Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

Post down to the Alley, and tell old Manasses to buy | observe the regulations of a convent, were separated 20,0001. for me.-Forgive me, Plutus, I forgot to lay from the rest of the Duke's extensive mansion. He my sacrifice on thy shrine, and yet expected thy fa- lived in the age when what was called gallantry vours!-Fly post haste, Jerningham-for thy life, for warranted the most atrocious actions of deceit and thy life, for thy life!"'*

violence; as may be best illustrated by the catasWith hands and eyes uplifted, Jerningham left the trophe of an unfortunate actress, whose beauty atapartment; and the Duke, without thinking a mo- tracted the attention of the last De Vere, Earl of ment further on old or new intrigues-on the friend- Oxford. While her virtue defied his seductions, he ship he had formed, or the enmity he had provoked- ruined her under colour of a mock marriage, and was on the beauty whom he had carried off from her rewarded for a success which occasioned the death natural protectors, as well as from her lover-or on of his victim, by the general applause of the men of wit the monarch against whom he had placed himself in and gallantry who filled the drawing-room of Charles. rivalship,--sat down to calculate chances with all the Buckingham had made provision in the interior of zeal of Demoivre, tired of the drudgery in half an his ducal mansion for exploits of a similar nature; hour, and refused to see the zealous agent whom he and the set of apartments which he now visited were had employed in the city, because he was busily en- alternately used to confine the reluctant, and to accomgaged in writing a new lampoon.

modate the willing.

Being now destined for the former purpose, the key

was delivered to the Duke by a hooded and spectacled CHAPTER XXXIX.'

old lady, who sat reading a devout book in the outer Ah! changeful head, and fickle heart ! – Progress of Discontent. hall which divided these apartments (usually called

the Nunnery) from the rest of the house. This expeNo event is more ordinary in narratives of this rienced dowager acted as mistress of the ceremonies nature, than the abduction of the female on whose on such occasions, and was the trusty depositary of fate the interest is supposed to turn; but that of more intrigues than were known to any dozen of her Alice Bridgenorth was thus far particular, that she worshipful calling besides. was spirited away by the Duke of Buckingham, more "As sweet a linnet," she said, as she undid the outin contradiction than in the rivalry of passion; and that, ward door, as ever sung in a cage.as he made his first addresses to her at Chiffinch's, "I was afraid she might have been more for moping ratherinthe spirit of rivalry to his Sovereign, than from than for singing, Dowlas,” said the Duke. any strong impression which her beauty had made on "Till yesterday she was so, please your Grace," his affections, so he had formed the sudden plan of answered Dowlas; "or, to speak sooth, till early spiriting her away by means of his dependants, rather this morning, we heard of nothing but Lachrymæ. to perplex Christian, the King, Chiffinch, and all con- But the air of your noble Grace's house is favouracerned, than because he had any particular desire for ble to singing-birds; and to-day malters have been her society at his own mansion. Indeed, so far was a-much mended.". this from being the case, that his Grace was rather "'Tis sudden, dame," said the Duke; "and 'tis surprised than delighted with the success of the enter- something strange, considering that I have never prise which had made her an inmate there, although visited her, that the pretty trembler should have been it is probable he might have thrown himself into an SO soon reconciled to her fate." ụncontrollable passion, had he learned its miscarriage *Ah, your Grace has such magic, that it communiinstead of its success.

cates itself to your very walls; as wholesome scrip Twenty-four hours passed over since he had return- turc says, Exodus, first and seventh, 'It cleaveth to ed to his own roof

, before, notwithstanding sundry the walls and the door-posts.'hints from Jerningham, he could even determine "You are too partial, Dame Dowlas," said the Duke on the exertion necessary to pay his fair captive a of Buckingham. visit; and then it was with the internal reluctance “Not a word but truth,” said the dame; "and I of one who can only be stirred froni indolence by wish I may be an outcast from the fold of the lambs, novelty.

but I think this damsel's very frame has changed "I wonder what made me plague myself about since she was under your Grace's roof. Methinks this wench," said he, “and doom myself to encounter she hath a lighter form, a finer step, a more disall the hysterical rhapsodies of a counıry Phillis, played ankle-1 cannot tell, but I think there is a with her head stuffed with her grandmother's lessons change. But, lack-a-day, your Grace knows I am as about virtue and the Bible-book, when the finest and old as I am trusty, and that my eyes wax something best-bred womea in town may be had upon more easy uncertain. terms. It is a pity one cannot mount the victor's car Especially when you wash them with a cup of of triumph without having a victory, to boast of; yet, canary, Dame Dowlas," answered the Duke, who faith, it is what most of our modern gallants do, was aware that temperance was not amongst the though it would not become Buckingham.-Well, i cardinal virtues which were most familiar to the old must see her," he concluded, “though it were but to lady's practice. rid the house of her. The Portsmouth will not hear Was it canary, your Grace said ?-Was it indeed of her being set at liberty near Charles, so much is with canary, that your Grace should have supposed she afraid of a new fair seducing the old sinner from me to have washed my eyes ?" said the offended mahis allegiance. So how the girl is to be disposed of, tron. “I am sorry that your Grace should know me for I shall have little fancy to keep her here, and she no better." is too wealthy to be sent down to Cliefden as a house- "I crave your pardon, dame," said the Duke, keeper-is a matter to be thought on."

shaking aside, fastidiously, the grasp which, in the He then called for such a dress as might set off earnestness of her exculpation, Madam Dowlas had his natural good mien-a compliment which he con- clutched upon his sleeve. "I crave your pardon.sidered as due to his own merit; for as to any thing Your nearer approach has convinced me of my farther, he went to pay his respects to his fair pris- erroneous imputation-1 should have said nantz not oner with almost as little zeal in the cause, as a gal- canary.” lant to fight a duel in which he has no warmer intercet So saying, he walked forward into the inner apartthan the maintenance of his reputation as a man of ments, which were fitted up with an air of voluptuous honour.

magnificence. The set of apartments consecrated to the use of "The dame said true, however," said the proud dethose favourites who occasionally made Bucking- viser and proprietor of the splendid mansion-"A ham's mansion their place of abode, and who were, country Phillis might well reconcile herself to such a so far as liberty was concerned, often required 10 prison as this, even without a skilful bird-fancier to

* Slock -jobbing, as it is called, that is, dealing in shares of touch a bird-call. But I wonder where she can be, this monopolies, patents, and joint stock comj anies of every descrip rural Phidele. Is it possible she can have retreated, tion, was at least as common in Charles II.'s time as our own like a despairing commandang into her bedchamber, and as the exercise of ingenuity in this way promised a romd.co the very citadel of the place, without even an attempt wealth without the necessity of industry, it was then much pursued by dissolute courtiers.

to defend the out-works?"

As he made this reflection, he passed through an you to perceive that what it concealed was rarely antechamber and little eating parlour, exquisitely fur- lovely, yet induced the imagination even to enhance nished, and hung with excellent paintings of the Vene- the charms it shaded. Such part of the dress as tian school.

could be discovered, was, like the veil and the Beyond these lay a withdrawing-room, fitted up in trowsers, in the Oriental taste; a rich turban, and a style of still more studied elegance. The windows splendid caftan, were rather indicated than distin. were darkened with painted glass, of such a deep and guished through the folds of the former. The whole rich colour, as made the mid-day beams, which found attire argued at least coquetry on the part of a fair one, their way into the apartment, imitate the rich colours who must have expected, from her situation, a visiter of sunset; and, in the celebrated expression of the of some pretension; and induced Buckingham to poet," taught ligbt to counterfeit a gloom.".

smile internally at Christian's account of the extreme Buckingham's feelings and taste had been too simplicity and purity of his niece. much, and too often, and too readily gratified, to He approached the lady en cavalier, and addressed permit him, in the general case, to be easily access- her with the air of being conscious, while he acknowible, even to those pleasures which it had been the ledged his offences, that his condescending to do so business of his life to pursue. The hackneyed volup- formed a sufficient apology for them. “Fair Mistuary is like the jaded epicure, the mere listlessness tress Alice,” he said, "I am sensible how deeply of whose appetite becomes at length a sufficient pen- I ought to sue for pardon for the mistaken zeal of alty for having made it the principal object of his my servants, who, seeing you deserted and exposed cnjoyment and cultivation. Yet novelty has always without protection during an unlucky affray, took some charms, and uncertainty has more.

it upon ihem to bring you under the roof of one The doubt how he was to be received--the change who would expose his life rather than suffer you to of mood which his prisoner was said to have evinced sustain a moment's anxiety. Was it my fault that - the curiosity to know how such a creature as Alice those around me should have judged it necessary to Bridgenorth had been described, was likely to bear interfere for your preservation; or that, aware of the herself under the circumstances in which she was so interest I must take in you, they have detained you unexpectedly placed, had upon Buckingham, the till I could myself, in personal attendance, receive effect of exciting unusual interest. On his own part, your commands ?"" he had none of those feelings of anxiety with which "That attendance has not been speedily rendered, a man, even of the most vulgar mind, comes to the my lord," answered the lady. "I have been a prisoner presence of the female whom he wishes to please, for two days-neglected, and left to the charge of far less the more refined sentiments of love, respect, menials." desire, and awe, with which the more refined lover "How say you, lady?-Neglected !" exclaimed the approaches the beloved object. He had been, to use Duke. “By heaven, if the best in my household has an expressive French phrase, too completely blasé failed in his duty, I will discard him on the instant!" even from his earliest youth, to permit him now to "I complain of no lack of courtesy from your serexperience the animal eagerness of the one, far less vants my lord," she replied ; but methinks it had the more sentimental pleasure of the other. It is no been but complaisant in the Duke himself to explain small aggravation of this jaded and uncomfortable to me earlier wherefore he has had the boldness to state of mind, that the voluptuary not renounce detain me a state prisoner." the pursuits with which he is satiated, but must con- “And can the divine Alice doubt," said Buckingtinue, for his character's sake, or from the mere force ham, " that, had time and space, those cruel enemies of habit, to take all the toil

, fatigue and danger of the to the flight of passion, given permission, the instant chase, while he has so little real interest in the termi- in which you crossed your vassal's threshold had nation.

seen its devoted master at your feet, who hath thought, Buckingham, therefore, felt it due to his reputation since he saw you, of nothing but the charms which as a successful hero of intrigue, to pay his addresses to that fatal morning placed before hiin at Chiflinch’s ?". Alice Bridgenorth with dissembled eagerness; and, as "I understand, then, my lord,” said the lady," that he opened the door of the inner apartment, he paused you have been absent, and have had no part in the to consider, whether the tone of gallantry, or that of restraint which has been exercised upon me?" passion, was fittest to use on the occasion. This Absent on the King's command, lady, and delay enabled him to hear a few notes of a lute, employed in the discharge of his duty," answered touched with exquisite skill, and accompanied by the Buckingham without hesitation. What could I still sweeter strains of a female voice, which without do?- The moment you left Chiffinch's, his Majesty executing any complete melody, seemed to sport commanded me to the saddle in such haste, that I itself in rivalship of the silver sound of the instru- had no time to change my satin buskins for riding

boots.* If my absence has occasioned you a moinent *. A creature sq well educated,” said the Duke, of inconvenience, blame the inconsiderate zeal of "with the sense she is said to possess,

would, rustic those, who, seeing me depart from London, half disas she is, laugh at the assumed rants of Oroondates. tracted at my separation from you, were willing to It is the vein of Dorimont-oncc, Buckingham, thine contribute their unmannered, though well-meant own--that must here do the feat, besides that the part exertions, to preserve their master from despair, by is easier.'

retaining the fair Alice within his reach. To whom, So thinking, he entered the room with that easy indeed, could they have restored you? He whom you grace which characterized the gay courtiers among selected as your champion is in prison, or fled-your whom he flourished, and approached the fair tenant, father absent from town--your uncle in the north. whom he found seated near a table covered with To Chiffinch's house you had expressed your wellbooks and music, and having on her left hand the founded aversion; and what fitter asylum remained large half-open casement, dim with stained glass, than that of your devoted slave, where you must ever admitting only a doubtful light into this lordly retiring reign a queen ?" room, which, hung with the richest tapestry of the "An imprisoned one," said the lady. "I desire not Gobelines, and ornamented with piles of china and such royalty." splendid mirrors, seemed like a bower built for a "Alas! how wilfully you misconstrue me!" said prince to receive his bride.

the Duke, kneeling on one knee; "and what right The splendid dress of the inmate corresponded can you have to complain of a few hours' gentle with the taste of the apartment which she occupied, restraint-you, who destine so many to hopeless and partook of the Oriental costume which the much-captivity! Be merciful for once, and withdraw that admired Roxalana had then brought into fashion. envious veil; for the divinities are ever most cruel A slender foot and ankle, which escaped from the wide trowser of richly ornamented and embroidered

• This case is not without precedent. Among the jealousies blue strain, was the only part of her person distinctly and fears expressed by the Long Parliament, they

insisted seen ; the rest was enveloped from head to foot, in much upon an agent for the King departing for the continent a long veil of silver gauze, which, like a feathery so abruptly, that

he had not time to change

his court dress

white buskins, to wit, and black silk pantaloons-for an equip. and light mist on a beautiful landscape, suffered ment more suitable to travel with.

VOL. IV. 2 K

ment.

when they deliver their oracles from such clouded į the Duke, --" when didst thou pass for a dancing

fairy ?-some such imp thou wert, not many days "I will save your Grace that unworthy trouble," since. said the lady, haughtily; and rising up, she flung “My sister you may have seen--my twin sister; back over her shoulders the veil which shrouded her, but not me, my lord," answered Zarah. saying, at the same time, "Look on me, my Lord "Indeed," said the Duke, "that duplicate of thine, Duke, and see if these be indeed the charms which if it was not thy very self, was possessed with a dumb have made on your Grace an impression so powerful.” spirit as thou with a talking one. I am still in the

Buckingham did look; and the effect produced on mind that you are the same, and that Satan, always him by surprise was so strong, that he rose hastily so powerful with your sex, had art enough, on our forfrom his knee, and remained for a few seconds as if mer meeting, to make thee hold thy tongue.". he had been petrified. The figure that stood before "Believe what you will of it, my lord," replied Zahim had neither the height nor the rich shape of Alice rah, "it cannot change the truth. And now, my Bridgenorth ; and, though perfectly well made, was lord, I bid you farewell." Have you any commands to so slightly formed, as to seem almost infantine. Her Mauritania ??' dress was three or four short vests of embroidered "Tarry a little, my princess," said the Duke; "and satin, disposed one over the other, of different colours, remember, that you have yoluntarily entered yourself or rather different shades of similar colours; for as pledge for another; and are justly subjected to any strong contrast was carefully avoided. These opened penalty which it is my pleasure to exact. None must in front, so as to show part of the throat and neck, brave Buckingham with impunity.' partially obscured by an inner covering of the finest "I am in no hurry to depart, if your Grace hath any lace; over the uppermost vest was worn a sort of commands for me.' manile, or coat of rich fur. A small but magnificent " What! are you neither afraid of my resentment, turban was carelessly placed on her head, from under nor of my love, fair Zarah?'' said the Duke. which flowed a profusion of coal-black tresses, which “Of neither, by this glove," answered the lady. Cleopatra might have envied. The taste and splen- .'Your resentment must be a petty passion indeed, if dour of the Eastern dress corresponded with the it could stoop to such a helpless object as I am; and complexion of the lady's face, which was brunette, for your love-good lack! good lack !" of a shade so dark as might almost have served an And why good lack, with such a tone of contempt Indian.

lady ?" said the Duke, piqued in spite of himself. Amidst a set of features, in which rapid and keen Think you Buckingham cannot love, or has never expression made amends for the want of regular been beloved in return ?" beauty, the essential points of eyes as bright as dia- He may have thought himself beloved," said the monds, and teeth as white as pearls, did not escape maiden; "but by what slight creatures!-things the Duke of Buckingham, a professed connoisseur whose heads could be rendered giddy by a playhouse in female charms. In a word, the fanciful and sin- rant-whose brains were only filled with red-heeled gular female who thus unexpectedly produced her- shoes and satin buskins-and who run altogether mad self before him, had one of those faces which are never on the argument of a George and a star." seen without making an impression ; which, when "And are there no such frail fair ones in your clisemoved, are long after remembered ; and for which, mate, most scornful princess ?" said the Duke. in our idleness, we are tempted to invent a hundred There are," said the lady; "bnt men rate them histories, that we may please our fancy by supposing as parrots and monkeys-things without either sense the features under the influence of different kinds of or soul, head or heart. The nearness we bear to the emotion. Every one must have in recollection coun- sun has purified, while it strengthens, our passions. tenances of this kind, which, from a captivatirg and The ¡cicles of your frozen climate shall as soon hamstimulating originality of expression, abide longer in mer hot bars into ploughshares, as shall the foppery the memory, and are more seductive to the imagina- and folly of your pretended gallantry make an instant's tion, than even regular beauty.

impression on a breast like mine." "My Lord Duke," said the lady, "it seems the lift- You speak like one who knows what passion is," ing of my veil has done the work of magic upon your said the Duke. "Sit down, fair lady, and grieve not Grace. Alas, for the captive princess, whose nod was that I detain you. Who can consent to part with a to command a vassal so costly! She runs, methinks, tongue of so much melody, or an eye of such expresno slight chance of being turned out of doors, like a sive eloquence !-You have known, then, what it is to second Cinderella, to seek her fortune among lackeys love ?" and lightermen.''

"I know-no matter if by experience, or through "I am astonished !" said the Duke. " That villain, the report of others—but I do know, that to love as I Jerningham-I will have the scoundrel's blood !" would love, would be to yield not an iota to avarice,

Nay, never abuse Jerningham for the matter," not one inch to vanity, not to sacrifice the slightest said the Unknown ;,“but lament your own unhappy feeling to interest or to ambition; but to give up ALL to engagements. While you, my Lord Duke, were fidelity of heart and reciprocal affection." posting northward, in white satin buskins, to toil in " And how many women, think you, are capable of the King's affairs, the right and lawful princess sat feeling such disinterested passion ? weeping in sables in the uncheered solitude to which "More, by thousands, than there are men who your absence condemned her. Two days she was merit it,” answered Zarah. “Alas! how often do you disconsolate in vain ; on the third came an African see the fenale, pale, and wretched, and degraded, still enchantress to change the scene for ber, and the following, with patient constancy, the footsteps of person for your Grace. Methinks, my lord, this some predominating tyrant, and submitting to all his adventure will tell but ill, when some faithful squire injustice with the endurance of a faithful and misused shall recount or record the gallant adventures of the spaniel, which prizes a look from his master, though second Duke of Buckingham.”.

the surliest groom that ever disgraced humanity, more "Fairly bit, and bantered to boot," said the Duke than all the pleasures which the world besides can

the monkey has a turn for satire, too, by all that furnish him? Think what such would be to one who is piquante.-Hark ye, fair princess, how dared you merited and repaid her devotion." adventure on such a trick as you have been accom- "Perhaps the very reverse," said the Duke; "and plice to ?

for your simile, I can see little resemblance. "I can“Dare, my lord !" answered the stranger; "put not charge my spaniel with any perfidy; but for my the question to others, not to one who fears nothing." mistresses-to confess truth, I must always be in a

"By my faith, I believe so; for thy front is bronzed cursed hurry if I would have the credit of changing by nature.-Hark ye once more, mistress-What is them before they leave me." your name and condition ?"!

"And they serve you but rightly, my lord," an"My condition I have told you-I am a Maurita- swered the lady; "for what are you?-Nay, frown nian sorceress by profession, and my name is Zarah," pot; for you must

hear the truth for once. Nature replied the Eastern maiden.

has done its part, and made a fair outside, and courtly "But methinks that face, shape, and eyes''--said | education hath added its share. You are noble, it is

[ocr errors]

rors.

retreat.

the accident of birth-handsome, it is the caprice of herself from a height of at least fourteen feet: for so Nature-generous, because to give is more easy than far the window was distant from the ground. But to refuse - well-apparelled, it is to the credit of your when he sprung to the spot, he perceived, to his astotailor-well-natured in the main, because you have nishment, that she had effected her descent with equal youth and health-brave, because to be otherwise agility and safety. were to be degraded--and witty, because you cannot The outside of this stately mansion was decorated help it."

with a quantity of carving, in the mixed state, betwixt The Duke darted a glance on one of the large mir- the Gothic and Grecian styles, which marks the age

"Noble, and handsome, and court-like, gene- of Elizabeth and her successor; and though the feat rous, well-attired, good-humoured, brave, and witty! seemed a surprising one, the projections of ihese orna-You allow me more, madam, than I have the ments were sufficient to afford footing to a creature so slightest pretension to, and surely, enough to make light and active, even in her hasty descent. my way, at some point at least, to female favour." Inflamed alike by mortification and curiosity, Buck

'I have neither allowed you a heart nor a head," ingham at first entertained some thought of following said Zarah, calmly.—"Nay, never redden as if you her by the same dangerous route, and had actually would fly at me. I say not but nature may have given got upon the sill of the window for that purpose; and you both; but folly has confounded the one, and was contemplating what might be his next safe move- / selfishness perverted the other. The man whom I ment, when, from a neighbouring thicket of shrubs, call deserving the name, is one whose thoughts and amongst which his visiter had disappeared, he heard exertions are for others, rather than himself,--whose her chant a verse of a comic song, then much in high purpose is adopted on just principles, and never fashion, concerning a despairing lover who had reabandoned while heaven and earth affords means of course to a precipiceaccomplishing it. Heis one who will neither seek an

“But when he came near, indirect advantage by a specious road, nor take an evil

Beholding how steep path to gain a real good purpose. Such a man were

The sides did appear, one for whom a woman's heart should beat constant

And the bottom how deep ;

Though his suit was rejected, while he breathes, and break when he dies."

He sadly reflected, She spoke with so much energy that the water

That a lover forsaken sparkled in her eyes, and her cheek coloured with the

A new love may get ;

But a neck that's once broken vehemence of her feelings.

Can never be set." "You speak," said the Duke, “as if you had yourself a heart which could pay the full tribute to the The Duke could not help laughing, though much merit which you describe so warmly.”'

against his will, at the resemblance which the verses "And have I not ?" she said, laying her hand on her bore to his own absurd situation, and stepping back bosom. “Here beats one that would bear me out in into the apartment, desisted froin an attempt which what I have said, whether in life or in death !" might have proved dangerous as well as ridiculous.

"Were it in my power,” said the Duke, "who began He called his attendants, and contented himself with to get farther interested in his visiter than he could at watching the little thicket, unwilling to think that a first have thought possible-"Were it in my power to female who had thrown herself in a great measure deserve such faithful atiachment, methinks it should into his way, meant absolutely to mortify him by a be my care to requiry it."

"Your wealth, your titles, your reputation as a gal- That question was determined in an instant. A lant-all you possess, were too little to merit such form, wrapped in a mantle, with a slouched hat and sincere affection."

shadowy plume, issued from the bushes, and was lost 'Come, fair lady," said the Duke, a good deal in a moment amongst the ruins of ancient and of mopiqued, "do not be quite so disdainful.' Bethink you, dern buildings, with which, as we have already stated, that is your love be as pure as coined gold, still a poor the demesne formerly termed York House was now fellow like myself may offer you an equivalent in sil- encumbered in all directions. ver-The quantity of my affection must make up for The Duke's servants, who had obeyed his impatient its quality."

summons, were hastily directed to search for this tan"But I am not carrying my affection to market, my talizing siren in every direction. Their master, in the lord; and therefore I need none of the base coin you mean time, eager and vehement in every new pursuit, offer in change for it.'

but especially when his vanity was piqued, encouraged "How do I know that, my fairest ?” said the Duke. their diligence by bribes, and threats, and commands "This is the realm of Paphos-You have invaded it, All was in vain.--They found nothing of the Mauritawith what purpose best know; but I think with nian Princess, as she called herself, but the turban and none consistent with your present assumption of cru- the veil ; both of which she had left in the thicket, toelty. Come, come-eyes that are so intelligent can gether with her satin slippers, which articles, doubt laugh with delight, as well as gleam with scorn and less, she had thrown aside as she exchanged them for anger. You are here a waif on Cupid's manor, and I others less remarkable. must seize on you in name of the deity."

Finding all his search in vain, the Duke of BuckDo not think of touching me, my lord,” said the ingham after the example of spoiled children of all

Approach me not, if you would hope to learn ages and stations, gave a loose to the franric vehethe purpose of my being here. Your Grace may sup- mence of passion; and fiercely he swore vengeance on pose yourself a Solomon if you please; but I am no his late visiter, whom he termed by a thousand opprotravelling princess, come from distant' climes, either brious epithets, of which the elegant phrase "Jile” to flatter your pride, or wonder at your glory." was most frequently repeated. "A defiance by Jupiter !" said the Duke.

Even Jerningham, who knew the depths and shal* You mistake the signal,” said the 'dark ladye;' lows of his master's mood, and was bold to fathom "I came not here without taking sufficient precautions them at almost every state of his passions, kept out for my retreat."

of his way, on the present occasion; and, cabineted “You mouth it bravely,” said the Duke; “but never with the pious old housekeeper, declared to her, over fortress so boasted its resources but the garrison had a bottle of ratafia, that, in his apprehension, his some thoughts of surrender. Thus I open the first Grace did not learn to put some control on his temper, parallel."

chains, darkness, straw, and Bedlam, would be the They had been hitherto divided from each other by final doom of the gifted and admired Duke of Bucka long narrow table, which, placed in the recess of the ingham. large casement we have mentioned, had formed a sort of barrier on the lady's side, against the adventurous

CHAPTER XL. gallant. The Duke went hastily to remove it as he

Contentions fierce, spoke; but, attentive to all his motions, his visiter in

Ardent, and dire, spring from no petty cause. --Aldlon. stantly darted through the half open window.

The quarrels between man and wife are proverbial; Buckingham uttered a cry of horror and surprise

, but let not these honest folks think that connexions having no doubt, at first, that she had precipitated of a less permanent nature are free from similar jars

66

lady."

The frolic of the Duke of Buckingham, and the sub- "I warrant you,” said Chiffinch the female, nodsequent escape of Alice Bridgenorth,' had kindled ding, but rather to her own figure reflected from a fierce dissension in Chiffinch's family, when, on his mirror, than to her politic husband, -" I warrant you arrival in town, he learned these two stunning events : we will find means of occupying him that will suffi"I tell you," he said to his obliging helpmate, who ciently fill up his time.” seemed but little moved by all that he could say on “On my honour, Kate," said the male Chiffinch, the subject, "that your d-d carelessness has ruined "I find you strangely altered, and, to speak truth, the work of years."

grown most extremely opinionative. I shall be happy "I think it is the twentieth time you have said so," if you have good reason for your confidence." replied the dame; "and without such frequent assur- The dame smiled superciliously, but deigned no ance, I was quite ready to believe that a very trifling other answer, unless this were one, -"I shall order matter would overset any scheme of yours, however a boat to go upon the Thames to-day with the royal long thought of."

party. "How on earth could you have the folly to let the "Take care what you do, Kate; there are none Duke into the house when you expected the King ?" dare presume so far but women of the first rank. said the irritated courtier.

Duchess of Bolton-of Buckingham-of". "Lord, Chiffinch," answered the lady, "ought not "Who cares for a list of names? why may not I you to ask the porter, rather than me that sort of be as forward as the greatest B. amongst your string question ?-I was putting on my cap to receive his of them ?” Majesty."

Nay, faith, thou mayst match the greatest B. in "With the address of a madge-howlet,” said Chif-Court already," answered Chiffinch; so e'en take finch, "and in the mean while you gave the cat the thy own course of it. But do not let 'Chaubert forget cream to keep.")

to get some collation ready, and a souper au petit "Indeed, Chiffinch," said the lady, “these jaunts to couvert, in case it should be commanded for the the country do render you excessively vulgar! there is evening.” a brutality about your very boots ! nay, your muslin “Ay, there your boasted knowledge of Court mat ruffles, being somewhat soiled, give to your knuckles ters begins and ends. -Chiffinch, Chaubert, and a sort of rural rusticity, as I may call it."

Company ;-dissolve that partnership, and you break "It were a good deed," muttered Chiffinch, "to Tom Chiffinch for a courtier." make both boots and knuckles bang the folly and Amen, Kate” replied Chiffinch; "and let me affectation out of thee.” Then speaking aloud, he tell you, it is as safe to rely on another person's finadded, like a man who would fain break off an argu- gers as on our own wit. But I must give orders ment, by extorting from his adversary a confession for the water. If you will take the pinnace, there that he has reason on his side, “I am sure, Kate, you are the cloth-of-gold cushions in the chapel may must be sensible that our all depends on his Majesty's serve to cover the benches for the day. They are pleasure.”

never wanted where they lie, so you may make free "Leave that to me," said she; "I know how to with them too." pleasure his Majesty better than you can teach me. Madam Chiffinch accordingly mingled with the Do you think his Majesty is booby enough to cry like flotilla which attended the King on his voyage down a school-boy because his sparrow has flown away? the Thames, amongst who was the Queen, attended His Majesty has better taste. I am surprised at you, by some of the principal ladies of the Court. The Chiffinch," she added, drawing herself up, "who were little plump Cleopatra, dressed to as much advantage once thought to know the points of a fine woman, as her taste could devise, and seated upon her em that you should have made such a roaring about this broidered cushions like Venus in her shell, neglected country wench. Why, she has not even the country nothing that effrontery and minauderie could perform quality of being plump as a barn-door fowl, but is to draw upon herself some portion of the King's obsermore like a Dunstable lark, that one must crack bones vation; but Charles was not in the vein, and did not and all if you would make a mouthful of it. What even pay her the slightest passing attention of any significs whence she came, or where she goes? There kind, until her boarmen, having ventured to approach will be those behind that are much more worthy of nearer to the Queen's barge ihan etiquette permitted, his Majesty's condescending attention, even when the received a peremptory order to back their oars, and Duchess of Portsmouth takes the frumps."

fall out of the royal procession. Madam Chiffinch "You mean your neighbour, Mistress Nelly,” said cried for spite, and transgressed Solomon's warning, her worthy helpmate; "but, Kate, her date is out. by cursing the King in her heart; but had no better Wit she has, let her keep herself warm with it in course than to return to Westminster, and direct worse company, for the cant of a gang of strollers is Chaubert's preparations for the evening. not language for a prince's chamber."*

In the mean time, the royal barge paused at the "It is no matter what I mean, or whom I mean," Tower; and, accompanied by a laughing train of said Mrs. Chiffinch; "but I tell you, Tom Chiffinch, ladies and of courtiers, the gay Monarch made the that you will find your master quite consoled for loss echoes of the old prison-towers ring with the unof the piece of prudish puritanism that you would wonted sounds of mirth and revelry. As they as needs saddle him with; as if the good man were cended from the river side to the centre of the not plagued enough with them in Parliament but building, where the fine old Keep of William the you must, forsooth, bring them into his very bed- Conqueror, called the White Tower, predominates chamber."

over the exterior defences, Heaven only knows how "Well, Kate,” said Chiffinch, "if a man were to many gallant jests, good or bad, were run on the speak all the sense of the seven wise masters, a comparison of his Majesty's state-prison to that of woman would find nonsense enough to overwhelm Cupid, and what killing similes were drawn between him with; so I shall say no more, but that I would the ladies' eyes and the guns of the fortress, which, to Heaven I may find the King in no worse humour spoken with a fashionable congée, and listened to than you describe him. I am commanded to attend with a smile from a fair lady, formed the fine conhim down the river to the Tower to-day, where he versation of the day. is to make some survey of arms and stores. They This gay swarm of futterers did not however, atare clever fellows who contrive to keep Rowley from tend close on the King's person, though they had acengaging in business, for, by my word, he has a turn companied him upon his party on the river. Charles, for it."

who often formed manly and sensible resolutions,

though he was too easily diverted from them by indo• In Evelyn's Memoirs is the following curious passage ro lence or pleasure, had some desire to make himself specting Nell Gwyo, who is binted at in the text I walked personally acquainted

with the state of the military garden, where I both saw and heard a very familiar discourse stores, arms, &c., of which the Tower was then, as between ... [the King) and Mrs. Nelly, as they called her, an now, the magazine; and, although he had brought intimate comedian, she looking out of her garden on a terrace with him the lisual number of his courtiers, only three Walk under it. I was heartily sorry at this scene."-EVELYN'S or four attended him on the scrutiny which he inMemoirs, vol. i. p. 415.

tended. Whilsı, therefore, the rest of the train amused

« PreviousContinue »