Mr. Falkland had experienced the nullity of all expostulation with Mr. Tyrrel, and was therefore content in the present case with confining his attention t_he intended victim. The indignation with which he thought of his neighbour'_haracter was now grown to such a height, as to fill him with reluctance t_he idea of a voluntary interview. There was indeed another affair which ha_een contemporary with this, that had once more brought these mortal enemie_nto a state of contest, and had contributed to raise into a temper littl_hort of madness, the already inflamed and corrosive bitterness of Mr. Tyrrel.
There was a tenant of Mr. Tyrrel, one Hawkins;—I cannot mention his nam_ithout recollecting the painful tragedies that are annexed to it! Thi_awkins had originally been taken up by Mr. Tyrrel, with a view of protectin_im from the arbitrary proceedings of a neighbouring squire, though he had no_n his turn become an object of persecution to Mr. Tyrrel himself. The firs_round of their connection was this:—Hawkins, beside a farm which he rente_nder the above-mentioned squire, had a small freehold estate that h_nherited from his father. This of course entitled him to a vote in the count_lections; and, a warmly contested election having occurred, he was require_y his landlord to vote for the candidate in whose favour he had himsel_ngaged. Hawkins refused to obey the mandate, and soon after received notic_o quit the farm he at that time rented.
It happened that Mr. Tyrrel had interested himself strongly in behalf of th_pposite candidate; and, as Mr. Tyrrel's estate bordered upon the seat o_awkins's present residence, the ejected countryman could think of no bette_xpedient than that of riding over to this gentleman's mansion, and relatin_he case to him. Mr. Tyrrel heard him through with attention. "Well, friend,"
said he, "it is very true that I wished Mr. Jackman to carry his election; bu_ou know it is usual in these cases for tenants to vote just as thei_andlords please. I do not think proper to encourage rebellion."—"All that i_ery right, and please you," replied Hawkins, "and I would have voted at m_andlord's bidding for any other man in the kingdom but Squire Marlow. Yo_ust know one day his huntsman rode over my fence, and so through my bes_ield of standing corn. It was not above a dozen yards about if he had kep_he cart-road. The fellow had served me the same sauce, an it please you_onour, three or four times before. So I only asked him what he did that for, and whether he had not more conscience than to spoil people's crops o' tha_ashion? Presently the squire came up. He is but a poor, weazen-face chicke_f a gentleman, saving your honour's reverence. And so he flew into a wound_assion, and threatened to horsewhip me. I will do as much in reason t_leasure my landlord as arr a tenant he has; but I will not give my vote to _an that threatens to horsewhip me. And so, your honour, I and my wife an_hree children are to be turned out of house and home, and what I am to do t_aintain them God knows. I have been a hard-working man, and have always live_ell, and I do think the case is main hard. Squire Underwood turns me out o_y farm; and if your honour do not take me in, I know none of the neighbourin_entry will, for fear, as they say, of encouraging their own tenants to ru_usty too."
This representation was not without its effect upon Mr. Tyrrel. "Well, well, man," replied he, "we will see what can be done. Order and subordination ar_ery good things; but people should know how much to require. As you tell th_tory, I cannot see that you are greatly to blame. Marlow is a coxcombica_rig, that is the truth on't; and if a man will expose himself, why, he mus_ven take what follows. I do hate a Frenchified fop with all my soul: and _annot say that I am much pleased with my neighbour Underwood for taking th_art of such a rascal. Hawkins, I think, is your name? You may call on Barnes, my steward, to-morrow, and he shall speak to you."
While Mr. Tyrrel was speaking, he recollected that he had a farm vacant, o_early the same value as that which Hawkins at present rented under Mr.
Underwood. He immediately consulted his steward, and, finding the thin_uitable in every respect, Hawkins was installed out of hand in the catalogu_f Mr. Tyrrel's tenants. Mr. Underwood extremely resented this proceeding, which indeed, as being contrary to the understood conventions of the countr_entlemen, few people but Mr. Tyrrel would have ventured upon. There was a_nd, said Mr. Underwood, to all regulation, if tenants were to be encourage_n such disobedience. It was not a question of this or that candidate, seein_hat any gentleman, who was a true friend to his country, would rather los_is election than do a thing which, if once established into a practice, woul_eprive them for ever of the power of managing any election. The labourin_eople were sturdy and resolute enough of their own accord; it became ever_ay more difficult to keep them under any subordination; and, if the gentleme_ere so ill advised as to neglect the public good, and encourage them in thei_nsolence, there was no foreseeing where it would end.
Mr. Tyrrel was not of a stamp to be influenced by these remonstrances. Thei_eneral spirit was sufficiently conformable to the sentiments he himsel_ntertained; but he was of too vehement a temper to maintain the character o_ consistent politician; and, however wrong his conduct might be, he would b_o means admit of its being set right by the suggestions of others. The mor_is patronage of Hawkins was criticised, the more inflexibly he adhered to it; and he was at no loss in clubs and other assemblies to overbear and silence, if not to confute, his censurers. Beside which, Hawkins had certai_ccomplishments which qualified him to be a favourite with Mr. Tyrrel. Th_luntness of his manner and the ruggedness of his temper gave him som_esemblance to his landord; and, as these qualities were likely to be mor_requently exercised on such persons as had incurred Mr. Tyrrel's displeasure, than upon Mr. Tyrrel himself, they were not observed without some degree o_omplacency. In a word, he every day received new marks of distinction fro_is patron, and after some time was appointed coadjutor to Mr. Barnes unde_he denomination of bailiff. It was about the same period that he obtained _ease of the farm of which he was tenant.
Mr. Tyrrel determined, as occasion offered, to promote every part of th_amily of this favoured dependent. Hawkins had a son, a lad of seventeen, o_n agreeable person, a ruddy complexion, and of quick and lively parts. Thi_ad was in an uncommon degree the favourite of his father, who seemed to hav_othing so much at heart as the future welfare of his son. Mr. Tyrrel ha_oticed him two or three times with approbation; and the boy, being fond o_he sports of the field, had occasionally followed the hounds, and displaye_arious instances, both of agility and sagacity, in presence of the squire.
One day in particular he exhibited himself with uncommon advantage; and Mr.
Tyrrel without further delay proposed to his father, to take him into hi_amily, and make him whipper-in to his hounds, till he could provide him wit_ome more lucrative appointment in his service.
This proposal was received by Hawkins with various marks of mortification. H_xcused himself with hesitation for not accepting the offered favour; said th_ad was in many ways useful to him; and hoped his honour would not insist upo_epriving him of his assistance. This apology might perhaps have bee_ufficient with any other man than Mr. Tyrrel; but it was frequently observe_f this gentleman that, when he had once formed a determination, howeve_light, in favour of any measure, he was never afterwards known to give it up, and that the only effect of opposition was to make him eager and inflexible, in pursuit of that to which he had before been nearly indifferent. At first h_eemed to receive the apology of Hawkins with good humour, and to see nothin_n it but what was reasonable; but afterwards, every time he saw the boy, hi_esire of retaining him in his service was increased, and he more than onc_epeated to his father the good disposition in which he felt himself toward_im. At length he observed that the lad was no more to be seen mingling in hi_avourite sports, and he began to suspect that this originated in _etermination to thwart him in his projects.
Roused by this suspicion, which, to a man of Mr. Tyrrel's character, was no_f a nature to brook delay, he sent for Hawkins to confer with him. "Hawkins,"
said he, in a tone of displeasure, "I am not satisfied with you. I have spoke_o you two or three times about this lad of yours, whom I am desirous o_aking into favour. What is the reason, sir, that you seem unthankful an_verse to my kindness? You ought to know that I am not to be trifled with. _hall not be contented, when I offer my favours, to have them rejected by suc_ellows as you. I made you what you are; and, if I please, can make you mor_elpless and miserable than you were when I found you. Have a care!"
"An it please your honour," said Hawkins, "you have been a very good master t_e, and I will tell you the whole truth. I hope you will na be angry. This la_s my favourite, my comfort, and the stay of my age."
"Well, and what then? Is that a reason you should hinder his preferment?"
"Nay, pray your honour, hear me. I may be very weak for aught I know in thi_ase, but I cannot help it. My father was a clergyman. We have all of us live_n a creditable way; and I cannot bear to think that this poor lad of min_hould go to service. For my part, I do not see any good that comes b_ervants. I do not know, your honour, but, I think, I should not like m_eonard to be such as they. God forgive me, if I wrong them! But this is _ery dear case, and I cannot bear to risk my poor boy's welfare, when I can s_asily, if you please, keep him out or harm's way. At present he is sober an_ndustrious, and, without being pert or surly, knows what is due to him. _now, your honour, that it is main foolish of me to talk to you thus; but you_onour has been a good master to me, and I cannot bear to tell you a lie."
Mr. Tyrrel had heard the whole of this harangue in silence, because he was to_uch astonished to open his mouth. If a thunderbolt had fallen at his feet, h_ould not have testified greater surprise. He had thought that Hawkins was s_oolishly fond of his son, that he could not bear to trust him out of hi_resence; but had never in the slightest degree suspected what he now found t_e the truth.
"Oh, ho, you are a gentleman, are you? A pretty gentleman truly! your fathe_as a clergyman! Your family is too good to enter into my service! Why yo_mpudent rascal! was it for this that I took you up, when Mr. Underwoo_ismissed you for your insolence to him? Have I been nursing a viper in m_osom? Pretty master's manners will be contaminated truly? He will not kno_hat is due to him, but will be accustomed to obey orders! You insufferabl_illain! Get out of my sight! Depend upon it, I will have no gentlemen on m_state! I will off with them, root and branch, bag and baggage! So do yo_ear, sir? come to me to-morrow morning, bring your son, and ask my pardon; or, take my word for it, I will make you so miserable, you shall wish you ha_ever been born."
This treatment was too much for Hawkins's patience. "There is no need, you_onour, that I should come to you again about this affair. I have taken up m_etermination, and no time can make any change in it. I am main sorry t_isplease your worship, and I know that you can do me a great deal o_ischief. But I hope you will not be so hardhearted as to ruin a father onl_or being fond of his child, even if so be that his fondness should make hi_o a foolish thing. But I cannot help it, your honour: you must do as yo_lease. The poorest neger, as a man may say, has some point that he will no_art with. I will lose all that I have, and go to day-labour, and my son too, if needs must; but I will not make a gentleman's servant of him."
"Very well, friend; very well!" replied Mr. Tyrrel, foaming with rage. "Depen_pon it, I will remember you! Your pride shall have a downfal! God damn it! i_t come to this? Shall a rascal that farms his forty acres, pretend to bear_he lord of the manor? I will tread you into paste! Let me advise you, scoundrel, to shut up your house and fly, as if the devil was behind you! Yo_ay think yourself happy, if I be not too quick for you yet, if you escape i_ whole skin! I would not suffer such a villain to remain upon my land a da_onger, if I could gain the Indies by it!"
"Not so fast, your honour," answered Hawkins, sturdily. "I hope you will thin_etter of it, and see that I have not been to blame. But if you should not, there is some harm that you can do me, and some harm that you cannot. Though _m a plain, working man, your honour, do you see? yet I am a man still. No; _ave got a lease of my farm, and I shall not quit it o' thaten. I hope ther_s some law for poor folk, as well as for rich."
Mr. Tyrrel, unused to contradiction, was provoked beyond bearing at th_ourage and independent spirit of his retainer. There was not a tenant upo_is estate, or at least not one of Hawkins's mediocrity of fortune, whom th_eneral policy of landowners, and still more the arbitrary and uncontrollabl_emper of Mr. Tyrrel, did not effectually restrain from acts of open defiance.
"Excellent, upon my soul! God damn my blood! but you are a rare fellow. Yo_ave a lease, have you? You will not quit, not you! a pretty pass things ar_ome to, if a lease can protect such fellows as you against the lord of _anor! But you are for a trial of skill? Oh, very well, friend, very well!
With all my soul! Since it is come to that, we will show you some pretty spor_efore we have done! But get out of my sight, you rascal! I have not anothe_ord to say to you! Never darken my doors again."
Hawkins (to borrow the language of the world) was guilty in this affair of _ouble imprudence. He talked to his landlord in a more peremptory manner tha_he constitution and practices of this country allow a dependent to assume.
But above all, having been thus hurried away by his resentment, he ought t_ave foreseen the consequences. It was mere madness in him to think o_ontesting with a man of Mr. Tyrrel's eminence and fortune. It was a faw_ontending with a lion. Nothing could have been more easy to predict, tha_hat it was of no avail for him to have right on his side, when his adversar_ad influence and wealth, and therefore could so victoriously justify an_xtravagancies that he might think proper to commit. This maxim was completel_llustrated in the sequel. Wealth and despotism easily know how to engag_hose laws as the coadjutors of their oppression, which were perhaps at firs_ntended [witless and miserable precaution!] for the safeguards of the poor.
From this moment Mr Tyrrel was bent upon Hawkins's destruction; and he left n_eans unemployed that could either harass or injure the object of hi_ersecution. He deprived him of his appointment of bailiff, and directe_arnes and his other dependents to do him ill offices upon all occasions. Mr.
Tyrrel, by the tenure of his manor, was impropriator of the great tithes, an_his circumstance afforded him frequent opportunities of petty altercation.
The land of one part of Hawkins's farm, though covered with corn, was lowe_han the rest; and consequently exposed to occasional inundations from a rive_y which it was bounded. Mr. Tyrrel had a dam belonging to this rive_rivately cut, about a fortnight before the season of harvest, and laid th_hole under water. He ordered his servants to pull away the fences of th_igher ground during the night, and to turn in his cattle, to the utte_estruction of the crop. These expedients, however, applied to only one par_f the property of this unfortunate man. But Mr. Tyrrel did not stop here. _udden mortality took place among Hawkins's live stock, attended with ver_uspicious circumstances. Hawkins's vigilance was strongly excited by thi_vent, and he at length succeeded in tracing the matter so accurately, that h_onceived he could bring it home to Mr. Tyrrel himself.
Hawkins had hitherto carefully avoided, notwithstanding the injuries he ha_uffered, the attempting to right himself by legal process; being of opinio_hat law was better adapted for a weapon of tyranny in the hands of the rich, than for a shield to protect the humbler part of the community against thei_surpations. In this last instance however he conceived that the offence wa_o atrocious, as to make it impossible that any rank could protect the culpri_gainst the severity of justice. In the sequel, he saw reason to applau_imself for his former inactivity in this respect, and to repent that an_otive had been strong enough to persuade him into a contrary system.
This was the very point to which Mr. Tyrrel wanted to bring him, and he coul_carcely credit his good fortune, when he was told that Hawkins had entered a_ction. His congratulation upon this occasion was immoderate, as he no_onceived that the ruin of his late favourite was irretrievable. He consulte_is attorney, and urged him by every motive he could devise, to employ th_hole series of his subterfuges in the present affair. The direct repelling o_he charge exhibited against him was the least part of his care; the busines_as, by affidavits, motions, pleas, demurrers, flaws, and appeals, to protrac_he question from term to term, and from court to court. It would, as Mr.
Tyrrel argued, be the disgrace of a civilized country, if a gentleman, whe_nsolently attacked in law by the scum of the earth, could not convert th_ause into a question of the longest purse, and stick in the skirts of hi_dversary till he had reduced him to beggary.
Mr. Tyrrel, however, was by no means so far engrossed by his law-suit, as t_eglect other methods of proceeding offensively against his tenant. Among th_arious expedients that suggested themselves, there was one, which, though i_ended rather to torment than irreparably injure the sufferer, was no_ejected. This was derived from the particular situation of Hawkins's house, barns, stacks, and outhouses. They were placed at the extremity of a slip o_and connecting them with the rest of the farm, and were surrounded on thre_ides by fields, in the occupation of one of Mr. Tyrrel's tenants most devote_o the pleasures of his landlord. The road to the market-town ran at th_ottom of the largest of these fields, and was directly in view of the fron_f the house. No inconvenience had yet arisen from that circumstance, as ther_ad always been a broad path, that intersected this field, and led directl_rom Hawkins's house to the road. This path, or private road, was now, b_oncert of Mr. Tyrrel and his obliging tenant, shut up, so as to make Hawkin_ sort of prisoner in his own domains, and oblige him to go near a mile abou_or the purposes of his traffic.
Young Hawkins, the lad who had been the original subject of dispute betwee_is father and the squire, had much of his father's spirit, and felt a_ncontrollable indignation against the successive acts of despotism of whic_e was a witness. His resentment was the greater, because the sufferings t_hich his parent was exposed, all of them flowed from affection to him, at th_ame time that he could not propose removing the ground of dispute, as by s_oing he would seem to fly in the face of his father's paternal kindness. Upo_he present occasion, without asking any counsel but of his own impatien_esentment, he went in the middle of the night, and removed all th_bstructions that had been placed in the way of the old path, broke th_adlocks that had been fixed, and threw open the gates.
In these operations he did not proceed unobserved, and the next day a warran_as issued for apprehending him. He was accordingly carried before a meetin_f justices, and by them committed to the county gaol, to take his trial fo_he felony at the next assizes. Mr. Tyrrel was determined to prosecute th_ffence with the greatest severity; and his attorney, having made the prope_nquiries for that purpose, undertook to bring it under that clause of the ac_ Geo. I. commonly called the Black Act, which declares that "any person, armed with a sword, or other offensive weapon, and having his face blackened, or being otherwise disguised, appearing in any warren or place where hares o_onies have been or shall be usually kept, and being thereof duly convicted, shall be adjudged guilty of felony, and shall suffer death, as in cases o_elony, without benefit of clergy." Young Hawkins, it seemed, had buttoned th_ape of his great coat over his face, as soon as he perceived himself to b_bserved, and he was furnished with a wrenching-iron for the purpose o_reaking the padlocks. The attorney further undertook to prove, by sufficien_itnesses, that the field in question was a warren in which hares wer_egularly fed. Mr. Tyrrel seized upon these pretences with inexpressibl_atisfaction. He prevailed upon the justices, by the picture he drew of th_bstinacy and insolence of the Hawkinses, fully to commit the lad upon thi_iserable charge; and it was by no means so certain as paternal affectio_ould have desired, that the same overpowering influence would not cause i_he sequel the penal clause to be executed in all its strictness.
This was the finishing stroke to Hawkins's miseries: as he was not deficien_n courage, he had stood up against his other persecutions without flinching.
He was not unaware of the advantages which our laws and customs give to th_ich over the poor, in contentions of this kind. But, being once involved, there was a stubbornness in his nature that would not allow him to retract, and he suffered himself to hope, rather than expect, a favourable issue. Bu_n this last event he was wounded in the point that was nearest his heart. H_ad feared to have his son contaminated and debased by a servile station, an_e now saw him transferred to the seminary of a gaol. He was even uncertain a_o the issue of his imprisonment, and trembled to think what the tyranny o_ealth might effect to blast his hopes for ever.
From this moment his heart died within him. He had trusted to perseverin_ndustry and skill, to save the wreck of his little property from the vulga_pite of his landlord. But he had now no longer any spirit to exert thos_fforts which his situation more than ever required. Mr. Tyrrel proceede_ithout remission in his machinations; Hawkins's affairs every day grew mor_esperate, and the squire, watching the occasion, took the earlies_pportunity of seizing upon his remaining property in the mode of a distres_or rent.
It was precisely in this stage of the affair, that Mr. Falkland and Mr. Tyrre_ccidentally met, in a private road near the habitation of the latter. The_ere on horseback, and Mr. Falkland was going to the house of the unfortunat_enant, who seemed upon the point of perishing under his landlord's malice. H_ad been just made acquainted with the tale of this persecution. It had indee_een an additional aggravation of Hawkins's calamity, that Mr. Falkland, whos_nterference might otherwise have saved him, had been absent from th_eighbourhood for a considerable time. He had been three months in London, an_rom thence had gone to visit his estates in another part of the island. Th_roud and self-confident spirit of this poor fellow always disposed him t_epend, as long as possible, upon his own exertions. He had avoided applyin_o Mr. Falkland, or indeed indulging himself in any manner in communicatin_nd bewailing his hard hap, in the beginning of the contention, and, when th_xtremity grew more urgent, and he would have been willing to recede in som_egree from the stubbornness of his measures, he found it no longer in hi_ower. After an absence of considerable duration, Mr. Falkland at lengt_eturned somewhat unexpectedly; and having learned, among the first article_f country intelligence, the distresses of this unfortunate yeoman, h_esolved to ride over to his house the next morning, and surprise him with al_he relief it was in his power to bestow.
At sight of Mr. Tyrrel in this unexpected rencounter, his face reddened wit_ndignation. His first feeling, as he afterwards said, was to avoid him; bu_inding that he must pass him, he conceived that it would be want of spiri_ot to acquaint him with his feelings on the present occasion.
"Mr. Tyrrel," said he, somewhat abruptly, "I am sorry for a piece of new_hich I have just heard."
"And pray, sir, what is your sorrow to me?"
"A great deal, sir: it is caused by the distresses of a poor tenant of yours, Hawkins. If your steward have proceeded without your authority, I think i_ight to inform you what he has done; and, if he have had your authority, _ould gladly persuade you to think better of it."
"Mr. Falkland, it would be quite as well if you would mind your own business, and leave me to mind mine. I want no monitor, and I will have none."
"You mistake, Mr. Tyrrel; I am minding my own business. If I see you fall int_ pit, it is my business to draw you out and save your life. If I see yo_ursuing a wrong mode of conduct, it is my business to set you right and sav_our honour."
"Zounds, sir, do not think to put your conundrums upon me! Is not the man m_enant? Is not my estate my own? What signifies calling it mine, if I am no_o have the direction of it? Sir, I pay for what I have: I owe no man a penny; and I will not put my estate to nurse to you, nor the best he that wears _ead."
"It is very true," said Mr. Falkland, avoiding any direct notice of the las_ords of Mr. Tyrrel, "that there is a distinction of ranks. I believe tha_istinction is a good thing, and necessary to the peace of mankind. But, however necessary it may be, we must acknowledge that it puts some hardshi_pon the lower orders of society. It makes one's heart ache to think, that on_an is born to the inheritance of every superfluity, while the whole share o_nother, without any demerit of his, is drudgery and starving; and that al_his is indispensable. We that are rich, Mr. Tyrrel, must do every thing i_ur power to lighten the yoke of these unfortunate people. We must not use th_dvantage that accident has given us with an unmerciful hand. Poor wretches!
they are pressed almost beyond bearing as it is; and, if we unfeelingly giv_nother turn to the machine, they will be crushed into atoms."
This picture was not without its effect, even upon the obdurate mind of Mr.
Tyrrel.—"Well, sir, I am no tyrant. I know very well that tyranny is a ba_hing. But you do not infer from thence that these people are to do as the_lease, and never meet with their deserts?"
"Mr. Tyrrel, I see that you are shaken in your animosity. Suffer me to hai_he new-born benevolence of your nature. Go with me to Hawkins. Do not let u_alk of his deserts! Poor fellow! he has suffered almost all that human natur_an endure. Let your forgiveness upon this occasion be the earnest of goo_eighbourhood and friendship between you and me."
"No, sir, I will not go. I own there is something in what you say. I alway_new you had the wit to make good your own story, and tell a plausible tale.
But I will not be come over thus. It has been my character, when I had onc_onceived a scheme of vengeance, never to forego it; and I will not chang_hat character. I took up Hawkins when every body forsook him, and made a ma_f him; and the ungrateful rascal has only insulted me for my pains. Curse me, if I ever forgive him! It would be a good jest indeed, if I were to forgiv_he insolence of my own creature at the desire of a man like you that has bee_y perpetual plague."
"For God's sake, Mr. Tyrrel, have some reason in your resentment! Let u_uppose that Hawkins has behaved unjustifiably, and insulted you: is that a_ffence that never can be expiated? Must the father be ruined, and the so_anged, to glut your resentment?"
"Damn me, sir, but you may talk your heart out; you shall get nothing of me. _hall never forgive myself for having listened to you for a moment. I wil_uffer nobody to stop the stream of my resentment; if I ever were to forgiv_im, it should be at nobody's, entreaty but my own. But, sir, I never will. I_e and all his family were at my feet, I would order them all to be hanged th_ext minute, if my power were as good as my will."
"And this is your decision, is it? Mr. Tyrrel, I am ashamed of you! Almight_od! to hear you talk gives one a loathing for the institutions an_egulations of society, and would induce one to fly the very face of man! But, no! society casts you out; man abominates you. No wealth, no rank, can buy ou_our stain. You will live deserted in the midst of your species; you will g_nto crowded societies, and no one will deign so much as to salute you. The_ill fly from your glance as they would from the gaze of a basilisk. Where d_ou expect to find the hearts of flint that shall sympathise with yours? Yo_ave the stamp of misery, incessant, undivided, unpitied misery!"
Thus saying, Mr. Falkland gave spurs to his horse, rudely pushed beside Mr.
Tyrrel, and was presently out of sight. Flaming indignation annihilated eve_is favourite sense of honour, and he regarded his neighbour as a wretch, wit_hom it was impossible even to enter into contention. For the latter, h_emained for the present motionless and petrified. The glowing enthusiasm o_r. Falkland was such as might well have unnerved the stoutest foe. Mr.
Tyrrel, in spite of himself, was blasted with the compunctions of guilt, an_nable to string himself for the contest. The picture Mr. Falkland had draw_as prophetic. It described what Mr. Tyrrel chiefly feared; and what in it_ommencements he thought he already felt. It was responsive to the whisperin_f his own meditations; it simply gave body and voice to the spectre tha_aunted him, and to the terrors of which he was an hourly prey.
By and by, however, he recovered. The more he had been temporarily confounded, the fiercer was his resentment when he came to himself. Such hatred neve_xisted in a human bosom without marking its progress with violence and death.
Mr. Tyrrel, however, felt no inclination to have recourse to persona_efiance. He was the furthest in the world from a coward; but his genius sun_efore the genius of Falkland. He left his vengeance to the disposal o_ircumstances. He was secure that his animosity would never be forgotten no_iminished by the interposition of any time or events. Vengeance was hi_ightly dream, and the uppermost of his waking thoughts.
Mr. Falkland had departed from this conference with a confirmed disapprobatio_f the conduct of his neighbour, and an unalterable resolution to do ever_hing in his power to relieve the distresses of Hawkins. But he was too late.
When he arrived, he found the house already evacuated by its master. Th_amily was removed nobody knew whither; Hawkins had absconded, and, what wa_till more extraordinary, the boy Hawkins had escaped on the very same da_rom the county gaol. The enquiries Mr. Falkland set on foot after them wer_ruitless; no traces could be found of the catastrophe of these unhapp_eople. That catastrophe I shall shortly have occasion to relate, and it wil_e found pregnant with horror, beyond what the blackest misanthropy coul_eadily have suggested.
I go on with my tale. I go on to relate those incidents in which my own fat_as so mysteriously involved. I lift the curtain, and bring forward the las_ct of the tragedy.