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Maid Marian
Thomas Love Peacock

Page 1 of 208


MAID MARIAN 

CHAPTER I 

Now come ye for peace here, or come ye for war? SCOTT. 

"The abbot, in his alb arrayed," stood at the altar in the abbey-chapel
of Rubygill, with all his plump, sleek, rosy friars, in goodly lines disposed,
to solemnise the nuptials of the beautiful Matilda Fitzwater, daughter of
the Baron of Arlingford, with the noble Robert Fitz-Ooth, Earl of Locksley
and Huntingdon.  The abbey of Rubygill stood in a picturesque valley,
at a little distance from the western boundary of Sherwood Forest, in a spot
which seemed adapted by nature to be the retreat of monastic mortification,
being on the banks of a fine trout-stream, and in the midst of woodland
coverts, abounding with excellent game.  The bride, with her father
and attendant maidens, entered the chapel; but the earl had not arrived.
The baron was amazed, and the bridemaidens were disconcerted.
Matilda feared that some evil had befallen her lover, but felt no diminution
of her confidence in his honour and love.  Through the open gates of the

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