Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr.

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

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this new attack at once, and he and Desborough and Cob-
bett came rattling over the bridges of boats. No dismay
when Cromwell was there ! His voice and presence meant
victory ! The malignants, with their Scotch allies, re
treated before him into Worcester streets, Cromwell s men
after them pell-mell. Women, it was then hell let loose,
for by this time it was nearly dark, and the narrow streets
were lit only by the flashes of the great and small shot.
Cromwell rode up and down them, in the midst of the
fire ; he took Fort Royal from the enemy, and with his
own hands fired its guns upon them as they fled hither and
thither, they knew not, in their terror and despair, where.
Every street in Worcester was full of fire and blood, the
rattle of artillery, the shouts of our captains, the shrieks of
the dying. All night the sack of the city went on. It was
a tenfold Drogheda, and ever since, by day and night, Lam
bert has been following the flying enemy, hunting and
slaying them in every highway and hiding-place. Oh, in
deed, the faces of our foes have been brought down to
earth and their mouths filled with dust ; and rightly so. No
one will ever know the number slain, and we have ten
thousand prisoners."

" Was such cruelty necessary ? " asked Mrs. Swaffham.

" War is cruel, Martha ; a battle would not be a battle
unless it was cruel furiously cruel. What is the use of
striking soft in battle ? The work is to do over again. A
cruel war is in the end a merciful war."

" It is said Charles Stuart is slain."


u I don t believe that report, it has been spread by his
friends to favour his escape. At first he was distracted, and
went about asking some one to slay him ; but he was seen
afterwards beyond the pates of Worcester, moving eastward

J tD O

with a number of his adherents. David Leslie may be
slain. I saw him riding slowly up and down like a man
who had lost his senses. I could have shot him easily but
I did not."

" Thank God, Doctor ! "

" I don t know about that, Martha. I m not sure in my
own mind about letting the old traitor go. But his white
hair, his bloody face, and his demented look stayed my
hand. He had left his bridle fall, his horse was trembling
in every limb ; the old man did not know what he was do
ing, he had lost his senses. Yet David Leslie ought to have
been shot only, I could not shoot him ; he fought at my
side once. God forgive him ! Martha, I have had
enough of war. I thank God it is over."

" But is it over ? "

" Cromwell says so, and I believe him. When a man
walks with God as closely as Cromwell does, he knows
many things beyond ordinary knowledge. I saw him
about ten o clock. He had written then a few lines to his
wife and family, and was writing to the Parliament. And
what did he say in that letter? Did he praise himself?
No ! He was bold humbly to beg that all the glory might
be given to God, who had wrought so great a salvation.
When he had sealed and sent off these letters by Lord
Cluny Neville, Mistress Jane he lifted his sword, red
from the hilt to the point, and wiped it upon a Royalist
flag lying near him. Then he dropped the blade into the
sheathe with a clang, and said, Truly thou hast had thy
last bloody supper. Rest now, thy work is done !


"Truly, I know not what work. said Mrs. Swaffham.
l . 1 1 see only death and destruction."

" Martha, suppose Charles Stuart had conquered at
Worcester, and that he had marched on London and been
received there as the conqueror of a rebellious people, what
would follow ? "

" 1 know not, nor does any man or woman know."

" I can tell you. Our Protestant faith and our civil lib
erty would be taken from us ; for the latter depends on
the former, and all we have done since 1640 would be to
do over again. Jericho has fallen, would you rebuild it ? "

" All I want is peace."

" That we shall now have. Our steel bodies, that have
galled us long with the wearing of them, may be cast off;
our men will return to their homes and their daily work,
and our worship shall never more be broken up, but our
Sabbaths be full of good things."

" If we love God, I wonder if it makes so much difference
how we worship Him ? "

" I am astonished at you, Martha."

" I am astonished likewise at all the sorrow and blood-
shedding about surplices and chasubles and written prayers
and such things."


" My dear mother ! " .

" Oh, my dear Jane, it is so; and I was astonished when
I was a girl and saw my father go to poverty and prison
for such trifles. Yes, I say trifles and I am a Puritan
minister s child, and not ashamed of it and my husband
and sons have been taken from me, and my household left
for the battle-field, and I know not what sorrows and
trials "

" Come, come, Martha, you are tired and fretted. If we
believe in a great and terrible God, how we are most accept-



ably to worship Him is not a trifling thing; far from it !
I tell you both, the form of worship we have in England
measures our civil liberty. If we submit to spiritual slavery,
any king or queen or successful soldier may make us civil
slaves. Now let the subject drop ; the war is over, we will
think of peace."

" Peace conies too late for many a family. There are
the de Wicks."

" I am sorry for them, and I could be sorrier if they had
suffered for the right instead of the wrong. What will the
young Lady Matilda do after her father s death ? "

" I know not what, with any surety."

" Her aunt, Lady Jevery, has been written for, more than
a week ago. She may be at de Wick even now. I think
Matilda will make her home with the Jeverys."

" Then she goes to London. I know their great house
near Drury Lane. It has very fine gardens indeed. I be
lieve the Jeverys are under suspicion, Martha, as very hot
malignants. And now, Jane, dear little Jane, listen to me.
You are going to the great city, to Whitehall Palace, to
Hampton Court, to the splendour and state of a great
nation. You will be surrounded by military pomp and civil
glory and social pride and vanity. Dear little girl, keep
yourself unspotted from the world ! "

" May God help me, sir."

" And let not the tale of love beguile you. Young
Harry Cromwell, gallant and good, will be there ; and Lord
Neville, with his long pedigree and beautiful face ; and
officers in scarlet and gold, and godly, eloquent preachers
in black and white, and foreign nobles, and men of all
kinds and degrees. And tis more than likely many will
tell you that Jane Swaff ham is fair beyond all other women,
and vow their hearts and lives to your keeping. Then,


Jane, in such hours of temptation, be low and humble
towards God. Go often to the assembling of the saints
and catch the morning dew and celestial rain of their
prayers and praise. Then, Jane, cry all the more earnestly
Tell me, oh Thou whom my soul loveth my soul^
Jane where Thou feedest, where Thou makest Thy flocks
to rest at noon. And no doubt you will add to this inquiry
its sweet closing He brought me to the banqueting-house,
and His banner over me was love.

And Jane smiled gratefully, and her eyes were dim with
tears as she laid her hands in Doctor Verity s to clasp her
promise. Yet when she reached her room and sat quiet in
its solitude, no one will blame her because many thoughts
of love and hope blended themselves with the piteous ones
she sent to de Wick, and to the two weary fugitives under
Swaffham roof. She was pleased at the thought of Harry
Cromwell, but oh ! what a serious happiness, what a flush
of maiden joy transfigured her face when she thought of
her lover, forecasting rose-winged hours for him to glorify.
And in her soul s pure sanctuary she whispered his name
while her eyes dreamed against the goal of their expected
meeting. For Love gives Hope to the true and tender, but
counts a cold heart a castaway.


The Tools To Those Who Can Handle
Them !


" Cromwell ! Why that s the name of Victory."

" The shouting cries
Of the pleased people, rend the vaulted skies."

" Let there be music. Let the Master touch
The solemn organ, and soft breathing flute."

" Rupert ! Oh there s music in the name,
Repeated as a charm to ease my grief.
I, that loved name did as some god invoke ;
And printed kisses on it as I spoke."

THE great day of triumph was over. Cromwell had
entered London at the head of his victorious army, and the
city was safe and jubilant. Standing at her mother s side,
Jane had witnessed from a window in the crowded
Strand the glorious pageant of Liberty, the martial vision of
warriors whose faces had been bathed in that rain that falls
on battle-fields, red as the rains of hell ; she had seen again
the simple, kindly man who had been her childhood s friend,
and who was now England s chief of men, being to
England both father and son, both sword and shield. She
had heard his name carried on rolling tides of human shouts
and huzzas, chording with the firing of cannon, the beating
of drums, the tread of thousands, the chiming of bells, and
all the multitudinous and chaotic clamour which constitutes
the excitement of a great crowd, and always brings with it
the sense of bounding life and brotherhood.



And in the midst of this joyful turbulence she had caught
sight of her father and brothers and lover ; her father s face


sternly glad, like the face of a man who had fought a good
fight to assured victory ; his sons imitating his bearing, as
well as youth could copy age ; and the young lord not
far from them, proud and radiant and carrying aloft the
colours of the Commonwealth. Somewhere in that crowd
of spectators he thought Jane must be present, and he bore
himself as if he were constantly in her sight.

As yet they had not met, nor had Cluny any certain
knowledge of the Swaffham s location. There had been
some supposition that they would lodge in Leadenhall
Street, at the home of Mistress Adair, the widow of an In
dependent minister who had preached often in the little
chapel attached to Oliver Cromwell s house in Hunting
don ; but of this he had no positive information, and he
certainly expected that Mrs. Swaffham would advise him
of their arrival in London.

Mrs. Swaffham had, however, learned that Cluny Neville
was personally objectionable to her husband and sons, and,
as she could not see clearly what road to take, she very
wisely stood still, waiting for some light and guidance. And
it seemed unnecessary to trouble Jane s heart until there
was a positive reason for doing so ; yet her depression and
evident disappointment fretted her mother.

" What is the matter with you, Jane ? " she asked irri
tably one morning ; " you look as if you had lost everything
in the world instead of being, as your father thinks, right
on the road to many a good day. I wouldn t throw such a
damp over things if I were you."

" You seem to have forgotten Cluny, mother."

" He seems to have forgotten us ; he might have called,
I think."


" Docs he know where we are ? "

" He could have found out. He sees Cymlin often

" I think Cymlin dislikes him. I asked him yesterday if
he knew Lord Neville and he answered me rudely."

" He is your brother."

"Just for that reason he ought to have spoken civilly to

"He is your brother, and you must hear and heed what
he says. And I must tell you, Jane, that it is not maidenly
to take any young man so seriously as you take Lord
Neville until your father and brothers are satisfied. It is a
matter of importance to them what men are brought into the
Swaffham family. There is plenty to make you happy with
out Lord Neville. Your own people are safe and sound,
the Cause we love is secure, and you may now dwell your
life out in England ; but if we had not conquered, it would
have been over the seas and into the wilderness for us, and
strangers forever in old SwafFham. I shouldn t think you
were done thanking God for these mercies yet ; and if not,
then where do you find heart-room for such melancholy
and moping as I see in you ? "

" But, mother, when I look back to last August

" If you want to look happily forward never look back

" To be sure ; but though I know Cluny loves me, doubts
and fears will come, and I cannot always fight them or
reason with them."

" Don t try either fighting or reasoning. There is a
broad enough way between them."

Jane smiled and lifted her tambour work, and her mother
nodded cheerfully as she continued, " Enjoy the hour <:s it
comes to you. I have always found that one good hour


brings on another." And Jane took the counsel into her
heart and anon began to sing

" It was alone Thy Providence,
That made us Masters of the field,"

and when she had got thus far, a loud, joyful voice joined
her in the next two lines, and its owner came into the room
singing them

" Thou art our Castle of defense,

Our Fort, our Bulwark and our Shield."

" Oh, Doctor Verity ! " Jane cried, " how glad I am to
see you."

" I had been here an hour ago, but I had to wait on the
Lady Mary Cromwell. They who serve women must
learn to wait. She has sent you a letter, and a coach is at
your order, and you are bid to Whitehall. And you will
be very welcome there."

" I know not any ceremonies, Doctor."

" You do not need to know them. It is Mary Crom
well, yet; though if the women of Cromwell s house assume
greatness, he has won it for them. Why should they not
wear the honours their father gives them ? "

Then Jane ran to her mother, and her box of fineries was
quickly packed, and the girl came down for her visit glow
ing with hope and happiness. All the shadows were gone ;
she sat a little proudly in the fine coach by the side of
Doctor Verity, and was alert and watchful, for it did not
seem an improbable thing that she might have a passing
sight of her lover. The city had by this time recovered its
every-day temper, and she could not help contrasting the
plodding, busy serenity of its present mood with its frenzy


of triumphant joy on the entry of Cromwell. Doctor
Verity insisted that the two conditions were alike natural.
" No one can play the fool like a wise man," he said; "and
the greater and the richer the city the more extravagantly
and unreasonably and vauntingly it will express its victory
and salvation. London had so much to lose," he continued,
" that it would better have lain in ashes than lain at the feet
of any Stuart."

As they drew near to Whitehall, Jane s spirits fell a lit
tle. She had not caught a glimpse of her lover, and she
felt a sudden anxiety about her position. Sometimes pros
perity is as fatal to friendship as adversity, and the girl tried
in silence to prepare herself for any change fn affection that
change of fortune might have caused. But her fears were
very transient; Mary and Frances Cromwell met her with
effusive attentions; they called her affectionately by her
name, and quickly took her to the general sitting-room of
the family. Madame Cromwell was there, as kind and
motherly as of old ; and Mistress Ireton, silently reading a
sermon of Doctor Owen s ; and Mrs. Claypole selecting
some damask for a new gown ; and Mary and Frances, full
of the joy and pride of their great position, soon carried
Jane all through their splendid apartments, and afterwards
sat down together in Mary s room to talk over old times
and the friends and occupations that had made them happy
and memorable. Their first inquiry was for Lady Matilda
de Wick, and when Jane answered, " Her father is dead,
and I know not exactly what has befallen her since his
death," the girls were all silent a few minutes. After the
pause, Mary Cromwell said

" I remember her so well on her fine Barbary mare.
How handsome she was ! How proud ! If the Earl
spoke to my father then she would deign to ask after


my lessons, or my dog, or how the skating was on the
Broad. But she was older than I, and it seems so long
ago lately she has been deaf, dumb and blind to the
Cromwells they do not mind that much now. I wonder
where she is."

" It was said she would live with her aunt, Lady Jevery ;
if so, she must be in London."

" And you know it not ? And you have not seen her ?
That is a marvel. It was thought impossible for Matilda
de Wick and Jane SwafFham to live long apart."

" There have been great changes," sighed Jane. ct Peo
ple that were once friends know each other no more. It
is hoped now that there will be many reconciliations."

" We have seen Lady Heneage often," said Mary CroiTK
well, " and tis said there is a purpose of marriage between
Alice Heneage and a favourite of my father s Lord Cluny

" I have seen Lord Neville," said Jane. " He brought
me your letters and the blue and gold ribbon you sent me.
His visits were flying ones ; he came and he went."

" Like the knight in the story he loved and he rode
away. But we are all mightily taken with his fine manner
and his beauty, and the Lord General, my father, thinks him
to have great sincerity and discretion."

" A very perfect youth," answered Jane with a smile.

" Indeed, we think so ; if you are of a different opinion
you will change it on a better knowledge of the young man.
He is coming here this afternoon, is he not, Frank ? "

" He said so. He was to make some copies of the hymn
he wrote, for Mr. Milton has set it to music, and we are
to practice the singing together. Father thinks very highly
of the words."

" Dear me ! " ejaculated Jane, " is he also a poet ? I


thought he wrote only with his sword. I fear that he has
too many perfections. Has he not one fault to balance
them ? "

" Yes," answered Mary, " he has one great fault, he is a
Presbyterian, and a Scotch Presbyterian. In all other things
he holds with the Lord General, but he sticks to his Scotch
idols John Knox and the Covenant."

" I think no worse of him for that," said Jane. " If he
knew what an Independent was, he would likely be an

" It is not believable," retorted Mary. " He is a
Scotchman, or next door to one. And if a man is a
Samaritan, what can he know of Jerusalem ? "

" I care not what he is," said Frances. " He has hand
some eyes, and he writes poetry, and he tells such stories as
make your blood run cold and sometimes love-stories, and
then his voice is like music ; and if it was not sinful to

" But it is sinful," said Jane warmly, " and if I saw
Lord Neville or any other man making mincing steps to a
viol I would never wish to speak to him again. Would
you, Mary ? "

" Of course not, but Frank is only talking. We have
masters now in music and singing and geography, and I am
learning Morley s Airs 1 straight through, besides roundelays
and madrigals. And we have a new harpsichord, though
the Lord General, my father, likes best the organ or the

" And besides all this," continued Frances, " we are
studying the French tongue, and history, and the use of
the globes ; and Mrs. Katon comes twice every week to

1 Popular and patriotic songs having the same vogue then as Moore s
Melodies in our era.


teach us how to make wax flowers and fruit and take the
new stitches in tatting and embroidery. And, Jane, I have
got a glass bowl full of goldfish. They came from China,
and there are no more of them, I think, in England. Come
with me, and you shall see them."

" Never mind the fish now, Frank," said Mary ; " there
is the bell for dinner, and we must answer it at once or we
shall grieve mother."

They rose at these words and went quickly to the dining-
room. Mrs. Cromwell, leaning upon the arm of her daugh
ter, Mrs. Ireton, was just entering it, and Jane wondered
silently at the state these simple country gentry had so
easily assumed. Officers of the household, in rich uniforms,
waited on all their movements and served them with
obsequious respect ; and they bore their new honours as if
they had been born to the purple. Mrs. Cromwell s
simplicity stood her in the place of dignity, and the piety
and stern republicanism of Mrs. Ireton gave to her bearing
that indifference to outward pomp which passed readily for
inherited nobility, while the beauty of Mrs. Claypole and
her love of splendour fitted her surroundings with more
than accidental propriety. All the women of this famous
household were keenly alive to the glory of those achieve
ments which had placed them in a palace, and all of
them rendered to its great head every title of honour his
mighty deeds claimed as their right.

" The General dines with the Speaker," said Mrs.
Cromwell ; and she was herself about to say grace when
Doctor Verity entered. He was greeted with a chorus of
welcomes, and readily took his seat at the foot of the table
and spoke the few words of grateful prayer which sweetened
and blessed every Puritan meal. Then in answer to some
remark about Cromwell s absence he said,


" The Lord General is much troubled about the
Worcester prisoners. There has just been a pitiful kind of
triumph made out of their miseries. I don t approve of it,
not I, God forbid ! They have been made a spectacle for
men and angels, marched from Hamnstead Heath, through
Aldgate, Cheapside, and the Strand, to Westminster
hungry, beggarly creatures, many of them wounded, and
nearly naked."

"Poor fellows," said Mrs. Cromwell.

" Sturdy, surly fellows, madame. I don t envy the men
who will have to manage them as slaves."

" They go to the Barbadoes, I hear ? "

" Yes, it is Scotland no more for them."

" Is that right, Doctor ? "

" Indeed, madame, I am not clear in my conscience con
cerning the matter. It is the liberty of war. The Lord
General has given two or three prisoners to each of his
friends and entertainers between here and Worcester.
However, the miserable fellows brought some comfort out
of their evil plight, for the citizens along all the route for
got they were enemies, and the women fed them with the
best of victuals, and the men stepped from their shop doors
and put money in their hands. I ll be bound the rogues
got more money and good white bread this morning than
they have seen in all their lives before. Besides which,
there is, in the Exchange and in the ale-houses, a box for
the poor prisoners, and whenever men make a bargain they
drop a God s-penny into it for them. That s Englishmen
all over; they fight to the death in fair battle, but when
their foe is at their feet they lift him up and help him and
forget that he was ever their enemy. And may God keep
Englishmen ever in such mind ! "


" Indeed," said Mary Cromwell, " these Scots have


given us trouble and sorrow enough. They ought to be
sent out of the country, or out of the world, and that at
once ! "

"That is my opinion," said Mrs. Ireton. " Our brave
men are being slain, and the country is torn asunder for
their malignancy."

" There have been as brave spirits as the world ever saw
in both Puritan and Royalist armies, madame," answered
the Doctor. " I, for one, am glad that both parties have
fought their quarrel to the end. I rejoice because our
hard-smiting Puritan hosts would not let the Stuarts come
back and trample them, with all law and liberty, under their
feet. But I would have been deadly sorry if the Cavaliers
of England had wanted the temper to fight for their King
and their church. Right or wrong, we must honour men
who have convictions and are willing to die for them."

" Monarchy and Prelacy go together," said Mrs. Ireton ;
u and England has had more than enough of both."

" We are of one mind on that point, madame," said
Doctor Verity. " In this respect, the man George Fox and
his followers have some true light, and they are scattering
the truth, as they see it, broadcast. I have taken occasion,
and sought occasion, and gone out of my way to find oc
casion, to meet George Fox, but have not yet done so. I
was told that he once listened to my preaching at St. Paul s
Cross, and that he said I was not far from the Kingdom.
I liked that in George ; I hope I may say the same for him.
Our Lord General thinks him to be a man after God s own

" My father sees the best in every one," said Mrs.

" Why do you not speak to the Lord General about
these poor prisoners ? " Mrs. Cromwell said. " He gave


very kind orders about the Dunbar prisoners, and if they

Online LibraryAmelia Edith Huddleston BarrThe lion's whelp; a story of Cromwell's time → online text (page 8 of 27)