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time began to produce unpleasant effects upon those on board, who had not been accustomed to the sea.
Look at Sir Gigo there,” said the jester; ‘his face is becoming the colour of parchment. How he opens and shuts his mouth like a dying oyster! It strikes me, uncle, that must be a man of infinite wit.'
• Why so ?' 'I mean, judging from the good things that come out of his mouth.'
· Foh !' said the King, you have quite given my stomach a turn. I didn't feel unwell before.'
'In that case,' replied the jester, ‘I will take myself off to the farthest end of the ship. I would sooner pull a lion by the whiskers than jest with a King who feels sea-sick; and, as for holding my tongue, it is a thing that I have never been accustomed to.' After rolling about upon the long swell of the
with a hot sun over their heads, for the rest of the day, as evening began to close in they turned their vessels' heads towards the shore again ; and about midnight they found themselves again in their old quarters. Here they found a messenger, who had been sent to the King from the Bishop of Worcester, the Lord Chancellor, and Hugh de Boves, who were still abroad, collecting troops for the invasion of England. Their letters stated that these foreign allies of King John were on the point of sailing for England : and the King was recommended to come to Dover without delay, to put himself at their head. The next day there was a strong east wind, which rendered the King's sailing from the Isle of Wight impracticable ; and the King, to while away the time, was sauntering through the glades of the forest that fringes the creek of Whippingham, attended by his jester, the Templar, De Maleone, and Gigo, habited as usual in the dress of common sailors.
On turning a corner they came unawares upon a lady, who was sitting upon a fallen tree, caressing a large deer greyhound. She was tall and delicately formed, and her dark tresses hung down in long ringlets upon her bosom. The King was much struck with her beauty and noble bearing ; and, emboldened by the success that usually attends royal gallantries, at once familiarly placed himself by her side, and began a long string of idle and courtly compliments.
Fairest lady, what a felicity it is for my admiring eyes to discover such a beautiful form inhabiting so savage a forest. How would all the beauties of the court shrink into comparative ugliness by the side of this lily of the island !'
The lady shrunk back, and tried to separate herself from him, but in vain ; for the King still continued to intrude himself upon her.
Who are you ?' she said, 'that thus unmannerly force yourself upon my society. If you are what your dress represents you to be, you will, perhaps, show some respect to my rank, although you do not to my sex. Know that I am the daughter of a knight and I seek not companions among those that are servile born.'
• Gentle lady,' he replied, “you would do me wrong were you to judge me by the dress that I now wear. I am not what I appear to be. My rank is as superior to that of a simple knight, as your station is to that of the meanest serf. Lady, I am the King. He watched her eye to see the effect that this sudden announcement of his royal station would have upon the mind of a country-bred girl. Great was his surprise to find that, instead of his disclosure working a change
in his favour, she shrunk from him more than before, and uttered an exclamation of horror.
No, no, no,' she exclaimed, “I will never believe that. The King I know to be profligate, wicked, and cruel; but he never, never would have hung a poor, innocent, honest, industrious man, for a mere jest. Thank Heaven, however, he still lives. He was brought like a dead man to our house. I was his physician ; and he lives to bless me. Oh, what an unfortunate being I am ; after all this to fall myself into the power of such aSpeak the word out, lady, fear not.'
Villain was the word, then, she replied, the colour mounting to her cheeks. 'Isabel de Bosco fears you not. Let me pass on my way.'
Not so, sweet lady,' said the King, taking hold of her gently by the arm.
No sooner, however, had he touched her than the deer. hound by her side gave a loud bark and flew straight at the King's throat. The King let go her arm, and started back. The dog also checked his spring, and contented himself by warning the King of danger with a low threatening growl.
Presently a number of armed persons were seen advancing through the openings between the high oaks. The maiden clapped her bands to draw their attention, and then turning to the King, she added, “Now I am beyond your power; and, know further, it only rests with me to hang you on yon tree, as you hung poor honest Gurton. But, go your ways now, and mend your manners.'
The King, who by no means liked the look of the tree that she pointed to, was not slack in following her advice. But, as he turned away with his companions, he muttered between his teeth, · By God's feet she shall not escape me thus. Am I to be made a laughing.stock of by a country maiden ? Before we hoist our sails this night, she shall be my prize.'
The supper was over in the old hall of Wotton. Sir Reginald de Bosco, its venerable proprietor, with his fair daughter, Isabel, had just received the lamp from their page, and were retiring to their private apartments. The retainers and visiters that crowded the lower part of the hall rose out of respect to the knight; but, before they had time to leave the hall a loud knocking was heard at the outer door. The seneschal went down with the porter to the entrance, and questioned the strangers through the wicket.
• Who knocks so loud, and disturbs the knight's family at so late an hour?'
‘Messengers to Sir Reginald de Bosco from the Earl of the Isle of Wight,' was the reply.
The bolts were immediately withdrawn, and the door thrown open. The old seneschal was thrown down, and trampled on by the crowd that rushed in, and the hall was filled with armed men.
Isabel gave a loud shriek. "That is he that called himself the King. She ran out by a side-door, and drew the bolts behind her.
• Give chase!' cried the chief of the intruders.
A number of men instantly ran up the hall, oversetting the stools and forms, passed the dais, and burst open with an axe the side-door by which Isabel had retired.
The lady was presently dragged out again into the hall by Gigo and the Templar, and forced by them away from her father's house, fol. lowed by the remainder of the king's attendants. They had not, however, gone far from the building, when, as they passed through the wood, Gigo, who was holding one of the lady's arms, fell, pierced throngh by an arrow.
. That was a bold marksman,' said the Templar, 'who ventured to send his shaft so near the lady.'
'I only did it for a joke,' shouted a voice from behind a tree not many yards off; and, before this sentence was concluded, another arrow had scored the skin from off one of the ribs of the King. An inch difference in the aim, and it had reached his heart.
*Treason!' shouted the King. "Let go the maiden, and scour the wood. A purse of gold to whoever secures the villain.'
The maiden was released, and made her escape; and the archer turned his knowledge of the ground to such advantage that they heard no more of him.
The next morning saw King John and his followers depart, to attempt a scheme of higher import, and deeper villainy, in the prosecution of which he perished, and the curses of his subjects were heaped upon his grave.
MY MOTHER'S GRAVE.
BY JAMES ALDRICH,
In beauty lingers on the hills
The death-smile of the dying day:
The softness of its rosy ray.
Here, standing by my mother's grave,
Like weeds upon its sluggish wave.
Which we regard not, being near;
That angels have been with us here!
They guide us, cheer us, soothe our pain ;?
Our hearts and theirs, we love-in vain !
How oft, amid my brief career,
Hath fallen the free repentant tear!
How better thoughts have given to me
'Mid sweet remembrances of thee.'
And manhood, come with all its cares,
For every flower a thousand lares.
Whilst bending o'er this holy shrine,
Thou wouldst not blush to call me thine !
AN EPISTLE FROM MISS SELINA SPRIGGINS TO
Spriggins' Folly, April 1, 1835. MA CHERE HENRIETTE,
In the umbrageous solitude of Spriggins' Folly, a letter from you breaks in like a ray of summer sunshine! How happy am I to learn that your interesting affaire de caur progresses with all the felicity your dear affectionate soul deserves.
You ask me if I am yet unalterably fixed ? No! my dear Henri. etta. The truth is, there is such a swarm of (not bees but) would be's, that I am really (like a child in a pastry-cook's) puzzled which of the sweethearts (sweet tarts ?) to select. As at a full Archery meeting, here's a display of beaux of all sorts. First in the rank of my admirers is Sir Plimly Supple. He professes the most ardent affection-and exhibits, certainly, a great inclination ; for he is all bows. He has little conversation ; but manages to fill up his part in the dialogue with ducking, cringing, bowing, in such admirable pantomime, that you almost forget he has said nothing. Describe his eyes or teeth I cannot ; for it is a rare thing to see any thing but the crown of his head! Alas for him! his bows will all prove barren, if the affections of your loving friend are expected to be the fruits of them. In his presence I cannot help applying Æsop's maxim, that the beau should not be always bent!' A dear goodnatured friend (who has a son of her own, by the by) whispered my father the other day, “That notwithstanding his appearance, Sir Plimly Supple was very much straitened.'
I am glad to hear it,' answered my father, to the dame's evident surprise ; ‘for really I thought the man was born crooked.?
The lady recovered a little at this turn, and added, “That although he assumed so much humility, he carried his head very high elsewhere.'
• Indeed!' said my father. Why, I have heard that he has a sort of pride of pedigree-boasts of his Norman descent. For my part, I should guess he was an Angle ; for that is the form his slender and plastic body most usually assumes.' Of
my suitors the next in rank is Albert Anyside, Esq. the eldest son of Squire Anyside, a man of some property and great conse. quence in the county-having a great command of votes. His son, however, has not mine, and will never be my election. He has been educated for the bar; but he is so full of technicals, and so wary in his speech, that he will never commit himself. He would be a very desirable ally for any power going to war, for he deals in generals !
Although his declaration (as he would technically term it) sets forth the most ardent affection, I am afraid his love would turn out a little brief!'
Young Conway, his cousin, is worth twenty of him-a smart, im. pudent, careless, rattling youth of five-and-twenty-but no fortune. As he says, however, he has so much of the milk of human kindness, that he may reasonably be expected to make his own way (whey ?) in the world!
Upon a late change in the politics of his cousin, he gravely re
AN EPISTLE FROM MISS SELINA SPRIGGINS.
marked, 'If the barrister were a Whig-(wear a wig ?)-he is now a Tory !
He is also one of the captives chained to my triumphal car. As for the rest--why, all I can say is, they do not disturb your Selina's rest! But do not imagine for a moment there is the slightest impression. Were it so I would not conceal the feeling for a moment from my bosom friend and confidant. You shall never say of me, 'She never told her love'-such concealment on my part would be indeed unwarrantable after the confidence you have reposed in me.
But now, to descend (or rather to ascend) from beaux to belles. The elder ladies of these parts are rather inclined to loquaciousness and obesity ; and the junior branches to silence and dowdiness. Sir Plimly's mamma is a very moral, sententious, strict, old dowager. Such a pattern! but very much creased—that is, wrinkled-like many other excellent patterns that we know of! She gives very dashing tea and turn-out parties; and, I assure you, (however paradoxical it may sound,) those of her admirers who are left out by no means like the cut' of the pattern !
Anyside's daughters are mere rustics, but most violent in their attachment to the last new fashion. Conway laughs most impertinently at their vain attempts at elegance.
• Those girls,' said he one day to me in a whisper, ‘are really walking contradictions, for, though very "raw,” ihey are “weil dressed."! He is, indeed, very severe; and his satirical vein has obtained for him among his companions the apt sobriquet of 'Roasting Jack!'. He is a great favourite with papa. He is so full of anecdote, he says, and is such a good hand at cribbage and backgammon I am sure he would have little difficulty in gaining his approbation if he had the golden pretensions of his cousin. For, although papa is very aristocratical in his notions, he is a staunch supporter of equality in all matrimonial alliances. He brought us tickets of invitation to a ball the other evening, to be given by a wealthy yeoman some six miles from Spriggins' Folly.
He had little difficulty in persuading papa to accept them; for he luckily produced them after the old gentleman had just beat him at two games of backgammon.
No doubt,' said Conway, 'the thing will be done well, for the old yeoman is an old cricketer, and knows how to give a ball in good style.'
We went; and I assure you I was highly pleased. My blue satin and blonde (made for my dear Henrietta's birthday) was displayed on the occasion. The body and sleeves, I could perceive. puzzled the rustic critics not a little. They were all eyes, like a peacock's tail! There was no fear, however, of their taking it to pieces, for they could not discover how it was put together!
Quadrilles did not figure much on the occasion. Country-dances were all the vogue ; and my poor kids suffered a martyrdom in the lusty gripe of many a sun-burnt hand. It was really a most vigorous exercise with the greater part of the company. No mincing, or gliding, or glissading; but every one (ladies not excepted) did their work manfully!
"A very pleasant ball,' said Conway, as we returned; but, like the good yeoman's ale, there was too much of the hop in it for my
O! Taglioni ! thou compound of music, moonshine, and