时间：<2020-07-06 07:40:58 作者：eU461医院yo2 浏览量：9777
"I think you are doing well, Stephen, not to allow the idle vagabonds to house here any longer. By St. Nicholas! when these holes are stopped up, and the thatch is put to rights, and the casement whole, and a couple of hinges put to the door, it will be a place fit for any man. When I go home I will send my son Dick, and the knave Tom, to help you."
"I do.""Yes, my lord; but I was assured, that if he survived, their sinful intercourse would cease, and that by public penance they would strive to obtain forgiveness."
"Yes," replied Black Jack, "here they are," drawing a parchment from his pocket.
All was silence as the galleyman proceeded; labour had ceased, the evening repast was made, and many of the inhabitants of the village had already retired to rest. The evening was clear and cold, and the firmament was radiant with stars, the moon being only a few days old. By some strange impulse, the man who had so often gazed upon the far-spread beauty of an ocean sky, stood still for a moment here; and, by as strange a conceit, the silvery semicircle above, as it seemed, even in the crowd of lesser lights, brought to his mind the ever-smiling beauty of Lucy Hartwell. The wanderer lingered for a space—then hesitated—then turned suddenly—and, in less than five minutes, he had pushed open the hatch of old Hartwell's door and had entered boldly.
Calverley paused a moment gazing on the blanched beauty of the agitated girl, her cheek looking more pale from the moonlight that fell upon it; and then, in the soft insinuating tone he knew so well how to assume—"Aye, aye!" shouted the confederates, "that will do—that is the first thing that must be done."There was a momentary pause after the baron had ceased. Holgrave hesitated to reply;—he had denied the charge, and he knew not what else to say. But when every eye except Calverley's, from Roland de Boteler's to that of the lowest freeman present, was fixed on the accused, expecting his answer, a slight movement was observed among the people, and Edith Holgrave, supported by Hartwell, pressed forward, and stood on the step by the side of her son. The gaze was now in an instant turned from the son to the mother, and Edith, after pausing a moment to collect her faculties, said, in a loud voice—
In the motley crowd, of nearly sixty thousand men, the most conspicuous figure was, perhaps, John Leicester himself, cased in a complete suit of steel armour, (taken as lawful spoil from some castle in the route) waving in the sun a bright Damascus scimitar, while he gave directions, in an authoritative tone, to a peasant who was unloosing the trappings of a large black horse, from which Leicester had just alighted. Standing at a short distance from him, John Oakley, otherwise Jack Straw, formed an adjunct little less important in the picturesque of the scene. Unwilling to incumber himself with armour, his portly person was defended by a leathern jack, covered over with a thick quilting of crimson silk, dagger proof; and in this guise, he contrasted well with the monk clad in dark woollen, with whom he was engaged in conversation—although turning every now and then, his large blue eyes towards a tempting display of eatables and wine profusely spread under the shade of a tree. A cluster of formidable-looking men in tough leathern jacks, were laying aside their hand-bills and swords and dividing the contents of a large satchel. There was a group variously armed and accoutred, some wearing the shirt of mail with the yew-tree bow in their hands and quivers of arrows at their backs; and others in doublets of leather or freize, with swords, some rusty and some bright, or staves, or sharp-pointed clubs, or reaping hooks, or wood-knives.
Wat Turner, whose attention was anxiously fixed on the proceedings, now stept forward, and forcing his way till he stood opposite the Baron, demanded in a voice of mingled anger and supplication, "May I be heard, Baron De Boteler?""By St. Nicholas!" said Tyler, "they shan't have it all their own way there;" and the Kentish men made all haste to be first to commence the work of destruction; but ere they had left the burning house, the dark body of the division of the Essex men was seen pouring into the Strand by the wall of the Convent garden.
That afternoon, Richard was standing on a turret of the fortress, looking at the column of flame which still rose brightly from Lancaster palace, even above the heavy smoke and occasional sparklings which told elsewhere of the whereabout of the incendiaries.The excitement and enthusiasm, which had freed Holgrave, was still glowing in the breasts of the crowd, when a single horseman was observed on the summit of the hill at a short distance, galloping on with the fleetness of the wind. He was scarcely heeded at first, but when another and another, following with the same headlong speed, successively appeared, the attention of the people was arrested; and when the horse of the first rider, reeking with foam and sweat, sunk down, within a few yards of the mass, and the man, after struggling an instant, disengaged his legs and leaped in amongst them, exclaiming in a voice scarcely audible from agitation, "Save me! save me! save a poor debtor from prison!—from selling himself to pay his debts!—save me to work as a free man and pay all!"—the fever of excitement seemed to have reached its climax. Without considering an instant what manner of man he might be, they closed around him, and pressing the exhausted wretch towards the monk, vowed to resist to the death any attempts to arrest him. It was in vain that the pursuers, who had now come up, stated that the fugitive was not a debtor, but a notorious perjurer who had fled from Gloucester to avoid his trial: their assertions were not attended to. The populace felt, that in their united strength, they could protect as well as free; and it is almost a question if they would at the moment, have given up the man had his guilt been proved to a demonstration. However, as it was merely a matter of opinion which to believe,—the pursuers or the pursued, the result need scarcely be told; the fugitive was hedged round with men and weapons, and the horsemen, after uttering many an idle threat, rode on to Sudley Castle to call upon the steward to assist in his recapture. The accused marked their course; and, after breathing out the most fervent gratitude to his preservers, he approached John Ball, and, bending his head, said, in a subdued tone,Margaret bent her head forward and covered her face with her hands, but made no reply. In vain the monk reiterated his request. In vain he exhorted her—in vain he assured her that no evil should befal her husband from whatever disclosure she might make. Margaret still hid her face and remained silent. Her silence discomposed the monk. He continued to gaze upon her with a troubled countenance. Anger for the cruelty that could premeditatedly deprive a mother of her offspring, and alarm for the consequences that might result to Holgrave, could have been read in his contracted brow and anxious glance. His sister's unwillingness to speak confirmed his suspicions, and he felt as fully convinced that the child that lay before him was the baron's son as if he himself had witnessed the theft.
"No, no, mother," returned Holgrave, musing; "yet I would rather she should not go to the castle—I have seen more of the baron than you: and, besides, this Calverley——""Never mind that. As for me, I am not quite foundered, although I have left a cargo behind at Winchcombe that would have bought a dozen bondmen's freedom. Come with me to London: I have part of a galley of my own there, and you may either stow away in some hole of the city, or slip your cable, and be off for Genoa, where I'll promise you as snug a birth as a man could wish for. Besides, there is your child—is it a boy?""The royal Richard," returned father John, exultingly, "is but king of the commons; but the royal Richard is well served," he added, sarcastically, "by Simon Sudbury and the nobles, who leave their prince, in his peril, to hide them in holes and sanctuaries!"
"But what would ye have put in your own charter, Wat?" again asked Richard, endeavouring to draw the smith's attention from Newton.