时间：<2020-07-06 07:20:32 作者：uX台州五洲生殖医院yYH 浏览量：9777
But it would have been better for Giles to have left his wife to the mercy of uncharitable whisperers than have adopted this mode of justification. The first intimation of his indiscretion was signified by an order from the parish priest instantly to separate, and by public penance to merit absolution from the church. A month was allowed them. The four weeks elapsed, and the incorrigible pair were still living beneath the same roof; and, on the fifth Sunday, at St. Peter's, the parish church of Winchcombe, the congregation were assembled; the tapers lighted, and the missal opened. Some words were then said, acquainting the people with the crime of Giles and Jane, and cautioning them against holding any communication with such obdurate sinners. The bell was next rung—the book closed—the tapers were extinguished, and the incestuous pair pronounced accursed of God and man. This ceremony was performed thrice, and when the unfortunate Jane was seized with the pangs of child-birth, Gray, after having the doors of fifty houses shut in his face, as he implored assistance for his wife, was compelled to go to Campden, a distance of thirteen miles, to try what the force of nature might effect. There his application was not rejected; the aged mother, although her heart was breaking at the lost and degraded state of her youngest child, yet consented to accompany Gray; and disguising herself, that none might recognize her, hastened to Winchcombe.
"He shall be given up," repeated the monk; and then, clasping his hands upon his bosom, he descended the steps, strode through the hall, and, in less than a minute, re-appeared, leading in Margaret and the child, and followed by the galleyman.
"Oh, father! he is dying—the death-sweats are upon him! and can I, who brought him into sin, see him die under the curse of God? Oh, mercy, holy father! have pity upon him!—his soul is repentant—indeed it is! We have vowed, if he should recover, to part for ever—oh, come to him!"A murmur ran through the hall as the steward spoke; and Holgrave, exerting a momentary energy, stept forward, and, looking scornfully at his enemy—"My son," said she, "lay down your arms, I command. Should my life be offered up to the vengeful spirit of Thomas Calverley, who alone can be the foul author of this charge, it will be only taking from me a few short years—perhaps days—of suffering. But thou hast years of health and life before thee, and thou hast this gentle weeping creature to sustain."
"No," interrupted Calverley, in an assumed gruffness of tone, and with something more than his usual authoritativeness, "my journey is ended now. The king has recalled that writ of prohibition you were to deliver to the judge. You are to return the writ to me, and proceed with your other dispatches."
It was about midnight when the party set out, well armed and muffled in large cloaks, and in less than two hours arrived within view of Winchcombe. Here, without entering the town, they turned into a lane branching off to the left, that led to Hailes Abbey, and down this avenue the galleyman piloted his companions. The way was narrow—at least two only could ride abreast—with a hedge on each side, and here and there the picturesque branches of a well-grown elm, displaying at this season (in the daylight) the soft green of the budding leaves. They had proceeded in silence about half a mile, when the galleyman suddenly paused.
On her right hand rode her husband, clad in a tunic of fine cloth, in colour resembling the habit of his lady, and mounted on a dark, fiery charger, which with difficulty he could rein in to the slow pace of the palfrey. On the left of the lady Isabella was her brother, young Robert de Vere, and though but a boy, one might have read much in the lines of that countenance, of his future destiny. His smooth, dimpled chin, was small and round, and his mouth possessed that habitual smile, that softly beaming expression, which won for him in after years the regard of the superficial Richard; while there shone a fire in the full dark eyes, which betokened the ambitious spirit that was to animate the future lord of Dublin, and sovereign of Ireland.
About ten years before the commencement of our tale, a pale emaciated youth presented himself one morning at Sudley Castle, desiring the hospitality that was never denied to the stranger. Over his dress, which was of the coarse monks' cloth then generally worn by the religious, he wore a tattered cloak of the dark russet peculiar to the peasant. That day he was fed, and that night lodged at the castle; and the next morning, as he stood in a corner of the court-yard, apparently lost in reflection as to the course he should next adopt, the young Roland de Boteler, then a fine boy of fifteen, emerged from the stone arch-way of the stable mounted on a spirited charger. The glow on his cheek, the brightness of his eyes, and the youthful animation playing on his face, and ringing in the joyous tones of his voice, seemed to make the solitary dejected being, who looked as if he could claim neither kindred nor home, appear even more care-worn and friendless. The youth gazed at the young De Boteler, and ran after him as he rode through the gateway followed by two attendants."But what gale drove our worthy foreman here?"
Although, from the growth of the boy thus introduced, it might be judged he was about eight years, yet there was that sparkling vivacity, and that lightness of lip and eye which belong to an earlier age; and, as the wandering glance of the dark eye, and the smile of the red lip, met De Boteler's gaze, a tumultuous throbbing in his bosom told him that the child was indeed his own.
De Boteler's colour deepened as he made some hasty exclamation in reply, but the duties of hospitality were paramount at that moment, and shortly saying he would attend to him another time, Calverley retired.Just then a movement among the people was observed, and a man, hastily forcing his way through the yielding ranks, announced to the astonished smith, and yet more astonished monk, that Oakley had, by command of the prophet, made terms with the king, and that even now the Essex men had broke up their camp, and were marching homewards.
"He has escaped us!" shouted Tyler and the others, as, after casting a rapid glance around the empty apartment, they darted through an open door on the other side. This led into a luxurious dressing room, and this again into a sumptuous dormitory. If there were any outlet from this room, it was concealed by the splendid hangings, and the pursuers, after assuring themselves that no human being was within, returned to the dressing-room. The door of egress from this apartment was secured on the outside, and so, without a moment's delay, they had recourse to their former expedient, and the door was instantly hewn to splinters. On creeping through the aperture, and passing through a short passage, they found themselves in the gallery that ran round the hall. Here, chafing with disappointment, the pursuers had only to hope that they might, by chance, take the right scent, and were rushing along the gallery, when Tyler, casting his eyes below, and observing the galleyman cross the hall, hallooed to him; and then springing along the gallery, and down the spiral stairs, seized Wells rather unceremoniously, and upbraided him with conniving at the escape of Lancaster.