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magistrate came over to inspect these relics, was visibly perturbed at my narrative.
"Pray, Mr. Lester, did you in your dream see the face of-of the gentleman-your kinsman's opponent ?"
"No," I answered, "he sat and stood with his back to us all the time."
"There is nothing more, of course, to be done in the matter," observed Mr. Cronson.
"Nothing," I replied; and there the affair would doubtless have terminated, but that a few days afterwards when we were dining at Cronson Park, Clare all of a sudden dropped the glass of water she was carrying to her lips, and exclaiming, "Look, John, there he is!" rose from her seat, and with a face as white as the table-cloth, pointed to a portrait hanging on the wall.
"I saw him for an instant when he turned his head towards the door as Jeremy Lester left it," she explained; "that is he."
Of what followed after this identification I have only the vaguest recollection. Servants rushed hither and thither; Mrs. Cronson dropped off her chair into hysterics; the young ladies gathered round their mamma; Mr. Cronson, trembling like one in an ague fit, attempted some kind of an explanation, while Clare kept praying to be taken away-only to be taken away.
I took her away, not merely from Cronson Park but from Martingdale. Before we left the latter place, however, I had an interview with Mr. Cronson, who said the portrait Clare had identified was that of his wife's father, the last person who saw Jeremy Lester alive. "He is an old man now," finished Mr. eighty, who has confessed everything to me.
a man of over You won't bring further
sorrow and disgrace upon us by making this matter public ?"
I promised him I would keep silence, but the story gradually oozed out, and the Cronsons left the country.
My sister never returned to Martingdale; she marrried and is living in London. Though I assure her there are no strange noises now in my house, she will not visit Bedfordshire, where the "little girl" she wanted me so long ago to "think of seriously," is now my wife and the mother of my children.
Christmas Hymn for America.
NOT as of old we keep the day
Whereon the Prince of Peace was born,
Let us begin it-make our brawlings cease,
Men of the South, if you recall
The fields your valour won in vain,
Weep! but remember we had heroes too,
Men of the North, whose sons and sires,
Victorious in a hundred fights,
Gather no more about your fires
In the long winter nights;
If some you loved are missing here and thereNo household at the South but mourns its vacant chair!
By all the blood that has been shed,
And will be till contentions cease,
Bury your anger with the dead,
And be again at peace!
So, with your muskets rusting on the wall,
Your State shall be secure when greatest Empires fall!
R. H. STODDARD.
YET it must not be inferred that in the English camp, even before this, despondency prevailed. A brief discourse that, on the eve of battle, ensued in Sir John Hawkwood's tent, may be taken as a fair ensample of the temper of all.
Quoth the knight to the esquire—
"By the Mass, we have small cause to thank yon lither-tongued Cardinal. With all his peacemaking, he hath but put off for some few hours what had better been done to-day: right few amongst us will find wherewith to break their fast to-morrow; and it is hard, fighting on an empty stomach. Well, I trust we have seen the last of his smooth face; when there is men's work to do, I like not the meddling of coif or cowl. Now, sith battle must needs ensue, how thinkest thou, my son, it will fare with us ?"
"Indifferent ill,"-Brakespeare answered, carelessly. "An' the French were but puppets, with swords of lath and spears of reed, they could scarce fail to overbear us by mere numbers; for a man's arm must needs tire, even with quintain-play."
"So it would seem,”-Hawkwood said: "yet I hold not altogether by thine opinion. We shall fight against shrewd odds, 'tis true; nevertheless, against worse thou didst hold thine own at Hacquemont. Wottest thou why? The rascaille could not bring their strength to bear, and were constrained to attack, as it were, singly. And thus, in my judgment, it may fall out to-morrow. There is one comfort at the worst for thee and me: if we be taken alive, beyond our harness, horse furniture, and some few silver coins, we have naught to lose; and it may be that some knights of substance will be scarce wealthier than ourselves when they have been put to ransom. Whereas, if against hope we win the victory, there will be other booty for our pains than
the spoiling of poor peasants and petty traders; and they will be paid in other fashion than they have been of late. Art not aweary of these petty forays ?"
The esquire laughed lightsomely.
"I spake more dolorously than I felt, but now. wisdom is thus confident, not for a hundred nobles would I barter my chance to-morrow. We shall have rare sport, whatever befal, and 'tis full time; for that brief bout at Romorantin scarce brushed the rust from our blades. Now, if your worship hath no further commands for me, I will lie me down for a while; for mine eyes are somewhat heavy."
"Take thy rest, my son," the other answered.
be short, there is less reason thou should'st stint thyself of slumber." Ten minutes later Ralph Brakespeare was sleeping, as soundly as ever he had done on the eve of merrymaking in the olden time.
Soon after sunrise, thus, on either side, the battle was arrayed.
The French were ranged in three battalions, whereof the first was led by the Duke of Orleans, brother of the King; the second by Charles of Normandy, the Dauphin; the third by John himself. The Black Prince maintained much the same order as that in which De Ribeaumont had first espied him; only he kept some of the choicest of his knights mounted in the rear of his archers; and sent the Captal de Buch, with six hundred lances, to skirt the steep mountain rising on the right, with orders to fall on the flank of the enemy when he saw occasion. So the battle began.
In front of Orleans' division advanced the Marshals d'Andreghen and Clermont, with John of Nassau's Germans in support; intending to sweep away the archers lining the hedges and vineyards, and so clear the way for the vanguard. Scarce an English bow-string twanged, till the lane was thronged with enemies. Then, from behind every bush and briar, sprang up a stalwart yeoman; and the cloth-yard shafts hailed down without stint or stay, searching out every joint in the harness, and piercing plate and mail like silk or serge. Soon the defile reeked with slaughter; and over the uproar rose the shrill sounds of brute agony, as the maddened chargers reared and writhed in their pain, trampling the life out of their fallen masters, and spreading disorder to rearward in their struggles to flee. Scarce a tithe of those who had entered forced their way by main strength to the further opening, and these fared no better than their fellows. For there, achieving his vow, in the forefront of the Prince's battalion,
James of Audley made stand; and beyond this the assailants won never a foot of ground; though the contest was very stubborn and hot; for the French fought, as only brave men will fight whose retreat is barred. There Arnold d'Andreghen was stricken down, sorely wounded; and there the question, hotly debated but yesterday, whether Clermont or Chandos had the best right to their blazonry, was settled for evermore; for the valiant marshal was down under the horse-hoofs-the gay surcoat dabbled with his life-blood. By this time there was confusion throughout the vanguard; and the infection of disorder began to spread even through the second division of the Dauphin. Whilst these last were still in uncertainty whether to advance or retire, the Captal de Buch came full on their flank with his lances and mounted archers, carrying havoc into their very midst.
In this charge rode Hawkwood and Brakespeare. The esquire's lance was broken at the first onset; but he so bestirred himself with his ponderous mace as to win especial renown where many bare themselves bravely; slaying outright not a few, and taking prisoner Yvon de Montigni, a famous knight and powerful baron of Champagne.
The Black Prince soon became aware that the tide of battle had fairly turned; and, divining the right moment with the instinct of a born strategist, caused his dismounted lances to get speedily to saddle, and bade his own banner advance. Whilst he led forward his division, but before they actually closed, an incident happened worth recording as a singular trait of his character.
Under a bush on his right lay the corpse of a knight, richly attired, round which a group of squires and archers were gathered. The dead man was none other than Robert of Duras, nephew of that Talleyrand de Perigord, who, but three hours since, had spoken so fairly. Edward was bitterly wroth at what he held to be a visible sign of priestly perfidy; and even at such a moment found leisure to indulge in the grim irony that he inherited from his father.
"Set yon corpse on a shield"-he said-" and bear it to Poitiers, as a gift from me to the Lord Cardinal; saying, that I salute him by
But Chandos, eager for the onset as in his maiden battle, chafed and murmured aloud; and the prince himself spurred on more sharply, as though to make up for the delay, till, with a great shock, the main body crossed spears with the division led by the Duke of Athens, High Constable of France. Still the battle waxed hotter and hotter; and