“Stay, Sir,” cried Sir Jocelyn; “I would fain send a message to my uncle.”
“I cannot convey it,” replied Luke Hatton. “You must rest content with what I have told you. To you, and to all others, Osmond Mounchensey is as the dead.”
With this, he hastily retreated.
Three days after this, the loving pair were wedded; and the ceremony—which was performed with strict privacy, in accordance with the wishes of the bride—being concluded, they set out upon their journey into Norfolk. Sir Jocelyn had noticed among the spectators of the marriage rites, a tall personage wrapped in a sable cloak, whom he suspected to be his uncle; but, as the individual was half hidden by a pillar of the ancient fabric, and as he lost sight of him before he could seek him out, he never could be quite sure of the fact.
Sir Jocelyn’s arrival at the hall of his ancestors was the occasion of great rejoicings; and, in spite of the temptations held out to him, many years elapsed ere he and Lady Mounchensey revisited the scene of their troubles in London.
As will have been foreseen, the judgment pronounced by Prince Charles upon Mompesson and his partner, was confirmed by the King and the Lords of the Council, when the two offenders were brought be them in the Star-Chamber. They were both degraded from the honour of knighthood; and Mitchell, besides being so heavily fined that all his ill-gotten wealth was wrested from him, had to endure the in of riding through the streets—in a posture the reverse of the ordinary mode of equitation—name with his face towards the horse’s tail, two quart pots tied round his neck, to show that he was punished I for his exactions upon ale-house keepers and hostel-keepers, and a placard upon his breast, detailing the nature of his offences. In this way,—hooted and pelted by the rabble, who pursued him as he was led along, and who would have inflicted serious injuries upon him, and perhaps despatched him outright, had it not been for the escort by whom he was protected,—he was taken in turn to all such taverns and houses of entertainment as had suffered most from his scandalous system of oppression.
In the course of his progress, he was brought to the Three Cranes in the Vintry, before which an immense concourse was assembled to witness the spectacle. Though the exhibition made by the culprit, seated as he was on a great ragged beast purposely selected for the occasion, was sufficiently ludicrous and grotesque to excite the merriment of most of the beholders, who greeted his arrival with shouts of derisive laughter; still his woe-begone countenance, and miserable plight—for he was covered with mud from head to foot—moved the compassion of the good-natured Madame Bonaventure, as she gazed at him from one of the upper windows of her hostel, and the feeling was increased as the wretched old man threw a beseeching glance at her. She could stand the sight no longer, and rushed from the window.