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Chapter XVIII - Chainmail Hall

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 June 2022

Freya Johnston
Affiliation:
University of Oxford
Matthew Bevis
Affiliation:
University of Oxford
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Summary

Vous autres dictes que ignorance est mere de tous maulx, et dictes vray: mais toutesfoys vous ne la bannissez mye de vos entendemens, et vivez en elle, avecques elle, et par elle. C’est pourquoy tant de maulx vous meshaignent de jour en jour.

RABELAIS, l. 5. c. 7.

THE party which was assembled on Christmas-day in Chainmail Hall, comprised all the guests of Crotchet Castle, some of Mr. Chainmail's other neighbours, all his tenants and domestics, and Captain Fitzchrome. The hall was spacious and lofty; and with its tall fluted pillars and pointed arches, its windows of stained glass, its display of arms and banners intermingled with holly and misletoe, its blazing cressets and torches, and a stupendous fire in the centre, on which blocks of pine were flaming and crackling, had a striking effect on eyes unaccustomed to such a dining-room. The fire was open on all sides, and the smoke was caught and carried back, under a funnelformed canopy, into a hollow central pillar. This fire was the line of demarcation between gentle and simple, on days of high festival. Tables extended from it on two sides, to nearly the end of the hall.

Mrs. Chainmail was introduced to the company. Young Crotchet felt some revulsion of feeling at the unexpected sight of one whom he had forsaken, but not forgotten, in a condition apparently so much happier than his own. The lady held out her hand to him with a cordial look of more than forgiveness; it seemed to say that she had much to thank him for. She was the picture of a happy bride, rayonnante de joie et d’amour.

Mr. Crotchet told the Reverend Doctor Folliott the news of the morning. “As you predicted,” he said, “your friend, the learned friend, is in office; he has also a title; he is now Sir Guy de Vaux.”

THE REV. DR. FOLLIOTT.

Thank heaven for that! he is disarmed from further mischief. It is something, at any rate, to have that hollow and wind-shaken reed rooted up for ever from the field of public delusion.

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Crotchet Castle , pp. 138 - 151
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2016

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