"So he was, and I shall talk to him in his turn. But you desecrated it worse. He turned it into a blacksmith shop; you turned it into a
shambles. I shall commit you. You will be taken to Hillsborough to-morrow; to-night you will remain in my strong-room. Fling him down a mattress and some blankets, and give him plenty to eat and drink; I wouldn't starve the devil on old Christmas Eve. There, take him away. Stop; search his pockets before you leave him alone."
Cole was taken away, and Henry's turn came.
Just before this examination commenced, Grace clasped her hands, and cast a deprecating look on Henry, as much as to say, "Be moderate." And then her eyes roved to and fro, and the whole woman was in arms, and on the watch.
Mr. Raby began on him. "As for you, your offense is not so criminal in the eye of the law; but it is bad enough; you have broken into a church by unlawful means; you have turned it into a smithy, defiled the graves of the dead, and turned the tomb of a good knight into an oven, to the scandal of men and the dishonor of god. Have you any excuse to offer?"
"Plenty. I was plying an honest trade, in a country where freedom is the law. The Hillsborough Unions combined against me, and restrained my freedom, and threatened my life, ay, and attempted my life too, before to-day: and so the injustice and cruelty of men drove me to a sanctuary, me and my livelihood. Blame the Trades, blame the public laws, blame the useless police: but you can't blame me; a man must live."
"Why not set up your shop in the village? Why wantonly desecrate a church?"
"The church was more secret, and more safe: and nobody worships in it. The wind and the weather are allowed to destroy it; you care so little for it you let it molder; then why howl if a fellow uses it and keeps it warm?"