without the faintest vestige of a curl. He was attired, under his
great-coat, in a full suit of black, quite free from any ornament, and
of the most precise and sober cut. The gravity of his dress, to-
gether with a certain lankness of cheek and stiffness of deport-
ment, added nearly ten years to his age, but his figure was that
of one not yet past thirty.
As he stood musing in the red glow of
the fire, it was striking to observe his very bright large eye, which
betrayed a restlessness of' thought and purpose, singularly at var-
iance with the studied composure and sobriety of his mien, and with
his quaint and sad apparel. It had nothing harsh or cruel in its
expression; neither had his face, which was thin and mild, and
wore an air of melancholy; but it was suggestive of an air of in-
272 BARNABY RUDGE
definable uneasiness, which infected those who looked upon him,
and filled them with a kind of pity for the man: though why it did
so, they would have had some trouble to explain.
Gashford, the secretary, was taller, angularly made, high-shoul-
dered, bony, and ungraceful. His dress, in imitation of his superior,
was demure and staid in the extreme ; his manner, formal and con-
strained. This gentleman had an overhanging brow, great hands
and feet and ears, and a pair of eyes that seemed to have made an
unnatural retreat into his head, and to have dug themselves a cave
to hide in. His manner was smooth and humble, but very sly and
slinking. He wore the aspect of a man who was always lying in wait
for something that wouldnH come to pass; but he looked patient
— very patient — and fawned like a spaniel dog. Even now, while
he warmed and rubbed his hands before the blaze, he had the air of
one who only presumed to enjoy it in his degree as a commoner;
and though he knew his lord was not regarding him, he looked into
his face from time to time, and with a meek and deferential man-
ner, smiled as if for practice.
Such were the guests whom old John Willet, with a fixed and
leaden eye, surveyed a hundred times, and to whom he now ad-
vanced with a state candlestick in each hand, beseeching them to
follow him into a worthier chamber. 'For my lord,' said John — it
is odd enough, but certain people seem to have as great a pleasure
in pronouncing titles as their owners have in wearing them — 'this
room, my lord, isn't at all the sort of place for your lordship, and I
have to beg your lordship's pardon for keeping you here, my lord,
With this address, John ushered them upstairs into the state
apartment, which, like many other things of state, was cold and
comfortless. Their own footsteps reverberating through the spa-
cious room, struck upon their hearing with a hollow sound ; and its
damp and chilly atmosphere was rendered doubly cheerless by
contrast with the homely warmth they had deserted.
It was of no use, however, to propose a return to the place they
had quitted, for the preparations went on so briskly that there was
no time to stop them. John, with the tall candlesticks in his hands,
bowed them up to the fireplace; Hugh, striding in with a lighted
brand and pile of firewood, cast it down upon the hearth, and set it
BARNABY RUDGE 273
in a blaze; John Grueby (who had a great blue cockade in his
hat, which he appeared to despise mightily) 43rought in the port-
manteau he had carried on his horse, and placed it on the floor;
and presently all three were busily engaged in drawing out the
screen, laying the cloth, inspecting the beds, lighting fires in the
bedrooms, expediting the supper, and making everything as cosy
and as snug as might be, on so short a notice. In less than an
hour's time, supper had been served, and ate, and cleared away;
and Lord George and his secretary, with slippered feet, and legs
stretched out before the fire, sat over some hot mulled wine
'So ends, my lord,' said Gashford, filling his glass with great
complacency, 'the blessed work of a most blessed day.'
'And of a blessed yesterday,' said his lordship, raising his head.
Ah!' — and here the secretary clasped his hands — 'a blessed
yesterday indeed! The Protestants of Suffolk are godly men and
true. Though others of our countrymen have lost their way in
darkness, even as we, my lord, did lose our road to-night, theirs is
the light and glory.'
^Did I move them, Gashford?' said Lord George.
'Move them, my lord! Move them! They cried to be led on
against the Papists, they vowed a dreadful vengeance on their
heads, they roared like men possessed — '
'But not by devils,' said his lord.
'By devils! my lord! By angels.'
'Yes — oh surely — by angels, no doubt,' said Lord George,
thrusting his hands into his pockets, taking them out again to bite
his nails, and looking uncomfortably at the fire. 'Of course by
angels — eh, Gashford?'
'You do not doubt it, my lord?' said the secretary.
'No — no,' returned his lord. 'No. Why should I? I suppose it
would be decidedly irreligious to doubt it — wouldn't it, Gashford?
Though there certainly were,' he added, without waiting for an
answer, 'some plaguy ill-looking characters among them.'
'When you warmed,' said the secretary, looking sharply at the
other's downcast eyes, which brightened slowly as he spoke; 'when
you warmed into that noble outbreak; when you told them that
you were never of the luke-warm or the timid tribe, and bade
274 BARNABY RUDGE
them take heed that they were prepared to follow one who would
lead them on, though to the very death; when you spoke of a
hundred and twenty thousand men across the Scottish border
who would take their own redress at any time, if it were not
conceded; when you cried "Perish the Pope and all his base ad-
herents; the penal laws against them shall never be repealed while
Englishmen have hearts and hands" — and waved your own and
touched your sword; and when they cried "No Popery!" and you
cried "No; not even if we wade in blood," and they threw up their
hats and cried "Hurrah! not even if we wade in blood; No Popery!
Lord George! Down with the Papists — Vengeance on their heads":
when this was said and done, and a word from you, my lord, could
raise or still the tumult — ah! then I felt what greatness was in-
deed, and thought. When was there ever power like this of Lord
^It 's a great power. You 're right. It is a great power! ' he cried
with sparkling eyes. 'But — dear Gashford — did I really say all
'And how much more!' cried the secretary, looking upwards.
Ah! how much more!'
And I told them what you say, about the one hundred and
forty thousand men in Scotland, did I?' he asked with evident
delight. That was bold.'
'Our cause is boldness. Truth is always bold.'
'Certainly. So is religion. She 's bold, Gashford?'
'The true religion is, my lord.'
'And that 's ours,' he rejoined, moving uneasily in his seat, and
biting his nails as though he would pare them to the quick. 'There
can be no doubt of ours being the true one. You feel as certain of
that as I do, Gashford, don't you?'
'Does my lord ask me/ whined Gashford, drawing his chair
nearer with an injured air, and laying his broad flat hand upon the
table ; 'me' he repeated, bending the dark hollows of his eyes upon
him with an unwholesome smile, 'who, stricken by the magic of
his eloquence in Scotland but a year ago, abjured the errors of
the Romish church, and clung to him as one whose timely hand
had plucked me from a pit?'
'True. No — no. I — I didn't mean it/ replied the other, shaking
BARNABY BUDGE 275
him by the hand, rising from his seat, and pacing restlessly about
the room. 'It 's a proud thing to lead the people, Gashford,' he
added as he made a sudden halt.
'By force of reason too,' returned the pliant secretary.
'Ay, to be sure. They may cough and jeer, and groan in Parlia-
ment, and call me fool and madman, but which of them can raise
this human sea and make it swell and roar at pleasure? Not one.'
'Not one,' repeated Gashford.
'Which of them can say for his honesty, what I can say for
mine; which of them has refused a minister's bribe of one thous-
and pounds a year, to resign his seat in favour of another? Not
'Not one,' repeated Gashford again — taking the lion's share of
the mulled wine between whiles.
'And as we are honest, true, and in a sacred cause, Gashford,'
said Lord George with a heightened colour and in a louder voice,
as he laid his fevered hand upon his shoulder, 'and are the only
men who regard the mass of people out of doors, or are regarded
by them, we will uphold them to the last; and will raise a cry
against these un-English Papists which shall re-echo through the
country, and roll with a noise like thunder. I will be worthy of
the motto on my coat of arms, "Called and chosen and faithful." '
'Called,' said the secretary, 'by Heaven.'
'Chosen by the people.'
'Faithful to both.'
'To the block!'
It would be difficult to convey an adequate idea of the excited
manner in which he gave these answers to the secretary's prompt-
ings; of the rapidity of his utterance, or the violence of his tone
and gesture; in which, struggling through his Puritan's demeanour,
was something wild and ungovernable which broke through all
restraint. For some minutes he walked rapidly up and down the
room, then stopping suddenly, exclaimed,
'Gashford — You moved them yesterday too. Oh yes! You did.'
'I shone with a reflected light, my lord,' replied the humble sec-
retary, laying his hand upon his heart. 'I did my best.'
276 BARNABY RUDGE
'You did well,' said his master, 'and are a great and worthy
instrument. If you will ring for John Grueby to carry the port-
manteau into my room, and will wait here while I undress, we
will dispose of business as usual, if you 're not too tired.'
'Too tired, my lord! — But this is his consideration! Christian
from head to foot.' With which soliloquy, the secretary tilted the
jug, and looked very hard into the mulled wine, to see how much
John Willet and John Grueby appeared together. The one
bearing the great candlesticks, and the other the portmanteau,
showed the deluded lord into his chamber; and left the secretary
alone, to yawn and shake himself, and finally to fall asleep before
'Now, Mr. Gashford sir,' said John Grueby in his ear, after
what appeared to him a moment of unconsciousness; 'my lord 's
'Oh. Very good, John,' was his mild reply. 'Thank you, John.'
Nobody need sit up. I know my room.'
'I hope you 're not a-going to trouble your head to-night, or
my lord's head neither, with anything more about Bloody Mary,'
said John. T wish the blessed old creetur had never been born.'
'I said you might go to bed, John,' returned the secretary.
^You didn't hear me, I think.'
'Between Bloody Marys, and blue cockades, and glorious Queen
Besses, and no Poperys, and Protestant associations, and making
of speeches,' pursued John Grueby, looking, as usual, a long way
off, and taking no notice of this hint, 'my lord 's half off his head.
When we go out o' doors, such a set of ragamuffins comes a-shout-
ing after us, "Gordon for ever!" that I 'm ashamed of myself and
don't know where to look. When we 're in-doors they come
a-roaring and screaming about the house like so many devils; and
my lord instead of ordering them to be drove away, goes out into
the balcony and demeans himself by making speeches to 'em, and
calls 'em "Men of England," and "Fellow-countrymen," as if he
was fond of 'em and thanked 'em for coming. I can't make it out,
but they 're all mixed up somehow or another with that unfor-
t'nate Bloody Mary, and call her name out till they 're hoarse.
They're all Protestants too — every man and boy among 'em:
BARNABY RUDGE 277
and Protestants are very fond of spoons I find, and silver-plate in
general, wherever area-gates is left open accidentally. I wish that
was the worst of it, and that no more harm might be to come; but
if you don't stop these ugly customers in time, Mr. Gashford (and
I knov/ you; you 're the man that blows the fire), you '11 find 'em
grow a little bit too strong for you. One of these evenings, when
the weather gets warmer and Protestants are thirsty, they '11 be
pulling London down, — and I never heard that Bloody Mary
went as far as that'
Gashford had vanished long ago, and these remarks had been
bestowed on empty air. Not at all discomposed by the discovery,
John Grueby fixed his hat on, wrong side foremost that he might
be unconscious of the shadow of the obnoxious cockade, and with-
drew to bed; shaking his head in a very gloomy and pathetic
manner until he reached his chamber.
Gashford, wath a smiling face, but still with looks of profound
deference and humility, betook himself towards his master's
room, smoothing his hair down as he went, and humming a psalm
tune. As he approached Lord George's door, he cleared his throat
and hummed more vigorously.
There was a remarkable contrast between this man's occupation
at the moment, and the expression of his countenance, which w^as
singularly repulsive and malicious. His beetling brow almost ob-
scured his eyes; his lip was curled contemptuously; his very shoul-
ders seemed to sneer in stealthy whisperings with his great flapped
'Hush I' he muttered softly, as he peeped in at the chamber-
door. 'He seems to be asleep. Pray Heaven he is! Too much
watching, too much care, too much thought — ah! Lord preserve
him for a martyr! He is a saint, if ever saint drew breath on this
Placing his light upon a table, he walked on tiptoe to the fire,
and sitting in a chair before it with his back towards the bed,
278 BARNABY RUDGE
went on communing with himself Hke one who thought aloud:
'The saviour of his country and his country's religion, the friend
of his poor countrymen, the enemy of the proud and harsh;
beloved of the rejected and oppressed, adored by forty thousand
bold and loyal English hearts — what happy slumbers his should
be!' And here he sighed, and warmed his hands, and shook his
head as men do when their hearts are full, and heaved another
sigh, and warmed his hands again.
'Why, Gashford?' said Lord George, who was lying broad
awake, upon his side, and had been staring at him from his en-
'My — my lord,' said Gashford, starting and looking round as
though in great surprise. 'I have disturbed you!'
'I have not been sleeping.'
'Not sleeping! ' he repeated, with assumed confusion. 'What can
I say for having in your presence given utterance to thoughts — •
but they were sincere — they were sincere!' exclaimed the secre-
tary, drawing his sleeve in a hasty way across his eyes; 'and why
should I regret your having heard them?'
'Gashford,' said the poor lord, stretching out his hand with
manifest emotion. 'Do not regret it. You love me well, I know —
too well. I don't deserve such homage.'
Gashford made no reply, but grasped the hand and pressed it to
his lips. Then rising, and taking from the trunk a little desk, he
placed it on the table near the fire, unlocked it with a key he
carried in his pocket, sat down before it, took out a pen, and, be-
fore dipping it in the inkstand, sucked it — to compose the
fashion of his mouth perhaps, on which a smile was hovering yet.
'How do our numbers stand since last enrolling-night?' in-
quired Lord George. 'Are we really forty thousand strong, or do
we still speak in round numbers when we take the Association at
'Our total now exceeds that number by a score and three,'
Gashford replied, casting his eyes upon his papers.
'Not very improving; but there is some manna in the wilder-
ness, my lord. Hem! On Friday night the widows' mites dropped
in. "Forty scavengers, three and fourpence. An aged pew-opener
BARNABY RUDGE 279
of St. Martin's parish, sixpence. A bell-ringer of the established
church, sixpence. A Protestant infant, newly born, one halfpenny.
The United Link Boys, three shillings — one bad. The anti-popish
prisoners in Newgate, five and fourpence. A friend in Bedlam, half-
a-crown. Dennis the hangman, one shilling." '
'That Dennis,' said his lordship, is an earnest man. I marked
him in the crowd in Welbeck Street, last Friday.'
'A good man,' rejoined the secretary, 'a staunch, sincere, and
truly zealous man.'
'He should be encouraged,' said Lord George. 'Make a note of
Dennis. I '11 talk with him.'
Gashford obeyed, and went on reading from his list:
' "The Friends of Reason, half-a-guinea. The Friends of Lib-
erty, half-a-guinea. The Friends of Peace, half-a-guinea. The
Friends of Charity, half-a-guinea. The Friends of Mercy, half-a-
guinea. The Associated Rememberers of Bloody Mary,' half-a-
guinea. The United Bull-dogs, half-a-guinea." '
'The United Bull-dogs,' said Lord George, biting his nails most
horribly, 'are a new society, are they not?'
'Formerly the 'Prentice Knights, my lord. The indentures of
the old members expiring by degrees, they changed their name, it
seems, though they still have 'prentices among them, as well as
'WTiat is their president's name?' inquired Lord George.
'President,' said Gashford, reading, 'Mr. Simon Tappertit.'
'I remember him. The little man, who sometimes brings an
elderly sister to our meetings, and sometimes another female too,
who is conscientious, I have no doubt, but not well-favoured?'
'The very same, my lord.'
'Tappertit is an earnest man,' said Lord George, thoughtfully.
'One of the foremost among them all, my lord. He snuffs the
battle from afar, like the war-horse. He throws his hat up in the
street as if he were inspired, and makes most stirring speeches
from the shoulders of his friends.'
'Make a note of Tappertit,' said Lord George Gordon. 'We
may advance him to a place of trust.'
'That,' rejoined the secretary, doing as he was told, 'is all — ■
280 BART^ABY RUDGE
except Mrs. Varden's box (fourteenth time of opening), seven
shillings and sixpence in silver and copper, and half-a-guinea in
gold; and Miggs (being the saving of a quarter's wages), one-and-
^Miggs,' said Lord George. 'Is that a man?'
'The name is entered on the list as a woman,' replied the secre-
tary. 'I think she is the tall spare female of whom you spoke just
now, my lord, as not being well-favoured, who sometimes comes
to hear the speeches — along with Tappertit and Mrs. Varden.'
'Mrs. Varden is the elderly lady then, is she?'
The secretary nodded, and rubbed the bridge of his nose with
the feather of his pen.
'She is a zealous sister,' said Lord George. 'Her collection goes
on prosperously, and is pursued with fervour. Has her husband
'A malignant,' returned the secretary, folding up his papers.
'Unworthy such a wife. He remains in outer darkness and steadily
'The consequences be upon his own head! — Gashford!'
'You don't think,' he turned restlessly in his bed as he spoke,
^these people will desert me, when the hour arrives? I have spoken
boldly for them, ventured much, suppressed nothing. They '11 not
fall off, will they?'
'No fear of that, my lord,' said Gashford, with a meaning look,
which was rather the involuntary expression of his own thoughts
than intended as any confirmation of his words, for the other's
face was turned away. 'Be sure there is no fear of that.'
'Nor,' he said with a more restless m.otion than before, 'of their
— but they can sustain no harm from leaguing for this purpose.
Right is on our side, though INIight may be against us. You feel
as sure of that as I — honestly, you do?'
The secretary was beginning with 'You do not doubt,' when the
other interrupted him, and impatiently rejoined:
'Doubt. No. Who says I doubt? If I doubted should I cast
away relatives, friends, everything, for this unhappy country's
sake; this unhappy country,' he cried, springing up in bed, after re-
peating the phrase 'unhappy country's sake' to himself, at least a
BARNABY RUDGE 281
dozen times, 'forsaken of God and man, delivered over to a dan-
gerous confederacy of Popish powers; the prey of corruption,
idolatry, and despotism! Who says I doubt? Am I called, and
chosen, and faithful? Tell me. Am I, or am I not?'
'To God, the country, and yourself,' cried Gash ford.
'I am. I will be. I say again, I will be: to the block. Who says
as much! Do you? Does any man alive?'
The secretary drooped his head with an expression of perfect
acquiescence in anything that had been said or might be; and
Lord George gradually sinking down upon his pillow, fell asleep.
Although there was something very ludicrous in his vehement
manner, taken in conjunction with his meagre aspect and un-
graceful presence, it would scarcely have provoked a smile in any
man of kindly feeling; or even if it had, he would have felt sorry
and almost angry with himself next moment, for yielding to the
impulse. This lord was sincere in his violence and in his wavering.
A nature prone to false enthusiasm, and the vanity of being a
leader, were the w^orst qualities apparent in his composition. All
the rest was weakness — sheer weakness; and it is the unhappy lot
of thoroughly weak men, that their very sympathies, affections,
confidences — all the qualities which in better constituted minds
are virtues — dwindle into foibles, or turn into downright vices.
Gashford, with many a sly look towards the bed, sat chuckling
at his master's folly, until his deep and heavy breathing warned
him that he might retire. Locking his desk, and replacing it within
the trunk (but not before he had taken from a secret lining two
printed handbills), he cautiously withdrew; looking back, as he
went, at the pale face of the slumbering man, above whose head
the dusty plumes that crowned the Maypole couch, waved drearily
and sadly as though it were a bier.
Stopping on the staircase to listen that all was quiet, and to take
off his shoes lest his footsteps should alarm any light sleeper who
might be near at hand, he descended to the ground floor, and
thrust one of his bills beneath the great door of the house. That
done, he crept softly back to his own chamber, and from the win-
dow let another fall — carefully wrapt round a stone to save it from
the wind — into the yard below.
They were addressed on the back 'To every Protestant into
282 BARNABY RUDGE
whose hands this shall come/ and bore within what follows:
'Men and Brethren. Whoever shall find this letter, will take it
as a warning to join, without delay, the friends of Lord George
Gordon. There are great events at hand; and the times are dan-
gerous and troubled. Read this carefully, keep it clean, and drop
it somewhere else. For King and Country. Union.'
'More seed, more seed,' said Gashford as he closed the window.
'When will the harvest come ! '
To surround anything, however monstrous or ridiculous, with an
air of mystery, is to invest it with a secret charm, and power of
attraction which to the crowd is irresistible. False priests, false
prophets, false doctors, false patriots, false prodigies of every kind,
veiling their proceedings in mystery, have always addressed them-
selves at an immense advantage to the popular credulity, and have
been, perhaps, more indebted to that resource in gaining and keep-
ing for a time the upper hand of Truth and Common Sense, than
to any half-dozen items in the whole catalogue of imposture. Cur-
iosity is, and has been from the creation of the world, a master-
passion. To awaken it, to gratify it by slight degrees, and yet leave
something always in suspense, is to establish the surest hold that
can be had, in wrong, on the unthinking portion of mankind.
If a man had stood on London Bridge, calling till he was hoarse,
upon the passers-by, to join with Lord George Gordon, although
for an object which no man understood, and which in that very
incident had a charm of its own, — the probability is, that he
might have influenced a score of people in a month. If all zealous
Protestants had been publicly urged to join an association for
the avowed purpose of singing a hymn or two occasionally, and
hearing some indifferent speeches made, and ultimately of peti-
tioning Parliament not to pass an act for abolishing the penal
laws against Roman Catholic priests, the penalty of perpetual im-
prisonment denounced against those who educated children in that
persuasion, and the disqualification of all members of the Romish
BARNABY RUDGE 283