jmages of saints, rich stuffs and ornaments, altar-furniture and
household goods, were cast into the flames, and shed a glare on
the whole country round; but they danced and howled, and roared
about these fires till they were tired, and were never for an instant
As the main body filed off from this scene of action, and passed
down Welbeck Street, they came upon Gashford, who had been a
witness of their proceedings, and was walking stealthily along the
pavement. Keeping up with him, and yet not seeming to speak,
Hugh muttered in his ear:
'Is this better, master?'
'No,' said Gashford. 'It is not.'
'What would you have?' said Hugh. 'Fevers are never at their
height at once. They must get on by degrees.'
'1 would have you,' said Gashford, pinching his arm with such
malevolence that his nails seemed to meet in the skin; 'I would
have you put some meaning into your work. Fools! Can you make
no better bonfires than of rags and scraps? Can you burn nothing
'A little patience, master,' said Hugh. 'Wait but a few hours, and
you shall see. Look for a redness in the sky, to-morrow night.'
With that, he fell back into his place beside Barnaby; and when
die secretary looked after him, both were lost in the crowd.
The next day was ushered in by merry peals of bells, and by the
firing of the Tower guns; flags were hoisted on many of the church-
steeples ; the usual demonstrations were made in honour of the an-
niversary of the King's birthday; and every man went about his
pleasure or business as if the city were in perfect order, and there
were no half-smouldering embers in its secret places, which, on the
408 BARNABY RUDGE
approach of night would kindle up again and scatter ruin and dis-
may abroad. The leaders of the riot, rendered still more daring
by the success of last night and by the booty they had acquired,
kept steadily together, and only thought of implicating the mass of^
their followers so deeply that no hope of pardon or reward might
tempt them to betray their more notorious confederates into the
hands of justice.
Indeed, the sense of having gone too far to be forgiven, held the
timid together no less than the bold. Many who would readily have
pointed out the foremost rioters and given evidence against them,
felt that escape by that means was hopeless, when their every act
had been observed by scores of people who had taken no part in
the disturbances; who had suffered in their persons, peace, or
property, by the outrages of the mob; who would be most willing
witnesses; and whom the government would, no doubt, prefer to
any King's evidence that might be offered. Many of this class had
deserted their usual occupations on the Saturday morning; some
had been seen by their employers active in the tumult ; others knew
they must be suspected, and that they would be discharged if they
returned ; others had been desperate from the beginning, and com-
forted themselves with the homely proverb, that, being hanged at
all, they might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb. They all
hoped and believed, in a greater or less degree, that the govern-
ment they seemed to have paralysed, would, in its terror, come to
terms with them in the end, and suffer them to make their own con-
ditions. The least sanguine among them reasoned with himself
that, at the worst, they were too many to be all punished, and that
he had as good a chance of escape as any other man. The great
mass never reasoned or thought at all, but were stimulated by their
own headlong passions, by poverty, by ignorance, by the love of
mischief, and the hope of plunder.
One other circumstance is worthy of remark; and that is, that
from the moment of their first outbreak at Westminster, every
symptom of order or preconcerted arrangement among them van-
ished. When they divided into parties and ran to different quarters
of the town, it was on the spontaneous suggestion of the moment.
Each party swelled as it went along, like rivers as they roll towards
the sea; new leaders sprang up as they were wanted, disappeared
BARNABY RUDGE 409
when the necessity was over, and reappeared at the next crisis.
Each tumuh took shape and form from the circumstances of the
moment; sober workmen, going home from their day's labour,
were seen to cast down their baskets of tools and become rioters in
an instant; mere boys on errands did the like. In a word, a moral
plague ran through the city. The noise, and hurry, and excitement,
had for hundreds and hundreds an attraction they had no firmness
to resist. The contagion spread like a dread fever; an infectious
madness, as yet not near its height, seized on new victims every
hour, and society began to tremble at their ravings.
It was between two and three o'clock in the afternoon when
Gashford looked into the lair described in the last chapter, and
seeing only Barnaby and Dennis there, inquired for Hugh.
He was out, Barnaby told him; had gone out more than an
hour ago; and had not yet returned.
'Dennis!' said the smiling secretary, in his smoothest voice,
as he sat down cross-legged on a barrel, 'Dennis!'
The hangman struggled into a sitting posture directly, and with
his eyes wide open, looked towards him.
'How do you do, Dennis?' said Gashford, nodding. 'I hope you
have suffered no inconvenience from your late exertions, Dennis?'
'I always will say of you. Muster Gashford,' returned the hang-
man, staring at him, 'that that 'ere quiet way of yours might almost
wake a dead man. It is,' he added, with a muttered oath ā still
staring at him in a thoughtful manner ā 'so awful sly!'
'So distinct, eh, Dennis?'
'Distinct!' he answered, scratching his head, and keeping his
eyes upon the secretary's face; 'I seem to hear it, Muster Gashford.
in my wery bones.'
T am very glad your sense of hearing is so sharp, and that I suc-
ceed in making myself so intelligible,' said Gashford, in his un-
varying, even tone. 'Where is your friend?'
Mr. Dennis looked round as in expectation of beholding him
asleep upon his bed of straw; then remembering he had seen
him go out, replied:
'I can't say where he is. Muster Gashford, I expected him back
before now. I hope it isn't time that we was busy, Muster Gash-
410 BARNABY RUDGE
'Nay,' said the secretary, 'who should know that as well as you?
How can / tell you, Dennis? You are perfect master of your own
actions, you know, and accountable to nobody ā except sometimes
to the law, eh?'
Dennis, who was very much baffled by the cool matter-of-course
manner of this reply, recovered his self-possession on his profes-
sional pursuits being referred to, and pointing towards Barnaby,
shook his head and frowned.
'Hush!' cried. Barnaby.
'Ah! Do hush about that, Muster Gashford,' said the hangman
in a low voice, 'pop'lar prejudices ā you always forget ā well, Bar-
naby, my lad, what 's the matter?'
'I hear him coming,' he answered: 'Hark! Do you mark that?
That's his foot! Bless you, I know his step, and his dog's too.
Tramp, tramp, pit-pat, on they come together, and, ha ha ha! ā
and here they are!' he cried, joyfully welcoming Hugh with both
hands, and then patting him fondly on the back, as if instead of
being the rough companion he was, he had been one of the most
prepossessing of men. 'Here he is, and safe too! I am glad to see
him back again, old Hugh!'
'I 'm a Turk if he don't give me a warmer welcome always than
any man of sense,' said Hugh, shaking hands with him with a
kind of ferocious friendship, strange enough to see. 'How are you,
'Hearty!' cried Barnaby, waving his hat. 'Ha ha ha! And
merry too, Hugh! And ready to do anything for the good cause,
and the right, and to help the kind, mild, pale-faced gentleman ā
the lord they used so ill ā eh, Hugh?'
'Ay!' returned his friend, dropping his hand, and looking at
Gashford for an instant with a changed expression before he spoke
to him. 'Good-day, master ! '
'And good-day to you,' replied the secretary, nursing his leg.
'And many good days ā whole years of them, I hope. You are
So would you have been, master,' said Hugh, wiping his face,
'if you 'd been running here as fast as I have.'
'You know the news, then? Yes, I supposed you would have
BARNA13V RUDGE 411
ā¢'News! what news?'
'You don't?' cried Gashford, raising his eyebrows with an ex-
clamation of surprise. 'Dear me I Come; then I am the first to
make you acquainted with your distinguished position after all.
Do you see the King's Arms a-top?' he smilingly asked, as he took
a large paper from his pocket, unfolded it, and held it out for
'Well!' said Hugh. 'What's that to me?'
'Much. A great deal,' replied the secretary. 'Read it.'
'I told you, the first time I saw you, that I couldn't read,' said
Hugh, impatiently. 'What in the Devil's name's inside of it?'
'It is a proclamation from the King in Council,' said Gashford,
'dated to-day, and offering a reward of five hundred pounds ā five
hundred pounds is a great deal of money, and a large temptation to
some people ā to any one who will discover the person or persons
most active in demolishing those chapels on Saturday night.'
'Is that all?' cried Hugh, with an indifferent air. 'I knew of that.'
'Truly I might have known you did,' said Gashford, smiling,
and folding up the document again. 'Your friend, I might have
guessed ā indeed I did guess ā was sure to tell you.'
'My friend!' stammered Hugh, with an unsuccessful effort to
appear surprised. 'What friend?'
'Tut tut ā do you suppose I don't know where you have been?'
retorted Gashford, rubbing his hands, and beating the back of one
on the palm of the other, and looking at him with a cunning eye.
'How dull you think me! Shall I say his name?'
'No,' said Hugh, with a hasty glance towards Dennis.
'You have also heard from him, no doubt,' resumed the secre-
tary, after a moment's pause, 'that the rioters who have been
taken (poor fellows) are committed for trial, and that some very
active witnesses have had the temerity to appear against them.
Among others ā ' and here he clenched his teeth, as if he would
suppress by force some violent words that rose upon his tongue;
and spoke very slowly. 'Among others, a gentleman who saw the
work going on in Warwick Street; a Catholic gentleman; one
Hugh would have prevented his uttering the word, but it was
out already. Hearing the name, Barnaby turned swiftly round.
412 BAKNABY RUDGE
'Duty, duty, bold Barnaby!' cried Hugh, assuming his wildest
and most rapid manner, and thrusting into his hand his staff and
flag which leant against the wall. 'Mount guard without loss of
time, for we are off upon our expedition. Up, Dennis, and get
ready! Take care that no one turns the straw upon my bed, brave
Barnaby; we know what 's underneath it ā eh? Now, master,
quick! What you have to say, say speedily, for the little captain
and a cluster of 'em are in the fields, and only waiting for us.
Sharp 's the word, and strike 's the action. Quick!'
Barnaby was not proof against this bustle and despatch. The
look of mingled astonishment and anger which had appeared in his
face when he turned towards them, faded from it as the words
passed from his memory, like breath from a polished mirror; and
grasping the weapon which Hugh forced upon him, he proudly
took his station at the door, beyond their hearing.
'You might have spoiled our plans, master,' said Hugh. 'You,
too, of all men!'
"Who would have supposed that he would be so quick?' urged
'He 's as quick sometimes ā I don't mean with his hands, for
that you know, but with his head ā as you or any man,' said Hugh.
'Dennis, it 's time we were going; they 're waiting for us; I came to
tell you. Reach me my stick and belt. Here! Lend a hand, master.
Fling this over my shoulder, and buckle it behind, will you?'
'Brisk as ever!' said the secretary, adjusting it for him as he
*A man need be brisk to-day; there's brisk work a- foot.'
'There is, is there?' said Gashford. He said it with such a pro-
voking assumption of ignorance, that Hugh, looking over his shoul-
der and angrily down upon him, replied:
Ts there! You know there is! Who knows better than you,
master, that the first great step to be taken is to make examples
of these witnesses, and frighten all men from appearing against
us or any of our body, any more?'
'There 's one we know of,' returned Gashford, with an expres-
sive smile, 'who is at least as well informed upon that subject as
you or I.'
'If we mean the same gentleman, as I suppose we do,' Hugh re-
BARNABY RUDGE 413
joined softly, 'I tell you this ā he's as good and quick information
about everything as ā ' here he paused and looked round, as if to
make quite sure that the person in question was not within hear-
ing, 'as Old Nick himself. Have you done that, master? How slow
'It 's quite fast now,' said Gashford, rising. 'I say ā you didn't
find .that your friend disapproved of to-day's little expedition?
Ha ha ha I It is fortunate it jumps so well with the witness's
policy; for, once planned, it must have been carried out. And now
you are going, eh?'
'Now we are going, master! ' Hugh replied. 'Any parting words?'
'Oh dear, no,' said Gashford sweetly. 'None!'
'You 're sure?' cried Hugh, nudging the grinning Dennis.
'Quite sure, eh, Muster Gashford?' chuckled the hangman,
Gashford paused a moment, struggling with his caution and liis
malice; then putting himself between the two men, and laying s
hand upon the arm of each, said, in a cramped whisper:
'Do not, my good friends ā I am sure you will not ā forget our
talk one night ā in your house, Dennis ā about this person. No
mercy, no quarter, no two beams of his house to be left standing
where the builder placed them! Fire, the saying goes, is a good
servant, but a bad master. Make it his master; he deserves no
better. But I am sure you will be firm, I am sure you will be very
resolute, I am sure you will remember that he thirsts for your
lives, and those of all your brave companions. If you ever acted
like staunch fellows, you will do so to-day. Won't you, Dennis ā
won't you, Hugh?'
The two looked at him, and at each other ; then bursting into a
roar of laughter, brandished their staves above their heads, shook
hands, and hurried out.
When they had gone a little time, Gashford followed. They
were yet in sight, and hastening to that part of the adjacent fields
in which their fellows had already mustered; Hugh was looking
back, and flourishing his hat to Barnaby, who, delighted with his
trust, replied in the same way, and then resumed his pacing up and
down befor.e the stable-door, where hi? feet had worn a path al-
ready. And when Gashford himself was far distant, and looked
back for the last time, he was still walking to and fro, with the
414 BARNABY RUDGE
same measured tread; the most devoted and the blithest cham-
pion that ever maintained a post, and felt his heart lifted up with
a brave sense of duty, and determination to defend it to the last.
Smiling at the simplicity of the poor idiot, Gashford betook
himself to Welbeck Street by a different path from that which he
knew the rioters would take, and sitting down behind a curtain in
one of the upper windows of Lord George Gordon's house, waited
impatiently for their coming. They were so long, that although
he knew it had been settled they should come that way, he had a
misgiving they must have changed their plans and taken some other
route. But at length the roar of voices was heard in the neighbour-
ing fields, and soon afterwards they came thronging past, in a great
However, they were not all, nor nearly all, in one body, but
were, as he soon found, divided into four parties, each of which
stopped before the house to give three cheers, and then went on;
the leaders crying out in what direction they were going, and call-
ing on the spectators to join them. The first detachment, carry-
ing, by way of banners, some relics of the havoc they had made in
Moorfields, proclaimed that they were on their way to Chelsea,
whence they would return in the same order, to make of the spoil
they bore, a great bonfire, near at hand. The second gave out that
they were bound for Wapping, to destroy a chapel ; the third, that
their place of destination was East Smithfield, and their object the
same. All this was done in broad, bright, summer day. Gay car-
riages and chairs stopped to let them pass, or turned back to avoid
them ; people on foot stood aside in doorways, or perhaps knocked
and begged permission to stand at a window, or in the hall, until
the rioters had passed: but nobody interfered with them; and when
they had gone by, everything went on as usual.
There still remained the fourth body, and for that the secretary
looked with a most intense eagerness. At last it came up. It was
numerous, and composed of picked men; for as he gazed down
among them, he recognised many upturned faces which he knew
well ā those of Simon Tappertit, Hugh, and Dennis in the front,
of course. They halted and cheered, as the others had done; but
when they moved again, they did not, like them, proclaim what
BARNABY RUDGE 415
design they had. Hugh merely raised his hat upon the bludgeon
le carried, and glancing at a spectator on the opposite side of the
Na.y, was gone.
Gashford followed the direction of his glance instinctively, and
^w, standing on the pavement, and wearing the blue cockade, Sir
[ohn Chester. He held his hat an inch or two above his head, to
Dropitiate the mob; and, resting gracefully on his cane, smiling
Dleasantly, and displaying his dress and person to the very best
idvantage, looked on in the most tranquil state imaginable. For all
:hat, and quick and dexterous as he was, Gashford had seen him
recognise Hugh with the air of a patron. He had no longer any
iyes for the crowd, but fixed his keen regards upon Sir John.
He stood in the same place and posture until the last man in the
:oncourse had turned the corner of the street; then very deliber-
itely took the blue cockade out of his hat; put it carefully in his
Docket, ready for the next emergency; refreshed himself with a
Dinch of snuff; put up his box; and was walking slowly off, when
i passing carriage stopped, and a lady's hand let down the glass.
Sir John's hat was off again immediately. After a minute ^s conver-
sation at the carriage-window, in which it was apparent that he
;vas vastly entertaining on the subject of the mob, he stepped
ightly in and was driven away.
The secretary smiled, but he had other thoughts to dwell upon,
md soon dismissed the topic. Dinner was brought him, but he
sent it down untasted; and, in restless pacings up and down the
-oom, and constant glances at the clock, and many futile efforts to
>it down and read, or go to sleep, or look out of the window, con-
sumed four weary hours. When the dial told him thus much time
lad crept away, he stole upstairs to the top of the house, and com
!ng out upon the roof sat down, with his face towards the east.
Heedless of the fresh air that blew upon his heated brow, of the
Dleasant meadows from which he turned, of the piles of roofs and
:himneys upon which he loked, of the smoke and rising mist he
mainly sought to pierce, of the shrill cries of children at their
evening sports, the distant hum and turmoil of the town, the cheer-
ful country breath that rustled past to meet it, and to droop, and
die; he watched, and watched, till it was dark ā save for the specks
-*16 BARNABY RUDGE
of light that twinkled in the streets below and far away ā and, as
the darkness deepened, strained his gaze and grew more eager yet.
^Nothing but gloom in that direction, still! ' he muttered restless-
ly. 'Dog! where is the redness in the sky, you promised me!'
Rumours of the prevailing disturbances had, by this time, begun
to be pretty generally circulated through the towns and villages
round London, and the tidings were everywhere received with that
appetite for the marvellous and love of the terrible which have
probably been among the natural characteristics of mankind since
the creation of the world. These accounts, however, appeared, to
many persons at that day ā as they would to us at the present, but
that we know them to be matter of history ā so monstrous and im-
probable, that a great number of those who were resident at a dis-
tance, and who were credulous enough on other points, were really
unable to bring their minds to believe that such things could be;
and rejected the intelligence they received on all hands, as wholly
fabulous and absurd.
Mr. Willet ā not so much, perhaps, on account of his having
argued and settled the matter with himself, as by reason of his
constitutional obstinacy ā was one of those who positively refused
to entertain the current topic for a moment. On this very evening,
and perhaps at the very time when Gash ford kept his solitary
watch, old John was so red in the face with perpetually shaking
his head in contradiction of his three ancient cronies and pot com-
panions, that he was quite a phenomenon to behold, and lighted up
the Maypole Porch wherein they sat together, like a monstrous
carbuncle in a fairy tale.
'Do you think, sir,' said Mr. Willet, looking hard at Solomon
Daisy ā for it was his custom in cases of personal altercation to
fasten upon the smallest man in the party ā 'do you think, sir, that
I 'm a born fool?'
'No, no, Johnny,' returned Solomon, looking round upon the
BARNABY RUDGE 417
little circle of which he formec^ a part: 'We all know better than
that. You 're no fool, Johnny. No, no!'
Mr. Cobb and Mr. Parkes shook their heads in unison, mutter-
ing, 'No, no, Johnny, not you!' But as such compliments had
usually the effect of making Mr. Willet rather more dogged than
before, he surveyed them with a look of deep disdain, and returned
'Then, what do you mean by coming here, and telling me that
this evening you 're a-going to walk up to London together ā you
three ā you ā and have the evidence of your own senses? An't,'
said Mr. Willet, putting his pipe in his mouth with an air of solemia
disgust, 'an't the evidence of my senses enough for you?'
'But we haven't got it, Johnny,' pleaded Parkes, humbly.
'You haven't got it, sir?' repeated Mr. Willet, eyeing him from
top to toe. 'You haven't got it, sir? You have got it, sir. Don't 1
tell you that His blessed Majesty King George the Third would
no more stand a rioting and rollicking in his streets, than he 'd stand
being crowed over by his own Parliament?'
'Yes, Johnny, but that 's your sense ā not your senses,' said the
adventurous Mr. Parkes.
'How do you know?' retorted John with great dignity. 'You 're
a contradicting pretty free, you are, sir. How do you know which
it is? I 'm not aware I ever told you, sir.'
Mr. Parkes, finding himself in the position of having got into
metaphysics without exactly seeing his way out of them, stammered
forth an apology and retreated from the argument. There then en-
sued a silence of some ten minutes or a quarter of an hour, at the
expiration of which period Mr. Willet was observed to rumble
and shake with laughter, and presently remarked, in reference to
his late adversary, 'that he hoped he had tackled him enough.'
Thereupon Messrs. Cobb and Daisy laughed, and nodded, and
Parkes was looked upon as thoroughly and effectually put down.
'Do you suppose if all this was true, that Mr. Haredale would
be constantly away from home, as he is?' said John, after another
silence. 'Do you think he wouldn't be afraid to leave his house
with them two young women in it, and only a couple of men, or
'Ay, but then you know,' returned Solomon Daisy, 'his house is
418 BARNABY RUDGE
a goodish way out of London, and they do say that the rioters won't
go more than two mile, or three at the farthest, off the stones.
Besides, you know, some of the Catholic gentlefolks have actually
sent trinkets and such-like down here for safety ā at least, so the
'The story goes!' said Mr. Willet testily. 'Yes, sir. The story
goes that you saw a ghost last March. But nobody believes it.'
'Well!' said Solomon, rising, to divert the attention of his two
friends, who tittered at this retort: 'believed or disbelieved, it's
true; and true or not, if we mean to go to London, we must be
going at once. So shake hands, Johnny, and good-night.'
'I shall shake hands,' returned the landlord, putting his into his