Part 10 out of 11
pinch, I'll forgie the girded keg of brandy that you and Captain
Sir Harry Redgimlet drank out yon time. Ye sall hae an ample
discharge and renunciation, and, though I should see you walking
at the Cross of Edinburgh, or standing at the bar of the Court of
Justiciary, no the very thumbikins themselves should bring to my
memory that ever I saw you in arms yon day.'
He accompanied this promise by pulling so hard at Redgauntlet's
cloak, that he at last turned round. 'Idiot! speak in a word
what you want.'
'Aweel, aweel. In a word, then,' said Peter Peebles, 'I have a
warrant on me to apprehend that man that stands there, Alan
Fairford by name, and advocate by calling. I bought it from
Maister Justice Foxley's clerk, Maister Nicholas Faggot, wi' the
guinea that you gied me.
'Ha!' said Redgauntlet, 'hast thou really such a warrant? let
me see it. Look sharp that no one escape, Cristal Nixon.'
Peter produced a huge, greasy, leathern pocketbook, too dirty to
permit its original colour to be visible, filled with scrolls of
notes, memorials to counsel, and Heaven knows what besides. From
amongst this precious mass he culled forth a paper, and placed it
in the hands of Redgauntlet, or Herries, as he continued to call
him, saying, at the same time, 'It's a formal and binding
warrant, proceeding on my affidavy made, that the said Alan
Fairford, being lawfully engaged in my service, had slipped the
tether and fled over the Border, and was now lurking there and
thereabouts, to elude and evite the discharge of his bounden duty
to me; and therefore granting warrant to constables and others,
to seek for, take, and apprehend him, that he may be brought
before the Honourable Justice Foxley for examination, and, if
necessary, for commitment. Now, though a' this be fairly set
down, as I tell ye, yet where am I to get an officer to execute
this warrant in sic a country as this, where swords and pistols
flee out at a word's speaking, and folk care as little for the
peace of King George as the peace of Auld King Coul? There's
that drunken skipper, and that wet Quaker, enticed me into the
public this morning, and because I wadna gie them' as much brandy
as wad have made them blind-drunk, they baith fell on me, and
were in the way of guiding me very ill.'
While Peter went on in this manner, Redgauntlet glanced his eye
over the warrant, and immediately saw that it must be a trick
passed by Nicholas Faggot, to cheat the poor insane wretch out of
his solitary guinea. But the Justice had actually subscribed it,
as he did whatever his clerk presented to him, and Redgauntlet
resolved to use it for his own purposes.
Without making any direct answer, therefore, to Peter Peebles, he
walked up gravely to Fairford, who had waited quietly for the
termination of a scene in which he was not a little surprised to
find his client, Mr. Peebles, a conspicuous actor.
'Mr. Fairford,' said Redgauntlet, 'there are many reasons which
might induce me to comply with the request, or rather the
injunctions, of the excellent Father Buonaventure, that I should
communicate with you upon the present condition of my ward, whom
you know under the name of Darsie Latimer; but no man is better
aware than you that the law must be obeyed, even in contradiction
to our own feelings; now this poor man has obtained a warrant for
carrying you before a magistrate, and, I am afraid, there is a
necessity of your yielding to it, although to the postponement of
the business which you may have with me.'
'A warrant against me!' said Alan, indignantly; 'and at that
poor miserable wretch's instance?--why, this is a trick, a mere
and most palpable trick.'
'It may be so,' replied Redgauntlet, with great equanimity;
'doubtless you know best; only the writ appears regular, and with
that respect for the law which has been,' he said, with
hypocritical formality, 'a leading feature of my character
through life, I cannot dispense with giving my poor aid to the
support of a legal warrant. Look at it yourself, and be
satisfied it is no trick of mine.'
Fairford ran over the affidavit and the warrant, and then
exclaimed once more, that it was an impudent imposition, and that
he would hold those who acted upon such a warrant liable in the
highest damages. 'I guess at your motive, Mr. Redgauntlet,' he
said, 'for acquiescing in so ridiculous a proceeding. But be
assured you will find that, in this country, one act of illegal
violence will not be covered or atoned for by practising another.
You cannot, as a man of sense and honour, pretend to say you
regard this as a legal warrant.'
'I am no lawyer, sir,' said Redgauntlet; 'and pretend not to know
what is or is not law--the warrant is quite formal, and that is
enough for me.'
'Did ever any one hear,' said Fairford, 'of an advocate being
compelled to return to his task, like a collier or a salter [See
Note 10.] who has deserted his master?'
'I see no reason why he should not,' said Redgauntlet, dryly,
'unless on the ground that the services of the lawyer are the
most expensive and least useful of the two.'
'You cannot mean this in earnest,' said Fairford; 'you cannot
really mean to avail yourself of so poor a contrivance, to evade
the word pledged by your friend, your ghostly father, in my
behalf. I may have been a fool for trusting it too easily, but
think what you must be if you can abuse my confidence in this
manner. I entreat you to reflect that this usage releases me
from all promises of secrecy or connivance at what I am apt to
think are very dangerous practices, and that'--
'Hark ye, Mr. Fairford,' said Redgauntlet; 'I must here interrupt
you for your own sake. One word of betraying what you may have
seen, or what you may have suspected, and your seclusion is like
to have either a very distant or a very brief termination; in
either case a most undesirable one. At present, you are sure of
being at liberty in a very few days--perhaps much sooner.'
'And my friend,' said Alan Fairford, 'for whose sake I have run
myself into this danger, what is to become of him? Dark and
dangerous man!' he exclaimed, raising his voice, I will not be
again cajoled by deceitful promises'--
'I give you my honour that your friend is well,' interrupted
Redgauntlet; 'perhaps I may permit you to see him, if you will
but submit with patience to a fate which is inevitable.'
But Alan Fairford, considering his confidence as having been
abused, first by Maxwell, and next by the priest, raised his
voice, and appealed to all the king's lieges within hearing,
against the violence with which he was threatened. He was
instantly seized on by Nixon and two assistants, who, holding
down his arms, and endeavouring to stop his mouth, were about to
hurry him away.
The honest Quaker, who had kept out of Redgauntlet's presence,
now came boldly forward.
'Friend,' said he, 'thou dost more than thou canst answer. Thou
knowest me well, and thou art aware that in me thou hast a deeply
injured neighbour, who was dwelling beside thee in the honesty
and simplicity of his heart.'
'Tush, Jonathan,' said Redgauntlet; 'talk not to me, man; it is
neither the craft of a young lawyer, nor the SIMPLICITY of an old
hypocrite, can drive me from my purpose.
'By my faith,' said the captain, coming forward in his turn,
'this is hardly fair, general; and I doubt,' he added, 'whether
the will of my owners can make me a party to such proceedings.
Nay, never fumble with your sword-hilt, but out with it like a
man,if you are for a tilting.' He unsheathed his hanger, and
continued--' I will neither see my comrade Fairford, nor the old
Quaker, abused. D--n all warrants, false or true--curse the
justice--confound the constable!--and here stands little Nanty
Ewart to make good what he says against gentle and simple, in
spite of horse-shoe or horse-radish either.'
The cry of 'Down with all warrants!' was popular in the ears of
the militia of the inn, and Nanty Ewart was no less so. Fishers,
ostlers, seamen, smugglers, began to crowd to the spot.
Crackenthorp endeavoured in vain to mediate. The attendants of
Redgauntlet began to handle their firearms; but their master
shouted to them to forbear, and, unsheathing his sword as quick
as lightning, he rushed on Ewart in the midst of his bravado, and
struck his weapon from his hand with such address and force, that
it flew three yards from him. Closing with him at the same
moment, he gave him a severe fall, and waved his sword over his
head, to show he was absolutely at his mercy.
'There, you drunken vagabond,' he said, 'I give you your life--
you are no bad fellow if you could keep from brawling among your
friends. But we all know Nanty Ewart,' he said to the crowd
around, with a forgiving laugh, which, joined to the awe his
prowess had inspired, entirely confirmed their wavering
They shouted, 'The laird for ever!' while poor Nanty, rising
from the earth, on whose lap he had been stretched so rudely,
went in quest of his hanger, lifted it, wiped it, and, as he
returned the weapon to the scabbard, muttered between his teeth,
'It is true they say of him, and the devil will stand his friend
till his hour come; I will cross him no more.'
So saying, he slunk from the crowd, cowed and disheartened by his
'For you, Joshua Geddes,' said Redgauntlet, approaching the
Quaker, who, with lifted hands and eyes, had beheld the scene of
violence, 'l shall take the liberty to arrest thee for a breach
of the peace, altogether unbecoming thy pretended principles; and
I believe it will go hard with thee both in a court of justice
and among thine own Society of Friends, as they call themselves,
who will be but indifferently pleased to see the quiet tenor of
their hypocrisy insulted by such violent proceedings.'
'I violent!' said Joshua; 'I do aught unbecoming the principles
of the Friends! I defy thee, man, and I charge thee, as a
Christian, to forbear vexing my soul with such charges: it is
grievous enough to me to have seen violences which I was unable
'O Joshua, Joshua!' said Redgauntlet, with a sardonic smile;
'thou light of the faithful in the town of Dumfries and the
places adjacent, wilt thou thus fall away from the truth? Hast
thou not, before us all, attempted to rescue a man from the
warrant of law? Didst thou not encourage that drunken fellow to
draw his weapon--and didst thou not thyself flourish thy cudgel
in the cause? Think'st thou that the oaths of the injured Peter
Peebles, and the conscientious Cristal Nixon, besides those of
such gentlemen as look on this strange scene, who not only put on
swearing as a garment, but to whom, in Custom House matters,
oaths are literally meat and drink,--dost thou not think, I say,
that these men's oaths will go further than thy Yea and Nay in
'I will swear to anything,' said Peter. 'All is fair when it
comes to an oath AD LITEM.'
'You do me foul wrong,' said the Quaker, undismayed by the
general laugh. 'I encouraged no drawing of weapons, though I
attempted to move an unjust man by some use of argument--I
brandished no cudgel, although it may be that the ancient Adam
struggled within me, and caused my hand to grasp mine oaken staff
firmer than usual, when I saw innocence borne down with violence.
But why talk I what is true and just to thee, who hast been a man
of violence from thy youth upwards? Let me rather speak to thee
such language as thou canst comprehend. Deliver these young men
up to me,' he said, when he had led Redgauntlet a little apart
from the crowd, 'and I will not only free thee from the heavy
charge of damages which thou hast incurred by thine outrage upon
my property, but I will add ransom for them and for myself. What
would it profit thee to do the youths wrong, by detaining them in
'Mr. Geddes,' said Redgauntlet, in a tone more respectful than he
had hitherto used to the Quaker, 'your language is disinterested,
and I respect the fidelity of your friendship. Perhaps we have
mistaken each other's principles and motives; but if so, we have
not at present time for explanation. Make yourself easy. I hope
to raise your friend Darsie Latimer to a pitch of eminence which
you will witness with pleasure;--nay, do not attempt to answer
me. The other young man shall suffer restraint a few days,
probably only a few hours,--it is not more than due for his
pragmatical interference in what concerned him not. Do you, Mr.
Geddes, be so prudent as to take your horse and leave this place,
which is growing every moment more unfit for the abode of a man
of peace. You may wait the event in safety at Mount Sharon.'
'Friend,' replied Joshua, 'I cannot comply with thy advice; I
will remain here, even as thy prisoner, as thou didst but now
threaten, rather than leave the youth who hath suffered by and
through me and my misfortunes, in his present state of doubtful
safety. Wherefore I will not mount my steed Solomon; neither
will I turn his head towards Mount Sharon, until I see an end of
'A prisoner, then, you must be,' said Redgauntlet. 'I have no
time to dispute the matter further with you. But tell me for
what you fix your eyes so attentively on yonder people of mine.'
'To speak the truth,' said the Quaker, 'I admire to behold among
them a little wretch of a boy called Benjie, to whom I think
Satan has given the power of transporting himself wheresoever
mischief is going forward; so that it may be truly said, there is
no evil in this land wherein he hath not a finger, if not a whole
The boy, who saw their eyes fixed on him as they spoke, seemed
embarrassed, slid rather desirous of making his escape; but at a
signal from Redgauntlet he advanced, assuming the sheepish look
and rustic manner with which the jackanapes covered much
acuteness and roguery.
'How long have you been with the party, sirrah?' said
'Since the raid on the stake-nets,' said Benjie, with his finger
in his mouth.
'And what made you follow us?'
'I dauredna stay at hame for the constables,' replied the boy.
'And what have you been doing all this time?'
'Doing, sir? I dinna ken what ye ca' doing--I have been doing
naething,' said Benjie; then seeing something in Redgauntlet's
eye which was not to be trifled with, he added, 'Naething but
waiting on Maister Cristal Nixon.'
'Hum!--aye--indeed?' muttered Redgauntlet. 'Must Master Nixon
bring his own retinue into the field? This must be seen to.'
He was about to pursue his inquiry, when Nixon himself came to
him with looks of anxious haste, 'The Father is come,' he
whispered, 'and the gentlemen are getting together in the largest
room of the house, and they desire to see you. Yonder is your
nephew, too, making a noise like a man in Bedlam.'
'I will look to it all instantly,' said Redgauntlet. 'Is the
Father lodged as I directed?'
'Now, then, for the final trial,' said Redgauntlet. He folded
his hands--looked upwards--crossed himself--and after this act of
devotion (almost the first which any one had observed him make
use of) he commanded Nixon to keep good watch--have his horses
and men ready for every emergence--look after the safe custody of
the prisoners--but treat them at the same time well and civilly.
And, these orders given, he darted hastily into the house.
Redgauntlet's first course was to the chamber of his nephew. He
unlocked the door, entered the apartment, and asked what he
wanted, that he made so much noise.
'I want my liberty,' said Darsie, who had wrought himself up to a
pitch of passion in which his uncle's wrath had lost its terrors.
'I desire my liberty, and to be assured of the safety of my
beloved friend, Alan Fairford, whose voice I heard but now.'
'Your liberty shall be your own within half an hour from this
period--your friend shall be also set at freedom in due time--and
you yourself be permitted to have access to his place of
'This does not satisfy me,' said Darsie; 'I must see my friend
instantly; he is here, and he is here endangered on my account
only--I have heard violent exclamations--the clash of swords.
You will gain no point with me unless I have ocular demonstration
of his safety.'
'Arthur--dearest nephew,' answered Redgauntlet, 'drive me not
mad! Thine own fate--that of thy house--that of thousands--that
of Britain herself, are at this moment in the scales; and you are
only occupied about the safety of a poor insignificant
'He has sustained injury at your hands, then?' said Darsie,
fiercely. 'I know he has; but if so, not even our relationship
shall protect you.'
'Peace, ungrateful and obstinate fool!' said Redgauntlet. Yet
stay--will you be satisfied if you see this Alan Fairford, the
bundle of bombazine--this precious friend of yours--well and
sound? Will you, I say, be satisfied with seeing him in perfect
safety without attempting to speak to or converse with him?'
Darsie signified his assent. 'Take hold of my arm, then,' said
Redgauntlet; 'and do you, niece Lilias, take the other; and
beware; Sir Arthur, how you bear yourself.'
Darsie was compelled to acquiesce, sufficiently aware that his
uncle would permit him no interview with a friend whose influence
would certainly be used against his present earnest wishes, and
in some measure contented with the assurance of Fairford's
Redgauntlet led them through one or two passages (for the house,
as we have before said, was very irregular, and built at
different times) until they entered an apartment, where a man
with shouldered carabine kept watch at the door, but readily
turned the key for their reception. In this room they found Alan
Fairford and the Quaker, apparently in deep conversation with
each other. They looked up as Redgauntlet and his party entered;
and Alan pulled off his hat and made a profound reverence, which
the young lady, who recognized him,--though, masked as she was,
he could not know her,--returned with some embarrassment, arising
probably from the recollection of the bold step she had taken in
Darsie longed to speak, but dared not. His uncle only said,
'Gentlemen, I know you are as anxious on Mr. Darsie Latimer's
account as he is upon yours. I am commissioned by him to inform
you, that he is as well as you are--I trust you will all meet
soon. Meantime, although I cannot suffer you to be at large, you
shall be as well treated as is possible under your temporary
He passed on, without pausing to hear the answers which the
lawyer and the Quaker were hastening to prefer; and only waving
his hand by way of adieu, made his exit, with the real and the
seeming lady whom he had under his charge, through a door at the
upper end of the apartment, which was fastened and guarded like
that by which they entered.
Redgauntlet next led the way into a very small room; adjoining
which, but divided by a partition, was one of apparently larger
dimensions; for they heard the trampling of the heavy boots of
the period, as if several persons were walking to and fro and
conversing in low and anxious whispers.
'Here,' said Redgauntlet to his nephew, as he disencumbered him
from the riding-skirt and the mask, 'I restore you to yourself,
and trust you will lay aside all effeminate thoughts with this
feminine dress. Do not blush at having worn a disguise to which
kings and heroes have been reduced. It is when female craft or
female cowardice find their way into a manly bosom, that he who
entertains these sentiments should take eternal shame to himself
for thus having resembled womankind. Follow me, while Lilias
remains here. I will introduce you to those whom I hope to see
associated with you in the most glorious cause that hand ever
drew sword in.'
Darsie paused. 'Uncle,' he said, 'my person is in your hands;
but remember, my will is my own. I will not be hurried into any
resolution of importance. Remember what I have already said--
what I now repeat--that I will take no step of importance but
'But canst thou be convinced, thou foolish boy, without hearing
and understanding the grounds on which we act?'
So saying he took Darsie by the arm, and walked with him to the
next room--a large apartment, partly filled with miscellaneous
articles of commerce, chiefly connected with contraband trade;
where, among bales and barrels, sat, or walked to and fro,
several gentlemen, whose manners and looks seemed superior to the
plain riding dresses which they wore.
There was a grave and stern anxiety upon their countenances,
when, on Redgauntlet's entrance, they drew from their separate
coteries into one group around him, and saluted him with a
formality which had something in it of ominous melancholy. As
Darsie looked around the circle, he thought he could discern in
it few traces of that adventurous hope which urges men upon
desperate enterprises; and began to believe that the conspiracy
would dissolve of itself, without the necessity of his placing
himself in direct opposition to so violent a character as his
uncle, and incurring the hazard with which such opposition must
Mr. Redgauntlet, however, did not, or would not, see any such
marks of depression of spirit amongst his coadjutors, but met
them with cheerful countenance, and a warm greeting of welcome.
'Happy to meet you here, my lord,' he said, bowing low to a
slender young man. 'I trust you come with the pledges of your
noble father, of B--, and all that loyal house.--Sir Richard,
what news in the west? I am told you had two hundred men on foot
to have joined when the fatal retreat from Derby was commenced.
When the White Standard is again displayed, it shall not be
turned back so easily, either by the force of its enemies, or the
falsehood of its friends.--Doctor Grumball, I bow to the
representative of Oxford, the mother of learning and loyalty.--
Pengwinion, you Cornish chough, has this good wind blown you
north?--Ah, my brave Cambro-Britons, when was Wales last in the
race of honour?'
Such and such-like compliments he dealt around, which were in
general answered by silent bows; but when he saluted one of his
own countrymen by the name of MacKellar, and greeted Maxwell of
Summertrees by that of Pate-in-Peril, the latter replied, 'that
if Pate were not a fool, he would be Pate-in-Safety;' and the
former, a thin old gentle-man, in tarnished embroidery, said
bluntly, 'Aye, troth, Redgauntlet, I am here just like yourself;
I have little to lose--they that took my land the last time, may
take my life this; and that is all I care about it.'
The English gentlemen, who were still in possession of their
paternal estates, looked doubtfully on each other, and there was
something whispered among them of the fox which had lost his
Redgauntlet hastened to address them. 'I think, my lords and
gentlemen,' he said, 'that I can account for something like
sadness which has crept upon an assembly gathered together for so
noble a purpose. Our numbers seem, when thus assembled, too
small and inconsiderable to shake the firm-seated usurpation of a
half-century. But do not count us by what we are in thew and
muscle, but by what our summons can do among our countrymen. In
this small party are those who have power to raise battalions,
and those who have wealth to pay them. And do not believe our
friends who are absent are cold or indifferent to the cause. Let
us once light the signal, and it will be hailed by all who retain
love for the Stuart, and by all--a more numerous body--who hate
the Elector. Here I have letters from'--
Sir Richard Glendale interrupted the speaker. 'We all confide,
Redgauntlet, in your valour and skill--we admire your
perseverance; and probably nothing short of your strenuous
exertions, and the emulation awakened by your noble and
disinterested conduct, could have brought so many of us, the
scattered remnant of a disheartened party, to meet together once
again in solemn consultation; for I take it, gentlemen,' he said,
looking round, 'this is only a consultation.'
'Nothing more,' said the young lord.
'Nothing more,' said Doctor Grumball, shaking his large
And, 'Only a consultation,' was echoed by the others.
Redgauntlet bit his lip. 'I had hopes,' he said, 'that the
discourses I have held with most of you, from time to time, had
ripened into more maturity than your words imply, and that we
were here to execute as well as to deliberate; and for this we
stand prepared. I can raise five hundred men with my whistle.'
'Five hundred men!' said one of the Welsh squires; 'Cot bless
us! and pray you, what cood could five hundred men do?'
'All that the priming does for the cannon, Mr. Meredith,'
answered Redgauntlet; 'it will enable us to seize Carlisle, and
you know what our friends have engaged for in that case.'
'Yes--but,' said the young nobleman, 'you must not hurry us on
too fast, Mr. Redgauntlet; we are all, I believe, as sincere and
truehearted in this business as you are, but we will not be
driven forward blindfold. We owe caution to ourselves and our
families, as well as to those whom we are empowered to represent
on this occasion.'
'Who hurries you, my lord? Who is it that would drive this
meeting forward blindfold? I do not understand your lordship,'
'Nay,' said Sir Richard Glendale, 'at least do not let us fall
under our old reproach of disagreeing among ourselves. What my
lord means, Redgauntlet, is, that we have this morning heard it
is uncertain whether you could even bring that body of men whom
you count upon; your countryman, Mr. MacKellar, seemed, just
before you came in, to doubt whether your people would rise in
any force, unless you could produce the authority of your
'I might ask,' said Redgauntlet,' what right MacKellar, or any
one, has to doubt my being able to accomplish what I stand
pledged for? But our hopes consist in our unity. Here stands my
nephew. Gentlemen, I present to you my kinsman, Sir Arthur
Darsie Redgauntlet of that Ilk.'
'Gentlemen,' said Darsie, with a throbbing bosom, for he felt the
crisis a very painful one, 'Allow me to say, that I suspend
expressing my sentiments on the important subject under
discussion until I have heard those of the present meeting.'
'Proceed in your deliberations, gentlemen,' said Redgauntlet; 'I
will show my nephew such reasons for acquiescing in the result,
as will entirely remove any scruples which may hang around his
Dr. Grumball now coughed, 'shook his ambrosial curls,' and
addressed the assembly.
'The principles of Oxford,' he said,' are well understood, since
she was the last to resign herself to the Arch-Usurper,--since
she has condemned, by her sovereign authority, the blasphemous,
atheistical, and anarchical tenets of Locke, and other deluders
of the public mind. Oxford will give men, money and countenance,
to the cause of the rightful monarch. But we have, been often
deluded by foreign powers, who have availed themselves of our
zeal to stir up civil dissensions, in Britain, not for the
advantage of our blessed though banished monarch, but to stir up
disturbances by which they might profit, while we, their tools,
are sure to be ruined. Oxford, therefore, will not rise, unless
our sovereign comes in person to claim our allegiance, in which
case, God forbid we should refuse him our best obedience.'
'It is a very cood advice,' said Mr. Meredith.
'In troth,' said Sir Richard Glendale, 'it is the very keystone
of our enterprise, and the only condition upon which I myself and
others could ever have dreamt of taking up arms. No insurrection
which has not Charles Edward himself at its head, will, ever last
longer than till a single foot company of redcoats march to
'This is my own opinion, and that of all my family,' said the
young nobleman already mentioned; 'and I own I am somewhat
surprised at being summoned to attend a dangerous rendezvous such
as this, before something certain could have been stated to us on
this most important preliminary point.'
'Pardon me, my lord,' said Redgauntlet; 'I have not been so
unjust either to myself or my friends--I had no means of
communicating to our distant confederates (without the greatest
risk of discovery) what is known to some of my honourable
friends. As courageous, and as resolved, as when, twenty years
since, he threw himself into the wilds of Moidart, Charles Edward
has instantly complied with the wishes of his faithful subjects.
Charles Edward is in this country--Charles Edward is in this
house!--Charles Edward waits but your present decision, to
receive the homage of those who have ever called themselves his
loyal liegemen. He that would now turn his coat, and change his
note, must do so under the eye of his sovereign.'
There was a deep pause. Those among the conspirators whom mere
habit, or a desire of preserving consistency, had engaged in the
affair, now saw with terror their retreat cut off; and others,
who at a distance had regarded the proposed enterprise as
hopeful, trembled when the moment of actually embarking in it was
thus unexpectedly and almost inevitably precipitated.
'How now, my lords and gentlemen!' said Redgauntlet; is it
delight and rapture that keep you thus silent? where are the
eager welcomes that should be paid to your rightful king, who a
second time confides his person to the care of his subjects,
undeterred by the hairbreadth escapes and severe privations of
his former expedition? I hope there is no gentleman here that
is not ready to redeem, in his prince's presence, the pledge of
fidelity which he offered in his absence.'
'I, at least,' said the young nobleman resolutely, and laying his
hand on his sword, 'will not be that coward. If Charles is come
to these shores, I will be the first to give him welcome, and to
devote my life and fortune to his service.'
'Before Cot,' said Mr. Meredith, 'I do not see that Mr.
Redgauntlet has left us anything else to do.'
'Stay,' said Summertrees, 'there is yet one other question. Has
he brought any of those Irish rapparees with him, who broke the
neck of our last glorious affair?'
'Not a man of them,' said Redgauntlet.
'I trust,' said Dr. Grumball, 'that there are no Catholic priests
in his company. I would not intrude on the private conscience of
my sovereign, but, as an unworthy son of the Church of England,
it is my duty to consider her security.'
'Not a Popish dog or cat is there, to bark or mew about his
Majesty,' said Redgauntlet. 'Old Shaftesbury himself could not
wish a prince's person more secure from Popery--which may not be
the worst religion in the world, notwithstanding. Any more
doubts, gentlemen? can no more plausible reasons be discovered
for postponing the payment of our duty, and discharge of our
oaths and engagements? Meantime your king waits your
declaration--by my faith he hath but a frozen reception!'
'Redgauntlet,' said Sir Richard Glendale, calmly, 'your
reproaches shall not goad me into anything of which my reason
disapproves. That I respect my engagement as much as you do, is
evident, since I am here, ready to support it with the best blood
in my veins. But has the king really come hither entirely
'He has no man with him but young --, as aide de camp, and a
single valet de chambre.'
'No MAN--but, Redgauntlet, as you are a gentleman, has he no
woman with him?'
Redgauntlet cast his eyes on the ground and replied, 'I am sorry
to say--he has.'
The company looked at each other, and remained silent for a
moment. At length Sir Richard proceeded. 'I need not repeat to
you, Mr. Redgauntlet, what is the well-grounded opinion of his
Majesty's friends concerning that most unhappy connexion there is
but one sense and feeling amongst us upon the subject. I must
conclude that our humble remonstrances were communicated by you,
sir, to the king?'
'In the same strong terms in which they were couched,' replied
Redgauntlet. 'I love his Majesty's cause more than I fear his
'But, apparently, our humble expostulation has produced no
effect. This lady, who has crept into his bosom, has a sister in
the Elector of Hanover's court, and yet we are well assured that
our most private communication is placed in her keeping.'
'VARIUM ET MUTABILE SEMPER FEMINA,' said Dr. Grumball.
'She puts his secrets into her work-bag,' said Maxwell; 'and out
they fly whenever she opens it. If I must hang, I would wish it
to be in somewhat a better rope than the string of a lady's
'Are you, too, turning dastard, Maxwell?' said Redgauntlet, in a
'Not I,' said Maxwell; 'let us fight for it, and let them win and
wear us; but to be betrayed by a brimstone like that'--
'Be temperate, gentlemen,' said Redgauntlet; 'the foible of which
you complain so heavily has always been that of kings and heroes;
which I feel strongly confident the king will surmount, upon the
humble entreaty of his best servants, and when he sees them ready
to peril their all in his cause, upon the slight condition of his
resigning the society of a female favourite, of whom I have seen
reason to think he hath been himself for some time wearied. But
let us not press upon him rashly with our well-meant zeal. He
has a princely will as becomes his princely birth, and we,
gentlemen, who are royalists, should be the last to take
advantage of circumstances to limit its exercise. I am as much
surprised and hurt as you can be, to find that he has made her
the companion of this journey, increasing every chance of
treachery and detection. But do not let us insist upon a
sacrifice so humiliating, while he has scarce placed a foot upon
the beach of his kingdom. Let us act generously by our
sovereign; and when we have shown what we will do for him, we
shall be able, with better face, to state what it is we expect
him to concede.'
'Indeed, I think it is but a pity,' said MacKellar, 'when so many
pretty gentlemen are got together, that they should part without
the flash of a sword among them'
'I should be of that gentleman's opinion,' said Lord --, 'had I
nothing to lose but my life; but I frankly own, that the
conditions on which our family agreed to join having been, in
this instance, left unfulfilled, I will not peril the whole
fortunes of our house on the doubtful fidelity of an artful
'I am sorry to see your lordship,' said Redgauntlet, 'take a
course which is more likely to secure your house's wealth than to
augment its honours.'
'How am I to understand your language, sir?' said the young
'Nay, gentlemen,' said Dr Grumball, interposing, 'do not let
friends quarrel; we are all zealous for the cause--but truly,
although I know the license claimed by the great in such matters,
and can, I hope, make due allowance, there is, I may say, an
indecorum in a prince who comes to claim the allegiance of the
Church of England, arriving on such an errand with such a
companion--SI NON CASTE, CAUTE TAMEN.'
'I wonder how the Church of England came to be so heartily
attached to his merry old namesake,' said Redgauntlet.
Sir Richard Glendale then took up the question, as one whose
authority and experience gave him right to speak with much
'We have no leisure for hesitation,' he said; 'it is full time
that we decide what course we are to hold. I feel as much as
you, Mr. Redgauntlet, the delicacy of capitulating with our
sovereign in his present condition. But I must also think of the
total ruin of the cause, the confiscation and bloodshed which
will take place among his adherents, and all through the
infatuation with which he adheres to a woman who is the
pensionary of the present minister, as she was for years Sir
Robert Walpole's. Let his Majesty send her back to the
continent, and the sword on which I now lay my hand shall
instantly be unsheathed, and, I trust, many hundred others at the
The other persons present testified their unanimous acquiescence
in what Sir Richard Glendale had said.
'I see you have taken your resolutions, gentlemen,' said
Redgauntlet; 'unwisely I think, because I believe that, by softer
and more generous proceedings, you would have been more likely to
carry a point which I think as desirable as you do. But what is
to be done if Charles should refuse, with the inflexibility of
his grandfather, to comply with this request of yours? Do you
mean to abandon him to his fate?'
'God forbid!' said Sir Richard, hastily; 'and God forgive you,
Mr. Redgauntlet, for breathing such a thought. No! I for one
will, with all duty and humility, see him safe back to his
vessel, and defend him with my life against whosoever shall
assail him. But when I have seen his sails spread, my next act
will be to secure, if I can, my own safety, by retiring to my
house; or, if I find our engagement, as is too probable, has
taken wind, by surrendering myself to the next Justice of Peace,
and giving security that hereafter I shall live quiet, and submit
to the ruling powers.'
Again the rest of the persons present intimated their agreement
in opinion with the speaker.
'Well, gentlemen,' said Redgauntlet, 'it is not for me to oppose
the opinion of every one; and I must do you the justice to say,
that the king has, in the present instance, neglected a condition
of your agreement which was laid before him in very distinct
terms. The question now is, who is to acquaint him with the
result of this conference; for I presume you would not wait on
him in a body to make the proposal that he should dismiss a
person from his family as the price of your allegiance.'
'I think Mr. Redgauntlet should make the explanation, said Lord
--. 'As he has, doubtless, done justice to our remonstrances by
communicating them to the king, no one can, with such propriety
and force, state the natural and inevitable consequence of their
'Now, I think,' said Redgauntlet, 'that those who make the
objection should state it, for I am confident the king will
hardly believe, on less authority than that of the heir of the
loyal House of B--, that he is the first to seek an evasion of
his pledge to join him.'
'An evasion, sir!' repeated Lord --, fiercely, 'I have borne too
much from you already, and this I will not endure. Favour me
with your company to the downs.'
Redgauntlet laughed scornfully, and was about to follow the fiery
young man, when Sir Richard again interposed. 'Are we to
exhibit,' he said, 'the last symptoms of the dissolution of our
party, by turning our swords against each other? Be patient,
Lord --; in such conferences as this, much must pass unquestioned
which might brook challenge elsewhere. There is a privilege of
party as of parliament--men cannot, in emergency, stand upon
picking phrases. Gentlemen, if you will extend your confidence
in me so far, I will wait upon his Majesty, and I hope my Lord --
and Mr. Redgauntlet will accompany me. I trust the explanation
of this unpleasant matter will prove entirely satisfactory, and
that we shall find ourselves at liberty to render our homage to
our sovereign without reserve, when I for one will be the first
to peril all in his just quarrel.'
Redgauntlet at once stepped forward. 'My lord,' he said, 'if my
zeal made me say anything in the slightest degree offensive, I
wish it unsaid, and ask your pardon. A gentleman can do no
'I could not have asked Mr. Redgauntlet to do so much,' said the
young nobleman, willingly accepting the hand which Redgauntlet
offered. 'I know no man living from whom I could take so much
reproof without a sense of degradation as from himself.'
'Let me then hope, my lord, that you will go with Sir Richard and
me to the presence. Your warm blood will heat our zeal--our
colder resolves will temper yours.
The young lord smiled, and shook his head. 'Alas! Mr.
Redgauntlet,' he said, 'I am ashamed to say, that in zeal you
surpass us all. But I will not refuse this mission, provided you
will permit Sir Arthur, your nephew, also to accompany us.'
'My nephew?' said Redgauntlet, and seemed to hesitate, then
added, 'Most certainly. I trust,' he said, looking at Darsie,
'he will bring to his prince's presence such sentiments as fit
It seemed however to Darsie, that his uncle would rather have
left him behind, had he not feared that he might in that case
have been influenced by, or might perhaps himself influence, the
unresolved confederates with whom he must have associated during
'I will go,' said Redgauntlet, 'and request admission.'
In a moment after he returned, and without speaking, motioned for
the young nobleman to advance. He did so, followed by Sir
Richard Glendale and Darsie, Redgauntlet himself bringing up the
rear. A short passage, and a few steps, brought them to the door
of the temporary presence-chamber, in which the Royal Wanderer
was to receive their homage. It was the upper loft of one of
those cottages which made additions to the old inn, poorly
furnished, dusty, and in disorder; for, rash as the enterprise
might be considered, they had been still careful not to draw the
attention of strangers by any particular attentions to the
personal accommodation of the prince. He was seated, when the
deputies, as they might be termed, of his remaining adherents
entered; and as he rose, and came forward and bowed, in
acceptance of their salutation, it was with a dignified courtesy
which at once supplied whatever was deficient in external pomp,
and converted the wretched garret into a saloon worthy of the
It is needless to add that he was the same personage already
introduced in the character of Father Buonaventure, by which name
he was distinguished at Fairladies. His dress was not different
from what he then wore, excepting that he had a loose riding-coat
of camlet, under which he carried an efficient cut-and-thrust
sword, instead of his walking rapier, and also a pair of pistols.
Redgauntlet presented to him successively the young Lord --, and
his kinsman, Sir Arthur Darsie Redgauntlet, who trembled as,
bowing and kissing his hand, he found himself surprised into what
might be construed an act of high treason, which yet he saw no
safe means to avoid.
Sir Richard Glendale seemed personally known to Charles Edward,
who received him with a mixture of dignity and affection, and
seemed to sympathize with the tears which rushed into that
gentleman's eyes as he bade his Majesty welcome to his native
'Yes, my good Sir Richard,' said the unfortunate prince in a tone
melancholy, yet resolved, 'Charles Edward is with his faithful
friends once more--not, perhaps, with his former gay hopes which
undervalued danger, but with the same determined contempt of the
worst which can befall him, in claiming his own rights and those
of his country.'
'I rejoice, sire--and yet, alas! I must also grieve, to see you
once more on the British shores,' said Sir Richard Glendale, and
stopped short--a tumult of contradictory feelings preventing his
'It is the call of my faithful and suffering people which alone
could have induced me to take once more the sword in my hand.
For my own part, Sir Richard, when I have reflected how many of
my loyal and devoted friends perished by the sword and by
proscription, or died indigent and neglected in a foreign land, I
have often, sworn that no view to my personal aggrandizement
should again induce me to agitate a title which has cost my
followers so dear. But since so many men of worth and honour
conceive the cause of England and Scotland to be linked with that
of Charles Stuart, I must follow their brave example, and, laying
aside all other considerations, once more stand forward as their
deliverer. I am, however, come hither upon your invitation; and
as you are so completely acquainted with circumstances to which
my absence must necessarily have rendered me a stranger, I must
be a mere tool in the hands of my friends. I know well I never
can refer myself implicitly to more loyal hearts or wiser heads,
than Herries Redgauntlet, and Sir Richard Glendale. Give me your
advice, then, how we are to proceed, and decide upon the fate of
Redgauntlet looked at Sir Richard, as if to say, 'Can you press
any additional or unpleasant condition at a moment like this?'
And the other shook his head and looked down, as if his
resolution was unaltered, and yet as feeling all the delicacy of
There was a silence, which was broken by the unfortunate
representative of an unhappy dynasty, with some appearance of
irritation. 'This is strange, gentlemen,' he said; 'you have
sent for me from the bosom of my family, to head an adventure of
doubt and danger; and when I come, your own minds seem to be
still irresolute. I had not expected this on the part of two
'For me, sire,' said Redgauntlet, 'the steel of my sword is not
truer than the temper of my mind.'
'My Lord --'s and mine are equally so,' said Sir Richard; 'but
you had in charge, Mr. Redgauntlet, to convey our request to his
Majesty, coupled with certain conditions.'
'And I discharged my duty to his Majesty and to you,' said
'I looked at no condition, gentlemen,' said their king, with
dignity,' save that which called me here to assert my rights in
person. That I have fulfilled at no common risk. Here I stand
to keep my word, and I expect of you to be true to yours.'
'There was, or should have been, something more than that in our
proposal, please your Majesty,' said Sir Richard. 'There was a
condition annexed to it.'
'I saw it not,' said Charles, interrupting him. 'Out of
tenderness towards the noble hearts of whom I think so highly, I
would neither see nor read anything which could lessen them in my
love and my esteem. Conditions can have no part betwixt prince
'Sire,' said Redgauntlet, kneeling on one knee, 'I see from Sir
Richard's countenance he deems it my fault that your Majesty
seems ignorant of what your subjects desired that I should
communicate to your Majesty. For Heaven's sake! for the sake of
all my past services and sufferings, leave not such a stain upon
my honour! The note, Number D, of which this is a copy,
referred to the painful subject to which Sir Richard again
directs your attention.'
'You press upon me, gentlemen,' said the prince, colouring
highly,' recollections, which, as I hold them most alien to your
character, I would willingly have banished from my memory. I did
not suppose that my loyal subjects would think so poorly of me,
as to use my depressed circumstances as a reason for forcing
themselves into my domestic privacies, and stipulating
arrangements with their king regarding matters in which the
meanest minds claim the privilege of thinking for themselves. In
affairs of state and public policy, I will ever be guided as
becomes a prince, by the advice of my wisest counsellors; in
those which regard my private affections and my domestic
arrangements, I claim the same freedom of will which I allow to
all my subjects, and without which a crown were less worth
wearing than a beggar's bonnet.'
'May it please your Majesty,' said Sir Richard Glendale, 'I see
it must be my lot to speak unwilling truths; but believe me, I do
so with as much profound respect as deep regret. It is true, we
have called you to head a mighty undertaking, and that your
Majesty, preferring honour to safety, and the love of your
country to your own ease, has condescended to become our leader.
But we also pointed out as a necessary and indispensable
preparatory step to the achievement of our purpose--and, I must
say, as a positive condition of our engaging in it--that an
individual, supposed,--I presume not to guess how truly,--to have
your Majesty's more intimate confidence, and believed, I will not
say on absolute proof but upon the most pregnant suspicion, to be
capable of betraying that confidence to the Elector of Hanover,
should be removed from your royal household and society.'
'This is too insolent, Sir Richard!' said Charles Edward. 'Have
you inveigled me into your power to bait me in this unseemly
manner? And you, Redgauntlet, why did you suffer matters to come
to such a point as this, without making me more distinctly aware
what insults were to be practised on me?'
'My gracious prince,' said Redgauntlet, 'I am so far to blame in
this, that I did not think so slight an impediment as that of a
woman's society could have really interrupted an undertaking of
this magnitude. I am a plain man, sire, and speak but bluntly; I
could not have dreamt but what, within the first five minutes of
this interview, either Sir Richard and his friends would have
ceased to insist upon a condition so ungrateful to your Majesty,
or that your Majesty would have sacrificed this unhappy
attachment to the sound advice, or even to the over-anxious
suspicions, of so many faithful subjects. I saw no entanglement
in such a difficulty which on either side might not have been
broken through like a cobweb.'
'You were mistaken, sir,' said Charles Edward, 'entirely
mistaken--as much so as you are at this moment, when you think in
your heart my refusal to comply with this insolent proposition is
dictated by a childish and romantic passion for an individual, I
tell you, sir, I could part with that person to-morrow, without
an instant's regret--that I have had thoughts of dismissing her
from my court, for reasons known to myself; but that I will never
betray my rights as a sovereign and a man, by taking this step to
secure the favour of any one, or to purchase that allegiance
which, if you owe it to me at all, is due to me as my
'I am sorry for this,' said Redgauntlet; 'I hope both your
Majesty and Sir Richard will reconsider your resolutions, or
forbear this discussion, in a conjuncture so pressing. I trust
your Majesty will recollect that you are on hostile ground; that
our preparations cannot have so far escaped notice as to permit
us now with safety to retreat from our purpose; insomuch, that it
is with the deepest anxiety of heart I foresee even danger to
your own royal person, unless you can generously give your
subjects the satisfaction, which Sir Richard seems to think they
are obstinate in demanding,'
'And deep indeed your anxiety ought to be,' said the prince. 'Is
it in these circumstances of personal danger in which you expect
to overcome a resolution, which is founded on a sense of what is
due to me as a man or a prince? If the axe and scaffold were
ready before the windows of Whitehall, I would rather tread the
same path with my great-grandfather, than concede the slightest
point in which my honour is concerned.'
He spoke these words with a determined accent, and looked around
him on the company, all of whom (excepting Darsie, who saw, he
thought, a fair period to a most perilous enterprise) seemed in
deep anxiety and confusion. At length, Sir Richard spoke in a
solemn and melancholy tone. 'If the safety,' he said, 'of poor
Richard Glendale were alone concerned in this matter, I have
never valued my life enough to weigh it against the slightest
point of your Majesty's service. But I am only a messenger--a
commissioner, who must execute my trust, and upon whom a thousand
voices will cry, Curse and woe, if I do it not with fidelity.
All of your adherents, even Redgauntlet himself, see certain ruin
to this enterprise--the greatest danger to your Majesty's person
--the utter destruction of all your party and friends, if they
insist not on the point, which, unfortunately, your Majesty is so
unwilling to concede. I speak it with a heart full of anguish--
with a tongue unable to utter my emotions--but it must be spoken
--the fatal truth--that if your royal goodness cannot yield to us
a boon which we hold necessary to our security and your own, your
Majesty with one word disarms ten thousand men, ready to draw
their swords in your behalf; or, to speak yet more plainly, you
annihilate even the semblance of a royal party in Great Britain.'
'And why do you not add,' said the prince, scornfully, 'that the
men who have been ready to assume arms in my behalf, will atone
for their treason to the Elector, by delivering me up to the fate
for which so many proclamations have destined me? Carry my head
to St. James's, gentlemen; you will do a more acceptable and a
more honourable action, than, having inveigled me into a
situation which places me so completely in your power, to
dishonour yourselves by propositions which dishonour me.
'My God, sire!' exclaimed Sir Richard, clasping his hands
together, in impatience, 'of what great and inexpiable crime can
your Majesty's ancestors have 'been guilty, that they have been
punished by the infliction of judicial blindness on their whole
generation!--Come, my Lord --, we must to our friends.'
'By your leave, Sir Richard,' said the young nobleman, 'not till
we, have learned what measures can be taken for his Majesty's
'Care not for me, young man,' said Charles Edward; 'when I was in
the society of Highland robbers and cattle-drovers, I was safer
than I now hold myself among the representatives of the best
blood in England. Farewell, gentlemen--I will shift for myself.'
'This must never be,' said Redgauntlet. 'Let me that brought you
to the point of danger, at least provide for your safe retreat.'
So saying, he hastily left the apartment, followed by his nephew.
The Wanderer, averting his eyes from Lord -- and Sir Richard
Glendale, threw himself into a seat at the upper end of the
apartment, while they, in much anxiety, stood together, at a
distance from him, and conversed in whispers.
When Redgauntlet left the room, in haste and discomposure, the
first person he met on the stair, and indeed so close by the door
of the apartment that Darsie thought he must have been listening
there, was his attendant Nixon.
'What the devil do you here?' he said, abruptly and sternly.
'I wait your orders,' said Nixon. 'I hope all's right!--excuse
'All is wrong, sir. Where is the seafaring fellow--Ewart--what
do you call him?'
'Nanty Ewart, sir. I will carry your commands,' said Nixon.
'I will deliver them myself to him,' said Redgauntlet; call him
'But should your honour leave the presence?' said Nixon, still
''Sdeath, sir, do you prate to me?' said Redgauntlet, bending
his brows. 'I, sir, transact my own business; you, I am told,
act by a ragged deputy.'
Without further answer, Nixon departed, rather disconcerted, as
it seemed to Darsie.
'That dog turns insolent and lazy,' said Redgauntlet; but I must
bear with him for a while.'
A moment after, Nixon returned with Ewart.
'Is this the smuggling fellow?' demanded Redgauntlet. Nixon
'Is he sober now? he was brawling anon.'
'Sober enough for business,' said Nixon.
'Well then, hark ye, Ewart;--man your boat with your best hands,
and have her by the pier--get your other fellows on board the
brig--if you have any cargo left, throw it overboard; it shall be
all paid, five times over--and be ready for a start to Wales or
the Hebrides, or perhaps for Sweden or Norway.'
Ewart answered sullenly enough, 'Aye, aye, sir.'
'Go with him, Nixon,' said Redgauntlet, forcing himself to speak
with some appearance of cordiality to the servant with whom he
was offended; 'see he does his duty.'
Ewart left the house sullenly, followed by Nixon. The sailor was
just in that species of drunken humour which made him jealous,
passionate, and troublesome, without showing any other disorder
than that of irritability. As he walked towards the beach he
kept muttering to himself, but in such a tone that his companion
lost not a word, 'Smuggling fellow--Aye, smuggler--and, start
your cargo into the sea--and be ready to start for the Hebrides,
or Sweden--or the devil, I suppose. Well, and what if I said in
answer--Rebel, Jacobite--traitor--I'll make you and your d--d
confederates walk the plank--I have seen better men do it--half a
score of a morning--when I was across the Line.'
'D--d unhandsome terms those Redgauntlet used to you, brother.'
'Which do you mean?' said Ewart, starting, and recollecting
himself. 'I have been at my old trade of thinking aloud, have
'No matter,' answered Nixon, 'none but a friend heard you. You
cannot have forgotten how Redgauntlet disarmed you this morning.'
'Why, I would bear no malice about that--only he is so cursedly
high and saucy,' said Ewart.
'And then,' said Nixon,'I know you for a true-hearted
'That I am, by G--,' said Ewart. 'No, the Spaniards could never
get my religion from me.'
'And a friend to King George, and the Hanover line of
succession,' said Nixon, still walking and speaking very slow.
'You may swear I am, excepting in the way of business, as
Turnpenny says. I like King George, but I can't afford to pay
'You are outlawed, I believe,' said Nixon.
'Am I?--faith, I believe I am,' said Ewart. 'I wish I were
INLAWED again with all my heart. But come along, we must get all
ready for our peremptory gentleman, I suppose.'
'I will teach you a better trick,' said Nixon. 'There is a
bloody pack of rebels yonder.'
'Aye, we all know that,' said the smuggler; 'but the snowball's
melting, I think.'
'There is some one yonder, whose head is worth--thirty thousand--
pounds--of sterling money,' said Nixon, pausing between each
word, as if to enforce the magnificence of the sum.
'And what of that?' said Ewart, quickly.
'Only that, instead of lying by the pier with your men on their
oars, if you will just carry your boat on board just now, and
take no notice of any signal from the shore, by G--d, Nanty
Ewart. I will make a man of you for life!'
'Oh ho! then the Jacobite gentry are not so safe as they think
themselves?' said Nanty.
'In an hour or two,' replied Nixon, 'they will be made safer in
'The devil they will!' said Ewart; 'and you have been the
informer, I suppose?'
'Yes; I have been ill paid for my service among the Redgauntlets
--have scarce got dog's wages--and been treated worse than ever
dog was used. I have the old fox and his cubs in the same trap
now, Nanty; and we'll see how a certain young lady will look
then. You see I am frank with you, Nanty.'
'And I will be as frank with you,' said the smuggler. 'You are a
d--d old scoundrel--traitor to the man whose bread you eat! Me
help to betray poor devils, that have been so often betrayed
myself! Not if they were a hundred Popes, Devils, and
Pretenders. I will back and tell them their danger--they are part
of cargo--regularly invoiced--put under my charge by the owners--
'You are not stark mad?' said Nixon, who now saw he had
miscalculated in supposing Nanty's wild ideas of honour and
fidelity could be shaken even by resentment, or by his Protestant
partialities. 'You shall not go back--it is all a joke.'
'I'll back to Redgauntlet, and see whether it is a joke he will
'My life is lost if you do,' said Nixon--'hear reason.'
They were in a clump or cluster of tall furze at the moment they
were speaking, about half-way between the pier and the house, but
not in a direct line, from which Nixon, whose object it was to
gain time, had induced Ewart to diverge insensibly.
He now saw the necessity of taking a desperate resolution. 'Hear
reason,' he said; and added, as Nanty still endeavoured to pass
him, 'Or else hear this!' discharging a pocket-pistol into the
unfortunate man's body.
Nanty staggered, but kept his feet. 'It has cut my back-bone
asunder,' he said; 'you have done me the last good office, and I
will not die ungrateful.'
As he uttered the last words, he collected his remaining
strength, stood firm for an instant, drew his hanger, and,
fetching a stroke with both hands, cut Cristal Nixon down. The
blow, struck with all the energy of a desperate and dying man,
exhibited a force to which Ewart's exhausted frame might have
seemed inadequate;--it cleft the hat which the wretch wore,
though secured by a plate of iron within the lining, bit deep
into his skull, and there left a fragment of the weapon, which
was broke by the fury of the blow.
One of the seamen of the lugger, who strolled up attracted by the
firing of the pistol, though being a small one the report was
very trifling, found both the unfortunate men stark dead.
Alarmed at what he saw, which he conceived to have been the
consequence of some unsuccessful engagement betwixt his late
commander and a revenue officer (for Nixon chanced not to be
personally known to him) the sailor hastened back to the boat, in
order to apprise his comrades of Nanty's fate, and to advise them
to take off themselves and the vessel.
Meantime Redgauntlet, having, as we have seen, dispatched Nixon
for the purpose of securing a retreat for the unfortunate
Charles, in case of extremity, returned to the apartment where he
had left the Wanderer. He now found him alone.
'Sir Richard Glendale,' said the unfortunate prince, 'with his
young friend, has gone to consult their adherents now in the
house. Redgauntlet, my friend, I will not blame you for the
circumstances in which I find myself, though I am at once placed
in danger, and rendered contemptible. But you ought to have
stated to me more strongly the weight which these gentlemen
attached to their insolent proposition. You should have told me
that no compromise would have any effect--that they desire not a
prince to govern them, but one, on the contrary, over whom they
were to exercise restraint on all occasions, from the highest
affairs of the state, down to the most intimate and private
concerns of his own privacy, which the most ordinary men desire
to keep secret and sacred from interference.'
'God knows,' said Redgauntlet, in much agitation, 'I acted for
the best when I pressed your Majesty to come hither--I never
thought that your Majesty, at such a crisis, would have scrupled,
when a kingdom was in view, to sacrifice an attachment, which'--
'Peace, sir!' said Charles; 'it is not for you to estimate my
feelings upon such a subject.'
Redgauntlet coloured high, and bowed profoundly. 'At least,' he
resumed, 'I hoped that some middle way might be found, and it
shall--and must.--Come with me, nephew. We will to these
gentlemen, and I am confident I will bring back heart-stirring
'I will do much to comply with them, Redgauntlet. I am loath,
having again set my foot on British land, to quit it without a
blow for my right. But this which they demand of me is a
degradation, and compliance is impossible.'
Redgauntlet, followed by his nephew, the unwilling spectator of
this extraordinary scene, left once more the apartment of the
adventurous Wanderer, and was met on the top of the stairs by Joe
Crackenthorp. 'Where are the other gentlemen?' he said.
'Yonder, in the west barrack,' answered Joe; 'but Master
Ingoldsby,'--that was the name by which Redgauntlet was most
generally known in Cumberland,--'I wish to say to you that I must
put yonder folk together in one room.'
'What folk?' said Redgauntlet, impatiently.
'Why, them prisoner stranger folk, as you bid Cristal Nixon look
after. Lord love you! this is a large house enow, but we cannot
have separate lock-ups for folk, as they have in Newgate or in
Bedlam. Yonder's a mad beggar, that is to be a great man when he
wins a lawsuit, Lord help him!--Yonder's a Quaker and a lawyer
charged with a riot; and, ecod, I must make one key and one lock
keep them, for we are chokeful, and you have sent off old Nixon
that could have given one some help in this confusion. Besides,
they take up every one a room, and call for naughts on earth,
--excepting the old man, who calls lustily enough,--but he has
not a penny to pay shot.'
'Do as thou wilt with them,' said Redgauntlet, who had listened
impatiently to his statement; 'so thou dost but keep them from
getting out and making some alarm in the country, I care not.'
'A Quaker and a lawyer!' said Darsie. 'This must be Fairford
and Geddes.--Uncle, I must request of you'--
'Nay, nephew,' interrupted Redgauntlet, 'this is no time for
asking questions. You shall yourself decide upon their fate in
the course of an hour--no harm whatever is designed them.'
So saying, he hurried towards the place where the Jacobite
gentlemen were holding their council, and Darsie followed him, in
the hope that the obstacle which had arisen to the prosecution of
their desperate adventure would prove insurmountable and spare
him the necessity of a dangerous and violent rupture with his
uncle. The discussions among them were very eager; the more
daring part of the conspirators, who had little but life to lose,
being desirous to proceed at all hazards; while the others, whom
a sense of honour and a hesitation to disavow long-cherished
principles had brought forward, were perhaps not ill satisfied to
have a fair apology for declining an adventure, into which they
had entered with more of reluctance than zeal.
Meanwhile Joe Crackenthorp, availing himself of the hasty
permission attained from Redgauntlet, proceeded to assemble in
one apartment those whose safe custody had been thought
necessary; and, without much considering the propriety of the
matter, he selected for the common place of confinement, the room
which Lilias had, since her brother's departure, occupied alone.
It had a strong lock, and was double-hinged, which probably led
to the preference assigned to it, as a place of security.
Into this, Joe, with little ceremony, and a good deal of noise,
introduced the Quaker and Fairford; the first descanting on the
immorality, the other on the illegality, of his proceedings; and
he turned a deaf ear both to the one and the other. Next he
pushed in, almost in headlong fashion, the unfortunate litigant,
who, having made some resistance at the threshold, had received a
violent thrust in consequence, and came rushing forward, like a
ram in the act of charging, with such impetus as must have
carried him to the top of the room, and struck the cocked hat
which sat perched on the top of his tow wig against Miss
Redgauntlet's person, had not the honest Quaker interrupted his
career by seizing him by the collar, and bringing him to a stand.
'Friend,' said he, with the real good-breeding which so often
subsists independently of ceremony, 'thou art no company for that
young person; she is, thou seest, frightened at our being so
suddenly thrust in hither; and although that be no fault of ours,
yet it will become us to behave civilly towards her. Wherefore
come thou with me to this window, and I will tell thee what it
concerns thee to know.'
'And what for should I no speak to the Leddy, friend?' said
Peter, who was now about half seas over. 'I have spoke to
leddies before now, man. What for should she be frightened at
me? I am nae bogle, I ween. What are ye pooin' me that gate
for? Ye will rive my coat, and I will have a good action for
having myself made SARTUM ATQUE TECTUM at your expenses.'
Notwithstanding this threat, Mr. Geddes, whose muscles were as
strong as his judgement was sound and his temper sedate, led Poor
Peter under the sense of a control against which he could not
struggle, to the farther corner of the apartment, where, placing
him, whether he would or no, in a chair, he sat down beside him,
and effectually prevented his annoying the young lady, upon whom
he had seemed bent upon conferring the delights of his society.
If Peter had immediately recognized his counsel learned in the
law, it is probable that not even the benevolent efforts of the
Quaker could have kept him in a state of restraint; but
Fairford's back was turned towards his client, whose optics,
besides being somewhat dazzled with ale and brandy, were speedily
engaged in contemplating a half-crown which Joshua held between
his finger and his thumb, saying, at the same time, 'Friend, thou
art indigent and improvident. This will, well employed, procure
thee sustentation of nature for more than a single day; and I
will bestow it on thee if thou wilt sit here and keep me company;
for neither thou nor I, friend, are fit company for ladies.'
'Speak for yourself, friend,' said Peter, scornfully; 'I was ay
kend to be agreeable to the fair sex; and when I was in business
I served the ladies wi' anither sort of decorum than Plainstanes,
the d--d awkward scoundrel! It was one of the articles of dittay
'Well, but, friend,' said the Quaker, who observed that the young
lady still seemed to fear Peter's intrusion, 'I wish to hear thee
speak about this great lawsuit of thine, which has been matter of
'Celebrity! Ye may swear that,' said Peter, for the string was
touched to which his crazy imagination always vibrated. 'And I
dinna wonder that folk that judge things by their outward
grandeur, should think me something worth their envying. It's
very true that it is grandeur upon earth to hear ane's name
thunnered out along the long-arched roof of the Outer House,--
"Poor Peter Peebles against Plainstanes ET PER CONTRA;" a' the
best lawyers in the house fleeing like eagles to the prey; some
because they are in the cause, and some because they want to be
thought engaged (for there are tricks in other trades by selling
muslins)--to see the reporters mending their pens to take down
the debate--the Lords themselves pooin' in their chairs, like
folk sitting down to a gude dinner, and crying on the clerks for
parts and pendicles of the process, who, puir bodies, can do
little mair than cry on their closet-keepers to help them. To
see a' this,' continued Peter, in a tone of sustained rapture,
'and to ken that naething will be said or dune amang a' thae
grand folk, for maybe the feck of three hours, saving what
concerns you and your business--Oh, man, nae wonder that ye judge
this to be earthly glory! And yet, neighbour, as I was saying,
there be unco drawbacks--I whiles think of my bit house, where
dinner, and supper, and breakfast, used to come without the
crying for, just as if fairies had brought it--and the gude bed
at e'en--and the needfu' penny in the pouch. And then to see a'
ane's warldly substance capering in the air in a pair of
weighbauks, now up, now down, as the breath of judge or counsel
inclines it for pursuer or defender,--troth, man, there are times
I rue having ever begun the plea wark, though, maybe, when ye
consider the renown and credit I have by it, ye will hardly
believe what I am saying.'
'Indeed, friend,' said Joshua, with a sigh, 'I am glad thou hast
found anything in the legal contention which compensates thee for
poverty and hunger; but I believe, were other human objects of
ambition looked upon as closely, their advantages would be found
as chimerical as those attending thy protracted litigation.'
'But never mind, friend,' said Peter, 'I'll tell you the exact
state of the conjunct processes, and make you sensible that I can
bring mysell round with a wet finger, now I have my finger and my
thumb on this loup-the-dike loon, the lad Fairford.'
Alan Fairford was in the act of speaking to the masked lady (for
Miss Redgauntlet had retained her riding vizard) endeavouring to
assure her, as he perceived her anxiety, of such protection as he
could afford, when his own name, pronounced in a loud tone,
attracted his attention. He looked round, and seeing Peter
Peebles, as hastily turned to avoid his notice, in which he
succeeded, so earnest was Peter upon his colloquy with one of the
most respectable auditors whose attention he had ever been able
to engage. And by this little motion, momentary as it was, Alan
gained an unexpected advantage; for while he looked round, Miss
Lilias, I could never ascertain why, took the moment to adjust
her mask, and did it so awkwardly, that when her companion again
turned his head, he recognized as much of her features as
authorized him to address her as his fair client, and to press
his offers of protection and assistance with the boldness of a
Lilias Redgauntlet withdrew the mask from her crimsoned cheek.
'Mr. Fairford,' she said, in a voice almost inaudible, 'you have
the character of a young gentleman of sense and generosity; but
we have already met in one situation which you must think
singular; and I must be exposed to misconstruction, at least, for
my forwardness, were it not in a cause in which my dearest
affections were concerned.'
'Any interest in my beloved friend Darsie Latimer,' said
Fairford, stepping a little back, and putting a marked restraint
upon his former advances, 'gives me a double right to be useful
to'--He stopped short.
'To his sister, your goodness would say,' answered Lilias.
'His sister, madam!' replied Alan, in the extremity of
astonishment--'Sister, I presume, in affection only?'
'No, sir; my dear brother Darsie and I are connected by the bonds
of actual relationship; and I am not sorry to be the first to
tell this to the friend he most values.'
Fairford's first thought was on the violent passion which Darsie
had expressed towards the fair unknown. 'Good God!' he
exclaimed, 'how did he bear the discovery?'
'With resignation, I hope,' said Lilias, smiling. 'A more
accomplished sister he might easily have come by, but scarcely
could have found one who could love him more than I do.'
'I meant--I only meant to say,' said the young counsellor, his
presence of mind failing him for an instant--'that is, I meant to
ask where Darsie Latimer is at this moment.'
'In this very house, and under the guardianship of his uncle,
whom I believe you knew as a visitor of your father, under the
name of Mr. Herries of Birrenswork.'
'Let me hasten to him,' said Fairford; 'I have sought him through
difficulties and dangers--I must see him instantly.'
'You forget you are a prisoner,' said the young lady.
'True--true; but I cannot be long detained--the cause alleged is
'Alas!' said Lilias, 'our fate--my brother's and mine, at least
--must turn on the deliberations perhaps of less than an hour.
For you, sir, I believe and apprehend nothing; but some
restraint; my uncle is neither cruel nor unjust, though few will
go further in the cause which he has adopted.'
'Which is that of the Pretend'--
'For God's sake speak lower!' said Lilias, approaching her hand,
as if to stop him. 'The word may cost you your life. You do not
know--indeed you do not--the terrors of the situation in which we
at present stand, and in which I fear you also are involved by
your friendship for my brother.'
'I do not indeed know the particulars of our situation,' said
Fairford; 'but, be the danger what it may, I shall not grudge my
share of it for the sake of my friend; or,' he added, with more
timidity, 'of my friend's sister. Let me hope,' he said, 'my
dear Miss Latimer, that my presence may be of some use to you;
and that it may be so, let me entreat a share of your confidence,
which I am conscious I have otherwise no right to ask.'
He led her, as he spoke, towards the recess of the farther window
of the room, and observing to her that, unhappily, he was
particularly exposed to interruption from the mad old man whose
entrance had alarmed her, he disposed of Darsie Latimer's riding-
skirt, which had been left in the apartment, over the back of two
chairs, forming thus a sort of screen, behind which he ensconced
himself with the maiden of the green mantle; feeling at the
moment, that the danger in which he was placed was almost
compensated by the intelligence which permitted those feelings
towards her to revive, which justice to his friend had induced
him to stifle in the birth.
The relative situation of adviser and advised, of protector and
protected, is so peculiarly suited to the respective condition of
man and woman, that great progress towards intimacy is often made
in very short space; for the circumstances call for confidence on
the part of the gentleman, and forbid coyness on that of the
lady, so that the usual barriers against easy intercourse are at
once thrown down.
Under these circumstances, securing themselves as far as possible
from observation, conversing in whispers, and seated in a corner,
where they were brought into so close contact that their faces
nearly touched each other, Fairford heard from Lilias Redgauntlet
the history of her family, particularly of her uncle; his views
upon her brother, and the agony which she felt, lest at that very
moment he might succeed in engaging Darsie in some desperate
scheme, fatal to his fortune and perhaps to his life.
Alan Fairford's acute understanding instantly connected what he
had heard with the circumstances he had witnessed at Fairladies.
His first thought was, to attempt, at all risks, his instant
escape, and procure assistance powerful enough to crush, in the
very cradle, a conspiracy of such a determined character. This
he did not consider as difficult; for, though the door was
guarded on the outside, the window, which was not above ten feet
from the ground, was open for escape, the common on which it
looked was unenclosed, and profusely covered with furze. There
would, he thought, be little difficulty in effecting his liberty,
and in concealing his course after he had gained it.
But Lilias exclaimed against this scheme. Her uncle, she said,
was a man who, in his moments of enthusiasm, knew neither remorse
nor fear. He was capable of visiting upon Darsie any injury
which he might conceive Fairford had rendered him--he was her
near kinsman also, and not an unkind one, and she deprecated any
effort, even in her brother's favour, by which his life must be
exposed to danger. Fairford himself remembered Father
Buonaventure, and made little question but that he was one of the
sons of the old Chevalier de Saint George; and with feelings
which, although contradictory of his public duty, can hardly be
much censured, his heart recoiled from being the agent by whom
the last scion of such a long line of Scottish princes should be
rooted up. He then thought of obtaining an audience, if
possible, of this devoted person, and explaining to him the utter
hopelessness of his undertaking, which he judged it likely that
the ardour of his partisans might have concealed from him. But
he relinquished this design as soon as formed. He had no doubt,
that any light which he could throw on the state of the country,
would come too late to be serviceable to one who was always
reported to have his own full share of the hereditary obstinacy
which had cost his ancestors so dear, and who, in drawing the
sword, must have thrown from him the scabbard.
Lilias suggested the advice which, of all others, seemed most
suited to the occasion, that, yielding, namely, to the
circumstances of their situation, they should watch carefully
when Darsie should obtain any degree of freedom, and endeavour to
open a communication with him, in which case their joint flight
might be effected, and without endangering the safety of any one.
Their youthful deliberation had nearly fixed in this point, when
Fairford, who was listening to the low sweet whispering tones of
Lilias Redgauntlet, rendered yet more interesting by some slight
touch of foreign accent, was startled by a heavy hand which
descended with full weight on his shoulder, while the discordant
voice of Peter Peebles, who had at length broke loose from the
well-meaning Quaker, exclaimed in the ear of his truant counsel--
'Aha, lad! I think ye are catched--An' so ye are turned chamber-
counsel, are ye? And ye have drawn up wi' clients in scarfs and
hoods? But bide a wee, billie, and see if I dinna sort ye when
my petition and complaint comes to be discussed, with or without
answers, under certification.'
Alan Fairford had never more difficulty in his life to subdue a
first emotion, than he had to refrain from knocking down the
crazy blockhead who had broken in upon him at such a moment. But
the length of Peter's address gave him time, fortunately perhaps
for both parties, to reflect on the extreme irregularity of such
a proceeding. He stood silent, however, with vexation, while
Peter went on.
'Weel, my bonnie man, I see ye are thinking shame o' yoursell,
and nae great wonder. Ye maun leave this quean--the like of her
is ower light company for you. I have heard honest Mr. Pest say,
that the gown grees ill wi' the petticoat. But come awa hame to
your puir father, and I'll take care of you the haill gate, and
keep you company, and deil a word we will speak about, but just
the state of the conjoined processes of the great cause of Poor
Peter Peebles against Plainstanes.'
'If thou canst; endure to hear as much of that suit, friend,'
said the Quaker, 'as I have heard out of mere compassion. for
thee, I think verily thou wilt soon be at the bottom of the
matter, unless it be altogether bottomless.'
Fairford shook off, rather indignantly, the large bony hand which
Peter had imposed upon his shoulder, and was about to say
something peevish, upon so unpleasant and insolent a mode of
interruption, when the door opened, a treble voice saying to the
sentinel, 'I tell you I maun be in, to see if Mr. Nixon's here;'
and little Benjie thrust in his mop-head and keen black eyes.
Ere he could withdraw it, Peter Peebles sprang to the door,
seized on the boy by the collar, and dragged him forward into the
'Let me see it,' he said, 'ye ne'er-do-weel limb of Satan--I'll
gar you satisfy the production, I trow--I'll hae first and second
diligence against you, ye deevil's buckie!'
'What dost thou want?' said the Quaker, interfering; 'why dost
thou frighten the boy, friend Peebles?'
'I gave the bastard a penny to buy me snuff,' said the pauper,
'and he has rendered no account of his intromissions; but I'll
gar him as gude.'
So saying, he proceeded forcibly to rifle the pockets of Benjie's
ragged jacket of one or two snares for game, marbles, a half-
bitten apple, two stolen eggs (one of which Peter broke in the
eagerness of his research), and various other unconsidered
trifles, which had not the air of being very honestly come by.
The little rascal, under this discipline, bit and struggled like
a fox-cub, but, like that vermin, uttered neither cry nor
complaint, till a note, which Peter tore from his bosom, flew as
far as Lilias Redgauntlet, and fell at her feet. It was
addressed to C. N.
'It is for the villain Nixon.' she said to Alan Fairford; 'open
it without scruple; that boy is his emissary; we shall now see
what the miscreant is driving at.'
Little Benjie now gave up all further struggle, and suffered
Peebles to take from him, without resistance, a shilling, out of
which Peter declared he would pay himself principal and interest,
and account for the balance. The boy, whose attention seemed
fixed on something very different, only said, 'Maister Nixon will
Alan Fairford did not hesitate to read the little scrap of paper,
on which was written, 'All is prepared--keep them in play until I
come up. You may depend on your reward.--C. C.'
'Alas, my uncle--my poor uncle!' said Lilias; 'this is the
result of his confidence. Methinks, to give him instant notice
of his confidant's treachery, is now the best service we can
render all concerned--if they break up their undertaking, as they
must now do, Darsie will be at liberty.'
In the same breath, they were both at the half-opened door of the
room, Fairford entreating to speak with the Father Buonaventure,
and Lilias, equally vehemently, requesting a moment's interview
with her uncle. While the sentinel hesitated what to do, his
attention was called to a loud noise at the door, where a crowd
had been assembled in consequence of the appalling cry, that the
enemy were upon them, occasioned, as it afterwards proved, by
some stragglers having at length discovered the dead bodies of
Nanty Ewart and of Nixon.
Amid the confusion occasioned by this alarming incident, the
sentinel ceased to attend, to his duty; and accepting Alan
Fairford's arm, Lilias found no opposition in penetrating even to
the inner apartment, where the principal persons in the
enterprise, whose conclave had been disturbed by this alarming
incident, were now assembled in great confusion, and had been
joined by the Chevalier himself.
'Only a mutiny among these smuggling scoundrels,' said
ONLY a mutiny, do you say?' said Sir Richard Glendale; 'and the
lugger, the last hope of escape for,'--he looked towards
Charles,--'stands out to sea under a press of sail!'
'Do not concern yourself about me,' said the unfortunate prince;
'this is not the worst emergency in which it has been my lot to
stand; and if it were, I fear it not. Shift for yourselves, my
lords and gentlemen.'
'No, never!' said the young Lord --. 'Our only hope now is in
an honourable resistance.'
'Most true,' said Redgauntlet; 'let despair renew the union
amongst us which accident disturbed. I give my voice for
displaying the royal banner instantly, and--How now!' he
concluded, sternly, as Lilias, first soliciting his attention by
pulling his cloak, put into his hand the scroll, and added, it
was designed for that of Nixon.
Redgauntlet read--and, dropping it on the ground, continued to
stare upon the spot where it fell, with raised hands and fixed
eyes. Sir Richard Glendale lifted the fatal paper, read it, and
saying, 'Now all is indeed over,' handed it to Maxwell, who said
aloud, 'Black Colin Campbell, by G--d! I heard he had come post
from London last night.'
As if in echo to his thoughts, the violin of the blind man was
heard, playing with spirit, The Campbells are coming,' a
'The Campbells are coming in earnest,' said MacKellar; they are
upon us with the whole battalion from Carlisle.'
There was a silence of dismay, and two or three of the company
began to drop out of the room.
Lord -- spoke with the generous spirit of a young English
nobleman. 'If we have been fools, do not let us be cowards. We
have one here more precious than us all, and come hither on our
warranty--let us save him at least,'
'True, most true,' answered Sir Richard Glendale. 'Let the king
be first cared for.'
'That shall be my business,' said Redgauntlet 'if we have but
time to bring back the brig, all will be well--I will instantly
dispatch a party in a fishing skiff to bring her to.' He gave
his commands to two or three of the most active among his
followers. 'Let him be once on board,' he said, 'and there are
enough of us to stand to arms and cover his retreat.'
'Right, right,' said Sir Richard, 'and I will look to points
which can be made defensible; and the old powder-plot boys could
not have made a more desperate resistance than we shall.
Redgauntlet,' continued he, 'I see some of our friends are
looking pale; but methinks your nephew has more mettle in his eye
now than when we were in cold deliberation, with danger at a
'It is the way of our house,' said Redgauntlet; 'our courage ever
kindles highest on the losing side. I, too, feel that the
catastrophe I have brought on must not be survived by its author.
Let me first,' he said, addressing Charles, 'see your Majesty's
sacred person in such safety as can now be provided for it, and
'You may spare all considerations concerning me, gentlemen,'
again repeated Charles; 'yon mountain of Criffel shall fly as
soon as I will.'
Most threw themselves at his feet with weeping and entreaty; some
one or two slunk in confusion from the apartment, and were heard
riding off. Unnoticed in such a scene, Darsie, his sister, and
Fairford, drew together, and held each other by the hands, as
those who, when a vessel is about to founder in the storm,
determine to take their chance of life and death together.
Amid this scene of confusion, a gentleman, plainly dressed in a
riding-habit, with a black cockade in his hat, but without any
arms except a COUTEAU-DE-CHASSE, walked into the apartment
without ceremony. He was a tall, thin, gentlemanly man, with a
look and bearing decidedly military. He had passed through their
guards, if in the confusion they now maintained any, without stop
or question, and now stood, almost unarmed, among armed men, who
nevertheless, gazed on him as on the angel of destruction.
'You look coldly on me, gentlemen,' he said. 'Sir Richard
Glendale--my Lord --, we were not always such strangers. Ha,
Pate-in-Peril, how is it with you? and you, too, Ingoldsby--I
must not call you by any other name--why do you receive an old
friend so coldly? But you guess my errand.'
'And are prepared for it, general,' said Redgauntlet; 'we are not
men to be penned up like sheep for the slaughter.'
'Pshaw! you take it too seriously--let me speak but one word
'No words can shake our purpose,' said Redgauntlet, were your
whole command, as I suppose is the case, drawn round the house.'
'I am certainly not unsupported,' said the general; 'but if you
would hear me'--
'Hear ME, sir,' said the Wanderer, stepping forward; 'I suppose I
am the mark you aim at--I surrender myself willingly, to save
these gentlemen's danger--let this at least avail in their
An exclamation of 'Never, never!' broke from the little body of
partisans, who threw themselves round the unfortunate prince, and
would have seized or struck down Campbell, had it not been that
he remained with his arms folded, and a look, rather indicating
impatience because they would not hear him, than the least
apprehension of violence at their hand.
At length he obtained a moment's silence. 'I do not,' he said,
'know this gentleman'--(making a profound bow to the unfortunate
prince)--'I do not wish to know him; it is a knowledge which
would suit neither of us.'
'Our ancestors, nevertheless, have been well acquainted,' said
Charles, unable to suppress, even at that hour of dread and
danger, the painful recollections of fallen royalty.
'In one word, General Campbell,' said Redgauntlet, 'is it to be
peace or war? You are a man of honour, and we can trust you.'
'I thank you, sir,' said the general; 'and I reply, that the
answer to your question rests with yourself. Come, do not be
fools, gentlemen; there was perhaps no great harm meant or
intended by your gathering together in this obscure corner, for a
bear-bait or a cock-fight, or whatever other amusement you may
have intended, but it was a little imprudent, considering how you
stand with government, and it has occasioned some anxiety.
Exaggerated accounts of your purpose have been laid before
government by the information of a traitor in your own counsels;
and I was sent down post to take the command of a sufficient
number of troops, in case these calumnies should be found to have
any real foundation. I have come here, of course, sufficiently
supported both with cavalry and infantry, to do whatever might be
necessary; but my commands are--and I am sure they agree with my
inclination--to make no arrests, nay, to make no further
inquiries of any kind, if this good assembly will consider their
own interest so far as to give up their immediate purpose, and
return quietly home to their own houses.'
'What!--all?' exclaimed Sir Richard Glendale--'all, without
'ALL, without one single exception' said the general; 'such are
my orders. If you accept my terms, say so, and make haste; for
things may happen to interfere with his Majesty's kind purposes
towards you all.'
'Majesty's kind purposes!' said the Wanderer. 'Do I hear you
'I speak the king's very words, from his very lips,' replied the
general. '"I will," said his Majesty, "deserve the confidence of
my subjects by reposing my security in the fidelity of the
millions who acknowledge my title--in the good sense and prudence
of the few who continue, from the errors of education, to disown
it." His Majesty will not even believe that the most zealous
Jacobites who yet remain can nourish a thought of exciting a
civil war, which must be fatal to their families and themselves,
besides spreading bloodshed and ruin through a peaceful land. He
cannot even believe of his kinsman, that he would engage brave
and generous though mistaken men, in an attempt which must ruin
all who have escaped former calamities; and he is convinced,
that, did curiosity or any other motive lead that person to visit
this country, he would soon see it was his wisest course to
return to the continent; and his Majesty compassionates his
situation too much to offer any obstacle to his doing so.'
'Is this real?' said Redgauntlet. 'Can you mean this? Am I--
are all, are any of these gentlemen at liberty, without
interruption, to embark in yonder brig, which, I see, is now
again approaching the shore?'
'You, sir--all--any of the gentlemen present,' said the general,
--'all whom the vessel can contain, are at liberty to embark
uninterrupted by me; but I advise none to go off who have not
powerful reasons unconnected with the present meeting, for this
will be remembered against no one.'
'Then, gentlemen,' said Redgauntlet, clasping his hands together
as the words burst from him, 'the cause is lost for ever!'
General Campbell turned away to the window, as if to avoid
hearing what they said. Their consultation was but momentary;
for the door of escape which thus opened was as unexpected as the
exigence was threatening.
'We have your word of honour for our protection,' said Sir
Richard Glendale, 'if we dissolve our meeting in obedience to
'You have, Sir Richard,' answered the general.
'And I also have your promise,' said Redgauntlet, 'that I may go
on board yonder vessel, with any friend whom I may choose to
Not only that, Mr. Ingoldsby--or I WILL call you Mr. Redgauntlet
once more--you may stay in the offing for a tide, until you are
joined by any person who may remain at Fairladies. After that,
there will be a sloop of war on the station, and I need not say
your condition will then become perilous.'
'Perilous it should not be, General Campbell,' said Redgauntlet,
'or more perilous to others than to us, if others thought as I do
even in this extremity.'
'You forget yourself, my friend,' said the unhappy Adventurer;
you forget that the arrival of this gentleman only puts the cope-
stone on our already adopted resolution to abandon our bull-fight
or by whatever other wild name this headlong enterprise may be
termed. I bid you farewell, unfriendly friends--I bid you
farewell,' (bowing to the general) 'my friendly foe--I leave this
strand as I landed upon it, alone and to return no more!'
'Not alone,' said Redgauntlet, 'while there is blood in the veins
of my father's son.'
'Not alone,' said the other gentlemen present, stung with
feelings which almost overpowered the better reasons under which
they had acted. 'We will not disown our principles, or see your
'If it be only your purpose to see the gentleman to the beach,'
said General Campbell, 'I will myself go with you. My presence
among you, unarmed, and in your power, will be a pledge of my
friendly intentions, and will overawe, should such be offered,
any interruption on the part of officious persons.'
'Be it so,' said the Adventurer, with the air of a prince to a
subject, not of one who complied with the request of an enemy too
powerful to be resisted.
They left the apartment--they left the house--an unauthenticated
and dubious, but appalling, sensation of terror had already
spread itself among the inferior retainers, who had so short time
before strutted, and bustled, and thronged the doorway and the
passages. A report had arisen, of which the origin could not be
traced, of troops advancing towards the spot in considerable
numbers; and men who, for one reason or other, were most of them
amenable to the arm of power, had either shrunk into stables or
corners, or fled the place entirely. There was solitude on the
landscape excepting the small party which now moved towards the
rude pier, where a boat lay manned, agreeably to Redgauntlet's
orders previously given.
The last heir of the Stuarts leant on Redgauntlet's arm as they
walked towards the beach; for the ground was rough, and he no
longer possessed the elasticity of limb and of spirit which had,