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was just making a small experiment with it
on the force of springs. I believe I shall yet
prove that much may be done with springs —
more perhaps, and certainly at far less expense,
than with gunpowder, which costs greatly, is
very troublesome to make, occupies much
space, and is always like an unstable, half-
treacherous friend within the gates — to say
nothing of the expense of cannon — ten times
that of an engine of timber and springs. See
what a strong chain your shot has broken !
Shall I show you how the thing works ? '

He spoke in a gentle, even rapid voice, a
little hesitating now and then, more, through
the greater part of this long utterance, as if
he were thinking to himself than addressing
another. Neither his tone nor manner were
those of an underling, but Dorothy's startled
nerves had communicated their tremor to
her modesty, and with a gentle ' No, sir, I

The Two Marquises, 177

thank you ; I must be gone,' she hurried

Daring now a Httle more for fear of worse,
the first door she tried proved that of her own
room, and it was with a considerable sense of
relief, as well as with weariness and tremor,
that she nestled herself into the high window-
seat, and looked out into the quadrangle. The
shadow of the citadel had gone to pay its after-
noon visit to the other court, and that of the
gateway was thrown upon the chapel, partly
shrouding the white horse, whose watery music
was now silent, but allowing one red ray, which
entered by the iron grating above the solid
gates, to fall on his head, and warm its cold
whiteness with a tinge of delicate pink. The
court was more still and silent than in the
morning ; only now and then would a figure
pass from one door to another, along the side
of the buildings, or by one of the tiled paths
dividing the turf. A large peacock was slowly
crossing the shadowed grass with a stately strut
and rhythmic thrust of his green neck. The
moment he came out into the sunlieht, he
spread his wheeled fan aloft, and slowly pirou-
etting, if the word can be allowed where two


1 78 St George and St, Michael.

legs are needful, in the very acme of vanity,
turned on all sides the quivering splendour of
its hundred eyes, where blue and green burst in
the ecstasy of their union into a vapour of gold,
that the circle of the universe might see. And
truly the bird's vanity had not misled his judg-
ment : it was a sight to make the hearts of the
angels throb out a dainty phrase or two more
in the song of their thanksgiving. Some
pigeons, white, and blue-grey, with a lovely
mingling and interplay of metallic lustres on
their feathery throats, but with none of that
almost grotesque obtrusion of over-driven indi-
viduality of kind, in which the graciousness of
common beauty is now sacrificed to the whim
of the fashion the vulgar fancier initiates,
picked up the crumbs under the windows of
lady Margaret's nursery, or flew hither and
thither among the roofs with wapping and
whiffling wing.

But still from the next court came many and
various mingling noises. The sounds of drill
had long ceased, but those of clanking hammers
were heard the more clearly, now one, now two,
now several together. The smaller, clearer one
was that of the armourer, the others those of

The Two Marquises. 179

the great smithy, where the horse-shoes were
made, the horses shod, the smaller pieces of
ordnance repaired, locks and chains mended,
bolts forged, and, in brief, every piece of metal
about the castle, from the cook's skillet to the
winches and chains of the drawbridges, set
right, renewed, or replaced. The forges were
far from where she sat, outside the farthest of
the two courts, across which, and the great hall
dividing them, the clink, clink, the clank, and
the ringing clang, softened by distance and
interposition, came musical to her ear. The
armourer's hammer was the keener, the quicker,
the less intermittent, and yet had the most
variations of time and note, as he shifted the
piece on his anvil, or changed breastplate for
gorget, or greave for pauldron — or it might be
sword for pike-head or halbert Mingled with
it came now and then the creak and squeak of
the wooden wheel at the draw-well near the
hall-door in the farther court, and the muffled
splash of the bucket as it struck the water deep
in the shaft. She even thought she could hear
the drops dripping back from it as it slowly
ascended, but that was fancy. Everywhere
arose the auricular vapour, as it were, of action,

1 8.0 St George and St. Michael,

undefined and indefinable, the hum of the
human hive, compounded of all confluent noises
— the chatter of the servants' hall and the
nursery, the stamping of horses, the ringing of
harness, the ripping of the chains of kenneled
dogs, the hollow stamping of heavy boots, the
lowing of cattle, with sounds besides so strange
to the ears of Dorothy that they set her puzzling
in vain to account for them ; not to mention
the chaff of the guard-rooms by the gates, and
the scoldino- and clatter of the kitchen. This
last, indeed, was audible only when the doors
were open, for the walls of the kitchen, whether
it was that the builders of it counted cookery
second only to life, or that this had been judged,
from the nature of the ground outside, the
corner of all the enclosure most likely to be
attacked, were far thicker than those of any of
the other towers, with the one exception of the
keep itself.

As she sat listening to these multitudinous
exhalations of life around her, yet with a feeling
of loneliness and a dim sense of captivity, from
the consciousness that hug^e surrounding walls
rose between her and the green fields, of which,
from earliest memory, she had been as free as

The Two Marquises. i8i

the birds and beetles, a white rabbit, escaped
from the arms of Its owner, Httle Mary Somer-
set, lady Margaret's only child, a merry but
delicate girl not yet three years old, suddenly
darted like a flash of snow across the shadowy
green, followed In hot haste a moment after by
a fine-looking boy of thirteen and two younger
girls, after whom toddled tiny Mary. Dorothy
sat watching the pursuit, accompanied with
sweet outcry and frolic laughter, when in a
moment the sounds of their merriment changed
to shrieks of terror, and she saw a huge mastiff
come bounding she knew not whence, and rush
straight at the rabbit, fierce and fast. When
the little creature saw him, struck with terror It
stopped dead, cowered on the sward, and was
stock still. But Henry Somerset, who was but
a few paces from it, reached It before the dog,
and caught It up In his arms. The rush of the
dog threw him down, and they rolled over and
over, Henry holding fast the poor rabbit.

By this time Dorothy was half-way down the
stair : the moment she caught sight of the dog
she had flown to the rescue. When she issued
from the porch at the foot of the grand stair-
case, Henry was up again, and running for the

1 82 St George and St. Michael.

house with the rabbit yet safe in his arms,
pursued by the mastiff. Evidently the dog had
not harmed him — but he might get angry.
The next moment she saw, to her joy and
dismay both at once, that It was her own dog.

' Marquis ! Marquis ! ' she cried, calHng him
by his name.

He abandoned the pursuit at once, and went
bounding to her. She took him by the back
of the neck, and the displeasure manifest upon
the countenance of his mistress made him cower
at her feet, and wince from the open hand that
threatened him. The same Instant a lattice
window over the gateway was flung open,
and a voice said —

* Here I am. Who called me ? '

Dorothy looked up. The children had
vanished with their rescued darling. There
was not a creature In the court but herself, and
there was the marquis, leaning half out of the
window, and looking about.

* Who called me ? ' he repeated — angrily,
Dorothy thought.

All at once the meaning of it flashed upon
her, and she was confounded — ready to sink
with annoyance. But she was not one to

The Two Marquises, 183

hesitate when a thing had to be done. Keeping
her hold of the dog's neck, for his collar was
gone, she dragged him half-way towards the
gate, then turning up to the marquis a face like a
peony, replied —

* I am the culprit, my lord.'

' By St. George ! you are a brave damsel,
and there Is no culpa that I know of, except on
the part of that intruding cur.'

* And the cur's mistress, my lord. But,
indeed, he is no cur, but a true mastiff.'

' What ! is the animal thy property, fair
cousin ? He is more than I bargained for.'

* He Is mine, my lord, but I left him chained
when I set out from Wyfern this morning.
That he got loose I confess I am not astonished,
neither that he tracked me hither, for he has
the eyes of a gaze-hound, and the nose of a
bloodhound ; but it amazes me to find him In
the castle.'

' That must be inquired into,' said the

* I am very sorry he has carried himself so
ill, my lord. He has put me to great shame.
But he hath more in him than mere brute, and
understands when I beg you to pardon him.

I S4 S^. Geo7'ge aiid St, Michael.

He misbehaved himself on purpose to be taken
to me, for at home no one ever dares punish
him but myself.'

The marquis laughed.

* If you are so completely his mistress then,
why did you call on me far help ? '

* Pardon me, my lord ; I did not so.'

* Why, I heard thee call me two or three
times ! '

* Alas, my lord ! I called him Marquis when
he was a pup. Everybody about Redware
knows Marquis.'

The animal cocked his ears and started
each time his name was uttered, and yet
seemed to understand well enough that all
the talk was about him and his misdeeds.

* Ah ! ha ! ' said his lordship, with a twinkle
In his eye, * that begets complications. Two
marquises In Raglan ? Two kings In Eng-
land ! The thing cannot be. What is to be
done ? ' .

' I must take him back, my lord ! I cannot
send him, for he would not go. I dread they
will not be able to hold him chained ; in which
evil case I fear me I shall have to go, my lord,
and take the perils of the time as they come.'

The Tzuo Marquises, 185

* Not of necessity so, cousin, while you can
choose between us ; — although I freely grant
that a marquis with four legs is to be preferred
before a marquis with only two. — But what if
you changed his name ? '

' I fear it could not be done, my lord. He
has been Marquis all his life.'

* And I have been marquis only six months !

Clearly he hath the better right . But

there would be constant mistakes between us,
for I cannot bring myself to lay aside the
honour his majesty hath conferred upon me,
" which would be worn now in its newest gloss,
not cast aside so soon," as master Shakspere
says. Besides, it would be a slight to his
majesty, and that must not be thought of —
not for all the dogs in parliament or out of
it. No — it would breed factions in the castle
too. No ; one of us two must die.'

* Then, indeed, I must go,' said Dorothy,
her voice trembling as she spoke ; for although
the words of the marquis were merry, she yet
feared for her friend.

' Tut ! tut ! let the older marquis die : he has
enjoyed the title ; I have not. Give him to
Tom Fool : he will drown him in the moat.

1 86 SL George and St. Michael.

He shall be buried with honour — under his
rival's favourite apple - tree in the orchard.
What more could dog desire ? '

' No, my lord,' answered Dorothy. ' WiL
you allow me to take my leave ? If I only
knew where to find my horse ! '

* What ! would you saddle him yourself,
cousin Vaughan ? '

* As well as e'er a knave in your lordship's
stables. I am very sorry to displease you, but
to my dog's death I cannot and will not con-
sent. Pardon me, my lord.'

The last words brought with them a stifled
sob, for she scarcely doubted any more that he
was in earnest.

* It is assuredly not gratifying to a marquis
of the king's making to have one of a damsel's
dubbing take the precedence of him. I fear
you are a roundhead and hold by the parlia-
ment. But no — that cannot be, for you are
willing to forsake your new cousin for your old
dog. Nay, alas ! it is your old cousin for your
young dog. Puritan ! puritan ! Well, it can-
not be helped. But what ! you would ride
home alone ! Evil men are swarming, child.
This sultry weather brings them out like flies.'

The Two Marquises. 187

' I shall not be alone, my lord. Marquis will
take good care of me.'

' Indeed, my lord marquis will pledge him-
self to nothing outside his own walls.'

' I meant the dog, my lord.'

* Ah ! you see how awkward It Is. However,
as you will not choose between us— and to tell
the truth, I am not yet quite prepared to die —
we must needs encounter what Is Inevitable. I
will send for one of the keepers to take him to
the smithy, and get him a proper collar — one he
can't slip like that he left at home — and a

' I must go with him myself, my lord. They
will never manage him else.'

* What a demon you have brought Into my
peaceable house ! Go with him, by all means.
And mind you choose him a kennel yourself. —
You do not desire him in your chamber, do you,
mistress ?'

Dorothy secretly thought It would be the best
place for him, but she was only too glad to
have his life spared.

'No, my lord, I thank you,' she said. ' — I
thank your lordship with all my heart.'

The marquis disappeared from the window.

] 88 5/. George and St. Michael,

Presently young Scudamore came into the
court from the staircase by the gate, and
crossed to the hall — in a few minutes returning
with the keeper. The man would have taken
the dog by the neck to lead him away, but a
certain form of canine curse, not loud but deep,
and a warning word from Dorothy, made him
withdraw his hand.

' Take care, Mr. Keeper,' she said, ' he is
dangerous. I will go with him myself, if thou
wilt show me whither.'

' As it please you, mistress,' answered the
keeper, and led the way across the court.

' Have you not a word to throw at a poor
cousin, mistress Dorothy ?' said Rowland, when
the man was a pace or two in advance.

'No, Mr. Scudamore,' answered Dorothy ;
' not until we have first spoken in my lord
Worcester's or my lady Margaret's presence.'

Scudamore fell behind, followed her a little
way, and somewhere vanished.

Dorothy followed the keeper across the hall,
the size of which, its height especially, and the
splendour of its windows of stained glass,
almost awed her ; then across the next court
to the foot of the Library Tower forming the

The Two Marquises, 189

south-east corner of it, near the two towers
flanking the main entrance. Here a stair led
down, through the wall, to a lower level out-
side, where were the carpenters' and all other
workshops, the forges, the stables, and the farm-
yard buildings.

As it happened, when Dorothy entered the
smithy, there was her own little horse being
shod, and Marquis and he interchanged a whine
and a whinny of salutation, while the men
stared at the bright apparition of a young lady
in their dingy regions. Having heard her
business, the head-smith abandoned everything
else to alter an iron collar, of which there were
several lying about, to fit the mastiff, the pre-
sence of whose mistress proved entirely neces-
sary. Dorothy had Indeed to put it on him
with her own hands, for at the sound of the
chain attached to It he began to grow furious,
growling fiercely. When the chain had been
made fast with a staple driven into a strong
kennel-post, and his mistress proceeded to take
her leave of him, his growling changed to the
most piteous whining ; but when she actually
left him there, he flew into a rage of indignant
affection. After trying the strength of his

1 90 SL Geo7'ge and St. Michael,

chain, however, by three or four bounds, each
so furious as to lay him sprawHng on his back,
he yielded to the inevitable, and sullenly crept
into his kennel, while Dorothy walked back to
the room which had already begun to seem to
her a cell.



OROTHY went straight to lady
Margaret's parlour, and made her
humble apology for the trouble and
alarm her dog had occasioned. Lady
Margaret assured her that the children were
nothing the worse, not having been even much
terrified, for the dog had not gone a hair's-
breadth beyond rough play. Poor bunny was
the only one concerned who had not yet re-
covered his equanimity. He did not seem
positively hurt, she said, but as he would not
eat the lovely clover under his nose where he
lay in Molly's crib, it was clear that the circula-
tion of his animal spirits had been too rudely
checked. Thereupon Dorothy begged to be
taken to the nursery, for, being familiar with

192 SL George and St. Michael.

all sorts of tame animals, she knew rabbits well.
As she stood with the little creature in her
arms, gently stroking its soft whiteness, the
children gathered round her, and she bent
herself to initiate a friendship with them,
while doing her best to comfort and restore
their favourite. Success in the latter object
she found the readiest way to the former.
Under the sweet galvanism of her stroking
hand the rabbit was presently so much better
that when she offered him a blade of the
neglected clover, the equilateral triangle of
his queer mouth was immediately set in
motion, the trefoil vanished, and when he
was once more placed in the crib he went
on with his meal as if nothing had happened.
The children were in ecstasies, and cousin
Dorothy was from that moment popular and
on the way to be something better.

When supper time came, lady Margaret
took her again to the dining-room, where
there was much laughter over the story of
the two marquises, lord Worcester driving
the joke in twenty different directions, but
so kindly that Dorothy, instead of being dis-
concerted or even discomposed thereby, found

The Magicians Vault, 193

herself emboldened to take a share In the
merriment. When the company rose, lady
Margaret once more led her to her own
room, where, working at her embroidery frame,
she chatted with her pleasantly for some time.
Dorothy would have been glad If she had set
her work also, for she could 111 brook doing
nothing. Notwithstanding her quietness of
demeanour, amounting at times to an appear-
ance of Immobility, her nature was really an
active one, and It was hard for her to sit with
her hands In her lap. Lady Margaret at length
perceived her discomfort.

* I fear, my child, I am wearying you,* she

* It is only that I want something to do,
madam,' said Dorothy.

* I have nothing at hand for you to-night,'
returned lady Margaret. * Suppose we go and
find my lord ; — I mean my own lord Herbert.
I have not seen him since we broke fast to-
gether, and you have not seen him at all. I am
afraid he must think of leaving home again
soon, he seems so anxious to get something or
other finished.'

As she spoke, she pushed aside her frame,


194 '^^' George and St. Michael.

and telling Dorothy to go and fetch herself a
cloak, went into the next room, whence she
presently returned, wrapped in a hooded mantle.
As soon as Dorothy came, she led her along
the corridor to a small lobby whence a stair
descended to the court, issuing close by the

* I shall never learn my way about,' said
Dorothy. ' If it were only the staircases, they
are more than my memory will hold.'

Lady Margaret gave a merry little laugh.

* Harry set himself to count them the other
day,' she said. * I do not remember how many
he made out altogether, but I know he said
there were at least thirty stone ones.'

Dorothy's answer was an exclamation.

But she was not in the mood to dwell upon
the mere arithmetic of vastness. Invaded by
the vision of the mighty structure, its aspect
rendered yet more imposing by the time which
now suited with it, she forgot lady Margaret's
presence, and stood still to gaze.

The twilight had deepened half-way into
night. There was no moon, and in the dusk
the huge masses of building rose full of mystery
and awe. Above the rest, the great towers on

The Magicians Vault. 195

all sides seemed by indwelling might to soar
into the regions of air. The pile stood there,
the epitome of the story of an ancient race, the
precipitate from its vanished life — a hard core
that had gathered in the vaporous mass of
history — the all of solid that remained to
witness of the past.

She came again to herself with a start. Lady
Margaret had stood quietly waiting for her
mood to change. Dorothy apologised, but her
mistress only smiled and said,

' I am in no haste, child. I like to see
another impressed as I was when first I stood
just where you stand now. Come, then, I will
show you something diflferent.'

She led the way along the southern side of
the court until they came to the end of the
chapel, opposite which an archway pierced the
line of building, and revealed the mighty bulk
of the citadel, the only portion of the castle,
except the kitchen-tower, continuing impreg-
nable to enlarged means of assault : gunpowder
Itself, as yet far from perfect in composition and
make, and conditioned by clumsy, uncertain,
and Ill-adjustable artillery, was nearly powerless
aeainst walls more than ten feet in thickness.

196 SL George and St, Michael,

I have already mentioned that one pecuHar-
ity of Raglan was a distinct moat surrounding
Its keep. Immediately from the outer end of
the archway, a Gothic bridge of stone led
across this thirty-foot moat to a narrow walk
which encompassed the tower. The walk was
Itself encompassed and divided from the moat
by a wall with six turrets at equal distances,
surmounted by batdements. At one time the
sole entrance to the tower had been by a draw-
bridge dropping across the walk to the end of
the stone bridge, from an arched door in the
wall, whose threshold was some ten or twelve
feet from the ground ; but another entrance
had since been made on the level of the walk,
and by it the two ladies now entered. Pass-
ing the foot of a great stone staircase, they
came to the door of what had, before the
opening of the lower entrance, been a vaulted
cellar, probably at one time a dungeon, at a
later period a place of storage, but now put
to a very different use, and wearing a stranger
aspect than It could ever have borne at any
past period of its story — a look indeed of
mystery inexplicable.

When Dorothy entered she found herself In

The Magicians Vault. 197

a large place, the form of which she could ill
distinguish in the dull light proceeding from
the chinks about the closed doors of a huge
furnace. The air was filled with gurglings and
strange low groanings, as of some creature in
dire pain. Dorothy had as good nerves as
ever woman, yet she could not help some
fright as she stood alone by the door and
stared into the gloomy twilight into which
her companion had advanced. As her eyes
became used to the ruddy dusk, she could
see better, but everywhere they lighted on
shapes inexplicable, whose forms to the first
questioning thought suggested instruments of
torture ; but cruel as some of them looked,
they were almost too strange, contorted, fan-
tastical for such. Still, the wood-cuts in a
certain book she had been familiar with in
childhood, commonly called Fox's Book of
Martyrs, kept haunting her mind's eye — and
were they not Papists into whose hands she
had fallen ? she said to herself, amused at the
vagaries of her own involuntary suggestions.

Among the rest, one thing specially caught
her attention, both from its size and its com-
plicated strangeness. It was a huge wheel

198 SL George and St. Michael.

standing near the wall, supported between
two strong uprights — some twelve or fifteen
feet in diameter, with about fifty spokes, from
every one of which hung a large weight.
Its grotesque and threatful character was
greatly increased by the mingling of its one
substance with its many shadows on the wall
behind it. So intent was she upon it that she
started when lady Margaret spoke.

' Why, mistress Dorothy ! ' she said, * you
look as if you had wandered into St. Anthony's
cave ! Here is my lord Herbert to welcome
his cousin.'

Beside her stood a man rather under the
middle stature, but as his back was to the
furnace this was about all Dorothy could dis-
cover of his appearance, save that he was in
the garb of a workman, with bare head and
arms, and held in his hand a long iron rod

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