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33 ject. Mark that; and know besides, • I fear nothing, sir ; so say on.
I since it is no longer possible to con- am prepared to hear, and brave the ceal the truth, that it was the form of worst." Mary you saw ; for I too saw her not " Well, then,” resumed Mr Mor. four nights since. It is me, therefore, daunt, “I sought the witch, but she that it behoves to bring peace to her was aware of my visit ere my foot spirit; and this very night I was about was within a hundred paces of her to undertake the fearful task of con- cell. She knew my errand too; the sulting the witch.”
spirit of my child, she said, was ill at “ Then let us both go,” said John, rest, but her disquiet was not without eagerly.
remedy, though that remedy could be “ Not so; I am better acquainted revealed only by herself.” with her nature than you, for I have By herself? I understand you had recourse to her more than once,
not.” and know well the form in which she or And better perhaps that you should be addressed."
should never understand me, for that “ But,” rejoined Trevanion hesita which I have to say, is that which shall ting, “ they say she has made a com- congeal your blood to ice. John, I pact with the evil one; I thought not fear your weakness, and will add no of that in ný haste; and if so, can we apply to her: No, let us rather seek “ Speak on, sir; in God's name the good priest; it is to him we should speak on. I tell you, father of my unbosom ourselves.”
first-my only love, that to procure But Mr Mordaunt was peremptory rest to her pure spirit, who would have against this proposal. 6 I will not,” braved even death for me, I would he said, “ become the village talk, or make sacrifices a thousand times greathave poor Mary's name, now half-for- er than any you can exact. Whom gotten, again bandied about from should I fear? What should I fear? mouth to mouth ; so urge me no far- Alas, fear and hope are alike over with ther, John, but leave a father to a me; so speak on, Mr Mordaunt, I confather's duty, and do you meet me here jure you." again at midnight, when I will ac- “ Then I will speak, John,” exquaint you with the result of my inter claimed the old gentleman with ani. view with the wise woman.”
mation. “ Mary, as you know, rests With some reluctance Trevanion ac- not in consecrated ground; no prayer ceded to Mr Mordaunt's proposal, and has been offered up above her grave; made his way back to the Hall, shaking and such being the case, her vexed all over with a fever of agitation and spirit yet walks the earth, and over curiosity. At midnight, however, after such, she I have seen to-night has his father and the other members of power.” the househould had retired to rest, he Trevanion here turned deadly pale. returned to the cottage, where he found “ I feared so," said Mr Mordaun, the old gentleman awaiting his arrival. “ I feared your nerves would shake." He was in evident excitement, and “ Proceed, I entreat you, sir.” kept muttering to himself, “ well, it “ Well, that mysterious power must be so, what is fated, cannot but which the wise woman possesses, she come to pass; and if ever the finger of is willing to exert, and as the cause is destiny was visible any where, it is in a just and holy one, I have accepted this case."
So soon as he recognised her mediation. See here," he added, John, he motioned him to a seat, and drawing forth a small yew branch, then going into the garden to see that “ this was given me by the witch herno one was within hearing, he cau- self; it is a charmed instrument of tiously closed the door, and laying his wondrous potency, and at certain hand on the young man's arm, while seasons, and in cases like the present, he looked him anxiously in the face, has the power of compelling the grave he said, “have you courage to hear to surrender up its dead.* Take it, what I shall communicate? If not, John, for alas, not by me may the trial say so, and my lips shall be sealed.” of its efficacy be made. In the hands
That some witches were believed to have the power here attributed to them-and this, not merely by the ignorant vulgar, but by many of that more enlightened class in
VOL. XLII, NO, CCLXI.
of age and distrust it has no virtue. And oh, John, when you shall see her It is youth, hope, and enthusiasm that stand at midnight before you ; when must work miracles with it; so said the dead shall confront the living; and the witch ; but I am past these ; if none be by to re-assure your fluttered therefore the trial be made, 'tis you spirits ;-will you then, out of your must make it."
perfect love for her whose loss you “ But,” enquired Trevanion in a deplore, dare to address her, and firmhesitating accent, “is it not a sinning ly abide her reply?" in the eye of Heaven, to accept the “ I will !” exclaimed the young man mediation of such a malign spirit ?"
• Mary's image can ne“ Young man," replied Mr Mor- ver have terrors for me; it cannot be daunt, “ we but act in this pursuant but that her voice will be gentle, and to the scheme of Providence, as exem- her countenance serene and lovely as plified in creation. Do we not see the in life.” atmosphere purified by the dark agency “ My dear boy," said the father, of cloud and storm ; and the languid clasping his hands, while the tears fell powers of nature revived by the action fast from his eyes, “ I no longer doubt of earthquake and volcano? Be assu- your sincerity, and, thank Heaven, my red, my boy, we need not be disturbed poor child will at length know repose. on this score, as in a few brief hours Oh, John, you have made an old man you yourself will be the first to ac
happy-I mean, as happy as he can knowledge."
be on this side the grave. Go then, “ I am convinced,” replied Treva- and a father's blessing go with you. nion, and was about to declare his in- To-morrow night, when the South stant readiness to make the trial, when Zeal clock strikes twelve, go to the Mr Mordaunt interrupted him by say- abbey where you last parted from
nay, but hear me out, John; Mary ; lay this charmed branch reve. for this instrument to be effective, it rently on the abbot's tomb; then inis imperative that you be conscious in voke the name of the departed, and your own heart of the most unbound- wait the result. And now leave me, ed devotion to the memory of Mary. John ; you have need of repose, and Have you this consciousness? Is the so too have I, for the events of this departed as dear to your thoughts- day have half maddened me," and so linked as closely with your feelings, saying, Mr Mordaunt motioned Treas was the living? Is her memory a vanion from the room, who instantly holy and august shrine, at which daily set out on his return to the Hall. and nightly your heart does reverence
Though brave and quick-witted all their former intensity. But notwhen circumstances demanded it, yet withstanding this, he was not their John's natural tendency was to the slave; far otherwise ; his was the romantic and the imaginative ; and calm, resolved, and thoughtful air of though his late worldly experience had one bent, at all hazards, on the accomsobered his feelings in this respect, plishment of some cherished purpose. still they were “ scotched not killed; During the early part of the day, and the gloom by which he had been not liking to trust himself wholly to surrounded since his return home, solitude, he remained with his father, Mary's death—his father's melancholy whom he endeavoured to amuse by the solitary character of the old some further details of his adventures Halland, above all, the mysterious with the pirates ; though, had the figure which had twice encountered Baronet been less engrossed with his his gaze-brought them back in nearly own sad thoughts than he was, he
which my hero may be supposed to have moved, is evident from one of the statutes, passed in the first year of James the First, which enacts, among other things, that if any person shall, “ by witchcraft, sorcery, or enchantment,” raise up any“ dead man, woman, or child out of the grave,” that every such offender shall suffer death, Vide Godwin's Lives of the Necromancers.
would have discerned in his son's ran- itself momently dropping to decay dom attempts to divert him, evidences above them. The dim haze of night of a mind whose thoughts were con- deepened the awe with which Trevastantly playing truant.
nion regarded it, by softening off its So passed the time-varied only by rugged features, and imparting a a short stroll with Sir Hugh in the spectral aspect to its ruins. It was park ---- till the dinner hour arrived, of considerable extent, and had once when John began to think the night been the proudest structure in the diswould never draw on; and still more trict, but was now the mere “ shade" slowly did the lame hours limp on, of departed grandeur--the “ skeleton when the west.was rosy with sunset, of unfleshed humanity.” The foreand twilight began to frown along the court was choked up with weeds; the lawn. From this period every moment curiously carved windows overrun with seemed an age.
moss and ivy; and the chapel was At last day closed ; confirmed night strewed with broken columns, which approached ; and John, just waiting in their fall had crushed many of the till the clergyman of South Zeal en- sculptured effigies on the tombs. A tered, as usual, to partake of supper small portion of the refectory alone with the Baronet, rose, under the pre- remained in tolerable preservation ; text of retiring to his own chamber, and on its paved floor lay a few halfand made his way towards the moor. burnt faggots and bits of charcoal,
It was now nearly ten o'clock; the together with an old drinking-horn, lights were all extinguished in the cot- which showed that a wandering band tage windows of South Zeal, for the of gipsies had but lately held revel in it. wearied peasantry had long since re. Strange spot for merry-making, where tired to rest ; and with the exception every thing spoke of desolation and of the occasional bark of a dog, or the decay! startling rush of wings as the bat went As with bowed head and “stealthy whirring past him in the course of its pace" the young man entered the crumflight round the elms on the village bling edifice, he hardly dared draw green, not a sound but that of Treva- breath, lest he might rouse strange nion's heavy footsteps woke the echoes echoes. Knowing well the localities, lie of night.
stole his way on tip-toe to what had In a short time the young man had once formed the chapel, beneath whose passed the village, and entered upon floor the last Lord Abbot, and many the long, shady lane which terminated of the monks, lay buried; where, lean. at that part of the moor on whose edge ing against the fragment of a pillar, the abbey stood. Myriads of glow. he awaited, with mingled sensations worms lit their little lamps for him as of awe and melancholy, the hour that he advanced, and the quiet toad crawl. should summon him in to the preed from his path, rustling with a gen- sence of the departed. tle stir among the dead leaves that lay Oh, Night! mysterious, phantomthick beneath the hedge on either side. peopled Night ! at whose bidding Just as he came within sight of the memory summons from their graves ruin, the distant church-clock struck the feelings and the friends of other eleven. At this moment John fancied years Night, spirit of many tones, he heard footsteps before him, and how impressive is even thy lightest looked about to see if aught was in whisper! The very dropping of the sight; the gloom of the night, how dew from the ivied arches on the leafever-for the late moon was but just strewn ground beneath startled John beginning to rise-prevented him from as though life were in it, and the wind clearly distinguishing any object; and sighing through the ruins, rung like a concluding that his ears had betrayed dirge in his ears. “What an utterdeso. him, he seated himself for a few mi. lation”-it was thus he communed with mates on a bank, to collect bis scatter- himself"breathes out from these old ed thoughts, and then moved briskly cloisters ! Not a foot-fall, where once forward, and soon reached the abbey, crowds bowed the knee to Heaven ! beyond which lay the moor blackening I stand, the only living thing, among far and wide before him.
the unremembered dead. Well, pass It was an imposing object, that for- but a few years, and I shall join their lorn pile, grey in years, standing sen. ranks—gladly, most gladly, for what tinel over the graves of the dead, yet is this world other than a vast ruin,
or we than spectres, who are doomed, its lips ; a tear trembled in its eye ; a perforce, to haunt its gloom a brief soft, white hand gently clasped his. while, and vanish !"
* God of Heaven! exclaimed the The moon at this moment, forcing bewildered Trevanion, while his eyes her way from behind a cloud, came seemed actually starting from their streaming in through the broken win- sockets with the intensity of his gaze ; dows, and pouring down a faint radi. “ am I awake? Can this indeed be ance on the Abbot's tomb, which was possible? Yes, it is—it is the real situated at the farther end of the living Mary that stands before me ; chapel. The sight of this memento and, overpowered by this startling conmori recalled John's wandering viction, he uttered a loud cry of ecthoughts. “ The hour draws on," he stasy, and dropped lifeless at her feet. said the hour that must—what a Another figure now advanced from weight there is in the air! No! 'tis among the ruins. “ Oh, father at my own heart.
Strange fears father!" said Mary, the instant she beset me. What-what am I about beheld the new comer “ why did to do? Eternal God, pardon me! you persuade me to this? Why not And Mary-will she whom I am to have made the revelation in some summon from the world of shadows, more familiar form ? You knew I rise before me with that gentle smile was averse to all this mystery from she ever wore in life ? Oh, yes, there the first ;” and, stooping down beside is memory beyond the grave, else Trevanion, she endeavoured to raise wherefore that wan, beseeching fi- him from the ground. gure that has already twice crossed “ Fear nothing, my child,” replied my path ? Spirit of my unforgotten Mr Mordaunt—« the first shock over, love ! let me but be the means of pro- all will be well ; see already he recuring for thee the repose of the vives ! Come, John, rouse yourself, tomb, and I care not how soon I lay my boy. Speak to him, Mary." my own head beneath it."
The word “ Mary” acted like a While absorbed in thoughts like spell on Trevanion. He started from these, Trevanion was suddenly start the ground, rubbed his eyes, to assure led by a faint sigh, that seemed breath. himself he was wide awake, and stood ed close at his elbow. At first he fixing a wild gaze now on Mr Morsuspected that some one was conceal. daunt, and now on his daughter, as if ed in the Abbey ; but a moment's re- he still doubted the evidence of his flection satisfied him that it was the senses. In a brief space, however, mere moaning of the wind through he managed to recover something like the building
self-possession ; whereupon Mr MorJust then the distant church-clock daunt, taking his arm within his, and struck twelve !
accompanied by Mary, led him gently " It is the hour," exclaimed the from the ruins. youth, and trembling from head to On their way back to South Zeal, foot with an emotion which he vainly observing the half-distrustful glances strove to conceal, he drew the charm- which, even while she was hanging ed branch from his breast, and, stag- on his arm, John every now and then gering towards the Abbot's tomb, de- directed towards Mary, Mr Morduant, posited it thereon. This done, he pitying the youvg man's bewildered cast a furtive glance about him, fear- state, proceeded, without further delay, ing-hoping-he knew not what; and to explain to him the reasons which then, in a solemn voice, invoked the bad compelled him to act in so mysshade of Mary!
terious and apparently unaccountable " I am here, John!" said a low, a manner. Eweet voice ; and at that instant the “ You are of course aware, my same form which he had twice beheld boy," he began, “ that your intimacy in the fir-grove, gliding from behind with Mary was broken off by my exan adjacent pillar, stood a few paces press command. Though personally off him.
I had no objection, but, on the con“ Mary!- dear Mary!- dear in trary, should have been proud to own death, as in life !--speak, I conjure you as a son-in-law, yet, when I found you, speak!” exclaimed John, stretch- that your father-who, I have since ing out his arms towards her.
had but too much occasion to feel, The figure advanced silently to- holds arbitrary sway over this dis. wards him ; a wan smile played round trict was averse to the match, my
pride was roused quite as much as from all my embarrassments, but only his; and I did not hesitate an instant at the expense of my poor girl's good as to the line of conduct I ought to name. adopt. Well, you and Mary parted, John was here again about to burst and, a few days after, influenced by into execrations against his brother, feelings with which I can readily but Mr Mordaunt stopped bim, and sympathize, you quitted England for resumed as follows:-“ Driven to desthe New World. No sooner were peration, but resolved at all risks to you gone, than your brother Edward, protect my child, I determined as a whose real character, I fear, you never last resource—for I had no other means knew till now, endeavoured to sup- at command-to spread about a replant you in the affections of my port of her death. Judge, John, to child."
what an extremity father and daughJohn started at these words, as if a ter must have been reduced to adopt new light had suddenly broken in so strange-so distressing an alternaupon him. “ This then," he exclaim- tive !" ed, “is the reason why he was so Mary, who had been listening with urgent in advising me to quit the evident feelings of uneasiness to Mr country! Curses on—but no, he is Mordaunt's explanation, here burst dead, and be all his sins forgiven.” into tears. John's soothing and re
“Nobly said, my boy.” Mr Mor. spectful attentions, however, soon redaunt then proceeded to state how, assured her, and the speaker proceedfor months and months together, Ed- ed with his narrative :-" When quesward Trevanion beset Mary with his tioned on the subject of my child's dishonourable addresses ; and how, death, my reply was, that she had when he found himself repulsed with suddenly disappeared, I knew not deserved contempt, he had recourse, whither, but that I feared she had in his rage, to the Baronet, whom, by come to an untimely end in one of the every species of insinuation and ca- numerous streams that intersect the lumny, he endeavoured to prejudice moor. 'Twas an unworthy subteragainst both father and daughter. “I fuge, and I feel my cheek burn while regret, John,” continued Mr Mor. I recall it ; but oh, John, if you knew
; daunt, “ to speak in this way of one but half the agonies we were then unso closely related to you, but I owe dergoing - half the persecutions we you a full explanation, and have there were subjected to-half the privations fore no alternative. My child here to which we were reduced—you would can bear testimony to the persecutions cease to wonder that we had recourse to which both of us were subjected to it. Previously, however, to setting daily by the Baronet, who, being our this report afloat, I conveyed Mary landlord, was never at a loss for the secretly to the Witch's hut on Dartmeans of direct or indirect annoyance.
you may remember, John, Fortunately, about this time, your never shared in your imaginabrother quitted the Hall on a visit to tive dread of its half-crazy tenant some sporting friends in the north, and where we found the poor creature we had an interval of quiet; but he at her last gasp, and at her request, I returned within the year, and renewed buried her at the foot of one of the his insulting addresses with more per- tors, far removed from the hated tinacity than ever. Doubtless, you neighbourhood of those from whom, wonder why, under such circum- in life, she had suffered so much. stances, I did not quit South Zeal. 'Twas a sad change for my child, but Alas, my boy, I had not the means to her moral courage sustained her do so, for by the villany of an agent through the trial; and desolate as was at Exeter, I was robbed of the pro- her dwelling, there, at least, she felt ceeds of a small estate which I had she was safe, for seldom did human empowered him to sell, and involved footstep venture near that haunted in a lawsuit which reduced me to a quarter of the moor. Every day at state little short of beggary. Thus night-fall I paid her a visit, bringing situated, I got into arrears with my with me such conveniences as might landlord, who, still urged on by his render her new abode more habitable ; son, threatened me not merely with and was delighted to find how soon ejection, but also with imprisonment. she became reconciled to her lot when Then came your brother's final pro- she found herself free from persecuposal. He would release me, he said, tion. From this period I sustained