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Mr. S. Now you should tell the story of Mrs. Lane.
Mrs. S. Well, then, the king's friends took him to the house of one Mr. Lane, who was a good old gentleman, and so much respected, that though his son was a colonel in the king's army, nobody meddled with them to do them any harm. And this good old gentleman, who loved his king, tried to find out where the king was, that he might get him to his house and hide him there. So the king and one of his friends, Lord Wilmot, went there, and they were kept secretly and were well lodged and fed. Here the king stayed many days. But every day he heard bow his enemies were seeking for him. And he saw the printed papers that were about, offering a reward of a thousand pounds to any one who would discover Charles Stuart-for they would not call him king; and saying that those who hid him should be punished with death.
W. How frightened he must have been for the good old gentleman !
Mrs. $. Yes; so he consulted with him, and his son the colonel and the daughter. And it was settled that the daughter should go to see a cousin of hers who lived near Bristol, where the king had many friends; and that the king should go with her and pretend to be her servant. In those days, and long after, ladies used to travel on horseback, sitting on the horse behind the man who rode it; for the roads then were not often good enough for carriages.
S. How droll that must have been !
Mr. S. In some parts of England, where the roads are very bad, they do so still, or did some years ago.
Mrs. S. So they travelled for some days, the colonel and Lord Wilmot riding at a distance in the fields, as if they were hunting, to watch over the king's safety. And when they came to any house at night, Mrs. Lane used to say that her servant had been ill with an ague; and so the king had a good bed and food given him, and was not obliged to shew himself much. In this way, at last they got to Mrs. Lane's cousin's house : her husband was a Mr. Norton. Mrs. Lane was called so, because it was the custom in those days for young unmarried ladies to be called Mistress, and not Miss. It was a holyday when they got to
Mr. Norton's; and they found a great many people on a bowling-green before the door.
Mr. S. Perhaps you know that a bowling-green is a large smooth place with turf, where people play at a game called bowls.
T. Oh yes, sir; there is one in the garden at the manorhouse. The bowls are kept in a summer-house-great round wooden things. I have seen the boys knocking them about.
Mrs. S. was a very common game in the days I am speaking of. So, as the king and Mrs. Lane rode up, the first man the king saw was a clergyman, a chaplain of his
Mr. S. The king's chaplains are clergymen appointed to read prayers in his chapel.
Mrs. S. He was sitting on the rails, looking at the men playing at bowls. I suppose the king was afraid of getting him into trouble by making himself known to bim. So he walked the horse into the stable, and thus got out of the way. When Mrs. Lane's cousin had welcomed her and taken her in-doors, she said that she had a good youth with her, who was ill; and she begged Mrs. Norton to let him have a room with a good fire in it, and that he might get to bed early; for he was not fit to be down stairs. They got him a comfortable room and a fire, and then they sent a boy to the stable to call William-for that was the name he went by—and shew him his room.
W. I wonder if he ever forgot to answer to his new name?
Mrs. S. At supper-time there was broth on the table; and Mrs. Lane filled a dish with it, and asked the butler who was waiting, “ to carry that to William, and tell him he should have some meat sent to him presently.” The butler took a napkin, and spoon, and bread, with the broth, into the young man's room, and spoke very kindly to him. And while he was eating, he looked hard at him for a time, and then fell on his knees before him, as was the custom to kings, and with tears in his eyes, said, "he was glad to see his majesty safe.”
S. Oh dear, he was found out !
Mrs. S. The king was afraid at first,-he tried to laugh, and asked “what he meant ?" The butler soon shewed
he knew him, having seen him when he was in the service of a former master. Then the king begged him not to tell any one.
And the man promised, and kept his word, waiting carefully on him all the time he stayed there.
Mr. s. The king's chaplain was at supper too, being related to Mrs. Norton; he asked Mrs. Lane about William, when he saw how careful she was to send up his supper. And as he understood a doctor's business, after supper, out of good-nature, and without telling any one, he went up to see William. The king was afraid of being known, and got inside the bed, that he might be farthest from the candle. And the chaplain (little thinking it was the king his master) sat down by him and felt his pulse, asking him about his ague. He answered in as few words as possible ; and then the chaplain left him, and told Mrs. Lane that he had seen William, and he would do very well.
Mrs. S. After this the king and Lord Wilmot left Mrs. Norton's, and at last got to the sea-side, near a place called Lyme, in Dorsetshire. Here the king's friends found the master of a ship who was willing to take them over to France; he was not told the king was one of them, but thought they were some of his friends. Every thing was settled; but just at last the man's wife took fright, thinking by his going off so suddenly he must be doing something of the kind; and being afraid he should get into trouble, she would not let him go out of the house till it was too late to start. This was a sad disappointment to Lord Wilmot, when he went out as soon as it was light and stayed till sunrise, but could see no ship. So they could only stay at the inn where they were.
F. Did they look out for another ship, ma'am ?
Mrs. S. They dared not stay any longer in that place ; for opposite to the inn was a chapel, and the person who preached there was a weaver, who had been a soldier.
S. What, not a clergyman?
Mr. S. In those days the clergymen were all turned out and ill-used, and any idle and ignorant person, who pleased the people, would get into the churches and preach
-the preaching was all they cared for, not the prayers. They would not hear our Church prayers.
Mrs. S. And this preacher was telling the people “ that he knew Charles Stuart was somewhere about that country;" and he was so wicked as to add, “that God Almighty would be well pleased with those who could find him out.” Just after this the travellers in the inn had sent for a blacksmith to shoe their horses. And he, wanting to find more work, began looking at the shoes of the horses belonging to the two strangers, the king and Lord Wilmot. He told the innkeeper "he was sure one of those horses had come a great way,-he had four shoes made in four different counties." And whether he guessed it or not, it was very true. So this came to the ears of the preacher, who sent for an officer to inquire after the men who rode those horses.
S. Oh, now they will be taken !
Mrs. S. One of them must be Charles Stuart, he said. But they were gone. After this, the king rode a great way, and at one time again took a woman behind him. At last he got near to a large town called Salisbury, where a widow-woman received him into her house, hid him, and waited upon him herself, while Lord Wilmot went to the sea-side to look for a ship. He provided a small vessel at Brighton in Sussex; and the king at last getting there, he went on board early, and, by God's blessing, landed safely in France. There he joined the queen his mother, and soon after all his faithful subjects heard he was safe.
Mr. S. It was many years after this that the people were tired of being without a king, and under false teachers, and were all glad to have the Church restored and the king brought back. And when he did return, there was such general joy, that he said, “he thought it must be his own fault that he had stayed away so long-every body seemed so much to wish him back again.”
S. Was King Charles II. as good as his father? I suppose that his troubles must have made him good.
Mrs. S. Ah, that is a sad part of the story. For when he came into his kingdom again, and all was quiet and happy about him, he did not lead a good life; he set a bad example himself, and encouraged very bad people about him, who made him worse. The latter part of his life is much more sad to read and think of than his father's.
T. Then I suppose the good people who brought him back were very sorry they had done it. Could not they have driven him away again?
Mr. S. They could not be sorry they had brought him back, because he was their lawful king, and it was their duty to serve him. And they could not have driven him
away, because God has not given us any right to drive away bad kings. We are to submit to the bad as well as the good, unless they tell us to do any thing wicked. Just as children must submit to bad fathers and mothers, though they must not do what is wicked at their command.
Ś. But for all that he was wicked, we have gone on giving thanks for his being restored again every year till now.
Mr. S. Yes, because the king's being brought back was a great blessing; for the Church was set up again too. And good men could now have all the services of the Church in order, and were safe from being disturbed in their religious duties, or having their churches ill-used and destroyed. The king, though he led a bad life himself, would not suffer this. And there were good bishops and clergymen to teach the people and do things in order. And the people living in the country, as we may be doing, were out of the way of the king and his bad companions. So they had all the good of the king's restoration, and none of the harm.
W. But how they must have wished he was like his father!
Mrs. S. They must have wished it, and no doubt prayed he might be. But every year that the 29th of May came round, and they had their own churches to go to, nobody daring to hinder them in their regular services, they must have felt most thankful that the king was restored, though they must have grieved that all his misfortunes had done him so little good.
F. It would have been better for him, if he had always been poor and in trouble.
Mr. s. Yes; that may be said of a great many people. We ought to be very glad we have not the temptations that kings and queens have. And we ought to pray for them with all our hearts, as St. Paul teaches us ; and the Church tells us how, in the prayers she puts into our mouths. Well, now you may go and gather your oakleaves, and bring me a sprig, and one for Mrs. Stanley
All together. Oh, we will get you an oak-apple, sir, if we possibly can. [The boys run off, and climb up the trees.]
F. I don't think any body could hide themselves in those trees now-the leaves are not thick enough.
Mrs. S. The 29th of May was twelve days later then ; and sometimes the leaves are thicker at this time of year.