- Software name: appdown
- Software type: Microsoft Framwork
- size: 450MB
"Thanks, f?ather, but if you offered to give us to-day every penny you've got, I'd let you have no child of mine. Maybe we'll be poor and miserable and have to work hard, but he w?an't be one-half so wretched wud us as he'd be wud you. D'you think I disremember my own childhood and the way you m?ade us suffer? You're an old man, but you're heartyyou might live to a hundredand I'd justabout die of sorrow if I[Pg 442] thought any child of mine wur living wud you and being m?ade as miserable as you m?ade us. I'd rather see my boy dead than at Odiam."
"Not so, my lord," said Holgrave, suffering the coin to remain between De Boteler's fingers."Not so my lord. I take back the merchet with many thanks, but I crave your pardon for not taking your gold. I have no need of goldI did not wed Margaret for dowerand with your lordship's leave I pray you excuse my taking it."
It was on the evening of a feast day, and the day-labourers and villeins around Saint Albans were enjoying the repose, that even in that period of bondage, was never infringed upon, and which, from the frequent recurrence of the festivals afforded a sufficient relaxation from manual exertion to recruit the strength; when suddenly, amidst a group in the market-place, who were discoursing upon the severity of the poll tax, then collecting, appeared John Ball.
But this isolation did not trouble Reuben much. He had lost mankind, but he had found the earth. The comfort that had sustained him after the loss of David and William, was his now in double measure. The earth, for which he had sacrificed all, was enough for him now that all else was gone. He was too old to work, except for a snip or a dig here and there, but he never failed to direct and supervise the work of the others. Every morning he made his rounds on horsebackit delighted him to think that they were too long to make on foot. He rode from outpost to outpost, through the lush meadows and the hop-gardens of Totease, across the lane to the wheatlands of Odiam, and then over Boarzell with its cornfields and wide pastures to Grandturzel, where the orchards were now bringing in a yearly profit of fifteen pounds an acre. All that vast domain, a morning's ride, was hiswon by his own ambition, energy, endurance, and sacrifice.When night came, and father John did not return, the feeling became general that, disgusted with the spectacle of the morning, he had abandoned the cause; and it became apparent, even to Tyler himself, that some decisive step must at once be taken, before those whom the monk's eloquence had aroused and united, and his promises inspired with a confidence of success, should, deprived of his guidance, return home in despair.
"I was going to say, my Lord, that poor Stephen here has called nobody to speak to his good character, but may be it isn't wanting, for every man here, except one would go a hundred miles to say a good word for himBut my Lord, I was thinking how much money that house of Holgrave's cost in buildingLet me seeabout twenty florences, and then at a shilling a head from all of us here," looking round upon the yeomen, "would just build it up againI for one would not care about doing the smith's work at half price, and there's Denby the mason, and Cosgrave the carpenter, say they would do their work at the same rateBy St. Nicholas! (using his favorite oath) twelve florences would be more than enoughWell then my Lord, the business might be settled,"and he paused as if debating whether he should go farther.