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last falling into decay ;-their style being that of the period of the revival of the arts, after their long sleep in the dark ages. At one end of the room stood a grotesque-looking figure carved in black oak. This, by an inexperienced traveller, would most probably have been set down as some heathen idol, and with difficulty would he be persuaded that such a shapeless mass was intended as a representation of the Mother of his Saviour.
The sub-prior was seated in a large oaken chair, opposite a blazing fire. On a table by his side were the remains of his frugal evening meal. He rose as he heard the door open, and welcomed Eustace most warmly to his abode. He advised neither him nor his companion to resume their own custume, adding, that although he was the principal in the Convent at present, the suspicions of the monks might be raised at the sight of two military-looking youths in his cell, and that they would probably mention it to the prior, who was a staunch adherent of the Duke of Mayenne. An investigation would 'then take place, and bad con. sequences at any rate to himself-would probably follow. He did not remain long with them, but having ordered his attendant to bring them in for supper of the best which the place could afford, withdrew.
“ To-morrow morning, then, I suppose," said Louis, after they had been some time alone, “ we shall return to the Chateau ?"
To-morrow evening," replied Eustace, we must proceed direct to Abbeville.”
“That will be to incur certain death. I should have thought that your late danger would have been a sufficient warning to you.”
“ It must be done, and we must take the chances. You will yourself agree with me when you hear what I have to tell you. Immediately on being separated from you, I was taken into the presence of the Duke; but after a stay of a few minutes, I was removed to the prison. The next morning I was brought before him again. He inquired of me my reasons for coming to Rouen: these I told him, but refused to mention a syllable of the little I knew about the circumstances of the army. In the midst of his questions, a letter was brought in to him; he opened it and read it through, and appeared well satisfied with its contents. He then turned to me, and asked if I was any relation to the Count D'Evreux, who held a command in the army of the King of Navarre. ' He is my uncle,' I replied ; and it was at his invitation that I was going to join the army.' And a very kind invitation too,' replied the Duke; ' the Count seems actuated by truly Christian motives towards his nephew. He tells me here that you will probably pass by or through Rouen, and advises me to take the opportunity of taking away the head of such a distinguished Protestant family as yours. The Count promises us, continued he, turning to Count Egmont, who stood near him, ' to bring over 2400 men, consisting of the whole cavalry of the 'enemy, and a few light troops ; so we must concert our plans so as to co-operate with him.'
“ You may imagine my astonishment on hearing of this treachery. I remembered my father's suspicions, and found them but too fully verified. But I had no hope of being able to counteract his traitorous designs, till my freedom has given me fresh confidence. We must leave here with the earliest dawn. But what has become of our horses? We can do nothing without them.”
“ They are all safe, sir,” replied Louis; “ they were offered for sale the day after our capture, and were purchased by my friend in Rouen for me. But could we not make it known to the King without risking your life in such a perilous journey ?”
“ Impossible," said Eustace; “it will require our utmost haste. We must not delay to seek a suitable messenger; I fear it may already be too late.”
“ I see there is no help for it : we must go in our own dress; our monastic gowns will only make us objects of suspicion on horseback.”
Ere the large convent bell had rung to matins at six o'clock, the two friends had left the precincts of Rouen far behind them. We will leave them pursuing their journey, and turn to Abbeville, to see what was going on at and before the time of their arrival.
Count Francois, though he had joined the King at the time of the decline of the fortunes of his own party, had always been a bigoted supporter of the Roman Catholic faith; and therefore, as soon as ever fortune seemed again to smile on the army of the League, he began to form plans not only to desert himself, but also to lead over part of the army to adopt the same course. This he endeavoured to effect by secretly haranguing the soldiers and corrupting the inferior officers; and as we have before seen, his exertions appear to have been crowned with success. He had endeavoured for some time to persuade Count Frederique to allow his ward to join the army. He intended, by this means, to have got him into his power, and to have privately made away with him ; but when the enemy were in possession of Rouen, he concerted another plan, which has also been before mentioned. This object gained, the property and title would necessarily revert to him, being the second brother ; when, being possessed of no inconsiderable power, he might declare his sentiments openly. Such were his plans: how they were frustrated will soon appear.
Count Frederique, as soon as he arrived at Abbeville, proceeded to the royal pavilion, where his quarters were assigned in one of the best parts of the town. After having seen his troops housed in the suburbs, he proceeded to the encampment, for the towu did not contain accommodation for all the troops; and, going to one of the best looking tents, inquired for his brother. The attendant replied that he had been absent the whole evening, but he knew not whither.
The Count, before he returned home, determined on making a survey of the encampment. He had not proceeded far from his brother's tent, when shouts as of joy and merriment met his ear. He proceeded in the direction of the tent whence they seemed to issue. As he approached, the words of a man apparently engaged in an harangue became distinctly audible. In the tone of the speaker he could easily recognise that of his brother.
“ Follow my advice,” said he, “and you will be in want of nothing; all your desires will be granted you. The Duke promises to his soldiers unrestrained plunder of every conquered city, and to this he promises to add an increase of pay. True, there may be some slight difference on matters of religion ; but what of that? Ye are both Catholics, both
As he spoke, the Count remembered that he was eaves-dropping. If ever there was an occasion where it might be justified, it was then; but he felt ashamed of it, and, drawing aside the canvass curtain which served as a door to the tent, entered. A strange scene then presented itself. A long table was laid out in the middle of the tent, formed of planks supported on blocks of wood. On this stood large flagons of wine and pewter drinking cups. Amongst these, at the upper end, stood the brother he was in search of, haranguing, as it would appear, those who had been his companions in a carousal.
Of these, some were lying on the ground, giving, by their long-drawn and sonorous breathing, ample evidence that the whole speech of the orator was lost upon them. Others were standing round the table, clapping with all their might; but whether the applause was intended for the man who had given the banquet, or for the words he uttered, would have been a doubtful question.
As the Count entered, a sudden change came over the manner of the speaker. He uttered not a word, but stood thunder-struck. It was with great difficulty, and not until after some time, that he recovered his composure. At length he said, in a subdued tone_“Is this you, my brother, come to join our festivity ?"
“ The company of drunken men does not please me, however my elder brother may delight in it. I came to see you on my arrival, to talk over some private business; but I will call at your time to-morrow, as I am unwilling to disturb you at your revels.”
Thus saying, he left the tent, and retraced his steps homeward.
THE FAREWELL OF JOAN OF ARC TO HER HOME.
Farewell, ye mountains and ye meadows gay,
Ye vallies blooming peacefully, farewell !
Joanna bids you a long, long farewell.
Where Echo, sweet enchantress of the place,
The spirit of the Lord has summoned me,
That Spirit on which our every act depends ;
My peaceful home, my father, and my friends;
The jocund laugh, the song, the sprightly dance;
And for my oaken crook the warlike lance;
STRANGE-WAYS AT DINNER-TIME.
A STRANGER could hardly enter Manchester by one of its principal thoroughfares, between the hours of one and two, without being struck with the sight presented by a regular stream of human beings issuing forth from the town, and forming, in truth, a most motly assemblage. The pale mechanic and the sturdy labourer,—the shabbilydressed office clerk and the wealthy tradesman, are all hurrying on, side by side, in the same direction.
At first he might be almost inclined to suppose that some great calamity had befallen the town, and that its inhabitants were leaving it en masse, only that their composed countenances and undisturbed demeanour entirely preclude such an idea. Perhaps a Radical demonstration might next strike him; but they are too respectable. At any rate, he would conclude that it could be no small matter which could attract such a crowd, all, seemingly, intent upon one object. And rightly would he come to such a conclusion: it is no small matter, but on the contrary, a most important one,-one on which even life itself depends. To be short, they are going to dinner! Of course in such a concourse there must be ample scope for the study of the human character, and this scene has peculiar features which make it well worthy of attention.
Let us take our station, and observe a little more nearly the multitudes who pass in rapid succession. Among the first, for he is glad to be released from confinement, is the office boy, a personage of no small importance, at least in his own estimation : his appearance
is worthy of some little descriptive detail :-A mackintosh gracefully thrown over the shoulders, and confined by a single button in front,a nicely brushed hat, or sometimes a inilitary-looking cap, whose equilibrium seems to be preserved with wonderful dexterity,-a smart walking stick, and Wellington boots, perfectly and most mathematically a la mode, both as to breadth and curvature, are the principal features of an imposing tout ensemble. We must not omit to mention the glance of pity, mingled with a sense of infinite superiority, which he deigns, and only deigns, to cast upon the poor school-boy who passes him with books under his arm. He has himself been lately emancipated from the trammels of learning, and though he is now in “ durance” still more “ vile,” yet he is “ in business,” and has exchanged his jacket and collar for frock coat and stock, and therefore has a becoming dignity to support.
Not that we would affirm that such are all office boys; far be it from us to hazard such an assertion with regard to so honourable a body. Of course there is every shade of character; for instance, the embryo man of business, who is exactly his reverse,—walks with an air as grave as if all the business of the town were under his management, and may often be detected with a pen behind his ear, and his arms still graced with the well inked office sleeves.
But we pass on: the venerable old Collegiate Church has just chimed a quarter past one,—the steps of the passers-by begin to be more hurried,—and a glance at the watch becomes very frequent. Certain considerations connected with the domestic economy of their households—floating visions of a cold dinner and a warm reception, together with sundry other such secret reflections as we dare not dive into, urge each to hasten forward. But mark that grave, grey-headed little man just crossing the road; he is one of the real old octogenarian clerks, who do every thing in the most systematic manner; one, in fact, who might have served as an original for Tim Linkinwater. He is not going to his dinner so much because he feels the want of it, as because for the last twenty years he has been accustomed, exactly at five minutes to one, to shut the ledger, wipe his pen and spectacles, and having put the one in his desk, and the other in his pocket, to march off in a particular direction, where he knows mechanically that his dinner is waiting for him. You will not find him looking at his watch, he is a very time-piece himself, a sure chronometer that never wants setting in order.
It is remarkable how strongly is impressed on the countenances of those who pass us, the various degrees in which the world has this day gone
ill or well with each. For instance, we cannot mistake the man just coming up with his hat drawn over his eyes, and his hands thrust far into his pockets, whom at first sight we should suppose to be counting the flags as he passed over them, but who is, much more likely, considering the odds against him in his morning speculations, or brooding over the news of the last post. A perfect contrast is the little stout man, with brass buttons and massive gold chain and seals, who is just behind him, If we were allowed to hazard a guess at that man's history, we should say that he had been in business some thirty years ago, on a very small scale; that fortune has smiled upon him,-every day has found him richer, and every day his broad goodnatured face has been growing more and more smiling too. He has now given up dining in town, and is hurrying to his neat little parlour in an equally neat house, where he does not enjoy otium cum dig, for that would be the most irksome thing in the world to him ; but at least be enjoys- his dinner. A momentary cloud passes over his good-natured countenance as he turns his eye to the omnibus just rolling past him, heavily laden with such as are too idle or in too