carrying awe to many a young spectator, sat the
judges; the high sheriff sat opposite to them, his
chaplain by his side, in his gown and bands. A
crowd of gentlemen, friends of the sheriff, followed on
horseback; and a mob of ragamuffins brought up the
To the assize courts the procession took its way,
and there the short business of opening the commission
was gone through, when the judges re-entered the
carriage to proceed to the cathedral, having been joined
by the mayor and corporation. The sweet bells of
Helstonleigh were still ringing out, not to welcome the
judges to the city now, but as an invitation to them
to come and worship God. Within the grand entrance
of the cathedral, waiting to receive the judges, stood
the Dean of Helstonleigh, two or three of the chapter,
two of the minor canons, and the king's scholars and
choristers, all in their white robes. The bells ceased;
the fine organ pealed out-and there are few finer
organs in England than that of Helstonleigh-the
vergers with their silver maces, and the decrepit old
bedesmen in their black gowns, led the way to the
choir, the long scarlet trains of the judges held up
behind: and places were found for all.
The Rev. John Pye began the service; it was his
week for chanting. He was one of the senior minor
canons, and head-master of the college school. At the
desk opposite to him sat the Rev. William Yorke, a
young man who had only just gained his minor
The service went on smoothly until the commence-
ment of the anthem. In one sense it went on smoothly
to the end, for no person present, not even the judges
themselves, could see that anything was wrong. Mr.
Pye was what was called ' chanter ' to the cathedral,
which meant that it was he who had the privilege of
selecting the music for the chants and other portions
of the service, when the dean did not do so himself.
Now the anthem he had put up for this occasion was
a very good one, taken from the Psalms of David.
It commenced with a treble solo; it was, moreover, an
especial favourite of Mr. Pye's, and he disposed himself
complacently to listen.