Part 11 out of 15
'I shall never have Mr Gashford's good word, my lord,' replied
John, touching his hat respectfully, 'and I don't covet it.'
'You are an ill-conditioned, most ungrateful fellow,' said Lord
George: 'a spy, for anything I know. Mr Gashford is perfectly
correct, as I might have felt convinced he was. I have done wrong
to retain you in my service. It is a tacit insult to him as my
choice and confidential friend to do so, remembering the cause you
sided with, on the day he was maligned at Westminster. You will
leave me to-night--nay, as soon as we reach home. The sooner the
'If it comes to that, I say so too, my lord. Let Mr Gashford have
his will. As to my being a spy, my lord, you know me better than
to believe it, I am sure. I don't know much about causes. My
cause is the cause of one man against two hundred; and I hope it
always will be.'
'You have said quite enough,' returned Lord George, motioning him
to go back. 'I desire to hear no more.'
'If you'll let me have another word, my lord,' returned John
Grueby, 'I'd give this silly fellow a caution not to stay here by
himself. The proclamation is in a good many hands already, and
it's well known that he was concerned in the business it relates
to. He had better get to a place of safety if he can, poor
'You hear what this man says?' cried Lord George, addressing
Barnaby, who had looked on and wondered while this dialogue passed.
'He thinks you may be afraid to remain upon your post, and are kept
here perhaps against your will. What do you say?'
'I think, young man,' said John, in explanation, 'that the soldiers
may turn out and take you; and that if they do, you will certainly
be hung by the neck till you're dead--dead--dead. And I think you
had better go from here, as fast as you can. That's what I think.'
'He's a coward, Grip, a coward!' cried Barnaby, putting the raven
on the ground, and shouldering his staff. 'Let them come! Gordon
for ever! Let them come!'
'Ay!' said Lord George, 'let them! Let us see who will venture to
attack a power like ours; the solemn league of a whole people.
THIS a madman! You have said well, very well. I am proud to be
the leader of such men as you.'
Bamaby's heart swelled within his bosom as he heard these words.
He took Lord George's hand and carried it to his lips; patted his
horse's crest, as if the affection and admiration he had conceived
for the man extended to the animal he rode; then unfurling his
flag, and proudly waving it, resumed his pacing up and down.
Lord George, with a kindling eye and glowing cheek, took off his
hat, and flourishing it above his head, bade him exultingly
Farewell!--then cantered off at a brisk pace; after glancing
angrily round to see that his servant followed. Honest John set
spurs to his horse and rode after his master, but not before he had
again warned Barnaby to retreat, with many significant gestures,
which indeed he continued to make, and Barnaby to resist, until the
windings of the road concealed them from each other's view.
Left to himself again with a still higher sense of the importance
of his post, and stimulated to enthusiasm by the special notice and
encouragement of his leader, Barnaby walked to and fro in a
delicious trance rather than as a waking man. The sunshine which
prevailed around was in his mind. He had but one desire
ungratified. If she could only see him now!
The day wore on; its heat was gently giving place to the cool of
evening; a light wind sprung up, fanning his long hair, and making
the banner rustle pleasantly above his head. There was a freedom
and freshness in the sound and in the time, which chimed exactly
with his mood. He was happier than ever.
He was leaning on his staff looking towards the declining sun, and
reflecting with a smile that he stood sentinel at that moment over
buried gold, when two or three figures appeared in the distance,
making towards the house at a rapid pace, and motioning with their
hands as though they urged its inmates to retreat from some
approaching danger. As they drew nearer, they became more earnest
in their gestures; and they were no sooner within hearing, than the
foremost among them cried that the soldiers were coming up.
At these words, Barnaby furled his flag, and tied it round the
pole. His heart beat high while he did so, but he had no more fear
or thought of retreating than the pole itself. The friendly
stragglers hurried past him, after giving him notice of his danger,
and quickly passed into the house, where the utmost confusion
immediately prevailed. As those within hastily closed the windows
and the doors, they urged him by looks and signs to fly without
loss of time, and called to him many times to do so; but he only
shook his head indignantly in answer, and stood the firmer on his
post. Finding that he was not to be persuaded, they took care of
themselves; and leaving the place with only one old woman in it,
As yet there had been no symptom of the news having any better
foundation than in the fears of those who brought it, but The Boot
had not been deserted five minutes, when there appeared, coming
across the fields, a body of men who, it was easy to see, by the
glitter of their arms and ornaments in the sun, and by their
orderly and regular mode of advancing--for they came on as one
man--were soldiers. In a very little time, Barnaby knew that they
were a strong detachment of the Foot Guards, having along with them
two gentlemen in private clothes, and a small party of Horse; the
latter brought up the rear, and were not in number more than six or
They advanced steadily; neither quickening their pace as they came
nearer, nor raising any cry, nor showing the least emotion or
anxiety. Though this was a matter of course in the case of regular
troops, even to Barnaby, there was something particularly
impressive and disconcerting in it to one accustomed to the noise
and tumult of an undisciplined mob. For all that, he stood his
ground not a whit the less resolutely, and looked on undismayed.
Presently, they marched into the yard, and halted. The
commanding-officer despatched a messenger to the horsemen, one of
whom came riding back. Some words passed between them, and they
glanced at Barnaby; who well remembered the man he had unhorsed at
Westminster, and saw him now before his eyes. The man being
speedily dismissed, saluted, and rode back to his comrades, who
were drawn up apart at a short distance.
The officer then gave the word to prime and load. The heavy
ringing of the musket-stocks upon the ground, and the sharp and
rapid rattling of the ramrods in their barrels, were a kind of
relief to Batnahy, deadly though he knew the purport of such sounds
to be. When this was done, other commands were given, and the
soldiers instantaneously formed in single file all round the house
and stables; completely encircling them in every part, at a
distance, perhaps, of some half-dozen yards; at least that seemed
in Barnaby's eyes to be about the space left between himself and
those who confronted him. The horsemen remained drawn up by
themselves as before.
The two gentlemen in private clothes who had kept aloof, now rode
forward, one on either side the officer. The proclamation having
been produced and read by one of them, the officer called on
Barnaby to surrender.
He made no answer, but stepping within the door, before which he
had kept guard, held his pole crosswise to protect it. In the
midst of a profound silence, he was again called upon to yield.
Still he offered no reply. Indeed he had enough to do, to run his
eye backward and forward along the half-dozen men who immediately
fronted him, and settle hurriedly within himself at which of them
he would strike first, when they pressed on him. He caught the eye
of one in the centre, and resolved to hew that fellow down, though
he died for it.
Again there was a dead silence, and again the same voice called
upon him to deliver himself up.
Next moment he was back in the stable, dealing blows about him like
a madman. Two of the men lay stretched at his feet: the one he
had marked, dropped first--he had a thought for that, even in the
hot blood and hurry of the struggle. Another blow--another! Down,
mastered, wounded in the breast by a heavy blow from the butt-end
of a gun (he saw the weapon in the act of falling)--breathless--and
An exclamation of surprise from the officer recalled him, in some
degree, to himself. He looked round. Grip, after working in
secret all the afternoon, and with redoubled vigour while
everybody's attention was distracted, had plucked away the straw
from Hugh's bed, and turned up the loose ground with his iron bill.
The hole had been recklessly filled to the brim, and was merely
sprinkled with earth. Golden cups, spoons, candlesticks, coined
guineas--all the riches were revealed.
They brought spades and a sack; dug up everything that was hidden
there; and carried away more than two men could lift. They
handcuffed him and bound his arms, searched him, and took away all
he had. Nobody questioned or reproached him, or seemed to have
much curiosity about him. The two men he had stunned, were carried
off by their companions in the same business-like way in which
everything else was done. Finally, he was left under a guard of
four soldiers with fixed bayonets, while the officer directed in
person the search of the house and the other buildings connected
This was soon completed. The soldiers formed again in the yard; he
was marched out, with his guard about him; and ordered to fall in,
where a space was left. The others closed up all round, and so
they moved away, with the prisoner in the centre.
When they came into the streets, he felt he was a sight; and
looking up as they passed quickly along, could see people running
to the windows a little too late, and throwing up the sashes to
look after him. Sometimes he met a staring face beyond the heads
about him, or under the arms of his conductors, or peering down
upon him from a waggon-top or coach-box; but this was all he saw,
being surrounded by so many men. The very noises of the streets
seemed muffled and subdued; and the air came stale and hot upon
him, like the sickly breath of an oven.
Tramp, tramp. Tramp, tramp. Heads erect, shoulders square, every
man stepping in exact time--all so orderly and regular--nobody
looking at him--nobody seeming conscious of his presence,--he could
hardly believe he was a Prisoner. But at the word, though only
thought, not spoken, he felt the handcuffs galling his wrists, the
cord pressing his arms to his sides: the loaded guns levelled at
his head; and those cold, bright, sharp, shining points turned
towards him: the mere looking down at which, now that he was bound
and helpless, made the warm current of his life run cold.
They were not long in reaching the barracks, for the officer who
commanded the party was desirous to avoid rousing the people by the
display of military force in the streets, and was humanely anxious
to give as little opportunity as possible for any attempt at
rescue; knowing that it must lead to bloodshed and loss of life,
and that if the civil authorities by whom he was accompanied,
empowered him to order his men to fire, many innocent persons would
probably fall, whom curiosity or idleness had attracted to the
spot. He therefore led the party briskly on, avoiding with a
merciful prudence the more public and crowded thoroughfares, and
pursuing those which he deemed least likely to be infested by
disorderly persons. This wise proceeding not only enabled them to
gain their quarters without any interruption, but completely
baffled a body of rioters who had assembled in one of the main
streets, through which it was considered certain they would pass,
and who remained gathered together for the purpose of releasing the
prisoner from their hands, long after they had deposited him in a
place of security, closed the barrack-gates, and set a double guard
at every entrance for its better protection.
Arrived at this place, poor Barnaby was marched into a stone-
floored room, where there was a very powerful smell of tobacco, a
strong thorough draught of air, and a great wooden bedstead, large
enough for a score of men. Several soldiers in undress were
lounging about, or eating from tin cans; military accoutrements
dangled on rows of pegs along the whitewashed wall; and some half-
dozen men lay fast asleep upon their backs, snoring in concert.
After remaining here just long enough to note these things, he was
marched out again, and conveyed across the parade-ground to another
portion of the building.
Perhaps a man never sees so much at a glance as when he is in a
situation of extremity. The chances are a hundred to one, that if
Barnaby had lounged in at the gate to look about him, he would have
lounged out again with a very imperfect idea of the place, and
would have remembered very little about it. But as he was taken
handcuffed across the gravelled area, nothing escaped his notice.
The dry, arid look of the dusty square, and of the bare brick
building; the clothes hanging at some of the windows; and the men
in their shirt-sleeves and braces, lolling with half their bodies
out of the others; the green sun-blinds at the officers' quarters,
and the little scanty trees in front; the drummer-boys practising
in a distant courtyard; the men at drill on the parade; the two
soldiers carrying a basket between them, who winked to each other
as he went by, and slily pointed to their throats; the spruce
serjeant who hurried past with a cane in his hand, and under his
arm a clasped book with a vellum cover; the fellows in the ground-
floor rooms, furbishing and brushing up their different articles of
dress, who stopped to look at him, and whose voices as they spoke
together echoed loudly through the empty galleries and passages;--
everything, down to the stand of muskets before the guard-house,
and the drum with a pipe-clayed belt attached, in one corner,
impressed itself upon his observation, as though he had noticed
them in the same place a hundred times, or had been a whole day
among them, in place of one brief hurried minute.
He was taken into a small paved back yard, and there they opened a
great door, plated with iron, and pierced some five feet above the
ground with a few holes to let in air and light. Into this dungeon
he was walked straightway; and having locked him up there, and
placed a sentry over him, they left him to his meditations.
The cell, or black hole, for it had those words painted on the
door, was very dark, and having recently accommodated a drunken
deserter, by no means clean. Barnaby felt his way to some straw at
the farther end, and looking towards the door, tried to accustom
himself to the gloom, which, coming from the bright sunshine out of
doors, was not an easy task.
There was a kind of portico or colonnade outside, and this
obstructed even the little light that at the best could have found
its way through the small apertures in the door. The footsteps of
the sentinel echoed monotonously as he paced its stone pavement to
and fro (reminding Barnaby of the watch he had so lately kept
himself); and as he passed and repassed the door, he made the cell
for an instant so black by the interposition of his body, that his
going away again seemed like the appearance of a new ray of light,
and was quite a circumstance to look for.
When the prisoner had sat sometime upon the ground, gazing at the
chinks, and listening to the advancing and receding footsteps of
his guard, the man stood still upon his post. Barnaby, quite
unable to think, or to speculate on what would be done with him,
had been lulled into a kind of doze by his regular pace; but his
stopping roused him; and then he became aware that two men were in
conversation under the colonnade, and very near the door of his
How long they had been talking there, he could not tell, for he had
fallen into an unconsciousness of his real position, and when the
footsteps ceased, was answering aloud some question which seemed to
have been put to him by Hugh in the stable, though of the fancied
purport, either of question or reply, notwithstanding that he awoke
with the latter on his lips, he had no recollection whatever. The
first words that reached his ears, were these:
'Why is he brought here then, if he has to be taken away again so
'Why where would you have him go! Damme, he's not as safe anywhere
as among the king's troops, is he? What WOULD you do with him?
Would you hand him over to a pack of cowardly civilians, that shake
in their shoes till they wear the soles out, with trembling at the
threats of the ragamuffins he belongs to?'
'That's true enough.'
'True enough!--I'll tell you what. I wish, Tom Green, that I was a
commissioned instead of a non-commissioned officer, and that I had
the command of two companies--only two companies--of my own
regiment. Call me out to stop these riots--give me the needful
authority, and half-a-dozen rounds of ball cartridge--'
'Ay!' said the other voice. 'That's all very well, but they won't
give the needful authority. If the magistrate won't give the
word, what's the officer to do?'
Not very well knowing, as it seemed, how to overcome this
difficulty, the other man contented himself with damning the
'With all my heart,' said his friend.
'Where's the use of a magistrate?' returned the other voice.
'What's a magistrate in this case, but an impertinent, unnecessary,
unconstitutional sort of interference? Here's a proclamation.
Here's a man referred to in that proclamation. Here's proof
against him, and a witness on the spot. Damme! Take him out and
shoot him, sir. Who wants a magistrate?'
'When does he go before Sir John Fielding?' asked the man who had
'To-night at eight o'clock,' returned the other. 'Mark what
follows. The magistrate commits him to Newgate. Our people take
him to Newgate. The rioters pelt our people. Our people retire
before the rioters. Stones are thrown, insults are offered, not a
shot's fired. Why? Because of the magistrates. Damn the
When he had in some degree relieved his mind by cursing the
magistrates in various other forms of speech, the man was silent,
save for a low growling, still having reference to those
authorities, which from time to time escaped him.
Barnaby, who had wit enough to know that this conversation
concerned, and very nearly concerned, himself, remained perfectly
quiet until they ceased to speak, when he groped his way to the
door, and peeping through the air-holes, tried to make out what
kind of men they were, to whom he had been listening.
The one who condemned the civil power in such strong terms, was a
serjeant--engaged just then, as the streaming ribands in his cap
announced, on the recruiting service. He stood leaning sideways
against a pillar nearly opposite the door, and as he growled to
himself, drew figures on the pavement with his cane. The other
man had his back towards the dungeon, and Barnaby could only see
his form. To judge from that, he was a gallant, manly, handsome
fellow, but he had lost his left arm. It had been taken off
between the elbow and the shoulder, and his empty coat-sleeve hung
across his breast.
It was probably this circumstance which gave him an interest beyond
any that his companion could boast of, and attracted Barnaby's
attention. There was something soldierly in his bearing, and he
wore a jaunty cap and jacket. Perhaps he had been in the service
at one time or other. If he had, it could not have been very long
ago, for he was but a young fellow now.
'Well, well,' he said thoughtfully; 'let the fault be where it may,
it makes a man sorrowful to come back to old England, and see her
in this condition.'
'I suppose the pigs will join 'em next,' said the serjeant, with an
imprecation on the rioters, 'now that the birds have set 'em the
'The birds!' repeated Tom Green.
'Ah--birds,' said the serjeant testily; 'that's English, an't it?'
'I don't know what you mean.'
'Go to the guard-house, and see. You'll find a bird there, that's
got their cry as pat as any of 'em, and bawls "No Popery," like a
man--or like a devil, as he says he is. I shouldn't wonder. The
devil's loose in London somewhere. Damme if I wouldn't twist his
neck round, on the chance, if I had MY way.'
The young man had taken two or three steps away, as if to go and
see this creature, when he was arrested by the voice of Barnaby.
'It's mine,' he called out, half laughing and half weeping--'my
pet, my friend Grip. Ha ha ha! Don't hurt him, he has done no
harm. I taught him; it's my fault. Let me have him, if you
please. He's the only friend I have left now. He'll not dance, or
talk, or whistle for you, I know; but he will for me, because he
knows me and loves me--though you wouldn't think it--very well.
You wouldn't hurt a bird, I'm sure. You're a brave soldier, sir,
and wouldn't harm a woman or a child--no, no, nor a poor bird, I'm
This latter adjuration was addressed to the serjeant, whom Barnaby
judged from his red coat to be high in office, and able to seal
Grip's destiny by a word. But that gentleman, in reply, surlily
damned him for a thief and rebel as he was, and with many
disinterested imprecations on his own eyes, liver, blood, and body,
assured him that if it rested with him to decide, he would put a
final stopper on the bird, and his master too.
'You talk boldly to a caged man,' said Barnaby, in anger. 'If I
was on the other side of the door and there were none to part us,
you'd change your note--ay, you may toss your head--you would!
Kill the bird--do. Kill anything you can, and so revenge yourself
on those who with their bare hands untied could do as much to you!'
Having vented his defiance, he flung himself into the furthest
corner of his prison, and muttering, 'Good bye, Grip--good bye,
dear old Grip!' shed tears for the first time since he had been
taken captive; and hid his face in the straw.
He had had some fancy at first, that the one-armed man would help
him, or would give him a kind word in answer. He hardly knew why,
but he hoped and thought so. The young fellow had stopped when he
called out, and checking himself in the very act of turning round,
stood listening to every word he said. Perhaps he built his feeble
trust on this; perhaps on his being young, and having a frank and
honest manner. However that might be, he built on sand. The other
went away directly he had finished speaking, and neither answered
him, nor returned. No matter. They were all against him here: he
might have known as much. Good bye, old Grip, good bye!
After some time, they came and unlocked the door, and called to him
to come out. He rose directly, and complied, for he would not have
THEM think he was subdued or frightened. He walked out like a man,
and looked from face to face.
None of them returned his gaze or seemed to notice it. They
marched him back to the parade by the way they had brought him, and
there they halted, among a body of soldiers, at least twice as
numerous as that which had taken him prisoner in the afternoon.
The officer he had seen before, bade him in a few brief words take
notice that if he attempted to escape, no matter how favourable a
chance he might suppose he had, certain of the men had orders to
fire upon him, that moment. They then closed round him as before,
and marched him off again.
In the same unbroken order they arrived at Bow Street, followed and
beset on all sides by a crowd which was continually increasing.
Here he was placed before a blind gentleman, and asked if he wished
to say anything. Not he. What had he got to tell them? After a
very little talking, which he was careless of and quite indifferent
to, they told him he was to go to Newgate, and took him away.
He went out into the street, so surrounded and hemmed in on every
side by soldiers, that he could see nothing; but he knew there was
a great crowd of people, by the murmur; and that they were not
friendly to the soldiers, was soon rendered evident by their yells
and hisses. How often and how eagerly he listened for the voice of
Hugh! There was not a voice he knew among them all. Was Hugh a
prisoner too? Was there no hope!
As they came nearer and nearer to the prison, the hootings of the
people grew more violent; stones were thrown; and every now and
then, a rush was made against the soldiers, which they staggered
under. One of them, close before him, smarting under a blow upon
the temple, levelled his musket, but the officer struck it upwards
with his sword, and ordered him on peril of his life to desist.
This was the last thing he saw with any distinctness, for directly
afterwards he was tossed about, and beaten to and fro, as though in
a tempestuous sea. But go where he would, there were the same
guards about him. Twice or thrice he was thrown down, and so were
they; but even then, he could not elude their vigilance for a
moment. They were up again, and had closed about him, before he,
with his wrists so tightly bound, could scramble to his feet.
Fenced in, thus, he felt himself hoisted to the top of a low flight
of steps, and then for a moment he caught a glimpse of the fighting
in the crowd, and of a few red coats sprinkled together, here and
there, struggling to rejoin their fellows. Next moment, everything
was dark and gloomy, and he was standing in the prison lobby; the
centre of a group of men.
A smith was speedily in attendance, who riveted upon him a set of
heavy irons. Stumbling on as well as he could, beneath the unusual
burden of these fetters, he was conducted to a strong stone cell,
where, fastening the door with locks, and bolts, and chains, they
left him, well secured; having first, unseen by him, thrust in
Grip, who, with his head drooping and his deep black plumes rough
and rumpled, appeared to comprehend and to partake, his master's
It is necessary at this juncture to return to Hugh, who, having, as
we have seen, called to the rioters to disperse from about the
Warren, and meet again as usual, glided back into the darkness from
which he had emerged, and reappeared no more that night.
He paused in the copse which sheltered him from the observation of
his mad companions, and waited to ascertain whether they drew off
at his bidding, or still lingered and called to him to join them.
Some few, he saw, were indisposed to go away without him, and made
towards the spot where he stood concealed as though they were about
to follow in his footsteps, and urge him to come back; but these
men, being in their turn called to by their friends, and in truth
not greatly caring to venture into the dark parts of the grounds,
where they might be easily surprised and taken, if any of the
neighbours or retainers of the family were watching them from among
the trees, soon abandoned the idea, and hastily assembling such men
as they found of their mind at the moment, straggled off.
When he was satisfied that the great mass of the insurgents were
imitating this example, and that the ground was rapidly clearing,
he plunged into the thickest portion of the little wood; and,
crashing the branches as he went, made straight towards a distant
light: guided by that, and by the sullen glow of the fire behind
As he drew nearer and nearer to the twinkling beacon towards which
he bent his course, the red glare of a few torches began to reveal
itself, and the voices of men speaking together in a subdued tone
broke the silence which, save for a distant shouting now and then,
already prevailed. At length he cleared the wood, and, springing
across a ditch, stood in a dark lane, where a small body of ill-
looking vagabonds, whom he had left there some twenty minutes
before, waited his coming with impatience.
They were gathered round an old post-chaise or chariot, driven by
one of themselves, who sat postilion-wise upon the near horse. The
blinds were drawn up, and Mr Tappertit and Dennis kept guard at the
two windows. The former assumed the command of the party, for he
challenged Hugh as he advanced towards them; and when he did so,
those who were resting on the ground about the carriage rose to
their feet and clustered round him.
'Well!' said Simon, in a low voice; 'is all right?'
'Right enough,' replied Hugh, in the same tone. 'They're
dispersing now--had begun before I came away.'
'And is the coast clear?'
'Clear enough before our men, I take it,' said Hugh. 'There are
not many who, knowing of their work over yonder, will want to
meddle with 'em to-night.--Who's got some drink here?'
Everybody had some plunder from the cellar; half-a-dozen flasks and
bottles were offered directly. He selected the largest, and
putting it to his mouth, sent the wine gurgling down his throat.
Having emptied it, he threw it down, and stretched out his hand for
another, which he emptied likewise, at a draught. Another was
given him, and this he half emptied too. Reserving what remained
to finish with, he asked:
'Have you got anything to eat, any of you? I'm as ravenous as a
hungry wolf. Which of you was in the larder--come?'
'I was, brother,' said Dennis, pulling off his hat, and fumbling in
the crown. 'There's a matter of cold venison pasty somewhere or
another here, if that'll do.'
'Do!' cried Hugh, seating himself on the pathway. 'Bring it out!
Quick! Show a light here, and gather round! Let me sup in state,
my lads! Ha ha ha!'
Entering into his boisterous humour, for they all had drunk deeply,
and were as wild as he, they crowded about him, while two of their
number who had torches, held them up, one on either side of him,
that his banquet might not be despatched in the dark. Mr Dennis,
having by this time succeeded in extricating from his hat a great
mass of pasty, which had been wedged in so tightly that it was not
easily got out, put it before him; and Hugh, having borrowed a
notched and jagged knife from one of the company, fell to work upon
'I should recommend you to swallow a little fire every day, about
an hour afore dinner, brother,' said Dennis, after a pause. 'It
seems to agree with you, and to stimulate your appetite.'
Hugh looked at him, and at the blackened faces by which he was
surrounded, and, stopping for a moment to flourish his knife above
his head, answered with a roar of laughter.
'Keep order, there, will you?' said Simon Tappertit.
'Why, isn't a man allowed to regale himself, noble captain,'
retorted his lieutenant, parting the men who stood between them,
with his knife, that he might see him,--'to regale himself a little
bit after such work as mine? What a hard captain! What a strict
captain! What a tyrannical captain! Ha ha ha!'
'I wish one of you fellers would hold a bottle to his mouth to keep
him quiet,' said Simon, 'unless you want the military to be down
'And what if they are down upon us!' retorted Hugh. 'Who cares?
Who's afraid? Let 'em come, I say, let 'em come. The more, the
merrier. Give me bold Barnaby at my side, and we two will settle
the military, without troubling any of you. Barnaby's the man for
the military. Barnaby's health!'
But as the majority of those present were by no means anxious for
a second engagement that night, being already weary and exhausted,
they sided with Mr Tappertit, and pressed him to make haste with
his supper, for they had already delayed too long. Knowing, even
in the height of his frenzy, that they incurred great danger by
lingering so near the scene of the late outrages, Hugh made an end
of his meal without more remonstrance, and rising, stepped up to Mr
Tappertit, and smote him on the back.
'Now then,' he cried, 'I'm ready. There are brave birds inside
this cage, eh? Delicate birds,--tender, loving, little doves. I
caged 'em--I caged 'em--one more peep!'
He thrust the little man aside as he spoke, and mounting on the
steps, which were half let down, pulled down the blind by force,
and stared into the chaise like an ogre into his larder.
'Ha ha ha! and did you scratch, and pinch, and struggle, pretty
mistress?' he cried, as he grasped a little hand that sought in
vain to free itself from his grip: 'you, so bright-eyed, and
cherry-lipped, and daintily made? But I love you better for it,
mistress. Ay, I do. You should stab me and welcome, so that it
pleased you, and you had to cure me afterwards. I love to see you
proud and scornful. It makes you handsomer than ever; and who so
handsome as you at any time, my pretty one!'
'Come!' said Mr Tappertit, who had waited during this speech with
considerable impatience. 'There's enough of that. Come down.'
The little hand seconded this admonition by thrusting Hugh's great
head away with all its force, and drawing up the blind, amidst his
noisy laughter, and vows that he must have another look, for the
last glimpse of that sweet face had provoked him past all bearing.
However, as the suppressed impatience of the party now broke out
into open murmurs, he abandoned this design, and taking his seat
upon the bar, contented himself with tapping at the front windows
of the carriage, and trying to steal a glance inside; Mr Tappertit,
mounting the steps and hanging on by the door, issued his
directions to the driver with a commanding voice and attitude; the
rest got up behind, or ran by the side of the carriage, as they
could; some, in imitation of Hugh, endeavoured to see the face he
had praised so highly, and were reminded of their impertinence by
hints from the cudgel of Mr Tappertit. Thus they pursued their
journey by circuitous and winding roads; preserving, except when
they halted to take breath, or to quarrel about the best way of
reaching London, pretty good order and tolerable silence.
In the mean time, Dolly--beautiful, bewitching, captivating little
Dolly--her hair dishevelled, her dress torn, her dark eyelashes wet
with tears, her bosom heaving--her face, now pale with fear, now
crimsoned with indignation--her whole self a hundred times more
beautiful in this heightened aspect than ever she had been before--
vainly strove to comfort Emma Haredale, and to impart to her the
consolation of which she stood in so much need herself. The
soldiers were sure to come; they must be rescued; it would be
impossible to convey them through the streets of London when they
set the threats of their guards at defiance, and shrieked to the
passengers for help. If they did this when they came into the more
frequented ways, she was certain--she was quite certain--they must
be released. So poor Dolly said, and so poor Dolly tried to think;
but the invariable conclusion of all such arguments was, that Dolly
burst into tears; cried, as she wrung her hands, what would they do
or think, or who would comfort them, at home, at the Golden Key;
and sobbed most piteously.
Miss Haredale, whose feelings were usually of a quieter kind than
Dolly's, and not so much upon the surface, was dreadfully
alarmed, and indeed had only just recovered from a swoon. She was
very pale, and the hand which Dolly held was quite cold; but she
bade her, nevertheless, remember that, under Providence, much must
depend upon their own discretion; that if they remained quiet and
lulled the vigilance of the ruffians into whose hands they had
fallen, the chances of their being able to procure assistance when
they reached the town, were very much increased; that unless
society were quite unhinged, a hot pursuit must be immediately
commenced; and that her uncle, she might be sure, would never rest
until he had found them out and rescued them. But as she said
these latter words, the idea that he had fallen in a general
massacre of the Catholics that night--no very wild or improbable
supposition after what they had seen and undergone--struck her
dumb; and, lost in the horrors they had witnessed, and those they
might be yet reserved for, she sat incapable of thought, or speech,
or outward show of grief: as rigid, and almost as white and cold,
Oh, how many, many times, in that long ride, did Dolly think of her
old lover,--poor, fond, slighted Joe! How many, many times, did
she recall that night when she ran into his arms from the very man
now projecting his hateful gaze into the darkness where she sat,
and leering through the glass in monstrous admiration! And when
she thought of Joe, and what a brave fellow he was, and how he
would have rode boldly up, and dashed in among these villains now,
yes, though they were double the number--and here she clenched her
little hand, and pressed her foot upon the ground--the pride she
felt for a moment in having won his heart, faded in a burst of
tears, and she sobbed more bitterly than ever.
As the night wore on, and they proceeded by ways which were quite
unknown to them--for they could recognise none of the objects of
which they sometimes caught a hurried glimpse--their fears
increased; nor were they without good foundation; it was not
difficult for two beautiful young women to find, in their being
borne they knew not whither by a band of daring villains who eyed
them as some among these fellows did, reasons for the worst alarm.
When they at last entered London, by a suburb with which they were
wholly unacquainted, it was past midnight, and the streets were
dark and empty. Nor was this the worst, for the carriage stopping
in a lonely spot, Hugh suddenly opened the door, jumped in, and
took his seat between them.
It was in vain they cried for help. He put his arm about the neck
of each, and swore to stifle them with kisses if they were not as
silent as the grave.
'I come here to keep you quiet,' he said, 'and that's the means I
shall take. So don't be quiet, pretty mistresses--make a noise--
do--and I shall like it all the better.'
They were proceeding at a rapid pace, and apparently with fewer
attendants than before, though it was so dark (the torches being
extinguished) that this was mere conjecture. They shrunk from his
touch, each into the farthest corner of the carriage; but shrink as
Dolly would, his arm encircled her waist, and held her fast. She
neither cried nor spoke, for terror and disgust deprived her of the
power; but she plucked at his hand as though she would die in the
effort to disengage herself; and crouching on the ground, with her
head averted and held down, repelled him with a strength she
wondered at as much as he. The carriage stopped again.
'Lift this one out,' said Hugh to the man who opened the door, as
he took Miss Haredale's hand, and felt how heavily it fell. 'She's
'So much the better,' growled Dennis--it was that amiable
gentleman. 'She's quiet. I always like 'em to faint, unless
they're very tender and composed.'
'Can you take her by yourself?' asked Hugh.
'I don't know till I try. I ought to be able to; I've lifted up a
good many in my time,' said the hangman. 'Up then! She's no small
weight, brother; none of these here fine gals are. Up again! Now
we have her.'
Having by this time hoisted the young lady into his arms, he
staggered off with his burden.
'Look ye, pretty bird,' said Hugh, drawing Dolly towards him.
'Remember what I told you--a kiss for every cry. Scream, if you
love me, darling. Scream once, mistress. Pretty mistress, only
once, if you love me.'
Thrusting his face away with all her force, and holding down her
head, Dolly submitted to be carried out of the chaise, and borne
after Miss Haredale into a miserable cottage, where Hugh, after
hugging her to his breast, set her gently down upon the floor.
Poor Dolly! Do what she would, she only looked the better for it,
and tempted them the more. When her eyes flashed angrily, and her
ripe lips slightly parted, to give her rapid breathing vent, who
could resist it? When she wept and sobbed as though her heart
would break, and bemoaned her miseries in the sweetest voice that
ever fell upon a listener's ear, who could be insensible to the
little winning pettishness which now and then displayed itself,
even in the sincerity and earnestness of her grief? When,
forgetful for a moment of herself, as she was now, she fell on her
knees beside her friend, and bent over her, and laid her cheek to
hers, and put her arms about her, what mortal eyes could have
avoided wandering to the delicate bodice, the streaming hair, the
neglected dress, the perfect abandonment and unconsciousness of the
blooming little beauty? Who could look on and see her lavish
caresses and endearments, and not desire to be in Emma Haredale's
place; to be either her or Dolly; either the hugging or the hugged?
Not Hugh. Not Dennis.
'I tell you what it is, young women,' said Mr Dennis, 'I an't much
of a lady's man myself, nor am I a party in the present business
further than lending a willing hand to my friends: but if I see
much more of this here sort of thing, I shall become a principal
instead of a accessory. I tell you candid.'
'Why have you brought us here?' said Emma. 'Are we to be
'Murdered!' cried Dennis, sitting down upon a stool, and regarding
her with great favour. 'Why, my dear, who'd murder sich
chickabiddies as you? If you was to ask me, now, whether you was
brought here to be married, there might be something in it.'
And here he exchanged a grin with Hugh, who removed his eyes from
Dolly for the purpose.
'No, no,' said Dennis, 'there'll be no murdering, my pets. Nothing
of that sort. Quite the contrairy.'
'You are an older man than your companion, sir,' said Emma,
trembling. 'Have you no pity for us? Do you not consider that we
'I do indeed, my dear,' retorted Dennis. 'It would be very hard
not to, with two such specimens afore my eyes. Ha ha! Oh yes , I
consider that. We all consider that, miss.'
He shook his head waggishly, leered at Hugh again, and laughed very
much, as if he had said a noble thing, and rather thought he was
'There'll be no murdering, my dear. Not a bit on it. I tell you
what though, brother,' said Dennis, cocking his hat for the
convenience of scratching his head, and looking gravely at Hugh,
'it's worthy of notice, as a proof of the amazing equalness and
dignity of our law, that it don't make no distinction between men
and women. I've heerd the judge say, sometimes, to a highwayman or
housebreaker as had tied the ladies neck and heels--you'll excuse
me making mention of it, my darlings--and put 'em in a cellar, that
he showed no consideration to women. Now, I say that there judge
didn't know his business, brother; and that if I had been that
there highwayman or housebreaker, I should have made answer: "What
are you a talking of, my lord? I showed the women as much
consideration as the law does, and what more would you have me do?"
If you was to count up in the newspapers the number of females as
have been worked off in this here city alone, in the last ten
year,' said Mr Dennis thoughtfully, 'you'd be surprised at the
total--quite amazed, you would. There's a dignified and equal
thing; a beautiful thing! But we've no security for its lasting.
Now that they've begun to favour these here Papists, I shouldn't
wonder if they went and altered even THAT, one of these days. Upon
my soul, I shouldn't.'
The subject, perhaps from being of too exclusive and professional a
nature, failed to interest Hugh as much as his friend had
anticipated. But he had no time to pursue it, for at this crisis
Mr Tappertit entered precipitately; at sight of whom Dolly uttered
a scream of joy, and fairly threw herself into his arms.
'I knew it, I was sure of it!' cried Dolly. 'My dear father's at
the door. Thank God, thank God! Bless you, Sim. Heaven bless you
Simon Tappertit, who had at first implicitly believed that the
locksmith's daughter, unable any longer to suppress her secret
passion for himself, was about to give it full vent in its
intensity, and to declare that she was his for ever, looked
extremely foolish when she said these words;--the more so, as they
were received by Hugh and Dennis with a loud laugh, which made her
draw back, and regard him with a fixed and earnest look.
'Miss Haredale,' said Sim, after a very awkward silence, 'I hope
you're as comfortable as circumstances will permit of. Dolly
Varden, my darling--my own, my lovely one--I hope YOU'RE pretty
Poor little Dolly! She saw how it was; hid her face in her hands;
and sobbed more bitterly than ever.
'You meet in me, Miss V.,' said Simon, laying his hand upon his
breast, 'not a 'prentice, not a workman, not a slave, not the
wictim of your father's tyrannical behaviour, but the leader of a
great people, the captain of a noble band, in which these gentlemen
are, as I may say, corporals and serjeants. You behold in me, not
a private individual, but a public character; not a mender of
locks, but a healer of the wounds of his unhappy country. Dolly
V., sweet Dolly V., for how many years have I looked forward to
this present meeting! For how many years has it been my intention
to exalt and ennoble you! I redeem it. Behold in me, your
husband. Yes, beautiful Dolly--charmer--enslaver--S. Tappertit is
all your own!'
As he said these words he advanced towards her. Dolly retreated
till she could go no farther, and then sank down upon the floor.
Thinking it very possible that this might be maiden modesty, Simon
essayed to raise her; on which Dolly, goaded to desperation, wound
her hands in his hair, and crying out amidst her tears that he was
a dreadful little wretch, and always had been, shook, and pulled,
and beat him, until he was fain to call for help, most lustily.
Hugh had never admired her half so much as at that moment.
'She's in an excited state to-night,' said Simon, as he smoothed
his rumpled feathers, 'and don't know when she's well off. Let her
be by herself till to-morrow, and that'll bring her down a little.
Carry her into the next house!'
Hugh had her in his arms directly. It might be that Mr Tappertit's
heart was really softened by her distress, or it might be that he
felt it in some degree indecorous that his intended bride should be
struggling in the grasp of another man. He commanded him, on
second thoughts, to put her down again, and looked moodily on as
she flew to Miss Haredale's side, and clinging to her dress, hid
her flushed face in its folds.
'They shall remain here together till to-morrow,' said Simon, who
had now quite recovered his dignity--'till to-morrow. Come away!'
'Ay!' cried Hugh. 'Come away, captain. Ha ha ha!'
'What are you laughing at?' demanded Simon sternly.
'Nothing, captain, nothing,' Hugh rejoined; and as he spoke, and
clapped his hand upon the shoulder of the little man, he laughed
again, for some unknown reason, with tenfold violence.
Mr Tappertit surveyed him from head to foot with lofty scorn (this
only made him laugh the more), and turning to the prisoners, said:
'You'll take notice, ladies, that this place is well watched on
every side, and that the least noise is certain to be attended with
unpleasant consequences. You'll hear--both of you--more of our
intentions to-morrow. In the mean time, don't show yourselves at
the window, or appeal to any of the people you may see pass it; for
if you do, it'll be known directly that you come from a Catholic
house, and all the exertions our men can make, may not be able to
save your lives.'
With this last caution, which was true enough, he turned to the
door, followed by Hugh and Dennis. They paused for a moment, going
out, to look at them clasped in each other's arms, and then left
the cottage; fastening the door, and setting a good watch upon it,
and indeed all round the house.
'I say,' growled Dennis, as they walked away in company, 'that's a
dainty pair. Muster Gashford's one is as handsome as the other,
'Hush!' said Hugh, hastily. 'Don't you mention names. It's a bad
'I wouldn't like to be HIM, then (as you don't like names), when he
breaks it out to her; that's all,' said Dennis. 'She's one of them
fine, black-eyed, proud gals, as I wouldn't trust at such times
with a knife too near 'em. I've seen some of that sort, afore now.
I recollect one that was worked off, many year ago--and there was a
gentleman in that case too--that says to me, with her lip a
trembling, but her hand as steady as ever I see one: "Dennis, I'm
near my end, but if I had a dagger in these fingers, and he was
within my reach, I'd strike him dead afore me;"--ah, she did--and
she'd have done it too!'
Strike who dead?' demanded Hugh.
'How should I know, brother?' answered Dennis. 'SHE never said;
Hugh looked, for a moment, as though he would have made some
further inquiry into this incoherent recollection; but Simon
Tappertit, who had been meditating deeply, gave his thoughts a new
'Hugh!' said Sim. 'You have done well to-day. You shall be
rewarded. So have you, Dennis.--There's no young woman YOU want to
carry off, is there?'
'N--no,' returned that gentleman, stroking his grizzly beard, which
was some two inches long. 'None in partickler, I think.'
'Very good,' said Sim; 'then we'll find some other way of making it
up to you. As to you, old boy'--he turned to Hugh--'you shall have
Miggs (her that I promised you, you know) within three days. Mind.
I pass my word for it.'
Hugh thanked him heartily; and as he did so, his laughing fit
returned with such violence that he was obliged to hold his side
with one hand, and to lean with the other on the shoulder of his
small captain, without whose support he would certainly have rolled
upon the ground.
The three worthies turned their faces towards The Boot, with the
intention of passing the night in that place of rendezvous, and of
seeking the repose they so much needed in the shelter of their old
den; for now that the mischief and destruction they had purposed
were achieved, and their prisoners were safely bestowed for the
night, they began to be conscious of exhaustion, and to feel the
wasting effects of the madness which had led to such deplorable
Notwithstanding the lassitude and fatigue which oppressed him now,
in common with his two companions, and indeed with all who had
taken an active share in that night's work, Hugh's boisterous
merriment broke out afresh whenever he looked at Simon Tappertit,
and vented itself--much to that gentleman's indignation--in such
shouts of laughter as bade fair to bring the watch upon them, and
involve them in a skirmish, to which in their present worn-out
condition they might prove by no means equal. Even Mr Dennis, who
was not at all particular on the score of gravity or dignity, and
who had a great relish for his young friend's eccentric humours,
took occasion to remonstrate with him on this imprudent behaviour,
which he held to be a species of suicide, tantamount to a man's
working himself off without being overtaken by the law, than which
he could imagine nothing more ridiculous or impertinent.
Not abating one jot of his noisy mirth for these remonstrances,
Hugh reeled along between them, having an arm of each, until they
hove in sight of The Boot, and were within a field or two of that
convenient tavern. He happened by great good luck to have roared
and shouted himself into silence by this time. They were
proceeding onward without noise, when a scout who had been creeping
about the ditches all night, to warn any stragglers from
encroaching further on what was now such dangerous ground, peeped
cautiously from his hiding-place, and called to them to stop.
'Stop! and why?' said Hugh.
Because (the scout replied) the house was filled with constables
and soldiers; having been surprised that afternoon. The inmates
had fled or been taken into custody, he could not say which. He
had prevented a great many people from approaching nearer, and he
believed they had gone to the markets and such places to pass the
night. He had seen the distant fires, but they were all out now.
He had heard the people who passed and repassed, speaking of them
too, and could report that the prevailing opinion was one of
apprehension and dismay. He had not heard a word of Barnaby--
didn't even know his name--but it had been said in his hearing that
some man had been taken and carried off to Newgate. Whether this
was true or false, he could not affirm.
The three took counsel together, on hearing this, and debated what
it might be best to do. Hugh, deeming it possible that Barnaby was
in the hands of the soldiers, and at that moment under detention at
The Boot, was for advancing stealthily, and firing the house; but
his companions, who objected to such rash measures unless they had
a crowd at their backs, represented that if Barnaby were taken he
had assuredly been removed to a stronger prison; they would never
have dreamed of keeping him all night in a place so weak and open
to attack. Yielding to this reasoning, and to their persuasions,
Hugh consented to turn back and to repair to Fleet Market; for
which place, it seemed, a few of their boldest associates had
shaped their course, on receiving the same intelligence.
Feeling their strength recruited and their spirits roused, now that
there was a new necessity for action, they hurried away, quite
forgetful of the fatigue under which they had been sinking but a
few minutes before; and soon arrived at their new place of
Fleet Market, at that time, was a long irregular row of wooden
sheds and penthouses, occupying the centre of what is now called
Farringdon Street. They were jumbled together in a most unsightly
fashion, in the middle of the road; to the great obstruction of the
thoroughfare and the annoyance of passengers, who were fain to make
their way, as they best could, among carts, baskets, barrows,
trucks, casks, bulks, and benches, and to jostle with porters,
hucksters, waggoners, and a motley crowd of buyers, sellers, pick-
pockets, vagrants, and idlers. The air was perfumed with the
stench of rotten leaves and faded fruit; the refuse of the
butchers' stalls, and offal and garbage of a hundred kinds. It was
indispensable to most public conveniences in those days, that they
should be public nuisances likewise; and Fleet Market maintained
the principle to admiration.
To this place, perhaps because its sheds and baskets were a
tolerable substitute for beds, or perhaps because it afforded the
means of a hasty barricade in case of need, many of the rioters had
straggled, not only that night, but for two or three nights before.
It was now broad day, but the morning being cold, a group of them
were gathered round a fire in a public-house, drinking hot purl,
and smoking pipes, and planning new schemes for to-morrow.
Hugh and his two friends being known to most of these men, were
received with signal marks of approbation, and inducted into the
most honourable seats. The room-door was closed and fastened to
keep intruders at a distance, and then they proceeded to exchange
'The soldiers have taken possession of The Boot, I hear,' said
Hugh. 'Who knows anything about it?'
Several cried that they did; but the majority of the company
having been engaged in the assault upon the Warren, and all
present having been concerned in one or other of the night's
expeditions, it proved that they knew no more than Hugh himself;
having been merely warned by each other, or by the scout, and
knowing nothing of their own knowledge.
'We left a man on guard there to-day,' said Hugh, looking round
him, 'who is not here. You know who it is--Barnaby, who brought
the soldier down, at Westminster. Has any man seen or heard of
They shook their heads, and murmured an answer in the negative, as
each man looked round and appealed to his fellow; when a noise was
heard without, and a man was heard to say that he wanted Hugh--that
he must see Hugh.
'He is but one man,' cried Hugh to those who kept the door; 'let
him come in.'
'Ay, ay!' muttered the others. 'Let him come in. Let him come
The door was accordingly unlocked and opened. A one-armed man,
with his head and face tied up with a bloody cloth, as though he
had been severely beaten, his clothes torn, and his remaining hand
grasping a thick stick, rushed in among them, and panting for
breath, demanded which was Hugh.
'Here he is,' replied the person he inquired for. 'I am Hugh.
What do you want with me?'
'I have a message for you,' said the man. 'You know one Barnaby.'
'What of him? Did he send the message?'
'Yes. He's taken. He's in one of the strong cells in Newgate. He
defended himself as well as he could, but was overpowered by
numbers. That's his message.'
'When did you see him?' asked Hugh, hastily.
'On his way to prison, where he was taken by a party of soldiers.
They took a by-road, and not the one we expected. I was one of
the few who tried to rescue him, and he called to me, and told me
to tell Hugh where he was. We made a good struggle, though it
failed. Look here!'
He pointed to his dress and to his bandaged head, and still panting
for breath, glanced round the room; then faced towards Hugh again.
'I know you by sight,' he said, 'for I was in the crowd on Friday,
and on Saturday, and yesterday, but I didn't know your name.
You're a bold fellow, I know. So is he. He fought like a lion
tonight, but it was of no use. I did my best, considering that I
want this limb.'
Again he glanced inquisitively round the room or seemed to do so,
for his face was nearly hidden by the bandage--and again facing
sharply towards Hugh, grasped his stick as if he half expected to
be set upon, and stood on the defensive.
If he had any such apprehension, however, he was speedily reassured
by the demeanour of all present. None thought of the bearer of the
tidings. He was lost in the news he brought. Oaths, threats, and
execrations, were vented on all sides. Some cried that if they
bore this tamely, another day would see them all in jail; some,
that they should have rescued the other prisoners, and this would
not have happened. One man cried in a loud voice, 'Who'll follow
me to Newgate!' and there was a loud shout and general rush towards
But Hugh and Dennis stood with their backs against it, and kept
them back, until the clamour had so far subsided that their voices
could be heard, when they called to them together that to go now,
in broad day, would be madness; and that if they waited until night
and arranged a plan of attack, they might release, not only their
own companions, but all the prisoners, and burn down the jail.
'Not that jail alone,' cried Hugh, 'but every jail in London. They
shall have no place to put their prisoners in. We'll burn them all
down; make bonfires of them every one! Here!' he cried, catching
at the hangman's hand. 'Let all who're men here, join with us.
Shake hands upon it. Barnaby out of jail, and not a jail left
standing! Who joins?'
Every man there. And they swore a great oath to release their
friends from Newgate next night; to force the doors and burn the
jail; or perish in the fire themselves.
On that same night--events so crowd upon each other in convulsed
and distracted times, that more than the stirring incidents of a
whole life often become compressed into the compass of four-and-
twenty hours--on that same night, Mr Haredale, having strongly
bound his prisoner, with the assistance of the sexton, and forced
him to mount his horse, conducted him to Chigwell; bent upon
procuring a conveyance to London from that place, and carrying him
at once before a justice. The disturbed state of the town would
be, he knew, a sufficient reason for demanding the murderer's
committal to prison before daybreak, as no man could answer for the
security of any of the watch-houses or ordinary places of
detention; and to convey a prisoner through the streets when the
mob were again abroad, would not only be a task of great danger and
hazard, but would be to challenge an attempt at rescue. Directing
the sexton to lead the horse, he walked close by the murderer's
side, and in this order they reached the village about the middle
of the night.
The people were all awake and up, for they were fearful of being
burnt in their beds, and sought to comfort and assure each other by
watching in company. A few of the stoutest-hearted were armed and
gathered in a body on the green. To these, who knew him well, Mr
Haredale addressed himself, briefly narrating what had happened,
and beseeching them to aid in conveying the criminal to London
before the dawn of day.
But not a man among them dared to help him by so much as the motion
of a finger. The rioters, in their passage through the village,
had menaced with their fiercest vengeance, any person who should
aid in extinguishing the fire, or render the least assistance to
him, or any Catholic whomsoever. Their threats extended to their
lives and all they possessed. They were assembled for their own
protection, and could not endanger themselves by lending any aid to
him. This they told him, not without hesitation and regret, as
they kept aloof in the moonlight and glanced fearfully at the
ghostly rider, who, with his head drooping on his breast and his
hat slouched down upon his brow, neither moved nor spoke.
Finding it impossible to persuade them, and indeed hardly knowing
how to do so after what they had seen of the fury of the crowd, Mr
Haredale besought them that at least they would leave him free to
act for himself, and would suffer him to take the only chaise and
pair of horses that the place afforded. This was not acceded to
without some difficulty, but in the end they told him to do what he
would, and go away from them in heaven's name.
Leaving the sexton at the horse's bridle, he drew out the chaise
with his own hands, and would have harnessed the horses, but that
the post-boy of the village--a soft-hearted, good-for-nothing,
vagabond kind of fellow--was moved by his earnestness and passion,
and, throwing down a pitchfork with which he was armed, swore that
the rioters might cut him into mincemeat if they liked, but he
would not stand by and see an honest gentleman who had done no
wrong, reduced to such extremity, without doing what he could to
help him. Mr Haredale shook him warmly by the hand, and thanked
him from his heart. In five minutes' time the chaise was ready,
and this good scapegrace in his saddle. The murderer was put
inside, the blinds were drawn up, the sexton took his seat upon the
bar, Mr Haredale mounted his horse and rode close beside the door;
and so they started in the dead of night, and in profound silence,
The consternation was so extreme that even the horses which had
escaped the flames at the Warren, could find no friends to shelter
them. They passed them on the road, browsing on the stunted grass;
and the driver told them, that the poor beasts had wandered to the
village first, but had been driven away, lest they should bring
the vengeance of the crowd on any of the inhabitants.
Nor was this feeling confined to such small places, where the
people were timid, ignorant, and unprotected. When they came near
London they met, in the grey light of morning, more than one poor
Catholic family who, terrified by the threats and warnings of
their neighbours, were quitting the city on foot, and who told them
they could hire no cart or horse for the removal of their goods,
and had been compelled to leave them behind, at the mercy of the
crowd. Near Mile End they passed a house, the master of which, a
Catholic gentleman of small means, having hired a waggon to remove
his furniture by midnight, had had it all brought down into the
street, to wait the vehicle's arrival, and save time in the
packing. But the man with whom he made the bargain, alarmed by the
fires that night, and by the sight of the rioters passing his
door, had refused to keep it: and the poor gentleman, with his wife
and servant and their little children, were sitting trembling among
their goods in the open street, dreading the arrival of day and not
knowing where to turn or what to do.
It was the same, they heard, with the public conveyances. The
panic was so great that the mails and stage-coaches were afraid to
carry passengers who professed the obnoxious religion. If the
drivers knew them, or they admitted that they held that creed, they
would not take them, no, though they offered large sums; and
yesterday, people had been afraid to recognise Catholic
acquaintance in the streets, lest they should be marked by spies,
and burnt out, as it was called, in consequence. One mild old man--
a priest, whose chapel was destroyed; a very feeble, patient,
inoffensive creature--who was trudging away, alone, designing to
walk some distance from town, and then try his fortune with the
coaches, told Mr Haredale that he feared he might not find a
magistrate who would have the hardihood to commit a prisoner to
jail, on his complaint. But notwithstanding these discouraging
accounts they went on, and reached the Mansion House soon after
Mr Haredale threw himself from his horse, but he had no need to
knock at the door, for it was already open, and there stood upon
the step a portly old man, with a very red, or rather purple face,
who with an anxious expression of countenance, was remonstrating
with some unseen personage upstairs, while the porter essayed to
close the door by degrees and get rid of him. With the intense
impatience and excitement natural to one in his condition, Mr
Haredale thrust himself forward and was about to speak, when the
fat old gentleman interposed:
'My good sir,' said he, 'pray let me get an answer. This is the
sixth time I have been here. I was here five times yesterday. My
house is threatened with destruction. It is to be burned down to-
night, and was to have been last night, but they had other business
on their hands. Pray let me get an answer.'
'My good sir,' returned Mr Haredale, shaking his head, 'my house
is burned to the ground. But heaven forbid that yours should be.
Get your answer. Be brief, in mercy to me.'
'Now, you hear this, my lord?'--said the old gentleman, calling up
the stairs, to where the skirt of a dressing-gown fluttered on the
landing-place. 'Here is a gentleman here, whose house was actually
burnt down last night.'
'Dear me, dear me,' replied a testy voice, 'I am very sorry for
it, but what am I to do? I can't build it up again. The chief
magistrate of the city can't go and be a rebuilding of people's
houses, my good sir. Stuff and nonsense!'
'But the chief magistrate of the city can prevent people's houses
from having any need to be rebuilt, if the chief magistrate's a
man, and not a dummy--can't he, my lord?' cried the old gentleman
in a choleric manner.
'You are disrespectable, sir,' said the Lord Mayor--'leastways,
disrespectful I mean.'
'Disrespectful, my lord!' returned the old gentleman. 'I was
respectful five times yesterday. I can't be respectful for ever.
Men can't stand on being respectful when their houses are going to
be burnt over their heads, with them in 'em. What am I to do, my
lord? AM I to have any protection!'
'I told you yesterday, sir,' said the Lord Mayor, 'that you might
have an alderman in your house, if you could get one to come.'
'What the devil's the good of an alderman?' returned the choleric
'--To awe the crowd, sir,' said the Lord Mayor.
'Oh Lord ha' mercy!' whimpered the old gentleman, as he wiped his
forehead in a state of ludicrous distress, 'to think of sending an
alderman to awe a crowd! Why, my lord, if they were even so many
babies, fed on mother's milk, what do you think they'd care for an
alderman! Will YOU come?'
'I!' said the Lord Mayor, most emphatically: 'Certainly not.'
'Then what,' returned the old gentleman, 'what am I to do? Am I a
citizen of England? Am I to have the benefit of the laws? Am I to
have any return for the King's taxes?'
'I don't know, I am sure,' said the Lord Mayor; 'what a pity it is
you're a Catholic! Why couldn't you be a Protestant, and then you
wouldn't have got yourself into such a mess? I'm sure I don't know
what's to be done.--There are great people at the bottom of these
riots.--Oh dear me, what a thing it is to be a public character!--
You must look in again in the course of the day.--Would a javelin-
man do?--Or there's Philips the constable,--HE'S disengaged,--he's
not very old for a man at his time of life, except in his legs, and
if you put him up at a window he'd look quite young by candle-
light, and might frighten 'em very much.--Oh dear!--well!--we'll
see about it.'
'Stop!' cried Mr Haredale, pressing the door open as the porter
strove to shut it, and speaking rapidly, 'My Lord Mayor, I beg you
not to go away. I have a man here, who committed a murder eight-
and-twenty years ago. Half-a-dozen words from me, on oath, will
justify you in committing him to prison for re-examination. I only
seek, just now, to have him consigned to a place of safety. The
least delay may involve his being rescued by the rioters.'
'Oh dear me!' cried the Lord Mayor. 'God bless my soul--and body--
oh Lor!--well I!--there are great people at the bottom of these
riots, you know.--You really mustn't.'
'My lord,' said Mr Haredale, 'the murdered gentleman was my
brother; I succeeded to his inheritance; there were not wanting
slanderous tongues at that time, to whisper that the guilt of this
most foul and cruel deed was mine--mine, who loved him, as he
knows, in Heaven, dearly. The time has come, after all these years
of gloom and misery, for avenging him, and bringing to light a
crime so artful and so devilish that it has no parallel. Every
second's delay on your part loosens this man's bloody hands again,
and leads to his escape. My lord, I charge you hear me, and
despatch this matter on the instant.'
'Oh dear me!' cried the chief magistrate; 'these an't business
hours, you know--I wonder at you--how ungentlemanly it is of you--
you mustn't--you really mustn't.--And I suppose you are a Catholic
'I am,' said Mr Haredale.
'God bless my soul, I believe people turn Catholics a'purpose to
vex and worrit me,' cried the Lord Mayor. 'I wish you wouldn't
come here; they'll be setting the Mansion House afire next, and we
shall have you to thank for it. You must lock your prisoner up,
sir--give him to a watchman--and--call again at a proper time.
Then we'll see about it!'
Before Mr Haredale could answer, the sharp closing of a door and
drawing of its bolts, gave notice that the Lord Mayor had retreated
to his bedroom, and that further remonstrance would be unavailing.
The two clients retreated likewise, and the porter shut them out
into the street.
'That's the way he puts me off,' said the old gentleman, 'I can
get no redress and no help. What are you going to do, sir?'
'To try elsewhere,' answered Mr Haredale, who was by this time on
'I feel for you, I assure you--and well I may, for we are in a
common cause,' said the old gentleman. 'I may not have a house to
offer you to-night; let me tender it while I can. On second
thoughts though,' he added, putting up a pocket-book he had
produced while speaking, 'I'll not give you a card, for if it was
found upon you, it might get you into trouble. Langdale--that's my
name--vintner and distiller--Holborn Hill--you're heartily welcome,
if you'll come.'
Mr Haredale bowed, and rode off, close beside the chaise as before;
determining to repair to the house of Sir John Fielding, who had
the reputation of being a bold and active magistrate, and fully
resolved, in case the rioters should come upon them, to do
execution on the murderer with his own hands, rather than suffer
him to be released.
They arrived at the magistrate's dwelling, however, without
molestation (for the mob, as we have seen, were then intent on
deeper schemes), and knocked at the door. As it had been pretty
generally rumoured that Sir John was proscribed by the rioters, a
body of thief-takers had been keeping watch in the house all night.
To one of them Mr Haredale stated his business, which appearing to
the man of sufficient moment to warrant his arousing the justice,
procured him an immediate audience.
No time was lost in committing the murderer to Newgate; then a new
building, recently completed at a vast expense, and considered to
be of enormous strength. The warrant being made out, three of the
thief-takers bound him afresh (he had been struggling, it seemed,
in the chaise, and had loosened his manacles); gagged him lest they
should meet with any of the mob, and he should call to them for
help; and seated themselves, along with him, in the carriage.
These men being all well armed, made a formidable escort; but they
drew up the blinds again, as though the carriage were empty, and
directed Mr Haredale to ride forward, that he might not attract
attention by seeming to belong to it.
The wisdom of this proceeding was sufficiently obvious, for as they
hurried through the city they passed among several groups of men,
who, if they had not supposed the chaise to be quite empty, would
certainly have stopped it. But those within keeping quite close,
and the driver tarrying to be asked no questions, they reached the
prison without interruption, and, once there, had him out, and safe
within its gloomy walls, in a twinkling.
With eager eyes and strained attention, Mr Haredale saw him
chained, and locked and barred up in his cell. Nay, when he had
left the jail, and stood in the free street, without, he felt the
iron plates upon the doors, with his hands, and drew them over the
stone wall, to assure himself that it was real; and to exult in its
being so strong, and rough, and cold. It was not until he turned
his back upon the jail, and glanced along the empty streets, so
lifeless and quiet in the bright morning, that he felt the weight
upon his heart; that he knew he was tortured by anxiety for those
he had left at home; and that home itself was but another bead in
the long rosary of his regrets.
The prisoner, left to himself, sat down upon his bedstead: and
resting his elbows on his knees, and his chin upon his hands,
remained in that attitude for hours. It would be hard to say, of
what nature his reflections were. They had no distinctness, and,
saving for some flashes now and then, no reference to his condition
or the train of circumstances by which it had been brought about.
The cracks in the pavement of his cell, the chinks in the wall
where stone was joined to stone, the bars in the window, the iron
ring upon the floor,--such things as these, subsiding strangely
into one another, and awakening an indescribable kind of interest
and amusement, engrossed his whole mind; and although at the bottom
of his every thought there was an uneasy sense of guilt, and dread
of death, he felt no more than that vague consciousness of it,
which a sleeper has of pain. It pursues him through his dreams,
gnaws at the heart of all his fancied pleasures, robs the banquet
of its taste, music of its sweetness, makes happiness itself
unhappy, and yet is no bodily sensation, but a phantom without
shape, or form, or visible presence; pervading everything, but
having no existence; recognisable everywhere, but nowhere seen, or
touched, or met with face to face, until the sleep is past, and
waking agony returns.
After a long time the door of his cell opened. He looked up; saw
the blind man enter; and relapsed into his former position.
Guided by his breathing, the visitor advanced to where he sat; and
stopping beside him, and stretching out his hand to assure himself
that he was right, remained, for a good space, silent.
'This is bad, Rudge. This is bad,' he said at length.
The prisoner shuffled with his feet upon the ground in turning his
body from him, but made no other answer.
'How were you taken?' he asked. 'And where? You never told me
more than half your secret. No matter; I know it now. How was it,
and where, eh?' he asked again, coming still nearer to him.
'At Chigwell,' said the other.
'At Chigwell! How came you there?'
'Because I went there to avoid the man I stumbled on,' he answered.
'Because I was chased and driven there, by him and Fate. Because I
was urged to go there, by something stronger than my own will.
When I found him watching in the house she used to live in, night
after night, I knew I never could escape him--never! and when I
heard the Bell--'
He shivered; muttered that it was very cold; paced quickly up and
down the narrow cell; and sitting down again, fell into his old
'You were saying,' said the blind man, after another pause, 'that
when you heard the Bell--'
'Let it be, will you?' he retorted in a hurried voice. 'It hangs
The blind man turned a wistful and inquisitive face towards him,
but he continued to speak, without noticing him.
'I went to Chigwell, in search of the mob. I have been so hunted
and beset by this man, that I knew my only hope of safety lay in
joining them. They had gone on before; I followed them when it
'When what left off?'
'The Bell. They had quitted the place. I hoped that some of them
might be still lingering among the ruins, and was searching for
them when I heard--' he drew a long breath, and wiped his forehead
with his sleeve--'his voice.'
'No matter what. I don't know. I was then at the foot of the
turret, where I did the--'
'Ay,' said the blind man, nodding his head with perfect composure,
'I climbed the stair, or so much of it as was left; meaning to hide
till he had gone. But he heard me; and followed almost as soon as
I set foot upon the ashes.'
'You might have hidden in the wall, and thrown him down, or stabbed
him,' said the blind man.
'Might I? Between that man and me, was one who led him on--I saw
it, though he did not--and raised above his head a bloody hand. It
was in the room above that HE and I stood glaring at each other on
the night of the murder, and before he fell he raised his hand like
that, and fixed his eyes on me. I knew the chase would end there.'
'You have a strong fancy,' said the blind man, with a smile.
'Strengthen yours with blood, and see what it will come to.'
He groaned, and rocked himself, and looking up for the first time,
said, in a low, hollow voice:
'Eight-and-twenty years! Eight-and-twenty years! He has never
changed in all that time, never grown older, nor altered in the
least degree. He has been before me in the dark night, and the
broad sunny day; in the twilight, the moonlight, the sunlight, the
light of fire, and lamp, and candle; and in the deepest gloom.
Always the same! In company, in solitude, on land, on shipboard;
sometimes leaving me alone for months, and sometimes always with
me. I have seen him, at sea, come gliding in the dead of night
along the bright reflection of the moon in the calm water; and I
have seen him, on quays and market-places, with his hand uplifted,
towering, the centre of a busy crowd, unconscious of the terrible
form that had its silent stand among them. Fancy! Are you real?
Am I? Are these iron fetters, riveted on me by the smith's hammer,
or are they fancies I can shatter at a blow?'
The blind man listened in silence.
'Fancy! Do I fancy that I killed him? Do I fancy that as I left
the chamber where he lay, I saw the face of a man peeping from a
dark door, who plainly showed me by his fearful looks that he
suspected what I had done? Do I remember that I spoke fairly to
him--that I drew nearer--nearer yet--with the hot knife in my
sleeve? Do I fancy how HE died? Did he stagger back into the
angle of the wall into which I had hemmed him, and, bleeding
inwardly, stand, not fail, a corpse before me? Did I see him, for
an instant, as I see you now, erect and on his feet--but dead!'
The blind man, who knew that he had risen, motioned him to sit down
again upon his bedstead; but he took no notice of the gesture.
'It was then I thought, for the first time, of fastening the murder
upon him. It was then I dressed him in my clothes, and dragged him
down the back-stairs to the piece of water. Do I remember
listening to the bubbles that came rising up when I had rolled him
in? Do I remember wiping the water from my face, and because the
body splashed it there, in its descent, feeling as if it MUST be
'Did I go home when I had done? And oh, my God! how long it took
to do! Did I stand before my wife, and tell her? Did I see her
fall upon the ground; and, when I stooped to raise her, did she
thrust me back with a force that cast me off as if I had been a
child, staining the hand with which she clasped my wrist? Is THAT
'Did she go down upon her knees, and call on Heaven to witness that
she and her unborn child renounced me from that hour; and did she,
in words so solemn that they turned me cold--me, fresh from the
horrors my own hands had made--warn me to fly while there was time;
for though she would be silent, being my wretched wife, she would
not shelter me? Did I go forth that night, abjured of God and man,
and anchored deep in hell, to wander at my cable's length about the
earth, and surely be drawn down at last?'
'Why did you return? said the blind man.
'Why is blood red? I could no more help it, than I could live
without breath. I struggled against the impulse, but I was drawn
back, through every difficult and adverse circumstance, as by a
mighty engine. Nothing could stop me. The day and hour were none
of my choice. Sleeping and waking, I had been among the old haunts
for years--had visited my own grave. Why did I come back? Because
this jail was gaping for me, and he stood beckoning at the door.'
'You were not known?' said the blind man.
'I was a man who had been twenty-two years dead. No. I was not
'You should have kept your secret better.'
'MY secret? MINE? It was a secret, any breath of air could
whisper at its will. The stars had it in their twinkling, the
water in its flowing, the leaves in their rustling, the seasons in
their return. It lurked in strangers' faces, and their voices.
Everything had lips on which it always trembled.--MY secret!'
'It was revealed by your own act at any rate,' said the blind man.
'The act was not mine. I did it, but it was not mine. I was
forced at times to wander round, and round, and round that spot.
If you had chained me up when the fit was on me, I should have
broken away, and gone there. As truly as the loadstone draws iron
towards it, so he, lying at the bottom of his grave, could draw me
near him when he would. Was that fancy? Did I like to go there,
or did I strive and wrestle with the power that forced me?'
The blind man shrugged his shoulders, and smiled incredulously.
The prisoner again resumed his old attitude, and for a long time
both were mute.
'I suppose then,' said his visitor, at length breaking silence,
'that you are penitent and resigned; that you desire to make peace
with everybody (in particular, with your wife who has brought you
to this); and that you ask no greater favour than to be carried to
Tyburn as soon as possible? That being the case, I had better take
my leave. I am not good enough to be company for you.'
'Have I not told you,' said the other fiercely, 'that I have
striven and wrestled with the power that brought me here? Has my
whole life, for eight-and-twenty years, been one perpetual
struggle and resistance, and do you think I want to lie down and
die? Do all men shrink from death--I most of all!'
'That's better said. That's better spoken, Rudge--but I'll not
call you that again--than anything you have said yet,' returned the
blind man, speaking more familiarly, and laying his hands upon his
arm. 'Lookye,--I never killed a man myself, for I have never been
placed in a position that made it worth my while. Farther, I am
not an advocate for killing men, and I don't think I should
recommend it or like it--for it's very hazardous--under any
circumstances. But as you had the misfortune to get into this
trouble before I made your acquaintance, and as you have been my
companion, and have been of use to me for a long time now, I
overlook that part of the matter, and am only anxious that you
shouldn't die unnecessarily. Now, I do not consider that, at
present, it is at all necessary.'
'What else is left me?' returned the prisoner. 'To eat my way
through these walls with my teeth?'
'Something easier than that,' returned his friend. 'Promise me
that you will talk no more of these fancies of yours--idle, foolish
things, quite beneath a man--and I'll tell you what I mean.'
'Tell me,' said the other.
'Your worthy lady with the tender conscience; your scrupulous,
virtuous, punctilious, but not blindly affectionate wife--'
'What of her?'
'Is now in London.'
'A curse upon her, be she where she may!'
'That's natural enough. If she had taken her annuity as usual, you
would not have been here, and we should have been better off. But
that's apart from the business. She's in London. Scared, as I
suppose, and have no doubt, by my representation when I waited upon
her, that you were close at hand (which I, of course, urged only as
an inducement to compliance, knowing that she was not pining to see
you), she left that place, and travelled up to London.'
'How do you know?'
'From my friend the noble captain--the illustrious general--the
bladder, Mr Tappertit. I learnt from him the last time I saw him,
which was yesterday, that your son who is called Barnaby--not after
his father, I suppose--'
'Death! does that matter now!'
'--You are impatient,' said the blind man, calmly; 'it's a good
sign, and looks like life--that your son Barnaby had been lured
away from her by one of his companions who knew him of old, at
Chigwell; and that he is now among the rioters.'
'And what is that to me? If father and son be hanged together,
what comfort shall I find in that?'
'Stay--stay, my friend,' returned the blind man, with a cunning
look, 'you travel fast to journeys' ends. Suppose I track my lady
out, and say thus much: "You want your son, ma'am--good. I,
knowing those who tempt him to remain among them, can restore him
to you, ma'am--good. You must pay a price, ma'am, for his
restoration--good again. The price is small, and easy to be paid--
dear ma'am, that's best of all."'
'What mockery is this?'
'Very likely, she may reply in those words. "No mockery at all," I
answer: "Madam, a person said to be your husband (identity is
difficult of proof after the lapse of many years) is in prison, his
life in peril--the charge against him, murder. Now, ma'am, your
husband has been dead a long, long time. The gentleman never can
be confounded with him, if you will have the goodness to say a few
words, on oath, as to when he died, and how; and that this person
(who I am told resembles him in some degree) is no more he than I
am. Such testimony will set the question quite at rest. Pledge
yourself to me to give it, ma' am, and I will undertake to keep
your son (a fine lad) out of harm's way until you have done this
trifling service, when he shall he delivered up to you, safe and
sound. On the other hand, if you decline to do so, I fear he will
be betrayed, and handed over to the law, which will assuredly
sentence him to suffer death. It is, in fact, a choice between his
life and death. If you refuse, he swings. If you comply, the
timber is not grown, nor the hemp sown, that shall do him any
'There is a gleam of hope in this!' cried the prisoner.
'A gleam!' returned his friend, 'a noon-blaze; a full and glorious
daylight. Hush! I hear the tread of distant feet. Rely on me.'
'When shall I hear more?'
'As soon as I do. I should hope, to-morrow. They are coming to
say that our time for talk is over. I hear the jingling of the
keys. Not another word of this just now, or they may overhear us.'
As he said these words, the lock was turned, and one of the prison
turnkeys appearing at the door, announced that it was time for
visitors to leave the jail.
'So soon!' said Stagg, meekly. 'But it can't be helped. Cheer up,
friend. This mistake will soon be set at rest, and then you are a
man again! If this charitable gentleman will lead a blind man (who
has nothing in return but prayers) to the prison-porch, and set him
with his face towards the west, he will do a worthy deed. Thank
you, good sir. I thank you very kindly.'
So saying, and pausing for an instant at the door to turn his
grinning face towards his friend, he departed.
When the officer had seen him to the porch, he returned, and again
unlocking and unbarring the door of the cell, set it wide open,
informing its inmate that he was at liberty to walk in the adjacent
yard, if he thought proper, for an hour.
The prisoner answered with a sullen nod; and being left alone
again, sat brooding over what he had heard, and pondering upon the
hopes the recent conversation had awakened; gazing abstractedly,
the while he did so, on the light without, and watching the shadows
thrown by one wall on another, and on the stone-paved ground.
It was a dull, square yard, made cold and gloomy by high walls, and
seeming to chill the very sunlight. The stone, so bare, and
rough, and obdurate, filled even him with longing thoughts of
meadow-land and trees; and with a burning wish to be at liberty.
As he looked, he rose, and leaning against the door-post, gazed up
at the bright blue sky, smiling even on that dreary home of crime.
He seemed, for a moment, to remember lying on his back in some
sweet-scented place, and gazing at it through moving branches, long
His attention was suddenly attracted by a clanking sound--he knew
what it was, for he had startled himself by making the same noise
in walking to the door. Presently a voice began to sing, and he
saw the shadow of a figure on the pavement. It stopped--was
silent all at once, as though the person for a moment had forgotten
where he was, but soon remembered--and so, with the same clanking
noise, the shadow disappeared.
He walked out into the court and paced it to and fro; startling the
echoes, as he went, with the harsh jangling of his fetters. There
was a door near his, which, like his, stood ajar.
He had not taken half-a-dozen turns up and down the yard, when,
standing still to observe this door, he heard the clanking sound
again. A face looked out of the grated window--he saw it very
dimly, for the cell was dark and the bars were heavy--and directly
afterwards, a man appeared, and came towards him.
For the sense of loneliness he had, he might have been in jail a
year. Made eager by the hope of companionship, he quickened his
pace, and hastened to meet the man half way--
What was this! His son!
They stood face to face, staring at each other. He shrinking and
cowed, despite himself; Barnahy struggling with his imperfect
memory, and wondering where he had seen that face before. He was
not uncertain long, for suddenly he laid hands upon him, and
striving to bear him to the ground, cried:
'Ah! I know! You are the robber!'
He said nothing in reply at first, but held down his head, and
struggled with him silently. Finding the younger man too strong
for him, he raised his face, looked close into his eyes, and said,
'I am your father.'
God knows what magic the name had for his ears; but Barnaby
released his hold, fell back, and looked at him aghast. Suddenly
he sprung towards him, put his arms about his neck, and pressed his
head against his cheek.
Yes, yes, he was; he was sure he was. But where had he been so
long, and why had he left his mother by herself, or worse than by
herself, with her poor foolish boy? And had she really been as
happy as they said? And where was she? Was she near there? She
was not happy now, and he in jail? Ah, no.
Not a word was said in answer; but Grip croaked loudly, and hopped
about them, round and round, as if enclosing them in a magic
circle, and invoking all the powers of mischief.
During the whole of this day, every regiment in or near the
metropolis was on duty in one or other part of the town; and the
regulars and militia, in obedience to the orders which were sent to
every barrack and station within twenty-four hours' journey, began
to pour in by all the roads. But the disturbance had attained to
such a formidable height, and the rioters had grown, with impunity,
to be so audacious, that the sight of this great force, continually
augmented by new arrivals, instead of operating as a check,
stimulated them to outrages of greater hardihood than any they had
yet committed; and helped to kindle a flame in London, the like of
which had never been beheld, even in its ancient and rebellious
All yesterday, and on this day likewise, the commander-in-chief
endeavoured to arouse the magistrates to a sense of their duty, and
in particular the Lord Mayor, who was the faintest-hearted and most
timid of them all. With this object, large bodies of the soldiery
were several times despatched to the Mansion House to await his
orders: but as he could, by no threats or persuasions, be induced
to give any, and as the men remained in the open street,
fruitlessly for any good purpose, and thrivingly for a very bad
one; these laudable attempts did harm rather than good. For the
crowd, becoming speedily acquainted with the Lord Mayor's temper,
did not fail to take advantage of it by boasting that even the
civil authorities were opposed to the Papists, and could not find
it in their hearts to molest those who were guilty of no other
offence. These vaunts they took care to make within the hearing of
the soldiers; and they, being naturally loth to quarrel with the
people, received their advances kindly enough: answering, when
they were asked if they desired to fire upon their countrymen, 'No,
they would be damned if they did;' and showing much honest
simplicity and good nature. The feeling that the military were No-
Popery men, and were ripe for disobeying orders and joining the
mob, soon became very prevalent in consequence. Rumours of their
disaffection, and of their leaning towards the popular cause,
spread from mouth to mouth with astonishing rapidity; and whenever
they were drawn up idly in the streets or squares, there was sure
to be a crowd about them, cheering and shaking hands, and treating
them with a great show of confidence and affection.
By this time, the crowd was everywhere; all concealment and
disguise were laid aside, and they pervaded the whole town. If
any man among them wanted money, he had but to knock at the door of
a dwelling-house, or walk into a shop, and demand it in the rioters
name; and his demand was instantly complied with. The peaceable
citizens being afraid to lay hands upon them, singly and alone, it
may be easily supposed that when gathered together in bodies, they
were perfectly secure from interruption. They assembled in the
streets, traversed them at their will and pleasure, and publicly
concerted their plans. Business was quite suspended; the greater
part of the shops were closed; most of the houses displayed a blue
flag in token of their adherence to the popular side; and even the
Jews in Houndsditch, Whitechapel, and those quarters, wrote upon
their doors or window-shutters, 'This House is a True Protestant.'
The crowd was the law, and never was the law held in greater dread,
or more implicitly obeyed.
It was about six o'clock in the evening, when a vast mob poured
into Lincoln's Inn Fields by every avenue, and divided--evidently
in pursuance of a previous design--into several parties. It must
not be understood that this arrangement was known to the whole
crowd, but that it was the work of a few leaders; who, mingling
with the men as they came upon the ground, and calling to them to
fall into this or that parry, effected it as rapidly as if it had
been determined on by a council of the whole number, and every man
had known his place.
It was perfectly notorious to the assemblage that the largest
body, which comprehended about two-thirds of the whole, was
designed for the attack on Newgate. It comprehended all the
rioters who had been conspicuous in any of their former
proceedings; all those whom they recommended as daring hands and
fit for the work; all those whose companions had been taken in the
riots; and a great number of people who were relatives or friends
of felons in the jail. This last class included, not only the most
desperate and utterly abandoned villains in London, but some who
were comparatively innocent. There was more than one woman there,
disguised in man's attire, and bent upon the rescue of a child or
brother. There were the two sons of a man who lay under sentence
of death, and who was to be executed along with three others, on
the next day but one. There was a great parry of boys whose
fellow-pickpockets were in the prison; and at the skirts of all,
a score of miserable women, outcasts from the world, seeking to
release some other fallen creature as miserable as themselves, or
moved by a general sympathy perhaps--God knows--with all who were
without hope, and wretched.
Old swords, and pistols without ball or powder; sledge-hammers,
knives, axes, saws, and weapons pillaged from the butchers' shops;
a forest of iron bars and wooden clubs; long ladders for scaling
the walls, each carried on the shoulders of a dozen men; lighted
torches; tow smeared with pitch, and tar, and brimstone; staves
roughly plucked from fence and paling; and even crutches taken from
crippled beggars in the streets; composed their arms. When all was
ready, Hugh and Dennis, with Simon Tappertit between them, led the
way. Roaring and chafing like an angry sea, the crowd pressed
Instead of going straight down Holborn to the jail, as all
expected, their leaders took the way to Clerkenwell, and pouring
down a quiet street, halted before a locksmith's house--the Golden
'Beat at the door,' cried Hugh to the men about him. 'We want one
of his craft to-night. Beat it in, if no one answers.'
The shop was shut. Both door and shutters were of a strong and
sturdy kind, and they knocked without effect. But the impatient
crowd raising a cry of 'Set fire to the house!' and torches being
passed to the front, an upper window was thrown open, and the stout
old locksmith stood before them.
'What now, you villains!' he demanded. 'Where is my daughter?'
'Ask no questions of us, old man,' retorted Hugh, waving his
comrades to be silent, 'but come down, and bring the tools of your
trade. We want you.'
'Want me!' cried the locksmith, glancing at the regimental dress he
wore: 'Ay, and if some that I could name possessed the hearts of
mice, ye should have had me long ago. Mark me, my lad--and you
about him do the same. There are a score among ye whom I see now
and know, who are dead men from this hour. Begone! and rob an
undertaker's while you can! You'll want some coffins before long.'
'Will you come down?' cried Hugh.
'Will you give me my daughter, ruffian?' cried the locksmith.
'I know nothing of her,' Hugh rejoined. 'Burn the door!'