East Lynne eBook

Ellen Wood (author)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 794 pages of information about East Lynne.

Sir Francis Levison harangued the mob from the Raven, but in a more ignoble manner.  For the Raven possessed no balcony, and he was fain to let himself down with a stride and a jump from the first floor window on the top of the bow-window of the parlor, and stand there.  The Raven, though a comfortable, old established, and respectable inn, could boast only of casements for its upper windows, and they are not convenient to deliver speeches from.  He was wont, therefore to take his seat on the bow-window, and, that was not altogether convenient either, for it was but narrow, and he hardly dared move an arm or a leg for fear of pitching over on the upturned faces.  Mr. Drake let himself down also, to support him on one side, and the first day, the lawyer supported him on the other.  For the first day only; for that worthy, being not as high as Sir Francis Levison’s or Mr. Drake’s shoulder, and about five times their breadth, had those two been rolled into one, experienced a slight difficulty in getting back again.  It was accomplished at last, Sir Francis pulling him up, and Mr. Drake hoisting him from behind, just as a ladder was being brought out to the rescue amidst shouts of laughter.  The stout man wiped the perspiration from his face when he was landed in safety, and recorded a mental vow never to descend from a window again.  After that the candidate and his friend shared the shelf between them.  The lawyer’s name was Rubiny, ill-naturedly supposed to be a corruption of Reuben.

They stood there one afternoon, Sir Francis’ eloquence in full play, but he was a shocking speaker, and the crowd, laughing, hissing, groaning and applauding, blocking up the road.  Sir Francis could not complain of one thing—­that he got no audience; for it was the pleasure of West Lynne extensively to support him in that respect—­a few to cheer, a great many to jeer and hiss.  Remarkably dense was the mob on this afternoon, for Mr. Carlyle had just concluded his address from the Buck’s Head, and the crowd who had been listening to him came rushing up to swell the ranks of the other crowd.  They were elbowing, and pushing, and treading on each other’s heels, when an open barouche drove suddenly up to scatter them.  Its horses wore scarlet and purple rosettes; and one lady, a very pretty one, sat inside of it—­Mrs. Carlyle.

But the crowd could not be so easily scattered; it was too thick; the carriage could advance but at a snail’s pace, and now and then came to a standstill also, till the confusion should be subsided; for where was the use of wasting words?  He did not bow to Barbara; he remembered the result of his having done so to Miss Carlyle, and the little interlude of the pond had washed most of his impudence out of him.  He remained at his post, not looking at Barbara, not looking at anything in particular, waiting till the interruption should have passed.

Barbara, under cover of her dainty lace parasol, turned her eyes upon him.  At that very moment he raised his right hand, slightly shook his head back, and tossed his hair off his brow.  His hand, ungloved, was white and delicate as a lady’s, and his rich diamond ring gleamed in the sun.  The pink flush on Barbara’s cheek deepened to a crimson damask, and her brow contracted with a remembrance of pain.

Project Gutenberg
East Lynne from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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