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The Loyalists, Vol. 1-3 - An Historical Novel
by Jane West
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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."

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