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great deal from her and being comforted by young lambs bleated; they seemed not to recher example. She has lost her husband, and ognize their mothers in their altered garb. I all her children except one son, who left her returned through the park. Never did I see long ago, and of whom she does not even the chestnuts and beeches so beautiful in their know whether he is still alive. Moreover, she autumnal foliage. A sunbeam gilded the red has been blind for fifteen years past; and yet and yellow leaves, some of which rustled she is serene and full of confidence in God. pleasantly at my feet. I thought of my death, This blind old woman sees better than I do but the idea did not frighten me; I only with my eyes open. While I was thus read wished to pass away as gently and smilingly ing and meditating, there came to me our as parting nature. good chaplain, who had accompanied my lord “I settled all accounts with the tenants in to the gate. He brought me greetings from my lord's absence. I am almost afraid that I my husband, and we spoke of toleration tow- devote too much attention to worldly affairs, ard those who differ from us. Tbe worthy and neglect the examination and improvement clergyman shared my opinion, and I was glad of my heart. Others may believe that I am to hear him utter such mild views. On this doing my whole duty; for who penetrates the occasion I thought of the man who is still secret faults of the heart; who knows the redear to my heart, despite my duties as a wife luctance, imperfection, and coldness with which and mother. My little son was slumbering. I serve my Creator, the egotism and reprehensicalmly, and I thanked God for the precious ble motives prompting my benevolent actions ? pledge He has intrusted to me. All my grief Since I am a mother, I must watch myself vanishes whenever I contemplate the smiling with redoubled attention. When, tired by face of my child; every impure thought is si settling all those accounts, and filled with aplent in the presence of this sweet innocence. prehensions, I laid my babe on my breast, my I feel purified and elevated by its aspect. gloomy, anxious face seemed to frighten the
“At dinner I felt lonely, as my lord was little one. 'The boy, notwithstanding his age, absent. It is not only the force of habit already pays close attention to the physiognothat attaches me to my husband, but the most mies of the persons surrounding him. The fervent esteem and love for the best of men. expression of my countenance must have He conquered my heart by his virtues, and startled him, for he cried violently. My stifled every previous affection in it. For the smiles and caresses again quieted the little companion of my youth I feel now only sin- one, who laid his head on my breast and soon cere friendship. It is my firm conviction that fell asleep. This incident is very trifling in ithe has not forgotten me either. Last night I self, and yet it teaches me how necessary it is visited the dairy-farm, and found every thing for us always to be careful of what we are doin good order. Cicely is a faithful girl, and ing. Now, if this duty is incumbent on us the cattle thrive under her care. I praised toward our children, and toward all men, her, for praise from the mistress gladdens the how much more so 'toward Him who sees hearts of faithful servants. Always be more through our hearts and knows our most secret sparing of your censure than your praise. The thoughts !” sheep are again covered with wool; they were On the following day Sir Robert Carbury shorn in May last. Poor animals ! How they returned with a small detachment of soldiers rebelled at first against the cold iron, and yet commanded by Thomas Egerton, whom, the finally submitted patiently to their fate! The king had sent to him. Alice went to meet
ner husband and her long-wished-for brother, in honor of the birth of an heir, and they had with unfeigned joy; but she soon perceived an since then lain unused in a corner of the castle. expression of ill-concealed grief in the features They were now taken out and loaded with and conduct of the two men.
pieces of lead and iron. Some servants were “Robert,” she said to her husband, “what ordered to fell the old trees in the park, lest bas happened? Do not conceal any thing they should cover the besiegers. The decayed from me.
You know that I am not timid, and parts of the wall were hurriedly repaired and as your wife I have a right to share your sor- provided with loopholes. The drawbridge was rows as well as your joys."
raised, and the necessary sentinels were posted. “I am afraid," replied Carbury, after some Alice assisted her husband and brother in this hesitation, “that we must part. You must emergency in the most vigorous manner; with not stay any longer at the castle. The enemy her maids she attended to the wants of the is drawing nearer and nearer to it, and be may garrison, and, so far as the time permitted, be here tomorrow and begin the siege. You caused the tenants and laborers, who were dewill set out this very day, attended by a faith- voted to her, to drive the cattle from the pasful servant, to Ludlow Castle, where you will tures into the court-yard, and convey as much be safe at the house of your parents.”
corn as possible into the castle. The court“What! do you think I could leave you ? yard was soon filled with lowing cows and My place is here at your side. No danger can bleating sheep, and the store-rooms with corn tear me from your side. We have solemnly and flour. A large fire was burning in the vowed not to leave each other to our last kitchen, and the cook boiled and baked all day day."
long for the hungry garrison. “But I cannot, must not expose you to the Sir Robert Carbury had sent out some stout terrors of such a siege."
lads to reconnoitre the operations of the enemy. “But I am not afraid. Put me to the test, | The intelligence with which they returned was and you will see that I shall not tremble.” any thing but reassuring. The Parliamentary
" Think of our son. For his sake I beg, I army, commanded by Fairfax, had taken by implore you to leave the castle!”
assault and destroyed most of the castles and “The duties of the wife are not less stringent fortresses of the country; a detachment led by than those of the mother. My life belongs to Major Overton, had started for the possessions you as well as to my son. I shall not leave of Sir Robert Carbury, and was already so you."
close to them that its appearance might be Carbury's entreaties, and even orders, were looked for on the following day. There could in vain; Alice persisted in her determination be no doubt whatever as to its destination, to share all dangers with him. Thomas, who Sir Robert Carbury being considered one of loved his sister tenderly, was likewise unable the most zealous adherents of the king. The to shake her will. She therefore remained, night passed amid gloomy apprehensions. On and calmly awaited the impending siege. the following morning Sir Robert Carbury or
In a few hours the castle had lost its peace- dered all the women, children, and sick perful aspect. The court-yard and the halls were sons to be removed from the castle. Only filled with noisy soldiers. Two small pieces faithful Cicely and two servant-girls remained, of ordnance, which had formerly only been to assist their mistress in her numerous and used on festive occasions, were planted on the arduous labors. walls; the last time they were discharged was Immediately after dinner Thomas and Car
bury ascended the tower to watch with spy “Come, we will receive the bearer of the glasses the approach of the enemy. Toward flag of truce, and hear what he has to say." three they descried, in the horizon, a cloud of After descending from the tower, Sir Robert dust approaching with considerable rapidity. Carbury met at the drawbridge a ParliamenHere and there flashed from it a glittering tary officer, who demanded an interview with weapon, a musket, or the hilt of a sword. him. He called upon Carbury to surrender They also heard the noise and rhythmic tread the castle and submit unconditionally to Parof a detachment of soldiers. As yet the num- liament, when his life, as well as those of the bers of the force could not be ascertained, garrison, would be spared. Sir Robert debut, to judge from the size of the cloud of clared that he was a loyal adherent of the dust, it could not be insignificant. Thus the king, and that he would defend himself to the danger was drawing nigh, veiled, like a som last drop of blood. bre secret, concealing in its bosom destruction “Your blood be upon your own head, then," and death. It was not till some time after said the Puritan officer, spurring his horse. ward that they distinctly perceived the whole The enemy immediately encamped, and discolumn moving like a serpent amid the hills played the same evening the utmost activity. and valleys, now disappearing among the On reconnoitring his position from the tower, trees, now emerging again into the plain. At Sir Robert acquired the conviction that he the head of the troops rode the commander, had to deal with an adversary alike brave and surrounded by a few officers; behind him skilled in military operations. marched several hundred soldiers, the Saints “We shall have a hard fight,” he said to of Israel, as they styled themselves. On be- Thomas. “ The commander seems to be a holding the castle, they intoned a pious hymn, man who understands his business." and advanced as calmly as though they were “I know him, and am glad to have an opabout to go to church instead of making an portunity to settle an old account with bim. assault on a fortified place.
This man, Overton, is still in my debt." “I suppose,” said Thomas, “the rascals in The approach of Alice and the chaplain dulge the hope that they will carry the walls now gave another turn to the conversation. of this castle, like those of Jericho, by their She invited the men to supper, of which they sanctimonious noise. Would it not be prudent partook in a grave and solemn frame of mind. for us to give them a more correct opinion of Afterward Sir Robert posted the sentinels, and the situation by a well-aimed cannon-shot ?" urged them to be as vigilant as possible; be
“We shall have time enough for that here- bimself did not go to bed, but remained awake after,” replied his brother-in-law. “We must all night long, in order to be on hand for any save our powder; they are as yet too far from emergency that might arise. Alice stayed the castle to fear our cannon-sbots. But, not with her babe. Before falling asleep, she withstanding their singing, they are good men, clasped her hands, and prayed God to avert and their whole bearing indicates that they the imminent danger. are brave and well-tried soldiers."
“Hold on," interrupted Thomas, “the fellows seem to be more polite than I thought they were. By the Eternal! they are sending to us a flag of truce, probably in order to summon us to surrender."
MARRIAGE OF THOMAS AND LUCY-CAPTURE OF
mentary soldiers had fallen, and considerable CHAPTER XXI,
gaps were to be seen in their ranks. The latter closed up again, and the assaulting column advanced with the utmost firmness and in
trepidity. The brave commander encouraged The autumnal sun rose in golden radiance. his men incessantly, and by his words and exThe mists which were floating like airy veils ample immediately restored order in the ranks round the hills and meadows vanished, and of his soldiers. The besiegers were soon so the landscape exhibited an aspect of wondrous close to the castle as to be entirely out of the beauty. Nothing indicated that savage war range of Sir Robert's artillery; they suffered was raging in these rural scenes. Every thing at the most only by the musketry of the garwas yet hushed; only the flocks of the depart- rison, which, however, injured them but very ing migratory birds sounded their farewell slightly. By means of the fascines which they notes. Alice had stepped to the window and had brought along, they tried to approach the gazed upon the scenery. At last she beheld ditch and the ramparts, and to gain the drawthe camp, with its gray tents, which, like a bridge, by which they hoped to penetrate into dark thunder-cloud, had descended on these the castle. Already the boldest had climbed peaceful fields. It was no dream, it was the up, and were preparing to cut with their axes stern reality of war that was staring her in the chains fastening the bridge, when it was the face. The silver sickle of the moon was suddenly lowered, and Thomas, at the head of yet in the heavens, and the morning - star fifty volunteers, rushed out and drove back twinkled comfortingly to her. Profound si- the surprised enemies. The foremost were lence seemed to reign in the camp; but loud either killed or compelled to jump into the flourishes resounded suddenly, and in a few ditch, in whose muddy waters they perished, moments the whole scene was changed. Sol- unless a bullet put a speedier end to their sufdiers rushed from the tents and formed in ferings. A terrible mêlée took place in the line; scaling-ladders and fascines for enabling middle of the bridge; the enemies fought the troops to climb the walls and fill the hand to hand, and tried to push each other ditches were brought up. The column moved, into the ditch. Overton brought up reën. and advanced at the quick-step to within can- forcements, but they were likewise unable to non-range of the castle, sbouting wildly, “The force an entrance into the castle. The Parsword of the Lord and of Gideon !” There liamentary troops had to yield to the impetuwas a fearful pause of several minutes, during ous bravery of the besieged, and were comwhich Alice heard nothing but the throbbing pelled to retreat. Murderous volleys of musof her own heart. Meanwhile, Sir Robert ketry from the ramparts of the castle pursued Carbury was at the head of the besieged. He the fugitives, and it was not until they were had likewise closely watched the operations close to their camp that Overton succeeded in of the enemy, and awaited his
proach on rallying his dispersed soldiers. , the rampart. He now ordered his men, in a The first assault had been successfully reloud voice, to point the cannon and fire at the pulsed, and Alice thanked God for her husassailants. The next moment the booming of band's victory. She hastened immediately artillery shook the air, and Alice, from her into the court-yard, where she met Sir Robert position, was able to observe the destructive and Thomas, who had been slightly wounded effects of the balls. Several of the Parlia-1 in the hand-to-hand conflict. A handsome
youth, who seemed to be his servant, was en- Thomas, your brother, become my husband ? gaged in dressing his wound. * Alice did not at You forget that neither my birth nor my for. once recognize her friend Lucy Henderson, who tune entitles me to such a position." attended to the wounded, and took good care Alice tried to quiet the excited girl ; but she not to look at her. But when she was about was unable to prevent her covering her bands to withdraw, and turned her face toward Alice, and feet with kisses and tears. She called the latter uttered a cry of surprise.
Cicely, who assisted Lucy in changing her “Lucy !” she exclaimed, in dismay. dress, and she soon reappeared in her former
The poor girl dared neither to stay nor to garb. The kind-hearted lady had furnished the leave. A deep blush of shame suffused her necessary articles, which fitted Lucy exactly. cheeks.
Thomas was sent for, and his sister had a long “Come with me,” said Alice, who suspected and grave interview with him. that there was a secret at the bottom of this “You have to make amends for a grievous strange disguise.
wrong,” she said to him. “It is your fault Lucy accompanied her friend to her room. that poor Lucy lost her honor. I know that Amid a flood of tears she confessed to Alice she loves you; she has proved it to you by her her illicit love for Thomas, her escape from old boundless devotion. It is for you now to reHenderson's house, and all her adventures since store honor and reputation to her. Your liaithe performance of “Comus” at Ludlow son must cease, and be converted into a more Castle.
sacred union." “I am unworthy,” she said, at the conclu Although Thomas fully shared the frivolous sion of her narrative, “to be addressed by a views of life entertained by the young cavaliers noble lady like you. Ah! I was filled with of his age, he was not bold enough to profess shame and confusion on beholding you; you such principles before his noble sister. The must consider me the vilest creature on earth.” virtue and purity of Alice filled him with pro
“God forbid !” replied Alice, mildly.“"Judge found reverence, and in her presence he did not, that ye be not judged.' The Saviour for- not venture to utter an unbecoming word or a gave the greatest sinner, and how could I con- frivolous jest. Up to this moment Lucy had demn you? My brother is at least as guilty as not raised any such claims, and he did not by you are.
I shall speak to him about you." any means look upon his union with her as an “Do so, but do not drive me to despair. I illicit one. Such love-affairs were very comfeel that I can never leave him."
mon among the cavaliers of the time, and were “And yet it is necessary that you should not only tolerated but encouraged in their cirBut, above all things, you must doff your male cles. Nevertheless, Alice's words seemed to attire, and put on a costume becoming your make a deep impression upon the light-hearted sex.”
young man. Perhaps the many touching “I will do all, all that you ask; only do not proofs of fervent love on Lucy's part were extell me to leave Thomas."
ercising a decisive intluence over him at this “ It is not I, but he, that is to decide what moment. He went to Lucy and held out bis is to be done. He took your honor from you; hand to her. he shall now restore it to you.”
“ The chaplain,” said Alice, “is waiting for “ What! Did I understand you right?" you in the chapel, in order to marry you this asked Lucy, as if awaking from a dream. “No, very night.” no, that is impossible. It can never be. Weeping, overcome at once by shame and