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"Nay, but I must see the riders,” answered Wamba ; " perhaps they are come from Fairy-land with a message from King Oberon.'

A murrain take thee,” rejoined the swineherd; " wilt thou talk of such things while a terrible storm of thunder and lightning is raging within a few miles of us? Hark, how the thunder rumbles ! and for summer rain, I never saw such broad, downright flat drops fall out of the clouds; the oaks, too, notwithstanding the calm weather, sob and creak with their great boughs as if announcing a tempest. Thou canst play the rational if thou wilt ; credit me for once, and let us home ere the storm begins to rage, for the night will be fearful.”

Wamba seemed to feel the force of this appeal, and accompanied his companion, who began his journey, after catching up a long quarter-staff which lay upon the grass beside him. This second Eumæus strode hastily down the forest glade, driving before him, with the assistance of Fangs, the whole herd of his inharmonious charge.

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that to me, Waeba, for sy besis is too dull, asd my mind too vered, to tead riddles."

“Why, how call you those grunting brutes running about on their four legs!" demanded v amba “Swine, fool, svine," said the berd; "every fool knows that."

“And swine is good Saron," said the jestez ; "but how call you the sow when she is fayed, and drawn, and quartered, and hung up by the heels, like a traitor i ”

“Pork," answered the swineherd "I am very glad every fool knows that tog," said Wambe, “and pork, I think, is good Norman-French ; and so when the brute lives, and is in the charge of a Saxon slave, she goes by her Saxon name; but becomes a Norman, and is called pork, when she is called to the Castle-hall to feast among the nobles; what dost thou think of this, friend Gurth, ha ?”

"It is but too true doctrine, friend Wambe, however it got into thy fool's pate."

"Nay, I can tell you more," said Wamba, in the same tone ; "there is old Alderman Ox continues to hold his Saxon epithet, while he is under the charge of serfs and bondsmen such as thou, but becomes Beef, a fiery French gallant, when he arrives before the worshipful jaws that are destined to consume him. Mynheer Calf, too, becomes Mounsieur de Veau in the like manner; he is Saxon when he requires tendance, and takes & Norman name when he becomes matter of enjoyment.

“By St. Dunstan,” answered Gurth, “thou speakest but sad truths; little is left to us but the air we breathe, and that appears to have been reserved with much hesitation, solely for the purpose of enabling us to endure the tasks they lay upon our shoulders. The finest and the fattest is for their board ; the loveliest is for their couch ; the best and bravest supply their foreign masters with soldiers, and whiten distant lands with their bones, leaving few here who have either will or the power to protect the unfortunate Saxon. God's blessing on our master Cedric, he hath done the work of a man in standing in the gap; but Reginald Front-deBæuf is coming down to this country in person, and we shall soon see how little Cedric's trouble will avail him.--Here, here," he exclaimed again, raising his voice, “So ho! so ho ! well done, Fangs ! thou hast them all before thee now, and bring'st them on bravely, lad."

"Gurth," said the Jester, “I know thou thinkest me a fool, or thou wouldst not be so rash in putting thy head into my mouth. One word to Reginald Front-de-Beuf, or Philip de Malvoisin, that thou has spoken treason against the Norman,--and thou art but a cast-away swineherd, thou wouldst waver on one of these trees as a terror to all evil speakers against dignities."

Dog, thou wouldst not betray me," said Gurth, “after having led me on to speak so much at disadvantage ?”

“ Betray thee !" answered the Jester ; " no, that were the trick of a wiso man; a fool cannot half so well help himself—but soft, whom have wo hero?" he said, listening to the tramping of several horses which beenmo thon audible.

"Novor mind whom," answered Gurth, who had now got his herd boforo him, and, with the aid of Fangs, was driving them down one of the long dim vistas which wo have endeavoured to describe.

"Nay, but I must see the riders,” answered. Wamba ; "perhaps they are come from Fairy-land with a message from King Oberon.

A murrain take thee,” rejoined the swineherd ; " wilt thou talk of such things while a terrible storm of thunder and lightning is raging within a few miles of us? Hark, how the thunder rumbles ! and for summer rain, I never saw such broad, downright flat drops fall out of the clouds; the oaks, too, notwithstanding the calm weather, sob and creak with their great boughs as if announcing a tempest. Thou canst play the rational if thou wilt ; credit me for once, and let us home ere the storm begins to rage, for the night will be fearful."

Wamba seemed to feel the force of this appeal, and accompanied his companion, who began his journey, after catching up a long quarter-staff which lay upon the grass beside him. This second Eumæus strode hastily down the forest glade, driving before him, with the assistance of Fangs, the whole herd of his inharmonious charge.

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CHAPTER II.

A Monk there was, a fayre for the maistrie,
An outrider that loved venerie;
A manly man, to be an Abbot able,
Full many a daintie horse had he in stable :
And whan he rode, men might his bridle hear
Gingeling in a whistling wind as clear,
And eke as loud, as doth the chapell bell,
There as this lord was keeper of the cell.

--CHAUCER.

OTWITHSTANDING the occasional exhortation and chiding of

his companion, the noise of the horsemen's feet continuing to approach, Wamba could not be provented from lingering occa

sionally on the road, upon every pretence which occurred; now catching from the hazel a cluster of half-ripe nuts, and now turning his horse's head to leer after a cottage maiden who crossed their path. The horsemen, therefore, soon overtook them on the road.

Their numbers amounted to ten men, of whom the two who rode foremost seemed to be persons of considerable importance, and the others their attendants. It was not difficult to ascertain the condition and character of one of these personages. He was obviously an ecclesiastic of high rank; his dress was that of a Cistercian Monk, but composed of materials much finer than those which the rule of that order admitted. His mantle and hood were of the best Flanders cloth, and fell in ample, and not ungraceful folds, around a handsome, though somewhat corpulent perso His countenance bore as little the marks of self-denial, as his habit indicated contempt of worldly splendour. His features might have been called good, had there not lurked under the pent-house of his eye, that sly epicurean twinkle which indicates the cautious voluptuary. In other respects, his profession and situation had taught him a ready command over his countenance, which he could contract at pleasure into solemnity, although its natural expression was that of good-humoured social indul. gence. In defiance of conventual rules, and the edicts of popes and councils, the sleeves of this dignitary were lined and turned up with rich furs, his mantle secured at the throat with a golden clasp, and the whole dress proper to his order as much refined upon and ornamented as that of a quaker beauty of the present day, who, while she retains the garb and costume of her sect, continues to give to its simplicity, by the choice of materials and the mode of disposing them, a cortain air of coquettish attraction, savouring but too much of the vanities of the world.

This worthy churchman rode upon a well-fed ambling mule, whose furniture was highly decorated, and

whose bridle, according to the fashion of the day, was ornamented with silver bells. In his seat he had nothing of the awkwardness of the convent, but displayed the easy and habitual grace of a well-trained horseman. Indeed, it seemed that so humble a conveyance as a mule, in however good case, and however well broken to a pleasant and accommodating amble, was only used by the gallant monk for travelling on the road. A lay brother, one of those who followed in the train, had, for his use on other occasions, one of the most handsome Spanish jennets ever bred in Andalusia, which merchants used at that time to import, with great trouble and risk, for the use of persons of wealth and distinction. The saddle and housings of this superb palfry were covered by a long foot-cloth, which reached nearly to the ground, and on which were richly embroidered mitres, crosses, and other ecclesiastical emblems. Another lay brother led a sumpter mule, loaded probably with his superior's baggage ; and two monks, of his own order, of inferior station, rode together in the rear, laughing and conversing with each other, without taking much notice of the other members of the cavalcade.

The companion of the church dignitary was a man past forty, thin, strong, tall, and muscular; an athletic figure, which long fatigue and constant exercise seemed to have left none of the softer part of the human form, having reduced the whole to brawn, bones, and sinews, which had sustained a thousand toils, and were ready to dare a thousand more, His head was covered with a scarlet cap, faced with fur-of that kind which the French call mortier, from its resemblance to the shape of an inverted mortar. His countenance was, therefore, fully displayed, and its expression was calculated to impress a degree of awe, if not of fear, upon strangers. High features, naturally strong and powerfully expressive, had been burnt almost into Negro blackness by constant exposure to the tropical sun, and might, in their ordinary stato, be said to slumber after the storm of passion had passed away; but the projection of the veins of the forehead, the readiness with which the upper lip and its thick black moustaches quivered upon the slightest emotion, plainly intimated that the tempest might be again easily awakened. His keen, piercing, dark eyes, told in every glance a history of difficulties subdued and dangers dared, and seemed to challenge opposition to his wishes, for the pleasure of sweeping it from his road by a determined exertion of courage and of will ; a deep scar on his brow gave additional sternness to his countenance, and a sinister expression to one of his eyes, which had been slightly injured on the same occasion, and of which the vision, though perfect, was in a slight and partial degree distorted.

The upper dress of this personage resembled that of his companion in shape, being a long monastic mantle; but the colour, being scarlet, showed that he did not belong to any of the four regular orders of monks. On the right shoulder of the mantle there was cut, in white cloth, a cross of a peculiar form. This upper robe concealed what at first view seemed rather inconsistent with its form, a shirt, namely, of linked mail, with sleeves and gloves of the same, curiously plaited and interwoven, as flexible to the body as those which are now wrought in the stocking-loom, out of less obdurate materials. The fore-part of his thighs, where the folds of his mantle permitted them to be seen, were also covered with linked mail ; the knees and feet were defended by splints, or thin plates of steel, ingeniously jointed upon each other; and mail hose, reaching from the ankle to the knee, effectually protected the legs, and completed the rider's defensive armour. In his girdle he wore a long and doubleedged dagger, which was the only offensive weapon about his person.

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