and renounced all the joys of the world. Pub-| discovered another conspiracy, the plot of the lic banquets and balls were abominations in the officers having proved so lucrative for him. eyes of the pious, and even a harmless jest The two honorable men informed the Comwas considered a grievous sin. The streets of mons that, walking in the fields, they had London mostly exhibited a gloomy aspect, and hearkened to the discourse of certain persons the daily tumults and alarms filled the mind unknown to them. A hundred and eight rufwith terror and anxiety. The leaders of the fans, they learned, had been appointed to opposition, for reasons easy to divine, favored murder a hundred and eight lords and comthese disorders; they constantly feigned fears moners, and were promised rewards for these of the treacherous schemes of their adversa- assassinations at the rate of ten pounds for ries, whom they charged with all sorts of each lord, and forty shillings for each comwell-grounded or utterly fictitious projects to moner. Billy and his friend did not hesitate disperse Parliament and subvert the constitu- to swear to their statements. New arrests, tion..

mostly of innocent persons, were the natural Billy Green bad a great deal to do now. consequence of such false information, wbich, The shrewd vagabond was employed as a hired in a time of general excitement, was only too spy and informer, and made daily reports to readily credited. his patron Pym. To inspire more confidence, At last Charles seemed to awake from his he had assumed the bearing and garb of a apathy. Frightened by the progress which devout Puritan. He had his hair cropped, Parliament made every day, tired of the conwore a pointed bat, exchanged his embroidered cessions he had already made, and irritated at doublet for a brown woollen coat, and his the resistance with which he met nevertheless, white collar was of exaggerated breadth. be suffered himself to be led on to a bighHanging his head, with eyes downcast and handed step which added fresh fuel to the hands clasped in prayer, he was always prowl flames of the revolution, and involved him in ing in the neighborhood of Parliament, so as the most disastrous consequences. He reto be always on hand when he was needed. solved to seize the leaders of the opposition at He was highly successful in imitating his pat- a blow. For this purpose, he sent Herbert,

he assumed a most sanctimonious air, the attorney-general, to the House of Lords to and took care to interlard bis conversation enter an accusation of high-treason against with pious phrases and Biblical quotations. Lord Kimbolton and five commoners, Hollis, In this new guise he appeared every day with Sir Arthur Hazlerig, Hampden, Pym, and fresh information, partly true, partly false, for Strode. The articles were to the effect that which he received a round price. Whenever they had traitorously endeavored to subvert matter was lacking, he did not shrink from the fundamental laws and government of the inventing stories, in which his lively imagina- kingdom, to deprive the king of his regal tion rendered him valuable service. He had power, and to impose on his subjects an arbiformed a regular society of fellows like him-trary and tyrannical authority ; that they had self, in order, if need be, to have with him invited and encouraged the Scots to invade witnesses who might confirm his statements, England, and had actually raised and counteand who had acquired great fluency in perjur- nanced tumults against the king and Parliaing themselves.

ment. Great was the astonishment and indigBy the aid of a boon companion, a broken- nation of the assembly, whose liberty and exdown tailor, named Beale, Billy Green had / istence were threatened by this step; but the


members had not leisure to wonder at the in- | having been seated, he made the following discretion of the king. A sergeant-at-arms speech: followed the attorney-general, and, in the “Gentlemen, I am sorry for this occasion king's name, demanded of the House the five of coming to you. Yesterday I sent a sermembers; he was sent back without any posi- geant-at-arms to demand some who, by my ortive answer. The king employed messengers der, were accused of high-treason. Instead of to search for them and arrest them. Their obedience, I received a message. I must here trunks, chambers, and studies were sealed and declare to you, that though no king that ever locked. The House voted all these acts of was in England could be more careful of your violence to be breaches of privilege, and privileges than I shall be, yet in cases of treacommanded every one to defend the liberty son no person has privilege. Therefore am I of the members. The king, irritated by all come to tell you, that I must have these men this opposition, resolved to come in person to wheresoever I can find them. Well, since I the House, with the intention of demanding, see all the birds are flown, I do expect that perhaps of seizing in their presence, the per- you will send them to me as soon as they resons whom he had accused.

turn. But I assure you, on the word of a This revolution was betrayed before it was king, I never did intend any force, but shall carried into execution, and intelligence was proceed against them in a fair and legal way; privately sent to the five members. The for I never meant any other. And now, since Countess of Carlisle, Strafford's former mis- I see I cannot do what I came for, I think this tress, since the death of the earl, whose ruin no unfit occasion to repeat what I have said she not unjustly attributed to the king's weak- formerly, that whatever I have done in favor ness, had entered into a secret understanding and to the good of my subjects, I do intend with the leaders of the opposition. The beau- to maintain it.” tiful countess was a lady of spirit, wit, and When the king was looking around for the intrigue. So long as Strafford was the fore accused members, he asked the speaker, who most statesman in England, she was faithfully stood below, whether any of these persons attached to him, and her ambition felt flattered were in the House. The speaker, falling on by his love and homage. After his death she his knee, prudently replied: "I have, sire, cast out her nets for Pym, the most influential neither eyes to see nor tongue to speak in this leader of the opposition. Like Dame Fortune, place, but as the House is pleased to direct she always followed the victor, and turned her me, whose servant I am. And I humbly ask back without shame or remorse upon the ván- pardon that I cannot give any other answer to quished. As lady of honor to the queen, she what your majesty is pleased to demand of was informed of all the plans of the court, and me.” did not hesitate to warn her new favorites of The Commons were in the utmost disorder ; the danger menacing them.

and when the king was departing, some memThe king, accompanied by a numerous ret bers cried aloud, “Privilege ! privilege !” inue, and by two hundred soldiers armed with That evening the accused members, to show halberts, repaired to the House. He left the the greater apprehension, removed into tře latter at the door, and advanced alone through city, which was their fortress. The citizens the hall, while all the members rose to receive were in arms the whole night. Some people, him. The speaker withdrew from his chair, who were appointed for that purpose, or perand the king took possession of it. After / haps actuated by their own terrors, ran from

gate to gate, crying out that the cavaliers On a corner sat an old man; it was the were coming to burn the city, and that the austere Henderson. When the king drew king himself was at their head. Billy Green, nigh, the zealous Puritan rose and called out accompanied by a crowd of armed apprentices with a loud voice, “To your tents, O Israel ! ” and idlers, maved from one quarter of the city the words employed by the mutinous Israelto another, and added to the tumult. He met ites when they abandoned Rehoboam, their several officers and partisans of the king, rash and ill-counselled sovereign. Charles and he entered into a violent altercation. was frightened by the fanatical fury which

“Down with the cavaliers, with the blood- Henderson's wild glances flashed at him. hounds !” he cried out in a thundering voice. “Who are you ?” he said to the Puritan.

“Down with the roundheads, with the vil “ A servant of the Lord,” replied the gloomy lanous Puritáns !” was the furious reply. fanatic," who has come to warn thee. "Mene,

From words they passed to blows; the ap- mene, tekel !'prentices brandished their bludgeons mounted The king ordered his coachman to drive with iron; the cavaliers drew their swords, faster, in order to escape from the crowd, but and soon there was a general mélée. But, while Henderson's cry of“ Mene, mene, tekel ! ” purthe populace and the courtiers were breaking sued bim incessantly. He arrived at his paleach other's heads, the wily vagabond deemed ace in utter exhaustion, and sank into gloomy it prudent to sneak away, and let others fight reflections. out the quarrel which he had stirred up.

Meanwhile Parliament had resolved that the Next morning Charles resolved to make accused members should, with a triumphant some concessions, in order to allay the general and military procession, take their seats in excitement. He sent to the mayor, and or the House. The river was covered with boats dered him to call the Common Council im- and other vessels, laden with small pieces of 'mediately. About ten o'clock, he himself, at- ordnance, and prepared for fight. Skippon, tended only by three or four lords, went to whom Parliament had appointed major-genGuildhall. He told the Common Council that eral of the city militia, conducted the members, he was sorry to hear of the apprehensions en at the head of this tumultuary army; to Westtertained of him; that he was come to them minster Hall. The more to intimidate the without any guard, in order to show how king, Parliament renewed the expedient of pemuch he relied on their affections; and that he titioning. Billy Green displayed the most ashad accused certain men of high - treason, tonishing activity on this occasion, and showed against whom he would proceed in a legal great skill in collecting and forging signatures. way, and therefore presumed that they would At the head of his apprentices, he presented not meet with protection in the city.

to the House a petition signed by six thousand After many other gracious expressions, he persons, who promised to live and die in detold one of the two sheriffs, who was thought fence of the privileges of Parliament. It is the least inclined to his service, that he would true, many did not know what they had subdine with him. Yet he departed from the scribed, and were by no means willing to be hall without receiving the applause which he taken at their word. The very women were expected. In passing through the streets, he seized with the same rage, owing to Billy's heard the cry, “Privilege of Parliament !- persuasive eloquence. One day he appeared privilege of Parliament !” resounding from all with several thousand women, headed by a quarters.

corpulent brewer's wife, with whom he was

well acquainted. The latter, who, with her the sore troubles of the kingdom. Under little black mustache and bloated face, looked these circumstances she resolved to leave Eng. like a man rather than a woman, demanded, land and escape to Holland. In order to facil. in her own name and in that of her sisters, to itate her escape, she advised the king to make be admitted to the House in order to present further concessions. However, the more he a petition, in which the petitioners expressed yielded, the more exorbitant became the detheir terror of the papists and prelates. They mands of the opposition, whose leaders in. had been necessitated, they said, to imitate troduced a bill, which was passed, transferring the example of the women of Tekoah; and the control of the armed force of the kingdom they claimed equal rights with the men, be- from the king to Parliament, or rather to its cause Christ had purchased them at as dear a partisans among the officers of the army. rate, and in the free enjoyment of Christ con Charles refused to sanction this bill, and as sists equally the bappiness of both sexes. his position at the capital became daily more Pym came to the door of the House. A sar- precarious, he resolved to remove farther from castic smile played round his lips when he London, and went to York, wbere he issued & thanked the brewer's wife for her zeal. public manifesto against the encroachments of

“My fair friends,” he said, with a hypocriti- Parliament, and prepared likewise for war. cal air of cordiality, “cook and wash for your Civil war, then, was declared, and the sword husbands, and, if you have any time to spare, was to decide the great question of the times. pray for the success of the Commons."

The women retired with loud shouts of
Long live Pym! Long live Parliament !”
Under such circumstances Charles's last

CHAPTER XV. hope was the House of Lords, a great many

MILTON AND HIS WIFE- WAR DECLARED. of whom were faithfully devoted to him, and opposed the encroachments of the Commons On a bleak evening in March, Milton's young upon the authority of the king. Hence, the wife was seated in her humble room. The leaders of the opposition endeavored to turn wild equinoctial storms howled around the public opinion against the Peers and shake house; snow and rain pelted noisily the closed their authority. Every act of opposition to window-shutters, and the wind rushed down the Commons was regarded as a crime. The into the fireplace and threatened to extinguish populace out of doors were ready to execute, its flames. A small lamp was burning on the from the least hint, the will of their leaders; table, and all around lay books in picturesque nor was it safe for any member to approach disorder. A feeling of profound loneliness either House who pretended to control or op- stole over the young wife ; she had dropped pose the general torrent. Both Pym and her needlework on ber knees, and stared into Hollis declared loudly that the people must the glare of the coal-fire. Her eyes filled not be restrained in the expression of their with tears when she thought of the fine days just desires. Especially was the queen an ob- she had passed at the house of her parents, ject of their hatred. The rage of the people where merry conversation and pleasant society was, on account of her religion as well as her had never been wanting. Now she had to do spirit and activity, levelled against her. She without both, much as she longed for them. was vehemently denounced, and, in part not Her husband passed most of his time in his unjustly, charged with being at the bottom of I school-room with bis pupils, and even late at

night he occupied himself more with his books who bad calmly listened to her reproaches. than his wife. The gulf between these two “I shall soon finish the work on which I am entirely different characters widened every now engaged, and we will then pass the evenday. The light-hearted wife was unable to ing together. My friend Overton will take appreciate the lofty aspirations and sublime supper with us.” genius of her husband; she thought he neg "I do not care much about his company. lected her shamefully, and overwhelmed him A fine companion, indeed, is this melancholy with reproaches. Nevertheless, she was pas-Puritan, whom I have never heard laugh yet. sionately fond of her husband, but her affec- In truth, I would rather be alone than have tion was entirely egotistical ; she was intent this mournful fellow about me.” on possessing bim exclusively, and was jealous “You would do well to speak in more reeven of the books, which, in her opinion, en- spectful terms of your husband's friends," said grossed him by far too much.

Milton. “Mr. Overton is a gentleman distinAfter brooding for some time over her sup- guished alike by his mind and character." posed grievances, she suddenly sprang to her “Of course, you prefer his company to that feet and by her quick movement threw a few of your wife. You will sit together again, folio volumes from the, table. Instead of talk of the wretched Parliament, and inveigh taking them up, she disdainfully pushed them against the poor bishops, who are a thousand aside with her small foot, and wreaked in this times better than your Overton, no matter manner a childish revenge upon ber supposed bow pious he may feign to be.” enemies.

“Mary!” said the poet, beseechingly, “ do “You may lie there,” she said angrily, kick- not use such language. You allude to a subing the innocent books once more.

With a

ject which, owing to your education, you do quick step she then hastened to the door lead- not understand at all. Let us drop this uning to her husband's study. She rapped twice pleasant subject, and go to your kitchen in without receiving a reply ; at last her patience order to prepare our supper.” was entirely exhausted, and she rushed into “Of course, I am always good enough for the calm asylum of the poet. He seemed not that. The poor wife is to cook, bake, wash, to notice her, and continued writing until she and sew, and that is all. You treat me as a stood before him, her face flushed with anger, slave." and seized his arm.

“Your reproaches are utterly unjustified, as “What is the matter ?” he asked, irritated I treat you on all occasions, as I do to-day, at being interrupted in his labors.

with a forbearance bordering on weakness.” “What is the matter?” cried the young " And I repeat that I am only a slave, a wife, greatly excited. “ The matter is, that I servant-girl, in your house. I must work all can no longer bear the life I am compelled to day, and at night, when all other husbands are lead bere. Do you think I married you for with their wives, making visits or going to the purpose of pining away? All day long I parties with them, you pore over your books am confined to my lonely room, and hardly or talk politics with your friends. You conknow how to kill my time, while you are verse eagerly with them, but do not address a buried amidst your books, or repeating Latin word to your poor wife. I am too stupid for words with your school-boys. I cannot stand you ; I am not able to appreciate your learnit any longer."

ing; I am only a poor ignorant woman, for “Oh, do not get excited,” replied Milton, whom you do not care at all.”

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