Two pages were there by my side, upon two little ponies,
Decked out in scarlet uniform, as spruce as macaronies;
Caparisoned my charger was, as grandly as his master,
And o'er my long and curly locks I wore a broad-brimned castor.

With my coal-black beard, &c.
The people all flocked forth, amazed to see a man so hairy,
Oh! such a sight had ne'er before been seen in Canterbury !
My flowing robe, my flowing beard, my horse with flowing mane, sirs !
Thiey stared—the days of chivalry, they thought, were come again, sirs !

With my coal-black beard, &c.
I told them a long rigmarole romance, that did not halt a
Jot, that they beheld in me a real knight of Malta!
Tom à Becket had I sworn I was, that saint and martyr hallowed,
I doubt not just as readily the bait they would have swallowed.

With my

coal-black beard, &c.
I rode about, and speechified, and everybody gullied,
The tavern-keepers diddled, and the magistracy bullied;
Like puppets were the townsfolk led in that show they call a rarce;
The Gotham sages were a joke to those of Canterbury.

coal-black beard, &c.
The theatre I next engaged, where I addressed the crowd, sirs,
And on retrenchment and reform I spouted long and loud, sirs ;
On tithes and on taxation ! enlarged with skill and zeal, sirs,
Who so able as a Malta knight, the malt tax to repeal, sirs.

With my coal-Ilack beard, &c.
As a candidate I then stepped forth to represent their city,
And my non-election to that place was certainly a pity;
For surely I the fittest was, and very proper, very,
To represent the wisdom and the wit of Canterbury.

With my coal-black beard, Sc.

With my

time of day. There were, indeed, some suspicious appearances of a rear approach to forty, if not two or three years beyond it; but these were fondly ascribed to his foreign trarels in distant and insalubrious climes; he had acquired his duskiness of complexion, and his strength of feature and violence of gesture, and his profusion of beard, in Egypt and Syria,

in exploring the catacombs of the one country, and bouing at the shrines of the other. On the other hand, the brilliancy of his eye, the melody of his voice, and the elasticity of his muscles and limbs, were sufficient arguments in favour of his having scarcely passed the limit that separates manhood from youth.

"All doubts on these points were removed, when the crowd of his fair admirers visited him at the retirement of his inn, and the intervals of his polling. These sut-Rosa interviews we allude to the name of the inn, and not to anything like privacy there, which the very place and number of the visitors alto. gether precluded-convinced them that he was even a younger and lovelier man than his rather boisterous behaviour in the hall would allow them to hope. in fact, he was now installed by acclamation Knight of Canterbury as well as Malta, and King of Kent as well as Jerusalem! It became dangerous then to whisper a syllable of suspicion against his wealth or rank, his wisdom or beauty; and all who would not bow down before this golden image were deemed worthy of no better fate than Shadrach, Meshech, and Abednego-to be cast into a burning fiery furnace.

As a sequel to the above story, it may be added, that the knight of Malta oecame the inmate of a lunatic asylum ; and on his liberation was shot at the head of a band of Kentish hinds, whom he had persuaded that he was the Messialı!

At the trial of some smugglers next, one thing I rather qucer did,
And the justices upon the bench I literally beurded ;
For I swore that l'some casks did see, though proved as clear as day, sirs,
That I happened at the time to be some fifty miles away, sirs.



coal-black beard, 8c.
This last assertion, I must own, was somewhat of a blunder,
And for perjury indicted they compelled me to knock under;
To my prosperous career this slight error put a stop, sirs,
And thus crossed, the knight of Malta was at length obliged to hop sirs.

With his coal-black beard, and purple cloak,
jack-boots, and broad-brimned castor,

Good-by to the knight of Malta.

The knight sat down amidst the general plaudits of the company,

The party, meanwhile, had been increased by the arrival of Luke and the sexton. The former, who was in no mood for revelry, refused to comply with his grandsire's solicitation to enter, and remained sullenly at the door, with his arms folded, and his eyes fixed upon Turpin, whose movements he commanded through the canvas aperture. The sexton walked up to Dick, who was seated at the post of honour, and, clapping him upon the shoulder, congratulated him upon the comfortable position in which he found him.

“Ha, ha! Are you there, my old death's head on a mop-stick?" said Turpin, with a laugh. “ Ain't we merry mumpers, ch ? Keeping it up in style. Sit down, old Noah-make yourself comfortable, Methusalein.”' What

say you to a drop of as fine Nantz as you ever tasted in your life, old cove?” said Zoroaster.

“I have no sort of objection to it,” returned Peter, “provided you will all pledge my toast.”.

“That I will, were it old Ruffin himsell," shouted Turpin.

“Here's to the three-legged mare," cried Peter. “To the tree that bears fruit all the year round, and yet has neither bark nor branch. You won't refuse that toast, Captain Turpin?"

“Not I,” answered Dick; “I owe the gallows no grudge. If, as Jerry's song says, I must have a 'hearty choke and caper sauce for my breakfast one of these fine mornings, it shall never be said that I fell to my meal without appetite, or neglected saying grace before it. Gentlemen, here's Peter Bradley's toast, "The scragging post-the three-legged mare,' with three times three.”

Appropriate as this sentiment was, it did not appear to be so inviting to the party as might have been anticipated, and the shouts died

away. “They like not the thoughts of the gallows,” said Turpin to Peter. « More fools they. A mere bugbear to frighten children, believe me; and never yet alarmed a brave man. The gallows, pshaw! One can but die once, and what signifies it how, so that it be over quickly. I think no more of the last leap into eternity than clearing a five-barred gate. A rope's end for it! So let us be merry, and make the most of our time, and that's true philosophy. I know you can throw off a rum chant,” added he, turning to Peter. “Ť heard you sing last night at the hall. Troll us a stave, my antediluvian file, and, in the mean time, tip me a gage of fogus, * Jerry; and if that's a bowl of huckle-my-butt+ you are brewing, Sir William," added he, addressing the knight of Malta, "you may send me a jorum at your convenience."


Jerry handed the highwayman a pipe, together with a tumoler of the beverage which the knight had prepared, which he pronounced excellent; and while the huge bowl was passed round tc the company, a prelude of shawms announced that Peter was ready to break into song:

Accordingly, after the symphony was ended, accompanied at intervals by a single instrument, Peter began his melody, in a key so high, that the utmost exertions of the shawm-blower tailed to approach its altitudes. The burden of his minstrelsy was

Μώλύ δέ μιν καλέoυσι θεοί, χαλεπόν δέ τ' ορύσσειν
'Ανδράσι γε θνητοίσι θεοί, δε τε πάντα δύνανται.

The mandrake grows ’neath the gallows-tree,
And rank and green are its leaves to see;
Green and rank, as the grass that waves
Over the unctuous earth of graves;
And though all around it be bleak and bare,
Freely the mandrake flourisheth there.

Maranatha-Anathema !
Dread is the curse of mandragora !


* A pipe of tobacco. † A drink composed of beer, eggs, and brandr.

# The supposed malignant influence of this plant is frequently alıded to by our elder dramatists; and with one of the greatest of them, Webster (as mighis be expected from a muse revelling a ghoul in graves and sepulchres), it is an especial favourite. But none have plunged so deeply into the subject as Sir 'Thomas Browne. He tears up the fable root and branchi. Concerning the danger ensuing from eradication of the mandrake, the learned physician tus writes. “The last assertion is, that there follows a hazard of life to them that pull it up, that some evil sate pursues them, and that they live not very long hereafter. Therefore the attempt hereof among the ancients was not in ordinary way; but, as Pliny informeth, when they intended to take up the root of this plant, they took the wind thereof, and with a sword describing three circles about it, they digged it up, looking toward the west. A conceit not only injurious unto truth and confutable by daily experience, but somewhat derogatory unto the provi dence of God; bat is, not only to impose so destructive a quality on any plant, but to conceive a vegetable whose parts are so useful unto inany, should, in the only taking up, prove mortal unto any. This were to introduce a second for. bidden fruit, and enhance the first malediction, making it not only mortal for Adam to taste the one, but capital for his posterity to eradicate or dig up the other."--Vulgar Errors, book ii. c. vi.

At the foot of the gibbet the mandrake springs;
Just where the creaking carcase swings;
Some have thought it engendered
From the fat that drops from the bones of the icad;
Some have thought it a human thing;
But this is a vain imagining.

Dread is the curse of mandi

rugora :

A charnel leaf coth the mandrake wear,
A charnel fruit doth the mandrake bear;
Yet none like the mandrake hath such great power,
Such virtue resides not in herb or flower;
Aconite, hemlock, or moonshade, I ween,
None hath a poison so subtle and keen.


Anathema !
Dread is the curse of marbragora!

And whether the mandrake be create
Flesh with the power incorporate,
I know not; yet, if from the earth 'tis rent,
Shrieks and groans from the root are sent;
Shrieks and groans, and a sweat like gore
Oozes and drops from the clammy core.

Dread is the curse of mandragora!

Whoso gathereth the mandrake shall surely die;
Blood for blood is his destiny.
Some who have plucked it have died with groans,
Like to the mandrake's expiring moans ;
Some have died raving, and some beside-
With penitent prayers—but all have died.

Jesu! sare us by night and day!
From the terrible death of mandragora :


“A queer chant that,” said Zoroaster, coazzing loudly, in token of disapprobation.

“Not much to my taste," quoth the knight of Malta. “We like something more sprightly in Canterbury.”

“Nor to mine," added Jerry; “don't think its likely to have an encore. 'Pon my soul, Dick, you must give us something yourself, or we shall never cry Euthanasy at the Triple Tree.”

“With all my heart," replied Turpin. “You shall have, but what do I seg ny friend Sir Luke? Devil take my tongue, Luke Bradley, I mean. What, ho! Luke-nay, nay, man, no shrinking-stand forward; I've a word or two to say to you. We must have a hob-a-nob glass together for old acquaintance sake. Nay, no airs, man; damme you're not a lord yet, nor a baronet cither, though I do hold your title in my pocket; never look glum at me. It won't pay. I'm one of the Canting Crew now; no man shall sneer at me with impunity, eh, Zory? Ha, ha! here's a glass of Nantz; we'll have a bottle of black strap when you are master o your own. Make ready there, you gut-scrapers, you shawm


shavers; I'll put your lungs in play for you presently. In the mean time-charge, pals, charge-a toast, a toast! Health and prosperity to Sir

Luke Rookwood! I see you are surprised—this, gemmen, is Sir Luke Rookwood, somewhile Luke Bradley, heir to the house of that name, not ten miles distant from this. Say, shall we not drink a bumper to liis health?"

Astonishment prevailed amongst the crew. Luke himself had been taken by surprise. When Turpin discovered him at the door of the tent, and summoned him to appear, he reluctantly complied with the request; but when, in a half-bantering vein, Dick began to rally him upon his pretensions, he would most gladly have retreated, had it been in his power. It was then too late. He felt he must stand the ordeal. Every eye


him with a look of inquiry

Zoroaster took his everlasting pipe from his mouth.
“This ain't true, surely ?" asked the perplexed Magus.
“He has said it,” replied Luke; "I may not deny it."

This was sufficient. There was a wild hubbub of delight amongst the crew, for Luke was a favourite with all.

“Sir Luke Rookwood !" cried Jerry Juniper, who liked a title as much as Tommy Moore is said to dote upon a lord. “Upon my soul I sincerely congratulate you; devilish fortunate fellow. Always cursed unlucky myself. I could never find out my own father, unless it were one Monsicur des Capriolles, a French dancing-master, and he never left anything behind him that I could hear of, except a broken kit and a hempen widow. Sir Luke Rookwood, we shall do ourselves the pleasure of drinking your health and prosperity.”.

Fresh bumpers and immense cheering.

Silence being in a measure restored, Zoroaster claimed Turpin's promise of a song.

“True, true,” replied Dick; “I have not forgotten it. Stand to your bows, my hearties.”


Now Oliver (1) puts his black nightcap on,

And every star its glim (2) is hiding,
And forth to the heath is the scampsman (3) gone,

His matchless cherry-black (+) prancer riding;
Merrily over the common he flies,

Fast and free as the rush of rocket,
His crape-covered vizard drawn over his eyes,
His tol (5) by his side, and his pops ) in his pocket.

Then who can name
So merry a game,

As the game of all games-high toby? (7)
(1) The moon.

(2) Liglit.

(3) Highwayman. (4) “Cherry-coloured-black; there being black cherries as well as red.”. GROSE. (5) Sword. (6) Pistols.

(7) Highway robbery.

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