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honest man could be of a different mind. No
youth, indeed, of simple and noble nature, as
yet unmarred by any dominant phase of selfish-
ness, could have failed to catch fire from the
enthusiasm of such a father, an enthusiasm
glowing yet restrained, wherein party spirit
had a less share than principle — which, in
relation to such a time, is to say much.
Richard's heart swelled within him at the
vistas of grandeur opened by his father's
words, and swelled yet higher when he read
to him passages from the pamphlet to which
I have referred. It seemed to him, as to most
young people under mental excitement, that he


66 S^. George and St. Michael.

had but to tell the facts of the case to draw all
men to his side, enlisting them in the army
destined to sweep every form of tyranny, and
especially spiritual usurpation and arrogance,
from the face of the earth.

Being one who took everybody at the spoken
word, Richard never thought of seeking Doro-
thy again at their former place of meeting.
Nor, in the new enthusiasm born in h"m, did
his thoughts for a good many days turn to her
so often, or dwell so much upon her, as to cause
any keen sense of their separation. The flood
of new thoughts and feelings had transported
him beyond the ignorant present. In truth,
also, he was a little angry with Dorothy for
showing a foolish preference for the church
party, so plainly in the wrong was it ! And
what could she know about the question by his
indifference to which she had been so scan-
dalised, but to which he had been indifferent
only until rightly informed thereon ! If he had
ever given her just cause to think him childish,
certainly she should never apply the word to
him again ! If he could but see her, he would
soon convince her — indeed he must see her —
for the truth was not his to keep, but to share !

Animadversions. 67

It was his duty to acquaint her with the fact
that the parHament was the army of God,
fighting the great red dragon, one of whose
seven heads was prelacy, the horn upon it the
king, and Laud its crown. He wanted a stroll
— he would take the path through the woods
and the shrubbery to the old sun-dial. She
would not be there, of course, but he would walk
up the pleached alley and call at the house.

Reasoning thus within himself one day, he
rose and went. But, as he approached the
wood, Dorothy's great mastiff, which she had
reared from a pup with her own hand, came
leaping out to welcome him, and he was pre-
pared to find her not far off

When he entered the yew-circle, there she
stood leaning on the dial, as if, like old Time,
she too had gone to sleep there, and was dream-
ing ancient dreams over again. She did not
move at the first sounds of his approach ; and
when at length, as he stood silent by her side,
she lifted her head, but without looking at him,
he saw the traces of tears on her cheeks. The
heart of the youth smote him.

* Weeping, Dorothy ? ' he said.

' Yes,' she answered simply.

68 Sf. George and St. Michael.

* I trust I am not the cause of your trouble,
Dorothy ? '

* You ! ' returned the girl quickly, and the
colour rushed to her pale cheeks. ' No, indeed.
How should you trouble me ? My mother
is ill.'

Considering his age, Richard was not much
given to vanity, and it was something better
that prevented him from feeling pleased at
being thus exonerated : she looked so sweet
and sad that the love which new interests had
placed in abeyance returned in full tide. Even
when a child, he had scarcely ever seen her
in tears ; it was to him a new aspect of her

* Dear Dorothy ! ' he said, ' I am very much
grieved to learn this of your beautiful mother.'

' She ts beautiful,' responded the girl, and
her voice was softer than he had ever heard
it before ; ' but she will die, and I shall be
left alone.'

* No, Dorothy ! that you shall never be,'
exclaimed Richard, with a confidence bordering
on presumption.

* Master Herbert is with her now,' resumed
Dorothy, heedless of his words.

Animadversions. 69

* You do not mean her life is even now in
danger ? ' said Richard, in a tone of sudden

' I hope not, but, indeed, I cannot tell. I
left master Herbert comforting her with the
assurance that she was taken away from the
evil to come. " And I trust, madam," the dear
old man went on to say, "that my departure
will not long be delayed, for darkness will
cover the earth, and gross darkness the
people." Those were his very words.'

' Nay, nay ! ' said Richard, hastily ; ' the
good man is deceived ; the people that sit in
darkness shall see a great light.'

The girl looked at him with strange interro-

' Do not be angry, sweet Dorothy,' Richard
went on. ' Old men may mistake as well as
youths. As for the realm of England, the sun
of righteousness will speedily arise thereon, for
the dawn draws nigh ; and master Herbert
may be just as far deceived concerning your
mother's condition, for she has been but sickly
for a long time, and yet has survived many

Dorothy looked at him still, and was silent.

yo 5/. George and St. Michael.

At length she spoke, and her words came
slowly and with weight.

* And what prophet's mantle, If I may make
so bold, has fallen upon Richard Hey wood,
that the word in his mouth should outweigh
that of an aged servant of the church ? Can
It be that the great light of which he speaks is
Richard Hey wood himself?'

' As master Herbert is a good man and a
servant of God,' said Richard, coldly, stung
by her sarcasm, but not choosing to reply
to it, * his word weighs mightily ; but as a
servant of the church his word is no weightier
than my father's, who Is also a minister of
the true tabernacle, that wherein all who are
kings over themselves are priests unto God —
though truly he pretends to no prophecy beyond
the understanding of the signs of the times.'

Dorothy saw that a wonderful change, such
as had been incredible upon any but the witness
of her own eyes and ears, had passed on her
old playmate. He was in truth a boy no
longer. Their relative position was no more
what she had been of late accustomed to con-
sider it. But with the change a gulf had
begun to yawn between them.

Animadversions. 71

* Alas, Richard ! ' she said, mistaking what
he meant by the signs of the times, ' those
who arrogate the gift of the Holy Ghost,
while their sole inspiration is the presumption
of their own hearts and an overweening con-
tempt of authority, may well mistake signs of
their own causing for signs from heaven. I
but repeat the very words of good master

* I thought such swelling words hardly
sounded like your own, Dorothy. But tell
me, why should the persuasion of man or
woman hang upon the words of a fellow-
mortal ? Is not the gift of the Spirit free to
each who asks it ? And are we not told that
each must be fully persuaded in his own mind ?'

' Nay, Richard, now I have thee ! Hang you
not by the word of your father, who is one, and
despise the authority of the true church, which
is many ? '

' The true church were indeed an authority,
but where shall we find it ? Anyhow, the
true church is one thing, and prelatical epis-
copacy another. But I have yet to learn what
authority even the true church could have over
a man's conscience.'

72 SL George and St, Michael,

* You need to be reminded, Richard, that the
Lord of the church gave power to his apostles
to bind or loose.'

* I do not need to be so reminded, Dorothy,
but I do not need to be shown first that that
power was over men's consciences ; and second,
that it was transmitted to others by the apostles
waiving the question as to the doubtful ordina-
tion of English prelates.'

Fire flashed from Dorothy's eyes.

* Richard Hey wood,' she said, 'the demon of
spiritual pride has already entered into you, and
blown you up with a self-sufficiency which I
never saw in you before, or I would never,
never have companied with you, as I am now
ashamed to think I have done so long, even to
the danger of my soul's health.'

' In that case I may comfort myself, mistress
Dorothy Vaughan,' said Richard, ' that you will
no longer count me a boy ! But do you then
no longer desire that I should take one part or
the other and show myself a man ? Am I man
enough yet for the woman thou art, Dorothy ?
— But, Dorothy,' he added, with sudden change
of tone, for she had in anger turned to leave
him, ' I love you dearly, and I am truly sorry if

Animadversions. 73

I have spoken so as to offend you. I came
hither eager to share with you the great things
I have learned since you left me with just con-
tempt a fortnight ago.'

' Then it is I whose foolish words have cast
you into the seat of the scorner ! Alas ! alas !
my poor Richard ! Never, never more, while
you thus rebel against authority and revile
sacred things, will I hold counsel with you.'

And again she turned to go.

* Dorothy ! ' cried the youth, turning pale
with agony to find on the brink of what an
abyss of loss his zeal had set him, ' wilt thou,
then, never speak to me more, and I love thee
as the daylight ? '

* Never more till thou repent and turn. I
will but give thee one piece of counsel, and
then leave thee — if for ever, that rests with
thee. There has lately appeared, like the frog
out of the mouth of the dragon, a certain
tractate or treatise, small in bulk, but large with
the wind of evil doctrine. Doubtless it will
reach your father's house ere long, if it be not,
as is more likely, already there, for it is the vile
work of one they call a puritan, though where
even the writer can vainly imagine the purity

74 <S^. George and St. Michael.

of such work to He, let the pamphlet itself raise
the question. Read the evil thing — or, I will
not say read it, but glance the eye over it. It is

styled *' Animadversions upon ." Truly, I

cannot recall the long-drawn title. It is filled,
even as a toad with poison, so full of evil and
scurrilous sayings against good men, rating and
abusing them as the very off-scouring of the
earth, that you cannot yet be so far gone in
evil as not to be reclaimed by seeing whither
such men and their inspiration would lead you.
Farewell, Richard.'

With the words, and without a look, Dorothy,
who had been standing sideways in act to go,
swept up the pleached alley, her step so stately
and her head so high that Richard, slowly as
she walked away, dared not follow her, but
stood 'like one forbid.' When she had van-
ished, and the light shone in full at the far end,
he gave a great sigh and turned away, and the
old dial was forsaken.

The scrap of title Dorothy had given was
enough to enable Richard to recognise the
pamphlet as one a copy of which his father had
received only a few days before, and over the
reading of which they had again and again

Animadversions. 75

laughed unrestrainedly. As he walked home
he sought in vain to recall anything in it de-
serving of such reprobation as Dorothy had
branded it withal. Had it been written on the
other side no search would have been necessary,
for party spirit (from which how could such a
youth be free, when the greatest men of his
time were deeply tainted ?), while it blinds the
eyes in one direction, makes them doubly keen
in another. As it was, the abuse in the pam-
phlet referred to, appeared to him only warrant-
able indignation ; and, the arrogance of an
imperfect love leading him to utter desertion of
his newly-adopted principles, he scorned as
presumptuous that exercise of her own judg-
ment on the part of Dorothy which had led to
their separation, bitterly resenting the change
in his playmate, who, now an angry woman, had
decreed his degradation from the commonest
privileges of friendship, until such time as he
should abjure his convictions, become a rene-
gade to the truth, and abandon the hope of
resulting freedom which the strife of parties
held out — an act of tyranny the reflection upon
which raised such a swelling in his throat as he
had never felt but once before, when a favourite

76 St George and St. Michael,

foal got staked in trying to clear a fence.
Having neither friend nor sister to whom to
confess that he was in trouble — have confided
it he could not in any case, seeing it involved
blame of the woman his love for whom now
first, when on the point of losing her for ever,
threatened to overmaster him — he wandered to
the stables, which he found empty of men and
nearly so of horses, half-involuntarily sought the
stall of the mare his father had given him on
his last birthday, laid his head on the neck bent
round to greet him, and sighed a sore response
to her soft, low, tremulous whinny.

As he stood thus, overcome by the bitter
sense of wrong from the one he loved best in
the world, something darkened the stable-door,
and a voice he knew reached his ear. Mis-
taking the head she saw across an empty stall
for that of one of the farm-servants. Goody
Rees was calling aloud to know if he wanted a
charm for the toothache.

Richard looked up.

' And what may your charm be, mistress
Rees ? ' he asked.

* Aha ! is it thou, young master ? ' returned
the woman. ' Thou wilt marvel to see me

Animadversions. y^j

about the place so soon again, but verily
desired to know how that godly man, Faith-
ful Stopchase, found himself after his fall '

* Nay, mistress Rees, make no apology for
coming amongst thy friends. I warrant thee
against further rudeness of man or beast. I
have taken them to task, and truly I will break
his head who wags tongue against thee. As
for Stopchase, he does well enough in all except
owing thee thanks which he declines to pay.
But for thy charm, good mistress Rees, what
is it — tell me ? '

She took a step inside the door, sent her
small eyes peering first into every corner her
sight could reach, and then said :

* Are we alone — we two, master Richard ? '

' There's a cat in the next stall, mistress : if
she can hear, she can't speak.'

' Don't be too sure of that, master Richard.
Be there no one else ? '

'Not a body ; soul there may be — who
knows ? '

' I know there is none. I will tell thee my
charm, or what else I may that thou would
wish to know ; for he is a true gentleman who
will help a woman because she is a woman, be

y^ St. George and St. Michael.

she as old and ugly as Goody Rees herself.
Hearken, my pretty sir : it is the tooth of a
corpse, drawn after he hath lain a se'en-night in
the mould : wilt buy, my master ? Or did not
I see thee now asking comfort from thy horse
for the '

She paused a moment, peered narrowly at
him from under lowered eyebrows, and went on :

* heartache, eh, master Richard ? Old

eyes can see through velvet doublets.'

' All the world knows yours can see far-
ther than other people's,' returned Richard.
* Heaven knows whence they have their sharp-
ness. But suppose it were a heartache now,
have you got e'er a charm to cure that ? '

' The best of all charms, my young master,
is a kiss from the maiden ; and what would
thou give me for the spell that should set her
by thy side at the old dial, under a warm
harvest moon, all the long hours 'twixt mid-
night and the crowing of the black cock —
eh, my master ? What wilt thou give me ? *

* Not a brass farthing, if she came not of
her own good will,' murmured Richard, turning
towards his mare. * But come, mistress Rees,
you know you couldn't do it, even if you were

Animadversions, 79

the black witch the neighbours would have you
— though I, for my part, will not hear a word
against you — never since you set my poor old
dog upon his legs again — though to be sure he
will die one of these days, and that no one can
help — dogs have such short lives, poor fools ! '

' Thou knows not what old mother Rees
can do. Tell me, young master, did she ever
say and not do — eh, now ? '

* You said you would cure my dog, and you
did,' answered Richard.

' And I say now, If thou will, I will set thee
and her together by the old dial to-morrow
night, and it shall be a warm and moonlit night
on purpose for ye, an ye will.'

* It were to no good purpose, mistress Rees,
for we parted this day — and that for ever, I
much fear me,' said Richard with a deep sigh,
but getting some little comfort even out of a
witch's sympathy.

' Tut, tut, tut ! Lovers' quarrels ! Who
knows not what they mean ? Crying and
kissing — crying and kissing — that's what they
mean. Come now — what did thou and she
quarrel about ? '

The old woman, If not a witch, at least

8o 5/. Georg^e and St. MicJmel,


looked very like one, with her two hands
resting on the wide round ledge of her farth-
ingale, her head thrown back, and from under
her peaked hat that pointed away behind, her
two greenish eyes peering with a half-coaxing,
yet sharp and probing gaze into those of the

But how could he make a confidante of one
like her ? What could she understand of such
questions as had raised the wall of partition
betwixt him and Dorothy ? Unwilling to
offend her, however, he hesitated to give her
offer a plain refusal, and turning away in silence,
affected to have caught sight of something
suspicious about his mare's near hock.

' I see, I see ! ' said the old woman grimly,
but not ill-naturedly, and nodded her head, so
that her hat described great arcs across the
sky ; ' thou art ashamed to confess that thou
lovest thy father's whims more than thy lady's
favours. Well, well ! Such lovers are hardly
for my trouble ! '

But here came the voice of Mr. Heywood,
calling his groom. She started, glanced around
her as if seeking a covert, then peered from
the door, and glided noiselessly out.




REAT was the merriment in Raglan
Castle over the discomfiture of the
bumpkins, and many were the com-
pliments Tom received In parlour,
kitchen, guard-room, everywhere, on
the success of his hastily-formed scheme for
the chastisement of their presumption. The
household had looked for a merry time on the
occasion of the wedding, but had not expected
such a full cup of delight as had been pressed
out for them betwixt the self-importance of the
overweening yokels and the Inventive faculties
of Tom Fool. All the evening, one standing
in any open spot of the castle might have
heard, now on the one, now on the other side,
renewed bursts of merriment ripple the air ; but


82 SL George and' St. Michael.

as the still autumn night crept on, the intervals
between grew longer and longer, until at length
all sounds ceased, and silence took up her
ancient reign, broken only by the occasional
stamp of a horse or howl of a watch-dog.

But the earl, who, from simplicity of nature
and peace of conscience combined, was per-
haps better fitted for the enjoyment of the
joke, in a time when such ludifications were
not yet considered unsuitable to the dignity of
the highest position, than any other member of
his household, had, through it all, showed a
countenance in which, although eyes, lips, and
voice shared in the laughter, there yet lurked
a thoughtful doubt concerning the result. For
he knew that, in some shape or other, and that
certainly not the true one, the affair would be
spread over the country, where now prejudice
against the Catholics was strong and dangerous
in proportion to the unreason of those who
cherished it. Now, also, it was becoming
pretty plain that except the king yielded
every prerogative, and became the puppet
which the mingled pride and apprehension of
the Parliament would have him, their differ-
ences must ere lonor be referred to the

Preparations. 83

arbitration of the sword, In which case there
was no shadow of doubt In the mind of the
earl as to the part befitting a peer of the
realm. The king was a protestant, but no
less the king ; and not this man, but his
parents, had sinned In forsaking the church —
of which sin their offspring had now to bear
the penalty, reaping the whirlwind sprung
from the stormy seeds by them sown. For
what were the puritans but the lawfully-
begotten children of the so called reformation,
whose spirit they Inherited, and In whose
footsteps they so closely followed ? In the
midst of such reflections, dawned slowly In
the mind of the devout old man the enchant-
ing hope that perhaps he might be made the
messenger of God to lead back to the true
fold the wandering feet of his king. But,
fall or speed In any result, so long as his
castle held together, It should stand for the
king. Faithful catholic as he was, the brave
old man was English to the backbone.

And there was no time to lose. This visit
of search, let It have originated how it might,
and be as despicable In Itself as It was ludicrous
in its result, showed but too clearly how strong

84 SL George and St, Michael.

the current of popular feeling was setting
against all the mounds of social distinction,
and not kingly prerogative alone. What pre-
parations might be needful, must be prudent.

That same night, then, long after the rest
of the household had rqtired, three men took
advantage of a line half-moon to make a circuit
of the castle, first along the counterscarp of the
moat, and next along all accessible portions of
the walls and batdements. They halted often,
and, with much observation of the defences,
held earnest talk together, sometimes eagerly
contending rather than disputing, but far more
often mutually suggesting and agreeing. At
length one of them, whom the others called
Caspar, retired, and the earl was left with his
son Edward, lord Herbert, the only person in
the castle who had gone to neither window nor
door to delight himself with the discomfiture
of the parliamentary commissioners.

They entered the long picture gallery, faintly
lighted from its large windows to the court, but
chiefly from the oriel which formed the northern
end of It, where they now sat down, the earl
being, for the second time that night, weary.
Behind them was a long dim line of portraits.

Preparations. 85

broken only by the great chimney-piece sup-
ported by human figures, all of carved stone,
and before them, nearly as dim, was the moon-
massed landscape — a lovely view of the wood-
land, pasture, and red tilth to the northward of
the castle.

They sat silent for a while, and the younger
said :

* I fear you are fatigued, my lord. It is late
for you to be out of bed ; nature is mortal.'

' Thou sayest well ; nature is mortal, my son.
But therein lies the comfort — it cannot last. It
were hard to say whether of the two houses
stands the more in need of the hand of the

' Were it not for villanous saltpetre, my lord,
the castle would hold out well enough.'

* And were it not for villanous gout, which
is a traitor within it, I see not why this other
should not hold out as long. Be sure, Herbert,
I shall not render the keep for the taking of
the outworks.'

' I fear,' said his son, wishing to change the
subject, * this part where we now are is the
most liable to hurt from artillery.'

' Yes, but the ground in front is not such as

86 kS/. George arid St. Michael.

they would readiest plant It upon,' said the
earl. * Do not let us forecast evil, only pre-
pare for It.'

* We shall do our best, my lord — with your
lordship's good counsel to guide us.'

* You shall lack nothing, Herbert, that either
counsel or purse of mine may reach unto.'

' I thank your lordship, for much depends
upon both. And so I fear will his majesty
find — If it comes to the worst.'

A brief pause followed.

' Thinkest thou not, Herbert,' said the earl,
slowly and thoughtfully, ' it ill suits that a
subject should have and to spare, and his
liege go begging ? '

* My father Is pleased to say so.'

* I am but evil pleased to say so. Bethink
thee, son— what man can be pleased to part
with his money ? And while my king is poor,
I must be rich for him. Thou wilt not accuse
me, Herbert, after I am gone to the rest, that
I wasted thy substance, lad ? '

' So long as you still keep wherewithal to
give, I shall be content, my lord.'

' Well, time will show. I but tell thee what
runneth in my mind, for thou and I, Herbert,

Preparations, 87

have bosomed no secrets. I will to bed. We
must go the round again to-morrow — with the
sun to hold as a candle.'

The next day the same party made a similar
circuit three times — in the morning, at noon,
and In the evening — that the full light might
uncover what the shadows had hid, and that the

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