Copyright
Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr.

The lion's whelp; a story of Cromwell's time online

. (page 1 of 27)
Online LibraryAmelia Edith Huddleston BarrThe lion's whelp; a story of Cromwell's time → online text (page 1 of 27)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


\



The Lion s Whelp





Now LET GOD ARISE!



The




Lion s



A Story of CromweW s Time

By
Amelia E. Barr

Author of

"The Bow of Orange Ribbon, " "I, Thou, and the
Other One," " The Maid of Maiden Lane," etc.



With Illustrations by

Lee Woodward Zeigler



New Tork

Dodd, Mead fc? Company
1901



Copyright, 1901 , by

DODD, MEAD & COMPANY

All rights reserved



THE CAXTON PRESS
NEW YORK.



Contents



CHAP. PAGE

I. SWAFFHAM AND DE WICK. I

II. DOCTOR JOHN VERITY 25

III. WOVEN OF LOVE AND GLORY 42

IV. SO SWEET A DREAM 59

V. SHEATHED SWORDS 82

VI. ON THE TIDE TOP IOg

VII. TWO LOVE AFFAIRS 138

VIII. UPON THE THRESHOLD l6j

IX. CROMWELL INTERFERES 189

X. RUPERT AND CLUNY .211

XI. OLIVER PROTECTOR 239

XII. HOLD THOU MY HANDS 260

XIII. CHANGES AT DE WICK 277

XIV. A LITTLE FURTHER ON 298

XV. THE FATE OF LORD CLUNY NEVILLE . . . . 33!

XVI. OLIVER THE CONQUEROR 353



List of Illustrations



" NOW LET GOD ARISE ! FRONTISPIECE

"WHEN HE CAME AGAIN IT WAS HARVEST TIME." 7^
" THEN HE DROPPED HIS BLADE INTO THK SHEATHE WITH A

CLANG." 104

"BEHELD CROMWELL STANDING UPON THE THRESHOLD." 124

" THE HAWTHORNS WERE IN FLOWER." 140

" RUPERT STOOD STILL, AND BOWED GRAVELY." 224

te THREE OMINOUS-LOOKING PAPERS." 286

" LlFT UI> YOUR HEADS, O YE GATES, AND THE KlNG OF

GLORY SHALL COME IN. 352



BOOK I
The Hour and The Man



Unknown to Cromwell as to me,
Was Cromwell s measure or degree.

He works, plots, rights, in rude affairs,
With squires, lords, kings, his craft compares,
Till late he learned, through doubt and fear,
Broad England harbored not his peer."

Emerson.



The Lion s Whelp



CHAPTER I

SWAFFHAM AND DE WICK

" Sway the tide of battle which way it will, human existence is
held together by its old, and only tenure of earnest thoughts, and
quiet affections."

DURING the seventeenth century Swaffham Manor House
was one of the most picturesque dwellings in Cambridge
shire. It was so old that it had a sort of personality. It
was Swaffham. For as the Yorkshireman, in speaking of
his beloved rivers, disdains the article " the " and calls them
with proud familiarity, Aire, Ure, Ribble, so to the men of
the country between Huntingdon and Cambridge, this an
cient dwelling was never the Manor House ; it was the
synonym of its builders, and was called by their name
Swaffham. For it was the history of the Swaffham family
in stone and timber, and no one could enter its large, low
rooms without feeling saturated and informed with the spir
itual and physical aura ot the men and women who had
for centuries lived and died under its roof.

The central tower built of the white stone of the neigh
bourhood was the fortress which Tonbert Swaffham erected
A. D. 870, to defend his lands from an invasion of the
Danes ; and five generations of Tonbert s descendants

1



2 THE LION S WHELP

dwelt in that tower, before William of Normandy took
possession of the crown of England. The Swaffham of
that date became a friend of the Conqueror ; the Manor
was enriched by his gifts; and the Manor House en
larged and beautified by various holders had the singular
fortune to be identified with the stirring events of every
dynasty.

In the middle of the seventeenth century it still retained
this character. Puritan councils of oftense and defense
had been held in its great hall, and parliamentary soldiers
drilled in its meadows. For Captain Israel Swafr ham was
the friend of General Cromwell, and at the time this story
opens was with Cromwell in Scotland. Nothing of good
in the old race was lacking in Captain Israel. He was a
soldier going forth on a holy errand, hurrying to serve God
on the battle-field ; faithful, as a man must be who could
say after a hard day s fighting,

" Tired ! No. It is not for me to let my right hand
grow tired, if God s work be half-done."

A great fighter, he had no parliamentary talent, and no
respect for parliaments. He believed England s religious
and civil liberties were to be saved by the sword, and the
sword in the hand of his great leader, Oliver Cromwell;
and when the King s fast-and-loose proposals had been
discussed by the men of Cambridgeshire, in Swaffham, he
had closed the argument with this passionate declaration :

" There is no longer disputing with such a double mind
as the mind of Charles Stuart. The very oath of God
would not bind him. Out, instantly, all of you who can ! "

His three sons rose at his words and the rest of the coun
cil followed, for all felt that the work was but half done
there was to be a Second Civil War. Then home was
again deserted for the battle-field, and Captain SwarFham s



SWAFFHAM AND DE WICK 3

wife and daughter were once more left alone in the old
Manor House.

Mrs. SvvafFham was the child of a Puritan minister, and
she had strong Puritan principles ; but these were subject
to passing invasions of feeling not in accord with them.
There were hours when she had pitied the late King, excused
his inexcusable treacheries, and regretted the pomps and
ceremonies of royal state. She had even a feeling that
England, unkinged, had lost prestige and was like a de
throned nation. In such hours she fretted over her absent
husband and sons, and said words hard for her daughter
fane to listen to with any sympathy or patience.

For Jane Swaffham was of a different spirit. She had a
soul of the highest mettle ; and she had listened to those
English mystics, who came out of the steel ranks of tri
umphant Puritanism, until she had caught their spirit and
been filled through and through with their faith. The
Swaft hams were a tall race ; but Jane was a woman of
small stature and slender frame, and her hair, though
abundant, wanted the rich brown hue that was the heritage
of the Swaffham beauties. No one spoke of Jane as a
beauty ; the memory of her sister Amity who had mar
ried Lord Armingford and of her aunt, Cicely Compton,
both women of rare loveliness, qualified Jane s claim to
this family distinction. And yet she had a fresh, bright
face, a face like a sweet single rose of the wood ; one could
see straight to her heart through it a loving, cheerful
daughter of righteousness; not perfect by any means; sub
ject to little bursts of temper, and to opinions so positive
they had the air of bigotry ; but with all her faults hold
ing that excellent oneness of mind, which has no doubts
and no second thoughts.

This was the maiden who was sitting, one sunny after-



4 THE LION S WHELP

noon, at the open window of the household parlour in Swaff-
ham. The lazy wind brought her delicious pufts of sweet-
brier scent, and in the rich fields beyond the garden she
could hear the voices of the reapers calling to each other as
they bound the wheat. On the hearthstone, her mother s
wheel hummed in a fitful way, now rapidly, now slowly,
anon stopping altogether. Jane was quite idle. A tray
full of ripe lavender spikes was at her side and a partly
finished little bag of sheer muslin was in her hand, but the
work was not progressing. When thoughts are happy, the
needle flies, when they are troubled or perplexed, the hands
drop down and it becomes an effort to draw the thread.
Jane was thinking of her father and brothers, of the un
happy condition of England, and of the unrest in their own
household. For she knew that her mother was worried
about many things, and the fret that was bred in the kitchen
and the farm offices in spite of all her efforts insinuated
itself into the still order of the handsome room in which she
was sitting. She felt her mother s silence to be unpleas
antly eloquent. The fitful wheel complained. It was a
relief when Mrs. Swarf ham brought to audible conclusions,
the voiceless tension in which they were sitting.

" My work is never out of hand, Jane," she said fret
fully. " I am fairly downhearted to-day so put to the
push as I have been, with women in the kitchen and men
in the fields."

" Dear mother, it may not be for long."

" It will be long enough to bring everything to wrack and
ruin. The dairy is twenty-four shillings short this week."

" There are perhaps fewer cows in milk."

" The wool is short weight also ; one of the gray horses
is sick ; the best thresher has gone soldiering, like the rest
of the fools."



SWAFFHAM AND DE WICK 5

" Mother ! "

" And Will Will-be-so has the rheumatism, and in spite
of his Bible and his psalm-singing, has been to Dame Yo-
dene for a charm."

" Why did he not come to you for flannel and a plas
ter ? "

" Come to me ! That goes without saying. I went out
of my way to help him, and then he wished Master Israel
was home, and said there was no rheumatics when he was
round looking after his men. I fired up, then, when he
spoke that way laying to my account the wettings he gets
coming from the ale-house at nights ; and then he muttered
Women s ways Will-be-so.

u Will is very provoking. I wish he would go to the
wars."

" He likes the tap at Widow Tasburgh s, and the black
smith s forge too well let alone the women in the kitchen,
who are all quarreling about him. And then there is this
new girl, Susannah, who is more pretty than need be ; her
face gets her too much favour with the men and too little
with the women. When Doctor Verity comes next, I
must tell him to give a few words suitable at the Evening
Service. They are a lazy, quarreling set, and every one of
them does their work against the collar."

" Father told me he was led to believe he would not be
long away. He said this campaign would be short and
fierce, for General Cromwell looks on its necessity as the
unpardonable sin in Charles Stuart."

" Short and fierce ! Well, then, General Cromwell is
well able to put fighting men up to that kind of thing."

" You are out with the General, mother, and all because
you miss father so much."

" I am out with the war, Jane. What is the good of it ?



6 THE LION S WHELP

Charles Stuart alive, stands for his Prerogative just where
Charles Stuart dead, did."

" The war is now an appeal to God. That is the good
of it. You heard what Doctor Verity said of its necessity
and you agreed with him. Indeed, who could gainsay his
words ? He spoke as if he had heard God s command 4 Up
and be doing, and I will help you.

" Is God, then, the God of war ? No, Jane. I will not
believe it."

" God is the God of blessings, mother ; but as the
ploughshare breaks up the earth for the- corn seed,
so does the red ploughshare of war break up the heart
of the nation for the blessing of freedom which shall
follow it."

" I know not ; I know not ; but I am sure if there were
no kings and queens in the world it would be little loss to
God Almighty, or to any one else."

At this moment there was the sound of wheels and the
tramp of horses, and Jane said, " It is Matilda de Wick. I
know the roll of the carriage. Dear mother, keep a bright
face in her presence. She will see everything, and draw
conclusions from the smallest matter." Then Jane lifted
her sewing, and the wheel began to hum, and the door
opened swiftly and Matilda de Wick entered.

" I have just been at Ely," she said, " and if I live
seven-and-fifty years longer in this sinful world, I shall not
forget the visit." Then she laughed with a merry scorn,
kissed Jane on the cheek, and laid off her hat, heavy with
white plumes. " It is good-bye to my senses," she con
tinued ; " I am out of wisdom this afternoon lend me
your sobriety, Jane. I have been visiting Lady Heneage,
and I have heard so much of the Cromwell s full cup that,
in faith, I think it has gone to my head. Do I look sensi-



SWAFFHAM AND DE WICK 7

ble ? I have no hope of my words, and I pray you excuse
whatever I may say."

" I trust Lady Heneage is well," said Mrs. Swaffham.

" She had need to be well. Her house is as full as the ark.
Mrs. Elizabeth Harnpden is there, and daughter Flambord,
and daughter Clayton, and all their children and retainers.
It is their last gathering before they go away. Do you
wish to know where they are going ? To London, of
course. When people carry themselves to such a height,
no other city is big enough. But I ask pardon ; I told you
my words had lost their senses."

" Why do you go to see Lady Heneage if you like her
not and surely you like her not, or you would not make a
mock of her doings."

" I like to go where good fortune sits, Jane and in
these days no one can expect honour that deserves it. You
know also that the last Heneage baby was named for me,
and I got word that it was short-coated last Sunday ; and so
1 went to see the little brat. It is a beauty, if it hold on to
its good looks ; and tis like to do so, for whatever Heneage
gets, Heneage keeps."

" And they are going to London ? Is it really so ? " asked
Jane.

" Tis not very civil to doubt it. I dare be sworn it is as
true as a thing can be, when the world is topsy-turvy. But
that is not all of my news I heard also that Jane Swaff
ham was going to London a thing I would not believe
without Jane s assurance."

"It is very uncertain," replied A/lrs. Swaffham. "Jane
has an invitation from Mary Cromwell, and if Doctor
Verity comes here soon, he may find the time to take her
to London with him. We know not assuredly, as yet."

" Jane must move mountains to go. The Cromwells are



8 THE LION S WHELP

now living in the stately Cockpit. They will hold court
there, and Jane Swaffham will be of it. Tis said all this
honour for the Irish campaign."

" Then it is well deserved/ answered Jane with some
heat.

" Jane," said Mrs. Swaffham, " I can not abide any more
quarreling to-day. If you and Matilda get on that subject,
truth and justice will go to the wall. Monstrous lies are
told about Ireland, and you both suck them down as if they
were part of the Gospels." Then turning to Matilda she
asked, " Why does the Heneage family go to London ? "

" Indeed, madame, now that Mr. Cromwell has become
Captain-General, and Commander-in-Chief, why should not
all his old friends go to London ? London has gone mad
over the man ; even that supreme concourse of rebels called
Parliament rose up, bareheaded, to receive him when he
last honoured them with a visit."

" Just what they ought to have done, " said Jane. " Is
there any corner of England not coupled gloriously with his
name ? "

" And Ireland ? "

" Gloriously also."

" Pray, then, is it not extremely natural for his old friends
to wish to see his glory ? "

" I am sure of one thing," answered Jane. " Public
honours please not General Cromwell. He would thank
God to escape them."

" I do not say that the wish to see him honoured is uni
versal, " continued Matilda. " Father Sacy thinks there
are a few thousand men still living in England who have not
bowed the knee to this Baal."

" It is wicked to liken a good man to a devil, Matilda ;
and if mother will sit and listen to such words, I will not.



SWAFFHAM AND DE WICK 9

And, look you, though Charles Stuart s men turn up their
noses and the palms of their hands at General Cromwell, he
stands too high for them to pull him down. Cromwell will
work and light the time appointed him and after that he
will rest in the Lord. For he is good, and just, and brave
as a lion, and there is not a man or woman can say differ
ent not a man or woman treading English ground to-day
that can, in truth, say different ! Always he performs God s
will and pleasure."

" Or the devil s."

" He is a good man. I say it."

" And he knows it ; and that is where his hypocrisy
comes in I "

"Children! Children! can you find nothing more lovely
to talk about ? Matilda, you know that you are baiting
Jane s temper only that you may see her lose it."

Then Matilda laughed, and stooping to her friend, kissed
her and said, " Come, little Jane, I will ask your pardon. It
is the curse of these days, that one must lie to one s own
heart, or quarrel with the heart one loves. Kiss and be
friends, Jane. I came to get your receipt for lavender
conserves, and this is nothing to it."

"Jane was conserving, yesterday," answered Mrs. Swaff-
ham, " and she has a new receipt from her sister Arming-
ford for brewing a drink against sleeplessness. It is to be
made from the blue flowers picked from the knaps."

"That is fortunate," said Matilda. "You know that
my father has poor health, and his liking for study makes
him ailing, of late. He sleeps not. I wish that I had a
composing draught for him. Come, Jane, let us go to the
still-room." She spoke with an unconscious air of authority,
and Jane as unconsciously obeyed it, but there was a cold
ness in her manner which did not disappear until the



io THE LION S WHELP

royalist lady had talked with her for half-an-hour about the
spices and the distilled waters that were to prevail against
the Earl s sleeplessness.

When the electuary had been prepared, the girls became
silent. They were as remarkably contrasted as were the
tenets, religious and civil, for which they stood. But if
mere physical ascendency could have dominated Jane Swaff-
ham, she was in its presence. Yet it was not Matilda, but
Jane, who filled the cool, sweet place with a sense of power
not to be disputed. Her pale hair was full of light and life ;
it seemed to shine in its waving order and crown-like coil.
Her eyes had a steady glow in their depths that was invin
cible ; her slight form was proudly poised ; her whole man
ner resolute and a little cold, as of one who was putting
down an offense only half-forgiven.

Matilda was conscious of Jane s influence, and she called
all her own charms forth to rival it. Putting out of ac
count her beautiful face and stately figure as not likely to
affect Jane, she assumed the manner she had never known
to fail a manner half-serious and wholly affectionate and
confidential. She knew that Swaffham was always a safe
subject, and that a conversation set to that key went di
rectly to Jane s heart. So, turning slowly round to observe
everything, she said,

" How cool and sweet is this place, Jane !

" It is, Matilda. I often think that one might receive
angels among these pure scents."

" Oh, I vow it is the rosemary ! Let me put my hands
through it," and she hastily pulled off her white em
broidered gloves, and passed her hands, shining with gems,
through the deliciously fragrant green leaves.

" I have a passion for rosemary," she continued, " It
always perfigures good fortune to me. Sometimes if I wake



SWAFFHAM AND DE WICK n

in the night I smell it I smell miles of it and then I
know my angel has been to see me, and that some good
thing will tread in her footsteps."

" I ever think of rosemary for burials," said Jane.

" And I for bridals, and for happiness ; but it

" Grows for two ends, it matters not at all,
Be it for bridal, or for burial. "

" That is true, " answered Jane. " I remember hearing
my father say that when Queen Elizabeth made her joyful
entry into London, every one carried rosemary posies ; and
that Her Grace kept in her hand, from the Fleet Bridge to
Westminster, a branch of rosemary that had been given
her by a poor old woman."

" That was a queen indeed ! Had she reigned this day,
there had been no Cromwell."

" Who can tell that ? England had to come out of the
Valley and Shadow of Popery, and it is the Lord General s
sword that shall lead her into the full light there is some
thing round your neck, Matilda, that looks as if you were
still in darkness."

Then Matilda laughed and put her hand to her throat,
and slipped into her bosom a rosary of coral and gold
beads. " It was my mother s," she said ; " you know that
she was of the Old Profession, and I wear it for her
sake."

" It is said that Charles Stuart also wears one for his
mother s sake."

" It is a good man that remembers a good mother ; and
the King is a good man."

"There is no kino; in England now, Matilda, and no

O D

question of one."

"There is a king, whether we will or no. The king



12 THE LION S WHELP

never dies ; the crown is the crown, though it hang on a
hedge bush."

" That is frivolous nonsense, Matilda. The Parliament
is king."

" Oh, the pious gang ! This is a strange thing that has
come to pass in our day, Jane that an anointed king should
be deposed and slain. Who ever heard the like ? "

" Read your histories, Matilda. It is a common thing
for tyrannical kings to have their executioners. Charles
Stuart suffered lawfully and by consent of Parliament."

" A most astonishing difference ! " answered Matilda,
drawing on her gloves impatiently, " to be murdered with
consent of Parliament ! that is lawful ; without consent of
Parliament, that is very wicked indeed. But even as a man
you might pity him."

" Pity him ! Not I ! He has his just reward. He
bound himself for his enemies with cords of his own spin
ning. But you will not see the truth, Matilda

u So then, it is useless wasting good Puritan breath on
me. Dear Jane, can we never escape this subject ? Here,
in this sweet room, why do we talk of tragedies ? "

Jane was closing the still-room door as this question was
asked, and she took her friend by the arm and said, " Come,
and I will show you a room in which another weak,
wicked king prefigured the calamity that came to his suc
cessor in our day." Then she opened a door in the same
tower, and they were in a chamber that was, even on this
warm harvest day, cold and dark. For the narrow loop
hole window had not been changed, as in the still-room, for

O *

wide lattices ; and the place was mouldy and empty and
pervaded by an old, unhappy atmosphere.

" What a wretched room ! It will give me an ague,"

O O *

said Matilda.



SWAFFHAM AND DE WICK 13

" It was to this room King John came, soon after his barons
had compelled him to sign the Great Charter of Liberties.
And John was only an earlier Charles Stuart just as tyran
nical just as false and his barons were his parliament.
He lay on the floor where you are now standing, and in his
passion bit and gnawed the green rushes with which it was
strewed, and cursed the men who he said had made them
selves twenty-four over-kings. So you see that it is not a
new thing for Englishmen to war against their kings."

" Poor kings ! "

" They should behave themselves better."

" Let us go away. I am shivering." Then as they
turned from the desolate place, she said with an attempt at
indifference, " When did you hear from Cymlin ? And
pray in what place must I remember him now ? "

" I know not particularly. Wherever the Captain-Gen
eral is, there Cymlin Swaffham is like to be."

" At Ely, they were talking of Cromwell as near to
Edinburgh."

" Then we shall hear tidings of him soon. He goes not
anywhere for nothing."

" Why do you not ask after Stephen s fortune good or
bad?"

" I did not at the moment think of Stephen. When
Cromwell is in the mind tis impossible to find him fit com
pany. It is he, and he only."

" Yet if ever Stephen de Wick gets a glimpse of home,
it is not home to him until he has been at Swaffham."

Jane made no answer, and they walked silently to the
door where Matilda s carriage was waiting. Mrs. Swaff
ham joined them as Matilda was about to leave, and the girl
said, " I had come near to forgetting something I wished to
tell you. One of those men called (Quakers was preaching



i 4 THE LION S WHELP

his new religion at Squire Oliver Leder s last night. There
was much disputing about him to-day."

u I wonder then," said Mrs. SwafFham, "that we were
not asked. I have desired to hear some of these men. It is
said they are mighty in the Scriptures, and that they preach
peace, which God knows is the doctrine England now
needs."

" Many were there. I heard of the Flittons and Moss-
leys and the Traffords and others. But pray what is the
good of preaching peace when Cromwell is going up and
down the land with a drawn sword. It is true also that
these Quakers themselves always bring quarreling and per
secution with them."

" That is not their fault," said Jane. " The preacher
can only give the Word, and if people will quarrel about it
and rend it to and fro, that is not the preacher s fault. But,
indeed, all testify that these people called Quakers quake at
nothing, and are stiff and unbendable in their own way."

" So are the Independents, and the Anabaptists, and the
Presbyterians, and the Fifth Monarchy Men, and the Root
and Branch Men, and "

"The Papists, and the Episcopalians," added Jane.

" Eaith ! No one can deny it."

"What said Lady Heneage of the preacher?" asked
Mrs. SwafFham.

" She thought he ought to be put in the stocks ; and her
sister Isabel said that he was a good man, and had the root



Online LibraryAmelia Edith Huddleston BarrThe lion's whelp; a story of Cromwell's time → online text (page 1 of 27)