Outlaws and Highwaymen

Passage from The Memoires of Monsieur Du Vall, by Walter Pope
[Walter Pope], The Memoires of Monsieur Du Vall (London, 1670), pp. 8, 9. Cambridge University Library copy


He with his Squadron, overtakes a Coach which they had set over night, having intelligence of a booty of Four Hundred Pounds in it:1 In the Coach was a Knight, his Lady, and only one serving Maid, who perceiving five Horsemen making up to them presently imagin’d that they were beset, and they were confirmed in this apprehension, by seeing them whisper to one another, and ride backwards and forwards: The Lady, to shew she was not afraid, takes a Flageolet out of her pocket and plays; Du Vall takes the hint, plays also, and excellently well, upon a Flageolet of his own, and in this posture he rides up to the Coach side. Sir, sayes he to the person in the Coach, your Lady playes excellently, and I doubt not but that she Dances as well, will you please to walk out of the Coach, and let me have the honour to Dance one Corant with her upon the Heath? Sir, said the person in the Coach, I dare not deny any thing to one of your quality and good Mine; you seem a Gentleman, and your request is very reasonable:2 Which said, the Lacquey opens the Boot, out comes the Knight, Du Vall leaps lightly off his Horse, and hands the Lady out of the Coach. They Danc’d, and here it was that Du Vall performed marvels; the best Master in London, except those that are French, not being able to shew such footing as he did in his great riding French Boots. The Dancing being over, he waits on the Lady to her Coach; as the Knight was going in, says Du Vall to him, Sir, You have forgot to pay the Musick: [for, (as I should have told you before,) there being no Violins, Du Vall sung the Corant himself.] No I have not, replies the Knight, and putting his hand under the seat of the Coach, puls out a Hundred pounds in a bag, and delivers it to him: Which Du Vall took with a very good grace, and courteously answered, Sir, You are liberal, and shall have no cause to repent your being so: this liberality of yours shall excuse you the other Three Hundred Pounds; and giving him the Word, that if he met with any more of the Crew, he might pass undisturb’d, he civily takes his leave of him.

Walter Pope

Textual Note

The words in square brackets appear as an afterthought in the original. I have taken the liberty of inserting them earlier in the text to improve the flow of the story.


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