Imatges de pÓgina

his arm.

"Who are you?” he asked.

him be sent away from her to the far end “I am Paul Finiston.”

of the earth, than be drawn into the * What brings you here?”

wretched circle round which his forefathers “A message from my uncle, which I had travelled with weakened brains and received last night. I did not intend to withered hearts. Take her life, take her trouble him, but as he sent for me I am health ; take even Paul's love out of her come.

future; but save him from the evil that “Humph! that is spoken like an honest had overwhelmed his kin. Having thus man. You are welcome to Tobereevil. emptied her heart of every selfish thought, And who is the lady ?”

courage returned ; and with it the hope " This lady is my affianced wife," said that was familiar to her. After all, it was Paul, drawing May's hand proudly through but natural that Paul should be absorbed

by the sudden change in his fortunes. And Ah, indeed,” sneered the miser. “But it was also natural that the old man should I only wanted you, I did not send for your have grown tired of his dreary iniquity. wife.

It was coming then at last, the good time * Oh," said May, eagerly, “ do not be long expected at Tobereevil

, and she must displeased with him on my account, I will not be so ungrateful as to mourn for it. go back at once. I will not be in the way." Having conquered her short agony, she

The time had been when he would have took her way bravely through the mildewflung the door in their faces; but he was ing house. now in extremity, and, besides, he was There was nothing to keep her from greatly weakened, in his body and in his going into any room she pleased, and passions, since that day when Miss Martha Simon had told her to "walk about the had been forced to fly from his presence. house." The aged locks had long ago It might be that May's glowing face and rusted from their fastenings on the doors. appealing eyes touched some spot in the She wandered into noble rooms where withered heart which was not altogether fragments of rich hangings fluttered doledead. At all events, he answered her with fully in the breeze which came in through strange mildness.

the broken windows. Ceilings that had “ You may walk about the house,” he been painted in mellow pictures still said, “till our business is finished.” showed some faded tints between the

May thanked him, as gratefully as if she blotches of the damp and the scars where had been a tenant with a large family to the plaster had dropped in dust to the whom he had granted a lease.

The miser floor. There were a few articles of weatherthen led Paul across the hall, leaving May beaten furniture to be seen, but the to find her way whither she pleased. And rooms were mostly empty. Snow lay in she noticed with another pang such as she heaps on the inner ledges of the windows, had felt the night before, that Paul did not and the shriek of the wind went from once turn his head to look back at her as passage to passage, and lamented along he went. Might it be that the monstrous the corridors and up and down the stairdesire of wealth of which Paul had been cases. There was but a little wind outso afraid, would yet so grow up within him side, but the crannies of the mansion of that it would thrust her out of his heart? Tobereevil knew how to make much of a She paused on a step of the gloomy stair- little wind. It seemed to May as if some case, stricken by the thought of such an bird of ill omen had made his nest under ending for her love. It had been so with the rafters of the roof, and that he flew Miss Martha ; might it not be so with her ? from chamber to chamber, from garret to Might there not, after all, be some dire cellar, for ever on the wing, piercing the reality in the inevitable influence of that walls with his shrill cry of wrath at the curse which had so eaten up all virtue born hatefulness of the misers of Tobereevil. into the family of Finiston? She remem- Desolation, and blight, and the print of bered that in the Bible there are histories wickedness were everywhere. It would be of races which were cursed for generations better, as Paul said, to take down the old because of the sins of some dead man. But building ; every stone of it. 80 many had passed away since the first She sat in an old grim carven chair, Finiston had sinned. “ So many genera- standing solitary in its corner; and she tions, oh, my God !" cried May.

began to think for the first time of what it She prayed out of the strength of her would be to find herself mistress of all the coul for the safety of her love. Rather let wealth of Tobereevil. Should she really be the lady of a great mansion, with jewels various reasons I think it better now to and satins, and rich furniture, and fine stay where I am.

I have found some empictures all around her; with a library ployment, and I am content to he poor. If and a music - room, and drawing - rooms, you had not sent for me you should never, and many servants? And should she be as I told you, have seen my face.” as happy'in her grandeur, as in the little "Humph!” said Simon.

“Upon my crooked parlour at Monasterlea ? How word, young man, you are very bold! So could she know? If Paul should prove to you dread and dislike me, and don't want be happy, then would she be happy too. to be my heir. And what if I show you

In the mean time uncle and nephew had the door, sir, in return for such a compliretreated to the miser's den. A half-shut- ment ?" ter had been opened, so that they might “I have no objection, sir; I am not see each other, and have light to make their anxious to stay.” And yet Paul felt him. bargain. The old man eyed the young one self even at the moment devoured by a by the entering ray, as keenly as the watch new hunger for the favours which this man who scans a doubtful wayfarer by dreadful dotard held in his lean hand to the gleam of his dark-lantern. He was give. Such ambition, however, being still looking for the signs of the spendthrift in new to him, an honest shame held it in his nephew's appearance. But Paul was check, and he still carried himself with no dandy; his dress was plain rough his habitual independent bearing. But frieze. The miser looked grudgingly at had he been bent on pleasing the miser his comfortable clothing, but there was he could not have spoken better. nothing that he could exactly complain of. “Very well, sir, but I have not done Had Paul come unbidden a little time ago, with you yet. It seems that there will be he would have railed at his apparel, merely no courtesy lost between us. What is this because it was not threadbare ; now, he employment which you have got in the only resented silently its decency and com- country ?” fort. He would have threatened him for “I have undertaken to manage the farm his imprudence in engaging to marry a of a tenant of yours," said Paal, “and I wife; but he spoke no more of May. have brought a little money home with me He gathered about him such dignity as he from abroad. Only a little, but I'll do could muster, as he sat down and leaned well enough." back in his chair, and motioned to Paul “Until the old man dies," sneered the to take his seat on a little broken bench miser. which stood opposite at the other side of “Sir!" said Paul, “I have already told the miserable hearth. This Paul did, and you my mind. I came here to oblige you, was conscious all through the scene which and I will now go my way.” followed of a ridiculous and not very suc- And he rose to his feet, burning incessful effort to balance himself on a seat wardly with strange disappointment and to which a fourth leg was wanting. despair. He felt that he had been made a

“You have been abroad for some years, fool of, and that he was no longer indifI understand,” said Simon. “Do you in- ferent as to the old man's intentions with tend to remain here, or to return to where regard to himself. Most truly the change you came from?”

in him had wrought very rapidly. The 'I mean to stay at home,” said Paul. shadow of his race seemed to wrap him

“ That is, you made up your mind to it from the light. It had descended from this after you got my note last night.”

old roof-tree, which he had been rash "No, indeed,” said Paul,“ your note had enough to place between himself and the nothing to do with it. I had made up my tranquil arch of heaven; it would depart mind to it long ago.”

with him over this threshold, which he had “And pray what had you marked out been wicked enough to cross. The demon for yourself to do? Lie in wait among the of covetousness bad at last got possession hills for the old man's death, expecting to of him; and peace, and hope, and joy were be master of all he has ?”

for him no more. “To tell you the truth, sir," said Paul, Stay,” said Simon. “Not so fast, throwing back his head, “there is nothing young man! I do not want to fight, but I have dreaded and disliked all my life so to do honest business with you. I have much as the thought of being your heir. been cheated and played upon by knaves. I went abroad to forget it, and I came I want an agent to do my work among my home in reality only to seek a wife. For tenants. I am at present all alone, without agent or servant, and I cannot get on alone, she made her way through the rooms and for people would overreach me. So I ask down the staircases, pale as a ghost and you to be my agent, to manage my busi- shaken with misgivings. But Paul had ness for me. I will pay you something, of come back for her, and her delight at seeing course ; but money is very scarce. this swept away the sharp bitterness of a

Paul's passion subsided, and he bent his few minutes. Paul was in wonderful exbrows and considered the miser's offer. He citement during all the walk home. Even seemed the sport of some mischievous spirit May's bright spirit had to get on tip-toe that ruled him for the hour with rapidly to be even with him. changing moods, whose fitful shiftings were imperceptible to himself. His pang

CHRONICLES OF LONDON of disappointment had vanished, and also

STREETS. his vision of lost contentment, and he only thought now of the value of the proposal

LONDON BRIDGE. that had been made to him. It was less There is no certain record of when the than he had dreamed of while walking that first London Bridge was built. It is true morning through the Woods of Tobereevil; that Dion Cassius, writing nearly two hunbut in his present hunger for power any dred years after the invasion of Britain by morsel was a boon.

Claudius, speaks vaguely of a bridge across "I will be glad to do my best,” he the Thames in the reign of that emperor; answered, presently.

but it is more probable that no bridge really " That is well,” said the miser, “but existed till the year 994, the year after the you must work heart and soul for me. And invasion of Olaf the Dane, in the reign of if you can make a little money for me it King Ethelred. It is at least certain that will be better for yourself. If you serve in the year 1008, in the reign of Ethelred me faithfully and learn thrifty habits you the Second, the · Unready, there was a shall have any little penny I possess, when bridge, for, according to Snorro SturlesI die."

onius, an Icelandic historian, Olaf the "Indeed, sir !” said Paul; and the idea Norwegian, an ally of Ethelred, attacking of this heirship seemed to grow into some the Danes, who had fortified themselves in brilliant thing that dazzled him. His head Southwark, fastened his vessels to the got quite giddy, and he tingled with de- piles of London Bridge, which the Danes light. He felt himself already the master held, and dragged down the whole strucof Tobereevil. Only yesterday morning he ture. This Olaf, afterwards a martyr, is had held such a title to be the least de- the patron saint from whom the church, sirable in the world; but now a different now standing at the south-east corner of humour swayed him, and he craved it as London Bridge, derived its christian name. if it were life. No curse should ever hurt Tooley-street below, a word corrupted from him. He was a strong, brave man, and he Saint Olave, also preserves

the memory

of would use his power well. He had shud- the Norwegian king, eventually slain near dered at a myth, and wasted his strength Drontheim by Knut, King of Denmark. upon a phantom. He had come face to Still, whenever the church wardens and face with the temptation he had so dreaded vestry of St. Mary Overies, on the Bankall his life, and found himself as triumph- side, meet over their cups, the first toast, ant and happy as a king.

says an antiquary who has written an ex"What now about that dread and dis- haustive history of London Bridge, is to like?" jeered Simon, as he watched joy their church's patron saint, “Old Moll." start suddenly into the young man's face.

This Old Moll was, according to Stow, “I have changed my mind,” said Paul, Mary, the daughter of a ferryman at this “ but only since you have treated me like part of the river, who left all her money an honest man.'

to build a honse of sisters, where the east When the interview was over this heir part of St. Mary Overies now stands. In of the miser was in such a state of elation time the nunnery became a house of priests, that he quite forgot May, and walked out who built the first wooden bridge over several yards into the snow without think the Thames. There is still existing at the ing of her. And May, from an upper church of St. Mary Overies a skeleton window, saw him thus leave the place. effigy, which some declare to be that of She was cold and tired, but she had been Audery, the ferryman, father of the imwaiting for him patiently. Wounded, and mortal Moll. The legend goes that this John distraught, and half blind with vexed tears, Overy, or Audery, was a rich and covetous

won her.

miser, mean, penurions, and insanely fond The first stone London Bridge was begun of hoarding his hard-earned fees. He had in 1176, by Peter, a priest and chaplain of a pious and beautiful daughter who, though St. Mary Colechurch, a building whichkept in seclusion by her father, was loved till the Great Fire made short work of it, by a young gallant, who secretly wooed and stood in Conyhoop-lane, on the north side

One day the old hunks, to save of the Poultry. There long existed a sensea day's food, resolved to feign himself dead less tradition that pious Peter of the Poultry for twenty-four hours, vainly expecting that reared the arches of his bridge upon wool. his servants, from common decency, would packs; the fact, perhaps, being, that Henry fast till his funeral. With his daughter's the Second generously gave towards the help, he therefore laid himself out, wrapped building a new tax levied upon his subjects’ in a sheet, with one taper burning at his wool. Peter's bridge, which took thirtyhead, and another at his feet. The lean, three years building, boasted nineteen half-starved servants, however, instead of pointed stone arches, and was nine hundred lamenting their master's decease, leaped up and twenty-six feet long, and forty feet overjoyed, danced round the body, broke wide. It included a wooden drawbridge, open the larder, and fell to feasting. The and the piers were raised upon platforms old ferryman bore all this as long as flesh (called starlings) of strong elm piles

, and blood could bear it, but at last he covered by thick planks bolted together, scrambled


in his sheet, a candle in each that impeded the passage of barges. On hand, to scold and chase the rascals from the tenth pier was erected a two-storied the house ; when one of the boldest of them, chapel, forty feet high and sixty feet long, thinking it was the devil himself, snatched to Saint Thomas A Beckett. The lower ap the butt-end of a broken oar, and struck chapel could be entered either from the out his master's brains. On hearing of this chapel above, or from the river, by a flight unintentional homicide, the lover came post- of stone stairs. The founder himself was ing up to London so fast, that his horse buried under the chapel staircase. Peter's stumbled, and the eager lover, alas ! broke bridge was partly destroyed by a great fire his neck. On this second misfortune, Mary in 1212, four years after it was finished, Overy, shrouding her beauty in a cowl, re- and while its stones were still sharp and tired into a cloister for life. The corpse of white. There were even then houses upon the old usurer was refused Christian burial, it, and gate - towers, and many people he being deemed by the clergy a wicked and crowding to help, or to see the sight, got excommunicated man. The friars of Ber- wedged in between two fires by a shifting mondsey Abbey, however, in the absence of of the wind, and some three thousand were their father abbot, were bribed to give the either burnt or drowned. King John, after body a little earth for charity. The abbot this, granted certain tolls, levied on foreign on his return, enraged at the friars' cupidity, merchants, towards the bridge repairs. had the corpse dug up and thrown on the Henry the Third, according to a patent back of an ass, that was then turned out of roll, dated from Portsmouth, 1252, perthe abbey gates. The patient beast carried mitted certain monks, called the Brethren the corpse up Kent-street, and shook it off of London Bridge, with his special sanction, under the gibbet, near the small pond once to travel over England and collect alms. called St. Thomas-a-Waterings, where it In this same reign (1263), the bridge bewas roughly interred. The effigy is really, came the scene of great scorn and insult, as Gough, in his Sepulchral Monuments, shown by the turbulent citizens to Henry's says most of such figures are, the work queen, Eleanor of Provence, who was opof the fifteenth century; now, the real posed to the people's friends, the barons, Andery, if he lived at all, lived long before who were still contending for the final the Conquest, for the first wooden bridge settlement of Magna Charta. As the queen was, it is thought, probably built to stop and her ladies, in their gilded barge, were the Danish pirate vessels.

on their way to Windsor, and preparing to The first wooden bridge was destroyed shoot the dangerous bridge, the rabble by a terrible flood and storm, mentioned above assailed her with shouts and rein the Annals of Waverley Abbey, which, proaches, and casting heavy stones and in the year 1091, blew down six hundred mud into her boat, upon her and her brightLondon houses and lifted the roof off Bow clothed maidens, drove them back to the Church. In the second year of Stephen, a Tower, where the king was garrisoned. fire, that swept away all the wooden houses Towards the end of the same year, when of London, from Aldgate to St. Paul's, de- Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, stroyed the second wooden bridge. marched on London, the king and his


forces occupied Southwark, and, to thwart fighting of a gayer and less bloodthirsty the citizens, locked up the bridge gates, and kind took place on the bridge. No dandy threw the ponderous keys into the Thames. Eglinton tournament this, but a genuine But no locks can bar out Fate; the gates grapple with spear, sword, and dagger. Sir were broken open by a flood of citizens, the David Lindsay, of Glenesk, who had marking was driven back, and Simon entered ried a daughter of Robert the Second, London. After the battle of Evesham, where King of Scotland, challenged to the joust the great earl fell, the king, perhaps remem- Lord Wells, our ambassador in Scotland, bering old grudges, took the half-ruinous a man described by Andrew of Wyntoun, bridge into his own hands, and delivered a poetical Scotch chronicler, as being it over to the queen, who sadly neglected

Manful, stout, and of good pith, it. There were great complaints of this

And high of heart he was therewith. neglect in the reign of Edward the First, Sir David arrived from Scotland with and again the holy brothers went forth to twenty-nine attendants and thirty horses. collect alms throughout the land. The The king presided at the tournament. The king gave lands also for the support of the arms Lindsay bore on his shield, banner, bridge ; namely, near the Mansion House, and trappings were gules, a fesse chequé Old Change, and Ivy-lane. He also ap- argent and azure; those of Wells, or, a pointed tolls—every man on foot, with lion rampant, double queuée, sable. At merchandise, to pay one farthing; every the first shock the spears broke, and the horseznan, one penny; every pack carried crowd shouted that Lindsay was secured on horseback, one halfpenny. This same to his saddle. The earl at that leaped off year, 1281, four arches of London Bridge his charger, vaulted back, then dashed on to were carried away by the same thaw-flood the collision. At the third crash Wells fell that destroyed Rochester Bridge.

heavily, as if dead. In the final grapple LindThe reign of Edward was disgraced by say, fastening his dagger into the armour the cruel revenge taken by the warlike of the English knight, lifted him from the monarch on William Wallace. In August, ground, and dashed him, finally vanquished, 1305, on Edward's return from the fourth to the earth. According to Andrew of Wyn. invasion of Scotland, “this man of Belial,” toun, the king called out from his as Matthew of Westminster calls Wallace, castle,” “Good Cousin Lindsay, do forth was drawn on a sledge to Smithfield, there that thou should do this day;" but the hung, embowelled; beheaded, quartered, generous Scotchman threw himself and his head set on a pole on London Wells and embraced him till he revived. Bridge. An old ballad in the Harleian Nor did he stop there ; during Wells's Collection, describing the execution of sickness of three months Lindsay visited Simon Fraser, another Scotch guerilla him in the gentlest manner, even like the leader , in the following year, concludes most courteous companion, and did not

omit one day. For he had fought, says Many was the wives-child that looked on him that day Boethius,“ without anger, and but for And said, Alas! that he was born and so vilely for glory.” And to commemorate that glorious So fierce man as he was.

St. George's Day, the Scotch earl founded Now stands the head above the town bridge,

a chantry at Dundee, with a gift of fortyPast by Wallace's, sooth for to say.

eight marks (thirty-two pounds) yearly for The heads of these two Scotch patriots seven priests and divers virgins to sing were placed side by side on the gate at the anthems to the patron saint of England. north or London end of the bridge.

In 1392, when Richard the Second reThe troublous reign of the young pro- turned to London reconciled to the citizens, fligate, Richard the Second, brought more who had resented his reckless extravagance, fighting to the bridge, for Wat Tyler and his London Bridge was the centre of splendid fierce Kentish and Surrey men then came pageants. At the bridge gate the citizens chafing to the gates, which the mayor, presented the handsome young scapegrace William Walworth, had chained and barred, with a milk-white charger, caparisoned in pulling up the drawbridge. Upon this the cloth of gold, and hung with silver bells, wild men shouted across to the wardens of and gave the queen a white palfrey, capathe bridge to let them over or they would risoned in white and red; while from every destroy them all, and, from sheer fear, the window hung cloths of gold and silver. wardens yielded. In that savage crowd The citizens ended by redeeming their forthe Brethren of the Bridge, as Thomas of feited charter by a payment of ten thousand Walsingham says, were pressing with pro- pounds. In 1396, when Richard had lost cessions and prayers for peace. In 1390, his first queen, Anne of Bohemia, and



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