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around the castle, and the sky is gloomy and drear; they say spirits ride the blast such nights as these. Stay, and I will read thee the legend of the blessed Saint Catharine ; this book contains right goodly histories.”

0! little reck I of thy clerkly skill, fair Eleanor,he said;“ I, an unlettered wight, will fearlessly encounter the spirits thou spakest of; and now, adieu !”'

“ Stay, stay, dearest," said she, “ go not to-night"

“ And wherefore not this night?” interrupted lord Dacre.

“O! I have had an evil foreboding long since for thee, that on this last night of April, some great evil should befal thee; and I dreamed, too, that” —

“ Nay,” he replied, "a truce to thy forebodings; thou shalt tell me thy dream to-morrow, my business is urgent, I must go."

“ Tell me then, at least," said lady Dacre, " what business bast thou, Thomas, to call thee forth this troubled night?

“O! it is of no very great importance,” he answered, rather hastily; " but it is late, I must away."

“ The saints preserve thee, dearest!” said she, “ for much I fear thou wilt not return in peace.”

Lord Dacre's heart smote him ; but he affected a careless look, and with a smile, took his leave. Not caring, however, to return through the chapel, he passed by a different route to the hall, where be found his three companions, the aforesaid yeomen, and two other gentlemen, who had not been in the hall, by name Cheney and Isley :—the sight of their preparations dispelled every qualm from the mind of the young nobleman.

They quickly left the hall, and passed through the quadrangle to the principal entrance. As Dacre passed under the vaulted gateway, a large dog howled piteously at his fect.

“ What ails thee, Oscar?” said he,“ dost want to go with me to-night ?"

The dog, however, took no further notice of the greeting than by planting himself between his master and the gates; Lord Dacre was again evidently daunted.

“What! my Lord,” said Roidon, “dost fear the howling of a dog ? Nay, nay!” He prevailed, and the party, with several servants, sallied forth into the dark night. Passing over the draw-bridge, they found the night better than might have been anticipated. The wind, though very high, was not cold; and the moon, constantly looking through the broken masses of storm clouds, afforded sufficient light for their purpose. Lord Dacre, though gentlemen of that age were no great admirers of scenery, could not help being struck by the night view.

“ I' faith, Cheney,” he said, “a limner's skill might make somewhat of this. Mark how the castle windows glimmer through the darkness, and the hundred tapers by my father's tomb make the church a very ' chambre ardente.' See too the pale moon, how it shows those dark hills, and bare woods."

This rather poetic sally met no sympathy in the breasts of his companions; and they fared on almost in silence, till the limits of the park, and then proceeded to the wide-spread demesne of Laughton, having sent round tbeir servants another way. Lord Dacre, whose conscience whispered that he was engaged in no honourable venture, could not quite shake off the impression, which the omens he had seen in his castle, had made on bis mind; it was the age of superstition, and men's minds then were disserently strung.

But when they had passed the domain of Herstmonceux, and gaining the open country, began to approach the wide-spread park of Laughton, each one began to feel a keen interest in their intended sport, especially as there was some risk to be encountered; for Sir Nicholas Pelham was known to watch sharply over his well-stocked chase.

When they had proceeded some way, the clouds began to break, and the wind to lull; so that the moon's light was far more steady than before.

“ I would fain," said Lord Dacre, “ have brought our servants with us; the night is clear, and Pelham's rangers will have a right goodly view of us, should they at all cross our path.”

Why, marry my Lord,” said a yeoman, “eight of us are enough for Sir Nicbolas' keepers; they never exceed a band of four, at the most,"

Aye,” was the answer ; " but they may be enough to spoil our sport. And yet the men we have sent round must meet us soon, 'tis true. We will go to Pikebay first; they call it the nearest point of the park.”

“ What think you of the park, Lord Dacre ?” enquired Cheney ; “ though a stranger to these parts, I have beard much of its fame; 'tis large enough, I trow.”

And a goodly park, too,” he replied; “ I have hunted here with its owner often enough before this. Only Sir Nicholas is somewhat devout, witbal; he sends almost every buck he kills to the good monks of Battle; and they in return do pray for his soul.”

“ That do they, by my faith,” said Roidon, “and call him almost a saint, Oh! they care well for his soul, the pious brotherhood; do they so for thine, Lord Dacre ?

“ Nay, I am not so pious,” said he; “I send a fat buck every year to the Abbot, and hold that enough for our Holy Mother, and my soul.”


“Know ye the Abbot of Battle, fair sir ?” said Roidon to Cheney; and then without pausing for a reply, “l' faith he holds right goodly cheer; what pity that our Lord the King should be so evil-inclined towards the convents of the realm."

Why, by the rood," said another, they say he will even dissolve them ; would he had never quarrelled with the Pope; for what should we do without our good monks ?"

“ We must c'en do without them, I fear,” said Dacre ; " and I should be the gainer, for I shall save my buck."

In such conversation they “ wiled away" the road, which intervened between Herstmonceux and Pikchay, one of the nearest points of the extensive domain.

They came before a time-worn portal, over which was carved the Pelham buckle, and were almost immediately joined by a party, which had been sent round another way, and brought news that the coast was clear. They then prepared altogether for the sport, which was fated to be speedily interrupted. They had not proceeded above a hundred yards from the gate, where the wood began to grow thicker, before the whole band were called to stop by a voice close at hand, and shortly after three men presented themselves in the middle of the path, under the clearly shining moon, to prevent their farther passage.

“ Now, by Saint Mary,” said Lord Dacre, on perceiving the small party, “thou art too insolent, John Busbrig; pass on, or stand to thy guard."

“ Bethink thee, Lord Dacre," said the man,“ how little credit thou wilt get from this affray. "Tis shame for thee to encroach thus on the lands of a neighbour, and one who is thy friend. Turn back, and we will not say that we met thee here."

This friendly admonition had no effect on the party; they pushed the rangers rudely aside, and Dacre had already passed on, when he heard the clanking of a weapon. “Stay, stay, gentles !” he cried, “ drive the men away, but do not hurt them.”

He was too late; one of his party had struck John Busbrig, and he promptly returned the blow; upon this began a fatal affray, in which the ranger was seriously wounded, and carried off by his two comrades, who vowed revenge for the injury he had received. Lord Dacre turned back in moody silence.

(To be continued.)


The steed, impatient of control,
Snorts for the chase, or grasps the goal :
On wings of rage to battle borne-
He rends the earth in very scorn!
Spurns with exulting hoof the plain-
And champions the wind in high and proud disdain !

Once more upon the bounding sea-
His good ship tightly running free;
The sailor recks not-bring what may
The morrow--for he lives to day!
Child of the billow, and the breeze-
One look of love !-Away !--A shame to landsmen's ease!

The exile, from that shore beloved torn,
Of which he was a scion, not a slave-
Feels all that made life sweet, or less forlorn
A void : What seeks he now?-A quiet grave!

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