Imatges de pàgina
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sainted Master Tressilian, and will be welcome to some folks, as a purse of broad pieces to me — Hark ye, fellow, . he continued, addressing Wayland , « thou shalt not give Puss a hint

we must catch her in her form. So, back with that pitiful sheep-biting visage of thine, or I will fling thee from the window of the tower, and try if your juggling skill can save your bones. » « Your worship will not be so hard-hearted, said Wayland ; « poor

folks must live. I trust your honour will allow me to speak with my

sister ?

Sister on Adam's side, I warrant, said Lambourne; « or, if otherwise, the more knave thou. But sister or no sister, thou diest on point of fox, if thou comest a prying to this tower once more. And now I think of it, uds daggers and death! I will see thee out of the Castle, for this is a more main concern than thy jugglery.

But, please your worship, » said Wayland, «I am to enact Arion in the pageant upon the lake this very evening.

«I will act it myself, by Saint Christopher, said Lambourne Orion, call'st thou him?

I will act Orion, his belt and his seven stars to boot. Come along , for a rascal knave as thou art- follow me!

- Lawrence, do thou bring him along. »

Lawrence seized by the collar of the cloak the unresisting juggler, while Lambourne, with hasty steps, led the way to that same sally-port,

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or secret postern, by which Tressilian had returned to the Castle, and which opened in the western wall, at no great distance from Mervyn's Tower.

While traversing with a rapid foot the space betwixt the tower and the sally-port, Wayland in vain racked his brain for some device which might avail the poor lady, for whom, notwithstanding his own imminent danger, he felt deep interest. But when he was thrust out of the Castle, and informed by Lambourne , with a tremendous oath, that instant death would be the consequence of his again approaching it, he cast up his hands and eyes to heaven, as if to call God to witness he had stood to the uttermost in defence of the oppressed; then turned his back on the proud towers of Kenilworth, and went his way to seek a humbler and safer place of refuge.

Lawrence and Lambourne gazed a little while after Wayland, and then turned to go back to their tower, when the former thus addressed his companion: «Never credit me, Master Lambourne, if I can guess why thou hast driven this poor caitiff from the Castle, just when he was to bear a part in the show that was beginning, and all this about a wench. »

« Ah, Lawrence, replied Lambourne, « thou art thinking of Black Joan Jugges of Slingdon, and hast sympathy with human frailty. But couragio, most noble Duke of the Dungeon and Lord of Limbo, for thou art as dark in this matter as

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thine own dominions of little-ease. My most reverend Seignor of the Low Countries of Kenilworth, know that our most notable master, Richard Varney, would give as much to have a hole in this same Tressilian's coat,

as would make us some fifty midnight carousals, with the full leave of bidding the steward go snick up, if he came to startle us too soon from our goblets. »

Nay, an that be the case, thou hast right," said Lawrence Staples, the upper-warder, or in common phrase, the first jailor of Kenilworth Castle, and of the Liberty and Honour belonging thereto; « but how will you manage when you are absent at the Queen's entrance, Master Lambourne; for methinks thou must attend thy master there ? »

« Why thou, mine honest prince of prisons, must keep ward in my absence—Let Tressilian enter if he will, but see thou let no one come out. If the damsel herself would make a break, as 'tis not unlike she may, scare her back with rough words—she is but a paltry player’s wench after all.

Nay, for that matter , » said Lawrence, I might shut the iron wicket upon her, that stands without the double door, and so force per force she will be bound to her answer without more trouble. »

« Then Tressilian will not get access to her," said Lambourne, reflecting a moment. But 'tis

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she will be detected in his chamber , and that is all one. But confess,

thou

no matter

old bat's-eyed dungeon-keeper, that you fear to keep awake by yourself in that Mervyn's Tower of thine ? »

Why, as to fear, Master Lambourne, » said the fellow, «I mind it not the turning of a key; but strange things have been heard and seen in that tower.

You have heard , for as short time as you have been in Kenilworth, that it is haunted by the spirit of Arthur ap Mervyn, a wild chief taken by fierce Lord Mortimer, when he was one of the Lords Marchers of Wales, and murthered, as they say, in that same tower which bears his name ? »

« 0, I have heard the tale five hundred times,» said Lambourne, « and how the ghost is always most vociferous when they boil leeks and stir about, or fry toasted cheese in the culinary regions. Santo Diavolo, man, hold thy tongue, I know all about it. »

« Ay, but thou dost not though, » said the turnkey, « for, as wise as thou wouldst make thyself. Ah, it is an awful thing to murder a prisoner in his ward! - You, that may have given a man a stab in a dark street, know nothing of it. To give a mutinous fellow a knock on the head with the keys, and bid him be quiet', that's what I call keeping order in the ward; but to draw weapon and slay him, as was done to this Welsh lord, that raises you a ghost that will render your prison-house untenantable by any decent captive for some hundred years. And I have that regard for my prisoners, poor

ass

things, that I have put good squires and men of worship, that have taken a ride on the highway, or slandered my Lord of Leicester, or the like, fifty feet under ground, rather than I would put them into that upper chamber yonder that they call Mervyn's Bower. Indeed, by good Saint Peter of the Fetters, I marvel my noble lord, or Master Varney, would think of lodging guests there; and if this Master Tressilian could get any one to keep him company, and in especial a pretty wench, why truly I think he was in the right on't. »

« I tell thee, » said Lambourne, leading the way into the turnkey's apartment, « thou art an

Go bolt the wicket on the stair, and trouble not thy noddle about ghosts. - Give me the wine-stoup, man; I am somewhat heated with chafing with yonder rascal. »

While Lambourne drew a long draught from a pitcher of claret, which he made use of without any cup, the warder went on, vindicating his own belief in the supernatural.

a Thou hast been few hours in this Castle, and hast been for the whole space so drunk, Lambourne, that thou art deaf, dumb, and blind. But we should hear less of your bragging, were you to pass a night with us at full moon, for then the ghost is busiest; and more especially when a rattling wind sets in from the north-west, with some sprinkling of rain, and now and then a growl of thunder. Body o' me, what crackings and clashings, what groanings and what howlings will

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