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the case with the deepest distress, were glassy and lustreless, her luxuriant hair hung in disshevelled masses over her shoulders,—and her attire was soiled and disordered.
“ You desire to speak with me ? " she continued, advancing towards the couch of the wounded man.
“ It must be alone,” he replied.
Viviana glanced at Catesby, who reluctantly arose, and closed the door after him. “ We are alone now," she said.
“Water ! water ! ” gasped the sufferer, “or I perish.” His request being complied with, he continued in a low solemn voice, “ Miss Radcliffe, you have lost the dearest friend you had on earth, and you will soon lose one who, if he had been spared, would have endeavoured, as far as he could, to supply that loss. I say not this to aggravate your distress, but to prove the sincerity of my regard. Let me conjure you, with my dying breath, not to wed Mr. Catesby.”
“ Fear it not,” replied Viviana. “I would rather endure death than consent to do so.”
“Be upon your guard against him, then,” continued Fawkes. “ When an object is to be gained, he suffers few scruples to stand in his way.”
“ I am well aware of it,” replied Viviana ; " and on the arrival of Sir Everard Digby, I shall place myself under his protection.”
“ Should you be driven to extremity,” said Fawkes, taking a small packet from the folds of his doublet, “break open this. it will inform you what to do. Only promise me you will not have recourse to it till all other means have failed.”
Viviana took the packet, and gave the required promise.
“ Conceal it about your person, and guard it carefully,” continued Fawkes; “ for you know not when you may require it. And now, having cleared my conscience, I can die easily. Let me have your prayers.”
Viviana knelt down by the bedside, and poured forth the most earnest supplications in his behalf.
"Perhaps,” she said, as she arose, “and it is some consolation to think so, — you may be saved by death from the commission of a great crime, which would for ever have excluded you from the joys of heaven.”
“Say rather," cried Guy Fawkes, whose brain began to wander, “ which would have secured them to me. Others will achieve it; but I shall have no share in their glory, or their reward.”
“ Their reward will be perdition in this world and the next,” rejoined Viviana. “ I repeat, that though I deeply deplore your condition, I rejoice in your delivery from this sin. It is better -far better-to die thus, than by the hands of the common executioner.”
“ What do I see ?” cried Guy Fawkes, trying to raise himself, and sinking back again instantly upon the pillow. “ Elizabeth Orton rises before me. She beckons me after her-I come !-I come !"
And have you knelt oplicat
« Heaven' pity him!” cried Viviana. “ His senses have left him!”
“ She leads me into a gloomy cavern," continued Fawkes, more wildly ; “but my eyes are like the wolf's, and can penetrate the darkness. It is filled with barrels of gunpowder. I see them ranged in tiers, one above another. "Ah! I know where I am now. It is the vault beneath the Parliament-house. The King and his nobles are assembled in the hall above. Lend me a torch, that I may fire the train, and blow them into the air. Quick ! quick! I have sworn their destruction, and will keep my oath.' What matter if I perish with them ? Give me the torch, I say, or it will be too late. Is the powder damp that it will not kindle? And see ! the torch is expiring-it is gone out! Distraction to be baffled thus! Why do you stand and glare at me with those stony eyes ? Who are those with you? Fiends!
- no! they are armed men. They seize me — they drag me before a grave assemblage. What is that hideous engine ? The rack !-Bind me on it-break every limb-ye shall not force me to confess-ha! ha! I laugh at your threats-ha! ha!”
“Mother of mercy! release him from this torture !” cried Viviana.
“ So ! ye have condemned me," continued Fawkes, “ and will drag me to execution. Well, well, I am prepared. But what a host is assembled to see me! Ten thousand faces are turned towards me, and all with one abhorrent bloodthirsty expression. And what a scaffold! Get it done quickly, thou butcherly villain. The rope is twisted round my throat in serpent folds. It strangles me-ab!”
“ Horror !” exclaimed Viviana. “I can listen to this no longer. Help, Mr. Catesby, belp!”
"The knife is at my breast-it pierces my flesh-my heart is torn forth—I die !-1'die !” And he uttered a dreadful groan.
“ What has happened P” cried Catesby, rushing into the room. “ Is he dead ? "
“I fear so," replied Viviana, “ and his end has been a fearful one."
“No-no,” said Catesby,“ his pulse still beats—but fiercely and feverishly. You had better not remain here longer, Miss Radcliffe. I will watch over him. All will soon be over.”
Aware that she could be of no further use, Viviana cast a look of the deepest commiseration at the sufferer, and retired. The occupant of the cottage, an elderly female, had surrendered all the apartments of her tenement, except one small room, to her guests, and she was therefore undisturbed. The terrible event which had recently occurred, and the harrowing scene she had just witnessed, were too much for Viviana, and her anguish was so intense, that she began to fear her reason was deserting her. She stood still, - gazed fearfully round, as if some secret danger environed her, - clasped her hands to her temples, and found them burning like hot iron, — and, then, alarmed at her own state, knelt down, prayed, and wept. Yes! she wept, for the first time, since her father's destruction, and the relief afforded by those scalding tears was inexpressible.
From this piteous state she was aroused by the tramp of horses at the door of the cottage, and the next moment Father Garnet presented himself.
“How uncertain are human affairs !” he said, after a sorrowful greeting had passed between them. “ I little thought, when we parted yesterday, we should meet again so soon, and under such afflicting circumstances."
“ It is the will of Heaven, father,” replied Viviana, “ and we must not murmur at its decrees, but bear our chastening as we best may.”
“I am happy to find you in such a comfortable frame of mind, dear daughter. I feared the effect of the shock upon your feelings. But I am glad to find you bear up against it so well."
“I am surprised at my own firmness, father,” replied Viviana. “But I have been schooled in affliction. I have no tie left to bind me to the world, and shall retire from it, not only without regret, but with eagerness."
“ Say not so, dear daughter,” replied Garnet. “You have, I trust, much happiness in store for you. And when the sharpness of your affliction is worn off, you will view your condition in a more cheering light.”
“ Impossible !” she cried, mournfully. “ Hope is wholly extinct in my breast. But I will not contest the point. Is not Sir Everard Digby with you ?”
“He is not, daughter,' replied Garnet, 6 and I will explain to you wherefore. Soon after your departure yesterday, the mansion we occupied at Holt was attacked by a band of soldiers, beaded by Miles Topcliffe, one of the most unrelenting of our persecutors; and though they were driven off with some loss; yet, as there was every reason to apprehend they would return with fresh force, Sir Everard judged it prudent to retreat, and accordingly he and his friends, with all their attendants, except those he has sent with me, have departed for Buckinghamshire."
Where, then, is Father Oldcorne ?" inquired Viviana. “Alas ! daughter,” rejoined Garnet, “ I grieve to say he is a prisoner. Imprudently exposing himself during the attack, he was seized and carried off by Topcliffe and his myrmidons.”
“ How true is the saying, that misfortunes never come single !” sighed Viviana. '“ I seem bereft of all I hold dear."
“Sir Everard has sent four of his trustiest servants with me,” remarked Garnet. “ They are well armed, and will attend you wherever you choose to lead them. He has also furnished me with a sum of money for your use."
“ He is most kind and considerate,” replied Viviana. “And now, father,” she faltered," there is one subject which it is necessary to speak upon ; and, though I shrink from it, it must not be postponed.”
6 I guess what you mean, daughter,” said Garnet, sympa. thizingly; "you allude to the interment of Sir William Radcliffe. “Is the body here ?"
“ It is in an adjoining cottage," replied Viviana, in a broken voice. “I have already expressed my wish to Mr. Catesby to have it conveyed to Manchester, to our family vault.”
“I see not how that can be accomplished, dear daughter," replied Garnet; “but I will confer with Mr. Catesby on the subject. Where is he?”
In the next room, by the couch of Guy Fawkes, who is dying,” said Viviana.
“ Dying ! " echoed Garnet, starting. “I heard he was dangerously hurt, but did not suppose the wound would prove fatal. Here is another grievous blow to the good cause.”
At this moment, the door was opened by Catesby. “How is the sufferer ? ” asked Garnet.
“ A slight change for the better appears to have taken place," answered Catesby. “His fever has in some degree abated, and he has sunk into a gentle slumber.”
“Can he be removed with safety ? ” said Garnet ; “ for, I fear, if he remains here he will fall into the hands of Topcliffe and his crew, who are scouring the country in every direction;" and he recapitulated all he had just stated to Viviana.
Catesby was for some time lost in reflection.
“I am fairly perplexed as to what course it will be best to pursue,” he said. “ Dangers and difficulties beset us on every side. I am inclined to yield to Miss Radcliffe's request, and proceed to Manchester.”
“ That will be rushing into the very face of danger,” observed Garnet.
“ And, therefore, may be the safest plan,” said Catesby. “Our adversaries will scarcely suspectus of so desperate a step."
“ Perhaps you are in the right, my son," returned Garnet, after a moment's reflection. “At all events, I bow to your judgment.”
“The plan is too much in accordance with my own wishes to meet with any opposition on my part,” observed Viviana.
“ Will you accompany us, father?” said Catesby; "or do you proceed to Gothurst "
“ I will go with you, my son. Miss Radcliffe will need a protector. And, till I have seen her in some place of safety I will not leave her.”
“ Since we have come to this determination,” rejoined Catesby, “as soon as the needful preparations can be made, and Guy Fawkes has had some hours repose, we will set out. Under cover of night we can travel with security ; and, by using some exertion, may reach Ordsall Hall, whither, I presume, Miss
Radcliffe would choose to proceed, in the first instance, before daybreak.”
“I am well mounted, and so are my attendants,” replied Garnet; "and, by the provident care of Sir Everard Digby, each of them has a led horse with him.”
“ That is well,” said Catesby. “And now, Miss Radcliffe, may I entreat you to take my place for a short time by the couch of the sufferer. In a few hours everything shall be in readiness.”
He then retired with Garnet, while Viviana proceeded to the adjoining chamber, where she found Guy Fawkes still slumbering tranquilly.
As the evening advanced, he awoke, and expressed himself much refreshed. While he was speaking, Garnet and Catesby approached his bedside, and he appeared overjoyed at the sight of the former. The subject of the journey. being mentioned to him, he at once expressed his ready compliance with the arrangement, and only desired that the last rites of his church might be performed for him before he set out.
Garnet informed him that he came for that very purpose ; and as soon as they were left alone, he proceeded to the discharge of his priestly duties, confessed and absolved him, giving him the viaticum and the extreme unction. And, lastly, he judged it expedient to administer a powerful opiate, to lull the pain of his wound on the journey.
This done, he summoned Catesby, who, with two of the attendants, raised the couch on which the wounded man was stretched, and conveyed him to the litter. So well was this managed, that Fawkes sustained no injury, and little inconvenience, from the movement. Two strong country vehicles had been procured; the one containing the wounded man's litter, the other the shell, which had been hastily put together, to hold the remains of the unfortunate Sir William Radcliffe. Viviana being placed in the saddle, and Catesby having liberally rewarded the cottagers who had afforded them shelter, the little cavalcade was put in motion. In this way, they journeyed through the night ; and shaping their course through Tarporley, Northwich, and Altringham, arrived at daybreak in the neighbourhood of Ordsall Hall.
THE ELIX I R. When Viviana first beheld the well-remembered roof and gables of the old mansion peeping from out the grove of trees in which it was embosomed, her heart died away within her. The thought that her father, who had so recently quitted it in the full enjoyment of health, and of every worldly blessing, should be so soon brought back a corpse, was almost too agonizing for endurance. Reflecting, however, that this was no season for