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TYLNEY HALL. 26?

breakables, remained miraculously unhurt amidst the general

havoc ; a sufficient freight, indeed, for the butler's

tray, which Pompey volunteered to carry into the house ;

but barely had the unlucky negro set foot on the threshold,

when, with an exclamation of surprise, he dropt the whole

brittle load at the feet of the brown woman ; and, in an-

other second, Pompey lay sprawling himself amidst the

fragments, by a blow from her redoubtable hand.

After this exploit, the Queen of the Gipsies sprang

down the steps, and, with the air of Moll Flaggon, danced

and pranced along the lawn to the scene of havoc just de-

scribed, where she began to amuse herself like a bedlamite

broken out of confinement. First of all, she bowled a

round of cold beef across the grass-plot, and then she sent

a fillet of veal trundling after it. Next, seizing the gardener,

who was collecting the fragments of the feast, she

forced him to dance a round with her, ending the waltz

with a trip up that laid the horticulturist on his back ;

anon, after a little game at football with a fowl, she threw

all the cold ducks, one after another, into the fish-pond.

The company in general stood aghast at this outrageous

conduct, and wondered what character it was intended to

keep up ; whilst others, better acquainted with the brown

woman, scarcely marvelled at her violence, but felt proportionably

anxious as to its ultimate extent. Mrs. Twigg

ran in doors to faint in her own room. Matilda prepared

to mount to the top of her temple ; the ladies retreated to

the octagon summer-house and the hermitage, whilst Squire

Ned, remembering the woman's partiality for sharp blades,

judiciously caught up a brace of carvers from the grass, in

case she should again resort, like Palafox, to " war to the

knife."

" Stop her ! seize her ! take her up in the King's

"

name ! cried Twigg, as he took refuge behind Mr. Justice

Rivers, who was settling in his own mind the maximum

of legal punishment he could inflict for this new offence

against social order.

(t To her, boys ! to her !

"

shouted the gallant Sir Mark,

but

with a corresponding movement towards the intruder ;

before he had gone half way, a mask was plucked off, the

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