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The soldier noticed that his adversary. your coat, man, and let's be going. never parried en seconde, but always by Damme, Jack, if you shan't have my a supple-wristed moulinet that caught brown hunter, Robin Hood, for this his carte or tierce indifferently, and yet day's work. On with your coat. What never took the point of his own sword the deuce are you staring at ?” out of the line of his antagonist's body, But Squire Jack gently put his friend and Captain Grimswade's confidence in aside, and, holding his sword by the his own skill began to lessen. Gas- blade below the hilt in his left hand, paro Chioggi, the celebrated schermato stepped quickly to where Captain Grimsat Turin, had cultivated Squire Jack's wade stood leaning upon his second sight and wrist muscles in such sort with chin sunk upon his breast and that to him the clumsy wild fencing sword-point pressed into the turf. that passed muster with the majority “ Captain Grimswade, God is my witof Englishmen was mere child's play. ness that it was no intention of mine to
It was soon evident to Grimswade harm you this day. You rushed on my that his opponent held him too cheaply point. I pray from my inmost heart even to condescend a riposte, and he you are not seriously hurt.” lost his temper and coolness in conse- Slowly the wounded man raised a quence. It was hard to say how it hap- haggard face and stared at the speaker. pened exactly, but after a hotly pressed " Who said I was hurt?” The words rally, during which the guardsman came husky and hurried. made fierce efforts to get in past his you, it's only a scratch.” adversary's point, he suddenly went Jerking himself from Captain Cotstaggering back half-a-dozen paces or ton's supporting arm the guardsman more, until his second hurried to sup- swayed once to and fro, and then, quick port him.
as evil ever is, plucking his sword from " Ah!”. The exclamation burst forth its earthly sheath he drove the blade in a full breath' of unmistakable satis- through Squire Jack’s body until the faction from Cholmondley Monkton. shell of the hilt struck against the It was elicited by the sight of the breastbone. red patch that kept spreading over the With the yell of a wild beast Cholfrilled shirt-front of Squire Jack's an- mondley Monkton bounded forward, tagonist. There was something almost and by one down stroke of his heavy brutal in the undisguised exultation hunting-whip felled the soldier to the with which the tall squire of Fountains- ground, and stamped upon him with Averil seized his principal's hand. In his great riding-boot. truth Monkton håd been oppressed by “You stinking foumart you! You a very real dread of his old friend's re- common stabber! I'll have you nailed sentment of his underhand complicity on my kennel door amongst the verin the meeting he had, so to speak, min !” bespoken for himself, and during the Then turning round to where Squire latter part of the struggle Squire Jack's Jack was propping himself against a very evident forbearance had begotten gravestone, and pressing his two hands the additional apprehension that it to his breast, while the blood trickled might fall to his lot to have to break to warmly through the white fingers, he the unforgiving old father intelligence tore off his cravat and making a pad of of his son's, injury or even death. Ip it bound it as tightly as possible over the twinkling of an eye the apprehen- the blue-looking puncture, using Squire sion vanished, and just as a jubilant Jack's cravat as a bandage. robin, darting down from the church That was the end of the morning's roof, perched on a gravestone and broke work. With Collins's shirt torn into into a palpitating gush of morning supplementary bandages around his hymn, Squire Monkton broke into wound, in an uneasily reclining pospraise of another kind.
ture in the narrow chaise, Squire "He's got enough, Jack, On with Jack reached Fountains-Averil, whence
gooms rode in every direction for the in no time. Yer eyes are as bright as doctors in best repute.
Jack." Captain Cotton rode to the hall door Squire Jack slipped his hand into his some hours later and delivered a packet father's and smiled. into Monkton's hand, after an urgent “Ay, smile again, Jack, my son; it entreaty to see that unwilling gentle- makes my heart warm." And then the
grey old head fell forward on his son's “Captain Grimswade with his dying breast, and the father sobbed in the breath desired me to place these papers helplessness of his threescore and fourin your hand, Mr. Monkton, and en- teen years. treated your immediate attention to Cholmondley Monkton had not intheir contents. His last statement to truded himself at the interview ; thus me was this: 'Paston Darrel of Am- when a visitor rode to the hall door he berwick bribed me to slay young Darrel was there to receive him, and looked at that he might get his inheritance.' You the new arrival with a mingling of peracquit me, sir, I hope, of all complicity plexity and deadly animosity that the in such a rascally piece of business.") suave-inaniered Mr. Paston Darrel did
Cholmondley Monkton only clenched not fail to remark. The deep concern hand in hand and stared stupidly at visible on his serious face and that Captain Cotton. The revelation had vibrated in his softly toned voice was come too late to effect the issue. The not in the least overdone ; it was simply doctors had seen Squire Jack, had tor- inimitable. tured him with their probes and shaken “Mr. Monkton, for kindness' sake their heads. Kindly, gentle, brave tell me that the rumor that has reached Squire Jack would never leave Foun- me at Bassetwyke is false. My kinslains-Averil till they carried him to rest man is not killed ? Surely, surely he is with his ancestors in the vault at Bas- not killed ?" setwyke Church.
No, sir, he is not killed." And “Where is my son, Cholmondley then Monkton glared at Paston Darrel Monkton ? What ’ave ye done with with shut lips and a look on his face my son ?"
that was suggestive of a desire to worry Squire Darrel thrust aside the hands him with his teeth. his old friend extended, and stiffened “ If you will walk in there?' – he himself up fiercely, in spite of the tot- pointed to a room on the left
“you tering state of his gout-tormented feet. shall hear more of your kinsman after a
" Don't hate me, Darrel, my old bit.” friend; God knows
I hate myself Truth to tell, Paston Darrel would enough without that."
rather have walked into his own more The old squire laughed bitterly. modest room at Amberwick, but he
'Ate! hoo, what ’ave you to do was not the man to betray his feelings. with love or 'ate? Take me to Jack, will ye ?"
At the bend of the circular drive When the old father saw his son sweeping past the entrance to Founa suddenly reviving hope sprang up tains-Averil the Bassetwyke carriage within him. The wounded man was stood drawn up and two ladies occupallid enough, but composed and bright- pied it. Squire Darrel came bareered, and all outward traces of his hurt headed to the carriage door and opened Tere removed.
it. Squire Darrel tried to kneel by the “Dorothy, wife, 'e wants to see 'er. couch, but failed and fell on his hands, Let ’m ’ave 'is way, will 'ee, I think it recovering himself, however, instantly. 'll do 'im good. 'E’s not so bad as they
* Jack, my lad, you're not going to said ; 'is eyes are as clear as water. die. You're not going to leave me all Let the lass go to 'im ; 'e wants 'er.
We'll have the best doctors You and me 'll stop with 'im all night.” from Lunnun, and they'll set you up! For a moment the mother's eyes LIVING AGE. VOL. LXXXII. 4210
looked resentfully at Dorothy Scrope, wyke, the old squire, transported by whose face was hidden by her black the frenzy of passion that lent him for silk hood. They quickly softened. a time a renewal of his former vast
• Go, Dorothy, and remember his life strength, had nearly strangled his crafty may depend upon you.”
kinsman with his own cravat, and had Alone the young girl with widely then been carried off prostrated with opened tearless eyes entered the room gout to bed. He died three days afterwhere her lover lay dying, and at a wards, and Squire Jack, surviving hin, glance she knew the worst without reigned in his stead as squire of Bassetknowing how she knew it.
wyke. Dropping the hood from her shoul- Notwithstanding this, Parson Youl ders she sank upon her knees by the made Squire Jack and Dorothy Scrope couch and looked down into his face, man and wife, and by virtue of the gently pushing back the hair that lay clause in the Darrel settlements, wheredamp on his forehead.
by in the event of failure of issue to a “ O Jack, Jack, what is this?" marriage the tenant for life could give
Not without an effort he encircled usufruct and life interest to a surviving her neck and drew her mouth down till wife during widowhood, in bar of it rested on his own. The fresh cool dower, when Squire Jack joined his old lips were given up to his kisses without father in the mortuary chamber, which a thought of shame, without a shadow he did one month to a day after receivof resistance. Would she not have ing his wound, beautiful Dorothy Darbreathed her very life into him if she rel the younger became life-tenant of could, and what were kisses ?
all the Darrel domain.
She was "Jack, yesterday, only yesterday you strangely beautiful woman ten years were my own true sweetheart ! o later when she said to Lady Dorothy what is this to-day? I am so fright- who lived with her : ened, Jack !"
“No, mother! Jack is waiting for “ It is death to-day, Dorothy, my me; I'll go to him his widow." love ! my love! The shadow has overtaken the sunshine, and I know your heart will ache, my true love ; but I want to ask you to make my end happy,
From The Nineteenth Century. Dorothy. I want you to be my wife before I die."
She shrank quiveringly as he pronounced the last word.
Love thou thy land with love far-brought "Your wife, Jack! Yes, I will be
From out the storied Past, and used your wife and, if God will, will die with
Within the Present, but transfused you ; for eternity will be full of love if Thro' future time by power of thought. I am with you, and the earth will be EIGHT years ago I was so bold as to empty if you are not there."
say that Lord Tennyson's - Becket" was his noblest work.
I was In another part of the house a scene bolder; I gave my reason for saying so. over which a veil may be drawn was His“ Becket,” I said, closes a proenacting which resulted in one of those longed struggle between prejudice and miserable episodes of unbridled passion historic truth, and will reinstate in the and lawless license characteristic of affections of the English people the the epoch. Apprised by Cholmondley memory of one of England's greatest. Monkton of the bargain made between men, after centuries of alienation Paston Darrel and Raven Grimswade, caused by an act of royal tyranny that by virtue of which the latter was to for pettiness and malice cannot be receive two thousand pounds a year for matched in history. taking Squire Jack out of the way of The intervening years have proved Paston Darrel's succession to Basset. I that I was not too bold ; and I gladly
ASPECTS OF TENNYSON.
THE REAL THOMAS BECKET.
avail myself of the opportunity now periods varies. The brilliant chancelgiven me to dwell upon the point. lorship of Thomas Becket, preceded by
Nearly four centuries ago Henry the the bright, promising days of his youth, Eighth enacted the miserable farce of was succeeded by the sad, weary time commanding a quo warranto information of his primacy, ending in martyrdom ; to be filed by the attorney-general the years of glory and worship immediagainst Thomas, sometime Archbishop ately following his martyrdom were, on of Canterbury, summoning him, four the other hand, succeeded by a time of hundred years after he had been treach- contumely and misrepresentation inierously done to death, to answer the tiated by Henry the Eighth, during charge of high treason. To complete which prejudice and perversity have the mockery, counsel at the public ex-borne such abundant fruit that only in pense was assigned to the martyr; he recent years has there been a sign that was declared guilty of contumacy, trea- truth would prevail. 800, and rebellion, and sentence was But now at last a third and glorious passed upon him. According to this period has set in. Inaugurated, as far sentence and the proclamation that fol- as Englishmen as a nation are conlowed, his bones were condemned to be cerned, by Richard Hurrell Froude, publicly burnt; the offerings made at and advancing under, if not in spite of, his shrine (they were of inestimable the fluctuating lights of Southey, Giles, value, and the gifts of Christendom) Lord Campbell, Milman, Robertson, were forfeited to the crown; all per- Freeman, Stubbs, and J. A. Froude, it sons were forbidden to call or esteem now, illuminated with the broad dayhim a saint, and compelled to destroy light of the Rolls Series, culminates in every image and picture of him ; the the national drama of the laureate. festivals in his honor were abolished, Englishmen have ever felt the spell and his name and remembrance erased exercised in life and death by England's out of all books, under pain of his greatest chancellor and primate ; but Majesty's indignation, and imprison- again and again prejudice has won the ment at his Grace's pleasure.1
upper hand. If, fronting the splendor It was thus that the voice of the peo- of Becket's great deeds, or the radiance ple was stifled, and the double reign of of a beautiful, touching, noble incident slander and prejudice inaugurated.
in his life, a ray of light for a moment But Henry the Eighth knew what he pierced the dense fogs with which from was at when he blasted the fair fame of childhood education had confused their the great archbishop, dragged the martyr mental vision, prejudice quickly reasof liberty from his throne in the heart serted its old ascendency anil the light of the nation, and destroyed his altars was lost to them. throughout the land.
With the sure There is something much more to be instinct of a tyrant, he attacked a vital dreaded than the fierce light that beats principle directly in the concrete form upon a throne; the obscuring of that in which, appealing to the reason with light. And when Henry the Eighth a new force, it had sunk deep into the darkened the memory of Thomas Becket national mind, and been riveted afresh he blinded the nation for centuries. to the affection of the people.
I do not speak at random, or with It is a noteworthy circumstance that, rhetorical exaggeration. Taken as as the lifetime of St. Thomas of Can- whole, the writers of this century ierbury naturally falls into three dis- cxcluding Catholic writers, for they tinct epochs, so what may be called his venerate Thomas Becket as a saint history after his death, the history of memory, divides itself into three
2 The publication, at the public expense, of the clearly defined periods. But here the eight large volumes of the Rolls Series, dealing
solely with the history of St. Thomas Becket, is parallel ends ; the sequence of the
one of the most striking instances I know of a na
tion making reparation for the evil deeds of its ? Wilkins, Concilia, iii. 835-841.
considered in the light of the “Mate- | to themselves,” and that “his spirit rials for the History of Archbishop was one of those which difficulties and Thomas Becket,” of the Rolls Series, dangers serve only to exalt,” it certainly will be found to fully bear me out. But gave a false air of impartiality to his there are not many that have the time description of him as the boon comto make such a review ; there are, per- panion of the king,” who, up to his haps, still fewer that have the patience. election to the See of Canterbury, had Happily, the need for it of former times been anything rather than a Churchno longer exists. Lord Tennyson, with man. The praise is quickly obscured the sight and insight of a seer, saw the by gathering clouds of prejudice ; and truth; with the strength of a strong thick as snowflakes fall, “his lax noman he proclaimed it, and with the tions of moral obligation,” “a spirit . rhythmic graces of his art, and the win- of aggression," "an ambitious heart," ning beauty of his genius he clothed it.ambitious zeal,” a breach of faith,” The strange travesties, the contradic- duplicity, " " he acted with a deceittions and inconsistencies, the false fulness for which excuse can only be inferences, the clouds of misunder- found in the casuistry of his Church,"
” standing and misrepresentation of a " whether he entertained the fear that long line of writers, historians and his life was in danger, it was plainly biographers, all vanished before the his intention to act as if he did,"' viosingle eye, the steady gaze of the poet lent and imperious in prosperity,” “an who dared to look and was strong to inflexible temper,” an unbounded
indignation." And then comes the But, distasteful and irksome though summing up : “ In this long contention it be to plunge back into the darkness each party liad committed acts as unand windings of bigotry and prejudice warrantable as the other could have when the simplicity and light of knowl-desired.” edge and genius beckon us forward, it At the risk of digression I must reis necessary, in order to understand the call one act, a notorious act, of Henry's greatness, the true stability of Tenny- in his six years' struggle to change, not son's work, for a moment at least to only the Constitution of England, but glance at some of the contradictions also the ecclesiastical law of the whole and calumnies in which honorable and of Christendom — reminding my readgifted writers have been involved when ers meantime that in his love of Henry, unconsciously misrepresenting the life which, in spite of everything, remained of one of Englanıl's greatest sons. to the end, Becket never could bring
Not one of these historians, not one himself to excommunicate him, though, of these biographers, has wholly es- as his letters show, he used every argucaped the subduing power of heroic ment and entreaty that duty and affecvirtue ; however strong their prepos- tion could prompt to soften the king's sessions, however tough their preju- heart. dices, an admiration of their subject In the depth of the winter, by the bursts from them in spite of them- command of Henry, all the kindred and selves — or rather in spite of their ad- friends of the archbishop were seized verse. circumstances ; but this very and transported beyond the admiration itself has not unfrequently Neither age nor sex was spared -- marintensified the mischief of their mis- ried and single, young and aged, the reading of history.
sick as well as the sound, orphans, For instance, when Southey1 wrote widows, expectant mothers, nursing that Becket " was one of those men mothers with their babes in their arms, whose greatness is seen only in times feeble old men, delicate girls, his clergy of difficulty and danger when deprived and secular friends – all were exiled, of all adventitious aid and left wholly after having, with a refinement of cru
elty, been forced to swear that they would present themselves before the
1 The Book of the Church.