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Near the south-eastern extremity of the beautiful and fertile county of Somerset, stands the small, but ancient market-town of Castle-Cary, deriving its name from a castle, which was for some centuries the property and the residence of the noble family of Carey or Cary, earls of Monmouth, and lords of the manor on which the town stands. It is difficult to discover the precise period at which it was relinquished by its noble occupants; but thus much is certain, that it was a place of no small importance in the wars of the Roses, and that, during the troubled reign of the first Charles, it was garrisoned for that monarch by a party of Sir Bevil Granville's cavaliers; in consequence of which, it was completely dismantled by Colonel Weldon, the parliamentarian commander, who passed through the town on his way to Taunton; and thus, after being the scene of many a splendid pageant, in which the " gentil knighte and fayre ladye" of the olden time displayed their prowess and their beauty, it has undergone the fate of all sublunary things, and its mouldering and milieu walls are now used as a granary for the principal inn in the town. The spacious court, erewhile the theatre on which the steel-clad heroes of a former age exhibited their skill and courage, in the pompous and spirit-stirring tilt and tournament, and gained from applauding beauty the reward of successful valour, has now degenerated into an inn-yard, and the castle-moat administers to the comfort of the equestrian lieges in the shape of a horse-pond. Leaving to the curious in antiquarian research, who delight in dragging from their time-worn sepulchres the musty relics of antiquity, and who wade, with laborious and unwearied zeal, through the obscure records of bygone centuries, to demonstrate the etymology of a name, the task of deciphering the rude, and almost obliterated inscription which adonis the massy portal of the ancient edifice, I shall, sans farther introduction, proceed to state, that the town of Castle-Cary, like most country towns of a similar size, consists of one long street, which extends nearly a mile in an irregular line from north-east to south-west; and, from a narrow entrance at either end, descends by a very gradual declivity to the centre, where it expands into an area of considerable size, from whence a branch diverging takes a circuit of a few hundred yards, and again merges in the main street. The street at its greatest width, is denominated the market-place, in the centre of which stood formerly a stone cross, of elaborate and costly workmanship. Among the modern structures which surrounded it, and with which it had no sympathy, if we may sfcspeak, the ancient column reared its venerable head, and seemed as much out of place as the gigantic John of Gaunt, in his mailed habiliments, would appear in an assembly of the starched and perfumed military dandies of the present day. A few years since, however, this vestige of popery— a monument at once of the genius and the superstition of our ancestors—was removed to facilitate the approach and departure of the increasing number of stage-coaches to and from the principal inn. This structure, which stands directly opposite to the site of the cross, was then, and is still, known by the name of" The George;" and the warlike saint himself, in close combat with his formidable enemy the dragon, rudely carved in stone, formerly adorned the key-stone of the spacious gateway which led to the interior of the inn. But, alas! for human vanity, however potent the doughty St George might have been in defending himself from the assaults of the poisonous monster, all his prowess was found insufficient to resist the silent and insidious attacks of time. The pride of ajnodern occupier aspired to decorate the building with a new front. Dragon, and steed, and hero, were taken down a few years ago, in a dilapidated state; and, like the cross, its contemporary, administered to the comfort of passengers by repairing the rutted street in front of the inn; but, in order that the fame of the champion might not be involved in the same ruin with his effigy, the zeal of the landlord and the pencil of a country artist have perpetuated the memory of the famous triumph of the saint over his scaly adversary, by rearing in the market-place, on the summit of a lofty pole, a painted resemblance of the stone figures which formerly announced to the weary traveller the welcome vicinity of" The George"—the modern sign being rendered still more attractive by the gaudy colours in which the florid fancy of the rural Rubens has exhibited it; to which might be added another advantage it has over its predecessor, in the gift it possesses of luring the benighted and way-worn passenger by the monotonous creaking of its rusty iron hinges; but which, for the hungry and tired pedestrian, has more charms than the sweetest note ever extracted from the" light guitar" by the skilful fingers of the Venetian serenaders, when seeking to gain the applause of his lovely mistress. At the time of which I am now about to speak, the year 1727, St George reigned in all his glory over the principal entrance to the chief inn in the town of Castle-Cary; and one evening, in the end of the month of October in that year, a tall, swarthy-looking man, habited in a sailor's garb, sought the hospitable shelter of that establishment to avoid a passing shower which wrested him in his progress through the town. The elasticity of his step, and the vigorous appearance of his frame, seemed to bespeak a man still in the prime of life, though the ruggedness of his iron features, and his grisly matted locks, told a tale of toil and suffering, borne for years with patient endurance in the scorching atmosphere of a tropic clime; while the boldness of his bearing, and the careless indifference of his manner, indicated one accustomed to command, and familiar with danger. "Zarvant, zur," said the landlord, whose portly rotundity of figure augured a greater propensity on his part to enjoy the good things of this life, than to pry into the hidden mysteries of futurity—'' What'll your honour please to have?" demanded he, as he ushered his guest into the capacious chimney-corner (still the most honourable seat in a west of England inn) in the principal apartment of " The George." "Let's have something to eat and drink as soon as possible," replied the guest, "for night's coming on, and I've no time to lose." "Be your honour gwain much vurder to night?" continued the host, as he entered with a quart of strong beer and a round of beef, which the hungry traveller soon attacked with an avidity which at once evinced a good appetite and a long fast, and prevented him from answering the question of his inquisitive host. Observing the cravings of his stomach to be somewhat satisfied, that personage repeated the question of" Be gwain much vurder to-night, zur?"—" Why, yes," said his guest, looking out of the window, and observing the rain to be somewhat abated, " I think to push on as far as Wincanton before I sleep." " Be your honour one o' Wincanton ?" inquired the innkeeper. " Why, no—not exactly so," replied the stranger, in a hesitating tone; "but I have a particular reason for wishing to reach that town to-night. Are there any families of note residing in Wincanton at present?" continued he, after a short pause. " Why, ees, ees, there's Squire Gapper of Tout Hill, and Counsellor Gapper of Bolsom, and Squire Webb upon Batch, and woold Ireson o' Windmill Hill, and Laayer King, and woold Mog at the Dogs, but he bean't much o' a veller he.'' At the mention of the last name, the stranger started; but recovering himself, was about to interrogate the loquacious landlord still further, when the arrival of a post-chaise drew the attention of the latter to the outside of the house. The words of the innkeeper seemed to make an unaccountable impression upon the stranger, who displayed considerable agitation during his absence, and his wish to proceed on his jour, ney appeared to be increased by something that had fallen from the voluble landlord; and taking a huge leathern purse from his pocket, he began to explore its interior in quest of a piece of money to satisfy the demands of that worthy; during which operation he unconsciously exhibited to the surrounding town's-people, who had begun to

gather to their usual place of resort in" The George, to discuss the news of the day, and steep their sage brains in the exhalations of strong beer, and the fumes of tobacco, the uncommon sight of a number of doubloons, whose foreign appearance excited their amazement and curiosity. Among the foremost of those whose attention was attracted by the glittering hoard, was a stout square-built man, of a dogged and surly aspect, whose appearance bespoke either extreme poverty or neglect, or both combined; his countenance might have been considered rather handsome than otherwise, were it not for a certain stupid and besotted, and at the same time malignant and ferocious expression, which glared from beneath his shaggy eye-brows, and lurked about the comers of his mouth. He was roused from the intensity of admiration with which he seemed to regard the golden treasure, by the voice of the landlord, who just then returned; and calling to him, said," Why, Jack, now don't thee stand geaking and stearing there all day like a wild cat in a strange garret, run away and harness a pear o' vresh hosses, and put into thick poost-chaise at the door; the volkdo zine to be in a grit hurry, vor the' wont get out, nor have nothin' to eat and drink." Awakened from his reverie, the dogged hostler (for such he appeared to be,) reluctantly obeyed; and the stranger, turning to the landlord, said, " Here, landlord, I've been looking for an English coin, but find I have not one left, so you must change a Spanish doubloon for me, though I suppose you're are not over and above fond of them." "Fond o' them!" said he of 'The George"Lord love'e! I only wishes I had as many o'em as I could carr, tho' be daan'd to kent if I do think I've zeed one o'em zunce woold Captain Harris was at Plymouth in the Rover, and that's nineteen years agoo come the vifteenth o'next Yipril."—" Were you aboard the Rover at that time?" inquired the traveller, with some earnestness. "Aboord o' her! I believe I wur too," said mine host; " I wur a gwain to zail out to the West Indies wi' her, qooner if 'thad'nt been ver my poor woold mother, poor woold zoul! she would'nt let I goo: well, well, it's aal vor the best; I dearsay, there's poor Will White, my woold schoolfellow, he never comed back again, poor veller! tho'a used to zay, he'd comewhoomas rich as a Jew some day or nother." During this speech the attention of the speaker was more fixed upon the doubloon which he held in his hand than on the countenance of his guest,which alone prevented him from remarking the agitation which his rhapsody had thrown him into. Recovering his self possession, however, before the innkeeper had observed his confusion, the traveller rejoined, " Aye, aye, I daresay your companion, poor Will White, as you call him, has been hung long before this, landlord."—" Hung!" said the choleric publican, "no, no, measter, Will win none o' the hanging zoort, I can tell'e; and if I had as iv. 2 F

much wild blood in 1 now as I had when I parted with he last, I would'nt stand to hear a better man than ever stood in your shoes run un down in thick way; I'd a' knock'd thee down just as zure's my name's Dick Palmer: but there, there, thee didstn't know poor Will; and zov we'll forget and forgive, and drink his health, zur; and I can only zay, that if aal the family had been like he, 'thad been better for 'em, that's aal." So saying, he took a hearty pull at the contents of a huge flagon which he held in his hand; and then turning the handle towards his guest, he motioned him to follow his example. The stranger took the proffered can, and said, " Come, landlord, here's to the health of your friend, poor Will White, and if he's no worse than I wish him, neither he nor you will have any reason to complain; but, however that may be, your defence of him is highly creditable to your feelings, and I'll gladly stand anotherpot to our better acquaintance."—" With all my heart," said the publican, " but I shouldn't a' thought o' meaking you pay vor't, tho." So saying, the good-natured innkeeper disappeared, but quickly returned, bearing in his hand a brown jug, which foamed with good ale, for which he obstinately persisted in refusing payment. Having again seated himself, he proceeded in his interrogatories, by saying, "What peart o' the wordll be you come vrom, if I meak so boold as to ax, zur?" "Why, I came last from the Spanish Main, Master Palmer," said the stranger. "Oh aye, I s'poose you be one o' Admiral Hozier's crew, beant'e? That's been a 'nation bad job that; they do zay the poor woold admiral have a broke his heart over thick bissiness; the moore's the shame to they government men that kept zoo many breave fellers a shilly shallying up and down afore Peter Bellor, and didn't let em do neither one thing nor nother, till the yella faver took off all the men, and then the poor woold admiral died for sheame, they do zay,'' said an elderly personage, whose features were completely obscured by the volumes of smoke which he emitted at solemn intervals from his capacious mouth. "Ees, ees," said the landlord, " there's been a 'nation girt vaat somewhere or nother, that's zartain. Wur you," said he, addressing the stranger, "in admiral Hozier's vleet, zur?" "No, no! Master Palmer," said the traveller, "that sort o' thing wouldn't do for me! I was in a free bottom. We didn't cruize up and down in a roadstead, waiting for the Dons to throw themselves into our teeth; we ran ourselves ashore, went into their towns, ransacked their popish churches, and stripped their monasteries, drank our grog in golden chalices, dined off the communion plate, made sacks of the bishop's surplice and the monk's gown, and filled them full of pieces of eight, doubloons, and dollars, and every trip made us a few hundreds the richer; and now, my lad," said he, tossing up his bag of doubloons, and catching them in

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