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conversation which took place? Such stuff is not worth repeating : no, not when uttered by people in the very genteelest of companý; as for the amorous dialogue of a carpenter and an ex-barmaid, it is worse still. Suffice it to say, that Mr. Hayes, who had had a year to recover from his passion, and had, to all appearances, quelled it, was over head and ears again the very moment he saw Mrs. Cat, and had all his work to do again.
Whether the Doctor knew what was going on, I can't say ; but this matter is certain, 'that every evening Hayes was now in the rectory kitchen, or else walking abroad with Mrs. Catherine; and whether she ran away with him, or he with her, I shall not make it my business to inquire ; but certainly at the end of three months (which must be crowded up
into this one little sentence), another elopement took place in the village. : "I should have prevented it, certainly,” said Dr. Dobbs—whereat his wife smiled; "but the young people kept the matter a secret from me.” And so he would, had he known it; but though Mrs. Dobbs had made several attempts to acquaint him with the precise hour and method of the intended elopement, he peremptorily ordered her to hold her tongue. The fact is, that the matter had been discussed by the rector's lady many times. “Young Hayes," would she say, “has a pretty little fortune and trade of his own; he is an only son, and may marry as he likes; and though not specially handsome, generous, or amiable, has an undeniable love for Cat (who, you know, must not be particular), and the sooner she marries him, I think, the better. They can't be married at our church, you know, and- “Well,” said the Doctor, “if they are married elsewhere, I can't help it, and know nothing about it, look you." And upon this hint the elopement took place: which, indeed, was peaceably performed early one Sunday morning, about a month after; Mrs. Hall getting behind Mr. Hayes on a pillion, and all the children of the parsonage giggling behind the window-blinds to see the pair go off.
During this month Mr. Hayes had caused the banns to be published at the town of Worcester ; judging rightly that in a great town they would cause no such remark as in a solitary village, and thither he conducted his lady. O ill-starred John
Hayes ! whither do the dark fates lead you? O foolish Dr. Dobbs, to forget that young people ought to honour their parents, and to yield to silly Mrs. Dobbs's ardent propensity for making matches !
The London Gazette of the ist April, 1706, contains a proclamation by the Queen for putting into execution an Act of Parliament for the encouragement and increase of seamen, and for the better and speedier manning of her Majesty's fleet, which authorizes all justices to issue warrants to constables, petty constables, headboroughs, and tything-men, to enter, and, if need be, to break open the doors of any houses where they shall believe deserting seamen to be; and for the further increase and encouragement of the navy, to take able-bodied landsmen when seamen fail. This Act, which occupies four columns of the Gazette, and another of similar length and meaning for pressing men into the army, need not be quoted at length here; but caused a mighty stir throughout the kingdom at the time when it was in force.
As one has seen or heard, after the march of a great army, a number of rogues and loose characters bring up the rear ; in like manner, at the tail of a great measure of State, follow many roguish personal interests, which are protected by the main body. The great measure of Reform, for instance, carried along with it much private jobbing and swindling—as could be shown were we not inclined to deal mildly with the Whigs; and this Enlistment Act, which, in order to maintain the British glories in Flanders, dealt most cruelly with the British people in England (it is not the first time that a man has been pinched at home to make a fine appearance abroad), created a great company of rascals and informers throughout the land, who lived upon it; or upon extortion from those who were subject to it, or not being subject to it were frightened into the belief that they were.
When Mr. Hayes and his lady had gone through the marriage ceremony at: Worcester, the former, concluding that at such a place lodging and food might be procured at a cheaper rate, looked about carefully for the meanest publichouse in the town, where he might deposit his bride.
In the kitchen of this inn, a party of men were drinking ; and, as Mrs. Hayes declined, with a proper sense of her superiority, to eat in company with such low fellows, the landlady showed her and her husband to an inner apartment, where they might be served in private.
The kitchen party seemed, indeed, not such as a lady would choose to join. There was one huge lanky fellow, that looked like a soldier, and had a halberd ; another was habited in a sailor's costume, with a fascinating patch over one eye; and a third, who seemed the leader of the gang, was a stout man in a sailor's frock and a horseman's jack-boots, whom one might fancy, if he were anything, to be a horse-marine.
Of one of these worthies, Mrs. Hayes thought she knew the figure and voice; and she found her conjectures were true, when, all of a sudden, three people, without “with your
or “by your leave," burst into the room, into which she and her spouse had retired. At their head was no other than her old friend, Mr. Peter Brock; he had his sword drawn, and his finger to his lips, enjoining silence, as it were, to Mrs. Catherine. He with the patch on his eye seized incontinently on Mr. Hayes; the tall man with the halberd kept the door ; two or three heroes supported the one-eyed man; who, with a loud voice, exclaimed, “ Down with your
-no resistance ! you are my prisoner, in the Queen's name !"
And here, at this lock, we shall leave the whole company until the next chapter ; which may possibly explain what they were.
CONTAINS MR. BROCK'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY, AND OTHER
"You don't sure believe these men?" said Mrs. Hayes, as soon as the first alarm caused by the irruption of Mr. Brock and his companions had subsided. “These are no magistrate's men : it is but a trick to rob
your money, John." "I will never give up a farthing of it !” screamed Hayes.
“Yonder fellow,” continued Mrs. Catherine, “I know, for all his drawn sword and fierce looks; his name is
“Wood, madam, at your service !” said Mr. Brock. “I am follower to Mr. Justice Gobble, of this town; a'n't I, Tim?” said Mr. Brock to the tall halberd-man who was keeping the door.
“Yes, indeed," said Tim, archly; "we're all followers of his honour, Justice Gobble.”
“Certainly !” said the one-eyed man.
I suppose, madam, you're satisfied now ?" continued Mr. Brock a. Wood. “You can't deny the testimony of gentlemen like these; and our commission is to apprehend all able-bodied male persons who can give no good account of themselves, and enrol them in the service of her Majesty. Look at this Mr. Hayes ” (who stood trembling in his shoes). "Can there be a bolder, properer, straighter gentleman? We'll have him for a grenadier before the day's over !.”
“Take heart, John--don't be frightened. Psha! I tell you I know the man,” cried out Mrs. Hayes : She is only here to extort money."
“Oh, for that matter, I do think I recollect the lady. Let me see? where was it? At Birmingham, I think, -ay, at Birmingham, -about the time when they tried to murder Count Gal
“Oh, sir!” here cried Madam Hayes, dropping her voice at once from a tone of scorn to one of gentlest entreaty, "what is it you want with my husband? I know not, indeed, if ever I saw you before. For what do you seize him? How much will you take to release him, and let us go? Name the sum; he is rich, and“Rich, Catherine !” cried Hayes.
6. Rich !0 heavens ! Sir, I have nothing but my hands to support me: I am a poor carpenter, sir, working under my father!”
“He can give twenty guineas to be free; I know he can!” said Mrs. Cat.
“I have but a guinea to carry me home,” sighed out Hayes.
“But you have twenty at home, John," said his wife. “Give these brave gentlemen a writing to your mother, and she will pay; and you will let us free then, gentlemen--won't
“When the money's paid, yes," said the leader, Mr. Brock.
Oh, in course," echoed the tall man with the halberd. “What's a thrifling detintion, my dear?" continued he, addressing Hayes. “We'll amuse you in your absence, and drink to the health of your pretty wife here."
This promise, to do the halberdier justice, he fulfilled. He called upon the landlady to produce the desired liquor ; and when Mr. Hayes flung himself at that lady's feet, demanding succour from her, and asking whether there was no law in the land
“There's no law at the 'Three Rooks' except this .!” said Mr. Brock in reply, holding up a horse-pistol. To which the hostess, grinning, assented, and silently went her way.
After some further solicitations, John Hayes drew out the necessary letter to his father, stating that he was pressed, and would not be set free under a sum of twenty guineas; and that it would be of no use to detain the bearer of the letter, inasmuch as the gentlemen who had possession of him vowed that they would murder him should any harm befall their comrade. As a further proof of the authenticity of the letter, a token was added : a ring that Hayes wore, and that his mother had given him.
The missives were, after some consultation, entrusted to the care of the tall halberdier, who seemed to rank as second in command of the forces that marched under Corporal Brock. This gentleman was called indifferently Ensign, Mr., or even Captain Macshane; his intimates occasionally in sport called him Nosey, from the prominence of that feature in his countenance; or Spindleshins, for the very reason which brought on the first Edward a similar nickname. Mr. Macshane then quitted Worcester, mounted on Hayes's horse; leaving all parties at the “Three Rooks” not a little anxious for his return.
This was not to be expected until the next morning ; and a weary nuit de noces did Mr. Hayes pass. Dinner was served, and, according to promise, Mr. Brock and his two friends enjoyed the meal along with the bride and bridegroom. Punch followed, and this was taken in company; then came supper. Mr. Brock alone partook of this, the other two gentlemen preferring the society of their pipes and the landlady in the kitchen.