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PLANS FAIL-WILLIE BATS DELECTABLY ASTONISHETH HIMSELF AND HIS

CHARMER-AN EXCHANGE OF PRISONERS.

Father Francis, in returning to his peaceful Ellerton, enjoyed the glories of a triumph. Not more triumphal was the proud entry into London of the conqueror king, when the acclamations of devoted subjects rang within his ears, than were the testimonies of affection that greeted the old priest's return. The village bells rang forth their joyous peal—the children flocked around his palfrey's feet, and echoed the blessings they had heard their parents utter. With the trophies of his noble achievements the victorious monarch was surrounded; nor less glorious were the memorials of deeds that the old priest had done. Here stood two, who in bitter rivalry had once been foes, and as they looked upon the pious father, they recalled to mind the day when he had sown peace between them; and now each grasped the other's hand with honest warmth, for the seed had grown and ripened to a goodly fruit. There, by a fond suitor's side, stood a maiden, once the coquette of the village; the old priest's gentle face brought his counsels to her mind, and she cast upon the favoured suitor a kind glance, that made him happy. A child, that once by wayward ingratitude had torn a mother's heart, remembered as it gazed on the old man his earnest lessons; and nestling fondly in the bosom that it once had pained, imprinted on the mother's lips, for a thousandth time, the kiss that told of a renewed affection. Happy couples, happy families, stood in the village road, or within the gate of their cottage garden, and looked with love upon the pious father; a wife, that he had taught to live in peace and love, rested upon her husband's shoulder, and blessed the man who had made their household happy; and many a soul, that he had saved, called down from on high rich blessings on the good priest's head. These were the trophies, this was the triumph, that greeted the return of Father Francis to his happy family at Ellerton; and the old man, when, once more in his cottage, he retired to offer thanks unseen to Him who had supported him through recent trials, and rescued him from the hand of persecution, shed tears such as those that angels scek when they gather dews upon earth to nourish the pure flowers of heaven.

Mat Maybird, in the mean time, proceeded with Heringford to Westrill's now dilapidated cottage, for the purpose of carrying out their design. Willie Bats stood already at the door.

“She is here!" cried he; “she is here! After all, my charmer is in the house! O Cicely! who ever was so faithful as thou! My charmer! my charmer! If thou art thus as a servant, what wilt thou be as a wife ?"

The thought of matrimony and Cicely that his last word provoked, called a blush to Willie's check. “ See,” cried he, suddenly, as the plump form of his adorable passed from an inner door, “there she is !"

Cicely came forward with joy when she found who was at hand, and from her Edward obtained all needful information. Andrew Westrill was absent. Kate was in confinement; and it was in hopes of finding means to set her free that Cicely had remained hidden about the house.

“() Master Edward," exclaimed she, “ my poor mistress will be heart-broken soon! I watch her sometimes with tears in my eyes as she sits at her window, and looks so sad and gentle. And Spenton visits her; she sees no one else; I have lain me down outside her door, and have heard her sob and breathe thy name until I could not listen for sorrow. I dared not tell her I was there, lest she should send me away. O Master Edward, thou wilt save her!"

Edward pressed the honest Cicely's hand. “I will end this trouble,” said he ; “ fear not-remain here while I go to set the imprisoned free."

Willie started at the idea of being left with his Cicely, but there was no alternative, for Edward was already half way up the stairs.

Passing through several well-remembered rooms, Heringford soon paused before Kate Westrill's door: it led to an inner chamber, opening not into a passage, but into another apartment, in which now Edward stood. His voice soon made his presence known: the sound of a struggle was the only answer, until a tone, evidently feigned, hazarded reply. There was another scuffle.

“ Be not deceived," exclaimed the voice of Kate Westrill, who appeared to have gained momentary freedom from restraint; “ Spenton is here! Thou comest in good time!"

6. So!" said a man from behind where Edward stood : " the trap is baited now, and, lo! our prisoner !"

Edward turned and beheld Andrew Westrill with Sir Richard Ellerton standing in the passage; the face of Curts was peeping from behind.

“ We waste no time again in parley," added Andrew, smiling; "and so I commend thee to the lock, Sir Edward. Courage, brave hero of Harfleur!"

Before Edward had recovered from his astonishment, the door was closed, bolted, and fastened from without, and he was left alone. He heard barricades added for increased security, and then, Curts being left as guard, he listened to the retreating footsteps of Andrew and Sir Richard. Thus fallen into the hands of his enemies, Heringford was consoled by the assurance that Kate Westrill stood within bearing, and that the wretch Spenton had been made inadvertently a sharer in their captivity.

Short time, however, was left for Heringford to make any reflections upon his prospects, for the shrieks of Kate Westrill, demanding aid against Spenton, prompted him to immediate action. Dashing his whole person impetuously against the door that separated them, he found it resist his strength; the cries of Kate urged him to persevere, until, at length, the lock gave way, and the door flew violently open. The terror-stricken figure of Spenton, with a hand upon Kate Westrill's arm, stood for a moment before bim ; the next instant it was dashed to the ground, where the ruffian lay bleeding and senseless.

“Do him not harm," said Kate, restraining Heringford; "he is not worthy thy resentment."

“I will not harm him, Kate,” replied Edward; “let me but prevent his farther interference."

Spenton accordingly, his wound having been found trivial, was tightly bound ; and Edward, having gagged his mouth to prevent him from calling assistance, deposited him safely in the adjoining room : returning then to Kate Westrill he closed the door between them.

“I would have borne thee hence, Kate," said he, impetuously; “I would have borne thee hence, and find myself thus taken. But what matter ? How much happier am I here with thee than in freedom when thou art absent. How vain is every care while I have love's smile to cheer me and uphold ; to the lover, Kate, from the loved alone can sorrow come, for if she withhold her smile, then, and then alone, will misery be his. And now if they slay me, I can bear my fate while my last words fall upon

thine ear.” A conversation thus commenced cannot but

prove confidential; and profound as is the respect we entertain for the reader who honours us with his attention, yet we know our place too well to admit even him as a third party in the confabulation; he will see, however, if he return to Mat Maybird that for the present, at least, it was decidedly needless to talk about “last words," and that all the enthusiastic sentences which Edward poured into his Kate's ear, spoke of a faith and fortitude that, at all events, in the then position of affairs, were not likely to be tested. Moreover, we have a long time kept Mat Maybird and other friends waiting at the door, and good breeding reminds us that they should not longer be neglected.

We have already hinted the very original observation, that, where two parties are love-making, a third is one too many :-so thought Mat when he saw Willie Bats and Cicely together, and accordingly, with a praiseworthy consideration for their feelings, he strolled away to a short distance, still keeping his eye upon the cottage door. But Willie and Cicely were not becomingly grateful for this conduct; they considered it excessively awkward to be left alone, were unable to articulate a syllable, even between them, unless Willie's sigh and Cicely's short cough combined would form

one.

“Ah!" sighed Willie, as loudly as he conveniently could.

“Hem!” replied Cicely, by way of encouragement, to indicate that she was ready to listen.

“Cicely !" said Willie, in a very low voice, scarcely indeed audible. “ Didst thou speak?" asked the lady. “No," replied Willie, terrified at the length he had gone. .

Another preliminary sigh, and Cicely's name was again whispered.

“ What wouldst thou, Willie ?” asked she, determined that this time he should not deny having spoken. But Willie failed a second time at the critical moment.

“ Nothing,” was his reply.

“Why didst thou call my name, Willie ?” asked the maiden, by way of helping him on.

“I love_” commenced Willie, and paused. Cicely now awaited the declaration, “I love-Mistress Kate Westrill.”

“So do I," replied Cicely, who knew the limits of his affection.

I love” continued Willie, approaching the subject by degrees,_“I love everything in Mistress Kate Westrill's house, excepting her brother, when he is there."

“ I too love not him," said Cicely.

“ Thou art right, my—my dear,”—here was a step: “my dear!" -Cicely of course blushed, and so did the speaker. “ I love also," he went on; “I love everything Kate Westrill loves, and everybody too."

This was rather more general than Cicely expected.

“I love," said Willie, “the room in which Kate Westrill dwells; more particularly I love the kitchen.”

Cicely felt more satisfied ; her bashful sweetheart was gradually coming to the point.

“ I love the kitchen," said Willie; “I love it more than any room in the house !''

“Why?" inquired Cicely, thinking thus to finish the preliminary declarations.

“ Because," replied Willie, “thence come the victuals !”

Poor Cicely! she had expected a very different answer; she had not thought her lover so devoted to eatables.

“ I love the victuals better than any thing else--because Cicely cooks them."

This was evidently next door to a declaration-it remained but to trace the matter to its primary cause; Willie, who had gained courage as he proceeded, did so briefly.

“I adore Cicely!"

The point thus compassed, he became, on the spot, a melting suitor, hot all over, to the last stage of inconvenient moisture. Cicely also blushed at the sudden avowal.

“Charming Cicely!" continued Willie Bats, “thou wilt be

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