Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

B. CLARKE, Printer, Well Street, Londop.

FLORENCE MACARTHY.

CHAPTER I.

66 The council shall hear it-It is a riot."

65 Sir Hugh, persuade me not-I will make a star-chamber matter of it.”

66 To vouch this is no proof! Without more certain and more overt test Than these thin habits, and poor likelihoods of modern seeming, do prefer against him.”

SHAKESPEARE.

LADY DUNORE, who, like sister Anne in Bluebeard, was stationed on the top of one of the castle turrets, alternately watched the approach of the expected prisoners in one direction, and that of their accusers and judges, Mr. Crawley and son,

in another.

[blocks in formation]

She was now summoned on the arrival of Baron Boulter and Judge Aubrey to the breakfast parlour. Already from her watch-tower she had seen a crowd of persons wandering among the hills, and the glitter of arms flashing in the sun-shine. Her ardent imagination magnified the New-Town cavalry corps, and half a dozen peasants, into a prodigious military force, and a formidable band of rebels; and she rushed into the apartment where the two judges were quietly taking a bouillon after their long morning's ride; and with eyes flashing, and cheeks suffused, welcomed them in evident agitation to the castle. She expressed her gratitude to Baron Boulter in exaggerated terms for a visit so kindly volunteered ; and uttered a fervent hope that their

presence would give importance to an event in which many

lives were concerned. She then abruptly ended with the question of

“But which of you, my lords, is the hanging judge?"

This question, which startled the judges, confused Mr. Daly, and threw Lord Frederick into agonies (lest in her delirious ravings she should cite him as authority for this judicial so briquet), produced a short silence, until Mr. Daly coming to the relief of the party, observed,

My dear lords, I must account for this agitation of my niece, Lady Dunore, by informing you that her mind and feelings have been worked on by some representations of the state of this province not perfectly correct. Her agent and confidential

person,

Mr. Crawley, is a timid man; and it is but fair to say, that I believe he is frequently the dupe of his own fears. But he also belongs to a certain party, who, under the guise of inordinate and exclusive loyalty, act in defiance of the law

of the land, are lawless by the concurrence, or at least the countenance of those in authority, and may be said, in the language of a celebrated orator, to be“ opposed to rule by act of parliament.” Among such persons, it is a favourite system of tactics to create false alarms, and then to engraft strong measures upon the fears they have awakened. I have some reason to think my niece is at this moment the victim of this wretched and hacknied policy, and that the attack on her castle, and the smothered insurrection with which she has been anonymously threatened, are the phantoms, I will not say the creations, of Mr. Crawley's brain."

Lady Dunore, mortified and disap"pointed by a speech that threw her out of a sphere of action, to which all her fancies and feelings were made up, was beginning an expostulation with her uncle, when Baron Boulter interrupted

« AnteriorContinuar »