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The Loyalists, Vol. 1-3 - An Historical Novel
by Jane West
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Sir William found no difficulty in replying to the Doctor. He had only to admit that his remarks were very just; but, at the same time, he must say, that, if pushed to their full extent, they would tend to establish abuses; since, who would dare to arrest the strong arm of tyranny, if liable to the odium which was thus cast on all promoters of reformation?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



CHAP. VIII.

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

Shakspeare.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



CHAP. IX.

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

Shakspeare.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"And stole his goods!" said Morgan.

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

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

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

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

"I did."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[1] Life of Bishop Sanderson.



CHAP. X.

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

Murphy's Tacitus.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



CHAP. XI.

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

Shakspeare.

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

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

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