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      "And I hope to God they'll have the wit to follow the rest of us. I'd like to see that old slave-driver left quite alone. Heavens! I could have strangled him yesterdayI should have, if I hadn't had this to look forward to."

      "Well, would Robert have stolen money, or Albert disgraced your name, to get free, if you and your farm hadn't made them slaves? If you hadn't been a heartless slave-driver would George have died the other night alone on the Moor?or would Richard have taken advantage of a neighbour's charity to escape from you? Don't you see that your ambition has driven you to make slaves of your children?"

      "No fault of mine, squire," answered Byles, in a sullen tone; "there was no such thing as getting the creature out; and if Sam or I had been caught, it would have been worse still. But bad as Stephen is, he wouldn't have thought of accusing us, if it hadn't have been for that old she-fox, his mother."

      The fourth day from his committal, happened to be a Court day of the manor, and it was selected for the trial, for the purpose of showing the tenantry what they might expect from the commission of an offence of such rare occurrence. The hall was thronged to suffocation; for many more were attracted by the expected trial, than by the familiar business of a manorial court, and the people beguiled the time till the entrance of De Boteler in commenting on the transaction."What! do you mean her to hang old Edith?"

      "Were you reared on this barony, Margaret?" resumed the baron.

      "Oh Stephen, my son, my first-bornthy mother kneels to thee. Lay aside that lance and hearken to the words of her who bore thee, and nourished thee. Oh, bring not sorrow and ruin on thyself and her! What would be the bitterness of my dying moments if my son lived not to lay me beside his father?if thy Margaret was left to mourn in lowly widowhoodand, perhaps, to fall beneath the base arts of Calverley! Oh, my son, my son, by the soul of thy dead father, and by the blessing of thy mother, resist not!Hark! they comethey come! Haste, StephenGive me the weapon."