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in knowing, none beside, perhaps, could, or would, say—so much to your purpose.”
She sat down, amid a murmur of astonishment, and Howel's important evidence was heard.
PROTESTANT ASCENDANCY. Grefwyth Howel rose, bowed, and thus began :
“Gentry all, what you have heard, this night, is God's own veracities. I was told that mistress Hilda must be spirited away, to prevent her being burnt, as a nun, who had committed matrimonies, and when we heard that master John was coming to us, by sea, his brother said that the giddy youth should bear the blame, awhile. Hearing that the tempestness had taken the de Rohan I had most cause to affectionate towards the shore, I went there, and found him, with father Brand, just leaving a shed, wherein I saw Wynne, my own parent, at a death-watchment, beside master John, his brother, in a furred mantle, besoaked from the sea. They bade my father shut himself in, with the corpse, and told me to say nothing till I had their instructivenesses, as to what. So I followed to the cliff, perdu, as they call it, and saw all Madam Yetlah did, though I knew not that she shared my experiencings. Brand, and myself, in secresy, and haste, carried Johan, bleeding, to the shed, where, helped by my father, we made a litter, for both bodies, and took them to the Hall. Peggy Howel, my mother, did all the dutyisms needed by her foster babbies, and we were bound to silence, by our only Confessor, Brand. We -little apprehendance that a tale we thought so excusably slandering the dead, who, saving reverences, bad no good characters to lose, and skreen the living, whose name was one of fair promisement, by the suppressingness of all talk, as to any sword wound, or who dealt it, -we thought not, I tell you, all this would, for years, leave even a heretic's conscience burdened by a hidden crime, supposed; the story then to be re-variegated, to cause the deprivations of his fame, liberty, and life; leaving his beautisome daughter without dependants against the very man who had impoverished her house, and robbed her, by falsified brutation, of her mother. Wynne Howel had such convincements, and forelookings, at last, that if an honester priest than him yonder had confessed my poor daddy, he would have desired all might be made a publication. Since his defunctureism I have solicited it over, with his relict, and cogitated, on right and wrong, till, when told she would be called on to swear the black lie she fell sick. I swore, but I have made atonings, and do now, for I vow to every tittle of the truth in it, so help me God!".
Yetlah thus continued
“If any other persons witnessed a portion of that death-night's hurried scenes, or overheard a syllable that might have raised a doubt, they were so bewildered by the similarity of persons, dresses, names, and ages, in the de Rohans, that there was no question as to the truth of the reports circulated. Craig left me, left his family, to the bounteous, politicly accepted cares of the Hall's new lord. We saw him sometimes, but, for above nine years, I starved upon brief, cold, unfrequent letters from the man I loved; bad he not dreaded me he would not even have been thus far kind; but he was anxious for all news of de Rohan. On King Henry's death, though Isabel was but a child, began to dawn the probability that both Johan and Vanberg, in time, would seek her hand. Her likeness to Hilda melted the pure heart, and inflamed the vicious. He and Craig made common cause to sunder her from Adelm; but his good offices, in absence, won her gratitude, his flying to her side, on the death of Alice, rendered them lovers; but Glen would hear of no match for his child, nor for himself; no, not even when I gave him back his life, from that fell malady. He thought the Tower, and a little gold could repay my heart. This provoked me, on the other hand tempted by Johan, who fancied that the Hall, dress, luxury, and his caresses, could buy me for ever. I let both think as they might, while it suited me, and now confess me, what only virgin thoughts guessed, that I was—Johan's sometime toy, to prove how I know that, whosoever, apart from yon Pearl, Isabel, likes to strip his lordship's left side, will find the scar of the flesh wound dealt by Craig Glen's sword.”
“A natural mark,” stammered Johan, “ born with me."
“My mother will swear it is an unnaturalness, to rise with you, after death,” cried Grefwyth. Yetlah proceeded :
“ I thus discovered that Brand, and his scholar, knowing the usurped tenure of Glen's lands to be one which royal caprice, or death, might reverse, had promptly organized this lie of miracle, to prop Johan's credit. Had he succeeded in escaping with Hilda, Brand, concealing, destroying, the body of John, would have laid the elopement to his charge, and reported that his brother had gone in search of the fugitives. As things befel the new plan was to leave poor Glen imagining himself John's slayer, yet, if suspected, tacitly pardoned. Thus made a slave, to be a victim, if aught menaced his Master's hold on his estates, on the success of this new plan, for doubly securing them, by a marriage with their heiress. They fled us, deceptively, perforce. We heard, long after-of Adelm's regally supported claims to Isabel, with dismay; but Edward's death soon gave the new Lord more than ever might to patronize and shelter the beretics, separate them from Vanberg, suppress his letters, and cut off, in time, all communication between the lovers. By hints we frightened Craig into our toils, and I, at last, prevailed on my protector to back my suit with the father, while urging his own with the maid. He was patient, that he might prolong their sufferings; but had they married us de Rohan promised me that we should clear all mysteries; and, cruel as they must have held our long concealment, their minds would have been, in some sort, eased as to the future. But Fate reunited the true lovers, in a way sure to enhance the duteous girl's pure tenderness. Doctor Fardel then made some jest on miracles restoring the brained to life, and Johan's look at Brand, his words to me, suggested the idea that they feared this stranger, and why. His way turned all my hopes, but I disguised them, sent for him. It may seem inconsistent that, next day, I appeared against Craig Glen ; but I said
merely that I saw the blow, named only de Rohan, not John, and as wounded. I neither signed nor swore. My struggles, 'twixt selfish love and just compassion, will not bear thinking. Spite prophecies of rescue Craig conclusively rejected me, as Isabel did Johan. I could not despair, nor dream of a dishonoured grave for mine adored, a still worse life for his sweet child. By my lord's own commission, his own gold, and aided by his foster-brother, I did what ye already know, and, at last, in disinterested expiation, without a personal hope. If Glencraig had not been guilty, why was I made his prisoner ? Let him answer us.”.
Johan rose proudly, and said, with coolness
“ Conscious of mine integrity I have been a patient, almost silent listener to this black confederacy, between my rivals, in love and lands, and my own, ungrateful, purchased servants ; ye presume on what may be but falsely asserted, my sovereign's childless death, and the accession of a heretic to the throne. As to this night's transactions I shall only say that a German is liker to practise fraud, as to letters, than a Briton. Indeed I care not for myself, on any of these accusations; but my guardian, here. Is it possible that such a holy man would have upheld his heart's adopted son in a long course of hidden sin? or that I should have been the benefactor of Craig, his family, and Adelm, the lover of Isabel, after having attempted her mother's virtue ? and while contemplating their ultimate destruction? Is it to be believed that the Howels would, till now, have kept such secret ?- not to speak of the too genial Yetlah. No! repenting the effects of her own candour, she has backed a fiction with gold stolen from me, to annul them; but my wealth can command the first legal aid in the realm. Impartial minds will see that the extraordinary paradoxes attributed to me could have had no proportioned motives; few can conceive the existence of gratuitous malice, in any one of piety and education. The oaths of a true Churchman, and a British peer, will soon outweigh those of misbelieving harlots, and unlettered hinds."
“But I am neither,” cried Fardel, “ nor is honest Martin Vaulder."
“ Let the oaths of his lordship, and Brand, however, be recorded, if they dare to make such,” said Adelm. “ Good jailer, bring us the whole Scriptures, with a Cross on their binding."
“ Propose the form, my father!" added Vanberg. Craig took the volume, stood up calmly, and, in a clear tone, said to Grefwyth
“ If thou put'st trust in what this book contains, swear by it, as thou know'st, - did I, or did I not, kill John de Rohan?”
Howel bowed to the sacred symbol, answering
“ By Jesu's grace, the only man you even wounded, then and there, is the living Johan.”
Craig fixed his eyes firmly on Yetlah, adding-
She knelt, kissed the sign of salvation, with much ardour, and exclaimed
“ As I pray Christ to help mine unbelief, may God deal justly with
me if I speak a falsehood now! Thou didst never even see John de Rohan.”
“ Now, Philip Brand,” pursued Craig, solemnly, “ think on the dread account, to which, by Nature's laws, you must soon be brought. Look on this tome, this emblem! Can you, will you, here lay your aged lips, vowed to what you suppose, I hope, God's truth, then let them utter, •As a Christian priest I swear that John de Rohan was revived, to perish 'neath the weapon of Craig Glen.' Are you ready to repeat those words, and stain your last days by a murderous-lie?"
“ Yes, yes, I am, I have sworn it,” faltered the old man, scarce conscious what a charge he thus admitted ; and, while he flinchingly avoided all contact with the Testaments, crossing himself, from habit, in inconsistent abstraction. Craig addrest Johan
“ Will you set your life's guide the example ?"
He might scarcely have hesitated, but Brand pulled him away, with one hand, while he pointed the other towards the crowd, started to his feet, gazed wildly, and cried, with white quivering lips
“Look at her Sapphire eyes ! she knows not yet what has come on her husband-young, blooming both! She will fall presently."
“ He thinks he sees my mother,” sighed Isabel. Brand raved on.
“ No, no, not Hilda. . Watch! they kept back a part, they lied to God, and the Holy Ghost, called down His wrath, and great fear came upon the Church. Its highest Saint, Ours, Peter, rebuked them, son, but Satan filled their souls. See there! the feet of those who buried Ananias are at the door, and now the false witnessing wife, she also is struck,-she beckons me, but come not you with us, Johan! Look where she falls, dead, dead!”
He reeled forward, and fell upon his face. They raised him, tried every remedy, but he had ceased to be of this world. Johan implored them“ not to misjudge him, by the fate of an old, long ailing, and, of late, much shaken man,” but, when Craig asked if, before that awful spectacle, he would swear, he flung himself on the body in an agony of tears. His very opponents and intended victims pitied him. As his composure returned, he heard Sir Adelm arranging with Wardly and the Magistrate to leave the dead priest where he was, and make his lordship Craig's substitute, in the prison-room, while Glen became the Hall's occupant, till the Law decided their destinies. All witnesses pledged themselves to be forthcoming for the nonce. De Rohan had small chance of being freed by his tenantry, yet made no opposition to this reverse of fate.
“I need not bid thee treat him kindly, friend,” said Craig, to the civil jailer; Isabel adding
“ Keep the few poor trinkets you have of mine, good souls, as earnest of my wish to prove my gratitude."
The assemblage left the jail; day was just dawning; women and children now crowded round; cheers and blessings hailed the re-appearance of the Glens. Isabel leaned on her lover. Fardel supported Craig. Yetlah walked behind them, with Twyford and Vaulder. Grefwyth ran forward, to see if Peggy lived, for these glad tidings. As the procession came in sight of the Tower, Craig led Yellah a step or two apart, and said sadly,
“ With her, while still a maid, thou canst not dwell. Make that thy home, once more. We will send instantly both food and attendants. Thou hast our thanks, our pardon. Study to win that of God!"
“ I will,” she uttered, steadfastly, “ already my past life, appears bet a frightful, guilty dream, from which I have just awaked, to reason, repent, reform.”
She herself had, luckily, about her, the Tower's main key, and entered, under the protection of Ambrose, soon being joined by a female domestic, with every thing that could minister to her comfort. Grefwyth Howel had found his mother in a sound sleep, from which she had roused herself, much refreshed.
“ All her petitionings,” he said, “ be now for mercy on her milk, that is in Johan, as, though the belied John was her first, and reallest foster child; she has pitifulnesses at heart, so have I, in spite my lord's deceptiousisms, and lustsome, vindicant deeds."
Glen bade him tell her to fear nothing, and that she should be at once removed, with her son, to Craig Tower, there to finish their days, in peace. They were not persons whose presence or services could be acceptable at the Hall.
The indefatigable Fardel was soon prepared for his return to Court, with a full account of his late errand's result; but Craig entreated him to assure their Sovereign of his aversion to a trial, or to causing the ruin of de Rohan. If he would sign a confession of his misdeeds, and yield all claim to the Glen estates, his own more ample means need not be taxed, to cancel the losses of revenue, so long borne by the Hall's heir, who wished not to deprive Glencraig of his title ; should it expire with him, perhaps the Queen would graciously bestow it on Vanberg, and the sons of his Isabel.
“ Her august namesake,” said Fardel, “ for your book-lore may show ye that the names are virtually one, will not take kindly to your mild dictation, Sir.”
“Bardon me, mynheer,” pleaded Vaulder, “ I veel zure zhe vould, iv you vash do boint out dat zo vould a Minister ov de Ghurch dat England owes to mine Vaderland, py gharity an vorgifness, mark de difference petween our vaith an dat of der gruel Bopegin."
Ere Fardel could return from town, old Brand had been privately interred, in a papist cemetery, utterly unmourned. Our sailor-surgeon was again at Scarborough, more speedily than could have been anticipated, accompanied by an eminent man of law, charged with Elizabeth's conditional approbation of the terms transmitted to her. It almost seemed as if Martin had been inspired with some of the sybiline spirit formerly pretended by the erring Yetlah; so slight were the changes made by royalty in the original design. Johan's lordship of Glencraig, to be taken from him, the Queen would " with his forfeit title greet” Craig Glen. The Barony to descend to his daughter's son. Also, as it was known that Henry 8th had unceremoniously “ borrowed ” large sums from the Glens, his heiress settled on them compensation. Single women, of five-and-twenty, just jumpt into good fortune, are seldom“ stingy," whatever they may in time become, or be called. Her Majesty protested that she would never receive, nor countenance de Rohan; but that if, at any time, he sought to molest