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comfort to others. Perhaps the former arch, though innocent expression of countenance, was uppermost in her lover's recollection, when he concluded that Alice had acted a part in the disturbances which had taken place at the Lodge. It is certain, that when he now looked upon her, it was with shame for having nourished such a suspicion, and the resolution to believe rather that the devil had imitated her voice, than that a creature, who seemed so much above the feelings of this world, and so nearly allied to the purity of the next, should have had the indelicacy to mingle in such maneuvres as he himself and others had been subjected to.

These thoughts shot through his mind, in spite of the impropriety of indulging them at such a moment. The service now approached the close, and a good deal to Colonel Everard's surprise, as well as confusion, the officiating priest, in firm and audible tone, and with every attribute of dignity, prayed to the Almighty to bless and preserve “Our Sovereign Lord, King Charles, the lawful and undoubted King of these realms.” The petition (in those days most dangerous) was pronounced with a full, raised, and distinct articulation, as if the priest challenged all who heard him to dissent, if they dared. If the republican officer did not assent to the petition, he thought at least it was no time to protest against it.

The service was concluded in the usual manner, and the little congregation arose. It now included Wildrake, who had entered during the latter prayer, and was the first of the party to speak, running up to the priest, and shaking him by the hand most heartily, swearing at the same time, that he truly rejoiced to see him. The good clergyman returned the pressure with a smile, observing he should have believed his asseveration without an oath. In the meanwhile, Colonel Everard, approaching his uncle's seat, made a deep inclination of respect, first to Sir Henry Lee, and then to Alice, whose colour now spread from her cheek to her brow and bosom.

“ I have to crave your excuse,” said the Colonel with hesitation, “ for having chosen for my visit, which I dare not hope would be very agreeable at any time, a season most peculiarly unsuitable.”

“ So far from it, nephew," answered Sir Henry, with much more mildness of manner than Everard had dared to expect, “that your visits at other times would be much more welcome, had we the fortune to see you often at our hours of worship.”

“ I hope the time will soon come, sir, when Englishmen of all sects and denominations,” replied Everard, “will be free in conscience to worship in common the great Father, whom they all after their manner call by that affectionate name.”

“ I hope so too, nephew,” said the old man in the same unaltered tone ; and we will not at present dispute, whether you would have the Church of England coalesce with the Conventicle, or the Conventicle conform to the Church. It was, I ween, not to settle jarring creeds, that you have honoured our poor dwelling, where, to say the truth, we dared scarce have expected to see you again, so coarse was our last welcome.”

“ I should be happy to believe," said Colonel Everard, hesitating “that-that-in short my presence was not now so unwelcome here as on that occasion.”

Nephew,” said Sir Henry, “ I will be frank with you. When you were last here, I thought you had stolen from me a precious pearl, which at one time it would have been my pride and happiness to have bestowed on you ; but which, being such as you have been of late, I would bury in the depths of the earth rather than give to your keeping. This somewhat chafed, as honest Will says, “the rash humour which my mother gave me.' I thought I was robbed, and I thought I saw the robber before me.

I am mistaken-I am not robbed; and the attempt without the deed I can pardon.”

“ I would not willingly seek offence in your words, sir,” said Colonel Everard, “when their general purport sounds kind; but I can protest before Heaven, that my views and wishes towards you and your family are as void of selfish hopes and selfish ends, as they are fraught with love to you and to yours."

“Let us hear them, man; we are not much accustomed to good wishes now-a-days ; and their very rarity will make them welcome.”

“I would willingly, Sir Henry, since you might not choose me to give you a more affectionate name, convert those wishes into something effectual for your comfort. Your fate, as the world now stands, is bad, and, I fear, like to be worse.”

“ Worse than I expect it cannot be. Nephew, I do not shrink before my changes of fortune. I shall wear coarser clothes,—I shall feed on more ordinary food,-men will not doff their cap to me as they were wont, when I was the great and the wealthy. What of that? Old Harry Lee loved his honour better than his title, his faith better than his land and lordship. Have I not seen the 30th of January? I am neither Philomath nor astrologer; but old Will teaches me, that when green leaves fall winter is at hand, and that darkness will come when the sun sets.”

“ Bethink you, sir,” said Colonel Everard, “ if, without any submission asked, any oath taken, any engagement imposed, express or tacit, excepting that you are not to excite disturbances in the public peace, you can be restored to your residence in the Lodge, and your usual fortunes and perquisites there-I have great reason to hope this may be permitted, if not expressly, at least on sufferance.”

“Yes, I understand you. I am to be treated like the royal coin, marked with the ensign of the Rump to make it pass current, although I am too old to have the royal insignia grinded off from me. Kinsman, I will have none of this. I have lived at the Lodge too long; and let me tell you, I had left it in scorn long since, but for the orders of one whom I may yet live to do service to. I will take nothing from the usurpers, be their name Rump or Cromwell—be they one devil or legion—I will not take from them an old cap to cover my grey hairs—a cast cloak to protect my frail limbs from the cold. They shall not say they have, by their unwilling bounty, made Abraham rich— I will live, as I will die, the Loyal Lee.”

May I hope you will think of it, sir ; and that you will, perhaps, considering what slight submission is asked, give me a better answer?"

“ Sir, if I retract my opinion, which is not my wont, you shall hear of it.—And now, cousin, have you more to say? We keep that worthy clergyman in the outer room.”

“ Something I had to say—something touching my cousin Alice,” said Everard, with embarrassment; “ but I fear that the prejudices of both are so strong against me

“Sir, I dare turn my daughter loose to you, I will go join the good doctor in dame Joan's apartment. I am not unwilling that you should know that the girl hath, in all reasonable sort, the exercise of her free will."

He withdrew, and left the cousins together.

Colonel Everard advanced to Alice, and was about to take her hand. She drew back, took the seat which her father had occupied, and pointed out to him one at some distance.

“ Are we then so much estranged, my dearest Alice ?” he said.

“ We will speak of that presently,” she replied.“ In the first place, let me ask the cause of your visit here at so late an hour.”

“ You heard,” said Everard, “what I stated to your father?”

“I did; but that seems to have been only part of your errand—something there seemed to be which applied particularly to me.”

“ It was a fancy-a strange mistake,” answered Everard. "May I ask if you have been abroad this evening ?”

“ Certainly not,” she replied. “ I have small temptation to wander from my present home, poor as it is; and whilst here, I have important duties to discharge. But why does Colonel Everard ask so strange a question ?”

“ Tell me in turn, why your cousin Markham has lost the name of friendship and kindred, and even of some nearer feeling, and then I will answer you, Alice.” VOL. X.

K

cause

“ It is soon answered,” she said. “ When you drew your sword against my father's

-almost against his person—I studied, more than I should have done, to find excuse for you. I knew, that is, I thought I knew, your high feelings of public dutyI knew the opinions in which you had been bred up; and I said, I will not, even for this, cast him off—he opposes his King because he is loyal to his country. You endeavoured to avert the great and concluding tragedy of the 30th of January; and it confirmed me in my opinion, that Markham Everard might be misled, but could not be base or selfis

“ And what has changed your opinion, Alice ? or who dare,” said Everard, reddening “ attach such epithets to the name of Markham Everard ?”

“ I am no subject,” she said, “ for exercising your valour, Colonel Everard, nor do I mean to offend. But you will find enough of others who will avow, that Colonel Everard is truckling to the usurper Cromwell, and that all his fair pretexts of forwarding his country's liberties, are but a screen for driving a bargain with the successful encroacher, and obtaining the best terms he can for himself and his family.”

“For myself-Never !”

“ But for your family you have—Yes, I am well assured that you have pointed out to the military tyrant, the way in which he and his satraps may master the government. Do you think my father or I would accept an asylum purchased at the price of England's liberty, and your honour ?”

“ Gracious Heaven, Alice, what is this? You accuse me of pursuing the very course which so lately had your approbation !”

“ When you spoke with authority of your father, and recommended our submission to the existing government, such as it was, I own I thought—that my father's

grey

head might, without dishonour, have remained under the roof where it had so long been sheltered. But did your father sanction your becoming the adviser of yonder ambitious soldier to a new course of innovation, and his abettor in the establishment of a new species of tyranny ?-It is one thing to submit to oppression, another to be the agent of tyrants—And O, Markham-their bloodhound !""

“How ! bloodhound ?-what mean you ?-I own it is true I could see with content the wounds of this bleeding country stanched, even at the expense of beholding Cromwell, after his matchless rise, take a yet farther step to power—but to be his bloodhound ! What is your meaning ?”

It is false, then ?-I thought I could swear it had been false.” “ What, in the name of God, is it you

ask ?" " It is false that you are engaged to betray the young King of Scotland ?”

Betray him! I betray him, or any fugitive ? Never ! I would he were well out of England—I would lend him my aid to escape, were he in the house at this instant; and think in acting so I did his enemies good service, by preventing their soiling themselves with his blood—but betray him, never !”

“I knew it—I was sure it was impossible. Oh, be yet more honest ; disengage yourself from yonder gloomy and ambitious soldier ! Shun him and his schemes, which are formed in injustice, and can only be realized in yet more blood !”

“ Believe me," replied Everard, “ that I choose the line of policy best befitting the times.”

“ Choose that,” she said, “which best befits duty, Markham-which best befits truth and honour. Do your duty, and let Providence decide the rest. — Farewell ! we tempt my father's patience too far—you know his temper-farewell, Markham.”

She extended her hand, which he pressed to his lips, and left the apartment. A silent bow to his uncle, and a sign to Wildrake, whom he found in the kitchen of the cabin, were the only tokens of recognition exhibited, and leaving the hut, he was soon mounted, and, with his companion, advanced on his return to the Lodge.

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FVERARD had come to Joceline's hut as fast as horse could bear him, and

with the same impetuosity of purpose as of speed. He saw no choice in the course to be pursued, and felt in his own imagination the strongest right to

direct, and even reprove, his cousin, beloved as she was, on account of the dangerous machinations with which she appeared to have connected herself. He returned slowly, and in a very different mood.

Not only had Alice, prudent as beautiful, appeared completely free from the weakness of conduct which seemed to give him some authority over her, but her views of policy, if less practicable, were so much more direct and noble than his own, as led him to question whether he had not compromised himself too rashly with Cromwell, even although the state of the country was so greatly divided and torn by faction, that the promotion of the General to the possession of the executive government seemed the only chance of escaping a renewal of the Civil War. The more exalted and purer sentiments of Alice lowered him in his own eyes; and though unshaken in his opinion, that it were better the vessel should be steered by a pilot having no good title to the office, than that she should run upon the breakers, he felt that he was not espousing the most direct, manly, and disinterested side of the question.

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