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some one wished to speak to him, and after a moment Simpson, the head gardener at the Court, was ushered in.
He was an honest, obstinate, pragmatical individual, with a long upper lip and long receding chin, whose worst fault was a rooted objection to work of any kind, which not even his real skill and sincere good intentions could always overcome.
He stood twisting his hat, and nervously rejecting the chair which Mr. Tyndal pointed out to him.
I've come to you in trouble, Squire; and I don't know as you or any one else can do much for me, but maybe you can give me to understand the reason of it all, for I know no more than the babe unborn. It's the young master, sir—Mr. Claughton. I don't know what kind of gardening he's been used to in foreign parts—nothing so very remarkable, by all accounts. But he's not satisfied with mine, howsomever, and he's given me notice to go.'
Mr. Tyndal felt not only astonished, but guilty. For he had said to Maurice more than once, If you take my advice you'll get rid of that thick-headed Simpson.' But he had never thought that Maurice would act upon the advice. He was always saying such things, in moments of irritation, and neither he nor any one else about him ever expected them to be acted upon. He inwardly reviled himself for a meddling old fool, while Simpson maundered on about the length of time he had been at the Court, and the honesty with which he had always accounted for the garden produce.
But after all, thought the Squire, it was an amiable trait in the young man's character to be so ready to take advice, and doubtless it would be all right when he had convinced Maurice that he had not intended his words to be taken au pied de la lettre.
He spoke in as consoling a tone as he could venture upon without committing himself too explicitly, and at last Simpson talked himself out of the room. Mr. Tyndal waited till he was gone, then crossed the hall to the drawing-room to pour out his perplexities to his wife, as usual, and to inquire after Maurice Claughton's whereabouts.
Mrs. Tyndal was sitting alone, the cups for afternoon tea set out before her, and the teapot muffled in velvet, wadding, and embroidery, to keep the tea warm till some one else should come and drink it.
But before the Squire had had time to speak of what was in his mind there was a sound of voices in the hall, and in a moment the door opened and Raymond came in.
His was not a very expressive face, but it was very apparent for the moment that something had just put him out. He answered his aunt's offer of tea with an evident effort to speak as usual, and stood on the hearthrug frowning like a thunder-cloud. Gentle Mrs. Tyndal looked at him pityingly, and wondered what had annoyed bim; but if she had been in the hall a moment before and seen the cause of his annoyance, she would have been no wiser. Only the great door opening and admitting two healthy, happy-looking, hand
some young people, with glowing faces and dripping garments, and tongues going with unusual rapidity.
Agnes Morrison, pale and rather worn-looking from a day of letterwriting, came forward from the inner drawing-room just as Maurice entered from the hall, his dark face touched with unwonted colour, and a light in his wonderful golden-hazel eyes.
He left the door open behind him, and they could hear Dagmar, going singing upstairs, as was her wont
Oh, where have you been, my lorg, long love,
This long seven years and more?
Ye granted me before.'
(To be continued.)
CAMEOS FROM ENGLISH HISTORY.
The self-worship of such a man as Louis XIV. could not but include love of glory, as he and his people termed lust of conquest. His mediation between England and Holland had been for no humane end, but in order to obtain allies for purposes of his own.
France had always cast a covetous eye upon the corner of land between the Alps and the sea, which formed her only exposed side, and most of which had belonged to the great Valois Dukes of Burgundy, and from them had passed to the sovereign of Spain. The northern portion had revolted, and established itself as the Seven United Provinces; but the southern had either been faithful to Spain, or had been reconquered, and was as zealously Roman Catholic as the provinces were Calvinistic. It was on this region that Louis fixed his attention. His father-in-law, Philip IV. of Spain, had died on the 17th of September, 1665, leaving, besides his two daughters by his first marriage—the Queen of France and Empress of Austria-one son by his second wife, Mariana of Austria, The poor child, Carlos, was only four years old, had a soft skull, had not cut his teeth, and could neither speak nor walk. His mother was a woman of little capacity, and the power of Spain had been ebbing ever since the death of Philip II., while France had advanced in strength, and Louis was resolved on a further enterprise.
An old edict in Brabant, made to discourage second marriages, gave the inheritance to the daughter of the first wife in preference to the son of the second ; and although at her marriage, Marie Therèse bad solemnly renounced all claim to her father's succession, Louis was determined to claim the coveted Flemish and Brabantine territory in her right.
He had sounded De Witt, and finding him alarmed at the notion of having France so near a neighbour, deceived him by talking of a free Catholic Confederacy of the ten Belgian provinces. To arrange matters with England, Louis sent his aunt, Queen Henrietta, on a visit to her son, and the two kings corresponded under cover to her, finally agreeing that in consideration of a subsidy from France, enabling him to be independent of his Parliament, Charles should abstain for one year from assisting Spain, when Louis shoull put his designs into execution. This was kept secret when the Treaty of Breda was signed, and all that was there openly done was the surrender of conquests on each side in America.
The Spanish Government knew nothing of all this; and the Viceroy of the Netherlands, the Marquis of Castel Rodrigo, had only 7000 or 8000 men under his command, when in May, 1667, with an army directed by Turenne, Louis inade his attack, taking fortress after fortress. All his Court went with him in State carriages, Queen, Mademoiselle de la Vallière, the Duchess of Orleans, and all, as far as Compiègne, and Louis rode about in splendid uniform, with a glittering staff of nobles, the admired of all beholders. Douai, Oudenarde, Courtrai, Lille, had to surrender one after the other before the approach of winter sent home the gay Court party, leaving Turenne to hold the territory so easily gained.
There was much alarm at the rapid conquest throughout Europe, and in England a great deal of discontent and displeasure. The vicious indulgences of the King justly shocked the right minded, the severity against the Nonconformists alienated all who pitied them, and distress caused by the national misfortunes, could not but aggravate all feelings of opposition, and, above all, the insult to the navy was bitterly felt and charged upon the Government.
It was on the Lord Chancellor Clarendon that the general hatred directed itself. He and the King seem to have intended to play the parts of Sully and Henri IV.; they were on excellent terms; and there is a series of notes preserved in the Bodleian Library which passed between them when Clarendon was sitting in the House of Lords, and sent up questions to which the King scrawled an answer. Sometimes a rejoinder follows. Clarendon's in the old English hand, Charles's in the flowing Italian. It is like hearing them converse, more especially as we can trace when the King was perplexed, by the great spider he has drawn in a blot of ink at the bottom of his paper !
Clarendon was grave, solemn, and pompous in manner, a very strong Royalist, and extremely saving, not to say grasping, both for the State and himself, and thus he made many enemies. The courtiers laughed at him, and derided his serious, haughty tone, ail the King made merry with them, but still trusted the old statesmar more than any of them. Especially hostile to him were Lady Castlemaine, who knew what he thought of her, and the Duke of Buckingham.
This nobleman had much of the beauty and personal fascination of his father, the favourite of the two last Kings, and was more dissipated. He had been the companion of Charles in his wanderings, and on the Restoration, had married the only daughter and heiress of Lord Fairfax, the Puritan General. He would not insult this lady by making her visit Lady Castlemaine, and that violent woman had therefore a furious quarrel with him. He began intriguing with some of the disaffected, but was betrayed, and had to escape from
London to avoid being sent to the Tower. Probably it was while in exile in Yorkshire, and finding it very dull, that he uttered his famous malediction on a troublesome dog, “ Cur that you are, I wish you was married and lived in the country!'
However, his accuser died, he made his peace with Lady Castlemaine, and was welcomed back by the King. At once he and his friends, Shaftesbury, Arlington, Albemarle, and all who hated the Chancellor, began to beset the King with accusations. They pointed to the grand house he had completed to prove that he had been bribed, and had helped himself to the money for the sale of Dunkirk; they declared that he wanted to ruin the Constitution ; Tangier had been given up as too expensive—this was also said to be an account of bribery'; and that in order that his own grandchildren might inherit the throne, he had induced the King to marry a sickly girl unlikely to have children.
The mob broke his windows, and painted a gibbet on the gate with this rhyme
Three sights to be seen,
Dunkirk, Tangier and a barren Queen.' Even Andrew Marvel wrote the scurrilous epigram on his having purchased some of the materials of old St. Paul's
. Here lie the sacred bones
Fixed on an eccentric basis.
The Dutchman's templum pacis.' Charles stood out for a good while, though Clarendon had often rebuked him for his evil courses, so that the ladies used to exclaim, when they saw the Chancellor approach, `Here comes your schoolmaster.'
A mocking procession was got up, in which Buckingham represented the stately Chancellor marching to the Court of Chancery, Colonel Titus strutting before him with the fire-shovel over his shoulder as the mace, and another of these buffoons carrying the bellows by way
of purse. 1. Charles laughed heartily, but the discontent of the country was all
turning against the Chancellor. The Dissenters hated bim for his severities, the narrower Churchmen for not being more severe, and the Romanists for preventing the King's indulgence to them; and Charles at last was turned against him by finding that he had given fatherly counsel to the beautiful, thoughtless Frances Theresa, la belle Stuart. Charles was enough in love with her to bave actually consulted Archbishop Sheldon on the possibility of divorcing poor