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into the cross, at Stonington, on a market have said, a daughter of Lord Ascot, a day, and boldly proclaimed the Pre- Staunton, as staunchly Protestant a tender King. It soon got about that house as any in England. She, however, “the Squire” was making a fool of managed to fall in love with the handhimself, and that there was some fun some young Popish Squire, and to elope going ; so he shortly found himself sur- with him, changing not only her name, rounded by a large and somewhat dirty but, to the dismay of her family, her rabble, who, with cries of "well done, old faith also, and becoming, pervert-like, rebel !"and“ hurrah for the Pope !” escort- more actively bigoted than her easyed him, his terror-stricken butler and his going husband. She brought little or shame-stricken grooms, to the Crown and no money into the family; and, from her Sceptre. As good luck would have it, portrait, appears to have been exceedthere happened to be in the town that ingly pretty, and monstrously silly. day no less a person than Lord Segur, To this strong-minded couple was the leading Roman Catholic nobleman born, two years after their marriage, a of the county. He, accompanied by son, who was called Densil. severål of the leading gentlemen of the This young gentleman seems to have same persuasion, burst into the room got on much like other young gentlewhere the Squire sat, overpowered him, men till the age of twenty-one, when it and, putting him bound into a coach, car- was determined by the higher powers in ried him off to Segur castle, and locked conclave assembled that he should to him up. It took all the strength of the London and see the world; and so, havPopish party to save him from attainder. ing been cautioned duly how to avoid The Church rallied right bravely round the flesh and the devil, to see the world the old house, which had always assisted he went. In a short time intelligence her with sword and purse, and never came to the confessor of the family, and once had wavered in its allegiance. So, through him to the father and mother, while nobler heads went down, Ambrose that Densil was seeing the world with a Ravenshoe's remained on his shoulders. vengeance; that he was the constant Ambrose died in 1759.
companion of the right honourable John (Monseigneur) in 1771.
Viscount Saltire, the great dandy of the Howard in 1800. He first took the Radical Atheist set, with whom no man Claycomb hounds.
might play picquet and live ; that he Petre in 1820. He married Alicia, had been upset in a tilbury with only daughter of Charles, third Earl of Mademoiselle Vaurien of Drury-lane at Ascot, and was succeeded by Densil, the Kensington turnpike; that he had fought first of our dramatis personæ—the first the French emigré, a Comte De Hautenof all this shadowy line that we shall see bas, apropos of the Vaurien aforemenin the flesh. He was born in the year tioned,-in short, that he was going on 1783, and married, first in 1812, at his at a deuce of a rate : and so a hurried father's desire, a Miss Winkleigh, of council was called to deliberate what whom I know nothing; and second, at was to be done. his own desire, in 1823, Susan, fourth “He will lose his immortal soul,” said daughter of Lawrence Petersham, Esq., the Priest. of Fairford Grange, county Worcester, “He will dissipate his property,” said by whom he had issue
his mother. Cuthbert, born 1826.
“ He will go to the devil,” said his Charles, born 1831.
father. Densil was an only son. His father,
So Father Clifford, good man, was dea handsome, careless, good-humoured, spatched to London, with post horses, but weak and superstitious man, was
and ordered to bring back the lost sheep entirely in the hands of the priests, who vi et armis. Accordingly, at ten o'clock during his life were undisputed masters one night, Densil's lad was astounded of Ravenshoe. Lady Alicia was, as I by having to admit Father Clifford, who
led the way.
demanded immediately to be led to his ing an angry glance at the priest, who master.
stood calmly like a black pillar, with his Now this was awkward, for James hands folded before him.
“ It is unwell knew what was going on upstairs ; endurable.” but he knew also what would happen “Quem Deus vult,” &c. Father Clifsooner or later to a Ravenshoe servant ford had seen that scowl once or twice who trifled with the priest, and so he before, but he would not take warning.
He said, The lost sheep which the good father “I am ordered not to go westward had come to find was not exactly sober without
to come.” this evening, and certainly not in a very “ Command me! command a Ravengood temper. He was playing écarté shoe !” said Densil furiously. with a singularly handsome though Father Clifford, by way of mending supercilious-looking man, dressed in the matters, now began to lose his temper. height of fashion, who, judging from the “ You would not be the first Ravenheap of gold beside him, had been win- shoe who has been commanded by a ning heavily. The priest trembled and priest ; ay, and has had to obey too," crossed himself—this man was the terri- said he. ble, handsome, wicked, witty, Atheistical, “And you will not be the first jack radical Lord Saltire, whose tongue no priest who has felt the weight of a Ravenwoman could withstand, and whose pistol shoe's wrath,” replied Densil brutally. no man dared face ; who was currently Lord Saltire leant back, and said to believed to have sold himself to the the ambient air, “I'll back the priest, deuce, or indeed, as some said, to be the five twenty's to one." deuce himself.
This was too much. Densil would A more cunning man than poor simple have liked to quarrel with Saltire, but Father Clifford would have made some that was death—he was the deadest shot common-place remark and withdrawn, in Europe. He grew furious, and beyond after a short greeting, taking warning all control. He told the priest to go to by the impatient scowl that settled on (further than purgatory); grew blasDensil's handsome face. Not so he. To phemous ; emphatically renouncing the be defied by the boy whose law had been creed of his forefathers, and, in fact, all his word for ten years past never entered other creeds. The priest grew hot and into his head, and he sternly advanced furious too, retaliated in no measured towards the pair.
terms, and finally left the room with his Densil inquired if anything were the ears stopped, shaking the dust off his matter at home. And Lord Saltire, anti- feet as he went. Then Lord Saltire cipating a scene, threw himself back in drew up to the table again laughing. his chair, stretched out his elegant legs, “ Your estates are entailed, Ravenshoe, and looked on with the air of a man I suppose,” said he. who knows he is going to be amused, "No." and composes himself thoroughly to
It's your deal, my dear felappreciate the entertainment.
low." “Thus much, my son,” said the priest; Densil got an angry letter from his “your mother is wearing out the stones father in a few days, demanding full of the oratory with her knees, praying apologies and recantations, and an imfor her first-born, while he is wasting mediate return home. Densil had no his substance, and perilling his soul, apologies to make, and did not intend with debauched Atheistic companions, to return till the end of the season. His the enemies of God and man."
father wrote declining the honour of his Lord Saltire smiled sweetly, bowed further acquaintance, and sending him a elegantly, and took snuff.
draft for fifty pounds to pay his out“Why do you intrude into my room standing bills, which he very well knew and insult my guests ?” said Densil, cast- amounted to several thousand pounds.
In a short time the great Catholic thoroughfares in such a dress, to-morrow, tradesmen, with whom he had been for a heavy bet-I fancy not. dealing, began to press for money in He smiled sardonically—“My dear a somewhat insolent way; and now fellow,” he said, “when a man comes on Densil began to see that, by defying and a visit of condolence, I kpow it is the insulting the faith and the party to which most wretched taste to say, 'I told you he belonged, he had merely cut himself so;' but do me the justice to allow off from rank, wealth, and position. He that I offered to back the priest five to had defied the partie prêtre, and had one. I have been coming to you all the yet to feel their power. In two months week, but Tuesday and Wednesday I The was in the Fleet prison.
was at Newmarket; Thursday I was His servant (the title “ tiger" came in shooting at your Cousin Ascot's; yesterlong after this), a half groom, half valet, day I did not care about boring myself such as men kept in those days—a simple with you; so I have come to-day because lad from Ravenshoe, James Horton by I was at leisure and had nothing better name for the first time in his life dis- to do." obeyed orders; for, on being told to re- Densil looked up savagely, thinking turn home by Densil, he firmly declined he had come to insult him ; but the doing so, and carried his top boots and kindly, compassionate look in the piercwhite neckcloth triumphantly into the ing grey eye belied the cynical curl of Fleet, there pursuing his usual avocations the mouth, and disarmed him. He with the utmost nonchalance.
leant his head upon the table, and “A very distinguished fellow that of sobbed. yours, Curly,” (they all had nicknames Lord Saltire laid his hand kindly on for one another in those days,) said his shoulder, and said, Lord Saltire. “If I were not Saltire, “You have been a fool, Ravenshoe; I think I would be Jim. To own the you have denied the faith of your foreonly clean face among six hundred fel- fathers. Pardieu, if I had such an artilow creatures is a pre-eminence, a decided cle, I would not have thrown it so pre-eminence. I'll buy him of you." lightly away."
For Lord Saltire came to see him, “ You talk like this ? Who next? It snuff-box and all. That morning Densil was your conversation led me to it. Am was sitting brooding in the dirty room I worse than you? What faith have
you, with the barred windows, and thinking
in God's name?” what a wild free wind would be sweep
“ The faith of a French Lycée, my ing across the Downs this fine November friend ; the only one I ever had. I day, when the door was opened, and in have been sufficiently consistent to that, walks me my lord, with a sweet smile I think.” on his face.
“ Consistent, indeed,” groaned poor He was dressed in the extreme of Densil. fashion—a long tailed blue coat with “Now, look here,” said Saltire ; “I gold buttons, a frill to his shirt, a may have been to blame in this. But I white cravat, a marvellous short waist- give you my honour, I had no more coat, loose short nankeen trousers, low idea that you would be obstinate enough shoes, no gaiters, and a low-crowned to bring matters to this pass, than I had hat. I am pretty correct, for I have that you would burn down Ravenshoe seen his picture, dated 1804. But you house because I laughed at it for being must please to remember that his lord- old-fashioned. Go home, my poor little ship was in the very van of the fashion, Catholic pipkin, and don't try to swim and that probably such a dress was not with iron pots like Wrekin and me. universal for two or three years after- Make submission to that singularly wards, I wonder if his well-known distingué-looking old turkey-cock of a audacity would be sufficient to make priest, kiss your mother, and get your
“ Too late! too late, now !” sobbed of young country gentlemen. He did Densil.
exactly what every one else about him “Not at all, my dear fellow," said did. He was not naturally a profligate Saltire, taking a pinch of snuff; "the or vicious man; but there was a wild partridges will be a little wild, of course devil of animal passion in him, which --that you must expect; but you ought had broken out in London, and which to get some very pretty pheasant and was now 'quieted by dread of consecock-shooting. Come, say yes. Have quences, but which he felt and knew your debts paid, and get out of this was there, and might break out again. infernal hole. A week of this would He was a changed man. There was a tame the devil, I should think.”
gulf between him and the life he had "If you think you could do anything led before he went to London. He had for me, Saltire."
tasted of liberty (or rather, not to proSaltire immediately retired, and re- fane that Divine word, of licentiousness), appeared leading in a lady by her hand. and yet not drunk long enough to make She raised the veil from her head, and him weary of the draught. He had he saw his mother. In a moment she was heard the dogmas he was brought up to crying on his neck; and, as he looked believe infallible turned to unutterable over her shoulder, he saw a blue coat ridicule by men like Saltire and Wrekin; passing out of the door, and that was men who, as he had the wit to see, were the last of Lord Saltire for the present. a thousand times cleverer and better in
It was no part of the game of the formed than Father Clifford or Father priests to give Densil a cold welcome Dennis. In short, he had found out, as home. Twenty smiling faces
a great many others have, that Popery grouped in the porch to welcome him won't hold water, and so, as a pis aller, back; and among them all none smiled he adopted Saltire's creed, that religion more brightly than the old priest and was necessary for the government of his father. The dogs went wild with States, that one religion was as good joy, and his favourite peregrine scolded as another, and that, cæteris paribus, the on the falconer's wrist, and struggled best religion was the one which secured with her jesses, shrilly reminding him the possessor 10,0001. a year; and thereof the merry old days by the dreary salt fore Densil was a devout Catholic. marsh, or the lonely lake.
It was thought by the allied powers The past was never once alluded to that he ought to marry. He had no obin any way by any one in the house. jection, and so he married a young lady, Only Squire Petre shook hands with a Miss Winkleigh-Catholic, of course, faithful James, and gave him a watch, about whoni I can get no information ordering him to ride a certain colt next whatever. Lady Ascot says that she was day, and see how well forward he could a pale girl, with about as much air as a get him. So next day they drew the milkmaid; on which two facts I can build home covers, and the fox, brave fellow, no theory as to her personal character. ran out to Parkside, making for the She died in 1816, childless; and in 1820 granite walls of Hessitor. And, when Densil lost both his father and mother, Densil felt his nostrils filled once more and found himself, at the age of thirtyby the free rushing mountain air, he seven, master of Ravenshoe, and master shouted aloud for joy, and James's voice of himself. alongside of him said
He felt the loss of the old folks most “ This is better than the Fleet, sir.” keenly, more keenly than that of his
And so Densil played a single wicket- wife. He seemed without a stay or holdmatch with the Holy Church, and, like a fast in the world, for he was a poorlygreat many other people, got bowled out educated man, without resources; and so in the first innings. He returned to his he went on moping and brooding until allegiance in the most exemplary manner, good old Father Clifford, who loved him and settled down into the most humdrum dearly, got alarmed, and recommended
travels. He recommended Rome, the too, liked the handsome, gentlemanly cradle of the faith, and to Rome he old man, and made herself agreeable to went.
him, as a woman of the world knows so He stayed in Rome a year ; at the well how to do. Father Mackworth, end of which time he appeared suddenly on the other hand, his young coadjutor at home with a beautiful young wife on
since Father Dennis's death, an imporhis arm. As Father Clifford, trembling tation of Lady Alicia's from Rome, very and astonished, advanced to lay his hand soon fell under her displeasure. The upon her head, she drew up, laughed, first Sunday after her arrival she drove and said, “Spare yourself the trouble, to Church, and occupied the great old my dear sir; I am a Protestant." family pew, to the immense astonish
I have had to tell you all this, in ment of the rustics, and, after afternoon order to show you how it came about service, caught up the old vicar in her that Densil, though a Papist, be- imperious off-hand way, and, will he thought of marrying a Protestant wife nill he, carried him off to dinner-at to keep up a balance of power in his which meal he was horrified to find house. For, if he had not married this himself sitting with two shaven priests, lady, the hero of this book would never who talked Latin and crossed themhave been born ; and this greater pro- selves. His embarrassment was greatly position contains the less, “that, if he increased by the behaviour of Mrs. " had never been born, his history would Ravenshoe, who admired his sermon, “never have been written, and so this and spoke on doctrinal points with him “ book would have had no existence." as though there were not a priest within
a mile. Father Mackworth was im
prudent enough to begin talking at him, CHAPTER II.
and at last said something unmistakeably SUPPLEMENTARY TO THE FOREGOING.
impertinent; upon which Mrs. Raven
shoe put her glass in her eye, and The second Mrs. Ravenshoe was the favoured him with such a glance of handsome dowerless daughter of a Wor- haughty astonishment as silenced him cester squire of good standing, who, at once. being blessed with an extravagant son, This was the beginning of hostilities and six handsome daughters, had lived between them, if one can give the for several years abroad, finding society name of hostilities to a series of infinimore accessible, and consequently the tesimal annoyances on the one side, and matrimonial chances of the "Petersham to unmeasurable and barely concealed girls" proportionately greater than in contempt on the other. Mackworth, on England. She was a handsome, proud the one hand, knew that she understood woman, not particularly clever, or par and despised him, and he hated her. ticularly agreeable, or particularly any. She, on the other hand, knew that he thing, except particularly self possessed. knew it, but thought him too much She had been long enough looking after below her to notice, save now and then an establishment to know thoroughly that she might put down with a high the value of one, and had seen quite hand any, even the most distant, apenough of good houses to know that a proach to a tangible impertinence. But house without a mistress was no house she was no match for him in the arts of at all
. Accordingly, in a very few days petty, delicate, galling annoyances. There the house felt her presence, submitted he was her master ; he had been brought with the best grace to her not unkindly up in a good school for that, and had rule, and in a week they all felt as if learnt his lesson kindly. He found out she had been there for years.
that she disliked his presence, and Father Clifford, who longed only for shrunk from his smooth, lean face with peace, and was getting very old, got very unutterable dislike. From that moment