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Title: St George's Cross
Author: Keene, H. G. (Henry George), 1825-1915
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "St George's Cross" ***

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ST. GEORGE'S CROSS;
OR,
ENGLAND ABOVE ALL.

_An Episode of Channel Island History._

BY

H.G. KEENE

GUERNSEY:
FREDERICK CLARKE, STATES ARCADE.

LONDON:
W.H. ALLEN & CO., 15. WATERLOO PLACE.

1887.



TO THE READER.


The following little tale is neither pure fiction nor absolute historic
truth; being, indeed, little more than an attempt to show a picture of
Channel Island life as it was some two centuries ago. For the background
we have been beholden to Dr. S.E. Hoskins, whose "_Charles the Second in
the Channel Islands_" may be commended to all who may feel tempted to
pursue the matter further.

_August, 1887._



PROLOGUE.


On a bright day in September of the year 1649 Mr. William Prynne, a
suspended Member of Parliament, sat at the window of his lodging in the
Strand, London, where the Thames at high water brimmed softly against
the lawn, bearing barges, wherries, and other small craft, and gleaming
very pleasantly in the slant brightness of an autumn noon.

The unprosperous politician looked upon the fair scene with quiet cheer.
He was a man of austere aspect, and looked farther advanced in middle
life than was actually the case. For he was bearing the unjust weight of
a double enmity; and though his after conduct showed that the world's
injustice by no means threw him off his moral balance, yet it is
impossible for a man to get into a position where every one but himself
seems wrong and not acquire a certain sense of solitude, which, with a
grave nature, will make him graver still. By the Cavaliers he had been
pilloried, mutilated, fined and imprisoned: expelled from the University
where he was a Master-of-Arts, driven out of the Inn-of-Court in which
he had been a Bencher. By the Roundheads, on the other hand, he had been
visited with a later and more intolerable wrong, exclusion from that
House of Commons which was the only surviving seat of sovereignty. Thus
excommunicated on all sides, Prynne still preserved his free and buoyant
nature. He had the voice and impulsive manner of a young man; while
there was a consistent moderation in his opinions which--however it
might weigh against his success as a party-man--yet sprang from
conviction, and was a guard against misanthropy.

In his apparel he was plain but not slovenly. His eyes were eager; his
lean face, branded with the first letters of the words "Seditious
Libeller," was shaded by straight falls of lank hair, streaked here and
there with grey, that was combed down on either side of his head to hide
the loss of his ears.

Hearing a step without, Prynne laid down the book he had been reading--a
pamphlet by John Milton--and advanced, with an air of polite reserve, to
meet the entering visitor. This was a man more than ten years his
junior, short of stature, with clear-cut features and thoughtful blue
eyes contrasting with hair and moustache dark almost to blackness. His
neatly brushed garments had a threadbare gloss, and his broad linen
falling collar, though white and clean, was somewhat frayed. But his
bearing was high-bred and distinguished, with an air of sober yet
resolute earnestness. He wore no sword, and the hat which he carried in
his hand was plain of shape and without adornment.

"M. de Maufant," said Prynne, with the shy courtesy of a student, "will
admire that I should seek speech of him after sundry passages that have
been between us."

"Alack! Mr. Prynne," answered the stranger, with a slight foreign
accent, "since your captivity in Mont Orgueil many things have befallen.
'Tis not alone I, Michael Lempriere the exile, changed from the state
of Seigneur de Maufant and Chief Magistrate of Jersey to that of an
outcast deriving a precarious subsistence from teaching French in your
Babylon here; but methinks you yourself have had a fall too, since the
days you speak of: when you left Jersey for London you came here in a
sort of triumph. But by this time, methinks, you must be cured of your
high hopes: I say it not for offence, but rather out of sorrow."

"Why no," answered the ex-Member. "Though I be no longer one of yonder
assembly, I am still a denizen of London; and, let me tell you, a
citizen of no mean city. And I bear my share in advancing the great
cause on which so many of us are now engaged. Have you not read what Mr.
Milton hath said here as touching this?" And he took up the book which
he had dropped in the window-seat "It is well said, as you will find."

Motioning Lempriere to a chair, he took another and read as follows:--

"'Behold now this vast city, a city of refuge, the mansion-house of
liberty, encompassed and surrounded with its protection ... pens and
hands there, sitting by their studious lamps, musing, searching,
revolving new notions and ideas, wherewith to present, as with their
homage and their fealty, the approaching reformation.' As he saith a
little further on, the fields of our harvest are white already; and it
is your privilege and mine that live among this wise and active people,
to see it coming, perhaps to put in a sickle. The pamphlet is becoming a
force stronger than the sword; and those Ironsides and Woodenheads who
turn us out of the Chamber where our fellow citizens had seated us, may
find an ill time before them when our work is over. But our work will be
the work of freedom."

What more would have been said, now that Prynne was setting forth on
his dearly-loved hobby, of which the name was _Cedant arma_, is unknown;
for the serving-man entered at this moment with a simple but plentiful
repast carried on his head from the adjacent tavern; and even Prynne's
eagerness was dashed with caution enough to keep him to ordinary topics
of talk so long as the man was in the room. But Lempriere had seen and
heard enough to put him in good humour with his host. The intimacy of
the latter with the Carterets, and a suspicion of general lukewarmness
in the popular cause, had begotten old enmities, of which Lempriere, in
the long probation of failure, exile, and poverty, had already learned
to be ashamed; and to see the man he had misjudged, looking him eagerly
and earnestly in the face as he uttered the language of a genuine
reformer, completed the Jerseyman's conversion. After the servant had
brought pipes and glasses and left the gentlemen to their tobacco and
their wine, their talk grew more familiar as they looked at the flowing
river, and the deserted towers of Lambeth away on the other side.

"The truth is," said Prynne, "that I received from the cavaliers of your
island kindnesses that I cannot forget; yet as touching the trial and
execution of the late King, if I have gainsayed aught of the other side,
yet I need not repeat that I have ever been a friend to Liberty, as
witness these indentures," and with a starched smile he pointed to the
marks upon his face. "I know that you have reason to be angry with Sir
George Cartwright...."

"Let us not talk of him," answered the other, with a flush on his
swarthy cheek. "I lose all patience when I think of the many mischiefs
entailed upon my country by the cruelty and greed of that house. When
his late uncle, your protector, made Sir George a substitute in the
Government of the island, he was but 23 years old: but old enough to be
a serpent more subtle than any that went before; and see what he hath
made of our little Eden! He and his men the servants, not of the people,
but of Jermyn; prelacy and malignancy spread abroad. In the twelve
parishes seven Captains are Carterets: and the Knight himself, beside
his Deputyship, Bailiff and Receiver of the revenues, which he holds at
an easy farm."

"I conceive that your Eves and Adams should lose their virtue with such
a tempter; yet, had you and Dumaresq been less bent on Sir Philip's
ruin, and on grasping his powers and profits, if you can pardon my plain
speaking, I will be bold to say Sir Philip was no friend to tyranny, and
would, under God's pleasure, have been still alive to forward the cause
of reasonable freedom."

"I will follow your good example and use equal plainness, Mr. Prynne.
This wise man hath said that 'the simple believeth every word.' But if
we should do likewise and believe every word that is told of you, we
might say 'that Mr. Prynne was seduced by Sir Philip and Lady Carteret
when he was their prisoner in Mont Orgueil.' And farther, it hath even
been said that at that time you sent out a recantation to the King of
that for which you suffered."

"It skills not," answered the host, with evident self-control, "it
skills not to rake into that which is passed."

"Neither did I seek to do so," rejoined the Jerseyman, "I seek no
offence, nor mean any. But, as touching the Knight's spirit, and whether
he sought the welfare of our island with singleness of heart, let me
have leave to be of mine own mind. Will you not let me take the
affirmation from the doings of Sir George, his nephew, and present
successor? Where is the place of profit that he hath not bestowed upon a
kinsman or creature of his own?"

"Methinks," said Prynne, shrewdly, "there be others than he who would
gladly share those barley loaves and few small fishes."

"That may be," said Lempriere. "The labourer is worthy of his hire, to
give you Scripture for Scripture. But what will you say to the piracies
by which the traffic of the seas is intercepted, and Mr. Lieutenant
daily enriched by plunder from English vessels? Surely, even the
charitable protecting of Mr. Prynne will hardly serve to cover such a
multitude of sins!"

The conference was once more growing warm, when fortunately, it was
abridged by the sudden entrance of a man not unlike Lempriere in general
appearance, though taller and many years his junior. He wore a steel
cap, a gorget, and a buff coat; and received a hearty welcome from the
Jerseyman, by whom he was presented to Prynne.

"Captain Le Gallais is newly arrived from our island," said Lempriere,
"and I made bold to leave word that I was here, in case of his coming to
my lodgings while I tarried with you. He brings me news of 'domus et
placens uxor,'" added the speaker, taking with a sad smile the letter
which Le Gallais handed him. The servant having brought a third long
stalked glass and placed it on the table, left the room once more, as
the visitor, unbuckling his long basket-hilted sword, threw himself into
a high-backed chair, and stretched his limbs, as one who rests after
long travel.

"I am come post," said he, "from Southampton. There is that to do in
Jersey which it imports the rulers of this land to know."

"That may well be," observed Lempriere, who shared his countryman's
idea of the importance of their little island. "But how fares my Rose? A
wanderer may love his Ithaca, but he loves his wife most. Have I your
leave, Mr. Prynne, to examine this missive?"

Prynne bowed, and Lempriere cut open his letter.

"Penelope maketh such cheer as she may," he added, after glancing at the
contents: "but I see nothing of your mighty news, Alain."

"The letter was written before I learned the same. The return of Ulysses
did not then seem so far as it does now."

"Leave riddling, Alain, and let us know the worst."

"The worst is, Charles Stuart is in S. Helier, with a large power,
warmly received by Sir George, and holding the island as a tool of
Jermyn and the Queen, if not a pensioner of France. I saw his barge row
into the harbour at high tide, followed by others laden with silken
courtiers and musicians; horse-boats and cook-boats swelled the train;
the great guns of the Castle fired salvoes, and the militia stood to
their arms upon the quay, with drums beating, fifes squeaking, and our
own company from Saint Saviour's ranked among the rest, green leaves in
their hats and round the poles of their colours."

Lempriere leant his head on his hand with a discomfited and despondent
gesture. Prynne addressed him kindly:--

"Have a little patience, H. de Maufant," said he. "The sun shines in
heaven though earth's clouds hide his face."

"Lukewarm Reuben!" cried the other, impatiently. "What comfort can I
have from such as thou? While we talk my country is indeed undone: my
wife perhaps a wanderer, and my lands and house given over to the
enemy."

"Nay, but it need not be so," said Prynne. "The Rump that ruleth here,
even were it a complete Parliament, cannot be an idol to you and yours.
I have read your island laws. Those that say that the Parliament hath
jurisdiction there must, sure, be strangely ignorant. And so witnesseth
Lord Coke, no slave of the prerogative. Your islands are the ancient
patrimony of the Crown: what hinders you from casting in your lot with
Charles? For my part, I would willingly compound with him. Let him rule
as he pleases there, provided he make not slaves of us."

"There spoke the self-loving Englishman," cried Le Gallais, whom respect
for his seniors had hitherto kept silent. "If you speak of hindering,
what is to hinder Sir George, now that he hath the King for backer, from
confiscating all our remaining lands and applying the produce to fitting
out a fleet which will ruin the trade of all England? It is a question
for you also, you perceive."

"_Proximus Ucalegon_," said Lempriere, whom nothing could long restrain
from airing his classical knowledge. "But leave me to speak to Mr.
Prynne in terms that will not offend, and that he cannot fail to
understand. Harkye, Mr. Prynne," he said, turning to his host and
resuming use of the English language in lieu of the patois in which he
had addressed his countryman. "You love the Commonwealth, I know; your
many sufferings in that behalf show you a true friend to the cause of
English liberty. But to me it appears that this cause cannot be fitly
separated from that of your small satellite yonder."

"I do not seek to deny it," answered Prynne. "Now this good fellow,"
pursued Lempriere, laying his hand on his young friend's shoulder,
"(and let his zeal make amends for his blunt manner) hath brought
tidings, from which it appears that our affairs are in such a state as
calls for your interposition. And I learn moreover from this letter that
Henry Dumaresq is stirring, and the greed and grasping of the Carterets
have made them many ill-wishers. Nevertheless, Pierre Benoist hath been
taken, and under torture may readily betray our plans. On the other
hand, he that is called King there, the young Charles Stuart, is under
the regimen of his mother, who is the tool of France. Between them all
Jersey may be lost to the Commonwealth before a blow be stricken."

"Nay," cried Prynne, interrupting, "I would not have you say so. We
English are neither braggarts nor cowards. Whitelocke knoweth the mind
of Mazarin; and I pray you note that Cromwell, though as a man of State
I do not uphold him, is a soldier whose zeal never sleeps, and who cares
more for the welfare of England and such as depend upon her than any
Stuart will ever do, or undo. I sent for you, indeed, on this very
behalf; not minded to show you all the springs of politics, yet to give
you a word of comfort and to ask of you a word of friendliness in
return, yea, word for word, an you will."

The politician's keen eye softened as he looked at the forlorn exile.
The latter turned abruptly, as if to reveal no corresponding emotion:
then, looking straight before him, said in low tones:--

"For comfort, God knows whether or no it be needed. My place and power
are lost--such as they were--a price is set upon my head by those who
slew Maximilian Messervy. My wife--who is to me like the apple of mine
eye--is alone, battling with hostile authority, and with tenants too
ready to profit by her helpless condition. I am as one encompassed by
quicksands, and nigh to be swallowed up. I am tempted to say with
David, 'Vain is the help of man.' Do you show me a bridge of escape?" he
asked, turning to Prynne, "what is your meaning? I pray you speak it
out."

"You cannot," said his host, "have forgotten Serjeant-Major Lydcott of
this Army; and how with a slender company he landed on your island six
years ago. It was about the end of August, 1643, I remember well, for
Sir Philip had been dead bare three days and indeed was not yet buried:
and the castles of Jersey still held out for the Cartwrights. I said
then that, had Lydcott but taken three hundred of our sober, God fearing
soldiers, he would have established himself as master of the island on
behalf of the Commonwealth. George Cartwright had never come over from
S. Maloes; the pirates of S. Aubin would have been confounded and
brought to nought; Sir Peter Osborne had never held Castle Cornet in
Guernsey (to the shame and sorrow of the well-affected in that island),
had they but been backed and aided from Jersey. Even as things were, and
with no more help but what he got from you--I say it not to offend
you--how much did not Lydcott do? Three days after his landing he called
together the States and opened before them his commission from the Earl
of Warwick, Warden of the Isles and Lord High Admiral of England. You
were present and presiding, as you must needs remember, together with
all but three Jurats, all the Constables save one, and nearly half the
Rectors. Without a dissentient voice you administered the oath of
Lieutenant-Governor to Lydcott, yourself standing forth as Bailiff and
sworn the first. What hindered you then from holding fast? Nothing but
want of a backbone of strength. The militia, whom you now hold
malignant, swore allegiance to a man, save and except one Colonel who
was broke then and there. You may say George Cartwright drove you out;
but what did he do that could justify your flight? I must be plain with
you: with all outward and visible signs of power you gave way before
three open boats and a mouldy ruin."

"We gave way," said Lempriere with an indignant flush, "because we were
forsook by them on whom we leaned."

"I know it," pursued Prynne, "I say it not to blame you, but to blame
the lukewarm weakness of those who held authority there on the part of
the Commonwealth: for had Lydcott been ever so able and willing he
lacked support from hence. We had our hands full of graver business.
Only I neither desire nor expect such things should be done a second
time. There be those now in power that will take better order. The
future of your islands, the ties that bind them to us, were not known
six years ago; and our friends--as I have already said--had other
matters, more pressing, to attend to. But now is not then. Now, that a
violent policy that I cannot altogether undertake to defend hath shorn
the strength of tyranny, and that fair deceiver the late King--whom none
could safely trust or utterly despise--is by that blow taken out of our
path, we are free to set matters straight around us. It is therefore not
to be endured that your small wasps' nest yonder should continue to
infest our ambient ocean with her petty and poisonous alarms. This is
the word I have to give thee--friendly meant, though thou mayest have
been hitherto no friend to me. Jersey will be brought under the power of
the Commonwealth, and you will be among the instruments of its
reduction. I seek a word from you in return for mine."

"Sir," said the bewildered exile, "you have spoken hardly, but, I
believe, with a meaning kinder than seemed: a good intent makes amends
for a harsh manner, and a bitter drink may strengthen the heart, as has
this day been done to mine by the mingled counsel and reproof that have
been poured out for me. I seek not to pry into your affairs of State,
and what I have heard Le Gallais hath heard also. I therefore make no
scrutiny as touching the means to be employed; the end we will take
thankfully according as promised. If the Parliament and the Lord General
be so minded, I make no doubt but we shall return to our home. But as
regards the word you seek from me, I would fain know to what it shall
relate. You seek, I presume, to make conditions with me: let me know, in
the hearing of my friend, what they be. That we of the island shall be
true and faithful servants to the Commonwealth of England, not seeking
to intermeddle in matters that may be beyond our concernment, I would
gladly undertake for myself and for all with whom my wishes may have
weight: but methinks it shall hardly need. And perchance your Honour may
intend to glance at some more private matter?"

"I do so," answered the politician. "I have never hidden from you the
love that I bore for good Sir Philip living, nor how dear I hold his
memory now that he is dead. I would not that any who were of his party
should suffer damage when the cause shall prosper in the island. You
have heard of Cromwell's present doings in Ireland: all the world knows
what things are being wrought in that unhappy country, where the Lord
Ormonde hath been another Cartwright and hath met with an overthrow the
like of which I pretell for his Jersey antitype. Cartwright is as
unbending and will hold out to the last.

"Mont Orgueil, indeed, can make no opposition to a regular siege: we are
not now in the days of Du Guesclin. But it may be otherwise with
Elizabeth Castle. Like her whose name she bears that fortress is a
virgin, and not without a struggle will she yield. Cromwell loves not
such defences. Let us be there when the hour comes, and let us combine
to keep the garrison from perishing by the swords of our friends."

"Gladly will I do my best in aid of mercy," answered Lempriere, looking
much relieved by the nature of the request. "If that be all that your
Honour hath to ask, I can have no hesitancy in giving a hearty and
honest pledge in such behalf. Jersey is no Corsica; and we love not
revenge, do we, Alain?"

Alain readily endorsing his chief's assertion, Prynne continued:--

"It is not all. I have to pray you for the Lieutenant himself; misguided
and grasping as you deem him, he is of my deceased friend's name and
blood."

"Alack, Mr. Prynne!" answered Lempriere, "have you quite forgotten what
I owe to that blood and name? And I speak not in this for myself only.
There are the spirits of the Bandinels before me; unhappy victims of
George Carteret's revenge. There is the shade of my friend Maximilian
Messervy, judged by an unlawful and corrupt Court, executed under
warrant of one who had no warrant for himself."

In his excitement Lempriere had forgotten to quote Latin; he began to
pace the floor of the room. Prynne also rose and leaned by the window,
looking out at the shrubs standing dark and blotted against the evening
light that lay on the smooth water.

"Take not your example," he said; "from those whose deeds you abhor,
neither make your enemies your pattern. Recollect who it is that hath
said, 'Vengeance is mine:' and in the hour of your triumph remember to
spare. Come, give me your word, willingly. I am doing much for you, more
than you are aware. I call to mind some solemn words that I have heard
Mr. Milton quote:--

    "The quality of Mercy is not strained,
    It droppeth as the gentle dew from Heaven
    Upon the place beneath: it is twice blessed,
    It blesseth him that gives and him that takes."

Let your promise to bless come as freely as the dews that are falling
out there on my little grass-plot. Peace is upon the world--let peace be
in our hearts also!"

The vehement controversial voice changed and became musical as it
uttered the words. The fervour of an unwonted mood had brought something
of a mist into the speaker's eye; persuasion hung upon his gestures, and
the voice of private rancour sank before the pleading of his lips. As
the Jerseyman remained silent, Prynne went to the table and filled the
glasses from the flagon of Rhenish wine that stood there.

"We Presbyterians," he said, "are not given to the drinking of toasts.
But 'tis no common occasion. England's wars are over, may there be peace
upon Israel. Let us drink one glass together, and let us join in the
blessing of old, invoking it on our land:--'Peace be within thy walls
and prosperity within thy palaces: for my brethren and companions'
sake!'"

The guests followed their host's example, and seemed to share his mood.
Then, setting down their empty glasses, the three men parted in more
loving-kindness, it might well be, than what had marked some early
stages of their conversation. Prynne, when left alone, called for
candles and sat down to his writing-table. The Jerseymen walked together
towards Temple Bar.

"Knowest thou, _mon cher_," said the Ex-Bailiff in the island language,
"a heartier friend than one of these English that seem so cold?"

"But tell me, I pray thee, wherefore they call the present master of our
island by an English name? For surely yonder gentleman said
'Cartwright,' which is a name not of Jersey but of England." "They are
stupid, Alain, that is all; and they think to weigh the world in their
own scales. But whether we call him Cartwright or Carteret, it is
equally hard to pardon his voracity. He is like Time--_Edax rerum._
Nevertheless, I feel as if it was not only the sight of you and news
from home that had made me of such good cheer to-night: but that I owe
something of it to Mons. Prynne; aye! thanks to his schooling and a
readiness to perform what he has made me promise, should Carteret ever
stand at my disposal. The time may be near or it may be far; but I feel
that it must come."

"And then," asked Alain shyly, "shall not I too have something to expect
from thee: when thou art Bailiff again, and a man high in power, will
thou still be willing to give me thy sister-in-law?"

"Parbleu!" cried Lempriere, "if maids could be given like passports. But
Marguerite will have her way; it is for thee, _coquin_, to make her way
thine."

Thus, jointly labouring at airy castles, the pair of islanders pricked
their steps through the dirty and dimly-lighted streets till they
reached a squalid row of houses on Tower Hill, where was situated the
only lodging within the present means of the Seigneur of Maufant.

"To-night thou must share my chamber, _telle quelle_," he said. "'Tis a
poor one, as thou mayest suppose. _Infelix, habitum temporis hujus
habe?_"

"It is all one to me," said Alain, lightly; "whether here or at Maufant
thou art always good."

As they neared the door a voice came to them from the shadow of a
projecting oriel:--

"Have a care, Jerseymen! You are betrayed."

They ran to the shaded corner; but the moon was young and low and gave
but little light in the narrow street. A figure, seemingly that of a
tall man, was seen to glide away into another street, but they failed to
recognise it or trace its departing movements. Silently, and with
downcast looks they sought the entry of Lempriere's lodging, the door of
which he opened with a key that he carried in his pocket. Striking a
light from flint and steel on the hall table, Lempriere kindled a
hand-lamp, and led the way into a small chamber on the ground floor,
where they wrapped themselves in their cloaks and lay down on a pallet
in the corner. The younger man, fatigued with travel, was soon asleep;
Lempriere, with more to think of, passed great part of the night in
wakeful anxiety. Before he finally sank to slumber he had resolved to
send Alain back at once to Jersey.



ACT I.

THE KING.


In 1649, when Charles II. was uncertain as to what steps he should take
on the death of his father, it was considered that the best and safest
place for his temporary residence was the Castle at S. Helier, in
Jersey, known by the name of Queen Elizabeth, where he had already lived
for a short time on an earlier occasion. Founded by order of the
Sovereign whose name it bore, it stands on a rocky islet, once a
promontory of the mainland, but long since insulated by every high tide.
At low water it communicated with the town by a natural causeway of
shingly rock called "The Bridge," commanded by its own guns. On the
Western curve of the bay, nearly two miles off as the bird flies, was
the small town of S. Aubin, guarded by a smaller fortress. The entire
bay was protected, by the batteries of these two places, against the
entrance of hostile shipping. Circumstances, not now entirely traceable
but connected probably with defensive considerations, had taken its
ancient preponderance from Gorey, on the eastern coast, which had once
been the seat of administration; and thus commenced the importance of S.
Helier, though in nothing like the present activity of its quays and
wharves, or the throng of its streets and markets. Above the head of
the "Bridge," indeed, the view from the North face of the Castle met
with no buildings till it struck upon the Town Church, an ancient but
plain structure of the fourteenth century, whose square central tower,
although by no means of lofty elevation, formed a landmark for mariners
out at sea by reason of a beacon that was always kept burning there by
night. At the foot of this tower nestled a cemetery containing the tombs
of "the rude forefathers" of what had been, till lately, indeed little
more than a hamlet. On the southern aspect of this, facing the castle
and the sea, the enclosure was marked by a strong granite breastwork
armed with cannons mounted _en barbette_. These pieces were pointed, for
the most part, on the bridge, or causeway leading to the Castle, into
which they were capable of sending salvos of round-shot, as in fact they
had often done a few years before. The rest of the cemetery was strongly
walled, though without guns. To the north of the Church ran narrow
streets, sloping gently upward from the seaside. The houses of these
streets were built of the local granite, hewn and hammered flat and
without projection or decoration, and with no other relief but what was
afforded by small rectangular lattice-windows. They were usually of two
storeys, crowned by high-pitched thatched roofs, with here and there a
tiny dormer window. Some were shops or taverns, among which were
interspersed the residences of the burgesses and the town houses of the
rural gentry. Fronted by miry roadway, or at best an occasional strip of
rough boulder pavement, over which wheeled carriages could rarely pass,
these lines of houses had no form or comeliness, save what might be due
to an occasional bit of small flower-garden before the few that were
large and inhabited by persons in comparatively easy circumstances.
Farther back the ground rose more rapidly and showed some scattered
suburban houses. The "Town Hill" to the east, the "Gallows Hill" to the
west, completed the amphitheatre. Up the main hollow ran a road leading
due north to the Manor and Church of Trinity parish in the interior of
the island, and terminating on the north coast in Boulay Bay, a fine
natural harbour, which was the nearest point of embarkation for England.
The whole island, scarcely less than the town, bore an appearance of
defence, almost of inaccessibility; the manors, farm houses, and even
many of the fields, being surrounded by granite walls, and capable of
arresting the progress of an invader, unless in great force. Each of the
twelve parish churches contained the arsenal of the local militia; and
all things betokened a hardy population, ready to do battle against all
intruders.

The titular Governor, Lord Jermyn, was an absentee, following the
fortunes of the widowed Queen, Henrietta Maria, in France. The actual
administration, both civil and military, was in the hands of a naval
officer of experience, Sir George Carteret, or de Carteret, cousin and
brother-in-law to the Seigneur of S. Owen, a large manor on the western
side of the island. This family, distinguished in island history ever
since it abandoned its fief of Carteret on the coast of Normandy to
follow the fortunes of John Lackland, when the Duchy was confiscated by
Philip Augustus, was by far the most powerful in the island. Its only
possible rival, the house of Lempriere, of Maufant, had espoused warmly
the cause of the Parliament, and had consequently met with reverses when
the Carterets, who were royalist, effected the revolution mentioned in
our Prologue.

It only remains to be added that the people at large were not at all
warmly attached to either of the parties to the Civil War. The language
of the majority was an old form of French, now reduced to the condition
of a patois; the more educated classes studied the laws and language of
France. The proceedings of the Courts and the services of the Church
were conducted in modern French, and the sympathies of the community
were divided between a mundane attachment to England, and a religious
leaning to the creed of the Huguenots, of whom a great number had sought
refuge on their shores. Hence the Jersey folks were indifferently
submissive to royalty, the only form of English government of which,
till these days, they had heard; but they by no means shared the
High-Church fervour which had animated the late unfortunate King. Their
ultimate motive, as is common to human nature, was for their own
interests; and although the influence of the Carterets had kept them,
for the most part, nominal followers of the cause of royalty, men like
Michael Lempriere and Prynne had good reason for believing that they
would, in the long run, favour those who seemed the best friends to
Jersey. Let them not be blamed for this. Their love for England was very
much founded upon fear of France. By observing the attitude of the
Scottish borderers of a slightly earlier period, an Englishman of the
seventeenth century could imagine the attitude of the Jersey mind
towards the "Normans," by which name they were accustomed to designate
their feudal and aggressive Catholic neighbours the Lords and Ministers
of the French Kingdom. Even as the Grahams and Scotts of Tweedside stood
at arms against each other on either bank of the dividing stream, so did
the de Gruchys and Malets, the Le Feuvres and de Quettevilles, on either
side the Channel. The danger that was nearest was the most formidable;
and the Channel Islanders were ready to side with England much as the
Saxon Scots of the Lothians came to make common cause with the Celts of
the Highlands.

These explanations may appear tedious: but the reader is implored to
pardon them; for without such he could not realise the passions which
are exemplified in this little story. Long exposed to invasion, the
Jerseymen of the middle ages had handed down to their descendants an
abhorrence of France which was fomented by the stories of persecution
brought to them by Huguenot refugees; and which, indeed, has hardly yet
completely died out among the rural population. Thus sentiment and
interest kept the islanders attached to England by a two-fold cord;
careless whether their immediate leaders were Cavaliers, as in Jersey,
or Parliamentarians, as in the neighbouring island of Guernsey, where
the royal Governor was beleaguered in Castle Cornet.

For reasons arising out of this state of things, Carteret did not leave
the protection of the King to the unaided loyalty of the local militia.
Cooped up in the narrow limits of the Castle rock were no less than
three hundred Englishmen and women attached to the Court, and, in
addition, a strong force of Irish and Cornish soldiers who had been
brought over by Charles on his former visit, as Prince of Wales, after
the battle of Naseby. His Sacred Majesty--_de jure_ of England,
Scotland, and Ireland, King, to say nothing of France, whose lilies were
blazoned on his scutcheon--was _de facto_ monarch of this little island
plot of 45 square miles; and his state was at least equal to his
temporary sway. The accommodation of the Castle was, in truth, but
small; but it was the best that the occasion afforded; the royal palace
consisting of a suite of small apartments vacated for the King's
convenience by the Lieutenant-Governor, Sir G. Carteret, who had removed
to the lower ward. S. Aubin, on the other horn of the bay, was the seat
of the naval power; here lived the families of the officers of the
corsair-squadron then constituting the Royal Navy. The rest of the
King's following was billetted on farm-houses in the parishes nearest to
the town. Yet, as a warning that all was not their own, four frigates
and two line-of-battle ships, with a commission from the rebel
government of London, and flying the broad pennant of Admiral Batten,
cruised between Jersey and Guernsey, never far from sight, although
giving for the most part a wide berth to both the island castles, whose
gunners watched them night and day.

Such was the position of affairs on a Sunday towards the end of
September, a few days later than the events related in the Prologue. The
morning had been wet and windy, and the sacredness of the day had joined
to keep the men of those simple times from all activity save that
connected with the services of religion. But, in spite of the weather,
it had been judged wise and proper that Charles should show himself at
Church on this, the first Sunday of his kingship in Jersey: and he
accordingly attended worship at the Town Church of S. Helier's. The tide
was low, and the royal cortège, muffled in their cloaks, rode or walked
slowly along the causeway, and up the _glacis_ that led to the entrance.
The Rector was absent, his opinions being displeasing to the autocratic
Carteret; but the Rev. Mr. La Cloche, Rector of S. Owen (the Carteret
parish) was in charge; he was the Lieutenant-Governor's private
Chaplain; and under strict orders had made splendid preparation for the
illustrious congregation. The old temple had been swept and garnished.
Laurel boughs and the beautiful flowers and fruits of the season hung
from every arch and decorated every pillar. The aisles were covered with
a thick natural carpet of fragrant rushes; before the pulpit were
chairs for the King and his brother the Duke of York, and the space
they stood on was tapestried with glowing colours. Cushioned tables
supported the gilded bibles and prayer-books for the royal worshippers,
who arrived precisely at eleven followed by their numerous train.
Throwing off his wringing roquelaure Charles entered, plumed hat in
hand, a young man of middle stature, erect and well-knit for his
years--which were but nineteen--and with a countenance which, though
even then wanting in flesh and bloom, was not unpleasing: framed in
natural curls, and showing (to sympathetic observers) a noble and
pleasing dignity often, it must be avowed, contrasting strongly with the
mingled frivolity and cynicism that marked his words. Being in mourning
for the event of January he was clothed in purple velvet without lace or
embroidery. Over his doublet hung a short cloak with a star on the left
breast, under which was a silk scarf, cloak and scarf being all of
purple. The famous ribbon of the Garter round his left knee was the only
bit of other colour visible. James, a few years younger, was similarly
attired. Besides the two Princes the only other Knight of the Garter was
the Earl of Southampton. The rest of the Lords and Gentlemen in Waiting
were also in Court-mourning, and all without the smallest decoration.

After the conclusion of the Service the clergyman ascended the pulpit in
his black gown. He took his text from the second book of Chronicles, c.
35, the end of the 24th verse:--"And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for
Josiah."

The turn of Mr. La Cloche's discourse may be in great measure
anticipated. Setting forth the heinousness of rebellion and regicide, he
dwelt upon the virtues of the Royal Martyr, his courage, his patience,
his devotion to the Church. As was but natural in the circumstances,
there followed an application to local politics. They were there, he
informed his hearers (as the old lattices, shaken by the gale, rattled
their accompaniment to his monotone) in the character of Englishmen; but
he had to notice that to the existing rulers of England they owed no
obedience. The so-called Parliament which had judged and murdered the
late lamented Monarch, and which now claimed the right of ruling in his
stead, was no divinely appointed head of affairs, not even
representative of one Estate of the realm. Where were the Peers, the
Lords Temporal who had ever formed part of the Government of England,
the Lords Spiritual who represented the Church of Christ? The House of
Lords was now represented to them, there in the presence of the
Honourable Sir George Carteret, Knight and Baronet, whom that High
Chamber had set and appointed to bear rule in that Island. Still more
had they before them their Sovereign, the Anointed of the Lord, without
whose assent all Acts of State must ever be futile and rebellious. Yes,
he was there, that Sacred head, covered and guarded by the loyal hearts
and arms of one--only one--of his Norman Isles.

As the sermon came to an end the storm without showed signs of
abatement; and by the time the blessing had been pronounced and the King
and Prince had mounted their richly caparisoned horses, the wind had
lulled and the September sun gleamed brightly out upon the attentive and
orderly crowd. On returning to the Castle Charles sate down to dinner,
and a select portion of the more loyal Jersey society was admitted into
the Hall to see the King at table. Only two places were set; and after a
Latin grace had been pronounced by the Court-Chaplain, the dishes were
taken, one by one, to the King and his brother, and whatever meats were
approved were taken to the side-board and carved. The royal youths had
stood with uncovered heads while grace was being said; but they replaced
their hats when they sate down, and wore them throughout dinner. After
they had dined the Page-in-waiting, a tall and handsome youth, richly
attired, brought each of them a ewer and basin of parcel-gilt silver,
with a fringed damask napkin; and after they had washed their hands a
butler served them with Spanish and Gascon wines. Dessert having been
placed upon the table and tasted, the princes withdrew; and then the
hungry courtiers sate down to finish the repast.

Retired to his private sitting-room, Charles lay back on a window-seat,
tooth-pick in hand, and looked out indolently on the sea. The waves
scintillated and broke into white foam, among the brown rocks, which
disappeared gradually under the rising tide; and the wings of glancing
gulls shone out against a rain-cloud which was bearing off the recent
storm. Below the dark pall the sky of the horizon glowed bright and
clear as jade over the deepening line of the distant waters. At the
King's feet sat the page who had served the princes at dinner, a bright
rakish-looking young fellow named Thomas Elliot; apparently absorbed in
the preparation of fishing-tackle, he was heedfully watching the face of
his royal master out of the corner of his dare-devil eyes.

"Where is James, Tom?" asked presently the King.

"Gone to feed the hawks, Sir."

"One's own flesh-and-blood is poor company, he finds. By the Lord, Tom,
this is no life for a Christian, be he man or boy. To be lunged round my
good mother at the length of her apron-string seemed but dull work, and
making love to the Grande Mademoiselle was indifferent pastime. But,
odsfish, I would willingly be back there. In this God-forgotten corner
you cannot see a petticoat on any terms, save the farthingale of Dame
Carteret or her ancient housekeeper, as they cross the courtyard to give
corn to the pigeons. James and I went out fishing yesterday, as far as
S. Owen's pond; but no sport had we there but the chance of a broken
head from a Puritan farmer."

"Why, what a plague did they want by laying hands on our anointed pate?"

"Ah! look you," said Charles, in his languid drawl, "We did but beg a
cup of cider from his daughter. James hath a long face and a dull tongue
for a boy of his age; but I warrant I spoke the wench fair for my part;
and in French that had passed muster at Versailles. But 'tis a perverse
and stiff-necked generation. The wench screamed in some language not
understandable by us--Carribee it may be--but faith there was no
difficulty about the farmer's meaning: he conjugated his fists, but we
declined the encounter; and so we were quit as to grammar."

The manner of the speaker was in such dry and droll contrast with his
matter that Elliot had no difficulty in according the sympathetic smile
which is the tribute of the jovial and manly sycophant to a superior he
wishes to please.

"And this is then, the escapade for which the _gros bonnets_ down there
have determined that you are not to stir out of this charming retreat
without a guard, or suffer your sacred person to meet the air of the
island without the hedge of an escort. But I have a plan to defeat
them...."

Whatever projects the young men might be disposed to form for the
purpose of eluding the prudent precautions of their seniors were for
the moment cut short by a knocking at the door, which made them start
aside like the disturbed conspirators that they were.

"Quick! vanish," muttered the King sharply; "behind the bureau there. If
the comer be Nicholas let him not see thee here. He bears thee no good
will."

As Elliot hurriedly obeyed, the door slowly opened, giving entrance to
the Rector of S. Owen. The worthy clergyman still wore the gown and
bands in which he had preached in the forenoon, and carried in his hand
the four-cornered but boardless college-cap which formed part of the
clerical costume of those days. Bestowing upon the youthful King a look
whose awestruck humility was at curious variance with the respective
ages and appearance of the two, and making an awkward obeisance, Mr. La
Cloche spoke:--

"I crave your pardon, Sir. Receiving no reply to my knock I presumed to
enter, deeming mine errand an excuse."

Charles pointed to a seat and drew himself up with dignity:--

"It needs no further excuse, reverend Sir, say on, and fear nothing." La
Cloche seated himself on the corner of the chair.

"It is my humble duty to warn your Majesty that Jersey is no suitable
place for your residence," he said.

"We are very much of your mind," answered Charles, "but how made you the
mighty discovery?"

"I have been dining," answered the clergyman, "in company with the
Honourable Sir Edward Nicholas, Knight, Secretary of State to your
Majesty. Certain of your Majesty's affectionate servants and
well-wishers were of the party, as also the Lieutenant-Governor, who
was the host. The discourse was grave; and albeit without permission of
the gentlemen--yet, in virtue of mine office, I hope I but anticipate
their humble duty to your Majesty, if I take upon myself to lay their
thoughts before you."

"And for your own part, Sir, as a Jerseyman having, both by religion and
as a Member of the States, the means of knowing what the people think,
you would fain join your own private word to those who are refusing an
asylum to Charles Stuart in the dominions of his fathers. You had better
let them speak for themselves."

The clergyman shuffled in his uneasy seat. The perspicacity of the young
man--it is a part of a Prince's stock-in-trade--had taken him by
surprise.

"I am an old man," he faltered, "unversed in affairs of State. If it be
true, however, that the Lord Jermyn...."

"Our mother's trusted councillor, Mr. Rector! What of my Lord Jermyn?
Thou hast not said enough--or, by God! thou hast said too much."

The Chaplain's island temper hardened under menace, even from the Lord's
Anointed. What he felt he did not indeed care to lay bare: yet the
upshot he would tell. The King's recent exploit in the parish of which
he was Rector had come to his ears, garnished and exaggerated, perhaps;
and he was determined to get rid of such visitors if he could. The news
from France was an occasion, and he gladly used it. Lord Jermyn, it
seemed, had been talking openly--and not for the first time--of selling
the Channel Islands to France; and his connection with the Queen made
men suspect that he had not entertained such a design without high
sanction. On the other hand the Rector knew that Carteret would sooner
cede the Island over which he was set to Cromwell than see it occupied
by the French. The King would be in obvious danger, and he had
determined, under that excuse, to endeavour to dispose the King's mind
towards a removal which he himself, on other grounds, considered highly
desirable. Charles listened to all the clergyman had to say, with
impatience thinly veiled by good breeding. When the speaker came to a
pause, the King said, with a kinder manner, "Thou hast done well, and
hast given no just cause of offence to anyone. Mr. Secretary is an
approved friend: but I need not remind your Reverence of the prayer of
the Psalmist: 'Let not his precious balms break mine head!'"

The King's manner indicated that the conference was at an end. He wished
to get rid of the Rector, not only because the good man was "boring"
him, as would be said now-a-days, but because he had but little trust in
Tom Elliot's discretion, and thought that at any moment the page might
be led to break forth from what must needs be an irksome confinement.
Moreover, the King knew that, sooner or later, he would have to undergo
a more serious lecture from some of his councillors, and it was an
object with him to make some inquiries in confidential quarters and
devise a course of speech if not of action.

But the worthy Rector was, as he said, unversed in the ways of the
great; and the young King's affable manner had drawn him into
forgetfulness of any little lessons of etiquette that he might have ever
learned. Instead of departing on the King's hint, he let his tongue wag
afresh.

"Alack, Sir! may your Majesty's prayers be heard. And may what I have
done breed myself no harm! For what saith the Wise Man? 'Burden not
thyself above thy power while thou livest, and have no fellowship with
one that is mightier than thyself: for how agree the kettle and earthen
pot together?'"

"It was well said of the Wise Man," observed the King demurely. "And
your Reverence will do well to consider the words that follow, if my
memory do not deceive me;--'If thou be invited of a great man, _withdraw
thyself_!'"

The underlined words, being pronounced with a voice changed to a sharp
and sudden tone from the solemn snuffle into which the King had slid in
first quoting _Ecclesiasticus_, were too much for Elliot, who broke into
an irrepressible giggle behind the bureau. Mr. La Cloche started at the
sound; then, recollecting himself, retired with a bow into which he
threw a look of surprise not unmixed with silent reproach.

Still laughing, the page emerged from his ambush, knocking the dust from
his doublet with his hand, and eyeing the door as it closed after the
retreating Rector.

"I'll wager he thinks thou wert a wench, Tom," cried Charles; "but tell
me, how much of the worthy parson's discourse didst thou hear?"

"As much as you desire, Sir, and no more," was the discreet reply. "But
it is true that one is come from France who knows Lord Jermyn."

"Jermyn," said the King, half soliloquising, "is a son of a----; and I
would as lief run him through the body as I would open an oyster. But
that is neither here nor there; such pleasures are not for Kings." He
sate thinking for a few minutes, and then, looking up, added, "Go, Tom,
and tell Nicholas and the rest that I would see them here."

The page departed, presently returning to introduce four gentlemen,
after which, he again left the room and shut the door, which it would
be his office to keep against all intrusion while the conference
lasted.

One of the visitors appeared to take precedence; a tall, high-featured
man, with a stoop and a receding chin. This was Lord Hopton, one of the
most respectable of Charles's followers; an honourable, stupid,
middle-aged nobleman, who could never marshal his own thoughts and who,
necessarily, spoke without persuading others. The other Englishmen were
Nicholas, the Secretary of State, and the old Lord Cottington. The
fourth gentleman was Sir George Carteret, the Lieutenant-Governor, a
bluff sea-faring man, little used to obey, yet anxious, in that
presence, to be deferential; with an unmistakable pugnacity varnished
over with a gloss of _ruse_. There being but one arm-chair in the room
Charles took his seat upon it, and awaited the advice of his friends who
perforce remained standing.

"I have sent for you, my Lords and gentlemen, to confer on the matter
brought me by Mr. La Cloche, the Rector of St. Owen, and Chaplain to Sir
George Carteret."

Hopton opened the conference, speaking in a dull, precise manner, from
the lips only, hardly opening his teeth:--

"May it please you Sir, Mr. La Cloche hath reported to me, as I met him
returning from your presence, that while he was imparting to your
Highness--I may say, your Majesty--a matter of great moment, there was
one hid in the room that played the eavesdropper. Before proceeding
farther I would humbly ask...."

"Hold there, my Lord," broke in Charles. "Remember, I pray you,
that--howbeit our present power, by the malice of our enemies, be
brought to a narrow pass, we are still, by the grace of God your King,
of full age, moreover, and no longer to be schooled. As touching what
anyone may have heard here, by our consent, we need answer to no man;
neither to Mr. La Cloche nor to your Lordship. There is, however, no one
but ourselves in this room, as you may clearly see. As to the matter of
the priest's discourse, we opine that it is already known to you. It is
of that matter that we now seek to know your minds."

The words were not ungracefully uttered; but Hopton found no immediate
answer. He only knit his narrow brow and held his peace. Carteret,
however, stepped briskly forward; and would perhaps have committed some
indiscretion had not Nicholas plucked him by the cloak. "By your leave,
Mr. Lieutenant," said the jovial lawyer, "I would say an humble word to
his Majesty, with the freedom of an ancient servant." His round face and
merry eye were rendered serious by the resolution of a full-lipped yet
firm mouth. "Sir!" said he, turning to the young King with a look in
which the _bonhomie_ of an indulgent Mentor was blended with genuine
respect, "it will, no doubt, seem to your Majesty both meet and proper
that we should not leave a meddlesome parson to let you know that our
faithful hearts have been sorely exercised by that which is newly come
to us out of France. Not to stay on sundry general advertisements and
rumours that have reached us--and which seemed to glance at a very
exalted personage--I mean, more particularly, what we have received this
morning from a very discreet and knowing gentleman (now residing at
Paris) of what he hath learned from persons of honour conversant in the
secrets of the Court there."

"If it be her Majesty the Queen that you fear to name, Mr. Secretary,"
interrupted the King, "it is but vain to fence. Do your duty, as you
have ever done."

"With your Majesty's leave, I will name no one, save it be one Mr.
Cooly, Secretary to the Lord Jermyn, whom your Majesty, doubtless,
graciously recollects. Our informant was plainly asked by this
gentleman, how the islanders would take it if there should be an
overture of giving them up to the French."

"This is but talk," observed the King.

"Nay Sir, there is yet more. This letter, which is come to one of us in
cypher, goes on to tell that it hath been heard, from a very good
source, that the chief mover herein is to be made Duke and Peer of
France, and receive 200,000 pistoles, for which he is to deliver up not
Jersey only but Guernsey, Aurigny, and Serk. Nay, further, his Eminence
Cardinal Mazarine hath taken up ships for the transport of 2,000 French
soldiers, nominally for the service of your Majesty, actually for the
service whereof we are now speaking."

"Let them come," said Charles. "We will put ourself at their head and
fall upon Guernsey, that nest of Roundheads where Osborne and honest
Baldwin Wake have borne so long the brunt of insult and privation."

"Under your favour, Sir," broke in Carteret, "you would be bubbled. I
have seen and spoke with a known creature of my Lord Jermyn's; and I
know well that the design of the French is--so to speak--to clap your
Majesty under the hatches, and to steer the vessel on their own account.
Mr. La Cloche shall answer for this," he added in a lower tone.

"By your leave again, Sir George," put in the beaming Secretary, "we
lawyers are to speak by our calling. It is not indeed, Sir, that my Lord
Jermyn hath made direct overtures to us. And 'tis to be thought that in
this last respect the messenger spoke but according to his own
understanding."

"I would cut every throat in the island," cried Carteret, with savage
interruption....

"Sir George Cartwright's zeal hath eaten him up," said Nicholas with a
twinkle of his merry eye. "Let it suffice that the concurrent
information of divers persons (and they strangers to one another),
together with the Lord Jermyn's total neglect of the island in regard of
the provisions that he hath not sent as promised nor repaid sums of
money lent to your service by the people, have led us to sign a paper of
association for which we shall crave your gracious approval. We doubt
not you will agree with us that the delivery of the islands to the
French is not consistent with the duty and fidelity of Englishmen, and
would be an irreparable loss to the nation besides being an indelible
dishonour to the Crown."

As Charles took the paper handed him for perusal by Nicholas, a flush
arose upon his swarthy countenance.

"Enough said, my Lords and gentlemen! We need not that any should
instruct us as to our duty."

"We trust not," cried Carteret, bluffly. "If the French come here we
shall give them a sour welcome; and as to my Lord the Governor, he will
find," and he slipped in his eagerness into his native tongue, "that he
has made _le marché de la peau de l'ours qui ne seroit pas encore tué_."

Presently the little Council broke up. The King, after glancing at the
paper of association, consented that Lord Hopton--in whose diplomatic
abilities he perhaps did not feel much confidence--should proceed at
once to the Hague, and lay the case before the States General of Holland
as the power most interested--after England--in sifting and, if need
were, opposing the designs of France. Meanwhile the articles of the
association were not to be divulged; the whole affair being kept a
profound secret and mystery of State.

Somewhat relieved, the associates then retired from the presence of the
yawning King, and passed down the little corridor. Here they found
Elliot keeping watch, and pacing innocently to and fro. And the
graceless page bowed their Honours down the stairs, without betraying by
his manner anything to suggest--which was, nevertheless, the simple
truth--that he had been attentively listening to as much of their recent
conversation as could be gathered through the imperfect channel afforded
by the key-hole of the door. Carteret cursed La Cloche's officious
meddling all the way to his own quarters, and on arriving there sent a
sergeant to the unfortunate clergyman, who deported him to France by the
next boat that sailed.

On returning to the room, Elliot found Charles walking up and down the
narrow floor of his room in evident excitement.

"Tom," said the King, as the page entered, "what is to do here? It seems
that I am not to be master even in this little island of Hop o' my
Thumb. They lord it over me even as they did when I was here before, as
Prince of Wales _in partibus_."

"Why then," answered the audacious youth, "I would even show them a
clean pair of heels, and take refuge with the Scots."

"The Scots who sold my father!"

"The Scots, Sir, of whom I am one," cried the page, the hot blood of a
race of Border-Barons rising to his forehead. "Am I and mine to be
confounded with a crew of cuckoldy Presbyterians? I will not listen to
any one who says so, King or no King."

And the malapert youth flung out of the room, while his wearied
master--not unaccustomed to such outbreaks--lounged into the dining room
and called for his supper.



ACT II.

THE MANOR.


If the page was to be blamed for his disrespectful demeanour in abruptly
leaving his helpless but indulgent Sovereign, his next step was still
less worthy of commendation. But he had the perfervid temper of his
race, and he was not twenty-two. Having attended his royal Master in a
former visit to Jersey, he had made friends with some of the island
gentry, and among others with the family of St. Martin (then resident at
Rozel), in which he found a maiden of his own age with whom he soon
imagined himself to have fallen in love. Mdlle. de St. Martin was the
sister of Michael Lempriere's wife; with her she had since taken up her
abode; and the first thing that Elliot had done after the return of the
Court to Jersey had been to acquaint himself with this fact. In the
present excitement of his feelings he resolved to seek an interview with
the girl whose charms he so well remembered. A boat was moored at the
foot of the castle rock; and the impetuous young cavalier sprang on
board, loosened the painter, and with the aid of a pair of sculls that
had been left in the boat rapidly propelled himself to the shore of the
bay aided by the flowing tide. While he is engaged in making his way to
the northern extremity of the parish of S. Saviour, where the manor of
the Lemprieres was situated, we will anticipate his progress and
describe the scene.

The manor-house stood in its own walled grounds, admission being
obtained through a round Norman archway, over which was carved the
scutcheon of the family--gules, three eagles displayed, proper--with the
date 1580. This opened on a long narrow avenue of tall elms, at the end
of which two enormous juniper trees made a second arch, of perennial
verdure. Such was the entrance, passing under which the visitor found
himself in a flower-garden in which summer roses still bloomed, and the
bees were still busy. On one side stood the house, a two-storeyed
building of stone, pierced with many small latticed windows, and
thatched with straw. The main-door bore another scutcheon, of newer
stone than the rest of the house, quartering the arms of St. Martin
(_azure_, nine billets _or_) over a device of two hearts tied together
with a cipher formed by the letters L. and M. This doorway opened into a
small hall, in front of which was a stair-case of polished oak. On
either side of the hall were low-ceiled parlours wainscotted with dark
wood, beams of which supported the ceilings. The floor of the room to
the right was paved with stone and carpeted with fresh rushes, a yawning
chimney of carved granite, on which a fire of drift-wood was burning
with parti-coloured flames, occupied one end of the room, which was
occupied by the ladies of the house. At the back were the kitchen and
offices, looking out upon a paved court-yard containing a well, and
backed by farm buildings.

Madame Lempriere (or "de Maufant") and her sister sate by the fire
knitting in the autumn twilight. Both were lovely; beautiful women in
the typical style of island beauty, which not even the primness of
their somewhat old-fashioned costume could wholly disguise. For their
eyes were dark and sparkling, and their cheeks glowed with the rosy
bloom of a healthy and innocent womanhood. They were talking in low
tones of the troubles of the time and of their absent friends; their
language was in the island French.

"It is more than a month," said Rose Lempriere, "since I had tidings of
M. de Maufant. Methinks your fiancé M. le Gallais might show more
alacrity in his coming."

"Helas!" replied Marguerite, "poor Alain will never err on the side of
precipitancy. But seest thou not, my sister, the equinox here, and gales
are abroad. I did not expect him till the S. Michel; and then there are
Captain Bowden and M. the Lieutenant's cruisers to reckon with."

"You do not appear to mind making the crane's foot, my sister," said
Rose, with a slight smile. "In my youth lovers were expected to be
forward and maidens looked for attention."

"It is not so long since your youth, my all fair."

"But perhaps M. le Gallais is better occupied in another part."

"_Voyons, ma soeur_; it is quite equal, to me. Your M. le Gallais
indeed! one would think it was you and M. de Maufant that wanted to
marry him. As for me, I do not want to marry at all. Least of all does
it import me to marry a man chosen by others. I prefer the ways of
England."

"_Di va_!" exclaimed her sister. "A good man is not bad because our
friends like him. Marry this good Alain, and love him after."

The damsel replied by a pretty grimace.

"Marguerite!" said Mme. de Maufant, with a little frown, "_on ne badine
pas avec l'amour_. Or do you love another perhaps? Ah! _malheureuse_;
art thou still thinking of _ce beau guilliard_, how did they call him?
M. Elliot, I think, the King's page? I hear that he is returned with the
King; and--oh, Marguerite!----"

"I swear to you Rose, I know nothing of M. Elliot--"

As she spoke a low whistle was heard without.

"It is Alain's signal," cried Rose, all in a flutter. "He brings me news
from Michael."

So saying Mme. de Maufant moved with a quick step towards the door
opening on the back yard, whence the signal-whistle evidently came.
Marguerite site still on her _tabouret_, her head hidden in her shapely
white hands.

On reaching the back-door Rose threw a wimple over her head, and
carefully undoing the-chain and bar, admitted le Gallais, weary and
travel-stained. Taking both her hands the young man gazed in her face
with the honest gaze of a loving brother. Then searching in the lining
of his doublet he drew out a letter, or rather a packet tied with
string, and gave it to her.

"He is well," he said, "but his heart suffers."

"I know it, I know it," sobbed the wife, "but come in, Alain; come in
and take some repose."

With which she led him into the room, and up to the hearth where sate
the wilful beauty.

"Marguerite," she said, "do you not see Alain le Gallais?"

"I am delighted to see M. le Capitaine," was the girl's reply, as she
rose and made an obeisance, immediately resuming her seat.

Poor Alain! the cold of the autumn evening outside was nothing in
comparison with the chill that fell upon him by that blazing hearth.
Weary as he was, and--as soon appeared--wounded also, his nerve, shaken
by fatigue, gave way before this reception. With giddy brain and wan
face he sank into the nearest seat.

"What hast thou, my friend, speak, for the love of God," said the lady
of Maufant, while her sister's reluctant eye glanced at him, through
unshed tears with yet more tender inquiry.

"A scratch, no more," said Alain, tightening the scarf on his left arm,
which showed stains of new blood. "I am but now landed in Boulay Bay,
and a militia-sentry discharged his matchlock at me as I ran down the
lane under the battery. They are indifferent marksmen, my good
compatriots, and their pieces make small impression compared with
Cromwell's snaphaunces."

Rose tenderly unbound the bandage, found a mere flesh-wound, to which
she applied some lint steeped in styptic, and restored the ligature in a
manner more effective.

"_Remets-toi Alain, réprends ton haleine, et dis-nous ce que c'est_,"
said she, after paying these quasi-maternal attentions to the fugitive.
"And first tell me, how bears himself my Michael, and what greeting
sends he to his home?"

But before Alain could answer there came a knocking at the gate: and the
scared ladies had barely time to dismiss Le Gallais by a side door
almost hidden in the wainscot before Elliot entered, hat in hand, and
looking shy and breathless in the leaping light of the hearth.

"Pardon me, fair ladies," he stammered, "have you any welcome for an old
friend."

The two women leaned against each other, even more embarrassed than, for
a moment, was their visitor. They seemed to remember the voice, yet
could not speak to much purpose for the beating of their scared pulses.
But it is not easy for female self-love to be deceived. The boy had not
changed so much in turning into man but that the face of an old love
could resume its familiarity.

"'Tis Mr. Elliot," presently said Marguerite, addressing her sister in
English. "Mr. Chevalier, the Centenier, told you of his return but
yesterday when we went to the market at S. Helier. I admire to see him
here so soon."

Rose advanced, with the restored self-possession of a lady on her own
hearth, and gave the visitor her hand. "Welcome back to Jersey, Mr.
Elliot. Time hath dealt kindly with you: you are almost grown to man's
estate."

The young Scot flushed, somewhat angrily, at this equivocal compliment.
"What Time hath done with me I cannot tell," said he, with less than his
wonted ease, "save that nothing Time can do can avail to quench old
feelings. This is the first liberty that I have had since we landed. I
have used it to lay myself at your feet."

The ladies resumed their seats, motioning Tom to the place between them,
just vacated by Le Gallais: and the talk soon ran into easier grooves.

"I have that to say," continued the page, "that may shake your spirits,
fair ladies. What I have listened to this day it may cost me my ears to
have heard. But," with an air of important resolution, "cost what it
may, I will not nor cannot keep it from you."

"A groat for your tidings," replied Rose, "we poor women hear none in
this remote corner. But is it a secret? Women may keep one," she added,
looking at the panel that had closed on Le Gallais, "but walls have
ears: and so have you, as yet such as they are, which I would not have
you sacrifice in our cause. If therefore your news be dangerous, think
not of our curiosity, and give the matter no vent."

Elliot was a scamp, no doubt, yet he could not but be moved by this
thoughtful speech of a woman who could decline a secret. But he had come
too far, laden with a burden that he would fain lay down. So long as he
kept to himself what he had heard in the King's chamber he might be
doing his duty to Charles. But Charles had insulted him and his nation.
Marguerite de St. Martin was his first love, the welfare of herself and
her sister was at stake; he had trudged, four miles and more through the
mire of steep and devious lanes to tell them; was he to leave them
unwarned? Love and Duty fought their old battle, and with the old
result--Love conquered and the secret was told. He had not, it is true,
heard the full purport of the Secretary's grave words or of Charles'
light replies: but what he had caught, tallying with the Chaplain's
disclosures of an earlier hour, had led him to conclude that there was a
villainous plot on foot, of which the King did not seem to approve, and
which therefore might be made known to those interested without real
breach of faith. What he knew he told, and eked it out with what he
could but conjecture.

The conference lasted long. While it was confined to the designs of the
French, on which the short gusts of the Lieutenant-Governor's stormy
impatience had thrown a transient gleam of lurid light, the ladies were
all attention. When the page began to talk of the King's loyal resolves
and of what great things he would do, they gave less heed. It seemed to
them that Charles Stuart was all too young, too much bound to his
mother, to be trusted in an affair wherein her favourite took an
interest. Tom pleaded his master's cause with the zeal of one who felt
himself to have done that master some wrong; but he pleaded in vain.
Little did the Jersey ladies care who might bear rule in the British
islands; their chief care was for what would affect Jersey, and--above
all men and things of Jersey--their dear Michael, now in exile.

It had long grown dusk, and Tom knew that he was absent without leave.
His visit must be cut short. If he glanced significantly at Marguerite
as he bent over Rose's hand, if he hoped that Marguerite would follow
him to the door and allow an integration of former toys, he was only
building on a precocious knowledge of the sex. "I will but lock the door
after Mr. Elliot," said she to Rose, in patois, "be tranquil, my sister,
he is but an infant."

The dismissal of the infant appeared a work of time. In the meanwhile
Rose opened the wainscot door, and called softly up the narrow stair to
which it led. Alain heard her, and came down, looking anxiously round
the parlour as he came inside.

"Is Marguerite gone out," he asked, "with yonder _polisson_ of the
Court?"

"Thou knowest her, my friend," answered Madame de Maufant, kindly; "ever
since her mother's death she has been a daughter to me. But a sister is
not a mother at the end of the account; and our little one will not be
kept a prisoner. She has learned English ideas in her girlhood, passed
as you know with our London kinsfolk. Once she is married her husband
will find her faithful, in life and to the death."

"Such freedoms are not according to our island ways."

"Be not stupid, my good Alain. Mr. Elliot is an old friend; though her
dealings with him--or with others--be never so little to thy taste, I
advertise thee to seek no cause of quarrel upon them; unless thou
wouldst lose her altogether."

"I do not understand how a girl that is promised can do such things.
Moreover, his coming here at all is what Michael would not find well."

"He has done us a very friendly act in coming here, and has told us of a
matter which it may cost him dear to have revealed. For the rest, we can
take very good care of ourselves."

Alain was not a man of the world. With something of a poet's nature, he
was born to be the slave of women. Passionately attached to the mother
who had brought him up--and who was lately dead--and wholly unacquainted
with the coarser aspects of feminine character, he had a romantic ideal
of womanhood. The ladies in whose company he might chance to find
himself were usually quick enough to discover this; and seeing him at
their feet were always trampling upon him, reserving their wiles and
fascinations for men who were more artful or less chivalrous. The case
was by no means singular in those days, and is believed to be
occasionally reproduced even in more recent times.

He was now thoroughly annoyed; and Rose's reasoning, far from composing
his mind, had rendered it only the more anxious. Therefore, when
Marguerite returned into the parlour, with a somewhat heightened colour,
Alain affected to take no notice of her, and sate gazing moodily at the
fire.

"I have been plucking these roses," said the girl, offering Alain a
bunch of flowers wet with early dew.

He took them with a negligent air, stuck one of the buds into the band
of his broad-brimmed hat that lay on the table, and allowed the rest to
fall upon the rushes that strewed the stone floor. Marguerite, with a
slight and mocking grimace, watched the ill-tempered action without
taking any audible notice of it. Then resuming her seat, she took up her
wool and needles and applied herself to her interrupted knitting.

Meantime the page, apparently well satisfied with the circumstances of
his visit, including those of his parting from the fair Marguerite,
pursued his way to S. Helier. The darkness of the autumn evening was
relieved by the multitudinous illumination of a cloudless sky. The
lanes, bordered by the fortress-like enclosures of the fields, were
shaded overhead by tunnels of interlacing boughs still in the full
thickness of their summer foliage. A bird, disturbed by Elliot's
brushing against the branch on which she roosted, gave a solitary cry of
angry alarm; the dogs barked in the distant farms; the grazing cows,
tethered in the wayside pastures, made soft noises as they cropped the
grass. Passing on by the old grammar school of S. Manelier and then
through the village of Five Oaks, where he scared a quiet family
assembled in their parlour by looking in at their window with a grimace
and a wild scream, he ran on rapidly by the Town Mills and through the
town towards the quay. When he reached the bridge-head the tide was
ebbing; but partly walking, partly wading, he made good his footing on
the Castle-rock. A sleepy sentry challenged, but the page crept through
the darkness without deigning a reply. A ball whizzed through his hat,
but did not check his progress. Availing himself of projections in the
wall with which he seemed well acquainted, he entered his own little
room by the open casement, and throwing himself on the pallet soon slept
the sleep of youth and healthy fatigue.

At Maufant matters were not quite so peaceful. The ladies there, it may
be feared, were ready enough to regret the page's visit and its
consequences, if not to express that regret to the old friend who might
with some cause have complained.

Pretending indifference, he sate silently in a seat further from the
ladies than that which he had occupied before the page's intrusion.
Finding him disinclined for talk, Rose read her husband's letter without
taking any further notice of him by whom it had been brought.

At length she broke the awkward silence; replacing the letter in her
bosom and turning to Alain, she said:--

"I must go and get your chamber ready. I shall be back anon." And she
left the room by the concealed door.

Left alone with his mistress, Alain fell into a great embarrassment.
Marguerite, for her part, felt a qualm of conscience, had he only known
it. But her _amour-propre_ was, none the less, extremely hurt by his
cavalier treatment of her flowers. She was by no means in love with the
saucy Scot, who had indeed given her some offence by the frankness of
his leave-taking, though this was a matter of which she was not
likely to complain, least of all to her official adorer.

"_Pourquoi me boudez-vous, Monsieur_?" at last she said; "are you
perhaps permitting yourself to be offended at my seeing M. Elliot to the
door? Do you not know that he is our old friend?"

"He is nothing to me," answered Alain, moodily, "it is you of whom I am
thinking."

"As Rose says, we can take care of ourselves. Do you for one moment
think that I acknowledge any restraining right on your part, any
privilege of question even? But come, if M. Elliot is an old friend you
are a much older. Do not let us quarrel."

"It takes two to make a quarrel," said the foolish fellow, not
observing the olive-branch.

If his display of annoyance was only a mask of jealousy she fancied that
she could deal with it, and forgive it, but if it should be really a
sign of indifference? so reasoned her rapid female brain; the cruder
masculine mind was but too ready to supply the solution of the problem.

"_Voyons, Marguerite_," said her lover, almost blubbering. "I have loved
you all your life. Ever since you were a little totterer whom I carried
in my arms and planted on the top of the garden wall to pick
coquelicots, I have thought of you as one to be some day mine. I see now
how foolish I have been. I will put the sea between us; and I hope my
boat will go to the bottom; and then perhaps you will be sorry." ... And
in the fervour of self-pity he actually shed tears.

Marguerite watched him, with a joyous sense of triumph. Secure of her
victory, she could now assume her turn to show anger. But she did not
feel it; and she had not much skill in the feigning of unbecoming
passions.

"That is ungenerous, Monsieur. You do not think of the poor boatmen who
would go to the bottom with you. They are not sulky young men who have
quarrelled with harmless women. The Race of Alderney will do without
them; _dame_! it may afford to wait for you too."

If Alain had but caught the look with which these final words were
accompanied! But he was still sitting in the distant darkness, with his
moistened eyes bent obstinately on the ground.

And so the misunderstanding widened and deepened; and presently Rose
returned. Taking in the situation with a rapid glance, she passed
through the room and out into the buttery, whence she soon returned
with the materials of a modest supper. "We must be our own domestics,"
she said with an attempt at lightness: but the attempt was hollow; a
cloud seemed to fill the low room, and press upon the inmates. The
_three_ sate down, but neither of the young people did much justice to
her hospitality. After supper she held a brief consultation with Alain;
and after giving him a bag of gold and a letter for her husband,
dismissed him, to rest if not to slumber, in the chamber that stood at
the head of the stair on which the door in the wainscot opened. Then she
and Marguerite retired by the other door to their own part of the upper
floor, where I fear the young lady received a lecture before she went to
her virgin couch.



ACT III.

THE STATES.


Next morning the Militia Captain left before the house was awake, to
return to Lempriere in London. When the ladies went, later in the
forenoon, to arrange the chamber in which he had passed the night, they
found that the bed had not been used during Le Gallais' occupation. A
copy of Ben Jonson's Poems lay on the table; by the side of which were
pen and ink, and a burnt-out candle. On opening the book, Mdlle. de St.
Martin found some lines written on the fly-leaf, which ran as follows:--

    "What tho' the floures be riche and rare
      of hue and fragrancie,
    What tho' the giver be kinde and fair,
      they have no charme for me.

    The wreathe whose brightest budde is gone
      is not ye wreathe I'de prise:
    I'de pluck another, and so passe on,
      with unregardfull eyes.

    And so the heart whose sweet resorte
      an hundred rivalls share
    May yielde a moment's passing sporte,
      but Love's an alyen there."

"He is unpolite, my sister," cried Marguerite, laughing. "But that is
only because he is sore. The wounded bird has moulted a feather in his
empty nest."

"All the same, he is flown," answered Mdme. de Maufant, gravely.

"_N'importe_," answered the damsel. "Leave him to me. I can whistle him
back when I want him--if I ever do."

Leaving the ladies to the discussion of the topic thus set afoot, let us
turn to the more prosaic combinations of the rougher, if not harder,
sex. _Majora canamus!_

About four miles south-east of the manor-house, the old Castle of Gorey
arose out of the sea, almost as if it grew there, a part of the granite
crag. A survival of the rude warfare of Plantagenet times, it bore--as
it still does--the self assertive name of "Mont Orgueil," and boasted
itself the only English fortress that had ever resisted the avenger of
France, the constable Bertrand du Guesclin. But, in spite of its pride,
it proved to be commanded by a yet higher point, sufficiently near to
throw round shot into the Castle in the more advanced days to which our
tale relates. For this reason, and also because of the smallness of the
harbour at its feet, Mont Orgueil had given way to the growing
importance of S. Helier, protected by its virgin Castle. Hence the
place, though not quite in ruins, had sunk to a minor and subordinate
character; the Hall, in which the States had once assembled, was
neglected and dirty; the chambers formerly appropriated to the Governor
and his family were used as cells, or not used at all; the garden was
unweeded; and Mont Orgueil in general had sunk to be a prison and a
watch-tower. None the less proudly did it rise--as it does still--with a
protecting air above its little town and port, and look defiance upon
the opposite shores of Normandy.

In a narrow guard-room on the South side of this castle, a few days
later than the visit of La Cloche to the King, the Lieutenant-Governor
was sitting at a heavy oaken table, with his steel cap before him and
his basket-hilted sword hung by the belt from the back of his carven
chair. A writer sate at the left-hand side of the same table, and
between them lay militia muster-rolls and other papers. At the further
end of the room, between two halberdiers in scarlet doublets, stood a
tall Jerseyman in squalid garments, his legs in fetters, his wrists in
manacles. Keen little grey eyes peered through the neglected black hair
that fell over his narrow brow; and his iron-grey beard showed signs of
long neglect.

"Now, Pierre Benoist," said Sir George, "for the last time I give you
warning. If you do not speak, freely and to the purpose, it will be the
worse for you. There be those who can tell me what I desire to know. As
for you, I shall deliver you to the Provost-Sergeant, who will need no
words from me to tell him how to deal with you. I ask you, is Michael
Lempriere in correspondence with Henry Dumaresq?"

"_Palfrancordi!_ Messire; you press me hard," said the prisoner, but his
eye was scarcely that of a pressed man. "When you examined me a week ago
in secret I think I answered that. I know of no letters that have passed
between M. de Samarès and M. de Maufant. That is," he added hastily, as
the Governor began to look impatient, "I have carried none myself."

"Who has?" asked the Governor.

The Greffier, at a signal from Carteret, plunged his pen into the ink;
the halberdiers shifted their legs and leaned upon their weapons; the
prisoner moistened his lips with his tongue.

"Speak, Benoist; who carried the letters?"

"It was Alain Le Gallais," answered Pierre in a low voice.

"It was Alain Le Gallais? Write, Master Greffier, the prisoner says that
the letters were carried by one Alain Le Gallais. You are sure of that,
Benoist?"

"As sure as my name is Peter." A cock crew in the yard of the castle.
The coincidence did not seem to strike any of the party in the room.

"By what route did Le Gallais go?"

"He went by Boulay Bay."

"By what conveyance?"

"By Lesbirel's lugger."

"When did he go last?"

"This is the fourth day."

Carteret compared these replies with some that lay before him, and
proceeded:--

"Do you know when he will return?"

"I cannot know; but I can divine. The wind is changing; if he landed at
Southampton on Monday night he would be in London in twenty-four hours,
riding on the horses of the Parliament. Riding back in the same way he
might be back in Boulay Bay, with a fair wind, some time to-morrow."

"_C'est assez_," said the Governor, "take the prisoner away; but not to
his former quarters. Lodge him in Prynne's old cell."

As the prisoner was being removed, in obedience to these orders, he was
seen to limp heavily, and there was a bandage on one of his legs.

"March, comrade," said one of his guards, when they were in the
corridor.

"My leg was hurt, John Le Gros, when I tried to escape last night."

"Not so badly but you can walk if you like," and the militia-man
emphasised his words by a slight thrust with the point of his weapon.

To which of the parties in the island Master Benoist was faithful, the
muse that presides over this history declines to reveal: perhaps he was
an impartial traitor to both. It became presently clear that, in any
case, his lameness was little more than a feint. During that same night
he made a rope of his bedding, and letting himself down from the window
of his cell at high water, swam like a fish to the unwatched shore of
Anneport, and so effected his escape. It was long ere he was again heard
of by the Jersey authorities; but there is no record to show that he was
either mourned or missed.

For the next three nights a party of soldiers--not militia-men, but
Cornishmen of the Royal body-guard--occupied a hut on the landing-place
at Boulay Bay, belonging to Lesbirel, the man whose lugger was known to
be employed in the communication between the Parliamentary party in the
island and their English allies. The third night being dark and stormy,
the patrol was suspended by orders of the sergeant in command, and the
men devoted themselves to the indoor pleasures afforded by cards,
tobacco, and cider. But others were less careful of personal comfort. On
the western point of the cliff over their heads (the "Belle Hougue") a
beacon was burning, of whose existence the sergeant and his men were
unaware. A man watched by the fire, keeping it alive by constant care
and attention, or rekindling it from time to time, when it was overcome
by the wind and rain. The soldiers in their hut did not see the light;
but it was seen by the crew of a lugger, driving through the waves of
the flowing tide before a rough but favouring gale. Accordingly, putting
the helm down, their steersman drove the craft clear of the threatened
danger that was prepared for the occupants below, and made her touch the
land in the adjacent bay of Bonne Nuit, hid from observation by the
interposing cliffs. Leaping to the shore, Alain Le Gallais, who was the
sole passenger, climbing the western heights, made his way by paths with
which he was well acquainted from his youth, to the manor-house of his
exiled friend the Seigneur of Maufant.

It was near midnight when he arrived. All was dark. The yard-dog, roused
by his familiar footsteps, shook himself and sate down without raising
any alarm: nay, when Alain lifted the latch and passed through the outer
gate of the court-yard, the animal rose once more, and advanced to meet
Alain, fawning and wagging his tail. Alain was not sorry that the ladies
were asleep. Perhaps the readers of his verses may not have understood
that he was a poet; but, be it remembered, those verses were in a
language not native to the writer. Those who are able to understand such
fragments of his patois-poetry as still survive, declare that it is
marked by tenderness and _verve_; even if this be not so, a man may lack
the power of expression and yet have the poet's temper; Alain was
certainly of a deep and sensitive nature; he thought that he had borne
much from Marguerite, with whom he was now really angry; it was
therefore of set purpose that he had chosen this hour to visit the manor
instead of waiting till the morning. Depositing a letter with which
Lempriere had entrusted him in a cornbin of the stable which Mdme. de
Maufant had instructed him to use in such cases, he went his way without
disturbing any of the inmates of the house.

His intention was to pass the rest of the night in the barn of a farm
called La Rosière, where he would be safe from pursuit for the moment,
and in the morning could join a party of the "well-affected," who were
in the habit of meeting in the neighbouring parish of S. Lawrence. Man
proposes; but his purpose was destined to failure. The sky had cleared
in the sudden way so common at midnight in these islands. The guard at
Lesbirel's, turning out to patrol, had at last caught sight of the fire
burning on the point above them. Taking alarm, the sergeant, who was an
intelligent and aspiring soldier, guessed that something was amiss, and
set off at the head of his men to search for the escaped prey. Taking
the road to the manor, where he had reason to believe Lempriere's
messenger would be found, and spreading his men among the shadows of the
bordering walls and hedges, he came upon the fugitive in a lane. To his
challenge, "Who goes there?" he received for answer a pistol-shot, which
laid him low in the mire of the lane, with a great flesh wound in the
right shoulder; but the soldiers hearing the report ran up from both
sides. Le Gallais was overpowered and secured after a brief resistance.

"Search him and take him to the governor," said the wounded sergeant, as
he swooned from loss of blood.

The following morning found Sir George and his clerk in their old places
in the Gorey Castle. Pale and draggled, Le Gallais confronted his
examiners with such firmness as he could gather from a good cause.

"You have nothing against me, Messire de Carteret," he said firmly.

"If I have not I shall soon make it," said the governor fiercely.
"Whence were you coming when you pistolled my sergeant?"

"I was going to join my company of militia, in order to be present at
morning exercise," answered the prisoner, undauntedly. "Your sergeant
laid hands on me without warrant or warning on a public thoroughfare,
and I shot him in self-defence. What would you have done in my place?"

"Insolence will not avail you. If you would save yourself from the
gallows, you have but one way. You must make a clean breast of it."

Le Gallais made no answer, but stooping down, drew a letter out of his
boot and threw it on the table. The governor started as he read the
address:--

"For the honoured hands of Sir George Carteret, Knight and Baronet,
these."

He cut the string and opened the missive. After reading a few lines he
looked up.

"Clear the room," he said; and as the clerk and guards obeyed, he added,
in a changed tone:--

"Be seated, M. Le Gallais!

"This letter, as you probably know, is from Mr. Prynne, of the
Parliament. Why did you not bring it to me at once?"

"I should have done so," answered Le Gallais.

"It contains matter of the utmost moment," added the governor, after
finishing the perusal. "Are you aware of its contents?"

"Of its general purport, yes," answered Le Gallais. "The emissaries of
Queen Henrietta are due from S. Malo this day. They will not go to you
(unless they are forced) nor yet to Mr. Secretary Nicholas. They are the
bringers of a secret communication from the queen mother to her son. You
see, sir, that I may be trusted."

"By the faith of a gentleman, it is too strong," cried the governor, in
an impassioned voice. "Was ever honour or gratitude known among that
family? But I care not. Your friends, M. Le Gallais, are my enemies. If
Whitelock and company send to this island all the rebels outside the
gates of hell I will fight them. You may depart and take them that
message from me."

Le Gallais did not move. "But in case of a French force landing--?"

"In that case, sir," answered the governor, and his voice rose to a
quarter-deck shout. "In that case it would be 'up with the red cross
ensign and England for ever!'"

Le Gallais rose and in a gentler tone echoed the cry, sharing the
generous impulse.

"Now go," said the governor, more gently, "go to the buttery and get
thyself refreshed. I know what a sailor's appetite can be. No words; you
came from England last night. God bless England and all her friends!"

So saying the governor departed, and in a few minutes more was seen to
mount his horse at the fort gate and gallop towards S. Helier, followed
by a single orderly.

Immediately on arriving at the town, Sir George's first care was to send
his follower to the Dénonciateur and order him to summon an
extraordinary meeting of the States. After which be went on to the
Castle and demanded an immediate audience of the King.

Charles was sitting in his chamber, indolently trimming his nails. A
tall swash-buckler, with a red nose and a black patch over his eye, was
with him, also seated and conversing with familiar earnestness, as the
governor entered.

"How now?" asked the King, with some show of energy; "To what are we
indebted for the honour of this sudden visit? Were you not told, Sir
George, that we were giving private audience to Major Querto?"

"Faith I was, Sir," answered Carteret, with a seaman's bluntness. "But,
under your pardon, I am Lieutenant-Governor of this island and Castle; I
know the matter on which Major Querto hath audience, and it is not one
that ought to be debated in my absence."

Charles looked at Carteret with a mixture of impatience and _ennui_. But
the Governor was not a man to be daunted by looks; and with Charles, the
last speaker usually prevailed, unless he was much less energetic than
in the present instance.

"If there be any man more ready to lay down life in your Majesty's
service than George Carteret, I willingly leave you in his hands. But
your Majesty knows that there is not. I am here to claim that the
message from the Queen be laid before the States. We are your Majesty's
to deal with; but if we are to help, we must know in what our help is
required."

Charles gave way before a will far stronger and a principle far higher
than his own.

"Go, Major," he said, with an expressive look and gesture. "Let
Messieurs les Etats know of our Mother's message. Sir George! be pleased
to bring Major Querto into your assembly. And, I pray you, bid some one
send me here Tom Elliott," added the King, in a more natural tone of
voice. "_A bientôt!_ Sir George." He waved his visitors out and resumed
the care of his finger-ends, neglected in the excitement of the
discussion.

Carteret, accompanied by Major Querto, repaired to the mainland. They
proceeded together to the Market-place (now the Royal Square) and
entered the newly-built _Cohue_ or Court-house, where the States were
assembling. Seven of the Jurats (or Justices) were already collected, in
their scarlet robes of office: Sir Philip de Carteret, Seigneur of S.
Owen (the Lieutenant-Bailiff); Amice de Carteret, Seigneur of Trinity;
Francis de Carteret, Joshua de Carteret, Elias Dumaresq, Philip le Geyt,
and John Pipon. These, in official tranquillity--as became their high
dignity--took seats on the dais, to the right and left of the Governor's
chair. Below them gradually gathered the officers of the Crown, the
Procureur du Roy, or Attorney-General (another de Carteret), and the
Viscount, or Sheriff, Mr. Lawrence Hamptonne. In the body of the hall
sate the Constables of the parishes, and some of the Rectors. The
townsmen swarmed into the unoccupied space beyond the gangway. When the
hall was full, the usher, having placed the silver mace on the table,
thrice proclaimed silence. Then Sir George--who united the
little-compatible offices of Bailiff and Lieutenant-Governor--arose from
his central seat and presented the Major who stood beside it.

"M. le Lieutenant-Bailly, and Messieurs les Etats!" he said, "I have
called you together to consider a message from the Queen: this gentleman
here will impart it to you, Major Querto, of his Majesty's army."

The Major's face assumed the colour of his nose.

"I am a rough soldier," he muttered, in English, "and little used to
address such an august assembly as I see here; least of all in a foreign
language."

"English, English," cried a dozen voices. But Querto was silent, and
looked at the Governor with a scared and anxious gaze.

"Since our guest is so modest," resumed Carteret, "it is necessary that
I should speak for him. The question is simple. Her Majesty, with her
constant care for the subjects of her son, has heard with dismay that
the rebels in England are projecting a descent upon Jersey. At the same
time, Castle Cornet, in Guernsey, will be attacked by sea. Sir Baldwin
Wake, with your active aid, has hitherto held out against the Roundheads
of that island; and surely since the time of Troy has seldom been so
long a siege, so stout a defence. But, with the Roundheads assaulting
him by land, and Blake's squadron by sea--Gentlemen, I know Blake and
his brave seamen--what can Wake and a hundred half-starved men avail? To
guard us against all these dangers, and against the loss of all the
profits that we now have from our letters-of-marque in the Channel, her
Majesty has been pleased to devise a means of succour."

Here the Governor's speech was interrupted by cries of "Vive la Reine,"
led by the Constable of S. Brelade, in whose parish was situated the
town of S. Aubin, the principal port and residence of the corsairs.

"Nay, but hear her Majesty's gracious project. Nothing doubting your
good affection or your courage, the Queen is persuaded that her royal
son's person (to say little of the other small matters already named by
me) cannot be safe in your hands against a serious attempt such as can
be made as soon as General Cromwell returns victorious--as he doubtless
will--from the Irish war. She therefore intends--and here, Gentlemen, I
come to the main purpose of our present meeting--she intends, I say, to
send over a strong force of French troops to occupy the island."

Consternation kept the assembly silent.

"You are not ignorant of the history of your country," pursued the
Governor. "When a former Queen sought the aid of France you know on what
terms that aid was given. You know the name of Maulévrier; how for six
years he held the Castle of Gorey with the Eastern half of our island.
'We have heard with our ears, and our fathers have declared to us' what
things the Papists did in those days, and how the Lord delivered you by
the hands of my own ancestor and of the sailors of England. Are we to do
it again; it is to be France or England?"

The hall was in an uproar. With startling unanimity the last word was
echoed from all sides: "England for ever! England above all!"

Returning to his quarters in the part of the Castle called by the name
of the late King, Carteret found Sir Edward Nicholas--who was ageing and
felt the cold of sunset--in a mantle and with a black silk skullcap on
his head, pacing up and down the little esplanade by the faint light of
a waning moon. There was an old friendliness between the two: Nicholas
having been long loved and favoured by Hyde, now in Spain, but formerly
the cherished guest of the Carterets. Hence the Secretary was both
willing and able to give sympathy and counsel to his host almost as well
as could have been done by the author of the famous _History of the
Rebellion_, had himself been once more in the Castle.

"I hear by letter from Prynne, this day received," said the
Lieutenant-Governor, "to the effect that our giving harbour here to his
Majesty is a cause of umbrage to yonder cuckoldy knaves in London.
Meanwhile I have grave doubts as to the young man himself--under your
favour, Sir Edward. We are undergoing so many and great dangers and
distresses for him that we might well hope to have no renewal of the old
dealings to our disadvantage. Yet it seems that things are coming to
that pass that we may ere long have to choose between England and
France."

"As for France," answered the Secretary, "we may expect due provision
from his Majesty who is--believe me--a true lover of his own country; as
also from your Honour, whose noble house has done well-known service in
bye-gone times. For England, we know what her power is; but that power
lies in the collection of her organs (as Sir Edward Hyde hath often
taught us) by no means in the hypertrophe of one organ, and that one
mutilated. The Church, Lords, Commons, are Three Estates--"

"Alack, Sir Edward," interrupted the impatient sailor, "this is that
whereto Prynne would lead us. Bethink you of Will Shakspeare's saying,
'If two men ride on a horse one must go behind.' How much more if there
be three of them. Here, in Jersey, where there is but one organ of
Government--I mean the States--we may have labour, but we have none of
these confusions. But in England, look you--"

"If it were as you suppose," cried Nicholas, "the King must needs ride
before and the Parliament behind. But let me hear more of Mr. Prynne.
Barring his sourness in regard of stage-plays and Bishops--which seemed
strangely coupled in his mind--he was ever a wise and moderate man."

"Marry," replied Carteret, "I will show you what he hath writ. He would
persuade us--I will be plain with you--to send Charles packing, and to
yield ourselves wholly to the present Government in England. He argues
that might is right, and that it is to that a weak state like ours must
needs bow;--Here be your three organs of Government--or rather were--yet
one hath ever the last word, the casting vote; and that it is which in
very truth governs: the others are but baubles. For, put case it were
otherwise, then how would it fare with the public weal when one organ
says, 'This shall be so, while another saith, 'Nay, but it shall be
_so_;' and a third perhaps is divided. It is put to the touch, as hath
been lately seen in this nation, where the King came forth on one side
with his cavaliers, followed by tapsters, serving-men and clodhoppers;
officers and men for the most part broken in fortune, debauched in body
and mind. Against him were ranged the citizens, the gentry, many even of
the lords and the sober well-informed part of the yeomen. Your Royal
tapsters are scattered in almost every encounter, your King is taken,
dethroned, slain. Where be then your joint-organs, your paper-balance?
Is it not the merest audit of a bankrupt's books?' So far Mr. Prynne, of
whose wisdom you perhaps will make short work."

"I do not say that he is wrong," answered the Secretary, with a puzzled
look. "I must own that we are beaten for the nonce. And it may be that
if we were uppermost we should equally destroy the balance. But who will
judge a man's constitution by the symptoms of calenture? The nation is
sick, yet it is not like to die."

"My faith!" said Sir George, after a brief pause of reflection, "I think
thou must be right, Sir Edward. This present condition of things cannot
endure: but England will not die. When once men are earnestly disposed
upon a way of reconciliation there must be give-and-take on either side
until we get to work again. Mr. Prynne's own tyranny, that of the
Parliament, hath been already encountered by a stronger tyranny, that of
the army. But that is a regimen to which Englishmen will not submit."

"Then you are for the English, Sir George, rather than for the French."

"Aye, aye, Sir," answered the other. "For the King of England, if
possible. But for the Gaul we are not. We are of the old blood of the
Franks and Normans. We have served our Dukes ever since the battle of
Hastings; but when they became English, why, we became English too. We
beat the French under Du Guesclin, we beat them under Maulévrier. From
England we have had none but good and honest handling. We are English
above all."

"Well said!" cried the Secretary. "I am no boaster, neither do I claim
the gift of prophecy, like some of our saints yonder. But I am persuaded
that a day will come when your words will be put to the proof. You will
have to choose not between King and Commons, but between England and
France you yourself said so but now."

"_Mon Dieu_! the choice will be soon made," cried Carteret. "And now let
us to table. For albeit Dame Carteret is lying-in, it will be hard but I
can furnish a friend some junk and biscuit."



ACT IV.

THE DUEL.


Tom Elliot was a very bad sample of the cavalier party. Trained in
camps, he had learned betimes to seek his happiness in wine, dice, loose
speech, and morals to match. As in France, the successors of the Sullys
and Du Plessis Mornays had become the coxcombs of the Fronde, and the
grandson of Bras-de-Fer was known as Bras-de-Laine, so the character and
conduct of men like Hyde, Ormonde, and Falkland furnished no example to
such as Villiers and Wilmot, whose only ideal of imitation was
scurrilous mimicry. Where the elder cavaliers had been proud to serve
their king, the rising generation was content if it could amuse him; and
with that Charles was satisfied.

Thus Elliot had learned that for such an escapade as his last he might
easily obtain forgiveness. It was not that Charles was, even in youth, a
sincere or warm friend. His easy good nature had its root in
self-indulgence. Clarendon, who knew him and his family _intus et in
cute_, has pointed this out in one of his best character sentences.
"They were too much inclined to love men at first sight," so writes the
faithful servant of the Stuarts. "They did not love the conversation of
men of more years than themselves. They did not love to deny, ... not
out of bounty or generosity, which was a flower that did never grow
naturally in the heart of either family--that of Stuart or the other of
Bourbon--and when they prevailed with themselves to make some pause
rather than to deny, importunity removed all resolution." [_Continuation
of Life_, p. 339, fol. ed.]

And there were not wanting particular reasons to dispose Charles to
favour and forgiveness in this instance. Though Elliot had concealed the
fact at Maufant, he was in fact a married man. His wife was the daughter
of the Mrs. Wyndham who had been the king's nurse. To this family
connection he owed his first introduction to the royal household, which
had been constantly improved by his lawless and pushing nature. A
contemporary remarked of Elliot that "he was not one who would receive
any injury from his modesty." The late king's grave and virtuous mind
had been greatly alienated by these things, and he had once dismissed
him from his family. The passionate youth had recovered his position
owing to the Wyndham influence, but he came back with illwill in his
heart. The memory of the royal martyr inspired him with scant reverence,
nor did he feel either respect or compassion for the queen-mother. From
these sentiments, however, one advantage flowed. Elliot was bitterly
opposed to Jermyn and the French interest, and made use of his
opportunities about the king's person to strengthen him in a like
opposition. So it came to pass that, after sulking an hour, the facile
master not only pardoned the petulant servant, but promoted him to be a
groom of the bedchamber; and the return was made in an increased
persistence in efforts on Elliot's part to amuse the king and flatter
all his propensities, whether political or personal.

The "Indian summer," or _été de S. Martin_, was at its height in Jersey,
when Carteret, obtaining Charles's ready acquiescence, resolved on
ordering a general review of the militia. Soon after daybreak on the
30th October the population began streaming in from all parishes, under
the mild splendour of a cloudless heaven. The scene was on the sands of
S. Aubin's Bay, between the Mont Patibulaire and Millbrook. On the right
wing stood two squadrons of mounted infantry, with their standards
displayed in the morning breeze. On the left were the parish batteries,
with their guns, caissons, and tumbrils. In the centre were the Cornish
body guard and the militia infantry in battalion six deep, while the
reserve and recruits brought up the rear. All but the last-named carried
matches for their firearms, which were loaded with blank cartridge. The
supports carried pikes. The drums beat, the colours flew, as Charles and
his staff, surrounded by an escort of the mounted infantry, emerging
from the south gate of the castle, rode along the low-water causeway.

Mme. de Maufant and her sister, mounted on sober but well-bred nags, and
accompanied by some of their farm hands in gala costume, occupied a
foremost place among the spectators. But the appearance of the castle
_cortège_ threatened their comfort, if not their safety. For the public
excitement grew from moment to moment, "and those behind cried forward!
and those before cried back!" The younger and more excitable especially,
spurred by the fine weather and the novel spectacle, pressed eagerly to
the front, mixed with mothers of scrofulous children, desirous of
gaining for them the healing virtue of the royal touch. The king's
horse, short of work, and participating in the general excitement,
reared and curvetted in the crowd, but was reined in by his skillful
rider.

Charles was in his purple velvet, with no token of a military purpose.
But on his left rode a gigantic guardsman in full panoply, while Elliot
came on the right (but with his horse half a length behind) in gorgeous
array, though more for show than for service. In his silver helmet
fluttered a lissom ostrich plume, his shining cuirass was damascened
with gold, which metal also glittered on the hilt of his sword. The tops
of his buff boots and gauntlets were fringed with costly Brussels point.
As they approached the crushed and alarmed ladies, a militia officer
rushing to their aid from his place between the guns and the nearest
company of foot, came into involuntary contact with the glistening groom
of the chamber. The lace of the later's boot caught in the steel
shoulder piece of the infantry officer, and was torn. Irritated and
excited Elliot brought down his hand upon the unconscious offender, and
dealt him a heavy blow on the side of the face. At this sight--with
nerves already overstrung--Marguerite became unable to control her
usually placid steed; and Alain le Gallais--for he was the militia
officer--was diverted from his instinctive but imprudent impulse of
immediate retaliation, by seeing the young lady slip from her saddle
into his arms.

The little incident was over in an instant, and the king passed on, but
not without taking it all in with the observation natural to him.

"A comely wench, Tom!" he said to his companion, "and one that seemeth
to know thee. But it seems that others gather what thou fellest."

"Faith, sir," answered Elliot, smilingly, "I have given him his wage
beforehand. It is well that he should do my work."

There was no time for longer or plainer speech. The guns began a royal
salute, their muzzles fortunately directed towards the sea--for many of
the pieces had been charged for ball practice. This somewhat dangerous
demonstration was followed by a dropping fire of blank cartridge from
the matchlocks of the foot, and then by general acclamations of "Vive le
Roi" from all ranks. Then Philip de Carteret, Seigneur of S. Ouen, being
called to the front, received the congratulations of the king on the
appearance of the forces, in which, under the lieutenant-governor, his
uncle, he held the chief command. He was then bidden to kneel, touched
with the royal sword, and told to "Rise, Sir Philip de Carteret." The
eighteen stand of colours were displayed on the outer sides of the
columns. Again the drums beat, the trumpets blew, and with the same
state as that in which he had arrived, the king was escorted back to the
castle.

As soon as Charles and his followers had been relieved of their full
dress they renewed the conversation in which they had been interrupted
on the sands, Elliot first endeavouring to improve the occasion into an
argument against the king's remaining in Jersey.

"That malapert bumpkin will be no friend either to me or to your
majesty," he said. "At himself I snap my fingers. But it seems to me
there are some two thousand of them who cry 'Vive le Roi' for half a
pistole, but would cry 'Vivent nous autres' for nothing. If the French
land here they will turn against you at once. If the Parliament prevail
they will submit, willy nilly. And your majesty may feel no ailment, yet
have to be attended by the surgeon who cured your father."

"Whither should I go hence?" asked the other. "The news of Ireland is
hardly such as to give colour to Ormonde's invitation."

"I have told you what to do, sir, but got small thanks for my pains.
Think on it well. Now, by your leave I must attend to affairs of my own.
May I find you in a wiser mood when I return!"

"Farewell, then, Tom," said Charles. "But beware of poaching on a Jersey
manor!"

"There are no game laws here, or if there be the keeper is away." With
these words Elliot retired with a careless bow, and the king waved his
hand gaily as he disappeared.

The forward young man bent his way, as often before, in the direction of
Maufant. On entering the garden he saw the lady of the manor--a rose
among the roses, as Malherbe might have said. The moment she perceived
Elliot she stood sternly, and with dilated eye before the entry of the
house, as if to bar the way, the united blazon of her husband's
ancestors and her own appearing above her head like a crest of battle.

"Why so stern, fair lady?" demanded the courtier, saluting her, "And why
alone?"

"My sister is not here," said Mme. de Maufant, answering but the second
of Elliot's questions. "She has spoken with you for the last time, Mr.
Elliot. I hope that I too have the same advantage. You should go home,
Monsieur, to your wife."

Elliot started, but quickly recovering himself, said, with an insolent
smile, "Always thinking of marriage, these dear creatures. Ah, ah!
madame, sits the wind in that quarter? You thought the poor Scots
gentleman might be caught by the rosy cheeks of a Jersey farm girl. _Pas
si bête_."

Rose pointed to the garden archway. "If you do not relieve me of your
presence this very instant," she said, pale and panting, "my farm
labourers shall drive you out with cudgels."

"It shall not need, madame, to pay me this last attention, so worthy of
your habits. 'Au revoir, madame!'" And with a profound and mocking
reverence the wanton cavalier slowly retreated, leaving Rose to sink,
half fainting, into a stone seat by the house door.

Elliot strode off, smarting with the sting of his well-merited
humiliation. A brief moment of reflection was enough to show its
probable origin. It was evident that the secret of his marriage had
found its way to the manor, where the court he had been paying to
Marguerite had consequently ceased to be regarded as a harmless
gallantry, and come to be taken for insult, as indeed it deserved. Nor
was it difficult to go on to guess the channel of this information. Le
Gallais was Marguerite's acknowledged lover, the person who would
benefit by the removal of a fascinating dog like Elliot--a formidable
rival, as he flattered himself such as he must be to a bumpkin officer
of militia. How Le Gallais could have learned the fact of his having a
wife in France might be a harder question, but it was one that was not
material. Revenge would be equally sweet, whether that were answered or
not.

Full of these thoughts the groom of the chamber stalked on to S. Helier.
On reaching the quay, he came to "The White Ship"--a tavern frequented
alike by the officers of the garrison and by those of the island
militia. The parlour was full of men, some in uniform, some in plain
clothes, smoking, drinking, playing cards--a scene of Teniers. One of
the first faces on which his eye fell was that of Le Gallais, who sprang
from his chair on Elliot's entrance, but was restrained by his
neighbours, and sat down watching the intruder's movements with glaring
eye. Striding up to the hearth, and standing with his back to it, the
cavalier broke into a forced laugh.

"Strange company you keep, gentlemen. I spy one among you whom you had
better put forth without delay."

"Whom mean you?" asked the patch-wearing Querto. "'May I not take mine
ease in mine inn?' as the fat fellow says in the play. May not a plain
soldier choose his own company?"

"A soldier is a gentleman, and should keep company with gentlemen,"
answered the flushed youth. "Mr. Le Gallais is no mate for cavaliers. I
say to his face that he is a cropeared rebel, a busybody, and a
pestilent knave."

"I appeal to you, Major Querto," said Le Gallais, roused from his
temporary pause, and turning to the major, whom indeed he had brought to
the place, and for whose refreshment he was providing.

"Appeal me no appeals," said the Major, with a truculent look. "No man
shall appeal to Dick Querto till he is purged of such epitaphs."

Confusion reigned. Le Gallais looked about him for a friendly face, and
presently saw sympathy on that of a fellow-countryman and brother
officer.

"Captain Bisson," he said, "you will speak to Mr. Elliot's friend."

Elliot flung out of the house, followed by Querto and two or three
Royalist officers, Le Gallais, and Bisson in the rear. They walked
towards the beach, and on their arriving at the foot of the Gallows
Hill--near where the picquet-house now stands--an Irish officer came
from Elliot's group and met Bisson, hat in hand.

"Are the gentlemen to fight now?" he asked.

"The sooner the better," answered Bisson.

"Will it be a _pas de deux_, or will we all join the dance?"

"Surely, a combat of two," gravely replied the islander. "We do not
understand Paris fashions here. With you and me, sir, there need be no
quarrel."

"Sure, and we could have an elegant fight without quarrelling," muttered
the Irishman, with a disappointed frown. "But 'anything for a quiet
life' is my motto. This is a mighty fine place, I'm thinking, where two
brave fellows can cut each other's throats in peace and without
disturbance." Major Querto stood by with the air of an indispensable
umpire.

The _escrime_ of those days had not attained its later refinements. The
combatants were placed opposite to each other, each flinging a cloak
about his left arm, to serve as a shield, and they prepared to encounter
in what would seem a fashion of "rough-and-tumble" to our modern
masters.

Both were brave men, and in the bloom of manhood. Elliot was the taller,
but Le Gallais, some seven or eight years older, far exceeded in
strength and weight. After scant ceremony the thrusting began. Feet
trampled, steel rang. A furious pass from the Jerseyman was with
difficulty caught in Elliot's cloak, and the sword for a moment
hampered. Before Le Gallais could extricate it, Elliot, with a savage
cry, ran in upon him, drawing back his elbow, so as to stab his
adversary with a shortened sword. A scuffle ensued, of which no
bystander could follow with his eye the full details, till the Scot's
sword was seen to turn upwards, and the point to pierce his own throat.
Each combatant fell backwards, Le Gallais bleeding from the left hand,
and Elliot spouting black gore from a severed artery.

At that instant cries name from the outside of the ring, "The guard!"
On which the spectators hastened to disperse, while the
Lieutenant-Governor rode up at the head of a mounted patrol. Elliot was
taken from the ground in a dying state, and Le Gallais arrested, and
ordered to Mont Orgueil, to await the arrival of the magistrate, who
should make the preliminary inquiry.

Left in that irksome durance, but with wound duly cared for, Alain had
abundant time to muse over the mistakes and misfortunes of the past.
After the inquiry he was necessarily committed for trial at the next
criminal session; and fell at first into a semi-mechanical existence.
But slowly the twin stars of memory and hope rose out of the dark, while
conscious integrity began to clear the moral æther. He tried in vain to
cherish remorse, but Elliot's treachery overbore the effort; slowly calm
returned.

It was true that the news of Elliot's fraud had been made known to the
ladies of Maufant by himself. But as he thought over the matter in the
solitude of his chilly cell, he could not see any reason to blame
himself on that account. Hearing from Querto--who was connected with the
family--that Elliot was unquestionably a married man, he had only done
his duty in warning Rose and her sister against the groom of the
chamber. He would not admit to himself that jealousy had influenced him
in so doing. As Lempriere's agent, as the old friend of the family, he
could not have done otherwise. All was over between him and Marguerite,
yet he could not forget that, by the wish of the young lady's friends,
if not by her own, he had once been her affianced husband. As for the
death of the courtier, it was not in itself a subject for much regret;
and, further, it had been wholly the consequence of the dead man's own
actions, from his deceit towards the ladies to his final ferocity and
foul play in an encounter of his own provoking.

While Alain Le Gallais thus sought comfort by the road of reason and of
conscience, his heart continued very sore. But on the morrow of his
commitment an event occurred which changed his cheer, and made his
prison for an instant more lovely than a palace. All the Jerseymen were
acquainted with each other, and the prison warder, though fully meaning
to keep his captive, did not by any means understand his duty to extend
to making such detention a punishment to a man whom he liked, and who
had not yet been condemned. So when Mme. de Maufant and her sister
presented themselves at the gate, seeking admission to Alain's cell, the
worthy jailor unhesitatingly showed them into his own parlour, and
fetched Alain to them, only taking the precaution of turning the door
key upon the outside as he left them alone with the priser, on the
understanding that they should call him from the window when they wished
to leave.

Pale as death, her lovely eyes ringed with dark shades, poor Marguerite
fell upon Alain's breast, without pretence of coyness.

"Alain, mon ami!" she cooed in her soft rich voice, "can you give me
your pardon?"

How far Alain believed this sudden revelation cannot certainly be told.
All that he felt able to do was to strain the girl to his heart and be
silent. Rose stood discreetly at the window; but finding that the lovers
had no more to say to each other, she by and by broke silence.

"We shall not leave you to suffer for us," she said. "Carteret is
without scruple and without mercy. As a friend of Michael's, he will
seek every loophole for your ruin. I have already seen the Advocate
Falle. He says that you will be tried for murder next week, and that if
Carteret presides you are no better than a dead man."

"To die for you and Marguerite is not so hard," said the young man, with
a smile.

"You shall do nothing of the sort," cried Rose, warmly, "listen to me.
The day is setting in for rain and storm. At five in the afternoon it
will be dark. Then one of us will come back with John Le Vesconte, of La
Rosière, who is your match in stature, and who will be admitted on
account of his being of kin to us. He will change clothes with you, and
will remain in your stead while you come out of prison in his. He is in
favour with Carteret, and will be quit for a fine, which I will gladly
pay."

As she stood, warm and bright with zeal, and intellect flushing in her
eye, Alain thought that, with all his troubles, her exiled lord was a
happy man. But he had to think of his own case. Placing the broken form
of Marguerite tenderly in a chair, he stood up and looked full in Rose's
face, his hands joined, almost in an attitude of prayer.

"Do not tempt me," he said, in a low, but determined voice. "I will not
put another in my place to save my life, nor even to please Michael
Lempriere's wife. Moreover, John Valpy, the jailor here--who is somewhat
of my family, too, for our fathers married cousins--has dealt tenderly
with me, and I will not do what would bring ruin upon him. Tempt me no
more," he repeated hastily, seeing Rose about to interrupt him. "My mind
is fully made up."

"But for her sake," pleaded Mme. de Maufant, eyeing the almost senseless
girl with yearning pity. "Think of her young life, bound up with yours."

"Alas!" answered he, "who knows what maidens mean? She has been excited
by all that has befallen, and will doubtless be sorry for me, and
remember me. But her life can never be bound but by herself. Briefly, I
will not be saved on the terms you offer. Existence for me is without
value, honour is not."

After this speech, delivered in a tone of conviction, Rose could say no
more. For her part, Marguerite was helpless. Her nerves had broken in
the excitement of the whole scene, and by the time that Alain had done
speaking, she was on the edge of a fit of violent hysterics. When her
sister had succeeded, by the aid of the jailor's wife, hastily summoned,
in restoring a little calm, Marguerite insisted upon being taken away.
Alain was left unshaken in his resolve, and Rose, weary of the
unsuccessful interview, removed her sister to their temporary lodgings
in the town. Leaving her there in the careful hands of the woman of the
place--an old acquaintance--she hurried off to Hill-street, where she
had another consultation with the Advocate Falle.

The result was soon apparent. To whatever motive Carteret may have
yielded, he did not preside at the trial of Le Gallais, leaving the
task--as indeed he usually did--to the Lieutenant-Bailiff. The record of
the trial has perished, along with many public papers of those troublous
times. But thus much we know, that Alain Le Gallais was tried before the
Lieutenant-Bailiff and six jurats, and, in spite of a strenuous defence
by Advocate Falle, was found guilty and sentenced to death.

It would be impossible to describe the anguish of the ladies of Maufant,
who had remained in town during these proceedings. Rose had already
spent in the conduct of the case money that she could ill afford. But
she knew that her husband would never forgive her if she neglected any
means of delivering their champion. Nor was she in any way disposed to
do so. Secret service money was laid out to the full extent of Mme. de
Maufant's powers of borrowing.

Meanwhile the political horizon grew darker day by day. Charles fretted
and yawned; but he continued to attend Divine service in the town
church. He also dined in public, "touched" for the king's evil, and
exercised such functions of royalty (as understood in that period of
transition) as the conditions of the place permitted. Just before the
end of the Stuart dynasty kingship in England was in much the same
condition among the English as it is now among the German nations. The
monarch was still regarded as the head of the feudal State, while a
number of the leading men were beginning to perceive more or less
clearly that society had passed out of a condition in which it could be
deeply or permanently swayed by the absolute will of one individual,
however highly placed by what one called the Divine pleasure, and
another the accident of birth. Among the personal prerogatives of the
Crown was the pardon of persons condemned to death.

On the morning of the day when Mr. Secretary Nicholas was ordered to
bring up the papers in the case of Rex _v._ Le Gallais, the
Lieutenant-Governor of the small territory to which Charles's sway was
for the present restricted had a long audience. The king had, in his
light way, lamented the loss of his petulant favourite. But Carteret
had, with less pains than he had looked for, succeeded in convincing the
facile and intelligent sovereign that for both the quarrel and its
result Tom Elliot had been alone answerable. Probability leads us to
suspect that Charles had his own reasons for the readiness with which he
accepted the governor's arguments. Among all the young king's heavy
faults, vindictiveness was not, at that time, in the faintest degree
traceable; but, besides that, he had learned, in the intercourse of the
last day or two before the fatal encounter, too much of Elliot's
nefarious designs upon Marguerite de St. Martin to suppose that he would
with decency punish the conduct of her defender. Nor need we wonder if a
bag of Rose Lempriere's pistoles lent weight, even to royal scruples.

"Odsfish, Sir George," he said, finally, "I believe that you must e'en
take the pardon of your choleric countryman."

"Your majesty is ever gracious," answered Carteret, with his best
quarter-deck reverence, "though under your pardon my countrymen are in
no respect to be taxed with ready choler. They are ever courteous and
patient. Only steadfast malice is what they cannot abide."

"I dare be bold to say that human nature hath its operation amongst
them," answered Charles, with his languid smile. "Give them what they
want and their temper is easy. But enough of this, Nicholas will draw
the pardon, and it shall be signed and sealed anon. But, further, take
order that there be no more duelling. And now, as touching another of
your prisoners, Major Querto?"

"The major was arrested among those present at the duel, in which it
hath been shown that he was not a participator," said Sir George; "but
letters have been found in his possession which hinder his release
without further inquiry."

"I can be the major's warrant," answered Charles. "He was a trooper in
Goring's horse, and rose by reason of his wife being chosen to nurse my
mother's last-born infant at Exeter. When her majesty retired into
France, Querto, raised to be a commissioned officer, remained in
Exeter. When that city was taken he followed his wife to France, from
whence he is now come, bringing letters from her majesty to me."

"By your leave, sir," answered Carteret, "your information lacks
completeness. Querto by no means repaired from Exeter to France. We have
searched his valise, and have taken therefrom a packet of papers, from
which it plainly appears that he is a false knave, who hath bubbled both
sides. There is among these papers a letter from Sir John Grenville, to
the effect that this fellow was to obtain money from the Parliament on a
false pretence of delivering Scilly into their hands. There is another
from Bulstrode Whitelock, in which the matter assumes a different and a
more heinous aspect. According to that paper, Querto had been to London,
and there undertaken, on the receipt of two thousand pounds, to aid in
the betrayal, not merely of Scilly, but of Jersey. He had taken handsell
of his price, and went to France, either to complete the bargain or else
to trade with Mazarin. I leave to your majesty to determine which."

The king moved uneasily in his chair. He shunned the governor's
searching eye, and affected to be watching a ship in the offing, of
which a view was commanded by his casement.

"That vessel appears to interest your majesty," said Carteret, "she
flies St. Andrew's Cross."

"I opine that it is the vessel of the Scots Commissioners," answered
Charles. "An it be so, we will receive them in council. Matters of great
moment may be awaiting their arrival. For the present, Sir George, I bid
you farewell."

It was now December. The "St. Martin's summer" of the Channel Islands
was almost over. The trees were losing their leaves. The last roses
lingered still only in sheltered nooks, rich as the Maufant garden. The
sky was, however, serene, and the sea calm, as the Scottish ship sailed
into the harbour. She had come over from Holland with a favouring wind,
bringing the Chief Commissioner of the Parliament and clergy of
Scotland, together with other gentlemen and officers, and an emissary
from the Duke of Lorraine. The result of their arrival demands another
chapter, for it seriously affected the fortunes of several persons
concerned in the events which our history relates. Our scene changes to
the ancient monastic chapel of the castle, in which the commissioners
were brought before the king in council.



ACT V.

FAREWELL TO JERSEY.


The king's ordinary cabinet council was now reduced to three persons
besides himself, for it must be remembered that down to the days of the
German sovereigns, who could not join from ignorance of the language,
the English kings were always members of the cabinet, as the viceroy is
to this day in British India. Hyde still playing the vain Ind futile
part of ambassador in Madrid, Lord Hopton and the two secretaries,
Nicholas and Long, were the only ministers present.

But the matter now opened by the arrival of the Scottish commissioners,
was considered of so much moment as to justify, and even to demand, the
summoning of the lieutenant-governor, and of all the peers then resident
in Jersey. The deliberations of this assembly--which may be regarded as
being tantamount to the Privy Council at large--lasted to the end of the
month of December. But we are not dealing with general history. It will
suffice to record that Winram, of Liberton, the chief of the mission,
appeared charged, in the name of the parliament and clergy of the
northern kingdom, to present and enforce certain written addresses, of
which the gist was this.

Charles was to subscribe the "solemn league and covenant," to give
pardon and amnesty to all past political offences, and to agree to
maintain the Protestant religion, according to the Presbyterian rite.
Our fathers fought for freedom, but it was freedom only for themselves.

Upon these conditions it was observed by the foremost of the king's
advisers, that the so-called "Scottish Parliament" was no Parliament at
all, neither having been called by royal mandate nor dissolved by the
late king's death. It was thus wanting in the essential elements and
attributes. Dishonour and prejudice would accrue to any sovereign who
should upset the very nature of the constitution. Yet the commissioners
asserted stoutly that their employers would not be treated with under
any other style, title, or appellation. The king's councillors frowned.
It was added, further, that the clergy of the Church of England, as
might be learnt from his majesty's own chaplains then present in Jersey,
would strenuously oppose the Scottish alliance. They would indeed rather
see the king go among the Papists in Ireland than among such strict
Protestants as the Scots. These counsels were upheld by certain of the
lords; and the Lord Byron, though not giving such extreme lengths,
thought it not well to form a conclusive opinion until it was seen what
advices should be received from Ireland, where Ormonde was still
endeavouring to withstand the forces of the English Parliament under
General Cromwell.

About the end of the month, however, all hope from that side faded away.
The defence of Ireland had melted before the two passions of fear and
avarice. All the strong places in Ireland had yielded themselves to the
parliament. Ormonde admitted his failure in a letter to Charles, dated
"Waterford, December 15, 1619." On this Lord Byron joined in urging the
king to yield the questions of form or title, and to treat with the
Scots on their own terms.

While things were still in suspense, Alain le Gallais was wandering idly
on the rude quay of S. Helier, looking up at the insulated castle, and
vainly seeking to conjecture what might be the nature of the plans being
there matured, when he was suddenly addressed from behind in a rough,
but not wholly unfamiliar voice. Turning about he beheld the grim face
and gaunt form of Major Querto, by no means softened by prison fare and
restraint.

"I cannot say much in praise of your island, Captain," growled the
veteran, "either as regards hospitality or diversion. Out of bare eight
weeks that I have lived here, six have been spent in prison; and now
that they have let me out, I can find nothing better to do than to count
the pebbles upon this beach here."

Le Gallais led the grumbling officer to a neighbouring tavern, and
called for a mug of cider and two glasses. When the liquor had begun to
do its office, Querto showed signs of better cheer, nothing loth to have
a companion.

"It is not often that a poor gentleman hath even such refreshment as
this," he said presently, after lighting a pipe of tobacco. The words
were hardly courteous, but the speaker had not been bred in courtesy.
"We had short commons in Exeter, but then there was none of the citizens
fared better than we. Here in Jersey Mr. Lieutenant takes good care that
they who have keep and they who want go on lacking. Yet methinks he
might find it worth his while to take care for something else."

"What, mean you, major?" demanded the Jerseyman.

"Marry this," answered his companion, "that there be some among your
friends who do not choose to starve while there are pistoles to be won
by a brave action. Hark ye, captain, are you well affected or no? You
need have no fear, sir, in telling me. I am not strait-laced, and I can
keep counsel.

"Dost thou call to mind a certain evening in London when you and Mr.
Lempriere were walking home together, and a warning was uttered in your
ears?"

"Was it thou that played the raven? Didst thou think that we were of
your side?"

"Of my side, quotha. Why, man, do you think me one to take sides? O,
lord Sir, sides are for the quality. Dick Querto is of his own side, no
other. Now, see here, Captain le Gallais, mayhap you know one Pierre
Benoist that was then in limbo?"

"Aye, do I, and what of him?"

"Why, marry this; that he is at large, and hath a lure for your young
Charlie there that will bring him from his perch on the rock yonder, and
mew the tercel in London town. What think ye the Parliament will deem a
meet reward for the men who bring them such a prize as that?"

Le Gallais was aghast. He was asked to consent to a plot to kidnap the
king, and convey him into the hands of those who had taken his father's
anointed head from his shoulders. A plot to be carried out in Jersey,
and by the aid of Jerseymen! Alain was not a blind royalist, as we have
seen, but he had not learned, either from Prynne or from Lempriere,
either that Jersey could exist without a King of England or that
treachery was a necessary part of the work of liberty. At the same time
the ruffian before him must not be prematurely alarmed. So he played his
part as best he might.

"I must think of it," he said, "the enterprise is bold. Tell me no more
of your projects," he added, with a sudden shame, as the swashbuckler
was about to enter into details. "I cannot now take part in your work,
for reasons."

"All the better," said the bravo, "but see that you betray me not. The
fewer of us the larger the share; but you were best not betray me."

"Threats are not needed, major," answered the Jerseyman, "I am no
traitor."

Le Gallais paid the reckoning and sauntered off, a prey to contending
thoughts. That the cruel plot should come to nought, if its frustration
were within his means, he unhesitatingly resolved. That Querto's
confidence--unasked though it had been--should be used against himself,
was equally unwelcome to Alain's sense of honour.

In his perplexity, he wandered almost as by instinct to the lodgings of
the Lemprieres. He had long been accustomed to regard the simple good
faith and courage of Mme. de Maufant as an infallible oracle in cases of
conscience. Never had so hard a need for an infallible oracle presented
itself to his mind as this.

He found the ladies seated in a parlour on the ground floor, engaged in
their usual employment of knitting. The room was small, but warm and
snug. Under a pledge of secrecy, he told them in general terms that
there was a plot to seize the king, but took care not to mention the
names either of Querto or Benoist.

Meanwhile the council having broken up for the day, the king retired to
his chamber. But instead of resting and calling for refreshment, as was
his wont on such occasions, he seemed to meditate an excursion. Only
that, in deference to the prudent scruples of his council, he was
apparently going forth in strict disguise, for he unbuckled his
jewel-hilted sword, and took off his velvet doublet. Then tucking his
long hair under a fur cap, and putting on a blouse, such as was worn by
the country people, he walked out of the castle in the dark of the
winter evening, passing the sentries by giving the parole of the day.
The tide being low he walked across the "bridge," and at the town end
was accosted by a man, attired like himself, who was waiting for him
there.

"Owls be abroad," said the stranger.

"They mouse by night," answered the king.

Without further communication the two walked silently through the town,
and up the steep lane in which Mme. de Maufant had taken up her abode.
It was on a hill over-looking the town, still known by the name of "The
King's Cliff." At the back were woods and fields.

All this time Alain and the ladies of Maufant had remained in earnest
consultation. Rose was for letting matters take their course. She had
scant sympathy with those whose policy had separated her from her
husband, and who were, as she believed, plotting the betrayal of her
country, Jersey, and her Michael. In these lay all her world. That the
king should be carried off to London was nothing to her. But Marguerite
was younger and more generous. Wronged as she had been by Elliot's
insolent schemes, that account was balanced and closed by the great
audit. But she was not without a woman's romance, and the thought that a
king, young and unfortunate, was to be sold to his father's relentless
enemies and murderers, presented to her ardent mind a thing to be
prevented at all hazards.

While they were thus debating the dog was heard to bark excitedly, and
footsteps were audible in the garden behind the house.

"Mme. de Maufant," said a voice at the window, "come forth. It is I,
Pierre Benoist. I bring a message from your husband."

"Wait an instant, Benoist," answered the lady, unalarmed, "I will let
you in."

She went to the door, and gave admittance to two men in blouses. While
one conversed with Mme. de Maufant, the other advanced to her sister,
and, without taking heed of Le Gallais, addressed her in courtly tones,
holding his fur cap in his hand, his brown hair fell down upon his
shoulders.

"Fear nothing, bright pearl of Jersey," said the stranger. "A traveller
who has heard of your charms asks leave to prove them."

"Marguerite!" whispered Le Gallais on the other side, "be careful, it is
the king. I know his face. I have seen him many times in church."

Marguerite slipped to the ground on her knees. "Ah, sir," she said,
imploringly, "the honour that you do us may cost your life. Your enemies
are at hand. Perhaps the house is already surrounded. Ah, heaven! put up
your hair!" So saying she aided the smiling young king to restore his
disguise, whilst Alain, with a sudden impulse, threw himself upon
Benoist, whom he gagged and pinioned almost before the rascal could
utter a sound.

Charles, meanwhile not unwilling to wait the conclusion of the
adventure, retired by a back door, followed by Rose, who showed him into
the kitchen. The barking of the dog was at the same moment renewed, and
other footsteps and voices were heard further from the house, which was
apparently surrounded.

Marguerite sank into a chair, while Le Gallais carried the helpless
Benoist out with whispered threats; and, throwing him into a dark
stable, shut the door upon him, locking it behind him and putting the
key into his pocket. He then returned into the parlour, and telling
Rose--who had re-entered the room--what he had done, bade her be of good
cheer. Marguerite continued to kneel, and her lips moved as if in
prayer.

Meantime the voices came nearer. The dog, with one sharp yell ceased to
bark, and knocks were heard at the door. Alain gave Rose one encouraging
look and went out alone and unarmed to meet Querto and a number of
peasants, most of whom he recognised as belonging to his own company of
the parish militia.

"What is it, neighbours?" he said, taking no notice of the major, and
speaking the local dialect.

"Why, this gentleman hath brought us here to seize a spy," said one of
them--our old acquaintance Le Gros.

"There is no spy here but himself," answered Le Gallais. Do you not know
who he is, Maître Le Gros? This is Major Querto, who came here about
selling Jersey to the French.

"What are you saying in your whoreson lingo?'" cried the major. "Let us
in."

"He wishes to do some mischief here," pursued Le Gallais. "Perhaps to
rob the ladies. Will you see Michael Lempriere's wife plundered?"

"Never," said another of the peasants. "He said a spy had got admission
on false pretences."

"There is no one here but I," said Le Gallais. "Do you take me for a
spy?"

"We do not, Alain. Vive M. le Capitaine! What shall we do with him?"
said many friendly voices.

"Take him to the Centenier under the Gallows-hill," said Alain, availing
himself of the rising tide. "Or, stay"--as he caught a look from Querto,
in which agony and reproach were mingled--"If he prefers it, carry him
on board the first ship bound for France. I will answer for his passage
money. Handle him as he deserves."

To hear was to obey with the angry islanders. Hustled and disarmed,
bonnetted and bound with handkerchiefs, Querto was borne off, howling
and cursing. In a few minutes all was once more still in and about the
house, only the good watch dog had suffered. He would never sound
another alarm. One strobe of Querto's sabre had severed his faithful
head from his body.

Alain returned to the parlour.

Reassured by his telling them the story, they were easily persuaded to
retire to their chamber. Alain's next care was to seek the king's hiding
place.

"You must stay where you are till morning, sir," he said, without
entering. "I will watch over the only way by which any one can approach
you."

"As you will," cried Charles from within. "But hark ye, captain!
methinks a pint of claret would not be amiss, warm with a spiced toast
floating on the top."

The man and his wife who waited on the ladies had been spirited away by
some intrigue on the part of Benoist, and the king would have to pass
the night alone in the small kitchen.

More amused than disgusted with the royal levity, Le Gallais--who knew
the ways of the house--brewed the desired tankard, and, returning to the
kitchen, set the hot drink upon the table; then wishing the king "good
repose;" left him to his meditations.

On returning to the parlour, Le Gallais carefully secured both the inner
and the outer door, put a log upon the fire, looked to the priming of
his pistols, laid his sword upon the table, threw a cloak over his
knees, sate up in his arm chair with a look of resolute vigilance, and
sank into a profound sleep, from which he did not wake till day streamed
through the casement. His first care was to go to the stable and release
Benoist, but that slippery rascal, after his wont, had released himself.
His gag and bandage lay upon the stable floor, along with a bar shaken
out of the loophole in the wall, leaving an aperture just large enough
for a lean man to push through.

Returning to the house, Le Gallais found the graceless monarch seated at
table before a steaming bowl of porridge, while Rose was pouring him
some cider.

"Odsfish," he heard Charles say, "I owe Captain Le Gallais thanks for a
fair deliverance, and you, madame, a courteous usage under difficulty.
But _à la guerre comme à la guerre_, and I have slept in worse
conditions than those of your house, madame. Let me but bid farewell to
your sweet sister, and I will be back in the castle before my absence
has been observed. Ha! Captain Le Gallais, you must be my guide back to
the quay. This part is strange to me."

All Charles's prayers were vain. Marguerite had a _migraine_, and could
not have the honour of receiving the king's farewell. He finished his
breakfast, took a courtier's leave of his hostess, and set forth on his
homeward way, respectfully attended by Le Gallais. They walked through
the streets in silence for some time, the king having quite enough sense
to be ashamed of his situation.

"You have an interest," he presently said, "in yonder ladies, captain?"

"I have, sir. I am M. de Maufant's friend."

"And therefore my enemy, I take it. No matter, you have served me a good
turn."

Soon the strangely-assorted couple approached the quay. Scarcely anyone
being abroad at that early hour. Moreover they had come down to the
bridge head by way of the Gallows-hill, to avoid the publicity of the
main streets. As they parted, Charles turned kindly to his unwonted
follower, and said once more--

"We shall not forget our obligation to you, Captain Le Gallais, whenever
a time comes for proper acknowledgment. Meantime, if you will not own us
as your king, tell me, as man to man, if there be anything in which
Charles Stuart can serve you."

"Aye, is there," answered the Jerseyman, out of the fullness of his
heart. "For your own sake, sir, leave us. We are a simple folk, unused
to the ways of the great world, and only asking to be left in peace."

"By the faith of a gentleman," muttered Charles, as he made his way out
to the castle, "the islander is right in his amphibious way. The solemn
league and covenant is not amusing, but it cannot be worse than living
here like a seal upon a rock; and when one goes forth to talk to a
comely wench, being reconducted to one's rock by a Puritan with webbed
feet. Yet he hath saved me from a shrewd pinch, and that is the truth."

It will not be supposed that Charles was all at once prepared to drop
the little intrigue--so united to his already corrupted character, into
which he had been led by Benoist's insidious suggestions, acting upon a
mind always anxious for excitement, and predisposed by the talk of the
deceased groom-of-the-chamber. But the danger which he had incurred was
a warning in the opposite direction. Benoist was in hiding, and appeared
no more in the castle; lastly, the negotiations with the Scots now
became so urgent and so perpetual as to require his almost constant
presence and personal influence. The opposing motives and conflicting
opinions of his various advisers often kindled into violent altercation,
in composing which the really excellent qualities of the young king's
prematurely developed character had room for beneficial action. So the
ladies of Maufant were left free from a troublesome persecution, against
which, nevertheless, they took all due precautions.

Upon general grounds Charles was now willing enough to leave Jersey. The
bluff firmness of Sir George Carteret, and the grave counsels of
Nicholas, by whom the lieutenant-governor was usually backed up, were
unwelcome to a sovereign; and his tiny kingdom afforded but little
compensation, especially when he was forbidden to visit it, and was
virtually prisoner on an almost insulated corner thereof. For Carteret
and Nicholas had heard of his nocturnal adventure, and had extorted a
promise from him not to go on land without their knowledge. They had
also taken other precautions in the same behalf, which were perhaps more
trustworthy.

It was finally determined that the king and his retinue should leave the
island. The Scots' invitation was accepted on the terms proposed by what
it was agreed to call "the committee of estates;" and Breda, in Holland,
was named as the place where the final agreement should be engrossed and
signed by the high contracting parties. Here Charles would be safe in
the protection of his brother-in-law, the Prince of Orange, until
matters should be ripe for his departure to Scotland.



EPILOGUE.


Since the events related in the foregoing chapters nearly two years had
gone by. Jersey had been saved from intrigues of the Queen and Lord
Jermyn. Charles had gone to France, and thence to Holland, followed by
the Duke of York, his brother, and later by Sir Edward Nicholas and the
other members of his council and court. The lieutenant-governor, freed
from even the slight control afforded by their presence, had given full
scope to the worse parts of his peculiar and complicated character. More
than ever was his administration of his native island marked by
unblushing egotism. Oppressive, grasping, unguarded in speech, and
almost unrestrained in action, he seemed, from one point of view, the
model of a sordid, short-sighted despot, making hay while the sun shone.
But he had a fund of caution which kept him from proceeding quite to
extremes, and his energy and ability were undeniable, as was also his
attention to business. Hence, while feared and even hated, he was still
respected and obeyed. Most of the militia officers were his creatures,
as were also--as we have already seen--the civil, judicial, and
legislative officers of the little republic. The seat of his government
was at S. Helier, while S. Aubin, on the opposite point of the bay, was
filled with his skippers and their crews, and the traders who profited
by their piratical proceedings. Hardly a week passed but some rich
prize--usually an English merchantman--was brought in there, to be
condemned by Carteret's court, and sold, together with her cargo, while
the unfortunate mariners who had manned her were left to their own
resources. Adventurers from all parts flocked to Jersey, to share the
gains of this new and irregular trade, while the lawful commerce of
England was menaced as with a cancer. With the resources derived from
his maritime enterprise, joined to what he drew from his fines, taxes,
exactions, compositions, and confiscations within the limits of the
island, the unscrupulous governor was founding a sort of Christian
Barbary, and becoming a hostile power no less than a public scandal.
Nevertheless, he could on occasion make a generous use of his ill-gotten
gains.[_v._ Appendix.] He sent money more than once to the necessitous
court in Holland, continuing to do so until the king departed thence to
Scotland. And he kept up such a stream of supplies for Castle Cornet, in
Guernsey, as enabled Sir Baldwin Wake, the commandant, to hold out
against all the force of the Parliamentary power in that island, and
against all attempts by sea. Indeed this remarkable siege lasted longer
than the fabled one of Troy, and the feat, however creditable to the
handful of men by whom it was performed, and to Osborne and his
successor Wake, was only rendered possible by the constant aid of Sir
George Carteret. Most of all, however, did that energetic officer enrich
himself, laying in fact the foundation of that greatness which
afterwards culminated in his descendant, the famous Lord Granville, the
rival of Walpole. He obtained from Charles a grant of Crown lands,
including the escheated manor of Melèches. And he further appropriated
to his own use the revenues of his personal enemies, the chief of whom
were the exiled Seigneurs Dumaresq, of Samares, and Lempriere, of
Maufant. It should, however, be added that he shed no more blood. In
fact with the exception of the Bandinels and Messervy, Seigneur of Bagot
(already mentioned), no one lost life for opposition to Sir George. He
even attempted to conciliate some of his opponents, restoring Le Gallais
to his post of captain in the militia, and empowering him to offer to
Lempriere's wife the use of her house at Maufant, which he had
confiscated. But that valiant lady resolutely refused to hold or inhabit
under the favour of an usurper, and continued to occupy the lodgings on
King's Cliff, though in constant straits for want of money. Marguerite,
who, however wild and light others found her, was always faithful to her
good sister, cast in her lot with Mme. de Maufant, with the consent of
her own family at Rozel; and it was chiefly by her assistance that the
expenses were in any way met. Le Gallais also lost no opportunity of
visiting the ladies and ministering to their wants like a brother, to
the great straining of his own slender savings. He carefully forebore to
press Mlle. de St. Martin with a lover's suit, whether or no to that
young lady's complete satisfaction we are not informed. In any case, her
manner, though composed by trouble, gave no sign of the state of her
feelings; and whether she was fond of Alain or weary of him, her
self-control was equally to her credit. As for Alain, he seemed to be
stupefied, rather awaiting ruin than expecting better times.

Matters were in this state, when one lovely day in September, 1651,
Alain came before Mme. de Maufant and her sister as they sate knitting
in the doorway.

"Great news!" he cried, as soon as he was near enough for the ladies to
hear. "Great news! General Cromwell has thoroughly purged the garner. He
has beaten and scattered the Scots at Worcester. 'Tis said Charles
Stuart their king is taken prisoner. This 'crowning mercy,' as it is
called by the lord general, befel on the 3rd, the same day last year he
beat these same Scots at Dunbar. 'Tis a great and a bright day in his
lordship's life."

"Count no man happy till his end," answered Rose gravely. "A day of
triumph may be a day of doom when God pleases. And how does this event
touch us, thinkest thou, Alain?"

"Why thus," replied the young man. "The general is not a man to bear
with our lieutenant-governor's oppressions and piracies for ever. Like
Satan in the Apocalypse, Carteret hath great wrath, because he knoweth
that his time is short. For Admiral Blake hath been collecting his ships
at Portsmouth, and our informant says that they were to sail to-day,
eighty vessels of war. They carry a strong force of _fantassins_,
pikemen, and arquebussiers, with the new snaphaunces devised in the low
countries. Their commander is Major-General Haine, Prynne is there as
commissioner, and, best of all, Michael Lempriere is on board!"

Rose looked at him with swimming eyes.

"And Michael Lempriere comes as bailiff. He said that he would. And
then, when your fortunes are once more high, and you have no further
need of me ..."

Alain faltered and looked down. But for that gesture even his despondent
mind might have been roused by the look that Marguerite cast upon him.
But the dart was parried by the shield of an obstinate depression.

"I have arranged," he pursued, "with Sir George. You know that last
year he sent out a ship of five guns to America, laden with passengers,
all sorts of grain, and tools for husbandry. She was lost, being
captured (that is to say) off the Isle of Wight by Captain Green, of the
Commonwealth's navy. The stores were confiscated, but most of the
passengers came back to the island, and have been here ever since
awaiting a fresh opportunity for New Jersey. It will come soon, and I
sail with the next venture."

"With the next fiddlestick," broke in Rose. "Speak to the silly fellow,
Marguerite. This is the last time of asking."

Whatever may be thought of Alain's project of emigration, his
information was true enough. Cromwell had determined to put a stop to
the trouble caused by the present doings in Jersey. Yet he had no desire
to repeat the severities of Ireland. The Jersey cavaliers were good
Protestants, there had been no massacres, and their cause was warmly
supported by Prynne--a man with whom the general could not wholly
sympathise, but with whom he could still less afford to break on what
appeared to him a not very important difference. Left to himself, he
would not probably have been as stern with Jersey as he had been with
the blood-stained Rapparees and their allies, solicited by the leader of
the Moderates, he was willing to be won. So he readily agreed to the
counsels of those who urged him to accept Prynne's offer of service, and
appointed the Presbyterian confessor to accompany Blake and Haine as a
representative of conciliation and indulgence.

Setting sail with a light north-east wind, the transports and their
convoy, multiplied by popular rumour into a vast fleet of war, and
really bearing nearly three thousand good troops and a quantum of field
guns, made slow way out of Portsmouth harbour on Sunday, September 19th.
Next morning they were in the open sea with all sail set. On the
quarter-deck of the _Constant Warwick_, a fine frigate (the first
launched by the new government) Lempriere and Prynne--now completely
reconciled--paced slowly up and down, talking of the present situation
and future policy. As they did so their eyes glanced from time to time
on the fair sea scape, illumined by the early autumn sunlight, and
shaded by the sails of the surrounding shipping.

"'Tis a fair show, Mr. Bailiff," said the English politician, "And one
that ought to bring down our friend's stomach."

"Faith! I do not know," answered the Jerseyman. "Sir George will fight,
I doubt. You know him as well as I."

"Nevertheless, he cannot fight to much purpose, and I see not how there
can be any great effusion of blood. By himself he can do nothing, and
who will be of his side? It is the divine asseveration of the wisest of
men, Ecclesiastes vii. 7, 'Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad.' And
if it be so, Cartwright should have but few sane men about him. Yet in
his fall I pray he may find mercy. And I am forced to lean upon you, Mr.
Bailiff, in that behalf."

"_Non tali auxilio_," began the quotation-loving bailiff. But Prynne
gravely pursued his pleading.

"You may recollect what I said to the Commons' House three full years
ago. Indeed it was the very night before Pride's Purge. If fines, I
reminded them, if imprisonments, grievous mutilations, and brandings of
S.L.--which I once called 'stigmata landis;' but 'tis an ill subject for
jesting--could bespeak a true friend to liberty, why then sure I am one
whose voice might well claim, a hearing. Yet it hath been far otherwise
with yonder masterful men of the carnal weapon, who seek their own
advancement in the name of the Commonwealth. I have never coveted the
transient treasures, honours, or preferments of the world, but only to
do to my God, country, aye, and king, too, the best public services I
could, even though it brought upon me the loss of my liberty, the ruin
of my mean estate, and the hazard of my life. When the late king did
wrong I withstood him, to the extent of my poor capacity; but I was not
for seeing the crown and lords of the ancient realm of England subverted
or submerged by the flood of usurpation let in by some members of the
Lower House. My speech of the 4th December, 1649----."

"I heard it," broke in the other, "And well do I remember the hum of
assent and approbation with which it was received."

"It was printed no less than three times last year. Then followed my
tractate upon their deposing and executing their lawful king; and other
leaves against the arbitrary taxation of what I call 'the Westminster
Junto.' Think you that these things can be forgotten, or that my being
sent here with Haine is more than a hollow compliment? Recollect the
word that we exchanged at my lodging in the Strand two years ago, and
bear in mind that it is rather in your hands than in mine to temper
justice with mercy when my friends shall be overthrown in yonder
island."

So pleaded, and to yet greater length, the verbose but earnest advocate.
But in truth he might have been more concise, less eloquence would have
sufficed had not the idle hours of a sea voyage thrown open a wider door
for its display. Lempriere was ready to promise anything on the joy of
the long-wished for moment.

    "Quod optanti Divum promittere nemo
     Auderet."

As he himself expressed the matter with wonted Latinity. His own nature
would have disposed him to adhere to the promise given long ago, and
still so urgently demanded of him by Prynne.

On the evening of Monday, the 20th of September, the flotilla was
signalled in the north-western part of Jersey, where a vigilant outlook
had long been maintained upon the very top of Plémont. The sea heaved to
and fro in smooth fluctuations under the bright weather, which shed mild
splendour over the violet surface, studded with orange rocks. With
favouring airs the stately ships slid slowly on in crescent formation.
They cast anchor for the evening in S. Owen's Bay, sheltered on the
north by Grosnez Gape, and on the south by the cliffs that end in the
Corbière--an extent of nearly five miles.

On shore all was bustle and preparation. Sir George's head-quarters were
at his cousin's seat, the manor house of S. Owen. The sandy plains to
seaward were held by companies of the island militia; the
lieutenant-governor's own immediate following consisted of a small
squadron of horse, raised and equipped by himself, but mounted on
chargers especially presented to them by the king. Considering the
natural difficulties of the coast, and that the equinox was at hand, the
numerical disparity was not absolutely desperate. Jersey is a strong
place yet. In those days of sailing ships and weak artillery it was a
gigantic fortress, if only held by a wholehearted and determined
garrison. Had that but been now the case, which, however, it was not.
The population in general had no insurmountable feeling of hostility
towards the _de facto_ government of England. On the other hand, the
hearts of the Cavalier party were not high. A rumour had been
spread--not traceable to any distinct source--that Charles had been
taken after the rout of Worcester. The public, ever credulous of ill
tidings, fastened with morbid eagerness on such reports. "Sorrow and
despair," writes a Royalist eye-witness with natural exaggeration,
"could be seen in every face. The more dispirited began to cry out that
it was in vain to contend any longer against powers that, like a
torrent, bore down everything before them."

Carteret, who though ambitious and covetous, was never wanting in
courage, energy, intelligence or versatility, turned the more
obstinately to his task. Concealing his natural anxieties, he rode about
from post to post in morion and buff coat, wearing a resolute
countenance, and doing all that one man could do to keep up the hearts
of his people and prepare a stout defence.

The position of Le Gallais, though humbler, was much more complicated.
Nor was he possessed of sufficient strength of character to choose a
distinct path and steadily pursue it. Determined enough, as we have
seen, under excitement he could fight with his back to the wall. Nor was
he one to shrink from any duty that was plainly pointed out to him. He
could not prepare himself _de longue main_ for a definite and consistent
conduct; still less had he the power--often wielded by natures otherwise
inferior--of striking a balance between opposing motives. His duty as a
militia-officer was at complete variance with his desires as a friend of
Lempriere's. He could not choose between them. He might have thrown up
his commission and devoted himself to watching over his friends at
King's Cliff. He might have cast his feelings to the winds and accepted
the post of orderly officer to the Lieutenant-Governor which was offered
him by Carteret. He chose neither line but adopted what he called "a
middle-course," in other words left himself to be drifted on the current
of events. He saw that the position of the cavaliers was hopeless if
they had to maintain a long and unaided contest against the conquerors
of Ireland and Scotland. He had no great trust in the willingness of the
French, none whatever in their good faith. His ardent desire to prevent
effusion of Jersey blood was a preoccupation that hid almost all other
considerations from his mind. And he had trust in the discipline and
morale of the Parliamentary troops, and in the presence among them of
Prynne and Lempriere, which saved him from much anxiety as to the
welfare of the ladies at King's Cliff.

As he sate, that night, by the camp-fire of a picquet of his company he
heard two militiamen conversing, and recognised Benoist and Le Gros as
the speakers.

"To what purpose are we here, _mon voisin_?" asked the former. "What
good would the sacrifice of ourselves do the King now, when perhaps he
has already undergone his father's fate and is no longer in this world?"

"If the King be dead, indeed," answered Le Gros, "I for one will not
fire a single cartridge. All the same, he was a debonair prince, and
once gave me a groat to drink his health when he saw me holding his
horse."

"That he is a prisoner is certain," croaked Benoist. "And if prisoner to
Maître Cromouailles he can only make his escape through one door. And
that door does not lead to Jersey, though it may to Paradise."

Here the men got up and moved off in search of cider, which was being
served out by the Governor's orders at a neigbouring farm-house. But
their conversation mingled with the young Captain's thoughts as,
wearied with the marchings and countermarchings of the day, he dozed in
the still night air, lulled by the fire at his feet. Deep slumber must
have followed, for he started from dreams of tumult to feel the
vibration of air caused by a round-shot passing over his head. The wind
had fallen to an almost complete calm: a light breeze of autumn morning
breathed keen over the barren moor; bugles were sounding, drums
rattling, men shouting as they collected their accoutrements and fell in
under arms.

Four-and-twenty guns from the nearest ships were playing upon them,
answered briskly by the little militia batteries that lined the bay.
Gunboats began to stand in, laden with red-coated marksmen discharging
their new pattern fire-locks. The militiamen on their part waded into
the sea and gave such answer as they could from their clumsy old
matchlocks: making good the deficiency--so far as noise was
concerned--by shouts of vituperation; and calling on their assailants as
"Rebels," "Traitors," and "Murderers of their King." The landing was
frustrated for the time.

The next day was occupied in rapid movements from one part of the island
to another, in order to meet feigned attacks by the enemy who were ready
to turn any of those diversions into a real assault, on finding the
Jersey people unprepared. The Lieutenant-Governor had no choice but to
distract and weary his men, marching them backwards and forwards to S.
Aubin, S. Clement, and Gorey, according as the invaders appeared at one
or other of those landing-places. The militiamen were worn out by these
tactics, and were moreover of the class on whom Carteret's oppressive
taxations had long pressed with an almost intolerable weight. On the
third day their strength was reduced both by fatigue and desertion; and
in the afternoon, after more demonstrations a real landing took place in
S. Owen's Bay, the original point of attack. Carteret, as soon as he
perceived what was intended, galloped up his cavalry, ordering up a
battalion of militia in support, under his cousin, the Seigneur of S.
Owen. The English infantry formed upon the beach, and advanced to the
attack with terrible shouts and cheers. The first troop of Carteret's
horse met them boldly, and delivered a headlong charge; but the men who
had fought Rupert and Goring were not to be intimidated by a handful of
untrained cavaliers. The troopers were received with a volley that
emptied several saddles; and retired, leaving several of their number
dead and carrying off Colonel Bovil, a gallant English officer by whom
they had been led, and who soon after died of his wounds. The second
troop failed to support them, but guarded the retreat as the troopers
drew off without renewing their charge. Meanwhile, the militia who
should have been the third line dispersed and gained their homes. The
red 'coats meeting no further opposition marched cautiously across the
island, and encamped for the night on Gorey Common. Carteret, with such
men--mostly Cornishmen and Irish--as remained with him, threw himself
into Elizabeth Castle; the other forts, S. Aubin and Mont Orgueil,
yielded, almost without show of resistance, in a few days.

In anticipation of such an occasion Carteret had furnished the Castle of
S. Helier with abundant provision, alike of victuals and ammunition; the
latter being stored in the old Abbey Church, which was proof against the
bullets used by the ordinary artillery of those days. His guns were
mounted on the landward batteries, so as to command the town and any
camp that might be formed there for siege purposes. The hill above--the
Mont de la Ville--was too remote to cause any serious danger from the
field-pieces of the period, which were not capable of sending shot with
effect to a greater distance than half-a-mile. He despatched boats to
convey his private property to France, and to take letters to the
Royalists there, asking for instructions and assistance; and then
stoutly prepared--with a garrison of 350 men--to sustain the siege
against the grim victors of Tredagh.

Le Gallais, having lost his men in the late dispersal of the militia,
felt no scruple in seeking his friend Lempriere. The latter, after a
warm greeting, brought him to Prynne; and all three presently repaired
to the head-quarters, in La Motte-street, where they were amicably
received by Colonel Haine, the commander of the English forces.

Haine was one of those rapidly-formed soldiers, who had been thrown
up and hardened by the war in England ten years before. He listened
with due attention to what Le Gallais had to say about the
Lieutenant-Governor's resources and probable intentions.

"And who is this youth that hath such knowledge of affairs?" he asked,
turning to the Bailiff--for as such was Lempriere now officially
recognised.

"He is one, sir, that hath suffered for the cause; a Captain in our
Militia, and my brother-in-law."

Alain shot a glance of gratitude at Lempriere, while Haine, laying his
hand upon his shoulder, said in a friendly tone; "I pray you, Captain,
attend me as _aide-de-camp_ until your company be reformed."

Then calling for his horse, he led the party, swollen by the number of
his staff, to the head of the causeway leading to the Castle, "If what I
hear from Captain Le Gallais be correct," he said to his Brigade-Major,
"the Castle will not yield. But send them a trumpet, and let them not
have cause to say the officers of the Commonwealth are unacquainted with
the usages of war."

The trumpeter rode forward to summons the Castle, a white flag flying
from the tube of his instrument. Ere he could reach the gate, a gun
boomed out from the Castle, a round shot whizzed over the heads of the
summoners, and Haine roared at the top of his well-trained voice, "Come
back; it is a sufficient answer."

And so the fiery duet began--the batteries of the Churchyard sounding
daily in harmony with those of the Castle, whilst ever and anon a piece
of greater calibre roared its bass from the Town-hill.

Lempriere made haste to remove his wife and their sister from the noisy
alarms of war to their quiet home at Maufant, where he left them to
remove the traces of the usurper, and restore the old state of things
with the help of the steward and such of the farmers as had not died out
or left the country. One consequence of this removal was that Le Gallais
saw nothing of the ladies. His new duties kept him much at the
Brigadier's side; when not so employed, he was chiefly occupied with
Prynne, who was attracted by the turn of the young man's mind, more akin
to his own than that of the "hot gospellers," the "levellers," and the
professional soldiers by whom he was surrounded.

Meanwhile, the siege dragged slowly on, until one dark night in the end
of November an old acquaintance, Pierre Benoist, threw himself in the
way of a party of Carteret's scouts, who had come on the mainland and
were questing for intelligence or plunder. Taken before Sir George, he
was threatened with the doom of a prisoner-of-war, who was also a spy,
unless he would tell all that he knew. He asked for nothing better,
having got himself taken by the patrol for the express purpose of
furnishing the garrison grounds for an early surrender. Especially
pleased was the rogue when the Lieutenant-Governor pressed him to
explain the nature of a movement of the enemy upon the top of the
Town-hill, which had been perceived before nightfall; and of the cargo
landed at S. Aubin by a heavy-looking craft that had arrived in the
morning, and which seemed neither man-of-war nor trader.

"That I can tell you," said Benoist; "they are preparing engines for
your ruin. I saw the pieces landed, and drawn by oxen to the Mont de la
Ville. Two pieces of ordnance whereof each shot weighs four hundred
Jersey pounds, and takes ten pounds of powder to discharge. The like has
never been seen, and they will carry a ball from Mont Orgueil to the
coast of Prance. _Ver di!_"

Carteret laughed; but his laughter was only justified by the
exaggeration. It did not altogether conceal the genuine anxiety caused
by so much of the information as might be reasonably believed.

The anxiety was soon realised. When the mists of the winter dawn cleared
up, it was seen that a strong work of granite had been newly thrown up
on the nearest point of the hill, and while the besieged were still
examining the structure, a vivid jet of flame and a puff of smoke darted
from one of the embrasures, and a thirteen-inch shell--the largest
projectile then seen--came booming over their astonished heads. Two more
followed, at short intervals. After the third, an awful report was
heard, a babel of tumult followed, and a gigantic column of smoke
towered up behind them, from the magazine in the old Abbey Church.
Splinters and fragments of stone and timber, mingled with pieces of
powder, barrels, and ghastly members of human carcases were scattered,
as they rose as out of a horrid volcano. The magazine had been struck
and exploded by the great shell, killing no less than sixteen men, and
wounding horribly ten others, including soldiers on guard, armourers,
and workmen who had been collected for the daily labours of the arsenal.
Among the bystanders was Pierre Benoist, who now lay among the ruins,
half crushed by a stone, and who died after intense suffering in the
course of the day.

A panic spread through the garrison; some prepared to fly at once,
others clamoured for surrender. Carteret called them together; and when
the officers and men were all collected on parade, appealed to all
classes, as Lieutenant-Governor of the King whom they had all seen
trusting himself in their protection, and as commander of the royal
forces in the loyal island "I am determined," said the undaunted seaman,
"to keep this castle for His Majesty so long as I have a man left to
fire a gun, and a loblolly boy to fetch the ammunition. The royal
standard still flies over our heads, the sea still lies between us and
France, to bring us Prince Rupert and his fleet. Let those who are
afraid depart--I keep no man against his will. Those who remain will be
all the more trustworthy. Let the gate stand open for the next
half-hour."

His orders were obeyed; but as he probably foresaw, no one dared to
leave openly. By night, however, many of the garrison, who were of the
Jersey Militia, silently departed. The bulk of the garrison, however,
had heard of the storm of Drogheda, and chose what they deemed the
lesser evil of trusting to the strength of their walls and the resources
of their commander. To go to a town where they were unpopular
strangers, and where the soldiers of the Commonwealth were in undisputed
possession, would be to go to certain and immediate slaughter--to remain
with Carteret was to gain the present hour and the chances of the
future. Lady Carteret and the women and children were sent by the next
opportunity to France; and then the work of defence was renewed; the
guns were fired, as powder served and supplies were received from
France; injured walls were repaired, and aid was anxiously awaited.
Castle Cornet, in Guernsey, had held out since the Outbreak of
hostilities more than ten years before--why should not Elizabeth, do as
much, until the king enjoyed his own again? Meanwhile, December had
begun, and the days grew short and cold. Haine's great mortars proved
rude and cumbrous; before they could be loaded and fired, and cooled
again, one after the other, many times, the darkness would come on. The
remaining stores were buried out of range. In the black and stormy
nights, which lasted nearly sixteen hours, the men of the garrison threw
up mounds of shingle and sand behind the breaches made during the day.

On the morning of the 5th December the sun rose clear and bright, and a
south-west wind softly threw out the silken folds of the Royal Standard
on the main tower of the Castle. Haine was standing by a cromlech that
in those days occupied the summit of the Town-hill; Prynne, Lempriere,
and some officers, of whom Le Gallais was one, stood beside him. In
their immediate front the gunners, under an officer, were preparing to
renew their apparently endless operations.

"This must be brought to an end, Mr. Bailiff," said Haine. "For seven
weeks and more I have exhausted the powers of modern war upon that eyry
of malignants; and there is still the Guernsey Castle to be dealt with.
Mr. Prynne knoweth what is the mind of the Lord General; but a time
comes when sharp measures become necessary. I must take up
scaling-ladders and deliver an assault."

As they looked out to sea a small barque was seen standing in; by the
help of field-glasses, it was observed that she flew the French flag. At
the same instant the Castle guns saluted.

"Lo you, now!" pursued the commander, "there comes to them a promise of
help from France. As the Lord liveth, it must be prevented! I must
recall our cruisers from Guernsey; that castle shall be breached and
stormed on Monday. And then on their own heads be the blood of Sir
George and of those that hold with him!"

"Under your favour, sir," said Prynne, "I think it shall not need." He
exchanged a hurried whisper with Lempriere. "What flag is that which you
see flying on the Castle staff?"

"It is not a flag of truce," shouted Haine. "God do so to me and more
also if I make them not like unto Oreb and Zeb!"

The text seemed to relieve the veteran like an execration.

"What mean you by your flag, Mr. Prynne? I am not to take my orders from
you, sir, I hope."

"It is the flag of England," answered the politician, "of your country
and of theirs--the red cross of S. George. The Royal Ensign has been
hauled down; do you not see? God save England!"

With the impulse of Latin manners, Lempriere held out his arms, and Le
Gallais fell upon his breast. Meanwhile a drummer from the Castle was
seen to ascend the bill, bearing a white pennon at the end of a lance,
which he planted on the ground when he came within sight, and beat the
_chamade_ upon his instrument.

The messenger being brought before the Brigadier, handed him a small
packet. Among them was a short note to the address of Captain Le
Gallais, in which Carteret, reminding the militia officer of their past
relations, invited him to plead his cause and that of the garrison with
Lempriere and Prynne. This note Le Gallais, after attentive perusal,
handed to Lempriere, who read it over, and waited in silence until Haine
had finished his own despatch. He then addressed the Brigadier, and
pleaded strongly the cause of his countrymen, concluded with these
words:

"Carteret, sir, was a sentinel; he hath but done his duty to his master.
So long as he was not relieved, he could not honestly leave or surrender
that which he was placed to guard. Why he now lowers his arms he hath
made plain I doubt not, to your Honour."

"Why, yes, Mr. Bailiff; for the matter of that, he hath put a fair case.
Yonder barque, it seems, brought him cold comfort. As for that thing
they call their 'King,' he is lost. He can only offer them aid on
condition of delivering the island to the French. Not that Mazarin dares
affront us by sending a French army to occupy the Castle in the name of
his King, and risk the giving us battle. Far from that, he hath a
conjunction of counsels with the Lord General, and they understand one
another. Nevertheless, there is ever a rabble of Irish cut-throats,
Flemish mercenaries, and such-like, and no lack of Maulévriers to be
their leaders."

"But if such men come into Jersey," said the Bailiff, "who can say when
or how they would quit, or what mischief they might not have wrought
first."

"One remedy for that," said the soldier, grimly, "will be to storm the
Castle forthwith, and let all be over before their friends can arrive."

"For God's sake, do not so!" cried Lempriere; "not now that they have
surrendered."

"I will be bail," added Prynne, "that Carteret shall depart in peace,
after giving up all that is in his charge. Only let Captain Le Gallais
go to him with a note of your Honour's terms; and let us await, I pray
you, his return."

The General having at last consented, after just so much show of
hesitation as to make it appear that the terms were yielded to the
persuasion of his chief associates, Le Gallais returned with the drummer
bearing the _ultimatum_ of the English commander. He found the interior
of the Castle a scene of havoc; among the _débris_ Carteret, like a
modern Marius, maintained an air of resolution.

"It is not enough, Captain," said he, after brief salutations had been
exchanged, "that we have fired away all our ammunition, and eaten our
last horse, while the blockade of your friend's cruisers ever increases
its rigour. After all was done, we could die in the breach or in a
general sortie. But there is treachery abroad. Not indeed among
ourselves, but among those whom we desire to serve."

"Your King, urged by his necessities, would sell you to the French?"

"It shall not be!" cried Carteret, with a fierce oath. "Let me see your
General's terms. Better an English Parliament than a Popish King." He
called into the corridor, "Bring the best bottle of wine that is left in
my cellar!"

Le Gallais handed him the note containing the heads of Haine's terms.
"Perhaps, messire, you would consult with your council?" he asked.

"_'A quoi bon?_" said Carteret. "You heard what the States carried by
acclamation, in October, 1649? All who are with me are of the same mind
still." The wine was brought. "What was said then in a triumph, I say
now in the day of my downfall; Captain, fill your glass! 'England for
ever! England above all!'"

       *       *       *       *       *

The happy effect of this unexpected but welcome end of strife was soon
made known throughout the island. In the towns and villages tar-barrels
blazed all through the winter-night, and the best cider flowed free in
the farms.

At Maufant all was happiness. The character of Marguerite de S. Martin
had come out purified from the trials of the past two years, and the
coquette-girl had grown into a woman, with but a lingering spice of
_mutinerie_. Rose, happy in the restoration of her husband to all public
honour and private joy, was anxious that her sister should partake in
her happiness.

"Alain Le Gallais is no Solomon; that I grant you," so she concluded a
conversation on family matters, which they held after the labours and
excitement of the day; "but he can do his duty to his country; he has
proved himself a serviceable friend. Take him, _tel quel_, my little
heart, thou canst not hope for a better."

"Marriage is a slavery, _quand même_," said Marguerite, with a saucy
shake of the head. "But it is not," she presently added, "I that will be
the slave; and there is some comfort in knowing so much."

So the public and private troubles wore brought to an end at the same
time. Carteret and his followers were allowed to go to France in peace
and honour. Lempriere and he had held no intercourse since the
surrender, but the Bailiff and his wife were honoured members of the
assembly that gathered on the quay on the morning of the Cavaliers'
departure. The rising sun threw his orange hues on their swelling sails.

"We have won this time," said Rose, pressing her husband's arm. "Mr.
Prynne, have you no compliment for us?"

"It is our advantage," said Prynne in answer; "let us see that we
deserve it. There as a Power that judgeth right, and in serving of whom
there is great reward. For my part, I have done much wrong, to your
husband among others. I have been punished for mine offences; if I would
avoid more punishment, I must offend no more."



APPENDIX.


The character of Sir George Carteret is taken from the materials of the
time, without aid from fancy.

It should be added that Charles showed no ingratitude towards this
faithful servant. After the Restoration he settled in London, where--in
spite of his bad English, noticed by Andrew Marvell--he rose to high
rank and founded a noble family, now represented by the Marquess of
Bath.

Carteret was employed at the Admiralty, first as Treasurer, afterwards
as Commissioner--or Junior Lord. He was also Vice-Chamberlain of the
Royal Household; and he amassed considerable wealth.

But he never forgot his native island. He endeavoured to found a High
School at St. Helier, what in the pompous style of these days would be
called a "College." But the project broke down for want of earnestness
on the part of the Jersey people, though Sir George offered the then
very large sum of 50,000 _livres tournois_ towards the endowment. He
lived till 1680.





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