You dont know, she urged, what mischief they may do, where they may lead you, what their meaning is. Dear Barnaby, for my sake
For your sake! he cried, patting her hand. Well! It is for your sake, mother. You remember what the blind man said, about the gold. Heres a brave crowd! Come! Or wait till I come backyes, yes, wait here.
She tried with all the earnestness her fears engendered, to turn him from his purpose, but in vain. He was stooping down to buckle on his shoe, when a hackney-coach passed them rather quickly, and a voice inside called to the driver to stop.
Young man, said a voice within.
Whos that? cried Barnaby, looking up.
Do you wear this ornament? returned the stranger, holding out a blue cockade.
In heavens name, no. Pray do not give it him! exclaimed the widow.
Speak for yourself, woman, said the man within the coach, coldly. Leave the young man to his choice; hes old enough to make it, and to snap your apron-strings. He knows, without your telling, whether he wears the sign of a loyal Englishman or not.
Barnaby, trembling with impatience, cried, Yes! yes, yes, I do, as he had cried a dozen times already. The man threw him a cockade, and crying, Make haste to St Georges Fields, ordered the coachman to drive on fast; and left them.
With hands that trembled with his eagerness to fix the bauble in his hat, Barnaby was adjusting it as he best could, and hurriedly replying to the tears and entreaties of his mother, when two gentlemen passed on the opposite side of the way. Observing them, and seeing how Barnaby was occupied, they stopped, whispered together for an instant, turned back, and came over to them.
Why are you sitting here? said one of them, who was dressed in a plain suit of black, wore long lank hair, and carried a great cane. Why have you not gone with the rest?
I am going, sir, replied Barnaby, finishing his task, and putting his hat on with an air of pride. I shall be there directly.
Say my lord, young man, when his lordship does you the honour of speaking to you, said the second gentleman mildly. If you dont know Lord George Gordon when you see him, its high time you should.
Nay, Gashford, said Lord George, as Barnaby pulled off his hat again and made him a low bow, its no great matter on a day like this, which every Englishman will remember with delight and pride. Put on your hat, friend, and follow us, for you lag behind and are late. Its past ten now. Didnt you know that the hour for assembling was ten oclock?
Barnaby shook his head and looked vacantly from one to the other.
You might have known it, friend, said Gashford, it was perfectly understood. How came you to be so ill informed?
He cannot tell you, sir, the widow interposed. Its of no use to ask him. We are but this morning come from a long distance in the country, and know nothing of these matters.
The cause has taken a deep root, and has spread its branches far and wide, said Lord George to his secretary. This is a pleasant hearing. I thank heaven for it!
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