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Parson Dale, as a clergyman and a let it alone; but woman, being the scholar, had, no doubt, these authori. more active, bustling, curious creature, ties at his fingers' end. And I won- is always for giving it a sly stir.” der he did not quote them," quoth my BLANCHE, with female dignity.-"I father ; “but, to be sure, he is repre- assure you, that if Pisistratus had not sented as a mild man, and so might called me, I should not have—" not wish to humble the Squire over MR CAXTON, interrupting her, much in the presence of his family. without lifting his eyes from the book Meanwhile, My Novel is My Novel; he has already taken.—“ Certainly and now that that matter is settled, you would not. I am now in the perhaps the tongs, poker, and shovel midst of the great Puseyite Contromay be picked up, the children may go versy. Mì kivet Kapápevav—don't disto bed, Blanche and Kitty may speculate turb Camarina." apart upon the future dignities of the A dead silence for half an hour, Neogilos, taking care, nevertheless, to at the end of which finish the new pinbefores he requires PISISTRATUS, from behind the for the present; Roland may cast up screen.--" Blanche, my dear, I want his account-book, Mr Squills have his to consult you." brandy and water, and all the world Blanche does not stir. be comfortable, each in his own way. PINISTRATUS.-" Blanche, I say." Blanche, come away from the screen, Blanche glances in triumph towards get me my slippers, and leave Pisis- Mr Caxton. tratus to himself. Μή κίνει Καμάριναν Mr Caxton, laying down his theo.
- don't disturb Camarina. You see, logical tract, and rubbing his speciny dear,” added my father kindly, tacles mournfully. -"I hear him, as, after settling himself into his slip- child; I hear him. I retract my vinpers, he detained Blanche's hand in dication of Man. Oracles warn in vain: his own—" you see, my dear, every so long as there is a woman on the house has its Camarina. Man, who other side of the screen,-it is all up is a lazy animal, is quite content to with Camarina!"
It is greatly to be regretted that his inexpressible and fierce satisfacMr Stirn was not present at the tion, Mr Stirn fell upon a knot of Parson's Discourse—but that valu- boys pelting the swans; sometimes able functionary was far otherwise he missed a young sapling, and found engaged-indeed, during the summer it in felonious hands, converted into months be was rarely seen at the a walking-stick; sometimes he caught afternoon service. Not that he cared a bulking fellow scrambling up the for being preached at-pot he: Mrha-ha! to gather a nosegay for his Stirn would have snapped his finger sweetheart from one of poor Mrs at the thunders of the Vatican. But Hazeldean's pet parterres ; not unthe fact was, that Mr Stirn chose to frequently, indeed, when all the do a great deal of gratuitous busi- family were fairly at church, some ness upon the day of rest. The curious impertinents forced or sneaked Squire allowed all persons, who their way into the gardens, in order chose, to walk about the park on a to peep in at the windows. For Sunday; and many came from a dis- these, and various other offences of tance to stroll by the lake, or recline like magnitude, Mr Stirn had long, under the elms. These visitors were but vainly, sought to induce the objects of great suspicion, nay, of Squire to withdraw a permission so positive annoyance, to Mr Stirn- villanously abused. But though there and, indeed, not altogether without were times when Mr Hazeldean reason, for we English have a natural grunted and growled, and swore Jove of liberty, which we are even that he would shut up the park, more apt to display in the grounds of and fill it (illegally) with man-traps other people than in those which we and spring-guns," his anger always cultivate ourselves. Sometimes, to evaporated in words. The park was still open to all the world on a Sun- they ha' left the body. But in this day, and that blessed day was there. here willage there ben't a man, fore converted into a day of travail woman, nor child, as has any consarn and wrath to Mr Stirn. But it was for Squire or Parish, barring my. from the last chime of the afternoon self." It was just as he arrived at service bell until dusk that the spirit that misantbropical conclusion that of this vigilant functionary was most Mr Stirn beheld Leonard Fairfield perturbed ; for, amidst the flocks walking very fast from his own home. that gathered from the little ham- The superintendent clapped on his lets round to the voice of the Pastor, hat, and stuck his right arm akimbo. there were always some stray sheep; “Hollo, you sir," said he, as Lenny or rather climbing desultory vaga- now came in hearing, “wbere be you bond goats, who struck off in all per- going at that rate ? verse directions, as if for the special "Please, sir, I be going to church." purpose of distracting the energetic “Stop, sir-stop, Master Lenny. watchfulness of Mr Stirn. As soon as Going to church !-why, the bell's church was over, if the day were done, and you knows the Parson is fine, the whole park became a scene very angry at them as comes in animated with red cloaks, or lively late, disturbing the congregation. shawls, Sunday waistcoats, and hats You can't go to church now!" stuck full of wild-flowers -- which “Please, sir"last Mr Stirn often stoutly maintained “I says you can't go to church to be Mrs Hazeldean's newest gera- now. You must learn to think a little niums. Now, on this Sunday espe- of others, lad. You sees how I sweats cially, there was an imperative call to serve the Squire! and you must apon an extra exertion of vigilance serve him too. Why, your mother's on the part of the superintendent- got the house and premishes almost he had not only to detect ordinary rent free: you ought to have a gratedepredators and trespassers; but, ful heart, Leonard Fairfield, and feel first, to discover the authors of the for bis honour ! Poor man ! his heart conspiracy against the Stocks; and is wellnigh bruk, I am sure, with the secondly, to make an example." goings on."
He had began his rounds, there- Leonard opened his innocent blue fore, from the early morning; and eyes, while Mr Stirn dolorously wiped just as the afternoon bell was sound his own. ing its final peal, he emerged upon “ Look at that ere dumb cretur," the village green from a hedgerow, said Stirn suddenly, pointing to the behind which he had been at watch Stocks—“look at it. If it could speak, to observe who had the most sus- what would it say, Leonard Fairpiciously gathered round the stocks. field ? Answer me that !— Damn the At that moment the place was de- Stocks, indeed!'” serted. At a distance, the superin- “It was very bad in them to tendent saw the fast disappearing write such naughty words," said forms of some belated groups hasten- Lenny gravely. “Mother was quite ing towards the church ; in front, the shocked when she heard of it, this Stocks stood staring at him mourn- morning." fully from its four great eyes, which MR STIRN.—“I dare she was, conhad been cleansed from the mud, but sidering what she pays for the prestill looked bleared and stained with mishes : (insinuatingly,) you does not the marks of the recent outrage. know who did it-eh, Lenny ? " Here Mr Stirn paused, took off his LENNY.-"No, sir; indeed I does hat, and wiped his brows.
not!" "If I had sum un, to watch here," MR STIRN.-" Well, you see, you thought he," while I takes a turn can't go to church - prayers half by the water-side, praps summat over by this time. You recollex that I might come out; praps them as did put them stocks under your sponsiit ben't gone to church, but will come bility,'and see the way you's done your sneaking round to look on their duty by 'em. I've half a mind to," willany! as they says murderers are Mr Stirn cast his eyes on the eyes always led back to the place where of the Stocks.
"Please, sir," began Lenny again, mission to which he was deputed. In rather frightened.
youth, at least, everything has its “No, I won't please ; it ben't pleas- bright side-even the appointment of ing at all. But I forgives you this Protector to the Parish Stocks. For time, only keep a sharp look-out, lad, the Stocks, themselves, Leonard had in future. Now you just stay here no affection, it is true; but he had no, there, - under the hedge, and no sympathy with their aggressors, you watches if any persons come to and he could well conceive that the loiter about or looks at the Stocks, Squire would be very much hurt at or laughs to hisself, while I go my the revolutionary event of the night. rounds. I shall be back either afore “So," thought poor Leonard in his church is over or just arter ; so you simple heart—"so if I can serve his stay till I comes, and give me your honour, by keeping off mischievous report. Be sharp, boy, or it will be boys, or letting him know who did worse for you and your mother: I can the thing, I'm sure it would be a let the premishes for four pounds a proud day for mother." Then he year more, to-morrow."
began to consider that, however unCoucluding with that somewhat graciously Mr Stirn had bestowed on menacing and very significant remark, him the appointment, still it was a and not staying for an answer, Mr compliment to him-showed trust and Stirn wared his hand, and walked off. confidence in him, picked him out
Poor Lenny remained by the Stocks, from his contemporaries as the sober very much dejected, and greatly dis- moral pattern boy; and Lenny had a liking the neighbourhood to which he great deal of pride in him, especially was consigned. At length he slowly in matters of repute and character. crept off to the hedge, and sate him- All these things considered, I say, self down in the place of espionage Leonard Fairfield reclined in his lurkpointed out to him. Now, philoso- ing place, if not with positive delight phers tell us that what is called and intoxicating rapture, at least the point of honour is a barbarous with tolerable content and some comfeudal prejudice. Amongst the higher placency. classes, wherein those feudal preju- Mr Stirn might have been gone a dices may be supposed to prevail, quarter of an hour, when a boy came Lenny Fairfield's occupation would through a little gate in the park, just not have been considered peculiarly opposite to Lenny's retreat in the honourable ; neither would it have hedge, and, as if fatigued with walkseemed so to the more turbulent ing, or oppressed by the beat of the spirits among the humbler orders, who day, paused on the green for a moment have a point of honour of their own, or so, and then advanced under the which consists in the adherence to shade of the great tree which overeach other in defiance of all lawful hung the Stocks. authority. But to Lenny Fairfield, Lenny pricked up his ears, and brought up much apart from other peeped out jealously. boys, and with a profound and He had never seen the boy before : grateful reverenco for the Squire in- it was a strange face to him. stilled into all his habits of thonght, Leonard Fairfield was not fond of notions of honour bounded themselves strangers ; moreover, he had a vague to simple honesty and straightfor- belief that strangers were at the botward truth; and as he cherished an tom of that desecration of the Stocks. upquestioning awe of order and The boy, then, was a stranger; but what constitutional authority, so it did not was his rank? Was he of that grade appear to bim that there was any. in society in which the natural offences thing derogatory and debasing in are or are not consonant to, or harmonibeing thus set to watch for an ous with, outrages upon Stocks ? On offender. On the contrary, as he began that Lenny Fairfield did not feel quite to reconcile himself to the loss of the assured. According to all theexperience church service, and to enjoy the cool of the villager, the boy was not dressed of the summer shade, and the occa- like a young gentleman. Leonard's sional chirp of the birds, he got to notions of such aristocratic costume look on the bright side of the com- were naturally fashioned upon the
model of Frank Hazeldean. They Unknown taking an inventory of the represented to him a dazzling vision church and the Hall for the purposes of snow-white trousers, and beautiful of conflagration ? He looked at one, blue coats, and incomparable cravats. and at the other, with a strange, fixed Now the dress of this stranger, though stare as he wrote-not keeping his not that of a peasant nor of a farmer, eyes on the paper, as Lenny had been did not in any way correspond with taught to do when he sate down to his Lenny's notions of the costume of a copy-book. The fact is, that Randal young gentleman: it looked to him Leslie was tired and faint, and he felt highly disreputable; the coat was the shock of his fall the more, after the covered with mud, and the hat was few paces he had walked, so that all manner of shapes, with a gap be- he was glad to rest himself a few motween the side and crown.
ments; and he took that opportunity Lenny was puzzled, till it suddenly to write a line to Frank, to excuse occurred to him that the gate through himself for not calling again, intendwhich the boy had passed was in the ing to tear the leaf on which he wrote direct path across the park from a out of his pocket-book, and leave it small town, the inhabitants of which at the first cottage he passed, with inwere in very bad odour at the Hall- structions to take it to the Hall. they had immemorially furnished the While Randal was thus innocently most daring poachers to the preserves, engaged, Lenny came up to him, with the most troublesome trespassers on the the firm and measured pace of one park, the most unprincipled orchard- who has resolved, cost what it may, robbers, and the most disputatious to do his duty. And as Lenny, though assertors of various problematical brave, was not ferocious, so the anger rights of way, which, according to the he felt, and the suspicions he enterTown, were public, and, according to tained, only exhibited themselves in the Hall, had been private since the the following solemn appeal to the Conquest. It was true that the same offender's sense of propriety,path led also directly from the Squire's “Ben't you ashamed of yourself? house, but it was not probable that Sitting on the Squire's new Stocks ! the wearer of attire so equivocal had Do get up, and go along with you!" been visiting there. All things con- Randal turned round sharply; and sidered, Lenny had no doubt in bis though, at any other moment, he mind but that the stranger was a would have had sense enough to exshopboy or 'prentice from the town of tricate himself very easily from his Thorndyke ; and the notorious repute false position, yet, Nemo mortalium, of that town, coupled with this pre- &c. No one is always wise. And sumption, made it probable that Lenny Randal was in an exceedingly bad now saw before him one of the mid- humour. The affability towards his night desecrators of the Stocks. As if inferiors, for which I lately praised to confirm the suspicion, which passed him, was entirely lost in the contempt through Lenny's mind with a rapidity for impertinent snobs natural to an wholly disproportionate to the num- insulted Etoniaú. ber of lines it costs me to convey it, Therefore, eyeing Lenny with great the boy, now standing right before the disdain, Randal answered briefly, Stocks, bent down and read that pithy “You are an insolent young blackanathema with which it was defaced. guard." And having read it, he repeated it So curt a rejoinder made Lenny's aloud, and Lenny actually saw him blood fly to his face. Persuaded Þcsmile-such a smile!-so disagreeable fore that the intruder was some lawand sinister! Lenny had never be- less apprentice or shop lad, he was now fore seen the smile Sardonic.
more confirmed in that judgment, not But what were Lenny's pious horror only by language so uncivil, but by and dismay when this ominous stran- the truculent glance which accomger fairly seated himself on the Stocks, panied it, and which certainly did not rested his heels profanely on the lids derive any imposing dignity from the of two of the four round eyes, and, mutilated, rakish, hang-dog, ruinous taking out a pencil and a pocket-book, hat, under which it shot its sullen and began to write. Was this audacious menacing fire.
of all the various articles of game-cock feeling-something that which our male attire is composed, tends to keep alive, in the population of there is perhaps not one which has so this island, (otherwise so lamb-like much character and expression as the and peaceful,) the martial propensity to top covering. A neat, well-brushed, double the thumb tightly over the four short-napped, gentlemanlike hat, put fingers, and make what is called "a on with a certain air, gives a distinc. fist of it." Dangerous symptoms of tion and respectability to the whole these mingled and aggressive sentiexterior; whereas a broken, squashed, ments were visible in Lenny Fairhiggledy-piggledy sort of a hat, such field at the words and the look of the as Randal Leslie had on, would go far unprepossessing stranger. And the towards transforming the stateliest stranger seemed aware of them; for gentleman that ever walked down St his pale face grew more pale, and James's Street into the ideal of a his sullen eye more fixed and more ruffianly scamp.
vigilant. Now, it is well known that there is “ You get off them Stocks," said nothing more antipathetic to your Lenny, disdaining to reply to the coarse peasant-boy than a shop-boy. Even expressions bestowed on him; and, on grand political occasions, the rural suiting the action to the word, he working-class can rarely be coaxed gave the intruder what he meant for into sympathy with the trading town- a shove, but which Randal took for class. Your true English peasant is a blow. The Etonian sprang up, and always an aristocrat. Moreover, and the quickness of his movement, aided irrespectively of this immemorial but by a slight touch of his hand, grudge of class, there is something made Lenny lose his balance, and sent peculiarly hostile in the relationship him neck-and-crop over the Stocks. between boy and boy when their backs Burning with rage, the young villager are once up, and they are alone on a rose alertly, and, flying at Randal, quiet bit of green. Something of the struck out right and left.
Aid me, O ye Nine! whom the in- dal's lip, was seized with an instancomparable Persius satirised his con- taneous and generons remorse." It temporaries for invoking, and then, was not fair," he thought, “to fight all of a sudden, invoked on his own one whom he could beat so easily." behalf — aid me to describe that So, retreating still farther, and letting famous battle by the Stocks, and in his arms fall to his side, he said defence of the Stocks, which was mildly—“There, let's have no more waged by the two representatives of of it; but go home and be good." Saxon and Norman England. Here, Randal Leslie had no remarkable sober support of law and duty and de- degree of that constitutional quality legated trust-pro aris et focis ; there, called physical courage; but he had haughty invasion, and bellicose spirit all those moral qualities which supply of knighthood, and that respect for its place. He was proud-he was name and person, which we call ho- vindictive--he had high self-esteemnour. Here, too, hardy physical force he had the destructive organ more - there, skilful discipline. Here— than the combative ;—what had once The Nine are as deaf as a post, and as provoked bis wrath it became his incold as a stone! Plague take the stinct to sweep away. Therefore, jades !-- I can do better without them. though all his nerves were quivering,
Randal was a year older than and hot tears were in his eyes, he Lenny, but he was not so tall nor so approached Lenny with the sternness strong, nor even so active; and after of a gladiator, and said between his the first blind rush, when the two teeth, which he set hard, choking. boys paused, and drew back to back the sob of rage and painbreathe, Lenny, eyeing the slight form " You have struck me—and you and hueless cheek of his opponent, shall not stir from this ground - till and seeing blood trickling from Ran. I have made you repent it. Put up