Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

CG

[ocr errors]

ged to know, since it was their plea- should take one trusty fellow with us, sure to sleep in the stable, what stall and set off immediately in these habits would best suit them.

to the inn appointed. Our journey “Methinks that yonder corner one," hither was too speedy to admit of consaid the soldier we have described, versation, so whatever then remained to “ would afford the better accommoda- be told, I have fully disclosed now. tion," and at the same time approach- Thus far we have prospered; it now ing it, he bade the ostler conduct their wants an hour of the time specified." horses thither. His orders were prompt All is well at present,” said Ireton, ly executed, and having stowed in a but regarding the bearer of this letter good allowance of hay for the horses, I should like to know more; does he and a triple quantity of straw to supply come armed ?'' the want of beds, the ostler returned to "It is not improbable," said Cromhis work elsewhere. “ Now then, to well, “ for the times render some weabusiness," said our soldier, who was pon of defence very necessary.” no other than General Cromwell, ac "Is he conscious himself that he companied by Ireton and a trusty troop- bears the letter, concealed in the sader, to business,” said he, drawing a dle ?” enquired Ireton. letter from his pocket, then turning Ay, there's the difficulty," said suddenly to his ironside, “ Haste thee, Cromwell, “my informant gave me no Ford," he exclaimed, “and that our clew on that point ; we must be careful actions may conform to our present how we devise our schemes, or the sucguise, bring quickly from the inn three

cess of our enterprize will be doubtcans of beer, and seek us where we now ful.” stand."

“He may know nothing of the conFord readily withdrew, and the gene- cealed billet," said Ireton, “and have ral having carefully perused the con other letters to convey to the same tents of his letter, replaced it in his home; if so, we shall have but little pocket, and commenced an extravagant trouble.” eulogy upon the writer.

“Or as is just as likely,” said Crom“Pray,” said Ireton, “what ecstatic well," he may be in possession of the tidings does the letter of your worthy whole secret." informer convey? the design of our visit While they were forming these con. here I can well comprehend, but not jectures, Ford, who had been despatchthe means of executing it, for you have ed for the beer, had scarcely entered not yet deemed it necessary to parti- the inn and given his orders, when the cularize."

tall figure of a man he fancied he had " This letter,” answered Cromwell, seen before issued from an inner apart“I received this evening at Windsor, ment, and glancing at him a look from one of my spies, who is of the of recognition, and then half opening king's bedchamber. Therein he informs the door of the room he had just quitted, me, that our final doom is settled this beckoned him to follow. Ford scrupled very day; that he could not possibly at first to obey the summons, but as the learn what it was, but we miglit disco- gesture of the man by no means indiver it if we could but intercept a letter cated hostility, he at length consented. sent by the king to his queen, where he "Take a seat," said the stranger, in a informs her of his resolution. This letter, good-humoured tone," and help me to continues he, will be sewn up in the finish this bowl of sack.” skirt of a saddle; and the bearer, whom "I have other business in hand," said he suspects to be a disbanded trooper Ford in reply," and were l at liberty, of Rupert's horse, will come with the should be loath to confide too freely in saddle upon his head, about ten o'clock thee, on so short an acquaintance.' to-night to this very inn, where he takes “What! don't you know me, then ?" horse for Dover early to-morrow morn said the stranger;

knew me once, ing. Upon the receipt of this intelli- and should not have forgotten me, congence, you are aware that I searched sidering the nature of our last interyou out, urged the necessity of instantly view." repairing to this place, informing you Ford stared in amazement, and asked that by so doing, we might get into our him to explain. He said nothing, but hands an important communication of walked to the cupboard, unlocked it, the king to his queen, whereby we and took out an unsheathed rapier, the should be enabled to direct our future blade of which was sufficiently hacked plans. I said there was no time for to prove it had not been idle in the late questioning me, but proposed that we coinmotions.

you

son.

-56 Look to the hill," said the stranger, sword from my hand, hurled me with presenting it to Ford, "the letters terrible force to the ground.”. rudely impressed there, may perhaps “ But he took no advantage of thee aid thy memory.

when on the ground, though he would “Why, this was my sword," ex. not have been so lenient to Old Noll,"? claimed the soldier in astonishinent. said the stranger. “ Remember, no "I carved the initial letters of my name quarter that day.” on the hilt, when first I joined my Lord " That's very true," said the solGeneral Cromwell's standard; how dier ; "I think he would soon have came you by it?"

settled me ; but, fortunately, our Gene"Perhaps you can recollect how you ral recovering from the stunning effects happened to lose it,” said ihe stranger, of his blow, dismounted one of his “it is your's, doubt not."

troopers, and shouting to his men, who “I lost-it in battle,” said the soldier, had recoiled on seeing him struck to emphatically; "it serred me well the earth, soon turned the fortune of the through many frays until we fell in day. On we rushed, and away they with a strong corps of cavaliers, not far few, like chaff before the wind, nor from Horncastle in Lincolnshire, head. once stopped till they reached the gates ed by one malignant Sir John Hender- of Lincoln."

We fought at fearful odds, it is “ You won the day, I must confess,"? true, but the words 'Truth and Peace,' said the stranger ; " but when horses given by our Lord General Cromwell, are blown and came home to every heart, and assured 1." You seem to know as much of this us of our own invincibility; as we affair as I myself do," said the soldier, pressed onward, a volley from the interrupting him; maybap you were enemy's line brought down our gene- among the vanquished that day." ral's horse, but he sprung up, and “ I was indeed,” said the stranger, not fiercely encountered on foot a sturdy, a whit ashamed of his retreat after the thickscull cavalier. But he was scarce execution he had done in the fight ;a match for his antagonist, and truly “ and avow myself to be the very cavawas in danger, when I who fought hard lier who claims the honour of having by the spot, spurred my horse forward dealt Old Noll his first knock down to his assistance, but was only just in blow. You seem to wonder at my knowtime to see him felled to the ground by ing you again-but who the devil could a tremendous blow of his enemy's ever see your stumpy red hair, and not broads word."

remember you !" 6 Would that he had followed up his “ A truce to your ribald jests,” said victory," said the stranger," and run the republican, and was about leaving the traitor Cromwell through the heart.” the room.

"What, fellow !” said the round head “Nay, don't go,” cried the cavalier, indignantly; “speak you so irreve « stay, and take a cup of sack for old rently of the Lord General ? But no, acquaintance sake I have a friend he was preserved for greater achieve coming to join me here to-night at ten ments, and I became the humble instru- precisely, so, you see, we could have a ment of his preservation.”.

merry night on't.' “Humble you may well say,” ex “ I have duty to attend to elsewhere; claimed the stranger, "for you soon and, furthermore, I reprobate debauchmeasured your length beside your gee ery," said the soldier neral."

Oh, as you like it," said the cava-. 65 And what of that?" said the round lier-but don't leave your old rapier." head, "by my interposition I warrant I “ I thank you—but I'm well prosaved the life of our David; for when vided," answered Ford, pointing signithe cowardly foe seemed like to have ficantly to his pistols, and abruptly desipitten him again when lying insensi- parted. ble on the ground, he found other em We may easily conceive that Cromployment; foaming with rage, he dealt well's patience was well nigh exhausted a heavy blow upon my steel cap, but by the long absence of Ford; and when his sword meeting harder substance he at length did return with the long than anticipated, shivered to atoms." expected beer, Cromwell eagerly de

“ Well, sir, proceed," said the manded to know the reason of such stranger, smiling.

delay. “I then prepared to strike in my turn, Why, craving your Excellency's but the fiery foe uttering a fearful oa!h pardon," said Ford, when I reached grappled nie, and wresting this very the inn, I chanced to be recognised by a

A

certain malignant, who claimed ac He then stood deeply immersed in quaintance with me on the score of cogitation, at length be proposed to having encountered me in one of our Ireton the following plan:- That Ford victorious fights. He asked me to stay should immediately repair to the cavaand join company with another of his lier's room, and tell him that he accepts kind, whom he expects at ten to-night.” his invitation, having been unexpectedly At ten!” said Cromwell.

released from the duty which would “ Just so, my lord.”

otherwise have prevented his so doing. “ You refused, I suppose ?"

That he should continue drinking there, “ I did," said Ford, " and told him I until he found both his companions had other duties to attend to."

well nigh inebriated, and then propose “ Thou wert right,” said Cromwell, a stroll about the town. This,” he "and hast proved thyself worthy of the added, “ will not be difficult to effect, trust I repose in thee.” Then placing as he can easily counterfeit a love of his hand upon Ford's shoulder, he said liquor himself, and cavaliers are too to him in a low tone of voice, “Go, fond of it by nature to require any watch steadfastly at yonder wicket gate, spurring to an exorbitant indulgence in and when a man whom I expect here it. They will readily accede to his proto-night makes his entrance at it, in- posal for a revel airong the fair dames stantly give me notice. But, mark me, of the town, and in their absence we you cannot mistake him for yon malig- can easily get possession of this saddle, nant's companion, for he will come which it is not likely the messenger bearing a saddle upon his head. You will carry with him.' understand ?"

“ But how ?" enquired Ireton. “ Truly I do," answered Ford.

" I'll tell thee-Ford must be mindful “ Then first drink,” said Cromwell, to unbar the window of the apartment raising a can, "and then haste to thy ere he leaves it to join them in their post-we shall remain here."

pranks. Every facility will then be afFord took a copious draught, and was forded, for the window is easily gained." soon at his station. Cromwell, from Treton entirely approved of the project, what Ford had said, concluded that the but suggested the possibility of Ford's king's messenger was the identical rejection by the cavalier. person whom the cavalier within ex « That is not likely,” said Crompected. It was now quite dark, and well: “in the first place he has already the hour of ten was fast approaching. invited him, and, in the second, admitAmple justice was done to the hosts tance is always easily obtained to a cabeer by Cromwell and Ireton; they valier's table." So saying, he sumcontinued drinking and conversing, moned Ford, gave him full instructions until a shrill whistle from their senti on every point, and bidding him be sure nel announced the arrival of the mes to unbar the window, hurried him away. senger. From the stall which they oc Now,” said Cromwell, we must cupied, they could indistinctly see his wait here two hours, peradventure three; figure advancing to the inn door, clearly but at any rate we must not be remiss in enough, however, to distinguish through our watching, or yon malignants may the shades of night their object, which escape our notice when they make their the messenger, on entering the inn, egress.' shifted from his head to his arm. Ford While thus stationed in the stall, of bustled up to them, and was instantly which they grew heartily sick, they ordered by Cromwell to watch the move were in no danger of falling asleep, for nient of the man, and ascertain which the continued shouts of the uproarious room he retired to. He did so, and soon cavaliers within were sufficiently loud returned to inform them that he was the to stun every inmate of the Blue Boar. expected friend of the cavalier, whoin At length, about the hour of one, the he had joined in his apartment.

three bacchanalians left their table, and " Where did he leave his saddle ?"' were let loose into the street by the host, eagerly enquired Cromwell.

who, extremely indignant at having his * He took that with him," replied repose disturbed to perform the office of Ford.

door-keeper, vowed, when he found he Cromwell led Ireton aside, and said, had got rid of them, they should never « Force you see may incur risk, and again enter his premises. Cromwell that may endanger the prize. This and Ireton, who had watched the deparmessenger, methinks, must well know ture of Ford and the two cavaliers, stole the importance of his office, since he to the back of the house, and soon diskeeps his eye so closely to the saddle.” covered the room whence the noise had

room.

so lately proceeded. The window was which is an indelible stain upon the not elevated above four feet from the records of British history! H.C.B. ground: they opened the casement, and tried the shutter-it gave way to a slight

Varieties. push, and Cromwell, leaving Ireton to keep a sharp look-out, leapt into the Mitchell THE NOTORIOUS PIRATE.

By the expiring embers of a - Never, perhaps, has there been a fire, which had been lighted for the ca more atrocious villain than Mitchell. valiers to make their favourite potation His conduct puts rather a strong negaby, he could discern what was lying tive on the proverb which teaches that around him. The table and floor were " there is honour among thieves.”— strewn with fragments of broken glass, Having remained at his encampment and a pair of pistols belonging to Ford upon the island of Cuba till he had were carelessly deposited on a chair ; obtained, in adventures of daring pibut the saddle he was unable to find. racy, money sufficient to load the sixAfter a strict search in every corner of teen oared boat to the water's edge, he the room, he chanced to open the cup- then determined to leave off his piratiboard which contained Ford's discarded cal career, and pass into the United sword, and therein he discovered the States; he now thought, however, that. object of his scrutiny. Committing it to a boat load of money, though a good the hands of Ireton, who eyed it with fortune for himself, or even for himself no small satisfaction, he sprung from and his lieutenant, would make a small the window, closed the shutter and figure when divided amongst the entire casement, and returned with Ireton to gang of twenty men. The lieutenant the stall. Cromwell instantly ripped was of the same opinion, and thought open the skirt of the saddle, and found that on a calm day Captain Mitchell the letter he looked for. He placed it and himself might easily carry the sixcarefully in his pocket, reserving the teen oared boat and the boxes of money perusal of it for the morning. Ireton to the Florida shore without any assistconcealed the saddle amongst the straw. ance from the gang, and moreover it At the earliest dawn they prepared their would be quite as well to cut off purhorses, paid handsomely for their night's suit, lest these fellows, when disaplodging, and bidding the ostler inform pointed of their share of the booty, their comrade, when he returned, which should revenge themselves by turning road they had taken, set off full speed, evidence against them: “but, on the and soon reached Windsor. Here they other hand, dead men,” said the lieuopened the mysterious letter, in which tenant, “tell no tales.” The two offithe king acquainted his queen “that cers then determined upon destroying he was courted by both factions—the the whole gang, and by ordering them Scots, the Presbyterians and the army: in various detached parties for pretendthat those which bade the fairest for ed purposes of bringing wood, water, him should have him; but he thought and other supplies to the camp, Milhe should close sooner with the Scots chell and the lieu enant actually murthan the other.” He also said (in re- dered them all. They then set off with ply to the hopes she had expressed that the boat, and reached the coast of Flono terms would ever be granted to mur- rida, whence they coasted along to the derers and rebels)," that she might trust Mississippi river, for the purpose of 10 him the task of rewarding his new ascending to the city of New Orleans. friends according to their deserts." Here, however, their golden dreams

Cromwell and Ireton, on reading this, were suddenly dashed to pieces; for were flushed with indignation, for as the strange appearance of a sixteen oarthey had proposed conciliatory mea ed boat, loaded with boxes, and navisures to the king, they, even in the gated with only two hands, attracted event of the rejection of them, which observation from the banks of the river, they deemed almost impossible, bad con- and when Mitchell and the lieutenant sidered their own security the smallest landed for supplies at a village a few requital tliat could be made them. They miles below New Orleans, the boat was speedily came to a conclusion, and, as suddenly filled with a body of police, they saw no likelihood of obtaining and the two worthies were glad to leave good erms with the king, from that their ill-gotten treasure, and escape time vowed his destruction. That von into the neighbouring wood. they strictly adhered to, and performed; THE LONG NAILS OF The Pacha.and to the disclosure of this letter we When Mahomet Ali, the illustrious remay attribute the perpetration of a deed storer of civilization to Egypt, first sent

out his army, modelled after the Euro- that his entire family follow him in this pean fashion, to attack the Wahabees eternal succession of comings and in the interior, every where they goings. Princes, Princesses, Chambermarched they were looked upon with lains, -all form a qucve after him, the pity, both by the natives and the outs old Dowagers and the young children posts of the enemy. Instead of being not excepted. It would be the highest mounted on richly caparisoned horses, affront for one of the family to remain loaded with all the finery of the Osman- behind; and even the Princesses, in an lees, and armed with a scymitar, the inconvenient stage of pregnancy are men marched on foot quietly in files, not exempted. What is still more odd, dressed in coarse red jackets, and all the entire culinary establishment of the arms they appeared to possess was the Monarch follows himself in the day a musket with a long nail at the end of backwards and forwards. The Court it. On coming up and forming a posi- kitchen is on wheels; cooks and saucetion on a plain in front of the Waha- pans, fires and spits are whirled along bees, the latter considered that these in rapid accompaniment to Majesty ; poor wretches had delivered themselves and the King's dinner roasts in close up for slaughter; rushing down the attendance upon him. Wherever, therehill, therefore, with the usual impetu- fore, hunger overtakes him, food is osity of Turkish cavalry, and with the ready. At Potsdam, Charlottenberg, or intention of surrounding the Egyptians, Berlin, the word “dinner” instantly they were dreadfully staggered in their produces it. And the plan has this adcareer by receiving a well-directed fire vantage, that, in case of war breaking from the lines. Surprised and daunted out, the King's kitchen and its inhabiby the shower of balls which fell among tants are so trained, that a campaign them, and emptied scores of saddles at need not derange or diminish a dish of every volley, they were obliged to re the King's table. Frederick himself treat, pursued by the grenadiers and frequents the theatre in the evening. light companies, who hunted them He stays but a very short time-never through their fastnesses, at every step more than two hours—without the letting them feel the use of the long variety of a gallop either on horseback nails on the muskets, ontil they retired or in caleche, it being impossible for into an inner part of the country. When him to spend more in one place. Yet the news of this first engagement of his even whilst at the theatre, tea and cakes new troops reached Mahomet Ali, he make their appearance in the Royal bounded from his divan with joy; and box, and supper awaits him at Charever since, the dread of the close rank lottenberg. I should say that it awaits and file, and above all, the bayonet, him at the theatre door, for there stand has favoured every military movement and smoke his supper and his kitchen, of the Pacha.

enclosed in an ample berline, ready to The PRESENT KING OF PRUSSIA. accompany him back to be served on The routine of the Kirg's day is, per- his arrival. haps, the best portraiture of Frederick's A New Dance.—At the festivities, character. He sleeps in sunimer at lately, at Gunton Park, the seat of Potsdam; in winter at Charlottenberg. Lord Suffield, a new dance was introI will not say he dwells, for, as the duced, after quadrilles, waltzes, galgreater part of his time is spent on the lopades, and reels, and which far ecliproad between those places and his ca sed them all. It bears the old name of pital, he lives more on the high road cotillon, but is totally new and unequalthan anywhere else. Potsdam is six lea- led in spirit and effect. It begins by gues from Berlin ; Charlottenberg two ; some six or eight couples waltzing; a and yet he will always make two jour- chair is suddenly introduced into the neys in the day, from the former place centre in which the first gentleman seats twice during the day, and, perhaps, his partner. He then leads up, and four or five from the latter. Two hours presents each of the other gentlemen in of the morning are always devoted to succession. If the lady rejects, the dishis Ministers, who are stationary in the carded retires behind the chair ; but capital, and he never fails to come in when the right man," as the old sayfor these two hours. Then he returns, ing goes, arrives, she springs up, the and then comes back again to Berlin in tone and ascent of the music are accelethe to go about the town, attend rated, and off she waltzes with the electparades, reviews, inspections and ed—the rest seizing their partners, and then be off again for Potsdam in the the circle is continued. "All in turn evening. One of his singularities is, go through the process. Three chairs

« AnteriorContinua »