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• I'll go somewhere else, perhaps, where you go,' said Violet. 'I don't think the Rector can be at all a nice gentleman. As mamma says, Sunday-schools and public classes aren't the thing for young ladies.'
The result of all these influences working on the instincts of her bringing-up and training finally sent Alice to her mother on Saturday night, saying,
• Mother, I think I'd better go to school to-morrow. Miss Alice
Well, Alice, I think it's for the best you should. But if I hear tales of the younger ones misbehaving, I may have to speak to Mr. Anson, and then it'll be for father and me to judge if it's better to make a change.'
I wish we were back at Roseberry,' said Alice, with renewed tears.
There, Alice, 'tis no use saying that, and when words is no use, 'tis much better not to say them.'
Mrs. Woodford did know, as few mothers in her class do, that it would be very bad for her children to give them a triumph over the constituted authorities; but her allegiance was weakened, and she felt that she would be glad of any excuse for making a change.
Alice was a little reconciled to the decision, by finding that Mary Jackson's mother, on her application to the St. Mark's clergy, bad told them first, that her girl had such a liking to their church that she couldn't abear to go anywhere else. (Whereas Mary ran about with any companion she could find to half the places of worship’in Dulworth, and had even been heard to remark that she'd try the Catholic to-night, for a change.')
When there was still a demur, Mrs. Jackson had glibly declared that her girl was going to service in that part of the town, and that the St. Michael's classes were inconvenient; but never said a word about Mary's dismissal from there.
Alice felt that to come to Confirmation with a lie in her right hand would be too shocking; but she still had her trials. Miss Walters was much annoyed at the loss of her two scholars, and school matters did not improve.
Alice was not at all tempted by Sylvia Gore's account of how much they made of her at the Congregational; but the temptation was brought before her in quite another form.
Violet Almond persisted in staying away from the classes, and poor Alice was miserable to think that either her fault or her misfortune was depriving another of a privilege, and while she was still sore-hearted and angry, she was attacked on the subject by Lotty Benson.
Lotty was far the steadiest and most thoughtful girl with whom Alice was acquainted in Dulworth, she would have scorned to run after treats, and, indeed, the Bible Christians 'were not in a position to afford ber many.
But she was a very important person in her little community, and told Alice how she had been moved at their meetings to 'engage in prayer,' with many particulars about her conversion,' which she attributed to a certain Christian lady whom she had heard at a great revival meeting, in the very room where the Choral Society's concert had lately been held. She begged Alice not to fret about empty forms, but to come and hear the Word' for herself, and said a great deal which, though not couched exactly in the language used by any of Alice's teachers, was familiar to her in many story books, and in which she could not exactly detect a flaw, and to which, as she had never been taught controversially, she could tind no answer. Lotty was so much more religious than any of her companions at the Church school, or than even she herself was aware of being, that Alice could not fail to respect her, and the conscientious child puzzled herself much over the question; while the lighter Etty was more and more inclined to yield to Polly Mason's entreaties
just to come over and see what a handsome class-room we have at the Congregational, and what well-dressed young ladies attend it.' Etty was only restrained by the habits of obedience in which her mother had trained her. Mrs. Woodford kept the control over her children, as if she had been a lady, and Etty had happily not yet awoke to the knowledge that working-girls of her age were practically almost independent. She was only naughty and inattentive at St. Michael's; wbile Alice, feeling, without being able to explain, how utterly unimpressed all the Church girls in the Confirmation Class seemed by their privileges, and what a light-minded set they were, felt herself growing to have a real respect for Lotty-began to wonder if she herself was converted, and to think how she should ever make up her mind to tell Miss Alice, if she found it her duty to join the Bible Christians.
(To be continued.)
CAMEOS FROM ENGLISH HISTORY.
WAR AND PESTILENCE.
It would have seemed as though the Dutch Republic must have been the natural ally of England; but, on the contrary, in the early and middle parts of the seventeenth century there was the most bitter dislike between the two countries, chiefly from colonial rivalries, and from the recollection of the Amboyna massacre.
The politics of the Seven Provinces were very complicated, and had much effect on the state of Europe at this time. They were Holland, Zeeland, Guelderland, Utrecht, Overyssel, Groningen, and Friesland. Each of these a separate republic in itself, and each city with its own municipal government. Each province had its own States, composed of deputies, and the management of the Union was in the hands of the States-General, consisting of deputies from each province, with a lesser council of state. The administration was chiefly in the hands of this, as it consisteil partly of the permanent officers, such as the Grand Pensionary of Holland, and TreasurerGeneral. The Stadtholder, as representative of the nobility, had always had much influence, though not an essential part of the Constitution. Ever since the time of William the Silent the Stadtholder had been head of the Orange or Nassau family; but the infancy of the third William had prevented his being appointed, and Cromwell had made it an article of the treaty that no Prince of Orange should ever hold the office.
There were always two parties in the State, Holland and Amsterdam being strongly averse to exalt the house of Nassau ; Zeeland and the other provinces being generally in its favour. The first was called the Lowestein party, the second the Orange; but Hulland was so rich and prosperous as generally to outweigh the other six provinces, and the Grand Pensionary, John de Witt, was an exceedingly able man. His fear was of an Orange tyranny, and to prevent this he was willing to ally himself with France, and to oppose England as connected with the young Prince of Orange, now about fourteen.
The other States were more afraid of French ambition than Orange tyranny; but all were sore at the recent defeat, and anxious to retrieve their honour now that Blake was dead.
The possessions of the States were enormous in all the quarters of the world. They had numerous isles in the Southern Archipelago, as well as factories in India, had began to settle in Guinea and at the Cape of Good Hope, owned several West Indian isles, and a settlement in Guiana, and had begun a colony in North America, close to that of the Pilgrim Fathers. Their merchant shipping was the finest in the world, and they had no rival on the seas save the English.
Causes of quarrel were by no means lacking. The treaty with Cromwell had not been performed, the island of Poleron in the East Indies bad not been yielded, English merchant ships were continually seized and detained on false pretences, and there were constant quarrels and mutual injuries inflicted by the colonists of the two nations on the coast of Guinea, where each was trying to establish factories for trade in palm oil, gold dust, and unfortunately, for slaves. There was now an African Company, with the Duke of York at its head, as well as the East Indian Company, established in 1600, and both made loud complaints of the conduct of the Dutch. Sir George Downing was sent to the Hague to complain, and also to demand that the young Prince of Orange should be restored to the honours of his family. The Envoy was a haughty, overbearing man, who gave further offence; and in the meantime the African Company took the matter into their own hands and sent out Sir Robert Holmes with a small fleet to recover the Castle of Corse, which the Dutch had seized. In one of the Dutch vessels there taken papers were discovered showing that the Dutch Governor, Valkenberg, had incited the negro king of Fantine to attack the English fort at Cormantine, and he therefore considered himself justified not only in taking the island of Goree, off Cape Verde, but in destroying several more Dutch forts, after which he stretched across the Atlantic to the settlement in America, which had at first been English, but had since been colonised by the Dutch, who called it New Netherlands, and the capital New Amsterdam. Fresh arrivals of English emigrants threw the balance to their side, and in 1664 the inhabitants, on the arrival of Sir Robert Nicolas with a fleet, overcame the resistance of Governor Stuyvesant, commonly called Headstrong Peter, and made him surrender. The province was given to the King's brother, after whom the capital was called New York, but for many generations the Dutch habits and language prevailed in the country around. Here Holmes seems to have thought it well to wait and see whether his daring deed was to be avowed or not.
The Dutch Ambassador loudly complained, and Charles gave orders that Holmes should be arrested and sent to the Tower till he could clear himself. The Admiral surrendered, and showed such papers that the King thought him fully justified, released him, and when the condivance at the negro attack on the African fort was denied, Charles replied that he had as full evidence of it as that there was such a fort.'
There was great anger in Holland, but the States-General were always slow of decision upon a war, and none could be legally undertaken without their formal sanction, when of course any public debates must at once become known to Sir George Downing. De Ruyter was in the Mediterranean, where he had been going on with Blake's work of overawing the Moorish corsairs, and the object of the Grand Pensionary was to send him instructions to recover the forts. De Witt therefore concerted his measures with seven devoted friends, and when the States-General met, he began with a number of dry formal bills which had to be read and signed as a matter of course, and were likely to be gone through without attention or discussion.
When well embarked in this roll, the seven deputies began upon those likely to be in opposition. Some were called outside to be told of a secret, others walked up and down the hall to converse on the subject known to interest them most, some lured to the windows to see what was going on in the square outside, even the President engaged in conversation, and then, while no one was listening, De Ruyter contrived that the secretary should gabble through the authorisation to make reprisals on the English in the very same dreary voice in which he had been reading the mere forms, so that nobody knew what was going on, nobody objected, and the authorisation was signed and sealed, and sent off by special messenger overland to meet De Ruyter.
The English Admiral Lawson was also in the Mediterranean, closely watching De Ruyter, though polite messages passed between the two Admirals, and the Dutch fleet, to disarm suspicion, sailed up and down for three weeks, through the Straits of Gibraltar, collecting stores for his expedition from the Spanish ports, but only purchasing a little at a time so as to excite no suspicion. Not one of his captains knew what he intended, till on the 5th of October, 1664, he bad passed the English fleet lying in Cadiz Bay, and exchanged a friendly farewell with Lawson, who fully believed that he was going home.
Two days later he hoisted the white flag which summoned the captains on board his ship the Spiegel, and told them of bis instructions, sailing straight for Goree, where he found nine English merchantmen. All had to surrender, as well as the fort.
On one of these islands the sailors were much surprised at finding a negro able to speak Dutch, having been a slave taken to Flushing. On hearing the Admiral's name, he exclaimed, “Michiel De Ruyter, I remember a cabin boy of that name at Flushing !'
When told that it was the same, he was incredulous, but being taken on board the Spiegel, there was a delighted recognition on either side, and much laughter over old pranks which the two lads had shared. The black could still repeat the names of all the streets, buildings, and bridges in Flushing, and the names and nicknames of of all his old comrades there. He had been baptized, still knew the