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LORD ROLAND CHEYNE.
That shout shall ne'er be heard again.-Sir Walter Scott. This is a strange age:—men have Chariswold. It was not the time of called my true and accurate narra- a fair, nor yet was it a holiday-no tives wild imaginings-and charac- battle had been won, nor prince been ters as real, and circumstances as born, on this humble and plebeian sure, as the noonday sun, have been morning; yet I found all the people treated as unnatural and visionary in motion, and parading up and down inventions. From the imputation of the long narrow central street, with being a creator of idle fictions I am ribbons flowing from their hats, flags anxious to free myself. I love not flying above their heads, and with the greeting, though it be scriptural, shout and song and all manner of of « Behold! that dreamer cometh.” music and mirth. Every alehouse Fiction, I would urge, is often less was full-every window was crowded romantic than truth; and events are with women-every door-threshold almost daily occurring, equal to, and filled with aged men — boys had surpassing the creations of the hap- climbed up to the house-iops and piest or the wildest fancy. To ob- into the trees—all those who stood, tain credence from the unbelieving stood on tiptoe, and those who walked or the doubting is, I am afraid, be- went with eager looks; while at yond my power; and when I honesto every rush of the multitude hasty ly assure them that for the truth of and eager inquiries, “ Is he coming ? the following story testimony may Is he coming?” flew from mouth to be had on oath, I hardly expect to mouth. I stood, and looked towards be believed. Men now have faith in the south end of the village-for nothing, and women are hard of be- from the south something strange or lief-the world is far too wise-in- important seemed expected; in that vention has run its race, and fancy has direction all eyes were turned ; and flown its flight-our learning has left when the sound of a coming carriage us nothing to know, and our curiosity was heard, the moving mass of peonothing to discover. There is now ple stood still ; each individual raised no undiscovered land which the fancy himself above his walking height; of man cover with precious and there arose a general murmur of stones, and the credulity of mankind anxiety and expectation. What all can believe in--there is a map for this might mean I had yet to learn ; every shore, and a chart for every and those who know the wrapt-up sea—and poets can sing no more of and incommunicative spirit of a mulislands of the blessed. Over the lands titude need not be told that this I of the earth the genius of every coun- was long in learning. A look of comtry has spread forth its wings; and passion, or a loud laugh at my ignoits voice has been heard in all domi- rance, or an exclamation of « Goles nions, and kindreds, and tongues. and goggers ! where were you born, All that can be said is said, and all master?” admonished me to restrain that can be sung is sung. The ori- my curiosity, and let the secret of the ginal harvest of the earth is reaped; multitude be revealed of its own acand the gleanings—here an ear, and cord. there an ear--are left for the sons of There are certain signs and tokens little men.
I am a plain man, and by which mysterious events are chanot fortunate in figurative speech; racterized—the days of mirth and 80 let me drop this metaphorical good fellowship, which distinguish ånd ambitious style, and content my- the people of England, have a stamp self with telling, in homely words, a and mark of their own. An election homely tale. Let it be my practice,
carousal has no resemblance to a as it is my wish, to walk behind church feast-it matters not if you truth, rather than run before her. read fast—and though there is but
On the 14th day of last July, and one way of imbibing wine, and one far in the afternoon, I found myself way of eating venison, and one way in the little beautiful village of of laughing, still a man curious in
the matter of feasting and revelry exclaimed a rustic, who held a foamcan easily judge between the profane ing can of ale in his hand, with which merriment of laymen and the hal- he was in the very act of moistening lowed mirth of divines. This, then, his lips ;—“ As sure as the church, I concluded, was no saint's day; for here comes old Gaffer Gurton—the the devout dead have seldom left ale has done more for him than all aught to excite the joy of the living; the drugs of the dispensary. Come neither could it be the anniversary of along, old ninety-three-this is better the birth of one of our ancient wor- for thee than Lady Lamentable's thies: those who shed most glory on shin-bone soup - better than Saint Old England had little of world's William's long grace and lean diet. wealth to leave; and a man's me- Hold up thy mouth, man; and I will mory soon ceases here, unless it be pour the gallant ale into thee—thy annually steeped in ale and wine, hand shakes too much to be trusted and revived with the smoke of roasts with the tankard.” The old man's ed oxen. Sir Guy of Warwick was face gleamed with joy; he held up the most fortunate of all our heroes, his head; and his charitable friend his exploits on Ludgate-hill are for- poured out, with a steady and unregotten; but the slaughter of the dun luctant hand, the best of Barclay's cow has hallowed his name among an fermentation. “ The saints be with eating and a drinking people. The thee, Gaff Gurton," said the rustic, dead have had their day-so let marvelling to see the liquor vanish them go; it is for the living alone 80 rapidly; " I give thee joy o'thy that the fatted calf is slain and the swallow—thou hast never a tooth to ale-flagons and wine-cups are set a- stop it; it's just like pouring ale flowing, and that mirth and music down an empty shirt-sleeve.” And he come to our firesides.
shook the foam out of the bottom of · Whether the cause of all this stir the flagon, and hastened to replenish and merriment came from the dead it for his own use. or the living, many a merry fellow in Nor was it in the middle of the Old Chartswold neither“ kenned street that the good ale had alone nor cared.” Some were already be- done its good office. One man leanyond the power of thought, and more ed against a tree, and staggered were fast hastening-ale, and joy, round it and round it, vowing that and release from labour and from Barclay and Perkins were princes, care, had combined to confuse clear and their ale nectar. Another beat thought, and render men's steps un- on the church-door with an empty steady. In the middle of the village, quart-pot, mistaking it for the door .where a stone cross once rose, I saw of the alehouse; and at every knock a riotous crowd of both sexes gather- he shouted out, “ A pot of old Bared round several hogsheads of ale; clay, ho! What! Dan Fosset, you're the heads of the vessels were staved as fast asleep as mother Church." in; while innumerable cups and Another had made his way to the dishes, of all shapes and metals, were door of a burial vault, and there dipped into the foaming beverage- lisping, and nearly blind with liquor, a hundred heads were held up at he stood balancing himself, and holdonce-a hundred cups were emptied ing out his hand as if he wished to at a breath ; while others, weary of speak. He probably thought himthis dilatory mode of enjoyment, self in a tap-room—but the dead fairly stooped their heads into it; would profit as much as the living and the cry of “ Foul, foul !” and by his singular and disjointed speech: “ Pitch it into them, Jack !” re- “ Gentlemen," said he, “I have but sounded on every side. In the mid- one word to say—but that one word dle of all this tumult and outcry I is the best of all words : Reformsaw an old man, who had been con- reform-reform. Ye are silent-ye fined to his cabin for months, come answer not-still I say, Reform. Retottering to his door-the shout, and form will turn our rags into silks and the revelry, and the clattering of the our copper into gold, and our sour ale-flagons, had put life and mettle ale into sweet wine. Reform will into him—he uttered a cough and a make two sabbaths in the week, and hilloah, and made his way into the half holidays of all the Tuesdays and erowd. “ As sure as the church !” Fridays. Huzza, Gentlemen, three
times three for reform. Hang ye stuff; so here's to the donor, quothold for dumb dogs ! Rise up, and Jacob Roulson.” And a deep and a huzza; or lie still and rot. And Zealous pull the old man took. striking against the door with both “ But, Jacob, my friend,” said I, hands, it suddenly flew open; and you have yet to tell me the cause of all our alehouse orator descended, head this marching and mirth: these ribforemost, among his silent audience. bons flying, and flags displayed, I I know not that any one thought it suppose mean something and these worth while to carry him out. hogsheads of ale, which I saw a
An old man at the extremity of the thousand cups and flagons emptying, village sat at his door, leaning over a must have been given by some-one. staff, and looking with a grave yet “ Ye say right, master," said he; a pleasant face on the crowd as it “ for hogsheads of ale grow not out moved and rolled to and fro.
A of the pavement, and roast beef tankard of ale stood by his side; his spring's not from boulder-stones. If hat lay beside it; and his remaining the doors of Cheyne-hall are opened hairs, very white and long, strayed by the hand of fullness and joy, they on his shoulders. I never saw a look have been long enough closed by the 80 perfectly patriarchal. I went hand of sadness and sorrow. Sa near, and inquired the meaning of all here's to the hand that opens them, the mirth and carousal.“ Meaning, master. May it have a fair lady's master !” said this Chartswold wor- hand with a gold ring to squeeze soon thy, “ why it means that old days for this. And may the churlish hand are coming back again. Plague rot that closes them ever grip the handle 'em that they came not sooner, that of an empty cup, and the hand of a I might have had a view on faithless love-and that's the worst that's what it means, master.” “ Is wish of Jacob Roulson. So here's to any one dead,” I said, “ or any thee again, master. Blessings on the one börn, or any one married, that heart of all who have questions to you make all this din and stir?” ask, say I; for this be precious good « Me make din and stir, master !” stuff!" and his action justified his answered he; “ Devil burn the stir opinion of the liquor, he had com, can I make with these old rascally pounded -- he drained the tankard dry. limbs o’mine-here must I sit like a “I am a stranger here," I said; milestone, for every one to look at “and though I have heard of Lord that passes by. D’ye think, if my Cheyne, I know not why his hall has dirty old legs would have carried been closed, nor know I why it is to me, that I would have sat here as be opened.” “ A short question dry as a lime-kiln, answering ques- wants a long answer,” said Jacob. tions like my grannam's catechism? “ Confound all questions, say I. Eat, May I be chopt up into Bologna drink, and be merry, says King Solosausages first.
What's the use of mon, or some one as wise: and speak a merry day now to old Jacob Roul- sparingly when the roast smokes, and son?”:“ But, Jacob, my friend,” the ale fragon goes round, says old I said, “ since you cannot go after Jacob Roulson. If old Lord Cheyne mirth, mirth shall come after you; as a hand of iron, young Lord and as I wish to ask a question or Cheyne has a fist of gold. And isn't two, what say you to a tankard of that true, Cis Shortbread, my dear?” strong ale, or a cup of good brandy?” said he to a very handsome young “Oh! both, both, master," cried woman, with bare head and neck, Jacob; “ blessings on ye! both, who presented him with some cakes. both : half a pint of brandy to a pint to his ale. “My blessings on thy of ale makes the noblest drink' for sweet face—thou must give me a either old or young.. Questions? kiss, as thy grandame has done afore I will answer ye questions as though thee, wench. She stooped her head ye were a bishop.' The drink came, with a blush, and submitted to a and the old man mixed it with huge couple of clamorous, if not rapturous satisfaction. « Ah! glorious ! bet- smacks. Jacob threw his hat into ter brandy never crossed the herring- the air, and his staff after it, shouting brook. Ah! delightful! richer ale out“ A dance! a dance !" Fiddlers, was never enticed from barley—the and a multitude of merry spirits, breath of life might be made of such flocked to the place. « Hurrah, for
- young Lord Cheyne !" cried the old his native land. " And now," said man, endeavouring to imitate the he, “ behold the prodigal cometh to agility of more youthful spirits; open his paternal gates, and cast « here's old seventy-seven come to wide his doors; and all the sons and shake his leg at thy return. Girls, daughters of men go forth to welhave a care of your hearts." And come him with dancing, and with the clapping of hands, the smacking joy, and with flowing cups. Far of lips, and the din of many merry better that they welcomed him with feet, resounded far and wide. fasting and humiliation—with dust
To extract any farther information on their garments, and with deep from old Jacob was hopeless now- sighs and sore sorrowings. I hear a nay, I was even compelled to join in profane outcry-I feel the smell of the dance, and salute three wrinkled the fatted kine, and I see the floods old dames, and a rosy young lass, to of intoxicating liquor. Shout your show that I had no ill-will to Charts- shouts—let the smoke of the feast .wold. I extricated myself from the ascend—and let the liquor of sin and multitude as quickly as I could, and oblivion flow. Even now ye listen strayed out to the extremity of the for the sound of Lord Cheyne's chan village. A far different scene pre- riot-wheels: but long shall ye listen, sented itself. Opposite the door of and long shall ye look, before ye see an ale-house, which was filled his feasting lights shining in his room, and tap-room, and kitchen- chamber-windows. An ancient curse with strong-ale commentators, stood clings to his name ; and his generaa large stone curiously ornamented tion is limited, and the sons and with figures of saints and angels, daughters of his house are numbered. and exhibiting on each corner a devil Shut your doors and weep, ye maiplaying on a bagpipe. It had former- dens of England; for your lover will ly belonged to Chartswold-abbey, no more return; the sound of his and now served the purpose of a dancings shall cease, his hearth shall ļeaping-on-stone to heavy or intoxi- be cold for ever; the towers where cated riders; and I am not sure that his fathers dwelt shall fall to dust, I should consider it as something and none shall raise them; bis banlike a return to its original purpose ner shall go forth no more, and his that at present it supported the per- name shall perish among the peoson of a travelling preacher-one of ple." those self-elected divines who wan- Thus far had he proceeded with der about, preaching up the coming untired speed; and I had eagerly of the millennium, and a community listened, catching here and there a of goods to the wicked towns of Eng word and an allusion which threw land. The preacher stood with his some light on the present mirth of face turned to the alehouse, a Bible Chartswold, when the loud voice of in one hand, and a slip of paper in a peasant at my side compelled me the other, whereon was written the to attend to him. With an empty leading points of his invective; and quart-pot in his hand, and a reeling he protested, in a clear and audible frame, he balanced himself with some voice, against the vanities of this difficulty, hearkening to the wanderworld-the joys and pleasures of ing enthusiast-he flourished the life-against dancing, and drinking, drinking vessel round his head, and and dicing. He had taken for his exclaimed, “I say, Bill, this here text the parable of the prodigal son parson's preaching down strong ale -he arrayed him like a modern lord and roast beef, and mirth and good -and surrounded him with pandars fellowship—he deserves a ducking, and parasites, sharpers and opera- and by Jupiter he shall catch it." girls; and led him through the Va- “ Right, Jack,” exclaimed Bill, nity Fair of France — through the “down with all parsons, says I. They mass houses and nunneries of Spain- wish to turn ale-houses into chaand through the palaces and hovels pels, and merry songs into psalms. of dancing, and singing, and slavish Shall I stand here, and hear drouth Italy. Having accomplished him and diversion preached or prayed with all the spare virtues and unap- down—-may I be chopt into road rubpropriated graces of those countries, bish first, and have the Archbishop he spread his sail, and landed him in of Canterbury's carriage driven over
me at the rate of ten miles to the the crowd augmented, and the uphour.” “Come here, Bell, my boun- roar increased. I had for some time cer,” said his companion to a ripe observed a few of the more grave girl with sunny hair, and merry eyes, and staid people straying out towards and a kirtle wondrous scant in lon- a very magnificent house which was gitude; “ Come here, and hearken almost buried in a wilderness of trees to this man preaching against soft in the immediate vicinity of the vilcouches and rosy cheeks-does he lage. I followed, and came to an think that blue eyes will no more iron gate which seemed not to have shine, or ruddy cheeks glow, in old been opened for many years; an imEngland ?
mense torch blazed upon each of the Bell came, and stood beside him, pillars to which it was fastened, and and leaning one hand on his shoulder, threw a long stream of light down said, “ Why this is the Flying Par- a broad and bewildered avenue, on son, Jack, who preached against silks which no human footstep seemed to in Spitalfields, and the folly of straw have been impressed within the mehats at Dunstable. What! must men mory of man. An attempt had inbe born with blood as cold as Chertsey deed been made to open the gates; ditches, and as icy as the blood of a but they had resisted the strength Thames salmon! Must a light foot, that was applied to them—a slender and a white hand, and a squeeze in the footmark on the soft ground told that dark, be no more current among us! a woman had wished to open the paMust flowered petticoats and open- ternal gates of his mansion to the restitched bodice be the fashion no turning heir. longer, and kid slippers be cried down It was indeed a woman who had in the land! When he can preach made the attempt, and there she sat down weeds from growing, and the within the gate upon a chair of stone canker from coming among corn, then where the porters sat in former days let him hope to preach mirth and She was yet young and yet beautigladness out of the country.” “Bra- ful—her locks were dishevelled, and vo, Bell, my wench," said her com- her dress disordered, and she sat panion;" why you can preach down pressing her forehead with her hand. a parson yourself-confound me if She appearedi not to notice the lights I don't buy thee the best gown which streamed down upon her, nor in London, and redeem thy sky- the strangers, who marvelled what blue mantle from little Wright the her errand might be there :-none pawnbroker, free of all expense. present seemed to know her; and Come, my merry Wench, let us could her father have risen froin the dance-let us crack our thumbs, and grave, into which sorrow for her shake our legs, under the parson's misfortunes had brought him, he nose. Let him help his congrega- would hardly have known his child. tion to slumber on Sunday as if he When the sound of coming wheels were a dean, and not come here to was heard, and the mistaken shouts cheat poor folks out of an hour of of the intoxicated mob arose, she honest mirth!” In a moment, shout lifted her brow from her hand, threw and laughter, and huge uproar, back her tresses, and listened—yet ascended in one din far above the she never once looked to the gate mild voice of the preacher, and a but the throbbing of her bosom told crowd of men and women danced how deeply she felt interested in the with discordant glee round him and coming of the new heir. As she round bim. Musicians came—the moved her hand from her face, one mob moved thicker and faster, and old man looked to another, and whisthe wondering admonisher of evil pered something in his ear, and then doers was fain to compound for his stood a little apart and shuok his escape by dancing a reel, and swal- head, and said, “ Al! poor unhappy lowing a bumper of brandy to the lady! little did I think, when I last health of old Goody Church.
saw thee shining in jewels, and While all this passed, the twilight glowing in youth and beauty, that I came, and then the evening; every was so soon to see thee in sorrow window was filled with candles, and and in wretchedness. Often have I men with torches paraded the streets; seen thee laughing among these fresh hogsheads of ale were broached, groves, and often have I seen thee