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the river, in a sharp curve, glimmers in and useless rubbish they were finding the light and loses itself behind low- there, was a hat; and the man brought lying meadows and a marginal growth the hat down to him; and he saw it of willow and flag.
was a chevalier's hatFor very shame's sake, the big Lieu “A cavalier's hat,” suggested Bell ; tenant was forced to offer to take Tita's and the Lieutenant assented. oar, as we once more proceeded on our “ Then the farmer went up to the voyage ; but she definitely refused to en house, and he found
some hidden danger our lives by any such experiment letters, and one was to Ettrick-to some A similar offer on the part of Bell met soldier who was then on a campaign at with a similar fate. Indeed, when this the river Ettrick in the north. And little woman has once made up her they found that it was in this very mind to do a certain thing, the reserve house that King Charles the First did of physical and intellectual vigour that cut off his beard and moustache - I lies within the slight frame and behind a suppose when he was flying from the smooth and gentle face, shows itself to Parliamentary army; but I am forgetting be extraordinary. Place before her some all about that history now, and the innarithmetical conundrum that she must keeper was not sure about the battle. solve in order to question the boys, or give Well, then, the news was sent to Lonher an oar and engage her to pull for a don; and a gentleman came down who certain number of miles, and the amount is the only surviving descender-descenof patient perseverance and unobtrusive dant—of King Charles, and he took energy she will reveal will astonish most away the hat to London, and you will people. In the meantime, her task was find it in the British Museum. It is a easy. We were going with the stream. very curious story, and I would have And so we glided on between the green come after you, and showed you
the banks, under the railway-bridge, past the houses ; but I suppose it is a new house village of Kennington, past Rose Isle, now, and nothing to look at. But do with its bowers, and tables, and beer you know when the king was in this glasses, and lounging young fellows in neighbourhood in escaping ?” white trousers and blue jackets, and so Here was a poser for the women. on until we got up to Sandford Lock. “I don't remember,” says Tita, lookHere, also, we fastened the boat to ing very profound, “to have seen anythe bank, close by the mill, and went thing about Oxford in Lord Clarendon's ashore for half an hour's stroll. But while narrative of the king's escape after Tita made direct, as she generally does the battle of Worcester." on entering a new village, for the church, “Mamma!” said Bell, in accents of the Lieutenant went off in quest of beer; reproach, “that was Charles the Second.” and when we came back to the boat, he “To be sure it was," returned Tita, had a wonderful story to tell us. He with a gesture of impatience; "and he had made friends with some innkeeper couldn't have come this way, for he went or other, and had imbibed from him to Bristol. But Charles the First was a legend which was a curious mixture continually at Oxford-he summoned of fact and inference and blunder. Von the Parliament to meet him hereRosen had doubtless mistaken much of « And shaved off his beard to curry the Oxfordshire patois ; for how could favour with them,” it is suggested. any man make a reasonable narrative out “ You needn't laugh. Of course, of the following ?
when he was finally defeated he fled "And he told me it was a farmer's house from Oxford, and very probably disin the village—the village of Sandford, guised himself.” I suppose--and while they took it down “And when did he fly, and whither?" to repair it, they were lifting up the “To Scotland," said Bell triumphantly, floors, and many strange things were “and after the battle of Naseby.” there. And he said
“Good girl. And where is Naseby?”
"Well, if he fled north-east from the and the good it has done to the chaParliamentary army, Naseby must be in racter of your people. Our German histhe south-west ; and so I suppose it is torians are many of them professors in somewhere down about Gloucester.” universities; and they spend their lives
“Herr Professor Oswald, where is in finding out the truth of such things ; Naseby?”
and do you think they care what may “I do not know,” says the Lieutenant; be the opinion of their own Government “ but I think it is more in the north, about it? Oh, no. They are very indeand not far from the country of your pendent in the universities—much too great man Hampden. But he was independent, I think. It is
very killed before then, I think.”
pleasant when you are a very young man, “And pray,” says Queen Tita, taking to get into a university, and think yourher seat, and putting her oar into the self very wise, and go to extremes rowlock, “ will you please tell me what about politics, and say hard things of you think of those men-of Cromwell your own country; but when you come and Hampden and those—and what your out into the world, and see how you historians say of them in Germany ?” have to keep your country from enemies
“Why, they say all kinds of things that are not separated by the sea from about them,” said the Lieutenant, lightly you (as you are here in England), --not knowing that he was being ques- you see how bad are these principles tioned as a representative of the feudal among young men, who do not like to aristocracy of a country in which the be obedient, and always want to hurry divine right of kings is supposed to flou- on new systems of government before rish—"just as your historians do here. such things are possible. But you do not But we know very well that England has see much of those wild opinions when a got much of her liberty through that fight war comes, and the young men with the king, and yet you have been able marched together to save their country. to keep a balance and not let the lowest Then they forget all the democratic noclasses run riot and destroy your freedom. tions of this kind-it is their heart that They were ambitious ? Yes. If a man speaks, and it is on fire-and not one is is in politics, does not he fight hard to ashamed to be patriotic, though he may make his side win? If he is a soldier, have laughed at it a week before.” does not he like to be victorious ? And “It must be very hard,” said Bell, if I could be King of England, do you looking away at the river, “ to leave not think I should like that very well, your home and go into a foreign country, and try hard for it? But if these men and know that you may never return." had their own ambitions, and wanted to
not much," said the get fame and honour, I am sure they Lieutenant; “for all your friends go had much of righteousness and belief,
And you are not always in and would not have fought in that way danger-you have much entertainment and overturned the king if they believed at times, especially when some fight is that was an injury to their country or to over, and all your friends meet again their religion. And besides what could to have a supper in the tent, and some this man or that man have done except one has got a bottle of cognac, and some he had a great enthusiasm of the nation one else has got a letter from home, full behind him—if he did not represent a of gossip about people you know very principle ? But I have no right to speak well. And there is much fun, too, in of such things as if I were telling you riding over the country, and trying to of our German historians. That is only find food and quarters for yourself and my guess-and I have read not much your horse. We had many good parties about it. But you must not suppose
in the deserted farmhouses, and somethat because we in Germany have not times we caught a hen or a duck that the same political system that you have, the people had neglected to take, and that we cannot tell the value of yours, then we kindled a big fire, and killed
him, and fixed him on a lance, and attention in every glance of her blue roasted him well, feathers and all. Then we were very lucky to have a fire, and You should have seen how naturally good meat, and a roof to keep off the these two fell behind us, and formed a rain. But it was more dangerous in a couple by themselves, when we had left house—for it was difficult to keep from the boat and were returning to our inn. sleeping after you had got warm and But as we walked up to Carfax, Bell had eaten and drunk perhaps a little separated herself from us for a moment too much wine—and there were many and went into the post-office. She was people about ready to fire at you. But a considerable time there. When she these are not heroic stories of a cam- came out she was folding up a letter paign, are they, Mademoiselle ?"
which she had been reading. Nevertheless, Mademoiselle seemed “You have got your letter at last," sufficiently interested ; and as Tita and said Tita. I pulled evenly back to IMey and Oxford, “Yes," said Bell, gravely, but showshe continually brought the Lieutenant ing no particular gladness or disappointback to this subject by a series of ques
ment. tions. This modern maiden was as At dinner she was rather reserved; anxious to hear of the amusements of and so, curiously enough, was the Lieupatrols, and the hair-breadth
of tenant. After dinner, when we were dare-devil sub-lieutenants, as was Desde- allowed half an hour by ourselves for a mona to listen to her lover's stories of cigar, he suddenly saidbattles, sieges, fortunes, and moving Why do you not interfere with that accidents by flood and field.
stupid young fellow ?” That was a pleasant pull back to Ox- “Who?" I asked, in blank amazeford, in the quiet of the summer after- ment. noon, with the yellow light lying “Why, that young fellow at Twickenwarmly over the level meadows and ham—it is quite monstrous, his imperthe woods. There were more people tinence. If I were the guardian of such now along the banks of the river-come a girl, I would kick him I would out for the most part in couples to
throw him into the river and cool him wander along the pathway between the there.” stream and the fields. Many of them “ What in all the world do you had a good look at Bell ; and the Rad- mean ?” ley boys, as they sent their long boats “Why, you must know. The letter spinning down the river towards Sand- that Miss Bell did ask for more than ford, were apparently much struck. once, it is from him; and now when it Bell, unconscious of the innocent admi- comes, it is angry, it is impertinent, ration of those poor boys, was attending she is nearly crying all the time at much more to the talk of our Uhlan dinner. It is for some vne to interfere, than to her tiller-ropes. As for him- and save her from this insult-this but what man would not have looked persecution—" contented under these conditions — to “Don't bite your cigar to pieces, but be strong, healthy, handsome, and only tell me, if you please, how you happen twenty-five ; to have comfortable means to know what was in the letter." and an assured future; to have come out “She told me," said the Lieutenant, of a long and dangerous campaign with with a stare. honour and sound limbs; to be off on a " When?" careless holiday through the most beau- “Just before you came down to dintiful country, take it for all in all, in the ner. It is no business of mine-10; world; and to be lying lazily in a boat but when I see her vexed and disturbed,
a summer's evening, on a pretty I asked her to tell me why. And then English river, with a pretty English she said she had got this letter, which girl showing her friendly interest and was a very cruel one to send. Oh, there
is no mystery-none. I suppose he has mal in the highest degree-perhaps a a right to marry her--very well; but trifle sarcastic here and there, for the he is not married yet, and he must not lad unhappily thinks he has a gift that be allowed to do this."
way—but you would find no rhetorical “Bell at least might have told me of indignation or invective.” it, or have confided in Tita
The Count threw his cigar into the “Oh, she is telling her now, I dare grate. say. And she will tell you po, when “They will be waiting for us," he there are not all of us present. It is no said ; “let us go.” secret, or she would not have told me. We found Tita with the bezique-cards Indeed, I think she was sorry about spread out before her. Bell looked up that; but she was very much vexed, and with rather a frightened air, apparently I asked her so plain, that she answered conscious that the Lieutenant was likely me. And that is much better to have to have spoken about what she had confidence between people, instead of confided to him at the impulse of a keeping all such vexations to yourself. momentary vexation. However, we sat Then I ask her why he is angry? and
down. she says only because she has gone The game was an open and palpable away. Pfui ! I have never heard such burlesque. Was Ferdinand very intent. nonsense !"
on giving checkmate when he played “My dear Oswald,” I say to him,
chess with Miranda in the cave; or was “ don't you interfere between two young
he not much more bent upon placing people who have fallen out, or you will his king in extreme danger and offering suffer. Unless, indeed"
his queen so that she had to be taken ? “ Unless what?”
The audacious manner in which this “Unless they happen to be angels." young Lieutenant played his cards so as
“Do you know this—that he is com- to suit Bell was apparent to every one, ing to see her ?"
though no one dared speak of it, and Well, the phaeton can hold five at Bell only blushed sometimes. When a pinch. Why should not we have an she timidly put forth a ten, he was sure addition to our party ? "
to throw away another ten, although he “ Very good. I do not care. But if had any amount of aces in his hand. he is rude to her, he will not be very He spoiled his best combinations rather long in the phaeton.”
than take tricks when it was clear she Why, you stupid boy, you take wanted to lead. Nay, as he sat next to those lovers' quarrels au grand sérieux. her, he undertook the duty of marking Do you think he has been positively her various scores, and the manner in rude to her ? Nothing of the kind. which the small brass hand went circling He has been too well brought up for round the card was singular, until Tita that, although he has a peevish temper. suddenly exclaimedHe might be with us all through the Why, that is only a common marjourney
riage !" “Jott bewahre !” exclaimed the Count, “And do not you count forty for a with a kick at a cork that was lying on common marriage ?” he said, with a finc
assumption of innocent wonder. “—And these two might be at daggers Such was the ending of our first day's drawn and you would see nothing of it. rest; and then, just before candles were Indeed, young people never get ex- lit, a Cabinet Council was held to decide tremely courteous to each other until whether, on the morrow,
we should they quarrel and stand on their dignity. choose as our halting-place Moreton-inNow, if you had seen that letter, you the-Marsh or Bourton-on-the-Hill. The would have found it respectful and for- more elevated site won the day.
No. 149.- VOL. XXV.
For once more we seemed to have left CHAPTER VIII.
towns and streets behind us, and even
while there were yet small villas and NEAR WOODSTOCK TOWN.
gardens by the side of the road, the air " In olde dayes of the king Arthoúr,
that blew about on this bright morning Of which that Britons speake great honoúr, seemed to have a new sweetness in it, All was this land full filled of faerie; The Elf-queen, with her jolly company,
and the freshness and pleasant odours Danced full oft in many a green mead.
of innumerable woods and fields. There This was the old opinion, as I read;
was quite a new light, too, in Bell's face. I speak of many a hundred years ago ; She had come downstairs with an obBut now can no man see no elves mo'."
vious determination to cast aside the THE phaeton stood in the High-street remembrance of that letter. There was of Oxford. Castor and Pollux, a trifle something even defiant in the manner impatient after the indolence of the day in which she said-in strict confidence, before, were pawing the hard stones, be it observed that if Arthur Ashburtheir silken coats shining in the morning ton did intend to come and meet us in sunlight; Queen Titania had the reins some town or other, there was no use in in her hands; the tall waiter who had being vexed about it in the meantime. been a circus-rider was ready to smile us We were now getting into the open an adieu ; and we were all waiting for country, where pursuit would be in the Lieutenant, who had gone off in vain. If he overtook us, it would be search of a map that Bell had forgotten. through the mechanism of railways.
If there is one thing more than His only chance of obtaining an interanother likely to ruffle the superhuman view with Bell was to lie in wait for us sweetness of my Lady's temper, it is to in one of the big towns through which be kept waiting in a public thoroughfare
we must pass. with a pair of rather restive horses “But why," said the person to whom under her charge. I began to fear for Bell revealed these matters," why should that young man.
Tita turned once or you be afraid to meet Arthur? You twice to the entrance of the hotel; and have not quarrelled with him." at last she said, with an ominous polite- “No," said Bell, looking down. ness in her tone
“ You have done nothing that he can “It does seem to me singular that object to.” Count von Rosen should be expected to “He has no right to object, whatever look after such things. He is our guest. I may do," she said with a gentle firmIt is no compliment to give him the ness. “But, you know, he is annoyed, and duty of attending to our luggage." you cannot reason with him ; and I am
“My dear,” said Bell, leaning over sorry for him—and-and-and what is and speaking in very penitent tones, "it the name of this little village on the is entirely my fault. I am very sorry." left ?
“I think he is much too good- Bell seemed to shake off this subject natured," says Tita, coldly.
from her, as too vexatious on such a fine At this Bell rather recedes, and says, and cheerful morning. with almost equal coldness
“ That is Woolvercot; and there is “I am sorry to have given him so the road that leads down to Godstow, much trouble. In future I shall try to and the ruins of Godstow Nunnery, in do without his help.”
which Rosamond Clifford lived and But when the Count did appear- died." when he took his seat beside Tita, and " And I suppose she rode along this we rattled
up the High-street and round very highway," said Bell, “ with people by the Corn-market, and past Magdalen wondering at her beauty and her jewels
, church, and so out by St. Giles's-road, the when she used to live at Woodstock. remembrance of this little prelimi- Yet it is a very ordinary-looking road." nary skirmish speedily passed away.
Then she touched Tita on the shoulder.