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fire by the convenience they afforded fruit-trees in Copse Hollow would to the malice of the disaffected: they be punished with the utmost rigour of became the Pasquin of Hazeldean. the law. Stirn, indeed, recommended
As disaffection naturally produces much more stringent proceedings than a correspondent vigour in authority, all these indications of a change of so affairs had been lately administered policy, which, he averred, would soon with greater severity than had been bring the parish to its senses-such hitherto wont in the easy rule of the as discontinuing many little jobs of Squire and his predecessors. Sus- unprofitable work that employed the pected persons were naturally marked surplus labour of the village. But out by Mr Stirn, and reported to there the Squire, falling into the dehis employer, who, too proud or too partment, and under the benigner inpained to charge them openly with fluence of his Harry, was as yet not ingratitude, at first only passed them properly hardened. When it came to by in his walks with a silent and stiff a question that affected the absolute inclination of his head ; and after- quantity of loaves to be consumed by wards gradually yielding to the bale- the graceless mouths that fed upon ful influence of Stirn, the Squire him, the milk of human kindnessgrumbled forth that “ he did not see with which Providence has so bounwhy he should be always putting him- tifully supplied that class of the mamself out of his way to show kindness malia called the “ Bucolic," and of to those who made such a return. which our Squire had an extra " yield" There ought to be a difference between - burst forth, and washed away the good and the bad." Encouraged all the indignation of the harsher by this admission, Stirn had conducted Adam. himself towards the suspected parties, Still your policy of half-measures, and their whole kith and kin, with which irritates without crushing its the iron-handed justice that belonged victims, which flaps an exasperated to his character. For some, habitual wasp-nest with a silk pocket-handdonations of milk from the dairy, and kerchief, instead of blowing it up vegetables from the gardens, were with a match and train, is rarely surlily suspended ; others were in successful ; and, after three or four formed that their pigs were always other and much guiltier victims than trespassing on the woods in search of Lenny had been incarcerated in the acorns ; or that they were violating Stocks, the parish of Hazeldean was the Game Laws in keeping lurchers. ripe for any enormity. Pestilent A beer-house, popular in the neigh- jacobinical tracts, conceived and combourhood, but of late resorted to over- posed in the sinks of manufacturing much by the grievance-mongers, (and towns found their way into the no wonder, since they had become popular beer-house - heaven knows the popular party,) was threatened how, though the Tinker was suspected with an application to the magistrates of being the disseminator by all but for the withdrawal of its license. Stirn, who still, in a whisper, accused Sundry old women, whose grandsons the Papishers. And, finally, there were notoriously ill-disposed towards appeared amongst the other graphic the Stocks, were interdicted from ga- embellishments which the poor Stocks thering dead sticks under the avenues, had received, the rude gravure of a on pretence that they broke down the gentleman in a broad-brimmed hat and live boughs; and, what was more top-boots, suspended from a gibbet, obnoxious to the younger members of with the inscription beneath—"A the parish than most other retaliatory warnin to hall tirans-mind your hi! measures, three chestnut trees, one -sighnde Captin sTraw." walnut, and two cherry trees, stand- It was upon this significant and ing at the bottom of the park, and emblematic portraiture that the which had, from time immemorial, Squire was gazing when the Parson been given up to the youth of Hazel- joined him. dean, were.now solemnly placed under “ Well, Parson," said Mr Hazelthe general defence of "private pro- dean, with a smile which he meant to perty." And the crier had announced be pleasant and easy, but which that, henceforth, all depredators on the was exceedingly bitter and grim, “ I wish you joy of your flock-you see task which has dethroned kings and they have just hanged me in effigy!” ruined states — that of wantonly
The Parson stared, and, though meddling with antiquity, whether for greatly shocked, smothered his emo- the purpose of uncalled-for repairs tions; and attempted, with the wis or the revival of obsolete uses." dom of the serpent and the mildness At this rebuke, the Squire did not of the dove, to find another original manifest his constitutional tendencies for the effigy.
to choler ; but he replied almost " It is very bad," quoth he, “bat meekly, “If it were to do again, faith, I not so bad as all that, Squire ; that's would leave the parish to the enjoynot the shape of your hat. It is ment of the shabbiest pair of stocks evidently meant for Mr Stirn."
that ever disgraced a village. Cer"Do you think so!" said the Squire tainly I meant it for the best—an softened. “Yet the top-boots ornament to the green; however, Stirn never wears top-boots."
now they are rebuilt, the Stocks must “No more do you-except in hunt- be supported. Will Hazeldean is ing. If you look again, those are not not the man to give way to a set of tops, they are leggings-Stirn wears thankless rapscallions." leggings. Besides, that flourish, which “I think," said the Parson, " that is meant for a nose, is a kind of a you will allow that the House of Tudor, hook like Stirn's; whereas your pose whatever its faults, was a determined -though by no means a snub-rather resolute dynasty enough-high-heartturns up than not, as the Apollo's ed and strong-headed. A Tudor would does, according to the plaster cast never bave fallen into the same calain Riccabocca's parlour."
mities as the poor Stuart did !" “Poor Stirn!" said the Squire, in a " What the plague has the House tone that evinced complacency, not of Tudor got to do with my Stocks?" unmingled with compassion, "that's “A great deal. Henry the VIII. what a man gets in this world by found a subsidy so unpopular that he being a faithful servant, and doing gave it up; and the people, in return, his duty with zeal for his employer. allowed him to cut off as many heads But you see that things have come to as he pleased, besides those in his a strange pass, and the question now own family. Good Queen Bess, who, is, what course to pursue. The mis- I know, is your idol in history-" creants hitherto have defied all “To be sure !-she knighted my vigilance, and Stirn recommends the ancestor at Tilbury Fort." employment of a regular nightwatch “Good Queen Bess struggled hard with a lanthorn and bludgeon." to maintain a certain monopoly ; she
“That may protect the Stocks saw it would not do, and she surrendercertainly; but will it keep those ed it with that frank heartiness which detestable tracts out of the beer- becomes a sovereign, and makes house ?"
surrender a grace." “We shall shut the beer-house up “Ha! and you would have me at the next sessions."
give up the Stocks ? " " The tracts will break ont else “I would much rather they had where—the humour's in the blood !" stayed as they were, before you touch
" I've half a mind to run off to ed them ; but, as it is, if you could Brighton or Leamington-good hunt- find a good plausible pretext-and ing at Leamington—for a year, just to there is an excellent one at hand;let the rogues see how they can get the sternest kings open prisons, and on without me!"
grant favours, upon joyful occasions. The Squire's lip trembled.
Now a marriage in the royal family is “My dear Mr Hazeldean," said the of course a joyful occasion !- and so it Parson, taking his friend's hand, “I shonld be in that of the King of don't want to parade my superior Hazeldean." Admire that artful turn wisdom ; but if you had taken my in the Parson's eloquence it was advice, quieta non movere. Was there worthy of Riccabocca himself. Indeed, ever a parish so peaceable as this, or Mr Dale had profited much by his a country-gentleman so beloved as companionship with that Machiavelyou were, before you undertook the lian intellect.
" A marriage--yes ; but Frank has “I did not allude to Frank, but to only just got into long tails !"
your cousin Jemima!"
The Squire staggered as if the which could not be expected from breath had been knocked out of him, every English pretender to the lady's and, for want of a better seat, sate hand.” Seeing that he had so far down on the Stocks.
cleared ground, the Parson went on All the female heads in the neigh to intimate, though with great tact, bouring cottages peered, themselves that, since Miss Jemima would prounseen, through the casements. What bably marry sooner or later, (and, incould the Squire be about?—what new deed, that the Squire could not wish to mischief did he meditate? Did he mean prevent her,) it might be better for all to fortify the stocks ? Old Gaffer parties concerned that it should be with Solomons, who had an indefinite idea some one who, though a foreigner, of the lawful power of squires, and was settled in the neighbourhood, who had been for the last ten minutes and of whose character what was at watch on his threshold, shook his known was certainly favourable, than head and said " Them as a cut out run the hazard of her being married the mon, a-hanging, as a put it in the for her money by some adventurer or Squire's head!"
Irish fortune-hunter at the water*** Put what ?” asked his grand- ing-places she yearly visited. Then he daughter.
touched lightly on Riccabocca's agree"The gallus!"answered Solomons- able and companionable qualities ; “ he be a-goin to have it hung from and concluded with a skilful perorathe great elm-tree. And the Parson, tion upon the excellent occasion the good mon, is a-quoting Scripter agin it wedding would afford to reconcile
you see he's a taking off his gloves, Halland parish, by making a voluntary and a putting his two han's togither, holocaust of the Stocks. as he do when he pray for the sick, As le concluded, the Squire's brow, Jeany."
before thoughtful, though not sullen, That description of the Parson's cleared up benignly. To say truth, mien and manner, which, with the Squire was dying to get rid of the his usual niceness of observation, Stocks, if he could but do so handGaffer Solomons thus sketched off, somely and with dignity; and if all will convey to you some idea of the the stars in the astrological horoscope earnestness with which the Parson had conjoined together to give Miss pleaded the cause he had undertaken Jemima " assurance of a husband," to advocate. He dwelt much upon they could not so have served her the sense of propriety which the with the Squire, as that conjunction foreigner had evinced in requesting between the altar and the Stocks that the Squire might be consulted which the Parson had effected ! before any formal communication to Accordingly, when Mr Dale had his cousin ; and he repeated Mrs come to an end, the Squire replied Dale's assurance, that such were Ric-' with great placidity and good sense, cabocca's high standard of honour “That Mr Rickeybockey had behaved and belief in the sacred rights of very much like a gentleman, and that hospitality, that, if the Squire with he was very much obliged to him ; that held his consent to his proposals, the he (the Squire) had no right to interParson was convinced that the Italian fere in the matter, farther than with would instantly retract them. Now, his advice ; that Jemima was old considering that Miss Hazeldean was, enough to choose for herself, and that, to say the least, come to years of dis- as the Parson had implied, after all cretion, and the Squire had long sinco she might go farther and fare worseplaced her property entirely at her own indeed, the farther she went, (that is, disposal, Mr Hazeldean was forced the longer she waited,) the worse she to acquiesce in the Parson's corollary was likely to fare. I own for my remark, “That this was a delicacy part," continued the Squire, " that, though I like Rickeybockey very much, Riccabocca was a widower was anI never suspected that Jemima was other matter for deliberation ; and it caught with his long face; but there's seemed rather suspicious that he no accounting for tastes. My Harry, should have been hitherto so close indeed, was more shrewd, and gave upon all matters connected with his me many a hint, for which I only former life. Certainly his manners laughed at her. Still I ought to have were in his favour, and as long as he thought it looked queer when Moun- was merely an acquaintance, and at seer took to disguising himself by most a tenant, no one had a right to leaving off his glasses, ha-ha! I won- institute inquiries of a strictly private der what Harry will say ; let's go nature; but that, when he was about and talk to her."
to marry a Hazeldean of Hazeldean, The Parson, rejoiced at this easy it became the Squire at least to know way of taking the matter, hooked his a little more about him who and arm into the Squire's, and they walked what he was. Why did he leave his amicably towards the Hall. But on own country ? English people went coming first into the gardens they abroad to save; no foreigner would found Mrs Hazeldean herself, clipping choose England as a country in which dead leaves or fading flowers from her to save money! She supposed that rose-trees. The Squire stole slily a foreign doctor was no very great behind her, and startled her in her things ; probably lie had been a proturn by putting his arm round her fessor in some Italian university. · At waist, and saluting her smooth cheek all events, if the Squire interfered at with one of his hearty kisses; which, all, it was on such points that he by the way, from some association of should request information." ideas, was a conjugal freedom that be “My dear madam," said the Parusually indulged whenever a wedding son, “what you say is extremely just. was going on in the village.
As to the causes which have induced * Fie, William !” said Mrs Hazel- our friend to expatriate himself, I dean coyly, and blushing as she saw think we need not look far for them. the Parson. “Well, who's going to He is evidently one of the many to be married now?"
Italian refugees whom political dis“ Lord, was there ever such a turbances have driven to our shore, woman?-- she's guessed it !" cried the whose boast it is to receive all exiles Squire in great admiration. “ Tell of whatever party. For his respectaher all about it, Parson."
bility of birth and family he certainly The Parson obeyed.
ought to obtain some vouchers. And Mrs Hazeldean, as the reader may if that be the only objection, I trust suppose, showed much less surprise we may soon congratulate Miss Hazelthan her husband had done ; but she dean on a marriage with a man who, took the news graciously, and made though certainly very poor, has borne much the same answer as that which privations without a murmur; has had occurred to the Squire, only with preferred all hardship to debt; has somewhat more qualification and re- scorned to attempt betraying her into serve. “Signor Riccabocca bad be- any clandestine connection; who, in haved very handsomely; and though short, has shown himself so upright a daughter of the Hazeldeans of Haz. and honest, that I hope my dear eldean might expect a much better Mr Hazeldean will forgive him if he marriage in a worldly point of view, is only a doctor-probably of Laws yet as the lady in question had de- -and not, as most foreigners preferred finding one so long, it would be tend to be, a marquis, or a baron at equally idle and impertinent now to least." quarrel with her choice-if indeed she “ As to that," cried the Squire, should decide on accepting Siguor " 'tis the best thing I know about Riccabocca. As for fortune, that was Rickeybockey, that he don't attempt a consideration for the two contract. to humbug us by any such foreign ing parties. Still, it ought to be trumpery. Thank heaven, the Hazelpointed out to Miss Jemima that the deans of Hazeldean were never tuftinterest of her fortune would afford hunters and title-mongers; and if I but a very small income. That Dr never ran after an English lord, I should certainly be devilishly ashamed " Pick it up!-why, I saw a fellow of a brother-in-law whom I was myself at the cattle fair last yearforced to call markee or count! I when I was buying short-horns-with should feel sure he was a courier, a red waistcoat and a cocked hat, & or runaway valley-de-sham. Turn little like the Parson's shovel. He up your nose at a doctor, indeed, called himself Doctor Phoscophornio Harry!-pshaw, good English style -wore a white wig, and sold pills ! that! Doctor! my aunt married a The Merry-Andrew was the funniest Doctor of Divinity-excellent man- creature-in salmon-coloured tightswore a wig, and was made a dean! turned head over heels, and said he So long as Rickeybockey is not a doc- came from Timbuctoo. No, no; if tor of physic, I don't care a button. Rickeybockey's a physic Doctor, we If he's that, indeed, it would be sus shall have Jemima in a pink tinsel picious; because, you see, those foreign dress, tramping about the country in doctors of physic are quacks, and tell a caravan ! ” fortunes, and go about on a stage A t this notion, both the Squire and with a Merry-Andrew."
his wife laughed so heartily that the “Lord, Hazeldean! where on earth Parson felt the thing was settled, and did you pick up that idea?" said Harry slipped away, with the intention of laughing
making his report to Riccabocca.
It was with a slight disturbance of man qui stupet in titulis, (who was his ordinary suave and well-bred besotted with titles,) that he neither equanimity that the Italian received expected nor desired to find an origin the information, that he need appre- and rank for his brother-in-law above hend no obstacle to his suit from the that decent mediocrity of condition to insular prejudices or the worldly views which it was evident, from Riccabocof the lady's family. Not that he was ca's breeding and accomplishments, be mean and cowardly enough to recoil could easily establish his claim. “And from the near and unclouded prospect though," said he smiling, “the Squire of that felicity which he had left is a warm politician in his own off his glasses to behold with unblink- country, and would never see his ing naked eyes :-no, there his mind sister again, I fear, if she married was made up ; but he had met with some convicted enemy of our happy very little kindness in life, and he was constitution, yet for foreign politics touched not only by the interest in he does not care a straw ; so that if, his welfare testified by a heretical as I suspect, your exile arises from priest, but by the generosity with some quarrel with your Governmentwhich he was admitted into a well- which, being foreign, he takes for born and wealthy family, despite his granted must be insupportable-he notorious poverty and his foreign would but consider you as he would descent. He conceded the propriety a Saxon who fled from the iron hand of the only stipulation, which was of William the Conqueror, or a conveyed to him by the Parson with Lancastrian expelled by the Yorkists all the delicacy that became a man in our Wars of the Roses." professionally habituated to deal with The Italian smiled. “Mr Hazeldean the subtler susceptibilities of mankind shall be satisfied," said he simply. -viz., that, amongst Riccabocca's “I see, by the Squire's newspaper, friends or kindred, some one should be that an English gentleman who knew found whose report would confirm theme in my own country has just persuasion of his respectability enter- arrived in London. I will write to tained by his neighbours ;-he assent. him for a testimonial, at least to my ed, I say, to the propriety of this probity and character. Probably he condition ; but it was not with alacrity may be known to you by name-nay, and eagerness. His brow became he must be, for he was a distinguishclouded. The Parson hastened to ed officer in the late war. I allude to assure him that the Squire was not a Lord L'Estrange."