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himself deliberately, resting one arm grace at all in Lenny's present posion the side column of the Stocks, in tion, that every equitable person familiar contact with the captive's would recognise the tyranny of Stirn shoulder, while his eye wandered over and the innocence of its victim; 2dly, the lovely scene around)—“Cospetto! that if even bere he were mistaken, my prison, if they had caught me, for public opinion was not always would not have had so fair a look-out righteous, what was public opinion as this. But, to be sure, it is all one: after all?" A breath-a puff," cried there are no ugly loves, and no Dr Riccabocca —"a thing without handsome prisons !"
matter — without length, brcadth, or With that sententious maxim, which, substance-a shadow-a goblin of our indeed, he uttered in his native Italian, own creating. Aman's own conscience Riccabocca turned round and renewed is his sole tribunal, and he should care his soothing invitations to confidence. no more for that phantom 'opinion' A friend in need is a friend indeed, than he should fear meeting a ghost even if he come in the guise of a if he cross the churchyard at dark." Papist and wizard. Ali Lenny's Now, as Lenny did very much fear ancient dislike to the foreigner had meeting a ghost if he crossed the gone, and he told him his little tale. churchyard at dark, the simile spoiled
Dr Riccabocca was much too shrewd the argument, and he shook his head a man not to see exactly the motives very mournfully. Dr Riccabocca was which had induced Mr Stirn to incare about to enter into a third course of cerate his agent, (barring only that of reasoning, which, had it come to an personal grudge, to which Lenny's end, would doubtless have settled the account gave him no clue.) That a matter, and reconciled Lenny to inan high in office should make a sitting in the Stocks till doomsday, scape-goat of his own watch-dog for when the captive, with the quick ear an unlucky snap, or even an indiscreet and eye of terror and calamity, bebark, was nothing strange to the came conscions that church was over, wisdom of the student of Machiavelli. that the congregation in a few seconds However, he set himself to the task more would be Hocking thitherwards. of consolation with equal philosophy He saw visionary hats and bonnets and tenderness. He began by re- throngh the trees, which Riccabocca minding, or rather informing, Leonard saw not, despite all the excellence of Fairfield of all the instances of illus- his spectacles — heard phantasmal trious men afflicted by the injustice rustlings and murmurings which Riccaof others that occurred to his own bocca heard not, despite all that excellent memory. He told him how theoretical experience in plots, stratathe great Epictetus, when in slavery, gems, and treasons, which should have had a master whose favourite amuse- made the Italian's ear as fine as a ment was pinching his leg, which, as conspirator's or a mole's. And, with the amusement ended in breaking that another violent but vain effort at limb, was worse than the Stocks. He escape, the prisoner exclaimed, also told him the anecdote of Lenny's “Oli, if I could but get ont before own gallant countryman, Admiral they come! Let me out—let me out. Byng, whose execution gave rise to O, kind sir, have pity-let me out!" Voltaire's celebrated witticism, "En " Diavolo !" said the philosopher, Angleterre on tue un amiral pour startled,"I wonder that never occurred encourager les autres.” (“In England to me before. After all, I believe he they execute one admiral in order to has hit the right nail on the head ;" encourage the others.") Many more and, looking close, he perceived that illustrations, still moro pertinent to though the partition wood had hitched the case in point, his erudition sup- firmly into a sort of spring-clasp, plied from the stores of history. But which defied Lenny's unaided strugon seeing that Lenny did not seem gles, still it was not locked, (for, in the slightest degree consoled by indeed, the padlock and key were these memorable examples, he shifted snug in the justice-room of the Squire, his ground, and, reducing his logic to who never dreamt that his orders the strict argumentum ad rem, began would be executed so literally and to prove, 1st, that there was no dis- summarily as to dispense with all formal appeal to himself.) As soon which boys place a stick under a sieve as Dr Riccabocca made that discovery, for the purpose of ensnaring sparrows : it occurred to him that all the wisdom the fatal wood thus propped, Dr of all the schools that ever existed Riccabocca sate gravely down on the can't reconcile man or boy to a bad bank, and thrust his feet through the position, the moment there is a fair apertures. opportunity of letting him out of it. “Nothing in it!" cried he triumAccordingly, without more ado, he phantly, after a moment's deliberation. lifted up the creaking board, and "The evil is only in idea. Such is the Lenny Fairfield darted forth like a boasted reason of mortals !" With bird from a cage—halted a moment that reflection, nevertheless, he was as if for breath, or in joy; and then, about to withdraw his feet from their taking at once to his heels, fled, fast voluntary dilemma, when the crazy as a hare to its form-fast to his stick suddenly gave way, and the parmother's home.
tition fell back into its clasp. Doctor Dr Riccabocca dropped the yarn- Riccabocca was fairly caught-"Facilis ing wood into its place, picked up his descensus— sed revocare gradum !” handkerchief and restored it to his True, his hands were at liberty, but his pocket; and then, with some curiosity, legs were so long that, being thus began to examine the nature of that fixed, they kept the hands from the place of duresse which had caused so rescue ; and as Dr Riccabocca's form much painful emotion to its rescued was by no means supple, and the twin victim.
parts of the wood stuck together with “Man is a very irrational animal that firmness of adhesion wbich things at best," quoth the sage, soliloquising, newly painted possess, so, after some * and is frightened by strange bugga- vain twists and contortions, in which booes! Tis but a piece of wood! he succeeded at length (not without a how little it really injures; and, after stretch of the sinews that made them all, the holes are but rests to the legs, crack again) in finding the clasp and and keep the feet out of the dirt. breaking his nails thereon, the victim And this green bank to sit upon—under of his own rash experiment resigned the shade of the elm-tree verily himself to his fate. Dr Riccabocca the position must be more pleasant was one of those men who never do than otherwise! I've a great mind" things by balves. When I say he reHere the Doctor looked around, and, signed himself, I mean not only Chrisseeing the coast still clear, the oddest tian but philosophical resignation. notion imaginable took possession The position was not quite so pleasant of him ; yet not indeed a notion as, theoretically, he had deemed it; so odd, considered philosophically but he resolved to make himself as —for all philosophy is based on prac- comfortable as he could. And first, tical experiment-and Dr Ricca bocca as is natural in all troubles to men felt an irresistible desire practi- who have grown familiar with that cally to experience what manner of odoriferous comforter which Sir Walter thing that punishment of the Stocks Raleigh is said first to have bestowed really was." I can but try!-only upon the Caucasian races, the Doctor for a moment,” said he apologetically made use of his hands to extract from to his own expostulating sense of his pocket his pipe, match-box, and dignity. “I have time to do it, before tobacco-pouch. After a few whiffs he any one comes." He lifted up the would have been quite reconciled to partition again : but Stocks are built his situation, but for the discovery on the true principle of English law, that the sun had shifted its place in and don't easily allow a man to cri- the heavens, and was no longer shaded minate himself-it was hard to get from his face by theelm-tree. The Docinto them without the help of a friend. tor again looked round, and perceived However, as we before noticed, ob- that his red silk umbrella, which he stacles only whetted Dr Riccabocca's had laid aside when he had seated invention. He looked round and saw himself by Lenny, was within arm's a withered bit of stick under the tree reach. Possessing himself of this this be inserted in the division of the treasure, he soon expanded its friendly Stocks, somewhat in the manner in folds. And thus doubly fortified
VOL. LXIX.-XO. CCCCXXIII.
within and without, under shade of that adversities are more necessary the umbrella, and his pipe composedly than prosperities, but that among all between his lips, Dr Riccabocca gazed adversities a prison is the most pleaon his own incarcerated legs, even sant and profitable?* But is not this with complacency.
condition of mine, voluntarily and "". He who can despise all things,'” experimentally incurred, a type of my said he, in one of his native proverbs, life? Is it the first time that I have “possesses all things I'—if one des- thrust myself into a hobble ?—and if pises freedom, one is free! This seat in a hobble of mine own choosing, is as soft as a sofa! I am not sure," why should I blame the gods ?" he resumed, soliloquising, after a Upon this Dr Riccabocca fell into a pause-"I am not sure that there is train of musing so remote from time not something more witty than manly and place, that in a few minutes he and philosophical in that national pro- no more remembered that he was in verb of mine which I quoted to the the Parish Stocks, than a lover rememfanciullo, that there are no handsome bems that flesh is grass, a miser that prisons ! Did not the son of that cele- mammon is perishable, a philosopher brated Frenchman, surnamed Bras de that wisdom is vanity.-- Dr RiccaFer, write a book not only to prove bocca was in the clouds.
The dullest dog that ever wrote had a smiling face and a clean hearth a novel (and, entre nous, reader-but at his home;" whereas the Squire let it go no farther--we have a good maintained the more gallant opinion, many dogs among the fraternity that that "if Gill was a shrew, it was beare not Munitos, t) might have seen cause Jack did not, as in duty bound, with half an eye that the Parson's stop her mouth with a kiss !" Still, discourse had produced a very genial notwithstanding these more obnoxious and humanising effect upon his audi- notions on her part, and a certain awe ence. When all was over, and the inspired by the stiff silk gown and the congregation stood up to let Mr handsome aquiline nose, it was imposHazeldean and his family walk first sible, especially in the softened temdown the aisle, (for that was the cus- pers of that Sunday afternoon, not to tom at Hazeldean,) moistened eyes associate the honest, comely, beaming glanced at the Squire's sun-burned, countenance of Mrs Hazeldean with manly face with a kindness that be- comfortable recollections of soups, jelspoke revived memory of many a lies, and wine in sickness, loaves and generous benefit and ready service. blankets in winter, cheering words The head might be wrong now and and ready visits in every little distress, then-the heart was in the right place and pretexts afforded by improveafter all. And the lady, leaning on ment in the grounds and gardens (imhis arm, came in for a large share of provements which, as the Squire, who that gracious good feeling. True, she preferred productive labour, justly now and then gave a little offence complained, “would never finish”) when the cottages were not so clean for little timely jobs of work to some as she fancied they ought to be--and veteran grandsire, who still liked to poor folks don't like a liberty taken earn a penny, or some ruddy urchin with their houses any more than the in a family that “came too fast." Nor rich do; true, that she was not quite so was Frank, as he walked a little bepopular with the women as the Squire hind, in the whitest of trousers and was, for, if the husband went too often the stiffest of neckcloths-with a look to the alehouse, she always laid the fault of suppressed roguery in his bright on the wife, and said, "No man would hazel eye, that contrasted his assumed go out of doors for his comforts, if he stateliness of mien--without his por
* “ Entre tout, l'état d'une prison est le plus doux, et le plus profitable !”.
+ Munito was the name of a dog famous for his learning (a Porson of a dog) at the date of my childhood. There are no such dogs now-a-days.
tion of the silent blessing. Not that place out of doors instead of in the he had done anything yet to deserve church, there would have been an it; but we all give youth so large a hurrah as the Squire passed out of credit in the future. As for Miss sight. Jemima, her trifling foibles only rose Scarcely had Mr Hazeldean got well from too soft and feminine a suscep- ont of the churchyard, ere Mr Stirn tibility, too ivy-like a yearning for was whispering in his ear. As Stirn some masculine oak, whereon to en- whispered, the Squire's face grew long, twine her tendrils; and so little con- and his colour changed. The congrefined to self was the natural loving- gation, now flocking out of the church, pess of her disposition, that she had exchanged looks with each other ; helped many a village lass to find a that ominous conjunction between husband, by the bribe of a marriage Squire and man chilled back all the gift from her own privy purse ; not effects of the Parson's sermon. The withstanding the assurances with Squire struck his cane violently into which she accompanied the marriage the ground. “I would rather you gift, - viz., that "the bridegroom had told me Black Bess had got the would turn out like the rest of his un- glanders. A young gentleman, comgrateful sex ; but that it was a com- ing
to visit my son, struck and insulted fort to think that it would be all one in Hazeldean; a young gentlemanin the approaching crash.” So that 'sdeath, sir, a relation-his grandmoshe had her warm partisans, especially ther was a Hazeldean. I do believe amongst the young; while the slim Jemima's right, and the world's comCaptain, on whose arm she rested her ing to an end ! But Leonard Fairfield forefinger, was at least a civil-spoken in the Stocks! What will the Parson gentleman, who had never done any say? and after such a sermon! "Rich harm, and who would doubtless do à man, respect the poor!' And the deal of good if he belonged to the good widow too ; and poor Mark, who parish. Nay, even the fat footman, almost died in my arms. Stirn, you who came last with the family Prayer- have a heart of stone! You confoundbook, had his due share in the general ed, lawless, merciless miscreant, who association of neighbourly kindness the deuce gave you the right to imbetween hall and hamlet. Few were prison man or boy in my parish of there present to whom he had not ex- Hazeldean without trial, sentence, tended the right-hand of fellowship, or warrant ?
Run and let the boy with a full horn of October in the out before any one sees him : run, or clasp of it: and he was a Hazeldean I shall” – The Squire elevated the man, too, born and bred, as two-thirds cane, and his eyes shot fire. Mr Stirn of the Squire's household (now letting did not run, but he walked off very themselves ont from their large pew fast. The Squire drew back a few ander the gallery) were.
paces, and again took his wife's arm. On his part, too, you could see that "Just wait a bit for the Parson, while the Squire was 'moved withal,' and I talk to the congregation. I want to a little humbled moreover. Instead stop 'em all, if I can, from going into of walking erect, and taking bow and the village ; but how?" curtsey as matter of course, and of no Frank heard, and replied readilymeaning, he hung his head somewhat, " Give 'em some beer, sir." and there was a slight blush on his “ Beer! on a Sunday! For shame, cheek; and as he glanced upward and Frank !” cried Mrs Hazeldean. round him—shyly, as it were--and his “ Hold your tongue, Harry. Thank eye met those friendly looks, it re- yon, Frank," said the Squire, and his turned them with an earnestness that brow grew as clear as the blue sky had in it something touching as well above him. I doubt if Riccabocca as cordial-an eye that said, as well could have got him out of his dilemma as eye could say, “I don't quite de- with the same ease as Frank had done. serve it, I fear, neighbours ; but I “ Halt there, my men-lads and thank you for your good-will with my lasses too—there, halt a bit. Mrs whole heart.” And so readily was Fairfield, do you hear?-halt! I think that glance of the eye understood, his reverence has given us a capital that I think, if that scene had taken sermon. Go up to the Great House all of you, and drink a glass to his “My dear Hazeldean, what has health. Frank, go with them; and happened ? you are mad.' tell Spruce to tap one of the casks *Don't bother—do what I tell you." kept for the haymakers. Harry, “But where is the Parson to find (this in a whisper,] catch the Par- you?" son, and tell him to come to me in- " Where, gad zooks, Mrs H.,-at stantly."
the Stocks to be sure !”
Dr Riccabocca, awakened out of his when the Squire, followed hard by reverie by the sound of footsteps, the Parson, arrived at the spot. was still so little sensible of the indig. Indeed, Mrs Hazeldean's report of the nity of his position, that he enjoyed Squire's urgent message, disturbed exceedingly, and with all the malice manner, and most unparalleled invitaof his natural humour, the astonish- tion to the parishioners, had given ment and stupor manifested by Stirn, wings to Parson Dale's ordinarily slow when that functionary beheld the and sedate movements. And while extraordinary substitute which fate the Squire, sharing Stirn's amazement, and philosophy had found for Lenny beheld indeed a great pair of feet proFairfield. Instead of the weeping, jecting from the stocks, and saw crushed, broken-hearted captive whom behind them the grave face of Doctor he had reluctantly come to deliver, Riccabocca, under the majestic shade he stared, speechless and aghast, upon of the umbrella, but not a vestige of the grotesque but tranquil figure of the only being his mind could identify the Doctor, enjoying his pipe and with the tenancy of the Stocks, Mr cooling himself under his umbrella, Dale, catching him by the arm, and with a sang-froid that was truly ap- panting hard, exclaimed with a petupalling and diabolical. Indeed, con- Iance he had never before been known sidering that Stirn always suspected to display – except at the whistthe Papisher of having had a hand in table, the whole of that black and midnight “ Mr Hazeldean, Mr Hazeldean, I business, in which the Stocks had been am scandalised—I am shocked at you. broken, bunged up, and consigned to I can bear a great deal from you, sir, perdition, and that the Papisher had as I ought to do; but to ask my the evil reputation of dabbling in the whole congregation, the moment after Black Art, the hocus pocus way in divine service, to go up and guzzle ale which the Lenny he had incarcerated at the Hall, and drink my health, as was transformed into the Doctor he if a clergyman's sermon had been a found, conjoined with the peculiarly speech at a cattle-fair! I am ashamed strange, eldritch, and Mephistophelean of you, and of the parish! What on physiognomy and person of Ricca- earth has come to you all ? " bocca, could not but strike a thrill " That's the very question I wish of superstitious dismay into the breast to heaven I could answer," groaned of the parochial tyrant. While to his the Squire, quite mildly and pathetifirst confused and stammered excla- cally-"What on earth has come to us mations and interrogatories, Ricca- alll Ask Stirn :" (then bursting out) bocca replied with so tragic an air, “Stirn, you infernal rascal, don't you such ominous shakes of the head, such hear ?—what on earth has come to mysterious, equivocating, long-worded us all ? ” sentences, that Stirn every moment “The Papisher is at the bottom of felt more and more convinced that the it, sir," said Stirn, provoked out of all boy had sold himself to the Powers temper. "I does my duty, but I is but of Darkness; and that he himself, a mortal man, arter all." prematurely, and in the flesh, stood “A mortal fiddlestick — where's face to face with the Arch Enemy. Leonard Fairfield, I say?"
Mr Stirn had not yet recovered his “ Him knows best," answered Stirn, wonted intelligence, which, to do him retreating mechanically, for safety's justice, was usually prompt enough, sake, behind the Parson, and pointing