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" Ay," replied his companion, “ a Peveril—a Peveril of the Peak!-a name which has long sounded like a war-trumpet in the land; but which has now perhaps sounded its last loud note. Look back, young man, on the darksome turrets of your father's house, which uplift themselves as proudly on the brow of the hill, as their owners raised themselves above the sons of their people. Think upon your father, a captive-yourself, in some sort, a fugitive--your light quenched-your glory abasedyour estate wrecked and impoverished. Think that Providence has subjected the destinies of the race of Peveril to one, whom, in their aristocratic pride, they held as a plebeian upstart. Think of this; and when you again boast of your ancestry, remember, that he who raiseth the lowly can also abase the high in heart."
Julian did indeed gaze for an instant, with a swelling heart, upon the dimly-seen turrets of his paternal mansion, on which poured the moonlight, mixed with long shadows of the towers and trees. But while he sadly acknowledged the truth of Bridgenorth's observation, he felt indignant at his ill-timed triumph. “If fortune hath followed worth," he said, "the castle of Martindale, and the name of Peveril, had afforded no room for their enemy's vain-glorious boast. But those who have stood high on Fortune's wheel, must abide by the consequence of its revolutions. Thus much I will at least say for my father's house, that it has not stood unhonoured; nor will it fall if it is to fall-unlamented. Forbear, then, if you are indeed the Christian you call yourself, to exult in the misfortunes of others, or to confide in your own prosperity. If the light of our House be now quenched, God can rekindle it in his own good time.”
Peveril broke off in extreme surprise; for as he spoke the last words, the bright red beams of the
family beacon began again to glimmer from its wonted watch-tower, chequering the pale moonbeam with a ruddier glow. Bridgenorth also gazed on this unexpected illumination with surprise, and not, as it seemed, without disquietude. “ Young man,” he resumed, “ it can scarcely be but what Heaven intends to work great things by your hand, so singularly has that augury followed on your words." So saying, he
his horse once more into motion; and looking back, from time to time, as if to assure himself that the beacon of the Castle was actually rekindled, he led the way through the wellknown paths and alleys, to his own house of Moultrassie, followed by Peveril, who, although sensible that the light might be altogether accidental, could not but receive as a good omen an event so intimately connected with the traditions and usages of his family.
They alighted at the hall-door, which was hastily opened by a female; and while the deep tone of Bridgenorth called on the groom to take their horses, the well-known voice of his daughter Alice was heard to exclaim in thanksgiving to God, who had restored her father in safety.
We meet, as men see phantoms in a dream,
WE said, at the conclusion of the last chapter, that a female form appeared at the door of Moultrassie-Hall; and that the well-known accents of Alice Bridgenorth were heard to hail the return of her father, from what she naturally dreaded as a perilous visit to the Castle of Martindale.
Julian, who followed his conductor with a throbbing heart into the lighted hall, was therefore prepared to see her whom he best loved, with her arms thrown around her father. The instant she had quitted his paternal embrace, she was aware of the unexpected guest who had returned in his company. A deep blush, rapidly succeeded by deadly palenesss, and again by a slighter suffusion, showed plainly to her lover that his sudden appearance was any thing but indifferent to her. He bowed profoundly—a courtesy which she returned with equal formality, but did not venture to approach more nearly, feeling at once the delicacy of his own situation and of hers.
Major Bridgenorth turned his cold, fixed, gray, melancholy glance, first on the one of them, and then on the other. 66 Some,” he said, gravely;
66 would, in my case, have avoided this meeting; but I have confidence in you both, although you are young, and beset with the shares incidental to your age. There are those within who should not know that ye have been acquainted. Wherefore, be wise, and be as strangers to each other.”
Julian and Alice exchanged glances as her father turned from them, and, lifting a lamp which stood in the entrance-hall, led the way to the interior apartment. There was little of consolation in this exchange of looks, for the sadness of Alice's glance was mingled with fear, and that of Julian clouded by an anxious sense of doubt. The look also was but momentary; for Alice, springing to her father, took the light out of his hand, and stepping before him, acted as the usher of both into the large oaken parlour, which has been already mentioned as the apartment in which Bridgenorth had spent the hours of dejection which followed the death of his consort and family. It was now lighted up as for the reception of company; and five or six persons sat in it, in the plain, black, formal dress which was affected by the formal Puritans of the time, in evidence of their contempt of the manners of the luxurious court of Charles the Second; amongst whom, excess of extravagance in apparel, like excesses of every other kind, was highly fashionable. Julian at first glanced his eyes but slightly along
range of grave and severe faces which composed this society-men, sincere perhaps in their pretensions to a superior purity of conduct and morals, but in whom that high praise was somewhat chastened by an affected austerity in dress and manners, allied to those Pharisees of old, who made broad their phylacteries, and would be seen of men to fast, and to discharge with rigid punctuality the obo servances of the law. Their dress was almost uni.
formly a black cloak and doublet, cut straight and close, and undecorated with lace or embroidery of any kind, black Femish breeches and hose, squaretoed shoes, with large roses made of serge ribbon. Two or three had large loose boots of calf-leather, and almost every one was begirt with a long rapier, which was suspended by leathern thongs, to a plain belt of buff, or of black leather. One or two of the elder guests, whose hair had been thinned by time, had their heads covered with a scull-cap of black silk or velvet, which being drawn down betwixt the ears and the scull, and permitting no hair to escape, occasioned the former to project in the ungraceful manner which may be remarked in old pictures, ' and which procured for the Puritans the term of “ prick-eared round-heads," so unceremoniously
-" applied to them by their contemporaries.
These worthies were ranged against the wall, each in his ancient, high-backed, long-legged chair; neither looking towards, nor apparently discoursing with each other; but plunged in their own reflections, or awaiting, like an assembly of quakers, the quickening power of divine inspiration.
Major Bridgenorth glided along this formal society with noiseless step, and a composed severity of manner, resembling their own. He paused before each in succession, and apparently communicated, as he passed, the transactions of the evening and the circumstances under which the heir of Martindale Castle was now a guest at MoultrassieHall. Each seemed to stir at his brief detail, like a range of statues in an enchanted hall, starting into something like life, as a talisman is applied to them successively. Most of them, as they heard the narrative of their host, cast upon Julian a look of curiosity, blended with haughty scorn and the consciousness of spiritual superiority; though, in one or two instances, the milder influences of com