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1859.]
A Letter to Mary Cave.

25 Bullingdon Common, notwithstand- spoil, of which I thought the less as ing the wet; and Grace sits pensive compared with that which might be over her work; and Mary reads her done but for the impracticable naletters with a flushed cheek and a ture of the Commander-in-Chief. contracted brow, and a restless un- Gentle Mistress Mary! it would quiet look in her deep blue eye that not be unbecoming in you to imhas got there very often of late, and plore our gracious and passionately, that denotes anything but repose of adored Queen to hint to his blessed mind. Suddenly she starts and Majesty that I do indeed but desire turns pale as she peruses one elabo- to receive my orders under his own rately written missive, scented and hand, as I should in this wise have silk-bound, and inscribed These more authority to guide the council for Mistress Mary Cave. Ride, of the army thereby to obedience ; ride, ride!' according to the polite and as my requests are mostly demanner of the time. A look of con- nied out-of-hand by Prince Rupert, summate scorn passes over her fea- at whose disposal nevertheless I re. tures as she reads it through once main for life and death, as his more, but her face is still white; Majesty's nephew and loving kinsand she drops it from her hand upon man, I would humbly beg a posithe carpet, unmarked by her pre- tive order from his Majesty for my occupied companion. Here it is :- undertakings, to dispose the officers

more cheerfully to conduct them, * These for Mistress Mary Cave.

and to assure his Majesty that the "GENTLE MISTRESS MARY- least intimation of his pleasure is

• Deign to accept the heartfelt sufficient to make me run through good wishes, none the less sincere all manner of difficulties and hazard for that the heart hath been pierced to perform my duty, and to prove and mangled by the glances of your myself entirely and faithfully debright eyes, of the humblest of your voted to his sacred service. As slaves; and scorn not at the same Mistress Mary bath the key to the time to vouchsafe your favour and heart of our beauteous and beloved interest to one who, languishing to Sovereign, whose will must ever be be parted from so much beauty as law with all who come within the he hath left at Oxford, and specially sphere of her enchantments, meat Merton College, where Mistress thinks that a word spoken in season Mary reigns second to none, still under the roof of Merton College endeavoureth to fulfil his duty re- will more than fulfil all my most ligiously to the King and to her ardent desires, and leare me nothing Majesty, as Mistress Mary esteems to grieve for save that which must to be the devoir of a knight who ever cause me to languish in hopehath placed himself under her very less sorrow--the adoration which it feet. The good cause in which is alike my pride and grief to enterit is my pride that we are fellow- tain for the fairest and proudest labourers, lavguisheth somewhat dame that adorns our English Court. here in Gloucestershire, more from * From intelligence I receive at want of unity in counsel than from sure and friendly hands, I learn that any lack of men and munitions of Wilmot is wavering, and some war in the field. Would his blessed speech is even abroad of a treasonMajesty but vouchsafe to confer able correspondence with Essex, and upon your knight and slave a sepa- an intercepted letter from Fairfax, rate and independent command, it which is to be laid before the is not too much to say that it would Council. be in my power to make short work • Such treachery would merit a and a speedy aceount of Waller, summary dismissal from his office, who lieth with a goodly force of and clemency in this case could cavalry within ten miles of me. It scarcely be extended to an officer of was but last Monday that a small so high a rank. body of my "lambs,” taking their • Digby, too, is far from being orders directly from myself, beat up unsuspected; and should these two his quarters within a mile of Glou- commands become vacant, it would cester, and drove off seventeen of be a fertile opportunity for the his horses, besides considerable uniting of his Majesty's whole body

Mary,

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of horse under one independent she so eager to get him this majority, head, acting conjointly with Prince for which she had so implored her Rupert, who would still remain unwilling and bantering mistress ? Commander-in-Chief, but deriving Why had she sent him off in such a his authority direct from the hand hurry, before he was half recorered, of his blessed Majesty himself. and hardly strong enough to sit Should events work in this direc. upon

his horse! And then of course tion, I can safely confide in your he had fought-80 like him! when discretion to select a proper time at his servant wisely ran away. And which to whisper in the Queen's ear the stern Puritans had struck the humble name of, sweet Mistress his weakened frame to the earth !

Ah! he was a strong bold horseman *Your most passionately-devoted when he was well, and a match for

and faithful knight and hum- the best of them ; but now his arm ble slave,

was powerless, though his courage GEORGE GORING. was as high as ever. And perhaps 'Post scriptum.-The despatches they had slashed his handsome face alluded to in 106 Cipher have ar- -how handsome it was! and what rived. They are duplicate, and kind eyes those were that used to were delivered to me yesterday by meet hers so timidly and gentlyan honest serving-man, who nar- and he was a prisoner-wounded, rowly escaped with his life and his perhaps dying. And she shut her letters from a party of Waller's eyes and fancied she saw him, pale horse.

and faint, in his cell-alone, too, all • His master, it seems, was sorely alone. No, that should never be ! wounded, and led off prisoner into She picked the letter up, and once Gloucester. This is of less account more she read it through from beas his despatches are in cipher, and ginning to end, scarcely noting the the duplicates are safe. He is one fulsome compliments, the strain of Master Bosville, with whom I am selfish intrigue, and only dwelling personally well acquainted, and on the ill-omened and distressing whom Mistress Mary may deign to post scriptum which Goring had remember when lying wounded by written so lightly; but in which, to the weapon of her own true knight do him justice, the reckless General and slave.

showed more feeling than he gene• He is a good officer, and a rally did ; and even as she read she mettlesome lad too. I would fain would fain bave given utterance to have him back with us, but have her grief, and wrung her hands and nothing to exchange against him wept aloud. but a couple of scriveners and a Self-command, however, we need canting Puritan divine; the latter not now observe, was a salient point I shall probably hang. Once more in Mary Cave's character. Wbat-Fare thee well!

ever she may have known, or whatIt was the post scriptum, written ever she may have suspected, she in her correspondent's own natural looked at Grace's pale face and deoff-hand style, and very different jected attitude and held her tongue. from the stilted and exaggerated There was a sisterly feeling between form of compliment and innuendo these two far stronger than was contained in the body of the letter, warranted by their actual relationwhich drove the blood from Mary's ship. Ever since their late intimacy, cheek, and caused her bosom to which had grown closer and closer heave so restlessly beneath her in the quiet shades of Boughton, bodice, her slender foot to beat so Mary had seemed to take care of impatiently upon the floor. Wounded her gentle friend, Grace in return and a prisoner!--and this so soon looking up to her protectress with after his illness, when weak and confiding attachment; and yet there scarcely recovered from the con- a secret between them - a sequences of his duel. And it was secret at which neither ventured her doing-hers! whom he loved to hint, yet with which each so madly, the foolish boy!-who could not but suspect the other counted his life as nothing at the was acquainted. But they never mere wave of her hand. Why was came to an explanation, notwith.

was

1859.]

Bad News in the Queen's Court.

27

sex.

standing. We believe women never ing of the celestial nature from do. We believe that, however un- which she had fallen. reservedly they may confide in a As Mary sat that evening, pensive brother, a lover, or a husband, they and graver than her wont, in the never lay their hearts completely Queen's withdrawing-room, Lady bare before one of their own sex. Carlisle crossed the apartment with Perhaps they are right; perhaps her calm brow and decorous step, they know each other too well. and placed herself by her side. She

There was yet another difficulty liked Mary Cave, as far as it was in in Mary's path, for to succour Bos- her nature to like one of her own ville at all 'hazards we need hardly Perhaps she recognised in say she had resolved, even on her Mary somewhat of her own positive first perusal of the letter. In whom character — the uncompromising was she to confide! to whom could force of will that, for good or for she entrust the secret of his failure evil, marches directly on towards its and capture without letting the bad purpose steadfast and unwavering, news reach Grace's ears? Sir Giles! not to be moved from the path by -the stoat old Cavalier never could any consideration of danger or of keep a secret in his life; his child pity, and like the volume of a mighty would worm it all out of him the river forcing its way through every first time she sat on his knee for obstacle with silent energy. tiro minutes after supper.

The

She sat quietly down by Mary's Queen ?—that volatile lady would side and heaved a deep sigh, with a not only put the very worst con- sympathizing and plaintive expresstruction upon her motives, but sion of countenance, like a consum. would detail the whole of the con. mate actress as she was. fidence reposed in her to each of her It is bad news I have to break to household separately, under strict you, Mistress Cave,' she whispered, promises of secresy, no doubt, which bending her graceful head over the would be tantamount to a general other's work, 'if indeed you know proclamation by the herald king-at. it not already. That handsome arms.

Captain Bosville who was stabbed Of the courtiers she could scarcely by Goring has fallen into the hands bethink herself of one who was not of the rebels! Jermyn only heard 80 busily engaged in some personal it this evening ; I think he is telland selfish intrigue as to have no ing the Queen now. They have got room for any other consideration him in prison at Gloucester, as far whatsoever, who would not scruple as we can learn. He must be saved to sacrifice honour and mercy and by some means. Heaven forefend good feeling merely to score up, so he should be sacrificed by those to speak, another point in the game. villains !' What to do for Bosville and how to Mary's heart was full: she could do it-this was the problem Mary only falter out the word 'exhad to solve; and resolute as she changed. generally was, full of expedients and Exchanged "' repeated Lady Carfertile in resources, she was now lisle, now thoroughly in earnest. obliged to confess herself fairly at • Do you not know-have you not her wit's end.

heard ? Since they hanged our It so fell out, however, that the Irish officers in the north the Counblind deity whom men call Chance cil has ordered reprisals. Fairfax, and gods Destiny, who never helps Ireton, Cromwell—all of them are us till we are at the very utmost furious. They will hang every extremity, befriended Mary through Royalist prisoner they take now! the medium of the very last person It was but last week Prince Rupert about the Court in whom she would strung thirteen Roundheads upon have dreamt of confiding-an indi. one oak tree: they must have heard vidual who perhaps was more selfish, of it by this time. Poor Bosville is intriguing, and reckless than all the in the utmost danger. We talked rest of the royal cirele put together, of it but now in the presence-chambut who, being a woman, and con- ber. Even Jermyn is in despair. sequently born an angel, had still Alas! 'tis a sad business.' retained a scarce perceptible leaven. Mary turned sick and white. Was

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it even so ? The room seemed to stalwart weight of their riders, and spin round with her, and Lady blood to execute the forced marches Carlisle's voice was as the rush of and rapid evolutions which are the many waters in her ear.

very essence of cavalry tacties. The It is hopeless to talk of ex- men themselves are worthy of a changes,' proceeded her ladyship in close inspection. Picked from the a tone of real pity for the too obvious flower of England's yeomanry, from distress of her listener. She had the middle class of farmers and petty once had a soft place in that cor- squires of the northern and eastern rupted heart, aye, long before she counties, their fine stature and broad was dazzled with Strafford's fame, or shoulders denote that physical lured by Pym's political influence; strength which independent agribefore she had sold her lovely cultural labour so surely produces, womanhood for a coronet, and bar whilst their stern brows, grave faces, tered the peace she could never and manly upright bearing, distinknow again for empty splendour. guish them from such of their fellows • Interest must be made with the as have not yet experienced the inParliament. Some of the rising spiration derived from military conrebels must be cajoled. Essex is in fidence mingled with religious zeal. disgrace with them now, and Essex These are the men who are firmly is of no use, or I had brought the persuaded that on their weapons prisoner safe off with my own hand depends the government of earth in a week from this day. But they and heaven; that they are predesare all alike, my dear, Courtiers and tined to win dominion here and Puritans, generals and statesmen, glory hereafterwith their own strong Cavaliers and Roundheads, all are arms; that their paradise, like that men, weak and vain, all are alike of the Moslem enthusiast, is to fools, and all are alike to be won. be won sword-in-hand, and that a An effort must be made, and we can violent death is the surest passport save him.'

to eternal life. Fanatics are they, · What would you do ?' gasped and of the wildest class, but they poor Mary, her self-command now are also stern disciplinarians. Encompletely deserting her.

thusiasm is a glorious quality, no Do!' repeated her ladyship, with doubt, but it has seldom turned the her soft lisping voice and dimpled tide of a general action when unsmile; 'I would beg him a free supported by discipline : it is the pardon if I dragged Cromwell round combination of the two that is inthe room on my bare knees for it, vincible. Thus did the swarms of or die with him,' she added beneath the great Arab Impostor overrun her breath, 'if I really cared one the fairest portion of Europe, and snap of the fingers about the man ! the chivalrous knights of the Cross

She was no coward, my Lady charge home with their lances in Carlisle, and there was more of the rest at Jerusalem. Thus in later tigress about her than the mere times the high-couraged beauty of her skin.

Royalists broken and scattered at
Marston Moor, and the tide of

victory at Naseby turned to a CHAPTER XX.

shameful and irrevocable defeat. Deep as is the influence of religious

zeal, doubly as is that man armed In an open space, long since built who fights under the banner of over by an increasing population, righteousness, it is over life and not but forming at the time of which we death that it exercises its peculiar write alternately a play and drill- sway. A high sense of honour, a ground for the godly inhabitants of reckless spirit of ambition, the roGloucester, is drawn up a regiment mantic enthusiasm of glory, will of heavy cavalry, singularly well face shot and steel as fearlessly as appointed as to all the details of the devout confidence of faith ; and harness and horseflesh which con- the drinking, swaggering, unprinstitute the efficiency of dragoons. cipled troopers of Goring,

Lunsford, The troopers exhibit strength, sym- and such as they, for a long time metry, and action, bone to carry the proved a match, and more than a

were

THE MAN OF DESTINY.

1859.]

An Inspection of the Ironsides.

29

match, for the godly soldiers of the contrast to Fairfax, Harrison, and Parliament. It was the “Threes other of the Parliamentary officers, Right!'--the steady confidence in who vie with their Cavalier antaspired by drill, that turned the scale gonists in the splendour of their at last : that confidence and that apparel. drill the grim Puritan dragoons are It is the man's voice which arrests now acquiring on the parade-ground immediate attention. Harsh and at Gloucester.

deep, there is yet something so conThey sit their horses as only fident and impressive in its tones, Englishmen can, the only seat, that the listener feels at once its moreover, that is at all adapted to natural element is command, aye, the propulsive powers of an English command, too, when the emergency horse, a very different animal from is imminent, the storm at its that of any other country. They greatest violence. It forces him to are armed with long straight cut- scan the features and person of the and-thrust swords, two-edged and speaker, and he beholds a square, basket-hilted, glittering and sharp powerful man of middle stature, as razors, with large horse-pistols loosely and awkwardly made, but of the best locks and workmanship, in the liberal mould that promises with the short handy musquetoon, great physical strength, with coarse deadly for outpost duty, and hanging hands and feet, such as the patrician readily at the hip. Breastplates pretends are never seen in his own and backpieces of steel enhance the race, and with a depth of chest confidence inspired by faith, and which readily accounts for the the men ride to and fro in their powerful tones of that authoritative armour with the very look and air voice. This vigorous frame is surof invincibles. Yes, these are the mounted by a countenance that, Ironsides - the famous Ironsides without the slightest pretensions to that turned the destinies of Eng. comeliness, cannot but make a deep land!

impression on the beholder. The They are drawn up in open column, scoffing Cavaliers may jeer at 'red. waiting for the word of command. nosed Noll,' but Cromwell's face is Their squadrons are dressed with the face of a great man. The sanmathematical precision; their dis- guine temperament, which expresses, tances correct to an inch-woe be to if we may so speak, the material the culprit, officer or soldier, who strength of the mind, is denoted by fails in the most trifling of such the deep ruddy colouring of the minutia. The eye of the com- skin. The strong broad jaw belongs mander would discover him in a to the decided and immovable will twinkling—that commander sitting of a man of action, capable of there so square and erect on his carrying out the thoughts that are good horse. Like all great men, he matured beneath those prominent is not above detail: he would detect temples, from which the thin hair is a button awry as readily as the rout already worn away; and although of a division.

nose is somewhat large and full, He scans his favourite regiment the mouth somewhat coarse and with a quick, bold, satisfied glance- wide, these distinguishing characthe glance of a practised workman teristics seem less the brand of inat his tools. There is no peculiarity dulgence and sensuality than the in his dress or appointments to dis- adjuncts of a ripe, manly nature tinguish him from a simple trooper, almost always the accompaniment his horse is perhaps the most power- of great plıysical power. Though ful and the speediest on the the eyes are small and deep-set, they ground, and he sits in the saddle glow like coals of fire ; when exwith a rare combination of strength cited or angered (for the General's and ease; in every other respect temper is none of the sweetest, and his exterior is simple and unremark- he has more difficulty in commandable. He even seems to affect a ing it than in enforcing the obeplainness of attire not far removed dience of an army), they seem to from sloth, and in regard to clean- flash out sparks from beneath his liness of linen and brightness of heavy head-piece. A winning smile accoutrements presents a striking is on his countenance now. The

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