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was so near.

when she first wrote to him on the subject. But the first days of Will's courtship were clouded over by the death of Lady Hildyard, who had been failing for some time, but whose end no one thought

At Kate's earnest entreaty Alice spent a week with her during the month of September, and many were the confidences the two maidens exchanged. Alice felt some little disappointment when she found that Dolly had been entirely overlooked, but she was soon reconciled when she remembered that she would now have two dear friends living near to her, and on the whole perhaps Kate's bright ways would better suit her aunt and Will than Dolly's sober manners. On the other hand, Kate was deeply mortified and grieved when she first heard of Alice's betrothal, and many bitter things did Ralph write to his sister concerning Andrew Marvel; but it was impossible to cherish resentment in sight of Alice's radiantly-happy face, and Kate was only thankful --for her brother's sake—that his duties still kept him in London. When she looked at her grandfather she wished Ralph was back, for poor Sir Guy was quite bowed down by the death of his wife, and needed some one to relieve him from the responsibilities of a large estate; he urged his grandson, at all costs, to release himself, but it was a critical time, and Ralph could only promise to resign his commission as soon as possible.

And now another change was pending which no one had foreseen. Early in October, Mrs. Skinner, the mother of the young lady who was drowned with the elder Mr. Marvel, sent for Andrew to come and see her. Since the death of her daughter she had never left her room, and now she felt herself to be very near another world. To Andrew's father she had been much attached, and having no child she desired that her small property should belong to his son ; but the bequest was made on one condition, viz., that Andrew should travel on the Continent for at least one year after he left Cambridge, to perfect himself in foreign languages. In doing this the good lady thought she was carrying out her deceased friend's wishes.

Andrew was dismayed, for he was just about this time leaving college ; but, after taking counsel with his friends, he accepted the condition, and the property was willed to him. Three days afterwards Mrs. Skinner breathed her last, and Alice was startled out of her bright dreams by the prospect of a parting.

If I must go it were well to go directly, that I may the sooner be here again,” said Andrew, and although Alice would like to have suggested the spring time as a more fitting season for travelling, and though Ann was inconsolable with grief, the decision was left to the Colonel.

“ You had better go at once,” he said to Andrew. “A more

a

perfect knowledge of foreign longues will help to better your fortunes; at present the country is in a restless, changing state, not auspicious for setting out in life. In a year there may be great alterations, and you may find a fair field for your talents and energies, and you may

the sooner

claim your bride.” The Colonel did not think it necessary to utter all his own dark forebodings for the future—he honestly gave the best advice he had to give ; but better far had he bade Marvel fling Mrs. Skinner's legacy into the Humber than have sent him away at such a time.

It seemed a terrible thing to Alice for Andrew to go so far away, encountering a thousand dangers by sea and land, living amongst strangers, with long months together when she would hear no tidings of him. To a maiden living in the seventeenth century, in a northern town, travelling was a very formidable affair. To Andrew the journey itself, and the prospect of enlarging his knowledge and experience by intercourse with foreigners, was pleasant enough ; but to leave Alice now in the first blush of their happiness, to forego all those pleasant winter days and evenings in the dear old library, those delightful readings of Spencer, Sidney, and Will Shakespeare, with the long and equally poetic interludes of converse or eloquent silence; to forego one entire summer, with its sweet rambles, its rides across the country, down the shady green glades of Beverley woods, or, dismounting, to wander with echoing footsteps under the dim, grey avenues, the stony clusters of leaves, and fruit, and flowers of the stately Minster; and to miss the careless loitering in the garden at eventide, in the mysterious twilight! He might see fairer lands, the favourite haunts of Nature, where she emptied her abundant lap, while tossing her riches with a more sparing hand to his far northern home; he might stand beneath the great St. Peter's of old Rome; he might gaze upon the scenes of stories that had stirred his soul; but, if balf his heart was absent-if all the while he was casting anxious backward glances—if he could not see these things through Alice's eyes—more than half their charm would be lost. Was he not leaving far greater pleasures at home than any he could find abroad?

A week or two was spent in necessary preparations, and by the end of October Andrew was ready to depart, hoping to spend the winter in Italy.

Into the history of these last few days we cannot pry too curiously. We know that they were sweet as well as bitter days, sacred, if very sad ; that tears and sighs were more frequent than smiles—though these were not entirely absent,--and that vows were renewed and promises reiterated. And Time, that in the days to come they would chide for his slow and leaden march, now seemed to have swifter wings than ever, so quickly did he bring the day when the last word was spoken, the last loving look exchanged, the last kiss given and received. Then Alice, poor maid ! was left to weep; while Andrew took his way with all speed for London, from which port he set sail for France.

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CHAPTER XVI.-Alice's DIARY. A SPY IN THE Town. December 21st, 1641.-I fear that I am growing impatient and ungrateful, too ready to overlook all the mercies of my lot, too quick to recognise whatever is unpleasing. I have had one small letter from Andrew, written just before he sailed; it was entrusted to Sir Harry Vane, who could not forward it until this week. But what strange news Sir Harry's own letter conveyed, of a long debate which lasted eighteen hours, in the House of Commons, concerning a petition of remonstrance to the King. His Majesty has returned from Scotland, and is at Hampton Court. The debate was very violent, "and truly,” says our friend, some present had come to blows, but for Mr. Hampden's calm and sagacious speech; it was well the motion was carried, for Mr. Cromwell declared to Lord Falkland as we left the House that unless it had been so, he would have sold all and gone to America.” Sir Harry has before spoken of this Mr. Cromwell, and says that there is more in him than those members imagine who are so sarcastic over his slovenly toilet and the ill shape of his garments.

There is nothing talked of now but the disputes between the King and the House ; and, even in our own town, is much excitement and difference of opinion, some siding with the King, and others with the Parliament. There is also a great outcry against the bishops, and there are almost daily riots in London. I am glad my father is at home; I should be in constant fear, though he says that is not a word for a soldier's daughter to speak.

Aunt Lister is well pleased with Will's choice of a wife, and hopes the marriage may not be long delayed. I once hoped that Will would have proposed to Dorothy, but now I think that she would not have listened to such a thing; so it has been all for the best.

December 22nd.-To-day there has been some disturbance at the Town Hall. A gentleman presented himself before the Mayor with letters from the King, and calling himself Sir John Savage. No one recognised him in the council, until my father coming in, and, having seen him in York and London, innocently addressed him as

“my lord.”

“This is Sir John Savage," said Master Barnard.

"Your pardon," replied father, who, on seeing the royal seal, guessed that all was not open and fair,“ but I am well acquainted

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with the person of the Earl of Newcastle.” Whereupon there was a great exclaiming, until the mayor obtained silence, and the Earl acknowledged that for certain reasons he had thought it wise to conceal his identity, and he prayed the council to excuse the deceit he had practised, since it had arisen from no unworthy motive. But this secrecy and the purport of the letters he had brought created considerable uneasiness in the minds of all present, for, though His Majesty used many flattering terms for his people in Hull, he commanded that the keys of the ports, magazines, and blockhouses be instantly delivered to this said Earl. After his lordship had withdrawn, my father says there was a warm discussion; some would have complied with the King's request, but the Mayor and a large majority of the members, knowing the wishes of Parliament and that another governor had been chosen, determined to wait for further directions from London. By my father's advice, cousin Will invited the Earl to accept of his hospitality until the council had framed a fitting reply to the King, and as Will's guest he will have very little chance of disaffecting the minds of the people against the Parliament.

December 27th.— To all serious persons this has been a very solemn Christmas. How earnestly did Mr. Nye pray for "peace and good

“ will," and how little we seem likely to enjoy of either. Kate, I know, will be feeling very downcast, remembering last year's happy gathering, when her grandmother was in her place amongst them, and seemed likely to live for years. Will says that Sir Guy is sadly altered, and wanders about the house as if ever in search of his wife, so that at last Kate has written to persuade Ralph to return.

The Earl of Newcastle is still in Hull, waiting to receive the keys, which the Parliament have requested may be delivered to Sir John Hotham. Master Barnard, who wishes to preserve unity in the town, has sent a petition to the King, beseeching him to settle the matter agreeably with the House ; but we are already divided, especially since Captain Legge came, and exerted himself to form a party to support the Earl.

January 4th, 1642.—Yesterday morning poor Sir Guy Hildyard was found dead in his bed, “from excess of grief,” says the apothecary; but “from a broken heart,” would say the poet. Kate was indeed thankful that Ralph had arrived two days before, and knew his grandfather's last wishes.

Will's courtship has been rather a gloomy one, and at present I am not in a much brighter case myself, having had no tidings of my betrothed since he left the English shore.

January 18th.—The Earl and Captain Legge have been summoned to Westminster, to the relief of the Mayor and his supporters, who foresaw difficulties by their continuance here; and Will is not

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sorry to be rid of his guest. Some who had at first countenanced the Earl forsook his cause when they heard a rumour that the King had charged six members of Parliament with high treason. Father was greatly incensed, for the names of Mr. Pym and Mr. Hampden were amongst the number-two of the most upright and godly gentlemen in the kingdom. It is said that the Queen advised his Majesty to take this step. If so, it is useless to think of separating him from bad advisers. 'Tis a sore pity that one whom he loves so fondly—and fears also—should influence him to his undoubted loss and damage. A letter from Sir Harry Vane has caused quite a commotion to-day, for he plainly affirms that the King is in treaty with foreign powers to subdue the country. The town is being secured, and the bulwarks repaired, and all suspicious houses have been searched. In a private epistle to my father Sir Harry refers to the impeachment of the members. Says he, “Lady Carlisle reports that the Queen urged his Majesty to go and arrest them in person, saying, “o, you coward, and pull the rogues out by the ears, or never see me more.'”

Her ladyship, who fears neither man nor woman, would have remonstrated; but just now she is out of favour with the Queen. However, being a friend of Mr. Pym's, she immediately sent to warn him of his danger, and so the members all escaped.

January 19th.-To-day Sir John Hotham, with his son, and 800 soldiers, came to the gates; but the Mayor had notice of their approach, and ordered that they shɔuld be refused admittance, declaring that if they did not retire they should be treated as enemies. As they had been sent by order of Parliament, my father

. advised their reception; but there being many friends to the King in the town, and some amongst the aldermen, it was voted that the Mayor should continue to be the governor.

January 28th.—The town is full of soldiers, and as closely guarded as if we were expecting a siege. How will all this end ? Sir Jobn and his forces were admitted by order of the House, the Mayor and his friends finding themselves exposed to the charge of treason if they refused. The gates were quickly thrown open, when Master Barvard heard that threat. Ralph (now Sir Ralph) has been appointed lieutenant to one of the Yorkshire train bands, and is to bring his troops to Hull shortly.

February 12th.—Sir Ralph and his men are quartered in the Manor Palace, and he sleeps in the room where he was born ; but the palace is not a fit place for his sister to live in, and Aunt Lister is much disturbed at the thoughts of Kate's loneliness in that great Hall; she does not see why the wedding need be deferred. Will is always uneasy, and no wonder, with such commotions in the country, and our own town looking like a fortress.

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