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Bosville Condemned. grocer behind your counter-fill up paper in his hands with an ominous the measure of your hopes and frown. wishes ? how your own financial 'I do, distinctly,' replied the pribudget, whether it affect the re- soner, regardless of a meaning look venues of a kingdom or the con- from Harrison, and a strenuous tents of a till, is the subject that nudge from that stout soldier's occupies most of your thoughts ? elbow. and how, when sagacity and fore- • Sentence of death recorded. His sight upon such matters become blood be on his own head !' comsuperfluous, there is a blank in mented Cromwell; adding, with a your whole being, which you feel, look that lent a fearful interest perbaps for the first time, ought to to the simple words, 'to-morrow have been filled up long ago with morning, at gun-fire.' something that would not have 'God and the King ! exclaimed deserted you at your need, that Humphrey, in a loud, fearless would have accompanied you into voice, placing his plumed hat that terra incognita which the most jauntily on his head, and marching material of us feel at some moments off between his gaolers, humming is really our home?
cheerfully the Royalist air of And yet at the crisis, it seems Cuckolds, come, dig! as though the spirit-wings were So the court broke up. Cromwell weaker than ever, and instead of went to drill bis Ironsides; Harrison soaring aloft into the blue heaven, to visit his outposts, with what recan but flap heavily and wearily sult we have already learned; and along the surface of earth, as though another Cavalier was to die. the mind were incapable of project. They placed food and wine in his ing itself into the future, and must cell; the grim troopers who guarded needs dwell mistily and inconclu- him looked on him no longer as an sively on the Past; and there is no enemy. Already he was invested proverb truer than that 'the ruling with the fearful interest of the passion is strong in death,' as all departing traveller; he who ere will readily admit whose lot it has twenty-four hours have elapsed will ever been to look the King of Ter- be in that land of wbich all of us rors in the face.
have thought, and which none of us Humphrey Bosville lay condemned have seen. They were soldiers, too, to death in Gloucester gaol. His and they liked his pluck, his gallant examination, after a short imprison- bearing, his cheerful good hnmour, ment, had been conducted by his considerate courtesy even to his Cromwell himself, with the few escort; for Humphrey was a gen: rude formalities extended to the tleman at heart, and one essential trial of a prisoner-of-war. He had peculiarity of the breed is, that it been questioned as to the strength never shows its purity so much as of the King's army, and the delibe. when in extremis. Not a rough ration of his councillors ; like a dragoon in the guard-room, includ. soldier and a man of honour, he ing Ebenezer the Gideonite, who had steadfastly declined to divulge was still black and blue from shoul. even the little he knew. The court der to hip, but would have shared that tried him was composed simply his ration willingly, · Malignant' enough, consisting, besides Crom- though he was, with the Cavalier well, of Harrison and another. The officer. former of these two vainly endea- He ate his portion of food with voured to persuade his prisoner, for a good appetite, and drank off his whom he had taken a great liking, wine to the King's health. The to turn traitor, and save his own winter sun streamed in at the life. Humphrey, however, was im. grating of his cell, the heavy tramp movable, and Harrison liked him of the sentry at his door rung all the better. The proceedings through the silence of the long were short, and not at all compli- stone corridor. It was all over cated.
It was come at last, and *You refuse, then, to answer the Humphrey sat him down to think. questions put to you by the court!? Yes, he had looked upon Death said Cromwell, folding a sheet of as a near neighbour for years; he
: a Tale of Old Northamptonshire. [July, had fronted him pretty often in He would never come back to her Flanders before this unhappy civil now; and the large tears that his war, and had improved his acquain- own fate had failed to draw from tance with him since at Edge-Hill
, him, gathered in his eyes as he Roundway-Down, Newbury, and thought of that glorious lady's elsewhere; nay, he had felt the desolation, and fell unheeded on grasp of his icy hand but very his clasped hands. Well, he had lately, when he failed to parry that promised her, if need were, to delicate thrust of Goring's. What give his life ungrudgingly for the an awkward thrust it was! and Cause--and he had redeemed his should he not have met it in word. Perhaps in another world carte, rather than tierce, and so he might meet her again, and be gone round his adversary's blade proud to show her the stainless Pshaw! how his mind wandered. purity of his shield. He thought And what was the use of thinking over his past life - he was no of such matters now?--now that casuist, no theologian ; his simple he had not twenty-four hours to faith, like that of his knightly anlive-now that he should fix his cestors, was comprised in a few thoughts on the next world, and words — * Für Gott und für ihr,' pray ardently for the welfare of his might have been engraved on his soul. Ay, 'twas well that he had blade, as it was emblazoned on not neglected this duty, and put it the banner of the chivalrous Lord off till to-day; do what he would, Craven-he whose romantic attachhe could not control his mind, and ment to the Queen of Bohemia was bid it obey his will. Thoughts after never outdone in the imagination thoughts came surging in, like of a Troubadour, who worshipped ocean-waves, and bore him on and his royal ladye-love as purely and swamped him, so to speak, in their unselfishly as he risked life and forresistless tide. Might be but have tune ungrudgingly in her cause. chosen, he would not have died So was it with Humphrey— For quite like this. No! he had hoped God and for her' was the sentiment to go down in some victorious on- that had ruled his every action of set, stirrup to stirrup with hot late-that consoled him and bore Prince Rupert, the best blood in him up now, when he was about England, charging madly behind to die. It was not wisdom, it was him to the old war-cry that made not philosophy, it was not perhaps his blood boil even
the true religion ; but it served him stirring battle-word of God and well enough-it stood him in the the King !' - sword in hand, and stead of all these it carried him the sorrel pulling hard!-the poor forward into the spirit life where, sorrel. Harrison had promised his it may be, that some things we wot prisoner to take care of the good not of in our worldly forethought, horse; there was some comfort in are the true reality, and others that, and Harrison was a soldier, that we have worshipped here faiththough a Roundhead. Ay, that fully and to our own benefit-such had been a glorious death; or, as prudential considerations, exter. better still, to have dragged his nal respectability, and 'good comwounded frame to Mary's feet and mon sense'-are found to be the laid his head upon her knee, and myths and the delusions, the died there so peaceful, so happy, bubbles that the cold air of Death like a child hushing off to its sleep. has dispelled for evermore. Mary would think of him-mourn At least, Humphrey knew he had him, surely—and never forget him but another night to live; and when now. How would she look when he had prayed, hopefully and rethey told her of it in the Queen's signedly, with but one small grain chamber? He tried to fancy her, of discontent, one faint repining pale and wobegone, bending to that he might not see her just once hide her face over the embroidery again, he drew his pallet from the he knew so well—the embroidery corner of his cell, and with folded he had told her playfully was to be arms and calm placid brow laid him finished ere he came back again. down peacefully to sleep.
A Visitor in the Condemned Cell.
So sound were his slumbers, that wiped the dew from his forehead, they were not disturbed by the for the conflict of his feelings was armed tread of the captain of the more than he could bear. ward, a fierce old Puritan, who Mary bent over him till her long ushered up the corridor the cloaked hair swept across his face, and hooded figure of a woman, Humphrey,' she whispered, in the accompanied by an officer of the sweetest of her soft caressing tones, Ironsides, who had shown him an • Humphrey, wake up; do you not order, signed by Cromwell's own know me P-wake up: hand, which he dared not disobey. The sleeper stirred and turned. The grim warder, however, influ- The well-known voice must have enced by the prisoner's gallant and called up some association of ideas gentle demeanour, would fain have in his mind; perhaps he was dreamdissuaded the visitors from disturb. ing of her even then and there. He ing his repose.
muttered something. In the deep * If you be friends of the Major's,' silence of the cell both his listeners said he, in the gruff tones peculiar caught it at once. Mary blushed to all such custodiana, 'you would crimson for very shame; and act more kindly to let him be; they Effingham felt his heart leap as it mostly gets their little snooze about had never leapt before. this time of night; and if he's not The sleeper bad but whispered roused, he'll sleep right on till to- three words — Mary, Loyalty, morrow morning, and the nearer Mary,' was all he said; and then he wakes to gun-fire, the better for he woke, and stared wildly upon him. You'll excuse my making so his visitors. free, madam; the Major's got to be. In another instant he had seized shot at day break. But if you'recome Mary's hand, and was folding it to to examine of him, or to get any- his heart in a transport of affection thing more out of him than what he and delight. He knew not that his told the Court, I tell ye it's no use, life had been spared - he still and a burning shame into the thought he was to die ; but he bargain. I can't keep ye out, believed his prayers had been seeing it's the General's order and answered — that, whether in the Cromwell's a man who will be body or out of the body, he was obeyed; but I can't bear to see permitted to look on her once the Major put upon neither, and he again—and that was enough for such a nice well-spoken gentleman, him. and the last night as he's to be with Effingham did as he would be us and all.' So grumbling, the old done by, and left the cell. If 'he gaoler, who was not without a sort jests at scars who never felt a of rough coarse kindness of his own, wound,' on the other hand he is opened the cell door, and admitting wondrously quick-witted and symthe visitors, set his lamp down on the pathizing who has himself gone floor for their service; after which through the peine forte et dure of civility he returned to cough and real affection. grumble by himself in the passage. And Effingham, too, felt a weight
Mary looked on the face of the taken off his heart. He could resleeper, and for the first time since joice now without a single drawback she had known him realized the un- at his comrade's pardon. To do him assuming, courage of that honest justice, he would have given all be heart. Could this be the man who had in the world to save him yesterere twelve hours should elapse was day; but now he felt that though doomed to die? this calm and placid henceforth they would never again sleeper, breathing so heavily and fight side by side, Bosville was his regularly, with a smile on his lips friend and brother once more. He and his fair brow smooth and un- felt, too, that there was something ruffled as a child's. She turned to live for still, that Hope was not proudly to Effingham. “Is he not dead within him, and his arm would worthy of the Cause ?' was all she henceforth be nerved for the said ; and Effingham, looking there struggle by a nobler motive than upon his comrade and his rival, despair. Kis future existed once
: a Tale of Old Northamptonshire. (July, more. Yesterday, his life was and elastic, goes about her houseblank; to-day, simply because a hold duties with a pale cheek and a sleeping captive had muttered a listless step that worry her father proper name, that blank was filled to his heart's core. Sir Giles has again with colours bright and rosy but little time for speculation on as the tints of the morning sky. private affairs, his duty to his soveSuch are the ups and downs of poor reign keeps him constantly emmortality ; such is the weakness of ployed, and it requires no astute what we are pleased to term the politician to discover that whatever godlike mind that rules our mass of apprehensions he may have to spare, clay.
are due to that sovereign's critical We will follow Effingham's ex- position. The Royal Parliament has ample; we will not rob Humphrey been convened at Oxford, and has of his tête-à-tête with his mistress,
voted anything and everything exnor intrude upon his transports cept supplies. "Its sister assemblage when he learned that the hand he at Westminster, bitter in successful lored so dearly was the one that rivalry, has refused to treat for had saved him from death. It was peace; Hopton has sustained a con. too delightful-it was almost mad. clusive defeat from Waller at Alres. dening to reflect on all she had ford. Oxford is no longer a secure undergone for his sake; how she haven, and the King, deprived of had pleaded with Cromwell for his the society and counsels of his wife, pardon, and having obtained it, had feels himself more than usually pertaken possession of him, as it were, plexed and disheartened. Sir Giles at once, and passed her word for has enough to do with his own regi. his parole as if he belonged to her, mental duties, for, come what may, body and soul; and so he did he never neglects for an instant belong to her, and so he would. that task of organization and disOh! if she would but accept his cipline on which the old soldier devotion ! he longed to pour out his
feels that life and honour must devery heart's blood at her feet. pend. His advice, too, is constantly Poor Humphrey! he was young,
required, and as constantly neg; you see, and of a bold, honest lected by the King ; but bitter and nature, so he knew no better. unpalatable as it may be, it is al.
The three left the prison together, ways proffered with the same frank with & cordial farewell from the honesty and singleness of purpose. kind old governor, and walked
He has succeeded in raising and through the dark night to the arming no contemptible force of hostelry in the town. Mary was cavalry. With his own stout heart very silent. Did she regret what at their head, he thinks they can she had done ? did she grudge her ride through and through a stand of efforts for the prisoner? Far from pikes with a dash that shall win it! She was thinking of all he Prince Rupert's grim approval on a deserved at her hands, of how she stricken field. He cannot foresee never could repay him for all his that ere long they will prove the fondness and devotion, of the speed of their horses, rather than debtor and creditor account between the temper of their blades, on the them, and how she wished he could wide
of fatal Marston-Moor. be a little, ever so little, less in- In the mean time they are equipped fatuated about her.
and ready to march. Again we say, poor Humphrey ! An escort is provided to guard
*Gracey' back to her kinswoman's house at Boughton, where she will
remain in bodily safety, no doubt, CHAPTER XXII.
and will fulfil her destiny as a 'FATHER AND CHILD.'
woman, by wasting her own heart
in anxiety for the fate of others. Grace Allonby is very sad and Oxford will be emptied soon of all lonely pow. Anxiety and distress but its loyal professors and stanch have told upon her health and war-worn garrison. Grace does not spirits, and the girl once so fresh seem to regret her departure, nor
39 to look forward to her journey with face away from the lamp. A father's any anticipations of delight, nor to eyes, Grace, are sharper than you care much whether she goes or think for; he is watching you narstays. Her father's return to active rowly from under his shaded brows, service seems to alarm and depress and he sees the tears raining down her, and she wanders about the thick upon your work and your house with her eyes full of tears, wasted hands. In the whole of her bat he has often left her to go cam- married life your mother never paigning before, and never seen her wept like that. take on,' as he expresses it, like He can stand it no longer. this. What can have come over the Gracey,' says he, in his deep, girl ?
kind tones ; 'Gracey! little woman! If she had but a mother now,' what's the matter? thinks Sir Giles, with a half bitter He took her on his knee, as he pang to feel that his own honest used to do when she was a little affection should be insufficient for curly-headed thing, and she hid her his daughter. He could almost re- face on his shoulder, her long dark proach himself that he has not hair mingling with the old man's married a second time; but no, white locks and beard. Gracey! not even for you could be She clung to him and sobbed consent to sacrifice that dream of wearily, and told him, “it was no. the past, which is all the old man thing-she was tired, and anxious, has left to him on earth. Why do, and nervous, but well— quite wellwe persist in cherishing the little and, it was nothing.' we have, so much the more the less He had long lost his place in his it is? Why is the widow's mite, daughter's heart, though he knew it being her all, so much more than not. the rich man's stores of silver and He strore to cheer her up gently gold, being his all too? Perhaps and warily, with a womanly tact and it is that we must suffer before we tenderness you could hardly have can enjoy, must pine in poverty be- expected from the war-worn soldier, fore we can revel in possession; and leading her insensibly from domestic therefore Lazarus devours his crust details to the hopes and proceedings with famished eagerness, whilst of the Royalists, and she struggled Dives pushes his plate disdainfully to be calm, and appeared to lend an away, and curses fretfully cook and anxious ear to all his details. butler, who cannot make him • We shall have a large army in hungry or thirsty, albeit his viands the north, Grace,' said the old Caare served on silver, and his wine valier; 'and when Prince Rupert bubbles in a cup of gold. Sir Giles has relieved York-and relieve it he lores a memory fifteen years old will, my lass, for hot as he is, there better than all the rest of the world, is not a better officer in the three and Gracey into the bargain. kingdoms, when his hands are loose
He sits after supper with a huge -he will effect a junction with the goblet of claret untasted at his King, and we shall then be able to elbow. Leaning his head on his show the Roundheads a front that hand he watches his daughter un. will keep their ragged Parliament observed. All day she has been in check once more. What, girl! busied about little matters for his we have still Langdale, and Lisle, comfort. He marches to-morrow and the Shrewsbury Foot, and galat dawn, and she too leaves Oxford lant Northampton with all his for Northamptonshire. She was merry-men at his back, not to menmore cheerful, he thinks, this after- tion my own knaves, whose rearnoon, and the interest and bustle guard you saw march out this had brought a colour again to her morning. I have taken some trouble cheek; but how pale and tired she with them, you know, and they're looks now, bending over that strip the best brigade l've commanded of work. The delicate fingers, too, yet by a good deal. Why, what though they fly nimbly as ever in said young Bosville when he lay in and out, are thinner than they used this very room ?-ay, on the sofa to be-and she always turns her where you always sit at your stitch