inhabitants; and, desiring to see all
this fine vision realized, you did not let the distance frighten you.
And to a young man, I take it, _that_ is some little credit."

"Well, Sir, well?"

"Before you left home, your purse had been emptied at some watering
place, we'll say by gamblers, sharpers, black legs, &c.; but no matter
how: there are many ways of emptying a purse; and you are now come over
to our rich old England to devise means for filling it again. All
right. He, that loses his money at one sort of game, must try to draw
it back by some other: and in England there are many. One man marries a
rich heiress: another quacks: another opens a tabernacle, and wheedles
himself into old women's wills. But perhaps the best way of all is to
go into trade, break, take the benefit of the Insolvent Act, and in
short get famously _ruined_; in which case you're made for life."

"So then you do really take me to be an adventurer--a fortune-hunter?"

"Oh, Sir, God forbid I should take a man for any thing that it is not
agreeable to him to be taken for; or should call him by any name which
he thinks uncivil. But the last name, I think, is civil enough: for I
suppose every man is a fortune-hunter in this world. Some there are now
that hunt their fortunes through quiet paths where there is little risk
and much profit: others again" (and here he lost his tranquil tone, and
his self-possession) "others hunt a little profit through much danger,
choosing rather to be in eternal strife and to put their hopes daily to
hazard than to creep and crawl and sneak and grovel: and at last
perhaps they venture into a chase where there is no profit at all--or
where the best upshot will be that some dozen of hollow, smiling,
fawning scoundrels, who sin according to act of parliament, and
therefore are within the protection of parliament, may be----"

He paused suddenly, and made a fierce gesture which supplied the
ellipsis to his companion: but the latter had little wish to pursue
such a theme, and he diverted the conversation into another channel,
resuming a topic which had been once broken off:

"I have come to Wales," said Bertram, "chiefly from the interest I take
in its traditions, antiquities, and literature. The ruined monuments of
so ancient a people, that maintained its independence so long and so
heroically against enemies so potent, have a powerful interest to my
mind when connected with their grand historical remembrances. The great
architectural relics of older times,--the castles of Aberconway,
Caernarvon, Harlech, and Kilgarran"----

"Aye, and Walladmor"--said the other laughing:

"Yes, Walladmor, and many others, possess a commanding interest to him
who has familiarised himself with their history. All places too
connected with the memory and half fabulous history of king Arthur--the
grand forms of Welch scenery ennobled and glorified by the fine old
romancers, Norman or English, or by the native bard songs,----

"I know them all," said the stranger interrupting him and laughing
heartily,--"there's Arthur's fort at Cairwarnach--Arthur's
table--Arthur's chair--the brook at Drumwaller, where he forded without
wetting his feet,--and scores of old ruins in this neighbourhood."

"And doubtless you have had much pleasure in ranging through these grey
memorials of elder days?"

"Pleasure! aye, _that_ I have: many's the good keg of brandy that I've
helped to empty among 'em."

"Keg of brandy!" said Bertram, somewhat shocked.

"Yes, brandy; right Cogniac: better than ever king Arthur drank, I'll
be sworn. Faith, I believe he'd have sold his sceptre for a dozen of
it; and Sir Gawain would have tumbled through a hoop for a quart.--Oh!
the fun that some of those old walls have looked down upon many's the
dark night, when I was a little younger: aye, many a wild jolly party
have I sat with in some of those old ruins! And such a din we've kept,
that I've expected old Merlin would come down from some old gallery and
beat up our quarters."

"Why, certainly night is in some respects a favourable time for
visiting such buildings: for the lights and shadows are often more
grandly and broadly arranged. But were these parties that you speak of,
parties of tourists to whom you acted as guide?"

"Tourists, God knows: a rum kind of tourists though: and a rum kind of
guide was I. Egad, I led 'em a steeple chase; up hill and down hill;
thick and thin--rocks and ruins, nothing came amiss: and there's not
many tourists, I think, on the wrong side of twenty-five, that would
choose to have followed us.----But I suppose now, as you've come to
Wales on this errand, you would be glad to see a few old churches,
abbeys, and so on: fine picking there for a man that hungers after the
picturesque; owls, ivy, wall, moonshine, and what not."

"Certainly I shall," said Bertram: "I design to see every thing that is
interesting; and I understand that Wales is particularly rich in such
objects: and I've seen some beautiful sketches with all the picturesque
adjuncts and accidents that you mention."

"Aye, bless your heart, but did you ever see a sketch of Griffith ap
Gauvon? It lies about 20 miles north of Machynleth, in the eastern
ravines of Snowdon. G---! you'd lift up your hands, if you saw the
ruins--how majestically they stand upon the naked peaks of the rocks;
and how boldly the pointed arches rise into the air and throw
themselves over the unfathomable chasms! Look up from below, and there
on a moonlight night you'll see the white pillars all standing in rows,
like so many wax lights: and, if one looks down from above, it's half
enough to put thoughts into a man's head of throwing himself down."

"I protest," said Bertram, "you make my head giddy with your

"Aye, but don't be giddy just yet: for we are now going over a narrow
path; and there's a precipice below. Here, give me your hand. So!--Now
turn to the right: now two steps up: and now take my arm; for it's so
dark under these walls--that you'll be apt to stumble."

Both advanced in this way for some hundred paces, when suddenly his
guide stopped, and said:

"Here we are at last: and my term of 'service' is out. This is the
_Walladmor Arms_; and it is decidedly the best inn in the town; for
there is no other."

If any courteous reader has ever, in the May-time of his own life or in
the May-time of the year, made a pedestrian tour among the northern or
western mountains of our island, he will understand what was in
Bertram's mind at this moment--a vision of luxurious refreshment and
rest after a hard day's fatigue, disturbed by anxious doubts about the
nature of his reception. In this state he laid his hand upon the latch;
and perhaps the light of the door-lamp, which at this moment fell upon
his features, explained to his guide what was passing in his mind; for
he drew him back by the arm, and said----

"One word of advice before we part: even the 'servant' may presume to
counsel his 'master' as he is quitting his service. The landlord within
is not one of those landlords who pique themselves on courtesy: and the
gentleman tourist, with submission be it said, is not one of those
tourists who travel with four horses,--or even by the stage-coach: and
foot-travellers in England, especially in the winter season, do not
meet with 'high consideration.' Which premises weighed,--if you were to
ask for a night's lodging at your first entrance, I bet ten to one that
you will get none; no, not though the house were as empty as it is
probably full by the infernal din. But do what I tell you: Call for
ale, porter, or wine, the moment you enter. As fast as your reckoning
mounts, so fast will the frost thaw about the landlord's heart. Go to
work in any other way, and I'll not answer for it but you'll have to
lie in the street."

With full determination to pay attention to his advice, Bertram again
laid his hand upon the latch; opened the door; and made his appearance,
for the first time in his life, upon that famous stage in the records
of novelists--a British inn.

                              CHAPTER VI.

             Now this is worshipful society.--_King John._

The room, into which Bertram now introduced himself, was spacious
beyond any thing that he had anticipated: but, spacious as it was, it
seemed barely sufficient for its different occupants. A large playbill,
hung in a very conspicuous situation, announced the play of Venice
Preserved for representation on that evening. It was now a good deal
after 10 o'clock, and the performance was over: but the Venetian
_Nobili_, in the dignified solemnity of their black dresses, were
scattered about the room in parties--or laying aside the costlier part
of their finery in a remote corner partly screened off from public
view, which had been allotted to them as a tiring room. Round about the
fire-place, in an elevated sort of _dais_ which had been railed off
into a bar, a canopy of smoke proclaimed that a festive party were
somewhere seated beneath it. On advancing a few steps further, Bertram
could distinguish their faces and arrangement. Close by the fire side
sate a huge Dutchman with a huge pipe, solemnly fixing his eyes upon
the pomp of clouds which he had created or was in the act of creating,
and apparently solacing himself with some vague images of
multiplication and division. His leaden eye showed that he was
completely rapt away from all that was passing about him: two critics
disputing at his right ear upon the relative pretensions of two
actresses,--two politicians disputing at his back on the Sinking Fund
and the Funds in general, as little disturbed his meditations as two
disputants before his face, viz. the landlord and the manager of the
theatrical company, who were sharply discussing some private point of
finance in their daily reckoning. The poor manager,--with his keen,
meagre, and anxious countenance, at this moment rendered doubly anxious
by the throes of an arithmetical computation,--seemed the antagonist
pole of the Dutchman: he was endeavouring, with little success, to
bring the night's receipts into something like a counterbalance to the
daily bill: this had just been presented by the landlord, who had
placed his bulky person immediately behind him, looked over his
shoulder, and having encircled him with his arms for the sake of
leaning with his knuckles upon the table, had fairly pinned in the poor
manager, who continued at intervals upon every perplexing interruption
from his antagonist to wheel round and face him like a stag at bay.
Nearer to Bertram sate a man, whose curved nose--black hair--ardent
looks--and sallow complexion, at once announced him as a Frenchman:
he was occupied in painting a portrait of one actress at the same
time that he was making complimentary grimaces to three others.
In the chimney-corner, and over against the Dutchman, was seated
an elderly man, of short thick-set person, dressed in a shabby grey
coat--boots--and a white hat. His features were not in themselves very
striking, but had been habitually composed to one intense expression of
dissatisfaction with all about him. Like the Dutchman he looked away
from the company towards the fire, and appeared to take no interest in
any thing which went on: but this in _him_ was mere affectation. The
Dutchman, as a child could see, was most sincerely indifferent to every
thing but the festoons of smoke which formed about him; nor ever seemed
to suffer in his peace of mind except when this aerial drapery was rent
or too much attenuated: then indeed he puffed with a perceptible
agitation, until he had reinstated the vapoury awning--which done he
immediately recovered his equanimity. But as to White Hat, by the
complexity of his man[oe]uvres for disguising his interest in the
conversation about him--by uniformly shifting his chair upon the
approximation of any other chair--and by the jealous anxiety with which
he affected to turn away his head if any person were talking near him,
he made it sufficiently evident that no one person in the room paid so
earnest an attention to what was passing as himself. _He_ also had
resorted to a pipe for the sake of expressing his abstraction from the
world about him; but how different were his short--uneasy--asthmatic
puffs from the floating pomp with which the Dutchman sent up his
voluminous exhalations! In his right hand he held a newspaper which he
appeared to be reading; sometimes glancing his eye over it, sometimes
dwelling upon the words as if he were spelling them; in general however
giving himself a great deal of trouble to impress upon all about him
that he took little or no interest in any thing he read.

These were the most noticeable persons of the company to which Bertram
now advanced; taking care at the same time to call for wine in an
imposing tone of voice. At this sound the landlord wheeled suddenly
round, which fortunately set the poor manager at liberty. Both stared
at Bertram: the Frenchman looked up for a moment: even the White Hat,
being taken by surprise, made a half wheel on his chair; though
immediately reverting, not without some indignation at himself, to his
former position; in fact every soul in the room looked at Bertram
except the Dutchman. Silence ensued; and the landlord, after raising
and dropping his eyes alternately from Bertram's head to his foot,
demanded if he had a horse with him.

"No, I am on foot," replied Bertram.

"Very late time of night," the landlord muttered, "to be walking: pray,
which way do you come?"

"From the sea-side, where I was set ashore this evening about 5

After a little further cross-examination, the landlord appeared to be
satisfied; and directed "Jenny" to bring the wine; the buz of
conversation, which had been hushed during the landlord's colloquy with
the stranger, freshened again; and Bertram proceeded to take his seat
amongst the company.

It is affirmed by some philosophers that Timon of Athens himself, if,
on issuing from the darkness and cold of a fifteen miles' walk on a
frosty winter's night succeeding to a day of hardship and exposure, he
were suddenly to burst on a gay fire-side of human faces, lights, wine,
and laughter,--would inevitably forget his misanthropy for that
evening, and be glad to take his share in the conversation. Bertram was
probably so disposed; it was therefore unfortunate for him that he took
his seat by the side of the Dutchman.

"I perceive," said Bertram, "that you have had a play performed this

Without looking up from his pipe, Minheer replied--"Like enough! I was
told there were players here."

Nothing discouraged Bertram turned to his opposite neighbour, the White
Hat: "You, Sir, probably attended the performance?"

"_I?_" replied the indignant man, "_I_ trouble myself with such
fooleries, when the poor country is ruined and perishing for bread?"

"_Fooleries!_ Mr. Dulberry," exclaimed the manager, "what! Venice

"Venice Preserved, or Venice Treacle; what care I? It's a play-book,
isn't it?--Here we are taxed already for the support of libraries,
museums, Herculanean manuscripts, Elgin marbles, and God knows what.
Very soon, I suppose government will assess us so much a head for the

"Ah, poor Venice Preserved!" ejaculated the manager, sighing: "it has
always some enemy or other. In quiet times it is laid on the shelf.
Then comes some season of political ferment: the liberty boys kick up a
dust: the public voice calls for the play clamorously: the theatre
fills nightly: every allusion is caught at with rapture: and, as to the
actors, they may lie upon their oars; for, let them play as ill as they
choose, they are sure of applause for the sake of what they utter. But,
as often as ever this happens, in steps the government and forbids the

"Forbid the representation?" shrieked Mr. Dulberry; "forbid that
excellent play Venice Preserved? What! there's something in it against
government, is there? Oh! it's an admirable play. And how, now, how is
it they forbid it? Not by act of parliament, I dare swear: bad as
parliament is, they would hardly trust it to them. By an order in
council, I suppose? and Lord Londonderry sends a regiment of dragoons
into the pit, eh?"

"No, Mr. Dulberry: the Lord Chamberlain forbids it."

"The Lord Chamberlain? Worse and worse! And so it's the Lord
Chamberlain that sends the dragoons?--Chamberlain! why that's the man
that takes care of the government sheets and pillow-slips; the overseer
of the chambermaids. And he's to trample on the liberties of the
country and to put out the lights of the theatre, by the hoofs of
military despotism!--Oh fie! fie! poor old England!"

Partly from political indignation, and partly from some more personal
indignation at a little laughing which now arose in some quarter of the
room, the patriot returned hastily to the Courier, which he held in his
hand; and the conversation seemed likely to droop; when suddenly
Bertram's attention was drawn by a bright blaze of light; and, looking
up, he beheld his reforming neighbour, Mr. Dulberry, metamorphosed into
a pillar of salt. His mouth was wide open; the whites of his eyes were
raised to the ceiling; one hand was clenched; the other hung lifeless
by his side. The Courier had sunk with one end into the fire; a roaring
flame was springing up and enveloping the whole: and, before Mr.
Dulberry returned to his self-possession, the newspaper with all its
world of history and prophecy was reduced to ashes.

"Mr. Dulberry! for God's sake, Mr. Dulberry! what's the matter?"
exclaimed the company on all sides. "Has Bolivar beaten the royalists?
Is the Austrian loan repaid? or what is it, for the love of heaven?"

"What is it, gentlemen? a thing to make your ears tingle! the
Manchester massacres were a trifle to it. An Englishman----Oh Lord!
gentlemen, it's all over with the habeas corpus act----an Englishman
has been arrested by the emissaries of government after he had quitted
the kingdom."

"What government? the French government?"

"No, gentlemen, by the English government: arrested out of the kingdom:
think of that, gentlemen!"

"But where, where?" exclaimed several voices: "in France?"

"Why yes, I think I may say in France: for he was going to France; and
he had actually put off in a boat from the Isle of Wight, and was three
hundred yards from shore, on his way towards a French ship, which he
was going to board."

"Oh come, Mr. Dulberry," said some of the company, laughing, "but
that's England, however: as far as an English cannonball will reach,
and a little farther too in the opinion of some jurists, the four seas
are English property: England's domain; her manor; her park; and she
has a right to set up turnpike gates if she pleases."

"By no means, gentlemen, by no means; Blackstone says that, to
constitute possession, there must go two things--the act of possessing,
and the will to possess. So also no doubt of a man's domicile: to make
this bar my domicile, I must not only _be_ here; but secondly, I must
_will_ to be here. Now this man willed to be in France; and England was
no longer his domicile. And where a man is not, there he ought not by
law to be arrested."

This pretty piece of subtilty was received by most of the company with
a smile; but as Mr. Dulberry remarked that some little murmuring arose,
which announced that some of his auditors were impressed with what he
had said, he seized his opportunity, jumped upon his chair, flourished
his white hat, and briefly harangued the company.

"Gentlemen," said he, "we all know that ministers have sealed this
country against all unhappy foreigners, and have tarnished the old
English character for generous hospitality by their cursed alien bill.
This we knew before: but now comes a fresh assault on liberty. Not only
must we look on and see nets and lines set all round our once
hospitable shores to catch the unhappy fugitives from continental
tyranny; but at length, it seems, ministers are to be allowed to throw
out their grappling hooks after English fugitives from the tyranny of
Lord Londonderry. If a man runs to the North Pole, I suppose Lord
Londonderry and Ally[1] Croaker will soon be after them: and _that_, by
the way, is the meaning of all these polar voyages.--I see that even
the ministerial gentlemen present cast down their eyes and look
ashamed. No man has a word to say in defence. What I propose therefore
is, that we all unite in an address to the king--testifying our
abhorrence of this last act which has made the cup of our afflictions
run over, and begging that his majesty would dissolve the present
administration, and form a new one on a more patriotic basis."

"But, Mr. Dulberry, who is it that has been arrested?" cried many of
the company.

"That's nothing to the purpose, gentlemen: the man's an Englishman; and
that's enough, I hope."

"But how if he should turn out to be an English lunatic escaped from
his keepers?" said a cynical looking man in the corner.

A laugh followed, and a general cry of--, "Name! name!"

Not to forfeit his hold upon the public attention, Mr. Dulberry found
himself obliged to relax the rigor of his principles, and to descend
from the universal character of Englishman to so impertinent a
consideration as the character of the individual.--"His name,
gentlemen, is Edward Nicholas."

"Nicholas! Edward Nicholas!" said a number of voices at once: "what
_our_ Nicholas?"

"As to _that_, I know not: he was described in the Courier as a bold
adventurer: many honourable traits were recited of his conduct; and in
particular I remember it was said that he had fought on the side of
liberty in South America, and had once commanded a sloop of war--as a
commissioned officer--under Artigas."

"Oh! the same, the same!" exclaimed the greater part of the company:
"our Nicholas, sure enough: but what mad trick has he been playing

The patriot was evidently uneasy, and reluctant to answer this
question. Being pressed however on all sides, he replied--"I don't
know, gentlemen, that he has been playing any tricks: the Courier
pretends that he is charged with some knowledge of the Cato-street
affair; treason, or misprision of treason, as they call it in their
d---d treasury jargon."

"Oh! Cato-street? Is _that_ it?" cried the whole room with one voice,
"then we'll have no addresses for him: no, no! we'll not address his
Majesty for a Cato-street conspirator."

"But, gentlemen," said the disconcerted patriot--"But gentlemen, I

"Mr. Dulberry, it won't do," interrupted a grave-looking tradesman:
"Attack the ministers as much as you will. Let every man attack them.
It's all fair. And I dare say they deserve it: for I'm not the man to
think any of them saints. But let's hear it all in the old English way;
all fair and above board: no foul play: no stabbing of unarmed men: set
Junius upon them--set Cato upon them--set Publicola upon them in the
newspapers. But no slipping into men's friendly meetings! no cutting
throats by the fire-side! No Venice conspirators in England."

"Friendly meetings! and fire-sides!" said Dulberry; "why, God bless me,
how you varnish the matter! To hear _you_ talk,--one would suppose
these ministers of ours were so many lambs, and met for nothing but to
kiss and sing psalms. I tell you, they never meet but to plot against
us and our liberties. And as to conspirators, if you come to _that_, I
know of none except at Lord Harrowby's. _You_ say there was a
conspiracy of Cato-street against Grosvenor-square: _I_ say--No: there
was a conspiracy of Grosvenor-square against Cato-street."

This view of the case seemed so new and original to the company, that
a general laugh followed; and the reformer, finding that he was no
longer accompanied by the sympathy of his audience, sate down in
dudgeon--muttering something about "lacqueys of Lord Londonderry." The
politician being silenced, an opening was now allowed for a subject far
more interesting to the majority of those who were present, and to many
more in this part of Wales.

"And so Nicholas is taken at last?" said Mr. Bloodingstone a butcher:
"Well, now that's what I could never have thought--that Nicholas should
let himself be taken as quietly as a lamb. Bless your hearts, on all
this coast there's not a creek or a cranny big enough for a field-mouse
but he knew it: and all the way from Barmouth to Carnarvon I'll be
sworn there's not a man on the Preventive Service, simple or gentle,
but Nicholas has had his neck under his foot at one time or another."

"Aye, Mr. Bloodinsgtone," replied the landlord: "but a Bow-street
officer with his staff is like Joshua the son of Nun; he can make the
sun and moon stand still. So _that's_ not the thing I wonder at. What
surprizes me is--that a man like Nicholas should ever meddle with these
politics and politicians, that get nothing for their pains but bloody
heads and a trifle of fame that would never pay for one glass of good
whiskey punch. What! Nicholas was a man of sense; and a d---d long head
he had of his own. And, if he would but have been quiet and have gone
on in a regular way, he might have been a rich man by this time: for he
had credit for evermore with the merchants in Amsterdam and Antwerp;
and with some others too that I'll say nothing about."

"Was this Nicholas then settled in business at this place?" asked the

A smile appeared on the major part of the faces present; and the
landlord answered with a loud laugh--"Settled! my God! I would be glad
to see the place where Nicholas was ever settled for twenty-four hours
together. No, bless you! Nicholas was no settler. And there's some folk
will say that he never sate down in his life: but that's not true; for
I've seen him sit many a time in that very arm-chair where the young
gentleman is now sitting:" here he pointed to Bertram who felt somewhat
uneasy at the very marked attention which was at this moment directed
on him by the company. The landlord however took no notice, but
proceeded in his answer: "No, Nicholas was no settler: and just as
little can I call him a man in business. He was a sort of agent, you
see, in other people's business; and a d---d dangerous sort of business
too; and I suppose there's never been his match in that way since the
time of Owen Owalys. However we'll say nothing about all that: he
stocked the whole country with cheap brandies and other little matters.
And so I'll say nothing against his way of doing business; though I
reckon we mustn't praise it, except in a corner."

"You must understand, Monsieur," said a voice from behind, "that this
Nicholas set up an opposition trade against the government; and
undersold it, so that government lost all its trade in this part of the
country: for which reason government is jealous of him, and can't abide
him.--But, landlord, it seems you knew this Nicholas?"

"I knew him in a manner: but how? I knew him, and I knew him not.
Scores of times he has sate in this bar, and I never knew it to be him
until after he was gone. Sometimes he would come dressed like an old
beggar, and slink into a corner; sometimes like a labouring man, and
argue with me for the value of a halfpenny; other times I have known
him come like a lord, and make his guineas fly about like so much dust.
And once--egad! I can't help laughing--he came in the uniform of a
dragoon officer, and he would needs cudgel me for letting Nicholas
escape. He got me by the throat: I sung out for my very life:
Jenny--she ran for the constables: the neighbours came flocking in:
Alderman Gravesand brought all his _posse comitatus_ down, for he was
then on the look-out for Nicholas at the town's end: and, would you
believe it? by that time all was settled the whole party of the
smugglers, bag and baggage, was clean through the town, and ten miles
on the road to Ap Gauvon. And all this at noon-day."

"Well, landlord, and what said Nicholas when you saw him next?"

"The next time I saw him, gentlemen, was in my own bar; and dressed in
one of my own wigs, jacket, and apron. Gad, I never was so frightened
in the whole course of my life. I had just walked a mile out of town to
our parson's; and, as I was coming back, a man shot by me like an
arrow: but, as quick as he was, says I to myself,--That's Nicholas!
And sure enough many minutes had'nt passed before up comes a great
company of men, and asks me which way Nicholas had gone. I thought to
myself--These'll be the Blazer's men of the revenue service, that's
stationed off Caernarvon. So I did'nt trouble myself to give 'em much
of an answer, and away they pelted after him in full cry. Well,
gentlemen,--before I got home, both hare and hounds (as it happened)
had turned into my bar. And, if you'll believe me, the first man I
clapt my eyes on as I came into my own house--egad, I thought it was
myself or my own ghost."

"And if this had been in the Scotch Highlands now, landlord, you would
have been sure of being in your coffin before the year was out."

"Why I know not for that, Sir: but it's not lucky in any country for a
man to see his own likeness walking about: and I'll not deny but I was
a little startled; and I sate me down amongst the Blazer's men, and
could not speak a word. And says he to me--(but he turned his face
rather away)--'Good man, did you call for whiskey?' And I could have
sworn to the voice for my own amongst a thousand: But, when he served
me the whiskey, I looked hard at him; and I saw it was Nicholas. But I
had'nt the heart to betray him: and I says to him--'Landlord, how are
you? and how goes business?'--'Business?' says he, 'we've business for
evermore; I'm run off my feet with business.' And sure enough he took
sixpence of me in my own bar; and fifteen shillings of the revenue men
for smuggled brandy. And whilst they were drinking, out he slips--and
whips away at the north gate by the very same road they had all come;
and two minutes after the lieutenant and his company were off, as if
the devil drove 'em, to the south."

"This extraordinary talent for personating every age and character,"
said the manager, "he learned (or improved however) whilst he was
in my troop. He was the best actor I ever had: nothing came amiss to
him--Richard the Third, or Aguecheek; Shylock or Pistol--Romeo or the
Apothecary--Hamlet or the Cock[2]: for by the way he once took it into
his head to play the Cock in the first scene of Hamlet; and he crowed
in so very superior a style that the oldest cock in the neighbourhood
was taken in, and got to answering him; and the crowing spread from one
farm-house to another till all the cocks in Carnarvonshire were

"Ha! ha! ha! Mr. Manager, and what said the audience to this?"

"What said the audience? Why they encored him--pit, boxes, and gallery:
and the ghost was obliged to come on again, that he might be crowed off
again. But all this was when he was a boy of 17: for he soon got tired
of the stage."

"Aye, he grows tired of every thing," said some of the company: "and by
this time, I'll be bound for it, he's grown tired of smuggling: and, if
it be true that he has had any thing to do with Thistlewood, that's the

"No," said another, "that's _not_ the reason; tired of smuggling, I
dare say he was; for a man, like Nicholas, could never have liked it
for any thing but its active life, and its danger and its difficulties.
But, if any thing has brought him connected with Cato-street, it is

"Love! what love for Lord Londonderry?"

"No, no, you guess what I mean; there are few in this room but know
pretty well what I mean; love for a young lady in the neighbourhood."

"Miss Walladmor, I suppose?"

"Hush! hush!" said the landlord,--"let us name no names."

"Well! no matter for the name: but we all know that love had turned his
brain: he was desperate; and for this last year and a half it's
notorious that he has been as mad as a March hare."

"Nicholas in love!" said Mr. Bloodingstone, "well, now that sounds as
comical to me as if I should say, that my bull-dog Towser was in love
with a bull."

"Why, God bless my soul! haven't the Rotterdam merchants turned him out
of their service for that very reason? I know it to be a fact that, no
farther back than last February, when one of them was promising him 400
guineas if he'd do this and that,--'Damn your guineas!' says he, 'if it
were not for a fairer face than ever I saw on a guinea, I would never
set foot in Wales again.' And he raved at such a rate about the young
lady, that all the owners began to be shy of him: and the end of it
was, that Captain le----what's his name?--has been put in his room."

"Captain Jackson you mean," said the landlord, "for that's his real
name; aye, it's true enough that Jackson has now got the command."

"Well, but mad or not mad, what became of Nicholas after the Bow-street
officers had laid hold of him? Mr. Dulberry, you had the paper: what
became of him? Clapt into a post-chaise for London, eh?"

"No, sir: with all their plots, it seems government couldn't make
sure of catching him on the Cato-street business: witnesses couldn't
be bought, or juries couldn't be packed, I suppose: and so they've
sent him to this part of the country; and he's to take his trial at
Dolgelly or Carnarvon for some old affairs, God knows what, with the
Custom-house or the Blazer."

"God bless me!" exclaimed almost every man in the room, "so then we
shall see Edward Nicholas once more; and I'll walk fifty miles rather
than miss the sight. And which way does he come, Mr. Dulberry?"

"By sea, gentlemen; they shipped him on board the steam-packet Halcyon;
and God, in his mercy, grant that this cursed instrument of despotic
power may blow up and deliver so good a patriot from their snares!"

"The Halcyon!" exclaimed Bertram, with a vehemence proportioned to his
sudden surprise and the interest which by this time he felt in the
subject of the conversation--"The Halcyon! Why then, Mr. Dulberry, your
prayer is granted: for the Halcyon blew up two days ago in St. George's
Channel; somewhere, I believe, off the Isle of Anglesea: _I_ was one of
the passengers; and, to the best of my belief, all on board have
perished--except myself."

In Lloyd's coffee-house, or other places of great resort in London,
when a placard is exhibited reporting any important news, the
restlessness of public impatience seems often as though it would extort
an answer to its further curiosity from the inanimate pillar or post to
which the placard is affixed: it may be supposed how much more liable
to such importunity is the bearer of a placard that happens to be no
stone pillar but a living man. Bertram was pressed upon from all sides
for his narrative of the catastrophe, which he gave in substance as the
reader has already heard it. Of Nicholas, whom he now understood to
have been his fellow-passenger, he knew nothing: that some state
prisoner, of extraordinary character, was on board--he had indeed
casually heard; but had seen nothing of him to his own knowledge; and
if he were under hatches and in irons, there was no room to doubt that
he must have been amongst those who were most sure to have perished.
All that he could certainly report of the final sequel to his own
share in the adventure--was that, since his eyes had opened on
shore, they had rested on no countenance which he remembered to
have seen on board the Halcyon. It is needless to say that a mixed
expression of wonder, deep interest in the events, and compassion
for the unfortunate sufferers, accompanied Bertram's narrative. The
narrator himself was the object of a mingled sympathy of condolence and
congratulation--blended however with an air of keen examination
directed to his features (now that they were brought nearer to the
observers and under a steadier light) which had once before distressed
him in the course of the evening, and for which he could find no
satisfactory explanation. The prevailing sentiment, which arose at the
end of the account, was a lively regret that the near prospect of
seeing Edward Nicholas again--so suddenly opened upon them--should have
been so suddenly overcast. Nevertheless, such was the general
confidence in his good fortune and his unrivalled resources in presence
of mind and bodily activity--that considerable odds were offered by
many of the company that Nicholas, who had outlived so many desperate
storms, both by sea and land, in all climates of the world, would yet
be heard of again.

For any of these feelings or considerations Mr. Dulberry had no
leisure: the moral, which he drew from this, as from all other events
great or small--sad or merry, was exclusively civic and full of
patriotic spleen:--"So then," said he, "you see what sort of ships
government choose for transporting their state prisoners?"

"But, good God, Mr. Dulberry, you can hardly suppose that the boiler of
the Halcyon was in the pay of my Lord Londonderry?"

"The boiler!--No: but where was the engineer that _should_ have been
in his pay? Didn't Mr. Bennett propose a year or two ago, that no
steam-packet should be lawfully turned off the stocks before it was
thoroughly examined by a state engineer? Didn't----"

But here supper was announced, a summons welcome in itself, and at this
moment doubly so as putting a stop to the reformer. Even that person
condescended to be pleased on the former consideration, though
reasonably incensed on the other; and he advanced to the table in a
continued ejaculation of inarticulate grunts--a sort of equivocal
language in which he designed to convey alike his approbation of supper
and displeasure at the interruption.

Bertram took his seat with the rest of the party; but sought an early
opportunity of withdrawing himself from a scene of convivial merriment,
in which his previous fatigues had by this time wholly disqualified him
for sharing with any cordiality. Wearily he followed the person who
conducted him to his bedchamber: but, spite of his sleepiness and
exhaustion, he was roused to a slight shock of something like terror,
by a little incident which occurred on the way:--in one of the
galleries, through which they passed, a man was standing at the further
end: he was apparently in the act of admitting himself into a bedroom:
but something, which embarrassed him about the lock or the key,
detained him until they advanced near enough to throw the light of a
candle full upon his profile. It was the profile of a face tanned into
a gypsey complexion, and for so young a face--weather-beaten, thin, and
wasted; but otherwise of Grecian beauty of outline; and, as far as
could be judged from so hasty and oblique a glance, remarkably
expressive and dignified. The man did not look round or take any other
notice of them, as they advanced: and the attendant either had not, or
affected not to have, any knowledge of his person: but Bertram felt a
bewildering remembrance, as if suddenly snatched and recovered from a
dream, of the same features seen under circumstances of some profounder
interest. He labored anxiously to recollect in what situation and when;
but the events of the last few days had so agitated and bewildered his
mind, that he labored in vain; and, the more he thought, the more he
entangled himself in a web of perplexity. From this and all other
perplexities, however, he was speedily liberated by the sound sleep
which seized him the moment he had laid his head on the pillow.


[Footnote 1: A joke upon an Irish accentuation of Mr. Croker's, the
Secretary to the Admiralty. In his _Talavera_ he accentuated the word
Ally _Hibernicé_, with the accent on the first syllable. On which Mr.
Southey playfully called him _Ally Croaker_.]

[Footnote 2: A joke borrowed from ----, by whom it was applied to a
better man than himself; one of the most extraordinary men of genius in
this age, and whose life has been more romantic than that of Edward

                              CHAPTER VII.

      _Pand._ Hark, they ate coming from the field: shall we stand
    up here, and see them as they pass towards Ilium? Good niece
    do, sweet niece Cressida.

      _Cress._ At your pleasure.

      _Pand._ Here, here, here's an excellent place: here we may see
    most bravely. I'll tell you them all by their names as they pass
    by: but mark Troilus above the rest.

                                   _Troilus and Cressida_: Act. 1.

When Bertram awoke, the sun was already high and pouring a golden light
through the frosted window of his bedroom. The church-bells of
Machynleth were ringing gaily: from one or two neighbouring villages
arose a fainter sound of bells; and the stir and motion within doors
and without proclaimed that this was some festal day. On descending to
breakfast, he found the house arranged in the neatest order and
garnished with branches of fir. The door was crowded and the street was
swarming with groups of country people--men, women, and children; the
women adorned with gay ribbons, and the men with bouquets of leeks. The
landlord and many of his inmates paid the same honor to the day: and
every thing announced that it was the great national festival of Wales,
sacred to good St. David; a day on which no man of Welch blood, though
he should be at Seringapatam, would think it lawful to forget this
ancient recognizance of Cambrian fraternity.--True it is however, that,
like all other old usages, this also (except in the principality
itself) is rapidly falling into disuse. Else surely it could never have
happened that precisely on this day a certain noble lord of Welch
descent should have thought fit to rise in his place in the House, and
make an eloquent exposition and apology for the jacobinical creed of
his friends. We cannot doubt that, had a bunch of leeks been suddenly
presented to his lordship at this moment, his face would have crimsoned
with a blush as deep as that of the red night-cap which apparently is
the object of his homage; for surely no hostility can be deeper than
that between the badge of jacobinism and this antique symbol of honor,
good faith, and loyal brotherhood, and reverence for the dust of our

"How now, landlord"--said the reformer--"Is this absurd, superstitious,
commemoration of St. David's day never to cease?"

"Have a care, Mr. Dulberry: don't talk too loud. There's some of our
country friends outside, that, if they should overhear you, might take
a fancy for trying the strength of your head with ice-clods--or put you
under the pump."

"Or perhaps," said the manager, "give you a leek to eat; and not in so
courtly a manner as I once saw Fluellen administer his leek to Pistol
on the London boards; the part of Fluellen on that particular night by
Garrick; to whom, by the way, in _that_ part I was myself considered

"All rank superstition, trash, and mummery from the days of darkness
and barbarism," continued Dulberry. "And hence it comes that sound
principles make so little progress in Wales. As if we hadn't red-letter
days in the calendar more than enough already from national and general
superstition, but these local superstitions must step in to add
another. Gentlemen! it seems to me that Parliament should put a stop to
all bell-ringing, wearing of leeks, flaunting about with ribbons, and
flocking together in the street. Suppose, gentlemen, we should have an
Address prepared against leeks."

"No addresses," Mr. Dulberry, said the landlord, "for this day at any
rate! Sir Morgan Walladmor would send the beadle to you with a rod of
nettles, if he was to hear of such a thing: for he doats upon the leek
and St. David's day. This is one of his great jollification days: and
he sends bread, meat, drink, coals, and money, to every poor cottage
for a dozen miles round: nay, I may go farther and tell no lie: for
though the baronet's an old man now, and has had some sorrow to bear of
his own, by his good will there shouldn't be a sad heart in Machynleth
on St. David's day; and that's five and twenty long miles from Castle

"Abominable despotism! and the poor oppressed creatures do actually
swallow his drink?"

"Swallow it? Aye, Mr. Dulberry, it's no physic."

"And they dance too, I suppose?"

"Every mother's child of them, Mr. Dulberry: not a soul but'll dance
to-day except babies and cripples. Lord! Mr. Dulberry, if you don't
like to see poor labouring folks happy for one day in the year, I'll
tell you this--you must keep out of Machynleth on St. David's day."

"Well! this tyranny goes beyond any thing I've seen: we all know that
Lord Londonderry has compelled Manchester and all England to wear
mourning: but this rustic tyrant is determined to make people merry
when, as every body must know, they want to cry."

"Come, come, Sir, the Baronet's a good man and no tyrant; though he may
have his fancies and his faults, like the rest of us: but we most of us
like him pretty well, tenants and all: and, as to his niece--Miss
Genevieve, I believe there's not many between this and the Castle but
would go through fire and water for her."

"Sir Morgan Walladmor," said Alderman Gravesand, "is a wise man; and,
in these times of change and light-mindedness, he sticks up for ancient
customs. It's a pity but there were more such."

"Aye and he's a clever man," added the landlord, "and knows how to tack
with the wind: for, let who would be in or out of the ministry, he has
still been the king's lieutenant for these two counties of Carnarvon
and Merioneth ever since I can think on."

"There you're wrong, landlord,"--replied the Alderman: "Sir Morgan
never shifts or tacks for any body: he's a staunch Whig like all his
ancestors from 1688; and, though he doesn't go up to Parliament now so
often as he did in his younger days, yet there has never been a Tory
administration but Sir Morgan Walladmor has opposed it so far as he
thought honorable; that is to say, he has opposed it on the fine old
Whig principles of the Russels--the Cavendishes--and the Spencers."

"And why doesn't he go up to Parliament, I'd be glad to know?" said
Dulberry: "What the d---l does he stay here for, like a ruminating
beast chewing the cud of his youthful patriotism? Because he has got
some pleasant sinecure for himself, I suppose--and some comfortable
places for his sons, his grandsons, his nephews, and his cousins."

"I'll tell you, Mr. Dulberry, why he doesn't go up to Parliament," said
Alderman Gravesand; "not, as _you_ say, out of consideration for his
sons, grandsons, nephews, and cousins; for he happens to have neither
son, grandson, nephew, nor cousin:--not, as _you_ say, to preserve his
own sinecures; for he has never had a shilling for his services; nor
any reward at all from the state, except indeed what a man like Sir
Morgan thinks the greatest of all rewards--the thanks of Parliament,
and the approbation of his Sovereign: not, as _you_ say, to take
his ease and pleasure, for he has troubles enough of his own to
keep him waking at Walladmor House as much as if he were in St.
 James's-square:--these are _not_ his reasons, Mr. Dulberry. But now
I'll tell you what _is_:--There are just now in London and elsewhere a
set of presumptuous--illiterate--mechanical rogues who take upon
themselves to be the defenders of Old England and her liberties; and
they have made the very name of liberty ridiculous: and all the old
authentic champions of constitutional rights in Parliament or elsewhere
shrink back in shame from the opprobrium of seeming to make common
cause with a crew so base and mechanical. And, if there were any person
of that stamp here, and he were to take liberties with better men than
himself,--I would take him by the shoulder just as I do you, Mr.
Dulberry; and I would pin him down into his chair; and I would say to
him--'Thou ridiculous reformer, if I hear a word of insolence from thy
lips against our worthy lord lieutenant, I will most unceremoniously
toss thee neck and heels out of the window.' For a day of peace and
festivity _that_ would be an unsuitable spectacle: and therefore glad I
am that I see no such ridiculous person before me, but on the contrary
my worthy old friend and acquaintance Samuel Dulberry."

The reformer made no manual reply to this significant threat; but
contented himself with turning his back contemptuously on the
Alderman--at the same time uttering these words:

"Well, Mr. Gravesand, serve your master after your own fashion: what is
it to me? Carry his lap-dogs; fondle his cats; fawn upon his spaniels:
what care I? But----" What dreadful form of commination hung pendant
upon this '_But_,' was never known: for precisely at this moment, and
most auspiciously for the general harmony of the company, the
reformer's eloquence was cut short by a joyous uproar of voices
"They're coming! they're coming!" And immediately a sea-like sound of
glad tumultuous crowds, in advance of the procession, swelled upon the
ear from the open door: every window was flung up in a moment: mothers
were hurrying with their infants; fathers were raising their lads and
lasses on their shoulders: the thunders of the lord lieutenant's band
began to peal from a distance: in half a minute the head of the
procession appeared in view wheeling round the corner: heads after
heads, horses after horses, in never-ending succession, kept pouring
round into the street: the whole market-place filled as with the influx
of a spring tide: and all eyes were turned upon the ceremonial part of
the procession, which now began to unfold its pomp.

First came the Snowdon archers, two and two, in their ancient
uniform[1] of green and white, in number one hundred and twenty.
Immediately behind them rode a young man in black and crimson, usually
called Golden-Spear from the circumstance of his carrying the gilt
spear of Harlech Castle, with which, by the custom, he is to ride into
Machynleth church at a certain part of the service on St. David's day,
and into Dolgelly church on the day of Pentecost, and there to strike
three times against 'Traitors' grave'[2] with a certain form of
adjuration in three languages. After him came the rangers of Penmorfa,
all mounted, and riding four abreast. They were in number about
eighty-four; and wore, as usual, a uniform of watchet (_i.e._ azure)
 and white--with horse-cloths and housings of the same colors:--and the
ancient custom had been that all the horses should be white: this rule
had been relaxed in later times from the poverty of the Penmorfa people
in consequence of repeated irruptions of the sea, but was now restored,
with brilliant effect on the coloring of the procession, by the
liberality of Sir Morgan Walladmor. Next after these rode the sheriff
of Merionethshire and his billmen, all in ancient costume: and then
came the most interesting part of the cavalcade. On St. David's day it
had always been the custom that the Bishop of Bangor should send some
representative to do suit and service for a manor which he held of the
house of Walladmor: and the usage was--that, if there were an heir male
to that ancient house, the Bishop sent four young men who carried
falcons perched on their wrists; but, if the presumptive claimant of
the Walladmor honors and estates were a female, in that case he sent
four young girls who carried doves. Both the doves and the falcons had
an allusion to the arms of the Walladmors: and for some reason, in the
present year, Sir Morgan had chosen himself to add the four falcons and
their bearers to the Bishop's doves. These were arranged in the
following manner. Four beautiful girls drest altogether in white,
without bonnets, and having no head-dress but white caps, were ranged
in line with the four falcon-bearers, who were young boys dressed in
complete suits of bishop's purple and purple mantles: all the eight
rode on white horses: and immediately behind them came a kind of
triumphal car, low but very spacious, and carrying Sir Morgan's five
domestic harpers and the silver harps which they had won in the
contests first introduced under Queen Elizabeth's reform in 1567:
behind the car again rode five horsemen on gigantic horses carrying the
five banners of the five several castles belonging to Sir Morgan in
Wales. The banners were so managed as to droop over the heads of the
young women and boys: and thus the doves, the falcons, their beautiful
bearers, the white horses, the venerable harpers and their silver
harps, were all gathered as it were into one central group by means of
the banners of purple and gold which spread their fine floating
draperies above them all.

This was the centre of the procession: but immediately in advance of
this part (_i.e._ between it and the sheriff's party) rode the two
presiding persons of the ceremony; and who in that character, as well
as for the interest connected with their own appearance, commanded
universal attention.--Immediately before the falcon-bearers, and
mounted upon a grey charger, rode a tall meagre man in a dress well
fitted to raise laughter in the spectator and with a countenance well
fitted to repress it. This was Sir Morgan Walladmor. His dress was an
embroidered suit something in the fashion of the French court during
the regency of the Duke of Orleans in the minority of Louis the
Fifteenth; and having been worn by the baronet in his youth upon some
memorable occasion, where it had either aided his then handsome person
in making a conquest or in some other way had connected itself with
remembrances that were affecting to him, he never would wear this dress
on any day but St. David's----nor on that day would ever wear any
other. The dress was sacred to the festival; which, like all joyous
ceremonials and commemorations, to those who are advanced in years
bring with them some sorrow blended with their joy. In such sorrow
however, where it is a simple tribute of natural regrets to the images
of vanished things, and the fleeting records of poor transitory man,
there is often an overbalance of pleasure. But the merest stranger, who
read the features of Sir Morgan Walladmor with a discerning eye, might
see a history written there of a sorrow that went deeper than _that_--a
sorrow not tempered by any pleasure. On ordinary occasions this was the
predominant expression of his countenance--mixed however at all times
with something of a humorous aspect, a half fantastic sense of the
ludicrous, and perhaps a few reliques of that sternness which at one
time was said to have had some place in the composition of his
character. But this had long given way to the influences of time and
the softening hand of affliction: all harshness, that might once have
thrown a shade over the milder graces of his character, was now
removed: and on this day, above all days in the year, his heart had no
leisure for any feelings but those of kindness--dilated as it was by
the old ancestral glories that were revived and shadowed forth in the
pomps before him. Every part of the ceremonial to _his_ eye was rich
with meaning and symbolic language: and in the eye of the rudest of his
countrymen he saw this language repeated and reflected--the language of
exulting national pride, with a personal application to himself as its
chief local representative. Apart from these patriotic feelings, Sir
Morgan was capable of enjoying that purest of all happiness which is
reflected from the spectacle of happiness in others: he was besides now
riding for the sixtieth time in this annual procession, having begun to
ride when he was no more than five years old: and finally Sir Morgan
was a _gentleman_ in the most emphatic sense of that emphatic word.
Hence it arose that his manners on this occasion were more than merely
courteous or condescending; all thought of condescension was lost and
forgotten in the expression of paternal benignity with which he looked
on those around him: the meanest and the highest, the youngest and
oldest, came in alike for the salutation of his eye: to the poorest
cottagers, as he past, he bowed and smiled with an air of cordial
sincerity that allowed no thought of artifice: and young and old, man
and woman, all smiled with delighted faces and happy confidence as they
bowed and curtsied in return.

As he passed under the inn, Sir Morgan threw up his eyes to the upper
windows; and, observing them thickly crowded with strangers, he moved
with a courtly politeness--at the same time smiling archly but
goodnaturedly as his eye caught that of Mr. Dulberry, whose character
as a reformer had reached him; and who at this moment was the only one
amongst the gentlemen present that stood bolt upright, and proclaimed
his radical patriotism by refusing to acknowledge the lord lieutenant's
salutation. Impressive as Sir Morgan's aspect and costume were, the
attention of every body however was at this moment drawn off to his
youthful companion, who just now turned her eyes with a hurried glance
on the inn--but immediately withdrew them, as she observed the crowd of
gentlemen at the windows. All the strangers were aware that this was
the baronet's niece; who was now an object of sufficient interest from
the disclosures of the preceding night, even though she had been less
attractive in her person.

Sorrow in Miss Walladmor wore its most touching shape: as yet it had
made no ravages in her beauty; and, if it had laid a hand of gentle
violence upon her health, it had as yet cropped only the luxuriance of
her youthful charms. It was clear to every eye that Miss Walladmor was
not one of those persons who surrender themselves unresisting victims
to dejection, and sink without a struggle into premature
valetudinarians. Somewhat indeed her early acquaintance with grief had
dimmed the lustre of her fine blue eyes; and had given a pensive
timidity to her manner. But, if her eye were less bright, it was still
full of spirit and intelligence: and, if the roses were stolen from her
cheek, her paleness was rather the paleness of thought than of
constitutional languor; or to express it in the exquisite lines of a
modern poet, if she wore 'a pale face' it was however a pale face

     '--------that seem'd undoubtedly
      As if a blooming face it ought to be:'

and her whole person and deportment expressed that naturally she was of
redundant health and gaiety, but suffering under the shocks of a trial
to which she had been summoned too early for her youthful fortitude.

Having mounted on horseback only at the entrance of Machynleth, Miss
Walladmor did not wear a riding-habit; but had gratified her uncle by
assuming the plain white morning dress, white ribbons, and cap, which
ancient custom had consecrated to the occasion; adding only, in
consideration of the frosty day, an ermine tippet. The horse she rode
was a white palfrey of the beautiful breed so much valued by Charles
I.; and in fact traced its pedigre from the famous _White Rose_ which
had been presented by the sister of that prince [the Electress
Palatine] to an ancestor of Sir Morgan's, who had attended her to
Heidelberg. At the moment of passing the inn,--one of the doves, which
Miss Walladmor had been in the habit of feeding, quitted the hand of
the young bearer behind, and perched upon the shoulder of her mistress;
making up a picture of innocent beauty somewhat fanciful and allegoric,
but not on that account the less fitted to harmonize with the antique
pageantries of this heraldic solemnity.

Such were the two central and presiding figures: every eye strained
after them, and all that followed was unnoticed: the bailiff of
Talyllyn with the surcoat, and the silver spurs of Llewellyn; the high
constable of Aber-glas-llyn, with his gorgeous display of antique
liveries; the tawny coats of the Bishop of St. Asaph, who came
to ride the boundaries of the old episcopal demesne of Aberkilvie,
in company with the retainers of Sir Morgan; the Mayor and Corporation
of Machynleth, in their crimson robes;--all alike passed unheeded:
and the spectators were first roused from the fascination of the
departing spectacle by the clangor of the band, which with the Barmouth
sea-fencibles--two troops of dragoons and the _cortége_ of the Sheriff
of Carnarvonshire brought up the rear of the cavalcade.

As fast as the procession cleared the ground, with the fluent motion of
water, the crowd closed up in its wake--all eager to press after it
into the church. Bertram, who had shared deeply in the general
admiration and pity expressed for Miss Walladmor, sympathized no less
with the national feeling belonging to the day. Who can blame him? The
spectacle of a whole multitude swayed by one feeling, however little
the object of that feeling may be approved by the judgment of the
spectator, appeals irresistibly to his sympathies, if he be not more
than usually cold-hearted: and I remember well that, though myself a
faithful son of the Scotish church, I was once seduced by such an
occasion into an involuntary act of idolatrous compliance with popery.
It was at Orleans: the day was splendid: the bells proclaimed a
festival: a vast procession of a mixed composition, religious and
military, was streaming towards the cathedral; and by a moral
compulsion, rather than by any physical pressure of the crowd, I was
swept along into the general vortex. Suddenly an angle of the road
brought me into such a position with respect to all who were in advance
of my station, that I could see the whole vast line bent into the form
of a crescent, and with its head entering at the great-doors of the
cathedral: I gazed on the tossing of the plumes and the never ending
dance of heads succeeding to heads as they plunged into what seemed the
dark abysses of the church: one after one I beheld the legions and
their eagles, the banners and the lilies of France swallowed up by the
cathedral: then, as I came nearer and nearer, I could hear the great
blair of the organ--throwing off its clouds of ascending music, like
incense fuming from an altar: nearer still I could look through the
high portals into the nave of the church, and could distinguish the
opposite windows storied with gorgeous emblazonries of saints and
martyrs, angels and archangels, whilst above them were seen the
Madonna, and "the Lamb of God" with the cross; and through the upper
panes streamed in the golden rays of the sun, and the blue light of the
unfathomable heavens: then, as I myself was entering, suddenly the
shattering trumpet-stop was opened: and I heard the full choir singing
the great anthem of Pergolesi--"And the Dead shall arise:" at which
instant I also wept with the multitude, and acknowledged a common faith
and a common hope: and for a moment I will confess that I apostatized
to the church of Rome for the sake of her pomps and vanities: a sin
which I trust is forgiven me, as I can assure the church of Scotland
that it is the single occasion throughout my life on which I have had
any wanderings of thought from her pure and orthodox creed.

Under a similar impulse, caught from the contagion of public
enthusiasm, Bertram pressed after the procession into the church. He
was carried by the crowd into a situation from which he could overlook
the entire nave which was in the simplest style of Gothic architecture
and naked of all the ornaments which belong to the florid Gothic of a
later age. The massy pillars were left unviolated by the petty hand of
household neatness: they stood severe in monumental granite,
unwhitewashed, unstuccoed, without tricks or frippery. All the
gingerbread work of plinths to the base, or fretted cornices to the
capitals, had been banished by the austerity of the presiding taste.
And it struck Bertram also, as a picturesque circumstance in the whole
effect and at the same time a circumstance of rude grandeur which well
accorded with the spirit of the architecture, that there was no
ceiling: the whole was open to the slates; and the vast beams and
joists of oak, which had been laid for upwards of four hundred years,
were clearly distinguishable. Below these were suspended antique
banners which floated at times in the currents of air: and all the
pillars were hung with shields, helmets, shirts of mail, and other
ancient records of warlike achievements--arranged in the manner of
trophies. All these were covered with venerable dust, the deposition of
centuries, which no loyal-hearted Welchman would on any account have

The service, as is usual at Machynleth--at Bangor Cathedral and other
great churches in North Wales, was partly performed in Welch and partly
in English. The singing, which was fine and supported by an organ of
prodigious power, was chiefly of a triumphant and (as it appeared to
Bertram) almost martial character. Just before the sermon however an
ancient ceremony showed that, if the religion of the day clothed itself
in the attire of earthly pride and exultation, the martial patriotism
of Wales could sometimes soar into a religious expression. The people
divided to the right and the left, leaving a lane from the great door:
a trumpet sounded; and in rode Golden-spear, lance in rest, the whole
length of the nave--passed into the choir--and halted before a monument
of black marble. He paused for a few moments: then cried with a loud
voice in Welch, English, and Latin, "Bastard of Walladmor!" to which
summons the choir sang a penitential antiphony. Then he raised his
spear and struck the outside of the tomb: to which again the organ
muttered and the choir sang a response. Then a second time he raised
the golden spear, and plunged it through an iron grating which occupied
the place of heart in the stony figure of a knight recumbent on the
tomb: the spear sank within a foot of the head: and again the organ
muttered some sad tones; after which he pronounced these words:

"God, who in six days and seven nights created heaven--and earth--the
sea and all that in them is, send up thy guilty soul into this grave,
so long as the sea and the earth endure, on St. David's day;--annually
to hear the message which I bring from Walladmor and Harlech:--The
death, which thou gavest to the Pagan dogs, was given in vain: the
treason, which should have trampled on the cross, was confounded by
God's weak instruments a falcon and a dove: the crescent was dimmed at
Walladmor, and the golden spear prevailed at Harlech: and the banner of
Walladmor is flying to this day: So let it fly until Arthur shall come
again in power and great beauty: on which day thy treason be forgiven

Thus having delivered his message to the grave,--the herald drew forth
his spear, ported it, bowed to the altar, and turning his horse rode
back: and, as Golden-spear issued from the choir, the organ and the
choristers commenced one of the chorusses in Judas Maccabaeus.

Then followed the sermon which was in Welch--but, as Bertram could
distinguish, full of allusions to the great names of Wales; and in fact
as martial as any part of the service, and to all appearance as
gratifying to the patriotic fervour of the audience. That finished, the
rival thunders of the organ within and the martial band without gave
notice that the procession was on its return.


[Footnote 1: See Ap Howel De Lege Principal, per Forestam et Chasam
Snowd. hactenus recepta; Hist. of the Gwedir Fam. &c.]

[Footnote 2: For the legend of the Two Traitors, vid. Ap Howel, ubi

                             CHAPTER VIII.

      _Charmi._  Sir, I may move the court to serve your will;
                 But therein shall but wrong you and myself.

      _Rom._     Why think you so, sir?

      _Charmi._             'Cause I am familiar
                 With what will be their answer: They will say
                 'Tis against law; and argue me of ignorance
                 For offering them the motion.

      _Rom._                 You know not, sir,
                 How in this case they may dispense with law;
                 And therefore frame not you their answer for them,
                 But do your parts.
                              _Massinger and Field_:--_Fatal Dowry._

With the hope of again seeing Miss Walladmor and her uncle, Bertram was
attempting to make his way up to the centre of the procession. So many
others however had precisely the same object in view, that he was
likely to have found it a matter of some difficulty to pierce the dense
array of foot and horse passengers. Suddenly at this moment he found
himself tapped on the shoulder by somebody who stood behind; and,
turning round, he perceived Mr. Dulberry.

"Come with me," said Dulberry; "and I will show you a short cut by the
back way: jump a hedge or two, and trespass over a few silly old
women's potato gardens, and we shall be at the inn before the
procession arrives."

"It will pass the inn then on its return?"

"I suppose so: but what need you or I care for such absurd mummeries?
Good God! to think of the money that might have been earned by all
these horses if they had been spending the day creditably and honestly
in ploughing and tilling the land; whereas now----"

"Ploughing, Mr. Dulberry! but surely it's not the season just now, with
the ground frozen as deep as it is, for rural labours of that sort."

"Well, no matter: there's work enough for horses amongst dyers,
tanners, and such people. By the way, did you ever hear of my machine
for teazing wool? Wonderful invention! horse labor entirely superseded:
a little steam, and a man or two,--give me these, and I'll teaze the
whole world. Wonderful the progress of the human intellect since the
time of Archimedes!--But no doubt you are acquainted with my teazing

"In fact I have that honor: or rather--what am I saying? I beg your
pardon; that particular teazing machine of yours, which you now allude
to, I have not the honor of knowing at all."

"Ah? but then you should: the sooner the better: for no man can be said
to have finished his education who is not well acquainted with my
teazing machine. In fact it has had a great influence on the literature
of this country. For the ode to my teazing machine, which is generally
regarded as the most finished production of the English lyric muse----"

Here Mr. Dulberry was interrupted by a hedge which it was necessary to
leap; and Bertram remarked, that in spite of the contempt which he
professed for unprofitable show and "mummery," the reformer bestirred
himself as actively and took a hedge as nimbly as the youngest lad
could have done under the fear of missing any part of the spectacle. On
reaching the inn however they learned that their labor was thrown away.
One part of the procession had gone off by different routes to ride the
boundaries of lordships and perform other annual ceremonies: part had
dispersed: and another part had accompanied Sir Morgan to the town hall
of Machynleth--where a Welsh court-of-grace was held, according to
immemorial precedent, for receiving petitions, granting extraordinary
favors or dispensations, and redressing any complaints against the
agents of Sir Morgan (as lord of Walladmor and many other manors) in
their various feudal duties. At this court it was Sir Morgan's custom
to preside in person. As to Miss Walladmor, she, it appeared, had got
into her carriage at the church door; was gone off to make some calls
in the neighbourhood; and was not expected to pass through Machynleth
on her road back to Walladmor Castle before dark.

After taking some refreshment, Dulberry proposed to Bertram that they
should adjourn to the Town Hall. On entering the court-room, they were
both surprized to observe the phlegmatic Dutchman addressing Sir Morgan
in the character of petitioner. They caught enough of his closing words
to understand that the _gîte_ of his petition was to obtain the
baronet's sanction for the regular and Christian interment of some
foreigner who had died at sea.

"By all means, Mr. Van der Velsen,"--replied Sir Morgan, "by all means:
there needs no petition: Wales, I thank God, has never failed in any
point of hospitality to poor strangers who were thrown upon her
kindness: much less could she betray her religious duties to the dead.
But what is the name of the deceased?" "Sare Morgan," replied the
Dutchman, "de pauvre man fos not Welsherman: to him Got fos not gif so
moch honneur: he no more dan pauvre Jack Frenshman. Bot vat den? He
goot Christen man, sweet--lovely--charmant man; _des plus aimables_;
oh! fos beautiful man of war!"

"But what was his name, I ask, Mr. Van der Velsen?"

"De name? de name? oh! de name is _le Harnois_; Monsieur le Harnois; he
fos Captain au service de Sa Majesté Très Chrétienne."

Bertram started with surprize: but he controlled his astonishment, and
attended to what followed from Sir Morgan.

"Well, Mr. Van der Velsen, Frenchman or not, I know of no possible
objection to his being decently buried. In the churchyard of
Aberkilvie, which lies by the seaside about eighteen miles from this
place, there are bodies of all nations--Dutch, English, Danes,
Spaniards, and no doubt Frenchmen--flung upon our shores by shipwreck
or other accidents of mortality. By all means let the French Captain be
honourably interred at Aberkilvie."

"Tank, Sare Morgan, moch tank: bot--bot, Sare, dare is anoder leetle

"And what is that, Sir?"

Here another friend of the deceased stepped forward and briefly stated
that Captain le Harnois was a Roman Catholic; and that his son
therefore naturally wished to bury him in a Catholic burying-ground.

"But where is there such a burying-ground?" asked Sir Morgan: "I know
of none but the chapel of Utragan, where nobody has been buried since
the wars of the Two Roses: and now, I am sorry to say, it is used as a
potato ground."

"If the lord lieutenant would permit us to carry the deceased so far
inland, there is the consecrated ground of Griffith ap Gauvon."

"True: there is Ap Gauvon certainly: I had forgot. Well, be it so: let
Captain le Harnois be buried in one of the chapels at Ap Gauvon."

"Tank, Sare, moch tank," said the Dutchman: "but dare is 'noder leetle
ting:" and then he explained in substance, that as the Captain had died
at sea, all his friends were apprehensive that the officers of the
Customs and Excise would insist on searching the hearse and coffin; an
indignity which would grievously wound the feelings of his son and all
his family; and which could not be viewed in France in any other light
than as an insult unworthy of a great and liberal nation to the memory
of a brave officer who had the honor to serve His Most Christian

"I am sorry for it," said Sir Morgan: "but in this point it is quite
impossible for me to be of any service. The coast hereabouts has been
so much resorted to of late years by smuggling vessels, that the
officers of the revenue are reasonably very strict: and the law is

"But this officer," said the English spokesman, "this Captain
le Harnois--if you will condescend to listen to me, Sir Morgan
Walladmor,--was a man of honor and of known integrity. I might go
further: he was a religious man, and distinguished for his Catholic
devotion: was he not, Herr Van der Velsen?"

"Oh var moch religious: as for a man of war, he fos beautiful christen:
he cry moch for sin, often dat I see him: all de leetle prayer, and all
de leetle hymn, he sing dem all one--two--tree--quatre--noine--time
per day. De word dat de haf all time in his mout, to me and to oder men,
fos deese: 'Let all ting be charmant, lufly, Bourbonish, and religious.'
Oh! for de salt-water christen, he was beautiful:--beautiful man of war."

"I doubt it not, gentlemen,"--said Sir Morgan; "and am happy to hear
such an account of the Captain's piety, which will now be of more
service to him than all the honors we could render to his poor earthly
remains. Not that I would countenance any person in offering them an
indignity, if I could see how it were to be avoided."

"We are all sure that you would not," said the Englishman: "the name of
Walladmor is a pledge for every thing that is high-minded and liberal.
And in this case young le Harnois, the captain's son, was the more
induced to hope for the indulgence desired, because the deceased was a
man of family and connected with the highest blood in Europe. In
particular, he had the honor to be distantly related to the house of

"Ah?" said Sir Morgan, "in what way?"

"Through the Montmorencies. It is notorious to all Europe that there is
an old connexion between the Walladmors and the Montmorencies: and the
family of le Harnois is nearly connected by the female side with the

"Undoubtedly," said Sir Morgan, "my family have more than once
intermarried with the Montmorencies. Undoubtedly: what you say
is very true, gentlemen. And as this is the case, I will not
deny that I am disposed to view your petition favourably. Some
indulgence--some consideration--is certainly due to the blood of the
Montmorencies.----Let me think a moment." Then, after a pause, he
added--"Well, gentlemen, I will grant you the dispensation you ask. You
shall have my order to the officers of the Customs and Excise for the
undisturbed passage of the funeral train to Griffith ap Gauvon. I will
take the whole responsibility on myself; and this evening I will write
to the Lords of the Treasury and the Home Secretary, to prevent any
misstatement of the matter. Davies, make out the order; and I will sign

Both the appellants made their acknowledgments to Sir Morgan in the
warmest terms; and, having received the order, together with an
assurance from Sir Morgan that he should send down a carriage from
Walladmor House to meet the funeral on the sea-shore, and pay the last
honors to the poor gentleman's remains,--they bowed profoundly, and
quitted the court.

Bertram meantime, who had so recently parted with Captain le Harnois in
apparent good health, had been at first thoroughly confounded by this
unexpected intelligence of his death, until the portrait of the
deceased gentleman's piety--drawn by his friends in such very
flattering colors--began to suggest a belief that certainly there must
be two Captains le Harnois, and probably therefore two descendants of
the Montmorencies, cruizing off the coast of Wales. This belief again
was put to flight by 'de word which he haf alway in his mout' as
reported by Herr Van der Velsen. Not knowing what to think, he followed
the two negociators; and, addressing himself to the Dutchman, begged to
know if the deceased Captain, on whose behalf the petition had just
been presented to the lord lieutenant, were that Captain le Harnois who
commanded the Fleurs-de-lys?

"Oh Sare, ja: de var same, de pious good christen Capitaine le

"God bless me! is it possible? I parted with him last night at five
o'clock; and I protest I never saw a man look better in my life. Dead!
Why it seems a thing incredible. At five o'clock yesterday, but
twenty-three hours ago, I declare to you, Mr. Van der Velsen, that I
saw him with a keg of spirits by his side: and I'll venture to say that
he drank a glass of it every three minutes."

"Aye, alway he trank his physic at five o'clock: bot, Sare--mine dear
Sare, all would not save him: no ting would save him: his time fos

"And what was his complaint, pray?"


"Consumption! What Captain le Harnois' complaint consumption?"

"Oh! que oui, Sare: he complain moch of cons_o_mption."

"Why he had good reason to complain of it, if it killed him with so
little warning. But what sort of consumption? Consumption of the brandy

"Oh no, mine dear friend: consomption--what you call it?--trotting

"Galloping consumption he means," said the English coadjutor of Mr. Van
der Velsen.

"In good truth then it must have galloped," said Bertram; "for last

"Well, Sir, no matter how or when, you hear that the Captain is dead:
we are not his doctors, but his executors: and, if you owe him any
money, you will pay it to me or to this gentleman. Or,"--he added on
observing that Bertram laughed at such a conceit as that of the worthy
Captain's having suffered any man to leave the Fleurs-de-lys in his
debt,--"Or, if you owe nothing to his estate, perhaps out of love you
will join us to-morrow on the road to Ap Gauvon:" and at the same time
he put into Bertram's hand a written paper of the following tenor, but
without date or subscription:

"In full confidence that you are a good Christian, and that you
patronize freedom of trade, we hereby invite you to attend the funeral
of the late Captain le Harnois; a worthy Christian, and one who
admired--patronized--and personally promoted unlimited freedom of trade
by every means in his power. The place of rendezvous is Huntingcross,
near the sea-side by Aberkilvie; the time nine in the morning. If any
other engagement should interfere with your attending at this hour and
place, you will be so good as to join us on the road to Griffith ap
Gauvon. Finally, dear christian brother, out of affection to the memory
of the deceased have the kindness to bring a cudgel with you not less
than two inches thick, and three and a half feet long."

Bertram mused a little on this last item in the invitation: but,
recollecting that it might possibly be part of the etiquette in Welsh
funeral solemnities, and being at any rate certain that the funeral had
the highest possible sanction,--he said at length

"Well, gentlemen,--I cannot say that I owe the deceased Captain any
money, or much love. But I bear no malice: and I have a mind to see how
funerals are conducted in North Wales; and Griffith ap Gauvon, I now
recollect, was one of the places pointed out to me as best worth seeing
in this part of the country. All things considered therefore, if the
morning should prove fine, I will not fail to join you somewhere on the
road to Ap Gauvon."

At this point the conversation dropped; his two companions thanked him,
and turned off down a bye street--upon some business connected with the
preparations for the ensuing day; whilst Bertram pursued the direct
road to the inn.

By this time it was dusk: the cottage windows were beginning to
brighten with the blazing fire within; crowds of men were in the street
elevated with Sir Morgan's liquor; and all the boys of Machynleth were
gathering into groups, and preparing to let off their squibs and
crackers in honour of the day. On approaching the inn, Bertram observed
a carriage drawn up to the door; and a sudden blaze of light from one
of the torches, which now began to appear amongst the crowd, showed him
the figure of a young lady sitting inside. A minute afterwards, one of
the attendants lit the carriage lamps; in doing which, the light of his
candle illuminated the inside of the carriage, and fell strongly upon a
face too beautiful and expressive to be forgotten by any one who had
once beheld it. Bertram perceived that it was Miss Walladmor, who was
now on her return to Walladmor House.

"She'll be off in a moment," said the landlord: "she's only stopping to
change horses and get the lamps lit. The Lord Lieutenant's horses, that
brought her in from the Castle in the forenoon, have been a matter of
thirty miles with her since church-time on the other side the country;
and that's near sixty in all. And so she takes my horses on to

"And does Sir Morgan not accompany her?"

"Oh! lord, no: Sir Morgan always dines with the Corporation; and he'll
not be on the road for these seven hours; not on this side of midnight,
I'll warrant him. This is St. David's day, I'd have you to remember:
and this I'll take upon me to say----Mind, I name no names----but this
I'll say, there's no man in Machynleth, gentle or simple, that will
have the face to be sober to-night when the clock strikes twelve, nor
any man that will leave Machynleth sober _after_ twelve. What! do you
take us for heathens? Most of us have been drunk these four hours
agone; and are ready to be drunk again; and there's not many here but
will have their eyes set in their heads in two hours more. I'll answer
for one."

"Well, but at least you'll except Miss Walladmor's servants, I hope."

"I'll except nobody: if Miss Walladmor wants lads to drive her that are
not drunk, she must send for 'em to some other county: she'll not find
'em in this. But she knows that well enough. Lord love her! there's not
a driver in the county, not a horse almost nor any dumb creature
whatsomever, that would bring Miss Walladmor into any danger. What! the
lads may be a little 'fresh' or so; but they'll drive all the better
for that. There's that lad now: he's going to ride the leaders; and I'm
much in doubt whether he'll be able to mount. But if he once gets
fairly into the saddle, the devil won't throw him out; he'll sit like a
leech all the way from Carnarvonshire to Jerusalem."

Whether wrong or right in the latter part of this prediction, the
landlord was certainly right in the former. For at this moment the
postillion had succeeded in putting his foot into the stirrup, but in
throwing his leg over the horse's croupe, he grazed his flank sharply
with the spur--and, from the instantaneous rearing and plunging of the
horse, was pretty nearly flung under his feet. Drunk as the lad was,
however, he had a sort of instinct for maintaining or recovering any
hold once gained that soon enabled him to throw himself into the
saddle. But the danger was now past his power to control: a shower of
squibs and crackers, which had been purposely reserved by way of a
valedictory salute to Miss Walladmor, were at this moment discharged;
and one of them unfortunately fell under the feet of the near
leader. Previously irritated, and now alarmed beyond measure by the
fireworks--the huzzas--and the flashing lights, the horse became
ungovernable; the contagion of panic spread; all were plunging and
kicking at once: the splinter-bar was smashed to atoms; and, the crowd
of by-standers being confused by the darkness and the uncertain light,
before any one could lay hands upon them--the horses had lurched to one
side and placed the carriage at the very edge of the road fenced off
only by a slender wooden railing of two feet high from a precipice of
forty feet, which just at this place overhung the river. At this
instant a man, muffled up in a dark cloak, whom Bertram, whilst talking
with the landlord, had repeatedly observed walking about the carriage
and looking anxiously to the windows, sprang with the speed of
lightning to the leaders' heads--and held them forcibly until others
followed his example and seized the heads of the wheel-horses. But all
the horses continuing still to tremble with that sort of trepidating
and trampling motion which announces a speedy relapse into the paroxysm
of fury,--the man who held the leaders drew a cutlass from beneath his
cloak; and, tossing it to a sailor-like man who stood near him, bade
him instantly cut the traces: not a moment was to be lost; for the hind
wheels were already backing obliquely against the rails; the slight
wood work was heard crashing; and a few inches more of retrograde
motion would send the whole equipage over the precipice. The sailor
however had a sailor's agility, and cut away as if he had been cutting
at a boarding netting. Ten seconds sufficed to disengage the carriage
from the horses; and at the same instant a body of men seizing the hind
wheels rolled the carriage forward from the dark precipitous edge over
which it already hung in tottering suspense. A burst of joyous
exultation rose from the crowd; for Miss Walladmor was universally
beloved--as much on her own account, as from the local attachment to
her name and family. Whilst the danger lasted she had sate still and
composed in the carriage: when it was over she first felt a little
agitated; and the loud testimonies of affectionate congratulation made
her more so. She bent forward however to the window, and commanded
herself sufficiently to thank them all in a low but very audible and
emphatic tone. The sweetness of her low and melancholy voice trembling
with emotion, and her pensive beauty which was at this moment
powerfully revealed by the torch-light, charmed the rudest man in the
crowd: all was hushed while she spoke; and the next moment an answer
rose from the whole assemblage of people in clamorous expressions of
attachment to the young lady of Walladmor.

Bertram had been a silent observer of all; he still kept his eye on the
man in the cloak; and he observed, that as soon as the attention of the
crowd was withdrawn from the carriage this man again approached it. Miss
Walladmor had also observed him; and, being well aware that it was
chiefly to the man in the cloak that she was indebted for her safety,
she was anxious for an opportunity of thanking him separately. For
this purpose she leaned forward as he approached, and was going to
have spoke: but suddenly the stranger unmuffled his head; the light of
the lamp fell upon his features, and disclosed the countenance of a young
man--apparently about twenty-four years old; a countenance which at this
moment appeared to Bertram eminently noble and dignified, and strongly
reminded him of the fine profile which he had seen in the gallery of
the inn. It was a countenance that to Miss Walladmor was known too well
for her peace: this was evident from all that followed. She uttered a
sudden shriek on seeing him; the noise of the crowd overpowered it, but
Bertram was near and heard it; then sank back for a moment; then again
leaned forward, and turned deadly pale: then seemed to recover herself,
and burst into tears--large tears which glittered in the lamplight: and
at last fixing her eyes upon the stranger--and seeing that he stood
checked and agitated by the uncertain meaning of her manner,--in a
moment, and in a rapture of tenderness that asked no counsel of fears
or selfish scruples, or of any thing on this earth but her own woman's
heart, she stretched out her hand to him and through her streaming
tears smiled upon him with innocent love. She had no voice to thank him
as her deliverer: nor did she at this moment think of him as such; for
her heart had gone back to times in which she needed no ties of
_gratitude_ (or believed that she needed none) to justify her
attachment. On the other hand the stranger likewise uttered not a word.
He, who would have died a thousand times to have saved a hair of her
head from suffering injury, had not thought of his recent service as of
any thing that could entitle him to a moment's favour; and, when he
actually beheld the smile of her angelic countenance and found her hand
within his own, he held it at first as one who knew not that he held
it: for a little space his thoughts seemed to wander; he looked upwards
as if in deep perplexity; and Bertram observed a slight convulsive
movement about his lips. But suddenly he recovered himself; pressed the
hand which he held with a look of unutterable fervor to his heart;
kissed it with an anguish of love deep--endless--despairing; and, as he
resigned if, offered a letter which Miss Walladmor immediately accepted
without hesitation; and then, without hazarding another look, he
disappeared hastily in the darkness.

All passed within little more than a minute: from the position he
occupied, Bertram had reason to believe that he only had witnessed the
extraordinary scene: and he could not but ejaculate to himself--"What a
world of meaning was uttered here, and yet no syllable spoken!"

Miss Walladmor now drew up the glasses: the injuries sustained by the
carriage were speedily repaired; the horses again harnessed: and,
within ten minutes from a scene so variously agitating to her fortitude
and her affections, she was happy to find herself left to the solitude
and darkness of her long evening ride to Walladmor.

                              CHAPTER IX.

      _Char._ What!--Away, away, for shame!--You, profane rogues,
    Must not be mingled with these holy relicks:
    This is a sacrifice;--_our_ shower shall crown
    His sepulchre with olive, myrrh, and bays,
    The plants of peace, of sorrow, victory:
    _Your_ tears would spring but weeds.

      1 _Cred._                           Would they so?
    We'll keep them to stop bottles then.

      _Rom._ No: keep them for your own low sins, you rogues,
    Till you repent: you'll die else and be damn'd.

      2 _Cred._ Damn'd!--ha! ha! ha!

      _Rom._ Laugh ye?

      2 _Cred._             Yes, faith, Sir: we would be very glad
    To please you either way.

      1 _Cred._               You're ne'er content,
    Crying nor laughing.

             _Massinger and Field_, _Fatal Dowry._--Act II. Sc. 1.

The next morning was fine and promising, the frost still continuing;
and Bertram, if he had otherwise been likely to forget his engagement,
would have been reminded of it by the silence of the inn and the early
absence of all the strangers; most of whom, there was reason to
suspect, had gone off with the view of witnessing or taking part in the
funeral honors of Captain le Harnois. This however was a conjecture
which Bertram owed rather to his own sagacity than to any information
won from the landlord, who seemed to make it a point of his duty to
profess entire ignorance of the motions of all whom he harboured in his
house; and, with respect to the funeral in particular, for some reason
chose to treat it as a mysterious affair not publicly to be talked of.

Taking the direction of Aberkilvie, Bertram pursued a slanting course
to the sea--but so as to command a view of the first reach of the
valley through which the funeral was to pass; his purpose being to drop
down into the procession, from the hills which he was now traversing,
at any convenient spot which the circumstances of the ground might
point out. At length, on looking down from the summit of a hill, he
descried the funeral train: the head of the column had apparently been
in motion for some time, and was now winding through the rocky defiles
into the long narrow strath which lay below him; but such was the
extent of the train that the rear had but just cleared the sea-shore.
It was a solemn and impressive spectacle to look down from such a
height upon the sable and inaudible procession stealing along and
meandering upon the narrow ribbon-like paths that skirted the base of
the mountains. The mourners were naturally a silent train even when
viewed from a nearer station: but from Bertram's aerial position the
very horses and carriages seemed shod with felt. So far as he could
make out the objects from the elevation at which he stood, the
procession opened with a large hearse--by the side of which walked
four stout marines as mourners. Close behind the hearse followed
about a dozen post-chaises; and, by the side of each, walked a couple
of sailors armed with cutlasses. Immediately in the rear of the
post-chaises followed those who claimed relationship to the deceased;
amongst whom Bertram fancied that he could distinguish plumes of
feathers--and occasionally, as the inequalities of the ground threw the
files into a looser array, a motley assemblage of colors and a
glittering of arms.

From this leisurely view however of the procession, as in the character
of an indifferent spectator, Bertram now gradually dropped down the
hill in order to take his station in it as an active participator in
its labors. The speed and direction of his course proclaimed his
purpose: and, although the majority of the train walked with their
heads bent to the ground, there were many who saw him; and all with one
accord called aloud to him, before he took his place in the train, to
cut himself a knotty cudgel. This symbol of fraternity Bertram had
wholly forgotten to provide; and, observing that in feet all the
mourners carried one, he hesitated not to cut a stout bough out of the
first thorn bush he happened to see. This however chanced to be so
large--knotty--and clublike, that Bertram could not forbear secretly
comparing his own appearance with that of the Heraldic wild man of the
woods as emblazoned in Armorial Bearings. Indeed this whole ceremony of
initiation struck him as so whimsical, and so nearly resembling the
classical equipment for the funeral regions dictated by the Sibyl to
Æneas,[1] that he took the liberty--on assuming his place in the
funeral train--to put a question to his next neighbour on the use and
meaning of so singular a rite: "Was it an indigenous Welsh custom, or a
custom adopted from France on this particular occasion in honour of
Capt. le Harnois?" His neighbour however happened to be somewhat
churlish and surly; and contented himself with replying--"The meaning
of it is this: there are a d---d number of dogs in this country: and
there's no keeping them in any order without cudgels: that's the use of

For some time the procession advanced with great order and decorum:
and, so long as the sea continued to be visible in the rear, a profound
quietness and silence reigned throughout the multitude: but no sooner
had the windings of the hills and the inequalities of the road shut out
the sea-shore from their view, than a freer movement of feeling began
to stir through the train and to relax all the previous restraints. One
coughed: another hemmed and hawed: some began to unmuffle their voices
from the whispering way in which they had hitherto spoken: and others
who had acquaintances dispersed up and down the procession conversed
with them from a distance in loud and familiar tones. Once invaded, the
whole solemnity of the procession was speedily dissolved: and a
corpulent man, stepping out of the line, threw himself down upon a
stone; unbuttoned his coat and waistcoat; and at the same time sang

"Let who will endure this devil's quick march: I'll not go a step
further without a dram. You there a-head, have you got any thing to
drink? Hearse ahoy,--have you no gin under hatches? I'm d---d, if I go
a step further without grog: and Capt. le Harnois may turn out, and
tumble to his grave head over heels for me, unless you bring us a
glass of something--I don't care what. D---n this walking on foot!
Come, bear a hand there--do you hear, you lubbers a-head! What the
devil! I say--Hearse ahoy!"

When once a mutineer steps forward, he is pretty sure of another to
second him: for it is but the first step over the threshold which
alarms men. So it was here. The standard of revolt, which the corpulent
man had set up, was soon flocked to by many others as well; corpulent;
as lean; and a general clamor was, raised for spirits or wine. This
meeting with no attention, a Dutch concert began of songs in every
possible, style--hunting songs, sea songs, jovial songs, love songs,
comic songs, political songs, together with the lowest obscenity and
ribaldry; all which, floated on the breeze through the sinuous
labyrinths: of the mountains in company with the Catholic chaunts and
anthems which attended the body of Captain le Harnois. Never man had
merrier funeral. Singing being over, then commenced every possible
variety of ingenious mimicry oft every possible sound known to the
earth beneath or the waters under the earth--howling, braying,
bleating, lowing, neighing, whinnying, hooting, barking, catterwauling;
until at length a grave and well-dressed man stepped forward to
expostulate with the insurgents. In this person Bertram immediately
recognised the manager of the theatre, and was thus at once able to
account for the motley-colored dresses which he had seen and the plumes
of feathers. Him however the seceders refused to hear: 'what! listen to
a harlequin whom every man may see for sixpence?' And the insurrection
seemed likely to prosper. The conductors of the funeral however, who
had advanced far a-head with the van of the procession, now returned
and proposed an accommodation with the malcontents--by virtue of which
they should be allowed triple allowance of wine and spirits at the
place of their destination in lieu of all demands on the road, which on
certain considerations it was dangerous to concede. Even this
proposition however would not perhaps have been accepted by the musical
insurgents, but for a sudden alarm which occurred at this moment: a
sailor, who had been reconnoitring from the neighbouring heights,
hastily ran down with the intelligence that the excise officers were
approaching. Under this pressure of common danger the treaty was
immediately concluded: all resumed their places in the procession; and
the funeral anthems began to peal through the winding valleys again.
Bertram indeed, who heard some persons in his neighbourhood still
uttering snatches of ribaldry, anticipated some serious collision of
the sacred music with the profane just as the officers were passing.
But on the contrary the vilest of the ribalds passed from their
ale-house songs into the choral music of the funeral service with as
much ease as a musician modulates out of one key into another.

In a few minutes a halt, which ran through the whole long line of the
procession, announced by a kind of sympathy what was taking place in
it's head. Some stop and cross-questioning it had to parry from a small
party of excise-officers; but that was soon over; the excisemen rode
slowly past them on their sorry jades, and reconnoitred them
suspiciously; but gave them no further interruption: and the whole line
moved on as freely as before.

The funeral train now advanced for some time without interruption. The
next disturbance of the general harmony arose in the shape of some
political songs of an inflammatory character: these were sung in a loud
voice which Bertram immediately recognised as that of Mr. Dulberry.
Much it surprised him to find the reformer in a situation of this
character which apparently promised so little fuel to the peculiar
passions which devoured him. However Mr. Dulberry afterwards made it
evident to Bertram that it promised a good deal. For in the first place
he cherished a secret hope that the whole meeting was of an unlawful
character: and in the second place he was sure of being treated to the
consolations of smuggled brandy; in which, besides it's intrinsic
excellence, every glass would derive an additional zest from the
consideration that it had been the honored means of cheating government
out of three pence half-penny.--With all his horror however of regular
government and subordination, Mr. Dulberry was made sensible that on
the present occasion he must submit to some such oppression; for, as he
was wholly unsupported in his annoyance, the managers were determined
to prevent it's spreading by acting with summary vigor: accordingly the
reformer was roughly seized, and made sensible by the determined air of
those about him that this conduct would not be tolerated. Threats
however seldom weighed much with Mr. Dulberry: to all such arguments he
was in the habit of retorting Magna Charta, the Bill of Rights, Habeas
Corpus, &c.: and to the rough gestures of those who had seized him, he
objected actions of assault and battery. Seeing whom they had to deal
with, one of the coolest amongst the managers applied an argument
better suited to his temper: "Are you a spy, Mr. Dulberry, an informer,
a tool of Lord Londonderry?" Mr. Dulberry was dumb with horror.
"Because," continued the other, "you are now abetting the agents of
government, whose active opposition we anticipate (according to some
private information we have received) at the next toll-bar. We are fast
approaching to it. And they will desire no better plea for stopping our
progress than the style and tendency of your songs on so solemn an
occasion."--At this moment in fact a curve in the road brought them in
view of a turnpike gate, the appearance of which unpleasantly
corroborated the private information: for it was barricadoed with carts
and waggons; and flanked, on both sides of the road, by parties of
horse and foot from the customs and the excise.

At this spectacle Mr. Dulberry immediately desisted from his
opposition; the line of march was restored; and again the solemn anthem
rose--filling the narrow valley through which the road lay. Meantime
the leaders of the company mustered behind the chaises which had now
been placed two a-breast in order to masque their motions: close
consultations were held: and from a sack, which had been taken out of
one of the post chaises, about a dozen cutlasses were distributed to a
select party of friends. These however were concealed by the long
mourning cloaks: and nothing was allowed to appear that could tend to
throw any colorable doubt on the pacific character of the procession.

The head of the train had now reached the gate: an abrupt halt ensued:
and half-a-dozen well-dressed persons went forward to demand the cause
of this interruption. High words were soon heard passing between the
parties; and numbers began to quit their stations in the procession and
press forward--some from secret orders to that effect, and others from
anxious curiosity. Among the latter was Bertram, who came up as one of
the spokesmen on the side of the funeral was exclaiming,

"So then you refuse to respect the order of the lord lieutenant?

"By no means," replied a revenue officer, "by no means: we have the
highest respect for the lord lieutenant and his orders."

"You mean to say then that the order is a forged one?"

"No: not forged, but granted perhaps on forged representations: the
lord lieutenant is no more satisfied with the truth of the allegations
which obtained that order--than we are."

"That is false, Sir: the lord lieutenant is perfectly satisfied, as
some here can testify: and it is a mere accident and owing no doubt to
the earliness of our departure from the shore, that his carriage is not
in the train."

"You deceive yourselves, gentlemen; it is no accident. Information was
given to Sir Morgan late last night which determined him to alter his
intentions in that point, or at least to suspend them. Satisfy us that
the body of Captain le Harnois is in that hearse, and we will
immediately despatch an express to Walladmor Castle; from which a
carriage and attendants will be able to join you in two hours by the
cross road of Festiniog."

"But, good God! is it possible that you can wish to disturb the
remains of a gallant officer and a legitimate descendant of the
Montmorencies? Why, Sir, the most savage islanders of the South
Seas,--cannibals even, anthropophagi, and 'men whose heads do grow
beneath their shoulders,'--respect the rights of the dead. The son of
Capt. le Harnois is in the company: will not his word of honor, the
word of a Montmorency, be a sufficient guarantee for us? The bare name
of a Montmorency, the first French family that ever received baptism,
ought to be a passport through Christendom."

"It is a name," replied the officer, "that will pass no turnpike gate
in Merionethshire. And to cut the matter short, not a carriage shall
pass this gate till we have searched it."

"But if you disregard the name of Montmorency, will you show no honor
to the Lilies of France? The deceased Captain mounted the flag of his
Most Christian Majesty. Are you not afraid of causing a rupture between
the courts of St. James and St. Cloud?"

The officer smiled, and said he hoped it would not come to _that_.

"Perhaps not: but what will prevent it? Why this, my friend: that you
will yourself be made the sacrifice. It is notorious that the English
treasury are just now shy of war: something however must be thought of
to appease the wounded honor of France; Lord Londonderry will send down
a mantrap: some dark night you will be kidnapped: and your head will be
sent in a charger to the Thuilleries."

A burst of laughter followed, in which Bertram was surprized to
perceive that many of his own party joined as heartily as the other.
Some however, of a weather-beaten sea-faring appearance, listened with
manifest impatience to this conference; and one of them, as spokesman
for the rest, cried out--

"My eyes! what's the good of all this jaw? Get out of my Way, master
Harlequin, and go aft: noble Captain, shall us lay 'em aboard?" So
saying he turned his eye upon a young man near the hearse who had been
pointed out to Bertram as young le Harnois and chief mourner. His hat
was slouched over his eyes, and his side face only presented to
Bertram,--who in this however fancied again that he saw enough to
recognize the stranger who had so much impressed him in the gallery of
the inn. But he had little time for examination: in a moment after the
young man whispered to a person who stood on his right and to another
on his left: these retired a little to the rear; whilst a strong party,
that had gradually collected in advance of the hearse, rapidly formed
and dressed in a line facing the revenue officers. At that instant the
young man whistled; and, in the twinkling of an eye, upwards of forty
cloaks were slipped off--discovering a stout body of sailors well armed
with pistols, dirks, and cutlasses; and some of them carrying carbines
slung at their backs. A general huzza followed: the two persons who had
gone to the rear, each with seven or eight followers, ran severally to
the right and left at right angles from the road strait up the steep
hills which rose on each side; then making a short circuit they
descended like a torrent in the rear of the revenue officers; swarmed
with the agility of cats over their waggons, and from these upon the
turnpike gate--whence they threw themselves with ease on the horses,
riding _en croupe_ behind the officers; who on their part, being hemmed
in by a party far out-numbering themselves in front and by the gate
behind, had no means of counteracting the man[oe]uvre. In this awkward
situation pinioned from behind and too ill mounted to have any hope of
charging through so dense a crowd of armed men whose rear rested upon a
triple line of post chaises, the officers saw that resistance would be
fruitless; and unwillingly they gave up their arms. Meantime a stronger
party of officers, who were on foot, had retired into a little garden
adjoining to the turnpike house, and were now drawn up behind; a
low hedge. To dislodge these, a select body of sailors was ordered
forward--which 'the chief mourner' headed in person. As they were
advancing, the officers discharged their pistols--of which however not
many were loaded with ball; so powerful, a resistance not having been
anticipated; and the result was, that nobody was wounded except the
commander of the party; and he only by a flesh wound in his left arm.
According to the directions previously given them, before the officers
had time to reload, the whole party of sailors rushed in upon them;
and, without unshipping their fire-arms or cutlasses, attacked them
with cudgels. Ten or eleven out of five-and-twenty were instantly
stretched on the ground and disarmed; of the remainder the major part
scaled the turnpike gate, and succeeded in throwing themselves into a
waggon which was drawn up with its broad-side across the road. Beyond
this were drawn up two other lines of carts; into the last of which,
for the sake of keeping open their retreat, they stepped. From these
however the horses had not been taken out: they were simply backed up
at right angles to the two inner lines, which stood across the road,
the horses' heads looking down the road. Here they posted themselves;
half their faces in one direction, half in the other. "Now then for my
boarders!" said the young leader jocosely, "where are my boarders?" And
instantly an active party, whom he ordered not to advance beyond the
second range of carts, swarmed over the gate: two or three others
meantime slipped round by the hill; and, whilst the 'boarders' engaged
the whole attention of the enemy, applied their cudgels so suddenly and
so vigorously to the horses that they started off at full gallop; and,
to prevent any early relaxation of their speed, the sailors ran along
with them for fifty or sixty yards--belaboring them with exemplary
vigor. The consequence of this sudden movement was--that five lost
their balance and fell overboard: all the rest continued to scud
along the road in the two heavy vessels on board which they had
embarked themselves--repeatedly crossing and nearly running foul of
each other--until at length, just as they approached a turn of the road
which would have carried them out of sight of their enemies, they came
into sudden and violent collision; both carts capsized; and all on
board were shot out to every point of the compass. A roar of laughter
ascended from the sailors: who now proceeded hastily to collect their
trophies, and to clear the road of obstructions. The captured arms were
tossed into a light cart, which was sent on before. Three of the
horses, selected with due regard to their dulness and moral incapacity
for trotting, were harnessed to the waggon; which was given up to those
of the revenue officers who had sustained any hurt in the engagement.
The rest were mustered and directed to go about their business by the
same road which the funeral train had just traversed. By these
arrangements all danger of immediate pursuit was obviated: the turnpike
being eighteen miles in that direction from the nearest town. The
chapel of Utragan, four miles a-head, was fixed as the place at which
all the horses and arms would be left for their owners on the ensuing
night: and then the enemy were finally turned adrift with three cheers
and a glass of French brandy to those who chose to accept it.

"And now, my lads," said the leader, after ordering a double allowance
of brandy to be served out to every man, "now we must make the most of
our time. So leave the carts here: clap the horses on as leaders to our
own; and push forward like Hell to Utragan, where we must all
rendezvous, and somewhere in that neighbourhood will consign our cargo
to safe custody." So saying he mounted one of the horses, and hastily
rode off.

Then followed a scene which put the finishing hand to the astonishment
of Bertram (who had stood aloof during the late engagement) and formed
an appropriate close to the funeral of Captain le Harnois. The cart
horses were distributed, as far as they would go, amongst the
carriages: the hearse which originally had four, was now therefore
drawn by six. A jolly boatswain, who had armed his heels with a
pair of immense old French spurs, rode the leaders--a couple of huge
broad-backed plough horses: his mourning cloak he used by way of
saddle; and in lieu of whip he produced the "cat" of the Fleurs-de-lys.
The two hinder pairs were driven with long reins by a sailor whose off
leg was a wooden one: this he turned to excellent account by thumping
the foot-board incessantly to the great alarm of the horses. Assessor
to him upon the box, sate an old fisherman who made himself useful to
the concern by leaning forward and flagellating the wheel horses with
one of the captured cart whips. Upon the roof were mounted sixteen or
eighteen sailors, two of whom in one corner were performing a minuet
with a world of ceremonious bows and curtseys to each other; and most
of the others were linking hands and dancing the steps of a hornpipe
about a man in the centre who had tied his mourning cloak to his cudgel
by way of flag, and was holding it aloft to catch the breezes which
streamed through the narrow defiles of the hills. None but sailors,
well practised in treading the deck of a rolling ship, could possibly
have maintained their footing: for the boatswain, the wooden leg, and
the fisherman, kept up their horses inexorably to their duty of an
immutable gallop; the hearse and its plumes flew through the solitary
valley; the post-chaises, carrying a similar crew on their upper decks,
flew after the hearse; and in the rear of the whole, with all the sail
they could crowd (but _haud passibus æquis_) flew a long straggling
tail of pedestrians with cloaks streaming, outstretched arms, and
waving hats, hallooing and upbraiding the sailors with treachery for
not taking them on board. Amongst them the most conspicuous was Mr.
Dulberry: with his cloak tucked about his middle, "succinct for speed,"
he spun along with fury in his eyes--howling out, at every moment,
"Stop, ye cursed Aristocrats! All men are equal. Stop for your
pedestrian brothers; ye vile Aristocratic hounds!"--but all in vain:
the sailors had shouting enough of their own to mind. From the hearse,
which acted as commodore to the whole squadron, a running fire of
signals and nautical instructions was kept up fore and aft: "Now
bowson! now Fisherman! what are you after?--keep 'em up, keep 'em up.
Look at that great lumbering devil."--"What _that_?"--"No, that on the
starboard: by G---, he runs like a cow. Who's got a stone? Here, hand
it us; and I'll send him a remembrance. Messmates astern,--keep a sharp
look out; there's breakers a-head. Now, bowson, come--what are you up
to? Give that off leader of yours a kick for me. Look at him: He never
was out of a plough field; and he thinks he's ploughing for the devil.
Have you ever a bullet, bowson? Drop it into his ear, and he'll gallop
like a pig in a storm.--Fisherman, you throw your lash as if you were
trout-fishing: here, give us your whip, and I'll start him--an old
black devil! Now, bowson, mind how you double Cape Horn!"

In the next moment Cape Horn was doubled: one after one the flying
squadron of hearse and chaises, which still continued to scud along
like clouds before the wind, whirled round a point of rock and vanished
like a hurricane: in a few minutes the flying pedestrians had followed
them: the hubbub of shouts, halloos, curses, and travelling echoes,
were hushed abruptly as in the silence of the grave: the wild spectacle
of black draperies and fierce faces had fled like an exhalation or a
delirium: all were locked up from the eye and the ear by the lofty
barriers of another valley, and Bertram, who had lingered behind--and
now found himself left alone in a solitary valley with a silence as
profound under the broad light of three o'clock in the afternoon as
elsewhere at midnight,--felt so much perplexed by this abrupt
transition and the tumultuous succession of incidents, that for some
time he was almost disposed to doubt whether Captain le Harnois, and
the funeral of Captain le Harnois, and every thing that related to
Captain le Harnois were not some aerial pageant bred out of those
melancholy vapors which are often attributed to the solemn impressions
of mountain solitudes.


[Footnote 1:
     Sed non ante datur telluris operta subire,
     Auricomos quam quis decerpaerit arbore f[oe]tus. _Æn._ vi. 140.]

                             END OF VOL. I.

C. Baldwin, Printer,
New Bridge-street, London.

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