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Shanty the Blacksmith; A Tale of Other Times by Mrs. Sherwood [AKA: Mrs. Mary Martha Sherwood]

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that your errand here has failed, and you," she added, addressing Jacob,
"go to your master and tell him I am here."

"Why do you stand?" she added, stamping her little foot with
impatience; "why do you not obey me?" and her dark eyes flashed and
sparkled, "go and tell your master that I wish to see him."

"And who must I tell him that you are?" he asked.

"My name has been mentioned in your presence," she replied, "and if you
did not hear it the fault is your own; it will not be told again."

"Are you the daughter of this gentleman?" asked Jacob.

"You have heard what he called me," she answered, "go and deliver my

Whilst Jacob was gone, for go he did, at the young girl's bidding,
Dymock told Tamar all that had taken place in Mr. Salmon's room, and
Tamar confessed her wish to be permitted to speak to the old gentleman
herself. Dymock was glad that any one should undertake this business,
provided he could be relieved from it, and he promised Tamar that he
would stand by the bridge and watch for her till her return.

"Then I will myself go up to the Tower and demand admission:" so saying,
she ran from Dymock, coursed rapidly through the various courts, and
swift as the wind ascended the stairs, meeting no one in her way. She
found the door of Salmon's chamber ajar, and pushing it open, she
entered, and stood before Salmon, Jacob, and Rebecca (the old woman
before mentioned as having come with Mr. Salmon to the Tower;) these
three were all deep in consultation, Mr. Salmon being still seated where
the Laird had left him.

As Tamar burst upon them in all the light of youth; of beauty, and of
conscious rectitude in the cause for which she came, the three remained
fixed as statues, Jacob and Rebecca in shrinking attitudes, their eyes
set fearfully upon her, their faces gathering paleness as they gazed;
whilst Salmon flushed to the brow, his eyes distended and his mouth
half open.

The young girl advanced near to the centre of the room and casting a
glance around her, in which might be read an expression of contempt
quite free from fear, she said, "I am come by authority to receive the
just dues of the late possessor of this place, and I require the sum to
be told into my hand, and this I require in the name of Him who rules on
high, and who will assuredly take cognizance of any act of fraud used
towards a good and honourable man."

"And who? and who?" said Salmon, his teeth actually chattering "who are
you? and whence come you?"

"I come from the Laird of Dymock," she answered, "and in his name I
demand his rights!"

"You, you," said Salmon, "you are his daughter?"

"That remains to be told," replied Tamar, "what or who I am, is nothing
to you, nor to you, nor you," she added, looking at Jacob and Rebecca,
her eye being arrested for a minute on each, by the singular expression
which passed over their countenances. "Give me the Laird's dues and you
shall hear no more from me," she said, "never again will I come to
trouble your dulness; but, if you deny it to me, you shall never rest
from me;--no, no, I will haunt you day and night," and getting hotter as
she continued to speak, "you shall have no rest from me, neither moat
nor stone walls shall keep me out." She was thinking at that moment of
the secret passage by which she fancied she might get into the Tower, if
at this time she did not succeed; it was a wild and girlish scheme, and
whether practicable or not, she had no time to think. As she uttered
these last words, Salmon rose slowly from his seat, pushed his chair
from behind him and stepped back, a livid paleness covering his
features whilst he exclaimed: "Are you in life? or are you a terrible
vision of my fancy? Jacob,--Rebecca,--do you see it too--Ah! you look
pale, as those who see the dead--is it not so?"

The terror now expressed in the three countenances, was rapidly
extending to the heart of Tamar. What can all this mean, she thought,
what is there about me that thus appals them: it is their own guilt that
renders them fearful; but why should I fear? now is the moment for
strength of heart, and may heaven grant it to me. Having strength given
her; she again demanded the just due of her guardian.

"It would be better to give it," muttered Jacob; and Rebecca at the same
time screached out, "In the name of our father Abraham, give her what
she asks, master,--and let her go,--let her go to her father,--to him
that has reared her, and yet disowns her,--let her go to him; or like
the daughters of Moab she will bring a curse on our house."

"Hold your tongue, you old fool," said Jacob, "what do you know of her,
and of him who was once Laird of Dymock? But, master," he added "pay the
girl what she asks, and I will go down and get back your note, and once
for all we will shut our doors upon these people."

"But I would know," said Salmon, "I would know whence that girl has
those eyes, which are bright as the bride of Solomon,--as Rachel's," he
added, "they are such as hers."

"Go to," said Jacob, "what folly is this, tell the money to the girl,
and let her go."

"Jacob! Jacob!" exclaimed Salmon, "I am ruined, undone, I shall come to
beggary,--five hundred and ninty-four pounds, ten shillings and
sixpence," and the teeth of the old man began to chatter, terror and
dotage and cunning, seeming to be striving within him for the mastery
and altogether depriving him of the power of acting.

Jacob muttered one or two indistinct imprecations, then approaching the
table himself, he told the gold from the bags with the facility of a
money-changer, whilst Tamar stood calmly watching him; but the serving
man finding the weight too great for her, he exchanged much of the gold,
for Bank of England notes, which he took out of the same trunk, and then
delivering the sum into Tamar's hands; "There young woman, go," he said,
"and never again disturb my master with your presence."

Whilst this was going on, Salmon had kept his eyes fixed on Tamar, and
once or twice had gasped as if for breath; at length he said, "And you
are Dymock's daughter, damsel, but you are not like your father's
people,--are they not Nazarenes; tell me what was she who bore you?"

"Beshrew you," exclaimed Jacob, "what is all this to you," and roughly
seizing Tamar by the arm, he drew her out of the room, saying, "you have
all you want, go down to your father, and let us see you no more."

The young girl almost doubted as she descended the stairs, but that
still she was over-reached, and if so, that Dymock would not perhaps
find it out till it might be too late; she therefore, hearing Jacob
behind her, ran with all her might, and coming to the place where Dymock
stood, she called to him to follow her, and ran directly to Shanty's
shed; Dymock proceeded after her a few yards behind, and Jacob still
farther in the rear, crying "Laird, stop! stop! Mr. Dymock! give us your
release, here is a paper for you to sign."

Fortunately, Tamar found Shanty alone in his shed, and taking him into
his inner room, she caused him to count and examine the money and thus
was he occupied when Dymock and Jacob came in. Tamar went back to the
outer room of the shed; but Shanty remained within, and when he found
that all was right, Mr. Dymock gave his release. Jacob returned to the
Tower, and old Shanty trotted off to Hexham, to put the money in a place
of security; nor did he fail in his object, so that before he slept, the
Laird had the satisfaction to think that this dirty work was all
completed, and that without his having in the least soiled his own hands
in the process. As to the mystery of Tamar's having been enabled to
effect what he could not do, he soon settled that matter in his own
mind, for, thought he, "if I the Laird of Dymock could never refuse a
favour asked me by this maid of Judah, how could inferior minds be
expected to withstand her influence?"--the poor Laird not considering
that the very inferiority and coarseness of such minds as he attributed
to Salmon and Jacob, would have prevented them from feeling that
influence, which he had found so powerful. But they had felt something,
which certainly belonged to Tamar, and had yielded to that something;
nor could Tamar herself, when she reflected upon that scene in the
Tower, at all comprehend how she had excited such emotions as she
witnessed there; neither could Shanty, nor Mrs. Margaret help her out.

Again for another month, all went on in its usual routine; all was quiet
at Dymock's Tower, and darning, writing, and hammering, continued to be
the order of the day with Mrs. Margaret, the Laird, and Shanty, whilst
Tamar was all gay and happy in the fulfilment of many active duties,
rising with the lark, and brushing the dew from the frequent herbs which
encompassed her dwelling. It was all summer with her then, nor did she
spoil the present by anticipation of the severities of a wintery day,
for the work of grace was going on with her, and though her natural
temper was lofty and violent, as appeared by her manner to Jacob on the
occasion lately described, yet there was a higher principle imparted,
which rendered these out-breakings every day more rare.

We have said before, that Mrs. Margaret had a favourite cow, named by
her mistress, Brindle, from the colours of her coat. Tamar had learned
to milk Brindle, and this was always her first work. One morning in the
beginning of August, it happened, or rather, was so ordered by
Providence, that the Laird was constrained through the extreme activity
of his imagination, which had prevented him from sleeping after
midnight, to arise and go down to his study in order to put these
valuable suggestions on paper. It was, however, still so dark when he
descended into his study, that he was compelled to sit down awhile in
his great chair, to await the break of day; and there that happened to
him, which might as well have happened in bed,--that is he fell asleep,
and slept soundly for some hours. All this, however, had not been done
so quietly, but that he had awakened his sister and Tamar, who slept in
the adjoining room; the consequence of which was, that Tamar got up and
dressed herself, and having ascertained the situation of the Laird, and
informed Mrs. Margaret that all was well in that quarter, she descended
again into the kitchen, and proceeded to open the house-door. The shades
of night were as yet not dispersed, although the morning faintly dawned
on the horizon; but the air was soft, fragrant, and elastic, and as it
filled the chest of Tamar, it seemed to inspire her with that sort of
feeling, which makes young things whirl, and prance, and run, and leap,
and perform all those antics which seem to speak of naught but folly to
all the sober and discreet elders, who have forgotten that they were
ever young.

Almost intoxicated with this feeling inspired by the morning air, Tamar
bounded from the step of the door, and ran a considerable way, first
along the bottom of the glen, and then in a parallel line on the green
side thereof; suddenly coming to a stand, she looked for Brindle, and
could not at first discern her; a minute afterwards, however, she saw
her at the higher end of the glen, just where it opened on the moor, and
where it had hitherto been protected from the inroads of the sheep, or
other creatures feeding on the common, by a rail and gate. This rail and
gate had wanted a little repair for several weeks, the Laird having
promised to give it that repair; and he was well able so to have done,
having at one time of his life worked several months with the village
carpenter. But the good man had not fulfilled his promise, and it had
only been the evening before that Tamar had tied up the gate with what
came nearest to her hand, namely, certain tendrils of a creeper which
hung thereabouts from the rock that formed the chasm by which the valley
was approached in that direction. These tendrils she had twisted
together so as to form a band, never supposing that Brindle, though a
young and female creature, could possibly be sufficiently capricious to
leave her usual fragrant pasturage, in order to pull and nibble this
withering band. But, however, so it was, as Tamar asserted, for there
when she came up to the place, the band was broken, the gate forced
open, and Brindle walking quietly forward through the narrow gully
towards the moor.

Tamar being come to the gate, stopped there, and called Brindle, who
knew Tamar as well as she knew her own calf. But the animal had snuffed
the air of liberty which came pouring down the little pass, from the
open moor, and she walked deliberately on with that air which seemed to
say,--"I hear your voice, but I am not coming."

Tamar was provoked; had it been a human creature who was thus acting she
might perhaps have recollected that it is not good to give way to anger;
as it was, she made no such reflection, but exclaiming in strong terms
against the creature, she began to run, knowing that if Brindle once got
on the moor it would probably cost her many a weary step before she
could get her back again. In measure however, as she quickened her pace,
so did Brindle, and in a few minutes the truant animal had reached the
open moor and began to career away in high style, as if rejoicing in the
trouble she was giving.

But even on the open moor it was yet very dusk; the dawn was hardly
visible on the summits of the distant hills, and where there were woods
or valleys the blackness was unbroken.

Tamar stood almost in despair, when she found that the animal had
reached the open ground; but whilst watching how she could get round
her, so as to turn her back, the creature rather slackened her pace, and
began to browze the short grass among the heather. Tamar now slowly
advancing was taking a compass to come towards her head, when she,
perceiving her, turned directly round, and trotted on straightforward to
the knoll, which was at most not half a quarter of a mile from the
dingle; Tamar followed her, but could not reach her till she had pushed
her way in among the trees and bushes, and when Tamar reached the place,
she found her quietly feeding in the green area, surrounded by the
ruins. The light was still very imperfect, and Tamar was standing half
hid by the bushes and huge blocks of granite, doubting whether she
should not leave the cow there whilst she ran back to call the Laird to
assist her, when suddenly she was startled by the sound of voices. She
drew closer behind the block, and remained perfectly still, and ceased
to think of the cow, so great was her amazement to find persons in a
place, generally deserted by the country people, under the impression
that things were there which should not be spoken of. She then also
remembered her adventure with Sappho, and what Mrs. Margaret had told
her of the concealed passage; and now recollecting that secret passage,
she was aware that she stood not very far from the mysterious door-way.

All these thoughts crowded to her mind, but perfect quiet was needful at
the moment. As the disk of the sun approached the horizon, the light was
rapidly increasing; the dawn in those higher latitudes is however long,
but those who knew the signs of the morning were aware that it would
soon terminate, and that they whose deeds feared the light had no
time to lose.

Tamar accordingly heard low voices, speaking, as it were in the mouth of
the cavern, and then a voice of one without the cavern--of one as in
the act of departing, saying distinctly, "twelve then at midnight!" The
answer from within did not reach Tamar's ears, at least, she heard only
an indistinct murmur, but the voice without again came clear to her, and
the words were to this effect, "I will not fail; I will take care that
he shall be in no condition to return;" the answer was again lost to
Tamar, and probably some question, but the reply to this question was
clear. "It is his day to go,--the garrison can't live without
provision,--if he don't go to-day, we must skulk another twenty-four
hours,--we must not venture with him, there will be murder!" then
followed several sentences in such broad slang, as Tamar could not
comprehend, though she thought she understood the tendency of these
words, which were mixed with oaths and terms so brutal, that her blood
ran cold in thinking of them; "Caught in his own snare,--he will sink
in his own dyke,--we have him now, pelf and all." After this, Tamar
heard parting steps, and various low rumbling noises as if proceeding
from under ground; then all was still, and no farther sound was heard by
her, but the rustling of leaves, the chirping of birds, and the cropping
of the herb by the incisors of Brindle. In the mean time the morning
broke, the light of day was restored, and Tamar creeping gently from her
hiding-place, left Brindle, whilst she ran back to the cottage.

She had not gone far, before she met the labourer who was accustomed to
assist her in the care of the garden. She told him that the cow had
strayed to the knoll, and that she had seen her enter among the trees;
and he undertook, with his dog, to drive her back to the glen, though,
he said, he would on no account go up on the knoll, but his dog would
drive her down, and he would see her home.

"And why not go on to the knoll?" said Tamar. The man replied, that the
place was known to be uncanny, and that not only strange noises, but
strange sights had been seen there.

"Lately?" asked Tamar, "have they been seen and heard lately?"

The poor man could not assert that they had, and Tamar was not going to
tell him what she had seen and heard. No! this mystery was to be left
for the consideration of Dymock and Shanty, and she was anxious to know
if their thoughts agreed with hers.

When she arrived at the cottage, and the labourer had brought back
Brindle, and fastened the gate, and Tamar had milked her cow, and done
her usual services, she went to Dymock who was just awake, and brought
him out to breakfast with Mrs. Margaret, "You shall not say any thing
about posterity, and the benefits which you are doing to them by
recording your thoughts, this morning, sir," she said, "but you shall
hear what I have to tell you, and I will not tell you, but in the
presence of Mrs. Margaret." When Dymock heard what Tamar had to say, he
was at first quite amazed, for it seems, that if he had ever heard of
the secret passage he had forgotten it, and Mrs. Margaret had had her
reasons, for not stirring up his recollections; but when he was made
acquainted with this fact, and had put together all that Tamar had
related, he made the same reflections which she had done, and said that
he had no doubt, but that these ruins had been the rendezvous of
vagrants for years, and that there was now a plan to rob Mr. Salmon,
through the means of the secret passage. He went further, for he had no
lack of imagination, and proceeded to conjecture, that it was through
the manoeuvreing of these very vagrants, that the old curmudgeon had
been brought to Dymock's Tower, and following the connexion, he began to
put together the appearance of the young blacksmith, the gipsy who had
left Tamar at Shanty's, her second appearance and rapid disappearance,
the coming of Mr. Salmon, his supposed riches, his strange whim of
shutting himself up, and every other extraordinary circumstance, in a
jumble even more inexplicable and confusing, than any of his previous
speculations upon these events,--and when he had so done he put on his
hat, and declared that he must go forthwith to Shanty.

"To see," said Tamar, "what he can hammer out of it all, but something
must and ought to be done to put Mr. Salmon on his guard, for otherwise,
assuredly he will be robbed this night."

"And perhaps murdered," exclaimed Mrs. Margaret; "but go, brother, be
quick, and let us have Shanty's advice."

"And I," said Tamar, after the Laird was departed, "will go to the
Tower, and if possible get admittance. I will stop the going off
of Jacob."

Mrs. Margaret expostulated with her, but all her pleadings came to
this,--that she should send a neighbour to watch for Tamar on the side
of the moat, the young girl having assured her kind protectress, that
she had nothing to fear for her, and that as the Laird was proverbially
a procrastinator, he might let half the day pass, before he had settled
what was to be done.

Poor Mrs. Margaret was all tremor and agitation; at the bottom of her
heart, she did not like to be left in the cottage, so near a gang of
thieves as she felt herself to be; she was not, however, a selfish
character, and after some tears, she kissed Tamar and bade her go,
watching her the whole way through the glen, as if she were parting with
her for years.

The light step of the young girl, soon brought her to the edge of the
moat, and she arrived, as it was ordered by Providence, at a very
convenient time, for she met Rebecca on the moor, the old woman having
just parted from Jacob, whose figure was still to be seen jogging along
the heath. The first words of Tamar were to entreat Rebecca to call
Jacob back, and when she found that she was speaking to one who chose to
lend a deaf ear, she raised her own voice, but with equal ill success;
turning then again to Rebecca, she saw that she was hastening to the
bridge, on which she followed her, and was standing with her under the
Tower, before the old woman could recollect herself.

The creature looked yellow with spite, as she addressed the young maiden
with many bitter expressions, asking her what she did there, and bidding
her to be gone.

"I am come," replied Tamar, "to see your master, and I will see him."

"It is what you never shall again," replied the dame; "he has never
been himself since he last saw you."

"How is that?" said Tamar; "What did I do, but press him to act as an
honourable man, but of this I am resolved," she added, "that I will now
see him again," and as she spoke, she proceeded through the postern into
the courts, still passing on towards the principal door of the Tower,
Rebecca following her, and pouring upon her no measured abuse. Tamar,
however, remarked, that the old woman lowered her voice as they advanced
nearer the house, on which she raised her own tones, and said, "I must,
and will see Mr. Salmon, it is a matter of life and death I come
upon;--life and death I repeat, and if you or your master, have any
thing on your minds or consciences, you will do well to hear what I have
to tell you; a few hours hence and it will be too late."

"In that case," said Rebecca, looking at one angry and terrified, "come
with me, and I will hear you."

"No," exclaimed Tamar, speaking loud, "I will see your master, my errand
is to him," and at the same instant, the quick eye of the young girl,
observed the face of Salmon peering through a loop-hole, fitted with a
casement, which gave light to a closet near the entrance. Encouraged by
this she spoke again, and still louder than before, saying, "See him I
will, and from me alone, shall he hear the news I am come to tell." The
next minute she heard the casement open, and saw the head of the old man
obtruded from thence, and she heard a querulous, broken voice, asking
what was the matter? Tamar stepped back a few paces, in order that she
might have a clearer view of the speaker, and then looking up, she said,
"I am come Mr. Salmon as a friend, and only as a friend, to warn you of
a danger which threatens you,--hear me, and you may be saved,--but if
you refuse to hear me, I tell you, that you may be a ghastly livid
corpse before the morning."

"Rebecca, Rebecca!" cried the old man, "Rebecca, I say, speak to her,"
and his voice faltered, the accents becoming puling.

"Hear her not," said the dame, "she is a deceiver, she is come to get
money out of you."

"And heaven knows," cried Mr. Salmon, "that she is then coming to gather
fruit from a barren tree. Money, indeed! and where am I to find money,
even for her,--though she come in such a guise, as would wring the last
drop of the heart's blood?"

"Tush!" said Rebecca, "you are rambling and dreaming again;" but the old
man heard her not, he had left the lattice, and in a few seconds he
appeared within the passage. During this interval, Rebecca had not been
quiet, for she had seized the arm of Tamar, and the young girl had
shaken her off with some difficulty, and not without saying, "Your
unwillingness to permit me to speak to your master, old woman, goes
against you, but it shall not avail you, speak to him I will," and the
contest between Tamar and the old woman was still proceeding, when
Salmon appeared in the passage.

Tamar instantly sprang to meet him, and seeing that his step was feeble
and tottering, she supported him to a chair, in a small parlour which
opened into the passage, and there, standing in the midst of the floor
between him and Rebecca, she told her errand; nor was she interrupted
until she had told all, the old man looking as if her recital had turned
him into stone, and the old woman expressing a degree of terror, which
at least cleared her in Tamar's mind, of the guilt of being connected
with the thieves of the secret passage.

As soon as the young girl had finished, the old miser broke out in the
most bitter and helpless lamentations. "My jewels!--my silver!--my
moneys!" he exclaimed, "Oh my moneys!--my moneys! Tell me, tell me
damsel, what I can do? Call Jacob. Where is Jacob? Oh, my
moneys!--my jewels!"

"Peace, good sir! peace!" said Tamar, "we will befriend you, we will
assist you, we will protect you; the Laird is an honourable man, he will
protect you. I have known him long, long,--since I was a baby; and he
would perish before he would wrong any one, or see another wronged."

"The Laird did you say," asked Salmon, "your father; he is your father
damsel is he not?"

"I have no other," replied Tamar, "I never knew another. Why do you ask

"Because," said Rebecca, "he is doting, and thinks more of other
people's concerns than his own."

"Has he ever lost a daughter?" asked Tamar.

"He lost a wife in her youth," answered the old woman, "and he was
almost in his dotage when he married her, and he fancies because you
have black hair, that you resemble her; but there is no more likeness
between you two, than there is between a hooded crow and a raven."

"There is more though, there is much more though," muttered the old man,
"and Jacob saw it too, and owned that he did."

"The fool!" repeated Rebecca, "the fool! did I not tell him that he was
feeding your poor mind with follies; tell me, how should this poor girl
be like your wife?"

The old man shook his head, and answered, "Because, he that made them
both, fashioned them to be so; and Rebecca, I have been thinking that
had my daughter lived, had Jessica lived till now, she would have been
just such a one."

"Preserve you in your senses, master," exclaimed Rebecca, "such as they
are, they are better than none; but had your daughter lived, she would
have been as unlike this damsel as you ever were to your bright browed
wife. Why you are short and shrivelled, so was your daughter; your
features are sharp, and so were hers; she was ever a poor pining thing,
and when I laid her in her grave beside her mother, it was a corpse to
frighten one; it was well for you, as I ever told you, that she died
as soon."

"Yet had she lived, I might have had a thing to love," replied the old
man; and then, looking at Tamar, he added, "They tell me you are the
Laird's daughter,--is it so, fair maid?"

Rebecca again interrupted him. "What folly is this," she said, raising
her voice almost to a shriek, "how know you but that, whilst you are
questioning the damsel, your chests and coffers are in the hands of
robbers; your money, I tell you, is in danger: your gold, your oft-told
gold. You were not wont to be so careless of your gold; up and look
after it. You will be reduced to beg your bread from those you hate;
arise, be strong. Where are your keys? Give them to the damsel; she is
young and active; she will swiftly remove the treasure out of the way.
Can you not trust her? See you not the fair guise in which she comes?
Can you suspect a creature who looks like your wife, like Rachel? Is not
her tale well framed; and are you, or are you not deceived by her fair
seemings? She is the daughter of a beggar, and she knows herself to be
such; and there is no doubt but that she has her ends to answer by
giving this alarm."

The old man had arisen; he looked hither and thither; he felt for his
keys, which were hanging at his girdle; and then, falling back into his
chair, he uttered one deep groan and became insensible, his whole
complexion turning to a livid paleness.

"He is dying!" exclaimed Tamar, holding him up in his chair, from which
he would have otherwise fallen. "He is dying, the poor old man is dying;
bring water, anything."

"He has often been in this way since he came here," replied Rebecca. "We
have thought that he has had a stroke; he is not the man he was a few
months since; and had I known how it would be, it is strange but I would
have found means to hinder his coming."

"If he were ever so before," said Tamar "why did you work him up, and
talk to him, as you did, about his daughter; but, fetch some water,"
she added.

"I shall not leave him with you," answered Rebecca.

"Nor shall I abandon him to your tender mercies," replied Tamar,
"whilst he is in this condition. I am not his daughter, it is true,--but
he is a feeble old man, and I will befriend him if I can."

The old gentleman at this moment fell forward with such weight, that
Tamar ran from behind him, and dropping down on her knees, received his
head on her shoulder, then, putting one arm round him, she was glad to
hear a long, deep sigh, the prelude of his returning to partial
consciousness; and as he opened his eyes, he said,--"Ah, Rachel, is it
you? You have been gone a long time."

Tamar was at that moment alone with the old man. Rebecca had heard
voices at a distance, and she had run to pull up the bridge.

"I am not your Rachel, venerable Sir," she said; "but the adopted
daughter of the Laird of Dymock," and she gently laid his head back.

"Then why do you come to me like her?" said the old man. "That is
wrong, it is very cruel; it is tormenting me before my time. I have not
hurt you, and I will give you more gold if you will not do this again."

"You rave, Sir," said Tamar. "Who do you take me for?"

"A dream," he answered. "I have been dreaming again;" and he raised
himself, shook his head, rubbed his hands across his eyes, and looked as
usual; but before he could add another word, Dymock and Shanty entered
the parlour.

Rebecca had been too late in preventing their crossing the bridge, and
they with some difficulty made the old gentleman understand that if he
had any valuables, they must ascertain whether the place in which they
were kept was any way approachable by the cavern. They also told him
that they had taken means to have the exterior mouth of the cavern upon
the knoll, stopped up, after the gang were in it; that they had
provided a considerable force for this purpose; and that they should
bring in men within the Tower to seize the depredators. Dymock then
requested Tamar to return to Mrs. Margaret, and remain quietly with her;
and when she was gone, the bridge was drawn up, and she went back to
the cottage.

She had much to tell Mrs. Margaret, and long, very long,--after they had
discussed many times the singular scene between Salmon, Rebecca, and
Tamar, and spoken of what might be the plans of Dymock and Shanty for
securing the Tower,--did the remainder of the day appear to them.
Several times they climbed to the edge of the glen, to observe if aught
was stirring; but all was still as usual. There stood the old Tower in
solemn, silent unconsciousness of what might soon pass within it; and
there was the knoll, looking as green and fresh as it was ever wont
to do.

At sun-set Tamar and Mrs. Margaret again visited this post of
observation, and again after they had supped at eight o'clock. They then
returned and shut their doors; they made up their fires; and whilst
Tamar plied her needle, Mrs. Margaret told many ancient tales and dismal
predictions of secret murders, corpse-candles, and visions of
second-sight, after which, as midnight approached, they became more
restless and anxious respecting their friends, wondering what they would
do, and expressing their hopes, or their fears, in dark sentences, such
as these:--"We trust no blood may be shed!--if there should be
blood!--if Dymock or poor Shanty should be hurt!" Again, they turned to
form many conjectures, and put many things together:--"Was Mr. Salmon
connected with the gipsies who had brought Tamar to the moor?--Was it
this gang that proposed robbing him?--Was the young blacksmith called
Harefoot connected with the gipsy?--Had he persuaded Salmon to bring
his treasures there, in order that he might pilfer them?--And lastly,
wherefore was Mr. Salmon so affected both times he had seen Tamar?"
Here, indeed, was a subject for conjecture, which lasted some hours, and
beguiled the sense of anxiety. At length the morning began to dawn on
that long night, and Tamar went out to milk Brindle, whose caprices had,
in fact, the day before, been the first mover in all this confusion.
Cows must be milked, even were the master of the family dying; and Tamar
wished to have this task over before any message should come from the
Tower; and scarcely had she returned to the cottage, when the lad who
administered the wind to Shanty's forge, came running with such haste,
that, to use his own words,--"he had no more breath left for speaking
than a broken bellows."

"For the love of prince Charles," he said, "can you give us any
provender, Mrs. Margaret? It is cold work watching all night, with
neither food nor drink, save one bottle of whiskey among ten of us, and
scarce a dry crust."

"But what have you done?" asked Tamar.

"We have nabbed them," replied the boy. "There were four of them,
besides an old woman who was taken in the cave, and they are in the
Tower till we can get the magistrates here, and proper hands to see them
off. They came like rats from under ground. My master had made out where
to expect them, in one of the cellars, behind the great hogshead which
used to be filled at the birth of the heir, and emptied at his coming of
age. So we were ready in the cellar, and nabbed three of them there, and
the other, who was hindmost, and the woman, were taken as they ran out
the other way; and there they are in the strong-hold, that is, the four
men, but the woman is up above; and it is pitiful to hear how she howls
and cries, and calls for the Laird; but he fell asleep as soon as he
knew all was safe, and we have not the heart to disturb him."

"Well," said Mrs. Margaret, "I am most thankful that all is over without
bloodshed, and my nephew asleep. No wonder, as he has not slept since
twelve in the morning of yesterday."

"Excepting in his chair," said Tamar.

"But the provender, mistress," said the young man.

"Here," replied Tamar; "lift this pail on your head, and take this loaf,
and I will follow with what else I can find."

"Nay, Tamar," said Mrs. Margaret, "You would not go where there is such
a number of men and no woman, but that old witch Rebecca."

"I am not afraid of going where my father is," replied Tamar; "but I
must see that woman. I should know her immediately. I am convinced that
she is the very person who brought me to Shanty's shed. She hinted at
some connexion with me. Oh, horrible! may it not be possible that I may
have near relations among these miserable men who are shut up in the
strong-hold of the Tower?"

As Tamar said these words, she burst into tears, and sunk upon the bosom
of Mrs. Margaret, who, kissing her tenderly, said, "Child of my
affections, of this be assured, that nothing shall separate you from me.
My heart, methinks, clings more and more to you; and oh, my Tamar! that
which I seem most to fear is that you should be claimed by any one who
may have a right to take you from me."

This was a sort of assurance at that moment requisite to the poor girl;
and such, indeed, was the interest which Mrs. Margaret felt in
ascertaining if this really were the woman who had brought Tamar to
Shanty's, that she put on her hood and cloak, and having filled a basket
from the larder, she locked the cottage door, and went with Tamar to
the Tower. It was barely light when they crossed the moat, for the
bridge was not drawn; and when they entered the inner-court, they found
many of the peasants seated in a circle, dipping portions of the loaf in
Brindle's pail.

"Welcome! welcome! to your own place, Mrs. Margaret Dymock!" said one of
them, "and here," he added, dipping a cup into the pail, "I drink to the
restoration of the rightful heir and the good old family, and to your
house-keeping, Mrs. Margaret; for things are done now in another style
to what they were in your time."

A general shout seconded this sentiment, and Mrs. Margaret, curtseying,
and then pluming herself, answered, "I thank you, my friends, and
flatter myself, that had my power been equal to my will, no hungry
person should ever have departed from Dymock's Tower."

The ladies were then obliged to stand and hear the whole history of the
night's exploit,--told almost in as many ways as there were tongues to
tell it; and whilst these relations were going forward, the sun had
fairly risen above the horizon, and was gilding the jagged battlements
of the Tower.

Shanty was not with the party in the court, but he suddenly appeared in
the door-way of the Tower. He seemed in haste and high excitement, and
was about to call to any one who would hear him first, when his eye fell
on Tamar and Mrs. Margaret. "Oh, there you are," he said; "I was looking
for one of swift foot to bring you here. Come up this moment; you are
required to be present at the confession of the gipsy wife, who is now
willing to tell all, on condition that we give her her liberty. Whether
this can be allowed or not, we doubt; though she did not make herself
busy with the rest, but was caught as she tried to escape by
the knoll."

"Oh! spare her, if possible," said Tamar, "or let her escape, if you can
do nothing else to save her; I beseech you spare her!" Shanty made no
reply, but led the way to an upper room of the Tower, which had in old
time, when there were any stores to keep, (a case which had not occurred
for some years,) been occupied as a strong-hold for groceries, and other
articles of the same description; and there, besides the prisoner, who
stood sullenly leaning against the wall, with her arms folded, sat
Dymock and Salmon,--the Laird looking all importance, his lips being
compressed and his arms folded,--and old Salmon, being little better in
appearance than a _caput mortuum_, so entirely was the poor creature
overpowered by the rapid changes in the scenes which were enacting
before him.

Shanty had met Rebecca running down the stairs as he was bringing up
Mrs. Margaret, and he had seized her and brought her in, saying, "Now
old lady, as we are coming to a clearance, it might be just as well to
burn out your dross among the rest; or may be," he added, "you may
perhaps answer to the lumps of lime-stone in the furnace, not of much
good in yourself, but of some service to help the smelting of that which
is better,--so come along, old lady; my mind misgives me, that you have
had more to do in making up this queer affair than you would have it
supposed." The more Rebecca resisted, the more determined was Shanty;
neither did he quit his hold of the old woman, until the whole party had
entered the room, the door being shut, and his back set against it,
where he kept his place, like a bar of iron in a stanchion.

Chairs had been set for Mrs. Margaret and Tamar, and when they were
seated Dymock informed the prisoner that she might speak. Tamar had
instantly recognized her; so had Shanty; and both were violently
agitated, especially the former, when she began to speak. We will not
give her story exactly in her own words; for she used many terms, which,
from the mixture of gipsy slang and broad Border dialect, would not be
generally understood; but, being translated, her narrative stood as

She was, it seems, of gipsy blood, and had no fixed habitation, but many
hiding places, one of which was the cavern or passage connected with
Dymock's Tower. Another of her haunts was Norwood Common, which, every
one knows, is near London, and there was a sort of head-quarters of the
gang, though, as was their custom, they seldom committed depredations
near their quarters. She said, that, one day being on the common, she
came in front of an old, black and white house, (which was taken down
not many years afterwards;) in the front thereof was a garden, and a
green lawn carefully trimmed, and in that garden on a seat sat an old
lady, a tall and comely dame, she said, and she was playing with a
little child, who might have been a year and-a-half old. The gipsy, it
seems, had asked charity through the open iron railing of the garden;
and the lady had risen and approached the railing, bringing the child
with her, and putting the money into the infant's hand to pass it
through the railing. The vagrant had then observed the dress and
ornaments of the child, that she had a necklace of coral, clasped with
some sparkling stone, golden clasps in her shoes, much rich lace about
her cap, and above all, golden bracelets of curious workmanship on
her wrists.

"She had not," said Rebecca; "she never wore those ornaments excepting
on festival days."

The vagrant took no notice of this remark of Rebecca's; but Shanty gave
the old servant a piercing look, whilst all others present, with the
exception of Salmon, felt almost fainting with impatience; but Salmon's
mind seemed for the moment in such a state of obtuseness, as disabled
him from catching hold of the link which was leading to that which was
to interest him as much as, or even more than, any one present. The
gipsy went on to say, that her cupidity was so much excited by these
ornaments, that she fixed her eye immediately on the family, and
resolved, if possible, to get possession of the child. She first
inquired respecting the family, and learned, that the house was occupied
by a widow lady, who had with her an only daughter, a married woman;
that the child she had seen belonged to that daughter; and that the
husband was abroad, and was a Jew, supposed to be immensely rich.

"I knew it," said Dymock, turning round and snapping his fingers; "I
hammered it out, Master Shanty, sooner than you did; I knew the
physiognomy of a daughter of Zion at the very first glance; you, too,
must never talk again of your penetration, Aunt Margaret," and the good
man actually danced about the room; but Shanty on one side, and Aunt
Margaret on the other, seized him by an arm, and forced him again upon
his chair, entreating him to be still; whilst Salmon roused himself in
his seat, shook off, or tried to shake off his confusion, and fixed his
eyes stedfastly on the vagrant.

The woman then went on to describe the means by which she had got a sort
of footing in this house; how she first discovered the back-door, and
under what pretences she invited the servants to enter into a sort of
concert with her for their mutual emolument, they bartering hare-skins,
kitchen grease, cold meat, &c., for lace, tapes, thread, ballads, and
other small matters.

"The thieves?" cried Salmon; but no one noticed him.

"There were only two servants in the house," said the gipsy; "there
might be others, but I saw them not, and one of those now stands here;"
and she fixed her eagle eye on Rebecca; "the other is Jacob."

"Jacob and Rebecca!" exclaimed Salmon; "it was my house, then, that you
were robbing, and my servants whom you were tampering with."

"Go on," said Dymock to the vagrant, whose story then proceeded to this

She had visited the offices of this house several times; when, coming
one evening by appointment of the servants, with some view to bartering
the master's goods with her own wares, she found the family in terrible
alarm, she had come as she said, just at the crisis in which a soul had
parted, and it was the soul of that same old lady who had been playing
with the infant on the grass-plot.

Rebecca was wailing and groaning in the kitchen, for she needed help to
streak the corpse, and the family had lived so close and solitary, that
she knew of no one at hand to whom to apply, and she feared that the
dead would become stark and cold, before she could find help; Jacob was
not within, he had gone to London, to fetch a Doctor of their own creed,
and was not likely to be back for some time.

"And why? said I," continued the vagrant, "why, said I, should I not do
for this service as well as another? for many and many had been the
corpse which I had streaked; so she accepted my offer, and took me up to
the chamber of death, and I streaked the body, and a noble corpse it
was. The dame had been a comely one, as tall as that lady," pointing to
Dymock's aunt, "and not unlike her."

"Ah!" exclaimed Mrs. Margaret, smiling, "I understand it now;" but
Dymock bade her be silent, and the vagrant went on.

"So," said she, "when I had streaked the body, I said to Rebecca we
must have a silver plate, for pewter will not answer the purpose."

"What for?" said she.

"'To fill with salt,' I answered, 'and set upon the breast.'

"So she fetched me a silver plate half filled with salt, and I laid it
on the corpse; 'and now,' I said, 'we must have rue and marjoram, run
down and get me some;' and then I frightened her, poor fool as she was,
by telling her that by the limpness of the hand of the corpse, I augured
another death very soon in the house."

"When I told this to Rebecca, the creature was so frightened, that away
she ran, leaving me in the room with the body. Swift as thought,"
continued the woman, "I caught the silver dish, and was running down
stairs,--it was gloaming--when I saw a door open opposite the chamber of
death, and there, in the glimmering, I saw the child of the family
asleep in a little crib. She had on her usual dress, with the ornaments
I spoke of, and seemed to have fallen asleep before her time, as she was
not undressed. I caught her up, asleep as she was, and the next moment I
was out in the yard, and across the court, and through the back-door,
and away over the common, and to where I knew that none would follow me,
but they of my people, who would help my flight."

"And the child with you," said Salmon, "did you take the child?"

"More I will not tell," added the woman; "no, nor more shall any
tortures force from me, unless you bind yourselves not to prosecute
me,--unless you promise me my liberty."

"I have told you," said the Laird, "that if you tell every thing you
shall be free,--do you question my truth?"

"No, Dymock," said the vagrant; "I know you to be a man of truth, and
in that dependence you shall hear all."

"I stripped the child of her gaudery, I wrapped her in rags, and I slung
her on my back; but I did her no harm, and many a weary mile I bore her,
till I came to the moor; and then, because she was a burden, and because
the brand on her shoulder would assuredly identify her, if suspicion
fell on me for having stolen her, I left her in the old blacksmith's
shed, and there she found a better father than you would have made her;
for what are you but a wicked Jew, with a heart as hard as the gold
you love."

The fixed, and almost stone-like attitude in which the old man stood for
some moments after his understanding had admitted the information given
by the vagrant, so drew the attention of all present, that there was not
a sound heard in the room, every one apprehending that the next moment
they should see him drop down dead, nor did any one know what was best
to do next; but this moment of terror was terminated by the old man's
sinking on his knees, clasping his hands, and lifting his eyes, and
breaking out in a short but solemn act of thanksgiving, and then turning
his head without rising, as it were looking for his daughter, she sprang
toward him, and threw her arms about him, whilst he still knelt. It
would be difficult to describe the scene which followed: Dymock began to
caper and exult, Mrs. Margaret to weep, Rebecca to utter imprecations,
and Shanty to sing and whistle, as he was wont to do when hammering in
his shed, and the vagrant to dare the old Jewess to deny any thing which
she had said. When Dymock had assisted Tamar to lift her father into the
chair, and when the old man had wept plentifully, he was again anxious
to examine the case more closely; and a discussion followed, in which
many things were explained and cleared up on both sides, though it was
found necessary for this end, to promise Rebecca that she should be
forgiven, and no vengeance taken upon her, if she should confess her
part of the history. This discussion lasted long, and the substance of
what was then opened to Tamar and her paternal friends was this:--Mr.
Salmon was, it seems, a Polish Jew, extremely rich, and evidently very
parsimonious; he had had mercantile concerns in London, and had there
married, when nearly fifty years of age, a beautiful young Jewess, whose
mother he had greatly benefitted, when in the most deplorable
circumstances. With this lady he had gone abroad, and it was very
evident that he had been a severe and jealous husband. She had brought
him a daughter soon after her marriage. This child was born in Poland,
Rebecca was her nurse; but Mrs. Salmon, falling into bad health
immediately after the birth of the child, she implored her husband to
permit her to return to England, and to her mother. Salmon saw that she
was not happy with him; and the strange suspicion seized him, as there
was little tie between him and his wife, that in case his own child
died, she might palm another upon him,--to prevent which, he branded the
babe with the figure of a palm branch, and sent her home, with Rebecca
and Jacob, who were both Jews, to watch her; though there was no need,
as Rachel was a simple, harmless creature. She was also in very bad
health when she reached England, and scarcely survived her mother three
days, and during that time hardly asked for her child; and the artful
servants had contrived to make their master believe that the baby had
proved a sickly deformed creature, and had died, and been buried in the
coffin with its mother.

Salmon was in Poland when all these horrors occurred, and there Jacob
and Rebecca found him; and having now no other object, he devoted
himself entirely to amassing riches, passing from one state of
covetousness to another, till at length he began to fall into the dotage
of avarice, which consists in laying up money for the sake of laying up,
and delighting in the view of hoards of gold and precious things. With
this madness in his mind, he turned much of his property into jewels,
and returning to England, he began to look about for a safe place
wherein he might deposit his treasures. But, as a Jew, he could not
possess land; he therefore passed the form of naturalization, and whilst
looking about for a situation in which he might dwell in safety, his
character and circumstances became in part known to the gipsies, (who,
amongst other thieves, always have their eyes on those who are supposed
to carry valuables about them,) and the man called Harefoot, formed the
plan of getting him and his treasures into Dymock's Tower. This Harefoot
was the nephew of the woman who had brought Tamar to Shanty's; and the
old miser, being tempted by the moat, and other circumstances of the
place, fell into the snare which had been thus skillfully laid for him.
It was not till after Salmon had come to the Tower, that the connection
between Salmon and Tamar was discovered by the old woman; and it was at
this time that she contrived to meet Tamar, and to convey the notion to
her, that she was of a gipsy family; fearing lest she should, by any
means, be led to an explanation with Salmon, before her nephew and his
gang had made sure of the treasure. Harefoot had supposed that he and
his gang were the only persons who knew of the secret passage; and the
reason why they had not made the attempt of robbing Salmon by that
passage sooner, was simply this, that Harefoot, having been detected in
some small offence in some distant county, had been confined several
weeks in a house of correction, from which he had not been set free
many days before he came to the moor, and took upon himself the conduct
of the plot for robbing Salmon.

What Jacob and Rebecca's plans were did not appear, or wherefore they
had not only fallen in with, but promoted the settlement of their master
in the Tower; but that their object was a selfish one cannot be doubted.

Had other confirmation been wanting, after the mark on Tamar's shoulder
had been acknowledged, the vagrant added it, by producing a clasp of one
armlet, which she had retained, and carried about with her in a leathern
bag, amongst sundry other heterogeneous relics; and she accounted for
having preserved it, from the fear she had of exposing a cypher wrought
on a precious stone, which might, she thought, lead to detection.

A dreadful hue and cry in the court below, soon after this disturbed the
conference. All seemed confusion and uproar; Dymock and Shanty rushed
down stairs, and aunt Margaret and Tamar ran out to the window in the
nearest passage; there they learnt that the prisoners had broken the
bars of their dungeon, swam the moat, and fled; and the ladies could see
the peasants in pursuit, scouring over the moor, whilst those they were
pursuing were scarcely visible.

"I am glad of it," said Tamar, "I should rejoice in their escape, they
will trouble us no more; and oh, my dear mother, I would not, that one
sad heart, should now mix itself with our joyful ones!"

Mrs. Margaret and Tamar stood at the window till they saw the pursuers
turning back to the castle, some of them not being sorry in their
hearts, at the escape of the rogues, but the most remarkable part of the
story was, that whilst they had all been thus engaged, the woman had
also made off, and, though probably not in company with her, that most
excellent and faithful creature Rebecca, neither of whom were ever
heard of again.

And now none were left, but those who hoped to live and die in each
other's company, but these were soon joined by the magistrates and legal
powers, who had been summoned from the nearest town, together with
people from all quarters, who flocked to hear and learn what was going
forward; and here was an opportunity not to be lost by Dymock and
Shanty, of telling the wonderful tale, and old Salmon having been
recruited with some small nourishment, administered by Mrs. Margaret,
presented his daughter to the whole assembly, and being admonished by
Shanty, placed in her hands before them, the deed of transfer of the
lands and castle of Dymock, which in fact to him, was but a drop in the
ocean of his wealth.

As she received this deed, she fell on one knee, and kissed her
venerable father's hand, after which he raised and embraced her,
paternal affection and paternal pride acting like the genial warmth of
the sun, in thawing the frost of his heart and frame. She had whispered
something whilst he kissed her, and as his answer had been favourable,
she turned to Dymock, and now bending on both knees, she placed the deed
in his hands, her sweet face at the same time being all moist with
gushing tears, falling upon her adopted father's hand.

Shanty in his apron and unshorn chin, explained to those about, what had
been done; for they, that is the Laird, Aunt Margaret, Salmon, and
Tamar, were standing on the elevated platform, at the door of the Tower:
and then arose such shouts and acclamations from one and all, as made
the whole castle ring again, and one voice in particular arose above the
rest, crying, "Our Laird has got his own again, and blessing be on her
who gave it him."

"Rather bless Him," cried Shanty, "who has thus brought order out of
confussion, to Him be the glory given in every present happiness, as in
all that we are assured of in the future."

As there were no means of regaling those present at that time, and as
Mr. Salmon was then too confused to do that which he ought to have done,
in rewarding those who had defended him, most of them being poor people,
they were dismissed with an invitation to a future meeting at the Tower;
two or three gentlemen, friends of Dymock, only being left. Much
consultation then ensued, whilst Mrs. Margaret bestirred herself, to
procure female assistance, and to provide the best meal, which could be
had at a short notice.

During this conference with the Laird and his friends, all of whom were
honourable men, Mr. Salmon was induced to consent to have his
treasures, his bonds, his notes and bills, consigned to such keeping as
was judged most safe; neither, could these matters be settled, without a
journey to town, in which Dymock accompanied him, together with a legal
friend of the latter of known respectability. We do not enter into the
particulars of this journey, but merely say, that Mr. Salmon in the joy,
and we may add, thankfulness of recovering his child, not only permitted
himself to be advised, but whilst in town made his will, by which, he
left all he possessed to his daughter, and this being concluded to the
satisfaction of all concerned, he returned to Dymock's Tower, laden with
presents for Mrs. Margaret.

Neither were Shanty's services overlooked; the cottage and land
appertaining thereunto, were to be his for life, free from rent and
dues, together with twenty pounds a year, in consideration of his
never-varying kindness to Tamar.

The old man wept, when told of what was done for him, and himself went
the next day to Morpeth, to bring from thence a sister, nearly as old as
himself, who was living there in hard service.

And here the memorandum from which this story is derived, becomes less
particular in the details.

It speaks of Mr. Salmon after the various exertions he had made, (these
exertions having been as it was supposed succeeded by a stroke,) sinking
almost immediately into a state nearly childish, during which, however,
it was a very great delight to Tamar, to perceive in the very midst of
this intellectual ruin an awakening to things spiritual; so that it
would seem, as if the things hidden from him in the days of human
prudence and wisdom, were now made manifest to him, in the period of
almost second childishness.

Tamar had been enabled to imbibe the purest Christian principles, in
her early youth, for which, humanly speaking, she owed much to Shanty,
and she now with the assistance of the kind old man, laboured
incessantly, to bring her father to the Messiah of the Christians, as
the only hope and rest of his soul; and she had reason before her father
died, to hope that her labours had not been without fruit. As to worldly
pelf, she had it in rich abundance, but she could have little personal
enjoyment of it whilst shut up with her aged father in Dymock's Tower,
yet she had exquisite delight in humouring therewith, the fancies of
Dymock, and administering to the more sober and benevolent plans of Mrs.
Margaret; for this lady's principal delight was, to assist the needy,
and her only earthly or worldly caprice, that of restoring the Tower and
its environs, and furnishing, to what she conceived had been its state,
in the, perhaps, imaginary days of the exaltation of the Dymocks.

A splendid feast in the halls of Dymock's Tower, is also spoken of, as
having taken place, soon after the return of the Laird from London, from
which, not a creature dwelling on the moor was absent, when Salmon
directed Tamar to reward those persons who had assisted him in his
greatest need, and when Mrs. Margaret added numbers of coats and
garments to those that were destitute. Dymock in his joy of heart,
caused the plough to be brought forward, and fixed upon a table in the
hall, for every one to see that day, Mrs. Margaret having been obliged
to acknowledge, that it was this same plough, which had turned up the
vein of gold, in which all present were rejoicing.

With the notice of this feast the history terminates, and here the
writer concludes with a single sentiment,--that although a work of
kindness wrought in the fear of God, as imparted by the Lord, the
Spirit--seldom produces such a manifest reward, as it did in the case
of Mrs. Margaret and her nephew, for the race is not always to the
swift, nor the burthen to the strong, yet, even under this present
imperfect dispensation, there is a peace above all price, accompanying
every act, which draws a creature out of self, to administer to the
necessities of others, whenever these acts are performed in faith, and
with a continual reference to the pleasure of God, and without view to
heaping up merits, which is a principle entirely adverse to anything
like a correct knowledge of salvation by the Lord the Saviour.

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