innocent son; and that to Heaven she appealed against us — which
she did; really very pretty language, I assure you. I advised her,
as a friend, not to count too much on assistance from any such dis-
tant quarter — recommended her to think of it — told her where I
lived — said I knew she would send to me before noon, next day — ■
and left her, either in a faint or shamming.
When he had concluded this narration, during which he had
made several pauses, for the convenience of cracking and eating
nuts, of which he seemed to have a pocketful, the blind mian pulled
a flask from his pocket, took a draught himself, and offered it to
'You won't, won't you?' he said, feeling that he pushed it from
him. 'Well! Then the gallant gentleman who 's lodging with you,
will. Hallo, bully!'
'Death!' said the other, holding him back. 'Will you tell me
what I am to do!'
'Do! Nothing easier. Make a moonlight flitting in two hours'
time with the young gentleman (he 's quite ready to go; I have
been giving him good advice as we came along), and get as far
from London as you can. Let me know where you are, and leave
the rest to me. She must come round; she can't hold out long; and
as to the chances of your being retaken in the meanwhile, why it
wasn't one man who got out of Newgate, but three hundred. Think
of that, for your comfort.'
'We must support life. How?'
'How!' repeated the blind man. 'By eating and drinking. And
how get meat and drink, but by paying for it! Money!' he cried,
slapping his pocket. 'Is money the word? Why, the streets have
been running money. Devil send that the sport 's not over yet, for
these are jolly times; golden, rare, roaring, scrambling times.
Hallo, bully! Hallo! Hallo! Drink, bully, drink. Where are ye
With such vociferations, and with a boisterous manner which be-
spoke his perfect abandonment to the general license and disorder,
540 BARNABY RUDGE
he groped his way towards the shed, where Hugh and Barnaby
were sitting on the ground.
Tut it about! ' he cried, handing his flask to Hugh. 'The kennels
run with wine and gold. Guineas and strong water flow from the
very pumps. About with it, don't spare it!'
Exhausted, unwashed, unshorn, begrimed with smoke and dust,
his hair clotted with blood, his voice quite gone, so that he spoke
in whispers ; his skin parched up by fever, his whole body bruised
and cut, and beaten about, Hugh still took the flask, and raised it
to his lips. He was in the act of drinking, when the front of the
shed was suddenly darkened, and Dennis stood before them.
'No offence, no offence,' said that personage in a conciliatory
tone, as Hugh stopped in his draught, and eyed him, with no pleas-
ant look, from head to foot. 'No offence, brother, Barnaby here
too, eh? How are you, Barnaby? And two other gentlemen!
Your humble servant, gentlemen. No offence to you either, I hope.
Notwithstanding that he spoke in this very friendly and confi-
dent manner, he seemed to have considerable hesitation about en-
tering, and remained outside the roof. He was rather better dressed
than usual: wearing the same suit of threadbare black, it is true,
but having round his neck an unwholesome-looking cravat of a yel-
lowish white; and, on his hands, great leather gloves, such as a
gardener might wear in following his trade. His shoes were newly
greased, and ornamented with a pair of rusty iron buckles; the
pack-thread at his knees had been renewed ; and where he wanted
buttons, he wore pins. Altogether, he had something the look of a
tipstaff, or a bailiff's follower, desperately faded, but who had a
notion of keeping up the appearance of a professional character^
and making the best of the worst means.
'You 're very snug here,' said Mr. Dennis, pulling out a mouldy
pocket-handkerchief, which looked like a decomposed halter, and
wiping his forehead in a nervous manner.
'Not snug enough to prevent your finding us, it seems,' Hugh
'Why, I '11 tell you what, brother,' said Dennis, with a friendly
smile, 'when you don't want me to know which way you 're riding,
you must wear another sort of bells on your horse. Ah! I know the
BARNABY RUDGE 541
sound of them you wore last night, and have got quick ears for
'em; that 's the truth. Well, but how are you, brother?'
He had by this time approached, and now ventured to sit down
■^How am I?' answered Hugh. 'Where were you- yesterday?
Where did you go when you left me in the jail? Why did you leave
me? And what did you mean by rolling your eyes and shaking your
fist at me, eh?'
'I shake my fist! — at you, brother! ' said Dennis, gently checking
Hugh's uplifted hand, which looked threatening.
'Your stick, then; it 's all one.'
Xord love you brother, I meant nothing. You don't understand
me by half. I shouldn't wonder now,' he added, in the tone of a
desponding and an injured man, 'but you thought, because I
wanted them chaps left in the prison, that I was a-going to desert
Hugh told him, with an oath, that he had thought so.
'Well! ' said Mr. Dennis, mournfully, 'if you an't enough to make
a man mistrust his feller-creeturs, I don't know what is. Desert the
banners! Me! Ned Dennis, as was so christened by his own fa-
ther! — Is this axe your'n, brother?'
'Yes, it 's mine,' said Hugh, in the same sullen manner as be-
fore; 'it might have hurt you, if you had come in its way once or
twice last night. Put it down.'
'Might have hurt me!' said Mr. Dennis, still keeping it in his
hand, and feeling the edge with an air of abstraction. 'Might have
hurt me! and me exerting myself all the time to the wery best ad-
vantage. Here 's a world! And you 're not a-going to ask me to
take a sup out of that 'ere bottle, eh?'
Hugh passed it towards him. As he raised it to his lips, Barnaby
jumped up, and motioning them to be silent, looked eagerly out.
'What 's the matter, Barnaby?' said Dennis, glancing at Hugh
and dropping the flask, but still holding the axe in his hand.
'Hush! ' he answered softly. 'What do I see glittering behind the
'What!' cried the hangman, raising his voice to its highest pitch,
and laying hold of him and Hugh. 'Not soldiers, surely!'
542 BARNABY RUDGE
That moment, the shed was filled with armed men ; and a body
of horse, galloping into the field, drew up before it.
^There!' said Dennis, who remained untouched among them
when they had seized their prisoners, it 's them two young ones,
gentlemen, that the proclamation puts a price on. This other 's an
escaped felon. — I 'm sorry for it, brother,' he added, in a tone of
resignation, addressing himself to Hugh; 'but you 've brought it on
yourself ; you forced me to do it ; you wouldn't respect the soundest
constitootional principles, you know; you went and wiolated the
wery framework of society. I had sooner have given a trifle in
charity than done this, I would upon my soul. — If you '11 keep fast
hold on 'em, gentlemen, I think I can make a shift to tie 'em better
than you can.'
But this operation was postponed for a few moments by a new
occurrence. The blind man, whose ears were quicker than most
people's sight, had been alarmed, before Barnaby, by a rustling in
the bushes, under cover of which the soldiers had advanced. He
retreated instantly — had hidden somewhere for a minute — ^and
probably in his confusion mistaking the point at which he had
emerged, was now seen running across the open meadow.
An officer cried directly that he had helped to plunder a house
last night. He was loudly called on, to surrender. He ran the harder,
and in a few seconds would have been out of gunshot. The word
was given, and the men fired.
There was a breathless pause and a profound silence, during
which all eyes were fixed upon him. He had been seen to start at
the discharge, as if the report had frightened him. But he neither
stopped nor slackened his pace in the least, and ran on full forty
yards further. Then, without one reel or stagger, or sign of faint-
ness, or quivering of any limb, he dropped.
Some of them hurried up to where he lay; — the hangman with
them. Everything had passed so quickly, that the smoke had not
yet scattered, but curled slowly off in a little cloud, which seemed
like the dead man's spirit moving solemnly away. There were a
few drops of blood upon the grass — more, when they turned him
over — that was all.
'Look here! Look here!' said the hangman, stooping on one knee
BARNABY RUDGE 543
beside the body, and gazing up with a disconsolate face at the of-
ficer and men. 'Here 's a pretty sight ! '
'Stand out of the way,' replied the officer. 'Serjeant! see what he
had about him.'
The man turned his pockets out upon the grass, and counted, be-
sides some foreign coins and two rings, five-and-forty guineas in
gold. These were bundled up in a handkerchief and carried away;
the body remained there for the present, but six men and the Ser-
jeant w^ere left to take it to the nearest public-house.
'Now then, if you 're going,' said the Serjeant, clapping Dennis
on the back, and pointing after the officer who was walking to-
wards the shed.
To which Mr. Dennis only replied, 'Don't talk to me! ' and then
repeated what he had said before, namely, 'Here 's a pretty sight!'
Tt 's not one that you care for much, I should think,' observed
the Serjeant coolly.
'Why, who,' said Mr. Dennis rising, 'should care for it, if I
'Oh! I didn't know you was so tender-hearted,' said the serjeant.
'Tender-hearted!' echoed Dennis. 'Tender-hearted! Look at
this man. Do you call this constitootional? Do you see him shot
through and through instead of being worked off like a Briton?
Damme, if I know which party to side with. You 're as bad as the
other. What 's to become of the country if the military power 's to
go superseding the ciwilians in this way? Where 's this poor feller-
creetur's rights as a citizen, that he didn't have me in his last mo-
ments! I was here. I was willing. I was ready. These are nice
times, brother, to have the dead crying out against us in this way,
and sleep comfortably in our beds arterwards; wery nice!'
Whether he derived any material consolation from binding the
prisoners, is uncertain; most probably he did. At all events his be-
ing summoned to that work, diverted him, for the time, from these
painful reflections, and gave his thoughts a more congenial occu^
They were not all three carried off together, but in two parties;
Barnaby and his father, going by one road in the centre of a body
5U barNaby rudge
of foot; and Hugh, fast bound upon a horse, and strongly guarded
by a troop of cavalry, being taken by another.
They had no opportunity for the least communication, in the
short interval which preceded their departure; being kept strictly
apart. Hugh only observed that Barnaby walked with a drooping
head among his guard, and, without raising his eyes, that he tried
to wave his fettered hand when he passed. For himself, he buoyed
up his courage as he rode along, with the assurance that the mob
would force his jail wherever it might be, and set him at liberty.
But when they got into London, and more especially into Fleet
Market, lately the stronghold of the rioters, where the military
were rooting out the last remnant of the crowd, he saw that this
hope was gone, and felt that he was riding to his death.
Mr. Dennis having despatched this piece of business without any
personal hurt or inconvenience, and having now retired into the
tranquil respectability of private life, resolved to solace himself
with half an hour or so of female society. With this amiable pur-
pose in his mind, he bent his steps towards the house where Dolly
and Miss Haredale were still confined, and wither Miss Miggs had
also been removed by order of Mr. Simon Tappertit.
As he walked along the streets with his leather gloves clasped
behind him, and his face indicative of cheerful thought and pleas-
ant calculation, Mr. Dennis might have been likened unto a
farmer ruminating among his crops, and enjoying by anticipation
the bountiful gifts of Providence. Look where he would, some heap
of ruins afforded him rich promise of a working off; the whole
town appeared to have been ploughed and sown, and nurtured by
most genial weather; and a goodly harvest was at hand.
Having taken up arms and resorted to deeds of violence, with the
great main object of preserving the Old Bailey in all its purity, and
the gallows in all its pristine usefulness and moral grandeur, it
would perhaps be going too far to assert that Mr. Dennis had ever
BARNABY RUDGE 545
distinctly contemplated and foreseen this happy state of things.
He rather looked upon it as one of those beautiful dispensations
which are inscrutably brought about for the behoof and advantage
of good men. He felt, as it were, personally referred to, in this
prosperous ripening for the gibbet ; and had never considered him-
self so much the pet and favourite child of Destiny, or loved that
lady so well or with such a calm and virtuous reliance, in all his life.
As to being taken up, himself, for a rioter, and punished with the
rest, Mr. Dennis dismissed that possibility from his thoughts as an
idle chimera; arguing that the line of conduct he had adopted at
Newgate, and the service he had rendered that day, would be more
than a set-off against any evidence which might identify him as a
member of the crowd. That any charge of companionship which
might be made against him by those who were themselves in dan-
ger, would certainly go for nought. And that if any trivial indis-
cretion on his part should unluckily come out, the uncommon use-
fulness of his office, at present, and the great demand for the exer-
cise of its functions, would certainly cause it to be winked at, and
passed over. In a word, he had played his cards throughout, with
great care; had changed sides at the very nick of time; had de-
livered up two of the most notorious rioters, and a distinguished
felon to boot; and was quite at his ease.
Saving — for there is a reservation ; and even Mr. Dennis was not
perfectly happy — saving for one circumstance ; to wit, the forcible
detention of Dolly and Miss Haredale, in a house almost adjoining
his own. This was a stumbling-block; for if they were discovered
and released, they could, by the testimony they had it in their
power to give, place him in a situation of great jeopardy; and to
set them at liberty, first extorting from them an oath of secrecy
and silence, was a thing not to be thought of. It was more, perhaps,
with an eye to the danger which lurked in this quarter, than from
his abstract love of conversation with the sex, that the hangman,
quickening his steps, now hastened into their society, cursing the
amorous natures of Hugh and Mr. Tappertit with great heartiness,
at every step he took.
When he entered the miserable rooms in which they were con-
fined, Dolly and Miss Haredale withdrew in silence to the remotest
corner. But Miss Miggs, who was particularly tender of her repu-
546 BARNABY RUDGE
tation, immediately fell upon her knees and began to scream very-
loud, crying, 'What will become of me! ' — 'Where is my Simmuns!'
^Have mercy, good gentlemen, on my sex's weaknesses!' — with
other doleful lamentations of that nature, which she delivered with
great propriety and decorum.
'Miss, miss' whispered Dennis beckoning to her with his fore-
finger, 'come here — I won't hurt you. Come here my lamb will
On hearing this tender epithet Miss Miggs who had left off
screaming when he opened his lips and had listened to him atten-
tively began again: crying 'Oh I 'm his lamb! He says I 'm his
lamb! Oh gracious why wasn't I born old and ugly! Why was I
ever made to be the youngest of six and all of 'em dead and in
their blessed graves excepting one married sister which is settled in
Golden Lion Court number twenty-sivin second bell-handle on
'Don't I say I an't a-going to hurt you?' said Dennis pointing to
a chair. 'Why miss what 's the matter?'
*I don't know what mayn't be the matter!' cried Miss Miggs,
clasping her hands distractedly. 'Anything may be the matter!'
'But nothing is, I tell you,' said the hangman. 'First stop that
noise and come and sit down here, will you, chuckey?'
The coaxing tone in which he said these latter words might have
failed in its object, if he had not accompanied them with sundry
sharp jerks of his thumb over one shoulder, and with divers winks
and thrustings of his tongue into his cheek, from which signals the
damsel gathered that he sought to speak to her apart, concerning
Miss Haredale and Dolly. Her curiosity being very powerful, and
her jealousy by no means inactive, she arose, and with a great deal
of shivering and starting back, and much muscular action among
all the small bones in her throat, gradually approached him.
*Sit down,' said the hangman.
Suiting the action to the word, he thrust her rather suddenly and
prematurely into a chair, and designing to reassure her by a little
harmless jocularity, such as is adapted to please and fascinate the
sex, converted his right forefinger into an ideal bradawl or gimlet^
and made as though he would screw the same into her side — where-
at Miss Miggs shrieked again, and evin«ed symptoms of faintness
BARNABY RUDGE 54.7
'Lovey, my dear,' whispered Dennis, drawing his chair dose to
hers. 'When was your young man here last, eh?'
'My young man, good gentleman!' answered Miggs in a tone of
'Ah! Simmuns, you know — ^him?' said Dennis.
'Mine indeed!' cried Miggs, with a burst of bitterness — and as
she said it, she glanced towards Dolly. 'Mine, good gentleman! '
This was just what Mr. Dennis wanted, and expected.
Ah!' he said, looking so soothingly, not to say amorously on
Miggs, that she sat, as she afterwards remarked, on pins and
needls of the sharpest Whitechapel kind, not knowing what in-
tentions might be suggesting that expression to his features: 'I was
afraid of that. / saw as much myself. It 's her fault. She mil en-
'I wouldn't,' cried Miggs, folding her hands and looking up-
wards with a kind of devout blankness, 'I wouldn't lay myself out
as she does; I wouldn't be as bold as her; I wouldn't seem to say
to all male creeturs "Come and kiss me" ' — and here a shudder
quite convulsed her frame — 'for any earthly crowns as might be
offered. Worlds,' Miggs added solemnly, 'should not reduce me.
No. Not if I was Wenis.'
'Well, but you are Wenus you know,' said Mr. Dennis, confiden-
'No, I am not, good gentleman,' answered Miggs, shaking her
head with an air of self-denial which seemed to imply that she
might be if she chose, but she hoped she knew better. 'No I am not,
good gentleman. Don't charge me with it.'
Up to this time she had turned round, every now and then, to
where Dolly and Miss Haredale had retired, and uttered a scream,
or groan, or laid her hand upon her heart and trembled excessively,
with a view of keeping up appearances, and giving them to under-
stand that she conversed with the visitor, under protest and on
compulsion, and at a great personal sacrifice, for their common
good. But at this point, Mr. Dennis looked so very full of mean-
ing, and gave such a singularly expressive twitch to his face as a
request to come still nearer to him, that she abandoned these little
arts, and gave him her whole and undivided attention.
'When was Simmuns here, I say?' quoth Dennis, in her ear.
648 BARXABY RUDGE
'Not since yesterday morning: and then only for a few minutes.
Not all day, the day before/
'You know he meant all along to carry off that one!' said Den-
nis, indicating Dolly by the slightest possible jerk of his head: —
^A-nd to hand you over to somebody else.'
Miss Miggs, who had fallen into a terrible state of grief when the
first part of this sentence was spoken, recovered a little at the sec-
ond, and seemed by the sudden check she put upon her tears, to
intimate that possibly this arrangement might meet her views ; and
that it might, perhaps, remain an open question.
' — But unfort'nately,' pursued Dennis, who observed this:
'somebody else was fond of her too, you see; and even if he wasn't,
somebody else is took for a rioter, and it 's all over with him.'
Miss Miggs relapsed.
'Now I want,' said Dennis, 'to clear this house, and to see you
righted. What if I was to get her off, out of the way, eh?'
Miss Miggs, brightening again, rejoined, with many breaks and
pauses from excess of feeling, that temptations had been Simmuns's
bane. That it was not his faults, but hers (meaning Dolly's).
That men did not see through these dreadful arts as women did,
and therefore was caged and trapped, as Simmun had been. That
she had no personal motives to serve — far from it — on the con-
trary, her intentions was good towards all parties. But forasmuch
as she knowed that Simmun, if united to any designing and artful
minxes (she would name no names, for that was not her disposi-
tion) — to any designing and artful minxes — must be made miser-
able and unhappy for life, she did incline towards prewentions.
Such, she added, was her free confessions. But as this was private
feelings, and might perhaps be looked upon as wengeance, she
begged the gentleman would say no more. Whatever he said, wish-
ing to do her duty by all mankind, even by them as had ever been
her bitterest enemies, she would not listen to him. With that she
stopped her ears, and shook her head from side to side, to intimate
to Mr. Dennis that though he talked until he had no breath left,
she was as deaf as any adder .
'Look 'ee here, my sugar-stick,' said Mr. Dennis, 'if your view 's
the same as mine, and you '11 only be quiet and slip away at the
BARNABY RUDGE 549
right time, I can have the house clear to-morrow, and be out of
this trouble. — Stop though I there 's the other.'
'Which other, sir?' asked Miggs — still with her fingers in her
ears and her head shaking obstinately.
'Why, the tallest one, yonder,' said Dennis, as he stroked his
chin, and added, in an undertone to him.self, something about not
crossing Muster Gashford.
Miss iMiggs replied (still being profoundly deaf) that if INIiss
Haredale stood in the way at all, he might make himself quite easy
on that score; as she had gathered, from what passed between
Hugh and INIr. Tappertit when they were last there, that she was
to be removed alone (not by them but by somebody else), to-
Mr. Dennis opened his eyes very wide at this piece of informa-
tion, whistled once, considered once, and finally slapped his head
once and nodded once, as if he had got the clue to this mysterious
removal, and so dismissed it. Then he imparted his design con-
cerning Dolly to ^liss Miggs, who was taken more deaf than be-
fore, when he began; and so remained, all through.
The notable scheme was this. IMr. Dennis was immediately to
seek out from among the rioters, some daring young fellow (and
he had one in his eye, he said), who, terrified by the threats he
could hold out to him, and alarmed by the capture of so many who
were no better and no worse than he, would gladly avail himself
of any help to get abroad, and out of harm's way, with his plunder.
even though his journey were incumbered by an unwilling com.pan-
ion; indeed, the unwilling companion being a beautiful girl, would
probably be an additional inducement and temptation. Such a per-
son found, he proposed to bring him there on the ensuing night.
when the tall one was taken off, and Miss Miggs had purposely
retired; and then that Dolly should be gagged, muffled in a cloak,
and carried in any handy conveyance down to the river's side ; where
there were abundant means of getting her smuggled snugly off in
any small craft of doubtful character, and no questions asked.
With regard to the expense of this removal, he would say, at a rough
calculation, that two or three silver tea or coffee pots, with some-
thing additional for drink (such as a muffineer, or toast-rack),
550 BARNABY RUDGE
would more than cover it. Articles of plate of every kind having
been buried by the rioters in several lonely parts of London, and
particularly, as he knew, in St. James's Square, which, though easy
of access, was little frequented after dark, and had a convenient
piece of water in the midst, the needful funds were close at hand,
and could be had upon the shortest notice. With regard to Dolly,