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vol.. II,






VOL. 11.



\_All rights reserved]

Digitized by the Internet Archive

in 2010 with funding from

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign





XVI. They make ready for the Illus-
trious Stranger i

XVII. Containing two Fainting Fits and a

Bewilderment 25

XVIII. The Night after the Arrival . . 4-

XIX. Miss Johnson's Behaviour causes no

little Surprise 55

XX, How they lessened the Effect of

the Calamity 7S

XXI. 'Upon the Hill he turned' . . 95



XXI 1. The Two Households United . . . iit

XXIII. Military Preparations on an ex-
tended SCALE 139

XXIV. A Letter, a Visitor, and a Tin Box . 165

XXV. FestOs SHOWS HIS Love . . . . 178

XXVI. The Alarm. ...... 194

XXVII. Danger to Anne ...... 227

XXVIII. Anne does Wonders . . . .247





- Preparations for Matilda's welcome, and
for the event which was to follow, at once
occupied the attention of the mill. The
miller and his man had but dim notions of
housewifery on any large scale ; so the great
wedding cleaning was kindly supervised by
Mrs. Garland, Bob being mostly away during
the day with his brother, the trumpet-major,
on various errands, one of which was to buy
paint and varnish for the gig that Matilda



was to be fetched In, which he had determined
to decorate with his own hands.

By the widow's direction the old famiHar
Incrustation of shining dirt, Imprinted along
the back of the settle by the heads of count-
less jolly sitters, was scrubbed and scraped
away ; the brown circle round the nail where-
on the miller hung his hat, stained by the
brim In wet weather, was whitened over ; the
tawny smudges of bygone shoulders In the
passage were removed without regard to a
certain genial and historical value which they
had acquired. The face of the clock, coated
with verdigris as thick as a diachylon plaster,
was rubbed till the figures emerged Into day ;
while, Inside the case of the same chrono-
meter, the cobwebs that formed triangular
hammocks, which the pendulum could hardly
wade through, were cleared away at one


Mrs. Garland also assisted at the Invasion
of worm-eaten cupboards, where layers of
ancient smells lingered on in the stagnant air,
and recalled to the reflective nose the many
good things that had been kept there. The
upper floors were scrubbed with such abun-
dance of water that the old-established death-
watches, wood-lice, and flour-worms were all
drowned, the suds trickling down into the
room below In so lively and novel a manner
as to convey the romantic notion that the
miller lived In a cave with dripping stalac-

They moved what had never been moved
before — the oak coffer, containing the miller's
wardrobe — a tremendous weight, what with
its locks, hinges, nails, dirt, framework, and
the hard stratification of old jackets, waist-
coats, and knee-breeches at the bottom, never
disturbed since the miller's wife died, and

E 2


half pulverised by the moths, whose flattened
skeletons lay amid the mass In thousands.

* It fairly makes my back open and shut ! *
said Loveday, as, In obedience to Mrs. Gar-
land's direction, he lifted one corner, the
grinder and David assisting" at the others.
* All together : speak when ye be going to
heave. Now!' And they heaved.

The pot covers and skimmers were
brought to such a state that, on examining
them, the beholder was not conscious of
utensils but of his own face in a condition of
hideous elasticity. The broken clock-line
was mended, the kettles rocked, the creeper
nailed up, and a new handle put to the
warming-pan. The large household lantern
was cleaned out, after three years of unin-
terrupted accumulation, the operation yield-
inof a cono^lomerate of candle-snuffs, candle-
ends, remains of matches, lamp-black, and


eleven ounces and a half of good grease —
Invaluable as dubbing for skltty boots and
ointment for cart-wheels.

Everybody said that the mill residence
had not been so thoroughly scoured for
twenty years. The miller and David looked
on with a sort of awe tempered by gratitude,
tacitly admitting by their gaze that this was
beyond what they had ever thought of. Mrs.
Garland supervised all with disinterested
benevolence. It would never have done, she
said, for his future daughter-in-law to see the
house In Its orloflnal state. She would have
taken a dislike to him, and perhaps to Bob

' Why don't ye come and live here with
me, and then you would be able to see
to It at all times ? ' said the miller as she
bustled about ao^aln. To which she answered
that she was conslderlnor- the matter, and


might In good time. He had previously in-
formed her that his plan was to put Bob and
his wife in the part of the house that she,
Mrs. Garland, occupied, as soon as she chose
to enter his, which relieved her of any fear of
being incommoded by Matilda.

The cooking for the wedding festivities
was on a proportionate scale of thorough-
ness. They killed the four supernumerary
chickens that had just begun to crow, and
the little curly-tailed barrow pig, in preference
to the sow ; not having been put up fattening
for more than five weeks it was excellent
small meat, and therefore more delicate and
likely to suit a town-bred lady's taste than
the large one, which, having reached the
weight of fourteen score, might have been
a little gross to a cultured palate. There
were also provided a cold chine, stuffed veal,
and two pigeon pies. Also seventy rings of


black-pot, a dozen of white-pot, and twenty-
five knots of tender and well-washed chitter-
lings, cooked plain, in case she should like a

As additional reserves there were sweet-
breads, and five milts, sewed up at one side
in the form of a chrysalis, and stuffed with
marjoram, thyme, sage, parsley, mint, groats,
rice, milk, chopped egg, and other ingre-
dients. They were afterwards roasted
before a slow fire like martyrs, and eaten hot.

The business of chopping so many herbs
for the various stuffings was found to be
aching work for women ; and David, the
miller, the grinder, and the grinder's boy
being fully occupied in their proper branches,
and Bob being very busy painting the gig
and touching up the harness, Loveday called
in a friendly dragoon of John's regiment who
was passing by, and he, being a muscular


man, willingly chopped all the afternoon for
a quart of strong, judiciously administered,
and all other victuals found, taking off his
jacket and gloves, rolling up his shirt-sleeves
and unfastening his collar in an honourable
and energetic way.

All windfalls and masfcrot- cored codlins
were excluded from the apple pies ; and as
there was no known dish larsfe enouoh for
the purpose, the puddings were stirred up in
the milking-pail, and boiled in the three-
legged bell- metal crock, of great weight and
antiquity, which every travelling tinker for
the previous thirty years had tapped with his
stick, coveted, made a bid for, and often
attempted to steal.

In the liquor line Loveday laid in an
ample barrel of Dorchester ' strong beer.'
This renowned drink — now almost as much
a thing of the past as Falstaff's favourite


beverage — was not only well calculated to
win the hearts of soldiers blown dry and
dusty by residence in tents on a hill-top, but
of any w^ayfarer whatever in that land. It
was of the most beautiful colour that the eye
of an artist in beer could desire ; full in body,
yet brisk as a volcano ; piquant, yet without
a twang; luminous as an autumn sunset ; free
from streakiness of taste ; but, finally, rather
heady. The masses worshipped it, the
minor gentry loved it more than w^ine, and
by the most illustrious county families it was
not despised. Anybody brought up for
being drunk and disorderly in the streets of
its natal borough, had only to prove that he
was a stranger to the place and its liquor to
be honourably dismissed by the magistrates,
as one overtaken in a fault that no man could
o^uard acjainst who entered the to;vn un-


In addition, Mr. Loveday also tapped a
hogshead of fine cider that he had had
mellowing in the house for several months,
having bought it of an honest down-country
man, who did not colour, for any special
occasion like the present. It had been
pressed from fruit judiciously chosen by an
old hand — Horner and Cleeves apples for the
body, a few Crimson- Kitties for colour, and
just a dash of Old Fivecorners for sparkle — a
selection originally made to please the palate
of a well-known temperate earl who was a
regular cider-drinker, and lived to be eighty-

On the morning of the Sunday appointed
for her coming Captain Bob Loveday set out
to meet his bride. He had been all the week
engaged in painting the gig, assisted by his
brother at odd times, and it now appeared of
a gorgeous yellow, with blue streaks, and


tassels at the corners, and red wheels out-
lined with a darker shade. He put In the
pony at half-past eleven, Anne looking at
him from the door as he packed himself Into
the vehicle and drove off. There may be
young women who look out at young men
driving to meet their brides as Anne looked
at Captain Bob, and yet are quite Indifferent
to the circumstances ; but they are not often
met with.

So much dust had been raised on the
highway by traffic resulting from the presence

of the Court at Weymouth that brambles
hanging from the fence, and giving a friendly
scratch to the wanderer s face, were dingy as
church cobwebs ; and the grass on the margin
had assumed a paper-shaving hue. Bob's
father had wished him to take David, lest,
from want of recent experience at the
whip, he should meet w^Ith any mishap ; but,


picturing to himself the awkwardness of three
in such circumstances, Bob would not hear
of this ; and nothing more serious happened
to his driving than that the wheel-marks
formed two beautiful serpentine lines along
the road during the first mile or two, before
he had got his hand In, and that the horse
shied at a mile-stone, a piece of paper, a
sleeping tramp, and a wheelbarrow, just to
make use of the opportunity of being in bad

He entered Dorchester between twelve
and one, and, putting up at the Old Grey-
hound, walked on to the Bow. Here, rather
dusty on the ledges of his clothes, he stood
and waited while the people in their best
summer dresses poured out of the three
churches round him. When they had all
gone, and a smell of cinders and gravy had
spread down the ancient high-street, and the


ple-dlshes from adjacent bakehouses had all
travelled past, he saw the mail coach rise
above the arch of Grey's Bridge, a quarter of
a mile distant, surmounted by swaying knobs,
which proved to be the heads of the outside

* That's the way for a man's bride to come
to him ! ' said Robert to himself with a feel-
ing of poetry ; and as the horn sounded and
the horses clattered up the street he walked
down to the Inn. The knot of hostlers and
inn-servants had gathered, the horses were
dragged from the vehicle, and the passengers
for Dorchester began to descend. Captain
Bob eyed them over, looked inside, looked
outside again ; to his disappointment INIatllda
was not there, nor her boxes, nor anything
that was hers. Neither coachman nor o^uard
had seen or heard of such a person at Salis-
bury ; and Bob walked slowly away.


Depressed by forebodings to an extent
which took away nearly a third of his appe-
tite, he sat down In the parlour of the Old
Greyhound to a slice from the family joint
of the landlord. This gentleman, who dined
in his shirt-sleeves, partly because it was
August, and partly from a sense that they
would not be so fit for public view farther on
in the week, suggested that Bob should wait
till three or four that afternoon, when the
road-waggon would arrive, as the lost lady
might have preferred that mode of convey-
ance ; and when Bob appeared rather hurt
at the suggestion, the landlord's wife assured
him, as a woman who knew good life, that
many genteel persons travelled in that way
during the present high price of provisions.
Loveday, who knew little of travelling by
land, readily accepted her assurance and
resolved to wait.


Wandering up and down the pavement,
or leaning against some hot v/all between the
waggon-office and the corner of the street
above, he passed the time away. It was a
still, sunny, drowsy afternoon, and scarcely a
soul was visible In the length and breadth of
the street. The office was not far from All
Saints' Church, and the church-windows being
open, he could hear the afternoon service
from where he lingered as distinctly as if he
had been one of the congregation. Thus he
was mentally conducted through the Psalms,
through the first and second lessons, through
the burst of fiddles and clarionets which
announced the evening-hymn, and well into
the sermon, before any signs of the waggon
could be seen upon the London road.

The afternoon sermons at this church
being of a dry and metaphysical nature at
that date, it was by a special providence that


the waggon-office was placed near the an-
cient fabric, so that whenever the Sunday
waggon was late, which it always was in hot
weather, in cold weather, in wet weather, and
in weather of almost every other sort, the
ratde, dismounting, and swearing outside
completely drowned the parson*s voice within,
and sustained the flagging Interest of the
congregation at precisely the right moment.
No sooner did the charity children begin to
writhe on their benches and adult snores grow
audible than the waggon arrived.

Captain Loveday felt a kind of sinking In
his poetry at the possibility of her for whom
they had made such preparations being in the
slow, unwieldy vehicle which crunched Its
way towards him ; but he would not give
In to the weakness. Neither would he walk
down the street to meet the waggon, lest she
should not be there. At last the broad


wheels drew up against the kerb, the wag-
eoner with his white smock-frock, and whip
as long as a fishing-line, descended from the
pony on which he rode alongside, and the
six broad-chested horses backed from their
collars and shook themselves. In another
moment something showed forth, and he
knew that Matilda was there.

Bob felt three cheers rise within him as
she stepped down ; but It being Sunday he
did not utter them. In dress, Miss Johnson
passed his expectations — a green and white
gown, with long, tight sleeves, a green silk
handkerchief round her neck and crossed in
front, a green parasol, and green gloves. It
was strano^e enouo^h to see this verdant cater-
pillar turn out of a road-waggon, and grace-
fully shake herself free from the bits of straw
and fluff which would usually gather on the

VOL. II. c


raiment of the grandest travellers by that

* But, my dear Matilda/ said Bob, when
he had kissed her three times with much
publicity — the practical step he had deter-
mined on seeming to demand that these
things should no longer be done in a corner
— * my dear Matilda, why didn't you come
by the coach, having the money for't and

* That's my scrimping ! ' said Matilda in
a delightful gush. * I know you won't be
offended when you know I did it to save
against a rainy day ! '

Bob, of course, was not offended, though
the glory of meeting her had been less ; and
even if vexation were possible, it would have
been out of place to say so. Still, he would
have experienced no little surprise had he
learnt the real reason of his Matilda's change


of plan. That angel had, In short, so wildly
spent Bob's and her own money in the adorn-
ment of her person before setting out, that
she found herself without a sufficient margin
for her fare by coach,' and had scrimped from
sheer necesity.

' Well, I have got the trap out at the
Greyhound,' said Bob. ' I don't know
whether it will hold your luggage and us too;
but It looked more respectable than the
w^aggon on a Sunday, and If there's not
room for the boxes I can walk alongside.'

' I think there will be room,' said Miss
Johnson mildly. And It was soon very evi-
dent that she spoke the truth ; for when her
property w^as deposited on the pavement, It
consisted of a trunk about eighteen inches
long, and nothing more.

' Oh — that's all ! ' said Captain Loveday,


c 2


' That's all,' said the young woman as-
suringly. ' I didn't want to give trouble, you
know, and what I have besides I have left at
my aunt's.'

* Yes, of course,' he answered readily.
* And as It's no bigger, I can carry it in my
hand to the inn, and so it will be no trouble
at all.'

He caught up the little box, and they
went side by side to the Greyhound ; and
in ten minutes they were trotting up the
Weymouth Road.

Bob did not hurry the horse, there being
many things to say and hear, for which the
present situation was admirably suited. The
sun shone occasionally into Matilda's face as
they drove on, its rays picking out all her
features to a great nicety. Her eyes would
have been called brown, but they were really
eel-colour, like many other nice brown eyes ;


they were well-shaped and rather bright,
though they had more of a broad shine than
a sparkle. She had a firm, sufficient nose,
which seemed to say of Itself that It was
good as noses go. She had rather a pic-
turesque way of wrapping her upper In her
lower lip, so that the red of the latter showed
strongly. Whenever she gazed against the
sun towards the distant hills, she brought
into her forehead, without knowing it, three
short vertical lines — not there at other times
— giving her for the moment rather a hard
look. And in turning her head round to a
far angle, to stare at something or other that
he pointed out, the drawn flesh of her neck
became a mass of lines. But Bob did not
look at these things, which, of course, were
of no significance ; for had she not told him,
when they compared ages, that she was a
little over two-and-twenty ?


As Nature was hardly invented at this
early point of the century, Eob's Matilda
could not say much about the glamour of
the hills, or the shimmering of the foliage,
or the wealth of glory in the distant sea, as
she would doubtless have done had she lived
farther on ; but she did her best to be inter-
esting, asking Bob about matters of social
interest in the neighbourhood, to which she
seemed quite a stranger.

* Is Weymouth a large city ? ' she inquired
when they mounted the hill where the Over-
combe folk had waited for the KinQf.

' Bless you, my dear — no ! 'Twould be
nothing if it wasn't for the Royal Family,
and the lords and ladies, and the regiments
of soldiers, and the frigates, and the King's
messengers, and the actors and actresses,
and the games that go on.'

At the words ' actors and actresses,' the


Innocent young thing pricked up her

' Does Elh'ston pay as good salaries this
summer as In ? '

* Oh, you know about It then ? I
thought '

' Oh no, no I I have heard of Weymouth
— read In the papers, you know, dear Robert,
about the dolnsfs there, and the actors and
actresses, ^'ou know.'

* Yes, yes, I see. Well, I have been away
from Encrland a lonsf time, and don't know
much about the theatre at Wevmouth ; but
I'll take you there some day. Would It be a
treat to }'ou ? '

'Oh, an amazing treat ! ' said ]\IIss John-
son, with an ecstasy In which a close observer
might have discovered a tinge of ghastllness.

' You've never been Into one perhaps,
dear ? '


' N — never,' said Matilda, flatly. 'What-
ever do I see yonder — a row of white things
on the down ? '

' Yes ; that's a part of the encampment
above Overcombe. Lots of soldiers are
encamped about here ; those are the white
tops of their tents.'

He pointed to a wing of the camp that
had become visible. Matilda was much in-

* It will make it very lively for us,' he
added ; ' especially as John is there.'

She thought so too, and thus they
chatted on.




Meanwhile Miller Loveday was expecting
the pair with interest ; and about five o'clock,
after repeated outlooks, he saw^ two specks
the size of caraway seeds on the far line of
ridofe where the sunlit white of the road met
the blue of the sky. Then the remainder
parts of Bob and his lady became visible,
and then the whole vehicle, end on, and
he heard the dry rattle of the wheels on
the dusty road. Miller Loveday's plan, as
far as he had formed any, was that Robert
and his wife should live with him In the mill-


house until Mrs. Garland made up her mind
to join him there ; In which event her present
house would be made over to the young
couple. Upon all grounds, he wished to
welcome becomingly the woman of his son's
choice, and came forward promptly as they
drew up at the door.

' What a lovely place youVe got here ! '
said Miss Johnson, when the miller had
received her from the captain. ' A real
stream of water, a real mill-wheel, and real
fowls, and everything ! '

' Yes, 'tis real enough,' said Loveday,
looklnof at the river with balanced senti-
ments ; ' and so you will say when you've
lived here a bit as mis'ess, and had the
trouble of clanlno- the furniture.'

At this Miss Johnson looked modest, and
continued to do so till Anne, not knowing
they were there, came round the corner of


the house, with her prayer-book in her hand,
having just arrived from church. Bob turned
and smiled to her, at which Miss Johnson
looked glum. How long she would have
remained in that phase is unknown, for just
then her ears were assailed by a loud bass
note from the other side, causing her to jump

' Oh la ! what dreadful thing Is it ? ' she
exclaimed, and beheld a cow of Loveday's,
of the name of Grumpier, standing close to
her shoulder. It being about milking-time,
she had come to look up David and hasten
on the operation.

' Oh, what a horrid bull ! — it did frighten
me so. I hope I shan't faint,' said Ma-

The miller immediately used the formula
which has been uttered by the proprietors of
live stock ever since Noah's time. * She


won't hurt ye. Hoosh, Grumpier ! She's as
timid as a mouse, ma am.*

But as Grumpier persisted in making
another terrific inquiry for David, Matilda
could not help closing her eyes and saying,
* Oh, I shall be gored to death ! ' her head
falling back upon Bob's shoulder, which —
seeing the urgent circumstances, and know-
ing her delicate nature— he had providen-
tially placed In a position to catch her.
Anne Garland, who had been standluQ:
at the corner of the house, not knowing
whether to go back or come on, at this
felt her womanly sympathies aroused. She
ran and dipped her handkerchief into the
splashing mill-tail, and with It damped Ma-
tilda's face. But as her eyes still remained
closed. Bob, to Increase the effect, took
the handkerchief from Anne and wrune
it out on the bridge of Matilda's nose,


whence It ran over the rest of her face in a

* Oh, Captain Loveday ! ' said Anne ;
* the water is running over her green silk
handkerchief, and into her pretty reticule ! '

' There — if I didn't think so ! ' exclaimed
Matilda, opening her eyes, starting up, and
promptly pulling out her own handkerchief,
with which she wiped away the drops, as-
sisted by Anne, who, in spite of her back-
ground of antagonistic emotions, could not

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