2021-04-17 12:47:03

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ENGLISH "This comes," said Tyler, enraged at such sudden disorder, "of letting folks taste of what they're not used to; but let them tipple on. By St. Nicholas! they may: I will wait for no man;" and snatching the banner of St. George from its half-stupified bearer, and waving it in the air, he applied a small bugle to his lips, and at the blast, all whose reason was not entirely lost in their thirst, followed the smith from the scene of inebriety.CHAPTER VIII.

"'Tis welllet this man be recalled.""My liege, I am leader of fifty thousand men."

When the last bondman was freed, John Ball, who had stood looking on with devouring eyes, knelt down, and raising up a cheek suffused with the crimson of high-wrought feeling, and eyes glistening and radiant, ejaculated, in a scarcely audible voice,The reader may, perhaps, be surprised that all this should pass without eliciting either opposition or remark from the king of Norfolk; but the fact was, that Leicester, although in general a very temperate man, had been so much pleased with the flavour of Wat Turner's wine, and had so often replenished his cup that he had not been, for the last half hour, precisely in a situation either to combat or agree to any proposition. Indeed, had any of the members been bold enough to submit a motion, depriving him of his kingship elect, it is a question if he would have resisted, so much was the natural arrogance and asperity of his temper softened by the genial beverage.

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Black Jack was for an instant vexed, that Calverley did not require his assistance; but, shrewdly guessing that the steward wished to have as little to do with him as possible, and also conscious how small chance there was of succeeding by the direct mode, he laughed within himself at the probability that, after failing to accomplish the object he seemed so much to desire, Calverley would, ultimately, be compelled to apply to him. Indeed, had not the steward's mind been so entirely engrossed by the thoughts of Holgrave, he could not have failed to remark how quickly the foreman, from offering the strongest objections to the plan he proposed adopting, agreed with him that it was the wisest and best."What, my old friend! what do you do here?" said the galleyman aloud, but evidently speaking to himself.

"I will write to the abbot," said Isabella."Oh! you know, I suppose, that he is a sworn brother among the leaders, though I didn't know it till this very evening, when it happened that I was sent to the Essex men to know when they thought of marching. You know Black Jack gets on badly without a drop, and, as he could hardly obtain enough among them to wet his lips, he took the opportunity, as he said, of my coming to raise a good spirit among the bondmenbut in truth to" and he put an empty wine-cup, that he held in his hands, to his mouth.

"Do not look on me so wildly, Margaret," said he; "these bruises are nothing. Aye, even that," as she was examining, with the apprehensions of a tender wife, the black and almost shapeless appearance of his right hand and arm; "even that would be as well as ever in less than a monthbut it is their triumph and their treachery I feel: it is this that gnaws my very souland all because I thought myself too wise to take a woman's counsel,and in the very prison, too, where they thrust my poor mother! I have not tasted meat or drink since I entered. There stand the water and the breadthough the burning in my throat almost drives me mad: not a drop will I taste, though the leech told me to drink as much as I couldnor a morsel will I eat.""Aye, ye may soon sleep your last sleep. They will have at ye in the morning; for the proud barons are gathering their might; but, by St. Nicholas! I may do something yet. Yes, there will be more bloodI see it;I must have an order to behead the lords; and then, if Richard will be king of the commons, and no more lords or bondage, father John himself could not wish for more."

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The signs of strong excitement became every day more general and more evident, especially in the counties of Kent, Essex, Hertford, and Norfolk. The furbishing of weapons; the whetting and sharpening of hand-bills, wood-knives, and other offensive implements of husbandry; and the general relaxation, and in many places total suspension of labour, were like the heavings and the tremblings which betokened an approaching shock. Indeed, in many places partial risings had already commenced; but these had originated rather with the free than the bond: rather in resisting the obnoxious tax than in asserting a right to freedom; and the more timid and least influential of the gentry, unable to control the popular movement, had already shut themselves up in their mansions or castles, leaving to the government the task of stemming the storm. Even Richard and his council became alarmed; and after issuing a few proclamations, and a commission of trail baron to try the rioters, awaited the event, trusting to the want of organization among the people for a successful termination of the outbreak.

"My lord, you will give proper instructions," resumed Isabella, in a tone that seemed to imply she expected the most rigorous measures to be adopted.There was no need to repeat the orderthe door was smashed to splinters, and, in the rush to get at the cellars, several were thrown down, and trampled on. A large can, filled with wine, was handed to Tyler, and another to the galleyman, who, each quaffing a long draught, permitted the like indulgence to their followers; and then the word to march on was shouted by the chief. But now the smith perceived evidence of the folly he had been guilty of: the wine was too tempting to be left so soonthe vintner's house rang with execrations and tumultand even among those who kept their station in the street, the dangerous liquid continued to circulate."Oxford," said Richard, "ask the knave if he have any more disclosures to make."

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