Peveril of the Peak, by Walter Scott

Chapter 32

But when the bully with assuming pace,

Cocks his broad hat, edged round with tarnish’d lace,

Yield not the way — defy his strutting pride,

And thrust him to the muddy kennel’s side,

Yet rather bear the shower and toils of mud,

Than in the doubtful quarrel risk thy blood.

GAY’S TRIVIA.

Julian Peveril, half-leading, half-supporting, Alice Bridgenorth, had reached the middle of Saint Jame’s Street ere the doubt occurred to him which way they should bend their course. He then asked Alice whither he should conduct her, and learned, to his surprise and embarrassment, that, far from knowing where her father was to be found, she had no certain knowledge that he was in London, and only hoped that he had arrived, from the expressions which he had used at parting. She mentioned her uncle Christian’s address, but it was with doubt and hesitation, arising from the hands in which he had already placed her; and her reluctance to go again under his protection was strongly confirmed by her youthful guide, when a few words had established to his conviction the identity of Ganlesse and Christian. — What then was to be done?

“Alice,” said Julian, after a moment’s reflection, “you must seek your earliest and best friend — I mean my mother. She has now no castle in which to receive you — she has but a miserable lodging, so near the jail in which my father is confined, that it seems almost a cell of the same prison. I have not seen her since my coming hither; but thus much have I learned by inquiry. We will now go to her apartment; such as it is, I know she will share it with one so innocent and so unprotected as you are.”

“Gracious Heaven!” said the poor girl, “am I then so totally deserted, that I must throw myself on the mercy of her who, of all the world, has most reason to spurn me from her? — Julian, can you advise me to this? — Is there none else who will afford me a few hours’ refuge, till I can hear from my father? — No other protectress but her whose ruin has, I fear, been accelerated by —— Julian, I dare not appear before your mother! she must hate me for my family, and despise me for my meanness. To be a second time cast on her protection, when the first has been so evil repaid — Julian, I dare not go with you.”

“She has never ceased to love you, Alice,” said her conductor, whose steps she continued to attend, even while declaring her resolution not to go with him, “she never felt anything but kindness towards you, nay, towards your father; for though his dealings with us have been harsh, she can allow much for the provocation which he has received. Believe me, with her you will be safe as with a mother — perhaps it may be the means of reconciling the divisions by which we have suffered so much.”

“Might God grant it!” said Alice. “Yet how shall I face your mother? And will she be able to protect me against these powerful men — against my uncle Christian? Alas, that I must call him my worst enemy!”

“She has the ascendancy which honour hath over infamy, and virtue over vice,” said Julian; “and to no human power but your father’s will she resign you, if you consent to choose her for your protectress. Come, then, with me, Alice; and ——”

Julian was interrupted by some one, who, laying an unceremonious hold of his cloak, pulled it with so much force as compelled him to stop and lay his hand on his sword. He turned at the same time, and, when he turned, beheld Fenella. The cheek of the mute glowed like fire; her eyes sparkled, and her lips were forcibly drawn together, as if she had difficulty to repress those wild screams which usually attended her agonies of passion, and which, uttered in the open street, must instantly have collected a crowd. As it was, her appearance was so singular, and her emotion so evident, that men gazed as they came on, and looked back after they had passed, at the singular vivacity of her gestures; while, holding Peveril’s cloak with one hand, she made with the other the most eager and imperious signs that he should leave Alice Bridgenorth and follow her. She touched the plume in her bonnet to remind him of the Earl — pointed to her heart, to imitate the Countess — raised her closed hand, as if to command him in their name — and next moment folded both, as if to supplicate him in her own; while pointing to Alice with an expression at once of angry and scornful derision, she waved her hand repeatedly and disdainfully, to intimate that Peveril ought to cast her off, as something undeserving his protection.

Frightened, she knew not why, at these wild gestures, Alice clung closer to Julian’s arm than she had at first dared to do; and this mark of confidence in his protection seemed to increase the passion of Fenella.

Julian was dreadfully embarrassed; his situation was sufficiently precarious, even before Fenella’s ungovernable passions threatened to ruin the only plan which he had been able to suggest. What she wanted with him — how far the fate of the Earl and Countess might depend on his following her, he could not even conjecture; but be the call how peremptory soever, he resolved not to comply with it until he had seen Alice placed in safety. In the meantime, he determined not to lose sight of Fenella; and disregarding her repeated, disdainful, and impetuous rejection of the hand which he offered her, he at length seemed so far to have soothed her, that she seized upon his right arm, and, as if despairing of his following her path, appeared reconciled to attend him on that which he himself should choose.

Thus, with a youthful female clinging to each arm, and both remarkably calculated to attract the public eye, though from very different reasons, Julian resolved to make the shortest road to the water-side, and there to take boat for Blackfriars, as the nearest point of landing to Newgate, where he concluded that Lance had already announced his arrival in London to Sir Geoffrey, then inhabiting that dismal region, and to his lady, who, so far as the jailer’s rigour permitted, shared and softened his imprisonment.

Julian’s embarrassment in passing Charing Cross and Northumberland House was so great as to excite the attention of the passengers; for he had to compose his steps so as to moderate the unequal and rapid pace of Fenella to the timid and faint progress of his left-hand companion; and while it would have been needless to address himself to the former, who could not comprehend him, he dared not speak himself to Alice, for fear of awakening into frenzy the jealousy, or at least the impatience of Fenella.

Many passengers looked at them with wonder, and some with smiles; but Julian remarked that there were two who never lost sight of them, and to whom his situation, and the demeanour of his companions, seemed to afford matter of undisguised merriment. These were young men, such as may be seen in the same precincts in the present day, allowing for the difference in the fashion of their apparel. They abounded in periwig, and fluttered with many hundred yards of ribbon, disposed in bow-knots upon their sleeves, their breeches, and their waistcoats, in the very extremity of the existing mode. A quantity of lace and embroidery made their habits rather fine than tasteful. In a word, they were dressed in that caricature of the fashion, which sometimes denotes a harebrained man of quality who has a mind to be distinguished as a fop of the first order, but is much more frequently in the disguise of those who desire to be esteemed men of rank on account of their dress, having no other pretension to the distinction.

These two gallants passed Peveril more than once, linked arm in arm, then sauntered, so as to oblige him to pass them in turn, laughing and whispering during these manoeuvres — staring broadly at Peveril and his female companions — and affording them, as they came into contact, none of those facilities of giving place which are required on such occasions by the ordinary rules of the pavé.

Peveril did not immediately observe their impertinence; but when it was too gross to escape his notice, his gall began to arise; and, in addition to all the other embarrassments of his situation, he had to combat the longing desire which he felt to cudgel handsomely the two coxcombs who seemed thus determined on insulting him. Patience and sufferance were indeed strongly imposed on him by circumstances; but at length it became scarcely possible to observe their dictates any longer.

When, for the third time, Julian found himself obliged, with his companions, to pass this troublesome brace of fops, they kept walking close behind him, speaking so loud as to be heard, and in a tone of perfect indifference whether he listened to them or not.

“This is bumpkin’s best luck,” said the taller of the two (who was indeed a man of remarkable size, alluding to the plainness of Peveril’s dress, which was scarce fit for the streets of London)—“Two such fine wenches, and under guard of a grey frock and an oaken riding-rod!”

“Nay, Puritan’s luck rather, and more than enough of it,” said his companion. “You may read Puritan in his pace and in his patience.”

“Right as a pint bumper, Tom,” said his friend —“Isschar is an ass that stoopeth between two burdens.”

“I have a mind to ease long-eared Laurence of one of his encumbrances,” said the shorter fellow. “That black-eyed sparkler looks as if she had a mind to run away from him.”

“Ay,” answered the taller, “and the blue-eyed trembler looks as if she would fall behind into my loving arms.”

At these words, Alice, holding still closer by Peveril’s arm than formerly, mended her pace almost to running, in order to escape from men whose language was so alarming; and Fenella walked hastily forward in the same manner, having perhaps caught, from the men’s gestures and demeanour, that apprehension which Alice had taken from their language.

Fearful of the consequences of a fray in the streets, which must necessarily separate him from these unprotected females, Peveril endeavoured to compound betwixt the prudence necessary for their protection and his own rising resentment; and as this troublesome pair of attendants endeavoured again to pass them close to Hungerford Stairs, he said to them with constrained calmness, “Gentlemen, I owe you something for the attention you have bestowed on the affairs of a stranger. If you have any pretension to the name I have given you, you will tell me where you are to be found.”

“And with what purpose,” said the taller of the two sneeringly, “does your most rustic gravity, or your most grave rusticity, require of us such information?”

So saying, they both faced about, in such a manner as to make it impossible for Julian to advance any farther.

“Make for the stairs, Alice,” he said; “I will be with you in an instant.” Then freeing himself with difficulty from the grasp of his companions, he cast his cloak hastily round his left arm, and said, sternly, to his opponents, “Will you give me your names, sirs; or will you be pleased to make way?”

“Not till we know for whom we are to give place,” said one of them.

“For one who will else teach you what you want — good manners,” said Peveril, and advanced as if to push between them.

They separated, but one of them stretched forth his foot before Peveril, as if he meant to trip him. The blood of his ancestors was already boiling within him; he struck the man on the face with the oaken rod which he had just sneered at, and throwing it from him, instantly unsheathed his sword. Both the others drew, and pushed at once; but he caught the point of the one rapier in his cloak, and parried the other thrust with his own weapon. He must have been less lucky in the second close, but a cry arose among the watermen, of “Shame, shame! two upon one!”

“They are men of the Duke of Buckingham’s,” said one fellow —“there’s no safe meddling with them.”

“They may be the devil’s men, if they will,” said an ancient Triton, flourishing his stretcher; “but I say fair play, and old England for ever; and, I say, knock the gold-laced puppies down, unless they will fight turn about with grey jerkin, like honest fellows. One down — t’other come on.”

The lower orders of London have in all times been remarkable for the delight which they have taken in club-law, or fist-law; and for the equity and impartiality with which they see it administered. The noble science of defence was then so generally known, that a bout at single rapier excited at that time as much interest and as little wonder as a boxing-match in our own days. The bystanders experienced in such affrays, presently formed a ring, within which Peveril and the taller and more forward of his antagonists were soon engaged in close combat with their swords, whilst the other, overawed by the spectators, was prevented from interfering.

“Well done the tall fellow!”—“Well thrust, long-legs!’—“Huzza for two ells and a quarter!” were the sounds with which the fray was at first cheered; for Peveril’s opponent not only showed great activity and skill in fence, but had also a decided advantage, from the anxiety with which Julian looked out for Alice Bridgenorth; the care for whose safety diverted him in the beginning of the onset from that which he ought to have exclusively bestowed on the defence of his own life. A slight flesh-wound in the side at once punished, and warned him of, his inadvertence; when, turning his whole thoughts on the business in which he was engaged, and animated with anger against his impertinent intruder, the rencontre speedily began to assume another face, amidst cries of “Well done, grey jerkin!”—“Try the metal of his gold doublet!”—“Finely thrust!”—“Curiously parried!”—“There went another eyelet-hole to his broidered jerkin!”—“Fairly pinked, by G— d!” In applause, accompanying a successful and conclusive lunge, by which Peveril ran his gigantic antagonist through the body. He looked at his prostrate foe for a moment; then, recovering himself, called loudly to know what had become of the lady.

“Never mind the lady, if you be wise,” said one of the watermen; “the constable will be here in an instant. I’ll give your honour a cast across the water in a moment. It may be as much as your neck’s worth. Shall only charge a Jacobus.”

“You be d — d!” said one of his rivals in profession, “as your father was before you; for a Jacobus, I’ll set the gentleman into Alsatia, where neither bailiff nor constable dare trespass.”

“The lady, you scoundrels, the lady!” exclaimed Peveril ——“Where is the lady?”

“I’ll carry your honour where you shall have enough of ladies, if that be your want,” said the old Triton; and as he spoke, the clamour amongst the watermen was renewed, each hoping to cut his own profit out of the emergency of Julian’s situation.

“A sculler will be least suspected, your honour,” said one fellow.

“A pair of oars will carry you through the water like a wild-duck,” said another.

“But you have got never a tilt, brother,” said a third. “Now I can put the gentleman as snug as if he were under hatches.”

In the midst of the oaths and clamour attending this aquatic controversy for his custom, Peveril at length made them understand that he would bestow a Jacobus, not on him whose boat was first oars, but on whomsoever should inform him of the fate of the lady.

“Of which lady?” said a sharp fellow: “for, to my thought, there was a pair of them.”

“Of both, of both,” answered Peveril; “but first, of the fair-haired lady?”

“Ay, ay, that was she that shrieked so when gold-jacket’s companion handed her into No. 20.”

“Who — what — who dared to hand her?” exclaimed Peveril.

“Nay, master, you have heard enough of my tale without a fee,” said the waterman.

“Sordid rascal!” said Peveril, giving him a gold piece, “speak out, or I’ll run my sword through you!”

“For the matter of that, master,” answered the fellow, “not while I can handle this trunnion — but a bargain’s a bargain; and so I’ll tell you, for your gold piece, that the comrade of the fellow forced one of your wenches, her with the fair hair, will she, nill she, into Tickling Tom’s wherry; and they are far enough up Thames by this time, with wind and tide.”

“Sacred Heaven, and I stand here!” exclaimed Julian.

“Why, that is because your honour will not take a boat.”

“You are right, my friend — a boat — a boat instantly!”

“Follow me, then, squire. — Here, Tom, bear a hand — the gentleman is our fare.”

A volley of water language was exchanged betwixt the successful candidate for Peveril’s custom and his disappointed brethren, which concluded by the ancient Triton’s bellowing out, in a tone above them all, “that the gentleman was in a fair way to make a voyage to the isle of gulls, for that sly Jack was only bantering him — No. 20 had rowed for York Buildings.”

“To the isle of gallows,” cried another; “for here comes one who will mar his trip up Thames, and carry him down to Execution Dock.”

In fact, as he spoke the word, a constable, with three or four of his assistants, armed with the old-fashioned brown bills, which were still used for arming those guardians of the peace, cut off our hero’s farther progress to the water’s edge, by arresting him in the King’s name. To attempt resistance would have been madness, as he was surrounded on all sides; so Peveril was disarmed, and carried before the nearest Justice of the Peace, for examination and committal.

The legal sage before whom Julian was taken was a man very honest in his intentions, very bounded in his talents, and rather timid in his disposition. Before the general alarm given to England, and to the city of London in particular, by the notable discovery of the Popish Plot, Master Maulstatute had taken serene and undisturbed pride and pleasure in the discharge of his duties as a Justice of the Peace, with the exercise of all its honorary privileges and awful authority. But the murder of Sir Edmondsbury Godfrey had made a strong, nay, an indelible impression on his mind; and he walked the Courts of Themis with fear and trembling after that memorable and melancholy event.

Having a high idea of his official importance, and rather an exalted notion of his personal consequence, his honour saw nothing from that time but cords and daggers before his eyes, and never stepped out of his own house, which he fortified, and in some measure garrisoned, with half-a-dozen tall watchmen and constables, without seeing himself watched by a Papist in disguise, with a drawn sword under his cloak. It was even whispered, that, in the agonies of his fears, the worshipful Master Maulstatute mistook the kitchen-wench with a tinderbox, for a Jesuit with a pistol; but if any one dared to laugh at such an error, he would have done well to conceal his mirth, lest he fell under the heavy inculpation of being a banterer and stifler of the Plot — a crime almost as deep as that of being himself a plotter. In fact, the fears of the honest Justice, however ridiculously exorbitant, were kept so much in countenance by the outcry of the day, and the general nervous fever, which afflicted every good Protestant, that Master Maulstatute was accounted the bolder man and the better magistrate, while, under the terror of the air-drawn dagger which fancy placed continually before his eyes, he continued to dole forth Justice in the recesses of his private chamber, nay, occasionally to attend Quarter-Sessions, when the hall was guarded by a sufficient body of the militia. Such was the wight, at whose door, well chained and doubly bolted, the constable who had Julian in custody now gave his important and well-known knock.

Notwithstanding this official signal, the party was not admitted until the clerk, who acted the part of high-warder, had reconnoitred them through a grated wicket; for who could say whether the Papists might not have made themselves master of Master Constable’s sign, and have prepared a pseudo watch to burst in and murder the Justice, under pretence of bringing in a criminal before him? — Less hopeful projects had figured in the Narrative of the Popish Plot.

All being found right, the key was turned, the bolts were drawn, and the chain unhooked, so as to permit entrance to the constable, the prisoner, and the assistants; and the door was then a suddenly shut against the witnesses, who, as less trustworthy persons, were requested (through the wicket) to remain in the yard, until they should be called in their respective turns.

Had Julian been inclined for mirth, as was far from being the case, he must have smiled at the incongruity of the clerk’s apparel, who had belted over his black buckram suit a buff baldric, sustaining a broadsword, and a pair of huge horse-pistols; and, instead of the low flat hat, which, coming in place of the city cap, completed the dress of a scrivener, had placed on his greasy locks a rusted steel-cap, which had seen Marston-Moor; across which projected his well-used quill, in the guise of a plume — the shape of the morion not admitting of its being stuck, as usual, behind his ear.

This whimsical figure conducted the constable, his assistants, and the prisoner, into the low hall, where his principal dealt forth justice; who presented an appearance still more singular than that of his dependant.

Sundry good Protestants, who thought so highly of themselves as to suppose they were worthy to be distinguished as objects of Catholic cruelty, had taken to defensive arms on the occasion. But it was quickly found that a breast-plate and back-plate of proof, fastened together with iron clasps, was no convenient enclosure for a man who meant to eat venison and custard; and that a buff-coat or shirt of mail was scarcely more accommodating to the exertions necessary on such active occasions. Besides, there were other objections, as the alarming and menacing aspects which such warlike habiliments gave to the Exchange, and other places, where merchants most do congregate; and excoriations were bitterly complained of by many, who, not belonging to the artillery company, or trained bands, had no experience in bearing defensive armour.

To obviate these objections, and, at the same time, to secure the persons of all true Protestant citizens against open force or privy assassinations on the part of the Papists, some ingenious artist, belonging, we may presume, to the worshipful Mercers’ Company, had contrived a species of armour, of which neither the horse-armory in the Tower, nor Gwynnap’s Gothic Hall, no, nor Dr. Meyrick’s invaluable collection of ancient arms, has preserved any specimen. It was called silk-armour, being composed of a doublet and breeches of quilted silk, so closely stitched, and of such thickness, as to be proof against either bullet or steel; while a thick bonnet of the same materials, with ear-flaps attached to it, and on the whole, much resembling a nightcap, completed the equipment and ascertained the security of the wearer from the head to the knee.

Master Maulstatute, among other worthy citizens, had adopted this singular panoply, which had the advantage of being soft, and warm, and flexible, as well as safe. And he now sat in his judicial elbow-chair — a short, rotund figure, hung round, as it were, with cushions, for such was the appearance of the quilted garments; and with a nose protruded from under the silken casque, the size of which, together with the unwieldiness of the whole figure, gave his worship no indifferent resemblance to the sign of the Hog in Armour, which was considerably improved by the defensive garment being of dusty orange colour, not altogether unlike the hue of those half-wild swine which are to be found in the forest of Hampshire.

Secure in these invulnerable envelopments, his worship had rested content, although severed from his own death-doing weapons, of rapier, poniard, and pistols, which were placed nevertheless, at no great distance from his chair. One offensive implement, indeed, he thought it prudent to keep on the table beside his huge Coke upon Lyttleton. This was a sort of pocket flail, consisting of a piece of strong ash, about eighteen inches long, to which was attached a swinging club of lignum-vitæ, nearly twice as long as the handle, but jointed so as to be easily folded up. This instrument, which bore at that time the singular name of the Protestant flail, might be concealed under the coat, until circumstances demanded its public appearance. A better precaution against surprise than his arms, whether offensive or defensive, was a strong iron grating, which, crossing the room in front of the justice’s table, and communicating by a grated door, which was usually kept locked, effectually separated the accused party from his judge.

Justice Maulstatute, such as we have described him, chose to hear the accusation of the witnesses before calling on Peveril for his defence. The detail of the affray was briefly given by the bystanders, and seemed deeply to touch the spirit of the examinator. He shook his silken casque emphatically, when he understood that, after some language betwixt the parties, which the witnesses did not quite understand, the young man in custody struck the first blow, and drew his sword before the wounded party had unsheathed his weapon. Again he shook his crested head yet more solemnly, when the result of the conflict was known; and yet again, when one of the witnesses declared, that, to the best of his knowledge, the sufferer in the fray was a gentleman belonging to the household of his Grace the Duke of Buckingham.

“A worthy peer,” quoth the armed magistrate —“a true Protestant, and a friend to his country. Mercy on us, to what a height of audacity hath this age arisen! We see well, and could, were we as blind as a mole, out of what quiver this shaft hath been drawn.”

He then put on his spectacles, and having desired Julian to be brought forward, he glared upon him awfully with those glazen eyes, from under the shade of his quilted turban.

“So young,” he said, “and so hardened — lack-a-day! — and a Papist, I’ll warrant.”

Peveril had time enough to recollect the necessity of his being at large, if he could possibly obtain his freedom, and interposed here a civil contradiction of his worship’s gracious supposition. “He was no Catholic,” he said, “but an unworthy member of the Church of England.”

“Perhaps but a lukewarm Protestant, notwithstanding,” said the sage Justice; “there are those amongst us who ride tantivy to Rome, and have already made out half the journey — ahem!”

Peveril disowned his being any such.

“And who art thou, then?” said the Justice; “for, friend, to tell you plainly, I like not your visage — ahem!”

These short and emphatic coughs were accompanied each by a succinct nod, intimating the perfect conviction of the speaker that he had made the best, the wisest, and the most acute observation, of which the premises admitted.

Julian, irritated by the whole circumstances of his detention, answered the Justice’s interrogation in rather a lofty tone. “My name is Julian Peveril!”

“Now, Heaven be around us!” said the terrified Justice —“the son of that black-hearted Papist and traitor, Sir Geoffrey Peveril, now in hands, and on the verge of trial!”

“How, sir!” exclaimed Julian, forgetting his situation, and, stepping forward to the grating, with a violence which made the bars clatter, he so startled the appalled Justice, that, snatching his Protestant flail, Master Maulstatute aimed a blow at his prisoner, to repel what he apprehended was a premeditated attack. But whether it was owing to the Justice’s hurry of mind, or inexperience in managing the weapon, he not only missed his aim, but brought the swinging part of the machine round his own skull, with such a severe counter-buff, as completely to try the efficacy of his cushioned helmet, and, in spite of its defence, to convey a stunning sensation, which he rather hastily imputed to the consequence of a blow received from Peveril.

His assistants did not directly confirm the opinion which the Justice had so unwarrantably adopted; but all with one voice agreed that, but for their own active and instantaneous interference, there was no knowing what mischief might have been done by a person so dangerous as the prisoner. The general opinion that he meant to proceed in the matter of his own rescue, par voie du fait, was indeed so deeply impressed on all present, that Julian saw it would be in vain to offer any defence, especially being but too conscious that the alarming and probably the fatal consequences of his rencontre with the bully, rendered his commitment inevitable. He contented himself with asking into what prison he was to be thrown; and when the formidable word Newgate was returned as full answer, he had at least the satisfaction to reflect, that, stern and dangerous as was the shelter of that roof, he should at least enjoy it in company with his father; and that, by some means or other, they might perhaps obtain the satisfaction of a melancholy meeting, under the circumstances of mutual calamity, which seemed impending over their house.

Assuming the virtue of more patience than he actually possessed, Julian gave the magistrate (to whom all the mildness of his demeanour could not, however, reconcile him), the direction to the house where he lodged, together with a request that his servant, Lance Outram, might be permitted to send him his money and wearing apparel; adding, that all which might be in his possession, either of arms or writings, — the former amounting to a pair of travelling pistols, and the last to a few memoranda of little consequence, he willingly consented to place at the disposal of the magistrate. It was in that moment that he entertained, with sincere satisfaction, the comforting reflection, that the important papers of Lady Derby were already in the possession of the sovereign.

The Justice promised attention to his requests; but reminded him, with great dignity, that his present complacent and submissive behaviour ought, for his own sake, to have been adopted from the beginning, instead of disturbing the presence of magistracy with such atrocious marks of the malignant, rebellious, and murderous spirit of Popery, as he had at first exhibited. “Yet,” he said, “as he was a goodly young man, and of honourable quality, he would not suffer him to be dragged through the streets as a felon, but had ordered a coach for his accommodation.”

His honour, Master Maulstatute, uttered the word “coach” with the importance of one who, as Dr. Johnson saith of later date, is conscious of the dignity of putting horses to his chariot. The worshipful Master Maulstatute did not, however on this occasion, do Julian the honour of yoking to his huge family caroche the two “frampal jades” (to use the term of the period), which were wont to drag that ark to the meeting house of pure and precious Master Howlaglass, on a Thursday’s evening for lecture, and on a Sunday for a four-hours’ sermon. He had recourse to a leathern convenience, then more rare, but just introduced, with every prospect of the great facility which has since been afforded by hackney coaches, to all manner of communication, honest and dishonest, legal and illegal. Our friend Julian, hitherto much more accustomed to the saddle than to any other conveyance, soon found himself in a hackney carriage, with the constable and two assistants for his companions, armed up to the teeth — the port of destination being, as they had already intimated, the ancient fortress of Newgate.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/s/scott/walter/peveril/chapter32.html

Last updated Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 22:29