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Encouraged by these words, Alice rose, and, bewildered as she was, endeavoured to superintend the arrangements for their meal and their repose in their new habitation. But her tears fell so fast, they marred her counterfeited diligence; and it was well for her that Phoebe, though too ignorant and too simple to comprehend the extent of her distress, could afford her material assistance, in lack of mere sympathy.
With great readiness and address, the damsel set about every thing that was requisite for preparing the supper and the beds; now screaming into Dame Jellycot's ear, now whispering into her mistress's, and artfully managing, as if she was merely the agent, under Alice's orders. When the cold meat was set forth, Sir Henry Lee kindly pressed his daughter to take refreshment, as if to make up, indirectly, for his previous harshness towards her; while he himself, like an experienced campaigner, showed, that neither the mortifications nor brawls of the day, nor the thoughts of what was to come to-morrow, could diminish his appetite for supper, which was his favourite meal. He ate up two-thirds of the capon, and, devoting the first bumper to the happy restoration of Charles, second of the name, he finished a quart of wine; for he belonged to a school accustomed to feed the flame of their loyalty with copious brimmers. He even sang a verse of. The King shall enjoy his own again,' in which Phoebe, half sobbing, and Dame Jel. lycot, screaming against time and tune, were contented to lend their aid, to cover Mistress Alice's silence.
At length the jovial knight betook himself to his rest, on the keeper's straw pallet, in a recess adjoining to the kitchen, and, unaffected by his change of dwelling, slept fast and deep. Alice had less quiet rest in old Goody Jellycot's wicker couch, in the inner apartment; while the dame and Phæbe slept on a mattress, stuffed with dry leaves, in the same chamber, soundly as those whose daily toil gains their daily bred, and whom morning calls up only to renew the toils of yesterday.
My tongue pads slowly under this new language,
As Markham Everard pursued his way towards the Lodge, through one of the long sweeping glades which traversed the forest, varying in breadth, till the trees were now so close that the boughs made darkness over their heads, then receding farther to let in glimses of the moon, and anon opening yet wider into little meadows, or savannahs, on which the moon-beams lay in silvery silence; as he thus proceeded on his lonely course, the various effects produced by that delicious light on the oaks, whose dark leaves, gnarled branches, and massive trunks it gilded, more or less partially, mi ht have drawn the attention of a poet or a painter.
But if Everard thought of anything saving the painful scene in which he had just played his part, and of which the result seemed the destruction of all his hopes, it was of the necessary guard to be observed in his night-walk. The times were dangerous and unsettled; the roads full of disbanded sol. diers, and especially of royalists, who made their political opinions a pretext for disturbing the country with marauding parties and robberies. Deer-stealers also, who are ever a desperate handitti, had of late infested Woodstock Chase. In short, the dangers of the place and period were such, that Markham Everard wore his loaded pistols at his belt, and carried his drawn sword under his arm, that he might be prepared for whatever peril should cross his path.
He heard the bells of Woodstock Church ring cur
few, just as he was crossing one of the little meadows we have described, and they ceased as he entered an overshadowed and twilight part of the path beyond. It was there that he heard some one whistling; and, as the sound became clearer, it was plain the person was advancing towards him. This could hardly be a friend; for the party to which he belonged rejected, generally speaking, all music, unless psalmody. If a man is
merry, let him sing psalms,' was a text which they were pleased to interpret as literally as they did some others; yet it was too continued a sound to be a signal amongst night-walkers, and too light and cheerful to argue any purpose of concealment on the part of the traveller, who presently exchanged his whistling for singing, and trolled forth the following stanza to a jolly tune, with which the old cavaliers were wont to wake the night-owl:
Iley for cavaliers! Ho for cavaliers!
'I should know that voice,' said Everard, uncocking the pistol which he had drawn from his belt, but continuing to hold it in his hand. Then came another fragment:
Hash them-slash them
All to pieces dash thein. So ho!' cried Markham,' who goes there, and for whom?'
For Church and King,' answered a voice, which presently added, "No, d-me-I mean against Church and King, and for the people that are uppermost-I forget which they are.'
Roger Wildrake, as I guess?' said Everard. "The same-Gentleman of Squattlesea.mere, in the moist county of Lincolo.'
« Wildrake!' said Markham_Wildgoose you should be called. You have been moistening your own throat to some purpose, and using it to gabble tunes very suiting to the times, to be sure!
Faith, the tune's a pretty tune enough, Mark, only out of fashion a little-the more's the pity.”
"What could I expect,'said Everard, ' but to meet some ranting, drunken cavalier, as desperate and dangerous as night and sack usually make them? What if I had rewarded your melody by a ball in the gullet?'
"Why, there would have been a piper paid--that's all,' said Wildrake. But wherefore come you this way now?-I was about to seek you at the hut.'
. I have been obliged to leave it I will tell you the cause hereafter,' replied Markham.
• What! the old play-hunting cavalier was cross, or Chloe was unkind?'
Jest not, Wildrake-it is all over with me,' said Everard.
“The devil it is,' exclaimed Wildrake,' and you take it thus quietly!-Zounds! let us back togetherI'll plead your cause for you~I know how to tickle up an old knight and a pretty maiden--Let me alone for putting you rectus in curia, you canting rogue. D-n me, Sir Henry Lee, says I, your nephew is a piece of a Puritan-it won't deny--but I'll uphold him a gentleman and a pretty fellow for all that.Madam, says I, you may think your cousin looks like a psalmsinging weaver, in that bare felt, and with that rascally brown cloak; that band, which looks like a baby's clout, and those loose boots, which have a whole calf-skin in each of them,--but let him wear on the one side of his head a castor, with a plume befitting his quality; give him a good Toledo by his side, with a broidered belt and an inlaid hilt, instead of the ton of iron contained in that basket-hilted, black Andrew Ferrara; put a few smart words in his mouth --and, blood and wounds! madam, says I ---
Prithee, truce with this nonsense, Wildrake,' said
Everard,' and tell me if you are sober enough to hear a few words of sober reason?' Phsaw!
I did but crack a brace of quarts with yonder puriantic, round-headed soldiers, up yonder at the town; and rat me but I passed myself for the best man of the party; twanged my nose, and turned up my eyes, as I took my can- -Pah! the very wine tasted of hypocrisy. I think the rogue corporal smoked something at last-as for the common fellows, never stir, but they asked me to say grace over another quart.'
* This is just what I wished to speak with you about, Wildrake, said Markham-You hold me, I am sure, for your frierd? '
'True as steel.-Chums at college and at Lincoln'sInn-we have been Nisus and Euryalus, Theseus and Perithous, Orestes and Pylades; and, to sum up the whole with a puritanic touch, David and Jonathan, all in one breath. Not even politics, the wedge that rends families and friendships asunder, as iron rives oak, have been able to split us.'
"True,' answered Markham; and when you followed the King to Nottingham, and I enrolled under Essex, we swore, at our pai ting, that whichever side was victorious, he of us who adhered to it, should protect his less fortunate comrade.'
'Surely, man, surely; and have you not protected me accordingly? Did you not save me from banging? and am I not indebted to you for the bread I eat?!
'I have but done that which, had the times been otherwise, you, my dear Wildrake, would, I am sure, have done for me. But, as I said, that is just what I
wished to speak to you about. Why render the task I of protecting you more difficult than it must necessa.
rily be at any rate? Why thrust thyself into the company of soldiers, or such-like, where thou art sure to be warmed into betraying thyself? Why come hollowing and whooping cut cavalier ditties, like a drunken trooper of Prince Rupert, or one of Wilmot's swaggering body-guards