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me, and to me to reciprocate his af-
fection, that if our love began not,
which methinks it did, on Ui&t first
day of meeting, I know not when it
had birth. But if it be difficult pre-
cisely to note the earliest buddings of



the sweet flower love, it was easy to
discern the moment when the bitter
root of jealousy sprang up in Hubert's
heart. He who had been suspicious
of every person whose civilities I al-
lowed of, did not for some time ap-
pear to mislike the intimacy which
had arisen betwixt his brother and
me. I ween from what he once said,
when on a later occasion anger loos-
ened his tongue, that he held him in
some sort of contempt, even as a fox
would despise a nobler animal than
himself. His subtle wit disdained his
plainness of speech. His confiding
temper he derided ; and he had me-
thinks no apprehension that a she-wit,
as he was wont to call me, should
prove herself so witless as to prefer to
one of his brilliant parts a man nota-
ble for his indifierency to book learn-
ing, and to his smooth tongue and
fine genius the honest words and un-
varnished merits of his brother.

Howsoever, one day he either did
himself notice some sort of particular
kindness to exist between us, or he
was advertised thereof by some of the
company we frequented, and I saw
him fix his eyes on us with so arrested
a persistency, and his frame waxed so
rigid, that methought Lot's wife must
have so gazed when she turned to-
ward the doomed city. I was more
frighted at the dull lack of expression
in his face than at a thousand frowns
or even scowls. His eyes were reft
of their wonted fire ; the color had
fiown from his lips ; his always paJe
cheek was of a ghastly whiteness ;
and his hand, which was thrust in his
bosom, and his feci, which seemed
rooted to the ground, were as motion-
less as those of a statue. A shudder
ran through me as he stood in this
guise, neither moving nor speaking,
at a small distance from mc. I rose
and went away, for his looks freezed
me. But the next time I met him
this strangeness of behavior had van-
ished, and I almost misdoubted the
truth of jrhat I had seen. He was a
daily witness, for several succeeding
weeks, of what neither Basil nor 1



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41



cared much to ccmoeal — the mutaal
oonfidence and increasing tenderness
of affection^ which was visible in all
our words and actions at that tiaoie,
which was <me of greater contentment
than can be expressed. That sum*
mer was a rare one for fineness of the
weather and its great store of sunj
shmj dfiys. We had often pleasam
diTcrdsem^its in the neighborhood
of London, than which no city la more
fiunous for the beauty^ of its near
scenery. One while we ascended the
noble river Thames as far as Rich-
mond, England's Arcadia, whose
smooth waters, smiling meads, and
bilk clad in richest verdure, do equal
whatsoever poets have ever sung or
painters pictured. Another time we
dbported ourselves in the gardens of
Hampton, where, in the season of
roses, the insects weary their wings
over the flower-beds — ^the thrifty bees
with the weight of gathered honey —
and the gay butterflies, idlers as our-
selves, with perftune and pleasure. Or
we went to Greenwich Park, and un-
derneath the spreading trees, with
England's pride of shipping in sight,
and barges passing to and fro on the
broad stream as on a watery highway,
we wbiled away the time in many
jqyoos pastimes.

On an occasion of this sort it hap-
pened that both brothers went with
us, and we forecasted to spend the
day at a house in the viUago of Pad-
diagton, about two miles from London,
whaie Mr. Congleton's sister, a lady
of fortone, resided It stood in a veiy
fair garden, the gate of which opened
on the high road; and after dinner we
sal with some other company which
had been invited to meet us under the
laige cedar trees which lined a broad
gravel-walk leading from the hoi^se to
the gate. The day was very hot, but
now a cooling air had risen, and the
yoang people there assembled played
at pastimes, in which I was somewhat
loth to join ; for jesting disputations
and Naming of questions and answers,
an amusement then greatly in fashion,
minded one of that &tal encounter be-



twixt Martin Tregony and Thomas
Sherwood, the end of which had been
the death of the one and a fatal injury
to the soul of the other. Hubert was
urgent with me to join in the argu-
ments proposed ; but I refused, partly
for the aforesaid reason, and me-
thinks, also, because I doubted that
Basil should acquit himself so admir-
ably as his brother in these exercises
of wit, wherein the latter did indeed
excel, and I cared not to shine in a
sport wherein he took Do part. So I
set myself to listen to the disputants,
albeit with an absent mind; for I had
grown to be somewhat thoughtful of
late, and to forecast the future with
such an admixtore of hope and fear
touching the issue of those passages of
love I was engaged in, that the trifles
which entertained a disengaged nund
lacked ability to divert me. I ween
Polly, if she had been then in London,
should have laughed at me for the
symptoms I exlnbited of what she
styled the sighing malady.

A little while after the contest had
begun, a sound was heard at a distance
as of a trampling on the road, but not
discernible as yet whether of men or
horses' feet. There was mixed with
it cries of hooting and shouts, which
increased as this sort of procession
(for so it should seem to be) ap-
proached. All who were in the garden
ran to the iron railing for to discover
the cause. From the houses on both
sides the road persons came out and
joined in the clamor. As the crowd
neared the gate where we stood, the
words, "Papists — seditious priests-
traitors,'' were discernible, mixed
with oaths, curses, and such opprobri-
ous epithets as my pen dares not
write. At the hearing of them the .
blood rushed to my head, and my
heart began to beat as if it should
burst from the violence with which it
throbbed ; for now the mob was close
at hand, and we could see the occasion
of their yeUs and shoutings. About a
dozen persons were riding without bri-
dle or spur or other furniture, on lean
and bare horses, which were fastened



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Oomtance SkerwaoeU



one to the other's tails, marching
slowly in a long row, each man's feet
tied under his horse's hellj/and his
arms hound hard and fast behind him.
A pursuivant rode in front and cried
aloud that those coming behind him
were certain papists, foes to the gospel
and enemies to the commonwealth, for
that thej had been seized in the act of
saying and hearing mass in disobedi-
ence to the laws. And as he made
ibx9 proclamation, the rabble jelled
and took up stones and mud to cast at
the prisoners. One man cried out,
" Four of them be vile priests." O ye
who read this, have you taken heed
how, at some times in your lives, in a
less space than the wink of an eye,
thought has outrun sight? So did
mine with lightning speed apprehend
lest my fathei: should be one of these.
' I scanned the &ces of the prisoners as
they passed, but. he was not amongst
them; however I recognized, with a
sharp pain, the known countenance
of the priest who had shriven my mo-
ther on her death-bed. He looked
pale and worn to a shadow, and hardly
able to sit on his horse. I sunk down
on my knees, with my head against
the railings, feeling very sick. Then
the gate opened, and with a strange
joy and trembling fear I saw Basil
push through the mob till he stood
close to the horse's feet where the
crowd had made a stoppage. He
knelt and took off his hat, and the
lips of the priests moved, as they
passed, for to bless him. Murmurs
rose fix>m the rabble, but he took no
heed of them. Till the last horseman
had gone by he stood with his head
uncovered, and then slowly returned,
none daring to touch him. ^ Basil,
dear Basil!" I cried, and, weeping,
gave him my hand. It was the first
time I had called him by his name.
Methinks in that moment as secure a
troth-plight was passed between us as
if ten thousand bonds had sealed it.
When, some time afterward, we
moved toward the house, I saw Hu-
bert standing at the door with the
same stony rigid look which had



frighted me once before. He said not
one word as I passed him. I have
since heard that a lady, endowed with
more sharpness than prudence or
kindness, had thus addressed him on
this occasion : ^^ Methinks, Master Hu-
bert Rookwood, that you did perform
four part excellently wcU in that in
enious pastime which procured us so
much good entertainment awhile ago ;
but beshrew me if your brother did
not exceed you in the scene we have
just witnessed, and if Mistress Sher-
wood's looks do not belie her, she
thought so too. I ween his tragedy
hath outdone your comedy." Then he
(well-nigh biting his lips through, as
ibe person who related it to me ob-
served) made answer: << If this young
gentlewoman's taste be set on tragedy,
then will I promise her so much of it
another day as should needs satisfy
her."

This malicious lady misliked Hu-
bert, by reason of his having denied
her the praise of wit, which had been
reported to her by a third person.
She was minded to be revenged on
him, and so die shaft contained in her
piercing jest had likewise hit those
she willed not to injure. It is not to
be credited how many persons have
been ruined in fortune, driven into
banishment, yea, delivered over to
death, by careless words uttered with-
out so much as a thought of the evil
which should ensue &om them.

And now upon the next day Basil
was to leave London. Before he went
he said he hoped not to be long absent,
and that Mr. Gongleton should receive
a letter, if it pleased Grod, from his fa-
ther ; which, if it should be favorably
received, and I willed it not to be oth-
erwise, should cause our next meeting
to be one of greater contentment than
could be thought of.

I answered, " I should never wish
otherwise thaii that we should meet
with contentment, or will anything
that should hinder it" Which he
said did greatly please him to hear,
and gave him a comfortable hope of a
happy return.



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He csonvened also with Mistress
Ward toacbing the prisoners we had
seen the day before, and left some
money with her in case she should
find means to see and assist them,
which she stroye to do with the dili-
gence used by her in all such manage-
ments. In a few days she discovered
Mr. Watson to be in Bridewell, also
one Mr. Richardson in the Marphalsea,
and three laymen in the Clink. Mr.
Watson had a sister who was a Prot-
estant, and by her means she sncoeed*
ed in relieving lus wants, and dealt
with the gaolers at the other prisons
80 as to convey some assistance to the
poor men therein confined, whose
names she had fomid out.

One morning when L.was at Kate's
hooae Hubert came there; and she,
the whole compass of whose thoughts
waa now circled in her nursery, not
minding the signs I made she should
not leave us alone, rose and said she
must needs go and s^ if her babe was
awake, for Hubert must see him, and
he should not go away without firat he
had beheld hhn walk with his new
leading-sdings, which were the taste*
Ibllest'in the world and fit for a king's
son; and that she doubted not we
eould find good enough entertainment
in efich o&er's company, or in Mr.
Lacy's books, which must be the wit-
tiest ever written, if she judged by her
husband's fondness for them. As soon
as the door was shut on her, Hubert
began to speak of his brother, and to
insinuate that my behavior to himself
was changed since Basil had come to
Ixmdon, which I warmly denied.

^If," I said, "Ihave changed—"

"Tj'T' ^^ repeated, stopping my
speaking with an ircmical and disdain-
ful smile, and throwing into that one
little word as he utt^^sd it more of
meaning than it would seem possible
it should express.

** Yes!" I continued, angered at his
defiant looks. ^ Yes, if my behavior
to you has changed, which, I must
confess, in some respects it has, the
eanse did lie in mj uncle's commands,
laid CD me before your brother's com-



iog to London. You know it, Master
Bookwood, by the some token that you
charged me with unkindness for not
allowing of your visits, and refusing
to read Italian with you, some weeks
before ever he arrived."

" You have a very obedient disposi
tion, madam," he answered in a scorn
ful manner, ^ and I doubt not have at-
tended with a like readiness to the be-
hest to favor the elder brother's suit as
to that which forbade the receiving of
the younger brother's addresses."

^ I did not look upon you as a suit-
or," I replied.

<< No !" he exclaimed, <'and not as
on a lover ? Not as on one whose lips,
borrowing words from enamored poets
twenty tunes in a day, did avow
his passion, and was entertained on
your side with so much good-nature
and apparent contentment with this
mode of dis^ised worship, as should
lead him to hope €or a return of his
affection ? But why question of that
wherein my belief is unshaken ? I
know you love me, Constance Sher-
wood, albeit you peradventure love
more dearly my brother's heirship of
Euston and its wide acres. Your eyes
. deceived not, nor did your flushing
cheek dissemble, when we read to-
gether those sweet tales and noble
poems, wherein are set forth the dear
pains and tormenting joys of a mutual
love. No, not if you did take your
oath on it will I believe you love my
brother I"

^What warrant have you, sir," I
answered with burning cheek, ^to
minister such talk to one who, from the
moment she found you thought of mar-
ria^, did plainly discountenance your
suit?"

^ You were content, then, madam,
to be worshipped as an idol," he bitterly
replied, ^ if only not sued for in mar-
riage by a poor man."

My sin found me out then, and the
hard taunt awoke dormant pangs in
my conscience for the pleasure I had
taken and doubtless showed in the dis-
guised professions of an undisguised
admiration ; but anger yet prevailed,



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Otmttance SherwoodL



and! cried, ^< Think you to adviuioe
your interest in my friendship, sir, by
such language and reproaches as
these?"

"Do ypu love my brother?" he
said again, with an implied contempt
which made me mad.

" Sir," I answered, " I entertun for
your brother so great a respect and es-
teem as one must needs feel toward
one of so much yirtue and goodness.
No contract exists between us; nor
has he made me the tender of his
hand. More than that it behoves you
not to ask, or me to answer."

"Ah ! the offer of marriage is then
the condition of your regard, and love
is to foUow, not precede, the settle-
ments, r faith, ladies are very pru-
dent in these days; and virtue and
goodness the new names *for fortune
and lands. Beshrew me, if I had not
deemed you to be made of other metal
than the common herd. But whatever
be the composition of your heart, Con-
stance Sherwood, be it hard as the
gold you set so much store on, or, like
I wax, apt. to receive each day some new
impress, I will have it ; yea, and keep
it for my own. No rich fool shall
steal it from me."

"Hubert Bookwood," I cried in an-
ger, " dare not so to speak of one whose
merit is as superior to thine as the sun
outshines a torchlight."

" Ah !" he exclaimed, turning pale
with rage, "if I thought thou didst
love him!" and clenched his hand
with a terrible gesture, and ground his
teeth. " But 'tis impossible," he added
bitterly smiling. "As soon would I
believe Titania verily to doat on the
ass's head as for thee to love Basil I"

" OhI " I indignantly replied, "you
do almost constrain me to avow tiiat
which no maiden should^ unasked,
confess. Do you think, sir, that learn-
ing and scholarship, and the poor show
of wit that lies in a ready tongue,
should outweigh honor, courage, and
kindliness of heart ? Think you that
more respect should be paid to one
who can speak, and write also, if you
will, fair sounding words, than to him



who in his daily doings shows forth
such nobleness as others only incul-
cate, and God only knoweth if ever
they practise it ?"

"Ladyl" he exclaimed, "I have
served you long; sustuned torments
in your presence; endured griefs in
your absence ; pining thoughts in the
day, and anguished dreams in the
night ; jealousies often in times past,
and now — ^

He drew in his breath; and then
not so much speaking the word " de-
spair" as with a smothered vehemence
uttering it, he concluded his vehement
address.

I was 60 shaken by his speech that
I remained silent : for if I had spoken
I must needs have wept Holding my
head with both hands, and so shielding
my eyes from the sight of his pale
convulsed face, I sat like one trans-
fixed. Then he again: "These be
not times. Mistress Sherwood, for wo-
men to act as you have done ; to lifl a
man's heart one while to an earthly
heaven, and then, without so much as
a thought, to cast him into a hellish
sea of woes. These be the dealings
which drive men to desperation; to
attempt things contrary to their own
minds, to religion, and to honesty ; to
courses once abhorred — ^

His violence wrung my heart then
witli so keen a remorse that I cried
out, " I cry you mercy, Master Book-
wood, if I have dealt thus with you ;
indeed I thought not to do it I pray
you forgive me, if unwittingly, albeit
peradventure in a heedless manner, I
have done you so much wrong as your
words do charge me with." And then
tears I could not stay began to flow ;
and for awhile no talk ensued. But
ailer a little time he spoke in a voice
so changed and dissimilar in manner,
* that I looked up wholly amazed.

"Sweet Constance," he said^ "I
have played the fool in my custom-
able fashion, and by such pretended
slanders of one I should rather incline
to commend beyond his deserts, if
that were possible, than to give him
vile terms, have sought— I cry you



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Qmttanee Sherwood,



45



-marcy for it — to discover your seifti-
mentB, and feigned a resentment and
a paaaion which indeed has proved 'an
excellent piece of acting, if I judge by
joor tears. I pray yon pardon and
forget my brotherly device. If yoa
loTe Basi l oa I misdoubt not he
loTeByoo — where shall a more suita-
ble match be found, or one which ev^
ry one must needs so much approve ?
Many, sweet lady ; I will be his best
man when he doth ride to church with'
you, and cry <Amen' mpre loudly than
the derk. So now dart no more
Tengelal lightnings from thine eyes,
sweet one ; and wipe away the pearly
drops my unmannerly jesting hath
caused to flow. I would not Basil
bad wedded a lady in love with his
pdf, not with himself.''

""I detest dicks," I cried, <<and
such feigning as you do confess to. I
would I had not answered one word
of your false discourse."

Now I wept for vexation to have
been so circumyented and befooled as to
own some sort of love for a man who
bad not yet openly addressed me. And
albeit reassured in some wise, touch-
ing what my conscience had charged
me with when I heard Hubert^s vdie-
meni reproaches, I misdoubted his
psresent sinceri^. He searched my
face with a keen investigation, for to
detect, I ween, if I was most contented
or displeased with his lato words. I
ivflolved, if he was fidse, I would be
tme, and leave not so much as a sus-
pieioii in his mind that I did or ever
had cared for him. But Kate, who
abould not have left us alone, now re-
tained, when her absence would have
been most proifitable. She had her
babe in her aims, and must needs call
oo Hubert to praise its beauty and list
to lis sweet crowing. In tratibt, a more
winaome, gracious creature could not
be seen ; and albeit I had made an
inpatient gesture when she entered,
mj arms soon eased hers of their fiuir
bndien, and I set to playing with the
hcj, and Hubert talking and laughing
in 80ch good cheer, t^ I be^ to
Gcedit his pasakm had been '



and his indifPerency to be true, which
contented me not a little.

A few days afterward Mr. Gongle-
ton received a letter, in the evening,
when we were sitting in my annf s roomi
and a sudden fluttering in my heart
whispered it should be from Basil's fii-
ther. Mine eyes afSxed themselves
on the cover, which had fallen on the
ground, and then travelled to my un-
cle's face, wherein was a smile which
seemed to say, ^This is no other than
what I did expects" He put it down
on the table, and his hand over it.
My aunt said he should te^ us the
news he had received, to make us
merry ; for that the fog had given her
the vapors, and she hi^ need of some
good entertainment

« News !" quoth he. « What news
do you look for, good wife?"

^ It would not be news, sir," she an-
swered, ^i£l expected it."

^ That is more sharp than true," he
replied. ^ There must needs come
news of the queen of France's lying-
in; but I pray you how will it be?
SbAll she live and do weU? Shall it
be a prince or a princess ?''

*< Prithee, no disputings, Mr. Con*
gleton," she said. •* We be not play-
ing at questions and answers."

^Nay, but thou dost mistake," he
cried out, laughing. ^Methinks we
have here in beuid some game of that
sort if I judge by this letter."

Then my heart leapt, I knew not
how high or how tumultuously ; for I
doubted not now but he had received
the tidings I hoped for.

<< Gcmstanoe," he said, <^hast a
mind to marry?"

^ If it should please you, sir," I an-
swered ; ^for my flikther charged me
to obey you."

«Good," quoth he. «I see thou
art an obedient wench. And thou
wilt many who I please ?"

«Nay, sir ; I said not that" -»

^Oh, ohi" quoth he. <«Thou wilt
marry so as to please me, and yet — ^

^ Not so as to displease myself, sir,"
I answered.

<* Come^" he said, << another question.



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CbntUmee SherwoocL



Here is a gentleman of fortune and
birth, and excellent good character,
Bomewhat advanced in years indeed,
but the more like to make an indu^ent
husband, and to be prudent in the
management of his affiiirs, hath heard
80 good a report from two young gen-
tlemen, his sons, of thy aiiilities and
proper behavior, that he is minded
to make thee a tender of marriage,
with so good a settlement on his es-
tate in Suffolk as must needs content
any reasoriable woman. Wilt have
him, Conny ?"

^Who, sir?" I asked, waxing, I
ween, as red as a field-poppy.

''Mr. Rookwood, wench — ^Basiland
Hubert's father.''

Albeit I knew my uncle's trick of
jesting, my folly was so great just
then, hope and fear working in me,
that I was seized with fright, and from
crimson turned so white, that he cried
out:

<' Content thee, child ! content thee !
'Tis that tdl strapping fellow Basil
must needs make thee an offer of his
hand; and by my troth, wench, I
warrant thee thou wouldst go further
and fare worse ; for the gentleman is
honorably descended, heir^pparent
to an estate worth yearly, to my
knowledge, three thousand pounds
sterling, weU disposed in religion, and
of a personage without exception. Mr.
Rookwood declares he is more con-
tented with his son's choice than if he
married Mistress Spencer, or any
other heiress ; and beshrew me, if I be
not contented also."

Then he bent his head close to
mine ear, and whispered, ^'And so
art thou, methinks, if those tell-tale
eyes of thine should be credited. Yea,
yea, hang down thy head, and stam-
mer ' As you please, sir I ' And never
so much as a Deo gratias for thy good
fortune! What thankless creatures
women be T I laughed and ran out
of the room before mine aunt or Mis-
tress Ward had disclosed their lips ;
for I did long to be in mine own
chamber alone, and, from the depths
of a heart over fuU o^ yea oyerflow-



in^ with, such joy as dodi incline the
knees to bend and the eyes to raise
themselves to the Giver of all good-^
he whom all other goodness doth only
mirror and shadow forth — ^ponr out a
hymn of praise for the noble blessing
I had received. For, I pray you, af-
tei* the gift of faith and grace for to
know find love God, is there aught on
earth to be jewelled by a woman like
to the affection of a good man ; or a
more secure haven for her to anchor
in amid the pr^ent billows of life, ex-
cept that of religion, to which all be
not called, than an honorable contract
of marriage, wherein reason, passion,
and duty do bind the soul in a triple,



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