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Scotch; for it was within its walls that the English Cavaliers made a last and desperate resistance, and they were all cut to pieces or made prisoners. This was the last and great decisive conflict; the defeat of Worcester settled the Royal cause, and doomed it, with its chief and his adherents, to banishment, until the strong victor who had scattered the royal rabble at Worcester, should himself be conquered by death.

And here, before we pass on with the stream of circumstance in Cromwell's life, shall we turn for a few moments to the singular episode of the strange adventures of the Royal fugitive Charles, after the battle of Worcester ? We may well do so if we are disposed to accept the words of Clarendon, who says, “It is a great pity that there was never a journal made of that miraculous deliverance, in which there might be seen so many visible impressions of the immediate hand of God!" But this language is quite a modest estimate compared with what is said by Mistress Wyndham, the wife or sister of Colonel Wyndham, who took a considerable share in the preservation of the king; this lady says, “It is a story in which the constellations of Providence are so refulgent, that their light is sufficient to confute all the atheists in the world, and to enforce all persons whose faculties are not pertinaciously depraved to acknowledge the watchful eye of God from above, looking upon all actions of men here below, making even the most wicked subservient to His just and glorious designs. For the Almighty so closely covered the king with the wing of His protection, and so clouded the understandings of his cruel enemies, that the most piercing eye of malice could not see, nor the most barbarous bloody hand offer violence to, his sacred person, God smiting his pursuers as once he did the Sodomites, with blindness." The language of Mistress Wyndham is certainly pitched in an exalted key, but the story is as certainly very remarkable. A story is told, how many years since, before the age of railways, a nobleman and his lady, with their infant child, travelling in a wild neighbourhood, were overtaken by a snowstorm and compelled to seek shelter in a rude shepherd's hut; when the nurse, who was in attendance upon her lord and lady, began undressing the infant by the side of the warm fire, the inhabitants of the hut gazed in awe and silence at the process. As the little one was disrobed of its silken frock and fine linen, and rich dress after dress was taken away, still the shepherd and his wife gazed with awe, until, when the process of undressing was completed, and the naked baby was being washed and warmed by the fire, when all the wrappages and outer husks were peeled off, the shepherd and his wife exclaimed, “Why, it's just like one of ours !” But it is a very difficult thing to understand that kings and queens and princes are just like one of us when their state robes are off; and thus the adventures of Charles derive their interest and sanctity from the supposed importance of the person, and the

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worship with which he is regarded arises from the sense of the place he fills, and his essential importance to the future schemes of Almighty Providence. And still it certainly is one of the most interesting pieces of English folklore. It has been said, but we a little doubt the truth of the saying, that there is no country where, in so small a space as in England, so much and so many relics of the past are crowded together; and it is farther often said, that of all romantic tales in English history, that of King Charles's flight is the most so. Hairbreadth escapes, sufferings, surprises, and disguises shed quite a fictitious halo around one who was, after all, a very mean and commonplace character. The adventures of Charles, however, are indeed full of interest, and the volume of Boscobel Tracts is a charming story of old halls, many of them now gone, many of them still standing, grey and weather-worn, full of hiding-places, where the prince found a refuge. The escape of Charles is one of those stories which the English peasant has in many parts of England told pleasantly in his own rude way. It is a wonderful story of human fidelity, for though a thousand pounds was set upon the capture of Charles, and perhaps more than a score of people knew the route he was taking, not one of them ever revealed it, not one broke faith, peasant and peer were equally true; cottage and hali were equally open to the royal fugitive; indeed, it is a story which if told of a better man might bring tears into the eyes. From that fatal evening when flying along from Worcester he threw his blue ribbon and garter and princely ornaments away, when his long black hair was cropped off country fashion, when he climbed up into the Boscobel oak, and amidst its thick boughs could look down, and peep, and see the red coats of his enemies passing beneath them, till

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until, by a strangely circuitous route, he reached Brighthelmstone, or Brighton, and from thence embarked in Captain Tattersal's little vessel from Shoreham, it is a constant succession of adventures which from that day to this have furnished subjects for the writers of fiction. Lord Clarendon devotes a good many pages to the story of these adventures; but he gives no honour to the humbler agents who secured

1 In reference to this a ballad, by the present writer, called a Farewell to Brighton Bells, sings :“ Again the old bells clang’d and clash'd, to greet the merry day. When scapegrace Charles came back again, that twenty

ninth of May ; And in the Old King's Head a group of merry fishers chat, Whilst pointing to the chair in which, disguised, the monarch

sat! And many a tale that night was told,—the tankard's power

prevail'd, How, but for Brighton's loyalty, e'en Boscobel had fail'd ; I doubt me much that Brighton ale display'd a tyrant's

power, In drinking bold Dick Tattersal, the hero of the hour !”

the king's escape: the Penderels, for instance, to whom the king always expressed so much gratitude, they are unmentioned; nor does the faithful Jane Lane receive the notice she deserves; quite worthy she appears of all the fame which has waited upon Flora Macdonald, who took a similar part in rescuing a later member of the house of Stuart from similar dangers. There is a quiet and unassuming grace about Jane Lane which gives a real charm to her character. The way was beset with stories; and it must have been an anxious time to Charles. But some of his retreats standing still, glow with the lights of the old romantic days: the old house at Trent, for instance, in whose secret chambers he stayed so long, and from whence he heard a Roundhead soldier boasting that he had slain the king with his own hands, and from whence he could see the bonfires the people kindled in their joy, and hear his own death knell rung from the old church tower. Sometimes the king was “Will Jones," a woodman; then he was changed into “Will Jackson," a groom, clad in grey cloth. Once he had to take Jane Lane's horse to a smithy, it had cast a shoe, and the smith began wailing the non-capture of that rogue Charles Stuart, and the king chimed in, that if that rogue could only be taken, he deserved hanging more than all the rest, for bringing in the Scots. Once, close to Stratford, “Will Jackson,” in pursuance of his disguise, was sent into the kitchen, where the cook-maid, who was providing supper, desired him to wind up the jack; he

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