Infomotions, Inc.The Loyalists, Vol. 1-3 An Historical Novel / West, Jane, 1758-1852



Author: West, Jane, 1758-1852
Title: The Loyalists, Vol. 1-3 An Historical Novel
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Title: The Loyalists, Vol. 1-3
       An Historical Novel

Author: Jane West

Release Date: October 4, 2006 [EBook #19458]

Language: English

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THE LOYALISTS:

_AN HISTORICAL NOVEL._


IN THREE VOLUMES.


By Jane West

The Author of "LETTERS TO A YOUNG MAN," "A TALE OF THE TIMES," &c.



    Preserve your Loyalty, maintain your Rights.

                              _Inscription on a Column at Appleby._


Strahan and Preston,
Printers-Street, London.

LONDON:
PRINTED FOR LONGMAN, HURST, REES, ORME, AND BROWN,
PATERNOSTER-ROW.
1812.


    Transcriber's Note: The variant and inconsistant spellings in this
    text have been retained and Tables of Contents has been created.




VOLUME I

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER.
CHAP. II.
CHAP. III.
CHAP. IV.
CHAP. V.
CHAP. VI.
CHAP. VII.
CHAP. VIII.
CHAP. IX.
CHAP. X.
CHAP. XI.





THE LOYALISTS.




INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER.

    Abate the edge of Traitors, gracious Lord,
    That would reduce these bloody days again,
    And make poor England weep in streams of blood!

                                                 Shakspeare.


Those who have but an indifferent banquet to offer, are not usually
inclined to discourage their guests, by a repulsive bill of fare; yet
surely, when a public invitation is given, there is honesty, and
prudence too, in simply stating the kind of regale we are going to
spread, lest a palled and sickly appetite should expect stimulants, or a
perverted taste should pine for foreign luxuries and modern cookery,
when we have nothing to set before them but plain old English food.
Church and King now look as obsolete in a publication, as beef and
pudding would at a gala dinner; yet let us remember, that as the latter
have fed our heroes from the days of Cressy and Agincourt to the present
times, so the former have fashioned minds fit to animate these mighty
bodies. It is only to those who have a relish for stern virtue and grave
reflection, that I would recommend the following pages.

I have dated this narrative in a peculiarly calamitous period, though
well aware that virtue, like happiness, is supposed to flourish most in
times of tranquility. Such times afford no subjects for the historian or
the bard; and even the moralist is often led to revert rather to those
stormy eras which roused the energies of the human soul, and compelled
it to assert qualities of which they who have observed only the repose
of domestic life can form no conception. Man, attempting with finite
powers to compass the most stupendous designs in spite of physical or
moral obstacles; submitting to every privation, braving danger and
death, often even defying omnipotence, and all for the sake of some
speculative tenet, some doubtful advantage, the post of honour burdened
by superlative responsibility, or the eminence of power attended with
perpetual care, is an object no less interesting to the philosopher,
than it is miraculous to the peasant, who places enjoyment in ease and
animal indulgence. It is on the motives and actions which characterise
this self-denial and enterprise, that the hero and the statesman fix
their attention; forming their models, and drawing their conclusions,
not from the passive inclinations, but from the capabilities of our
species, not from what man would or ought to prefer, but from what he
has achieved when stimulated by hope, goaded by ambition, or instigated
by desperation.

Under the influence of these passions, how often has one restless spirit
disturbed the repose of a prosperous nation, and spread desolation and
misery over the fairest portions of the globe. Does God permit this--and
is he righteous? Yes, short-sighted questioner of Omniscience, the
Father of the universe is never more conspicuous in his paternal care,
than when, by means of temporal afflictions, he draws our regards toward
our heavenly country.--Then is death disarmed of the terrors which are
planted round the bed of prosperity; then is the soul freed from that
bondage of sensual delight, which impedes her spiritual exertion. The no
longer pampered body, subdued to spareness, braced by toil, elastic from
exertion, and patient from habit, is not a clog, but a meet companion
for its immortal associate. Prosperity, among many other evils,
engenders religious apathy, and luxurious selfishness. She presents a
gorgeous stage, on which the puppets of vanity and petty ambition act
their insignificant parts; adversity educates and exercises men.

Nor is the moral harvest a mere gleaning of good deeds. Where misery and
wickedness seem most to abound; where desperadoes and plunderers go
forth to destroy and pillage; the passive virtues pray, and endure.
Self-devoting generosity then interposes her shield, and magnanimous
heroism her sword; benevolence seeks out and consoles distress; the
confessor intercedes with heaven; the patriot sacrifices his fortune and
his comforts; the martyr dies on the scaffold, and the hero in the
field. England hath often witnessed such piteous scenes, and many fear
she is now on the verge of similar calamities, which threaten to cloud
her glory from the envy and admiration of foreign nations, making her a
taunting proverb of reproach to her enemies, while she points a moral,
and adorns a tale, for posterity. May those who govern her wide extended
empire, so study the records of our former woes, and shape their
political course with such single-hearted observance of the unerring
laws of God, as to become, under his Providence, our preservers from
danger; and may the governed, remembering the tyranny which originated
from insubordination; the daring ambition of popular demagogues; the
hypocrisy of noisy reformers, and all the certain misery which arises
from the pursuit of speculative unattainable perfection, adhere to those
institutions, which have been consecrated with the best blood in
England, and proved by the experience of ages to be consistent with as
large a portion of national prosperity, as any people have ever enjoyed.
Yet as our offences may prevail over our prayers, let us prepare our
minds for times of trial. The public duties they require, are adapted to
the discussion of that sex, whose physical and mental powers fit it for
active life, and deliberate policy. But the exercise of the milder
virtues is imperiously called for in seasons of national alarm. Whether
we are to endure the loss of our accustomed wealth and luxury, or to
encounter the far heavier trial of domestic confusion, there are habits
of thinking and acting, which will conduce to individual comfort and
improvement. There are sorrows which neither "King nor laws can cause or
cure;" enjoyments, that no tyrant can withhold; and blessings, which
even the wildest theories of democracy cannot destroy. The asylum where
these sacred heritages of a good conscience are generally concealed, is
the domestic hearth, that circumscribed but important precinct where the
female Lares sit as guardians. Is it presumptuous in one, who has long
officiated at such an household altar, again to solicit the forbearance
and favour, which she has often experienced, by calling public attention
to a popular way of communicating opinions, not first invented by
herself, though she has often had recourse to it. The tale she now
chooses as a vehicle, aims at conveying instruction to the present
times, under the form of a chronicle of the past. The political and
religious motives, which convulsed England in the middle of the
seventeenth century, bear so striking a resemblance to those which are
now attempted to be promulgated, that surely it must be salutary to
remind the inconsiderate, that reformists introduced first anarchy and
then despotism, and that a multitude of new religions gave birth to
infidelity.

Nor let the serious hue which a story must wear that is dated in those
times, when the church militant was called to the house of mourning,
deter the gay and young from a patient perusal. Whatever mere prudential
instructors may affirm, worldly prosperity should not be held out as the
criterion, or the reward of right conduct. Let us remember St.
Augustine's answer to those Pagans, who reproached him with the evils
that Christians, in common with themselves, suffered from the then
convulsed state of the world. They asked him, "Where is thy God?" But he
declined founding the believer's privileges on individual exemptions, or
personal providences. "My God," said he, "in all his attributes,
different from the false impotent Gods of the Heathen, is to be found
wherever his worshippers are;--if I am carried into captivity, his
consolations shall yet reach me;--if I lose the possessions of this
life, my precious faith shall still supply their want;--and if I die,
not as the suffering heathen dies, by his own impious and impatient
hand, but in obedience to the will of God, my great reward begins. I
shall enter upon a life that will never be taken from me; and henceforth
all tears shall be wiped from my eyes."

Adversity purifies communities, as well as individuals. If
fastidiousness, selfishness, pride, and sensuality, conspire to cloud,
with imaginary woes, the enjoyments of those whom others deem happy and
prosperous; faction, discontent, a querulous appetite for freedom, and
an inordinate ambition to acquire sudden pre-eminence, disturb public
tranquillity, when a country has long enjoyed the blessings of plenty
and repose. Previous to the commencement of that great rebellion, which
tore the crown and mitre from the degraded shield of Britain, our
forefathers, as we are informed by the noble historian of his country's
woes and shames[1], experienced an unusual share of prosperity. During
the early part of the reign of King Charles the First, he tells us,
"this nation enjoyed the greatest calm, and the fullest measure of
felicity that any people of any age for so long a time together had been
blessed with, to the envy and wonder of all the other parts of
Christendom." The portrait he draws is so striking, that I must exhibit
it in its native colours. "A happiness invidiously set off by this
distinction, that every other kingdom, every other state, were entangled
and almost destroyed by the fury of arms. The court was in great plenty,
or rather (which is the discredit of plenty) excess and luxury, the
country rich, and what is more, fully enjoying the pleasure of its own
wealth, and so the more easily corrupted with the pride and wantonness
of it. The church flourishing with learned and extraordinary men; trade
increased to that degree, that we were the exchange of Christendom;
foreign merchants looking upon nothing so much their own, as what they
had laid up in the warehouses of this kingdom; the royal navy in number
and equipage, very formidable at sea; lastly, for a complement of all
these blessings, they were enjoyed under the protection of a King of the
most harmless disposition; the most exemplary piety; the greatest
sobriety, chastity, and mercy, that ever Prince had been endowed with:
But all these blessings could but enable, not compel, us to be happy. We
wanted that sense, acknowledgement, and value of our own happiness,
which all but we had; and we took pains to make, when we could not find
ourselves miserable. There was in truth a strange absence of
understanding in most, and a strange perverseness of understanding in
the rest. The court full of excess, idleness, and luxury; the country
full of pride, mutiny, and discontent. Every man more troubled and
perplexed at what they called the violation of one law, than delighted
or pleased with the observance of all the rest of the charter. Never
imputing the increase of their receipts, revenue, and plenty, to the
wisdom, virtue, and merit of the crown; but objecting every small
imposition to the exorbitancy and tyranny of the government. The growth
of knowledge and virtue were disrelished for the infirmities of some
learned men, and the increase of grace and favour to the church was more
repined and murmured at than the increase of piety and devotion in it
were regarded."

Such was the lowering calm of ungrateful discontent, which ushered in a
fearful season of crime and punishment, described at large by one who
was an illustrious actor on that eventful stage, and composed his
history, "that posterity might not be deceived by the prosperity of
wickedness into a belief that nothing less than a general combination of
an whole nation, and a universal apostacy from their religion and
allegiance, could, in so short a time, have produced such a prodigious
and total alteration; and that the memory of those, who out of duty and
conscience have opposed that torrent which overwhelmed them, may not
lose the recompence due to their virtues, but having undergone the
injuries and reproaches of that, might find a vindication in a better
age."

In describing the scenes which ensued, "when an infatuated people, ripe
and prepared for destruction, plunged by the just judgment of God into
all the perverse actions of folly and madness," he reads us such
important lessons as must strike an enlightened public, if recalled to
their attention. He tells us, by fatal experience, "that the weak
contributed to the designs of the wicked, while the latter, out of a
conscience of their guilt, grew by desperation worse than they intended
to be. That the wise were often imposed upon by men of small
understandings. That the innocent were possessed with laziness, and
slept in the most visible article of danger, and that the ill-disposed,
though of the most different opinions, opposite interests, and distant
affections, united in a firm and constant league of mischief, while
those whose opinions and interests were the same, divided into factions
and emulations more pernicious to the public than the treasons of
others. Meanwhile the community, under pretence of zeal for religion,
law, liberty, and parliament, (words of precious esteem in their just
signification,) were furiously hurried into actions introducing atheism,
and dissolving all the elements of the Christian religion."

So great were the miseries incident to civil commotion, so soon did the
mask fall off from those pseudo-patriots, that all parties except the
creatures of the ambitious Cromwel, ardently looked for the restoration
of their imprisoned King, as a termination of their own sorrows, as well
as of his misfortunes. And when that hope was frustrated "by the most
consummate hypocrisy and atrocious breach of all law and justice," the
iron pressure of those times of pretended liberty and equality that
ensued, led every one, who had not by some unpardonable crime hazarded
his own safety, to welcome back the son of the royal victim to the
constitution and honour of England, with such rash exuberance of
confiding loyalty, that, by intrusting to his careless hand the full
possession of unrestrained power, they laid the foundation of future
contests and confusion. Such were the prospective evils with which the
Oliverian usurpation afflicted the state, while in the department of
morals, piety was brought into such contempt by the extravagance of
fanatics, and the detected cheats of hypocrites, that atheism and
profaneness grew popular, as being more open and candid in their avowed
profligacy. The oppressive, or as his admirers call it, the vigorous
government of Cromwell humbled the proud spirit of Englishmen, who had
often revolted at the excessive stretches of prerogative under their
legitimate kings; and this new habit of submission, added to a deep
repentance for their late crime, so struck the independent character of
the nation, that a cabal of atheists and libertines persuaded an
unprincipled Prince that he might as easily found his throne on what was
then deemed the firm basis of despotism, as many of the Continental
princes had done. If, as Englishmen, we blush at the disgrace of a King
sold to France, and a court and nation abandoned to such licentious
contempt of all Christian obligations, that even decency is compelled to
consign their polite literature to oblivion, we must seek for the seeds
of this twofold degradation in the times of which I propose to exhibit a
familiar portrait, illustrated by imaginary characters and events, but
carefully compared with warranted originals.

It remains to say something of the conduct of this design. Public events
will be stated with fidelity. Historical characters shall be but
sparingly combined with feigned actions, but, where they, are, great
care shall be taken that they be neither flattered, calumniated, nor
overcharged; and, I believe, they may be found to have behaved in much
the same manner to others, as I shall represent them to do to the
imaginary persons whom I bring on the scene. The long space of years
which this narrative embraces, is, I know, a great abatement of its
interest. It is a fault which could not be avoided without falsifying
chronology at a period familiar to every well-read person, or losing
sight of the admonitory lesson which the tale was intended to convey.

I know that there is no small share of hardihood in my attempt: Bigotry,
superstitious adherence to existing institutions, exclusive partiality
to a sect, and pertinacious resistance to the increase of liberal
information, are well-sounding epithets easily applied, and too grateful
to the million to want popularity. Those who write with no higher motive
than to please the prevailing taste, must beware of touching upon topics
which are likely to rouse the hostile feelings of self-importance, and
to disgust would-be statesmen and intuitive divines. Ridicule will never
disprove those opinions which were held by the wisest and most
illustrious persons that England ever produced. Should I be so
unfortunate as to provoke hostility where I look for co-operation;
erroneous or undeserved censure shall not induce me to enter into a
controversy with those whom I believe to be sincere champions of
religious truth, and to whose labours I am consequently bound to say,
"God speed," though they may consider me as a doubtful ally, if not an
enemy. To these I would address the dying words of the celebrated
non-juror Archbishop Sancroft to his subscribing chaplain, Needham--"You
and I have gone different ways in these late affairs, but I trust
Heaven's gates are wide enough to receive us both. I always took you for
an honest man. What I said concerning myself was only to let you know
that what I have done I have done in the integrity of my heart,
_indeed in the great integrity of my heart_." Thus, only anxious to
defend and support constitutional principles, I shall plead guilty to
many errors in taste, in the construction of the fable, as well as in
the style of the narrative, and throw myself on the mercy of the Public
with regard to those points.


    [1] Lord Clarendon.




CHAP. II.

    I will not choose what many men desire,
    Because I will not jump with common spirits,
    And rank me with the barb'rous multitudes.

                                                 Shakspeare.


About the commencement of the reign of King Charles the First, a
stranger came to reside in a populous village in Lancashire, under
circumstances of considerable interest and mystery. He was young, and
elegant in his person; his language not only evinced the cultivated
chasteness of education, but the nicer polish of refined society. When
drawn into conversation (to which he seemed averse), he discovered
classical learning enlivened by brilliant wit, and seasoned by deep
reflection. He was versed in the history of foreign courts; and if he
forbore to speak of our own, it seemed more from caution than from
ignorance. He excelled in fashionable exercises, rode the great horse
with a military air, and alarmed the rustics by his skill in fencing,
as much as he delighted them by the till then unheard tones which he
drew from the viola-de-gamba. It was impossible that, with these
accomplishments, a sad-coloured cloak and plain beaver could conceal the
gentleman. In vain did he report himself to be a Blackwell-hall factor,
whom an unfortunate venture had reduced to ruin.--Every one discovered
that his manners did not correspond with this description, and they
would have at once determined him to be some gay gallant, whose
wantonness of expense had outstripped his ability, had not his purse
contained good store of broad pieces, which his hand liberally bestowed,
as often as poverty appealed to his benevolence.

A Lancashire gentleman in those times had less intercourse with the
metropolis of the British empire, than one of the present day, has with
Canton. No London correspondent, therefore, could whisper the sudden
disappearance of a sparkling blade, who, after blazing awhile at
Whitehall, had unaccountably vanished like a meteor from its horizon;
nor had the depredation of swindlers, or the frequent intrusion of
impertinent hangers-on compelled the owners of manorial houses to shut
their doors on uninvited guests. The jovial coarse hospitality of those
times delighted in a crowded board; the extensive household daily
required ample provision, and refinement was too little advanced from
its earliest stage to make nice arrangement or rare delicacies necessary
to an esquire's table. Such a guest therefore as Evellin, was eagerly
sought and warmly welcomed. He joined with the joyous hunters in the
morning, he relieved the sameness of their repasts with his diversified
information; and in the evening he was equally gratifying to the ladies,
who being then generally confined to the uniform routine of domestic
privacy, loved to hear of what was passing in the great world. He could
describe the jewels which bound the hair of the Queen of Bohemia, and he
had seen the hood in which Anne of Austria ensnared the aspiring heart
of the Duke of Buckingham; beside, he led off the dance with matchless
grace, and to their native hornpipe enabled them to add the travelled
accomplishments of the galliard and saraband. What a concentration of
agreeable qualities! It must be owing to the invincible pressure of
secret uneasiness, and not to a suspicion of the cordiality with which
his entertainers welcomed him, if Evellin ever passed a day in solitude.

Yet he came into society with the air of one who sought it as a
temporary relief from anxiety, rather than as a source of real
enjoyment. A visible dissatisfaction, constraint, and unsubdued aversion
to the present, arising from regret at the past, sometimes interrupted
his graceful courtesy, and oftener made him indifferent to the passing
scene, or unconscious of it. This humour increased whenever he received
a dispatch from London, and at one time the mortification which his
letters excited, threw him into such a mental agony, that the cottagers
with whom he lodged, recurring to what was then deemed a specific for
troubled minds, called in the aid of Dr. Eusebius Beaumont to give him
ghostly consolation. I am not going to bring a mortified Franciscan
friar on the scene: his reverence was the village pastor, happy and
respectable as a husband and father, and largely endowed with those
which have signalized the Church of England, whenever she has been
called to any conspicuous trial. Learning and piety were in him two
neighbouring stars that reflected radiance on each other, and were
rather brightened than obscured by his humility. His manners and habits
of life retained the simplicity of the primitive ages, yet were they so
blended with courtesy, nobleness of mind, and superiority to every mean
selfish consideration, that the most travelled cavalier of the times
could not more winningly display the true gentleman. His example shewed
that the superiority which distinguishes that character consists not in
adopting the reigning mode (that poor ambition of a copyist), but in the
refined suavity which defies imitation, and is an inborn sentiment,
rather than an assumed costume. The most powerful peer in England had
not a more independent mind than Dr. Beaumont. His fortune was
sufficiently ample to supply his modest wants and large benevolence;
they who envied his popularity knew not how to weaken it except by
imitating the virtues in which it originated. Placed in that respectable
mediocrity which was the wish of Agar--too exalted to fear an oppressor
or to invite insult; too humble to make ambition look like virtue, or to
fall into that forgetfulness of his Maker, which is often the damning
sin of prosperity; accustomed to those habits of wise self-control that
fit the mind and body for their respective functions; and perfectly
possessed with a most conscientious resignation and confidence
respecting future events--he was free from those cares which corrode the
temper and contract the understanding. Next to his church, his study was
his earthly paradise; but the same calm principle of self-discipline
attended him there, and regulated his enjoyment of lettered ease. He
left his beloved authors without a sigh, as often as active duty called
him to attend the sick cottager, to heal contention between his
parishioners, to admonish the backsliding, or to defend the cause of the
oppressed.

Such was the man who presented himself to the agonized Evellin; nor was
the latter surprized at the visit, or at the serious admonition which he
received. Parochial care was not then regarded as a novelty, when it
extended beyond the altar or the pulpit; and the graceful stranger felt
himself reproved by one who had a right to exercise the functions of
spiritual authority. He bowed to the pastor's instructions, with a
respect which characterized those times, when the power of the church
was supported by superior holiness, and acknowledged even by those who
in their lives disobeyed her precepts. His subsequent behaviour made Dr.
Beaumont not only pardon the infirmities of a wounded spirit, but also
apply the balm of friendship to them, by giving the stranger a most
cordial invitation to the glebe-house, where he promised him a friendly
welcome as often as he was disposed to relish the quiet habits of his
family.

It so happened, that after Evellin had twice or thrice passed the little
wicket that separated the parson's garden from the village green, he
disliked taking any other road. Yet though Mrs. Beaumont's person was of
that description which subjects Lancashire ladies to the imputation of
witchcraft, (a charge too clearly proved against them to be denied,) it
was not the fascination of her eyes which drew the loitering step, fixed
the unconscious gaze, and almost charmed to repose the stranger's untold
sorrows. The wife of his friend excited only the respect and esteem of
this antique courtier; but a young unaffianced Arachne sat spinning by
her side, discreet and ingenious as Minerva, rosy and playful as Hebe.
This was Isabel, the younger sister of his reverence, who, not inwardly
displeased that the family party was enlarged by such an agreeable
guest, nor wholly unconscious of the power of her own charms, strove
with all the unsuspecting confidence of youth to amuse a visitor whom
her honoured brother pronounced worthy of esteem and pity, and willingly
exerted her arch vivacity to divert a melancholy of which no one knew
the cause. Evellin soon discovered that he interested the fair recluse,
and though she was not the first lady who viewed him with favour, he was
flattered by an attention which he could not impute to extrinsic
qualities. "She certainly pities me," observed he, on perceiving an
unnoticed tear steal down her cheek, when with unguarded confidence,
momentarily excited by the benign manners and calm happiness of his
host, he inveighed against the treachery of courts and the weakness of
Kings. "Can she love me?" was his next thought; "or why this lively
interest in my sorrows?" This doubt, or rather hope, was suggested by
hearing Isabel sob aloud while he told Dr. Beaumont not to look for any
earthly return for the kindness he shewed him. "Were my fortunes," said
he one day to his hospitable friends, "equal to my birth, you should
find me a prodigal in my gratitude, but my own folly in 'believing
integrity of manners and innocence of life are a guard strong enough to
secure any man in his voyage through the world in what company soever he
travelled, and through what ways soever he was to pass[1],' furnished my
enemies with weapons which have been used to my undoing. For this last
year I have suffered alternate hopes and fears. Whether my heart is sick
of suspence, or the clouds of mischance really thicken around me, I can
scarcely ascertain, but my meditations grow more gloomy, and I believe
myself doomed to an obscure life of little usefulness to others, and
less enjoyment to myself. Among my privations I must rank that of
spending my days in unconnected solitude. Who will willingly share the
scant portion of bare sufficiency, or interweave their destiny with the
tangled web of my intricate fortunes? Would you plant a flourishing
eglantine under the blasted oak? Remove it from such a neighbourhood, or
the blessed rain passing through the blighted branches, will affect its
verdure with pestilent mildew, instead of cherishing it with wholesome
shade."

Some short time after this conversation, Mrs. Beaumont observed to her
husband that an extraordinary change had taken place in Isabel's manners
since Evellin had become a frequent visitor. "She very rarely laughs,"
said she; "but that I do not wonder at, for the infection of his
melancholy has made us all grave; but she often, weeps. Then she is so
absent, that she cut out the frieze gowns for the alms-women too short,
and spoiled Mrs. Mellicent's eye-water. The tapestry chairs are thrown
aside, and she steals from us to the bower in the yew-tree that
overlooks the green, where she devotes her mornings to reading Sydney's
Arcadia. My dear Eusebius, I see her disease, for I recollect my own
behaviour when I was doubtful whether you preferred me; but surely, if a
connection with Evellin would involve our dear Isabel in distress, ought
I not to warn her of her danger in so disposing of her heart?"

"I fear," replied the Doctor, "if your observations are correct, that
the caution would now come too late. Isabel is of an age to judge for
herself, and if she prefers a partner in whom high degrees of desert and
suffering seem united, ought her friends to interfere? If her own
feelings tell her that she considers personal merit as an equipoise to
adversity, shall we tell her that outward splendour constitutes
intrinsic greatness? I marvel not that Evellin interests my sister; he
engages most of my thoughts, and I have employed myself in collecting
instances of good men suffering wrongfully, and of the piety, humility,
and patience with which they endured chastening. These may be useful to
Evellin; if not, they will be so to ourselves whenever sorrow visits our
abode, as she is sure some time to do while she is travelling to and fro
on the earth."

Mrs. Beaumont acquiesced in her husband's opinion, and determined that
love should take its course, but it met with an opponent in the person
of Mrs. Mellicent Beaumont, who perhaps was not free from those
objections which elder sisters often entertain to the engagements of the
younger branches of the family, while they themselves write spinster.
She had now, however, a more colourable plea; the beauty of Mrs. Isabel
had attracted the notice of Sir William Waverly, and to see her sister
the lady of Waverly Park, roused that desire of pre-eminence which,
though absolutely foreign to the principles of Dr. Beaumont, was not
overlooked by all his family. She thought it became her to lecture
Isabel on her preference, and unwittingly confirmed it by exhibiting, in
opposition, two men of most dissimilar characters and endowments; the
one, brave, generous, enlightened, accomplished, but unhappy; the other,
lord of a vast demesne, but selfish, ignorant, scant of courtesy, and
proud of wealth. "Tell me not of Waverly Park," said Mrs. Isabel, "I
would sooner gather cresses by his lakes as a beggar, than sail over
them under a silken awning with him by my side as my companion for life.
His language, his ideas, his manners, differ from those of our meanest
rustics in no other way than that theirs is the native simplicity which
had no means of improvement, and his the wilful grossness which rejected
it when offered, resting satisfied in what he received from his
ancestors, without adding to it attainments that would properly have
been his own. I know not what Evellin has been: clouds and storms hover
over his future prospects. I see him only as he is the chief among ten
thousand, and one who suffers no diminution even while conversing with
our honoured brother; and I should be prouder of allying him to our
house than of changing this silken braid for a golden coronet." Mrs.
Mellicent, after some remarks on the inconsiderate obstinacy of three
and twenty, and the sure repentance of head-strong people, withdrew her
opposition, to be renewed when the event should justify her predictions.

The lovers did not long rest in that unavowed consciousness which left a
shadow of doubt as to their reciprocal attachment. To Evellin's
declaration of unalterable love, Isabella answered, that she knew too
little of his situation to say whether she ought to be his, but her
heart told her she never could be another's. The lover poured forth
protestations of gratitude. "No," answered she, "I deserve no thanks;
for, to tell you the truth, I have endeavoured to see you with
indifference, but find it is impossible. You have lived in courts, Mr.
Evellin, where women are hardly won and quickly lost; but do not
therefore despise a Lancashire girl who dares not play with Cupid's
arrows, but loves in sad sincerity, or rejects with steady courtesy; yet
if you suspect that you cannot meet my devoted constancy with equal
singleness of heart, leave me now, good Evellin, ere yet my life is so
bound up in your sincerity, that I shall want strength of mind to
dissolve the bond. At present I am so much more disposed to respect you
than myself, that I may think what you have said was only meant for
gallantry, which my ignorance of the world has misconstrued. If after
this warning you still persist in your suit, you must either be, till
death, my faithful lover, or virtually my murderer."

"My own betrothed Isabel," answered Evellin, "to love, pourtrayed with
such chaste simplicity, I owe a confidence as unbounded as thy own. I
will put my life in thy keeping, by disclosing the bosom-secret I have
concealed even from thy saint-like brother. 'Tis the pledge of my
constancy. Mark me, dearest maiden, though a proscribed wanderer wooes
thy love, thy hand may be claimed by a peer of England, and those graces
which adorn thy native village may ornament the palace of our King."

He paused to see if the glow of ambition supplanted the virgin blushes
of acknowledged love; but Isabel's cheek displayed the same meek roseate
hue. No hurried exclamation, no gaspings of concealed delight, no lively
flashings of an exulting eye, proclaimed that he was dearer to her now
than before he acknowledged his high descent. Her objections to a speedy
marriage were even confirmed by this discovery. "I must know," said she,
"that there is no one who possesses a natural or acquired right to
control your choice. People in eminent stations owe many duties to the
state, and must not soil their honours by unworthy alliances. Perhaps
under your tuition I might so deport myself as not to shame your choice,
but I must be well assured that I shall be no obstacle to your moving in
your proper sphere, or I will die Isabel Beaumont, praying that you may
be happier than my love could make you."

Evellin rewarded this generous attachment by telling her his assumed
name was an anagram of his real one, Allan Neville, presumptive heir to
the earldom of Bellingham, the honours of which were now possessed by an
elder brother, whose declining state of health made it probable that
Allan would soon be called from the obscurity in which he lived, and
compelled to clear his slandered fame or sink under the malice of his
foes. As a younger brother, he was expected to be the founder of his own
fortune. His education, therefore, had been most carefully conducted; he
had had the best tutors in every branch of learning; and he had
travelled under the guidance of an enlightened friend. The pacific
character of King James furnishing no employment in arms, he had sought
the court as his sphere of action; but while he was displaying the
accomplishments he possessed, and acquiring the knowledge of mankind
which is necessary to a statesman, he at once attracted the notice of
Princes and the envy of their favourites. That fearless candour, and
that self-depending integrity which generally attends the finest
qualities and noblest dispositions, rendered him careless of the frowns
of those whom he discovered to be rather crafty rivals than generous
competitors, and determined him rather to despise opposition than to
conciliate esteem.

The haughty Duke of Buckingham was then in the zenith of his power. By
bringing Prince Charles back from Spain he had relieved the national
anxiety; and the short-sighted multitude, forgetting who had endangered
the heir-apparent's safety, heaped on him undeserved popularity. Hence
his extraordinary good fortune in pleasing all parties so elated him as
to make him shew in his conduct that contempt for his benefactor, King
James, which he had long secretly entertained. By the impeachment of the
Earl of Middlesex, a confidential adviser and personal favourite of the
King's, from motives of private pique, and by hurrying the nation into a
war with Spain, for which the Parliament had not provided resources, he
laid the foundation of the pecuniary difficulties, and created those
evil precedents which ultimately contributed to overthrow the regal
authority. These fatal results of his pernicious measures formed an
awful lesson to Kings on the mischiefs incident to favouritism, and on
the folly of erecting a pile of ill-constructed greatness, which, in its
fall, often endangers the stability of the throne.

To this vain, ambitious man, practised in all the smooth graces and
insidious arts of a court, the aspiring, but frank and honourable
Neville, more enlightened, equally engaging, and animated by purer
motives, was an object both of envy and of fear. He scrupled not to
lament the indignities which the declining King suffered from his former
cup-bearer, who had danced himself into the highest honours England
could bestow, and now basely turned from the setting orb from which he
derived his borrowed splendour, to worship the rising sun; nay worse,
who attempted to alienate the duty of an amiable Prince from his sick
and aged father. Neville was earnest in his expressions of disgust at
such baseness; and the minions of the Duke did not suffer these hasty
ebullitions of virtue to die unreported. The sarcasms soon reached his
ear with magnified severity; and the ruin, or at least the removal of
his growing rival became necessary to his own security.

Chance favoured the Duke's designs. A gentleman in his suite was
assassinated in the streets of London when returning from a masquerade,
and the murderer was seen in the act of escaping, not so near the body
as that his person could be identified, but plain enough for the
beholders to ascertain that he wore the very dress in which Neville
appeared that evening. The implacable enemy he had indiscreetly provoked
possessed the royal ear; and though a jury could not have found in such
a coincidence sufficient grounds to indict Neville, the Duke easily
procured a royal warrant for his immediate arrest. "My own heart," here
observed Allan, "and my confidence in the justice and good sense of my
country, prompted me to brave my accusers; but I had now a convincing
proof that with all my acquirements I still wanted knowledge of the
world. I, however, possessed the invaluable blessing of a sincere, wise,
and prudent friend, one who reads man in his true characters, and deals
with him cautiously, instead of believing him to be the ingenuous
offspring of simplicity. In early youth this friend saved me from a
watery grave, and he is now the guardian of my fame and fortune. In
conformity to the advice of the kind Walter de Vallance (for that is his
name), I yielded to the storm; instead of resisting its fury, I chose
this retreat; and since my innocence as well as my guilt admitted not of
proof, I offered to submit the dubious question to the arbitration of
the sword, and called on Buckingham to meet me in single combat, or, if
he declined a personal engagement, to select any one of noble birth and
breeding for his proxy, who should accuse me as the author of Saville's
death. Walter de Vallance carried my proposal to the young King, who at
first yielded to my suit, but, on consulting his chaplains, judged this
to be an unlawful manner of deciding disputes in a Christian country. I
am now informed that by my flight I have erased those impressions which
my former behaviour had made in my favour. Many think I was the
murderer; and the vast power my adversary possesses at court is rendered
still more dangerous to my life and fame, by the pains that have been
taken to prepossess those who would have to decide upon my fate. But
should the death of my declining brother call me to act in the same
sphere with my proud oppressor, and put my life into safer guardianship,
I will burst from the retreat which I sometimes fear was unadvisedly
chosen, and either fall by an unjust sentence, or vindicate my
innocence. I will no longer, like the mountain-boar, owe a precarious
existence to the untrodden wilds in which I hide from my pursuers."

Even now, when the universal passion for luxury and self-enjoyment
renders prosperity so alluring, subdues our native energies, and makes
us the puppets and slaves of fortune, there are some lovely young
martyrs who immolate prudence on the shrine of love. It may easily be
imagined, therefore, that this heroine of a simpler age, instead of
being discouraged by the difficulties her Allan had to encounter, loved
him with more intense affection. He an assassin!--the eye that flamed
defiance on an ungrateful vicegerent of the King, when every knee but
his bent in homage, could never pursue a court-butterfly, or guide a
murderous dagger to a page's breast, while indignant virtue pointed the
sword of justice to a public delinquent. Isabel agreed that it was wrong
in Evellin to fly; but when, on her lonely pillow, she cast her thoughts
on the alternative, and contemplated her beloved, in the hands of him
before whom a potent peer had recently fallen; in the power of a man
armed with the confidence of two successive monarchs, and now the idol
of the people; when she saw Evellin arraigned before a packed jury, no
evidence to prove him innocent, and scarce an advocate sufficiently
courageous to defend him; female softness shrunk at the image of such
perils. She blessed the prudent De Vallance who had snatched him from
sure destruction, and rejoiced at an event which afforded her the means
of seeing human nature in its most captivating form.

When Evellin found that her constancy was proof to this trial, he
unfolded the brighter prospects which the letters he received from De
Vallance occasionally afforded. This invaluable friend had, to the great
joy of Evellin, allied himself to their house by marrying the Lady
Eleanor Neville, his only sister. Though Buckingham never stood firmer
in the King's favour, he had already experienced that popular esteem is
a quicksand, fair to the eye, but fallacious and destructive to all who
build their greatness on it. Two parliaments that were called, in
succession, to grant the supplies which the favourite's profusion, and
the war in which he had unwisely engaged, rendered necessary, had been
angrily dissolved for presenting petitions for redress of grievances
instead of passing money-bills. The King was still deservedly popular.
The odium of these acts, therefore, rested on the minister. He had,
besides, a potent enemy in the palace, no less a person than the
beautiful queen, who complained that the Duke, not content with
directing state affairs, intruded into the domestic privacies of
royalty, and left her without the power, which as a wife and Princess
she ought to exercise, that of choosing her servants and rewarding her
friends. Nor did this presumptuous servant rest here. The spotless
purity of the King shrunk from conjugal infidelity; but Buckingham found
means, during the hours of easy confidence, to insinuate such
reflections against the religion, the foreign manners, and the native
country of Henrietta Maria, that the affection which once bade fair to
cement the union of a virtuous and amiable Prince with the lady of his
choice, was weakened by reserve, doubt, distaste, and all the sentiments
hostile to conjugal peace.

The Lady Eleanor De Vallance held a situation in the household of the
Queen, and possessed a secure place in her affection. She knew the
secret discontent of her royal mistress, and the pique she felt against
Buckingham, who, she also knew, sought the ruin of the house of Neville.
Evellin did not enlarge on the amiable features of his sister's
character. He spoke of her as one who panted for aggrandisement, and
possessed the means of attaining her object; adding also, that she was
pledged to the ruin of the favourite by those strong inducements,
interest and revenge. He dwelt with pleasure on the valuable and useful
qualities of her husband, who, he said, united to the talents which
generally achieve success, the circumspection and foresight that secure
it. While such able assistants advocated his cause, despair would have
been weakness.

Months, nay years, rolled away. Evellin was liberally supplied with
remittances, and the hearts of the lovers became more firmly united. Dr.
Beaumont, assured that his sister knew the circumstances of her lover,
though neither chose to intrust them, to him, confided implicitly in her
discretion and his honour. As a man, there was little to blame and much
to revere in the character of Evellin. He was open, impetuous, brave,
generous, and placable, with a noble simplicity of soul, untainted by
the mean alloy of selfishness. He was a Christian too. In Dr. Beaumont's
eye, that was an indispensable requisite. Yet more, he steadily adhered
to the established church with enlightened affection; and in an age when
the Puritans grew more open and confident in their attempts to overthrow
it, love for the most venerable support of the protestant cause was a
sacred bond of union. Sometimes a deep feeling of his wrongs induced
Evellin to inveigh against courts and kings with great animosity; but
this was the ebullition of a warm temper, not the cold enmity of a
corroded heart. Immovable to harsh reproof, he was pliant as the bending
ozier to persuasive kindness. Looking at the qualities of the man,
rather than the accidents of his situation, Dr. Beaumont felt proud in
thinking that his Isabel deserved the conquest she had gained.

Evellin deferred his marriage till some event should happen which must
hasten the crisis of his fate. The same dispatch which brought
intelligence of the death of his elder brother, announced the fall of
his adversary by the hand of Felton. Concealment could now no longer be
deemed wisdom; he determined to burst from obscurity, lay claim to his
honours, and require to be relieved from a long pending accusation
contrived by malice and believed by credulity. But could he quit the
banks of the Ribble, leaving his Isabel to suffer the pangs of suspense,
and to pine under those limes and alders that had sheltered him from
persecution? Her behaviour told him she would conduct herself with
propriety in every situation. Her society had been his chief consolation
in sorrow, and he saw that her fortitude would support him in the hour
of trial, her wisdom guide him in difficulty, and her participation give
the fairest colouring to success. Whether he sat in the senate as a
peer, or stood at the bar as a criminal, Isabel should be his wedded
associate. What pleasure would he feel in presenting to his vain and
beautiful sister, the lily he had gathered and placed in his bosom,
while he lay concealed in the woodlands! Or, when he embraced Walter as
his brother and friend, how would he rejoice to hear the fair
Lancastrian, with all the eloquent energy of unsophisticated nature,
bless the services which had preserved and restored her husband.

Isabel entered into all these happy anticipations. He thought her worthy
to share his fortunes, and though she doubted, she now forbore to urge
the plea of insufficiency. Of one point she was certain, I mean her
willingness to suffer with him. She wanted little; she could endure
much; she had many resources in her own mind; she considered no evil as
insupportable but the unworthiness of those she loved; and when she
looked on Evellin, she did not fear that trial. She smiled and blushed
her full consent, and her lover informed Dr. Beaumont, that the time for
claiming his sister was arrived. "My affairs," continued he, "require my
immediate presence in London, and the woman of my heart must accompany
me as my wife. You have long placed implicit confidence in my honour. We
have now known each other till affection has lost the gloss of novelty;
and instead of depending on hope and imagination, it assumes the fixed
character of experience. If I perceived the germ of avarice, or lurking
yearnings after aggrandizement in your heart, I would point to stalls
and mitres; for such endowments have originated from fortunate
alliances. But I will only say to the Christian pastor who is content
with feeding his few sheep in a wilderness, that I came not as a
ravenous wolf to steal his favourite lamb. It is from well-weighed
preference that I select your sister as the partner of my fortunes. You
bestow on me a pure and inestimable pearl, but you give it to one who
knows its worth. And rest assured, worthy Beaumont, I will neither
burden your generosity nor disgrace your family."

When Evellin signed the certificate of his marriage, he left a blank
after the name of Allan, "Observe me well," said he to the witnesses of
the ceremony; "note the time, place, and every circumstance; this is an
important contract." Mrs. Mellicent, to whom this remark was
particularly addressed, unbent her stiff features from that aspect of
disapprobation with which she had silently condemned her brother's
precipitation, and saluted the bride with great cordiality, telling her,
that dames of quality, like the wives of the Patriarchs, always called
their husbands lords. She added, that even those of the younger brothers
of peers took place of baronets' ladies.


    [1] These, according to Clarendon, were the errors of Archbishop
    Laud.




CHAP. III.

    Man may the sterner virtues know,
      Determin'd Justice, Truth severe,
    But female hearts with Pity glow,
      And Woman holds affliction dear.

                                                 Crabbe.


The bells of Ribblesdale had hardly finished the merry peal which
announced the joy of the villagers, that their sweet rose-bud, Isabel de
Beaumont, was married to the strange gentleman, whom they had long
thought a prince in disguise, come to make their good Doctor a Bishop,
when an unexpected dispatch from London cast the deepest gloom on the
bridegroom's joy.

In this letter De Vallance conjured his friend to postpone his intended
return till his affairs took a brighter aspect.--The King at first bore
the sad tidings of his favourite's death with such apparent
tranquillity, that he proceeded unruffled to his devotions; yet
reflecting on the circumstances of the deed, and deeply affected by an
interview with the widowed Duchess, who with her orphan children had
thrown herself at his feet and implored justice, he now cherished such
an appetite for revenge that it was suspected many lives would scarce be
deemed a fit atonement. He discharged the Duke's debts out of his privy
purse, he promised to provide for his servants, and frowned on all who
had ever been his enemies. Thomas Felton had at first denied having any
accomplice, and enthusiastically called himself the champion of an
injured people; yet it was expected that the close interrogatories to
which he would be exposed would overawe his firmness, and perhaps
prevail on him to name some innocent persons as abettors of the crime.
At all events Evellin must remain in privacy during the storm of the
King's anger, which now agitated him so violently that he would attend
to no other business till the Duke's murder was thoroughly
investigated.--De Vallance concluded with describing the impatience
which both himself and Lady Eleanor felt to restore him to his honours;
and he trusted that the Queen's growing influence would be useful in
recalling to the recollection of the King a person he had once highly
favoured, while he saw in Buckingham an insolent minister rather than a
devoted friend.

Weary of delay, eager to vindicate his honour, yet at the same time
conscious of his own impetuosity, and confiding in the management of his
friends, Evellin fretted at his situation, and yielding his mind to
irritability, became incapable of cool discrimination or vigorous
action. He had borne a long banishment with melancholy patience,
disdaining to complain, and affecting resignation, but he was then an
unconnected man, and his fate was of small importance. A gleam of hope,
improved by his sanguine temper into confident expectation, had
encouraged him to unite himself to a most amiable woman, in whose breast
he had excited an expectation of the most exalted fortunes. He had given
an implicit promise, that he would add to Dr. Beaumont's power of doing
good; and after this, must he still continue a nameless exile, poorly
content to barter reputation for life!

Subsequent dispatches from De Vallance heightened his distress. In a
moment of extreme irritation, when, by long pondering on his own and the
nation's wrongs, passion gained the ascendancy of judgement, Evellin in
a confidential letter to Walter had anticipated with hope and exultation
the fate that afterwards befell the Duke of Buckingham. A sermon of Dr.
Beaumont's afterwards convinced him of the guiltiness of an expression,
which, though proceeding from a sudden unweighed suggestion rather than
a deliberate purpose, yet, certainly, as our church has well determined,
proves "the infection of our nature, and has in it the nature of sin."
Convinced that positive evil may not be committed to procure
problematical good, and that no uninspired person should presume to
think himself God's champion, unless placed in that station which
visibly arms him with his authority, Evellin had often lamented this
rash letter, as one of his secret faults. He now severely felt it also,
as an imprudence, in having given vent to his angry feelings, even in a
confidential communication. De Vallance informed him that, through a
fatal mistake of his secretary, this very letter had been laid with some
other papers, tending to prove him innocent of the death of Saville, and
was thus put along with them into the King's hands by the Queen, who had
graciously undertaken to plead for the brother of her favourite Lady
Eleanor. No expiatory apology could be urged to weaken the effect of
sentiments attested by his own writing, and they were obliged to yield
him to the storm, as the King now declared that mercy would be
compromising blood. Walter was in despair. Lady Eleanor still determined
to watch for a favourable moment; they both continued his firm friends,
and would punctually remit ample sums for his support, till some change
in the state of affairs should again admit of their active
interposition.

How dreadful was Evellin's situation! Ruined by his own rashness, and
restrained from a step, to which impatience of present suffering had
long impelled him, namely to throw himself on the King's mercy, and
either regain his birthright or forfeit his life! He was now a husband;
he expected to be a father. Isabel must not be deserted in the hour of
distress, and her life was bound up in his. She endured the change in
her prospects with a cheerful serenity, that seemed as if she felt only
the sorrows of her beloved. Nor did Dr. Beaumont betray any feeling
which tended to shew that the expectation of stalls and mitres ever
withdrew his thoughts from the celestial contemplations in which he
loved to expatiate.

"Why should I grieve for those who seem wrapped in measureless content?"
said Evellin. "Is this apathy the effect of ignorance of greater good,
or the result of a long indulged habit of contemning every exterior
advantage?--Isabel, while planning your baby-cloaths, or loitering among
your flowers, you seem to forget that life admits of more exalted
pleasures and ampler scenes of duty. Have you no desire beyond filling
your days with such a series of trivial occupations, which make our
years glide away with undistinguishable sameness? Have you no wish to
extend your views beyond Ribblesdale? Does the scene of life, exhibited
among your native villagers, satisfy your wish of being acquainted with
human nature? Do the mountains, which bound your horizon, limit your
desire of seeing the wonders of your Creator's hand? When you read the
history of the mighty and the good, your countenance expresses your
ardour to emulate their actions; yet here you seem to wish to set up
your rest, and slumber away your life, content with security, and
careless of renown."

"When I am summoned to another station," replied Isabel, "it will be
time enough to cherish the feeling which will beseem it. At present,
suffer me to think of the advantages of my own. In the hour of danger,
and the decline of life, the most courageous spirits long for a quiet
harbour. Does not this shew that safety is desirable, and repose a
blessing? The difference which even my inexperienced mind discovers,
between the inward feeling and the exterior advantages of greatness,
abates my wish to wear the gorgeous pall of splendid fortune. Yet,
dearest Allan, I am aware, that our present state cannot be permanent.
Two alternatives await us, either a restoration to your rank in society,
or removal to a plate of greater security. The King will soon visit
Scotland, to receive his hereditary crown. He will pass through
Ribblesdale, and my brothers duty will call him to attend him; is there
a hope that he can plead your cause successfully, after the eloquence of
your friend, and the address of your sister have failed?"

Evellin answered, there was no probability.

"Consider then," returned Isabel, "this place lies in a frequented road.
Some busy courtier will be eager to beat the covert and start the noble
quarry, which the King desires to hunt down. If indeed His Highness's
mind is so obscured by anger, as to combine a rash expression and a
deliberate plan of murder in the same degree of guilt; to condemn you
unheard for one crime, and by implication make you accessary to another,
can there be safety or honour in being his servant? Surely, my Allan's
loyalty once arrayed his Prince with visionary excellence; or Walter
acted like one of those unskilful surgeons, who convert a slight wound
into a deep gangrene."

The tone of displeasure, in which Evellin checked every suggestion
against the integrity or discretion of his friend, had no other effect
on Isabel's mind, than to convince her of her husband's unbounded
confidence. Walter's own letters furnished her with many reasons for
suspicion; there was in them a studied air of plausibility, a nice
arrangement of minutiae, and a wary shifting from important points, which
seemed to her strong but artless mind, more like the drapery of design,
than the frank simplicity of truth. They were seldom replies to
Evellin's statements or requests. The kindness they contained had the
flourish of sentiment; there was much ostentatious display of trivial
offices of goodwill, and of those every-day assistances, which affection
wants memory to record. If Evellin seemed determined to risk all, by a
bold appeal to the laws, better prospects were held out, which
precipitation would blast; and larger remittances were forwarded. If he
affected to be reconciled to obscurity, Walter, by gently censuring,
actually confirmed the wise moderation of his choice, describing
himself as tired of the court, and reluctantly chained to it by the
rooted attachment of Lady Eleanor, who sparkled in the Queen's train,
eclipsing all in splendor, and all but her royal mistress in beauty. He
subjoined to these complaints of the unsatisfactoriness of a life of
pleasure, lamentable statements of the misrule of the King, and the
oppression of his government, the arbitrary punishments of the
Star-chamber, the illegal fines, loans and projects, by which the royal
coffers were filled, and concluded with affirming, that they only were
safe and happy, whose contracted wants, and mortified desires, asked but
the primeval simplicity of nature. All this time, though the honours of
the house of Neville lay in abeyance, the rents were received by De
Vallance, and Isabel wondered that so mortified a spirit should encumber
itself with the dross which it affected to despise.

Meantime Evellin, partially blinded by a fatal security, and in part
deprived of the use of his judgement by his acute feelings, at one time
scorned to impute treachery to the friend of his youth; at another fear
to trust even himself. One master stroke of policy still remained.
Walter wrote to him in great alarm; their correspondence was discovered
to the King, and reported to be of a factious tendency. He was in the
most imminent danger of being sacrificed to their mutual enemies. He
conjured Evellin to fly to some more remote retreat instantly, but first
to give up to the confidential agent, whom he named, all their
correspondence, that he might instantly destroy it, lest it should fall
into the hands of those who would construe it into a disclosure of the
King's counsels. The credulous Evellin fell into the snare. He returned
all Walter's letters, and retired with his family to a freehold of
Isabel's, situated among the mountainous parts of Lancashire, and in his
anxiety for Walter's safety, forgot for a time his own troubles. But
though their correspondence ceased, the voice of fame was not silent,
and its echoes reached even to the Fourness Fells, telling that Walter
De Vallance was created Earl of Bellingham, and that all the possessions
of the ancient house of Neville were bestowed on Lady Eleanor.

The ocean beats at the bottom of a cliff for ages, and imperceptibly
wears its rugged projections to smoothness; but an earthquake overthrows
it in an instant. The mind of Evellin, which for a period of seven years
had contended with hope and fear, sometimes almost suspecting, and at
other times rejecting distrust, was by this proof of his friend's
treachery, bereft of all fortitude and patience. Wounded by the neglect
of the world, his confidence in Walter had been his preservative from
misanthropy; and when vexed at the recollection of his own imprudent
frankness and folly, in provoking the resentment of powerful foes, he
soothed his galled spirit by considering, that the guileless simplicity
of his nature, which had raised those foes, had also secured him a
faithful friend. That bright creation of his fancy disappeared, a chaos
of duplicity, dark contrivance, and injustice remained: Walter proved
false, his sister unnatural, his King a tyrant. So different were these
objects from what he once believed them, that he doubted whether life
afforded any realities. Did his Isabel really choose him for his own
merit, or was latent ambition the spur to her affection? Did the
village-pastor seek out and console a stranger from motives of Christian
benevolence, or had he discovered his rank and hopes, and on them formed
expectation of advancement?

Whatever the most unalterable and entire affection, acting on a noble
mind and an active temper, could do, Isabel performed with cheerful
tenderness and never-wearied patience. To assist in supporting her
family, she took the farm into her own management, and endeavoured to
rouse the attention of her much-altered husband, by pointing out the
humble, but secure comforts, which husbandry afforded. She dwelt on
every example of unhappy greatness; she reminded him, that to be
deceived by specious characters, was the common error of superior
understandings, who, lightly valuing the goods of fortune, never suspect
that to others they will prove irresistible temptations. Her surprise,
she said, was not that the artful should impose upon the honourable, or
the mean ensnare the magnanimous; but that the former should have the
audacity to attempt to cozen those who were every way above them,
because, in so doing, they must depend upon the operation of qualities,
which their narrow hearts and warped principles could not allow them to
estimate. She once went so far as to say, that it was not superior
discernment, which enabled her to suspect the perfidiousness of Walter.
She did not view him with the partiality of youthful affections; she was
ignorant of the many ties which bound him to a brave and grateful heart.
Her anxiety for her Allan kept her attention fixed on one object, the
progress which his agent made; and when she saw that the cause did not
prosper in his hand, she searched for instances of mismanagement, and
combined circumstances to his prejudice, which were not likely to strike
an affectionate friend, who was too confident in the actor to scrutinize
the action. How could she, who loved a brother with the same
unquestioning fidelity as Allan did Walter, condemn the errors of
overflowing affection? Evellin listened in gloomy silence. Too deeply
wounded to endure even this mild censure of his own folly, in the shape
of an apology for his weakness, he sternly enjoined her to avoid that
theme.

Undismayed by such rebuffs, Isabel attempted other topics. She often
assured him she was now more at her ease, than if seated at the head of
the Earl's table, in Castle Bellingham. "I should have been
embarrassed," said she, "and might, perhaps, have acted wrong through my
solicitude to be very right. Our little household is easily catered for;
hence we can devote the more time to our darling babes. Was not the
husbandman's life preferred by the wisest, the most favoured of mankind?
Does it not afford health and peace? Are not our cares innocent, our
enjoyments unenvied? We do not anticipate, with aching hearts, the fall
or the death of a rival; neither do we, after having distorted our faces
with the hilarity of forced merriment in public, meet, in our privacies,
with anger and fear; reproaching each other for some neglect, and
commenting on the frowns of royalty. We need not study to be expert in
ceremony, or adroit in flattery. When nature calls, we take our simple
food, we rest when she requires relaxation, and when rest is satiety,
innocent and useful labour improves our mental and corporeal functions.
How pitiable are they, whom necessity drags to the banquet of
ostentation, who secretly yawn through the lengthened vigil of unenjoyed
dissipation; who rise from feverish slumbers to tasteless delights; who
feel that their present course of life is a captivity; and yet look on
that which would bring them freedom as disgrace. Unmolested by
creditors, unvexed by the reproachful glances of those who would
attribute their undoing to our extravagance, with no open enemies to
insult us, no secret sorrows to afflict us, our desires subdued rather
than gratified, our domestic union perfect, our minds informed, and our
souls expatiating in a still happier world, O my Allan, let us forget
the past, and call our lot rare felicity. These mountains, which shut
from your view a deceitful treacherous world are now your towers of
defence. These clear lakes which reflect the blue skies, dispose us to
serene contemplation. When all my household toils are finished, and
suspended care sleeps till the morning, I lead my children to their
evening sports; I point to the sublime scenes around us, and remind them
that the Almighty mind, that formed these wonders, dictated the book
which is their daily study. He piled the grey cliffs on each other, some
awfully barren, others cloathed with verdure, to shew that fertility and
desolation, like joy and grief, are at his disposal. He, through fringed
rocks, hollowed a cavern, whence burst the majestic cataract, whose
course no mortal hand shall divert or restrain. So should man submit to
the dispensations of Omniscient wisdom. While thus meditating, I despise
the insignificance of worldly cares, I become almost spiritualized, and
am in danger of losing social affections, as well as earthly desires,
till my children, fancifully decked with wild flowers, call aloud to
point you out, descending from the cliff, loaded with game, and
accompanied by your spaniels and falcon. They rush into your embraces.
You return safe, uninjured by your exhilarating sports. If, at such a
moment, I can fancy that parental transport predominates over sorrow in
your aspect, I lift my hands in transport to Heaven, and ask if a mighty
Princess ever was so blessed."

The dejected Evellin sometimes listened in silence to these fond
breathings of chaste affection, wrung her hand, and pronounced her
worthy of a happier lot, calling her a pledge of divine favour and
reconciliation to a much-offending man. He never spoke of his wrongs,
and she sometimes entertained a hope that they were fading from his
remembrance. At least she knew it was the wisest course to avoid
dwelling on sorrows, for which patience was the only cure, and being
thoroughly practised in the duty of resignation, she wished to impart
its comforts to him, whom she so strongly loved.




CHAP. IV.

    My wrongs, my wrongs, my constant thoughts engage,
    These, my sole oracles, inspire my rage.

                                                 Pope's Homer.


One evening, while the young Evellins were watching for their father,
and fancying they discerned him returning from the mountains, they
hastily ran back to their mother to inform her that a strange man lay at
the bottom of the glen seemingly much fatigued, who asked the way to Mr.
Neville's. Isabel knew that the real name of her husband was known only
to herself in that neighbourhood, and suspected a snare of De Vallance's
to get him into his power and rob him of all that remained, his life.
She anxiously inquired what further passed, little Eustace answered, "We
said nobody lived near but our father, whose name was not Neville but
Evellin. He asked us if he was tall, with dark hair, and carried himself
like a Prince. We had seen no Princes, but I put on my cap as he does,
and shewed how he walked, and the poor man caught me in his arms, almost
smothered me with kisses, and said he would never stir from that spot
till his master came."

"Foolish children," said the mother; "perhaps you have betrayed your
father to those who hunt for his life."

"No, indeed," replied Isabel, "he is too weak and ill to hurt any body.
He is very hungry still, though I gave him all the cloud-berries I had
gathered, and filled his can with water. He blessed us just as you do,
and I am sure he never would hurt my father."

"Go round by the coppice, my darling; meet your father and tell him what
you have seen; I will go to the stranger."--"And take some cordials with
you," said both the children. "He shall want no cordials if he be what
he appears," returned Mrs. Evellin; "but, sweet lambs, there are more
wolves in the world than true shepherds."

The suspicions of the fond wife were in this instance groundless. The
stranger was David Williams, formerly comptroller of the Earl of
Bellingham's household, who, discovering that his real master was not
dead, as Earl Walter now affirmed, set out with a determination of
discovering his retreat. He carried with him the honourable savings of a
life of industry; but having been attacked on the road and robbed of his
property, he arrived, exhausted and pennyless, among the Fells of
Fourness, in appearance a burden to the family he wished to serve.

Yet this faithful old servant, though bare and withering like the
scathed oak, was inexpressibly welcome to one who so deeply suffered
from the crimes of duplicity. Williams soon recovered his strength under
the care of his dear old master; and though the mountain cottage bore no
resemblance to the embattled towers of Castle Bellingham, still he was
under the roof of a true Neville, and he would not change his service to
attend an Emperor. Evellin took a lively interest in the society of his
old domestic, who, happy that his recovered health enabled him to serve,
in adversity, the noble stock under whose protection he had formerly
flourished, followed his dear lord, as he called him, over the
mountains, thinking of the days that were past. Sometimes Williams would
lead Evellin to talk of former times, when Bellingham Castle blazed with
feudal splendor, and the numerous dependents of its mighty owner,
marshalled by the sound of the bugle, rode to their sports like the
clans of the earlier ages, a gallant troop, to rouse the stag from his
lair, or to loose the hawk at the crested pheasant. The heir of that
castle, habited as an humble yeoman, sullenly listened to the narrative
of his only follower. "Does not the chace," he would say, "now afford us
equal pleasure? are not my dogs as swift, and these mountains as replete
with game as those which engird my paternal residence." A deep groan
contradicted the conclusion to which this inquiry seemed to lead; yet
Williams, fancying he amused his master, continued to deepen those
agonizing recollections which are most dangerous to poignant
sensibility. Nor had Evellin the self-command to forbear making
inquiries which must, when answered, aggravate his anguish. He bade
Williams freely state what he knew of their old neighbours and
dependents. The tale was diffusely told. Evellin listened with deep
attention, execrated his own misconduct, enjoined silence, and then, by
fresh questions, encouraged repetition. A hope had long clung to his
heart, arising from that lofty tone of feeling which is more pained at
becoming the tool of falsehood than at being the victim of misfortune.
Long-continued moody musings had affected his judgment; and he sometimes
actually doubted whether De Vallance was really treacherous, or had been
defeated in his friendly efforts by the power of a host of enemies.

"Answer me truly, Williams," said he, while his lip quivered with
emotion, and his hand trembled as he affected to stroke his falcon with
a careless air: "you see the present and the future are now indifferent
to me. You remember the time when Walter's father rescued me, a cradled
infant, from Tyrone's rebellious kerns in Ireland, and thus laid the
foundation of the friendship between our houses. You remember, Walter
himself saving me from the lake when I was nearly drowned. Surely he was
then a warm-hearted, generous boy. The tears he shed over my supposed
corse could not be dangerous and deceitful drops. At school, at college,
and when we crossed the Alps together, ever sharing my bed and table, I
saw him in every different situation. Was his life one act of deceit,
and mine a long dream of credulity? When, in the fullness of my soul, I
told him he was more than worthy my sister's love, he answered that
though the noble blood of Devereux ran in his veins, it did not become
his humble fortunes to aspire to the Lady Eleanor. After my father's
death, he would no longer reside with me, but entered into the service
of his cousin, the Lord Essex, saying he would not quarter an expensive
retainer on the scanty portion of a younger brother, which needed good
husbandry, but that his heart still remained with me, and would be a
cheap sojourner. Was not this the language of a noble spirit? You look,
Williams, as if you had a mystery to unfold. Come, tell all your tale as
you would repeat it to gossips on a wassail night. The world is now
forgotten by me, and I am forgotten by the world."

"My noble Lord," Williams began--"Again," said Evellin, "after my strict
injunctions, do not insult me with empty titles. Have I not told you
that my patent of nobility is cancelled? I am Goodman Evellin of the
Fells, husband of the best of women, and father of two wanton prattlers,
who know not the misery of having fallen from an eminently glorious
station. Mark, Williams, the story of what I was shall die with me, or
only survive close shut in the treasured remembrance of my faithful
wife. I would not for the universe cloud the laughing features of these
happy babes, by awakening desires which I cannot gratify; therefore
forget my lapsed greatness."

"Even in our privacies?" inquired Williams.

"Certainly; and habit will make familiarity easy. Sit beside me on the
ground, and leave off putting your hand to your bonnet. Do we not look
like two smart woodmen, enjoying, over our evening repast, a tale of
other times?"

"I must turn my face from your honour," said Williams, "before I can
attempt to forget that you was Sir Allan, my old master's favourite son;
but it is in vain for you to try to pass for a country yeoman. They who
have spent their lives in these mountains, and never seen a noble
personage, rudely explain their notions of majesty and dignity by
describing you; and, by the grace of Heaven, they shall find they
guessed right, when they said the stranger from the south-country was a
man of another sort of a world."

"Let us have no more day-dreams, I asked you about Walter de Vallance."

"He is now Earl of Bellingham."

Evellin gnawed his lip, and angrily struck his fawning spaniel. "True,"
replied he, "the King would have him so. He forced these honours on him;
and if is thus, by prejudice and injustice, that he tampers with the
loyalty of a brave nation. Canst thou blame De Vallance for catching my
coronet before it fell to the ground by a false attainder? Why should
the title lie in abeyance? Is it not better worn by one allied to our
house than by an alien? Who so fit to sit in the baronial chair of our
common ancestor as my sister's son, now I am exscinded as a diseased
branch."

"He is a lad of the fairest promise," answered Williams, "but he will
never live to be Earl of Bellingham. Grant that no singular judgments
fall on the house of usurpation, yet the honourable blood which he
inherits from the Nevilles will so strive with the foul current of De
Vallance, that the ill-compounded body will not grow to manhood."

Evellin smiled: "Thou thinkest then," said he, "that Walter has played
the thief's part, and stolen what he could not honestly acquire."

"'Tis past thinking about," answered Williams; "the blame rests not on
the King's Majesty, whom Heaven prosper. He is too much raised above the
common intercourse of life to look into the hearts of those who take
care to approach him with a fair outside. His days are consumed by cares
and perplexities, and those who are apt and courteous in business must
needs have his ear. I well know that De Vallance gained the royal favour
by appearing to be your devoted friend, and by praising you for those
qualities in which it was Heaven's will to leave you somewhat defective.
Thus he praised your prudence, and produced your flight in proof of your
innocence; yet, in the same breath, gave some instance of your rashness,
and shewed that flight was ever the villain's resource. So contrariwise
were his pleadings and his praises, that His Grace said one day of him,
jestingly, 'Whatever my council may decide about Neville, I must keep De
Vallance in my service; for though he is an unapt advocate, he is a
right trusty friend.'"

"We are now," returned Evellin, "acting as jurors, deciding upon the
better part of a man's possessions, his honour. Let us then be candid
and wary. Zeal, like anger, often overshoots the mark. The lively
promptitude of feeling hurries our judgment beyond its natural pace. Let
us admit that the stern character of that bloody conclave, before whom
De Vallance often pleaded my cause, might confuse a man, among whose
natural defects I have noted a constitutional timidity, apt to tremble
at the frown of a fellow-creature. Before a court constituted like the
Star-chamber, armed with unlimited powers to impose fines, imprisonment,
sequestration, banishment, nay even the punishment of personal
mutilation, no wonder the sole friend and unsupported advocate of a man,
whom they were bent to ruin, took improper methods of serving him."

"It is too true," returned Williams, "that this court has of late
stretched its originally unconstitutional powers, and has further
provoked the unwarrantable licence of the times by trying to restrain
it. The King's best friends allow that it has in many instances 'held
that for honourable which pleased, and that for just which profited; and
being the same persons who composed the council, the same individuals
acted in two courts; in one, enjoining the people what was not law, and
prohibiting what was not prohibited; and, in the other, censuring
disobedience to their own decrees by heavy fines and severe
imprisonments. But the tendency of these proceedings has been rather to
supply the King's necessities with money, which, since his breach with
his parliament he cannot legally obtain, than wantonly to sport with the
rights of his people, from which no advantage can be derived to the
crown[1].' And truly, those noble persons who compose this assembly are
too well aware of the unpopularity and odium of their proceedings to
give any needless cause of complaint; nor would they have dared to
commit such a foul misdemeanor, as to condemn and sentence a peer of the
realm for a capital offence, without giving him a solemn and public
trial. Now, my dear master, has your clear understanding been so misled
as to make you suppose their misdoings ever reached such atrocity, or
that they would unwisely give contention such a handle."

Evellin's judgment had ever contradicted Walter's statements, and the
conclusions which remaining affection, and his own unwillingness to own
himself a dupe, laboured to draw, he now inquired how his estates came
to be confiscated, and his person cast out of the protection of the law.

"On account of your contumacy," answered Williams; "you did not
surrender when the royal proclamation called upon you to take your
trial, and then a writ of outlawry was required by your prosecutor."

"Was it not Walter's duty to convey that proclamation to me?" said
Evellin. Williams replied, it was; he mentioned its date, and Evellin
knew it tallied with that of his marriage, at which time Walter more
earnestly conjured him to remain in the closest concealment. A heavy
groan burst from his heart, he rested his head on his folded hands, and
bade Williams proceed.

"Yet though a long term of years had elapsed," continued he, "so
unwilling was the King to proceed to extremities, that from term to term
the cause stood over, and the hungry vulture who longed to gorge your
possessions grew weary of acting the dove's part. I had long seen his
base nature. In vain did he dress his face and his person in the solemn
hue of mourning, or your false-hearted sister shed Hyaena tears,"--

"Tears! For what did she weep?"

"For your death."

"My death," said Evellin, starting up; "De Vallance knew I was alive."

"Aye, my noble master, and so did I too, or I should never have lived to
drag my bones to the banks of Windermere; grief would have killed me ere
I had gone half my journey. I caught the villain destroying your
letters; I saw the date of one; you were alive at Ribblesdale in
November, so could not have died the preceding month at Launceston."

"Who durst affirm that I did?"

"Walter De Vallance.--He claimed an audience of the King, and shewed an
attested certificate, stating that Allan Neville had there deceased. An
account was subjoined of his person, his way of living, and the time he
had resided in that borough, all made to correspond with your likeness
and history. I had followed him to the door of the privy-chamber, and
waited among the pages. Methinks I see him now screw up his hypocritical
face and wink his eyes, as if he wept." "Your Majesty," said he, "will
be no more persecuted with my suit for my ill-fated brother-in-law.--Lady
Eleanor commends her duty to the Queen.--Alas, I fear the same stroke
will leave me friendless and a widower.--Never was such love." He went
on, sobbing aloud--"A broken heart brought him to his grave.--One, only
error; else the very mirror of honourable faculties." Thus he stood as
one beside himself with anguish, holding out the certificate, which a
gentleman read to His Highness. And then, my noble master, you might
have seen how true pity looks by the side of its vile counterfeit. "I
knew Allan Neville well," said the King, "and I once truly loved him.
Ill rest the calumniators of those who can no longer justify themselves!
His faults die with him. The pardon I meant to have granted to his
offences, if he would have sought my mercy, shall turn into favours to
those who share his blood." Walter answered, he could scarce be
comforted even by such gracious words; but he acted his part ill, for
though the King's goodness was too noble to suspect him, the courtiers
nicknamed him the merry-mourner.

"Why speaks not my noble master," said Williams, observing the fixed
posture and quenched eye of Evellin. At last he exclaimed--"I am not
dead;" and bursting into an hysterical laugh, he swore De Vallance
should find he was not dead.

"That is the point," replied Williams, "to which I have long wished to
urge you. Only appear and prove your identity; nothing more is wanting.
But rest on my arm, your whole frame is convulsed. Ah, woe is me, that a
base upstart should thus destroy so true a sample of old English worth!"

"I have survived the loss of my patrimony," said Evellin; "I have bowed
my aspiring mind to the lowliness of which I was born to be the
protector; I have a good King, a good cause, a faithful wife, dear
lovely children. De Vallance shall not long triumph. But say, Williams,
didst than ever hear of treachery so complicated, so deep, so totally
void of even a twinkling ray of common rectitude."

"I know but one character more vile and unnatural," returned Williams,
"and that is the Lady Eleanor."

"I pass her by," said Evellin. "Nature cast her mind in its most sordid
mould; and her heart is capable only of mean inclinations and low
desires; I have, from my youth, reproved her follies, and as she never
loved me, she would see no crime in plotting my destruction."

"What--because you strove to render her worthy her lineage," answered
Williams. "If a bad nature is an excuse for crimes, may not Satan object
to the severity of his sentence. Beauty made her vain, and adulation
made her haughty. Yet other ladies on the same personal graces have
engrafted the lovelier stock of truly noble virtues. The husband whom
she deigned to marry, because she found him a ready slave to her
designs, will live to rue the day when he made marriage a ladder to
ambition. May Heaven guard our Queen from so dangerous a friend. Never
did a falser serpent with a beautiful outside dart its poisons into the
ear of Majesty."

Williams went on repeating anecdotes, which proved the degeneracy of the
new Countess from the antient stock of noble ladies who were better
pleased to act as faithful and provident stewards of the bounty of
Heaven, than, like greedy whirlpools, to absorb every thing within their
reach. He contrasted their circumspect liberality with her thoughtless
waste; the matronly sobriety and tempered magnificence of their attire
with her new fangled fickleness and wanton costliness; their modest
dignified courtesy with her wayward perverseness; their gravity with her
lightness, in acting at court-revels and maskings, familiar with every
gallant, and accepting praise from the most polluted sources. He spoke
to the winds; the full proof of that perfidy which Evellin had so long
struggled to disbelieve, fell like a thundering cataract on his mind,
and swept away all power of attention. Long-indulged sorrow had preyed
on his mental and corporeal functions, and rendered him ill able to
support that severe blow. Williams sincerely repented the circumstantial
disclosure he had made. A feverish listlessness seized on the unhappy
Evellin, which yielded only to the visitation of a more dreadful
calamity. It was not decided insanity, but it dispelled the hopes which
had been formed of his being able to reclaim his usurped birth-right.
His bodily health was in time restored, and his mental infirmity became
a wild humoursome eccentricity, preserving traces of his noble
character, but querulously impatient of controul, subject to extravagant
transports, and incapable of steady exertion or connected thought. Still
magnanimous, independent and honourable, but moody, rash, and
intractable, he was the automaton of generous instinct, no longer
animated by reason.

Such a situation required constant vigilance to prevent irritation and
supply soothing recreations and gratifying objects. Williams was a most
useful assistant to Mrs. Evellin. He was practically versed in
husbandry, he knew the world, and had a creditable share of literature;
he could thus amuse his master, direct the domestic management, and
instruct the children. Isabel in all these instances found him a
considerable relief to her cares. That excellent woman knew not what
immediately hastened her husband's malady. Williams had often stated the
possibility of his regaining his rights; but she, dreading every
proposal that might agitate his mind, solemnly urged that that topic
should be avoided. "In my prayers to Heaven," said she, "I never dared
to supplicate for more than that he might ever continue what he was when
I first revered and loved him. Reason and judgment are positive
advantages; fortune and title, accidents which the possessor may convert
into evils. I should have been most thankful, if, during our journey to
the vale of years, he had been always able to act as my counsellor and
guide. His conversation was 'the daily banquet of my nourished mind.' I
hoped ever to feed on the words of wisdom breathed from the lips of
kindness. I know not what important contingencies in my eternal
existence are connected with my present trial; but this I know, if I
sustain it patiently and cheerfully, it must promote much present good.
I did not consider marriage merely as a summer voyage. Before I left the
quiet harbour of singleness I thought of winter and its future storms.
Most happily I did not choose a vessel laden with perishable treasures.
While reason and judgment illuminated his mind, my Evellin was the
delight and ornament of society; yet still his holier hopes, pursued a
good, less transient than the applause of man. If while the faithful
servant labours in his vocation a premature night falls upon him and
suspends his toil, will the just Master who ordains the privation, be
extreme in noting the remissness of infirmity? I once was the happiest
of wives, nor can I now be wretched since I still minister comfort to my
beloved."

Thus, with a mind naturally firm, and still further supported by
principle and undeviating affection through years of trial, Mrs. Evellin
persevered in active duty and enduring fortitude. The anxiety which her
suffering husband excited, and the attentions he required, slowly
undermined a constitution originally delicate, but she made no parade
either of her sorrows or her cares. She courted no compassion, and her
suppressed anguish would have been known only to her Creator, had she
not observed that Evellin, in his wildest aberrations of intellect, felt
her sorrows, and was not only tranquillized but restored to a transient
recollection by the sight of her distress. She bestowed infinite care on
her children, labouring to impart to them a portion of her own cheerful
fortitude and active vigilance. The superintendance of her farm added to
her employments; she had no leisure for unavailing regret; and till
sickness was added to sorrow, her busy days were frequently rewarded by
nights of peaceful slumber. The occupied mind, however acute its
sensibility, rarely sinks into despondence. The soothing consciousness
of usefulness overcomes its regrets, and the habit of exertion creates
confidence in its own powers. This sentiment, though criminal when it
annihilates religious dependence, is highly commendable when it acts as
its ally, inspiring a generous resolution of not adding to the burden of
our fellow-pilgrims, who like us toil heavy-laden through the wilderness
of life. On the other hand those, who, when visited by irremediable
affliction, give up their whole souls to the indulgence of grief, may
dignify their passive dejection with the name of finer feelings, and
more tender sensibility, but they will at last find, that they have
submitted to the bondage of a tyrant who will deprive them of all their
remaining comforts. Does gloomy despondence bespeak a higher degree of
social virtue? Is melancholy an instance of the soul's reliance on
Divine goodness? Do they not rather shew a rebellious disposition to Him
from whom affliction proceeds, and a selfish disregard of those whose
comforts are all blasted by the depressing influence of indulged despair?


    [1] This is Clarendon's account of that famous court.




CHAP. V.

    Scripture was not writ to beget pride and disputation, and
    opposition to government, but moderation, humility, and
    obedience, and peace, and piety, in mankind, of which no good
    man ever did or will repent himself on his death-bed.

                                                 Hooker.


The subject of my story embraces a long period of eventful years; I must
therefore imitate the chroniclers of old, and, leaving the Evellins
among their mountain-fastnesses, return to Ribblesdale, and describe the
situation of Dr. Beaumont.

This worthy divine continued to exercise his pastoral functions in
respectable tranquillity, adorning his station by a happy union of
literary accomplishments with Christian graces. In these duties he was
assisted by his amiable and beloved wife, who, though endowed with an
unusual share of personal beauty, and descended from a noble stock,
thought it no degradation to practise the duties which the inspired
Apostle requires from the wives of Christian pastors, whom he rightly
considers as called to be associates and partners in the ministry. She
was indeed "grave, no slanderer, sober, faithful in all things, adorned
with a meek and quiet spirit, abounding in good works, and a teacher of
good things." Preserving the decorous and just superiority of polished
manners and an enlightened mind, blended with the courtesy, humility,
and meekness which result from true religious feeling, this amiable
woman lived beloved and died lamented. A victim to the pestilence which
ravaged England about the year 1630, she fell in the prime of life; a
proof that length of days and exemption from sorrow are no sure marks of
Divine favour. Her assiduity in ministering to the afflicted, exposed
her to the infection which deprived Dr. Beaumont of all his numerous
family except one daughter; while the household of Sir William Waverly,
closely barricadoed by every contrivance which caution could suggest,
enjoyed uninterrupted health. The only share he had in the general
distress arose from his fears that some of the convalescent might pass
the barrier he had placed round his park, or that infection might be
communicated through the medium of the bailiff, who was allowed to sell
corn from his granaries to the starving populace, at an exorbitant rate.
The Baronet gave himself great credit for this act of generosity and
patriotism, often observing that it would be very hard if it should
expose him to the danger of falling a victim to his philanthropy, which
sentiment was re-echoed by those who had the honour of sitting at his
table, now more splendidly furnished by these extra profits, to the
great satisfaction of all his humble retainers.

Dr. Beaumont resigned his wife and children to Him who had bestowed
them, as intrusted blessings, which he had dearly valued, and now as
tenderly regretted. Resolved to pass the rest of his days in widowhood,
he made Mrs. Mellicent superintendant of his household and director of
his daughter's feminine accomplishments. She also undertook to supply
the place of Mrs. Beaumont in the parish, but in the task of managing
the humours and improving the inclinations of the lower orders,
something beside zeal and activity is necessary, even granting (as was
the case in this instance) that they are guided by right principles.
There was an unfortunate degree of rigidity and austerity about Mrs.
Mellicent that was less connected with her heart than her manner, unless
we ascribe it to a latent conviction of her own wisdom and an
inclination to govern by its acknowledged superiority rather than by
acquired influence. The villagers allowed that the ladies were equally
good; but Madam Beaumont smiled them into a persuasion that she was an
angel, and they adored her because they thought she loved them; while
Madam Mellicent chided them for their faults, traced their misfortunes
to their imprudence, and instead of trying to persuade them out of their
prejudices, informed them that their capacities and education best
fitted them for the duty of obedience. She was a woman of natural
shrewdness, but not sufficiently conversant with the world to know the
advantage of prudently temporizing, or the usefulness of forbearance.
She had not allowed herself to study the temper of the times; she saw
not that the bands of subordination were relaxing, and that the
populace, leaving the practice of duties, were now busy in ascertaining
rights. A change so important and so similar to that to which of late
years public opinion has again leaned, will justify a few remarks on its
causes, before I describe its effects.

The coercive system of government, which, during the arbitrary reigns of
the Tudor family, wore the dignified aspect of prescriptive authority,
was submitted to by a people grateful to that popular house, whose
accession healed the wounds of a long protracted civil war; but when
continued by what England esteemed a race of foreign Kings, it was
stigmatized by the name of tyranny. The favours and privileges which
Henry the Seventh bestowed on the commons, and the stratagems he
employed to reduce the power of those barons who had been the makers and
unmakers of Kings, had, during the course of five reigns, created a new
order of men, whose power and influence in the commonwealth were yet
unknown to the advisers of the crown. The long internal peace of a
century and a half, added to the stimulus which commerce had received
during the reign of Elizabeth, introduced a vast influx of wealth. The
religious disputes, which were the only contests that disturbed this
repose, engrafted a sour spirit of theological controversy on the warm
devotional feelings that distinguished the age immediately succeeding
the reformation. This temper was fomented by the clerical disputants
among their respective flocks; the pulpit became a stage for spiritual
attack and defence, and the most illiterate congregations were crazed
with discussions of metaphysical divinity, or inflamed with rancorous
hatred against the opponents of their peculiar preacher, who might be
truly said to preach his own doctrine and defend his own cause, and not
the doctrine or cause of his master. Thus the great mass of the
community had their attention diverted from that important part of the
Christian covenant which consists in practice, and were taught to rest
their hopes of salvation on speculative points, to the disbelief of
which were annexed those dreadful anathemas that entirely destroyed the
spirit of Christian charity, and made the professors of the same
religion enemies from principle, instead of brothers in love, united "by
one faith, one hope, one baptism."

This religious intoxication was increased by those confused, undefined
discussions about civil privileges, which, considering the altered
circumstances of the community, it would have been wise for the Crown
not to have provoked. There would, on the contrary, have been more
policy in permitting some claims, not authorized by precedent, to have
stolen in by connivance, and a few obnoxious institutions to have
silently died away. The parsimonious frugality of Elizabeth was a
powerful support to her prerogative, while the prodigal grants of King
James to his favourites paved the way to his son's ruin. The disputes
between King Charles and his three first parliaments induced him to have
recourse to measures for raising supplies which were unconstitutional,
and though the sums thus procured did not amount to a moiety of what
would have been granted in the shape of taxes, the people murmured at
forced loans, ship-money, and other unhappy expedients, when they would
cheerfully have paid much larger sums if granted as subsidies. The house
of Commons during the reign of Henry the Eighth were frowned and menaced
into the most abject subjection; and Elizabeth, with no less authority,
but superior address, awed them into non-resistance; but ever since the
accession of the house of Stewart they felt their importance, as bearers
of the public purse. Their decrees as well as their debates breathed a
spirit at once alarming and displeasing to Princes educated in the
opinion of their own Divine right, and succeeding a Queen who, though
wisely intent on the public good, was as despotic a Sovereign as ever
filled the English throne. A want of attention to the change which had
rendered his situation different from that of his predecessors, and a
too sanguine confidence in the affections of his people, which his
virtues and abilities richly deserved, hurled the unhappy Charles from
his throne. He wanted those pre-monitory lessons which his own
subsequent misfortunes afforded. The eventful scenes which Europe has
exhibited these last twenty years have awefully multiplied such
warnings: May they act on the minds of Englishmen, and on those of their
rulers, till the last great day of general audit which shall terminate
the existence of this island with that of the earth!

The same good intentions and mistaken methods that distinguished the
administration of the Sovereign, marked Mrs. Mellicent's superintendance
of Ribblesdale. She was a politician of the school of Elizabeth, very
willing to do good to her inferiors, but positively requiring that they
should obey her. Prescription and authority, docility and respect, old
principles and old manners, were her favourite topics; and in preaching
submission to all superiors from the King to the village constable,
precedence and decorum were her constant texts. Her notions were perhaps
urged too far, but this was an age of extremes; the minds of the people
were kept in a continual ferment, every object was distorted, and the
calamities which ensued, in many instances, proceeded more from
ill-directed zeal than positive malice; from fanaticism rather than
hypocrisy. At least a bewildered imagination seems at first to have
actuated the majority of the most eminent commonwealth's men to support
what they deemed a righteous cause, though in their subsequent actions
party-spirit urged them to do what they knew to be sinful, and to
attempt to gloss it with those false colourings which make us now justly
combine the names of hypocrite and fanatic, and hold them up as a
reproach to the age in which they passed for saint and patriot.

The new lights, as they were termed, had begun to set England in a
blaze, and two of their burning torches were greeted in Ribblesdale in
the persons of Morgan and Davies, the latter the village-schoolmaster,
the former a low-minded money-scrivener, who had amassed a large fortune
in "the godly city of Gloucester"; and retired to spend it in his native
town, where he purchased an estate, acted as justice of the peace, and
styled himself gentleman. Both were illuminated apostles of the new
doctrines, but each had a peculiar department in the work of
reformation; one wishing to batter down the spiritual abominations of
the church, while the other confined his zeal to destroying the bands of
tyrannical rulers, and "calling Israel to their tents." Davies laboured
under the pressure of poverty. He had displeased Dr. Beaumont by his
seditious and impertinent behaviour, and the inhabitants withdrew their
children from his school; but as his means of living decreased, his
opinion of his own deserts enlarged; he mistook the cravings of want for
spiritual illumination, and so perplexed his mind by reading the
scurrilous libels of the day, as to be firmly persuaded that the King
was the Devil's bairn, and Archbishop Laud the personal antichrist. A
description of church ceremonies thrilled him with horror, and in every
prosecution of a contumacious minister his ardent fancy saw a revival of
the flames of Smithfield, while his confused notions of right and
justice convinced him, that if the arm of the spirit failed, that of the
flesh must be exerted, to throw down these strong holds. He had long
believed himself equal to Dr. Beaumont in learning, and fancied that the
unction of gifts and graces, with which he was favoured, gave him a
decided preference over man's ordination. He continued to attend the
church, but not in the capacity of an humble learner. By coming late, he
avoided the zeal-quenching liturgy, which, as it avowedly retained
ancient prayers, he considered as Babylonish and idolatrous, and he
exercised his Christian liberty of choosing his religion by listening to
the sermon, with a design of cavilling at the preacher, whom he soon
found to be a mere legal teacher, descanting on the doctrine of works
exploded by the new covenant.

Morgan had less zeal than Davies, and more foresight. Though equally
anxious to pull down and destroy, he was not so certain that the
fragments would re-edify themselves into a habitable fabric; and as he
liked the comforts he enjoyed in the present state of things, he was not
inclined to lay the foundation of a republic, till he was certain of
getting a good apartment in it himself. He saw that the aspect of the
times forboded extraordinary changes; but as he could not divine which
of the numerous sects that opposed the church would acquire the
ascendancy, he left his religion to future contingences. He found Davies
an able assistant, and therefore determined to keep him hungry and
discontented, in order to make him the more active in recommending the
sovereign panacea, that was to cure all the national disorders. This
recipe was no other than the covenant promulgated in Scotland, and which
was called "a golden girdle to tie themselves to Heaven, a joining and
glueing themselves to the Lord, a binding themselves apprentice to
God[1]." These terms were applied to an agreement which made those that
entered into it, if in a public station, break their oath of allegiance,
(for the covenanters were bound to overturn the ecclesiastical branch of
the constitution,) and which though it affected loyalty by professing
deference for the person of the King, yet maintained the independence
and paramount power of the parliament, and denounced the King's friends
as malignant incendiaries and evil instruments, who prevented his
reconciliation with his people. The pretext of separating the royal
person from the free exercise of his functions, was too gross to deceive
the most short-sighted. Equally palpable was the falsehood of pretending
to promote peace and unity by an instrument, which, in the form of a
religious sacrament, forbade concession, and solemnly denounced eternal
enmity to all who held different opinions. Such mockery could be
equalled only by that of the popish inquisitors, who intreat the secular
power to be merciful, even in the warrant by which they virtually
consign their victims to the flames.

These were the pestiferous principles of the intermeddlers, who
disturbed the tranquillity of Ribblesdale, and alienated the minds of
the people from their good pastor. The doctrine of Davies was most
popular, for Morgan cut only the fifth commandment and its dependant
duties out of the decalogue, while Davies, by always insisting on the
freedom of grace, led his hearers, who were unskilled in theological
subtilties, to think he meant to limit duty to the simple act of belief.
From the period of their opposition to Dr. Beaumont, a marked change was
visible in the manners of the villagers; their time was devoted to
contentious disputation, which is in truth the most dangerous sort of
idleness, and as they became in their own ideas more enlightened, they
became more miserable; a sullen morose gloom usurped the frank hilarity
of satisfied rusticity, which formerly animated their countenances.
Athletic exercises and cheerful sports were renounced as sinful, and the
green became the resort of conceited politicians, who, with
misapplications of Scripture in their mouths and newspapers and libels
in their hands, boasted their renunciation of the sensual vices, yet
cherished as graces the baneful passions of pride, malice, and
stubbornness, which the Scriptures assure us are most odious in the
sight of God.

Dr. Beaumont was not an inactive spectator, while he beheld his
parishioners thus exchanging the infirmities of the flesh for spiritual
contumacy; but the evil had spread beyond the reach of lenient remedies.
It is possible to instruct the ignorant, and reform a conscious culprit,
but who shall teach those who are wise in their own eyes, or convince an
offender, who, while he condemns righteousness as filthy rags, boasts of
his freedom from the power of sin. The church was deserted, or
frequented only by the Doctor's most inveterate opponents, who came not
to reform their lives, but to impugn the doctrine of one, whom they had
previously denounced, as not preaching the gospel, and what with
omissions, transpositions, inuendoes, and insertions, they took care so
to disguise his discourses in their reports, as to make him appear to
maintain what he had uniformly controverted.

As his ministerial credentials were thus discredited, even while he
stood by the mercy-seat, as priest of the Most High, so when he
performed the social part of his pastoral functions, his visits to his
flock exposed him to derision and insult. The smile of respectful
affection, and the salute of humility and gratitude, no longer greeted
His Reverence; his charity was received as a right, and the legal
maintenance which the law allowed him was grudgingly paid, or
vexatiously withheld from him, being deemed a pledge of servitude to a
preacher whom the people had not chosen, and who fed them with garbage
instead of wholesome food. Even his own tithe-holder, farmer Humphreys,
was led away by the delusion. He was a man of rough manners and gloomy
unsocial disposition, but he had hitherto never ventured to rebel,
farther than occasionally to absent himself from church, on the Sunday
after every admonition which Dr. Beaumont from time to time privately
gave him to abstain from too free indulgence at market. He would have
thought it sacrilegious as well as impudent to question the lawful
endowment of the church, and he reproved his wife for being piqued at
Mrs. Mellicent's blaming her passion for high-crowned hats, ruffs, and
farthingales, which the sage spinster thought indecorous for yeomen's
wives, though very suitable to Lady Waverly. He silenced the good dame's
remarks on Mrs. Mellicent's interfering disposition, by reminding her of
the value of that lady's green ointment, adding that though she was apt
to be domineering and outrageous, she was ever a true friend, and more
useful in sickness than the great Doctor at Lancaster. But Humphreys's
opinions were totally changed, since he had the honour of joining the
club at Squire Morgan's, and heard the evening lectures which Davies
gave in the schoolroom. He now found that man was born equal and free,
that he had a right to choose by whom and how he would be governed or
taught, that tithes were a Jewish ordinance, and therefore carnal; and
that as he was nearly as rich as his pastor, it was lording it over the
Lord's heritage for Dr. Beaumont to be called Your Reverence, while
himself was only Goodman Humphreys. As to the Doctor's superior share of
virtue and wisdom, he had reason to doubt whether he really possessed
them, because he never heard him say he did, but he knew Squire Morgan
was wiser, and Master Davies more godly than other people, for they told
him so every day. And they made such fine speeches, and uttered such
long prayers, that he knew they wished him well. Some things indeed,
that they said about free grace, and agrarian laws he did not quite
understand, but he believed these dark sayings meant, that when he came
to be one of the elect, he should get to Heaven without any trouble; and
that if church and King were overthrown, he should occupy the glebe
without paying any rent. Be this as it would, the right of choosing his
own pastor, which Davies peremptorily insisted on as the
foundation-stone of the reformation, secured him from the mortification
of continually hearing Dr. Beaumont insist on duties he had no
inclination to practice, and condemn faults he did not like to renounce.
It is no wonder, therefore, that Humphreys wrought himself into a most
patriotic resolution, no longer to submit to tyranny and priestcraft,
and to vow that the next time the Doctor admonished him, he would retort
with "Ye take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi."

People who resolve to speak their minds, seldom wait long for an
opportunity. Farmer Humphreys's zeal for the holy covenant, which he was
assured confirmed these privileges, not only induced him to take it
himself, but to insist on his carter, Jobson's, subscribing to it also.
Not that he intended the blessed panacea should work a similar change in
the situation of Jobson, who, he discovered, was predestined to hard
work and hard fare; but, as the good cause might want an arm of flesh in
its defence, the muscular strength of the ploughman, like that of the
ox, would help to drag the new ark into the sanctuary. For this purpose,
he carefully concealed from Jobson the latent privileges and immunities
that were vested in these cabalistical words, nor did he think it any
infringement of his principles to inforce by his own behaviour the
abominable doctrine of passive obedience, and to insist that Jobson
should either become a covenanter, or quit his service, and forfeit his
wages. Jobson had once heard the _rigmarole_, as he called it, read
over, and by a strange perverseness of understanding, fancied these
indentures of faith and unity, to be no other than binding himself to
the Devil, to pull down the church and curse the King, and he preferred
persecution and poverty to such servitude. As he resisted all Davies's
attempts to enlighten him, and met his master's threats with a
stedfastness which these friends to liberty called contumacy, the
alternative was dismissal from his present service, without any
remuneration for his past.

He applied to Justice Morgan for redress, who, anxious to disprove the
suspicions that were circulated of his disposition to favour
disorganizing principles, enjoined Jobson to obey his master, and
reproved him for thinking that his soul could be endangered by following
the example of so many great men, who had taken the covenant. It
inopportunely happened, that at this moment Jobson recollected a sermon
of Dr. Beaumont's, against the sin of following a multitude to do evil,
in which every man's responsibility for his own offences, and the
attention of Omniscience to individual transgressions, were illustrated
by proofs drawn from the minute watchfulness of Providence, which
superintends the heedless flight of the sparrow, and adorns the lilies
of the field with more than regal magnificence. In reply to Morgan's
enumeration of the Dukes, Marquisses, Lords and Squires, Godly Ministers
and staunch Common-wealth men, who had taken the covenant, Jobson shook
his head, and said, none of them would answer for his soul. "I heard,"
said he, "last Sunday in church, that all the Princes of a great nation
worshipped a golden image, and three men would not, so every body went
against these men, and threw them into a burning furnace. But the men
were right after all in the end of the story; and so, please Your
Worship, I'll not sign the Devil's bond for any body."

Davies, who was present at the examination, now remarked that Jobson had
not only forfeited his wages as an hireling, by his disobedience to a
believing master, but deserved to be committed for slandering the holy
covenant; and Morgan, though he knew this had not yet been made an
offence by statute, yet relying on the temper of the parish, the
ignorance of the culprit, and the protection he would be sure to meet
from a faction, whose violence had driven the King from his capital, and
usurped the government, made out a Mittimus. Some remaining sense of
justice, and a dislike of oppression when exercised against one of their
own rank, induced the peasants to shew their disapprobation. A crowd
collected around Morgan's door, determined to exercise their rights and
to rescue the prisoner. The tears and cries of his wife and children had
just roused them to the assumption of that summary mode of vengeance, so
gratifying to an English mob, when the appearance of Dr. Beaumont
suspended their fury. The long-formed associations of habitual reverence
were not so intirely abrogated as to allow them to continue their
riotous conduct under the influence of that mild eye, which had often
silently reproved their faults, or that benevolent countenance, which
had pitied their wants, and confirmed their virtues; they stood in
suspence, involuntarily waiting for his opinion.

Dr. Beaumont severely condemned their misconduct in taking justice into
their own hands, and assured them he would use all proper means for the
liberation of Jobson. A confused murmur arose, as he entered the house.
Some wondered if he knew that Morgan was his enemy, supposing that, if
he did, he never would have objected to their breaking his windows;
others said that the Doctor and Davies would now have it out. Davies had
often said the Doctor was a Babylonish trafficker in works, an Alexander
the copper-smith; and they wondered what names the other would invent.
All were amazed how he dared venture among them, as they wanted
something on which to accuse him to the new government.

Personal safety, and a regard to his own peculiar contests, were the
last things that suggested themselves to the mind of Doctor Beaumont.
Forgetful of the injuries and insults he had received, he addressed his
opponents with graceful manners, and in conciliatory language. He
requested to know what was Jobson's offence, expressing a hope that it
was of such a nature as to admit of his urging the extenuating plea of
his former good conduct.

Many voices spoke at once. Humphreys exclaimed, that he had disobeyed
his orders, and was an eye-servant. Davies said, that he had dared to
speak slanderously of the holy covenant. Dr. Beaumont declared himself
an enemy to slander and disobedience, but in order to afford a pretext
for the commitment of Jobson, Humphreys must shew his commands were
strictly lawful, and Davies that the covenant was holy.

Both answered at the same time. The powerful lungs of Humphreys enabled
him to thunder out, that the time was now past when he cared for the
Doctor, that he knew he was as good as he, would do as he liked, and ere
long meant to shew him he had the best right to the glebe, where he
would no longer moil and toil for a caterpillar, that fattened on his
labours. The shrill pipe of Davies issuing from his meagre form in a
still higher key, insisted that the covenant was our only defence
against malignant men, and evil counsellors, Arminians and Jesuits, and
that if this godly bond was trampled on, the nation would be overrun
with popery and formality.

When his antagonists, in striving to drown each other's voices, had
mutually exhausted their powers of utterance, Dr. Beaumont answered,
that since temporal endowment was no essential mark of a true church,
but rather an adjunct springing out of a right feeling in the public for
their spiritual advisers, the depriving him of his emoluments by the
strong arm of power, would not degrade him from the office to which he
had been divinely appointed. "It will, therefore," said he, "friend
Humphreys, be always my duty to advise and assist you, and if you
violently deprive me of what the most ancient of our laws has made mine,
the necessity of my interference to convince you of your fault will
become more evident. As for the wonderful efficacy which our neighbour
Davies attributes to what I consider as a mere party-engagement, I must
observe that popery received a blow from the labours of our first
reformers, which would ere now have proved mortal, had not the divisions
and subdivisions, the schisms and sects, that have originated in the
importunate spirit of puritanical objectors, afforded leisure and
security for the Hydra to heal her deadly wounds. In the early part of
the reign of our late Queen of glorious memory, the Papists generally
attended their several parish-churches, listened to our Liturgy and
services with devotion, and seemed in a fair way to be won over by the
moderation and decency of our worship. But the intemperance of those
who, for the merest trifles, quarrelled with the establishment, who
rejected even apostolical usages, because they had been practised by the
catholics, who, instead of allowing Rome to be a church in error, denied
that its followers could be saved, and thus raised the dark cloud of
schism against the sun of the reformation; their rashness,
uncharitableness, and fastidious scruples, in purifying what they owned
to be non-essentials, have, I say, imped the dragon's wings, and placed
the scarlet abomination, as ye call it, in a tower of strength, which
the artillery of your covenant, lighted as it is by the flame of treason
and civil commotion, can never overthrow.--The champions of these sects
in the reign of Elizabeth, countenanced by that most flagitious courtier
and tyrannical governor, the Earl of Leicester, accused Hooker, the
great bulwark of the Protestant cause, of leaning towards popery,
because he refused to consign the souls of our ancestors to perdition;
and a most uncharitable outcry was raised against a Bishop for the same
bias, because he trusted that the grandmother of our good King would
experience the mercies of our Saviour, on whose merits, in her last
moments, she declared she relied.--Thus did these ill-advised persons,
by a breach of that charity and unity, which Scripture every where
enjoins, prevent the Protestant church from exhibiting the surest marks
of Christian verity. Instead of alluring people to come out of the
mystical Babylon, these most lamentable divisions and controversies
about trifles have driven thousands into the perilous labyrinths of a
persuasion, which admits no difference of opinion, or into the yet more
dreary dungeons of Atheism, whose most formidable objection to our
faith, is the ill blood which it foments. Never have these enemies to
God and man made such progress, as since the time when spiritual pride,
turbulence and ambition, united under the name of perfect reformation,
to pluck down an edifice constructed in moderation, defended by the
doctrines, beautified by the labours, and cemented by the blood of its
founders."

The fiery zeal of Davies would not permit Dr. Beaumont to finish his
harangue. "And ye planted in your edifice," said he, "a poisonous scion,
an abominable branch of the tree of evil; but our friend Humphreys
speaks not unadvisedly, or at peradventure. Your Anti-christian bishops
are all sent to prison; they are caged vultures, jackdaws stripped of
their Babylonish trappings, their robes and square caps, their lawn
formalities, their hoods and scarfs, and mitres, and crosiers, and
thrones, by which these Diotrepheses lorded it over the faithful, and
made the land stink with idolatries which Scripture forbids. But the
blood of that Popish inquistior, Laud, will soon flow on the scaffold,
and be a cleansing stream over a foul garment; and with him episcopacy
shall be coffined up and buried without expectation of a resurrection."

"It is strange," observed Dr. Beaumont, "that the Papacy should rejoice
at his degradation, and consider his present sufferings as a judgment
upon him for composing a treatise which exposed their fopperies with a
strength of reasoning to which their most able divines know not how to
reply."

Morgan here interposed, and, with a smile of condescension, advised Dr.
Beaumont to reflect on his own situation, and consider his temporal
advantages and personal security. He spoke in praise of his learning,
benevolence, and inoffensive conduct, and desired him, by a timely
conformity to the prevailing doctrines, to avoid being implicated in the
ruin of a falling church.

"A true branch of the Catholic church," replied the Doctor, "may be
shaken, but cannot fall, because it has the promise of resisting the
attacks of the powers of darkness to the end of the world. But you
mistake me, Sir, if you suppose that policy was the schoolmaster who
taught me my creed, or that I will desert that Church in adversity who
fed me with her bread, and graced me with her ministerial appointments.
The pastoral office she intrusted to me may be wrested from my grasp by
force; my body may be imprisoned, my goods confiscated; you may drag me
to the flames, like Ridley, or to the scaffold, like Laud, but you
cannot change truth into falsehood, or make that right, which, though
successful, is intrinsically wrong. Whether the doctrines of the Church
of England be branded as those of a declining sect, or set by the throne
as a light to guide our hereditary Princes, they must be tried by other
criterions than popularity, I mean, by reason, Scripture, and
apostolical usage. I trust she will ever have sons equal to the task of
defending her, men uncorrupted by sensuality when she basks in sunshine,
undaunted by danger when tempests threaten her destruction. And with all
your boasts of making this land a Zoar and a Zion, I will tell you that
you will never make it the Jerusalem which is at unity with itself and
therefore meet for the residence of the Holy One, until it shall please
'God to bless the common people with sense to see that there is such a
sin as schism, and that they are not judges what schism is.' Peace is
not promoted by yielding to captious objections, but by subduing the
spirit, which is more prone to dispute than to obey. Those who dissent
from us say they only crave liberty, but when the church is overthrown
they will find that it is the spirit of domination which they mistook
for zeal in the cause of freedom. This will make every sect strive for
pre-eminence, and the hatred they now shew us will, if we are subdued,
be diverted from a superior whom they cease to fear, to equals whom they
wish to depress; the anarchy and discord they will then experience will
lead the moderate and well-informed to remember with regret the mild
government of the deposed church."

"How, Sir?" said Morgan; "do you defend a church that has ever been a
determined enemy to liberty, an ally to tyrants; a church that has
vindicated forced loans and ship-money, and asserted those popish
doctrines, passive obedience in the subject, and infallibility in the
sovereign, dividing mankind into despots and slaves? All men are born
free and equal; and he, who taxes my fortune, restrains my conscience,
or confines my person without my leave, or, which is the same thing,
against those laws to which I or my representative have consented; is my
enemy and a tyrant, whom I may treat as Jael did Sisera. But you
Episcopalians say, 'Oh no, the persons of Kings are sacred, and they can
do no wrong;' so it follows that subjects are slaves whom they may
crush, and trample, and grind as they please."

"Part of these doctrines," replied the Doctor, "are not held merely by
the Church, but form a branch of that ancient constitution of the
kingdom which no subsequent acts of the whole legislature can change,
without, at the same time, endangering the safety and property of every
individual. Much less can they be legally infringed by a packed junto of
men, calling themselves the House of Commons, but in which, according to
your own system, not a tenth of the nation is nominally represented. As
to the inference you draw from what I call the fundamental principles of
our government, prove that the Anglican church holds them, and I will
allow her to be an ally of despotism; but you shall bring your proofs
from her canons, articles, and liturgy, not from the servants of
court-chaplains, or the flatteries of those who forget the priest in the
sycophant. Wolves and worldlings creep into every church. The apostolic
age had its Demas, and ours has its Williams. Remember it has its
Andrews too. But since your principles of freedom will be best
exemplified by your practice, I trust you will recollect the case of
Jobson. He has neither by himself, nor by his representatives, consented
to the Covenant; and his equal and free rights allow him to reject it.
No ordinance has yet made it law; and the liberty of conscience you
require for yourself will not allow you to force it upon him as gospel,
seeing he cannot think it so."

Davies, whose extravagance had been checked by the admonitory frown of
Morgan, took advantage of the dilemma to which Dr. Beaumont's
application of his own principles had reduced him, and renewed his
deafening declamations, to which (as neither argument nor fact were
regarded, and the length of the harangue depended on his bodily
strength,) the attention of his hearers might be dispensed with.
Humphreys endeavoured to impress his neighbours with an idea of the
advantages that would result from supporting the Covenant. "It was
better than the law," he said, "because if any one came upon them for
taxes they had only to go to a brother-covenanter, and be he a peer or
parliament-man, he was bound to support them." Davies, in the mean time,
turning up the whites of his eyes, raved against so carnalizing a
spiritual bond as to apply it to the protection of temporal goods.
"This," he said, "was making the gospel a post-horse to ride their own
errands; stopping the entrance of an oven with a King's robe royal; and
making a covenant with Heaven a chariot and stirrup to mount up to the
height of carnal and clay projects. By the Covenant," added he, "I am
enabled to preach the true gospel in spite of my persecutor in a
surplice, who would starve the lambs with formality, and forbid me to
feed them. He that opposeth me hath in his dwelling idols of wood and
stone, and painted symbols of men and women whom Antichrist made saints,
and Pagan books treating of false gods, and moral treatises without one
word of saving faith in them, and musical instruments, and Jewish
contrivances; and he goes into his study, not to wrestle with the
Spirit, but to consult the evil one; and then he goes into the
steeple-house, and, instead of the milk of the word, pours ladles-full
of leaden legality among ye, till ye all look like his own dumb idols,
instead of faithful souls overflowing with illumination."

This specimen of Davies's oratory is sufficient. The tumult he excited
allowed Morgan to put in practice a safer plan than that of committing
Jobson to prison, namely, to remove him privately to Hull, where Sir
John Hotham was raising men for the service of Parliament, and he
thought the threat of sending him to the plantations would prevail on
him to enlist. Affecting, therefore, to be convinced that the liberty of
a brother-man should be respected, he tore the warrant for Jobson's
commitment, and ordered that he should be set at liberty. Jobson,
however, could not be found. It was suggested that he had probably run
away during the confusion; and Dr. Beaumont returned home, hoping his
interference had been of some use.


    [1] Several passages in this and the next chapters are extracted
    from fanatical sermons on public occasions.




CHAP. VI.

    He could not bear the slightest mention of the incorrigible guilt
    of the nation without dissolving into tears; especially when he
    happened to advert unto the impudence of that hypocrisy which
    reconciled goodness and villainy, and made it possible for men to
    be saints and devils both together; whereby religion became ruinous
    to itself, and faith became instructed to confute and baffle duty.

                              Bishop Fell's Life of Dr. Henry Hammond.


Morgan could not soon forgive the insult of being contradicted and
confuted when seated on the magisterial bench; nor could Davies pardon
the attack on the holy Covenant, and the principles on which it was
founded. They jointly determined, therefore, to take the first
opportunity of exciting the villagers to acts of violence, that might
either provoke Dr. Beaumont to some step on which an accusation to
Parliament might be founded, or drive him away through fear for his
personal safety. A public rejoicing was ordained on account of the
fleet's declaring against the King; and Morgan's liberality to the
populace spread a general intoxication through the town, which Davies
hoped, at such a good time, might be overlooked.

Since the death of Mrs. Beaumont the Doctor had mixed little with the
world, seeking, in his library and clerical functions, that calm
tranquillity and self-sustained content which constitute all the earthly
enjoyment that remains to a heart that has once been happy. The late
ungrateful, rebellious behaviour of his flock tended still more to
circumscribe his pleasures; yet though the painful feelings of rejected
kindness and undeserved contumely made his village walks and sacerdotal
functions a penance instead of a gratification, he considered the
probability of disappointment as no apology for relaxing his endeavours
to do good. The morning and evening sacrifices were offered in the
temple; the ignorant were instructed, the bad reproved, and the decent
commended with his wonted zeal and meekness, though only his own family
and dependants joined in his orisons, though the foolish and the guilty
laughed at his exhortations, and the well-disposed could derive no
stimulus to perseverance from his praise. Satisfied with labouring
faithfully in his vocation, the good man committed his cause to God, and
found, in the refreshing recollections of self-satisfaction, and in the
calm repose that followed a harassing day, spent in the performance of
his manifold duties, a reward which might be termed a foretaste of
heaven.

He had many true enjoyments of which the malice of his foes could not
deprive him; such were, the steady affection of his sister, the gradual
improvement of his daughter, and the philosophical and literary regale
which his library afforded. The contests to which he was exposed, when
he went out, rather grieved than irritated him; and he returned to his
books and experiments to raise his spirits, not to allay the ferment of
his passions. He cared little for exteriors; he knew his body could
subsist without the vanities and luxuries of the world; and he depended
on the promise, that the righteous should not be utterly forsaken.
During his seclusion from society, he had cultivated and improved the
powers of that never-dying mind which was destined to expatiate for ever
amid the unveiled glories of creation, and to enjoy, after its
probationary trials in this laborious world, a Sabbath of endless rest.

Mrs. Mellicent often advised him to remove from this disaffected
neighbourhood, and seek the protection of the King's quarters; but Dr.
Beaumont always strenuously insisted, that the period of his usefulness
on his present station must not be determined by himself. The
conversation was renewed on the night appointed for rejoicing, when the
riotous exultation of the villagers disturbed the tranquillity which
used to reign at the Rector's fire-side. "Fear," said he to his sister,
"magnifies danger. At present, nothing has happened to prevent my
continuing where I am now fixed in the cure of souls; and when my Master
prescribes my dismissal, he will send some awakening providence that
shall indicate his will. Report magnifies every thing, especially the
foul language of our enemies, and often changes dissensions into feuds.
I know not how long my residing here may be useful to others, nor whom I
may yet be able to reclaim, by shewing that I can bear injury and
encounter opposition without renouncing my own principles, or
calumniating my opponents; but this I know, I am labouring at my post
like a faithful subject, and had all men done the same, our good King
would not now have been seen snatching his meal under a hedge like a
common mendicant, nor would the great seal of England have had to be
secretly carried to him like the booty of a cut-purse.

"The King's quarters, my dear Mellicent, will be filled with those
court-flies who fed on the goodly vine till they had sucked all its
juices, and, now winter is come, care not for its nakedness, but seek
some covert where they may skulk till summer returns. You and I should
make a notable appearance among those who call splendor, life; and
subtlety, knowledge; we could neither speak their language nor enter
into their views.--While we pined with desire to see the beauty of
holiness restored, and the King's throne re-erected in judgment, they
would be moaning for their masques and revels; for the royal grants and
largesses; for their past enjoyments and present privations.--Or,
perhaps, they would be scheming how they might creep into the confidence
of the Parliament, while we wept the desolation of Zion. When the Church
reposes in safety, gladdened by the favours of her spiritual bridegroom,
let her officials then fear lest a worldly spirit should seize on them
unawares, and convert them into hirelings more intent on the wages than
on the service. Our enemies say such have been the effects of the long
prosperity we have enjoyed; if so, a purifying fire must go forth among
the sons of Levi. The dross will be consumed, but trust me, Mellicent,
our venerable mother will rise like a phoenix, not consumed, but
renewed and consecrated by the ordeal of adversity."

Mrs. Mellicent here reminded him, that he had other ties beside that of
a Christian pastor, and she pointed to the young Constantia, who,
overcome with watching, had fallen asleep in the great wicker-chair.
"Look at that girl," said she; "consider her warm heart, and melting
sensibility, her unusual beauty, delicate frame and tender years.
Surely, brother, she wants a father, as much as the Church of England a
friend."

Dr. Beaumont turned his head, recollected his lost Alicia at that age,
and thanked Heaven that she had "safely passed the waves of this
troublesome world." "Had Rogers or Taylor, my dear sister," said he,
"been drawn to the earth by such a magnet, we should have lost those
shining examples of true fortitude, and should have gone on, still
stumbling in the darkness of papacy.--The torch of truth was kindled at
the penal fires which consumed the martyrs, and its light illuminated
distant ages and nations. He who bears the sacred character of
ambassador of God should constantly remember that all other titles yield
to its glorious superiority. It was the boast of the church of Rome,
that her clergy acted not as individuals aiming at their own benefit,
but as a compacted body actuated by one impulse and towards one object,
the advantage and supremacy of the church. For this end they fed the
poor at the convent-gates, the monastery was an asylum to the afflicted,
and the middle orders were conciliated by that lenient treatment which
procured them respect as mild masters and most indulgent landlords. At a
time when tyranny and rapacity reigned in the castle, the clergy were a
chain binding the great to their inferiors. We know by what unnatural
restraints the Romish clergy were made thus superior to private
interest, but let us not give them cause to say, that celibacy is
necessary to prevent the man of God from becoming a man of the world.
The ties of nature which he owns in common with others, must not
supersede those duties which bind him to his congregation. He does not
profess, like the priest at mass, to be a mediator between God and man,
but he pleads to the rich in behalf of poverty; to the powerful for
those who require protection. He instructs the indigent to be grateful;
he stops the arm of oppression; he curbs avarice, by reminding it of the
state where riches avail not; he comforts affliction, by proving that
temporal distress, however great, may be supported. Our calling requires
us thus to preach, and shall not our lives be a living comment on our
doctrines? Shall our conversation prove that our unsanctified hearts are
devoted to sensuality and aggrandisement, that we hold the censers with
unhallowed hands, and in reality love the riches and pleasures which in
our pulpits we affect to renounce."

"You have wandered from the subject, my good brother," said Mrs.
Mellicent; "I was not talking of riches and pleasures, but of preserving
a father for a poor girl, who, if any evil befall you, will have no
protector. It is a long time since we heard from the mountains, and
Isabel's last letter gave no hope that poor Evellin would ever be able
even to take care of himself. She says that their dwelling is
comfortable, their farm equal to their support, and that the disturbers
of the world have not got among them. She writes cheerfully, but her
writing is much altered. I was thinking we might take shelter there
whenever those awakening providences, which my forebodings tell me are
at hand, shall compel you to own that you are discharged from the care
of ungrateful Ribblesdale."

The conversation was interrupted by Dame Humphreys, who rushed abruptly
into the house, lamenting that things should come to this pass, and
conjuring his reverence not to think any of her family were concerned in
it. It was with difficulty that her agitation permitted her to state,
that a mob bent on mischief were coming to the rectory; whether the
house or the life of the pastor was threatened she could not discover,
but the purport of her visit was to put them on their guard. A riotous
crowd, inflamed alike with liquor and fanaticism, is a formidable object
to the most determined courage; but escape was now impossible, and
remonstrance would be utterly unavailing; there was only time to put up
the slight fastenings to the doors and windows, which, as they
corresponded to the peaceful and unsuspecting character of the owner of
the mansion, could not long resist the infuriate attack of the besotted
populace.

But their rage was pointed at another object, the Doctor's library,
which was placed in a detached building in the garden, and fell an
undefended sacrifice to their rage. The voice of Davies was heard,
encouraging the destruction of a treasure which he had long envied, and
the flames soon afforded him sufficient light to point out the objects
of his particular abhorrence to which his ignorance gave false or
exaggerated descriptions. A cast of Apollo destroying Python, he termed
Moses and the brazen serpent, and named himself the Hezekiah who would
break it in pieces and call it Nehushtan. "See, my Christian brethren,"
said he, "how truly I spake when I called this slumbering watchman, this
dumb dog, a worshipper of idols of wood and stone. This is his oratory;
but instead of a godly laboratory which should turn carnal lead into
spiritual gold, what see we but provocatives to sinful thoughts. Here
are no sackcloth and ashes, camel's hair and leathern girdles; this
prophet's chamber has its silks and sattins, stuffed cushions and
curtains, screens and wrapping gowns. The walls are hung with paintings
of fair Jezebels, whom he calls Mary and Magdalen, though it is well
known, they were godly women, who never braided their hair or put on
gorgeous apparel. See you that bust? It represents Diana of the
Ephesians, the very Diana who endangered Paul's life; and did I not
rightly call this malignant priest Alexander the copper-smith? And here
are necromancing figures," (taking up the Doctor's mathematical
exercises,) "squares and triangles, and the sun, moon and stars, which
Job said he never worshipped.--And here is that unrighteous Babylonish
instrument, an organ, which proves he is either a Jew or a Papist, as
none but the favourers of abominable superstition make dumb devices
speak, when they might chaunt holy psalms and hymns with their own
voices. And here are similitudes of Nero and Domitian, bloody
persecutors, my brethren; which shews that he loved tyrants, and would
have made us fry a faggot, had not the light of my preaching broke in
upon his darkness, and made him like a rat with a bell, a scarecrow to
the unconverted. Touch not his books, dearly beloved, they will prove
the Devil's bird-lime, teaching you to despise my godly ministry; they
will teach you nothing but Pagan fables or Romish ceremonies. Can
Aristotle preach the Gospel? Do those church-histories tell us about
saving faith? I tell you nay; therefore burn them altogether, and break
the idols in pieces, and tear away the paintings, and demolish the
Jewish instruments that send forth sounds of levity when the player upon
them is disposed to provoke his hearers to wanton dances and vain mirth.
So let us purify the place with fire, that the slumbering watchman may
be awakened to a consideration of his offences and learn to repent," &c.
&c.

An harangue so well adapted to inflame the minds of a drunken mob,
produced a destruction as complete as Davies could desire, in whose mind
zeal had produced a similar intoxication. At this instant Mr. Morgan
arrived with a band of constables to protect Dr. Beaumont and his
property. As the rescue came too late, the magistrate conceived it to be
his duty to reprove the rioters, and dismiss them with an assurance,
that if ever they again presumed to let their holy joy at the prosperity
of the good cause stimulate them to actions which the law did not
justify, he must resort to severer measures than censuring their
misconduct. He then advised them to go quietly to their own houses, and
as it was their first offence, he would endeavour to soften their
behaviour to the commissioners whom Parliament had appointed
conservators of the peace of the county.

He now inquired after the health of the family, sent in his service to
the Doctor, and expressed his intention of coming in to comfort him in
his misfortunes. Every drop of Mrs. Mellicent's blood rushed into her
face at the effrontery of his proposal, and the familiar terms in which
it was couched; but her brother begged her to consider that since no
good could arise from appearing to feel an insult which they had not
power to punish, the best way would be to seem to regard it in another
light; Morgan therefore was admitted.

He began with expressing his concern for Dr. Beaumont's pecuniary loss,
and inquired at what sum he valued his books and paintings. The Doctor
answered, he would endeavour to make out an estimate, which he would
present at the quarter-sessions, and pray for indemnification. He added,
the severest part of his loss consisted in manuscripts and other
valuables, inconceivably precious to himself, but of which (as money
would not replace them) he should say nothing.

"My mother's picture and letters," said Constantia, lifting her head
from Mrs. Mellicent's bosom, where she had sunk, from the extreme
languor that succeeded the violent hysterics into which the terrors of
this alarming night had thrown her. A more lovely or interesting object
could scarcely be conceived than this charming girl, just ripening into
woman, her mind mature beyond her years, and her heart agitated by the
finest feelings of filial distress. Morgan gazed with involuntary
approbation, while she threw her glossy ringlets from her face with one
hand, and held out the other to welcome one whom she thought a pitying
friend and protector of her father.

Mrs. Mellicent hastily snatched back the offered hand, and whispered,
"Hush! child, you will bring on a return of your fits."

Morgan distended his broad face with a smile, which looked extremely
like a grin, and talked of Dr. Beaumont's happiness in possessing what
would always put him in mind of his wife. He then enlarged on the
crosses and losses people often met with, and on the duties of patience
and content. He made a swift transition to his own prosperous situation;
declared when he began business he but just knew how to read and write,
and had only a quire of paper and a case of pens; yet he was now worth
ten thousand pounds. He thought the world would be a very good one as
soon as a few lordlings were pulled down, such, for instance, as the
Earl of Derby, who turned up his nose at people of fortune, and
prevented even him from hunting on his manors, though exercise was good
for his health, and he was very fond of hare and partridge. He talked of
the influence he possessed at the quarter-sessions; assured Dr. Beaumont
he would use it in his favour; then shaking Constantia by the hand, bade
her not spoil her pretty face with crying, and thus concluded his
_friendly_ visit.

"A vulgar knave," said Mrs. Mellicent, pushing-to the door. "Such
visitors are more provoking than loss of property. If you are of my
mind, brother, you will lose every shilling sooner than owe retribution
to the son of your father's shoemaker."

Dr. Beaumont answered that since he was intrusted with a delegation of
the King's authority, he should, as long as he ostensibly preserved his
allegiance, look at the magistrate instead of the man; but as to
receiving any favour from him, he was perfectly easy on that score,
being sure he did not mean to shew him any. "I owe it to my own
character, and to my child's interest," continued he, "to apply for
redress, but I look upon this as the first of many misfortunes which,
these convulsed times will bring upon me. When the head suffers
grievously, the members must be indisposed. I should blush to be exempt
from the misfortunes which weigh down my King."

A few days restored the Beaumont family to tranquillity; devotional
exercises, and the resources of an enlarged mind, preserved the Doctor
from sinking into depression. Constantia, ashamed of her want of
fortitude, strained every nerve to imitate her father, though in her
efforts to amuse him, the involuntary tears which her weakness could not
restrain, excited in his breast more painful feelings than the malice of
his enemies had power to occasion. Mrs. Mellicent was fully occupied by
the villagers, many of whom were hurt at the riot, but as they happened
to be (according to their own report) all belonging to the harmless
class of lookers-on, her cordial waters, lotions, and plaisters, were in
a constant state of requisition; this, added to the indispensable duty
of scolding them for not keeping in their own houses when such mischief
was afloat, kept her tongue and hands in continual action.

One night, as the Doctor was dismissing his household after
family-prayers, with his usual exhortation, "to faint not, neither be
weary in well-doing;" the trampling of horses was heard at the gate, and
four strangers craved his hospitality. A gentleman muffled in a
riding-coat, whose voice and figure recalled indistinct recollections,
introduced a tall ingenuous-looking youth, a blooming girl, and a person
habited as a servant. "We are of the King's party," said the graceful
stranger; "and need no other recommendation to Dr. Beaumont for a
night's lodging. Besides myself, a broken gentleman, here are a poor boy
and girl, benumbed with fatigue, and an old-fashioned servant, who will
not leave a ruined master." At hearing these words, Mrs. Mellicent
rushed to the door, to assure them that the beds were well-aired.
Constantia flew to assist in serving up supper; the Doctor lifted the
young people from their horses, and all were in a few minutes assembled
in his parlor.

"Allow me, Sir, to help off your coat," said Mrs. Mellicent; "and my
dear young lady, draw nearer the fire.--Your face reminds me of some
whom I well knew. When the King kept court at Oxford, I spent a winter
there; could I have known your mother?"--"You knew her well," said the
agonized stranger. "Dear Eusebius, have you forgot me?" "No, Evellin,"
replied Dr. Beaumont, folding the man of sorrows to his bosom, "Where is
our Isabel?"--"In Heaven!" replied he, "and has left these treasures to
the keeping of a crazed wanderer, who has no other portion than his
sword, no relic of his former self but his honour."

Tears and embraces followed; even Mrs. Mellicent wept as she alternately
clasped Eustace and Isabel to her heart. Her first care was to
distinguish who they were like; and in their blended resemblance to both
parents, she explained the confused ideas of recollection which her
niece had excited at her first appearance. She then went out to see that
due care was taken of Williams; nor were the horses forgotten, for they
belonged to a gentleman and a Loyalist, and had conveyed to her arms the
precious offspring of her beatified sister.

Eustace, Isabel, and Constantia, scarce needed the bond of kindred to
ensure affection. Their ages, habits, manners, and principles, so well
accorded, that their liking was instantaneous. The only difference was,
that the young Evellins, "bred on the mountain's rough side," inured to
severer trials, and exercised in a daily course of rigid duty, displayed
an energy and self-dependence which agreeably contrasted the polished
sweetness and feminine sensibility of Constantia Beaumont. Isabel was an
admirable herbalist, and expert in supplying all the wants of a secluded
family; robust with health and exercise, yet neither coarse in her
person, vulgar in her manners, nor sordid in her mind. Constantia was
mistress of every elegant accomplishment; she painted, sung, touched the
lute with exquisite sweetness; melted at every tale of woe; loved all
the world except her father's enemies, and was willing, as far as her
slender frame permitted, to perform the lowest offices that would
promote the welfare of others. Eustace was a year older than the girls,
and just on the verge of fifteen, tall, and manly in mind and person,
panting for enterprize, full of hope that he was able to correct the
disorders of the times, and sure that his name would be recorded in the
annals of his country, as one who loved his church and his King, and
hated the Roundheads and Fanatics. He soon drew the attention of his
hearers by wishing he had been at Ribblesdale on the night of the riot,
vowing he would have beat the whole party, and tossed Davies into the
flames.

Constantia smiled for a moment, and then shuddered at the idea of the
suggested torture. "I make no doubt he would," said Isabel, "and then
have rushed in himself to pull the villain out again."

"But my dear Eustace," inquired Constantia, "what are you to be?"

"A soldier to be sure," replied the boy. "Have you not heard that the
King has set up his standard at Nottingham. My father has parted with
our farm, and raised a levy of troops among the mountaineers, and he is
going to follow them to the King, with all the money he has left, except
a little which he leaves for Isabel."

"I tell you, brother," returned the sister, "we will dispute that point
no longer. The King is to have every shilling; for I know how to support
myself by my own labour."

"She shall never do that while we have a house--Shall she, aunt
Mellicent?" said Constantia.

"No," returned the good lady; "honest people are now scarce, so we must
take care of each other. But, Eustace, does your father approve of your
turning soldier while you are such a child?"

"No, dear aunt, and that is the only trouble I ever knew, except the
death of our blessed mother. I don't know his reasons, but he wants to
place me in safety; I hate safety, it sounds so womanish. As we came
along I met several fellows less than myself, who said they were
ensigns. I know I could make an ensign; I could wrap the colours round
my body, and die with the staff in my hand."

Constantia burst into tears, and declared Eustace talked so shockingly
she could not bear it.

"My pretty love," said he, "I did not mean to frighten you. No, I
intend, instead of being killed myself, to tear down the rebel
standards, and send them to you. What would you do with them?"

Constantine paused a moment--"Would they," said she, "make a tent for my
dear father to sit and read in? It goes to my heart to see him out of
doors this stormy weather, wandering about and looking at his burnt
library."

"Could I not put it a little in repair while I stay?" inquired Eustace.
"I am a very good mason, and a tolerable carpenter. I built a shed last
year for the old poney. Isabel, you can glaze the windows, and
white-wash. I think, between us, we might put it into comfortable
order."

Mrs. Mellicent, a little shocked at her niece's avowing her expertness
in these handicraft employments, apprehended that her lamented sister
had neglected her daughter's education through her solicitous attention
to more important duties. She began therefore to question her about her
accomplishments--"Can you work tent-stitch neat, my love?" was her first
inquiry. "No!"--"Bless me, had you leather hangings to your best
apartments?" Isabel was ignorant what hangings meant. Mrs. Mellicent
proceeded to examine her skill in confectionery, and found with
astonishment it was a science of which she did not know the name. "Can
you paint chimney-boards, or cut paper, or work samplers?" "Dear aunt,"
said Isabel, "I am a brown bird of the mountains, as my mother called
me. She taught me to sing, because she said it made work go on more
merrily, but the longest day was short enough for what I had to do; I
was laundress, and sempstress, and cook, and gardener; and if Cicely
went to look for the sheep, I had to milk and bake, and at night I
mended my father's fishing-nets, while I was learning Latin with
Eustace. Yet I got through all very well, till my mother fell sick, and
then I nursed and dressed her, as she lay helpless on the pallet. But if
I live with you, I will learn all your employments, for I am never happy
when I am idle, and my only wish is to be useful."

"There is sterling worth in this rustic hoyden," thought Mrs. Mellicent,
who, in contriving some occupation for so active a mind, recollected
that Mrs. Beaumont's dressing-plate had not been cleaned lately, and
undertook to make Isabel expert in furbishing the delicate filigree. She
called on Constantia to give up the key, it being considered as her
property, who blushed, hesitated, begged not to be questioned on the
subject, and at last owned it was gone.

"Gone! to whom?" "Dear aunt," returned Constantia, stealing a look at
the approving eye of Eustace, "I sent it to the King at York, as the
only contribution in my power. You must not be angry. My father and you
set the example, by parting with all the money and valuables you could
collect, and I thought it a bad excuse that, because I was under age, I
might not send my mite to assist him, so I packed it up with my mother's
jewels, and I am happy to say they got safe to His Majesty."

Mrs. Mellicent tried to frown. "Foolish girl," said she, "you should
have kept the essence-box at least, as an heirloom. It was a present
from Henry the Seventh's Queen to your great grandmother's aunt, who was
her maid of honour. There was the union of the two roses wrought upon
it; the King, standing with a red rose in his hand, and the Queen with a
white, and a Bishop between them, and a large dove at the top, with an
olive-branch in his mouth, so beautiful that it fell in festoons all
down the side. Well, I am thankful that I took off the pattern in
chain-stitch. It will shew what good blood you spring from when people
come to be again valued for their families." Mrs. Mellicent retired to
her chamber, secretly pleased with the dispositions of her young charge,
and inclined to believe that a parcel of beggarly republicans could not
long domineer over such generous and aspiring minds.




CHAP. VII.

                O War, thou son of Hell,
    Throw, in the frozen bosoms of our part,
    Hot coals of vengeance, let no soldier fly;
    He that is truly dedicate to war
    Hath no self-love.

                                                 Shakspeare.


The impatience of Evellin to join his royal master frustrated the
hospitable wish of Dr. Beaumont to detain his brother-in-law at
Ribblesdale. A few weeks were all he would grant, and even this time was
not unemployed, for Williams was sent forward to present the levy and
supply of money to the King, to inquire where he would command his
services, and to procure arms and accoutrements.

During this interval, the Doctor found, with unspeakable pleasure, that
the intellectual disorder of Evellin, which had been caused by too keen
a sense of his wrongs, was composed rather than heightened by the severe
loss he had lately sustained. The death of that faithful partner, who
had sacrificed her life in labouring for his benefit, impressed on him
the conviction that he must either exert himself, or perish. The tender
age of his children peremptorily required his assistance, and to a mind
formed like his, a still more awakening consideration presented itself
in the dangers and difficulties of his King. Was it worthy of the true
Earl of Bellingham to wander among wilds and fastnesses, weeping for a
dead wife, or raving at a false friend, when England's throne tottered
under its legitimate Sovereign, and the lowest of the people, (like owls
and satyrs in the capital of Assyria) fixed their habitations in the
pleasant palaces where luxury late reigned! He felt that he had too long
behaved like a woman, pining in secret when he ought to have acted;
while his faithful consort, with masculine courage, opposed her tender
frame to the tempest, and, at length, sunk beneath the added terrors of
his imbecility. His weakness in lamenting an irremediable evil, was the
fault to which he owed the loss of his invaluable Isabel. He would now
shew how truly he deplored that loss, by changing moody reflection into
vigorous action, and by becoming a protector and support to the family
to which he had hitherto been a burden. To such a state of mind, the
situation of the King supplied a powerful impetus, and Dr. Beaumont saw,
with pleasure, that loyalty was likely to give full scope to those fine
qualities, which had hitherto, like smothered fire, consumed the fabric
in which they were engendered.

He, however, entreated Evellin not to compromise his own safety by acts
of rashness, which could do his Prince no good, but to wait the return
of Williams before he took the field. In raising a band of mountaineers,
he had acted under the authority of the King's commission of array,
against which Davies had preached, and Morgan had inveighed, not only
with vehemence, but with falsehood. They had told the yeomen and
peasants, that "some lords about the court said, twenty pounds a year
was enough for any peasant to live upon, and, taking advantage of the
commission being in Latin, they translated it into what English they
pleased, persuading the freeholders, that at least two parts of their
estates would be taken from them; and the poorer sort, that one day's
labour in the week would be extorted as a tax to the King[1]." These
calumnies were not peculiar to Ribblesdale, but unhappily were diffused
over all the nation, in which a vast body of people were grown up, who,
like Morgan, had acquired wealth, and were ambitious of equal
consequence with the hereditary gentry and nobility, by whom they found
themselves despised for their ignorance and coarse manners, and
therefore endeavoured to supplant them. Such men were every-where fast
friends to the Parliament, and by their freer intercourse with the
common people, whose habits and ideas were originally their own, they
misrepresented the King's designs, and counteracted the measures of
those noble and brave patriots, who, notwithstanding their dislike of
some former measures, felt it was their duty now to rally round the
throne. "Nor can it be remembered without much horror, that this strange
wild-fire among the people was not so much and so furiously kindled by
the breath of the Parliament, as by that of their clergy, who both
administered fuel and blowed the coals. These men having crept into and
at last driven all learned and orthodox divines from the pulpits, had,
from the commencement of this 'memorable Parliament,' under the notion
of reformation and extirpation of popery, infused seditious inclinations
into the hearts of men against the present government of the church with
many libellous invectives against the state. But now they contained
themselves in no bounds, and as freely and without controul inveighed
against the person of the King, prophanely and blasphemously applying
whatever had been spoken by God himself or the Prophets, against the
most wicked and impious Kings, to incense and stir up the people against
their most gracious Sovereign. Besides licensed divines, preaching and
praying was at that time practiced by almost all men in the kingdom
except scholars."

Thus as every parish had its Davies and its Morgan, the unhappy Charles,
faultless as a man, and at worst only ill-advised as a Monarch, found
himself, after much ineffectual submission, and many unconstitutional
abridgements of his lawful rights, required to surrender the scanty
remains of his prerogative, and consent to be a state-engine, in the
hands of his enemies. When, driven from his capital by riots, his fleet,
army, militia, garrisons, magazines, revenues, nay, his palaces and
personalities seized, by those who still called themselves his most
dutiful subjects, and prefaced their requisitions, that he would
virtually surrender as their prisoner with the title of an humble
petition; when, after all these humiliations and privations, the King
found it necessary to throw himself on the allegiance of his faithful
subjects, and to appeal to arms by raising the royal standard, only a
few hundred, out of the millions he governed, joined him. Discouraged by
this apparent defection, some of his friends advised him to treat with
the Parliament, or, in other words, to submit unconditionally. In
abandoning his own personal rights, His Majesty had gone as far as his
conscience would permit, and he chose rather to suffer banishment or
death, than yield to abolish the church he had sworn to defend, as
Parliament now required him to do, in the phrase of "casting out an
idle, unsound, unprofitable, and scandalous ministry, and providing a
sound, godly, profitable, and preaching ministry, in every congregation
through the land." Yet he so far conceded as to make an offer of
reconciliation, secretly convinced that the latent insolence with which
it would be rejected, though couched in smooth language, would awaken
the nation to a sense of duty. The event justified his expectation, and
the King was enabled to make a glorious, but unsuccessful resistance,
during which, though many excellent persons fell (himself among the
number), the principles of reciprocal duty between King and subject were
defined, and hypocrites, fanatics, and republicans, were completely
unmasked.

It was during this lowering aspect of the political horizon, while the
clouds, congregating from all quarters, menaced a tremendous storm, that
Evellin sheltered his woe-worn head at Ribblesdale. The time was not
lost; for the well-informed piety of the Doctor succeeded in completely
tranquillizing Evellin's mind, who, admitting him to unbounded
confidence, told him all his early sorrows, the enmity of Buckingham,
the falsehood of De Vallance, and the loss of his estate, title, and
high connection. When in the sequel of his narrative, he stated that his
perfidious friend was at this time Earl of Bellingham, the blood
recoiled from Dr. Beaumont's heart, and he almost fainted with horror.
"Do I understand you," said he; "was De Vallance thus exalted by the
King? Was his wife the Queen's confidante, the dispenser of her favours
and the adviser of her conduct?" He then shewed Evellin the British
Mercury, which stated, that this same Bellingham had accepted a
commission under the Parliament; that the treacherous favourite of the
unfortunate Henrietta Maria had charged her mistress with the design of
introducing popery and arbitrary power, as well as of secretly fomenting
the Irish rebellion, and that she had involved in her slanders the
merciful and truly religious King.

"This infinitely transcends all," exclaimed Evellin, "and drives from my
remembrance the recollection of my private wrongs. I consider the
infernal pair not merely as my enemies, but as the common foes of man; I
regard them as a tiger and hyaena, whom I ought to hunt down and destroy.
They are not depraved human beings, tempted by ambition to sin greatly;
but demons, who know no moral feelings either of honour, pity,
attachment, or gratitude."

"Restrain your warmth," said Dr. Beaumont; "this is only the natural
progress of inordinate desires unchecked by principle, and gorged, not
satiated, by indulgence. She who would betray a brother would never
adhere to a fallen benefactress. He who would ruin a confiding friend,
would desert his King in adversity. A coronet, a large estate, a
magnificent castle, and splendid retinue, were the baubles for which
these offenders forfeited their immortal souls. The compact once made,
cannot (they think) be broken. Habit here becomes fixed as the Ethiop's
die or the leopard's spots; and greater crimes must secure what lesser
offences purchased."

The friends now consulted on their future measures. Evellin was for
concealing his real self from the King, but Dr. Beaumont advised that
though he should retain his borrowed name, as a personal security in
case he should fall into the enemy's hands, the King should know him for
the injured Allan Neville. "It will add to his distress," said Evellin,
"to see a man whom he has wronged, and has now no power to redress." "It
will console him," returned Beaumont, "to find one generous and loyal
enough to forget injuries, when others renounce benefits. Affliction is
sent by Providence, to teach us to recollect our ways. My loyalty does
not make me forget that the King is equally subject to one great Master,
nor am I so desirous to secure his temporal repose as to wish him to
lose the advantages of adversity. Let him by seeing you be taught to
distinguish between flatterers and friends. It will be happy for England
if he regains his high station; it will do good to his own soul when he
comes to give an account of his stewardship, at that tribunal before
which the emperor and the slave must one day stand."

"Beaumont," said Evellin, grasping the Doctor's hand, "you are still
that angel of truth who in my early life led my proud and rebellious
thoughts to seek the consolation of religious humility; but in one
circumstance you must give my weakness way. My gallant boy, ignorant of
his noble birth, pants for military fame with all that generous ardour
which during five centuries distinguished his ancestors. He is the last
hope of an illustrious house. Accuse me not of malice, or of folly, when
I own that, (next to the restoration of my King,) I beg of heaven that
he may be spared to tear the polluted ermine from the shoulders of this
branded rebel, and to purify the coronet of Bellingham from the foul
contamination it receives by binding a villain's brow. Toss this
storm-beaten carcase into any trench where it may in future serve as a
mound against traitors; but let my young nursling be planted where the
tempest that unroots the cedars shall pass over without injuring his
tender growth. You, Beaumont, are a man of peace, bound by your
functions to that bloodless warfare which attacks opinions, not men.
Take him with you, wherever you go; keep him in your sight; cultivate in
him every noble propensity, except his passion for military renown. In
all else he is the son of my desires; and were it not for my peculiar
circumstances, he would be so in this also. Consider him as a young
avenger destined by heaven to punish the guilty, and never let despair
of the royal cause induce you to yield him to his own impetuosity. While
a branch of the Stewart stock remains, fear not, though these cursed
malcontents cut down the royal tree; the scion, watered by a nation's
tears, shall still grow, and the soiled regalia of England again look
splendid among contemporary kingdoms. At that period the descendants of
your Isabel shall reclaim the honours to which my services, and perhaps
my death, will ensure them a renewed patent."

The Doctor complied with Evellin's wishes, thinking the youth and
extreme impetuosity of Eustace rendered him unfit to take arms for a
cause which required coolness and experience, and which zeal,
unrestrained by such adjuncts, was likely to injure. He promised to use
every effort to direct the youth's studies and guide his judgment, to
consider him as his son, and Isabel as his daughter. "She is a worthy
singular girl," said Evellin, "but I have little fear for her; not that
I love her less; but she is one of those safe useful beings whose active
and benevolent character always secures friends, and whose self-controul
and indifference to their own ease make them comfortable in every
situation."

It was determined by the gentlemen that the young people should be kept
in perfect ignorance of Evellin's rank, but since it seemed prudent to
increase the number of living witnesses of his identity, Mrs. Mellicent
was admitted into their counsels. Though a woman, and an old maid, she
belonged to that extraordinary class of people who can keep a secret;
and I must do her the justice to say, that she never directly or
indirectly betrayed her trust. And whenever she reproved the girls for
what she called rompish tricks, which, she insisted, were very
unbecoming in young ladies, she constantly endeavoured to look at
Constantia as expressively as she did at the 'brown bird of the
mountains.'

All that now was wanting was the return of Williams, for which the
impatience of Evellin increased every hour.--During this period of
suspence, the family were surprised one morning by a visit from Sir
William Waverly, who came to inquire after the Doctor's health, and to
condole with him on the destruction of his library. He earnestly advised
him to apply for indemnification, and offered his services at the
ensuing assizes. Nothing could be more friendly than Sir Williams's
manner, or more liberal than his promises; but it unluckily happened
that Mrs. Melicent, than whom no judge was ever more attentive to facts
and dates, as well as to collateral circumstances, discovered that the
polite Baronet, ere he paid this visit, had just time to hear of the
King's victory at Edgehill, which event she was severe enough to
believe, brought to recollection the loss sustained by his worthy pastor
three months before. She also thought that the improved aspect of the
royal cause had occasioned a hamper of game and venison to arrive at the
rectory, which the keeper confessed had once been directed to Squire
Morgan. It must however be admitted, that Mrs. Mellicent had a decided
contempt for all the family of Waverly, which made her scarcely just to
their real deserts.

Dr. Beaumont answered the Baronet's expressions of condolence with the
firmness of a man who shewed himself superior even to the loss of the
most rational and innocent delights. He soon changed the conversation to
public affairs, when Sir William, having first commended caution and
moderation, observed, that it began to be time for a wise man to choose
his party.

"An honest man must have chosen his long ago," said Eustace, darting his
animated eyes from Caesar's Commentaries to the countenance of the
Baronet. "Was that remark in your book?" inquired Dr. Beaumont, with a
look of calm reproof. "No uncle," replied the spirited boy, "but I loved
my King as soon as I knew I had one, and thought every body did the
same."

"That is a fine youth," said Sir William, smiling; "may I crave his
name." "My sister Isabel's son," replied the Doctor; "and Colonel
Evellin's, I presume," added Sir William, "for it is now known that His
Majesty has conferred on him that dangerous military title."

Evellin coolly answered, that his life was his country's and his King's,
and that those who highly valued safety never ought to buckle on a
sword.

Sir William Waverly warmly reprobated a cold, selfish, time-serving
character, declaring that, in the opinion of all his friends, his great
fault consisted in absolutely disregarding himself, while he was
sedulously attempting to benefit mankind. After a few flaming periods of
egotism and flattery to a personage whom he held most dear, namely
himself, he reverted to the possibility of duties being suspended in an
equipoize so nice that a reflecting man could not know how to act
between his King and his country.

Evellin answered, that he thought it easy to distinguish between the
free voice of a well-informed people and the proceedings of an aspiring
party, who, by misrepresentation, terror, and an appeal to the worst
passions, had gained an undue influence; a party who, supported by men
detesting every species of restraint, and hoping every change will
benefit their condition, pass themselves upon the world as the British
nation. "As well," said he, "may we venture to call their language to
the King loyalty, or their actions law and justice, as to misname the
present House of Commons, the representatives of England; when every
friend to His Majesty or the constitution has been ejected, banished, or
imprisoned, by votes passed under the immediate influence of hired mobs
of apprentices, prostitutes, and the worst rabble London contains."

"Quite my opinion," resumed Sir William; "yet, Sir, though I excessively
condemn and lament the unfortunate length to which Parliament has gone,
I must say, that at the beginning there were faults on both sides. His
Majesty was wrong, evidently wrong, and then Parliament went too far,
and then the King promised and retracted, and then they applied to more
coercive measures, till really it becomes doubtful who is most to
blame."

"When," said Evellin, "you can find in the King's actions any violation
of the constitution as flagrant as either the legal assassination of
Lord Strafford, in which all forms and usages of Parliament were
violated; the accusation of Laud, that eminent defender of the
Protestant faith, for Popery; the imprisonment of the bishops for
claiming their ancient privileges; or, lastly, a dependent and elective
body voting itself supreme and permanent, and in that state levying war
upon the King, by whose writs they were first summoned and consolidated;
when you can find, I say, in the arbitrary proceedings of the Star
Chamber, or of the High Commission courts, actions as repugnant to our
fundamental laws as these, I will then agree with you, Sir William
Waverly, and admit that a wise and considerate man would doubt what
party to choose, as not knowing which was most to blame."

Sir William protested that there was not a man in England who lamented,
more bitterly than himself, the excess which had brought the popular
cause into disrepute; yet he thought candour required us to make
allowances for the heat of debate, and the ebullition of passion
incident to deliberative assemblies, which made the members often push
matters further than they intended; and he extremely regretted that the
King, by some ill-advised steps, such as that of violating the freedom
of Parliament, by personally demanding five members to be given up to
his vengeance, had fomented a spirit of animosity which mild counsels
might have subdued.

These qualifying remarks irritated Evellin. "After a series of not
merely passive, but submissive actions," said he, "after yielding one
member of the Council to the Tower, and another to the block, from which
even a King's prayer, for a friend and servant, could not procure
unhappy Wentworth a day's respite, His Majesty did, I must own, adopt
rash counsels. But it is not their illegality so much as his weakness in
threatening when he wanted strength to punish, that I condemn. If your
objection to the royal cause be founded on the distraction and
imbecility that have marked the measures by which it has been supported,
I must cease to rouse your dormant loyalty. It is not in the defenceless
tents of our Prince that we must seek for safety; we must leave him to
his fate, on the same principle that we abandon a naked child to the
attacks of a man clad in complete armour."

Dr. Beaumont now took part in the debate. "If," said he, "we look back
to the original pretences of those who set out as reformers, I think we
shall be able to form a clear decision as to the part we ourselves
should act, where the confusion they labour to excite has actually
commenced. They first unsettle our obedience by discovering what they
call the iniquity of our governors; and indeed it is not difficult for
those who look with a malignant eye on their conduct to perceive such
errors, or, if you will, vices, as an artful and censorious temper may
dress up into glaring enormities, especially if it deals in those
exaggerations which people, who give up their understandings to the
views of a party, call true representations. The man of dullest
intellect can discover faults in extensive complicated systems, and the
more he confines his view, the more must he see matters in detail, and
not in their general tendency. Yet these illiberal censors are sure to
be regarded, because in all countries the majority of the people (I mean
such as are uninformed) wish for nothing so much as to be their own
masters, which they suppose will be the immediate consequence of
overthrowing the existing system. A reformer thus sets off with every
possible advantage, with an auditory predisposed to listen, and a fair
field for censure, in which malice and ingenuity have space to
expatiate; nor can his own pretensions to purity and wisdom at first be
questioned, for as he generally rises from an obscure station, his
former conduct is not known, and the glibness of his oratory, and the
popularity of his topics, gain him ample credence for all the excellent
qualities to which he lays claim. 'Tis true, when he has gained the
ascendancy he aims at, his behaviour generally shews him to be not only
frail and faulty, but a worse knave than any he has exposed; but before
he thus discovers himself, he has gained a hold either of the affections
or the fears of the multitude, which, added to their reluctance to
owning their own mistake, maintains his popularity till a rival
incendiary rises to dispossess him. In the mean time, candour, who was
pushed behind the scenes, when she came to plead for our lawful
governors, is brought into play, and made to utter fine declamations on
the impossibility of always acting right, and on the distinction between
public and private virtue, bespeaking that indulgence for usurpers or
factious demagogues which was denied to the lapses of lawful rulers,
whose inclinations at least must be on the side of an upright and wise
administration, because they have a permanent interest in the welfare of
the nation. The delusions of which I speak seldom last long; an
enlightened people perceives the cheat; but it is lamentable that the
tricks of these political puritans should never grow stale by practice,
and that as often as a pseudo-reformer starts up with pretensions to
great honesty and great wisdom, England should forget how often she has
been deceived, and allow him to excite a tumult which wiser heads and
better hearts cannot allay."

Sir William found no difficulty in replying to the Doctor. He had only
to admit that his remarks were very just; but, at the same time, he must
say, that, if pushed to their full extent, they would tend to establish
abuses; since, who would dare to arrest the strong arm of tyranny, if
liable to the odium which was thus cast on all promoters of reformation?

"I spake not of reformers truly so called," said Dr. Beaumont, "but of
those factious persons who, to promote their own ends, tamper with the
inflammable passions of the populace, and, instead of amending errors,
snarl at restraints. A true patriot points out defects with a view to
have them removed, and brings himself into as little notice as possible.
We may as well pretend that Wickliffe and Jack Cade were moved by the
same spirit, as say, that we cannot discern between those who seek to do
good, and those who would breed distractions. Yet, as the mass of
mankind are either too ignorant or too much occupied to discover the
sophistry by which, for a time, falsehood passes for truth, 'it is an
ill sign of the situation of a kingdom when controversy gets among the
ignorant, the illiberal, or the ill-designing, or even when it descends
to those who should practise, being too unskilful to debate, and too
violent to differ, without breach of charity.' I have fortified my
opinion by the words of an able, uncorrupt statesman, who, though he
shared the grace and favour of many mighty Kings, died in honest
poverty, knowing the weakness of mankind, but scorning to apply it to
his own emolument--I mean Sir Henry Wootton. And his sentiments are
confirmed by the son of Sirach, whose reflections have been thought
worthy of being annexed to the volume of inspiration. After observing
that 'the wisdom of the wise man cometh by opportunity of leisure,' and
that they whose time is occupied in husbandry or handicraft-work, are
devoted to those necessary but humble employments which render
themselves respectable, and benefit the public, he asserts, 'they shall
not be sought for in public councils, nor sit high in the congregation.
They cannot declare justice and judgment, and they shall not be found
where dark parables are spoken.' Yet, Sir, these are the men who, in our
disastrous times, have menaced and governed the popular branch of our
legislature, till they have drawn away all but their own partizans, and
denied their King the rights of conscience, while they claim for
themselves unbounded licence. These men are now virtually our rulers;
nor will they be content with dethroning the King and annihilating the
nobles, for they will not rest till they have levelled every gentleman
who pretends to hereditary distinctions of rank, fortune, or privilege,
and torn down every symbol of greatness which offends their ambitious
littleness. So then, every one who has any thing valuable to lose,
ought, in policy, as well as in conscience, to support the throne, with
whose rights his own are inseparably blended."

Sir William answered, that though, from the great mildness of his
temper, he seldom expressed himself with warmth, he always acted with
decision. He had that morning issued orders to raise a regiment among
his own tenantry.

"And you will march them to join the King?" said Eustace.

"A very fine precipitate youth!" returned the Baronet, smiling; "no,
brave young man, your good uncle has taught me another lesson, and I
trust you will also allow him to restrain your ardour. He has himself
set us the example of staying at his post in the hour of danger. The
peace of our own county is of the first consequence. I shall therefore
train my force, and keep it ready to call out, in case any disturbance
should arise in our own neighbourhood."

"Aye," replied Eustace, "protect Waverly Park; 'twere a pity it should
be despoiled and plundered."

"No good could accrue to the King from the ruin of a loyal subject,"
said Sir William.

"But," observed Eustace, "you have a son who has just attained full
majority, do you not find it difficult to keep him out of action? Surely
his heart beats high to join the noble Stanley, to whom the King has
intrusted the whole County Palatine."

"You know not," returned Sir William, "how you distress me by this
inquiry. Heaven forbid I should insinuate any thing against so brave a
gentleman and so loyal a subject as the Earl of Derby; but he has lived
so little with his equals that he knows not how to treat his inferiors;
and, unhappily, the stateliness of his manners has so indisposed this
county, that people of no name, and contemned interest, have snatched it
out of his hands, the disaffected being moved, not so much by dislike to
the King or favour to Parliament, as by impatience of the Earl's humour,
and a resolution not to be subject to his commands."

Sir William then expatiated on the impolicy of oppressive haughty
demeanor in people in eminent stations, especially when the times were
so big with peril. His remarks had been wise and instructive, had he not
tried to illustrate them by the popularity and liberality of his own
conduct; yet, as it may be said he was the only evidence of his own
urbanity, which must have been lost to posterity had he not recorded it,
he now pleaded it in extenuation of the blameable sensibility of his
son, who, educated in these liberal notions, had felt so hurt by the
negligence of the Earl of Derby at Preston fair, that he had been
provoked by it to offer his services to Parliament, from whom he had
received a commission, and was now serving in the army of Lord Essex.

Mrs. Mellicent, who saw in this ostensibly-lamented defection a scheme
to secure Waverly-hall and its dependencies, whichever party finally
predominated, remarked that it was a very prudent arrangement.

"So my friends suggest," returned Sir William, "to console me; but my
regret, that any of the name of Waverly should be seen, in what severe
people will call actual rebellion, is too acute for such soothing
consolation. I have only to take care that the rectitude of my own
behaviour shall refute every suspicion that I am conniving at, or even
apologizing for Henry's errors. And though I know the poor fellow's
feelings were too keen for his peace, and though, in my own exquisite
susceptibility of kindness, I could find motives to mitigate his fault,
I will leave his conduct to the mercy of candid people. I will now end
my perhaps tedious visit, lamenting that my corps was not raised when
Dr. Beaumont's library was destroyed by that infuriate rabble. I
extremely regret the loss of the precious museum and valuable
manuscripts, which his taste, learning, science, and piety had
collected, and with a request that you will consider me as your friend
and protector, should any further disturbances arise, I sincerely bid
you farewell."

"I trust," said Eustace, after he was gone, "my uncle will never apply
to that man for redress; he is no better than a rebel in his heart."

"Not so," replied Mrs. Mellicent, "and for the best of reasons--he has
no heart at all."

"You forget," observed the Doctor, "that when he was the admirer of our
beloved Isabel, he shewed by his warmth and assiduity, that he was
capable of loving something beside himself."

"And never," said Mrs. Mellicent, "brother, had I so much cause to think
meanly of my own judgment, and own the superiority of dear Isabel's
penetration, as when she rejected my advice, and refused that
vacillating time-server; shewing that she needed not the light of
prosperity to discover the deserving."

Her eye glanced on Evellin, who, overpowered by these allusions to his
beloved wife, left the room without listening to the compliment paid to
himself. His impetuous son stormed with fury, that such a man should
even pretend to have felt the power of his mother's charms. "Had he been
my father," said he, "I would have fled my country, and disowned my
name. But why did you not, dear uncle, convince him it is not loyalty
but self-preservation which makes him arm his tenants."

"And why do you not convert that cricket-ball, which you are pressing
with so much vehemence, into a pure and solid gem? I never attempt
impossibilities. One reason why admonitions are so little attended to,
is, that mentors think too little of the dispositions of those they
reprove, and so seek to work a miracle, not to perform a cure. Talk to a
selfish person about being disinterested, and he will utter a few fine
sentences till you fancy his heart is enlarged, when, in fact, he is but
more wedded to the idol he worships, by recollecting that he has spoken
liberally: but shew him 'honesty is the best policy,' and that he is
most likely to succeed by keeping straight courses, and he will quit his
crooked paths through policy, which is something gained on the side of
integrity; and perhaps acting right, may, in time, induce him to change
his motives too. I have looked on all sorts of offenders, and there is
no violator of scriptural holiness of whom I have so little hope as the
self-idolator, for so I deem him who is not only wise in his own
conceit, but who sees no other object worthy the favour or attention of
God or man. Such a one considers misfortune not as a chastisement but as
a wrong; nor can he be grateful for mercies, because he esteems the
greatest to be merely his due. Yet of all men he is the most pitiable,
for his overflowing vanity makes him betray his self-conceit; so that
though he is surrounded by flatterers, he has no friend; no one dare
tell him of his faults, but all seek to profit by his follies. I am no
pretender to prophecy; I know my own house totters in this storm, and I
have more need to prop and secure it than to concern myself as to what
will befall my neighbours. Sir William Waverly and I have chosen two
different methods of steering our barks; probably both may end in
shipwreck, but my eyes are fixed on the pole-star in the heavens, while
he has attended to deceitful charts and treacherous pilots. We will now
close the subject of his faults with inferences for our own improvement.
Let us be careful not to think too much of ourselves, and too little of
others. It is an excellent way of subduing the acute sense of
affliction, to employ our minds in assuaging the miseries of our
fellow-creatures; and prosperity is never so well enjoyed as when we
call in the stranger and the destitute, as well as our friends and
kindred, to share in its blessings. Let us ever consider ourselves as
responsible servants in one large family, and we shall never grow vain
or self-devoted."

"My dear uncle," said Eustace, "can you think it possible we should any
of us become the creature we so abhor?"

"Remember Hazael's answer to Elisha," replied the Doctor; "nor think it
is needless vigilance to make a strict inquiry how you approximate to
the vices you seem most to detest. I have heard you say Eustace, that
for a thousand worlds you would not grieve your father. Yet you have
just said, were you young Waverly, you would renounce parental
authority, and abjure your name. This shews that there is an innate
principle in your composition at enmity with filial obedience; touch but
the chord that moves it, and duty is exposed to instant danger."

"My father," answered Eustace, "will never suffer me to despise him. His
honour, his afflictions, are alike my security. If tempted to
disobedience I will recall to my mind his woe-worn majestic form, and
ere I dare to grave another furrow on his brow, or whiten one more hair,
the dying injunctions of my mother will rush to my mind, and I shall
remember that when she could no longer minister relief to his
afflictions, she consigned him to my care."


    [1] This and many of the following extracts are from Lord Clarendon.




CHAP. VIII.

    Out of your proof you speak; we, poor, unfledg'd,
    Have never wing'd from view o' the nest, nor know
    What air's from home. Haply this life is best,
    If quiet life be best; sweeter to you,
    That have a sharper known: to us it is
    A cell of ignorance.

                                                 Shakspeare.


Dr. Beaumont's admonitions to Eustace were not uttered at random.
Evellin was determined immediately to put in force the commission he had
received, by joining the Marquis of Newcastle. His Majesty was very
desirous of securing the northern coast to facilitate the introduction
of the succours he expected from Holland with the Queen. Ever since the
arrival of arms and accoutrements, the passion of Eustace for military
fame had become more decided and uncontrolable; he poised his father's
sword, put on his helmet, and talked of the best method of killing all
the rebel generals. The plans he laid for terminating the contest
appeared so feasible to Constantia, that at length (though not without
tears) she consented that he should enter on the Herculean labour of
destroying the many-headed monster, Rebellion. Isabel thought that her
father and uncle were likely to know what was best to be done, but as
often as she ventured to hint that he might be too sanguine, Eustace
reminded her, that girls knew nothing about war and politics, and
directed his observations to Constantia, who had at least the feminine
merit of acquiescing in his opinions.

The evening previous to Colonel Evellin's departure was destined to the
severe task of bending Eustace to obedience. The father began by putting
into his son's hands the miniature of his mother, commanding him
constantly to wear it, and part with it only with his life. Eustace
wept, pressed it to his lips, and asked if that was the only mark of
devoted affection which he could shew to her memory. The Colonel pointed
to Isabel. "She lives in your sister," said he; "duty calls me from her;
you must be her protector." "Oh, my father!" replied Eustace, throwing
himself at his feet; "how better can I protect my sister, than by
combating her enemies."

The Colonel answered,--"My age, my experience, my expertness in military
studies and exercises, impose that task on me. The King, whom I served
in my youth, was a gracious master, and I feel confident that I can
render him assistance. My duty to him, and I will add to you too,
required the tender of my services. They have been accepted; I set out
for York to-morrow, to be employed as my immediate commander, the
Marquis of Newcastle, shall determine."

"And when shall I follow you," inquired Eustace, who read in his
father's eye a prohibition which restrained him from urging his wish to
accompany him.

"As soon," replied Evellin, "as your services can either benefit the
King or yourself."

"I know," said Eustace, "you do not doubt my courage or fidelity; it
must therefore be from the opinion you have formed of my inability, that
you insist upon my spending more of my life in what must now be called
shameful inactivity. I look three years older than I am, and my strength
and ability are as premature as my appearance. Ever since the war broke
out I have been studying histories of battles and sieges, and I can
ride, fence, and fire at a target with dexterity. If at first I were to
commit some mistakes, actual service would improve me. Oh, best and
kindest of fathers, blast not the dearest hopes of your only boy. Fix no
stigma upon him, as if he were a tall puppet fit only to trifle, nor let
him be regarded as a coward, glad to use any excuse that shall purchase
safety. My dying mother bade me supply her place to you. How better can
I obey her than by shielding your head in the day of battle, smoothing
your pillow when you retire to your tent, participating in all your
dangers and sorrows, relieving your anxieties, and lightening your
labours. If I may not go with you, or speedily to follow you, the life
your kindness would preserve from the sword will be consumed by grief."

The Colonel turned away his face to conceal the emotion which his son's
eagerness for action occasioned. "I have promised," said he, "that I
will send for you as soon as you can serve the King or yourself. You
have mentioned your mother--resemble her in this; she never attempted to
shake my settled purposes, but conformed to the opinion which she
doubted not was founded on full deliberation. As a boy, you are all I
wish; but there must be much improvement to realise a fond father's
hopes of you as a man. Employ the years of probation wisely. Submit to
your excellent uncle as to the representative of both your parents; form
yourself by his instructions, and when you are called into action I
shall glory in you."

"But you have named years of probation; must I for years be confined to
Ribblesdale? Will no zeal, no diligence on my part shorten this period,
and enable me to rejoin you?"

"In these disturbed times," said the Colonel, "we can form no guesses of
the future. When we shall meet, or whether ever more in this world, are
chances on which I cannot calculate. Bear in mind this parting
interview; and if you sometimes, in your heart, accuse me of harshness,
soften your opposition to my will by reflecting, that I may have motives
for my determination which cannot now be disclosed to you, and that a
dutiful obedience will render you worthy the entire confidence of one
who has seen too much of man to confide in mere professions of desert
and ability."

The swelling heart of Eustace ill brooked these restrictions. He flew to
his confidante, Constantia, to complain of the cruelty of his father's
injunctions. In the warmth of his expostulations, he uttered something
expressive of distaste for the life he led, which moved the gentle girl
to lament, that what made them so happy should make him wretched. "If
you loved us," said she, "as we do you, it would reconcile your mind to
passing your whole life with us." Eustace smiled on the lovely
moderator, and answered, "I think it is impossible you can love me as
much as I do you, but you must agree, that a life of inactivity is now
disgraceful; and even my pretty Constance would despise me, if she saw
me loitering about, idling away my best days, when all the kingdom is in
arms." "I never can despise a dutiful son," answered she; and Eustace
found in that avowal such an unanswerable argument on the side of filial
obedience, that he was able, not only to see the Colonel depart without
impatience, but also to support his weeping sister.

It was some weeks before his repugnance to a life of inactivity
returned; but as the fiery ardour of his character was only smothered,
not quenched, it burst out again at the time that Dr. Beaumont took his
daughter and sister with him to Lancaster assizes, whither he went to
obtain redress for his injuries. He had diligently employed the time
since Evellin's departure in confirming his authority over his young
charge. Isabel was all cheerful duty and smiling diligence. Eustace was
occasionally impetuous and refractory, but overflowing with sensibility,
and more apt to repent than to offend. The Doctor judged it would not be
inexpedient to try the temper of his pupils by leaving them a little
time to themselves.

Eustace resolved to employ this period of liberty in executing a project
he had formed, and in which he meant Isabel should be his coadjutrix. He
began with observing, "he feared their dear Constance was not quite
happy. She so often regrets her father's library," said he, "that I know
she will never be easy till it is restored. I have examined the ruins,
and calculated what repairs it will want; there are stones and timber
lying about, and I can work it up myself if you will help me." As far as
her strength could go Isabel was perfectly willing, and Eustace promised
her the light jobs, reminding her that she fixed up the pewter-shelves
in their own cottage very well under his directions.

"But," said Isabel, "of what use will the room be when the books are all
destroyed?"--"I have thought of that too," answered Eustace, "and have
contrived accordingly. You know we left three hampers of books in the
mountains; they are safe enough I dare say, because those we gave them
to, as keep-sakes, cannot read, and I dare say will let us have them
back if we say we want them. Now if we work very hard, we shall have two
nights and a day to spare, and I can trot the poney with the market cart
over the fells, and fetch them. To be sure they may not be just the
books my uncle lost, but books are books you know, and I am sure
Constance will look so happy when she sees the shelves filled again, and
all in order."

Isabel was delighted with the project, and promised to assist, though at
the peril of incurring her aunt's displeasure, for not finishing, ere
she returned, a representation of the garden of Eden in satin-stitch,
according to her order. Eustace looked at the plan, and finding it would
save time, they agreed that plain grass would look as well on a
firescreen, as all the crocodiles and elephants which with literal
deference to natural history Mrs. Mellicent had drawn up rank and file,
on each side Adam and Eve. The young architects anticipated the
departure of their friends with eagerness, and set about their scheme
the moment the calash drove off. The business was got through with great
alacrity, and though there were a few mistakes, and certainly no nice
finish as a whole, it was creditable to their mechanical skill, as well
as to their kind intentions.

Determining that the poney knew the road, and hoping to get a little
sleep in the cart, Eustace set off immediately on his mountain-expedition,
and Isabel busied herself in putting all things in order, and preparing
plumb-porridge, and sack-posset, as a festive regale to celebrate the
re-assembling of the family-party, who, she determined, should sup
merrily in the new library.

Eustace arrived first, in high spirits, but with his cloaths torn, and
his face bloody. Isabel was alarmed. "Nothing but a few scratches,"
answered he, "which I can cure with vinegar while you mend my coat. I
will tell you how I got them presently; but do you unpack the books,
while I take care of the poney. Stop a moment; there is something in the
cart you must not meddle with." Isabel inquired what it was. "Women are
so inquisitive," continued Eustace. "Well then, it is a lute;
Constance's own lute, which she lost the night of the fire." Isabel
inquired how he recovered it. "Fought for it," answered he; "I see you
will not be easy, so I must tell you all about it."

"The people of Fourness were very glad to see me, calling me Mr. Random,
and a great many more kind names; so we packed up the books, and they
sent some cheese for my uncle, and apples for Constance." "And nothing
for me?" said Isabel. "Pshaw," returned Eustace, "how you interrupt me;
I believe the apples are for you. So I came driving back very merrily,
and within a few miles of this village, I met a fellow carrying a box,
which I could perceive held a lute. I had plenty of money, for the
mountaineers would not let me spend it; so I thought if I can get this
lute, Constance will like the new library as well as she did the old
one, and I very civilly told the man I would buy it, and give him all he
asked for it.--But in your life you never saw such a sharp bad visage as
the fellow's, and he put himself into the most ridiculous posture,
rolling his goggle eyes, and smiting his breast, and at last roared out,
'O vain youth, covet not musical devices, but tune thy heart to praise,
and thy lips to spiritual songs.'--'Tune thy own lips to civility,' said
I; 'and you shall too before you pass.' 'I can use the arm of flesh as
well as the sword of the spirit,' said he; so to it we fell, and he
scratched and pulled my hair, and tore my coat, just as you girls do,
but I gave him enough to teach him good manners, and at last made him
own he took the lute from my uncle's, the night of the fire, and that
Squire Morgan was to have it. So I threw him a shilling just to mend his
broken head, and have brought the lute to its own home again."

Isabel could not but rejoice that the affray ended in a victory, but
expressed her fears that he might be accused of taking the spoil by
violence. "Who stole it first?" said Eustace; "we may take our own
wherever we find it. And to own the truth of my heart, I am glad of this
opportunity of mortifying Squire Morgan, for if there is a person I hate
in the world, it is he."

"There," said Isabel, "you are both indiscreet and ungrateful, for you
know he and Sir William Waverly have promised to assist my uncle in his
cause."

"I would not give a rush for the friendship of either," returned
Eustace. "A good victory on the King's side is the only way of fixing
Sir William, and as to Morgan, I know it is not love for my uncle brings
him to the rectory. I see that fellow's heart; and I could scarce keep
myself from pushing him out of the room, when he kissed Constance the
other day, and called her his little wife; but she looked so distressed
at the instant, that I thought I had better not seem to observe it."

"I have heard you call her little wife a hundred times," said Isabel,
"and it never seems to affront her."

"One may take liberties with one's relations," replied Eustace, "but I
tell you, young girls should never let men call them wife, especially
such an old, ugly, foolish, fat, vulgar, round-head, as Morgan; and I
had rather my uncle had no restitution, than owe any favour to him."

Anxious to draw her brother from a topic, on which he always was
ungovernable, Isabel begged him to describe the present state of their
mountain-residence. "Is our garden quite destroyed?" said she, "Are the
primroses I planted on the south bank in blow?"--"I observed something
more interesting," answered, he; "my mother's grave is kept quite neat
by the villagers, and the roses we set there are twined all over it.
Nay, Isabel, if you weep so, I cannot repeat to you the verses I made
yesterday, just as I caught sight of our old cottage." Isabel promised
to be composed, and Eustace proceeded--

    The sun has roll'd round Skiddaw's breast
      Of floating clouds a golden veil,
    The heath-cock has forsook his nest,
      And mounted on the morning gale;
    While bursting on my raptured eyes,
    Lakes, hills, and woods, distinctly rise.

    And there in mountain-privacy
      My father's rustic cot appears,
    The haunts of happy infancy,
      The fields my childish sport endears;
    Where victor of each game I stood,
    And climb'd the tree, or stemm'd the flood:

    And there, beside the village-spire,
      My mother's honour'd ashes sleep,
    Who bade my noble hopes aspire,
      Who also taught me first to weep,
    When, with a kiss so cold and mild,
    She whisper'd, 'I must die, my child.'

    Oh! fitted for a world more pure,
      Sweet spirit, who would wish thy stay,
    To witness woes thou could'st not cure,
      And dimm'd with clouds thy evening ray;
    To see thy ardent boy denied
    To combat by his father's side?

    Yet, what is death? As seen in thee,
      'Twas a mild summons to the grave;
    'Tis the sure zeal of loyalty
      And honour's guerdon to the brave.
    How are the soldier's requiems kept!
    By glory sung, by beauty wept.

"My dearest Eustace," said Isabel, "I wish I could send these lines to
my father, yet perhaps they would overcome him as they have done me."
She twined her arms around the neck of Eustace, sobbed for some moments,
and then observed, "I know what suggested the last stanza; it was
Constantia's weeping for the fate of brave Lord Lindsay."

Eustace blushed. "You are a Lancashire witch in more senses than one,
Isabel; but, hush! the calash has just drove up. Say not a word of my
verses to my uncle." "Why?" "I do not wish he would know I am unhappy."
"Keep your own counsel," returned Isabel, "and I am sure your looks will
never betray you."

The return of the party relieved Eustace from all fear of owing an
obligation to Morgan. An ordinance from Parliament had interrupted the
regular returns of public justice, and notwithstanding the King's
command, that there should be no suspension of judicial proceedings,
with respect either to criminal or civil causes, and his grant of
safe-conduct through his quarters to all persons attending the courts of
law, the Parliament had forbidden the judges to appoint their circuits.
In one instance a troop of horse tore a judge from the bench, who had
ventured to disobey their edicts. Except therefore in the few places
that were at the King's devotion, all legal proceedings of importance
were suspended, and the little business which was transacted was managed
by a cabal devoted to the predominant party. From such men Dr. Beaumont
could look for no favour. Ample indemnification was indeed promised, but
it was upon a condition that he could not brook, namely, subscription to
the covenant. As to his two friends, Sir William Waverly and Morgan, the
former was detained at home by an apprehension that he might take cold;
and the latter, though he argued on the justice and policy of
remuneration, by which the party would gain credit, yet on being
questioned about his pastor's principles, confessed he thought him a
malignant of the deepest die, and positively refused to be responsible
for his peaceable behaviour.

Dr. Beaumont had formed no hopes of redress, therefore felt no
disappointment. He was now so accustomed to the temper of the times,
that he was only slightly hurt at being thought capable of compromising
his conscience, by subscribing an instrument he had ever denounced as
illegal, treasonable, and wicked. The dutiful attentions of his nephew
and niece soon changed vexation into pleasure. Mrs. Mellicent'
overlooked the omissions of her crocodiles and elephants, and Constance
touched the strings of her beloved instrument with a smile, sweet as the
strain she drew from its according wires, till Eustace forgot all his
labours and bruises in exulting transport.




CHAP. IX.

    These things, indeed, you have articulated,
    Proclaim'd at market-tables, read at churches,
    To face the garment of rebellion
    With some fine colour that may please the eye
    Of fickle changelings and poor discontents,
    Which gape and rub the elbows at the news
    Of hurly burly innovation;
    And never yet did Insurrection want
    Such water-colours to impaint his cause.

                                                 Shakspeare.


The summer of 1643 opened with favourable omens to the royal cause.
Evellin sent intelligence to Ribblesdale of the successes of the Marquis
of Newcastle against Fairfax, the safe arrival of the Queen with
military stores, and his own expectation of being joined to her escort,
which would enable him to have an interview with the King at Oxford.
This intelligence, added to that of the advantages gained over Sir
William Waller in the west, revived the drooping hopes of the loyalists,
and terrified the enthusiastic Eustace with apprehensions lest the
contest should be decided before he could measure swords with one
round-head.

Dr. Beaumont took a more comprehensive view; he saw how little had been
done, and how much loyal blood had been shed. The King's cause was
supported by the death or ruin of his best friends, but his victories,
instead of intimidating, hardened his opponents. They were bound
together by a dread of danger, and a belief that they had sinned beyond
all hopes of pardon, and therefore must depend for safety entirely on
the success of the rebellion they had fomented.

To insure that success, the Parliament had long since employed the most
potent stimulant of human action, religion; and, by embodying their
favourite teachers under the title of the Assembly of Divines, contrived
to give that species of state-establishment to their own theological
scheme which they had objected to, as one of the crying sins of
episcopacy. This memorable body of auxiliaries was created at the time
of their beginning to levy war upon the King, by seizing his military
resources, and refusing him admission into his own garrison. A fact
which may serve to convince the reflecting mind of the close union which
subsists between monarchical and episcopal principles is, that their
next step to that of employing the forces and revenues of the crown
against the person of the Sovereign, was a declaration "that they
intended a necessary and due reformation of the Liturgy and government
of the church, and that they would consult godly and learned divines,
and use their utmost endeavours to establish learned and preaching
ministers, with a good and sufficient maintenance throughout the whole
kingdom, where many dark corners were miserably destitute of the means
of salvation, and many poor ministers wanted necessary provision."

Though wise men saw the design of this carefully-worded declaration, yet
indolent, or quiet men, who were willing to hope, caught at its
designing moderation, believed that Parliament only meant to reform
abuses, and that its designs were not so very bad. This very
declaration, which a year before would have terrified the people, in
whom there was then a general submission to the church-government, and a
singular reverence of the Liturgy, now when there was a general
expectation of a total subversion of the one, and abolition of the
other, they thought only removing what was offensive, unnecessary, or
burthensome, an easy composition. Thus the well-meaning were, by
degrees, prevailed on, towards ends they extremely abhorred, and what,
at first, seemed prophane and impious to them, in a little time appeared
only inconvenient.

But infinite is the danger of tampering with national feeling in its
most important point. The mildly-worded decree above cited, cherished
those principles of mutability, which overthrew the church of England,
while new forms of doctrine sprang from every portion of her ruins, all
contending for mastery, and each insisting on the individual right of
choosing, and the uncontrolable liberty of exercising what they pleased
to term religion. The first of these tenets is as inadmissible in
argument, as it is desperate in practice, for if every man has a right
to choose, it must follow that he has an equal right to abstain from
choosing, and thus universal atheism is sanctioned by the over-strained
indulgence of civil liberty, confounding what our perverse natures will
do with what they properly may. And if we found this opinion on the
ground of human free-will, it may be asserted that a man has a right to
choose whether he will be veracious, temperate, chaste, and
conscientious; whether he will be a good father, husband, citizen, or
the reverse; and thus every moral offence of which human laws do not
take cognizance, may be justified by the same plea, that in this land of
liberty people have a right to act as they think proper. By these means
that finer system of morals, which extends virtue and goodness to points
which the mere letter of the law cannot reach, is at once annihilated;
and the peculiar excellence, of the Gospel, as a religion of motives, is
superseded by the licence allowed to rebellious wills, and the darkness
of perverse understandings.

The proposition of the Parliament to consult "godly and learned divines"
was exemplified, by their ordering the individuals of which the House of
Commons was now composed, to name such men as they thought fit for their
purpose. Every known friend to the King had been already banished,
either by the clamour of the London mobs, or their own votes. "Of one
hundred and twenty, who composed the assembly of Divines, though by the
recommendation of some members of the Commons, whom they were not
willing to displease, and by the authority of the Lords, some very
reverend and worthy names were inserted, there were not above twenty,
who were not declared and avowed enemies of the church, some of them
very infamous in their lives and conversations, most of them of very
mean parts in learning, if not of scandalous ignorance, and of no other
reputation than malice to the church of England."

Of this ignorance and incapacity for every thing but the work of
destruction, their own party made the most angry complaints. Yet were
those men the fittest to act as Spiritual prompters to an aspiring
faction, bent on overturning existing institutions, and establishing
their own power. The general ground of quarrel of all the sects with the
establishment, was its retaining ceremonies, prayers, and a mode of
discipline, which, though bearing close affinity to the apostolical age,
were rejected by violent reformers, because our church received them
through that of Rome. The answer of Bishop Ridley to the Papists, "That
he would be willing to admit any trifling ceremony or thing indifferent
for the sake of peace," suited not the taste of those who saw
Anti-christ in a square cap or a surplice, and in a written creed or
doxology (though agreeing in substance with their own opinions) an
infringement of the liberty of a true Protestant. Such as these cared
not what confusion or infidelity prevailed, nor how Popery itself
triumphed, while they were busy in overthrowing the strongest bulwark
that human wisdom had erected against it. The people were inflamed
against the court and the church by the charge of jesuitical designs,
the palaces of the deposed bishops were converted into prisons, crowded
with the champions of the protestant cause; the truly "pious, godly, and
learned ministry" were driven from the flocks to which they had been
appointed by their spiritual superiors, and supplanted by these
champions of the rights of private judgment and unbounded liberty, who
made their respective congregations not only judges of theological
points, but teachers of every opinion, except those which derived
support from sound learning, constitutional authority, beneficial
experience, general acceptation among Christians, or a clear consistent
view of the word of God. Men sought celebrity by inventing modes of
faith; and sacred truths were not established by an appeal to antiquity,
but by the singular ordeal of novelty, as if, after a lapse of seventeen
ages, it was reserved for ignorance and fanaticism to make fresh
discoveries in the sacred writings.

The ordinance of sequestration, which annihilated all
church-dignitaries, and exposed every parochial minister to the malice
of any informer who should report him for his loyalty, passed in the
year 1643, and was justified by complaints of the supposed scandalous
lives of the episcopal clergy. Doubtless, in a numerous body, some might
be found guilty of gross vices, secular in their pursuits, negligent of
their high duties, and looking more to the "scramble at the shearers'
feast," than to feeding and guiding the flock through the wilderness. No
true lover of the church will defend clerical debauchees or canonical
worldlings, especially when she appears beleaguered round with enemies,
and when her surest earthly supports are the zeal, the learning, and the
pious simplicity of her officials. Persuaded that our national
establishment grows from that root which can never decay, we may always,
when a very general corruption of the clergy is apparent, expect a
fearful tempest to arise, which will clear the tree of its unsound
branches, and enable it to put forth vigorous and healthy shoots. But
while that rottenness is not total but partial, while some green boughs
are still seen to extend a lovely and refreshing shade, what impious
hand shall dare to assail the venerable queen of the forest, whose
magnitude defends the saplings, which, ambitiously springing under its
protection, require the room it occupies? At the time of the great
rebellion, the Church of England boasted an unusual number of, not
merely learned, but apostolical men, especially among the bishops and
the royal chaplains, whose pious labours have excited the gratitude and
admiration of posterity, as much as their lives and sufferings did the
wonder and commiseration of their own times. Beside those who have been
thus immortalized, there were vast numbers who "took their silent way
along the humble vale of life," unknown to fame either for their virtues
or their hardships, yet still living in the memory of their descendants.
These submitted in silence to poverty, reproach, and injustice; and,
like Bishop Sanderson, "blessed God that he had not withdrawn food or
raiment from them and their poor families, nor suffered them, in time of
trial, to violate their conscience." The long-continued persecution of
the ruling powers proves that such men formed the majority of the
episcopal clergy. Their place was occupied by those who were willing to
receive wages from the hand of usurpation, and to see the lawful owner
in extremest need, while they enjoyed ill-acquired affluence. These men
soon won over the populace by the most false and dangerous views of
religion, stating, "that men might be religious first, and then just and
merciful; that they might sell their conscience, and yet have something
worth keeping; and that they might be sure they were elected, though
their lives were visibly scandalous; that to be cunning was to be wise;
that to be rich was to be happy; and that to speak evil of governments
was no sin[1]." Plain, instructive, practical discourses, sound and
temperate explanations of the great mysteries of Christianity, connected
views of the whole body of gospel doctrines and precepts, were cast
aside as legal formalities. Extemporary harangues, immethodical and
tautological at best, sometimes profane, often absurd and perplexing,
never instructive, became universal. One of the worst features of these
sermons was their tendency to torture scripture to the purposes of
faction, and represent the Almighty as personally concerned in the
success of rebels. "The Lord was invited to take a chair and sit among
the House of Peers," whenever that House opposed the furious proceedings
of the Commons; and if the King gained a victory, the preacher
expostulated in these irreverent terms: "Lord, thou hast said he is
worse than an infidel that provides not for his own family. Give us not
reason to say this of thee, for we are thine own family, and have lately
been scurvily provided for."

In a work intended to familiarize the conduct and principles of
loyalists to the general reader, this vindication of the episcopal
clergy, and appeal to their literary remains, and to the doctrines
delivered by their opponents on public occasions, cannot be deemed
irrelative. I now proceed with my narrative.

Dr. Beaumont was not long permitted to repose at Ribblesdale after his
enemies were armed with power for his expulsion. A visit from Morgan was
the signal of bad tidings. He required a private interview. The Doctor
silently besought Heaven to give him fortitude, and admitted him.

He began with enumerating his own kind offices, and anxiety to preserve
him in his cure, believing him to be very well-meaning, though mistaken
in his politics. He reminded him that he had ever recommended temperate
counsels, and lamented that, in the present disturbed state of things,
he or his family should, by any indiscreet act, give occasion to his
enemies to precipitate his ruin. He then pulled out a long string of
charges against the Doctor, the first of which was his affording shelter
to, and corresponding with, one Allan Evellin, calling himself Colonel
Evellin, by virtue of a pretended commission from the King, a most
dangerous delinquent and malignant, now in arms against Parliament, and
seen, in the late attack on Sir Thomas Fairfax's army, to make a
desperate charge, and murder many valiant troopers who were asserting
the good old cause. Dr. Beaumont acknowledged that he had afforded his
brother-in-law the rights of hospitality; and he put Morgan upon proof
that the King's commission was not a sufficient justification of the
alleged murders, which, he presumed, were not committed basely, or in
cold blood, but in the heat and contention of battle, and might
therefore be justified by the rule of self-defence, as well as by the
King's authority.

Morgan said the ordinance of Parliament made it treason to fight for the
King; but this assertion sounded so oddly, that he hurried to the next
count, which was, his dissuading Ralph Jobson from taking the Covenant.

The Doctor acknowledged this fact, alledging also, that as he considered
the Covenant to be sinful, he was bound in duty, as the spiritual guide
of Jobson, to advise him not to bind his soul by any ill-understood,
ensnaring obligation, being already bound, by his baptismal and
eucharistical oaths, to all that was required of Christians in an humble
station.

To Dr. Beaumont's vindication of himself from these and similar crimes,
Morgan could only answer that the ordinances of Parliament made them
offences. In these unhappy times those decrees were not supplemental to,
but abrogatory of, law and gospel. But there was another charge founded
on the violation of the grand outlines of morality, which could be
brought home to one of the Doctor's household. Morgan drew up
triumphantly, as he read the accusation, namely, "That Eustace Evellin,
son of the above malignant cavalier, did, on the 17th day of March last
past, assault and wound Hold-thy-Faith Priggins, and by force take from
his possession a box containing his property, and that he did carry off
the same, leaving the said Priggins bleeding on the high road." The
Doctor was startled; he knew this was the time of his nephew's
mountain-expedition, but was entirely ignorant of its being signalized
by any act of Quixotic chivalry. He disclaimed all knowledge of the
business, and begged to know who Hold-thy-Faith Priggins was. "I know,"
said he, "a John Priggins, a fellow of most infamous and depraved
conduct, but this other is quite a new name in this neighbourhood."

Morgan denied all personal acquaintance with the man, previous to the
day when he came to lodge his complaint against Eustace, and at the same
time announced his design of exercising the gift of preaching, to which
he just discovered he had a call. He however admitted that he believed
this same Priggins was the Doctor's old acquaintance, he having
acknowledged that previous to his conversion he had been guilty of every
sin except murder.

Dr. Beaumont imagined such a confession would justify a magistrate in
refusing to permit even the meanest part of the sacerdotal functions to
be assumed by one who mistook glorying in his iniquities for
regeneration; but Morgan replied, that it would be contrary to those
principles of civil liberty which his conscience and office required him
to support, to make any investigation into the past, or to require any
pledge for the future conduct of the convert.

Dr. Beaumont could not help observing that, in kindness to his friend
Davies, Morgan should have been careful of opening the mouth of one who
might perhaps introduce schism into the new-founded congregation.

Morgan smiled. "I perceive, my good Doctor," said he, "you are quite in
the dark in these matters; you must know, the Parliament's ordinance has
been acted upon in many parishes, and the sequestrators have taken such
note of your life and conversation as to resolve to eject you from your
living, and institute Master Davies in your place; though my influence
has hitherto suspended the actual execution of this design. Now, as I
hate all monopolies, and think every person's talents should have fair
play, during your ministry I countenanced Davies against you, and if
Davies is put in your place I shall sit under Priggins rather than
Davies, for that is the best way of keeping him sharp to his duty, and
one gets at truth best by hearing from all preachers what they have to
say for themselves."

Dr. Beaumont answered, that though assured the exercise of his
sacerdotal functions depended on his pleasure, he could not, while he
was permitted to perform it, so far desert his duty as to allow one of
his parishioners to utter wrong opinions without respectfully shewing
their fallacy. He was proceeding to the undoubtedly-fruitless labour of
trying to correct determined error, when Morgan stopped his argument by
shewing him the order he had received to eject him from his rectory.

Dr. Beaumont answered, that being humbly persuaded his ministry had been
beneficial, he wished to be allowed to continue in the quiet exercise of
his spiritual functions. His office was not bestowed upon him either by
Parliament or by the assembly of Divines, neither could the votes of the
one, nor the opinion of the other, lawfully degrade him from it.

Morgan replied, that whatever fancies he might entertain respecting the
durability of his right to the rectory, and the unalienable nature of
ordination, he must know, from numerous instances, that they had a way
now of cutting this sort of disputes very short, by expelling those who
would not walk out of doors quietly. Some indeed suffered their prudence
to get the better of their obstinacy, and were comfortably re-settled in
their benefices. One method of reconciliation which he would advise Dr.
Beaumont to attend to, was, to volunteer his subscription to the
engagement which had just been taken by Parliament and the City of
London, on the discovery of a most horrid plot formed by papists and
malignants, to put the King in possession of the Tower; to admit the
popish army into the city; to seize the godly Parliament, and put an end
to all those hopes of reformation which the nation now entertained. He
shewed the Doctor a copy of the oath, and remarked, that as nothing was
said in it about ecclesiastical changes, he could not object to swearing
to preserve the true Protestant religion against the influence of a
popish party, headed by the Queen, whom the House in its wisdom had
impeached of high-treason.

Dr. Beaumont said, the crime laid to Her Majesty's charge, which had
induced the Parliament to take that extraordinary step, was the bringing
arms and ammunition into the kingdom to assist her Sovereign and
husband, and not her being a Catholic, nor any plot or contrivance to
murder and imprison true Protestants. In the vow tendered to him, he saw
himself required to attest various matters which he disbelieved. He knew
of no Popish army raised and countenanced by the King; he knew of no
treacherous and horrid design to surprise the Parliament and the city of
London. He could not give God thanks for the discovery of what he really
believed was one of those fabrications intended to strengthen the ruling
party, which always follow a detected conspiracy. He denied that the
armies raised by the two Houses were for their just defence, or for the
liberty of the subject; and he would never promise to oppose those who
assisted the King, nor bind himself in a league with his enemies.

"My sacred function," continued the Doctor, "is that of a minister of
peace. I will never have recourse to arms except to guard my own family
from assassins; nor will I ever engage not to assist my King with my
purse or my counsels, or shut my gates on any loyal refugee who seeks
the shelter of my roof. I have few personal reasons for being attached
to Ribblesdale, but I hold myself bound to it by a spiritual contract,
and will abide here till I am forced from it, diligently,
conscientiously, and meekly doing my duty among ye, without partiality
or respect of persons. My counsel, my assistance, my purse, my prayers,
are at the service of all my parishioners; if, therefore, the residence
of a quiet man, who, though he will not sacrifice his own conscience,
imposes no restraints on others, be not inconsistent with the duty you
say you owe to these new authorities, suffer me to die in my parish. I
am ready to promise that I will never engage in plots or conspiracies
for your destruction; and since the scale of war is still suspended, and
we know not who will be the ascending party, I will also promise, that
in case the royal cause ultimately triumphs, I will use my influence
with the King in favour of my neighbours."

"You speak like a man of sense and moderation," answered Morgan. "Why
should hatred and animosity prevail between us? Why should we not
imitate the liberality of Sir William Waverly? General Waverly has just
been to see him. The worthy Baronet at first rated him a little, telling
him he had made a most unhappy choice; but they were friends in a few
minutes, and he asked Master Davies and me to dine with them; wished the
King better advisers; drank prosperity to the Parliament; and paid his
weekly assessment cheerfully. I think it is the best plan for all
parties to hold neighbourly intercourse with each other, and even to
form alliances which may some time turn to account; and this leads me to
my other proposition. I believe I may persuade the honourable
sequestrators that you are not a dangerous delinquent, nor wholly
unprofitable in the ministry; but this must be on condition that you
suffer justice to take its course with your nephew, and ally yourself to
some person of staunch principles by marriage."

Dr. Beaumont answered, he was very willing that the charge against
Eustace should be investigated, but as to intermarriage with any family,
he had long since devoted the remainder of his life to widowhood.

"But you have ladies in your house," said Morgan, drawing his chair
closer to the Doctor, and pursing his features into an enamoured grin.
The idea of a quondam scrivener making love to Mrs. Mellicent (for on
this occasion he thought only of her), and the contrast between her
dignity and Morgan's square figure and vulgar coarseness, provoked a
smile, notwithstanding the seriousness of his own situation: Morgan
thought this a good omen, and went on.

"You see me here, Master Doctor, a hale man, under fifty, pretty warm
and comfortable in circumstances; I once said I never would encumber
myself with a wife and family, but things are now going on so well, that
all will be settled before my children are grown up; and I do not see
why I should not try to make my old age comfortable, now I have done so
much for the public.--That's a very pretty, modest, well-behaved
daughter of yours, and I think would make me a good wife; a little too
young, perhaps, but she will mend of that fault every day."

Dr. Beaumont was struck dumb with surprise. Morgan continued--"And if
the young maid is willing, I shall not mind shewing favour to that
hot-headed cousin of hers, for her sake. He wants to be a soldier I
find; I could get him a commission under Lord Essex, who is a fine
spirited commander, and will give him fighting enough. You know it will
be doing just as the Waverly family do. Come, I see you
hesitate--suppose we call in the young people, and hear what they say?"

"Eustace shall immediately answer to the charge laid against him," said
the Doctor, rising to summon him. "And let Mrs. Constantia come too; I
wish that business decided first," continued Morgan.

"That business is already determined," answered the Doctor. "Eustace, I
have called you to answer to a charge laid against you, of assaulting a
peaceable passenger whom you met in your return from the mountains, and
taking from him a box which was his property. Did you or did you not
commit this outrage?"

"Aye!--answer without fear or evasion, young man," said Morgan.

"I know neither fear nor evasion," replied Eustace, darting on the
Justice a look which could not have been more contemptuous had he heard
of his offer to Constantia;--"I certainly did beat a saucy knave who
insulted me."

"And stole his goods!" said Morgan.

"I took from him something;--let him name what."

"A box or case, his property, are the words of his affidavit."

"Again," said Eustace, "I require him to state what was in that box?"

Morgan coloured--"The forms of law," said he, "must be adhered to. He
only swears to a box or case, as his property. Did you or did you not
take it from him?"

"I did."

Dr. Beaumont turned on his nephew a look of angry expostulation, which
stung him to the soul. He threw himself on the ground, and clasped his
knees in anguish. "My dearest uncle," said he, "I can bear any thing but
your displeasure. I took a box containing stolen goods from a thief, who
was carrying it to an accomplice."

Morgan was thunder-struck; for, in describing the assault, Priggins had
omitted mentioning that he had been cuffed into a full discovery of his
theft, and had owned that Morgan had agreed to accept a part of Dr.
Beaumont's spoil as a reward for giving indemnity to the rioters. He
tried to recollect himself, and told Eustace, better language to a
magistrate would become his situation.

"Who touches the hem of your magisterial robe?" said the fiery boy.
"Have I said that the villain who stole my cousin's lute, was carrying
it to you when I took it from him, and restored it to the right owner.
My dear and worthy protector, the only fault I have committed, was in
saying I found it, when you asked me how it was recovered. Let him who
accuses me of the theft be brought face to face, and I will soon make
him own who are the knaves in this business."

Morgan's confusion at being drawn into an implied self-accusation
prevented him from pressing the business further. He endeavoured to be
civil, said that Priggins must have mistaken the person of Eustace, or
have given him a false account. He believed him to be a worthless liar,
and holding out his hand to Eustace, hoped it would cause no ill blood
between them.

"No," said the latter, holding up his arm in a posture of defiance;
"there may be a concert between thieves and the receivers of stolen
goods; but we know too much of each other to shake hands, and so
remember Master Morgan I hate dissimulation, and now think of you just
as I used to do."

When they were alone the Doctor reproved Eustace for his peremptory
behaviour, and required an impartial statement of the whole affair. The
interview ended with full pardon for his past precipitation, and an
earnest admonition, as he tendered the preservation of them all, to be
guarded in future. Eustace could not but perceive that he had increased
his uncle's difficulties, and promised great prudence, with a full
intention of keeping his word.

Dr. Beaumont then proceeded to consult the faithful partner of all his
former trials on his present situation. It was to Mrs. Mellicent only
that he disclosed all that had passed in his interview with Morgan, who,
making the same misapplication of Morgan's amorous tender, drew up her
stiff figure into full stateliness. "Leave the knave to me, brother,"
said she; "I desire no better jest than to hear him make me a proposal;
I that have had a serjeant at law in his coif, and the sheriff of the
county in his coach and six, come to make love to me, to be at last
thought of by the son of a shoe-maker!"

Her brother here interposing, relieved her mind from the terrifying idea
of having the laurels of her early days blasted by this degrading
conquest, but he only changed indignation into distress. "What! our
lovely, dutiful, modest, ingenuous Constantia, to marry that lump of
sedition; that bag of cozening vulgarity; that rolling tumbril, laden
with all the off-scourings of his own detestable party!--Brother, take
my advice, and send the dear creature instantly to the King's quarters;
there is no safety for her within Morgan's reach.--These republicans
stop at nothing; I question whether my years and prudence will protect
me, but I will run all risks, and remain with you at Ribblesdale. But
let the young people be immediately removed, under the care of
Williams.--Morgan will never pardon the affront he received from
Eustace. The hint he gave about Essex, makes me apprehend that a project
will be laid to entrap the boy. I know he would sooner die than accept
any terms from traitors; let me therefore intreat you to send them all
to York, and place them under the Earl of Bellingham's protection."

Dr. Beaumont approved the plan, but cautioned her how she spoke of the
Earl of Bellingham. Mrs. Mellicent assured him she was very wary. "But,"
said she, "as we are forced to hear and say so much that is painful, let
us in our privacies indulge ourselves with anticipating brighter scenes.
I am fully persuaded that the children will outlive these sorrows. I had
a most consoling dream last night.--I saw Eustace in Castle-Bellingham,
just as I have heard Williams describe it in the old Earl's days,
attended by a train of gallant gentlemen, knights, esquires, chaplains,
pages, and all the proper retinue of nobility. I saw Constance too, our
own sweet Constance, dressed in black-velvet covered with jewels; and
she was smiling upon Eustace, and giving orders just as a countess ought
to do in the open gallery, as the servants were going about from the
hall to the buttery; I see it all now before my eyes, and I tell you,
brother, whatever you learned men may say about it, dreams often are
true prognostics, and warnings too. In one point, I believe we are both
agreed, Constance shall marry none but Eustace."

"It is more necessary," replied Dr. Beaumont, "to preserve the children
from present violence, than to lay plans for their future
aggrandisement. Prepare then with all possible speed for their removal,
and I will advise them of its absolute necessity."

This precaution was indeed truly prudent. The rancorous heart of Morgan
could not forgive the insinuated accusation of Eustace, nor the cold
hauteur with which the Doctor hurried over his offer of an alliance,
which, in the proposer's estimation, promised safety, wealth, and
honour. He immediately sent information to an officer, who was
recruiting for the Parliament, of a young desperate malignant, whom he
wished to have pressed into the service, as a mild punishment for
contumacy and outrage, and he did not doubt that the appearance of the
sequestrators, armed with full powers for immediate dispossession, would
terrify Constantia into acquiescence with his wishes, on condition that
he would protect her father.

The young party left Ribblesdale at midnight, under the escort of
Williams. The separation was marked with many tears and many anxious
wishes, that they might soon be followed by their faithful guardians.
The young ladies felt all the alarm and anxiety of leaving their quiet
homes, which is incident to their sex and years; they were terrified at
the thought of sleeping at an inn, and seeing none but strangers; "if
they should discover who we are," said Constantia, "and deliver us into
the power of Morgan!"--Eustace begged her not to be frightened, for he
would die sooner than see her exposed to any insult. "You are always so
ready to die!" observed Isabel; "what good would it do us to have you
killed? But indeed I have no fear of being discovered, for we are so
muffled up in our camlet riding-hoods, that we shall pass for
country-girls going to market. Courage! dear Constance. Come, whip your
horse on with spirit, and talk to me about eggs and poultry."

"Your brown face and red arms will pass well enough," said Eustace; "but
they must be blind idiots, who mistake our pretty Constance for a market
girl." "I will bind up my face as if I had the tooth-ache," said she;
"and talk broad Lancashire, till I come to the Marquis's quarters."
Williams observed that their danger would then begin.

The girls started, saying, they hoped they should then be in safety.
"You know not, my dear mistresses," said Williams, "the habits of camps,
nor the licence of gay, dissipated cavaliers, conscious of conferring
obligations on their King, and claiming from their occasional hardships
a right to indulgence. It is a bad situation for handsome young women,
but I have it in charge, in case I cannot deliver you into the care of
my old master, to take you on to Oxford, and place you with an old
college-friend of Dr. Beaumont's."

Eustace, whose heart had exulted at the idea of being fixed in the scene
of action, and of being permitted to endeavour to remove the prohibition
of his taking arms, strenuously opposed the plan of an Oxford residence,
as still more improper for young ladies, protesting that the flatteries
of a court and a university were more dangerous than the free licence of
military manners. He then began to caution Constantia, assuring her she
must not believe all that would be told her about the power of her eyes
to make men miserable, and about Venus and Hebe, and a great many more
nonsensical comparisons. "If I do," returned she, "it will do me no
harm. A woman is not more beloved for being handsome. There is our dear
aunt Mellicent; her face, you know, is the colour of a cowslip, and all
seamed and puckered, yet we could not love her better than we do, if she
were ever so beautiful."

Eustace allowed that she was a very good woman, though he could well
spare her putting him to rights, as she called it, quite so often. He
fancied, too, he knew some people more agreeable.--Isabel thought when
women were young, they always liked to be called handsome, and
recollected she often heard her aunt say, that before she had the
small-pox, she was thought very comely, and had many lovers. Eustace
burst into a loud laugh, and said so many provoking things on the
misfortune of old maids being reduced to record their own victories,
that his companions protested they would be very angry, and not speak to
him till he sung them a song of his own composition, by way of penance.
He submitted cheerfully to the punishment, and caroled the following
canzonet, as they proceeded in safety to the borders of Yorkshire:--

    Once Beauty bade the God of Wit
      Appease her anger with his songs;
    Love thought the sacrifice unfit,
      And cried, "The task to me belongs."

    Light flow'd the strain of wayward smiles.
      Of blushes and of tears he sung,
    Of mournful swains arrang'd in files,
      And hearts on eye-shot arrows hung.

    But Beauty frown'd; "This lay from thee!
      Proud rebel, dost thou break thy chain?
    Wit may devise a sportive glee,
      But Love should languish and complain."

    To whom the God: "When you disguise
      Your charms with spleen's fantastic shade,
    Insulted Love to Wit applies,
      And goes like you in masquerade."


    [1] Life of Bishop Sanderson.




CHAP. X.

    The noble mind stands a siege against adversity, while the little
    spirit capitulates at once.

                                                 Murphy's Tacitus.


On the morning after he had wisely sent away his precious charge, Dr.
Beaumont was visited by Dame Humphreys, who was now grown sincerely
penitent for all the insolent demeanour of herself and family, and
desirous to make what reparation was in her power. A revolution had also
taken place in her husband's mind. He had espoused the parliamentary
cause, in the hope of being his own master, and of paying no more taxes;
but he now found that the power assumed by the commissioners, to whom
the Parliament had committed the execution of the ordinance, respecting
the array of the different counties, was far more insupportable (as
being the tyranny of many) than the feudal rights and aristocratic
superiority heretofore exercised by the noble family of Stanley. Those
new men, exercising the powers granted them by the conservators of
public freedom, had, on his refusing voluntary contribution, seized his
best cart-horse, three of his fat bullocks, and the silver-tankard he
won at a wrestling-match, for which (after entering them at half their
original value) they gave him a memorandum, certifying that he was a
public creditor, "to be repaid at such a time, and in such a manner as
Parliament should agree." Besides this, the tax-gatherers, a race of
beings whom he abominated, took their circular range to collect the
weekly assessment, which Humphreys found would amount to nearly five
times the original sum required by the King to defray the expences of
government, though the insupportable burden of his demands was urged as
the greatest public grievance. The obstinate temper of Humphreys would
not indeed permit him to make so frank a confession of his errors as his
wife did, but he charged her to say, that, when turned out of his own
house, Dr. Beaumont should be welcome to the use of his, as long as the
King and the taxing-men left him one to live in.

Dame Humphreys had another motive for her visit. Like all the villagers,
she was passionately fond of Eustace: she had seen a recruiting party
enter the town, and heard them inquire for the young man whom the
Justice meant to impress. In her eagerness to defend him, she excited a
mob of women to scold and insult the party, while she flew to the
rectory to give him notice to escape. But for the precautions taken
during the night, her kindness would have been ineffectual; for the
soldiers speedily dispersed their feeble assailants, and drew themselves
up in order before the rectory. The lieutenant who commanded them,
required to speak with Dr. Beaumont; and, in a tone of authorised
insolence, bade him give up the son of the delinquent, whom he
harboured.

The Doctor had spent the night in devotion, and came from his oratory
clad in that celestial panoply which is proof against the terrors of
military array. Calm as a Christian hero who felt himself called to
sustain the character of a soldier of truth, he answered, "The youth you
inquire for is my nephew, left in my care by his father, and I should
certainly protect him with my life if he were now in my house, but he
has left it."

"On what errand? which road?" Dr. Beaumont was silent. It was proposed
by some of the party to break into the house.

"That will be unnecessary," returned the lieutenant. "Their Honours, the
sequestrators, will speedily be here. Draw up round the house, and see
that none escape. Our duty further extends to taking away all the
horses, arms, and ammunition, of which I now require an account."

Dr. Beaumont pointed to his old gelding. "He has served me well," said
he, "and if you take him from me, I trust you will use him kindly. Arms
and ammunition I have none. I lived in this parish as a parent among his
children, obeying the laws of my country, and fearing no violence."

At this instant the sequestrators arrived, headed by Morgan. He lamented
that the painful duty had fallen upon him, but assured the Doctor that
he had delayed it as long as his own safety would permit, and that all
possible gentleness should be used. They then shewed their authority,
and required admission. The door was immediately opened, and they
proceeded from room to room, accompanied by Dr. Beaumont, who, with
unruffled fortitude, saw them take an inventory of his property, even to
the most minute article, his wearing apparel being exempted as a mark of
especial mercy[1]. Morgan, who at every turn expected to discover
Constantia fainting with terror, or shrieking for mercy, was
disappointed at only encountering the steady heroism of her father, and
the iron rigidity and proud contempt of her aunt, whose regret at seeing
the hoarded treasures of her industry, and the idols of her cleanly
notability, exposed to the hands and eyes of the profane vulgar, was
subdued by her detestation of the meanness and baseness of those from
whom her revered brother suffered this indignity and spoliation.

"And where," said Morgan, "are the pretty maids? Hid in some corner, I
doubt not. Poor lambs! they are innocent, and have no cause to fear
anything. I am sure they shall be welcome to an asylum in my house; and
you too, Madam Mellicent, if you would condescend----"

"They are gone, Morgan," said she, suddenly restored to the use of her
speech by the supreme pleasure of reproving a villain; "they are gone
with Eustace to the Marquis of Newcastle, out of thy power or that of
thy wicked masters, and their unjust ordinances."

Morgan (as in his altercation with Eustace) perceived that the more he
personally interfered, the greater hazard he ran of exposure. He
therefore slightly lamented that such harmless children should apprehend
any danger from him, and withdrew, while the sequestrators proceeded to
sell the goods by public auction. Not a bidder stepped forward. The
parishioners were dissolved in tears, and every article exposed to sale
excited some associated recollections of the goodness of the owner or
his family; they saw the chairs on which they had sat while he mildly
pointed out their best interests; the tables at which they had been
liberally, though plainly, regaled; the beds which had afforded repose
to the traveller; the vessels which had fed the hungry and refreshed the
weary; the wheels which produced clothing for the naked; the chemical
apparatus which had provided medicine for the sick, and consolation for
the afflicted. No bidders appearing to purchase the articles in detail,
the whole was put up in one lot. Dame Humphreys presented herself as a
purchaser; no one opposed her; and she was declared to be the possessor
of the Doctor's property.

The sequestrators then demanded an account of all rents and sums due to
the late Rector, and having noted them down for the observation of
parliament, they informed Dr. Beaumont that, as a new and godly ministry
was to be substituted for an old and unprofitable one, they now expelled
him from the cure of souls and all temporalities thereto belonging, and
instituted and inducted Joab Davies into his rectory. His conduct had,
they said, been so refractory as would justify arresting and sending him
prisoner to London, where multitudes of proud high-priests were now
confined, either on board hulks in the river, or in the palaces, as they
were disloyally named, of the deposed anti-christian bishops; but so
merciful were their tempers, that they would allow him to depart and
shift for himself, only remembering that he was a marked character, and
on his next offence must expect some severe punishment.

Dr. Beaumont answered, that the testimony of a clear conscience had
enabled many to take joyfully the spoiling of their goods; and he
doubted not he should experience similar consolation. He then required a
pass for himself and his sister. The sequestrators granted one, and left
him.

Their place was immediately supplied by Davies, to whom they had given
possession, and who said he was moved by bowels of mercy to comfort a
backsliding brother in his tribulation, and to exhort him to consider
his ways, and examine wherein he had offended the Lord, who, by a
visible and affecting providence, had thus mightily punished him.

Dr. Beaumont, meantime, was endeavouring to collect his thoughts for a
parting address to his parishioners. He remembered that impertinent
comforters constituted one of the trials of Job; and he entreated Heaven
to enable him also to sustain meekly this further conflict. "Master
Davies," said he, "I learned from the book in which I studied my
ministerial duties, that afflictions are not only judgments and
corrections to offenders, but awakening conflicts and purifying trials
to those whom the Father of the universe loves, and considers as his
dear children. Far be it from me to justify myself in the sight of Him
who sees impurity in the heavens, and imperfection in the best deeds of
his most exalted creatures; but it is a manifest consolation to me, in
this day of my calamity, that my conscience does not reproach me with
any wilful violation of my holy function, and therefore, though my
pastoral staff is taken from me, and my flock given to one who has
leaped into the fold, I see in all this, rather the hand of Providence
smiting a guilty nation for its provocations, than a judgment pointed
peculiarly at me, further than as a sinner who adds to the general
burden of transgressions. The powers to whom you pay obedience I never
did acknowledge to be my lawful rulers. On the contrary, I have ever
strove against them in defence of those who, I think, were unjustly
deprived of their hereditary right. When a strong arm forces me out of
my heritage, resistance would only endanger my life. I yield, therefore,
possession to you, not willingly, nor from respect to your claim as a
just one, but by constraint and with a solemn protest against the hard
measure I have met with. By taking on yourself the office of which I am
unjustly deprived, you have, in my judgment, committed a great sin. Use
the power you are allowed to exercise with such temperance as may
mitigate the awful inquisition which will one day be made into the means
by which you acquired it. While you act as a pastor to this parish,
remember you are not a shepherd to your own party and a wolf to mine.
Deny not the blessed sacraments instituted by our common Saviour, to
those whose only crime it is to reject the ordinances and covenants
which a faction in one branch of the legislature attempt to impose,
notwithstanding the protests they have made against what they call human
institutions, though sanctioned by all the legal authorities in the
kingdom. Endeavour to allay the ferment of men's minds instead of making
the pulpit a seditious tribune, and the Bible a trumpet calling aloud to
battle. Remember, the latter is a rule of conduct to Christians in all
ages and all conditions of the world, and that its prophecies are not of
private interpretation, nor its texts designed to be bandied about as
the watch-words of party, to inflame disagreement into enmity, or to
smite down our opponents with the spiritual staff of misapplied
scripture. A docile mind alone is wanting to such an understanding of
the sacred volume as will make us wise unto salvation; but many are the
gifts which a Christian teacher requires, and diligent should be his
labour before he attempts to guide others, especially when controversy
pushes morality from the pulpit, and the auditory are made judges of
metaphysical theology, not hearers of the commandments."

Davies, who was at first silenced by his astonishment at perceiving Dr.
Beaumont's native dignity and superiority in no wise abated by
misfortunes, soon recalled his natural allies, ignorance and insolence,
to interrupt these admonitions, plainly telling him, that since he did
not know his offences, he would inform him that he had too much
neglected the duty of preaching, giving but one sermon on the Sabbath,
and starving his flock by the formalities of written prayers and verbal
catechisms. He had also in his sermons confined himself to legal
preaching, not sufficiently attending to the inner man, and sometimes
not telling how we were to be saved. Moreover, he had spoken too
favourably of the Papists, contenting himself with calling them erring
brethren, whereas he ought, as a good Protestant, to have delivered all
the bloody race to Tophet, whose children they were. He further held
gross errors, such as that salvation was offered to all mankind, that it
was possible for the elect to sin, and that we were not mere machines
acted on by grace, but possessed the liberty of free-will, by which we
might resist or co-operate with the Spirit.

"My Brethren and Friends," said Dr. Beaumont, turning to his
parishioners, who listened in ignorant astonishment to these charges,
"Dear charge, from whom violence now separates me, but to whom I will
hope to be again restored--as ye value your immortal souls, imprint on
your minds this solemn truth, 'Not the hearers but the doers of the law
shall be justified.' Ye will now probably have your attention fixed on
needless, difficult, and unedifying questions, which our limited
faculties cannot in this life clearly understand; but remember that in
discussing them ye are exposed to those great offences, spiritual pride,
and a desire of being wise above what is written. Ye will have many and
long sermons, but it is well said, 'prayer is the end of preaching,' An
excellent form was established in this kingdom, which made devotion
uniform; but now, alas! by using extemporary prayers, even in
worshipping God ye must be listeners to your minister, not petitioners
for spiritual graces. Avoid consigning those generations who are passed
away, to perdition, by supposing these new lights alone can shew you the
way to be saved. Ask not if they who differ from you must be accursed.
To scrutinize the spiritual estate of others will neither promote your
holiness nor your security. Think not the further you go from the church
of Rome, the nearer ye approach to God; nor confound the superstitious
observances, which she mis-named good works, with the deeds of
righteousness that Scripture requires you to perform, not as bestowing a
right to eternal life, but as your part of the covenant of grace to
which you have been admitted. Be not misled by the quoted opinions of
early reformers. They depreciated not acts of piety, integrity, and
social kindness, but 'masses, dirges, obsequies, rising at midnight,
going barefoot, jubilees, invocation of saints, praying to images, vows
of celibacy, pardons, indulgences, founding of abbeys'[2], and other
supererogatory performances, by which Popery in effect invalidated the
true atonement, and pretended that sinners might merit heaven. Against
these vain devices of men our glorious martyrs lifted up their voices;
these were the good works they decried; but when ye misapply their just
anathemas, to condemn the fruits of faith acting by love, ye belie their
memory, and tear asunder those strong pillars of belief and practice
which support the Christian doctrine. Lamentable are the effects which
schism produces. At the very beginning of our divisions the pious Jewell
doubted how to address those who preferred contending for trifles to
peace. He could not, he said, 'call them brethren, for then they would
agree as brethren; nor Christians, for then they would love as
Christians.' And now, when the miseries he saw at a distance have
overwhelmed us, how shall our woes be healed? Even by promoting, as far
as in us lies, that mild and candid spirit, which, when it becomes
universal, will terminate our sorrows. Let us conduct our disputes with
the temper of pious Hooker; and when we say to our adversaries, 'you err
in your opinions,' add also, 'but be of good comfort, you have to do
with a merciful God, who will make the best of that little which you
hold well, and not with a captious sophister, who gathers the worst out
of every thing in which you are mistaken.' It is this captious sophistry
which fans disagreement till it blazes into dissension, which changes
the simplicity of gospel-truth into wordy declamation; and, in zeal for
the phylacteries of religion, rends its substance, which is peace. Thus
is Christendom convulsed with tempests which obscure the Sun of
Righteousness, and prevent its beams from warming the cold regions of
heathen darkness.

"My Friends, ye are called to times of trial, and your brother Man is
the agent whom Providence uses to correct you. Remember that he is only
the agent. In the abode of condemned spirits the Almighty permits an
uncontrolled mis-rule of diabolical passions, and total misery is the
result. In the celestial regions, the will of the Creator is understood
and obeyed; and there dwells eternal peace. In this mixed state the best
err, from frailty and ignorance; but the wrath of the wicked is
over-ruled by Divine mercy, and made to produce the good it labours to
prevent. Let us, in the words of the Church, pray that earth may more
resemble heaven; and let us also remember that our prayers are precepts,
teaching us to promote in our lives what we request in our
supplications."

Dr. Beaumont here knelt down, and, with devout energy, repeated several
collects from the Liturgy, commending the oppressed church to the mercy
of its Divine Founder, and imploring peace and resignation for its
suffering members. The wind gently waved his silvered locks, the setting
sun cast a beam on his pale countenance, his eyes were occasionally
moistened with tears, and his faultering voice discovered how much the
man endured; but when he rose to give his parting blessing, the patient
and dignified confessor, suffering in a glorious cause, triumphed over
the weakness of human sensibility. Each individual seemed to feel that
the benediction applied to his own wants, and proved its efficacy by
imparting the composure of him who bestowed it.

They now crowded round their departing pastor, earnestly entreating him
to shelter with them that night; but Dame Humphreys pleaded a prior
engagement. "Think not," said she, as she conducted the Doctor and Mrs.
Mellicent to her house, "that I have bought Your Reverence's goods, with
a view of turning them to my own profit. They shall all be carefully
stored, and not a trencher touched till you come back again. I only wish
you safe with the King; for I am sure if he had such honest men always
with him, things would never have been brought to this pass. I hope you
will tell His Majesty to choose only good men for his ministers, and to
hear nothing but truth, and not to suffer landlords to oppress poor
farmers, and to have no worldly-minded bishops and clergy, but to make
every body charitable and do their duty like you and Madam Mellicent."

The good dame's harangue was interrupted by discovering that, during her
absence from home, her maid Susan had neglected her dairy to indulge in
a flirtation with the plough-boy, and had been detected in the fact of
conveying to him a stolen can of ale. The difficulty of conducting a
small household according to the unerring rule of right, diverted Dame
Humphreys from proceeding in her plan of reforming state-abuses; and her
complaints of the tricks and evasions of servants, furnished Dr.
Beaumont with a good opportunity of hinting how impossible it was for
Kings to find ability and integrity in all the agents they were
compelled to employ.

Early the ensuing morning, Dr. Beaumont and his sister prepared to
depart. The former, with his staff in his hand and Bible under his arm,
looked like another Hooker setting out on his painful pilgrimage; but
the care of Dame Humphreys had secured for him his own calash, and
stored it with the most portable and valuable of his goods. The farmer
himself fastened to it the sure-footed old horse, which had been for
years the faithful companion of their journeys. "They gave him to me
yesterday," said Humphreys, "instead of my cart-horse, which they took
away. But Jowler was worth twice as much; yet that's neither here nor
there. Your Reverence has a right to old Dobbin, and nobody else shall
have him. And as to your rents, as you never was a bad landlord in the
main, I'll try if I can't now and then send you a trifle; for I don't
see that these new people have any right to what they take."

"Hush, hush," said Dame Humphreys, "His Reverence yesterday bade us
behave well, and do our duty to every body."

"So I will," returned Humphreys; "but I hate your new laws, and your
taxing men, and your arrays and assessments, which take your horses out
of your team, and your money out of your pocket, and nobody knows what
for. I believe Master Davies is no better than a worldling, for he
talked yesterday about raising my rent, and if that's his humour, I'll
be even with him; for I'll go and hear Priggins directly."

"Priggins," said one of the by-standers, "is a fine man, with a good
voice, and tolerable action; but he is nothing to the serjeant-major of
Sir William Brureton's rangers, who preached at the drum-head at Bolton,
and made the whole town declare against Lord Derby."

"Tell me of no serjeants-majors nor Prigginses," said Dame Humphreys,
"we shall never edify under any body as we did under the good old
Doctor."

This conversation passed among the villagers, after the Beaumonts, with
dejected but submissive hearts, had taken their silent departure from
Ribblesdale.


    [1] Many of these circumstances are copied from Bishop Hall's
    "Hard Measure." He greatly leaned to the Puritans in doctrine; and,
    in discipline was a noted opposer of Archbishop Laud.

    [2] This list is taken out of a much more numerous one cited by
    Lord Cobham.




CHAP. XI.

    O piteous spectacle! O bloody times!
    Whilst lions war, and battle for their dens,
    Poor harmless lambs abide their enmity.

                                                 Shakspeare.


We left Eustace wakening the echoes with his songs, which, while they
expressed the exultation of his heart at emerging from confinement and
obscurity, and launching into a busy scene of action, were also intended
to divert the alarm of his fair companions. Williams recommended caution
and silence to no purpose; Eustace was sure they were going on safe.
They were still at a great distance from the Parliament's garrison at
Halifax, when they were joined by a person in the dress of a countryman,
but in reality a scout belonging to the army of Fairfax. He drew the
incautious Eustace into conversation, and soon perceived that the
affected vulgarity of his language ill accorded with the polished
accents he had overheard. Guessing from this circumstance that they
belonged to the family of some Loyalist, and were attempting to escape
to their friends, he, under pretence of shewing them a nearer way,
delivered them into the custody of a foraging party belonging to the
garrison.

Eustace discovered that they were betrayed at the moment when retreat
was impossible, and resistance of no avail. He now lamented that he had
despised the cautions of Williams; and, as he was furnished with arms,
determined to sell his life as dear as possible. The shrieks of the
ladies in a moment arrested his arm, and also drew the attention of the
cornet who commanded the party which had surprised them. He ordered his
troop to retire a few paces, and, riding up to Eustace, exclaimed,
"Madman, whose life are you going to sacrifice?" Eustace turning, beheld
Constantia fainting; and, throwing away his pistols, answered, "One
dearer than my own. If republicans can shew mercy, spare her."

"You shall find," returned the officer, "that they have mercy and honour
too. Let me conjure the ladies to moderate their terrors. They are
indeed my prisoners; but they shall be treated with all the respect
which their sex, and, if I guess aright, their quality, deserve."

Isabel, who supported her lifeless cousin, raised her eyes to bless the
benevolence which dictated such consolatory expressions, and saw they
were uttered by a graceful youth, a little older than her brother, in
whose countenance animation was blended with benignity and compassion.

"For Heaven's sake," said she, "if you pity us, let the troopers sheath
their broad swords; we will make no resistance; alas! the alarm has
killed dear Constantia."

The cornet leaped from his horse, and assisted to raise her. "Her pulses
beat," said he, "and she recovers fast. But why, Madam, are you not
equally alarmed?"

"I have been used to sorrows and difficulties from my infancy," returned
Isabel; "but Constantia has never known any thing but care and
tenderness."

"Are you her sister?"

"No; I have only that brother. He is rash, but brave and good. Do not
hurt him, for his death would kill my father."

"It shall be in his own power," returned the officer, "to fashion his
fortunes. I wish, Sir, not to be thought your enemy otherwise than as my
duty enjoins. You see I am in the service of the Parliament. Tell me,
frankly, who you are. It is possible I may befriend you; at least I know
I can the ladies who are under your care."

Eustace, whose attention was now relieved by seeing Constantia recover,
could not resist an invitation to frankness. "I am not," said he, "what
my dress imports, but the son of a cavalier and a gentleman; we were
going to put ourselves under his protection. Allow us to proceed to
Colonel Evellin's quarters, and I will ever esteem you as my friend,
even if we should meet on opposite parts, in some bloody conflict."

"I will befriend you," answered the cornet; "but the success of my
efforts must depend on their being conducted with secrecy. Colonel
Evellin is not now in the north. He was attached to the escort who
conducted the Queen to Oxford. Is it your wish to follow him?"

They answered in the affirmative. "I must hold no further intercourse
with you," continued he; "be of good courage;" then kissing his hand,
with a smile to Isabel, he ordered Williams to follow with them, and
rejoined his troopers.

"Surely," observed Isabel, "he cannot be a round-head. I thought they
were all like old Morgan; and this is a true gentleman." Constantia
acquiesced in this opinion, and supposed he might be a loyalist, taken
prisoner, and compelled to join the rebel army. Eustace, in an equal
degree unwilling to allow any good qualities to a person who was in arms
against the King, declared that he suspected the apparent urbanity of
the stranger to be only a prelude to some base design. He resolved, that
while they continued prisoners, nothing should separate him from his
fair charge; and Williams and he agreed that they would sit up
alternately every night, in order to be ready at the first alarm.

"Surely," said Isabel, "you forget my uncle's precept, 'Be moderate.'
Just now you were all confidence that the false guide would shew us a
road to avoid Halifax; and now you are, without cause, suspecting that
this gentleman will use us cruelly."

"Are they not both rebels and republicans?" rejoined Eustace. "The only
difference is, that one was an ugly vulgar knave, and this a handsome
courtly one." Isabel blushed and gave up the argument, thinking it
useless to contend with one who was never subdued by opposition.

On their arrival at Halifax, they were provided with comfortable
apartments. A guard was placed at the door; but they were informed that
every indulgence should be allowed them, except that of being at
liberty. Williams was ordered to attend the council of officers, to be
examined as to their name and designs; and the captives waited his
return with the impatience natural to those whose fate is about to be
decided.

The account which he gave of his examination seemed to confirm the
suspicions entertained by Eustace of the sinister designs of the cornet,
who had anticipated the deposition of Williams, by describing the party
as the children and niece of a cavalier, now an active officer in the
popish army, advising that they should be sent, with some other
prisoners, to London, there to be kept in safe durance till they could
be exchanged for some other party who had fallen into the hands of the
Royalists. Williams was not suffered to speak. The proposal was adopted;
and orders were given that the escort should set off next morning.

The indignant ravings of Eustace, and the mortification of poor Isabel,
who had seen, in the "melting eye of her supposed protector, a soft
heart and too brave a soul to offer injuries, and too much a Christian
not to pardon them in others," in fine, a generous, open, honourable
character, very like her dear father, called forth the mediation of
Constance, who, recollecting her own father's precepts, recommended
candour and patience. "At least," said she, "whatever befals us, let us
not lose the consolation of fellowship in affliction. We have yet the
comfort of being together; and perhaps we may not find captivity so
dreadful, nor our enemies so merciless as we expect. If they do not take
you from us, dearest Eustace, we cannot be quite miserable."

They were now joined by an elderly man in the dress of a clergyman, who,
though somewhat precise in his habit, and quaint in his address, was
venerable and benevolent in his aspect and expressions. "Fair maidens,"
said he, "I come to inquire if you are content with your present
accommodations, and willing to begin your journey towards London
to-morrow morning. The governor of this garrison has joined me to your
escort; and it will be a duty I shall gladly undertake, to render your
travel lightsome, and your perils trivial."

"May we," answered Isabel, "request to know to whom we shall be so
obliged?"

"You may call me Mr. Barton," replied he, "a minister of the church by
the laying on the hands of the presbytery. My immediate call among these
men in arms, arises from my being tutor to the young officer, to whom
you are surrendered prisoners."

"And did you," said the indignant Eustace, among other things, "teach
him craft and falsehood."

"I have still to learn those Satanical arts," returned Barton, "and
therefore could not teach them."

"Were they then," resumed Eustace, "innate properties in his mind?
Though little more than my own age, he is a master in the science of
dissimulation. He practised upon my fears; I mean, my fears for these
dear girls, and wormed from my confiding folly a disclosure of my
parentage, and my wishes. He promised to serve us. I trusted to his
word; and he performs it by rivetting our chains beyond hope of
liberation."

"While life endures," returned Barton, "hope and fear successively
eclipse each other. Yet a wise man should remember both are casualties,
which may give colour to his future fortunes. We must allow the enraged
lion to chafe, but lest his roarings should terrify these tender lambs,
and drive them out among beasts of prey, an old watch-dog will crouch
beside them, and assuage their alarms. I fancy, pretty maids, you never
were in company with a real round-head before; come, tell me truly, is
he as terrible a creature as your fears pictured."

"I am half inclined to think you do not mean to injure us," said Isabel.

"Beware," cried Eustace, lifting up his finger; "remember your past
confidence."

"But this is an old gentleman," resumed Isabel, and pressed Barton's
offered hand between both hers; "perhaps he is a father, and feels for
two terrified girls, who never were among strangers before. Or,
perhaps," returning the benevolent smile of Barton with one of playful
archness, "he may find us such a troublesome charge, that he will be
glad to get rid of us before we reach London."

"My pretty Eve," returned Barton; "I am proof to temptation. What I have
undertaken to do I will perform."

"Yet possibly," said she, "you would just allow me to speak once more to
that officer, your pupil. I only wish to remind him of his past
promises."

"Rather," replied Barton, "to move him to make more, or perchance make
him your prisoner. No, fair lady, I see too much of your puissance, to
trust my noble pupil in your presence. Yet I would have you think as
well of him as the cloudy aspect of present appearances will admit, for
man oweth man candour; it is the current coin of social life, and they
who do not traffic with it, must not expect a supply for their own
wants."

Eustace fretted at this _badinage_, and thought Barton a miserable
jester. He caught at the epithet "Noble," and asked if any one, lawfully
entitled to it, would be so degenerate as to rebel against his King.

"I am one of those stern teachers," said Barton, "who see nobility only
in virtuous actions and high attainments, but even in your sense of the
word, my pupil has a right to the name, being lineally descended from
those mighty Barons, who in early times enforced Kings to yield, and
gave us the right we now enjoy of sitting under our own vine and eating
the fruit of our own fig-tree. And remember, young cavalier, that all
men's minds are not shaped in one mould, nor have corresponding habits
cherished in them the same associations. We have all two characters; our
friends look at the white side, and see our virtues; our foes at the
black, and discern nothing but our faults. The same action of the King's
may be so coloured by report, as to justify my pupil's enmity and your
passionate loyalty. You have been trained to deem passive obedience a
duty, while he has learned to think that an English nobleman ought to
resist arbitrary power. We thought many of the King's proceedings were
contrary to the laws of the realm; and, therefore, joined those who
sought to abridge his prerogative. And now that we have buckled on
armour, retreat is difficult; it is dangerous too; party is a
high-mettled steed, when we are mounted we must hold out the whole race
it pleases to run. But before we part for the night, I will propose one
toast; it is your brave and virtuous Lord Falkland's, and in fact the
prayer of every honest man among us--Peace, peace on any terms, rather
than see England blushing with blood and with crimes!"

Isabel received a very favourable impression of the integrity and
benevolence of Barton from this conversation, and formed a sort of
undefined hope, respecting the result of their captivity, which induced
her strenuously to reject all the plans which Eustace repeatedly formed
for their emancipation. The most disheartening circumstance was, that
they saw no more of Williams. They sometimes flattered themselves that
he had regained his liberty, and would carry an account of their
situation to Colonel Evellin. They observed, that Barton took no notice
of his absence, and hoping that in the confusion which commonly occurs
in conveying a multitude of prisoners he had been overlooked, they
forbore to make any inquiries that might endanger his safety.

The country through which they passed in their journey toward London,
afforded them a full view of the miseries and crimes incident to civil
war. The fields, in many places, were without any trace of culture; in
others, the harvest had been prematurely seized or purposely wasted, to
cut off the enemy's resources. They saw beautiful woods wantonly felled;
towns and villages partially burnt; the youthful part of the population
either enrolled in one or other of the hostile armies, or secreting
themselves to avoid being pressed into military service. The few
labourers to be seen in the fields consisted of the aged, the sick, or
those who were disabled; and these no longer exhibited the cheerful
aspect of happy industry, but shewed sorrow in their faces, and
wretchedness in their garb. In towns, the more respectable inhabitants
were dressed in mourning, thus announcing, that the death of some
relation gave them a deep private interest in the public sorrow. The
unemployed manufacturers crowded the streets, eagerly perusing libellous
pamphlets, or diurnal chronicles, disputing furiously on points which
none could clearly explain or indeed comprehend, asking for news as if
it were bread, and shewing by the lean ferocity of their faces, and the
squalid negligence of their attire, that from unpitied poverty sprung
all the virulent passions of rage, envy, revenge, and disobedience. By
such as these, the detachment that escorted the prisoners were received
with transport as friends and deliverers, who, when their glorious toils
were completed, would transform the present season of woe into a golden
age of luxurious enjoyment and unvaried ease; and as the rebel troops
were well furnished with money, and supplied with every necessary out of
the royal magazines, which were seized in the beginning of the contest,
they were enabled to pay for all the articles of subsistence, and thus
acquired a popularity which the strict discipline preserved by their
officers tended to increase. Hence at every town they passed through,
they were not only hailed with acclamations, but received an
augmentation of force by the recruits who joined them, under a certainty
of receiving pay and cloathing.

Beside the mortification of thus viewing the strength of a party whom
they hoped to find weak, disjointed, and inefficient, our young captives
had the misery of hearing the royal cause every where vilified, and the
Sovereign's personal character traduced. Among the King's misfortunes
his inability to pay his army, or to supply it with necessaries, was
most injurious to his success. His forces were chiefly raised and kept
together by the private fortunes and influence of loyal noblemen and
gentry, many of whom, even members of the house of Peers, served as
privates, receiving neither honour nor reward, except the generous
satisfaction of conscious duty. The situation of those who ranged
themselves on this side without funds for their own support, was most
precarious, the King being compelled to tax the few places which
preserved their allegiance with their entire maintenance. The weekly
assessment laid upon the nation by the house of Commons being granted by
the constitutional purse-bearer, took the name of a lawful impost; but
every demand of His Majesty might be construed into an exaction. Fearful
to indispose the minds of subjects, pecuniary levies were cautiously
resorted to; hence the officers were compelled to connive at plunder,
and the destitute soldier often had no other means to supply his
imperious wants. For the same reasons discipline was relaxed; every man
who had largely contributed to the King's cause felt himself independent
of his authority. Obliged beyond all probable power of remuneration, the
Prince saw himself surrounded by men who had forfeited their estates,
renounced their comforts, and risked their lives to support a tottering
throne. Yet still they were subject to human passions, and liable to
have those passions heightened by the free manners of camps, while the
unhappy circumstances of the cause for which they fought exonerated them
from those strict restraints that are so peculiarly necessary in an
army, where right must always be less respected than power, and where
severe privations, and the frail tenure by which life is held, are ever
urged as motives to a licentious enjoyment of the present hour. While
from these causes such relaxed discipline prevailed in a royal garrison,
as generally to indispose the neighbourhood to its politics, the
parliamentary officers felt bound to each other by the common fears of
guilt, knowing that success alone could preserve them from the penalties
of treason. Their soldiers being well supplied with every thing, had no
excuse for plundering; and all acts of violence were punished with
severity by those who, though of small consideration in their original
situations compared with the King's officers, yet still held a natural
command over the lowest vulgar, of whom the parliamentary rank and file
were composed.

To return to the woes which our young captives witnessed in their
melancholy tour through the seat of civil war.--The houses of the
nobility and gentry were either abandoned or converted into places of
strength, fortified for the defence of the inhabitants. Occasionally
they passed over what had recently been a field of battle. The
newly-formed hillocks pointed out the number of the slain; broken
weapons and torn habiliments still more indubitably identified the
mournful history; or flocks of ravens and other carrion birds hovering
over the slightly-covered relics of a noble war-horse, which had been
unearthed by foxes, presented a more savage picture of carnage.
Sometimes a pale wounded soldier, whose inability to serve prevented his
being secured as a prisoner, or removed by his friends, was seen
lingering upon the spot that had proved fatal to his hopes of glory,
sustained by the compassion of the neighbourhood or asking alms of the
traveller with whom he crept over the graves of his comrades, shewing
where the charge was first made, pointing to the spot where the leader
fell, and telling what decided the fortune of the day.

Scenes very different, yet equally revolting to the feelings of Eustace
and his companions, were frequently exhibited by the fury of fanatic
mobs, employed in what they called reforming the churches and cleansing
them from idolatry. The exquisite remains of antient art, the paintings,
carvings, and other splendid decorations with which our ancestors
adorned the structures consecrated to the worship of God, were broken
and torn away with such unrelenting fury and blind rage of destruction,
as in many instances to threaten the safety of the edifice they
beautified. The Satanical spirit of fanaticism rioted uncontrolled; and
to use the words of a venerable Bishop[1], who saw his own cathedral
defaced, "it is no other than tragical to relate the carriage of that
furious sacrilege, whereof our eyes and ears were the sad witnesses,
under the authority and presence of the sheriff. Lord! what work was
here--what clattering of glasses--what beating down of walls--what
tearing up of monuments--what pulling up of seats--what wresting out of
iron and brass from the windows and graves--what defacing of arms--what
demolishing of curious stone-work, that had not any representation in
the world but only of the cast of the founder, and the skill of the
mason--what tooting and piping upon the destroyed organ-pipes, and what
a hideous triumph on the market-day before all the country, when, in a
kind of sacrilegious and profane procession, all the organ-pipes,
vestments, copes and surplices, together with the leaden cross which had
been newly sawn down from over the green-yard pulpit, and the
service-books and singing-books that could be had, were carried to the
fire in the public marketplace; a lewd wretch walking along in the train
in his cope, trailing in the dirt, with his service-book in his hand,
imitating in impious scorn the time, and usurping the words of the
Litany used formerly in the church. Near the public cross all these
monuments of idolatry must be sacrificed to the fire, not without much
ostentation of a zealous joy in discharging ordnance, to the cost of
some who professed how much they longed to see that day. Neither was it
any news upon this guild-day to have the cathedral, now open on all
sides, to be filled with musketeers, waiting for the mayor's return,
drinking and tobaccoing as freely as if it had turned ale-house."

At these sad spectacles (of which almost every ornamented church they
passed supplied an instance), Isabel contemplated with pleasure the
character of Barton[2], who displayed that moderation and liberality
which justified her predilection for him, and her hopes for themselves.
He reproved the conduct of the mob with severity, and even hazarded his
own safety by opposing their outrages. He exhorted the police to prevent
what he termed an Anti-christian triumph over good taste, good manners,
and good sense. He represented how grossly indecent it was that
magistrates should seem, by their presence, to sanction the violation of
authority, and the reverence due to antiquity, and he sometimes
prevailed upon them to order the rabble to disperse, whom they had
previously invited to the task of spoliation. He spoke to the
better-informed, of the degradation which England would suffer in the
eyes of surrounding nations, by thus wantonly "sweeping the land with
the besom of destruction," and annihilating all those records of her own
pre-eminence, which other countries, had they possessed them, would have
been so solicitous to preserve. He distinguished between excitements to
devotion and objects of worship, and he read from his little
pocket-bible a description of the decorations bestowed on the first and
second temples, and remarked, that when the Saviour of the world
predicted the ruin of the latter, he threw no censure on the munificence
of those who had adorned it. He shewed, that the plainness and poverty
which of necessity attached to an afflicted church in its infancy,
destined to make its way, not by the usual assistances of worldly
wisdom, but in opposition to principalities and powers, were no rule for
her government in future ages, when she was to be brought to her
heavenly spouse "in glorious attire, with joy and gladness," and instead
of wandering among caves and deserts, was to "enter into Kings'
palaces." "If," said he, "you maintain that the overthrow of episcopacy
is to involve the ruin of every thing rich, venerable, and beautiful,
you furnish its defenders with the best of arguments. How are curious
craftsmen to flourish, if there are no purchasers of their handy-works;
and if we admit these into our houses, why not into the places where we
hold our religious assemblies? Are paintings and carvings less likely to
carnalize our hearts in our halls and banqueting-rooms than in our
chapels? Is a golden cup on the Lord's table the accursed spoil of
Achan; and doth it become purified by being removed to the buttery and
used in a private carousal?"

On one occasion, by an ingenious device, Barton preserved a splendid
representation of the twelve apostles in a chancel window. He arrived
just at the moment that a drunken glazier had convinced the mob that
they were made saints by the Babylonish harlot, and that therefore their
similitudes, as popish rags, ought to be destroyed. After in vain
endeavouring to persuade the populace that the Pope had no hand in their
canonization, he at length prevailed upon them to have only the heads
taken off, remarking that since the decapitated bodies could not provoke
the gazer to commit the idolatry forbidden in the second commandment,
they might remain without wounding tender consciences. The proposal was
executed under his own superintendance; and at a period of less
irritation, Mr. Barton, having preserved the heads, had the pleasure of
restoring the mutilated figures to their original perfection.

But Barton shewed his conciliatory character in many ways besides
protecting the inanimate appendages of the persecuted church. The
journey afforded him frequent opportunities of assisting its living
members, either by rescuing them from the requisitions of the troopers
who escorted the prisoners, or by shielding them from the virulence of
their infuriated neighbours. Often in the towns they passed through, was
a degraded pastor dragged from the lowly cottage in which he sought to
shelter his misfortunes, and compelled (with barbarous exaltation) to
behold the rebel colours flying over his captive friends. Wherever this
happened, Barton uniformly pressed forward, assured the dejected
confessor that every possible attention was paid to the comfort of the
prisoners; inquired into his own situation, not with impertinent
curiosity but with kindness, and promised his assistance to procure him
a regular payment of the pittance which Parliament allowed to ejected
incumbents out of their sequestered rents, if (as it too frequently
happened) he found it had been embezzled by the commissioners employed
in the work of re-modelling the ecclesiastical system.

They had proceeded very far in their journey, when one evening Barton
rejoined his charge with much apparent agitation in his manner. "We are
forbidden," said he, "to let our left hand know the good deeds our right
doth, yet cannot I refrain from telling you, young maidens, that I am
this day satisfied with my labours. Among other providences, I have been
able to render brotherly kindness to an episcopal minister whom I found
in a lamentable state, for he had fallen among thieves, who robbed him
of his property and tore his pass for safe conduct. Our van-guard found
him by the way-side, and judging by his venerable aspect, and some
superfluous decorations in his attire, that he was a deposed bishop
flying to the King, they seized him without paying attention to his
narrative. When I heard that a person in distress was taken prisoner, I
spurred on my horse to see if I could be of use. The placid benignity of
the sufferer's aspect moved my commiseration; he stood calm and
collected among the musketeers, supporting a woman about his own age,
who I trow was his wife. To do her justice she shewed no signs of
terror, though she rolled her eyes on those around her with a look of
disdain, less suited, methought, to her situation than the dignified
patience of her companion. I asked him if he had been a bishop, and he
answered, No; but was still a minister of the Christian church. 'Then,'
said I, 'perhaps in your affliction you will not refuse the service, or
reject the hand of one who calls himself by the same title.' 'Sir,' said
he, 'this is no time to dispute the validity of your ordination; let
your actions shew that it has had a due efficacy on your heart. As men,
if not as clergymen, we are brothers by our common faith and nature. I
beg you to listen to the statement of facts, which I have vainly
endeavoured to persuade your soldiers to attend to.' He then told me he
was travelling from a living in Lancashire, from whence he had been
expelled, to Oxford, where he possessed some collegiate endowments; that
he had been assaulted by a band of depredators, beat, bound, and
plundered."

Constantia here eagerly interupted Barton; "His name!" exclaimed
she;--"O, for mercy tell me, could it be my father, Eusebius Beaumont?"

"The same," returned Barton, melting with pity at her filial anguish.
"Set thy kind heart at rest; he was not materially hurt; his property
has been restored. He is now at liberty, pursuing his journey, and the
robbers are secured. But why, dear maid, didst thou conceal thy name?
Had I known thou wast his daughter, thou shouldst even now have been in
his arms."

"O better, far not; for then he would have been a prisoner. But his
companion, my excellent aunt?"

"At liberty too; I handed her into their own calash, and saw them drive
off with a pass of safe conduct. But, pretty trembler, if she is so
excellent, I will make you her proxy, to give me the reward she refused
to my services. I did but ask for the kiss of peace at our parting, when
she drew back her head as if she were an empress, and stiffly answered,
'Sir, I am a Loyalist.'"

This faithful description of aunt Mellicent's unswerving decorum
diverted the young Evellins, and helped to dissipate Constantia's
terrors. Her rapturous acknowledgements of the humane Barton largely
repaid him for his services to her father. She listened to a
circumstantial detail of the difficulties with which he had contended
against the obstinacy and prejudices of the magistrates, to whom he had
applied for a fresh passport; of the fortunate combination of
circumstances which, had led to the pursuit and detection of the
thieves, with the original instrument in their possession, and of their
confession, commitment, and discovery of the place where they had
deposited their booty. "I parted from your father," continued he, "with
many affecting testimonies of mutual good-will, and I think aunt
Mellicent, as you call her, would almost have smiled upon me, had not my
vain heart indulged in too much joyous self-gratulation at the success
of my endeavours, and thus brought on that just rebuke of my
presumption. I did not ask your father to shew like mercy, whenever he
should find one of us in like affliction, for his eyes told me that his
conscience would be a better remembrancer than my tongue. I said,
however, that I trusted we should meet in a world, where slight
discrepancies of opinion would be no preventatives of friendship, though
in this life they kindled the animosities which it was our misfortune to
witness and deplore." "Sir," said he, pressing my hand, "let our contest
be, who shall most truly serve God and our fellow-creatures, and then we
may hope for that pardon, which ensures endless blessedness. On mercy
the best of us must depend, though we too often withhold it from our
fellow-sinners, by whose side we must one day kneel, and like them place
all our confidence in boundless compassion."

"O!" said Constantia, "had not my fears anticipated the fact, those
sentiments would have convinced me you had met my father."

"And when you next meet him," said Barton, "tell him that while there is
a Carolus in my purse, he never shall feel penury."

"Say," returned she; "shall I ever see him again?"--Barton checked a
reply, which a momentary reflection whispered was too prompt, and
answered, "I am not a wizard, or diviner of things to come; wait, and
see what the morrow will bring forth."

"'Tis impossible," replied Isabel, "to reach London to-morrow; but we
might get to Oxford."

"True," said Barton, with a grave air, "but since we now draw near the
King's quarters, I must redouble my precautions, and I now recollect
'tis my duty to attend the council of officers."

"At Banbury," continued she, attempting to detain him, "there is a royal
garrison."

"To which you would escape," resumed Barton.--"Have I not told you I am
proof to temptation, and will faithfully discharge the trust reposed in
me by my employer."

The next day seemed to give the death-blow to Isabel's hopes. They now
turned out of the direct road, in order that they might avoid the King's
quarters, and directed their course, so that they might proceed through
the associated counties to London.--With her usual alacrity of
accommodation, Isabel endeavoured to reconcile her mind to the
privations of captivity. "I know," said she, "I can not only earn my own
living, but work also for Constantia. They will soon relax in the care
of us girls, and it will be very easy for us to walk from London to
Oxford. But, dear Eustace, I do indeed regret that I hindered you from
attempting to escape. It was so selfish in me to keep you with us, as I
fear they will require you to enlist in their army."

"I will be hewn into a thousand pieces first," returned he. "Have we not
seen enough of those vile republicans, to determine an honest man never
to purchase his life, by wearing the colours of traitors?"

"Yet, remember Barton's goodness to my father," said Constantia; "and
forgive his severity to us."

"I honour Barton," replied Eustace; "I honour him even for that
severity. His word has been plighted to his employers, and he must
deliver us up prisoners. But what think you of Isabel's gallant officer,
that resemblance of the noble, ingenuous Evellin. I will never study
physiognomy under you, sister."

Isabel was more pained at this reproach than usual. Eustace perceived
her droop. "Come, dear girl," said he, "we will talk of him no more. You
shall never want a faithful protector while I live, and ardently as I
pant to break these bonds and to be in action, I will make no attempt at
freedom, unless I can also liberate you."

They stopped that night at Northampton. Barton was reserved and silent,
and at length remarked, that in two days their party would reach
London.--"I have never seen London," said Isabel. "Come, describe it to
us, and say where shall we be confined. I suppose we shall meet with
only warm, steady, common-wealth's men."

"It is the seat of discord," answered Barton; "there are as many
factions as there are orators, all striving for mastery; yet all united
against the King, by a persuasion of his insincerity, and by
apprehensions that he would sacrifice them to his vengeance, in case he
were reconciled to the Parliament."

"Can it be supposed," said Eustace, "that after the wrongs and
iniquities he has endured, he ever can forgive! Where is the oblivious
draught that can drown the recollection of a nation rising in arms
against its Sovereign?"

Baron answered--"The nation and the King must both forgive, or war must
be eternal. You have seen its aspect; what think you? Is this great
quarrel like the mere abstract question which is cooly discussed in the
cabinet of Princes, when they talk of risking ten thousand lives for a
victory, and laying waste a province to cut off the resources of the
enemy? Let us not balance misery against forgiveness. It is childish
reasoning to keep ourselves in torment, because we will not forget the
injuries we have suffered. Peace only can heal our putrifying wounds,
and peace can never be bought too dear, unless the price is conscience
or safety."

They now separated for the evening; anxious thoughts kept the captives
awake. But after all was silent in the inn, Isabel heard a gentle tap at
the chamber-door. In a state of agitation, every sound is alarming. She
listened, and heard Barton whisper, "Arise." Before she could open the
door, the watchful Eustace had flown to their protection. Barton was
closely muffled in his cloak, and inquired if they dared to trust
themselves with him. Constantia drew back, and looked alarmed, while
Isabel accepted his offered arm. "The night is dark," said Eustace, "and
would conceal evil designs."--"Peradventure," replied Barton, "it will
also prosper good ones; I speak but three words--speed, silence,
liberty."

Encouraged by these animating sounds, Eustace cheered the trembling
Constance, and following their guide, they hurried along by the street
which led to the castle. As the avenues to the King's quarters were more
vigilantly watched, their danger was here most imminent; but Barton had
secured a friend, who suffered them to pass through his garden, and by
close unfrequented passages they gained the fields. The rising moon now
discovered some indefinite objects, concealed among brush-wood. Barton
whistled, and the countersign, "Banbury," was returned in a voice which
they knew to be that of Williams. He ran for their horses, which were
fastened at a little distance, while Barton alternately embraced his
young friends, and affectionately bade them God-speed.--"Excellent man,"
said the ardent Eustace, whose over-flowing gratitude now seemed to
exceed his former suspicions, "why did you not tell us your design?"

"Because," replied he, "I saw not in you that property of discretion,
which would allow me to trust you with your own safety."

"Yet," resumed Eustace, "if I am rash, I am not base, nor will I accept
freedom if it endangers your safety or wounds your conscience."

"I trust," replied Barton, "I shall be back to my quarters before I am
missed, and as to my conscience, that sleeps on a soft pillow. I have
discharged the trust reposed in me."

"The Cornet then," said Isabel, "is not a villain."

Barton smiled, and replied, "Artless maiden, think not too much of the
agent whom Providence employed to send you safely through a tract of
country you could not otherwise have passed."

"O, tell me his name," said Eustace, "that I may join it to yours, when
I pray for my benefactors."

"I must not compromise his safety," answered Barton; "his generosity, if
known, would endanger his life."

"But how shall I know him, as to repay his kindness."

"Think you see him in every unarmed enemy you meet, and deal by them as
he has dealt by you."

"But if we should meet him in battle?"

"Even in battle," answered Barton, "if there is time for reflection,
remember thy enemy is a man, and thy brother." With these words they
parted. Barton regained his quarters undiscovered, and the young people,
blessing his goodness, performed the rest of their journey in safety.


    [1] Bishop Hall, who cannot be objected to as a favourer of Popery
    or Arminianism. The inconsistency of the Fanatics was exemplified
    by their destroying, as a popish relic, Paul's Cross, so celebrated
    for sounding forth the doctrines of the Reformation.

    [2] This portrait of Barton is justified by the conduct of many
    truly respectable men, whose principles led them, for a time, to
    countenance the impracticable theories of republicanism. I could
    name Dr. Owen, General Fairfax, Lord Manchester and others.


END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.




VOLUME II

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAP. XII.
CHAP. XIII.
CHAP. XIV.
CHAP. XV.
CHAP. XVI.
CHAP. XVII.
CHAP. XVIII.




CHAP. XII.

    The idea of one day withdrawing from the world to prepare for
    immortality is a very pernicious one; and, like all other
    worldly hopes and plans, may never he realized. Use the present
    hour if you would make your calling and election sure. If God
    has placed you among the pomps and vanities of the world, fear
    not; do your duty amongst them, nor suppose that you may defer
    seeking your Creator until you obtain a retired situation.

                                                 Fenelon.


The re-union of the family at Oxford furnished ample topics for pious
and affectionate gratitude. Barton's praise was re-echoed by every
individual except Mrs. Mellicent, who yet went so far as to say, it was
a pity he was a roundhead. A friend of Dr. Beaumont's accommodated his
family with apartments in one of the colleges; his academical sinecures,
and the relics of his private fortune, afforded him a decent support; he
was surrounded by people of his own principles; and as all the strength
of the King's cause was concentrated about the seat of the court, every
apprehension of personal insecurity was at an end. He was now,
therefore, in a state of comparative comfort; man is seldom placed in a
better; and in times like those I describe, a good subject could not be
happy.

Eustace felt much chagrin that all his expectations were not realized.
He was indeed at liberty, and with his uncle, but still forbidden "to
flesh his maiden sword." His father had again eluded his search, and was
still withheld from procuring an explanatory interview with the
sovereign whom he faithfully served, which, he determined, should
precede his son's taking the field. His troop had been recalled from the
royal escort, and ordered to rejoin the Marquis of Newcastle, who, after
having long successfully opposed Sir Thomas Fairfax, was in imminent
danger of having his laurels blasted by the threatened invasion of the
Scots Covenanters, now gathering to assist their English friends, and
compel an universal adoption of Presbyterian government, and abjuration
of constitutional monarchy. It was impossible, therefore, for Eustace to
obtain the permission for which his soul panted; and academic repose ill
suited the self-devoted soldier. His retirement was spent in a somewhat
similar way to that of Toby Shandy. He read descriptions of battles and
sieges; he planned ravelins and counterscarps; and he braced his frame,
and exercised his muscles, by every athletic exertion which could inure
him to toil, or facilitate his success in arms.

Constantia felt quite happy. She was surrounded by all whom her heart
best loved; she had leisure and opportunity to improve her taste in the
fine arts; and she was allowed that limited and distant view of the
world which informs the mind and polishes the manners without
endangering principle. Her exquisite beauty could not fail to attract
attention; but the scanty income of her father, and the prudence of Mrs.
Mellicent, alike forbade that it should be ostentatiously exposed to the
public eye. A few select friends were admitted as intimates, and only
these knew that Dr. Beaumont had a superlatively lovely and enchanting
daughter. She seldom appeared in public except at church, where her face
was so shaded by her hood, that its attractions were rather guessed at
than discovered. Thus this fair rose-bud expanded in the soil best
suited to perfect its attractions, the sheltered vale of domestic
privacy, where, unconscious of its super-eminence, and screened from
every blast, it preserved the undying fragrance of modest worth, and the
soft elegance of unassuming beauty.

Isabel was almost as happy as usual; her adoration of her father would
not permit her to be quite so while he was in danger. Beside, she could
not help thinking how shocking it would be, were the chance of war to
oppose him to the noble young officer who had so admirably planned and
faithfully executed their deliverance. If he should fall by the hand of
her father!--the bare possibility of such a cruel return for his
goodness often brought tears into her eyes; and she lamented that the
incautious impetuosity of Eustace prevented Barton from entrusting them
with his name. She fancied the preservation of their deliverer was her
only motive for wishing to trace his identity, till she recollected how
little could be gained towards that end by knowing who he was. In these
perilous times messengers oftener miscarried than arrived in safety; and
the sanctity of private correspondence was violated by either party as
often as opportunity served. All, but the exemplary Lord Falkland,
thought the least doubt of the fidelity of an adherent a sufficient
vindication of breaking open his letters; and therefore, since, if she
knew the stranger's name, she could not repeat it without endangering
his safety, it was better she should remain in ignorance, and trust the
event to Providence. She sometimes thought Williams knew him, because he
once accounted for Barton's secrecy by observing that his pupil might be
sprung from parents whom he was ashamed to own. Isabel answered that the
faults of the basest could not contaminate so perfect a character.
"Would you say so," returned Williams, "if he were the son of Lord
Bellingham?" "I know nothing of Lord Bellingham," said she, "except that
when my dear father was discomposed, he often called him by very harsh
epithets; but as at these moments he knew neither me nor Eustace, nor
even my mother, till her sobbings attracted his notice, and told him she
was his faithful wife, I think I should not conclude Lord Bellingham to
be a very wicked man on such testimony."

Williams asked her if she ever heard him mentioned while she was with
the rebel detachment.

"Our good Barton," returned she, "sometimes spoke of him as one who was
reputed too be a godly man, and who filled his house with devout
ministers, yet was of a very pleasant companionable humour, steady in
the good cause, but willing to come to terms with the King, whom he
wished not to be pushed to extremities. Barton seemed to think Lady
Bellingham was too much wedded to a vain world."

"And their son----"

"He never mentioned that they had a son." "Nor do I say they have," said
Williams; "but I know enough of Lord Bellingham to say, that if he has
one, he never ought to own his father without a blush." Isabel could
draw no more from Williams; and, on recollecting the conversation, she
saw that only a creative imagination could connect it with her
deliverer.

Winter now interrupted the operations of the King's armies in most
quarters. But the brave Lord Newcastle had to contend at once with
English and Scotch rebels. The hardy frames of the latter enabling them
to defy the severest season, they passed the boundaries of their own
country, and, fixing a label, importing their attachment to the "bloody
covenant," in their hats, began the work of desolation in the northern
counties, while the mountainous barrier which divides them from the
plains of Yorkshire, then covered with snow, reflected the horrible
beams of hostile fires. And in Wales, a body of forces, sent to the
relief of Ireland, had been recalled by the King, whose urgent
necessities compelled him to employ them to support the loyal Welsh,
who, with this aid, surprised several Parliamentary holds, and for some
time operated as a diversion to the army of Fairfax, preventing him from
joining the Scotch to crush the noble Newcastle. The King's cause at
this time wore a fair aspect; and no better proof could be given of his
having a chance of ultimate success, and of the divisions among his
opponents, than that the Lords Bedford and Holland, and other noblemen,
who had distinguished themselves as partizans of the Parliament, sought
shelter within the royal lines, and even presumed to attempt regaining
the confidence of their injured Sovereign.

Lord Holland, who had stood high in the Queen's favour, building upon
the prejudices she was known to entertain against many of the King's
most faithful adherents, imagined himself secure of regaining the office
he had once held through her influence, notwithstanding the unbleached
stains of his former treasons. Beauty is too apt to exert a peremptory
claim to absolute dominion; and, not content with conjugal affection,
requires obsequious dotage. The Queen's views being all limited to the
routine of a court, unhappily indisposed her from acting the part of a
faithful wife in this critical emergency, and induced her to use all her
power to make the King depend more for advice upon herself and her
favourites, than on those sages who presided at the council board, or
those warriors who contended in the field; in other words, to prefer
shallow courtiers, known only for polished manners, habits of
dissipation, and an excessive regard to their own interest, to men who
knew the strength and disposition of the enemy, who, by deep researches
into past times, could judge of the present, and were too noble-minded
to build plans of self-aggrandizement on the future. Misled by smooth
flatterers, the Queen manifested a fatal dislike to all those whose
minds were too much occupied to pay her particular court. Opposition to
her opinion, was, in her estimation, high treason. The uxuriousness of
the amiable King towards his fascinating Princess (who to all her sex's
charms united all their foibles), exceeded justifiable attachment to an
engaging and faithful partner. He gave her credit for qualities she did
not possess; and the malice of the Parliamentary leaders against her, on
account of her religion, increased his eagerness to support and defend
her; nor could his most attached friends counteract her fatal influence.
Her fidelity and wishes to serve him were indeed unquestioned; but in
some characters, a forbearance from interfering in our affairs is the
truest test of friendship.

The strange circumstance of noblemen, who had even borne arms against
the King, boasting that they possessed the Queen's confidence, suggested
a fear that further accommodations with individual traitors were on the
tapis, and that Oxford would no longer remain a sacred asylum to a
persecuted court, where unblemished loyalty was sure of safety and
esteem; but a sanctuary to which terrified iniquity might retreat, and,
grasping the horns of the altar, defy justice. The influence that Lady
Bellingham once possessed over the Queen's mind was recollected by Dr.
Beaumont; and, as Her Majesty had given proof that her friendships were
indelible, he could not but apprehend that some project might be formed
by that artful woman to secure her husband a retreat, in case his
reported moderation should really proceed from his secret alienation
from the rebel cause, and from a wish of reconciliation with the King.
The conviction that such an adept in treachery could never really serve
his Prince, determined Dr. Beaumont to act as the representative of the
absent Evellin, request a private audience with his Sovereign, and
reveal the secret history of the house of Neville, at the same time
presenting young Eustace as its true and lineal heir. The affability and
justice of the King prompted him to listen to all his subjects. He
heard, with horror, a narration of the arts by which he had been imposed
on when he was unversed in the intricacies of government, and too
sincere and noble to suspect deceit in others. That Allan Neville, whose
person and merit he well remembered, whose rashness and reported
criminality he had lamented, and whose supposed death he had deplored,
was still alive, and no other than the renowned Colonel Evellin, whose
address in forwarding to him the supplies procured from Holland, and
whose brave exploits with the Northern army, had endeared his name to
him, even while he deemed him a stranger, excited wonder, grief,
self-reproach, and admiration. He readily promised Dr. Beaumont that no
solicitations should ever induce him to bestow confidence on a man whose
crimes marked him out as an outcast from society; and, with the most
gracious expressions of sorrow for the past, he as firmly assured him
that, in the event of his being again able to exercise his royal
authority, one of his first acts should be to re-instate Neville in all
his hereditary rights. He offered to put into the Doctor's hands a
patent for that purpose; but as that would only bestow title without
restoring the estates which De Vallance enjoyed under the protection of
the Parliament, Dr. Beaumont declined a mark of favour which would not
essentially benefit his friend, but rather point him out to the
inveterate malice of his enemies if he should happen to fall into their
hands. He only requested a private recognition of Evellin's right; this
the King gave in a letter, written by himself, addressing him by the
name of Bellingham, expressing his satisfaction at hearing he was alive,
and innocent of the crimes laid to his charge, acknowledging the deceits
that had been practised upon himself, and avowing his great anxiety to
possess the power of redressing his wrongs; then, warmly thanking him
for his services, the King concluded in these words, "Your assured
friend, Charles R."

Dr. Beaumont now introduced his nephew, after previously stipulating
that no hint should transpire of his being the rightful heir of an
earldom; but that he should be welcomed only as the son of a gallant
officer now fighting in the Royal army. The fine figure and ingenuous
manners of Eustace so pleased the King, that he wished him to pay his
duty to the Queen also, an honour Dr. Beaumont could not decline. No
Princess was a more consummate judge of beauty, grace, and native
politeness than Henrietta Maria; they were qualities which ever gained
her favour; and she piqued herself on having introduced into the English
court the polished manners which had long distinguished that of France.
Conversing with Eustace, she found nature had been as liberal to his
mind as to his person. Pleased with his wit and gallantry, she asked
him, with that air of condescending dignity which seems to confer a
favour while it requires a service, to become one of her pages of
honour, and a volunteer in her troop of guards. Dazzled with the
attention of his Royal mistress, still beautiful, and most fascinating
in her affability, Eustace never considered that the request wedded him
to her fortunes. He saw in her who made it his sovereign Lady, the
consort of that excellent Prince whom he had been taught to reverence in
prosperity, and adore in misfortune. Inflamed with the ardent spirit of
chivalry, he panted to defend the title of his King, and the beauty and
virtue of his Queen, against all impugners. To suffer for her was
glorious. Perish the base worldling who thought either of danger or
remuneration! He immediately declared his rapturous acceptance of her
invitation; and, kneeling, sealed his vows on the fair hand of his
illustrious mistress.

Nothing could be more contrary to the wishes and principles of Dr.
Beaumont, than this connexion. The Queen's retinue was composed of that
refuse of the old court, who not having talents for an active situation,
nor virtue enough to make them sensible of the baseness of impoverishing
dependence, continued to hang like leeches on the exhausted frame of
Royalty, and to drain its decayed resources for their own support. While
the King and his counsel were debating how to equip an army without
money or credit; while the great and the good were disarraying their
noble mansions, parting with every moveable, mortgaging their lands, and
alienating even the treasured heir-looms which had for centuries
attested their high descent, to support their falling Sovereign; the
courtiers, who surrounded the Queen, were engaging their mistress to
forward their intrigues for places and titles, and inticing her to
pervert the scanty resources of the public treasury to feed their
rapacity. Thus, when, after a painful summer spent in martial toils and
dangerous conflicts, the King came to his winter-quarters, he found the
fatigues of his public duties aggravated by those private cabals which
were ever at work to counteract the decisions of his council, and to
balance the advantage of a few sycophants against a nation's weal. The
faction of whom I speak were incapable of judicious conduct either in
prosperity or in adversity, mistaking a few successful enterprises for
the former, and thereupon becoming insolent and sanguine, talking of
unconditional submission from the rebels, and an intire reinstatement of
themselves in the luxurious ease of their former sinecures; yet as
easily discouraged by a few adverse events; without resources, without
firmness; actuated by the evil spirit of selfishness which forbids any
good or noble determination to enter the impure heart, that submits to
its influence.

To these summer-flies which infest royalty, and often turn greatness to
corruption, were added the gay, volatile, voluptuous part of the
officers, who had obtained leave of absence from their respective
cantonments, and who thought the hardships of a soldier excused the
excesses of a libertine. These were chiefly young men of high birth,
neglected education, and unsound principles; unacquainted with the
nature of the church and government for which they professed to fight,
and so ignorant of religion and morality, as to be perpetually
confounding them with fanaticism and hypocrisy, those constant topics of
their abuse and ridicule. With them to be a republican or a sectary, was
to be a knave, a cut-throat, nay, a devil; and to fight for the King
conferred the privilege of violating those laws, which his supremacy was
designed to guarantee. How dangerous was such society to the impetuous
Eustace Evellin, whose passions unfolded with an ardour, proportioned to
his quick vivacious temper. Dr. Beaumont would have preferred seeing his
charge in the field of battle, to beholding him in this scene of moral
peril, particularly if he could have placed him under the command of the
noble Lord Hopton, who was alike skilled to subdue the enemies of his
King, and to suppress his own resentment at the injuries which he
suffered from those who should have been his coadjutors.

But the die was cast, and there was no retreating; Eustace had accepted
the Queen's invitation, and now complained, with less deference than he
usually shewed for his uncle's judgment, of the superfluous caution
which kept him wrapped up like a shivering marmoset, and even refused to
expose him to the slight hazard of an holiday soldier. Could he not
mount guard, go through the manual exercise, or gallop at a review
without endangering his precious life? Isabel, who had parted with some
valuable trinkets, to purchase materials for his regimentals, and was
now busy in working his ruff, declared it would be hard to restrain him.
Constance had embroidered a scarf, which she tied around him; and after
seeing him in his hat and plume, thought he looked so like a hero, that
he might be indulged in just such a circumscribed sphere of glory as
Andromache would have allowed to Hector, namely, to brace on his arms,
and defend the walls of the city. Even Mrs. Mellicent observed, that her
nephew made a very comely soldier. Dr. Beaumont, therefore, finding that
he could not withhold Eustace from the temptations which surrounded him,
had only to counsel him to resist them.

He did not commence his instructions with general invectives against a
court-life; but admitted that good and wise men were often called to it
by duty. He observed, that injunctions against entering into that or any
other public station, savoured more of monastic or puritanic austerity
than true piety. The concerns of government must be performed by human
agents, and in representing eminent stations as incompatible with
honesty, what do we but leave public business in the hands of
unprincipled persons, and thus really encourage the depravity and
knavery we affect to deplore. A nation must suffer, as well in a
political as in a moral sense, when its rulers are weak or wicked; and
how dare we pray that the will of God may be done upon earth, when we
discourage those from directing worldly affairs, who feel a true zeal
for his glory? This is, indeed, to accomplish the lying boast of Satan,
who said that the kingdoms of the world were his, and he gave them to
whom he chose.

The Doctor further observed, that every situation had its temptations.
The Hermit in his cell is haunted by spiritual pride, and even when we
perform those active duties of benevolence which our religion requires,
we must beware lest we are guilty of ostentation. If, when we rise from
our knees, we have judged harshly of our brother, the volume of
inspiration assures us, that we have sinned in our prayers. The same
vigilant examination and lowliness of heart which Christians in private
life require, will prevent those who inhabit courts and camps from
displeasing their Creator. Or admit that the latter have greater
temptations to offend, are they not amenable to a judge, who determines
actions by relative circumstances, who awards brighter crowns to those
who have endured sharper conflicts, and pardons the offences of
over-tried frailty. From the private citizen, who is blessed with
leisure and security to consider his ways, he requires those passive
virtues, that humble and grateful spirit, which in evil times are yet
more rarely seen, than integrity and ability in rulers, who, walking
among briars and thorns, harassed by public and private enemies,
calumniated and misrepresented, exposed to numerous temptations,
dangers, and snares, will, doubtless, if guided by singleness of heart,
receive from God that pardon for their errors, which is denied them by
those who reap the fruits of their labours.

"We may," continued he, "live in the world[1], without either shewing a
haughty contempt for its enjoyments, or being devoted to its delights;
without being intoxicated with its flattery, or depressed by its
misfortunes. A court-life must, at your age, seem pleasant, but should
you in future become weary of it, and regret that you have not
sufficient time to devote to God, and to cherish the thought of him in
your heart, recollect that wherever he places you, you are as sure of
his favour and acceptance, as if you passed every hour of your life in
meditation and prayer. God is served, not merely with the words of the
mouth or the bending of the knee; it is the pure and upright heart which
he requires, and with which alone he will be satisfied; with this
upright frame of mind we may live in the world, without either
singularity or affectation, and cheerfully conform to its customs and
amusements, yet preserve the most strict subjection and duty to the
Almighty."

"Suffer not, dearest Eustace, pleasure or business to prevent the solemn
duties of self-examination and prayer. These are spiritual antidotes,
which preserve an endangered soul from the contamination of evil customs
and loose society. When leisure permits, add religious reading, and
above all the study of the Holy Scriptures. Never allow this world to be
balanced against the next: eternity outweighs all that time can offer;
be it pleasure, wealth, advancement, or glory. Keep these things in
mind; serve thy Creator in thy youth; remember innocence is preferable
to repentance, and I shall then see thee like assayed gold purified by
trial."

Eustace promised a strict observance, and Dr. Beaumont now esteemed it
his duty to send the faithful Williams to Colonel Evellin to acquaint
him with what had passed, and to receive further directions for the
disposal of his son. He also privately informed the King of the solemn
promise he had made to Evellin, and obtained an assurance that the
service of Eustace should never be required so as to incur a breach of
that obligation; and further, that if no other restrictions could
prevail, his own commands should confine the volunteer to the defence of
Oxford, which was now threatened with a siege by the advancing armies of
the Earl of Essex and Sir William Waller.

When we contemplate the miseries incident to civil war in a remote age,
our views are fixed on the effects of discord, as visible in the
contentions of two great opposing parties; we do not consider either the
minor factions into which each body is split, or the distracted counsels
and inefficient measures which constantly occur, when it is known that
the restraint of prescriptive authority is necessarily relaxed, and that
he who ought to govern and reward, is compelled to submit to controul
and to sue for favour. When the head of a community is humbled, every
member thinks he has a right to pre-eminence; and thus a war, begun
under the pretence of subduing a tyrant, eventually creates multitudes
of petty despots, only contemptible, because their sphere of oppression
is small. In the King's council, the wisdom of Southampton, the
moderation of Falkland, and the integrity of Hyde, had to contend with
the pride and petulance of those who would not lower their own
pretensions in deference to the public good, or forgive a private wrong
for the sake of that unity which alone could secure the whole. In the
army discord was equally prevalent; the generals accusing each other on
every mischance, panting for superiority, and all offended at the
hauteur of Prince Rupert, and jealous of the influence of Lord Digby.
The Parliament was still more divided; in it that party was now
ripening, which finally overturned every branch of the constitution, and
founded a most oppressive but vigorous tyranny on its ruins.

The old republican leaders, or commonwealth's men, as they were called,
began to see that self-preservation required their re-union with the
King; but the aspiring Cromwell and his crafty adherents, relying on
their numbers and influence in the army, resolved to clog every proposal
of peace with terms which they knew the Sovereign must from conscience
refuse. Of the generals who commanded their armies, the Earl of Essex
was already known to have seen his error, in suffering pique at supposed
slights and unintentional negligence to stimulate his pride into that
rebellion which his principles condemned; and it was believed, even by
his own party, that nothing but a dread of having sinned beyond sincere
forgiveness, induced him to reject all overtures from the King. The
disorderly bands commanded by Sir William Waller were like their
general, distinguished only by greater insolence to their Prince, and
even by personal attempts on his life; but this army had been dispersed
early in the summer, and the leader had fallen into contempt. "The Earl
of Manchester was of their whole cabal the most unfit for the company he
kept, at first induced to join, what was then called, the patriotic
party by filial piety, and led step by step to countenance those
disorganizing counsels, which ravaged the country he loved with too
unskilful a tenderness:" yet, unwilling to oppress any, he used the
power his ill-acquired authority gave him, to preserve individuals from
the distress which his fatal victories occasioned. This moderation
ruined him in the eyes of his employers; and about this time there
appeared in his army that dark malignant spirit, whose subtile
machinations soon deprived him of all power of restraining the torrent,
which, when he helped to raise the flood-gates of contention, he hoped
he should always be able to direct and control. Sir Thomas Fairfax, the
Parliamentary general in the north, was, by nature, a lover of
moderation, and by education enlightened and liberal. He also strove, as
far as his influence extended, to lessen the miseries of civil war; but
that influence soon sunk under the daring preponderance of Cromwell,
whose ultimate designs he wanted penetration to discover, and whose dark
machinations he was always too late in his efforts to counteract.

Such was the state of the kingdom, when the Queen, terrified at the
apprehension of being besieged in Oxford, fled to the west of England,
and soon after to France, her native country, leaving an infant daughter
to increase the anxieties of her Royal husband, but relieving him from
the perplexities originating in the contentious faction, by whom she was
surrounded. Through the injunctions of the King, Eustace had been
prevented from accompanying his Royal mistress, and by enrolling his
name among the bands who garrisoned Oxford, he in some degree discharged
his sense of duty. Dr. Beaumont, besides, allowed him to take part in
the enterprizes by which those vigilant warriors shewed their zeal and
fidelity, as soon as they were relieved from their apprehensions for the
safety of that important post, by the retreat of the rebel army.

As Williams did not return with an answer from Colonel Evellin, it was
concluded that he had fallen into the hands of the enemy, a misfortune
too common to the Royal expresses. One however arrived from the north,
charged with most dolorous tidings of the fatal overthrow at
Marston-Moor, the loss of York, and of its whole province, which had for
so long a space resisted the incursions of the republican party, under
the auspices of the Marquis of Newcastle. These direful events, which
resulted from want of concord between the King's generals, were followed
by Lord Newcastle's quitting the kingdom in a hasty sally of passionate
despair, and by the dispersion of the army which his influence had
raised, and his munificent loyalty had maintained. Only one small band
of Loyalists under the command of Sir Thomas Glenham remained, who,
after the reduction of York, threw themselves into Carlisle, and bravely
defended it eleven months against a victorious enemy, without prospect
of assistance. To this fragment of a powerful army Colonel Evellin
attached himself. He sent a letter by the same person who brought the
dispatch to the King, informing his friends that he was unwounded either
in his person or his reputation, and ready to suffer every thing but
dishonour for his injured Monarch. He gave a lively description of the
respective armies, and of the misfortunes of the Royal cause, in being
intrusted to men who suffered passion to prevail over judgment, and
chose to sacrifice their King sooner than quell their private
resentments. But he complained in the tone of a man who had made his
choice, and though hopeless of success resolved to persevere, and
welcomed self-denial and sorrow. He assured Dr. Beaumont that the rebels
had gained no victory over his principles; his enmity to their
undertakings remained the same; "and if," said he, "the little remnant
of my days is cut off in the next engagement, I shall live in my
children; and they will, I doubt not, see the destruction of these
'covenanters', who cause the ruin of families and the decay of common
honesty; changing the former piety and plain dealing of this nation into
cruelty and cunning. When I see all they have done, I thank God that he
prevented me from being one of the party which helped to bring in these
sad confusions[2], and I pray him to preserve my son to see their just
punishment."

As this letter proved that the Colonel had not met with Williams, it
operated as a renewed inhibition on Dr. Beaumont to prevent Eustace from
rushing into the field, for which he had now a fresh incentive in the
friendship he had formed with Major Monthault, a young man of birth and
fortune, who had been attached, like himself, to the Queen's suite. This
youth had seen actual service, and spoke with enthusiasm of the
character of Lord Goring, then just appointed general of the horse in
the west. He described him as the soldier's darling; a Mars in the
field; an Apollo at mess; a Jove in council, and a Paris among the fair.
It was evident that Monthault piqued himself on being the counter-part
of the excellence he commended, especially in the last particular. His
intimacy with Eustace allowed him to visit Dr. Beaumont's family, and
his attentions to the fair Helen of the group were certainly more marked
than delicate, and would have excited the fears of Eustace, had he not
taken care to inform the Major that he was betrothed to his lovely
cousin with the entire approbation of herself and their mutual friends,
though their union was deferred until a riper age and happier period. To
admire and praise, or even to gaze passionately on the promised wife of
a friend, as Monthault did on Constantia, seemed to Eustace an implied
commendation similar to that bestowed on a house, gardens, or any other
beautiful and valuable possession, innocent in itself and flattering to
the taste of the owner. He knew not that there existed such a character
as a seducer, who could teach an unsuspecting mind to despise solemn
engagements; he felt no tendency to treachery in his own heart. No one
was more susceptible than he of the power of beauty, but he thought
honour was the only means by which its favour could be won, and even his
ardent passion for heroic fame derived an additional stimulus from his
love to the amiable and innocent Constantia.

The circumstances of my narrative oblige me again to recur to the state
of public affairs. The treaty of Uxbridge was now pending; the
necessities of the King compelled him to enquire on what terms his
subjects would sheath the sword, and the rapid ascendancy of the fanatic
party in Parliament, added to the mutual accusations and recriminations
of their generals, induced the moderate Presbyterians to try if, by
reconciliation with their Sovereign, they could gain strength to oppose
the power which openly threatened their destruction and his. The
artifices of Cromwell and his adherents need not be minutely detailed in
a work intended only to give an admonitory picture of those times. In
one point those men differed from the majority of modern Reformers, or
rather the manners of that age were different from ours. Religion was
then the mode; men and women were in general expounders and preachers;
ordinary conversation was interlarded with Scripture phrases; common
events were providences; political misconstructions of the sacred story
were prophecies; and a fluency of cant was inspiration. No man (to
borrow one of their favourite terms) was more _gifted_ this way than
Cromwell; he had discerned the current of the public humour, and could
adopt the disguise which suited his ambition. Every step which led him
to the summit of power was prefaced by what he called seeking the Lord;
that is, attending sermons and prayers, by which the suborned performers
of those profane and solemn farces prepared their congregations to
desire what their employers had previously determined to do; thus giving
an air of divine inspiration to the projects of fraud, murder, and
ambition. By such a perversion of public worship, joined with an
affectation of disinterested purity, that celebrated preparative for
military despotism, the self-denying ordinance was introduced into the
Commons. After numerous prayers and sermons, intreating Providence to
strengthen the hands of the faithful, by choosing new instruments to
carry on the godly work, an agent of Cromwell's inferred, that the Lord
had indeed prompted their counsels, and proposed that henceforth no peer
or member of Parliament should hold any public office. By these means,
every man of rank and eminence who had been distinguished by a
constitutional struggle against arbitrary acts of power, and afterwards
reluctantly led into open rebellion, was cashiered and dismissed from
the army and from all official situations, which were thus left open to
the fanatical party.

Alarmed at the high hand with which this ordinance was carried, the old
commonwealth's men strained every nerve to renew a pacificatory
intercourse with the King, which they effected; but their power extended
no further; the preliminaries were clogged with terms wholly destructive
of the church, and virtually tending to abolish regal power. The ruin or
death of all the King's adherents was resolved on; and in proof that the
fanatics could not only threaten but act, the venerable Archbishop Laud,
after suffering a long imprisonment, was dragged to the scaffold. Thus
the Parliamentary commissioners set out for Uxbridge with their banners
dipped in the blood of the highest subject in the realm, the head of the
Anglican church, and His Majesty's personal friend.

No true Englishman could have expected, or indeed wished, that the King
should purchase permission to become a state-puppet, shackled in all his
movements, obliged to sanction the cruel and illegal acts of his enemies
by a breach of his coronation-oath, and compelled to abandon the
established church and the lives of his faithful friends to their
inveterate animosity. In vain was it privately suggested by the most
moderate of the Parliamentary commissioners, that it was expedient to
close on any terms, and unite with than to humble a party whose
desperate purposes, supported by the popularity of their pretensions,
threatened destruction to all their opponents. The King determined never
to seem to barter his conscience for personal safety. He at that time
foresaw what he afterwards so affectingly expressed in a letter to his
nephew Prince Rupert, "that he could not flatter himself with an
expectation of success more than to end his days with honour and a good
conscience, which obliged him to continue his endeavours, not despairing
that God would, in due time, avenge his own cause. Yet he owned, that
those who staid with him must expect and resolve either to die for a
good cause, or, which is worse, to live as miserable in the maintaining
it as the violence of insulting rebels could make them." The treaty
terminated without hope of being again renewed. Cromwell carried his
ordinance; the army and the state were governed by his own creatures;
while, by a master-piece of cunning, he contrived to be exempted from
the restrictions of his own decree, and continued to act as general and
legislator without a rival. Afterwards, when his packed representatives
had effected all the purposes for which he kept them together, he put
himself at the head of a file of soldiers, destroyed the engine by which
he had overthrown the constitution, and turned the pantomimic Parliament
out of doors, laden with the odium of his crimes as well as of their
own.

The melancholy presentiments of the King, when he found all hopes of
honourable reconciliation futile, confirmed his determination to send
the Prince of Wales into the west of England, where his arms still
triumphed, that in case either of them fell into the hands of the
rebels, the freedom of the other might tend to secure their mutual
safety. To preserve the principles of the royal stripling, the King
parted with several of his most faithful advisers. He constituted Lord
Hopton commander in chief of the western district, but by fixing him
more peculiarly about the person of his son, he unhappily gave too much
power to the subaltern generals, among whom the apple of discord seemed
to have been thrown, for they agreed in nothing but hatred of each
other, and mismanagement of their trust.

Major Monthault belonged to the western army, and was ordered to leave
Oxford in the Prince's suite. He had employed the leisure season of
winter in cultivating an intimacy with the Beaumonts, and not being one
of those who can look at beauty with disinterested admiration, he
employed every art to ensnare Constantia. Simple, innocent, and mildly
gay, she saw no danger in conversing with the friend of Eustace. He had
spent much time in foreign courts; she led him to talk of celebrated
beauties whom he had there seen; he found in all of them some glaring
defect which forfeited their claims to supremacy. She laughed at his
fastidiousness, and bade him describe what he would admit to be an
irresistible charmer; he drew her own portrait, but she so rarely
consulted her glass, that she knew not the likeness. He once advised her
to arrange her tresses in what he deemed a more becoming braid; she did
so, and then immediately asked Eustace if he approved the alteration;
when, finding he disliked it, she resumed her former costume, and
frankly avowed her reason for so doing. Monthault was piqued, and made
several sharp remarks on the versatility of women.

"I fancy," said Constantia, "your's is a most invulnerable heart; we
poor women are in your eyes either destitute of attractions to gain, or
of merit to retain your affections. But don't be too sure of always
keeping your boasted liberty. Aunt Mellicent says, men begin to doat at
fifty, and then they do not love but idolize."

"The age of dotage and adoration begins earlier," answered Monthault,
with a look which crimsoned the cheeks of Constantia; "but while you
falsely accuse me of being invulnerable, have I not cause to deplore
your impenetrability? I find it is impossible to agitate that tranquil
bosom with so impetuous a guest as love."

Constantia was offended at the suggestion. "You know," replied she, "I
am engaged to Eustace; and do you think I would marry him if I viewed
him with indifference?"

Monthault observed, that a contract made at a premature age must
originate in indifference, and never could be considered as
indissoluble.

"I consider it so," answered Constantia; "nothing can dissolve it but
death, or some palpable proof of gross unworthiness."

"Suppose," said Monthault, "a more enlarged view of mankind should
discover to you a worthier lover; one whose passion for you is founded
on discriminating preference, not the cold impulse of satiated habit;
one who could give distinction to beauty, and lead it from obscurity
into the splendour it deserves; should such a one sue for the favour of
the divine Constantia:"----

"I would answer, if I aim perfidious to Eustace, I cannot be divine."

"But love is a potent and untameable passion, disdaining the narrow
limitations of preceptive constancy. The acknowledged privilege of
sovereign beauty is to inspire and encourage universal love."

Constance looked offended, and expressed a hope that she might never
possess an empire which could only gratify vanity and pain sincerity.

Monthault found he had gone too far, and tried by badinage to divert her
resentment. "If," said he, "praise is only timeable to your ear when
uttered by one voice, I must not tell you, even if I heard our young
Prince, who is an acknowledged worshipper of beauty, speak in raptures
of the unparalleled loveliness of Dr. Beaumont's daughter."

"No," said she, sternly, "indeed you must not. My humble station
prevents him from saying any thing of my person but, what would be
offensive for me to hear; and I wish not to have the loyal attachment I
feel for my Sovereign's son diminished, by knowing that he indulges in
any improper licence of conversation."

"Nay," replied Monthault, "what he observed was only in reply to one who
is your most devoted slave, predicting that the chains you formed never
could be broken."

"I perceive," answered she, rising to leave the room, "that if I give
you more time for the fabrication you will contrive a very amusing
fiction. I must therefore silence you by saying, that, little as I know
of court-gallantry, he who talks to me in this style, cannot be the
friend of Eustace."

Monthault flew into heroics, and struggled to detain her. "Cruel
Constantia," said he, "know you not that love is an involuntary passion
which reason vainly tries to subdue? Cannot you, who see the conflict in
my soul, pity me without doubting my friendship or my honour?"

"I confess I do doubt both," was her reply; "but provided you no more
offend me with such language, I will not mention my suspicions to
Eustace. I am, 'tis true, a simple girl, yet not so weak as to value
myself on an extrinsic appendage which, if I possess, I share with the
butterfly. If beauty renders me more amiable in the eyes of those I
love, it is a welcome endowment; but I never will patiently hear it
commended at the expence of any better quality."

It is probable that, after this repulse, Monthault would never more have
thought of Constance if some other pursuit had intervened. But, in the
leisure of suspended warfare, a vacant understanding and depraved
appetite sees no resource from _ennui_ but gallantry. He had tried
flattery; but it failed to excite vanity, or to lead his intended prey
into the toils of ambition. He resolved to pursue another scheme, by
which he hoped that beauty might be separated from its plighted love.

While Oxford resounded with preparations for the removal of the Prince
and the commencement of the campaign, Monthault affected regret at
leaving Eustace. "I wish," said he, "you could accompany me to see
actual service; you would then feel a just contempt for military
martinets and parade exercise. Goring would, I know, delight in bringing
forward a spirit like yours. But it is impossible. The barriers which
detain you are insuperable. I myself know too well the power of beauty;
yet, if you knew all that was said, even for Constantia's sake you might
resolve, for a few months, to tear yourself from her arms."

"I cannot understand you," answered Eustace. "True, I am contracted to
Constantia; but it is not she who detains me at Oxford. We are not to be
married till we are both at full age; nor even then unless the times
wear a happier aspect."

"Her character!" retorted Eustace; "can that need any other vindicator
than my honour? or rather, does any man impugn it? We have loved from
our childhood; but it has been with that innocence which enables us to
look forward to years of happiness, unembittered by reproach."

Monthault smiled, said he rejoiced at this expurgation, but added, "Can
you wonder Oxford is now the metropolis of slander, since it is full of
court-ladies who have now no revels or maskings to amuse them, and never
leave reputations in quiet when they are out of humour. But, to put a
stop to defamation, let me advise a military excursion."

Eustace explained, that it was the will of an absent father, and not
amorous dalliance, which kept him from the field. It was doubtful
whether that father lived; for he was engaged in most severe service.
"Meantime," added he, "my uncle is bound by a promise to keep me from
dangerous enterprises; but as I now begin to think it is disloyal for
any one on the verge of manhood to refuse rallying round the King at his
greatest need, I trust the prohibition will soon be removed. The last
time that I urged Dr. Beaumont on the subject, he answered, that it was
not courage, but bravado, to buckle on the sword, while the discussion
of a pending treaty afforded a prospect of its being speedily ungirded.
But as the Parliamentary commissioners are returned to London, I am
determined again to ask leave to join the army."

"And if refused," said Monthault, "would you stay at Oxford, like a tame
lion in a chain, caressed by old women, and wondered at by spectacled
fellows of colleges." Eustace paused. "I see, my brave fellow," resumed
the tempter, "you are determined to be one of us. I know your heart, and
can predict that the consciousness of positive disobedience will make
you miserable. Go, then, in the hope that your uncle would not have
restrained you. Are you not old enough to judge for yourself? They have
permitted you to chuse a wife; why not also choose your profession?"

"You have determined me," said Eustace, "I will only bid adieu to
Constantia."

"A most lover-like determination!" was Monthault's reply, "and made with
a right prudent command of the impulses of valour. I anticipate the
result. In another hour you will return; press me to your heart; look a
little ashamed; wish me good success; and then sigh out, 'I cannot bear
to leave her.'"

"No," said Eustace; "to prove that I am not a woman's slave, I will only
look the adieu, which may be our last, without telling her my purpose.
Had you a treasure, Monthault, which you valued more than life, would
you not bathe it with a parting tear as you placed it in a casket, while
about to enter on a dangerous undertaking, where your first step may be
to meet death?"

Monthault answered, that soldiers never thought of dying. They
separated; Eustace, to bid a mental farewel to his kindred, home, and
love; and Monthault, to prepare the Prince and Lord Goring to welcome a
pleasant addition to their party in a spirited youth, who had resolved
to escape from the restrictions of austere friends, and to try the
agreeable freedom of a military life. In this view these defenders of
the Crown and the Church of England looked on the last resources which a
falling King committed to their care.


    [1] This paragraph is copied from Fenelon.

    [2] Walton's Lives.




CHAP. XIII.

                       O! holy men!
    Ye are the sons of piety and peace;
    Ye never felt the sharp vindictive spur
    That goads the injured warrior; the hot tide
    That flushes crimson on the conscious cheek
    Of him who burns for glory; else indeed
    Ye much would pity me.

                                                 Mason.


Eustace kept his promise, and rejoined Monthault, at the time and place
appointed, equipped for service. His friend commended his heroism. "And
did you," said he, "obtain Constantia's permission?" "No," answered
Eustace; "I felt unequal to such a trial. I only pressed her hand with
greater tenderness, and more earnestly implored Heaven to take her into
his especial care."

"You will both thank me for projecting this separation," replied the
Major. "Seeing the world with your own eyes will improve you, brush off
that home-bred air which makes you bashful, and enlarge your ideas and
powers of conversation. I promise ourselves a spirited, agreeable
campaign. Hopton's office in the council will confine him about the
person of the Prince, who must be kept at some distance from the scene
of action; and Goring is no rigid disciplinarian. The enemy is not in
force in the west; Cromwell and Fairfax are both to play at
King-hunting; so we shall have time to divert ourselves and do our duty
too."

From Bristol, Eustace wrote to his uncle and Constantia, excusing his
absence by the uncontrollable avidity he felt to engage in the cause of
his injured Prince, to whose commands he promised a strict obedience,
and vowed to be sedulously attentive to all his new duties. To
Constantia he added that he hoped to return worthier of her, and to feel
in future the glorious consciousness of having contributed to restore
his virtuous persecuted Sovereign, and give peace to his afflicted
country. There was so much loyalty, honour, love, and gratitude in these
letters, that they must have softened the Doctor's displeasure at his
elopement, had they come to hand; but they were confided to the care of
Monthault, and, either through forgetfulness or treachery, were never
forwarded. It was therefore only from the vague testimony of an
accidental passenger that the family knew Eustace had taken the road to
Bristol; and, from his being in company with Major Monthault, they
guessed his destination.

Constantia had now the twofold anguish of fearing for the safety and
apologizing for the faults of her beloved. The latter task was by far
the most painful. She could only urge that he had a bad adviser, and
that it was his first offence. Every day she flattered herself that she
should receive a letter, deprecating her father's anger, and assuaging
her own fears. The summer passed away, and they heard nothing from
Eustace. Had he forgot her, as well as the ties of duty and gratitude?
It was impossible! letters might be lost, but her plighted Eustace must
be good and faithful.

I have before remarked that Lord Hopton was the officer under whom Dr.
Beaumont would have wished his nephew to learn "the noble game of war;"
but there were circumstances in his present appointment which made it
differ widely from that of the preceding year, when, with his
compatriot, Sir Bevil Greenvil, he drew a cordon across the western
peninsula, and preserved, in that happy spot, the laws, the virtues, and
the honour of England. He was now, indeed, to be the ruling head; but
his former associates in arms lay cold in earth, and the persons to whom
the execution of his plans was to be intrusted, were the avowed votaries
of Bacchus and Comus. It was with gay voluptuaries, freethinkers, and
revellers, that Eustace must converse; at a distance from those whose
wisdom might govern his impetuosity, and whose steady principles would
correct his backslidings. Contemplating the dangerous situation of a
generous, but indiscreet stripling, Dr. Beaumont now wished him in the
army which the King was leading northward, to collect the remains of
Lord Newcastle's forces, as that route might have afforded him a chance
of joining his father in Carlisle, which held out with unexampled
firmness, enduring the most incredible privations, and repelling the
most vigorous assaults. The event of the fatal battle of Naseby, which
palsied all the King's efforts to preserve the constitution, and ended
all the hopes of his friends, would have made Dr. Beaumont rejoice that
Eustace did not swell the list of noble and illustrious persons left on
that bloody field, had not his sorrow for a "King and kingdom lost" been
too acute and overwhelming to receive any diminution from private
considerations. The infantry, cannon, ammunition, baggage, and all the
resources of the King, were there wrested from his grasp by victorious
rebels; and England virtually exchanged the government of the religious,
conscientious descendant of her ancient Princes, for that of a low-born,
cruel hypocrite, who ruled her with a rod of iron. The King indeed
escaped from the battle with a small body of horse; but it was only to
fly from place to place before his unwearied enemies, pursued into every
corner of his kingdom, without knowing where to rest his head, allowed
no pause, even to ruminate on his misfortunes, till at last, trusting
that his own countrymen would not betray the Prince who flew, like a
bird hunted by the hawk, to their bosoms, he appealed to the pretended
loyalty of the Scotch Covenanters; and they sold him to those who
thirsted for his blood.

Yet neither the desperate state of the kingdom, nor the ruin of their
own fortunes, long since embarked in the same vessel with his rights,
could compose the feuds of the western generals, or induce them to
attend to the directions of the Prince's council, or to the discipline
and behaviour of their troops. The latter, from their intolerable
insolence and rapine, became formidable only to their friends; and the
approach of Fairfax was hailed, even in the best-disposed districts, as
a signal of deliverance from the galling yoke of military extortion.
Goring, the soldier's darling, who combined all the alluring qualities
of a demi-god, was found to want the distinguishing marks of a Christian
hero. Possessed neither of self-command, obedience, nor fortitude, he
was ever ready to dash at splendid actions, but was without resources in
the day of peril. He was too vain of his wit and companionable talents
to submit to the command of others, and too supine, dissipated, and
rash, either to improve opportunities of action, or to defeat the views
of the enemy. Such was the leader under whom Eustace hoped to serve his
king, and learn the art of war. His friend, Monthault, was a transcript
of all Lord Goring's faults, to which he added the most cool and
determined treachery, under the garb of blunt simplicity and unguarded
frankness.

It had been previously settled by the two friends, that their common
wants should be supplied from the purse of Major Monthault, in case the
Royal exchequer was inadequate to the supply of the army. That purse was
either soon exhausted, or closed by the sinister designs of the owner.
"It is his own fault if a soldier wants," was his answer to the urgent
requests of Eustace for a small supply. "We are now," returned the
other, "quartered among friends, to whom we ought to be not only
punctual but liberal, lest we indispose them to the service. You see the
Royal funds are scarcely adequate to the maintenance of the Prince. You
are aware that I must depend on you, as the circumstances under which I
left Oxford prevent my asking my uncle to assist me." "Certainly you
must not," answered Monthault; "and I say again, a word will always
carve a dinner. This, I own, is called a well-affected district; but
there are many corrupted parts in it. Your host, for instance--a vile
republican, a Presbyterian round-head--I saw him pelt the bishops when
they appeared at the bar of the Lords, and join in a clamorous petition
to behead Lord Strafford. Give him a hint of this, and make him bleed.
Tell him we will inform Sir Richard Greenvil of his behaviour; and talk
of Launceston gaol."

Eustace had long thought that every man concerned in either of those
proceedings deserved the gallows, and fancied he could perform the
office of executioner. He therefore made less scruple to require a
pecuniary commutation for those offences, but thought the proceeds
should be carried to a public account. Monthault laughed at this
suggestion, said that self-preservation was the soldier's motto, and
begged he would only bring the sum total to him, and his receipt should
be a full discharge.

Eustace met Monthault next morning with a blank aspect. The accused had
not only protested his innocence, but offered to bring testimony that he
was in Devonshire at the time. Alarmed, however, at the impending
charge, and knowing that riches were in these cases construed into a
proof of guilt, he offered half the sum demanded as a present, provided
Monthault would be his friend and protect him from further contribution.

Monthault held out his hand carelessly, and only said, "Disburse."
Eustace protested that his principles would not permit him to take a
commutation for offences from a person whom he believed innocent.
Monthault flew into a rage, asked Eustace if, in a battle, or when
storming a town, he would stop to ask those he met, "Pray, Sir, are you
in heart a rebel? Good Master, were you pressed into the service?"
before he hewed them down with his broad-sword? The very proposal of a
bribe implied guilt. Eustace acknowledged there was weight in that
remark; the offered sum was taken; Eustace carried it to his superior,
and received the jackall's share.

Indignant at the wrong, the plundered Loyalist, for such indeed he was,
appealed to the Prince's courts. The Lords Hopton, Capel, and the
incorruptible Hyde, formed part of that body; and it will be
anticipated, that only a want of ability to redress the wrong, prevented
immediate reparation. The power of Lord Goring protected his favourite,
Monthault; but it was thought proper to reprove the youth, who had acted
as his agent. Eustace was summoned before the council. Shame and
self-reproach bowed his erect head, and cast a gloom over his ingenuous
features. The President explained how greatly such actions endangered
the fugitive King, whose life now depended on the fidelity of his
subjects, as he flew from post to post, seeking to hide his proscribed
head. Eustace burst into tears. "I need proceed no further," continued
Lord Hopton, "tell me what urged you to this base action."--"Necessity,"
replied Eustace, with a look of deep contrition. "That is a bad plea,"
returned the nobleman, "and urged with a bad grace, by those who refuse
to admit it as an excuse for the crimes of rebels. In this instance too,
I fear it is a false one. I know you are one of the party, who
distinguish themselves by their midnight carousals in Major Monthault's
quarters. The necessity which arises from dissipation, can never be
urged to excuse peculation."

"Place me in the forlorn hope," said Eustace, "the first time you have
any desperate service, and let me expiate my crime."

"So keen a sense of it," resumed Lord Hopton, "is its own punishment.
Your name is Eustace Evellin. I have heard of a youth so called.--At
Oxford he was said to be one of uncommon hope, the son of a noble
Loyalist, distinguished alike for honour and valour; the nephew of a
learned divine, a confessor in the cause of monarchy and episcopacy. Are
you that person?"--Eustace answered by a burst of agonized grief.--Lord
Hopton took him aside, and slided a purse into his hands; "Use this
frugally," said he; "'tis the mite of one, whom duty has stripped of
superfluities, yet apply again to the same source, rather than give your
own heart the pangs which I see it now endures."

"But I am disgraced," said Eustace, with a look which at once bespoke
intolerable anxiety and ardent gratitude. Lord Hopton answered, "I blush
while I tell you that your fault is too general, to stigmatize those who
commit it; but I mistake your character, if you find in its frequency an
apology for repeating the crime."

Eustace retired; his dejected heart was warm with approbation of his
excellent reprover; yet burning with impatience to obliterate all
remembrance of his error, by some brave action which should prove that
he was not unworthy the clemency and confidence which his appearance had
excited. He told Monthault what had passed. "The old Prig worded it
bravely," said he, "but in one respect he is better than most of your
precise moralists. Come turn out the pieces--share and share alike you
know; and just now they are quite convenient, as there is not a single
doit in my purse." Eustace hesitated, knowing that its contents had been
left at the billiard-table, but at length complied, with a secret
determination that the partnership should immediately terminate.

While his mind still ruminated on the blight which his budding laurels
had received, it occurred to him that it would be possible to surprise
an advanced post of Sir Thomas Fairfax's army, which lay at a small
distance from the town of which Monthault was intrusted with the
command. When Eustace suggested the plan to his friend, the latter
encouraged the attempt. It had many recommendations to his treacherous
heart. The design was so full of danger, that it was most likely to end
in the destruction of the whole party, and next to the disgrace, the
death of Eustace was what he secretly desired. Nor did he forget that
incursions into the energy's quarters could not be made, without
hazarding the safety of the town where he was posted, and which Lord
Goring told him was of the utmost importance to preserve the line of
defence that covered the Royal army. With the true spirit which actuated
the western commanders in this disastrous campaign, Monthault cared
little what detriment the King received, so he might ruin a rival. He
however, took care to shift the responsibility from himself. "If you ask
me whether it is feasible," said he to Eustace, "I confess, I think that
nothing but great valour, joined to great good fortune, can accomplish
the design. But if you pant for glory, you know the adage, 'success
attends the brave.' The glory shall be all your own, for as the letter
of my orders forbids all hazards, I must officially be ignorant of your
undertaking; though, as a friend, I will allow the night-guard to
consist of picked men, whom you may dispose of as you think proper."

To succeed in a desperate enterprise, required more experience and
better intelligence than Eustace possessed.--Brave in vain, he only led
his followers to death or captivity. He was rescued from sharing their
fate by a trooper, who, seeing him fainting from loss of blood, lifted
him on his own horse, and galloped with him to the head-quarters. The
post where Major Monthault was stationed, being weakened by the loss of
this detachment, fell into the enemy's hands.

Miscarriages were too frequent to excite long clamour; but the
disobedience of a positive command was, in this instance, too marked to
be passed over in silence. Monthault, on being examined, denied having
commanded the enterprize. Had he advised, or permitted it, was a
question put by one of the council; it was over-ruled as inadmissible by
Lord Goring; and Monthault made a specious appearance, by talking loudly
of the gallantry and excellent intentions of his friend. Pale, wounded,
and dejected, Eustace was unable to raise his eyes, fearing nothing so
much as the calm severity of Lord Hopton's aspect. The hopes he had
formed were blasted; his promised course of glory and success was turned
to shame and misfortune; nay, worse, he had materially injured the
Prince, whom he would have died to serve.--He stood almost senseless
while he heard himself ordered under an arrest, and to be kept from duty
for a fortnight. That time was indeed scarce sufficient to heal his
wounds; but Eustace could not separate in his mind the restrictions
imposed by kindness from the punishment of disobedience.

His extreme agitation moved the compassion of the centinel who was
placed over him, and who was indeed the same brave trooper who had saved
his life. "Courage, noble Captain," said he; "Their Honours, the Lords
of Council, only lock you up to give you time to get well. When they
asked me about the business, I told them you was as true a heart as ever
lifted broad-sword, only a little too hot--that's all; and one of them,
the old Lord, with white hair, that looked at you so, wished that true
hearts were more common. Your wounds will be well by the time you are
let out; and then we'll cut and slash the round-heads again. Shall we
not do them a good one, as we say in Lancashire?"

The name of his native county threw the thoughts of Eustace into a
train, no less painful than the wounded feelings of a soldier.--Its dear
emigrants, what would they now think of him! Even Constantia would
abjure him:--surely she would never hear of his being reproved as a
peculator, and ordered under an arrest for insubordination.

"You are too brave a gentleman to mind a few slashes and thumps,"
continued the talkative centinel; "the surgeon says they will heal up,
and you'll have a whole skin again presently; so it must be some other
sorrow which casts you down so. And nothing cuts a man up like sorrow,
as I have heard good Dr. Beaumont say."

The name roused Eustace to enquire how he knew the opinions of Dr.
Beaumont, and the eclaircissement proved the centinel to be Ralph
Jobson, the same person who refused to take the covenant at Ribblesdale
in the beginning of the civil war, and had ever since felt such a
reverence for the Doctor, as to connect with his name every sentiment to
which he affixed peculiar importance.--To have rescued his nephew from
death or captivity, was a most gratifying event to Jobson's honest
heart; and he readily offered to do Eustace any service, even so far as
to pass through the enemy's quarters, and inform the Doctor of his
misfortunes. "Not for the universe," replied Eustace, "in the present
situation of affairs."--"True," answered Jobson, "we must not rob the
King of one brave heart just now; and though I was only a poor carter,
and am now a trooper and quarter-master's man, mine is as true a heart
as that old Lord's with white hair, that I liked the look of. So by way
of passing the time, shall I tell you how I got away from the
constables, sent by Squire Morgan to take me to Hull, and went to
Nottingham and listed under the King; aye, and fought for him too, when
Lord Lindsey was killed at Edgehill; and helped to bury Lord Falkland,
and the young Earl of Sunderland at Newbury; and saw Lord Newcastle's
lambs dye their fleeces in their own blood; aye, and was taken prisoner
with the learned Mr. Chillingworth, who wrote against Popery at
Arundel-castle, and tended him when he lay sick, and was catechised by
Waller's chaplains for being a Papist. He could have talked them all
dumb, only he was speechless; and so at last they killed him with their
barbarous usage. Why, Captain, I have seen the King of England dining on
a hard crust, under a hedge, like a gipsey-stroller. How could you have
stood such sights? Why your heart would have broke, instead of being
alive and merry to drub the round-heads, as I am."

Jobson's narrative was interrupted by a visit from Lord Hopton. "Once
more, Captain Evellin," said he, "I come to reprove you. That I do so,
is a proof of your repeated errors, and of my conviction that they
proceed rather from inexperience, than a bad disposition." Eustace
expressed his sincere gratitude and deep contrition. "On the former
subject," replied His Lordship, "since it relates to myself, I may
command silence, and you must feel that your contrition cannot restore
to us the brave fellows we lost last night, or regain the post with
which Major Monthault was entrusted. But I wish to ask if you knew that
positive orders were given, to act only on the defensive?"

Eustace was silent. The manner in which Monthault spoke of his orders,
intimated that their letter and spirit were at variance, and how could
he throw the shadow of blame on one who had so eloquently defended his
behaviour before the council. "I see," resumed Lord Hopton, "there is a
mystery in this business; and as the desperate state of our affairs
leaves me no power to punish breach of orders, we must endeavour to
correct the past. Lord Goring has fled to France; despairing, I presume,
of his master's cause. We have now to try to extricate ourselves from
the difficulties into which discord and insubordination have plunged us.
The Prince has this day required me to take the entire command of the
army. 'I have not told His Highness, as hath of late been the fashion,
that my honour would not permit me to accept it; but I have said that I
knew I could not take it at this time, without resolving to lose my
honour; yet since His Highness thinks fit, I am ready to obey him.' I
can now therefore do you a real service, by taking you out of ill hands.
I will make you my military secretary, and keep you about my person. The
past is forgot. As soon as you are able, come to my quarters; but
remember, I require a positive estrangement from your past connexions."

The transport of Eustace, at such a proof of confidence, may be readily
conceived, and he now felt assured that he should expunge all the stains
on his reputation. But ill-fortune and misconduct still attended him, as
indeed they did the army to which he was attached. The bands of
discipline had been too long relaxed. The general of the infantry
refused to obey Lord Hopton, and was committed to prison, to intimidate
other mutineers; and though his rapine and extortion had excited
universal odium, so low was the general feeling of justice, that his
punishment caused yet greater discontent than his rapacity had done. The
troops were as corrupted as their leaders; only a small body of horse
and a few companies of volunteers, chiefly composed of gentlemen, could
be depended upon, in an army drawn up in the extremity of the kingdom,
to defend the last holds of Royalty, and protect the heir of the crown
from sharing the fate of his father, who was at this time a prisoner in
the Scotch army at Newcastle, and scarce treated with the decency of
external respect.

Whatever intrepidity, activity, and foresight could perform, was done by
Lord Hopton and his faithful coadjutors; but from the hour when he
undertook the charge to that of the army's dispersion, "scarce a party
of guard appeared with half their appointed numbers, or within two hours
of the time they ought." On such enemies Fairfax rushed with the
concentrated forces of triumphant rebellion; yet if treachery had not
aided his progress, the veteran's bands were again so strongly posted,
that the victors would not have reaped bloodless laurels. But Goring's
brigade (to which Monthault still belonged), being stationed to guard a
down in front of the army, drew off without staying for orders, or
intrenched Loyalists, before they had the least previous notice. Defeat
and dispersion were the consequence. All efforts to rally the flying
troops were vain, the officers cried out that their men could not be
brought to face the enemy, and Lord Hopton in vain endeavoured to avail
himself of the chances that might result from delay, by proposing to
send to the Prince for directions how he should act. "Treat, treat," was
the universal cry of the soldiers. Scorning to yield to such base
clamour, he indignantly bade them treat for themselves, and retiring
with the faithful few who adhered to his fortunes, to Pendennis Castle,
falsified his own prediction by losing every thing but his honour, and
the last ebbing sands of a long life, wasted by toils and sorrows, that
left him merely strength enough to attend the Prince, who had been
committed to his trust, to a foreign country, where, exiled from his
large possessions, the country and the friends he loved, he found a
refuge from triumphant guilt and undeserved misfortune in the grave.

To return to Eustace. The desertion of the post at Bodmin bore such
evident marks of treachery, that it could not be attributed to the
general trepidation and disorder which possessed the army, and
circumstances proved that a correspondence subsisted between Monthault
and the Parliamentary general, which the farce of taking him prisoner
and committing him to close custody, when the King's forces were
generally permitted to disband and return to their houses, strongly
confirmed. Lord Hopton recollected that his designs had been
counteracted by Fairfax, in a manner which implied previous acquaintance
with his purposes. A moment of extreme irritation and anguish, such as a
general must feel when he finds all his resources cut off, is not
favourable to candour or calm investigation. The connexion between
Eustace and Monthault was not dissolved. Notwithstanding the injunctions
of the General to hold no intercourse with his late associate, Eustace
had been seen in his company, and even detected in the act of writing
him a letter. Monthault corresponded with Fairfax; his (Lord Hopton's)
own secretary held a private correspondence with Monthault; thus the
course of treachery seemed developed. Lord Hopton felt that he had been
deceived by the ingenuous countenance of a handsome youth. He rejected
his offer of accompanying him to Pendennis, and even demanded from him
his sword. "Go," said he, "and when one is again given you, serve your
employer with fidelity."

Eustace was thunder-struck, and rushed after his commander to enquire
the cause of such severe treatment. "I forgave your extortion and
licentiousness," said the General, with a stern austere look which
pierced him to the soul; "I pardon the rashness which broke our line of
defence, and weakened us by the loss of a brave detachment. After this I
took you into a confidential situation, and you betrayed your General
and your Prince.

"Never, never," was the exclamation of the tortured Eustace. "I own my
other offences, but with my latest breath I deny being a traitor."

"Have you not held a secret and prohibited correspondence?--Guilt chains
your tongue. I hoped better things from Eustace Evellin. Farewell,
repent and reform." These words were spoken as Lord Hopton mounted his
horse. Eustace threw himself on the ground, and in a frantic moment
thought self-destruction allowable. Before principle had time to allay
this agony of acute feeling, a sob, that seemed to issue from a breaking
heart, made him raise his head to see if there were any as wretched as
himself. A pale war-worn figure stood beside him, leaning on a carbine;
his hat drawn over his eyes, and his body wrapped in a tattered
roquelaure. Eustace would have felt ashamed at yielding to such
expressions of poignant distress before any observer, had not the more
painful consideration that this person had been a witness of his
disgrace suppressed every other thought.

"Did you hear the General speak to me?" enquired Eustace in a perturbed
accent. After a long pause the stranger answered, "I did."--Those words
were uttered in a well-known voice; and at a moment of indelible shame
and public ruin, Eustace saw the long-desired features of his father:
that father, by whose side he hoped to have fought manfully, in defence
of his King and in pursuit of glorious renown, was the witness of an
accusation which even mercy could not pardon, and beheld him sinking
under the consciousness of acknowledged offences. Dignified in misery,
Colonel Evellin stood gazing at the youth on whose virtues his fondest
hopes had reposed, now sunk far below even his own desperate fortunes.
Eustace held his hands before his face, not daring even to ask a
blessing, nor presuming to enquire how they happened to meet at this
awful crisis.

Colonel Evellin first broke silence. "You are Eustace Evellin, my only
son, for whom I cherished the remnant of my unfortunate life.--Boy, I
was plundered of wealth, title, and reputation, by a perfidious friend.
I submitted to obscurity and poverty, for I was blessed with a faithful
wife in your angel-mother. Thanks be to Heaven, she lives not to see
this day!--I have fought and bled for my King. I have endured hardships
which would paralyze your pampered niceness to hear described. For
eleven months I fed on carrion, reposed on filth, deafened with the
sound of battering cannon, the shouts of besieging rebels, and the
groans of dying comrades. I have swam across rivers, warding the broken
ice from my wounded body. I have, like a hunted wolf, dressed those
wounds in mountain-fastnesses, shunning the abode of man, and eluding
pursuers whose mercy I disdained to ask. I have seen my King a prisoner,
without power to redress his wrongs; my country a prey to tyrants; all
her hallowed institutions overturned; but never till now, Eustace, was I
completely wretched; for never did anguish, in its most desperate
forebodings, whisper that I could be the parent of a traitor."

"Oh, my father!" replied Eustace; "kill me with your weapon rather than
your words. By the unimpeached honour of my blessed mother, I am no
traitor."

"Who spoke the accusation," returned the Colonel, "which I returned to
hear, and to curse the hour of thy birth?--'Twas not the light reproach
of petulant folly, anxious to shift the shame of defeat from its own
misconduct.' The speaker was the wise, magnanimous Hopton."

"But even wisdom and magnanimity may mistake."

"Was there any intercourse which he interdicted, and you clandestinely
continued?"

"There was one who wound himself round my heart by ties which I wanted
firmness to dissolve, and I greatly fear he has been a traitor to his
country and me."

"No expletives; no qualifying terms; no diminutive appellations, for
crimes that involve a kingdom's fate. Under the influence of this man,
you have been rapacious, licentious, rash, regardless of subordination."

"I have."

"And not a traitor!--Gracious Author of my existence, do I live to hear
such perversion of language from my Eustace? When all depended on the
honour and discipline of those who maintained the King's cause, my son
commits crimes which disgrace his religion, his profession, and his
principles, yet tells me he is no traitor."

"I never betrayed the confidence of Lord Hopton," said Eustace,
attempting to clasp his father's knees. "The correspondence I carried on
was to relieve the necessities of one who I thought had served me: not
to disclose the secret plans of my General."

"Off! thy touch is contamination;" said the stern soldier. Yet Eustace
perceived he melted as he spoke. "By our common wretchedness," continued
he, "permit me to follow you. Let us throw ourselves into some garrison,
where we may dearly sell our lives. I ask for nothing but to die
defending you. Let me but combat by your side, and you shall find,
though I have greatly sinned, I can also greatly repent."

"Oh, last of a noble stock!" said Evellin, while tears streamed fast
down his furrowed cheeks, "if thou dost repent, save thy life for better
times."--"Keep me but with you," returned Eustace, "and I shall become
all you wish." "I mean to make for Oxford," said the Colonel; "darest
thou go with me thither?" "No, no," replied the unhappy youth; "I dare
not see Constance till I have erased my shames."--"The soul of thy
parents spoke in that sentiment," said the Colonel, unable longer to
restrain his arms from clasping his son; but the embrace was accompanied
with that groan of woe, which spoke unsubdued repugnance and careless
anguish, yet it seemed to restore the half-expiring Eustace to life, at
the same time that it confirmed his resolution never to give occasion
for such another groan.

Filial piety, which, in despite of all his errors, was a predominant
sentiment in the mind of Eustace, soon pointed out to him, that though
the sight of his injured but beloved Constance, and her offended father,
would, in his present circumstances, be insupportable, it was highly
desirable that his father should shelter his infirm frame under the roof
of domestic friendship; and perceiving with joy that such was his
design, he forbore to persevere in his request of never more separating
from him. He knew that a few garrisons in the west still held out for
the King, and his sanguine temper taught him to hope, that some happy
occurrence might enable him to purify his blemished fame. Colonel
Evellin encouraged this hope. Dearly as he prized his son's life,
anxious as he was to preserve the true branch of the house of Neville
from extermination, a dead son, fallen in the cause of honour, was
infinitely better than a living one stamped with the stigmas of traitor
and villain.

The advancing divisions of the enemy terminated the interview. Neither
could bear to witness the King's troops laying down their arms, or the
triumphant rejoicings of the Parliamentary forces. Colonel Evellin took
the route to Oxford, which he hoped to gain by the most unfrequented
ways; and Eustace intreating his father, if possible, to conceal his
disgrace from his dear kindred, turned westward, determining to make
every effort to rejoin Lord Hopton.




CHAP. XIV.

    Where you are liberal of your loves, and counsels,
    Be sure you be not loose; for those you make friends,
    And give your hearts to, when they once perceive
    The least rub in your fortunes, fall away
    Like water from ye, never found again,
    But where they mean to sink ye.

                                                 Shakspeare.


The evil genius of Colonel Evellin still pursued him. He had not
travelled far before he fell into the power of the rebels, who carried
him prisoner to London. He was recognized as one who had done wonders
for the King; and, in an enemy every where triumphant, to spare his life
was an act of mercy. He was, however, kept in rigorous confinement, and
his name excepted out of every act of amnesty. Whether the Presbyterians
or Independents gained a temporary ascendancy; whether the Rump or the
army struggled to get the King's person into their hands, to give a
colourable pretext to their most unrighteous proceedings, a high-minded
Loyalist was alike dangerous and opposite to the vacillating humours of
men, who, under the pretence of worshipping the God of truth and mercy,
served the abominations of perverted understandings and corrupted
hearts.

Eustace, accompanied by the faithful Jobson, reached Pendennis Castle,
and joined its brave defenders; but Lord Hopton left it before their
arrival, to follow his royal charge, who, in compliance with his
father's commands, quitted England, which now had only chains to bestow
on its Princes. In this strong fortress, celebrated for being the last
that held out for the King, Eustace distinguished himself for patient
bravery and active courage. But he no longer fought in a conspicuous
scene of action, under the eye of a renowned commander, whose praise was
glory, and whose reproof was disgrace. He gained indeed the esteem of
the venerable Arundel, who, at the age of fourscore, bound his
silver-locks with an helmet, and kept the Royal standard flying, till
the enemy, astonished at his fortitude and resources, acceded to the
most honourable capitulation. But as soon as terms were granted, and the
garrison dispersed, Eustace lost all hope of again signalizing himself,
nor could the renown gained within the walls of a fortress expunge the
disgrace which had been promulgated at the head of an army.

While undetermined how to act, or which way to employ the unvalued life
he was bound to preserve in proof of his repentance, Eustace heard of
his father's captivity. Another report at the same time reached him,
which, as any one who has fondly loved in early youth, when every idea
is most likely to be engrossed by the ardent susceptibility of one
predominant passion, will readily believe, excited still keener anguish.
He was assured that Monthault was at that time an inmate in Dr.
Beaumont's family, high in the estimation of all, and even believed to
be an accepted lover of Constantia.

To refute a rumour so injurious to loyal faith and female truth, I must
remind the reader, that immediately after Lord Hopton's defeat, Major
Monthault was ostentatiously pointed out as an object of Parliamentary
vengeance, and thrown into confinement. This was done to give him credit
with the Loyalists, preparatory to his being sent to Oxford, where it
was proposed he should act as a spy, and convey intelligence to the
beleaguering army, specifying also such of the inhabitants as were too
zealous and determined to make safe citizens in the projected
commonwealth. He was soon permitted to break from durance, and arriving
at Oxford under the character of a confessor in the Royal cause, he was
kindly welcomed by Dr. Beaumont. He brought Constantia the first certain
intelligence that Eustace was alive, and had passed through the dangers
of a disastrous campaign with little injury.

The voice of fame, alike busy in circulating good and evil tidings, soon
informed the family of the public censure which Lord Hopton cast on that
unfortunate fugitive, and Monthault would have gained great credit with
the Beaumonts for not having been the first to disclose it, had not his
own conduct been implicated in the same accusation. Isabel eagerly clung
to the visible proofs of his loyalty as an implicit evidence that her
brother had been most basely aspersed. "The misery of these times," said
she, "is surely sufficient; we need not aggravate the misfortunes of our
fellow-sufferers, or the cruelty of our enemies, by crediting the
calumnies of malice, or the unfounded fabrications of busy tatlers. Our
dear Eustace is accused of treason, and his friend and constant
associate is involved in the same charge. Yet if imprisonment and
forfeiture of his estates are not testimonials of loyalty, where shall
we seek more certain attestations? After having fought and bled for his
King, he breaks from captivity and seeks an asylum among us at Oxford.
Equally inconsistent is the charge aimed at my gallant brother. Dearest
Constantia, surely you cannot believe Eustace to be a traitor; yet your
cold looks and marked indifference to poor Monthault, and the care with
which you avoid your lover's name, lest his friend should attempt his
exculpation, indicate, that either you suffer this futile charge to
dwell too much upon your mind, or that you mistook the mere attachment
of kindred for devoted affection."

"Isabel," returned Constantia, with a look of mild expostulation, "I
know not how far to trust rumour, but this I know, that the tongue of
Monthault will corrode the fame of Eustace, either in censuring or
commending him. Do not imagine there is any change in me, or that I
mistook the nature of my own feelings. Whether Eustace deserves reproach
or renown, my heart will never own another possessor. It is either
wedded to his deserts, or so estranged by his faults, that love may as
well light his fire on a monumental tablet as make me again admire in
man, that fair semblance of generous integrity, by which Eustace won me
to select him as the partner of my future life. Him I shall ever love,
or ever mourn. But were he proved guilty of every base crime laid to his
charge, this extortioner, this debauchee, this refractory soldier, nay,
even this traitor, must not be placed by the side of Monthault, unless
it be right to compare the guilt of frail man with the impious
desperation of Satan. My greatest grief and torment proceed from a fact
which I cannot dispute: true, as you say, Eustace selected Monthault for
his constant associate and particular friend."

These remarks of Constance will disprove the rumour which had reached
the ears of her fugitive lover, and prove that Monthault did not succeed
in one of the designs which brought him to Oxford; with regard to the
other, his intended services to the Parliament during the siege were
frustrated by an order extorted from the captive King, requiring that
his garrisons should be immediately surrendered to the ruling party.
Oxford therefore admitted a detachment of the rebel army, but for some
time a spirit of moderation was visible in the treatment bestowed on
this honourable asylum of loyalty and learning. The covenant and other
oaths were indeed sent down, but as they were not enforced, the
conscientious possessors of ecclesiastical and collegiate situations
were not ejected for contumacy. The captivity of the King imposed the
most scrupulous moderation and quiet submission on all his adherents,
and many persons hoped, from this apparent calm, that the national
wounds would speedily be healed.

But the suspended fury of two powerful contending parties, concentrating
their terrors, and perfecting their deep designs to crush each other
before they entirely annihilate a fallen foe, bears no more resemblance
to the wise lenity of a regular government towards the refractory
subjects it has subdued, than the fearful stillness which is the
precursor of a thunder-storm does to the serene tranquillity of a
summer's day. No sooner were the Presbyterian republicans subdued by the
fanatics, who had gained the entire command of the army, than the murder
of the King, and the vindictive persecution of loyalty and episcopacy,
plainly shewed that, in the nomenclature of these men, forbearance and
liberty meant self-aggrandizement and most merciless oppression of all
who dissented from their opinions.

Major Monthault had sufficient political versatility and natural
baseness to be a busy actor in these scenes of perfidy and depravity;
but his talents were too limited to acquire distinction among men of
deep penetration, profoundly skilled in the art of fomenting and
managing the malignant passions; besides, the open scandal of his
profligate manners ill suited the decorous exterior of seeming saints.
His treachery to the Royal cause, therefore, only purchased him the
liberty of compounding for his estate at a less fine than was extorted
from persons of untarnished fidelity; and he was laid by as an
instrument equally mean and vile, incapable of further use. A bad heart
can never taste the pleasures which belong to tranquillity; and inaction
is torture to those who must shun reflection. Monthault had no resource
but in the indulgence of his brutal appetites. The beauty of Constantia
excited desire, while the avowed contempt with which she treated him
convinced him that the blandishments of flattery and persevering
assiduity would never remove the impressions which she had conceived to
his disadvantage. The licence of these disorderly times was favourable
to deeds of violence. Monthault formed the project of carrying off his
mistress by force, and securing her in his parental castle; and
disbanded soldiers were easily found, alike daring and lawless, to
execute such an atrocious design.

The only difficulty attendant on this undertaking seemed to consist in
wresting her from the protection of her friends; for though courts of
law no longer afforded relief to injured loyalists, a police was still
preserved, and the precincts of a college could not be violated with
impunity, or indeed with a prospect of success. He resorted, therefore,
to stratagem, invented a tale of distress, and disguised a female
accomplice to pass as the widow of a soldier who had fallen at Naseby. A
story of sick children perishing for want was likely to operate on the
feelings of humane young women. Constantia and Isabel were soon drawn
beyond the walls of Oxford, and conducted along the banks of the
Charwell, in search of this scene of misery. When they were at such a
distance from the city as to preclude the chance of assistance, several
men, masked and disguised, rushed out of an inclosure, seized their
fainting prey, and bore her from her shrieking companion to a carriage
which waited to receive her. The horses set off at full speed, and
Isabel, in an agony of despair, ran after it till it was out of sight,
invoking the interposition of Heaven, and casting many a vain look
around to see if any human succour was at hand. Tired and exhausted, she
at last recollected, that to return to the city and relate the event,
describing to the municipal officers the road the fugitives had taken,
would afford the most probable means of rescue; and, though it would be
unspeakable agony to meet her bereaved uncle and aunt, she yet
considered that her being with them would afford them some consolation,
beside the advantage of her testimony for the recovery of her dear
companion.

When Constantia revived from the state of insensibility into which the
suddenness of the assault had hurried her weak spirits, she found
herself in a chaise with Monthault, who watched the return of her senses
to pour out some passionate encomiums on her beauty, and protestations
of his insurmountable, though hopeless love. "I will speak this once,"
said she, "and then for ever be silent. Hear, abandoned man and
perfidious friend! I would sooner die than yield to your wishes; and I
know my father would weep less over my corpse, than if he saw me
contaminated by your embraces. Restore me to him; nay, only give me
liberty to fly back to his dear arms, and I will never disclose that you
were the ravisher; but if you persist in your cruelty, it will be of no
other avail than to plunge your soul in additional guilt."

Alarmed by the determined firmness of her manner, Monthault changed his
tone. He protested she misunderstood his expressions; for that, though
he never should cease to adore her, he had merely engaged in this
enterprize as the agent of Eustace, to whom he was going to carry her.
Hopeless of obtaining her father's consent (since he knew his disgrace
had reached Oxford), and incapable of living without her, they had
projected this scheme; and he besought her to be calm, as a few hours
would bring her to her plighted love. "Surely, beautiful Constantia,"
said he, "you would not wish to escape from your faithful, though
dishonoured Eustace." "The Eustace I knew and loved," returned she, "was
faithful and honourable. Base seducer, and slanderer of unsuspecting
innocence, this subterfuge cannot deceive me a moment; and I once more
warn you to let me go, or dread my desperation."

A disposition like Monthault's is rarely threatened out of its
deliberate purpose; but, happily for Constantia, the skill of the driver
was not proportioned to the expedition he was commanded to use, and he
overturned the carriage at the entrance of a small village. Constantia's
cries soon drew several people to her assistance, who, supposing her
distress proceeded from her alarm at the accident, assured her that the
gentleman who lay senseless on the ground was only stunned by the fall,
and that the blood which streamed from her own face was caused by a very
slight wound. "It is from him," said she, "that I entreat to be
preserved; only hide me from him. Let him suppose I escaped in the
moment of confusion, and every kind office I can do you in the course of
my life will be too little to shew my gratitude. Beside my own prayers,
I will promise you those of my dear father, the worthiest and best of
men; these he will daily offer to Heaven for the preservers of his only
child."

The rustic witnesses of this scene listened with stupid surprise to this
address. The women busied themselves in binding up the deep gash in
Constantia's forehead; the men, in raising Monthault, and lifting up the
carriage. By this time the out-riders were come up, who, faithful to
their commission, prepared to place Constantia on one of the horses,
when her loud shrieks, the bustle, and crowd, attracted the attention of
two gentlemen who were travelling on the road, to whose inquiries of
what was the matter, one of Monthault's gang brutally answered, a
carriage had been overturned and a gentleman much hurt. "But he is quiet
enough," said he; "whereas his wife, who is only a little scratched,
screams as if she would raise the dead."

"Her distress at least requires tender treatment," said one of the
gentlemen. "Why are they lifting her on that horse?" "To take her to a
surgeon, your honour." "What! from her lifeless husband, while she
herself is but slightly injured? Something must be wrong here." At the
moment Constantia thought herself lost, a strenuous hand grasped the
bridle of the horse on which she was placed; and a commanding voice
called to the man who held her in his arms to stop at his peril. The
villain drew his sword, and attempted to hew down his opposer; but at
that instant Constantia had sufficient strength to loosen his clasp and
throw herself upon the ground, from which she was raised by the other
gentleman, who assured her she should be protected, in a voice which,
with rapture, she recognized to be that of the worthy Barton.

"Oh my guardian angel," said she, "are you come to save me again? My
second father, hold me in your sheltering arms till you can restore me
to my kindred. I have been forced away by brutal ravishers. There lies
the master ruffian senseless; and," continued she, waving her hand,
"there are his cruel accomplices."

By this time the other stranger had disarmed his antagonist, pulled him
from his horse, and committed him to custody. "My Lord," said Barton to
him, "this is a most providential adventure. We have again rendered a
signal good service to one of those pretty maidens whom you assisted at
Halifax." "To which of them?" eagerly inquired the young nobleman.
"Mistress Constantia Beaumont," returned Barton. "But where is Isabel?"
"Safe at Oxford, and consoling my friends, I trust," replied Constantia.
"Oh, Sir! I know not by what name to address you; but if you are the
pupil of the excellent Barton, you will, like him, defend the friendless
who has been forced away from her natural protectors."

"Most willingly," answered the unknown; "but if that man is your
husband, how can I take you out of his power?" Constantia then briefly
told her story; her morning walk with Isabel; her seizure; Monthault's
protestations; the overthrow of the chaise, and the attempt of the
myrmidons to force her away. The rest of these wretches had now made
their escape, leaving the one who was in custody and their employer, who
began to shew signs of life, to answer for their crimes.

Barton then took upon himself the office of restoring Constantia to her
friends, and begged his companion to remain with Monthault to see that
he had proper treatment, and was secured from escaping. They drove back
to Oxford with such rapidity as to precede the return of Isabel, who had
the happiness of seeing the beloved friend, whose loss she came to
announce, restored to the embraces of her affectionate family.

While Mr. Barton and Dr. Beaumont were exchanging those sentiments of
cordial esteem which mutual worth is sure to inspire, Isabel's eyes
inquired if the gallant officer, who had so much interested her, had
given no signs of reciprocal recollection. She was dissatisfied that he
was not her cousin's escort; and though, in wishing to see him again,
she thought she had no other motive than to thank him for past services,
she never before felt so much pain from unacknowledged gratitude.
Constance was too much overpowered by the remembrance of her own
preservation to attend to the silent perplexity of Isabel, whom a secret
consciousness of what she could scarce believe to be a fault restrained
from a thousand inquiries which she would not have scrupled to make
after one to whom she was wholly indifferent.

The transport which Dr. Beaumont felt at the restoration of his daughter
was checked by a discovery of the most agonizing kind. Monthault still
continued in a languishing condition; but his accomplice underwent an
examination as to the purpose of his attempt, and the name of his
employer. On promise of pardon the miscreant offered to make a full
discovery. His conditions were accepted; and he then named Eustace
Evellin as the person who was to receive the advantage of the nefarious
action. He asserted, that being overcome with despair at the thought of
having forfeited his uncle's favour by his bad conduct, Eustace
determined to possess his cousin at any hazard, and that Major Monthault
had been wrought upon, by his earnest entreaties, to become his agent.
The woman who had personated a trooper's widow, and drawn the two ladies
to the retired spot where Eustace was seized, gave such a description of
the stranger who bribed her to fabricate a tale of distress as exactly
tallied with the person of Eustace, but bore no resemblance to
Monthault. Another was brought to swear that he had seen Dr. Beaumont's
nephew in Oxford since its surrender to the Parliament. His long silence
to his family was an inexplicable mystery; but to visit Oxford without
throwing himself at his uncle's feet, and imploring pardon, was such a
tacit acknowledgement of conscious unworthiness, as even the candour of
Dr. Beaumont could not controvert. In an agony of mind, far exceeding
all that he had endured for his despoiled fortunes, and only equalled by
what he felt for his persecuted King; he requested Mr. Barton to
discharge the accomplices, and hush up the business. He then returned
home, clasped the trembling Constantia in his arms, and conjured her
never to name her unworthy cousin. "I would bid you not think of him,"
said he; "but the viper will be remembered by its sting, after we have
discovered it to be a poisonous reptile with a beautiful outside. And
much gratitude is due to Heaven, that the base infection of his nature
has been fully disclosed, before you were bound to him by indissoluble
ties." Constantia asked if Monthault was the accuser of Eustace.
"Monthault," replied the Doctor, "is silent. A chain of evidence
confirms, that he was merely an agent in this iniquitous design of
tearing you from me."--"Impossible," replied Constance, "never did agent
embark with such eager passion in the views of another. It was for
himself, the monster pleaded; and it was only a mean attempt to quiet my
cries for assistance, when he talked of carrying me to Eustace.--Fortunate
dissembler, how well he contrives to throw the guilt of his own treasons
on that ill-fated youth."

"Dear, credulous girl," returned the Doctor, "I have often bid you love
young Evellin, and do not wonder that you find it hard to unlearn that
lesson. Yet, rest assured, it is not on dubious testimony, that I found
my conviction of his being corrupted by the lax morality of these evil
times, in which one party deems an attachment to the antient
constitution an excuse for debauchery, and the other uses the verbiage
of religion as a commutation for obedience to its precepts. It is most
true, Eustace was publicly disgraced by Lord Hopton, accused of crimes
to which he pleaded guilty, suspected of others which he faintly denied.
With horror I must tell you that his unfortunate honourable father had
the anguish of witnessing his shame."

Constance raised her streaming eyes and clasped hands to Heaven,
exclaiming, "If his crimes have been any thing worse than the
precipitation of thoughtless youth, there is no truth in man. Till his
fame is cleared I will not name him. But I shall never cease to think of
him till this heart ceases to beat, or rather till my intellects are too
clouded to discern the difference between error and depravity. You have
often said that one of the sorest calamities of this turbulent period is
the celebrity acquired by successful wickedness, which encourages
offenders to traffic largely in iniquity; but the fate of poor Eustace
continues to exhibit the severity of retributive justice. Discarded by
both his fathers, and divorced from his love, where has the pennyless
outcast funds to feed the craving avarice of criminal associates, to
suborn accomplices, and to bribe witnesses? A destitute exile has at
least presumptive evidence that he is innocent of stratagems which
wealth alone could attempt; and surely wealth is always too selfish to
forego the indulgencies which it pawns its soul to purchase."

The sensibility of Constantia Beaumont was as permanent as it was acute;
her sense of honour was refined and delicate; but her high-seated love
was fixed on those unalterable properties which not only rejected every
light surmise to her lover's disadvantage, but also clung to the
conviction of his integrity with a confidence which, in the present
state of things, looked like obstinate credulity. No chain of
circumstances, no concurring testimony could induce her to think Eustace
treacherous or depraved. By his own mouth alone could he be condemned.
She must see his misdeeds and hear his confession before she would
determine to recall her vows. With all the vivid hope of youthful
inexperience, she continued to believe that he would return and confute
his accusers. Months, nay, years, rolled away; the hope grew fainter. No
certain tidings of his proceedings reached them after the fatal battle
of Dartmoor, when Lord Hopton precipitately doomed him to ignominy. She
had heard that his father commanded him to live and redeem his lost
fame; and she often fancied he was busily employed in obeying that
command. Indulging this idea, she hoped that his glory would burst upon
them with such unquestionable splendour, that every tongue would
applaud, while she took her hero by the hand, and asked her father to
rescind the injunction which forbade her to avow her unchangeable
affection.




CHAP. XV.

    The zeal of the true Christian for Christ and his Gospel is
    never accompanied with those flaming contentions and
    oppositions, which, though engaged in the best of causes,
    certainly testify a corrupt mind. They had rather obey than
    dispute, follow than have the pre-eminence.

                                                 Southgate's Sermons.


The year 1648 produced events, that were alike the glory and the shame
of England. It was first signalized by the illustrious stand which the
university of Oxford made against successful usurpation, by appointing
delegates to examine the oaths they were now required to take, and to
state why, in reason and conscience, they could not submit to the
imposition. These delegates, to their eternal renown, and to the honour
of those for whom they acted, "though then under the power of a strict
and strong garrison put over them by Parliament, the King in prison, and
their hopes desperate, passed a public act and declaration against the
covenant, with such invincible arguments of the illegality, wickedness,
and perjury contained in it, that no man of the contrary opinion, nor
even the assembly of divines, which then sat at Westminster, ever
ventured to make any answer to it." And the publication of their
reasons, "must remain to the worlds end, as a monument of the learning,
courage, and loyalty of that excellent place, against the highest malice
and tyranny that ever was exercised in or over any nation."

Resistance of such a pure and steady character, conducted with meek
fortitude, and supported by unimpeachable wisdom, was too dangerous an
offence to be forgiven. Ejection of the members from the scanty
subsistence which they derived from their collegiate endowments, was the
first punishment. To this, banishment from Oxford was immediately added,
and, in many cases, imprisonment. The obnoxious oaths were tendered to
all the members of the university, and those who refused to compromise
their consciences for bread, were commanded to quit the happy asylum of
their age, or to renounce all their youthful studies and hopes in
twenty-four hours, by beat of drum, on pain of being treated as spies.
Few were found so selfish as to submit to the alternative of perjury;
and thus the venerable sages and generous youth of England went forth
like the confessors of antient times, "of whom the world was not worthy;
afflicted, destitute, tormented, they wandered in deserts, in mountains,
in caves, and dens of the earth." At one time they were forbidden to
earn a subsistence as private tutors in families; at others, restricted
from performing any ministerial functions, even so much as administering
the sacrament to dying persons, who yet, by the arbitrary regulations of
many of the new parochial ministers, might not receive it from them,
unless they also first took the covenant.

Dignified clergymen were at this time travelling on foot, nearly
destitute of common necessaries, and relying on the charity of casual
passengers for support[1]. Cathedrals had long been converted into
barracks for horse-soldiers, and bishop's palaces into prisons for the
ejected clergy, whose families, now deprived of the last pittance, and
actually in want of bread[2], became earnest supplicants that the moiety
of the benefices, of which their fathers were deprived, (and which the
Parliament had agreed should be appropriated to their support,) should
be regularly paid. "But these applications oftener produced vexatious
and expensive suits than effectual relief."

As the clerical associates of the party who now reigned triumphant,
rushed in crowds to fill the vacant seats, the aspect of Alma Mater was
completely changed. As much sanctity as possible was thrown into the
face, and mirth and pleasantry were avoided as marks of a carnal mind.
The young competitors for academical learning were led to examination,
through rooms hung with black, and illuminated by so faint a taper, that
it only served to make darkness visible. This obscurity was a prelude to
a fearful questioning by a Saint, "with half a dozen night-caps on his
head, and religious horror in his countenance"[3], who asked him whether
he abounded in grace,--the state of his soul,--if he was of the number
of the elect--the occasion of his conversion, and the exact period when
it happened. Such was the general aspect of manners, and such the state
of learning; many respectable exemptions were, however, found in men who
placed religion in something more essential than lecturing out of
Calvin's institutes, pointing Scripture-texts at political opponents, or
assuming the vinegar aspect of puritanical monachism. Some also have
been recorded, who shewed that they were dissenters from purely
conscientious motives, who refused to enrich themselves with the plunder
of episcopacy, and, considering the clergy of the desolated church as
men and brethren, stretched out the hand of humanity to alleviate their
afflictions.

Such was the good Barton. By one of the sports of Fortune, he was
nominated to the stall which Dr. Beaumont was expected to vacate, by
refusing the prescribed oaths. Among the foibles of this worthy man,
must be ranked a high opinion of his own spiritual attainments; but this
being qualified by the technical phrases of his sect, did not alarm his
really tender conscience, for though he would have considered the same
inordinate degree of self-esteem as sinful, in one who did not hold the
same religious tenets; yet, by changing the term disposition into gift,
he thought himself permitted to talk of his present piety, knowledge,
perseverance, diligence, and success in the ministry, as of a vessel
filled with grace, and ordained to honour. Still, when he spoke of
himself as man, he used the strongest terms of self-abasement. He had no
doubt he should be able to foil Dr. Beaumont in argument, and convince
him that the Anglican church was really anti-christian. His benevolence
and liberality urged him to undertake this office at this time, in hopes
that, since the Doctor's subsistence depended upon his acquiescence,
expediency would facilitate conviction. The noble disinterestedness of
this intention must attract admiration; and though there were abler
advocates in the cause of Presbytery, it would have been difficult to
select one whose motives were so commendable.

When Barton visited his friend, with a view to effect his conversion, he
took care to conceal the interest he himself had in the business. With
many encomiums on the Doctor's learning and moral conduct, he urged him
to that conformity which would preserve him in a state of usefulness. He
spoke of the differences between moderate members of the Lutheran and
Reformed churches as including no essential doctrines; and mentioned the
friendly intercourse which Calvinistical congregations on the continent
had ever maintained with the church of England, assisting her in her
troubles, and receiving her persecuted members with open arms. He
observed, that what was not evidently of divine origin should never be
made binding to the souls of men, that it was never too late to retract
errors, and if, in the first hurry of separation, some remains of popish
impurity adhered to a new-born church, it behoved its members to remove
the defilement, as soon as a more simple and scriptural view of the
subject allowed them to complete the work of reformation.

So far Dr. Beaumont, in general, agreed with Mr. Barton; but, adverting
to the learning and talents of the fathers of the Anglican church, he
conceived it attributable to their moderation and wisdom, and not to
their want of sincerity or of clear spiritual views, that they
endeavoured, not to build a new church, but to purify and reform their
old one. Hence, in reply to the taunt of the Romanists, "Where was your
religion before Luther?" they could say, "Our religion preceded your
corruptions, and ever was in the Bible;" thus claiming for their
founder, neither Luther, nor Calvin, nor Melancthon, nor Zuinglius; but
the Saviour of the world. As to the remark, that what was not of divine
institution should not be made a condition of communion, it applied with
full force against the new-fangled covenant, and he clearly proved the
injustice of an imposition, which could never be called law, while it
wanted the essentials which the constitution required; namely, the
assent of the three legislative powers. It threw a grievous burden upon
the conscience of those who took it, because, not content with binding
them to the new form of worship, it also required them to endeavour to
extirpate Prelacy, classing it with Popery, superstition, heresy,
schism, and profaneness. These may all be proved contrary to the word of
God; whereas, allowing that episcopacy is not actually prescribed by
Scripture, its greatest maligners have never been able to shew that it
is contrary to any rule or precept expressed or implied. No
conscientious man, therefore, could take this covenant, unless he
thought that Prelacy ought to be interdicted, and its maintainers
persecuted to extirpation.

On other branches of the oath, such as its pretext of defending the
King's person, while it justified raising armies to deprive him of his
lawful rights, and accusing the faithful adherents of the King as being
malignant incendiaries, and the cause of the nation's misfortunes, Dr.
Beaumont forbore to expatiate; as a clergyman, he was required chiefly
to look at the ecclesiastical tendency of this obligation, and on that
account he preferred poverty, bonds, or even death, to subscription.

Barton acknowledged that his party had gone too far, and hoped time
would soften their asperity, and reclaim those who had so loudly
complained of persecution, from continuing to be persecutors. He
enlarged on the beautiful simplicity of primitive worship, as described
in Scripture; talked of the mistakes which had proceeded from a
misapplication of the word Bishop in our translations, and complained
that the church was profuse in her ceremonies; that her forms were too
copious, redundant, and evidently copied from the Romish missal; and
that her terms of subscription were too minute and galling to tender
consciences.

Dr. Beaumont acknowledged that, like all human institutions, the church
of England, its Liturgy, and its authorised translation of Scripture,
were imperfect; but unless we admit fallibility as a justifiable motive
for rejecting whatever is of human origin, and withholding our obedience
to all governments, because there is something defective in them, this
objection must fall to the ground. The very nature of man, which
prevents him from devising what is perfect, enables him to discover
those defects in the labours of others, which his self-love will not let
him perceive in his own; and thus it has ever been easy to detect and
censure abuses, but difficult to correct them. He proved, that no
congregation of Christians could be maintained, without observing
various forms and arrangements not mentioned in Scripture, in which
there is no fuller description of public service, than that they met
together, with _one accord_, for the purpose of prayer, praise, singing
hymns, reading and expounding the word of God. The rule, "Let all things
be done in order," coupled with the injunction, "to obey those who have
rule over you," justified every national church in framing articles of
concord, and a formulary for public worship; and he thought private
Christians could not be vindicated for disobeying their spiritual
superiors, unless the required terms included something contrary to
divine laws. He inferred from Acts, chap. iv. v. 24, and the following
verses, that a form of prayer was early used in the Christian church, as
it had been in the Jewish; and he stated that the divine compendium
prescribed by our Lord was, indeed, a selection of passages from Jewish
prayers. He observed, that without a service, previously known to all
the congregation, only the minister could be said to pray, the rest were
auditors, not a congregation; listeners to their orator, and judges of
his eloquence; not petitioners in their own name, begging mercy of
God.--Seceders generally pleaded that they put confidence in their
minister; but he would tell them, this was being more Popish than the
church of England could be, in retaining some of the dresses, Liturgies,
and hierarchical orders used by the Romanists; for it was an error of
that church, against which our reformers most vehemently protested, to
give undue importance to the officiating minister, on whose intention
and purpose the value of the sacred ordinance depended. If we change the
word Intention to Gift, is the absurdity less glaring? The Papists
believe, that their priest in the mass can, if he so wills it, change a
wafer into flesh; and that his coinciding purpose is necessary to make
any means of grace effectual. The Anti-formalists call it serving God,
to stand while their minister utters extemporary prayers, the propriety
and suitableness of which must depend on his wisdom and elocution. The
resemblance between the lower classes of secular preachers, and the
mendicant Friars, whose conduct was the disgrace and ruin of Popery, is
most evident; especially in their abuse of the parochial clergy, from
whom they completely estranged the minds of the people, and then led
them into all the absurdities of fanaticism. He shewed that it was
preserving the worst parts of Popery to make a merit of attending
religious assemblies, instead of considering and hearing the word, as a
help to right action; and that in uncharitable judgment of others, with
respect to their spiritual state, and a pertinacious persuasion that
salvation is confined to their own church, the strict Calvinist and the
strict Papist were as one. And he bade Mr. Barton to join with him in
praying God, that there might not be a still closer resemblance; for the
crime of King-killing was of Popish origin, and was defended under the
plea, that to promote the cause of God by cutting off his enemies was
our duty, thus investing themselves with the right of judging who were
God's enemies, and what was truly his cause.

In saying that the discipline and Liturgy of the English church was
copied from that of the church of Rome, the case was unfairly stated.
Her reformers endeavoured, in all things, to go back to the earliest and
purest models. With singular modesty of judgment, they thought invention
and discovery ill-sounding names in religion. The usages she kept in
common with Rome were those she copied from the primitive churches, and
were therefore uncontaminated with her errors.

In respect to the word _bishop_, admitting there was a misapplication of
the term, in its present sense, to the ministers of the Ephesian and
Cretan churches, whom Timothy and Titus were commissioned by St. Paul to
select and appoint, yet it was to Timothy and Titus themselves, and to
the authority they were commanded to exercise over these bishops or
presbyters, that we were to look for the scriptural precedent of
Episcopacy. The word Bishop did not come into the use to which we now
apply it during the lives of the apostles, who possessed the same
species of superintendence. But after the death of St. John, the
apostolical fathers, who succeeded as governors of the church of Christ,
modestly declined assuming the name of Apostle, as sanctified by the
peculiar appointment of their heavenly Lord. As Christianity spread,
each tract of country, or large city, had its bishop or overseer, who
ordained the subordinate presbyters and deacons, and administered the
rite of confirmation. Such, without exception, was the government of the
church for nearly sixteen hundred years; and during that period scarce
any objections were started against its utility. What St. Paul appointed
Timothy to be at Ephesus, and Titus in Crete, that was Clement at Rome,
Ignatius at Antioch, and Polycarp at Smyrna; each the ecclesiastical
superintendent of his respective congregation, and a bond of union among
dispersed societies of Christians.

As to the hardship of the terms of communion required by the Church, and
the unscriptural tendency of some of her forms, Dr. Beaumont wished that
the objectors would agree in stating what they wanted to have altered,
in such a manner that unity might indeed be promoted. "But while," said
he, "every one conceives himself at liberty to find fault, and no two
agree in what you would have changed; while some of your most learned
and pious bring forth new liturgies[4], framed according to their own
peculiar fancy, without the least reference to ancient forms, or any
even plausible pretence why their inventions should supplant what has
been long in use; while others run into metaphysical subtleties and nice
definitions of abstract doctrines[5]; and others inveigh against all
forms as subversive of Christian liberty, are we not justifiable in
retaining what we have till you agree in producing something better? And
as to the multiplicity of our institutions, even with our fearful
example to teach you brevity and simplicity, you have not found the
drawing up of the constitution of a church so simple a thing. The
Directory which was fashioned by your divines took almost a day to read
over; and it is with a bad grace that you object to our using words not
found in holy writ, which we say are rendered necessary by the present
state of theological controversy, when your divines adopted many
new-coined, indefinite words, for which neither Scripture, precedent,
nor significance, could be pleaded."

Mr. Barton forbore replying to many points in dispute; he acknowledged
that the assembly of divines "had disappointed the hopes of their
employers;" but, recurring to episcopacy, he said, that admitting the
existence of a superintending order among the primitive clergy, how
could we reconcile the poverty and lowliness of the antient bishops with
the splendour, wealth, and temporal power of their successors? and he
added, that the ruin of the church was greatly owing to the secular
lives of the clergy.

To this Dr. Beaumont replied, that in different states of the church
different duties were required of her ministers. And if (as experience
proved) in a state of persecution, the head of the flock was first
called to suffer, it followed that in prosperous times those who
occupied that station should also be admitted to an upper seat at "the
shearer's feast." Wealth, power, and splendour, are not of necessity
sinful. They did indeed often afford temptations to offend, and so did
poverty; a low servile condition, a life of austerity and mortification,
nay, even religious observances, for the Pharisee sinned in an act of
worship, by boasting himself to be righteous, and despising others. "It
must ever be," said he, "while the Christian priesthood is filled by men
subject to infirmity, that in prosperous times the ministry will, in
numerous instances, be formed of worldly-minded persons, who follow
their Lord for the bread he distributes, and care little for the bread
of life. Such persons being active, ambitious, practised in those habits
which bring their possessors into notice, endowed with much worldly
wisdom, and perhaps supported by powerful interest, must, according to
the ordinary course of things, climb to eminent stations, and by the
publicity of their conduct give occasion to scandal. But no sooner does
the church appear in danger, than these mock supporters desert her;
either changing their party for that which, they think, will eventually
predominate, or seeking personal security in concealment. But then the
true servants of God appear in view; they who, meek and humble, pious
and learned, claim only the distinction of defending or suffering for a
calling which they embraced with a view of fulfilling its duties, not of
engrossing its rewards. All this results, not from the discipline of our
church, but from human nature; and which-ever of your sects finally
gains the ascendancy, the worldly-minded man will find in it the same
expedients to help him to obtain the secular objects at which he
aspires."

"As to your charge, Mr. Barton, that the lives of our clergy gave
occasion to the downfall of our church, you cannot prove it, unless,
invested with the attribute of omniscience, you can look into the hearts
of men, and estimate the comparative worth of two numerous communities.
The claims of our church to apostolical purity rest on her doctrines,
constitution, and services. These are capable of proof and
investigation, and are not affected by the unworthiness of her
ministers. The pretensions of those sects who reject all creeds, forms,
and canons, rest solely on the qualities of their members; and those who
deny that human institutions can be binding, seem to adopt the common
language of reformers, intimating, that they who pull down the old
temple must be a wiser and worthier race of beings than those who
supported it. Now as each man takes a personal interest in the triumph
of his party, he thinks it his duty, not only to give his neighbour
credit for whatever portion of graces and abilities he lays claim to,
but also makes the same claim for himself; and he must be a bad caterer
who cannot make a savoury compound of spiritual delicacies, when he thus
traffics in them by barter. Yet I often wonder how they, who positively
insist on the absolute depravity of mankind, can reconcile it to
consistency, to make so many of their own brethren absolutely saints.
They call themselves in the aggregate, the vilest of sinners; yet, when
they come to describe particulars, they employ language which even the
most eminent of all the Apostles had too humble a sense of his defects
to adopt. But on the contrary, we who do not found our claims on the
superiority of the earthen vessels in which the heavenly treasure is
lodged, are not solicitous to describe the church militant in terms
appropriate only to the church triumphant. We see and deplore the vices
and errors of each other; and after that acknowledgment, do not, worthy
Barton, call us uncandid if I add, we also discover yours. I will go
further, and own, that we record that as a blemish which you produce as
a beauty; I mean your zeal to promote separation, so plainly
contradictory, not merely to a dubious text, a difficult chapter, or
even an epistle hard to be understood, but to the whole tenor of the New
Testament, which, from St. Matthew to the Revelations, preaches concord,
brotherly love, candour, humility, lenity in judgment, meekness,
submission, unity in belief, in worship, in our conduct on earth, and in
final hope of an eternal reward in heaven."

Mr. Barton admitted the use and necessity of an establishment,
notwithstanding the errors which must at first mix with it, and the
inert supineness it must afterwards introduce; but he saw little danger
in schism, and doubted if it could indeed be counted a sin. He enlarged
on those texts which permitted Christian liberty, and laid it down as a
fundamental rule for the only difference allowable in a state, that one
church should be approved and all the rest tolerated. The approved
church should be that which had most members, and it should afford
public maintenance and greater encouragement to its pastors; but all
opinions might be promulgated with equal freedom, and every person left
at liberty to interpret Scripture as he pleased, and to serve God in his
own way.

Dr. Beaumont conceived the adoption of this plan would give occasion to
much talk about religion, but would ripen none of its fruits. The
attention of most men would be too much engrossed by temporal pursuits
to exercise this privilege of choice, till sickness or calamity urged
them to think of a future world. Weak minds, he said, would be "ever
learning, and never coming to the knowledge of the truth," and the best
disposed would be most apt to fall into error from extreme solicitude to
be right. The differences between Christians chiefly consist in
mysterious or speculative points; hence the perpetual controversies of
those who were struggling to enlarge their communities, would divert the
attention of mankind from moral duties. Every preacher would become, as
it were, a religious prize-fighter, drawing round him an auditory as a
means of subsistence, instead of instructing a congregation in their
duty to God. So there would be endless dispute, nice sifting of abstract
ideas, and censorious inquisitiveness into the spiritual state of our
neighbours, but little humility, charity, or true piety; which consist
in grateful adoration of, and sincere obedience to our Creator,
Redeemer, and Sanctifier, and not in speculations on the
incomprehensible nature and unfathomable purposes of God. From such
unedifying pursuits our church, in her articles, dissuades even her
riper members; how much more then must she, in her elementary
instructions, avoid exciting a taste for them in the tender minds of her
catechumens.

"Respecting the texts which require us to exercise Christian liberty, we
ought" observed Dr. Beaumont, "to remember two considerations, which will
assist us so to understand, as not to misapply Scripture. We should first
consider the occasion which called forth the precept, and I believe you
will find many of those you quoted, were meant to dissuade Gentile
converts from observing the abrogated institutions of the Jewish law; at
least, I am sure you will not find one which permitted a convert to say
he chose to belong to the congregation of Paul or Apollos, or Cephas.
Such licence of choice St. Paul strictly prohibits, ever labouring, as
his Master had done before him, to build up a church in perfect unity
of faith and worship. The other hint which I would suggest to you is,
that the example of the Devil shews us that texts of Scripture may be
wrested so as to recommend presumption and other enormous offences.
Most assuredly, human governments have no power to inhibit man from
interpreting the Word of God as his conscience dictates, but it is
much to be wished, for the repose of Christendom, for the comfort of
individuals, and the general increase of Christian graces, that "the
unlearned and unstable" would exercise that lowliness and sacred awe
which, operating as a moral restraint, would prevent them from giving
their crude conceptions as faithful interpretations of the secret things
of the Most High. This evil began to work in the Apostles' days, and
every heresy and error that has since arisen in the Catholic church,
claims for its foundation some misapplied text, which the perverse
subtlety, or presumptuous ignorance of its founder wrested from its
true significance. The usurpations of Popery, the daring impieties
of Socinus, the mystical reveries of pietism, and the turbulent
licentiousness of the fifth-monarchy-men, all assail the champions of
orthodoxy with weapons stolen from the divine armoury. Nay, I have
heard that the doctrine of metempsychosis has been supported by
Scripture-proof, and many texts brought to prove the re-appearance
of one human soul in a variety of bodies[6]. Though therefore I
sincerely deprecate all legal restraints on the free use of the Word
of God, I must commend those divines who enforce the moral restraints
I have mentioned, instead of encouraging a boundless latitude of
interpretation.

"Shall I weary you if I point out whence arise these discrepancies of
opinion? We look into Scripture to confirm our preconceived notions, not
with a reverent desire of learning the truth. Each sect prefers some
portion of Christian doctrine to the whole, and urges its favourite
tenet to an undue extreme. Unskilful interpreters separate texts from
their contexts, or they found doctrines on obscure passages, explaining
away those plain ones by which the more difficult should be expounded,
and overlooking those cautions by which the Holy Spirit guards against
exaggeration. By such men a rhetorical illustration, a poetical figure,
a local or temporary instruction, are made to form points of faith or
positive rules of practice. It is evident many, even of the moral
precepts, given by our Saviour, cannot be literally obeyed[7]; and were
intended rather to cultivate a general feeling, than to be referred to
as a precise injunction; and if we allow for the strong imagery of
eastern idiom on these occasions, let us do the same for those texts
from whence arose the unhappy disputes among Protestants, on what are
called the Five Points; which gave great occasion to Popery to exult in
the disorder produced by our separation from her. And would to God that
could have been avoided without partaking in her sins!

"To illustrate my idea of the manner in which even moral texts should be
construed, I should consider your favourite precept of "Stand fast in
the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free," as rather intended to
limit the frequent injunctions "to obey those who have rule over us,"
and to shew Christianity did not enjoin servility, than as designed to
prove that we are allowed to choose our own temporal and spiritual
masters. And that this is the true interpretation, the universal opinion
of mankind must prove, who, in preferring government to anarchy, and
supporting the state by coercive laws, shew that they consider the
multitude as naturally subject to the institutions of the country which
gave them birth, and whose protection and privileges they enjoy. And
believe me, Mr. Barton, those who now insist so much on the rights of
equal liberty, when they come to govern, will inforce the duty of
subordination, and will exact all the claims to which age, station,
authority, prescription, or superior attainments are entitled. I shall
not blame them; the peace of society depends on the inviolability of
these claims. I only censure them for exciting popular resentment
against us, by holding forth ideas of perfection which experience tells
us cannot be realized in this life."

"I perceive," returned Barton, "you object to the fundamental doctrines
on which we found our separation; but, if you refuse to be my convert,
let me hope that you will at least affect a passive acquiescence. If the
King assents to the terms which Parliament now requires, and abolishes
episcopacy, surely you will not resist what you must then, on your own
principles, admit to be law."

Dr. Beaumont steadily answered, that even then he would not take the
covenant; for though the King and Parliament conjointly possessed very
ample legislative powers, they could not alter the constitution, of
which they were conservators, not fabricators. "But," said he, "this
question is scarcely a speculation. I am well aware that our high-minded
King too little values the title and parade, which he is aware is all
the present Parliament will ever grant him, to wound his own conscience,
or lay snares for that of others. I have therefore rather to consider
how I shall suffer with my King, than whether I can temporize with him.
I know, worthy Barton, you have a message to deliver. It does not come
upon me as an assassin upon a sleeping man; I have long foreseen that
this strong-hold of loyal and episcopal principles could not be spared;
and I have earnestly implored the grace of Christian fortitude, that I
may resign my last temporal possession without a murmur. The power
possessed by the predominant party to afflict us, is given them by God.
It is designed to purify a sinful people, and to revive the flame of
piety in a lukewarm church, whose best restorative will be exemplary
holiness. Tried in the furnace of adversity, I doubt not that she will
come out pure gold, and that our present sorrows will serve as a warning
to the latest times in which England shall be remembered as a nation, to
beware of the leaven of hypocrisy, to avoid divisions, and to cultivate
universal charity and forbearance, instead of vain unprofitable
disputations on metaphysical rights and abstruse doctrines."

Mr. Barton asserted that public morals had been much benefited by the
new ministry, who, however unpromising their attainments and manners
might be to secular eyes, shewed by their success that they were chosen
implements in the hand of Providence to convert the nation. He observed
the cause of unity would be considerably benefited by England's
conforming to the discipline of the reformed churches abroad. He would
not affirm that episcopacy was the cause of her present miseries; but he
insisted it would be a hindrance to her healing her wounds.

Dr. Beaumont answered, that there was no doubt Divine Power could
accomplish its ends by any instrument; but as it was presumptuous in man
to require Omnipotence to work miracles, so it was the duty of rulers to
select the most capable and promising agents for every work of
importance. The will of God was as often fulfilled by stubborn folly as
by obedient wisdom; yet those who wished that "will to be done upon
earth," would fill responsible stations with those that seemed most like
the inhabitants of heaven.

"You must allow us, who have played a losing game, to talk," said Dr.
Beaumont, "and believe me, that so far from meaning any thing personal
in my remarks, I honour the patience with which you listen to my
prosings, and the benevolence which induces you to wish me to see my own
interest. As far as I have observed, men of sound heads, and sober
lives, are oftener endued with the especial graces of the Holy Spirit,
than persons of weak judgment, or those whose previous conversation
placed them in the power of sin, that grand hardener of the heart. A
great change has indeed taken place in the manners of the nation; but
when I see the dreadful scenes that daily occur; the first persons in
the kingdom dragged to prison, or to the scaffold, for no other crime
than allegiance; estates confiscated; the temples of God despoiled; the
mysteries of religion ridiculed and disputed; the bonds of
family-affection broken; servants turned into house-hold spies; domestic
privacies violated by informers, in the shape of friends; every one
disputing about religion, yet few knowing in what it consists; spiritual
pride calling itself piety, and censoriousness affecting the name of
zeal for our neighbour's salvation; insubordination pervading every
order of society; all clamouring for their own way, and 'meaning
licence, when they cry liberty;' the most disingenuous shifts and
dishonest contrivances resorted to, not merely without punishment, but
without fear of censure; when I see all this, can I say that morals are
improved, because theatres are turned into conventicles, and banquets
and revels give place to polemical lectures? The faces of men do indeed
assume the appearance of sanctity, but that it is only the appearance is
evident, because true piety gives chearful serenity to the countenance,
and easy simplicity to the whole carriage. It occasionally blazes in
ordinary conversation, but it is in the fervent and edifying language of
glory to God, and good-will to man. It never talks, for the sake of some
secular, or treacherous purpose, of seeking the Lord.--It judges not its
neighbour's heart.--It boasts not of its early provocations and present
acceptance, nor does it debase the doctrine of Providence, by low and
familiar applications of Almighty interposition to its own trivial
concerns; applications which argue, not religious thankfulness, but
self-importance. It is careful never to anathematize its opponents, by a
misapplication of Scripture-texts or events, knowing 'that the sword of
the Spirit,' must not be wielded by personal, or party animosity. Nor
does it suffer the fervors of devout love and gratitude, to overpower
the humility of conscious dust and ashes. Its approaches to the Holy One
of Israel are made with reverence. The sanctity of a penitent heart
revolts from every allusion to carnal passion, with more than virgin
horror; and in its most elevated raptures it still sees the Creator, and
the creature, the Saviour, and the sinner, the Sanctifier, and thing
sanctified. Such is true piety, the habit of the soul; not the
disfigurer of the countenance, nor the fashioner of the apparel, in
which points it shews no difference from good sense, and modest
propriety."

"The observations you have made on the advantages which would result
from the King's giving up episcopacy, require but a brief reply. If, as
has been shewn, Calvin introduced a form of discipline, perfectly
anomalous, the error of the reformed churches, in departing from antient
usage, is not to be copied, but shunned; and conformity would make
England do wrong, not prove Geneva to be right. On this false view of
unity, might the primitive Christians and Protestant martyrs be censured
for non-conformity. It could be said, that they disturbed the repose of
the world, by opposing the old doctrine of the unity of the Godhead to
idol worship, or, that by preaching the primitive faith, they annulled
the lucrative Christianity in which the Papacy traded. Nor do I admit
that expedience is a lawful rule of conduct, in cases where moral
principle is concerned. We must act as our conscience, enlightened by
the best helps we can procure, tells us is right, and leave the event to
God."

"And now," continued Dr. Beaumont, "my good friend, for such I know you
are, even in this attempt to change my principles, though my coat has
been worn too long, and is of too stubborn stuff to cut into the new
shape, tell me the name of my successor, that I may remember him in my
prayers. For trust me, he, and all those who supplant the episcopal
clergy, will have an arduous duty to fulfil. The eyes of Europe will be
turned upon them. They have made a vast vacuity, and it will require no
common portion of ability, no ordinary supply of graces, to fill the
mighty void. Popery has long looked to our church for the most potent
soldiers. See that ye be able to maintain the Protestant cause as
effectually, and serve God as well with your labours and your lives."

Mr. Barton too well recollected Dr. Beaumont's remarks, on the covert
avidity of praise, which was too marked a feature of the separatists, to
use any of those phrases of humble sound, but arrogant purport, which he
had just heard so properly rebuked. He thanked Dr. Beaumont for his
promised intercession, in behalf of himself and his evangelical
brethren; frankly acknowledging their situation would be arduous. "As to
your immediate successor," said he, "I trust you will not find him, a
'barren fig-tree,' but one in 'whom faith worketh by love;' though,
peradventure, his face is not shaped in exact conformity to your notions
of a religious aspect, and his mode of study may have led him to doubt,
where you are certain, and to deem that perspicuous, in which you see
difficulties." The controversialists parted with mutual good-will.

Dr. Beaumont had already taken every precaution to fortify and prepare
his family for the trial which awaited them. He had forcibly pointed out
the defective patience of those, who, though submissive and composed
under corrections, which proceeded immediately from the hand of God;
such as sickness, loss of friends by death, or any misfortunes arising
from unpropitious seasons, or other accidents; are querulous and
rebellious, when the same Sovereign Disposer of events corrects them
through the intervention of their enemies. Pride, envy, hatred,
ingratitude, selfishness, and treachery, are evils permitted against
others; as well as plagues and offences in those who cherish them. Like
pain, or decrepitude, hurricanes or drought, poverty or death, they
prove, and purify the servants of God. The wrath of man has an allowed
limit, which it can no more pass, than the raging ocean can the rocks by
which it is bounded. And, if under the trial of moral evil, we behave
wisely, charitably, and devoutly, we shall often find that even fraud
and envy will produce some temporal advantages. Strangers have
frequently stretched out their hands to help those whom friends and
kindred have oppressed and abandoned. The world is ever disposed to look
kindly on persons suffering wrong, provided they are not vehement in
their resentments, and disposed to assist themselves by honest industry
and wise measures. The cruelty of a tyrant has sometimes introduced
superior desert to conspicuous notice; and at the worst, there is an
inward peace, "which passeth understanding," that the oppressor never
can enjoy, nor can he deprive the victim of his hatred from partaking of
it. This is that peace of God which we forfeit, only by displeasing Him.

Nor did he deem adversity and poverty useless situations to others. The
wish of the powerless is recorded, the intercessive prayer of the
indigent is offered to God by the Mediator, who observed and blessed the
scanty donation of the poor widow. Those angels, who wait around His
throne, serve the Most High, as acceptably as they who fly on his
messages. It was owing to too inordinate a love of the praise of men,
that people generally feared to spend their lives in a condition, where
no one thought their actions worth attending to.--We like the text, "Let
your light shine before men;" but we recoil from that which bids us be
content with the approbation "of Him who seeth in secret." These
commands were intended for different stations, one suited the affluent,
the other the needy, and they were, beside, limitations and comments on
each other, teaching us neither to contemn praise, nor to pursue it too
ardently. He spoke much of the passive virtues, patience, returning good
for evil (which the most indigent might do by remembering their enemies
in their prayers), self-denial, self-examination, and aspirations after
a better world. Few, he said, were in a state so destitute, as not to be
able to render some service to their fellow-creatures; but all might
serve God. While we possessed the inestimable gift of reason, we had
ample cause to bless Him, even if we were poor, old, lame, blind, or
helpless; and from such a disfigured censor, how grateful would the
incense of praise ascend to our Creator's courts?

He desired Mrs. Mellicent to moderate the asperity with which she spoke
and acted towards the triumphant party. He told her he had fixed his
determination to return to Ribblesdale, the scene of his pastoral
charge, from which he thought himself not lawfully exonerated, and where
his presence might be of some service, at least as an example. But as he
could only gain permission to continue there, by preserving the most
quiet demeanour, she must now, from regard to his safety, (if from no
better motive) avoid execrating the round-heads. He gently hinted too,
that, since they must now appear in a very different capacity to what
they had formerly done, a more condescending carriage, and less sharp
austerity, would better conceal them from the exultation of their
enemies.

He intreated Constantia, (whose silent anxiety for Eustace had paled the
roses on her cheek) to think of the various miseries which had
overwhelmed the nation, and to bear her portion with fortitude. Many
great families had seen all their promising branches cut off. Many had
to lament worse than the death of their offspring, namely, their
treachery, and hopeless wickedness. To have preserved all his family
around him, and only to have lost his fortune, would have been, in these
times, a too rare felicity. Many profligates were neglected in their
education, and of such, small hope of reformation could be formed. But
if Eustace were alive, the good seed had been sown in his heart, and he
could not but hope, that he would at last, if not even till the eleventh
hour, be found labouring in the vineyard.

Isabel needed little admonition. She had joined with the family in the
devout services in which Dr. Beaumount had exercised them, to strengthen
their fortitude and arm them with Christian graces. She rose from her
knees, patient, cheerful, full of resources, and ready to engage in the
task of active duty. She anticipated a return to harder toils and
privations, than those to which she had submitted in early life; but she
felt equal to her expected trial. She rejoiced in the capability of her
vigorous constitution, firm health, and unbroken spirits. She could read
to the Doctor--clear-starch Mrs. Mellicent's pinners--nurse
Constantia--cook for the family--take in plain-work--teach school--in
short do every thing to make them comfortable, and find her own comfort
in so doing.

Barton parted with the Beaumonts with deep regret. He had stretched his
interest to the utmost to procure permission for the Doctor to reside at
Ribblesdale, and to recover a fifth of the sequestered living for his
support. He did not, however, like many friends, rest satisfied with
exerting his interest. His purse was also open to their wants, and his
first instance of kindness was furnishing them with a supply for their
long journey. His next was giving to Dr. Beaumont a sealed bond, with an
injunction not to open it till the next quarter-day. In it he covenanted
to pay him regularly half the profits of his canonry as long as he
enjoyed it, and to diminish a sense of obligation, he required the
Doctor to return him another bond, subjecting himself to a similar
division, in case a change of times should cause another revolution of
incumbents. The delicacy of this proceeding, at a time so peculiarly
unfavourable to the hopes of Loyalists, tended much to assist the
Doctor's endeavours of making his family charitably disposed, and even
Mrs. Mellicent went so far as to lament that Barton was not a churchman.


    [1] Such was the case of Dr. Morley, Bishop of Winchester, who
    was accidentally met and relieved by Sir Christopher Yelverton,
    and for many years sheltered in his mansion.

    [2] This was true of the family of Wren, Bishop of Hereford,
    besides many others. He was imprisoned eighteen years, refusing
    to accept any favour from the Usurper. He lived to the Restoration.

    [3] This description is taken from the Spectator, No. 424. Mr.
    Pennant says it is believed to delineate Dr. Goodwin, President
    of Magdalen college, during the great rebellion.

    [4] This was done by Mr. Baxter at the Savoy Conference.

    [5] See the Assembly's Shorter Catechism on God's decrees, the
    redemption of the elect, &c.

    [6] This notion was held, and a curious book written on it by
    the successor of Dr. Jeremy Taylor in the see of Dromore.

    [7] In particular, see Luke, chap. vi. ver. 29, 30.




CHAP. XVI.

    The Commonwealth is sick of its own choice.

                                                 Shakspeare.


The aspect of Ribblesdale and the adjoining country, was completely
changed, during the five years absence of the Beaumont family. The
fields and villages, notwithstanding the two last years of comparative
repose, bore mournful marks of the ravages of civil war; trade was still
stopped and agriculture suspended. The people, disappointed in their
hopes of freedom and prosperity by their new masters, longed for the
restoration of their King, whose saint-like demeanour, during his long
captivity, contradicted the calumnies which his enemies had propagated,
and shewed him in his true light, alike conspicuous for his ability, his
fortitude, and his misfortunes. The reign of freedom had ended in
military despotism; equality had created a tyrant; zeal had introduced
fanaticism and hypocrisy, and discontent was every where so ripe, that
the presence of a victorious army, and the vigilance of almost as
numerous a host of spies and informers, could not prevent attempts being
made (in almost every part of the kingdom) to liberate the King, and
restore the old order of things. But where to find funds and leaders,
was the chief difficulty. The heads of most noble families,
distinguished for loyalty, were either slain, or exiled; their estates
confiscated or wasted by the pressure of enormous fines, their
residences burnt or pillaged, and their farms laid waste. The few who
remained in England, watched and betrayed by their own servants, knew
not how to act, or whom to trust, for every tie of obligation, as well
as all sense of subordination and respect for superiors, were entirely
annihilated.

In passing Lathom-house, Dr. Beaumont pondered on that celebrated scene
of determined female heroism. Though the noble pile bore many marks of
the arduous conflict it had sustained, its walls (like the family to
which it belonged) still displayed the unyielding superiority of
aristocratic loyalty. But Waverly Hall was a complete ruin. A few of the
meaner offices, and a part of the walls, marked where the residence
stood, which once sheltered crafty selfishness. The park afforded a
temporary asylum to a gang of gipseys, whose cattle grazed unmolested on
the unclaimed demesne, once guarded even from the intrusion of admiring
curiosity, by the secluding jealousy of a cold-hearted worldling, whose
pride counteracted his ostentation, and whose timidity was even greater
than his self-love.

Dr. Beaumont was himself the herald of his own return. His humble
equipage attracted no attention. His first care being to lodge his
family, he sought the house of Dame Humphreys. The streets of the
village were silent and deserted. Neither the loom, the flail, nor the
anvil were heard; not a child was to be seen at play; every thing looked
as if this was a portion of that city where progressive action is
suspended, and the sun hangs level over the ocean without power of
sinking. Dr. Beaumont, however, found Dame Humphreys actively employed;
and a superabundance of good cheer shewed that she was intent on
purposes of hospitality. She welcomed the exiled Rector and his family
with cordial transport; and assured him, though she had heard as many
fine men since he left them as there were stars in the sky, she had
never sat under any one by whom she had been so much edified.

The Beaumonts had many questions to ask, and no one was better endowed
with the quality of free communication than this kind-hearted dame. She
accounted for the silence of the village and her own extraordinary
bustle, by stating that it was exercise-day; a meeting of ministers had
been at the godly work for eight hours; and she doubted not, after so
long buffeting Satan, they would come away main hungry. "My poor
Gaffer," said she, "always brings all he can to our house. They tell him
a blessing comes upon all those who furnish a chamber for wayfaring
prophets, and set on pottage for them; but for my part I see it not, and
begin to wonder whether these are prophets or no. As for our Gaffer, he
has left off drinking and quarrelling, to be sure, which Your Reverence
had used to rate him for at times; but then he did look after the farm
and the cattle, and saw things went right. But now he says, let the
morrow take care for itself; so we have nothing but preaching, and
praying, and pecking at other people, and telling of experiences and
stumbling-blocks, and abusing those who don't hold all that we do; and
all this while the ricks grow less and less every year. And then when
any thing goes wrong in the house, they pop it into a sermon, not as
Your Reverence did when you preached about the ten commandments, but a
preachment of an hour about such frivolous things as set husbands
a-scolding their wives for spoiling their dinner, or not mending their
clothes; and our poor Gaffer is grown so cast down ever since Priggins
told him he thought he was a reprobate, that he says it is a crying sin
to look happy; so he keeps praying on till we have no time to practise."

Isabel inquired how the children were able to command attention to such
long services; and Dame Humphreys owned the change in this respect was
wonderful. "To be sure," said she, "they do sometimes fall sick; but
there is a vast number of thriving little saints growing up among us,
who can find out a legal preacher in a moment, and tell you if he is a
fine man before he is out of breath the first time. There's my
grand-daughter (Nancy we used to call her, but they have since given her
some hard name I never can recollect), she is only nine years old, and
is such a gifted creature that she has chosen her religion, and says she
will be a Brownist, for there is no other way to be saved. But her
sister Hephzebah has not had her call yet, and says till she has she is
to give no account for what she does, and afterwards sin will not lie at
her door. Your Reverence shakes your head; but you will now find a vast
deal of learning in the parish, and hard words, and every body able to
talk with you; but I say again, that what with spending their time in
idleness, and slandering each other, and sighing and groaning they don't
know for what, and making feasts for ministers, and night meetings, and
praying against the King, and cursing the bishops, and pulling down the
church--give me the old times again, and the old way of going to
Heaven."

Dr. Beaumont sighed at this strongly coloured, but artless picture of
fanatical licence, and changed the subject by inquiring the fate of the
Waverly family. Their history was indeed tragical. "Poor Sir William,"
Dame Humphreys said, "had turned, and trimmed, and cut in, and cut out,
till nobody knew whether he was of any side at all, till, just as Prince
Rupert raised the siege of Lathom House, when, thinking the King was
sure to conquer, mid wanting to be made a Lord, he joined the Prince
with a small troop of horse, intending (his neighbours thought) to
gallop away before the battle began, for Sir William hated the sight of
blood. But so it was; his time was come, and then there is no escaping,
for Sir William was shot in his own quarters in a night-skirmish--and
who did they think by?" Here she turned pale with horror, and the
natural simplicity of her language seemed elevated by the emotions
arising from the dreadful tale she had to relate.--"By his own son. O!
Your Honour, it is too true. A kinsman of mine saw the deed done, and
the ground has looked blasted ever since. But young Sir Harry, as now
ought to be, little thought it was his father when he called him a
drunken old cavalier; for the poor old gentleman trembled so, he could
not cry for quarter till his son had given him his death's wound; and he
saw by the flash of the pistol who it was, and called to mind how he had
made him serve in the Parliament army against his will. So he just
groaned out, "God is just, Harry," and died. It was the most piteous
sight; for the poor youth fell on the dead body, and groaned, and tore
his hair, and beat himself in such a manner, till his soldiers bore him
away; and what has become of him since that day no soul knows, for he
has never come to claim the estate, nor to look after any thing; so
Parliament seized it all, because Sir William died at last a Loyalist.
But nobody will buy it, for they cannot make a title, as Sir Harry has
not forfeited, and may be alive. Beside, people said the house was
haunted, so it has never been tenanted; and whoever wants to build,
fetches it away piece-meal; and the gypsies camp in the Park when they
come from the neighbouring fairs, and all goes to ruin like the
time-serving family who lived there."

The awful reflections on retributive justice which the fate of this
unprincipled man excited, were interrupted by the return of Humphreys,
who ushered in some of his divines. The change which his wife described
was visible in his horror-stricken countenance. He had been formerly a
man of a sordid worldly disposition and hard unyielding temper, on whom
the mild Christian persuasions of Dr. Beaumont had occasionally made
good impressions, though these were as often blunted by the power of
long indulged habits. But when such a man was roused from his stupor by
the cauteries of Calvinism, despair was more likely to take possession
of his mind than the pious energy and humble hopes which follow true
repentance. Priggins indeed boasted of Humphreys as a convert, on the
ground of his being restrained from the public commission of some faults
in which he had formerly indulged; but if one evil spirit had been
dispossessed, seven more wicked had taken up their abode in his heart.
He was terrified, not awakened; plunged in an abyss of desperation and
misanthropy, not excited to a life acceptable to God or useful to man.
The sight of Dr. Beaumont recalled to his mind many acts of fraud and
injustice which he had formerly committed against him; but the long
exercises, as they were called, to which he had been listening, had not
illustrated the universal promise of mercy to penitent sinners; they
held out no encouragement to co-operate with the divine call to newness
of life which the gospel gives to all mankind; they gave no explanation
of reformation and restitution as necessary parts of repentance. Much to
their own ease, and with daring disregard of all the plain and practical
parts of Scripture, the preachers successively employed themselves in
expounding what they called dark texts, on which they built their
favourite system; impious in theory and destructive in practice. They
spoke of election and reprobation as positive, irreversible decrees of
God, no ways resulting from the conduct of man, whom they stated to be a
mere inefficient vessel filled with grace and destined to glory, or
heaped full of pollution and devoted to eternal destruction, according
to the arbitrary will of the Framer, without any liberty of choice in
himself, or any power of expediting his own faith or final
justification. They spoke of the saving call as discernibly
supernatural, preceded by bodily as well as mental torture, and
instantaneously followed by a perceptible assurance that they could
never more sin, that the righteousness of their Redeemer was imputed to
them, and that, as his merits were all-sufficient, nothing was required
of them but the supineness of passive faith. This routine of doctrines,
varied according to the different tempers and phraseology of the
preachers, and rendered yet more obscure by bold metaphors and strained
allusions, was what poor Humphreys incessantly listened to, fancying he
was thus taking care of his soul, and vainly hoping he would gather some
instructions which would assuage his secret horrors. He was miserable
when not employed in this manner; yet, as no start of enthusiasm ever
told him that the saving call had taken place even in the congregations
which he mistook for the courts of the Lord, he rather hoped for, than
found relief from his tortures. Pale and haggard in his looks, morose
and sullen in his manners, restless and dissatisfied, he revived the
disputations of the conventicle at the table, calling on Dr. Beaumont to
tell what he thought of some points of doctrine on which his ministers
could not agree. The Doctor attempted to speak, but his voice was soon
drowned by the Stentorian lungs and tautological verbiage of his
opponent. Only one sentence that he uttered was distinctly heard, which
was a quotation from the pious Hammond, that "exemplary virtue must
restore the church." A general cry was raised against this sentiment.
One repeated a text from St. Paul, supposed to assert the inefficacy of
works; another observed, it was presumptuous to dictate to Providence.
Some called him a formalist; others a Pharisee; while a third party, yet
more metaphysical, denied that men, strictly speaking, had any power to
act at all. Priggins at last rose, and, with many plausible pretences of
charity, proposed that they should all pray for their offending brother,
which was done in the anathematizing style which, in those days, was
called intercession: "Lord, open the eyes of this reprobate sinner.
Pluck him as a burning brand out of the furnace of thy wrath. Make him
see that he is a vessel filled with spiritual pride, hypocrisy, and
barren legality. Punish him for the saving of his soul till he repents
of his ungodly enmity to us thy chosen favourites, whom thou hast raised
to the work of conversion, and penned in thy fold to eternal life," &c.

Dr. Beaumont and his family withdrew, in compassionate silence, from
this profane perversion of devotion, which discovered the same spirit of
intolerance and persecution that characterized the darkest periods of
Popery. A project had been formed by Isabel, to which the rest of the
family readily assented. This was to take up their abode for the present
in the untenanted ruins of Waverly-hall, and endeavour to prevent its
further dilapidation. With the assistance of Williams, she re-inclosed
the garden, and put a few of the outer tenements into that state of
comfort which cleanliness supplies. Dame Humphreys conscientiously
restored all the moveables she held in trust to furnish their
apartments; and, as Dr. Beaumont brought with him a protection from the
government, neither Morgan nor Priggins could prevent him from residing
in the parish as long as he conducted himself in an inoffensive manner.
As to Davis, since his induction into the Rectory, he had gradually
carnalized (to use one of his own favourite expressions); and, being
grown sleek and contented, he preferred reposing in his arm-chair to
storming in the pulpit, congratulating himself with having reformed the
church, which he effected by removing every ornament as superstitious,
stripping public worship of every decency, publicly burning the Common
Prayer books, and denying the sacraments to all who were not
Covenanters. Having done all this, he thought it time to rest from his
labours, and devoted his days to those gross indulgences of appetite
which are not unfrequently the solaces of men who consider the
enjoyments of mental taste as criminal, permitting his neglected flock
to be collected by Priggins, or any other hungry itinerant who was
training himself as a theological tyro, previous to his being settled in
an incumbency.

Among these tents of Kedar, Dr. Beaumont fixed his habitation with a
soul thirsting for peace, and a mind disposed to subdue his opponents by
those invincible weapons, a meek and quiet spirit, and a holy,
inoffensive, and useful life. His narrow finances, derived chiefly from
a precarious fund, allowed not the practice of that liberality which is
the surest means of attracting a crowd of panegyrists; and his scanty
means were still further taxed by what he esteemed the duty of sending
assistance to many gallant royalists at this time in arms for the
imprisoned King; in particular to those, who, with the brave, repentant
Morrice, surprised Pontefract Castle, and made from thence those
courageous sallies and predatory incursions which gave employment to the
Parliamentary troops in that quarter, and prevented them from uniting to
overwhelm the succours which Sir Marmaduke Langdale was conducting to
join Duke Hamilton and the Scotch Loyalists. But, however limited its
means, a good heart will ever discover some way of shewing its
benevolence. Charity was now a scanty rill, not an ample stream; but its
source was fed by a regular supply, and where it ran it fertilized.
Constantia roused her mind from the apathy of grief to obey and support
her father. She found she could instruct the ignorant; and though no
longer able to furnish materials for clothing the naked, she could cut
out garments and sew them for those who were too ill-informed to be
expert in female housewifery. Isabel and she gathered herbs; Mrs.
Mellicent superintended their distillation, and again consulted "The
Family Physician," in forming ointments and compounding cordials; Dr.
Beaumont went from house to house, trying to conciliate his
parishioners, and to recall their wanderings, in nothing changed but the
paleness of his countenance and the homeliness of his attire, still
reproving with mild authority, and instructing with affectionate
solicitude; while his appearance spoke a heart yearning over the sorrows
and sins of the kingdom, and habits necessarily restricted to that bare
sufficiency which just supports life. The manners of the young ladies
were equally mild, uncomplaining, and respectable; the only difference
was, that Constantia was pensive and dejected, Isabel active and
cheerful in adversity. The former seemed to move in a joyless routine of
duty; but Isabel was so animated that only the most minute observer
could tell that she was not perfectly happy, and hence she gained the
character of having an unfeeling heart.

The affectionate respect which the villagers had long felt for their old
pastor soon began to revive. Man naturally looks on the unfortunate with
pity. The Beaumonts no longer excited envy, which (such is our proneness
to offend) is often the substitute for gratitude. Dr. Beaumont was now
their superior only in goodness and wisdom; a superiority more easily
endured than that created by affluence or a larger share of temporal
indulgencies. Many too began to be weary of the tautology and confusion
of their arbitrary services, which, depending upon the humour, or (as
they proudly called it) the inspiration of their minister, often wearied
instead of gratifying the curiosity of the hearers. They recollected the
Liturgy of the Church of England with somewhat of the feeling we
entertain for a dead friend, remembering all his excellences, forgetting
his imperfections, and lamenting that in his lifetime we were often
inclined captiously to condemn his whole conduct. By returning to that
church from which they had been led, by what they now saw was the spirit
of delusion, they exercised the freedom of choice which was so dear to
their proud feelings; and it soon became the request of many of the
parishioners, that Dr. Beaumont would read to them the church service,
and expound the Scripture in the manner prescribed by her articles. To
read the Liturgy was now become a statutable offence; but Dr. Beaumont
adopted, as an expedient, what was then resorted to by many divines[1]
well versed in difficult cases of conscience--changing the expressions,
but preserving a meaning as closely allied to the old worship as the
times would admit. Yet even this transposed and disguised form was too
opposite to the doctrines, and, (may it not be said?) too superior to
the productions of the new teachers to be permitted with impunity. Hence
Dr. Beaumont found it necessary, for his own safety, to collect his
little flock on a Sunday evening, in an unfrequented valley surrounded
by hills, on one of which a centinel was placed to prevent their being
surprised in this interdicted worship; and thus this church, literally
exiled and driven into the wilderness, performed the Christian sacrifice
of prayer and praise.

The storm of war, however, soon interrupted their devotion; and, rolling
fearfully from the North, came close to the dwelling where the pious
pastor endeavoured to drink the waters of affliction in privacy. The
Duke of Hamilton had now collected an army, from whose efforts to wipe
off the shame of their countrymen the Covenanters, in delivering up the
King to his merciless enemies, a glorious result was expected. With this
hope they entered England by way of Carlisle; and, preceded by the
English forces, led by Sir Marmaduke Langdale, they marched into
Lancashire full of zeal and confidence, but negligent of that
discipline, and inattentive to those military expedients by which alone
(considering the enemy with whom they had to contend) the least shadow
of success could be acquired. In vigilance, activity, and prompt
decision, Cromwell was the very prototype of that man who has changed
the aspect of the present times. Various armies were collected with
almost magical celerity, and provided with every necessary for their own
comfort and the annoyance of the foe; and scarcely had the Loyalists in
the west, north, and east brought their raw recruits into the field,
before a well-appointed body of veterans was arrayed against them, ready
to cut off their resources, and give them battle. Cromwell himself took
the command of the northern division; and without delaying his grand
design, by stopping to subdue Pontefract Castle, as his more timid
counsellors advised, he marched immediately to attack the Scotch army,
though with inferior numbers, and put them to the rout, after having
first defeated their English allies. Both the generals were taken
prisoners. Sir Marmaduke afterwards escaped; but the Duke suffered on
the scaffold shortly after the Royal Martyr whom, with late repentance,
he vainly attempted to save.

The scene of this contest was so near Ribblesdale that the engagement
was plainly seen from the hills I have just spoken of, where Dr.
Beaumont and his family, with the fervent piety, though not with the
success of Moses, held up their hands in prayer to the God of battle.
The result disappointed their ardent hopes; and the more grateful duty
of thanksgiving was thus changed to humble resignation. The fugitive
Loyalists and their vindictive pursuers scoured along the valleys. The
present situation of the Beaumonts was highly unsafe; and they eagerly
hurried along to regain the melancholy shelter of their ruinous abode.

The shades of evening fell as they entered Waverly Park, agonized with
sorrow and commiseration of the calamities they had beheld. A squadron
of cavalry rode rapidly by them, which they guessed were part of the
King's northern horse, so celebrated in the early periods of the civil
war. Isabel's anxiety to see if they were closely pursued conquered her
female terrors. She ran from her friends and climbed a little eminence,
by which means she discovered a sight which roused the liveliest
feelings of compassion. She saw an officer falling from his horse, dead,
as she believed. Perceiving that he bled profusely, she called to her
uncle to go back with her and try if they could render him any
assistance. On such an occasion even Constance was courageous, and they
all hastened to the spot where he lay. Mrs. Mellicent remarked, that
though he had lost the distinguishing insignia, she feared, by his being
so well accoutered, he was a rebel. His helmet was fallen off, his
countenance entirely disfigured with blood, and the hand which grasped
his broad-sword seemed stiffened instead of being relaxed by death. "It
matters not what he is," replied Dr. Beaumont, "his present state
requires immediate assistance." Constantia seized one of his hands to
see if life still fluttered in the pulse, but dropped it in an agony,
exclaiming, "Merciful Heaven, it is Eustace! I know him by the ring he
always wore." Dr. Beaumont immediately recognized the well-known crest
of the Earls of Bellingham. "Dear unfortunate youth," said he; "yet, my
child, be comforted; he has died in a most righteous cause." By this
time Isabel, who had ran to fetch some water, returned, and began to
wash his face, and staunch the blood, while the distracted Constance
clung, screaming, to the bosom of her aunt, wildly lamenting the fate of
her beloved. With more self-command, but equal anxiety, Isabel removed
the clotted gore, and pulled the matted hair from off his brow. "These,"
said she, "are not my brother's features, but indeed I know them well.
Our noble protector, the good Barton's pupil--" She paused a moment, and
gasped for her own breath, while eagerly watching if he respired. A deep
sob gave indication of life. "He is alive," continued she, in a low
whisper, as if fearing to precipitate a spirit that was fluttering
between time and eternity; "let us gently raise, and try to restore
him."

There was not one of the party who did not anxiously join in expressing,
by their active services, the sense they entertained of former kindness.
Williams hastened to bring a wain and mattress; Mrs. Mellicent ran for
bandages and styptics; and the wounded gentleman was safely conveyed to
the house, still in a state of insensibility. Mrs. Mellicent's skill had
stopped the hemorrhage; and a more scientific surgeon, who was called
in, pronounced that, with proper care, his wounds would not prove
mortal. Isabel claimed the office of chief nurse; the patient's senses
gradually returned; and his eyes, when again capable of distinguishing
objects, recognized one which had long been impressed on his heart. He
rewarded her benevolent ministration with a grateful smile and feeble
pressure of her hand; and Isabel felt happier at that moment than she
had ever done since her dear mother was interred among Fourness Fells,
when, with a voice convulsed with grief, she joined in the requiem,
filled her coffin with funeral herbs, and scattered the emblems of
sorrow on her grave.

"You must not speak," said Isabel; "the Doctor has prescribed the utmost
quietness; you must only listen while I tell you, that for a thousand
worlds I would not have lost the pleasure of saving your life. Had I not
turned back you would have bled to death in a few minutes. Alas!"
continued she, recollecting herself, "the hope of your recovery
transports me too far. I forget that your exertions probably contributed
to make the battle of Preston end so fatally to our cause? Why are you
the enemy of my King and of my father?"

"I will never be the enemy of those you love," replied he, with a look
of languishing pain and grateful anxiety. Isabel burst into tears. "Say
that again," said she; "just those words and no more, lest your wounds
should bled afresh; and if you die--"

"Sweet Isabel, finish that sentence."

"I shall surely die of grief," said she, rushing out of the room to call
her aunt to take her office, ashamed that her joy at her patient's
recovery of his senses had overpowered her habitual self-command.

The news of Dr. Beaumont's having preserved the life of a wounded
officer, soon reached the ears of Morgan, who concluding it must be one
of his own party, imagined he should now have ample opportunity to wreak
his vengeance on a man whom he had marked for destruction, in revenge
for the insult he had received from Eustace, and the disappointment of
his hopes of obtaining Constantia. It was, however, necessary to
ascertain the fact of his harbouring a Royalist taken in arms, before he
proceeded to frame the information. Not satisfied with the Doctor's
solemn assurance that the person whose life he had preserved was in
reality a Parliamentary officer, he insisted on examining him himself;
and also that he might interrogate him without the intrusion of any
witness. The danger which the sufferer's health might undergo, was
beneath his notice; he entered the room with an air of domineering
cruelty, ready to pounce on a victim unable to escape; but, after a
short interview, he returned with the softened accents of obsequious
respect to the stranger, and affable condescension to the Beaumonts. He
desired that they would spare no trouble and expence in attending the
gentleman, and assured them they would be well rewarded for their pains.
He lamented that their poor abode did not afford suitable convenience,
and hinted that as soon as the stranger was able to be removed he would
have him conveyed to Saints' Rest, his own mansion. He then announced
that their guest was the Lord Sedley, only son of the Earl of
Bellingham, who at that time commanded the forces sent to subdue the
Welsh insurgents, and was himself a personal favourite of Cromwell, and
attached to his staff. "He gives," continued Morgan, "a very favourable
account of your principles and conduct, and I shall not fail to announce
your proper behaviour to their honours the Committee-men, and I hope
Government will be disposed to overlook your past offences. The Earl is
a staunch supporter of the good cause, and the young gentleman a youth
of very fair promise."

If Morgan expected his intelligence would be received with the transport
of minds subdued by adversity, and suddenly elated by a prospect of
better times, he mistook the characters of those he addressed. The
circumstance of Sedley wearing a seal-ring impressed with the crest of
Bellingham, had led Dr. Beaumont to suspect who he was; but since in his
former intercourse with the family he had studiously avoided all
discovery, the worthy Rector thought it would be indecorous to take any
advantage of his misfortunes, and therefore evaded the inquiries of
Constantia, how he came to wear the same crest as Eustace, by remarking
that many families adopted armorial bearings nearly similar. Totally
free from all the malignant passions, he felt no animosity to the son of
that traitor who had wrested a coronet and princely demesne from the
injured Neville, but rejoiced at the consideration that it had been in
his power to render the most important services gratuitously to one who
had so essentially assisted his family, and was beside the darling pupil
of his respected friend Barton. Mrs. Mellicent's feelings were of a more
vindictive cast, but her asperity had been so softened by the fine
person and pleasing manners of young Sedley, that she could not
determine on the expediency of immediately turning him out of doors, as
she possibly might have done had he been uncouth and vulgar; she even
kept her resolution till sight of his necessity and helplessness had
assisted her benevolence to vanquish the warmth of temper, and taught
her to respect the claims of a fellow creature in distress. Isabel had
by this time discovered the state of her own heart; and the superior
rank of the object of her affections was not the only reason for
changing love into despair. Her dear father had often in his former
ravings mentioned Lord Bellingham as the ally of Lucifer, and likely to
succeed him on the infernal throne. At those times it must indeed be
remembered, that he mistook his own children for dancing fiends, but his
aversion to Bellingham was rooted, and at every eclipse of reason he
renewed his execrations on a person, whose name, in his tranquil
moments, never passed his lips. She loved the son of this man; this
villain; for so she must think him, as her father, even in his most
eccentric moments, never so confounded the distinctions of honour and
guilt as to misrepresent characters. Nor could his rooted aversion
proceed from the difference in their political principles, for it was in
her early years, before the troubles commenced, that he mentioned
Bellingham as the infernal spirit who had driven him to the mountains;
and in every allusion he confirmed the idea of a private rather than a
public quarrel. Time and absence had increased rather than weakened the
affection and reverence which Isabel bore to her father. His eminent
services to the King, his bravery and activity, unimpaired by wounds,
imprisonment, or declining years, made her prouder of such a parent than
she would have been of one seated on the right hand of power. And had
she cherished and avowed an affection for the son of a cruel enemy to
her honoured father!--What a want of filial piety, what a shameful
inattention to his wrongs would it be, knowingly to confirm such an
unnatural inclination! Whatever pain it cost her, she determined to
release her heart from the fetters which gratitude and pity had combined
to form.

The resolution was extremely noble, but to execute it was superlatively
difficult. Lord Sedley was daily before her eyes in the interesting
characters of suffering magnanimity or ardent attachment. When his
unclosed wounds throbbed with extreme anguish, could she refuse to
minister to his relief? When returning ease allowed him to direct the
grateful acknowledgments of a devoted heart, to the protecting angel who
had rescued him from death, could she deny the confessed affection
surprise had drawn from her, and resolve to hate or even forget him on
account of a supposed hereditary feud? The struggle of her soul was
apparent to Sedley, who, ignorant of his father's crimes, attributed her
affected reserve to the alarm she felt lest the claims of his exalted
station should prove incompatible with love. To alleviate this fear he
was more explicit in his declarations, and energetic in his vows of
devoting to her the life she had preserved. She attempted to look cold
and determined, while she answered that she feared insuperable
objections would prevent their union. In the weak state to which Lord
Sedley was reduced, the least agitation of mind was dangerous; after one
of these conversations he fainted, and was thought expiring, but the
first object he saw on his recovery was Isabel, in such an agony of
grief as convinced him that indifference had no share in the alteration
of her behaviour.

The first opportunity which she again afforded him of speaking to her,
he resolved to use to bring on a complete eclaircissement, and as he
should require perfect frankness, he resolved to set her a similar
example. But to execute his design was now very difficult; for Isabel,
with virgin modesty, blended with the restrictions imposed by filial
duty, now avoided being alone with the object of her tenderest regard.
Her uncle had deemed it right to inform her, that it was a lively sense
of irreparable injuries, which pointed her father's incoherent ravings
at Lord Bellingham. His wrongs, the Doctor observed, were of a nature
which only Christian charity could forgive, or Christian fortitude
endure; and he warned her against cherishing any sentiment more ardent
than pity for Sedley's sufferings, and gratitude for his former
services. She promised to endeavour to comply, in a manner which evinced
that this advice came too late. She tried to recollect the pains he had
formerly taken to avoid her, and the marked precaution of Barton in
concealing his name. She wished to think him a scion of a cankered tree,
which would transfuse infection wherever it was engrafted. The surgeon
had just pronounced him at liberty to remove, and Isabel endeavoured to
hope he would avail himself of that permission. "His declarations of
love and gratitude may," thought she, "be bribes to induce us to be more
careful of his preservation, or he may think himself bound in honour to
offer me a partnership in his fortunes, as the preserver of his life. I
will owe nothing to his pity or his gratitude. I will recollect, that I
am the daughter of a noble Loyalist, irreparably injured by his rebel
father, restrain the ebullitions of youthful sensibility and unweighed
preference, and if he leaves us, part without a tear."

Nothing could be more foreign to the purposes of Lord Sedley than to
quit his adored preserver. He made no use of his release from restraint,
but to follow Isabel in her domestic occupations, nor of his returning
strength, but to try to lighten her labours. "Am I troublesome to you,"
he would say, "that you look on me less kindly; if so, I shall regret
the restoration of health and ease, and the power of again enjoying the
refreshing air and blessed light of heaven. The tenderness which made
the chamber of infirmity paradise, is withheld from me, now I have a
prospect of living to reward it."

Isabel attempted to reply, but only stammered out, "Lord Sedley!"--"I
will be known to you," said he, "by no other name than that by which I
will plight my troth, Arthur de Vallance.--What has my Isabel to say to
me in that character? I will not allow her to retract the sweet
encouragement she gave me when I was the helpless object of her tender
care. Her compassion and assiduity looked so much like love, as to cheat
me into a belief, that she who said she would die with me would consent
to make the life she preserved a blessing."

Surely, thought Isabel, this is not the language of hereditary baseness.
She cast a look on her lover which confirmed that opinion. Yet, how
could she tell him that his father's crimes formed an insuperable
barrier to their union. After much hesitation, she resolved to be as
explicit as her own respect for the feelings of filial piety would
permit. "I will own," said she, "that what fell from me in a transport
of joyful surprise, was not an unmeaning exclamation, but the confession
of a strong preference. But now that I have had time for reflection, I
must remember that you long struggled against your partiality for me,
and even now you seem rather vanquished by a combination of
circumstances and a sense of obligation, than led to make me your free
unquestioned choice. This indicates that you know of some secret reason,
some family animosity, perhaps, which ought to prevent my ever being
your wife. I am the daughter of a Loyalist, unfortunate indeed, but
brave and noble; I will not reproach you with your father's faults. His
prosperity, the trust he exercises under the Usurper, are in my eyes
reasons, if not of hating you, at least of resolving not to unite myself
to principles so opposite to those I have ever cherished."

Sedley thanked her for allowing him an opportunity of explaining the
past. It was most true, that at their first interview he felt the power
of her fortitude and generous regard to others, nor did he overlook the
complacency with which she received his services. Though at that time
hearty in the Parliamentary cause, it was owing to the advice (or he
should rather say, the commands) of Barton, under whose guidance he was
placed by his father, that he deputed him to execute the plan he had
formed for the safe conduct of the Beaumonts through the seat of war,
instead of being himself their escort, as he at first intended. The same
interference had again prevented him from renewing an acquaintance with
them, on the rescue of Constantia. The principles he had imbibed from
Barton forbade every deviation from the path of honour; and an alliance
with a conspicuous royalist, would either have estranged him from his
family or exposed them to ruin. Isabel inquired if the same impediments
did not still exist. "A great change has taken place," replied Lord
Sedley; "I am now like you, a child of misfortune; but were it not so,
'Love is become the lord of all,' and when he reigns, he reigns
unrivalled."

He proceeded to inform her, that the violent feuds of the predominant
factions had infected the privacies of domestic life. His mother was
warmly attached to Cromwell's party, while his father adhered to that of
the Presbyterian republicans; the differences between whom were now
grown irreconcileable. He knew that the command intrusted to Lord
Bellingham was given him as a snare, and that he was so surrounded by
spies, as to be virtually in the power of any common serjeant, who, in
the two-fold capacity of Agitator and Preacher, could denounce his
general at the drum-head, and under the pretence of his having
sacrificed the Lord's cause, and the rights of the army, to an ungodly
Parliament, could send him prisoner to London. Lord Sedley confessed,
with shame, that his mother, by giving information that his father was
in secret not well disposed to Cromwell, had caused him to be placed in
a situation where the greatest circumspection could not ensure his
safety. The sentiments he had imbibed from Barton led him to prefer the
more moderate counsels, and in the conduct of the contending factions he
had seen so much to condemn, that he wished to abstain from all
interference in public affairs. But his mother misinterpreting his
seclusion into a preference of his father's party, invited Cromwell to
Castle Bellingham, on his march against the Duke of Hamilton, and
requested that he would take her son with him as one of his suite. More
like a captive than a volunteer, Lord Sedley was compelled to acquiesce
in her proposal; but the intimate view which his situation gave him of
Cromwell's character, inspired him with the most revolting disgust. The
domestic situation of his parents dispirited him on the one side, while
something more than indifference to the cause for which he fought
operated on the other, till, hopeless of better times, careless of
safety, and desirous rather of losing life than of gaining glory, he
rushed into the battle; yet, when the conflict began, he felt roused by
a mechanical impulse, and, engaging in a hot pursuit of some of the
northern horse, he received those wounds from one of the troopers, which
nearly terminated his existence.

"Such, Isabel," continued he, "is the present condition of him, who must
again owe his life to your pity. I have no home, but one occupied by a
mother, engaged in plots for the destruction of her husband, and
determined to render her son the creature of an ambitious hypocrite,
rather than serve whom, he would die. I cannot join my father, for that
would be to add a second victim to the one, whom Cromwell has resolved
to expose to the sharpest ordeal. My hereditary claim to rank and title
is now merely the vision of a shadow, for I know it is the secret
intention of the fanatics to abolish the Peers as a political body, and
estates are now held by permission rather than right, nor are the
possessors secure of their inheritance for a single day. Greatness is
thus reduced to the bare simplicity of individual desert. In you,
Isabel, I see the genuine loveliness of unsophisticated virtue, the
qualities of fortitude, discretion, and sincerity, which these arduous
times peculiarly require. At present I have had little opportunity to
shew you my character, but let me intreat permission to be sheltered
under your uncle's roof, till I can arrange some plan for my future
conduct, and shew you more of the heart which is irrevocably yours."

The plea of anxious distress revived all the tenderness of Isabel; and
he whom, she believed, she could reject as the heir of a coronet, and
the favourite of an Usurper, became the object of inviolable attachment
when viewed as an outcast, seeking an asylum from the misfortunes
brought on him by the crimes of his parents. Considering it to be her
duty, she explained his situation to her uncle and aunt, and they agreed
that it would be inhuman to deny him the refuge he craved. But still, as
he was at present rather a probationary than an assured penitent, and in
some points of view an object of suspicion, Dr. Beaumont felt it would
be endangering his own security to converse with him freely on political
topics. Still more hazardous would it be to admit him to a participation
of their family-secrets, and at this time there was one which engrossed
their minds, and threw an unusual air of mystery and anxious solicitude
into Isabel's behaviour.


    [1] Especially Bishop Sanderson.




CHAP. XVII.

    To her direct thy looks; there fix thy praise,
    And gaze with wonder there. The life I gave her
    Oh! she has used it for the noblest ends!
    To fill each duty; make her father feel
    The purest joy, the heart dissolving bliss,
    To have a grateful child.

                                                 Murphy.


The manners of Isabel were peculiarly frank and playful; the
consciousness that her life was spent in the discharge of active duty,
gave the same energy to her mind, which bodily exertion did to her
nervous system. She never acted under the influence of motives which
required disguise; the simplicity of her habits, her ignorance of the
world, and innocence of intention, gave such an undesigning engaging
character to her conversation, that whoever spoke to her, might think
themselves addressing one of those pure intelligences, who are incapable
of falsehood or disguise. To a mind so modelled, a secret was a dreadful
burden, especially when compelled to hide it from one, whom love induced
her to treat with peculiar confidence, and who often complained of her
reserve, and asked the meaning of those embarrassed looks, that
impatience to break from him, and those thousand mysterious contrivances
upon petty occasions, which were so new to her character, and might have
awakened jealousy in the most unsuspicious heart.

On his being first domesticated in the Beaumont family, Lord Sedley was
charmed with that elegance of arrangement, which contrived to make a
bare sufficiency of the simplest fare, look like plenty. He had wondered
how the little means he knew they possessed, could be so multiplied,
even by the most provident frugality, as, like the widow's oil and meal,
to supply their own wants, and yet afford a portion to the hungry
traveller. Formerly, when he reconsidered at night the behaviour of the
family, he used to be able to account for all their actions, and could
testify that their time was virtuously and wisely employed, without the
least alloy from caprice, indolence, or inconsiderateness. Dr. Beaumont
and Constantia went at their appointed hour to visit the villagers; Mrs.
Mellicent sorted her simples, compounded her medicines, and examined her
patients; Isabel superintended the domestic management.--Williams was
caterer, gardener and serving-man; the relics of yesterday's meal were
neatly reserved, garnished with "roots, cut in characters," and the
sauce spiced, as if it were for Jove. After dinner, literature, wit, or
piety, gave a zest to their conversation, and made the lone ruins of
Waverly Hall the scene of a regale, often unknown in palaces. But now
every proceeding was deranged and perplexed, no one seemed to enquire
into the engagements of the others. Isabel was often absent, and often
neglected the duties to which she once used to affix importance.--Williams
was employed in some business, which all but himself seemed tacitly to
admit was of infinite concern. The provisions clandestinely disappeared,
and the family seemed to think it necessary to repair the waste, by
eating more sparingly. Instead of wishing to sit up to sing, when every
body else was sleepy, Isabel was the first to hint the benefit of early
hours, yet in the morning her faded cheeks and sunk eyes indicated that
the night had been spent in watching. Nay, what more excited his
apprehensions, he discovered that besides the evening devotions, to
which he had been long admitted, there was a secret service, which left
on all their faces the mark of tears.

Love, terror, pity, anxiety, and doubt, alike prompted Lord Sedley to
discover the cause of this marked alteration. He determined to watch
Isabel, and the next night saw her leave the house, soon after midnight,
and enter an avenue of sycamores at some distance. He immediately
followed her; a loud barking of dogs changed every other emotion to
lively apprehensions for her safety, but he soon saw her run back, and,
on observing him coming to meet her, assume an untroubled countenance.
"Has this serene night," said she, "made you too a truant with your
pillow? I have, of late, been little disposed to sleep, and enjoy a
moon-light walk amazingly."--"Do not those dogs annoy you," inquired
Sedley, with more of moody displeasure than tenderness; "I should think
they would form but a harsh response to your soliloquies." She answered,
they did not always discover her, and she ran back when they were
troublesome. Sedley asked her if it would not be better to secure
herself from danger by the protection of a companion. "If you mean to
offer yourself," replied she, "I must say, no. My uncle is constantly
dissuading the villagers from attending night-meetings, which, he says,
though they may be innocent, yet give occasion for reproach; and we must
be careful not to countenance impropriety, by setting an ill example."

"Yet, surely," replied Sedley, "the prudence of these midnight
wanderings is not so unquestionable. Were I of a jealous temper, I might
imagine some presumptuous rival haunted your avenue, and that I even now
detain you from an assignation."

"You will think otherwise," answered she, "when I tell you that I say a
prayer when I quit my uncle's house, and a thanksgiving when I return;
and you know, if my excursion were indecorous, I durst not so tempt
Providence. I ascribe my meeting you to-night to accident, but I will
tell you, dearly as I love you, Arthur, if I thought you watched me from
suspicion of my conduct, I would never speak to you more."

Sedley was awed by the ingenuous resentment which appeared in her
manner. Was it the effrontery of practised perfidy? Impossible! With an
air of pious enthusiasm, she raised her eyes to the clear expanse,
splendidly illuminated by the full-orbed moon and attendant stars, and
clasping her hands in fervour of devotion, besought that Divine
Omniscience, who neither slumbered nor slept, that aweful witness of all
her actions, so to prosper the most ardent desires of her soul, as she
endeavoured to frame them in conformity to his will. "I shall now," said
she, "pursue my walk down the avenue. If you suspect me, follow me,
witness the innocence of my conduct, and forfeit my love. If you confide
in my integrity, return to the house, and never again subject my
reputation to the reproach of being seen with you at night in so lonely
a scene; but, if you wake at this hour put up a prayer for my
preservation."

"The forfeiture of your love, dearest Isabel," said Sedley, "is a
penalty I dare not incur; yet remember I have trusted you with all my
own secrets."

"I have made an equally frank return," answered she, "I have told you
all mine, even that I love you most tenderly, and wish every obstacle
could be removed, which threatens to prevent our journeying hand in hand
through life; but these walks I must take alone. Here every night I must
remain two hours. Ask not if I am a sorceress, consulting an evil
spirit, or a papist doing penance for a crime. You distress me, Arthur,
by thus lingering and turning back to watch me; I thought your mind
superior to jealousy."

"Does not concern for your safety," said he, in an impassioned tone,
"justify my unwillingness to leave you; your family are known to be
zealous Loyalists. A troop of horse are now stationed at Preston, and
always sending out foraging parties."

Isabel paused for a moment, extremely agitated; then turning round,
answered, "The holy angels hover round me; I will trust to their
protection, and defy Morgan and the republican myrmidons."

If Sedley for a moment suspected any thing improper in Isabel's
mysterious behaviour, his doubts now gave place to that perfect
confidence which candour and virtuous simplicity ever impart to
congenial minds. But in proportion as he revered the holy fortitude,
which evidently supported her in these nocturnal adventures, so were his
fears roused by a sense of the danger, with which, as she admitted, they
were attended. She had pointed out Morgan as an enemy whom she dreaded.
Sedley recollected the civilities he had received from him, and blamed
himself for having been remiss in endeavouring to conciliate a man, who
had power over the fortunes of his best beloved. He considered
therefore, that it was a duty he owed to Isabel to call on Morgan, and
try to discover if he had laid any hostile schemes against the
Beaumonts.

Though Morgan affected to be made of the most stern republican
materials, a visit from a nobleman, and an ostensible favourite of
Cromwell's, was a high gratification. He received his guest with
boisterous hospitality, and without any regard to his diminished
strength, dragged him over his demesne, and shewed him all its beauties.
It was, he said, a mere dog-hole, when he bought it for a song; his
ponds, now well stocked with carp, were originally tan-pits; his garden
was a slate-quarry; the phillireas now clipped into well-proportioned
dragons, grew just as nature shaped them; and the hall he had neatly
plaistered and white-washed was then disfigured with painted saints, and
carved tracery. He hinted with a smile, that he had turned the times to
a pretty good account, and was grown warm. Royalists were soon alarmed,
and bled freely. Besides the per centage, when compounding for their
estates, there was generally a little private oiling the hands of
committee men. He talked of his stock of wines, liberal table, rich
hangings, and the universal plenty of good things which he enjoyed; and
strongly urged Lord Sedley, now he was able, to remove from the
penurious dwelling which could just serve his turn, while his wounds
were healing, and reestablish his health, by residing with his humble
servant, Zedekiah Morgan, at Saint's-Rest, till he thought fit to return
to his own princely mansion, Castle-Bellingham.

Sedley made a civil reply, intimating that his duty required him to
remain where he was, and that as a soldier, he must despise luxuries.
"True," answered Morgan; "trained in the school of our noble general,
you choose to see with your own eyes, what plots the malignants are
hatching. There is not a more suspected family than Beaumont's in this
neighbourhood." Sedley encouraged this communicativeness, and Morgan
proceeded to say, "that since the last defeat, the chief crime the
disaffected could commit, was concealing those who had distinguished
themselves in the insurrections."

Six bloody-minded cavaliers had been lately turned loose upon the
peaceable inhabitants. Major General Lambert refused them quarters, when
he granted terms to Pontefract garrison[1]; but the horrid creatures had
fought their way out and escaped, though he gloried in saying, the
county was so well disposed, that three of the knaves, (and among them
their scoundrel leader, Morrice) had been retaken--"And terrible dogs, I
promise you," said Morgan, "they were, as ever you looked upon; hacked
and gashed, and so reduced by famine, from hiding in holes and caves,
that they could hardly stand. So we hanged them, without judge or jury,
and made them safe. But three are still at large, and I can hardly sleep
in my bed for fear of them. I will read you a description of their
persons, and the names they pretend to go by. Humphrey Higgins, aged
seventy, lean, and would be a tall man, only bent double, has but one
eye, and lost the use of his right arm: Memorandum, thought to be the
man who shot Colonel Rainsborough at Doncaster.--William Dickson, aged
twenty-four, has been seen begging on crutches, with one leg contracted;
and Timothy Jones, who pretends to be mad and paralytic, a most
ferocious terrible malignant; curses the godly covenant, and wishes the
Round-heads had but one neck, and he stood over them with a hatchet.
Now, my Lord, if these Beaumonts should, out of hatred and malice to our
upright rulers, hide any of these murderous miscreants in the vaults,
recesses, or secret-chambers of the old ruins, which they may pretend to
live in for the very purpose, I trust your Lordship's penetration will
unearth the foxes, so that they may be brought to condign punishment,
and I heartily wish our noble General had as faithful a spy in every
delinquent's family in the three nations."

Sedley suppressed his indignation, and assured Morgan he would not fail
to report to government whatever he thought culpable in the conduct of
the Beaumonts, who were apparently benevolent and humane; but on
Morgan's suggesting that was a mask often assumed by the blackest
malignity, he allowed the truth as a general remark, and took his leave,
aware that the best means of preventing the persecution of his friends
was to conceal his own sentiments.

In the way back he called on Dame Humphreys, whose attention to him,
during his illness, corresponded with her usual artless kindness and
true benevolence. He found her in the most dreadful distress; her
husband's malady was increased to violent frenzy; she assigned as the
cause, his incessantly listening to what she called "long preachments
about the Devil;" but he gave a different account. He was sure he had
seen Sir William Waverly sitting at the outside of a mausoleum he had
built in the park, without his head, and an angel standing by him. He
knew it was an angel, for it looked white and shining; and the other
must be Sir William, because he had in part pulled down the old church,
which his fore-fathers had built, to make a grand burying-place for
himself and his family, and though his body was thrown into a hole where
he was killed, that was no reason why his spirit might not walk in his
own park. The Dame was prevented from making further comments on this
narrative by concern for her husband's situation. He lay, she said,
roaring and foaming at the mouth, thinking what he had seen was a
warning of his own death. The chamber was full of godly ministers, who
would not let her send for a doctor, saying the case was in their way,
and that they would dispossess him. But in spite of all they did, he
grew worse, and was in such terrible convulsions, that she feared if he
did not make away with himself, still he must die.

Sedley sincerely pitied her distress, and, in compliance with her
wishes, promised to send the good old Doctor to her to try if he could
do any good. A lover sees his mistress in every object. Combining the
suspicions of Morgan, the appearance at the mausoleum, and the
night-wanderings of Isabel, a sudden apprehension came across Sedley's
mind, and determined him to see to what part of the park the sycamore
avenue pointed, and he soon found it ended in a coppice, which shaded a
ruined church, and a stately sepulchre, inclosed with iron pallisades,
that had escaped the general pillage, which, in those times of rapacious
sacrilege, spared not the altar of religion nor the silent repositories
of the dead.

Sedley examined the modern structure. The gate was closed, and the bolts
rusted in the wards. The long withered grass bore no marks of having
been recently trodden; every thing appeared in the state in which it
might be supposed to have been left, when the vain-glorious unfortunate
projector of this monumental trophy of his own greatness augmented the
heaps of dead who were interred without religious rite or distinction of
rank, after the fatal battle of Marston-Moor ended the efforts of the
Royalists in the north of England. The unoccupied tomb stood as a solemn
warning against the fond precautions of low cunning and versatile
policy. Sedley now proceeded to the church, which was a complete ruin.
The roof was broken, and the entrances were blocked up with large stones
that had fallen from the walls; yet not so totally, but that a slender
person might find admittance into the building from the south-porch. As
he looked in, he thought fancy might select this as the scene where the
Anglican church, prostrate on her own ruins, mourned her departed glory
and her present desolation in undisturbed silence, far from the sympathy
of her friends, and the insults of her enemies. He called aloud, but the
echo of his own voice reverberating through the aisles was his only
answer. Though the wintry sun shone with meridian splendor, and cast his
slanting rays through the apertures in the roof, so as to allow him to
see the falling monuments and mutilated statues which were intended to
commemorate the mighty of past ages, there was such an aweful solitude
and petrifying horror in the whole scene, that he thought it impossible
for Isabel to make nocturnal visits to such a place, believing his own
courage would be scarcely equal to the undertaking, when darkness or the
pale splendor of the moon added to its profound melancholy. There was,
indeed, a slight appearance of a path to the most practicable entrance,
but he could not help thinking it was made by some wild animal, which
had chosen one of the vaults for its hiding-place.

Still ruminating on Isabel's concealed adventures as he returned, Sedley
perceived a handful of sweet bay lying in the grass, which he
recollected seeing her gather the preceding evening, with peculiar
attention to the reviving fragrance of the evergreen. Every doubt was
now removed. This was the spot which a young and beautiful female
visited alone at midnight. No base inclination, no unworthy passion
which shunned the light, could stimulate such an enterprize. Piety must
bestow the inspiration; and that fortitude which results from conscious
rectitude must confirm the trembling knees, and guide the cautious steps
of the heroical adventurer.

A more honourable and praise-worthy principle than doubt or curiosity
now led Sedley to discover what the treasure was which Isabel thus
clandestinely visited. On his return, he mentioned to the family the
dreadful situation of Humphreys, and described the spectral appearance
to which it was imputed, "Absurd and impossible!" exclaimed Isabel,
while a deep crimson flushed her face. Mrs. Mellicent turned very pale,
and remarked that she did not entirely disbelieve all accounts of
visionary notices of the future world. They might act as warnings to
sinners, or as a call to an unbeliever. "True," replied Isabel, "but the
contradiction of this is evident. Why should a good angel be connected
with the apparition of Sir William Waverly? And, far from tending to
reform Humphreys, the impression on his mind has produced distraction."
Dr. Beaumont, who had remained silent and meditative during this
conversation, now required Isabel to attend him before he went to offer
his services to the afflicted farmer.

Sedley embraced the opportunity of their absence to examine more
minutely the ruins of Waverly Hall. The thickness of one of the
remaining walls struck him as singular; it was an abutment behind the
chimney of what had been the banqueting-room, the wainscot of which was
left in this place entire. Sedley inspected every pannel, and at last
found one which slided, and afforded him an entrance into a small but
perfect apartment, lighted from the ceiling, and which had probably
served as a secret chamber to conceal the plate and valuables of the
family, being so completely concealed by the contrivance of the
architecture as not to be discernible on the outside. Was it not
strange, that, with so secure and convenient a lodging close at hand,
Isabel should chuse to deposit her treasure at such a distance? Had she
overlooked this asylum, or avoided the use of it as a lure to deceive
the vigilance of Morgan? Sedley proceeded in his search, explored every
subterraneous vault and recess; but no signs of recent inhabitation
could be found. He returned again to Morgan, commended his zeal for the
good cause, but assured him, that though he had discovered many places
proper for concealment, not a ghost of a royalist could any where be
found.

"You say well, excellently well, my young Lord," replied Morgan,
chuckling at the idea of his own superior sagacity; "yet for all that
there is a ghost, aye, and he chuses a proper scene for his pranks, but
we will lay him to-morrow morning." He then informed Sedley that
Priggins had just been with him to say their neighbour Humphreys was
troubled in the spirit, and, in a late wrestling with Satan, had been
favoured with a vision, in which he had seen the ghost of Sir William
Waverly in torment, complaining that there was a royalist in his grave
who would not let him rest. "I believe not a word of the business," said
he, "and defy the whole tribe of apparitions; but, as Your Lordship must
see, it is my duty to search the burying-place, and the old church
immediately."

Sedley suppressed his apprehensions, and coolly answered, he had
reconnoitred the outside, and believed he had never seen a more desolate
and unfrequented spot. "All the better for such a purpose," answered
Morgan; "these bloody fugitives would not chuse highways and
market-places for their cabals. But I don't like to venture among these
terrible fellows without being protected; so I have sent for the Preston
horse, and ordered them to bring the blood-hounds; and as Your Lordship
has been there, I will thank you to be our guide. But, hark! not a word
to the Beaumonts, or the birds will be flown."

Sedley preserved the serenity of his features, promised punctual
attendance, and remarked that, to prevent any alarm from suspicion of an
intercourse with Morgan, it would be expedient for him to hurry back.
His anxiety to rescue the threatened victim was nearly as lively as the
assiduity of Isabel; yet not daring again to request the confidence she
had so peremptorily refused, he thought his best plan would be to watch
the cemetery; and, pretending to retire indisposed to his chamber, as
soon as it was evening he hurried, unobserved, down the avenue, entered
the church, and concealed himself behind a pillar, from whence he had a
full view of a door partially obstructed with rubbish which, he
supposed, opened into the mausoleum.

A little before midnight, he heard the sound of feet; the shade was
withdrawn from a dark lanthorn; and he discovered Isabel by its feeble
light, as she held it up, and with cautious anxiety seemed to explore
the ruins, to be assured that all was safe before she ventured on her
nocturnal employment. She then approached the door, and whispered to the
invisible inhabitant of the sepulchre. Sedley heard a bar fall, and saw
her remove a portion of the rubbish, enter the dreary abode, and
re-close the door. Listening, he heard voices conversing in low murmurs.
Could a lover resist making a further discovery? He determined to open
the door sufficiently to steal a view of the object concealed, and
afterwards to join Isabel on her return, and apprize her of the
necessity of selecting another asylum.

The stolen view was aweful and impressive. The inside of the cemetery
was lighted by a lamp that shewed it was furnished with those articles
of comfort which rendered it an habitable abode. On a neat pallet lay an
aged gentleman, corresponding, in his appearance and infirmities, with
one of the fugitives from Pontefract described by Morgan. Isabel had
already spread a table, on which were placed the refreshments she had
just brought, and a prayer-book. She was at that moment employed in
chafing his benumbed limbs, and at the same time looking up at her
patient with the tenderest affection, smiling through the tears of
anxiety and compassion; while, as he bent over her, shrinking with acute
pain from her light and tender touch, a glow of sublime affection
illuminated his pale and furrowed features.

It was at this moment that the wind, rushing down the aisles of the
church, forced the door out of Sedley's hand, and revealed him to the
father and daughter as a witness of their affecting interview. The
reader must have anticipated that no motive less potent than filial
piety could have stimulated the heroism of Isabel. Surprise extorted
from her a loud shriek; and the disabled Evellin snatched a carbine,
which stood charged within his reach, and pointed it at the invader of
their retreat. Isabel hung upon his arm. "'Tis my preserver! 'Tis my
father!" exclaimed she, addressing them alternately. "Oh! Sedley, how
durst you disobey me!"

"Young man," said the stern veteran, in a voice which denoted that an
unconquered soul still tenanted his decaying body, "instantly tell your
motive for this intrusion. My daughter addresses you as a friend, but
your name announces a double traitor."

"Then it belies my heart," answered Sedley, "for I come devoted to your
service, impatient to assist in the preservation of persecuted worth.
The generous bravery of the renowned Colonel Evellin must endear him to
every soldier, even if he were not the father of that matchless
excellence who kneels beside you, and stays your arm from taking the
life of one whose purpose is to preserve yours."

"I have seen too much of the world," answered Evellin, "to trust smooth
talkers. Sentiments are easily uttered; they are all the fashion; and
the butcher now uses them to the lamb he slaughters. I am a disabled
soldier of that King whom regicides are now subjecting to the mockery of
a public trial; and I am as ready to follow my Prince to the scaffold as
I have been to fly to his banner when thousands were false. Hear me yet
further. I am one of the proscribed victims who escaped from Pontefract.
The hardships I have endured have deprived me of the use of my limbs;
yet I am still dangerous to usurpers. A price is set upon my head; I am
hunted from the abodes of man, denied the light of heaven, and, at this
rigorous season, compelled to seek the shelter of a tomb, even while
alive to anguish and sorrow. Approach, young man; you see my child has
disarmed me. I have no other weapon; infirmity chains me to this pallet.
I was born to the possession of a princely inheritance, but it was
wrested from me by traitors foul as those who have overthrown the glory
of England. I have nothing left but an honest heart, and enmity to
traitors. Yes!" continued he, folding Isabel in his arms; "I have this
weeping girl, who ought to have been a bright gem sparkling in a royal
court, instead of a sickly lamp beaming in a monument."

Sedley wept. "You know," said he, "what side I have espoused; yet a mind
so magnanimous must be candid; nor will you confound the errors and
prejudices of early education with the turpitude of guilt. I was tutored
by one who passionately worshipped civil and religious liberty; a man
whose heart was generous and sincere as your own, and only mistook the
means by which the desired objects were attainable. He now deeply mourns
the enormous oppression which has originated from what he deemed perfect
theories. Filial duty, joined to the instructions of my preceptor, made
me join the Parliamentary army. You are a father. Think what agonies you
would feel had your son refused to obey you, and falsified the hopes you
had formed of his acting as your associate in what you deemed the career
of glory."

"Cease, dearest Sedley," cried Isabel, "his weak frame cannot bear these
strong emotions." "I have a son," said the agonized Evellin, "and he
refused to obey me. He has falsified the hopes I entertained, that he
would be the restorer of my house. Sedley, I would exchange sons with
thy father. Come nearer, and I will tell thee what will make thee
renounce the traitor who gave thee birth. Hast thou ever heard of thy
uncle Allan Neville, the man from whom thy father stole his coronet and
lands?"

"I have heard," said Sedley, "that he was unfortunate, very criminal,
and long since dead."

"Unfortunate indeed," returned the Colonel, "but neither dead nor
criminal. I am Allan Neville, a living witness of thy father's crimes,
the least of which is usurpation. I accuse him as the foul slanderer of
my fame, as the inhuman villain who betrayed my confidence. He knew my
woes, my wants, my dependence on his friendship; nay, that I trusted to
him only. He smiled, promised, cajoled, and destroyed me. My daughter
has told me that thou art warm, ingenuous, sincere, and affectionate.
Such, at thy age, was he that now lies before thee, the victim of thy
mother's ambition and thy father's hypocrisy."

Sedley tried to conceal the burning blushes of shame with his hands,
while his recollection of past circumstances confirmed his uncle's
accusation. Ambition was the crime of both his parents; hypocrisy the
means used by the cautious Lord Bellingham in seeking to compass those
ends which his bolder consort pursued with the effrontery of determined
versatility. Sedley remembered his mother a court-beauty, the favourite
of the Queen, and the glass which reflected the smiles and frowns of
royalty. He afterwards saw her the idol of the party which opposed
government, sung by Waller, flattered by Holland, presiding with all the
frivolity and pride of a pretty trifler at the dark divan, while Pym and
St. John disclosed their hopes of extending their aggressions to seizing
the remaining prerogatives of the alarmed and conceding King. Weak,
vain, passionate, and unprincipled, with no determined object but her
own aggrandizement--no claim to attention but an attractive person and
soft courtliness of manner (which polished insincerity often assumes to
disguise a stubborn, wayward, ungoverned temper),--Lady Bellingham
supplied by a shew of benevolence her total want of the reality. He had
seen her, without even the affectation of compassion, listen to a detail
of the measures which were intended to drag Lord Strafford to the block;
and though she boasted of that nobleman as her earliest lover, she made
no attempt to procure him the respite for which his afflicted master
ineffectually solicited. No storm of public calamity, no sympathizing
pity for murdered friends, no sentiment of gratitude for her royal
benefactors, ever disturbed the suavity of Lady Bellingham's deportment.
Nothing could interrupt the dead calm of her unfeeling heart but
opposition to her will, or the apprehension of danger to her effects or
person. In the former case the gentle beauty was loud and pertinacious;
in the latter, terrified to the extreme, and clamorous in her
complaints; in both, perfectly regardless of the means she employed to
promote her purposes, or insure her safety.

Sedley had long discovered a guarded circumspection in his father's
conduct, which, as it exceeded prudence, must be called timidity. His
perplexed look and restless manner spoke a soul ill at ease with itself,
and more suspicious of persons, and the motives of their actions, than
was consistent with fortitude and integrity. From the period of his
assuming the title of Bellingham, Sedley could date a gradual increase
of domestic misery. Even in his childhood he had been obliged to
interfere in the disputes of his parents, each complaining to him of the
faults of the other, and of their own injuries. The Earl ever spake of
the sacrifices he had made to oblige his wife; the Countess, of the
title, fortune, and importance she had bestowed on her husband. Many
circumstances led him to fear that mutual guilt was the only bond which
kept them from separation, as they often hinted in their quarrels that
they were equally in each other's power for some punishable offences;
and once, in an ungovernable transport of rage, Lady Bellingham bade her
trembling Lord "remember her brother." These recollections made it
impossible for Sedley to doubt the criminality of his parents,
especially as their accuser was Colonel Evellin, whose gallantry and
unquestioned honour had extorted alike the terror and admiration of his
enemies. And was the admirable Isabel the victim of their crimes, who
now, in all the unaffected loveliness of tender duty, wiped the cold dew
from the face of her agonized father, beseeching him to consider his
weakness, and forbear convulsing his tortured limbs by these mental
throes, still assuring him, that if she could preserve his life, her own
would be worth valuing?

Impelled by that homage which virtuous emulation ever pays to
acknowledged worth, Sedley knelt by the side of Isabel. "Here," said he,
"I devote myself to your service, and abjure your enemies, though my
heart recoils when I consider who they are. In this sacred, this aweful
abode, I drop all titles but that of your kinsman: now for your dear
daughter's sake, listen to the intelligence I come to disclose; you are
in the most imminent danger, and prompt measures for your security must
be devised. I will never more participate in the guilt of those who
wronged you, or partake of those luxuries which proved irresistible
temptations to those who caused your ruin. Suffer me to supply the place
of your lost Eustace, and to relieve the pious duties of your daughter.
You shall then know that my immediate progenitors have not corrupted
that pure blood which I, with you, derive from one common stock of
eminent ancestors, distinguished alike by fidelity to their friends,
their country, and their King."

Isabel scarcely waited for the reconciling embrace, which proved that
her generous father knew not his own heart when he thought it capable of
eternal enmity to the blood of De Vallance. Her transport at seeing the
two dearest objects in the world known and esteemed by each other, was
allayed by her eager anxiety to know what Sedley meant by imminent
danger. He now disclosed what had passed between him and Morgan, and the
discovery himself had made of another and nearer asylum for the brave
fugitive. No time was lost in expediting his removal. Incapable of
rising from his pallet, the whole family were employed in conveying him
to the secret chamber, and in removing from the mausoleum every vestige
of its having been inhabited. Rubbish was piled against the door; and,
to prevent the path from being traced, the small stock of cattle the
Beaumonts possessed were driven into the burying-ground. The rising sun
saw their labours completed an hour before Morgan and his soldiers
arrived to execute their inhuman inquisition. The care of Williams had
frustrated the sagacity of the blood-hounds by a chemical preparation;
and a night of inexpressible alarm and emotion was succeeded by a happy
day, in which Isabel had the transport of having her dear father lodged
close to her own dwelling, in a more comfortable place of concealment,
where she could pay a more minute attention to his wants, and have an
assistant in the task of ministering to his infirmities; that assistant
too the lord of her affections, to whom she was ha longer compelled to
wear the air of cold reserve so uncongenial to her ingenuous temper.

The Beaumont family would now have felt happy, and Arthur might have
talked of love, assured of a favourable audience, had not every future
plan and private feeling been engrossed by the situation of the King,
whose mournful tragedy now drew near its final close. Like many others,
Arthur de Vallance had been drawn, by the grossest misrepresentations,
to oppose a Prince whose real character, bursting through the mists of
adversity, now dazzled the eyes of those who had affected to speak of
him as a meteorous exhalation, owing its lustre to chance, and destitute
of the inherent qualities which constitute true greatness. To a general
revolt and disaffection, arising from some actual and many imaginary
grievances, succeeded an universal conviction of delusion,
disappointment, disgust, and contrition. All parties but that which had
the King in their keeping were ready to unite in efforts to save him
from those who meant to make his corse a step to his hereditary dignity;
and this, no less from a sense of his deserts and injuries, than from
feeling experimentally, that destroying the balance of the Constitution
annihilated their own liberty, and that the whips used by lawful rulers
are, by usurpers, exchanged for scorpions. The rule of a limited monarch
was now supplied by the tyranny of many despots--I say many; for though
Cromwell had seized the whole administration into his own hands,
managing what was called the House of Commons and the army by his
creatures, annihilating the aristocratic branch of the legislature, and
cajoling his brother-general, while he prepared the scaffold and
sharpened the axe for the Monarch whom it was the settled purpose of
Fairfax to preserve; yet his government had the feature which constantly
characterizes newly-assumed power. He durst not disoblige the supporters
of his greatness; and the services of his myrmidons were purchased by a
sort of tacit agreement, that they might enrich themselves with the
plunder of an oppressed people. Rapacity, therefore, walked triumphant
through the land. Loyalty and Episcopacy had already been stripped. The
bare carcase of truth and honour afforded no food for the carrion birds
who floated round the unfledged antitype of the royal eagle. The
adherents to the Rump parliament (as the House of Commons was then
called, before Cromwell excluded from it the members who were offensive
to his views), the Presbyterians and Republicans, had lately fattened on
the miseries of their countrymen. Some of these, repenting their former
errors, made efforts to save the King's life; and, for the crime of
petitioning to that effect, were exposed to the rigorous punishments of
imprisonment and sequestration. The royalists, conscious of their
weakness, had suspended all military efforts, and fearing lest, by
irritating their enemies, they should precipitate their Master's fate,
they confined themselves to supplicatory addresses to him who alone had
power to chain the fury of these human tigers. But, in the present
instance, it was the will of the Almighty to give a fearful lesson to
those who engage in fomenting rebellion and confusion, with an
expectation of being able to muzzle the many-headed monster they let
loose, and to govern that ignorance and depravity whose irregular
appetites and malignant passions they have inflamed. The blow was struck
which disgraced the nation, released the royal martyr from his crown of
thorns, but had no power to prevent his receiving one of glory. "A
dismal, universal groan burst from the thousands who witnessed the
horrid scene[2], such as was never before heard! May England never utter
such another! The troopers rode among the populace, driving them in all
directions, and shewing the multitude, that though nine-tenths of the
kingdom abhorred the action, committed in the name of all," the right of
the majority was so little respected by these false assertors of liberty
of opinion, "that it was now a state offence to express the natural
feelings of compunction and pity." Driven to their own houses by the
satellites of usurpation, tyranny, and murder, the people then gave vent
to their tears and execrations. The contrite prayers of a sinful nation
arose from every dwelling; and, like the blood of the Paschal Lamb on
the doors of the Israelites, implored Divine Mercy to avert the sword of
the destroying angel from them and their families, when he should be
sent in wrathful visitation to take vengeance for that detestable
regicide.


    [1] For a very interesting account of what passed at Pontefract
    Castle, and of the adventures of Colonel Morrice; see Clarendon,
    vol. iii.

    [2] Henry, a pious and eminent Nonconformist divine, gives this
    account of the awful sensation generally produced by the King's
    murder.




CHAP. XVIII.

                        Vast confusion waits;
    As doth the raven on a sick-fall'n beast,
    The imminent decay of wrested pomp.
    Now happy he whose cloak and cincture can
    Hold out this tempest.

                                                 Shakspeare.


I avoid dwelling on the bitter anguish of the Beaumont family at the
dreadful catastrophe of the long-imprisoned King. Its pious head added
largely to his intercessory prayers, imploring heaven to avert its
vengeance from all who had inadvertently been accessary to the fact, to
forgive those who repented of the heinous sin, and to soften the hearts
of those who still gloried in having murdered their Sovereign. For the
English nation, his petitions were most fervent and impressive. The
character of the young King had in it some traits which excited his
apprehension; he prayed earnestly that they might be found (as many
people said they were) merely the exuberance of youth; and that the
acknowledged grace and affability of his manners, and the placableness
of his temper, might ornament, but not supplant, those christian virtues
and noble principles which had so eminently distinguished his father.
Considering the provocations the people had committed, the great
dissoluteness of one sort, and the wild fanaticism or palpable hypocrisy
of the others, added to the furious passions and implacable resentments
which were excited, especially by this last desperate deed, he saw
little hope that true religion and regular liberty could be speedily
restored; he feared, therefore, the sun of England's glory would suffer
a long eclipse: yet England was his country, nor could affluence or
distinction have tempted him to quit it while he thought his example,
his labours, or his prayers could afford assistance to its inhabitants.

The existing Government allowed Dr. Beaumont and his family personal
security: in return, he resolved to abstain from plotting its overthrow.
The young King wished his friends not to hazard their own safety by rash
undertakings; and Dr. Beaumont considered that to labour at the gradual
introduction of right principles, the removal of mistakes, and the
regulation of false doctrines; and, above all, to lead a life of
holiness, universal charity, and meek simplicity, were the most likely
means to heal the wounds made by violence, to soften the Divine anger,
and to prepare the people for the restoration of legitimate rule. The
reformation of individuals must, he knew, precede that of the nation;
and he considered that the man, who employed himself diligently at his
post, and strove to revive the sentiments of loyalty and piety in a
country village, more truly served his God and his King than he who
engaged in weak and unweighed efforts against a power which now wielded
the energies of the kingdom. He lamented to see such enterprizes
successively come to no better issue than that of giving fresh instances
of the often-recorded fact, that loyalty and truth can die on the
scaffold, or in the field of battle, without bending to their
persecutors, or relinquishing the principles interwoven with life.

The situation of Colonel Evellin was very different. He was proscribed,
exempted out of every amnesty, and though incapacitated by his
infirmities from serving his King, yet forbidden to rest his weary head
in secure privacy, till called by nature to hide it in the grave. Arthur
De Vallance too, the noble-minded revolter, renouncing the distinctions
purchased by the guilt of his parents, was resolved henceforth to devote
his life to atone for their crimes, by being the constant attendant,
comforter, and protector of his uncle. Yet was he not wholly
disinterested in that resolution; the love of Isabel stimulated him to
persevere in it, and he looked to her as the companion and reward of his
services.

It was now determined to wait the probable effect of the summer heats in
relieving the Colonel from the imbecility of extreme decrepitude. Dr.
Beaumont was then to join the hands of Arthur and Isabel, and they and
their father were to remove to Holland, where every friend of the Royal
Martyr was affectionately welcomed by the Princess of Orange, whose only
consolation in her deep affliction for him, was to cherish those who
suffered in his cause. Arthur possessed a small private fortune
independent of his parents, which, when converted into cash, would be
adequate to their frugal support; and it was agreed, that while they
waited the chance of the Colonel's recovery, no disclosure should be
made of the change in his principles. He, therefore, retained the title
of Sedley; continued to visit Morgan; talked of the friendship of
Cromwell; and pretended that he resided with the Beaumonts, because he
still required the assistance of his surgeon, and that he wished to be
fully convinced of their inoffensive conduct before he recommended them
to the General's favour.

During this time the Sunday assembling of the church in the wilderness
was repeated as often as the safety of the congregation would permit.
These were Dr. Beaumont's halcyon moments; the refreshing balms which
enabled him to support his public and private affliction. The terrible
death of Humphreys had made a great impression in the village, the
outrageous blasphemies of the self-condemned reprobate in his last
moments, and the utter inability of the various teachers of different
opinions who gathered around him, to tranquillize his disordered
imagination or quiet his alarmed conscience, led the beholders of that
heart-rending scene to recollect, that no such occurrence had taken
place during the quiet ministry of him who had preached the comfortable
doctrine of God's universal acceptance of penitent sinners, and who had
ever aimed rather to reform their lives than bewilder their
understandings or influence their imaginations. Many of the neighbours
who wanted courage to attend his more public services, visited the
Doctor by night, and besought his instruction as a preceptor, or his
judgment as a casuist. One wished him to talk with his wife, who was so
much engrossed with spiritual things, that she thought it sinful to
attend to temporal concerns. He said she left him alone in a severe fit
of sickness, while in extreme danger, to listen to a favourite preacher;
and, when reproved for her inhumanity, she burst into a transporting
extacy, and declared herself now sure of salvation, as "she suffered for
righteousness-sake," and would bear her cross with patience. He
protested he knew not how to act, since, if he treated her with
kindness, she was in despair, calling herself a lost soul, applying to
her own case the woe denounced on those with whom the world is at peace,
and complaining that she had no longer "a thorn in the flesh to buffet
her." A disconsolate mother implored Dr. Beaumont to interfere and
support her authority with her daughter, who, misunderstanding their
preacher's encomiums on the sufficiency of faith, abandoned herself to
antinomian licentiousness, asserting, that "it was the law which had
created sin," but that the elect were free from the curse of the law.
One father was ruined by children, who refused to "labour for the meat
that perisheth." Another came in the deepest distress, lamenting that
his son was committed to prison for having joined a band of fanatical
desperadoes, who publicly plundered their neighbours, declaring that
they were now superior to the commandments, and were prophets appointed
to set up the empire of King Jesus, and restore those times "when
believers had all things in common." In some of these instances Dr.
Beaumont was enabled to enlighten the bewildered judgment; but when the
errors of the imagination were fortified by licentious passions, or a
perverse disposition, he could only give comfort to the afflicted
relations by confirming them in a clearer view of divine truth.

But the Doctor's greatest trouble proceeded from those frequent visitors
who came to complain to him of the state of their neighbours' souls, and
to vaunt their own spiritual gifts and happy security. To these he could
be of no use, nor is it any reflection on his learning and abilities, to
say he was often posed by a class of disputants, who, wanting a previous
acquaintance with those general topics of information which are
necessary to a clear and true view of the question, presume to handle
the most abstruse and profound topics of theology, while unable to see
the force of their opponent's reasonings, or to attend to the
development of the false hypothesis on which their notions are founded.
These people, being wise in their own conceits, gloried in their errors,
mistaking spiritual pride for piety, and censorious curiosity for
concern for their neighbours' souls. The spirit of "Stand apart, I am
holier and wiser than thou," had such firm possession of their minds,
that the mild instructions and persuasive example of Dr. Beaumont had no
effect; his refusal to anathematize the darkness of their adversaries,
or to admire the splendour of their illumination, sealed their ears
against all his counsels. In vain did he admonish them that the test of
Christian principles, as given by our Divine Lawgiver, was unity. The
promulgation of the Gospel to distant countries was to result from
universal good-will. "By this shall all men know that ye are my
disciples, if ye have love one to another," was the Saviour's definition
of his true servants. "I thank God that I am not like this Publican,"
was the self-gratulation of a much greater sinner. The Apostles enjoined
the most guarded temperance of judgment respecting others, and the
closest inquisition about ourselves; and the wisest and best men, from
well-grounded fears of their own perseverance in well-doing, have
declined[1] all superior affectation of sanctity or invidious comparison
of the behaviour of others with their own, lest they should afterwards
fall into some grievous sin, and thus bring disgrace on religion and
virtue. The Catholic church, he said, was a term implying affectionate
communion as well as universality; and how could they be said to wish
for Christ's reign upon earth, who made knowledge to consist in
frivolous cavils, and piety in rancorous misinterpretation of a
brother's motives? Were discord, enmity, and censoriousness, fit
harbingers of the Prince of peace? His great forerunner preached
repentance and reformation. The sins of individuals, not the
institutions of civil society, were the mountains which were to be
levelled before the rising of the Sun of Righteousness. We might be
saved, without knowing if our neighbour was in the road to heaven; we
must at the last day be judged for the good we have done, not for the
evil others have thought; nor would the mere frequent calling upon the
Lord save those who in their deeds rejected the Divine government. In
fine, Dr. Beaumont, weary of the obstinacy and determined ignorance of
these self-righteous, told them that their pretensions to a larger share
of heavenly gifts was presumptuous, since they indulged in offences that
spoke a more infernal origin than merely carnal sins; for, so far as
human eye can penetrate into concealed mysteries, pride was the crime of
the fallen angels. Nor would he admit that Christian humility had any
thing to do with general acknowledgments, which rested in the corruption
of our common nature. "It is in confession of actual sin that the
contrite offender humbles himself before his God. The sentiment arising
from an imputation of guilt which we could not avoid, or from the
expectation of a punishment of which we are born the inheritors, is not
self-abasement, but despair. The penitent, observed Dr. Beaumont, feels
like one abashed by the recollection of his misdeeds, and fearful of
forfeiting the pardon afforded him by mercy: hence arise kindness and
compassion to his fellow-sinners, and newness of life in his own
conduct; but he was yet to learn how the feelings of the predestinated
elect, who boasted of being brands snatched out of the fire, and
privileged favourites of Heaven, improved the morals of mankind."

Had Dr. Beaumont merely consulted his own ease, he could not have taken
more effectual methods for clearing his door of those who came to
display their own graces; yet his converts were numerous, respectable,
and, what is better, shewed in their behaviour the improvement they
derived from his labours. A quiet tractable deportment, a due sense of
subordination, of duty to superiors, and of contented labour in their
own callings, those noble and peculiar distinctions of true disciples of
the church of England, which render her so proper an ally to the state,
were again visible in the language and manners of those who attended the
stolen congregational services I have mentioned, for to this assembling
themselves together, the Divine blessing is especially promised. After
the solemn and primary duties of confession, prayer, and praise, Dr.
Beaumont resumed his old method of instruction, alternately expounding
Christian mysteries, and inforcing Christian morals. On some occasions
he pursued a course of catechetical lectures; on others, quitting
elementary instructions, he proceeded to inforce good works as the test
of faith; now recommending the means of grace, by which the heart of man
was prepared to co-operate with the Divine Spirit, and then expatiating
on the hopes of glory, the goal and reward of diligence and perseverance
in well-doing. The service was lengthened by occasional prayers, adapted
to the state of the kingdom, and closed with an hymn, except at those
times when the centinel or watch indicated there was danger of
interruption.

One fine evening of the summer of 1649 they were thus employed, and
roused to uncommon fervour by a most pathetic discourse, to which the
following hymn, sung by the congregation, was in its purport analogous:

    Oh Thou, to whose paternal ear
      Affliction never vainly cried!
    Whom in prosperity we fear,
      On whom in sorrow we confide;
    We mourning exiles humbly crave
    Thy light to guide--thy power to save.

    Proscribed from consecrated ground,
      Forbid thy sacred courts to tread,
    We know, where contrite hearts are found,
      Thy cleansing grace is largely shed.
    The church may wander in the wild,
    But God still feeds his pilgrim child.

    Our canopy the vaulted skies,
      Our unction the refreshing dew;
    The circling rocks that round us rise,
      Conceal us from th' oppressor's view;
    Still shall their solemn echoes bear
    To thy high courts our praise and prayer.

    Not for ourselves (though sore dismay'd
      Like hunted doves) we pray alone;
    A bleeding people asks thy aid,
      A ruin'd church, a prostrate throne,
    A land become by woes and crimes,
    A beacon to surrounding climes.

    Oh, by the sacred ransom paid
      For rebel man, rebellion hide;
    Where evil spirits now have made
      Their den, let thine own Spirit 'bide.
    And change our contests and our wrongs
    To holy lauds and peaceful songs.

The echoing rocks prolonged the solemn melody, and every heart was
filled with sympathetic submission, devout patience, and humble hope,
when their attention was recalled to the present scene by a loud Amen,
which discovered a till-then-unobserved participator in their devotions.
A lame bare-headed beggar stood leaning on his crutch, while the wind
blew his hair and tattered garments in every direction. "Heaven bless
you, worthy Christians!" said he; "you have prayed for the King, help a
wounded soldier who has fought for his Royal Father. 'Tis many a day
since I have heard the old church service, and it has done my heart
good; I have drunk to her prosperity thousands of times."

Arthur offered him an alms.--"Oh, young gentleman," said he, "this is
like throwing diamonds to a dunghill-cock. I cannot buy a loaf in the
mountains, and I dare not venture into any town till I can get some
other clothes to disguise myself. I was in the last insurrection, as the
rebels call it, and so may be hanged without judge or jury, wherever
they catch me; and they may hang me if they will, for they can never
make any thing of me but a King's trooper, or else a Tom o' Bedlam."

Dr. Beaumont now advanced to see what measures could be adopted to
relieve the stranger's necessities, when, to his great surprize, the man
limped forward, and, grasping his hand with ecstasy, gave it a hearty
shake. "Ah, my good Doctor, is it you?--'Twas so dusky I could not see
your face; and your voice is quite broke and hollow to what it used to
be. I hoped Your Reverence was safe and well at Oxford, and not
preaching here among the goats and sheep in the mountains, while tinkers
and tailors are palavering in churches. Don't Your Reverence remember
Jobson, whom you tried to get out of that Squire Morgan's clutches, when
the cursed covenant came first in fashion. I could not swallow it, you
know, nor will I now, though they were to change my torn coat for a
major's uniform. Is the Squire still alive? I should like to knock him
down with my crutch, and tell him I bought shoes of his father."

It was with unfeigned pleasure that honest Jobson was recognised by his
neighbours. Plans were proposed for his immediate relief, and Arthur
hoped he could procure him a protection through the interest of Morgan.
"Say nothing about it, Sir," answered Jobson; "I tell you I'll owe him
nothing but a sound drubbing, and I hope to pay that before I die, in
spite of the wound in my knee; he should have it now if I could catch
him; and let me tell you, I am sorry to hear such a pretty-spoken
gentleman as you, say you have any acquaintance with such a scoundrel.
He has made me hate the neighbourhood he lives in; and I only came into
it to see if all was true that was said of my wife; and I find she is
gone a tramping with one of the new preachers, and her girls are gone
after her with some of the rebel troopers. Let them go, I say, if they
have no better fancies than that; I'll hop back to Wales, where an old
soldier of the King's is sure to find a nook in a cottage-chimney, and a
piggin of warm leek porridge; aye, and a warm heart too, that never will
betray him."

"It is not in Wales only," answered Dr. Beaumont, "that there are found
warm hearts who revere the memory of their martyred Sovereign, and love
the brave soldier who has bled in his cause. My situation compels me to
be careful of offending the ruling powers, but we can contrive to make
some cavern in the mountains a comfortable place of shelter, till you
are better able to undertake a long journey; and believe me, it rejoices
my soul to see you display the same firmness in adversity as you did in
the hour of danger. In the wreck of your little fortune, you have
preserved that noblest treasure, an upright heart. Many who now bask in
affluence, would give their ill-acquired eminence to call that jewel
without price their own."

"True, worthy Doctor," answered Jobson; "yet the knaves often get
uppermost in this world, and so won't own themselves to be scoundrels,
which is what provokes me. But the times will come when we shall tell
them a bit of our minds again; and then I suppose my wife will leave the
preacher, and want me to take her in again; but no, no, Madam, says I,
there's two words to that bargain. Does Your Reverence know, that though
I never rose higher yet than to be an officer's servant, I am to be a
yeoman of the guard. His Highness the King, as now ought to be,
promised, when he was only Prince of Wales, that when he came to live in
Whitehall, he'd make me one of the Beaf-eaters: bless his generous
heart! he'd have made me any thing I asked, but I never was ambitious.
So, please Your Majesty's Highness sweet Prince, says I, let me be a
Beef-eater as long as I live. This was when I was in the boat with him,
as he went to Sicily from Pendennis-Castle. 'Twas the last time he set
his foot on English ground, said he must think of his word when he comes
back with the crown on his head."

By this time Isabel and Constantia had concerted a retreat for Jobson in
the mausoleum, which, having been recently searched, was not likely soon
to excite the suspicions of the parliamentary committee-men. They
therefore lingered by the side of Jobson, and gave him a private
intimation of their design, directing him to come to the park-wall at
midnight, where they would provide, not only for his support, but
attempt to cure his wound, as habit had now made them expert surgeons.
Jobson could scarcely be confined to whispering his acknowledgements.
"Give me the use of my leg again," said he, "and let the King's colours
fly in what part of England they will, Ralph Jobson shall stand by the
side of them."

Each party was true to the appointment, and the tender chirurgeons
perceived with pleasure, that Jobson's lameness proceeded rather from
neglect and unskilful treatment, than from such an injury of the muscles
as excluded all hope that their action could be restored. His adventures
were told to Colonel Evellin, who insisted that his fellow-sufferer
should become an inmate of his apartment. "Soldiers," said he, "can talk
over wars and sieges together, and pray for better times. The tedious
hours will pass pleasantly, enlivened by that gallant fellow's
simplicity; and, if Morgan thinks that it is worth while to let loose
his blood-hounds in search of a lame beggar, he may, at the same time,
unearth another who has nothing but his life to lose. Calamities like
ours level all distinctions; and why is the breath which animates the
ruined representative of fallen greatness more valuable than that which
inspires the heroism and cheerful patience of an honest trooper. Yet
courage, my girl; the blood of Neville is not wholly contaminated; and
when I cease to give thee anguish, thou and Arthur shall restore its
purity."

The family considered on Colonel Evellin's request, and as none but
themselves knew of Jobson's first retreat, they thought the safety of
their noble charge would not be hazarded by indulging him with a
companion. It was, however, still deemed expedient to conceal his name
and connexion with the Beaumonts, and to describe him to Jobson only as
a loyal officer, disabled by hard service, who sought concealment till
he was sufficiently recovered to leave England. Jobson rejoiced in the
change of apartments. The tincture of superstition, which was universal
in those times, gave him a great reluctance to being hid in a monument,
though he disguised his general apprehension of supernatural beings
under the pretence of dislike to Sir William Waverly. "If it had been a
loyal gentleman's tomb," said he, "I dare say I could have slept in it
all night very well, but I know the Baronet was no better than a rebel
in his heart, and the malice of those scoundrels is not cured by
knocking their brains out. To say the truth, my teeth chattered in my
head, and my legs twitched so about, that I am sure I never should have
got well while I staid there."

Jobson's light heart now foreboded that his wound would quickly heal,
and that the brave gentleman, who was his companion in affliction, would
take him to be his servant, when he should be able to leave England; he,
therefore, settled in his own mind, that he would stay in Colonel
Evellin's service till the King sent for him to make him a Beef-eater.
The concealed Loyalists soon fell into that intimacy which suffering in
the same cause naturally inspires. Adversity is a great leveller, not
only of artificial distinctions, but also of personal qualities. The
dispossessed nobleman, and the village-ploughman, conversed familiarly
together of many a hard-fought day. The scene of their warfare lay in
different parts of the kingdom; but each listened with painful interest
to the details of the other: Evellin ruminating on the errors which had
ruined the King's cause, Jobson cursing the knaves who betrayed, and the
traitors who beheaded, him.

"I cannot help making free with Your Honour," said Jobson, "though I see
by all your ways you are a right true gentleman, and not like the
Rump-tinkers and Old Noll's make-believes. You would hardly think, merry
as I seem with you, that I am very sad at heart: not about Madge Jobson,
my wife as was; no, let her go where she will, for she always was a bad
one; but 'tis about that noble family that are so good to us both. And
that pretty Mistress Constance, as sighs so when she bandages up my
knee; sweet creature! she thinks she hurts me, but I would not cry out
if she did; for I have a story I could tell her would make her sigh
more, and look paler than she does, though she is now as white as a
coward marching up to a charged battery."

Colonel Evellin inquired what story. The remembrance of his son was ever
present to his mind; but the indelible shame of his public disgrace had
prevented him from alluding to him, or asking Jobson if he had ever met
him during the campaign of 1645: and the deep feeling of affectionate
grief prevented Jobson from naming the gallant youth to the good
gentleman, who seemed, he thought, to want to have his spirits raised,
and was too cast down to be diverted with melancholy stories.

Jobson now begged the Colonel to satisfy his doubts whether it was right
to make his benefactors unhappy. "As a friend of the family," said he,
"and a wise man, I wish to consult you. They don't seem to know what is
become of Mr. Eustace Evellin, had I better tell them or not?"

Though long and intimately versed in the discipline of severest misery,
Colonel Evellin was forced to turn away his face to conceal his paternal
perturbation. "If," said he, "since the public rebuke of Lord Hopton, he
has again disgraced his lineage, bury his shame in that oblivion which I
hope now covers his body; but, if he lived long enough to redeem his
honour, tell me his history."

Jobson gazed with indignant surprise on his agitated companion. "If,"
answered he, "you had not fought as nobly as you have for the King, I
would not bear to hear you talk about Mr. Eustace Evellin's redeeming
his honour before he lost it. Why, it was all a mistake of the old
Lord's when the cowards and traitors drove him distracted; and so he
thought Mr. Eustace one of them, because now and then they tippled
together. Aye, he has been sorry enough for it since: but Generals
should be careful what they say, for Lord Hopton ruined one of the
fairest young gentlemen that ever was born."

The Colonel motioned with his hand that Jobson should proceed with his
narrative. "Does Your Honour groan through pain?" inquired the latter;
"let me lay you in an easier posture. Did you never hear how Mr. Eustace
fought at Pendennis-Castle; when old John Arundel of Terrice thanked him
before all the garrison?"

"Thank heaven!" exclaimed Evellin, "that was a public honour!"

"Tush! that was nothing," continued Jobson; "every soldier knew already
what stuff Mr. Eustace was made of. Old John called him the hero of
Lancashire. After the castle had surrendered, I went with him into
Wales; and wherever there was a little fighting we were at it: and when
there was none, we lived just as we could; for I did not care about
Madge Jobson, and Mr. Eustace said he could not go home because his
father had cursed him."

"No, no, no," said Evellin; "he never cursed him."

"I wish," cried Jobson, "the poor gentleman had known that; it might
have saved his life."

"Is he dead?" exclaimed the father, in an agony that lifted his
debilitated frame from its recumbent posture.

"Shot in cold blood after the taking of Pembroke-Castle."

"By whose order?"

"A devil's-born traitor, as bad as those who cut off the King's head;
Lord Bellingham they call him."

Evellin clenched his fist; his teeth were set; his eyes rolled in
terrific wildness; Jobson thought him in a fit, and advanced to support
him. But with the reckless strength of frenzy, the distracted father
grasped the tottering veteran. No object but Bellingham presented itself
to his perverted imagination; and in the fury of rage, blended with
anguish, he redoubled his blows on Jobson, exclaiming, "Accursed
Bellingham, give me back my son!"

The vehemence of the Colonel's execrations brought Arthur de Vallance to
the assistance of Jobson, who, in terrified accents, declared the good
gentleman was suddenly gone mad, and he could not hold him. It might be
expected, that the entrance, at that instant, of the son of Eustace's
murderer would have increased the paroxysm, but nature was exhausted; he
fixed his eyes upon him, till anguish changed to glaring inanity, and he
sunk lifeless on the pallet.

Arthur's first care was to call Isabel, in hopes her tender
ministrations would restore her father. Her efforts were attended with
success. Evellin opened his eyes, saw his daughter and her lover
supporting him; he looked alternately at each; no language can describe
the expression of those looks, while he vainly struggled for utterance.
Withdrawing his hand from the pressure of Arthur's, he threw it round
the neck of Isabel, and with the feebleness of an apparently dying
accent, inquired if she loved that man. Astonishment kept her mute;
Evellin sobbed aloud. "By _his_ father, girl, your brother has been
murdered in cold blood."

If a painter wished to portray a scene of superlative misery, which the
pen cannot describe, the present might employ his strongest powers of
pathos.--The pleading eye of Arthur fixed on the face of Isabel, while
she gazed on her father with the blank features of astonishment and
despair. Jobson now understood the development he had caused, and shared
the anguish which it excited. He brushed the tears from his eyes; they
filled again. He sobbed aloud, and thought such sorrow worse than the
severest warfare he had ever sustained.

The first return of recollection suggested to young De Vallance the
necessity of withdrawing from the presence of his uncle. He sought Dr.
Beaumont, but that universal comforter could not relieve such despair.
He had, himself, the dreadful task of disclosing the death of Eustace to
Constantia, and of sustaining the keen anguish of her first sorrow,
before he could intrust her to the care of Mrs. Mellicent, and assist
Isabel in the secret chamber, where the loud cries and groans of Evellin
exposed them all to the most imminent danger of discovery.

Before Dr. Beaumont could visit his frantic friend, rage had again
exhausted his strength; he lay apparently lifeless, and Isabel was
weeping over him.--In cases of extreme distress, to talk of comfort and
prescribe composure, is impertinence. Nature will claim her rights, and
a true friend respects them in silence. He directed his attention to the
narrative of Jobson, from whose report he gathered those particulars of
the fate of Eustace, which, with other circumstances that afterwards
transpired, shall be narrated in the subsequent chapter.


    [1] This disposition was a prominent feature in the character
    of Sir Matthew Hale.


END OF THE SECOND VOLUME.




VOLUME III

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAP. XIX.
CHAP. XX.
CHAP. XXI.
CHAP. XXII.
CHAP. XXIII.
CHAP. XXIV.
CHAP. XXV.
CHAP. XXVI.
CHAP. XXVII.
CHAP. XXVIII.




CHAP. XIX.

    Teach all men how dangerous it is to step aside out of the path
    of innocence and virtue upon any presumption to get into it again;
    since such men usually satisfy themselves in doing any thing to
    mend the present exigent they are in, rather than think of returning
    to that condition of innocence from whence they departed.

                                                 Clarendon.


The public rebuke of Lord Hopton (in its most opprobrious charge wholly
undeserved) and the subsequent interview with his father, produced a
marked change in the character of Eustace. He saw that his misfortunes
had proceeded from rash impetuosity, extreme confidence in his own
talents, and a precipitate estimation of the merit of those he admitted
to his friendship. From that period he became wary and circumspect; a
pensive gloom clouded his once fervent animation; he looked and felt
like one bound to life by an irresistible spell, for in that light he
considered his father's command, to live and redeem his honour.

He was not without hope, that the cordial testimony of Governor Arundel
in his favour at Pendennis-Castle might prove the means of restoring him
to the presence of his friends; but a report at that time reaching him
of the high estimation in which Monthault was held by the Beaumont
family, added to an assurance that he was the accepted lover of
Constantia, determined him against returning to Oxford, to witness the
arts by which that now-detected traitor had confirmed his ruin. He had
often heard the love of women was not of that ardent nature, which
outlives disgrace and misfortune. Perhaps he secretly commended the
noble principles which could prevail on a young woman to reject a
dishonoured lover, and deem infamy a sufficient plea to rescind the bond
of a plighted attachment. He only lamented, that in this instance
Constantia had mistaken the dupe for the villain. Disdaining to dispute
the point of character with Monthault, and bent on clearing his fidelity
to his King, by some indisputable proofs before he claimed his love, he
felt as exiles frequently feel, who, liking nothing but that home from
which they are proscribed, suffer chance to decide their course. Jobson
had attached himself to his fortunes, he had some relations in Wales,
and he spoke much of the loyalty of the mountaineers.--Eustace crossed
the British channel and took up his abode in the principality,
continuing to distinguish himself as long as any resistance was made to
the parliament.

During the cessation of hostilities, which resembled rather an armed
truce than peace, his yearning heart returned to his beloved family, and
his dearest Constantia, who, he now learned, had rejected Monthault. But
they had left Oxford in the general dispersion of its sages and divines,
and he knew not whither they had shaped their course, neither did he yet
think he had fulfilled the injunction of redeeming his shames. Continual
talk of risings for the King, made him hope he should again have an
opportunity of using his sword, and while this suspence lasted, he
accepted the hospitality of a worthy surgeon of the name of Lloyd, who
resided in the town of Pembroke, and admired the virtues of this brave
out-cast, as sincerely as he pitied his misfortunes.

Eustace left the arms of this foster-parent, at the breaking out of the
second civil war, which took place during the King's confinement in
Carisbroke-Castle. He was one of the first who appeared in arms, and
after many bold, but unsuccessful efforts, he and Jobson were among the
number who sustained that memorable siege in Pembroke-Castle, where,
after holding out to the last extremity, a selected number of the brave
defenders were sacrificed to republican revenge[1].

I have already stated that the command of the army, destined to subdue
the Welsh Loyalists, had been given to Lord Bellingham as a test of his
fidelity, or rather a snare to expedite his ruin, and that his Countess
was privy to this design, being actually the person who had informed
Cromwell of his secret disaffection. The Usurper had recently suffered a
severe disappointment; his favourite General Mytton had thrown up his
command in disgust, and refused again to subdue his countrymen, since he
perceived his hopes of founding a republic, that was to combine every
Utopian idea of purity, had issued in the establishment of military
despotism. Cromwell resolved henceforth to employ a more subtle policy,
and to place a spy on every one whom he entrusted with an important
command, whose interest it should be to watch and report all their
actions. He had formed a determination not only to annihilate the
ancient nobility, but also to create a new house of peers, consisting of
men raised by what he called personal merit, in reality a selection from
his own creatures, which is often the true explanation of the word
merit, when used for party-purposes. No expedient could better serve
such a purpose, than that of exhibiting birth and rank, self-degraded in
the person of one, who he knew would prove himself unworthy of the trust
reposed in him.

When a system of _espionage_ and secret influence becomes the ruling
principle of government, it follows that the governed must counteract
its designs by a similar process, and thus venality and treachery become
legalized by the acknowledged laws of self-defence. Lord Bellingham had
his agents in the army, as well as Cromwell, and soon discovered that
the sword of Damocles was suspended over his head. Though disaffected to
the cause he served, he had not courage to avow his sentiments, or even
prudence enough to throw up the command, and embrace the only chance of
safety, by choosing a life of retirement. Wedded to the possessions and
rank he had so dearly purchased, and full of ill-founded confidence that
he could play as successful a game with a close-penetrating tyrant, as
he had done with a generous inexperienced King, he thought an air of
inexorable cruelty to the royalists must remove, or at least lull the
suspicions of the serpent, who lay wrapped round in observant coil,
ready to spring upon him. As to the feelings of those whom he
persecuted, for the sake of prolonging his own worthless life and
preserving his ill-acquired fortunes, he either entirely forgot that
they had any, or considered that self-preservation rendered every
expedient lawful.

After enduring a siege equalled in horror only by that of Colchester,
Pembroke-Castle surrendered on the same terms; namely, that the common
soldiers might depart unmolested, and the inhabitants be safe in person
and property, while the officers and gentlemen who had borne arms should
surrender prisoners at mercy. The generous sentiments of these
self-devoted patriots sustained them in the agonizing trial of parting
with the bands they had led always to honour, sometimes to victory, by
the consideration that, by placing themselves in jeopardy, they had
purchased the safety of those whom they could no otherwise protect, and
whose services were now useless as the cause was desperate. But far
different were the feelings of the soldiers, who were compelled to leave
their beloved commanders in this state of peril. The regret of Jobson
was peculiarly lively, he wrung the hand of Eustace, implored him to
assist him in passing for a subaltern, that he might share his perils,
and insisted he was as good a gentleman as many of Bellingham's
officers. Eustace attempted to laugh at his apprehensions, assured him
that the rumour of the General's intention to decimate the prisoners was
suggested by some malicious person, who sported with the feelings of
unfortunate people. "The only difference in our fate," said he to
Jobson, "is that you are at large with your unhealed wounds to beg or
starve, whichever (being your own master) you shall think most eligible,
while I shall be well taken care of as a prisoner, probably sent to
London, and perhaps, by some fortunate occurrence, may be indulged with
a sight of my honoured father. With what transport shall I throw myself
into his arms, crave his blessing, tell him I have redeemed my shames,
and proved by my sufferings and my blood that I am no traitor."

Jobson took a lingering leave; the commands of Bellingham were
peremptory. Every soldier of the King's found in the castle, the evening
after its surrender, was ordered to be thrown over the rock into the
sea. Cowardice was his motive for this command. He dreaded the fury of
even a disarmed and unofficered army, and he resolved to disperse them,
previous to his bringing on the premeditated catastrophe of his bloody
tragedy.

On the succeeding morning a ghastly-looking figure, whose face spoke
some abhorred errand, ordered the captives to attend the council of
officers. Bellingham, surrounded with those, who secretly panted for his
destruction, acted as their organ, and assuming the consequence of a
general, informed his prisoners[2], "That after so long and obstinate a
defence, till they found it necessary to deliver up themselves to mercy,
it was necessary that the peace of the kingdom might be no more disturbed
in that manner, that some military justice should be executed, and
therefore the council had determined that three should be presently
shot." The tallies were immediately produced, the victims blindfolded,
and Eustace drew one of those marked with the fatal sentence of death.
His partners in affliction had nothing remarkable in their appearance to
engage peculiar sympathy; but the beautiful countenance of Eustace, faded
indeed by severe suffering, yet lighted by the splendor of eyes radiant
with intelligence, while all his features spoke sense and feeling, had
already drawn the attention of the butchers who sat to see him exposed to
the chance of slaughter. With collected intrepidity he stretched his
hand, and steadily drew the lot from the fatal urn. When the contents
were announced, he tore the bandage from his eyes, and, rolling them in
stern defiance of the rebel group, embraced his fellow-victims. A silent
appeal to Heaven succeeded; and then, without one supplicatory address
for mercy, in a manly tone, he inquired what time would be allowed them
to prepare for death. His manner had so far softened their hearts, that a
respite of three hours was granted; and Lord Bellingham offered them the
assistance of one of his own chaplains to direct their devotions.

It would have been an inestimable consolation to Eustace had the worthy
Barton officiated in that capacity; but he was now among the number of
respectable characters who were thrown into prison for presuming to
intercede in the King's behalf. The person who attended Eustace was an
ignorant desperate fanatic, in reality a spy of Cromwell's, whom the
arbitrary will of Lady Bellingham compelled her lord to retain about his
person. Such an assistant could afford no comfort to a condemned man; in
reality he only served to disturb the composure which a long series of
sorrows and sufferings had enabled Eustace externally to assume--I say
externally, for his soul secretly melted at the unusual misfortunes that
had clouded his short existence. He recollected at this trying moment
the precious delights and glorious visions of his boyhood. His mind
dwelt on the delusive opinion of his own powers, which had endangered
his high expectations of renown, the fatal intimacy, and the numerous
errors that changed glory into disgrace; and now, when misfortune had
taught him wisdom, by the cruel sentence of coward rebels he was doomed,
in cold blood, not only to an early, but also to an ignominious grave.
He should never more re-join his father! never behold his plighted
Constantia! Death he would welcome almost with transport, could he but
hear the former pronounce his forgiveness, or the latter vow that she
would cherish his memory. To die unknown, distant from all he loved, be
ignorant of their present state, and they of his miserable doom--such a
combination of excruciating misfortunes required no common fortitude to
support the trial, or to divest a soul (which clung to the future with
greater eagerness in proportion to the fallacy of past expectations) of
those strong attachments to this life which impeded his journey to
another. The glow of heroism which animated his face, and warmed his
bosom before the council, was succeeded by the chill of despair. The
precious moments of preparation for eternity were consumed in a whirl of
distracting thought. He stood caressing a favourite spaniel whom he had
preserved alive during the severe privations of the siege, watching the
swift movements of the clock which numbered the remaining pulses of his
heart, wondering if it would thus throb at the moment when he plunged
into an unknown existence, endeavouring to recollect a recommendatory
prayer, but too amazed and petrified by the cruelty of man to meditate
on the mercy of God.

Meanwhile, Henley the chaplain, with the stern austerity of unpitying
fanaticism, asked Eustace if he was in a state of grace, or had
witnessed the experience of a saving call. Receiving no answer to these
inquiries, he began the usual routine of vituperative prayer, and
affected to supplicate for mercy on what he styled a child of wrath
doomed to perdition, and, by his own consent, in the bondage of Satan.
Eustace was roused by this mockery from his apparent stupor. "Call you
this," said he, "spiritual comfort for the afflicted, or a requiem for a
departing soul? I was educated in the principles of true piety. I know
myself to be a frail, responsible being, and that my spirit is composed
of those imperishable materials which will enable me to exist in a state
of retribution. I trust in the merits of Him who died to save me. I am
severed from my dearest connections. My days are terminated in the
morning of my life. I am denied the fruition of those glorious hopes
which prompted me to distinguish myself by deeds deserving virtuous
renown. So wills the Ruler of the universe. Blind and cruel instruments
often accomplish the inscrutable designs of Providence; but I have been
taught to consider all its purposes as issuing in mercy. I fought for a
virtuous King; I die for his exiled son. My name shall live in honour
when Bellingham and all the vile associates of Cromwell are consigned to
infamy. I am the son of Colonel Evellin, the nephew of Dr. Eusebius
Beaumont, both renowned Loyalists. You, Sir, cannot instruct me; for the
principles I imbibed from them will support me in my last moments."

The Chaplain listened with surprise to the account which Eustace gave of
himself, and thought it expedient to return to his lord before his
execution. Bellingham had been much struck with the aspect of the brave
youth. The unacknowledged yearnings of nature, excited by his
resemblance to his father, made him wish to save his life, while the
compunctious visitings of mercy were again repressed by terror for his
own. While he thus hesitated, Henley returned, and advised the Earl by
no means to preserve such a determined profligate, who had rejected his
prayers with disdain, refused to give any account of the state of his
soul, persisted in a false exposition of the gospel, and gloried in his
relationship to notorious malignants. "He is the son of that desperado
Colonel Evellin," said Henley--Bellingham trembled as he uttered that
name--"and the nephew of Dr. Eusebius Beaumont," continued the Chaplain.
The horrors and fears of Bellingham were wrought to a climax by this
information. Those apprehensions which the likeness of Eustace to his
injured father, and the similitude of their names excited, were now
confirmed beyond all doubt, by his claiming kindred with Dr. Beaumont.
Allan Neville was therefore still alive, and no other than the famous
Colonel Evellin, at whose name he and many other rebels had often turned
pale. Bellingham had frequently revolved in his mind the possibility
that the brave Loyalist might be his injured brother. He had lost sight
of him before the commencement of the civil wars, and hoped he had
fallen a victim to insanity in his mountainous retreat. He now knew he
was still alive, perhaps preserved to reclaim his inheritance, at least
he was the father of a brave interesting youth whom he had just doomed
to slaughter, and dared not pardon. Practised as he was in guilt, his
heart revolted at the idea of shedding his blood. Hurried out of his
accustomed caution, he faintly acknowledged the prisoner was his nephew;
but suddenly re-assuming his wonted duplicity, he desired Henley to
hurry back, and inquire if he had any more brothers, observing it was a
desperate family, and perhaps sparing the life of one might be the means
of getting the rest into the power of Parliament.

Henley had caught the inadvertent acknowledgment of kindred, and was
prepared to use it to forward the views of Cromwell. Before he returned
to Eustace, he took care to inform the agitators that their General's
nephew was one among the captive officers assigned by lot to expiate for
the loss of their comrades who had perished in the siege, and that
Bellingham was now devising measures to save his life. An universal
clamour was immediately raised; the soldiers assembled on the parade,
and called for impartial justice. The agitators proceeded in a body to
the General's quarters, demanding that the prisoners should be instantly
executed, and, that no subterfuge or exchange might take place, they
would themselves examine their features, and ascertain that they were
those who drew the lots of death.

Meanwhile Henley was holding forth hopes of mercy to Eustace, and drew
from him a description of the state of his family. He also inquired if
he had any friends in Pembroke. A prudent recollection of the danger to
which he might expose Dr. Lloyd, prevented Eustace from requesting the
comfort of his attendance. The conference was interrupted by the loud
clamours of the soldiers. Eustace knew their meaning, endeavoured to
compose his thoughts, and submitted to his fate. It was reported that,
as he went to execution, he had the melancholy comfort of seeing his
friend among those who came to witness his last moments. If so, his
perturbed spirit was soothed with the consciousness that there was one
who would record his magnanimity, and rescue his cold remains from
barbarous indignity or oblivious neglect.

"I know little more, please Your Reverence," said Jobson to Dr.
Beaumont, "than that they were all cruelly shot to death. I have heard
that poor Fido sat howling on my young master's corpse, and would not
let any body touch it till Dr. Lloyd fetched it away to bury it; and
that the Doctor keeps the poor dog still, and will never part with it.
Ah! the bloody-minded knaves so hated poor Eustace, that they never
would have suffered him to have had Christian burial, had not the
officers and soldiers mutinied just at that moment. They said that the
General had betrayed them, and that the trouble they had to conquer us
was all owing to his favouring his friends in the Castle. There is
nothing but lies among the Round-heads; for I'll take my life not a soul
of us would have had any thing to do with them, and if starving us to
death was a way of shewing us favour, I hope never to meet with such
friends any more. So, and please Your Reverence, as soon as poor Mr.
Eustace fell, the Devil (whom they talk so much about) got among them,
and they began quarrelling and fighting; and a pity it is he did not
come a little sooner and carry off that cowardly Lord who let his
prisoners be shot in cold blood, because he could not beat them when
they had arms in their hands. Had it not been for him, the finest young
man Lancashire ever bred would have been alive and merry with his noble
father at this moment. I don't wonder Your Reverence weeps and wrings
your hands. I would have died a thousand times to save him; and if ever
I may shew my face in the open day-light again, I'll go to Pembroke and
beg Dr. Lloyd to let me take Fido to Mistress Constantia. Poor Fido! Mr.
Eustace hid him all through the siege, or the garrison would have eat
him. We gave him a morsel out of our own mess, and that was short
commons enough. I fancy I see him walking after Mr. Eustace when he went
to be shot, and then sitting on his body. I warrant they found the lock
of Mrs. Constantia's hair lying on his heart; for he looked at it every
day, and swore he never would part with it. O! that I had died instead
of him; there is nobody to grieve for Ralph Jobson!"

Thus imitating the artifice, while unable to catch the spirit of the
Grecian painter, I describe sorrow as personified in a faithful
attendant, and leave the reader's imagination to picture the frantic
father and the fainting mistress of Eustace--affliction wearing the form
of a ministering angel in Isabel, and that of a mourning patriarch in
Dr. Beaumont--all tracing the ruin of their dearest hopes to the same
iniquitous source; yet all agreeing that it was better to die with
virtue than to live with guilt; to be immolated on the shrine of alarmed
ambition, rather than to be the bloody hierarch who dragged the
sacrifice to the altar.


    [1] In the account of what passed at Pembroke-Castle, the author
    has not adhered to history or chronology; but the similar barbarity
    and breach of contract, which took place at Colchester, justifies
    the narration.

    [2] This is copied from what passed at Colchester.




CHAP. XX.

              I charge thee, fling away ambition;
    By that sin fell the angels; how can man then
    (The image of his Maker) hope to win by it?
    Corruption gains not more than honesty.

                                                 Shakspeare.


Among the victims whom the crimes and fears of Lord Bellingham made
supremely wretched, we must rank his amiable and repentant son, who,
languishing to cleanse his house from the foul stain of usurpation, had
long resolved to do justice to his injured uncle, and to relinquish his
surreptitious honours to Eustace, anticipating the friendship of that
noble youth, and the hand of Isabel as the best rewards he could
receive. No bridal transport, no yearnings of grateful friendship, no
cordial thrill of conscious integrity now cheered the gloom of his
future prospects. The father had sinned beyond all possibility of the
son's atoning for his crimes. Was it possible for Colonel Evellin or
Constantia to bear his sight? Could Isabel ever plight her faith to the
son of her brother's murderer? These agonizing forebodings were soon
confirmed by the receipt of the following letter:--

    "Dear Arthur,

    "It is impossible for me to leave the secret chamber to bid you
    farewel. I can sometimes tranquillize my father. I trust in heaven
    his life will be preserved, and his reason restored. I know you
    are innocent, and I know too that I shall always love you; but my
    heart forebodes we must meet no more in this world. I do not bid
    you forget me--No; I will implore your daily prayers, for I have
    great need of patience and fortitude. Solicit for me earnestly at
    the throne of grace, and thus shew your affection to

    Isabel Evellin."

"Our sweet Constantia looks like a virgin-martyr, beautiful and
resigned. She bids me say she shall always love her kind friend Arthur.
Surely you might write to her, and mention what course you mean to
pursue."

                           --------------------

It would be difficult to say, whether this letter gave De Vallance more
pain or pleasure. Hope seldom deserts the lover who knows he is beloved.
But why did he feel delight at hearing Isabel acknowledge her heart
would ever be devoted to him? Could affection burst the cinctures of the
grave, and re-animate the corpse which his father had prematurely sent
to that dark mansion? Should he not rather have wished her to determine
to tear his image from her heart, and be happy in a second choice? I aim
to recommend practical and praise-worthy self-denial, not that romantic
strain of extravagant sentiment which enjoins impossibilities and
commends absurdities. Arthur's reflections told him that in treasuring
the remembrance of Isabel, even in his heart-of-heart, he invaded no
one's right, and broke no divine precept. He measured the feelings of
his mistress by his own. "Whatever," said he, "may betide me in life, of
good or ill fortune, the idea of this virtuous, this heroical maid,
shall restrain the arrogance of prosperity, or prevent my sinking under
the weight of calamity. I will bring her to my mind's eye, restraining
her tears for her murdered brother; supporting her wretched father,
imbecile alike in mind and body; consoling the friend of her youth,
widowed in her virgin love; and let me add, following her plighted
Arthur with pious prayers and devoted affection. If I have now no motive
to action in the hope of possessing virtue personified in my Isabel, I
still have the incentive of proving myself worthy of her constant
attachment."

Determined never more to return to his parents, the sight of whom would
have been almost as terrible to him as to the unhappy family with whom
he had so long sojourned, if the remorseless Countess and usurping Earl
had dared to invade the privacy of their sorrows, De Vallance resolved
to leave England, and engage in the service of his exiled King. Should
prudential motives cause the King to decline making use of his sword,
the war which had for twenty years subsisted between France and Spain
would furnish him with employment, and he resolved rather to end his
days as a mercenary soldier than to remain in England a rebel to his
Prince, and the acknowledged heir of usurped greatness.

Avoiding all expostulation, or indeed all chance of further intercourse
with his parents, he removed from Ribblesdale with the utmost privacy.
Changing his clothes and assuming a disguise which altered his
appearance, he shaped his course toward Liverpool, from whence he hoped
to procure a passage to France. He had not proceeded far before he
overtook Jobson, who, unable to support the sight of Colonel Evellin's
distress, had determined to go back to Pembroke, and gain from Dr. Lloyd
a more minute account of the death of Eustace. De Vallance agreed to
accompany him and take ship at Milford Haven. Jobson was proud of again
serving a loyal gentleman, and Arthur was resolved, for his late
master's sake, to assist and protect the brave trooper. "I'll do any
thing to serve your honour," said Jobson; "but I hope you will not be
offended. My tongue is a little unruly, and apt to slip out now and
then. So if, when I don't intend it, I should say harsh things of the
cursed rogue who murdered Mr. Eustace, forgetting that he passes for
your honour's father, I hope you will not think me less dutifully
disposed to you. For Mrs. Isabel long ago told me you was come over to
the right side, and would rather fight for a King without a coat to his
back, than such upstarts as Old Noll and the Parliament, though all over
gold fringe and black velvet. I tell you what, Master Sedley, My Lord
Sedley I believe I ought to say----"

"My name is Arthur de Vallance," replied he; "I have no right to any
title."

"Bless your honourable nature," said Jobson. "Poor Mr. Eustace, I find,
ought to have been My Lord, but as that traitor shot him to get him out
of the way, I don't see why you should not be Lord Sedley rather than
one of Old Noll's tinkers should, who are sure to catch up all the good
things they can lay hold of."

Arthur smote his breast, and with agony reflected, that however his soul
abhorred the foul crime, he must (as his father was created a peer by
the late King) reap the advantage of it. The horror of this
consideration was alleviated by considering that on the death of
Bellingham he should have power to rescue Evellin from the protracted
misery of a life of concealment, and Isabel from terror, poverty, and a
renunciation of even common comforts. While he was engrossed by
meditating plans for their immediate relief, Jobson went on, unobserved,
raving against the degradation of serving upstarts, and resolving to
stand by true gentlemen while he had a drop of blood in his veins.

The remittances which De Vallance had received from his tenants, enabled
him to purchase horses and other necessaries for himself and Jobson.
Assuming the name of Herbert, he gave himself out to be a gentleman
travelling with his servant on a tour of pleasure. They reached Pembroke
in safety, but the pious intentions of Jobson were frustrated; he could
neither pluck a tuft of grass from his master's grave, nor recover Fido
to console Constantia. Dr. Lloyd had left the town, and no one knew
where the remains of Eustace were deposited. The graves of his
fellow-victims were pointed out by the attentive piety of the young
maidens, who adorned them with garlands of flowers, which (according to
the custom of the country) were renewed every Sabbath. On that day they
duly knelt beside the spot, and with awful veneration kept alive their
own attachment to the cause for which these officers suffered, by
repeating the Lord's prayer.

It was a matter of the deepest concern to Jobson that the grave of
Eustace was not pointed out and adorned with similar honours. He began
to conceive an implacable aversion to Dr. Lloyd for not having given him
a public interment. "Is it not enough," said he to De Vallance, "to make
poor Mr. Eustace walk? One of these gentlemen, to be sure, was a fine
corny-faced cavalier, who paid for many a jug of Welsh ale that I drank
to His Majesty's health, and the other was a stout desperate lieutenant,
that would fight and swear with any body; but not one of them was half
so handsome, sweet-speaking, well-born a gentleman as Mr. Eustace."

De Vallance did not apprehend that posthumous honours soothed the
separated spirit; and had he not been standing on the awful spot which
consummated his father's crimes, he would have smiled at the retention
of these old pagan ideas respecting the state of the departed. He
questioned the by-standers whether any thing was known respecting the
interment of young Evellin. Some said there was a private funeral
huddled up in a strange way; but an old woman whispered that it was
suspected the Doctor had made him into a skeleton, and being troubled in
conscience afterwards for the wicked act had fled the country. Absurd as
this suggestion was, it suited the pre-conceived prejudices of Jobson,
and in future afforded De Vallance some relief, by diverting part of his
companion's curses to another object than Lord Bellingham; for in
Jobson's estimation there was little difference between the General who
condemned, and the surgeon who dissected his master. Nor was he
satisfied about Fido's safety, when he found Dr. Lloyd had been
particularly careful to take the spaniel with him. "Ah, the bloody
knave," said he, "I know he will cut the poor dog up in his experiments,
as he calls them, and then sell his skin. That Doctor is a Jew to the
back-bone. If I had gone to him with my lame knee, he would have had my
leg off directly to put in pickle, and have made me wear a wooden one
instead of it. But sweet Isabel fomented it till it was well, and now I
can ride on horseback as well as ever. Bless her kind heart! I do hope
she and Your Honour will come together at last. Aye, and I know she
wishes so too. 'Jobson,' said she, as she bade me farewel, 'if ever you
can serve the worthy son of a wicked father, do it for my sake.'"

The reflections of De Vallance on the mysterious circumstances of
Eustace's interment took a different train from those of Jobson; but as
his thoughts never could pursue any other subject when the magic name of
Isabel spell-bound them to the secret chamber, where filial piety tended
its uncomplaining captive, we will follow their course, and return to
the Beaumont family.

The pious Isabel with unwearied magnanimity persevered in the duties
which her painful situation required. Her nights were uniformly spent in
the chamber where her father was concealed, and her days were divided
between him and the sad Constantia, who, ever pining for her Eustace,
seemed to have no wish but to share his grave. Isabel tried to divert
her thoughts to the consoling reflection that his honour was restored,
his reputation cleared from the foul charge of treason and the
accusations of Monthault; his name inscribed on the roll of England's
loyal worthies, and the consecrating seal of death fixed on his memory.
Dr. Beaumont endeavoured to make her wishes aspire to that happier world
where she would rejoin him. He talked of the "order, nature, number, and
obedience of angels[1];" and of her dear Eustace as now joined to their
blessed society. He told her, that her lover and herself were still
members of the same family, she suffering, he glorified. He pointed out
to her those texts of Scripture which imply recognition in Heaven, and
in particular mentioned the hope expressed by St. Paul, of presenting
his Colossian converts to his Lord, and the Apostles sitting on thrones
to judge the tribes of Israel, who therefore must be respectively known
as disciples and countrymen. Sometimes he would try to excite emulation,
by pointing out the conduct of Isabel, who endured a similar affliction
in the destruction of her fondest hopes, but whose spirits were
supported by constant bodily exertion, while her mental faculties were
no less exercised by fresh contrivances, at once to amuse her father,
and to add to the security of his retreat. These efforts, he said, gave
such an energy to her mind, that she was able to give instead of
requiring consolation. Dr. Beaumont attempted to revive his daughter's
taste for the beauties of nature; shewed her the rich variety of
mountains, dales, woods, lakes, and rivers, which embellished the
vicinity of her native village, and especially that most exhilarating of
terrestrial objects, the sun rising to enlighten a world which bursts at
his approach into splendid beauty.

Constantia listened, reproved her own weakness, and wept. Yet the pious
admonitions of her father, and the example of her cousin, assisted by
the meliorating influence of time, had a gradual though slow effect, in
changing grief into meek resignation. Her lute, long endeared by the
remembrance of Eustace, was now attuned to deplore the death of him who
had restored her the treasure. When sorrow can flow in poesy, it becomes
more plaintive than agonizing; and possibly the reader will be pleased
to see that the long-protracted years of Constantia's anguish were
soothed by those alleviations, which, in mercy to man, are permitted
imperceptibly to soften the ravages of death.

It is thus that afflicted survivors, in talking and meditating on those
who are gone before them to the unseen world, derive an enjoyment from
musing on the past, and from anticipating in the future what the present
is not able to afford.

CONSTANTIA TO ISABEL.

    And dost thou mourn the sad estate
      Of widow'd love? then silent be;
    And hark! while for my murder'd mate
      I wake the lute's soft melody.

    How dear to me the midnight moon,
      As through the clouds she sails along,
    For then with spirits I commune,
      And Eustace listens to my song.

    Oh, not to her who wildly mourns
      Her noble lover basely slain--
    Oh, not to her the morn returns
      With pleasure laughing in her train.

    So look'd it once, when Eustace sung
      Of plighted love's perennial joys,
    Now silent is that tuneful tongue,
      That graceful form the worm destroys.

    In vain the feather'd warblers soar,
      Mid floods of many colour'd light;
    I hear them not, but still deplore
      The eye of Beauty quench'd in night.

    How in the battle flam'd his crest,
      Refulgent as the morning star:
    But ruthless murder pierc'd that breast,
      Which met unhurt the storm of war.

    My Love, "how beautiful, how brave;"
      Still, still, her oaths thy Constance keeps;
    The laurel decks the victor's grave,
      O'er thine the faithful willow weeps.

The disturbed state of England at this time permitted no long indulgence
of domestic sorrow. "Griefs of an hour's age did hiss the speaker," and
pity and sympathy often claimed the falling tear, which had been wrung
forth by "own distress." Ribblesdale was again disturbed by the march of
hostile troops. The young King had yielded to the solicitations of his
Scottish subjects, and transported himself to that country. Less
scrupulous than his father, he swore to observe the conditions of their
covenant; and in return, they promised to give him their crown, and
assist him to recover the English diadem. No sooner was the Royal
standard displayed on the hills of Caledonia, than the welcome signal
revived the hopes and unsheathed the swords of the southern Loyalists.
The brave Earl of Derby left his retreat in the isle of Man, to spend
the remains of his noble fortune in his Master's cause; and, as the
event proved, to sacrifice his life. He returned eagerly to Lancashire,
and collecting what forces the fallen interests of his family could
supply, waited the commands of his Sovereign.

In the mean time the indefatigable Cromwell hastened from Ireland; and
assuming the command which Fairfax had refused to accept, marched the
English forces into Scotland, and defeated the covenanters, who, under
pretence of restoring the young King, actually held him prisoner,
compelling him to act in such subservience to their designs as to
sacrifice those, who, without any sinister views, risked their lives in
his support. The humiliation of these pretended friends by the victory
of Cromwell enabled the King to burst the fetters of Argyle, and throw
himself into the arms of the true Loyalists, with whom he concerted
measures and recruited his army, while Cromwell refreshed his fatigued
and harassed troops at Edinburgh. Determined to appeal to the loyalty of
a nation, now known to be weary of an unsettled government, the King
suddenly executed the brave design of passing by Cromwell's army, and
marched into England. He was joined in Lancashire by the Earl of Deby:
rash counsels were hastily adopted; and, instead of concentrating the
force they possessed, and pointing it at one great object, the Earl was
required to secure the north-western provinces with a power unequal to
the duty; while the King, weakened by his division, marched rapidly
towards London, hoping to reach it before he could be overtaken by
Cromwell.

The report of an enterprising able young Prince, (for so at this time
the second Charles was reputed to be) coming to reclaim by the sword his
right to the crown, which had been torn from the lifeless trunk of his
father, on whose grave a hecatomb of regicides was expected to be
offered, alarmed all those who had participated in the crimes of treason
and murder. The forces of the King were, as usual, exaggerated by
report, the hopes of the Loyalist turned possibilities into certainties,
a general rising was expected, and it was confidently said had already
taken place. Rumours were circulated that in subduing Scotland Cromwell
had so weakened himself, that it was impossible for him to pursue the
King; and while the less criminal entertained hopes of being able to
make terms with their Sovereign, the immediate partizans of the Usurper
saw no safety, but in supporting the power of one who they knew must
(like themselves) be excepted out of every amnesty.

Among those whom guilt had made desperate, we must include Lord and Lady
Bellingham. We have seen that the former sacrificed his nephew to avoid
being accused as a secret favourer of the royal cause, a charge he knew
Cromwell had determined to urge against him, as a safe way of removing a
staunch republican, who would oppose the ultimate views of his now ripe
ambition. Eustace however drew the lot of death to no other purpose than
to increase the remorse which occasionally tortured the bosom of
Bellingham. A mutiny broke out the moment after the volley was fired,
that sent the brave cavaliers to join in the grave the royal martyr whom
they had served and deplored; for the rebel General, had awakened too
many suspicions, and had too much offended his soldiers by his
temporizing conduct, for this sacrifice to expiate his faults. It was
remarked, that he never dealt in invective against his opponents, from
whence it was inferred, that he wished to treat with them. He neglected
the praying agitators, and therefore they called him Agag, the
Amalekite, commanding the host of Israel. He abridged the liberty of the
soldiers, and of course straitened the arm of the Lord. He disapproved
of plunder and military contribution, consequently endeavoured to make
the presbyterians popular at the expence of the godly. At this time
these opponents hated each other still more than they did episcopacy;
and a presbyterian general, commanding an army who claimed unbounded
licence in judgment and conduct, must be condemned for a traitor by that
unerring rule, the voice of the majority. Lord Bellingham was therefore
arrested by the agitators, and sent prisoner to London at the instant
when Eustace fell.

Imprisonment and the scaffold were frequently in those times synonymous.
The fallen criminal saw his danger in its full horrors; and, while
maintaining an inordinate attachment to this world, he dreaded the
future consequence of his unrepented crimes. He had not numbed the early
feelings of religion by the cold torpor of Atheism; nor could he
persuade himself to indulge in those reveries of election and
impeccability, which had now saturated his Lady's mind. He felt himself
to be an accountable being, not a collection of animated atoms
associated by chance, which, when the vital spark was extinguished,
would crumble into dust without record or responsibility. He knew he was
a sinner by choice, who had abused his free-will; not a passive vessel
of wrath, pre-destined to destruction. No inflating ebullition of
enthusiasm told him he was become one of those favourites of Heaven who
cannot forfeit salvation. He therefore clung to this wretched life, as
to the edge of a precipice that beetled over the gulph of perdition.
Despair was with him the substitute of repentance. He looked back on his
offences to his King and his friend, convinced that they had exceeded
the bounds of mercy. Often did he deplore the utter impossibility of his
regaining that state of contented innocence, when he and Allan Neville
shared each other's hearts, before the superior qualities and nobler
expectations of his friend excited his envy and ambition. He adverted to
that time when his love for the beautiful Lady Eleanor was pure and
generous, before she had wrought upon him to become the instrument and
participator of her criminal ambition and insatiable rapacity. He had
not the audacity to think a life stained by perfidy and injustice, made
him fitter for the reception of extraordinary grace. The external
propriety of his manners, and the patronage he liberally afforded to the
divines of the Rump-party, had gained him the reputation of a man of
extraordinary piety; but the austerities he practised, and the devotions
in which he joined, afforded no balsam to his woes. He had been early
taught that restitution to the wronged was one of the evidences of real
penitence. His title and fortune were the right-hand; he could not cut
off the pride of life to which he was wedded. Had he never known
greatness, he would now have been happy as Walter de Vallance, living in
a state of respectable competence. He fell into the common fault of
incorrigible offenders; lamenting that he had not subdued the first
cravings of desire, and wishing to recall the irremediable past, while
to reform the present was too vast a labour.

Sometimes he had persuaded himself, that if he knew Allan Neville were
alive, he would purchase peace of conscience by relinquishing his
usurped possessions; but no sooner was he certified of that fact, and
beheld in Eustace the noble heir he had so basely injured, than his base
spirit shrunk into its narrow cell, and at that moment he would have
given worlds to have had the father and son cut off by any hand but his
own. Equally affected by the fear of death and of adversity, he yielded
Eustace to a fate which some faint remains of humanity made him deplore,
while a consciousness that this slaughter tended to confirm his own
title, reminded him that, by reaping the advantage of a cruel unjust
sentence which he had power to remit, he was virtually his murderer.
Such he knew the world would esteem him, if ever the story transpired;
and could it be long concealed? His influence with the ruling powers was
evidently on the wane; the star, which was now Lord of the ascendant,
shed on him a malign influence. Abjured by those whom he had served,
hated by the royalists, and despised by all parties; could a more
pitiable object be found, than a timorous, susceptible, falling villain;
conscious of guilt, aware of danger, convinced of the necessity of
repentance; but too much attached to temporal enjoyments to set about
it.

Lord Bellingham's distresses were not alleviated by domestic comfort. I
have before observed, that his Lady had embraced the party of Cromwell,
and had taken her religious creed from the fanatics, as best calculated
to compose her fears, and leave her conduct under the mis-rule of her
irregular passions. She had long hated and despised her husband, on whom
she threw the whole blame of the crimes she had excited him to commit,
at the same time that she took pains to stifle in him all the better
feelings of remorse, by telling him that it was his want of faith, which
excluded him from reaping the benefit of the promise, that the saints
should inherit the earth. When she spoke of worldly riches, of honour,
or of pleasure, she called them, "dust in the balance," carnal delights,
and Satan's bird-lime, which kept the soul from flying to heaven; yet no
miser ever clung to his gold with more tenacity than she to every
earthly good, that could in any wise contribute to her own advantage.
From a vain dissipated coquette, proud of making conquests, and wedded
to a life of frivolity, she was changed to a rapturous enthusiast,
certain of divine favour upon grounds equally inconsistent with reason
and Scripture. With a still carnalized fancy, she adorned the heaven
which she felt sure of eternally inhabiting, with the splendor and
luxury she had enjoyed on earth, and thus tricked out a Mahommedan
paradise rather than the pure and spiritual enjoyments of glorified
beings. With all the zeal and animosity of a new convert, she tried to
make her son and husband adopt these notions; and failing of success,
she thought herself at liberty to renounce them both; and could she have
secured a perpetual residence in this world, or transported her beloved
wealth and greatness to the other, the death of Lord Sedley would have
given her no more concern than that of the Earl of Bellingham; but
looking upon the former as the medium through which her name must be
conveyed to posterity, she felt an interest in his preservation, totally
distinct from maternal affection; and to this his fine qualities served
rather as an alloy, than an incentive. A youth weak enough to be really
a convert, or sufficiently base to have affected being one to her
opinions, a flatterer of her faults, and the tool of her designs, would
have been invested by her erroneous judgment with those high deservings
which actually adorned her noble offspring, though she wanted
penetration to discern them.

When the agitators arrested Lord Bellingham, he knew that his son had
been sent with Cromwell's detachment against the Duke of Hamilton, and
that the victorious General returned to London in triumph, while no sure
tidings of the illustrious youth's safety cheered the prison-hours of
the wretched father. Important events succeeded each other with such
rapidity, that there was no time to bring forward the charge against an
imprisoned General, whose rank only made him an object of curiosity,
while his conduct exposed him to contempt. New modelling the House of
Commons; expediting the vote of non-addresses; the trial and execution
of the King; the annihilation of the House of Peers; the sacrifice of
many illustrious and noble Loyalists, and the complete establishment of
military tyranny under the name of a republic, engaged the attention of
Cromwell, till a little time previous to his undertaking the reduction
of Ireland to the same yoke that England bore with silent but sullen
indignation, when he judged it expedient to endeavour to prevent his
enemies from taking advantage of his being at a distance from the chief
seat of political intrigue. He knew that Lord Bellingham was intrusted
with the secrets of the Commonwealth's-men, and determined to pay him a
conciliatory visit in prison. He met the captive Earl with mock
humility, and sycophantic friendship; talked largely of his talents and
deserts; lamented that he should fall into the displeasure of the
nation, and spoke of the lenity he was accused of showing to the
Loyalists, as a frailty he could pity, having himself fallen into a
similar temptation, when he was moved in the spirit to spare Charles
Stewart, till the Lord, whom he sought in prayer, showed him it was not
to be.

A measured smile smoothed the features of the stern conspirator while he
spoke, and his eye seemed with meek simplicity to tell all the secrets
of his own soul, while in reality it read that of his observer. Lord
Bellingham thought this change from hatred to esteem wonderful; yet the
love of life made him a ready dupe, and he fell into the snare which he
suspected. He could easily justify himself from the charge of secret
attachment to royalty, and Cromwell seemed to require no other test to
admit him to his confidence. He told the Earl that he would open to him
his whole heart; he deplored the licence of evil tongues, and the
endeavours of the malignants to disunite the godly. His own views, he
said, had been grossly misrepresented. It was reported, that he wished
to make himself King; but he abhorred the name, as anti-christian, and
prayed that whenever the heathenish sound was uttered, a Samuel might
arise among the prophets, and call down lightning and rain even in
wheat-harvest. The Parliament, whose humble instrument he was, had
forced honours upon him, and had commanded him to go to Ireland, and
extirpate the bloody Papists, as Joshua had done the idolatrous
Canaanites. On his return, he trusted he should lay the sword on the
mercy-seat, that is, beside the mace of the Speaker, to whom he would on
his knees give up all his employments, and apply himself to the care of
his own soul, which was a burthen great enough for any man. And he
trusted the Lord would give peace to Israel, and build up the desolate
places of Zion, to which purpose he would put up a prayer, wherein he
required Lord Bellingham to join.

After their devotions, Bellingham assured Cromwell that the wishes of
his party went but little further than what he proposed to do.
Considering the established forms of Geneva and Scotland as the most
scriptural, it was their intention to adopt the same discipline in
spiritual affairs. As to temporal rule, they thought a body of wise men,
elected by a free people, the likeliest way of rendering England
respectable among foreign nations, and happy in itself. He quoted the
examples of Greece and Rome in ancient times, and of the Italian
republic in modern, to illustrate his sentiments. Cromwell listened with
apparent conviction, professed that he had not studied these things,
being only in himself an ignorant sinful man, though chosen by
Providence to be a mighty instrument to level thrones and pull down the
ungodly. He then lamented that so able a counsellor as Bellingham should
hang like a bucket upon a peg, instead of being employed to draw water
from a cistern; and, promising to endeavour to set him again high among
the people, he took his leave. This interview having sufficiently
apprized him of the designs of the Rump-party, he resolved to keep Lord
Bellingham in safe custody, to remove their adherents from every office
of trust, and to prevent all attempts to appeal to the people by calling
a free Parliament. And as he intended that his campaign in Ireland
should not be protracted by any compunctious visitings of mercy, but
that it should more resemble the sweeping hurricane that devastates a
province, than the purifying wind that renovates a corrupted atmosphere,
he trusted that his habitual celerity, and the vigilance and fidelity of
the host of spies he so liberally paid, would enable him to return to
England before any measures could be taken to sap the dominion whose
foundations were laid in treachery and treason.

The progress of his bloody standard in Ireland was interrupted by the
young King's appearance in Scotland. Cromwell transported himself to
that kingdom with incredible dispatch, and assumed the command of that
division of the army which had been nominally retained by Fairfax, who,
tired of his guilty employment, had, since the murder of the King, been
evidently indisposed to the service, and now peremptorily refused to
continue to act as general. With these forces Cromwell met the army of
Scotch enthusiasts at Dunbar. There was indeed equal fanaticism in both
armies; but the difference was, the English were soldiers as well as
preachers, and their General used fanaticism as an engine to move
others, not as the rule of his own actions. He wore piety as a mask; he
used it to sharpen his sword, but he never converted it into a pilot.
Supreme power was the port at which he aimed, and profound worldly
wisdom, and the most acute penetration into the character and designs of
others, assisted him to steer his vessel with astonishing security
through the rocks and quicksands that opposed his course.

From the retrospective view which the narrative required, I now turn to
speak of the alarm caused by the young King's march into England. Though
Cromwell was personally in Scotland, he continued to govern in London
through his agents, and they urged the approach of the Royalists as a
pretence for resorting to severer measures with all who were hostile to
their employer. They suggested, that since the King was now openly
supported by the Presbyterians, it would be expedient that party should
defray the expences of the war. Lord Bellingham, they said, had long
been suspected of loyal propensities; and at this moment the
sequestration of his effects might answer a twofold purpose--to confirm
the fidelity of the army by discharging their arrears--and to punish the
Presbyterians through one of their leaders. Advice, sanctioned by the
approbation of the General, took the form of a command. The Parliament
readily complied with a suggestion that wore in its aspect the pretence
of relieving the well-disposed. The estates were immediately voted to
belong to the Commonwealth; the Earl was ordered into closer
confinement; and sequestrators were sent down to take possession of
Bellingham-Castle.

It was by this event that the feelings of the Countess were roused from
the long apathy of self-enjoyment. Forgetting that she had herself
furnished Cromwell with the information which first excited her
suspicions against her Lord, she loudly complained that, not content
with keeping him in prison on a charge which could not be proved, they
were now injuring his innocent family by seizing their inheritance. The
sequestrators were not sent to listen to remonstrances, but to act with
speed and decision; and Lady Bellingham now found banishment from her
home, and confiscation of all her property, were serious evils, though,
when inflicted on others, she had always viewed them with great
philosophy, considering them either as judgments on the ungodly, or
correctives of carnal appetites, to complain of which showed a want of
grace.

Her natural inconsiderateness and self-conceit did not permit her to
penetrate into the motives, or to discover the character of, Cromwell.
He had plied her with the species of flattery most agreeable to her
present turn of thought, pretending to ask her opinion on dark texts,
and to be influenced by her judgment of gifted preachers. She never
suspected that he had converted her into one of the steps which formed
his ascent to greatness; but, believing him her fast friend, ascribed
the order of sequestration to their common enemies. He was still in
Scotland; but she determined to fly to him, state her wrongs, and
implore redress. The danger of the journey less alarmed her than the
risk of poverty and disgrace in remaining inactive. A rumour of the
King's having arrived in London expedited her resolves. Ever impressed
with the idea of her own importance, she even fancied that avowing her
fidelity to Cromwell at such a period would give her a claim on his
gratitude, and thus insure success to her suit.

She had proceeded in her journey as far as Ribblesdale, when her coach
was stopt by an infuriated populace, who, hearing she was a partizan of
Cromwell, avowedly, seeking his protection, surrounded her carriage with
every mark of derision and insult, and even took off her horses to
prevent her proceeding. The cruel depredations which the republicans had
committed in their march to Scotland the preceding year, gave a private
stimulus to the hatred they felt for the murderer of a King, now justly
dear to their recovered reason. Mortified that the dignity of her aspect
and the splendour of her suite had not overawed these rustics; alarmed
for the safety of her person, and exposed to the certain inconvenience
of passing the night, unhoused, in a mountainous country, even if she
were permitted to proceed next day, Lady Bellingham sat trembling in her
carriage, in which were her waiting-gentlewoman, chaplain, and
gentleman-usher, all highly useful to her in their separate departments
and joint occupations of submissive flatterers, but all incompetent to
advise what was to be done, and incapable of assisting her in this
extremity.

Nothing affecting the welfare or the moral character of Ribblesdale was
uninteresting to Dr. Beaumont, who, though restrained from receiving the
emoluments, was punctual in fulfilling the duties of his pastoral care.
At the first intelligence of a riot in the parish, he hastened to
Morgan, and endeavoured to make him sensible that it was his duty to
protect a helpless woman. Morgan was extremely doubtful how to act; for,
not being endowed with the power of looking into futurity, he knew not
which party would finally prevail. The magnified reports which he had
heard of the King's successes would have made him turn Loyalist, had he
not known that Cromwell, with a victorious army, was hastening from the
North, and that therefore it would be impolitic to offend him. He
thought the best way would be not to interfere; and, secretly cursing
the lady for exposing him to this dilemma, he observed the mountain-air
for once would brace her nerves, and furnish her with an adventure to
talk of as long as she lived. Davies was unwilling to open his doors to
a stranger till he knew if she would pay for her accommodations. Dr.
Beaumont therefore was left to perform the service of knight-errant all
alone.

He arrived on the common where the carriage was stopped in the dusk of
the evening, just at the time when Lady Bellingham's fears had so far
subdued her haughtiness as to change her threats into tears and
intreaties. The Doctor's admonitions soon prevailed on the villagers to
repent their conduct. They were ready to restore the horses, and refrain
from further molestation; but it was now too dark for her to proceed in
safety, and not a creature seemed willing to afford a lodging to one
whom they supposed to be no better than a mistress to Old Noll, the good
King's murderer.

Dr. Beaumont's finances were now in such a state as compelled him to
huswife his hospitality. The money which young De Vallance had insisted
on advancing to supply his probable necessities, had been appropriated
to the actual wants of the King's army, as it marched through
Lancashire; yet the good man's native courtesy still inclined him to
assist the perplexities of the affluent, while his benevolence prompted
him to relieve the distresses of the poor. He accosted Lady Bellingham
with an air of dignified modesty. His means, he said, were scanty, and
his humble dwelling was now the abode of care and affliction, yet he
thought it would afford her comforts superior to passing the night in
her carriage; and he requested, if she condescended to allow him to be
her host, she would overlook the homeliness of her fare in his sincere
wish to obviate the inconveniences which the rude treatment of his
parishioners had brought upon her.

It was not Lady Bellingham's method to look further than to her own
comforts. A man whose air and language bespoke a gentleman, but whose
coarse thread-bare garb indicated poverty, could not have gained her
attention if he spoke with the tongue of an angel, except so far as he
ministered to her accommodation. Turning her eyes to the ruins, which he
pointed out as his residence, she uttered an exclamation of contempt and
surprise, to convince him that she had been accustomed to such
magnificence, that it would be an infinite condescension in one of her
refinement to stoop to his society. Meantime her retinue, finding the
contents of the travelling chest would furnish a sufcient repast, urged
her to accept the shelter of a roof however humble; and Lady Bellingham,
with a slight inclination of her head, significant of her condescension,
ordered the horses to be put to, to draw her to the door. Dr. Beaumont
observed that the road would not be practicable for her carriage, on
which Her Ladyship required her gentleman-usher to hand her out. "How
dreadfully inconvenient," said she, "to walk so far! I wonder, Friend,
you did not take care to have a carriage-road." Dr. Beaumont smiled, and
replied that public events had pared off all his superfluities; but Lady
Bellingham asserted that a drive to your own door was one of the
necessaries of life, and her three attendants immediately and
unanimously confirmed her opinion.

Mrs. Mellicent had been informed that her brother was bringing a lady of
great quality, who was running away from the King to join Oliver
Cromwell, to spend the night under his roof; and though nothing could
exceed the superlative contempt she entertained for disloyal nobility,
the honour of the Beaumont blood, and respect for her brother,
determined her to give his guest the best reception in her power. Her
banquets, like Eve's, consisted of little beside fruits and herbs, and
the only ornaments she could arrange in the apartments were flowers; but
she had preserved the damask table-suit of her own spinning; and the
gold brocade gown, received as an heir-loom from her mother, was in high
preservation. She thought an exhibition of these would convince the
rebel lady, that though the King's friends now wore sad-coloured camlet,
they had once been people of consequence. She received Lady Bellingham
with one of her stiffest courtesies at the door of their best apartment,
and motioned with her hand for her to sit down with an air that spoke
conscious equality, and a determination not to be disconcerted by one
who required her hospitality. Constantia stood behind her aunt, pale,
dejected, clad in the deepest weeds of woe. Isabel did not appear. Her
beloved father had long required her constant attendance. With infinite
gratitude to Heaven, she acknowledged its goodness in again restoring to
him the use of that reason which enabled him to appreciate her filial
excellence. He had so far recovered the use of his limbs as to be able
to walk, supported by her arm; and it was her custom, at the first dawn
of morning, to lead him from his narrow cell to enjoy the refreshing
breeze, and the exhilarating glory of the rising sun, while old Williams
climbed the crumbling battlements of Waverly-hall to give notice if any
stranger approached.

Mrs. Mellicent's dress and manner, preserving the memorial of the past
generation, drew a supercilious smile from Lady Bellingham, who, in the
obscurity and penury to which she perceived a loyal Episcopalian was
reduced, plainly discerned a visible judgment. Her satellites easily
interpreted her sentiments, and considered the spinster as a fair mark
of contempt and ridicule; but as their patroness had not deigned to
intimate her opinion of Dr. Beaumont and his daughter, they knew not in
what light she would please to have them considered. Her Ladyship threw
a cold repulsive glance over Mrs. Mellicent's culinary arrangements,
declared, in a tone which belied her expressions, that every thing was
very excellent, but that her unfortunate health would not allow her to
indulge except in a particular species of food. She then ordered her
travelling chest to be opened, and the liqueurs, conserves, and pastry,
to be displayed by the side of Mrs. Mellicent's sallads, oat-cake, and
metheglin, inviting her, in a most gracious manner, to partake of the
pilgrim's wallet. But Mrs. Mellicent had the same antipathy to court
delicacies which Lady Bellingham had to country fare; and, with the
independent spirit of a Cincinnatus, gravely preferring "a radish and an
egg," continued to eat them leisurely with a satisfaction derived from a
consideration that they were not purchased by any sacrifice of
integrity. She secretly pondered on the base propensities which the
rebel cause engendered, when even a woman of rank, who had known better
manners, was so vitiated by the company she had lately kept, as to
esteem respectable, uncomplaining poverty a fair object of contempt.

It would have been difficult even for modern volubility to have supplied
conversation in a group thus circumstanced; but two hundred years ago
long intervals of silence in a country-party were not extraordinary.
During these pauses Mrs. Mellicent's eyes were fixed on a large blue
Campanula that she had trimmed to cover the open chimney; and Lady
Bellingham, disdaining to admire any thing extrinsic, directed her's to
the diamond solitaire suspended on her bosom. She had given strict
orders to conceal her name; and if she had ever heard that her injured
brother sought shelter in Ribblesdale, and married the sister of a Dr.
Beaumont, the events that consoled his afflictions were much too
insignificant to be treasured in her memory. The party therefore met as
strangers in opposite interests. The hour of retiring was anticipated.
Constantia attended Lady Bellingham to the apartment formerly occupied
by her worthy son; and after the common inquiries of courtesy withdrew,
much to the discomfort of the waiting gentlewoman, on whom the double
fatigue of chambermaid and mistress of the robes now devolved. Lady
Bellingham being inclined to silence, the dignified Abigail was
restrained from speaking; and having no invitation to share her Lady's
bed, with secret indignation at these strange people, not having the
forethought to provide her with another, she was compelled to rest
herself in the window-seat, and convert the night into a vigil.

A belief in apparitions was at that time universal, and by no means
confined to the humble ranks of life. Imagination could not conceive a
more suitable scene for the gambols of supernatural beings than the
ruins adjoining the humble tenement which the Beaumonts inhabited. The
unfortunate, waiting-gentlewoman was kept all night in continual tremor
by horrible visions and dreadful sounds: yet to wake her Lady, who went
to bed extremely out of humour, was a still more daring exercise of
courage than to be a sole witness of the alarming noises produced by the
wind rushing through vaults and crevices, or the fearful reflection of a
thistle by moonlight, waving on the top of a crumbling arch. After a
night spent in the exercise of such comparative heroism, Mrs. Abigail
hailed with pleasure the return of dawn; and as ghosts and goblins
always post off to Erebus when Aurora's flag gilds the mountains,
imagined she might now go to sleep in safety. But she was soon roused by
the sound of voices, and beheld an indisputable apparition. An aged
grey-headed man, bent double, clad in a loose gown, and leaning on a
staff, crept out of the very pile which she had been so fearfully
contemplating all night. He was attended by a female figure, who
carefully seated him on a bank opposite her window. The occupation of
these spectres was no less extraordinary than the time of their
appearance, for they seemed engaged in what, she thought, ghosts always
omitted--devotion. Yet ghosts they must be, since nothing human could
have dared to pass the night in such a scene of desolation. She
continued to gaze, in petrified horror, till the female apparition
rising from its knees, after adjusting the hair, and wiping the face of
its companion, sung the following stanzas, with a voice resembling that
of human beings, except that its harmonious notes exceeded in sweetness
any thing Mrs. Abigail had ever heard:

    Oh, sooth me with the words of love,
      Heal me with pity's balsams dear;
    For I have heard the proud reprove,
      And felt the wrongs of men austere.

    I gaz'd on grandeur's gay career,
      Alone distracted and aggriev'd;
    None stopp'd to wipe my bitter tear,
      My bursting heart unnotic'd heav'd.

    The happy hate to see distress,
      It tells a tale they dread to know,
    And guilt, tho' thron'd in mightiness,
      In every victim sees a foe.

    Where does the pamper'd worldling go?
      To those who spread their banners brave--
    Lonely and sad, the house of woe
      Is like the robber's mountain cave.

    On life's sad annals if we dwell,
      Do they not speak of trust betray'd;
    Of merit rising to excel,
      On which the canker envy prey'd;

    Of youth by enterprise upstaid,
      Till sad experience broke the spell;
    And slighted age a ruin laid,
      Fit only for the narrow cell?

    Yet of the tortures that betide
      A feeling heart, the worst are they
    Which bid it never more confide
      On those who were its earthly stay.

    Once guided by religion's ray,
      True as the sun they seem'd to move;
    Now led by meteor-lights astray,
      Estrang'd in honour and in love.

The waiting-gentlewoman's astonishment at this vision soon burst out
into an exclamation, which unfortunately broke Lady Bellingham's
slumber, and drew her also to the window. Her lamentations at the misery
of having her rest disturbed, were soon interrupted by consternation at
the objects she beheld, which were no other than her brother and his
daughter enjoying their morning liberation from the dungeon. The rising
sun shone on the countenance of the former, and maugre the ravages of
time, grief, and distraction, she recognised his features with a degree
of agony which only the guilty can feel. The resemblance of Isabel to
her father increased those emotions; the words of her song, uttered with
distinct emphasis, were in unison with the suggestions of an awakened
conscience. Lady Bellingham gave a loud shriek, and fell into the arms
of her attendant, according to whose account the two spirits, at the
same moment, sunk into the earth enveloped in flames.

The screams of Lady Bellingham, re-echoed by Mrs. Abigail's, presently
drew the Beaumont-ladies into their apartment. They had neglected to
apprize Isabel of the arrival of strangers, and were glad to find her
morning services to her father had been thus misconstrued. Mrs.
Mellicent gravely allowed the possibility of ghosts inhabiting ruins;
but observed, that as they had never injured the Waverly family, they
had always found them peaceable neighbours; and wondered at the Lady's
alarm, since from the little she had said the preceding day, it was
plain she considered herself as a favourite of Heaven, and under its
especial protection. Mrs. Abigail protested that her Lady was one of the
devoutest, sweetest and handsomest creatures in the world; but observed,
since she had been obliged to leave Castle-Bellingham, she was grown
very nervous. Mrs. Mellicent eagerly inquired if it was Lady Bellingham
whom they sheltered; Mrs. Abigail answered in the affirmative, but
conjured her not to own that she had made the discovery, or she should
be torn in pieces. Mrs. Mellicent indignantly threw down the burnt
feathers and sal volatile, which she till then humanely applied, and
emphatically observing it was no wonder she feared apparitions, hastened
to consult Dr. Beaumont on this emergency.

It was not now a proper time to confront the injured Allan Neville and
his unnatural sister; the reported success of the King's enterprise must
first be ascertained, and Mrs. Mellicent trusted the time was not far
distant when this domestic and public traitress would be made not only
to tremble, but to suffer. Recollections of past disappointments made
Dr. Beaumont less sanguine, but he agreed, that, confirming Lady
Bellingham's alarm, and removing her instantly from their house, was the
wisest course; and as soon as she recovered from her fit, she was
herself all impatience to quit a mansion replete with horrors, and
destitute of comforts. She coldly thanked Dr. Beaumont, who attended her
to her carriage, for attempting to be hospitable, but declared her
astonishment that his brain was not turned in such a dwelling; and he as
coldly answered, that a clear conscience reconciled the body to
privations, and endued the soul with fortitude. But neither the
eloquence of Dr. Beaumont, nor her own anxiety for the Evellins, could
induce Mrs. Mellicent to submit to the civility of an adieu. She even
shook her fist at the wicked wretch, as she called her, from the window.
"Brother," said she, to Dr. Beaumont, who reproved her for the violence
of her indignation, "I only wish her to incur the enmity of the Baal she
now worships, and to suffer with him as many years of misery as she has
inflicted on the noble veteran whose lonely couch our dear Isabel
smooths; and while her youthful beauty withers in a dungeon, pillows a
father's destitute head on her uncomplaining bosom."


    [1] This subject, we are told by Isaac Walton, employed the dying
    Hooker.




CHAP. XXI.

    Art thou not risen by miracle from death?
    Thy shroud is fall'n from off thee, and the grave
    Was bid to give thee up, that thou might'st come
    The messenger of grace and goodness to me.

                                                 Rowe.


The welcome which the young King received from his English subjects did
not answer the sanguine expectations of his friends. Contrary to the
rumours that were industriously circulated, the system of terror which
Cromwell had established prevented any regular levies being made for his
assistance. The means of the old royalists were exhausted; they had now
little but their lives to offer, and the junction of unconnected
individuals afforded but a scanty and ineffectual muster. It was soon
found that Cromwell repassed the Grampian hills with inconceivable
swiftness, and, pouring along with collected forces, dispersed the
scattered troops which the King's friends were endeavouring to collect,
even before they could be trained to arms. The King's army, fatigued by
a long march, destitute of necessaries, but slowly recruiting in
numbers, and virtually diminishing in strength, soon found the design of
seizing London beyond its ability. "The loyal city of Worcester," as it
has the honour of being pre-eminently styled, opened its gates to
refresh its Sovereign, and offered itself as a temporary retreat, where
he might muster his forces, and re-consider his measures. Here the King
was proclaimed, but the events which attended that solemnity augured ill
to the actual duration of his reign. The Earl of Derby, accompanied by a
few faithful friends, posted into the town to bring the intelligence of
his own defeat, and the consequent relapse of the north-western counties
under the yoke of Cromwell. This bad news was rapidly followed by
intelligence, that the enemy was in full pursuit. Alarm and suspicion
were visible in every countenance; divided opinions distracted the royal
councils. Some measures were pursued with rashness; others, more
eligible, neglected from timidity. Many were ready to fight and to
suffer, but a wise, calm superintendence was wanting to prevent valour
and generous loyalty from shedding its precious blood in vain.

The result of the battle of Worcester, the miraculous escape of the
King, the death of many faithful adherents, the execution of others,
especially of the noble Earl of Derby, in the very centre of his feudal
greatness, with every mark of barbarous ignominy, and the reduction of
his heroic Countess and her children to the most extreme state of
poverty and distress are well known. Arthur De Vallance was an actor in
some of these scenes. His plan of quitting England was renounced, when
he knew, that, by remaining, he could be of service to his Prince. He
repaired to the young King at Stirling as soon as Cromwell's victory at
Dunbar had taken him out of the hands of Argyle; accompanied him in his
march to the South, and bravely used his sword in his service at that
fatal overthrow, which seemed to exterminate the monarchy of England
beyond all hope of revival. It is well known that Cromwell, without
giving time to his own army to rest, after their long march from
Scotland, pounced upon the King's troops at Worcester during their first
consternation; and, leaving a part of his forces to contend with that
portion of the King's who fought valiantly, entered the city along with
those flying fugitives whom the terror of his name had dispersed at the
first onset, almost at the same instant that the King, disguised as a
peasant, rushed out at the opposite gate, dismissed all his friends and
attendants, and concealed himself in an adjoining wood. All command
having ceased, and no rallying point being established, it became the
duty of all to consult their individual safety. Jobson continued
inseparably attached to Sedley's service; he again advised a retreat
into Wales, and being well acquainted with the country, they had the
good fortune to reach the principality before the enemy had secured the
passes, though that was one of their first measures, to prevent the
retreat of the King into a part of his dominions where he might be most
easily concealed, as well from the nature of the country as from the
loyal disposition of the inhabitants.

It was the design of De Vallance to repair to the isle of Man, and offer
his services to the Countess of Derby, who, it was reported, was able
and determined to retain that insulated spot, and establish it as the
asylum of persecuted loyalty. He journeyed through the most unfrequented
roads, trusting for his support to the hospitality of a brave,
unsophisticated race, who could hardly endure the nominal yoke of
regicides, and preserved the sanctuary of their domestic retreats
unpolluted by the presence of spies and informers. From these, his
occasional hosts, De Vallance learned many woeful particulars of the
miseries of the prisoners taken at Worcester, "who were driven like
cattle to London, many of them suffered to perish for want of food, or
from pestilential diseases arising from crowded prisons, and the
survivors sold for slaves to the plantations." Such was the freedom
these pseudo-friends of liberty afforded to those who dissented from
their opinions; and thus was loyalty (for no other crime was laid to
their charge) punished with a severity, which regular governments
scruple to use against the most atrocious offenders. Nor should these
tyrannous acts be ascribed so much to the rancorous nature of the
victors as to the natural tendency of power obtained by illegal violent
means. They who rise to greatness by insurrection, find themselves
compelled to renounce the principles and violate the promises to which
they owed their exaltation. The greatest tyrants have ever been those
who experimentally know that rigorous coercion is the only way of
restraining popular fury. Fear is the incentive and justifier of
cruelty. Man is rarely disposed gratuitously to torment his
fellow-creatures. The world has indeed produced Roman, Mahommedan, and
Indian, despots, who seemed to receive pleasure from the sufferings of
their victims, abstracted from every other consideration; but these
instances have been too rare to permit us to consider such an infernal
propensity as a just characteristic of human nature. Mercy is more
grateful to the feelings of even bad men than rigorous punishment; but
as it cannot with safety be exercised in unsettled governments, which
must awe the subdued into passive submission, before they can reward the
obedient, some of the most powerful dissuasives against exciting popular
commotions arise from the despotism in which they are sure to terminate,
the malignant passions which they excite, and the horrible atrocities
that often spring from no worse motive than the necessity of securing
ill-acquired pre-eminence.

The melancholy state of the kingdom, added to the general anxiety for
the King's welfare, of whose escape to France no certain tidings had
been received, overpowered the hitherto-heroic patience of De Vallance,
and made him on a public, as well as on a private, account, feel weary
of a world, which seemed left to the misrule of successful guilt and
prosperous hypocrisy. He had now travelled into the county of Flint,
from whence he hoped to gain a passage to the isle of Man, when he
received intelligence that, during his confinement, the Earl of Derby
had signed an order for its surrender, together with all his castles,
with which his intrepid Countess immediately complied; vainly hoping a
sacrifice of the hereditary possessions of the family might be received
as a commutation for her husband's life. Mold and Hope were already
garrisoned by the Parliament; and thus after a long and difficult
journey, during which he had encountered many hair-breadth 'scapes, De
Vallance found himself still surrounded with enemies, destitute not only
of shelter, but nearly of resources, and with no other alternative, than
to be an indigent fugitive, a prisoner, or to try if, by being a
participator in the crimes of his parents, he could, by the influence
which either of them possessed with the government, procure a pardon for
what he deemed the best action of his life, taking arms for his
Sovereign.

It was in a little village near Mold-Castle, that these reflections,
combining with the effects of fatigue and hardship, produced an
indisposition which confined him to the inn, and compelled him to
ruminate deeply on his future prospects. It was now plainly seen that
the European courts were more disposed to form alliances with a potent
Usurper, than to forward the restoration of an unfortunate Prince, to
whose connexions a cold protection and scanty support were reluctantly
afforded, and even the ties of blood sacrificed to intimidation or
ambition. The situation of English Loyalists abroad was in every respect
deplorable. They were studiously slighted by the governments under whose
wing they sheltered, and exposed to the insults of the triumphant
republicans, who, on the contrary, were courted and flattered.

How greatly soever Cromwell subdued and oppressed England by his
domestic management, like all other able tyrants, he made the nation he
enslaved great and formidable by his foreign policy, using the energies
with which despotism had furnished him, to extend her commerce, and
support her naval superiority.--Had no peculiar family-circumstances
compelled De Vallance to renounce his home, doubtless he would have
imitated the vise conduct of Agricola, who is justly celebrated "for not
being in that class of patriots, who conceive they gain immortal glory,
when by rashness they provoke their fate; but showed that, even in the
worst of times, and under the most despotic ruler, it is possible for
the man of heroic fortitude to be great and good with moderation." But
De Vallance felt he could not compound for an estate to which he had no
just title, nor reconcile himself to parents, who were stained with
every crime. Could he forget the wrongs and woes of Allan Neville; the
death of Eustace; the mournful seclusion and daily anguish of
Isabel!--Submission to Cromwell must be combined with a sacrifice of
every honest principle, every cherished affection of his heart. England
therefore afforded no rest to the sole of his foot, and if he sought the
continent, it should be as a military hireling, not as a dependent
mendicant; as one who could earn his bread, not as a supplicant, who had
no other claim to support than loyalty and indigence.

There were many gentlemen who had emigrated to Virginia, when
hostilities terminated in 1646, who were now comfortably established as
planters; and he felt he might trust his desire of obtaining a similar
situation to his mental resources, and the energy and perseverance of
his natural character. The new world was unstained by the contaminating
vices of the old. In a society, chiefly composed of Loyalists, he would
not be aggrieved by the sight of low-born insolence, trampling on
hereditary greatness, nor offended by the perversions of sophists, the
cant of hypocrites, and the exaltation of villains. He could there only
endure bodily inflictions. What prevented him from thus exonerating
himself from the severest visitations of adversity, and immediately
transporting himself across the Atlantic? The consideration of that vast
world of waters separating him from Isabel Evellin; for though he might
no more hope to bind her to him by the tie of marriage, or even to share
her dear society, the bond of love was indissoluble. He could not remove
to such a distance from her, as would make it impossible to render her
any assistance. He might not be able to defend or console her; but, by
remaining in England, he could suffer or die for her sake.

Irresolution increased the depression of De Vallance; his bodily
complaints gained ground, and Jobson too, though still an affectionate,
was no longer a cheerful, companion. His spirits sunk while he was with
the King in Worcester; he predicted the loss of that battle, and the
evening before his master acknowledged himself unable to proceed, he
gave him to understand that he had seen a warning of his approaching
death. Instead of rejoicing over their casual comforts, and anticipating
better days as he used to do, he was ever prognosticating evils, and
lessening their humble comforts, by prophesying their impending loss.
Even the full-frothed can and savoury luncheon lost their usual relish;
it was always the last good Welsh-ale, or dried salmon, he should have
in this world; and if he repeated his farewel libation, till he grew
intoxicated, every draught added to his sadness. Instead of roaring out
a joyous song, he fell to crying, and talked of the slaughter incident
to storming a city, instead of the brave sallies of a garrison.

De Vallance repeatedly asked the reason of this change, and as the
increase of his indisposition confirmed Jobson in his opinion of the
truth of his conclusions, the latter thought (since his master must die
soon) he might as well own how he knew that his recovery was impossible.
He then reminded him of his predictions, that the King would lose the
battle, and confessed he had received a supernatural intimation that
England was ruined, and the poor Loyalists quite undone.--"I would not
tell Your Honour," said he, "at the time, because I know you don't
credit such things; but I met Fido in the streets of Worcester the night
before it was taken by Old Noll--Mr. Eustace's own poor Fido, and I then
said the King would be beat."

"I never knew," replied De Vallance, "that the appearance of a dog was
oracular."

"Well, laugh on," said Jobson, "and I wish it may do you good. But I
say, I saw him again, the night before you was taken ill, and I know by
that it is all over with you."

The affectionate Jobson burst into tears as he spoke, while De Vallance
was extremely struck at the re-appearance of the animal. He reminded
Jobson that dogs were often extremely alike, and inquired how he knew
that this actually belonged to Eustace.

"How do I know," replied he, "that I am Ralph Jobson? Why it knew me,
and seemed to wag its tail; nay, made as though it would lick my hand."

"And did you not permit him?" said De Vallance.

The terrified trooper turned pale, and his teeth chattered with horror.
"I did not say that it was Fido's living self," exclaimed he; "and what
would have become of me, had I been touched by a ghost? why my arm would
have withered directly. I knew a man in village that had his nose beat
flat to his face, only for peeping into the belfry, while a ghost was
dancing among the bell-ropes.--No, to be sure, I flung a stone at it,
and it ran away setting up a howl."

De Vallance now laboured to convince Jobson, that admitting the reality
of spectral appearances in the human form, animals were not endowed with
a vital principle, capable of existing distinct from their bodies.
Jobson was shocked at his master's presumptuous neglect of warnings, and
he vehemently urged the impossibility of a living dog being at Worcester
in September, and in Wales at Christmas. He stated the privilege of
spirits to take any shape; and not nicely attending to the question of
identity, shewed from oral testimony, that they sometimes appeared as a
glazed pipkin, and sometimes as the skeleton of a horse's head. The
exertion of endeavouring to enlighten wilful absurdity increased the
debility of De Vallance. Jobson's forebodings were turned into
certainties, and he walked into the church-yard to see in what spot he
should bury his master, and hoping to hear the death-watch, as a sign
that he should rest beside him.

The landlady at the little inn, where the forlorn Arthur languished,
pitying the sufferings of her interesting guest, and the inactive grief
of his attendant, requested she might be permitted to send for an
excellent gentleman, who was come to live in the neighbourhood, and had
done many extraordinary cures.--"You need not," said she, "fear
troubling him, he takes no pay but the blessings of those he heals; and
he is said to be as useful to a wounded spirit, as he is to a diseased
body." De Vallance was weary of life; but the soldier must not quit his
post, till his discharge be duly signed by his Commander; he yielded
therefore to the proposal. Jobson had a rooted dislike to all doctors;
but reluctance to his master's employing one was changed into
consternation, when he saw in the benevolent volunteer-Esculapius, the
Doctor Lloyd against whom he had conceived an inveterate antipathy,
verily believing him capable of poisoning a patient for the sake of
converting him into an anatomy. He rushed into his master's chamber to
announce his identity, and when he found the intelligence only increased
his eagerness to see him, he resolved however to prevent his taking any
of his medicines.

The diseases brought on by fatigue and distress are seldom obstinate,
when resisted by youth, a good constitution, a clear conscience, and a
calm judgment. Dr. Lloyd dealt in potent cordials. He possessed the
essential qualities of a true friend; and the behaviour of De Vallance
soon induced him to exert his talents in that capacity. He had hardly
felt his pulse, before he pronounced that little was necessary besides
tranquillity and generous support. Arthur's heart panted with impatience
to commence a confidential intimacy; but he recollected he must inspire
confidence, before he could venture to require it. A sick stranger,
languishing at a village-inn, was as likely to be the enemy as the
friend of a cause it was now dangerous to espouse. Strongly
pre-possessed in favour of a man, who courageously ventured among a
multitude of hostile and infuriated soldiers, avowed his attachment to
the victim they had just slaughtered, and bestowed on his corpse the
decent sepulture they meant to deny, De Vallance felt no apprehension at
trusting his own life ta such tried fidelity. He spoke of himself as
friendless, distressed, and in the utmost need of advice and protection.
He declared himself to be a Loyalist, who, having engaged in the King's
last attempt, would be excepted from the expected amnesty. By this means
he drew Dr. Lloyd into a guarded communication of his former residence
at Pembroke, and his acquaintance with Eustace Evellin. De Vallance
owned himself to be a friend to that family. He even used the word
brother. Dr. Lloyd turned on him a significant glance, when, to justify
the claim, De Vallance drew from his bosom the letter of Isabel, and
explained the hopes that had been defeated by the death of Eustace. "You
will not wonder," added he, "that I have a painful eagerness to know
every circumstance of that lamentable event."

Dr. Lloyd regarded his patient with scrutinizing attention. "You know,"
said he, "that the resolute defence of Pembroke-Castle provoked the
parliamentary General to adopt measures that were intended to strike
terror into the King's party; and from the particular manner in which
you apply to me, you possibly also know that, influenced by compassion,
I removed the body of Eustace, and performed those offices which
friendship required."

The undefined, unacknowledged hopes which had floated in the mind of
Arthur vanished at this reply, and as they disappeared, convinced him,
that he had cherished a vain romantic illusion. A long pause ensued; De
Vallance heaved a deep sigh, and asked if the noble youth was resigned
to his fate.

"Life was very dear to him," answered Dr. Lloyd, "and no
wonder.--Talent, personal beauty, lively and generous feelings, the
purest sense of honour, and the noblest aspirings after fame, were
combined in his character. He loved too, and he knew himself beloved.
You seem, Sir, about his age; my sensibility has been blunted by time;
but I will appeal to your own susceptibility, to conceive the sensations
of his impassioned heart, when he found himself suddenly arrested in the
bloom of manhood, by a summons to an ignominious death. This, too, at a
distance from all his kindred, and after having sustained for many
months the most severe warfare, and the cruellest privations. But if you
ask me if he discovered any unmanly weakness at this awful moment--I
answer none. He looked and moved like a hero going to mount the car of
triumph. The lustre of his dauntless eye appalled the musketeers, who
were drawn up in the court. 'Take sure aim,' said he; 'Your commander
spares not youth and loyalty; therefore be like him, pitiless.'"

"Detestable act, infernal massacre!" exclaimed De Vallance.--"Retributive
Heaven, I own thy justice! That murderous volley, Bellingham, slew thy
son!" Dr. Lloyd clasped the clenched hands with which he seemed prepared
to beat his own bosom, and requested an explanation.

"Do not, do not," said the tortured Arthur, "believe me capable of
repaying your kind commiseration with ingratitude, if I own myself
descended from the most cruel and treacherous of men. The murdered
Eustace was rightful heir to the title and fortunes which, as the son of
Bellingham, I might claim. Shall I own, though my heart recoils at the
confession, that I strongly fear a base private motive urged my father
to select this victim, as a sacrifice to what he called public
expedience.--Oh! Dr. Lloyd, had I never been born, had my ambitious
parents laid no base projects for my aggrandizement, the noble Eustace
had still lived."

"My good Sir," returned the kind physician, "we must debate this point a
little. In the first place, let me assure you the lots were fairly cast.
I do not justify, indeed I severely reprobate the cruel policy which
required the sacrifice of three victims; but it was resolved on in full
council, the blame therefore is divided among all the officers. I also
know that Lord Bellingham committed his own safety by endeavouring to
preserve the life of Eustace."

An overwhelming load of infamy seemed, at this assurance, removed from
the oppressed De Vallance. "Speak it again, dear worthy man, again
repeat that my father would have saved him. You know he would? You can
swear to the fact? But soft--was not he supreme commander? What, then,
prevented him from signing his pardon?"

Dr. Lloyd replied--"The limited power which a general possesses over
troops, who, in obeying him, have cancelled the previous obligations of
duty and conscience. He who accepts the command of a revolutionary army
is ever fearful of being sacrificed by his own soldiers. His office
makes him the ostensible champion of liberty; but his army claim a
greater licence than consists with the requisite exercise of discipline
and authority. His subordinate officers envy his supremacy; for the
chain of prescriptive gradation is dissolved by the pretext of
preferring merit; and what soldier of fortune is there who does not
think himself equal to the highest posts which his machinations and
enterprize can procure. We Loyalists (for such, Sir, I now in confidence
own myself to be) have often said that Lord Bellingham was only half
wicked. He retained too much of the gentleman to practise extortion, or
to connive at the rapacity by which his subalterns tried to make the
most of their brief authority. He enforced discipline without
condescending to that familiarity and occasional indulgence which make
severity palatable. He was an agent of the new system, trying to
introduce the manners of the old. He saw his own danger when it was too
late. He discovered that he served villains who, despising honest
praise, renounced every honourable bond of amity, to whom treachery and
cruelty were become habitual; and that he commanded desperadoes, who,
setting no value on their own lives, kept his in their power. Such, Sir,
was the state of your father's army, and such the secret hostility of
those for whom he fought. You may condemn his embarking in their cause,
his timidity, his irresolution, his fluctuating variableness, but not
his deliberate cruelty or private malice. After Eustace had drawn the
lot of death, the power of the general could not save him from an army
lost to every generous feeling, and thirsting for revenge."

To know that his father had rather been guilty of the transgressions of
frail man than of the horrible enormities of a demon, was an invaluable
consolation to De Vallance. But still Eustace had fallen under the
sentence of Bellingham, and himself consequently been banished from
Isabel. Dr. Lloyd interrupted his mournful reverie by inquiring what
were his future views.

"When you described Eustace going to execution," returned he, "you
appealed to the sympathy of a heart eternally separated from the object
of a pure, cherished affection. Read that letter. Conceive it written by
a woman whose beauty is her smallest praise, and then advise me how to
bestow the unvalued remnant of a life which must be spent in exile from
her."

Dr. Lloyd perused Isabel's farewel, and inquired if her brother's death
was the only obstacle to their union.

"Yes," replied De Vallance. "I had renounced the principles in which I
was educated, abjured the aggrandizement and affluence which my parents'
crimes had purchased; I had her promise, sanctioned by her father's full
consent, as a reward for services I was so fortunate as to render them.
We were to have fled to Holland, rich in the possession of domestic
happiness and decent competence, when that fatal intelligence----"

"Come, young gentleman," interrupted Dr. Lloyd, "you meditate too
deeply. I see you want society. The hardships you have undergone have
overwhelmed you. I must remove you to my own cottage. I keep a cordial
there which I never trust out of my own custody. I see your disease, and
know my remedy will complete your cure."

"Sir," returned De Vallance, "we are talking of something infinitely
more important than life. I know my disease is at present trifling, the
effect of anxiety acting too forcibly on a fatigued body. I could say it
consoles me, as a proof that my constitution will not be always
invincible to the attacks of these mental agonies; and you answer the
communications which your sympathy has extorted from me on the
soul-piercing subjects of my honour and my love, by telling me you have
a nostrum that will relieve my head-aches, and ease my frame of this
debilitating languor."

Dr. Lloyd rose, and examined the apartment to see that there were no
witnesses; he then drew his chair close to De Vallance, and gazed on his
emotion with the delight of a healing angel commissioned to alleviate
the woes of virtue, and, grasping his hand, told him "he should see
Eustace--the living Eustace," continued he. Seeing Arthur look
incredulous, "Eustace Evellin is alive, and resides with me. Hush!
suppress that burst of ecstacy; all our lives are at stake. Not even
honest Jobson must know he lives, lest his intemperate rapture should
betray him."

De Vallance was rapt in pious exultation. Exonerated from such a load of
paternal guilt, he seemed to pray with more assured confidence of Divine
protection. His gratitude to the worthy physician exceeded the powers of
language. Enfeebled by indisposition, he sunk upon his bosom, called him
a second father, and thanked him for a renewed and valuable existence.

Dr. Lloyd then briefly related the circumstances of Eustace's
preservation. Either his magnanimity intimidated the executioners, or
his gallantry and beauty inspired compassion. He refused to have his
face covered, saying he feared not to look on death. The power of the
human eye, in such circumstances, has been owned to be invincible. The
volley was fired with unsteady aim. His fellow-sufferers fell dead. He
stood unwounded; but a momentary impulse induced him to drop beside
them, and to lie apparently lifeless, bathed in their blood. At the same
instant his faithful spaniel rushed forward, licked his extended hand,
and, with dreadful howlings, seemed to guard his remains; and the
mutiny, excited by the agitators, broke out among the soldiers, who were
drawn up to witness the horrid spectacle. While they clamorously accused
the General of depriving them of their lawful right, the plunder of the
town of Pembroke, and attempting to save the cavaliers, Lloyd heroically
and adroitly took advantage of the tumult; and, though he had no other
design than giving his corse decent internment, he had the transport to
be instrumental in preserving the life of his friend. He took every wise
precaution that his miraculous escape should be a profound secret.
Endeared to each other by these extraordinary circumstances, they agreed
never to separate; and Dr. Lloyd removed to a spot where he was unknown,
supported by the income of a small inheritance, and declining the
practice of medicine, except gratuitously among the indigent. Eustace
cut off his redundant hair, stained his complexion, and otherwise
disguised his appearance; and he passed as the son of a gentleman, who,
being afflicted with mental derangement, was obliged to be kept in close
retirement. Dr. Lloyd rented a neat secluded cottage; and the friends
lived in decent privacy, waiting for happier times.

De Vallance now required an explanation of Fido's being seen at
Worcester; and Dr. Lloyd owned that, finding it impossible to restrain
the loyal impetuosity of Eustace, he went to that city to learn the
situation of the King, since, if there were any hopes of a prosperous
issue, he had consented that they should both join the royal standard.
The Doctor further added, that he feared their present comforts could
not long continue. The surrender of the Earl of Derby's Castles had
introduced the rebel troops into the neighbourhood; and he dreaded lest
Eustace should be discovered and recognized. They therefore meditated a
voyage to Virginia; and the plan was now suspended by the anxiety of
Eustace to hear some tidings from his kindred, and to acquaint them with
his situation. The impossibility of sending intelligence of such
importance by a public conveyance, in times when the letters and actions
of royalists were subjected to the most vigilant scrutiny; and the
hazard and difficulty of forwarding it by a private hand had long
prevented him from having any correspondence with his family; nor did he
know the anguish his supposed murder had cost them. In those times of
civil contention the dearest relatives were often long ignorant of each
other's fate. So numerous were the instances of cruelty, so multiplied
the tales of wo, that they wearied and confused the reciter. Many
parents believed their sons safe in a foreign country, who, at last they
found, had long since perished in some obscure skirmish, where valour
bled unshaded by its deserved laurels. Others, who had lamented the
death of their dearest relations, received them back at the King's
restoration, as if they had risen from their tombs. The necessity of
extreme caution, the frequency of assumed names and personal disguises,
and the insecurity and infrequency of written communications,
obliterated the traces of identity. Among the less evils of civil war,
dividing the ties and preventing the connecting intercourse of social
life must be enumerated; and what opinion must those who rejoice in the
conversation of a present friend, or open, with trembling delight, a
letter from an absent one, form of a nation convulsed by furious
discord, when the privation of these blessings is ranked only among its
smaller calamities!

De Vallance had, that evening, the infinite transport of folding Eustace
to his heart, in the comfortable asylum where the worthy Doctor Lloyd
concealed the hope of an illustrious house, the noble victim of adverse
fortune. The generous youths pledged the vows of mutual and perpetual
friendship. Conversing with all the confidence of brothers, Arthur
acquainted Eustace with the early history of their family, and his own
determination never to reap the fruits of his parents' misdeeds. He told
him how Isabel had preserved his life; related the gradual change of his
political principles--their mutual attachment--her heroical devotedness
to her proscribed father--the meek magnanimity and active piety of Dr.
Beaumont--the arrival of Jobson--the agony of Colonel Evellin--and the
deep anguish of Constantia; concluding with his own banishment from
Ribblesdale, and the apparent extinction of his dearest hopes. To know
that his youthful errors were not only pardoned, but that he was so dear
and constant an object of regret to those he fondly adored, gave the
heart of Eustace those alternations of exquisite delight and painful
anxiety which distinguish generous and exalted minds from the cold
equanimity of selfish apathy. Misery had often made him wish to be
forgotten by all he loved; but no sooner did his misfortunes wear a less
sombre hue, than his expanding heart cherished the hope that others
beside himself rejoiced in the suspension of his misfortunes. He could
not endure the thought of suffering these beloved objects to languish in
despair on his account; and he determined to trust to his disguise, and
immediately pay a visit to Lancashire. But Dr. Lloyd was too chary of
the treasure he had so faithfully preserved, to intrust him to his own
keeping. De Vallance and Eustace were both obnoxious to the ruling
powers by having borne arms for the King; and he insisted on their
continuing concealed in his Welsh cottage, while himself went to consult
Dr. Beaumont upon their future measures. Emigration to America was a
favourite project with all. It was hoped means might be found to remove
Colonel Evellin; and the lovers allowed their imagination to form a
transatlantic paradise, where, with their Constantia and Isabel, they
might enjoy the halcyon blessings of domestic happiness, after having
been so cruelly harassed by the storms of war. De Vallance did not now
think it impossible to be reconciled to his father, or unlawful to use
his mother's interest with Cromwell to procure a pardon for Colonel
Evellin, whose incurable infirmities prevented his being an object of
terror. Sometimes, with the sanguine confidence of a mind raised from
absolute despair, he fancied a family-reconciliation might be effected;
but he submitted to the prudence of Dr. Lloyd's advice, that every step
must be taken with extreme caution, and dispositions sounded before
discoveries should be hazarded.

The affectionate heart of Eustace would not allow that any one should
suffer the misery of suspense on his account; and he pleaded so
earnestly that Jobson might be allowed to see him, that Dr. Lloyd
yielded, on the condition that the honest trooper should go with him to
Lancashire, knowing that his exuberant transport might not be trusted in
the neighbourhood where Eustace was concealed. The terror of Jobson at
De Vallance's removing to the house of the supposed indefatigable
anatomist was hardly relieved by seeing him return, next morning,
looking well and happy. But an invitation from the Doctor to visit his
cottage and see his curiosities absolutely petrified him; and he vowed
he had rather see Old Noll charge at the head of Hazlerig's lobsters
than dead men rattling their own bones, or poor innocent children
swimming in pickle like witches in a pond. Winking on De Vallance with a
look of significance, he said, "You do not know so much of this Doctor
as I do; for though the whole country talks of his cures, they own he
shuts himself up as if he dealt with the devil, and walks about with a
melancholy gentleman who is haunted with a familiar spirit." Arthur
engaged him in conversation till they imperceptibly approached the
Doctor's cottage, when he first assured him of the actual existence of
Fido, whom he was to be permitted to take to Constantia; and then
changed incredulous astonishment to frantic joy, by pointing out the
living Eustace advancing to embrace him. Jobson screamed, capered,
tossed his cap into the air, clung round his former master's neck, then
dropped on his knees, prayed, sobbed, and laughed, almost in the same
instant. His gratitude and affection for Dr. Lloyd was somewhat allayed
by his envying him the happiness of preserving Eustace, whom, he
acknowledged, he loved the best of all his masters, begging De Vallance
to pardon him for saying so. Yet his regard for the amiable physician
was mingled with some degree of terror; and it was not till he was
assured that he did not travel with any stuffed monsters, or relics from
a gibbet, that he could heartily rejoice at the prospect of telling Mrs.
Isabel that her lover and brother were sworn friends, of drying the
tears of pretty Mrs. Constance, and of seeing the old Colonel without
being hated as the bearer of ill news. But on carefully examining the
wallet which Dr. Lloyd prepared for the journey, and ascertaining that,
instead of astrological calculations and scalping knives, it contained
only comforts and necessaries, Jobson, with renewed courage and joyous
expectations, set out to accompany him on a delightful errand to
Ribblesdale.




CHAP. XXII.

    Those that would serve God sincerely in affluence have infinitely
    greater advantages and opportunities for it in adverse fortune;
    therefore let us set vigorously to the task that lies before us,
    supplying in the abundance of inward beauty what is wanting to the
    outward lustre of the church; and we shall not fail to find that
    the grots and caves lie as open to the celestial influences as the
    fairest and most beautiful temples.

                                       Dr. Henry Hammond's Letters.


A painter, who is solicitous to give just representations of nature,
must blend his lights and shades, and contrast vivid colours with sombre
hues. The correct imitator of human life must also alternately introduce
joys and sorrows. Is it the langour of unwarrantable depression, the
indulged caprice of fastidious sensibility, or a more intimate
acquaintance with the dark colourings of disappointment than with the
sunshine of prosperity, which induces the conclusion, that the likeness
to reality will be more faithfully preserved if a sombre tinge
predominates in the fictitious narrative that paints the trials of
highly honourable and susceptible minds? The refinement which inspires
liberal desires and generous motives exposes its possessor to a more
lively feeling of the injuries inflicted by envy, selfishness, and
duplicity. The golden dreams of ingenuous candour and conscious ability
are rarely realized, and acute perception and high-minded integrity,
though most propitious to the growth of every virtue, seem to be the
choice fruits of heaven which, in the austere climate of this lower
world, require shelter and protection.

It is not murmuring against the wisdom or justice of Providence to
admit, that in a probationary state the most perfect characters are they
who have been purified by "much tribulation, and through faith and
patience inherit the promises." The instrument used in this ordeal is
generally our brother-man. Yet, while with hope and confidence, we look
forward to a glorious issue of temporal affliction in eternal glory, let
us beware of unfitting ourselves for the future recompence by extreme
resentment against those who are the agents that Almighty Wisdom uses to
improve us. Let us not attribute to malice and cruelty what may be
referred to less criminal motives. Do we not often afflict others
undesignedly, and, from mere carelessness, neglect to relieve distress?
Our own concerns, interests, and wishes engross our thoughts. Nothing is
so important to us as forwarding our own aims; and our fellow-creatures
are too often but inconvenient lumber if they stand in our way, or
merely useful implements if they forward our designs. It is from a want
of attention to the feelings of others, from a neglect of the golden
rule of putting ourselves in their place, and not from innate malice or
a diabolical delight in giving pain, that the sorrows caused by domestic
tyrants and puny oppressors chiefly proceed. Were self-love reduced
within proper bounds, earth would resemble heaven. Let those, then, who
deeply feel those "wrongs which patient merit of the unworthy takes,"
temper their aspirations after a state where universal good-will is the
source and cement of bliss, by cultivating that excellent preparative
for its fruition, a spirit of active, enlarged, and considerate
benevolence.

These reflections will not unaptly precede the return of Lady Bellingham
from her northern expedition. It never was the practice of Cromwell to
render any one disrespect while his services could be useful, or till he
was prepared to prevent the effects of his enmity. While the success of
the King remained doubtful, he wished not to make himself any more
enemies; and at the same time that he restrained and mulcted the
Presbyterians, he endeavoured to persuade them to make common cause with
the fanatics. He received Lady Bellingham (who was the avowed patroness
of the latter) with much apparent respect, and at the same time he wrote
kindly to her Lord, promising that his party should be admitted to a
share in the government as soon as he could let the dove out of the ark
to fetch the olive branch, which could not be the case as long as the
floods of ungodliness covered the earth. He styled himself the servant
of the Commonwealth, and the assured friend of Lord Bellingham; but
nothing was further from Cromwell's heart than an intention of realizing
these promises. His only aim was to pacify and amuse his opponents till
he gained leisure to play his own game. He loaded Lady Bellingham with
flattering expressions, selected her to stand by his side, when, as he
called it, he rose in the congregation of the saints to give the word of
exhortation, and appealed to her as the judge and expounder of his
spiritual gifts. These, he observed, were all the refreshing attentions
which the necessity of pursuing the host of Sisera allowed him to pay to
the Deborah of the English Israel, except permitting her to reside in
Bellingham-Castle, and to plead his friendship and protection.

The victory at Worcester was of that decided nature, which enabled
Cromwell to throw off the mask, to dissolve that pantomime of a
Parliament in whose name he had hitherto governed, and to assume the
title of "Protector of the liberties of England." He now exercised a
more despotic tyranny than this nation suffered either from her Danish
or Norman conquerors. He confined the elective franchise to himself,
creating what he called Parliaments for the sole purpose of making them
ridiculous, and then turning out his mock-legislators with contempt. He
alternately punished and provoked every party; even his own agents and
creatures could not escape his apprehensive suspicions, which, by
indulgence, engendered an insatiable thirst of blood. Yet, combining
great qualities with the meanest vices--the policy of an Augustus and
the enterprize of a Trajan with the dissimulation of Tiberius and the
cruelty of Domitian, he at once awed and dazzled surrounding nations,
and while he subjugated, exalted his own. Never was England more
respected than when unlimited power, undaunted courage, and persevering
activity placed all her resources in the hands of a man who, scarcely
ranked by birth in the patrician order, could make every European
sovereign tremble on his throne. Yet still, like the mystical sun in the
Apocalypse, tormenting others while he was himself tormented, the era of
his assuming power was the consummation of his extreme misery. He waded
through seas of blood; he broke every divine and human obligation; he
made the name of liberty a terror, and that of religion contemptible, to
become himself a more pitiable object than the veriest wretches whom he
inhumed in his prisons. They had some who sympathized in their
sufferings, some who wished them God speed; but though the civilized
world trembled at the name of Cromwell, he knew he had spies, creatures,
and parasites, but not one friend.

Yet amidst this secret wretchedness and universal odium, the distant
reflex of his name and authority was respected by all. Lady Bellingham
found her reception very different, as the Protector's friend, in her
return through England, than when she fled to Scotland an alarmed
fugitive. Conscious of former remissness, Morgan met her at Lancaster,
and earnestly entreated she would repose some days at Saint's-Rest after
the fatigue of her journey. The alarm and mortification she had endured
in that neighbourhood made her recollect the village with disgust; but
there were some mysteries which she wished him to explain. Nursery tales
affirm, that Puss, when converted into a fine lady, retained her old
propensity of catching mice; and though Lady Bellingham was transformed
from a fine lady into a devotee, the renovating spirit of true religion
had not altered her temper or inclinations; there was the same
waywardness in the former, the same cold selfishness in the latter.
While she raved at formal and legal Christians, she was herself the true
formalist, presuming on superior merit from the length of her devotional
exercises, her rigid austerities, and the sums she expended in spreading
her peculiar notions. But she came out of her closet to make her inmates
and dependants wretched; her fasting-days were unsanctified through
moroseness, and beside that, her gifts were too much confined to
party-purposes to be entitled to the praise of charity; ostentation blew
the trumpet before her alms, and she had the reward she sought, in the
praise of men.

To return from the description to the illustration of this not uncommon
character. It happened one evening, as the Countess was anticipating
the joys of Heaven, by an analogy drawn from the delights which
Bellingham-Castle afforded, and which she supposed would there be
increased in an infinite ratio, that her humble companion ventured to
recall her imagination to this world, by producing what she thought a
very pretty poem on the subject of love, which she found in their chamber
at the miserable old delinquent's at Ribblesdale. Lady Bellingham shook
her head at the name of love, commanded Mrs. Abigail to avoid the sinful
subject, and to expiate the offence by reading fifty pages of "a popular
fanatical treatise."

As the waiting-gentlewoman retired to perform the penance, Lady
Bellingham commanded her to leave the paper that she might destroy it.
But though the word Love was dangerous to a tyro in Antinomianism, the
situation of the initiated is very different; to the former all things
are sinful, but the latter being free from the law, and above ordinances,
have a large licence. Valuing herself now only on her spiritual graces,
Lady Bellingham opened the profane legend, which, she expected, described
personal attractions; and to her astonishment recognized the writing of
her son, of whom she had heard no certain tidings since the battle of
Preston, but who was supposed, both by Cromwell and herself, to be in the
north of Ireland, where an officer of the same name had gained celebrity.
The date proved that he had been a resident in Dr. Beaumont's family; no
name was prefixed, but the lines breathed a permanent attachment, to
which, after some resistance, he had entirely surrendered his heart.

    O place thy breast against a turbid stream,
      Beat with strong arm the flood, and tread the wave,
    Or toil incessant 'neath the burning beam,
    When, like a giant woke from wassail-dream,
      Sol rushes furious from the lion's cave:

    Then mayst thou know how hard to stem the tide
      Of chaste desire, and love's o'erwhelming storm,
    When by entranc'd affection first descry'd,
    Beauty and truth, such as in Heaven reside,
      Appear on earth in woman's lovely form.

    Is there a charm in wisdom? Is there power
      In blushing modesty's retiring air?
    Looks patience lovely in affliction's hour?
    Is not humility a priceless flower?
      And filial piety divinely fair?

    And bloom such graces in this narrow dell,
      Bosom'd in hills, from civil discord far;
    Then, courts and camps, glory and wealth farewell!
    All-powerful love hath broke ambition's spell,
      And freed a captive from his iron car.

Ruminating on these lines, and recollecting the mild dutiful behaviour
of Constantia, she could not help supposing that melancholy beauty to be
the object of her son's attachment. She had sufficiently interested her
to inquire the reason of her mournful appearance, and learned that she
had lost her lover in the civil wars. Could that lover have been her
son? Could the figures she had seen sitting among the ruins, and which
she was persuaded were not human, be sent as supernatural omens to
indicate Sedley's death. It was happy for her unsettling reason, that at
the moment when this terrific thought shot across her brain, she
recollected, whatever her early misdemeanors might have been, she was
now in a safe state, and had wiped off all offences to her brother, even
supposing any had been committed. Yet she grew uneasy to hear of her
son, and wished she had been more particular in her inquiries as to the
certainty of his being in Ireland. I have already stated that maternal
affection had no part in her character. The manner in which she treated
Arthur prevented frequent intercourse. Hearing that a Colonel Sedley was
distinguished by his cruelty to the Catholics at the taking of Fredagh
and Drogheda, she had trusted that it was her son now become warm in the
good cause to which she had devoted him. The date of this poem shewed
that he was in Lancashire, indulging very different sentiments at the
time of those bloody victories, and it was her perplexity on this point
which made her give Morgan an affable reception.

She soon discovered, that though he had lately forborn persecuting the
Beaumonts, he retained the most inveterate enmity to the whole family.
She drew from him all the information it was in his power to give
respecting her son's residence at Ribblesdale; the assistance he
received from the Beaumonts when at the point of death, and his sudden
disappearance. Morgan was unacquainted with his change of sentiments and
attachment to Isabel, who, having been long secreted with her father,
was believed to be dead, and had been too insignificant and humble to
draw the attention of so important a personage as Morgan. His
communications confirmed Lady Bellingham in the belief that she had seen
an apparition of her brother, indicative of her son's death, and that
Constantia, who mourned a widowed love, had been the object of his
ill-placed affections.

Full of apprehension, destitute alike of delicacy, gratitude, and
candour, and disposed, from her political feelings, to ascribe every bad
passion and action to the royalists, a thought struck her that poverty
might have tempted the old delinquent to murder her son; and the
suspicion grew to certainty, when the most minute inquiries could give
no information of him subsequent to his receiving a large remittance
from his tenants the week before he was last seen at Ribblesdale. Her
humble attendants, on hearing her opinion, protested that nothing was
ever more probable. The chaplain expatiated on the vices of the
episcopal clergy, and cited the words of that-then-popular writer,
Martin Mar-prelate, to prove them guilty of the greatest offences, not
excepting even theft and murder. The gentleman-usher found damning
proofs of extreme poverty in all the arrangements of the Beaumonts, and
the waiting-gentlewoman could no otherwise account for the deep
melancholy of Constantia, than by supposing her lover had been murdered
by her father, whose pale care-worn features bore, in her opinion, the
character of an assassin.

Having wrought her mind to this conclusion, Lady Bellingham sent again
for her confidant Morgan, who, beside his aversion to one whom he had
long felt to be a troublesome neighbour, had now particular reasons for
appearing zealously inclined to serve the Protector and his friends. He
advised Lady Bellingham to state the loss of her son to His Highness,
and procure his order for the Doctor's arrest, adding, that even if
innocent of this accusation, the imprisonment of one, who as an
irreclaimable royalist, deserved punishment, was no breach of justice.
He assured Her Ladyship, that her son's long residence in a disaffected
family, had not occasioned the smallest change in his opinions, but that
he showed his zeal for the good old cause, by informing him of all the
proceedings and councils of the delinquents that came to his knowledge;
and he feared, as he was missing a little time before Charles Stewart's
attempt on Scotland, his having penetrated into that design precipitated
their bloody purposes. His communications shaped the fluctuating
purposes of Lady Bellingham into a most determinate and diabolical
resolve, and she returned to London with the heart of an "Ate hot from
hell," and the aspect of a Niobe.

She now presented herself before the Protector and his council, as a
distracted mother, ignorant of the fate of her only son, and praying for
a minute investigation of the mysterious business. A request from the
patroness of the fanatics imperatively demanded attention. Several of
their leaders were her devoted friends, and the fine qualities of young
Sedley had really attracted Cromwell's notice, who, though he was
incapable of loving virtue and honour, ever wished to engage them in his
service. It is but justice to the Usurper's administration to say, that,
except when his government or personal security were concerned, he was
an impartial and vigorous administrator of the criminal laws, never
sparing rank, or shielding greatness. But though justice thus beamed on
those who had not made themselves conspicuous by their principles, a
known royalist could not expect her smiles, a warrant was therefore
dispatched to apprehend Dr. Beaumont, and Morgan was charged with its
execution.

About this time that unhappy family were reduced to the last stage of
pecuniary distress. Their good friend Barton was still in confinement,
persecuted with the most inveterate hatred by Lady Bellingham's party,
and as his revenue was sequestered, no remittances could come from that
quarter. At the death of Farmer Humphreys, the church-land he had
occupied was taken from his widow, who was now fallen into decay, and
unable to assist the necessitous pastor she so truly revered. The
provision which the revolutionary government pretended to make to the
ejected ministers, was at best irregularly supplied, and often totally
withheld. The infirmities of Colonel Evellin engrossing the whole time
of Isabel, no fund could be raised from her industry, and with prompt
though perhaps imprudent loyalty Dr. Beaumont had sent the sum left by
De Vallance to the King's assistance when he made the last unsuccessful
effort to obtain his crown. Want, therefore, appeared before their eyes
in all its horrors; the produce of their cow and their garden, added to
the kind attentions of the villagers, were their sole support.

It was impossible to conceal their difficulties from Evellin, who now
earnestly prayed that death would relieve his generous friend from the
burden of his support. The firm and patient Isabel could no longer
divert him from these sad exclamations. She could not modulate her voice
to a song, nor attempt to engage his attention by reciting a tale of
other times. She threw her eyes upon the ground in silence, as if
wishing to measure out his grave, and one where she might sleep in peace
beside him.

They were roused from the passive depression of poverty by the awakening
call of imminent danger to the person of him who, in all their former
trials, had acted as their guardian angel to avert or mitigate calamity.
Morgan delivered, without any ceremony, to Dr. Beaumont an order to
attend the council of state in London, as a prisoner. The Doctor
declared himself ready to pay a quick obedience to the existing
government in all lawful cases, but stated his extreme penury and the
utter destitution of his family. The rigid frugality of their habits was
known; and Morgan, now assuming an inquisitorial air, demanded what
became of the moiety of the fifth allowed to the expelled ministers,
which he had last received. Dr. Beaumont was taken by surprize, and
before he could parry the impertinence of the question, was charged by
Morgan with sending pecuniary aid to Charles Stewart. This was now a
crime against the state, for which many suffered. Dr. Beaumont asked if
this was the business on which he was summoned to London, and Morgan,
knowing that it was determined to take him by surprize respecting the
charge of assassinating De Vallance, answered sternly, that for this and
various other misdemeanors he must be examined before the council.

No heart that had not been steeled by malevolence against all the better
feelings of humanity, could have resisted the cries and supplications of
Constantia, intreating that she might accompany her father; but Morgan,
recollecting that she in the pride of beauty had disdainfully rejected
his offer of marriage, took a savage pleasure in witnessing her
affliction. To see the sorrows of his darling child excite derision
instead of pity and respect, consummated Dr. Beaumont's anguish. Taking
Constantia aside, he gave her his parting blessing, with a fervour that
recalled his own firmness, and imparted consolation to her. He reminded
her how much her aunt, Evellin, and Isabel, must now depend upon her
exertions. He doubted not but commiseration for his misfortunes would
increase the benevolence of the villagers, and he intreated her to
recollect, that as her lamentations were unavailing, fortitude and
patient endurance were the only means to subdue the malice of their
enemies. He recurred to his favourite argument, that an oppressor is
merely an instrument of chastisement in the hand of Almighty goodness,
whose ultimate purposes are all mercy and wisdom. A tyrant's wrath
cannot pass its prescribed bounds; no earthly power can take us out of
the omnipotent hands of our Creator; nor will He ever fail those who
firmly trust in His care, and sincerely obey His precepts. "Courage, my
child," said he, as he kissed her pale cold cheek, "I have committed no
crimes either against the state or any individual: I shall soon be
allowed to return. This affliction is the trial of your faith, not the
punishment of my guilt."

Dr. Beaumont did not venture to visit his concealed friend, but the
lamentations of the villagers, who surrounded their departing pastor
with tears and blessings, added to the distress of Isabel, soon informed
Colonel Evellin that his revered protector was seized by the strong
gripe of power. He insisted on accompanying him to London as a
fellow-prisoner, protesting he was ready to defy Cromwell, accuse
Bellingham, and die. Isabel had sufficient strength to prevent the
immediate execution of this rash purpose. "O think," said she, "that by
so doing, you will not only sacrifice yourself, but also my uncle. The
very act of having concealed you is punishable with death. For the sake
of our best and kindest friend, a little longer exercise that fortitude
and patience which have been my support through years of apprehension
and calamity. Let not my long services within this narrow recess lose at
last the desired reward of saving a parent, more dear and precious from
his undeserved calamities."

"Shall I perish for want, immured in this gloomy tenement?" said
Evellin, wildly. "When my friend is gone, who will provide a covering
for this wretched body, or food to sustain it?--Have I not told thee,
girl, that De Vallance basks in luxurious state at Bellingham-Castle;
and I would sooner perish in a lazar-house than beg my bread of him?
Dost thou not know his blood-hounds yet surround these ruins, and that
it is Beaumont only who has kept them from my war-worn trunk."

"Dearest father," resumed Isabel, "I can keep off the blood-hounds, and
will daily lead you forth to enjoy the warm sun-beams. Fear not; but
trust in that Providence who feeds the young ravens. How wonderful was
its preservation of our King when hunted from forest to forest by his
merciless foes! The wants of nature are few and small. See how your
despair makes me weep. Oh, for the sake of my mother's memory, dry the
tears of your orphan girl."

In this manner did Isabel try to console the man of many sorrows, but he
had taken his resolution, and even when most composed, would not be
diverted from his purpose of following Dr. Beaumont to London, that he
might be ready to confront his enemies, or to share his fate. Mrs.
Mellicent was consulted on the subject, and she thought this
determination should not be opposed. It had been already agreed upon,
that Constantia should follow her father, and attend him in confinement;
and it was now settled, that Isabel and Evellin should privately
accompany her. Disguised as beggars, they were removed out of the
village, and being joined by Williams and Constantia, proceeded towards
London as fast as their destitute condition admitted.

They had left Waverly-Hall some weeks, when Dr. Lloyd and Jobson arrived
to communicate tidings which they thought would change the house of
mourning to the abode of happiness. But no sound or sight indicated that
these lonely ruins now afforded shelter to man. No trace of inhabitants
was visible.--No monarch of the feathered brood was heard aloud to crow;
no smoke rising from the chimney announced the preparation of the
homely, but social meal. Jobson entered at the unresisting door; the
furniture, like the family, had disappeared. He ventured into the secret
chamber, that too was vacant; nothing remained but the couch on which
the noble veteran had stretched his palsied frame, and, magnanimously
enduring his own anguish, descanted on the arduous duties of a soldier.

"Ah, worthy Doctor," said the dismayed Jobson, "those confounded
Roundheads have caught him at last. Here are some of the tatters of his
poor old roque-laure, and the woollen cap Mrs. Isabel used to draw over
his head so carefully. Here she used to kneel by his side, say her
prayers, and sometimes sing in such a sweet low voice; and then the
Colonel would kiss her, and tell her she would kill herself with
watching him. But when she crept through that little arch to go away, he
would look at her as if his soul was parting from his body. And then she
would come back again, and say she had not shaken hands with the honest
trooper, (meaning me,) and would whisper me, to keep up his spirits; and
so they would trifle away half the night."--"'Serjeant,' the Colonel used
to say to me, bless his good heart! though I never was more than a
corporal, 'that girl has the courage of a lion.' 'Aye, and as cunning as
a fox too,' I used to answer. 'She is beautiful as an angel,' he went
on; 'Did you ever see such eyes?'--'Never but my first sweetheart's,
Sally Malkins,' said I. But then he turned gruff, and would say,
'Pshaw!' for he never could be pleased with any body praising Mrs.
Isabel, but himself and that make-believe good young Lord with a wicked
father."

While Dr. Lloyd deliberated how to proceed, an aged woman appeared in
sight, with a basket on her arm, seemingly employed in gathering herbs.
"St. George be my speed!" exclaimed Jobson; "Can that be Madam
Mellicent? Ah, sure enough it is her sharp wrinkled face: I never
thought she would bend her stiff joints, or walk in the dirt without her
riding-hood." Dr. Lloyd offered to go and accost her. "Not for your
life," replied Jobson; "she never would forgive me for letting you catch
her thus out of sorts. Stop behind that buttress, and I'll go and tell
her there is some company coming, and when she has put on her pinners
and facings, she will be very glad to see you."

Mrs. Mellicent's appearance was too indicative of profound dejection for
Dr. Lloyd to believe she would require any introductory ceremonials. He
ventured to salute her with an abrupt assurance, that he was a warm
friend of her family, intrusted with a welcome and important
communication. Mrs. Mellicent fixed her eyes upon him with that look of
inquisitorial diffidence which those who have long been familiarized
with distress and injustice, bestow on the dawn of better days. "I can
hardly suspect," said she, "that you are one of those who find amusement
in sporting with the feelings of the unhappy. You see in me the forlorn
relic of a respectable family, now supported by those who were fed at
its gates in the days of my prosperity. Yet as far as I can, I try to be
independent; and my knowledge in medicine allows me to alleviate the
pains of those who shelter my grey hairs.--My brother, his daughter, and
the sole surviving child of a beloved sister, now in Heaven, are at this
moment exposed to the dreadful trial of Republican persecution. Poverty
chains me to this spot, where I drew my first breath, and where, if
those I love are sacrificed, I hope soon to close my eyes on sorrow."
"You have," said Dr. Lloyd, "omitted to name another strong tie which
should bind you to life. You have a brave and gallant nephew, who loves
and honours the maternal aunt, who checked his extravagancies and
fostered his virtues."

"Eustace Evellin!" returned the good Lady, while her eyes filled with
tears, "Did you know him, Sir?--The murderous insurgents cut him off at
Pembroke in cold blood. That is their usual method; they only spare
useless logs like myself--a withered blasted tree, stripped of all its
branches, fit only to sustain the trophies of their accursed triumph.
How long, Lord, how long!" continued she, wringing her hands and looking
up to Heaven.

Dr. Lloyd now cautiously informed her of the almost miraculous escape of
Eustace, and the lively interest he took in his preservation. He added
an account of the dangers of De Vallance, and assured her, that he had
left them both in his cottage, as safe and happy as English Loyalists
could be, while their country groaned under the yoke of Cromwell. The
fortitude, nay even the corporeal strength of Mrs. Mellicent, revived at
the recital; her own necessities were forgotten, and she scarcely
lamented that she had not now a house to welcome, or even the widow's
barley-cake to bestow on, the kind protector of the generous youths whom
she so fondly loved. Every regret was lost in the prospect of better
times, in the future happiness of Constantia and Isabel, in the
restoration of the Neville line, and the adoption of the amiable De
Vallance into its unpolluted branch. Only one life appeared to stand in
the way of their felicity:--Remove the stern Usurper, a penitent nation,
weary of oppression, would joyfully welcome back its exiled Sovereign.
What might not the Beaumonts and the Nevilles hope from the justice of a
Prince for whom they had bled and suffered! Such agreeable reveries as
these supported Mrs. Mellicent's spirits during that long period of
suspense, in which (for fiction must not anticipate the slow progress of
history) she expected their realization. And if hope invested the
enlivening phantom of royal gratitude in too gorgeous colours, may we
not bless, rather than censure, the fortunate delusion? We are to
consider, that the venerable spinster having passed her days in privacy,
was ignorant of the chicanery of courts, and disposed to believe, that
honour, gratitude, and sincerity, are the inseparable concomitants of
illustrious birth. She herself never forgot either her benefactors or
her enemies; and she knew not how early Princes are taught to consider
the sacrifice of life and fortune as positive debts due to them from
their subjects. She was not aware how often expediency compels them to
smile on a potent enemy, and to overlook an inefficient friend; how
necessary it is for them to employ, as instruments, the able and
enterprising, rather than the amiable; and in fine, how much more apt
the great are to shower their favours on those whom they oblige by
unexpected munificence, than to discharge the claims of justice; to seek
praise for liberality, instead of being contented with the merit
resulting from a mere performance of duty.

To return; the account which Mrs. Mellicent gave of the persecution
raised by the Oliverian government, determined Dr. Lloyd to prevent
either of his young friends from becoming its victim. They both
recollected the anxiety of the late King to remove his heir beyond the
power of his rebel subjects, as soon as he found it was impossible for
himself to escape; and that he even considered the preservation of the
Prince as a security for his own life. The event refuted that
conclusion; but it was owing to this forecast that the prayers and hopes
of Englishmen could still follow the princely fugitive. Whether he was
shrouded in the oak at Boscobel-wood, or coldly frowned on by the courts
of France and Spain, England saw, in the lineal heir of her monarchy, a
pledge of the future restoration of her civil and ecclesiastical
constitution, and a guarantee to individuals against sequestrators and
informers. The same judicious measures which had preserved the Royal
sapling when the parent-tree was felled, should be resorted to for the
safety of an illustrious private family; and Dr. Lloyd agreed to hurry
back to North Wales, and remove his precious charge to some more
auspicious clime, before they heard of the imprisonment of Dr. Beaumont.
Virginia was objected to on account of its distance from the scene of
action. The power of Cromwell, so resistless in the centre of his
government, was somewhat relaxed in its more remote dependencies; and
the island of Jersey was pointed out as a spot where Eustace and De
Vallance ran less hazard of being recognized by Cromwell's officers.

Loyalty was at this time a bond of endearment which united apparent
strangers; Mrs. Mellicent had an intimacy, in her early days, with a
lady who was now wife to one of the most respectable merchants at St.
Helier. He was one who, though faithful to the King, had preserved such
an ostensible moderation in his conduct as to avoid offending his
enemies; consequently, he had it in his power to assist those braver
spirits that had withstood the storm, and now required shelter. A
friendly intimation of remembrance, and an offer of aid had been
transmitted by this Lady to Mrs. Mellicent, and she advised Dr. Lloyd to
fix his abode in that island, under the character of a medical
gentleman, travelling with two pupils, who were to study physic at
Leyden, but were required, by their infirm constitutions, to establish
their health in a salubrious climate, before they encountered the
morasses and fogs of Holland.

Dr. Lloyd was not a friend by halves; he was willing to devote the
remainder of his life and fortune to the service of these interesting
and deserving young men. He wrote a brief account of the preservation of
Eustace and the safety of De Vallance, and Jobson was sent with the
welcome communication to London, to lighten the woes of their
affectionate and unhappy friends. Dr. Lloyd returned to Wales with the
utmost celerity. He avoided explaining the distressed state of the
family, contenting himself with assuring Eustace and De Vallance that
Colonel Evellin was alive, and that Isabel and Constance were faithful
to their vows. The plan of emigration to America must, he said, be
abandoned, as it was impossible for the family to remove; but as the
preservation of their lives, in some degree depended on the concealment
of Eustace, it became necessary they should avoid the rigid scrutiny
which Cromwell was now making after obnoxious Loyalists, by removing to
a retreat where, though the royal banner was not permitted to fly, the
inhabitants were allowed to remain in a sort of peaceable neutrality.




CHAP. XXIII.

    When the sword is drawn, and the power of the strongest is to
    decide, you talk in vain of equity and moderation; those virtues
    always belong to the conquerors. Thus it has happened to the
    Cheruscans: they were formerly called just and upright; at present
    they are called fools and knaves. Victory has transferred every
    virtue to their masters; and oppression takes the name of wisdom.

                                                 Murphy's Tacitus.


It was not the practice of Cromwell to bring to a speedy trial those
state-prisoners against whom he could produce no positive proof of the
offence with which they were charged. Though the palaces of the degraded
bishops and exiled nobility were, during this reign of terror in
England, converted into places of confinement, the prisons continued
crowded with victims. Judges and juries were too slow and uncertain in
their proceedings to be permitted to decide on the fate of those whom
the Protector of the liberties of England had pre-ordained to death or
captivity. High courts of justice were occasionally erected, and summary
modes of trial resorted to, which the ancient laws of the realm
reprobated or disavowed. By these the Tyrant freed himself from those
more obnoxious enemies who had taken arms against his authority; but the
objects of his suspicious fear, whose enmity he knew, and whose ability
he dreaded, still remained in close confinement. The crime of some was
having concealed Loyalists; many were shut up for sending remittances to
the King abroad, or for having shown him some mark of respect and
allegiance while he was in England. The presbyterians suffered for
lamenting the fall of the Long-parliament, and inveighing against the
present tyranny; the Fifth-Monarchy-men, for expecting the reign of King
Jesus; the Levellers, for requiring Agrarian laws and the equalization
of property. The conduct of Cromwell had disgusted the whole body of
sectaries as well as the stanch Republicans. "Anabaptists, Independents,
and Quakers conceived an implacable hatred against him; and, whilst they
contrived how to raise a power to contend with him, they likewise
entered into plots for his assassination." These plots, and the
libellous writings by which they excited insurrection, continually
agitated the mind of Cromwell; for as his new enemies were not
restrained by those principles which prevented most of his old ones from
resorting to indirect modes of warfare, cutting off one daring villain
added nothing to his security, but rather stimulated that faction to
vengeance. He had now humbled and disappointed all parties, and could no
longer play one against another. No one was attached to him; even those
who had gone equal lengths in guilt only clung to him as a pledge for
their own security. Mercy and lenity had no effect on those with whom he
now contended. Lilburn, who may be considered as an epitome of the
fanatical opponents of Cromwell, "had wrought himself to a marvellous
inclination and appetite to suffer in the defence, or for the
vindication of any oppressed truth." To men who courted persecution, who
gloried in personal suffering, and to whom, connecting their cause with
that of the Almighty, all measures seemed allowable which their humours
suggested--the axe and the gallows displayed no terrors; and it was as
impossible to oblige as it was to intimidate them. They despised
temporal possessions, and braced their iron-nerves with misapplications
of the texts and examples of Scripture, believing that, in performing
the actions of banditti, they were proving themselves to be chosen
captains of the host of the Lord.

As the labours of the itinerant preachers already described had
converted thousands of the lower orders into ignorant and desperate,
and, it might be added, insane, enthusiasts, a mind less indefatigable
than Cromwell's would have been wholly engrossed in securing his person
and government from their violence and hostile machinations; but his
fear of his new enemies did not make him forget his hatred of his old
ones. The fanatical conspirators and insurgents being more inimical to
the general good sense of the nation, he often submitted them to the
ordinary courts of justice, contenting himself (as in the case of
Lilburn) with making acquittal issue in more rigorous imprisonment, when
a jury had the presumption to decide in favour of a prisoner whom the
Protector had resolved to punish. Desirous of conciliating the good
opinion of well-informed people, he preserved the fountain of justice
uncontaminated. The judges who presided in the several courts were in
general an honour to their country; and many of them (especially the
immortal Hale) accepted the office, in order to be better able to
restrain oppression, "knowing that in every form of government justice
must be administered between man and man, and offenders against the
universal laws of society punished." By such judges, a Gerrard, a Hewet,
a Hyde, and other illustrious Loyalists, would not have been condemned.
Against such persons, therefore, Cromwell was compelled to rearrange his
pantomimic High Court of Justice, that contemptible but bloody engine,
by which he had destroyed the King and the nobles, and to whose
authority, as anomalous to the constitution, his victims generally
refused to submit, and were thus condemned without any public
discussion.

Had Cromwell determined to try Dr. Beaumont for sending pecuniary
assistance to the King (an offence which he had the means of proving),
he would have immediately collected his creatures and erected one of
these executive courts; but if the suspicion of assassinating an
officer, who bore a parliamentary commission, could be supported by
stronger proofs than the accusation of Lady Bellingham, and the
probabilities suggested by Morgan, he need not fear permitting justice
to mount her regular seat, and hold her balance in the public eye. No
charge of cruelty or persecution could then be brought against him; and
the public odium would be transferred to the episcopalians and
Loyalists. He attended the first examination of the Doctor before the
Council of State, on the ostensible accusation of assisting the King,
and saw, in his behaviour, an enlightened opposer of tyranny, and a
conscientious adherent to the old government. Such a man, he resolved,
should either be cut off, or prevented from doing him any injury. The
best policy, therefore, was to defer his trial, and to send down some
active emissaries to Ribblesdale to examine minutely into his past
conversation, and discover whether any ground of accusation existed
against him. At least to ascertain that Sedley had really been cut off,
and that Dr. Beaumont had no evidence to disprove his being concerned in
the transaction.

Dr. Beaumont was therefore remanded into close confinement. His family
had gathered round him, and were supported by the generous contributions
of those Loyalists who had hitherto escaped persecution, but made a
common cause with their suffering brethren, and liberally ministered to
their distresses. Colonel Evellin was concealed in an obscure lodging
near the Marshalsea, where Dr. Beaumont was imprisoned. Constantia and
Isabel, with patient fortitude, ministered to their respective fathers,
while Williams carried on a confidential intercourse with the noble and
worthy friends by whom they were supported. Some of these were in the
confidence of Lord Falconberg, the accepted lover of one of Cromwell's
daughters, and who was thought by many to have sought that alliance with
the view of mediating for the persecuted victims to a cause which
himself and his family had ever decidedly espoused.

Affairs were in this situation when Jobson arrived in London, and
produced Dr. Lloyd's letter, which, confirmed by his own testimony,
fully verified the existence of Eustace, the safety of De Vallance, and
their welfare and comparative happiness. What a weight of anguish was
removed from these amiable victims of tyranny by the intelligence!
Imprisonment, poverty, dependence, personal infirmity, were all
supportable evils. But for a complete exemplification of the extreme
limit of human misery, we must look to the oppressor, not to the
oppressed; to Cromwell, galled by the armour worn under his robes of
state to defend his person from the expected dagger of a murderer, and
not to Dr. Beaumont, languishing for want of the common blessings which
freedom bestows, or to Evellin, an aged cripple in the lonely confined
chamber of poverty. Cromwell had no daughter who revered his virtues,
and cheered his pensive contemplations with the assurance that the
righteous sufferer was under the peculiar protection of Heaven. Most of
_his_ daughters were strongly attached to the royal cause. The wife of
Fleetwood (his eldest) was a furious Republican; Desborough, his
brother-in-law, was a Leveller; and his eldest son was incompetent to
receive that weight of usurped greatness which he wished to bequeath
him. Such was the domestic situation of the man at whose frown Europe
trembled. Ever in dread of assassins and conspirators, vexed by
family-broils, his nearest connexions hostile to his views, without
solace from public care, or sympathy in private distress.

The preservation of his son seemed to bestow on Colonel Evellin a new
existence. He was never weary of listening to the particulars of his
escape. Again and again he required Jobson to repeat the assurance, that
he had actually held in his arms the living Eustace; the determined
martyr to loyalty and truth; the brave, conspicuous, honourable soldier;
his own dear son, not a traitor to his King or his love, but all that he
could wish a true Neville to be, except in his misfortunes. It seemed a
double resurrection to life, and to unclouded fame. And was it possible
he might again see him at his feet craving his blessing? Should his hand
rest upon his head, while, with a prophetic ardour, he predicted a race
of worthies that should spring from him--future heroes, patriots, and
faithful subjects, alike tenacious of their Sovereign's rights and of
the claims of their countrymen. What were privations, infirmities, and
restraints to a mind animated with these glorious hopes? He limped on
his staff round his narrow room, lest his limbs should grow too
contracted to visit every apartment in Bellingham-Castle. He partook of
his frugal meal, and talked of the joyous regales he would provide for
his tenantry. He was no longer the existing root of a tree that had been
hewn down; one fatal shot had not smitten his Eustace, and doomed his
Isabel to remain a vestal mourner over her brother's grave. De Vallance
and Eustace were now cementing that bond of virtuous friendship which
would distinguish them in happier times; and those times would soon
return. The generous feelings of English nobles would not long endure
the national degradation. They had taught the Norman Conqueror to
venerate their ancient rights. They had resisted every attempt of the
princely house of Plantagenet to sink subjects into vassals. The First
Edward, great in council and in arms, found his people alike invincible
in the field, whether they followed his banner under an Asian or a
Northern sky, or opposed his violation of their chartered rights! Could
a nation, which would only pay a constitutional obedience to a Beauclerk
or a Coeur de Lion, which served, not submitted to, the heroes of Cressy
and of Agincourt, long writhe under the scorpion-lash of despotism
wielded by a low Usurper, whose manners and sentiments were inimical to
the general tone of the English character--a man pre-eminent in fraud
and hypocrisy, and ignorant of the lively yearnings of humanity.

"My girl," Evellin would often say to Isabel, "the King must be
re-instated on his throne, or England will fall from her rank among the
nations. The standard of public morals must be reduced, the mode of
thinking be changed, the very aspect of Englishmen undergo a revolution
before the race of this upstart Despot can take root in this island. We
have been accustomed to look up to our governors as great and good; at
least they were surrounded by a blaze of ancestry and dignity of manners
congenial to our feelings of the prescriptive claims of hereditary
rights. We must be all mercenary soldiers, wild fanatics, pensioned
informers, or feudal serfs toiling for daily bread, ere we can patiently
endure this revolting system of jealousy and suspicion--this cold,
selfish scheme of trick and expedient. Astonishment and terror may
awhile paralyze the national spirit; the remembered miseries of civil
war may render the phantom of peace so alluring as to induce many to
call a deleterious intoxication felicity. But unless Cromwell can
obliterate every record of what Englishmen were in past ages--unless he
can make us forget the education, opinions, and hopes of our youth--the
labours, sorrows, and wrongs of our riper years--his meanness and his
crimes;--never--never can the British lion crouch at an Usurper's form,
or the red-cross banner wave graceful over a traitor's head."

Colonel Evellin was roused from these agreeable reveries by a painful
communication from Williams. The means of access which the royalists now
had to Cromwell's councils enabled them to discover that the vigilance
of Morgan had brought together so many charges against Dr. Beaumont,
that there seeming no chance of his escaping condemnation, it was
resolved to bring him to trial. Williams could not distinctly make out
the crimes with which he was charged, except that he assisted the late
and present King with money; that he used the Liturgy and Church
ceremonies with such slight alterations as did not prevent their
continuing to be that "form of words" and "will-worship" which were
forbidden to saints; added to this, he prayed for Charles Stewart; and
further, there were secret counsels and mysterious contrivances in the
family. A private chamber had also been found, which, it was evident,
had been used for the purpose of concealing malignants. The safety of
the state required that these practices should be searched into, and
that Dr. Beaumont should be tried for contumacy to the government.

This was all Williams could discover; but beside this open attack, there
was a mine ready to be sprung for the Doctor's destruction. Lord
Bellingham had now lain several years in confinement. His party was
believed to be subdued, and his own reputation was so tarnished that he
was become quite innoxious. Overtures were now made to him, that he
should be restored to liberty, and to a part of his possessions; but it
was hinted at the same time that it would show his acquiescence with the
existing government if he would take an active part against an atrocious
royalist. The sudden and mysterious disappearance of his son (of whom he
had heard no tidings since the battle of Preston) was mentioned; and it
was soon understood that it was expected he should bring the charge of
assassination against Dr. Beaumont, and thus remove all odium from
Cromwell. Solitude and confinement had wrought no salutary change on
this wretched man's disposition. His prison-hours were occupied by
regrets for the past, distaste at the present, and fears for the future.
His affections clung fondly to the wealth and title he had lost; nor
could his guilty soul disrobe itself "of those lendings" which vitiated
its spiritual essence. If he were again placed in Bellingham-Castle he
would repent. He would then devote a large proportion of his
dearly-purchased estate to charitable purposes; he would seek for Allan
Neville and his daughter; were they alive, he would make them happy, or
at least place them in affluence; he would erect a monument to the
gallant Eustace; he would employ his future life in pious duties; in
fine, if restored to the enjoyment of the unrighteous Mammon, he would
use it in securing an everlasting inheritance. No angel whispered,
"Begin the mighty labour now;" no renovating change took place in his
desires. The hour of contrition and repentance was deferred with
procrastinating insincerity. Can we then wonder that the man who, in his
youth, sacrificed honour and friendship to purchase worldly grandeur,
should, in his age, again impawn his conscience for liberty and ease? or
that, though he had indeed often deplored the supposed necessity of
murdering Eustace Evellin, he should basely yield to become a Tyrant's
instrument to cut off that Eustace's uncle on a charge, which, from what
he knew of the Doctor's conduct, bore improbability and ingratitude in
its aspect. Let those who condemn Lord Bellingham beware how they yield
to the first temptations of guilt. The emulation of an aspiring mind,
unchecked by principle, degenerated into envy, hatred, malice,
injustice, falsehood, and cruelty. Love for a beautiful woman was
polluted by an insatiable craving to rise to the same sphere of life in
which she moved; and as it was her exterior loveliness, not her inward
graces, that inflamed his desires, he scrupled not to become the
instrument of her bad passion; that "love might revel on the couch of
state," he performed actions which stamped ignominy on his name, and
destroyed his peace for ever; and now, in the decline of life, though
satiety had taught him the little value of all temporal enjoyments, his
imagination clung to the dispersing shadows which even experience would
not convince him were only phantoms of happiness. Even while he wept the
offences he had committed, he yielded to the first temptation to repeat
his crimes.

On the morning fixed for his trial, Dr. Beaumont exhibited an
illustration of the scriptural precept, by combining the wisdom of the
serpent with the innocence of the dove. Serene, mild, thoughtful, acute,
and penetrating, he was capable of using every fair occasion to elude
his enemies, and was able also to submit to the will of Heaven, provided
their malice should be permitted to triumph. He prepared Constantia for
the worst, by assuring her that so many had unjustly suffered in these
perturbed times that condemnation was no longer considered as an
evidence of guilt. All the disgrace of a public death was removed by the
justice of the cause to which he was ready to fall a martyr; and the
mere circumstance of his dying as a malefactor ought not to distress
her, since, in the article of pain, he should endure much less; and the
awakening trial of imprisonment had afforded him leisure to re-consider
his ways, and make his peace with God. This singular blessing had
supplied the best uses of sickness, without its frequent attendant,
bodily incapacity. He reminded her of his declining years. "My enemies,"
said he, "can only rob me of the dregs of life. Death hath sent many of
his forerunners by the hand of time to inform me that my days are
drawing to a close. It was my wish to be useful as long as I lived. The
new government have done me the honour to think me dangerous. When they
immured me in a prison, I considered the loss of liberty as a quietus
from my heavenly King, dismissing me from active employments; and I have
since endeavoured to improve myself in the practice of those passive
virtues which are never enough prized by the world, and which are often
painful rather than pleasant. I have endeavoured after the perfection of
patience, humility, and submission; but, my Constantia, I have only
endeavoured, and have discovered so many unsubdued weaknesses, such a
lingering fondness for what I must renounce, that I fear nothing but the
cold chill of death will benumb those ardent affections which have often
led me to lament (but, I trust, not to repine) that I was born in these
unhappy times. To the last I must bemoan the degradation, and crimes of
my country, that beloved England, whom, in the humble sphere of a
village-rector, I laboured to serve, by making all whom my counsels and
example could influence, faithful servants of their God and their King.
I feel too the destitution of my family (here he faultered and turned
aside his face)--principally thee, poor mourner, tenderly fostered in
thine infancy, and, since then, the child of sorrow. Encourage me by thy
firmness, now I am on the eve of the most awful occurence of my life.
Imitate the cheerful magnanimity of Isabel. Let me not shudder at the
thought of leaving thee a weak, heart-broken burden on those who can
only pity thy distress; but let me have the comfort of hoping that thou
wilt behave like a resigned Christian, who, art not so depressed by a
sense of thy own grief, as to be incapable of ministering to the woes of
others. Allow me to think of thee as one whose views are not bounded by
the grave, and then I shall have no overwhelming terrors to distract my
attention, or unfit me for improving every fair opportunity for my
deliverance. But, should the worst happen, remember, Constantia, I shall
continue to exist. Putting on the garment of immortality does not
destroy identity. We shall still continue members of that large family
of whom God is the head, the angels being his more exalted servants, and
the infernal spirits potent rebels, who in vain labour to defeat his
purposes. No event can remove us from the superintendance of Providence;
no distance of time or country, no difference of station or fortune, can
hinder the glorified spirits of the faithful from meeting in the same
paradise, and hearing the same joyful sentence of eternal beatitude.
Whether the disembodied souls left their bodies in the north or in the
south, they will all rejoice in the society of each other. The spirits
of the patriarchs of old, as well as of those who die to-day in the
Lord, will meet in one large community. Console thyself, therefore, with
the thought of a future, joyful, and eternal re-union; and let that
consolation be also an active precept, teaching thee so to order thy
daily conversation as to complete thy fitness for that re-union."

He then entreated her to remember the inestimable consolation she
possessed, in knowing that Eustace lived and was worthy of her
affections, faithful to his vows, to his King, and his God. He advised
her, if possible, to remove with her aunt, Isabel, and Colonel Evellin,
and to place themselves under his protection. If his situation
permitted, he advised her to marry him as the best way of being safe and
respectable, to endeavour to procure an honest livelihood by following
some humble occupation, and to forget the station to which their birth
entitled them to aspire. He was almost hopeless of a speedy change of
times. He feared the spirit of the nation was so broken that it would
submit to the establishment of the usurping family. Policy would teach
Cromwell to soften the terrors of his administration as soon as he could
found his government on the safer principles of expedience and
prescription. He had already adopted many popular measures; and, in
making the power of England formidable abroad, he had gratified the
public-feeling. Though the persecution of individuals, and actions of
glaring oppression and injustice, soon excited discord in peaceable
times, and under the government of a legitimate King, they were so
congenial to the nature of tyranny, that people were more apt to rejoice
in their own escape than to animadvert on the sufferings of their
neighbours. Nor would an accumulation of such deeds rouse to arms a
nation, that had recently bled so copiously from the multiplied wounds
of civil war. Dreadful calamities had stupified the finer feelings,
while self-interest and a mean anxiety for personal safety absorbed
their sensibility for the distressed. Above all, he regretted to say
that an unfavourable impression of the young monarch's personal
qualities had gone abroad; and though the disadvantageous reports might
be aggravated by ill-will, it would be inferred that the person on whom
they fastened was by no means blameless. For all these reasons, Dr.
Beaumont feared that the present ostensible form of a republican
government would imperceptibly slide into the restoration of what the
laws, institutions, habits, and character of England required, a limited
monarchy in the person of one of Cromwell's family, should such a one
arise, who, without being stained by the atrocious guilt of his
progenitor, should display qualities that would eclipse the legitimate
prince. Much, he said, depended on the personal character of a King of
England, who was not, like an Eastern sovereign, shown from a distant
eminence to be worshipped with prostrations, or, like a Grand Monarque,
to be flattered and implicitly obeyed. He ruled over a nation of
freemen; he lived in the observation of his subjects, not as a despot
coercing slaves and parasites, but as the administrator of public
justice, and the conservator of the national rights. He could not put up
a more salutary prayer for his country, than that each future Prince
(especially in times of great political turbulence) would remember that
he is set like a city upon a hill, and that his whole conduct is
canvassed by a free, inquisitive, and, generally speaking, an
intelligent and high-minded nation, attached to hereditary rule, but
indignant at the contamination of the blood-royal. It was impossible for
persons eminent for birth to sin in secret; and one bad action of
theirs, divulged to the public, did more injury than the machinations of
the most subtile traitor. Woe would it be to England, if her liberties
were thus made to depend on the mercy and prudence of those who grasped
her sceptre in despite of law, while its rightful owner discovered such
base propensities as made it safer even in an Usurper's hands than in
his, who less prized the inheritance of three kingdoms than the praise
of debauchees and the indulgence of depraved appetites.

Thus fortifying his daughter's mind with the best principles, and then
gradually withdrawing it from the agonizing present to circumstances
connected with her future fortunes, Dr. Beaumont consoled and instructed
Constantia. "I am firm and patient, my dearest father," said she. "Your
voice, like that of the angel to Hagar, has pointed out springs of
comfort in a frightful desert. One request I must make. Let me stand by
your side at your trial. Perhaps my appearance may influence your
judges. Men who seem to have renounced every feeling of humanity have
been induced to pity orphan wretchedness. Some circumstances may escape
your observation that my quick-sighted fears will seize on; at least I
may serve as your notary. These times of woe have often witnessed female
heroism claiming its affinity to the proscribed victims of injustice,
and glorying in partaking their dangers. Thus let me triumph, and, to
the last, exult in having such a father." Dr. Beaumont gazed on her with
affection, and acceded to her desires. Like his royal Master, he had at
first resolved to object to the legality of these high courts of
justice; but further consideration made him doubt if the plea was
admissible by a Christian, who was required to submit to the powers that
are; and its inexpediency was apparent, by the immediate condemnation of
all who urged it, since, whatever degree of proof their offences
admitted, they were infallibly condemned for contumacy. Being asked,
therefore, if he acknowledged the authority of the court, he lifted up
the cap which covered his thin silvered locks, and declared that he
submitted to be tried by the laws of God and his country, though, as he
had not been furnished with a copy of the charges brought against him,
he came with no other means of defence than a general consciousness of
inoffensive behaviour.

As Dr. Beaumont spoke he withdrew his arm from the feeble support of his
trembling daughter. A sun-beam fell upon his pale countenance, and
irradiated its expression of piety and resignation, while his clasped
hands, and eyes elevated to heaven, bespoke him engrossed by the fervour
of mental devotion. Constantia, silent, trembling, and almost fearing to
breathe, contrasted, by her apprehensiveness, beauty, and elegance, the
awful solemnity of her father's aspect. He was invested with the
insignia of his academical honours, and attired in his sacerdotal habit,
which, in its decay, seemed emblematical of the ruined Church for whom
he was a confessor. Meek but dignified, patient but courageous, he
looked like one of the pillars of episcopacy, who, though the beauty of
holiness was defaced, and the visible cherubim removed from the
sanctuary, continued to support the tottering edifice, deeming the ruins
of Zion a better station than the gorgeous temple of Baal. Nor did the
celebrated classical example of Antigone more forcibly illustrate the
persevering fortitude of passive heroism and enduring love in woman's
gentle bosom, than did the interesting, lovely Constantia. Like the
renowned daughter of Sir Thomas More, "she seemed to have forgotten
herself, being ravished with the entire love of her dear father," and
fearful of danger only as it pointed at him. She turned her eyes upon
the court with a boldness unusual to their general expression, to see if
in any of their faces she could trace the lineaments of justice or
compassion; but they were soon arrested by recognising, in the
president, the well-remembered face of Major Monthault. The brims of his
hat were of more than ordinary dimensions; his hair was notched into the
exact shape prescribed by the highest standard of puritanical orthodoxy;
his band was crimped, and his robes folded with prim decorum; while his
hands demurely rested on the cushion before him, holding a small edition
of the sacred volume, on which he seemed to be meditating in the
intervals between the exercise of his professional duties. But neither
the starched sobriety of his aspect, nor his newly assumed name of
Mephibosheth could obliterate her recollection of the daring libertine
who had seduced her Eustace, and attempted her honour. She pointed him
out to her father, inquiring if he might not be challenged as a personal
enemy; but Dr. Beaumont wisely thought it more prudent to avoid a
recognition, which would only confirm his enmity by exposing his former
conduct; and, reminding Constantia that as no exceptions of theirs would
be attended to, they must know Monthault only in his present character,
he entreated, as her alarm was so visible, that she would retire, and
leave him to the care of Williams.

Dissembling his knowledge of the prisoner, the President showed, by his
address to the Court, that he had adopted the language as well as the
habit of a fanatic. He observed that the malignants could hardly be
bound by any specific terms, being full of evasions and subtleties of
expression, by which they ensnared the simplicity of the faithful. He
then called on Eusebius Beaumont to say, unequivocally, whether he did
so truly and _bona fide_ submit to the authority of this Court, as to
acknowledge it was legally assembled by the supreme power in the
Commonwealth, namely, His Highness Oliver Cromwell, Protector of the
liberties, and General of the armies of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

Dr. Beaumont answered, that he did acknowledge the supreme power was now
lodged in the Protector; and that, according to the ordinances made by
him, the present High Court of Justice possessed a right to try him. He
was then asked if he meant to deny his sending assistance to Charles
Stewart, and praying for a restoration of the ancient system; to which
he answered, he admitted the truth of these accusations; and being in
his heart convinced that the former government of church and state was
not only most consonant to the constitution, but also to the prosperity
of the kingdom, he must ever wish and pray that it might be restored.
But yet, abhorring all conspiracies and plots, the only acts of
contumacy of which he had been guilty to the existing powers, were the
supplications he offered at the Throne of Grace, and the scanty
contributions, which the purse of penury could ill spare, given to the
necessities of those who espoused the same cause, and whose wants
exceeded his own.

The indictment was then read, in which the charges already noticed were
dressed out in vituperative language; but the crimes principally
insisted on were, that he had secreted several desperate and proscribed
delinquents in a ruinous mansion which he inhabited for the purpose; and
that by their assistance he had clandestinely conveyed away, destroyed,
and murdered, divers good and faithful citizens. Among these was a godly
officer of the commonwealth, Arthur De Vallance, commonly called Lord
Sedley, son and heir to the Earl of Bellingham, whom he was known to
have kept in custody, and who had never been heard of since. To give a
tragical effect to this accusation, the Earl and his Countess, attired
in deep mourning, presented themselves in a conspicuous gallery, and, as
if overpowered by the sudden emotions of parental anguish, wrung their
hands and with loud lamentations besought the court to grant them
justice.

Dr. Beaumont's astonishment for some moments precluded the possibility
of reply, but as his native integrity never deserted him, he soon
recovered sufficient presence of mind to determine rather to fall a
victim to the malice of his foes, than to make any discovery which
should endanger the life of Arthur De Vallance, who having borne arms
against Cromwell was become amenable to the penal ordinances, and would
be marked by the Usurper's personal hatred as a confidential friend
changed into a renegado. He soon answered in a firm tone, that, being
unable to divine that such a charge could be brought against him, he
must crave a few days grace to form his reply, and produce evidence
which should disprove it. He would, however, observe, that at the time
of the supposed murder, and his concealment of desperadoes, he was a
suspected persecuted man in distressed circumstances, and all his
actions were watched with insidious vigilance. To impute to him a power
of restraining a man of Lord Sedley's rank was a futile charge,
disproved by its impossibility. There was a person in court (looking at
Morgan) who knew the hospitality and kindness he had shown to that
nobleman; but he was certain the being did not exist, who could fasten
on him the slightest suspicion of his having subsequently practised
against his life.

The counsel for the prosecution answered, that his long confinement had
given him sufficient opportunity of recollecting his misdeeds, and
therefore no accusation could take him by surprise. There could be no
occasion to adjourn the court, or longer suspend justice, which thirsted
to seize the sanguinary old hypocrite. The feelings of the bereaved
parent should be regarded (here a loud sobbing was heard from Lady
Bellingham), and as the culprit had declared that there was a person in
court who could prove his innocence, they would yield him the advantage
of inverting the general order of the trial, and permit him to call and
examine his evidence, before they discovered the dark machination, by
which an illustrious pair lost the son of their hopes, the only heir to
their magnificent fortune.

Dr. Beaumont's strong confidence in his own innocence prevented him from
discovering that the proposal was a snare, intended to give indubitable
authority to the evidence of Morgan, who now pressed forward, stretched
out his hand with an air of friendship to the prisoner, and seemed to
rejoice in the opportunity of befriending him. He took the oath, and
answered the questions put to him, by giving a minute and (as far as his
coarse mind would permit) a pathetic description of the care and
attention which the Beaumont family showed to the young nobleman, and of
his voluntary continuance with them after his wounds were healed.

When Morgan's examination was over, the counsel for the prosecution
addressed the court. "My Lord President Monthault, and you other My
Lords Judges of this honourable tribunal; we all know that the butcher
fatteneth the lamb before he leadeth it to the slaughter-house, and
therefore the care and hospitality pretended to have been shown to the
noble person, whose loss we deplore, establishes nothing positively in
the prisoner's favour. I shall prove to you, that Lord Sedley liberally
rewarded him for his entertainment, and that notwithstanding all the
peaceable professions he has this day made, he took great pains to
change that Lord's principles, to make him false to the Commonwealth,
and also to engage him in an alliance with his family; failing of which,
and also suspecting that he gave information to His Highness of the
plots then carrying on for restoring tyranny and superstition; he the
prisoner was consenting unto, if not aiding and abetting, the murdering
and secreting the aforesaid godly Lord. The time chosen for this
business was immediately after his receiving a large remittance. To
these facts, together with that of the prisoner's concealing a band of
desperate malignants, armed with instruments of destruction, I shall,
with leave of the court, proceed to call my evidence."

The payment of several sums of money to Lord Sedley, during his
residence at Ribblesdale, and the cessation of all demand for
remittances from the period of his quitting it, were proved by his
tenants; one of whom particularly specified his having sent him a very
considerable sum, raised by mortgage of his principal farm, a few days
previous to that fixed on for his disappearance. Morgan was now
re-examined, who acted the part of a reluctant witness, with too marked
partiality for Dr. Beaumont to deceive any who had not been accustomed
to the grossest deceptions of fulsome hypocrisy. Much as he said of his
hopes that his good old friend and neighbour would meet with favour, he
took care to confirm every circumstance to his prejudice. He dwelt on
the steadiness of Lord Sedley's principles; the regular communication he
had with him, respecting the views of the royalists; the beauty and
allurements of Constantia Beaumont, and the evident consternation of the
family, together with her extreme grief at the time of Sedley's
disappearing. He now hesitated and begged he might be dismissed; but a
few threats of imprisonment restored his volubility, and he anticipated
the questions of the counsel by stating, that at the command of His
Highness he had minutely searched the late residence of the Beaumonts,
and at length found a sliding pannel concealing an arched passage,
through an extraordinarily thick wall, which, being excavated in one
part, formed a small secret chamber or closet, concealed among the
buttresses, so as not to be visible on the out-side, and lighted by a
small window in the roof; he found, he said, certain proof of its having
been recently inhabited, and on removing the floor he discovered, with
several arms and implements, the dress of a parliamentary officer; the
same which he had seen Lord Sedley wear. Nor was this the only
corroborative proof of his having been assassinated in that dark recess,
for, on digging lower, they found several bones, which he feared were
part of the remains of that unfortunate gentleman.

The incongruity of finding the dress sufficiently perfect to discover
its identity, while the body of Sedley was so dismembered by time, that
only a few disjointed bones could be discovered, might have convinced
the court, that they could not, without incurring great odium, find Dr.
Beaumont guilty of murder. But, indeed, they had not time to reflect on
the inadmissibility of such vague circumstances in a criminal charge.
Lady Bellingham renewed her screams, to give effect, it was presumed, to
the workings of compassion for a fond mother, wounded to agony by such a
horrid narration. But her screams continued too long, and were too
piercing, to proceed from feigned distress, and the intermingled cries
of "He is coming again! Save me!" directed the eyes of all to a figure,
who was now perceived slowly making his way through the crowd below the
bar. It was the aged Evellin advancing with feeble steps; his majestic
form clad in a loose, black, serge gown, and his iron-grey hair and
beard waving neglected over his breast and shoulders; his arched brows
were still more elevated by disdain, while, glancing his eyes from his
screaming sister and her trembling husband, he fixed their
unextinguished lustre on the President. "I am an evidence for Eusebius
Beaumont," said he; "tender me the oath. My name is Allan Neville, and I
require to be confronted with Walter De Vallance, calling himself Earl
of Bellingham. Let him not escape," continued he, lifting his staff as
it were an ensign of authority. "I accuse him of perfidy, calumny,
fraud, usurpation, and murder."

Bellingham had more self-command than his guilty consort. His long
acquaintance with the terrors of guilt made him ever on his guard. He
knew of the preservation of Allan Neville during the civil wars, but he
hoped the death of his son might have terminated his days, or
irrecoverably clouded his reason; yet he was ever in apprehension of
having his title to greatness disproved by a living claimant, though he
knew all written documents to confirm his treachery had been destroyed.
He had resolved, if ever this man of many woes should burst upon him, to
abide by the criminal's last resource, denial of his identity, and
solemn protestations of his own innocence: and though the abode of
Neville had been so carefully concealed, that no trace of his residence
in London had been discovered, even by the vigilance of Oliverian spies,
the terrors to which the wretched Bellingham was a constant prey gave
him a degree of adroitness in a moment of surprise. Though a coward,
when only in the presence of God and his own conscience, the adhesive
habits of a practised courtier, gave him effrontery and address when
endeavouring to propitiate mankind in his favour.

"My Lord President," said he, "I must request that this unhappy maniac
may be taken into custody. The sight is too dreadful to the weakened
spirits of Lady Bellingham. Being a distant kinsman, we long supported
him by our bounty; but his disordered imagination has persuaded him that
he is the brother of my countess--that unfortunate and guilty man has
been long since numbered with the dead."

Neville answered with stern composure, "Stand forth, David Williams;
identify thy true Lord, the son of thy old master, to whom thou hast
adhered in all his calamities." Williams instantly complied with the
requisition, and Neville, then turning his indignant eyes on the
horror-struct Bellingham, exclaimed--"I trusted thee with my life, my
fortune, and my honour--I supplicated thy aid--I depended on thy
integrity, on our alliance in blood, on a friendship formed in our
boy-hood, on a thousand instances of kindness which I have shown
thee.--Thou stolest from me a pearl, rich as an empire, threwest at me
the worthless shell, and then badest thy plundered brother be grateful
for thy mercy. Mine, Walter, is not the voice of a raving mendicant, it
sounds not in thine ears as the ingratitude of an eleemosynary
pensioner, but as the groan of a perturbed spirit, risen from the grave
to demand vengeance."

"Hear me," continued he, as Bellingham hid his face with his cloak. "Am
not I the friend of thy youth, the brother of thy wife, the owner of thy
lands, castles, of all that thou hast, except that wretched body.--Where
is my son? My Eustace; condemned by thee in cold blood at Pembroke, for
being faithful to the King who ennobled thee, and was then betrayed by
thy treasons! Mark, traitor; at the time that thou unpitying sawest the
heir of the greatness thou hast long usurped walk to execution, this
innocent man, whom thou art now persecuting, preserved the life of thy
only child. And dost thou reproach me with the calamities thou hast
brought upon me? Remember what I was, before thy avarice and ambition
cancelled the ties of blood and gratitude, crushed me to the earth, and
plumed thy borrowed pomp with the wings of my lineal greatness. I am now
a lame, old, destitute Loyalist; yet, for ten thousand worlds, I would
not cease to be the thing I am, if the alternative must be to become
what thou art; a meteor, born in the concussion of the elements; a
timorous slave of power, scared into the commission of any action which
may prolong a life, miserable in its continuance, tremendous in its
close."

He now turned to the judges, who were gazing on him in silent
consternation. "Are you," said he, "administrators of the new code of
criminal justice, or sworn extirpators of inconvenient rectitude. You
see in me the bloody malignant, whom Beaumont cherished for years in the
secret chamber. Have I physical strength to assassinate a vigorous
youth? This arm was rendered useless at the battle of Marston-Moor;
these knees were enfeebled by infirmity, resulting from the hardships I
endured at the siege of Pontefract-Castle. Thus maimed and disabled, I
was removed from a cave where I was hid by my kind comrades on a wain,
concealed under rubbish and fed by my daughter, and by that firm friend,
first in a sepulchre, and then among the ruins that sheltered his
oppressed family. To justify his innocence, I commit my long
painfully-preserved life to your clemency. Condemn me for what I have
done for the King, to whom my heart is still faithful; bow my hoary
locks to the scaffold; cut off the useless trunk which now only serves
to bear the unblemished insignia of the true Earls of Bellingham. I
suffer worse than death by looking on the traitor you cherish in your
bosom. But before you condemn me, mark my words--Young De Vallance
lives--he is beyond your power; he is a firm royalist, and ready, like
myself, to die for his King. Hear me yet again. If you determine to
bring on your cause the odium of deeming an aged cripple dangerous, let
my execution be private; for no pomp of death can quail my courage. On
the scaffold I shall proclaim my attachment to the Sovereign, who
bestowed my birth-right on that viper--the betrayer of us both. But
spare Eusebius Beaumont, the minister of good to friend and foe. Keep
him alive to be your beadsman, till you cease to provoke heaven by
injustice and rebellion."

The cry of "Let us seek the Lord," was immediately vociferated by the
members of the mock tribunal. The President ordered Neville to be taken
into custody. "There needs no rush of marshals-men," said he, "to effect
your purpose; a child may guard me to my dungeon, and a twine confine me
in it. But since I have proved the innocence of Beaumont, give him the
liberty I willingly resign."

In these times of pretended freedom, a court of justice assembled to try
state-criminals was nothing better than a clumsy engine of destruction,
moved at the pleasure of the Protector. Condemnation and acquittal
depended not on the facts which were disclosed at the trial, but on the
pre-disposition of Cromwell, to whom (as was the usual interpretation of
the phrase of seeking the Lord) the President immediately reported the
appearance of Neville, his singular accusation of Lord Bellingham, his
assertion of the existence of young De Vallance, and also of his change
of principles. He suggested the impossibility of convicting Dr. Beaumont
of murder; and though his concealing a royalist was now proved, the age,
debility, and affinity of Neville, would make a strict execution of the
penal ordinances, cruelty instead of justice; and throw an odium on His
Highness's administration. Dr. Beaumont appeared to be an inoffensive,
quiet character; as to Neville, though a furious, desperate delinquent,
his infirmities made him insignificant, and death would probably soon
relieve the state from his machinations.

At this time Cromwell courted popularity; he wished to engage honourable
and eminent persons to support his government, and he thought an
indisputable reputation for liberality and impartiality would expedite
his ultimate projects. He had engaged some respectable characters in his
service; and the description his emissaries gave him of Neville and
Beaumont, showed him the impolicy of publickly sacrificing such victims
for state-offences. He affected to think it was possible he might attach
them to his interests, and declared he never could fear a disabled
soldier and sequestered parson, but that he was even ready to vindicate
the rights of a Loyalist, who had been injured by the partiality of the
late tyrant, and thus prove his own impartial justice, while he
transferred deserved odium on the memory of him who was called the Royal
martyr. Monthault pleaded warmly for the Beaumonts, but not with
disinterested earnestness. The appearance of Constantia in court revived
the recollection of his former designs on her person, and as the
acknowledged death of Eustace had removed what he supposed the chief
barrier to his wishes, he deemed his suit might not be unsuccessfully
urged, especially if he assumed the character of a mediator between her
father and the government. He willingly obeyed Cromwell's order to
adjourn the court to an indefinite time, till it could be ascertained if
the prisoners would purchase prosperity by a change of principle, and he
resolved to employ the interim in prosecuting his own designs.




CHAP. XXIV.

    None but the guilty are long and completely miserable.

                                                 Goldsmith.


The convulsions which seized Lady Bellingham, at again beholding what
she still supposed was the apparition of her brother, had a speedy and
fatal termination. The apparent reconciliation between herself and her
lord had been effected for the purpose of revenge. Their enmity was the
interminable feud of co-partners in iniquity, the hatred which ever
exists between the contriver and the executor of horrible enormities.
Their mutual recriminations and accusations were suspended; their
aversion was made to look like grief, and they walked together into the
court, as affectionate parents to prosecute the supposed murderer of
their only child. But the sympathy which softens affliction, and even
soothes despair, was here unknown. Lady Bellingham's false views of
religion had, indeed, so far skinned over the wounds of her ulcerated
conscience, as to produce a stupefaction, which might last as long as
health and prosperity continued. But when, what she conceived to be a
supernatural visitation, had terrified her into a dangerous
indisposition; the anchor of absolute election trembled in her grasp,
and her bodily weakness was rapidly increased by the wild agonies a soul
roused to a sense of its danger, when the bridegroom called and the lamp
of faith, unsupplied with good works, was extinguished. Her troubled
spirit saw nothing but darkness in its future prospects, while, with a
dying voice, she continued imploring her physicians to save her life,
and wondering why this judgment was fallen upon her.

The most illiterate and presumptuous of the fanatical preachers crowded
round her bed, and by the canting verbiage of delusion strove to revive
the raptures of enthusiasm. Not one had the honesty to tell her that the
figure which so appalled her, was her living brother. They feared the
assurance of his existence acting upon her present terrors might induce
her to do an act of justice, and to make an effectual effort to restore
him to his ancient rights. They were equally silent as to the safety of
her son, and careful to keep her husband out of her apartment. It was
their aim to prevail upon her to bequeathe her large possessions to
promote the interests of their party. With the spirit of the false
prophets of old, they sounded in her ears, "The temple of the Lord."
They reminded her of her prayers, alms, mortifications, and zeal for the
good cause. They required her to recollect the time and circumstances of
her conversion; the pangs she then suffered; her subsequent experiences
and convictions of having received saving grace. They proceeded, as they
termed it, to buffet Satan with prayers, while with impassioned hymns
they endeavoured to awaken in the trembling sinner, the raptures of
divine love. All sense of contrition for past offences, all disposition
to be reconciled to her lord was prevented by their assurances of her
safety, and their prayers for his conversion, which ran in the style of
craving that he might no longer halt between two opinions, but
renouncing the fears of the carnal man be perfected in faith and love.
Every Scripture narrative, which, by falsifying some circumstances,
could be made to answer their purpose, was presented to her remembrance.
The murder, adultery, and acceptance of David; the liberality of Solomon
to the church; the preservation of Rahab the harlot from the general
massacre of her people, on account of her saving faith; the supposed
profligacy of Magdalen's early life, atoned for by her sitting passive
at the feet of her Lord.--All these instances were produced to prove the
false and scandalous tenet, that a course of sin was a better
preparative to conversion than a life of comparative innocence.
Arguments were bandied from tongue to tongue; each one cavilled at the
assertions of the other, yet all united in the purpose of pacifying an
alarmed conscience, and changing despair into ill-founded confidence.
The groans of Lady Bellingham, the consternation of her attendants, the
fierce disputes of her ghostly assistants, occasionally suspended by
ejaculations and hymns, exhibited a scene of distracting confusion, in
which it would have been impossible for the firmest mind to have
preserved its recollection. Lady Bellingham was soon induced to say that
she knew she had once been in a state of grace, and this acknowledgement
was welcomed as her pass-port to heaven[1]. She was informed that her
salvation was unalienable; that grace could neither be resisted nor
forfeited, and that though the saints might appear to sin, yet their
offences were not imputable to them.

This pious conflict (for in an age when fanaticism and hypocrisy were
misnamed religion, these solemn mockeries passed for charitable
assistance to the dying,) was interrupted by the presence of Monthault,
now become the favourite and confidant of a chief leader of the
fanatical party. This renegade-Loyalist had served Cromwell with
conspicuous bravery in the Irish wars, and once, when a division of the
army was thrown into great danger, by the retreat of the forlorn hope,
before it had accomplished its purpose, he rushed forward, killed the
commanding officer with his own hand, and seizing the colours, led them
back, undismayed, by a grove of pikes and a shower of missile weapons.
With desperate but successful valour he carried the redoubt and escaped
with life. All this passed under the immediate observation of Cromwell,
whose retentive memory never forgot any signal action, and whose
discriminating policy generally placed the man who performed it in a
situation suited to his character. He soon found Monthault to be as
perfidious and unprincipled as he was daring and ready to undertake any
office which would gratify his passions, which (being now past the
heyday of youth) were diverted from licentious indulgence by the more
substantial enjoyments of avarice and ambition.

At this time Cromwell was secretly panting to add the name and
paraphernalia of a King to the authority which he actually exercised.
The fanatics, whom he had so long courted, were the most active
opponents of this project. The other sectaries had been long convinced,
by experience, that their views of republican felicity and perfection
were illusory. The respectable dissenters always professed themselves
friends of a limited monarchy; many staunch royalists thought the
renewal of kingly power would gradually turn the public eye on their
exiled Prince; and some selfish ones would have been content with such
an approach to the old order of things as would give them back their
sequestered estates. Some parties would be brought over by seeming to
fall in with their views, others cajoled by bribing their leaders, but
the levellers and fanatics were invincible. They had been Cromwell's
agents in subduing his enemies, and a consciousness of their power made
them unmanageable; they were determined on owning no King but Jesus, and
on thinking the regal title, when assumed by man, the mark of the beast
and the seal of reprobation to its supporters. "The Protector's
son-in-law, Fleetwood, kneeled and prayed publickly, that the Lord might
spit in his face if the unrighteous mammon tempted him into this sin;
and his brother Desborough anathematized him, and vowed to devote his
own sword to Charles Stewart sooner than to him, if he persevered in
longing for the forbidden spoil." Lambert, who was in the entire
confidence of these two, had seduced the affections of the army;
Cromwell, therefore, had a difficult game to play. His passionate desire
of royalty combated those secret fears that arose from a mysterious
warning which he received when he first meditated on the designs
afterwards realized by his lucky and unprincipled ambition. A vision, or
day-dream, impressed his enthusiastic imagination, detailing the steps
by which he was to rise, and assuring him, "that he should be the
greatest man in England, and near being King." Yet, though this seemed
to warn him of an impassable bound to his greatness, the pageant of
royalty which he had so often vilified and derided, on a close view
appeared so irresistible, that he became enchanted with its
fascinations, till, in aiming at the decorations of power, he nearly
sacrificed the substance.

At this juncture the daring character and versatility of Monthault
marked him out to the Protector as a proper instrument to negotiate with
Lambert, whose talents were far more dangerous than the fanaticism of
Fleetwood or Desborough's virulence. It was plain that though Monthault
wore the enlarged phylacteries and sanctified demeanour of the sect he
had lately adopted, he was more a hypocrite than an enthusiast. It is
well known, that Cromwell found means to discover every private incident
in the lives of his agents, and thus penetrated into all their views.
While pleading for the imprisoned Beaumonts, the Protector read the soul
of the former lover of Constantia, now known to be nearly allied to the
true stock of the house of Bellingham. Cromwell therefore took occasion
to commend the filial piety and courage which he heard that this young
lady had exemplified; and declared himself resolved, not only to show
Dr. Beaumont favour, but also to consider the case of Neville;
intimating, that he looked on an hereditary and uncontaminated nobility
as the strongest link between the people and the government; and from
this acknowledgment he took occasion to glance at the benefit of a
partial restoration of old usages, as most likely to unite all parties,
and heal the wounds of the three kingdoms. The stress laid on the last
word, (the use of which had been for some time interdicted,) shewed
Monthault what was expected from him, and he left the presence,
persuaded that if he would assist to gird the austere brows of the
Usurper with the kingly diadem, the hand of his mistress, and a large
portion of the Bellingham property, if not its reversionary honours,
would be his reward.

It was with a further view of securing this prize that Monthault visited
the dying Lady Bellingham, to whom their party-connexions gave him free
access. Pretending he had received a special revelation, which he must
impart to her alone, he dismissed the ministers, and assured her of the
actual existence of her brother, whose pardon her again-alarmed
conscience seemed most anxious to secure, even at the price of
relinquishing to him those possessions which her increasing weakness
told her she could not long retain. Monthault assured her it would be
greatly for the benefit of her soul, if she would sign a deed
bequeathing to Allan Neville the inheritance of their ancestors; and
produced a prepared instrument, which Lady Bellingham was not in a state
to read, or indeed to listen to its recital. Relying on the veracity of
one whom she considered as a saint upon earth, and catching eagerly at
every thing which would allay those inward terrors that had been rather
benumbed than pacified, Lady Bellingham was induced to consent, and the
ministers were re-introduced to certify her being in a sound mind and to
witness the execution of a deed, which they trusted was to promote the
good cause, but which in reality bequeathed the Bellingham estate, after
the demise of Allan Neville, to Constantia Beaumont, provided she
consented to marry Monthault. Thus cheated and bewildered in her last
moments by those whom she believed to be endowed with super-human
perfections, this wretched woman terminated her miserable and guilty
life.

Monthault's next care was, to discover if his apparent reformation of
manners could so far impose on the simplicity and candour of the
Beaumonts as to make them strain the principle of Christian forgiveness,
and receive him as a friend. They were still in prison, but the
Protector had given orders, that they should be provided with handsome
apartments, and every comfort compatible with confinement at the public
expence. But though Monthault took on himself the merit of this lenient
treatment, the prejudices of the whole family against him formed an
insuperable bar to his designs. His change of conduct was too pointedly
obtrusive; his piety and penance too ostentatious to pass on a man who
was thoroughly conversant with the marks of genuine repentance. Dr.
Beaumont did not approve of an elaborate and unnecessary disclosure of
the secret enormities of his early life, which seemed to him more like
the wantonness of a depraved imagination wallowing in its former
abominations, than penitence shrinking, with horror, from its
recollected transgressions. But when Monthault proceeded to talk of his
present sinless rectitude, certainty of acceptance, rapturous exercises,
and experiences of future beatification, (the common cant of those
times,) the sound divine saw the once audacious sinner covering his
adhesive wickedness with the Pharisee's cloak, exchanging libertinism
for spiritual pride, and the excesses of debauchery for ambition and
malevolence. Though no one was more adverse than Dr. Beaumont from
colouring gross sins with the name of amiable frailties, he thought
Monthault more horrible with his Scripture-appellative and precise
habits, than when as a drunken cavalier he toasted the King and the
Church, while he disgraced the one by his rapine, and the other by his
profaneness.

Monthault was equally unsuccessful with Constantia. In vain did he
assure her that the awakening change in his soul had been expedited by
his yearnings after her. She coldly told him, she hoped for his sake the
reformation was real. He assured her he had disposed the Protector to
befriend her relations. She thanked the Protector's justice, and
relapsed into silence. He spoke of the identity of her uncle as being
indisputable, and that he was likely soon to be removed from a prison to
an earldom. She answered, that would be miraculous, but no irradiation
of her countenance implied her belief that such an event was probable.
He inquired if her cousin Isabel was still devoted to Sedley. Constantia
could here speak with energy, and replied, "She is." Monthault reminded
her, that whatever became of his father, he was necessarily proscribed;
having violated the bond of private friendship, as well as of public
trust, with the Protector. Constantia answered, that Isabel saw nothing
infamous in banishment or poverty, but much in breaking her early vows
to a man whose misfortunes were his praise. "But," replied Monthault,
"your early vows have been dissolved by death; and celibacy is one of
the popish snares of Satan. Marriage was divinely appointed, and it is
sinful to neglect the godly ordinance." "To marry with an unconsenting
heart is more so," replied Constantia; "I was betrothed to Eustace
Evellin, and living or dead, to him will I ever be faithful. His genuine
integrity, his frank affectionate disposition won all my heart; and
since I have lost him, I live only to the claims of filial duty and
sisterly affection. I have been long familiarized with fear and sorrow,
but hope and joy can only visit me in his form."

Monthault told her, that this persevering regret was a mark of her being
in an unsanctified rebellious state. He quoted many texts to prove that
the saints would eventually inherit the earth; declaring that the
wonderful success which attended Cromwell, first pointed him out as an
instrument of Providence, designed for an especial purpose. Constantia
expressed her belief that he was; but silenced Monthault's intended
allusions to a millennial state of felicity under his government, by
declaring her conviction that he was the sword of vengeance, rather than
the renovating sun of mercy.

Monthault withdrew sullen and offended, planning schemes of vengeance,
all pointed at Arthur de Vallance, whose retreat he determined to
discover. He questioned the keeper of the prison, who had access to the
Beaumonts, and was by him directed to Jobson. His talkative simplicity,
and the danger that would result from his being sifted by Cromwell's
spies, had obliged them to dispense with the services of the faithful
trooper, who now earned his bread by manual labour, and only came
occasionally to inquire after their health. Though care was taken to
represent him as a porter occasionally employed, the jailor suspected he
had been an old servant. Monthault immediately recollected him as
attached to Eustace a little before their separation at Dartmoor, and
recommended himself to the affectionate creature, by recognising him as
one who leaped with him into the moat, and climbed the wall at his side,
when Prince Rupert stormed Bristol. Taking him apart, he avowed himself
to be a stanch royalist, watching every opportunity to serve a cause he
still wore at his heart. He declared that he accepted the office of a
judge at Dr. Beaumont's trial, with a resolution of saving him; he
praised his firm demeanour, the beauty of Constantia, the goodness of
Isabel, and the noble self-devotedness of Neville; assuring Jobson, that
he was most sedulous in employing the interest he possessed with the
Protector to the advantage of this family. But he lamented that there
existed one obstacle to Neville's becoming Earl of Bellingham: the
Protector's betrayed confidence required a victim, and Arthur de
Vallance must be given up to his vengeance.

The honest countenance of Jobson fell at this information. "Ah, worthy
sir," said he, "there is no washing the black-a-moor white; Old Noll
will continue Old Noll, dress him up how you will. There's no putting a
King's heart into a scoundrel's body; and a tailor never yet made more
than the clothes of a gentleman. I say, the man that can't forgive a
brave young gentleman, never ought to wear the crown of England. You had
half persuaded me to forget the true King beyond sea, and to think, as
this ruler would do justice, we might go on as we are, but when you talk
about harping on old grievances, and taking vengeance for private
fallings-out, I say, though Old Noll may do for a Lord-Protector, Kings
must never have any enemies but the enemies of their country."

Monthault, seeming to enter into his feelings, uttered many encomiums on
young De Vallance, whom he said he really thought one of the finest
gentlemen in England. "Aye, in England _now_, I grant you," returned
Jobson; "but there is another before him, Mr. Eustace Evellin; we used
to call him the true Lord Sedley, for the other is but a make-believe.
Very good-humoured and generous, and fair-spoken I allow; but the right
lord, O! he has an eye like a hawk, and so open and daring, and
spirited--I wish, noble Sir, you had seen him."

Monthault affected to brush a tear from his eye, lamenting that an
interview was now impossible. Jobson had an inveterate antipathy to
giving any one pain, except in the field of battle. He caught Monthault
by his cloak, pressed him to be secret, and whispered he might have that
pleasure before he died. "Mum," said he, "for your life; Mr. Eustace is
alive and merry, and only waits for the King's coming over to be among
us."

Monthault vowed secresy, and readily drew from Jobson all he knew
respecting the preservation and subsequent history of the heir of
Neville. Fortunately, he had never been intrusted with the place of
their retreat, and could only say, that he and De Vallance were
somewhere very safe, and ready to drub Old Noll into better manners than
authorizing the shooting of men in cold blood.

Monthault then informed Jobson, that he possessed a large fortune, and
secretly devoted ample remittances to the service of the King, and the
most eminent Loyalists. As the state now liberally supported the
prisoners, the exiles had the first claim on his purse. Unintentionally
he feared, he had been of great disservice to Eustace, and therefore
justice, as well as humanity and admiration, pointed him out as the
first person whom he ought to assist. He would most willingly send
Jobson with a sum of money to these illustrious friends, and he
entreated him to discover where they had taken shelter, and say he was
commissioned to supply their wants. But as he was ever attentive to the
rule of doing good in secret, his own name was, on no account, to be
divulged, nor would he press Jobson to inform him where the fugitives
resided. The language of loyalty, unostentatious generosity, and warm
attachment to Eustace, was, to Jobson, a sure pledge of the honour and
sincerity of Monthault. He readily promised to get the whole secret out
of Mrs. Isabel, and discover none of his intentions. "I see, noble sir,"
continued he, "you are a true gentleman, and know, that a gentleman like
yourself hates to be thought poor, and had rather starve than have money
given him; whereas we poor men never care how much we get from our
betters. But trust me for managing the business cleverly."

Happily for the exiles, Jobson was equally deficient in finesse and
secrecy. The first question he put to Isabel respecting the place of
their retreat, discovered that he had a mysterious reason for wishing to
be informed, and she soon drew from him that the benevolent unknown was
a tall, solemn gentleman, who turned up the whites of his eyes, and was
dressed like a round-head, though a stanch Loyalist in his heart. This
description, so applicable to Monthault, excited her liveliest terrors.
It was impossible to convince Jobson, that a man who talked so kindly
could have any insidious design; and thinking it best not to combat this
delusion, she thought it expedient to misdirect the wily traitor, and
observed, that the inhabitants of the mountainous parts of Cumberland,
where she and her father had so long lived, were well affected to the
King, and disposed to shelter and protect her brother. From the manner
in which Jobson communicated this intelligence, Monthault was convinced
that Isabel had penetrated into his designs; and he resolved to suspend
his machinations till he could extort, by terror, what intrigue had
failed to procure.

When Isabel communicated this intelligence to her friends, their
apprehensions of some fatal snare which might blast all their hopes,
determined them to send the faithful and discreet Williams to the
exiles, advising them of Cromwell's designs to get them into his power,
and entreating them immediately to quit their present abode. But whither
to point for a safe retreat was the difficulty, since at that time this
extraordinary man seemed to extend the scorpion fangs of his tyranny
over the continent, as well as the British dominions. He had, at every
court, not only an accredited minister, but a subordinate host of spies
liberally paid, who gave him an account of every stranger of distinction
that sought a refuge from his cruelty, and contrived also, by false
accusations or threats to the affrighted sovereigns, to have the victims
he had marked for destruction delivered into his power. Cromwell had
formerly made a close league with the Queen of Sweden, between whose
successor and his neighbour the King of Denmark, a furious contest had
commenced. As all hope of serving his native Prince was for the present
suspended, Neville advised his son to draw his sword for the royal Dane,
and Williams was charged with many affectionate remembrances. "Tell my
son," said he, "never to disgrace the name, to which, at hazard of my
life, I have proved his title." Constance whispered a tender assurance
that the tidings of his preservation had reconciled her to life. "Yet
tell my Eustace," said she, "that though time and sorrow have so changed
the face he used to admire, that he would now hardly know his Constance,
they have improved the heart, which neither calumny, nor suspence, nor
despair, could alienate from its only love." Isabel, too, had a brief
encouraging remembrance for her lover: "Tell my De Vallance," said she,
"I live for him and for happier times. Bid him remember me in the hour
of peril and the moment of temptation; assure him I count the years of
our separation, and endure my present sorrows in the confidence that
they will serve for sweet discourses in the time to come." The message
of Dr. Beaumont was pious and prudential.--He rejoiced that an
opportunity was afforded them of serving a Protestant King, and he
advised them, if their successful services allowed them an honourable
establishment in Denmark, to withdraw their views, though not their love
or their prayers, from England.

Charged with these endearing recollections Williams departed, but on his
arrival at Jersey found the fugitives had long left the island. Their
protectress was dead, and her husband had removed to the South of
France. Dr. Lloyd was well remembered for his medical skill, and his
pupils for their correct manners and exemplary friendship. A lady,
daughter of one of the first people in St. Helier, had formed a strong
attachment to one of the gentlemen, and as she left the island about the
time they did, it was supposed a marriage had been solemnized. Williams
durst not be very minute in his inquiries; he gathered however that the
place of their retreat could not be discovered, though the friends of
the lady had taken every measure to regain her.

This intelligence greatly increased the dejection of Constantia, and
almost clouded the sanguine mind of Isabel. "Has mutability," she would
often say, "entirely usurped the earth? No. Inanimate nature is not
changed; the sun-beams steal through these grated windows at the same
hour this year as they did last. Summer and winter, day and night,
return at stated periods; the animal organs present the same objects,
and excite the usual sensations; nor are my moral feelings altered;
truth and honour continue to delight me; vice and falsehood are as
odious to my soul as if good men still triumphed, and guilt held its
alliance with infamy. Yet are not subjects transformed into traitors and
rebels; lovers forsworn; do not Christians renounce their baptism and
abjure their faith; and is not friendship become a cloak to conceal the
informer and assassin? Whom shall we acquit of inconstancy, if either
Eustace or De Vallance are false? How shall we depicture fidelity and
honour if they dwell not in the open front of heroic candour, or the
mild suavity of undeviating rectitude? Away!--the report of Williams is
a gossip's tale, forged to explain a mystery of their own forming.
Constance, I shall live to arrange your jewels and fold your robe, when
you walk at the coronation as Countess of Bellingham, and you shall be
sponsor to my little Arthur. At least I will cherish these day-dreams,
till I know Cromwell has done a disinterested generous action; I will
then resign you to Monthault, and employ myself in clear-starching and
crimping bands for the conventicle."

Thus rallying her own spirits, and endeavouring to animate the hopes of
others, Isabel contrived to lighten the burden of voluntary captivity,
as she had used to alleviate the hardships of poverty. Her mind, equally
firm and innocent, feared nothing but the reproaches of her conscience
and the despair of her father. Happy in the resources of an active
disposition, she soon convinced Constantia that even confinement does
not proscribe utility. While Dr. Beaumont administered to the spiritual
wants of his fellow-prisoners, Isabel contrived to promote their
comforts, often with the labours of her hand, always by the un-failing
cordial of her hilarity, and sometimes with her slender purse,
cheerfully abridging her own wants to supply the need of others. Nor was
she wholly disinterested in this conduct; she found it the best method
of diverting anxiety and suppressing doubt; of resisting that
misanthropy which a long continuance of adversity is apt to engender in
the tenderest hearts; and of preserving those social feelings of general
good-will, which, to austere dispositions, render even prosperity
distasteful.


    [1] Many of these circumstances are copied from the death of
    Cromwell.




CHAP. XXV.

    "See Cromwell damn'd to everlasting fame."

                                                 Pope.


It was at this period that Cromwell underwent that memorable struggle
between his ambition and his fears, which ultimately preserved the
monarchy of England in the line of legitimate descent. He tampered with
all parties, and found none hearty in his cause: the best-disposed to
his interests were only passive; but his enemies were implacable. The
popularity of a pamphlet recommending his assassination upon principle,
and declaring that the perpetrator of the deed would deserve the favour
of God and man, destroyed every vestige of his comfort. "He read it, and
was never seen to smile more." With late repentance for his vanity,
which prompted him to excite such furious opposition, he pushed from him
the crown he had courted, when offered by his creatures; but he did it
with an affectation of disdain and self-command, that ill accorded with
his former intrigues to obtain it. All his anxiety was now directed to
the preservation of his joyless life. He had long worn light armour
under his clothes, and carried pistols in his pockets. He seldom lay
twice in the same chamber, or informed any one which apartment he meant
to select. He travelled with extreme rapidity, attended by numerous
guards, and never returned by the way he went. Yet no sooner was one
conspiracy detected, than another was formed; the fanatics were
irreconcileable, and the most worthy and eminent among the dissenters
determined on his overthrow. His old military comrades, Fairfax and
Waller, were bent to destroy him. His treasury was drained by the
rapacity of his numerous spies; and as fines and exactions had been
strained to the utmost, he had no means of replenishing it but by a
recourse to measures similar to those which had overthrown the monarchy;
for his fanatical puppet-shows had brought the name of Parliament into
contempt, and he durst not appeal to the free voice of the nation. I
have already mentioned the disunion of his family, and the desertion of
his kindred and near alliances. Such were the accumulated miseries, such
the soul-harrowing and unremitting sufferings, of this man, whom Europe
considered as the favourite of fortune, and whose extraordinary success
has been urged as a plea against the divine government, and a proof that
the kingdoms of this world are left to the disposal of Satan. Penetrate
the recesses of the tyrant's palace, and it will be seen that enormous
offences, after they have outstripped the power of human punishment,
visit, on the oppressor, their own atrocity, and revenge the wrongs of a
bleeding world by torments more insupportable than any which cruelty can
inflict on others.

Distrusting even his most faithful informers, and jealous of his own
creatures, Cromwell always endeavoured to see every thing with his own
eyes. A little before his unlamented death, two strangers visited the
prison where Neville and Dr. Beaumont were confined. One of them avowed
himself to be the Lord Whitlock, the other passed as his secretary. They
were both masked, and wore long cloaks to conceal their persons. The
secretary was furnished with writing materials; he placed himself at a
table, and affected only to take minutes of the conversation.

Whitlock began with upbraiding the national ingratitude, and
acknowledging its general indisposition to the Protector's vigorous and
successful administration. He insisted that His Highness wished to
conciliate all parties by a mild and impartial government, though the
ample means with which he was furnished, the tried fidelity of the army,
and the respect he was held in by foreign Potentates, prevented him from
needing the friendship of any. But being now past the meridian of life,
he was desirous of leaving the nation whom he had rendered great and
prosperous, in the possession of internal tranquillity. Though
irreconcileable from principle, he regarded the royalists as the most
respectable of his opponents, and "he had ever resisted the advice of
the fanatics, to cut them off by a general massacre." Whitlock then
expressed his hope, that the prisoners condemned the newly-broached
opinion that assassination was allowable, and were disposed to be quiet,
if not contented, under the present government, which would reward such
submission by relaxing the penal statutes now in force against them. Dr.
Beaumont spoke first, and declared that assassination was forbidden by
the general tenor of Scripture. The particular instances now so much
dwelt on, of Jael's killing Sisera, or Judith's Holofernes, could not be
urged in vindication of similar attempts. Both acts were committed
previous to the Christian dispensation, which prescribes submissive
patience under injuries, and overcoming evil with good. Those deeds were
performed under a Divine impetus, and though, by their performance, the
will of God was fulfilled, it is not clear that the perpetrators were
justified in His sight, any more than was Hazael, when (as had been
divinely predicted) he acted as the chastiser of offending Israel.

Neville then took up the argument. He retorted on Whitlock the
expressions used by St. John to procure the condemnation of Lord
Strafford, and asked how they had the effrontery to object to that rule
when employed against themselves. "You have cut off our nobles, our
prelates, and our King," said he, "by that formal and public
assassination, an illegal trial; but we alike abjure your principles and
practice. If I hunt a usurper and tyrant to death, it shall be by
honourable means. If his character deserves no respect, I know what is
due to my own. I hold no tenets in common with regicides. Man cannot
commit a crime that can so far deface the image of his Maker impressed
upon him as to reduce him to the level of a beast of prey. Would that
this unnerved arm had strength, and that this sinking frame were again
erect with youthful vigour, then, if the awakened feelings of the nation
allowed me opportunity to meet, in the field of battle, the brave,
great, wicked man you serve, I would single him out from every opponent;
but were he unarmed, and in my power, I would give him a sword before I
assailed him."

Whitlock walked to the table; but it was evident that he received,
rather than gave, directions. The soul-searching eye of Cromwell peered
through his visor, and turned alternately on Neville and Beaumont.
Though a stranger to the feelings of magnanimity, he honoured its
expressions. He walked towards the captives, removed the shade from his
sickly, care-worn features, and asked how he could make them his
friends.

Neville shrunk aghast, petrified at the aspect of his Sovereign's
murderer. The feelings of a father repressed his maledictions, while he
gazed on him with stern silence as he would on a portentous meteor. Dr.
Beaumont sooner recollected himself. Bowing to Cromwell as to one of
those powers that are ordained by God, he answered that forgiveness and
obedience were duties; but that the feelings of friendship were a
voluntary engagement, and arose from very different motives.

"Your frankness," replied Cromwell, "proves that you well understand my
plain nature and abhorrence of flattery, and my condescension in
visiting you shows I take you to be open, fair enemies, not likely to
engage in conspiracies, or desirous of renewing the times of confusion.
But I would ask, What hope have you left, or what portion, even in its
best days, did your thriftless loyalty acquire you? Eusebius Beaumont it
found an obscure rector, and so it left you; for you could only boast
simplicity of life and doctrine; but court-chaplains, drivellers in
learning, and lewd knaves in manners, were rewarded with stalls and
mitres. You, Allan Neville, were stripped of your patrimony, and
slandered in your reputation, by the injustice of the King for whom you
bled."

Neville started from his indignant reverie. "Were you," said he,
"invested with tenfold terrors, I would not hear this aspersion cast
upon my Sovereign's memory. Injustice consists in knowing what is wrong,
and persisting in doing it. My King was misled, deceived, like myself,
by the viper we both cherished; even by one of those recreants to whom
you owe your exaltation. With double perfidy, you overthrew the King by
attributing to him the crimes of his favourites, and then converted them
into state-engines, first to elevate you to greatness, and afterwards to
convey away the offscourings of the dignity you had soiled. My King was
open to conviction. He knew the fidelity of his soldier, and purposed to
make him ample reparation."

"I have the power," returned Cromwell, "to accomplish those purposes."
"Impossible!" was Neville's reply; "my lands were alienated by a King of
England, and by his lawful successor only can they be restored."

"Are you," returned the Usurper, "aware that you are the only man in
Europe who dares question my power. I visited you with friendly
dispositions, and you receive me with insults."

"When, veiling your dignity with disguises," answered Neville; "you
borrow the occupation of your myrmidons, and steal on the privacies of
those you oppress, can you wonder to hear their imprecations sound in
unison with the clanking of their fetters?"

"I have a will," replied Cromwell, "as stubborn as yours. We will try
for the mastery. What hinders me from laying that head of yours on the
block?"

"--The insufferable goadings of your afflicted conscience, perpetually
whispering that you have shed too much blood already.--Every wrinkle
which care has imprinted on your brow, every tremulous infirmity which
constant watchfulness has introduced into your frame, acting as mementos
that the day of account cannot be far distant.--The iron you wear on
your bosom, that by its stern pressure tells you what you deserve.--The
public clamour, which will not now permit you to immolate the confined
victims whom your own lips have pronounced innocent of recent
provocations, and against whom you dare not revive the charge of
acknowledged resistance, which, by long impunity, you seem to have
pardoned. All these reasons are pledges for our safety. You cannot
further tempt the sufferance of Englishmen. Your declining health makes
you fear to add to the long indictment which your crimes have prepared
against you.

    The garlands wither on your brow,
      Then boast no more your mighty deeds,
    Upon Death's purple altar now,
      See where the victor-victim bleeds:
    All heads must come to the cold tomb;
      Only the actions of the just
      Smell sweet, and blossom in the dust."[1]

As Neville uttered this bold appeal to the feelings of an alarmed and
conscious villain, a cold shivering ran through the Protector's frame,
and his eye expressed a vain supplication, that it were possible to
exchange his garlands and his glories for those ever-fragrant actions
which blossom on the grave of the just. He strove to rally his air of
moody dignity, to recover the austere deliberate tone of his
expressions; but his manner was embarrassed, and his voice inarticulate.
A groan, such as only tortured guilt can utter, partially relieved his
swollen bosom. "Neville," said he, "I will not expect you to be my
friend; but will you cease to be my enemy?"

"Miserable victim of ambition," said Neville to himself; "how much
happier is my lot than thine!" Cromwell persisted in asking if there was
any favour he would receive at his hand. Neville paused, and answered,
"Yes; liberty."

"And what pledge," said Cromwell, "can you give me that you will not use
freedom to my prejudice?"

"My own honour," returned Neville, "which will never allow me to use the
instrument you put in my hand to destroy you."

"No equivocation!" said Whitlock; "in receiving freedom from His
Highness you acknowledge his authority."

"No," returned Neville, "I simply own he has a power to confine me. The
question of right is undetermined. If a Usurper restores me to the free
use of light and air, I need not examine his title before I resume the
enjoyment of those common blessings."

Cromwell addressed Dr. Beaumont: "You belong to a church whose doctrine
is passive obedience. You are not bewildered by this madman's chimeras,
but can prudently estimate the value of our free grace and promised
favour."

"My religion," replied the Doctor, "teaches me to submit to the
dispensations of Providence; but it will not allow me to divide the
spoil with those who have grown mighty on the ruins of my friends."

"Are there no points," again inquired Cromwell, "in which we may agree
to join our common wishes? What if I beseech the Lord to give you the
spirit of wisdom?"

"May he afford you that of consolation," was the emphatical wish of Dr.
Beaumont. Neville waved his hand in silence. "Oh! my friend," said he,
as soon as the Protector and Whitlock had retired, "I have suffered more
than the rack. I have seen the fiend-like face which looked, without
compunction, on the sufferings of the Royal Martyr, and I felt too weak
to revenge his wrongs. Have I not gone too far in saying I would accept
of freedom from his hands?"

"Vengeance for such a crime," replied Dr. Beaumont, "is too vast and
comprehensive to be entrusted to mortal agency. Let us leave it to Him
who claims it as his own prerogative. Murder, perfidy, and treason, will
be remembered when the avenging angel shall visit the sins of man."

Cromwell returned from his insidious visit, disappointed and dejected.
He had failed of the end which he proposed to himself by his
condescension. A reconciliation with two such distinguished Loyalists,
founded on the mutual benefits of submission and restitution, would have
strengthened his government; but he found abstinence from treacherous
hostility was all that his blandishments could obtain, and this he would
owe rather to their own principles of honour and religion than to his
threats or his promises. Though stung to the heart by the bold taunts of
Neville, he could not punish him. The very aspect and figure of the two
venerable sufferers were so fitted to excite sympathy and indignation,
that he durst not expose them on a scaffold, nor could he privately cut
them off. The fate of Syndercome, a daring Anabaptist, who had several
times attempted his life, and, on his trial, persevered in expressing
his determination, if possible, to kill him, alike deterred Cromwell
from bringing his private enemies to the bar of a court of justice, or
resorting to private measures of revenge. He had with difficulty
procured this man's condemnation; but the night previous to his intended
execution he escaped, by suicide, the Protector's power; and so
prejudiced were the populace against their Ruler, that they accused him
of having poisoned the victim he feared to bring to a public death. If
the prosecution of a notorious and avowed ruffian brought him into this
dilemma, what odium would the death of two respectable and aged
Loyalists excite, especially as their story was become public, and the
wrongs of Neville, and the generous friendship of Beaumont, had awakened
a powerful sympathy. Yet his narrow soul could not accede to the
generous alternative of giving them freedom. Pretending that the state
had a claim to the Bellingham-property, he prevented Monthault from
taking any measures to establish the will of the guilty Countess, and
contented himself with keeping the lawful claimant in prison, hoping
that confinement would accelerate the decays of nature, and thus give a
safe quietus to his own fears.

But ere that event happened the Usurper was called to the dreadful
tribunal for which few among the descendants of Adam were apparently
less prepared. His restless, intriguing ambition; the dissimulation and
hypocrisy by which he rose to supreme power; the ability with which he
wielded it; his splendid wretchedness; the terror he excited and felt;
his cruelty and fanaticism, his determined spirit, and occasionally
timid vacillation, read a most impressive lesson to aspiring minds
infatuated by success, and regardless of moral or religious restraints.
O that, in this age of insubordination, selfishness, and enterprise, a
poet would arise, animated with Shakespeare's "Muse of fire," embody the
events of those seventeen years of wo, and invest the detestable
Regicide with the same terrible immortality which marks the murderous
Thane in his progress from obedience and honour to supreme power and
consummate misery!

Nor does the death-bed of Cromwell afford a less useful warning to the
pen of instruction, when she aims at distinguishing true piety from
hypocrisy or fanaticism. It is still doubtful under which of those
counterfeits of religion we must rank this great but wicked man. Yet,
whether he deceived his own soul, or attempted to deceive others;
whether he really believed himself an elected instrument of Providence;
or, having long worn devotion as the mask of ambition, retained it to
the last,--his almost unexampled crimes (so plainly forbidden by that
scripture he had ever on his lips), and the security and confidence of
his last moments, furnish stronger arguments than a thousand volumes of
controversy, to prove the fallacy and danger of those speculative
notions which he patronized, propagated, and exemplified.


    [1] The Usurper's terrors at hearing this fine song of Shirley's
    is an historical fact. Some of the speeches attributed to him in
    this interview, he really used to persons he had confined, and
    wished to win over. In the close of his life he grew timid; and,
    conscious of being hated, bore insults calmly. Bishop Wren
    rejected his offered favours in as strong language as that
    attributed to Neville.




CHAP. XXVI.

    A good man should not be very willing, when his Lord comes, to be
    found beating his fellow-servants; and all controversy, as it is
    usually managed, is little better. A good man would be loth to be
    taken out of the world reeking hot from a sharp contention with a
    perverse adversary; and not a little out of countenance to find
    himself, in this temper, translated into the calm and peaceable
    regions of the blessed, where nothing but perfect charity and
    good-will reign for ever.

                                                 Tillotson.


During the turbulent era that immediately followed the death of
Cromwell, obscurity was the only asylum for integrity and innocence. The
respective demagogues contended for mastery; and the nation gazed on
their contests as on so many prize-fighters, whose uninteresting warfare
regarded only themselves. Weary of confusion and discord; aware that
faction had broken every promise and frustrated every hope; that the
visions of freedom had been the harbingers of despotism; and that
pretensions to moderation, disinterestedness, and purity, were but the
disguise of rapacity, pride, and selfishness, the nation longed for the
restoration of a lineal Sovereign, a regular government, and determinate
laws. Even those who first signalized themselves by opposition to the
late King, acknowledged that his government was preferable to the
oligarchy and military tyranny that followed; and the Presbyterians felt
their horror of Episcopacy abate while contrasting the temperance of
established supremacy with the violence of the numerous sects who strove
for superiority as soon as the hierarchy was overthrown. The easy good
humour and affable manners of the exiled King were enlarged upon, and
perhaps honoured with too much celebrity. Offenders in general
anticipated forgiveness; and those who were adroit and dexterous
anticipated rewards. To assist in restoring the regal power was deemed
not merely a rasure of past crimes, but a qualification for trust and
employment; and those who now sought the shelter of royalty as a
protection from their late co-partners in rebellion, seemed, by the high
value which they put on their present services, to overlook, with equal
contempt and injustice, the claims and the wrongs of the Loyalists, who
having never changed their principles, had much to be repaid, and
nothing to be forgiven.

In the struggles which immediately preceded the Restoration, while
Monk's designs were wrapped in mystery, the cruelty of the regicides
increased with their ambition, and the jails were successively crowded
with every party, as the unsettled government alternately vibrated from
the rump to the fanatical faction. Within the walls of the same prison,
suffering the same restraint, and, like himself, the victim of a
conscience which would not temporize, Dr. Beaumont met his worthy friend
Barton. They congratulated each other on having thus far weathered the
political tempest without deserting their principles, or impugning their
honour. The Doctor learned from Barton the particulars of Lady
Bellingham's death, and the claims of Monthault on her fortune, which,
by the turbulence of the times, were still kept in abeyance. Lord
Bellingham was yet alive, poor and wretched, courting every faction,
trusted by none, and so universally despised as to endure the odium of
more crimes than he had even dared to commit. He was allowed a small
stipend out of his vast possessions, the income of the remainder being
still paid into the public treasury; while Morgan, now become a man of
consequence, and a commissioner for compounding forfeited property, was
enabled amply to glut his rapacity, and resided at Bellingham-Castle in
a style of the grossest sensual indulgence. Monthault had joined the
army of Lambert, against whom General Monk was now marching from
Scotland; and as the King had given reiterated commands to all his
friends to remain passive, and wait the event, it seemed as if he had
some private intelligence with Monk's party, to whom, therefore, each
honest Englishman wished success.

Barton believed this effervescence would terminate in a happy calm--a
mild but energetic government; and he looked forward to prosperous
times, when the remembrance of past misfortunes should correct national
manners, and produce a general improvement in the minds and feelings of
men. Neville was always sanguine; and Dr. Beaumont confessed that all
things seemed to tend to the restoration of monarchy; yet, with the
prescience of a man long accustomed to calamity, he doubted whether even
that desired event would speedily repair the deep wound which England
had sustained.

"We shall," said he, "receive with our Prince the inestimable blessings
of our old laws and form of government; but as our troubles have served
rather to show us the necessity, than to prevent the abuse, of the
prerogative, its limits continue undefined, and we shall still too much
depend on the personal character of the King. It were well if the
situation in which we now stand would allow us to propose such
conditions as would make the duties of King and subject plain and easy,
before we invite our Prince to resume the sceptre of his ancestors, as
it would prevent the mistakes into which his father fell, from a
misconception of the bounds of sovereign power, derived from the
arbitrary precedent set by the House of Tudor. But our divisions prevent
us from claiming those advantages which would result from wisdom,
moderation, and unanimity. We fly to the King as to a healer of our
dissensions. A keen feeling of our sorrows and offences has raised the
sensibility of the nation to such a pitch, that it will sooner make
concessions than propose restraints, and rather throw its liberties
before the throne than suggest an abridgement of its splendour. We shall
therefore depend, I fear, upon his mercy for the existence of the sacred
inheritance whose very shadow was so pertinaciously defended from the
approaches of his father. I trust his personal virtues are what his
friends report. He has been educated in adversity, a good school; but
are not his advisers men who have endured too much to be dispassionate
and liberal? They have suffered in a good cause: if, when restored to
power, they abstain from indulging any vindictive propensity, they will
be saints as well as confessors; but, considering their long and
grievous provocations, is not this requiring too much of human frailty?

"Consider too, my dear friends, (and let the reflection allay your
sanguine expectations of another golden age,) that the King to whom we
look forward has been bred a foreigner. From his own country he has
hitherto met with nothing but severe injuries. The impression he has
received of the character of his future subjects is repulsive and
disgusting; and the heart of a King of England, as well as his manners,
should be completely English. He will return loaded with debts of
gratitude, which he never can discharge, to those who supported his
father, as well as those who restore him; to the surviving friends of
all that have bled in unsuccessful conflicts, and to those who will ride
by his side in triumph; to those who spent their fortunes in his
quarrel, and to those who hope to gain or preserve fortunes by voting
for his return. What course are men apt to pursue when they find
themselves in a state of inextricable insolvency? Do they not endeavour
to forget their creditors in general, and think only of taking care of
themselves and their personal friends. Royalty does not extinguish human
feelings. Let us consider its difficulties, and palliate while we
anticipate its errors.

"Are these all the remaining evils which the crimes of the last twenty
years have entailed upon us and our posterity? Call me not a prophet of
evil if I foresee general laxity of principle arising out of these sad
vicissitudes and deplorable contests. You, my good Barton, will not
deny, that the extravagance, absurdity, and hypocrisy of many low
fanatics, who sheltered themselves under that unbounded liberty of
conscience which you Dissenters (I think unwisely, as well, as
erroneously) claim, have made every extraordinary pretension to piety
suspicious. The nation has been whirled in the vortex of enthusiasm,
perplexed with the discordant pretensions and controversial clamour of
various sects, till it has begun to consider indifference to religion as
a philosophical repose; and its contempt for hypocrites is increased
till it has generated a toleration, if not a partiality of
licentiousness and immorality. Infidelity (a sin unknown to our
forefathers) has lately appeared among us, not like a solitary, restless
sceptic, affecting a wish for conviction, nor in the bashful form of an
untried novelty, cautiously stealing upon public favour--but under the
licence long allowed to opinions however blasphemous or immoral, a party
has arisen, calling themselves free-thinkers, who not only deride every
ecclesiastical institution, and publicly insult religion in its
ministers, but even make the word of God an object of profane travesty
and licentious allusion. This never could have happened, the manly
feeling and good sense of Englishmen would never have permitted such
audacity, had not trifling, malicious, ignorant, and ridiculous
misapplications of the sacred writings, sunk, in too many minds, the
veneration in which they were formerly held; and thus benumbed what
ought to have been the natural sentiments of indignation at the
blasphemies of deism.

"We must admit that the return of the King is likely to introduce an
influx of foreign manners, and that the long-suspended festivities of a
court will foster an exultation bordering on extravagance. How will
those who seek advancement, approach a Prince who has been long groaning
under the injustice of mean and cruel hypocrites? Is it not likely that
ridicule will aim at the gross, distorted features of preaching
mechanics, and praying cut-throats, till the ministers, who are
consecrated to serve at the altar, will find some of the missile shafts
fall on their vestments? The perversions of Scripture I have just
mentioned will be so scrupulously avoided, that an apposite and pious
quotation will be termed puritanical; and we shall seldom hear the
sacred volume referred to but to point a jest. Elegant literature, the
fine arts, and dramatic amusements, have been long reprobated as Pagan
devices. But so natural is our desire for innocent enjoyments, that,
remove the interdict, and the public inclination will rush to these
delights with the avidity resulting from constrained abstinence, which
will give to pleasure an undue preponderance: Wit has been too much
discountenanced. I simply argue on the tendency of the human mind to
extremes, when I suspect that it will be indulged till it degenerates
into indecorous levity. May the evils I foresee exist only in my fears;
but if they are realized, much of the guilt, much of the blame must be
laid on those who deluged us with spiritual pride, cant, austerity, and
oppression; who bent the necks of Englishmen to the yoke of slavery, did
their utmost to exterminate the Christian sentiments of moderation and
charity, wrought the nation into a ferment, and then expected good to
result from the chaos of virulent passions."

Mr. Barton admitted all the evils which had resulted from overstrained
rigidity, but expressed the hopes his party entertained that Episcopacy
would not be considered as a necessary adjunct to monarchy; or, in case
of its revival, that it might be re-instated in its primitive form, and
that the objectionable parts of the Liturgy, the articles, and the
canons, might be so modified as to satisfy all parties. He spoke of the
obligations which the King would owe to the Dissenters; who he trusted
would be rewarded by being placed on an equality with the Church.

Dr. Beaumont argued, that if these late services cancelled their former
transgressions, the Dissenters would have no just cause of complaint at
being replaced in the situation which they held previously to the
rebellion. He much feared that the vindictive feelings of those who had
been despoiled, ridiculed, plundered, imprisoned, and deprived of every
earthly blessing, would produce some measures, which, though they might
be supported by the pretence of preventing further mischief, he should
lament and blame, but never justify. As to jointly establishing
Episcopacy and Presbytery, or simply tolerating both, he could never
consent to either plan politically, because he conceived one established
religion was necessary to preserve national piety; and the Church had
too many claims on the King's gratitude, and was too intimately
connected with the laws and manners of the people to be laid aside, or
reduced to the level of her opponents; and, considered as a point of
conscience, he was so firmly convinced of her conformity, in doctrine
and discipline, to apostolical institutions, ancient customs, and, above
all, to Scripture, that, though he would be the last man in the kingdom
to consent to persecute those who, through conscience, refused to
conform, he would be the first to defend her pre-eminence. As to giving
the Church a more primitive dress, by which he supposed was meant,
depriving her of her endowments, it must be remembered, that when the
ministers of the Gospel lost miraculous gifts, they became dependant on
temporal support. Though the apostles appeared as mendicants, yet while
they could heal diseases with a touch, they inspired reverence. But in
the present times men showed more observance to those who could bestow
alms than to those who required support. It should likewise be
remembered that an injunction was given to the bishops of the first
century "to use hospitality," a proof that the primitive church was not
in all respects clad in sackcloth.

Dr. Beaumont farther declared his doubts of the good effects of a
conference between the Episcopalian and Presbyterian clergy. He was
willing to sacrifice non-essentials to peace; but personal disputations
were more apt to confirm than to remove prejudices. One party would be
too querulous, the other too tenacious. Personal considerations would
mix in the dispute; difficulties would be started; objections raised,
when none, in fact, existed; and, in the heat of debate, real
improvements would be rejected, which, in the calm seclusion of the
closet, would be allowed to be important. Declaimers, conscious of their
own powers, would seek distinction rather by acuteness and
fastidiousness than by candour and placability. The enemies of the
Church would argue rather with a view to her destruction than to her
purification; and, on the other hand, her friends would gloss over her
imperfections through fear that her opponents had some latent hostility,
which the least concession on their part would bring to maturity.

He reminded Barton that as a body the Dissenters could not complain at
their being expelled from the situations in which they were placed by an
unlawful and usurped authority. He trusted that wise and moderate men
would, by conformity, avoid this evil, and prefer the true praise of
sacrificing their scruples at the shrine of peace and unity, to the
false glory of courting reputation, by first exciting and then enduring
persecution. He spoke of schism as an evil the most afflictive; the most
opposite to the spirit of the Gospel, and to the commands of its Divine
Founder, and as the greatest impediment to its universal promulgation.
He exhorted Barton to use his influence with his friends, persuading
them to acquire the only triumph over the church in their power, by
renouncing their own prejudices, when they could not make their
opponents subdue theirs, and thus prove themselves to be the truest
disciples of the Prince of Peace. "Let the contest," said he, "be only
which shall serve our common master best, by leading a life of
unpretending holiness. Schism does infinitely more harm by the enmity it
engenders, than it does good by the zeal it kindles. Controversial
ardour is rather the death than the life of piety."

Mr. Barton replied, that he was become much more sensible of the evils
attendant on a separating humour, on the gathering of parties and
forming sects from the church; their effects had proved them to be
mischiefs. He confessed that until he had imbibed prejudices against the
Liturgy, he had joined in it with as hearty fervency, as he afterwards
did in other prayers, and felt, from its imperfections, no hinderance in
his devotions. He said, that he had lost his relish for controversy, and
now took most delight in what was fundamental, the Creed, the Lord's
Prayer, and the Ten Commandments, furnishing him with matter for
meditation equally acceptable and abundant. That he less admired gifts
of utterance, and bare professions of religion, than he once did, and no
longer thought that all those who could pray movingly and fluently, and
talk well of religion, were of course saints. That he was convinced most
controversies had more need of right stating than of debating, and that
many contenders actually differed less than they supposed[1]. But still
if the conditions of conformity should require him to acknowledge the
invalidity of his present ordination, he could not consent to admit that
he had hitherto been an Uzzah, touching the ark with unhallowed hands.
In that case he would submit to the rod of chastisement, instead of
receiving the staff of pastoral cure, and if he were forbidden to
instruct others, he would discipline himself. For the sake of peace he
would attend the services of the church, in which, though he saw much
that might be improved, he discerned nothing absolutely sinful. To
preserve a Christian spirit in himself and others, he would avoid
dwelling on the restraints he suffered; but instead of repining, be
thankful for the liberty he enjoyed. And he thought such behaviour would
be the best way of enlarging that liberty, or, if that could not be
done, of healing, in the next generation, those breaches which furious
animosity had made in the present[2].

He concluded by saying, that whoever had seen the ill-will engendered by
controversy, and the miseries incident to civil war, must think peace
cheaply purchased by any sacrifice short of conscience; and that, for
his own part, no private injuries, disappointments, or harsh treatment,
should make him obtrude his wrongs upon the public, so as to excite
clamour against the government. He had seen how soon clamour brings on
insurrection, and how partial commotion leads to universal confusion.
During such scenes, inconsiderate, daring, and worthless men, acquire an
ascendancy, and bring, by their extravagance, disgrace upon their party.
Yet, proudly ascribing their influence to a superiority of desert, they
reject the counsels of prudence, while their inordinate passions lead
them to subdue the restraints of conscience. To preserve the nation from
such misrule, he protested that he ardently wished to see the reins of
government again in the hands of prescriptive authority.


    [1] See Baxter's reflections on his early religious opinions.

    [2] The behaviour of Barton is copied from the conduct of Philip
    Henry, a non-conformist divine.




CHAP. XXVII.

    Tho' with their high wrongs I am struck to the quick,
    Yet with my nobler reason 'gainst my fury
    Do I take part; the rarer action is
    In virtue than in vengeance.

                                                 Shakspeare.


While the levellers and republicans alternately gained the ascendancy,
and Monk, either from irresolution or profound policy, appeared to
favour every party but that which he eventually espoused, long suspence
quenched the hopes of the Loyalists, and their prospect of golden days
seemed enveloped by the gloom of despair, when all at once the General
rapidly measured back his steps. That mighty Parliament which, as
different parties prevailed in it, countenanced the most rigorous
coercion or permitted the wildest anarchy; which opposed, menaced,
conquered, deceived, and murdered the King by whom it was summoned;
which feebly attempted to resist the power of its own creature,
Cromwell; and, after passively dispersing at his frown, re-assembled to
insult his memory, threaten the fanatics, and denounce monarchy; that
strange combination of talent and extravagance, of praying demagogues
and aspiring religionists; deemed by Europe the soul of English
rebellion, and the voice of the nation by whom it was at once feared,
hated, and ridiculed; that representative body which voted its own
perpetuity, and overthrew the constitution it was called to
maintain--died at last by its own vote, amid universal execrations, and
joyous anticipations of better times. A Parliament was called, which,
being really chosen by the nation, hastened to give utterance to the
national feeling. The prison-doors were thrown open to the Loyalists,
their persecutors fled dismayed. Many who had sinned less deeply,
hurried to the King with supererogatory offers of service. The ambitious
and the vain busied themselves in devices to give splendor to the
restoration which, from the awful circumstance of a penitent people
welcoming back their exiled Monarch, could borrow no lustre from
ostentatious pageants. Love, confidence, liberty, and security, seemed
to revive; malice, suspicion, and guile, vanished with the dark tyranny
they had so long supported. The aspect, manners, and dress of Englishmen
resumed their former appearance. The lengthened visage; the rayless, yet
penetrating eye; the measured smile, which expressed neither affection
nor candour, disappeared. The countenance was again permitted to be an
index to the soul, and the tongue uttered the undisguised feelings of
artless sincerity; joy, magnified to ecstasy; freedom bursting the
trammels of oppression; sorrow changed to festivity; want expatiating on
the near prospect of affluence; justice restored to the full exercise of
her balance and sword; religion separated from fanaticism, and
reinstated in decent splendor; a hereditary King, a regular government,
ancient institutions, definite laws, certain privileges, personal
safety, and the restitution of property--such were the glorious themes
which employed the thoughts of the contemplative, elevated the devotion
of the pious, and made the unreflecting multitude frantic with wild
delight. No period of English history records so great a change. The
spring of 1660 was devoted to universal jubilee; with the vulgar it was
disaffection to be sober, and among the higher classes gravity was
treason.

Though the prisons were thrown open, the Beaumont family still lingered
near the abode wherein they had been so long inhumed. A free
communication was renewed with foreign countries; private intercourse
was safe; exiles were every hour returning; but they heard nothing of
their beloved fugitives. Dr. Beaumont waited with the patience of a man,
who had endured years of sorrow. The debilitated Neville feared his last
sands would run out before he could embrace his son. Isabel and
Constantia had fears which they durst not disclose, even to each other.
Were both their lovers enamoured of the merchant's daughter, or had some
continental Circe also spread her fascinations, and made the recreants
forget their fathers and their country, as well as their mistresses?
Surely, in that case Dr. Lloyd would have sent some qualified account of
their temptation and fall. Had they all perished in some tremendous
undertaking; had a pestilence swept them away; had they fallen into the
hands of banditti, or perished silently, ensnared by the still more
merciless machinations of regicide-informers? There was no form in which
danger and death could appear, that did not present itself to the
alarmed mind of these long-suffering maidens, during the few weeks that
intervened between the time that a Loyalist could appear in England
without imminent hazard, and their receiving the intelligence which
dispelled every doubt. A day seemed an age to exhausted patience, and
the transports of others added to their sadness.

Isabel was at length informed, that a stranger inquired for her. Her
bosom throbbed violently--"Is he young or old?" was all she could utter.
"Middle aged," was the reply. "Alas!" said she, "I forget how rapidly
time has stolen on since I parted with De Vallance. I have not looked at
my face for years; 'tis changed, I am sure; I have lost every
attraction, but my heart is still the same."--"Ever the same good
heart!" repeated Eustace, as he rushed in, and caught her in his
affectionate arms. "O! tell me, Isabel, where is my Constantia?" "Speak,
low," said Isabel, attempting to smother a hysterical laugh. "Dear
Eustace, how you are altered! Do not enter that room, the shock will be
too great!"

The terrors of Eustace prompted a thousand inquiries.--"Was Constantia
well? Was she faithful?" "Yes, yes!" replied Isabel, struggling in vain
for composure; "but----" a thousand fears lurked in that word, and Eustace
gazed in mute horror, while Isabel recovered self-command enough to say,
"We are very much altered." Eustace shed tears of joy.--"Virtue and
fidelity are always young and lovely," said he.--"You should not have
taken me by surprise," resumed the much-agitated Isabel; "let me
recollect myself a moment, and then you shall see our long-suffering
father, and your ever-beloved Constance."

Her eyes were turned to the door at which Eustace entered, with an
unacknowledged expectation of another visitant, and she stood incapable
of the promised introduction. But the well-remembered, long-desired
voice of Eustace had penetrated the inner-chamber, and Constantia, pale
and silent, advanced to meet her betrothed love; held out her hand with
timid joy, and sunk speechless into his arms. "My boy! my boy! let me
fold thee to my heart, and expire in thy embraces!" exclaimed the
agonized Neville, as with ineffectual efforts he strove to rise from the
couch of infirmity. Eustace cast himself at his feet. "Your blessing,"
said he, "on one who is no disgrace to your blood. Dearest father, your
commands have been obeyed; I have redeemed my honour, and my life is
preserved to this hour of transport."

"The choicest blessings of all-gracious Providence rest on thy head, and
on that of thy faithful partner;" said Neville, for Constance had
involuntarily knelt by the side of her lover; "and may your future days
be crowned with prosperity and peace! True heir of the Neville virtues,
and now of their honours!" He closed his eyes, and continued to press
his hands on their heads with a patriarch's fervour--then, as if
recalling his thoughts to this lower world, inquired of Eustace if he
had seen the King.

"I have seen and served him," answered Eustace. "He is well, amiable,
royally-disposed, and, at this moment, embarking on board his own fleet
to receive the crown of his ancestors; determined to forget his enemies,
and reward his friends."

"Thou wilt kill me with joy," said the transported veteran; "but I am
now content to die. Eustace, thou shalt never leave me more; I can never
be satiated with hearing the sound of thy voice, or gazing on thee thus
rising from disgrace and death. Come, tell me all thou hast endured
since we parted." Eustace seated himself beside him on the couch, one
arm clasped his Constantia, the other reclined on his father's knees.
Neville rested his arms and head on his crutch, devouring with his eyes
his son's features, and jealous of the glances he frequently cast on his
beloved. Dr. Beaumont stood at a little distance, gazing on the
affectionate group with calm delight, and frequently diverting his
thoughts in pious thankfulness to that gracious Providence, who thus
richly repaid their sorrows. Isabel threw herself at the feet of
Eustace, half angry that she could engage no more of his attention, and
listening to the narrative of his adventures with emotions which it is
impossible to define.

Eustace was brief in his story, reserving the minutiae for a calmer
moment. The increased vigilance of the republican government soon made
Jersey an unsafe residence. They removed to the continent; travelled
through France, Italy, and the Low-Countries, without finding any
eligible place wherein to fix. At length their funds failing, they
agreed to prefer an humble employment to yet more degrading dependence.
Dr. Lloyd served as assistant surgeon in the Dutch military hospital;
and Eustace entered as a volunteer in the body-guard of the young Prince
of Orange, consoled by the idea of devoting his life to the grandson of
his murdered sovereign. Here he frequently saw and conversed with the
present King, whose affable and attractive manners he warmly praised.
"He recognised me," said he, "as the son of one to whom he owed
indelible obligations, and his condescension commanded my confidence. He
knows, dearest father, your early wrongs; and so sure as the crown of
England is placed on his head, he will restore to you your titles and
estates free from every base condition, and subject to no tribute, but
what every English peer owes to a gracious and generous Monarch."

"There," thought Isabel, "my predictions are true--Constance will wear
her ermined robes of state--but where is the cheerful residence of
elegant sufficiency, in which I was to sing to my De Vallance? Eustace
only speaks of his own adventures. Oh, this merchant's daughter of St.
Helier; I wish she had been locked up in a nunnery. Doubtless, she is
young and beautiful; but prosperity is a becoming ornament. I will take
courage, and ask if they are very happy."

Isabel, after hemming several times, attempted to speak, and at last was
able to say, "My dear brother!" Eustace turned his eyes upon her. His
excessive transports had sufficiently subsided to allow him to enter
into her feelings, and he affectionately answered, "What would my dear
sister?"

"You had another companion," said she, "besides Dr. Lloyd."

"I will punish this prudery," thought Eustace. "True, my love; poor
Fido.--It is kind in you to remember that faithful animal. He died on
his travels, and I assure you I dropped a tear on his grave."

"Pshaw," cried Isabel, turning away her head.

"He lies in a celebrated spot," continued Eustace, "close to the walls
of the convent of St. Bernard on the Alps; and thereby hangs a dreadful
tale."

"We will listen to no dreadful tales now," said Constance, who felt by
sympathy the untold sentiments of Isabel. "Tell us what is become of De
Vallance, provoking Eustace; I see by your smile all is well. Will
nothing cure you of your love of teazing us?"

"When ladies forget the names of their lovers," replied Eustace,
"delicacy forbids us to interpret their inquiries. De Vallance is well;
he came with me to England; but, Isabel, you must yield him to stronger
claims."

"I guessed so," answered she; "and will resign him with fortitude; nay,
with indifference." Tears, it is presumed, are a sign of these
sensations, for her's flowed rapidly as she spoke. "Consider, my beloved
sister," returned Eustace; "the glorious event which reinstates you in
the rank and fortune of an Earl's daughter renders De Vallance the son
of a disgraced usurper, despoiled of his ill-acquired splendor, and heir
to nothing save the infamy of his parents."

"I had prepared my mind," said Isabel, "for every thing, but his being
faithless to his vows. Had he been constant, I would have shared his lot
however humble, and told the world his superior virtues cancelled the
treasons and the treachery of his parents. But if beauty and affluence
have proved irresistible, let me remember that my fortunes seemed
desperate, allow the force of the temptation, and forgive him."

"There spoke my own magnanimous sister," exclaimed Eustace, folding her
to his heart. "Thou worthy choice of my best and dearest friend! a
wretched father is the stronger claim which detains him from thee. He is
gone to carry comfort to the most pitiable object in the world, an
alarmed, deserted sinner."

"I never will forgive you, Eustace, for thus torturing me," said Isabel,
and while she spoke, encircled his neck with her arms. "Was there no
truth in the tale of an enamoured lady of St. Helier?" Eustace blushed,
called it a gossip's story, and threw his eyes on Constance, dearer and
more attractive in her faded loveliness, than when in the happy prime of
youthful beauty she first enslaved his affectionate heart.

Neville sat thoughtful and silent, gazing on his children with the
painful exhaustion of overstrained sensibility. Isabel and Eustace
seemed emulous to out-talk each other. Constantia looked unutterable
content. Dr. Beaumont was mild, devout, admonitory; more inclined to
bless the sure mercies of Providence, than to condemn the perverse
conduct of man. He now recollected the anxieties of his good sister
Mellicent, and proposed that Williams should be dispatched with the
joyful tidings. "She must be told," said Eustace, "that the air-built
castles she was so skilful in erecting have now a firm foundation. 'Tis
time she should exercise her abilities in making bride-cake and comfits;
two happy pairs will soon claim her services." "Nay," said Isabel, "as
you are in a marrying humour, there shall be three, for who but she can
reward good Dr. Lloyd, without whose vigilance and generosity we should
all have been the most pitiable of mourners, wretched at the time of
universal joy?"

Eustace answered that the worthy Esculapius was returning in the King's
suite, being appointed one of his physicians, and he hinted the
probability of his aunt's medical pre-eminence destroying the effect of
her personal attractions. "At least," said he, "the Doctor has never
intimated a wish for the alliance, though he speaks with admiration of
her fortitude and maternal affection for us children of her love and
care. And severely as you accuse me for want of gallantry to your sex, I
will not even allow a spinster of seventy to volunteer her hand, when
the honour is not passionately desired."

Dr. Beaumont now inquired what dreadful tale was connected with the
convent of St. Bernard, and he soon found his own predictions were
realized respecting the fate of those who seek security by the paths of
crooked policy and selfish cunning. Those dreary walls inclosed the
wretched heir of the Waverly family. Overwhelmed with horror at having
deprived his father of life, the unhappy man abjured a country whose
civil wars had given birth to such tremendous crimes. Long the victim of
despair, he at last sought a quietus to his ever-gnawing remorse, by
flying to the bosom of that church which barters salvation for pecuniary
mulcts, and represents penance and subserviency to its schemes of
worldly aggrandisement to be the wings which will waft the soul over the
gulph of purgatory, and securely lodge it in Abraham's bosom. Not
content with becoming a convert to the Romish church, the young Baronet
determined upon expiating his unintentional parricide, by taking the
cowl, and entering into its strictest order of monachism. Eustace and
his friends, when they travelled over the Alps, were lodged one night at
this convent, and in the midnight service De Vallance recognized the
well-remembered tones of his powerful voice. They afterwards saw him in
the garden labouring at his future grave, according to the prescribed
rules of his order. His hood was fallen off, and gave to view his face,
in which the deepest lines of sorrow were combined with the gloom of
sullen superstition. All intercourse was forbidden by that law which
chained his tongue to eternal silence, except when employed as the organ
of devotion. Eustace wept with true commiseration; the unhappy monk
threw on him a look, which showed he too well remembered England, drew
his cowl over his face, and with a groan of the deepest melancholy
solemnly returned to his cell.

Dr. Beaumont's remarks on this narrative were pious and affecting; but
there was a heavy gloom in the eye of Neville, which indicated a mind
too much absorbed by its own feelings to enjoy the badinage of happy
lovers, or to listen to the suggestions of wisdom and devotion. "Is our
dear father ill?" was the alarmed inquiry of Isabel. "Has the surprise
of my return overpowered him?" said Eustace. "Will not affliction allow
her victim a few years respite, before the effects of her early
visitations conduct him to the grave?"

It was the privilege of that true minister of Heaven who tranquillized
his youthful impatience, to penetrate into the secret feelings of the
man of sorrows. Inattentive to every other subject, Dr. Beaumont
perceived that he was roused by the name of Walter De Vallance, and
therefore led Eustace to describe his present situation. The tortures of
a guilty conscience, added to his constitutional timidity, had totally
extinguished those faint beams of hope and ambition which led him, in
every previous change of affairs, to project his own security or
advancement. To usurpers and mal-contents of every description he
thought he might either be useful or formidable; but from the returning
King, welcomed with rapture by a repentant nation, a versatile traitor,
who had betrayed the counsels of the royal martyr, could not expect even
mercy. Too well known both for his rank and his provocations, to hope to
shelter in obscurity, he had no resource but to fly to some distant
land; and he proposed retreating to those colonies in America which were
peopled under the influence of republican principles. But he had not
proceeded many stages from London before he fell sick. His perturbed
mind so far betrayed him to his host as to show he was one of those whom
the happy change in public affairs compelled to fly from England, and he
was immediately suspected to be one of the late King's judges, who,
having imbrued their hands in royal blood, were, by the consent of all
parties, reserved as an atonement to public justice. He was therefore
seized, hurried back to London, and thrown into close confinement. His
son and Eustace learned these particulars by stopping at the inn which
had been the scene of his arrest; and the former, from some
circumstances discovering the prisoner to be his father, deputed Eustace
to plead his unchanged love and ardent hopes to his dearest Isabel,
while he himself hastened to protect and solace his wretched parent with
a hope, that by interposing his own unquestioned loyalty as a surety, he
might preserve his life, if not obtain his liberty.

Not all the courtly blandishments of gallantry, nor even the
heart-breathed vows of true love could have been half so acceptable to
Isabel as this sacrifice of self-indulgence to filial duty. Even Neville
could not refrain from commending his nephew's conduct, while brushing a
tear from his eye he attempted to revive the expiring flame of
vindictive indignation. "The villain, then," said he, "knows now what it
is to want the service of a worthy child. Tell me, Eustace, does he
suffer deeply? Is his soul ground down with compunction by recollecting
the inhumed Neville, doomed by him and his rebel partizans to shelter
with the dead. Shut for years from the light of the sun, excluded from
human converse, and daily fed by that dear girl with the bread of
affliction, though born to stand before Kings, and sit as judge among
Princes! Walter De Vallance now suffers what I never endured. The
gnawing worm of remorse must inflict on him the agonies of despair, but
conscious innocence illumined my dungeon with hope. Yes, the spirits of
my ancestors, offended at the foul pollution of their pure ermine, point
at my son as the restorer of their tarnished honours, and bid me exult
in the agonies which await the death-bed of a villain!"

A look of grave rebuke from Dr. Beaumont recalled the much-agitated
Neville from this delirium of indulged malevolence. "My brother and my
friend," he exclaimed; "supporter of my frail existence, and guide of my
soul! I have sinned, pray for me." "May Almighty mercy," replied the
pious minister of Heaven, "grant you that peace which only those can
feel who are in charity with all mankind!--If years of affliction have
not so taught you the comparative worthlessness of temporal possessions
as to prevent your making them a pretext for eternal enmity; if calamity
has steeled your heart to pity instead of melting it to contrition, I
must bid you fear, lest some more terrible trials should visit you, or
what is worse, lest the sinner who will not pardon an offending brother
should be suddenly called to account for his own unrepented
transgressions against the God, not then of infinite compassion, but of
most righteous vengeance."

Neville trembled violently. His affectionate children intreated Dr.
Beaumont to spare his infirmities, but he answered, that regard for the
mortal body must not, in this instance, make him overlook the more
important concerns of the never-dying soul, endangered by his thus
cherishing implacable resentment. The termination of the struggle proved
Neville a true hero. He not only confessed but abjured his errors. "I
have," said he, "brooded too deeply over my injuries, and thus have
added to my plagues by inflicting on myself more torments than even my
enemies designed I should feel. Born with too exquisite sensibility of
ill-treatment, proceeding possibly from inordinate self-esteem, disposed
to ardent attachment and unbounded confidence, I measured the hearts of
others by my own, and supposed that they equally revered the claims of
generosity and friendship; for never did I expect a service, which in a
change of situations, I would not have rendered unasked; never have I
condemned a fault but those so abhorrent to my nature that, I would have
died rather than have committed them. Condemned by the triumphant
treachery of a man, in all things my inferior, to indigence and
obscurity; all the liberal feelings I so dearly cherished palsied by my
inability to expand the social charities beyond the narrow limits of my
own family, I ruminated on the glorious indulgences resulting from, the
possession of that power and affluence I was born to inherit. But,
instead of enjoying the means of patronising merit, raising the
oppressed, or succouring calamity, I beheld myself doomed to the anxious
routine of a life consumed in the care of procuring a sufficiency for
its own support, pondering how the claims of a creditor could be
discharged, and the disgrace of injustice averted by the sacrifice of
every generous gratification--I passed my days in a silent sacrifice of
my wishes and comforts, in concealing my own wants, and steeling my
heart to those of others, and it was during this mental torture of
restrained liberality that I nourished in my soul a deadly thirst for
revenge, an extreme desire of seeing the arm that smote me to the earth
withered and powerless as my own. Oh, my children! there is guilt and
danger in an excessive indulgence of even the most laudable feelings,
and my crime brought on its punishment.--The loss of reason; the death
of your adored mother, deserving infinitely more than the highest
earthly honours, and therefore early translated to an angelical throne;
these were my chastisements. In respect to what I have since suffered
for my King, the testimonies of a good conscience were my support and my
reward. And may the favours of a grateful monarch enable my Eustace to
enjoy those noblest privileges of greatness for which I pined with
ineffectual desire! I am now old and helpless, tottering on the brink of
eternity, a blank, as far as respects this world. May I then divest my
soul of those passions which will unfit it for the abodes of peace! The
injuries of Walter De Vallance are not irremediable. Still do I clasp my
son to my heart. Affliction has tried the virtues of my children, and
brought me to a sense of my own errors. Let not short-sighted man, who
cannot see the remote consequences of events, cherish revenge. Let not
dust and ashes value its imperfect shows of goodness. Our greatest
conquest is a victory over ourselves. Our noblest title is to be called
obedient servants of the Most High."

Dr. Beaumont wept with pious delight, while Neville, leaning on his
children in a posture of penitent adoration, besought Heaven to pardon
his own sins, and the sins of his brother De Vallance. So entire was his
abstraction, that he was not interrupted by the entrance of Barton,
whose countenance expressed a degree of depression ill suited to the
joyous character of the times. Dr. Beaumont accosted him by the title of
his worthy friend, and the associate of his future fortunes. He
introduced him to Eustace, of whose preservation from the massacre at
Pembroke he was till then ignorant. Barton blessed the protecting hand
of Providence, and explained his apparent dejection, by stating that he
had just witnessed a most awful and impressive scene--a grievous sinner
wounded alike in body and in soul, with no hope of escaping punishment
either in this world or in that which is to come. He soon discovered
that he meant the miserable De Vallance, whom, as he had served in
prosperity, he would not desert in his utmost need, though he alike
detested his private and despised his public character. He described him
as alone, pennyless, comfortless, without resources in himself, or help
from others. His worthy son had not yet discovered the place of his
confinement; he knew not what was become of his son, and among all the
crimes which tortured his conscience, the supposed death of Eustace was
most insupportable. Hopeless of pity, yet desperate from remorse, he had
commissioned Barton to intreat the greatly-injured Neville to forgive
him. Christian principles had already obtained a victory over the
agonizing resentments of wounded honour, and the eloquence of Barton
only served to hasten its effect. Neville was calmly resolved, not moved
by pathetic description, to act as he ought. "Go, my child," said he to
Eustace, "bear my forgiveness to our unhappy kinsman, and by convincing
him of your own existence, foil the tempter's efforts to overwhelm him
with despair. I would see him, but we are both, weak in body, and frail
in purpose. An interview might revive violent animosities. Envy and
resentment are irritable passions; 'tis best we meet no more till our
mortal failings are deposited in our graves. Then may our purified
spirits enter upon a state where avarice and ambition cannot tempt, nor
impatience and anger dispose us to offend! There may we meet as pardoned
sinners, alike rejoicing in redemption!--Mine shall not be a mere verbal
reconciliation. My King can refuse nothing to Allan Neville, the
faithful Loyalist. Title and fortune will be restored to me as my right;
but the only reward I will ask for my services shall be the pardon of my
enemies. The punishment of a state-criminal must not disgrace my
Isabel's nuptials. She has been to me the angel of consolation, and she
shall carry forgiveness and honour as a dower to her husband. And now,
Beaumont, while the relentings of my soul can refuse nothing to thy
admonitions, tell me, is there aught more that I ought to perform?"

From one of less acute sensibility, Dr. Beaumont would possibly have
required that he should have been the interpreter of his own purposes to
De Vallance, but he rightly considered, that very susceptible and ardent
characters, after they have forgiven, find it impossible to forget. When
such persons are brought to that proper state of mind, to return good
for evil, without either boasting of their lenity, or enumerating their
wrongs, the best way of inducing an oblivion of the past, is to avoid
such intercourse as may revive painful retrospection. It is impossible
for those who have minds capable of appreciating the delicacies of
friendship, to re-unite the bonds of esteem and confidence, when they
have been violently rent asunder by cunning or treachery. Beside, Barton
admitted that he saw in the behaviour of De Vallance more of the
apprehensions of timorous guilt than the renovated spirit of self-abased
contrition.

Eustace inherited the deep sensibilities of his father, but a train of
happy years rose in perspective before him. Unbroken health, unclouded
fame, successful love, wealth, and greatness--at the hour of his
restoration to all these blessings, he must have been a monster who
could have withheld cordial forgiveness from a humiliated miserable
enemy. Eustace visited the man who had doomed him to a premature grave,
with a sincere desire to prolong his life, and restore his peace. To the
relief afforded by a conviction that the guilt of his nephew's murder
did not lie upon his soul, De Vallance received the additional
consolation of knowing that his own son was alive, and acknowledged by
Eustace as a most beloved friend and future brother. The forgiveness of
Neville, and the assurance of his powerful intercession with the King in
his favour, changed the horrors of the wretched man into transports of
joy. Lost to all nobler feelings, and penitent only from terror,
apprehensions of the future had increased the sickness which fatigue and
anxiety had occasioned, and his recovery was expedited by the confidence
he now felt, that he should be permitted to spend the remnant of his
days in security, protected by the virtues of the son whom he had
neglected, and the clemency of the victims he had wronged.




CHAP. XXVIII.

                    All friends shall taste
    The wages of their virtues, and all foes
    The cup of their deservings.

                                                 Shakspeare.


The restoration of the King was speedily followed by the re-instatement
of Neville in his family-honours, and the marriage of his son and
daughter. Mrs. Mellicent had the unspeakable satisfaction of arranging
the ceremony, selecting the dress of the brides, and ordering the
nuptial banquet. History does not warrant me in adding, that she
afterwards consummated the happiness of Dr. Lloyd, by completing the
liberal tokens of regard which his grateful friends showered upon him.
But whether this was owing to her own obduracy, or to somewhat of that
enmity which often subsists between professors of the same liberal art,
I have no means of discovering. It is certain that they continued to be
sincere friends, which possibly might not have been the case if Mrs.
Mellicent's confidence in the superiority of her own cordials and
ointments to the recipes prescribed by the regularly educated
practitioner, had not induced her to pass on, "in maiden meditation
fancy free," preferring the privileges of "blessed singleness" to the
mortification of subscribing to the efficacy of those medical nostrums
which were not found in the British herbal.

Morgan fled from Bellingham-Castle with the precipitation of an owl at
the sun-rising. When the aged Earl proceeded to take possession, he
strained his dim eyes to point out to his son the seat of his ancestors
from the most distant eminence which afforded a glimpse of the stately
turrets. He fancied he should never be weary in showing Eustace the
particular places which were signalized by conspicuous actions; the hall
where Walter the Inflexible sat in judgment; the tower from whence
Rodolph the Bold overlooked the tournament; the postern where Allan the
Magnificent welcomed his princely guests with the courtly subservience
of an humble host; or the chamber in which Orlando the Good paid the
debt of nature, while the monks told their beads in the anti-room, and
the inner court of the castle was crowded by the pensioners whom he
supported, and the way-faring pilgrims he relieved. But Neville soon
discovered that prosperity has its disappointments as well as adversity
its comforts. The woods which Earl Henry planted were cut down, the
shield and trophies which Sir Edmund won at Agincourt were defaced, the
family heirlooms were carried away, the precious manuscripts burnt, the
state-furniture sold. Bellingham-Castle was merely the despoiled shell
of greatness, requiring, for its re-edifying, that energy and anxiety
which a worn-out invalid could not exercise. The duties of an exalted
station overwhelmed him; its business distracted, its state fatigued
him. He soon felt convinced, that to those who have long languished in
the gloom of sorrow, the brilliant glare of greatness is insupportable.
To them ease is happiness, and tranquillity delight.

Determined to spend the residue of his days with his daughter, the Earl
resigned Castle-Bellingham to Eustace and Constantia. Happiness and
benevolence diffused over the face of the latter charms superior to any
it had boasted even in the prime of youthful beauty. This excellent pair
continued to deserve each other's affection, being an ornament to their
high station, a blessing and an example to their neighbours, faithful to
their King, true to their country, and grateful to their God.

Not content with barely doing justice to those who had deserved and
suffered so much, the King granted to Lady Isabel Neville the manor of
Waverly, which had escheated to the crown by the extinction of that
ill-fated family. The title of Lord Sedley had now devolved on Eustace.
It was agreed to disuse the dishonoured name of De Vallance, and adopt
the endeared appellative of Evellin, to which was annexed the title of
Baronet. Waverly-Park was now changed into Evellin-hall. An elegant
mansion was erected on the scite of the ruins, exhibiting as marked a
contrast in the cheerful munificence of its aspect, as the firm
integrity, unostentatious goodness, and amiable manners of Sir Arthur
and his Lady did to the contemptible character of its late inhabitants.

Large church-emoluments were offered to Dr. Beaumont; but he, with a
lowliness and moderation corresponding to his other great qualities,
declined accepting any. He said he had endured too much to become a
prominent actor in public affairs at a time which required the most
dispassionate prudence to heal discord, and the firmest wisdom to repair
breaches. He suspected his understanding was clouded, and his temper
soured, by the heavy pressure of affliction. He knew that his health was
broken, and his long seclusion from the world had unfitted him for
undertaking its direction. It was his prayer to devote the remnant of
his days to peace and privacy. He returned to Ribblesdale (now endeared
to him by the attachments of its inhabitants, and the change which his
truly pastoral labours had produced,) in the same state of respectable
mediocrity, with regard to worldly wealth, as he enjoyed before the
commencement of the troubles; his worthy heart glowing with the honest
pride, that though he had shared in the sorrows, he had not partaken of
the spoils, of his country. His return was welcomed with rapture. He
found no pseudo-shepherd to dispute his right of reclaiming the church
he had wedded with primitive simplicity of affection. Davies had died
of an apoplexy; and Priggins, after giving indubitable proofs that
conversion was in him merely the turned coat of knavery, while, to weak
understandings and bad hearts, he made religion itself contemptible by
dressing it in the cap and bells of folly, had gradually lost all his
auditors. The return of the King made his spiritual wares wholly
unsaleable. He studied the humour of the times; and, conforming to
what would gain him a maintenance, he turned his pulpit into a
stage-itinerant, and commenced Jack Priggins, a redoubtable Merry
Andrew.

Though the royalists, while in expectation of the restoration, had
promised to abstain from all suits of law on account of the injustice
they had suffered, the extortions of Morgan had so much out-heroded
Herod, that justice claimed a right of stripping the daw who had long
stalked in stolen trappings. Reduced, by repeated fines for
misdemeanors, to his primitive meanness, the little man lost all the
self-importance which had been the appendage of his greatness; and, from
being a happy, joyous person, who thought the world a very good world,
and all things going on as well as could be wished, he became a
discontented reviler, complaining that industry was unrewarded, and
talents left to perish on a dunghill. He gained a scanty support by
practising the basest chicane of his profession; and, after being
stripped of the affluence he had extorted from the rich, he contrived to
pick up the means of a bare existence, by inflaming the animosities, and
adding to the necessities of penury. Whether his death was hastened by a
want of the luxuries which indulgence had made indispensable, or by a
more summary process, is uncertain.

The prejudices which Barton had imbibed against the Liturgy and
discipline of the Church seemed to increase from a conscientious
apprehension that worldly motives might influence him to conformity. In
vain did Dr. Beaumont advise him to follow the example of the
apostolical Bernard Gilpin, who, "though he doubted as to some of the
articles to which he was required to subscribe, considered that, without
subscription, he could not serve in a Church which was likely to give
great glory to God, and that what he disliked was of smaller
consequence." His extraordinary integrity prevented his compliance; and
he told Dr. Beaumont that, finding himself incapable of refuting the
learning and weight of his arguments, he suspected that a secret desire
of worldly advancement had blunted his faculties; but of this he was
certain, that since he had refused assisting the Church, considered as a
civil institution, in the night of her calamity, he had no right to bask
in her sunshine. After this declaration, Dr. Beaumont's respect for the
rights of conscience made him for ever renounce the character of a
disputant; but during all the hardships to which Non-conformists were
exposed he steadily supported that of a friend. Barton found, in the
parsonage at Ribblesdale, a safe, honourable, and happy asylum from
the tempest which fell upon his party. His peaceable and friendly
disposition restrained him from every mark of enmity to the Church from
which he dissented; nor did he ever confound the mistakes of her
governors, or the faults of her officials, with the essentials of her
institution. Dr. Beaumont avoided every topic that might give him pain,
with a delicacy which proved that the gratitude of an obliged pensioner
mingled with the feelings of a generous host. Even Mrs. Mellicent never
abused Round-heads in his presence; and, as to fanatics, Barton thought
them as disgraceful to his sect as they were dangerous to the hierarchy.
He had the singular honour of escorting the venerable spinster, in her
purple camlet riding-hood, whenever she visited her niece Lady Evellin,
at the Hall, or her nephew Lord Sedley, at Bellingham-Castle; and the
cordial welcome he ever received from both families, proved their just
sensibility of his former kindness.

The wretched Walter De Vallance, when released from prison, went into
voluntary exile, supported by a pension from the Earl, who imposed that
duty on himself as a memento of his own errors. His sole care was to
prolong his contemptible life; but his solicitude was unavailing. He
lived to hear that his son had renounced his name, and that an heir was
born to the House of Neville. As contrition had no share in his previous
humiliation, envy at the flourishing state of his rival's family
hastened his death.

This history, however, has still to record a true penitent. Nothing
could exceed the indignation of Jobson at finding himself deceived by
Monthault. He was one of the first to ask forgiveness of the right Earl
of Bellingham, and of His Reverence the Doctor, who, he was sure,
deserved to be made a Lord also. "I don't come to your honours," said
he, "because you are become great men, or to ask you to speak to the
King about me; for I know I have no right now to be a Beef-eater, or any
thing else; but I must just tell you how it was. Sure as you are alive I
thought all the while I was fighting for His Majesty; for those
generals, as they called themselves, turned, and twirled, and swore
backwards and forwards till nobody knew what side they were of. And that
smooth-faced knave, Monthault (as pretty Mrs. Isabel said he was), told
me all was going on as it should be; and that Lambert would bring the
King back presently. So I fought furiously, thinking I was on the right
side, till that deceiver had his deserts from the honest general who did
fetch the King home. Bless his sweet face! though I don't deserve to
look at it again."

Neville admitted that the perplexing changes which had lately happened
might confuse a clearer head than Jobson's, and promised to retain him
in the family, offering him the choice of being his personal attendant,
or porter at Castle-Bellingham. Jobson's joy and gratitude were
unbounded. He preferred the former office. "Because," said he, "such a
blundering fellow as I, who cannot tell rebels from honest men, may let
pickpockets and gamblers into a true Lord's house, if they happen to
have smooth tongues, and shut plain honesty out of it, which I hope will
never be the case in Old England. But if I live always under Your
Honour's eye, you will keep me from doing wrong; and a simple man, like
me, is always best off when directed by those who know better than
himself."

Lord Bellingham is reported to have commended this opinion so warmly as
to say, he hoped the race of the Jobsons would never be extinct among
the British peasantry. But as this wish implies his persuasion, that
principle rather than information is the great desideratum in the lower
classes, I dare not affirm that my hero was so very illiberal, though,
as a Loyalist and a Churchman, I admit that he must have been adverse to
the generalizing philanthropy of that admired sentiment, "Education
untainted by the bigotry of proselytism," which, if it be any thing more
than a brilliant scintillation of wit, intended, by its happy
antithesis, to revive the dying embers of festive hilarity, must mean
that the ends of education are destroyed if they produce any effect; or,
in other words, that though the lower classes are to be taught every
thing, great care should be taken that they do not improve by any thing
they learn--a discovery equally profound with that of Dogberry, who
thought "writing and reading came by nature, but that to be
well-favoured was the gift of fortune."

I have only to add, that Lady Isabel Evellin long continued "to rock the
cradle of reposing age;" and, to the last hour of her life, enjoyed the
serene satisfaction which is the portion of those who, with true and
disinterested magnanimity, devote their abilities to the calls of duty
instead of wasting their lives in self-indulgence.


THE END.

Strahan and Preston,
Printers-Street, London.





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