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bully of the parish, a hulking, powerful the storm had passed and the calm had man of about five-and-twenty
-a very followed it was only a change of dangerous ruffian when he was in beer, venue he would rush into his owu
"black" who was the terror of room and fing himself upon the ground, the night-school boys when they were writhing and moaning, sometimes sobon their way home. He was a good bing, revenging himself upon himself deal over six feet high, had maimed in self-accusation, refusing all food, more than one opponent in a stand-up lying there with clenched hands and fight, and might have been a Hercules shut eyes for hours, till Mrs. Clayton but that he was coarse in his fibre, would get frightenea, and, when all gross in his habits, and wholly undisci- other kindly devices failed, would send plined in mind or body. His name, one of the little children with broth, or Dan Leeds.
lea, or some simple dainty, the little Luke could have no doubt who the toddler being commanded to stand by missing two were, and the less so when the strong man and make him speak, if he began to hear himself shouted at by it were only yes or no. On one occamen at work in the fields as he was on sion, when he had lain there unmoved his walks, with the cry of “Spy!” for more than twenty-four hours, the
Blooming spy!” “Informer !” and little boy, a child of four, went in with so on, with many an oath to give the a Jew's-harp and began to spring it. words emphasis. Of course he was Luke opened his eyes sadly. “Mofer saddened, but he was too obstinate to says you're Saul, and she says I'm to alter his ways of treating the people. play my harp to you, Mis' Termain !” He took no notice, and seemed not to The sight of this hulking Dan Leeds
showering blows upon the poor little The curate and his wife were to re- beast was more than Luke could stand. turn on New Year's day, Christmas He burst out in uncontrollable anger. was very near, and Luke bad no plans 6" What a brute - what an unmitifor the future. It looked as if he were gated brute you are, Dan Leeds, for going to stay on the old footing. As treating that poor beast that way ! for the rector, he had become quite Yes, you're an unmitigated brute. childish ; no one made any account of You deserve to have that stick laid him.
across your own thick shoulders !" One day he was walking at his usual Many a Rampton man, even Dan swinging pace along the coach-road on himself, might possibly have borne besome errand of mercy to a sad one at ing called a brute, but to add to that the other end of the parish, when he word “brute” an epithet of five syllamet the big bully, Dan Leeds, driving bles — to call him an unmitigated brute a tiny donkey in a heavily loaded cart, when he did not know what the long Dan sitting upon the load and furiously word meant — that was quite intolerbeating the poor little animal with a able; it was ten times worse than heavy ash stick in mere wantonness of swearing in the vernacular ! ferocity. Luke's blood was up, for “Oh! I'm a titigated brute, am I?” that devil in him that he had spoken of growled Dan. “I'd soon larn you to to little Sally was a devil that would call folks names out o' the Bible if you not always be laid. The young man weren't a parson. A titigated brute, was always struggling with it, praying eh! l’ve a good mind to do it now, against it, getting overcome by it, and I will lay the stick on you, too, if gnashing his teeth and beating his you don't mind yersel'.” breast with shame and self-reproach The “devil” was getting the upper when he had been mastered by it, find-hand - the devil had got the upper ing the conflict so very, very hard and hand. the issue, alas ! often doubtful. “Oh, I don't mind if you know how As often as his passionate temper to do it,” said Luke, and that terrible, broke out, and it seemed to others that indescribable smile passed over his
face, and its scorn, contempt, irony, | sir! So's my neck broke too. What'll indignation, wrath, defiance smote upon mother du w'rout me? He's a-going Dan Leeds with the sting of a blow to kill me! Murder! Murder! Ow! and drove him mad. He sprang out of Booh !" the donkey-cart, grasping the ash stick “ Up on your knees, you cowardly in his hand, and came with a rush sneak."
The fellow, blubbering and half be“I'll larn you to keep a civil tongue side himself with terror, did as he was in your head, you parson. You bid. want a lesson, you do."
after me : Reckless ruffian as he was, the fellow 66. I'm a brute. Yes, I am ! as you was staggered for a moment, for Luke said I was, sir ! stood there with folded hands as calm "I'm a cur— cur coward, as you as a statue, keeping his eye upon his said I was, sir ! assailant, and only smiling the horrible "6I'm a liar. Yes, I am ; I gnawit. smile. Dan came upon him with up- My arm ain't broke ! lifted stick, and in a hesitatiny way 6. The dickey's a better beast than knocked off the parson's hat, as if in me. Yes, sir ! challenge. Before he knew where he "I promise faithful, I'll go and tell was Luke's arms were round him like mother, booh! as the parson brought two wire ropes, and the next moment me on my marrow-bones, booh! w'rout he had been flung into the air like a hitt’n of me! ball, and was sprawling in the road. "I'll come to church o' Sunday The hat had rolled away a few yards afternoon and be preached at, and I'll into the ditch. Luke coolly went after tell 'em all as I hit 'en wi' a stick, and his hat ; but as he stooped to pick it he tossed me over his head. Yes, I up Dan Leeds, who had scrambled to will. Amen!' his feet, came at him from behind and “Now you may go !” said Luke. dealt a tremendous blow at the parson, He broke that tough ash stick across a blow which would certainly have his knee, broke it, and broke it again. fractured his skull but that the fellow "There! That donkey of yours don't was “ silly” with his fall, and Luke's want any more of your beating. I hat was a stiff one with a stout brim. fancy you'll find your collar - bone
He never knew how he escaped. He broken. It is a way collar-bones have only remembered crying out, “You of breaking, with that throw. I've coward !” a confused sense that he heard 'em sometimes !" must grapple with a wild beast, that it was life or death ; then once mor All this happened on Friday afterhe was closing with his antagonist ; noon. In a few hours the story was then he had thrown him again over all over the parish and had spread far his head ; then, as he came to him- and wide. As usual, rumor and gossip self, there was Dan Leeds a helpless had taken all sorts of wild liberties with lump, lying as if he were dead ! He the facts. There had been a stand-up was very far from dead, only cowed fight in the yard of the White Hart, and scared. Wrenching the stick from and the bishop was coming on Sunday the hands of the fallen bully, for he afternoon to unfrock the “’Wangelist" still clutched it, Luke stood over him with extraordinary ceremony. There pale and dizzy, the glare in his eyes was a warrant out against Dan Leeds, very bad to see. Then Dan Leeds and he was going to get off by doing began to howl like a beaten cur as he penance in a white sheet. Dan's
mother was going to have it out with “Oh Lor’, ha' mercy on me! Don't the parson.
a dangerous 'ee, sir ! Don't 'ec! Don't 'ee kill virago, who would stick at nothing. me, sir. How war I to know ? Both She had been going about trying to my arms is broke, sir. Ow! Booh,' borrow a gun, and when no one wculd
lend it her for they were as much ever did that'; and if you and I was to afraid of her fury as they were of her try it on, the blacks 'd pretty soon have son — she had been screaming out that it all their own way. We ain't no call,' she'd stick the parson in the pulpit says he, to let the blacks hammer at before Dan should demean himself. us. What ha' we got to do ? ' says he, She'd stop it if she swung for it. He why, go as near it as we can ! No shouldn't have a sheet of hers — no! man ain't no right,' says he, to let nor a blanket neither, not for all the another murder him if he can help Amens that ever were sworn.
it. That ain't the Gospel,' says he. Luke walked about all Saturday as if And then he went on and told 'em nothing had happened; even passed what the Gospel was. Lor'! that was Widow Leeds's hovel, but didn't call. a sermon! They'd use talk of it for She yelled at bim through the half-years and years, they did.” opened door, but he passed on and took There are floating scraps and grono notice, swinging his long arms, as tesque reminiscences of the sermon his wont was, and never looking round. still to be picked up in the neighbor
Sunday came. The little urchins got hood, some of them almost profane, as near as they dared and peeped in at and almost all of them representing the rectory gate. The bells rang out. very strange perversions. But it was At morning service Luke expounded evidently a "word spoken in season,' the Gospel as usual — cool as a cucum- and a very impressive appeal to the ber, Auent, gentle, unembarrassed. moral instincts of the ignorant peasNothing ailed the man. Then came antry, which went home to the convicthe memorable afternoon ; crowds tions of some few, and was listened to came tramping in from all points of by all. At last the preacher stopped. the compass some walking, some in “ Daniel Leeds, stand up in the face of carts, some on their nags. The White God and of this congregation, and make Hart had a harvest. People hung what reparation you can for your sin about the churchyard, lingered in the and wrong.' porch, watched for the parson, and The hulking bully rose up to his full some wondered when the bishop would height upon the pulpit step, with a turn up. There was a curious hush of hangdog scowl upon his face, and made expectation. At last !
to question after question, In the tiny vestry Dan Leeds was which Luke had written down upon waiting in his smockfrock — they wore a paper beforehand. Dan was not such things in those days — the left spared ; he said he had been a brute to sleeve hanging down empty, for the the donkey a coward, a liar ; that he fracture of the collar-bone was a bad would have killed the parson if he one, and the doctor had bandaged his could. The answers were made in a left arm to his side with voluminous dull, formal manner, every now and wrappings. When Luke marched into then ending up with an Amen! to church the other followed at his heels which mysterious word a special solemlike a dog. The people noticed that nity attached in the minds of all. the parson was well-nigh six inches The confession finished with some shorter than his giant henchman. questions which produced an immense Dan, obeying a sign, took his seat on sensation. the pulpit steps. At last the sermon "Did I strike you, Daniel Leeds, came; the text was a brave and star- a single blow, with stick, or fist, or tling one : " Whosoever shall smite hand ?" thee on thy right cheek, turn to him “ No, sir ! you hadn't no need ; you the other also."
gripped me ! Old Hulver says : “I was a youngster “ Is all this plain truth ?” then ; but I ain't likely to forget that “ Yes ; that's the truth — far as I there
anyway. Look 'ee know !" here,' says he, “there's on'y one as “ Are you sorry for your sin ?"
A pause; then a sullen nod of the as well. Parson ? He ain't no more a head.
parson than I am. The folks is all “Do you acquit me of any wrong silly running arter him. Why, he's done ?”
just got rid of the parson and kep' him Another pause, and another reluc- away these four months. He'd ought tant, hesitating nod and grunt.
to be swum !!! “Do you ask God's forgiveness ? Luke was very much exhausted by Speak up, man!” cried Luke, with a the work and excitement of the long voice of indignant command, his eyes day. When he got home to the rectory flashing as he turned them on the the fire had been out for hours. Half wretched culprit.
suspecting what was the matter he Dan started, woke up with a stare of made the best of it — found the tinderterror, and blurted out : “ I ain't no box, struck a light, managed to boil his objection ; I ain't, indeed. Yes, sir ! kettle at last, comforted himself as best Amen!"
he could with tea and porridge, took his
pipe, began to read, droppell asleep The congregation broke up. There over his book, and fell into a deep were little groups of them in the slumber, from which he was only roused churchyard, at the gate, in the road. by Mrs. Clayton coming in before the Dan Leeds clung to Luke's side — fol- daylight to “ tidy up” and get his lowed him like his shadow. “Well, breakfast things. She looked at him Dan, anything more you want to say ?” furtively, and as if she were afraid of
“ I count they's a-going to hollar at something, she knew not what. Luke, me, sir. I dunno what's come to me; always kindly interested in other peoI ain't got no heart to face 'em. Then ple, asked about the children. Her there's another thing, sir. I'm afeard face fell. He excused her for leaving as I shall fiud mother dead when I get him without a fire. He had come in so home. She had a lit like afore church- very late. " But it was cold welcome, time."
Mrs. Clayton, and I'm very cold now, Luke was horrorstruck, and hurrying for I fell asleep, and I've not been in with all speed to the woman's cottage, bed.” Then it all came out. The with Dau close at his heels, found she poor woman was bitterly penitent, she had slipped down from her chair, and had been afraid to come when the peowas lying huddled before the smoulder- ple were all about. They were saying ing fire unconscious, speechless, evi- this and saying that — the parish was dently paralyzed.
divided. Up at the White Hart they When the doctor arrived Luke made were all declaring that Dau Leeds had the best of his way home. It was dark been overlooked, so was his mother, so
As he passed the White Hart, was Mrs. Blackie, so was the rector, so John Barleycorn was holding forth in a was everybody. She, Mrs. Clayton, great state of excitement and in a loud was going to be overlooked next. voice :
John Barleycorn made no manner of ** Didn't I say so all along ? Why, doubt but that her little Mary Ann the first thing he said to that girl would be turned into a witch and “ sold Kinder was that he'd got a devil. He's off like.” one of they chaps as sell their selves, The poor woman burst into Noods of he is. Rampton's been all wrong sin' penitent tears. “Never you mind, sir. he came. Why, I tell ye he's got the They shan't make me turn against you,
He took and grinned at me not if it's ever so. They'll all come once, fit to craze a man, he did. There round when they come to their senses. ain't a man in the parish — 10! nor Only don't you give in now — Lord two of 'em — as could lift Dan Leeds off bless you forevermore !" his legs and drop him same as this one did. I tell ye he's overlookeil him, and I only set myself in this paper to now he's gone and witched liis mother relate an “incident.” I did not prom
ise, I did not intend, I could not ven- | any substitute for the eccentric though ture to give the whole story of Mr. veracious record was erected I cannot Tremain's career. I'm not sure that say. that kind of thing is in my line. But If my readers are so deplorably ignothere are some legends and traditions rant as not to know what the Anstey of places and people that I have been Hat means, I am sorry for them, but I thrown among which I like collecting don't think it is my business to instruct and setting down, and this is one of them — at any rate, not now. them. This story would die with me
AUGUSTUS JESSOPP. if I did not put it on record. Whether it is much worth preserving is a question which others must answer. We collectors are proverbially undiscrimi
From Blackwood's Magazine.
A FRENCH STUDY OF BURNS.1 nating ; in our museums and repertories there are, as often as not, odds and WHEN a foreigner writes a book on ends that the world at large holds very one of our great authors, it is an excheap.
ceedingly difficult matter to find the
vantage-ground from which to survey What was the end of it all ?
The work would presumably have Luke had a very bad time of it at been written for a public whose knowlRampton. Mr. Blackie came back and edge of the subject was either altohis wife with him, and Sally too. They gether wanting, or of the most cursory did not know what to make of it; they nature. It would open up new ground
a good, kindly, weak-minded, for them, and would interest them as woolly-headed pair. Luke stayed on. much from the newness of the subject A few weeks later the rector died. as from the ability of the critic. And Then there was a change. From all something of that kind would be the that I can learn, Johu Barleycorn won attitude of the average Frenchman the day, and the last state of that par- towards Robert Burns. But the averish was worse than the first. Dan age Briton knows his Burns, poems, Leeds went wrong again, like the sow biography, and criticism included. Ali that was washed; went, indeed, from three are easily accessible, and fill many bad to worse, and was killed in a poach- shelves of his library. How then can ing affray ; his mother had a myste- he in reason be expected to take the rious remittance of two pounds a least interest in yet another biography, quarter, which was paid regularly to and another critical estimate, and by a her till she died - a poor, tottering, Frenchman into the bargain ? Mr. palsied creature a year or two after Leslie Stephen, one of Burns's English her first seizure.
critics, says :
Criticism of Burns is Luke Tremain died of cholera some- only permitted to Scotchmen of pure where in the Shires, so they tell me, blood.” But if it is true that the verdict probably on just such another mission of a foreigner on our literature is as of mercy as brought him to Rampton. near as we can get to that of posterity, A distant cousin, it is said, inherited there is an interest and even a usefulhis little patrimony. His last wish was ness in considering what M. Angellier that he should be buried where he died, has to say about Burns. There are, of and that his only epitaph should be, course, instances in which the verdict after giving his name and the date of of the foreigner is at fault. A librahis death : " He won the Anstey Hat rian of Louis XIV. allowed Shakespeare at eighteen years of age.”
some fine qualities, but considered them The clergyman of the parish, how- obscured by les ordures that he mingled ever, refused to allow such a tombstone with his comedies. The Comte de to be set up in the churchyard, and as Cominges, ambassador to the court of the cousin was by no means keen upon
1 Robert Burns. By Auguste Angellier. Paris : the point it never was set up, and if Hachette et Cie.