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and drank with increased vigour, roar- in tolerably equal proportions. He ing out, with more energy then bar- wore the trowsers and jacket of a sailmony, choice catches and fragments of or, a low-crowned, broad brimmed hat, catches, of which the following, from and had a blue handkerchief loosely its frequent repetition, seems to have tied, or rather twisted, about his neck, been the choicest,
that, like his face, was tanned by the Cannikin, clink,
mingled action of sun and wind to the Drink boys, drink;
complexion of a brick-bat. Under the sun
“Now, are not you a set of lazy There's no such fun
lubbers?" exclaimed the strange visito As to sit by the cask and see the tap run, ant upon the ladder. “ But keep a With a brown loaf and a rasher well done! Hale-an-lo,
sharp look-out, my fine fellows, or
the captain will be upon you, and Jolly rumble o'.
then there will be the devil to pay, In the midst of this delectable glee, and no pitch hot.”. the taste of which, resting, as it dous, “ Ralph! Ralph !" cried the broupon brown bread and bacon, cannot thers with one voice, when the sailor be disputed, whatever may be said of dashed down his lantern, and, giving the poetry, the glimmer of a lantern, a hearty cheer, bounded off the ladder in the adit, became visible to the wons and was amongst them with a single dering eyes of Philip. Immediately, spring. breaking off his song, he caught up a “ And how is it with you, lads ?" pick-axe, and put himself in the aiti. said Ralph, as he returned their greete tude of a man desperately bent on ings. “But first a taste of your tanke labour.
ard ;-brave liquor, by gosh! and yet “What is the matter with the fool it's nothing like the stinging stuff on now?” exclaimed the eldest of the the other side of the water." brothers.
“ Then you have not been shot, Philip made no answer, but turned after all ?” cried the first brother. his axe, after the fashion of a sign- “ Nor hung ?" cried the second. post, in the direction of the light, “ Nor drowned ?” cried the third. which was growing more and more “ All three, lads, all three. I was distinct upon the walls of the adit, first drowned in the Dutchman's here though as yet the bearer was invi- ring-pond, and be d-d to it; then sible.
hung up by the feet till the water “ It must be the captain, or the poured out of my mouth faster than purser,” whispered Richard.
you ever pumped it out of your dirty " It may be the devil, may it not?” mine here; and lastly, I was shot in replied John, with infinite scorn; the arm in beating off the revenue “what should bring the purser or the sharks——t them! So there's being captain here at this hour ?-Fill up drowned, hung, and shot for you, and my horn-It's only some flat of a yet I am alive and hearty, and can dip Londoner come to gape at our shovels my beak as deep into a pint-pot as the and pick-axes; the purser and captain best of you." know what's what a deal better." “ And where have you been all this
It should be observed, by the way, time? We thought the recruiting serthat by these names the tinners desig- geant had crimped you.” nate the book-keeper and the overseer “ Or that the gipsies had picked of the mine, who have it in charge to you up.” see that the workmen do their duty, “ Or that Tregagle had clutched but who, as on the present occasion, you, as long prophesied he would, often find it more agreeable to attend to pay you for your abuse of him. You to their own particular amusements. know you were always a sad dog,
“ Then, the devil it is, or else bro. Ralph.' ther Ralph !" cried Richard.
“ Soldiers and gipsies ?” exclaimed As Richard spoke, a man appeared Ralph ; “ thieves and pedlars both of on the top round of the last ladder, them! As to old Tregaglewhere he rested, with his back to the “Hush, hush !" said Richard hasti. steps, holding out a large ship-lantern, ly, and as if afraid of his own voice; and looking at the astonished group or if you must speak a little blase with a singular expression of face, in phemy, speak it in a whisper; he may which fun and malice were mixed up hear you else.”
“ With all my heart and soul," re- interfered with their operations, and plied the sailor, with a shout that fairly blocked them out, by tumbling might have been heard in the teeth down the rocks and jamming up the of a North-wester, and which certain mouth of the shaft. In justice, howly must have reached the giant's ears, ever, to the accused giant, it should be supposing him to have any.
recorded, that he had left a small open“Don't talk so wickedly,” cried the ing, enough for any man, under the orthodox Philip.
size of an alderman, to creep through, “ Or at least not so loudly,” added had he been so disposed. But even Richard.
this gallantry on the giant's part, in “ I won't have it !” exclaimed Phie thus leaving an opening for every lip; " by Saint Nicholas, and Saint enemy who might choose to do battle John to boot, I won't have it, Ralph. with him for the mastery of the shaft, Laugh, if you like it, as you used to do, failed to gain him favour with any at the old vicar, and it does not so except a certain Doctor Kirton, the much signify,--but to make game of free-thinking apothecary of St Just's, Tregagle !-why, it is downright piety who generously stood forward in his and prostitution. I have seen him behalf, and endeavoured to stem the myself, as plain as I see the nose on torrent. Being held in much admirayour face.”
tion by the miners, the Doctor might “And that's a thumper, like one of have succeeded, had it not been for the his own stories,” exclaimed the eldest general bad character of his client-a brother, his love of a joke, and the character that had been established for recollection of Ralph's juvenile cha- centuries, in virtue of which nineracter, getting for a moment the better tenths of the mischief that happened of his terror.
in the parish were invariably supposed “I tell thee I have seen him myself,” to originate in his malice. If a ship asseverated Philip, with an ominous was wrecked, it was Tregagle who had frown at the jester.
raised the storm; if a house was burnt, “ Tell that to the marines, Phil,” it was Tregagle who had been the insaid the seaman; “ the sailors won't cendiary; if a cow died, it was still believe you."
by the giant's agency; in short, he “Sailor or marine, you must believe was the author of all unowned misit,” replied Philip; “you shall believe chief, and there was never any want it or it will be the worse for us all. of witnesses to swear the fact home Have you forgotten that we are sitting to him by the undeniable evidence of by the giant's shaft ?”
their own eyes and ears. The Doctor Philip pointed, as he spoke, to a in vain opposed an opinion founded on shaft on the right of them, which was such irrefragable proofs of the giant's almost closed up by the falling in of previous enormities; and, notwiththe walls, the immense timbers and standing his talk of attractions and lode-arches being jammed together by affinities, he did not make a single the violence of the lateral pressure. convert, though, as his language was In this state it had remained for more singularly learned and obscure, it than fifty years; for, at the time when might in all reason be expected to the accident happened, the vein of ore persuade his auditors, the unintelliwas almost exhausted, in addition to gible being particularly celebrated for which a prodigious flux of water, call- its powers of conviction. On this oced, in the technical language of the casion it totally failed, and when he miners, bottom-water, had rendered attempted to put forth a new solution the working of it very little profitable, of the matter, by the influence of wa. and, therefore, it had been abandoned ter gushing through the crevices in the altogether. From this period, accord- rainy season, and thereby rotting the ing to the miners, a certain giant, by lode that had been left in pillars to name Tregagle, had taken up his abode support the mine, his doctrine was in the deserted shaft; indeed they went universally scouted as the dream of an farther ; they roundly attributed the infidel, who had neither common relifalling in of the walls to his agency, gion nor common honesty. and that too from an avaricious desire Such being the case, it may be easily of keeping to himself a vein of gold, supposed with what horror the three which must have been discovered by brothers, born and bred in the ortho the tinners, had he not maliciously dox faith of the Huel-Rose, listened to the abominable heresies of the palm upon me, that the Old-One had sailor, who was not only proof against set him to work in emptying Dosmary all arguments, but whose infidelity pool with a limpet shell, with a hole actually increased the more it was in the bottom of it, and, if so, I should opposed.
not think he was like to trouble you " I wonder," said the eldest, at for one while ; he must have a tight length, after having in vain put his job of it on his hands." argument in all manner of shapes, “ That's true too." “ I wonder who made you so much Why then hurrah, my lads, for wiser than your neighbours."
old Tregagle, and here's wishing him “ How the devil should I know ?” a better master, and no easterly winds !" replied the sailor; “ but as to your To understand this allusion it should giant, when I see him I'll believe in be known, that, when the wind is easthim, and not till then.”
erly, the devil amuses himself with “ Why then," retorted the second, chasing Tregagle three times round “ if you believe in no more than you Dosmary pool. After the third chevy, see, mayhap you don't believe you ever the wily giant makes off with all speed had a father, for the old man died by to Roche Rock, and thrusts his huge a good month before you were born.” head into the chapel window, much as
« Lillibullero !” exclaimed Ralph. the ostrich is said to bury his neck in
“ It's my belief,” said the third, the first object soft enough to receive with drunken gravity,"it's my be it; but with this essential difference lief, brother Ralph, that you'll go to in the result, that the latter is still hell some day.”
caught by his huntsman ; while with “ Maybe ay, maybe no," replied the giant, the safety of his head guaRalph indifferently; “howsomever, rantees the safety of his whole body, many a brave fellow has been wrecks and Beelzebub has nothing left for it ed in them hot latitudes before me, but to whistle off his pack and return and many a sneaker will come after bootless from the chase. This allusion, me, though the parson is at his helm, however, was not taken kindly by and old Snufflebags, the clerk, sounds Philip, who exclaimed, with high inhis way with the psalm-book.” dignation," If you had your due, you
“ I don't care for old Snufflebags or would be hunted round Dosmary pool his master," said Philip.
yourself!" “Nor I either," interrupted Ralph; “Ay, ay, Phil, and rare sport I “he's but a rum pilot, I suspect, after should shew the Old-One, instead of all; and the other keeps but a queer- sneaking off and hiding my jolterhead ish sort of look-out, though he is ale in a church window, as your giant ways bawling, shoal water-breakers does, unless the story belies him wicka a-head,' enough to bother the best edly." seaman that ever stood at the wheel.” • The wickedness is all your own !"
“I don't care for Snufflebags or his roared Philip, whose orthodoxy was master!" reiterated Philip at the ut- growing every moment more intense most pitch of his voice.
from the opposition it met with. “I hear you," said the sailor. “Yes indeed, Ralph,' said John,
“But as to Tregagle, that's another in a manner that was meant to be parmatter,” continued Philip.
ticularly insinuating, “ you are a ter. “Very much so,” replied Ralph; rible blasphemer; and, if you won't “all the same as between a king's ship believe Phil, take it on my word, for and a privateer: the one cruises under I have heard him and the knockers at royal colours, and the other stands on work scores of times.” his own bottom, which, in the giant's “I hear them now !" exclaimed case, I take, it is a pretty broad one." Philip, starting up, “ I hear them
“ I tell you what, Ralph, you may now ! And certainly a low muffled laugh and snigger as long as you please, sound was audible, that with no great but I may believe my own eyes and stretch of fancy, might be imagined to ears, I suppose, and I'll take my core proceed from several
hammers at work poral oath on it, he lives in yonder in a distant part of the mine. Amosbaft."
mentary flush passed over the sailor's “And what, by the knocking Nie swarthy brow, not unobserved by his cholas, should he be doing there? brothers, the eldest of whom did not When I was a younker, you used to fail to triumph in this convincing ar. VOL. XXIV.
gument for their belief, while Richard, the violent way in which he had diswho had by this time become maudlin possessed the old proprietors. If he drunk, compared him to the Prodigal were so pleased, there was no appaSon, and shed tears of joy over his rent reason why he should not overmiraculous conversion, protesting that whelm this shaft, as he had formerly it gladdened the very cockles of his overwhelmed the other, by main heart, even beyond the discovery of a strength ; or he might, with less trounew lode. Philip, not quite so tender ble to himself, call in the help of the or not quite so intoxicated, went over sea that rolled so stormily above them, the old chapter of damnation, and ina and destroy the whole mine at once. sisted, while he regretted, that there In fact, there seemed to be some ground was not the slightest hope for Ralph, for this latter supposition ; the din of whose ultimate fate was fixed beyond waters above their head was truly apany possibility of change; a sentence palling, and the uproar increased every that was received by the sailor with minute with the increasing violence of marvellous insensibility. To shew his the tempest. There were other symputter indifference to both his monitors, toms of its fury not quite so noisy, the monitor lachrymose, no less than but infinitely more terrible: the timthe monitor damnatory, he discharged bers groaned under the rolling weight a pistol through the opening of the of rocks and waters, and the arches ominous shaft, thereby effectually re- were visibly shaken, giving sufficient ducing them to silence from the very proof that the storm above, from whatexcess of horror growing out of such ever cause it arose, was one of unusual an atrocity. They listened perfectly violence. If, indeed, the giant had any aghast to the multiplied echoes of the hand in raising it, as the brothers were pistol, as the sound was reverberated disposed to believe, he had good reafrom the various cavities, and which, son to plume himself upon his vigour. coming from all directions, might have It might naturally be supposed that deceived any one into the belief, that fear, stronger than all other feelings, the shot had not remained unanswered. would have made the tinners seek for Several pieces of rotten ore flew from safety by flying from the mine; and, the walls and arches, as if splintered had their stay depended solely upon off by so many balls; one large frag- their fraternal affection, it is most proment fell at Ralph's feet, who imme- bable that they would have done so. diately fancied himself assailed, and, But fear works strangely with men; his natural powers of perception being and if it sometimes drive them to fly not a little clouded by the quantity of from the face of danger, at others it spirits imbibed in the last half hour, acts with the real or supposed fascinahe without another word began to tion of the rattlesnake, fixing them, force his way into the giant's shaft for as if by a spell, to the very object of the purpose of chastising bis hidden their horror. So it was with our broenemy, even though it should be thers; they waited with a sort of stuTregagle himself in person. Such an pid dread for the blow that was to act of temerity was perfectly astound- crush them, and wondering that it was ing-and it did astound the brothers; yet to come, when they were joined indeed it was impossible for any peo- by the other miners, who had been ple to be more astounded, and, before working in a distant shaft, and who they could recover from the utter stu. now sought them with that instinctive pefaction occasioned by this new enor feeling which makes even the sea-birds mity, he had disappeared in the darke flock together before a tempest, as if ness, not having even taken the pre- there were safety in society. This adcaution of a light, and in a few mi- dition to their numbers loosened all nutes the sound of bis steps had ceased tongues at once; the return of Ralph, to be heard. The hearts of the bro- bis metamorphosis into a seaman, thers sunk within them; for, while his adventuring into the shaft, were they were quite certain of Ralph's fate, marvels rapidly communicated, and, they had some misgivings as to the heightened as they were by the cirprobable consequence to themselves, it cumstances of time and place, amidst being extremely doubtful how Trega- roaring waters and rocking columns, gle might choose to take this irruption were received with breathless admirainto a ground, that he seemed to have tion. It would be hard to say which especially appropriated to himself, from was the predominant feeling with thera -wonder at Ralph's courage, curiosi- hiccup-thedevil would have you dead, ty of the result, even while they deem- and 'tis hard saying which is the worst. ed it certain, or fear for their own But hand me over my pick-axe, and safety ; but, as they swallowed cup af- that's right, lads-and now, by the ter cup of coarse and ardent spirits, blessing of Saint Keveene, and his
help the two first passions gradually gained to boot,--for he can't grudge lending a the ascendant, and the joy in Ralph hand against his old enemy,- I'll bring suspended all other considerations. back Ralph safe and sound, or at least
While they were yet debating what his poor body, that he may have Chriswas to be done, or whether any thing tian burial.” could be done in his behalf, a sharp “You are not going to carry off our sound was heard from the ominous last candle !” exclaimed with one voice shaft, like the shriek of some one all the miners, on whom the prospect struck by sudden and mortal agony, of being left in utter darkness worked but a cry so protracted as almost to most disagreeably. surpass the limits of human utterance. But to all expostulation on this The first feeling of all who heard it point the magnanimous Richard turnwas unmingled terror; the second was ed a deaf ear, and having gained the of a more generous nature, and one of entrance of the shaft, he disappeared which they would certainly have been as his brother had done, while those incapable had they been less thorough, below sent after him mingled threats ly intoxicated. With one voice they and entreaties for the recovery of the resolved to rescue the sailor from his light. This contumacy so highly ir. peril, or at least share it with him; ritated Philip, who was equally exaltand John, as the eldest, if not the ed with himself above all vulgar cone boldest, agreed to be the first to assay siderations, that he resolved to follow the adventure. Hastily seizing a torch, the offender, and inflict upon him such he clambered up into the fatal passage, summary justice as would anticipate and hurrying onward, his light soon and render useless the interference of ceased to be visible, though for some the invisible world. time those below could hear the fall. After some time, and at the expense ing of stones and rubbish as he forced of sundry falls and bruises, he at last his way; but in a few minutes even found the entrance to the shaft; still this had ceased, and all again was as all was dark, till, on coming to where dark and silent in the giant's shaft as the passage took a sudden turn, he if it had been the tomb of those who caught a glimpse of what he supposed entered it.
must be Richard's light, faintly reMinute after minute thus rolled on, flected on the wall. “Now, then," he and still he did not return, till, as they thought, “ I shall have you ;”—but guessed from the wasting of the cane at this very instant the same ominous dle, an hour must have elapsed, when wail swept through the shaft a third a second wail burst upon their ears sis time, the light vanished, and all was milar to the first, but, if any thing, again dark and silent. For a moment still more acute and lengthened. It the heart of Philip quailed-he paused might have been expected to sober the then turned his back for flight-but two remaining brothers; but, so far the devil of brandy at last proved too from it, while it palsied every faculty strong for the devil of fear, and he rein the other miners, with them it only sumed his onward course, though with seemed to aggravate the effect of their all the caution of a general who knows drunkenness. Richard became more and fears his enemy. tender and pathetic, while Philip la- As he advanced, to his great survished his anathemas upon all unbe- prise a light again glimmered towards lievers, past, present, and to come, him, not upon the wall of the shaft, with uncontrollable wrath, a want of but upon the floor, through a small Christian charity that exceedingly cavity, the upper part of the passage scandalized the melting mood of his being closed by the same convulsion brother.
that had shut up the mouth of the “ Poor Ralph !" cried the weeping shaft. Through this opening he conRichard—“ Poor lost soul ! if it were trived to squeeze with no little diffinot for your loving brother-hiccup culty, when he found himself in what -what would become of you? The he supposed to have been originally a giant would have you living, and plat or plot, that is, a place distinct