Alfred John Church.

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conditions and reservations, if by any means they could satisfy both
their own consciences and the visitors. Here I have transcribed some
of the answers.

"I am not of the understanding (my years being so tender) to hold your
thesis which you propose, either affirmative or negative."

"Whereas very learned and judicious men have desired time, I shall
think it presumption in me to answer it extempore."

"It is beyond my weak apprehension to give you any positive answer."

"My weak capacity cannot resolve you of this so hard a question."

"I submit in all cases not exempted by oath."

"I submit so far as my oath giveth me leave."

"When I shall be satisfied in conscience that I may lawfully do it, I
will willingly submit."

"I do submit to King and Parliament in this visitation, so far as
lawfully I may."

"I do not conceive that this visitation doth at all concern me."

"Whereas" (this was made by a gentleman of Christ Church) "I, being a
Commoner here, do receive no benefit from the House, but living at
great expense, and daily expecting to be taken home by my friends, I
think this visitation doth not concern me."

"Sirs, to acknowledge the authority of Parliament in this visitation
were to acknowledge you lawful visitors, and to acknowledge you lawful
visitors were to say more than I know; and also to acknowledge many
visitors, whereas I can but acknowledge one."

For myself I rather admired such answers as were given by Francis
Dixon and Joseph Carricks, students of Christ Church, whereof the one
said:

"I, Francis Dixon, shall not submit to any visitors but the King, and
do acknowledge no visitor but the King."

And the other:

"I, John Carricks, will not submit to the visitation; I will not."

And, indeed, the reservations of the others served them but little,
for the visitors shut them at last to a plain "Yes" or "No."

On the seventh day of May came the visitors to Lincoln College, and
set us the same question. The greater part submitted; these I name
not, nor say that they sinned against their conscience. There is One
that judgeth, to whom they shall answer. As for me, I met the visitors
with a plain "No," and having before, as knowing what should follow,
prepared all things against my departure, left Oxford that very same
day.




CHAPTER XVI.

OF MY KINSFOLK AT ENSTONE.


My sister Dorothy and her good husband, Master Blagrove, had long been
earnest with me that I should visit them; and this, though there was
that which drew me elsewhere, I now purposed to do, both because I
desired to see my kindred again and to learn how they fared, and
because Enstone was of a convenient nearness to Oxford. Such goods as
I had I put in charge of a worthy citizen, Master Mallam, a draper,
that had his dwelling in the Corn-market, a good man that loved the
King and the Church in his heart, but bare him so discreetly that he
had the favour of the opposite faction. My books, which were indeed my
chief possessions, though these also were neither many in number nor
of great price, I gave into the charge of Anthony Wood, that was
Bible-clerk of Merton College (which place though a King's man he had
kept by the special favour of Sir Nathaniel Brent, the Warden of the
said College). This Anthony was a great lover of books, and studious
beyond his years, of which he at that time numbered about sixteen.
These matters settled, I, taking with me only so much as I could
conveniently carry on my back, and with a stout walking-staff in my
hand - such as the good Bishop Jewel did lend to Master Richard Hooker,
pleasantly calling it his horse - set out on my journey, which, being
twenty miles or thereabouts, I accomplished in the space of six hours.
I found a pleasant company gathered at Master Blagrove's house, for he
had that day christened his little son, so that my coming was in
season. After the first greeting, says my sister Dorothy to me:

"Now, Philip, kiss your godson; though indeed you are but a negligent
godfather. Had you but come six hours sooner you had answered for
yourself. As it is you must thank Master Willis here, whom I must now
make known to you, for standing in your place."

"Nay, Dorothy," I answered, "you cannot rightly blame me. No man could
have done to-day's business more speedily than I. This very morning,
mind you, come the visitors to Lincoln College, and, my betters
disposed of, call me before them. 'Philip Dashwood,' says the chief
among them, Sir Nathaniel Brent, that is warden of Merton College, 'do
you submit to this visitation?' 'Sirs,' said I, 'I do not submit.'
'Then you are expelled,' says the great man; and, turning to the
clerk, 'Take a note of his name and sentence;' and to the manciple,
'Strike out his name from the books;' and having waited till I saw it
done, I even turned on my heel, and so departed without a word. I
warrant that my business filled not more than three minutes at the
most. And this was scarce ten hours ago, for the visitors came to us
about eight of the clock."

When I had told them my tale, my sister Dorothy, who had ever a tender
heart, and thought better of me than I deserved, cried out:

"That was well, my brave Philip. I cannot be patient with the
time-serving knaves who would keep their preferment at cost of their
faith."

"Nay, Dorothy," said I, "mine was but a small matter, a few shillings
by the year, which, in the common course, I could not have had much
longer. 'Twas easy enough to give up so small a thing, but I judge not
them who for wife and children's sake have strained their conscience,
it may be, beyond that which is right."

As I spake, I noticed that my good brother looked somewhat grave and
heavy, and so went on -

"But _cras seria_, as some one hath it, which may be translated,
Mistress Dorothy, lest, haply, you have forgotten your Latin,
'business to-morrow.' And now, Dorothy, tell me about this little
Philip."

Dorothy had much to say about the babe, which I will not here set
down. And when she had ended her talk, which she did, not because she
had said enough concerning his beauty and goodness, but because she
was constrained to depart with him and lay him in his cradle, from
which he had been kept overlong, we discoursed about other things, as
sport and country matters of divers kinds, buying and selling of
horses and cattle and the like, with Master Willis, who was a farmer,
and a person of no small consideration, seeing that he paid more
tithes than any other in the parish, and was churchwarden to boot. He
was in a complaining mood, for which, doubtless, he had at the time
sufficiently good reason, but which seems to be common to all who
follow his occupation. I suppose that they who spend their time in
this business of tilling the earth have ever from day to day
disappointments, unseasonable weather, promise of crops ill performed,
and the like, which, though they be severally small, yet from their
number and frequent occurrence worry the soul; and it is ever the way
with men that little evils obscure and drive out of mind great goods.

"It has ever been a poor life with us farmers, and now it is like to
be poorer still. As for sport, there is scarce a hare or a partridge
in the whole country side. For that the soldiers have taken good care.
There was no odds between King's men and Parliament's men. One was as
keen after these things as another, and what one chanced to leave the
other was sure to take. And as for merrymaking, there is little of it
left, and will soon be none. Why, 'tis a sin in the eyes of these
sour-faced whining folk to eat a mince-pie; and as for baiting a bear
or a bull, as has ever been done here till these bad times, we should
be taken to prison for the very mention of such a thing. But these be
strange times, sir. Why, our good parson himself, Master Blagrove
here, if I may make bold to say so much to his face, has new-fangled
fancies about such things. You would scarce believe it, sir, but he
will not suffer the scholars to have their cock-throwing on Shrove
Tuesday. I was wont to give the bird - some tough old fellow that was
become too savage, as they will, sir, when they get past their
age - and the master would tie him to a stake when school was ended for
the morning, and the scholars, or such of them as had been diligent at
their learning, would stand in a ring round about him and throw staves
at him, and the lad that gave him the mortal blow ('twas strange to
see how long a bird would live) would have a shilling for himself.
Then comes Master Blagrove, and talks of cruelty and the like. Now, if
a man deals barbarously with a Christian, I call him cruel; but why
should we care about brute beasts that, as St. Peter has it, are 'made
to be taken and destroyed?'"

Perceiving that Master Willis was getting to be somewhat warm on this
matter, I rose from my place and said to my host: "I am somewhat
weary, and, with your good leave, will to bed." On this signal the
others also went their way.

The next day I rose betimes, and seeing my brother pacing to and fro
in his garden made haste to join him.

"Philip," said he, "your dear sister is a very lioness for courage,
though she is gentle also and loving. I have heard tell of wives that
for fear of poverty for them whom they love, have tempted their
husbands to compliance with base things. Verily your sister is not one
of these. She would starve, yea and see her babe starve - which, I take
it, would trouble her a hundredfold more - before she would let one
false word pass her lips. And I do believe in my soul that if, which
God forbid, I should yield to evil for her sake and the babe's (for I
could not be so base as to yield to it for my own), she would leave me
sooner than have a share in the unclean thing. And being so set in her
mind, and resolved what she will do, she keeps such a cheerful mind as
I cannot pretend to. And, indeed, to speak the whole truth, which I
scarce like to do in her hearing, 'tis a dismal prospect. Hitherto, it
is true, I have been marvellously protected. My good friend Sir Thomas
Chesham, who is the principal man in this part, having both a freehold
of his own and a very profitable lease from the College, has stood by
me, so that while others have been dispossessed of their livings, both
on my right hand and my left, I remain unharmed. 'Tis true there are
murmurings against me; yea, and threats openly made. Once and again
have my enemies come into the church, resolved, I doubt not, had they
not been hindered, to drag me from my very pulpit. 'Twas the Sunday
before Easter this very year that three troopers, with their swords by
their side, came, having with them a preacher in a black gown, whom
they would have put in my place. When I went up to the pulpit to
preach, up starts one of the troopers, and would have left his place;
but Sir Thomas rose from his seat and said, 'William Ball, and you,
Hugh Peters, (for I know you both), you shall answer for this day's
uproar. Master Blagrove is a good man, and has not been dispossessed
by any sentence of law or commission. Till he be so, he, and he only,
has a right where he is, and verily so long as I am master in this
parish he shall keep it.'

"After that they were content to remain in their place, and I gave the
Doctor such a screed of doctrine as, I warrant you, he had not heard
for a long time. You see, Sir Thomas is a man of no mean authority,
having been ever on the Parliament's side from the very beginning of
these troubles. He was with Master Hampden in the Ship Money matter,
and has served the cause with money and otherwise, having indeed
raised no small part of a troop of horse from this very place. I would
he had been otherwise minded; but if it had been so he could not have
served me. Nor do I know how much longer his protection will avail.
For I hear, and that from the good man himself, that he is ever in
less and less accord with them that have now the chief authority. He
would gladly have made peace with the King and set him again on his
throne, with due provision made for liberty; nor does he hold with
those that cry out for a Republic. And in religion he is a
Presbyterian, yet of such a sort that he is not ill-content to live
under a Bishop so that he have no Popish ways. But as you know,
brother Philip, these are not the opinions which find favour in high
places in these days, and I know not how soon he may find even himself
in danger."

"And what will you do, Master Blagrove?" for so I was wont to call him
in consideration of his age, which was, I suppose, the double of mine
at this time.

"I shall wait," answered he; "and when I am dispossessed suffer it
with what patience I may. I have not the spirit of my good neighbour,
Master Warden, of Haythrop; for when they would have intruded a new
minister into his house he would not give place, but declared himself
resolved not to give up his house to the usurper but with his life.
Accordingly he caused his bed to be brought down into his parlour,
kept his gun still charged, and had a watch set all night. Ay, and so
bravely and constantly did he bear himself that the usurper had to
betake himself elsewhere till Master Warden's death, which indeed
happened but a few weeks since, he being then in his eighty-seventh
year. He was a stout fellow, and his people loved him, for never man
had a more open hand. But 'tis in my temper to yield more peaceably;
for I have given pledges to Fortune, whereas Master Warden had been
many years a widower, and his children had long since grown up, and
gone forth into the world. But come, let us talk of other things.
'_Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof._'"

I was yet bound by my promise to Sir Thomas Fairfax (now become by his
father's death Lord Fairfax) that I would not bear arms against the
Parliament, the three years for which this said promise held good
running until the fourteenth day of June, on which day, it will be
remembered, the battle of Naseby was fought. But for this 'tis very
like that I had taken part with His Majesty's friends who in this year
sought to raise the kingdom on his behalf. This they did in many
diverse parts, as in Wales, where certain officers that had lately
fought against the King now took up arms for him, and in Essex where
my Lord Capel with others held Colchester in his name; nor were they
without good hope of success, the Scots being ready to help, and the
fleet also setting their officers aside and submitting them to the
Prince of Wales. It was well for me that things were otherwise
ordered, for, as is well known, all these beginnings ended in nothing.
As for myself, when I was free from my promise (which was about a
month after my coming to Enstone), I tarried where I was, judging that
my duty kept me there. For first my mother was very urgent with me
that I should stay. "His Majesty is a kind prince," she would say,
"and now that I have lost my husband in his cause, will not ask from
me my son also." Also I felt myself bound in kindness to my sister and
her husband, that had relieved me in my need, and were now, I could
perceive, in no small need of such help as I could give. For Master
Blagrove, for lack of a tenant, had been constrained to farm his own
glebe, which glebe was indeed the main support of his living. But what
could a man do in such a business who, I do verily believe, knew not a
plough from a harrow, or barley from wheat? Books on husbandry he had
none, save you may reckon as such Hesiod's _Works and Days_, and the
_Georgics_ of Virgil; nor, had he possessed the wisest treatises that
have ever been writ, may a man get any great benefit from that which
is written. And as for buying and selling, there was never a man in
this world so incapable of doing these to his own profit. I have noted
that 'tis always hard for gentlefolk to hold their own in the market,
be they ever so shrewd and full of knowledge. But my brother, being as
simple as he was good, would sell his goods for the price, be it ever
so small, that was first offered to him, and would buy for whatever
was asked. Here, then, I found excellent occasion to serve him and my
mother and sister also, who had otherwise fared but ill. Of farming I
knew somewhat, having learnt it from my father, who was himself, as I
have said, well acquainted with it; and as for dealings in the market,
though I doubt not I was sometimes circumvented (for your rustic, look
he ever so simple, is more than a match in cunning for your townsman),
yet I took good care that he should not suffer any grievous wrong. And
when the harvest was ended, I journeyed to Northamptonshire to see
good Master Ellgood and my sweet Cicely. And there, for the land about
Naseby is high and cold so that the seasons are later by far than in
Oxfordshire, I was able to do service to the good man in the gathering
of his corn. 'Twas a happy time indeed, for I would ply the sickle,
and she, not being one of those delicate maidens that can but sit at
home with their embroidery, came after me, binding the sheaves, one
Gilbert Davenant, a young lad from Rugby School, helping. And when the
gathering in was finished we took holiday. Sometimes we had a party at
bowls (which game, as I have said, the good man liked much, taking
pains beyond measure to keep his green smooth). Then Cicely and I
would take sides against her father and Gilbert; in this sport I had
no small skill, having followed it much at Oxford, where are bowling
greens as fair and smooth as any in this kingdom; and it was my
delight to bring my sweet Cicely's bowl as near as might be to the
jack, for so they call the mark whereat the players aim, driving it in
at sacrifice of my own, or driving off her adversaries. And we came by
practice to use this alliance to such good purpose that her good
father and his companion could scarce win a rubber. It must be
confessed that he would sometimes lose his patience and grow angry
over the game (but on grave matters I never saw his anger stirred,
though indeed he had suffered no small provocation). Now and then also
she would walk with me to Naseby field, when I would rehearse to her
all that I knew about the battle - a tale which she was never weary of
hearing. Sometimes also we would angle in the Nen, which river, though
here but a petty stream, flowed but a little way eastward from her
father's dwelling. It was a happy time, such as I had never before
enjoyed, but it was soon to be broken through by a most grievous
interruption.




CHAPTER XVII.

OF MY GOING TO LONDON.


In the latter part of the month of September I went for a while to
Enstone, and having set things in order concerning the autumn sowings
of corn and other matters which need to be looked to at that season of
the year, and having also found by recommendation of John Vickers an
honest man who should serve my brother as bailiff, I returned to
Naseby about the first day of November.

Two or three days thereafter, as I sat in Master Ellgood's study
reading Master Hooker's _Ecclesiastical Polity_ (for I was preparing
myself, so far as time and other circumstances permitted, for the
taking of Holy Orders), comes Cicely knocking at the door and, opening
it before ever I could speak, cries, "O Philip, see, John has come,"
and therewith brings in a fair youth, some two years older than
herself, as I judged, and save that he had some four inches more of
stature, of a singular likeness to her; and straightway on seeing him
the doubt that had ever been in my mind whether I had ever before
encountered him was resolved, for I perceived in a moment of time that
the youth was the same that had yielded himself prisoner to my father
at Copredy Bridge. As for him, he had no remembrance of me, at which
indeed I did not wonder, considering what he had suffered that day. I
doubted at the first whether I should make myself known to him,
thinking, not without good reason, that he had no cause to love me.
But the better thought prevailed that I should be honest before all
things, nor endure to have some secret hanging, as it were, over my
head and ever ready to fall; and indeed I had made confession to
Cicely of my savagery in this matter and had received absolution from
her. So I said:

"Master Ellgood, we have met before."

And when he regarded me steadfastly, yet without any sign of knowing
me, I said, "Do you remember one Dashwood at Copredy Bridge?"

"Ay," said he, "as gallant a gentleman as ever sat on horseback. He
saved me when I was in no small peril of my life, and gave me as
courteous treatment as prisoner ever had, and settled for me my
exchange, so that my captivity had scarce begun when it was ended. I
hope that he is in good health and prosperity. But you are not he; you
must be younger by a score of years at the least."

"He was my father," said I, "and I would fain shelter myself under his
name, for, as for me, you have small cause to thank me."

And I made my confession to him. When I had finished he stretched out
his right hand to me with a great laugh, saying:

"Why make such ado? There was no harm done. And if you had made an end
of me I do not know that anyone would have been the loser, save, as
they pleased to think, my good father and Cicely here; and, indeed, I
had not lived to see such evil days as these. Know you the last
tidings?"

"No," said I; "I have heard nothing, save that the Lieutenant-General
Cromwell has trodden the King's friends under foot everywhere. But in
truth I have been thinking of other things."

Thereat I blushed, which is a foolish trick that I have, and Cicely
also blushed for company. Then John Ellgood, looking from one to
another, saw something of what was between us. I know not that any man
has at the first a particular kindness to him whom his sister favours
(which is indeed a mighty ungrateful thing, for the lover has always a
singular affection for his mistress's brothers), but being a good lad
and of a kind heart he said nothing, only I thought that I heard him
say to himself, "Is this a time - - ," and so brake off. "Well," he
said, after he had been silent awhile, "listen to me. Four years ago
we were enemies, now, I doubt not, we are friends." (This I was
mightily glad to hear, fearing what might befall my love for Cicely.)
"I fought for the Parliament - thinking that they had the better
cause - against the King, and I yet believe, though here, doubtless,
you agree not with me, that I was in the right. But 'tis otherwise
with me now; and, indeed, 'tis not now the Parliament, but the Army,
that reigns, and the Lieutenant-General Cromwell and his fellows seek
not the redressing of wrongs and securing of liberties, but the
setting up of a new rule; and because they know in their hearts that
this cannot be firmly established so long as the King stands in the
way, though he be a prisoner and helpless, therefore they are minded
to bring him to judgment for what they are pleased to call his
treasons against this nation, and having so brought him - 'tis almost
too horrible to say, yea, even to think - to put him to death."

Since then this thing has been done, and done with approval from some
that are undoubtedly pious and learned persons (though I doubt not
that the greater part of the nation abhorred the act), so that it has
become in a way familiar, but then (I speak of myself and of many
others) it had not been so much as thought of. That the King might
suffer much at the hand of his enemies; that he might even be slain by
some wicked or fanatic persons, as kings before him - Richard, the
second of the name, to wit, and Henry the Sixth - had been slain by
secret violence, I had deemed to be probable; but that he should be
brought to trial with accustomed forms of law and justice, and having
been so brought, should be publicly and in the face of day put to
death, seemed too horrible to be believed. There had never happened
such a thing before, save only - and let no one judge it to be profane
that this was the first thought of many - save only when our Lord
Himself was condemned by Pilate and crucified.

"It cannot be," I said; "no men could dare to be so impiously wicked."

"Nay," said he, "'tis but too true. But they shall not have their way
without hindrance, for, besides many that have been the King's friends
from the beginning, there are some who, as I myself, were against him
at the first, and so feel the more bound, as having contributed to his
present low estate, to help him in his present necessity. But we will
talk more of these things when my father shall return."

Master Ellgood had ridden to Harborough that day on some business that


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