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Title: Mary Powell & Deborah's Diary
Author: Manning, Anne, 1807-1879
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.

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Mary Powell & Deborah's Diary


by

Anne Manning



  A tale which holdeth children from play
  & old men from the chimney corner
      --Sir Philip Sidney



London: published by J. M. Dent & Co.

and in New York by E. P. Dutton & Co.

1908



INTRODUCTION

In the Valhalla of English literature Anne Manning is sure of a little
and safe place.  Her studies of great men, in which her imagination
fills in the hiatus which history has left, are not only literature in
themselves, but they are a service to literature: it is quite
conceivable that the ordinary reader with no very keen _flair_ for
poetry will realise John Milton and appraise him more highly, having
read _Mary Powell_ and its sequel, _Deborah's Diary_, than having read
_Paradise Lost_.  In _The Household of Sir Thomas More_ she had for
hero one of the most charming, whimsical, lovable, heroical men God
ever created, by the creation of whose like He puts to shame all that
men may accomplish in their literature.  In John Milton, whose first
wife Mary Powell was, Miss Manning has a hero who, though a supreme
poet, was "gey ill to live with," and it is a triumph of her art that
she makes us compunctious for the great poet even while we appreciate
the difficulties that fell to the lot of his women-kind.  John Milton,
a Parliament man and a Puritan, married at the age of thirty-four, Mary
Powell, a seventeen-year-old girl, the daughter of an Oxfordshire
squire, who, with his family, was devoted to the King.  It was at one
of the bitterest moments of the conflict between King and Parliament,
and it was a complication in the affair of the marriage that Mary
Powell's father was in debt five hundred pounds to Milton.  The
marriage took place.  Milton and his young wife set up housekeeping in
lodgings in Aldersgate Street over against St. Bride's Churchyard, a
very different place indeed from Forest Hill, Shotover, by Oxford, Mary
Powell's dear country home.  They were together barely a month when
Mary Powell, on report of her father's illness, had leave to revisit
him, being given permission to absent herself from her husband's side
from mid-August till Michaelmas.  She did not return at Michaelmas; nor
for some two years was there a reconciliation between the bride and
groom of a month.  During those two years Milton published his
pamphlet, _On the Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce_, begun while his
few-weeks-old bride was still with him.  In this pamphlet he states
with violence his opinion that a husband should be permitted to put
away his wife "for lack of a fit and matchable conversation," which
would point to very slender agreement between the girl of seventeen and
the poet of thirty-four.  This was that Mary Powell, who afterwards
bore him four children, who died in childbirth with the youngest,
Deborah (of the _Diary)_, and who is consecrated in one of the
loveliest and most poignant of English sonnets.

  Methought I saw my late-espouséd Saint
    Brought to me like Alkestis from the grave,
    Whom Jove's great son to her glad husband gave,
    Rescued from death by force, though pale and faint.
  Mine, as whom washed from spot of child-bed taint
    Purification in the Old Law did save;
    And such, as yet once more, I trust to have
    Full sight of her in Heaven without restraint,
  Came vested all in white, pure as her mind:
    Her face was veiled, yet to my fancied sight
    Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shined
So clear, as in no face with more delight.
  But oh! as to embrace me she inclined,
  I waked; she fled; and Day brought back my Night.


It is a far cry from the woman so enshrined to the child of seventeen
years who was without "fit and matchable conversation" for her
irritable, intolerant poet-husband.

A good many serious writers have conjectured and wondered over this
little tragedy of Milton's young married life: but since all must needs
be conjecture one is obliged to say that Miss Manning, with her gift of
delicate imagination and exquisite writing, has conjectured more
excellently than the historians.  She does not "play the sedulous ape"
to Milton or Mary Powell: but if one could imagine a gentle and tender
Boswell to these two, then Miss Manning has well proved her aptitude
for the place.  Of Mary Powell she has made a charming creature.  The
diary of Mary Powell is full of sweet country smells and sights and
sounds.  Mary Powell herself is as sweet as her flowers, frank, honest,
loving and tender.  Her diary catches for us all the enchantment of an
old garden; we hear Mary Powell's bees buzz in the mignonette and
lavender; we see her pleached garden alleys; we loiter with her on the
bowling-green, by the fish ponds, in the still-room, the dairy and the
pantry.  The smell of aromatic box on a hot summer of long ago is in
our nostrils.  We realise all the personages--the impulsive, hot-headed
father; the domineering, indiscreet mother; the cousin, Rose Agnew, and
her parson husband; little Kate and Robin of the Royalist household--as
well as John Milton and his father, and the two nephews to whom the
poet was tutor--and a hard tutor.  Miss Manning's delightful humour
comes out in the two pragmatical little boys.  But Mary herself
dominates the picture.  She is so much a thing of the country, of
gardens and fields, that perforce one is reminded of Sir Thomas
Overbury's _Fair and Happy Milkmaid_:--

"She doth all things with so sweet a grace it seems ignorance will not
suffer her to do ill, being her mind is to do well. . . .  The garden
and bee-hive are all her physic and chirugery, and she lives the longer
for it.  She dares go alone and unfold sheep in the night and fears no
manner of ill because she means none: yet to say truth she is never
alone, for she is still accompanied by old songs, honest thoughts and
prayers, but short ones. . . .  Thus lives she, and all her care is
that she may die in the spring-time, to have store of flowers stuck
upon her winding-sheet."

The last remnants of Forest Hill, Mary Powell's home, were pulled down
in 1854.  A visitor to it three years before its demolition tells us:--

"Still the rose, the sweet-brier and the eglantine are reddest beneath
its casements; the cock at its barn-door may be seen from any of the
windows. . . .  In the kitchen, with its vast hearth and overhanging
chimney, we discovered tokens of the good living for which the old
manor-house was famous in its day. . . .  The garden, in its massive
wall, ornamental gateway and old sun-dial, retains some traces of its
manorial dignities."  The house indeed is gone, but the sweet country
remains, the verdant slopes and the lanes with their hedges full of
sweet-brier that stretch out towards Oxford.  And there is the church
in which Mary Powell prayed.  I should have liked to quote another of
Miss Manning's biographers, the Rev. Dr. Hutton, who tells us of old
walls partly built into the farmhouse that now stands there, and of the
old walnut trees in the farmyard, and in a field hard by the spring of
which John Milton may have tasted, and the church on the hill, and the
distant Chilterns.

Milton's cottage at Chalfont St. Giles's is happily still in a good
state of preservation, although Chalfont and its neighbourhood have
suffered a sea-change even since Dr. Hutton wrote, a decade ago.  All
that quiet corner of the world, for so long green and secluded,--a
"deare secret greennesse"--has now had the light of the world let in
upon it.  Motor-cars whizz through that Quaker country; money-making
Londoners hurry away from it of mornings, trudge home of evenings, bag
in hand; the jerry-builder is in the land, and the dust of much traffic
lies upon the rose and eglantine wherewith Milton's eyes were
delighted.  The works of our hands often mock us by their durability.
Years and ages and centuries after the busy brain and the feeling heart
are dust, the houses built with hands stand up to taunt our mortality.
Yet the works of the mind remain.  Though Forest Hill be only a
party-wall, and Chalfont a suburb of London, the Forest Hill of Mary
Powell, the Chalfont of Milton, yet live for us in Anne Manning's
delightful pages.

Miss Manning did not wish her _Life_ to be written, but we do get some
glimpses of her real self from herself in a chance page here and there
of her reminiscences.

Here is one such glimpse:--

"I must confess I have never been able to write comfortably when music
was going on.  I think I have always written to most purpose coming in
fresh from a morning walk when the larks were singing and lambs
bleating and distant cocks in farmyards crowing, and a distant dog
barking to an echo which answered his voice, and when the hedges and
banks were full of wild flowers with quaint and pretty names.

"Next to that, I have found the best time soon after early tea, when my
companions were all in the garden, and likely to remain there till
moonlight."

Not very much by way of a literary portrait, and yet one can fill it in
for oneself, can place her in old-world Reigate, fast, alas! becoming
over-built and over-populated like all the rest of the country over
which falls the ever-lengthening London shadow.  As one ponders upon
Forest Hill for Mary Powell's sake--is not Shotover as dear a name as
Shottery?--and Chalfont for Milton's sake, one thinks on Reigate
surrounded by its hills for Anne Manning's sake, and keeps the place in
one's heart.

_Mary Powell_, with its sequel, _Deborah's Diary_--Deborah was the
young thing whom to bring into the world Mary Powell died--is one of
the most fragrant books in English literature.  One thinks of it side
by side with John Evelyn's _Mrs. Godolphin_.  Miss Manning had a
beautiful style--a style given to her to reconstruct an idyll of
old-world sweetness.  Limpid as flowing water, with a thought of
syllabubs and new-made hay in it, it is a perpetual delight.  This
mid-Victorian, dark-haired lady, with the aquiline nose and high
colour, although she may not have looked it, possessed a charming
style, in which tenderness, seriousness, gaiety, humour, poetry, appear
in the happiest atmosphere of sweetness and light.

KATHARINE TYNAN.

_April_ 1908



Bibliography

The following is a complete list of her published works:--

The Household of Sir Thomas More, 1851; Queen Phillippa's Golden Booke,
1851; The Colloquies of Edward Osborne, Citizen and Clothworker of
London, 1852; The Drawing-room Table Book, 1852; Cherry and Violet, a
Tale of the Great Plague, 1853; The Provocations of Madame Palissy,
1853; Chronicles of Merry England, 1854; Claude the Colporteur, 1854;
The Hill Side, 1854; Jack and the Tanner of Wymondham, 1854; Adventures
of Haroun al Raschid, 1855; Maiden and Married Life of Mary Powell,
afterwards Mistress Milton, 1855; Old Chelsea Bun-House, 1855; Some
Account of Mrs. Clarinda Singlehart, 1855; A Sabbath at Home, 1855;
Tasso and Leonora, 1856; The Week of Darkness, 1856; Lives of Good
Servants, 1857; The Good Old Times, 1857; Helen and Olga, a Russian
Tale, 1857; The Year Nine: a Tale of the Tyrol, 1858; The Ladies of
Bever Hollow, 1858; Poplar House Academy, 1859; Deborah's Diary, 1859;
The Story of Italy, 1859; Village Belles, 1859; Town and Forest, 1860;
The Day of Small Things, 1860; Family Pictures, 1861; Chronicle of
Ethelfled, 1861; A Noble Purpose Nobly Won, 1862; Meadowleigh, 1863;
Bessy's Money, 1863; The Duchess of Tragetto, 1863; The Interrupted
Wedding: a Hungarian Tale, 1864; Belforest: a Tale, 1865; Selvaggio: a
Tale of Italian Country Life, 1865; The Masque at Ludlow, and other
Romanesques, 1866; The Lincolnshire Tragedy (Passages in the life of
Anne Askewe), 1866; Miss Biddy Frobisher: a Salt-water Story, 1866; The
Cottage History of England, 1867; Jacques Bonneval, 1868; Diana's
Crescent, 1868; The Spanish Barber, 1869; One Trip More, 1870; Margaret
More's Tagebuch, 1870; Compton Friars, 1872; The Lady of Limited
Income, 1872; Lord Harry Bellair, 1874; Monk's Norton, 1874; Heroes of
the Desert (Moffat, Livingstone, etc.), 1875; An Idyll of the Alps,
1876.

LIFE.--C. M. Yonge, Women Novelists of Queen Victoria's Reign, 1897.



THE MAIDEN AND MARRIED LIFE

OF


MARY POWELL

AFTERWARDS MISTRESS MILTON


JOURNALL

_Forest Hill, Oxon, May 1st, 1643_.

. . . Seventeenth Birthdaye.  A Gypsie Woman at the Gate woulde faine
have tolde my Fortune; but _Mother_ chased her away, saying she had
doubtlesse harboured in some of the low Houses in _Oxford_, and mighte
bring us the Plague.  Coulde have cried for Vexation; she had promised
to tell me the Colour of my Husband's Eyes; but _Mother_ says she
believes I shall never have one, I am soe sillie.  _Father_ gave me a
gold Piece.  Dear _Mother_ is chafed, methinks, touching this Debt of
five hundred Pounds, which _Father_ says he knows not how to pay.
Indeed, he sayd, overnighte, his whole personal Estate amounts to but
five hundred Pounds, his Timber and Wood to four hundred more, or
thereabouts; and the Tithes and Messuages of _Whateley_ are no great
Matter, being mortgaged for about as much moore, and he hath lent
Sights of Money to them that won't pay, so 'tis hard to be thus prest.
Poor _Father_! 'twas good of him to give me this gold Piece.



_May 2nd, 1643_.

Cousin _Rose_ married to Master _Roger Agnew_.  Present, _Father,
Mother_, and _Brother_ of _Rose_.  _Father, Mother, Dick, Bob, Harry_,
and I; Squire _Paice_ and his Daughter _Audrey_; an olde Aunt of Master
_Roger's_, and one of his Cousins, a stiffe-backed Man with large
Eares, and such a long Nose!  Cousin _Rose_ looked bewtifulle--pitie so
faire a Girl should marry so olde a Man--'tis thoughte he wants not
manie Years of fifty.



_May 7th, 1643_.

New Misfortunes in the Poultrie Yarde.  Poor _Mother's_ Loyalty cannot
stand the Demands for her best Chickens, Ducklings, etc., for the Use
of his Majesty's Officers since the King hath beene in _Oxford_.  She
accuseth my _Father_ of having beene wonne over by a few faire Speeches
to be more of a Royalist than his natural Temper inclineth him to;
which, of course, he will not admit.



_May 8th, 1643_.

Whole Day taken up in a Visit to _Rose_, now a Week married, and growne
quite matronlie already.  We reached _Sheepscote_ about an Hour before
Noone.  A long, broade, strait Walke of green Turf, planted with
Hollyoaks, Sunflowers, etc., and some earlier Flowers alreadie in
Bloom, led up to the rusticall Porch of a truly farm-like House, with
low gable Roofs, a long lattice Window on either Side the Doore, and
three Casements above.  Such, and no more, is _Rose's_ House!  But she
is happy, for she came running forthe, soe soone as she hearde
_Clover's_ Feet, and helped me from my Saddle all smiling, tho' she had
not expected to see us.  We had Curds and Creame; and she wished it
were the Time of Strawberries, for she sayd they had large Beds; and
then my _Father_ and the Boys went forthe to looke for Master _Agnew_.
Then _Rose_ took me up to her Chamber, singing as she went; and the
long, low Room was sweet with Flowers.  Sayd I, "_Rose_, to be Mistress
of this pretty Cottage, 'twere hardlie amisse to marry a Man as olde as
Master _Roger_."  "Olde!" quoth she, "deare _Moll_, you must not deeme
him olde; why, he is but fortytwo; and am not I twenty-three?"  She
lookt soe earneste and hurte, that I coulde not but falle a laughing.



_May 9th, 1643_.

_Mother_ gone to _Sandford_.  She hopes to get Uncle _John_ to lend
_Father_ this Money.  _Father_ says she may _try_.  Tis harde to
discourage her with an ironicalle Smile, when she is doing alle she
can, and more than manie Women woulde, to help _Father_ in his
Difficultie; but suche, she sayth somewhat bitterlie, is the lot of our
Sex.  She bade _Father_ mind that she had brought him three thousand
Pounds, and askt what had come of them.  Answered; helped to fille the
Mouths of nine healthy Children, and stop the Mouth of an easie
Husband; soe, with a Kiss, made it up.  I have the Keys, and am left
Mistresse of alle, to my greate Contentment; but the Children clamour
for Sweetmeats, and _Father_ sayth, "Remember, _Moll_, Discretion is
the better Part of Valour."

After _Mother_ had left, went into the Paddock, to feed the Colts with
Bread; and while they were putting their Noses into _Robin's_ Pockets,
_Dick_ brought out the two Ponies, and set me on one of them, and we
had a mad Scamper through the Meadows and down the Lanes; I leading.
Just at the Turne of _Holford's Close_, came shorte upon a Gentleman
walking under the Hedge, clad in a sober, genteel Suit, and of most
beautifulle Countenance, with Hair like a Woman's, of a lovely pale
brown, long and silky, falling over his Shoulders.  I nearlie went over
him, for _Clover's_ hard Forehead knocked agaynst his Chest; but he
stoode it like a Rock; and lookinge firste at me and then at _Dick_, he
smiled and spoke to my Brother, who seemed to know him, and turned
about and walked by us, sometimes stroaking _Clover's_ shaggy Mane.  I
felte a little ashamed; for _Dick_ had sett me on the Poney just as I
was, my Gown somewhat too shorte for riding: however, I drewe up my
Feet and let _Clover_ nibble a little Grasse, and then got rounde to
the neare Side, our new Companion stille between us.  He offered me
some wild Flowers, and askt me theire Names; and when I tolde them, he
sayd I knew more than he did, though he accounted himselfe a prettie
fayre Botaniste: and we went on thus, talking of the Herbs and Simples
in the Hedges; and I sayd how prettie some of theire Names were, and
that, methought, though Adam had named alle the Animals in Paradise,
perhaps Eve had named alle the Flowers.  He lookt earnestlie at me, on
this, and muttered "prettie."  Then _Dick_ askt of him News from
_London_, and he spoke, methought, reservedlie; ever and anon turning
his bright, thoughtfulle Eyes on me.  At length, we parted at the Turn
of the Lane.

I askt _Dick_ who he was, and he told me he was one Mr. _John Milton_,
the Party to whom _Father_ owed five hundred Pounds.  He was the Sonne
of a _Buckinghamshire_ Gentleman, he added, well connected, and very
scholarlike, but affected towards the Parliament.  His Grandsire, a
zealous Papiste, formerly lived in _Oxon_, and disinherited the Father
of this Gentleman for abjuring the _Romish_ Faith.

When I found how faire a Gentleman was _Father's_ Creditor, I became
the more interested in deare _Mother's_ Successe.



_May 13th, 1643_.

_Dick_ began to harpe on another Ride to _Sheepscote_ this Morning, and
persuaded _Father_ to let him have the bay Mare, soe he and I started
at aboute Ten o' the Clock.  Arrived at Master _Agnew's_ Doore, found
it open, no one in Parlour or Studdy; soe _Dick_ tooke the Horses
rounde, and then we went straite thro' the House, into the Garden
behind, which is on a rising Ground, with pleached Alleys and turfen
Walks, and a Peep of the Church through the Trees.  A Lad tolde us his
Mistress was with the Bees, soe we walked towards the Hives; and, from
an Arbour hard by, hearde a Murmur, though not of Bees, issuing.  In
this rusticall Bowre, found _Roger Agnew_ reading to _Rose_ and to Mr.
_Milton_.  Thereupon ensued manie cheerfulle Salutations, and _Rose_
proposed returning to the House, but Master _Agnew_ sayd it was
pleasanter in the Bowre, where was Room for alle; soe then _Rose_
offered to take me to her Chamber to lay aside my Hoode, and promised
to send a Junkett into the Arbour; whereon Mr. _Agnew_ smiled at Mr.
_Milton_, and sayd somewhat of "neat-handed _Phillis_."

As we went alonge, I tolde _Rose_ I had seene her Guest once before,
and thought him a comely, pleasant Gentleman.  She laught, and sayd,
"Pleasant? why, he is one of the greatest Scholars of our Time, and
knows more Languages than you or I ever hearde of."  I made Answer,
"That may be, and yet might not ensure his being pleasant, but rather
the contrary, for I cannot reade _Greeke_ and _Latin_, _Rose_, like
you."  Quoth _Rose_, "But you can reade _English_, and he hath writ
some of the loveliest _English_ Verses you ever hearde, and hath
brought us a new Composure this Morning, which _Roger_, being his olde
College Friend, was discussing with him, to my greate Pleasure, when
you came.  After we have eaten the Junkett, he shall beginne it again."
"By no Means," said I, "for I love Talking more than Reading."
However, it was not soe to be, for _Rose_ woulde not be foyled; and as
it woulde not have been good Manners to decline the Hearinge in
Presence of the Poet, I was constrayned to suppresse a secret Yawne,
and feign Attention, though, Truth to say, it soone wandered; and,
during the last halfe Hour, I sat in a compleat Dreame, tho' not
unpleasant one.  _Roger_ having made an End, 'twas diverting to heare
him commending the Piece unto the Author, who as gravely accepted it;
yet, with nothing fullesome about the one, or misproud about the other.
Indeed, there was a sedate Sweetnesse in the Poet's Wordes as well as
Lookes; and shortlie, waiving the Discussion of his owne Composures, he
beganne to talke of those of other Men, as _Shakspeare, Spenser,
Cowley, Ben Jonson_, and of _Tasso_, and _Tasso's_ Friend the Marquis
of _Villa_, whome, it appeared, Mr. _Milton_ had Knowledge of in
_Italy_.  Then he askt me, woulde I not willingly have seene the
Country of _Romeo_ and _Juliet_, and prest to know whether I loved
Poetry; but finding me loath to tell, sayd he doubted not I preferred
Romances, and that he had read manie, and loved them dearly too.  I
sayd, I loved _Shakspeare's_ Plays better than _Sidney's_ Arcadia; on
which he cried "Righte," and drew nearer to me, and woulde have talked
at greater length; but, knowing from _Rose_ how learned he was, I
feared to shew him I was a sillie Foole; soe, like a sillie Foole, held
my Tongue.

Dinner; Eggs, Bacon, roast Ribs of Lamb, Spinach, Potatoes, savoury
Pie, a _Brentford_ Pudding, and Cheesecakes.  What a pretty Housewife
_Rose_ is!  _Roger's_ plain Hospitalitie and scholarlie Discourse
appeared to much Advantage.  He askt of News from Paris; and Mr.
_Milton_ spoke much of the _Swedish_ Ambassadour, _Dutch_ by Birth; a
Man renowned for his Learning, Magnanimity, and Misfortunes, of whome
he had seene much.  He tolde _Rose_ and me how this Mister _Van der
Groote_ had beene unjustlie caste into Prison by his Countrymen; and
how his good Wife had shared his Captivitie, and had tried to get his
Sentence reversed; failing which, she contrived his Escape in a big
Chest, which she pretended to be full of heavie olde Bookes.  Mr.
_Milton_ concluded with the Exclamation, "Indeede, there never was such
a Woman;" on which, deare _Roger_, whome I beginne to love, quoth, "Oh
yes, there are manie such,--we have two at Table now."  Whereat, Mr.
_Milton_ smiled.

At Leave-taking pressed Mr. _Agnew_ and _Rose_ to come and see us
soone; and _Dick_ askt Mr. _Milton_ to see the Bowling Greene.

Ride Home, delightfulle.



_May 14th, 1643_.

Thought, when I woke this Morning, I had been dreaminge of St. _Paul_
let down the Wall in a Basket; but founde, on more closely examining
the Matter, 'twas _Grotius_ carried down the Ladder in a Chest; and
methought I was his Wife, leaninge from the Window above, and crying to
the Souldiers, "Have a Care, have a Care!"  'Tis certayn I shoulde have
betraied him by an Over-anxietie.

Resolved to give _Father_ a _Sheepscote_ Dinner, but _Margery_ affirmed
the Haunch woulde no longer keepe, so was forced to have it drest,
though meaninge to have kept it for Companie.  Little _Kate_, who had
been out alle the Morning, came in with her Lap full of Butter-burs,
the which I was glad to see, as _Mother_ esteemes them a sovereign
Remedie 'gainst the Plague, which is like to be rife in _Oxford_ this
Summer, the Citie being so overcrowded on account of his Majestie.
While laying them out on the Stille-room Floor, in bursts _Robin_ to
say Mr. _Agnew_ and Mr. _Milton_ were with _Father_ at the Bowling
Greene, and woulde dine here.  Soe was glad _Margery_ had put down the
Haunch.  Twas past One o' the Clock, however, before it coulde be sett
on Table; and I had just run up to pin on my Carnation Knots, when I
hearde them alle come in discoursing merrilie.

At Dinner Mr. _Milton_ askt _Robin_ of his Studdies; and I was in Payne
for the deare Boy, knowing him to be better affected to his out-doore
Recreations than to his Booke; but he answered boldlie he was in
_Ovid_, and I lookt in Mr. _Milton's_ Face to guesse was that goode
Scholarship or no; but he turned it towards my _Father_, and sayd he
was trying an Experiment on two young Nephews of his owne, whether the
reading those Authors that treate of physical Subjects mighte not
advantage them more than the Poets; whereat my _Father_ jested with
him, he being himselfe one of the Fraternitie he seemed to despise.
But he uphelde his Argumente so bravelie, that _Father_ listened in
earneste Silence.  Meantime, the Cloth being drawne, and I in Feare of
remaining over long, was avised to withdrawe myself earlie, _Robin_
following, and begging me to goe downe to the Fish-ponds.  Afterwards
alle the others joyned us, and we sate on the Steps till the Sun went
down, when, the Horses being broughte round, our Guests tooke Leave
without returning to the House.  _Father_ walked thoughtfullie Home
with me, leaning on my Shoulder, and spake little.



_May 15th, 1643_.

After writing the above last Night, in my Chamber, went to Bed and had
a most heavenlie Dreame.  Methoughte it was brighte, brighte
Moonlighte, and I was walking with Mr. _Milton_ on a Terrace,--not
_our_ Terrace, but in some outlandish Place; and it had Flights and
Flights of green Marble Steps, descending, I cannot tell how farre,
with Stone Figures and Vases on every one.  We went downe and downe
these Steps, till we came to a faire Piece of Water, still in the
Moonlighte; and then, methoughte, he woulde be taking Leave, and sayd
much aboute Absence and Sorrowe, as tho' we had knowne eache other some
Space; and alle that he sayd was delightfulle to heare.  Of a suddain
we hearde Cries, as of Distresse, in a Wood that came quite down to the
Water's Edge, and Mr. _Milton_ sayd, "Hearken!" and then, "There is
some one being slaine in the Woode, I must goe to rescue him;" and soe,
drewe his Sword and ran off.  Meanwhile, the Cries continued, but I did
not seeme to mind them much; and, looking stedfastlie downe into the
cleare Water, coulde see to an immeasurable Depth, and beheld, oh,
rare!  Girls sitting on glistening Rocks, far downe beneathe, combing
and braiding their brighte Hair, and talking and laughing, onlie I
coulde not heare aboute what.  And theire Kirtles were like spun Glass,
and theire Bracelets Coral and Pearl; and I thought it the fairest
Sight that Eyes coulde see.  But, alle at once, the Cries in the Wood
affrighted them, for they started, looked upwards and alle aboute, and
began swimming thro' the cleare Water so fast, that it became troubled
and thick, and I coulde see them noe more.  Then I was aware that the
Voices in the Wood were of _Dick_ and _Harry_, calling for _me_; and I
soughte to answer, "Here!" but my Tongue was heavie.  Then I commenced
running towards them, through ever so manie greene Paths, in the Wood;
but still, we coulde never meet; and I began to see grinning Faces,
neither of Man nor Beaste, peeping at me through the Trees; and one and
another of them called me by Name; and in greate Feare and Paine I
awoke!

. . . Strange Things are Dreames.  Dear _Mother_ thinks much of them,
and sayth they oft portend coming Events.  My _Father_ holdeth the
Opinion that they are rather made up of what hath alreadie come to
passe; but surelie naught like this Dreame of mine hath in anie Part
befallen me hithertoe?

. . . What strange Fable or Masque were they reading that Day at
_Sheepscote_?  I mind not.



_May 20th, 1643_.

Too much busied of late to write, though much hath happened which I
woulde fain remember.  Dined at _Shotover_ yesterday.  Met _Mother_,
who is coming Home in a Day or two; but helde short Speech with me
aside concerning Housewifery.  The _Agnews_ there, of course: alsoe Mr.
_Milton_, whom we have seene continuallie, lately; and I know not how
it shoulde be, but he seemeth to like me.  _Father_ affects him much,
but _Mother_ loveth him not.  She hath seene little of him: perhaps the
less the better.  _Ralph Hewlett_, as usuall, forward in his rough
endeavours to please; but, though no Scholar, I have yet Sense enough
to prefer Mr. _Milton's_ Discourse to his. . . .  I wish I were fonder
of Studdy; but, since it cannot be, what need to vex?  Some are born of
one Mind, some of another.  _Rose_ was alwaies for her Booke; and, had
_Rose_ beene no Scholar, Mr. _Agnew_ woulde, may be, never have given
her a second Thoughte: but alle are not of the same Way of thinking.

. . . A few Lines received from _Mother's_ "spoilt Boy," as _Father_
hath called Brother _Bill_, ever since he went a soldiering.  Blurred
and mis-spelt as they are, she will prize them.  Trulie, we are none of
us grate hands at the Pen; 'tis well I make this my Copie-booke.

. . . Oh, strange Event!  Can this be Happinesse?  Why, then, am I soe
feared, soe mazed, soe prone to weeping?  I woulde that _Mother_ were
here.  Lord have Mercie on me a sinfulle, sillie Girl, and guide my
Steps arighte.

. . . It seemes like a Dreame, (I have done noughte but dreame of late,
I think,) my going along the matted Passage, and hearing Voices in my
_Father's_ Chamber, just as my Hand was on the Latch; and my
withdrawing my Hand, and going softlie away, though I never paused at
disturbing him before; and, after I had beene a full Houre in the
Stille Room, turning over ever soe manie Trays full of dried Herbs and
Flower-leaves, hearing him come forthe and call, "_Moll_, deare _Moll_,
where are you?" with I know not what of strange in the Tone of his
Voice; and my running to him hastilie, and his drawing me into his
Chamber, and closing the Doore.  Then he takes me round the Waiste, and
remains quite silent awhile; I gazing on him so strangelie! and at
length, he says with a Kind of Sigh, "Thou art indeed but young yet!
scarce seventeen,--and fresh, as Mr. _Milton_ says, as the earlie May;
too tender, forsooth, to leave us yet, sweet Child!  But what wilt say,
_Moll_, when I tell thee that a well-esteemed Gentleman, whom as yet
indeed I know too little of, hath craved of me Access to the House as
one that woulde win your Favour?"

Thereupon, such a suddain Faintness of the Spiritts overtooke me, (a
Thing I am noe way subject to,) as that I fell down in a Swound at
_Father's_ Feet; and when I came to myselfe again, my Hands and Feet
seemed full of Prickles, and there was a Humming, as of _Rose's_ Bees,
in mine Ears.  _Lettice_ and _Margery_ were tending of me, and _Father_
watching me full of Care; but soe soone as he saw me open mine Eyes, he
bade the Maids stand aside, and sayd, stooping over me, "Enough, dear
_Moll_; we will talk noe more of this at present."  "Onlie just tell
me," quoth I, in a Whisper, "who it is."  "Guesse," sayd he.  "I
cannot," I softlie replied, and, with the Lie, came such a Rush of
Blood to my Cheeks as betraied me.  "I am sure you have though," sayd
deare _Father_, gravelie, "and I neede not say it is Mr. _Milton_, of
whome I know little more than you doe, and that is not enough.  On the
other Hand, _Roger Agnew_ sayth that he is one of whome we can never
know too much, and there is somewhat about him which inclines me to
believe it."  "What will _Mother_ say?" interrupted I.  Thereat
_Father's_ Countenance changed; and he hastilie answered, "Whatever she
likes: I have an Answer for her, and a Question too;" and abruptlie
left me, bidding me keepe myselfe quiet.

But can I?  Oh, no!  _Father_ hath sett a Stone rolling, unwitting of
its Course.  It hath prostrated me in the first Instance, and will, I
misdoubt, hurt my _Mother_.  _Father_ is bold enow in her Absence, but
when she comes back will leave me to face her Anger alone; or else,
make such a Stir to shew that he is not governed by a Woman, as wille
make Things worse.  Meanwhile, how woulde I have them?  Am I most
pleased or payned? dismayed or flattered?  Indeed, I know not.

. . . I am soe sorry to have swooned.  Needed I have done it, merelie
to heare there was one who soughte my Favour?  Aye, but one soe wise!
so thoughtfulle! so unlike me!



Bedtime: same Daye.

. . . Who knoweth what a Daye will bring forth?  After writing the
above, I sate like one stupid, ruminating on I know not what, except on
the Unlikelihood that one soe wise woulde trouble himselfe to _seeke_
for aught and yet fail to _win_.  After abiding a long Space in mine
owne Chamber, alle below seeming still, I began to wonder shoulde we
dine alone or not, and to have a hundred hot and cold Fitts of Hope and
Feare.  Thought I, if Mr. _Milton_ comes, assuredlie I cannot goe down;
but yet I must; but yet I will not; but yet the best will be to conduct
myselfe as though nothing had happened; and, as he seems to have left
the House long ago, maybe he hath returned to _Sheepscote_, or even to
_London_.  Oh that _London_!  Shall I indeede ever see it? and the rare
Shops, and the Play-houses, and _Paul's_, and the _Towre_?  But what
and if that ever comes to pass?  Must I leave Home? dear _Forest Hill_?
and _Father_ and _Mother_, and the Boys? more especiallie _Robin_?  Ah!
but _Father_ will give me a long Time to think of it.  He will, and
must.

Then Dinner-time came; and, with Dinner-time, Uncle _Hewlett_ and
_Ralph_, Squire _Paice_ and Mr. _Milton_.  We had a huge Sirloin, soe
no Feare of short Commons.  I was not ill pleased to see soe manie: it
gave me an Excuse for holding my Peace, but I coulde have wished for
another Woman.  However, _Father_ never thinks of that, and _Mother_
will soone be Home.  After Dinner the elder Men went to the
Bowling-greene with _Dick_ and _Ralph_; the Boys to the Fish-ponds;
and, or ever I was aware, Mr. _Milton_ was walking with me on the
Terrace.  My Dreame came soe forcibly to Mind, that my Heart seemed to
leap into my Mouth; but he kept away from the Fish-ponds, and from
Leave-taking, and from his morning Discourse with my _Father_,--at
least for awhile; but some Way he got round to it, and sayd soe much,
and soe well, that, after alle my _Father's_ bidding me keepe quiete
and take my Time, and mine owne Resolution to think much and long, he
never rested till he had changed the whole Appearance of Things, and
made me promise to be his, wholly and trulie.--And oh!  I feare I have
been too quickly wonne!



_May 23d, 1643_.

_May 23d_.  At leaste, so sayeth the Calendar; but with me it hath
beene trulie an _April_ Daye, alle Smiles and Teares.  And now my
Spiritts are soe perturbed and dismaid, as that I know not whether to
weepe or no, for methinks crying would relieve me.  At first waking
this Morning my Mind was elated at the Falsitie of my _Mother's_
Notion, that no Man of Sense woulde think me worth the having; and soe
I got up too proude, I think, and came down too vain, for I had spent
an unusuall Time at the Glasse.  My Spiritts, alsoe, were soe unequall,
that the Boys took Notice of it, and it seemed as though I coulde
breathe nowhere but out of Doors; so the Children and I had a rare Game
of Play in the Home-close; but ever and anon I kept looking towards the
Road and listening for Horses' Feet, till _Robin_ sayd, "One would
think the King was coming:" but at last came Mr. _Milton_, quite
another Way, walking through the Fields with huge Strides.  _Kate_ saw
him firste, and tolde me; and then sayd, "What makes you look soe pale?"

We sate a good Space under the Hawthorn Hedge on the Brow of the Hill,
listening to the Mower's Scythe, and the Song of Birds, which seemed
enough for him, without talking; and as he spake not, I helde my Peace,
till, with the Sun in my Eyes, I was like to drop asleep; which, as his
own Face was _from_ me, and towards the Landskip, he noted not.  I was
just aiming, for Mirthe's Sake, to steale away, when he suddainlie
turned about and fell to speaking of rurall Life, Happinesse, Heaven,
and such like, in a Kind of Rapture; then, with his Elbow half raising
him from the Grass, lay looking at me; then commenced humming or
singing I know not what Strayn, but 'twas of '_begli Occhi_' and
'_Chioma aurata_;' and he kept smiling the while he sang.

After a time we went In-doors; and then came my firste Pang: for
_Father_ founde out how I had pledged myselfe overnighte; and for a
Moment looked soe grave, that my Heart misgave me for having beene soe
hastie.  However, it soone passed off; deare _Father's_ Countenance
cleared, and he even seemed merrie at Table; and soon after Dinner alle
the Party dispersed save Mr. _Milton_, who loitered with me on the
Terrace.  After a short Silence he exclaimed, "How good is our God to
us in alle his Gifts!  For Instance, in this Gift of _Love_, whereby
had he withdrawn from visible Nature a thousand of its glorious
Features and gay Colourings, we shoulde stille possess, _from within_,
the Means of throwing over her clouded Face an entirelie different Hue!
while as it is, what was pleasing before now pleaseth more than ever!
Is it not soe, sweet _Moll_?  May I express thy Feelings as well as
mine own, unblamed? or am I too adventurous?  You are silent; well,
then, let me believe that we think alike, and that the Emotions of the
few laste Hours have given such an Impulse to alle that is high, and
sweete, and deepe, and pure, and holy in our innermoste Hearts, as that
we seeme now onlie firste to taste the _Life of Life_, and to perceive
how much nearer Earth is to Heaven than we thought!  Is it soe?  Is it
not soe?" and I was constrayned to say, "Yes," at I scarcelie knew
what; grudginglie too, for I feared having once alreadie sayd "Yes" too
soone.  But he saw nought amisse, for he was expecting nought amisse;
soe went on, most like Truth and Love that Lookes could speake or Words
founde: "Oh, I know it, I feel it:--henceforthe there is a Life
reserved for us in which Angels may sympathize.  For this most
excellent Gift of Love shall enable us to read together the whole Booke
of Sanctity and Virtue, and emulate eache other in carrying it into
Practice; and as the wise _Magians_ kept theire Eyes steadfastlie fixed
on the Star, and followed it righte on, through rough and smoothe, soe
we, with this bright Beacon, which indeed is set on Fire of Heaven,
shall pass on through the peacefull Studdies, surmounted Adversities,
and victorious Agonies of Life, ever looking steadfastlie up!"

Alle this, and much more, as tedious to heare as to write, did I listen
to, firste with flagging Attention, next with concealed
Wearinesse;--and as Wearinesse, if indulged, never _is_ long concealed,
it soe chanced, by Ill-luck, that Mr. _Milton_, suddainlie turning his
Eyes from Heaven upon poor me, caughte, I can scarcelie expresse how
slighte, an Indication of Discomforte in my Face; and instantlie a
Cloud crossed his owne, though as thin as that through which the Sun
shines while it floats over him.  Oh, 'twas not of a Moment! and yet
_in that Moment_ we seemed eache to have seene the other, though but at
a Glance, under new Circumstances:--as though two Persons at a
Masquerade had just removed their Masques and put them on agayn.  This
gave me my seconde Pang:--I felt I had given him Payn; and though he
made as though he forgot it directly, and I tooke Payns to make him
forget it, I coulde never be quite sure whether he had.

. . . My Spiritts were soe dashed by this, and by learning his Age to
be soe much more than I had deemed it, (for he is thirty-five! who
coulde have thoughte it?) that I had, thenceforthe, the Aire of being
much more discreete and pensive than belongeth to my Nature; whereby he
was, perhaps, well pleased.  As I became more grave he became more gay;
soe that we met eache other, as it were, half-way, and became righte
pleasant.  If his Countenance were comely before, it is quite heavenlie
now; and yet I question whether my Love increaseth as rapidlie as my
Feare.  Surelie my Folly will prove as distastefull to him, as his
overmuch Wisdom to me.  The Dread of it hath alarmed me alreadie.  What
has become, even now, of alle my gay Visions of Marriage, and _London_,
and the Play-houses, and the _Touire_?  They have faded away thus
earlie, and in their Place comes a Foreboding of I can scarce say what.
I am as if a Child, receiving frome some olde Fairy the Gift of what
seemed a fayre Doll's House, shoulde hastilie open the Doore thereof,
and starte back at beholding nought within but a huge Cavern, deepe,
high, and vaste; in parte glittering with glorious Chrystals, and the
Rest hidden in obscure Darknesse.



_May 24th, 1643_.

Deare _Rose_ came this Morning.  I flew forthe to welcome her, and as I
drew near, she lookt upon me with such a Kind of Awe as that I could
not forbeare laughing.  Mr. _Milton_ having slept at _Sheepscote_, had
made her privy to our Engagement; for indeede, he and Mr. _Agnew_ are
such Friends, he will keep nothing from him.  Thus _Rose_ heares it
before my owne Mother, which shoulde not be.  When we had entered my
Chamber, she embraced me once and agayn, and seemed to think soe much
of my uncommon Fortune, that I beganne to think more of it myselfe.  To
heare her talke of Mr. _Milton_ one would have supposed her more in
Love with him than I.  Like a Bookworm as she is, she fell to praysing
his Composures.  "Oh, the leaste I care for in him is his Versing,"
quoth I; and from that Moment a Spiritt of Mischief tooke Possession of
me, to do a thousand heedlesse, ridiculous Things throughoute the Day,
to shew _Rose_ how little I set by the Opinion of soe wise a Man.  Once
or twice Mr. _Milton_ lookt earnestlie and questioninglie at me, but I
heeded him not.

. . . Discourse at Table graver and less pleasant, methoughte, than
heretofore.  Mr. _Busire_ having dropt in, was avised to ask Mr.
_Milton_ why, having had an university Education, he had not entered
the Church.  He replied, drylie enough, because he woulde not subscribe
himselfe _Slave_ to anie Formularies of Men's making.  I saw _Father_
bite his Lip; and _Roger Agnew_ mildly observed, he thought him wrong;
for that it was not for an Individual to make Rules for another
Individual, but yet that the generall Voice of the Wise and Good,
removed from the pettie Prejudices of private Feeling, mighte pronounce
authoritativelie wherein an Individual was righte or wrong, and frame
Laws to keepe him in the righte Path.  Mr. _Milton_ replyed, that manie
Fallibles could no more make up an Infallible than manie Finites could
make an Infinite.  Mr. _Agnew_ rejoyned, that ne'erthelesse, an
Individual who opposed himselfe agaynst the generall Current of the
Wise and Good, was, leaste of alle, likelie to be in the Right; and
that the Limitations of human Intellect which made the Judgment of
manie wise Men liable to Question, certainlie made the Judgment of
_anie_ wise Man, self-dependent, more questionable still.  Mr. _Milton_
shortlie replied that there were Particulars in the required Oaths
which made him unable to take them without Perjurie.  And soe, an End:
but 'twas worth a World to see _Rose_ looking soe anxiouslie from the
one Speaker to the other, desirous that eache should be victorious; and
I was sorry that it lasted not a little longer.

As _Rose_ and I tooke our Way to the Summer-house, she put her Arm
round me, saying, "How charming is divine Philosophie!"  I coulde not
helpe asking if she did not meane how charming was the Philosophie of
one particular Divine?  Soe then she discoursed with me of Things more
seemlie for Women than Philosophie or Divinitie either.  Onlie, when
Mr. _Agnew_ and Mr. _Milton_ joyned us, she woulde aske them to repeat
one Piece of Poetry after another, beginning with _Carew's_--

  "He who loves a rosie Cheeke,
  Or a coral Lip admires,--"

And crying at the End of eache, "Is not that lovely?  Is not that
divine?"  I franklie sayd I liked none of them soe much as some Mr.
_Agnew_ had recited, concluding with--

  "Mortals that would, follow me,
  Love Virtue: she alone is free."

Whereon Mr. _Milton_ surprised me with a suddain Kiss, to the
immoderate Mirthe of _Rose_, who sayd I coulde not have looked more
discomposed had he pretended he was the Author of those Verses.  I
afterwards found he _was_; but I think she laught more than there was
neede.

We have ever been considered a sufficientlie religious Familie: that
is, we goe regularly to Church on Sabbaths and Prayer-dayes, and keepe
alle the Fasts and Festivalles.  But Mr. _Milton's_ Devotion hath
attayned a Pitch I can neither imitate nor even comprehende.  The
spirituall World seemeth to him not onlie reall, but I may almoste say
visible.  For instance, he told _Rose_, it appears, that on _Tuesday_
Nighte, (that is the same Evening I had promised to be his,) as he went
homewards to his Farm-lodging, he fancied the Angels whisperinge in his
Eares, and singing over his Head, and that instead of going to his Bed
like a reasonable Being, he lay down on the Grass, and gazed on the
sweete, pale Moon till she sett, and then on the bright Starres till he
seemed to see them moving in a slowe, solemn Dance, to the Words, "_How
glorious is our God!_"  And alle about him, he said, he _knew_, tho' he
coulde not see them, were spirituall Beings repairing the Ravages of
the Day on the Flowers, amonge the Trees, and Grasse, and Hedges; and
he believed 'twas onlie the Filme that originall Sin had spread over
his Eyes, that prevented his seeing them.  I am thankful for this same
Filme,--I cannot abide Fairies, and Witches, and Ghosts--ugh!  I
shudder even to write of them; and were it onlie of the more harmlesse
Sort, one woulde never have the Comforte of thinkinge to be alone.  I
feare Churchyardes and dark Corners of alle Kinds; more especiallie
Spiritts; and there is onlie one I would even wish to see at my
bravest, when deepe Love casteth out Feare; and that is of Sister
_Anne_, whome I never associate with the Worme and Winding-sheete.  Oh
no!  I think _she_, at leaste, dwells amonge the Starres, having sprung
straite up into Lighte and Blisse the Moment she put off Mortalitie;
and if she, why not others?  Are _Adam_ and _Abraham_ alle these Yeares
in the unconscious Tomb?  Theire Bodies, but surelie not their
Spiritts? else, why dothe _Christ_ speak of _Lazarus_ lying in
_Abraham's_ Bosom, while the Brothers of _Dives_ are yet riotouslie
living?  Yet what becomes of the Daye of generall Judgment, if some be
thus pre-judged?  I must aske Mr. _Milton,--_yes, I thinke I can finde
it in my Heart to aske him about this in some solemn, stille Hour, and
perhaps he will sett at Rest manie Doubts and Misgivings that at
sundrie Times trouble me; being soe wise a Man.



_Bedtime_.

. . . Glad to steale away from the noisie Companie in the Supper-roome,
(comprising some of _Father's_ Fellow-magistrates,) I went down with
_Robin_ and _Kate_ to the Fish-ponds; it was scarce Sunset: and there,
while we threw Crumbs to the Fish and watched them come to the Surface,
were followed, or ever we were aware, by Mr. _Milton_, who sate down on
the stone Seat, drew _Robin_ between his Knees, stroked his Haire, and
askt what we were talking about.  _Robin_ sayd I had beene telling them
a fairie Story; and Mr. _Milton_ observed that was an infinite
Improvement on the jangling, puzzle-headed Prating of Country Justices,
and wished I woulde tell it agayn.  But I was afrayd.  But _Robin_ had
no Feares; soe tolde the Tale roundlie; onlie he forgot the End.  Soe
he found his Way backe to the Middle, and seemed likelie to make it
last alle Night; onlie Mr. _Milton_ sayd he seemed to have got into the
Labyrinth of _Crete_, and he must for Pitie's Sake give him the Clew.
Soe he finished _Robin's_ Story, and then tolde another, a most lovelie
one, of Ladies, and Princes, and Enchanters, and a brazen Horse, and he
sayd the End of _that_ Tale had been cut off too, by Reason the Writer
had died before he finished it.  But _Robin_ cryed, "Oh! finish this
too," and hugged and kist him; soe he did; and methoughte the End was
better than the Beginninge.  Then he sayd, "Now, sweet _Moll_, you have
onlie spoken this Hour past, by your Eyes; and we must heare your
pleasant Voice."  "An Hour?" cries _Robin_.  "Where are alle the red
Clouds gone, then?" quoth Mr. _Milton_, "and what Business hathe the
Moon yonder?"  "Then we must go Indoors," quoth I.  But they cried
"No," and _Robin_ helde me fast, and Mr. Milton sayd I might know even
by the distant Sounds of ill-governed Merriment that we were winding up
the Week's Accounts of Joy and Care more consistentlie where we were
than we coulde doe in the House.  And indeede just then I hearde my
_Father's_ Voice swelling a noisie Chorus; and hoping Mr. _Milton_ did
not distinguish it, I askt him if he loved Musick.  He answered, soe
much that it was Miserie for him to hear anie that was not of the
beste.  I secretlie resolved he should never heare mine.  He added, he
was come of a musicalle Familie, and that his Father not onlie sang
well, but played finely on the Viol and Organ.  Then he spake of the
sweet Musick in _Italy_, until I longed to be there; but I tolde him
nothing in its Way ever pleased me more than to heare the Choristers of
_Magdalen_ College usher in _May_ Day by chaunting a Hymn at the Top of
the Church Towre.  Discoursing of this and that, we thus sate a good
While ere we returned to the House.

. . . Coming out of Church he woulde shun the common Field, where the
Villagery led up theire Sports, saying, he deemed Quoit-playing and the
like to be unsuitable Recreations on a Daye whereupon the _Lord_ had
restricted us from speakinge our own Words, and thinking our own (that
is, secular) Thoughts: and that he believed the Law of _God_ in this
Particular woulde soone be the Law of the Land, for Parliament woulde
shortlie put down _Sunday_ Sports.  I askt, "What, the _King's_
Parliament at _Oxford_?"  He answered, "No; _the Country's_ Parliament
at _Westminster_."  I sayd, I was sorrie, for manie poore hard-working
Men had no other Holiday.  He sayd, another Holiday woulde be given
them; and that whether or no, we must not connive at Evil, which we doe
in permitting an _holy Daye_ to sink into a Holiday.  I sayd, but was
it not the _Jewish_ Law, which had made such Restrictions?  He sayd,
yes, but that _Christ_ came not to destroy the moral Law, of which
Sabbath-keeping was a Part, and that even its naturall Fitnesse for the
bodily Welfare of Man and Beast was such as no wise Legislator would
abolish or abuse it, even had he no Consideration for our spiritual and
immortal Part: and that 'twas a well-known Fact that Beasts of Burthen,
which had not one Daye of Rest in seven, did lesse Worke in the End.
As for oure Soules, he sayd, they required theire spiritual Meales as
much as our Bodies required theires; and even poore, rusticall Clownes
who coulde not reade, mighte nourish their better Parts by an holie
Pause, and by looking within them, and around them, and above them.  I
felt inclined to tell him that long Sermons alwaies seemed to make me
love _God_ less insteade of more, but woulde not, fearing he mighte
take it that I meant _he_ had been giving me one.



_Monday_.

_Mother_ hath returned!  The Moment I hearde her Voice I fell to
trembling.  At the same Moment I hearde _Robin_ cry, "Oh, _Mother_, I
have broken the greene Beaker!" which betraied Apprehension in another
Quarter.  However, she quite mildlie replied, "Ah, I knew the Handle
was loose," and then kist me with soe great Affection that I felt quite
easie.  She had beene withhelde by a troublesome Colde from returning
at the appointed Time, and cared not to write.  'Twas just Supper-time,
and there were the Children to kiss and to give theire Bread and Milk,
and _Bill's_ Letter to reade; soe that nothing particular was sayd till
the younger Ones were gone to Bed, and _Father_ and _Mother_ were
taking some Wine and Toast.  Then says _Father_, "Well, Wife, have you
got the five hundred Pounds?"  "No," she answers, rather carelesslie.
"I tolde you how 'twoulde be," says _Father_; "you mighte as well have
stayed at Home."  "Really, Mr. _Powell,"_ says _Mother_, "soe seldom as
I stir from my owne Chimney-corner, you neede not to grudge me, I
think, a few Dayes among our mutuall Relatives."  "I shall goe to
Gaol," says _Father_.  "Nonsense," says _Mother_; "to Gaol indeed!"
"Well, then, who is to keepe me from it?" says _Father_, laughing.  "I
will answer for it, Mr. _Milton_ will wait a little longer for his
Money," says _Mother_, "he is an honourable Man, I suppose."  "I wish
he may thinke me one," says _Father_; "and as to a little longer, what
is the goode of waiting for what is as unlikelie to come eventuallie as
now?"  "You must answer that for yourselfe," says _Mother_, looking
wearie: "I have done what I can, and can doe no more."  "Well, then,
'tis lucky Matters stand as they do," says _Father_.  "Mr. _Milton_ has
been much here in your Absence, my Dear, and has taken a Liking to our
_Moll_; soe, believing him, as you say, to be an honourable Man, I have
promised he shall have her."  "Nonsense," cries _Mother_, turning red
and then pale.  "Never farther from Nonsense," says _Father_, "for 'tis
to be, and by the Ende of the Month too."  "You are bantering me, Mr.
_Powell_," says _Mother_.  "How can you suppose soe, my Deare?" says
_Father_, "you doe me Injustice."  "Why, _Moll_!" cries _Mother_,
turning sharplie towards me, as I sate mute and fearfulle, "what is
alle this, Child?  You cannot, you dare not think of wedding this
round-headed Puritan."  "Not round-headed," sayd I, trembling; "his
Haire is as long and curled as mine."  "Don't bandy Words with me,
Girl," says _Mother_ passionatelie, "see how unfit you are to have a
House of your owne, who cannot be left in Charge of your _Father's_ for
a Fortnighte, without falling into Mischiefe!"  "I won't have _Moll_
chidden in that Way," says _Father_, "she has fallen into noe
Mischiefe, and has beene a discreete and dutifull Child."  "Then it has
beene alle your doing," says _Mother_, "and you have forced the Child
into this Match."  "Noe Forcing whatever," says _Father_, "they like
one another, and I am very glad of it, for it happens to be very
convenient."  "Convenient, indeed," repeats _Mother_, and falls a
weeping.  Thereon I must needs weepe too, but she says, "Begone to Bed;
there is noe Neede that you shoulde sit by to heare your owne _Father_
confesse what a Fool he has beene."

To my Bedroom I have come, but cannot yet seek my Bed; the more as I
still heare theire Voices in Contention below.



_Tuesday_.

This Morninge's Breakfaste was moste uncomfortable, I feeling like a
checkt Child, scarce minding to looke up or to eat.  _Mother_, with
Eyes red and swollen, scarce speaking save to the Children; _Father_
directing his Discourse chieflie to _Dick_, concerning Farm Matters and
the Rangership of _Shotover_, tho' 'twas easie to see his Mind was not
with them.  Soe soone as alle had dispersed to theire customed Taskes,
and I was loitering at the Window, _Father_ calls aloud to me from his
Studdy.  Thither I go, and find him and _Mother_, she sitting with her
Back to both.  "_Moll_," says _Father_, with great Determination, "you
have accepted Mr. _Milton_ to please yourself, you will marry him out
of hand to please me."  "Spare me, spare me, Mr. _Powell_," interrupts
_Mother_, "if the Engagement may not be broken off, at the least
precipitate it not with this indecent haste.  Postpone it till----"
"Till when?" says _Father_.  "Till the Child is olde enough to know her
owne Mind."  "That is, to put off an honourable Man on false
Pretences," says _Father_, "she is olde enough to know it alreadie.
Speake, _Moll_, are you of your _Mother's_ Mind to give up Mr. _Milton_
altogether?"  I trembled, but sayd, "No."  "Then, as his Time is
precious, and he knows not when he may leave his Home agayn, I save you
the Trouble, Child, of naming a Day, for it shall be the _Monday_
before _Whitsuntide_."  Thereat _Mother_ gave a Kind of Groan; but as
for me, I had like to have fallen on the Ground, for I had had noe
Thought of suche Haste.  "See what you are doing, Mr. _Powell_," says
_Mother_, compassionating me, and raising me up, though somewhat
roughlie; "I prophecie Evil of this Match."  "Prophets of Evil are sure
to find Listeners," says _Father_, "but I am not one of them;" and soe
left the Room.  Thereon my _Mother_, who alwaies feares him when he has
a Fit of Determination, loosed the Bounds of her Passion, and chid me
so unkindlie, that, humbled and mortified, I was glad to seeke my
Chamber.

. . . Entering the Dining-room, however, I uttered a Shriek on seeing
_Father_ fallen back in his Chair, as though in a Fit, like unto that
which terrified us a Year ago; and _Mother_ hearing me call out, ran
in, loosed his Collar, and soone broughte him to himselfe, tho' not
without much Alarm to alle.  He made light of it himselfe, and sayd
'twas merelie a suddain Rush of Blood to the Head, and woulde not be
dissuaded from going out; but _Mother_ was playnly smote at the Heart,
and having lookt after him with some anxietie, exclaimed, "I shall
neither meddle nor make more in this Businesse: your _Father's_ suddain
Seizures shall never be layd at my Doore;" and soe left me, till we met
at Dinner.  After the Cloth was drawne, enters Mr. _Milton_, who goes
up to _Mother_, and with Gracefulnesse kisses her Hand; but she
withdrewe it pettishly, and tooke up her Sewing, on the which he lookt
at her wonderingly, and then at me; then at her agayne, as though he
woulde reade her whole Character in her Face; which having seemed to
doe, and to write the same in some private Page of his Heart, he never
troubled her or himself with further Comment, but tooke up Matters just
where he had left them last.  Ere we parted we had some private
Conference touching our Marriage, for hastening which he had soe much
to say that I coulde not long contend with him, especiallie as I founde
he had plainlie made out that _Mother_ loved him not.



_Wednesday_.

House full of Companie, leaving noe Time to write nor think.  _Mother_
sayth, tho' she cannot forbode an happie Marriage, she will provide for
a merrie Wedding, and hathe growne more than commonlie tender to me,
and given me some Trinkets, a Piece of fine _Holland_ Cloth, and
enoughe of green Sattin for a Gown, that will stand on End with its
owne Richnesse.  She hathe me constantlie with her in the Kitchen,
Pastrie, and Store-room, telling me 'tis needfulle I shoulde improve in
Housewiferie, seeing I shall soe soone have a Home of my owne.

But I think _Mother_ knows not, and I am afeard to tell her, that Mr.
_Milton_ hath no House of his owne to carry me to, but onlie Lodgings,
which have well suited his Bachelor State, but may not, 'tis likelie,
beseeme a Lady to live in.  He deems so himself, and sayeth we will
look out for an hired House together, at our Leisure.  Alle this he
hath sayd to me in an Undertone, in _Mother's_ Presence, she sewing at
the Table and we sitting in the Window; and 'tis difficult to tell how
much she hears, she for will aske no Questions, and make noe Comments,
onlie compresses her Lips, which makes me think she knows.

The Children are in turbulent Spiritts; but _Robin_ hath done nought
but mope and make Moan since he learnt he must soe soone lose me.  A
Thought hath struck me,--Mr. _Milton_ educates his Sister's Sons; two
Lads of about _Robin's_ Age.  What if he woulde consent to take my
Brother under his Charge? perhaps _Father_ woulde be willing.



_Saturday_.

Last Visitt to _Sheepscote,--_at leaste, as _Mary Powell_; but kind
_Rose_ and _Roger Agnew_ will give us the Use of it for a Week on our
Marriage, and spend the Time with dear _Father_ and _Mother_, who will
neede their Kindnesse.  _Rose_ and I walked long aboute the Garden, her
Arm round my Neck; and she was avised to say,

  "Cloth of Frieze, be not too bold,
  Tho' thou be matcht with Cloth of Gold,--"

And then craved my Pardon for soe unmannerly a Rhyme, which indeede,
methoughte, needed an Excuse, but exprest a Feare that I knew not (what
she called) my high Destiny, and prayed me not to trifle with Mr.
_Milton's_ Feelings nor in his Sighte, as I had done the Daye she dined
at _Forest Hill_.  I laught, and sayd, he must take me as he found me:
he was going to marry _Mary Powell_, not the _Wise Widow of Tekoah_.
_Rose_ lookt wistfullie, but I bade her take Heart, for I doubted not
we shoulde content eache the other; and for the Rest, her Advice
shoulde not be forgotten.  Thereat, she was pacyfied.



_May 22d, 1643_.

Alle Bustle and Confusion,--slaying of Poultrie, making of Pastrie,
etc.  People coming and going, prest to dine and to sup, and refuse,
and then stay, the colde Meats and Wines ever on the Table; and in the
Evening, the Rebecks and Recorders sent for that we may dance in the
Hall.  My Spiritts have been most unequall; and this Evening I was
overtaken with a suddain Faintnesse, such as I never but once before
experienced.  They would let me dance no more; and I was quite tired
enoughe to be glad to sit aparte with Mr. _Milton_ neare the Doore,
with the Moon shining on us; untill at length he drew me out into the
Garden.  He spake of Happinesse and Home, and Hearts knit in Love, and
of heavenlie Espousals, and of Man being the Head of the Woman, and of
our _Lord's_ Marriage with the Church, and of white Robes, and the
Bridegroom coming in Clouds of Glory, and of the Voices of singing Men
and singing Women, and eternall Spring, and eternall Blisse, and much
that I cannot call to Mind, and other-much that I coulde not
comprehende, but which was in mine ears as the Song of Birds, or
Falling of Waters.



_May 23d, 1643_.


_Rose_ hath come, and hath kindlie offered to help pack the Trunks,
(which are to be sent off by the Waggon to _London_,) that I may have
the more Time to devote to Mr. _Milton_.  Nay, but he will soon have
all my Time devoted to himself, and I would as lief spend what little
remains in mine accustomed Haunts, after mine accustomed Fashion.  I
had purposed a Ride on _Clover_ this Morning, with _Robin_; but the
poor Boy must I trow be disappointed.

----And for what?  Oh me!  I have hearde such a long Sermon on
Marriage-duty and Service, that I am faine to sit down and weepe.  But
no, I must not, for they are waiting for me in the Hall, and the Guests
are come and the Musick is tuning, and my Lookes must not betray
me.--And now farewell, _Journall_; for _Rose_, who first bade me keepe
you (little deeming after what Fashion), will not pack you up, and I
will not close you with a heavie Strayn.  _Robin_ is calling me beneath
the Window,--_Father_ is sitting in the Shade, under the old Pear-tree,
seemingly in gay Discourse with Mr. _Milton_.  To-morrow the
Village-bells will ring for the Marriage of

MARY POWELL.



_London,
  Mr. Russell's, Taylor,
  Bride's Churchyard_.

Oh Heaven! is this my new Home? my Heart sinkes alreadie.  After the
swete fresh Ayre of _Sheepscote_, and the Cleanliness, and the Quiet
and the pleasant Smells, Sightes, and Soundes, alle whereof Mr.
_Milton_ enjoyed to the Full as keenlie as I, saying they minded him of
_Paradise,--_how woulde _Rose_ pitie me, could she view me in this
close Chamber, the Floor whereof of dark, uneven Boards, must have
beene layd, methinks, three hundred Years ago; the oaken Pannells,
utterlie destitute of Polish and with sundrie Chinks; the Bed with dull
brown Hangings, lined with as dull a greene, occupying Half the Space;
and Half the Remainder being filled with dustie Books, whereof there
are Store alsoe in every other Place.  This Mirror, I should thinke,
belonged to faire _Rosamond_.  And this Arm-chair to King _Lew_.  Over
the Chimnie hangs a ruefull Portrait,--maybe of _Grotius_, but I
shoulde sooner deeme it of some Worthie before the Flood.  Onlie one
Quarter of the Casement will open, and that upon a Prospect, oh
dolefulle! of the Churchyarde!  Mr. _Milton_ had need be as blythe as
he was all the Time we were at _Sheepscote_, or I shall be buried in
that same Churchyarde within the Twelvemonth.  'Tis well he has stepped
out to see a Friend, that I may in his Absence get ridd of this Fit of
the Dismalls.  I wish it may be the last.  What would _Mother_ say to
his bringing me to such a Home as this?  I will not think.  Soe this is
_London_!  How diverse from the "towred Citie" of my Husband's versing!
and of his Prose too; for as he spake, by the way, of the Disorders of
our Time, which extend even into eache domestick Circle, he sayd that
alle must, for a While, appear confused to our imperfect View, just as
a mightie Citie unto a Stranger who shoulde beholde around him huge,
unfinished Fabrics, the Plan whereof he could but imperfectlie make
out, amid the Builders' disorderlie Apparatus; but that, _from afar_,
we mighte perceive glorious Results from party Contentions,--Freedom
springing up from Oppression, Intelligence succeeding Ignorance, Order
following Disorder, just as that same Traveller looking at the Citie
from a distant Height, should beholde Towres, and Spires glistering
with Gold and Marble, Streets stretching in lessening Perspectives, and
Bridges flinging their white Arches over noble Rivers.  But what of
this saw we all along the _Oxford_ Road?  Firstlie, there was noe
commanding Height; second, there was the Citie obscured by a drizzling
Rain; the Ways were foul, the Faces of those we mett spake less of
Pleasure than Business, and Bells were tolling, but none ringing.  Mr.
_Milton's_ Father, a grey-haired, kind old Man, was here to give us
welcome: and his firste Words were, "Why, _John_, thou hast stolen a
March on us.  Soe quickly, too, and soe snug! but she is faire enoughe,
Man, to excuse thee, Royalist or noe."

And soe, taking me in his Arms, kist me franklie.--But I heare my
Husband's Voice, and another with it.



_Thursday_.

'Twas a Mr. _Lawrence_ whom my Husband brought Home last Nighte to sup;
and the Evening passed righte pleasantlie, with News, Jestes, and a
little Musicke.  Todaye hath been kindlie devoted by Mr. _Milton_ to
shewing me Sights:--and oh! the strange, diverting Cries in the
Streets, even from earlie Dawn!  "New Milk and Curds from the
Dairie!"--"Olde Shoes for some Brooms!"--"Anie Kitchen-stuffe, have
you, Maids?"--"Come buy my greene Herbes!"--and then in the Streets,
here a Man preaching, there another juggling: here a Boy with an Ape,
there a Show of _Nineveh_: next the News from the North; and as for the
China Shops and Drapers in the _Strand_, and the Cook's Shops in
_Westminster_, with the smoking Ribs of Beef and fresh Salads set out
on Tables in the Street, and Men in white Aprons crying out, "Calf's
Liver, Tripe, and hot Sheep's Feet"--'twas enoughe to make One
untimelie hungrie,--or take One's Appetite away, as the Case might be.
Mr. _Milton_ shewed me the noble Minster, with King _Harry_ Seventh's
Chapel adjoining; and pointed out the old House where _Ben Jonson_
died.  Neare the _Broade Sanctuarie_, we fell in with a slighte,
dark-complexioned young Gentleman of two or three and twenty, whome my
Husband espying cryed, "What, _Marvell_!" the other comically
answering, "What Marvel?" and then, handsomlie saluting me and
complimenting Mr. _Milton_, much lighte and pleasant Discourse ensued;
and finding we were aboute to take Boat, he volunteered to goe with us
on the River.  After manie Hours' Exercise, I have come Home fatigued,
yet well pleased.  Mr. _Marvell_ sups with us.



_Friday_.

I wish I could note down a Tithe of the pleasant Things that were sayd
last Nighte.  First, olde Mr. _Milton_ having slept out with his
Son,--I called in _Rachael_, the younger of Mr. _Russel's_
Serving-maids, (for we have none of our owne as yet, which tends to
much Discomfiture,) and, with her Aide, I dusted the Bookes and sett
them up in half the Space they had occupied; then cleared away three
large Basketfuls, of the absolutest Rubbish, torn Letters and the like,
and sent out for Flowers, (which it seemeth strange enoughe to me to
_buy_,) which gave the Chamber a gayer Aire, and soe my Husband sayd
when he came in, calling me the fayrest of them alle; and then, sitting
down with Gayety to the Organ, drew forthe from it heavenlie Sounds.
Afterwards Mr. _Marvell_ came in, and they discoursed about _Italy_,
and Mr. _Milton_ promised his Friend some Letters of Introduction to
_Jacopo Gaddi, Clementillo_, and others.--

After Supper, they wrote Sentences, Definitions, and the like, after a
Fashion of _Catherine de Medici_, some of which I have layd aside for
_Rose_.


--_To-day_ we have seene St. _Paul's_ faire Cathedral, and the School
where Mr. _Milton_ was a Scholar when a Boy; thence, to the Fields of
_Finsbury_; where are Trees and Windmills enow: a Place much frequented
for practising Archery and other manlie Exercises.



_Saturday_.

Tho' we rise betimes, olde Mr. _Milton_ is earlier stille; and I always
find him sitting at his Table beside the Window (by Reason of the
Chamber being soe dark,) sorting I know not how manie Bundles of Papers
tied with red Tape; eache so like the other that I marvel how he knows
them aparte.  This Morning, I found the poore old Gentleman in sad
Distress at missing a Manuscript Song of Mr. _Henry Lawes'_, the onlie
Copy extant, which he persuaded himselfe that I must have sent down to
the Kitchen Fire Yesterday.  I am convinced I dismist not a single
Paper that was not torne eache Way, as being utterlie uselesse; but as
the unluckie Song cannot be founde, he sighs and is certayn of my
Delinquence, as is _Hubert_, his owne Man; or, as he more frequentlie
calls him, his "odd Man;"--and an odd Man indeede is Mr. _Hubert_,
readie to address his Master or Master's Sonne on the merest Occasion,
without waiting to be spoken to; tho' he expecteth Others to treat them
with far more Deference than he himself payeth.

--Dead tired, this Daye, with so much Exercise; but woulde not say soe,
because my Husband was thinking to please me by shewing me soe much.
Spiritts flagging however.  These _London_ Streets wearie my Feet.  We
have been over the House in _Aldersgate Street_, the Garden whereof
disappointed me, having hearde soe much of it; but 'tis far better than
none, and the House is large enough for Mr. _Milton's_ Familie and my
_Father's_ to boote.  Thought how pleasant 'twould be to have them alle
aboute me next _Christmasse_; but that holie Time is noe longer kept
with Joyfullnesse in _London_.  Ventured, therefore, to expresse a
Hope, we mighte spend it at _Forest Hill_; but Mr. _Milton_ sayd 'twas
unlikelie he should be able to leave Home; and askt, would I go
alone?--Constrained, for Shame, to say no; but felt, in my Heart, I
woulde jump to see _Forest Hill_ on anie Terms, I soe love alle that
dwell there.



_Sunday Even_.

Private and publick Prayer, Sermons, and Psalm-singing from Morn until
Nighte.  The onlie Break hath been a Visit to a quaint but pleasing
Lady, by Name _Catherine Thompson_, whome my Husband holds in great
Reverence.  She said manie Things worthy to be remembered; onlie _as_ I
remember them, I need not to write them down.  Sorrie to be caughte
napping by my Husband, in the Midst of the third long Sermon.  This
comes of over-walking, and of being unable to sleep o' Nights; for
whether it be the _London_ Ayre, or the _London_ Methods of making the
Beds, or the strange Noises in the Streets, I know not, but I have
scarce beene able to close my Eyes before Daybreak since I came to Town.



_Monday_.

And now beginneth a new Life; for my Husband's Pupils, who were dismist
for a Time for my Sake, returne to theire Tasks this Daye, and olde Mr.
_Milton_ giveth place to his two Grandsons, his widowed Daughter's
Children, _Edward_ and _John Phillips_, whom my Husband led in to me
just now.  Two plainer Boys I never sett Eyes on; the one weak-eyed and
puny, the other prim and puritanicall--no more to be compared to our
sweet _Robin_! . . .  After a few Words, they retired to theire Books;
and my Husband, taking my Hand, sayd in his kindliest Manner,--"And now
I leave my sweete _Moll_ to the pleasant Companie of her own goode and
innocent Thoughtes; and, if she needs more, here are both stringed and
keyed Instruments, and Books both of the older and modern Time, soe
that she will not find the Hours hang heavie."  Methoughte how much
more I should like a Ride upon _Clover_ than all the Books that ever
were penned; for the Door no sooner closed upon Mr. _Milton_ than it
seemed as tho' he had taken alle the Sunshine with him; and I fell to
cleaning the Casement that I mighte look out the better into the
Churchyarde, and then altered Tables and Chairs, and then sate downe
with my Elbows resting on the Window-seat, and my Chin on the Palms of
my Hands, gazing on I knew not what, and feeling like a Butterflie
under a Wine-glass.

I marvelled why it seemed soe long since I was married, and wondered
what they were doing at Home,--coulde fancy I hearde _Mother_ chiding,
and see _Charlie_ stealing into the Dairie and dipping his Finger in
the Cream, and _Kate_ feeding the Chickens, and _Dick_ taking a Stone
out of _Whitestar's_ Shoe.

--Methought how dull it was to be passing the best Part of the Summer
out of the Reache of fresh Ayre and greene Fields, and wondered, woulde
alle my future Summers be soe spent?

Thoughte how dull it was to live in Lodgings, where one could not even
go into the Kitchen to make a Pudding; and how dull to live in a Town,
without some young female Friend with whom one might have ventured into
the Streets, and where one could not soe much as feed Colts in a
Paddock; how dull to be without a Garden, unable soe much as to gather
a Handfulle of ripe Cherries; and how dull to looke into a Churchyarde,
where there was a Man digging a Grave!

--When I wearied of staring at the Grave-digger, I gazed at an olde
Gentleman and a young Lady slowlie walking along, yet scarce as if I
noted them; and was thinking mostlie of _Forest Hill_, when I saw them
stop at our Doore, and presently they were shewn in, by the Name of
Doctor and Mistress _Davies_.  I sent for my Husband, and entertayned
'em bothe as well as I could, till he appeared, and they were polite
and pleasant to me; the young Lady tall and slender, of a cleare brown
Skin, and with Eyes that were fine enough; onlie there was a supprest
Smile on her Lips alle the Time, as tho' she had seen me looking out of
the Window.  She tried me on all Subjects, I think; for she started
them more adroitlie than I; and taking up a Book on the Window-seat,
which was the _Amadigi_ of _Bernardo Tasso_, printed alle in
_Italiques_, she sayd, if I loved Poetry, which she was sure I must,
she knew she shoulde love me.  I did not tell her whether or noe.  Then
we were both silent.  Then Doctor _Davies_ talked vehementlie to Mr.
_Milton_ agaynst the King; and Mr. _Milton_ was not so contrarie to him
as I could have wished.  Then Mistress _Davies_ tooke the Word from her
Father and beganne to talke to Mr. _Milton_ of _Tasso_, and _Dante_,
and _Boiardo_, and _Ariosto_; and then Doctor _Davies_ and I were
silent.  Methoughte, they both talked well, tho' I knew so little of
their Subject-matter; onlie they complimented eache other too much.  I
mean not they were insincere, for eache seemed to think highlie of the
other; onlie we neede not say alle we feele.

To conclude, we are to sup with them to-morrow.



_Wednesday_.

_Journall_, I have Nobodie now but you, to whome to tell my little
Griefs; indeede, before I married, I know not that I had anie; and even
now, they are very small, onlie they are soe new, that sometimes my
Heart is like to burst.

--I know not whether 'tis safe to put them alle on Paper, onlie it
relieves for the Time, and it kills Time, and perhaps, a little While
hence I may looke back and see how small they were, and how they mighte
have beene shunned, or better borne.  'Tis worth the Triall.

--Yesterday Morn, for very Wearinesse, I looked alle over my Linen and
Mr. _Milton's_, to see could I finde anie Thing to mend; but there was
not a Stitch amiss.  I woulde have played on the Spinnette, but was
afrayd he should hear my indifferent Musick.  Then, as a last Resource,
I tooke a Book--_Paul Perrin's Historie of the Waldenses_;--and was, I
believe, dozing a little, when I was aware of a continuall Whispering
and Crying.  I thought 'twas some Child in the Street; and, having some
Comfits in my Pocket, I stept softlie out to the House-door and lookt
forth, but no Child could I see.  Coming back, the Door of my Husband's
Studdy being ajar, I was avised to look in; and saw him, with awfulle
Brow, raising his Hand in the very Act to strike the youngest
_Phillips_.  I could never endure to see a Child struck, soe hastilie
cryed out "Oh, don't!"--whereon he rose, and, as if not seeing me,
gently closed the Door, and, before I reached my Chamber, I hearde soe
loud a Crying that I began to cry too.  Soon, alle was quiet; and my
Husband, coming in, stept gently up to me, and putting his Arm about my
Neck, sayd, "My dearest Life, never agayn, I beseech you, interfere
between me and the Boys: 'tis as unseemlie as tho' I shoulde interfere
between you and your Maids, when you have any,--and will weaken my
Hands, dear _Moll_, more than you have anie Suspicion of."

I replied, kissing that same offending Member as I spoke, "Poor _Jack_
would have beene glad, just now, if I _had_ weakened them."--"But that
is not the Question," he returned, "for we shoulde alle be glad to
escape necessary Punishment; whereas, it is the Power, not the Penalty
of our bad Habits, that we shoulde seek to be delivered from."--"There
may," I sayd, "be necessary, but need not be corporal Punishment."
"That is as may be," returned he, "and hath alreadie been settled by an
Authoritie to which I submit, and partlie think you will dispute, and
that is, the Word of _God_.  Pain of Body is in Realitie, or ought to
be, sooner over and more safelie borne than Pain of an ingenuous Mind;
and, as to the _Shame_,--why, as _Lorenzo de' Medici_ sayd to
_Soccini_, 'The Shame is in the Offence rather than in the Punishment.'"

I replied, "Our _Robin_ had never beene beaten for his Studdies;" to
which he sayd with a Smile, that even I must admit _Robin_ to be noe
greate Scholar.  And so in good Humour left me; but I was in no good
Humour, and hoped Heaven might never make me the Mother of a Son, for
if I should see Mr. _Milton_ strike him, I should learn to hate the
Father.--

Learning there was like to be Companie at Doctor _Davies'_, I was
avised to put on my brave greene Satin Gown; and my Husband sayd it
became me well, and that I onlie needed some Primroses and Cowslips in
my Lap, to look like _May_;--and somewhat he added about mine Eyes'
"clear shining after Rain," which avised me he had perceived I had
beene crying in the Morning, which I had hoped he had not.

Arriving at the Doctor's House, we were shewn into an emptie Chamber;
at least, emptie of Companie, but full of every Thing else; for there
were Books, and Globes, and stringed and wind Instruments, and stuffed
Birds and Beasts, and Things I know not soe much as the Names of,
besides an Easel with a Painting by Mrs. _Mildred_ on it, which she
meant to be seene, or she woulde have put it away.  Subject, "_Brutus's
Judgment:"_ which I thought a strange, unfeeling one for a Woman; and
did not wish to be _her_ Son.  Soone she came in, drest with studdied
and puritanicall Plainnesse; in brown Taffeta, guarded with black
Velvet, which became her well enough, but was scarce suited for the
Season.  She had much to say about limning, in which my Husband could
follow her better than I; and then they went to the Globes, and
_Copernicus_, and _Galileo Galilei_, whom she called a Martyr, but I do
not.  For, is a Martyr one who is unwillinglie imprisoned, or who
formally recants? even tho' he affected afterwards to say 'twas _but_ a
Form, and cries, "_Eppure, si muove_?"  The earlier Christians might
have sayd 'twas but a Form to burn a Handfull of Incense before
_Jove's_ Statua; _Pliny_ woulde have let them goe.

Afterwards, when the Doctor came in and engaged my Husband in
Discourse, Mistress _Mildred_ devoted herselfe to me, and askt what
Progresse I had made with _Bernardo Tasso_.  I tolde her, none at alle,
for I was equallie faultie at _Italiques_ and _Italian_, and onlie knew
his best Work thro' Mr. _Fairfax's_ Translation; whereat she fell
laughing, and sayd she begged my Forgivenesse, but I was confounding
the Father with the Sonne; then laught agayn, but pretended 'twas not
at me but at a Lady I minded her of, who never coulde remember to
distinguish betwixt _Lionardo da Vinci_ and _Lorenzo dei Medici_.  That
last Name brought up the Recollection of my Morning's Debate with my
Husband, which made me feel sad; and then, Mrs. _Mildred_, seeminge
anxious to make me forget her Unmannerliness, commenced, "Can you
paint?"--"Can you sing?"--"Can you play the Lute?"--and, at the last,
"What _can_ you do?"  I mighte have sayd I coulde comb out my Curls
smoother than she coulde hers, but did not.  Other Guests came in, and
talked so much agaynst Prelacy and the Right divine of Kings that I
woulde fain we had remained at Astronomie and Poetry.  For Supper there
was little Meat, and noe strong Drinks, onlie a thinnish foreign Wine,
with Cakes, Candies, Sweetmeats, Fruits, and Confections.  Such, I
suppose, is Town Fashion.  At the laste, came Musick; Mistress
_Mildred_ sang and played; then prest me to do the like, but I was soe
fearfulle, I coulde not; so my Husband sayd he woulde play for me, and
that woulde be alle one, and soe covered my Bashfullenesse handsomlie.

Onlie this Morning, just before going to his Studdy, he stept back and
sayd, "Sweet _Moll_, I know you can both play and sing--why will you
not practise?"  I replyed, I loved it not much.  He rejoyned, "But you
know I love it, and is not that a Motive?"  I sayd, I feared to let him
hear me, I played so ill.  He replyed, "Why, that is the very Reason
you shoulde seek to play better, and I am sure you have Plenty of Time.
Perhaps, in your whole future Life, you will not have such a Season of
Leisure as you have now,--a golden Opportunity, which you will surelie
seize."--Then added, "Sir _Thomas More's_ Wife learnt to play the Lute,
solely that she mighte please her Husband."  I answered, "Nay, what to
tell me of Sir _Thomas More's_ Wife, or of _Hugh Grotius's_ Wife, when
I was the Wife of _John Milton_?"  He looked at me twice, and quicklie,
too, at this Saying; then laughing, cried, "You cleaving Mischief!  I
hardlie know whether to take that Speech amisse or well--however, you
shall have the Benefit of the Doubt."

And so away laughing; and I, for very Shame, sat down to the Spinnette
for two wearie Hours, till soe tired, I coulde cry; and when I
desisted, coulde hear _Jack_ wailing over his Task.  'Tis raining fast,
I cannot get out, nor should I dare to go alone, nor where to go to if
'twere fine.  I fancy ill Smells from the Churchyard--'tis long to
Dinner-time, with noe Change, noe Exercise; and oh, I sigh for _Forest
Hill_.


--A dull Dinner with Mrs. _Phillips_, whom I like not much.
_Christopher Milton_ there, who stared hard at me, and put me out of
Countenance with his strange Questions.  My Husband checked him.  He is
a Lawyer, and has Wit enoughe.

Mrs. _Phillips_ speaking of second Marriages, I unawares hurt her by
giving my Voice agaynst them.  It seems she is thinking of contracting
a second Marriage.

--At Supper, wishing to ingratiate myself with the Boys, talked to them
of Countrie Sports, etc.: to which the youngest listened greedilie; and
at length I was advised to ask them woulde they not like to see _Forest
Hill_? to which the elder replyed in his most methodicall Manner, "If
Mr. _Powell_ has a good Library."  For this Piece of Hypocrisie, at
which I heartilie laught, he was commended by his Uncle.  Hypocrisie it
was, for Master _Ned_ cryeth over his Taskes pretty nearlie as oft as
the youngest.



_Friday_.

To rewarde my zealous Practice to-day on the Spinnette, Mr. _Milton_
produced a Collection of "_Ayres, and Dialogues, for one, two, and
three Voices_," by his Friend, Mr. _Harry Lawes_, which he sayd I
shoulde find very pleasant Studdy; and then he tolde me alle about
theire getting up the Masque of _Comus_ in _Ludlow_ Castle, and how
well the Lady's Song was sung by Mr. _Lawes'_ Pupil, the Lady _Alice_,
then a sweet, modest Girl, onlie thirteen Yeares of Age,--and he told
me of the Singing of a faire _Italian_ young Signora, named _Leonora
Barroni_, with her Mother and Sister, whome he had hearde at _Rome_, at
the Concerts of Cardinal _Barberini_; and how she was "as gentle and
modest as sweet _Moll_," yet not afrayed to open her Mouth, and
pronounce everie Syllable distinctlie, and with the proper Emphasis and
Passion when she sang.  And after this, to my greate Contentment, he
tooke me to the _Gray's Inn Walks_, where, the Afternoon being fine,
was much Companie.

After Supper, I proposed to the Boys that we shoulde tell Stories; and
Mr. _Milton_ tolde one charminglie, but then went away to write a
_Latin_ Letter.  Soe _Ned's_ Turn came next; and I must, if I can, for
very Mirthe's Sake, write it down in his exact Words, they were soe
pragmaticall.

"On a Daye, there was a certain Child wandered forthe, that would play.
He met a Bee, and sayd, 'Bee, wilt thou play with me?'  The Bee sayd,
'No, I have my Duties to perform, tho' you, it woulde seeme, have none.
I must away to make Honey.'  Then the Childe, abasht, went to the Ant.
He sayd, 'Will you play with me, Ant?'  The Ant replied, 'Nay, I must
provide against the Winter.'  In shorte, he found that everie Bird,
Beaste, and Insect he accosted, had a closer Eye to the Purpose of
their Creation than himselfe.  Then he sayd, 'I will then back, and con
my Task.'--_Moral_.  The Moral of the foregoing Fable, my deare _Aunt_,
is this--We must love Work better than Play."

With alle my Interest for Children, how is it possible to take anie
Interest in soe formall a little Prigge?



_Saturday_.

I have just done somewhat for Master _Ned_ which he coulde not doe for
himselfe--_viz_. tenderly bound up his Hand, which he had badly cut.
Wiping away some few naturall Tears, he must needs say, "I am quite
ashamed, _Aunt_, you shoulde see me cry; but the worst of it is, that
alle this Payne has beene for noe good; whereas, when my Uncle beateth
me for misconstruing my _Latin_, tho' I cry at the Time, all the while
I know it is for my Advantage."--If this Boy goes on preaching soe, I
shall soon hate him.

--Mr. _Milton_ having stepped out before Supper, came back looking soe
blythe, that I askt if he had hearde good News.  He sayd, yes: that
some Friends had long beene persuading him, against his Will, to make
publick some of his _Latin_ Poems; and that, having at length consented
to theire Wishes, he had beene with _Mosley_ the Publisher in St.
_Paul's Churchyard_, who agreed to print them.  I sayd, I was sorrie I
shoulde be unable to read them.  He sayd he was sorry too; he must
translate them for me.  I thanked him, but observed that Traductions
were never soe good as Originalls.  He rejoyned, "Nor am I even a good
Translator."  I askt, "Why not write in your owne Tongue?"  He sayd,
"_Latin_ is understood all over the Worlde."  I sayd, "But there are
manie in your owne Country do not understand it."  He was silent soe
long upon that, that I supposed he did not mean to answer me; but then
cried, "You are right, sweet _Moll.--_Our best Writers have written
their best Works in _English_, and I will hereafter doe the same,--for
I feel that my best Work is still _to come_.  Poetry hath hitherto been
with me rather the Recreation of a Mind conscious of its Health, than
the deliberate Task-work of a Soule that must hereafter give an Account
of its Talents.  Yet my Mind, in the free Circuit of her Musing, has
ranged over a thousand Themes that lie, like the Marble in the Quarry,
readie for anie Shape that Fancy and Skill may give.  Neither Laziness
nor Caprice makes me difficult in my Choice; for, the longer I am in
selecting my Tree, and laying my Axe to the Root, the sounder it will
be and the riper for Use.  Nor is an Undertaking that shall be one of
high Duty, to be entered upon without Prayer and Discipline:--it woulde
be Presumption indeede, to commence an Enterprise which I meant shoulde
delighte and profit every instructed and elevated Mind without so much
Paynes-takinge as it should cost a poor Mountebank to balance a Pole on
his Chin."



_Sunday Even_.

In the Clouds agayn.  At Dinner, to-daye, Mr. _Milton_ catechised the
Boys on the Morning's Sermon, the Heads of which, though amounting to a
Dozen_, Ned_ tolde off roundlie.  Roguish little _Jack_ looked slylie
at me, says, "_Aunt_ coulde not tell off the Sermon."  "Why not?" says
his Uncle.  "Because she was sleeping," says _Jack_.  Provoked with the
Child, I turned scarlett, and hastilie sayd, "I was not."  Nobodie
spoke; but I repented the Falsitie the Moment it had escaped me; and
there was _Ned_, a folding of his Hands, drawing down his Mouth, and
closing his Eyes. . . .  My Husband tooke me to taske for it when we
were alone, soe tenderlie that I wept.



_Monday_.

_Jack_ sayd this Morning, "I know Something--I know _Aunt_ keeps a
Journall."  "And a good Thing if you kept one too, _Jack,"_ sayd his
Uncle, "it would shew you how little you doe."  _Jack_ was silenced;
but _Ned_, pursing up his Mouth, says, "I can't think what _Aunt_ can
have to put in a Journall--should not you like, _Uncle_, to see?"  "No,
_Ned,"_ says his Uncle, "I am upon Honour, and your dear Aunt's
Journall is as safe, for me, as the golden Bracelets that King _Alfred_
hung upon the High-way.  I am glad she has such a Resource, and, as we
know she cannot have much News to put in it, we may the more safely
rely that it is a Treasury of sweet, and high, and holy, and profitable
Thoughtes."

Oh, how deeplie I blusht at this ill-deserved Prayse!  How sorrie I was
that I had ever registered aught that he woulde grieve to read!  I
secretly resolved that this Daye's Journalling should be the last,
untill I had attained a better Frame of Mind.



_Saturday Even_.

I have kept Silence, yea, even from good Words, but it has beene a Payn
and Griefe unto me.  Good Mistress _Catherine Thompson_ called on me a
few Dayes back, and spoke so wisely and so wholesomelie concerning my
Lot, and the Way to make it happy, (she is the first that hath spoken
as it 'twere possible it mighte not be soe alreadie,) that I felt for a
Season quite heartened; but it has alle faded away.  Because the Source
of Cheerfulnesse is not _in_ me, anie more than in a dull Landskip,
which the Sun lighteneth for awhile, and when he has set, its Beauty is
gone.

Oh me! how merry I was at Home!--The Source of Cheerfulnesse seemed in
me _then_, and why is it not _now_?  Partly because alle that I was
there taught to think right is here thought wrong; because much that I
there thought harmlesse is here thought sinfulle; because I cannot get
at anie of the Things that employed and interested me _there_, and
because the Things within my Reach _here_ do not interest me.  Then,
'tis no small Thing to be continuallie deemed ignorant and misinformed,
and to have one's Errors continuallie covered, however handsomelie,
even before Children.  To say nothing of the Weight upon the Spiritts
at firste, from Change of Ayre, and Diet, and Scene, and Loss of
habituall Exercise and Companie and householde Cares.  These petty
Griefs try me sorelie; and when Cousin _Ralph_ came in unexpectedlie
this Morn, tho' I never much cared for him at Home, yet the Sighte of
_Rose's_ Brother, fresh from_ Sheepscote_ and _Oxford_ and _Forest
Hill_, soe upset me that I sank into Tears.  No wonder that Mr.
_Milton_, then coming in, shoulde hastilie enquire if _Ralph_ had
brought ill Tidings from Home; and, finding alle was well there,
shoulde look strangelie.  He askt _Ralph_, however, to stay to Dinner;
and we had much Talk of Home; but now, I regret having omitted to ask a
thousand Questions.



_Sunday Even., Aug. 15, 1643_.

Mr. _Milton_ in his Closet and I in my Chamber.--For the first Time he
seems this Evening to have founde out how dissimilar are our Minds.
Meaning to please him, I sayd, "I kept awake bravelie, tonighte,
through that long, long Sermon, for your Sake."  "And why not for
_God's_ Sake?" cried he, "why not for your owne Sake?--Oh, sweet
_Wife_, I fear you have yet much to learn of the Depth of Happinesse
that is comprised in the Communion between a forgiven Soul and its
Creator.  It hallows the most secular as well as the most spirituall
Employments; it gives Pleasure that has no after Bitternesse; it gives
Pleasure to _God_--and oh! thinke of the Depth of Meaning in those
Words! think what it is for us to be capable of giving _God_ Pleasure!"

--Much more, in the same Vein! to which I could not, with equal Power,
respond; soe, he away to his Studdy, to pray perhaps for my Change of
Heart, and I to my Bed.



_Saturday, Aug. 21, 1643_.

Oh Heaven! can it be possible? am I agayn at _Forest Hill_?  How
strange, how joyfulle an Event, tho' brought about with Teares!--Can it
be, that it is onlie a Month since I stoode at this Toilette as a
Bride? and lay awake on that Bed, thinking of _London_? How long a
Month! and oh! this present one will be alle too short.

It seemeth that _Ralph Hewlett_, shocked at my Teares and the
Alteration in my Looks, broughte back a dismall Report of me to deare
_Father_ and _Mother_, pronouncing me either ill or unhappie.
Thereupon, _Richard_, with his usuall Impetuositie, prevayled on
_Father_ to let him and _Ralph_ fetch me Home for a While, at leaste
till after _Michaelmasse_.

How surprised was I to see _Dick_ enter!  My Arms were soe fast about
his Neck, and my Face prest soe close to his Shoulder, that I did not
for a While perceive the grave Looke he had put on.  At the last, I was
avised to ask what broughte him soe unexpectedlie to _London_; and then
he hemmed and looked at _Ralph_, and _Ralph_ looked at _Dick_, and then
_Dick_ sayd bluntly, he hoped Mr. _Milton_ woulde spare me to go Home
till after _Michaelmasse_, and _Father_ had sent him on Purpose to say
soe.  Mr. _Milton_ lookt surprised and hurte, and sayd, how could he be
expected to part soe soone with me, a Month's Bride? it must be some
other Time: he had intended to take me himselfe to _Forest Hill_ the
following Spring, but coulde not spare Time now, nor liked me to goe
without him, nor thought I should like it myself.  But my Eyes said I
_shoulde_, and then he gazed earnestlie at me and lookt hurt; and there
was a dead Silence.  Then _Dick_, hesitating a little, sayd he was
sorrie to tell us my _Father_ was ill; on which I clasped my Hands and
beganne to weepe; and Mr. _Milton_, changing Countenance, askt sundrie
Questions, which _Dick_ answered well enough; and then said he woulde
not be soe cruel as to keepe me from a Father I soe dearlie loved, if
he were sick, though he liked not my travelling in such unsettled Times
with so young a Convoy.  _Ralph_ sayd they had brought _Diggory_ with
them, who was olde and steddy enough, and had ridden my _Mother's_ Mare
for my Use; and _Dick_ was for our getting forward a Stage on our
Journey the same Evening, but Mr. _Milton_ insisted on our abiding till
the following Morn, and woulde not be overruled.  And gave me leave to
stay a Month, and gave me Money, and many kind Words, which I coulde
mark little, being soe overtaken with Concern about dear _Father_,
whose Illness I feared to be worse than _Dick_ sayd, seeing he seemed
soe close and dealt in dark Speeches and Parables.  After Dinner, they
went forth, they sayd, to look after the Horses, but I think to see
_London_, and returned not till Supper.

We got them Beds in a House hard by, and started at earlie Dawn.

Mr. _Milton_ kissed me most tenderlie agayn and agayn at parting, as
though he feared to lose me; but it had seemed to me soe hard to brook
the Delay of even a few Hours when _Father_, in his Sicknesse, was
wanting me, that I took leave of my Husband with less Affection than I
mighte have shewn, and onlie began to find my Spiritts lighten when we
were fairly quit of _London_, with its vile Sewers and Drains, and to
breathe the sweete, pure Morning Ayre, as we rode swiftlie along.
_Dick_ called _London_ a vile Place, and spake to _Ralph_ concerning
what they had seen of it overnighte, whence it appeared to me, that he
had beene pleasure-seeking more than, in _Father's_ state, he ought to
have beene.  But _Dick_ was always a reckless Lad;--and oh, what Joy,
on reaching this deare Place, to find _Father_ had onlie beene
suffering under one of his usual Stomach Attacks, which have no Danger
in them, and which _Dick_ had exaggerated, fearing Mr. _Milton_ woulde
not otherwise part with me;--I was a little shocked, and coulde not
help scolding him, though I was the gainer; but he boldlie defended
what he called his "Stratagem of War," saying it was quite allowable in
dealing with a _Puritan_.

As for _Robin_, he was wild with Joy when I arrived; and hath never
ceased to hang about me.  The other Children are riotous in their
Mirth.  Little _Joscelyn_ hath returned from his Foster-mother's Farm,
and is noe longer a puny Child--'tis thought he will thrive.  I have
him constantly in my Arms or riding on my Shoulder; and with Delight
have revisited alle my olde Haunts, patted _Clover_, etc.  Deare
_Mother_ is most kind.  The Maids as oft call me Mrs. _Molly_ as Mrs.
_Milton_, and then smile, and beg Pardon.  _Rose_ and _Agnew_ have been
here, and have made me promise to visit _Sheepscote_ before I return to
_London_.  The whole House seems full of Glee.



_Monday_.

It seemes quite strange to heare _Dick_ and _Harry_ singing loyal Songs
and drinking the _King's_ Health after soe recentlie hearing his M. soe
continuallie spoken agaynst.  Also, to see a Lad of _Robin's_ Age,
coming in and out at his Will, doing aniething or nothing; instead of
being ever at his Taskes, and looking at Meal-times as if he were
repeating them to himselfe.  I know which I like best.

A most kind Letter from Mr. _Milton_, hoping _Father_ is better, and
praying for News of him.  How can I write to him without betraying
_Dick_?  _Robin_ and I rode, this Morning, to _Sheepscote_.  Thoughte
Mr. _Agnew_ received me with unwonted Gravitie.  He tolde me he had
received a Letter from my Husband, praying News of my Father, seeing I
had sent him none, and that he had writ to him that _Father_ was quite
well, never had been better.  Then he sayd to me he feared Mr. _Milton_
was labouring under some false Impression.  I tolde him trulie, that
_Dick_, to get me Home, had exaggerated a trifling Illness of
_Father's_, but that I was guiltlesse of it.  He sayd _Dick_ was
inexcusable, and that noe good End coulde justifie a Man of Honour in
overcharging the Truth; and that, since I was innocent, I shoulde write
to my Husband to clear myself.  I said briefly, I woulde; and I mean to
do soe, onlie not to-daye.  Oh, sweet countrie Life!  I was made for
you and none other.  This riding and walking at one's owne free Will,
in the fresh pure Ayre, coming in to earlie, heartie, wholesome Meals,
seasoned with harmlesse Jests,--seeing fresh Faces everie Daye come to
the House, knowing everie Face one meets out of Doores,--supping in the
Garden, and remaining in the Ayre long after the Moon has risen,
talking, laughing, or perhaps dancing,--if this be not Joyfulnesse,
what is?

For certain, I woulde that Mr. _Milton_ were here; but he woulde call
our Sports mistimed, and throw a Damp upon our Mirth by not joining in
it.  Soe I will enjoy my Holiday while it lasts, for it may be long ere
I get another--especiallie if his and _Father's_ Opinions get wider
asunder, as I think they are doing alreadie.  My promised Spring
Holiday may come to nothing.



_Monday_.

My Husband hath writ to me strangelie, chiding me most unkindlie for
what was noe Fault of mine, to wit, _Dick's_ Falsitie; and wondering I
can derive anie Pleasure from a Holiday so obtayned, which he will not
curtayl, but will on noe Pretence extend.  Nay! but methinks Mr.
_Milton_ presumeth somewhat too much on his marital Authoritie, writing
in this Strayn.  I am no mere Child neither, nor a runaway Wife, nor in
such bad Companie, in mine own Father's House, where he firste saw me;
and, was it anie Fault of mine, indeed, that _Father_ was not ill? or
can I wish he had beene?  No, truly!

This Letter hath sorelie vexed me.  Dear _Father_, seeing me soe dulle,
askt me if I had had bad News.  I sayd I had, for that Mr. _Milton_
wanted me back at the Month's End.  He sayd, lightlie, Oh, that must
not be, I must at all Events stay over his Birthdaye, he could not
spare me sooner; he woulde settle all that.  Let it be soe then--I am
content enoughe.

To change the Current of my Thoughts, he hath renewed the Scheme for
our Visit to Lady _Falkland_, which, Weather permitting, is to take
Place tomorrow.  'Tis long since I have seene her, soe I am willing to
goe; but she is dearer to _Rose_ than to me, though I respect her much.



_Wednesday_.

The whole of Yesterday occupyde with our Visit.  I love Lady _Falkland_
well, yet her religious Mellanchollie and Presages of Evil have left a
Weight upon my Spiritts.  To-daye, we have a Family Dinner.  The
_Agnews_ come not, but the _Merediths_ doe, we shall have more Mirthe
if less Wit.  My Time now draweth soe short, I must crowd into it alle
the Pleasure I can; and in this, everie one conspires to help me,
saying, "Poor _Moll_ must soon return to _London_."  Never was Creature
soe petted or spoylt.  How was it there was none of this before I
married, when they might have me alwaies? ah, therein lies the Secret.
Now, we have mutuallie tasted our Losse.

_Ralph Hewlett_, going agayn to Town, was avised to ask whether I had
anie Commission wherewith to charge him.  I bade him tell Mr. _Milton_
that since we should meet soe soone, I need not write, but would keep
alle my News for our Fire-side.  _Robin_ added, "Say, we cannot spare
her yet," and _Father_ echoed the same.

But I begin to feel now, that I must not prolong my Stay.  At the
leaste, not beyond _Father's_ Birthday.  My Month is hasting to a Close.



_Sept. 21, 1643_.

Battle at _Newbury--_Lord _Falkland_ slayn.  Oh, fatal Loss!  _Father_
and _Mother_ going off to my Lady: but I think she will not see them.
Aunt and Uncle _Hewlett_, who brought the News, can talk of nothing
else.



_Sept. 22, 1643_.

Alle Sadnesse and Consternation.  I am wearie of bad News, public and
private, and feel less and less Love for the Puritans, yet am forced to
seem more loyal than I really am, soe high runs party Feeling just now
at Home.

My Month has passed!



_Sept. 28, 1643_.

A most displeased Letter from my Husband, minding me that my Leave of
Absence hath expired, and that he likes not the Messages he received
through _Ralph_, nor the unreasonable and hurtfulle Pastimes which he
finds have beene making my quiet Home distastefulle.  Asking, are they
suitable, under Circumstances of nationall Consternation to _my owne_
Party, or seemlie in soe young a Wife, apart from her Husband?  To
conclude, insisting, with more Authoritie than Kindnesse, on my
immediate Return.

With Tears in my Eyes, I have beene to my Father.  I have tolde him I
must goe.  He sayth, Oh no, not yet.  I persisted, I must, my Husband
was soe very angry.  He rejoined, What, angry with my sweet _Moll_? and
for spending a few Days with her old Father?  Can it be? hath it come
to this alreadie?  I sayd, my Month had expired.  He sayd, Nonsense, he
had always askt me to stay over _Michaelmasse_, till his Birthday; he
knew _Dick_ had named it to Mr. _Milton_.  I sayd, Mr. _Milton_ had
taken no Notice thereof, but had onlie granted me a Month.  He grew
peevish, and said, "Pooh, pooh!"  Thereat, after a Silence of a Minute
or two, I sayd yet agayn, I must goe.  He took me by the two Wrists and
sayd, Doe you wish to go?  I burst into Teares, but made noe Answer.
He sayd, That is Answer enough,--how doth this Puritan carry it with
you, my Child? and snatched his Letter.  I sayd, Oh, don't read that,
and would have drawn it back; but _Father_, when heated, is impossible
to controwl; therefore, quite deaf to Entreaty, he would read the
Letter, which was unfit for him in his chafed Mood; then, holding it at
Arm's Length, and smiting it with his Fist,--Ha! and is it thus he
dares address a Daughter of mine? (with Words added, I dare not
write)--but be quiet, _Moll_, be at Peace, my Child, for he shall not
have you back for awhile, even though he come to fetch you himself.
The maddest Thing I ever did was to give you to this Roundhead.  He and
_Roger Agnew_ talked me over with soe many fine Words.--What possessed
me, I know not.  Your Mother always said evil woulde come of it.  But
as long as thy Father has a Roof over his Head, Child, thou hast a Home.

As soone as he woulde hear me, I begged him not to take on soe, for
that I was not an unhappy Wife; but my Tears, he sayd, belied me; and
indeed, with Fear and Agitation, they flowed fast enough.  But I sayd,
I _must_ goe home, and wished I had gone sooner, and woulde he let
_Diggory_ take me!  No, he sayd, not a Man Jack on his Land shoulde
saddle a Horse for me, nor would he lend me one, to carry me back to
Mr. _Milton_; at the leaste not for a While, till he had come to
Reason, and protested he was sorry for having writ to me soe harshly.

"Soe be content, _Moll_, and make not two Enemies instead of one.  Goe,
help thy Mother with her clear-starching.  Be happy whilst thou art
here."

But ah! more easily said than done.  "Alle Joy is darkened; the Mirthe
of the Land is gone!"



_Michaelmasse Day_.

At Squire _Paice's_ grand Dinner we have been counting on soe many
Days; but it gave me not the Pleasure expected.



_Oct. 13, 1643_.

The Weather is soe foul that I am sure Mr. _Milton_ woulde not like me
to be on the Road, even would my Father let me goe.

--While writing the above, heard very angrie Voices in the Courtyard,
my Father's especiallie, louder than common; and distinguished the
Words "Knave," and "Varlet," and "begone."  Lookt from my Window and
beheld a Man, booted and cloaked, with two Horses, at the Gate,
parleying with my Father, who stood in an offensive Attitude, and
woulde not let him in.  I could catch such Fragments as, "But, Sir?"
"What! in such Weather as this?"  "Nay, it had not overcast when I
started."  "'Tis foul enough now, then."  "Let me but have speech of my
Mistress."  "You crosse not my Threshold."  "Nay, Sir, if but to give
her this Letter:"--and turning his Head, I was avised of its being
_Hubert_, old Mr. _Milton's_ Man; doubtless sent by my Husband to fetch
me.  Seeing my Father raise his Hand in angrie Action (his Riding-whip
being in it), I hasted down as fast as I coulde, to prevent Mischiefe,
as well as to get my Letter; but, unhappilie, not soe fleetlie as to
see more than _Hubert's_ flying Skirts as he gallopped from the Gate,
with the led Horse by the Bridle; while my Father flinging downe the
torne Letter, walked passionatelie away.  I clasped my Hands, and stood
mazed for a while,--was then avised to piece the Letter, but could not;
onlie making out such Words as "Sweet _Moll_," in my Husband's Writing.



_Oct. 14, 1643_.

_Rose_ came this Morning, through Rain and Mire, at some Risk as well
as much Inconvenience, to intreat of me, even with Teares, not to vex
Mr. _Milton_ by anie farther Delays, but to return to him as soon as
possible.  Kind Soule, her Affection toucht me, and I assured her the
more readilie I intended to return Home as soone as I coulde, which was
not yet, my Father having taken the Matter into his own Hands, and
permitting me noe Escort; but that I questioned not, Mr. _Milton_ was
onlie awaiting the Weather to settle, to fetch me himself.  That he
will doe so, is my firm Persuasion.  Meanwhile, I make it my Duty to
joyn with some Attempt at Cheerfullenesse in the Amusements of others,
to make my Father's Confinement to the House less irksome; and have in
some Measure succeeded.



_Oct. 23, 1643_.

Noe Sighte nor Tidings of Mr. _Milton_.--I am uneasie, frighted at
myself, and wish I had never left him, yet hurte at the Neglect.
_Hubert_, being a crabbed Temper, made Mischief on his Return, I fancy.
_Father_ is vexed, methinks, at his owne Passion, and hath never,
directlie, spoken, in my Hearinge, of what passed; but rayleth
continuallie agaynst Rebels and Roundheads.  As to _Mother_,--ah me!



_Oct. 24, 1643_.

Thro' dank and miry Lanes and Bye-roads with _Robin_, to _Sheepscote_.

Waiting for _Rose_ in Mr. _Agnew's_ small Studdy, where she mostlie
sitteth with him, oft acting as his Amanuensis, was avised to take up a
printed Sheet of Paper that lay on the Table; but finding it to be of
_Latin_ Versing, was about to laye it downe agayn, when _Rose_ came in.
She changed Colour, and in a faltering Voice sayd, "Ah, _Cousin_, do
you know what that is?  One of your Husband's Proofe Sheets.  I woulde
that it coulde interest you in like manner as it hath me."  Made her
noe Answer, laying it aside unconcernedlie, but secretlie felt, as I
have oft done before, how stupid it is not to know _Latin_, and
resolved to get _Robin_ to teach me.  He is noe greate Scholar
himselfe, soe will not shame me.--I am wearie of hearing of War and
Politicks; soe will try Studdy for a while, and see if 'twill cure this
dull Payn at my Heart.



_Oct. 28, 1643_.

_Robin_ and I have shut ourselves up for three Hours dailie, in the
small Book-room, and have made fayre Progresse.  He liketh his Office
of Tutor mightilie.



_Oct.  31, 1643_.

My Lessons are more crabbed, or I am more dull and inattentive, for I
cannot fix my Minde on my Book, and am secretlie wearie, _Robin_
wearies too.  But I will not give up as yet; the more soe as in this
quiete Studdy I am out of Sighte and Hearinge of sundrie young Officers
_Dick_ is continuallie bringing over from _Oxford_, who spend manie
Hours with him in Countrie Sports, and then come into the House,
hungry, thirstie, noisie, and idle.  I know Mr. _Milton_ woulde not
like them.

--Surelie he will come soone?--I sayd to _Father_ last Night, I wanted
to hear from Home.  He sayd, "Home!  Dost call yon Taylor's Shop your
Home?" soe ironicalle that I was shamed to say more.

Woulde that I had never married!--then coulde I enjoy my Childhoode's
Home.  Yet I knew not its Value before I quitted it, and had even a
stupid Pleasure in anticipating another.  Ah me! had I loved Mr.
_Milton_ more, perhaps I might better have endured the Taylor's Shop.



_Sheepscote, Nov. 20, 1643_.

Annoyed by _Dick's_ Companions, I prayed _Father_ to let me stay awhile
with _Rose_; and gaining his Consent, came over here Yester-morn,
without thinking it needfulle to send Notice, which was perhaps
inconsiderate.  But she received me with Kisses and Words of
Tendernesse, though less Smiling than usualle, and eagerlie accepted
mine offered Visitt.  Then she ran off to find _Roger_, and I heard
them talking earnestlie in a low Voice before they came in.  His Face
was grave, even stern, when he entred, but he held out his Hand, and
sayd, "Mistress _Milton_, you are welcome! how is it with you? and how
was Mr. _Milton_ when he wrote to you last?"  I answered brieflie, he
was well: then came a Silence, and then _Rose_ took me to my Chamber,
which was sweet with Lavender, and its hangings of the whitest.  It
reminded me too much of my first Week of Marriage, soe I resolved to
think not at all lest I shoulde be bad Companie, but cheer up and be
gay.  Soe I askt _Rose_ a thousand Questions about her Dairie and Bees,
laught much at Dinner, and told Mr. _Agnew_ sundrie of the merrie
Sayings of _Dick_ and his _Oxford_ Friends.  And, for my Reward, when
we were afterwards apart, I heard him tell _Rose_ (by Reason of the
Walls being thin) that however she might regard me for old Affection's
sake, he thought he had never knowne soe unpromising a character.  This
made me dulle enoughe all the rest of the Evening, and repent having
come to _Sheepscote_: however, he liked me the better for being quiete:
and _Rose_, being equallie chekt, we sewed in Silence while he read to
us the first Division of _Spencer's Legend of Holinesse_, about _Una_
and the Knight, and how they got sundered.  This led to much serious,
yet not unpleasing, Discourse, which lasted till Supper.  For the first
Time at _Sheepscote_, I coulde not eat, which Mr. _Agnew_ observing,
prest me to take Wine, and _Rose_ woulde start up to fetch some of her
Preserves; but I chekt her with a Motion, not being quite able to
speak; for their being soe kind made the Teares ready to starte, I knew
not why.

Family Prayers, after Supper, rather too long; yet though I coulde not
keep up my Attention, they seemed to spread a Calm and a Peace alle
about, that extended even to me; and though, after I had undressed, I
sat a long while in a Maze, and bethought me how piteous a Creature I
was, yet, once layed down, I never sank into deeper, more composing
Sleep.



_Nov. 21,1643_.

This Morning, _Rose_ exclaimed, "Dear _Roger_! onlie think!  _Moll_ has
begun to learn _Latin_ since she returned to _Forest Hill_, thinking to
surprise Mr. _Milton_ when they meet."  "She will not onlie surprise
but _please_ him," returned dear _Roger_, taking my Hand very kindlie;
"I can onlie say, I hope they will meet long before she can read his
_Poemata_, unless she learnes much faster than most People."  I
replyed, I learned very slowly, and wearied _Robin's_ Patience; on
which _Rose_, kissing me, cried, "You will never wearie mine; soe, if
you please, deare _Moll_, we will goe to our Lessons here everie
Morning; and it may be that I shall get you through the Grammar faster
than _Robin_ can.  If we come to anie Difficultie we shall refer it to
_Roger_."

Now, Mr. _Agnew's_ Looks exprest such Pleasure with both, that it were
difficult to tell which felt the most elated; soe calling me deare
_Moll_ (he hath hitherto Mistress _Miltoned_ me ever since I sett Foot
in his House), he sayed he would not interrupt our Studdies, though he
should be within Call, and soe left us.  I had not felt soe happy since
_Father's_ Birthday; and, though _Rose_ kept me close to my Book for
two Hours, I found her a far less irksome Tutor than deare _Robin_.
Then she went away, singing, to make _Roger's_ favourite Dish, and
afterwards we took a brisk Walke, and came Home hungrie enoughe to
Dinner.

There is a daily Beauty in _Rose's_ Life, that I not onlie admire, but
am readie to envy.  Oh! if _Milton_ lived but in the poorest House in
the Countrie, methinks I coulde be very happy with him.



_Bedtime_.

Chancing to make the above Remark to _Rose_, she cried, "And why not be
happy with him in _Aldersgate Street_?"  I briefly replied that he must
get the House first, before it were possible to tell whether I coulde
be happy there or not.  _Rose_ started, and exclaimed, "Why, where do
you suppose him to be now?"  "Where but at the Taylor's in _Bride's
Churchyard_?" I replied.  She claspt her Hands with a Look I shall
never forget, and exclaimed in a Sort of vehement Passion, "Oh,
_Cousin, Cousin_, how you throw your own Happinesse away!  How awfulle
a Pause must have taken place in your Intercourse with the Man whom you
promised to abide by till Death, since you know not that he has long
since taken Possession of his new Home; that he strove to have it ready
for you at _Michaelmasse_!"

Doubtlesse I lookt noe less surprised than I felt;--a suddain Prick at
the Heart prevented Speech; but it shot acrosse my Heart that I had
made out the Words "_Aldersgate_" and "new Home," in the Fragments of
the Letter my Father had torn.  _Rose_, misjudging my Silence, burst
forth anew with, "Oh, _Cousin_!  _Cousin_! coulde anie Home, however
dull and noisesome, drive me from _Roger Agnew_?  Onlie think of what
you are doing,--of what you are leaving undone!--of what you are
preparing against yourself!  To put the Wickednesse of a selfish Course
out of the Account, onlie think of its Mellancholie, its
Miserie,--destitute of alle the sweet, bright, fresh Well-springs of
Happinesse;--unblest by _God_!"

Here _Rose_ wept passionatelie, and claspt her Arms about me; but, when
I began to speak, and to tell her of much that had made me miserable,
she hearkened in motionlesse Silence, till I told her that _Father_ had
torn the Letter and beaten the Messenger.  Then she cried, "Oh, I see
now what may and shall be done!  _Roger_ shall be Peacemaker," and ran
off with Joyfulnesse; I not withholding her.  But I can never be
joyfulle more--he cannot be Day's-man betwixt us now--'tis alle too
late!



_Nov. 28, 1643_.

Now that I am at _Forest Hill_ agayn, I will essay to continue my
Journalling.--

Mr. _Agnew_ was out; and though a keene wintry Wind was blowing, and
_Rose_ was suffering from Colde, yet she went out to listen for his
Horse's Feet at the Gate, with onlie her Apron cast over her Head.
Shortlie, he returned; and I heard him say in a troubled Voice, "Alle
are in Arms at _Forest Hill_."  I felt soe greatlie shocked as to neede
to sit downe instead of running forthe to learn the News.  I supposed
the parliamentarian Soldiers had advanced, unexpectedlie, upon
_Oxford_.  His next Words were, "_Dick is_ coming for her at
Noone--poor Soul, I know not what she will doe--her Father will trust
her noe longer with you and me."  Then I saw them both passe the
Window, slowlie pacing together, and hastened forth to joyn them; but
they had turned into the pleached Alley, their Backs towards me; and
both in such earnest and apparentlie private Communication, that I
dared not interrupt them till they turned aboute, which was not for
some While; for they stood for some Time at the Head of the Alley,
still with theire Backs to me, _Rose's_ Hair blowing in the cold Wind;
and once or twice she seemed to put her Kerchief to her Eyes.

Now, while I stood mazed and uncertain, I hearde a distant Clatter of
Horse's Feet, on the hard Road a good Way off, and could descrie _Dick_
coming towards _Sheepscote_.  _Rose_ saw him too, and commenced running
towards me; Mr. _Agnew_ following with long Strides.  _Rose_ drew me
back into the House, and sayd, kissing me, "Dearest _Moll_, I am soe
sorry; _Roger_ hath seen your Father this Morn, and he will on no
Account spare you to us anie longer; and _Dick_ is coming to fetch you
even now."  I sayd, "Is _Father_ ill?"  "Oh no," replied Mr. _Agnew_;
then coming up, "He is not ill, but he is perturbed at something which
has occurred; and, in Truth, soe am I.--But remember, Mistress
_Milton_, remember, dear _Cousin_, that when you married, your
_Father's_ Guardianship of you passed into the Hands of your
Husband--your Husband's House was thenceforthe your Home; and in
quitting it you committed a Fault you may yet repaire, though this
offensive Act has made the Difficultie much greater."--"Oh, what has
happened?" I impatientlie cried.  Just then, _Dick_ comes in with his
usual blunt Salutations, and then cries, "Well, _Moll_, are you ready
to goe back?"  "Why should I be?" I sayd, "when I am soe happy here?
unless _Father_ is ill, or Mr. _Agnew_ and _Rose_ are tired of me."
They both interrupted, there was nothing they soe much desired, at this
present, as that I shoulde prolong my Stay.  And you know, _Dick, I_
added, that _Forest Hill_ is not soe pleasant to me just now as it hath
commonlie beene, by Reason of your _Oxford_ Companions.  He brieflie
sayd, I neede not mind that, they were coming no more to the House,
_Father_ had decreed it.  And you know well enough, _Moll_, that what
_Father_ decrees, must be, and he hath decreed that you must come Home
now; soe no more Ado, I pray you, but fetch your Cloak and Hood, and
the Horses shall come round, for 'twill be late ere we reach Home.
"Nay, you must dine here at all Events," sayd _Rose_; "I know, _Dick_,
you love roast Pork."  Soe _Dick_ relented.  Soe _Rose_, turning to me,
prayed me to bid _Cicely_ hasten Dinner; the which I did, tho' thinking
it strange _Rose_ should not goe herself.  But, as I returned, I hearde
her say, Not a Word of it, dear _Dick_, at the least, till after
Dinner, lest you spoil her Appetite.  Soe _Dick_ sayd he shoulde goe
and look after the Horses.  I sayd then, brisklie, I see somewhat is
the Matter--pray tell me what it is.  But _Rose_ looked quite dull, and
walked to the Window.  Then Mr. _Agnew_ sayd, "You seem as dissatisfied
to leave us, _Cousin_, as we are to lose you; and yet you are going
back to _Forest Hill_--to that Home in which you will doubtlesse be
happy to live all your Dayes."--"At _Forest Hill_?"  I sayd, "Oh no!  I
hope not."  "And why?" sayd he quicklie.  I hung my Head, and muttered,
"I hope, some Daye, to goe back to Mr. _Milton_."  "And why not at
once?" sayd he.  I sayd, "_Father_ would not let me."  "Nay, that is
childish," he answered, "your Father could not hinder you if you wanted
not the Mind to goe--it was your first seeming soe loth to return, that
made him think you unhappie and refuse to part with you."  I sayd, "And
what if I were unhappie?"  He paused; and knew not at the Moment what
Answer to make, but shortlie replyed by another Question, "What Cause
had you to be soe?"  I sayd, "That was more easily askt than answered,
even if there were anie Neede I shoulde answer it, or he had anie Right
to ask it."  He cried in an Accent of Tendernesse that still wrings my
Heart to remember, "Oh, question not the Right!  I only wish to make
you happy.  Were you not happy with Mr. _Milton_ during the Week you
spent together here at _Sheepscote_?"  Thereat I coulde not refrayn
from bursting into Tears.  _Rose_ now sprang forward; but Mr. _Agnew_
sayd, "Let her weep, let her weep, it will do her good."  Then, alle at
once it occurred to me that my Husband was awaiting me at Home, and I
cried, "Oh, is Mr. _Milton_ at _Forest Hill_?" and felt my Heart full
of Gladness.  Mr. _Agnew_ answered, "Not soe, not soe, poor _Moll_:"
and, looking up at him, I saw him wiping his Brow, though the Daye was
soe chill.  "As well tell her now," sayd he to _Rose_; and then taking
my Hand, "Oh, Mrs. _Milton_, can you wonder that your Husband should be
angry?  How can you wonder at anie Evil that may result from the
Provocation you have given him?  What Marvell, that since you cast him
off, all the sweet Fountains of his Affections would be embittered, and
that he should retaliate by seeking a Separation, and even a
Divorce?"--There I stopt him with an Outcry of "Divorce?"  "Even soe,"
he most mournfully replyd, "and I seeke not to excuse him, since two
Wrongs make not a Right."  "But," I cried, passionately weeping, "I
have given him noe Cause; my Heart has never for a Moment strayed to
another, nor does he, I am sure, expect it."  "Ne'erthelesse," enjoyned
Mr. _Agnew_, "he is soe aggrieved and chafed, that he has followed up
what he considers your Breach of the Marriage Contract by writing and
publishing a Book on Divorce; the Tenor of which coming to your
Father's Ears, has violently incensed him.  And now, dear _Cousin_,
having, by your Waywardness, kindled this Flame, what remains for you
but to--nay, hear me, hear me, _Moll_, for _Dick_ is coming in, and I
may not let him hear me urge you to the onlie Course that can regayn
your Peace--Mr. _Milton_ is still your Husband; eache of you have now
Something to forgive; do you be the firste; nay, seeke _his_
Forgivenesse, and you shall be happier than you have been yet."

--But I was weeping without controule; and _Dick_ coming in, and with
_Dick_ the Dinner, I askt to be excused, and soe soughte my Chamber, to
weep there without Restraynt or Witnesse.  Poor _Rose_ came up, as
soone as she coulde leave the Table, and told me she had eaten as
little as I, and woulde not even presse me to eat.  But she carest me
and comforted me, and urged in her owne tender Way alle that had beene
sayd by Mr. _Agnew_; even protesting that if she were in my Place, she
woulde not goe back to _Forest Hill_, but straight to _London_, to
entreat with Mr. _Milton_ for his Mercy.  But I told her I could not do
that, even had I the Means for the Journey; for that my Heart was
turned against the Man who coulde, for the venial Offence of a young
Wife, in abiding too long with her old Father, not onlie cast her off
from his Love, but hold her up to the World's Blame and Scorn, by
making their domestic Quarrel the Matter for a printed Attack.  _Rose_
sayd, "I admit he is wrong, but indeed, indeed, _Moll_, you are wrong
too, and you were wrong _first_:" and she sayd this soe often, that at
length we came to crosser Words; when _Dick_, calling to me from below,
would have me make haste, which I was glad to doe, and left
_Sheepscote_ less regrettfullie than I had expected.  _Rose_ kist me
with her gravest Face.  Mr. _Agnew_ put me on my Horse, and sayd, as he
gave me the Rein, "Now think! now think! even yet!" and then, as I
silently rode off, "_God_ bless you."

I held down my Head; but, at the Turn of the Road, lookt back, and saw
him and _Rose_ watching us from the Porch.  _Dick_ cried, "I am righte
glad we are off at last, for _Father_ is downright crazie aboute this
Businesse, and mistrustfulle of _Agnew's_ Influence over you,"--and
would have gone on railing, but I bade him for Pitie's Sake be quiete.

The Effects of my owne Follie, the Losse of Home, Husband, Name, the
Opinion of the _Agnews_, the Opinion of the Worlde, rose up agaynst me,
and almost drove me mad.  And, just as I was thinking I had better
lived out my Dayes and dyed earlie in _Bride's Churchyarde_ than that
alle this should have come about, the suddain Recollection of what
_Rose_ had that Morning tolde me, which soe manie other Thoughts had
driven out of my Head, viz. that Mr. _Milton_ had, in his Desire to
please me, while I was onlie bent on pleasing myself, been secretly
striving to make readie the _Aldersgate Street_ House agaynst my
Return,--soe overcame me, that I wept as I rode along.  Nay, at the
Corner of a branch Road, had a Mind to beg _Dick_ to let me goe to
_London_; but a glance at his dogged Countenance sufficed to foreshow
my Answer.

Half dead with Fatigue and Griefe when I reached Home, the tender
Embraces of my Father and Mother completed the Overthrowe of my
Spiritts.  I tooke to my Bed; and this is the first Daye I have left
it; nor will they let me send for _Rose_, nor even tell her I am ill.



_Jan. 1, 1644_.

The new Year opens drearilie, on Affairs both publick and private.  The
Loaf parted at Breakfast this Morning, which, as the Saying goes, is a
Sign of Separation; but _Mother_ onlie sayd 'twas because it was badly
kneaded, and chid _Margery_.  She hath beene telling me, but now, how I
mighte have 'scaped all my Troubles, and seene as much as I woulde of
her and _Father_, and yet have contented Mr. _Milton_ and beene counted
a good Wife.  Noe Advice soe ill to bear as that which comes too late.



_Jan. 7, 1644_.

I am sick of this journalling, soe shall onlie put downe the Date of
_Robin's_ leaving Home.  _Lord_ have Mercy on him, and keepe him in
Safetie.  This is a shorte Prayer; therefore, easier to be often
repeated.  When he kissed me, he whispered, "_Moll_, pray for me."



_Jan. 27, 1644_.

_Father_ does not seeme to miss _Robin_ much, tho' he dailie drinks his
Health after that of the King.  Perhaps he did not miss me anie more
when I was in _London_, though it was true and naturall enough he
should like to see me agayn.  We should have beene used to our
Separation by this Time; there would have beene nothing corroding in
it. . . .

I pray for _Robin_ everie Night.  Since he went, the House has lost its
Sunshine.  When I was soe anxious to return to _Forest Hill_, I never
counted on his leaving it.



_Feb. 1, 1644_.

Oh Heaven, what would I give to see the Skirts of Mr. _Milton's_
Garments agayn!  My Heart is sick unto Death.  I have been reading some
of my _Journall_, and tearing out much childish Nonsense at the
Beginning; but coulde not destroy the painfulle Records of the last
Year.  How unhappy a Creature am I!--wearie, wearie of my Life, yet no
Ways inclined for Death.  _Lord_, have Mercy upon me.


_March 27, 1644_.

I spend much of my Time, now, in the Book-room, and, though I essay not
to pursue the _Latin_, I read much _English_, at the least, more than
ever I did in my Life before; but often I fancy I am reading when I am
onlie dreaming.  _Oxford_ is far too gay a Place for me now ever to goe
neare it, but my Brothers are much there, and _Father_ in his Farm, and
_Mother_ in her Kitchen; and the Neighbours, when they call, look on me
strangelie, so that I have noe Love for them.  How different is
_Rose's_ holy, secluded, yet cheerefulle Life at _Sheepscote_!  She
hath a Nurserie now, soe cannot come to me, and _Father_ likes not I
should goe to her.



_April 5, 1644_.

They say their Majestyes' Parting at _Abingdon_ was very sorrowfulle
and tender.  The _Lord_ send them better Times!  The Queen is to my
Mind a most charming Lady, and well worthy of his Majesty's Affection;
yet it seems to me amisse, that thro' her Influence, last Summer, the
Opportunitie of Pacification was lost.  But she was elated, and
naturallie enoughe, at her personall Successes from the Time of her
landing.  To me, there seems nothing soe good as Peace.  I know,
indeede, Mr. _Milton_ holds that there may be such Things as a holy War
and a cursed Peace.



_April 10, 1644_.

_Father_, having a Hoarseness, hath deputed me, of late, to read the
Morning and Evening Prayers.  How beautifulle is our Liturgie!  I
grudge at the Puritans for having abolished it; and though I felt not
its comprehensive Fullessse [Transcriber's note: Fullnesse?] before I
married, nor indeed till now, yet I wearied to Death in _London_ at the
puritanicall Ordinances and Conscience-meetings and extempore Prayers,
wherein it was soe oft the Speaker's Care to show Men how godly he was.
Nay, I think Mr. _Milton_ altogether wrong in the View he takes of
praying to _God_ in other Men's Words; for doth he not doe soe, everie
Time he followeth the Sense of another Man's extempore Prayer, wherein
he is more at his Mercy and Caprice than when he hath a printed Form
set down, wherein he sees what is coming?



_June 8, 1644_.

Walking in the Home-close this Morning, it occurred to me that Mr.
_Milton_ intended bringing me to _Forest Hill_ about this Time; and
that if I had abided patientlie with him through the Winter, we might
now have beene both here happily together; untroubled by that Sting
which now poisons everie Enjoyment of mine, and perhaps of his.
_Lord_, be merciful to _me a Sinner_.



_June 23, 1644_.

Just after writing the above, I was in the Garden, gathering a few
Coronation Flowers and Sops-in-Wine, and thinking they were of deeper
crimson at_ Sheepscote_, and wondering what _Rose_ was just then about,
and whether had I beene born in her Place, I shoulde have beene as
goode and happy as she,--when _Harry_ came up, looking somewhat grave.
I sayd, "What is the Matter?"  He gave Answer, "_Rose_ hath lost her
Child."  Oh!----that we should live but a two Hours' Journey apart, and
that she coulde lose a Child three Months olde _whom I had never seene_?

I ran to _Father_, and never left off praying him to let me goe to her
till he consented.

--What, and if I had begged as hard, at the firste, to goe back to Mr.
_Milton_? might he not have consented _then_?

. . . Soe _Harry_ took me; and as we drew neare _Sheepscote_, I was
avised to think how grave, how barely friendlie had beene our last
Parting; and to ponder, would _Rose_ make me welcome now?  The Infant,
_Harry_ tolde me, had beene dead some Dayes; and, as we came in Sight
of the little grey old Church, we saw a Knot of People coming out of
the Churchyard, and guessed the Baby had just beene buried.  Soe it
proved--Mr. _Agnew's_ House-door stood ajar; and when we tapped softlie
and _Cicely_ admitted us we could see him standing by _Rose_, who was
sitting on the Ground and crying as if she would not be comforted.
When she hearde my Voice, she started up, flung her Arms about me,
crying more bitterlie than before, and I cried too; and Mr. _Agnew_
went away with _Harry_.  Then _Rose_ sayd to me, "You must not leave me
agayn." . . .

. . . In the Cool of the Evening, when _Harry_ had left us, she took me
into the Churchyarde, and scattered the little Grave with Flowers; and
then continued sitting beside it on the Grasse, quiete, but not
comfortlesse.  I am avised to think she prayed.  Then Mr. _Agnew_ came
forthe and sate on a flat Tombstone hard by; and without one Word of
Introduction took out his _Psalter_, and commenced reading the Psalms
for that Evening's Service; to wit, the 41st, the 42d, the 43de; in a
low solemne Voice; and methoughte I never in my Life hearde aniething
to equall it in the Way of Consolation.  _Rose's_ heavie Eyes
graduallie lookt up from the Ground into her Husband's Face, and thence
up to Heaven.  After this, he read, or rather repeated, the Collect at
the end of the Buriall Service, putting this Expression,--"As our Hope
is, this our deare Infant doth."  Then he went on to say in a soothing
Tone, "There hath noe misfortune happened to us, but such as is common
to the Lot of alle Men.  We are alle Sinners, even to the youngest,
fayrest, and seeminglie purest among us; and Death entered the World by
Sin, and, constituted as we are, we would not, even if we could,
dispense with Death.  For, where doth it convey us?  From this
burthensome, miserable World, into the generall Assemblie of _Christ's_
First-born, to be united with the Spiritts of the Just made perfect, to
partake of everie Enjoyment which in this World is unconnected with
Sin, together with others that are unknowne and unspeakable.  And
there, we shall agayn have _Bodies_ as well as Soules; Eyes to see, but
not to shed Tears; Voices to speak and sing, not to utter Lamentations;
Hands, to doe _God's_ Work; Feet, and it may be, Wings, to carry us on
his Errands.  Such will be the Blessedness of his glorified Saints;
even of those who, having been Servants of Satan till the eleventh
Hour, laboured penitentlie and diligentlie for their heavenlie Master
one Hour before Sunset; but as for those who, dying in mere Infancie,
never committed actuall Sin, they follow the Lamb whithersoever he
goeth!  'Oh, think of this, dear _Rose_, and Sorrow not as those
without Hope; for be assured, your Child hath more reall Reason to be
grieved for you, than you for _him_.'"

With this, and like Discourse, that distilled like the Dew, or the
small Rain on the tender Grasse, did _Roger Agnew_ comfort his Wife,
untill the Moon had risen.  Likewise he spake to us of those who lay
buried arounde, how one had died of a broken Heart, another of suddain
Joy, another had let Patience have her perfect Work through Years of
lingering Disease.

hen we walked slowlie and composedlie Home, and ate our Supper
peacefullie, _Rose_ not refusing to eat, though she took but little.

Since that Evening, she hath, at Mr. _Agnew's_ Wish, gone much among
the Poor, reading to one, working for another, carrying Food and
Medicine to another; and in this I have borne her Companie.  I like it
well.  Methinks how pleasant and seemlie are the Duties of a country
Minister's Wife! a God-fearing Woman, that is, who considereth the Poor
and Needy, insteade of aiming to be frounced and purfled like her
richest Neighbours.  Mr. _Agnew_ was reading to us, last Night, of
_Bernard Gilpin_--he of whom the _Lord Burleigh_ sayd, "Who can blame
that Man for not accepting a Bishopric?"  How charmed were we with the
Description of the Simplicitie and Hospitalitie of his Method of living
at _Houghton_!--There is another Place of nearlie the same Name, in
_Buckinghamshire_--not _Houghton_, but _Horton_, . . . where one Mr.
_John Milton_ spent five of the best Years of his Life,--and where
methinks his Wife could have been happier with him than in _Bride's
Churchyarde_.--But it profits not to wish and to will.--What was to be,
had Need to be, soe there's an End.



_Aug. 1, 1644_.

Mr. _Agnew_ sayd to me this Morning, somewhat gravelie, "I observe,
_Cousin_, you seem to consider yourselfe the Victim of Circumstances."
"And am I not?" I replied.  "No," he answered, "Circumstance is a false
God, unrecognised by the Christian, who contemns him, though a stubborn
yet a profitable Servant."--"That may be alle very grand for a Man to
doe," I sayd.  "Very grand, but very feasible, for a Woman as well as a
Man," rejoined Mr. _Agnew_, "and we shall be driven to the Wall alle
our Lives, unless we have this victorious Struggle with Circumstances.
I seldom allude, _Cousin_, to yours, which are almoste too delicate for
me to meddle with; and yet I hardlie feele justified in letting soe
many opportunities escape.  Do I offend? or may I go on?--Onlie think,
then, how voluntarilie you have placed yourself in your present
uncomfortable Situation.  The Tree cannot resist the graduall Growth of
the Moss upon it; but you might, anie Day, anie Hour, have freed
yourself from the equallie graduall Formation of the Net that has
enclosed you at last.  You entered too hastilie into your firste--nay,
let that pass,--you gave too shorte a Triall of your new Home before
you became disgusted with it.  Admit it to have beene dull, even
unhealthfulle, were you justified in forsaking it at a Month's End?
But your Husband gave you Leave of Absence, though obtayned on false
Pretences.--When you found them to be false, should you not have
cleared yourself to him of Knowledge of the Deceit?  Then your Leave,
soe obtayned, expired--shoulde you not have returned then?--Your Health
and Spiritts were recruited; your Husband wrote to reclaim you--shoulde
you not have returned then?  He provided an Escort, whom your Father
beat and drove away.--If you had insisted on going to your Husband,
might you not have gone _then_?  Oh, _Cousin_, you dare not look up to
Heaven and say you have been the Victim of Circumstances."

I made no Answer; onlie felt much moven, and very angrie.  I sayd, "If
I wished to goe back, Mr. _Milton_ woulde not receive me now."

"Will you try?" sayd _Roger_.  "Will you but let me try?  Will you let
me write to him?"

I had a Mind to say "Yes."--Insteade, I answered "No."

"Then there's an End," cried he sharplie.  "Had you made but one fayre
Triall, whether successfulle or noe, I coulde have been satisfied--no,
not satisfied, but I woulde have esteemed you, coulde have taken your
Part.  As it is, the less I say just now, perhaps, the better.  Forgive
me for having spoken at alle."

----Afterwards, I hearde him say to _Rose_ of me, "I verilie believe
there is Nothing in her on which to make a permanent Impression.  I
verilie think she loves everie one of those long Curls of hers more
than she loves Mr. _Milton_."

(Note:--I will cut them two Inches shorter tonight.  And they will grow
all the faster.)

. . . Oh, my sad Heart, _Roger Agnew_ hath pierced you at last!

I was moved, more than he thought, by what he had sayd in the Morning;
and, in writing down the Heads of his Speech, to kill Time, a kind of
Resentment at myselfe came over me, unlike to what I had ever felt
before; in spite of my Folly about my Curls.  Seeking for some Trifle
in a Bag that had not been shaken out since I brought it from _London_,
out tumbled a Key with curious Wards--I knew it at once for one that
belonged to a certayn Algum-wood Casket Mr. _Milton_ had Recourse to
dailie, because he kept small Change in it; and I knew not I had
brought it away!  'Twas worked in Grotesque, the Casket, by
_Benvenuto_, for _Clement_ the Seventh, who for some Reason woulde not
have it; and soe it came somehow to _Clementillo_, who gave it to Mr.
_Milton_.  Thought I, how uncomfortable the Loss of this Key must have
made him! he must have needed it a hundred Times! even if he hath
bought a new Casket, I will for it he habituallie goes agayn and agayn
to the old one, and then he remembers that he lost the Key the same Day
that he lost his Wife.  I heartilie wish he had it back.  Ah, but he
feels not the one Loss as he feels the other.  Nay, but it is as well
that one of them, tho' the Lesser, should be repaired.  'Twill shew
Signe of Grace, my thinking of him, and may open the Way, if _God_
wills, to some Interchange of Kindnesse, however fleeting.

Soe I soughte out Mr. _Agnew_, tapping at his Studdy Doore.  He sayd,
"Come in," drylie enoughe; and there were he and _Rose_ reading a
Letter.  I sayd, "I want you to write for me to Mr. _Milton_."  He gave
a sour Look, as much as to say he disliked the Office; which threw me
back, as 'twere; he having soe lately proposed it himself.  _Rose's_
Eyes, however, dilated with sweete Pleasure, as she lookt from one to
the other of us.

"Well,--I fear 'tis too late," sayd he at length reluctantlie, I mighte
almost say grufflie,--"what am I to write?"

"To tell him I have this Key," I made Answer faltering.

"That Key!" cried he.

"Yes, the Key of his Algum-wood Casket, which I knew not I had, and
which I think he must miss dailie."

He lookt at me with the utmost Impatience.  "And is that alle?" he sayd.

"Yes, alle," I sayd trembling.

"And have you nothing more to tell him?" sayd he.

"No--" after a Pause, I replyed.  _Rose's_ Countenance fell.

"Then you must ask some one else to write for you, Mrs. _Milton,"_
burste forthe _Roger Agnew_, "unless you choose to write for yourself.
I have neither Part nor Lot in it."

I burste forthe into Teares.

--"No, _Rose_, no," repeated Mr. _Agnew_, putting aside his Wife, who
woulde have interceded for me,--"her Teares have noe Effect on me
now--they proceed, not from a contrite Heart, they are the Tears of a
Child that cannot brook to be chidden for the Waywardnesse in which it
persists."

"You doe me Wrong everie Way," I sayd; "I came to you willing and
desirous to doe what you yourselfe woulde, this Morning, have had me
doe."

"But in how strange a Way!" cried he.  "At a Time when anie Renewal of
your Intercourse requires to be conducted with the utmost Delicacy, and
even with more Shew of Concession on your Part than, an Hour ago, I
should have deemed needfulle,--to propose an abrupt, trivial
Communication about an old Key!"

"It needed not to have been abrupt," I sayd, "nor yet trivial; for I
meant it to have beene exprest kindlie."

"You said not that before," answered he.

"Because you gave me not Time.--Because you chid me and frightened me."

He stood silent, some While, upon this; grave, yet softer, and
mechanicallie playing with the Key, which he had taken from my Hand.
_Rose_ looking in his Face anxiouslie.  At lengthe, to disturbe his
Reverie, she playfulle tooke it from him, saying, in School-girl Phrase,

"This is the Key of the Kingdom!"

"Of the Kingdom of Heaven, it mighte be!" exclaimed _Roger_, "if we
knew how to use it arighte!  If we knew but how to fit it to the Wards
of _Milton's_ Heart!--there's the Difficultie. . . . a greater one,
poor _Moll_, than you know; for hitherto, alle the Reluctance has been
on your Part.  But now . . ."

"What now?" I anxiouslie askt.

"We were talking of you but as you rejoyned us," sayd Mr. _Agnew_, "and
I was telling _Rose_ that hithertoe I had considered the onlie Obstacle
to a Reunion arose from a false Impression of your own, that Mr.
_Milton_ coulde not make you happy.  But now I have beene led to the
Conclusion that you cannot make _him_ soe, which increases the
Difficultie."

After a Pause, I sayd, "What makes you think soe?"

"You and he have made me think soe," he replyed.  "First for yourself,
dear _Moll_, putting aside for a Time the Consideration of your Youth,
Beauty, Franknesse, Mirthfullenesse, and a certayn girlish Drollerie
and Mischiefe that are all very well in fitting Time and Place,--what
remains in you for a Mind like _John Milton's_ to repose upon? what
Stabilitie? what Sympathie? what steadfast Principle?  You take noe
Pains to apprehend and relish his favourite Pursuits; you care not for
his wounded Feelings, you consult not his Interests, anie more than
your owne Duty.  Now, is such the Character to make _Milton_ happy?"

"No one can answer that but himself," I replyed, deeplie mortyfide.

"Well, he _has_ answered it," sayd Mr. _Agnew_, taking up the Letter he
and _Rose_ had beene reading when I interrupted them. . . .  "You must
know, _Cousin_, that his and my close Friendship hath beene a good deal
interrupted by this Matter.  'Twas under my Roof you met.  _Rose_ had
imparted to me much of her earlie Interest in you.  I fancied you had
good Dispositions which, under masterlie Trayning, would ripen into
noble Principles; and therefore promoted your Marriage as far as my
Interest with your Father had Weight.  I own I was surprised at his
easilie obtayned Consent . . . but, that _you_, once domesticated with
such a Man as _John Milton_, shoulde find your Home uninteresting, your
Affections free to stray back to your owne Family, was what I had never
contemplated."

Here I made a Show of taking the Letter, but he held it back.

"No, _Moll_, you disappointed us everie Way.  And, for a Time, _Rose_
and I were ashamed, _for_ you rather than of you, that we left noe
Means neglected of trying to preserve your Place in your Husband's
Regard.  But you did not bear us out; and then he beganne to take it
amisse that we upheld you.  Soe then, after some warm and cool Words,
our Correspondence languished; and hath but now beene renewed."

"He hath written us a most kind Condolence," interrupted _Rose_, "on
the Death of our Baby."

"Yes, most kindlie, most nobly exprest," sayd Mr. _Agnew_; "but what a
Conclusion!"

And then, after this long Preamble, he offered me the Letter, the
Beginning of which, tho' doubtlesse well enough, I marked not, being
impatient to reach the latter Part; wherein I found myself spoken of
soe bitterlie, soe harshlie, as that I too plainly saw _Roger Agnew_
had not beene beside the Mark when he decided I could never make Mr.
_Milton_ happy.  Payned and wounded Feeling made me lay aside the
Letter without proffering another Word, and retreat without soe much as
a Sigh or a Sob into mine own Chamber; but noe longer could the
Restraynt be maintained.  I fell to weeping soe passionatelie that
_Rose_ prayed to come in, and condoled with me, and advised me, soe as
that at length my Weeping bated, and I promised to return below when I
shoulde have bathed mine Eyes and smoothed my Hair; but I have not gone
down yet.



_Bedtime_.

I think I shall send to _Father_ to have me Home at the Beginning of
next Week.  _Rose_ needes me not, now; and it cannot be pleasant to Mr.
_Agnew_ to see my sorrowfulle Face about the House.  His Reproofe and
my Husband's together have riven my Heart; I think I shall never laugh
agayn, nor smile but after a piteous Sorte; and soe People will cease
to love me, for there is Nothing in me of a graver Kind to draw their
Affection; and soe I shall lead a moping Life unto the End of my Dayes.

--Luckilie for me, _Rose_ hath much Sewing to doe; for she hath
undertaken with great Energie her Labours for the Poore, and
consequentlie spends less Time in her Husband's Studdy; and, as I help
her to the best of my Means, my Sewing hides my Lack of Talking, and
Mr. _Agnew_ reads to us such Books as he deems entertayning; yet, half
the Time, I hear not what he reads.  Still, I did not deeme so much
Amusement could have beene found in Books; and there are some of his,
that, if not soe cumbrous, I woulde fain borrow.



_Friday_.

I have made up my Mind now, that I shall never see Mr. _Milton_ more;
and am resolved to submitt to it without another Tear.

_Rose_ sayd, this Morning, she was glad to see me more composed; and
soe am I; but never was more miserable.



_Saturday Night_.

Mr. _Agnew's_ religious Services at the End of the Week have alwaies
more than usuall Matter and Meaninge in them.  They are neither soe
drowsy as those I have beene for manie Years accustomed to at Home, nor
soe wearisome as to remind me of the _Puritans_.  Were there manie such
as he in our Church, soe faithfulle, fervent, and thoughtfulle,
methinks there would be fewer Schismaticks; but still there woulde be
some, because there are alwaies some that like to be the uppermost.

. . . To-nighte, Mr. _Agnew's_ Prayers went straight to my Heart; and I
privilie turned sundrie of his generall Petitions into particular ones,
for myself and _Robin_, and also for Mr. _Milton_.  This gave such
unwonted Relief, that since I entered into my Closet, I have repeated
the same particularlie; one Request seeming to grow out of another,
till I remained I know not how long on my Knees, and will bend them yet
agayn, ere I go to Bed.

How sweetlie the Moon shines through my Casement to-night!  I am
almoste avised to accede to _Rose's_ Request of staying here to the End
of the Month:--everie Thing here is soe peacefulle; and _Forest Hill_
is dull, now _Robin_ is away.



_Sunday Evening_.

How blessed a Sabbath!--Can it be, that I thought, onlie two Days back,
I shoulde never know Peace agayn?  Joy I may not, but Peace I can and
doe.  And yet nought hath amended the unfortunate Condition of mine
Affairs; but a different Colouring is caste upon them--the _Lord_ grant
that it may last!  How hath it come soe, and how may it be preserved?
This Morn, when I awoke, 'twas with a Sense of Relief such as we have
when we miss some wearying bodilie Payn; a Feeling as though I had
beene forgiven, yet not by Mr. _Milton_, for I knew he had not forgiven
me.  Then, it must be, I was forgiven by _God_; and why?  I had done
nothing to get his Forgivenesse, only presumed on his Mercy to ask
manie Things I had noe Right to expect.  And yet I felt I _was_
forgiven.  Why then mighte not Mr. _Milton_ some Day forgive me?
Should the Debt of ten thousand Talents be cancelled, and not the Debt
of a hundred Pence?  Then I thought on that same Word, Talents; and
considered, had I ten, or even one?  Decided to consider it at leisure,
more closelie, and to make over to _God_ henceforthe, be they ten, or
be it one.  Then, dressed with much Composure, and went down to
Breakfast.

Having marked that Mr. _Agnew_ and _Rose_ affected not Companie on this
Day, spent it chieflie by myself, except at Church and Meal-times;
partlie in my Chamber, partlie in the Garden Bowre by the Beehives.
Made manie Resolutions, which, in Church, I converted into Prayers and
Promises.  Hence, my holy Peace.



_Monday_.

_Rose_ proposed, this Morning, we shoulde resume our Studdies.  Felt
loath to comply, but did soe neverthelesse, and afterwards we walked
manie Miles, to visit some poor Folk.  This Evening, Mr. _Agnew_ read
us the Prologue to the _Canterbury Tales_.  How lifelike are the
Portraitures!  I mind me that Mr. _Milton_ shewed me the _Talbot_ Inn,
that Day we crost the River with Mr. _Marvell_.



_Tuesday_.

How heartilie do I wish I had never read that same Letter!--or rather,
that it had never beene written.  Thus it is, even with our Wishes.  We
think ourselves reasonable in wishing some small Thing were otherwise,
which it were quite as impossible to alter as some great Thing.
Neverthelesse I cannot help fretting over the Remembrance of that Part
wherein he spake such bitter Things of my "most ungoverned Passion for
Revellings and Junketings."  Sure, he would not call my Life too merrie
now, could he see me lying wakefulle on my Bed, could he see me
preventing the Morning Watch, could he see me at my Prayers, at my
Books, at my Needle. . . .  He shall find he hath judged too hardlie of
poor _Moll_, even yet.



_Wednesday_.

Took a cold Dinner in a Basket with us to-day, and ate our rusticall
Repast on the Skirt of a Wood, where we could see the Squirrels at
theire Gambols.  Mr. _Agnew_ lay on the Grasse, and _Rose_ took out her
Knitting, whereat he laught, and sayd she was like the _Dutch_ Women,
that must knit, whether mourning or feasting, and even on the Sabbath.
Having laught her out of her Work, he drew forth Mr. _George Herbert's_
Poems, and read us a Strayn which pleased _Rose_ and me soe much, that
I shall copy it herein, to have always by me.


  How fresh, oh Lord: how sweet and clean
  Are thy Returns! e'en as the Flowers in Spring,
  To which, beside theire owne Demesne,
  The late pent Frosts Tributes of Pleasure bring.
  Grief melts away like Snow in May,
  As if there were noe such cold Thing.

  Who would have thought my shrivelled Heart
  Woulde have recovered greenness? it was gone
  Quite Underground, as Flowers depart
  To see their Mother-root, when they have blown,
  Where they together, alle the hard Weather,
  Dead to the World, keep House alone.

  These are thy Wonders, Lord of Power!
  Killing and quickening, bringing down to Hell
  And up to Heaven, in an Hour,
  Making a Chiming of a passing Bell,
  We say amiss "this or that is:"
  Thy Word is alle, if we could spell.

  Oh that I once past changing were!
  Fast in thy Paradise, where no Flowers can wither;
  Manie a Spring I shoot up faire,
  Offering at Heaven, growing and groaning thither,
  Nor doth my Flower want a Spring Shower,
  My Sins and I joyning together.

  But while I grow in a straight Line,
  Still upwards bent, as if Heaven were my own,
  Thy Anger comes, and I decline.--
  What Frost to that!  What Pole is not the Zone
  Where alle Things burn, when thou dost turn,
  And the least Frown of thine is shewn?

  And now, in Age, I bud agayn,
  After soe manie Deaths, I bud and write,
  I once more smell the Dew and Rain,
  And relish Versing!  Oh my onlie Light!
  It cannot be that I am he
  On whom thy Tempests fell alle Night?

  These are thy Wonders, Lord of Love,
  To make us see we are but Flowers that glide,
  Which, when we once can feel and prove,
  Thou hast a Garden for us where to bide.
  Who would be more, swelling their Store,
  Forfeit their Paradise by theire Pride.



_Thursday_.

_Father_ sent over _Diggory_ with a Letter for me from deare _Robin_:
alsoe, to ask when I was minded to return Home, as _Mother_ wants to
goe to _Sandford_.  Fixed the Week after next; but _Rose_ says I must
be here agayn at the Apple-gathering.  Answered _Robin's_ Letter.  He
looketh not for Choyce of fine Words; nor noteth an Error here and
there in the Spelling.



_Tuesday_.

Life flows away here in such unmarked Tranquilitie, that one hath
Nothing whereof to write, or to remember what distinguished one Day
from another.  I am sad, yet not dulle; methinks I have grown some
Yeares older since I came here.  I can fancy elder Women feeling much
as I doe now.  I have Nothing to desire.  Nothing to hope, that is
likelie to come to pass--Nothing to regret, except I begin soe far
back, that my whole Life hath neede, as 'twere, to begin over
agayn. . . .

Mr. _Agnew_ translates to us Portions of _Thuanus_ his Historie, and
the Letters of _Theodore Bexa_, concerning the _French_ Reformed
Church; oft prolix, yet interesting, especially with Mr. _Agnew's_
Comments, and Allusions to our own Time.  On the other Hand, _Rose_
reads _Davila_, the sworne Apologiste of _Catherine de' Medicis_, whose
charming _Italian_ even I can comprehende; but alle is false and
plausible.  How sad, that the wrong Partie shoulde be victorious!  Soe
it may befall in this Land; though, indeede, I have hearde soe much
bitter Rayling on bothe Sides, that I know not which is right.  The
Line of Demarcation is not soe distinctly drawn, methinks, as 'twas in
_France_.  Yet it cannot be right to take up Arms agaynst constituted
Authorities?--Yet, and if those same Authorities abuse their Trust?
Nay, Women cannot understand these Matters, and I thank Heaven they
need not.  Onlie, they cannot help siding with those they love; and
sometimes those they love are on opposite Sides.

Mr. _Agnew_ sayth, the secular Arm shoulde never be employed in
spirituall Matters, and that the _Hugenots_ committed a grave Mistake
in choosing Princes and Admirals for their Leaders, insteade of simple
Preachers with Bibles in their hands; and he askt, "did _Luther_ or
_Peter_ the Hermit most manifestlie labour with the Blessing of _God_?"

. . . I have noted the Heads of Mr. _Agnew's_ Readings, after a Fashion
of _Rose's_, in order to have a shorte, comprehensive Account of the
Whole; and this hath abridged my journalling.  It is the more
profitable to me of the two, changes the sad Current of Thought, and,
though an unaccustomed Task, I like it well.



_Saturday_.

On _Monday_, I return to _Forest Hill_.  I am well pleased to have yet
another _Sheepscote_ Sabbath.  To-day we had the rare Event of a
Dinner-guest; soe full of what the Rebels are doing, and alle the
Horrors of Strife, that he seemed to us quiete Folks, like the Denizen
of another World.



_Forest Hill, August 3, 1644_.

Home agayn, and _Mother_ hath gone on her long intended Visitt to Uncle
_John_, taking with her the two youngest.  _Father_ much preoccupide,
by reason of the Supplies needed for his Majesty's Service; soe that,
sweet _Robin_ being away, I find myselfe lonely.  _Harry_ rides with me
in the Evening, but the Mornings I have alle to myself; and when I have
fulfilled _Mother's_ Behests in the Kitchen and Still-room, I have
nought but to read in our somewhat scant Collection of Books, the moste
Part whereof are religious.  And (not on that Account, but by reason I
have read the most of them before), methinks I will write to borrow
some of _Rose_; for Change of Reading hath now become a Want.  I am
minded also, to seek out and minister unto some poore Folk after her
Fashion.  Now that I am Queen of the Larder, there is manie a wholesome
Scrap at my Disposal, and there are likewise sundrie Physiques in my
Mother's Closet, which she addeth to Year by Year, and never wants, we
are soe seldom ill.



_Aug. 5, 1644_.

Dear _Father_ sayd this Evening, as we came in from a Walk on the
Terrace, "My sweet _Moll_, you were ever the Light of the House; but
now, though you are more staid than of former Time, I find you a better
Companion than ever.  This last Visitt to _Sheepscote_ hath evened your
Spiritts."

Poor _Father_! he knew not how I lay awake and wept last Night, for one
I shall never see agayn, nor how the Terrace Walk minded me of him.  My
Spiritts may seem even, and I exert myself to please; but, within, all
is dark Shade, or at best, grey Twilight; and my Spiritts are, in Fact,
worse here than they were at _Sheepscote_, because, here, I am
continuallie thinking of one whose Name is never uttered; whereas,
there, it was mentioned naturallie and tenderlie, though sadly. . . .

I will forthe to see some of the poor Folk.



_Same Night_.

Resolved to make the Circuit of the Cottages, but onlie reached the
first, wherein I found poor _Nell_ in such Grief of Body and Mind, that
I was avised to wait with her a long Time.  Askt why she had not sent
to us for Relief; was answered she had thought of doing soe, but was
feared of making too free.  After a lengthened Visitt, which seemed to
relieve her Mind, and certaynlie relieved mine, I bade her Farewell,
and at the Wicket met my Father coming up with a playn-favoured but
scholarlike looking reverend Man.  He sayd, "_Moll_, I could not think
what had become of you."  I answered, I hoped I had not kept him
waiting for Dinner--poor _Nell_ had entertayned me longer than I wisht,
with the Catalogue of her Troubles.  The Stranger looking attentively
at me, observed that may be the poor Woman had entertayned an Angel
unawares; and added, "Doubt not, Madam, we woulde rather await our
Dinner than that you should have curtayled your Message of Charity."
Hithertoe, my Father had not named this Gentleman to me; but now he
sayd, "Child, this is the Reverend Doctor _Jeremy Taylor_, Chaplain in
Ordinarie to his Majesty, and whom you know I have heard more than once
preach before the King since he abode in _Oxford_."  Thereon I made a
lowly Reverence, and we walked homewards together.  At first, he
discoursed chiefly with my Father on the Troubles of the Times, and
then he drew me into the Dialogue, in the Course of which I let fall a
Saying of Mr. _Agnew's_, which drew from the reverend Gentleman a
respectfulle Look I felt I no Way deserved.  Soe then I had to explain
that the Saying was none of mine, and felt ashamed he shoulde suppose
me wiser than I was, especiallie as he commended my Modesty.  But we
progressed well, and he soon had the Discourse all to himself, for
Squire _Paice_ came up, and detained _Father_, while the Doctor and I
walked on.  I could not help reflecting how odd it was, that I, whom
Nature had endowed with such a very ordinarie Capacitie, and scarce
anie Taste for Letters, shoulde continuallie be thrown into the
Companie of the cleverest of Men,--first, Mr. _Milton_: then Mr.
_Agnew_; and now, this Doctor _Jeremy Taylor_.  But, like the other
two, he is not merely clever, he is Christian and good.  How much I
learnt in this short Interview! for short it seemed, though it must
have extended over a good half Hour.  He sayd, "Perhaps, young Lady,
the Time may come when you shall find safer Solace in the Exercise of
the Charities than of the Affections.  Safer: for, not to consider how
a successfulle or unsuccessfulle Passion for a human Being of like
Infirmities with ourselves, oft stains and darkens and shortens the
Current of Life, even the chastened Love of a Mother for her Child, as
of _Octavia_, who swooned at '_Tu, Marcellus, eris_,'--or of Wives for
their Husbands, as _Artemisia_ and _Laodamia_, sometimes amounting to
Idolatry--nay, the Love of Friend for Friend, with alle its sweet
Influences and animating Transports, yet exceeding the Reasonableness
of that of _David_ for _Jonathan_, or of our blessed _Lord_ for _St.
John_ and the Family of _Lazarus_, may procure far more Torment than
Profit: even if the Attachment be reciprocal, and well grounded, and
equallie matcht, which often it is not.  Then interpose human Tempers,
and Chills, and Heates, and Slyghtes fancied or intended, which make
the vext Soul readie to wish it had never existed.  How smalle a Thing
is a human Heart! you might grasp it in your little Hand; and yet its
Strifes and Agonies are enough to distend a Skin that should cover the
whole World!  But, in the Charities, what Peace! yea, they distill
Sweetnesse even from the Unthankfulle, blessing him that gives more
than him that receives; while, in the Main, they are laid out at better
Interest than our warmest Affections, and bring in a far richer Harvest
of Love and Gratitude.  Yet, let our Affections have their fitting
Exercise too, staying ourselves with the Reflection, that there is
greater Happinesse, after alle Things sayd, in loving than in being
loved, save by the _God_ of Love who first loved us, and that they who
dwell in Love dwell in _Him_."

Then he went on to speak of the manifold Acts and Divisions of Charity;
as much, methought, in the Vein of a Poet as a Preacher; and he minded
me much of that Scene in the tenth Book of the _Fairie Queene_, soe
lately read to us by Mr. _Agnew_, wherein the _Red Cross Knight_ and
_Una_ were shown _Mercy_ at her Work.



_Aug. 10, 1644_.

A Pack-horse from _Sheepscote_ just reported, laden with a goodlie
Store of Books, besides sundrie smaller Tokens of _Rose's_ thoughtfulle
Kindnesse.  I have now methodicallie divided my Time into stated Hours,
of Prayer, Exercise, Studdy, Housewiferie, and Acts of Mercy, on
however a humble Scale; and find mine owne Peace of Mind thereby
increased notwithstanding the Darknesse of publick and Dullnesse of
private Affairs.

Made out the Meaning of "Cynosure" and "Cimmerian Darknesse." . . .



_Aug. 15, 1644_.

Full sad am I to learn that Mr. _Milton_ hath published another Book in
Advocacy of Divorce.  Alas, why will he chafe against the Chain, and
widen the cruel Division between us?  My Father is outrageous on the
Matter, and speaks soe passionatelie of him, that it is worse than not
speaking of him at alle, which latelie I was avised to complain of.



_Aug. 30, 1644_.

_Dick_ beginneth to fancie himself in Love with _Audrey Paice--_an
Attachment that will doe him noe good: his Tastes alreadie want
raising, and she will onlie lower them, I feare,--a comely, romping,
noisie Girl, that, were she but a Farmer's Daughter, woulde be the Life
and Soul of alle the Whitsun-ales, Harvest-homes, and Hay-makings in
the Country: in short, as fond of idling and merrymaking as I once was
myself: onlie I never was soe riotous.

I beginne to see Faults in _Dick_ and _Harry_ I never saw before.  Is
my Taste bettering, or my Temper worsenning?  At alle Events, we have
noe cross Words, for I expect them not to alter, knowing how hard it is
to doe soe by myself.

I look forward with Pleasure to my _Sheepscote_ Visitt.  Dear _Mother_
returneth to-morrow.  Good Dr. _Taylor_ hath twice taken the Trouble to
walk over from _Oxford_ to see me, but he hath now left, and we may
never meet agayn.  His Visitts have beene very precious to me: I think
he hath some Glimmering of my sad Case: indeed, who knows it not?  At
parting he sayd, smiling, he hoped he should yet hear of my making
Offerings to _Viriplaca_ on _Mount Palatine_; then added, gravelie,
"You know where reall Offerings may be made and alwaies
accepted--Offerings of spare Half-hours and Five-minutes, when we shut
the Closet Door and commune with our own Hearts and are still."  Alsoe
he sayd, "There are Sacrifices to make which sometimes wring our very
Hearts to offer; but our gracious _God_ accepts them neverthelesse, if
our Feet be really in the right Path, even though, like _Chryseis_, we
look back, weeping."

He sayd . . .  But how manie Things as beautifulle and true did I hear
my Husband say, which passed by me like the idle Wind that I regarded
not!



_Sept. 8, 1644_.

_Harry_ hath just broughte in the News of his Majesty's Success in the
West.  Lord _Essex's_ Army hath beene completely surrounded by the
royal Troops; himself forct to escape in a Boat to _Plymouth_, and all
the Arms, Artillerie, Baggage, etc., of _Skippon's_ Men have fallen
into the Hands of the King.  _Father_ is soe pleased that he hath
mounted the Flag, and given double Allowance of Ale to his Men.

I wearie to hear from _Robin_.



_Sheepscote, Oct. 10, 1644_.

How sweete a Picture of rurall Life did _Sheepscote_ present, when I
arrived here this Afternoon!  The Water being now much out, the Face of
the Countrie presented a new Aspect: there were Men threshing the
Walnut Trees, Children and Women putting the Nuts into Osier Baskets, a
Bailiff on a white Horse overlooking them, and now and then galloping
to another Party, and splashing through the Water.  Then we found Mr.
_Agnew_ equallie busie with his Apples, mounted half Way up one of the
Trees, and throwing Cherry Pippins down into _Rose's_ Apron, and now
and then making as though he would pelt her: onlie she dared him, and
woulde not be frightened.  Her Donkey, chewing Apples in the Corner,
with the Cider running out of his Mouth, presented a ludicrous Image of
Enjoyment, and 'twas evidently enhanct by _Giles'_ brushing his rough
Coat with a Birch Besom, instead of minding his owne Businesse of
sweeping the Walk.  The Sun, shining with mellow Light on the mown
Grass and fresh dipt Hornbeam Hedges, made even the commonest Objects
distinct and cheerfulle; and the Air was soe cleare, we coulde hear the
Village Childreh afar off at theire Play.

_Rose_ had abundance of delicious new Honey in the Comb, and Bread hot
from the Oven, for our earlie Supper.  _Dick_ was tempted to stay too
late; however, he is oft as late, now, returning from _Audrey Paice_,
though my Mother likes it not.



_Oct. 15, 1644_.

_Rose_ is quite in good Spiritts now, and we goe on most harmoniouslie
and happilie.  Alle our Tastes are now in common; and I never more
enjoyed this Union of Seclusion and Society.  Besides, Mr. _Agnew_ is
more than commonlie kind, and never speaks sternlie or sharplie to me
now.  Indeed, this Morning, looking thoughtfullie at me, he sayd, "I
know not_, Cousin_, what Change has come over you, but you are now alle
that a wise Man coulde love and approve."  I sayd, It must be owing
then to Dr. _Jeremy Taylor_, who had done me more goode, it woulde
seeme, in three Lessons, than he or Mr. _Milton_ coulde imparte in
thirty or three hundred.  He sayd he was inclined to attribute it to a
higher Source than that; and yet, there was doubtlesse a great Knack in
teaching, and there was a good deal in liking the Teacher.  He had
alwaies hearde the Doctor spoken of as a good, pious, and clever Man,
though rather too high a Prelatist.  I sayd, "There were good Men of
alle Sorts: there was Mr. _Milton_, who woulde pull the Church down;
there was Mr. _Agnew_, who woulde onlie have it mended; and there was
Dr. _Jeremy Taylor_, who was content with it as it stoode."  Then
_Rose_ askt me of the puritanicall Preachers.  Then I showed her how
they preached, and made her laugh.  But Mr. _Agnew_ woulde not laugh.
But I made him laugh at last.  Then he was angrie with himself and with
me; only not very angry; and sayd, I had a Right to a Name which he
knew had beene given me, of "cleaving Mischief."  I knew not he knew of
it, and was checked, though I laught it off.



_Oct. 16, 1644_.

Walking together, this Morning, _Rose_ was avised to say, "Did Mr.
_Milton_ ever tell you the Adventures of the _Italian_ Lady?"  "Rely on
it he never did," sayd Mr. _Agnew.--"Milton_ is as modest a Man as ever
breathed--alle Men of first class Genius are soe."  "What was the
Adventure?" I askt, curiouslie.  "Why, I neede not tell you, _Moll_,
that _John Milton_, as a Youth, was extremelie handsome, even
beautifull.  His Colour came and went soe like a Girl's, that we of
_Christ's_ College used to call him 'the Lady,' and thereby annoy him
noe little.  One summer Afternoone he and I and young _King_
(_Lycidas_, you know) had started on a country Walk, (the Countrie is
not pretty, round _Cambridge_) when we met in with an Acquaintance whom
Mr. _Milton_ affected not, soe he sayd he would walk on to the first
rising Ground and wait us there.  On this rising Ground stood a Tree,
beneath which our impatient young Gentleman presentlie cast himself,
and, having walked fast, and the Weather being warm, soon falls asleep
as sound as a Top.  Meantime, _King_ and I quit our Friend and saunter
forward pretty easilie.  Anon comes up with us a Caroche, with
something I know not what of outlandish in its Build; and within it,
two Ladies, one of them having the fayrest Face I ever set Eyes on,
present Companie duly excepted.  The Caroche having passed us, _King_
and I mutuallie express our Admiration, and thereupon, preferring Turf
to Dust, got on the other Side the Hedge, which was not soe thick but
that we could make out the Caroche, and see the Ladies descend from it,
to walk up the Hill.  Having reached the Tree, they paused in Surprise
at seeing _Milton_ asleep beneath it; and in prettie dumb Shew, which
we watcht sharplie, exprest their Admiration of his Appearance and
Posture, which woulde have suited an _Arcadian_ well enough.  The
younger Lady, hastilie taking out a Pencil and Paper, wrote something
which she laughinglie shewed her Companion, and then put into the
Sleeper's Hand.  Thereupon, they got into their Caroche, and drove off.
_King_ and I, dying with Curiositie to know what she had writ, soon
roused our Friend and possest ourselves of the Secret.  The Verses ran
thus. . . .

  Occhi, Stelle mortali,
  Ministre de miei Mali,
  Se, chiusi, m' uccidete,
  Aperti, che farete?

"_Milton_ coloured, crumpled them up, and yet put them in his Pocket;
then askt us what the Lady was like.  And herein lay the Pleasantry of
the Affair; for I truly told him she had a Pear-shaped Face, lustrous
black Eyes, and a Skin that shewed '_il bruno il bel non toglie_;'
whereas, _King_, in his Mischief, drew a fancy Portrait, much liker
you, _Moll_, than the Incognita, which hit _Milton's_ Taste soe much
better, that he was believed for his Payns; and then he declared that I
had beene describing the Duenna! . . .  Some Time after, when _Milton_
beganne to talk of visiting _Italy_, we bantered him, and sayd he was
going to look for the Incognita.  He stoode it well, and sayd, 'Laugh
on! do you think I mind you?  Not a Bit.'  I think he did."

Just at this Turn, Mr. _Agnew_ stumbled at something in the long Grass.
It proved to be an old, rustic Horse-pistol.  His Countenance changed
at once from gay to grave.  "I thought we had noe such Things
hereabouts yet," cried he, viewing it askance.--"I suppose I mighte as
well think I had found a Corner of the Land where there was noe
originall Sin."  And soe, flung it over the Hedge.

----First class Geniuses are alwaies modest, are they?--Then I should
say that young _Italian_ Lady's Genius was not of the first Class.



_Oct. 19, 1644_.

Speaking, to-day, of Mr. _Waller_, whom I had once seen at Uncle
_John's_, Mr. _Agnew_ sayd he had obtayned the Reputation of being one
of our smoothest Versers, and thereupon brought forth one or two of his
small Pieces in Manuscript, which he read to _Rose_ and me.  They were
addrest to the Lady _Dorothy Sydney_; and certainlie for specious
Flatterie I doe not suppose they can be matcht; but there is noe
Impress of reall Feeling in them.  How diverse from my Husband's
Versing!  He never writ anie mere Love-verses, indeede, soe far as I
know; but how much truer a Sence he hath of what is reallie beautifulle
and becoming in a Woman than Mr. _Waller_!  The Lady _Alice Egerton_
mighte have beene more justlie proud of the fine Things written _for_
her in _Comus_, than the Lady _Dorothea_ of anie of the fine Things
written _of_ her by this courtier-like Poet.  For, to say that Trees
bend down in homage to a Woman when she walks under them, and that the
healing Waters of _Tonbridge_ were placed there by Nature to compensate
for the fatal Pride of _Sacharissa_, is soe fullesome and untrue as noe
Woman, not devoured by Conceite, coulde endure; whereas, the Check that
Villanie is sensible of in the Presence of Virtue, is most nobly, not
extravagantlie, exprest by _Comus_.  And though my Husband be almost
too lavish, even in his short Pieces, of classic Allusion and
Personation, yet, like antique Statues and Busts well placed in some
statelie Pleasaunce, they are alwaies appropriate and gracefulle, which
is more than can be sayd of Mr. _Waller's_ overstrayned Figures and
Metaphors.



_Oct. 20, 1644_.

News from Home: alle well.  _Audrey Paice_ on a Visitt there.  I hope
_Mother_ hath not put her into my Chamber, but I know that she hath
sett so manie Trays full of Spearmint, Peppermint, Camomiles, and
Poppie-heads in the blue Chamber to dry, that she will not care to move
them, nor have the Window opened lest they shoulde be blown aboute.  I
wish I had turned the Key on my ebony Cabinett.



_Oct. 24, 1644_.

_Richard_ and _Audrey_ rode over here, and spent a noisie Afternoone.
_Rose_ had the Goose dressed which I know she meant to have reserved
for to-morrow.  _Clover_ was in a Heat, which one would have thoughte
he needed not to have beene, with carrying a Lady; but _Audrey_ is
heavie.  She treats _Dick_ like a boy; and, indeede he is not much
more; but he is quite taken up with her.  I find she lies in the blue
Chamber, which she says smells rarelie of Herbs.  They returned not
till late, after sundrie Hints from Mr. _Agnew_.



_Oct. 27, 1644_.

Alas, alas, _Robin's_ Silence is too sorrowfullie explained!  He hath
beene sent Home soe ill that he is like to die.  This Report I have
from _Diggory_, just come over to fetch me, with whom I start, soe
soone as his Horse is bated.  _Lord_, have Mercie on _Robin_.

The Children are alle sent away to keep the House quiete.



_At Robin's Bedside,
  Saturday Night_.

Oh, woefulle Sight!  I had not known that pale Face, had I met it
unawares.  So thin and wan,--and he hath shot up into a tall Stripling
during the last few Months.  These two Nights of Watching have tried me
sorelie, but I would not be witholden from sitting up with him yet
agayn--what and if this Night should be his last? how coulde I forgive
myself for sleeping on now and taking my Rest?  The first Night, he
knew me not; yet it was bitter-sweet to hear him chiding at sweet
_Moll_ for not coming.  Yesternight he knew me for a While, kissed me,
and _fell_ into an heavie Sleepe, with his Hand locked in mine.  We
hoped the Crisis was come; but 'twas not soe.  He raved much of a Man
alle in red, riding hard after him.  I minded me of those Words, "The
Enemy sayd, I will overtake, I will pursue,"--and, noe one being by,
save the unconscious Sufferer, I kneeled down beside him, and most
earnestlie prayed for his Deliverance from all spirituall Adversaries.
When I lookt up, his Eyes, larger and darker than ever, were fixt on me
with a strange, wistfulle Stare, but he spake not.  From that Moment he
was quiete.

The Doctor thought him rambling this Morning, though I knew he was not,
when he spake of an Angel in a long white Garment watching over him and
kneeling by him in the Night.



_Sunday Evening_.

Poor _Nell_ sitteth up with _Mother_ to-night--right thankfulle is she
to find that she can be of anie Use: she says it seems soe strange that
she should be able to make any Return for my Kindnesse.  I must sleep
to-night, that I may watch to-morrow.  The Servants are nigh spent, and
are besides foolishlie afrayd of Infection.  I hope _Rose_ prays for
me.  Soe drowsie and dulle am I, as scarce to be able to pray for
myself.



_Monday_.

_Rose_ and Mr. _Agnew_ come to abide with us for some Days.  How
thankfulle am I!  Tears have relieved me.

_Robin_ worse to-day.  _Father_ quite subdued.  Mr. _Agnew_ will sit up
to-night, and insists on my sleeping.

_Crab_ howled under my Window yesternight as he did before my Wedding.
I hope there is nothing in it.  _Harry_ got up and beat him, and at
last put him in the Stable.



_Tuesday_.

After two Nights' Rest, I feel quite strengthened and restored this
Morning.  Deare _Rose_ read me to sleep in her low, gentle Voice, and
then lay down by my Side, twice stepping into _Robin's_ Chamber during
the Night, and bringing me News that all was well.  Relieved in Mind, I
slept heavilie nor woke till late.  Then, returned to the sick Chamber,
and found _Rose_ bathing dear _Robin's_ Temples with Vinegar, and
changing his Pillow--his thin Hand rested on Mr. _Agnew_, on whom he
lookt with a composed, collected Gaze.  Slowlie turned his Eyes on me,
and faintlie smiled, but spake not.

Poor dear _Mother_ is ailing now.  I sate with her and _Father_ some
Time; but it was a true Relief when _Rose_ took my Place and let me
return to the sick Room.  _Rose_ hath alreadie made several little
Changes for the better; improved the Ventilation of _Robin's_ Chamber,
and prevented his hearing soe manie Noises.  Alsoe, showed me how to
make a pleasant cooling Drink, which he likes better than the warm
Liquids, and which she assures me he may take with perfect Safetie.



_Same Evening_.

_Robin_ vext, even to Tears, because the Doctor forbids the use of his
cooling Drink, though it hath certainlie abated the Fever.  At his Wish
I stept down to intercede with the Doctor, then closetted with my
Father, to discourse, as I supposed, of _Robin's_ Symptoms.  Insteade
of which, found them earnestlie engaged on the never-ending Topick of
Cavaliers and Roundheads.  I was chafed and cut to the Heart, yet what
can poor _Father_ do; he is useless in the Sick-room, he is wearie of
Suspense, and 'tis well if publick Affairs can divert him for an odd
Half-hour.

The Doctor would not hear of _Robin_ taking the cooling Beverage, and
warned me that his Death woulde be upon my Head if I permitted him to
be chilled: soe what could I doe?  Poor _Robin_ very impatient in
consequence; and raving towards Midnight.  _Rose_ insisted in taking
the last Half of my Watch.

I know not that I was ever more sorelie exercised than during the first
Half of this Night.  _Robin_, in his crazie Fit, would leave his Bed,
and was soe strong as nearlie to master _Nell_ and me, and I feared I
must have called _Richard_.  The next Minute he fell back as weak as a
Child: we covered him up warm, and he was overtaken either with Stupor
or Sleep.  Earnestlie did I pray it might be the latter, and conduce to
his healing.  Afterwards, there being writing Implements at Hand, I
wrote a Letter to Mr. _Milton_, which, though the Fancy of sending it
soon died away, yet eased my Mind.  When not in Prayer, I often find
myself silently talking to him.



_Wednesday_.

Waking late after my scant Night's Rest, I found my Breakfaste neatlie
layd out in the little Ante-chamber, to prevent the Fatigue of going
down Stairs.  A Handfulle of Autumn Flowers beside my Plate, left me in
noe Doubt it was _Rose's_ doing; and Mr. _Agnew_ writing at the Window,
tolde me he had persuaded my Father to goe to _Shotover_ with _Dick_.
Then laying aside his Pen, stept into the Sick-chamber for the latest
News, which was good: and, sitting next me, talked of the Progress of
_Robin's_ Illness in a grave yet hopefulle Manner; leading, as he
chieflie does, to high and unearthlie Sources of Consolation.  He
advised me to take a Turn in the fresh Ayr, though but as far as the
two Junipers, before I entered _Robin's_ Chamber, which, somewhat
reluctantlie, I did; but the bright Daylight and warm Sun had no good
Effect on my Spiritts: on the Contrarie, nothing in blythe Nature
seeming in unison with my Sadnesse, Tears flowed without relieving me.

----What a solemne, pompous Prigge is this Doctor!  He cries "humph!"
and "aye!" and bites his Nails and screws his Lips together, but I
don't believe he understands soe much of Physick, after alle, as Mr.
_Agnew_.

_Father_ came Home fulle of the Rebels' Doings, but as for me, I
shoulde hear them thundering at our Gate with Apathie, except insofar
as I feared their distressing _Robin_.

_Audrey_ rode over with her Father, this Morn, to make Enquiries.  She
might have come sooner had she meant to be anie reall Use to a Family
she has thought of entering.  Had _Rose_ come to our Help as late in
the Day, we had been poorlie off.



_Thursday_.

May _Heaven_ in its Mercy save us from the evil Consequence of this new
Mischance!--_Richard_, jealous at being allowed so little Share in
nursing _Robin_, whom he sayd he loved as well as anie did, would sit
up with him last Night, along with _Mother_.  Twice I heard him
snoring, and stept in to prevail on him to change Places, but coulde
not get him to stir.  A third Time he fell asleep, and, it seems,
_Mother_ slept too; and _Robin_, in his Fever, got out of Bed and drank
near a Quart of colde Water, waking _Dick_ by setting down the Pitcher.
Of course the Bustle soon reached my listening Ears.  _Dick_, to do him
Justice, was frightened enough, and stole away to his Bed without a
Word of Defence; but poor _Mother_, who had been equallie off her
Watch, made more Noise about it than was good for _Robin_; who,
neverthelesse, we having warmlie covered up, burst into a profuse Heat,
and fell into a sound Sleep, which hath now holden him manie Hours.
Mr. _Agnew_ augureth favourablie of his waking, but we await it in
prayerfulle Anxietie.

----The Crisis is past! and the Doctor sayeth he alle along expected it
last Night, which I cannot believe, but _Father_ and _Mother_ doe.  At
alle Events, praised be _Heaven_, there is now hope that deare _Robin_
may recover.  _Rose_ and I have mingled Tears, Smiles, and
Thankgivings; Mr. _Agnew_ hath expressed Gratitude after a more
collected Manner, and endeavoured to check the somewhat ill-governed
Expression of Joy throughout the House; warning the Servants, but
especiallie _Dick_ and _Harry_, that _Robin_ may yet have a Relapse.

With what Transport have I sat beside dear _Robin's_ Bed, returning his
fixed, earnest, thankfulle Gaze, and answering the feeble Pressure of
his Hand!--Going into the Studdy just now, I found _Father_ crying like
a Child--the first Time I have known him give Way to Tears during
_Robin's_ Ilnesse.  Mr. _Agnew_ presentlie came in, and composed him
better than I coulde.



_Saturday_.

_Robin_ better, though still very weak.  Had his Bed made, and took a
few Spoonfuls of Broth.



_Sunday_.

A very different Sabbath from the last.  Though _Robin's_ Constitution
hath received a Shock it may never recover, his comparative Amendment
fills us with Thankfulnesse; and our chastened Suspense hath a sweet
Solemnitie and Trustfullenesse in it, which pass Understanding.

Mr. _Agnew_ conducted our Devotions.  This Morning, I found him praying
with _Robin_--I question if it were for the first Time.  _Robin_
looking on him with eyes of such sedate Affection!



_Thursday_.

_Robin_ still progressing.  Dear _Rose_ and Mr. _Agnew_ leave us
to-morrow, but they will soon come agayn.  Oh faithful Friends!

      *      *      *      *      *      *

_April, 1646_.

Can Aniething equall the desperate Ingratitude of the human Heart?
Testifie of it, Journall, agaynst me.  Here did I, throughout the
incessant Cares and Anxieties of _Robin's_ Sicknesse, find, or make
Time, for almoste dailie Record of my Trouble; since which, whole
Months have passed without soe much as a scrawled Ejaculation of
Thankfullenesse that the Sick hath beene made whole.

Yet, not that that Thankfullenesse hath beene unfelt, nor, though
unwritten, unexprest.  Nay, O _Lord_, deeplie, deeplie have I thanked
thee for thy tender Mercies.  And he healed soe slowlie, that Suspense,
as 'twere, wore itself out, and gave Place to a dull, mournful
Persuasion that an Hydropsia would waste him away, though more slowlie,
yet noe less surelie than the Fever.

Soe Weeks lengthened into Months, I mighte well say Years, they seemed
soe long! and stille he seemed to neede more Care and Tendernesse;
till, just as he and I had learnt to say, "Thy Will, O _Lord_, be
done," he began to gain Flesh, his craving Appetite moderated, yet his
Food nourished him, and by _God's_ Blessing he recovered!

During that heavie Season of Probation, our Hearts were unlocked, and
we spake oft to one another of Things in Heaven and Things in Earth.
Afterwards, our mutuall Reserves returned, and _Robin_, methinks,
became shyer than before, but there can never cease to be a dearer Bond
between us.  Now we are apart, I aim to keep him mindfulle of the high
and holie Resolutions he formed in his Sicknesse; and though he never
answers these Portions of my Letters, I am avised to think he finds
them not displeasing.

Now that _Oxford_ is like to be besieged, my Life is more confined than
ever; yet I cannot, and will not leave _Father_ and _Mother_, even for
the _Agnews_, while they are soe much harassed.  This Morning, my
Father hath received a Letter from Sir _Thomas Glemham_, requiring a
larger Quantitie of winnowed Wheat, than, with alle his Loyaltie, he
likes to send.



_April 23, 1646_.

_Ralph Hewlett_ hath just looked in to say, his Father and Mother have
in Safetie reached _London_, where he will shortlie joyn them, and to
ask, is there anie Service he can doe me?  Ay, truly; one that I dare
not name--he can bring me Word of Mr. _Milton_, of his Health, of his
Looks, of his Speech, and whether . . .

_Ralph_ shall be noe Messenger of mine.



_April 24, 1646_.

Talking of Money Matters this Morning, _Mother_ sayd Something that
brought Tears into mine Eyes.  She observed, that though my Husband had
never beene a Favourite of hers, there was one Thing wherein she must
say he had behaved generously: he had never, to this Day, askt _Father_
for the 500 pounds which had brought him, in the first Instance, to
_Forest Hill_, (he having promised old Mr. _Milton_ to try to get the
Debt paid,) and the which, on his asking for my Hand, _Father_ tolde
him shoulde be made over sooner or later, in lieu of Dower.

Did _Rose_ know the Bitter-sweet she was imparting to me, when she gave
me, by Stealth as 'twere, the latelie publisht Volume of my Husband's
_English_ Versing?  It hath beene my Companion ever since; for I had
perused the _Comus_ but by Snatches, under the Disadvantage of crabbed
Manuscript.  This Morning, to use his owne deare Words:--

  I sat me down to watch, upon a Bank,
  With Ivy canopied, and interwove
  With flaunting Honeysuckle, and beganne,
  Wrapt in a pleasing Fit of Melancholic,
  To meditate.


The Text of my Meditation was this, drawne from the same loved Source:--

        This I hold firm:
  Virtue may be assayled, but never hurt,
  Surprised by unjust Force, but not enthralled:
  Yea, even that which Mischief meant most Harm,
  Shall, in the happy Trial, prove most Glory.


But who hath such Virtue? have I? hath he?  No, we have both gone
astray, and done amiss, and wrought sinfullie; but I worst, I first,
therefore more neede that I humble myself, and pray for both.

There is one, more unhappie, perhaps, than either.  The _King_, most
misfortunate Gentleman! who knoweth not which Way to turn, nor whom to
trust.  Last Time I saw him, methought never was there a Face soe full
of Woe.



_May 6, 1646_.

The _King_ hath escaped!  He gave Orders overnight at alle the Gates, for
three Persons to passe; and, accompanied onlie by Mr. _Ashburnham_, and
Mr. _Hurd_, rode forthe at Nightfalle, towards _London_.  Sure, he will
not throw himselfe into the Hands of Parliament?

_Mother_ is affrighted beyond Measure at the near Neighbourhood of
_Fairfax's_ Army, and entreats _Father_ to leave alle behind, and flee
with us into the City.  It may yet be done; and we alle share her Feares.



_Saturday Even_.

Packing up in greate haste, after a confused Family Council, wherein some
fresh Accounts of the Rebels' Advances, broughte in by _Diggory_, made my
Father the sooner consent to a stolen Flight into _Oxford_, _Diggory_
being left behind in Charge.  Time of Flight, to-morrow after Dark, the
_Puritans_ being busie at theire Sermons.  The better the Day, the better
the Deede.--_Heaven_ make it soe!



_Tuesday_.

_Oxford_; in most most confined and unpleasant Lodgings; but noe Matter,
manie better and richer than ourselves fare worse, and our King hath not
where to lay his Head.  'Tis sayd he hath turned his Course towards
_Scotland_.  There are Souldiers in this House, whose Noise distracts us.
Alsoe, a poor Widow Lady, whose Husband hath beene slayn in these Wars.
The Children have taken a feverish Complaynt, and require incessant
tending.  Theire Beds are far from cleane, in too little Space, and ill
aired.



_May 20, 1646_.

The Widow Lady goes about visiting the Sick, and woulde faine have my
Companie.  The Streets have displeased me, being soe fulle of Men;
however, in a close Hoode I have accompanied her sundrie Times.  'Tis a
good Soul, and full of pious Works and Alms-deedes.



_May 27, 1646_.

_Diggory_ hath found his Way to us, alle dismaied, and bringing Dismay
with him, for the Rebels have taken and ransacked our House, and turned
him forthe.  "A Plague on these Wars!" as _Father_ says.  What are we to
doe, or how live, despoyled of alle?  _Father_ hath lost, one Way and
another, since the Civil War broke out, three thousand Pounds, and is now
nearlie beggared.  _Mother_ weeps bitterlie, and _Father's_ Countenance
hath fallen more than ever I saw it before.  "Nine Children!" he
exclaimed, just now; "and onlie one provided for!"  His Eye fell upon me
for a Moment, with less Tendernesse than usuall, as though he wished me
in _Aldersgate Street_.  I'm sure I wish I were there,--not because
_Father_ is in Misfortune; oh, no.



_June, 1646_.

The Parliament requireth our unfortunate King to issue Orders to this and
alle his other Garrisons, commanding theire Surrender; and _Father_,
finding this is likelie to take Place forthwith, is busied in having
himself comprised within the Articles of Surrender.  'Twill be hard
indeed, shoulde this be denied.  His Estate lying in the King's Quarters,
howe coulde he doe less than adhere to his Majesty's Partie during this
unnaturall War?  I am sure _Mother_ grudged the Royalists everie Goose
and Turkey they had from our Yard.



_June 27, 1646_.

Praised be _Heaven_, deare _Father_ hath just received Sir _Thomas
Fairfax's_ Protection, empowering him quietlie and without let to goe
forthe "with Servants, Horses, Arms, Goods, etc." to "_London_ or
elsewhere," whithersoever he will.  And though the Protection extends but
over six Months, at the Expiry of which Time, _Father_ must take Measures
to embark for some Place of Refuge beyond Seas, yet who knows what may
turn up in those six Months!  The King may enjoy his Owne agayn.
Meantime, we immediatelie leave _Oxford_.



_Forest Hill_.

At Home agayn; and what a Home!  Everiething to seeke, everiething
misplaced, broken, abused, or gone altogether!  The Gate off its Hinges;
the Stone Balls of the Pillars overthrowne, the great Bell stolen, the
clipt Junipers grubbed up, the Sun-diall broken!  Not a Hen or Chicken,
Duck or Duckling, left!  _Crab_ half-starved, and soe glad to see us,
that he dragged his Kennel after him.  _Daisy_ and _Blanch_ making such
piteous Moans at the Paddock Gate, that I coulde not bear it, but helped
_Lettice_ to milk them.  Within Doors, everie Room smelling of Beer and
Tobacco; Cupboards broken upon, etc.  On my Chamber Floor, a greasy
steeple-crowned Hat!  Threw it forthe from the Window with a Pair of
Tongs.

_Mother_ goes about the House weeping.  _Father_ sits in his broken
Arm-chair, the Picture of Disconsolateness.  I see the _Agnews_, true
Friends! riding hither; and with them a Third, who, methinks, is _Rose's_
Brother _Ralph_.



_London.  St. Martin's le Grand_.

Trembling, weeping, hopefulle, dismaied, here I sit in mine Uncle's hired
House, alone in a Crowd, scared at mine owne Precipitation, readie to
wish myselfe back, unable to resolve, to reflect, to pray . . .



_Twelve at Night_.

Alle is silent; even in the latelie busie Streets.  Why art thou cast
down, my Heart? why art thou disquieted within me?  Hope thou stille in
the _Lord_, for he is the Joy and Light of thy Countenance.  Thou hast
beene long of learning him to be such.  Oh, forget not thy Lesson now!
Thy best Friend hath sanctioned, nay, counselled this Step, and overcome
alle Obstacles, and provided the Means of this Journey; and to-morrow at
Noone, if Events prove not cross, I shall have Speech of him whom my Soul
loveth.  To-night, let me watch, fast, and pray.



_Friday; at Night_.

How awfulle it is to beholde a Man weepe! mine owne Tears, when I think
thereon, well forthe . . .

_Rose_ was a true Friend when she sayd, "Our prompt Affections are oft
our wise Counsellors."  Soe, she suggested and advised alle; wrung forthe
my Father's Consent, and sett me on my Way, even putting Money in my
Purse.  Well for me, had she beene at my Journey's End as well as its
Beginning.

'Stead of which, here was onlie mine Aunt; a slow, timid, uncertayn
Soule, who proved but a broken Reed to lean upon.

Soe, alle I woulde have done arighte went crosse, the Letter never
delivered, the Message delayed till he had left Home, soe that methought
I shoulde goe crazie.

While the Boy, stammering in his lame Excuses, bore my chafed Reproaches
the more humblie because he saw he had done me some grievous Hurt, though
he knew not what, a Voice in the adjacent Chamber in Alternation with
mine Uncle's, drove the Blood of a suddain from mine Heart, and then sent
it back with impetuous Rush, for I knew the Accents right well.

Enters mine Aunt, alle flurried, and hushing her Voice.  "Oh, _Niece_, he
whom you wot of is here, but knoweth not you are at Hand, nor in
_London_.  Shall I tell him?"

But I gasped, and held her back by her Skirts; then, with a suddain
secret Prayer, or Cry, or maybe, Wish, as 'twere, darted up unto Heaven
for Assistance, I took noe Thought what I shoulde speak when confronted
with him, but opening the Door between us, he then standing with his Back
towards it, rushed forth and to his Feet--there sank, in a Gush of Tears;
for not one Word coulde I proffer, nor soe much as look up.

A quick Hand was laid on my Head, on my Shoulder--as quicklie
removed . . . and I was aware of the Door being hurriedlie opened and
shut, and a Man hasting forthe; but 'twas onlie mine Uncle.  Meantime, my
Husband, who had at first uttered a suddain Cry or Exclamation, had now
left me, sunk on the Ground as I was, and retired a Space, I know not
whither, but methinks he walked hastilie to and fro.  Thus I remained,
agonized in Tears, unable to recal one Word of the humble Appeal I had
pondered on my Journey, or to have spoken it, though I had known everie
Syllable by Rote; yet not wishing myself, even in that Suspense, Shame,
and Anguish, elsewhere than where I was cast, at mine Husband's Feet.

Or ever I was aware, he had come up, and caught me to his Breast: then,
holding me back soe as to look me in the Face, sayd, in Accents I shall
never forget,

"Much I coulde say to reproach, but will not!  Henceforth, let us onlie
recall this darke Passage of our deeplie sinfulle Lives, to quicken us to
_God's_ Mercy, in affording us this Re-union.  Let it deepen our
Penitence, enhance our Gratitude."

Then, suddainlie covering up his Face with his Hands, he gave two or
three Sobs; and for some few Minutes coulde not refrayn himself; but,
when at length he uncovered his Eyes and looked down on me with Goodness
and Sweetnesse, 'twas like the Sun's cleare shining after Raine. . . .


Shall I now destroy the disgracefulle Records of this blotted Book?  I
think not; for 'twill quicken me perhaps, as my Husband sayth, to "deeper
Penitence and stronger Gratitude," shoulde I henceforthe be in Danger of
settling on the Lees, and forgetting the deepe Waters which had nearlie
closed over mine Head.  At present, I am soe joyfulle, soe light of Heart
under the Sense of Forgivenesse, that it seemeth as though Sorrow coulde
lay hold of me noe more; and yet we are still, as 'twere, disunited for
awhile; for my Husband is agayn shifting House, and preparing to move his
increased Establishment into _Barbican_, where he hath taken a goodly
Mansion; and, until it is ready, I am to abide here.  I might pleasantlie
cavill at this; but, in Truth, will cavill at Nothing now.

I am, by this, full persuaded that _Ralph's_ Tale concerning Miss
_Davies_ was a false Lie; though, at the Time, supposing it to have some
Colour, it inflamed my Jealousie noe little.  The cross Spight of that
Youth led, under his Sister's Management, to an Issue his Malice never
forecast; and now, though I might come at the Truth for Inquiry, I will
not soe much as even soil my Mind with thinking of it agayn; for there is
that Truth in mine Husband's Eyes, which woulde silence the Slanders of a
hundred Liars.  Chafed, irritated, he has beene, soe as to excite the
sarcastic Constructions of those who wish him evill; but his Soul, and
his Heart, and his Mind require a Flighte beyond _Ralph's_ Witt to
comprehende; and I know and feel that they are _mine_.

He hath just led in the two _Phillips's_ to me, and left us together.
_Jack_ lookt at me askance, and held aloof; but deare little _Ned_ threw
his Arms about me and wept, and I did weep too; seeing the which, _Jack_
advanced, gave me his Hand, and finally his Lips, then lookt at much as
to say, "Now, Alle's right."  They are grown, and are more comely than
heretofore, which, in some Measure, is owing to theire Hair being noe
longer cut strait and short after the Puritanicall Fashion I soe hate,
but curled like their Uncle's.

I have writ, not the Particulars, but the Issue of my Journey, unto
_Rose_, whose loving Heart, I know, yearns for Tidings.  Alsoe, more
brieflie unto my Mother, who loveth not Mr. _Milton_.



_Barbican, September, 1646_.

In the Night-season, we take noe Rest; we search out our Hearts, and
commune with our Spiritts, and checque our Souls' Accounts, before we
dare court our Sleep; but in the Day of Happinesse we cut shorte our
Reckonings; and here am I, a joyfulle Wife, too proud and busie amid my
dailie Cares to have Leisure for more than a brief Note in my _Diarium_,
as _Ned_ woulde call it.  'Tis a large House, with more Rooms than we can
fill, even with the _Phillips's_ and their Scholar-mates, olde Mr.
_Milton_, and my Husband's Books to boot.  I feel Pleasure in being
housewifelie; and reape the Benefit of alle that I learnt of this Sorte
at _Sheepscote_.  Mine Husband's Eyes follow me with Delight; and once
with a perplexed yet pleased Smile, he sayd to me, "Sweet Wife, thou art
strangelie altered; it seems as though I have indeede lost 'sweet _Moll_'
after alle!"

Yes, I am indeed changed; more than he knows or coulde believe.  And he
is changed too.  With Payn I perceive a more stern, severe Tone
occasionallie used by him; doubtlesse the Cloke assumed by his Griefe to
hide the Ruin I had made within.  Yet a more geniall Influence is fast
melting this away.  Agayn, I note with Payn that he complayns much of his
Eyes.  At first, I observed he rubbed them oft, and dared not mention it,
believing that his Tears on Account of me, sinfulle Soule! had made them
smart.  Soe, perhaps, they did in the first Instance, for it appears they
have beene ailing ever since the Year I left him; and Overstuddy, which
my Presence mighte have prevented, hath conduced to the same ill Effect.
Whenever he now looks at a lighted Candle, he sees a Sort of Iris alle
about it; and, this Morning, he disturbed me by mentioning that a total
Darknesse obscured everie Thing on the left Side of his Eye, and that he
even feared, sometimes, he might eventuallie lose the Sight of both.  "In
which Case," he cheerfully sayd, "you, deare Wife, must become my
Lecturer as well as Amanuensis, and content yourself to read to me a
World of crabbed Books, in Tongues that are not nor neede ever be yours,
seeing that a Woman has ever enough of her own!"

Then, more pensivelie, he added, "I discipline and tranquillize my Mind
on this Subject, ever remembering, when the Apprehension afflicts me,
that, as Man lives not by Bread alone, but by everie Word that proceeds
out of the Mouth of _God_, so Man likewise lives not by _Sight_ alone,
but by Faith in the Giver of Sight.  As long, therefore, as it shall
please Him to prolong, however imperfectlie, this precious Gift, soe long
will I lay up Store agaynst the Days of Darknesse, which may be many; and
whensoever it shall please Him to withdrawe it from me altogether, I will
cheerfully bid mine Eyes keep Holiday, and place my Hand trustfullie in
His, to be led whithersoever He will, through the Remainder of Life."

A Honeymoon cannot for ever last; nor Sense of Danger, when it long hath
past;--but one little Difference from out manie greater Differences
between my late happie Fortnighte in _St. Martin's-le-Grand_, and my
present dailie Course in _Barbican_, hath marked the Distinction between
Lover and Husband.  There it was "sweet _Moll_," "my Heart's Life of
Life," "my dearest cleaving Mischief;" here 'tis onlie "Wife,"  "Mistress
_Milton_," or at most "deare or sweet Wife."  This, I know, is
masterfulle and seemly.

Onlie, this Morning, chancing to quote one of his owne Lines,

  These Things may startle well, but not astounde,--

he sayd, in a Kind of Wonder, "Why, _Moll_, whence had you
that?--Methought you hated Versing, as you used to call it.  When learnt
you to love it?"  I hung my Head in my old foolish Way, and answered,
"Since I learnt to love the Verser."  "Why, this is the best of Alle!" he
hastilie cried, "Can my sweet Wife be indeede Heart of my Heart and
Spirit of my Spirit?  I lost, or drove away a Child, and have found a
Woman."  Thereafter, he less often wifed me, and I found I was agayn
sweet _Moll_.

This Afternoon, _Christopher Milton_ lookt in on us.  After saluting me
with the usuall Mixture of Malice and Civilitie in his Looks, he fell
into easie Conversation; and presentlie says to his Brother quietlie
enough, "I saw a curious Pennyworth at a Book-stall as I came along this
Morning."  "What was that?" says my Husband, brightening up.  "It had a
long Name," says _Christopher_,--"I think it was called _Tetrachordon_."
My Husband cast at me a suddain, quick Look, but I did not soe much as
change Colour; and quietlie continued my Sewing.

"I wonder," says he, after a Pause, "that you did not invest a small
Portion of your Capitall in the Work, as you 'ay 'twas soe greate a
Bargain.  However, Mr. _Kit_, let me give you one small Hint with alle
the goode Humour imaginable; don't take Advantage of our neare and deare
Relation to make too frequent Opportunities of saying to me Anything that
woulde certainlie procure for another Man a Thrashing!"

Then, after a short Silence betweene Alle, he suddainlie burst out
laughing, and cried, "I know 'tis on the Stalk, I've seene it, _Kit_,
myself!  Oh, had you seene, as I did, the Blockheads poring over the
Title, and hammering at it while you might have walked to _Mile End_ and
back!"

"That's Fame, I suppose," says _Christopher_ drylie; and then goes off to
talk of some new Exercise of the Press-licenser's Authoritie, which he
seemed to approve, but it kindled my Husband in a Minute.

"What Folly! what Nonsense!" cried he, smiting the Table; "these _Jacks_
in Office sometimes devise such senselesse Things that I really am
ashamed of being of theire Party.  Licence, indeed! their Licence!  I
suppose they will shortlie license the Lengthe of _Moll's_ Curls, and
regulate the Colour of her Hoode, and forbid the Larks to sing within
Sounde of _Bow Bell_, and the Bees to hum o' _Sundays_.  Methoughte I had
broken _Mabbot's_ Teeth two Years agone; but I must bring forthe a new
Edition of my _Areopagitica_; and I'll put your Name down, _Kit_, for a
hundred Copies!"



_October, 1646_.

Though a rusticall Life hath ever had my Suffrages, Nothing can be more
pleasant than our regular Course.  We rise at five or sooner: while my
Husband combs his Hair, he commonly hums or sings some Psalm or Hymn,
versing it, maybe, as he goes on.  Being drest, _Ned_ reads him a Chapter
in the _Hebrew_ Bible.  With _Ned_ stille at his Knee, and me by his
Side, he expounds and improves the Same; then, after a shorte, heartie
Prayer, releases us both.  Before I have finished my Dressing, I hear him
below at his Organ, with the two Lads, who sing as well as Choristers,
hymning Anthems and _Gregorian_ Chants, now soaring up to the Clouds, as
'twere, and then dying off as though some wide echoing Space lay betweene
us.  I usuallie find Time to tie on my Hoode and slip away to the
Herb-market for a Bunch of fresh Radishes or Cresses, a Sprig of Parsley,
or at the leaste a Posy, to lay on his Plate.  A good wheaten Loaf, fresh
Butter and Eggs, and a large Jug of Milk, compose our simple Breakfast;
for he likes not, as my Father, to see Boys hacking a huge Piece of Beef,
nor cares for heavie feeding, himself.  Onlie, olde Mr. _Milton_
sometimes takes a Rasher of toasted Bacon, but commonly, a Basin of
Furmity, which I prepare more to his Minde than the Servants can.

After Breakfast, I well know the Boys' Lessons will last till Noone.  I
therefore goe to my Closett Duties after my _Forest Hill_ Fashion; thence
to Market, buy what I neede, come Home, look to my Maids, give forthe
needfulle Stores, then to my Needle, my Books, or perchance to my Lute,
which I woulde faine play better.  From twelve to one is the Boys' Hour
of Pastime; and it may generallie be sayd, my Husband's and mine too.  He
draws aside the green Curtain,--for we sit mostly in a large Chamber
shaped like the Letter T, and thus divided while at our separate Duties:
my End is the pleasantest, has the Sun most upon it, and hath a Balcony
overlooking a Garden.  At one, we dine; always on simple, plain Dishes,
but drest with Neatnesse and Care.  Olde Mr. _Milton_ sits at my right
Hand and says Grace; and, though growing a little deaf, enters into alle
the livelie Discourse at Table.  He loves me to help him to the
tenderest, by Reason of his Losse of Teeth.  My Husband careth not to
sitt over the Wine; and hath noe sooner finished the Cheese and Pippins
than he reverts to the Viol or Organ, and not onlie sings himself, but
will make me sing too, though he sayth my Voice is better than my Ear.
Never was there such a tunefulle Spiritt.  He alwaies tears himself away
at laste, as with a Kind of Violence, and returns to his Books at six o'
the Clock.  Meantime, his old Father dozes, and I sew at his Side.

From six to eight, we are seldom without Friends, chance Visitants, often
scholarlike and witty, who tell us alle the News, and remain to partake a
light Supper.  The Boys enjoy this Season as much as I doe, though with
Books before them, their Hands over their Ears, pretending to con the
Morrow's Tasks.  If the Guests chance to be musicalle, the Lute and Viol
are broughte forthe, to alternate with Roundelay and Madrigal: the old
Man beating Time with his feeble Fingers, and now and then joining with
his quavering Voice.  (By the way, he hath not forgotten, to this Hour,
my imputed Crime of losing that Song by _Harry Lawes_: my Husband takes
my Part, and sayth it will turn up some Day when leaste expected, like
_Justinian's Pandects_.)  _Hubert_ brings him his Pipe and a Glass of
Water, and then I crave his Blessing and goe to Bed; first, praying
ferventlie for alle beneathe this deare Roof, and then for alle at
_Sheepscote_ and _Forest Hill_.

On Sabbaths, besides the publick Ordinances of Devotion, which I cannot,
with alle my striving, bring myself to love like the Services to which I
have beene accustomed, we have much Reading, Singing, and Discoursing
among ourselves.  The Maids sing, the Boys sing, _Hubert_ sings, olde Mr.
_Milton_ sings; and trulie with soe much of it, I woulde sometimes as
lief have them quiete.  The _Sheepscote_ Sundays suited me better.  The
Sabbath Exercise of the Boys is to read a Chapter in the _Greek_
Testament, heare my Husband expounde the same; and write out a System of
Divinitie as he dictates to them, walking to and fro.  In listening
thereto, I find my Pleasure and Profitt.

I have alsoe my owne little Catechising, after a humbler Sorte, in the
Kitchen, and some poore Folk to relieve and console, with my Husband's
Concurrence and Encouragement.  Thus, the Sabbath is devoutlie and
happilie passed.

My Husband alsoe takes, once in a Fortnighte or soe, what he blythelie
calls "a gaudy Day," equallie to his owne Content, the Boys', and mine.
On these Occasions, it is my Province to provide colde Fowls or Pigeon
Pie, which _Hubert_ carries, with what else we neede, to the Spot
selected for our Camp Dinner.  Sometimes we take Boat to _Richmond_ or
_Greenwich_.  Two young Gallants, Mr. _Alphrey_ and Mr. _Miller_, love to
joyn our Partie, and toil at the Oar, or scramble up the Hills, as
merrilie as the Boys.  I must say they deal savagelie with the Pigeon Pie
afterwards.  They have as wild Spiritts as our _Dick_ and _Harry_, but
withal a most wonderfull Reverence for my Husband, whom they courte to
read and recite, and provoke to pleasant Argument, never prolonged to
Wearinesse, and seasoned with Frolic Jest and Witt.  Olde Mr. _Milton_
joyns not these Parties.  I leave him alwaies to _Dolly's_ Care, firste
providing for him a Sweetbread or some smalle Relish, such as he loves.
He is in Bed ere we return, which is oft by Moonlighte.

How soone must Smiles give Way to Tears!  Here is a Letter from deare
_Mother_, taking noe Note of what I write to her, and for good Reason,
she is soe distraught at her owne and deare _Father's_ ill Condition.
The Rebels (I must call them such,) have soe stript and opprest them,
they cannot make theire House tenantable; nor have Aught to feede on, had
they e'en a whole Roof over theire Heads.  The Neighbourhoode is too hot
to holde them; olde Friends cowardlie and suspicious, olde and new Foes
in League together.  Leave _Oxon_ they must; but where to goe?  _Father_,
despite his broken Health and Hatred of the Foreigner, must needes depart
beyond Seas; at leaste within the six Months; but how, with an emptie
Purse, make his Way in a strange Land, with a Wife and seven Children at
his Heels?  Soe ends _Mother_ with a "_Lord_ have Mercy upon us!" as
though her House were as surelie doomed to destruction as if it helde the
Plague.

Mine Eyes were yet swollen with Tears, when my Husband stept in.  He
askt, "What ails you, precious Wife?"  I coulde but sigh, and give him
the Letter.  Having read the Same, he says, "But what, my dearest?  Have
we not ample Room here for them alle?  I speak as to Generalls, you must
care for Particulars, and stow them as you will.  There are plenty of
small Rooms for the Boys; but, if your Father, being infirm, needes a
Ground-floor Chamber, you and I will mount aloft."

I coulde but look my Thankfullenesse and kiss his Hand.  "Nay," he added,
with increasing Gentlenesse, "think not I have seene your Cares for my
owne Father without loving and blessing you.  Let Mr. _Powell_ come and
see us happie; it may tend to make him soe.  Let him and his abide with
us, at the leaste, till the Spring; his Lads will studdy and play with
mine, your Mother will help you in your Housewiferie, the two olde Men
will chirp together beside the _Christmasse_ Hearth; and, if I find thy
Weeklie Bills the heavier 'twill be but to write another Book, and make a
better Bargain for it than I did for the last.  We will use Hospitalitie
without grudging; and, as for your owne Increase of Cares, I suppose
'twill be but to order two Legs of Mutton insteade of one!"

And soe, with a Laugh, left me, most joyfulle, happy Wife! to drawe
Sweete out of Sowre, Delighte out of Sorrowe; and to summon mine owne
Kindred aboute me, and wipe away theire Tears, bid them eat, drink, and
be merry, and shew myselfe to them, how proud, how cherished a Wife!

Surelie my Mother wille learne to love _John Milton_ at last!  If she
doth not, this will be my secret Crosse, for 'tis hard to love dearlie
two Persons who esteeme not one another.  But she will, she must, not
onlie respect him for his Uprightnesse and Magnanimitie, coupled with
what himselfe calls "an honest Haughtinesse and Self-esteeme," but _like_
him for his kind and equall Temper, (_not_ "harsh and crabbed," as I have
hearde her call it,) his easie Flow of Mirthe, his Manners, unaffectedlie
cheerfulle; his Voice, musicall; his Person, beautifull; his Habitt,
gracefull; his Hospitalitie, naturall to him; his Purse, Countenance,
Time, Trouble, at his Friend's Service; his Devotion, humble; his
Forgivenesse, heavenlie!  May it please _God_, that my Mother shall like
_John Milton_! . . .



DEBORAH'S DIARY


A FRAGMENT

_Bunhill Fields,
  Feb. 17, 1665_.

. . . Something geniall and soothing beyond ordinarie in the Warmth and
fitfulle Lighte of the Fire, made us delaye, I know not how long, to trim
the Evening Lamp, and sitt muzing in Idlenesse about the Hearth; _Mary_
revolving her Thumbs and staring at the Embers; _Anne_ quite in the
Shadowe, with her Arms behind her Head agaynst the Wall; Father in his
tall Arm-chair, quite uprighte, as his Fashion is when very thoughtfulle;
I on the Cushion at his Feet, with mine Head on's Knee and mine Eyes on
his Shadowe on the Wall, which, as it happened, shewed in colossal
Proportions, while ours were like Pigmies.  Alle at once he exclaims, "We
all seem very comfortable--I think we shoulde reward ourselves with some
Egg-flip!"

And then offered us Pence for our Thoughts.  _Anne_ would not tell hers;
_Mary_ owned she had beene trying to account for the Deficiencie of a
Groat in her housekeeping Purse; and I contest to such a Medley, that
Father sayd I deserved _Anne's_ Penny in addition to mine own, for my
Strength of Mind in submitting such a Farrago of Nonsense to the Ridicule
of my Friends.

Soe then I bade for his Thoughts, and he sayd he had beene questioning
the Cricket on the Hearth, upon the Extinction of the Fairies; and I
askt, Did anie believe in 'em now? and he made Answer, Oh, yes, he had
known a Serving-Wench in Oxon depone she had beene nipped and haled by
'em; and, of Crickets, he sayd he had manie Times seene an old Wife in
_Buckinghamshire_, who was soe pestered by one, that she cried, "I can't
heare myself talk!  I'd as lief heare Nought as heare thee;" soe poured a
Kettle of boiling Water into the Cranny wherein the harmlesse Creature
lay, and scalded it to Death; and, the next Day, became as deaf as a
Stone, and remained soe ever after, a Monument of God's Displeasure, at
her destroying one of the most innocent of His Creatures.

After this, he woulde tell us of this and that worn-our [Transcriber's
note: worn-out?] Superstition, as o' the Friar's Lantern, and of
Lob-lie-by-the-Fire, untill _Mary_, who affects not the Unreall, went off
to make the Flip.  _Anne_ presentlie exclaimed, "Father! when you sayd--

    'The Shepherds on the Lawn,
    Or e'er the Point of Dawn,
  Sat simply chatting in a rustic Row,
    Full little thought they then
    That the mighty _Pan_
  Was kindly come to live with them, below,'

whom meant you by _Pan_?  Sure, you would not call our Lord by the Name
of a heathen Deity?"

"Well, Child," returns Father, "you know He calls Himself a Shepherd, and
was in truth what _Pan_ was onlie supposed to be, the God of Shepherds;
albeit _Lavaterus_, in his Treatise _De Lemuribus_, doth indeede tell us,
that by _Pan_ some understoode noe other than the great _Sathanas_, whose
Kingdom being overturned at _Christ's_ Coming, his inferior Demons
expelled, and his Oracles silenced, he is some sort was himself
overthrown.  And the Story goes, that, about the Time of our Lord's
Passion, certain Persons sailing from _Italy_ to _Cyprus_, and passing by
certayn Islands, did heare a Voice calling aloud, _Thamus, Thamus_, which
was the Name of the Ship's Pilot, who, making Answer to the unseene
Appellant, was bidden, when he came to _Palodas_, to tell that the great
God _Pan_ was dead; which he doubting to doe, yet for that when he came
to _Palodas_, there suddainlie was such a Calm of Wind that the Ship
stoode still in the Sea, he was constrayned to cry aloud that _Pan_ was
dead; whereupon there were hearde such piteous Shrieks and Cries of
invisible Beings, echoing from haunted Spring and Dale, as ne'er smote
human Ears before nor since: Nymphs and Wood-Gods, or they that had
passed for such, breaking up House and retreating to their own Place.  I
warrant you, there was Trouble among the Sylvan People that Day--Satyrs
hirsute and cloven-footed Fauns.

". . . Many a Time and oft have _Charles Diodati_ and I discust fond
Legends, such as this, over our Winter Hearth; with our Chestnuts
blackening and crackling on the Hob, and our o'er-ripe Pears sputtering
in the Fire, while the Wind raved without among the creaking Elms. . . ."

Father still hammering on old Times, and his owne young Days, I beganne
to frame unto myself an Image of what he might then have beene; piecing
it out by Help of his Picture on the Wall; but coulde get no cleare
Apprehension of my Mother, she dying soe untimelie.  Askt him, Was she
beautifulle?  He sayth, Oh yes, and clouded over o' the suddain; then
went over her Height, Size, and Colour, etc.; dwelt on the Generalls of
personal Beauty, how it shadowed forthe the Mind, was desirable or
dangerous, etc.

On dispersing for the Night, he noted, somewhat hurt, _Anne's_ abrupt
Departure without kissing his Hand, and sayd, "Is she sulky or unwell?"

In our Chamber, found her alreadie half undrest, a reading of her Bible;
sayd, "Father tooke your briefe Good-nighte amisse."  She made Answer
shortlie, "Well, what neede to marvell; he cannot put his Arm about me
without being reminded how mis-shapen I am."

Poor _Nan_! we had been speaking of faire Proportions, and had
thoughtlessly cut her to the Quick; yet Father _knoweth_, though he
cannot _see_, that her Face is that of an Angel.

About One o' the Clock, was rouzed (though _Anne_ continued sleeping
soundly) by hearing Father give his three Signal-taps agaynst the Wall.
Half drest, and with bare Feet thrust into Slippers, I hastily ran in to
him; he cried, "_Deb_, for the Love of Heaven get Pen and Paper to sett
Something down."  I replied, "Sure, Father, you gave me quite a Turn; I
thought you were ill," and sett to my Task, marvellous ill-conditioned,
expecting some Crotchet had taken him concerning his Will.

'Stead of which, out comes a Volley of Poetry he had lain a brewing till
his Brain was like to burst; and soe I, in my thin Night Cotes, must
needs jot it all down, for Feare it should ooze away before Morning.
Sure, I thought he never woulde get to the End, and really feared at
firste he was crazing a little, but indeede all Poets doe when the Vein
is on 'em.  At length, with a Sigh of Relief, he says, "That will
doe--Good-night, little Maid."  I coulde not help saying, "'Twas a lucky
Thing for you, Father, that Step-mother was from Home;" he laught, drew
me to him, kissed me, and sayd, "Why, your Face is quite cold--are your
Feet unslippered?"

"Unstockinged," I replyed.

"I am quite concerned I knew it not sooner," he rejoyned, in an Accent of
such Kindnesse, that all my Vexation melted away, and I e'en protested I
did not mind it a Bit.

"Since it is soe," quoth he, "I shall the less mind having Recourse to
you agayn; onlie I must insist on your taking Care to wrap yourself up
more warmly, since you need not feare my being ill."

I bit my Lip, and onlie saying Good-night, stole off to my warm Bed.

Returning from Morning Prayers with _Anne_ this Forenoon, I found _Mary_
mending a Pen with the utmost Imperturbabilitie, and Father with a
Heat-spot on his Cheek, which betraied some Inquietation.  Being
presentlie alone with him, "_Mary_ is irretrievably heavy," sighs he,
"she would let the finest Thought escape one while she is blowing her
Nose or brushing up the Cinders.  I am confident she has beene writing
Nonsense even now--Do run through it for me, _Deb_, and lett me heare
what it is."

I went on, enough to his Satisfaction, till coming to

  "Bring to their Sweetness no Sobriety."


"Sobriety?" interrupted he, "Satiety, Satiety! the Blockhead!--and that I
should live to call a Woman soe.--Sobriety, indeede! poor _Mary_, her
Wits must have been wool-gathering.  'Bring to their Sweetness no
Sobriety!'  What Meaning coulde she possibly affix to such Folly?"

"Sure, Father," sayd I, "here's Enough that she could affix no Meaning
to, nor I neither, without your condescending to explayn it--Cycle,
Epicycle, nocturnal Rhomb."

"Well, well," returned he, beginning to smile, "'twas unlikely she
shoulde be with such Discourse delighted.  Not capable, alas! poor
_Mary's_ Ear, of what is high.  And yet, thy Mother, Child, woulde have
stretched up towards Truths, though beyond her Reach, yet to the
inquiring Mind offering rich Repast.  And now write Satiety for Sobriety,
if you love me."

While erasing the obnoxious Word, I cried, "Dear Father, pray answer me
one Question--What is a Rhomb?"

"A Rhomb, Child?" repeated he, laughing, "why, a Parallelogram or
quadrangular Figure, consisting of parallel Lines, with two acute and two
obtuse Angles, and formed by two equal and righte Cones, joyned together
at their Base!  There, are you anie wiser now?  No, little Maid, 'tis
best for such as you

      Not with perplexing Thoughts
  To interrupt the Sweet of Life, from which
  God hath bid dwell far off all anxious Cares,
  And not molest us, unless we ourselves
  Seek them, with wandering Thoughts and Notions vain.'"



_April 19, 1665_.

I heartilie wish our Stepmother were back, albeit we are soe comfortable
without her!  _Mary_, taking the Maids at unawares last Night, found a
strange Man in the Kitchen.  Words ensued; he slunk off like a Culprit,
which lookt not well, while _Betty Fisher_, brazening it out, woulde have
at firste that he was her Brother, then her Cousin, and ended by vowing
to be revenged on _Mary_ when she lookt not for it.  I would have had
_Mary_ speak to Father, but she will not; perhaps soe best.  _Polly_ is
in the Sulks to Daye, as well as _Betty_, saying, "As well live in a
Nunnerie."



_April 20, 1665_.

When the Horse is stolen, shut the Stable Door.  _Mary_ locked the lower
Doors, and brought up the Keys herselfe, yestereven at Duske.  Anon
dropped in Doctor _Paget_, Mr. _Skinner_, and Uncle _Dick_, soe that we
had quite a merrie Party.  Dr. _Paget_ sayd how that another Case of the
Plague had occurred in _Long Acre_; howbeit, this onlie makes three, soe
that we trust it will not spread, though 'twoulde be unadvised to goe
needlesslie into the infected Quarter.  Uncle _Dick_ would fayn take us
Girls down to _Oxon_, but Father sayd he could not spare us while Mother
was at _Stoke_; and that there was noe prevalent Distemper, this bracing
Weather, in our Parish.  Then felle a musing; and Uncle _Dick_, who loves
a Jeste, outs with a large brown Apple from's Pocket, and holds it aneath
Father's Nose.  Sayth Father, rousing, "How far Phansy goes! thy Voice,
_Dick_, carried me back to olde Dayes, and affected, I think, even my
Nose; for I could protest I smelled a _Sheepscote_ Apple."  And, feeling
himselfe touched by its cold Skin, laught merrilie, and ate it with a
Relish; saying, noe Sorte ever seemed unto him soe goode--he had received
manie a Hamper of 'em about Christmasse.  After a Time, alle but he and I
went up, and out on the Leads, to see the Comet; and we two sitting quite
still, and Father, doubtlesse, supposed to be alone, I saw a great
round-shouldered mannish Shadowe glide acrosse the Passage, and hearde
the Front-door Latch click.  Darted forthe, but too late, and then into
the Kitchen; with some Warmth chid _Betty_ for soe soone agayn disobeying
Orders, and threatened to tell my Mamma.  She cryed pertlie, "Law, Miss
_Deb_, I wish to Goodnesse your Mamma was here to heare you, for I'd
sooner have one Mistress than three.  A Shadowe, indeed!  I'm sure you
saw no Substance--very like, 'twas a Spirit; or, liker still, onlie the
Cat.  Here, Puss, Puss!" . . . and soe into the Passage, as though to
look for what she was sure not to find.  I had noe Patience with her;
but, returning to Father, askt him if he had not heard the Latch click?
He sayd, No; and, indeede, I think, had been dozing; soe then sate still,
and bethoughte me what 'twere best to doe.  Three Brains are too little
agaynst one that is resolved to cheat.  'Tis noe Goode complayning to a
Man; he will not see, even though unafflicted like Father, who cannot.
Men's Minds run on greater Things, and soe they are fretted at domestic
Appeals, and generallie give Judgment the wrong Way.  Thus we founde it
before, poor motherlesse Girls, to our Cost; and I reallie believe it was
more in Kindnesse for us than himself, that Father listened to the
Doctor's Overtures in behalfe of Miss _Minshull_; for what Companion can
soe illiterate a Woman be to him?  But he believed her gentle, hearde
that she was a good Housewife, and apprehended she would be kind to
us. . . .  Alas the Daye!  What Tears we three shed in our Chamber that
Night! and wished, too late, we had ne'er referred to him a Grievance,
nor let him know we had a Burthen.  Soone we founde King _Log_ had been
succeeded by King _Stork_; soone made common Cause, tryed our Strength
and found it wanting, and soone submitted to our new Yoke, and tried to
make the best of it.

Yes, that is the onlie Course; we alle feele it; onlie, as Ill-luck will
have it, we do not always feel it simultaneouslie.  _Anne_, mayhap, has
one of her dogged humours; _Mary_ and I see how much better 'twould be,
did she overcome it, or shut herself up till in better Temper.  _Mary_ is
crabbed and exacting; _Anne_ and I cannot put her straight.  Well for us
when we succeed just soe far as to keep it from the Notice of Father.
Thus we rub on; I wonder if we ever shall pull all together?



_April 22, 1665_.

Like unto a wise Master-builder, who ordereth the Disposition of eache
Stone till the whole Building is fitly compacted together, so doth Father
build up his noble Poem, which groweth under our Hands.  Three Nights
have I, without Complaynt, lost my Rest while writing at his Bedside;
this hath made me yawnish in the Day-time, or, as Mother will have it,
lazy.  However, I bethink me of _Damo_, Daughter of _Pythagoras_.

Mother came Home yesterday, and _Betty_, the Picture of Neatnesse, tooke
goode Heede to be the first to welcome her, with officious Smiles, and
Prayses of her Looks.  For my Part, I thoughte it fullsome, but knew her
Motives better than Mother, who took it alle in goode Part.  Indeede, noe
one would give this Girl credit for soe false a Heart; she is pretty,
modest looking, and for a while before my Father's Marriage was as great
a Favourite with _Mary_ as now with my Mother; flattered her the same,
and tempted her to idle gossiping Confidences.  She was slow to believe
herself cheated; and when 'twas as cleare as Day, could not convince
Father of it.

On _Mary's_ mentioning this Morning (unadvisedlie, I think,) the Kitchen
Visitor, Mother made short Answer--

"Tilly-vally! bad Mistresses make bad Maids; there will be noe such
Doings now, I warrant. . . .  I am sure, my Dear," appealing to Father,
"you think well in the main of _Betty_?"

"Yes," says he, smiling, "I think well of both my _Betties_."

"At any rate," persists _Mary_, "the Man coulde not be at once her Cousin
and her Brother."

"Why no," replies Father, "therein she worsened her Story, by saying too
much, as _Dorothea_ did, when she pretended to have heard of the Knight
of _La Mancha's_ Fame, when she landed at _Ossuna_; which even a Madman
as he was, knew to be noe Sea-port.  It requires more Skill than the
General possess, to lie with a Circumstance."

Had a Valentine this Morning, though onlie from_ Ned Phillips_, whom
Mother is angry with, for filling my Head betimes with such Nonsense.
Howbeit, I am close on sixteen.

_Mary_ was out of Patience with Father yesterday, who, after keeping her
a full Hour at _Thucydides_, sayd,

"Well, now we will refresh ourselves with a Canto of _Ariosto_," which
was as much a sealed Book to her as t'other.  Howbeit, this Morning he
sayd,

"Child, I have noted your Wearinesse in reading the dead Languages to me;
would that I needed not to be beholden unto any, whether bound to me by
Blood and Affection or not, for the Food that is as needfulle to me as my
daily Bread.  Nevertheless, that I be not further wearisome unto thee, I
have engaged a young Quaker, named _Ellwood_, to relieve thee of this
Portion of thy Task, soe that thou mayst have the more Leisure to enjoy
the glad Sunshine and fair Sights I never more shall see."

_Mary_ turned red, and dropt a quiet Tear; but alas, he knew it not.

"One part of my Children's Burthen, indeed," he continued, "I cannot, for
obvious Reasons, relieve them of--they must still be my Secretaries, for
in them alone can I confide.  Soe now to your healthfulle Exercises and
fitting Recreations, dear Maids, and Heaven's Blessing goe with you!"

We kissed his Hand and went, but our Walk was not merry.

_Ellwood_ is a young Man of seven-and-twenty, of good Parts, but
pragmaticalle; Son of an Oxfordshire Justice of the Peace, but not on
good Terms with him, by Reason of his religious Opinions, which the
Father affects not.



_April 23, 1665_.

Spring is coming on apace.  Father even sits between the wood Fire and
the open Casement, enjoying the mild Air, but it is not considered
healthfulle.

"My Dear," says Mother to him this Morning, after some Hours' Absence, "I
have bought me a new Mantle of the most absolute Fancy.  'Tis
sad-coloured, which I knew you would approve, but with a Garniture of
Orange-tawny; three Plaits at the Waist behind, and a little stuck-up
Collar."

"You are a comical Woman," says Father, "to spend soe much Money and Mind
on a Thing your Husband will never see."

"Oh! but it cost no Money at alle," says she; "that is the best of it."

"What is the best of it?" rejoyned he.  "I suppose you bartered for it,
if you did not buy it--you Women are always for cheap Pennyworths.  Come,
what was the Ransom?  One of my old Books, or my new Coat?"

"Your last new Coat may be called old too, I'm sure," says Mother; "I
believe you married me in it."

"Nay," says Father, "and what if I did?  'Twas new then, at any rate; and
the Cid _Ruy Diaz_ was married in a black Satin Doublet, which his Father
had worn in three or four Battles."

"A poor Compliment to the Bride," says Mother.

"Well, but, dear _Betty_, what has gone for this copper-coloured
Mantle?--_Sylvester's_ 'Du Bartas?'" . . .

"Nothing of the sort,--nothing you value or will ever miss.  An old Gold
Pocket-piece, that hath lain perdue, e'er soe long, in our Dressing-table
Drawer."

He smote the Table with his Hand.  "Woman!" cried he, changing Colour,
"'twas a Medal of Honour given to my Father by a Polish Prince!  It
should have been an Heir-loom.  There, say noe more about it now.  'Tis
in your Jew's Furnace ere this.  'The Fining-pot for Silver and the
Furnace for Gold, but . . . the Lord trieth the Spirits.'  Ay me! mine is
tried sometimes."

Uncle _Kit_ most opportunelie entering at this Moment, instantaneouslie
changed his Key-note.

"Ha, _Kit_!" he cries, gladly, "here you find me, as usual, maundering
among my Women.  Welcome, welcome!  How is it with you, and what's the
News?"

"Why, the News is, that the Plague's coming on amain," says my Uncle;
"they say it's been smouldering among us all the Winter, and now it's
bursting out."

"Lord save us!" says Mother, turning pale.

"You may say that," says Uncle, "but you must alsoe try to save
yourselves.  For my Part, I see not what shoulde keep you in Town.  Come
down to us at _Ipswich_; my Brother and you shall have the haunted
Chamber; and we can make plenty of Shakedowns for the Girls in the
Atticks.  Your Maids can look after Matters here.  By the way, you have a
Merlin's Head sett up in your Neighbourhood; I saw your black-eyed Maid
come forthe of it as I passed."

Mother bit her lip; but Father broke forthe with, "What can we expect but
that a judiciall Punishment shoulde befall a Land where the Corruption of
the Court, more potent and subtile in its Infection than anie Pestilence,
hath tainted every open Resorte and bye Corner of the Capital and
Country?  Our Sins cry aloud; our Pulpits, Counters, and Closetts alike
witness against us.  'Tis, as with the People soe with the Priest, as
with the Buyer soe with the Seller, as with the Maid soe with the
Mistress.  Plays, Interludes, Gaming-houses, Sabbath Debauches,
Dancing-rooms, Merry-Andrews, Jack Puddings, Quacks, false Prophesyings--"

"Ah! we can excuse a little Bitternesse in the losing Party now," says
Uncle; "but do you seriously mean to say you think us more deserving of
judiciall Punishment under the glorious Restoration than during the
unnatural Rebellion?  Sure you have had Time to cool upon that."

"Certainly I mean to say so," answers Father.  "During the unnatural
Rebellion, as you please to call it, the Commonwealth, whose Duration was
very short--"

"Very short, indeed," observes Uncle, coughing.  "Only from _Worcester_
Fight, Fifty-one, to _Noll's_ Dissolution of the Long Parliament,
Fifty-three; yet quite long enough to see what it was."

"I deny that, as well as your Dates," says Father.  "We enjoyed a
Commonwealth under the Protector, who, had he not assumed that high
Office which gave him his Name, would have lacked Opportunity of showing
that he was capable of filling the most exalted Station with Vigour and
Ability.  He secured a wise Peace, obtained the respectfull Concurrence
of foreign Powers, filled our domestick Courts with upright Judges, and
respected the Rights of Conscience."

"Why, suppose I admitted all this, which I am far from doing," says
Uncle, "what was he but a King, except by just Title?  What had become,
meantime, of your Commonwealth?"

"Softly, _Kit_," returns Father.  "The Commonwealth was progressing,
meantime, like a little Rivulet that rises among the Hills, amid Weeds
and Moss, and gradually works itself a widening Channel, filtering over
Beds of Gravel, and obstructed here and there by Fragments of Rock, that
sorely chafe and trouble it, at the very Time that, to the distant
Observer, it looks most picturesque and beautiful."

"Well, I suppose I was never distant enough to see it in this picturesque
Point of View," says Uncle.  "Legitimate Monarchy was, to my Mind, the
Rock over which the brawling River leaped awhile, and which, in the End,
successfully opposed it; and as to your _Oliver_, he was a cunning
Fellow, that diverted its Course to turn his own Mill."

"They that can see any Virtue or Comeliness in a _Charles Stuart_," says
Father, "can hardly be expected to acknowledge the rugged Merits of a
plain Republican."

"Plain was the very last Thing he was," says Uncle, "either in speaking
or dealing.  He was as cunning as a Fox, and as rough as a Bear."

"We can overlook the Roughness of a good Man," says Father; "and if a
Temper subject to hasty Ebullitions is better than one which, by Blows
and hard Usage, has been silenced into Sullenness, a Republic is better
than an absolute Sovereignty."

"Aye; and if a Temper under the Control of Reason and Principle," rejoins
Uncle, "is better than one unaccustomed to restrain its hasty
Ebullitions, a limited Monarchy is better than a Republic."

"But ours is not limited enough," persists Father.

"Wait awhile," returns Uncle, "till, as you say, we have filtered over
the Gravel a little longer, and then see how clear we shall run."

"I don't see much present Chance of it," says Father.  "Such a King, and
such a Court!"

"The King and Court will soon shift Quarters, I understand," says Uncle;
"for Fear of this coming Sickness.  'Twould be a rare Thing, indeed, for
the King to take the Plague!"

"Why not the King, as well as any of his Commons?" says Father.  "Tush!
I am tired of the Account People make of him.  'Is _Philip_ dead?'  'No;
but he is sick.'  Pray, what is it to us, whether _Philip_ is sick or
not?"

"Which of the _Phillipses_, my Dear?" asks Mother.  "Did you say _Jack
Phillips_ was sick?"

"No, dear _Betty_; only a King of _Macedon_, who lived a long Time ago."

"Doctor _Brice_ commends you much for your grounding the _Phillipses_ so
excellently in the Classicks," says Uncle.

"He should think whether his Praise is much worth having," says Father,
rather haughtily.  "The young Men were indebted to me for a competent
Knowledge of the learned Tongues--no more."

"Nay, somewhat more," rejoined Uncle; "and the Praise of a worthy Man is
surely always worth having."

"If he be our Superior in the Thing wherein he praises us," returned
Father.  "His Praise is then a Medal of Reward; but it should never be a
current Coin, bandied from one to another.  And the Inferior may never
praise the Superior."

Uncle was silent a Moment, and then softly uttered, "My Soul, praise the
Lord."

"There you have me," says Father, instantly softening.  "Laud we the Name
of the Lord, but let's not laud one another."

"Ah! I can't wait to argue the Point," says Uncle.  "I must back to the
_Temple_."

"Stay a Moment, _Kit_.  Have you seen 'the Mysterie of Jesuitism?'"

"No; have _you_ seen the Proof that _London_, not _Rome_, is the City on
seven Hills?  _Ludgate Hill, Fishstreet Hill, Dowgate Hill, Garlick Hill,
Saffron Hill, Holborn Hill_, and _Tower Hill_.  Clear as Day!"

"Where's _Snow Hill_?  Come, don't go yet.  We will fight over some of
our old Feuds.  There will be a roast Pig on Table at one o'clock, and, I
fancy, a Tansy-pudding."

"_I_ can't fancy Tansy-pudding," says Uncle, shuddering; "I cannot abide
Tansies, even in Lent.  Besides, I'm expecting a Reference."

"Oh! very well; then drop in again in the Evening, if you will; and very
likely you will meet _Cyriack Skinner_.  And you shall have cold Pig for
Supper, not forgetting the Current-sauce, _Wiltshire_ Cheese, Carraways,
and some of your own Wine."

"Well, that sounds good.  I don't mind if I do," says Uncle; "but don't
expect me after nine."

"I'm in Bed by nine," says Father.

"Oh, oh!" says Uncle; and with a comical Look at us, he went off.


Uncle _Kit_ did not come last Night; I did not much expect he woulde; nor
Mr. _Skinner_.  Insteade, we had Dr. _Paget_, and one or two others, who
talked dolefully alle the Evening of Signs of the Times, till they gave
me the Horrors.  One had seen a Ghost, or at least, seen a Crowd looking
at a Ghost, or for a Ghost, in _Bishopgate_ Churchyard, that comes out
and points hither and thither at future Graves.  Another had seene an
Apparition, or Meteor, somewhat of human or angelic Shape in the Air.
Father laught at the first, but did not so discredit _in toto_ the other;
observing that _Theodore Beza_ believed at one Time in astrologick Signs;
and thought that the Appearance of the notable Star in _Cassiopeiea_
betokened the universal End.  And as for Angels, he sayd they were,
questionless, ministering Spiritts, not onlie sent forth to minister unto
the Heirs of Salvation, but sometimes Instruments of God's Wrath, to
execute Judgments upon ungodly Men, and convince them of the ill Deeds
which they have ungodly committed; as during the Pestilence in _David's_
Time, when the King saw the Destroying Angel standing between Heaven and
Earth, having a drawn Sword in his Hand, stretched over Jerusalem.  Such
Delegates we might, without Fanaticism, suppose to be the generall,
though unseen.  Instruments of public Chastisements; and, for our
particular Comfort, we had equall Reason to repose on the Assurance, that
even amid the Pestilence that walked in Darkness, and the Destruction
that wasted by Noon-day, the Angels had charge over each particular
Believer, to keep them in all their Ways.  Adding, that, though he
forbore, with _Calvin_, to pronounce that each Man had his own Guardian
Spiritt,--a Subject whereon Scripture was silent,--we had the Lord's own
Word for it, that little Children were the particular Care of holy Angels.

And this, and othermuch to same Purport, had soe soothing and sedative an
Effect, that we might have gone to Bed in peacefull Trust, onlie that Dr.
_Paget_ must needs bring up, after Supper, the correlative Theme of the
great _Florentine_ Plague, and the poisoned Wells, which sett Father off
upon the Acts of Mercy of Cardinal _Borromeo,--_not him called St.
_Charlest_ but the Cardinal-Archbishop,--and soe, to the Pestilence at
_Geneva_, when even the Bars and Locks of Doors were poisoned by a Gang
of Wretches, who thought to pillage the Dwellings of the Dead; till we
all went to Bed, moped to Death.

Howbeit, I had been warmly asleep some Hours, (more by Token I had read
the ninety-first Psalm before getting into Bed), when _Anne_, clinging to
me, woke me up with a shrill Cry.  I whispered fearfullie, "What is't?--a
Thief under the Bed?"

"No, no," she replies.  "Listen!"

Soe I did for a While; and was just going to say, "You were dreaming,"
when a hollow Voice in the Street, beneath our Window, distinctlie
proclaimed,

"Yet forty Days, and _London_ shall be destroyed!  I will overturn,
overturn, overturn it!  Oh!  Woe, Woe, Woe!"

I sprang out of Bed, fell over my Shoes, got up again, and ran to the
Window.  There was Nothing to be seen but long, black Shadows in the
Streets.  The Moon was behind the House.  After looking forthe awhile,
with Teeth chattering, I was about to drop the Curtain, when, afar off,
whether in or over some distant Quarter of the Town, I heard the same
Voice, clearlie enow to recognise the Rhythm, though not the Words.  I
crept to Bed, chilled and awe-stricken; yet, after cowering awhile, and
saying our Prayers, we both fell asleep.


The first Sounde this Morning was of Weeping and Wayling.  Mother had
beene scared by the Night-warning, and wearied Father to have us alle
into the Countrie.  He thought the Danger not yet imminent, the Expense
considerable, and the Outcry that of some crazy Fanatick; ne'erthelesse,
consented to employ _Ellwood_ to look us out some country Lodgings;
having noe Mind to live upon my Uncle at _Ipswich_.

_Mary_, strange to say, had heard noe Noise; nor had the Maids; but
Servants always sleep heavily.

Some of the Pig having beene sett aside for my Uncle, and Mother fancying
it for her Breakfast, was much putt out, on going into the Larder, to
find it gone.  _Betty_, of course, sayd it was the Cat.  Mother made
Answer, she never knew a Cat partiall to cold Pig; and the Door having
been latched, was suspicious of a Puss in Boots.

_Betty_ cries--"Plague take the Cat!"

Mother rejoyns--"If the Plague does take him, I shall certainly have him
hanged."

"Then we shall be overrun with Rats," says _Betty_.

"I shall buy Ratsbane for them," says Mother; and soe into the Parlour,
where Father, having hearde the whole Dialogue, had been greatlie amused.

At Twilight, she went to look at the Pantry Fastenings herselfe, but,
suddenlie hearing a dolorous Voyce either within or immediately without,
cry, "Oh!  Woe, Woe!" she naturallie drew back.  However, being a Woman
of much Spiritt, she instantlie recovered herselfe, and went forward; but
no one was in the Pantry.  The Occurrence, therefore, made the more
Impression; and she came up somewhat scared, and asked if we had heard it.

"My Dear," says Father, "you awoke me in the midst of a very interesting
Colloquy between _Sir Thomas More_ and _Erasmus_.  However, I think a Dog
barked, or rather howled, just now.  Are you sure the words were not
'Bow, wow, wow?'"


Another Night-larum; but onlie from Father, who wanted me to write for
him,--a Task he has much intromitted of late.  Mother was hugelie annoyed
at it, and sayd,--"My Dear, I am persuaded that if you would not persist
in going to Bed soe earlie, you woulde not awake at these untimelie
Hours."

"That is very well for you to say," returned he, "who can sew and spin
the whole Evening through; but I, whose long entire Day is Night, grow
soe tired of it by nine o'clock, that I am fit for Nothing but Bed."

"Well," says she, "I often find that brushing my Hair wakes me up when I
am drowsy.  I will brush yours To-morrow Evening, and see if we cannot
keep you up a little later, and provide sounder Rest for you when you do
turn in."

Soe, this Evening, she casts her Apron over his Shoulders, and commences
combing his Hair, chatting of this and that, to keep him in good Humour.

"What beautiful Hair this is of yours, my Dear!" says she; "soe fine,
long, and soft! scarcelie a Silver Thread in it.  I warrant there's manie
a young Gallant at Court would be proud of such."

"Girls, put your Scissars out of your Mother's Way," says Father; "she's
a perfect _Dalilah_, and will whip off Half my Curls before I can count
Three, unless you look after her.  And I," he adds, with a Sigh, "am, in
one Sort, a _Samson_."

"I'm sure _Dalilah_ never treated _Samson's_ old Coat with such Respect,"
says Mother, finishing her Task, resuming her Apron, and kissing him.
"Soe now, keep your Eyes open--I mean, keep awake, till I bring you a
Gossip's Bowl."

When she was gone, Father continued sitting bolt upright, _his Eyes_, as
she sayd (his beautifull Eyes!), open and wakefull, and his Countenance
composed, yet grave, as if his Thoughts were at least as far off as
_Tangrolipix_ the _Turk_.  All at once, he says,

"_Deb_, are my Sleeves white at the Elbow?"

"No, Father."

"Or am I shiny about the Shoulders?"

"No, Father."

"Why, then," cries he, gaily, this Coat can't be very old, however long I
may have worn it.  I'll rub on in it still; and your Mother and you will
have the more Money for copper-coloured Clokes.  But don't, at any Time,
let your Father get shabby, Children.  I would never be threadbare nor
unclean.  Let my Habitt be neat and spotless, my Bands well washed and
uncrumpled, as becometh a Gentleman.  As for my Sword in the Corner, your
Mother may send that after my Medal as soon as she will.  The _Cid_
parted with his _Tizona_ in his Life-time; soe a peaceable Man, whose
Eyes, like the Prophet _Abijah's_, are set, may well doe the same."



_May 12, 1665_.

Yesterday being the _Lord's Day_, Mother was hugely scared during Morning
Service, by seeing an old Lady put her Kerchief to her Nose, look hither
and thither, and, finally, walk out of Church.  One whispered another, "A
Plague-Smell, perchance."  "No Doubt on't;" and soe, one after another
left, as, at length, did Mother, who declared she beganne to feel herself
ill.  On the Cloth being drawn after Dinner, she made a serious Attack on
my Father, upon the Subject of Country Lodgings, which he stoutly
resisted at first, saying,

"If, Wife and Daughters, either the Danger were so immediate, or the
Escape from it so facile as to justify these womanish Clamours, Reason
would that I should listen to you.  But, since that the Lord is about our
Bed, and about our Path, in the Capital no less than in the Country, and
knoweth them that are his, and hideth them under the Shadowe of his
Wings--and since that, if the Fiat be indeed issued agaynst us, no
Stronghold, though guarded with triple Walls of Circumvallation, like
_Ecbatana_, nor pastoral Valley, that might inspire _Theocritus_ with a
new Idyl, can hide us, either by its Strength or its Obscurity, from the
Arrow of the Destroying Angel; ye, therefore, seeing these Things cannot
be spoken agaynst, ought to be quiet, and do Nothing rashly.  Wherefore,
I pray you, Wife and Daughters, get you to your Knees, before Him who
alone can deliver you from these Terrors; and having cast your Burthen
upon Him, eat your Bread in Peacefulness and Cheerfulness of Heart."

However, we really are preparing for Country Quarters, for young
_Ellwood_ hath this Morning brought us Note of a rustick Abode near his
Friends, the _Penningtons_, at _Chalfont_, in _Bucks_, the Charges of
which suit my Father's limited Means; and we hope to enter on it by the
End of the Week.  _Ellwood's_ Head seems full of _Guli Springett_, the
Daughter of Master _Pennington's_ Wife by her first Husband.  If Half he
says of her be true, I shall like to see the young Lady.  We part with
one Maid, and take the other.  _Betty_ was very forward to be left in
Charge; and protest herself willing to abide any Risk for the Sake of the
Family; more by Token she thoughte there was no Risk at alle, having
boughte a sovereign Charm of Mother _Shipton_.  Howbeit, on inducing her,
much agaynst her Will, to open it, Nought was founde within but a
wretched little Print of a Ship, with the Words, scrawled beneath it, "By
Virtue of the above Sign."  Father called her a silly Baggage, and sayd,
he was glad, at any Rate, there was no Profanity in it; but, in Spite of
_Betty_, and _Polly_, and Mother too, he is resolved to leave the House
under the sole Charge of Nurse _Jellycott_.  Indeed, there Will probably
be more rather than less Work to do at _Chalfont_; but Mother means to
get a little Boy, such as will be glad to come for Threepence a-Week, to
fetch the Milk, post the Letters, get Flour from the Mill and Barm from
the Brewhouse, carry Pies to the Oven, clean Boots and Shoes, bring in
Wood, sweep up the Garden, roll the Grass, turn the Spit, draw the Water,
lift Boxes and heavy Weights, chase away Beggars and infectious Persons,
and any little odd Matter of the Kind.


Mother has drowned the Cats, and poisoned the Rats.  The latter have
revenged 'emselves by dying behind the Wainscot, which makes the lower
Part of the House soe unbearable, 'speciallie to Father, that we are
impatient to be off.  Mother, intending to turn _Chalfont_ into a
besieged Garrison, is laying in Stock of Sope, Candles, Cheese, Butter,
Salt, Sugar, Raisins, Pease, and Bacon; besides Resin, Sulphur, and
Benjamin, agaynst the Infection; and Pill Ruff, and _Venice_ Treacle, in
Case it comes.

As to Father, his Thoughts naturallie run more on Food for the Mind; soe
he hath layd in goodlie Store of Pens, Paper, and Ink, and sett me to
pack his Books.  At first, he sayd he should onlie require a few, and
good ones.  These were all of the biggest; and three or four Folios broke
out the Bottom of the Box.  So then Mother sayd the onlie Way was to cord
'em up in Sacking; which greatlie relaxed the Bounds of his Self-denial,
and ended in his having a Load packed that would break a Horse's Back.
Alsoe, hath had his Organ taken to Pieces; but as it must goe in two
severall Loads, and we cannot get a bigger Wagon,--everie Cart and
Carriage, large or little, being on such hard Duty in these Times,--I'm
to be left behind till the Wagon returns, and till I've finished
cataloguing the Books; after which _Ned Phillips_ hath promised to take
me down on a Pillion.

Nurse _Jellycott_, being sent for from _Wapping_, looked in this
Forenoon, for Father's Commands.  Such Years have passed since we lost
Sight of her, that I remembered not her Face in the least, but had an
instant Recollection of her chearfulle, gentle Voyce.  Spite of her
Steeple Hat, and short scarlet Cloke, which gave her an antiquated Ayr,
her cleare hazel Eyes and smooth-parted Silver Locks gave her an engaging
Appearance.  The World having gone ill with her, she thankfullie takes
Charge of the Premises; and though her Eyes filled with Tears, 'twas with
looking at Father.  He, for his Part, spake most kindlie, and gave her
his Hand, which she kissed.


They are all off.  Never was House in such a Pickle!  The Carpets rolled
up, but the Boards beneath 'em unswept, and black with Dirt; as Nurse
gladlie undertook everie Office of that Kind, and sayd 'twould help to
amuse her when we were away.  But she has tidied up the little Chamber
over the House-door she means to occupy, and sett on the Mantell a
Beau-pot of fresh Flowers she brought with her.  The whole House smells
of aromatick Herbs, we have burnt soe many of late for Fumigation; and,
though we fear to open the Window, yet, being on the shady Side, we doe
not feel the Heat much.

Yesterday, while in the Thick of packing, and Nobody being with Father
but me, a Messenger arrived, with a few Lines, writ privily by a Friend
of poor _Ellwood_, saying he was in _Aylesbury_ Gaol, not for Debt, but
for his Opinions, and praying Father to send him twenty or thirty
Shillings for immediate Necessaries.  Mother having gone to my Lord Mayor
for Passports, and Father having long given up to her his Purse, . . .
(for us Girls, we rarelie have a Crown,) he was in a Strait, and at
length said,

"This poor young Fellow must not be denied. . . .  A Friend in Need is a
Friend indeed. . . .  Tie on thy Hood, Child, and step out with the
Volume thou hadst in thy Hand but now, to the Stall at the Corner.  See
_Isaac_ himself; shew him _Tasso's_ Autograph on the Fly-leaf, and ask
him for thirty or forty Shillings on it till I come back; but bid him on
no Pretence to part with it."

I did so, not much liking the Job--there are often such queer People
there; for old _Isaac_ deals not onlie in old Books, but old Silver
Spoons.  Howbeit, I took the Volume to his Shop, and as I went in,
_Betty_ came out!  What had been _her_ Businesse, I know not; but she
lookt at me and my Book as though she should like to know _mine_; but,
with her usual demure Curtsey, made Way for me, and walked off.  I got
the Money with much Waiting, but not much other Dimcultie, and took it to
Father, who sent twenty Shillings to _Ellwood_, and gave me five for my
Payns.  Poor _Ellwood_! he hath good Leisure to muse now on _Guli
Springett_.


Mother was soe worried by the Odour of the Rats, that they alle started
off a Day sooner than was first intended, leaving me merelie a little
extra Packing.  Consequence was, that this Morning, before Dawn, being
earlie at my Task, there taps me at the Window an old Harridan that
Mother can't abide, who is always a crying, "Anie Kitchen-stuff have you,
Maids?"

Quoth I, "We've Nothing for you."

"Sure, my deary," answers she, in a cajoling voyce, "there's the Dripping
and Candles you promised me this Morning, along with the Pot-liquor."

"Dear Heart, Mrs. _Deb_!" says Nurse, laughing, "there is, indeed, a Lot
of Kitchen-stuff hid up near the Sink, which I dare say your Maid told
her she was to have; and as it will only make the House smell worse, I
don't see why she should not have it, and pay for it too."

Soe I laught, and gave it her forthe, and she put into my Hand two
Shillings; but then says, "Why, where's the Cheese?"

"We've no Cheese for you," sayd I.

"Well," says she, "it's a dear Bargayn; but . . ." peering towards me,
"is t'other Mayd gone, then?"

"Oh, yes! both of 'em," says I; "and I'm the Mistress," soe burst out a
laughing, and shut the Window, while she stumped off, with Something
between a Grunt and a Grone.  Of course, I gave the Money to Nurse.

We had much Talk overnight of my poor dear Mother.  Nurse came to her
when _Anne_ was born, and remained in the Family till after the Death of
Father's second Wife.  _She_ was a fayr and delicate Gentlewoman, by
Nurse's Account, soft in Speech, fond of Father, and kind to us and the
Servants; but all Nurse's Suffrages were in Favour of mine own loved
Mother.

I askt Nurse how there came to have beene a Separation betweene Father
and Mother, soone after their Marriage.  She made Answer, she never could
understand the Rights of it, having beene before her Time; but they were
both so good, and tenderly affectioned, she never could believe there had
beene anie reall Wrong on either Side.  She always thought my Grandmother
must have promoted the Misunderstanding.  Men were seldom fond of their
Mothers-in-law.  He was very kind to the whole Family the Winter before
_Anne_ was born, when, but for him, they would not have had a Roof over
their Heads.  Old Mr. _Powell_ died in this House, the very Day before
_Christmas_, which cast a Gloom over alle, insomuch that my Mother would
never after keep _Christmas Eve_; and, as none of the Puritans did, they
were alle of a Mind.  My other Grandfather dropt off a few Months after;
he was very fond of Mother.  At this time Grandmother was going to Law
for her Widow's Thirds, which was little worth the striving for, except
to One soe extreme poor.  Yet, spite of Gratitude and Interest, she must
quarrel with Father, and remove herself from his House; which even her
own Daughter thought very wrong.  Howbeit, Mother would have her first
Child baptized after her; and sent her alle the little Helps she could
from her owne Purse, from Time to Time, with Father's Privity and
Concurrence.  He woulde have his next Girl called _Mary_, after Mother;
though the Name _she_ went by with him was "Sweet _Moll_;"--'tis now
always "Poor _Moll_," or "Your Mother."  Her health fayled about that
Time, and they summered at _Forest Hill_--a Place she was always
hankering after; but when she came back she told Nurse she never wished
to see it agayn, 'twas soe altered.  Father's Sight was, meantime,
getting worse and worse.  She read to him, and wrote for him often.  He
had become _Cromwell's_ Secretary, and had received the public Thanks of
the Commonwealth. . . .  Great as his Reputation was at Home, 'twas
greater Abroad; and Foreigners came to see him, as they still
occasionally doe, from all Parts.  My Mother not onlie loved him, but was
proud of him.  All her Pleasures were in Home.  From my Birth to that of
the little Boy who died, her Health and Spiritts were good; after that
they failed; but she always tried to be chearfull with Father.  She read
her _Bible_ much, and was good to the Poor.  Nurse says 'twas almost
miraculous how much Good she did at how little Cost, except of
Forethought and Trouble; and all soe secretlie.  She began to have an
Impression she was for an early Grave, but did not seem to lament it.
One Night, Nurse being beside her, awoke her from what she supposed an
uneasie Dream, as she was crying in her Sleep; but as soone as she oped
her Eyes, she looked surprised, and said it was a Vision of Peace.  She
thought the Redeemer of alle Men had been talking with her.  Face to
Face, as a Man talketh with his Friend, and that she had fallen at his
Feet in grateful Joy, and was saying, "Oh!  I can't express . . . I can't
express--"

About a Week after, she dyed, without any particular Warning, except a
short Prick or two at the Heart.  My Father was by.  'Twas much talked of
at the Time, she being soe young.

Discoursing of this and that, 'twas Midnight ere we went to Bed.



_Chalfont_.

ARRIVED at last; after what a Journey!  _Ned_ had sent me Word Overnight
to expect, this Forenoon, a smart young Cavalier, on a fine prancing
Steed, with rich Accoutrements.  Howbeit, Cousin is neither smart nor
handsome; and, at the Time specifyde, there was brought up to the Door an
old white Horse, blind of one Eye, with an aquiline Nose, and, I should
think, eight Feet high.  The Bridle was diverse from the Pillion, which
was finely embroidered, but tarnish, with the Stuffing oozing out in
severall Places.  Howbeit, 'twas the onlie Equipage to be hired in the
Ward, for Love or Money . . . so _Ned_ sayd. . . .  And he had a huge
Pair of gauntlett Gloves, a Whip, that was the smartest Thing about him,
and a kind of Vizard over his Nose and Mouth, which, he sayd, was to
prevent his being too alluring; but I know 'twas to ward off Infection.
I had meant to be brave; and Nurse and I had brushed up the green camblet
Skirt, but the rent Mother had made in it would show; however, Nurse
thought that, when I was up she could conceal it with a Corking-pin.
Thus appointed, _Ned_ led the Way, saying, the onlie Occasion on which a
Gentleman needed not to excuse himself to a Lady for going first, was
when they were to ride a Pillion.  Noe more jesting when once
a-Horseback; for, after pacing through a few deserted Streets, we found
ourselves amidst such a Medly of Carts, Coaches, and Wagons, full of
People and Goods, all pouring out of Town, that _Ned_ had enough to do to
keep cleare of 'em, and of the Horsemen and empty Vehicles coming back
for fresh Loads.  Dear Heart! what jostling, cursing, and swearing!  And
how awfull the Cause!  Houses padlocked and shuttered wherever we passed,
and some with red Crosses on the Doors.  At the first Turnpike 'twas
worst of all--a complete Stoppage; Men squabbling, Women crying, and much
good Daylight wasted.  Howbeit, _Ned_ desired me to keep my Mouth shut,
my Eyes open, and to trust to his good Care; and, by Dint of some shrewd
Pilotage, weathered the Strait; after which, our old Horse, whose Paces,
to do him Justice, proved very easie, took longer Steps than anie other
on the Road, by which Means we soon got quit of the Throng; onlie, we
continuallie gained on fresh Parties,--some dreadfully overloaded, some
knocked up alreadie, some baiting at the Roadside, and many of the poorer
Sort erecting 'emselves rude Tents and Cabins under the Hedges.  Soon I
began to rejoyce in the green Fields, and sayd how sweet was the Air; and
_Ned_ sayd, "Ah!--a Brick-kiln," and signed at one with his Whip.  But I
knew the Wind came t'other Way; and e'en Bricks are better than dead Rats.

Half-way to _Amersham_ found _Hob Carter's_ Wagon, with Father's Organ
in't, sticking in the Hedge, without Man or Horse; and, by-and-by, came
upon _Hob_ himself, with a Party, carousing.  _Ned_ gave it him well, and
sent him back at double-quick Time.  'Twas too bad.  He had left Town
overnight, and promised to be at _Chalfont_ by Noon.  I should have beene
fain to keep him in Advance of us; howbeit, we were forct to leave him in
the Rear; and, about two Miles beyond _Amersham_, we turned off the high
Road into a country Lane, which soon brought us to a small retired
Hamlet, shaded with Trees, and surrounded with pleasant Meadows and
Orchards, which was no other than _Chalfont_.  There was Mother near the
Gate, putting some fine Things to bleach on a Sweetbriar-hedge.  _Ned_
stopt to chat with her, and learn where he might put his Horse, while I
went to seek Father; and soon found him, sitting up in a strait Chair,
outside the Garden-door.  Sayd, kissing him, "Dear Father, how is't with
you?  Are you comfortable here?"

"Anything but that," replies he, very shortlie.  "I am not in any Way at
my Ease in this Place.  I can get no definite Notion of what 'tis like,
and what Notion I have is unfavourable.  To finish all, they have stuck
me up here, like a Bottle in the Smoke."

"But here is a Cushion for you," quoth I, running in and back agayn; "and
I will set your Seat in the Sun, and out of the Wind, and put your Staff
within Reach."

"Thanks, dear _Deb_.  And now, look about, Child, and tell me, with
Precision, what the Place is like."

Soe I told him 'twas an irregular two-storied Tenement, parcel Wood,
parcel Brick, with a deep Roof of old Tiles that had lost their Colour,
and were curiouslie variegated with green and yellow Moss; and that the
Eaves were dentilled, with Birds' Nests built in 'em, and a big
Honeysuckle growing to the upper Floor; and there was a great and a
little Gable, and a heavy Chimney-stack; a Casement of four Compartments
next the Door, and another of two over it; four Lattice-windows at
t'other End.  In Front, a steep Meadow, enamelled with King-cups and
Blue-bells; alongside the Gable-end, a Village Road, with deep Cart-ruts,
and Hawthorn Hedges.  Onlie one small Dwelling at hand, little better
than a crazy Haystack; Sheep in the Field, Bees in the Honeysuckle; and a
little rippling Rivulet flowing on continually.

"Why, now you have sett me quite at Ease!" cries he, turning his bright
Eyes thankfully towards the Sky.  "I begin to like the Place, and to
bless the warm Sun and pure Air.  Ha! so there is a rippling Rivulet,
that floweth on continually! . . .  Lord, forgive me for my peevish
Petulance . . . for forgetting that I could still hear the Lark sing her
Morning Hymn, scent the Meadow-sweet and new-mown Hay, detect the Bee at
his Industry, and the Woodpecker at his Mischief, discern the Breath of
Cows, and hear the Lambs bleat, and the Rivulet ripple continually!
Come! let us go and seek _Ned_."

And, throwing his Arm about me, draws me to him, saying, "This is my best
Walking-stick," and steps forward briskly and fearlessly.

Truly, I think _Ned_ loves him as though he were his own Father; and,
indeed, he hath scarce known any other.  Kissing his Hand reverently, he
says,--"Honoured _Nunks_, how fares it with you?  Do you like _Chalfont_?"

"Indeed I do, _Ned_," responds Father heartily.  "'Tis a little _Zoar_,
whither I and my fugitive Family have escaped from the wicked City; and,
I thank God, my Wife has no Mind to look back."

"We may as well go in now," says Mother.

"No, no," says Father; "I feel there is an Hour of Summer's Sunset still
left.  We will abide where we are, and keep as long as we can out of the
Smell of your Soapsuds. . . .  Let's sit upon the Ground."

"And tell strange Stories of the Deaths of Kings," says _Ned_, laughing,

"That was the Saying, _Ned_, of one who writ much well, and much amiss."

"Let's forgive what he writ amiss, for the Sake of what he writ well,"
says _Ned_.

"That will I never," says Father.  "If paltry Wits cannot be holy and
witty at the same Time, that does not hold good with nobler
Spiritts. . . .  If it did, they had best never be witty at all.  Thy
Brother _Jack_ hath yet to learn that Strength is not Coarseness."

_Ned_ softly hummed--

  "Sweetest Shakespeare, Fancy's Child!"


"Ah! you may quote me against myself," says Father; "you may quote _Beza_
against _Beza_, and _Erasmus_ against _Erasmus_; but that will not shake
the eternal Laws of Purity and Truth.  But, mind you, _Ned_, never did
anie reach a more lofty or tragic Height than this Child of Fancy; never
did any represent Nature more purely to the Life; and e'en where the
Polishments of Art are most wanting in him, he pleaseth with a certain
wild and native Elegance."

"And what have you now in Hand, Uncle?" _Ned_ asks.

"_Firmianus Chlorus_," says Father.  "But I don't find Much in him."

"I mean, what of your own?"

"Oh!" laughing; "Things in Heaven, _Ned_, and Things on Earth, and Things
under the Earth.  The old Story, whereof you have alreadie seen many
Parcels; but, you know, my Vein ne'er flows so happily as from the
autumnal to the vernal Equinox.  Howbeit, there is Something in the
Quality of this Air would arouse the old Man of _Chios_ himself."

"Sure," cries _Ned_, "you have less Need than any blind Man to complayn,
since you have but closed your Eyes on Earth to look on Heaven!"

Father paused; then, stedfastly, in Words I've since sett down, sayd:--

  "When I consider how my Light is spent,
  Ere half my Days, in this dark World and wide,
  And that one Talent, which is Death to hide,
  Lodged with me useless, though my Soul more bent
  To serve therewith my Maker, and present
  My true Account, lest He, returning, chide;
  'Doth God exact Day-labour, Light denied?'
  I fondly ask.  But Patience, to prevent
  That Murmur, soon replies,--'God doth not need.
  Either Man's Work, or his own Gifts.  Who best
  Bear his mild Yoke, they serve him best.  His State
  Is kingly; Thousands at his Bidding speed,
  And post o'er Land and Ocean without Rest,
  They also serve who only stand and wait.'"


. . . We were all quiet enough for a while after this . . .  _Ned_ onlie
breathing hard, and squeezing Father's Hand.  At length, Mother calls
from the House, "Who will come in to Strawberries and Cream?"

"Ah!" says Father, "that is not an ill Call.  And when we have discussed
our neat Repast, thou, _Ned_, shalt touch the Theorbo, and let us hear
thy balmy Voice.  Time was, when thou didst sing like a young Chorister."

. . . Just as we were returning to the House, _Mary_ ran forth, crying,
"Oh, _Deb_! you have not seen our Cow.  She has just been milked, and is
being turned out, even now, to the Pasture.  See, there she is; but all
the Others have gone out of Sight, over the Hill."

Mother observed, "Left to herself, she will go, her own Calf speedily
seeking."

"My Dear," says Father, "that's a Hexameter: do try to make another."

"Indeed, Mr. _Milton_, I know nothing of Hexameters or Hexagons either:
'tis enough for me to keep all straight and tight.  Let's to Supper."

_Anne_ had crushed his Strawberries, and mixed them with Cream, and now
she put his Spoon into his Hand, saying, in jest, "Father, this is
Angels' Food, you know.  I Have pressed the Meath from many a Berry, and
tempered dulcet Creams."

"Hush, you Rogue," says he; "_Ned_ will find us out."

"Is Uncle still at his great Work?" whispers Cousin to Mother.

"Indeed, I know not if you call it such," she replies, in the same
Undertone.  "He hath given over all those grand Things with hard Names,
that used to make him so notable abroad, and so esteemed by his own Party
at Home; and now only amuses himself by making the _Bible_ a Peg to hang
his Idlenesse upon."

Sure what a Look _Ned_ gave her!  Fearful lest Father should overhear
(for Blindness quickens the other Senses), he runs up to the Bookshelf,
and cries, "Why, Uncle, you have brought down Plenty of Entertainment
with you!  Here are _Plato, Xenophon_, and _Sallust, Homer_ and
_Euripides, Dante_ and _Petrarch, Chaucer_ and _Spenser_, . . . and . . .
oh, oh! you read Plays sometimes, though you were so hard upon
_Shakspeare_. . . .  Here's 'La Scena Tragica d' _Adamo_ ed _Eva_,'
dedicated to the Duchess of _Mantua_."

"Come away from that Corner, _Ned,"_ says Father; "there's a Rat behind
the Books; he will bite your Fingers--I hear him scratching now.  You had
best attack your Strawberries."

"I think this Sort will preserve well," says Mother.  "_Betty_, in
'lighting from the Coach, must needs sett her Foot on the only Pot of
Preserve I had left; which she had stuffed under the Seat, instead of
carrying it, as she was bidden, in her Hand."

"How fine it is, though," says Father, laughing, "to peacock it in a
Coach now and then!  _Pavoneggiarsi in un Cocchio_!  Only, except for the
Bravery of it, I doubt if little _Deb_ were not better off on her
Pillion.  I remember, on my Road to _Paris_, the Bottom of the Caroche
fell out; and there sate I, with _Hubert_, who was my Attendant, with our
Feet dangling through.  Even the grave _Grotius_ laughed at the Accident."

"Was _Grotius_ grave?" says _Ned_.

"Believe me, he was," says Father.  "He had had Enough to make him so.
One feels taller in the Consciousness of having known such a Man.  He was
great in practical!  Things; he was also a profound Scholar, though he
made out the fourth Kingdom in _Daniel's_ Prophecy to be the Kingdoms of
the _Lagidae_ and the _Seleucidae_; which, you know, _Ned_, could not
possibly be."

Chatting thus of this and that, we idled over Supper, had some Musick,
and went to Bed.  And soe much for the only Guest we are like to have for
some Months.

_Anne_ told me, at Bed-time, of the Journey down.  The Coach, she sayd,
was most uncomfortable, Mother having so over-stuffed it.  For her Share,
she had a Knife-box under her Feet, a Plate-basket at her Back, a
Bird-cage bobbing over her Head, and a Lapfull of Crockery-ware.
Providentially, _Betty_ turned squeamish, and could not ride inside, soe
she was put upon the Box, to the great Comfort of all within.  Father, at
the Outset, was chafed and captious, but soon settled down, improved the
Circumstances of the Times, made Jokes on Mother, recalled old Journies
to _Buckinghamshire_, and, finally, set himself to silent Self-communion,
with a pensive Smile on his Face, which, as _Anne_ said, let her know
well enow what he was about.  Arrived at _Chalfont_, her first Care was
to make him comfortable; while Mother, _Mary_, and _Betty_ were turning
the House upside down; and in this her Care, she so well succeeded, that,
to her Dismay, he bade her take Pen and Ink, and commenced dictating to
her as composedly as if they were in _Bunhill Fields_.  This was somewhat
inopportune, for every Thing was to seek and to set in Order; and,
indeed, Mother soon came in, all of a Heat, and sayd, "I wonder, my Dear,
you can keep _Nan_ here, at such idling, when she has her Bed to make,
and her Box to unpack."  Father let her go without a Word, and sate in
peacefull Cogitation all the Rest of the Evening--the only Person at
Leisure in the House.  Howbeit, the next Time he heard Mother
chiding--which was after Supper--at _Anne_, for trying to catch a Bat,
which was a Creature she longed to look at narrowly, he sayd, "My Dear,
we should be very cautious how we cut off another Person's Pleasures.
'Tis an easy Thing to say to them, 'You are wrong or foolish,' and soe
check them in their Pursuit; but what have we to give them that will
compensate for it?  How many harmless Refreshments and Refuges from sick
or tired Thought may thus be destroyed!  We may deprive the Spider of his
Web, and the Robin of his Nest, but can never repair the Damage to them.
Let us live, and let live; leave me to hunt my Butterfly, and _Anne_ to
catch her Bat."


Our Life here is most pleasant.  Father and I pass almost the whole of
our Time in the open Air--he dictating, and I writing; while Mother and
_Mary_ find 'emselves I know not whether more of Toyl or Pastime, within
Doors,--washing, brewing, baking, pickling, and preserving; to say Nought
of the Dairy, which supplies us with endless Variety of Country Messes,
such as Father's Soul loveth.  'Tis well we have this Resource, or our
Bill of Fare would be somewhat meagre; for the Butcher kills nothing but
Mutton, except at _Christ-mass_.  Then, we make our own Bread, for we now
keep strict Quarantine, the Plague having now so much spread, that there
have e'en been one or two Cases in _Chalfont_.  The only One to seek for
Employment has been poor _Anne_, whose great Resources at Home have ever
been Church-going and visiting poor Folk.  She can do neither here, for
we keep close, even on the Sabbath; and she can neither read to Father,
take long, lonely Rambles, nor help Mother in her Housewifery.  Howbeit,
a Resource hath at length turned up; for the lonely Cot (which is the
only Dwelling within Sight) has become the Refuge of a poor, pious Widow,
whose only Daughter, a Weaver of Gold and Silver Lace, has been thrown
out of Employ by the present Stagnation of all Business.  _Anne_ picked
up an Acquaintance with 'em shortly after our coming; and, being by
Nature a Hoarder, in an innocent Way, so as always to have a few
Shillings by her for charitable Uses, when _Mary_ and I have none, she
hath improved her Commerce with _Joan Elliott_ to that Degree, as to get
her to teach her her pretty Business, at the Price of the Contents of her
little Purse.  So these two sit harmoniously at their Loom, within
Earshot of Father and me, while he dictates to me his wondrous Poem.  We
are nearing the End of it now, and have reached the Reconciliation of
_Adam_ and _Eve_, which, I think, affected him a good deal, and
abstracted his Mind all the Evening; for why, else, should he have so
forgotten himself as to call me sweet _Moll_? . . .  _Mary_ lookt up,
thinking he meant her; but he never calls her _Moll_ or _Molly_; and, I
believe, was quite unaware he had done so to me: but it showed the Course
his Mind was taking.

This Morning, I was straying down a Blackthorn Lane, when a blue-eyed,
fresh-coloured young Lady, in a sad-coloured Skirt, and large-flapped
Beaver, without either Feather or Buckle, swept by me on a small white
Palfrey.  She held a Bunch of Tiger Lilies in her Hand, the gayety of
which contrasted strangelie enow with her sober Apparell; and I wondered
why a peculiar Classe of Folks should deem they please God by wearing the
dullest of Colours, when He hath arrayed the Flowers of the Field in the
liveliest of Hues.  Somehow, I conceited her to be Mistress _Gulielma
Springett_--and so, indeed, she proved; for, on reaching Home after a
lengthened Ramble, I saw the Tiger Lilies lying on the Table, and found
she had spent a full Hour with Father, who much relished her Talk.  Sure,
she might have brought a blind Man Flowers that had some Fragrance,
however dull of hue.

To-day, as we were sitting under the Hedge, we heard a rough Voice
shouting, "Hoy! hoy! what are you about there?"  To which another Man's
Voice, just over against us, deprecatingly replied, "No Harm, I promise
you, Master. . . .  We have clean Bills of Health; and my Wife and I,
Foot-sore and hungry, do but Purpose to set up our little Cabin against
the Bank, till the Sabbath is overpast."

"But you must set it up Somewhere else," cries the other, who was the
_Chalfont_ Constable; "for we _Chalfont_ Folks are very particular, and
can't have Strangers come harbouring here in our Highways and
Hedges,--dying, and making themselves disagreeable."

"But we don't mean to die or be disagreeable," says the other.  "We are
on our Way to my Wife's Parish; and, sure, you cannot stop us on the
King's Highway."

"Oh! but we can, though," says the Constable.  "And, besides, this is not
the King's Highway, but only a Bye-way, which is next to private
Property; and the Gentleman at present in Occupation of that private
Property will be highly and justly offended if you go to give him the
Plague."

"That's me," says Father.  "Do tell him, _Deb_, not to be so hard on the
poor People, but to let them abide where they are till the Sabbath is
over.  I dare say they have clean Bills of Health, as they state, and the
Spot is so lonely, they need not be denied Fire and Water, which is next
to Excommunication."

So I parleyed with _John Constable_, and he parleyed with the Travellers,
who really had Passports, and seemed Honest as well as Sound.  So they
were permitted, without Let or Hindrance, to erect their little Booth;
and in a little while they had collected Sticks enough to light a Fire,
the Smoke of which annoyed us not, because we were to Windward.

"What have we for Dinner To-day?" says Father.

"A cold Shoulder of Mutton," says Mother, who had thrown 'em a couple of
Cabbages.

"Well," says Father, "'twas to a cold Shoulder of Mutton that _Samuel_
set down _Saul_; and what was good enough for a Prophet may well content
a Poet.  I propose, that what we leave of ours To-day, should be given to
these poor People for their Sabbath's Dinner; and I, for one, shall eat
no Meat To-day."

In fact, none did but _Mary_ and Mother, who find fasting not good for
their Stomachs; soe _Anne_, who is the most fearlesse of us all, handed
the Joint over to them, with some broken Bread and Dripping, which was
most thankfully received.  In Truth, I believe them harmless People, for
they are now a singing Psalms.


_Ellwood_ has turned up agayn, to the great Pleasure of Father, who
delights in his Company, and likes his Reading better than ours, though
he _will_ call Pater Payter.  Consequence is, I have infinitely more
Leisure, and can ramble hither and thither, (always shunning Wayfarers),
and bring Home my Lap full of Flowers and Weeds, with rusticall Names,
such as _Ragged Robin, Sneezewort, Cream-and-Codlins, Jack-in-the-Hedge_,
or _Sauce-alone_.  Many of these I knew not before; but I describe them
to Father, and he tells me what they are.  He hath finished his Poem, and
given it _Ellwood_ to read, in the most careless Fashion imaginable,
saying, "You can take this Home, and run through it at your Leisure.  I
should like to hear your Judgment on it some Time or other."  Nor do I
believe he has ever since given himself an uneasy Thought of what that
Judgment may be, nor what the World at large may think of it.  His
Pleasure is not in Praise but Production; the last makes him now and then
a little feverish; the other, or its want, never.  Just at last, 'twas
hard Work to us both; he was like a Wheel running downhill, that must get
to the End before it stopped.  Mother scolded him, and made him promise
he would leave off for a Week or so; at least, she says he did, and he
says he did not, and asks her whether, if the Grass had promised not to
grow she would believe it.

Poor _Ellwood's_ Love-bonds prove rather more irksome to him than those
of his Gaol; he hath renewed his Intercourse with our Friends at the
_Grange_, only to find a dangerous Rival stept into his Place, in the
Person of one _William Penn_--in fact, I suspect Mistress _Guli_ is
engaged to him already.  _Ellwood_ hath been closetted with my Father
this Morning, pouring out his Woes--methinks he must have been to seek
for a Confidant!  When he came forth, the poor young Man's Eyes were red.
I cannot but pity him, tho' he is such a Formalist.

I wish _Anne_ were a little more demonstrative; Father would then be as
assured of her Affection as of mine, and treat her with equal Tenderness.
But, no, she cannot be; she will sitt and look piteously on his blind
Face, but, alas! he cannot see that; and when he pours forth the full
Tide of Melody on his Organ, and hymns mellifluous Praise, the Tears rush
to her eyes, and she is oft obliged to quit the Chamber; but, alas! he
knows not that.  So he goes on, deeming her, I fear me, stupid as well as
silent, indifferent as well as infirm.

I am not avised of her ever having let him feel her Sympathy, save when
he was inditing to me his third Book, while she sate at her Sewing.
'Twas at these lines:--

        "Thus with the Year,
  Seasons return; but not to me returns
  Day, or the sweet Approach of Even or Morn,
  Or Sight of vernal Bloom or Summer's Rose,
  Or Flocks or Herds, or human Face divine,
  But Clouds instead, and over-during Dark
  Surrounds me; from the cheerful Ways of Men
  Cut off: and for the Book of Knowledge fair,
  Presented with an universal Blank."


His Brow was a little contracted, but his Face was quite composed; while
she, on t'other Hand, with her Work dropped from her Lap, and her Eyes
streaming, sate gazing on him, the Image of Woe.  At length, timidly
stole to his Side, and, after hesitating awhile, kissed both his Eyelids.
He caught her to him, quite taken by Surprise, and, for a Moment, both
wept bitterly.  This was soon put a Stop to, by Mother's coming in, with
her Head full of stale Fish; howbeit Father treated _Anne_ with uncommon
Tenderness all that Evening, calling her his sweet _Nan_; while she,
shrinking back again into her Shell, was shyer than ever.  But his
Spiritts were soothed rather than dashed by this little Outbreak; and at
Bedtime, he said, even cheerfully, "Now, good-night, Girls: . . . may it,
indeed, be as good to you as to me.  You know, Night brings back my
Day--_I am not blind in my Dreams_."


I wish I knew the Distinction between Temperament and Genius: how far
Father's even Frame is attributable to one or t'other.  If to the former,
why, we might hope to attain it as well as he;--yet, no; this is equallie
the Gift of God's Grace.  Our Humours we may controwl, but our
Temperament is born with us; and if one should say, "Why are you a Vessel
of glorious things, while I am a Vessel of Things weak and vile?"--nay,
but oh! Man or Woman, who art thou that questionest the Will of God?  His
Election is shewn no less in the Gift of Genius or of an equable
Temperament than of spirituall Life; and the Thing formed may not say to
him that formed it, "Why hast thou made me thus?"

Father, indeed, can flame out in political Controversy, and lay about him
as with a Flail, right and left, making the Chaff, and sometimes the
Wheat too, fly about his Ears.  'Twas while threshing the Wheat by the
Wine-press at _Ophrah_, that _Gideon_ was called by the Angel; and
methinks Father hath in like Manner been summoned from the Floor of his
Threshing, to discourse of Heaven and Earth, and bring forth from his
Mind's Storehouse Things new and old.  I wonder if the World will ever
give heed to his Teaching.  Suppose a Spark of Fire should drop some
Night on the Manuscript, while _Ettwood_ is dozing over it;--why, there's
an end on't.  I suppose Father could never do it over again.  I wonder
how many fine Things have been lost in suchlike Ways; or whether God ever
permitts a truly fine Thing to be utterly lost.  We may drop a Diamond
into the Sea; but there it is, at the Bottom of the Great Deep.
_Justinian's Pandects_ turned up again.  The Art of making Glass was lost
once.  The Passage round the _Cape_ was made and forgotten.----If I pore
over this, I shall puzzle my Head.  Howbeit, were I to round the _Cape_,
I should hardly look for stranger and more glorious Scenes than Father
hath in his Poem made familiar to me.  He hath done more for me than
_Columbus_ for Queen _Isabel_--hath revealed to me a far better _New
World_.  Now, I scarce ever look on the setting Sun, surrounded by Hues
more gorgeous than those of the High-priest's Breast-plate, without
picturing the Angel of the Sun seated on that bright Beam which bore him,
Slope downward, beneath the _Azores_.  And, in the less brilliant Hour,
I, by Faith or Fancy, discern _Ithuriel_ and _Zephon_ in the Shade; and
by their Side a third, of regal Port, but faded Splendour wan.  A little
later still, can sometimes hear the Voice of God, or, as I suppose, we
might say, the Word of God, walking in the Garden.  _Pneuma_!  His
Breath!  His Spirit!  How hushed and still!  Then, the Night cometh, when
no Man can work--when the young Lions, in tropical Climes, waking from
their Day-sleep, seek their Meat from God.  Albeit they may prowl about
the Dwellings of his people, they cannot enter, for He that watcheth them
neither slumbers nor sleeps.  Moreover, heavenly Vigils relieve one
another at their Posts, and go their Midnight Rounds; sometimes, singing
(Father says), with heavenly Touch of instrumental Sounds, in full
harmonic Number joined . . . yes, and Shepherds, once, at least, have
heard them.

And then . . . and then Mother cries, "How often, _Deb_, shall I bid you
lock the Gate at nine o'clock, and bring me in the Key?"



_Sept. 2nd, 1665_.

Good so!  Master _Ellwood_ hath brought back the MS. at last, and
delivered his Approbation thereon with the Air of a competent Authority,
which Father took in the utmost good part, and chatted with him on the
Subject for some Time.  Howbeit, he is not much flattered, I fancy, by
the Quaker's pragmatick Sanction, qualifyde, too, as it was, to show his
own Discernment; and when I consider that the major part of Criticks may
be as little fitted to take the Measure of their Subject as _Ellwood_ is
of Father, I cannot but see that the gleaning of Father's Grapes is
better than the Vintage of the Critick's _Abiezer_.

To wind up all, _Ellwood_, primming up his Mouth, says, "Thou hast found
much to tell us, Friend _Milton_, on _Paradise Lost_;--now, what hast
thou to tell of _Paradise Regained_?"

Father said nothing at the Time, but hath since been brooding a good
deal, and keeping me much to the Reading of the _New Testament_; and I
think my Night-work will soon begin again.

_Ellwood's_ Talk was much of _Guli Springett_, whom I have seen sundry
times, and think high-flown, in spight of her levelling Principles and
demure Carriage.  The Youth is bewitched with her, I think; what has a
Woman to do with Logique?  My Belief is, he might as well hope to marry
the Moon as to win Mistress _Springett's_ Hand; however, his Self-opinion
is considerable.  He chode Father this Morning for Organ-playing, saying
he doubted its lawfullness.  Oh, the Prigg!

I grieve to think _Mary_ can sometimes be a little spightfull as well as
unduteous.  She is ill at her Pen, and having To-day made some Blunder,
for which Father chid her, not overmuch, she rudely made Answer, "I never
had a Writing-master."  _Betty_, being by, treasured up, as I could see,
this ill-natured Speech: and 'twas unfair too; for, if we never had a
Writing-master, yet my Aunt _Agar_ taught us; and 'twas our own Fault if
we improved no more.  Indeed, we have had a scrambling Sort of Education;
but, in many respects, our Advantages have exceeded those of many young
Women; and among them I reckon, first and foremost, continuall
Intercourse with a superior Mind.

If a Piece of mere Leather, by frequent Contact with Silver, acquires a
certain Portion of the pure and bright Metal; sure, the Children of a
gifted Parent must, by the Collision of their Minds, insensibly, as
'twere, imbibe somewhat of his finer Parts.  _Ned Phillips_, indeed,
sayth we are like People living so close under a big Mountain, as not to
know how high it is; but I think we . . . at least, I do.  And, whatever
be our scant Learnings, Father, despite his limited Means, hath never
grutched us the Supply of a reall Want; and is, at this Time, paying
_Joan Elliott_ at a good Rate for perfecting _Anne_ in her pretty Work.
I am sorry _Mary_ should thus have sneaped him; and I am sorry I ever
either hurt him--by uncivil Speech, or wronged him by unkind Thought.
Poor _Nan_, with all her Infirmities, is, perhaps, his best Child.  Not
that I am a bad one, neither.

My Night-tasks have recommenced of late; because, as he says--

  "I suoi Pensieri in lui Dormir non ponno:"

which, being interpreted, means, "His Thoughts would let him and his
Daughter take no rest."



_12th_.

I know not that any one but Father hath ever concerned themselves to
imagine the Anxieties of the blessed Virgin during her Son's forty Days'
mysterious Absence.  No wonder that

  "Within her Breast, tho' calm, her Breast, tho' pure,
  Motherly Fears got Head."

Father hath touched her with a very tender and reverent Hand, dwelling
less on her than he did on _Eve_, whom he with perfect Beauty adorned,
onlie to make her Sin appear more Sad.  Well, we know not ourselves; but
methinks I should not have transgrest as she did, neither, for an Apple.



_15th_.

And now I have transgrest about a Pin!  O me! what weak, wicked Wretches
we are!  "Behold, how great a Matter a little Fire kindleth!"  And the
Tongue is a Fire, an unruly Member.  Sure, when I was writing, at
Father's Dictation, such heavy Charges against _Eve_, I privily thought I
was better than she; and, sifting the Doings of _Mary_ and _Anne_ through
a somewhat censorious Judgment, maybe I thought I was better than they.
Alas! we know not our own selves.  And so, dropping a Stitch in my
Knitting, I must needs cry out--"Here, any of you . . . oh, Mother! do
bring me a Pin."  My Sisters, as Ill-luck would have it, not being by,
cries she, "Forsooth, Manners have come to a fine Pass in these Days!
Bring her a Pin, quotha!"  Instead of making answer, "Well, 'twas
disrespectful; I ask your Pardon;" I must mutter, "I see what I'm valued
at--less than a Pin."

"_Deb_, don't be unduteous," says Father to me.  "Woulde it not have been
better to fetch what you wanted, than strangely ask your Mother to bring
it?"

"And thereby spoil my Work," answered I; "but 'tis no Matter."

"Tis a great Matter to be uncivil," says Father.

"Oh! dear Husband, do not concern yourself," interrupts Mother; "the
Girl's incivility is no new Matter, I protest."

On this, a Battle of Words on both sides, ending in Tears, Bitterness,
and my being sent by Father to my Chamber till Dinner.  "And, _Deb_," he
adds, gravely, but not harshly, "take no Book with you, unless it be your
_Bible_."

Soe, hither, with swelling Heart, I have come.  I never drew on myself
such Condemnation before--at least, since childish Days; and could be
enraged with Mother, were I not enraged with myself.  I'm in no Hurry for
Dinner-time; I cannot sober down.  My Temples beat, and my Throat has a
great Lump in it.  Why was _Nan_ out of the Way?  Yet, would she have
made Things better?  I was in no Fault at first, that's certain; Mother
took Offence where none was meant; but I meant Offence afterwards.  Lord,
have mercy upon me!  I can ask Thy Forgiveness, though not hers.  And I
could find it in me to ask Father's too, and say, "I have sinned against
Heaven, and in thy . . . thy _Hearing_.'"  And now I come to write that
Word, I have a Mind to cry; and the Lump goes down, and I feel earnest to
look into my _Bible_, and more humbled towards Mother.  And . . . what is
it Father says?--

  "What better can I do, than to the Place
  Repairing, where he judged me, there confess
  Humbly my Fault, and Pardon beg, with Tears
  Of Sorrow unfeign'd, and Humiliation meek?"


. . . He met me at the very first Word.  "I knew you would," he said; "I
knew the kindest Thing was to send you to commune with your own Heart in
your Chamber, and be still.  'Tis there we find the Holy Spirit and Holy
Saviour in waiting for us; and in the House where they abide, as long as
they abide in it, there is no Room for _Satan_ to enter.  But let this
Morning's Work, _Deb_, be a Warning to you, not thus to transgress again.
As long as we are in peaceful Communion among ourselves, there is a fine,
invisible Cobweb, too clear for mortal Sight, spun from Mind to Mind,
which the least Breath of Discord rudely breaks.  You owe to your Mother
a Daughter's Reverence; and if you behave like a Child, you must look to
be punisht like a Child."

"I am not a mere Baby, neither," I said.

"No," he replied.  "I see you can make Distinction between _Teknia_ and
_Paidia_; but a Baby is the more inoffensive and less responsible Agent
of the two.  If you are content to be a Baby in Grace, you must not
contend for a Baby's Immunities.  I have heard a Baby cry pretty loudly
about a Pin."

This shut my Mouth close enough.

"You are now," he added gently, "nearly as old as your Mother was when I
married her."

I said, "I fear I am not much like her."

He said nothing, only smiled.  I made bold to pursue:--"What was she
like?"

Again he was silent, at least for a Minute; and then, in quite a changed
Tone, with somewhat hurried in it, cried,--

  "Like the fresh Sweetbriar and early May!
  Like the fresh, cool, pure Air of opening Day . . .
  Like the gay Lark, sprung from the glittering Dew . . .
  An Angel! yet . . . a very Woman too!"


And, kicking back his Chair, he got up, and began to walk hastily about
the Chamber, as fearlessly as he always does when he is thinking of
something else, I springing up to move one or two Chairs out of his Way.
Hearing some high Voices in the Offices, he presently observed, "A
contentious Woman is like a continuall Dropping.  _Shakspeare_ spoke well
when he said that a sweet, low Voice is an excellent Thing in Woman.  I
wish you good Women would recollect that one Avenue of my Senses being
stopt, makes me keener to any Impression on the others.  Where Strife is,
there is Confusion and every evil Work.  Why should not we dwell in
Peace, in this quiet little Nest, instead of rendering our Home liker to
a Cage of unclean Birds?"



_Bunhill Fields, London, Oct. 1666_.

People have phansied Appearances of Armies in the Air, flaming Swords,
Fields of Battle, and other Images; and, truly, the Evening before we
left _Chalfont_, methought I beheld the Glories of the ancient City
_Ctesiphon_ in the Sunset Clouds, with gilded Battlements, conspicuous
far--Turrets, and Terraces, and glittering Spires.  The light-armed
_Parthians_ pouring through the Gates, in Coats of Mail, and military
Pride.  In the far Perspective of the open Plain, two ancient Rivers, the
one winding, t'other straight, losing themselves in the glowing Distance,
among the Tents of the ten lost Tribes.  Such are One's Dreams at Sunset.
And, when I cast down my dazed Eyes on the shaded Landskip, all looked in
Comparison, so black and bleak, that methought how dull and dreary this
lower World must have appeared to _Moses_ when he descended from _Horeb_,
and to our Saviour, when he came down from the _Mount of
Transfiguration_, and to St. _Paul_, when he dropt from the seventh
Heaven.

What a Click, Click, the Bricklayers make with their Trowels, thus
bringing me down from my Altitudes!  Sure, we hardly knew how well off we
were at _Chalfont_, till we came back to this unlucky Capital, looking as
desolate as _Jerusalem_, when the City was ruinated and the People
captivated.  Weeds in the Streets--smouldering Piles--blackened,
tottering Walls--and inexhaustible Heaps of vile Rubbish.  Even with
closed Windows, everything gets covered with a Coating of fine Dust.
Cousin _Jack_ Yesterday picked up a half-burnt Acceptance for twenty
thousand Pounds.  There is a fine Time coming for Builders and
Architects--_Anne's_ Lover among the Rest.  The Way she picked him up was
notable.  Returning to Town, she falls to her old Practices of daily
Prayer, and visiting the Poor.  At Church she sits over against a
good-looking young Man, recovered from the Plague, whose near Approach to
Death's Door had made him more godly in his Walk than the general of his
Age and Condition.  He notes her beautiful Face--marks not her deformed
Shape; and, because that, by Reason of the late Distresses, the
Calamities of the Poor have been met by unusuall Charities of the upper
Classes, he, on his Errands of Mercy among the Rest, presently falls in
with her at a poor sick Man's House, and marvels when the limping
Stranger turns about and discovers the beautiful Votaress.  After one or
two chance Meetings, respectfully accosts her--_Anne_ draws back--he
finds a mutuall Friend--the Acquaintance progresses; and at length, by
Way of first Introduction to my Father, he steps in to ask him (preamble
supposed) to give him his eldest Daughter.  Then what a Storm ensues!
Father's Objections do not transpire, no one being by but Mother, who is
unlikely to soften Matters.  But, so soon as _John Herring_ shuts the
Door behind him, and walks off quickly, _Anne_ is called down, and I
follow, neither bidden nor hindered.  Thereupon, Father, with a red
Heat-spot on his Cheek, asks _Anne_ what she knows of this young Man.
Her answer, "Nothing but good."  "How came she to know him at all?" . . .
Silent; then makes Answer, "Has seen him at Mrs. _French's_ and
elsewhere."  "Where else?"  "Why, at Church, and other Places."  Mother
here puts in, "What other Places?" . . .  "Sure what can it signify,"
_Anne_ asks, turning short round upon her; "and especially to you, who
would be glad to get quit of me on any Terms?"

"_Anne, Anne_!" interrupts Father, "does this Concern of ours for you
look like it?  You know you are saying what is uncivil and untrue."

"Well," resumes _Anne_, her breath coming quick, "but what's the
Objection to _John Herring_?"

"_John_? is he _John_ with you already?" cries Mother.  "Then you must
know more of him than you say."

"Sure, Mother," cries _Anne_, bursting into Tears, "you are enough to
overcome the Patience of _Job_.  I know nothing of the young Man, but
that he is pious, and steady, and well read, and a good Son of reputable
Parents, as well to do in the World as ourselves; and that he likes me,
whom few like, and offers me a quiet, happy Home."

"How fast some People can talk when they like," observes Mother; at which
Allusion to _Anne's_ Impediment, I dart at her a Look of Wrath; but _Nan_
only continues weeping.

"Come hither, Child," interposes Father, holding his Hand towards her;
"and you, good _Betty_, leave us awhile to talk over this without
Interruption."  At which, Mother, taking him literally, sweeps up her
Work, and quits the Room.  "The Address of this young Man," says Father,
"has taken me wholly by Surprise, and your Encouragement of it has
incontestably had somewhat of clandestine in it; notwithstanding which, I
have, and can have, nothing in View, dear _Nan_, but your Well-being.  As
to his Calling, I take no Exceptions at it, even though, like
_Caementarius_, he should say, I am a Bricklayer, and have got my Living
by my Labour--"

"A Master-builder, not a Bricklayer," interposes _Anne_.

Father stopt for a Moment; then resumed.  "You talk of his offering you a
quiet Home: why should you be dissatisfied with your own, where, in the
Main, we are all very happy together?  In these evil Times, 'tis
something considerable to have, as it were, a little Chamber on the Wall,
where your Candle is lighted by the Lord, your Table spread by him, your
Bed made by him in your Health and Sickness, and where he stands behind
the Door, ready to come in and sup with you.  All this you will leave for
One you know not.  How bitterly may you hereafter look back on your
present Lot!  You know, I have the Apostle's Word for it, that, if I give
you in Marriage, I may do well; but, if I give you not, I shall do
better.  The unmarried Woman careth for the Things of the Lord, that she
may be holy in Body and Spirit, and attend upon him without Distraction.
Thus was it with the five wise Maidens, who kept their Lamps ready
trimmed until the Coming of their Lord.  I wish we only knew of five that
were foolish.  Time would fail me to tell you of all the godly Women,
both of the elder and later Time, who have led single Lives without
Superstition, and without Hypocrisy.  Howbeit, you may marry if you will;
but you will be wiser if you abide as you are, after my Judgment.  Let me
not to the Marriage of true Minds oppose Impediment; but, in your own
Case--"

"Father," interrupts _Anne_, "you know I am ill at speaking; but permit
me to say, you are now talking wide of the Mark.  Without going back to
the Beginning of the World, or all through the _Romish Calendar_, I will
content me with the more recent Instance of yourself, who have thrice
preferred Marriage, with all its concomitant Evils, to the single State
you laud so highly.  Is it any Reason we should not dwell in a House,
because St. _Jerome_ lived in a Cave?  The godly Women of whom you speak
might neither have had so promising a Home offered to them, nor so ill a
Home to quit."

"What call you an ill Home?" says Father, his Brow darkening.

"I call that an ill Home," returns _Anne_, stoutly, "where there is
neither Union nor Sympathy--at least, for my Share,--where there are no
Duties of which I can well acquit myself, and where those I have made for
myself, and find suitable to my Capacity and Strength, are contemned,
let, and hindered,--where my Mother-Church, my Mother's Church, is
reviled--my Mother's Family despised,--where the few Friends I have made
are never asked, while every Attention I pay them is grudged,--where, for
keeping all my hard Usage from my Father's Hearing, all the Reward I get
is his thinking I have no hard Usage to bear--"

"Hold, ungrateful Girl!" says Father; "I've heard enough, and too much.
Tis Time wasted to reason with a Woman.  I do believe there never yet was
one who would not start aside like a broken Bow, or pierce the Side like
a snapt Reed, at the very Moment most Dependance was placed in her.  Let
her Husband humour her to the Top of her Bent,--she takes French Leave of
him, departs to her own Kindred, and makes Affection for her Childhood's
Home the Pretext for defying the Laws of God and Man.  Let her Father
cherish her, pity her, bear with her, and shelter her from even the
Knowledge of the Evils of the World without,--her Ingratitude will keep
Pace with her Ignorance, and she will forsake him for the Sweetheart of a
Week.  You think Marriage the supreme Bliss: a good many don't find it
so.  Lively Passions soon burn out; and then come disappointed
Expectancies, vain Repinings, fretful Complainings, wrathful Rejoinings.
You fly from Collision with jarring Minds: what Security have you for
more Forbearance among your new Connexions?  Alas! you will carry your
Temper with you--you will carry your bodily Infirmities with you;--your
little Stock of Experience, Reason, and Patience will be exhausted before
the Year is out, and at the End, perhaps, you will--die--"

"As well die," cries _Anne_, bursting into Tears, "as live to hear such a
Rebuke as this."  And so, passionately wringing her Hands, runs out of
the Room.

"Follow after her, _Deb_," cries Father; "she is beside herself.  Unhappy
me! tried every Way!  An _Oedipus_ with no _Antigone_!"

And, rising from his Seat, he began to pace up and down, while I ran up
to _Nan_.  But scarce had I reached the Stair-head, when we both heard a
heavy Fall in the Chamber below.  We cried, "Sure, that is Father!" and
ran down quicker than we had run up.  He was just rising as we entered,
his Foot having caught in a long Coil of Gold Lace, which _Anne_, in her
disorderly Exit, had unwittingly dragged after her.  I saw at a Glance he
was annoyed rather than hurt; but _Nan_, without a Moment's Pause, darts
into his Arms, in a Passion of Pity and Repentance, crying, "Oh, Father,
Father, forgive me! oh, Father!"

"Tis all of a Piece, _Nan_," he replies; "alternate hot and cold; every
Thing for Passion, nothing for Reason.  Now all for me; a Minute ago, I
might go to the Wall for _John Herring_."

"No, never, Father!" cries _Anne_; "never, dear Father--"

"Dark are the Ways of God," continues he, unheeding her; "not only
annulling his first best Gift of Light to me, and leaving me a Prey to
daily Contempt, Abuse, and Wrong, but mangling my tenderest, most
apprehensive Feelings--"

_Anne_ again breaks in with, "Oh!  Father, Father!"

"Dark, dark, for ever dark!" he went on; "but just are the Ways of God to
Man.  Who shall say, 'What doest Thou?'"

"Father, I promise you," says _Anne_, "that I will never more think of
_John Herring_."

"Foolish Girl!" he replies sadly; "as ready now to promise too Much, as
resolute just now to hear Nothing.  How can you promise never to think of
him?  I never asked it of you."

"At least I can promise not to speak of him," says _Anne_.

"Therein you will do wisely," rejoins Father.  "My Consent having been
asked is an Admission that I have a Right to give or withhold it; and, as
I have already told _John Herring_, I shall certainly not grant it before
you are of Age.  Perhaps by that Time you may be your own Mistress,
without even such an ill Home as I, while I live, can afford you."

"No more of that," says _Anne_, interrupting him; and a Kiss sealed the
Compact.

All this Time, Mother and _Mary_ were, providentially, out of the Way.
Mother had gone off in a Huff, and _Mary_ was busied in making some
marbled Veal.

The rest of the Day was dull enough: violent Emotions are commonly
succeeded by flat Stagnations.  _Anne_, however, seemed kept up by some
Energy from within, and looked a little flushed.  At Bed-time she got the
start of me, as usuall; and, on entering our Chamber, I found her quite
undrest, sitting at the Table, not reading of her _Bible_, but with her
Head resting on it.  I should have taken her to be asleep, but for the
quick Pulsation of some Nerve or Muscle at the back of the Neck,
somewhere under the right Ear.  She looks up, commences rubbing her Eyes,
and says, "My Eyes are full of Sand, I think.  I will give you my new
Crown-piece, _Deb_, if you will read me to sleep without another Word."
So I say, "A Bargain," though without meaning to take the Crown; and she
jumps into Bed in a Minute, and I begin at the Sermon on the Mount, and
keep on and on, in more and more of a Monotone; but every Time I lookt
up, I saw her Eyes wide open, agaze at the top of the Bed; and so I go on
and on, like a Bee humming over a Flower, till she shuts her Eyes; but,
at last, when I think her off, having just got to _Matthew_, eleven,
twenty-eight, she fetches a deep sigh, and says, "I wish I could hear Him
saying so to me . . .  'Come, _Anne_, unto me, and I will give you Rest.'
But, in fact, He does so as emphatically in addressing all the weary and
heavy-laden, as if I heard Him articulating, 'Come, _Anne_, come!'"



POST SCRIPTUM


_Spitalfields, 1680_.

A generous Mind finds even its just Resentments languish and die away
when their Object becomes the unresisting prey of Death.  Such is my
Experience with regard to _Betty Fisher_, whose ill Life hath now
terminated, and from whom, confronted at the Bar of their great Judge,
Father will, one Day, hear the Truth.  As to my Stepmother, Time and
Distance have had their soothing Effect on me even regarding her.  She
is down in _Cheshire_, among her own People; is a hale, hearty Woman
yet, and will very likely outlive me.  If she looked in on me this
Moment, and saw me in this homely but decent Suit, sitting by my clear
Coal-fire, in this little oak-panelled Room, with a clean, though
coarse Cloth neatly laid on the Supper Table, with Covers for two,
could she sneer at the Spouse of the _Spitalfields_ Weaver?  Belike she
might, for Spight never wanted Food; but I would have her into the
Nursery, shew her the two sleeping Faces, and ask her.  Did I need her
Pity then?

_Betty's_ Death, calling up Memories of old Times, hath made me
somewhat cynical, I think.  I cannot but call to Mind her many ill
Turns.  'Twas shortly after the Rupture of _Anne's_ Match with _John
Herring_.  Poor _Nan_ had over-reckoned on her own Strength of Mind,
when she promised Father to speak of him no more; and, after the first
Fervour of Self-denial, became so captious, that Father said he heard
_John Herring_ in every Tone.  This set them at Variance, to commence
with; and then, _Mary_ detecting _Betty_ in certain Malpractices,
Mother could no longer keep her, for Decency's Sake; and _Betty_, in
revenge, came up to Father before she left, and told him a tissue of
Lies concerning us,--how that _Mary_ had wished him dead, and I had
made away with his Books and Kitchen-stuff.  I, being at _Hackney_ at
the Time, on a Visitt to _Rosamond Woodcock_, was not by to refute the
infamous Charge, which had Time to rankle in Father's Mind before I
returned; and _Mary_ having lost his Opinion by previous Squabbles with
Mother and the Maids, I came back only to find the House turned upside
down.  'Twas under these misfortunate Circumstances that poor Father
commenced his_ Sampson Agonistes_; and, though his Object was,
primarily, to divert his Mind, it too often ran upon Things around him,
and made his Poem the Shadow and Mirrour of himself.  When he got to
_Dalilah_, I could not forbear saying, "How hard you are upon Women,
Father!"

"Hard?" repeated he; "I think I am anything but that.  Do you call me
hard on _Eve_, and the Lady in _Comus_?"

"No, indeed," I returned.  "The Lady, like _Una_, makes Sunshine in a
shady Place; and, in fact, how should it be otherwise?  For Truth and
Purity, like Diamonds, shine in the Dark."

He smiled, and, passing his Hand across his Brow to re-collect himself,
went on in a freer, less biting Spirit, to the Encounter with _Harapha_
of _Gath_, in which he evidently revelled, even to making me laugh,
when the big, cowardly Giant excused himself from coming within the
blind Man's Reach, by saying of him, that he had need of much washing
to be willingly touched.  He went on flowingly to

  "But take good Heed my Hand survey not thee;
  My Heels are fetter'd, but my Fist is free,"

and then broke into a merry Laugh himself; adding, a Line or two after,

  "His Giantship is gone, somewhat crest-fallen;

". . . there, Girl, that will do for To-day."

Meantime, his greater Poem had come out, for which he had got an
immediate Payment of five Pounds, with a conditional Expectance of
fifteen Pounds more on the three following Editions, should the Public
ever call for 'em.  And truly, when one considers how much Meat and
Drink One may buy for Twenty Pounds, and how capricious is the Taste of
the critikal World, 'tis no mean Venture of a Bookseller on a
Manuscript of which he knows the actual value as little as a Salvage of
the Gold-dust he parts with for a Handful of old Nails.  At all events,
the Sale of the Work gave Father no Reason to suppose he had made an
ill Bargain; but, indeed, he gave himself very little Concern about it;
and was quite satisfied when, now and then, Mr. _Marvell_ and Mr.
_Skinner_, or some other old Crony, having waded through it, looked in
on him to talk it over.  Money, indeed, a little more of it, would have
been often acceptable.  Mother now began to pinch us pretty short, and
lament the unsaleable Quality of Father's Productions; also to call us
a Set of lazy Drones, and wonder what would come of us some future Day;
insomuch that Father, turning the Matter sedately in his Mind, did
seriously conclude 'twould be well for us to go forth for a While, to
learn some Method of Self-support.  And this was accelerated by an
unhappy Collision 'twixt my Mother and me, which, in a hasty Moment,
sent me, with swelling Heart, to take Counsel of Mrs. _Lefroy_, my
sometime Playfellow _Rosamond Woodcock_, then on the Point of embarking
for _Ireland_; who volunteered to take me with her, and be at my
Charges; so I took leave of Father with a bursting Heart, not troubling
him with an Inkling of my Ill-usage, which has been a Comfort to me
ever since, though he went to the Grave believing I had only sought my
own Well-doing.

We never met again.  Had I foreseen it, I could not have left him.  The
next Stroke was to get away _Mary_ and _Anne_, and take back _Betty
Fisher_.  Then the nuncupative Will was hatched up; for I never will
believe it authentick--no, never; and Sir _Leoline Jenkins_, that
upright and able Judge, set it aside, albeit _Betty Fisher_ would swear
through thick and thin.

Sure, Things must have come to a pretty Pass, when Father was brought
to take his Meals in the Kitchen! a Thing he had never been accustomed
to in his Life, save at _Chalfont_, by Reason of the Parlour being so
small.  And the Words, both as to Sense and Choice, which _Betty_ put
into his Mouth, betrayed the Counterfeit, by favouring over-much of the
Scullion.  "God have Mercy, _Betty_!  I see thou wilt perform according
to thy Promise, in providing me such Dishes as I think fit whilst I
live; and when I die, thou knowest I have left thee all!"  Phansy
Father talking like that!  Were I not so provoked, I could laugh.  And
he to sell his Children's Birthright for a Mess of Pottage, who,
instead of loving savoury Meat, like blind _Isaac_, was, in fact, the
most temperate of Men! who cared not what he ate, so 'twas sweet and
clean; who might have said with godly Mr. _Ball_ of _Whitmore_, that he
had two Dishes of Meat to his Sabbath-dinner,--a Dish of hot Milk, and
a Dish of cold Milk; and that was enough and enough.  Whose Drink was
from the Well;--often have I drawn it for him at _Chalfont!--_and who
called Bread-and-butter a lordly Dish;--often have I cut him thick
Slices, and brought him Cresses from the Spring!  Well placed he his
own Principle and Practice in the Chorus's Mouth, where they say,

  "Oh, Madness! to think Use of strongest Wines
  And strongest Drinks our chief Support of Health!"


So that Story carries its Confutation with it: _Ned Phillips_ says so,
too.  As to what passed, that _July_ Forenoon, between him and Uncle
_Kit_, before the latter left Town in the _Ipswich_ Coach, and with
_Betty Fisher_ fidgetting in and out of the Chamber all the Time . . .
he may, or may not have called us his unkind Children; for we can never
tell what Reasons had been given him to make him think us so.  That
must stand over.  How many human Misapprehensions must do the same!
Enough that one Eye sees all, that one Spirit knows all . . . even all
our Misdoings; or else, how could we bear to tell Him even the least of
them?  But it requires great Faith in the greatly wronged, to obtain
that Calm of Mind, all Passion spent, which some have arrived at.  When
we can stand firm on that Pinnacle, _Satan_ falls prone.  He sets us on
that dizzy Height, as he did our Master; saying, in his taunting
Fashion,--

  "There stand, if thou canst stand; to stand upright
  Will ask thee Skill;"

but the Moment he sees we can, down he goes himself!--falls whence he
stood to see his Victor fall!  This is what Man has done, and Man may
do,--and Woman too; the Strength, for asking, being promised and given.





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