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was obedient, but he did not do it in the right way, which led the maid with some passion to ask, "What countryman are you, that you know not how to wind up a jack?” “Will Jackson" appears to have answered very satisfactorily: "I am a poor tenant's son of Colonel Lane, in Staffordshire; we seldom have roast meat, and when we have, we don't make use of a jack," and so the maid's anger was appeased. That old jack is still hanging up beside the fireplace, but those who have seen it within the last few years say that it would now puzzle a wiser man than Charles to wind it up. Another story tells how the king was hard pressed by soldiers in pursuit of him, and how they sought for him all over the house, and in the kitchen too; but here the girl in the kitchen knew him, for indeed he was there, and as they entered, he looked with trepidation round him, perhaps giving up all for lost now; but the cook hit him a smart rap with the basting ladle, exclaiming, "Now, then, go on with thy work; what art thou looking about for ?” And the manœuvre was effectual, and the soldiers started on another track. The wanderings seem to have been long, nor
was it until Wednesday, October 15th, the same day on which the gallant Lord Derby laid his head upon the scaffold at Bolton, in Lancashire, and probably about the same time in the day, that the king was able to set sail for the coast of Normandy. The language of Lord Clarendon concerning the adventures and ultimate restoration of the king reads so like a piece of mere grim satire, that we cannot but pause for a moment to quote them here :
“We may tell those desperate wretches, who yet harbour in their thoughts wicked designs against the sacred person of the king, in order to the compassing
, of their own imaginations, that God Almighty would not have led him through so many wildernesses of afflictions of all kinds, conducted him through so many perils by sea, and perils by land, snatched him out of the midst of this kingdom when it was not worthy of him, and when the hands of his enemies were even upon him, when they thought themselves so sure of him that they would bid so cheap and so vile a price for him: He would not in that article have so covered him with a cloud, that he travelled even with some pleasure and great observation through the midst of his enemies: He would not so wonderfully have new modelled that army; so inspired their hearts, and the hearts of the whole nation, with an honest and impatient longing for the return of their dear sovereign, and in the meantime have exercised him (which had little less of Providence in it than the other) with those unnatural, or at least unusual, disrespects and reproaches abroad, that he might have a harmless and an innocent appetite to his own country, and return to his own people, with a full value, and the whole unwasted bulk of his affections, without being corrupted and biased by extraordinary foreign obligations; God Almighty would not have done all this but for a servant whom He will always preserve as the apple of His own eye, and always defend from the most secret machinations of his enemies.”
When the king came back, shall we say that it was to his honour that he remembered with gratitude the services of Jane Lane-by that time Lady Fisher —and the Penderels? It would have been an addition to his perpetual dishonour had he forgotten them, had he not sought them out with the intention to distinguish them. He even settled a sum upon them in acknowledgment of their services and fidelity to him; but these promises appear in a short time to have failed in fulfilment. But the interviews they had with the king in London are interesting. Charles wrote a very handsome letter to Lady Fisher, before the Restoration, full of respect and gratitude, and signing himself, “Your most assured and constant friend.” Richard Penderel, Charles introduced to his Court saying, "The simplest rustic who serves his sovereign in the time of need to the utmost extent of his ability, is as deserving of our commendation as the victorious leader of thousands. Friend Richard," continued the king, "I am glad to see thee; thou wert my preserver and conductor, the bright star that showed me to my Bethlehem, for which kindness I will engrave thy memory on the tablet of a faithful heart.” Turning to the lords the king said, "My lords, I pray you respect this good man for my sake. Master Richard, be bold and tell these lords what passed amongst us when I had quitted the oak at Boscobel to reach Pit Leason.” Altogether the kingwho is assuredly no favourite with this present writer, who also much wonders at the Providence which saved him, if he may say it without irreverence, when so many better men fell as sacrifices to the passion, the caprice, or the indignation of the hour-may be more favourably viewed in his adventures through those old villages, ancient halls, and wayside inns, and in his dealings with the humble attendants who risked for him their lives in their obscure service, than in any other of the incidents and chapters of his discreditable career.