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A ROMANCE OF THE DAYS OF BLUFF KING HAL.
BY JOHN TILLOTSON,
Author of "Stories of the War," “ Crimson Pages," “ Shot and Shell," " London
Stone," etc., etc.
Poor Studeley was certainly in sorry plight, and his mates were anxious to put an end
to his captivity. ST WEEPING forward with irresistible When they came to the gaol, they raised
force, the London 'Prentices, serving a shout that woke up all the neighbourhood, men, and a formidable addition of what we and scared the very birds from their nests, should now call “the roughs" from the As the gaolers sturdily refused to open the Borough and Whitefriars, made haste to doors, it was resolved to force an entrance. Newgate, where a few of their number lay Wat Tyler's fellows had done the same in immured. Master Studeley and some of King Richard's time. his companions had got into a brawl with a “On, my worshipful companions! on, my city magnate, and had by the town-guard valiant 'Prenticos !” was shouted by a conbeen packed off to gaol, wherefrom it was spicuous 'Prentice, dressed out in Sunday not improbable they might be taken to the best. place of punishment-pilloried, set in the “ To the postern! to the postern!” stocks, or mayhap, whipped at the cart's tail shouted the mob. from Leadenhall to Ludgate. The dignity of “Down with the French, Lombards, and a city alderman was no light matter in those Spaniards." days ; and it is recorded that a Lord Mayor And on went the fierce and terrible human once upon a time hanged up several fish food; hammers and axes resounded on the mongers for insulting him in the public way. I door, blow followed blow in quick succession, IV.
and oaths and cries arose; whilst Dr. Bell, / and down it came again: the postern fell raising himself on a huge mounting-block, beneath the blow. harangued the concourse—much to his per- A terrible yell of exultation was raised by sonal satisfaction.
the mob in honour of the deed, and a loud, Loud and terrible was the din occasioned yet certainly rather discordant, fanfare was by the attack on the postern, which remained blown through a score of bullocks' horns ; firm, barring their progress. When the con- butchers struck their cleavers furiously to. fusion was at its highest, a dark figure was gether; and ’Prentices assailed their bucklers observed striving to unloose the bars that with unnecessary violence : whilst those who caged its prison window.
possessed no other means to testify their “ Studeley, Studeley!" shouted the mob. joy, shrieked and yelled, waving their
It was in truth that valiant gentleman. lighted brands aloft; and on they rushed, Again the sounds resounded on the postern, like demons, into the wide hall and up the but all remained the same. A shower of narrow winding stair, tumbling one stones were hurled at the few glazed windows another. Meeting with no opposition to at the east. At that instant one of the iron their progress, breaking open every door bars of Studeley's prison was loosened by until they came to Studeley, a very heavy his efforts, and down it came dashing against blow sufficed to set him free, and out he the various projections of the building. This rushed with three or more valiant cits. feat was recognized by the 'Prentices by a But it was now time to escape, for the lusty shout; and a general demand for halbert men would soon be there. Once ladders was now made. They were soon more they assembled in the open air before produced, and raised to the opening, but un- the prison. “Let's fire the gaol !” cried unluckily were too short to reach the spot the butcher. “To the Tun-to the Tun!” desired.
shouted another. « To the Compter!” “Down with the postern!" cried Sherring; cried a third. “St. Martin's-le-Grand !” and the slaughterman echoed his words with
was proposed by a fourth. Another the a fearful oath, to make the remark more Steel-yard !” but the voice of the smith forcible. But to say is easier than to do, was heard above them all. « To the house and so the rioters found it.
of Mutas !” he cried. “Hillie hoop, hillo !” A party of carbineers was now seen shouted the mob; and on they rushed, hastily to advance across the leads, and leaving Newgate for a future destruction, level their pieces. The volley rang in the and illuminated the houses by the red light ears of the multitude, and many a valiant of the cressets, and causing the foreigners 'Prentice bit the ground.
to tremble at the sound of their approach. Down went the Doctor, and down too went John Lincoln. Their sudden overthrow was occasioned by a movement of the
CHAPTER XV. crowd, for at that instant the scouts des. patched to reconnoitre returned with the
MUTAS. intelligence that the alarm was given, and WHEN the rioters arrived at Paul's Cross the troops would soon be there.
they divided into three companies: the first “Haste, haste !" cried Sherring; “ham- of them hied them to the “ Tun,” to libemer away, my lads !" Merrily rang the rate those who had been arrested at the blows in answer to his words. “Give way, Spital Sermon; the second took the way give way !” he cried, and spurred his horse to the Steel-yard; while the third and largest amidst the crowd ; then high in the air he concourse proceeded down the Westchepe raised his sledge, and down it came : the towards the City granaries. postern shook beneath the blow. “A Sher- The trembling citizens opened their case. ring! a Sherring!” shouted the 'Prentices. ments as the vast multitude swept by, yelling “Down with Flemings, Lombards, and and shouting, bearing their lighted cressets Spaniards!" Again the sledge was raised, aloft. Clashing Brownbills, halberts, knives,
swords, axes, and crowbars, down the Cheap They halted upon observing so vast a they pressed, with its closed shops and concourse, and seemed irresolute whether stalls, its overhanging stories, creaking to linger or to fly; but at length he who signs, gables, and twisted chimneys. Some seemed the leader of the troop advanced. few of the multitude halted at a place near Disperse, ye rebellious knaves !” he Bow Church; but the rest continued their said. course towards the house of Mutas. A warn- Liberty—liberty !” shouted the mob. ing yell was raised when they came within "Down with the French, Lombard, and view of the building. On, on!” shouted Spaniard! Down !” Nick: “the alarm hath long been given, The slaughterman uttered a fierce oath, and Master Denis and his hackbut men and spurred his horse towards the captain ; will soon be here."
high aloft he raised his cleaver, and felled “Master Denis !” echoed the slaughter- him to the earth. man. “He'd flee at the sight of a cleaver “St. Antholin !" shouted a trooper, “this or Brownbill. But on, valiant 'Prentices ! I is indeed rank treason ;” and levelling his long to visit within those walls the wor- piece, he fired amidst the mob: his example shipful Maitre Mutas."
was followed by his companions, and several The crowds acquiesced by a shout of of the rioters fell. triumph, and they halted in hostile array “Vengeance, vengeance! slice, slice !" before the devoted pile. The windows were cried the enraged multitude. “Sherring, open in the upper story, which overhung Sherring ! Studeley, Studeley! and on they the street, and at them appeared Colner, rushed. Again a few shots were fired by Mutas, Scrivener, and the Verger : little the soldiers, and were returned with oaths suspecting the favour intended them, they and execrations by the mob, who immedi. seemed surprised when the multitude halted. ately fell upon them, dragging them from their
Loudly Nick shouted, commanding them horses to the ground. · Forbear!” cried to submit; and as they still lingered by Sherring; “let the rascals depart; we've the casement in much astonishment, a shot | better work before us now.” “ Kill the was discharged from a carbine, in order to rogues!” shrieked Studeley; and raising his revive their faculties. A hasty retreat on broadsword, he inflicted a heavy blow on the part of the besieged was the immediate the steel casque of a fallen trooper: again consequence.
he raised it, but his arm was stayed by A shower of stones was hurled at the Nick : “Forbear, rash fool!” he said ; windows as the rioters prepared for the “ the halbert men will be down anon; the attack, and then a score of stalwart men time is precious. Mutas has riches the stepped to the portal, and raised their wea- pope might covet, and all will be lost if we pons to destroy it. Some pulled down the are not quick; let the men go. Now, my shutters; others raised ladders; whilst a few, lads,” he cried to the crowd, “ down with under the direction of a mason, commenced the door, and help yourselves to the dainties a breach in the wall; and one, over-zealous stored within." in the cause, cast a lighted brand into the
Meanwhile Mutas and his companions réAdmission would soon have been gained mained in a state of serious apprehension. by their united efforts, had not the clatter Aroused by the signal-guns from their deof boots attracted their attention. *" Quick, bauch, they appeared totally to forget that quick!” cried Studeley ; “ the trained bands the night was come on which, according to are up, and we'll have sharp work anon.” rumour, the 'Prentices were to rise against Again they raised a frantic yell, and clashed the foreigners; and it was not until the vast their cleavers furiously together. The sound multitude arrived that they considered the of the approaching troop grew nearer and peril of their situation. Fied with dismay, more near, and a company of the trained they fled up the wide oaken stairs to a small
chamber, the most secret in the dwelling,
bands soon appeared.
MICHAEL DE LA POLE.
constructed in the thickness of the wall, so “let the gallows'-birds be roasted in their that it would for a considerable period, if nests, and basted with rials and broad not entirely, baffle pursuit. Colner was pieces.” the last that entered, and he alone it was Scarce had he offered this gentle suggestion that quailed not at the yells of the mob ere the objects of it had gained the roof, without. The room was of small dimen and were gazing cautiously down into the sions, secured by bolts and chains, and street. A vast multitude of human heads defended by a strong barrier of iron, after occupied the space before the dwelling, wild the fashion of a portcullis ; a trap, more and furious, armed to the teeth-a formidable over, led out upon the roof, which, com- array. Secreting themselves on the roof of municating with the adjoining dwellings, a neighbouring house, Mutas and his friends afforded means of escape.
awaited the result. In a short time the “Now we are safe from danger," cried devouring flames burst forth from every Scrivener, as he locked and double-locked window; a bright, ruddy glare illuminated the door.
the scene, exhibiting in the strong light “But my gold !” shrieked Mutas, “my the beautiful architecture of the church, gold! 'Tis in the lower chambers, and all and the lofty shaft decked for the morrow's will be lost!"
festival. Thick volumes of smoke arose, “Nay," quoth the Verger, with philo- then came a dreadful crash, a bright and sophical calmness, for he had no gold to spiral flame leapt into the air. lose, “repine not for the yellow dross; con. sider the peril we have escaped of being butchered by the raging multitude, and be
CHAPTER XVI. thankful.”
“What is life without gold ?” cried Mutas. “What should I be but a despised wreck if The house of Michael de la Pole, though it was not for my gold ?”
situated in Eastchepe, was yet a noble At the instant a shout of triumph was structure, with a court-yard, porter's lodge, raised by the mob, then suddenly all was and gate towards the street, flanked by quiet; then came the tramp of many feet; towers. then it again was hushed.
A crash suc
Now the worshipful occupier of these ceeded, followed by the rush of many feet premises being considered of great impor. and clashing weapons, for the rioters had tance, a body of carbineers and mounted entered the dwelling.
arquebusiers were despatched to the build. “Butcher the dogs !” cried one. “Down ing at the first assembling of the city trained with the locusts !" shouted another. “Here's bands. gold enow for all !” cried a third.
On their way thither they encountered I'll slit their throats for them !” roared the Spanish knight, returning in haste from the slaughterman. “Kill the rogues !” | the banquet at the house of Sir Henry “Down-down with the Flemings, Lom. Keble, and taking the command of the bards, and Spaniards—down with the rats! party, he returned to his mansion in the Butcher the thieves-on, on!”
Eastcheap. “Follow, follow !” shrieked Studeley ; The arquebusiers were placed so as to sur. “I'll show you where the knaves have hid !” round the building; the carbineers were and he led the way up the broad oaken drawn out in the court-yard with two ponstairs, followed by the mob.
derous calivers; whilst every window, The heavy tramp of feet drew nearer and loophole, and opening of every kind were more near, and then the blows from axes defended by the domestics, and some few and hammers resounded on the door : it Spanish soldiers who continued with their soon gave way, but the iron curtain still re- lord. Thus was the mansion defended, and mained.
the night passed on. “ Fire the house!” roared the butcher; Loud
the alarm bells from every city
church; the yells and shouts of the ap short period, merely the time consumed in proaching throng were borne along upon crossing the court-yard and entering the the night wind; and thus it continued for mansion. near an hour, when the bright, clear flames The soldiers soon spread themselves through devouring the house of Mutas vaulted up every part of the dwelling, busy with their wards to the heavens, giving notice of the work of plunder. Some rushed to the coffers, fearful deeds that might be expected. thirsting for gold; others to the wardrobes
The tramp of many feet resounded in the and armouries; others again to the cellars, Chepe soon after, and then the multitude
so that no portion escaped their vigilant was seen advancing : on they came, like scrutiny. some mighty flood released from its wonted Suddenly a loud, wild shriek was heard bounds, carrying all before it. They halted proceeding from the vaults by those who not at the sight of the soldiers, but rushed searched below. They rushed tumultuously tumultuously onwards. In an instant the forwards to the spot whence came the arquebusiers had levelled their pieces, and sounds. A few heavy blows levelled the. fired.
barrier to the earth, and he who lay within Several of the rioters fell, calling on was free. But his liberators started, for a their companions to revenge them; the man of a wild and haggard appearance, horses reared and plunged; the mob yelling and shrieking, rushed forth. The of valiant 'Prentices yelled right lustily; rioters fell back on either side in terror at and on they came in one vast struggling the sight. mass, with Sherring at their head. Again When the surprise of his sudden appear. the soldiers fired, but this time without ance had, in some degree, subsided, Nick effect, and the rioters rushed on ; the arque- Sherring planted himself in the stranger's busiers gave way before them, and with a path, and stayed his progress. cry of defiance they pressed forwards to “Body o' St. Benet !” he cried. “Ye the very gates of the building.
cowardly knaves, would ye fly before a The gates were strongly barricaded, and lunatic ?" and, gazing more intently on his from every loophole in the flanking towers features, he continued, “Mass! this is no arquebuses, halberts, and carbines were pre other than the idiot, Erkinwald Aubrey." sented, so that they must needs be valiant As he spoke, the singular-looking being men who would dare to approach; yet on that he called Aubrey bounded forward came the throng, right in the face of the and flew wildly up the oaken stairs, sheet of flame, the places of those who fell through the long suite of rooms,
Unheed. being immediately filled by their compa- ing the plundering rioters, he pursued his nions.
way to the very roof of the mansion. Now it chanced that the captain of car. There stood Sir Michael, surrounded by bineers, not being a man who delighted in a band of Spanish soldiery. Aubrey sprang war, concluded in his own mind that it forwards. “Ah, murderer! have I found would be advisable to throw open the gates thet ?” he cried. Yet, in an instant, and take to flight: this resolution he carried Michael turned, and seizing the idiot. into effect, and the raging multitude poured firmly, he attempted to hurl him from the in like a flood.
battlements. Aubrey, however, clung firmly “Give way, base callions,” cried Nick, to some projecting ornaments. spurring his horse amidst the affrighted At that instant a small company of armed soldiery.
“Give way,” shrieked Studely. men dashed into the court-yard, with Ambrose “Butcher the dogs,” roared the slaughter. Quartermain at their head. Yet, whilst he
Slice, slice !” chorussed the mob. passed beneath the gateway, a rioter sprang Then was heard the sound of clashing forward, and placing a paper in his hands, steel, of clattering hoofs, groans, yells, and was again lost amidst the throng. The shouts, and all the sure accompaniments of excitement of the moment prevented hina strife. This continued, however, but a very l from examining its contents, and placing it