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the rule of his life, and which rested especially found him in the company of his eldest daughon his experience during the first months of ter Anna, who had received permission to the restoration, a time when apostacy and visit her father from time to time. He was shameless venality were fearfully prevalent. just dictating to her a portion of his “ParaWhen the audience, during which Charles's dise Lost.” Carried away by his enthusiasm, respect for the noble lady had constantly in- he did not notice the entrance of his friends, creased, was drawing to a close, he alluded of who, profoundly moved by the sublime spechis own accord to the sacrifices which she had tacle, did not venture to disturb him. In made for the royal cause.
prison, and exposed to the terrors of an igno“Your noble husband died for us,” he said, minious death, he yielded fearlessly to the inkindly. “You yourself have lost most of spirations of his lofty imagination. He had your estates by confiscation. It is meet, there just arrived at the description of the parents fore, that so far as I am able, I should indem- of mankind, whom he portrayed as follows: nify you for the losses which you have sus
“Two of far nobler shape, erect and tall, tained. Golden Grove Castle and its domains,
Godlike erect, with native honor clad, which were confiscated during the common
In naked majesty, seemed lords of all;
And worthy seemed; for in their looks divine wealth, rightfully belong to you. I restore
The image of their glorious Maker shone; them to you and to your sons.
They shall Truth, wisdom, sanctitude severe and pure,
Severe, but in true filial freedom placed; always be the property of your family.”
Whence true authority in men: though both “That is too much,” faltered out Alice, in
Not equal, as their sex not equal, seemed;
For contemplation he and valor formed, surprise. “I came to implore your mercy, not For softness she and sweet attractive grace; for myself, but in behalf of another."
He for God only, she for God in him.
His fair large front and eye sublime declared “But it does not behoove the king,” said
Absolute rule; and hyacinthine locks Charles, in a dignified manner, which he saw Round from his parted forelock manly hung
Clustering, but not beneath his shoulders broad; fit to assume but very rarely, “ to enrich him.
She, as a veil, down to the siender waist self with the property of widows and orphans. Her unadorned golden tresses wore
Dishevelled, but in wanton ringlets waved Go, Lady Carbury, and tell your republican
As the vine curls her tendrils; which implied friend that we princes are not so bad as he Subjection, but required with gentle sway,
And by her yielded, by him best received, and his political friends paint us.”
Yielded with coy submission, modest pride, After this act of justice and magnanimity, And sweet, reluctant, amorous delay.
Nor those mysterious parts were then concealed; the king returned to the banquet, where, in
Then was not guilty shame: dishonest shame toxicated with wine and with the kisses of his Of Nature's works, honor dishonorable, mistresses, he soon forgot the lady who had
Sin-bred, how have ye troubled all mankind
With shows instead, mere shows of seeming pure, stirred the better feelings of his heart.
And banishen from man's life his happiest life,
His sons, the fairest of her daughters Eve.
Under a tuft of shade, that on a green
Stood whispering soft, by a fresh fountain-side, SECOND MARRIAGE.
They sat them down; and, after no more toil
Of their sweet gardening labor than sufficed ALICE, overjoyed, and accompanied by Dav. To recommend cool Zephyr, and made ease
wholesome thirst and appetite enant, hastened to Milton's prison to announce
More grateful, to their supper fruits they fell, to him that the king had pardoned bim. They Nectarine fruits, which the compliant boughs
Yielded them, sidelong as they sat reclined not pay to sacrifice one's happiness for a mere On the soft downy bank damasked with flowers.
chimera. The first of all laws is self-preserThe savory pulp they chew, and in the rind, Still as they thirsted, scoop the brimming stream: vation." Nor gentle purpose, nor endearing smiles
“I should think it was self-respect,” replied Wanted, nor youthful dalliance, as beseems Fair couple, linked in happy nuptial league, Milton, and then turned the conversation into Alone as they. About them frisking played
a different channel, Alice helping him kindly All beasts of the earth, since wild, and of all chase In wood or wilderness, forest or den:
to do so. Sporting the lion ramped, and in his paw
Milton preferred his honorable poverty to Dandled the kid; bears, tigers, ounces, pards, Gambolled before them; the unwieldy elephant, the royal offer, and did not shrink from the To make them mirth, used all his might, and
sacrifices which he voluntarily imposed upon wreathed His lithe proboscis; close the serpent sly,
himself. Henceforth he lived in retirement in Insinuating, wove with Gordian twine
the environs of London, occupied exclusively His braided train, and of his fatal guile Gave proof unheeded; others on the grass
with the completion of his great epic. His Couched, and now filled with pasture, gazing sat,
three daughters shared his retirement only Or bedward raminating; for the sun, Declined, was hasting now with prone career
with the greatest reluctance. They had inTo the ocean isles, and in the ascending scale
herited the character and predilections of their Of heaven the stars that usher evening rose."
deceased mother, and requited bis tenderness It was not till Milton paused, that Alice and with coldness and ingratitude. Only bis Davenant made known their arrival to the youngest daughter Deborah was an exception, blind poet.
and treated her father more affectionately than “You see,” said Davenant, “how soon my her undutiful and unkind sisters. The latter predictions have been verified. Today I re- complained bitterly of the tyranny of Milton, turn the visit which you paid me in prison, who taught them to read and pronounce and am happy to inform you that you have Latin, Greek, and even Hebrew, and caused heen pardoned."
them to read to him daily for several consec“You owe your life and liberty to this ex utive hours. He was now totally blind, “ dark, cellent gentleman,” added Alice. “The king, dark, irrecoverably dark,” and needed more whom may God save! was exceedingly gracious than ever a support which he did not meet with toward me, and toward you too."
at the hands of his undutiful daughters. With “And it depends only on yourself,” added the assistance of the servant-girl they de Davenant, “to resume your former office as frauded the blind helpless man by selling besecretary to the Council of State. His majesty hind his back the most valuable books of his seemed greatly inclined to reappoint you to library, and extorted from him for household that office. If I were in your place, I should expenses a great deal of money which they not hesitate a moment.”
spent for dresses and amusements. In this “Never!” replied Milton, with solemn ear manner they indemnified themselves for the nestness ; never will I take such a step, and ennui wbich they felt in his company. prove recreant to my principles. I will eat His good angel also left him. Alice was the dry crust of poverty rather than repudiate obliged to return to her estates, where her my convictions."
presence was indispensable. She deemed her. “Bah! one must not be so very scrupulous. self in duty bound to preserve from decay the Look about you: I could name a great many inheritance of her only son, who had grown republicans who have now become ardent up in the mean time, and to rebuild the castle royalists. Believe me, my old friend, it does of his ancestors. She deferred as long as pos.
sible her departure, by which her friend was your life and become to you a stay and staff to be deprived of his last support. At last in your old age. If you consent to take hershe informed him, profoundly moved, of her and I am convinced that you will not turn a resolution.
deaf ear to the voice of reason-you shall “I must look after my neglected estates, have this very day an interview with your inand try to preserve to my son the inheritance tended at my own house." of his ancestors. One idea only, that I must “It is your wish, and I will comply with it, leave you here, grieves me profoundly. You although my heart cannot love another have more than ever need of female care and woman." solicitude, and your daughters fail to do their “Let us forget the past, which is irrevocaduty toward you."
ble for us two. We must submit to the re“I am destined to drink the bitter cup of quirements of life. I shall bid you farewell adversity to its very dregs,” replied Milton, with less sorrow if I leave you under the tender heaving a deep sigh. “My daughters resem care of this excellent creature." ble the unnatural children of King Lear. Oh, Milton appreciated the sacrifice which Alice how truthfully did the great Shakespeare de- made to him unmurmuringly. Fate had sunpict in his immortal tragedy the grief and de- dered them forever, and vouchsafed to them spair of their poor old father! May God pre-only a spiritual and intellectual union. At serve me from madness!"
Alice's house he got acquainted with the ami"I came to make you to-day a proposition, | able girl she had destined for him. With which, coming from my lips, may surprise womanly devotion and self-abnegation, the you. I have struggled with myself a long noble creature had resolved to sweeten the time, and tried to find another expedient, but last days of the blind poet; free from all selfhave been unable to do so. You must marry ishness, she sacrificed to him her youth and again."
a bright future. Alice was her friend, and, in advise me to do so ?” he asked, her daily intercourse with her, she had inspired reproachfully.
the young girl with love and veneration for “I know best the reasons which will render Milton. She herself encouraged her to perit difficult for you to make up your mind to severe in her intention. take this step; but nevertheless you yourself “Can there be any thing more beautiful for cannot fail to perceive how necessary it is.” a woman,” she said, “than to accompany a
“And what girl would bestow her hand on man of genius on the thorny pathway of his a blind old man, the father of three daughters, life, to protect him from the cares of stern who is not even rich enough to compensate reality, and to belong to him? Were I not a her for the sacrifice she would make to mother, and had I not other duties to fulfil, I him?"
should have joyfully remained with him. But “I know such a girl, the daughter of an as it is, I mnst leave him, and he needs a helpexcellent man, who has lived for some time mate. You, my daughter, are the only woman past in my neighborhood, and shares my ven to whom I should not grudge his friendship eration for you. She herself has confessed to and his affections." me her love for you, and is willing to become “And I pledge you my word that I will be yours notwithstanding your blindness. At to him a faithful companion and assistant." my hands you shall receive the wife who enter It was an affecting scene when Alice introtains no more ardent wish than to sweeten duced to the blind poet the young woman who
was to share the evening of his life. All three was on terms of special intimacy, he repaired were profoundly moved.
to Milton's house. They found him in an open I accept your sacrifice," said Milton to the bower, where he spent most of his time; he weeping girl. “ Alas! I have become so poor was engaged in dictating to a young man a that I have nothing to offer you, not even my letter to a distant friend. Hidden in the love, which belongs to another woman.” shrubbery, they listened to the words of the
“I know it, she replied; and yet I am proud blind poet. Notwithstanding the twofold of the name of your wife, for I revere in you burden of age and adversity, his features had the most sublime genius, the greatest poet. not by any means lost the noble intellectual My only apprehension is, lest, with my feeble expression for which they were distinguished. abilities, I should not fulfil your expectations. His gray hair fell in long ringlets upon bis Never till now have I been so painfully alive shoulders; from his bigh forehead beamed the to my own worthlessness."
majesty of his mind; and round his finely" It is not knowledge, but love, that makes chiselled lips played a melancholy smile, the us rich,” said Alice, putting the girl's hand only symptom of his sufferings, which he bore into that of the poet. “God bless you!” she with manly resignation. His costume was added, with tears in her eyes. “I shall be simple, but neat; his slender, unbowed form with you, even though you do not see me.” was wrapped in a comfortable gray coat. Thus
With a mournful embrace, and shedding he was seated in the small garden where he bitter tears, she bade farewell to the beloved used to pass most of his time during the of her youth; however, she left him more fine season. The autumnal sun illumined bis calmly as she had given him a faithful wife, venerable face, and seemed to surround his though her heart bled and grieved in secret. head with a halo. The breeze whispered
gently in the foliage surrounding the bower. Some late flowers bloomed in gay colors, while
yellow leaves flitted from time to time to the CHAPTER XII.
ground. In the top of the linden a bird sang
the melancholy notes with which he took leave MILTON AND THE DUKE OF YORK.
of the parting season.
The whole was a picMilton's wife kept her word, and became a ture of peace, blended with a spirit of gentle stay and staff to her blind husband. Peace melancholy. The poet, who was reclining in returned to his house, although his unnatural his easy-chair, involuntarily inspired the visitdaughters persisted in their heartless conductors, despite the hostile intention with which toward their old father. New dangers and they had come, with a feeling of respect and persecutions, however, threatened him from admiration. without; for his enemies were again intent on " I had formed a different idea of this enemy involving him in serious trouble. The atten- of religion and of our cause,” said the gloomy tion of the king's brother, James, Duke of Duke of York to his companion. York, who afterward ascended the throne, and, “And yet,” whispered Sir Kenelm Digby, owing to his tyranny, was deprived of his “no man in England has more fatally injured crown, was called to Milton. He dinned our sacred cause. You know his writings, Charles's ears with entreaties, until the king which breathe the most intense hatred of allowed him to go and see the blind poet. At- Catholicism and of the Holy Father in Rome.” tended by Sir Kenelm Digby, with whom he James, who had turned Catholic in France,
and become one of the most fanatical ad- plished then. The innocent blood of my herents of his Church, was irritated again by- father, who died for his faith, will no longer the insidious remark of Sir Kenelm Digby. cry to Heaven, and my vengeance will be fully The milder mood which had involuntarily satiated.” seized him at the sight of Milton, gave place “We will commence avenging your father's to his vindictiveness and spirit of persecution. death upon this fanatic. Come, I will speak
“It would be a downright outrage if such a to him, but he shall not learn immediately who heretic and republican should not suffer any I am.” punishment whatever. But, in the first place, So saying, the duke and his companion I will speak with him, and enjoy the misfor- approached the poet, who heard them, and tunes wbich have so justly befallen him.” rose from his easy-chair.
“He deserves his fate the more as he re “Who is there?” he asked. jected in Rome the most brilliant offers made “A good friend,” said Sir Kenelm Digby, to him on the part of our holy Church. I my- with feigned cordiality. “I have long inself took the greatest pains, and left no means tended to afford myself the pleasure of visiting untried, to prevail upon him to accept them. you in your retirement.” Already I thought I had won him over to our “I bid you welcome, Sir Kenelm; but you side, when he escaped me, and rewarded my have brought a companion with you ? " efforts by deriding and reviling me.
“ You cannot wonder that an admirer of cannot tell you how intensely I hate that man, your genius has accompanied me in order to who has always frustrated my most important pay his respects to you." plans !"
“Sir Kenelm tells you the truth,” added the “Depend on it, I shall revenge myself and duke, with a sinister smile. “ Already long you on him. The time is no longer distant ago I wished to get acquainted with the celewhen I shall openly proclaim my convictions, brated poet and republican, who has sworn and annihilate our enemies."
everlasting hatred to kings." “You really intend, then, to avow your “Not to kings, but only to tyrants and unadoption of the Catholic religion in the face just princes.” of the whole world?”
“Moreover, you are the standard-bearer of “I have already too long deferred this. You Protestantism, and the sworn foe of the Royourself and our Roman friends advised me to man Church.” proceed very cautiously; but the moment There was in the tone of these words a bitwhen I may put off the irksome mask is at terness which could not but attract Milton's hand. The throne has been so firmly reës- attention, the more so as the speaker had tablished that nothing is able to shake it. My come with Sir Kenelm Digby, whose attachbrother, too, is secretly attached to ment to Rome was generally known. Hence • Church. However, he cannot yet openly adopt Milton avoided at first making any reply to our faith; and, besides, his mind is too frivo- the remark. Soon, however, the duke no lous to fathom and appreciate the sublime longer contented himself with these covert attask imposed upon our house. I for one am tacks; both he and Sir Kenelm put off their firmly resolved to subvert Protestantism in hypocritical masks more and more. England for all time to come.
I swear that I "You have attained your object now,” said will do so as soon as I have ascended the Digby, sneeringly; "your high-flying dreams throne! The task of my life will be accom and expectations have been fulfilled in a most