• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Matter
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Dedication
 Early morning
 Wichnor and Grublow
 The cottage in the wood
 Gabriel the third
 School-days
 Civil war
 Adventures in the woods
 Saturday evening
 Grublow Old Hall
 The white doe
 The new friend
 Temptation
 The conspiracy
 Sacrifice
 Conclusion
 Advertising






Group Title: steadfast Gabriel
Title: Steadfast Gabriel
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00061616/00001
 Material Information
Title: Steadfast Gabriel
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Howitt, Mary Botham,
Publisher: William and Robert Chambers
Place of Publication: Edinburgh
Publication Date: 1850
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Bibliographic ID: UF00061616
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltuf - ALH2270
alephbibnum - 002231883

Table of Contents
    Front Matter
        Front Matter
    Frontispiece
        Frontispiece
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
    Dedication
        Dedication
    Early morning
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
    Wichnor and Grublow
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
    The cottage in the wood
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
    Gabriel the third
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
    School-days
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
    Civil war
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
    Adventures in the woods
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
    Saturday evening
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
    Grublow Old Hall
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
    The white doe
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
    The new friend
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
    Temptation
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
    The conspiracy
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
    Sacrifice
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
    Conclusion
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
    Advertising
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
Full Text










CHAMBERS'S

LIBRARY FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.








THE


STEADFAST GABRIEL,


A TALE OF WICHNOR WOOD.



BY MARY HOWITT.












EDINBURGH:
WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS



























































XDINDBUR4R :

FPXJ?4D Dr W. AND I. CUAMMBU













TO



ARTHUR BATEMAN,



THE FOLLOWING STORY


IS


AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED



BY


THE AUTHOR.











TnE

STEADFAST GABRIEL.


CHAPTER I.--EALY MOmxGo.

On Saturday morning at the beginning of
September many year ago, the snm rose with
unusual splendour. It lit up the three tall
spires of the old cathedral of Minsterham, leav-
ing the dark-red brickwork of the Episcopal
palace below in deep shadow. It lit up the
old castle of the Montjoys, which usually looked
so dismal and deserted, and the beams of the
ascending luminary were reflected in the many
windows of its eastern front It lit up the tall,
red-roofed look-out of Wichnor Tower, with its
narrow slits of windows, its square doveoots, and
its gabled roof rising amid a dense mass of
wood below. It lit up many a height of Wichnor





% THE 8TRADFAST GABRIEL
Wood; gave a more golden hue to the scattered
corn-fields, and cast down floods of light into
lonely dells, where herds of deer were imprint-
ing the dew with their nimble feet.
Nobody, taking a bird's-eye glance at this
sylvan scene, would have found anything to
disturb its harmony. Rooks were abroad by
thousands cawing in the clear air, the song of.
the robin sounded through the early stillness,
and here and there was heard the crow of a
cock coming upwards from secluded homesteads.
Hares and rabbits hopped about by hundreds
in undisturbed possession of the dewy grass, but
as yet very few human beings were astir. The
old bishop slept in a great curtained bed within
his Episcopal palace; the old folks who lived in
the kitchen of the deserted castle slept also; so
did the gruf proud steward and head-ranger,
Jasper Merril, within a red-curtained chamber
of the old forest lodge ; Madam Merril, his wife,
was asleep too; and so were their children,
Gerald and Ellinor. The boy, however, was
dreaming of him who was to pay them a secret
visit that afternoon-of Gabriel Purcel, the
woodman's son, who was to mount the tower
with them and seek for owls. It was a strange






dream that he dreamt: the owls seemed to be-
come dragons, and the woodman's son a great
prince, who delivered him from their power.
Thus dreamed he while the dogs--the huge-
mouthed, strong-limbed hounds, which were
types of his father's power in the wood-slept
within their kennels.
It was early morning; yet though these slept,
here and there, through the wide bounds of the
wood, cottagers and woodmen were astir; for
they had work to do, and many of them far to
go to it. Of these we need see but one little
household.
In the farthest corner of the wood-that is,
in the very opposite direction to the castle-lay
a beautiful wooded dingle rather than valley,
down which ran a cheerful, gurgling brook
called Whytley Water. At the head of this
dingle, and on a little flat of open ground,
stood, amid two acres of carefully-enclosed land,
a singularly neat and substantial half-timbered
cottage, from which, in this early morning
atmosphere, the blue smoke rose up aloft until
it seemed dissolved into sunshine. There was
something singularly cheerful and comfortable





4 THE STEAODIfT GABRIZL
was full of fruit, now in its early ripeness:
apples, yellow as gold, red-streaked, and russet;
pears, plums, quinces, and medlan, all hung
amid the yet unchanging leaves with a fresh
dewiness which made them look additionally
inviting. The garden was well tilled, and
stocked not only with culinary vegetables, but
with flowers-hollyhocks and tall sunflowers,
marigolds and Michaelmas daisies, which showed
that the dwellers there had taste for beauty
as well as utility. Within a little field, which,
from its orderly fence, was seen at a glance
to be a part of the homestead, stood a cow,
tow being milked by a stout, well-made man,
whose red waistcoat, snow-white shirt sleeves,
and blue worsted stockings, spoke well of the
houewifely virtues of the woman within doors.
Beside him lay a large dog, something be-
tween a terrier and hound, as if in repose,
yet were its bright, intelligent eyes observant
of all that passed. More especially was its
attention directed to the gate which led from
the garden to the field, and against which stood
a forest doe of the most remarkable whiteness
and symmetry of form. There she stood with
her head extended over the gate, and with a







longing and loving expression in her full and
beautiful dark eye. Anon a quick motion ii
her short tail, an eager quiver in her limbs, and
the straining forward of her graceful neck
showed that the purpose which had brought hei
there was one of eager pleasure, and was now
about to be accomplished. She knew it bj
some token intelligible to herself of scent oi
hearing; and the next moment a boy of twelve
sprung from the open door of the cottage, as*
with an impatience equal to her own, and
throwing his arms round her neck, look
fondly into her face; and while he address(
her with the most endearing epitheta,- he
with bread from his hand.
This boy, whose affection for this tamed ere
ture of the forest was so apparent, was of ver
prepossessing appearance: tall, and somewhat
slender for his age, with an activity of limb, i
freedom of action, and that peculiar vivacity o
countenance which bespeaks vigorous hesNi
and a cheerful temperament. His dress wa
that of a peasant, like his father; he wore blu
worsted stockings of his mother's knittin
leather breeches, and a short coat of eears
gray cloth. His hair was of that dark-brow





1 TBs WBJEADrIr unauu
which, when worn short, appears almost black
but which acquires, as in his case, when 1
flowing, a golden tinge, from exposure to t
sun and air; his eyes were of dark gray, 1
markably lively and intelligent, and his col
plexion ruddy and somewhat sunburnt.
Whilst Gabriel, for such was his name, v
caressing the doe, the dog, which had spru
up at the first sight of him, was leaping abi
him, and barking with impatient solicitude
his notice. For a moment he patted the d&
addressed him by the name of Keeper," a
called him good fellow," and old fellow," a
such-like; at which the doe, appearing to gr
jealous, rubbed her head against his should
butted at the dog, and seemed uneasy until I
whole of his attention was again turned uI
herself
By this time the man had finished his mi
ing; and after having patted the good cow, a
addressed some kind words to her, he took
hib pail, and advancing towards the cotta
showed himself to be a man about forty, I
and stout, the father of the boy, whose coui
nance, in fact, bore a striking resemblance
his own.





TEN M5AUAU! GAma. I
'his was Gabriel Puroel, the woodman of
iytley Knowe; and as he stood rating his
I of foaming milk on the post of the garden-
e, watching with his son the somewhat ho-
Sdemonstrations of the playful creatures,
ich were now wholly occupied with each
er, no finer specimen of peasants, man and
r, could have been met with throughout all
gland. At that moment the mother, a comely
tage-woman, came out of the house to look
er the milk, which she thought her husband
g in bringing, and to announce to them that
akfast was ready. The mother looked on for
moment, smiling, and then taking possession
the milk-pail, she moved off, accompanied by
others, and quickly followed by the dog,
ich, leaping over the garden-gate the moment
iy were gone, left the doe looking after them
her disconsolately.
&bout an hour after this, and while the
,hedral bell was ringing for morning prayers,
) two Gabriels, father and son, left the house;
) father with his axe and woodman's tools
his shoulder, his wood-knives and his short
tchet in his broad leather belt, and the boy
trying the small basket which contained his





8 THN IUDrlFAR GAnIL
dinner; for as it was not yet school-time, he
was about to accompany his father a little way
through the wood. The dog, Keeper, bounded
before them full of delight; and the two having
stopped for a moment to caress the now quiet
doe, descended a steep footpath which led from
their own little homestead down to the Whytley
Brook, which they crossed by stepping-stones,
and so upward again into the depths of the
thick wood.
"And when are the apples to be got,
father I" asked the boy. "The lady-fingers and
the seek-no-fiuthers are ripe, and so are the
Eve-apples."
"Ill try to get home an hour earlier to-
night," said the father, "and we can get some
of them."
Mother is going to bake to-day; I cut
fagots for her last night," said the boy; "but
if Nance Turvit, or any of them come to bake
in our oven again to-day, I shall have more
fagots to cut. Is it not a plague that they
come baking in our oven so, father "
They are welcome to the oven," said the
woodman in a tone of cheerful liberality, for it
was a pleasure to him to be useful to a neigh-





TBRU anDAtT QAIIK. 9
bour; and as to the trouble of cutting fagote,
you never grudge that, Gabrielt"
"I don't like the Turvits," said the boy
bluntly. "Joa has had a spite against me ever
since we had that great battle in the wood;
and Nance always makes such a litter with her
baking when she comes, mother does not like
her; and I don't like her either."
The elder Gabriel laughed; and the younger
having his thoughts diverted from an unplea-
sant subject, began again cheerfully-" Mother
is going to make an apple-pie for tomorrow'e
dinner; I got her a quince to put in it this
morning. She always puts.quince in the piety
when ypu are at home, because you like it
How good mother is! She put a handafl ol
filberts without their husks into your dinner.
basket; you'll find them there: and I aw he
getting something ready beside the apple*pM
for Sunday's dinner that you like, only t shall
not tell you! She likes Sunday, mother does
because you are at home all day."
"You must always be good to your mother
a.1k.l) ..;A fl~a. *P 4lcU ccV-- --





TiDFAT 0,


he after a silence of a few minutes, "you can
take the master a good basket of apples when
you go to school: you can pick out the best,
for we've plenty."
"I will," said Gabriel. "Mother sent him
some last week, and he was so pleased! He
has not one apple on his trees; the Grublow
lads have got them." Again a silence ensued,
and then Gabriel began-" I'm going after
school to Wichnor Tower, father. Gerald Merril
has asked me to go this afternoon. He's not a
bit like the squire; is he, father I He asked me
to go to the tower to get some owls for him.
They have plenty of owls there: and he's
coming to see Daisy some day. I have nevel
been into Wichnor Tower; have you, father ?"
The elder Gabriel answered in the affirmative;
and the boy continued, "I have never been
farther than to the old seat on the hill, just by
the gate where grandfather used to go to sem
the view over the wood, and to the castle and
the minster. Young Merril and I are going





THUE TEADIAT GASUM 11
again to the old castle some day-won't that be
nice, father I-and he says I shall look all about
the tower this afternoon, for the squire is not at
home. I shall go into the garden where those
old yew-trees grow, and up into the look-out;
and shall not we have a view, then, that old
grandfather would have liked? and into the
lock-up below the stairs in the tower. Gerald
says so, and that I shall see everything "----
Here Gabriel suddenly interrupted himself;
and making a momentary halt, exclaimed, I
declare here is Nance Turvit !" And while he
said this, a tall, stout-built young woman, with
a masculine gait, and a bold, determined man-
ner, was seen advancing along the wood-path
towards them. She bore a burthen on her head
-a smallish bag, containing something solid-
and another in her arms.
"I'm glad I have met you," aid she in a
strong voice, almost before she came within
speaking distance, "for Gabriel can turn back
with me and help me" And so saying, she l
down the burthen from her arms, which wa
seen to be a bag of flour, and lifted down th<
other from her head, saying the while, I hear
ay that the misis was baking to-day; and a





12 TH UTELADAST OABBIEL.
one heating will do, I thought I would go over
and bake our bread, for I know she'll make me
welcome; and a neighbour of ours asked me to
take over her flour and make her bread, and
bake it too in your oven. Now you can turn
back with me, Gabriel, and carry this flour for
me, for I'm fairly tired out."
You need not go farther with me, Gabriel,"
said his father, thus replying to Gabriel's un-
willing and somewhat indignant look; and
taking from his hand the dinner-basket; "and
you can carry one of those bags of flour for
Nance."
Gabriel, who knew better than his father did
the annoyance which his mother had already
experienced by this general use of the oven, and
who thought also of the additional number of
fagots he would have to prepare, looked any-
thing but satisfied; nevertheless he gave up
the dinner-basket, and lifted one of the flour
bags; while his father, whistling on the dog,
walked onward, not, however, without the boy
calling after him, "Don't forget this evening,
father; and Ill come towards the park and meet
you about five o'clock."
The young woman and the boy now set of in





TUI BDrfLkDA ABKILM 13
the direction of the cottage. She was a some-
what sallow, but good-looking girl, of about
twenty, the daughter of a well-known collier in
the neighboring pits of Grublow.
That's Mrs Green's flour that you are carry-
ing," said she to Gabriel: "Stephen's mother,
you know. She asked me to make her bread,
and bake it in your mother's oven. What an
oven it is! I tell Stephen that I'll have such
an oven to my house when I'm married."
"And when are Stephen and you going to
be married ?" asked Gabriel.
"That's more than I know," said the girl
laughing. "Maybe I won't have him at all.
This, however, I do know-he shall make me
an oven like your mother's if he ever has me !"
Stephen works with father to-day," said
Gabriel: they are felling the old fir-trees in
the park."
I say, Gabriel," began the gtrl abruptly,
after they had walked on together for a short
time in silence, I want you to do me a favour:
I want you to give me your white doe."
Gabriel stopped short, and looked her in the
face. He was greatly astonished, for the request
seemed strangely unreasonable.





1T THL BTHDrAHT UAJMUZI
"And why should I give Daisy to you I'
asked he at length.
"Why, you see," replied the girl, "my sister
Bet lives at Grublow Old Hall with my Lady
Montjoy. Bet is a deal older than me, and she
has been my lady's-woman for these many years.
My lady's very fond of her, and she can do any-
thing with her. Bet told me that the young
lord had seen your white doe-he saw it one
day when he came into the wood with Dr
Warden, the old bishop's chaplain, who is now
his tutor-and he has set his mind on having
it. Now, if you'll give it me, that I may send
it over to him by Stephen, you shall not re-
pent it."
"I shall neither give Daisy to you nor to
anybody," said Gabriel abruptly. "There are
plenty of does in the wood besides mine. If the
young lord wants one, he can have one."
But there are none so pretty as yours," said
Nance: "none so pretty, and none so tame.
And surely you'll give it to my lord when he
has set his mind on it 7"
What's young Lord Montjoy to me ?" asked
Gabriel; and why should I give Daisy to him t
Young Merril, the squire's son, would be glad of






Tu srlrDTAr oAanim 15
her; and if I gave her to anybody, it should be
to him, for I like him. He is very good to me,
and we are friends; but I would not part with
her even to him. I shall keep Daisy as long as
she lives. I am so fond of her, I should not
know what to do without her; and father's very
fond of her too, and she loves us. Father found
her when she was nearly dead in the wood, nigh
upon two years ago, the very evening that
grandfather died: she had been wounded, and
all the herd had left her-they are so unkind
among themselves-and she would have died if
it had not been for him. He carried her home
on his back; he nursed her till she got well,
and she was so fond of him; and then he gave
her to me."
"Bet promised the young lord that he should
have her," persisted Nance; and he looks for
her."
"Bet had no business to promise !" exclaimed
Gabriel. "Daisy was not hers to give, and I
shall not part with her to anybody; and so now
you know my mind." Gabriel spoke with reso-
lution, his countenance assumed a determined
character, and he carried himself more firmly





16 THE STEADFAST OABRIBL
Come now, Gabriel," said the girl coaxingly
"I'll tell you just how it is. The young lorn
has set his mind on your Daisy, and he would(
do anything for anybody that gave her to him
You don't want anything that my Lord Montjo;
or my lady either could do for you-you've al
you want; but if Stephen was to give her tb
him, both he and my lady would stand hii
friend. Stephen wants a good place; there arn
two or three to be had; but old Merril has some
grudge against Stephen, and won't give him one
Now you understand it. Let Stephen takf
Daisy to the young lord, and hell do anything
for him-Squire Merril won't set himself against
my lady; and, besides, what's the doe aftel
all ?"
"Why can't Stephen get the young lord a do(
out of the wood?" asked Gabriel "Why must
he take Daisy from me ? It's all one to him
what doe he has: he can't love one better than
another: but it's different with me. I love this
doe; she's more to me than all the rest: father
saved her life, and she knows us all, and she
would not be happy anywhere else. Father





THE STEADFAST OABRIL. 17
was meant to put an end to the subject, and
he walked on still more quickly with the girl's
bag of flour on his head.
But Nance Turvit was a match for him in
walking: she kept up with him, and said in a
taunting tone, "And you will not give your
silly doe to young Lord Montjoy? I should
like to hear you tell my lady so when she comes
here in her coach-and-four, you ill-mannered
cub; but shell make you give her up, or Dr
Warden either! I should like to hear you tell
my lady so! It would be as much as your
father's place is worth."
"Nobody can turn father out of his place!"
said Gabriel with an air of proud independence.
" Father's house and bit of land are his own, as
much as the castle is Lord Montjoy's. I will
not give away Daisy; I have made up my mind
about it, so nobody need ask me. I shall see
Stephen Green to-night when I go to father in
the park, and Ill tell him so; and that he had
better look out for another doe for the young
lord, for he shall have none of mine!"
You had better not let my lady or the
young lord hear you say so," returned the girl;
and, besides, you have no business with a doe





15 THB BTLADIAST GABlIEL.
or a buck either. The keeper can take her
day without asking your leave, or my
either. She's none of your property: no w
man or cottager can keep deer."
"But the doe is ours!" exclaimed Gal
almost fiercely: "everybody knows that sl
ours. The bishop gave it to father, for he
riding through the wood with Squire Mi
and he saw it nearly dead as well as father,
he gave it to him whether it lived or i
Everybody knows that. Stephen Green ki
it; ask him. Squire Merril has often seen
by our house, and never claimed her: she
in our field, and has never been in the i
since. Grandfather and father were favou
of the last lord and his father. The old
gave grandfather our house and field, and
body would dare to take them from us, nei
shall they take my Daisy."
"Well done, little trooper!" said the
and laughed.
Gabriel said no more. By this time
had reached the Whytley Brook, which
recrossed by the stepping-stones, and then
ended the steep path towards the cottage.
The white doe, the unconscious subject of





TH ST~axu eT OABIXL 19
goingg controversy, lay in the sunshine near
e garden-gate, where Gabriel had left her
rdly an hour before. The moment she per-
ved his approach, she lifted her beautiful
ad, gazed abroad with her large, intelligent
es; and seeing the object of her love, sprang
Im the ground, and bounded forth to meet
m, rubbing her head against his shoulder
ien they met, and showing, by a thousand
locations, how fond she was of him.
Gabriel threw his arms round her neck and
based her, repeating in his inmost heart, again
d again, that he never would give her away,
t even to young Montjoy himself
Nance Turvit in the meantime was in the
ruse, endeavouring to reconcile the somewhat
wooncerted Mrs Purcel to her unceremonious
mentions of making two batches of bread in
r house, and baking them in her oven.
Gabriel, as he foresaw, had more fagots to
t; and this, and getting ready the basket of
,ples for the schoolmaster, fully occupied him
Ltil it was time for him to set off on his four-
iles' walk to school





( 20 )




CHAPTEn II.-WICHBOB AmD GRUBLOW.

That great extent of country so well known a
Wichnor Wood was in its prime at the period c
which I write. It might without impropriet;
have been called Wichnor Forest, if extent ani
value of timber-growth be all that is requisit
to constitute a forest. Wichnor, however, be
longed not to the king, but to the great Lord
Montjoy. The first of that name having distin
guished himself in the old wars, received a gran
of territory; and the land being well calculated
for the growth of timber, and the first Lor
Montjoy having a taste for planting, the whole
district in time became one vast woodland
maintaining almost as much deer, and require
ing almost as many woodmen, warreners, anm
rangers, as a king's forest.
The first lord, besides planting great wood
built for himself a fire house at the northern
extremity of his territory. He chose thi
situation for two reasons: firstly, because i
stood high, and commanded a vast view ove





THEn STRADIA OGABI L 21
country; and secondly, because it was nigh
, the old cathedral town, of which his
her was at that time bishop.
ie first Lord Montjoy commenced planting
great woods; a later of that name com-
Ad the work; and having likewise a passion
building, added so greatly to the firee
e which his predecessor had built, that it
thenceforth called a castle-the Castle of
knor Wood. It stood aloft, frowning in
gray stone, and seeming to rival in extent
grandeur the minster itself. Not content
building a castle, this same lord built a
b hunting-lodge in the very centre of his
is upon a high hill overlooking the wood,
on a level with the castle and the minster.
his lodge he built a 'tall, strong tower, or
out, with a gallery round the top, and a
-peaked roof covered with red tiles, which
it a landmark to the whole country

t the period of which I write,Wichnor Tower,
ie old hunting-lodge was called, had long
Ad to be used for the purpose for which it
originally designed. It was now occupied
he head-ranger and steward of the Mont-





22 THE sTIADIAS GarQBaI.
joys. Like the castle, it was gray and old
and its tower, with its tall, peaked, red roof
and prison in the lower storey, gave a wild ant
dismal character to the place. As it served
merely the purposes of a look-out, it contained
only a winding stone staircase, which led ou
upon a balcony at the top, surrounded by .
heavy stone balustrade. From this balcony o
gallery the view was immense: it commander
all sides alike; and here the wind was so stron,
even in summer, that without the balustrade n
one could have kept his footing.
The late Lord Montjoy, the ninth of th
name, was a jovial man. He loved hunting
kept a great pack of hounds at the old huntiAg
lodge, and led what he called a jolly life. A
his jolly doings, however, came suddenly to a
end with his life, after a great hunting dinner
when he had indulged too freely in wine an
venison. He had been married but a few yeai










cBulty. The brother of this Lord j ,
.e the brother of the first anceeaK -I a
hop, and lived in the old Episcopal palace
the adjoining cathedral town of Minsterham.
After the sudden death of her husband, the
lowed Lady Montjoy left the castle, which
) never liked, on the plea that it was too
ge for her, and lived with her young son at
r jointure house, the Old Hall of Grublow,
ere she was born. Here she employed her-
f in needlework with her women: she worked
k-hangings and chair-covers in tent and chain-
tch, and landscapes on white satin with divers-
oured hair. She was a very strict lady, and
ing desirous to bring up her son in an excel-
t manner, kept him, until he was turned ten,
tirely with herself; and then, at the sugges-
n of his uncle the bishop, Dr Warden, a
ave and learned man, who had been for some
ie one of his own chaplains, removed to
ublow Old Hall, and took charge of his
ication.
Of Wichnor Wood itself I must sav something.


.A. ... I





24 THE STEADFAST ABBIEL
Imagine an extent of country about eight miles
each way, presenting just such an appearance
as you fancy when you read in ballads about
"the merry greenwood," and of the merle and
the mavis singing in the forest boughs; of lone-
some woodland dells, where at nightfall one owl
shouts "tu-whit," and another replies "tu-whoo;"
of the tripping deer stopping to gaze at the
passer-by, and then bounding away with all
his dappled fellows into the depths of the
wood. Imagine all this to yourselves, and
more: green forest paths leading down to
woodmen's cottages, the blue smoke of which
curls high among the trees. Fancy the sheep-
bell and the cow-bell sounding through the
stillness of the summer noon from hidden
forest pastures, and the cock crowing at early
morning from low sylvan homesteads. Fancy
the squirrel and the hare leaping upon the
path, and bounding away before you. Fancy
little forest brooks and trickling waters, where
birds come to wash themselves, and where
silvery fish flash in the sunshine, or lie basking
among mossy stones. Fancy a little chapel
standing amid its green and quiet graveyard
on the edge of the wood, and calling with its





THE STIAT GA ODBIL. 25
bell the woodland people to Sabbath wor-
>. Fancy the village school, also standing
p in the wood, old and gray, and buried
trees, whither come trooping, as their fore-
hers in the days of their childhood had
e before them, little bands of children with
ling flowers in their hands which they have
mned from the woods in passing, and with
ry-stained hands and lips, for the wood is
of wild fruit. Fancy all this, and you will
e before you a picture of pleasant Wichnor

n Wichnor Wood dwelt many woodmen,
Teners, and keepers, who were under the
action of the head ranger and steward. All
e yearly tenants, and might be dismissed at
will of this head ranger, against whom, in
present minority, there was no appeal
ete were many murmurs current against him
Dng the dwellers in the wood. Much in-
rice, they said, was practised, and much
ouritism shown.
Do this little book I have prefixed a plan of
places we have to do with, as in this way
an make everything more intelligible to you.
Here you see the two great parishes of





26 nTHI oTMAaDR QGABM .
Wichnor Wood and Grublow Coal-pits. At the
right-hand corner you see the old cathedral town
of Minsterham. Adjoining-that is, at the
distance of half a mile, and within the boun-
dary of the wood-stands on a hill the castle
In the centre of the wood, on another higl
hill, stands Wichnor Tower; and on the left, the
-village of Wichnor-two-Steeples, so called fron
the circumstance of its having two churches
the one being the church of Wichnor Wood, the
other that of Grublow Coal-pits. Nearly opposite
the village of Wichnor-two-Steeples, and just or
the boundary-line of Grublow, lies a small
market town called Ashmore, from which a higl
road runs across the two parishes to Minster
ham. In the corner of the wood, exactly
opposite to the castle, is the cottage of Gabrie
Purcel, standing pleasantly on Whytley Water
and for this cottage I would bespeak your kindly
interest The great house called Grublow 01O
Hall stands near Ashmore.
Until the union of the late Lord Montjoq
with the Lady of Grublow, the black pits o
Grublow and the green woods of Wichnor has
nothing in common. From time immemoria
there had been a bad feeling between the wood





THE TUNADAS eAMsA T 27
in and the colliers: the traditions of their
ids were as old as the lands themselves.
ey quarrelled at fairs and markets; and so
ong in the old times had been their ill-will,
it they would not even worship in the same
irch; hence it was that the little village of
chnor had two steeples. The colliers' church,
ever, though it was built, was rarely at-
ided by them, one of their sins being, that
,y made no difference between a working
r and the Sabbath; and in fact, while the
le church of Wichnor was one of the prettiest
entry churches that was ever seen, with not
broken pane in its windows, the church of
blow was gradually falling into ruins; the
irchyard wall had fallen down, and the
arch was expected to follow, because the
Lies had dug into the very heart of the
th beneath it for their coal
Tery different was the black desolation of
blow to the green luxuriance of Wichnor
od I The surface of the ground was broken
with pits worked by rude gins. Here and
re you came upon old disused pits, the
aths of which were covered by heaps of






down railing, half decayed, and scarcely serv-
ing as a defence. Everywhere lay hillocks of
rubbishy slack, or small coal, which was not
worth carriage. Some of these had been
slowly consuming by smouldering fires beyond
the memory of man: they burned, and burned,
yet never seemed to get less; and the sulphu-
rous smoke which hung about them oppressed
the air, and blackened everything within its
reach. Everywhere also lay heaps of shale, a
sort of unprofitable slatey stone dug from below
the surface of the earth in ineffectual attempts
to reach a vein of coal, or in forming air-vents
for the pits below. Upon these heaps of shale-
many of which, like the slack heaps, were of
great age-grew beds of colt'sfoot and gray
cottony-leaved gnaphalium, almost the only
green things that could draw nourishment from
such a despoiled, neglected soil Trees there
were none, at least none to speak of-none that
flourished: here and there, it is true, you came
upon a melancholy tree, but you would find its
stem half buried in poisonous rubbish, which
had forced it from the perpendicular, and
which was killing it by inches. In other places
you found trees standing erect, but dead, and





TrE TAIS AI mmALnt3 29
which had been dead for years, gray, doleful,
:eleton-like objects, standing in dreary pools
' water, which had been formed in digging
r clay to make into bricks for lining the pits.
nothing green seemed to grow there, for the
il was mixed up with broken coal. One
laracteristio of Grublow was, that everything
a unsightly. Nature repaired nothing, nature
sutified nothing there. Ivy covered the decay-
g tree in the green woods of Wichnor, or the
:e of the woodman removed it: here that which
cayed was left to perish in its hideous defor-
ity. Old wood, old straw, lay and rotted. In
ichnor Wood they burned such things-in
rublow they burned nothing but coaL
Among the gaping pit-mouths stood tall, rude
highing-machines-huge beams of iron, sup-
rted on rough-hewn timbers, at one end of
dih hung a large hat iron scale, while the
her end was weighted with stones. The dwell-
rs of the colliers corresponded with the rest:
ey were miserable huts, consisting of one, or
most two rooms-low, dark, and without the
tallest attempt at embellishment, or even of
fort. Most of them had a so-called garden,
iely fenced in by lumns of drosea which





30 Trn arnADArL T OABBIL.
had been formed in the pits or the brick-kilnm
and which, being of no value, lay tumblin
about everywhere, or were used for fences; an
which, when a little more pains than ordinary
were taken, were cemented together with muw
Vegetables or flowers might not be looked ft
in. these dusty plots; they formed the rang
for wretched hens and fighting-cocks, many <
which, stripped of their feathers, and with the:
wattles cropped, strutted about with long di
proportioned legs and disfigured bodies, tl
most depraved and melancholy-looking of birdie
how different to the merle, and the mavis, ar
the gentle stock-dove cooing in the wood! The!
fighting cocks might perhaps be called tI
flowers of the colliers' gardens: another kil
dred growth was also familiar there; the
were the savage bulldogs-for the collie
baited bulls and bears; they had protrudiz
underjaws, and were vicious, and of so eno
mouse an ugliness, that they could only ha,
been permitted by nature as types of cruel
and coarse pleasures.
The colliers themselves were mostly of a lar





raTHE sTUIAI T eAnIUL. Sr
roots of their hair, and their complexions were
sallow, from working in the dark. Their appel-
lations of each other were strange and sense-
less, somewhat of an Indian fashion: thus one
was called Old Bones, another Mooneye, and so
on. The true name of Old Bones was Turvit-
Michael or Mick Turvit. His daughter Nance
we have seen. We shall hear more of this
collier family as we go on.
Such was the parish of Grublow, and such
were its people. From this description, you
can readily understand why the quiet, decent
people of Wichnor Wood looked down upon
their neighbours, and considered it undesirable
to have much to do with them. They did not
even burn their coal Wood fuel was plentiful
throughout the green district of Wichnor, and
the woodmen stoutly maintained that wood,
even of the worst kind, was vastly superior
to coal









CHa PTB III.-THs CoTTAoE Ix THE WooD.
I told you that the woodmen were tenants
At-will They were so in every instance, ex
.cepting one; and that exception was in favou
of Gabriel Purcel, whose cottage we have
already seen. When the late lord was yet i
boy, Gabriel Purcel, the father of the present
was a woodman, and dwelt on the very spo
where this cottage now stands. His family:
had lived in the wood for generations, and were
in fact, as old, and, for their station, as respect
able, as the Montjoys themselves.
One day when this Gabriel Purcel, then i:
the prime of his manhood, was felling trees i:
the wood With some other men, Lord Montjo
and his son, then a boy of twelve, were on
also with their dogs. Young Montjoy led
favourite greyhound by a leash, and coming u
with his father to the place where the men wer
at work, stopped to watch them. Lord Xontjo
passed on, calling to his son to follow. Th
boy, who was high-spirited, and unaccustomed





THE STRDIlAT GABRIEL 33
to obey, took no notice of his father's words,
and determined to stay till the tree fell. Purcel,
who knew exactly in what direction the tree
would fall, warned the young lord to keep at
a distance; but again he took no heed, although
the greyhound, with an instinctive sense of
danger, pulled at the leash, and whined pite-
ously. Purcel saw that not a moment was to
be lost. Just as the huge tree was tottering
to its fall, Lord Montjoy himself returned to
the spot to see the greyhound break its leash
and escape, and the woodman rush forward,
and, at the risk of his own life, seise the boy
in his stalwart arms, and bear him from the
spot. The tree fell, sweeping the two with
one of its lesser outer branches, and striking
them to the earth. The woodman alone was
hurt, though only slightly: not a hair of the
boy's head was touched.
Lord Montjoy tottered forward, pale as death,
and then ending his son uninjured, kindled up
into a fury of passion, and struck him violently
across the shoulders with his dog whip, to
teach him, as he said, to keep out of danger
in future. Such chastisement as this was not
uneommon with the older Montjoys. The boy





34 TRH STZADrABT GABIELW
flushed crimson; he dared not retaliate upol
his father, but he beat his dog instead; ant
Lord Montjoy, who, angry as he was, could no
but acknowledge that he owed his son's life t,
Purcel, thanked the brave woodman with I
sincere emotion of gratitude, and bade him as]
what he would as a reward for his self-peril
ling courage. Gabriel Purcel was one of those
noble natures capable of heroic action for it
own sake alone. He did not know, when h
risked his life to save that of young MontjoJ
that his father would witness the deed. H
thought of nothing but that a fellow-creatur
was in danger of death, and must, if possible
be saved. He would have done as much fc
a beggar: reward, therefore, was not in hi
thoughts. However, the rich man pressed upo
him to accept some boon as a token of hi
gratitude; and Purcel, who had that straightfoi
ward, unhesitating manner which marks at one
the clear head and the honest heart, asked tha
which was easy for his lord to grant, and which,
alone was wanting to make him a happy man.
Grant, then, my lord," said he, "that piec
of land upon which yon cottage stands, which
is mine. with its garden and orchard."





THU STrADIAT GABIEL. 35
It was a beautiful situation this of the cot-
tage, in one of the fairest parts of the wood,
on an upland sloping to the south, and just
below meandered in a beautiful curve the
Whytley Brook rich in fish. Lord Montjoy
looked at him, as if the request had surprised
rather than pleased him; and at the moment,
although the whole of Wichnor Wood was his
own, he thought the request a large one.
"Do you ask it in perpetuity?" demanded
he.
Grant it to me for three lives," said PurceL
"The cottage is small; I will build a better.
Grant it to me for my life, for my son's life,
and for the life of his son after him."
"How old are you I" asked Lord Montjoy;
" and are you married I"
Purcel's fine and open countenance flushed
with a deep crimson. I am turned of thirty,
my lord," said he, "and I am not yet married.
The father of the young woman I wish to marry
throws an impediment in our way, because she
has a small dowry, and I have nothing. This
grant, my lord, would enable me to marry."
"It shall be yours," returned Montjoy, glano-
ing now at his young son, who, having reco-






vered from the anger which his father's chastise-
ment had produced, was seen bounding along
the distant glade of the wood with the grey-
hound at his side. The dark, displeased ex-
pression had passed from his countenance, and
smiling cordially, he said, giving his hand at
the same time in proof of his sincerity, "The
grant shall be yours for three lives, as you have
asked."
The grant of this homestead, with its two
acres of land, made Purcel a rich man. He
married the young woman, whom he had long
loved, and lived happily, although for several
years he had no son.
As he had said, he rebuilt the old cottage.
He was, as I have intimated, a man of a solid,
substantial character, and he built his house
accordingly. It was not done in a hurry; and
as it was one of those old-fashioned, half-tim-
bered dwellings which were common in those
days, and almost universal in that neighbour-
hood, where wood was a staple material, he
had himself a great hand in it. It was built
of timber which had grown in Wichnor Wood.
He bought a sound-hearted tree while it was
yet growing, felled it himself, barked it, lopped





THu enADFABT GABBInL 87
if its branches, and helped to saw it up. It
ras well-seasoned, and for a whole summer be-
bre it was used, it was reared up in planks and
teams around his old cottage for the winds to
)low through, and the sun's heat to penetrate.
Lhe plan of the house, although it consisted
of but four rooms, was pondered on almost for
rears. At length, after a bright and beautiful
summer, it was completed; and such a happy
nan as Gabriel Purcel then was could not be
net with for many a mile round. He felt all
,he dignity, and the manliness, and the inde-
)endence, of proprietorship: he seemed twice
;he man that he had been. And well he might
be so; for, not long after he was settled in his
lew habitation, a child was born unto him-
i son and heir. How doubly dear and welcome
seemed this child to him, which was born t
an inheritance I
Gabriel devised every possible comfort and
convenience for the little family in the new
house. It was wonderful what cupboards and
contrivances he had. In those days windows
had seats in them, and these he formed of
oaken chests, dry and solid, and not uaorna-
m-4.a1 .+'Av IT& HTn a nw.a liMlta annhniarls





O0 T fIH UxEAUA I UADAJIA.
in the wall by the fireside, which were so
" handy," his wife said. Another thing he
particularly regarded in the house: the win-
dows were all very pretty, looking out to the
south, and the east, and the west, so that
there would be sunshine in the house all day
long. Then beside his large kitchen-hearth
he made a comfortable, commodious nook,
where he placed his large, carved oak-chair,
and the old-fashioned wooden cradle of the
welcome baby. In this chimney-corner there
was a little window, which looked into the wood
across the garden, and down the dingle over
the Whytley Brook, with its silvery willows, and
its picturesque stepping-stones
This corer Gabriel made for himself: here
he sat as the proud and happy father nursing
his child; here, winter and summer, he looked
out across his garden to the wood for nearly
five-and-fifty years; here he sat with his son's
son on his knee; and here, in this very corner,
in the old oak-chair, at the age of eighty-nine,
he fell asleep, and woke in heaven.
But we are not yet arrived at the old man's
death.
Acroes one gabled end of Purcel's house,







ana saove me doorway, ne piacea tnree soua
beams, one above the other. The mason who
worked with him could not understand the
meaning of these: Purcel said he had a purpose
for them, and therefore they were placed as he
wished. Later, when the house was quite
finished, he began carefully to carve out, letter
by letter, certain words upon the uppermost
beam. What the letters were to make, nobody
knew at first. In process of time, however, the
work was completed; and there might be read,
in old-fashioned letters, these words-
In It f(tarn of aE I$ tisa tos b bu dt bL
eOadtl sa an at nteld, sam. 156s."
These words exactly filled the length of the
beam.
The little son, before he could understand the
meaning of objects, saw his father mounted
upon what he afterwards knew to be a ladder,
working in his spare hours on this old carving;
and by the time he was three years old, he had
learned to repeat, in his imperfect utterance,
the words which his father had so laboriously
cut out. From his father also had he learned
that he himself must, when he grew to be a






man, carve similar letters upon the beam be-
neath, which was to bear his name, as the upper
one bore that of the father.
"And who shall carve letters on the third
beam ?" asked the second Gabriel.
"The third Gabriel must do that."
And who is he ?" asked the boy.
The elder Gabriel picked up an acorn which
had just fallen from the tree; he made a hole
in the ground, and planted it. "It is not an
oak-tree yet," said he; but before this acorn
shall produce acorns, the third Gabriel will
come to cut letters on that beam."
The child pondered on his father's words: he
made a little fence round the spot in which
the acorn was planted; he watered it, and
would not have it disturbed.
Gabriel Purcel's garden suited his house. He
cultivated in it all sorts of old-fashioned flowers.
There was not a garden in the wood that produced
such crocuses and snowdrops in spring; and then
his sweetwilliams, and carnations, and holly-
hocks in summer were quite wonderful But it
was on his orchard that he prided himself most.
He planted in it the most excellent apples, and
pears, and plums, which were then known. He





ItiU WLAUBAJ UJALMUMD %I
planted also a filbert-hedge, which, at the time
I write of, was grown up into trees that bore
such nuts as never were seen. He planted
damsons, and quinces, and medlars; and in the
middle of his orchard a mulberry-tree, which he
said was more on account of the third Gabriel
than himself.
"Will he be so fond of mulberries, then ?"
asked his young son.
The elder Gabriel builded and planted for
those who came after him.
Those who came after him now ate of the
fruit of the trees which he had planted. The
apples were now ripe, the pears, the plums, the
nuts, and the quinces. Well might the third
Gabriel carry basketsful to the old school-
master !




CHAPrn IV.--GLBML Tus TmHD.

The second Gabriel grew in the full promise
of his father's hopes, and was early taught the





42 rTH 8UDAIIAT GAtAIZ
Years went on: the father was old, and the
son a man grown, hale and strong. This second
life in the tenure of the cottage was a promising
one.
Old Lord Montjoy, who had given the grant
of the cottage, was now dead also; and his son,
whose life old Purcel had saved, was lord in his
stead. The present lord was many years older
than the younger Purcel, but it so happened that
he and the young woodman were married on
the same day. Lord Montjoy married the dark
Lady of Grublow; Purcel a young woman of
Ashmore, the best spinner in the town; and
Ashmore was. famous for its flax and for
spinning. She had maintained herself and her
paralytic mother by this labour of her hands.
In those days women spun a great deal Even
the Lady Montjoy had spun many a distaff of
tow, which the weavers of Ashmore wove into
household linen.
Old Gabriel was well pleased with his son's
choice. She had no dowry, it is true, like
his own wife; but she was a comely woman,
healthy and strong, and had shown so dutiful
an affection for her mother, that when the old
woman was dead, Gabriel bade his son make






preparations for his marriage, that as soon as
a decent time of mourning was over, she might
become his wife.
The old man sat in the old oaken-chair in
the chimney-nook, and saw with hearty good-
will a young and cheerful woman again in the
house. But the greatest joy to him was when
again the old wooden cradle was placed in the
corner beside him, and a round-faced baby, the
third Gabriel, was laid within it under his care.
His satisfaction was complete. This was the
third life in the cottage; and from the first day
of the child's birth, he determined that all
means should be used to make him strong and
hardy, that his life might be a long one. The
old man had long since given up the duties of
the woodman: his business now was with the
child. He carried him in his arms through the
beautiful woodpaths, which he himself knew
so well; he traced with him the course of the
lovely forest streams; pointed out to him, while
yet a baby perched in his arm, the silvery fsh,
the countless phoals of minnows, the flowers,
the birds, the insects, and the wild creatures of
the wood. He gathered wild blossoms for him
in spring, and wild fruit in autumn; showed






him the plantations of oak, which he himself
had set; bought for him a little pruning-knife,
and before he could yet well handle it, began
to instruct him in its use. For hours he would
sit with him in the sunshine: he would lead
him along the open ridings where the trees
arched over head, and the turf was green
beneath their feet, and await a troop of jolly
hunters with the free-living Lord Montjoy at
their head, and think their scarlet coats and
their "Hark forward!" beautiful, because the
little lad, the darling grandson, clapped his
hands, and shouted for joy at the sight
In fulfilment of his father's wishes, the second
Gabriel carved upon the beam of the house a
second inscription. The letters were graven one
by one, and in process of time might be read-
"tl f lE t Le r e lt ear tmt. 1."
The old man was proud of his house-not a
beam had given way, not a joint had sprung.
It is thus, he said, that men should build: they
should think of those that come after them.
I built for thee my lad," he would say with
emotion, laying his hand on the clustering locks
of the little grandson's head. "I had thee in






my mind when I built this house for myself and
thy father. Thou must be a good lad, Gabriel;
and when thou art a man, thou must cut upon
that yet vacant beam some good text which will
be thy law of life. And never forget the old
man who built for thee!"
Sometimes the two would go together, side
by side, to the high hill upon which stood
Wichnor Tower, and from whence could be seen
the old gloomy castle of the Montjoys, and the
three slender spires of the cathedral. Between
them and these objects lay a sea of wood. They
looked for miles over countless tree-tops, and
down into near glades, where little pasture-fields
opened; or into park-like spaces, in which deer
were feeding in the sunshine. Wonderful to
the boy seemed the talk of the old man on
these occasions. He would lift his eyes to the
slender spires in the distance, and speak of the
glorious painted windows there, and of.the grand
picture which hung over the altar, and which
he and the boy's grandmother-now so long
since dead-had gone to see on the day of their
marriage! It was a wondrous picture of the
"Last Supper of our Lord," and had made a
deep impression on the old man. He told him







of knights and ladies, and of the old Montjoys,
that lay in effigy there in grand marble tomba.
He told him that the organ pealed forth as with
an archangel's voice, and that the choristers
seemed to reply like answering seraphs.
"Ah!" the old man would say, taking the
boy's hand on such occasions, it is a blessed
privilege to worship-to be lifted up to our
Maker! But, my lad," added he, "we need
neither organs nor minster-churches to make
our service acceptable to God. The green trees
in this wood in summer, and the bare branches
in winter, have been a temple to me for these
eighty years. There have often been times
when the wind and the little birds have been
to me preachers and singers. A woodman,
Gabriel, ought to be a pious man, for he has
God's works always around him; he has room
for good thoughts if he will but let them have
their way. And this I tell thee, Gabriel-and
I was not born yesterday-that if a man, or a
lad either-for this was my experience when I
was very young--will open his soul to good
thoughts in a wood, they will fill it to overflow-
ing, and with them will come such a gladness
as will make him sing for joy. I have sung






MrTH STRADABrT OArUt 47
nany a time for joy, I have been so irondrously
Lappy in the woods Thou wilt be a woodman,
labriel, and thou wilt live in the cottage that
Built. I built it strong and comfortable, as a
it dwelling for a God-fearing man who wishes
o do his duty; for God loves work well done.
:built it in the fear of God for thy father
nd for thee. It will last more than thy time,
labriel, for its timber is sound as an acorn.
jove God, my lad, honour thy parents, and live
!reditably in the house that I built for thee!
Remember my woras: let the house which I
builtt for thee be like the great woods-an
acceptable and fitting temple for thy Maker's
worship."
It was astonishing with what strong attach-
nent the old man's thoughts seemed to cling
o the cottage the nearer he approached to the
md of his days. He did not express regret on
iis own part to leave it; but the strong senti-
ment of his life now in the weakness of his old
age spoke out-the pride and pleasure of being
the possessor of a dwelling, and of seeing it
descend to worthy successors.
There was something very impressive in the
-.2U ---A- __-J A __-1L A!--_ rt-!-ILA 'L_





so THr SrLADI rT JUBL.
placed Gabriel between his knees, and repeated
to him the old sentence-" Live piously, honow
thy parents, and never forget that thy old
grandfather built this house for thee, that in ii
thou mightest serve God and make of it a
household temple !"
These were his last words: his head sunk
upon his chest, and they thought he slept, as
he often did at night in his chair; but from thai
sleep he woke no more on earth.
Gabriel could never forget the words of the
old man. He was now "nine years old, as
vigorous as a young oak, and his father's com-
panion in the wood. He was slender and tall
of his age, as I said, and bidding fair to equal
the height of his grandfather. After the sudden
death of the late Lord Montjoy, there was a
great felling of timber in the woods, which
lasted for several seasons. Gabriel heard his
father and the other woodmen deploring it:
they said that great debts had to be paid off,
and that all the best trees must come down in
consequence. The steward, on his great black
horse, and several strange men, were seen riding
up and down the woods; and everywhere white
roses were painted upon the trunks of the





T ZsTar tI erAA amar.
large trees? which showed that they were
doomed to come down. Gabriel carried to his
father his dinner in a little basket, or a basin
tied up in a cloth; and the rest of the day he
spent with him and the other men in the wood,
and returned home with him in the evening.
He loved to be in the woods with his father.
Sometimes he strolled about by himself, or
played with the other children; sometimes he
listened to the conversation of his father and
the men, or handed them their tools, and made
himself useful
The men talked together in the woods of
many things. They talked of the Montjoys; of
the late lord; how, when a boy, he had been
saved by old Purel. The spot where this cir-
cumstance occurred was well known, and to
Gabriel a death of this kind seemed always
dreadful They talked of the young lord, now
about the age of Gabriel himself; how he lived
in the old house at Grublow with his mother,
and was only now and then seen in Wichnor
Wood, when he drove through in the great
lumbering coach with her and her women on
a visit and back to his uncle the bishop. Ga-
briel had once or twice seen him on these oca-





5O0 Tea mIMADnUT GA3NL
sions; a pale, gentle-looking lad, with soft, dark
hair curling on his shoulders, open throat, and
large collar trimmed with lace, looking alto-
gether more like a girl than a boy. He knew
that the castle of Wichnor Wood, which had
been deserted since the late lord's death, was
now a melancholy and desolate place; that all
the grand rooms were shut up, the vast number
of servants gone, and only an old couple left in
it. Gabriel, as a little child, had gone into the
wood with his grandfather to see the hunters
in their scarlet coats, with huntsmen and hounds,
ride off from the castle. He had magnificent
notions of what life was in the castle in those
days: things were becoming strangely altered
now-for the courtyard was grown over with
weeds.
The woodmen did not alone talk of young
Lord Montjoy and the old castle: a great deal
was said about Jasper Merril, the steward of
Wichnor Tower. They said that he was growing
very rich, and there was not one of them who
did not remember him a poor man, as poor as
themselves. He was the son, it was believed,
of a blacksmith; but as he came from a dis-
tance. and was always very reserved on the





rTn IUsIArT GlAamL 51
subject, nothing was known for certain. This
however, was known to everybody: he came to
the castle of Wichnor Wood about forty yrs
before a barefooted lad, holding his mother by
the hand, and she asking charity. The lady of
the castle had pity on her; relief was given,
and shelter for the night, but she left not the
castle again. She rose by degrees in service,
and gave a tolerable education to her son. He
rose too: was stable-boy first, then valet, then
secretary, and lastly steward. He married a
poor dependent of the great family-a relation,
some said-and with her had a small fortune;
they had children; the eldest, a boy, a year or
so older than young Montjoy.
A strange, gloomy old place was Wichbor
Tower, with its red-roofed look-out and little
prison. Gabriel knew it well. As a child it
had inspired him with a feeling of awe, and
yet he had never been within its doors, for
Jasper Merril kept all his inferiors at a distsce.
The habitable part of the place, which appeared
small in proportion to the out-buildings ker-
nes, and stables-for here the horm and
hounds had been kept-was almost atialfi
concealed by a high stone-wall overgrown with





52 THM SIAAST GaanBIL.
lichens, snapdragons, and other wall-loving
plants, leaving to view only an occasional win-
dow, through the small panes of which might
be seen dark-red curtains. Within this high
stone-wall was a large garden, thick-set with
yew-trees, and other dark evergreens, which
gave it a sombre appearance. From among
the outbuildings rose tall, square dovecots,
where were kept immense numbers of pigeons.
There were vast quantities of owls, starlings,
and jackdaws about the place; and around
the outbuildings, on the side of the hill, upon
which nothing grew but ground-ivy and beds of
nettles, was a large rookery, which in spring
kept the whole woods alive with its cawing.
The walls of the outbuildings were covered with
the dead bodies of birds of prey and vermin, as
it was called-polecats, weasels, and wildcats--
which were nailed up with extended legs and
wings as trophies by the under-keeper.
The woodmen, as they talked among them-
selves, said that Squire Merril knew how to
feather his own nest They said that he was
more master of the whole place than the Mont-
joys, and that the dark lady of Grublow had the
utmost confidence in him, which he took care





THIs BrITArAT *A1TL 53
to strengthen by his obsequiousness and his
flatteries. They talked a great deal about some
quarrel which had lately occurred between
Grublow and Wichnor, in which the steward
would have been guilty of great injustice to a
poor Wichnor man to please her, if the bishop
had not interfered, and with a high hand and
severe reprimand of the steward seen justice
done. They said that Lady Montjoy had been
displeased with this, and had vowed that some
day or other she would make Wichnor pay for it.
They said that the bishop was a very good and
just man, but that now he had grown so fat, he
did not like trouble, and seldom left. Minster-
ham, and had not been at Grublow for twelve
months at least. They said that neither my
Lady Montjoy nor the steward liked the bishop
to know what was going on, or to interfere, and
therefore they were not displeased at his staying
so much at home.
Gabriel, from his earliest childhood, stood in
awe of the steward. He was a strong, large
man, with short, curling, black hair, and a huge
black beard. His countenance was marked by
pride and determination, and his complexion
was dark and ruddv. from exposure to the air.





54 TU aTHUSIADAS GeAIFL
and good living. He rode a strong, fierce, black
horse, very like himself in spirit and character;
and whether he was on horseback or on foot, he
was followed by two or three large hounds, the
fierce temper of which was well known. He
carried a gun on his arm, and in his broad
leather belt were always to be seen large and
sharp hunting and wood-knives He was active,
imperious, and severe; and having lately been
raised to the dignity of a magistrate, his im-
portance was greatly increased.
As I said, there was at this time a great
felling of timber. This made a vast stir
throughout the woods. It was a gand thing
to see those mighty trees fall: they seemed
to make such great resistance, they yielded
so slowly, they seemed in majestic melancholy
to beseech that they might be left a little
longer with their leafy heads in the plea-
sant air. But their huge trunks were nearly
severed, strong ropes were fixed to their mighty
branches, men strained upon the ropes, they
had no mercy on the monarchs of the woods,
sad down they came! For a while the tree
trembled to its topmost branches, it wavered,
than it inalinal ftrwan a little thin it Inat





TBHE 3BIAM2 GAUE- 00
its last hold on the earth below; its equibrium
was gone, and it swept through the air with
its immense crown of branches, and fell with a
crash like the falling of a tower!
When Gabriel was a little boy, he eud to be
frightened lest his father, or some of the men,
should be crushed; but they feared no danger,
and he soon ceased not only to fear any, but
joyfully to put forth his own strength to theirs
and help to pull down the old giants of tht
wood.
After the felling the barking commenced, au
which the woodmen's wives and children wen
,employed. Gabriel worked at the barking wit
the other boys He thought it beautiful to ae
the huge pieces of bark, like great shields
peeled off and stacked in the wood. Tis w
always done in spring, when the trees were i
their first verdure, and when the earth wa
covered with lowers Another process follow
this: the huge arms of the prostrate, bare, a
skeleton-like tree were lopped of, and it
trunk, one immense mass of timber, was cor
veyed out of the wood on rude dray drawn b
stout horses or oxen. Then was there hear
along the green paths of the wood the rUski





56 uTu BTUrADVTT manXL
of whips, the shouts of the drivers to their
heavy teams, and the creaking of the ponderous
timber wains, which cut up the road into deep
ruts as they slowly moved along. There was a
life and a stir in the woods at this time which
delighted Gabriel.
At ten years old Gabriel went to school, and
now you must see him one of that merry troop
of lads who bounded into the old schoolhouse
full of activity and fun, with their leather
satchels on their backs, as their fathers had
done before them.
The same summer that Gabriel went to school
his father built that large oven of which we
have seen Nance Turvit make such unceremo-
nious use. An oven was the only household
convenience that old Gabriel had omitted. He
often said that he would build one, but he left
it for his son to do, and this year it was built.
It was the best-built oven in all the wood-as to
one such in Grublow, that was not to be thought
of Mrs Pureel was a good neighbour; she had
made the cottagers who lived near her welcome
to its occasional use. Nance Turvit would wil-
lingly have baked there every day: she seemed
read to make the oven her own nrovertv.





Ann MA-"KAWEW %MA "ab U1
This was the only annoyance which Mrs Purce
knew, and as she was a cheerful- temper(
woman, she bore it pretty well.




CHAPTrs V.-S-HOL-DAYS.

On the old green of Wichnor-two-Steeple
stood the schoolhouse. The green was a wid
piece of level land on one side adjoining th
churchyard of the little gray Wichnor churcl
with its heavy, square, and low tower. In a
other directions the land lay open, gradually
losing itself in the forest.
For some distance around the school tb
ground was clear of trees, except one hul
sycamore that extended its lofty arms aboi
the school; and when there was silence in ti
school-and that was not often-the music i
its leaves might be heard, according as the wix
played upon them-now soft and shivering, no
loud and roaring in the blast. Between tl
lower branches of this tree hung the school-be
with its rope depending nearly to the groun





05 THr rTn~rBAST OABIKL.
and which it was a severe penalty to pull, ex-
cept, under the master's order, at the hour for
going to lessons. Under this tree, and around
the school, the grass was trodden away by the
continual action of the boys' play during the
time that was allowed for relaxation; but far-
ther on, the turf was fine and short; and still
farther, scattered with bracken and clumps of
hollies, while a sprinkling of cattle, sheep, and
geese, enlivened the scene. More distant, in one
direction, was seen the shadowy edges of the
forest; and in another a wide, well wooded
country.
The old schoolhouse was a dark-red brick
building, of the same date as the castle. It
consisted but of one storey, with various pointed
gables; and over the door was a large stone,
bearing an inscription, importing that it had
been built and endowed with the sum of forty
pounds a year for ever, for the education of the
boys of the parish of Wichnor, in plain and
sound learning of such things as were needful
for a country life, besides a knowledge of Latin
grammar to such as should desire to acquire it.
The founder was Reginald Montjoy, the fourth
lord of that name-no Lady Montjoy having






ever deemed it necessary to endow a similar ono
for children of her own sex.
The present master of the school was Mastei
Pendock Bushell, an old clergyman, and curate
of the adjoining church of Wichnor. Thil
church was in possession of Bishop Montjoy, who
however, never preached there, the duty beinE
conscientiouslyperformed bygood Master Bushell
who, with the salary of the school, and another
forty pounds as curate, managed to maintain a
wife and a garden, besides a small field which
the bishop granted to him for the labour of col.
electing his tithes. The worthy old curate had
no children, and therefore lived a quiet life-
now tilling his field, now his garden, and now
the dull and somewhat stubborn fallows of hit
schoolboys' intellects.
In a well-worn suit of coarse black, his lege
cased in an ancient pair of strong boots, which
were secured to the buttons of his knee-breecheh
by a leather strap, Master Bushell might be seen,
in shovel-hat or skull-cap, delving in his garden
or spreading manure on his field, as indus-
triously as any of his neighbours. He was nol
averse to a cheerful supper at some of his farmei
neighbours-for the school hours seldom allowed





)U THE BUTADIANT UASAIKL.
kim to dine with them, except at Christmas and
Easter, when both he and the boys enjoyed
heir holidays-nor to an occasional visit to my
Lady Montjoy at Grublow Old Hall, nor to the
toward's at Wichnor Tower. But for the most
>art he was a plodding labourer in what he
calledd his three vineyards -the church, the
school, and his bit of land. His wife, meantime-
I right-good country housewife-made cordials,
dispensed physic of simple herbs, and counsels
in domestic difficulties to the poor of the parish.
Thus had Master and Mistress Bushell grown
old in Wichnor, though they had grown neither
richer nor poorer than the first day they came
there.
One only wish had Master Bushell, and that
was, that it might please the bishop to advance
him to the pleasant living of Fritchley-in-the-
Fields, with its good farm and income of two hun-
dred a year. Once this had been hinted to the
bishop, but he had put the idea abruptly aside,
saying that Master Bushell could not be spared
from the school. The old man therefore meekly
submitted, thinking only that if it had pleased
the Lord thus to favour him, his earthly cup
would perhaps have been too full of blessings;







so he toiled on in the school on his mall in-
come, and did his duty like a Christian unoom-
plainingly.
Punctually as nine struck on the old church
clock in the morning, Master Bushell might be
seen coming across the spacious churchyard
towards the school; and as his shovel-hat hove
in sight, one of the elder boys would run from
the noisy crowd that was already collected on
the green, and swing the old bell in the syca-
more-tree. There was then a sudden cessation
of the lusty sounds that had been raised by the
lads at play; and a band of them, of different
ages, were seen crowding into the school before
him. There were laborers' and woodmen's
boys, in their rustic frocks, and their long Iaxen
hair, and clear, ruddy complexions, from the
Wichnor side; and the more robust and burly
sons of the colliers of Grublow, in coarse free
jackets and breeches, and with their strong hair
cut short, till it bristled like brown brushes on
their heads. There was a marked contrast be-
tween these two races now congregated in the
school; for since the union of the two perishes
by marriage, Lady Montjoy had made it a point
that the sons of her poor people, as she called
I





on TIs EDIFAST GAerLr
them, should have the benefit of the endowed
school of Wichnor, though I never heard that
the poor master ever received any benefit for
this great increase of his labours.
IAdy Montjoy had nao, however, found it an
eay thing to bring the colliers to her way of
thinking with regard to the benefits to be de-
rived frm Master Bushell's teaching. Leaning,
they said, no doubt was a fine thing, but they
and their father had done without it; and be-
ides, they wanted the lads to drive the gin-
horses and the ponies down in the pits, that
drew the eoab to the bottom of the pits from
the Iena, or places where they themselves wre
delving the coals; they wanted them to open
and shut the doors in the wind-ways, by
which they got a draght of air in the pits;
and to carry the musndrek, or picks, to the
smithy to be sharpened, and to bring them
back; and to fetch them beer when they
aue up in an afternoon, and peddled a
they called it, in their cabins, built of large
piece of col n the pit bank And then
other of the lds had to carry eoals to the
owa adjacent, to Ashmore, to Fritcley, and
awm to Mistdaba itself Coal was thus take





THX 121TAT GAXM W
by them on aswes; and strings of thee ams,
with their wild drivers, might be seen daily go-
ing to and fro to these neighboring towns; and
coming back, often at fall trot, with the boys
mounted on some of them, ad driving the rest
before them with their backing whips, sad
heavy cudgels, and loud shouts. On these occa-
sions they often had races, and not unfrequently
battles. It was a wild, and somewhat loose
life, that vastly pleased the young collier lan.
Sometimes also, down in the pits, they hunted
rats with their terriers and bulldogs, while
their fathers were peddI n-that is, drinking
beer at the pit-mouth above. The hunting of
these ferce rats was a great treat; they lived
by scores and hundreds in these subterranean
regions, having miles of dark retreats in the ol
hollows, as they were caled, or old worbed-
out places, to hide themselves in; whence tey
issued to devour the ponies' corn, the dinners of
the colliers, and even their candles. For this
reason the colliers were obliged to secure the
underground stabledoor with iron, and to keep
their candles and their eatables in boxes thus
defended. But the rats were so fieree, being
driven to desperation by hunger, that they





4 aTHE ST ADFAU T GABRBIL.
would sometimes attack the very ponies, and
attempt to devour them.
For these reasons rat-huntings of the collier
lads were much encouraged by the men, and
were gone into every now and then with great
zeal On other days there were cock-fight-
ings, dog-fightings, and bull-baitings. There
were matches at flinging sticks at cocks, and at
-foot-ball, when all the population for miles were
assembled. Now and then, above all, a bear-
baiting fetched out all the smutty tribe far and
near, and these meetings seldom ended without
ass-races, foot-races, and a good deal of fighting
and drinking.
In all this the lads took a great delight, and
were therefore as unwilling as their fathers for
them to be moped up in school, as they called
it, and be made nesh" and good for nothing.
It was only by piquing their pride and excit-
ing their emulation that their great patroness,
Lady Montjoy, at length induced some of her
colliers to send their sons to the school, and
even then they could not be spared altogether
A certain detachment were sent for a week, and
then stayed at home for a week, and worked
while the others went. The plan succeeded





THr STEADFAT OAamur. 65
very ill. What little they gained in one week
they lost in the next. They were necessarily
always behind the Wichnor boys; and this,which
was the natural consequence of an irregular and
broken course of instruction, was set down to
the stupidity of Grublow intellects. This led to
great heart-burnings, jealousies, and ill-blood,
not only in the lads at school, but in their
parents at home. It was all that Master Bushell
could do to maintain order in his school, and
often did he pray, and that audibly, that it
would please the good Lady Montjoy to pro-
vide a school in Grublow for her own Grublow
children.
But now came an event which roused all the
elements of evil in the school, and well might
drive the old master to despair. In those days
schools were thinly sown. There was no other
school for miles round the country, especially
where a master of the ability and learning of
Master Bushell could be found.
The steward of Wichnor Tower, Mr Jasper
Merril, found it time to commence the educa-
tion of his son Gerald on a more extensive scale
than the domestic one of mere reading and
writing, in which his mother had hitherto in-





36 TIE 5tUAST G&ABBU .
itructed him and his sister. After looking
round in his mind, and not wishing to send his
ion to a distance at present, he concluded to put
him under the charge of Master Pendock Bushell,
in the free school of Wichnor-two-Steeples.
There were many things, however, about this
school which he did not like: he had no objec-
tion to the school, as a free school, or that his
son should profit by the excellent teaching of
Master Bushell at no cost to himself. That was
not his objection: but that this same ease of
admittance brought into the school every lad in
the parish. His son Gerald was intended for a
gentleman-for one whom he hoped to see an
associate of the Lord Montjoy; therefore he
must be well-trained and well-taught, and that
in a manner superior to the ordinary training
and teaching of the other scholars
To obtain this end, therefore, he resolved to lay
the strictest injunction on Master Bushell that
his son Gerald should not mix with the rest of
the boys. He rode down to the worthy curate's,
aml with much dignity announced to him the
honour he was about to confer on the school
by permitting his only son to enter it. Master
Bushell received this intimation in a calm man-





rna arsArnar SAUS 67
ner, which was peculiar to him. He said that
he would do the best he could in imparting such
instruction as lay in his power to the youth.
But when the steward impressed upon him that
by no means was his son to associate with the
other boys, the good man shook his head, and
said mildly, Depend upon it, sir, this plan will
have its difficulties and its evils. I will answer
for having my boys so far under my eye, that
no harm shall come to your son's maeamra or
morals; but to set up distinctions of rank among
schoolboys is not only to destroy the peace of
the school, but the comfort of the boy himself.
It is sure to awaken feelings on both sides that
must do more mischief than I can calklate
upon. Better by far, Mr Merril, send your Ms
to some school where he will mix with his
equals, and where, therefore, the black feelings
of jealousy, envy, and mortification will have no
cause to be around "-
But," interrupted the steward proudly, time
enough for that-that time will come anon. At
present, the boy is too young to go far from home.
It is my wish at present that he comes to yoe,
and I rely on yeor seeing that he is kept sport
from all the common rabble of the schooL"





8 THB STBADFAST GAUBIL.
Master Bushell could only promise to do his
est; and he foresaw a world of annoyance both
> young Merril and to himself. Accordingly, one
morning the steward marched into the school,
holding his son by the hand. At the entrance
F the tall, burly, and proud man, with his lofty
oks, his black, bushy beard, and with his
unting-knife in his belt, and his gun on his
rm, the whole school was struck into silence.
[aster Bushell, after paying his respects to the
reat man, and welcoming young Gerald to the
:hool, rapped with his cane on the desk before
im to command attention, and thus exclaimed,
How now, boys! rise and make your bow to
he squire;" on which there was a general rising,
rith a great scraping of feet and screeching of
inches, and then as many grotesque bows--
iany of the lads laying hold on their hair in
front, and thereby pulling down their heads,
nd all continuing to bow, and to look very
olemn and very foolish, until the master cried
ut, There, there! that will do!" and then all
at down again with a tremendous noise, and
sagging forward of benches to the desks, where
hey sat gaping in obsequious awe at the steward,
mtil Master Bushell added. Mind vour books.





THIE sTZADDFIAIT oB L. 69
all of you, and don't gape at the honourable
gentleman here!" On this all eyes were in-
stantly turned to their books, though the mo-
ment the master began to speak again to the
steward, many were the sidelong glances that
were cast at him.
The steward having given the master renewed
injunctions as to the careful attention to his
son, and seen him seated at a little desk at the
right hand of the master, took his leave. As
soon as his father was gone, Gerald was interro-
gated by the master as to what he knew, and
had a copy set, that he might see what kind of
hand he wrote. Not far from Gerald sat Gabriel
Purcel, who, though he had not been so long at
the school as many of the others, was at the
head in everything. This was owing not only
to his regular attendance, but to his natural
great abilities, and his love of learning. In his
little old-fashioned coat of homespun cloth, his
coarse worsted stockings and strong shoes, he
looked a regular peasant, until you gazed on
his face, when his somewhat long and handsome
features, his rich complexion, large dark eyes,
dark and rich mass of hair flowing to his shoul-
Elar^m anA hir Mlann *laThn1nh AnVa liman &ilaA





70 TrI IRADrA T GUXnIIL
not to strike the beholder, and to give him a
sense of his superiority to all around him. It
was not, however, the superiority of rank, but of
nature
From time to time, as Gabriel read to himself
in an old thick book with clasps, unlike any used
by the other boys-for this was a Latin book, in
which language Gabriel had made some progress
-he glanced modestly but inquisitively at the
steward's son, who, evidently not much at his
ease, was proceeding with his task The name
and character of the steward, as a stern, harsh,
and overbearing man, were well known not only
to Gabriel, but to the whole school, and the
directions given for his son to be kept as much
apart as possible from the other scholars did not
fail to make a deep impression. Gabriel coupled
these with the steward's residence-the gloomy
Tower in the middle of the wood-and the loud
and harsh words which he had once heard him
using to the woodmen, as he sat on his stont
black horse, with a thick and flowing tail, in
the wood.
With these feelings upon him, Gabriel wa
nevertheless struck, on observing the son, with a
nrsansim that the lad himself aald not be





TA WXAAL uam w a a
either proud or of a bad disposition. He was of
an open, healthful countenance, and gave him-
self no airs, but, on the contrary, seemed rather
oppressed by the strangeness of his situation.
Gabriel felt indeed a strong desire to speak with
him, if it were possible, and to make him feel
more at home among them. But this did not
fall in his way; for as soon as twelve o'clock
struck, and the boys rushed out, some of them
to run home to their dinners in the village, and
the rest to take a lounge to eat what they had
brought with them in the open air, or to return
and take it on the desks, Master Bushell took
Gerald along with him-his father having ar-
ranged that he should dine with him at his house.
Now, indeed, the meaning looks expressed
themselves in words, and all the pent-up thoughts
and feelings that had been hidden under the
awkward bows and the stupid restrained looks
of the lads became audible. The steward had
desired to set his son above the whole school;
but he had, in fact, set him up as a mark for all
its united dislike. He had desired to keep him
apart from the rest, and all the rest were com-
bined against him: he wished to make him an
exception, but he made him a victim. It was Bo





I .TE 5WEAUFABT IADIZI"A._
longer Grublow against Wichnor, and Wichnor
against Grublow, but the two combined against
one unlucky lad.
But we will open a new chapter, and see what
came of it.



CHa rPa VI.-CIVIL WAR.

The ferment in the school in consequence of
the steward's son being set up as a sort of whole
aristocracy in himself, broke out with astonishing
violence. The milder agricultural lads of Wich-
nor and its woods, who were more dependent
through their fathers on the steward's patronage,
were excited in no trifling degree.
"What is this I" said they one to another
when they got out that day on the green; is
the son of Jasper Merril, once a poor lad him-
self, too good to mix even in school with poor
lads like us ? Is he to be kept by himself lest
we should spoil his manners-as if we were toads
and newts ? A fine fellow is he indeed! To sit
at a desk alone, as if he were my Lord Montjoy
himself !-and to dine with the master !-and to





TMU WZrBADE~A5E IAUAL.. o
set up like a king's son, as if he were not
sh and blood like ourselves !"
Well, then," said an indignant little fellow,
let him be alone. Don't let any of us speak
him. If he speaks to us, let none of us an-
rer! Let us leave him to his dignity, and
e how he likes it!"
"Bravo!" said the whole set; "that's it!
hat's the very thing! Don't let us even know
iat he's at school!"
Or that he's anywhere!" shouted another.
Hurra! Well done! No, we won't know
im: he shall be nobody at all to us! No; he
all be nothing-not even a shadow!"
"Hurra! It is Tom Nobody! that's who
e is! Hurra!" And the whole crowd of
fichnor boys clapped their hands, and danced
)r joy. The steward had thought of making his
)n somebody in the school, but he had been
educed to nobody at all! The boys were elated
t their own ingenuity, and proceeded to eat
heir dinner with great relish.
But the Grublow lads had also their council,
nd came to their own conclusion. They had
one all this on the way to the wood-side,
here they had gone to eat their dinners of





74 TEE STsADArt GA(HaL.
bread and cheese; and thea they had a pelt at
the squirrels, which was one of their amusements
whenever they were within reach of the woods.
The Grublow youth had a sort of hereditary
hatred of all that belonged to Wichnor-to the
steward they owed many an old grudge, for he
had interfered with their bull-baitings and their
donkey-races: they had been fined by him for
misdemeanours, and then put in the stocks.
When, therefore, his son was thus brought in over
their heads, and set up, as it were, for them to
bow dowa to, they laid their heads together, and
vowed vengeance.
A puppy!" they said with surly looks and
clenched fist
What, is he to strut about like a game-ock
with silver spur on? Are we dirt and slack
under his feet? But well let him know!"
"Ay, that we will aid Jos. Turvit, the son
of the most surly and gigantic collier in all
Grublow. "Leave me alone to deal with
him !"-
"No, Jo.," said two gaunt, rough-looing
lads, who went by the collier nicknames ol
SmokeJack Ruddles and Bully Spectre; "no
Joe., we shall ut in for or shares in settling





THrN uanras2 smua 75
his wood-monkey. If we dnlt knock the con-
eit out of him, then (Grblow is not rublow !"
These three heroes were at the head of all
he movements of the eollier-lads, aad it was
resolved, therefore, to pick a quarrel with
roung Merril on the first opportunity, and give
iim a desperate beating. It was some time,
however, before any of the offended parties could
arry into execution any of their plan Gerald
-ame to school rather late in the morning by
;he direction of his father, so that he might
not be likely to fall into company with the boys
on the green. By this means he cam in last,
mnd took his place. At noon he went away,
ud retumed with the master, and in the even-
ing he went off straight home, often befie the
school broke up; and thus, a his father desired,
there was little opportunity for interoourse with
the boys.
It was not difficult, however, to see that there
ws no good-will felt towards him. When the
boys passed him in going up to their lessons
they did it with a dogged sullennes of maner,
or the more rude of them made faes at him
lyly. If he paed up or down the school, n
nlamlni antila nr a m. oEwmiaPtnAr nu him





I JmE DLA 9JA U.RABLXE&
There were cold looks everywhere, and often
feet stuck out purposely from the end of a
desk or bench to throw him down. Though
nothing be said, yet the human bosom soon re-
ceives a consciousness of the spirit that exists
around it.
Gerald, who possessed nothing of his father's
pride, felt a natural laddish desire to know his
schoolfellows, and to engage in their sports.
He perceived that there was no good-will felt
towards him, but whether from the natural dis-
positions of the lads, or from something in him-
self, he could not tell; but it saddened him, and
he told his mother that he was very unhappy
there, and that he was sure the boys did not
like him.
But your master is kind, is he not ?" asked
Mrs Merril
Very," he replied.
"Then you have only to do with him. You
will soon feel reconciled and comfortable," said
his mother kindly.
But this did not take place. One day when
Master Bushell was called to perform the funeral
service about three o'clock in the adjoining
churchyard, he gave the boys a holiday till it





THE BTrADJAST AJBBIEL. 1II
was over, not thinking that any harm could
happen in that short time. Scarcely, however,
was the master's back turned, and Gerald in
the open air among his schoolfellows, when he
began to feel the awkwardness of his position.
All the boys fell to their own plays, and into
their own groups. None of course asked him
to join them. There was soon leap-frog, hop-
scotch, and prisoners'-base in full swing. All
was life and enjoyment; he alone was solitary
and uninvited. For some time he looked first
at one set and then at another, and felt very
uncomfortable. As he instinctively looked about
for Gabriel Purcel, whose pleasant face and
mild expression, so different to the rest, had
ever a strong attraction for him, he saw him
at a distance engaged in a match of leaping
with some of his fellows. To reach him, he
must pass various groups of the others, and in
so doing one boy said angrily, "Stand out of
the way, will you!" Another said, "What
does that fellow mean coming here "I
thought he was to keep to his own precious
self!" said a third. What, Master Big Moun-
tain, are you coming down ? and what will your
father say when he knows?" asked a fourth.





76 THE STEAD~FAT GABRIL.
" You had better be off, Mr Fine-Skin," said a
fifth, for nobody wants you here "
Amid such taunts as these Gerald Merril
advanced to the spot where Gabriel was play-
ing. He stood for a little while looking on,
and feeling very unhappy. He wanted to
accost Gabriel, but he dared not do it. He
was on the point of turning round and walk-
ing to the graveyard, where the master was
performing the funeral service, but the sight of
all the groups he had to repass, and the fear of
their ridicule, again stopped him, and as Gabriel,
all in a flow of good-humour, came up towards
him, making a leap far beyond his fellows, he
ventured to say, What a capital leaper you
are, Purcell"
"You must not speak to me, you know,"
said Purcel, turning very grave; you must not
come among us poor nobodieL That is not
allowed you; and here comes the master; you'd
better be off to him, or you'll get scolded !"
And in truth poor Merril was glad that the
master was coming, for he was ready to burst
into tears of mortification. It was a new sensa-
tion, and a dreadful one-that he was an object
of dislike to his kind.





THE STEADFAST GABBI= Z-Z
The bell rung; the whole throng trooped into
school, and Gerald once more took his seat at
his solitary desk with a load at his heart to
which he had hitherto been a stranger. He
looked round the whole assembly of boys, and
felt that they had their bonds of interest and
amusement amongst each other, and were happy.
He had no relation to them, or to any one of
them, but was a shunned and hated being. Had
he not had sufficient pride to prevent it, he
would have wept bitterly; but he sat with the
dismal weight at his heart until the hour of
dismissal, and then running into the woods, he
gave vent to his feelings.
That night he begged of his father not to
allow him to go again to that school. He told
him that.he was miserable there.
Miserable !" repeated the steward; "what,
then, do the young rogues molest you ?"
"They shun me," said Gerald; "they insult
me. I am like a speckled bird among them. I
would rather work like a Grublow collier than
go there!"
"Oh," said the steward indignantly, "they
insult you, do they ? I'll soon settle that!'
The next morning he rode down to the school





BO THE STEADFAST GABRIEL
on his great black horse, and entering it with
a stern and haughty air, informed Mastel
Bushell that he heard with surprise that the
unmannerly clowns in the school insulted hii
son. "I wonder," added he, "that you do not
correct them, my friend." And then turning
to the boys as they all sat gaping in surprise:
he shook his stout riding-whip at them, and
said, "You young dogs, though, if you were
under my teaching for a few days, I would
cure you of insulting a gentleman's son!"
There was a profound silence, when Master
Bushell said, Pray what is all this about,
Mr Merril I am quite ignorant of any dis.
agreement or unpleasantness that has arisen
What have you been doing to the squire's son,
boys ?"
"We aren't done nothing to him !" said Jos.
Turvit doggedly.
"No; nobody aren't done nothing to him!'
chimed in Bully Spectre, emulating the assur.
ance of Turvit.
"No; none on us aren't! We've nivwe
meddled with him!" said a score of voices in
loud chorus.
Silence!" said Master Bushell: rav. my






THE STADFAST GABRtL. 81
young friend," turning to Gerald, "what have
they done to you ?" Gerald was silent.
"Speak out, my son !" said the steward;
"speak out! don't be afraid of them. I see
that they are an audacious set. They are true
Grublow breed, but I'll deal with them."
"What have they done, Gerald ?" continued
the master.
"Well," said Gerald with hesitation, "they
have not done anything particular !"
"No; that's true !" interposed the three
Grublow leaders all at once; "that's just what
we said,' we aren't done nothing!'"
"Silence !" shouted Master Bushell, striking
with his cane on the nearest desk; "if they
have done nothing, Gerald "-
"Done nothing!" exclaimed the impatient
steward-" done nothing! Why, I tell you,
Master Bushell, my son has begged and prayed
that he might not come here again, because
they insulted him !"
"Indeed!" said the master. "But now, my
young friend, Gerald, do tell us how I"
"They shun me," said Gerald blushing;
"they tell me to keep away from them. When






82 TRE STADAST ABBIXL.
"Why, truly," said the master, "if that's all,
that is what your honoured father has com-
manded. It is his wish that you should not
mix with the other boys. But when did this
happen ?-you are always with me."
"He means," shouted Ruddles, "when you
was at th' berrin yesterday!"
"I see!" said the master, as if a light had
broken in on him-" I see; but why did you
go near them I I told you to take a walk."
Gerald had nothing to answer, and his father
took it up again. I see how it is," said he;
"these rude collier lads want better teaching.
Give them plenty of cane, Master Bushell; give
it to them till they know how to behave towards
their betters. And you, young dogs, you," said
he, again menacing them with his riding-whip,
"if I hear any more of this, 11 come and
thrash you all round !"
With this the angry man departed. Master
Bushell attended him to his horse, and said,
"Excuse me, Mr Merril, but this is what I
feared. There is a strong nature in these rude
sons of the soil, and they will rebel against
what hurts their pride."






TBU SrsI IAnT GaSUX. 83
rave such young cubs to do with pride I Are
re to be mastered and bearded by them i No,
no, Master Bushell, they must be kept down
with a strong hand. I always find that to be
;he only thing! Flog them well; don't spare
them; and if that won't do, I'll come and add
ny authority!"
With that the proud man gallopped away.
master Bushell took a turn or two before his
school ere he returned into it with a deeply
houghtful air, muttering to himself, Demo-
alising! very! but I always feared it. But
rhat is to be done ? It is a free school-the
nan is powerful!" He shook his head, and
turned into the school
There was a dull, dogged silence all that
lay in the school The boys seemed to work
lard; there was nothing to complain of, but
ret the old master felt far from comfortable.
When the school broke up for dinner, he went
silently away with Gerald; when they returned,
he boy appeared to have been weeping: his
)yes were red, and his cheeks swollen. The
ld man was unusually grave, but not severe.
Before school broke up in the evening, he read
L nrvar frnm his dMakr in which fnaroivene.





OT TULE UELJLrAEB UAIJUUiL.
and the casting away of hard thoughts, and the
calling to mind our common nature and infir-
mities, and the casualties of life, were greatly
dwelt upon. When he gave the signal to de-
part, he said, Good-even, my dear lads, all ol
you; let us try to meet in the morning in oui
very best of humours.

To-night good angels call of us I
Work and play,
Love and pray,
That's the way.
You are gay,
I am gray,
But that's the way
For you, and me, and all of us !"

The old master nodded and smiled, and agair
bade them all a kind good-even. To whicl
there was a loud chorus of Good-even !" fron
the boys.
But though the old master hoped that he hac
in great measure cured the mischief which th4
steward had made, it was not so. The Wichnol
boys went home, and talked of the occurrence
of the day, and their parents looked at one
another and said, It's just like him: when i
man gets money, he can do such things !" an





THBE fTADIABT GABRIML 85
here the matter ended. But the next morning
he Grublow lads came back with a fire and
n insolence that had been caught from what
ad passed at home. There had been, in fact, a
curious effervescence on the subject all through
Irublow; and many mutterings of Upstart,"
Stuck-up," "Jackanapes," and "Pride. come
before a fall," were heard.
That night Gabriel saw the Grublow lads,
after going a short distance on their way home-
rard, draw from a thicket each a bandy-stick,
a if they were going to have a game at bandy,
r, as it is called in Sootland, shinty" and
here shinny." With these shinny-sticks they,
however, suddenly made off to the high road
rhich led through Wichnor Wood, and then
truck into a footpath leading directly to the
rower. The idea rushed through his mind like
lightning that they were bent on mischief-that
hey were going to waylay Gerald.
At once Gabriel darted forward, plunged into
,he wood, and pursuing at full speed a footpath
rell known to him, ran for some minutes with
all speed possible. He then stopped to listen,
but catching no sound, he ran on again, and
counting a little hill in the wood, looked





86 rTH R IADAT alu aA L.
round eagerly. Here he saw Gerald coming at a
brisk pace, as if unaware of any danger, up a
steep ascent, where the trees had been cleared
away, at some distance from him, and the
Grublow lads, headed by their three leaders,
Ruddles, Turvit, and Bully Spectre, eagerly, but
silently, running up a hollow on the high road
to the left of the footpath that Gerald was
pursuing. He saw at once that they meant to
reach the next valley before Gerald, and there,
diverging from the high road suddenly to the
right, waylay him. This valley was a steep,
solitary, and marshy place, about half-way
between Wichnor Tower and the school Here
they might beat him unmercifully, perhaps kill
him, and nobody within hearing.
Again Gabriel darted forward, keeping within
the shadow of the trees, so as to prevent the
Orublow boys getting sight of him. Gerald
was over the hill before he could reach the
summit, and was hidden in the close footpath
descending into the next valley. He dared not
shout, but he ran wildly, madly, almost suffo-
catingly, with his throbbing heart and his pant-
ing lungs. As he ran, he struck suddenly, and
with a shock that almost upset him, against






THX BrLFAm GABU rl 87
some one advancing in the opposite diesotio.
For a moment he was stunned and breathless;
but on recovering himself, he found that it was
only Andrew Cockayne, the mole-catcher of
Wichnor, against whom he had ran.
"Plague on it! is that you, Gabriel said
he. "What, in the name of all madmen, are
you racing like a blind horse for? Babbit it!
you've knocked a'most all th' wind out of me,
if you haven't broken one of my ribs!"
"Come-come along!" said Gabriel, quickly
recovered; "the Grublow lads are coming after
Gerald Merril to thrash him with sticks, per-
haps to kill him!"
The old mole-catcher, still alternately rub-
bing his elbow and then his stomach, seemed
bewildered. "What say'st, mant" said h
"Grublow lads going to thrash the stewad's
son! What say'st, man Where are they t"
But at that moment a wild cry as of many
voices, and then a wilder shriek, followed by a
rattle of blows with sticks, one upon another,
nor far beyond them, put an end to further
parley.
"There they are!" cried Gabriel, and darted
n;rwArl Tha *ll 4latlIt. mnlmnah+nr m.nAh





88 THE TEADFAST GABRIEL
after him; and issuing from the thick boughs,
they beheld a throng of Grublow lads with their
shinny-sticks all striking at something under a
large oak-tree.
"Hold, villains!" shouted the mole-catcher;
but the cries of Gerald for help, and the
clamor of the Grublow lads, prevented their
hearing him. And when he came up to the
scene of conflict, there stood Gerald, and Ga-
briel by his side, with their backs to the tree,
defending themselves gallantly against the
host of their foes. Gabriel, in rushing up to
the scene, had snatched two of the shinny-sticks
from the assailants, and handing one to Gerald,
they fought most courageously. Gerald had
received several severe blows before Gabriel
reached him, having nothing but his uplifted
arms to defend himself with. The blood was
pouring down his face, and, his shirt collar,
dragged out in the scuffle, was also covered with
blood. Notwithstanding this, the two lads
maintained a courageous fight, and dealt tre-
mendous blows on several of their enemies. The
battle, however, must have been eventually
decided against them, and probably Gerald
would have been dreadfully wounded, if not





THE STADFAST OABRIX 89
killed outright, by his enraged and half-savage
enemies, had not at this moment the mole-
catcher commenced a brisk attack in the rear
with his stout, oaken-shafted spud-a small,
long-handled spade, with which he opened the
burrows of the mole to insert his traps. With
this formidable weapon he let fly right and
left at the Grublow lads. He struck with-
out mercy at their hands, and mowed down
their shinny-sticks by wholesale. First one,
and then another, fell headlong into the thick
of the m6le; till the furious combatants,
arrested in their rage, and made aware of
their foe in the rear by the havoc he caused,
gave way; and after a stare of surprise, and
a few ineffectual blows at the mole-catcher,
who grinned with delight to see them show
fight with him, fled precipitately in all direc-
tions.
The two boys, thus relieved from their peril-
ous situation, were now found to have received
no serious injury, though they had got bruises
to last for some time. Gerald, in particular,
had received so many blows on his left arm,
that had been uplifted to save his head, that it
now hung useless, though it was not broken:





)0 THE TrDIAST GABRIIL
to say nothing. of several severe knocks that
might have been dangerous.
Bully Spectre and Jos. Turvit, who had been
felled by the mole-catcher's spud, were left
senseless on the ground, but they soon began to
stir again; and the mole-catcher, as soon as he
saw life in them, drew forth a piece of the
strong string with which he fastened the bows
of his trap, and tied their hands behind them.
As soon as he could get them up, he bound
them together, arm to arm, and bade them
march on to the Tower before them. This, how-
ever, the hot Grublow blood refused to do; and
it is hard to say what would have been the
upshot of the matter, but that two men from
the Tower suddenly appeared on the scene,
having been sent to see what was the cause
of Gerald's delay. By their aid, and some solid
blows that they dealt, the refractory captives
were finally conducted to the Tower, and secured
in the little lock-up.
It may be imagined what a consternation and
exasperation there was when the mole-catcher
had explained to the steward, his wife, and all
the troop of gaping men and women belonging
to the Tower, what had taken place, and when





TrS BrTADJABT GABJrr 91
Gerald had given such information as was not
in Cockayne's possession. Gabriel, in the mean-
time, had gone home.
Next morning the two Grublow culprits were
sent, under a strong guard of servants, by a
warrant from the steward, to the county jail
Great and violent was the sensation that the
news of this event occasioned all over the
neighbourhood. Wichnor forgot the harsh and
contemptuous behaviour of the steward, which
had caused it, and execrated the savage race
of Grublow and their deeds; while Grublow
burned and fumed with rage from end to end,
like the fires on the pit-banks, that -had been
in combustion for years. The breach between
the two populations seemed deeper and more
determined than ever.




CnAPn VIL-ADv UrnrT s n m.r Woon

The wrath of Grublow was increased bWqe
the two Grublow culprits were condemn &r
three months to hard labour in prison.





92 THE SFADFSTB GABRIIL
Gerald Merril came no more to school; but,
through the bishop, a poor scholar preparing.for
the church was procured to teach the steward's
two children at home. This in some degree
soothed the incensed feelings of the colliers;
they regarded it as a sort of victory over the
proud steward. They boasted that their lads
had driven the young popinjay from school
The steward rode into the woods in a day or
two to where Gabriel Purcel and his fellow-
workmen were felling timber, and thanked him
for his son's defence of Gerald. That must be
a brave lad of yours, Purcel," said he; you
must be proud of him. I shall remember his
brave conduct."
"He would have done as much for any
one," returned Purcel, really proud of his son.
"Gabriel would never stand to see half a
score beating one lad. He likes fair-play, sir."
The words were meant to express the feelings
that glow in the heart of every true English-
man, but they fell coldly on the steward's.
mind.
"True," said he to himself; "very likely.
He would have done as much for any one.
Nevertheless," said he aloud to the woodman,





T=X TEADrART ohARBI. 93
" I thank you ; your son is a brave lad. I wish
you joy of him." And the steward rode away.
"He would have done as much for anybody,"
thought he again and again as he rode through
the woods.
There was no further proof of the steward's
gratitude to Gabriel. But in the heart of Gerald
there was a very different feeling. He reflected
that Gabriel had watched the design of the
Grublow lads; he had run to prevent it at the
utmost danger to himself. Had it not been for
him, he must certainly have been most severely
beaten, perhaps killed. He knew, too, that
Gabriel, through his friendly interference for
him, had made the dangerous Grublow people
his enemies. For these reasons he determined
to seek him out, and tell him how much he
felt his kindness
His tutor, the poor scholar, went every Satur-
day, as soon as the morning's lessons were over,
to the cathedral town, where in the chapter
library he pursued his studies under the guid-
ance of the reverend librarian, and at a small
cost defrayed by the bishop. The poor scholar,
who was lame, studied hard in his own room at
the steward's house mornings and evenings he-





94 THI 81TADFAST GAIsXL.
fore and after school-hours; and on Saturday
afternoons he took his exercises, and showed his
progress to his instructor; and the Sunday he
spent with his mother, the widow of a sacristan,
and went with her and his sisters to the
cathedral service. He was very anxious to ob-
tain orders, and worked very hard for that
purpose, that he might contribute something
to his mother's slender means.
During these Saturday afternoons, therefore,
Gerald could take his pony into the woods,
though his father had given him strict injunc-
tions never to go near the school nor the Grub-
low district. But he could ride towards Whytley
Knowe,where the good Gabriel lived; and thither
he directed his course the first Saturday after-
noon after he felt sufficiently recovered. He
found Gabriel, who had just had his dinner,
setting out to his father in the woods. As soon
as he saw him, he jumped from his pony, ran up
to him, and kissed him, and thanked him most
ardently for his generous assistance. Gabriel
was somewhat disconcerted at first; but Gerald
appeared so open-hearted, and so truly glad to
see him, that by degrees they grew quite
friendly, and talked of the wood and all its





THIn TrADM AT Q Barz 95
wonders. Gabriel knew far more of it than
jerald did, for he had ranged about it many
ind many a time. He knew where the greatest
ierds of deer generally were to be found; had
seen strange battles among the bucks and stags;
knew where the best fish lay, both in the
streams and in the old ponds: the owls, the
wood-pigeons, the woodpeckers, the hawks, and
ravens-they and their haunts were all known
to him. He had watched the creatures that
prey on the rest-the fierce wild-cats, the pole-
:ats, the stoats and weasels, and the badgers
that lived in the old sandbanks. He had
watched the otters lurking for their prey, and
surprised them with huge fish in their mouths,
and had secured it as they started away and
plunged into the deep ponds.
All this store of knowledge, so attractive to
boys, and these adventures, stirred in Gerald's
heart a most lively attachment to Gabriel. He
vowed a lasting friendship for him, and declared
that he would meet him in the woods on all
occasions when he could. Gabriel, however, did
not fail to say, But what will your father say
if he knows it t"
Gerald, in the warmth of his heart, said that




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