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Could the reader, who has travelled with me so far, have been present at Kiddal Hall some six years later, he would have seen a joyous sight. Once more did the old house look gay. A grand entertainment was being given. Gay devices adorned the walls; temporary bowers were erected in the gardens; a flag waved from the building; tables were spread over the green space, in the middle of the village ; labour was laid aside; and every soul seemed to rejoice.
By a special act on the part of Mr. Lupton, it had been settled that Colin should take the family name. This had been done ; and therefore I may now declare, that on the happy day here spoken of was celebrated the birth of the first son of Colin and Jenny Lupton. Already had they been blessed with two girls, that now had become the prettiest ornaments of the house. Proudly did these two young people walk amongst the tenantry, rejoicing in the good wishes which were heard on every side.
To add to the general joy, Mr. Roger Calvert and Fanny Wood. ruff, after a courtship of unaccountable duration, had selected that day also as their wedding.day; and now, along with the father of the latter, and the whole family of the former, joined in each other's pleasure, and that of the inhabitants of Kiddal.
About dusk, Colin walked forth for the purpose of enjoying the enjoyment of others; and, amongst other signs that all were happy, observed a knot of bumpkins gathered round something that ap. peared to afford them amusement, by the peals of laughter which broke from the crowd. No sooner did the latter observe who approached than they respectfully fell back. Colin perceived a man past the middle age, apparently worn down by trouble and poverty, with a pack on his back, like a travelling pedlar, a stick in his hand, and a small, shaggy, wire-haired terrier at his heels.
The first sight of this odd figure was sufficient to assure our hero that he beheld Peter Veriquear. Colin, to the amazement of all, seized him by the hand, with the exclamation, Mr. Veriquear? Or is it possible I can be mistaken ?'
Whether you are mistaken or not,' replied the individual, "is your business, and not mine ; just as it is my business to say I am glad to see my old assistant, Mr. Colin Clink.
But under what strange circumstances have you come here ??
That,' replied Peter, is my concern, and not yours; though, perhaps I ought to make it my business to tell you.'
Certainly,' responded Colin ; 'for I can assure you that I feel it to be my business to know. But come,' he continued, let me conduct you to better quarters, where we can talk over those things which I feel anxious to hear.'
Mr. Peter Veriquear and his dog accompanied our hero to Kiddal Hall, where he soon found himself seated at a plentiful table.
When Peter had sufficiently satisfied himself, • Ah, sir !' said he, you will feel as much astonished to find that I have sunk so low, as I am to see how high you have risen.'
Why, what can have happened?' "Sad things !' replied Peter. 'In the first place, I have lost all my family. Mrs. Veriquear,—the little Veriquears, that you used to take such pleasure in drawing about in the coach,--all have been taken from me.
One of those horrible fevers laid them down all to. gether on beds of sickness. The doctor made it his affair to physic
them so much, that the stock of bottles in my warehouse was materially increased. At the same time the bone-trade became bare, and the rag-trade was torn to rags by competition. One after another the family dropped off, until I could not help thinking the undertaker did nothing else but make it his business to go backwards and forwards from his house to mine. The consequence was that everything I had saved to keep my family alive was spent in putting them into the ground. My house seemed a desert to me. Everywhere it appeared that I ought to meet one or other of them, and yet I was always disappointed, -always alone. Used to having those little people for ever about my feet,—to feed them at my table,—to talk about them to my wife,-to think how I should dispose of them as they grew up, and speculate on their luck in after life,--and thus suddenly to be deprived of them all, --not one left,—not a solitary one ; to be myself the only one where there had been many!' - Peter's feelings had made him eloquent, and tears scrambled odd. ly down his cheeks. Colin could not but feel Veriquear's words. He requested him to conclude his narrative.
At last,' added Peter, “I made it my business to dispose of my business, and sell off all I had; and, though it was a good deal to look at, it produced me little money. However, as I could no longer endure the place, I made the best of the case I could, and resolved to travel to where I originally came from, one of the Orkney Islands, and am now going back on foot, as you see.'
Mr. Colin Lupton felt more than he expressed in words; but by his actions the effect may be judged, as he insisted on poor Peter being well lodged for the night, and before his departure made him such a present as would entitle him to be considered a man of substance in the little Orkney island, towards which he finally steered his course.
Having now brought the fortunes of the characters who have figured in these pages to a close, it only remains to relate some few stray scraps of information, and to conclude the story.
It will be remembered that the last time we parted with Doctor Rowel, we left him in a state of high miental excitement, and con. veyed by his friends to his brother, on the borders of Sherwood Forest. To reduce that excitement, or even to prevent its increasing to a state of confirmed madness, all care was found unavailable. Eventually, he was confined for life in a public institution. There he raved continually about an imaginary skeleton in an imaginary box, and gave utterance
to unintelligible jargon, wherein the names of Woodruff, of his sister Frances, and of his niece, were mingled. He continued to exhibit to the very last a picture of misery and horror.
Mr. Woodruff was a frequent visiter at the hall, especially after the marriage of his daughter. Under these circumstances, a degree of interest was observed to grow up between him and Miss Shirley, and suspicions began to be entertained that a match might be eventually made between them. Whether
reliance could be placed upon them I cannot determine, any more than upon a similar report respecting Sylvester and Miss Wintlebury,--since people frequently conclude matches by report which never go off in reality ; though equally true it is that many are made, of which gossips are never afforded an opportunity of reporting upon at all.
COUNTY LEGENDS.-No. II.
BY THOMAS INGOLDSBY, ESQ.
A TALE OF THE DARK ENTRY.'
THE KING'S SCHOLAR'S STORY. • From the “ Brick Walk” branches off to the right a long narrow vaulted passage paved with flagstones, vulgarly known by the name of the “ Dark Entry.” Ils eastern extremity communicates with the cloisters, crypl, and, by a private staircase, with the interior of the Cathedral. On the west it opens into the Green Court," forming a communication between it and the portion of the Precinot” called the " Oaks,”-A Walk round Canterbury, &c. Scene—A back parlour in Mr. Ingoldsby's house in the Precinct. A blazing firem
The Squire is seated by it in a high-backed easy-chair, lwirling his thumbs, and contemplating his list shoe.-Little Tom, the King's Scholar, on a stool opposite. - Mrs. Ingoldsby at the table, busily employed in manufacturing a cabbage-rose, -or cauliflower?-in many-coloured worsteds.—Tho Squire's meditations are in. terrupted by the French clock on the mantlepiece.-The Squire prologizeth with
And bid them go the nearest way, for Mr. Birch has said
Now, nay, dear Uncle Ingoldsby, now send me not, I pray,
know's the nearest way ; I dread that Entry dark with Jane alone at such an hour, It fears me quite-it's Friday night, and then Nell Cook hath
'And, who's Nell Cook, thou silly child ?--and what's Nell Cook to
thee? That thou shouldst dread at night to tread with Jane that dark en
trée ?'— Nay, list and hear, mine Uncle dear! such fearsome things they
tell Of Nelly Cook, that few may brook at night to meet with Nell!
'It was in bluff King Harry's days, -and Monks and Friars were then, You know, dear Uncle Ingoldsby, a sort of Clergymen. They'd coarse stuff gowns, and shaven crowns, no shirts and no
cravats; And a cord was placed about their waist--they had no shovel hats!
· For soups
It was in bluff King Harry's days, while yet he went to shrift,
For though within the Priory the fare was scant and thin,
and stews and choice ragouts Nell Cook was famous still ; She'd make them even of old shoes, she had such wond'rous skill : Her manchets fine were quite divine, her cakes were nicely brown'd, Her flawns and custards were the boast of all the “Precinct” round; * And Nelly was a comely lass, but calm and staid her air, And earthward bent her modest look, yet was she passing fair ; And though her gown was russet brown, their heads grave people
shook ; - They all agreed no Clerk bad need of such a pretty cook. • One day—'twas on a Whitsun-Eve-there came a coach and four; It passed the “Green-Court” gate, and stopped before the Canon's
door; The travel-stain on wheel and rein bespoke a weary wayEach panting steed relaxed its speed-out stept a Lady gay. "“Now, welcome! welcome ! dearest Niece,"—the Canon then did
cry, And to his breast the Lady prest—he had a merry eye“Now, welcome! welcome! dearest Niece! in sooth thou’rt wel.
come here, ”Tis many a day since we have met-how fares my Brother dear ?".
Now, thanks, my loving Uncle,” that Lady gay replied ; “Gramercy for thy benison ;" then“ Out, alas !" she sighed ; My father dear he is not near; he seeks the Spanish Main ; He prays
thee give me shelter here till he return again!"«« Now, welcome! welcome! dearest Niece ; come lay thy mantle
by!" The Canon kissed her ruby lips—he had a merry eyeBut Nelly Cook askew did look-it came into her mind They were a little less than “ kin," and rather more than “kind.”
· Three weeks are gone and over-full three weeks and a day,
And fine upon the Virginals is that gay lady's touch,
any But is it “O Sanctissima !" she sings in dulcet tone ? Or "Angels ever bright and fair ?" —Ah, no!-it's “Bobbing Joan!"
The Canon's house is lofty and spacious to the view :
Six weeks were gone and over, full six weeks and a day,
And still, at night, by fair moon-light, when all were locked in sleep,
'It was a glorious summer's eve-- with beams of
rosy The Sun went down-all Nature smiled—but Nelly shook her head! Full softly to the balmy breeze rang out the Vesper bell; Upon the Canon's startled ear it sounded like a knell !
""Now here's to thee, mine Uncle! a health I drink to thee;
and the Sacristan says, “ Lauk-a-daisey me! ”
They've searched the aisles and Baptistry-hey've searched above
aroundThe Sermon House '—the 'Audit Room'-the Canon is not found. They only find the pretty cook concocting a ragout ; They ask her where her master is—but Nelly looks askew !
"They call for crow-bars-jemmies' is the modern name they bear: They burst through lock, and bolt, and bar-but what a sight is
there! The Canon's head lies on the bed-his niece lies on the floor! They are as dead as any nail that is in any door!