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SNARLEYYOW; or, THE DOG FIEND.
AN HISTORICAL NOVEL.
BY CAPT. MARRYAT.
The whole of which has been fudged out of the History of England, and will there
fore be quite new to the majority of our readers.
Were we in want of materials for this eventful history, we have now a good opportunity for spinning out our volumes ; but, so far from this being the case, we hardly know how to find space for what it is now absolutely necessary that the reader should be acquainted with. Our friends may probably recollect, when we remind them of the fact, that there was a certain king, James II., who sat upon our throne, and who was a very good Catholic—that he married his daughter, Mary, to one William of Orange, who, in return for James's kindness in giving him his daughter, took away from him his kingdom, on the plea, that if he was a bad son-in-law, at all events, he was a sound Protestant. They may also recollect, that the exiled king was received most hospitably by the grand monarque, Louis XIV., who gave him palaces, money, and all that he required, and, moreover, gave him a fine army and fleet to go to Ireland and recover his kingdom, bidding him farewell with this equivocal sentence, “ That the best thing he, Louis, could wish to him was, never to see his face again.” They may further recollect, that King James and King William met at the battle of the Boyne, in which the former was defeated, and then went back to St. Germains and spent the rest of his life in acts of devotion and plotting against the life of King William. Now, among other plots real and pretended, there was one laid in 1695, to assassinate King William on his way to Richmond ; this plot was revealed, many of the conspirators were tried and executed, but the person who was at the head of it, a Scotchman, of the name of Sir George Barclay, escaped. In the year 1696, a bill was passed, by which Sir George Barclay and nine others who had escaped from justice, were attainted of high treason, if they did not choose to surrender themselves on or before the 25th day of March ensuing. Strange to say, these parties did not think it advisable to surrender themselves; perhaps it was because they knew that they were certain to be hung; but it is impossible to account for the actions of men: we only can lay the facts before our readers.
Sir George Barclay was by birth a Scotchman, of high family, and well connected. He had been an officer in the army of King James, to whom he was strongly attached. Moreover, he was a very bigoted Catholic. Whether he ever received a commission from King James, authorizing him to assassinate King William, has never been proved;
Continued from page 139. July 1836.-VOL. XVI.—NO. LXI.
but, as King James is well known to have been admitted into the order of the Jesuits, it is not at all unlikely. Certain it is, that the baronet went over to St. Germains, landed again in England, and would have made the attempt, had not the plot been discovered through some of the inferior accomplices; and it is equally sure that he escaped, although many others were hung—and few people knew what had become of him. The fact was, that when Barclay had fled to the sea-side, he was assisted over the water by a band of smugglers, who first concealed him in the cave we have described, which was their retreat. This led to a communication and arrangement with them. Sir George Barclay, who, although foiled in his attempt at assassination, never abandoned the cause, immediately perceived what advantages might be derived in keeping up a communication by means of these outlaws. For some time the smugglers were employed in carrying secret despatches to the friends of James in England and Scotland; and as the importance of the correspondence increased, and it became necessary to have personal interviews instead of written communications, Sir George frequently passed over to the cave as a rendezvous, at which he might meet the adherents of the exiled king. In the course of time he saw the prudence of having the entire control of the band, and found little difficulty in being appointed their leader. From the means he obtained from St. Germains, the smuggling was now carried on to a great and very profitable extent; and, by the regulations which he enacted, the chance of discovery' was diminished. Only one point more was requisite for safety and secrecy, which was, a person to whom he could confide the charge of the cave. Lady Barclay, who was equally warm in the cause, offered her services, and they were accepted; and at the latter end of the year 1696, about one year after the plot had failed, Lady Barclay, with her only child, took up her abode in this isolated domicile; Sir George then first making the arrangement that the men should always remain on the other side of the water, which would be an additional cause of security. For upwards of four years, Lady Barclay had remained an inmate, attending to the instruction of her little Lilly, and carrying on all the correspondence, and making all the necessary arrangements with vigour and address, satisfied with serving the good cause, and proving her devoted allegiance to her sovereign. Unfortunate and unwise as were the Stuart family, there must have been some charm about them, for they had instances of attachment and fidelity shown to them, of which no other line of kings could boast.
Shortly after the tragical event recorded in the last chapter, the Jesuit came out of the cave and went up to Sir George, who coolly observed, “We have just been sending a traitor to his account, good father.”
“So may they all perish,” replied the priest. “We start this evening ?”
“ Certainly. What news have you for St. Germains ?"
“Much that is important. Discontent prevails throughout the country. The affair of Bishop Watson hath brought much odium on the usurper. He himself writhes under the tyrannical commands of the Commons, and is at issue with them."
“ And in Scotland, father?”
“ All is there ripe and ready—and an army once landed, would be joined by thousands. The injustice of the usurper in wishing to sacrifice the Scotch Settlement, has worked deep upon the minds of those who advanced their money upon that speculation—in the total, a larger sum than ever yet was raised in Scotland. Our emissaries have fanned the flame up to the highest pitch.”
“ To my thoughts, good father, there needed not further discontent. Have we not our king dethroned, and our holy religion persecuted ?"
" True, my son-true; but still we must lose no means by which we may increase the number of our adherents. Some are swayed by one feeling, and some by another. We have contrived to throw no small odium upon the usurper and betrayer of his wife's father, by exposing and magnifying, indeed, the sums of money which he has lavished upon his courtesan, Mistress Villiers, now, by his heretic and unsanctified breath, raised into the peerage by the title of Countess of Orkney. All these items added together, form a vast sum of discontent, and could we persuade his Catholic majesty to rouse himself to assert once more his rights by force of arms, I should not fear for the result.”
“ Had I not been betrayed,” observed Sir Robert, musing, “before this the king would have had his own again.”
“ And thrice blessed would have been the arm that had laid the usurper low,” rejoined the Jesuit; “but more of this hereafter. Your lady hath had much converse with me. She thinks that the character of the man who commands that cutter, is such as to warrant his services for gold—and wishes to essay him."
“The woman Corbett is of that opinion, and she is subtle. At all events, it can be tried; for he would be of much utility, and there would be no suspicion. The whole had better be left to her management. We may employ, and pay, yet not trust him."
" That is exactly what Lady Alice has proposed," replied the Jesuit. Here Lilly came out to tell her father that the morning meal was ready, and they all returned to the cave.
That evening the boat was launched, and the Jesuit went over with Sir Robert, and landed at Cherbourg, from whence they both proceeded with all expedition to the court of King James.
We have entered into this short detail, that the reader may just know the why and the wherefore these parties in the cave were in troduced, and now we shall continue our most faithful and veracious
In which Smallbones is sent to look after a pot of black paint. We must now return to the cutter, which still remains at anchor off the point in Portsmouth harbour. It is a dark, murky, blowing day, with gusts of rain and thick fog. Mr. Vanslyperken is more than usually displeased, for, as he had to wait for the new boat which he had demanded, he thought this a good opportunity of enlivening the bends of the Yungfrau with a little black paint-not before it was required, most certainly, for she was as rusty in appearance as if she had been built of old iron. But paint fetched money, and as Mr. Vanslyperken always sold his, it was like parting with so much of his own property, when he ordered up the paint-pots and brushes. Now the operation of beautifying the Yungfrau had been commenced the day before, and the unexpected change in the weather during the night, had washed off the greater portion of the paint, and there was not only all the trouble, but all the expense, to be incurred again. No wonder that Mr. Vanslyperken was in a bad humour-not only in a bad humour, but in the very worst of humours. He had made up his mind to go on shore to see his mother, and was pacing the quarterdeck in his great coat, with his umbrella under his arm, all ready to be unfurled as soon as he was on shore. He was just about to order his boat to be manned: Mr. Vanslyperken looked up at the weatherthe fog was still thick, and the rain fell. You could not even make out the houses on the point. The wind had gone down considerably. Mr. Vanslyperken looked over the gunnel -- the damage was even greater than he thought. He looked over the stern, there was the stage still hanging where the parties had been standing or sitting, and, what was too bad, there was a pot of paint, with the brush in it, half full of rain-water, which some negligent person had left there. Mr. Vanslyperken turned forward to call somebody to take the paint below, but the decks were empty, and it was growing dark. A sudden thought, instigated no doubt by the devil, filled the brain of Mr. Vanslyperken. It was a glorious, golden opportunity, not to be lost. He walked forward, and went down into his cabin again, where he found Smallbones helping himself to biscuit, for the lad was hungry, as well he might be ; but on this occasion Mr. Vanslyperken took no notice.
“ Smallbones," said he, “ one of the men has left his paint-pot on the stage, under the stern, go and bring it in immediately."
“Yes, sir,” replied Smallbones, surprised at the unusually quiet style of his master's address to him.
Smallbones ran up the ladder, went aft, and slid down by the rope which held the plank used as a stage by the painters. Mr. Vanslyperken seized his carving knife, and following softly on deck, went aft. He took a hurried look forward, there was no one on deck. For a moment he hesitated at the crime; he observed the starboard rope shake, for Smallbones was just about to shin up again. The devil prevailed. Mr. Vanslyperken sawed through the rope, heard the splash of the lad in the water, and, frightened at his own guilt, ran down below, and gained his cabin. There he seated himself, trembling like an aspen leaf. It was the first time that he had been a murderer. He was pale as ashes. He fell sick, and he staggered to his cupboard, poured out a tumbler of scheedam, and drank it off at a draught. This recovered him, and he again felt brave. He re'turned on deck, and ordered his boat to be manned, which was presently done. Mr. Vanslyperken would have given the world to have gone aft, and to have looked over the stern, but he dared not ; so, pushing the men into the boat, he slipped in, and was pulled on shore. Without giving any directions to the men he stepped out, and felt a relief when he found himself on terra firma. He walked away as fast as he could—he felt that he could not walk fast enough—he was anxious to arrive at his mother's. The rain fell fast, but he thought not of his umbrella, it remained under his arm, and Mr. Vanslyperken, as if he was chased by a fiend, pushed on through the fog and rain ; he wanted to meet a congenial soul, one who would encourage, console him, ridicule his fears, and applaud the deed which he would just then have given the world to have recalled.
Where could he seek one more fitted to the purpose than his mother? The door of the house where she lodged was common to many, and therefore opened with a latch. He went in, and up-stairs, tried the door of his mother's room, and found it fastened within. He knocked, heard the grumbling of the old woman at her being obliged to rise from her chair: she opened the door, and Vanslyperken, as soon as he was in, slammed it to, and, exhausted with his emotions, fell back in a chair.
“ Hey day! and what's the matter now ?” cried the old woman, in Dutch; “one would think that you had been waylaid, robbed, and almost murdered.”
“ Murdered !” stammered Vanslyperken ; “yes—it was murder."
“ What was murder, my child ?" replied the old woman, reseating herself.
“ Did I say murder, mother?” said Vanslyperken, wiping the blended rain and perspiration from his brow with a cotton handkerchief.
“ Yes, you did, Cornelius Vanslyperken; not that I believe a craven like you would ever attempt such a thing."
“ But I have, mother. I have done the deed,” replied Vanslyperken.
" You have !" cried his mother; " then at last you have done something, and I shall respect you. Come, come, child, cheer up, and tell me all about it. There is a slight twinge the first time—but the second is nothing. Did you get gold ? Heh, my son, plenty of gold ?”
“Gold! no, no-I got nothing_indeed I lost by it-lost a pot full of black paint—but never mind that. He's gone,” replied Vanslyperken, recovering himself fast.
“ Who is gone?"
“ Pish,” replied the old woman, rocking her chair. “Ay, well, never mind-it was for revenge, then--that's sweet-very sweet. Now, Cornelius, tell me all about it."
Vanslyperken, encouraged by the sympathy, if we may use the term, shown by his mother, narrated what he had done.
“Well, well, child, 'tis a beginning," replied the old woman, “and I'll not call you craven again." “I must go back," said Vanslyperken, starting up from his chair.
“Go, child, it is late—and dream it over. Vengeance is sweet, even in sleep. I have had mine—and for years have I dwelt on itand shall for years to come. I shall not die yet—no, no.”
Vanslyperken quitted the house, the weather had cleared up, the breeze was fresh and piercing, and the stars twinkled every now and