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acceded to his proposal, and, lighting our guard-lantern, we left the apartment. The glimmering light fell strangely upon the low and narrow passage by which we proceeded, and our shadows upon the wall seemed to take the shapes of men in armor, while every puff of wind wailing through the crannies and loop-holes of the massive walls, seemed to rise into a sigh or a groan.
We descended the great stone staircase, and under its huge arches of solid masonry, looked upon the spot where were laid those twin roses on a single stalk,' as Shakspeare calls them
the infant Princes of England, smothered by command of Richard the Third. We viewed the place mournfully for a moment, and turned to retrace our steps, when a fancy seized us to extend our explorations, and beneath an arch, and through an oaken door, studded thick with massive nails, we passed on into the Tower vaults. Through apartment after apartment we groped along, now stumbling against a fragment of rusty chain which, fastened to a ringbolt, had confined some poor wretch, who had dragged out a life worse than death, deprived of air and sun-light, in these living tombs, until our way ended in what seemed a sort of lumber-room ; in it were stored pieces of rusty and broken armor, shattered spears, huge battleaxes, broad-swords, and maces, that, in their strange and terrible shapes, seemed to bring back the days of the Crusades, and the strong arms that had wielded, and the strong hearts that had prompted, the blows of these weapons of another age. At the extremity of the apartment
its side a huge cask or butt of an antique and singular shape, something like the casks in which Bordeaux brandy is imported, but longer, and with more swell to the bilge, or middle of the cask. It had strange old-fashioned fastenings to its hoops, which were of the willow of the South of France. Approaching it, and striking upon it lightly with our fingers, we discovered that it was filled with some sort of liquid. Harry shouted, making the damp walls resound strangely with the echoes of his merry voice : ‘Huzzah! a prize! who knows but it is wine, rare old Burgundy, and may serve yet to enliven many a dinner for the Coldstreams? This is a good night's work for the mess, if we can only manage to have it quietly bottled off down here, and taken to the wine-cellar: we'll taste it, at all events !'
By the light of our lantern, scraping away the gathered mould of years, we discovered the bung of the cask, covered with sheet-lead, and sealed in yellow wax, as nearly as we could make out by the dim light, with the broad seal of England : we scraped it away, crumbling be neath our fingers.
“And now,' said Harry, 'how to start the bung? Oh! I have it! I've seen the coopers do it in the docks ;' and drawing his sword, for we had not removed our side-arms at dinner, he said : 'God grant it may never shed more generous blood than that of the grape !' and struck violently upon the staves. At the second or third blow, the wil. low-hoops, weakened with age, gave way, and the oaken staves fell in, while the blood-red wine, gushing out in torrents, deluged us completely. As soon as I could recover my breath, for surprise and laughter, I said, · Well, Harry! a pretty mess we are in, and all our clothes at our lodgings;' when on looking at the debris of the cask, we saw lying the body of
a man, dressed in the costume of the fifteenth century, and with features as placid and fresh as if in a quiet sleep. We both started back in surprise and terror, and it was some moments before we recovered ourselves sufficiently to examine still farther the body. The garments, though now soaked and stained to a deep crimson hue, seemed of rich fabric, and were adorned with gold lace and jewels, which, untarnished by the wine, shone in strange contrast to the sanguine tint of the cloth upon which they were embroidered ; by his side was a diamond-hilted sword, and upon his finger a massive ruby ring, upon which, as I looked, I made out the well-known crest of the Dukes of Clarence. Ву George ! Castlemaine, the whole thing flashed upon me in an instant. Who else could it be but George Duke of Clarence, drowned in a butt of Malmsey, in 1483, by his brother, Richard the Third! I said as much to Harry, and for a few minutes we cogitated upon our best course to pursue. Leaving the body there was out of the question, and roaming about the vaults and crypts of the Tower might be thought a rather serious matter by the Colonel of our regiment; so finally we concluded all we could do, would be to remove the body to the messroom, dispose it quietly and decently, and in the morning take Colonel Harcourt's advice in the matter. Accordingly I supported the head and shoulders, while Lacy preceded me, carrying the lantern and bearing the feet, and we crept along toward the mess-room ; arriving there, not without difficulty, for the body was that of a stalwart man, we laid it upon the rug
before the grate, while we spread a cloak upon a couch, which we prepared for its reception : these preparations occupied some moments, and while about them, I fancied I heard a gasp, but supposed it was only fancy, until on returning to remove the body, and stooping to lift the shoulders, I felt upon my hand the faintest possible breath. I looked again, and the chest heaved with the faint and struggling motion of a dying child. I rushed to the side-board, and pouring out a glass of brandy, while I raised the head, held it to the lips, to which color had come; and as I turned the glass, with a gasp, a portion of its contents was swallowed. Lacy and I immediately set at work, rubbing the hands and chafing the temples : respira: tion grew more regular, color came to the face, and as I felt anxiously the artery of the wrist, I felt the pulse coming with a thread-like beat. We continued our exertions with increasing success ; finally the eyes unclosed, and looked wildly around : I held the brandy again to the lips, and he spoke, gasping out: 'Richard ! Richard ! I am thy brother, and by thee I die!'
“He gazed anxiously around the room, seeming to take in with the eyes you would imagine a man would look upon another world, its contents. Around, hung pictures of British victories: Waterloo, Gibraltar, the Nile, Trafalgar, all won during his long sleep. Just over his head, in companion niches, stood busts of Nelson and Wellington ; at the end of the room was a portrait of Her Majesty in her coronation-robes : upon all these he looked with wondering eyes, till, endeavoring to speak, he fell back in my arms, with a rattle in his throat, and all efforts to rouse him proved unavailing. He was dead! O Castlemaine ! if he could have lived ! Lacy and I laid him mournfully upon the couch,
and I passed to the window. Over the masses of rolling cloud. was coming the pomp of May-day dawn, spires of gorgeous red shooting athwart the murky gloom of the flying night like the banners of an advancing army; and as I looked, the sun rose in full beauty, and his beams fell upon the roof of the Crystal Palace, illuming its pinnacles and turrets with unearthly beauty, as it stood, the glorious monument of the progress of the ages, glittering like a vast diamond in the sunlight, within Hyde-Park. Upon my ear fell the sound of the morning gun, and from the peak of your ship Nightingale,’ lying in the Thames, ran up the Stars and Stripes: the gun was echoed by one from your frigate, the ‘St. Lawrence,' as her ensign floated on the morning breeze. All the panorama told of the present; and as I turned to the silent, clay-cold figure of a past age, that had tottered so strangely for an instant at the open door of the present, before falling back again into its long sleep, I felt that I would have willingly have laid down my own life, could George Duke of Clarence have looked for one hour with me upon the prospect from that Tower-window. As I turned and spoke to Harry, there were tears in his eyes; and as we looked upon the body, as lay there in quiet dignity, we felt an awe for the remains of such august mortality that revolted at the impertinent curiosity its strange discovery must excite ; and so mournfully and heavily bearing it away, we deposited it beneath the flag-stones of the vault from which it had been taken: and have since, until today, never spoken of this strange episode in our idle lives, save to one another.'
She is resting, calmly resting,
On her little snowy bed,
For LILLIAN is dead,
And snow-drops here and there,
Wreathed in her golden hair :
From which she 'll waken ne'er again :
And tears fall like the rain,
An holy, solemn look,
Had looked in ‘Life's own book.'
Smooth back her silken hair;
Guard her with loving care.
MY A D V ENTURES
BY JOHN BRADSHAWE,
• MAKE you a pair before Saturday night, Sir,' said the shoemaker.
Can't wait,' said I: 'going out of town by the next train.' *Oh! well, now I think,' replied he, here is an uncommon nice pair that may be 'll fit. They was made for a gentleman that did n't take 'em: too small across here, you see. Try 'em on, Sir ? Ah! yes, so, so, exactly. Why, they fit like - like they'd been made for you!
They did fit tolerably well, so I bought them. In five minutes more I was seated aboard the cars in Chatham-street, and in half-an-hour more, was steaming and rattling away out of the city, toward my destination. I was going on a collecting expedition to that secluded ' little rural paradise,' Smithburgh, which, as you are aware, is situated about a hundred miles back of the City Hall, and is about the same number of years behind the metropolis in the 'modern improvements. ' One of the Smithburghers was in debt to my employers, (the great house of Naryred and Company, of whom you have doubtless heard, Pearl-street, just below Fulton.) The aforesaid Smithburgher was rumored to be on the eve of suspension,' hence my hurried journey. Be it remembered that these events occurred two years ago, at which era debts were still collectable.
• The shades of night were falling fast' when the train deposited my carpet-bag and myself at the Smithburgh station. I was soon ensconced in the tavern ; an ambitious wooden structure, very garishly white, and very lavish of piazza without, which qualities were counterbalanced by its being very dirty and very cramped for room within.
When I went over, in the evening, to the store of my delinquent debtor, I did not find him ; and a very brief conversation with the people whom I did find, served to inform me that I had come on a fruitless errand. He had not only suspended, but had decamped out of Smithburgh into parts unknown. He was a dead loss, so far as Naryred and Company were concerned. All that could be done with him, was to put him down on the debit side of the profit and loss account. There was nothing for it but to go back.
* And when does the next train go down ?' inquired I of mine host at the · Hotel.'
• No train down till 11.55 A.M.,' was the curt response.
Just my luck. No money, no assets, no collection, and now no train. I should have to stay fourteen hours longer in this dismal country tavern. Tired and very ill-humored, after nodding an hour over the same paper I had read the day before in town, I took my candle, and took myself off to bed.
It must have been near mid-night, when I was suddenly roused up by a thundering explosion :
Bewildered and sleepy, I sat up in bed, trying to make out whether Naryred and Company had burst,' and were unable to pay ten cents on the dollar; or whether I was aboard a Mississippi steamer which had 'collapsed a flue,' and was about to be scalded with hot steam ; or whether
· BANG!' suddenly went a second explosion, and I made out to comprehend that something was being fired off under my window.
Jumping up, I rushed to the sash, and peered out. Sure enough, there was a crowd of men and boys, gathered round what looked like a dilapidated anvil, ramming it down for a third discharge.
It must be election day in Smithburgh, thought I, and they are rejoicing over the result. Confound the successful candidate, whoever he is, making such an infernal racket!
Just then, one of the youngsters, looking up, caught sight of me, standing in my shirt at the window. He hurriedly spoke to the others, and then one shouted :
Boys : let's give him three cheers!' And they did.
Hoo-00-raw!' • H00-00-00-raw!' • Hoo-00-00-ra-a-a-aw!'
I shrank back, and crept shivering into bed just as gun number four went off, amid another set of cheers. One-and-thirty times did that infernal piece go off ; I devoutly praying each time that it might burst, and so stop. Then there were more cheers. Then there was a bonfire, blazing up so suddenly into the window that I thought the house had caught fire. Then there was ‘Hail Columbia' and 'Yankee Doodle,' on a cracked fiddle and a wheezy clarionet. At last, the Babel quieted down, and I, wondering considerably what it was all about, fell asleep.
But if I was mystified about the doings of the night, I was considerably more puzzled by the goings on of the morning. My host met me with a most profound bow, and was deferentially solicitous about my health. The bar-keeper bowed reverentially when I passed him. The bar-room idlers all respectfully rose to their feet, (staring hard meanwhile,) as I walked through. The chamber-maid dropped as many as fifty courtesies, one after another, when I happened to meet her in the hall, and so overwhelmingly civil was every body, that imagined I had stepped out of free-and-easy America into courteous France.
On looking round, I perceived the house itself was marvellously changed, over-night. The scrubbing-brush must have been busy since day-light, for the floors were freshly scoured, and the windows glistened with polish, while the furniture was 'set round' in the primmest kind of order. The landlady, although it was the slatternly hour of eight o'clock in the morning, was arrayed in majestic black silk, and her cap, with its multitudinous cherry-colored ribbons, was miraculous to behold. Mine host evidently had on his Sunday black suit, and had thrust himself into a clean shirt, starched to an extent that kept him perpendicular as a grenadier.