Page images
PDF
EPUB

before them, as they have ever done, step by step, across the broad plains of Europe, till from their last refuge, that rock of the Atlantic to which they have clung lovingly, trustingly, at last despairingly, during two thousand years, the old race must be rent and severed to make room for their triumphant successor, the conquering Scythian. Yet, though

kings, princes, and races perish, though a nation may be obliterated, still the singular and beautiful literature of that ancient people, the literature of two thousand years ago, will live for ever in Ireland, to interest and instruct the poet, the historian, and the antiquary-the records of a people more ancient than the pyramids.

THE CAVALIER AND THE PURITAN.

BY THOMAS HOOD, ESQ.

CHAPTER I.

In the days of King James the tie between the two families—but fate Second, there lived at Burnley Manor had destined them to play a different a right loyal gentleman,” as he was part in the great drama of life. called at that period. His ancestors, Young Cyril Burnley and Roger from time immemorial, had lived in Crane went to the same school, where the old house. I need not go through the latter soon outstripped his schoolthe long pedigree, to show how one of mate, not less in learning than in inthe “Burnleighs of Burnleigh" had telligence, for Cyril was an easy, quiet been to the Holy Land (was not lad, not remarkable for shrewdness. his long red-cross shield hanging up His friends called him a "good-natured in the old ball ?) or how one of them fellow," that being the euphuism sailed with Sir Walter Raleigh, or for the epithet “fool,” accorded him how, in later years, Geoffry Burnley by his enemies; while Roger, far from was killed at the battle of Naseby being a “fool," inclined a little more that fatal fight, when so many noble to the “knave.” After spending some English families perished. Burnley's time at school, the two youths went to son, concealed by the friendship of a Oxford, where Cyril entered at Christ Puritan called Crane, who lived Church, while Roger obtained a at Burnley, had returned to his scholarship at the neighbouring Hall estates at the time of the Restora. of Broadgates, which some time tion, and, in turn, extended his pro- before had been raised to the dignity tection to Crade's son, who was nearly of a college. Here he progressed suffering imprisonment. One would rapidly, and after leaving college, have thought that such mutual kind- became a studious Templar. ness would have bound their descen- Cyril led a jolly life at Oxford, but dants together for ever; but, as will was at length expelled by the college be seen hereafter, avarice stepped in, authorities for some irregularity-I and broke up friendship that promised believe, for a dispute with a Puritan to be so lasting.

Doctor of Divinity, which ended in his The Burnley we last mentioned flooring the worthy divine, after which married a lady of good family, who exploit he retired to his native bore him one son. While the merry- village, and, his father being dead, making and carousing were going on at began the life of a country squire. the Manor House for the birth of the About the same time Crane, having heir, the wife of the rescued Crane arrived at the dignity of a “Coundied in giving birth to a male child. sellor," came down to Burnley, and The two infants thus ushered into the from that period our history comworld on the same day, and almost at mences. the same hour, seemed as if born to be Discords and dissensions soon began, playmates and friends-a still stronger and King James was driven from his

throne, and in the struggles and revelries and merry-makings, were troubles that followed, Cyril was sus- hardly suited to bis taste. pected of assisting the celebrated We will take a look at Cyril while Dundee. Certain it is that he raised he is waiting for Crane in the little lia small body of men, and disappeared brary, for, although the former thought from the neighbourhood, only re it necessary to have a library, seeing appearing some time after the fatal that he had been a magistrate and battle of Killiekrankie, when, with justice of the peace under King the shattered remnants of his followers, James, he adorned the walls with only he returned to Burnley ; but the fer just enough books to give it a right to who went with him on that secret ex- that title ; and, of those books most pedition were tried, and faithful, and were works of no very justiciary kept their own counsel, so that, in weight-Philip Sidney's “Arcadia," spite of the lectures and cross-ques “The Faerie Queene," a mighty tionings of their respective wives, gathering of jovial Cavalier song the truth was never elicited, and, books, with a scanty, very scanty, though dangerously compromised, sprinkling of sermons, most of them Cyril escaped unpunished.

being upon the King's Supremacy. But his heart was with King James, Cyril had now grown a fine man, and not to be behind his ancestors in just in the prime of life; his long loyalty, he determined not to take dark hair hung in curls upon his the oath of fealty to the usurper, shoulders, for he despised the idea of a as he invariably called William of wig; his moustache had in it a slight Orange.

tinge of auburn, that contrasted well He was not a man of great moral with his black love-locks. His face courage, so he laid a plan by which he was marked, not disfigured, by a might escape an open refusal, and yet scarcely-healed scar that he had satisfy his conscience-he was sensible brought back with him from the enough to see that open resistance mysterious expedition we have menwas useless, and there was no hope left tioned. He was tall, and straight, for James.

though his stout, well-formed limbs In the year 1688, then, or the year took away slightly from his height. following, Cyril, while in London, fell Very different was the figure that in with William Penn, the well-known now entered the room. Roger Crane, Quaker. Penn about this time was although of the same age as Cyril, suffering for his close friendship with seemed twenty years his senior. His the exiled King. Four several times figure was bowed with long study, and was he carried before King William in deep furrows and lines, arising from council, and accused of being in secret the same cause, did not add beauty correspondence with James. His own to a face that in itself was not people cried out against him as a pleasant. His hair was already Romanist, nay, as a Jesuit in dis- grizzled, and his figure was lean and guise-and numerous rumours of the spare. At his knee toddled a little most horrible description were circu- girl of about five years of age-his lated about him. Cyril was irresisti- daughter-for Roger was married, and bly attracted towards him by his real though folks said he was a cruel goodness and sterling worth, which husband, and a bard lawyer, it would all the calumnies in the world could have been difficult to have found a not destroy. He communicated his more kind and loving father. difficulties, and Penn advised him, Putting the child on a chair, whence rather unwisely, perhaps, to start for she could look out of the window the new colony on the banks of the down a long avenue of elms, where Delaware. After talking it over, the little grey rabbits kept darting Cyril returned to Burnley, and sent about from among the ferns on either down carly on the morning after his side of the drive, Roger seated himarrival to beg Roger Crane to come self in an arm-chair, and waited for up, as he had important business to Cyril to speak. communicate to him.

Cyril was striding up and down A close friendship still existed be with a sort of desperate air, whistling tween the two, although the Puritan the tune of one of his favourite songs, seldom visited the Manor House, for the first verse of which ran as the jolly life of the Cavalier, and his follows :

The stars were winking in the sky,

it has been the scene of roystering and And the moon went dancing along,

mirth these many long years. Well, When we fell on the Roundhead rebel's

what say you Roger? Will you uncamp, Full fifteen hundred strong.

dertake the trouble on these conCome carol us a carol oh!

ditions ?" The Roundheads to the devil go,

" In sooth, Cyril Burnley," answered And God save our good King!

Roger, "sith you wish it to be

though I like not the thought of being Suddenly recollecting that perhaps an hireling." Crane might not relish the ditty, he Pish, man," interrupted the stopped short, threw himself into a Cavalier ; “I do not ask thee to do chair, and filling a glass of claret, so, but I had rather an old friend lived tossed it off, and began business.

in my father's house, than a stranger “Roger, old friend, I've made up or a steward, who would defraud me my mind to leave the old country. of the moneys that I offer you as a Odds fish, man! do you think that gift. So no more words to the barafter swearing fealty to our good King gain. If you will get ready your James-whom God restore to his chattels, the house shall be vacant throne say I-I can turn about, to-morrow at sunset." weather-cock fashion, and bow down So saying, Cyril shook Crane by to a fat Dutch herring. Phsaw !" he the hand, why, seeing that the other continued, as he saw that Crane was seemed to wish to say no more on about to protest against this abuse of the subject, did not oppose him William of Orange ; "I do not often longer. The Cavalier, having called run a-tilt at your prejudices, but I together his servants, told them that must have my say out now, and you he was about to set out for a far must e'en bear with me this once, for country, and amply paid them their you may never see me again. While wages, thanking them for their good I was staying in London, I fell in with services. There was many a moist the worthy Penn, and have made up eye among them, for rough and hotmy mind to set out for his settlement, headed though he was, there never that he has named after him-Pennsyl

breathed a kinder or better master. vania. Now seeing, Roger, that I So the domestics packed up their have neither chit "nor child, I be- baggage, and departed to their thought me of the old friendship of homes. our families; and, albeit, since we left The next day, Cyril and the CounOxford you have seldom come up here, sellor were walking up and down the still I have much friendship for my avenue in deep conversation. Cyril old college friend, and respect your now spoke more freely, and, the first scruples, though odd's life! I cannot plunge taken, seemed able to think see iniquity in cracking a joke, or a and act more freely. bottle of claret, or sin in singing a “ There is much to be feared, mind roaring song. But let that pass, old you,” said Roger ; “'tis marvellous friend, we have all our hobbies. So unhealthy, this same America they now to tell you why I required to see tell me, where there be numbers of you. Seeing, as I have said, that I savage beasts, besides savage men, have no children, I have determined of which there be tribes, and exceedto leave my estates in your hands, if ing fierce, too, for did they not kill my you will undertake the charge, until worthy uncle Joash Wax-confident-inI either settle down in the new bonds, who went forth among them country, as is most probable, orto preach the Gospel." return to England. I will not insult “A man must die somewhere, and you, old friend, by offering to pay you at some time,” said Cyril, “and the as a steward, but do you live on the bare idea of danger gives a smack to income of the property as it falls in life, like the lemons in a rousing bowl Bring up your wife and youngster, of punch; besides, too, if I like it and live here. By my soul! the old not, I shall return, and if aught brings house wants some piety to air it, for me back, why, I shall know where to

• The inscriptions on the coins of Charles the Second, “ Carolus a Carolo."

find you, and will relieve you of the cares of the stewardship."

“But you may never return, Cyril Burnley.

"Well, if I do not, then you may have the lands, and welcome, for of all the world I shall then want barely six feet of earth, and I may not want even that if I be eaten by the savages, which, they tell me, be mighty eaters of human flesh."

So, with a laugh, Cyril strapped the little valise (containing the money he intended to take with him), to the saddle-bow of his horse, which was just led out from the stable. Flinging himself on its back, he shook Roger warmly by the hand, and rode off at full speed, followed by a servant leading the horse that bore the rest of his baggage.

Cyril did not turn back for a last glance-he could not trust himself to look again on his ancestral home. If he had turned he would have seen little, for in spite of his forced gaiety, there was a dimness before his eyes that might almost have been called tears.

Without any adventure, Cyril reached London, and there embarked on board the John Key, a ship called after the first child born at the settlement of Philadelphia, who died, in 1767, an old man of eighty-five, having gone all his life by the name of First Born.

After a long and tedious voyage, the vessel at length reached the Delaware, and sailing up, dropped anchor off the rising colony of Philadelphia. Here Cyril landed, and here we will leave him.

The old Puritan settled down at Burnley Manor, and brought his child to dwell there—and the house became so familiar to him, that he looked upon it as his own, and forgot all about Cyril Burnley.

favour and restored to his government. In the meantiine, Cyril had found out how sadly he erred in coming to the settlement. He had bought a farm, which he did not know how to manage, and which, after a struggle of many long years, he was obliged to give up, broken in health and fortunes.

During the first year after his arrival at Philadelphia, he began to discover that the customs of the rigidly simple and often fanatic inhabitantsfor the most part men who, for religious reasors had sought a new home

were little calculated to suit a roystering cavalier ; so after vainly seeking for companions after his own heart, he took unto himself a wife, the daughter of a worthy old Dutchman, who parted with her for the slight consideration of a hogshead of tobacco. She, however, did not survive these nuptials many years.

For some years before her death the farm had been going fast to rack, so at last the Cavalier, with a sigh, turned his back upon the settlement, and set out with an only sun for England.

Few would have recognised in him the fine hearty man who came there from the old world. Indeed, one or two of the inhabitants confided as much to each other, as they watched him going off to the ship, as the vessel unfolded her white wings, and rounded the woody Cape. Poor Cyril! his hair was grey, and, in contrast to his face, tanned by exposure to the sun, seemed almost white. His limbs were shrunk and wasted, and he had lost his former erect carriage in a fever through which the homely, affectionate little Dutchwoman had nursed him with unceasing care.

When he reached London, Cyril left his little son in the care of the innkeeper's wife, and travelled with all speed to Burnley. It was a hot summer's day, and Roger Crane was seated at the open library window, watching his two girls tending the flowers on the lawn; for the ferns on either side of the avenue were gone, and with them the timid rabbits that used to flit among them. It was now a trim lawn, dotted over with quaintlyshaped beds filled with gorgeous flowers.

Suddenly a figure sprang in at the window, and before Crane could distinguish who it was, his hand was seized in a firm grasp, and a voice

CHAPTER II. YEARS passed by, and Roger, perhaps too readily believing Cyril to be dead, began to act as Lord of the Manor, altering and improving, selling, buying and exchanging at his own pleasure. While this was goiog on, poor Penn had been brought into disgrace by the false accusations of Fuller, and after years of neglect was only just reinstated in the King's

that he knew only too well, altered dow had passed from the room, Roger though it was, exclaimed

Crane had fallen senseless to the “ God bless you, Roger! God bless ground: whether it was the excitement you! it is a comfort to see an old well or the terror of that interview, or known face again. Odslife, but you're whether it was a direct punishment little changed with all these long from Heaven, no one can tell ; but years. Art tired of the stewardship? from that hour one half of his body, I have come to relieve you, for I have from the crown of his head to the sole lost every farthing I had in that infer- of his foot, was dead-paralyzed. nal old psalm-singing settlement, so I Cyril went to London, and, emhave come back to end my days in barking with his young son, he sought peace in the home of my childhood. a home in Holland among his wife's But you sball not budge, man, there's kindred; and it was there on his room enough for us all, and your wife deathbed some years after, that he must be a mother to my boy, for I've imparted to his son the facts that our been married, old friend, since I saw readers are already acquainted with. you last," and here his voice began to This son, Hugh, grew up into a falter ; “poor heart, she was a good fine youth, and obtained a commiswoman, God bless her. But, by my sion in one of the Dutch regiments, soul, Roger !"-he exclaimed, observ- where he passed by the name of Börning the cold look of astonishment with hagh. The thought struck him that which Crane regarded him, “don't in Captain Börnbagh, the young you remember me? Cyril, Cyril Dutch officer, few people would reBurnley! your old friend ! surely cognise the son of Cyril Burnley, of you've not forgotten ?"

Burnley; so with all the romance of “In good sooth, no, my good man," youth he determined to visit the place said Crane, “I cannot have forgotten that should have been his own, and you in that I never knew you; and let try to recover the estates which his me tell you that if you think to act father, worn out by long troubles and Cyril Burnley, you will not find me age, had too easily despaired of recovery ready of belief.”

vering. Burnley stood aghast. At first he For a long time after Cyril's departhought Crane was joking, but there ture, Crane had been fearful lest he was that in his tone which showed him should strive to recover his estates, or to be in earnest. At length he found perhaps, attempt to take personal venwords to speak.

geance. Conscience was not still, and “Roger Crane, for Heaven's sake the worm that never dies was not asleep, don't jest with me !"

and the old man, as he went trailing one " Jest! sirrah! I advise you to half of his body a dead weight about beware bow you carry your jest with hini, would often curse himself farther. If you do not get hence I and his fate, and long for death to rewill soon make you ”.

lease him from his sufferings. The truth began to dawn upon His only delight was in his daughCyril ; he pressed him again and again, ters; the younger, a fair, delicate-lookuntil at length Crane exclaimed ing girl, quiet and meek, yet, as she

You must produce your papers. proved afterwards, not without a little Doubtless you will find many living of her father's determined spirit, when who will recognise in you the fine, roused. The elder was a dark beauty, hearty, roystering Burnley, of Burn- but her features hore an unpleasant

resemblance to her father, as, indeed, " Heartless wretch !” exclaimed did her character, for she was proud, Cyril. “Now I can see your cold. and fierce, and unflinching, and if she blooded villainy; you know as God is was not wicked like him it was only judge between us, that I trusted my because she had had no opportunity lands to you, as I would to my mo- of being so. As time wore on, blindther's son. I know that friendless pess was added to old Crane's other and penniless as I am, I have no hope afflictions, and then his daughters beleft. You may rob the son of your came his only solace. They read to father's preserver of his birthright, him, sang to him, and played to him, but mark me, your ill-got riches shall and became so necessary to his exispot prosper you!”

tence that the selfish old man would He was gone; but before his sha. hardly suffer them to go out of his

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »