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keep them—and thy young blood shall has been spending hard lately—but he be spilt on thine own threshold, and thy sleeps soundly. Eh! Elias, this is not habitation shall be in hell !" He fell the repose of sleep, but of death—if ye slowly back, when he had done speak. keep Coldengame till he awake, ye’ll ing-his lips quivered, and a slight be lord long enough. I trow it was not convulsion was visible in the fingers of for nought that the bats fluttered, and his right hand. “Father," said Elias, the daws screeched, when I kindled a “ answer me but one question-how fire in our chamber-chimney yesterday. many-God! it will never do to die And now I think on't, I saw two ranow, and so many things unsettled! vens sitting on the house-top, when I Father, I say.” The old man gave a rose this morning—a sight I never have groan--expanded his hands, and sunk seen since Crombie the Scotch cow down and expired. “ Father,” con- died—I think I cried away all my tears tinued the son,“ where's the old cheese- then—for I can hardly find one to drop mould hid, that's full of coined gold? by my old master's side.” And she No, no; he won't answer that. Father, put her hands before her face, and raiswhere's the key that hang at your belt, ed up a kind of low and melancholy and opened the oaken chest in the dark cry—but no drops of sorrow came. closet?" and he laid his hand upon a
Word soon flew over the district that bunch of keys, which hung at the old Edward Neyland was dead-mourning map's girdle." He beeds not the rat- made no struggle for mastery with mirth tle of his coffer keys-he must be far —one would have thought that a millgone : Father, father,” he wrung his store had been removed from every hands_band have ye died without bosom. The hinds swore deeper oaths, blessing me! !!! answer for’t, he'll the maidens sang merrier songs, the never speak on this side of time more. dogs barked in chorus, and the very There's a pretty piece of business. An Cows seemed to feel an increase of he would open his lips again, I would gladness as they tasted the rich pasgive the widow back a couple of parks tures. 6 And so old Coldengame's to hear but the sound of his tongue.” dead," said one rustic; “ if the devil
The young owner of Coldengame keeps cows, let him make Ned the cowstood pondering for a minute's space, herd--and there will be more wit in at last he shouted, “ Mardel— Mardel, heil than I wot of if he fails to nick ye snail-come here I have some- him out of some of the best calves.” thing to tell ye, and something to show “ Aye! dead !” said the second ye, that will make ye pleased and sad rustic ;
a door nail-my - Mardel, I say.” In answer to this dream has had a glorious clearing rude summons, a very old woman—a . up. I dreamed I saw old Coldensort of domestic drudge, made her ap- game dished out like a roasted pig at pearance, shaking the husk of flax from å bridal dinner, with a sprig of roseher arms, as she came, and murmuring mary in his mouth, and the devil at being taken from her task. “ Here dining on him in the shape of a great ye grumbling gammerstang-hold him hooded crow. And speaking of briin the chair, till I search for the keys, dals, when will little Will Chessel be and lock up the house, and see what I married? The parish gives away the am to call my own. He has been spend- bride, and the magistrate recommends ing money lately as if it had not come the nuptials-and a ripe morsel for the by the sweat of the brow-it was no altar she is.” “Ripe for the altar !" good symptom of health when he be- said a third rustic; as ripe as old came a spendthrift.”. “Troth, and Coldengame was for the grave. They that's true," said the old domestic ; “I say that after he died there remained a saw him, no farther back than Tuesday, fiend within him that made him move, give a quarter of a pound of cheese and his lips to mutter, but it must have parings to a beggar's brat; and a bit of been a conscientious fiend, for when old money—it could not be less than a half- Mardel laid him in his last linen, they penny-to an old man with a white say he started half up, and cried. “Ruth bead, who begged hard and long--he Rushbrook's landmark !' Now d'ye
6 dead as
think a dead man's word will stand in his grief-his grief was beyond tears. law?' “ Who the devil doubts it, He drew on his father's boots, and man ?" said a fourth rustic; “ a thing strutted from room to room, looking at that won't stand in common sense, will every step on this paternal benefaction, stand in law-and precious good law which fitted him, as the apothecary retoo. I wish I had a dead man's word marked, as a mortar fits a pestle. He for a thousand pounds—I would put it endowed his person in an ample coat, into old Fishook's hand-he would with sleeves like carronades, and butmake me good money out of it.” “ Buttons like butter-prints—and threw aside have ye heard," said the fifth rustic, the lappets, to display a scarlet vest, “ that old Neddy-nick-the-Devil's to ornamented with tarnished lace, which be buried like a man of high degree- had descended into the family, in a like a Bennet or a Mordaunt--a hearse somewhat oblique way from Matthew and four horses, no less, to draw him! Hopkins, of Manningtree, witchfinder and ranks of people with torches. to good King James, who burned and Gore! an it will be prime sport to see hanged those only possessed of a rich old Carrion-crow, the cow-feeder, laid wardrobe and a familiar spirit. The in the vaults among our lords and no- new-born pride of a miser broke out, as bles. All's one to the worms—a king it ever breaks, in fits of extravagance. or a cowman-and wherefore should I In every chimney there burned a firegrumble? Are ye going to the foot- in every window there burned a lightball match to-night, twelve on a side, the crows, startled by the unaccustomo'er the moonlight lea? Moll Grab- ed glare, rose from their roosting plabert will be there—and Nan Reamen- ces, and screeched out, according to the cap will be looking on; and our side interpretation of the crowd, “Fire! fire!” will do their best." Foot-ball !” said Hunger and thirst, on that auspicious the sixth and last rustic ; “ who would day, forsook the mansion where they go to foot-ball, and old Coldengame go- had been born, and fled out of the dising to be buried ! Folk expect he will trict. The roasted oxen smoakedcome to life again-d'ye think he'll the brown ale flowed—and a little rill, leave the world, that he loved so dear- that runs in the neighbourhood, lost its ly, in this quiet and easy way? And ancient name, and assumed that of if he were so disposed, d’ye think mo- Brandy-brook—so much was its current ther Biblebelt-old Ruth Rushbrook, augmented by the liquor which drunkwill let him slip decently under the sod, enness spilt. without giving him her benediction ? It was past eleven at night when the Have I not both seen and heard her hearse began to move, and the torches stand at Coldengame's chamber-win- to stream towards the place of burial. dow at midnight, and shout, "A wi- The abundance of meat and drink, and dow's curse! a widow's cry! and a the mirth which got the better of sorwidow's tears! Cursed be he who row, gave it more the look of a wedmoveth his neighbour's landmark, and ding than a funeral. All the pastoral robs the widow and the fatherless !' chiefs of the district were presentEvery body knows the curse of Ruth they gazed on the singular extravagance Rushbrook—who has not heard the of the scene wondering in what it was curse she has pronounced on the house all to end. Many of them afterwards of Coldengamer and they say it is ful- acknowledged that a presentiment of filling."
some coming calamity pressed upon On the day when this conversation them. “ I'll tell ye, neighbour," said happened, an unwonted crowd of peo- one ; “ I like none of these grand prople had assembled at Coldengame hall. cessions. Why should the living waste A hearse, nodding with black horse their means on the dead ? Lay me in hair, and streaming with tears, stood in white linenlet a kind neighbour or the midst-and so naturally were the two bear me to the grave-let a short tears painted, that the young heir, and prayer be said over me, and let a cup all his dependants, considered weeping of good ale go round--for sorrow is a mere superfluity. Elias was decorous ever dry—and that's the way Dick
Dilsey, of Ashbocking, wishes to be trict gathered, gazing at the piled-up buried.” “ And a wise way it is," coffins of their old nobles, and wondersaid another pastoral proprietor; "the ing what took old Ned Neyland, the good green sward, say I. Plague on't, cow-feeder, among them. if I would like to be laid up like one The clergyman, with a voice which of death's cut-and-dry morsels for the to those in the open air sounded as holForms, in a mouldy vault
. It may do low as the proverbial voice from the well enough for the lords, and the no- grave, proceeded with the burial serbles, and other folk with carcasses which vice; and, listing up a handful of the disease has rendered uneatable. But a dust at his feet, was about to cast it on man as wholesome as a breeze in May the coffin, completing the symbolical -as fresh as a new-moulded cheese, presentation of sepulture-dust to dust. and as sweet as new-churned butter He was startled--and his hand stayed a ten-foot grave, and a green sod for by a human figure, which, shrouded him-and that's what Hodge Guthram, from head to foot, started from among of Thrandestone, thinks.” “ Ah! but, the piled-up coffins, and cried out, man,” said Jolin Chokeband, of Lath- “ Edward Neyland, I forbid thy body eringham, " ye speak like one of the to lie here !" « It is Ruth Rushbrook," simple men of Suffolk, who wished to whispered a voice or two, scarce audibe kings, for the sake of living ever ble with shuddering. “Woman," said on sweet cream and cheese-parings. the clergyman, with a mild beseeching Young Coldengame is laying the foun- voice, “I desire you to depart, or be dation-stone of a house that is to give silent—let dust be laid to dust—let the knights and nobles to the land. Ye body, out of which the spirit has passwill see him soon in a carriage with ed, inoulder in peace. War not with three churn staffs and a half cheese for inanimate clay! Vengeance is mine, a coat of arms; and his motto will be, saith the Lord.?" “ Hark ye, Sir "My father's cat liked his neighbour's Priest,” said Ruth, “I interpret not cream. And ye know well
, neigh- what heaven says of a scene like this, bours, this is more than likely. A cres- but I will tell you what a frail and incent bas been suggested instead of a jured mortal ihinks : that whoso lays cheese—the moon is made of green the dust of the unrepenting sinner cheese-therefore men call her the Suf- the robber of the widow and the fathfolk lanthorn ; but I have counselled him erless—the mover of his neighbour's to stand by the cheese-I am a plain landmark—whoso lays him, with words man, and like comprehensible things." of scripture and with prayer, to min
They had now reached the church- gle with the dust of the high-born, the yard—a romantic burial-ground, over- high-souled, and brave—doth a wrong shaded by lines of lofty elms, under- which will bring vengeance down on neath the boughs of which flashed a suce the living, and fierce judgment on the Cession of torches. By the same wav- dead. Lay him among the sordid and ering and uncertain light the relics of the vile-lay him in some dark and sean ancient gothic church might be seen, questered nook, over which an honest and rank after rank of tomb-stones, re- man's foot will never tread—and let all cording the resting-places of the old men look at his grave as they pass, and worthies of the district. Before them point the moral to their children with yawned the vault destined to receive the infamous name of Neyland.” the first of the house of Neyland that The clergyman stood with the, dust had ever been buried in lead ; the pi- in his hands looking on the rapt and basters of the door gave room for two enthusiastic woman.
heir mourners with enormous torches, be- of Coldengame was alone unmoved tween wbich the coffin, richly covered and undaunted.
6 Get thee gone, foul with velvet, was borne down the broad woman!” he said ; “ wilt thou tear the stone stairs. A line of mourners, and morsel from the grave ?”—“ Wretch !" a stream of torches, followed; and said Roth, “the power is not given bound the whole, the hinds of the dis- thee to harm one bair of my head.
10 ATHENEUM VOL. 1. new series. Remove thy hands, and give ear one
moment. Vengeance for a wrong And yet I'm not sure that she's dead which made me and my children beg- either-I know she's bed-fast; and gars has been my earnest cry to heav- old dame Clenche, who makes the gosen, morning, noon, and night, for many, sip caudle, told me that her glass was many years. Listen—will you obey run." your father's dying words? will you One by one, the mourners quitted restore the seven fields to the widow the vault-and two by two, they left and the fatherless ? Behold ye all, how the church-yard, and proceeded tohardened he stands, and answers me wards Coldengame ball, which lay a not; while one may number seven, short mile distant. The heir of Coldenwill I give him before I speak in other game was observed to linger in the words. And she paused and stood, vault---be was the last that left it; and with her eyes closed and her arms ex as he passed through the church-yard, tended. More than the time shę nam- his face was flushed, his eye restlessed had elapsed-she broke out with a he regarded no one-he associated startling cry, that made the church- with no one-but walked slowly home
“ Elias Neyland-before wards. It was on the stroke of twelve. man, and before God, I warn you that The day had been unusually sultry, the the curse which I invoked on Colden- cattle had sought the shaded parts of game is about to be fulfilled. A blow their pastures had stood up to their shall come in the dark, and no one bellies in the brooks, and the sun bad shall know the hand that dealt it. gone down without leaving a cloud or Arise !" and she struck the coffin with a speck behind. But the eye of the exher foot; “ Arise ! let a spirit come perienced swain, as it skimmed along forth, an evil spirit, and smite and de- the hill-tops where the land and sky stroy--let the name of Neyland live no met, or rested on the darkening beams more on the earth.” And gliding of the departed sun, foresaw an apfrom among
the mourners, she disap- proaching storm, and secured his catpeared in the church-yard. One of the tle, and called his children home. The torch-bearers, at the entrance of the sky to a late hour continued clearvault, uttered a cry as she passed him, you might have heard the Larke utter more like the bellow of a startled bull a loud murmur-gusts of wind shook than like the cry of a human creature. the oaks of Framlingham, while the in6 Why, what the fiend makes thee numerable rooks which found shelter afeard, man?” said his companion; in the groves of the district sought out 6 it's only an old woman, though a the most sheltered trees-mathey seemed fearful one. What would you have to expect the sweep of the tempest said hadyou seen herghost ?" “ Ghost, from the east. man !” said the other; “I would rath The mourners, or to use a more suier lay my head all night on Queen table word for those who sorrowed not Mary's bloody stone at Framlingham —the guests, bad all reached Coldenthan have seen such a sight--for if that game, and were gathered round the tawas not old mother Biblebelt, I'm the bles—spice cake and dainties were Christmas flowering thorn of Parham, ready; and the wine bottles stood in and no longer Bill Boxhall.” " And clusters, with their corks undrawn. what if it be, lad?” said the other; Many a thirsty and expecting lip was 6 old dame Biblebelt won't bite thee, there--and many an eye was turned to man; hang it, ye'll drop the torch.” the door, expecting the heir-but no “ Bite me," said the first spokesman; heir appeared—the church clock was “ how could she bite me? for the old striking twelve. A sudden rush of woman's dead-aye ! dead--as dead wind shook the roof, and made the as a post, and as stiff as a crutch, and wine bottles clatter-flash succeeding as cold as a stone. What the deuce flash of lightning followed-rain de could she be wanting here! I'll hold scended on the house like a brooke, thee it can be for no good--I shall find and the two tall oak-trees, which stood my brindled cow dead at the stake before the porch, were cast to the or my wife Sue ready for her last linen. ground. The foot as of one running
was beard and thick breathings— rit of his father---it's clear that no mor. the sound echoed on the pavement—it tal could do the deed so deftly." was heard on the threshold—it ceased, “ Aye, aye,” said more mourners than and came no farther. “ Some one has one, “no doubt—no doubt--he was of caught a fall,” cried old John Copin- a greedy and a sinful race-heaven has dale, of Gilsingame; and he ran to the taken himn into his own hand, and sent door; and there lay Elias Neyland a spirit to smite him on his own threshover an old carved stone which stood old.” “It is the work of heaven, inat the porch—his eyes were dilated, deed,” said Mr. Horegrove, the clerhis nostrils expanded, his locks stand- gyman; “ and let the wicked be warning in stiffened curls—it seemed that ed. With what weapon haih God death had frozen him up amid a fit of smitten him ?-with the weapon of moral horror--no one could look on wrath-the sword of fire. It was no him and keep from shuddering. They evil shape that came it was the spirit carried him into the chamber-they of the tempest—the storm blew, and chased his temples—they loosed his the fire came, and it smote the clay, dress-no wound appeared-but life and the clay fell. The heathen hath had utterly left him. At last a small said, what lightning strikes is a thing wound is discovered in his left side accursed-I will not say with the heanot straight, like the wound of a sword then, since the lightning strikes the
-oor round, like that of a ball; but green trees and the barren rocks; but I forming a waving line, an inch in length, accept it as a sign of anger and sore and deeper than it was necessary to gó displeasure--and all who bear me to espel life. Not a drop of blood would do well to humble themselves in flowed.
secret, and confess their sins to God, « Some one has stabbed him," said and seek for forgiveness.” John Bloodmore; “ and the weapon « Forgiveness !” said an old woman, has been a comical one-but crooked a domestic of the house of Neyland, though it was, a straight piece of steel who stood at the door of the chamber, could scarce have been more handy.” and heard imperfectly what the divine “That's no sword wound,” said old said; ss would ye forgive tire hand that Guthram, who had been a soldier in slew the last hope of my master's his youth ;-—“no sword ever wrote its house ? Ye call him griping, and deeds in characters so crooked as that hard-hearted; but had ye nursed him -it is a wound, nevertheless, and a on your knees, as I have done-had deadly one. Who will heir the broad ye carried him out of a dead mother's lands of Coldengame now?” “ If it bosom, and dandled bim, as these two is not a sword wound,” said young hands have, in the sunny air-aye Lackland, the poacher, “ it is as little would feel as I feel, and pity an old the wound of a ball-powder never woman's wail. Hold away, and let gives lead the leisure to make such cu- me look on bin-the only one that rious work. I wonder now how it has never had aught but an open hand, and been done it's a pretty secret. It's a warm heart to me.” And she stoopsome o'er-sea fashion that's done with ed over the body, and shook her little din. I'll warrant, shot and steel head sorrowfully, and dropt a tear or will go out of vogue, like Robin Hood's two. arrows." “Lead and steel !” said The story of the death of Elias NeyHarry Hasleton; "any one may see land flew over the land with something it's the work of a more ethereal hand like a supernatural speed ; and every than what deals with such weapons. mile that it went, some wild and wonIt's the death stroke of some evil spirit. derful embellishment was added. In Does it look like the deed of blade or those times the old beliefs of the disballet? Look at that face of horror-trict were in active force--the minds these eyes started in terror from their of men had not been sobered down to sockets--these hands clenched and con- doubt all, and believe nothing--the falsed—and that wound which refuses evil spirit of political writing was not 20 open and bleed. It's the angry spi- then unchained and let loose among the