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betted the Justice upon the Green; and if we had treated him as such a hard-hearted fellow deserves, we shou'd have pulld his house stick and stone down to the ground; so there's the right o' the matter. As for thee, Henry, give me thy hand, my brave lad! I will stand by the man that will stand by a woman as long as I have life, dainmee! I beg your pardon, Doctor, for swearing, but when a man's heart is right, lookye, what he says goes for nothing; as for a few hafty words, it is to be hop'd there'll be no account taken of them.” i
« I hope so too,” quoth Ezekiel, in an under-tone. Dame May returned her thanks; Henry shook the orator by the hand; and the mob, according to custom, adjourned to the alehouse.
CHAPTER X. The trampled Worm will turn. THE news of the gibbetting flew to Blach
ford's ears by one of the nimblest couriers Fame had in her service; it made him furious, and as he laid it all to Henry's account, it
os 4*,. .. rendered
rendered him as hungry for his prey as a hyæna.
The haughty Peer now seated in his castle, and encompassed by his myrmidons, disa patched a servant with his summons for Henry to attend upon him: What particular purpose he meant to effect by this, does not clearly appear, but it is not unlikely Blachford was the mover of it, with the view of wreaking his vengeance upon the youth by the hands of O'Rourke, on his return from the conference. · The messenger being dispatched for Henry, order was given by the Peer, that his lady should come to him: Blachford and the attorney thereupon took the hint to retire, and her Ladyship, having obeyed the call, was welcomed in manner following_" So Madam, you are come; be pleas'd to take your seat, I have something to say to you. What are the motives, I would fain know, for your late visits to my apothecary in the village?. I did not know you was out of health, or, if you are, methinks it is his duty to attend upon you.”
"But he is confin'd to his chamber, my lord.” “ So ought you to be, my lady, and so
shall you be, if you have no more regard for my honour and your own dignity, than to be seen gossiping and caballing in beggarly.cottages, with vagabonds and strumpets, for purposes I blush to name."-"What ftrumpets and what vagabonds," replied the lady, “ do you charge me of caballing with; and what purposes have I ever had in hand, which you, my lord, Thou'd blush to name ? Declare them."
« Déclare to me first, if you can, who that young fellow is, you have been graciously pleas'd to furnish with cloathes and money, and pick up out of the dirt; a beggarly vagrant, for the worthy purpose, amongst others that shall be nameless, of insulting my friend Mr. Blachford in the most public and daring manner, for which he shall be made an example of my vengeance, be assur'd, though your folly, Lady Crowbery, (to say no worse of it) thou'd be expos'd thereby to all the world. Who is this fellow, I demand? What is his name? What is his businefs here? What are the mighty charms you can discover in the embraces of a beggar? what the sense of your own honour, that you shou'd fall into his arms, as these eyes have witness'a? And have you not
repeatedly done this? Can you deny the charge? and what excuse are you provided with to offer to a husband, who will not tamely suffer such unparallel'd disgrace ?”
The vehemence, with which all this was uttered, the variety of questions it contained, her unwillingness to answer fome, and her incapacity of accounting for others (for she was not yet informed of Blachford's late affair) so totally overpower'd the tender and maternal feelings of Lady Crowbery, that unable to collect her thoughts, she remained silent and without an answer.
After some little pause, regarding her with a look of anger and contempt, he exclaimed
"'Tis well, madam, 'tis very well! I take your silence for confession, and your tears for tokens of your shame. I now tell you that I have sent for your fellow hither; I wou'd fain see this favour'd rival, whom you have singled out to disgrace me. Was he worthy the resentment of a gentleman, I wou'd not part from him till the life of one of us was facrific'd to honour; but being what he is, the lowest, basest, vileft of mankind, fitter chastisement shall be provided for him.” "Hold, my Lord!” she now exclaimed, re
suming suming on the sudden a composed and energetic tone of voice; “ hold, my Lord Crowbery, nor drive me quite to desperation by your ferocious menaces and false unfounded glances at my reputation, which defies your charge. If you demand to know why I have reach'd out the hand of charity to this young man, whom you arraign fo cruelly, it is because my heart hath feeling for the unfortunate, when undeservedly oppress’d, for the stranger and the friendless, for the benevolent, the brave, the generous preserver of another's life, for which he had nearly sacrific'd his own-in one word for the relict of a dear departed friend, the last bequest of Ratcliffe, a foundling dropt at his door and adopted by his charity. You have sent for him, you say; you will then see him, hear him, question him, and if you have a heart, approve, admire."" This to my face!” he cried in a transport of rage; “this to my face! By Heaven l'll not endure it, I'll not live with you, I'll not cohabit with a woman as my wife, who dares to uphold and praise her paramour to my very face."