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- "And what is your husband's name ? ” “ Call Henderson," ordered the protector; “ Thomas Egerton.”
“ he shall take her to the Tower." When the protector heard this name, the He turned indifferently to Thurloe, his prisympathy and compassion which had already vate secretary, whom he instructed to pay a begun to stir his heart died away again. He few gold-pieces to Billy Green for his services remembered his seduced daughter and the
as a spy.
Soon afterward old Henderson vengeance which he had sworn to wreak on made his appearance. "Cromwell gave him in her seducer.
an undertone instructions for the governor of “Thomas Egerton!” he cried, furiously. the Tower. The Puritan approached the "Oh, I know him, and even though he had a prisoner in order to take her away; on seeing thousand lives, he should lose them all. You him, she uttered a cry of surprise, which did are his wife, and shall die too. Heaven is just, not escape the protector. Henderson, too, and the Lord delivers into my hands His ene- seemed deeply moved, but be presently remies and mine!”
covered his presence of mind, and his rigid “Your cruelty does not frighten me. To features no longer betrayed the least emotion. die at the same time with my husband was the “Do you know this woman ? ” said the prodearest wish of my heart.”
tector to his former friend. It shall be fulfilled, but not in the manner “I do not.” you expect. You shall be executed before “ And yet she uttered a cry on seeing you. him, and in his presence."
You lie, Henderson !. But I shall find out the "By adopting this course, you will in spite truth. All but these two will withdraw.” of yourself confer another benefit on me; for All the others left the room, in which CromI shall not then have the grief of witnessing well remained with the Puritan and the my husband's execution."
prisoner. “This woman cannot be tamed,” murmured Cromwell in impotent rage, and yet involuntarily admiring her conduct.
CHAPTER VII. The longer he conversed with her, the more
LUCY AND HER FATHER—CROMWELL'S LAST he was obliged to acknowledge her manfulness and courage ; he felt the nearness of a kindred spirit. Her very features bore a certain re A VAGUE suspicion arose in the protector's semblance to his own. In her whole appear- mind. Profound silence, which no one dared ance there was something that struck awe and to break, reigned in the cabinet. Seized with terror into his heart, and he could not avoid the most various feelings, the three stood face shuddering the longer he contemplated her. to face. Cromwell at last approached the He tried once more to wrest from her a con Puritan. fession in reference to the pamphlet, but she “Speak! Who is this woman ?” he asked, remained inflexible, and his threats were un- imperiously. able to intimidate her.
So saying, he gazed at the Puritan with “Your blood, then,” he said, " be on your those piercing eyes whose •demoniacal power own head. Remove her; she shall die with but few persons were able to withstand. her husband."
Henderson also was unable to resist the charm, “ Thank you,” replied the heroic woman, and, contrary to his original intention, he con. preparing to leave the room.
fessed the truth.
“ You want to know it,” he said, sullenly, “You will never betray the secret of your and with a sinister smile. “Learn, then, that descent either to him or to anybody else. this woman is—your daughter!"
Henderson will accompany you, and pledge “My daughter !” echoed Cromwell, and me his word never to return." buried his face in his hands. When he looked “I will go, not because you order me to do up again, the color had fled from his cheeks, so, but because the Spirit prompts me. The and he trembled like an aspen-leaf.
kingdom of the saints has not come yet; “ You lie!” he cried out. “I know that I hence, I will leave the country and go to have grieved you, and now you want to re- foreign lands. There is no longer any symvenge yourself.”
pathy between you and me, for you are an “I have never uttered a lie,” replied the apostate, and, by base defection from God, Puritan. “I speak the truth even now, have betrayed your cause. He, therefore, will though I intended to conceal it from you." turn from you and your house, because you “You intended to let me kill my child ?” have become an abomination in his
eyes." asked Cromwell, divining the fanatic's pur Cromwell was long since inured to such lanpose. “And then you would have stood be guage. Hence, he was not angry with the fore me and called me her murderer."
Puritan, and allowed him to depart in peace. Henderson made no reply, but contented On the same day Thomas received bis himself with nodding his head. Lucy had pardon. The long imprisonment and the imsunk at the feet of the father whom she had minent prospect of death had exerted a salufound so unexpectedly.
tary effect upon his frivolous character; the Forgive me," she said in a heart-rending heroic devotion of his wife, her fidelity and tone, “but I did not know that Oliver Crom- tenderness, had made another man of him. well was my father.”
He left England with her, and returned only “ You are not to blame,” he replied, deeply after the protector's death. From time to 'moved; “I am the only guilty party. You time Lucy received from a mysterious band are only an instrument in the hand of the large sums of money, which covered all their Lord, who now punishes the sins of my youth. expenses. This was the only sign of recogniI forgive you."
tion which she received from her father. She “And my husband ?”
faithfully kept the pledge she had given to “Your husband ?” he asked doubtingly. him, and did not reveal the secret of her birth “I always thought him your seducer, and till after his death, when she communicated it hated him bitterly for it.”
to her husband. “He acknowledged the wrong he had per The pamphlet which Colonel Titus had writpetrated on me, and restored my honor and ten, was only the forerunner of new and danreputation. We have been married at the al gerous conspiracies, which now broke out tar. I cannot live without him.”
against the protector in all parts of England. “I will pardon him for your sake, although Charles II. had entered into negotiations with he has richly deserved death. I shall, how the malecontents of all parties, even with the ever, impose on you a condition; if you re- republicans, and intended to make another fuse to submit to it, the execution will take its descent upon England. The levellers and course."
cavaliers, the ex-members of the Long Parlia“To save him, I will submit to any terms, ment and officers of the army, the most inhowever rigorous they may be.”
congruous elements, bad united to overthrow
their common enemy. Even in London, and life; henceforth he wore a hidden coat of mail under Cromwell's eyes, the conspirators car to protect himself against the daggers of asried their boldness so far as to fix the day sassins; whenever he left the palace, several and the bour when they were to occupy the trusty attendants accompanied him in his carmost important points of the city, arrest the riage. In Whitehall he had several bedrooms lord mayor, set fire to the Tower, and, during with secret doors, and he never slept for two the general confusion, seize the protector's consecutive nights in the same room. This person. Cromwell, however, redoubled his incessant emotion could not but undermine vigilance and the activity of his spies, whom even his iron constitution. Old Henderson's be hired everywhere, even among the attend curse seemed now to be fulfilled in him and his ants and confidants of Charles II. So soon as family. His beloved daughter, Lady Claypole, he bad obtained the necessary proofs, he acted was taken sick. He had her sent to Hampton with his accustomed firmness and energy. On Court, that the country air and tranquillity the morning of the day when the blow was to might restore her health. When her sufferbe struck, at the very moment the conspira ings grew worse, he himself went to her and tors were repairing to the posts assigned to nursed her with the most tender solicitude. them, their leaders were suddenly arrested, and His arm, which had caused the world to all guards reënforced. Colonel Birkstead, the tremble, was now the support of a feeble wolieutenant of the Tower, marched with a strong man; and it was from her sick-room that he body of troops and five pieces of artillery governed three kingdoms. through the city, and arrested about forty of “Poor, poor child !” he sighed, deeply the conspirators, and as many apprentices. moved, when she was in pain. “To save your Among the former were Sir Henry Slingsby, life, I would sacrifice my whole power—all, all an uncle of Lord Falconbridge, who had mar that I possess !” ried Lady Mary Cromwell, and Dr. Hewet, a She responded by that faint but charming clergyman of the Episcopal Church, highly smile which was peculiar to the noble lady, esteemed and revered by Lady Claypole. Both and denied with the self-abnegation of an angel ladies took infinite pains to save these two the sufferings to which she was a prey. men, upon whom sentence of death had been "I am better, much better,” she whispered, passed. Vainly did the favorite daughter of in a gentle voice, while the paleness of her Oliver Cromwell overwhelm him with supplica-cheeks and her lustreless eyes gave the lie to tions and tears ; on this occasion he remained her words.
he was intent on intimidating his In such hours the soul of the great man enemies, and, therefore, displayed the most in- rose high above the mists of ambition and flexible rigor. Cromwell loved his daughter egotism by which it was darkened, and from dearly, but his stern nature had no idea of the the earthly smoke burst forth the purified profound grief of this noble lady. She was a flame of his religious nature. prey to indescribable anguish, and her feeble “The Lord will not forsake me," he said, body began to succumb to it.
“He will not take from me that which is For the time being, the protector had at- dearest to me on earth. He has raised me to tained his object; terror kept hatred at bay; an exalted position, and chosen me as His but he himself and his tranquillity were the instrument; what I did I did through and for victims of this victory. Everywhere he thought Him. By God's help I have ended the bloody himself surrounded by enemies menacing his civil war, restored the greatness of England,