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golden venture! You shall go halves, if we win. We'll have him dead or alive. What say you for London, Mr. Tyrconnel?

Shall we start at once ?

“With all my sowl,” replied Titus. “I'm with you.” And away this par nobile scoured.

Ranulph, meantime, plunged into the vault. The floor was slippery, and he had nigh stumbled. Loud and deep lamentations, and a wailing sound, like that of a lament for the dead, resounded in his ears. A light at the farther extremity of the vault attracted his attention. He was filled with terrible forebodings; but the worst reality was not so terrible as suspense. He rushed towards the light. He passed the massive pillars, and there, by the ruddy torch flame, discovered two female figures. One was an old woman, fantastically attired, wringing her hands and moaning, or gibbering wild strains in broken, discordant, yet pathetic tones. The other was Mrs. Mowbray. Both were images of despair. Before them lay some motionless object. He noticed not that old woman ; he scarcely saw Mrs. Mowbray; he beheld only that object of horror. It was the lifeless body of a female. The light fell imperfectly upon the face; he could not discern the features, but the veil in which it was swathed—that veil was Eleanor's ! He asked

no more.

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o dead

With a wild cry he rushed forward. Eleanor, my beloved,” shrieked he.

Mrs. Mowbray started at his voice, but appeared stunned, and helpless.

“She is dead,” said Ranulph, stooping towards the body. " Dead — dead !” Ay,” echoed the old woman, in accents of equal anguish

- dead !” “But this is not Eleanor,” exclaimed he, as he viewed the features more closely. “ This face, though beautiful, is not hers. This dishevelled hair is black. The long lashes that shade her cheek are of the same hue. She is scarce dead. The hand I clasp is yet warm

the fingers are pliant.” “Yet she is dead," said the old woman, in a broken voice. “She is slain.”

“ Who hath slain her ?” asked Ranulph. “I-1- her mother, slew her.”

" And

“ You !” exclaimed Ranulph, horror-stricken. where is Eleanor ? ” asked he. " Was she not here?

“Better she were here now, even though she were as that poor maid,” groaned Mrs. Mowbray, “than where she is.”

“ Where is she, then ?” asked Ranulph, with frantic eagerness.

“ Fled! Whither I know not."

With whom ? ”

“With Sir Luke Rookwood — with Alan Rookwood. They have borne her hence. Ranulph, you are too late.”

“Gone !” cried Ranulph, fiercely springing to his feet. How escaped they? There appears to be but one entrance to this vault. I will search each nook and cranny.”

'T is vain,” replied Mrs. Mowbray. " There is another outlet through yon cell. By that passage they escaped.”

« Too true too true,” shouted Ranulph, who flew to examine the cell. “ And wherefore followed you not ? ”

“ The stone rolled to its mouth, and resisted my efforts. I could not follow.”

“ Torture and death! she is lost to me for ever,” cried Ranulph bitterly. No,” exclaimed Barbara, clutching his arm.

Place your trust in me, and I will find her for you."

“You !” ejaculated Ranulph.

“Even I,” replied Barbara. “ Your wrongs shall be righted --my Sybil be avenged."

66

292

BOOK IV.

THE RIDE TO YORK.

Then one halloo, boys ! one loud cheering halloo !
To the swiftest of coursers - the gallant, the true!
For the sportsman unborn, shall the memory bless,
of the horse of the highwayman, bonny Black Bess!

RICHARD TURPIN.

CHAPTER XXXIV.

THE RENDEZVOUS AT KILBURN.

Hind. Drink deep, my brave boys, of the bastinado,

Of stramazons, tinctures, and slie passatas;
Of the carricado, and rare embrocado,
Of blades, and rapier hilts of surest guard,
Of the Vincentio and Burgundian ward.
Have we not bravely tossed this bombast foil button ?
Win gold and wear gold, boys, 't is we that merit it.

Prince of Prigs' Revels.

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An excellent Comedy, replete with various conceits and Tarltonian mirth.

The present straggling suburb at the north-west of the metropolis, known as Kilburn, had scarcely been called into existence a century ago, and an ancient hostel, with a few detached farmhouses, were the sole habitations to be found in the present populous vicinage. The place of refreshment for the ruralizing cockney of 1737, was a substantial-looking tenement of the good old stamp, with great bay windows, and a balcony in front, bearing as its ensign the jovial visage of the lusty knight, Jack Falstaff. Shaded by a spreading elm, a circular bench embraced the aged trunk of the tree ; sufficiently tempting, no doubt, to incline the wanderer on those dusty ways to “rest and be thankful,” and to cry encore to a frothing tankard of the best ale to be obtained within the chimes of Bow Bells.

Upon a table, green as the privet and holly that formed the walls of the bower in which it was placed, stood a great china bowl, one of those leviathan memorials of bygone wassailry, which we may sometimes espy (reversed in token of its desue

tude) perched on the top of an old japanned closet; but seldom, if ever, encounter in its proper position at the genial board. All the appliances of festivity were at hand. Pipes and rummers strewed the board. Perfume, subtle yet mellow, as of pine and lime, exhaled from out the bowl, and, mingling with the scent of a neighbouring bed of mignionette, and the subdued odour of the Indian weed, formed altogether as delectable an atmosphere of sweets as one would wish to inhale on a melting August afternoon. So, at least, thought the inmates of the arbour, nor did they, by any means, confine themselves to the gratification of a single sense. The ambrosial contents of the china bowl proved as delicious to the taste, as its bouquet was grateful to the smell ; while the eyesight was soothed by reposing on the smooth sward of a bowling green, spread out immediately before it, or in dwelling upon gently undulating meads, terminating, at about a mile's distance, in the woody, spire-crowned heights of Hampstead.

At the left of the table was seated, or rather lounged, a slender, elegant-looking young man, with dark languid eyes, sallow complexion, and features wearing that peculiarly pensive expression, often communicated by dissipation; an expression which, we regret to say, is sometimes found more pleasing than it ought to be in the eyes of the gentle sex. Habited in a light summer riding dress, fashioned according to the taste of the time, of plain and unpretending material, and rather under than over dressed, he had, perhaps, on that very account, perfectly the air of a gentleman. There was, altogether, an absence of pretension about him, which, combined with great apparent self-possession, contrasted very forcibly with the vulgar assurance of his showy companions. The figure of the youth was slight, even to fragility, giving little outward manifestation of the vigour of frame he in reality possessed. This spark was a no less distinguished personage than Tom King, a noted high-tobygloak of his time, who obtained, from his appearance and address, the sobriquet of the “Gentleman Highwayman."

Tom was indeed a pleasant fellow in his day. His career was brief, but brilliant: your meteors are ever momentary. He was a younger son of a good family ; — had good blood his veins — though not a groat in his pockets. According to

the old song,

When he arrived at man's estate,

It was all the estate he had ; and all the estate he was ever likely to have. Nevertheless, if he had no income, he contrived, as he said, to live as if he had the mines of Peru at his control : a miracle not solely confined to himself. For a moneyless man, he had rather expensive habits. He kept his three nags; and, if fame does not belie him, a like number of mistresses ; — nay, if we are to place any faith in certain scandalous chronicles to which we have had access, he was for some time the favoured lover of a celebrated actress, who, for the time, supplied him with the means of keeping up his showy establishment. But things could not long hold thus. Tom was a model of infidelity, and that was the only failing his mistress could not overlook. She dismissed him at a moment's notice. Unluckily, too, he had other propensities, which contributed to involve him. He had a taste for the turf- a taste for play— was well known in the hundreds of Drury, and cut no mean figure at Howell's and the faro tables thereanent. He was the glory of the Smyrna, D'Osyndar's, and other chocolate houses of the day; and it was at this time he fell into the hands of certain dexterous sharpers, by whom he was first plucked, and subsequently patronized. Under their tuition he improved wonderfully. He turned his wit and talent to some account. He began to open his eyes. His nine days' blindness was over. The dog saw.

But, in spite of his quickness, he was at length discovered, and ejected from Howell's in a manner that left him no alternative. He must either have called out his adversary, or go out himself. He preferred the latter, and took to the road ; and in his new line, he was eminently successful. Fortunately, he had no scruples to get over. Tom had what Sir Walter Scott happily denominates “ an indistinct notion of meum and tuum," and became confirmed in the opinion, that every thing he could lay hands upon constituted lawful spoil. And then, even those he robbed, admitted that he was the most gentlemanlike highwayman they had ever the fortune to meet with, and trusted they might always be so lucky. So popular did he become upon the road, that it was accounted a distinction to be stopped by him ; he made a point of robbing none but gentlemen, and Tom's shade would quarrel with us were we to omit them

His acquaintance with Turpin was singular, and ori

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