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love you bear your Maker, intercede for me. Mr. Griffith shall be released-"
"Liar!" again interrupted the cockswain.
"What promises he?" asked Cecilia, turning her averted face once more at the miserable captive.
"Nothing that will be fulfilled," said Katherine; "follow, honest Tom, and I, at least, will conduct you in good faith."
"Cruel, obdurate Miss Plowden; gentle, kind Miss Alice, you will not refuse to raise your voice in my favour; your heart is not hardened by any imaginary dangers to those you love."
"Nay, address not me," said Alice, bending her meek eyes to the floor; "I trust your life is in no danger, and I pray that he who has the power, will have the mercy, to see you unharmed."
"Away," said Tom, grasping the collar of the helpless Dillon, and rather carrying than leading him into the gallery; "if a sound, one quarter as loud as a young porpoise makes, when he draws his first breath, comes from you, villain, you shall see the sight of the Alacrity over again. My harpoon keeps its edge well, and the old arm can yet drive it to the seizing."
Another extract will enable us to bring all the principal actors in this drama, upon the stage. SCENE: a room in the Abbey of St. Ruth. Col. Howard, Capt. Borroughcliffe, and the three young ladies, are discovered at a supper-table. The captain has just intimated his knowledge of the intended attack upon the castle:
"A loud crash interrupted further speech, and the sounds of heavy footsteps were heard in the adjoining room, as if many men were alighting on its floor, in quick succession. Borroughcliffe drew back, with great coolness, to the opposite side of the large apartment, and took a sheathed sword from the table where it had been placed; at the same moment the door was burst open, and Barnstable entered alone, but heavily armed.
"You are my prisoners, gentlemen," said the sailor, as he advanced; "resistance is useless, and without it you shall receive favour. Ha! Miss Plowden! my advice was, that you should not be present at this scene."
"Barnstable, we are betrayed!" cried the agitated Katherine. "But it is not yet too late. Blood has not yet been spilt, and you can retire, without that dreadful alternative, with honour. Go, then, delay not another moment; for, should the soldiers of Capt. Borroughcliffe come to the rescue of their commander, the abbey would be a scene of horror!"
"Go you away; go, Katharine," said her lover, with impatience; "This is no place for such as you. But, Capt. Borroughcliffe, it such be your name, you must perceive that resistance is in vain. I have ten good pikes in this outer room, in twenty better hands, and it will be madness to fight against such odds."
"Show me your strength," said the captain," that I may take counsel with mine honour."
"Your honour shall be appeased, my brave soldier, for such is your bearing, though your livery is my aversion, and your cause most unholy! Heave-ahead, boys! but hold your hands for orders."
The party of fierce-looking sailors, whom Barnstable led, on receiving this order, rushed into the room in a medley; but, notwithstanding the surly glances, and savage characters of their dress and equipments, they struck no blow, nor committed any act of hostility. The ladies shrunk back appalled, as this terrific little band took possession of the hall; and even Borroughcliffe, was seen to fall back towards a door, which, in some measure, covered his retreat. The confusion of this sudden movement had not yet subsided, when sounds of strife were heard rapidly approaching from a distant part of the building, and presently one of the numerous doors of the apartment was violently opened, when two of the garrison of the abbey rushed into the hall, vigorously pressed by twice their number of seamen, seconded by Griffith, Manual, and Merry, who were armed with such weapons of offence as had presented themselves to their hands, at their unexpected liberation. There was a movement on the part of the seamen, who already were in possession of the room, that threatened instant death to the fugitives; but Barnstable beat down their pikes with his sword, and sternly ordered them to fall back. Surprise produced the same pacific result among the combatants; and as the soldiers hastily sought a refuge behind their own officers, and the released captives, with their liberators, joined the body of their friends, the quiet of the hall, which had been so rudely interrupted, was soon restored.
"You see, sir," said Barnstable, after grasping the hands of Griffith and Manual, in a warm and cordial pressure," that all my plans have succeeded. Your sleeping guard are closely watched in their barracks, by one party, our officers are released, and your sentinels cut off by another, while, with a third, I hold the centre of the abbey, and am, substantially, in possession of your own person. In consideration, therefore, of what is due to humanity, and to the presence of these ladies, let there be no struggle! I shall impose no difficult terms, nor any long imprisonment."
The recruiting officer manifested a composure, throughout the whole scene, that would have excited some uneasiness in his invaders, had there been opportunity for more minute observation; but his countenance now gradually assumed an appearance of anxiety, and his head was frequently turned, as if listening for further, and more important interruptions. He answered, however, to this appeal, with his ordinary deliberation.
"You speak of conquests, sir, before they are achieved. My venerable host and myself are not so defenceless as you may choose to imagine." While speaking, he threw aside the cloth of a side
table, from beneath which, the colonel and himself were instantly armed with a brace of pistols each. "Here are the death warrants of four of your party, and these brave fellows at my back can account for two more. I believe, my transatlantic warrior, that we are now something in the condition of Cortes and the Mexicans, when the former overrun part of your continent-I being Cortes, armed with artificial thunder and lightning, and you the Indians, with nothing but your pikes and slings, and such other antediluvian inventions. Shipwrecks and sea-water are fatal dampers of gun-powder!"
"That we are unprovided with fire-arms, I will not deny," said Barnstable; "but we are men who are used, from infancy, to depend on our good right arms for life and safety, and we know how to use them, though we should even grapple with death! As for the trifles in your hands, gentlemen, you are not to suppose that men who are trained to look in at one end of a thirty-two pounder, loaded with grape, while the match is put to the other, will so much as wink at their report, though you fired them by fifties. What say you, boys! is a pistol a weapon to repel boarders?"
The discordant and disdainful laughs that burst from the restrained seamen, were a sufficient pledge of their indifference to so trifling a danger. Borroughcliffe noted their hardened boldness, and taking the supper bell, which was lying near him, he rang it, for a minute, with great violence. The heavy tread of trained footsteps soon followed this extraordinary summons; and presently, the several loors of the apartment were opened, and filled with armed soldiers, wearing the livery of the English crown.
If you hold these smaller weapons in such vast contempt," said the recruiting officer, when he perceived that his men had possessed themselves of all the avenues, "it is in my power to try the virtue of some more formidable. After this exhibition of my strength, gentlemen, I presume you cannot hesitate to submit as as prisoners of war."
The seamen had been formed in something like military array, by the assiduity of Manual, during the preceding dialogue; and as the different doors had discovered fresh accessions to the strength of the enemy, the marine industriously offered new fronts, until the small party was completely arranged in a hollow square, that might have proved formidable in a charge, bristled as it was with the deadly pikes of the Ariel.
"Here has been some mistake," said Griffith, after glancing his eye at the formidable array of the soldiers; "I take precedence of Mr. Barnstable, and I shall propose to you, Capt. Borroughcliffe, terms that may remove this scene of strife from the dwelling of Col. Howard."
"The dwelling of Col. Howard," cried the veteran, "is the dwelling of his king, or of the meanest servant of the crown! so, Borroughcliffe, spare not the traitors on my behalf; accept no other
terms, than such unconditional submission as is meet to exact from the rebellious subjects of the Anointed of the Lord.”
While Griffith spoke, Barnstable folded his arms, in affected composure, and glanced his eyes expressively at the shivering Katherine, who, with her companions, still continued agitated spectators of all that passed, chained to the spot by their apprehensions; but to this formidable denunciation, of the master of the abbey, he deemed proper to reply
"Now, by every hope I have of sleeping again on salt water, old gentleman, if it were not for the presence of these three trembling females, but I should feel tempted to dispute, at once, the title of his majesty-you may make such a covenant as you will with Mr. Griffith, but if it contain one syllable about submission to your king, or of any other allegiance, than that which I owe to the Continental Congress, and the state of Massachusetts, you may as well consider the terms violated at once; for not an article of such an agreement will I consider as binding on me, or on any that shall choose to follow me as leader."
"Here are but two leaders, Mr. Barnstable," interrupted the haughty Griffith; "the one of the enemy, and the other, of the arms of America. Capt. Borroughcliffe, to you as the former, I address myself. The great objects of the contest, which now unhappily divides England from her ancient colonies, can be in no degree, affected by the events of this night; while on the other hand, by a rigid adherence to military notions, much private evil and deep domestic calamity, must follow any struggle in such a place. We have but to speak, sir, and these rude men, who already stand impatiently handling their instruments of death, will aim them at each other's lives; and who can say that he shall be able to stay their hands when and where he will! I know you to be a soldier, and that you are not yet to learn how much easier it is to stimulate to blood, than to glut vengeance."
Borroughcliffe, unused to the admission of violent emotions, and secure in the superiority of his own party, both in numbers and equipments, heard him with the coolest composure to the end, and then answered in his customary manner,
"I honour your logic, sir. Your premises are indisputable, aud the conclusion most obvious. Commit, then, those worthy tars to the good keeping of honest Drill, who will see their famished natures revived by divers eatables, and a due proportion of suitable fluids; while we can discuss the manner in which you are to return to the colonies around a bottle of liquor, which my friend Ma-, nual there, assures me has come from the sunny side of the island of Madeira, to be drunk in a bleak corner of that of Britain. By my palate! but the rascals brighten at the thought! They know by instinct, sir, that a shipwrecked mariner is a fitter companion to a ration of beef and a pot of porter, than to such unsightly things as bayonets and boarding-pikes!"
"Trifle not unseasonably!" exclaimed the impatient young sailor. "You have the odds in numbers, but whether it will avail you much in a deadly struggle of hand to hand, is a question you must put to your prudence: we stand not here to ask terms, but to grant them. You must be brief, sir, for the time is wasting while we delay."
"I have offered to you the means of obtaining in perfection the enjoyment of the three most ancient of the numerous family of the arts-eating, drinking, and sleeping! What more do you require?"
"That you order these men, who fill the pass to the outer door, to fall back and give us room. I would take, in peace, these armed men from before the eyes of those who are unused to such sights. Before you oppose this demand, think how easily these hardy fellows could make a way for themselves, against your divided force."
"Your companion, the experienced captain Manual, will tell you that such a manœuvre would be very unmilitary, with a superior body in your rear!"
"I have not leisure, sir, for this folly," cried the indignant Griffith. "Do you refuse us an unmolested retreat from the abbey?"
Griffith turned, with a look of extreme emotion, to the ladies, and beckoned them to retire, unable to give utterance to his wishes in words. After a moment of deep silence, however, he once more addressed Borroughcliffe in the tones of conciliation.
"If Manual and myself will return to our prisons, and submit to the will of your government," he said, "can the rest of the party return to the frigate unmolested?"
"They cannot," replied the soldier, who, perceiving that the crisis approached, was gradually losing his artificial deportment in the interest of the moment. " You, and all others, who willingly invade the peace of these realms, must abide the issue."
"Then God protect the innocent and defend the right!" "Amen."
"Give way, villains!" cried Griffith, facing the party that held the outer door; " give way, or you shall be riddled with our pikes!" "Show them your muzzles, men!" shouted Borroughcliffe; " but pull no trigger till they advance."
There was an instant of bustle and preparation, in which the rattling of fire arms, blended with the suppressed execrations and threats of the intended combatants; and Cecilia and Katharine had both covered their faces to veil the horrid sight that was momentarily expected, when Alice Dunscombe advanced, boldly, between the points of the threatening weapons, and spoke in a voice that stayed the hands that were already uplifted.
"Hear me, men! if men ye be, and not demons, thirsting for each other's blood; though ye walk abroad in the semblance of FEBRUARY, 1824.-No. 262.