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Title: With the King at Oxford - A Tale of the Great Rebellion
Author: Church, Alfred John, 1829-1912
Language: English
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  [Illustration: _A Musketeer._
  _HANHART LITH._]



With the KING at OXFORD

_A TALE OF THE GREAT REBELLION_


BY THE

Rev. Alfred J. Church, M.A.

_Professor of Latin in University College, London_

_Author of "Stories from Homer"_


_With Sixteen Illustrations_


LONDON
SEELEY & CO., 46, 47 & 48, ESSEX STREET, STRAND
(_LATE OF 54, FLEET STREET_)

1886

_All Rights Reserved_



TO

George William Fleetwood Bury,

PHYSICIAN AND FRIEND,

THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED.



I cannot allow this book to appear without the expression of my thanks
to the Rev. Andrew Clark, Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford, who very
kindly put at my service a number of interesting records of the domestic
history of the College.

    A. C.

    HADLEY GREEN,
    _October, 1885_.



CONTENTS


CHAP.                                                  PAGE

    I. OF MY BIRTH AND BRINGING-UP                        1

   II. OF MY SOJOURN IN LONDON                           13

  III. OF THE PLAGUE AND OTHER MATTERS                   26

   IV. OF THINGS AT HOME                                 40

    V. OF THINGS AT OXFORD                               52

   VI. OF THE KING'S GOING TO WORCESTER                  65

  VII. OF THE FIGHT AT COPREDY BRIDGE                    81

 VIII. OF THE PLAGUE AT OXFORD AND OTHER MATTERS         93

   IX. BEFORE NASEBY                                    105

    X. OF NASEBY FIGHT                                  120

   XI. AFTER NASEBY                                     131

  XII. OF MY FATHER'S END AND OTHER MATTERS             152

 XIII. OF MY COMING BACK TO OXFORD                      174

  XIV. OF BODLEY'S LIBRARY                              185

   XV. OF THE VISITORS AT OXFORD                        197

  XVI. OF MY KINSFOLK AT ENSTONE                        209

 XVII. OF MY GOING TO LONDON                            224

XVIII. OF THE TRIAL OF THE KING                         238

  XIX. OF THE KING'S DEATH                              252

   XX. OF MATTERS AT ENSTONE                            263

  XXI. OF MY ADVENTURES AT SEA                          275

       EPILOGUE                                         293



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


                                                       PAGE

A MUSKETEER                                   _Frontispiece_

LONDON BRIDGE                                            14

FRIAR BACON'S HOUSE                                      70

KING CHARLES THE FIRST                                   72

HALT OF OFFICERS                                         76

A GUNNER                                                 88

MERTON COLLEGE, OXFORD                                   96

A CAVALRY SKIRMISH                                      122

A PIKEMAN                                               126

GATEWAY OF CHRISTCHURCH, OXFORD                         176

THE LAST ABBOT OF OSENEY                                178

THE BODLEIAN LIBRARY, OXFORD                            190

PORCH OF ST. MARY'S, OXFORD                             202

VICE-CHANCELLOR AND ESQUIRE BEDELLS                     204

THE TRIAL OF KING CHARLES                               248

THE EXECUTION OF THE KING                               260



With the KING at OXFORD



CHAPTER I.

OF MY BIRTH AND BRINGING-UP.


My father was the son of a gentleman of Oxfordshire that had a small
estate near to the town of Eynsham, in that county. The monks of
Eynsham Priory had the land afore-time; and 'twas said that here, as
elsewhere, there was a curse upon such as held for their own uses that
which had been dedicated to God's service. How this may be I know not,
though there are notable instances--as, to wit, the Russells--in which
no visible curse has fallen on the holders of such goods; but it is
certain that my father's forbears wasted their estate grievously.
Being but the third son, he had scarce, in any case, tarried at home;
but, matters being as they were, the emptiness of the family purse
drove him out betimes into the world. Being of good birth and breeding
he got, without much ado, a place about the Court, which was not,
however, much to his liking. I have heard him say--and this, though,
as will be seen hereafter, he was a great lover of monarchy--that,
between a weak king and villainous courtiers, Whitehall was no place
for an honest gentleman. Robert Carr, that was afterwards Earl of
Somerset, he liked little, and George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, he
liked yet less, being, as he was wont to say, by so much a greater
villain than Somerset as a duke is greater than an earl. He was right
glad, therefore, to leave the "sunshine of the Royal presence;" for so
did men speak of the Court in the hyperbolical language of those
times, even for so dismal and outlandish a part as Ireland. But I know
not whether he did not wish himself back, for of Ireland he would
never afterwards speak with any measure of patience, declaring that he
knew not which were the worse, the greediness and cruelty of the
English conquerors, or the savagery and unreason of the native people.
Here he tarried for some three or four years, having, indeed, had
bestowed upon him an estate, which, for its boundaries, at least, was
of considerable magnitude, but from which he received nothing but
trouble. Who hath it now I know not; and, indeed, he charged me to
have nought to do with it, saying--for I remember his very words--"If
they will give thee the whole island in fee, say them nay, for it is
fit for nothing but to be drowned under the sea." Yet his next venture
was not one whit happier, as will be readily concluded, when I say
that he took service with Sir Walter Raleigh, whom he chanced to fall
in with at Cork, at which place Sir Walter touched on his way to the
Indies in search of gold. Gold got they none, but of hard blows not a
few, and of pains and sickness still more. My father was with the
boats that sailed up the river Orinoco, and caught in his arms, I have
heard him say, Walter Raleigh the younger, when this last was slain by
a bullet from a Spanish arquebuse. From this voyage he came back
beggared in and purse not a little broken in health; to the end of his
days indeed he suffered much at times from the fever that he
contracted in those parts. The year following that wherein Raleigh was
beheaded, came what seemed at the first sight good news, namely, that
the Bohemians had bestowed the crown of their country upon the Elector
of Bavaria, husband to the Princess Elizabeth, the king's daughter.
Thereupon there arose such a tumult of joy throughout the country as
the oldest man living scarce remembered to have heard before. There
was nothing too good to be hoped for as about to come from this
promotion. Indeed, I have heard my father say that he was himself
present when the Archbishop of Canterbury (Dr. Abbott) preached a
sermon wherein he declared that this event was foretold in Scripture,
naming even the chapter and verse, which were, if I remember right, in
the Book of the Revelation. My father was carried away with the rest,
and having, as may well be thought, a special gift for choosing for
his own that which should be the losing side, forthwith took service
with the Elector, to whom King James, though scarce approving of the
cause, sent at this time auxiliaries to the number of four thousand.
In this army my father had a captain's commission, with pay to the
amount of four shillings by the day--handsome wages, only that he
never received of them so much as a doit. Nor did the campaign
recompense the defect of gains by any excess of glory. It was, indeed,
as barren of laurels as of gold; and my father, who, being favourably
known of old time by the Princess, was appointed to command the guard
of the Elector, arrived in his Highness's company at the Hague without
a penny in his pocket, and scarce a coat to his back.

But now behold a turn of Fortune's wheel. While he lingered in
Holland, not from choice, indeed, but from compulsion, seeing that he
did not possess the wherewithal to pay his passage to England, came
news of an inheritance that had fallen to him, being nothing less--or,
may be, I should rather say, considering its poverty, nothing
more--than the family estate. This fell to my father by the death of
his two elder brothers, who both expired of a fever on the same day.
And this day, so strangely do things fall together in this world, was
the very same as that on which all his worldly hopes seemed to have
been overset, that is, the 8th of November, in the year 1620, when the
Elector Palatine was utterly defeated by the Duke of Bohemia. My
father then, coming, as I have said, to Holland, this same winter with
the Elector, there heard of his inheritance, not, indeed, without some
natural regret for the cause that had brought it to him, yet, because
his brothers were older by far, and akin by half-blood only, and
stranger's by long interruption of acquaintance, not sorrowful
overmuch.

The said inheritance was, as may be gathered from what has been
written above, a mighty poor thing, being, after all debts and
encumbrances were paid, but of sixty pounds value by the year at the
most. Nevertheless, for a poor, battered soldier that had no way to
earn his bread, 'twas by no means to be despised. Veterans that have
passed through the wars--if my father, that was but just thirty years
of age, may be so called--do commonly love the quietude of a country
retreat (and it was thus that Augustus Cæsar and others did reward
their legions); and my father affected this manner of life as readily
as did ever old soldier in the world, and, being a man of useful
parts, he turned his sword into a ploughshare with good result, and
this not only of profit of money, but of health also. Being thus set
up, both in body and estate, he took courage to ask in marriage a
maiden of those parts, Cicely Harland by name. She was the daughter of
a gentleman that had a like estate with my father, only it was without
encumbrance, so that Mistress Cicely was not ill-provided with a
portion. My father, whose name--for this I have not yet mentioned--was
Philip Dashwood, married Mistress Cicely Harland in the month of
September, 1623. Of this marriage were born two children; first, my
sister Dorothy, in August, 1624, and secondly myself, a Philip also,
who came into this troublesome world on Christmas Day, 1625, having as
my birthright, as the gossips say, the gift of seeing spirits, though
this I have never yet, to my knowledge, enjoyed. My first teaching,
save the very rudiments which my dear mother did impart to me, was
from Master William Hearnden, parson of the parish, to which, indeed,
he had been presented by my father in the vacancy before described.
They had been close friends in that luckless campaigning in Bohemia,
where Master Hearnden was chaplain to the English regiment--ay, and on
occasion also, I have heard say, captain also; for he was, as the
country folk say, "a man of his hands." Not the less was he a virtuous
and godly clerk, and a sound scholar also, and with a rare gift which
scholars, be they ever so sound, have not always--of teaching that
which he knew.

On January the 6th, 1633, being then twelve days past my eighth
birthday, I was entered of the Merchant Taylors' School, at Laurence
Pountney, in the City of London, by the presentation of William
Harford, kinsman to my mother, that was one of the Court of the said
Company. Mr. Edwards was then master of the school, and remained so
during the time of my continuance there.

At the first I lodged in the house of Master William Rushworth, that
was a merchant of timber, and dwelt in the Strand, of whom and of
whose house more hereafter.

Within a few weeks of my coming I saw what my elders told me was the
finest spectacle that had been seen in London within the memory of
man, that is, a mighty grand masquerade, with which the gentlemen of
the four Inns of Court entertained their Majesties King Charles, and
Henrietta of France, his Queen. I was yet too much of a child to have
any clear understanding of what I saw, though the number of men and
horses, the splendour of scarlet and purple, of gold and silver, and
all the magnificence of the show made a notable mark on my mind. But I
heard much talk about it in after times; and, indeed, till the late
troubles came upon the country, there was nothing of which there was
more frequent mention than of this same masquerade. Thus it came to
pass that, filling up what I observed at the time with that which I
heard afterwards, I came to have such a notion of the matter as might
have been conceived by one much older than I then was. If, therefore,
I may join together what was afterwards told to me with what I
remember of myself, this masquerade was shown on Candlemas Day, which
is the second day of February, the procession starting from Chancery
Lane when it was now dusk. First came twenty footmen in scarlet
liveries, with silver lace, each carrying a torch. These were the
Marshal's men that cleared the way, and with them came the Marshal
himself, an extraordinary proper handsome gentleman, riding one of the
King's horses, with two lackeys, each carrying a torch, and a page
that bare his cloak. After these came a hundred gentlemen, five and
twenty from each Inn of Court, riding on horses, the finest that could
be found in London, and apparelled as bravely as men could be. After
these again came what was styled the antimasque, cripples and beggars
on horseback, mounted on the poorest, leanest jades that could be
gotten out of the dirt-carts and elsewhere. These had their proper
music of keys and tongs, making the queerest noise that can be
imagined, but yet with a sort of concert. Then followed another
antimasque, this time of birds. The first portion was men on
horseback, playing on pipes and whistles, and other instruments by
which the notes of birds may be imitated; the second was the birds
themselves, among which I specially noted an owl in an ivy bush. What
these creatures were I knew not at the time, but learnt afterwards
that they were little boys put into covers of the shapes of the birds.
After these came that which pleased the people mightily, and at which
I laughed heartily myself, though not knowing why: this was a satire
on the projectors and monopolisers from whom the realm had long
suffered. First there was a man riding on a very mean steed that had a
great bit in his mouth; and on the man's head was a bit, with reins
and headstall fastened to it, and a petition written for a patent that
no one in the kingdom should ride their horses save with such bits as
they might buy of him. Second to him was another with a bunch of
carrots on his head and a capon in his fist, and he had a petition
also for a patent, that none should fatten capons save with carrots
and by his licence. Behind these came other horsemen, and last of all
four chariots, one for each Inn of Court, these being the most
splendid of all. The King and Queen were so mightily pleased with this
pageant that they desired to see it again. Thereupon the Lord Mayor
invited their Majesties to a banquet in the Merchant Taylors' Hall,
and the same masque was there again performed, the procession having
gone eastward this time. And we scholars of the school were privileged
to see it from a gallery that was set apart for us.



CHAPTER II.

OF MY SOJOURN IN LONDON.


My sojourn with Master Rushworth was but for a time. Accordingly some
three days, or thereabouts, after that I had been a spectator of the
lawyers' great masque, I changed my abode to the house of one Mr.
Timothy Drake, a woollen draper, that dwelt upon London Bridge, on the
north side. Master Drake was bound to my kinsman Master Harford, of
whom I have before spoken, by many obligations of benefits received;
and when the said uncle, being single and well advanced in years, was
unwilling to be troubled with the charge of a child, Master Drake
gladly received me; not, I suppose, without good consideration given.
It was judged to be more convenient for me to lodge upon the bridge,
which is but little more than a stone's throw from the Merchant
Taylors' School, than in the Strand; nor was I unwilling to go, but my
sojourn there was but for a very short time, as I shall presently
show.

'Twas a marvellous place this same London Bridge, more like, indeed,
to a village than a bridge, having on either side houses, some of them
being shops, as was that in which I dwelt, and some taverns, and some
private dwellings. And about the middle of the bridge stood a great
building, which they called Nonesuch House, very splendidly painted
with colours, and having wooden galleries hanging over the river,
richly ornamented with carving and gilding. This Nonesuch House
covered the whole breadth of the bridge from the one side to the
other; and in the middle of it was an arch with the road passing under
it.

  [Illustration: _London Bridge._
  _HANHART LITH._]

The bridge had, or, I should rather say, has (for it still stands and
will, I doubt not, stand for many ages to come) twenty arches, of
which one is blocked. They are but small, the purpose of the builder,
Peter of Colechurch, having been, it is said, thus to restrain the
ebbing of the tide, and so to make the river above the bridge more
easily navigable. I should rather think, if I may say so much without
wrong to the pious man, that in that rude age (now near upon five
centuries since) he knew not how to build bigger. And being thus small
they are still further diminished by the sterlings that are built
about the piers, to keep them from damage by ice or floods. Thus it
came to pass that of nine hundred feet (for such is the length of the
bridge from end to end) scarce two hundred remain for the waterway.
The consequence thereof is that when the water is lower than the
sterlings it rushes through the arches with a singular great violence.
How great it is may be judged from this, that in some of the arches
there is a waterfall, so to speak, of as much as two feet, when the
tide is at its strongest; and this strongest is when it is about
half-spent, running upwards; but why the flow should be stronger than
the ebb I know not, seeing that this latter is increased by the
natural current of the river. I do remember, if I may delay those that
shall read this chronicle with such childish recollections, how I
marvelled at the first at this same ebb and flow, of which I had never
before heard. On the first day of my coming to Master Drake's house,
being, as I remember, the seventh day of February, I looked out from
my chamber window about half-past five of the clock, and saw the
Thames full to his banks and flowing eastward, as by rights he should,
it being then but just past the flood. But the next time that I
chanced to cast my eyes on him, the tide having but newly begun to
flow, lo! he was dwindled to half his span, and ran westward. Of a
truth I thought that there was witchcraft, and, being a simple child,
ran down into my host's parlour, crying, "What ails the river that it
is half-spent and runs the wrong way?" and was much laughed at for my
pains.

I thought to have much pleasure from sojourn in the house upon the
bridge, and doubtless should have had but for the sad mishap of which
I shall shortly speak. For indeed there was much to be seen daily upon
the river. On the eastern side, looking, that is to say, towards the
sea, there were goodly ships from all parts of the world, lading and
unlading their cargoes, for through the bridge none could go; nay, the
very wherries, for the violence of the water, would not venture the
passage save at the highest or lowest of the tide; but passengers were
discharged on the one side and took boat again on the other. And on
the western side there were the barges of my Lord Mayor and of the
richer of the Companies; and barges of trade, carrying all manner of
goods and especially timber, both for building and burning; and small
boats almost without number, both of private persons and of watermen
that plied for hire. And on occasions there were races among the
watermen and also among the 'prentices of the City. And there were
other sports, notably that of tilting upon the water, in which the
vanquisher would dismount the vanquished, not indeed from his horse
but from his boat, and sometimes drive him into the water, with no
small laughter from the spectators. The bridge also afforded another
pastime, for when the tide was so far ebbed that it was possible to
stand upon the sterlings (which were at other times covered with
water) there were many fishes to be caught, for these commonly resort
where there is abundance of food to be found, as must needs be in so
great a city as London. And if any cannot conceive of the anglers'
craft as practised in the midst of such din and tumult, they may take
as a proof that the makers of anglers' tackle congregate in Crooked
Lane, which is hard by the bridge, more than in any other place in
London.

Being also a lad, for all my tender years, of an active fancy and apt
to muse by myself, and to build castles in the air, or, as some say,
in Spain, for my delight, I did not forget the story of Edward
Osborne, that was 'prentice to Sir William Hewet, clothworker, some
time Lord Mayor of London, how he leapt from the window of one of the
bridge houses, and saved his master's daughter that had been dropped
into the river by a careless maid. All the dwellers on the bridge have
the story ready, so to speak, on the tip of their tongues, as if it
were a credit to themselves; nor would I discourage the thought, for
haply it might give a lad boldness to venture his life in the like
gallant way. Hence, before I had been in the house an hour they showed
me the window from which the said Edward leapt. All the world knows, I
suppose, how he afterwards married this same daughter, and received
with her a great estate, and how he rose to great prosperity, being
Lord Mayor in the year 1583, and how his posterity are to this day
persons of great worship and renown, who will yet, if I mistake not,
rise higher in the state. 'Tis true I was no 'prentice, nor had Master
Drake a daughter, save one that must have been forty years of age at
the very least; but what are these hindrances to the fancy when it is
minded to disport in its own realms?

But now for the mishap which scattered these fancies and the hopes of
other delights, of which I have before spoken. I came, as I have said,
to sojourn with Master Drake on the seventh day of February, being, as
I remember, a Thursday; and on the Monday following my sojourn was
ended. Near to Master Drake's house dwelt Mr. John Briggs, a
needle-maker by trade, who was wont to keep up a brisk fire for the
carrying on of his craft. This being maintained at a greater height
and for a longer time together than was customary, trade being beyond
ordinary brisk, heated the woodwork adjoining, than which there is, as
I conceive, no more common cause of such mischief. This at least, was
conjectured at the time, for nothing could be known of a certainty.
What is established is, that about ten of the clock at night on Monday
aforesaid, the fire began in Mr. Briggs' house, and that so suddenly
and with such violence that he and his wife and child, a maid of about
four years (who, as being of a more convenient age and size than
Mistress Tabitha Drake, I had resolved should fall into the river and
be saved by me) escaped with their lives very hardly, having nothing
on but their shirts, and it may be said, the smoke, so near did they
come to being burned. Nor were we in much better case, save that
Master Drake and his wife and daughter, having entertained the parson
of the parish to supper ('twas in the parish of St. Magnus the Martyr)
had not yet gone to bed. Thus they were able not only to save
themselves and me, who was in bed and sound asleep, more easily, but
also to carry off some of their chief possessions. As for putting out
of the fire, little or nothing could be done. A man might have thought
that, the houses being on a bridge, there would be sufficient water at
hand to prevent a fire, how great soever. But it was not so. By
ill-luck it happened that the river was at its very lowest, so that
the engines, of which there were three, newly made, and much admired
for their excellence, could get no water from it, and, indeed, were
broken in the endeavour. And when the conduits were opened, and the
pipes that carried water through the streets cut, these also yielded
but little water, so that the fire raged almost without let or
hindrance. Yet such water as there was, was used to the uttermost, men
carrying the buckets up ladders, which were set against the burning
houses, and pouring them upon the flames. From this, indeed, came
other damages, for the ladders were burnt through, to the hurt of
many, by the breaking of their arms and legs, and even to the loss of
their lives. All that night and the next day until noon the fire
continued to burn fiercely; nor did it stop till it came to the first
empty space upon the bridge; there it was stayed for want of matter,
the brewers' men that were on the other side of the river also helping
by bringing abundance of water on their drays and wetting the houses
that were yet unconsumed. There were forty-three houses burned in all,
being about the third part of those that stood upon the bridge. The
road was so blocked by the ruins that, though as many as had space to
stand laboured to carry away the timber and bricks, and tiles and
rubbish, none could pass over the bridge before Wednesday, and there
were remains of the fire yet smouldering on the Tuesday following, as
I learned to my cost, having on that day burnt my finger with a live
coal of fire which I took up in my hand.

By God's mercy, the night was warm, or else the inhabitants that were
ousted so suddenly from their homes had suffered much. It was still,
also, a matter for which we are yet more bound to be thankful; for had
the wind, which was, indeed, from the south, and so blew towards the
City, been strong, London itself would have been much endangered, the
more so as the traders in Thames Street have much pitch, tar, rosin,
oil, and other inflammable goods in their houses. Indeed, were I
minded to prophesy, I should say that some day, there will arise in
this very part of London, for nowhere is the peril greater, such a
conflagration as has never been seen in the world; save only, it may
be, when Rome was set on fire by that mad Cæsar, Nero.

As for myself, I found shelter, for the time, with my kinsman, Master
Harford, in his fine mansion, hard by the Church of Saint Peter on
Cornhill. Whether he would have kept me now that his scheme of lodging
me with Master Drake had fallen through, I cannot say; but, if he ever
entertained any such purpose, it was shortly dismissed by reason of my
behaviour. 'Twas, as I have said, a fine mansion, Master Harford being
one of the wealthiest merchants in London, and the table kept
proportionate thereto. There was no mistress of the house, Master
Harford being, as I have said, a bachelor, but a housekeeper, Joan
Fuller by name, a kind woman, and knowing in all the knowledge of the
store-room and kitchen, but otherwise of scant sense. She, having none
on whom to bestow her affections, save a cat and a dog, took a mighty
favour to me, which favour she showed in the fashion that she herself
would have most approved, if I may say so much without unkindness to
the memory of one that is now deceased; for she plied me, both in
season and out of season, with all manner of dainty meats, so that in
the space of eight days or thereabouts I fell sick. 'Twas no great
matter, only a sickness as would come to any child that had been so
dealt with, and was easily set right by the apothecary's medicines,
which, to my mind, so nauseous were they, did more than outweigh all
the pleasure of my dainty feeding; but it settled Master Harford in
his intention to lodge me elsewhere than in his own house. Master
Drake could not entertain me any more, having to be content with scant
lodging for himself and his wife and daughter. Nor was there any talk
of building up the houses again; and this, indeed, was not done for
more than thirteen years after the burning; but the sides of the
bridge where they had been were covered in with boarding. So it came
about that I was sent back to my first lodging with Master Rushworth,
in the Strand.

He was, as I have said, a merchant of timber, and had his house in the
Strand, on the north side, with a yard on the other side of the
street, in which he stored his goods and did his buying and selling.
In this I was free to play as much as suited my liking, and here also
I found great delights, of which the chief, I think, was the discovery
that the captain of one of the barges which brought him timber was a
certain William Beasley, of Oxford, who had served my father as
bailiff and fisherman, and in other employments, as many as a single
pair of his hands could discharge. With him I had much talk, and
always counted this talk very precious, it being chiefly of home
matters, so that only the actual going thither could by any means be
more to be desired.



CHAPTER III.

OF THE PLAGUE AND OTHER MATTERS.


I was well content both with my lodging at Master Rushworth's, though
I thought, doubtless for want of grace, he was too puritanically
inclined, and with the school. Our good parson had grounded me so well
in the rudiments of Latin that I took at the first a place beyond my
years; and I used such diligence and ability, if I may say so much of
myself, that I lost not this advantage afterwards. Twice in the year
there was held an examination of the scholars, or, as they call it,
probation; and they that acquit themselves well therein are nominated
to a higher place. This promotion I never failed to gain, save the
first time only, when I had been but three months in the school, and
this in a form which had none other so young as I. I do believe,
indeed, that even then I had earned promotion; but the usher kept me
back of set purpose, thinking this to be the best for me, for which
kindness, though it angered me at the time, I have since been most
grateful. In the end it served me well, for, not to be tedious by
dwelling over long on such matters, I had obtained at the first
probation of 1636, of which year I shall shortly have more to say, a
most excellent place in the school, being promoted into the fourth
form, in which there was not, I remember, one scholar but had, at the
least, six months more of age than myself.

But now there came a most grievous interruption, not to me only, which
had been but a small matter, but to the prosperity of the whole
nation. In the third year of my schooling (that is to say 1635) the
plague broke out with no small violence in the City. And though it
abated somewhat in the winter, as it commonly does, the cold seeming
to discourage it, so that 'twas hoped it would depart altogether, yet
in the year following, so soon as the spring-time began, it grew to
such a height as had never before been known, so far as the memory of
living man could reach. But there had been worse before, the Black
Death, to wit, which left, 'twas said, scarce a tenth part of the
people alive, and the Sweating sickness in the days of King Henry
VIII. From this visitation the school suffered greatly. I do not say
that many scholars actually perished of the sickness, for of these
there were not, I take it, more than three or four at the most. But
our numbers were sadly minished; for none came from the country,
parents fearing to send their children into the midst of so deadly an
infection, and of the London scholars also many were kept at home,
lest, mixing with their fellows, they should either take the disease
or convey it upon their clothes. It was a dismal sight to see the
classes grow smaller, I may say, day after day. And when any boy was
seen to be absent, there were rumours that he was dead of the plague;
and though these, as I have said, were, for the most part, not true,
yet we that remained were not the less troubled. At the last, when our
numbers had dwindled down to a third or thereabouts of the full, came
down an order from the Court that the school be shut. And this was
done on the seventeenth of May, 1636.

I remember that we heard this news with a great shout of joy; for boys
would rejoice in holiday though it should be brought about by the
ending of the world; and now there was prospect of such a holiday as
never had been known; and indeed the scholars were not again assembled
together for the space of a year and five months, though Mr. Edwards,
the chief master, taught some boys during that whole time, lest the
school altogether ceasing to be, its property should be diverted
elsewhere. But I was too young to be one of these.

As for myself, there was no small questioning what had better be done
with me. My father indeed, as soon as there was talk of the school
being shut up, had sent word that I should come home to him. But this
was not easy to be done. For there was great fear throughout the
country lest travellers from London should bring the infection of the
disease with them, so that the roads were diligently watched, and all
that were suspected of hailing thence were forthwith sent back,
sometimes not without much maltreatment. This being so the river was
the only highway that was left open. On this travellers were not
hindered, provided only that they did not go forth from their boat
into the villages round about. And by this highway I did in the end
return home.

On the eleventh of June, for I remember that it was election day at
the school, though the customary festivities were intermitted by
reason of the plague, comes Richard Beasley with his barge, having
with him a load of timber, and what I counted of more worth by far,
the commandment from my father that I should return with him. And this
I did about a sennight after, when he had finished the unloading of
his cargo. We were six days on our journey, and I think that I never
had so delightful a time. First it was no small joy to be quit for a
time of London, which was indeed in those days a most dreadful place.
None were seen in the streets save such as had urgent business; and
these walked at such speed as if death were after them, (as indeed in
a sense it was,) holding a handkerchief or pomander with some scent,
recommended by the faculty, to their noses, as a safeguard against
infection. As for the gallants in their brave attire and the fair
matrons and damsels that had been wont to throng the public ways, they
were invisible, and the church bells never gave forth a merry peal,
but were tolling continually, till indeed this was forbidden as
augmenting the terror of the citizens. And there passed continually
along the streets the funerals of the wealthier sort of people and
their families. But as for the poorer, the dead-cart carried them to
their burying places, and this I, lying awake at night, have often
heard rumbling awfully along, and also the cry of the men asking,
whenever they saw a house shut up, whether there was anything for
them. And I must confess, though it be to my discredit, that Master
Rushworth and his wife wearied me with over long exercises of prayer
such as they thought fitted for the occasion, not remembering my
tender years. It may easily be concluded therefore that I was
sufficiently glad to depart from London. And for the journey itself,
it was, as I have said, delightful beyond all compare. We set out on
the nineteenth of June, being, as I remember, a Saturday, for Robert,
though he had all things ready, would not begin his journey on a
Friday, a scrupulousness at which I was not a little offended, being
above all things desirous to depart. That night we lay at Richmond,
and the day following also, being a Sunday, on which day William
Beasley was steadfast not to travel. He would say that, if a man cared
not for his own soul, knowing it not to be worth a groat, he should
have regard to his beast, which must be priced at twenty shillings at
the least.

We travelled without any mischance save that at Bray, where the river
is more than ordinary shallow, William Beasley's son having had the
rudder in charge, ran the barge on a shoal, and would have had a great
whipping from his father but that I took the blame on myself; which
was indeed but fair, for I was distracting the lad with my talk when
he needed all his wits for his work. At some of the ferries we had to
serve ourselves, for the ferrymen would not venture themselves near to
those that might be bringing, as they thought, the infection of the
disease from London. And when we would buy anything from the town and
villages, as eggs and milk, or the like, we left the money at an
appointed place (the custom having grown up in former visitations),
dropping it into a bowl of water; and the country folk afterwards
brought their goods. And then, with a "God save you!" given and
returned, we went on our way. 'Twas a doleful thing to be so shunned,
as if we had been lepers; yet I could not blame the people, knowing
that the plague had been carried down from London to the utter
destruction of many villages. For a village, if it once take the
infection, will often, for lack of ministration to the sick, suffer
worse than the town. But once only did the riverside people show us
any hostility; and this was at Wallingford, where they stoned us from
the bridge, but without doing any considerable hurt.

But notwithstanding these incommodities, 'twas a most delightsome time
such as I have ever remembered with pleasure, and shall remember so
long as life be left to me. I have seen evil days since then--Thames
running red with civil blood, if I may so speak, and all this fair
land of England disturbed with the strife of brothers fighting against
brothers. But these days had not then come; and if there were signs
and tokens of the storms that were gathering, and such doubtless there
were for them that had discerning eyes. I was too young to take note
of them. And I was newly come from a city where there was but little
talk of aught but pestilence and death, and doleful sights and sounds
about me on every side, so that the country scenes, full of gladness
and life, into which I had, as it were, escaped, were the more
exceedingly delightful. Nor is there, methinks, a fairer thing in
England, when one is once past the environs of the city, than Thames,
nor any season in which Thames is more to be admired than that early
summer in which we were then journeying. For the trees are in their
fullest leaf and not yet withered at all by the heat, and the river
banks are bright with flowers, as the forget-me-nots and the flags,
both yellow and purple, and the water-plants, of more kinds than I can
name, gay with blossom; also one may see the water-hens and the
grebes, leading about their newly hatched broods, and the swans,
carrying on their backs their cygnets, whose brown plumes show forth
tenderly from out the silvery white, and the halcyons with their
comely colours of green and red, carrying food to their young. All
these and many more things that I have not the wit duly to describe
did I see and note, young though I was, during our voyage.

Also as we went along William Beasley would cast a bait--a moth, may
be, or a slug, or sometimes, to my no small wonder, a morsel of
cheese--under the boughs that hung over the water, and draw out thence
mighty big chevenders, or, as some call them, chubs. This he did with
a most dexterous hand; ay, and having caught them, he would cook them
no less skilfully, so that this fish, which I have since found to be
tasteless, made as dainty meat as could be desired; or was it that the
flavour was not in the dish but in its surroundings? And when we had
accomplished our journey for the day, he would prepare an angle for
me, and teach me to catch roaches and perches. And once, I remember,
when I was pulling to me a roach that was on the hook, a pike of some
six or seven pounds laid hold upon him, and would not let go, so bold
and ravenous was he. And William Beasley, in the deftest manner that
ever I beheld (and I have seen the same thing oft attempted since, but
never accomplished), put a hand-net under the beast, and brought him
in. And he would have it, being one of the kindest hearts that ever
lived, that I had caught the pike. And we had a great feast off him;
'twas excellent meat, white and firm, though somewhat weedy, said
William; but I noted nothing amiss. Near to Oxford my father met me,
and carried me home, where I lived with much content until the time
when, as I have said, the Merchant Taylors' School was opened again, a
space of fifteen months and more. 'Twas not lost time so far as
learning was concerned, for our good parson took me in hand again and
taught me. And, indeed, he had been teaching my sister Dorothy, so
that she was a match, ay, and more than a match, for me, being both
older and of a nimbler wit. But being the tenderest soul alive, and
fearing that I should be grieved if she outstripped me too far, she
would hold back; and I, thinking that I could vanquish her, and being
sometimes by her suffered so to do, did my utmost. Verily I believe
that I had not learned more at the school itself, though my preceptors
there were diligent both with the voice and the rod, in which latter
instrument of learning they had such faith as Solomon himself, who,
methinks, has much affliction of youth to answer for, could not have
excelled. Nor did I gain in learning only, but also in strength of
body and health, in which, haply, I had fared ill had I been cooped
within the City walls.

In the year 1643--for that I be not tedious to them that shall read
this history I shall say no more of my schooldays--I, being then
eighteen years of age and not unfit, if I may say so much of myself,
to compare with the best scholars of the said school, did hope for my
election to a vacancy in the College of St. John the Baptist at
Oxford. But of this hope I was disappointed, not altogether, methinks,
of my own fault. It came about in this manner. About the beginning of
May comes a letter from the President and Fellows of the College,
wherein they write that they dare not, by reason of the troubles of
the times, venture so far as to come to London that they might take
part, as their custom was, in the election of scholars to their
College. So it turned out, to cut the matter short, that the Company
held the said election privately by themselves. Now my uncle, Master
Harland aforesaid, died about this time; and as during his life he had
been somewhat masterful, ruling most things according to his pleasure,
so now, being dead, there was, so to speak, a turn of the tide against
him and his, by which turn I suffered. They also to whom I looked for
help, to wit the President and Fellows of St. John's College, were
absent for the cause that I have already set forth. And so it happened
that when it came to the election I had but two voices. And this I say
not by way of complaint against them that ordered the election, nor of
murmuring against God, but because I desire to set forth what befell
me, and, as far as I can, the causes of the same. As for murmuring,
indeed, I doubt much whether I lost any great profit in this matter,
though I will confess that it was at the time no small disappointment
and bitterness. For the same cause that hindered the Fellows of the
College from coming to London, hindered also the scholars that were
then elected from going to Oxford; so that it was a long time before
they were admitted to their preferment. And, in truth, when they were
admitted, it was but an unprofitable matter, for the College was
almost at the point of dissolution for lack of means, many of its
tenants not being able to pay their rents, and some that had the
ability making pretence of the troubles of the times to cover their
dishonesty. And thus my schooldays came to an end.



CHAPTER IV.

OF THINGS AT HOME.


I have said but little hitherto of our civil troubles; and, indeed,
they touched us but lightly within the walls of our school. I had
almost said that they did but give a new name to our sports; for
whereas our factions--such as a school commonly has--had before called
themselves by the names of Greeks and Trojans, or Romans and
Carthaginians, according as Homer or Livy were most in our hands, so
now we were King's men and Parliament's men, or Rebels, as we that
were of the loyal faction would often style these latter. But it must
be confessed that there was something beyond the ordinary of veritable
anger in these combats; so that once or twice the partisans appeared
in their places in school with broken heads or other damage, and would
doubtless have so done more often but for fear of our master, Mr.
Edwards, who did mete out a most severe and impartial justice to all
that presumed to disturb the peace of his realm. The City folk were
for the most part friends to the Parliament, and their faction had the
majority of the scholars. Yet the King, too, had those that stood
stoutly by him; of whom I, being tall and strong and expert in all
bodily exercises, was chosen to be the leader. I do remember what a
fierce battle we had on the fifth day of January, in the year 1642,
which was the day following that on which the King would have seized
the five members. So hot were we about it that we noted not our master
coming upon us and finding us _in flagrante delicto_. A battle of the
bees, says Virgil, is stayed by the throwing of a little dust, and we
were pacified by the first sound of his voice; and, indeed, though I
have had experience of sundry sights and sounds of terror, I know
nothing so terrible as the voice of a schoolmaster, so he be one that
hath what all have not, the true secret of rule. He had noted down the
names of all the chief combatants before we were aware of him; nor did
one of them escape due punishment. As for myself, being, as I suppose,
of such an age, and may be strength that I could scarce be flogged, he
set me to English the first book of the _Pharsalia_ of Lucan, which
treats, as all know, of the civil wars of Rome. 'Tis choice verse,
doubtless, but passing difficult--or so at least I found it--and gave
me but scant leisure between Epiphany-tide ('twas on the fifth day of
January that the tumult was) and the beginning of Lent, a space of
near upon two months. So much, then, for our mimicries of war. But
now, coming home--which I did not long after my hopes at the school
had been, as I have said, disappointed--I found the reality. And,
indeed, on my journey, which was not accomplished without peril, I had
seen something of it. For coming by way of Thame--which I was advised
was to be preferred because some troopers of the Prince Rupert lay at
Fawley near to Henley-upon-Thames and harried all travellers with
small respect of parties--and staying to bait my horse at the inn, I
heard that a notable man was lying dead in one of the chambers. ('Twas
Midsummer Day, I remember.) This was Master John Hampden, who had been
shot in the shoulder upon Chalgrove Field six days before, and being
carried to Thame died there on the very day on which I chanced to pass
through. His name had been much in men's mouths, and was not a little
regarded even by them who judged him to have erred (of which number
was I); and it troubled me not a little to hear that he had been
slain, though he was an enemy to the King. I had heard before of such
things, and, indeed, at Edgehill, where the King's men and the army of
the Parliament under my Lord Essex had fought with doubtful success,
thousands had been slain and wounded; but now I saw death close at
hand for the first time; and it moved me mightily.

I found my father greatly discomposed, though at first he sought to
hide his trouble by jest and banter. The first evening after my
coming, as we sat by the fire, for he was one that even at midsummer
would have a fire be it ever so small, he smoking his pipe, which was
a custom he had learned of the Germans, he began thus with me:

"I am for the King, as you well know, son Philip; but 'twould be well
if you could be persuaded in your conscience that the Parliament has
the right."

I could say nothing, being struck dumb, so to speak, with
astonishment. Then he went on:

"'Tis the fashion hereabouts to order things in this way, and has been
since these present troubles began, as doubtless you would have known
but for being away in London. See now there is Master Holmes at
Upcott, t'other side of the river; he is for the Parliament, and
Geoffrey his son is for the King; and Sir William Tresham, of Parton,
is a staunch Cavalier, but William Tresham the younger e'en as staunch
a Roundhead."

"Nay, father," said I, finding my tongue at last, "I cannot conceive
that I should be found different from you in this matter."

Then he laughed and said: "Your schooling has not made your wits as
nimble as might have been looked for. Dost not see how the matter
stands? If the King prevail, no harm shall befall Upcott, for is not
Geoffrey loyal? nor any if the Parliament get the better, seeing that
Master Holmes himself hath ever been zealous for it. And for Sir
William, 'tis but the same story told the other way. Master Tresham
goes in the new ways, but the good knight his father loves the old;
and it cannot but be that the one or the other is in the right. What
say you? I am too old to change, and the world would wonder if, when I
have fought for his Majesty's house, I should now turn against him;
but you have been brought up among the citizens, with whom he is, I am
told, in but small favour. Shall we make a Master Doubleface between
us, and make the inheritance sure whatever may befall?"

What I should have said I know not, for though the matter of his
speech was utterly strange to me, he showed no token but of being
utterly serious; but I must have showed some distemper in my face, for
before I could answer, he broke in upon me:

"Nay, son Philip, answer not. 'Tis enough. I did ill to jest on such a
matter, which is indeed too serious for any words but those of
soberness. Come, let us take counsel together. To live here is a thing
past all enduring, at least for any man that cares not to run with the
hare and hunt with the hounds. An I could welcome the Parliament's men
one day and the King's men the next, I might make a good profit out of
both, and so fare well. But such is not to my taste. My purpose then
is to put my sword to the grindstone again, and to take service with
the King. I am not what I was, but I am not too old to strike a blow
for the good cause. The farm I shall leave to John Vickers. 'Tis an
honest man enough, but he cares not, I do believe in my heart, one
groat for King or Parliament, so that he gets in the hay and corn
without damage of blight or hindrance of weather. I have made a
covenant with him, not in writing, but by word of mouth--for be he not
honest, as indeed I do trust he is, writing will not bind him more
than speech--that he shall pay so much by the year, according as the
price of corn shall be. 'Twill be, as I reckon, about eighty pounds;
of this I shall keep twenty for my own use, so that I shall not need
to trouble the King's chest, which has, I take it, enough, and more
than enough, to do. Your mother's portion is in the hands of Nicholas
Barratt, a maltster of Reading, who pays six pounds per centum, making
thirty pounds by the year in all. And this, with the residue of that
which comes from John Vickers she must make suffice for herself and
your sister Dorothy and you. And now for yourself."

At that I brake in: "That matter is soon sped. My place is nowhere but
with my father."

"Nay," said he, "you have forgotten half the commandment, which runs:
'Honour thy father _and thy mother_.' Thy mother and sister must
needs dwell in Oxford, and I should not be content to leave them there
without some man of their kindred to take their part. I doubt neither
the loyalty nor the courage of those that serve his Majesty, but there
are not a few among them that are somewhat loose of life, which is,
indeed, but too common a fault of soldiers. You will soon see for
yourself that a fair maid, such as is your sister Dorothy, could
scarce stir abroad had she not you to bear her company, nor would I
have you at your age in a camp; 'tis not a place for a lad, as you
still are, for all your inches and broad shoulders. 'Tis the time for
learning and fitting yourself for your work in life; for these wars
will come to an end some day, though I doubt not that they will last
so long that this realm shall be almost brought to ruin. And what
would you do, being left at two or three and twenty years of age,
having learnt nothing and forgotten much, and 'all thy occupation
gone,' as Will Shakespeare hath it?"

It matters not what I said in answer to this. I did not yield at once,
but debated the matter for awhile, being thus disappointed of my hope.
But 'twas all to no purpose, for my father was resolute, and I could
not but acknowledge in my heart that he had the right.

The next day, therefore, my mother and sister having for some time
past bestirred themselves to get all things ready for removal, we left
our home and journeyed to Oxford, lodging for a time at the
_Maidenhead_, which is a tavern opposite to Lincoln College, till
we could find a convenient dwelling in the town. This was no easy
matter, for Oxford was full, it may be said to overflowing, with
courtiers and soldiers. But at last, by the kindness of Mistress Wood,
widow of Thomas Wood, that had died the year before, having been
always a good friend to my father, we found a little house not far
from Merton College. 'Twas but a poor place, having only two chambers
with one parlour and a kitchen, with no garden but a little yard only
(a thing which troubled the women folk much, not only because it
stinted them of air and exercise, the streets being scarce fit for
them to walk in, but because they were constrained to buy such trifles
as parsley and mint, and everything, though but the veriest trifle,
that was needed for the household). Yet we were right glad to find
even this shelter, having almost begun to despair; and, indeed, we
scarce suffered the former occupiers, the widow and daughter of a
King's officer, newly slain in the wars, to depart before we filled
their places, so fearful were we lest someone else should be
beforehand with us. Nor indeed, for very shame, could we complain,
seeing that Mistress Wood lived in a house that was scarce better than
ours, her own having been given up to my Lord Colepepper, Master of
the Rolls. Nor was it a slight matter that this narrow dwelling suited
our shallow purse, for shallow it was when money was so scarce and all
articles of provision so dear as we found them to be in Oxford. And
here let me say that neither did Master Barratt fail to pay interest
on my mother's fortune, nor John Vickers his yearly rent, most
scrupulously calculated according to the current price of corn. The
worthy man also did send my mother many gifts of fruit and butter, and
fowls and game in its season, so that although we had no superfluity,
we never lacked, but could give to many that needed. Of these, indeed,
there was no small number in Oxford, some of them being persons of
good estate, that, having less honest tenants than John Vickers, could
get no return of rent from their lands.

Me my father entered at Lincoln College, with the Rector of which, Dr.
Paul Hood, he had a friendship (or I should rather say an
acquaintance) of old standing. By good fortune it happened that the
place of one of the four Trappes scholars fell empty beyond
expectation, the scholar having taken service with the King and being
killed in battle. The news came on the very day of my entering, and as
I had gained some credit by answering, and much praise from them that
examined me, and no one else desired the place, the vacancy being, as
I have said, without expectation, I was chosen to it by a unanimous
voice. 'Twas no great matter, fifty-two shillings by the year only;
but 'twas, nevertheless, a welcome promotion.



CHAPTER V.

OF THINGS AT OXFORD.


'Twas a stirring time at Oxford when I first began my residence in the
University. The King had there his headquarters, and there was scarce
a day but messengers came bearing news, good or bad, of the war that
was being carried forward in every part of England. Also a Parliament
sat--I speak now of the first year of my residence, that is to say
from October, 1643, to the same month of the year following--at which
were present some hundred and fifty, reckoning both Commoners and
Peers. But of these matters I shall say more hereafter; at the present
I will speak rather of things concerning my own College.

Lincoln College is a fair building, of an honourable antiquity, there
being six Colleges only that are older than it and ten that are of
newer date, but it has only a poor estate, its first founder having
died before he could fulfil his purpose, and other benefactors, for
such have not been wanting to us, not wholly making good his unwilling
defect. Its chief ornament is the chapel, which is in the Gothic style
(a style, in my judgment, much to be preferred to the Italian novelty
which many in these days prefer), fairly lined with cedar, and
illustrated with windows most handsomely painted. These windows were
brought from Italy at the instance of the builder, Dr. Williams,
sometime Bishop of Lincoln and Lord Keeper, whose liberality in this
matter is the more to be commended because he is not even of this
University, but visitor only of the College in right of his bishopric.
My chamber was under the roof at the top of the chapel staircase, and
had a fair prospect of the church of All Saints, which, in a sort,
belongs to the College, and of that part of the town which lies toward
the river.

On the first day of November, being All Saints' Day, we--that is to
say, all the members of the College then residing, from the Rector to
the Clerks--walked in solemn procession to this church, where prayers
were said, and a sermon preached by Master Richard Chalfont, the
Sub-Rector, the Rector, to whom the duty of this discourse more
properly belongs, pleading inability by reason of illness; but 'tis
thought that 'twas an excuse rather than a reason, and that, being a
prudent man, as was most abundantly proved by his keeping his
preferment through all the changes of the times, he chose rather to be
silent in so critical a juncture of affairs. We looked for a discourse
on political matters from Master Chalfont, who was very hot for the
King; but he preached on no such subject, but on the pleasures which
shall be enjoyed in heaven. Some thought the theme ill-chosen, but
others, to whose opinion I incline, greatly commended this choice,
saying that of politics we hear enough, and more than enough, in the
market-place, and that higher things are more befitting the sanctuary.
'Twas a most academical discourse. I remember he told us that we
should there, among other good things, find repaired all damages that
time or accident has made in the remains of antiquity, reading, for
example, the comedies of Eupolis, a contemporary, but elder, of
Aristophanes, which have been most lamentably lost, and such books of
Livy and Tacitus as are wanting to the manuscripts, and solving also
problems of geometry and algebra which are beyond our present skill. I
thought that many of the auditors listened to these prognostications
with blank faces, as thinking, doubtless, that they had here upon
earth more than a sufficiency of such things.

The day was kept as a high day in the College, provision beyond the
ordinary being made both for dinner and supper in the hall. There was
no lack of jollity, though I heard some complain, in a doubtful
manner, of the change which had been wrought since the last Gaudy (for
such is the name, being short for _gaudeamus_, which they give to
this festivity) was held. Then there had been a goodly show of plate,
none drinking save out of silver; but this was now all gone, being
melted down for the pay of his Majesty's soldiers, and our cups were
of earthenware.

On Shrove Tuesday, which, in the year 1644 (to which I am now come),
fell on the second day of March, there was held what, if I may borrow
a word from a venerable custom of antiquity, may be styled the
initiation of the Freshmen. The fire in the hall was made earlier than
ordinary; the Fellows also went to supper before six, and made an end
sooner than at other times, so leaving the hall to the liberty of the
undergraduates, but not without an admonitory hint given by the
Sub-Rector, as having charge of the discipline of the College that all
things should be carried on in good order. While they were at supper
in the hall, the cook was making hot caudle at the charge of the
Freshmen, who, I should have said, are all that have come into the
University since the Shrove Tuesday last before. (Caudle, I should
say, for the sake of those that are not learned in such matters, is a
drink made of oatmeal flour, mixed in water, with sherry wine.) This
being ready, and all the undergraduates and servants being assembled
in the hall, each Freshman, in his turn, according to his seniority,
was constrained to make a speech, but not without preparation, for
notice was given that it would be required of him on Candlemas Day.
First, he plucked off his gown and bands, and made himself look as
like a low fellow as he could; some, I must needs confess, acquitting
themselves in this respect with much success. This done, he made his
speech, being placed on a form, which was set on the high table,
touching with such wit as he was master of on the persons and
characters of his brother Freshmen and on the servants of the College,
the latter more especially, being a game at which the very feeblest
hawks could fly. If he did well, speaking in an audible voice, and
with a good fluency of words and passable matter, there was given him
a cup of caudle, and no salted drink; if he did indifferently, neither
ill nor well, some caudle and some salted drink; but if he was dull,
or halted in his speech, then he had nothing but salted drink; that is
to say, beer, with salt therein, and tucks[1] to boot. This done, the
senior cook administered to him an oath, which began thus: "Item tu
jurabis, quod _penniless bench_ non visitabis," but the rest I forget.
As for "penniless bench," 'tis a seat by St. Martin's Church (which is
called also Carfax), where the hucksters and butter-women sit. This
oath each Freshman took over an old shoe, which when he had kissed
with due solemnity, he put on again his gown and bands, and was duly
admitted into the worshipful company of seniors. This was doubtless
but foolish work, though I doubt me much whether now, when we are so
far wiser that all such festivities are forbidden, we be much better.
I trust, at the least, that none will think the worse of me if I boast
that I did my fooling so graciously that the cup that was given to me
was of caudle only, and no admixture of salt.

          [1] A "tuck" was a pinch, given with finger and thumb under
          the lip, and sometimes drawing blood.

Such sportiveness is to be looked for in the young; and, indeed, did
their gay temper and light heart lead them no further than into such
diversions, there were small cause for blame; it may be alleged also,
there was something academical, though turned to purposes of mirth, in
these our enforced disputings. So much may not be said of all the
sports to which the younger sort were addicted. Some were given to the
fighting of cocks, a barbarous thing in my judgment, though long
custom has appropriated it to the last day before Lent, so that some
would think the world itself shaken in its foundations were this
absent; but, be it good or bad, 'twill be acknowledged that 'tis not a
seemly thing for the quadrangle of a College, where I have seen it
practised, and that not once or twice only. The baiting of badgers
also with terrier dogs was much followed. As for hunting the fox, it
was interrupted by the war; for who could follow the chase when he was
like to find the King's men in one village and the Parliament's
soldiers in the next? So the war brought peace, I may say, to the
foxes; but the hares and partridges had little rest, for the disturbed
times gave excuse to many for carrying fire-arms, which they could
use, as occasion served, for their own purposes. But who could know
whether a musket were loaded with a bullet that might kill a man, or
with small shot that might bring down a beast or a bird? And if 'twas
a bullet that it bore, what was to hinder it being used against a fat
hart or a roebuck? The keepers of game had, I take it, an ill time in
these days; indeed, their occupation was in many places wholly given
up. And if such abuses have commonly been found among the scholars of
the University, now they prevailed tenfold more. But of this more in
its proper place.

But what shall be said of the seniors, the Masters of Arts. Before I
came to Oxford I had thought, in my simplicity, that these were all
grave and reverend persons, given to books and study, that, as our new
poet, Master John Milton, has it, did "out watch the Bear;" but I soon
learnt to think otherwise; and here I will take leave to tell a true
tale, from which may be seen how some of these reverend seniors did
demean themselves. But that there were grave and pious men even in the
worst times I shall not deny.

There was in the College a certain Master of Arts, by name Thomas
Smith, a violent person, who had been admonished and punished for
diverse offences and disorders, of which it was counted not the least
heinous that he kept dogs in his chamber, and would neither remove
them nor himself when warned by the Rector so to do. Master Smith had
a quarrel, in which private enmity was doubtless aggravated by public
differences, with another Master of Arts, also dwelling in the
College, by name Nicholas North, and a minister. They had had diverse
fallings out in time past, but the gravest of all, by reason of which
Master Smith came near to being expelled from the College (and
doubtless had been so but for the favour of some Fellows that were of
his way of thinking in matters of Church and State), was this. It will
be best told in their own words, as I afterwards found it written
down; and first for Master North's account:

"On Monday night, immediately after I had supped in the buttery, going
in the new quadrangle, I heard a door shut, and thinking it had been
mine, said to him that came forth, 'Who is there?' Master Smith
answered, 'Who are you that examine me?' I replied, 'I do not examine
you.' He said, 'You are a base rogue for examining me.' When I heard
him say so, fearing he would fall upon me, I hasted with all the speed
I could to my chamber; but, as I opened the door, Master Smith caught
hold of my gown and said, 'Sirrah! Come out; you are a base rogue for
examining me!' Said I, 'You cannot prove me such. I pray you let me
go; I have nought to say to you.' 'Ay,' said he, 'but I have something
to say to you;' and taking me by the ear and hair of the head with one
hand, he plucked out a cudgel that was under his gown, and making into
the chamber upon me, struck me with the cudgel upon the head. About
the third blow it broke in two. After that he struck me half-a-dozen
blows with that piece he had in his hand, and when I wrested this out
of his hand he laid me about the face with his fist. There being two
in my chamber, I asked them whether they were not ashamed to see me
beaten in my own chamber, and would not call company to take him off.
After a while came Master Chalfont[2] running in and took him off from
me, and three several times did Master Smith call me 'base rogue' and
run in upon me, and was taken off three times by Master Chalfont; and
when I entreated him to go out of my chamber he called me a base,
inferior rogue, and would not go out till he had every piece of his
stick."

          [2] This Richard Chalfont was expelled in the year 1648. He
          was minister to the company of English Merchants in
          Rotterdam.

Now for Master Smith's story:

"Coming out of my chamber on Monday night, about seven of the clock, I
met Master North coming forth from his chamber. He said, 'What are
you, sir?' I answered, 'What is that to you?' He drew me to his
chamber door. I asked him why he used me so. He said that I had taken
something out of his chamber. I told him that he was an unworthy man,
and I would make him know himself; and Master North being within his
chamber, dared me to fall on him, saying 'Strike me if thou durst!'
Then I perceived a bed-staff in his gown sleeve, he holding the little
end in his hand and the great end downwards. Thereupon, having a stick
in my hand, I struck at him, and hitting him on the top of the head,
broke the stick in pieces."

Here Master Smith was questioned how he came to have a stick, which it
is against rule and custom to carry. He said, "I was newly come out of
town from the company of some friends, and by the way was jostled from
the walk by two scholars, and having shortly to return, not knowing
whether I might be abused again, took the stick under my gown."

Further, in answer to Master North, he said, "I do not absolutely know
whether I did after strike him in his chamber, but might have so done,
partly by heat of passion and ill-language that was given me, and
partly defending myself."

There was no small discussion about this matter, but in the end Master
Smith was commanded to pay ten pounds to Master North for the wrong
done to him (of which sum Master North was persuaded to abate a third
part), and to make a public submission and acknowledgment in the
chapel in the face of all the society assembled. And these two things
he did.

Such were the manners of the time, and afterwards, as will be seen,
they grew worse rather than better.



CHAPTER VI.

OF THE KING'S GOING TO WORCESTER.


My father was well remembered by some of the older sort about the
King's person, as also by the Prince Rupert, elder son of the Princess
Elizabeth, and so nephew to the King, who, when he was a child, had
greatly favoured him. Hence, without any delay, he obtained the
commission of a captain of horse. Indeed, being a man of capacity and
of some experience in military matters, while most of the King's
officers were wholly raw and uninstructed in the art of war, he had
more weight in council than of right belonged to his rank; nor do I
doubt but that, had it not pleased God to order things otherwise, he
would have been promoted to a principal command. Indeed he had, very
soon after his first joining the army, the chief direction of his
regiment, the colonel being a young gentleman of quality, that had
none of the virtues belonging to a soldier save courage only, unless
it is to be counted as a virtue that he knew his own ignorance, and
gave a ready ear to the counsel of wiser men.

For myself, I gave my attention to things academical, and was a
diligent student, exercising an industry which, I make bold to say,
few others in the University excelled. This, it must be confessed, was
not altogether of my own free choice; but my father would have it so.
"Stick to your books," he would say, "son Philip, so long as you can.
Thus for the present time you will serve your cause most effectually.
If the need come for your hand, I shall not spare to call you; but
remember that it is easier to take up the sword than to lay it down."
Nevertheless, with my father's consent; that I might be ready for such
occasion when soever it might come, I learnt my exercises, both as a
foot-soldier and a trooper. (I had learnt to ride while yet a child,
perfecting myself in the art during my long compelled absence from
school in the time of the plague.) I had, through the bounty of my
father, arms of my own, namely, a steel cap, a back and breast-piece
and a pike, with the other appurtenances. We trained commonly in the
quadrangle of New College, the warden whereof, Dr. Robert Pink, deputy
vice-chancellor, was a zealous King's man. There was a school kept in
the cloisters of New College, wherein were taught first the singing
boys of the chapel (with which scarce any other in England can be
compared), and also other youth of the town. And I remember what ado
the ushers had with the lads on the training days. There was no
holding them in their school on these occasions; neither tasks nor the
terror of the lash could hinder them from seeing and following the
soldiers.

As this year (1644) went on, it was more and more manifest that the
King was in a great strait. My father would have it that he was ill
served by his advisers, especially in their continual changing of
their plans, which, when they had settled them after long and painful
debate, they would often unsettle without sufficient cause. I have,
indeed, heard him say, "If his Majesty would but trust his own
judgment, which is indeed better than can be found in many of them
that pretend to be his advisers, and having once come by a resolution
would carry it out determinately, 'twould be well for him and for his
kingdom." Whatever the cause, it came to pass that in the month of May
the King's affairs were in such ill case that he was like to be
besieged in Oxford. The forces that he had with him were scarce a
third part as numerous as those that the Parliament had arrayed
against him; nor could he look for any present help from elsewhere,
Prince Rupert being on his march to relieve my Lord Derby (besieged in
his castle of Lathom), and Prince Maurice having sat down before Lyme
in the county of Dorset, a little fisher-town which he was not like to
take, and which, if taken, had been but of small account. The King
therefore had to retire his troops from Reading. Abingdon also, which
is not more than five miles from Oxford, was abandoned, though this
was against the King's desire and even command expressly given; so
that all Berkshire now was in the hands of Parliament by their two
commanders, the Earl of Essex and Sir William Waller, and the King was
forced to draw his whole force of horse and foot on the north side of
Oxford; nay more, the Parliament came into Oxfordshire, my Lord Essex
getting over the Thames at Sandford Ferry (which is three miles away
from Oxford), and halting on Bullingdon Green, whence he sent parties
of horse up to the very gates of the city. This was on the
twenty-ninth day of May. Meanwhile Sir William Waller also had crossed
the Thames and was come as far as Eynsham, where he lay at my father's
house, but did no damage, but was, on the contrary, cause of no small
profit to John Vickers, and so through him to my father; the said John
selling to him and his company poultry and eggs and the like at such a
price as did, in a way, avenge the King's wrongs. Now, therefore, the
King was well nigh surrounded, for some of my Lord Essex's horse had
gone forward as far as Woodstock, so that there was but one vacant
space left in the circle which the enemy had not yet occupied, to wit,
between Eynsham and Woodstock, and this space was of not more than six
miles.

So desperate indeed was the situation of affairs that there were many
now who counselled the King that he should give himself up to the Earl
of Essex, to which advice he gave this answer, as my father told me
who heard the very words as they came from his mouth. "'Tis possible I
shall be found in the hands of the Earl of Essex, but I shall be dead
first."

  [Illustration: _Friar Bacon's House._]

On the third day of June, at eleven of the clock in the forenoon, as I
sat in my chamber, comes my father to me. I was reading, I remember,
in the twenty-seventh book of the Histories of Livy of how the Consul
Livius made a sudden march to join forces with his colleague against
Hasdrubal, then threatening to combine his army with Hannibal's to the
great danger of the commonwealth of Rome. My father had a more
cheerful look than I had seen in him since my coming home. Indeed, he
was one of them to whom the bare prospect of danger is a singular
great delight, so that the whistling of a bullet near to him would
rouse him as a draught of wine does other men, and would change his
ordinary mood, which was somewhat grave and reserved, to a most
uncommon gaiety and mirth. Says he, "Son Philip, I see you are set to
pull down Friar Bacon's house about your ears.[3] Nevertheless, put
away your books, if you have a mind for a ride to-night. My colonel is
sick of a fever, which he contracted, I take it, from toasting the
King too zealously last night at St. John's College, where they drink
perilously deep. 'Tis not a serious ailment, but it hinders him at the
present time from the saddle; and by the King's special word I am to
have command of the regiment. Further, the King said, 'Thou wilt need
some one to carry messages and the like, a young man of courage and
discretion, and a bold rider. Dost know of such a one?' Then I
said--let it not turn your head to hear such good opinions of
yourself--'Sire, I have a son who would do his utmost to please your
Majesty.' Then he would know who you were; but when he heard that you
were a scholar, his face clouded somewhat, and he said, 'A scholar is
best at his books. 'Tis not the least evil of this most unhappy war
that it has changed this seat of learning into a barrack of soldiers.
Where shall I find preachers and counsellors if I turn my scholars
into troopers?' But when I told his Majesty that you were diligent at
your books, he said, 'Well, if the lad will take this ride as a
holiday and return hereafter to his books, it shall be as you wish.
Will you answer for him?' And when I said that I would it was settled
that you should come. But mind, son Philip, that you do not falsify my
word. And now I will have a word with Master Hood, your Rector, for
the King has promised that you shall have dispensation for the rest of
your term if perchance you have not kept it." And, indeed, I had kept
but half of Trinity term, which begins on the Wednesday after Whit
Sunday. The Rector made no hindrance, being always amenable to them
that are in authority. Only he would not give me permission to be
absent under his hand, which my father would gladly have had. "'Tis no
need," he said; but I do suspect that he would not do aught that might
be used in evidence against him. He is a good man, of wise carriage
and conduct, and learning sufficient for his place; but 'tis cardinal
doctrine with him that he must be Rector of Lincoln College. 'Tis not
altogether ill with the world, he thinks, so long as that be so.
Hitherto he has kept his profits and dignities while many have lost
them, as I shall show hereafter; and if, to speak profanely, Fortune
shall give another turn to her wheel, and the King have his own again,
I doubt not we shall find Master Hood[4] at the top in as good case as
ever.

          [3] The tradition was that the house would fall when a more
          learned man than the Friar should pass beneath it.

          [4] Paul Hood held the Rectorship of Lincoln College from
          1620 to 1668, and therefore outlasted the change from King
          to Parliament, and from Parliament again to King. No other
          head of a house was equally compliant or equally long lived.

  [Illustration: King Charles the First.]

My father had, with no small difficulty, bespoken a horse for me, and
when I had settled my small affairs at College, I went down to William
Barnes his stables in S. Aldate's so as to make acquaintance with him.
The first sight of him dashed me somewhat. He was, I thought, over
small for me, having not more than thirteen hands in height, while my
stature exceeded six feet by three inches and more. But his colour
troubled me more than his littleness, for he was of the spotted kind,
such as they commonly use in shows. William Barnes perceived that I
was ill at ease, and would comfort me. "Nay, Master," he said, "'tis
an excellent beast for all his queer look. A good horse is ever of a
good colour, say I; and as for strength it does not always go with
bigness. I warrant he would carry three of you, if his back were long
enough. And if your legs be over long, you must shorten your
stirrups." Nor, indeed, were his commendations ill bestowed. It must
be confessed that there was much laughter when I was first seen on his
back, and laughter is sometimes almost as ill to bear as blows. But he
never failed me in any need. He never flinched at the noise of the
cannons--no, not when he heard it for the first time, whereas there
were, I noted, many horses that could never be trusted, but that they
would carry their riders clean off the field, to their no small
discredit, or straight into the enemy, to their no small danger. But
Spot--for so I called the good beast--was ever steady and obedient to
the rein, and if provender were short he was content to wait, nor yet
failed in strength, however long the day's work might be. Poor Spot,
he is with many another on Naseby Field. I am not ashamed to confess
that though I had, God knows, other and heavier griefs that day, I
shed tears to think I should see him no more. But I must return to the
time of which I am now speaking.

  [Illustration: _A Halt of Officers._
  _HANHART LITH._]

Though my father had been secret as to the purpose of the ride, as he
named it, to which he called me, I had little doubt what this might
be. Yet was I somewhat mistaken. For thinking that the King was
intending to go forth from Oxford, where, as I have said, he was near
to being surrounded, to some part where he might have freer action,
and to do this with a small company of followers, I found, coming down
to the north gate, which I did about half-past eight on the evening,
that there was a whole army assembled. There were, as I did afterwards
discover, about 6,000 men, of whom the greater part were horse. The
horse were drawn up in a very fair array in Port Meadow, which had
been conveniently chosen for this purpose, as lying low and so being
out of sight of the enemy. The foot soldiers, marching down the lane
that runs by Aristotle's Well, there joined them; and so, about nine
of the clock, when it was now beginning to grow dark, we set off, the
horse, whereof my father's regiment was the foremost, being in front,
and the footmen following after with as much haste as they might. And,
indeed, besides that all were picked men, 'twas not a march in which
any would desire to linger, so great was the danger lest the enemy's
forces, being much more numerous, should close upon us. These, as I
have before said, were on either side of us, but on the present
occasion the army of Lord Essex was the more to be dreaded, seeing
that it had pushed forward its outposts so far as Woodstock town,
whereas we, marching by Picksey and Oxsey Mead, and over Worton Heath,
skirted the very walls of Woodstock Park. Our chief care was
concerning a certain bridge over the Evenlode River that is hard by
the village of Long Hanborough, whether it were held by the enemy or
no. For if it was so held we should have to fight for it, and if we
fought it would be small odds whether we got the better or the worse,
for we could scarce hope, being checked upon our way, to outstrip our
pursuers. About midnight there was a consultation held among the
leaders, whereof the outcome was this, that my father with two hundred
horsemen, each carrying a musqueteer behind him, rode forward with as
much speed as they could command, being specially chosen for their
courage and for the strength and quickness of their horses. It was
purposed that these should occupy and hold the bridge at Hanborough.
With these I rode, and when we were come to the bridge, and by God's
providence found it vacant, says my father to me, "Son Philip, ride
back to the army with all the speed you can, and tell the good news to
the King." So I rode, putting spurs to my horse, though indeed the
good beast needed not spur nor whip; and when I arrived at the army I
found the King, with whom was the whole inception and conduct of the
affair from the beginning to the end, had ridden to the front. And
when he saw me, careful and troubled as he was about the matter, he
had much ado to keep from laughter, so strange a figure did we show.
But when he heard my news, he said, "This is excellent good tidings;
never came more welcome Mercury than thou. And that need be a
marvellous good beast of thine, be his looks what they may, for thee
to have gone and returned so speedily. But spare him now, and follow
quietly."

There is no need to write of this march at length, though indeed it
was marvellously well conceived and executed. Let it suffice then to
say so much as follows. We proceeded without halt till the afternoon,
when we came to Burford, which is distant from Oxford about sixteen
miles. There we refreshed ourselves awhile, and his Majesty was so
graciously disposed that he would have my father and me to sup with
him and the great lords that were about his person. After supper he
talked with my father awhile about military affairs, asking his
opinion in the most courteous fashion; and he had also a few words
with me about my books, not forgetting to warn me that I must not
neglect them for any pleasures or excitements of war. About nine of
the clock the King, desiring to put as much space as might be between
himself and his pursuers, gave command to march, which was performed,
but not without some murmuring. And, indeed, it was a laborious march,
for though our way for the most part lay along the valley, yet at the
last, it being little short of midnight, we made a steep ascent, and
so having mounted the height with no small pains, descended the same
with no less to Bourton-on-the-Water. Here we rested for the night,
keeping under such shelter as we could find, or, the greater part of
us, under none at all. We had marched, I take it, not less than thirty
miles, which is no small achievement, especially for an army that had
been for many months past in garrison. The next day betimes we set
forth again, the King intending at the first to halt at Evesham, but
after hearing that General Waller was in pursuit, and that crossing
the Avon at Stratford might so cut him off from Worcester, to which
place he was bound, changed his purpose and went on without halt to
Worcester. And here I must record a marvellous deliverance from
instant danger that befell me on my way. 'Twas at Pershore in
Worcestershire, where there is a bridge over the Avon. This the King
commanded should be broken down, and gave commandment accordingly to
the officer that had the charge of such matters. But he being either
new to his business, or overhasty to finish the matter, lest the enemy
should perchance come up and find it undone, set fire to the gunpowder
wherewith it was to be destroyed, before the due time. By this
misadventure Major Bridges, a very skilful and courageous man, was
killed, and with him also three other officers and about twenty common
soldiers. I myself was like to have perished with these, being thrown
into the river, by the falling of the bridge. But being somewhat
before the others I escaped, for whereas they were done to death by
the force of the explosion, I did but lose my footing and fall into
the river. And here again my good steed showed how excellent a beast
he was, for he swam most bravely against the stream, and in the end
landed me on the bank, being not much the worse, save for the wetting.
From Evesham the King rode to Worcester, where the townsfolk received
him with much rejoicing.



CHAPTER VII.

OF THE FIGHT AT COPREDY BRIDGE.


Of his Majesty's marchings and counter-marchings, after his coming to
the City of Worcester, I shall not write in this place, save to say
that they were ordered with such skill as utterly confounded his
pursuers. But they that read this book will, I doubt not, pardon me if
I speak somewhat particularly of the battle which his Majesty fought
at Copredy Bridge, seeing that it was the first battle in which I had
a hand.

On the twenty-eighth day of June, being a Friday, the army lay for the
night in the field, eastward of Banbury. The next day the King marched
to the North, having the Cherwell River on his left hand, Sir William
Waller at the same time coasting on the other side of the river. My
father and I were with the rear of the army, in which were a thousand
foot and two brigades of horse of which the one was commanded by my
Lord Northampton, and the other by my Lord Cleveland. In this latter
was the regiment of which my father had charge for the time. About
noon we halted to dine. This business finished, we began again to
march, not expecting that the enemy, who was some way distant from the
river, would fall upon us. But about two of the clock we noted that
the body of the army--with which was the King himself--had since
dinner made such haste that there was now a great space left between
them and us; for we had received no command to quicken our marching.
Being somewhat uneasy at this--for it was not to be doubted that Sir
William Waller, being a man experienced in warfare, would take
occasion of this dividing of the army to fall upon us--we spied
certain scattered horsemen riding towards us, with such hurry and
confusion as men are when they are pursued. While we wondered what
this might mean comes a rider post-haste to my Lord Cleveland, and
says:

"My Lord, be on your guard, and make ready to defend yourselves. The
enemy has taken Copredy Bridge, which the Dragoons were keeping for
the King, and will cross the river in a short space of time. 'Tis said
that he has five thousand men and twenty pieces of cannon."

These numbers were exaggerated by fame, as is commonly the case, for
there were, in truth, little more than half the number. At the same
time, we perceived that a brigade of horse, which we reckoned at about
a thousand, had crossed the river by a certain ford, which was a mile
below the bridge, and was ready to fall upon us in the rear. These
latter, being the nearer to us of the two, seemed to my Lord Cleveland
to demand his first care. Thereupon he drew up his brigade to a rising
ground, which faced the ford aforesaid, and passed the word that we
should make ready to charge. Then we all descended from our horses and
looked to our saddle-girths, that they should not fail us, and to the
trimming of our pistols. Then, mounting again, we drew our swords, and
so sat waiting for the word. Whether during that said waiting I felt
any fear I can scarce say. 'Tis, indeed, a mighty difficult thing
clearly to distinguish between fear and other feelings that are
somewhat akin to it. The Latins had a certain word--_trepidare_,
to wit--which has a singular variety of meaning. That it has something
to do with "trembling" there can scarce be doubt, and it does often
signify such agitation of mind as is commonly shown by trembling; yet
sometimes also its meaning seems to be "haste" only; and, indeed, a
man may tremble for eagerness and not for fear. That I had any thought
of flying or shrinking back I can, with a good conscience, deny. A man
must be beside himself with fear that should think of such a thing;
but my heart beat mighty quick, and I thought of them that were dear
to me as might one who thinks to see them no more. While these things
were in my mind comes my father, riding along in front of the line, to
see that all were ready. When he comes to me--I being placed at the
right end of the line--he laid his right hand on my shoulder, and
said, "Be steady, son Philip; let not your horse carry you too fast.
That you be not too slow I need not warn you." ('Twas marvellous what
heart he put into me by these words, which seemed to take my courage
as something beyond doubt.) "Give the point of your sword to an enemy
rather than the edge, and keep your pistols for a last resource, when
you shalt find yourself in close quarters with an enemy and like to be
hard pressed."

When he had said so much the trumpet sounded for a charge, and we set
spurs to our horses, and rode, slowly at the first, and keeping our
ranks passably well, but afterwards at our horses' full speed, and in
a certain disorder. I do believe that the veriest coward upon earth
could not fear if he once found himself riding in a charge; a man
cannot choose but forget himself, and, if he have no courage of his
own, he takes that of his company and is content to meet dangers at
which he would otherwise tremble and grow pale. The enemy had scarce
finished their crossing of the river; and though they put on a bold
face, and even began to move forward to encounter us, they could not
stand, but were broken at the first encounter. For myself, I clean
forgot my father's command that I should give the point of my sword,
and struck lustily, often missing my blow altogether, and doing but
little at other times but blunting my sword. 'Twas all the better so
for one of the enemy's horse that was overthrown by our charge. He was
a lad of seventeen or thereabouts, a brave youth, for he would stand
his ground though his men left him. But now he and his horse went down
before us, and that straight in my way. Thereupon, being on the ground
and helpless, he cried "Quarter!" Now, whether or no I heard him is
more than I can say, but I must confess with shame that I was so
carried out of myself with the fury of battle that it was as if he had
not spoken, for I struck at him, so lying, with all my might. But the
fury which caused me so to forget myself did also make me altogether
miss my aim. God be thanked therefor! for otherwise that day had been
to me for all my life such a shame and sorrow as cannot be expressed.
As I was in the act to lift my sword again--for I will conceal
nothing--I felt a hand upon my arm that held it as with a grip of
iron; and my father, for it was he, cried in such a voice as I had
never before heard from his lips, "What savage is that that will slay
a Christian man when he cries 'Quarter'?" Thereat I dropped my sword,
being, so to speak, come to myself, and mightily ashamed. My father
leapt down from his horse, and said to the young man, "Yield yourself
to me, and you shall suffer no harm." Then the young man, who, now
that I had leisure, I could see to be a cornet, yielded up his sword,
and my father bade one of the troopers take him to the rear. This
done, he turned him to me and said, "I had almost as lief you were a
coward as a madman. Be you one or the other, this is not fit place for
you, and you had better depart."

"Nay, my father," I said, "disgrace me not. I will hold myself in
better check hereafter."

By this time the enemy had fallen back on their supports, and my Lord
Cleveland sounded the bugle, and we rode back slowly to our former
place. There was, I remember, a great ash-tree there, under which the
King stayed to take his dinner. Looking about him there, my Lord saw
another body of the enemy within musket shot of him and advancing upon
him (these were the Parliament men that had come over the bridge). I
doubt not but that in any case he would have charged them, though they
counted sixteen cornets of horse and as many colours of foot, but now
he was the more encouraged, because he saw that the body of the King's
army was drawing to his help. When the enemy saw him move forwards,
they halted, hiding behind the hedges, and delivered their volley of
musket and carbine shot, which volley, though it emptied some of our
saddles, stayed not our charge. Indeed, they did not abide our
approach (and, indeed, I have noted that for the most part there is
but little crossing of swords or pikes in battle, but they that give
place yield to the persuasion of superior force that they conceive in
their minds), but we drave them, with scarce a blow struck, beyond
their cannon. These also we took, being eleven in number, and besides
the cannon two barricadoes of wood drawn up on wheels; in each of
these were seven small guns of brass and leather, loaded with
case-shot, which, by God's mercy, they had not tarried to discharge;
else, I doubt not, we had suffered much damage. Certain of the
cannoneers were killed, and the general of the ordnance taken
prisoner. This was a certain Scotsman, by name Wemyss, who was in very
ill favour with the King's men, because, having been made
master-gunner of England, with a very considerable pension, to the
prejudice of many honest Englishmen, he took the first opportunity to
do him hurt. Many other prisoners were taken, nearly two hundred in
all. In this charge I bore myself more discreetly, riding as close as
I could to my father, but I found no occasion to cross swords with any
enemy, for here again they did not abide our charge, but turned when
we were about a pistol-shot from them. As for them that were slain,
who were in number more than the prisoners, they fell in the flight,
for the most part without striking a blow, though some parties of them
rallied and fought for their lives. Of our party there fell, chiefly
in this way, somewhat less than a score, among whom were two colonels
of regiments.

  [Illustration: _A Gunner._
  _HANHART LITH._]

Here was finished my part in this battle. Of what else was done that
day little needs to be said. The horsemen that crossed by the ford,
making head again and threatening our rear, were charged by my Lord
Northampton, and driven across the river; indeed, these stayed not at
all my Lord's approach, but fled so speedily and so far that 'tis said
they never returned again to their own army.

So far things went altogether well for the King. But when his Majesty
would himself attack the enemy he fared not so well. The bridge he
could not take for all his endeavours, which he continued from three
of the clock in the afternoon till nightfall; and though his men took
the ford that was below and a mill adjoining thereto, and held them
that day and the next also, not being supported by their fellows, they
were compelled to retire. 'Tis beyond doubt, however, that the victory
rested with the King; for though when the battle was finished each
party held the same ground that it had at the first, yet the enemy
lost many times more both in killed and prisoners. Nor must it be
forgotten, as showing what the rebels themselves did think of the
matter, that whereas Sir William Waller on the day of the battle had
eight thousand men with him, fourteen days afterward there remained
with him not half that number.

The next day the cornet of horse whom my father had taken prisoner was
exchanged. It was his good fortune that on our side also there had
been taken an officer of the same degree. He was a lad of sixteen or
thereabouts, somewhat weakly of body, though of a very high spirit,
and was carried by his horse, which he could not by any means
restrain, into the midst of the enemy. As for the colonels and others
of high degree, they had to wait, there not being any of ours who
could be exchanged against them. We had some talk with the lad while
we lay encamped that night on the field of battle, but he held back
and would say but little. But this much I gathered from him, that he
had gone to the wars without the consent of his father. At the same
time he was very hot about certain wrongs which his father had
suffered from the King or the King's Ministers, though what they were
he did not more particularly set forth. He told me that he came from
Northamptonshire, and that his father had purposed to send him to
Lincoln College, in which this county, as belonging to the diocese of
Oxford, has with others a certain preference.

On the last day of June I returned to Oxford, my father remaining with
the King, who was minded to march westward.



CHAPTER VIII.

OF THE PLAGUE AT OXFORD AND OTHER MATTERS.


The members of Lincoln College were for the most part inclined to the
Parliament, though the King had also some friends among them. The
chief of these was one Master Webberley, a Fellow, a man of a
litigious and disputatious temper, whom his Majesty's cause doubtless
pleased the better that it pleased not the greater part of his
society. But 'twould be ungracious in me to speak ill of him, not only
because he always showed me much kindness, but because he was content,
as will be seen hereafter, to suffer for his opinions. As for Doctor
Hood, the Rector, he was, as I have said, somewhat of a weathercock,
turning always according to the wind that blew. Now, on my coming back
to my chamber, he was mighty pleasant to me (chancing to meet me in
the new quadrangle) and told me that the College was proud to have one
who could use both his sword and pen, and other fine things of the
same kind, which there is no need to report. 'Twas fair weather then
with the King's cause, but 'twas clouded over very soon, and Master
Rector's countenance changed therewith. It was not four days
afterwards that he passed me, taking no heed of my reverence which
before he had most courteously acknowledged. Then thought I with
myself, "Doubtless, there is ill news from the King." And so it was,
as I heard within the space of half-an-hour, viz., that the Prince
Rupert and my Lord Newcastle (but my Lord Newcastle was in no ways to
blame, as I have heard) had suffered a most grievous defeat at Marston
Moor, near to the City of York, at which defeat well nigh the whole of
the north country was lost to the King. From that day I had small
favour from Master Rector. But with this I concerned myself but
little.

During the vacation, that is about the space of three months and more,
from July to October, I applied myself diligently to my books, though
I did not neglect my military exercises; in them I was by this time
somewhat proficient. Indeed, as having done actual service in war I
had an officer's place amongst the troop which was raised by the
University for the King, and myself taught the rudiments of the
military art to the new comers. And, indeed, there was but little
recreation other than soldiering. There was much playing, indeed, with
cards and dice in the guard-houses, but such things were never to my
taste, nor indeed had I the gold pieces which are a man's best
introduction to such places. But as for the sport that was followed
outside the walls, fishing and fowling, to wit, and the like
enjoyments, it was hardly to be got. It was as like as not that he who
went forth hoping to catch something should himself be caught. I do
not call to mind indeed that I had any sport, save only fives play
with a certain Edward Wood, second son of Mistress Wood, of whom, as I
have written above, my father rented a house in Oxford. The said
Edward Wood was a portionist, or, as it is sometimes named, a
postmaster, of Merton College, and we were wont to use the fives play
in the garden, that lies on the south side of the chapel of the said
College. At the west end of this garden the wall has been built up
higher than ordinary to serve this purpose, and the grass has been
exchanged for stone. Sometimes one or other of the young courtiers
would join us at our play. I know not whether I had pleasanter times
than in this fives court. Edward Wood did not tarry long at Merton
College, being promoted to a scholarship at Trinity College, but I was
privileged to use the place till the very end of my sojourn in Oxford.

  [Illustration: _Merton College Chapel. Fives-play in the Garden._]

At the beginning of the next term there fell upon the City of Oxford a
dreadful calamity, that is to say, a fire, so great as had not been
known within the memory of living man. It is said, indeed, that,
considering the shortness of the time wherein it burned, it exceeded
in damage all fires that had before been in England. It began on
Sunday, the eighth day of October, about two of the clock in the
afternoon in a little poor house on the south side of Thames Street
(which leads from the North Gate to the East Bridge). The wind blew
from the north, and being very high greatly increased the damage, so
that much of the city that was built to the south of Thames Street was
consumed. On the other hand it is to be remembered that no hall, or
college, or church, or magazine for ammunition or victuals, was
consumed. As for the cause of this conflagration, there was much
diversity of opinion. It was to be expected that it should be laid to
the account of the Parliament soldiers, of whom there was a body at
Abingdon town, not more than three miles distant from Oxford. Indeed,
one of their officers, a Major Burne by name, had, it was said,
threatened this very thing against the city. He was reported to have
cried out, "If I cannot burn all Oxford, yet will I burn so much as I
can." It was allowed also that the fire burst out in many places at
once, and it could not therefore have been caused by an accident. Also
the time of its breaking out was noted, which was two of the clock in
the afternoon, when many of the citizens were at church, and so unable
to attend to the speedy putting out of the flames. For myself I take
little heed of these things, which would in any case have been said.
On the other hand it is certain that the fire in the house in Thames
Street came from a footsoldier roasting a pig which he had stolen. Of
the buildings that were consumed the most important were a
printing-office and a house which had been newly set apart for the
keeping of wills.

The next year--to speak of calamities which befell the city--when the
summer began to draw on, there befell a great sickness of the plague.
It may be said that during the whole time, from the King's first
coming to Oxford to the surrender of the city, the distemper never
altogether departed, seeming to sleep during the cold weather, but
waking again and raging, now less, now more, when the spring returned.
Nor was this to be wondered at. For it was with Oxford as it was with
the City of Athens in the Peloponnesian War, of which Thucydides has
written. 'Twas grievously overcrowded; for there lodged therein the
King and his Court and officers of the Government and the army, to the
number, not always, indeed, but sometimes, of ten thousand and more,
and many traders that came thither for the sake of trading, buying,
and selling, and not a few of the King's party that sought shelter
within the walls, as indeed did my mother and sister. Of scholars,
indeed there were but few, the University being then changed into a
garrison town. Nevertheless, the number of souls in the city must have
been doubled and more; and these also confined within a very narrow
space, for it was not possible to live without the walls for fear of
the enemy.

About April, therefore, in this year (which is the year 1645), the
plague beginning to increase, the Councillor of the city issued a
proclamation concerning it. If any house was suspected of the plague
it was commanded to be shut up, and all the persons within it
commanded to be kept in the house till orders should be given for
opening of it again. Also the house was to be marked with a red cross,
and "THE LORD HAVE MERCY UPON US" writ in capital letters. And to each
house so shut up there was appointed a watchman to see that none went
in or out, and to fetch such necessaries as they might have need of.
These watchmen carried a white staff, and took an oath that they would
perform their duty faithfully. It was not an office to be desired, but
if a man was elected thereto he had no choice but to take it. But the
most dreadful thing in this visitation was the order that was kept
concerning the burial of the dead. There went carts about ('tis a most
surprising thing that they who drove the carts and they who fetched
the dead bodies out of the houses, for the most part, escaped the
disease), after ten of the clock at night, and carried away the
corpses of such as had died during the day. Nor was it permitted that
these should be buried in the churchyards of the city, but great pits
were dug in such places as could be found that were farthest removed
from the habitations of man. There were the dead heaped together,
without coffin, ay, and often without shroud, and after a service,
which a chaplain would make as short and say as speedily as he could,
so left. I know not whether the war brought any worse horror than
this.

In the colleges none, I think, were affected, none certainly perished.
But in those parts of the town that lie by the river where the poorer
sort do dwell many died. Yet the mortality was never so great that
there prevailed any great and general terror. The ministers of
religion also, and the physicians, of whom there was then in Oxford a
greater number than ordinary, did not desert their places; and it is
always, I have heard, to be noted that where these are steadfast to
their duty, they infect others, if I may so speak, with their courage,
to the great advantage of the whole state. But whether they that were
stricken by this sickness profited much by the help of the physicians
is somewhat to be doubted. I have it from one who has had much
experience of the plague, both here and in foreign parts, especially
among the Turks, where it is to be found almost every year, that the
course of the distemper is such that at its first coming the aid of
the physicians can recover none, or at the best very few; and that
when its first violence is spent, 'tis an even chance with them; and
that afterwards, 'tis but very few that die under their hands. It is
certainly true that they would use a great variety of remedies, from
which may be gathered that such as prospered under their hands were
saved by Nature rather than by art. Of these remedies one was sold
much among the people, but the men of science made but small account
of it. It was said to have been given to King Henry VIII. by a very
learned physician of his time. For curiosity's sake I have here
written it down.

    _A handful of elder leaves; a handful of red bramble leaves.
    Stamp and strain them through a fine cloth with a quart of white
    wine; then take a quantity of ginger. Mingle these together, and
    take a spoonful of the mixture, and you shall be safe for
    twenty-four days._

This then was the prophylactic; but the remedy was this:

    _The water of Scabius, a spoonful; the water of Betany, a
    spoonful; of fine treacle, a quantity. This shall put out the
    venom, by the grace of God._

The last clause does save it, to my mind. "The grace of God" can give
potency to plain water. Indeed, I know not whether there be anything
that is to be preferred to this. So at least some of the wise men will
have it.

There needed not indeed either fire or plague to make all hearts dull
and cheerless; all, I should say, that were well disposed to the King,
for he had enemies even here. Of all the gaiety and show that had
adorned the city after his Majesty's first coming there was but little
left. The Queen and her ladies had departed to Exeter, in which city
was born, in this same year, the Princess Henrietta. Of the nobles and
gentlemen that had come with the King, or flowed to him afterwards,
many were dead, for his Majesty was most unfortunate in the loss of
friends; many had been taken prisoners, and they that remained were
sadly shorn of their means. Hence it was but the name and shadow of a
Court that surrounded the King; of its pomp and glory, its splendour
and riches, nothing was left. To the colleges little remained save
that which could not be alienated. Their plate they had given up to
the King's service, and it was now melted into money which had long
since been spent; in some places the very libraries were dissipated.
As for learning, its voice was well nigh silenced. The very schools
had passed from their original use, and were filled with stores of
ammunition and arms. Over everything there hung the cloud of
ill-fortune and ill-success. 'Twas a University to which none came to
learn (I do suppose that from the time at which I came to Oxford till
the surrender of the city there were matriculated, that is to say,
entered the University, scarce two score), and a Court that lacked
both power and magnificence, and a camp from which had departed all
hope of victory.

When this year (I speak of the year academical, which runs from
October to July) was drawing to an end there happened great events,
great both for the nation and for me, of which I will now proceed to
write.



CHAPTER IX.

BEFORE NASEBY.


Sitting in my chamber in the month of June, in the year 1645--I
remember that it was St. Barnabas' Day, and that Master Chalfont, who
was Sub-Rector of Lincoln College, had preached that morning at St.
Mary's Church--comes a knock at my outer door, which I had shut,
fearing hindrances to my study; for in those days there was scarce a
place in the whole kingdom less given to study than Oxford. At the
first I heeded it not; for what would it have profited, having shut
the door, to open it on the first occasion? But when the knocking grew
more urgent I called through the door, "Who knocks?" to which came an
answer in a voice that I seemed to know, "Open, Master Philip, 'tis an
urgent matter." When I heard this "Master Philip," I understood that
the voice was of John Talboys, that was a trooper in my father's
regiment, and born, too, of a family that had been servants, ay, and
friends, to ours for many generations, and was in great trust with
him. So I opened the door in no small trepidation; but when I saw the
good fellow's face I knew that it was no ill-tidings that he brought.
"What news, John, from the army? How fares it with my father?"

"Your father was well when I left him yesterday morning: but take this
letter; it will tell you more than any words of mine."

So I took the letter, which was written on a scrap of paper about the
bigness of a mulberry leaf, for the convenience of hiding if occasion
arose; or, it might be, of swallowing, if the hiding could not be
otherwise contrived. It ran thus:

    _"My dear son Philip,--It irks me much to draw you away yet
    again from your studies, yet it is, to my mind, a plain necessity
    so to do. Hear now the cause, which I will put as shortly as it is
    possible, lest, haply, this writing should fall under less
    friendly eyes than yours. 'Tis plain to me, from signs that I see,
    that a great battle will be fought within a few days, by which the
    King's cause shall be made or marred; and I hold that every man
    who can strike a blow for his sacred Majesty, and is not kept away
    by some necessity, should be here to do his duty. Of myself I
    speak not, save only that I would fain have you with me. Do all
    your diligence, then, to come. John Talboys, the bearer of this
    epistle, and not unknown to you, will be your guide. God keep
    you._

    _"Your loving Father,

    "Philip Dashwood._

    _"Writ at Daintree, in the county of Northampton, the tenth day
    of June, at four of the clock before noon."_

"Well, John," I said, when I had read this letter, "What say you to
all this? But stay"--for when I looked at him I saw that he was pale
and weary, and, had he been less stalwart and strong, almost like to
faint--"speak not till I fetch you somewhat."

With that I ran out of College and fetched in a flagon of ale and a
manchet of bread, with some cheese, from the _Maidenhead_ tavern,
for the buttery was not yet open, it being not yet noon. It was
against law to fetch such things from without, and I was commonly
law-abiding, but the need was urgent. Therefore, I hesitated not to
transgress, and to hide my transgression also under my academic
habiliments, the scholars' gown having full sleeves that are not
ill-contrived on occasion to conceal a flagon or the like.

I perceived John's eyes glitter when he saw the meat and drink; and
when he had taken a deep draught of the ale, and a few mouthfuls of
the bread, he said:

"This is right welcome, Master Philip. I have not had bit nor sup
since I left the King's army at Daintree yesterday morning about five
of the clock, save only a crust of bread which a good parson gave me
at Banbury yesterday evening. The good man had nothing better for
himself, for the Parliament men had stripped him bare. I know not when
I have tasted better ale than this."

But this was John's fancy, bred, I take it, of his long fasting. It
was but poor drink, and nothing to be compared with that of our own
buttery.

"And now, sir," he went on, "for business. My good master, the
Colonel, wants you to bear him company. He read me the letter after he
had written it, so that if there came occasion to destroy the paper I
might give its substance by word of mouth. It is not the easiest thing
in the world to make our way hence to the King; but I have a good hope
that we shall. I know every by-road and hiding-place in the country,
and 'tis hard if I contrive not to give the slip to these crop-eared
psalm-singing gentry. I must needs give my horse a rest, and you will
need some time for your making yourself ready. What say you to ten of
the clock this night for our setting out? We shall pass the worst of
the country while it is still dark."

"But tell me, John," I said; "is it going well with the King?"

"'Tis not," he answered, "for a common man to speak; but, as you ask,
I will say that I like not the aspect of affairs. We have men, though
not so many as they; the gentlefolk are mostly with us, but the
commonalty are greatly against us. But 'tis counsel that we chiefly
lack. The Prince Rupert is in great authority; and as he has lost us
already one battle, so, I misdoubt me, he will lose us another. And I
hear of one Cromwell, a brewer by trade, they say, that is a mighty
dangerous enemy. It was he that turned the battle against the King at
Marston Moor, and, if I err not, we shall hear of him again. And now I
will get some sleep, if I can, and at ten of the clock to-night, at
the North Gate, I shall reckon to see you."

I had little preparation to make. Leave of absence from the Rector I
judged it better to take rather than to ask. My good beast Spot was, I
knew, at my service when I should need him, for it had been so
arranged, and my accoutrements I kept, not in my chamber at College,
but at the tavern where Spot was stabled. So, after I had seen that my
horse and arms should be ready for me at the time appointed, I had
little else to do than make my farewells to my friends. First I went
to Master Webberley, who was, as I have said, well affected to the
King, and told him my purpose. Of this he greatly approved, and gave
me his blessing, and, as a token of his good will, a flask of sherry
sack. We agreed that when inquiry of my absence should be made, he
should answer that I had been called away by an urgent demand from my
father that would not brook delay. It fell out by great good-luck that
for the day there was none other Fellow within the College but Master
Webberley, the others having gone to see an estate that the College
possesses near to this city. Nor did I go back to the College after
taking leave of him, fearing lest some one should stay me and ask
questions, but passed the remainder of the day with my mother and
sister. My dear mother was sorely divided between two desires; for
while she would gladly have kept me with her, she did also greatly
wish that I should be with my father, believing that we should be
safer together. Yet, though she was convinced of this, and, indeed,
reckoned the chance higher than it deserved, yet it troubled her much
to think that we should both be running into the same danger at the
same time. Her poor heart was sadly distracted this way and that. This
is the unhappiness of women that they have ever a choice, though,
indeed, it is a choice but in name only, between evils of which they
cannot say which is the more to be dreaded or the worse to bear. My
mother gave me many messages, and would have laden me and my horse
beyond all possibility of moving with good things, an I had not
refused them. She seemed to think that I had a waggon at the least to
follow me, carrying what I might want. I remember her great concern
when I told her that I should sleep on the ground in my cloak. She was
urgent with me that I should take a mattress with me, and would have
given me one off her own bed. I had no small difficulty to persuade
her that the thing was impossible. After that I was content to tell
her something less than the whole truth about our life in the camp;
for she followed me beyond the door, bidding me never to put on clean
linen that had not been first aired at the fire.

It favoured us much that the night was dark as could well be at
midsummer, with such a roaring of the wind, which was more than
commonly stormy for that season of the year, that the noise of our
horses' hoofs could scarcely have been heard at twenty yards'
distance. We journeyed, too, by green lanes and by-ways, which John
Talboys knew marvellously well, rather than by high roads.
Nevertheless, we did not draw rein, save for a few minutes' breathing
space, till we came to Brackley, which is a small market town in the
county of Northampton, lying south by west of Banbury. We halted about
half-a-mile short of the town, where was a farmhouse that had been
deserted during the present troubles. We bestowed ourselves and our
horses in a barn, and laid ourselves down to sleep, Talboys first
taking some whiffs of tobacco, a herb in which he professes to find
much comfort. "Trouble not yourself, Master Philip," he said, before
he slept, "to wake over early; for we must be content to pass the day
here, and that without company, if we would not fall into the hands of
our enemies." I verily believe that it was noon before I awoke; for I
was much wearied by my ride, having been pent up in the city for
nearly a twelvemonth, and my legs never once across a horse's back.

I had just roused myself, and was looking about me, half-dazed, as a
man will sometimes be with a long slumber, when I heard a whistle, to
which straightway John whistles an answer. Thereupon an old man
thrusts his head in at the door, and presently follows with his whole
body. He was a parson, a man, I should say, of sixty or thereabouts,
his hair quite white, his face ruddy, with as merry a look in his eyes
as ever man had. He had a priest's cloak on him, which he threw off so
soon as he came within the door.

"Now beshrew this cloak," he said, with a laugh; "'tis cumbrous wear
for a midsummer day; but 'tis a rare thing if one has ought to hide;
better than a college gown; eh, Master Scholar?" Then we saw that he
had something in his hand wrapped in a napkin, which, when he had
unfolded, we saw a roasted capon.

"Ah!" he said; "if the King had had such politicians about him as I
am, he had been better served. Hear now how you have come by your
dinner. My good housekeeper, Dorothy Leggats, serves me up this capon,
one of a couple that a neighbour brought me yesterday. Now an I had
told her that I needed it for you, first there would have been loud
complainings, for the good woman believes in her heart that I starve
myself; then she would have gone 'clack, clack' over the whole
village, for the good woman can no more keep a secret than a sieve can
hold water. So, says I, rubbing my hands; 'That is a goodly sight for
a hungry man, Dorothy, but I have business on hand, affairs of State,
you understand, and I must not be disturbed for three hours at the
least. So if anyone come you must say that the parson has shut himself
in his chamber, and cannot be spoken with.' So I lock the door on her,
and slip out of the window, which, by good fortune, is near the road,
and here I am."

"We thank you much, sir;" I said, "but where shall you get your own
dinner?"

"Nay," answered the good man, "let me care for that. 'Tis little that
I can do for his Majesty, and I should be a bad subject if I should
think of myself when there are two stout soldiers in need, that can
strike a blow for him, which my cloth forbids me to do. I shall make
my Friday fast to-day, and give myself indulgence for flesh and fowl,
if such fall in my way, when Friday itself shall come."

"Ah! Master Parson," said John, "I reckon that you fast on other days
than Friday. But come, take a morsel with us; for there is more than
enough for us two."

We had some trouble to persuade him; but at the last he consented to
share with us; and a right jovial meal we had, though we had nothing
stronger to drink than a pitcher of water that John had drawn from the
well in the farmyard the night before. The good parson stayed talking
with us till, as he said, his time was out. He had been at Oxford, at
St. John's College, about forty years before, when the Archbishop of
Canterbury whom the Parliament so barbarously put to death, was his
tutor. Of him he had many things to say, of which I will here set down
one. "They did him an ill turn that brought him to Court, and put him
in the way of preferment and of office in the State. It had been well
for him as for the realm also if he had had no higher place than to be
president of his college. Learning never had a more duteous son nor
the King a worse counsellor."

When it was time for the good man to go he was much concerned to part
from us. "Were I ten years younger," said he, "I would ride with you,
cloth or no cloth. There are days when it may be said, 'Let him that
hath no sword sell his cloak and buy one,' though, to speak the truth,
I could not buy much with this of mine, so threadbare is it and
ragged. But an old man like me is best at home; I can pray for his
Majesty in the church so long as they suffer me to keep it, and when
they turn me out, if they extinguish my voice, still my thoughts will
be free. And now, my sons, take my blessing."

So he blessed us and went his way. We two lay hiding till it grew
dark, and then setting out arrived without misadventure at Burrough
Hill, where the King lay. We saw the light of Sir Thomas Fairfax's
camp at Kislingbury on our right hand, and once were constrained to
hide ourselves in a thicket, so near came some of the enemy's
horsemen. But scarce had we come to his Majesty's camp ('twas about
four of the clock in the morning) when there comes an order that the
army should march, the King proposing to go towards Newark, where he
had a strong garrison, with whom, as with other forces which he
expected, he could strengthen himself. It had been well had he done
so! So accordingly we set fire to the huts and departed, making a
short stage to Market Harborough, where we rested that night, that is
to say the van of the army, for the rear was at Naseby, his Majesty
himself sleeping at Lubbenham, which lies between the two. I had gone
to bed betimes, being not a little wearied with my journey, having
ridden two nights. (It is commonly thought among soldiers that
journeying will weary a man by night more than by day, for all that he
may so shun the heat, it being against nature to wake at such hours.)
I had scarce slept an hour (to me it seemed but five minutes, so weary
was I with sleep) when there comes an alarm, the rear coming in with
no small confusion from Naseby, where the Parliament men had suddenly
fallen upon them, and, taking some prisoners, had driven the rest
northward. I perceived that there was small hope of sleep that night,
and so rose and made ready for what might happen. I was quartered with
my father (whom his Majesty would always have near him) in a house in
the village, and coming out into the street, saw the King set out for
Harborough, where the Prince Rupert lay, my father riding with him in
the carriage. This was about an hour before midnight. In the space of
three hours or thereabouts my father comes back. There was a cloud
upon his face, and I could see that he was ill-pleased. "We are
resolved to fight," says he, "and 'twill be a marvel if we are not
well beaten. I was at the Council by his Majesty's favour, and heard
the debate, though it did not become one of my station to thrust in my
voice. The greater part were urgent for battle, the Prince being
especially vehement. Reason for fighting heard I none from him or from
any other; but his Highness's pride was affronted because the
Parliament men had fallen upon the King's army. They must teach the
Roundheads, forsooth, to bear themselves more modestly, as if that was
good reason for putting the whole future of the realm upon the cast of
a die. For 'tis nothing less than that, son Philip. If we be beaten
to-day, and I fear much that we shall, there is an end to the King's
cause. The King was for delay and gathering his forces together, but
was overborne, and gave way, as indeed it is too much his failing to
do, to these hot-blooded youngsters, who think that war is but a
matter of hard blows. But come, we must be moving; the army is to be
drawn together about a mile south from Harborough."



CHAPTER X.

OF NASEBY FIGHT.


It was about five of the clock in the morning on Saturday, the 14th
day of June, that the drawing up of the King's army was finished. In
the centre was my Lord Astley with about two thousand five hundred
foot; on the right the Prince Rupert with about two thousand horse;
and on the left Sir Marmaduke Langdale with the northern horse, about
sixteen hundred in all. In the reserves were about thirteen hundred,
horse and foot together; so that there were in all scarce eight
thousand, the horse and foot being well nigh equal in number.

About eight of the clock in the morning comes a rumour that the enemy
had retired. Thereupon the scout-master is sent out, and certain
horsemen with him, among whom was John Talboys and I, to make further
discovery. We rode about two miles and a half, or, it may be three,
and saw nothing. Then said the scout-master: "This report is
manifestly true; these rascals are in great fear of us, and have
fled." Thereupon he turned back with his company to carry the tidings
to the King. Then says John Talboys to me: "I take it Master
Scout-master has scarce gone far enough. Do you see yonder height?
What say you to going thither? If we can see nothing there, then 'tis
plain that they are indeed gone."

We rode as he had said, and no sooner were we gotten to the top of the
hill than we saw the enemy almost under our feet. So close were we to
them that a gunner aimed a small cannon that he had at us, and we
could hear the bullet pass over our heads. "We have seen enough," says
John; "let us go back."

Thereupon we galloped back, and found that the Prince had moved
forward some horsemen and musqueteers, as thinking that the report of
the enemy's retreat, which, indeed, had been in some sort confirmed by
the scout-master, was true. We told him what we had seen, but he
seemed to be persuaded in his mind that the enemy were now retreating.
So he says to me: "Ride to my Lord Astley and tell him to come forward
with all the haste he can, if he would not have the enemy escape us;
and you," he said, turning to John Talboys, "carry the same words to
Sir Marmaduke." It was not for me to question his bidding, so I rode
with all the speed I could, and delivered the message to my Lord
Astley, who, nothing questioning, for the Prince being in the van
could not but know the truth, gave orders to advance with all speed.

When we came to the hill-top (the same at which the scout-master had
halted) we saw, I being in the following of my Lord Astley, the Prince
Rupert in the level ground below us, and on the brow of the hill
beyond, to which John Talboys and I had ridden, the army of the
Parliament. These last drew back so soon as we came into their
view--it was but a hundred yards or so--the better to hide themselves
and their plans; but we, or at the least some of us, imagined that
they fled. Thereupon we moved on the faster, so fast indeed that we
left behind much of our ordnance. Indeed, it is scarce to be believed
how all through the day we continually put ourselves at a
disadvantage.

  [Illustration: _A Cavalry Skirmish._
  _HANHART LITH._]

The Prince Rupert began the battle, charging the enemy's left wing. I
saw him and his horsemen gallop up the slope of the hill past some
thick hedges, from which came forth a fire of musketry (the hedges
being lined with dragoons on foot) which emptied some saddles, yet not
so many as to check them. More of the Prince's doings I could not see,
he passing from our view when he had got to the brow of the hill; but
I heard that he broke the enemy's left wing, scattering them all ways,
and then rode on as if he would have taken the baggage. 'Tis said that
the captain of the baggage guard took him for Sir Thomas Fairfax, he
wearing a red Spanish cloak after his lordship's fashion, and went to
him, hat in hand, and asked: "How goes the day?" thinking that he was
the General; and that thereupon the Prince asked whether they would
have quarter, which they refused, and gave him a volley instead, which
beat him and his horsemen off. On the other wing the Parliament men
did not wait for our coming but charged Sir Marmaduke Langdale's
horse, taking advantage of the ground, and to such a purpose that,
after some smart blows given and taken, our horsemen were beaten off,
and, indeed, fought no more that day.

Nevertheless, it seemed for a while as if the day would go well for
us, for the main body of our foot charging against the main body of
theirs did great execution upon them. The lines fired but one volley
upon each other, nor did either do much damage, aiming too high, as
young soldiers are wont to do, and then came to swords and the butt
ends of their muskets. I do protest that however much I might be
minded to magnify myself and my deeds, I could by no means tell what I
did that day. I know only this that I found my sword somewhat hacked
and some shrewd cuts in my buff-coat, but wound had I none save a
bruise upon the forepart of the left shoulder from a musket bullet
that by great happiness had spent itself before ever it came near to
me. But altogether we used our swords and muskets to such good purpose
that the enemy fled, though the officers for the most part, and
especially they that had the colours, stood bravely to their posts.
The victory being, as we judged, thus assured, my Lord Astley
bethought him whether he could not succour the left wing, which the
King also, who was with his guards in the reserve, was making ready to
support in their need. Whereupon he sends me with this message to the
King: "Does your Majesty need help?" This I was on the point to
deliver, his Majesty being at the head of his guards, and preparing to
charge, when I saw my Lord Carnworth, who was riding next to the King,
lay his hand upon his bridle, the next moment my Lord cried out with a
great oath: "Will you go upon your death in an instant?" and so
saying, turned the Kings horse round. After this the command was
given: "March to the right." Now this marching to the right led them
away both from helping their own and from charging the enemy. In whose
voice it was given I cannot affirm, but 'tis certain that it was too
readily obeyed. When my father, who was setting the second line of the
guards in order, saw what was doing, he rode with all the speed of his
horse to the King and said: "Pardon me, sir, but it is ruin absolute
if we leave the field in this fashion." Then the King, who here again
had yielded against his will and better judgment to the worse counsel,
cried with a loud voice: "Stand." But, though some obeyed this
command, yet for the greater part it was too late. Almost at the
instant of the King's speaking came a musket shot from the enemy's
ranks and wounded my father, entering by the left arm, which it broke,
and lodging in his shoulder. It was fired from close at hand, but by
whom I saw not. I have always thanked God for this, for else I had
hated the man who fired, though he did but his duty to his masters. My
father reeled in his saddle and was like to have fallen, but John
Talboys, riding by him, held him up. The next moment my good beast
falls dead with a shot, that passing my leg so close that it tore the
leather of my boot, entered behind his foreleg and so passed, I take
it, to his heart. Certain it is that he fell and never stirred more.
The King was much concerned to see my father hurt (he had ever a
tender heart for his friends, though it must be confessed that he
could desert them when occasion demanded), and said to John Talboys:
"Carry Colonel Dashwood to as safe a place as you can find." Thereupon
they rode off at a fair pace, my father having recovered somewhat from
the first shock of his wound, I following as best I could on foot. And
with this ends all that I saw of the battle of Naseby. The time was
then, as near as I could reckon, about noon.

  [Illustration: _A Pikeman_.
  _HANHART LITH._]

How General Cromwell fell upon the main body of the King's army, and,
Sir Thomas Fairfax's reserves coming up at the same time, brake it in
pieces, is known to all. The Prince came back from his idle seeking
for plunder, and would have rallied them that remained, but could
avail nothing. It is to be noted, indeed, that the King's men both at
this and at other times lacked the steadfastness of their enemies, who
would stay obstinately in their place, even when they were overborne
by greater strength, and being driven back would rally again. But
these things the King's men would never do; so that when they gained a
victory, it was not completed, for want of a second charge, and when
they suffered defeat, it was a disaster beyond all remedy. I count it,
indeed, no small proof of this defect, that of our army more than a
half suffered themselves to be taken prisoners, who might surely have
escaped, or, it may be, restored the day, had they only had the heart
to rally to each other. As for ourselves, we had in this respect great
good fortune, which came about in this way. When the horsemen of the
Parliament's army were riding about the field, gathering in the
prisoners, Sir Thomas Fairfax comes upon us, where we were, my father
lying upon the ground, and John Talboys and I sitting on either side.
There was some acquaintance, or rather friendship, between the General
and my father, they having met at the Court, to which my father would
sometimes go, and there talking much together of military affairs, for
which my Lord had had, from a boy, a very singular liking. When he saw
my father, and knew who he was, he showed in his face a great concern
and said, "This is a sorry sight, Master Dashwood, to behold you thus
lying here. Indeed, it is the curse of this most hateful war that
there is a double bitterness even in victory. They who conquer must
always lament their friends that have fallen in the battle, but now we
must needs lament our enemies also, who are indeed often our friends
by old acquaintance and kindness. But say, can I do aught for you
now?"

"Sir," said my father, "I doubt not that this bullet has sped me
beyond all hope of recovery. But if, as may be, I have yet a few days
to live, I would fain spend them elsewhere than in a prison. My son
here is a scholar of Oxford, whom I would gladly send back to his
books, now that the King's cause is lost beyond repair, as I doubt not
that it is. And I would gladly have my good friend John Talboys here
to take care of me till I die. Can you give me a pass that shall keep
us from the prison?"

"You shall have it," said the General, "having first promised, as I
doubt not you are ready to do, that you will not for the space of
three years bear arms against the Parliament."

"I promise," said my father, "and that the more readily, knowing that
I shall never bear arms again."

John Talboys and I also promised. Therefore the General gave to each
of us a pass in these words, the name only being changed:--

"_Suffer Philip Dashwood the elder, late of the King's army, who has
promised not to bear arms against the Parliament for the space of
three years from this date, to pass whither-soever he will._"

This was about three of the clock in the afternoon, the battle having
been then two hours ended.



CHAPTER XI.

AFTER NASEBY.


At the edge of Naseby Field, somewhere, if my memory serves me, near
to the north-east corner, there was a small hollow, used in former
times for digging of clay or gravel, but then overgrown with trees. It
was a steep descent all round, and fenced with a paling, save in one
place only, where was--or, I should rather say, had been--a road (for
now the bushes almost covered it), by which the carts had been used to
go down for loading of the stuff. Thither John Talboys and I carried
my father, purposing to find such shelter for him for the night as the
place could give, for the air was somewhat cold and nipping, as it is
wont to be in these counties of the Midlands up to midsummer--yea, and
past it. We had but poor provision, especially for one that was
wounded, as we could not but fear, to the death. Yet with our
horsemen's cloaks on some dried grass, of which we found abundance,
and the saddle from my poor beast Spot for a pillow, we made a
passable bed. "'Tis the very lap of luxury," said my dear father, a
true soldier in every way, and in none more than in that which St.
Paul will have to be a soldier's special virtue, that he can bear
hardness. For food we had some eggs hard boiled and the half of a loaf
of bread, and some salted pork. These were of Jack Talboys' providing.
He was an old campaigner, and would as lief forget his provision of
food as his musket. For myself, I had had no such forethought, and
brought nothing to the common stock but the flask of sherry sack,
which my good friend Master Webberley, pressed upon me when I bade him
farewell. Truly, I blessed him for his forethought, for all that my
father could swallow was now and then a morsel of bread sopped in the
wine. It was plain to be seen that the hollow was used as a camping
place by gipsies and the like, for there was a hearth where a fire had
been, with great stones about it. I too would fain have lighted a
fire, for the night, as I have said, was chill, and my father, for
loss of blood and stiffness of his wounds, lacked warmth, but Talboys
would not have it.

"There be worse things than cold," said he; "'tis not the first time
that I have passed the night on the field of battle, and I liked it
worse than the fighting. There be evil creatures about, I warrant you.
The birds that haunt such places are no doves, but kites and carrion
crows, and it would be well they should not spy us. They have a keen
sight of their own, and a bit of smoke would guide them finely." So we
were content to abide as we were.

I purposed to watch that night, and would have sworn that by no chance
should sleep overcome me. And yet I slept, and this, if I remember
right, before midnight. As long as my father was awake 'twas easy
enough to resist, but when he fell into a slumber, which he did, as
near as I could guess, about two hours after sunset, I soon began to
nod for all my good resolutions and endeavours.

'Twas just growing light the next morning when I was awaked by voices
raised in anger hard by me. Lifting myself to my feet, which for
stiffness I did with no small difficulty, I saw a stranger whom John
Talboys held by the collar of his coat. He was a man of a thickset
frame, somewhat under the common stature, his face burned by the sun
to a very dark brown that showed somewhat strangely against his light,
yellow hair, and eyes as blue as ever I saw. He had not altogether the
aspect of an Englishman, and his speech, too, though ready enough, had
a certain accent as of a foreigner. I liked not his look; there was
somewhat greedy and cunning, ay, and cruel, too, in his face, so far
as one could see it for the thick beard that he wore over his chin and
lips, ay, and up to his cheek-bones.

"Nay, my good man," I heard him say to John Talboys, "I meant no harm.
I am a poor pedlar, and there is my pack, which I left above, to
witness for me. And see, I have not a weapon, so that I could not do
any damage if I would."

"'Tis fine talking," said John Talboys, holding his coat firmly the
while; "I warrant, an I searched thee, I should find a sharp knife,
wherewith thou couldst shift in such warfare as thou wagest as well as
with a sword or musket. Thou art a pedlar, forsooth. Doubtless, and
hast other trades, too, to eke out thy profits in these hard times.
Didst think to find customers in this hollow, that thou camest
creeping into it? Is it thus that pedlars sell their goods, by putting
their hands in men's pockets? As for thy pack, I doubt not it is there
where thou sayest it is, but I reckon that thou thoughtest to carry it
away hence not lighter, but heavier: a ring, or a chain, or a
kerchief, or a pair of hose, or a doublet, so they were not stained by
blood, would have served thy purpose well, and the better that thou
payest no price for them, save a thrust with thy knife, if a man be so
set against all reason that he will not part with them to an honest
trader like thee for nought."

"Nay, my good friend," said the pedlar, and I noticed that his speech
was the less English-like the more haste he made to get out his words,
"nay, I am a Christian man, I have never harmed wounded men in my
life."

"Thou a Christian man!" answered John, with great scorn and contempt;
"if thou art not Judas or Barabbas by name, may I never taste spiced
ale at Christmas again. I know thy sort, the eagles--God save the
mark! I should say rather the carrion crows that are gathered together
wheresoever the carrion is. But it was ill-luck of thine that brought
thee here to-day."

Therewith John shook him as a terrier dog may shake a rat, but my
father, who had been looking very steadfastly at the stranger,
signified by his gesture that he should stay his hand. This done, he
spake a few words in a tongue which I knew to be German, though I
understood it not. The stranger grew pale, so far as his sun-burning
would suffer him, and began to answer in the same language, but my
father broke in upon him with, "Nay, man, speak English, for I would
have no secrets from these." Thereupon the stranger said, "Do not
think too ill of me, honoured sir, if I follow for a livelihood such a
trade as these bad times have left me. There is but a poor market
nowadays for my wares, for the war has devoured all the money in the
land; and if I eke out my living by the war, what harm?"

"Nay, friend," said my father, "'tis not that war has come upon thee
here, and spoilt thy trade. Thou followest the war, and thy trade is
little else than a pretext and cloak for other things. Did I not see
thee twenty years ago, and that many hundred miles hence, doing the
same things, ay, and with the same excuse upon thy lips, that thou
wast a poor trader whom the evil war time had brought to ruin? Dost
remember that morning in Bohemia, and the provost-marshal's man
standing with his hand on thy collar as John Talboys is standing now,
ay, and another thing, that is lacking here, a gallows hard by?"

The stranger joined his hands like one that made supplication, and
cast a look behind him as if he expected to see the gallows tree
again.

"Nay," said my father, "I cannot harm thee an I would. Thou knowest, I
doubt not, that we are three of the party that had the worst of
yesterday's fight, and one of them wounded to the death. But thou wast
full of promises that day thou wottest of. Hast a mind to redeem them
now?"

"What can I do for you, honoured sir?" the man answered, and I, who
was looking hard at him, thought that he looked somewhat less of a
knave that he did at the first.

"Tell us, then," said my father, "dost thou know of any family of
charitable folk where a wounded man may bestow himself for a few days
till he die? Thy pedlar's trade takes thee everywhere, and, whatever
thy own ways, of which I will not judge, thou canst discern doubtless
between the good and the bad."

The man stood musing awhile, then he said to himself:

"Ah! I have it. Master Ellgood is the man, an his house be not too
far. This Master Ellgood," he went on, turning to my father, "is a
minister that was dispossessed of his place; why I know not, for I do
not understand such matters; but all the country side is full of his
goodness. He asks no questions of those whom he helps; 'tis enough
that they are in need. I know him and his household well, though they
be but poor customers to me--a white kerchief now and then, or a bit
of grey silk, or some yards of stout sad-coloured stuff, for the young
madam's dress--cheap things all of them that do not pay for the
carrying. But they that buy much have for the most part little to
give; and Master Ellgood's folk, I doubt not, will serve thy turn
better than any other in these parts. But 'tis a longish way from
here, a matter of a mile and a half or more. The house stands in a
wood; it had been the abode of an old curmudgeon that had never a
penny to spare for pedlar or poor man; 'twas a good day for the
countryside when it came with a fair estate round it to Master
Ellgood. None that needed help have ever failed to have it of his
hands."

"We will cast ourselves on the good man's charity," said my father. "I
see in this matter the guiding of God (for 'tis not, I am assured,
mere chance that sent this stranger here to-day), and we cannot do
better than follow it. But how shall I make the journey?"

"That," said John Talboys, who never took his eyes from the pedlar, as
if he expected him to break out into some villainy, "may easily be
done; we will make a litter, and Master Philip and I will carry you."

And this we did, the pedlar, who had cunning fingers of his own,
helping. When the litter was finished, the man said, "An it please you
I will be your guide, for the way is one that a stranger may readily
miss; and I can take my turn of the carrying also. Only let me dispose
my pack first in a safe place."

And he ran up out of the hollow more nimbly than I should have thought
it possible for one of his years.

When he returned, which was in the space of a quarter of an hour or
thereabouts, we went on our way. 'Twas indeed a way from which it
would have been easy to go astray, so many turns it had. At last in
about an hour's time, for our burden caused us to travel but slowly,
we came to the house. It stood by the side of a green lane that ran
through a wood, seeming to be but rarely used by horse or man. In
front was a garden, passing fair with flowers, pinks and
sweet-williams and a host of others; the house itself too was covered
to the very eaves of the roof with roses and honeysuckle. And behind,
though this I saw not at the time but only came to know afterwards,
was the fairest spot that ever I saw. First there was a level space of
grass, so smooth and green and well kept that our fairest lawns in
Oxford could scarce compare with it. 'Twas bounded on the right hand
by a low wall, grown over with ivy, and beyond this wall was a bank
sloping down to as clear and fair a brook as ever babbled in man's
ear. On the left hand of the green was another wall, some six feet
high, with fruit trees of sundry kinds trained upon it. Beyond the
green was a kitchen garden, as neatly ordered with all manner of
fruits and herbs as can be conceived, and behind this again a wood
sloping upwards to a height of three hundred feet and more, with the
brook aforesaid leaping down through it and making, as I found
afterwards, the fairest pools that can be imagined.

We rested the litter in the wood when first we came in sight of the
house, and I went on alone to speak with the minister. 'Twas still
early, scarce seven of the clock, if I remember, and the good man was
pacing to and fro in the garden before his house, with a book in his
hand, from which he read aloud as he walked. I could hear that it was
the book of Common Prayer. He was a man of taller stature than the
common, but that stooped forward somewhat, and slender as a youth. I
judged him then, seeing him for the first time, to have been about
sixty-five years of age, but learned afterwards that I had reckoned to
him ten years too many. Trouble had made him old before his time, at
the least, in look, for in some matters he was, as will be seen, one
of them that are ever young. There was such a sweetness in his face as
passed all skill of writer's pen or painter's brush to picture; his
eyes large and grey; his forehead broad, and wrinkled with many lines;
his cheeks somewhat thin and tinged with a faint colour that would not
have ill-beseemed a maiden's face; his lips small but full, though not
over-full (over-full lips, I have noted, seem to show a passionate
temper, and over-thin, a cruel); his hair, white as silver, fell
almost to his shoulders. He looked, I do remember to have thought, as
might an angel that had grown old. For dress he wore a cassock, tied
about his middle with a woollen band of very rusty brown, and grey
hose, and shoes with black buckles. On his head was a skull cap of
black velvet, no less worn than the cassock.

I waited till he should see me, which, so diligently did he read his
book, he did not till he paced up and down some five or six times. But
when he had ended his reading of the Psalms for the morning--for it
was with them that he was engaged--he looked up, saying aloud at the
same time the last words of the seventy-second Psalm,[5] "Thou leddest
Thy people like sheep by the hand of Moses and Aaron;" and he added,
"O Lord, by whom wilt Thou lead them now? for leading they sorely
want!" Thereupon his eye fell on me, and I must confess that the good
man started somewhat at the sight of me. Nor was this to be wondered
at, for I had all the stains of battle upon me, even my face being
splashed with blood. But this was but for a moment; he said, "Can I
serve you, sir?" and when I had taken off my hat, "Nay, be covered."
Then I set forth the whole matter to him, telling him of my father's
estate, and of myself, and at the last showing him Sir Thomas
Fairfax's paper, that he might feel the more secure in giving shelter
to one that was not of the winning side. "Nay, my son," said the good
man, when I showed him this last, "I need no authority to shelter the
sick and wounded. For that the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew[6] is
authority sufficient. Yet this paper will be useful for the present
distress, and save, may be, some strife and argument."

          [5] The last of the Psalms appointed for morning service on
          the fifteenth day of the month.

          [6] The parable of the Judge, the sheep, and the goats.

Then he called aloud, "Cicely!" whereat there came running out of the
cottage a maid of some seventeen years. She was of the middle height,
or somewhat more, of a fair complexion, somewhat pale, but not with
the paleness of one that is troubled with sickness, her eyes of as
sweet a blue as I have ever seen in a woman's face, her forehead low
and somewhat broad, and her hair, that was most smoothly ordered,
without any of the tricks that young maids will sometimes affect, of a
singular bright chestnut colour. That I noted all these things at this
first seeing of her, I cannot affirm, though I do believe that I did;
but of this I am assured, that I deemed her at first sight to be, as
indeed she was, of as sweet and virginal an aspect as ever woman had.

"Cicely," said the old man, "get ready the guest chamber, with all
speed. 'Tis for a gentleman that has been sore wounded." Then, turning
to me, "You had best go at once and bring your father. All things will
be ready ere you come again."

So I hastened back to where I had left my father and John Talboys. And
we two carried him to the cottage, and bestowed him, the old man and
his daughter helping, in the guest room, which was as clean and sweet
a chamber as ever I saw, though but humbly furnished. And Master
Ellgood--for that was the old man's name--dressed his wound, having,
as it appeared, no little knowledge of these matters.

"To find the bullet," he said, "passes my little skill, and yet it
should be found. Haply we can get Master Parker from Leicester, that
is the most learned surgeon in these parts. Meanwhile we will give
your father such ease and comfort as we may."

I was for going without delay to Leicester, but Master Ellgood would
not suffer it. "I know so much," said he, "of surgery, that I am
assured that in your father's present state no man, be he the
skilfullest surgeon alive, could search for and take out the bullet.
Besides this, you had best not venture yourself at this present time
at Leicester. I hear that the King's army took it with circumstances
of no small barbarity, and I doubt whether even the Lord General's
safe-conduct will avail you."

With this I was constrained to be content; but six days after Master
Ellgood judged it well that the surgeon should be sent for, if
perchance he might be able to come, of which, indeed, there was great
doubt. Therefore, having borrowed a horse from one of the neighbours,
and, indeed, it was no small favour in those days to lend a horse, and
taking with me also a letter from Master Ellgood, I rode to Leicester.
John Talboys had been earnest to go in my place. "Nay," said our host,
"you are a soldier, and can no more hide your soldiership than you can
make yourself invisible. And 'tis likely that there are some in
Leicester who know your face, and haply the weight of your arm,
whereas Master Philip here has been diligent at his books for many
months past, and has the air of a scholar."

On the twenty-first day of June, therefore, being just one fortnight
after the battle, I went to Leicester. The town was in a terrible
confusion, having suffered two captures in the course of fourteen
days. Many of the townsmen had fled; indeed, few were left save of the
poorer sort, so that there was scarce a shop open in the place. Some
were shut up, but some were still as they had been left by the
soldiers that plundered them (for the town had been most cruelly
sacked by the King's men), and there was scarce a window in the town
that was not broken.

By great good fortune I found Master Parker, newly returned to his
house, and about to sit down to his dinner. When I told him my errand,
he cried out upon me: "What! ride a matter of twenty miles to see one
wounded man? 'Tis manifestly impossible. Why, boy, there are two
hundred wounded men within a call of this room, and some of them as
curious cases as anyone could ask to see. I could fill my day three
times over, and not stir a hundred yards hence."

Hearing him speak thus, I bethought me of Master Ellgood's letter, and
showed it to him.

"Nay," said he, "why did you not bring this out before? There is no
man whom I honour more than Thomas Ellgood, and I would ride a hundred
miles to serve him. He has a pretty knowledge of physic and surgery,
too, for a lay person, and perceives, too, which is a rare thing in
such a case, where his knowledge ends. And now let us think how this
business may be best managed. I must even make two days out of one, if
the one be not long enough. We will set out about ten of the clock
to-night, and so I shall be here for my day's work to-morrow. And now,
sir, you must dine with me."

This I did gladly enough. Dinner ended, said Master Parker: "Divert
yourself with these books. Here is Galen, and Pliny the elder, an
industrious gatherer of facts, but over-credulous. Or, if you like
something lighter, here are some poems by Mr. John Milton, a great
friend, they tell me, of the Lord General, and here are the plays of
William Shakespeare, if the saints permit me to make mention of things
so profane. I would counsel you not to stir abroad, for if anyone
should chance to remember you there might be some trouble."

Nevertheless I ventured forth, being as is the wont of young men, wise
in my own conceit, and save that some boys cried after me, my hair
being somewhat longer than is the fashion among the puritanical folk,
suffered no harm. Nay, I had some pleasant talk with an honest
soldier[7] that I met upon the wall. He seemed, by his accent, which
was such as they use in the eastern parts of England, to be but of
lowly birth; but yet his talk was full of wit and fine fancy. No
gentleman, were he the finest scholar in Oxford, could have spoken
better. I repent me that I did not ask his name.

          [7] Perhaps this common soldier was John Bunyan, who was
          probably in Leicester at this time.

At ten of the clock that night we set forth, and came to Master
Ellgood's house without any misadventure. Hearing that my father was
awake, and, indeed, he rarely slept but an hour or so at one time,
Master Parker would see him at once. He examined the shoulder and arm
with great carefulness; and when he had made an end, my father said,
"And now, sir, tell me how it is with me."

"It might have been worse," said he.

"Ay," answered my father, "if the bullet had entered some six inches
more to the right it had made a shorter work with me. But whether that
had been worse, who can say? save, perhaps, that a man may well have
some days wherein to prepare himself. But speak out, sir; I have not
faced Death so many times in the field that I should fear him in the
chamber."

"'Tis not," said the surgeon, "in human skill to make a cure in this
case."

"So be it," answered my father, "if such is the will of God. But tell
me, sir, how long I have to live."

"Some five days I should say," the surgeon made answer.

"God reward you, sir," said my father, "for your trouble; and now, my
good friends, and you, son Philip, leave me alone. When a man hears
such tidings as this, though, indeed, they be nothing more than I
looked for, he would fain think over them in solitude."

So we left him. About two hours after dawn the good surgeon set forth
on his way back to Leicester. Looking in at my father about the same
time, I saw that he was sleeping peacefully; and, indeed, he did not
awake till seven of the clock, which had not happened before since his
coming to the house.



CHAPTER XII.

OF MY FATHER'S END AND OTHER MATTERS.


When my father awoke I asked him, "Shall I go for my mother and
sister?"

He answered me: "Had I desired to see them--nay, but I do desire to
see them with a great longing," and his eyes were filled with tears, a
thing that I had never seen before in him; "had it been well that they
should come, son Philip, I had sent you for them so soon as I was
brought to this place. I knew when first that bullet struck me that it
carried a billet of death, nor have I ever looked for any other end,
though a man will hope even against hope, nor do I pretend to be
stronger and wiser than others. But as for your mother and your sister
coming hither, 'tis clearly impossible. They would need a regiment of
horse to escort them safely, for the country was never so disturbed.
No, my son, when I bade your mother farewell at Oxford, it was
understood between us that whatever might befall me, she and our dear
Dorothy should tarry at home. And, indeed, this was part of the cost
that she and I counted when I took up arms for the King. God comfort
her in her widowhood, and you and Dorothy render her double love and
duty. And now I would settle my worldly affairs, that I may give the
rest of my time to God."

After this he made a codicil to his will, to which Master Ellgood and
John Talboys set their hands as witnesses. Also he bade me write down
what he desired to be done with sundry possessions that he had,
desiring that certain friends should have something to keep in memory
of him. And he gave me many messages for kinsfolk and acquaintance,
and much counsel for myself, of which the chief was that while I had
the opportunity--"for how long you may have it," said he, "I know
not"--I should be diligent with my books, and that in due time, if I
felt any drawing thereto, I should seek for orders at the hands of a
Bishop. But of these things, as being matters of private concern, I
will here write no more.

The rest of his time, which was indeed but two days, the wound
mortifying and so bringing him to his end sooner than any had thought,
he spent in meditation and religious exercises. Master Ellgood, who
was a priest, though, as will be set forth more at length hereafter,
he had long been excluded from his office, was most diligent in
praying and reading the Scriptures with him; and on the morning of his
death, which was the festival of St. John the Baptist, delivered to
him the blessed sacrament, all that were in the house communicating
with him. My father's strength held out just so long that he could
join, though but in a low voice, to the very end of the service. Nor
did he speak again afterwards, till he came to the very last, but lay
with his eyes shut, yet conscious of himself, as I knew because he
pressed my hand as I sat by him. About two hours after noon it seemed
to me that he had departed, for I could not see his breast move, nor
feel the vein in his wrist. But it was not so, for when Cicely held a
mirror to his mouth, the breath was to be seen upon it, though but
very faint. In this state he lay for the space of three hours or
there-abouts; but about five of the clock, there came a flush upon his
cheeks, and he opened his eyes, which were as bright as ever I saw
them, and looked at me, and said in a clear voice, smiling the while:
"I have seen her, and it is well." And having said this he passed
away. And here I should say that at this very hour my mother sitting
in her chamber, having just come back from evensong in St. Peter's
Church, saw my father, as plain as ever she had seen him in life,
standing by the window; and that he smiled upon her very sweetly and
pleasantly. "I seemed to know," she said afterwards, "that it was not
he in the flesh, for I did not make to go to him or speak to him; but
yet I was in no wise afraid, but sat looking at him with such love and
gladness in my heart as I had never felt before. And in a short space
of time, for it seemed to me, but 'twas, as afterwards I found from
comparing of time, about half of an hour, he vanished out of my
sight."

My father was buried in the churchyard of Naseby, Master Ellgood
saying over him the service provided in the Prayer Book. The minister
of Naseby, a good man, but somewhat timid withal, had not dared to use
it, but our host had no such fear. "None," said he, "will hinder me or
call me to account." And so it was, I may note, that, having the whole
by heart from beginning to end, he used no book. Maybe, had he had a
book in his hand, some that were present might have made objection;
but when he said it as if extempore, not only did none murmur, but all
seemed edified. 'Tis a strange thing, and yet of a piece with many
other things in life, that a man may say unharmed, yea, and commended,
that which to read would put him in peril of liberty or life.

I, coming back from the burying, was wetted through by a great storm
of rain, and, neglecting to change my clothes, was the next day taken
with a great cold and fever, other things, I doubt not, as care and
trouble of mind, making the sickness worse. And, indeed, 'twas so sore
(this they told me after, but at the time I knew nothing, but only
raved of fighting and of disputing in the school at Oxford), that for
some days I was like to follow my father. So I lay betwixt life and
death till it was about the middle of the month of July; and then
partly through Master Ellgood's skill in physic (especially in the use
of simples of which he had a considerable knowledge), and more through
the good nursing of Mistress Cicely and of John Talboys, I began to
mend.

One morning when the danger was past, says John Talboys to me, "'Tis
time, sir, that I thought of departing hence. You need me no more, and
I must shift for myself. My soldiering is over for three years to
come; but I reckon that a stout pair of hands will not lack
employment. I can ply a sickle and drive a furrow as well as most men;
and there are those in Oxfordshire who know it and will give me good
wages."

So I gave him two gold pieces (having had ten given me by my father).
He was loath to take them, but I pressed them on him, as being my
father's gift to him, as indeed they were. Also I wrote a letter of
many sheets to my mother, which I gave into his keeping, he promising
to deliver it into her hands with all possible speed. So he departed;
nor have I ever seen him again, but I hear that he prospers, keeping
an inn at Cassington, in the county of Berks, and having also a farm.
He is as brave and honest a fellow as ever bestrode a horse.

After I began to mend I saw no more of Mistress Cicely, though I could
hear her singing about the house, for she had a very sweet and tunable
voice. There waited on me a very decent widow woman from the village,
that was reckoned a notable nurse in these parts; such doubtless she
was, for I never lacked anything, but had all things served at the due
time. But she had a heavy hand, and a croaking voice, and was of a
singular doleful temper. She would sit by the hour and talk to me of
those whom she had nursed in times past, and if she mentioned one that
had died she would say like enough, "He very greatly favoured you,
sir," or "He had the same complexion as you, and I have noted that it
often goes with a consumption," or "He was of very tall stature, and
your tall men fail very suddenly." I was myself tall. As for her
readiness to believe all kinds of marvels, 'twas such as I never saw
surpassed. There was scarce a house in the country but she knew of
some ghost that walked in it, and if there was no ghost of a man, then
there was one of a dog or a cat; and as for witches, there was not a
village but had two or three. And when I doubted, she had
circumstances at hand to prove what she said. "Did not Thomas Clark at
Erpington Mill speak roughly to Alice Viner, the Erpington witch, for
picking wood in his coppice, and Alice cursed him, and said that he
should never die in his bed, and the miller, coming home from market
the very next Tuesday, fell from his horse and was killed?" "But was
the miller in liquor, think you?" I said. "Yes," said she, "and had
come home in liquor every market day for thirty years and more, and
had come to no harm till he fell out with Alice." That witches may be,
I do not doubt, for does not Scripture say, "Thou shalt not suffer a
witch to live;" but that many poor women have an ill-name for
witchcraft, ay, and worse than an ill-name, that have no worse faults
than a shrewish temper and a bitter tongue, I do not doubt. With such
doleful tales did Margery Marriott--for that was the good woman's
name--entertain me; and though Master Ellgood would come and sit with
me, I was right glad, when the fever having left me and, in a great
measure, the weakness also that followed it, I was quit of her
company.

It was about the end of July when I left my chamber; there then
followed so delightful a time as had never before come to me in my
whole life. First, the skies smiled upon me, for the summer having
been hitherto somewhat wet and stormy, there now began a season of the
most serene weather that can be imagined; and next, the place was most
sweet and pleasant, a very home of peace, and Master Ellgood showed me
such courtesy and kindness as could not be surpassed; and lastly, to
use the figure which the rhetoricians call a climax, I had sometimes
at least, though not as often as I would, the companionship of
Mistress Cicely. Of her face and aspect I have written before; and
these were such, indeed, as would strike all beholders; but of the
inner beauty and fairness of her soul, I have said nothing, nor,
indeed, can now say enough. She ordered her father's household with
such nice care as not the most experienced matron could have excelled,
and yet had barely ended her seventeenth year; nay, but for the help
of a little maid and a lad that hewed the wood and fetched the water,
she did all the service of the house; yet, for all this, I never saw
her with so much as a pin awry, nor any flush upon her cheeks, though
she might be newly come from cooking the dinner. And for all these
cares, yet time never failed her to minister to the sick when any
needed her help; no, nor to nourish her own mind with the reading of
wholesome authors. She was not ignorant of Latin, which her father had
taught her in company with her brother, but to this, since he went to
the war, she had paid but little heed; but with our English writers
she had such acquaintance as made me, being indeed somewhat rude in
these matters, wholly ashamed. 'Twas of her that I learnt to read the
_Canterbury Pilgrims_ of Geoffrey Chaucer, and the poems of Lord
Surrey, and the incomparable Sir Philip Sidney's romance of _Arcadia_.
Of William Shakespeare his plays I knew already somewhat, but with her
and her father much increased my knowledge, for of an evening we would
read one or another, dividing the characters among ourselves. But I
must confess that it was not her notable housekeeping, nor her
charitable disposition, nor her learning in authors ancient and
modern, that I chiefly admired in her; no, nor her beauty only, that I
may be but just to myself; but herself, that was a compound, most
sweetly mixed of all; for gracious ways, and a delicate courtesy, and
a most modest discretion of voice and look set off and displayed, if I
may so speak of that which did always rather seek to hide itself, the
singular virtues of her mind and body. I do believe what divines teach
of the corruption of human nature, yet I must confess that I have seen
women, of whom Cicely Ellgood was one, my mother another, and my
sister Dorothy a third, in whom I never discovered that which could
rightly be called corrupt. Faults they had, I doubt not, though in
Cicely and my mother I never perceived any such (for Dorothy had a
quick temper, but only in too hot anger against wrong-doing); but that
they sinned--if I must need receive it, I receive it of faith, not of
understanding.

I do not know whether Master Ellgood perceived how I was affected
towards his daughter, for that I was greatly enamoured of her scarcely
needs telling; but on the seventh day, or thereabouts, after my first
descending from my chamber, he called me to his private parlour,
saying that he desired to have some talk with me.

"Master Dashwood," he said; "'tis well that host and guest, if their
chance acquaintance has any likelihood to become more durable, should
know something of each other. Hear, therefore, my story; it may be
that, having heard it, you may choose that we should part. I was--nay,
I do protest that I still am--a priest of the Church of England; but I
have been for these many years deprived of my office; and the cause
was this, which you shall now hear. May be you have not heard of the
_Book of Sports_. It made trouble enough in its days, but like enough
has now been forgotten for stress of graver matters.

It had this for its title: _Concerning Lawful Sports to be used on
Sundays after Divine Service_. In it was commanded that dancing and
archery, and May games, and Whitsun ales, and Church feasts, should be
held lawful; but bull-baiting and bear-baiting and interludes
forbidden. At its first publishing it made but little stir; this was
some thirty years since, in the days of King James I. But when Dr.
Laud, that was then Archbishop of Canterbury, put it forth again some
twelve years since, and strictly commanded all the Bishops of his
province that they should enforce it on all ministers, no little
trouble arose. Against Dr. Laud I would say nothing, but he was one
that suffered not his words to fall to the ground. There went out,
therefore, a strict commandment that every minister should read the
book on the eighteenth of October following--being St. Luke's
day--publicly in the church, after morning prayer. Some of the bishops
took little heed of the matter; but my Lord of Norwich, in whose
diocese I held a cure, was exceeding hot about it. To be brief, I read
it not. Now I hold not with them who mislike these games altogether.
If the Jews danced and shot with the bow, why not Christian men? And
as for the Whitsun ales and the Church feasts and the like, that they
work mischief I deny not; but 'tis chiefly because honest and sober
folk keep too much aloof from them, and leave them to the looser sort.
Nor am I altogether resolved in mind whether such things be unlawful
on the Sunday. To forbid them savours of Sabbath worship; yet to
permit them does not tend to edifying. May be you will ask why then
did I not read the book, as was enjoined upon me? Because I held that
the civil power was intruding into things with which it had no
concern, the which intrusion every true minister of God must resist to
the loss of all things, and, if need be, even to the death. Howbeit I
will not weary you with my reasons, which, indeed, that I may be
altogether honest, I found not many to comprehend. To the one party I
seemed a rebel, because I obeyed not my ordinary, and to the other a
profane person, because I condemned not the sports. Let my reasons,
therefore, be. 'Tis enough for my present purpose to say that I could
not in my conscience obey. Well, the Archbishop being advised by my
Lord of Norwich, sends for me to Lambeth. As soon as I came into his
library, where he sat with a chaplain on either hand, he burst out on
me: 'Well, sir, I hear that you read not the book on the day
appointed. Is it so?' 'Suffer me, your Grace----' I said; but before I
could end my sentence he cried out, 'Answer me "yea" or "nay."' 'I
read it not,' said I, being myself also, it must be confessed, a
little touched by his heat. 'Then,' he cried, in a loud voice, 'I
suspend you for ever from your office and benefice till you shall read
it.' Thereat I saw one of the chaplains whisper into his ear. Hereupon
he moderated somewhat his voice, and said, 'Have you any defence?' I
had written down my reasons, and now began to read them. They were, as
I have said already, that the book was a civil declaration, such as
could not lawfully be enforced by any court ecclesiastical. But when I
had read barely a page he brake in upon me: 'Hold! 'tis enough; I will
hear no more. Whosoever shall make such a defence, it shall be burned
before his face, and he laid by the heels in prison. Hear now; I
admonish you hereby, personally and judicially, that you read this
Declaration within three weeks, under pain of being suspended _ab
officio et beneficio_.' As I turned to go I saw that the chaplain
whispered in his ear again. Then the Archbishop said, 'Tarry a moment,
Master Ellgood, and sit down'--for hitherto I had been standing--'I
would have a word with you.' And this he said in a voice more gentle
by far than he had before used. Afterwards I heard that the chaplain
had whispered to him about a little book that I had written of St.
Cyprian and the Bishop of Rome, in which matter the Archbishop was
much concerned. 'Have you studied the Fathers, Master Ellgood?' And
when I confessed that I had some knowledge of them, he held me in talk
about sundry matters which were then much talked of, of which the
chief was the supremacy of the Bishop of Rome. This converse held us
till noon, when the Archbishop would have me dine with him, and,
dinner ended, we played at bowls, the day being fine, though it was
already November; and I throwing my bowls well--for I have always
loved the game--his Grace said, ''Tis not now the first time that you
have thrown a bowl, Master Ellgood, so that you mislike not all
sport.' This he spake right pleasantly, and when I went away he gave
me his blessing, and said, 'I doubt not, Master Ellgood, but that we
shall agree;' and so parted from me in all friendship. Of a truth, I
would fain have done his pleasure, if only conscience had suffered me;
but I must needs wrap me in my virtue, if I may somewhat misquote
Horace; nor could I consent that the sun of his Grace's favour should
cause me to cast off that which the blast of his wrath had not rent
from me. I stood, therefore, by my denial, and so was first
excommunicated, and afterwards, still persisting, deprived of my
benefice. Ah, my son! 'twas a hard time with me and mine; nor has it
always been an easy thing with me to be in charity with all men. They
drave me forth from my house in February, when the snow was lying deep
upon the ground; and for two days we had no shelter for our heads but
a barn. The Bishop's people stripped me of all that I had, but 'twas
not of my lord's knowledge, and I had not so much as a piece of silver
in my pocket, nor did any man dare to take me into his house, though
some brought me food by stealth. My wife was stricken of so deadly a
chill that she fell into a wasting sickness and died some three months
after. She had taken some of her underclothing to keep our children
the warmer; but this I knew not till after. Perchance it was better
that I knew not; it had been a hard thing to choose between mother and
children. But why do I weary you with my troubles? Suffice it to say
that for two years I could scarce keep body and soul together. A
trifle I earned translating for the booksellers, and the dedication of
two little treatises that I wrote fetched me a few guineas; but I had
received better wages by following the plough, had but my hands been
hard enough. Some of my brethren in the ministry also helped,
especially Dr. Thomas Fuller, that was vicar of Broadwinsor, and some
money I had from the Archbishop himself, but this I knew not till
after his death. God forgive me for thinking too hardly of him! At the
end of the two years, a certain kinsman that, living, had never
favoured me, dying without a will, I inherited this house, with some
two hundred acres of land, part of which I have farmed as best I
could, and part have let. Perchance you would ask why, they that
persecuted me having fallen from power, I have had no favour from them
that succeeded to their place? The cause is soon said. I am no
Puritan; I hold neither with Presbyterian nor with Independent, but
think that bishops are the true rulers of the Church, though I myself
have had scant favour from them. The Covenant I cannot subscribe, nor
can I satisfy the Committees that the Parliament has appointed for the
examining of the clergy. An I could, I would not intrude myself into a
benefice from which some godly man has been driven out because he was
faithful to his King. But enough of myself. If you can bear with one
who can neither run with the hare nor hunt with the hounds, well; I
shall rejoice from my heart; but if not, we can at the least part in
Christian charity."

I should have found it hard to part with sweet Cicely's father had he
been Hugh Peters himself, who was the loudest and fiercest of all the
Parliament preachers. But who could refuse the hand of fellowship to
such an one as William Ellgood? He was one of those whose consciences
are too fine set for this world. Whoever was uppermost, there would be
ever some thing at which he would have some scruple. He had fared just
as ill, nay worse, had he lived a hundred years before. Then he had
been condemned under the Six Articles, and fallen under the
displeasure of the counsellors of King Edward, and been in danger of
the fire at Smithfield, and been deprived of his benefice under Queen
Elizabeth. Verily he was no vicar of Bray that would be vicar still
whoever should rule the roost. The more I knew him the more I loved
him, yet I could but see that were all men such as he, life itself
would be a thing impossible. Pure he was, and single-minded and
steadfast, but could see but one thing at a time; and everything, be
it ever so small, was an article of faith to him, for which he had
gone cheerfully to the death; and I soon learnt to see so much, not
only in his talk, in which he afterwards was quite free with me, but
in his face, which, for all its angelical sweetness, had a certain set
look which I have noted in the fiercest sectaries. But William Ellgood
was one that had for others a charity without bounds, and was stern
only upon himself.

Two or three days after Master Ellgood opened to me a trouble that he
had about his son. "He is a good lad," he said to me, "my son John,
but he does not see eye to eye with me in matters of Church and State.
There is work enough for them who stand aside from both parties in
these days, and this I would have had him do, but he was not content,
but must needs take service with the Parliament. He was with my Lord
Essex's army, and is promoted, I believe, to be a captain; but the
whole matter is a sore trouble to me."

"Well, Master Ellgood," said I, "I had been better pleased had he
stood for the King; but that one who hath the strength to strike a
blow should stand aside and not deal it for one side or the other, is
not to be looked for."

"Say you so?" said he; "there are but few that have one mind with me
in this matter. I must e'en be content to be alone."

I sojourned six weeks with Master Ellgood and then departed, though,
as need scarce be said, very loath to go, but I heard that his son
John, the war being now well nigh at an end, was like to return home,
and I could not reconcile it to myself to see him, when he had lately
borne arms against the King. I spake no word to Mistress Cicely before
I went, for who was I--a poor scholar that had followed the losing
side--to entangle her with promises? But there are vows that pass
without words. Such an one I made in my own heart. As for her, I knew
nothing certain, and lovers will find their hopes in slight tokens;
yet such a hope I found; and it sent me away with a lighter heart than
I had ever looked to have again.



CHAPTER XIII.

OF MY COMING BACK TO OXFORD.


Coming back to Oxford about the beginning of the month September, I
found all things in a very disheartened condition. For, indeed, little
now remained to the King. The strong city of Bristol the Prince Rupert
had surrendered to the Lord General, having but a few days before
affirmed in a letter to the King that he could hold the place for four
months unless he should be constrained otherwise by mutiny in the
garrison. The King, indeed, was ill-served by this same Prince, of
whom it may be said that he was over bold where he needed to be
cautious, and that where boldness was most required he showed no small
lack of constancy. About the same time also there came news of the
defeat of my Lord Montrose, at Philiphaugh. From him the King had
hoped great things; and, indeed he had had for a time singular great
success; but his army was such that success was no less fatal to it
than defeat, the savage people from the Highlands, who were its
mainstay, retiring, after their custom, to the mountains, where they
dwelt, when they had gathered a sufficiency of plunder. As for the
King himself, he was then at Newark, to which place he had fled, with
but a small following, from Chester, where, seeking to relieve the
city from siege, he had been defeated with great loss. But about the
beginning of November (for it was, I remember about the day of our
_Gaudeamus_--that is to say, the first day of November) he came back
to Oxford, and there tarried for the rest of the winter.

And now it was needful to prepare all things for the worst. First,
then, because it could not be hoped but that the city of Oxford would
be soon besieged (a thing which, though many times threatened, had
never yet been done), it seemed good to make perfect the
fortifications. There came forth, therefore, a proclamation from his
Majesty's Privy Council that all the inhabitants of Oxford, being
above the age of sixteen, should upon four several days, named
therein, work upon the fortifications behind Christ Church (at which
place their defect was greatest). And it was ordered that if any
person from age, or infirmity, or other occupation, should fail so to
work, he should either find one suitable person to labour in his
stead, or should pay a contribution of one shilling for the day; and
for each servant the householder employing him was to pay the sum of
sixpence. Having but few shillings in my purse, and being curious
withal to see the matter, which was indeed a new thing in England, I
elected to work rather than to pay. And, indeed it was a strange sight
to see the multitude gathered together. Some came for very zeal, as if
they could not be content but they must show how zealous they were for
the King, and some for meanness or poverty came rather to labour with
their own hands than to pay. So far as I could see there was but
little work done, and this from lack of skill in part, and in part
from want of heart. I verily believe that a hundred stout fellows
paid, not by the hours of their working, but by the work that they
should do, had accomplished much more than the mixed multitude
gathered together that day.

  [Illustration: _The Gateway of Christ Church, Oxford._]

The fortifications, however, be they as strong as they might, could
defend the city but for a short time only, and, indeed, had their
chief use in this, that the garrison and inhabitants, being safe from
sudden assault, might through them obtain for themselves better terms
of surrender. It was necessary, therefore, to provide, so far as might
be possible, against the time when the city should be surrendered into
the hands of our enemies. Of this provision one chief matter was the
hiding away of such things as were apt to suffer damage from their
hatred or ignorance. Now there had come from time to time grievous
reports of the cruel damage done by the soldiers of the Parliament in
various cathedrals and churches throughout the realm wherever they had
fallen into their power. Especially had they shown themselves zealous
against what in their fanatic language they were wont to call
idolatry, not only breaking down statues that they espied on walls or
on tombs, but also figures, whether of Christ or of holy men that were
painted on windows. And it was known that they were especially zealous
against such figures or images when they savoured of Popery, as ran
the phrase which was greatly in favour in these times. Such things
then it seemed expedient to hide. Therefore at Christ Church, in the
Cathedral, the Dean, than whom there was no one more stiff for the
King, had a certain window, which is especially prized in that
Society, put away in a safe place, and another set up in its place. On
this window was represented Dr. Robert King, last Abbot of Oseney and
first Bishop of Oxford, in his bishop's robes, having a mitre on his
head and holding a crosier in his right hand. 'Twas most handsomely
painted with colours, so fine and so harmoniously blended as no man in
these days seems to have the wit to do. I hope that it may remain
hidden so long as these present hardships may endure, and be found
when they shall have passed away, as I do not doubt that they will. At
Magdalen College, also, the painted glass of the great eastern window
in the chapel was taken out of its place, and put away in like manner,
for the safe restoration of which I here set down the same hope.

  [Illustration: _The last Abbot of Oseney._]

On the fourteenth day of March in the year following (that is to say,
the year 1646) an army of Sir Ralph Hopton, that still held out for
the King in Cornwall (and 'twas in the West that his Majesty's cause
was ever the strongest, whereas it was weakest in the East)
surrendered itself, being reduced to such straits as left no hope of
escape, much less of victory. This was heard in Oxford, by a messenger
from the general of the enemy, who was so courteous as to give us the
news, not the less readily perhaps, that it was not like to be
welcome. On the very same day, that is the twenty-second day of March
(for the matter in Cornwall, having befallen on the fourteenth, had
taken so long to travel to us) came tidings of a great misfortune that
had befallen his Majesty nearer at hand. For Sir Jacob Astley, coming
from Worcester to Oxford with about three thousand men, mostly horse,
that he had gathered, was fallen upon by one Colonel Morgan at
Stow-on-the-Wold, and routed, being himself taken prisoner. This we
heard from one of Sir Jacob's own riders, who escaped, or, I should
rather suppose, was suffered to escape, that he might bring the ill
news to the King. And, indeed, 'twas the very last stroke that overset
the tottering edifice of his fortunes, as was sufficiently evident
from what the good knight, being taken to the aforesaid Colonel
Morgan, is reported to have said: "Now you have done your work, and
may go to play, unless you choose to fall out among yourselves." Of
this same valiant soldier is told another thing which seems to me well
worthy to be here set down, that at the battle of Edgehill, before he
charged, he made this prayer: "O Lord! Thou knowest how busy I must be
this day. If I forget Thee, do not Thou forget me." And having said so
much, he rose from his knees, and cried with a cheerful voice, "March
on, boys."

And now, a siege being imminent, the King departed from Oxford. Of his
going but very few knew beforehand, but I heard afterwards from one
that was present that he went at midnight on the twenty-seventh day of
April, being disguised as a servant, even to having his hair cut in
Puritan fashion, and riding with a portmanteau behind him. He had but
two companions, Dr. Hudson, that was a parson, but not less a soldier,
and a certain Master Ashburnham, whose servant he feigned himself to
be. And if few knew of his purpose of going, the place whither he
should go he knew not himself. At the first he rode towards London, to
which, indeed, he approached so near that he came as far as
Harrow-on-the-Hill being minded, it was said, to enter the City and
throw himself on the mercy of the Parliament. But, departing from this
purpose, if, indeed, he ever entertained it, he rode northward to
Newark, where the Scots' army lay, hoping that they might protect him,
of which hope he was, indeed, grievously disappointed, the Scots
giving him up to his enemies. 'Twas said that they sold him; and it is
certain that at the time of his being surrendered, it was agreed that
the Scots should have four hundred thousand pounds, being, as they
said, arrears of their wages, paid to them. Yet, as they came into
England to make war, together with the Parliament, against the King,
this charge, methinks, is too harsh, for being by profession enemies,
why should they behave to him as friends? Nevertheless it had been
more seemly if no mention had been made at the time of the wages.

And now at Oxford the end came nearer and nearer. We made a dam at St.
Clement's Bridge (which is by Magdalen College), and so laid the
country that is to the south side of the city under water. But
elsewhere the lines of the enemy were drawn all about us. This was the
beginning of May. Of fighting there was but little; on this, being, as
I conceived, bound by my oath, I did not so much as look. But I could
not choose but hear the cannonading which went forward with but little
rest. Our men would fire, it was said, so many as two hundred shots in
the day, doing, however, but small damage, so that it seemed as if
they had it in their mind to spend their powder rather than to do
execution. And I take it that they suffered more damage than they
gave, the enemy having more marks, and these also more manifest, at
which to make his aim. About the ending of the month of May comes an
order from the King that the city should be surrendered.

Meanwhile I, as I have said, turned away not only my hands, but also,
as far as it was possible, my eyes and my thoughts from war,
conceiving that I should so acknowledge the great kindness of my Lord
Fairfax. Here, therefore, I may not unfittingly set down somewhat
about the thing with which I now concerned myself. Before my going to
join company with my father before the battle at Naseby, being about
to finish my second year of residing, I performed my first exercises,
that is to say, I answered, as the Academical phrase has it, _in
parviso_, and so became, to use again the somewhat barbarous dialect,
_sophista generalis_, the visible signs and tokens of which honour was
the putting into my hands of a book of Aristotle, and round my neck,
by one of the bedels, when I had duly finished my answering, of a
little hood of some common black stuff, which same hood, as might be
concluded from its look, had done the like service for many before me.

As I am speaking of this matter I may anticipate the time somewhat in
this place, and relate how I afterwards answered for my degree, which
by great fortune I was able to do before that I was constrained to
leave Oxford. The questions on which I disputed were in part ethical,
and in part philosophical. And here, for the edifying of my readers, I
will set them forth, being two of each sort. First, then, came the
philosophical.

1. _Whether there can be administered by the art of the physician an
universal remedy?_

2. _Whether the moon can be inhabited? And whether, it being granted
that it has inhabitants, these have a popular or a despotic
constitution?_

After these came the ethical questions, in which were included
political.

1. _Whether the die be a lawful means of acquiring property?_

2. _Whether a multitude of scholars be profitable to a commonwealth?_

But this was not done till after the time of which I have been now
speaking, when I was near upon completing my fourth academical year.



CHAPTER XIV.

OF BODLEY'S LIBRARY.


'Tis no small pleasure for me, and will be doubtless for any that
shall hereafter read what I have here written, to turn from wars and
fighting, of which I must perforce say much, to the quiet and
delectable realm of learning. And, though I would not be thought
wilfully to praise myself, I may say so much that, amidst all the
distractions of the time, which were indeed many and great, this realm
I did never wholly leave or desert, though compelled often to be
absent therefrom.

Having already spoken of these matters, I would now say somewhat of
that place which is, as it were, the capital of this kingdom to such
as are subjects thereof, within the limits of the University of
Oxford--I speak of Bodley's Library. This I do the more willingly
because I know not how long it may abide unharmed in its present
estate. For who knows not what shameful things were done, when, one
hundred years ago, or thereabouts, the visitors of King Edward, sixth
of the name, purged, as they did call it, the libraries of this place,
and among them that noble collection of manuscripts and books which
Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, and Thomas Kempe, some time Bishop of
London, with other benefactors, did bestow upon the University of
Oxford. Their commission was to do away with all that savoured of
Popish superstition. If, therefore, they spied in any volume any
illumination or picture, or even rubrical letter, such as are wont to
be used for the ornamentation of mass-books and the like, that they
incontinently destroyed without further examination, for such
examination they had not the will, or, it may be, the ability to make.
Such, indeed, was their ignorance, if one may believe the tradition
that is yet current in Oxford concerning this matter, that such books
wherein appeared angles or mathematical diagrams were thought
sufficient to be destroyed, because accounted Popish, or diabolical,
for, indeed, they stood in no less dread of witchcraft than of the
Pope. Nay, their folly had almost led them into the grossest impiety,
for among the books brought out to be destroyed were, 'tis said, many
copies of the New Testament in Greek, which, the character being
strange to them that handled them, were condemned as mischievous, and
had perished together with the rest, but that one wiser than his
fellows kept them from their fate. Certain it is that damage beyond
all counting was done in this way, the rage of these ignorant men
being especially directed against the works of Peter Lombard, and
Thomas Aquinas, and Duns Scotus, and others, who are commonly called
the Schoolmen. These were carried on biers by rude young men of the
city to the market-place, and there, being piled in a great heap,
burned with fire. Others, against which they had no special hate, were
sold, and at such mean rates that one knows not whether to be more
angry or ashamed at their silliness. For what says John Bale on this
matter, who, as all know, was no lover of monks and monkery, but
rather hated all that savoured of Papistry with a perfect hatred. He
says that many reserved these books to scour their candlesticks and to
rub their boots; that others they sold to grocers and soap-sellers,
and some they sent over to the bookbinders, whole shipsful at a time,
to the wonderment of foreign nations. And again, descending to
particulars, he writes: "I know a merchant man, which shall at this
time be nameless, that bought the contents of two noble libraries for
forty shillings price: a shame it is to be spoken. This stuff hath he
occupied in the stead of grey paper by the space of more than these
ten years, and yet he hath store enough for as many years to come."
All that bought them made not such an ill use of their purchase. God
be thanked therefore! Thus a certain Dutchman, by trade a stationer,
living in St. Mary's Parish, bought some, which, being handed down by
him to his son, were in the end given to the Library when Sir Thomas
Bodley did restore it.

So much for the past, which I have here written down because I hold it
to be not impossible that the like may be done again. For the present,
indeed, this fate has been warded off, for when, as I shall hereafter
relate, this City of Oxford was delivered up to the Parliament, the
Lord-General did straightway set a guard to keep the Library from all
harm; and this he did, being a lover of learning, and well knowing
that there were in the army many persons who, having a zeal without
knowledge, would have utterly destroyed it. And, indeed, I know, not
whether these may not yet so prevail as to get the chief regimen of
things into their own hand, for, as all history teaches us, the course
of things in all such revolutions as this that hath lately overthrown
the constitution of this country is this: first, the moderate and
discreet have power; next, these either yield to the more violent and
extreme or are themselves carried away by their own headway; and last,
when the folly and wickedness of this excess has become altogether
unendurable, the old order is again set up. Meanwhile, being desirous
above all things to follow the truth, and to be just to all men, I
must acknowledge that so far more damage was done to the Library by
the King's friends while they held the city than has since been done
by his enemies, many books having been embezzled, the chains by which
the more precious are bound to their places being cut off, and other
injuries done. But to come back to my subject.

  [Illustration: _The Bodleian Library, Oxford._
  _HANHART LITH._]

Sir Thomas Bodley's Library, then, is a spacious building, of which
the main chamber lies east and west, having ten windows on either
side, and furnished in most goodly sort with shelves and other needful
appurtenances. The chief glory of this chamber is the roof, divided
into squares, on each of which are painted the arms of the University,
being the open Bible with the seven seals, of which St. John speaks in
the Revelation (but others take it of the seven liberal arts), and the
words, "DOMINUS ILLUMINATIO MEA."[8] On the bosses that are between
each compartment are painted the arms of Sir Thomas Bodley himself. At
the east end of this chamber is the bust of the pious founder, Sir
Thomas Bodley, who has been dead at this present time of writing
(1651) eight-and-thirty years. Of this bust King James I., visiting
the Library three years after his coming to the throne, said, having
read the well-merited praises that have been inscribed there, "Verily,
his name should be _Godley_ rather than Bodley." The wit of this
saying is indeed but indifferent, but it has what all wit does not
possess, that is to say, truth. To this chamber has been added at the
eastern end what may be called a picture gallery, also furnished with
bookshelves, which occupies the whole of the upper story of the
quadrangle.

[8] "The Lord is my Light."

So much of the building, but of the precious things which it contains
I cannot profess to speak. Of printed books there must be near upon
thirty thousand, a number which it staggers the mind only to conceive;
but as for reading them, not the life-time of Methuselah himself would
suffice.[9] Of manuscripts also there is a great store, some of them
being most uncommonly rare and precious, as, for example, to mention
one only out of many, is a manuscript of the Gospels, sent by St.
Gregory to St. Augustine, his missionary to this realm of England, a
treasure long preserved in St. Augustine's Abbey in the City of
Canterbury, and given to this Library some fifty years since by Sir
Robert Cotton. In this temple of the Muses, then, to speak the
language of Paganism, I was accustomed to spend many hours; at the
first, while I was as yet an undergraduate, by favour and
recommendation of Master Webberley, of whom I have before spoken, and
afterwards, having been admitted to the degree of Bachelor, of my own
right. 'Tis rich in books of that classical learning which I have
always, so far as it has been possible for me, especially followed,
and most conveniently ordered for students, to whom indeed it is
specially commended by the courtesy of its officers.[10] 'Twas indeed
but little visited by readers in my time, the Muses having been driven
out both there and elsewhere by the tumult of arms. Yet there were
some faithful students who seemed not to care one jot who ruled the
realm so that they were not disturbed in this their peculiar province;
as for me, my young blood permitted me not to reach so serene a
height, but I never suffered myself to be wholly distracted from
study, as were many of my fellows, by the excitements of war. I have
myself seen more than once the King come into the Library, desiring to
see some book that was therein. This he did because Bodley's statutes
forbid the lending out of any book or manuscript, be the borrower who
he may. But I remember that in the year 1645, while I was reading in
the great chamber (I bear in mind that it was winter time and passing
cold), there came an order to Master Rous, then and now Bodley's
Librarian, in these words: "Deliver unto the bearer hereof, for the
present use of his Majesty, a book intituled _Histoire Universelle
du Sieur d'Aubigné_, and this shall be your warrant." To this Dr.
Samuel Fell, Dean of Christ Church and then Vice-Chancellor, had
subscribed, "His Majesty's use is in command to us." But Master Rous
would have none of it, having sworn to observe the statutes of the
Library, which statutes forbid all lending of the books without any
respect of persons. Therefore he goes to the King and shows him the
statutes, which being read, the King would not have the book nor
permit it to be taken out of the Library, saying that it was fit that
the will and statutes of the pious founder should be religiously
observed. Would that he had been like-minded in all things! So much I
may say without damage to my fidelity. It had been happier so for him
and for this realm of England.

          [9] What would Philip Dashwood have said of the _three
          hundred thousand volumes_ of which the Library now
          consists?--A. C.

          [10] Still a tradition of the Library.--A. C.

And thus I am reminded of a strange thing that I heard from the lips
of Master Verneuil, who was in those days Deputy-Librarian. The King,
coming into the Library on a certain day, was shown a curious copy of
the poet Virgil. Then the Lord Falkland that was with him (the same
that was slain at the second battle of Newbury, to the great loss of
this realm and sorrow of all the better sort on either side) would
have his Majesty make trial of his fortune by the _Sortes Virgilianæ_.
This is a kind of augury which has been very much used for some ages
past, the manner of it being thus: The person that will consult the
oracle, if I may so speak, taking a penknife or bodkin in his hand,
thrusts it, turning his head away at the same time, into the volume of
Virgil. This done, he opens the book and takes the place to which the
instrument may point as the answer that Fate intends for him. On this
occasion, therefore, the King lighted upon this period, being part of
the imprecation which Queen Dido invokes on Æneas that has deserted
her. It was Englished thus by Master Thomas Phaer, about one hundred
years since.

    "Yet let him vexed be with arms and wars of peoples wild,
    And hunted out from place to place, an outlaw still exiled.
    And let him beg for help, and from his child dissevered be,
    And death and slaughter vile of all his kindred let him see,
    And when to laws of wicked peace he doth himself behight,
    Yet let him never reign, nor in this life to have delight,
    But die before his day, and rot on ground without a grave."

The King being in no small degree discomposed at this accident, the
Lord Falkland would himself make trial of the book, hoping to fall on
some passage that should have no relation to his case, that so the
King's thoughts might be in a measure diverted from the impression
that had been made upon them. But, lo! it fell out that the place he
stumbled upon was yet more suited to his destiny than that other had
been to the King. 'Twas in the eleventh book of the Æneid where the
old King Evander speaks of the death of Pallas his son. This was
Englished by Master Thomas Twynam, who finished the work of Master
Phaer aforesaid.

    "Didst not, O Pallas, thou to me, thy sire, this promise make:
    That charily thou wouldst thyself to cruel war betake?
    I knew right well the novel pride, and glory first in fight,
    And pleasant honour won in arms how much prevail it might.
    O hard beginnings to a lad and woeful martial train!"

So much then for the Library of Sir Thomas Bodley.



CHAPTER XV.

OF THE VISITORS AT OXFORD.


Of the surrendering the city there is no need for me to write. Let it
suffice to say that, after parleys held for certain days, the articles
of agreement were signed on the twenty-third day of June, and on the
day following the city was delivered over to Sir Thomas Fairfax. I
remember it by this token, that it was the feast of St. John the
Baptist, and that Master Blagrove, of whom more hereafter, preached
before the University on that day in the Chapel of St. John's College,
as the custom is. The garrison went forth with their flags flying, and
all the honours of war, and many others went with them.

Of these, some had nought to do with the University, having been
brought to Oxford by the war, and now leaving it in due course when
they thought they might serve the King elsewhere (though, indeed, his
cause was now past help, save from the hand of God, and this was for
the time present stayed). Others left place and preferment, or the
prospect of such, in their several colleges, either because from the
long use of arms to which they had been accustomed, by the siege the
pursuits of peace had become flat and unprofitable, or because they
were so well known as enemies to the cause of the Parliament that they
did not venture to stay behind; or, finally, as was the case with not
a few, as conceiving that their duty to the King was best done
elsewhere than in Oxford. As for myself, though not yielding to any in
loyalty to his sacred Majesty, I remained where I was. To this I
conceived myself bound, not only by promise to the Lord General
Fairfax, but also by my father's instructions, who had laid it upon me
as a command that I should follow my studies so long as it should be
possible. Also I had a duty to my mother and sister which I could
scarce have paid had I departed from Oxford, to which place they were,
so to speak, necessarily bound. Their chief means of living came from
the land that had been my father's at Eynsham, and was now by law
descended to me. That most worthy man, John Vickers, paid them his
rent (which he might easily have withheld) most honourably, not
waiting indeed for set seasons, but coming into the city on market
days, or during the siege, whenever occasion offered, and paying, as
he thought they might have need. God reward him for his truth and
kindness! There were those that called him trimmer and turn-coat and
such ill-names, because he was friendly with them that were in power.
But I say that if all men of England had been as true to what they saw
of right and duty, of which, indeed, some perceive more and some less,
surely things had gone better with this realm than they did.

I therefore, and many others with me, for like reason, or others that
had no less constraining power, tarried in Oxford, following our usual
manner of life, and waiting for what might ensue. And, indeed, it
mattered but little to me. My Scholarship was at the best but of small
value, something less than three pounds by the year, and now was
fallen to about thirty shillings from defect in the revenues of the
College, of whose tenants some lacked the ability to pay (having had
their farms wasted by the war), and some the will. Nor was I like to
exchange it for any better preferment, being well known in my College
and elsewhere as a zealous King's man. Having therefore so little to
lose that the very scurviest and most beggarly knave under the sun
would scarce have perjured himself to gain or to save it, I could
abide the end with a calm mind; though, indeed, I do trust I had been
no less constant had I had the best preferment in the University, the
Deanery of Christ Church, to wit, or the President's place at Magdalen
College. And I was further confirmed in this temper by the marriage of
my sister Dorothy with Master William Blagrove, Bachelor of Divinity
of St. John's College, that had lately succeeded to the vicarage of
Enstone. 'Twas an old contract between Dorothy and Master Blagrove,
being first entered into in the year 1641, and now completed about the
space of a year after my father's death. Yet they thought themselves
fortunate that the end was no longer delayed. (And indeed I could name
a couple of lovers that were contracted for forty and three years,
expecting all the while till a certain rectory should fall vacant.)
Nevertheless it may be doubted whether delay had not served them
better. 'Tis certain that they had no small share of that trouble in
the flesh which St. Paul does prophesy to all them that were not
content to abide single as he was. I doubt whether these prophecies,
even in the mouth of an apostle, deterred many whose hearts were set
on matrimony, and indeed it must be remembered there was gain as well
as loss. But of Dorothy and her husband I shall have occasion to speak
again. Meanwhile I may say so much, that she being happily married, if
it be happiness to have a learned and virtuous husband but poor in
this world's goods withal, and my mother going to live with her, I was
left master of myself and free to act as might seem most expedient.

For a while it seemed as if nothing would be done, and some even began
to hope that all things would be suffered to continue as they were. I
indeed was not one of these, nor did I think that it would be well if
it should be so. For, indeed, the University had almost ceased to be;
there were few or none that lectured, and very few to hear, had
teachers been ever so many; such as remained were much debauched by
the loose companionship which they had taken up during the war; the
colleges were half empty or rented out to laics lest they should
altogether fall into ruin. It cannot be doubted therefore but that
there was need of some visitation; nor was that which followed of a
harsher sort than was to be looked for. 'Tis ever the rule in this
world that it goes ill with the conquered, and the conquerors divide
the spoil. I say not that there was no harshness used, nor none driven
out that might have been kept, not only with advantage to the
University, but without loss to the new rulers; but this only, that
the victors bore themselves less haughtily and cruelly than might have
been looked for, especially when it is considered what some of them
had themselves suffered.

  [Illustration: _The Porch of St. Mary's Church, Oxford._]

And now to speak of what was done. In the month of May, in the year
1647, came the visitors to Oxford, twenty-four in number, though of
these not a few were content from the beginning to stand aloof from
the business, leaving it to the management of the clerics. They made
but an ill beginning of their work. First, they delayed their coming
over long after their appointment, and this they did because the
Parliament soldiers in Oxford, vexed at certain grievances they had in
respect of their pay and other matters, made a mutiny, so that they
feared to show themselves. And next, on the day which they had
appointed for the University to appear before them, which was the
fourth day of June, they themselves failed of their time. Their
citation to the Vice-Chancellor, Doctors and Masters was, "You shall
appear before us between nine and eleven of the clock in the forenoon
of the day aforesaid." So the Vice-Chancellor with the others
assembled duly in the Convocation House. But the visitors went to St.
Mary's Church, where, after prayers, there was a sermon preached by
Master Robert Harris, of Magdalen Hall, who was one of them. But
Master Harris, being full of his office, and having much to say
concerning the iniquities of the prelatical party and the like things,
was more than ordinary long in his discourse. When, therefore, the
clock struck eleven and the visitors were not yet come, Master
Vice-Chancellor leaves the house, the bedels with their staves, as the
custom is, walking before. And it so chanced that at this very time
the visitors were about to enter. Then cries the bedel, a bold fellow
that was afterwards resolute not to give up his staff, "Room for
Master Vice-Chancellor;" to whom the visitors, being thus taken
unawares, gave place. As they passed, Master Vice-Chancellor very
civilly moved his cap to them, saying, "Good-morrow, gentlemen, 'tis
past eleven of the clock," and so passed on, nor took any further heed
of them.

  [Illustration: _The Vice-Chancellor preceded by the Esquire
  Bedells._]

'Twould be tedious to relate all the hindrances that after this were
put in their way, how their notices and citations were torn down so
soon as they were put up, and the books which they called for were not
delivered up, so that, what with opposition from without, and
divisions within (the Independents now having the great power and
being minded to thrust down the Presbyterians from the first place),
nothing was done. Nay, though my Lord Pembroke, that was Chancellor of
the University, came down in his own person, and stormed at the
Vice-Chancellor, telling him with many oaths (in which he was said to
be proficient beyond all men of his time), that the devil had raised
him to that office, and that it was fit that he should be whipped,
nay, hanged; even so they made no progress. Nor could they gain
possession of the keys of the University, for these the clerks
obstinately kept (as for the register they took it by force from the
Registrar's room) and the gold and silver staves were, as I have said,
denied them, so that they were sadly shorn of the dignity which should
have belonged to them. And this, I understand, vexed them as much as
anything.

But at last, in the month of March, 1648--that is to say, nigh upon
two years after the surrender of the city--the visitors did set to
their work in earnest, and beginning with Magdalen College, demanded
of every one whether he submitted to the authority of Parliament in
this present visitation. And to this demand a plain answer was
required. Truly it was piteous to see the straits to which honest men
were reduced, that were loath to offend their conscience and yet would
willingly have kept their means of livelihood. Some, especially among
the cooks, butlers, porters, and other servants of the College,
pleaded that they were ignorant and unlearned, and did not rightly
understand how to answer that which was demanded of them. And some of
the younger sort pleaded their tender age why they should not answer
so hard a question. Others, again, hedged themselves in with sundry
conditions and reservations, if by any means they could satisfy both
their own consciences and the visitors. Here I have transcribed some
of the answers.

"I am not of the understanding (my years being so tender) to hold your
thesis which you propose, either affirmative or negative."

"Whereas very learned and judicious men have desired time, I shall
think it presumption in me to answer it extempore."

"It is beyond my weak apprehension to give you any positive answer."

"My weak capacity cannot resolve you of this so hard a question."

"I submit in all cases not exempted by oath."

"I submit so far as my oath giveth me leave."

"When I shall be satisfied in conscience that I may lawfully do it, I
will willingly submit."

"I do submit to King and Parliament in this visitation, so far as
lawfully I may."

"I do not conceive that this visitation doth at all concern me."

"Whereas" (this was made by a gentleman of Christ Church) "I, being a
Commoner here, do receive no benefit from the House, but living at
great expense, and daily expecting to be taken home by my friends, I
think this visitation doth not concern me."

"Sirs, to acknowledge the authority of Parliament in this visitation
were to acknowledge you lawful visitors, and to acknowledge you lawful
visitors were to say more than I know; and also to acknowledge many
visitors, whereas I can but acknowledge one."

For myself I rather admired such answers as were given by Francis
Dixon and Joseph Carricks, students of Christ Church, whereof the one
said:

"I, Francis Dixon, shall not submit to any visitors but the King, and
do acknowledge no visitor but the King."

And the other:

"I, John Carricks, will not submit to the visitation; I will not."

And, indeed, the reservations of the others served them but little,
for the visitors shut them at last to a plain "Yes" or "No."

On the seventh day of May came the visitors to Lincoln College, and
set us the same question. The greater part submitted; these I name
not, nor say that they sinned against their conscience. There is One
that judgeth, to whom they shall answer. As for me, I met the visitors
with a plain "No," and having before, as knowing what should follow,
prepared all things against my departure, left Oxford that very same
day.



CHAPTER XVI.

OF MY KINSFOLK AT ENSTONE.


My sister Dorothy and her good husband, Master Blagrove, had long been
earnest with me that I should visit them; and this, though there was
that which drew me elsewhere, I now purposed to do, both because I
desired to see my kindred again and to learn how they fared, and
because Enstone was of a convenient nearness to Oxford. Such goods as
I had I put in charge of a worthy citizen, Master Mallam, a draper,
that had his dwelling in the Corn-market, a good man that loved the
King and the Church in his heart, but bare him so discreetly that he
had the favour of the opposite faction. My books, which were indeed my
chief possessions, though these also were neither many in number nor
of great price, I gave into the charge of Anthony Wood, that was
Bible-clerk of Merton College (which place though a King's man he had
kept by the special favour of Sir Nathaniel Brent, the Warden of the
said College). This Anthony was a great lover of books, and studious
beyond his years, of which he at that time numbered about sixteen.
These matters settled, I, taking with me only so much as I could
conveniently carry on my back, and with a stout walking-staff in my
hand--such as the good Bishop Jewel did lend to Master Richard Hooker,
pleasantly calling it his horse--set out on my journey, which, being
twenty miles or thereabouts, I accomplished in the space of six hours.
I found a pleasant company gathered at Master Blagrove's house, for he
had that day christened his little son, so that my coming was in
season. After the first greeting, says my sister Dorothy to me:

"Now, Philip, kiss your godson; though indeed you are but a negligent
godfather. Had you but come six hours sooner you had answered for
yourself. As it is you must thank Master Willis here, whom I must now
make known to you, for standing in your place."

"Nay, Dorothy," I answered, "you cannot rightly blame me. No man could
have done to-day's business more speedily than I. This very morning,
mind you, come the visitors to Lincoln College, and, my betters
disposed of, call me before them. 'Philip Dashwood,' says the chief
among them, Sir Nathaniel Brent, that is warden of Merton College, 'do
you submit to this visitation?' 'Sirs,' said I, 'I do not submit.'
'Then you are expelled,' says the great man; and, turning to the
clerk, 'Take a note of his name and sentence;' and to the manciple,
'Strike out his name from the books;' and having waited till I saw it
done, I even turned on my heel, and so departed without a word. I
warrant that my business filled not more than three minutes at the
most. And this was scarce ten hours ago, for the visitors came to us
about eight of the clock."

When I had told them my tale, my sister Dorothy, who had ever a tender
heart, and thought better of me than I deserved, cried out:

"That was well, my brave Philip. I cannot be patient with the
time-serving knaves who would keep their preferment at cost of their
faith."

"Nay, Dorothy," said I, "mine was but a small matter, a few shillings
by the year, which, in the common course, I could not have had much
longer. 'Twas easy enough to give up so small a thing, but I judge not
them who for wife and children's sake have strained their conscience,
it may be, beyond that which is right."

As I spake, I noticed that my good brother looked somewhat grave and
heavy, and so went on--

"But _cras seria_, as some one hath it, which may be translated,
Mistress Dorothy, lest, haply, you have forgotten your Latin,
'business to-morrow.' And now, Dorothy, tell me about this little
Philip."

Dorothy had much to say about the babe, which I will not here set
down. And when she had ended her talk, which she did, not because she
had said enough concerning his beauty and goodness, but because she
was constrained to depart with him and lay him in his cradle, from
which he had been kept overlong, we discoursed about other things, as
sport and country matters of divers kinds, buying and selling of
horses and cattle and the like, with Master Willis, who was a farmer,
and a person of no small consideration, seeing that he paid more
tithes than any other in the parish, and was churchwarden to boot. He
was in a complaining mood, for which, doubtless, he had at the time
sufficiently good reason, but which seems to be common to all who
follow his occupation. I suppose that they who spend their time in
this business of tilling the earth have ever from day to day
disappointments, unseasonable weather, promise of crops ill performed,
and the like, which, though they be severally small, yet from their
number and frequent occurrence worry the soul; and it is ever the way
with men that little evils obscure and drive out of mind great goods.

"It has ever been a poor life with us farmers, and now it is like to
be poorer still. As for sport, there is scarce a hare or a partridge
in the whole country side. For that the soldiers have taken good care.
There was no odds between King's men and Parliament's men. One was as
keen after these things as another, and what one chanced to leave the
other was sure to take. And as for merrymaking, there is little of it
left, and will soon be none. Why, 'tis a sin in the eyes of these
sour-faced whining folk to eat a mince-pie; and as for baiting a bear
or a bull, as has ever been done here till these bad times, we should
be taken to prison for the very mention of such a thing. But these be
strange times, sir. Why, our good parson himself, Master Blagrove
here, if I may make bold to say so much to his face, has new-fangled
fancies about such things. You would scarce believe it, sir, but he
will not suffer the scholars to have their cock-throwing on Shrove
Tuesday. I was wont to give the bird--some tough old fellow that was
become too savage, as they will, sir, when they get past their
age--and the master would tie him to a stake when school was ended for
the morning, and the scholars, or such of them as had been diligent at
their learning, would stand in a ring round about him and throw staves
at him, and the lad that gave him the mortal blow ('twas strange to
see how long a bird would live) would have a shilling for himself.
Then comes Master Blagrove, and talks of cruelty and the like. Now, if
a man deals barbarously with a Christian, I call him cruel; but why
should we care about brute beasts that, as St. Peter has it, are 'made
to be taken and destroyed?'"

Perceiving that Master Willis was getting to be somewhat warm on this
matter, I rose from my place and said to my host: "I am somewhat
weary, and, with your good leave, will to bed." On this signal the
others also went their way.

The next day I rose betimes, and seeing my brother pacing to and fro
in his garden made haste to join him.

"Philip," said he, "your dear sister is a very lioness for courage,
though she is gentle also and loving. I have heard tell of wives that
for fear of poverty for them whom they love, have tempted their
husbands to compliance with base things. Verily your sister is not one
of these. She would starve, yea and see her babe starve--which, I take
it, would trouble her a hundredfold more--before she would let one
false word pass her lips. And I do believe in my soul that if, which
God forbid, I should yield to evil for her sake and the babe's (for I
could not be so base as to yield to it for my own), she would leave me
sooner than have a share in the unclean thing. And being so set in her
mind, and resolved what she will do, she keeps such a cheerful mind as
I cannot pretend to. And, indeed, to speak the whole truth, which I
scarce like to do in her hearing, 'tis a dismal prospect. Hitherto, it
is true, I have been marvellously protected. My good friend Sir Thomas
Chesham, who is the principal man in this part, having both a freehold
of his own and a very profitable lease from the College, has stood by
me, so that while others have been dispossessed of their livings, both
on my right hand and my left, I remain unharmed. 'Tis true there are
murmurings against me; yea, and threats openly made. Once and again
have my enemies come into the church, resolved, I doubt not, had they
not been hindered, to drag me from my very pulpit. 'Twas the Sunday
before Easter this very year that three troopers, with their swords by
their side, came, having with them a preacher in a black gown, whom
they would have put in my place. When I went up to the pulpit to
preach, up starts one of the troopers, and would have left his place;
but Sir Thomas rose from his seat and said, 'William Ball, and you,
Hugh Peters, (for I know you both), you shall answer for this day's
uproar. Master Blagrove is a good man, and has not been dispossessed
by any sentence of law or commission. Till he be so, he, and he only,
has a right where he is, and verily so long as I am master in this
parish he shall keep it.'

"After that they were content to remain in their place, and I gave the
Doctor such a screed of doctrine as, I warrant you, he had not heard
for a long time. You see, Sir Thomas is a man of no mean authority,
having been ever on the Parliament's side from the very beginning of
these troubles. He was with Master Hampden in the Ship Money matter,
and has served the cause with money and otherwise, having indeed
raised no small part of a troop of horse from this very place. I would
he had been otherwise minded; but if it had been so he could not have
served me. Nor do I know how much longer his protection will avail.
For I hear, and that from the good man himself, that he is ever in
less and less accord with them that have now the chief authority. He
would gladly have made peace with the King and set him again on his
throne, with due provision made for liberty; nor does he hold with
those that cry out for a Republic. And in religion he is a
Presbyterian, yet of such a sort that he is not ill-content to live
under a Bishop so that he have no Popish ways. But as you know,
brother Philip, these are not the opinions which find favour in high
places in these days, and I know not how soon he may find even himself
in danger."

"And what will you do, Master Blagrove?" for so I was wont to call him
in consideration of his age, which was, I suppose, the double of mine
at this time.

"I shall wait," answered he; "and when I am dispossessed suffer it
with what patience I may. I have not the spirit of my good neighbour,
Master Warden, of Haythrop; for when they would have intruded a new
minister into his house he would not give place, but declared himself
resolved not to give up his house to the usurper but with his life.
Accordingly he caused his bed to be brought down into his parlour,
kept his gun still charged, and had a watch set all night. Ay, and so
bravely and constantly did he bear himself that the usurper had to
betake himself elsewhere till Master Warden's death, which indeed
happened but a few weeks since, he being then in his eighty-seventh
year. He was a stout fellow, and his people loved him, for never man
had a more open hand. But 'tis in my temper to yield more peaceably;
for I have given pledges to Fortune, whereas Master Warden had been
many years a widower, and his children had long since grown up, and
gone forth into the world. But come, let us talk of other things.
'_Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof._'"

I was yet bound by my promise to Sir Thomas Fairfax (now become by his
father's death Lord Fairfax) that I would not bear arms against the
Parliament, the three years for which this said promise held good
running until the fourteenth day of June, on which day, it will be
remembered, the battle of Naseby was fought. But for this 'tis very
like that I had taken part with His Majesty's friends who in this year
sought to raise the kingdom on his behalf. This they did in many
diverse parts, as in Wales, where certain officers that had lately
fought against the King now took up arms for him, and in Essex where
my Lord Capel with others held Colchester in his name; nor were they
without good hope of success, the Scots being ready to help, and the
fleet also setting their officers aside and submitting them to the
Prince of Wales. It was well for me that things were otherwise
ordered, for, as is well known, all these beginnings ended in nothing.
As for myself, when I was free from my promise (which was about a
month after my coming to Enstone), I tarried where I was, judging that
my duty kept me there. For first my mother was very urgent with me
that I should stay. "His Majesty is a kind prince," she would say,
"and now that I have lost my husband in his cause, will not ask from
me my son also." Also I felt myself bound in kindness to my sister and
her husband, that had relieved me in my need, and were now, I could
perceive, in no small need of such help as I could give. For Master
Blagrove, for lack of a tenant, had been constrained to farm his own
glebe, which glebe was indeed the main support of his living. But what
could a man do in such a business who, I do verily believe, knew not a
plough from a harrow, or barley from wheat? Books on husbandry he had
none, save you may reckon as such Hesiod's _Works and Days_, and the
_Georgics_ of Virgil; nor, had he possessed the wisest treatises that
have ever been writ, may a man get any great benefit from that which
is written. And as for buying and selling, there was never a man in
this world so incapable of doing these to his own profit. I have noted
that 'tis always hard for gentlefolk to hold their own in the market,
be they ever so shrewd and full of knowledge. But my brother, being as
simple as he was good, would sell his goods for the price, be it ever
so small, that was first offered to him, and would buy for whatever
was asked. Here, then, I found excellent occasion to serve him and my
mother and sister also, who had otherwise fared but ill. Of farming I
knew somewhat, having learnt it from my father, who was himself, as I
have said, well acquainted with it; and as for dealings in the market,
though I doubt not I was sometimes circumvented (for your rustic, look
he ever so simple, is more than a match in cunning for your townsman),
yet I took good care that he should not suffer any grievous wrong. And
when the harvest was ended, I journeyed to Northamptonshire to see
good Master Ellgood and my sweet Cicely. And there, for the land about
Naseby is high and cold so that the seasons are later by far than in
Oxfordshire, I was able to do service to the good man in the gathering
of his corn. 'Twas a happy time indeed, for I would ply the sickle,
and she, not being one of those delicate maidens that can but sit at
home with their embroidery, came after me, binding the sheaves, one
Gilbert Davenant, a young lad from Rugby School, helping. And when the
gathering in was finished we took holiday. Sometimes we had a party at
bowls (which game, as I have said, the good man liked much, taking
pains beyond measure to keep his green smooth). Then Cicely and I
would take sides against her father and Gilbert; in this sport I had
no small skill, having followed it much at Oxford, where are bowling
greens as fair and smooth as any in this kingdom; and it was my
delight to bring my sweet Cicely's bowl as near as might be to the
jack, for so they call the mark whereat the players aim, driving it in
at sacrifice of my own, or driving off her adversaries. And we came by
practice to use this alliance to such good purpose that her good
father and his companion could scarce win a rubber. It must be
confessed that he would sometimes lose his patience and grow angry
over the game (but on grave matters I never saw his anger stirred,
though indeed he had suffered no small provocation). Now and then also
she would walk with me to Naseby field, when I would rehearse to her
all that I knew about the battle--a tale which she was never weary of
hearing. Sometimes also we would angle in the Nen, which river, though
here but a petty stream, flowed but a little way eastward from her
father's dwelling. It was a happy time, such as I had never before
enjoyed, but it was soon to be broken through by a most grievous
interruption.



CHAPTER XVII.

OF MY GOING TO LONDON.


In the latter part of the month of September I went for a while to
Enstone, and having set things in order concerning the autumn sowings
of corn and other matters which need to be looked to at that season of
the year, and having also found by recommendation of John Vickers an
honest man who should serve my brother as bailiff, I returned to
Naseby about the first day of November.

Two or three days thereafter, as I sat in Master Ellgood's study
reading Master Hooker's _Ecclesiastical Polity_ (for I was preparing
myself, so far as time and other circumstances permitted, for the
taking of Holy Orders), comes Cicely knocking at the door and, opening
it before ever I could speak, cries, "O Philip, see, John has come,"
and therewith brings in a fair youth, some two years older than
herself, as I judged, and save that he had some four inches more of
stature, of a singular likeness to her; and straightway on seeing him
the doubt that had ever been in my mind whether I had ever before
encountered him was resolved, for I perceived in a moment of time that
the youth was the same that had yielded himself prisoner to my father
at Copredy Bridge. As for him, he had no remembrance of me, at which
indeed I did not wonder, considering what he had suffered that day. I
doubted at the first whether I should make myself known to him,
thinking, not without good reason, that he had no cause to love me.
But the better thought prevailed that I should be honest before all
things, nor endure to have some secret hanging, as it were, over my
head and ever ready to fall; and indeed I had made confession to
Cicely of my savagery in this matter and had received absolution from
her. So I said:

"Master Ellgood, we have met before."

And when he regarded me steadfastly, yet without any sign of knowing
me, I said, "Do you remember one Dashwood at Copredy Bridge?"

"Ay," said he, "as gallant a gentleman as ever sat on horseback. He
saved me when I was in no small peril of my life, and gave me as
courteous treatment as prisoner ever had, and settled for me my
exchange, so that my captivity had scarce begun when it was ended. I
hope that he is in good health and prosperity. But you are not he; you
must be younger by a score of years at the least."

"He was my father," said I, "and I would fain shelter myself under his
name, for, as for me, you have small cause to thank me."

And I made my confession to him. When I had finished he stretched out
his right hand to me with a great laugh, saying:

"Why make such ado? There was no harm done. And if you had made an end
of me I do not know that anyone would have been the loser, save, as
they pleased to think, my good father and Cicely here; and, indeed, I
had not lived to see such evil days as these. Know you the last
tidings?"

"No," said I; "I have heard nothing, save that the Lieutenant-General
Cromwell has trodden the King's friends under foot everywhere. But in
truth I have been thinking of other things."

Thereat I blushed, which is a foolish trick that I have, and Cicely
also blushed for company. Then John Ellgood, looking from one to
another, saw something of what was between us. I know not that any man
has at the first a particular kindness to him whom his sister favours
(which is indeed a mighty ungrateful thing, for the lover has always a
singular affection for his mistress's brothers), but being a good lad
and of a kind heart he said nothing, only I thought that I heard him
say to himself, "Is this a time----," and so brake off. "Well," he
said, after he had been silent awhile, "listen to me. Four years ago
we were enemies, now, I doubt not, we are friends." (This I was
mightily glad to hear, fearing what might befall my love for Cicely.)
"I fought for the Parliament--thinking that they had the better
cause--against the King, and I yet believe, though here, doubtless,
you agree not with me, that I was in the right. But 'tis otherwise
with me now; and, indeed, 'tis not now the Parliament, but the Army,
that reigns, and the Lieutenant-General Cromwell and his fellows seek
not the redressing of wrongs and securing of liberties, but the
setting up of a new rule; and because they know in their hearts that
this cannot be firmly established so long as the King stands in the
way, though he be a prisoner and helpless, therefore they are minded
to bring him to judgment for what they are pleased to call his
treasons against this nation, and having so brought him--'tis almost
too horrible to say, yea, even to think--to put him to death."

Since then this thing has been done, and done with approval from some
that are undoubtedly pious and learned persons (though I doubt not
that the greater part of the nation abhorred the act), so that it has
become in a way familiar, but then (I speak of myself and of many
others) it had not been so much as thought of. That the King might
suffer much at the hand of his enemies; that he might even be slain by
some wicked or fanatic persons, as kings before him--Richard, the
second of the name, to wit, and Henry the Sixth--had been slain by
secret violence, I had deemed to be probable; but that he should be
brought to trial with accustomed forms of law and justice, and having
been so brought, should be publicly and in the face of day put to
death, seemed too horrible to be believed. There had never happened
such a thing before, save only--and let no one judge it to be profane
that this was the first thought of many--save only when our Lord
Himself was condemned by Pilate and crucified.

"It cannot be," I said; "no men could dare to be so impiously wicked."

"Nay," said he, "'tis but too true. But they shall not have their way
without hindrance, for, besides many that have been the King's friends
from the beginning, there are some who, as I myself, were against him
at the first, and so feel the more bound, as having contributed to his
present low estate, to help him in his present necessity. But we will
talk more of these things when my father shall return."

Master Ellgood had ridden to Harborough that day on some business that
he had.

He being returned after supper, Cicely also being present, John
Ellgood set forth to him what I have written down above, and this
also, that there were many of the same way of thinking with himself,
and that they purposed to assemble in London so that they might be in
readiness against whatever might happen, watching above all things for
some occasion to save the King out of the hands of his enemies. When
he had ended Master Ellgood the elder said:

"I had hoped that you had done with strife. Yet I would not say a word
to keep you back. I hold not, indeed, with them who say that a king
can do no wrong, and that we be bound to yield him obedience in all
things without question. That we may lawfully restrain him by force
from breaking down our liberties I do heartily believe, but I am
persuaded that we cannot rightfully bring him to judgment; for,
indeed, what authority is there that is competent for such things?
And, again, shall there be no end to the shedding of blood? If this,
indeed, be done 'twill do more damage to true liberty than the King's
victory had done. Therefore, John, I bid you God's speed on your
errand; and you, too, Philip, if you are minded to go with him."

Thereat I, sitting, as was my wont, by Cicely, and holding her hand in
mine, felt it tighten upon mine; and looking at her, I saw her flush
and grow pale, as was her wont when she was much moved.

"Nor would I stay you," she whispered, "though I, too, had hoped that
all these things were finished and done with."

It was concluded, therefore, that night that we should go; but that
there was no present need to depart. But it was needful that I should
go for awhile to my brother at Enstone, and this without delay, and
returned to Master Ellgood's home about the twentieth of November.
Then again eight days after we set out for London and came thither on
the second day of December, and found a lodging with my kinsman
Rushworth, of whom I have written in the relation of my school days.
The next day, being Sunday, we worshipped at the chapel of the Savoy,
where Dr. Thomas Fuller preached the sermon; a most learned, witty,
and eloquent discourse, and marvellously bold--the condition of the
kingdom, wherein the King's enemies were supreme, being considered.
His text was 1 Samuel xv. 22. "_For rebellion is as the sin of
witchcraft_;" which he enforced with much plainness of speech, so
that I marvelled that he was neither presently hindered from speaking
nor afterwards visited. But the good Doctor is no respecter of
persons, for did he not, being appointed preacher by the Parliament,
discourse before them on these words (spoken by Mephibosheth to David
concerning Ziba): "_Yea let him take all, so that my lord the King
come again in peace_," to their no small discontent?

The day following we went to the House of Commons, being bestowed by
favour of one of the ushers under one of the galleries. 'Tis a noble
chamber, and the circumstances of the assembly, the Speaker, for
example, with his mace, majestic; but itself, methinks, scarce a match
in dignity for its surroundings, the members sitting for the most part
as if they cared nought for that which was being done, so loudly did
they talk with each other and laugh; but if one of greater note rose
to speak there was straightway silence. As for us, we listened with
all our ears, and that for many hours, for the House, meeting at ten
of the clock in the fore-noon, prolonged its sitting till nine of the
clock in the morning of the day following, nor did we, save for
refreshment's sake for a few minutes, leave our place. It was a
marvellous strange scene, for sometimes it would seem as if all the
House were asleep, some one speaking of whom none took any heed; then
again there would be almost a tumult, angry crying out and stamping
with the feet, so that one had almost thought the members ready to fly
at each other's throats. And above the great torches flared, making a
mighty smoke and heat, so that though the air outside was cold and
frosty, within the heat was like to suffocate. At the last, all being
wearied out (and some of the older sort had been long asleep), the
House came to a division, the question being one that touched the late
conferences with the King, and the resolution to be determined being
this: "That the King's concessions to the Parliament are sufficient
grounds for settling the peace of the kingdom." And this resolution
was carried by the majority of voices, the Ayes being one hundred and
twenty, and the Noes fifty.

Thereupon we went to our lodging with great joy, and found Master
Rushworth waiting for us, who somewhat dashed our spirits.

"Ah!" said he, "'twould be well if the Parliament were our masters;
but 'tis not so. The power is not in Mr. Speaker's mace, but in the
Lord General's sword, or, rather, for 'tis said that the Lord
General's day is past, with Master Cromwell and his colonels. I little
thought that I should ever desire more power for the Parliament; yet
so I do, for verily the Army will be a worse master."

The next day we were again early at the House, and Master Usher, who
seemed to have some knowledge beforehand of what should happen, put us
in a place in the lobby. We noted coming in that the guards of the
Houses had been changed; for, whereas on the day before there had
stood about the doors and passages the City Trainbands, very gaily
accoutred, with their clothes and arms bearing no stain of war, there
were now in their place two regiments of soldiers, that were
manifestly veterans of many campaigns.

And now we, standing behind in the shadow, for we did not desire to be
espied, see some soldiers by the place of entering into the House of
Commons, one of them, who seemed to be in command, having a paper in
his hand.

"Mark you that man," whispered the Usher in my ear; "'tis Colonel
Pride. Be sure that he has not come for nought."

And indeed it was so, for so soon as a member came to the door the
said Colonel would turn round; now to a gentleman that stood by his
side (whom I understood to be my Lord Grey of Groby), and now to one
of the doorkeepers, and would ask his name, and if he were on the
list, then he seized upon him and delivered him to one of the
soldiers, who led him off. All save one departed quietly; and he, whom
I knew to be Master William Prynne, one of the visitors that had come
from the Parliament to Oxford, made as if he would have drawn his
sword; thereupon the Colonel called for a guard of soldiers (and
indeed both the Court of Requests and the stairs, and the lobby were
filled with them), at the sight of whom Master Prynne yielded himself
quietly. We saw thus seized by Colonel Pride and his soldiers forty
and one members. Thus we were persuaded that nothing was to be hoped
in the King's favour from the Parliament, were their will ever so
good. Thereafter, indeed, all that had been zealous for a
reconciliation being, as the extreme men were pleased to say, purged
from the House, it voted nothing but what was agreeable to the will of
the Army.

I shall not here set down in particular how we employed ourselves
during the month that now followed, not knowing but what this writing
may fall into unfriendly hands, for though I am not careful to conceal
my own opinions and actions, I should be loath to entangle others in
my dangers. Let it suffice then to say that we busied ourselves in
devising means by which we might deliver the King out of the hands of
his enemies, and that in so doing we both found help where we looked
not for it, and found it not where we had most expected it. For some
that were imagined to be the King's enemies were now earnest on his
behalf, and some that professed themselves to be his friends were
lukewarm, ay, and worse. Meanwhile we were diligent in attending at
the debates of the Commons' House, though, indeed, there was but
little debating when a man might lose his liberty for any freedom of
speech; and so watched without ceasing for what turn matters should
take.



CHAPTER XVIII.

OF THE TRIAL OF THE KING.


On the twenty-eighth day of December, we, being according to our wont
in the Commons' House, heard read the report of a Committee to which
had been committed the matter of the King's trial. It ran thus, to put
it in a few words, that "Charles Stuart" (for so they entitled his
gracious Majesty) "had acted contrary to his trust in setting up his
standard and making war against the Parliament;" and this report was
debated on the day following, and it was resolved that he should be
tried on this same charge, and to the same Committee was given the
business of choosing who should be his judges.

This same day there happened a thing which showed of how resolute and
fierce a temper were they who had the chief power at this time. We had
had some converse with one Pitcher, that had been a major in the
King's army and was then lying hid in London, being intent indeed on
the same business with which we were occupied. We counselled him to
depart, for indeed his life was already forfeit. He had been in the
King's garrison at Worcester, and had engaged not to bear arms any
more against the Parliament. Nevertheless, he had been found in arms
in the late fighting at Pembroke. And having been yet again spared on
condition that he should depart from this realm, nor return thither
for the space of two years without leave first had, he still delayed
in London. I told him that it was a desperate matter, and that he had
best depart; but he was obstinate to remain. "Nay," said he, "who can
say what will happen in the space of two years, even to the doing of
his gracious Majesty to death? There I can avail nothing; here,
perchance, I may do some good. Though it may be but the thousandth
part of a chance, I will even risk my life upon it." And this he did,
even to the losing of it. How it fell out I know not, whether one that
saw him at Worcester or Pembroke knew him again, or whether he
betrayed himself--for he was ever bold, even to rashness, in his
speech--but 'tis certain he was taken at a tavern in Westminster, and
the next day shot in St. Paul's Churchyard. I cannot name them that
did it; but it was proof, if indeed proof were needed, that they who
sought to help the King carried their lives in their hands.

On the first day of January the Commons' House voted that the King had
been guilty of high treason in levying war against the Parliament.

The same night John Ellgood and I, walking near to Charing Cross, saw
a mighty strange sight which was as a comedy in the midst of a
tragedy. There met us a company of soldiers, and with them a whole
_posse_ of players, habited in their robes, as kings, and judges,
and queens, and as the other characters that are wont to be seen upon
the stage. We heard that the Lord General had commanded this to be
done, and that the players still performing their plays against the
ordinance of Parliament, the soldiers had taken them as they were from
Drury Lane and Salisbury Court.

On the fourth day of January, the Lords having rejected the ordinance
concerning the trial of the King, the Commons declared that whatsoever
was passed by them had the force of law, and this they did without any
man saying "Nay!"

On the ninth day of the same month we, being in Westminster Hall (for
we were always intent to see and hear what might happen), saw the
Serjeant-at-Arms, bearing the mace upon his shoulder, having certain
officers with him and six trumpeters, and a guard of horse and foot,
ride into Westminster Hall and there proclaim, "If any man has aught
against Charles Stuart, King of England, let him come before the
Commissioners appointed for the trial of the said Charles Stuart at
this time to-morrow and make it known."

At length, on the nineteenth day of January, the trial was indeed
begun, taking place in Westminster Hall, at the upper end, where the
Courts of Chancery and King's Bench were wont to be held, the two
courts being thrown into one for the greater convenience of the
numbers that were likely to be assembled. And on this same day of the
month they brought His Majesty from Windsor to the Palace of St.
James, guarding him with no small care against a rescue, which,
indeed, they had no small reason to fear.

It was permitted to all to enter the place of sitting, but the Hall
and all the approaches thereto were very strongly kept with soldiers.
John Ellgood and I attended this day and daily afterwards, having
short swords and pistols under our cloaks, that we might be ready for
any occasion that might arise; but our hopes were daily diminished,
for though there were many that misliked the whole business, the dread
of the army was upon them, and they dared not so much as stir a
finger. Nevertheless, when men were content to sit in silence, yet
there was a woman that had courage to speak out her mind, for when the
list of Commissioners was read aloud, and the Crier gave forth the
name of Thomas Lord Fairfax, being next after the name of the
President of the Court, there was heard a voice, "He has more wit than
to be here;" and, afterwards, when (the impeachment being read aloud)
the reader pronounced the words--"by the authority of Parliament and
of all the good people of England," the same voice spake again, "No,
nor the hundredth part of them." Thereupon there was no small
confusion; and it has been said by some that the officer of the guard
commanded his men that they should fire upon the place from which this
voice proceeded. But I heard no such order given, nor do I believe it;
for who would dare thus to imperil the innocent along with the guilty?
It was the Lady Fairfax, wife to the Lord General, that thus cried
out. She was of the lineage of the Veres, an ancient house to whose
honour her behaviour was conformable.

The next day the King was brought before the Court, and I, who had not
seen him for nigh upon three years, noted that his aspect was somewhat
changed, as, indeed, it might well be with his troubles. There was set
for him a chair of crimson velvet, behind which there stood some
thirty men, carrying halberds. The judges, of whom there were present
some sixty (which was not the half of them that had been first named),
sat in hat and cloak, the President wearing black. The King came in
very stately, not moving his hat to the judges, but looking on them
and on the spectators with a stern regard. Then, the crier having
proclaimed silence, the President said:

"Charles Stuart, King of England, the Commons of England, being deeply
sensible of the calamities that have been brought upon this nation,
which are fixed upon you as the principal author of them, have
resolved to make inquisition for blood;" and more to the same effect.

When the President had made an end, Master Coke, that was Solicitor
for the Commonwealth, standing with two others upon the King's right
hand, offered to speak. But the King, having a staff in his hand, laid
it lightly upon his shoulder, as if he would bid him stay. This he did
twice, and the second time the gold head of the staff dropped off, at
which it was noted by some that were in the Court that the King
manifestly changed colour.

Then the President ordered Master Solicitor to proceed, who said: "My
Lord, I am come to charge Charles Stuart, King of England, in the name
of the Commonwealth, and desire that the charge may be read," and so
gave it to the Clerk. Thereat the King cried, "Hold;" nevertheless,
the Clerk continuing to read, he sat down and so remained silent, till
about the end, when he smiled, but looking very stern and severe. When
the hearing was ended, the President said:

"Sir, the Court expects that you will make an answer to this charge."

Thereat the King answered: "I would know by what authority I am
brought hither?"

PRESIDENT: "By authority of the people of England, whose elected King
you are."

THE KING: "The kingdom of England has never been elective, but
hereditary for near these two thousand years. I stand here more for
the liberty of my people than do my pretended judges."

PRESIDENT: "'Tis well known how you have misused this trust. The Court
must proceed."

THE KING: "I do not come as submitting to this Court. I was brought
here by force. I see no House of Lords here; nor can there be a
Parliament without a King."

Many times did the President command him to answer, and he refused,
saying that he should betray his trust in so doing. Thereupon he was
remanded to St. James' Palace. As he went he pointed to the sword,
which, with the mace, lay upon the table, and said, "I fear not that."
There was a great shout as he walked down the Hall: "God save the
King," and another, but not so loud, of "Justice, justice!" It is
tedious to tell all that passed between the President and the King on
the days following. Indeed, it was ever the same, the President
desiring that the King should plead, and affirming that no prisoner
could be suffered to deny the authority of the Court by which he was
tried, and the King, on the other hand, being resolute to deny that he
could be lawfully judged by them that pretended to do so. And this
contention endured throughout three days. All that were present noted
that the King, who commonly had a certain hesitancy in his speech, now
spake with as much freedom as could be desired. At the last the
President said:

"Sir, this is the third time that you have publicly disowned this
Court, and put an affront upon it; how far you have preserved the
privileges of the people, your actions have spoken it; and truly, Sir,
men's intentions ought to be known by their actions; you have written
your meaning in bloody characters throughout the whole kingdom. But,
Sir, you understand the pleasure of the Court. Clerk, record the
default; and, gentlemen, you that took charge of the prisoner, take
him back again."

THE KING: "I will say this one word more to you; if it were my own
particular, I would not say any more, nor interrupt you."

PRESIDENT: "Sir, you have heard the pleasure of the Court, and you are
(notwithstanding you will not understand it) to find that you are
before a court of justice."

On the fifth day of the trial, so called, and on the day following,
the Court sat not in Westminster Hall, as before, but in the Painted
Chamber, where they heard witnesses. John Ellgood and I were not
present, access to the chamber not being so ready as to the Hall, but
we heard that witnesses, two score and more in number, of all ranks
and conditions, were examined, and testified to certain acts of war on
the part of the King, beginning with the setting up of his standard at
Nottingham, and proceeding through all parts of the late war. All
this, methinks, was matter of common notoriety, and might conveniently
have been spared.

On the seventh day of the trial, being the twenty-seventh of January,
we were betimes in the Hall, which was crowded beyond all that had
been before, all being now convinced that this great tragedy was
drawing to an end. The President was in scarlet, having before been
habited in black. His Majesty came in, covered as before, whereat some
of the soldiers that were set on guard cried, "Justice! Execution!" He
said:

"I desire a word to be heard, and I hope I shall give no occasion of
interruption."

PRESIDENT: "You may answer in your time. Hear the Court first."

THE KING: "I desire to be heard, and 'tis only a word. A hasty
judgment is not so soon recalled."

PRESIDENT: "You shall be heard before judgment is given."

  [Illustration: _Trial of the King._]

The President then declared that the Court, having considered the
crimes laid to the charge of the prisoner, and found them to be
proved, were agreed upon a sentence to be pronounced against him. But
in respect that he doth desire to be heard before sentence be read and
pronounced, the Court had resolved that they will hear him. Then,
turning to the King, he said, "If that which you say be to question
the Court's jurisdiction, you shall not be heard in it. But if you
have anything to say in defence of the thing charged, the Court has
given me a command to let you know they will hear you."

THE KING: "This many a day all things have been taken away from me,
but that which is dearer to me than my life, which is my conscience
and my honour. If I had respect to my life more than the peace of the
kingdom, and the liberty of the subject, certainly I should have made
a particular defence for myself."

After this he went on to ask that he might be permitted to say
something to the Lords and Commons assembled in the Painted Chamber,
to whom, he said, he had somewhat of no small import to say.

The Court withdrew to consider this, but returning in half-an-hour's
time, the President said, "'Tis an excellent maxim in law 'Nulli
negabimus, nulli vendemus, nulli deferemus justitiam.' There must be
no more delay with you, Sir. We are now to proceed to sentence and
judgment."

After more disputing of the same sort the President commanded silence.
Which done, the Clerk read the sentence, which was: "Whereas the
Commons of England have appointed a Court for the trial of Charles
Stuart, King of England, and whereas a charge of high treason and
other crimes was read, the Court doth adjudge that the said Charles
Stuart, as a tyrant, traitor, murderer, and a public enemy, shall be
put to death by the severing of his head from his body."

All the Court stood up to signify their assent.

THE KING: "Will you hear me a word, Sir?"

PRESIDENT: "Sir, you are not to be heard after sentence."

KING: "No, Sir?"

PRESIDENT: "No, Sir; by your favour, Sir. Guard, withdraw your
prisoner."

KING: "By your favour, Sir, hold the sentence."

But when nothing availed he said: "I am not suffered to speak. Expect
what justice other people will have."

While His Majesty was being taken away by the guards, as he passed
down the stairs, the soldiers scoffed at him, casting the smoke of
their tobacco, which was very distasteful unto him, and blowing their
pipes in his way; and as he passed there were some who cried,
"Justice, justice!" to whom he said, "Poor soldiers, for a piece of
money they would do so for their commanders." But all the soldiers,
though they had the Parliament's pay, were not so minded; for one of
them cried--but whether this day or another I know not--"God bless the
King," and when his officer struck him with a cane, the King said,
"Methinks the punishment is greater than the offence."



CHAPTER XIX.

OF THE KING'S DEATH.


The sentence of death on the King I had looked for, but that it would
indeed be executed I could not believe. But when I said so much to
John Ellgood I found that he thought otherwise.

"Philip," said he, "I have seen more of these men than you. Of those
who stood in arms against the King many desire nothing more than to
protect the liberties of this realm against him, or, if you would
rather have it so, against his ill-counsellors. These at the first
prevailed; but 'tis otherwise now. In civil troubles the more violent
ever gain the upper hand. What befell the more moderate sort we saw
with our own eyes when Colonel Pride and his men laid violent hands
upon some fifty members of the House of Commons. They that now bear
rule, of whom the Lieutenant-General Cromwell is the chief, are
resolved to have no truce with kingship. Whether they seek the good of
their country or their own aggrandisement I know not, but so it is.
And they know full well that after the King's death, of truce or peace
there can be no more talk. On this, therefore, they are steadfastly
resolved."

"But the kings," I said, "the kings of France and Spain, will they
suffer it?"

"I doubt," answered he, "whether they would so much as stir a finger
to hinder it. But whether they would or no, there will be no time or
space of action. Be sure that execution will follow sentence right
speedily."

And so indeed it was. Before three days had passed since the
pronouncing of the sentence, 'twas all finished. Of the kings, too,
John Ellgood spake but too truly. Their ambassadors said not a word to
hinder the King's death. Indeed, the only word of remonstrance came,
not from a king, but from a republic, the States of the Dutch being,
by their envoy, very earnest with the Parliament that they should not
take the King's life.

As for our hopes of delivering His Majesty by force of arms or
stratagem, they were at an end, so closely and strongly was the King
guarded. Yet were we loath to depart, hoping even against hope to the
very end that the people, ay, and the very soldiers, might rise
against this monstrous deed.

Of that which I shall now write down, part I heard from the lips of
Sir Thomas Herbert, who was gentleman of the body to the King, and
indeed had been so from his first surrender by the Scots, and partly
from a certain Doctor Farrer, a physician who stood very near to the
scaffold.

This is the narration of Sir Thomas Herbert:

"For awhile after the King came to London he dined publicly in the
Presence Chamber, and was served after the usual state--the carver,
server, cup-bearer, and gentleman-usher attending and doing their
offices--being given on the bended knee. But this was changed by
command of the generals, and thereafter the dishes were brought up by
soldiers; the cup was no longer given upon the knee. At first His
Majesty was much discomposed, saying that no king had ever wanted such
observance, and asking, 'Is there anything more contemptible than a
despised prince?' But his remedy was to restrict his diet to as few
dishes as possible, and to eat in private.

"Of the trial, if that mockery of justice may be so called, there is
no need for me to speak. You yourselves saw it. You would hear of His
Majesty's behaviour in private. On the day when sentence was
pronounced, in the evening, the King gave me a ring from his finger
('twas an emerald set between two diamonds), and bade me go with it to
a lady living in King Street, in Westminster (that I knew afterwards
to be the King's laundress), and give it to her without saying
anything. Being arrived at the lady's house I delivered her the ring.
She took me into a parlour and there left me, and in a short while
returned with a little cabinet that was closed with three seals. The
next day, after prayers, which the Bishop had daily with the King, His
Majesty broke the seals open and showed us what was contained in it;
there were diamonds and jewels, for the most part broken Georges and
Garters. 'You see,' said he, 'all the wealth now in my power to give
to my two children.'

"The next day, being the twenty-ninth day of January, came the
Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Gloucester her brother, to take
farewell of the King their father, and to ask his blessing. The
Princess, being the elder, was most sensible of her father's
condition, as appeared by her sorrowful look and excessive weeping;
and her little brother, seeing his sister weep, took the like
impression. The King took them both upon his knees, and gave them his
blessing, and admonished them of their duty to the Prince his
successor and to their other relations. Then he gave them all the
jewels, save the George that he wore, which was cut in an onyx with
great curiosity, and was set about with twenty fair diamonds, and the
like number on the reverse.

"That same day the Bishop of London preached before the King, taking
for his text, Romans ii. 16: '_Of that day when God shall judge the
secrets of men by Jesus Christ_;' and, after the sermon, continued
with the King till it was some hours past dark.

"After the Bishop was gone to his lodging, the King continued two
hours more in meditation and prayer. He then bade me sleep on a pallet
by his bedside. I took small rest, but the King slept four hours, and
awaking two hours before dawn opened his curtain to call me. And
perceiving that I was disturbed in my sleep, for there was a light
that burned all night, being a cake of wax set in a silver basin, he
called me and bade me rise. 'For,' said he, 'I will get up, having a
great work to do this day.' In a little while he said, 'This is my
second marriage day; I would be as trim to-day as may be, for before
night I hope to be espoused to my Lord.' He then appointed what
clothes he would wear, and said, 'Let me have a shirt on more than
ordinary, by reason that the season is so sharp as may probably make
me quake. I would not have men think it fear. I fear not death. I
bless God I am prepared.'

"Then I besought the King's pardon if I had been negligent in my
service. After this the King delivered me his Bible, in the margin of
which he had written annotations, and charged me to give it to the
Prince. He also commanded me to give to the Duke of York his large
ring sundial of silver, a jewel which he had much prized; and he gave
commandment about sundry books to be given to diverse persons.

"After this I withdrew, and the King was for about an hour in private
with the Bishop. The Bishop read to him, after prayers, the
twenty-seventh chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel, which relates the
passion of our Saviour. The King asked the Bishop if he had made
choice of that chapter as being applicable to his present condition.
The Bishop answered, 'May it please your gracious Majesty, it is the
proper lesson for the day;' whereupon the King was much affected.

"After this Colonel Hacker knocked at the door, and, coming in, said
in a trembling manner, ''Tis time to go to Whitehall, when your
Majesty may have some further time to rest.' For a short while the
King was private, afterwards he took the Bishop by the hand and said,
'Let us go;' and when he had passed through the garden into the park,
he took from my hand a little silver clock, which he had bidden me
carry, and gave it to me to keep in memory of him.

"There were several companies of horse and foot in the park, making a
guard on either side as the King passed; and there was also a guard of
halberdiers, some going before, and some following after; and the
drums beat, making such a noise that one could hardly hear what
another spoke.

"Being come to Whitehall the King passed into his bedchamber; and
after prayer he bade me bring him some bread and wine, which being
brought, the King broke the manchet and ate a mouthful of it, and
drank a glassful of claret wine. After that I saw the King no more,
for I could not bear to look upon the violence they would offer him
upon the scaffold."


Here follows what I heard from Master Farrer:--

"The King seeing that his voice could not reach the people, spake what
was in his mind to the gentlemen upon the scaffold, justifying himself
for all that he had done, save for consenting to the death of my Lord
Strafford, and forgiving his enemies. While he was speaking one of the
gentlemen touched the edge of the axe, thereupon the King said, 'Hurt
not the axe; that may hurt me.'

"The Bishop asked him that, for the world's satisfaction, he would say
something of his affection for religion. The King said, 'I die a
Christian according to the profession of the Church of England, as I
found it left me by my father.' Then, turning to Colonel Hacker, he
said, 'Take care that they do not put me to pain.' Also to a gentleman
that came near the axe he said twice, with much earnestness, 'Touch
not the axe.' Then, speaking to the executioner, he said, 'I shall say
but very short prayers, and after that thrust out my hands.'

"The Bishop said, 'There is but one stage more. This stage is
turbulent and troublesome, but you may consider it will carry you a
very great way; it will carry you from earth to Heaven.'

"Then the King said, 'I go from a corruptible crown to an
incorruptible, where no disturbance can be.'

"Then he took off his cloak and his George, giving his George to the
Bishop, and said at the same time, 'Remember!' and this done, laid his
head upon the block; and I noted that his eye was as quick and lively
as ever I have seen it."

  [Illustration: _Execution of King Charles I._]

But what I myself saw and heard may be told in few words. The scaffold
had been made against the wall of the Palace of Whitehall, by the
banqueting chamber, and the King, coming through one of the windows of
this same chamber, stepped upon it. It was hung about with black, and
in the midst was a block and an axe, and by the block stood two men
that had their faces covered with masks. A great number of soldiers
stood about the scaffold, so that the people could not come near it;
but the street and the tops of the houses and the windows were filled
with such a multitude of people as I should think had scarcely before
been gathered together. I could see the King speaking to them that
were on the scaffold, and to the man that had the axe, and to the
Bishop that stood by his side. After that I could see that he put his
hair under his cap, for he had put a night-cap on his head, the
headsman and the Bishop helping him. Then he knelt down, and laid his
head upon the block. This done, there was silence for the space of
about a minute, and the King stretched out his hands. Thereupon the
headsman let fall the axe, which with one blow divided the head from
the body. Then the other man that was masked took up the head by the
hair, and cried out in a loud voice, "This is the head of a traitor!"
to which all the people answered with such a dismal groan as was never
heard before.



CHAPTER XX.

OF MATTERS AT ENSTONE.


How we felt, seeing the axe fall upon that sacred head, I shall not
seek to write. We stood, as it were, astonished, looking, it may be,
for vengeance to fall from Heaven on the city that had suffered such
things to be done in its midst. After a while, when the people were
now all dispersed, and the soldiers began to look as if they would
question them that still tarried, we went very sadly to our lodging,
and there debated between ourselves what it were best to do. Our
errand in London was now at an end; nor had we the desire to tarry
there any longer; and, indeed, so to do had imperilled our lives, or,
at the least, our liberty. For it was manifest that they who had slain
the King were determined to make an end of the business; and whom,
indeed, having done such a deed, were they like to spare? I say not
that they used their power with cruelty. 'Tis not so; rather they
showed more mercy than could have been reasonably looked for. Yet this
was afterwards to be proved; the danger for the present seemed
imminent.

On the fourth day of February, therefore, John Ellgood and I departed
from London, habited in Roundhead fashion for greater security of
travelling. But there was no watch kept on them that would leave
London, so we met with none to question us on our road. We travelled
on foot, a mode that suited the slenderness of our purses, and also
lent itself more readily to secrecy, for a man can hide himself when
he cannot hide his horse; and on the third day came to our journey's
end.

We found Dorothy and her husband in no little trouble; not yet,
indeed, dispossessed but almost daily expecting so to be. At supper,
Master Blagrove set forth to us how his affairs stood.

"I doubt," said he, "but that the end is well nigh come; and, indeed,
I marvel, not without thankfulness, that it has been delayed so long:

    '_Quem sors dierum cunque dabit lucro Appone_,'[11]

as the poet Horace has it. And, indeed, I have had many days that have
been denied to my neighbours. But for more I can, scarce hope. The
good knight, my patron, is in disgrace with the powers that be, and
can scarce keep himself out of prison, much less help his friends.
Therefore, I am looking every day for a summons, and can but pray for
God's grace to help me play valiantly a confessor's part."

          [11] "Reckon for gain whatever days Fate shall give thee."

And even while he was speaking his expectation was fulfilled, for
there came a loud knocking at the door, and soon after a message
brought into the parlour, which the little countrymaid could scarce
deliver for fear, that a constable would speak with the parson.

"Let him come in hither," quoth my brother, whereupon the constable
comes into the parlour. He was a rough fellow and given to some
insolence of speech, but now he was civil enough, partly, may be,
seeing he had to do with them that could presently chastise any
liberty of speech; and partly, I do believe, because he was ashamed to
show rudeness to so gracious a woman as was my sister Dorothy, and to
Master Blagrove that was honoured both for courtesy and learning
through the whole country side. He now delivered a brief to my
brother, excusing his coming as a matter of necessity, and so, having
first drunk a cup of ale to our health, which he did though 'twas
against his principles, presently departed.

The brief summoned my brother to appear the day following at ten of
the clock in the forenoon, at a tavern in Enstone, before certain
Commissioners therein named, there to answer sundry charges made
against his doctrine and manner of life. We had much talk about the
matter, sitting up together till near upon midnight, but there was
small comfort to be got concerning it, and I could see that my brother
had no hope of a good ending.

The next day when he came back from the sitting of the Court (which
was not till about three of the clock in the afternoon), he seemed
somewhat more cheerful of aspect; but Dorothy crying to him, "Things,
then, are better than you looked for," he said, "Nay, sweet love, 'tis
only that I am easier in my mind, as a man will be, after long
battling for life, when sentence has been pronounced, even though it
be sentence of death. But hear my tale. As for the goodly list of
Commissioners, 'twas, as I expected, all moonshine. There was not
present one gentleman of birth and education. Timothy Fenn, the
miller, whom they had chosen for their president, was as good a man as
any; and Timothy, as you know, though passably honest, is not a
shining light either for wit or knowledge. Others were rude fellows
that could scarce put their names to a paper, and one or two had been
to my knowledge in time past men of evil life; what they are I know
not, but they were, I noted, especially bitter against me. But now for
their doings. First, they examined me concerning doctrine. Were I to
tell you what they said, what questions they asked, and in what way
they received my answers, 'twould sound as a foolish jest. Let it
suffice to say that there was not one that knew a word of Greek or
even of Latin. When I quoted a few words of this last they took it as
an affront, though it was but a common saw that every lawyer, and many
a one that is no lawyer, has on the tip of his tongue. When I offered
to prove that I had taught nothing but what was agreeable to Holy
Scripture and the Fathers, they stopped me peremptorily. 'As for the
Fathers, we desire to hear nothing of such papistical writers; but as
for Scripture it is not you, but we that must be judges of what agrees
thereto.' But these questions kept them but a little while; and,
indeed, they were not at their ease in them.

"After this they proceeded to examine me about certain things in my
life and conversation. I marvelled what charges would be brought
against me, for, though I am not blameless, God knows, yet I have
always walked soberly and discreetly, even denying myself in what I
judged to be lawful recreations that I might not give offence to any;
for I know that in these times any stick is good enough to beat a dog
withal, especially if the dog be a poor parson.

"'We are credibly informed,' says Master President, 'that you have
been seen coursing hares on the Sabbath day. What say you to this?'

"For a while I could say nothing, having no remembrance of anything
that could be made to bear such a colour; but at the last I remembered
something that might by great malice and ingenuity be so interpreted.
My brother going abroad after Naseby fight, gave me a greyhound to
keep, and though I cared not much for the beast, this kind of dog
having but little in him of wit or of affection, I received him for
his master's sake. Well, walking abroad one Sunday evening, for the
poor creature had been kept at home for some days by ill-weather, a
hare chanced to cross my path, which the dog, almost before I could
speak his name, had caught and killed. I thought that none had been
offended in the matter, save, may be, my patron, and his pardon I had,
when I confessed my offence to him. Master President looked mighty
grave when I told my story, and said that the Court would consider it.

"After this breaks in another Commissioner with, 'We have been
informed, Master Parson, that you were seen to stand by a bonfire some
three years since.'

"''Tis true,' said I, 'I do remember hearing a great shouting in the
village; I went forth and found three parts, as I should guess, of my
parishioners assembled about a bonfire, but I had no other concern
with it.'

"'Know you not,' said the Commissioner, 'that there is something
superstitious and papistical about bonfires?'

"'This, at the least,' said I, 'was not papistical, for 'twas lighted
on the fifth of November, and the people had burned--for so I heard,
being myself too late to see it--the effigies of the Pope of Rome.'

"Then another Commissioner had his turn at me. 'We have heard that you
suffer your children to play at cards for pins. Is this so?'

"'Am I bound,' said I, 'to answer any question to my own damage?' (For
I was minded to have a little sport with them.)

"'We shall know how to interpret your silence,' says Master President.

"'Nay, then,' said I, 'if I must answer, I will. Children I have not,
but one child only, a babe of six months only, who, I warrant you, so
careful a mother has he--has never so much as had a pin in his
fingers. And as for cards, he knows no more of such things than you
yourself, Master Commissioner,' at which speech he reddened, having
been not so long since, till he found his account in other ways, a
noted card player and gamester. To make a long matter short, they made
out no case against me, for all that they brought every
good-for-nothing fellow in the whole country side to give testimony
against me. But I build not on this; I know right well that sentence
was passed on me before ever I came into court."

And so indeed it turned out. Two days after my brother was summoned by
the Commissioners to appear before them, and received sentence of
deprivation, but to have as a _solatium_ one fifth part of the
proceeds of the living. This fifth part, I should here say, he never
received, for the intruding minister alleged that he had some temporal
means of his own, and that he had but one child (which was true, but
scarce relevant, seeing that one child must eat as well as two), and
that he himself could scarce get anything of tithes; which also I
believe, for the farmers, who love not paying tithes at any time, were
more especially set against them when they were to be received by the
intruding minister.

My brother had angered some of the Commissioners by the freedom of his
answering, and receiving warning that he had best be absent when the
sentence was executed, went into hiding in a neighbour's house. The
next day comes the constable, with some soldiers at his back, with a
warrant to apprehend his person, and was greatly enraged when he found
that the bird was flown. He and his fellows had at the best but little
civility in them, and this they had done their best to banish by too
plentiful cups, and indeed they behaved themselves more like savages
than Christian men. They searched the house through for my brother,
the constable running his sword two or three times through the bed
from which my sister was but newly risen (for they came before seven
o'clock in the forenoon), pretending that he might be there hidden.
All the stores in the house they wasted most cruelly, spoiling that
which they could not carry away. Indeed, they were bent on insult
rather than plunder. Thus the troopers pulled the bridles off their
horses, and whipped them round the garden to tread all under foot.
After that they brake open the barn door and turned them into the
sacks of corn to fill their bellies. Indeed, they would have burned
the barn and all the hay and corn, but that the neighbours hindered
them, fearing the fire for their own stack-yards. Nor would these
suffer them to profane the church, which they would have done under
cover of destroying papistical ornaments. Verily, I know not what
these savages would have left undone but for the singular affection
which the people had for my brother, who, indeed, had well discharged
his priest's office among them since his coming into the parish,
ministering without wearying both to their souls and bodies. Many of
his brethren suffered worse things than he, especially in the
cruelties that were wrought upon their wives and children, for these
poor creatures were ofttimes driven out of their homes in the very
depth and severity of winter, and forced to find such shelter as they
could in barns and stables, and to live upon any broken victuals which
they could beg or pick up, robbing the very swine. I know that the
clergy which suffered such things were not blameless. Some had borne
themselves haughtily and wantonly in the day of their prosperity, as
lords of God's heritage rather than as shepherds of the flock; and
some had been careless livers, or worse, tippling at ale-houses, or
wandering about the country to bull-baiting, and village feasts, and
church ales, where they brought the name of the Church into great
disrepute. That these were rightly dispossessed I deny not. Such men
are not worthy to labour in the garden of the Lord. But many pious men
also suffered for nought else than that they kept that which they had
vowed and promised. And when they who are now trodden under foot shall
get the upper hand, as I doubt not they will--before we that are now
young are come to middle-age--they, I fear me, will use the same
cruelty. So does wrong beget wrong, and hatreds are stored up for the
time to come that many generations shall not exhaust. I pray God that
He may give my countrymen a better mind.



CHAPTER XXI.

OF MY ADVENTURES AT SEA.


It was but some three weeks after these things that my dear mother
died. I would not lay her death to the door even of these cruel men,
for 'tis certain that she had declined from the very beginning of her
widowhood; but I cannot doubt that her end was hastened by grief and
trouble. Notwithstanding, she passed away in great peace and comfort,
having as lively a faith in the world to come--and in her meeting
again with those whom in this world she had lost--as was ever seen in
Christian woman. After her death, which took place in the house of the
worthy neighbour who had given shelter to my brother's family at the
first, my sister and her child took up their dwelling with John
Vickers, which worthy man, whose kindness and truth I cannot
sufficiently praise, most hospitably entertained her. Notwithstanding,
she judged it best for her greater safety from molestation to lay
aside her estate as a gentlewoman and to labour with her hands in the
house and dairy. She told me afterwards that the good John was much
troubled and distressed at her so humbling herself, and would doff his
cap and show other courtesy to her which did contrast very strangely
with her lowly dress, till by slow degrees and with much unwillingness
he learnt to behave himself in a more suitable fashion.

Meanwhile, John Ellgood, having departed for his home, where his
father much needed his presence, Master Blagrove and I set out for
London, desiring there to settle some urgent affairs. He had some
small property, for which he was desirous to make composition, and I
was minded to do the same for my father's estate, if this could by any
means be contrived. And here we met with an adventure which shall now
be told.

We went on a certain afternoon to the Strand, purposing to visit my
cousin Master Rushworth, of whom I have spoken before. We found him
but half recovered of a sickness, but hearty in spirit, and as kind as
ever he was. Indeed, I marvelled a little at the praises which he and
his wife heaped upon me. If they were to be believed, there had never
been so well-behaved and admirable a boy. I did not remember myself to
have possessed so many virtues, and, indeed, could bring to mind not a
few reproofs which these good people had administered to me for sundry
misdoings, ay, and prophecies that, unless I amended my ways, I should
bring shame on all my kindred. Now this was all forgotten, and the
good only remembered, a fault of memory, doubtless, but one which may
easily be pardoned.

We stayed somewhat late with Master Rushworth over a flask of canary,
which he would have replenished again and again had we suffered it.
'Twas ten of the clock, or thereabouts, when we set out for our
lodging, which was in Westminster, and the street was almost deserted.
We had scarce walked a hundred yards westward when there ran out upon
us a company of fellows attired as sailors. I was unarmed save for a
stout staff which I had in my hand, and my brother had not even so
much; and we were also taken unawares, so that I had but time to
strike one blow for my liberty. Even so, being very fleet of foot, I
might have escaped, but could not in honour leave my companion who was
an older man, and of a student's habit, which, as all know, is
ill-fitted for bodily exercise. Hence the fellows laid hold upon us
without much difficulty, and clapping handcuffs upon our hands, and
gags in our mouths, had us at their mercy. They then carried us to a
wherry, and so conveyed us to a ship which lay moored near the farther
bank of the river, about half-a-mile below London Bridge. Being there
arrived, and hoisted on to the deck, they took the gags from our
mouths and lowered us into the hold. That we had company even in this
place was easy to be told, for we heard the snoring of sleepers, and
some round oaths also from someone, over whom, not knowing where we
were, we stumbled; but how many they were and of what sort, we knew
not, it being pitch dark. Thus we disposed ourselves as best we could,
and, after the manner of St. Paul and his shipmates, "wished for the
morning." When it was light, or as much light as the nature of the
place permitted, and we could examine our company, we were not
over-well pleased. There were some thirty in all, as villainous a set
of jail-birds, the most of them, as ever was gathered together. Two or
three, indeed, were as we afterwards learned, of a more honest sort,
but the rest, it was manifest, were the very off-scouring of the
prisons. Says one of them, a tall, stout fellow, that seemed to be a
sort of captain among them:

"Come, friends, tell us how we came to have the honour of your
company. Was it for lifting a purse, or breaking into a house, or
cracking a man's skull?"

Before I could answer he caught sight of my brother's clergyman's
habit, and stirring with his foot one of the company that lay with his
face to the wall, said:

"Parson, here is one of thy cloth; up and bid him welcome to this
meeting of good fellows."

The man raised himself, and turned his face to us, a more wretched
countenance than ever I had seen before.

"I could not have believed," he said, "that there was anyone in the
world so wretched as I; yet, to judge from your habit, you are my
fellow in misery. I have been sent down into this hell upon earth for
no other offence save that I am a priest of the Church of England."

He then went on to tell us his history. He had, like thousands of
others, been dispossessed of his living, and this with such
circumstances of cruelty as cost him the life of his wife, who at the
time of his expulsion was lain-in but a few days before of her first
child. Afterwards, coming to London to see if he could make a
livelihood by teaching, he had been kidnapped, as we had been.

"But what," I inquired of him, "will they do with us?"

"We are bound," said he, "for the plantations. 'Tis a monstrous thing
that innocent men should be so dealt with. I do not say, for I would
not be unjust for all my misery, that they who are in authority know
of these doings. I judge that they do not. But they are careless; they
make no inquiry. It matters not to them if there be some score of
malignants the less to trouble them with their complaints, or to plot
against them; so much the better. Hence the villains who carry on this
business are emboldened to lay their hands upon us. Their occupation
is to find labourers for the plantations in the Indies; and for each
of these that they bring out they receive so many pounds sterling; how
many I know not, but I take it that it is a considerable sum. They
seek their recruits first in the jails. When these are overcrowded,
and they never were crowded more than now, all England being overrun
with disbanded soldiers, they find a plentiful supply. The
magistrates, partly for gain, and partly for humanity's sake, hand
over to them some that had else rotted in prison or stretched the
hangman's rope, but if the tale be short, then they must make it up
elsewhere; nor do they care at all how they come by their
merchandise."

This was dismal hearing, and would have thrown us into despair had we
had more leisure to think of it. As it was, we were fully occupied
with the miseries of our present position. A more deplorable condition
than ours it was scarce possible to conceive. For food we had biscuit,
mouldy and full of weevils, and had it been more eatable, insufficient
in quantity. Salted beef was also given to us, harder than ever I
thought beef could be. Of water we had a sufficient quantity, a great
barrel being set in the hold, over which one of the company, deputed
to that office by his fellows, kept guard. This was the chief
belightening of our lot. In another respect, also, its hardship was
somewhat mitigated. At the first we suffered much from the hideousness
of the oaths and blasphemy and foul language of every kind which we
heard from our companions. Having borne this for a day I resolved
within myself to see whether I could not mend it. With this purpose in
view I said to the captain, as I may call him, "I like not this
talking. Will you please to change it?"

"Who are you," said he, "that pretend to order our behaviour? As you
like it not, you can depart whither you will or can."

"Captain," said I, for so we called him, though he had never been more
than a captain of thieves, "I would choose, if it may be, to be your
friend rather than your foe. And you too, if you are wise, will choose
the same. But I make this condition of peace, that there be no foul
language or oaths; which in this narrow space, reach to ears for which
doubtless they are not intended."

At this one of the captain's friends, a fellow of the sort that love
always to play jackal to a lion, brake rudely in upon me with, "I know
not whether your ears be daintier than other men's; but certainly they
are longer."

I had resolved to have the matter out, if need were, with the captain
himself, and did not doubt but that, being expert in manly exercises,
and sound in health and wind, I should get the better of him.
Nevertheless I would willingly have avoided such a conflict, knowing
that it might leave ill-blood behind. So when this rude fellow
interrupted me I saw an occasion of showing my strength which might
serve my purpose better than giving the captain actual experience of
it. Turning, therefore, upon the fellow I caught him by the collar of
his coat, and held him out for some space of time at arm's length,
which, as all who have tried such an action know, is no easy matter.
When I put the man down, the captain stretched out his hand to me and
said:

"You are right, good sir, we will be friends rather than foes, and you
shall have your way in this matter of talking. And hark ye, my
friends," he said turning to the others; "he that speaks an ill word
hereafter in this place must reckon with me."

This habit of foul speaking, like other ill habits, is not broken in a
day, and the captain himself, who indeed had been wont to garnish his
speech with as strange a variety of oaths as ever were heard from
mortal tongue, was a frequent offender. But he was not, therefore, the
less severe upon others; and before long there was a visible
amendment. Then, again, we two and the two or three others of the
better sort of whom I have already written, used our best endeavours
to put something more edifying in the place of the thieves' stories
with which these poor wretches were accustomed to entertain each
other. They were, as may be readily supposed, wholly ignorant of all
that it concerned them as Englishmen to know of the history of this
realm; of gallant deeds that have been done by our countrymen on sea
and land they had not so much as heard. Yet they listened eagerly
enough to stories of such things, and were never wearied of hearing
the tale of King Alfred fighting against the Danes, and of Harold, at
whose defeat by the Conqueror they murmured loudly, and of the Black
Prince at Cressy and Poictiers. With such narratives we kept them
quiet and orderly, and my brother in particular, who had a most
pleasant voice, gained such a mastery over them that when he proposed
that they should say a few prayers with him both morning and evening,
there was not a man to say him "Nay," and indeed at the end of a
week's time he had a most respectful congregation.

How long we remained in this condition I cannot exactly say, for night
and day were scarce to be distinguished in that place; but I consider
it to have been as much as six weeks. That we were journeying south we
knew from the heat, which had much increased so that the place was
scarce endurable. We had indeed besought the men that brought us our
provisions (which they lowered from above) that they would give us
some more air, but had besought in vain, and were even thinking of
getting by force what was then cruelly denied, when there happened
that which made our schemes superfluous.

One night the wind began to rise (hitherto we had had extraordinary
fine weather), and increased so much that we were tossed about in a
most dangerous fashion. The seams of the ship also began to open, and
to let in water, so that our condition became almost intolerable. The
next day the hatches were opened, as they had never been opened before
since our coming down on board, and a ladder was let down into the
hold. "Come," cried one from above, "unless you would die like rats in
a hole." We needed no second bidding, and indeed for the last two
hours the water had been increasing upon us in most threatening
fashion. No sooner had we reached the deck than we saw that the ship
was lower in the water than promised well for her safety. And, indeed,
what with the lowering sky and the waves, that were like mountains on
every side of us, the prospect was gloomy, and it seemed that we had
recovered our liberty only that we might perish. Nevertheless, we
thought it better to die in the open air and in the light, even as
Ajax the Greater prays to Jupiter, "Slay me, so it be in the light."
Says the man that had let down the ladder, whom we now found to be the
mate, "Come, my friends, if you would see land again; set your hands
to the pumps." This we did with a good will and with such strength as
was still left us by our imprisonment and scanty diet. For a time we
lost rather than gained, and it seemed as if our days were numbered;
but as it grew towards evening, the wind abated and the sea fell, so
that it brake not over the ship as before. By good fortune also the
carpenter discovered the principal leak and repaired it, so that about
an hour after sunset, by which time indeed we were well nigh spent
with labour, we had respite from pumping, and ate the supper which the
mate had caused to be prepared for us. 'Twas no very luxurious
banquet, but 'twas royal fare to us, and we feasted with as good an
appetite as ever men had in this world. While we sat at meal the mate
told us what had happened.

"We had, you must know," he said, "but one boat, and that would
contain but two parts of the crew. Well, when it appeared this morning
that the ship could hardly swim much longer, and there seemed no sign
of the weather abating, the captain contrived that the carpenter and I
and three more of us should go below, if we might chance to find any
of the leaks. And while we were gone, he and the others lowered the
boat, which was already fitted and provisioned, and so departed. A
villain I knew him to be, but had not thought him capable of such
wickedness. But I reckon that he has made a mistake, for all his
cunning. I had ten times sooner be here, things being as they are,
than in the boat with him."

And indeed the mate was right, for the captain and the rest of the
crew were never heard of more.

The next day the sea was as calm as though it were a pond, and the sky
without a cloud. I asked the mate whereabouts, in his judgment, we
were. "God only knows," he said. "The Captain took the reckoning, and
he has the instruments with him, for I cannot find them. But I
remember him to have said the day before the storm that we were about
four hundred miles from our journey's end. But I reckon that we must
now be more than that, the wind for the last day having blown very
strongly from the west."

"What then," said I, "would you have us do?"

"I think that we had best sail westward, for, even if we have been
driven back two hundred miles or more, the nearest land must still lie
in that quarter. We will rig up a jury mast" (for both the ship's
masts had been lost in the storm), "and sail as best we may; but I
must confess that my great hope is in falling in with some ship that
may help us."

But we were not yet past all our troubles. That rascal, whom I have
called the "captain," and some of his fellows, having found where the
spirits were kept, brake open the place, and helped themselves to the
liquor. Inflamed by drinking, they conceived the plan (first hatched,
I believe, in the brain of the fellow with whom I had the passage of
arms before described) of making themselves masters of the ship and
taking to the trade of buccaneers or pirates, between whom, I take it,
there is no great distinction. Accordingly they seize the mate in his
bed, to which, after I know not how many days' toil and watching, he
had betaken himself for a few hours' rest, bring over the remainder of
the crew to their side by threats and promises, and clap those of the
company whom they had no hope of persuading into the hold again.

I must confess that at this ill turn of fortune I began to despair,
but found comfort where I had least expected it. For now the poor
parson, of whose doleful countenance I have before written, plays the
part of a St. Paul.

"Be of good cheer," says he, "for I am persuaded that He who has
helped us so far will not now desert us. I was as downcast as you now
are; and God sent you to cheer me up. Let me do the same office now
for you, for I have learnt that to despair is nothing less than a sin
against God."

And sure enough the good man was in the right. We had not been in our
prison more than three or four hours when we overheard a loud noise as
of talking and tramping of feet overhead, and not long after, to our
great joy, saw the hatches thrown open, and were released from our
duress. What had happened may be briefly told.

The mutineers had scarce made themselves masters of the ship when
there hove in sight a strange sail, which, by great good fortune, or,
I should rather say, by God's kind providence, was a Dutch man-of-war.
She was heading right for us, and the villains, having but a poor
pretence of mast and sail, had no chance of escape. The Dutchman
seeing a vessel in distress, as was evident from our appearance, sends
one of his officers on board. The villains speak him fair, and tell a
plausible tale, which, but for the carpenter, might have deceived him.
But the carpenter, who had given in to the mutineers only for fear of
his life, whispers in the officer's ear that he had best inquire
further. And so the whole truth comes out.

The mutineers, having some bold fellows among them, would, I doubt
not, have made a fight for the mastery, but were so ill-armed that
they durst not venture. To make my story short, when the Dutch captain
came on board and had heard how matters stood, he came to this
conclusion.

"The ship, which was but a rotten craft before, and is now damaged by
the storm beyond repair, I shall take leave to scuttle. As for the
villains they would but meet with their proper deserts were I to leave
them to sink with her, or hang them from my yard-arm. But I care not
to have their blood upon my soul. Yet I should be doing but an
ill-turn to mankind were I to take them back to Europe. It seems to
me, therefore, the best course to leave them on some uninhabited
island, of which there is more than one in these seas, where they may
earn their bread by tilling the soil, or, if it please them better,
cut each other's throats. As for you, gentlemen, I shall be happy to
give you a passage back to Holland, to which country I am now bound."

And this he did. Never was a more courteous host, or guests who were
better pleased with their entertainment. I had much talk with the good
man during the voyage, which, the wind being often light and baffling,
occupied near upon two months, and among other things related to him
the story of my life. And this, by his counsel, I have now written
down.



EPILOGUE.


ROTTERDAM, May 1st, 1660.

'Tis about eleven years since I wrote in this book of how I had been
with the King at Oxford, and of other things which grew out of the
same. And now, if anyone should desire to know how I and others of
whom mention has been made in this writing have since fared, I will in
a very few words here set it forth.

Being brought to Holland after my escape from the kidnappers, as
related in the chapter last written, and seeking some means of earning
my bread, I chanced to meet with a certain merchant of Rotterdam,
Richard Daunt by name, who, having satisfied himself that I was a man
of decent conversation and sufficient scholarship, would have me come
to him as a tutor to his sons. "And you shall find," he said, "others
of our nation at Rotterdam, who will gladly put their children in your
charge." To this I was willing enough to hearken, nor have I ever
repented that I did so, having found in Master Daunt and his fellows
at Rotterdam, as good friends as a man could desire to have.

About a year after my going to Rotterdam, the charge of minister to
the congregation of English merchants in that city fell vacant, by the
cession of Master Richard Chalfont, some time Fellow of Lincoln
College, by whose good word, many of the congregation also favouring,
I had from the Committee the promise of the succession, if only I
could obtain Holy Orders. This agreed well with what had always been
my desire, and I determined to seek Orders from some Bishop in
England, if only one could be found able and willing to give them; for
this, in the distress of the times, could not be with certainty
counted upon. I knew of none in England from whom I could get better
information and advice than Master Ellgood. To him, therefore, I
resolved to resort, not, it will readily be believed without the
thought present in my mind of seeing again my dear Cicely; for it had
been long understood that we were to be married so soon as I had
reasonable prospect of maintaining a wife. Master Ellgood behaved
himself most friendly to me. When I asked him about the obtaining of
Orders, he said:

"'Tis not impossible. My Lord of Oxford, or, to speak more agreeably
with the spirit of the times, Dr. Robert Skinner, has licence to give
them, or, I should rather say, having friends among them that are in
power, is winked at in so doing."

Hearing this, I expounded to the good man my hopes and plans, which he
encouraged, knowing that I had for a long time cherished this design.

"The charge at Rotterdam," said I, "is worth eighty pounds by the
year; and I can add as much more by the teaching of English boys in
that city, for which employment I shall have ample time. If then I can
satisfy the bishop of my fitness (of which I have a good hope), after
having received Orders from him, I will ask you to give me your
daughter Cicely in marriage."

"I like not," said he, "that a priest should marry, nor can I give my
consent that he should marry a daughter of mine."

'Twas as if a thunderbolt had fallen upon me when I heard him say
these words. Cicely, too, for she was present at our conference, grew
suddenly pale.

"Nay, my good sir," I said, "how can that be? Does not St. Paul say
that a bishop should be 'the husband of one wife'?"

"I am not so careless a student of holy Scripture," answered he, "as
to have overlooked that text. Yet, having studied Christian antiquity
with all the diligence that I could use, I could never find one
instance in which a priest (to which I take the word 'bishop' to be
here equal) has contracted matrimony. But that married men have been
ordained priests and deacons I know full well, and this, which indeed
is the custom of the Greek Church, I take to be the apostle's meaning.
So, then, if you are willing to marry my daughter before ordination, I
refuse not my consent, but rather give it, and my blessing with it,
most willingly."

At this, which the good man said not without a certain twinkle in his
eye, Cicely, if she had been pale before, grew red; but was not so
displeased but that when I reached out my hand to hers and took it she
suffered it to remain.

The next day I set out for Launton, where Dr. Skinner had his charge,
in which, indeed, he had not been disturbed. With him I sojourned
three days, and, after being closely examined in my knowledge of
Scripture and other matters with which a clergyman should have some
acquaintance, received from him a promise, which he put in writing for
the satisfaction of Master Ellgood, that he would presently admit me
both to deacon's and priest's orders.

In two weeks time after my return from the bishop my sweet Cicely and
I were married, first by a neighbouring magistrate (for so marriages
were performed at that time), and after by one of the dispossessed
clergy, that was chaplain to one of the gentry in those parts, Master
Ellgood saying that he was still, however worthy, under ecclesiastical
censure, and could perform no spiritual function. And again, in two
weeks more I was ordained deacon by Dr. Skinner, and, being of full
age, because it would not be convenient for me to come again to
England, priest on the day following. I thank my God that he gave me
His two best gifts, a good calling in life, and a good helpmeet.
Verily they are gifts of which I have not repented me for a moment,
though I must confess that I am scarce worthy of them.

My Cicely's father has lived with us since our marriage, busying
himself with books and with good works. John Ellgood has risen to a
high place in the Stadtholder's service.

My brother-in-law has for the last ten years been chaplain to my Lord
Brandon, and has found under his protection both safety and comfort.

It is now, I hear, a settled thing that monarchy shall be restored in
England. I could wish that there were a better report of the new King.
That he will avoid his father's faults, I doubt not, for 'tis his
settled resolve, as has often been heard from his mouth, to die King
of England, and he will not imperil his crown by obstinacy or
self-will. But he is lacking in his father's best virtues, and 'tis
much to be doubted whether England will get much advantage from his
coming back. But God can overrule all things for good, and 'twere lack
of faith to doubt that He will.


THE END.



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