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suffocation! They might as well have staid outside and been shot
“ Who was that Oliver Cromwell ?" inquired Gradus, with a cautious deliberation. “ I think I never heard any body speak a good word for him yet."
“ Nor will you,” answered Ille-ego, “ as long as truth is spoken in the world. He was the dt old rascal that ever existed on the face of the earth : I know no more about him—but I think that's quite enough to know of any man. Old red-nosed Noll, and the rest of the Roundheads, as I believe they used to be called, fought against the king~I tnink it was king Charles the First—and after fighting a great many battles, they at last caught him and cut his head off.”
“ Ah!” interrupted Hic-hæc-hoc, “we were reading about that the other day in the History of England."
“ He knocked down," continued Ille-ego," he knocked down all the castles that were ever built, and Tiverton Castle among the number: and the people that he wanted to stab or shoot, or something or other, rather than die that way, hid themselves here in the dungeon. There were many hundreds that came in, and took all their money along with them, and all their fortunes, and all the treasures they could find, for fear lest that old fool should catch hold of them. When they hid away-I say, give me another candle—when they hid away—here, light it before this goes out; we must only burn one at a time:—when they hid away in the first instance, they were obliged to run for it and save their lives: they took as much with them as they could carry, and shut themselves up tight to keep the enemy out. But they should have thought that they were at the same instant keeping themselves so ciose inside, that they were sure to die of hunger. I suppose though they were afraid of going out to fetch food for fear of being caught—so that they were certain of dying either way: but I think I would rather die with a belly full while I was about dying.”
(“ As well to die and go, as die and stay,” Ille-ego might have quoted here: but I never heard him mention Shakspeare's name in
“ It must have been a shocking thing to have died in here,” observed one of them with a tremulous voice.
“ There are heaps of skeletons somewhere in these passages," rejoined Ille-ego, “ of all the people that are said to have perished at that time. What is that whitish-looking stuff on the ground just over there ?"
A-B-C got behind our guide, and hugged the tail of his coat.
“ Where all the serpents and toads came from” (resuming his observations) “I cannot imagine—but there are lots of them, so I have been told.”
Unconsciously and unintentionally Ille-ego, by his history, commixed with supernatural inuendos, was gradually winding both himself and his hearers up to that pitch of excitement and nervous apprehension, that will sometimes exist in a nursery on the grave narrative of a mysterious ghost story. Himself-although scarcely aware
of it—had been quite as much worked on by his own words, as his own words had worked on those others who listened to them. By mutual and tacit consent, they had ceased to proceed onwards, but had stationed themselves against one of the walls in a close knot : all indeed but Hic-hæc-hoc, who with courage inexplicable, busied himself at a little distance, turning over some large stones.
The incongruity of human nature delights in territic pleasures. It will tremble with dread; and yet it will cherish and encourage the very fountain that supplies it. A tale of spectres and hobgoblins, however affecting and frightful, will still please in its own peculiar way: it will alarm and create painful feelings, and notwithstanding, it will at the same time be listened to. Ille-ego was frightening himself by talking of skeletons, at the instant he was terrifying his audience no less : and yet we must conclude that the pain he excited was pleasing, as he voluntarily maintained the same topic. Every time the blaze of the candle flared, they fancied that the
presence of some wandering ghost had been the immediate cause: for the ghosts of all who perished there are said to fit through the passages, and to reckon in multitudes a sum as great as the number of skeletons tradition declares still lie under the ruins to this very day. Their con versation had become less incessant—they talked almost in a whisper .--and often ceased for a few seconds as if to listen acutely. Pedestres (for so we must call him) reclining in so confined a situation, had every now and then unavoidably drawn a very deep breath-so deep; indeed, as nearly to approach to the character of a sigh: and these sighs, owing to the now sharpened senses of the adventurers, had found their way to their almost panic-awaiting ears. Several times had they involuntarily started, and looked anxiously in each other's faces, as much as to say, “ What was that ?" And several times also had they been on the point of making one simultaneous rush towards the carnally blocked-up archway.
“ What had we better do?" said Gradus, rolling his eyes around him, and speaking in a barely audible accent; "shall we explore any further, or do you think we might as well return?”
“ Perhaps," answered Ille-ego in the same pitch and expression, “ we might be able to go a little further—but yet I am afraid that you know—you see-you see it is very difficult to pass the rubbish."
“ Yes,” returned the former, seconding the last proposition, “ there is so much earth, mortar, and stones in the way, that I really believe we should never be able to get over it if we were to try all day.”
“ And perhaps the snakes and toads might come and bite us in the dark, if we disturbed them.”
“ I know there are a great many here of the most venomous kinds always crawling about. What had we better do ?”
“ Let us come away,” said A-B-C, in a whining tone of voice ; “ do let us come away.
“ Don't be afraid," answered Gradus, terrified out of his wits.
“ But you know there are so many ghosts too—and supposing they were to attack us in here—what would become of us?” added the little boy in a supplicating manner.
July 1836.- VOL. XVI.—NO. LXIN.
“ I don't suppose they will come," rejoined Ille-ego, doubtingly. Gradus saw no reason why they should not.
“ I never like to hear much about spectres and phantoms,” he said ; “and it is very frightful to think of them in such a place as this. I know one fellow who told me he once saw a ghost, and it was the most horrible and ghastly thing he ever saw in his life
It was one night when he was in bed: he was awoke about midnight by a noise at the chair close to his side; and when he looked up, he saw the ghost sitting down, and just going to put its hand upon his face
Gradus here stopped short, and turned as pale as death.
There was a sudden rattle of the fall of some large stones at a little distance in the dark. A sepulchral silence for a few seconds succeeded; when they all heard the sounds as if some one were struggling.
Help! for God's sake, help!” screamed a voice at a distance in the dark. Help! for God's sake, help !” screamed Hic-hæc-hoc, who had been seated on a rickety foundation, and swallowing with anxiety the conversation he had heard. “ Help! murder ! help! Oh! what shall I do? what will become of me?"
The pile of stones he had been resting on unexpectedly gave way beneath him, and laid him sprawling on the ground: but the bewildered imaginations of us all pictured nothing in the adventure but supernatural agency.
Perhaps it's a serpent, or a ghost that has got him !” exclaimed Ille-ego in consternation; but making no effort towards his rescue.
A-B-C burst out a crying. “ What shall we do?" said he, “ we shall not be able to get out-I wish I had never come in here!"
“ Which is the way we came?” inquired one of them in terror, and running he knew not whither. “ Was it this way? No, I think it was the other. Can you tell me? What shall we do? Oh ! oh!”
Ille-ego made a rush towards the opening, leaving Hic-hæc-hoc to pick himself up as he best could. “ I hear something behind us !” exclaimed Gradus.
" What can it be? Oh, we shall all be caught ! Make haste! make haste !"
In the heat and hurry of the scramble, A-B-C and Ille-ego came into violent contact in a narrow pass of the passage : poor A-B-C was hurled head-over-heels, and projected like a missile into a distant corner : and the candle was knocked out of Ille-ego's hand to the ground and instantly extinguished.
“ You d-n little luckless fool!" roared Ille-ego with raging fury. “ You cursed young ass! and now you have knocked out the candle, and what the devil are we to do? I'll be d—d if I don't wring your neck for you
“ Oh, don't be so wicked !” said Gradus, bursting into tears. “ Oh, don't swear till we get safe outside the dungeon."
“And there's another fool stuck in the archway !" continued the former, as he approached nearer Pedestres. “ Move off your cursed head, and let me pass, or upon my soul I'll kick your brains out !"
I needed no second warning: for as soon as I had heard the consternation and uproar within, I exerted the utmost of my powers to push myself backwards and escape.
A few minutes brought us all to the outside, wearing the most pitiable appearance. Covered with dirt-crying like infants—staring wild as if we knew not where we were- -and terrified past expression. We instantly set off to run and retrace our steps ; and sped over the ground twenty times quicker than we had done at our coming We ran as if ten thousand devils and ghosts had been hurrying tag-rag-and-bob-tail at our heels; and stopped not until we arrived at our now welcome school, where we nearly dropped down from exhaustion.
ON A KNIGHT OF
JERUSALEM OF THE DEVON FAMILY, WHO
FROM AN ANCIENT MANUSCRIPT VOLUME, CONTAINING THE HISTORY OF THE
EARLS OF DEVON.
Whoe'er thou art, whom chance or pleasure leads
ON EDWARD MONTAGU, AN ANCESTOR OF THE DUKE OF MAN
TRANSLATED FROM THE LATIN, BY GEORGE JOHNSON, ESQ. “O Montagu! thou senator, so well skilled in the laws of thy country, farewell! Thou, at whose severe discipline the vile wickedness of men raged and trembled, thou who livedst according to the olden rules, a lover of peace, a rigid guardian of virtue, and a scourge of vice-O venerable old man! at thy death the luxurious youths, fearing thee as the punisher of crime, rejoice; but thy country mourns, robbed of its holy Cato, who lived the greatest defender of whatever was just and honourable. Oh! passing stranger, for the rest of the soul of so good a man, bestow thy prayers !”
THE LIFE, OPINIONS, AND PENSILE ADVENTURES OF
WITH RECOLLECTIONS OF HIS CONTEMPORARIES DURING
THE LAST THREE REIGNS.
EDITED BY THE AUTHOR OF
« OLD BAILEY EXPERIENCE."
“ () grief beyond all other griefs, when fate
First leaves the young heart lone and desolate
From this day the conduct of Fauntleroy underwent a marked change; he was no longer flighty or restless, but became decidedly fixed and reflective, carrying his thoughts less frequently to past events. Every day he read the Bible, and conversed upon spiritual affairs, both with the ordinary and his friends. When he was first committed to prison, he had been accommodated with apartments in one of the principal turnkeys' lodgings, a favour rarely granted to any one committed on so heavy a charge; here he was subsequently allowed to remain until the morning of his execution, having a man always to sit up with him to prevent the commission of suicide. The duty of watching malefactors under order for execution, is taken in rotation by the turnkeys of the prison : at the time Fauntleroy was there, a man named Clarke, who is now dead, was sent one night to sit up with him. The man possessed a countenance of a peculiar hardness of cast; to the view, when he was not in motion, he no way differed from the figure of a man carved in rough slate: when this companion for the night was introduced therefore to Fauntleroy, he was horror-struck, and declared that unless he was exchanged for another of less disgusting features, that he should not survive the night. This being made known to Mr. Wontner, the governor, his wish was immediately complied with, for which he expressed more gratitude than for any other favours shown him while in prison. He very frequently, as he paced his room, repeated the following words of David; “ Whither shall I go from thy spirit ? or whither shall I fly from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven thou art there: if I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me."
The banking-house in Berners Street, in order to keep up a connexion and obtain deposits, held out the prospects of liberal discounts to their customers; and, without doubt, many tradesmen, as well as fashionable persons at the west end of the town, had derived their advantage from this system of the house.
1 Continued from p. 112.