ST. GEORGE AND ST. MICHAEL
ST. GEORGE AND ST. MICHAEL
IN THREE VOLUMES
CONTENTS OF VOL. I.
CHAPTER I. DOROTHY AND RICHARD.
CHAPTER II. RICHARD AND HIS FATHER.
CHAPTER III. THE WITCH.
CHAPTER IV. A CHAPTER OF FOOLS.
CHAPTER V. ANIMADVERSIONS.
CHAPTER VI. PREPARATIONS.
CHAPTER VII. REFLECTIONS.
CHAPTER VIII. AN ADVENTURE.
CHAPTER IX. LOVE AND WAR.
CHAPTER X. DOROTHY'S REFUGE.
CHAPTER XI. RAGLAN CASTLE.
CHAPTER XII. THE TWO MARQUISES.
CHAPTER XIII. THE MAGICIAN'S VAULT.
CHAPTER XIV. SEVERAL PEOPLE.
CHAPTER XV. HUSBAND AND WIFE.
CHAPTER XVI. DOROTHY'S INITIATION.
CONTENTS OF VOL. II.
CHAPTER XVII. THE FIRE-ENGINE.
CHAPTER XVIII. MOONLIGHT AND APPLE-BLOSSOMS.
CHAPTER XIX. THE ENCHANTED CHAIR.
CHAPTER XX. MOLLY AND THE WHITE HORSE.
CHAPTER XXI. THE DAMSEL WHICH FELL SICK.
CHAPTER XXII. THE CATARACT.
CHAPTER XXIII. AMANDA--DOROTHY--LORD HERBERT.
CHAPTER XXIV. THE GREAT MOGUL.
CHAPTER XXV. RICHARD HEYWOOD.
CHAPTER XXVI. THE WITCH'S COTTAGE.
CHAPTER XXVII. THE MOAT OF THE KEEP.
CHAPTER XXVIII. RAGLAN STABLES.
CHAPTER XXIX. THE APPARITION.
CHAPTER XXX. RICHARD ANDTHE MARQUIS.
CHAPTER XXXI. THE SLEEPLESS.
CHAPTER XXXII. THE TURRET CHAMBER.
CHAPTER XXXIII. JUDGE GOUT.
CHAPTER XXXIV. AN EVIL TIME.
CHAPTER XXXV. THE DELIVERER.
CHAPTER XXXVI. THE DISCOVERY.
CHAPTER XXXVII. THE HOROSCOPE.
CHAPTER XXXVIII. THE EXORCISM.
CONTENTS OF VOL. III.
CHAPTER XXXIX. NEWBURY.
CHAPTER XL. DOROTHY AND ROWLAND.
CHAPTER XLI. GLAMORGAN.
CHAPTER XLII. A NEW SOLDIER.
CHAPTER XLIII. LADY AND BISHOP.
CHAPTER XLIV. THE KING.
CHAPTER XLV. THE SECRET INTERVIEW.
CHAPTER XLVI. GIFTS OF HEALING.
CHAPTER XLVII. THE POET-PHYSICIAN.
CHAPTER XLVIII. HONOURABLE DISGRACE.
CHAPTER XLIX. SIEGE.
CHAPTER L. A SALLY.
CHAPTER LI. UNDER THE MOAT.
CHAPTER LII. THE UNTOOTHSOME PLUM.
CHAPTER LIII. FAITHFUL FOES.
CHAPTER LIV. DOMUS DISSOLVITUR.
CHAPTER LV. R. I. P.
CHAPTER LVI. RICHARD AND CASPER.
CHAPTER LVII. THE SKELETON.
CHAPTER LVIII. LOVE AND NO LEASING.
CHAPTER LIX. AVE! VALE! SALVE!
ST. GEORGE AND ST. MICHAEL.
DOROTHY AND RICHARD.
It was the middle of autumn and had rained all day. Through the
lozenge-panes of the wide oriel window the world appeared in the
slowly gathering dusk not a little dismal. The drops that clung
trickling to the dim glass added rain and gloom to the landscape
beyond whither the eye passed as if vaguely seeking that help in
the distance which the dripping hollyhocks and sodden sunflowers
bordering the little lawn or the honeysuckle covering the wide
porch from which the slow rain dropped ceaselessly upon the
pebble-paving below could not give--steepy slopes hedge-divided
into small fields some green and dotted with red cattle others
crowded with shocks of bedraggled and drooping corn which looked
suffering and patient.
The room to which the window having this prospect belonged was large
and low with a dark floor of uncarpeted oak. It opened immediately
upon the porch and although a good fire of logs blazed on the
hearth was chilly to the sense of the old man who with his feet
on the skin of a fallow-deer sat gazing sadly into the flames
which shone rosy through the thin hands spread out before them. At
the opposite corner of the great low-arched chimney sat a lady past
the prime of life but still beautiful though the beauty was all
but merged in the loveliness that rises from the heart to the face
of such as have taken the greatest step in life--that is as the
old proverb says the step out of doors. She was plainly yet rather
richly dressed in garments of an old-fashioned and well-preserved
look. Her hair was cut short above her forehead and frizzed out in
bunches of little curls on each side. On her head was a covering of
dark stuff like a nun's veil which fell behind and on her
shoulders. Close round her neck was a string of amber beads that
gave a soft harmonious light to her complexion. Her dark eyes looked
as if they found repose there so quietly did they rest on the face
of the old man who was plainly a clergyman. It was a small pale
thin delicately and symmetrically formed face yet not the less a
strong one with endurance on the somewhat sad brow and force in
the closed lips while a good conscience looked clear out of the
They had been talking about the fast-gathering tide of opinion
which driven on by the wind of words had already begun to beat so
furiously against the moles and ramparts of Church and kingdom. The
execution of lord Strafford was news that had not yet begun to 'hiss
'It is indeed an evil time' said the old man. 'The world has seldom
seen its like.'
'But tell me master Herbert' said the lady 'why comes it in this
our day? For our sins or for the sins of our fathers?'
'Be it far from me to presume to set forth the ways of Providence!'
returned her guest. 'I meddle not like some that should be wiser
with the calling of the prophet. It is enough for me to know that
ever and again the pride of man will gather to "a mighty and a
fearful head" and like a swollen mill-pond overfed of rains burst
the banks that confine it whether they be the laws of the land or
the ordinances of the church usurping on the fruitful meadows the
hope of life for man and beast. Alas!' he went on with a new
suggestion from the image he had been using 'if the beginning of
strife be as the letting out of water what shall be the end of that
strife whose beginning is the letting out of blood?'
'Think you then good sir that thus it has always been? that such
times of fierce ungodly tempest must ever follow upon seasons of
peace and comfort?--even as your cousin of holy memory in his
verses concerning the church militant writes:
"Thus also sin and darkness follow still The church and sun with
all their power and skill."'
'Truly it seems so. But I thank God the days of my pilgrimage are
nearly numbered. To judge by the tokens the wise man gives us the
mourners are already going about my streets. The almond-tree
flourisheth at least.'
He smiled as he spoke laying his hand on his grey head.
'But think of those whom we must leave behind us master Herbert.
How will it fare with them?' said the lady in troubled tone and
glancing in the direction of the window.
In the window sat a girl gazing from it with the look of a child
who had uttered all her incantations and could imagine no abatement
in the steady rain-pour.
'We shall leave behind us strong hearts and sound heads too' said
Mr. Herbert. 'And I bethink me there will be none stronger or
sounder than those of your young cousins my late pupils of whom I
hear brave things from Oxford and in whose affection my spirit
'You will be glad to hear such good news of your relatives
Dorothy' said the lady addressing her daughter.
Even as she said the words the setting sun broke through the mass
of grey cloud and poured over the earth a level flood of radiance
in which the red wheat glowed and the drops that hung on every ear
flashed like diamonds. The girl's hair caught it as she turned her
face to answer her mother and an aureole of brown-tinted gold
gleamed for a moment about her head.
'I am glad that you are pleased madam but you know I have never
seen them--or heard of them except from master Herbert who has
indeed often spoke rare things of them.'
'Mistress Dorothy will still know the reason why' said the
clergyman smiling and the two resumed their conversation. But the
girl rose and turning again to the window stood for a moment rapt
in the transfiguration passing upon the world. The vault of grey was
utterly shattered but gathering glory from ruin was hurrying in
rosy masses away from under the loftier vault of blue. The ordered
shocks upon twenty fields sent their long purple shadows across the
flush; and the evening wind like the sighing that follows departed
tears was shaking the jewels from their feathery tops. The
sunflowers and hollyhocks no longer cowered under the tyranny of the
rain but bowed beneath the weight of the gems that adorned them. A
flame burned as upon an altar on the top of every tree and the very
pools that lay on the distant road had their message of light to
give to the hopeless earth. As she gazed another hue than that of
the sunset yet rosy too gradually flushed the face of the maiden.
She turned suddenly from the window and left the room shaking a
shower of diamonds from the honeysuckle as she passed out through
the porch upon the gravel walk.
Possibly her elders found her departure a relief for although they
took no notice of it their talk became more confidential and was
soon mingled with many names both of rank and note with a
familiarity which to a stranger might have seemed out of keeping
with the humbler character of their surroundings.
But when Dorothy Vaughan had passed a corner of the house to another
garden more ancient in aspect and in some things quaint even to
grotesqueness she was in front of a portion of the house which
indicated a far statelier past--closed and done with like the rooms
within those shuttered windows. The inhabited wing she had left
looked like the dwelling of a yeoman farming his own land; nor did
this appearance greatly belie the present position of the family.
For generations it had been slowly descending in the scale of
worldly account and the small portion of the house occupied by the
widow and daughter of sir Ringwood Vaughan was larger than their
means could match with correspondent outlay. Such however was the
character of lady Vaughan that although she mingled little with
the great families in the neighbourhood she was so much respected
that she would have been a welcome visitor to most of them.
The reverend Mr. Matthew Herbert was a clergyman from the Welsh
border a man of some note and influence who had been the personal
friend both of his late relative George Herbert and of the famous
Dr. Donne. Strongly attached to the English church and recoiling
with disgust from the practices of the puritans--as much perhaps
from refinement of taste as abhorrence of schism--he had never yet
fallen into such a passion for episcopacy as to feel any cordiality
towards the schemes of the archbishop. To those who knew him his
silence concerning it was a louder protest against the policy of
Laud than the fiercest denunciations of the puritans. Once only had
he been heard to utter himself unguardedly in respect of the
primate and that was amongst friends and after the second glass
permitted of his cousin George. 'Tut! laud me no Laud' he said. 'A
skipping bishop is worse than a skipping king.' Once also he had
been overheard murmuring to himself by way of consolement 'Bishops
pass; the church remains.' He had been a great friend of the late
sir Ringwood; and although the distance from his parish was too
great to be travelled often he seldom let a year go by without
paying a visit to his friend's widow and daughter.
Turning her back on the cenotaph of their former greatness Dorothy
dived into a long pleached alley careless of the drip from
overhead and hurrying through it came to a circular patch of thin
grass rounded by a lofty hedge of yew-trees in the midst of which
stood what had once been a sun-dial. It mattered little however
that only the stump of a gnomon was left seeing the hedge around it
had grown to such a height in relation to the diameter of the
circle that it was only for a very brief hour or so in the middle
of a summer's day when of all periods the passage of Time seems
least to concern humanity that it could have served to measure his
march. The spot had indeed a time-forsaken look as if it lay
buried in the bosom of the past and the present had forgotten it.
Before emerging from the alley she slackened her pace
half-stopped and stooping a little in her tucked-up skirt threw a
bird-like glance around the opener space; then stepping into it she
looked up to the little disc of sky across which the clouds their
roses already withered sailed dim and grey once more while behind
them the stars were beginning to recall their half-forgotten message
from regions unknown to men. A moment and she went up to the dial
stood there for another moment and was on the point of turning to
leave the spot when as if with one great bound a youth stood
between her and the entrance of the alley.
'Ah ha mistress Dorothy you do not escape me so!' he cried
spreading out his arms as if to turn back some runaway creature.
But mistress Dorothy was startled and mistress Dorothy did not
choose to be startled and therefore mistress Dorothy was dignified
if not angry.
'I do not like such behaviour Richard' she said. 'It ill suits
with the time. Why did you hide behind the hedge and then leap
forth so rudely?'
'I thought you saw me' answered the youth. 'Pardon my heedlessness
Dorothy. I hope I have not startled you too much.'
As he spoke he stooped over the hand he had caught and would have
carried it to his lips but the girl half-pettishly snatched it
away and with a strange mixture of dignity sadness and annoyance
in her tone said--
'There has been something too much of this Richard and I begin to
be ashamed of it.'
'Ashamed!' echoed the youth. 'Of what? There is nothing but me to be
ashamed of and what can I have done since yesterday?'
'No Richard; I am not ashamed of you but I am ashamed of--of--this
way of meeting--and--and----'
'Surely that is strange when we can no more remember the day in
which we have not met than that in which we met first! No dear
'It is not our meeting Richard; and if you would but think as
honestly as you speak you would not require to lay upon me the
burden of explanation. It is this foolish way we have got into of
late--kissing hands--and--and--always meeting by the old sun-dial
or in some other over-quiet spot. Why do you not come to the house?
My mother would give you the same welcome as any time these
last--how many years Richard?'
'Are you quite sure of that Dorothy?'
'Well--I did fancy she spoke with something more of ceremony the
last time you met. But consider she has seen so much less of you
of late. Yet I am sure she has all but a mother's love in her heart
towards you. For your mother was dear to her as her own soul.'
'I would it were so Dorothy! For then perhaps your mother would
not shrink from being my mother too. When we are married Dorothy--'
'Married!' exclaimed the girl. 'What of marrying indeed!' And she
turned sideways from him with an indignant motion. 'Richard' she
went on after a marked and yet but momentary pause for the youth
had not had time to say a word 'it has been very wrong in me to
meet you after this fashion. I know it now for see what such things
lead to! If you knew it you have done me wrong.'
'Dearest Dorothy!' exclaimed the youth taking her hand again of
which this time she seemed hardly aware 'did you not know from the
very vanished first that I loved you with all my heart and that to
tell you so would have been to tell the sun that he shines warm at
noon in midsummer? And I did think you had a little--something for
me Dorothy your old playmate that you did not give to every other
acquaintance. Think of the houses we have built and the caves we
have dug together--of our rabbits and urchins and pigeons and
'We are children no longer' returned Dorothy. 'To behave as if we
were would be to keep our eyes shut after we are awake. I like you
Richard you know; but why this--where is the use of all this--new
sort of thing? Come up with me to the house where master Herbert is
now talking to my mother in the large parlour. The good man will be
glad to see you.'
'I doubt it Dorothy. He and my father as I am given to understand
think so differently in respect of affairs now pending betwixt the
parliament and the king that--'
'It were more becoming Richard if the door of your lips opened to
the king first and let the parliament follow.'
'Well said!' returned the youth with a smile. 'But let it be my
excuse that I speak as I am wont to hear.'
The girl's hand had lain quiet in that of the youth but now it
started from it like a scared bird. She stepped two paces back and
drew herself up.