head and face, he ordered some rum and milk to be served ;
and upon that innocent beverage and some biscuits and
cheese made a pretty hearty meal. That done, he disposed
102 BARNABY RUDGE.
himself in an easy attitude on the ground beside his two
companions (who were carousing after their own tastes), and
proceeded to enlighten Mr. Dennis in reference to to-morrow's
That their conversation was an interesting one, was
rendered manifest by its length, and by the close attention
of all three. That it was not of an oppressively grave
character, but was enlivened by various pleasantries arising
out of the subject, was clear from their loud and frequent
roars of laughter, which startled Barnaby on his post, and
made him wonder at their levity. But he Avas not summoned
to join them, until they had eaten, and drunk, and slept,
and talked together for some hours ; not, indeed, until the
twilight ; when they informed him that they were about to
make a slight demonstration in the streets -just to keep the
people's hands in, as it was Sunday night, and the public
might otherwise be disappointed and that he was free to
accompany them if he would.
Without the slightest preparation, saving that they carried
clubs and wore the blue cockade, they sallied out into the
streets ; and, with no more settled design than that of doing
as much mischief as they could, paraded them at random.
Their numbers rapidly increasing, they soon divided into
parties; and agreeing to meet by-and-by, in the fields near
Welbeck-street, scoured the town in various directions. The
largest body, and that which augmented with the greatest
rapidity, was the one to which Hugh and Barnaby belonged.
This took its way towards Moorfields, where there was a rich
chapel, and in which neighbourhood several Catholic families
were known to reside.
Beginning with the private houses so occupied, they broke
open the doors and windows; and while they destroyed the
furniture and left but the bare walls, made a sharp search
for tools and engines of destruction, such as hammers, pokers,
axes, saws, and such-like instruments. Many of the rioters
made belts of cord, of handkerchiefs, or any material they
found at hand, and wore these weapons as openly as pioneers
upon a field-day. There was not the least disguise or con-
cealment indeed, on this night, very little excitement or
hurry. From the chapels, they tore down and took away
the very altars, benches, pulpits, pews, and flooring; from
the dwelling-houses, the very wainscoting and stairs. This
Sunday evening's recreation they pursued like mere workmen
104 BARNABY RUDGE.
who had a certain task to do, and did it. Fifty resolute
men might have turned them at any moment; a single
company of soldiers could have scattered them like dust;
but no man interposed, no authority restrained them, and,
except by the terrified persons who fled from their approach,
they were as little heeded as if they were pursuing their
lawful occupations with the utmost sobriety and good conduct.
In the same manner, they marched to the place of rendez-
vous agreed upon, made great fires in the fields, and reserving
the most valuable of their spoils, burnt the rest. Priestly
garments, images 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 checked.
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, 11 said Gashford. "It is not. 11
" What would you have ? 11 said Hugh. " Fevers are never
at their height at once. They must get on by degrees."
" I would have you, 11 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 whole ? "
" A little patience, master, 1 ' said Hugh. " Wait but a few
hours, and you shall see. Look for a redness in the sky,
to-morrow night. 11
With that, he fell back into his place beside Barnaby;
and when the secretary looked after him, both were lost in
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 anniversary 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 approach of night,
would kindle up again and scatter ruin and dismay 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 ;
\vho 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 ;
106 BARXABY RUDGE.
others knew they must be suspected, and that they would be
discharged if they returned ; others had been desperate from
the beginning, and comforted 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 government they seemed
to have paralysed, would, in its terror, come to terms with
them in the end, and suffer them to make their own condi-
tions. 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
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 vanished. 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 when the
necessity was over, and reappeared at the next crisis. Each
tumult 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
THE SECRETARY'S QUIET WAY. 107
chapter, and seeing only Barnaby and Dennis there, inquired
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 r>o inconvenience from your late
exertions, Dennis ? "
" I always will say of you, Muster Gashford," returned the
hangman, staring at him, " that that 'ere quiet way of yours
might almost wake a dead man. It is," he added, with a
muttered oath still staring at him in a thoughtful manner
" 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."
"I am very glad your sense of hearing is so sharp, and
that I succeed in making myself so intelligible," said
Gashford, in his unvarying, even tone. "Where is your
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 afore now. I hope it isn't time that we was busy,
Muster Gashford ?
"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 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
108 BARNABY RUDGE.
his professional 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, "popular prejudices you always
forget well, Barnaby, my lad, what's the matter."
" I hear him corning,"" 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 ! 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, boy ? "
" 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 the lord they used so ill 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 whole years of them, I hope.
You are heated."
"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 heard it."
" News ! Avhat news ? "
"You don't?" cried Gashford, raising his eyebrows with
an exclamation of surprise. " Dear me ! Come ; then I am
A PROCLAMATION OUT. 109
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 Hugh's inspection.
" 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 five hundred pounds is a great deal of
money, and a large temptation to some people 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 indeed I did guess was sure to tell
" My friend ! " stammered Hugh, with an unsuccessful
effort to appear surprised. " What friend ? "
" Tut tut 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
secretary, 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 " 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
110 BARNABY RUDGE.
others, a gentleman who saw the work going on in Warwick-
street ; a Catholic gentleman ; one Haredale."
Hugh would have prevented his uttering the word, but it
was out already. Hearing the name, Barnaby turned swiftly
" 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 expedi-
tion. Up, Dennis, and get ready ! Take care that no one
turns the straw upon my bed, brave Barnaby; we know
what's underneath it 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, 1 ' said Hugh.
" You, too, of all men ! "
" Who would have supposed that lie would be so quick ? "
"He's as quick sometimes I don't mean with his hands,
for that you know, but with his head 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 desired.
"A man need be brisk to-day; there's brisk work afoot."
"There is, is there?" said Gashford. He said it with
MISCHIEF STILL INCREASING. Ill
such a provoking assumption of ignorance, that Hugh, looking
over his shoulder and angrily down upon him, replied :
" Is 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
expressive 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, 1 '
Hugh rejoined softly, "I tell you this he's as good and
quick information about everything as" here he paused
and looked round, as if to make quite sure that the person
in question was not within hearing "as Old Nick himself.
Have you done that, master ? How slow you are ! "
"It's quite fast now," said Gashford, rising. "I say you
didn't find that your friend disapproved of to-day's little
expedition ? Ha ha ha ! 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
" 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 his malice; then putting himself between the two men,
and laying a hand upon the arm of each, said, in a cramped
" Do not, my good friends I am sure you will not forget
our talk one night in your house, Dennis 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 won't you,
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 been 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 before the stable-door,
where his feet had worn a path already. And when Gashford
himself was far distant, and looked back for the last time,
he was still walking to and fro, with the same measured
tread ; the most devoted and the blithest champion 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 Wei beck-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 body.
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 calling on the spectators to join them. The
first detachment, carrying, by way of banners, some relics of
A GLANCE OF RECOGNITION. 113
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 bon-
fire, 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 carriages 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 up-
turned faces which he knew well 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 design they had.
Hugh merely raised his hat upon the bludgeon he carried,
and glancing at a spectator on the opposite side of the way,
Gashford followed the direction of his glance instinctively,
and saw, standing on the pavement, and wearing the blue
cockade, Sir John Chester. He held his hat an inch or two
above his head, to propitiate the mob ; and, resting gracefully
on his cane, smiling pleasantly, and displaying his dress and
person to the very best advantage, looked on in the most
tranquil state imaginable. For all that, and quick and
dexterous as he was, Gashford had seen him recognise Hugh
with the air of a patron. He had no longer any eyes 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 concourse had turned the corner of the street ; then
VOL. II. I
very deliberately took the blue cockade out of his hat; put
it carefully in his pocket, ready for the next emergency;
refreshed himself with a pinch of snuff; put up his box; and
was walking slowly off, when a passing carriage stopped, and
a lady's hand let down the glass. Sir John's hat was off
again immediately. After a minute's conversation at the
carriage-window, in which it was apparent that he was vastly
NO REDNESS IN THE SKY! 115
entertaining on the subject of the mob, he stepped lightly in,
and was driven away.
The secretary smiled, but he had other thoughts to dwell
upon, and soon dismissed the topic. Dinner was brought
him, but he sent it down untasted; and, in restless pacings
up and down the room, and constant glances at the clock,
and many futile efforts to sit down and read, or go to sleep,
or look out of the window, consumed four weary hours.
When the dial told him thus much time had crept away, he
stole up-stairs to the top of the house, and coming 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 pleasant meadows from which he turned, of the piles
of roofs and chimneys upon which he looked, of the smoke
and rising mist he vainly sought to pierce, of the shrill cries
of children at their evening sports, the distant hum and
turmoil of the town, the cheerful country breath that rustled
past to meet it, and to droop, and die ; he watched, and
watched, till it was dark save for the specks of light that
twinkled in the streets below and far away and, as the
darkness deepened, strained his gaze and grew more eager yet.
" Nothing but gloom in that direction, still ! " he muttered
restlessly. " 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 as they would to us at the present, but that we know
them to be matter of history so monstrous and improbable,
that a great number of those who were resident at a distance,
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 not so much, perhaps, on account of his
having argued and settled the matter with himself, as by
reason of his constitutional obstinacy 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
Gashford 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 companions, that he was