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evil conscience, assisted, perhaps, by the tricks of some daring cavaliers, had frightened out of the Lodge, without much desire to come back again. Then the more formidable usurper, Cromwell, had granted a warrant of possession to Colonel Everard, who had only used it for the purpose of repossessing his uncle in the Lodge, and who kept watch in person at the little borough, to see that Sir Henry was not disturbed.”

What! Mistress Alice's Colonel ?” said the King—“that sounds alarming ;- for grant that he keeps the other fellows at bay, think you not, Master Albert, he will have an hundred errands a-day to bring him here in person ?”

“ Dr. Rochecliffe says," answered Lee, “ the treaty between Sir Henry and his nephew binds the latter not to approach the Lodge, unless invited ;

;- indeed, it was not without great difficulty, and strongly arguing the good consequences it might produce to your Majesty's cause, that my father could be prevailed on to occupy Woodstock at all: but be assured he will be in no hurry to send an invitation to the Colonel.”

" And be you assured that the Colonel will come without waiting for one,” said Charles. “ Folk cannot judge rightly where sisters are concerned—they are too familiar with the magnet to judge of its powers of attraction.—Everard will be here, as if drawn by cart-ropes—fetters, not to talk of promises, will not hold him—and then, methinks, we are in some danger.”

I hope not,” said Albert. “ In the first place, I know Markham is a slave to his word; besides, were any chance to bring him here, I think I could pass your Majesty upon him without difficulty, as Louis Kerneguy. Then, although my cousin and I have not been on good terms for these some years, I believe him incapable of betraying your Majesty ; and lastly, if I saw the least danger of it, I would, were he ten times the son of my mother's sister, run my sword through his body, ere he had time to execute his purpose.”

“There is but another question,” said Charles, “and I will release you, Albert :-You seem to think yourself secure from search. It may be so; but, in any other country, this tale of goblins which is flying about would bring down priests and ministers of justice to examine the reality of the story, and mobs of idle people to satisfy their curiosity.”

“Respecting the first, sir, we hope and understand that Colonel Everard's influence will prevent any immediate enquiry, for the sake of preserving undisturbed the peace of his uncle's family, and as for any one coming without some sort of authority, the whole neighbours have so much love and fear of my father, and are, besides, so horribly alarmed about the goblins of Woodstock, that fear will silence curiosity.”

“ On the whole, then,” said Charles, “ the chances of safety seem to be in favour of the plan we have adopted, which is all I can hope for in a condition where absolute safety is out of the question. The Bishop recommended Dr. Rochecliffe as one of the most ingenious, boldest, and most loyal sons of the Church of England; you, Albert Lee, have marked your fidelity by a hundred proofs. To you and your local knowledge I submit myself.—And now, prepare our arms—alive I will not be taken ;-yet I will not believe that a son of the King of England, and heir of her throne, could be destined to danger in his own palace, and under the guard of the loyal Lees.”

Albert Lee laid pistols and swords in readiness by the King's bed and his own; and Charles, after some slight apology, took his place in the larger and better bed, with a sigh of pleasure, as from one who had not lately enjoyed such an indulgence. He bid good night to his faithful attendant, who deposited himself on his truckle ; and both monarch and subject were soon fast asleep.

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HE fugitive Prince slept, in spite of danger, with the profound repose which youth and fatigue inspire. But the young cavalier, his guide and guard, spent a more restless night, starting from time to time, and listening; anxious,

notwithstanding Dr. Rochecliffe's assurances, to procure yet more particular knowledge concerning the state of things around them, than he had been yet able to collect.

He rose early after daybreak; but although he moved with as little noise as was possible, the slumbers of the hunted Prince were easily disturbed. He started up in his bed, and asked if there was any alarm.

“ None, please your Majesty,” replied Lee; “ only, thinking on the questions your Majesty was asking last night, and the various chances there are of your Majesty's safety being endangered from unforeseen accidents, I thought of going thus early, both to communicate with Dr. Rochecliffe, and to keep such a look-out as befits the place, where are lodged for the time the Fortunes of England. I fear I must request of your Majesty, for your own gracious security, that you have the goodness to condescend to secure the door with your own hand after I go out.”

“ Oh, talk not to Majesty, for Heaven's sake, dear Albert !” answered the poor King, endeavouring in vain to put on a part of his clothes, in order to traverse the room.“ When a King's doublet and hose are so ragged that he can no more find his way into them than he could have travelled through the forest of Deane without a guide, good faith, there should be an end of Majesty, until it chances to be better accommodated. Besides, there is the chance of these big words bolting out at unawares, when there are ears to hear them whom we might think dangerous.”

“ Your commands shall be obeyed,” said Lee, who had now succeeded in opening the door; from which he took his departure, leaving the King, who had hustled along the floor for that purpose, with his dress wofully ill arranged, to make it fast again behind him, and begging him in no case to open to any one, unless he or Rochecliffe were of the party who summoned him.

Albert then set out in quest of Dr. Rochecliffe's apartment, which was only known to himself and the faithful Joliffe, and had at different times accommodated that steady churchman with a place of concealment, when, from his bold and busy temper, which led him into the most extensive and hazardous machinations on the King's behalf, he had been strictly sought after by the opposite party. Of late, the inquest after him had died entirely away, as he had prudently withdrawn himself from the scene of his intrigues. Since the loss of the battle of Worcester, he had been afloat again, and more active than ever; and had, by friends and correspondents, and especially the Bishop of been the means of directing the King's flight towards Woodstock, although it was not until the very day of his arrival that he could promise him a safe reception at that ancient mansion.

Albert Lee, though he revered both the undaunted spirit and ready resources of the bustling and intriguing churchman, felt he had not been enabled by him to answer some of Charles's questions yesternight, in a way so distinct as one trusted with the King's safety ought to have done; and it was now his object to make himself personally acquainted, if possible, with the various bearings of so weighty a matter, as became a man on whom so much of the responsibility was likely to descend.

Even his local knowledge was scarce adequate to find the Doctor's secret apartment, had he not traced his way after a genial flavour of roasted game through divers blind passages, and up and down certain very useless stairs, through cupboards and hatchways, and so forth, to a species of sanctum sanctorum, where Joceline Joliffe was ministering to the good Doctor a solemn breakfast of wild-fowl, with a cup of small beer stirred with a sprig of rosemary, which Dr. Rochecliffe preferred to all strong potations. Beside him sat Bevis on his tail, slobbering and looking amiable, moved by the rare smell of the breakfast, which had quite overcome his native dignity of disposition.

The chamber in which the Doctor had established himself was a little octangular room, with walls of great thickness, within which were fabricated various issues, leading in different directions, and communicating with different parts of the building. Around him were packages with arms, and near him one small barrel, as it seemed, of gunpowder; many papers in different parcels, and several keys for correspondence in cipher ; two or three scrolls covered with hieroglyphics were also beside him, which Albert took for plans of nativity; and various models of machinery, in which Dr. Rochecliffe was an adept. There were also tools of various kinds, masks, cloaks, and a dark lantern,

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and a number of other indescribable trinkets belonging to the trade of a daring plotter in dangerous times. Last, there was a casket with gold and silver coin of different countries, which was left carelessly open, as if it were the least of Dr. Rochecliffe's concern, although his habits in general announced narrow circumstances, if not actual poverty. Close by the divine's plate lay a Bible and Prayer-book, with some proof sheets, as they are technically called, seemingly fresh from the press. There was also within the reach of his hand a dirk, or Scottish poniard, a powder-horn, and a musketoon, or blunderbuss, with a pair of handsome pocket-pistols. In the midst of this miscellaneous collection, the Doctor sat eating his breakfast with great appetite, as little dismayed by the various implements of danger around him, as a workman is when accustomed to the perils of a gunpowder manufactory.

“ Soh, young gentleman," he said, getting up and extending his hand, “ are you come to breakfast with me in good fellowship, or to spoil my meal this morning, as you did my supper last night, by asking untimely questions ?”

“I will pick a bone with you with all my heart,” said Albert; “ and if you please, Doctor, I would ask some questions which seem not quite untimely.”

So saying he sat down, and assisted the Doctor in giving a very satisfactory account of a brace of wild-ducks and a leash of teal. Bevis, who maintained his place with great patience and insinuation, had his share of a collop, which was also placed on the well-furnished board ; for, like most high-bred dogs, he declined eating waterfowl.

“ Come bither then, Albert Lee,” said the Doctor, laying down his knife and fork, and plucking the towel from his throat, so soon as Joceline was withdrawn; “ thou art still the same lad thou wert when I was thy tutor-never satisfied with having got a grammar rule, but always persecuting me with questions why the rule stood so, and not otherwise-over-curious after information which thou couldst not comprehend, as Bevis slobbered and whined for the duck-wing, which he could not eat.”

“ I hope you will find me more reasonable, Doctor," answered Albert ; “ and at the same time, that you will recollect I am not now sub ferula, but am placed in circumstances where I am not at liberty to act upon the ipse dixit of any man, unless my own judgment be convinced. I shall deserve richly to be hanged, drawn, and quartered, should any misfortune happen by my misgovernment in this business."

“ And it is therefore, Albert, that I would have thee trust the whole to me, without interfering. Thou sayest, forsooth, thou art not sub ferula; but recollect that while you have been fighting in the field, I have been plotting in the study—that I know all the combinations of the King's friends, ay, and all the motions of his enemies, as well as a spider knows every mesh of his web. Think of my experience, man. Not a cavalier in the land but has heard of Rochecliffe the Plotter. I have been a main limb in every thing that has been attempted since forty-two-penned declarations, conducted correspondence, communicated with chiefs, recruited followers, commissioned arms, levied money, appointed rendezvouses. I was in the Western Rising; and before that, in the City Petition, and in Sir John Owen’s stir in Wales ; in short, almost in every plot for the King, since Tomkins and Challoner's matter.”

“ But were not all these plots unsuccessful ?” said Albert; “and were not Tomkins and Challoner hanged, Doctor ?”

“ Yes, my young friend,” answered the Doctor, gravely, as many others have been with whom I have acted; but only because they did not follow my advice implicitly. You never heard that I was hanged myself.”

“ The time may come, Doctor,” said Albert; “ The pitcher goes oft to the well — The proverb, as my father would say, is somewhat musty. But I, too, have some confidence in my own judgment; and, much as I honour the Church, I cannot altogether subscribe to passive obedience. I will tell you in one word what points I must have explanation on; and it will remain with you to give it, or to return

message to the King that you will not explain your plan; in which case, if he acts by my advice, he will leave Woodstock, and resume his purpose of getting to the coast without delay."

“ Well, then,” said the Doctor, “thou suspicious monster, make thy demands, and, if they be such as I can answer without betraying confidence, I will reply to them.”

" In the first place, then, what is all this story about ghosts, and witchcrafts, and apparitions ? and do you consider it as safe for his Majesty to stay in a house subject to such visitations, real or pretended ?”

“ You must be satisfied with my answer in verbo sacerdotisthe circumstances you allude to will not give the least annoyance to Woodstock during the King's residence. I cannot explain farther; but for this I will be bound, at the risk of my

neck." " Then,” said Lee, “we must take Dr. Rochecliffe's bail that the devil will keep the peace towards our Sovereign Lord the King-good. Now there lurked about this house the greater part of yesterday, and perhaps slept here, a fellow called Tomkins,a bitter Independent, and a secretary, or clerk, or something or other, to the regicide dog Desborough. The man is well known—a wild ranter in religious opinions, but in private affairs far-sighted, cunning, and interested even as any rogue of them all.”

“ Be assured we will avail ourselves of his crazy fanaticism to mislead his wicked cunning ;-a child may lead a hog, if it has wit to fasten a cord to the ring in its nose,” replied the Doctor.

“ You may be deceived,” said Albert; “the age has many such as this fellow, whose views of the spiritual and temporal world are so different, that they resemble the eyes of a squinting man ; one of which, oblique and distorted, sees nothing but the end of his nose, while the other, instead of partaking the same defect, views strongly, sharply, and acutely, whatever is subjected to its scrutiny."

“ But we will put a patch on the better eye,” said the Doctor, “and he shall only be allowed to speculate with the imperfect optic. You must know, this fellow has always seen the greatest number, and the most hideous apparitions ; he has not the courage of a cat in such matters, though stout enough when he hath temporal antagonists before him. I have placed him under the charge of Joceline Joliffe, who, betwixt plying him with sack and ghost-stories, would make him incapable of knowing what was done, if you were to proclaim the King in his presence.” “ But why keep such a fellow here at all ?”

Oh, sir, content you ;-he lies leaguer, as a sort of ambassador for his worthy masters, and we are secure from any intrusion so long as they get all the news of Woodstock from Trusty Tomkins.”

“I know Joceline's honesty well,” said Albert; "and if he can assure me that he will keep a watch over this fellow, I will so far trust in him. He does not know the depth of the stake, 'tis true, but that my life is concerned will be quite enough to keep him vigilant.—Well, then, I proceed :—What if Markham Everard comes down on us?”

“ We have his word to the contrary,” answered Rochecliffe—“his word of honour, transmitted by his friend :—Do you think it likely he will break it?”

“I hold him incapable of doing so," answered Albert ; "and, besides, I think Markham would make no bad use of any thing which might come to his knowledge, Yet God forbid we should be under the necessity of trusting any who ever wore the Parliament's colours in a matter of such dear concernment !”

“ Amen!” said the Doctor.—“ Are your doubts silenced now ?”

“I still have an objection," said Albert, “to yonder impudent rakehelly fellow, styling himself a cavalier, who rushed himself on our company last night, and gained my father's heart by a story of the storm of Brentford, which I dare say the rogue never saw.”

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