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musicians, which the King, whose taste was indis- "Certainly,” said the King; "that is, if the incogputable, had himself selected.
nita be really entitled to the honour.-It may be as At other tables in the apartment, the elder courtiers well to inquire her title-there are more madwomen worshipped Fortune, at the various fashionable games abroad than the Duchess of Newcastle. I will walk of ornbre, quadrille, hazard, and the like; while heaps into the anteroom myself
, and receive your answer." of gold which lay before the players, augmented or But ere Charles had reached the lower end of the dwindled with every turn of a card or cast of a die. apartment in his progress to the anteroom, the usher Many a years' rent of fair estates was ventured upon surprised the assembly by announcing a name which the main or the odds; which, spent in the old de- had not for many a year been heard in these courtly serted manor house, had repaired the ravages of halls—"the Countess of Derby!" Cromwell upon its walls, and replaced the sources of Stately and tall, and still, at an advanced period of good housekeeping and hospitality, that, exhausted life, having a person unbroken by years, the noble in the last age by fine and sequestration, were now lady advanced towards her sovereign, with a step rein a fair way of being annihilated by careless prodi- sembling that with which she might have met an gality. Elsewhere, under cover of observing the equal. There was indeed nothing in her manner that gamester, or listening to the music, the gallantries of indicated either haughtiness or assumption unbecomthat all-licensed age were practised among the gay ing that presence; but her consciousness of wrongs, and fair, closely watched the whilst by the ugly or sustained from the administration of Charles, and of the old, who promised themselves at least the pleasure the superiority of the injured party over those from of observing, and it may be that of proclaiming, in- whom, or in whose name, the injury had been offered, trigues in which they could not be sharers.
gave her look dignity and her step firmness. She was From one table to another glided the merry Mo- dressed in widow's weeds, of the same fashion which narch, exchanging now a glance with a Court beauty, were worn at the time her husband was brought to now a jest with a Court wit, now beating time to the the scaffold; and which, in the thirty years subsequent music, and anon losing, or winning a lew pieces of to that event, she had never permitied her tirewoman gold on the chance of the game to which he stood to alter. nearest ;--the most amiable of voluptuaries—the gay- The surprise was no pleasing one to the King; and est and best-natured of companions-the man that cursing in his heart the rashness which had allowed would, of all others, have best sustained his character, the lady entrance on the gay scene in which they had life been a continued banquet, and its only end to were engaged, he saw at the same time the necessity enjoy the passing hour, and send it away as plea- of receiving her in a manner suitable to his own chasantly as might be.
racter, and her rank in the British Court. He apBut Kings are least of all exempted from the ordina- proached her with an air of welcome, into which he ry lot of humanity; and Seged of Ethiopia is, amongst threw all his natural grace, while he began, " Chere monarchs, no solitary example of the vanity of reckon- Comptesse de Derby, puissante Reine de Man, notre ing on a day or an hour of undisturbed serenity. An très auguste sæur". attendant on the Court announced suddenly to their "Speak English, sire, if I may presume to ask such Majesties that a lady, who would only announce her- a favour," said the Countess, "I am a Peeress of this self as a Peeress of England, desired to be admitted nation-mother to one English Earl, and widow, alas, into the presence.
to another! In England I have spent my brief days The Queen said, hastily, it was impossible. No of happiness, my long years of widowhood and sorpeeress, without announcing her title, was entitled to row. France and its language are but to me the the privilege of her rank.
dreams of an uninteresting childhood. I know no "I could be sworn," said a nobleman in attend-tongue save that of my husband and my son. Permit
that it is some whim of the Duchess of New- me, as the widow and mother of Derby, thus to render castle."
my homage." The attendant, who brought the message, said that She would have kneeled, but the King gracefully he did indeed believe it to be the Duchess, both from prevented her, and, saluting her cheek, according to the singularity of the message, and that the lady spoke the form, led' her towards the Queen, and himself with somewhat a foreign accent.
performed the ceremony of introduction. "Your Ma"In the name of madness, then," said the King, jesty," he said, “must be informed that the Countess "let us admit her. Her Grace is an entire raree-show has imposed a restriction on French--the language of in her own person-a universal masquerade-indeed gallantry and compliment. I trust your Majesty will, a sort of private Bedlam-hospital, her whole ideas though a foreigner like herself, find enough of honest being like so many patients crazed upon the subjects English to assure the Countess of Derby, with what of love and literature, who act nothing in their yaga- pleasure we see her at Court, after the absence of so ries, save Minerva, Venus, and the nine Muses." many years."
"Your Majesty's pleasure must always supersede "I will endeavour to do so at least," said the Queen, mine," said the Queen. "I only hope I shall not be on whom the appearance of the Countess of Derby expected to entertain so fantastic a personage. - The made a more favourable impression than that of many last time she came to Court, Isabella,"—(she spoke to strangers, whom, at the King's request she was in the one of her Portuguese ladies of honour)-"you had habit of receiving with courtesy. not returned from our lovely Lisbon,-her Grace had Charles himself again spoke. "To any other lady the assurance to assume a right to bring a train-bearer of the same rank I might put the question, why she into my apartment; and when this was not allowed, was so long absent from the circle? I fear I can only what then, think you, she did ?-even caused her train ask the Countess of Derby, what fortunate cause proto be made so long, that three mortal yards of satin duces the pleasure of seeing her here? and silver remained in the antechamber, supported by “No fortunate cause, my liege, though one most four wenches, while the other end was attached to strong and urgent." her Grace's person, as she paid her duty at the upper The King augured nothing agreeable from this comend of the presence-room.' Full thirty yards of the mencement ; and in truth, from the Countess's first most beautiful silk did her Grace's madness employ entrance, he had anticipated some unpleasant explain this manner.”
nation, which he therefore hastened to parry, having And most beautiful damsels they were who bore first composed his features into an expression of symthis portentous train," said the King-"a train never pathy and interest. equalled save by that of the great comet in sixty-six. "If,” said he, "the cause is of a nature in which we Sedley and Etherege told us wonders of them; for it can render assistance, we cannot expect your ladyis one advantage of this new fashion brought up by ship should enter upon it at the present time; but a the Duchess, that a matron may be totally uncon- memorial addressed to our secretary, or, if it is more scious of the coquetry of her train and its attend satisfactory, to ourselves directly, will receive our ants.'
immediate, and I trust I need not add, our favourable Am I to understand, then, your Majesty's plea construction." sure is, that the lady is to be admitted ?" said the The Countess bowed with some state, and anusher,
swered, "My business, sire, is indeed important; but
so brief, that it need not for more than a few minutes changed since we were young. Men fought in the withdraw your ear from what is more pleasing;--yel | Civil War with good swords and muskets; but now it is so urgent, that I am afraid to postpone it even for we fight with indictments and oaths, and such like a moment.
legal weapons. You are no adept in such warfare; “This is unusual,” said Charles. "But you, Count- and though I am well aware you know how to hold ess of Derby, are an unwonted guest, and must com- out a castle, I doubt much if you have the art to mand my tíme. Does the matter require my private party off an impeachment. This Plot has come upon
us like a land storm--there is no steering the vessel in "For my part," said the Countess, "the whole the teeth of the tempest--we must run for the nearest Court might listen ; but your Majesty may prefer haven, and happy if we can reach one." hearing, me in the presence of one or two of your * This is cowardice, my liege," said the Countess, counsellors."
-"Forgive the word !-it is but a woman who speaks "Ormond," said the King, looking around, "attend it. Call your noble friends around you, and make a us for an instant,-and do you, Arlington, do the stand like your royal father. There is but one right
and one wrong-one honourable and forward course; The King led the way into an adjoining cabinet, and all others which deviate are oblique and unand, seating himself, requested the Countess would worthy." also take a chair. "It needs not, sire," she replied ; "Your language, my venerated friend,” said Orthen pausing for a moment, as if to collect her spirits, mond, - who saw the necessity of interfering betwixt she proceeded with firmness.
the dignity of the actual Sovereign, and the freedom "Your Majesty well said that no light cause had of the Countess, who was generally accustomed to drawn me from my lonely habitation. I came not receive, not to pay, observance, your language is hither when the property of my son--that property strong and decided, but it applies not to the times. which descended to him from a father who died for It might occasion a renewal of the Civil War, and of your Majesty's rights-was conjured away from him all its miseries, but could hardly be attended with the under pretext of justice, that it might first feed the effects you sanguinely anticipate.' avarice of the rebel Fairfax, and then supply the pro
"You are loo rash, my Lady Countess," said digality of his son-in-law, Buckingham.'
Arlington, not only to rush upon this danger yourThese are over harsh terms, lady,” said the King. self, but to desire to involve his Majesty. Let me say "A legal penalty was, as we remember, incurred by plainly, that in this jealous time, you have done but an act of irregular violence-so our courts and our ill to exchange the security of Castle Rushin for the laws term it, though personally I have no objection chance of a lodging in the Tower of London.' to call it, with you, an honourable revenge. But 'And were I to kiss the block there," said the admit it were such, in prosecution of the laws of Countess, as did my husband at Bolton-on-thehonour, bitter legal consequences are often neces- Moors, I would do so willingly, rather than forsake sarily incurred."
a friend !--and one, 100, whom, as in the case of the "I come not to argue for my son's wasted and for younger Peveril, I have thrust upon danger. feited inheritance, sire," said the Countess; "I only "But have I not assured you that both of the lake credit for my patience, under that afficting dis- Peverils, elder and younger, are freed from peril ?" pensation. I now come to redeem the honour of the said the King; "and, my dear Countess, what can House of Derby, more dear to me than all the irea- else tempt you to thrust yourself on danger, from sures and lands which ever belonged to it."
which, doubtless, you expect to be relieved by my And by whom is the honour of the House of Derby intervention ? Methinks a lady of your judgment impeached ?" said the King; "for on my word, you should not voluntarily throw herself into a river, bring me the first news of it.'
merely that her friends might have the risk and merit “Has there one Narrative, as these wild fictions of dragging her out.” are termed, been printed with regard to the Popish The Countess reiterated her intention to claim a Plot-this pretended Plot, as I will call it-in which fair trial. The two counsellors again pressed their the honour of our house has not been touched and advice that she should withdraw, though under the tainted? And are there not two noble gentlemen, charge of absconding from justice, and remain in father and son, allies of the House of Stanley, about her own feudal kingdom. to be placed in jeopardy of their lives, on account of The King, seeing no termination to the debate, matters in which we are the parties first im- gently reminded the Countess that her Majesty peached ?"
would be jealous if he detained her ladyship longer, The King looked around, and smiled to Arlington and offered her his hand to conduct her back to the and Ormond. “The Countess's courage, methinks, company. This she was under the necessity of acshames ours. What lips dared have called the imma- cepting, and returned accordingly to the apartments culate Plot pretended, or the Narrative of the wit- of state, where an event occurred immediately afnesses, our preservers from Popish knives, a wild terwards, which must be transferred to the next fiction ?-But, Madam," he said, "though I admire chapter. the generosity of your interference in behalf of the two Peverils, I must acquaint you, that your interference is unnecessary-they are this morning acquitted.”
CHAPTER XLVI. "Now may God be praised !" said the Countess, Here stand I tight and trim, folding her hands. "I have scarce slept since I Quick of eye, though little of limb; heard the news of their impeachment; and have
He who denieth the word I have spoken,
Betwixt him and me shall lances be broken. arrived here to surrender myself to your Majesty's
Lay of the Luule John de Saintre. justice, or to the prejudices of the nation, in hopes, by so doing, I might at least save the lives of my noble WHEN Charles had re-conducted the Countess of and generous friends, enveloped in suspicion only, or Derby into the presence-chamber, before he parted chiefly, by their connexion with us.--Are they indeed with her, he entreated her, in a whisper, to be goacquitted?"
verned by good counsel, and to regard her own They are, by my honour," said the King. "I safety; and then turned easily from her, as if to marvel you heard it not.'
distribute his attentions equally among the other "I arrived but last night, and remained in the guests. strictest seclusion,” said the Countess, "afraid to These were a good deal circumscribed at the inmake any inquiries that might occasion discovery ere stant by the arrival of a party of five or six musicians; I saw your Majesty."
one of whom, a German, under the patronage of the And now that we have met," said the King, taking Duke of Buckingham, was particularly renowned her hand kindly-"a meeting which gives me the for his performance on the violoncello, but had been greatest pleasure--may I recommend to you speedily detained in inactivity in the antechamber by the nonto return to your royal island with as little eclat as arrival of his instrument, which had now at length vou came hither? The world, my dear Countess, has I made its appearance.
The domestic who placed it before the owner, i words in private with our little friend. You, my Lord shrouded as it was within its wooden case, seened of Ormond-you, Arlington," (and he named one or heartily glad to be rid of his load, and lingered for two others,) “may remain with us." a moment, as if interested in discovering what sort The gay crowd bore back, and dispersed through of instrument was to be produced that could weigh the apartment-the men to conjecture what the end so heavily. His curiosity was satisfied, and in a of this mummery, as they supposed it
, was likely to most extraordinary manner; for, while the musician prove; and what jest, as Sedley said, the bass-fiddle was fumbling with the key, the case being for his had been brought to bed of,and the ladies to admire greater convenience placed upright against the wall, and criticise the antique dress and richly embroidered the case and instrument itself at once flew open, and ruff and hood of the Countess of Derby, to whom out started the dwarf, Geoffrey Hudson,--at sight of the Queen was showing particular altention. whose unearthly appearance, thus suddenly intro- And now, in the name of Heaven, and amongst duced, the ladies shrieked, and ran backwards; the friends," said the King to the dwarf, " what means all gentlemen started; and the poor German, on seeing this ?" the portentous delivery of his fiddle case, tumbled on "Treason my lord the King !-Treason to his Mathe floor in an agony, supposing, it mighi be, that his jesty of England !--When I was chambered in yonder instrument was metamorphosed into the strange instrumeni, my lord, the High-Dutch fellows who figure which supplied its place. So soon, however, as bore mę, carried me into a certain chapel, to see, as he recovered, he glided out of the apartment, and was they said to each other, that all was ready. Sire, I followed by most of his companions.
went where bass-fiddle never went before, even into "Hudson !" said the King-"My little old friend, I a conventicle of Fifth-Monarchists; and wben they am not sorry to see you; though Buckingham, who brought me away, the preacher was concluding his I suppose is the purveyor of this jest, hath served us sermon, and was within a 'Now to apply of serting up but a stale one.'
off like the bell-wether at the head of his flock, to “Will your Majesty honour me with one moment's surprise your Majesty in your royal Court ! I heard attention ?" said Hudson.
him through the sound-holes of my instrument, when Assuredly, my good friend," said the King. "Old the fellow set me down for a moment to profit by this acquaintances are springing up in every quarter to precious doctrine." night; and our leisure can hardly be better employed "It would be singular," said Lord Arlington, “ were than in listening to them.-It was an idle trick of there some reality at the bottom of this buffoonery; Buckingham,” he added, in a whisper to Ormond, for we know these wild men have been consulting "10 send the poor thing hither, especially as he was together to-day, and five conventicles have held a to-day tried for the affair of the Plot. At any rate, solemn fast." he comes not to ask protection from us, having had "Nay,” said the King, "if that be the case, they the rare fortune to come off Plot-free. He is but are certainly determined" on some villany." fishing, I suppose, for some little present or pension." "Might I advise," said the Duke of Ormond, "I
The little man, precise in Court etiquette, yet im- would summon the Duke of Buckingham. to this patient of the King's delaying to attend to him, stood presence. His connexions with the fanavics are well in the midst of the floor, most valorously pawing and known, though he affects to conceal them." prancing, like a Scots pony assuming the airs of a "You would not, my lord, do his Grace the injuswar-horse, waving mean while his litlle hat with the tice to treat him as a criminal on such a charge as tarnished feather, and bowing from time to time, as this ?" said the King. “However," he added, after if impatient to be heard.
a moment's consideration, Buckingham is accessible Speak on, then, my friend,” said Charles; "if to every sort of temptation, from the fightiness of thou hast some poetical address penned for thee, out his genius. I should not be surprised if he nourished with it, that thou mayst have time to repose these hopes of an aspiring kind-I think we had some flourishing little limbs of thine."
proof of it but lately. --Hark ye, Chiffinch; go to him No poetical speech have I, most mighty Sove instantly, and bring him here on any fair pretext thou reign," answered the dwarf; "but in plain and
most canst devise. I would fain save him from what lawloyal prose, I do accuse, before this company, the yers call an overt act. The Court would be dull as a once noble Duke of Buckingham of high treason!". dead horse, were Buckingham to miscarry.".
"Well spoken, and manfully-Get on, man,” said "Will not your Majesty order the Horse Guards to the King, who never doubted that this was the in- turn out ?" said young Selby, who was present and an troduction to something burlesque or witty, not con- officer. ceiving that the charge was made in solemn earnest. “No, Selby," said the King, "I like not horse-play.
A great laugh took place among such courtiers as But let them be prepared ; and let the High Bailiff heard, and among many who did not hear,
what was collect his civil officers, and command the Sheriff to uttered by the dwarf; the former entertained by the summon their worshipful attendants, from javelinextravagant emphasis and gesticulation of the little men to hangmen,* and have them in readiness, in champion, and the others laughing not the less loud case of any sudden tumule-double the sentinels on that they laughed for example's sake, and upon trust. the doors of the palace--and see no strangers get in.”
“What matter is there for all this mirth ?'' said he, Or out," said the Duke of Ormond. Where are very indignantly-"Is it fit subject for laughing, that the foreign fellows who brought in the dwarf ?". I, Geoffrey Hudson, Knight, do, before King and They were sought for, but they were not to be found. nobles, impeach George Villiers, Duke of Bucking- They had retreated, leaving their instruments--a cirham, of high treason ?".
cumstance which seemed to bear hard on the Duke "No subject of mirth, certainly,” said Charles, of Buckingham, their patron. composing his features; "but great matter of won
* It can hardly be forgotten that one of the great difficulties of der.-Come, cease this mouthing, and prancing, and Charles Il.'s reign was to obtain for the crown the power of mummery. If there be a jest, come out with it, choosing the sheriffs of London. Roger North gives a lively man; and if not, even get thee to the beauffet, and account of his brother, Sir Dudley North, who agreed to serve drink a cup of wine to refresh thee after thy close mults about buming the Pope, because that is accounted for in lodging
I tell you, my liege," said Hudson, impatiently, is there occasion to say any thing of the rise and discovery of the yet in a whisper, intended only to be audible by the cerned with this latter, farther than that the conspirators had King," that if you spend over much time in trifling, taken especial care of Sir Dudley North. For he was one of those you will be convinced by dire experience of Bucking. who, if they had succeeded, was to have been knocked on the ham's treason. I tell you, --1 asseverate to your head, and his skin to be stuffed, and hung up in Guildhall. But, Majesty,---(wo hundred armed fanatics will be here all that apart, he reckoned it a great unhappiness, that so many
trials for high treason,
happen in his year. within the hour, to surprise the guards."
However in these affairs, the sheriffs were passive ; for all re"Stand back, ladies," said the
King, "or you may turns of panels, and other despatches of the law, were issued and hear more than you will care to listen to. My Lord done by under-officers; which was a fair screen for them They of Buckingham's jests are not always, you know, keep order, which
was enough for them to do. I have heard Sir quite fitted for female ears; besides, we want a few Dudley North say, that, striking with his cane, he wondered to
Hasty preparations were made to provide resistance desty," said the King; But what chanced next? to any effort of despair which the supposed conspira- Be brief-be like thyself, man.' tors might be driven to; and in the mean while, the “For a time, sire," said the dwarf, "it seemed as King, withdrawing, with Arlington, Ormond, and a if I were not the principal object of attention. First, few other counsellors, into the cabinet where the the younger Peveril was withdrawn from us by a Countess of Derby had had her audience, resumed gentleman of venerable appearance, though somethe examination of the little discoverer. His decla- what smacking of a Puritan, having boots of neat's ration, though singular, was quite coherent; the strain leather, and wearing his weapon without a swordof romance intermingled with it, being in fact a part knot. When Master Julian returned, he informed us, of his character, which often gained him the fate of for the first time that we were in the power of a body being laughed at
, when he would otherwise have been of armed fanatics, who were, as the poet says, prompt pilied, or even esteemed.
for direful act. And your Majesty will remark, that He commenced with a flourish about his sufferings both father and son were in some measure desperate, for the Plot, which the impatience of Ormond would and disregardful from that moment of the assurances have cut shor, had not the King reminded his Grace, which I gave them that the star which I was bound that a top, when it is not fogged, must needs go to worship, would, in her own time, shine forth in down of itself at the end of a definite time, while signal of our safety. May it please your Majesty, in the application of the whip may keep it up for hours. answer to my hilarious exhortations to confidence,
Geoffrey Hudson was, therefore, allowed to exhaust the father did but say tush, aud the son pshaw, which himself on the subject of his prison-house, which he showed how men's prudence and manners are disinformed the King was not without a beam of light turbed by affliction. Nevertheless, these two gentle--an emanation of loveliness-a mortal angel-quick men, the Peverils, forming a strong opinion of the of step and beautiful of eye, who had more than once necessity there was to break forth, were it only to visited his confinement with words of cheering and convey a knowledge of these dangerous passages to comfort.
your Majesty, commenced an assault on the door of “By my faith,” said the King, "they fare better in the apartment, I also assisting with the strength Newgate than I was aware of. Who would have which Heaven hath given, and some threescore years thought of the little gentleman being solaced with have left me. We could not, as it unhappily proved, female society in such a place ?''
manage our attempt so silently, but that our guards "I pray your Majesty,' said the dwarf, after the overheard us, and, entering in numbers, separated us manner of a solemn protest, to understand nothing from each other, and compelled my companions, at amiss. My devotion to this fair creature is rather like point of pike and poniard, io go to some other and what we poor Catholics pay to the blessed saints, more distant apartment, thus separating our fair sothan mixed with any grosser quality. Indeed, she ciety. I was again enclosed in the now solitary chamseems rather a sylphid of the Rosicrucian system, than ber, and I will own that I felt a certain depression of aught more carnal; being slighter, lighter, and less soul. But when bale is at highest, as the poet singeth, than the females of common life, who have some boot is at nighest, for a door of hope was suddenly thing of that coarseness of make which is doubtless opened??derived from the sinful and gigantic race of the ante- "In the name of God, my liege," said the Duke of diluvians."
Ormond, "let this poor creature's story be translated "Well, say on, man," quoth Charles. “Didst thou into the language of common sense by some of the not discover this sylph to be a mere mortal wench scribblers of romances about Court, and we may be after all ?"
able to make meaning of it.” "Who?-1, my liege ?-0 fie!"
Geoffrey Hudson looked with a frowning counte"Nay, little gentleman, do not be so particularly nance of reproof upon the impatientold Irish nobleman, scandalized,” said the King; "I promise you I sus- and said, with a very dignified air, “That one duke pect you of no audacity of gallantry."
upon a poor gentleman's hand was enough at a time, "Time wears fast," said the Duke of Ormond, im- and that, but for his present engagement and depatiently, and looking at his watch. "Chiffinch hath pendency with the Duke of Buckingham, he would been gone ten minutes, and ten minutes will bring him have endured no such terms from the Duke of Orback.
mond.” "True, " said Charles gravely.. "Come to the point, "Abate your valour, and diminish your choler, Hudson; and tell us what this female has to do with at our request, most puissant Sir Geoffrey Hudson, your coming hither in this extraordinary manner." said the King; "and forgive the Duke of Ormond
'Every thing, my lord," said little Hudson. “I for my sake; but at all events go on with your story." saw
her twice during my confinement in Newgate, Geoffrey Hudson laid his hand on his bosom, and and, in my thought, she is the very angel who guards bowed in proud and dignified submission to his Sovemy life and welfare; for, after my acquittal, as I reign; then waved his forgiveness gracefully to Orwalked towards the city with two tall gentlemen, who mond, accompanied with a horrible grin, which he had been in trouble along with me, and just while we designed for a smile of gracious forgiveness and constood to our defence against a rascally mob, and just ciliation. "Under the Duke's favour, then," he proas I had taken possession of an elevated situation to ceeded, "when I said the door of hope was opened to have some vantage against the great odds of num- me, I ineant a door behind the tapestry, from whence berg, I heard a heavenly voice sound, as it were, from issued that fair vision-yet not so fair as lustrously a window behind me, counselling me to take refuge dark, like the beauty of a continental night, where in a certain house; to which measure I readily per- the cloudless azure sky shrouds us in a veil more sijaded my gallant friends the Peverils, who have lovely than that of day!-But I note your Majesty's always shown themselves willing to be counselled by impatience ;-enough. I followed my beautiful guide
into an apartment, where there lay, strangely inter"Showing therein their wisdom at once and mo- mingled, warlike arms and musical instruments see what blows his countrymen would take upon their bare Amongst these I saw my own late place of temporary heads, and never look up at it. And indeed, nothing can match obscurity-a violoncello. To my astonishment, she the zeal of the common people to see executions. The worst turned around the instrument, and opening it behind grievance was the executioner coming to him for orders, touch: by pressure of a spring, showed that it was filled with them. Once, while he was abroad, a cart, with some of themleers. These," she said, "are this night
destined to ing the abscinded members, and to know where to dispose of pistols, daggers, and ammunition made up in bandoalrpost out of her wits;
and she could never be reconciled to the surprise the Court of the unwary Charles'--your Madog hangman's saying he came to speak with his master. These jesty must pardon my using her own words; but if are inconveniences that attend the stations of public
magistracy, thou darest go in their stead, thou mayst be the sary. I have now no more to say of any incidents during the saviour of king and kingdoms; if thou art afraid, keep shrievalty
: but that, at the year's end, he delivered up his a secret, I myself will try the adventure.' Now, may charges to his successor in like manner as he had received them Heaven forbid, that Geoffrey Hudson were craven well and easy at his own house, as he did before these disturbo enough, said I, to let thee run such a risk! You ances put him out of order."
know not-you cannot know, what belongs to such
ambuscades and concealments-I am accustomed to “Were it not, better to put him under some restraint, them-have lurked in the pocket of a giant, and sire ?" said the Duke of Ormond, when Hudson had have formed the contents of a pasty. 'Get in, then,' left the room. she said, 'and lose no time.' 'Nevertheless, while I "It is unnecessary," said the King. “I remember prepared to obey, I will not deny that some cold the little wretch of old. Fortune, to make him the apprehensions came over my hot valour, and I con; model of absurdity, has closed a most lofty soul fessed to her, if it might so be, I would rather find within that little miserable carcass. For wielding my way to the palace on my own feet. But she his sword and keeping his word, he is a perfect Don would not listen to me, saying hastily, 'I would Quixote in decimo-octavo. He shall be taken care be intercepted, or refused admittance, and that I of.---But, oddsfish, my lords, is not this freak of Buckmust embrace the means she offered me of intro- ingham too villanous and ungrateful ?" duction into the presence, and when there, tell the He had not had the means of being so, had your King to be on his guard—little more is necessary; Majesty," said the Duke of Ormond, "been less le for once the scheme is known it becomes desperate. pient on other occasions." Rashly and boldly, I bid adieu to the daylight which “My lord, my lord,” said Charles, hastily—"your was then fading away. She withdrew the contents lordship is Buckingham's known enemy-we will of the instrument destined for my concealment, and take other and more impartial counsel. - Arlington, having put them behind the chimney-board, intro- what think you of all this?" duced me in their room. As she clasped me in, I "May it please your Majesty," said Arlington, "I implored her to warn the men who were to be in think the thing is absolutely impossible, unless the trusted with me, to take heed and keep the neck of Duke has had some quarrel with your Majesty, of the violoncello uppermost; but ere I had completed which we know nothing. His Grace is very fighty, my request, I found I was left alone, and in darkness. doubtless, but this seems actual insanity.” Presently, two or three fellows entered, whom, by "Why, faith,” said the King, "some words passed their language, which I in some sort understood, I betwixt us this morning-his Duchess it seems is perceived to be Germans, and under the influence of dead-and to lose no time, his Grace had cast his the Duke of Buckingħam. I heard them receive from eyes about for means of repairing the loss, and had the leader a charge how they were to deport them- the assurance to ask our consent to woo my niece selves, when they should assume the concealed arms Lady Anne." ---and-for I will do the Duke no wrong-I understood " Which your Majesty of course rejected ?" said the their orders were precise, not only to spare the person statesman. of the King, but also those of the courtiers, and to “And not without rebuking his assurance," added protect all who might be in the presence against an the King irruption of the fanatics. In other respects, they had "In private, sir, or before any witness ?”' said the charge to disarm the gentleman-pensioners in the Duke of Ormond. guard-room, and, in fine, to obtain the command of the "Before no one, said the King, -"excepting, inCourt.”
deed, little Chiffinch; and he, you know, is no one." The King looked disconcerted and thoughtful at "Hinc illæ lachrymæ,” said Ormond. “I know this communication, and bade Lord Arlington see that his Grace well. While the rebuke of his aspiring Selby quietly made search into the contents of the petulance was a matter betwixt your Majesty and other cases which had been brought as containing him, he might have let it pass by; but a check bemusical instruments. He then signed to the dwarf fore a fellow from whom it was likely enough to to proceed in his story, asking hiin again and again, travel through the Court was a matter to be reand very solemnly, whether he was sure that he heard venged.” the Duke's name mentioned, as commanding or ap- Here Selby came hastily from the other room, to proving this action.
say, that his Grace of Buckingham had just entered The dwarf answered in the affirmative.
the presence chamber. "This," said the King, "is carrying the frolic some- The King rose. “Let a boat be in readiness, with what far."
a party of the yeomen," said he. "Įt may be neThe dwarf proceeded to state, that he was carried cessary to attach him of treason, and send him to after his metamorphosis into the chapel, where he the Tower." heard the preacher seemingly about the close of his Should not a Secretary of State's warrant be harangue, ihe tenor of which he also mentioned. prepared ?" said Ormond. Words, he said, could not express the agony which No, my Lord Duke," said the King, sharply. “I he felt when he found that his bearer, in placing the still hope that the necessity may be avoided. instrument in a corner, was about to invert its position, in which case, he said, human frailty might have proved too great for love for loyalty, for true obe
CHAPTER XLVII. dience, nay, for the fear of death, which was like to ensue on discovery; and he concluded, that he greatly
High reaching Buckingham grows circumspect.
Richard III doubted he could not have stood on his head for many minutes without screaming aloud.
BEFORE giving the reader an account of the meet"I could not have blamed you," said the King; ing betwixt Buckingham and his injured Sovereigti, "placed in such a posture in the royal oak, I must we may mention a trifing circumstance or two which i eeds have roared myself.—Is this all you have to took place betwixt his Grace and Chiffinch, in the 1:ll us of this strange conspiracy?" Sir Geoffrey short drive betwixt York-Place and Whitehall. Hudson replied in the affirmative, and the King pre- In the outset, the Duke endeavoured to learn frorn sently subjoined—“Go my little friend, your services the courtier the special cause of his being summoned shall not be forgotten. Since thou hast crept into so hastily to the Court: Chiffinch answered, canthe bowels of a fiddle for our service, we are bound, tionsly, that he believed there were some gambols in duty and conscience, to find you a more roomy going forward, at which the King desired the Duke's dwelling in future."
presence, "It was a violoncello, if your Majesty is pleased to This did not quite satisfy Buckingham, for, conremember," said the little jealous man, not a com- scious of his own harsh purpose, he could not but apmon fiddle; though, for your Majesty's service, I prehend discovery: After a moment's silence, would have crept even into a kit.”
Chiffinch," he said, abruptly, "did you mention to "Whatever of that nature could have been per- any one what the King said to me this morning formed by any subject of ours, thou wouldst have en- touching the Lady Anne ?". acted in our behalf-of that we hold ourselves cer- My Lord Duke," said Chiffinch, hesitating, tain. Withdraw for a little; and hark ye, for the surely my duty to the King--my respect to your present, beware what you say about this matter. Let Grace" your appearance be considered-do you mark me-as "You mentioned it to no one, then ?" said the a frolic of the Duke of Buckingham; and not a word Duke, sternly. of conspiracy.”
"To no one," replied Chiffinch, faintly, for he was