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tacle as he counted it down. He next “ His fortune is within his reach," said produced his receipts and tallies, which Nickol, as he descended, “ if he possess were duly tiled according as they were but the courage to stretch out his for more than the amount delivered, or hand to grasp it : if he play the bold for the true quantities ; and having part, it will go hard with me but I will cast up the difference on paper, and have my share of the spoil.–Par Dieu ! handed a note of it to Master Richard, I have earned my pitiful proportion at placed his hands upon the table and my own risk somewhat too long ; but stood to receive his share. The steward I 'foresee I shall not jeopardise myself having counted all the money in his own without good company much longer." drawer, made a short calculation, and So saying he passed out into the court then handed back a small sum to his and through the great gateway to the confederate. “ Is this all ?" said main street. The footsteps of Master Nickol, discontentedly, as he took Richard were heard pacing his chamthe money up.
ber at intervals thenceforth till near “ It is a shilling over and above midnight ; and when he appeared at thy full proportion,” replied Master his usual avocations next day, he bore Richard.
the marks of having spent a feverish It is too little,” said Nickol, “ I run and sleepless night. all the risk.”
By day-break next morning, the " And I give all the opportunity,” troops began to arrive from Tristlereplied the steward quietly, as he re- dermot; and Ross before the hour of sumed his book.
was crowded with knights, “ Master Richard,” said Nickol, lin- archers, and men-at-arms. The boungering before he turned the handle tiful intentions of the lady Rosabel of the door ; " thou hast long pro- being now generally known, and the mised me some better post than this : resolutions of the town council, which I am too bard-worked in this situation ; had been sitting over night, being moand the profits are much less than I mentarily looked for, great numbers of expected.
citizens and soldiers were assembled “I know not of any other in my about the high cross in front of Saint gift which thou art fit for," replied the Saviour's, at an early hour. “ Thank steward coldly.
God, our musters are returned, and we “ There will shortly be a post vacant, need fear the Irish thieves no longer," Master Richard," persevered the sub- said one. ordinate knave, “ for which, methinks, "We shall shortly be independent I ought to be as well fitted as another; of their protection," replied another ; I mean the wardenship of Hook Tower. “the walls will be commenced (I have Old Simon Devereux, the present it on the best authority) early to-morkeeper, has, I hear, fallen sick, and is row.” shortly like to die.”
“ And the lady Rosabel defrays all " That is a post of great trust the charges ?” Nickol," said the steward.
“ To the amount of twenty thousand “ The more reason, Master Richard, marks, as I hear." why it ought to be filled by a trusty “A most noble bounty!—but hark, friend,” replied his confederate in a I hear the bellman." low tone, and with a glance of peculiar “Ay, here comes old George in his intelligence. The steward looked him blue gown ; let us listen.” steadfastly in the face, and whether it
“ Oyez, oyez ; whereas the Irish was that he read there the offer of enemy bath, divers times, of spite and services, such as no one but a deeper malice aforethought, as also against villain than he had yet dreamt of be- the peace of our liege lord the king, coming, could require, or that he entered the good town of Ross, and thought the man's eye had a spark of committed therein many heinous and Jurking danger in it-it had the effect abominable outrages, as well upon the of summoning the unaccustomed blood properties and goods as on the persons to his cheek, as he replied with some of certain of the king's majesty's subjects, confusion of manner ; “ Go to-1 being honest and respectable burgesses will consider of it;"and hurriedly signed thereof;"—here the bellman was taken to his confederate to leave the room. with a fit of coughing, which gave Master Medlicot, who was present, and mysteries, with banners, ensigns an opportunity of pronouncing the and music, to assist, as is meet they preamble a singular good and well- should, at the said procession and cecouceited piece of composition ;- remony, and afierwards, as shall seem “and whereas," continued the asth- expedient, at the said works and build. matic bellman, “whereas the said ings, from time to time, until the same Irish enemy, thieves or wood-kerns, shall have been completed. God have heretofore escaped the hands of save the king, and”— justice by reason of the want of walls, “ And the Lady Rosabel !" reechoed gates, drawbridges, portcullises, or the from all sides, amid general huzzas, like, whereby they might be imbarred as the bellman's benediction was cut and hindered of egress out of the said short by a more violent fit of coughing town, until such time as they might than had yet seized him. “ By'r Lady," make satisfaction for the aforesaid fe- cried Master Medlicot, bursting through lonies and misdemeanours ; and where the crowd when he had heard the proas the noble and worthy Lady Rosabel clamation out, “ 'tis time I were at my of Ross being advertised and informed lap-board, for doubtless many new of the great hindrances, hardships, and garments will be needed for the pageant losses endured by the inhabitants of to morrow ; and the banner of my the said town in consequence, as also guild lieth ripped in my workshop. of the divers outrageous affronts, barbar- Some suitable carol will likewise have ous insults, and unseemly offences put to be composed for the occasion ; and upon them, the said honest inhabitants, I shall have to fancy a few simple by the aforesaid Irish traitors, hath, of conceits in prose to be delivered by the her great bounty and liberal generosity, mace-bearer and vergers.” So saying, undertaken to expend a certain sum of the busy clothier hurried home, and monies, being ten thousand marks of ascended his shop-board ; cut out the current coin of the realm.”
various pieces of dress which had been Here a severe return of his malady ordered in his absence, put them into again obliged the bellman to give place the hands of his workmen, then clapped to his cominentator, who vowed by on his night-cap and slippers, and Saint Giles, that, although only half laying aside his jerkin, sat down to what he heard, it was, nevertheless, a stitch
the rent in the tailor's banvery liberal bounty.
ner, and meditate on some apposite " For the foundation, erection, and verses for the morrow's pageant. As construction," continued the bellman, his needleflew through the bunting, poe" of a good and sufficient wall or walls, tic thoughts began to chase one anowith fosse, rampire, and battlements, ther athwart his fancy ; his journeymen also gates, drawbridges, bartizans, and perceiving that the fit was approaching, other needful works pertaining, round discreetly turned their faces to the wall, and about the aforesaid good town of in order that no perturbation of their New Ross, otherwise Ross Pont; the countenances might distract their worsaid to be commenced at the thy master's attention from his mental hour of noon to-morrow, being the occupation ; and presently the throes Feast of the Purification of the Blessed of poetic labour fell upon the laureate Virgin ; and the commencement thereof of the tailor's guild. “I have it," cried to be solemnized by a procession of the he, suddenly sticking his needle into superior and brethren of the convent the work, and clapping his hand to his of the crouched friars of Saint Saviour's, temples, “ an ode by way of apostrophe as also by an assemblage of fair and to the banner of the guild !-a brilliant noble ladies in honour of the bounteous thought-myself the standard bearergoodnesss of the said Lady Rosabel, the subject of my verse held aloft in as well as by the attendance of the my hands—the brethren of the guild knights, men at arms, and the military uniting in the chorus--- how shall I musters of the town of Ross ;- This is begin? in eights or sixes ? let me see : to give notice that the trades of Ross
Come all valiant tailors are hereby required to meet at the hour of ten in the forenoon, at the high
Who in New Ross do dwell; cross of the market place, duly mar- Good; but it was to be by way of shalled according to their several crafts address rather to the banner than to
the brethren of the craft.“ Famed Ban- lookest but poorly : thy fright and ill ner”-10--that bath somewhat too usage have had a worse effect upon much of the concursus consonantium: thee than I thought.” “ Banner of Renown" would methinks “ Master Richard," said the agitated sound more euphoniously_let's see- tailor, “ I was seeking thee; I would renown-down
— crown--clown-town speak a word with thee—I want ad-yea, a handsome allusion to the town vice-thou art a prudent man.” would come in rarely
Why, Master Medlicot, I am Behold, ye valiani tailors,
grieved to see thee so moved,” replied
the steward ; " hast thou met with any Your banner of renown :
loss in trade ?" Beneath whose-(whose--whose-yes!
“ No, no: my trade is prosperous - Beneath whose) folus assembled Ye guard your native town ;
enough; but I have scarce the heart
to say God be thanked.” Excellent good, i faith!--now for a
If," said the steward, at once dibold description of the enemy, (Giles; vining what was wrong, “if there be heat the lesser goose, and fetch me anything that touches thy private conhere my lapboard ;) the enemy, as it cerns amiss, Master Medlicot, as by were, coming down from the woods thy looks I judge there is, we are too like savag'e beasts of prey :
open here to confer with any profit on
a remedy. I am going just now to Like bears or raging lions
view the ground on which we comThe foe come forth to
mence our works tomorrow, and if thou The savage, barbarous, Irish thieves wilt walk with me, I can take thee to Nay. (Peter thread my needle; my a private place where we may consider eyes begin to fail ;) nay, I say, that whatever is the matter uninterrupted." throws me out of my image of the
“ Master Richard, I rely upon thy lion's cub which is, in truth, the back honorable secresy and friendship.” seam of the stanza-let's try again :
Be not rash to speak of private The bears and raging lions
matters without urgent occasion," reCome roaring forth to prey,
plied the steward ; " but, if thou hast
need of advice, and thinkest mine worth And griffins, and great unicorns, Most barbarous beasts be they ; that I am thy friend.”.
using—wbat need I say more, save (well done, o' my conscience !)
“ I will walk with thee then, Master But never yet was suckled
Richard,” said the unfortunate clothier, In bear's or lion's den :
in pitiable distress of inind. They took “Suckled-there's a poser!--let's see-- their way towards the outskirts of the suckled-buckled-knuckled — truckled; town together ; and it was observed cuc-cuc-cuc;" but here his eye, roll- thai Master Medlicot and the steward ing in search of a more auspicious idea, had a long and earnest conversation caught a glimpse, through the little in the fields. window that separated his shop from The joybells ushered in the next the dwelling house, of the same friar day; and long e'er noon the spot apwho had been observed the day before pointed for the commencement of the in such familiar conversation with his work was surrounded by multitudes wife, stealing quietly along the passage from all parts of the country assembled that led from her apartment to his to witness the ceremony of laying the backdoor. The ominous rhyme died first stone. The streets of Ross that upon the poor man's lips ; his jaw fell
, morning, particularly before the manand the palevess of rage, and more than sion of the Lady Rosabel, had been suspicion, succeeded the animation of crowded from before daybreak with gratified vanity upon his countenance. hurrying crowds of soldiers, citizens He laid down his work and imple- and strangers ; knights with their rements, and, trembling with excitement, tainers ; aldermen with the brethren of resuined his walking dress, and hastily their guilds ; marshals, heralds, friars, quitted the house.
mendicant monks, sailors and women, The first man he met was Master all busily preparing either to witness, Richard : “ Why, how now, Master or to take their part in the momentous Medlicot ?" said the steward ; "thou day's proceedings. The sound of horns and trumpets were heard in all direc- a wreathing of radiant smiles, and bendtions ; flags and tapestry waved from ing and bestowing of gracious salutathe house tops ; the vessels in the tions. The air was rent with shouts river were hung with streamers and of applause ; every face was bright pennons, and two great flagstaffs with good humour and merriment, and pitched upon either side of the ap- the very mace-bearer who marched pointed spot, bore aloft the royal before the mayor, could not supstandard, and the standard of the town. press the unwonted movement of The spectators who had their places his features; George, the bellman here, beheld, at noon, a very splendid forgot his cough, or, if he coughed, spectacle emerge from the nearer end his asthma was drowned in the upof the high street. Banners waving roar of admiration and delight. The over the heads of the crowd in the knights who followed, though their distance, first announced the approach coifs of mail were of silver ring work ; of the procession; then the dense mass though their embroidered surcoats of spectators which, up to this time, hung in points and tassels to the had occupied the space between the knee over curiously twisted coats of houses on either hand, fell back, and steel chain armour, though their epauup the lane, so formed, were seen ad- liéres were of polished steel, and their vancing, first, two mounted trumpeters basnets glittering with gilded crests, with long satin banners waving from attracted scarce a glance from the spectheir instruments ; then a herald, then tators. When the ladies had passed, a knight's company of mounted men the rest of the procession was left to at arms, with gay gonfalons fluttering wind its seemingly interminable length from their lances; then came the up the green acclivity in solitary state brethren of Saint Saviour's, in their like the march of an army through a blue gowns, two and two, carrying each deserted country. All focked to the his long staff with a crucifix at the top. great flagstaffs, around which the head of Loud and long were the cheers wbich the column was now filing, as the various hailed the next portion of the cavalcade, parties proceeded to take up their at the head of which appeared the previously arranged positions. The Lady Rosabel sumptuously attired, her churchmen, the ladies, and the municitrain borne by four pages, and followed pal authorities, arranged themselves by a long and brilliant array of ladies ; about the immediate scene of ceremony ; a canopy of silk was borne over her the military formed in lines around head by four aldermen, and she was them, to keep back the pressing multisupported on her right by the prior of tude: the trades
, as they arrived, tiled Saint Saviour's, bearing a silver trowel, to the right and left along the intended and on the left by her confessor, Father line of operations, which was marked Edmund, in whose hand was a dainty out by little banners pitched at intermallet of ivory. The ladies procession vals upon the field ; and although they was composed of matrons and unmarried had been overlooked so long as the damsels ; but, of all the fair faces there, more attractive part of the procession whether of wife or maiden, the Lady was within view of the accompanying Anna's was by far the most beautiful : spectators, now that the circling lines she walked last of the matrons, eclips- of soldiery had hidden their rivals from ing alike those who preceded and those view, they came in for their own share who followod her. All carried mimic of admiration. The vintners and drapers implements of labour ; some had little led the way ; smiling and smooth citimattocks with knots of ribbons tied zens, some of them with garden hoes about the handles; some had hoes and and little spades, scarce heavier than miniature shovels with blades of tin; the implements of their fair predeces. some bore hammers, whereof the sors, in their hands. They marched beads were made of sweetmeats ; while undera well-blazoned banner, and were others displayed little satin bags gaily received with sufficient commendations. embroidered, as if for bearing away the Next came the cordwainers and tanrubbish : never was seen in Irish town ners ; stout fellows all, well equipped before such a waving of plumes and with shovels, hoes, and pickaxes ; they inantles, such a flashing and laughing bore upon their banner a currier's knife of bright eyes, such a glancing and and a cow hide, and marched to the twinkling of pretty tripping feet, such sound of pipe and tabor. The butchers
succeeded, marching to the proper zoner equally in each : a stag's head, music of their calling, and displaying langued and antlered, in one comparta blue banner, on which likewise ment of the field, had been, by mistake, appeared the favourite cleaver and reversed, in stitching it on, so that the steel quartered with gilded marrow tongue appeared thrust out, as if in debones : a sheep's head was also borne rision, and the horns hung down ridion a pole by one of their company, culously, and embraced the golden and as they advanced, they carolled shears below. There was no martial lustily, and to the great delight of carol as the brethren advanced ; their the spectators. The butchers were
tape measures to guage the dimensions all proper men, well prepared with of the wall, were accounted of little use hammers, crowbars, and wheelbarrows. compared with the stout spades and to take their part in the day's work. pickaxes of those who had gone beThey were received with great ap- fore ; and even the huxters who fol. plause. The bakers next advanced lowed, under the humble banner of a singing also, and shouldering good fish and platter, were received with store of shovels, but when it was per- greater applause. It would be idle to ceived that they were only the wooden enumerate the appearance, equipment. implements with which they draw their and reception of all who came after, bread out of the oven, the cheers with The carpenters, the wainrights, the which they were welcoined were some- blacksmiths (who were stout fellows, what damped, and they were allowed and welcomed with hearty huzzas), the to pass on to their position without tent-makers, the fullers, and finally the more encomium. Their banner, never- stone-masons themselves, (who being theless, was curiously devised, repre the complimented trade, had, in acsenting the sun issuing from a wheat knowledgment of the favor, yielded sheaf; and, perhaps, the moderate precedence to their assistants,) all approbation with which they were marching to the sound of music, arrayed received, arose, in some measure, from under banners, and equipped with vathe expectation of greater entertain- rious implements of service, arrived in ment in the succeeding show ; for now due order, and took up their several poapproached the redoubtable guild of sitions. tailors! All eyes were bent on the ad- And now, the line of the intendvancing banner ; but great was the dis- ed works being occupied as far as the eye appointment of the crowd when they could reach, by the various parties perceived that it was not borne by the ready to fall to with spade and mattock, hands of the gallant Master Medlicot, as soon as the first stone should be neither was that worthy clothier to be laid, the Prior, who had been entreated seen among its followers. The ban- to that solemn office by the pious Roner, too, was not in gala trim ; the sabel, received the ivory mallet from warlike emblems with which its field Father Edmund, and, kneeling down was charged, had been hurriedly basted beside the stone which had been placed on, and a patch was perceptible upon beside its bed, commenced the cerethe point of the great sword which mony. First he prayed long and ferwas emblazoned Saltier wise, with a vently for a blessing on the work ; then thunderbolt done in sulpher-coloured took a trowel-full of mortar, and, amid worsted. Still the banner was, in the a flourish of trumpets, spread it on the main, a goodly piece of workmanship. bed prepared for the reception of the and its numerous devices evinced the block of granite : at the same moment warlike and manly disposition of the the monks, who had formed themselves designer. Here were emblems of the in a circle round him, began to chaunt battle, there of the chace : but disaster a hymn composed for the occasion by seemed to have attended the embla- Father Edmond, who led the strain :
From crypt and altar rising up,
Porth to the sunny fields we come,
Of late prepared the Godhead's home,
Among the mortar and the loam
But deem not that they thus become