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books on every possible subject, the number of those which promise to float steadily down the stream of time is very great, and promises increase. There are some losses which, however, can never be wholly supplied—and two remarkable instances occurred during the year on which the curtain has just fallen, in the deaths of Prescott, the brilliant historian, and Washington Irving, fascinating alike as the historian, the biographer, the essayist, and the contributor to miscellaneous literature. The memory of Geoffry. Crayon is especially dear to England, and though America claims him for her son, our language pleads for the right to enrol his name amongst our most distinguished writers. To speak of Washington Irving is at once to recal the name of "John Murray the elder,” and, remembering the encouragement he

gave to so many who have enriched the world with their productions, we are led naturally to the acknowledgment of how worthily “ John Murray the younger” treads in his father's footsteps. One of the brightest links that connects the two, is the name of Byron; and here, before we close our somewhat desultory remarks, we would say a word. The Letters of Horace Walpole have a world-wide reputation, but the art of letter-writing did not die with him. Amongst the many great gifts with which he was endowed, Lord Byron possessed the faculty of expressing himself in that clear, comprehensive, familiar style, which is the great charm of all epistolary correspondence. It is, therefore, with more than common pleasure that we see Mr. Murray has begun the publication of a “People's edition" of the poet's Letters and Journals," hitherto a sealed book to the multitude. Another great boon, for which the public are also indebted to Mr. Murray, is the publication, in a cheap form, of Croker's “ Boswell's Life of Johnson,” rightly characterised by the Quarterly Review as “the most entertaining and instructive book in the language.” In the year that is now before us we anticipate that the example thus set by Mr. Murray will be widely followed—but here we must stopthe inexorable printer pointing to the diminishing space on the

and so, wishing a Happy New Year to all our readers, we tell the Prompter to “ring up the curtain.”

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OVINGDEAN GRANGE.

A TALE OF THE SOUTH DOWNS. *

By W. HARRISON AINSWORTH, Esq.

Part the Third.

HAWKING ON THE DOWNS.

I.

THE OSTREGER AND HIS SON.

HORSE, hawk, and man were at the gate, awaiting the colonel's coming forth with Dulcia.

Stately and upright sat the hawks on the falconer's gloved fist, as if conscious of their tufted hoods of crimson and white velvet, their jesses and bewets with bells affixed to them, and their silverlinked varvels, graven with their owner's armorial bearings. Both birds looked in fine condition : plumage glossy and unruffled, legs and talons without speck or blemish.Gallant to behold was the Barbary, or tartaret falcon; not remarkable in point of size, for it was smaller than a tercel-gentle; but specially to be admired for its proud neck, broad breast, fine sails and beams, and long train; and, when unhooded, for its keen-bent beak, with barb feathers beneath the clap, wide nares, and full black eye. Fierce and courageous, also, was the tartaret's companion, the merlin; very nimble of wing, and, like the Barbary falcon, armed with strong singles and pounces.

Eustace Saxby, the falconer (or ostreger, as he preferred to be styled), was as gallant-looking as the hardy birds on his fist. Clad in a doublet of Lincoln-green, with his master's arms embroidered on the shoulder, with his upper hose tied with ribbons at the knee, and his feet protected by stout leather buskins, he carried in his right hand a tall hawking-pole, and was provided with a large hawking-bag, containing coping-irons, knives, scissors, creance, and other implements of his craft ; together with medicines in the shape of mummy-powder, washed aloes, saffron, and casting. Eustace Saxby was a strong, well-built man, in the prime of life, with a hard but honest-looking physiognomy, of the true Sussex cast. No Puritan he. Abhorring a Roundhead as much as his master, Eustace allowed his long locks to flow over his shoulders from beneath his green velvet cap, to manifest his contempt of the

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crop-eared curs. When younger, our ostreger had been remarkable for activity, and could then walk faster than any man in the county, and keep up in running with a horse at full speed; but having now grown stiffer in the joints, he was forced to cede the palm of fleetness to his son, Ninian.

Close to the ostreger stood his assistant, Barnaby Lashmere, carrying a square wooden frame suspended by broad leather straps from his shoulders. On this frame were perched several other hawks, of various kinds, in hoods and jesses, in readiness for the colonel, in case he might choose to take any of them with him.

Ninian Saxby, who filled the post of under-falconer, was with his father on the present occasion. A very good-looking young fellow of one-and-twenty was Ninian, with a fresh complexion, a merry blue eye, and brown curling hair. His lithe figure and active limbs seemed made for running and vaulting, and he excelled in all manly sports. A rattling tongue had Ninian, as well as a bright eye, and his pleasant talk and winning smiles made him a general favourite with the village damsels, even with those of a Puritanical turn; but his fondness for dancing and other pastimes, gaiety of manner, and light discourse, frequently drew upon him the grave rebukes of the elders. Ninian, however, cared little for such censure.

The
young

falconer was too indiscriminate in his attentions to the damsels generally, and too fickle in his regards, to be assigned to any one in particular; but if he had a preference, it was supposed to be for Patty Whinchat-the pretty handmaiden herself being decidedly of that opinion. Ninian's habiliments resembled those of his father; his green jerkin was vastly becoming to him, while his green velvet cap, with a single heron's plume in it, placed jauntily on his curly head, suited well with the handsome and somewhat saucy features beneath it; giving the wearer quite as much the air of a page as of a falconer. Ninian had a bugle slung at his back by a green cord, a crossbow over his shoulder, and a case of quarrels with a gaffle for bending the bow at his hip. Moreover, he had two fine spaniels, coupled together, and in leash, in his charge.

Falconers, hawks, dogs, horses, and grooms, formed a picturesque group, viewed in combination with the ancient mansion, near whose porch they were assembled. Amidst the

group,

old Rupert, Colonel Maunsel's favourite charger, and as noble a piece of antiquity as the colonel himself, occupied a prominent place. Rupert's best days were long past, it is true--and so, alas! were his master's -but though there were unmistakable marks of age about him, he was a fine animal still. There was fire in his eye, courage in his arching neck, that told of former mettle. Bright bay had been old Rupert's colour, but the hue was now sadly changed, and the flanks were dull, which had once shone like satin. He was furnished with a large easy saddle, having a high pommel, and

a troussequin at the hinder bow. A dapple-grey palfrey, with white mane and tail, was destined for Dulcia, and this lively, but well-trained little animal, by his pawing, champing, and snorting, offered a strong contrast to the sedate deportment of the ancient charger.

Notwithstanding his reduced revenue, Colonel Maunsel still managed to keep up a large troop of servants of one kind or other. Born upon the estate, most of the members of the old Cavalier's establishment were so attached to him, that they would never have quitted his service, except upon compulsion. Wages were with them a minor consideration; one and all expressing their readiness to share their good old master's reverses of fortune.

With the grooms and falconers awaiting the colonel's coming forth, were gathered several others of the household: to wit, Giles Moppett, with a fat turnspit at his heels; Elias Crundy, the yeoman of the cellar, who had brought out a large black jack' filled with stout ale for the falconers; Holney Ticehurst, the upper gardener, and Nut Springett, his man, with two or three hinds from the farm-yard.

The unusual circumstance of the colonel's riding forth to enjoy the pastime of hawking would have sufficed to bring a portion of the household to the gate ; but there was another motive for gathering together so many of them on the present occasion, which might easily be detected in the serious expression of their countenances. The state-messenger's warning had struck terror into them all. Not that their fidelity to the colonel and his son was shaken by it; but knowing that Člavering had returned on the previous night, they were very apprehensive for his safety; for though told that the fugitive had left again before daybreak, few of them credited the statement, but felt convinced that he was hidden in the house.

It was on this alarming topic that they were now conversing together.

“Ah, well-a-day! these be sad times, indeed !” old Ticchurst observed. “Wheresoever our young master may be, there I hope his enemies will never find him. Hast any news to gi’ us, Master Moppett? Thou be’st a scholard like his reverence, Master Beard, and read'st de pappers.

“ I have no news likely to yield thee much satisfaction, good Master Ticehurst,” Moppett replied. “I have read both the Perfect Diurnal and the Mercurius Politicus, and they are full of nothing save the Lord General Cromwell's late glorious victory over the Scots king (as they term his most sacred Majesty) at Worcester; telling us how old Noll returned to London, and was met by a procession of the Men of Westminster, and how he made a triumphal entry into the City; how great rejoicings were held,

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and how the poor Scots prisoners were marched through the streets. Stay! I have one piece of news and sorry

bad

news it is!—the brave Earl of Derby, the Earl of Lauderdale, and some other Royalists, who fought at Worcester, have been captured in Cheshire, and it is said will all be brought to the block. Heaven avert the like fate from our young master!”

Ay, Heaven avert it from him, and from one higher than him," said Eustace Saxby, in a deep, earnest tone.

“ Čanst give us any tidings of the King, Master Moppett? Hath he escaped the bloodhounds set on his track? 'Tis to be hoped he will be watched over as David was when pursued by Saul.”

“ There be all sorts of rumours concerning him," Moppett rejoined; "and right glad am I that there be so, for their number will serve to mislead his enemies. Most likely his Majesty be hidden in some ellinge old house in Hampshire, waiting for a vessel to convey him to France. Such is the colonel's opinion.”

“ And the colonel ought to know, methinks, if any man doth," Elias Crundy observed. “But why don't his Majesty come to the Grange? Our master could soon hire him a fishing-smack at Newhaven or Shoreham to carry him across the Channel.”

“ That's more easily said than done, Elias,” Eustace Saxby rejoined. “No one is allowed to embark at any port along the coast without special license. And as to the Grange being a safe hidingplace, I'm very doubtful about it. Only yesterday, I heard from a Brightelmstone Jug, whom I met at Rottingdean Gap, that a troop of old Noll's terrible Ironsides, under Captain Stelfax, have arrived at Lewes; and that all houses in the neighbourhood, suspected of harbouring fugitive Royalists, are to be strictly searched by 'em—the Grange one of the first."

“Lord presarve us from these ravenous wolves and regicides!” Crundy exclaimed. “That be bad news, indeed! But I hope it ben't true.”

“ I'm afeardt yo'n find it o'er true, Elias,” Nut Springett remarked, shaking his head.

“I've heard John Habergeon speak of Captain Stelfax,” Giles Moppett said; "and a bloody and barbarous rebel he must be, from John's account. He goes to work at once with thumbscrew and boot-thumbscrew and boot-d'ye mind that, my masters? If he comes here we shall all be put to the torture.”.

"And if we be, the truculent Roundhead shall discover nothing,” Eustace Saxby cried, resolutely. “Let him do his worst. He will learn what stuff a loyal Sussex yeoman is made of. If thy black jack ben't empty, prithee fill up the horn, Elias. I would fain drink a health, which Master Moppett tells me was drunk in the dining-hall last night—soon after young master's return.”

“Drink it under thy breath then, Eustace,” Moppett observed; " there be spies about, and no saying who may ever hear thee.”

“ In that case, I'll drink confusion to the king's enemies ! and

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