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whose beauty no poet could behold unmoved; that, floating in fairy boats on moonlit streams, with music and song, with these lustrous, star-like eyes shining on him, those rich ruby lips dropping sweet sentiments in a language so melodious that the very beggars seem to ask their alms in poetry-could he remember the brown-haired, blue-eyed, pale daughter of the North? Yes! yes! he could. It was a fiend that suggested the idea that he could be untrue; and better he should die and sleep where none he loves can shed a tear upon his grave,

than Andrew Marvel should be unfaithful in act or thought.

And my Bible tells me to believe that God is still working for my best happiness, and that He has good reasons for permitting this mysterious delay. I pray to believe it; I try to drive out of my mind all hard thoughts of my Father in heaven ; I say to my self again and again that He is love ; but it does not comfort me as it ought to do. I cannot submit meekly, and trust in the dark. Then, to increase my anguish, the fear creeps in that perhaps, after all, I am not a child of God, my faith having failed in the day of trial. Sometimes I cry out from the depths of my soul,

Forsake me not, O my God!" If His love was quite extinguished in my heart, should I be so distressed about my condition?

May 2nd.—This morning Ralph took me for a ride in La Belle Tour, and along the inner walls of the town, for it is hardly safe to venture into the country. My poor jennet was so glad to be out of the stable once more. Ralph has shown himself a kind and unobtrusive friend lately, and is constantly with my father who finds him a very valuable supporter. There are many factions even in this place, and some are ready enough to throw over the Parliament at the first sound of danger to their persons or property. Captain Hotham is very zealous ; father considers him a more reliable man than Sir Jolin. He keeps the town in a continual ferment by the strangest reports of soldiers and borses being concealed in the vaults underground, and of a Spanish fleet that is expected every day.

The King has made another attempt to secure an entrance bere, by endeavouring to bribe Lieutenant Fawkes, whom they sent for to Beverley, promising him a large sum of money if he would find some way of surrendering Hull to the Royal party. Fawkes appeared to agree, but in reality informed the Governor, who bade him continue the pretence, and get to know what he could of their intentions. At length they fixed on a certain night to send a thousand horse and as many foot-soldiers to our gates, which Fawkes was to open to them. Some of Sir John's officers were for letting them in, and then cutting them to pieces; but my father

and others opposed such a cruel purpose, and Sir John had instructions not to be the first to shed blood. He therefore sent to York, telling the King that they were quite aware of his schemes, and thus were we spared the dreadful calamity of having men slaughtered in the streets of our dear town,

May 4th.There is a great deal of trouble in finding quarters for all the soldiers ; their number daily increases, and my father spends every morning drilling the new recruits. Mistress Fawkes is very wrathful with her husband for revealing the King's design, because the person who wrote to Fawkes was her own father; and now Parliament has ordered him to be arrested. She declares that she will yet do the King a good turn, and has no words sour enough for the poor offending lieutenant. I do think she is a dangerous person.

May 7th.—Mistress Marvel, with Ann and the baby Maria, set out for Huntingdon yesterday, where they have some relatives near of kin ; thinking that the change of air and scene will benefit Mistress Marvel's health, and restore the little Maria, who has always been a sickly child. It was a melancholy parting, with this uncertainty about our beloved travellers. Ann's spirit seemed well-nigh broken, and their going away has made me feel doubly forsaken.

CHAPTER XX.-BAD NEWS FROM AFAR. On the afternoon of the 9th of May, Colonel Lister was sitting in Sir Ralph Hildyard's room at the Manor Palace. It was a small ante-room, looking in the “King's garden,” and lead ing through richly-curtained doorway, into what had been the great reception saloon-now an armoury. Swords, pikes, and other warlike accoutrements hung on the walls, once adorned with the paintings of Zucchero, Jansen, and Holbein ; and the silken draperies were replaced by dark festoons, from the more delicate looms of a thousand spiders. Ralph's own apartment was not remarkable for order or tasteful arrangement; a miscellaneous assortment of furniture had been brought there from the lumber-rooms above, and the cabinets and floor were strewn with the contents of the young baronet's civil and military wardrobe. A sort of state chair of ebony, cushioned with faded tapestry, with the royal arms emblazoned on the back, stood by the window, and was occupied by the Colonel. At his elbow was a table, covered with papers, and a rude plan of Hull and the neighbourhood, to which he had evidently been referring. Ralph was seated at the other end of the table, dressed in the black velvet suit and wide lace collar, in which he had appeared at the Colonel's dinner-table that day; on the back of his chair hung his cloak, sword, and broad-brimmed

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hat, with its long white feather. He had exchanged the fasbionable air that used to distinguish him, for more decided and soldierly manners. The responsibility of being at the head of untrained troops, whom any hour he might have to lead out to engage with regular soldiers, was better discipline for him than to sport like a butterfly in the different courts of Europe. The Colonel gazed out of the window, his eyes on the unclipped hedges and straggling rose-trees, his thoughts far from such peaceful things.

“Yes, Ralph,” he said at last, resuming the conversation that had flagged; "this last proclamation will throw an apple of discord into every town and village, and into many families. It is a time for searching men's hearts."

True,” said Ralph. “ Men must make up their minds now on which side they will serve.

It was wise to put Hampden's name on the list of county deputies; we have not forgotten, nor has the King, I warrant, how those four thousand horsemen rode out of Buckinghamshire, to show their attachment to their member, and to petition against royal tyranny."

“I would say privately in your ear, Ralph, that I do not altogether trust our governor; I am of Vane's mind in that, and I think his son more likely to stand true to the right cause.

Sir John complains that the townsfolk are false. I know we have many strong adherents of the King within the walls ; there are a few Catholics, too, and there are always some who will hold to whichever party is in the ascendancy; but there is a solid body of men, besides the soldiery, who will faithfully uphold the authority of the Commons."

“Sir John's secretary, Master Stockdale, tells me that the governor has written to the Commons, imploring them to send Commissioners here--I suspect, that he may be relieved from some of his burdens and difficulties."

A knock at the door interrupted the political discussion, followed by the entrance of old Simon.

“ Master Pelham has been seeking you, sir, but finding you out, entrusted this letter to my care, saying that I was to deliver it to yourself: it has come this day enclosed in a letter from Sir Harry Vane. He also bid me be careful not to present it in Mistress Alice's presence. I pray it be no ill news for her."

The letter was marked "private" outside, and Simon's caution about Alice made the Colonel's heart sink. He cut the silk cord quickly with his sword, but his hands trembled and his face grew paler as he read. Before he had finished the first page, he dropped the letter, and, bowing his head upon the table, exclaimed, in a voice of intense pain—“Oh, my Alice! my little child! How can I tell her-how will she bear it!” and he rocked to and fro at the

intolerable thought of his darling's sorrow. Simon stood by, the tears running down his weather-beaten cheeks; he felt almost the affection of a father for Alice, and he had been almost equally fond and proud of Andrew. He had taught him, when a boy, how to ride and to handle a sword, he had told him long stories of foreign cempaigns, and had himself listened, in later years, to Audrew's droll relations of college adventures, for the young student could make his society as interesting to an old servant as to the learned and polite.

A strange, bright gleam flashed up in Ralph's dark eyes when Simon named his errand, and such a wild, joyful hope sprung up, that when he saw the Colonel's distress, and heard his griefstricken

cry, he blushed at his own thoughts. Could he be so base and selfish as to rejoice at what would cause such exquisite suffering to the woman he loved ? and, remembering Alice's colourless cheek and spiritless movements at dinner that day, Ralph felt more desponding than before. Might not this stroke, coming after such a long and dreary suspense, be a death-blow to her?

“Read that, Ralph," said Lister, at last, picking up the letter and handing it over the table. “ Read it aloud, and see if there is not some loop-hole for hope to creep in."

" Ralph obeyed in a husky voice. The writer, Sir Harry himself, said that he had made every inquiry-according to the Colonel's wish. That after many delays and contradictory reports, it was now proved beyond a doubt that the vessel in which Marvel took a passage foundered in a violent storm soon after it left France, and never reached the Italian shore ; that none of the crew or passengers escaped, and Marvel, like his honoured father, had found a grave in the sea. Vane said that he had been most reluctant to credit this information ; but, having had further reason to believe that there was not the faintest ground for hope, he felt it was only his duty, though a very painful one, to put an end to any lingering hopes that his friends might still entertain. For Mistress Alice he had the tenderest sympathy; but her sorrow was too deep and sacred a thing for him, who was so little known to her, to touch upon; yet, having some knowledge of Marvel's talents, and the delightsomeness of his society, he could understand the distress that these tidings would cause to all who had enjoyed his friendship. He added also that he had sent a trusty person to Huntingdon, to wait upon Marvel's relatives, and inform them of what bad happened. Simon stayed to hear the letter; he had always been a privileged servant, his master's troubles and joys were all his, and the family honour and the family happiness were dear to him as life. When Ralph ceased reading, the old man left the room, shaking his head, and brushing away the tears, mutter

ing as he walked along, “Well a day! two of them drowned; the minister so good, and Master Andrew the most blessed youth that ever walked these streets. Mr. Nye is a fine preacher, and talks rarely about God Almighty's justice; but it takes all my stock of faith, and more too, to say it is right to spare useless folks so long, and to let such gracious people be drowned, as if they were worth no more than Fawn's puppies that I put in the river last week. I can't make it out; maybe it is right; only I wish I could see it plainer.” Reaching home, he looked into the kitchen, where Lucy stood gossipping with the cook, and tying up some rose-coloured ribbons to adorn her pretty, little, empty head.

“My gracious, Simon," she exclaimed, catching sight of his woebegone countenance, “I do think thy face gets longer than ever; one would imagine thou hadst been always drinking sour wine."

“ And thy face would not look so gay, wench, if thou hadst any heart under those tawdry ribbons, mocking the sweet mistress with thy foolish airs and senseless chatter.”

Get thee gone with thy prating and preaching," said Lucy, tossing her head, and pouting like a scolded child.

As Simon turned away, the cook stepped up to him. “ Thou hast heard nothing fresh, eh ?"

Come, Simon, tell us if thee knows anything," chimed in Lucy, altering her tone, and trying to look coaxing.

Aye, aye, thee can be civil enough when it serves thy turn. Womenfolk are always hungry for news, good or bad," and the old man shook them off, and went to the housekeeper's room.

“ Ill-natured old clown !” said Lucy, resuming the sulks and the making of her rose-coloured knots. “Dost really think he had any news, cook ?”

* I'll wager anything he had, for he went straight to Janet's door."

Well, we shall know pretty soon, and sure I am that it's nothing pleasant that he's got to tell. The house does not need to be any duller than it is nowadays. If it were not for the soldiers making the town so lively, one would die of the mopes.”

Shame upon you, Lucy!" cried the cook. “It's little trouble we have, and think of our poor young mistress, getting as thin as a wraith, and master growing old so fast with all his cares.”

"Marry! thou art as sharp as Simon. I'm sorry for them all ; but if I were to fret all day long it wouldn't mend matters, and I should get as thin as Mistress Alice, which would not please some one I know." After this speech Lucy walked out of the kitchen, as much offended with the cook as she had been with the old manservant.

Janet was busy in her room amongst her stores, weighing and

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