2021-04-18 09:43:58

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ENGLISH

But Calverley was so mortified on being thus baffled, and so thoroughly convinced of the inutility of opposing the popular feeling, that he made no attempt to force a passage through the clubs and staves that were marshalled before him; he turned away towards Sudley, vowing, however, within himself, that the villeins generally, but more particularly those whom his quick glance had identified, should suffer for that morning's contumacy.

"Now will my soul depart in peace, since mine eyes have beheld this day!now will my spirit rejoice, since thou hast had compassion on them that were in fetters, and hast released the children of the bond!" Then rising, and extending his clasped hands towards De Boteler, he said, in a louder tone, "May the Lord add blessings upon thee and thy children! May length of days be thy portion, and mayest thou dwell for ever in the house of the Lord." Then approaching Holgrave, he continued"Farewell, Stephen! The clemency of the King has saved my life, and the voice of the anointed priest hath proved me cleansed of the leper spotbut I must now be a dweller in a strange land. Tell Margaret that we may not meet again; but surely, if the prayers of a brother can aught avail, mine shall be offered at the footstool of the Highest for her. I could not bid her adieu. Bless thee, Stephen, and bless her, and fare thee well!" He then pressed Holgrave's hand.

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"My Lord de Boteler," said Holgrave, drawing the child almost forcibly from Margaret, "as I hope that my mother is a saint in heaven, the child is yours. I was a bondmanwas motherlesschildlessand I thought it would be no crime to make you, too, desolate!""But, my liege," continued Oakley, still kneeling, "there is one confined in this fortress for whom I would solicit freedom."

"What! the audacious monk who thrice entered this castle to insult its lord?""O, I crave your pardon, good father," returned Calverley smiling; "I mistook you for one John Ball, the son of a bondman of this barony."

"Ah, Tom Merritt!" said the smith, raising his head and recognizing, in the dusk, a stout, active, young man, a mason, who resided at Winchcombe.

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But Margaret was many minutes ere she could do more than kiss his hand, and wet it with her tears. At length, when her emotions of joy and surprise had in some degree subsided, she replied, that Holgrave was still living a villein at Sudley.

Black Jack and his retainers accompanied the vehicle on foot, none choosing to trust himself with one, who, though now to all appearance firmly secured, had shown such an untractable spirit, and in this manner proceeded, without interruption, to Sudley.

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Apr-18 09:43:58