02 TYLNEY HALL. black shoes, and walked to London with only a shilling in my pocket, to seek my .fortune j and now here I am, a man of property, and a common-council man besides. Not a bad example, Sir Mark Tyrrel, Baronet, to be set before the rising generation. I often think my own life and rise in the world would make as good a history for young persons as Dick Whittington's, one of the best classical works, by the by, in the English language." f< But it might be better for all that," remarked Ringwood, with a look of appeal towards his father, " I mean as to worrying the rats, for if the black king gave such heaps of gold for a cat, what wouldn't he have come down for a keen ferret or two, crossed with the pole-cat, and a bull-terrier like Whop, and as good at all vermin by land or water ? " (e To be sure," answered the Baronet, et Whop is worth his weight in gold always goes at the head, and you may chew his foot like tobacco before he'll let go, whether of a badger or a Christian. I remember the grip he took of Black Will the poacher," but before the story could come off, the supper party was suddenly alarmed by a bustle over head, followed by shrieks so shrill and incessant, from the chamber of death, that for a long minute each individual stared at his neighbour as mute and mo- tionless as a stag at gaze. At last, snatching a candle, the Baronet rushed up the staircase, followed by the others, Twigg at every step, as became a man of property, bellowing out " " Thieves ! thieves ! thieves ! CHAPTER XI. " Noe doubt manie livinge persones, both menne and womenne, have seen ye Deville bodilie, beinge like unto one hugeous black gote, with hornis and taile." KING JAMES I. ON entering the bedchamber, the screaming was found to proceed from the dairy-maid and laundry-woman. Both had thrown their aprons over their heads, and each had backed her chair against the opposite wall, through which
TYLNEY HALL. 53 she seemed endeavouring to force it by convulsive efforts of her legs and feet, while with desperate energy her hands clung to the mahogany elbows, as if in resistance of human or super-human abduction. " Skreek, Peggy, skreek," panted the laundress, her own breath being just exhausted by a sostenuto on D in alt, and accordingly Peggy shrieked with a shrillness and perseverance, that even a stuck pig would have stuck at ; and when her voice failed the other took it up, like the celebrated echo at Killarney, which always outdoes its original. " In the name of God, wench," said the Baronet, seizing the dairy-maid by the arm, " what game's afoot to raise such a view halloo ? " but before she could compose a sen- tence, fear distributed it all into pie, as a printer would say, by shaking every word and syllable from each other. " In the name of the devil," cried Twigg, carefully imitating the Baronet's movements, by seizing the arm of the laundress, " what 's the meaning of this " rumpus ? but the two maidens continued to squall against each other as if for a wager ; and when Sir Mark, and then Twigg, successively plucked away an apron, they saw eyes resolutely screwed together, as if they were never again to unclose, and mouths as obstinately wide open as if they were never more to shut. " Confound your squalling," cried Sir Mark, " it's like hawk and hern, striving which shall go highest you could not yell more if you'd unkenneled the Devil himself." " Don't neame his neame," said the terrified Peggy, with a shuddering groan like the low neighing of a horse, " he's been in this very room only a minute ago, and mayn't be no great ways off this blessed moment."