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Haman, while practising to destroy the people, be hanged on the gallows fifty feet high, which he had prepared for Mordecai? Shall the house, where the Philistines met together to sport with Sampson, fall upon their heads? and shall not these accursed walls where--»
At this moment the high wind conveyed some sparks of the fire into the secret vault where Sir John Compton had deposited the gunpowder, which, it will be remembered, Colonel Lilburne had failed to discover when he carried off the arms; -of which even Mrs Lawrence was ignorant;-and which had ever since remained undetected. A tremendous explosion ensued, which blew off the remainder of the roof, and levelled two of the towers of Brambletye. The dead body of Mark Walton was found in a field beyond the postern-gate, and the unfortunate Mary Lawrence, discovered near one of the lodges, only survived long enough to relate the cause of the dreadful accident by which she perished.
« All things that we ordained festival
« You are most welcome, Sir, to Pippingford Lodge, said Constantia to Jocelyn, as she re-entered it upon her return from London. «These happy looks, these mutual smiles, which have lately been but rare visitants to our abode, sufficiently attest to me that all
wishes are gratified—that
mission has not been a fruitless I congratulate myself once more upon having disregarded the forms of etiquette. Had I not made known that you loved Julia, but dreaded an union with the daughter of Valentine Walton, the secret of her birth would never have been revealed; had I not imparted it to you, the discovery would have been unavailing,and two people formed to confer happiness upon one another would have remained apart, the victims to ceremony
and observance.» Jocelyn expressed the most fervent gratitude to his
high-minded benefactress; declaring that the life she had preserved for him would have possessed little value in his
eyes, had she not consummated her kindness by thus accomplishing his wishes with respect to Julia. « I congratulate you as well as myself,» resumed Constantia, « at being no longer intimidated by the scare
a śneer, or the bugbear of a laugh, when so small an exertion of courage has secured your happiness
desire rank? Julia's is the true nobility, for her patent is signed by the hand of God, and stamped upon her soul. Wealth? who so rich in charms and virtues, the best of all opulence, as Julia ? Family connexions? She may still possess them; and if she have them not, she deserves them, which is surely better than possessing without meriting them.» Our hero professed his full acquiescence in these sentiments, and renewed his acknowledgements for the inappreciable services Constantia had rendered him. Julia embraced her friend with silent but fervent demonstrations of grateful affection; and Mrs Walton contemplated the scene before her with an expression of benignant complacency. Perhaps it would have been difficult, at that moment, to find a little circle of more happy faces and grateful hearts, than those assembled beneath the roof of Pippingford Lodge.
The loud explosion of the night before had been taken for a clap of thunder; and they were therefore quite unprepared for the tidings of the catastrophe, that were now made known to them by three or four terrified messengers at once, each bearing a alarming version than his predecessor. All, however,
agreed that a strange gentleman had been found dead, and that dame Lawrence, or the black ghost, as she was designated by others, had only survived for a few minutes after being discovered. Deeply interested in the fate of the unfortunate sufferers, and anxious also to learn the cause of the accident, as well as the real damage sustained by the building, Jocelyn declared his intention of setting off immediately for Brambletye, for which purpose Constantia offered the use of the carriage in which she had arrived from London. It was ordered to the door; and he was upon the point of stepping into it, when four men suddenly started from beneath the garden-hedge, two of whom seized the horses' heads to prevent their moving, and the two others, interposing themselves between Jocelyn and the house, called upon him to surrender, as they had a warrant for his apprehension,
My apprehension!» exclaimed Jocelyn, in utter astonishment-« on what charge?»
« On a charge of high treason,» replied one of the officers.
« This must be some mistake!» cried Jocelyn, recovering a little from his first amazement "" you are arresting the wrong person my name is Jocelyn Compton.»
« We are perfectly aware of it,» replied the man:u here is our warrant: if you will examine it, you
will find that we are under no error.»
« So I perceive, indeed,» replied Jocelyn, after having inspected the parchment; «but your employers
are: they must have been imposed upon by false intelligence.»
« We hope it may prove so,» said the man, respectfully ; «but our orders are positive to convey you instantly to the Tower. We have comrades within call, and resistance would be useless.»
«I am not mad enough to attempt it, when my innocence must so quickly ensure my discharge. I am ready to attend you.»
“ We will borrow this carriage to convey you to the place of rendez-vous,i said the man: and he accordingly motioned to Jocelyn to enter it; which he did, followed by three of the party, when the fourth mounted the box, and they drove off at a brisk rate with their prisoner. Upon the first appearance of the strangers, and the discovery of their purpose, Julia, uttering a shriek of dismay, clung to her lover as if to prevent his departure; and though Constantia and Mrs Walton, who possessed more presence of mind, and had besides a perfect confidence that the seizure originated in error, used every effort to inspire her with their own fortitude, she remained plunged in the deepest grief and consternation. Never was there a more sudden reverse of feeling, indeed, than was experienced by the whole party, which but a few minutes before was exchanging happy congratulations ; for though Constantia and Mrs Walton had a full conviction of Jocelyn's innocence, they were by no means equally satisfied that his freedom from guilt would ensure his immediate restoration to liberty. There had