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FOR THE OLIO.
ceeded to awaken one of the monks.
The call was instanıly obeyed without MER VYN'S BRIDAL a murmur by a brother; who, after rubA Wiltshire Leyend.
bing his eyes and yawning once or (Concluded from p. 52.)
twice, took his breviary and crucifix, and, in company with the messenger,
hastened to adıninister ghostly consoLAUDS had long been sung, and the lation to the expiring wretch at whose monks of the priory of St. Martin's-le- request he had been summoned.Grand were buried in deep sleep, when Quickly threading the dark and narthe great bell at the outer gate was row streets, the monk and the messenrung violently. The porter rose shi- ger gained the area on the north side vering from his pallet, (for it was Feb- of St. Paul's Cathedral, through which ruary, and the cold was intense) and the wind blew in loud and violent hastened to the wicket.
gusts, and shook the coarse vestments “What wouldst thou have, my son ?” of the priest, who clung tightly to his enquired the monk, holding aloft his guide with his left hand"; while, with iron lamp to take a survey of the fea- his right, he held on his hood, for the tures of the person who had disturbed snow was falling fast, and the ground bim at so unseasonable an hour. was slippery. The tall towers of the
"Sir Giles Acheson, a prisoner in cathedral rose high above the buildings Lud-Gate, is at the point of death, and on either side, and served to increase would fain receive absolution at the the gloom. No sound could be heard, hands of one of the fathers,” replied save the harsh creaking of the numethe messenger, “prithee, basten and rous sign-boards as they swung to and let them know my errand.”
fro with the gale; and no ligbi guided Bidding the messenger wait awhile, their steps, except an occasional flash the aged porter hobbled back, and pro- from a window or loop-hole in the Vol. X.
houses of those who had prolonged wretch like me; my polluted soul hath their revels till that late hour. At much to disgorge, and I would not length they reached Lud-Gate, then, keep thee in this horrid cell. The and for many years after, a prison for thirst of gain, the love of play, hath deblors. Alter the heavy falling of an made me tenant of this vile prison.iron bar and the withdrawing of sun- My debts are numberless as are mire dry bolls, the monk was admitted, and enemies, and I am justly punished for at once shewn into a miserable apart- my foul misdeeds. ''Twas I who stabment; in a corner of which, upon a bed Ralph Gisors the vintner, in the pallet, lay one who seemed the very porch of the Blackfriars, because he picture of misery and despair. As the demanded payment of a tun of wine." father entered, the wretched prisoner The monk shuddered involuntarily turned his wild and bloodshot eyes and crossed himself. upon the holy man; and, covering his “Ay,” continued the knight, “ I face with his hands, uttered a groan so struck hin under the left pap with my piteons, that it made even the goaler dagger, and no one witnessed the murshudder, accustomed as he was to dis- der. My hand is red with the blood tress and misfortune. The monk knelt of others--but I cannot restore them; by the side of the dying man, and whis- yet there is one whom I can save, pered a few words of consolation in whom I falsely accused; father, 'tis his ear, but they appeared only to add Archibald Mervyn!" Here he paused, to his agony.
and gasped for breath, but shortly re“Oh! no, no, no," sighed the pri- . sumed in a weaker tone,“ he wronged soner, “'tis bootless now, the leech me, robbed me of my bride, and jeered gives me no hope! I would make my me for my want of skill in the crossshrift, but when I would pray, a hideous bow at a shooting match. I feared to fiend cries in my ears— Woe unto resent it openly, and accused him of them which be shedders of innocent treason. But ah! do not leave me," blood, and whose tongues work mis- cried the miserable knight, finding that chief against their fellows!' Father, his voice was sinking; then with an canst thou tell me if aught bath been effort-What, ho! goaler, a light! heard of Archibald Mervyn of Bluns, I have more to say! Is there no hope? don, him who was arrested of high trea- Ah, that shape! he comes, Oh mercy, son in Autumn by past?" Here the Jesu!” knight raised himself upon his elbow, “ I am here,” said the monk, bending and throwing back the dark matted over the struggling wretch, but he locks which half concealed his sallow spoke to a deaf ear; the guilty spirit of and emaciated features, looked earnest- Sir Giles Acheson had fled for ever! ly and enquiringly in the face of the Gazing for a moment on the lifeless monk.
corpse which, worn to a skeleton, and “No tidings have been heard of him retaining on its countenance the marks ye speak of,” replied the father: some of despair and anguish, the holy man say he hath entered a monastery in fell on his knees, and prayed fervently Normandy."
for the soul of the departed knight. “ He was mine enemy,” shrieked the He was aroused by the entrance of the wretch, “mine enemy! my mortal foe, goaler, whom he left in charge of the whose very name
body, and hastened back to the priory Peace, peace ; this is not fitting to note down the confession he had relanguage for an expiring sinner ; look ceived, pondering as he went on what on this emblem of one, who, in dying he had heard from the dying lips of him agony, prayed for those who had sought who had driven Archibald Mervyn into his blood."
exile. The prisoner did look : he gazed for At a fitting opportunity the monk a moment on the uplifted crucifix, the took care to lay the whole story of Sir figure of which flashed brightly in the Giles' confession before the king, but torch light, muttered something inau- Henry's avarice would not allow him to dible between his closed teeth, and fell credit the relation, as Mervyn's estates backwards in a swoon. By the help of had been seized by the crown, and that strong waters he was restored to a mercenary sovereign taking advantage of state of consciousness, but appeared his flight, found a good pretext for remuch exhausted.
taining the forfeited property.
But “ Good holy man,” said the miser. Henry's schemes of extortion received able knight, shedding a flood of scald a temporary check shortly after: news ing tears,
“ forgive the ravings of a had arrived that his persevering and
bitter enemy the Dowager Duchess of sword. An awful stillness reigned Burgundy, was hatehing a plot 10 thrust throughout both camps when the broad him from the throne, and a counterfeit red disk of the moon rose from the hoearl was, as every one knows, presented rizon, and threw a lurid glare over the to the duchess by one Symon, a landscape. Dark groups of figures ocpriest. It will be needless to detail the casionally appeared, moving so noiseparticulars of this celebrated plot, upon lessly that the whispers of their sentiwhich so much has been written. It is nels might be distinctly heard. The well known that the duchess favoured wind was hushed, the king's banner the views of the pretended earl, and as over his tent hung sluggishly on the sisted him with a body of Flemish troops staff, and the rich pavilion sparkled under the command of a valiant and with the night dews. Within one of experienced captain. Her court at that the tents surrounding that of the king time was crowded by the proscribed sat Sir John Cheny, pondering on the friends of the fallen house of York, who, probable issue of the morrow's contest. though a vare of the imposture, gladly His huge frame was cased in a magnifijoined the enterprise in the hope of cent suite of fluted harness ; his burgorecovering their confiscated estates, net stood on the rude table against which should the tide turn in favour of Sym- he leant, while his right hand unconnel. Among the malcontents were the sciously sheathed and unsheathed his Earl of Lincoln and Lord Lovell, who poignard, the hilt of which, glittering took upon them the command of the with many costly jewels, reflected the rebel army: fearing, however, to trust flickering and uncertain blaze of an exthemselves in England at once, they piring lamp in all directions. Suddenly sailed into Ireland, and at Dublin the hasty challenge of the sentinel withcrowned their counterfeit earl King of out aroused him from his reverie, and England. But the subtle policy of Henry the next moment one of his followers enabled him to sift this conspiracy to entered to say that a stranger desired to the bottom; every movement of his ene- speak with him in private. mies was reported to him by spies, some “ Bid him come hither, Oliver," said of whom even mingled in the train of the knight," and see that thou be within the duchess herself. At length the ex- call.” pedition landed in the month of June on The soldier disappeared and immedithe coast of Lancashire, and compelled ately returned, ushering in an armed Henry to maintain his right by force of stranger, whose height and size seemed arms. The assistance which the rebels magnified through the gloom. He was had received from Sir Thomas Brough- clad in a suit of worn and battered arton, a man of great power in the north mour, and wore a closed-faced helmet of England, although it alarmed Henry, without plume or crest. As soon as urged him at the same time to be wary, they were alone, Sir John, in a calm and taught him that the better way to but resolute tone, partaking both of curi. proceed was by strengthening his own osity and doubt, enquired the occasion forces, whatever success his rival might of this visit. obtain amongst the disaffected. The “I bring tidings of the rebel army time however arrived, when the strength encamped yonder," was the reply," and of either party was to be tried by a fierce I would fain shew my loyalty to King and sanguinary conflict. The army of Henry in to-morrow's tight.” the king was at Newark when his scouts “ What is your name, and " brought intelligence of the near ap My name," echoed the stranger, proach of the rebel forces. Surrounded with a sigh, may not be told ; and it by many nobles and knights, several of little boots a banished man what name whom had served under his banner at he bears, so that his deeds shew him the decisive battle of Bosworth Field, guilt less. Let this be pledge of my Henry pushed forward to meet his eneó faith ;-my father saved your life at mies. Among those who enlisted them- Bosworth field, when you were unhorsselves under his standard were the ed by the Boar of York." Eart of Shrewsbury, Lord Strange, and “ Ha! Sir Thomas Mervyn, my good Sir John Cheny, all men of approved old friend; but no, his son was altaintcourage and counsel. The two armies' ed of high treason, and entered a mocame in sight of each other on the evene nastery to save his life.” ing of the 15th June, near the village of Sir John noticed not the heaving of Stoke, and Henry encamped for the the stranger's broad chest, which neinight, resolving, as Speed 'tells us, to ther his breast-plate nor leather surend the rebellion 66 according to the coat could conceal. manfull fashion of the English,” by the “Be brief, sir," rejoined the knight,
with some asperity, “and tell me what arms ; "these be bold hearts who news thou hast. If you are the son of will charge upon our spearmen with that good old knight, why this mys- their uncouth weapons. Sir John
Cheny, to you we give command of our I swear by all the blessed saints," lances ; Sir Ralph Fynder will support interrupted the stranger, “that my pur- you if there be need. Remember your pose is good. Let this suffice for the accustomed valour, and deal these represent. The Almans, under Swart, bels such blows as thou gavest Blanch their captain, are two thousand strong, Sanglier and bis friends." and are to back the fierce Irishmen, The knight bowed until his raised who will lead the rebel van. This is beaver touched his horse's mane, and the order of their battle. I have min. immediately rode off to take his post. gled in their councils and learned the Five minutes more, and a loud shout, secrets well. I have a small company mingled with the clang, of weapons, under my command, which I will lead told that the two armies had joined.against the Alman Captain-farewell, On came the ferocious Irish troops, yelsir, to-morrow will shew me a true ling like demons, casting stones and man despite of false friends."
darts, and brandishing their skeins; So saying, ere the knight could utter but they were met by a band of the a word in reply, the stranger abruptly royal archers, whose shafts were quitted the tent, leaving Sir John to poured upon them in showers, and with meditate on what he had heard. Al. such fatal precision, that the ground though somewhat doubtful of the truth was quickly covered by scores of dead of this intelligence, Sir John proceeded and expiring wretches. Astonished at at once to the king's pavilion, and laid this reception, the Irish paused for a the whole before his royal master. moment; but, disdaining to fly, (alas!
Henry thought proper to anticipate what refuge could they anticipate by the attack of the Irish troops, who, as flying ?) they encouraged each other by he judged, were intended to take off loud shouts, and continued to advance; the edge of his own army's attack, but their hour was come ; ere they had while their disciplined troops were time to recover from the dreadful exekept in reserve. The first streak of cution of the English bowmen, Sir light in the east was the signal for both John Cheny, at the head of his lances, parties to prepare for the bloody strug- dashed in amongst them, and the gle ; and, as the sun rose, it disclosed slaughter became frightful. Armed to view a scene of great martial splen- only with weapons, which were but door. The royal army occupied a of little arail agaiust their mounted and little eminence by the side of a wood, steel-clad enemies, the wretched Irishand myriads of weapons flashed in the men fell like the leaves in Autumn. sunbeams; while banners and pennons At this juncture, however, a band of fluttered in the breeze, indicating the Flemish Lunzneebts threw themselves presence of a vast number of knights in the way of the English knight, and and gentlemen, among whom were the combat became obstinate, for the Vernon of the Peak, Grey of Ruthin, Flemings, forming in a ring, defied the Nevyl of Thortingbrig, Shurley, Folge repeated charges of the Englishmen. han, Markham, Arundil, Ranisford, In the mean time the battle raged with Griffin, and a host of others, whose great fury in other parts of the field, but names may be found in the Chronicle as this tale relates more to the detail of of John Speed, or the more tedious re individual than of general strife, it will lations of Polydore Virgil. Over the be contined to the narration of a portion ranks of the rebel army flew the ban- only. Despairing of ever forcing the ners of the Earl of Lincoln, Lord close ranks of the Flemish spearmen, Lovel, Sir Thomas Boughton, and the Sir John Cheny drew off his men, and Irish Earl of Kildare, with many pen a body of pikemen, led by Sir Ralph nons of the disaffected English gentle- Fynder, advanced to relieve him and his men who had joined them. Henry, company, when the struggle was resurrounded by his friends, attentively newed with increased fury. Contrary observed his enemies as they formed to their expectations, the English pikein order for the attack.
men found their adversaries as obsti“Ha! by our lady,” he exclaimed, nate as themselves, and even better as he looked on the vanguard of the disciplined. The fight raged furiously rebels, which was composed of the for some time, when the Flemish Capgrim and fierce-looking Irishmen, but tain Swart, like a furious torrent rushpoorly clad and ill-furnished with ed with his company to the assistance
of their fellows. They were armed He thrust the soldier from him as he with heavy two-handed swords, spoke, and the next moment swept the weapon much used in those days, par- man's head from his shoulders. This, ticularly by the Germans—and immedi- however, gave the man-at-arms an opately charged the English pikemen in portunity which he had long sought, flank, striking down all who opposed and rushing forward he closed with them. Some of the English, relinquish- Swart, who thus obliged to relinquish ing their spears, drew their swords and his espadon, grappled tightly with his obstinately disputed the ground; but adversary, and a violent struggle enmany fell beneath their enemies' huge sued. Both were powerful men and weapons, when suddenly a body of men the contest was for life or death ; they armed with bills and leaden mills, and fell and rolled on the ground locked in headed by the stranger who visited Sir each other's grasp, neither of them likJohn Cheny on the night previous, ing to relinquish his hold to clutch a rushed to the assistance of their coun weapon. At length the Englishman's trymen, and blows, groans, and shouts hand reached his antagonist's throat indicated the fury of both parties. The above the gorget, and his iron gripe armourer's art had almost reached its made the Fleming's swarthy counteacme in those days, and Swart was nance grow still darker; the opportucased to the teeth in a magnificent suit nity was not to be lost; the man-atof fluted and engraved steel armour, but arms loosening his right hand drew his in lieu of helmet he wore a richly dagger, and buried it to the hilt in the wrought cap of the same metal, which throat of Swart, whose thick moustaches while it protected his head did not con were instantly dyed with blood. The ceal his visage, enflamed by exertion, blow was fatál; the Flemish captain and its fierceness enhanced by a beard with a convulsive throe, yielded up his and moustaches of raven black. He courageous soul, and his conqueror, managed his two-handed sword with starting to his feet, found that he was fatal dexterity, accompanying every left alonost alone: the Flemings had blow by a Flemish oath, which, if not been forced back upon a troop of horse so expressive as the expletives of those who had cut them to pieces. whom he fought against, were no less Whilst this was passing, the King vehement. His face and figure were beheld from the hill the discomfiture of truly martial ; he was indeed such an the rebel ariny and the capture of the one as may be seen portrayed in the counterfeit Earl, and afterwards dewoodcuts of Albert Durer, or the more scended to view the slain. Many recent engravings of Van Leyden; tall, pressed round the monarch in the hope broad-shouldered and commanding, a of being favourably noticed, while he fit study for the sculptor or the painter. thanked some and smiled upon others Enraged at this accession to the force in token of his approval of their conof his enemies, niany of whom he had duct. At length the King approached mowed down with his tremendous es- that part of the field where the Flemings padon, Swart foamed like the boar when bad manifested such undaunted courage, brought to a stand by his unrelenting and the vanquisher of Swart, quickly pursuers, and his heavy_rapid strokes closing his burgonet, which he had did fearful execution. Twice did the opened to admit the air, beheld the strange man-at-arms (whose dress and approach Henry with a throbbing weapons, with the exception of what breast. He, hesitated whether to reappeared to be a party-coloured sash, main or pass on, but ere he had deterwere precisely the same as when he mined, he was in the midst of the party, entered the tent of Sir John Cheny), at- and Sir John Cheny immediately pointtempt to get within the sweep of Swart's ed out the valiant soldier to his sovehuge weapon, but as often was he reign. obliged to retreat precipitately.
By our Lady of Walsingham!” exlength an English soldier beat down a claimed the King, we must not forget man at the feet of the Flemish captain, those who have perilled their lives for who stumbled over the body and was near our safety!" falling. This was perceived by one of Then addressing himself to the manthe Englishmen, who, drawing his dag- at-arms, he inquired his name. He ger, rushed forward to close with Swart. whom thus questioned paused for a But he suffered immediately for his te- moment, then slowly raising his beaver, merity.
replied Ha, dog !” cried Swart in his na *« Archibald Mervyn, an it please
“ wilt grapple with me?" your Grace.”