Imatges de pàgina

and silver of various coinage, the savings of twenty years ; which he now, without speaking a syllable upon the subject, dedicated to the service of the patron whose shelter and protection had given him the means of making this little hoard. Tressilian accepted it without affecting a moment's hesitation, and a mutual grasp of the hand was all that passed betwixt them, to express the pleasure which the one felt in dedicating his all to such a purpose, and that which the other received from finding so material an obsta. cle to the success of his journey so suddenly removed, and in a manner so unexpected.

• While Tressilian was making preparations for his departure early the ensuing morning, Wayland Smith desired to speak with him; and, expressing his hope that he had been pleased with the operation of his medicine in behalf of Sir flugh Robsart, added his desire to accompany him to court. This was indeed what Tressilian himself had several times thought of ; for the shrewdness, alertness of understanding, and variety of resource, which this fellow had exhibited during the time they had travelled together, had made him sensible that his assistance might be of importance. But then Wayland was in danger from the grasp of law; and of this Tressilian reminded him, mentioning something, at the same time, of the pincers, of Pinniewinks, and the warrant of Master Justice Blindas. Wayland Smith laughed both to scorn.

• See you, sir !' said he, 'I have changed my garb from that of a farrier to a serving-man; but were it still as it was, look at my moustaches—they, now hang down—I will but turn them up and dye them with a tincture that I know of, and the devil would scarce know me again.'

He accompanied these words with the appropriate action; and in less than a minute, by setting up his moustaches and his hair, he seemed a different person from him that had but now entered the room. Still, however, Tressilian hesitated to accept his services, and the artist became proportionally urgent.

I owe you life and limb,” he said, and I would fain pay a part of the debt, especially as I know from Will Badger on what dangerous service your worship is bound. I do not indeed pretend to be what is called a man of mettle, one of those ruffling tear-cats, who maintain their master's quarrel with sword and buckler. Nay, I am even one of those who hold the end of a feast better than the beginning of a fray. But I know that I can serve your worship better in such quest as yours, than any of these swordand-dagger-men, and that my head will be worth an hundred of their hands.

Tressilian still hesitated. He knew not much of this strange fellow, and was doubtful how far he could repose in him the confidence necessary to render him an useful attendant upon the present emergency.

Ere he had Come to a determination, the trampling of a horse was heard in the courtyard, and Master Mumblazen and Will Badger both entered hastily into Tressilian's chamber, speaking almost at the same moment.

· Here is a serving-man on the bonniest grey tit I ever see'd in my life,' said Will Badger, who got the start ; having on his arm a silver cognilance, being a fire-drake holding in his mouth a brick-bat, under a coronet of an Earl's degree,' said Master Mumblazen, and bearing a letter sealed of the same.'

Tressilian took the letter, which was addressed "To the worshipful Master Edmund Tressilian our loving kinsman-These-Ride, ride, ride,- for thy life, for thy life, for thy life. He then opened it, and found the following contents :

Master Tressilian, our good friend and Cousin,

We are at present so ill at ease, and otherwise so unhappily circumstanced, that we are desirous to have around us those of our friends, on those loving kindness we can most especially repose confidence; amongst whom we hold our good Master Tressilian one of the foremost and nearest, both in good will and good ability. We therefore pray you, with your most convenient speed, to repair to our poor lodging, at Say's Court, near Deptford, where we will treat farther with you of matters which we deem it not fit to commit unto writing. And so we bid you heartily farewell, being your loving kinsman to coinmand,

• RATCLIFFE, EARL OF Sussex.' Send up the messenger instantly, Will Badger,' said Tressilian; and as the man entered the room, he exclaimed, "Aha, Stevens, is it you ? hop does my good lord ?'

• III, Master Tressilian,' was the messenger's reply, and having therefore the more need of good friends around him.'

But what is my lord's malady ?" said Tressilian anxiously, 'I heard nothing of his being ill ??

"I know not, sir,' replied the man, "he is very ill at ease. The leeches are at a stand, and many of his household suspect foul practice; witchcraft, or worse.'

What are the symptoms said Wayland Smith, stepping forward hastily.

Anan said the messenger, not comprehending his meaning. • What does he ail?' said Wayland; where lies his disease ?"

The man looked at Tressilian, as if to know whether he should answer these inquiries from a stranger, and receiving a sign in the affirmative, replied.

Stevens then hastily enumerated gradual loss of strength, nocturnal perspiration, loss of appetite, faintness, &c.

Joined,' said Wayland, to a gnawing pain in the stomach, and a low fever.'

Even so,' said the messenger, somewhat surprised. "I know how the disease is caused,' said the artist, and I know the

Your master has eaten of the manna of Saint Nicholas. I know the cure too, my master shall not say I studied in his laboratory for nothing.' How mean you

I said Tressilian frowning, we speak of one of the first nobles of England. Bethink you, this is no subject for buffoonery.'

God forbid !' said Wayland Smith. • I say that I know his disease, and can cure him. Remember what I did for Sir Hugh Robsart.' • We will set forth instantly,' said Tressilian. God calls us.'

Accordingly, hastily mentioning this new motive for his instant departure, though without mentioning either the suspicions of Stevens or the assurances of Wayland Smith, he took the kindesi leave of Sir Hugh and the family at Lidcote-Hall, who accompanied him with prayers and blessings, and attended by Wayland and the Earl of Sussex's domestic, travelled with the utmost speed towards London,

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-Ay, I know you have arsenick,
Vitriol, sal-tartre, argaile, alkaly,
Cinoper : I know all. This iellow, Captain,
Will come in time to be a great distiller,
And give a say (I will not say directly,
But very near) at the philosopher's stone.


TRESSILIAN and his attendants pressed their route with all despatch. He had asked the smith, indeed, when their departure was resolved on, whether he would not rather chuse to avoid Berkshire, in which he had played a part so conspicuous. But Wayland returned a confident answer. He had employed the short interval they passed at Lidcote-Hall in trans. forming himself in a wonderful manner. His wild and overgrown thicket of beard was now restrained to two small moustachios on the upper lip, turned up in a military fashion. A tailor from the village of Lidcote (well paid) had exerted his skill, under his customer's directions, so as completely to alter Wayland's outward man, and take off from his appearance almost twenty years of age. Formerly, besmeared with soot and charcoal-overgrown with hair, and bent double with the nature of his labour-disfigured too by his old and fantastic dress, he seemed a man of fifty years old. But now, iu a handsome suit of Tressilian's livery, with a sword by his side, and a buckler on his shoulder, he looked like a gay ruflling serving man, whose age might be betwixt thirty and thirty-five, the very prime of human life. His loutish savage-looking demeanour seemed equally changed into a forward, sharp, and impudent alertness of look and action.

When challenged by Tressilian, who desired to know the cause of a metamorphosis so singular and so absolute, Wayland only answered by singing a stave from a comedy, which was then new, and was supposed, among the more favourable judges, to augur some genius on the part of the author. We are happy to preserve the couplet, which ran exactly thus,

Ban, ban, ca Calihan-
Get a new master-be a new man.'

Although Tressilian did not recollect the verses, yet they reminded him that Wayland had once been a stage-player, a circumstance which, of itself, accounted indifferently well for the readiness with which he could assume so total a change of personal appearance. The artist himself was so confident of his disguise being completely changed, or of his having completely changed his disguise, which may be the more correct mode of speaking, that he regretted they were not to pass near his old place of retreat.

'I could venture," he said, “in my present dress, and with your worship's backing, to face Master Justice Blindas, even on a day of Quarter Sessions; and I would like to know what is become of Hobgoblin, who is like to play the devil in the world, if he can once slip the string, and leave his grannie and his Dominie.-Ay, and the scathed vault !' he said, I would willingly have seen what havoc the explosion of so much gunpowder has made among Doctor Demetrius Doboobie's retorts and phials. I warrant me, my fame haunts the Vale of the White Horse long after my body is rotten; and that many a lout ties up his horse, lays down his silver groat, and pipes

like a sailor wbistling in a calm, for Wayland Smith to come and shoe his tit for him. But the horse will catch the founders ere I answer the


In this particular, indeed, Wayland proved a true prophet; and so easily do fables rise, that an obscure tradition of his extraordinary practice in farriery prevails in the Vale of White Horse even unto this day;* and neither the tradition of Alfred's Victory, nor of the celebrated Pusey Horn, are better preserved in Berkshire than the Wild legend of Wayland Smith.

The haste of the travellers admitted their making no stay upon their journey, save what the refreshment of the horses required ; and as many of the places through which they passed were under the influence of the Earl of Leicester, or persons immediately dependent on him, they thought it prudent to disguise their names, and the purpose of their journey. On such occasions the agency of Wayland Smith (by which name we will cop tinue to distinguish the artist, though his real name was Lancelot Wayland) was extremely serviceable. He seemed, indeed, to have a pleasure in displaying the alertness with which he could bafile investigation, and amuse himself by putting the curiosity of tapsters and inokeepers on a false scent. During the course of their brief journey, three different and inconsistent reports were circulated by him on their account ; namely, first, that Tressilian was the Lord Deputy of Ireland, come over in disguise to take the Queen's pleasure concerning the great rebel Rory Oge MacCarthy MacMakon ; secondly, that the said Tressilian was an agent of Monsieur, coming to urge his suit to the hand of Elizabeth ; thirdly, that he was the Duke of Medina, come over, incognito, to adjust the quarrel betwixt Philip and that princess.

Tressilian was angry, and expostulated with the artist on the various in. conveniences, and, in particular, the unnecessary degree of attention to which they were subjected, by the figments he thus circulated; but he was pacified, (for who could be proof against such an argument ?) by Wayland's assuring him that a general importance was attached to his own (Tressiljan's) striking presence, which rendered it necessary to give an extraordinary reason for the rapidity and secrecy of his journey.

At length they approached the metropolis, where, owing to the more gene al recourse of strangers, their appearance excited neither observation nor enquiry, and finally they entered London itself.

It was Tressilian's purpose to go down directly to Deptford, where Lord Sussex resided, in order to be near the court, then held at Greenwich, the favourite residence of Elizabeth, and honoured as her birth-place. Still a brief halt in London was necessary; and it was samewhat prolonged by the earnest entreaties of Wayland Smith, who desired permission to take a walk through the city.

• Take thy sword and buckler, and follow me, then,' said Tressilian; : 1 am about to walk myself, and we will go in company.'

This he said, because he was not altogether so secure of the fidelity of his new retainer, as to leave sight of him, at this interesting moment, when rival factions at the court of Elizabeth were running so high. Wayland Smith willingly acquiesced in the precaution, of which he probably conjec tured the motive, but only stipulated that his master should enter the shops of such chemists or apothecaries as he should point out, in walking through Fleet Street, and permit him to make some necessary purchases. Tressil.

* See Camden's Britannia-Gouga's Edition, Vol. I. p. 221.

ian agreed, and obeying the signal of his attendant, walked successively into more than four or five shops,

where he observed that Wayland purchased in each only one single drug, in various quantities. The medicines which he first asked for, were readily furnished, each in succession, but those which he afterwards required were less easily supplied-and Tressilian observed, that Wayland more than once, to the surprise of the keeper, returned the gum or herb that was offered to him, and compelled him to exchange it for the right sort, or else went on to seek it elsewhere. But one ingredient, in particular, seemed almost impossible to be found. Some chemists plainly admitted they had never seen it,--others denied that such a drug existed, excepting in the imagination of crazy alchemists,—and most of them attempted to satisfy their customer, by producing some substitute, which, when rejected by Wayland, as not being what he had asked for, they maintained, possessed, in a superior degree, the self-same qualities. In general, they all displayed some curiosity concerning the purpose for which he wanted it.

One old meagre chemist, to whom the artist put the usual question, in terms which Tressilian neither understood, nor could recollect, answered frankly, there was none of the drug in London, unless Yoglan the Jew chanced to have some of it upon hand.

• I thought as much,' said Wayland. And as soon as they left the shop, he said to Tressilian, 'I crave you pardon, sir, but no artist can work without his tools. I must needs go to this Yoglan's; and I promise you, that if this detains you longer than your leisure seems to permit, you shall, nevertheless, be well repaid, by the use I will make of this rare drug. Permit me,' he added, to walk before you, for we are now to quit the broad street, and we will make double speed if I lead the way.'

Tressilian acquiesced, and, following the smith down a lane which turn-
ed to the left hand towards the river, he found that his guide walked on
with great speed, and apparently perfect knowledge of the town, through a
labyrinth of bye-streets, courts, and blind alleys, until at length Wayland
paused in the midst of a very narrow lane, the termination of which shewed
a peep of the Thames, looking misty and muddy, which back-ground was
crossed by the masts of two lighters that lay waiting for the tide. The
shop under which he halted had not, as in modern days, a glazed window
but a paltry canvass screen surrounded such a stall as a cobler now occupies,
having the front open, much in the manner of a fishmonger's booth of the
present day. A little old smock-faced man, the very reverse of a Jew in
complexion, for he was very soft-haired as well as beardless, appeared, and
with many courtesies, asked Wayland what he pleased to want. He had
no sooner named the drug, than the Jew started and looked surprised.
* And vat might your vorship vant vith that drug which is not named, mein
god, in forty years I have been chemist here?'

* These questions it is no part of my commission to answer,' said Wayland; “I only wish to know if you have what I want, and having it, are willing to sell it ?

“Ay, mein god, for having it that I have, and for selling it I am chemist, and sell every drug.' So saying, he exhibited a powder, and then continued, “But it will cost much monies.- Vat I ave cost its weight in gold—ay, gold well-refined-I vill say six times-It comes from Mount Sinai, where wr had our blessed Law given forth, and the plant blossoms but once in one hundred year.'

I do not know how often it is gathered on Mount Sinai,' said Wayland, after looking at the drug offered him, with great disdain, but I will wager my sword and buckler against your gaberdine, that this trash you offer me

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